Week 16

I wish I wrote this a few days ago, as yesterday my wife’s cousin, the mother and step-mother to our god-daughters, died unexpectedly in her sleep. We are devastated, but we don’t know much right now. I’ll leave that for another day.

Yesterday brought us week 16 as well. I feel like this is when things change as far as my size. As she grows, things get pushed upward, making my upper abdomen larger. I’m supposed to start putting on weight now, according to the apps. And since I can usually eat alright, I should be able to do that. Overall, sleep is getting better at times. I go to bed earlier so I can get more REM sleep. I can function during the day usually, but it doesn’t take much to put me behind. I’m sick of being tired though, and need to start taking the train into work since gas is too expensive, so I’m shifting my sleep schedule as best I can. 

I had labs done last week. The labs for spina bifada came back clean, so no risk there. Hooray! My thyroid is also starting to function better, so no medication changes in the near future. At this point, I think we’re pretty much in the clear about things that we can test for. It’s a relief, especially when I couldn’t take prenatals for months and that’s helpful in preventing spina bifada. 

My body is definitely changing. If I bend over without leaving space for my stomach I can feel it push against the muscles and cause discomfort. I’m not stressing my pants yet, but that will come soon. I did learn the other day that cream soup is evil and I should never have it again when I awoke to intense gas. I threw up a lot and I only had 3 or 4 spoons of the soup before I gave up on it. So…lesson learned. A little lactose intolerant before pregnancy equals very lactose intolerant during, at least with things like cream. I’m ok with regular cheese it seems. I will not be one of those people who eats a quart of ice cream a day while pregnant, that’s for sure! At most I’ll like a tiny bit to get the flavor when I get my wife some. lol Finally, hiccups keep getting stronger. I guess with the pressure it directs that force upward so I know it more. It’s going to be a long 5 1/2 months with hiccups!

Peanut ultimately is great. She’s a total sweetheart. The other day I ate late and she was getting very worried about me, sending signals to my wife that I needed to eat, preferably applesauce which I had recently and she knew helped with the blood sugar. The next day I had applesauce before leaving and she was very happy, giving her the sensation of wanting to do a happy dance. :-) And then she was requesting oranges (which we didn’t have) and steak, which I didn’t want. Basically, more sugar and protein. It amuses me. I have been eating more raw cashews which helps though.

Her major frustration is still getting her hand in her mouth. She wants to control her body, and it just isn’t possible yet. She’s gotten close a few times apparently, but it still eludes her. She’s been working on this for weeks actually. We just remind her that this is how her body learns to move. 

Another development is she’s learning to control how much she projects at my wife. It’s like teaching a baby to pet a cat. I just say to be gentle and my wife gets this sensation of her heart being lightly pet. It’s ridiculously sweet. It also helps her cope. Finally, it appears that the death of Whitney has created a transfer of my wife’s line to the baby. The energy that holds the memory of the line, all the wisdom they acquired in controlling their power and gifts has been passed onto Peanut so now she is not only energetically similar to my wife, she is truly part of her energetic line. I hope this helps Peanut as she learns to manage her power.

My parents arrive in town tonight. Hopefully we can get a heartbeat on the doppler before too long so they can experience something. At least they can see the pictures in person instead of a scan. It’s another 4 weeks until the next ultrasound so that’s all we have for now. 

15 weeks

Very tired and on phone so here’s the quick rundown.

Midwife appointment was fine. Heard the heartbeat, a galloping 154 bbm. Peanut really hates the doppler though. My blood pressure was low but not dangerous. We’ll keep an eye on it. Lost more weight but I’m not concerned. Next appointment in 5 weeks for the 20 week ultrasound.

Tomorrow is our 1 day camping adventure to State Forest State Park, a 3.5 hour drive from here. Closer parks were booked and I want to see this area so I don’t mind the drive. ;-) The forecast is a high of 75 and a low of 45! It will be interesting, and I am going stir crazy seeing everyone else going camping. No electricity, just unplugging for the evening. Testing out the gear we have and what we may want for the future. I hope to camp next summer already. The time in nature is good for baby development and mommy sanity. I grew up camping and want my kid to have that too.

My parents arrive next weekend for about 2 weeks but they aren’t staying with us.

Unfortunately preparing is exhausting. I made cole slaw and baked beans that my wife seasoned perfectly. So everything is prepped for easy packing in the morning. Most other things are already in the truck. Now to pass out to be ready for adventure!

On depression and suicide

Yes,  a lot of people are talking about this now in the wake of Robin Williams death. And as I see the occasional person who doesn’t get this AT ALL, I’ve been writing a lot on facebook. I should include it here as well, for posterity at least.

First, for those who don’t get it, who think suicide is a weak and selfish act, I wrote this, which was a direct response to one such asshole.

 

If you care more about being right about your views on suicide, and judging those who struggle against it and occasionally lose the battle, then you are simply being a dick. A lot of the stigma on depression and suicide is based on the judgments people make based on zero knowledge and zero understanding. And that causes people to keep their struggles silent. But depression has so much more power when people struggle alone.

Stop being dicks. Start being kind and compassionate and educate yourself. There are some outspoken people who talk about the struggle, who make it easier to understand, even as we still can’t know without struggling ourselves. Listen to them. And then, change how you talk about it. You don’t know who is struggling around you, but you can be damn sure they are listening to the words you use to see if you are a potential ally.

This is a matter of life and death. If you can’t question your beliefs when it could mean saving a life, then I don’t know where your priorities lie.

I am far from a perfect ally. I don’t really know how to help a lot of people. I often say the wrong things too. And I too used to think suicide was selfish. But now I see that a lot of the times that isn’t the case. And to assume that just made me an ignorant dick. Thankfully I’ve grown up since then, sometimes the hard way. I have too many friends and loved ones who struggle. Who fail to see their amazing worth and contribution to the world.

What can you do today to help someone see their contribution to the world? Do it. It might just be the thing that keeps them from tipping into the abyss.

 

 

Second, a message for those struggling, and for those who don’t get it but have a tiny bit of curiosity. (I don’t expect much on this front though.)

When I look at the friends around me who struggle with depression there are very clear commonalities.
1. They are not ‘normal’.
Everyone who doesn’t fit into the norm of society faces an immense amount of judgment that we aren’t taught to deal with. That then gets internalized to self judgment, which chips away at self worth. For a lot of people finding coping mechanisms is a challenge and it turns to depression.
2. They have an ‘abnormal’ brain
We know from science that there are brain imbalances that contribute greatly to depression, especially to the deep depressions that are most dangerous. This isn’t something magically fixed. Medications, behavior modification, alternative medicine, even nutrition contributes to make this more manageable, but it doesn’t take away the underlying issue. Combine this with number 1 and it’s even more difficult.


3. They are sensitive
A lot of these people are sensitive to things the average muggle is not. They are affected by the changes of energy around them. They do feel the shifting of moon phases, like the full moon going on. They feel things they don’t understand and don’t know how to deal with. And they don’t often have people they can talk to about it because of #1. Know that you can always talk to me about this and I will give you some coping tools.


4. They are amazing and contribute a lot to the world!
What is often missed is that, #1 and #2 come with amazing benefits as well, allowing them to bring something unique to the world! Robin Williams changed so many lives, but he’s not the only one. My ‘ordinary’ friends who struggle make an impact on the people around them every day. Depression tells them this isn’t so, and that makes me sad because I know my life would be lessened without them in it. And I’m not the only one.

There are ways to deal with judgment. If you want some information, let me know. There are amazing resources and people out there who also struggle with depression who you can lean on to beat back the lies of depression. Please, seek them out. The Bloggess is an amazing resource, sharing her struggle with honesty and humor that makes it all just a little better. She has a good list of things to help here.

http://thebloggess.com/2014/01/strange-and-beautiful/

Sara Bareilles concert experiences

An old dream that I forgot to write up, and is also copied to my dream journal, was inane on the surface. I was reliving an event earlier where I was showing one of our cats the ultrasound picture. But in the dream I could hear her response, that it was a little creepy because it looked like the baby’s hand was coming toward her. What’s interesting is that, I told my wife this later (that it was the response, not that it came from a dream) and the cat said, how did you know? It took us a good day to figure out how this all happened. My wife can hear the cats most of the time quite clearly. For me it is very rare, and typically while half asleep. But it turns out, you can actually decode the message later while sleeping, and it comes through in the dream. It’s pretty awesome! Hopefully I start to hear them more often, as it brings them great joy to be understood.

As for this weekend, we went to a concert at the Chatfield botanical gardens which is a working farm area. It’s very beautiful, but my wife could feel that the energy of the place was of death, specifically slaughter. The guides went off to research, and while it isn’t in the history books, there was a slaughter of Native American people in the past. That energy mixed with the beauty made it even more disturbing to those who could feel it. Myself, I was heavily shielded by them so I wouldn’t feel anything except the baby. For a short time my wife could feel beings touching her, but they didn’t have enough energy to communicate or do more. They weren’t trying to harm, just communicate. Ultimately, it’s not fun for those beings to have thousands of white people walking all over their land. I feel for them.

The concert itself was awesome (Sara Bareilles). Peanut had a great time as well. We sat in the handicap area off to the side. We met a mother and her son who had downs but was high functioning. He was fun. Then a family came in right before who flew in from Florida right before. Their youngest daughter is 17 and has some form of palsy. But she’s already a sophomore in college and looks to graduate next year! Then she’s going to med school so she can be a medical researcher into various palsies. Talk about a strong brain! And a very bright soul. Peanut actually went over to her for a bit at the beginning of Sara’s set. What we learned was that Peanut and her were feeling the same thing from the music – the enjoyment, but also the frustration at not being able to make their body move like they want. But that was incredibly distracting to the girl, which peanut eventually figured out so came back to us. Interesting new things. :-)

Since my wife couldn’t handle the walk on uneven ground with a knee that has no tendon structure, we got a ride in a cart. The cool thing was taking it the long way. We got to see corn fields and other plants. It was great for me. I love being out in that, it’s just like home. And since I was protected from the nasty energy I could simply enjoy it.

Sunday I was rather tired, but knew there were things I had to do for my sanity. So I did some slow cleaning which made me feel good, though tired. In the afternoon I met up with Memnoich and his girlfriend as they were heading back across the mountains. We had some good conversation and ate the always yummy Taco John’s. :-) It was good to finally meet. I’m not sure when I’ll be travelling far again, so I like taking advantage of these short meetings.

And today, it’s Monday again. lol Time to get back to work!

Feedback requested – baby shower

Ok folks who’ve done this before. Being butch and pregnant is one thing. What ideas do you have for a baby shower with two introverted butches, besides my wife’s request of alcohol? lol

Guests will be majority family members from small town Wisconsin. We don’t normally do fancy baby showers anyway, but if there is a way to create a theme and some games that aren’t torture, that would be great.

Explaining sleep needs and discovering a body

Last night I tried bargaining with Peanut to play with her new body during the day, and less at night so I can sleep, because I desperately need sleep. But this confused her, like she didn’t know when sleep was. I said it was when I was near mama and the cats, and we were real quiet and still. Carrie added that it’s when my energy was fully back in my body and relaxed. The problem is this makes her very happy so she wants to be more active with me.  As a compromise I am going to work on being more in my body throughout the day so she can enjoy that, and I can get more sleep at night.

With that resolved, somewhat, we’re observing how she interacts with her body. She’s spending more time with it, becoming very interested in trying to make limbs move on purpose. Right now, the fetus is developing with random muscle twitches and other neurological signals. But she wants it to happen more. The other day she really wanted her toes to move, but the body hasn’t learned to do that yet. I believe this is part of her frustration. The other is trying to get a thumb or hand into the mouth. She keeps missing and hitting her face. It’s quite funny to us. In the end it’s all part of development. I find it quite interesting actually. That little body is different every day, so there’s plenty to hold her attention. This causes her to appear to spend a lot more time in my and her body rather than floating about being a free soul. I wonder if this is the normal process of ensouling? Rather than one big change, it’s a series of little changes until the soul spends the vast majority of it’s time in the body.

It’s all rather interesting to me. And on a side note, I can really feel my uterus poking out from my pelvic bone. It’s a bit creepy! hahaha I think at first everything is because it’s so different from the norm. I suspect if I didn’t have a bigger belly to begin with we could start seeing differences, but I think it’ll take long for me. Before long I’ll try the home doppler again.

Last night we also talked a lot about birth plans. The focus is on being as natural as we can without endangering anyone. I want to take the natural birthing classes so I have tools to handle the pain more easily. The drugs kinda creep me out. Needles to the spine? EEEK! But it also sounds kinda gross to have any part of my body in the same water where all the inside stuff will come out. lol I’ll have to see how I feel in the moment, assuming I have the option.

Tonight I will hopefully be buying my parents’ plane ticket for about two weeks after birth. I want that initial time to bond and get used to things, but I also want them to meet her fairly young as well. Just need to see how long they think they can take vacation wise.

Visitors

After the exciting news from the genetics doctors, I came home to visitors. Not physical people in my home, but a line of beings who wanted to see me, the baby, and offer their well wishes. I suspect this is because Melody refused to tell ANYONE whether her body was male or female, so they were all waiting. I had three who were there to talk to me: grandpa Nollenberg, aunt Sally, and Susan. Now, throughout this I was very emotional because I tend to get that way with dead people. I wish I was able to handle it better, but it just happens. Even now I tear up. It’s a process.

My grandpa talked the most. I don’t remember a lot of distinct memories with him. He was quiet, like I was. But he told me a lot of things. I’ll try to remember it all.

His most important message was for me to break the cycle in the family. To hug my kids every day, because I love them. Not to make up for something and prove I love them for show. Just because I love them. Show them, tell them, just love my kids. Raise a strong daughter, who stands up for herself. I had already planned on doing this, but it was important for him to pass that along. The rest was just general information. He talked about how he knew I was special, that I was sensitive. I would sit near him and just sit quietly while everyone else was being loud. He remembers sitting outside while people picked strawberries. Just sitting. I wouldn’t pick them, just wait until the bucket was brought over and then ate them. I wish I remembered that myself. I told him how I really loved being outside watching the lightning bugs, which he liked too. He wishes he could have done more for us, but by the time my generation came around his body was broken, his marriage was broken, his heart was kinda broken. Thinking back, I don’t have any expectations of him though. I mean, he was just kinda old. I never had active grandparents, so I didn’t expect anything. lol And as a quiet child, I don’t think I really minded. Even as he was older and sick, he liked that I would leave the loud folks wherever they were and just sit in the room with him. I didn’t know that mattered to him. I had to ask him a random question though. Growing up, grandma made what we called seafoam candy. But I don’t know what other people call it, so can’t figure out what it was. It looked kinda like meringue, but was much sweeter and denser. My best guess is it’s a home made version of divinity, but we weren’t doing pecans and stuff, and we had different colors. Anyway, I asked him if he knew what anyone else called it and he said no. I had to laugh. :-) A few other things he mentioned were that nothing is holding him here, he didn’t want me worrying about that. He’ll go home soon. I hope part of him will be present for the blessing after Melody is born, but I don’t think that means he can’t go home first. He also said to not hate my grandma (which I don’t) because it won’t help. I said it would be easier if she didn’t do bad things still. He said something about his marriage would have been happier if he could get her to stop doing bad things too. lol But he did love her dearly. And I don’t hate her, I just don’t like how she treats people, especially my mom. He didn’t know that I didn’t hate her though, so he wanted me to know that I shouldn’t. :-)  Finally, I asked if he knew that my brother missed him. He laughed and shared a memory of him running in circles outside, just smiling and having fun, and grandpa just smiling and watching him. My brother was not the quiet, sitting type. ;-) He said that my brother will be fine, and what he needs to change is his. He already broke the cycle with his kids, as he hugs them and stuff. The things I need to focus on are entirely breaking this cycle. And at the beginning and end, he touched my arm. The first time I felt like he was touching me. The second time it was like my energy reached out to him. Don’t know why, just interesting. As a side note, my grandpa visited about a week ago as well, but didn’t pass along much of the message due to time. He came to me in my dream, which was so awesome. He wanted to know where my wife was so she could translate for him, but I could hear him just fine in the dream. lol Once I woke up and asked the guides passed on the most important message, to love my children and hug them and don’t repeat his mistakes. There are plenty of other things he said while visiting, but those are rather private for my mom and not for a public blog.

Then it was Sally’s turn. She’s been dead longer, which is maybe why she had more energy available than grandpa. She didn’t have as much to say. She talked about needing to leave when she did because she couldn’t watch her family disintegrate in the coming years. I think a lot of people think she held the family together, but I guess that’s not true, because it would have happened with her there as well. She said that like grandpa, we didn’t have an obviously close relationship, but we were very similar. We were special in a family of non-special people. We are deeply kind in a family that isn’t. (Not that they aren’t capable of kindness, but it isn’t on the same level and it’s hard to describe.) She said as a baby she liked to just hold me and look in my eyes, and I would look right back and her, not even blinking. She said that I was too special for my body to handle, that I knew too much and that’s the best theory we have as to why my brain is the way it is. I feel like I’m forgetting something, but I don’t know what. She will be at the blessing, she wants to see this through, but I believe she’ll be passing on more fully after that. Before she left, she asked to touch my stomach. And where I had to focus to notice the energy change from grandpa, she almost made my choke on my kleenex! My stomach was borderline hot! It was very intense.

And finally, Susan. She didn’t have a ton to say, but she mentioned how, the short time we spent together meant a lot to her. It brought her happiness when she didn’t think she would find it again. And part of her is still sad that she never got to be a mother, as her child died with her when 7 months pregnant. She asked if she could stick around for a while and be a guardian for Melody, almost a literal Godmother, being that she’s a lot closer to God now. hahaha I said yes, of course. I would never turn her down, and I think their energies are going to match well. To me, they both feel like sunshine.

If I remember some more things later, I will likely just edit this post for my own records.

I just had this realization. This experience makes me cry because these are three of very few people who got me, at a time when I didn’t get myself. So few people seem to do that, and then of those, so many are dead. And that really sucks. I mean, why couldn’t I at least know they got me while they were alive? That’s kinda fucked up! lol

Now that I’ve written all this, and cried, I feel better. Maybe I needed to get why they mattered when it didn’t seem like I had that many memories of them. At least the experience is similar for them, that their memories are of quiet time. Interesting either way. And I am grateful for their visit. I look forward to seeing them and many more at the blessing.

 

Oh, and the other visitors were the silent type. Upper level guides that I have yet to meet, those types. :-)

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