Monday, October 29, 2012

The Dread of Slowing Down

I fear slowing down.  I fear that when I go to the doctor they will tell me I have to TAKE IT EASY.  shudders. 

This is more my speed in the next few weeks.

But in the famous words of the immortal Ferris Bueller, who is a righteous dude, "Life moves pretty fast, if you don't slow down and look around once in a while, you might just miss it."

I have a doctor appointment coming up that is most likely going to tell me if and when I need to SLOW THE FUCK DOWN.    I'm at 28 and a half weeks with twins and everything I read and hear is meant to scare the everloving shit out of me. 

I had our insurance provider calling me every day for weeks on end, a different voice each day, pronouncing my name differently every day, asking me for 20 minutes of my time, every day for WEEKS on my voicemail. 

I finally called back for the FREE SERVICE they offer of basically just SCARING THE SHIT OUT OF YOU and telling you everything that can go wrong with your twin pregnancy.  Over and over and over.  And make sure you call back every other week to tell them how it's going.  Why?  SO they don't have to pay more.  To make sure I'm seeing my doctor regularly and taking care of myself, which I explained I was doing religiously, and that I didn't really have a need for this free service, BUT THANK YOU KINDLY ANYWAY.  I'm confident in my body and my doctors to help me along and tell me what if anything, is wrong.  And NOTHING HAS BEEN WRONG UP UNTIL THIS POINT, and if it is, I will deal with it.  But why why why do they try to scare the shit out us for no reason?  Well, money.  It's all about money right? 

The gazillions of books and the internet and GODS HELP US the chatrooms for twins are terrifying and I JUST SAY NO.  I've done my best to only read a few books on the recommendation of friends who I trust who have twins.  That is it.  Because I KNOW MYSELF and I know I will spiral into a pit of non-stop worry and anxiety about things that COULD happen.  Worry is useless.  Worry is pointless.  And yet, and yet....We all do it.

I keep a regular list of questions and concerns and am in CONSTANT CONTACT with my nurse practitioner, who I keep reminding that I am the FIRST AND ONLY WOMAN TO EVER BE PREGNANT, and she is wonderful.  Takes all the time I need to email and call with me sometimes several times a week.  I am so so grateful for her.  And I make her laugh, which she says is a welcome relief from the stress she deals with with so many expectant moms. 

We all worry, BUT have the ability to turn it into prayer or some kind of productive action rather than something that just eats at us.  I'm having a hard time sleeping right now for obvious reasons, but worrying isn't really one of them.  The endless cycle of worry is something I know how to control these days.  After years of practice I can put it out of my head, laying in bed at night, after I do my prayers and my gratitude lists, if I'm still worrying about shit, I ask myself, "is this something I can do anything about RIGHT NOW?"  And if not, I say, "RELIEVE ME OF THE BONDAGE OF SELF" to the universe over and over and over and over, and guess what?  I am relieved.  It works.  I may just tire myself out by saying it, but whatever.  It works and next thing I know I'm sleeping. 

The problem is I am working 10 and 11 hour days lately with no end in sight.  And I really love my work.  BUT, I love these babies more.  So, I need to take it easy.  I need to be open to slowing down and not going as hard and as fast as I have been the past few weeks.  I know how to control things at work.  I know I'm good at what I do and I know how to multitask the shit out of this job. 

I know I'm about to lose control like I've never lost control before.  In a completely different way than when I was knocked out on booze all the time.  This having babies nonsense is asking for a  loss of control in a way I've never known.

Somehow this taking it easy and slowing down before they come, may be a blessing.  Tell me it's a blessing because I'm really fighting it right now.  I will absolutely do what's best for these babies, but the slowing down thing is quite difficult.  More difficult than I thought it would be. 

So, I'm projecting.  But I want to be ready for the news from the doctor.  When I hear, "It's time."  I want to say with a great big smile on my face, "OK, Let's do this."  And really mean it.  And you know what?  I think I'm just about there.  Acceptance.  It's something I've gotten really good at.  And can use to my advantage.  I don't have to fight.  I can just accept and be grateful.  After I fight it tooth and nail for a while first, that is. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

How Lovely to be a Woman

I've got these tights pulled all the way up to my bewbies.  I've got them stretched to their very breaking point.  AND THEY LIKE IT.  They are keeping Hall & Oates tucked in and affording me the luxury of wearing boots and dresses every damn day.  I'm so grateful I am not super hugely preggo in the thick of a Chicago horrible summer.  Fall and Winter are my lifeblood.

27 weeks and 4 days!  All is well.  All is well.

All that said, there's some weird shit going on.  I keep saying, because I am the first and only woman to ever be pregnant, this will all be quite shocking to most of you mama's out there, as I'm sure you never experienced any of this nonsense yourself.  In fact, I wrote a post a while ago about how much I loved NOT BEING PREGNANT and I meant it.  

BUT here we are and Hall & Oates are at 27 weeks along and I keep hearing, are you ready?  OMG ARE YOU READY? to which I answer, "NO WAY.  How could I possibly be ready for all this?"  Because how can you be?  I'm ready for the awesome and I'm ready for the non-sleep crazies, but REALLY, how could we possibly be ready?  We are just doing the best we can to be realistic.  And enjoying every second of it. 

I keep saying, it's all new to me, and there are some things I've noticed, so here we go!

  1. We are healthy.  All three of us.  Doing perfectly well, everyone passing every hurdle and test with flying colors.  Except for the mama passing out on the table every time we have an ultra sound.  But that's all fine too.
  2. BEWBIES.  My breasteses are big.  They are not hurting like they were during in vitro though, which was unbearable.  This is fine.
  3. My belly is HUGE.  And getting bigger EVERY SINGLE DAY.  And I am in love with it.  I'm in love with how I walk up to my dear sweet dumpster husband and he kisses it or just talks to our babies and all  of it.  I just love how huge I am and I've said before, when you've sucked in your gut since you were about 8 years old, at 39 years old to let it out is HUGELY RELIEVING and awesome.  Oh, I bump into everything now, but that's just fine.   I stare at it in the mirror.  I stare at it in the shower.  As I can't really see past it any more, it's really something. 
  4. My hair is KICK ASS!  I've never had good hair.  I have good hair while pregnant!
  5. There's some burping.  I'm not going to lie.
  6. I cut my nails to within bleeding distance, but I do have to do it all the time, so I guess they're growing right? I just keep them short as can be as I like them like that.
  7. The sleep thing is tough.  These spazz dancers are waking me up and keeping me awake a lot of nights.  I know, I know, it's just prep for when they arrive, so it's all good.
  8. My skin is KICK ASS!
  9. Everything is terrifying! 
  10. Everything is exciting and new!
  11. I've never had heartburn.
  12. I've never had hemorrhoids.
  13. YET.
  14. People look at me really weirdly sometimes and I get a chance to focus them onto my face and smile. 
  15. My balance is still KICK ASS!  From 10 years of figure skating?  From wearing heels forever and ever amen?  Whatever it is, I'll take it as long as it lasts.
  16. People really are kind and want to hear all about what is going on.  I've enjoyed chatting with folks who never talked to me before they really had something to relate to with me.  Let's talk about babies!  Or being Pregnant!
  17. People really want to take my mind off being pregnant and all this.  I enjoy being with friends who couldn't really give a rats ass that I'm pregnant and just ignore it and we just go on as we always have.  I really truly appreciate that, as I am a person too you know! 
  18. Sobriety is still hard. 
  19. Not smoking is still REALLY hard.
  20. All in all, In Vitro was terrible for me and kicked my ass.  The pregnancy part is easy compared to all of that.  And I'm so damn grateful to BE pregnant that I really have NOTHING to complain about.
20 things off the top of my fantastically haired head that really are all FANTASTIC.

I know I'm not the first and I'm certainly not the last woman to be pregnant.  But when it's all new to you, you want to share it all, right?  There you have it.  It's really a gratitude list. 

THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS NUMBER ONE.  over and over and over.  Number 1. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Things I Love Thursday - Part 56

When I woke up this morning I had a very different idea of what this TILT would be.  Then I got to work and opened my Facebook and saw that I was invited to an event online - called "Katy's Baby Shower!"


I went over there and found and a bunch of fellow bloggers and online friends had made up an event for Hall & Oates and Christopher and I that had me in tears and disbelief.  How is it possible that all these people that may or may not even exist in real life had given me such a gift?  Psssst, I think they are real.  And they are big lovely assholes.  As in:

and - 
Both of these were hand crafted by the lovely lady over at The Crumb Diaries
There was the sweet -

From a lovely lady who has been around for a long time and one of my favorite virtual friends. 

from my dear friend at Don't Pet the Sweaty Stuff who knows my feeling on crocs.  But how can you argue with this nonsense?  You can't. 
Something political - hold on!

From my dear Frugalista Blog
And the risque!

Does this give you an idea of the epic nonsense over there?  It is FANTASTICAL.  By the very talented Sooperdad Blog of Awesomeness photoshopped, OF COURSE.  But that is my dear sweet dumpster husband and I.  Badass, no?

I mean, there were spazz dancing videos and pictures of all things related to babies and more specifically to Hall & Oates and my husband and I.  I can't begin to share everything that was posted there, the love and the funny is something I will go back and look at over and over and over. 

And her heart grew 8 sizes that day.

I am BLOWN AWAY by the kindness of strangers and yet, they're not really strangers if they know me so well now are they?  The THING I LOVE THIS THURSDAY is this kindness.  This generosity, this connection.  These people actually read what I write and pay attention to what I love and what I'm about.  When in the world did that happen?  People were saying really nice things about me and my writing and I'm just in shock, really.  So, I'm needing some time to digest it all and while I do, I wanted to share just a taste of what happened over there.  Again, I have only scratched the surface on what went on over there, and I couldn't possibly post everything by everyone that was so lovingly thought out and shared there.  FOR ME.  I am so so so grateful for the people I've met through this blog.  It's truly magical the connections we can form if we are open to it. 

p.s. if you were not in on that shower, but want to send me virtual wishes or videos or pics, PLEASE DO!  I'm at or you can always post to my wall on the Facebook Page

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Never Ever Ever Ever Ever Quit

This is NOT a successories post.  I'm not going to say QUITTERS NEVER WIN AND WINNERS NEVER QUIT or some other bullshit that is likely true, but leaves a bad taste in my mouth.  I will say, it is possible to get through the shit and come out the other side and smell pretty damn sweet.  See?  I know, cliche and silly.  But true.  I can't help myself.

I've heard from a lot of twin mommies lately.  Who've been through the shit with their babies who were born premature with terrible odds of health problems, and so many made it through and are today happy, healthy kids.  They didn't give up.  They were fighters and they beat the odds.  There are others who fought just as hard and didn't make it.  And there is no explanation for that tragedy.  None.  I sit here typing with shaking hands as I cannot begin to understand the cosmic reasoning for this fact that we lose some souls every day who fought just as hard as the others but didn't make it.  I feel that way with us being pregnant, why us and not so many others who so desperately want this and have tried all the same things we did, WHY US? 

And then there are the addicts and alcoholics out there who want sobriety, who need sobriety and yet, cannot grasp on and keep it.  WHY ME?  Why am I given this gift every day?  I do the work, but so do many others and they don't get it or they die.  This disease kills people every single day.  I see it and know the people it kills who are just like me.  I cannot sit and focus on the WHY ME aspect of this second chance I've been given, all I can do is be grateful and PASS IT ON.  Pass it all on as much as I can.  

I have this friend.  Who is struggling to find a job.  To find a place.  To find comfort in every day things that most of us -  in this country anyway - at least those of us reading this blog, take comfort in.  That we will have gas money.  That we will have enough food to feed our children and ourselves.  Our pets.  That we will be able to pay our phone bills.  I know this friend is trying her damnedest to make it all work.  She is not sitting on her arse waiting for someone to hand her all the answers, she just wants a damn job!  She is grateful for what she has, but she is frustrated.  I'm pretty sure she wants me to SHUT THE FUCK UP with all my positivity and THIS TOO SHALL PASS nonsense.  But I keep saying what my sponsor and others said to me when I was at my lowest, which was after I got sober, by the way, because things don't magically get better just because we get sober. 

It's ironic that I should say never ever ever ever ever quit, as I am the QUEEN OF QUITTERS.  Smoking, drinking, caffeine, sugar, fake sugar, soda, meat, dairy (which has come back a bit since being knocked up), anti-depressants, cheating, lying, being a terrible person - those are all things I've quit.  And yet, I still say, never ever ever ever quit when it comes to fighting this life of battles. 

You know my story.  I had it all with my family growing up.  I drank it all away and was homeless for a while before going to jail and finally getting and staying sober and having to build everything back up from NOTHING.  But I did it.  But I didn't do it alone.  And I kept going, even when all I did every day was go to AA meetings and didn't even have enough money to put a dollar in the collection basket.  Back then at the clubhouse I went to, they would say, "if you have a dollar, share; if you need a dollar, take it and pay it back later."  I prided myself in not taking those dollars, when in reality they would have made a big difference in how my everyday life went at that time.

To think that one dollar can make that big a difference in someone's everyday existence changes EVERYTHING.  If you've never felt what it's like to not have enough for a bus ride, then you don't know what I'm talking about.  But we all should.  We all should experience what it really feels like to have nothing and be dependent on the kindness of strangers and our gumption to get us through the day without crumbling and giving up.  People do it every day, for years, for a lifetime.  I was fortunate in that mine only lasted a couple years.  I didn't have kids to support and frankly, I have no idea how women who do get through all of this without losing their kids, which many of them do. 

So back to my friend who is struggling so hard right now and feeling defeated and like the world is against her and all her hard work of filling out job applications and praying and working the steps and doing all THE NEXT RIGHT THINGS she can muster, I say, KEEP GOING.  I have been there.  So many of us have been there and it will get better. IT WILL GET BETTER and the only way you can be truly grateful is to have weathered the worst of times and come out of it a better, stronger, fiercer fighter than you ever were before.

I've met so many bitter, hardened, life weary people in my life and that doesn't make you tough.  Hell, I used to be one.  People say I've softened in the past few years, and I admit that I have.  I'm not as bitter or anxious to make sure YOU KNOW WHAT REALLY SUCKS ABOUT EVERYTHING as I used to be as life is pretty damn good once you get to the place of acceptance and gratitude.  What makes you tough is going through HELL and all the SHIT and being the lowest common denominator and  coming out of it with hope and grace and dignity.  And passing this shit onto the next person who needs it. 

At a meeting last week one of the old guys said to me, "I seem to remember a blonde girl pounding on this table yelling, RELAPSE IS NOT PART OF RECOVERY!"  And yes, that was me.  I was angry and I wanted to shove everything in everyone's face.  I don't have to prove anything these days.   I just need to be there for people and not judge them.

The richest people in the world worry about protecting their wealth, when you have NOTHING, anything you have is a gift.  I never ever EVER take that for granted.  I've been on both sides, and I rather like having my comforts taken care of today.  I'm not going to act like I would look forward to having nothing again, but if I had to, I hope I would carry this attitude of THIS TOO SHALL PASS even though it all fucking sucks and I AM TERRIFIED into the next chapter.  Hell this having twins nonsense scares the shit out of us and we don't know how we're going to to do it, but we will some how some way.  And it's all going to be OK. 

None of us know what is next.  None of us can control what happens to us in the grand scheme of things.  All we can do is mentally and emotionally be prepared for the shit to hit the fan, and what will we do when it does?  How will we handle it? 

To my friend and to anyone reading this who has lost everything, HOPE is the most important commodity we have have.  The rest WILL follow. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Things I Love Thursday - Part 55

I have a SHOCKING ANNOUNCEMENT.  I am not the first person to ever have babies. Take a moment. I know, I know.  I should have given you more warning, but there it is. 

We all recovered from that revelation?  OK, good.

I liken this whole being a mama thing for the first time to sobriety and how I am certainly not the first person to get sober and to try to help other people get sober WHEN THEY ASK FOR HELP.  Not unsolicited, mind you.  I ain't no door to door salesman on sobriety, or babies.  Or ANYTHING for that matter, because nobody likes that and it gets doors slammed in your face everywhere you go.  Lead by example is always the best way to be, in my experience. 

The mamas I know that I admire don't tell me how or what I should be doing.  They just do their deal and I watch and admire and try to soak up their awesomeness.  And they don't keep saying "JUST WAIT UNTIL YOU HAVE POOP EVERYWHERE and THINGS ARE MISERABLE AND YOU NEVER SLEEP AGAIN."  They let me experience every feeling I feel for the first time and don't try to squelch my joy about it.  They let me experience it myself.  And isn't that what we all want?  To feel and experience life as it comes and not have someone TELL US what we are going to see and do and feel?  We can form those reactions on our own, thankyouverymuch.

I ASK QUESTIONS.  Some of the mamas in my life are sick to death of my questions, I am sure, but they are patient and kind and let me ask and deal with my ignorance in a loving way.  I am so fortunate to have online and real life friends who I admire and who let me ask anything and share my every thought and feeling with them and they are just joyful with me.  I am so so grateful for that. 

SO, I kind of think of mamas, and papas for that matter, I admire as Sponsors.  Or at least people I really really admire in the program of AA and I WANT WHAT THEY HAVE.  See where I'm going with this?

People write and tell me they are drunks and OH MY GOD TELL ME WHAT TO DO! You all know what I say, I say GO TO AN AA MEETING.  What do you have to lose? That's ALWAYS my answer.  Even after reading my blog all this time where I extol the virtues of the program in helping me get and stay sober, be happy joyous and free, PEOPLE DO NOT WANT TO DO THE WORK.  They don't want to go to AA meetings and certainly don't want to do the hard work of the 12 steps.  Or really change anything about their lives because it's all WORKING OUT SO GREAT RIGHT NOW.   Because that's fine for you Katy, but not for me.  BUT HOW DO I GET THE HAPPINESS THAT YOU HAVE?  See what I am dealing with here?  They still think they are different and can do it on their own. I cannot do the work for you.  AND IT IS HARD. 

Most of the time I never hear from them again.  But sometimes I hear back and people say they went and they are doing better.  Not everything is all fixed and life is perfect and we're all skipping along singing Kumbaya better, but better.

The THING I LOVE THIS THURSDAY is that so many have walked before me in both being a drunk and having babies. You never truly know an experience until you walk through it yourself but there are basic structures in place to guide us. We don't have to wander blindly because people are there to take our hand and lead the way. If we let them.

I leave you with some structured goodness from our Infant CPR class we took the other night. 
I had this little guy.

And Dumpster Husband had this little guy.
EQUALLY TERRIFYING.  And there were two of them. 
The fact that one was black and one was white is delicious.  

If you've ever been in one of these classes you know this line, "BABY, BABY, ARE YOU OK?"  Well the answer is NO, and you go through the whole CPR strategy and hopefully get them breathing again.  Now, say a lady wears her red red lipstick everywhere she goes and has to breathe into a baby's mouthholes and noseholes to get them breathing?  You best wipe that shit off before diving in.  Which I did...and we have this plastic mouth shield thing, because, you know, germs.  GROSS. 

The best part was this video that the nurse leading the class played so we compress the tiny baby's chest to the beat, THIS BEAT:

So when you are completely freaking out and giving CPR to your teeny tiny baby, at least you can still get your disco on.  So that's good.

ALSO, I am almost 26 weeks pregnant and as we were sitting in that class, I SAW my stomach moving for the first time.  Like punches.  From my little girl, is my guess.   I started giggling so hard and loud and grabbed my husband's hand, but of course she stopped.  We are now playing the game of OH THERE IT IS!  and then no, it's gone.  He'll feel it soon.  He's got to.  They are dancing up a STORM in there.  Woke me up at 5 am with their shenanigans.  WHY I OUGHTA......

This Thursday, I am grateful and in love with those who walk before me with grace and dignity and love and patience.  In sobriety and in babydom.  I salute you!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Nonsense! And Shenanigans! Updates from the Dumpster Household

Y'all know about Grandmama, right? Please check out that post so you know what I'm on about here, and, you'll get to see my favorite part of that post is the comment from Dumpster Husband. 

Sally Boy with Grandmama.  T R O U B L E.

We have loads of fun in the Dumpster household, mainly because my dear sweet Dumpster Husband (DH) is so damn funny.  And this is all years before any munchkins come along, can you EVEN IMAGINE?

We do voices you see.  Which is not uncommon.  We do voices and personalities for our kitties of course, but the Grandmama thing is just a bit over the line of awesome.  And then of course we are diving into voices for the wee babes now too.  I can't tell you who does what voice exactly because we both do them all.  You enter our apartment and it just happens.  Sometimes it happens when we aren't even at home, but we are just talking for all of them.  Sometimes people get caught up in the nonsense and wind up talking back with them.  Don't blame us, it just happens.  If you've been in our place and participated in this nonsense, you know I'm talking about YOU.  And I love you for it.  AND a bunch of you here and on the Facebook page have participated in these shenanigans, SO DON'T YOU JUDGE ME.  You love it. 

Between Eliza Jane Doolittle, Sally Boy Kitty and Grandmama, we have a full house of lunatics.  My sister in law lovingly tells us, wide eyed and open mouthed, that our kids are going to be the WEIRDEST.   And then we laugh and laugh because we all know it's true.  In the most wonderful way.

Grandmama is of course, more brutal than ever in that I'm doubly knocked up and not even naturally as the good lord would want it but by the DEVIL SCIENCE and hope and love!  Not by accident like it used to be in her day, by force even, but I ACTUALLY WANTED TO GET PREGNANT like a harlot or a jezebel or a damn hussy.  LEGS IN STIRRUPS!  Medical devices!  The word INSERT was used repeatedly!  HEAVING BOSOMS EVERYWHERE!   Grandmama is horrified.  So, she stays locked in the jewelry box lately until she can open her mind a bit more and be more accepting, which we all know isn't going to happen.  I hear Sally Boy and she still do have their standing tea parties but he is really the only one who dresses up these days, and now he's really dressing up in baby clothes since those are just sitting around the bedroom WAITING TO BE WORN for gods sake. 

And now with me being doubly pregnant and TWO babies (Hall & Oates) eating my brain power - which I'm pretty sure uses up about 84% of my meager powers to begin with, things are really fun. 

Example from this morning as we're running out the door to catch the train:
*we have street cleaning in Chicago, and since we all park on the streets, they put up signs as to which day you have to be NOT PARKED on that side of the street so the sweepers can come through, Today our car is fine, but tomorrow, we have to have the car moved to the other side than it's on now and if you do it late tonight it will be a bitch to find a spot* Got all that?

DH: "It's gonna suck that we get home late and I will have to scramble to move the car."
Katy: "Can you do it now?"
DH: *silence for a moment* "Well, no, because we have to have it off this side for today's street cleaning."
Eliza: "Why did you marry such a dumb ass, sir? I've never heard such nonsense. You're better than that, sir."
Katy: "Thanks for your support, Eliza. I appreciate that coming from the kitty I rescued."
Sally Boy *yelling from the other room*: "Why don't you just move the car now?"
Katy: "That's my boy.  Thanks Sayee."
Are you getting the picture? Eliza is on Team DH, even though I rescued her 16 years ago and DH only met her about 5 years ago THEY ARE IN LUUUURRRRVE.  Sayee is USUALLY on Team Katy, but it really could go either way as he's a pretty easy little guy to get along with, but also he's not that bright.

We have a box in our place right now, like a delivery box from eBay or something that Sally Boy runs in and runs around in circles like a fookin' idiot and then walks out of all calm and cool like nothing happened.  DH named this box Idiot City.  Sally is a the Mayor of Idiot City.  He will soon have to run for re-election.  Would you vote for Sally?

In closing I will tell you that we have an Infant CPR class to attend tonight.  I'm pretty sure we will either get thrown out and banished from babydom forever, and we may be asked to hand our babies over upon delivery. OR we will rock that shit. If there is a doll involved, there WILL be trouble.  It's the doing it together and having fun doing it that I cherish the most.  All of it.  The terrifying and the hysterical.  The terrifyingly hysterical?  Anyway, the partner in life and appreciating that you've found who you are supposed to be doing life with is truly something I never thought I would have.  It all goes back to hope and gratitude and fun.  Always. 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Things I Love Thursday - Part 54 - 11 YEARS SOBER


It's a big fucking deal.  I do shout it out.  I do make a big to do out of this every year because even though we only have this one day sober, it adds up and to me, it's worth celebrating.  Way more so than my earth birthday, which came and went without much ado this year, thankfully.  THIS is the shit worth celebrating for me these days. 

When I was in my last of many many detox's and then psych wards years ago (they put me in the psych ward because I was having such severe hallucinations while coming off booze, I needed to be monitored for that shit), I walked into an art therapy session (yes, it was as awful and cliche as you see in tv and movies) and the hippy dippy trippy leader of the class, an older lady wearing danskos and a lovely jumper with birds on it, said, "I've been where you are now and I promise you it gets better". 

I looked at her with my weary and doubtful eyes that had no spark of hope and said, "how long have you been sober?" And she just said, "Since I woke up this morning."

I was in no mood for cute little sayings from AA people.  NO MOOD.  And she saw that and said, "11 years, but really, just for today.  That's all any of us have.  I woke up today and said I wouldn't drink and Higher Power willing, I won't."   Hmmmm, hippy dippy trippy sober for 11 years, wonder why she's on my heart today?

That stuck with me as have so many other little interactions through the years.  Both before I got sober, if I remember them, and afterwards.  October 4, 2011.  That is the date that everything changed in such a profound way that when I look back on it now I almost cannot believe that it was me.  But I own it all. I know it was me and I know this is me all these years later continuing to strive for more, for better, for true joy.  Each year has been different.  There have been many phases to my sobriety, some plateaus, some negative spells.  It's not all magically fixed because you get sober.  There is a lot of hard work to do.  And only I am responsible.  I can't blame anyone or anything else for the wreckage I caused.  And I'm still making amends.  And that's ok. 

The magnitude of gratitude I feel for being sober today is the most POWERFUL WEAPON in my arsenal against getting drunk.  Truly.  I see people who aren't grateful for who and what they have and they are miserable.  Why wouldn't they drink?  You have to replace the hole in your soul with something good.  With something enriching.  With something that KEEPS YOU GOING EVERY DAMN DAY whether you feel tip top or not.

I have shitty days, but my worst day sober is always better than my best day drunk.  ALWAYS.  See, that's one of those annoying little sayings that people in AA say and newcomers just want to PUNCH US IN THE G-D FACE.  I still want to punch me in the face when I hear myself saying all this cheesy shit sometimes.  But today I just smile, shake my head, and say, IT IS SO TRUE. 

My little mama sent me a text today saying, "I get you be with you on your anniversary 2 years in a row, honey!" And I know that means the world to her because they lived through it all with me and were integral in me getting sober - I know nothing, and then that first year.

What I know for sure is, every damn day, I made a gratitude list.  It is the MOST IMPORTANT THING I DO EACH DAY.    I am having twins.  And that is supremely important, but if I am not sober and doing what I need to do to stay sober and happy, these babies are SCREWED.  And, I got sober for me first.  These babies and my husband come second.  That sounds harsh, but it's absolutely the truth.  I cannot stay sober for my babies.  I need to stay sober for MYSELF. 

Gratitude List for Today (not in order of importance necessarily, except for number 1, without which I HAVE NOTHING).
  1. SOBRIETY.  Just for today.  And ok, for 11 years of continuous, good and strong sobriety.  and of course, the program and people in AA and my Higher Power helping me along.
  2. Being alive and not dead.
  3. Furries who love us unconditionally.
  4. My wonderful husband.
  5. My miracle babies, Hall & Oates, growing so healthy in my belly. 
  6. Being completely healthy in body, mind and spirit (if I keep doing the hard work).
  7. A roof over my head and luxuries I never dreamed of that most in the world don't have.
  8. Healthy and delicious food to eat and clean water to drink.
  9. A great job that pays me money every day to do a job I mostly enjoy very much - WITH BENEFITS.
  10. Friends that are absolutely there for me and get me.
That's my basic list every single day.  And I build from there.  But with a list like that, who can complain about anything?  Not I said the fly. 

So, here's to another year sober, and more than that, another year happy, joyous and free.  Hopefully for all of us.  We strive for this.  We want this.  We can have this.  One day at a time. 

p.s. I've linked a couple posts here, as you can see.  It's like a treasure hunt of sobriety in these links.  I write about my experience, strength and hope A LOT.  In fact, it's all I write about.  I have said before that I believe I was given this second chance at life to reach out and to help other people who are struggling with this.  Or just struggling and need to know they are not alone and that, hey, whatever you've done or been through, chances are, I've been there, done that - if not worse. PLEASE click on the links to get more insight into where I've been and that I know what I'm talking about. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Two Women, Two Connections

I have had two connections with two different women in the last few days that have stayed with me.

Connection Number 1:

Last Saturday we were at a store and I saw a woman with a double stroller, just like we want, with twins, so I JUMPED ON TOP OF HER AND WRASSLED HER TO THE DEATH AND THE VICTOR GOT THE STROLLER.  I mean, I stopped her and nicely asked, "where did you get that stroller?"

This woman seemed happy to chat, and I asked about her babies and said we were expecting twins and were at 24 weeks.  She said HER BABIES WERE BORN AT 24 WEEKS.  And they were 1 pound each.  My heart about stopped.  I got tears in my eyes as I so often do these days and she was just beaming back at me.  Looking at her two healthy and smiley, yet small babies, I asked, "how are you now?"  She replied, "we are good." With a great big smile of gratitude on her face.  I touched her shoulders and said, "I am so glad to hear that."  I wanted to hug her.  I wanted to wrap her up and tell her I loved her.  Is that weird?  She was radiating gratitude and happiness.  I wanted to hang out with her and follow her around.  SHE IS SOMEONE I WANT TO BE LIKE. 

We parted ways and I just was open jawed awe struck and said to my dear sweet husband, "that would be like us having these babies RIGHT NOW."  And he quietly said, "I know exactly what it means."  We both had a moment of HOLY SHIT, BABIES, YOU STAY IN THERE AS LONG AS POSSIBLE, OK?  And dammit we are so amazingly lucky. 

Connection Number 2:

I went into the doc yesterday and had my glucose testing to see if I have gestational diabetes.  Which means, you fast from the day before and then you have 3 blood tests.  In the middle of them, you drink the sugar water.  ACK!  I also had a check up and flu shot, whooping cough shot, and ultra sounds during this time. 

If you remember, I pass out during the ultra sounds, because with twins when you lay flat on your back the babes cut off the blood flow to your brain for a second or something and anyway, I pass out.  I'm assured this is kind of common, so nothing to freak out about.  Twice during the ultra sounds, which I really like to enjoy, KABLAMMO.  I'm down for the count.  AND, then I like to wake up, sit up and yell, "WAIT, TWINS? You got some splaining to do!" Then comically cross my eyes and fake pass out again.  I'm a big hit over there. 

Actually they are so kind to me and let me lay on my side some times, but they really can't get the images unless I'm on my back, so we do this little PASS OUT, I'M OK, game each time I have an ultra sound now. 

Anyway, as you can imagine after having blood drawn twice, fasting and passing out twice in the last couple hours, by the time I encountered this mommy in the waiting room, I was a bit worse for wear.  She was adorable and said, "are you about ready to eat something?" as she was doing the glucose testing too.  She was 25 weeks along with a singleton, her second baby.  And when I told her I was 24 weeks with twins, she YELLED, "OH MY GAWD YOU ARE TINY FOR HAVING TWINS!"  And I didn't know how to respond.  It wasn't intended as a compliment I don't think.  But I instead changed it back to her saying, "you've done this before?" and she rolled her eyes and complained about how this pregnancy is KICKING HER ASS. 

And then she went on to say, "I CAN'T IMAGINE HOW HARD IT MUST BE WITH TWINS".

I just smiled and said, "really, I'm loving every second of it."  I was pretty miserable yesterday morning.  Just ask my husband.  I was out of it, and not feeling the greatest during all the tests, but in that moment it all snapped back to me.  I just said, "we had to go through In Vitro - right across the hall here - and we had no idea we would be so lucky to have it work." 

I went on to tell her our story, how my husband and I have a unique situation and the fact that it worked on our ONE SHOT, is a miracle.  We have babies made of HOPE AND SCIENCE AND LOVE.  And we don't take it for granted for one second as all around us we have reminders of how lucky we are.  Reconciling why this is working for us when so many others are having such a hard time is a whole other struggle I'm dealing with.  WHY US?  I don't have an answer.  My best way to deal with this is to enjoy every moment and not take it for granted for one second.  My gratitude overflows at all times.  Even when I feel like shit. 

When I finished telling her, SHE had tears in her eyes and said, "thank you so much for telling me that.  I feel so much more grateful for what I have hearing your story." And SHE came to ME and laid a hand on my shoulder.  We had a moment. 

It was the circle of love, hope and gratitude.  We have to pass it on.  We all impact each other if we are open to it.  And that impact can be one of positivity and light or of negativity and sucking the joy out of each other.  We are responsible for what we share and what we take on of others sharing. If I weren't sober and able to understand the role we all play for each other, I would have missed out on both of these conections, and so many others that happen every single day if we are open to them.

I leave you with this status I posted on my personal Facebook yesterday, because this is the stuff that I get to experience every day, that many out there never will.  My babies are perfectly healthy right now and every time I think about that, I tear up and I am not ashamed.  The girl baby was so far behind and we weren't sure for the longest time if she would hang in with us, BUT SHE IS, DAMMIT.  She is exactly the same size as the boy and I am profoundly grateful.

"Found out today that it's the little girl who's little tushie is pushing so hard against my belly button. Doesn't that just figure. GIRLS! The boy is being all nice and cooperative in the perfect breech position and the girl is all WOWEEE CHECK ME OUT I CAN PUSH MY MY TUSHIE OUT THIS FAR!"