Who’s Life Is This?

A few days ago I was standing in my kitchen.  S was propped up on my hip (as is his usual position, even though he’s 13 months old and weighs 22.5lbs), and E was screaming at me to fetch her some milk (as is her usual go-to thing to scream at me about), and suddenly I had this odd sensation that I was in someone else’s life.  It was almost like someone had transported my 20 year old conscious into my now 33 year old body, and I had no clue what was happening.  I felt like I was a stranger, that I had no idea who these kids were.  I didn’t recognize the kitchen, or the way my body felt.  I was thrown into a panic.

It was quick, maybe half a second, but I felt all of those thoughts and sensations.  Then I was back to normal.  It’s been an incredibly stressful week.  My hormones are flaring because my period is on the way, my son is teething and has become some sort of horrible beast monster, and my daughter is needy beyond reason because she sees how much attention I’m having to give my son.  I am stretched thin.  I’m tired, and angry, and sad.  I guess I’m also hallucinating, or experiencing some kind of out of body experience? Is this what four straight years of stress can do to a person?  Yikes.  I need a break.

Anxiety Mommy

It’s hard having anxiety.  Crippling, overwhelming, hard to breath anxiety.  I’m lucky to only have anxiety that bad a few days a month, but that’s not all anxiety is.  Anxiety is always with me.  It is in every decision I make, every event I am planning, every future I foresee, and it is not nice.  Anxiety does not give me visions of seeing my daughter in high school, it gives me visions of something terrible happening to her.  I see every way in which she or my husband could be taken from me.  I even see ways that I could be taken from my family, never able to see my daughter grow up.

Every day I make sure she doesn’t pull on dressers, because I read a story about a three year old who pulled a dresser on herself while her parents were still sleeping and died while they slept.

I didn’t buy her a cubbie shelf (per the suggestion of her grandmother) because I had just read a story about a 13 month old girl dying from pulling one over and being knocked unconscious and suffocating.

I make sure the blind cords are up too high for her to reach because I read something about a five year old boy hanging himself accidentally in blind cords.

Everything I hear or read stays with me.  Forever.  Anxiety doesn’t let me forget.  It dwells inside me.  It lives there and breeds and grows and envelopes my brain.  The older my daughter gets, the worse it gets because the more she’s doing, the more danger shes’s in from the world.  I know these events are rare, but they are so incredibly tragic that I cannot ever forget.

…and it doesn’t even have to be something in her age group.  I just sobbed in the bathtub as I read comments on a post about delivering a stillborn baby (I couldn’t bring myself to read the post).  There were mothers talking about the heartache of losing their children to SIDS at two, five, six months old.  I flashed back to that age where I was so terrified of the same thing that I would wake 10-20 times a night to check my daughter to make sure she was still breathing.  She slept by my bed until 10 months.  After that I woke 10-20 times a night to watch the monitor and make sure she was breathing.  I still check her monitor 2-3 times a night (she’s 19 months old).

I worry about everything constantly.  It will most likely wear off on my daughter, as my mothers anxiety wore off on me.  I like that is makes me cautious, that I understand that bad things happen, but I’d really like to not fear walking along the sidewalk with my daughter because I’m scared a car is going to drive over the curb and hit us.  I’d like to leave the house without her without worrying that I’m going to die in a car wreck and never see her face again.

This anxiety is with me forever.  Medication will probably help (and i’m discussing this with a doctor soon), but it will never go away.  And that is exactly why I cannot fathom having another child.  How could I make it through another pregnancy, another year of SIDS watch, another full life of another human that I made, without completely losing it and locking everyone in the house and never leaving.  I can’t do it.  I can’t do it and take care of myself and take care of my daughter.  I know that, my husband knows that, and my daughter will know it one day.  I hope she can forgive me for my anxiety, and know that the decisions I’ve made to keep us a three person family were the best for not only me, but also her and her daddy.

Update on Sexual Education, Please!

Over the past three years, I’ve realized that I was never prepared for the possibility of having reproductive problems.  In school I was taught that if you have sex without protection, you WILL get pregnant and you WILL get an STD.  I get the scare tactics, it’s important to scare teenagers out of sex.  Of course, TV shows like 16 and Pregnant glorify teenage pregnancy so much, that I’m sure teenagers are now taking detailed notes on how to get pregnant so they can get on TV.  Scare tactics aside, there needs to be more information on what to do if your body is not functioning correctly.

I had a period when I was 13 years old.  It was my first one, seemed typical (from what I remember, it was 15 years ago) and afterwards, I spent a lot of time awaiting the next.  Not because I wanted another, but because I didn’t want to be caught off guard with an accident.  I’d heard the horror stories about that.  Well, a month went by with nothing.  A year went by with nothing… and before I knew it, I was 16 and finally getting my second period.  Yes, that’s right, 16 years old.  Old enough to drive.  I continued to have periods, but only every 4-5 months.

Did anything seem strange to me about this?  Sure! Of course!  My friends went on and on about them every month.  They envied me and my 2-3 times a year periods.  I guess I was pretty excited about it too.  Who actually thinks about the need to have one of those?  They are a pain in the uterus!  Shouldn’t I have had the notion to get checked out?  I guess I should have, but I was never taught to think about that.  Every time I told someone, I’d get a “Hey! That must be nice!”  So I learned to think of my missing periods as something that was considered a fantastic blessing.  Little did I know!

Sexual Education focuses on three things.  Anatomy, Sex and STD’s.  Did I know where parts were located? Yes.  Did I know how sex works? Eh… I had a pretty good idea.  Did I know that STD’s were out there, lurking in every penis that passed by?  Oh yes.  But did I know that not having a standard period every month was a sign of something wrong?  No.  No I didn’t.

Just from starting this blog, I’ve learned that there are more girls out in the world with infertility problems then I would have ever imagined.  We are everywhere, and we are just now learning that things we’ve lived with our whole lives are wrong.  Missing periods, cramps that literally feel like they are killing you, excess hair growth in places where hair doesn’t belong on a lady, no sex drive…  These are very big things.  Huge things, and yet, most of us didn’t even think to get these things checked out.  If you are anything like me, you shrugged your shoulders, picked up your tweezers and went to work to hide your embarrassing hair growth.  Or you bragged a little about missing periods, or maybe even talked about how you had to miss three days of work because your period was so bad you were hunched over a toilet.

Why don’t they educate on these things?  I don’t think it would add to the curriculum too much.  “Ladies, if you do not have regular periods, or vomit every month when you have a period, you could have a hormone imbalance or Endometriosis!  Go chat with your gynecologist!”  How long would that take to say?  Only took me a couple seconds to type!  Although I am only using two examples, there are many other symptoms that could point to problems, so it may take a day or two on the subject to fully cover it in a classroom situation.

Scare tactics are fine and necessary, but our health is more important than that.  If I had known when I was 16 what I know now, I might be pregnant, or at least have most of my symptoms under control.  My friend who had to take 3 days off of school every month because she was throwing up every time she had a period, might have been able to have her Endometriosis diagnosed 12 years sooner than she did.  Let’s get some EDUCATION into Sexual education.  Let’s try and make it about a little more than where the penis goes. Let’s make it about health in all aspects.  Let’s get the newest generation of women educated on their bodies, so that if they do have problems they don’t have to wait until they are 26 and ready to have children before they learn the bad news.

You can call me naive and scream that I should have known, but I am not the only one.  I am one of many, and as a sex, we should be aware that we have not been told everything we need to know.  We’ve all been to gynecologists for years and years and still came away with no answers time after time.  We need to be taught to ask the right questions so that we can get started on becoming healthier and happier!