Thursday, July 30, 2015

"Yes, I Can Absolutely Wait."

High glucose? Really? 

I’m sitting here in my doctor’s office, head all fuzzy from a cold I recently caught, waiting for the next round of 60 minutes to go by so I can get even MORE blood drawn to test my glucose levels. Being pregnant does weird things to the body. 

Of course, I really can’t complain. Baby Xander has continued to be VERY good to me. We’ve entered our third trimester together with no complications, still no sickness, minimal bouts of heartburn and still plenty of energy to get through work. I think my little head and chest cold stemmed from baby shower stress, which I’m happy to say has come and gone. 

It was fun, don’t get me wrong. But like most parties I throw, there is always some disappointment that comes along with all the good times. Like family members you wished cared enough to show up. Friends who you knew would be there and then weren’t. Gifts that were thoughtful but, unfortunately, useless. And of course the endless stream of “Oh I really wanted to go, but...” for the next week. 

It’s cool, it’s how parties go. We had a great turnout and really enjoyed seeing people we hadn’t seen in a while. Lots of fellow mommies to give us all kinds of useful advice. Like how strange we were for wanting to use cloth diapers or how little sleep we were going to get. Ooh or how all of our friends were going to bounce and we’d be left feeling lonely with no one to turn to. Although based on my past relationships with friends who had kids (when I was still a hard no on having them myself), I already expect this to happen. 

Do I sound bitter? Maybe that’s the fever talking... or the fact that I’ve been up all night in anticipation of this ridiculous appointment. High glucose levels? Really? 

And of course, while Johnny does so many things right, there are still so many things I expect from him that I don’t get. The direct result of falling for someone with the same lifestyle as you. Until that lifestyle suddenly changes and you have to find reasons to not kill them in their sleep out of the bitterness and resentment of watching them live a life you can’t help but miss a little. 

Okay, maybe not the EASIEST pregnancy in the world. 

I always chalk it up to a bad week. I do still have them, after all. But I am soothed at night, after the day has finally finished and I crawl into my delicious bed by myself. I prop up on pillows, surrounded by cozy sheets, turn on Four Weddings or Chopped and let my little Xander start his dancing. This has become my favorite part of the day. The time that is ours and ours alone. I had a friend tell me that is what she missed most of all, after giving birth to her children, that intimate time between mama and baby when they are still inside, safe and protected from the world. This feeling is unlike anything I’ve ever felt or will ever feel again. 

People say to me constantly, "I'll bet you can’t wait to have that baby!" My answer is always the same - “Yes, I can absolutely wait.” 

I don’t see myself going through another pregnancy so I make sure to cherish all the moments with this one. Once he’s born, he becomes his own person... with his own dreams and his own struggles. He has to learn about things like poverty, hate crimes, politics, Donald Trump, Floyd Mayweather and Cecil the Lion. I can no longer shield him from those things. At this exact moment, he is in the safest place in the world. Yes, I can absolutely wait. 

In the meantime, I’ll cut down on my sugar so as to make it more cozy in there for my little man. 

I mean, really... high glucose? Come on...

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

"Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change." - Jim Rohn

Well, it’s officially happening. 

I had lunch with a friend yesterday that I hadn’t seen in ages. We talked about babies and “momming” for almost two hours. 

Friends I used to hang out and drink with all the time are now greeted by a brief nod as we pass each other at work. 

I scroll my Facebook feed and instead of the newest craft beer being released or the next gathering to hit up, I’m checking out deals on cloth diapers and making sure my wash routine is up to par. 

After an insanely busy week at work, I spent my time off waking up early to garage sale for baby stuff, clean the house and put together things in the nursery. 

I spent more time at Joann’s craft and fabric store last week than I did at the gym. 

I’ve always hated shopping. Now, I can’t wait to get new maternity clothes. I love the way my body looks with this big round belly. 

I don’t miss beer. I don’t miss smoking. I have no desire to gamble. I have more money in the bank than I’ve had in years. 

My mom has officially become my best friend. 

Someone made a comment about how she never thought it would happen but that all of my Facebook posts are about baby stuff now. I almost had to tear her face off. 

And this? This is becoming a fucking Mom-Blog. 

Because after all those years of knowing I was right, of thinking all of you were crazy, of being convinced that I would never, ever be like you, hear I am, admitting that I was wrong. 

This being pregnant business is cool as shit. 

Now, I’m pretty lucky. I still feel awesome and haven’t experienced any kind of sickness. If hormones are affecting my emotions, I’m not really noticing as I’m pretty much happy all the time. All of my doctor’s appointments have gone great and my weight gain is completely normal. I sleep well, I wake well, I eat well and I bathroom well (TMI, I get it). 

I’m getting my ass handed to me at work on a daily basis but am taking the stress of it in stride as there is so much to be excited for. And of course, all the extra money is helping in my preparation for little Xander’s arrival. 

One of my friends told me that I really look like I’m enjoying my pregnancy and she is right. I understand I have the toughest months ahead of me and then a lifetime of challenges to follow. But right now, I truly am enjoying being pregnant. I’m not in a hurry for anything. It’s a really cool feeling. 

The idea that my world has changed and that the landscape of my relationships will continue to change sometimes gives me cause for concern. After all, every friend I’ve ever had has always meant a lot to me. But, over a year ago, when I asked the universe to give me something to look forward to in life, a goal that would draw me out of my ambivalent and often drunken stupor, a reason to be a good person again, I knew that changes would be inevitable. And besides, they say your true friends will always be there for you. I suppose time will tell. 

In the meantime, I don’t feel a void. My heart feels as big as my belly and the future looks bright. 

In all my years, I never thought I’d be saying this but... 

Yup. You told me so.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Motherhood... Please Tell Me There Is An App For That

I’m not sure I can pinpoint that specific time in my life when I lost all motivation to “become someone”. I always pushed myself to do well in school, I killed it in college, I started a pretty lucrative career right after graduation and continued to get better and better at life for a good five or six years afterwards. Even after I decided to leave my job in the hotel industry and try something new in Las Vegas ten years ago, I was still motivated to get up early and chase that gazelle. 

And then one day, I just didn’t have it anymore. The fight that was in me for as long as I could remember was suddenly just... gone. 

I couldn’t really blame it on anything in particular. It would’ve been easy to blame it on the pot. Or the drinking. Or even the gambling. But I smoked weed during the most productive times in my life. I’ve been drinking since I was eighteen. And the most trouble I’ve ever gotten into with gambling is missing a car payment a few years ago. No. it was something bigger than that. Something mental, I supposed. 

When my parents moved to Ely, my mom and I would hold weekly telephone chats to stay connected. I remember one week, about a year or so ago, having a conversation with my mom about this newfound “condition” I had. My weed smoking had mellowed but my drinking was at an all time high. I wasn’t really writing anymore, I was working as little as possible and literally had zero goals set for myself beyond getting up before noon at least two or three times a week. I was in a new relationship and was pretty happy about how it was going... but a lot of the contentment came from the fact that he appeared to be in the same place in life as me. Although he seemed to be a lot more at peace with it than I was. 

I recall telling my mom, without remorse or frustration, that as much as I knew I could and should be doing something more productive with my time every day, I truly just didn’t have a valid reason to make a change. Money? Unfortunately, I've never been pushed to succeed because of any dreams to be rich. Health? I mean kinda... hard to get motivated when you feel perfectly fine. Spiritual wellness? Eh... overall, feelings of spirituality or religion itself, outside of general frustration, play no real role in my life. My only struggle seemed to come from all those years of driving in higher gears and feeling like I was at least doing something productive. In my mind, being in neutral wasn’t an okay way to go about life. 

Having a child came up in one of these weekly conversations with Mom. As someone who had never wanted kids, I sort of just mentioned in a nonchalant way how maybe if I were to get pregnant, at least then I would be forced to DO something. 

But I mean.. I wasn’t serious. 

Facebook reminded me recently that a friend had tagged me in this meme two years ago... I laughed and laughed... 

And then, just like that, the Universe responded. 

Today is my 20 week pregnancy check up. We will have our second ultrasound and find out how our baby is developing and also, whether we will be raising a boy or a girl

I haven’t been sober for such a long period of time in many, many years. It doesn’t really feel weird, necessarily, only strange because of how habitual drinking and smoking had become for me. What feels weird is putting something (or someone, rather), before myself. That has taken some getting used to. And ultimately, I think that is the thing I have been searching for this whole time. Something bigger than myself to give life some meaning. 

Things are continuing to move fast with this pregnancy - faster than I want, really. I still feel incredibly overwhelmed and not particularly ready to be a mom. But, maybe it’ll be like riding a bike and I can reach back to those times in my life when I was a badass and did set goals and accomplish things. And maybe, just maybe... I’ll feel even better since this goal is definitely bigger and more important than any others I’ve ever had. 

Life is funny that way. Even when you don’t realize you are actually asking for something, it turns out that... well... you kinda are. Or at least, I was. 

I suppose needed a new goal anyway. After all, there are only so many Untappd badges out there. 

Friday, April 3, 2015

To Kid Or Not To Kid

First of all, it’s “you’re”. 

I totally remember feeling this way. How can I not? I felt that way pretty much my entire life. There is a very big part of me that still feels that way now. 

So why did this comment upset me so much as I was taking my leisurely scroll through Facebook this morning? 

Oh, right... the life growing inside my belly. Duh. 

Here is my struggle... although pregnant for the first time ever, many of my philosophies about procreation remain the same. I think too many people have too many children without considering the consequences. I think too many children are in foster care and orphanages and wish that more people would consider adoption (See 19 Kids and Counting). I think parenting, or more so, the lack thereof, is one of the main reasons our society is in a moral downfall. I, too, believe the world is incredibly overpopulated. 

But to wish that all woman would vow to never have children? That’s gotta be considered kind of ignorant, right? Is it just me? 

In my most ignorant of youth, I remember asking a woman I worked with why she was such an advocate for having children and raising a family when there were so many horrible things in this world. I mean, who would want to raise a kid in this mess? Her response to me was that she agreed that the world was rough. She and her husband wanted to be a part of making a change. So they decided to have two kids and raise them with all the love, nurturing and education they could possibly provide in an effort to bring two well adjusted, confident and open-minded human beings into this world. I mulled over her response for a while before replying, “Okay, but what happens when your two perfect children end up working in the upper floors of the World Trade Center on September 11th?” 

It’s easy to be negative about having children. Especially when you don’t have them. 

Another friend of mine on Facebook the other day posted something about how cruel it was to use “I’m pregnant” as an April Fool’s joke. How it was insensitive to those woman who couldn’t conceive. I used to wish I was one of those women. That way, I would never have to worry about one day, having to make the decision about whether or not I would go against everything I ever believed in and bring a child into this world. 

But, that’s not the case and it turns out I’m fertile. And just like everyone in my life ever said to me on the subject, the day that test came up positive, my world changed. Like Beatrix Kiddo in Kill Bill. No more assassination domination plans for this girl. 

All I think about these days is what I’m going to do to be the best mom I can be. I think about education, culture, social and family interaction, life experiences and all the things I can do to ensure that when I do send my child out into the world as a young adult, they will be as prepared as possible for what lies ahead. I think about Johnny’s role as a father and how important our relationship will be for our child. I think about how much we are going to fuck up, no matter what our intentions are. And I think about how maybe in the end, what we do as parents... just won’t matter. 

I don’t know what is right or wrong anymore, in the big scheme of things. I have absolutely no problem with women who choose not to have children. I no longer have issues with those that want them. I am still an advocate for adoption but because it’s such a ridiculously complicated process, it’s hard to condemn those who choose to have their own. 

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I think everyone should do what they think is right for them. What a concept, right? 

As far as the Facebook comment, I understand. Like I said, I had similar strong feelings for an exceptional amount of time. And the world makes it very, very easy to get disillusioned and frustrated. And maybe, as a society, it’s not a bad idea to slow down on the breeding. I mean, the planet is only so big and the resources only so plentiful. So yeah, I get it. 

But I still unfriended her.

My super cool niece, Avery

Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Times They Are A-Changing...

For the second time in my life, I was taking a pregnancy test. The first time was years ago, in a Starbucks bathroom, about a week after a one-night stand with an unfavorable with whom I was too drunk to use protection, something that I was obsessively careful with throughout my entire history of random and not-so-random sexual interactions. Children were never part of my plan. 

While waiting for the result of that test, I was already planning on who I could contact to get information on how to “handle” the situation should the test come up positive. I was thinking about whether or not I would tell my mom, my best friend, my doctor. Most likely, it was going to be something I would keep to myself, too ashamed to say the words out loud. Abortion as a method of birth control was never something I wanted to be a part of. 

Two minutes later, all thoughts vanished. The test came up negative. I walked out of the bathroom, bought my Grande Iced Vanilla Latte with Soy Milk and went about my business. 

This time, however, things were different. I was at home, in my own bathroom, with the house to myself. I knew I was late, but hadn’t given much thought to the fact that I might be pregnant given the fact that Johnny, my boyfriend for the last year and a half, had not had a strong history of using protection and had never had any kind of pregnancy scare with his exes. Also, it wasn’t like I was young anymore. I figured even if me and Johnny had wanted kids, we were probably at the point where we needed to try. I had only been off the pill for a few months and that was out of sheer laziness in scheduling my annual exam to get a re-up. Surely nothing could have happened in that short of time. Besides, as Johnny so guy-ishly put it: “We don’t even have sex that often.” (It’s like he LITERALLY can’t help himself.) 

But there it was. The plus sign. It didn’t even take the whole two minutes. The second I set it on the counter, it began to show up. I immediately started thinking about all the strange things that had happened in the last few weeks: my sore breasts (and more than one comment from others about their recent change in size), two random acts of sickness and a few terrible bouts of heartburn, something that I really don’t experience that often. 

Johnny came home from work a few hours later. When I told him, I was only a little nervous that he would react in a negative way. But he didn’t. He was shocked, sure. He had to sit down and try to control the shaking. It was actually pretty cute and endearing. Ultimately, he was happy. He had wanted to have a child early on in his adult life but after never coming close, I think he sort of gave up on the idea. To have it reintroduced so unexpectedly must have really sent his head spinning. 

I woke up the next day and called my doctor to schedule an appointment. Johnny went with me. 

I might always remember what Johnny looked like, holding my purse and my pile of clothes, complete with my hot pink bra on top, while I sat in my hospital gown on the table in the doctor’s office, waiting to be seen. His vulnerability was potent. We made small talk, chatted about funny parts of a movie we just watched, but inside, we knew shit was about to get real. 

Doc came in, confirmed what we already knew and a few minutes later, we were staring at our very first ultrasound. At only nine weeks, I was surprised that I could easily make out the form of a tiny human being. We were even able to watch the flickering of it’s little heart beating. It doesn’t get much more real than that. 

Paperwork, pre-natal vitamin suggestions, blood work and the scheduling of future appointments ensued. While all this was going on, my mind kept wandering. Is this really happening? Is Johnny okay? Can we pull this off? Do I have time for frozen yogurt on the way home? 

Strange how quickly our priorities change. Just a few months ago, I was sitting on my couch, smoking my cigarettes, probably contemplating my next craft beer selection and wondering if there was ever going to be anything interesting about life again. I guess that question was answered. 

So I traded in my cigs for lollipops, my beer for juice, water and decaf coffee and my lazy mornings for trips to the gym. I figure just because I’m scared shitless about all of this, there is no need to take my vices out on the little nugget. 

And there you go. Tina Verde. Having a baby. Hell just froze over. 

I guess it’s time to decorate. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Where Nothing Ever Happens...

I had the most beautiful dream this afternoon. 

In a city overseas, probably somewhere in Europe, I was in a beautiful, brick lined pub sitting at a bar. I was with my friend Cory who was, of course, already making friends with fellow bar patrons. The sandy beaches below were white as snow and the view from the pub showed the ocean from every window. 

The beer they poured was smooth and the bartender made me a flight, describing each lager and ale using the best english she had. She and the bar supporters were all pleasant and accommodating. 

As I looked around the quaint and accommodating bar, I sighed. An older gentleman sitting a few stools away smiled softly and asked me what was wrong. What could terribly be wrong in a place like this? 

I returned his smile and responded, “It’s just that... I know that I’m dreaming. And I know I’ll have to wake up soon and leave all of this behind. I wish I could stay forever.” 

I ordered baklava, based on the bartender’s recommendation and watched silently as the children played on the beaches below. I could feel the consciousness of the real world trying to pull me back, but I forced myself to stay as long as I could. Then suddenly, I began to cry. 

“What is it now?” the kind gentleman asked.. 

I looked up towards the exposed ceiling and said, “This is paradise to me... and I can’t help but wonder... if perhaps maybe it’s Heaven. I don’t actually believe in Heaven... but if this is anything close to what it could be, I hope maybe I’ve died in my sleep and will never return to my life on Earth.” 

He smiled again but I could not understand his response for I heard an alarm in the distance and his face, as well as the brick walls around me, slowly blurred and faded away... 

And then I woke up... with half an hour left before I had to get ready for work. 

Everyone is trying to get to the bar. 
The name of the bar, the bar is called Heaven. 
The band in Heaven plays my favorite song. 
They play it once again, they play it all night long. 

There is a party, everyone is there. 
Everyone will leave at exactly the same time. 
Its hard to imagine that nothing at all 
could be so exciting, and so much fun. 

Heaven is a place where nothing ever happens. 

- David Byrne and Jerry Harrison, Talking Heads

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Being "Badass" Has Its Consequences

I hate this phrase so much. Which is why I find it extremely humorous when irony hits those who decide to get it permanently tattooed on themselves. 

I live a LIFE of regrets. At 33, I have nothing that I wanted when I was 18 or 25 or 28 years old. And I can’t help but feel that it’s been a lifetime of bad decisions that I’ve made that have put me where I am today. 

Retrospect is my devil. “If only I had done this... If only I hadn’t said that... If only I wouldn’t have told him this... If only...” 

Something is starting to happen that I was concerned would. I’m beginning to become bitter. I’m losing hope that positive things can happen. These thoughts are reinforced with the fact that I still make bad decisions. Whether it’s a job change, a move, a new lover, or a new relationship in general... I simply end up not doing so well. 

In retrospect, of course. 

I’m a little exhausted of this head space I’m in. I go to work and hate all of my guests, assuming they are going to fuck me over and then STILL being pissed off when they actually do. I’m tired of putting my faith in something that can be new and exciting, just to realize that it’s the same old bullshit with the same old repercussions. I’m tired of friends who turn on a dime, reminding me that I never knew them to begin with. 

As a result, I’ve become very hesitant about making another bad decision. Which causes me to freeze, not wanting to move at all. Because I feel that, for the most part, bad calls are my M.O. 

Regrets? Yeah.. I have regrets. Don’t get me wrong - I have done a few things right. It just seems like those things have been in the interest of others. They benefited because of my actions WAY more than I did. This feels okay for a while but ultimately contributes to my seemingly impenetrable loneliness. 

My attitude is affecting my work and friendships. Everyone asks me what’s wrong all the time and I have this overwhelming desire to punch them in the face. I mean, if they only actually cared. And I’m not trying to be all Victim McVictimy (to use the parlance of our times), but even most people I consider to be very close friends aren’t able to give me the things I need to feel truly connected and whole with them. So why burden them with problems they have no solution to? 

I’m told that perhaps I need to have a new perspective. I would LOVE one. I understand we are all responsible for our own happiness but I really feel like, somewhere along the way, I failed to pick up this skill. 

It’s like whistling. Or knowing which way North is. I have never been able to learn either one of these things. And it pisses me off. How can I learn everything else someone teaches me except for these two fucking things? THESE TWO SEEMINGLY EASY THINGS?! 

... ..

However... whistling is simply a pleasant substitute to the lack of sound. And I have GPS. So, ultimately, I can handle it if I am never able to learn these things. But to continue not being able to make the right decision? To mess up again and again? To become bitter, angry and frustrated and let it steal my hope? How am I supposed to learn how to do these things if I haven’t yet? 

So, I guess I wait... wondering if this is all still one big practice in patience. If so, I’m failing miserably, but at least I’m getting reset at the start line each time. 

And maybe that’s what life is all about... 

Unfortunately, in every game there has to be a loser. I think I have enough hope left to use it on not wanting it to be me. 

But at this point, with so little hope left, I may just have to rely on luck to get me through.