Remember that time that I got mono and my spleen ruptured?

I refused to take off my clothes for the first 24 hours at the hospital because I thought they were going to let me go home…they didn’t (also, not sure why I’m clutching my chest like that–very dramatic)

I’ve always felt like I was pretty in-tune with my body, at least in regard to health. I’m the kind of person who could tell you exactly when they were ovulating or would leave a party because I was tired and sleep was more important than socializing. But, I’ve been feeling pretty rundown for a while now, and just chalked up my exhaustion up to having a less-than-stellar sleeper, moving, and trying to cobble together some semblance of a career during nap times.

Who wouldn’t be exhausted?

Except I wasn’t just run-of-the-mill exhausted. I’ve been sick for months and didn’t know it. At least, that’s what the nice infectious disease doctor at the hospital thinks. You see, a couple of weeks ago I woke up with intense pain in my abdomen and shoulder. I didn’t really understand the connection and just assumed that I had gas and had slept in a weird position and tweaked my shoulder. The pain faded and a night or two later came back with the same coupling. Still, I didn’t think much of it until I started to feel really weak, started having dizzy spells, I may have actually fainted at one point, nausea set in and some scary sweating-chill combos kept me up at night. Still I walked around like this for about a week before heading to the doctor. Because, you know, I have a baby to take care of and a book coming out and things to do.

But eventually, when my fever spiked at 102 and I could no longer breathe without wincing in pain, I went to an urgent care center. The doctor suspected my spleen was enlarged and took some blood work. Apparently, spleen pain radiates to the shoulder. Who knew?

The doctor suspected I had mono. I didn’t even know you could get mono at 34? And even though I had a diagnosis I couldn’t help but feel like something bigger was wrong, I mean the pain in my abdomen was crippling—that’s not normal mono pain. I gave in to the stubborn nagging of my intuition and decided that I’d go to the Emergency Room on Wednesday night after The Fella got home from work. My parents begged me to call an ambulance, but I told them that ambulances are for really sick people and I was just going to the ER as a precaution, so that I wouldn’t pass out while I was alone at home with The Little Fella. Luckily, my best friend is a serious superstar and spent a very long night in the ER with me, entertaining me while experienced morphine for the first time and proceeded to tell the whole ER that I was totally good now and no longer needed medical attention (a very nice resident, informed me that I would no longer feel that way once the morphine wore off). I was actually pretty surprised when the catscan showed that I had a belly full of blood and had been living with a ruptured spleen for a week. I was admitted, and after a few days of blood tests, it was confirmed that I’d had mono, and had for a long time. I just had never given myself a chance to heal, and was just running around on four hours of sleep a night like it was no big deal.

I’m lucky, the rupture in my spleen was relatively small as far as ruptures go and the doctors don’t think I’ll need surgery. Which is good because I’m seriously phobic of surgery (if you’ve read about my mom’s history with surgery, you’ll understand why), and the internal bleeding should resolve itself as my spleen heals. In the meantime I need to rest.

I wouldn’t say hospital food is good, but I will say it was nice to eat a few meals without a tiny dictatortot yelling at me for some of my food.

I’m not sure I really know how to rest anymore, but I am lucky in that I have a great network of friends and family helping out with The Little Fella so that I can sit around watching Netflix like a bum.

All this has been a real wakeup call, I need to pay more attention to myself. It’s as simple as that. And yet that is so very hard.

My home, my body

There are lots of mommy bloggers I follow who always seem have their hair and makeup done and their kids are always pristinely dressed. I’m not one of those bloggers. 

Nine months ago I wrote a blog about my feelings regarding my postpartum body, how hard it was to look at my newly plus sized figure. I was just three months into this momming business. I hadn’t slept more than two hours a night for 90 days. I was breastfeeding and pumping constantly to increase my supply. I was basically chained to my couch underneath a baby who was eating or who would only sleep while I was holding him. And yet I expected that I’d bounce back immediately. 

I wish I could go hang out on the couch and hug the me of nine months ago, then I’d make her a sandwich and hold the baby while she ate it. Ethan just turned one and I’m only NOW starting to really lose my baby weight. I do go to the gym 4-5 days a week now, but it’s not so much about my calorie burn as it is carving out an hour or so a day just for myself. Time to be alone in my thoughts while jogging or lifting weights or just walking on a treadmill watching a movie. Now I can do that. Nine months ago I couldn’t. That’s not to say others can’t, I know people who ran marathons a few months after giving birth.  I wasn’t one of those people. I didn’t have that kind of baby. That’s okay. I wish I’d known that was okay.

So much has changed between my body and me over the last year or so. My body is bigger and softer now than it has ever been before, but I’m also at peace in it–something I can’t ever remember being. This may be the first time in my 34 years that my body has felt like my home.  I am thankful for it in a way I have never been before. It got me through the hardest physical year of my life. It made and nourished another human being. It’s earned a little slack in the bouncing back department. Sure, I’d like to fit back into my pre-baby wardrobe, but I don’t have a deadline. I’ll get there when I get there. 

Food is another thing that I have a totally different relationship with now. Before Ethan was born I loved to cook. Cooking was what I did at the end of the day to relax. Now, while I still love cooking, I either stick with easy foods I can prepare while he plays in a playpen (which usually has a 15-minute tolerance level) or foods I can prep while he’s napping and heat up later for dinner. If I make dinner during nap time it means I don’t get other things done, like cleaning or writing articles or working on books or blogs. Everything is a trade-off. All of this is hard. I’m not going to obsess over the calories or macros or points involved in the food I feed this family, I just focus on healthy ingredients and hope for the best. 

There’s something about just not having the time to obsess over my weight/having more important things in life to focus on that’s actually very freeing.

Who knew that my lumpy, bumpy post-baby body would be the body I ended up feeling the most like myself in? 

 

A Year of Motherhood

I’m obviously very glamorous.

This week marks a year that our Little Fella has been in our life. In many ways I feel like the same person I’ve always been, just with a tiny buddy who looks just like me, makes a big mess, and deters me from actually getting anything done professionally. In other ways I know that I’ll never be the same person I was before Ethan entered the world.

For starters, I will never not be worried. Long gone are the days when I can walk into a room and just exist in it. Now, I enter the room and assess all the ways in which my child is going to maim or kill himself. I worry about something happening while he sleeps. I worry about car accidents and house fires, bee stings and the drug epidemic; I worry about bathtub drowning or incurable illnesses. I worry that I’m not doing enough during the day to encourage learning. I worry that I’m not patient enough, I worry that I’m too loosey goosey and that he needs more discipline. I worry. I worry. I worry.

If possible, I love my husband more than I ever thought possible. I love watching my guys together. I love the love they have. I’m also way meaner to my husband that I was pre-baby. My fuse is shorter. By the end of the day I’m touched out and crave quiet and personal space in way that is not always great for a marriage.

My sense of hearing is on fire. Ethan could be three houses down and whimper a little and I would hear it. I don’t know how to explain this, but it’s like my senses exploded when he was born.

My ability to love is so much bigger than I ever thought possible. It is a part of everything that I do and think and say. My capacity to love more doesn’t just translate to Ethan (although he is the main recipient), but to everything I do and every person I meet. I give people more credit than I used to now; I judge less and listen more. Life is hard and we’re all just doing the best we can. In the end we’re each and every one of us someone’s baby. 

I miss being by myself. I miss being able to dictate my own schedule, to work when I want to work, to eat when I want to eat, to sleep when I want to sleep. If I’m lucky The Little Fella sleeps for two hours a day, if I’m not lucky I might get a half hour nap out of him. Those times are the only time I have to clean, to eat a meal without having to share it with grabby little hands, and to work—because I still need to be a productive member of society. It’s not easy and sometimes I really miss the freedom of my pre-baby life.

But in the end, I’m happier than I have ever been. There has not been a day in the last 369 days that I haven’t smiled. The days are hard, but they’re better than they have ever been before. There is not a day that goes by that I’m not in awe of the person I made. And really, really amused by him. He’s a funny guy. 

Happy Birthday Little Fella! Thank you for making me a mom. Now please take a nap.

 

June 2017 Resolutions!

Much of my new suburban life consists of sitting in the car waiting for The Little Fella to wake up. I’ve started stashing books in the car to help me accomplish resolution #2.

Happy June!

The last two months have been a whirlwind. Would you believe that we just wrapped up renovations on the house this week?! We’ve been living in a state of moving chaos boxtopia for two months. It was pretty rough, but as soon as the renos finished we were able to unpack the remaining boxes and get some furniture delivered. I’m starting to feel at home here.

I still miss NYC everyday, but now that we’re not living in a constant state of anxiety there are definitely things I can appreciate about our new home. Inez couldn’t be happier with life. The Little Fella is finally sleeping through the night now that he has his own room. Life is much more affordable here, and The Fella and I get to tackle projects together each weekend. Also, we have our own office, which will make working easier than it’s been in the past few years. Once we’re cleaned up and ready for “visitors” I’ll take you all on a tour of the new place.

Being that it’s the first of the month, it’s time for some resolutions.

  1. Whole30 again—Starting on June 4th. The Little Fella turns one on Saturday, I’ll wait until I’ve had a piece of birthday cake before I do my month of paleo. I’ve done Whole30 before and really enjoy it. I find it pretty easy to stick to and it’s a nice way to curb sugar and carb cravings. The only hard part is making two sets of food for the fam since Roy is a vegetarian and thusly not Whole30 complaint.
  2. Read more books. I will admit that this year has been my least literary in all my reading years. I’m ready to carve out more time for book learnin’ now that we have cozy places to curl up with a page-turner and Ethan is finally sleeping through the night. One of my favorite parts of our house is that there’s no television in the living room, which is on the main floor. We have a TV, but it’s in a small den that we only really go into late at night after all people are fed and things are cleaned. We watch way less TV now.
  3. Carve out more time for work. I’m so excited to have a legit work space again and to be able to really settle in and start working again. I love that my career allows me to be home, but I also really miss working and feeling like a productive member of society.

What are you resolving for June?

 

 

We’ve Moved! Can we Move Back?

Hello from the suburbs!

That’s my lawn being dug up. Yay!

I’ll be honest ya’ll, this isn’t a super easy breezy transition for me.

I miss New York City every day. I have yet to get through a day without wondering if we could just call this whole grand experiment a mistake and go running back to our old life in New York City.

At least I’m not sharing my room with an infant anymore. The Little Fella is loving his new room.

I might feel differently if we hadn’t had the transition from hell, but there really hasn’t been much that hasn’t gone wrong for us in the last week, including mover screw ups (if you’re moving in the NY area and want to know which company to absolutely not ever use email me), asbestos abatement, digging up a cesspool and a flood in our basement. I’m a whole lot poorer and a whole lot homesick. The Fella works long hours and commutes about four hours a day door-to-door, which means I don’t really see him. It might not feel quite so isolating and transient if we had a nice comfortable place to spend the day, but we’re still living out of boxes because we’re still renovating and thanks to all the last minute expenses I don’t expect to be able to afford furniture anytime soon. Like years.

Kitchen Before & After

I’m pretty overwhelmed. I also have a cold and pinkeye in both eyes and a looming deadline…so you know, a little stressed.

Bathroom Before & Almost After

In the midst of it all Ethan stopped breastfeeding cold turkey. Well, he started biting, I screamed and he’s refused to nurse ever since, so I’m a little emotional on that front as well. Stupid mommy hormones. The good part of all that is that without wanting to nurse for comfort in the middle of the night he’s started sleeping through the night. That makes it all a helluva lot easier to deal with. I’m sure having his own room helps.

I’m taking comfort in the fact that now that I’ve had to sell my kidneys to cover fixing this money pit of mine, everything is pretty new and we’ve raised the equity of the house…which is good because I’m pretty much ready to sell it. Anyone want to buy my house?