Friday, November 22, 2013

Great Expectations

 Ain't that the truth 
Sooooo... I was expecting to write a very different post today. Our week started out a little rough with my first beta HCG level. It was higher than SuperDoc expected it to be at 1544, so that was good news. Then I went in again on Wednesday and the level came back at 2068, which is barely doubled, so that was not so much good news. I spent the day in rivers of tears, already mourning the life I thought I was losing.

EH decided to stay home with me on Thursday. We spent the day watching movies and stuffing our faces. Then he had the bright idea that we should go out and get some air. I revolted. I wanted to stay on the couch in my pre-grief state. He eventually got me to go out by allowing me to wear my sweats and my night shirt under my jacket. We finally get to Staples, to buy an ink cartridge for our printer, and I literally could not get out of the car. I felt like I shouldn't be outside and my body agreed with me. He opened the car door for me and I started wailing like a child throwing a major tantrum. Screaming my apologies for my behavior and telling him I just wanted it out! He finally got back in the car after a few minutes and we sat in there in the Staples parking lot while I wailed. Eventually we made it to Staples.

We got an email from SuperDoc that asked us to come in this morning so that she could make sure everything was OK and that we weren't having an ectopic pregnancy. When we got home from the Staples Meltdown I fell into a blissful sleep and woke up with a more positive outlook. We decided that if we lost this baby we would take a few months off and start IVF next year, which is amazing in itself, because we balked at the price and really believed we'd never be able to swing it. Now EH is talking about payment plans and wanting to know everything about IVF land.

It's hard to let a dream go, I guess.

That night, I went to bed early and I whispered, "Help" in the dark. I asked God to help me deal with the next day, whatever the outcome.

Today, I gave blood and then EH and I sat in the exam room in silence. We were both anxious to know what the deal was with this pregnancy. He told me his new motto is: "There's no use being positive." I told him that was pretty sad even for him but I recognize that that's how he protects himself.

So we saw the sac sitting there in my uterus, it's too early to see anything else at this point. We were relieved but we knew the true number that mattered was the HCG number. EH dropped me home. I made about 10 trips to the bathroom to pee which signaled to me that my symptoms were getting stronger. Between trips I was passed out asleep on the couch. Finally SuperDoc's office called and told us the number had doubled. It went up by about 5000 points to 7146.

HCG numbers are tricky things. They're subjective but what they signify is HUGE. A decreasing HCG almost always means trouble. A number that isn't increasing as it should is more ambiguous. But we've been here before.

We don't know where it's going to go from here but Faith, Faith, Faith....

Monday, November 18, 2013

DC Baby

Saturday morning at the feet were toast at this point
We went on our second road trip in our car, Mr. Belvedere, this past weekend! We rolled into DC on Friday afternoon and left on Sunday morning and man was that trip needed. EH was feeling a little burned out on the job and I just love traveling so you know I was down to go.

We got turned around a bunch once we entered DC. We couldn't navigate Dupont Circle AT ALL...Kudos to folks who live in that area because it just seemed confusing to me. Our hotel was in nearby Virgina so we parked the car and hopped on the train to go see a few monuments at night.

Then we stopped by the famous Ben's Chili Bowl, I don't remember exactly what part of DC this was in, and it was bangin'. We both had chili dogs and shared a large vat of chili cheese fries...I was in love!!
The next day we hit up the Air & Space Museum where we geeked out royally...we even did flight was geekdom personified...

I definitely don't meet the height or weight requirements for the stewardess

We had such a great time getting away from it all for a few days. To cap it all off we found out that we are PREGNANT again! We're cautiously optimistic as usual. It's weird because we sort of feel like we're waiting for the other shoe to drop so we really haven't gotten too excited  :-(

Trying to keep my FAITH intact and think somewhat positive thoughts...

Monday, November 11, 2013



A few weeks ago I got a text message from my little brother asking me if I wanted to attend my mother's birthday party. Instinctively, I wanted to say no. Why would I go to a party for someone I haven't seen or spoken to in three years?? It didn't make sense on to me on the surface.

We had been watching the Iyanla marathon on OWN that day and the episode where Iyanla helps the two daughters heal their relationship with their mom tore me up inside. I was crying like crazy watching this episode because it hit so close to home. I never went hungry, like the daughters in the episode, but I did suffer emotional neglect and mental abuse from my mother for many years. It fueled my issues with self-esteem, anxiety and self-image. I'm still healing from all of it with God's grace.

EH and I have been growing by leaps and bounds in our faith so, instead of saying no, I decided to leave room for God to work. Every Sunday I had been silently asking God to work in this area during worship. It was never my ideal to not be in relationship with her but I also knew there was a real need to protect my own heart because being in relationship with my mother is not easy.

There is so much baggage between us; manipulation, deception, anger, bitterness, alcoholism and mental illness. There is so much that she's missed. So much that she never cared about when it came to my life.

When I told EH about the invitation he made it clear he was against it but he was willing to go for my sake. There's a part of me that, no matter what she's done, feels like I need to give it all I have in case this is God's way of bringing healing to the relationship. I can't decide if this is God working in my spirit or me reverting to that scared, people-pleasing person I struggle to let go of.

My stomach was in knots and my heart was racing as we walked to the lounge where the party was being held. The same way I used to feel when we lived under the same roof; anxious and scared, never knowing which "mother personality" I would get. When I arrived and saw her I knew absolutely nothing had changed. She was turning 49 but was dressed like someone at least 20 years younger and she was already intoxicated. She came over to EH and I exclaiming about what a surprise it was to see us even though she had invited us.  I can't even put into words how disappointed I was. I surely wasn't expecting to rehash old wounds at a birthday party but I was expecting her to be genuine and respectful of the fact that we hadn't seen or spoken to each other in years.

To add insult to injury, I felt forced to nod and smile as her work friends came up to me to tell me how much they felt like they knew me because "your mother talks about you all the time," "she brags about you all the time. She's so proud of you!"

I was shocked and taken aback. It was then that I realized that my mother had created an imaginary world for herself where we had the perfect relationship and were regularly in contact. None of these people knew that she would regularly get drunk and text me violent messages or that we hadn't seen each other in three years. In fact the last message I received from her was a drunken, screaming, incoherent tirade where she called me names that are too awful to write here.

I felt a burning anger building in me because nothing had changed. A few minutes later she sat down with EH and I and directed her attention mainly to him. She only ever met my gaze briefly. I'd like to think it was because she felt ashamed of her behavior and couldn't face me. I looked at her surrounded by people who didn't really know who she was, who were using her and probably didn't care about her and I felt sympathy. They were attracted to the persona she had created for herself and I wondered if she even knew who she was apart from their gaze. She didn't know how to fix our relationship because, in her mind, we were fine.

Eventually, EH had had enough and told me he was ready to go. It wasn't our scene and nothing constructive was coming out of being there because she barely paid attention to us. We gathered our belongings and left. I felt a peace come over me then. She wasn't ready to deal honestly with our relationship and she might never be. I felt blessed and grateful. I may not have many people in my life but the ones that I do let in know who I am and they accept me as I am. I don't have to build imaginary worlds for myself to cover my brokenness. I freely admit my brokenness to anyone who'll listen and I seek healing and restoration regularly.

I got a message from my mother this morning thanking us for coming to her party. I responded with "you're welcome" and left it there. I may never know the fears that drive her to be the way she is. There's so much of my life that she's already missed and probably more that she'll miss in the future. I'm learning to accept that, no matter how hard I try, she may never heal from the demons that consume her. I'm praying for God to continue working on both our hearts, minds and spirits.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Things I Want to Eat!!


Warning: I am feeling sorry for myself and want to eat the whole world!

We spent over $400 this month trying to get pregnant......FOUR HUNDRED DOLLARS!!!


5 intimate encounters with an ultrasound wand (hello....tall, white and handsome)
10 vials of blood for blood work(even on Halloween which was kind of funny)
Way too many intimate encounters with the husband (BTW, coconut oil is an EXCELLENT natural lubricant!)

I'm in the dreaded two week wait...again and I'm feeling blah and bloated. It's strange being here again and not feeling hopeful or happy. Instead I feel depressed and ambivalent. I feel like I've been down this road before; a road that was paved when I started walking it and then became muddy and filled with pot holes that I couldn't avoid.

I happen to be watching Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives right now, which is a dangerous show for people who love food, and have decided that I will make a list of things I want to stuff my face with:

1. Lobster Roll
2. Steamed or fried clams
3. Grilled cheese sandwich with tomato
4. Fried Egg and pastrami sandwich on rye with swiss cheese
5. Pizza from Pizza Hut...the greasier the better of course!
6. Plantains....yellow and green...fried and salted...all day
7. Steak sandwich on panini bread
8. Buffalo Shrimp (that's fried shrimp with buffalo sauce)
9. Beer, Beer, Beer!!
10. Fried Fish and Potato Salad
11. Fettucine Alfredo

Friday, November 1, 2013

Marriage Tune Up Week 3!

Surprise trip to see the Yankees!

We met with our marriage group this week and it was illuminating as always! This week we read chapter 2 of our book, I Promise: How Five Commitments Determine the Destiny of Your Marriage, which focused on Honor.

I won't ruin it in case you decide to read it someday but what stood out to me was taking the mindset that your marriage partner is a "treasure of unfathomable worth" that is "personally autographed by God" and that we can't begin to imagine all of the qualities that our partners have that are made just for us. I can relate. I've always thought it was interesting how alike EH and I are in the ways that matter (morals, worldview, etc.) and how different we are in such complementary ways. He's pessimistic while I'm positive. He's  a free-spirited, go with the flow kind of guy. I like order and details and plans. He's OK with being late. I'd rather be early than on time.

Over the years, we've rubbed off on each other so much that we've started to take on each others' characteristics. He can now recognize the benefit of being early and I can go with the flow from time to time. It seemed that everything I needed to work on was present in him.

Another key lesson was the idea of confirmation bias, which is the idea that people will favor information about their spouse that confirms what they already believe about them. I tend to believe that EH would rather sit on the couch than take care of household things and that he does this because he doesn't care about the upkeep of our home. So, when I have to tell him to take out the trash or help me clean a room, I lash out because it confirms what I already believe about him. How I view the situation definitely affects how I respond.

He finally had to tell me that he didn't think about the house much at all and that if I wanted him to do things with the house I would have to tell him about it. This pissed me off but at least he was honest about his limitations and as a result I can adjust the expectations I have for him. I had to look honestly at this issue. Just because something is important to me doesn't mean it's going to be as important to him. He may not be on top of household things but he's excellent with making me feel special and planning family activities, which is just as important to me.

The group talked about how their spouses have shown or not shown them honor during their relationship/ marriage. I shared that when EH and I moved in together, a year into our relationship, his parents had a sort of intervention with him about our relationship. They weren't sure I was the right person for their son at the time because we were so different. I think it was a combination of me being from a different culture and me taking away their first born son that made me not suitable in their eyes. EH basically told his parents they were gonna have to deal with me because I was the woman he was going to be with, whether they liked me or not. I think once his family realized I wasn't going anywhere they steadily began to accept me and our relationship. This was the first real instance when I felt honored by my husband but it wouldn't be the last.

Another woman in the group shared that she was having trouble relating to and gaining acceptance from her in-laws, who kept comparing her to her partners ex-girlfriend and dishonoring her to her partner and her stepchild. I really felt for her because I know how it feels to want acceptance from someone and not receive it. Her partner's reaction was to get angry at and separate from his family for a while which only made things worse for her. A perfect example of how important honoring your partner is, in private and in public.

We capped off the night with a communication activity. We were both given a piece of printer paper and told to communicate with each other about what to do with the sheet of paper. The aim was to end up with the same iteration of the paper by the end of the task BUT we had to do it with our backs to each other. Now, I have to be honest, I was sure we were gonna mess this up. No, actually, I was sure HE was gonna mess it up. I was full of confidence in myself and confirmation bias!

We took turns giving each other directions on what to do with the paper and lo and behold:


We got an exact match!! I was eating crow...internally of course. It felt affirming to be able to do something together successfully and the exercise showed me how I use confirmation bias in my relationship without even realizing it.

When have you used confirmation bias in your relationship and been proven wrong? How does your partner show you honor?