Well, duh.

You know, there are days when I realize that for however smart I was in grade school, that may well be how completely clueless I am as an adult about common sense things.

smart-vs-dumb

Gorgeous, either way, though, right?

See, I’ve been living in Orland Hills, IL for a little over a year now.  The town is so small that in order to use public transportation, you actually have to call a phone number more than 24 hours in advance and set up your ride.  It’s like paratransit, but for everybody.

When we moved here, I walked over to the town hall to get all of our paperwork in order, and I was told by some of the ladies who work there that I couldn’t bring my baby on the bus because they don’t allow car seats.  Thus began my year of walking everywhere and having absolutely crushing stir-craziness in the winter, wondering how I would make it until my son turned 8.

Well, today, I had enough of it.  It’s gorgeous outside (but -5 degrees wind chill), and despite having time travel seizures yesterday, I decided I was tired of feeling like a middle schooler who was impatiently waiting for one of her friends to get a drivers license. I decided to ask the hivemind — my friends on FB and the folks in one of the local parenting groups on there.

And do you know what they suggested? A taxi service.

benny

I’m not sure why it didn’t occur to me earlier, and I feel totally dumb for not thinking of it. It’s so simple and straightforward that it makes my head hurt.

For some reason, I thought that since we’re living in the suburbs, we wouldn’t have access to taxis out here… but we do! I even thought, “Hey! Uber might work!” but riding in an Uber with a baby and his car seat only works if the Uber driver is cool with it — and most of them aren’t. (Who can blame them? If my baby pukes, Uber’s not gonna clean it up for them, and if we are in an accident, the liability for them is too great.)

So, one of the ladies in the parenting group suggested a specific driver who works with her elderly mom, and I’m going to be giving him a call tomorrow.

I’m tired of feeling like less than an adult, simply because I can’t get where I want to go when I want to go. Henry deserves to go to the library, regularly. He deserves to go on playdates. He deserves a life outside of this house, and a mommy who has more self-esteem than I do right now.

Cabbing it might seem kinda costly, but I’m going to do everything I can to remind myself, when I’m feeling too cheap to give us freedom, that if I had a car, I’d be paying more for gas, maintenance, licensing, and insurance. Not to mention how much we’ll save on psychological therapy in the coming years for me and Henry. (No agoraphobia allowed!)

So, I’m now looking very forward to going to pilates or yoga classes during the day at our gym like I’ve wanted to for so long. I’m going to make friends here and be a functional member of this community. I’m going to stop using my inability to drive as a reason to feel sorry for myself. I’m taking back at least some of the freedom I’ve unconsciously given to seizure disorder.


On a completely different note, I was approached by an employee of Earnest a few weeks ago who asked me to write an entry on holiday budgeting. Over the course of our emails it appeared that they wanted me to suggest to my readers that they refinance their student loans. They didn’t offer me any compensation to promote them, so my link above exists out of nothing more than goodwill towards someone who may have read one of my entries, but who definitely has a tough job if they’re trying to get sporadic writers like me to pimp their product.

Anyway, I have a ton of tips that I would be happy to share about how I personally save money, but I also have a massive amount of respect for my small and dedicated group of readers. I don’t believe that y’all care one iota about reading about that sort of thing here.  If I’m wrong, let me know, and I’ll happily write it up for you.

Hope everyone’s feeling well, and that 2017 isn’t half the shitshow that the Great Dumpster Fire of 2016 was.

2016dumpsterfire

Too many thoughts not to blog.

It’s been a couple of months since I last wrote. Being a mommy makes finding time to sit down at the computer tough. If FB and text wasn’t available on cell phones, I probably wouldn’t communicate with anyone other than Adam and my mom.

I just put Henry down for his nap, and even though I know I should go lie down too, I feel the need to write – so that’s what I’m doing.

There are sick people in this world. I’m one of them.

Truth be told, I’m feeling pretty rough today. My stomach is hurting really badly… like I swallowed something that’s eating me away from the inside. I’ve been having a hard time making myself eat or drink for the last 2-3 days, but I’ve been forcing myself.  Today, my stomach is hurting all the time, whether I’ve eaten or not. I’m debating making another appointment with my gastro team.

There’s definitely something amiss, and I’m becoming increasingly confident that it’s more than fatty liver. Last time I saw them, they ordered extra tests for immunology, and it turns out that I’m so deficient in immunoglobulin that they want me to see an immunologist.  That news was delivered to me a couple of weeks ago… and I’ve been waiting for their letter to arrive in the mail with their referral. That’s right, I haven’t made an appointment yet. I keep thinking this stupid thought: “Well, my MS is not progressing on MRI, so it’s probably a good thing that my immune system isn’t working right.”

Stupid. Ignoring health matters never makes them improve.

Today, my left foot is all tingles, the tops of my legs and my lower back feel like they’re on fire, most of my left chest is numb, and I am achy all over (on top of the tummy ache and headache).  Because it’s my special lady time, I’m inclined to just suck it up and bet that this is a pseudoexacerbation – but if it doesn’t go away in 2 days, I’ll call my neurologist and request steroids. I can’t not request steroids when I start having time travel (complex) seizures for more than 2 days.

Who needs The Doctor?

Yesterday, I “traveled” again… and the results were simultaneously eye-opening to me about myself and how badly I still need to work on self-compassion and how totally bizarre our world is at the moment.

See, yesterday, I woke up thinking it was 2009 and that I was supposed to take the bar exam in a couple of weeks.  The first thing I did, (Again, stupidly. There’s a theme here.) is check Facebook and try to get my bearings, since I was aware that I was dealing with post-ictal confusion.

This lead to me reading about the latest Supreme Court move that guts the 4th Amendment (Seriously, the damage to our civil rights that have happened in the last 30 years is staggering.), followed by a ton of people debating the 2nd amendment (Who honestly cares about the right to bear arms when our military is so big we could never hope to use force to overcome martial law at home? Or when cops can stop you for no reason at all just to check your status?  “Papers, please?” anyone?), followed by a ton of Donald Trump/Hitler comparison memes.

This was going on while my kid was alternating between eating crackers and throwing them at the dog. That was much less of a shitshow than the discourse I saw on Facebook.

And you wanna know what upset me? That I very clearly wasn’t an attorney. That I wasn’t doing more to fix things that are out of my control. (Our country is basically a fascist oligarchy at this point. I can’t undo that by myself, much as I wish I could.)

And then, I got angry that I’m not doing enough to fix things that are in my control. My house is too messy, and I was not ok with that… or the fact that I have no one that I can call to help me with the baby when this shit happens. Or that my husband works so far from home that even if he were able to leave work at the drop of a hat, it would be at least an hour before he’s here.

Essentially, yesterday, I realized that the world is on fire, and I am walking a tight-rope without a safety net. And I got very angry with myself for that… but anger doesn’t help anything.

I deserve to be able to call someone to be with me and Henry when I am having complex seizures.  And if that means that I need to interview strangers and hire a damn babysitter, even if Adam doesn’t think anyone can handle my seizures but him, that’s what I’m going to have to do. Henry and I deserve at least some measure of security.

Grateful.

Of course, all this emotional upset is pointless. Yesterday, we were safe. Henry spent a little more time in the pack and play than he would have liked, but he had toys and TV, and he enjoyed a lot of roughhousing with Daddy when he got home. I listened to my postictal playlist and “came back” pretty quickly — in less than a half hour, which is pretty great. I didn’t have any more complex seizures the rest of the day. Calling someone to come over would have been completely pointless.

So, who the fuck knows what the right thing is to do? I’m just grateful this doesn’t happen all the time.  Heck, last week, I was doing so well that I was able to take Henry to Gymboree every day. This week… not so much. But that’s life. You just gotta roll with it.

If you’re feeling well today, I strongly urge you to find something you can do, using your body and your good health, that will make you feel proud of yourself. Be active, and enjoy it. Exercise. Clean. Volunteer. Have awesome sex. Eat spicy foods. Go to a dance club filled with strobe lights. Watch a visually-intense movie at a theater. Drive wherever the wind takes you. Swim in the deep end. Nobody knows how long their good health will hold out, and those of us who deal with the crazy ups and downs of having multiple chronic illnesses hate to see anybody not enjoying that gift.

Carpe the shit out of this diem, people. It only happens once.

yolopug

News of the Rae

Today, I was thinking about how much I miss actively participating on LiveJournal. What I really have been missing is reading about what’s actually going on in my friends’ lives (as opposed to looking at memes about politics, sarcasm, and incorrect grammar), and writing about what’s going on in mine.  Twitter and FB are absolute shit for emotionally meaningful communication, and the only way for me to remedy things is to do some writing myself and to reach out to friends on the phone or Skype.

Medical Insurance Is A Lot Of Work

This week has been fucking crazy. I’ve gotten calls from almost every medical care provider I’ve worked with in the last 3 years because Humana was given incorrect information by BCBS of MN with regard to my coverage, and they sent out letters to those providers requesting a refund of the money they paid for my medical care.  You can just imagine how many providers I’ve seen in 3 years with my health being the way it is. Needless to say, a tiny mistake turned into a ridiculous clusterfuck (and one hellacious panic attack) for me.

See, BCBS does identification numbers weird.  Our family has 1 identification number and 3 member numbers, one for each of us. When CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) and Humana asked BCBS how long I’d had coverage, they only provided the identification number (because, apparently, all the other insurance companies have unique identification numbers for each person), without knowing that there were 3 members under that number. This lead to a simple, but unfortunately large, misunderstanding, since Adam’s had BCBS since 2011. It also lead to about 30 minutes of actual talking and 4 hours of sitting on hold to clear this shit up.

insurance

So accurate that it hurts.

In the end, it all boiled down to BCBS needing to fax a letter to both Humana and CMS letting them know that my coverage only started in January of this year. I just had to call back and forth between the different organizations and talk to different CSRs, explaining the situation over and over again. (For the record – customer service at BCBS is much faster to get a hold of and to work with than that at Humana.)

But I learned important things!  Like that every insurance company has a department devoted to the coordination of benefits, and that if you are on Medicare or Medicaid and you purchase private insurance or change providers, you absolutely must call CMS (at 1-855-798-2627) and also let their coordination of benefits department know, so your billing doesn’t get all jacked up.

I also learned that if you have Medicare (or Medicaid), and you choose to purchase another policy from a private insurance company, then the private insurance will always be your primary insurance, and Medicare (or Medicaid, or whatever other state-based insurance) will be your secondary.

Pharmaceutical-Grade Supplements Are Totally Worth It (For Me).

Also filed under “crazy” this week (but in the crazy GOOD category), I weighed myself after 2 weeks on the diet and supplement regimen prescribed to me by the endocrinologist I saw at BodyLogicMD.  I lost 7 pounds!  That’s a tenth of how much I want to lose, and it happened without any frustration.

This may not seem like the biggest deal in the world to anybody but me, but I seriously have been trying to lose weight for years with no success. I went paleo for months at a time. I weightlifted. I tried South Beach. I tried doubling my cardio. I tried calorie restriction, eating 1000 calories a day or less for a couple of weeks.  I  GOT PREGNANT AND HAD A BABY, and still had no change. (I seriously gained a total of 18 pounds with the pregnancy and lost 10 of it when Henry came out, and went right back to the same weight I had started at within a week.)

But now, I have movement on the scale, and all I’ve been doing is taking the supplements (prescribed based on deficiencies that showed up in my bloodwork), eating small meals every 3 hours (just like during pregnancy), drinking at least 64 oz of water a day, and not eating bread or pasta. I’ve been eating rice. I’ve been eating potatoes. I haven’t been working out. And the weight just  disappeared.

Another bonus: I have a ton of energy that I haven’t had in years. It’s amazing to me. I didn’t even expect that it would affect my fatigue… but it has.  There have been days where I didn’t even feel like I have MS. I mean, I went 2 whole weeks without an energy drink, or even 2 cups of coffee.  I don’t think that’s happened in the last 10 years.

But What About BioIdentical Hormones?

The doc at BodyLogicMD also prescribed me some bioidentical hormones to help with MS and seizures.

Based on the studies on estriol that have come out of UCLA, she put me on an estriol cream. It looks like it should be as effective at staving off relapses as Copaxone, at least for the first year.  I start it tomorrow.  I’m hopeful that it will be just as good as a DMD.

I’ve been very lucky not to have any progression since coming off Gilenya in February of 2014 to conceive Henry.  Dr. Javed wants me back on something if we’re not actively trying to conceive, but I have yet to try a disease-modifying drug for MS that isn’t somehow worse than the disease itself — so I’m keen to give Estriol a try, since the second and third trimesters of pregnancy were very much like a vacation from MS.

I’ll be starting a daily progesterone pill on Day 12 of this cycle to help combat catamenial  (read: caused by hormonal fluctuations around menstruation) seizures. When I was pregnant, I went for months at a time without a seizure. It is my most profound hope that I can return to a life where seizures are a “sometimes” thing and not an everyday occurrence.

I’ll be sure to let everyone know how these therapies affect me.

But for now, my honey just got home, and I wanna go give him kisses. ❤

love

*waves*

Hey there.

Life’s been crazy. I have been writing – just not on this blog. I’ve been writing here.

modern-day-ms

Here’s a link to my most recent stuff.

I was actually just featured in an interview on that site yesterday.

Love That Hugabug!

hugabug

Henry is growing like crazy. 10 months old, wearing size “18 month” clothes. He’s babbling all the time, blowing raspberries, and pulling himself up on furniture. He’s so close to walking that I’m trying my best to appreciate how easy it is to keep up with him these days.

I’ve started working on planning his 1st birthday party, which will be a joint party with his Grandpa (my dad), since they share a birthday weekend.  I think I’m actually more excited about my parents, my brother and his awesome wife coming in town to celebrate than I am about the fact that we managed to make it a full year without accidentally killing our beautiful, amazing baby. Being a parent is hard, yo.

I’m a mess, but I’m doing my best.

My health has been frustrating and upsetting, so I’ve been doing my best to minimize the struggle while responsibly handling it.

I believe I had an early miscarriage a couple of months ago. I’m usually very regular, but had a couple of very faint positive pregnancy tests and then didn’t bleed for 50+ days.  When I did get my period, it was the heaviest, most awful period I’ve ever had.  Dr. Dad thinks I might have just missed a period. He said it happens all the time, and not to worry about it. Adam has decided Dad’s right, so I’ve jumped on the “don’t mourn something that never was” bandwagon with my conscious mind and have been dealing with terrible depression and nightmares because of the choice to repress my feelings of guilt and sadness. I see my therapist on Saturday, thankfully.

Of course, just afterwards, I had a MS relapse, complete with tons of seizures, neuropathic pain in my legs, muscle spasms, and tingling/burning on various parts of my back. A medrol dose pack seems to have done the trick to quiet most of it. Come to think of it, it’s been almost 6 years without a drip — so that’s pretty good, I guess.

My stomach is still up to its shenanigans, reminding me after almost every meal that eating is not a good idea… and that’s despite my gastroenterologist doubling the amount of Prilosec I take. I am scheduled for an upper and lower GI scope on St. Patrick’s Day.  (Fun, right?)

After 2 years of not seeing a dentist for a myriad of reasons, I finally went in for a cleaning and exam. I have 2 cavities to get filled this month as well, in 2 separate visits.

I honestly don’t remember the last time that I went to the gym to work out (though I did see a nutritionist), and today, I’m fantasizing about finding a chiropractor because my neck is super-sore from my head dropping thanks to seizures. Unintentional headbanging FTW. Honestly, I’m tired of hurting. Apparently, not tired enough to use my foam roller, but just enough to think about it and then whine to myself you.

cantwin

The bright spot in the health area is that I finally got glasses.  They’re cute and helpful. I had no idea how badly I needed them!  I now look forward to the day when Henry stops wanting to rip them off my face and throw them. I’m sure that will eventually happen someday.

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Anyway, that’s all for now. The little one is stirring, and I need to change and feed him.  Hope you’re having a good day! Be well!

Stardust

So, David Bowie died yesterday… and today we all found out about it. It sucks.  He sparkled — sometimes literally.  Hell, the work he left us to enjoy for the rest of time still sparkles.

It was 4 p.m. before I checked Facebook today, and the first thing that I learned was that David Bowie not only had passed away at the age of 69 (which, let’s be fair, is the age that I think he would have wanted by his name for all time – based entirely on how cheeky it is), but he had managed to release an album saying goodbye to his fans that he put together while battling terminal cancer. He even made one specific music video as a “finale.” Check it out.

If that doesn’t say, “Keep creating art, no matter what,” nothing does.

That’s why I’m writing right now, even though I know I’m not at my best.  These words, and whatever I manage to scratch down on paper or record to video or sound, will one day be all that is left of me for everyone else. All that will be left for Henry.

You don’t have to be terribly creative to leave important parts of yourself behind for others. My Poppy put together several scrapbooks, for example. They’re filled with comics and poetry and articles that meant something to him. I’m lucky enough to have 3. And when I miss him, the contents of those scrapbooks feel like a conversation that I get to have with him through space and time. They, in many ways, remind me of Facebook, and that similarity makes me hope that when I’m gone, Henry will be able to look through the thousands of posts on my timeline when he is missing me and feel like I’m still here for him.

They also make me wish that my other grandparents had kept journals or scrapbooks. And they make me hope that my parents might have the foresight and the time to do so as well.

Today, I had so many time-travel seizures that I honestly don’t remember the day, aside from Adam letting me know that I’d found out about Bowie’s death at least 9 times. Personally, that’s 9 times too many. But, hey, if I’ve got to be shocked and saddened at someone’s demise, at least it’s an artist whose work I have enjoyed since I was a small child.

He didn’t let cancer stop him from being the artist that he was — from giving all of us fans more music and poetry to enjoy for the rest of our lives… so, I’m not going to let MS and seizure disorder stop me from creating either — even if what I’m creating seems completely mundane to me at the time. I have to remember: it’s not mental masturbation; it’s not just for me; and no one else has my point of view. It’s exactly as true for you.

sparkle2

because

stardust

 

 

Sending a Letter Through Time

Henry says, "What are you lookin at?"

Henry says, “What are you lookin at?”

It’s been a good day.  Challenging, but good.

It’s a Tuesday, which means that Adam’s at work, and this is only the second day that I’ve had to take care of Henry and myself without any help.

The morning started out rough.  Yesterday, we ran out of disposable diapers, so we started using cloth diapers from the stash that I’d put together before Henry’s birth. Fortunately, he’s now over 8 pounds, so they fit him. (If cloth diapers had the yellow-turns-blue-so-you-know-he-peed technology, that would rock my world.  Scientists, get on that, won’t you?)

Anyway – the change from velcro-like closures on the disposables to the snaps on a reuseable Best Bottom shell got the better of me this morning in a suuuuper annoying kind of way.  You know that scene in all the baby movies where one of the parents gets peed on, and the baby pees on everything around it too, in an impressive and comedic fashion where you think to yourself, “Wow, kid got a lot of height with that whiz!”  Well, that was how I started my day — but it’s not where I am now.

Somehow, today, I managed to keep the kid fed and mostly clean (He needs a bath, thanks to spit-up, but we’re waiting for Daddy for that one!), to eat breakfast and lunch (Ok, so breakfast was just a Fiber One Protein Bar and a few swigs of RC Cola, but it’s better than nothing!), pump 3.5 oz of breast milk, do 2 loads of laundry, and take the kiddo with me to the grocery store and pharmacy down the street.

I know to a regular SAHM, this is probably not such a big deal — but I’m not a regular SAHM. Today’s the first day that I’ve managed to find time to put clothes on instead of pajamas, and is the first day in 3 weeks that I haven’t had any seizures at all.  Even on a good day, prior to giving birth, I would have been proud of myself for this level of activity. Adding in diapers, bottles, and pumping for breast milk, and I feel like I need some sort of gold star on a chart somewhere… which I guess is what this blog entry really is. I’m proud of myself, my kid is napping, and I get the chance to tell the world how far I’ve come.

If I could send letters back in time, I’d write this today.

Dear early 2011 Rae (the one having so many seizures per day that she has to use a chair to shower, isn’t allowed to cook, is bankrupt and suicidal),

You know how you are worried that you have no good reason to live, and that you are nothing but a burden to your family and society? Well, in 4 years, you’re the woman walking to and from the local (non-chain) grocery store and Walgreens with a 6 week old baby that strangers can’t stop cooing over, to shop for fixings for dinner and baby supplies…and you haven’t had a single seizure today.

Thanks for not killing me! There is more to look forward to than you can allow yourself to imagine.

-2015 Rae

I doubt she’d believe it was real. I’m a cynic — always have been — and depression/suicide is a crafty demon that doesn’t let anything positive in… but if I could show up in a TARDIS and give her a pep talk, I sure as shit would do it.  I hope that sometime in the future, if I need a pep talk, I remember to look back here and see how far I’ve come, and remember that things are never really as bad as they seem.

Look what I had to look forward to!

Look what I had to look forward to!

That being said, it would be totally bitchin’ if 2019 Rae could send me a letter or show up and let me know that we’re gonna make it through this infant stage without me losing my mind or ending up in the hospital because of sleep deprivation and stress. *looks around, expectantly* Well, I guess that’s not happening, so I’m gonna have to just keep doing my best every day, and remember to do my future self as many favors as possible. 🙂

Speaking of — that means getting off my butt, putting a freshly-laundered mattress pad & sheet back on the pack n play, washing all the bottles that have collected around the apartment, putting up another load of laundry, and straightening up a little bit. Heck, I might even go for extra credit and spritz on a little bit of pretty stink.  Adam’s on his way home!

Wooooooahh! We’re halfway there! Woooaaaahh! Livin on a prayer!

21 Weeks!

Officially, we’ve hit the halfway mark on this pregnancy.  Sure, full term is 39 weeks, but it can also go as far as 42 weeks, so I’m calling this halfway.

Wanna see the newest pic of our little wiggleworm?  Here you go! 🙂

3d

I love this picture because he already has so much character. He’s sucking his thumb, and has his other arm stretched out behind his head, just chillin’.  I really hope this is a portent of things to come.

Yes, I know that his hand kind of looks like a foot, but I trust the tech when she says that it’s his hand. She took pictures of his feet too. 5 fingers and 5 toes on each limb! His heart and kidneys look good too. I’m so excited that he’s developing well.

Oh yeah, and there’s also this other little thing I haven’t announced… we know he’s a boy! 🙂  I would post the ultrasound picture that confirmed that, but I don’t want to be the mom who posts pictures of her son’s genitalia on the internet before he gets the chance to make that mistake himself.

The “fruit of the week” to show baby size is either a pomegranate or a banana. I find this perplexing, as the two are very different shapes. At least they agree that the average size is 10.5 inches and 12.7 oz.

I found some weekly questions that I thought might be cool to share with everyone.

Total weight gain/loss: None! Not since conception. Doc’s not worried about it, so neither am I.

Maternity clothes? Um, YES. Belly panels are the best. I might not ever go back. I mean, it’s like having built-in SPANX that make your clothes more comfortable. Why don’t all plus-size pants have these?

Stretch marks? Not yet!

Best moment this week: A tie between turning 34 and Adam surprising me with a Snoogle!

Miss anything? DEAR LORD, YES. I was really sick this past week, and I have really missed decongestants.  I also missed wine at Christmas dinner.

Movement: Loads! He seems to like to wiggle the most when I lay down to go to bed or when I wake up first thing in the morning.

Food cravings: pickles

Anything making you queasy or sick: Not really, but I’m still afraid to try turkey again. It made me so violently ill during my first trimester.

Have you started to show yet: Yes and no. Adam can definitely tell, but other folks might not be able to see it. If I’m naked, you can totally see the roundness of my lower belly, and how much my waist has changed — but with clothes, I just look like I did before I lost weight in order to conceive. The plus side of that is not having any new stretch marks, and still fitting in all my t-shirts.

Labor Signs: Had my first Braxton-Hicks contraction on Christmas day. MAN-OH-MAN do they suck.

Belly Button in or out? In

Wedding rings on or off? Off my hand, but on a necklace.

Happy or Moody most of the time: Mostly happy, with scattered showers of irrational, silly crying over things like cartoons or adorable baby clothes.

Looking forward to: having a big, round pregnancy belly

My Most Recent Adventure With Time Travel

Earlier this week, I had my first time travel seizure in months.  I guess I was due for it, since I’d been really sick for about a week.  Sure, MS goes into remission when you’re in your second and third trimesters, but, sadly, that doesn’t preclude pseudoexacerbations.

I thought it was February of 2013 and couldn’t figure out what was wrong with my tummy, and why it was hurting. I thought I was having some kind of awful gas. (Of course, I was feeling the baby moving around!) Adam asked, in response to my question about what was wrong with my belly, “What’s our goal for this year?” and I said, “To not want to kill myself?” at which point he realized that he was thinking of 2014…and that I was further behind.

The follow up was him showing me ultrasound pictures and me crying and asking him how on earth I’m going to be a good mom if I can’t stop thinking about suicide. He assured me that I’ve gotten much, much better. After the confusion lifted, I was very relieved to have done all the hard work in therapy and continued with good daily mental health habits.

Amusingly enough, I’m halfway through this pregnancy and am actually smaller in size than I was in 2/2013. I was amazed that I could have life inside of me and be “so much smaller.” I was my heaviest then, weighing in at 30 pounds heavier than I am now.

All the things!

As the big day ekes ever closer, I find myself starting to think about things that previously fell under the heading of “Eh, we’ll worry about it closer to time.”  Things like finding a pediatrician (?!?), making a short list of doulas to interview, budgeting for all of the things, making a baby registry (God bless you, Amazon, for having a universal registry.), planning for a nursery, and creating a guest list for the baby shower.

Baby Shower Guest List
Honestly, I don’t even know how to go about putting together a guest list for the baby shower. Most of my friends and family are scattered all around the country. Is a virtual baby shower a thing? Can I Skype/Google Hangouts/Live Stream the shower? What’s the etiquette on that? But more over, does the etiquette even matter, so long as I’m genuine in who I want to include and grateful for whatever gift they give – whether it’s their presence or their presents? I mean this is me we’re talking about. I’m not exactly known for following convention, and I want to include as many people that I love as possible because celebrations like this are rare and awesome. I just also don’t want people thinking that they’re only invited because I want stuff. That’s not the case at all. Then again, anyone I want to invite probably knows me better than that anyway.

Cord Blood Banking
I’ve also started reading up on things like, “what to pack in your hospital bags for you and baby” and whether or not I want to blow ~$3000 on cord blood banking. I mean, as someone with MS, I definitely see the benefit of having my kid’s stem cells available to him. On the other hand, tons of people opt to donate their kid’s cord blood, making it available to people who need it. It’s a much less expensive option, and seems to me like it would be a mitzvah. There’s no telling whether my baby will ever need his extra stem cells, so spending a bunch of money to hoard them for him seems like it might not be the best use of our money.

Then again, there’s a part of me that wonders if I could use those cells, since stem cell therapy has been proving very helpful in the fight against MS. That part of me feels, oddly, like I’m somehow being selfish even thinking that it might be an option. But then again, I’ve grown those cells. That umbilical cord is as much mine as it is his. *shrug* I can’t even begin to understand myself on this topic. I’m hoping my husband and parents will have some helpful thoughts.

The Great House Hunt
And then there’s the whole “finding a house” thing.  Adam is still hopeful that we’ll find the right house for us before the baby is born. I am much, much less hopeful. In fact, I would say that I’m sort of against the idea of moving at this point. My parents are going to be in town for the first month that the kid’s around and they’ll be staying less than 20 minutes from where we are currently residing. The idea of moving is just too stressful and complicated for me right now.  Right now, I just want to figure out how to keep this apartment clean on a regular basis and somehow fit all the baby things in here.  My best guess is that we’re going to need to either get a storage unit for all the already-packed boxes we have, or unpack and sell a ton of stuff that we clearly don’t need (since it’s been sitting in boxes for months).

Clean, Clean, Clean
The need to nest is real. Every day, I wake up and think about all the cleaning and organizing I want to do and then am thwarted by my body’s limitations. At least I’m regularly getting the dishes put away and the laundry done, folded, and mostly put away. It’s becoming increasingly frustrating to bend over and pick stuff up. I am sure it’ll only get worse as the baby gets bigger. Maybe there are some ab exercises I can do to make that better.

Too Hot For My Own Good.
Also, I’m surprised that TV and movies don’t make more fun of how disgustingly sweaty you get during pregnancy. I swear that it’s comical. I’m deeply in love with the Kool Max® Deluxe Cooling Neck Tie that I was gifted by Polar Products. It’s currently 70 degrees in my apartment, I’m in barely any clothes, and I’ve got it on because I can’t stop sweating. Adam, on the other hand, is enjoying his sweatshirt.

Usually, I try to find some kind of witty way to end a blog post, but I’ll be honest with you: today, I’ve got nothin.  Hope you and yours are doing well and that you had happy holidays and are headed for a very happy new year!

happy2015