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Oct. 1st, 2012

EternalSunshine

So Far


Jul. 31st, 2012

Family

Me So Far

Jul. 19th, 2012

Moon Cradle

Just Talking to Myself

We have our second consult at the Fertility Clinic on the 26th. Officially start treatment in the August cycle. Seven months of TTC naturally and nothing. I'm pretty sure that it goes without saying that my chances of ever concieving naturally or, as I like to call it, the cheerleader way... are never going to happen. As much I want it. 

I'm so excited for treatment though. Looking back on DD's conception. It was amazing knowing that my LO was inside me at 4 weeks. That's sooner than most find out (but definitely not the soonest). I saw her tiny little gestionational sac and got pictures! Most don't have that either. Hell, I even saw the little follicles that would soon make up part of her. Only us infertilies get to see that! So, i'm grateful, for having knowing my DD that long. 

I just want to feel the tingle and pitter patter inside me. I want to be pregnant again. I'll think about two under two later ;)  

Jul. 10th, 2012

AgonyFades

Another One Gone

I'll never learn... and maybe i'm not suppose to. I spent the better part of the last two weeks symptom spotting and driving myself semi crazy (i've been farther down the TTC rabbit hole). Definitely thought I had a good chance of being pregnant.... then the spotting started.... 

I just wanted it to be this month for so many reasons. Not having to move until after the baby was 3 months old. Having Michael involved in the new baby's life for more than two weeks. 

And now this month, Shady Grove has to wait for more blood work and my pap paperwork to continue...as well as a re-consult with the doctor who is booked out 2 weeks. So we have to wait for fertility treatment until August Cycle. 

Which totally kills any hope of me moving AFTER the baby is born. July was our last hope, because i'd have the baby in April and not have to move until June.... but that's gone now. I doubt i'll even try this month. I just don't want to deal with it... and even as I write that I know even if I don't try, even if I don't use my OPKs and track down ovulation... I'll still want to be pregnant when that period date comes. I'll still want to see a positive pregnancy test. 

I just really wanted it.... really wanted those three little months of a foursome family together. Now I have to just have to adjust to looking forward to his two week paternity leave.... not as sentimental... but I suppose it's better than having to wait for him to get back from deployment. 

New plan is that I have to move to GA in March.... to set up a relationship with a new doctor. Give birth at Kennestone. Michael boards a plan as quickly as he can, and he's there asap. I get those wonderful two weeks.... and then i'm alone again with a toddler and a newborn. 

Jun. 7th, 2012

Tarot

This is it!

Well, i'm officially starting all the prerequisites for fertility treatment. My periods were normal these last two months, which is pretty amazing. :) One was CD 29 and the other was CD 31. :) 

I keep thinking that i'm going to get pregnant in August, which would mean a May baby. Which means i'll have a tiny newborn when I move to GA. Official fertility treatment for TTC starts in July, so I still have a month before I really start thinking i'm pregnant, also another month to lose weight! :D Which means i'll be under 195 when I get preggo (hopefully more). I still can't believe i'm under 200. I haven't been under 200 since 2008! :D I just want to be under 160 and show Michael what I can look like. He's never seen me under 175. That probably won't happen until after baby #2 though, so we'll see. 

Tomorrow I have my Day 3 blood work, where they check all my hormone levels. Then on the 18th I have the god awful HSG. :( They stick iodine through a catheter into my cervix and check to make sure all my tubes are still okay and my uterus is okay. Who knows what they will find. Sometimes I imagine that the last one was a fluke and really I only have one working tube... but who knows. I got pregnant already so obviously it doesn't matter. What matters more is my hormone exchange which is fucking off track! 

I have to go to Lab Corp and get like 18 viles (i think maybe more) of blood filled. :\ That always blows hard! Then everything should be good to go for me. We aren't going to tell anyone when I do get pregnant this time until after 12 weeks. I want to send out a cute pregnancy announcement. :) We'll see though. I'm really bad at keeping news that big. 

I just keep thinking August, but that's probably because I got pregnant with Josie in August. It'll actually probably be September, which would be a June baby, which would be the most complicated scenario because we would be physically moving the family while I'm SUPER MEGA pregnant and all my doctors for the entire pregnancy would not be there to give birth. June baby would probably be one of those things where we don't move until the baby comes out and then when she/he does we move with a tiny week old newborn down to GA. *sigh* June baby would be the most hectic. So i'm hoping for either May or anything there after June. Soooo most likely a June baby!! lol 

I'm so excited for all this to be happening. Josie is starting music and french classes. She loves them. She just loves playing around others. It's so sweet to watch and everyone commented on how she has no stranger or separation anxiety. :D She will LOVE a little sister/brother. 

I'll never have what I call the "cheerleader" pregnancy... the "oopsie daisies" pregnancy. They will always be planned, monitored and medically treated pregnancies. I'm okay with that, why? Because they'll always be mine and Michael's. 

Apr. 20th, 2012

Moon Cradle

Deployment Woes and Weight Loss

Last night, I was listening to a song that has always made me cry, but last night I lost it. I just couldn't stop crying. It was a country song, by Lonestar and with it came a handful of actual military families coping with deployments, incorporated into the song.

Sometimes, I feel bad because... i'm suppose to be strong, and suppose to show Michael that I can handle life without him during a deployment, so he doesn't worry. That's just not who I am, I can't help but always have my emotions on my sleeves. I feel like, in turn, Michael is supporting me, even though I know that he will probably be hurting too. I've talked to him about this, but he says that while he will miss us dearly and if i'm pregnant he'll be worried and be missing the newborn... he will be very busy. So it won't be the same. Michael knows i'm resourceful though, and he knows i'm a good mother. I'm the one that criticizes myself.

So, I was reading an article about how children will cope with a deployment. Josie will be two when all this happens, and so she will be a full fledged toddler. Michael is such an important role in the family support too. We are all so bonded closely, I just know she will take seriously when he leaves. She's so emotive, just like her mother. It say to be aware of tantrums over little things, and behavioral set backs. I already plan on co-sleeping while Michael's gone. I could never go back to an empty bed. If a new baby is around, we have the co-sleeper and i'll buy railings for Josie. It'll be a full bed, and that's exactly how I like it.

I imagine myself wallowing in his absence, and i'm sure sometimes I won't be able to help it. When i'm alone, in the big house with nothing but children, and the silence of his presence. Yes I know I will cry. I can't help it. Like I said, I wear my emotions on my sleeve. I've been saying all along, yes i'll be by family and amazing friends, but nothing will replace Michael. Nothing.

Yes, I need to stay away from that song. I shouldn't be dreading something that's more than a year away now. Of course, that's also my nature. Obsess over the future until it is staring me in the face.

Onto my weight loss. It's going stunningly! I'm amazing by how easy this is. Everyday I see Josie and she's a constant reminder to why I want to do this. To have energy as she starts entering toddler phase. She's already showing MY energy level, so I need to get up to that. To be able to run around with her and keep up with her physically. Also, I want to lose weight to perhaps make it easier to get pregnant this time around, and any subsequent times. It's all for the better.

Only problem is i'm positive at least half my weight loss right now has been in my BOOBS!! The place I least want it to be! I can fit into an old bra of mine, that I couldn't fit into PRE pregnancy already! -_- I was hoping the stomach -- ass region would go first. NOPE! Well, anyway, Michael has said that he thinks my waist is getting smaller because my hips are poking out more. LOL My hips look wider because my waist got smaller, GREAT!

Ugh... what am I going to do without this man in my life. He keeps my head screwed on right. No one has EVER been able to do that for me. Sometimes, my friend Jessica.... but ugh... it's just not the same. Five years this man has been by my side through thick and thin and everything inbetween. I know his deployment is only going to be 4 months.... and that's TINY compared to other more normal deployments... it's also one of the hardest. Submarine deployments account for the majority of divorce in the Navy. There is ZERO contact whatsoever during those months.... I'm going to fucking lose my mind.

I'm considering getting a friend (not my mother!) to come with me to say goodbye to Michael on the docks. Because I won't be able to safely drive myself home after it. Hopefully someone will help me out... i'm not one to ask for help though... which is why my mouth has been shut since now.

Apr. 8th, 2012

Dangerous

Thoughts on This Weekend

Sometimes, I wonder if I make a bigger deal about things then others. I can't shake this awful  anger and resentment i'm feeling towards my mother right now. They came into town Friday, didn't see us until 4 when we were having portraits done, and then only stayed to see the pictures and were off. They went to go have dinner with themselves. Didn't even attempt to want to invite us. Seems a little awful right? You came up to DC to see me right? It's not seeming like it.... 

At the party, we meet at Costco, they pay for a few things for the party, which is helpful and super nice. Then they came to our house to unload it. They stay for a few moments to see the house and Josie keeps stealing their hearts. Then they are off again and I know it doesn't take them 3ish hours to get ready. They just didn't want to be around the whole time? They stayed for the party, which is great of them. They left when my godmother and her son (Josie's godfather) left. Which is reasonable. I think it was about 5 at that point... maybe earlier. I can't remember. 

Today though, today takes the cake. In the beginning of the planning. I thought we were all going to hang out today, maybe do some fun stuff around DC together or something of that nature. Well, then I get the impression that they are thinking of leaving right after Brunch because they want to hit the road. Okay, that's fine, but that's not what they do. They've ditched us again. I see these "check in" on facebook that my mother is in DC and then another that she's an hour south in VA 5 hours later. So in five hours they traveled 2 hrs the distance. Yea okay. That seems like they just took a little vacation to VA and Josie's birthday just happened to be a part of it. 

It just feels all wrong. 

And to be honest i'm sick of dealing with this bullshit. Josie's never going to actually be a part of either of her grandparents' lives. She has come to really love and get to know her great grandmother which is amazing, but what kind of miracle do I need to ask the same of her grandparents? I just don't understand it. 

When Josie is older and she asks why her grandparents never come around or why it's only for dinner, why they only have dinner. I'm going to be honest and I'm going to tell her what is going on. I don't care if she doesn't like or care about her grandparents because of it. She does not deserve to feel like any of it is her fault in any way. Just like I shouldn't either... but years of manipulation will do that to a person. 

Apr. 7th, 2012

Sisters

Trip to GA and Future Beyond

I've been thinking about more of my GA trip today. On the way to Costco with my grandma. A song came on, and even though the majority of it was rap and I wasn't really into the rap parts the chorus was beautiful female vocals. The lyrics were:

I’m coming home
I’m coming home
Tell the World I’m coming home
Let the rain wash away all the pain of yesterday
I know my kingdom awaits and they’ve forgiven my mistakes
I’m coming home, I’m coming home
Tell the World that I’m coming


I started crying a little bit because I can definitely see something beautiful coming from being in Ga. Ever since reading the 7 emotional steps of deployment i've had a huge weight lifted off me. It's normal to feel anxiety and sadness. It will be NORMAL for me to completely fall apart for a few weeks, but I also know i'm a survivor and I keep trucking through the sadness. I always have. I know i'll find something to keep my mind, something to take my mind off the pain. I know I will. I also read a lot of forums and blogs about deployment times. I'll be okay. I'll be sad and sometimes downright depressed, but i'll be okay. 

I have Josie, and i'll be damned if she can't put a smile on my face even when i'm sad. The other day we just laid in bed and stared into each other eyes. I felt overwhelming Josie just watching her search my eyes and I her's. It was beautiful. I love every waking moment with that child and I can't believe she's going to be a year old!! Tomorrow at this exact time, i'll have given birth a year ago! It's ridiculous how fast time flies with a child. 

I hope I see more of my friends, rekindle some of that friendship bonds while i'm in Ga. I've talked about living closer to them before in that past, and i'm sure in their mind not only is a year far the hell away, but it's also a little untangible. When was the last time I lived nearby? How many times have we discussed it but it just never happened. 

Well, talking to Michael just now, I was like "so is this really happening? What if you don't get picked up for EDO?" He looked at me wide eyed and said "Ashley this is happening, and it's going to be fucking hard for a little while. I have a lot more on my tranfser that most don't. I have a master's. A 4 star admiral is signing my letter. I am going to look really good." 

So I sat and took that in. I will be moving in close to a year. I will be away from Michael for almost a year. This IS happening. There is no turning back. This is life we are going for. 

Which brings me to the future. Japan. It's 85% certain that we will have to take a tour overseas, and Japan looks the best on your paperwork. Which would be 3 years overseas. I told Michael I wanted to save up a lot of money when we go there because I want to bring each and every one of my friends over to Japan. I will be begging and pleading and basicaly just buying tickets left and right and telling people to just HOP on it! Or else feel my wrath! :) 

All in all, i'm taking everything in. Getting used to these new shoes I will have to put on. Big Navy shoes! :) Maybe i'll find an easier transition within the Big Navy spouse community. 

Mar. 29th, 2012

EternalSunshine

7 Emotional Stages of Deployment

PRE-DEPLOYMENT

Stage 1: Anticipation of Loss

-6-8 weeks prior to deployment.
-Some feelings: denial, fear, anger, resentment, hurt.
-Activities: financial planning, car and home preventative maintenance, updating records of emergency data.

This stage occurs four to six weeks before deployment. During this time it is hard for a woman to accept the fact that her husband is going to leave her. She may find herself crying unexpectedly at songs, TV shows, and other such Silly things that would not normally affect her. These incidents allow her to release some of her pent-up emotions. There is a lot of tension during this period as both husband and wife try to cram in a multitude of projects and activities: There are bikes and cars to fix, roofs to repair, deadbolts to install, garages to clean, family to visit, neighbors and friends to invite over, etc.

The wife will have some unexpressed anger, and the couple may bicker even though they usually do not. This can be upsetting if it is viewed out of context. Although unenjoyable, these arguments can be functional. They provide one way for the couple to put some emotional distance between themselves in their preparation for living apart. It is hard for a wife to feel warm and loving toward her husband when she is mad at him, and as one woman said, Its easier to let him go. Other frequent symptoms of this stage include restlessness (productive), depression, and irritability. While women feel angry or resentful (Hes really going to leave me alone with all this), men tend to feel guilty (Theres no way I can get everything done that I should before I leave.)



Stage 2: Emotional withdrawal

-1 week prior to deployment.
-Some feelings: confusion, ambivalence, anger, pulling away.
-Activities: talking, sharing, fighting, setting goals to achieve during deployment.

In many ways, this is the most difficult stage. It occurs sometime in the final days before departure. Such statements as, I know I should be enjoying these last few days together but all I want to do is cry indicates a sense of despair or hopelessness. The marriage is out of the couples control. Although they push ahead trying to complete the list that never gets any shorter, the wife often feels a lack of energy and is fatigued. Making decisions becomes increasingly difficult.

During this time, the wife may experience some ambivalence about sexual relations. The brain says, We've got to have sex; this is it for six months while the heart may rebel, But I dont want to be that close. Intercourse represents the ultimate intimacy in marriage, yet it is hard to be intimate when husband and wife are separating from each other emotionally. This can be especially difficult if it is seen as rejection rather than as a reaction to trying circumstances. The couple may find, too, that they stop sharing their thoughts and feelings with each other. This stage is most evident when departure is delayed for some reason. When asked if they enjoyed the extra time together, wives invariably respond, It was awful! The detachment and withdrawal stage is an uncomfortable time; Though both spouses are physically in the same house, emotionally they have separated. Wives think, If you have to go, go. And husbands think Lets get on with it!



DEPLOYMENT

Stage 3: Emotional confusion/disorganization

-1-6 weeks after departure.
-Some feelings: sense of abandonment, need, loss, emptiness, pain, disorganization.
-Activities: crying, loss or abundance of sleep and appetite, busy, goal activation.

No matter haw prepared wives think they are, the actual deployment still comes as a shock. An initial sense of relief that the pain of saying good-bye is over may be followed by guilt. They worry, If I really love him, why am I relieved that hes gone? They may feel numb, aimless, and without purpose. Old routines have been disrupted and without purpose. Old routines have been disrupted and new ones not yet established. Many women are depressed and withdraw from friends and neighbors, especially if the neighbors husbands are home. They often feel overwhelmed as they face total responsibility for family affairs. Many women have difficulty sleeping, suddenly aware that they are the security officer, others sleep excessively. A wife may feel some anger at her husband because he did not say, provide for her physical security by installing deadbolts.

Wives often report feeling restless (though not productive), confused, disorganized, indecisive, and irritable. The unspoken question is, What am I going to do with this hole in my life? Whereas wives experience a sense of being overwhelmed, husbands report feeling lonely and frustrated. Unfortunately, a few women get stuck at this stage, either unable or unwilling to move on emotionally; they will both have and cause problems throughout the cruise.




Stage 4: Adjustment/Recovery

-Most of the deployment.
-Some feelings: hope, confidence, calm, less anger, loneliness.
-Activities: establishing routine, establishing communications, self-growth.

At some point, wives may realize, Hey, Im doing OK! They have established new family patterns and settled into a routine. They have begun to feel more comfortable with the reorganization of roles and responsibilities. Broken arms have been tended, mowers fixed, cars tuned up, and washing machines bought. Each successful experience adds to their self confidence. The wives have cultivated new sources of support through friends, church, work, wives groups, etc. They often give up real cooking for cruise food; they may run up higher long-distance phone bills and contact old friends.

Dr. Alice Snyder of Family Services Center, Norfolk, calls the women single wives as they experience both worlds. Being alone brings freedom as well as responsibility. They often unconsciously find themselves referring to, my house, my car, my kids. As a group, they are more mature, and they are more outwardly independent. This stage is one of the benefits of being a wife: Each woman has the opportunity to initiate new activities, accept more responsibilities, and stretch herself and her abilities “all while secure in being married. Nevertheless, all the responsibility can be stressful, and wives may find that they are sick more frequently. Many women continue to feel mildly depressed and anxious. Isolation from both their husbands and their own families can leave them feeling vulnerable. There is not much contact with men “ by choice or design “ and women may begin to feel asexual. On the whole, though, most women have a new sense of independence and freedom and take pride in their ability to cope alone.




Stage 5: Expectation of reunion

-6-8 weeks prior to homecoming.
-Some feelings: apprehension, excitement, high expectations, worry, fear.
-Activities: planning homecoming, cleaning, dieting, loss of sleep, completion of individual projects.

Approximately four to six weeks before the ship is due back, wives often find themselves saying, “Ohmigosh, hes coming home and Im not ready! That long list of things to do while hes gone is still unfinished. The pace picks up. There is a feeling of joy and excitement in anticipation of living together again. Feelings of apprehension surface as well, although they are usually left unexpressed.

This is a time to reevaluate the marriage. That hole that existed when their husbands left did get filled “ with tennis classes, church, a job, new friends, school, - and now they instinctively know that they must clean house in their lives in order to make room for the men. Most experience an unconscious process of evaluation, “I want him back, but what am I going to have to give up? Therefore, they may feel nervous, tense, and apprehensive.

The wives are concerned about the effect the husbands return will have on their lives and their childrens: Will he understand and accept the changes that have occurred in us? Will he approve of the decisions I made? Will he adjust to the fact that I cant go back to being dependent? The husbands are anxious, too, wondering, How have we changed? How will I be accepted? Will the kids know me? Does my family still need me?

Most women bury these concerns in busywork. Once more, there is a sense of restlessness (but productive) and confusion. Decisions become harder to make and may be postponed until the homecoming. Women become irritable again and may experience changes in appetite. At some point, a psychological decision is made. For most women, it is. Do I want him back? You bet! I cant wait to see him!


REUNION
Stage 6: Honeymoon

-Day 1 until the first argument.
-Some feelings: euphoria, blur of excitement.
-Activities: talking, re-establishing intimacy, readjusting.

This stage, too, is one in which the husband and wife are together physically but not necessarily emotionally. They have to have some time together and share experiences and feelings before they feel like a couple again. They both need to be aware of the necessity to refocus on the marriage. For instance; After one of the wives husband had been home for a few days, she became aggravated with him when he would telephone his shipboard roommate every time something of importance came up within the family “ finally declaring, Im your wife. Talk to me! During this stage, the task is to stop being single spouses and start being married again.

Most women sense a loss of freedom and independence while a minority is content to become dependent once more. Routines established during the cruise are disrupted: I have to cook a real dinner every night!? This causes the wives to feel disorganized and out of control.

Although most couples never write it down, there is a "Contract in every marriage “ a set of assumptions and expectations on which they base their actions. During this stage, the couple has to make major adjustments in roles and responsibilities; before that can happen, they must undertake an extensive renegotiation of that unwritten contract. The marriage cannot and will not be exactly the same as before the cruise: both spouses have had varied experiences and have grown in different ways, and these changes must be accommodated.

Too much togetherness initially can cause friction after so many months of living apart. More than one wife has had to cope with the fleeting shock of wondering, Whos that man in my bedroom! Some resent their husbands making decisions that should be mine. Still others question, My husband wants me to give up all my activities while hes home. Should I? On the other hand, the husband may wonder. Why do I feel like a stranger in my own home? All of these concerns and pressures require that husband and wife communicate with each other.

Assumptions will not work. Some find that talking as we go along works best, while others keep silent until, We had our first good fight, cleared the air, and everythings OK now. Sexual relations, ardently desired before the return, may initially seem frightening. Couples need sufficient time together to become reacquainted before they can expect true intimacy.

This stage can be difficult as well as joyful. But it does provide an opportunity offered to few civilian couples;; the chance to evaluate what changes have occurred within themselves, to determine what direction they want their growth to take, and to meld all this into a renewed and refreshed relationship.


Stage 7: Readjustment

-6-8 weeks following return.
-Some feelings: uncomfortable, role confusion, satisfaction.
-Activities: re-negotiating relationships, redefining roles, settling in

Sometime within the four to six weeks after the homecoming, wives notice that they have stopped referring to my car, my house, my "bedroom using instead our or we. New routines have been established for the family, and the wives feel relaxed and comfortable with their husbands. There is a sense of being a couple and a family. They are back on the same track emotionally and can enjoy the warmth and closeness of being married.

Mar. 28th, 2012

AgonyFades

Obsession

I can tell when I have a lot on my mind because I feel like my brain starts going into overdrive about the details. I was thinking about life without Michael, more specifically life with zero Michael contact for four months. I wouldn't be able to sink into an appalling depression. I'd only be able to really breakdown at night. When Josie is snuggled close, and I smell her sweet scent, and realize my other half is missing. I'd have to be attentive and cheery and make the days as wonderful for her as possible. I'd have to tuck my feelings deep inside until nightfall when my loneliness could sink in. Who else have I had in my life for 5 years?? I seriously get weepy and panicky when I think about it. No one else understands me like Michael does. I know that may sound pitiful, you know only having one person who understands and gets you in your whole world.... but that's just the way it is. Moving a lot is hard and it takes tolls on friendships. The friends I had still care about me, but they don't really know me. The friends I've made so far don't know me either. The only person who knows me, knows my core, my values, me..... is Michael. For four months, I won't see, hear or know anything of him. He won't know anything of me or his family. It's heartbreaking. Downright panicky. So I'm obsessing. A fear turns into obsession. I'm obsessing about it right now more than I am about wanting to be pregnant, though it's a close second. How am I going to handle being pregnant without him, giving birth without him. Everyone keeps saying, "you'll have me. you'll have family" even Michael says i'll have friends and family. What do I expect of them? To be there for me 24/7? NO! I don't want nor expect people to just drop their lives because "I need them". That's fucked up! I told Michael that I fully expect the majority of my time in GA to be alone. My mother will probably visit and be my support for the majority of the time, but I can't even ask her to fill the shoes Michael has left behind. He said it would be a team of people.... and to that I say. All those people have lives, responsibilities, things to get done without me interfering. No. I won't be asking anyone for any help. Hanging out, fine. Spending time together when they choose to. Cool. But... I won't make anyone go out of the way for me. I'd rather be miserable and alone than be a burden.

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