7 Weeks, 6 Months, and Anxiety, But Not Necessarily in That Order

Today, I am 7 week along.  Who would have thought.  I’ve been hesitant to take bump pics because 1) What bump?! 2) I have YET to think of something as fun and creative as the weekly updates I did for Callie and 3) I’ve been overweight my whole life and really, the only thing you are going to see is my muffin top over my jeans!  I know that it won’t be like that through the whole pregnancy, and that I will DEFINITELY think of something to document the changes that my body is going through, but it just seems that right now it’s a little silly to take pictures, but I will, because otherwise in a few months, I’ll be angry with myself that I won’t have anything to use for comparison.  So tonight, I’ll take one, at some point!

Symptom wise, nothing has changed since yesterday, so really nothing to update there.  I will say though, progesterone suppositories suck, in case I didn’t day that yesterday, and if I did, I just want to reiterate.  Along with this pregnancy though, I’ve noticed that my anxiety has kind of been increasing.  I’m not naturally a negative person, at all, and I’m still not, but I find myself worrying about things that I didn’t necessarily worry about during Callie’s pregnancy.  I worry about when we have sex ( I have been BEYOND randy, which is so out of the norm for 1st trimester) and hurting the baby, even though I know that it’s totally ludicrous!  I have noticed though, that I have started ritualizing quite a bit.  This requires a bit of a back story, but I’ll give you the short of it for those of you who don’t know…. A few years ago, I was admitted to a psychiatric hospital, mainly for a pretty serious suicide attempt, but also because of the inability to function do to my pretty sever OCD.  And I don’t mean OCD that people talk about when they are really organized or the type of OCD that people throw around loosely when they describe their inability to see much mess around.  I’m talking about debilitating, I can’t leave my house, clinically diagnosed, exposure therapy OCD.  I spent 2 months inpatient and 2 years outpatient, 8-3 at a DBT program.  My OCD manifested in very “strange” rituals.  It wasn’t just about checking the stove 10 times before leaving, or locking and unlocking and relocking the door for 15 minutes before being able to go, going to the car, it not feeling right and spending another 10-15 minutes doing it again.  It wasn’t about washing the same dish 5 times to make sure it was clean (every single dish in the sink!), all of which I did SOMETIMES and are acutally pretty common in people with “true OCD.  My OCD manifested in constant obsessive thoughts that would snowball, multiples of 4, and tapping.  The tapping was the worst.  Sometimes, things didn’t feel right if I didn’t tap them multiple times.  The worst of the tapping started happening when I couldn’t enter a door without touching the open side top corner before I could walk through.  If I couldn’t reach the top of the door, well, then I just wasn’t going in and had to find an alternate entrance.  This presented a problem sometimes, as at the time, I was working for my ex-wife and the Department of Buildings in NYC had doors about 15 feet high.  It was just terrible, so I would pay other people to do the work for me while I sat outside smoking cigarettes for a few hours.  I would do it at my friend Marco’s house and he would even try and distract me and try and get me not to do it, and it would cause such severe anxiety that my heart would palpitate and within seconds, I was at the door, tapping the corner, and relief would just over me.

There was also the multiples of 4 thing.  If I was walking down the stairs and it wouldn’t end in a multiple of 4, I would have to take a certain amount of steps back in order to make sure that it was a multiple of 4.  This happened with everything I did.  Sometimes I would take the elevator a floor higher than I needed to and walk down.  I would          (un)consciously count my steps to 20, and would take smaller steps or larger steps to make sure that when I got to the door (to touch the corner OBVIOUSLY!) it was a multiple of 4.  My dinner plate could only have 3 things on it, and if it didn’t, I wouldn’t eat until it did.  When I first got to the hospital, the served 3 things on your plate everyday, and my mother, knowing I wouldn’t eat, visited me everyday, and brought me food with 4 things on it.  Never more, never less.  She would even bring me 4 snacks to last me until the next day, or 4 juice boxes, or 4 books, or 4 puzzles, 4 picks for my guitar, or 4 pencils for my crosswords.  It was pretty bad.  The reason I’m saying all of this is that this morning, I noticed that when I put on my deodorant, I had swipe 12 times under each arm.  I tried to swipe one more, and it was like some unknown force was like, “NO WAY LADY! You better NOT!”  When I walked to the kitchen I counted 23 steps, and took one more tiny baby step  (making it 24) in order to cross the threshold and step into the kitchen.  I took a 4 second sip of juice (yes, right out of the container! SUE ME!) and proceeded to do it again.  I noticed it, but not really, if that makes sense.  I knew I was doing it, but I couldn’t stop it.  Then I dug really deep and made a conscious effort to grab my bag, take 14 steps to the door (not sure if that counts because technically there is a number 4 in it :/ ) and walked out.  SItting on the train, to my commute in, I did some mindful breathing and really asked myself what was going on.

The answer?  I think that I feel like this pregnancy is something I can’t control, and rightfully so.  Ok, so we have a heart beat!  GREAT!!!  No really!  It’s amazing!  But so quickly it can go from healthy growing baby with a beating heart, to 12 weeks along, but not really, because there is an 8 week old with no flicker and that is just so scary.  I think that knowing that no matter what I do, it’s really out of my hands is causing some (pretty intense) anxiety.  But I’m working through it, and I recognize it, and I’m aware, and I’m diligently working on it.  I’m even trying to make sure that the amount of paragraphs in this post aren’t a multiple of 4, because I am so inclined to make it so!  But I won’t, because I know, that nothing is going to happen if I DON’T do it.  That was the biggest thing I learned about exposure therapy.  That no matter how many times I walked through the door without tapping the corner, no matter how many times I didn’t do something related to the number 4, NOTHING. BAD. HAPPENED.  At least nothing bad that wasn’t going to happen whether I did those things or not!  So, I’m doing my best to really be cognizant of these actions, and so far, today, has been pretty good.

And A WHOLE 6 MONTHS!!! My baby boys are 6 months old tomorrow.  A half a year!  Where does the time go!?!?!

boys1

These guys are just so awesome!

NOAH
My little active baby.  This kid has a set of lungs on him like you would not believe.  He’s gonna be my singer.  He loves to use his voice, especially at around 6:30am, and the best thing?  It’s super deep and raspy.  He’s going to be a crooner, I just know it. He has figured out how to get his legs underneath him and get into a crawling position, but he just can’t figure out the crawling and BOY does he get pissy about it.  He loves to be in his doorway kangaroo bouncer, and he especially loves climbing all over his moms.  He answers back when you tell him, “I don’t think so mister”, and he really enjoys looking at his brother and having conversations with him.  I have yet to catch this on video because every time they see the camera, they look at me and smile, as if I’m not privy to their little intimate moment.  He has learned to flip over while on the changing table (not fun!) and can almost get his toes into his mouth.  He’s eating solid food but is still pretty particular about tastes and consitancy and just started eating puffs and NumNums which he really enjoys.  He’s obsessed with the TV, be it the news, cartoons, or Master Chef, and it’s hard to tear him away.  He actually pushes our hands away while we are feeding him so he can get a better look!  He is crazy about splashing in the water, and he loves his big sister.  They are best buds.  He absolutely HATES being restrained, whether it be the car seat or the highchair.  He’s a real charmer this guys, and has plenty of lady admirers…nene nene2

LEVI
This guy!  What a ham!  He loves the camera and he loves to laugh.  He can be found smiling and pretty much anyone and anything! He’s my little musician, found most of the time playing the piano ONE HANDED!  Apparently, he thinks he’s a pro.  He still hates tummy time, but will do whatever he can to try and stand up.  He’s gonna skip crawling, I promise you, and go straight to walking. Psssh!  Probably straight to running!  This guys eats like a champ.  If there is something in his reach that he can eat, he’s going for it.  He’s a lot more adventurous with his food than his brother, even loving to eat some Fluke!  He’s more likely to cry, but soothed a lot easier.  He’s the better sleeper of the two and that’s all I’m going to say about that!  He doesn’t like the water much except for bath time, and he is not as aware of things around him.  He loves being cuddled and it seems like he has actually started giving hugs!  He’s a lot more cautious than Noah and takes his time when it comes to figuring things out and exploring.  He laughs at his brother constantly!  He’s the true definition of Mama’s boy, and he loves the kitty.  Like seriously, he’s always spinning his head around looking for her.  He’s a fun kid, and his ginger hair makes me day every day (which by the way is lightening thanks to the sun, and some of his little freckles are coming in!)lj3 lj2

I’m not sure what they weight, but I’m almost certain they are well into the 17lb range.  We won’t know until their appointment next week, but I’m sure that they are almost caught up with babies their same age.  I love these darn kids so much, and I can’t wait to celebrate their half birthday tomorrow, out on the boat with Grandma and Pop,  cutting a little cake, and have them have their first real taste of sugar!  I hope I don’t live to regret that!

These two!

These two!

Have a great weekend everyone!

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27 thoughts on “7 Weeks, 6 Months, and Anxiety, But Not Necessarily in That Order

  1. I was 32 weeks pregnant with my first when I was diagnosed with perinatal OCD. I firmly believe that the hormones were the root of it, as I had never been diagnosed before then. Your body produces 1000x the estrogen when pregnant than during a normal cycle. I’m sure the anxiety of not being in control of anything is part of it but I would also throw out the idea that the copious amount of hormones in your body is not helping. Feel free to email me and I would be happy to share more. I can relate to the obsessive part.

    • You are probably right! The good thing is that I am aware of it and have quickly been able to get away from some of those really, for lack of a better word, destructive behaviors. This past week has been much better since I have been aware of it. But thanks for the advice. It makes sense that your body and mind would get a little crazy from the huge influx of hormones, and considering that my body isn’t used to them anyway, i totally see that being a factor!

  2. They are so adorable! I want to squeeze them.
    Thank you for sharing your OCD story. I am glad you are able to recognize it and try and do something about it.

  3. Oh my goodness, my heart aches for you having gone through all that. But you know what? That experience has probably made you SO self aware, and also given you some great ways to manage this and notice it when it rears its head again. I hope you are able to get a hold of it and not let it take over. I know pregnancy and all of the unknowns and what-ifs are so scary! We are all here for you. ❤

    I love hearing about the boys' personalities! I think I can see some of their personalities shining through just in pics alone!

    • It’s true that being self aware has mad the difference. Every time i found myself ritualising in the past week or so, I was really able to curb it and realize that the anxiety will only be at a 10 for about a minute or so. Then it goes down to a 7 and then 4 until, what anxiety!?! BUt i know it’s going to be an ongoing thing, where during this whole pregnancy, I will have to check myself before I wreck myself. Thank you for the support, and honestly, before you even said it, I knew I could count on you… ❤

  4. Congratulations btw. I was like “whoa what did I miss?” after seeing your last post. You’re going to have to change your blog name. My spouse has had clinical OCD several times in our relationship and probably was always borderline OCD pre-medication. I don’t even know the full extent of it because she keeps it in as much as possible, but from what she has shared it’s horrible. Even now if she forgets to take her lexapro even one day it’s obvious. I don’t know about in the DSM V, but I think some of the confusion comes between Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder. OCD is what you described and is an anxiety disorder; OCPD is a personality disorder and is more about organization and things being a certain way. When people casually refer to themselves at OCD because they like things neat and tidy, or organize things by color or alphabetical that is more of what OCPD is (with a good bit of perfectionism and rigidity in there too, it’s not just about organization- and they could also be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder). All that said, I hope that things get better with your anxiety. Pregnancy and post-partum hormones can be strong. I’ve never had much anxiety but I definitely dealt with some out of the norm emotions. You have so much awareness now though from all the work you’ve done, that really sets you at an advantage for coping with the hormones as they ebb and flow.

  5. Why, why, why are they SOOOOO cute?!! How I love them!!! 😍 yay 7 weeks! You had me rolling w the muffin top. That’s totally going to be me 😂 so glad everything is going well. Enjoy the cake! Can’t wait to see pics!

  6. It’s so brave of you to write about OCD. It’s used as a common description of neurosis, but the actual diagnosis is no joke and is completely debilitating and just hearing you describe your own so well is scary. You sound like you understand the root of possible relapse so well though. If it continues, can you see your therapist about it? I think you have one. I used to do the checking thing over and over, not as chronic as you’re describing though, and sometimes I force myself not to give into the temptation of the compulsions, and then realized nothing bad happened. If you can keep it under control yourself maybe you’ll fend off a relapse. Pregnancy is totally scary though, you’re putting your body and your life through so many changes. Since I’m not a parent yet and you are, I have no words of comfort except that your body changes slowly over time and you’ll have chances to get used to each change. Also, your boys are so gorgeous! Take care of yourself and hang in there! Most of pregnancy is amazing.

    • I’m actually considering seeing a therapist. I was seeing one for a while since the twins were born, but with my jobs EAP program, there are only a limited number of sessions you can do (12 weekly sessions) so I’ve been looking for a therapist that specializes in DBT or CBT. I’ve actually doing been doing really well this past week, and haven’t allowed it to really hold me back or paralyze me. I keep reminding myself that, HEY! This is pregnancy! Scary shit, but also beautiful and amazing! So, every day is a new day and I try as hard as can. Eventually, like before, i won’t even realize that I’m anxious!

      • You sound like such a positive and strong person. I know what severe anxiety is like and you really have to fight for your sanity. EAP is great. Of u need someone more specialized though, maybe you can find someone who takes your insurance? I committed myself to therapy for most of my pregnancy and I followed through, and so glad because I got some specific shit dealt with which was helpful for my self-esteem. Good luck and hang in there. I know it’s not easy!

      • Yeah, I’m definitely doing that now. Looking for someone who takes my insurance. I have a lot of gender identity issues that I should probably be working through too because pregnancy is tough and your body changes and I might have a hard time with that. Or maybe not, but therapy wouldn’t hurt!

      • I can imagine pregnancy would be really hard for a lesbian with a less feminine gender identity. That’s why my fiancé wouldn’t want to be pregnant, I think she feels like it just doesn’t fit her, but at the same time, I think you’re going to love and embrace it. All the ugo about pregnancy being feminine is unnecessary, it’s actually not in a lot of ways, it’s your body being strong, amazing and super physical. Anyway, I hope it helps to find a good therapist.

  7. If it is any comfort, I didn’t do weekly belly shots. Meh. Not feeling it. I did a belly shot towards the end and of course , one could see my belly in the pictures of me in regular photos. I see why people like to document it. I do. However, it’s just not something I enjoy for myself. If you are feeling that way, don’t think it is odd.
    And pregnancy is a very scary thing. I always felt like something I did or would do would make the baby DIE! I got one of those fetal doppler heartbeat monitors like the doc has. I listened to the baby’s heartbeat daily to reassure myself. I’ll look up the link and send it your way. Just in case you want to rent one. For peace.

    • The fear of our baby dying is real, and i think that is where all the anxiety stems from. We have a doppler from when we had the boys, and I plan on using it regularly like i did with them. It made Callie crazy, but every night, i would break out the gel, and listen to the swishing! It’s still a bit early, but usually at about 10w you can hear it pretty clearly, so I’m waiting on that! LOL!

  8. Woah! I missed it! I’ve been out of the blog scene for so long, I missed this! Congratulations, lady! Man, your kids are already adorable and I’m sorry you have to deal with the OCD thing but it’s just so damn brave for you to write about it I hope you get some peace from that. But, woah, again! I need to keep up!

  9. OMFG – I had no idea you were even trying! Then I pop on just now to catch up on some blogs and read this!!! Awesomeness! You ladies are brave as to be having another baby with your three! (So many exclamation marks.) Congratulations. As for the OCD – I have very mild tendencies and they freak me out a bit. I did worry that being pregnant or having a baby might bring them on more, but luckily for me it didn’t happen. Mine are just minor like I have to peg washing a certain way and if I try and hang it ‘wrong’ I’ll find myself having to redo it immediately after, I colour match clothes pegs to garments (so only buy one style and colour of peg now!), I can’t stand cupboards or drawers being open and will get out of bed to go check if I think one might be slightly ajar in another room. I also obsessively count things & have to stop myself doing so when driving – eg cars I pass, power poles, street lights, shadows across the road etc. it’s by no means crippling, but I can see it easily spiraling out of control if I had something traumatic happen. Kia kaha – have the strength to get past this like you did before. Xx

    • Thanks friend. I’ve been able to manage pretty well this past week, constantly reminding myself of all the hard work i’ve done in the past and relaly people able to put what i learned to work. And we are totally out of our minds having another one, and then maybe another one, but hey! That was the plan since pretty much our second date, so at least we are pretty consistent! LOL!

  10. Oh man! Seriously giving me baby fever! Seeing these boys makes
    Me realize how fast it goes by!!! They are just adorable and I love that thier personalities are already coming out! I don’t have any experience with OCD but it sounds like you are really in tune with yourself and you are handling it. I love that you are so insightful and face things head on. Kudos momma!

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