Just the Small Things

With a new baby on the way there has been a lot of different things that run through my mind.  One of the thoughts that keeps coming is, am I ready for this?  There are plenty of reasons why this particular thought is on my mind.  Am I ready to be the mom of a new baby, the mother of two now?  Am I ready for labor, again?  Will I remember how to breastfeed?  Most importantly, do I have all I need to be ready for this? 

It gets a little stressful thinking about all this.  Don’t get me wrong, I am beyond excited about the new addition!  Its exciting for my son to have a baby brother and I love the daily bustle of having a newborn.  It’s been five years since the last time I was pregnant though.  I don’t know what has changed since 2010 and I’m afraid I’ve forgotten things.

I’ve been slowly gathering baby essentials.  I have the Baby Bump app which has a checklist of what I’ll need.  I have been finding all kinds of stuff on baby classifieds on Facebook.  In fact, just yesterday I got a steal on a brand new, never been used, bassinet – I got it for 60% off the retail price!  I am surprised at some of the things I can find on there.  However, I have to be careful because sometimes you think you are getting a good deal but in fact you are paying for junk.  It’s kind of fun gathering baby stuff, but it can be hard too.  New baby stuff can get expensive, so trying to find bargains has been helpful.  Family and friends have also been helpful. 

The one thing that’s driving me crazy is waiting for the baby shower.  I know I’ll get some of what I need, but I constantly am wondering if it will give me enough time to get everything else I need.  In fact, I already had one for my significant other’s family and got some very wonderful and thoughtful things for the baby.  I’m having another one in November that my family and friends in my hometown will come to.  The idea of a baby shower really helps out the parents-to-be in so many ways.  So why am I always freaking out about not being ready??

To be honest, there is nothing to be worried about.  Absolutely nothing.  My family and friends have been taking good care of me.  My love and I have been doing what we can with what we have.  We’ve been preparing for the big day in all kinds of ways.  I just have the hormones going and tend to make a big deal out of something so small or nothing at all.  There is one thing I’ll save for another day, pregnancy hormones, the horror!  Other than the hormones though, I have everything under control. 

The anxiety really sucks though.  Especially my anxiety about labor and breastfeeding.  I start prenatal classes at the end of October that I am hoping will ease my nerves.  I am planning an all-natural hospital birth.  I had a homebirth with my first son that went well.  Breastfeeding started off well but then I wasn’t producing enough after awhile.  I just want things to run smoothly.

I’m actually overcoming a fear by having a hospital birth.  I am deathly scared of things not going my way because of pushy nurses and doctors.  I know they are there to help but it’s frightening to me.  There are specific things I want that I know I could get at home and not so much at the hospital.  Plus, hospitals creep me out.  They are full of sick and dying people. 

As far as breastfeeding goes, all I can do is take a class and read some literature and hope for the best.  I want so badly to be successful at breastfeeding.  I think it’s the best way to give a baby nutrition and I want to be able to offer that.  After six weeks I’ll introduce bottles but I still plan to nurse.  I hope that using an electronic breast pump this time instead of a manual will help keep up production.

I’m hoping the anxiety goes away the further along I get (I’m already 6 months)!  It’s honestly kicking my butt.  Like I said though, I’m doing everything in my power to prepare for the big day.  It’s definitely nerve-wracking but this is such an exciting time for me!  There are all kinds of things to worry about, but I’m having another baby!  It’s going to be awesome!

-Ari Swan

Welcome To My Crazy Life

One person's craziness is another person's reality

One person’s craziness is another person’s reality

I just sat there and stared blankly at my phone. Quietly going insane with nobody to talk to. The feeling of having nowhere to run to had slowly been sinking in for the past week. My skin was crawling. I wanted to scream…

My fears are controlling my life. I just want peace and serenity, but no. Instead I suffer miserably inside my own head. I’m scared to say what I am thinking. What if they don’t get it?

I looked back down at my phone.

Why isn’t he answering? I had never felt so alone and scared. Could he already be sleeping? Being alone was the last thing I wanted. I needed him to be holding me and whispering in my ear that everything was going to be ok. Nobody was going to hurt me… But I was alone and could not stop thinking about everything that was going wrong.

……………..

The words were ringing in my ears. It wasn’t anything that I did. I don’t know what I’m supposed to say about anything. What does everyone want from me? I’m doing the best that I can considering the circumstances.

Maybe it isn’t everyone else. Maybe it’s me. My past is haunting me and that is why I am terrified of the present. I’m so scared of my present I can’t even think about the future. The bad thing is that there really isn’t anything to be scared of in my present. I don’t even know what I’m scared of, honestly.

It’s the anxiety. It’s PTSD. It’s bipolar. It’s schizoaffectiveness disorder… Well, whatever it is, it isn’t fun.

Thinking about the last time I saw the doctor I get pissed and I want to cry at the same time. The stares with the underlying question, “what aren’t you telling me?” As if I haven’t told them enough sitting there shaking because of how frightened I am. But what am I frightened of?

Fear of loneliness. Fear of not being understood. Fear of rejection. Fear of commitment. Mostly fear of heartbreak. I suppose these are my fears. What happens now that I’m facing them? Will my anxiety cease?

Most likely I’ll continue to have these fears. Irrelevant or not, they are interfering with me living a normal life. I wish that I could say that I will cope, but honestly, I can’t set aside my fears long enough to focus on disctractions. I do have wonderful people in my life (my son and my boyfriend) who help the fears subside for some time, but the feeling is ever present.

I always compared myself to the saying, “you can’t go crazy if you’re already there.” It just seemed like a perfect quote because I was already crazy. Since I am no longer crazy and I am in fact going crazy, I think a new quotation is due. How about, “they think you are crazy and sad. They think you are weird and mad. They call you stupid and worthless and say you’re not worth it, but in someone’s eyes you are perfect.”

I could go a day without the voices.

-Ari

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Words That Need to be Said

The tears sting as they roll down my face…

……….

If only I never panicked, then you wouldn’t have to go.  The excuse, “my mental illness took over,” is no good reason for this seperation.  I wish there was someway for me to prove that you were never in danger – I was afraid of going away. I didn’t want to say good-bye.

You see, son, I never should have been driving that day.  My license was just suspended (meaning that I violated a traffic law so the judge didn’t want to allow me to drive for a little while) and I didn’t want to be stuck in Helena all summer.  I had already been planning on moving.  I thought it would be good to get away.  So when I noticed the policeman behind us I got scared because I was being naughty.

It’s even harder to explain to you, sweet child, then it was to the officers…  One of my turn-signals wasn’t working, and when the cruiser followed me my heart dropped into my stomach because I knew that I was going to have to go with them for a couple nights.  That’s when I entered another world, and I slowed down but literally, could not stop.  An invisible force wouldn’t allow it.  Now, to anybody else that would sound crazy, however, you are young and innocent and can believe in such phenomena in this nature.  To clear this up I never intended on, “getting away.”

To be completely honest, I think that I just needed a few more minutes to calm down and grasp the situation.  Anyways, I got into trouble because I was doing something I wasn’t suppose to be doing.  The policemen were disappointed in me, and even upset because I worried them a little.  With the police, if you don’t do what they ask right away they get concerned and start to think that something might be wrong.  So I was in even more trouble and that is when they let me call Papa to come get you. 

I only had to go away for just a little while, but during that time your daddy took it upon himself to make the decision for you to move in with him.  It’s been awhile since I got into trouble and I haven’t got use to you living with daddy instead of me.  Sometimes it makes me cry because I miss you so much.  It’s even harder to see you cry when I have to go. 

I don’t like to go.  It’s only for a little while.

……….

I don’t like looking back on things and calling them mistakes. I’d like to say that I live with no regrets. I am where I am because of choices I have made and this & that. I have learned my lessons enough for a lifetime though… I have done some stupid things and now suffer the consequences. My time away from Yuri is painful. Yes, I have some wonderful people over here in my corner who support me and guide me and that is great… But every day that Yuri is gone I suffer. I suffer inside because I did this and it’s pure agony.

There is more to the story, and you are free to make your judgements, but I must ask you to look at yourself first. Everyone is facing their own demons, and everyone can use one less judgement. The world would be a much better place if we instead tried to do a little more listening and understanding and a lot less gossiping and judging. That’s all.

-Ari