The Scary PCOS Monster. Rawr.

Alright, so here’s my explanation post. Just a short note: if you’re reading this and you’re a dude or you might feel awkward reading about female reproductive problems, I suggest you just stop here. Join me at a later date for a less descriptive (or crude, whatever you want to say) blog post that won’t make you feel weird.

At 21 years old, the scariest thing for me to hear was that I would never have children. (Don’t get ahead of yourself, Monster is biologically mine in every sense of the word. He was not adopted. I carried him for every single day of 10 months plus a few extra because he was too stubborn to come out on time. Just read.) I remember the day like it was yesterday. It was sunny and chilly and I was sitting in an office across from a doctor that I barely knew. I had been here 5 times already in his exam rooms. I had ultrasound after ultrasound. Vaginal and external. I had been poked and prodded and stuck and lost plenty of blood for all the tests that had to be run. I was tired and nervous and terrified and alone. The first words that came out of his mouth were not comforting. They were not sugar-coated (which I normally like.. I appreciate bluntness in all normal scenarios.. this time I would have welcomed an easy blow..). He went straight to the point. From “Hello,” to “You’re going to die an old shriveled lady with 150 cats.” Okay, so that wasn’t what he said. His words were, “You have P-C-O-S. From the looks of things, it’ll be damn near impossible for you to have kids. In fact, I feel it’s pretty safe to say that you never will.” I was in shock. A million things ran through my mind all at once. Starting with what brought me here in the first place.

It was 7am and I was up getting ready for work. I worked at a vet clinic in the next town over. I was running slightly late because my morning coffee ritual had taken longer than it should have. It was a nice morning, Bailey (my pitbull) wanted to run around outside. I just wanted one more cigarette. And my coffee was so good. By the time I got inside again and started getting ready, I was running a few minutes behind. It took 15 minutes to get to work, I had to be there at 7:30 and it was already 7:10. My phone had died the night before so I had it plugged up in the living room. I was back in my bedroom, half dressed and brushing my teeth. I was just about to put my scrub pants on when I heard my phone go off. It was a text from my boyfriend at the time (who is now my ex husband) telling me good morning and to have a good day at work. I was walking back to the bedroom when out of absolutely nowhere I felt the worst sharp pain I had ever felt in my left side around my hip bone. I immediately fell in the floor. Passed out. I woke up about 45 minutes later, ridiculously late for work. My phone was ringing… it was my boss… great.. I explained what happened and she told me not to come to work that day but to make an appointment with my doctor or to go to the emergency room. She then added that I shouldn’t drive and that if I needed a ride she would gladly come and take me. I declined and told her bye and that I would let her know what they said. I was freaked out. I was by myself. Anything could have happened. And I had no idea what was going on. It was the second day of my period.

I “blossomed” at age 11, on Mother’s Day. My mom was so happy. I was terrified. I had no idea why I was bleeding. She had never had “the talk” with me. I can tell you what song by what band was playing when it happened and I avoided that song like the plague for months, thinking that the song must have had something to do with it and it was bad. What can I say? I was 11. Sue me. Ever since then, my periods were completely out of whack. I would have them every 2 weeks or I would go a month and a half without one. I could tell you the exact days that I ovulated because the pain was worse than the cramps that I had with periods and those were NO joke. They would last 5 days, 3 days, 8 and 9 days. Every single one was different. I didn’t know what to think or do. Mom never took me to the doctor. Her periods were weird and out of whack too so she assumed it was just a hereditary thing. It hurt. Like a bitch. But I just dealt with it. Lots and lots of Advil. Hot water bottles and heating pads. It kept getting worse. Mom knew that it was bad but nothing was ever really done about it.

I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder at age 15. I had been having multiple panic attacks. They had been happening for a long time. Since I was little, I’d had problems with being around large groups of people or even one or two people who were loud. It always made me nervous. Good example; I grew up Catholic and went through First Holy Communion. I almost missed it because I turned white as a ghost and almost passed out from being so nervous about having to be in front of a bunch of people. The older I got, the more I had problems with it. I was fortunate enough to be homeschooled starting in the 3rd grade which took a huge load off me. I went to a Catholic school Pre-K-the end of 2nd grade and then the second semester of 3rd grade, my mom attempted to put me in public school. Hahahaha… This was a mistake. I freaked out! Parochial school meant that nuns patrolled the hallways with rulers (well, one nun in particular) and if you so much as cleared your throat, your desk was slapped with a ruler. It was so quiet in that school that you could literally hear a pin drop. Public school, on the other hand, was utter chaos. I mean, literally, chaos. My teacher was out of the room half the time we were in class and all the kids thought it was necessary to run around the room and yell and act insane. I lasted 3 weeks before I got down on my knees and begged my mom to stop punishing me. I can remember telling her that I would do the dishes every night and take out the trash every time the can was full if she would just let me homeschool again. That I would even go back to Parochial school and deal with Sister Scary (not her actual name..) for the remainder of the year if she would just get me out of that hellhole. (Needless to say, I punished for using the term “hellhole” but at least I got out of public school.) By the time I was a teenager, I started having panic attacks pretty often. I went to a psychologist (for more than just the panic attacks but we’ll leave that for a different day.. and trust me, this whole panic thing is relevant) and was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder with bouts of depression. I have since learned how to control my panic, found my triggers and avoid them at all costs, and know when to let the panic attack happen to release what’s built up. The only ones I can’t control are the ones that come on out of nowhere when I’m sitting on the couch watching TV, writing or playing on my phone. I don’t think that I’ll ever get a handle on those. And after the panic, comes the depression.

Depression. It’s not a fun subject. It’s rather, depressing, really….. (yeah, forgive me, I’m tired..) For me, depression can come on randomly. I can be perfectly happy one night and wake up the next morning so depressed that it hurts to move. It makes me so frustrated to not be in control of my emotions. It makes me feel crazy that the smallest things can make me too depressed to get off the couch. But the times that it comes out of nowhere are getting more and more rare these days. Thankfully. I think that I’m starting to ignore it more because I have my little Monster who gives me a reason to get off my ass and not feel sorry for myself. Most of my depression these days comes from my lack of energy, the fact that I can’t stand still for more than about 5 minutes at a time (I can walk around for longer, but then comes pain and a little more recovery) without having to sit down for 15. Just in case you didn’t know, not being able to stand still for long, makes it very difficult to cook or bake… which I love to do both… very dearly… which causes depression when I can’t!!!! My body sucks. And because of this, I get depressed. I can’t always play with my Monster as much as I want to. I’m in pain most every single day. I’m overly exhausted all the time. My mind is normally pretty energized and I have every intention of getting up and doing all sorts of stuff, but I just physically can’t. My body doesn’t cooperate most of the time. It sucks. I hate it. The pain I feel every day is magnified during the depression days. So much so that I can barely move. I mean, I really can’t make myself move. My brain tells my legs to work but they don’t respond. This makes being a stay-at-home mom really really difficult when Dad is at work all day. These days, I get to spend whatever free time (mostly night time) being able to let myself sink into the depression. Which means that I then can’t sleep. I end up with horrible insomnia because I wallow in my self-pity but I beat myself up soon after for being depressed. It’s a vicious cycle.

So let’s get back to PCOS, since this is what this is about. Poly-Cystic Ovarian Syndrome. This means that there are many cysts on your ovaries. (as if you couldn’t figure that out on your own…..) This also means a host of other things. PCOS can cause all kinds of problems including, but not limited to, insulin-resistance, diabetes, uncontrollable weight gain, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, acne, darkening of body and facial hair, increased growth of body and facial hair, increased risk of ovarian and uterine cancer, infertility, depression, anxiety, fatigue, insomnia, pain while ovulating, pain while menstruating, pain in general…. the list goes on.. Periods that are out of whack or non-existent… it’s a lot to take in. There’s so much that doctors don’t know about PCOS. So this means there’s a lot that I don’t know about PCOS. I know that it makes it hard to get pregnant and stay pregnant. I’ve had 7 miscarriages. 6 before Monster and 1 recently. It’s not easy. It’s hard to talk about. But what makes me still have hope is that even after the first 6, I still had my Monster. I was terrified the entire time I was pregnant. I tried my best to not get attached to him before he got here in the event that something happen at any time. Now, you can’t pry me away from him. PCOS also makes you crazy. Hah. It’s totally true. That whole crazy people don’t know they’re crazy, bit? No no… If you have PCOS and you feel crazy, you KNOW you’re crazy. Hah. Because a lot of the symptoms of PCOS are unseen, a lot of people can’t understand it. A lot of people think that you’re making things up.. that you just want to be a victim. Believe me, if I had the option to have a normal life and live without PCOS, I would do it in a heartbeat. I hate this. I don’t like having to go through all this. It’s not what I pictured my life to be like.

The doctor that diagnosed me with PCOS didn’t hardly know anything about it. He put me on birth control pills to regulate my periods. They ended up doing nothing but making me sick. Physically sick and literally crazy. I mean, I was insane. And there was nothing I could do about it. I begged for different birth control pills. He changed what I was on. Tried something that wasn’t nearly as strong. Those did the exact same thing to me. I took myself off of them. He got very mad at me for doing this. I really didn’t care. At all. I just had to feel better. I heard him talking pretty badly about me for taking myself off the pills when he was outside the exam room door. That was the last time I ever went back there. I found another doctor who was even more clueless about PCOS and he ended up being my OB throughout my pregnancy with Monster.

I have worked on changing my diet based on all kinds of research and opinions from women with PCOS. Yoga helps immensely. Light exercise when I can do it. Advil for the really painful days. And a Husband who understands that cooking every night is not a possibility for me. This is the tip of the iceberg of an explanation. But maybe it gives some insight on my life.. and why I’m up at 3am most nights. It’s probably horribly disorganized and makes little to no sense.. but such is my life.. I apologize for terrible writing.. it is 3am though. And of course, as you’ve seen, my head is elsewhere.. For now, I have a date.. with my pillow (I hope..) and a Nyquil-ridden husband who is most likely so out of it that he won’t even realize I’m actually in bed with him. Until next time…

–Isabella has spoken…–

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Oh, the sadness..

It’s getting the best of me today. It was a perfect day. Chilly but not cold. Sunny and warm in the brightness. Perfect day to spend outside or at the zoo or shopping or anything, really. Anything but being stuck inside and depressed.

But, alas, today was obviously not the day to do anything fun or exciting. Why, you ask? Well, let’s go through the list.

1. Monster’s allergies are acting up. I think. He’s been miserable all day long. Runny/stuffy nose, sneezing, itchy eyes and nose, coughing his head off. (Never understood that expression.. anybody know where it came from?) Fingers crossed and prayers prayed that it’s JUST allergies and not another bout of the flu or anything of the like. I have one of those AccuCheck ear monitoring things that checks for fluid in the ears. Both of his scored a level 2 (Monitor) which worries me as well. We have enough trouble with ears to have to worry about ear infections. I started him on Zyrtec for kiddos (half a dose since he’s only 16 months old) this morning so hopefully a dose today and tomorrow might help knock it out of the park.

2. This whole thing with the Matthews clan is taking it’s toll on myself and the Hubby. Everyone seems to be putting so much emphasis on the negative that it’s hard to get past all that and see the positive. At least it’s hard for the Hubby to do. I’m trying my best to swim through the murky waters of his depression and it’s kinda crushing. Depression is something I deal with regularly. (I’ll explain that in a separate post, possibly post it tonight.) But the negative energy emanating from him is overbearing. I step back and wonder if this is how I am when I’m curled up in a ball on the couch. Sheesh. We got an update today that Miss Ellie has a couple of spots of brain damage. One in the vision center of her brain and one in the motor skills area. They aren’t sure how extensive it is yet. And seeing as she is only 3 weeks old and 2 months premature, she has lots and lots of time for her brain to develop and I’m thinking it’s even possible that because of this fact, she might very well recover from most, if not all, of this damage. Chad and Allison are terrified and worried and struggling with the fact that they can barely hold her. Hopefully the seizures have stopped and maybe the doctors will find the infection soon and knock it out of the park. Since they’re only a couple of hours away from us, our plan is to head their way this weekend and maybe grab a bite with them just to give them some support from friends and maybe get their minds off their situation. Fingers crossed that we are able to.

3. Late last night, just before getting to fall asleep, we found out that a dear friend of the Hubby’s (who is now also becoming my friend… I’ve been so worried about this guy for the last few days, it’s unreal..) has a tumor growing in his leg that may very well be cancerous. It has grown so much and so deep that it’s infected his leg bone, causing a “non-contact break.” He’s going to see a surgeon on Monday who specializes in oncology. Oncology is a scary word. He seems to be taking it lightly. Not that he isn’t taking it seriously, he is, but he’s trying not to let it bog him down with worry. At the moment, he’s more concerned about the Matthews clan than he is about himself. Which worries me even more. This guy isn’t very religious.. I’d have to say not at all, actually.. But he walked into a church today.. to pray for the Matthews.. Not himself. He’s not concerned about himself. He figures that he’ll be alright, no matter what. He’s strong.. he’s a fighter.. he’s a GREAT guy.. He’s a helluva lot like my Husband. Which scares the shit outta me cause that means that he’s going to put absolutely everything and everyone else in front of himself. Prayers for him to get great news on Monday are more than appreciated.

4. A good friend of mine text me today to let me know what her doctor said today about her heart condition. She is in the Air Force and has been battling heart problems since she was born. She has never ever let it stop her or bring her down. For the longest time, she worked two and three jobs, barely slept and made sure that everyone in her family has been taken care of. A few months back, her dad was given 6 months to live. Since then, she has had it really rough. She’s worked herself to near death. She has been in and out of the hospital with multiple problems with her heart. Today she was told that she has to have surgery Monday to take out the part of her heart that is giving off extra negative electric something or other (this is how she told me.. I figure that she stopped listening to what they were saying as soon as they said the word “surgery” because she’s real damn tired of hospitals.) and causing her heart to beat at 300 beats a minute. The doctors have no idea how she’s been up and moving lately. They admitted her tonight because her calcium and potassium levels are too low for her to not be monitored. So during our trip this weekend, we’re stopping off at a different hospital in the same city to see my friend. Fingers crossed that all goes well Monday morning.

5. Watching the Hubby deal with this stuff that’s going on with his friends is heartbreaking. He is so depressed and so sad. Today, he got up late (thanks to the no-good alarm clock.. either it goes off for too long and it’s SO loud or it doesn’t go off at all… never good) so he didn’t get started working until late. He came home tonight and had to take something for pain which meant he would soon fall asleep. When he got up, Monster was crying and I was stuck in his room because when baby doesn’t feel good, all he wants is Momma Momma Momma. He went to get pizza and was gone a while. Came back, ate and sat here for a short time while we talked about nothing but the sadness that’s happening around us. We put our Monster to bed and he went to take Nyquil and lay down. He’s been in bed for over an hour now… I’ve literally spent maybe an hour and a half with him today and during that time, it’s been nothing but sadness and depression. He’s talked about how he’s broken down a few times today and just cried. And how he’s had to hold back from crying. He’s checking his phone obsessively because he doesn’t want to miss any updates; good or bad. He couldn’t hardly sleep last night because of worrying. If not for Nyquil, I’m sure tonight would have been no different. What a way to spend the day after you get married. And tomorrow won’t be any better. Tomorrow, he’ll start a job in an area where cell phone service is minimal at best. The job he’s doing is going to be physically taxing to the point that he more than likely won’t hardly be able to move when he gets off. Tomorrow night, Monster and I will be going to eat dinner for my aunt’s birthday and more than likely, he won’t be joining us. Which means that, yet again, I will barely see or talk to him tomorrow. He told me tonight that I should look at it as practice for this Summer. Owning a heating/air conditioning business calls for busy at the beginning then slow toward the end Winters and ridiculously busy all the way through the Summers. Typically, where we live, Summer starts a little earlier. That may or may not be the case this year. But I gotta say, we’re at the end of Winter and it’s not particularly slow. I think that more than anything I’m having issues with the fact that we got married yesterday and there’s no happiness surrounding it. He was worried that there would be negativity because of the situation that’s going on with my ex. But there’s not. I’ve not made mention of doing anything about anything at all. I haven’t called the lawyer. I haven’t met with the lawyer. I haven’t done anything. specifically to keep him from thinking that that’s all that I was worried about getting married early for. But yet, here we are.. and my feelings are pretty hurt that we haven’t even celebrated. It was like yesterday was just another day. He even admitted to, knowing that we were getting married at 2:30, thinking about everything going on all day long.. I don’t know. I know that a lot of things are bigger than me.. and I know that situations are pretty important right now.. but I also know that there’s absolutely nothing that we can do for anyone right now but wait with them, be available if they need to talk, and pray.. so in the midst of all the bad, something good happens, but it’s not allowed to be celebrated. I know that we’re keeping this a secret and that we’re having the actual ceremony in April so that’s when we really need to be happy and excited and thinking about nothing but that on that day.. but damn.. come on.. just for a night, I want us to be happy and celebrate and spend time together. Buh.

So the sadness has continued. And I’m having a tough time not getting stuck under it. I want more than anything to just be happy and positive for a day. I want to take Monster to Build-A-Bear and see him happy. I want the Hubby to enjoy his first few days of being married right along with me. Seems impossible right now. Is this week over yet???

My little night owl still isn’t asleep. Guess this Momma is up for a while longer.. Probably going to write that explanation post.. As for this subject… Until next time…

–Isabella has spoken..–

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D-Day! All Smiles!

Today was the day! We’re officially married now! It’s been a long day. This will be a brief update.

Sunday, Monster was returned by the ex (amazingly enough. I think he understands just how much trouble he is in and doesn’t want to do this dance with me anymore.) shortly before 6pm. He seemed just fine. Except for the yeast infection. Which was absolutely not any better at all. It looks as though some of the steroid was used but not much. So I took pictures, as always, and have written it down.

Also noted the fact that he went the entire weekend without his hearing aids. My instructions specifically stated that his hearing aids must be used over the weekend. He’s used to them. Granted, he doesn’t always want to wear them, and that’s fine. But he does wear them for at least a few hours a day while he watches Signing Time DVDs or even just a couple of shows on TV. It’s all part of developing his speech. The only way that I know that they weren’t used is because (no matter how clean I think his ears are) there is always some wax down in his ear molds when they’re taken out. The batteries were still out of the aids and there was no wax.. whatsoever… I had just cleaned his ear molds. There should have been something if they were used at all. Nothing. This wouldn’t be a big deal if any of them KNEW SIGN LANGUAGE!!!!!! But with no hearing aids and no signing, he was stuck for an entire weekend with people that he could not communicate with who didn’t understand him at all. I’m so beyond sick of this. Time to go back to court.

Today has been wonderful. Short, courthouse wedding with Monster screaming the entire time we were saying our vows. And now a relaxing night at home. I think. Unless we just decide randomly to fight the traffic and go to Toys R Us. Which I’m thinking very seriously about doing.

For those of you who read and who pray, PLEASE do me a huge favor. The Hubby has a couple of very wonderful friends who are going through a very tough time right now. They had a baby 3 weeks ago who was premature. She was doing fine and then out of nowhere, started having all sorts of problems. She has been having seizures. The doctors can’t figure out what is wrong with her. The did a spinal tap yesterday to rule out meningitis but the results haven’t made it back yet (that we know of) and during the spinal tap, she had another seizure. Please pray that the doctors figure out what is wrong quickly and get her on the road to wellness! She is a miracle and we all believe that she has a long long life ahead of her. She just has to get well first. Her parents, as you can imagine, are terrified and so so worried. Keep this little family in your prayers. If you attend church, put them on your prayer lists. The Matthews family. This little girl is the only child they have and is their entire world. I’m sure a lot of you can understand. Thank you so so much!

Okay, time to attempt to dynamite the Husband out of his recliner and hit the road to somewhere. Shopping time! =) Until next time…

–Isabella has spoken..–

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I take it back..

Ya know, when I asked if I could return my day somewhere a couple days ago? Yeah. Give me that day over this one. Please. The anticipation of the possibility of the ex coming to get Monster for the weekend was much better than the reality of it.

I wasn’t sure that he would actually show. But, of course, Friday morning I get a text saying that he will be at my house at 6pm to pick Monster up for his visitation (the sadistic prick…) even though he’s supposed to give me 24 hours notice. He gave me 8 hours. There was so so so much to get done. Friday was my scheduled “Monster Food Shopping Day.” After our visit to the dr for severe diaper rash on Thursday, I figured that Monster deserved a fun day out on Friday with Momma getting fresh fruits and veggies and yummy organic goodies to last us the next (hopefully) few weeks. I honestly didn’t expect the ex to make it into town until either late Friday night or not at all. He has now chosen to rub the poorly written divorce papers in my face ((which is exactly why we’re going back to court to amend the papers)) and makes damn sure that he’s in town every first and third weekend so that he can rip my son from normalcy in his own home with myself and his (very) soon-to-be stepfather.

Unfortunately, because the court system assumes that a 16 month old is impressionable enough that seeing Momma and (step, even though he strictly calls the Fiancee…) Daddy living together and not being married will cause said 16 month old to choose later in life to never marry but instead “live in sin” for the rest of his life. EVEN THOUGH the Fiancee and I are set to marry on April 27th, 2013 and have lived together (for safety’s sake, really) since Christmas Day 2012, I could lose my son if I take the ex to court previous to marrying the Fiancee. Therefore, Tuesday will be D-Day. 😉 ((Believe me, smack dab in the middle of all of this negativity, the absolute best day will be March 5th.. It is THE most positive thing to come out of this whole situation.. getting to marry the love of my life slightly early.. I’m pretty frickin’ stoked!)) Still having our wedding ceremony in April. We are keeping this whole early marriage thing a secret. Those of you who read and follow will know, my maid of honor, my sister, my mom, his parents, his best man, and the guy who’s officiating our wedding in April will literally be the only ones who know that we’ll already be married by the 27th. Anyway, I’ll stop chasing rabbits now..

After reading that text Friday morning, I immediately started making phone calls. I called my lawyer to see what I could do. Nothing. My hands are completely tied until I get this idiot into court again. I called the pediatrician to make sure that the ex couldn’t just call and get information about my son over the phone. He is literally only listed on any papers at the doctor’s office because of insurance. (I plead insanity when it comes to ever marrying this kid in the first place… really.. and you will all understand after a few more blogs about this imbecile.) Monster went to the doctor on Thursday to get something that would knock this diaper rash out of the park after the Fiancee and I have spent… I really don’t want to think about how much, actually.. on diaper rash creams and washes. We finally got it under control a couple of weeks ago and it was almost gone. Then he went and stayed the night with the ex… needless to say, we ended up in the doctor’s office because neglecting it for two days and a night caused it to turn into a yeast infection, therefore, no diaper rash cream in existence would cure it. Little did I know, over-the-counter women’s products could have helped. (First-time mom, unsure of what to do.. hell, I Googled diaper rash remedies and was centimeters away from slathering his bum in Crisco. Don’t laugh. Apparently, it works.) In the doctor’s office, he was running a slight temperature. He’s getting in a tooth (the reason for his random nightly wake-ups..) so the doctor assumes that’s the cause. Even with fever, no matter how high, I am required by state law to force my child to leave me, the one constant in his life, and stay the weekend with his neglectful father. If any reference is needed to support my claim that he is, in fact, neglectful, please feel free to view the post before this one and notice where I talk about what he’s allowed his parents to do with Monster as well as the part about him taking off 5 hours early from his visitation the last time and not returning my son to me. Plus the flea bites, the fleas I have found crawling on him before, the screaming at Monster if he has in his hearing aids and even if he doesn’t, the fact that while we were married I walked out of the room to (God forbid) use the restroom and was gone for maybe 1 minute only to come back and find Monster sitting in the floor screaming with huge tears running down his face and the shadow of a fast appearing bruise on his forehead all while the ex is sitting on the couch on his phone and yelling at Monster to shut up.. that he’s okay.. I’m going to have to change the rating on my blog if there’s many more posts about him because I can’t really guarantee that I’m not going to release a host of four (or more) letter words that aren’t appropriate for anyone under 18 (or 21… or 30..) There’s those damn rabbits again..

Friday afternoon, I call a pharmacist to find out how long this steroid that has to be applied 4 times daily will take to show any improvement and I explain why I’m asking. She assures me that when I get my son back on Sunday that there should be MARKED improvement if not complete healing. She reminded me to take pictures before I left (of course I did.. I took pictures of his entire body so that I have something to compare it to) and advised me to have a strong drink or ten that night and the next. I laughed then. Yet here it is, now Sunday morning, 3:36am CST and I cannot sleep. I want to grab a bottle of something strong, sit in my son’s room, drown my sorrows, and weep.

Monster and I ran to Target to stock up on all things organic (because the ex knows nothing about organic foods or even healthy foods. Monster is on a strictly organic diet. No screwing up his digestive system.) and to get a few new toys because the ex has nothing for him to play with. (He should be up for Dad of the Year. Be sure to cast your vote for anyone but him.) We barely made it home in time to get him packed. In fact, the ex sat waiting in my driveway for 5 minutes until I got it all ready. I still feel like I forgot something. But I made sure to pack the essentials.. steroid cream, diapers, wipes, powder, clothes, (warm ones, at that, since it’s in the 30’s and they have NO central heat in their house that should be condemned…) hearing aids, extra batteries, food, toys, toothbrush and toothpaste, Eeyore pillow pet, his great granddad’s giraffe that he gave me while I was pregnant ((Sidenote: My grandfather was the best man I have ever ever ever known.. He was father, for all intents and purposes. When my sperm donor *biological dad* walked out of my life, my Daddy stepped up. He was my everything. Unfortunately, he ended up having Alzheimer’s and was slowly taken away from me. By the time I found out that I was pregnant with Monster, he was pretty far gone. Barely knew me. But every great once in a while, he would be perfectly clear. I went to see him for Father’s Day at the nursing home and I told him that I was pregnant. That day was perfect for him. He knew absolutely everything I said to him. He understood. He put his hand on my belly and told me that I was going to be the best mom in the world. That no matter what, this baby is destined to be great. He cried as he realized that he would never know his great grandchild. He reminded me that he loved me and he gave me this giraffe that played a lullaby.. I had never seen him with this before. It was simply a baby toy. But he held it and he hugged it and he told me how much he loved it. He told me that he had nothing else to give but that giraffe and all his love. I told him that was more than enough. Shortly before I left that day, he told me goodbye. Now, Dad was never one to say goodbye.. he said that it was too final. If you said goodbye to him, he scolded you. It was always, “See you later.” That day was different. That day it was a tearful, “Goodbye, Babygirl. Don’t you ever forget that your Daddy loves you with his whole heart. Til kingdom come.” That day was final. It was the last time I saw him alive. I had already found out that Monster was going to be a girl. On June 30th, 2011 my Daddy went to Heaven. And 2 weeks later, I found out that my Monster was a boy. He is now named after my amazing Dad because a part of me feels like my Monster is a big ole chunk of my Daddy to hold in my arms and love every day. Drying my eyes now..)) and his Build-A-Bear husky that his (step) Daddy stuffed just for him. Oh.. and 2 jackets packed in his bag and 1 on him so that it cannot be mistaken that the boy doesn’t have a jacket again (since that was ex smother-in-law’s excuse for not having him in one the last time.. even though I packed one.. there’s the bitchy-ness.. what kid really needs 3 jackets?) The Fiancee and I told our Monster that we would see him later, hugged him tight, gave him kisses and walked out the door with him and his bags to have to let him go, once again.

So here I sit.. it’s now 4am.. I’m finally 14 hours away from getting my baby back home, safe and sound, with me.. and I just want to cry. I cried all day yesterday throughout phone calls, in Target.. I’ve cried off and on today.. I’ve missed him so much that it hurts. I can’t shake the feeling that something is wrong.. I think I’m really just expecting it. If the ex knew any amount of sign language, I would probably feel better.. but he knows nothing.. at all.. and that’s all that Monster knows. We haven’t started with the speech therapist yet, so he hasn’t really learned to talk.. but he knows how to communicate. He knows ASL.. I know ASL, I know what he’s saying.. The Fiancee knows ASL and knows what he’s saying.. I don’t understand how it’s possible for the ex to be able to have Monster like this with no way to communicate. There’s something else for court. If he’s going to stay with the ex then I feel like the ex should have to show me proof that he can actually communicate with Monster. I don’t think that it’s right to have my baby in a strange place with people who can’t talk to him and he can’t talk to. What if he’s scared? What if he needs something or wants something and nobody knows what he’s signing? He needs his Momma and his true Daddy. He needs to be home. And I need to go to bed before I worry myself to death or decide to do something stupid like driving out to the country to get my kid and bring him home where he belongs. God, I can’t wait until he comes home.

Until next time….

–Isabella has spoken….–

Posted in The Past, The Present | Leave a comment

A Look at the Present..

I don’t pretend to understand why they call it the “present.” Today is a gift? If that’s the case, I want to know where I can return it. At least the broken parts.

Since you don’t know my story with the ex yet, this may or may not make sense to you. I’ll give a little back story from a couple weekends past and then fill you in on the rest later. Then we’ll move to this prank gift of today and maybe you can help me understand.

The ex and I have a custody agreement that I was told was arranged differently than the wording in the divorce papers (believe me, this has now been handled with my lawyer and I’m not the happiest of campers). I have full custody, he has visitation rights. Because he works out of state and is gone most of the month, he gets time with our son at reasonable times when his schedule allows. Also, because our son is so young and because of the condition of my ex-in-laws home, (which is where the ex stays when he’s in town.. the place really should be condemned.) and because any time that the ex-in-laws have had the privilege of having my son at any point by themselves, he has not been taken care of (like ex-smother-in-law not letting him sleep and not feeding him the 9 ounces of formula he was supposed to have over the course of 6 hours.. my son has had horrific acid reflux from the time that he was born and if he didn’t eat on time, he screamed for hours because of the pain from the acid.) and even when we are sitting right in front of them (like when ex-daddy-o decided to give my 4 month old son a sip of beer… and the ex laughed… and I went insane… took my kid and left.. after a nice “up yours” and a few other things that are slightly more R rated. Told you I could be a bitch when necessary..) they just don’t care and therefore the ex is not allowed overnight visits. Well.. Here’s the problem.. The ex and I agreed to all these things beforehand. I agreed that I would allow him to see our son any time that he was in town as long as he gave me at least 24 hours advance notice. We agreed that there would be no overnight visits because he doesn’t do well sleeping in a different place. Then we signed the divorce papers. I have bent over backwards. I have gone above and beyond. I’ve allowed him to have our son every day for a week because he was in town that long. I’ve never shown an issue with it. I have issues with the fact that my son comes home and his stomach is torn up. I have issues with the fact that he has come home with fleas crawling through his hair (Now, I have made mention of that one to the ex because I was appalled, disgusted and absolutely livid). I have issues with the fact that my son comes home at night time with dark circles under his eyes from not getting a nap that day. But I’ve kept my cool. I’ve not kept his child from him. I have valid reasons for my son to not stay overnight. He agreed with me on them at one point (hindsight: he probably agreed to appease me with no intention of following through…).

Two Thursdays ago he called (Valentine’s Day, yeah.. how nice to wake up to a call from your ex-husband on V’Day.. That day wasn’t a gift either… Somebody really should get to work on a returns department for this.) to let me know that he was coming in town the next day and wanted to know if he could see our son on Saturday. I, of course, said yes and that he needed to stop asking and just let me know that he was coming and I would tell him around what time our son was waking up now. I told him that I would make sure that he was awake and ready on Saturday morning. Later that afternoon, I reminded him that he owed me half of our son’s medical bills from when he had the flu in January. And also that he owed for half the prescriptions. He proceeded to tell me how unfair it was that he had to carry insurance as well as pay for half of his medical bills. I told him that if he had a problem with it, he signed the same papers I did and he should have done something about it before he put pen to paper. Long story short, he was pissed at me.

Saturday morning, he came and picked our son up at around 11am. He told me then that he would be bringing him back home at about 9pm as he was on schedule to go to bed at about 10pm (I know, late night. What can I say, he comes by it honestly.) and this would give the Fiancee and I enough time to give him a bath and get him settled down for bed. I don’t make the ex bring our son home early. I don’t ask for much. Just that as long as he is not with me, he is to be taken care of to the full extent of the ability of the person who he is with at the time. Said person, according to the law, should ONLY be my ex-husband, the non-custodial parent. Not his parents. Not Joe Blow down the street. Just my ex. Saturday evening at about 5:30, I got a text message from him while I was at a tattoo parlor, waiting to get my wrist tattooed. He asked if our son could stay the night. I said no. He tells me that his lawyer says that our son can stay with him. That it is “his weekend” and that he has him until Sunday at 6pm. That my child HAS to stay with him. Because I was told that I had the ability to tell him no, I jumped to the only thing I could think of which was to call the cops. So I told him that I was going to have to call the cops if that was what it took but that I was getting my son back for the night. After going back and forth with him a few more times, getting my divorce papers out and going over them I noticed that the way that they are written, my hands were legally tied. It was the third weekend of the month and because of state visitation law and the wording of our papers that unless work permitted him from exercising his visitation that he had the ability to keep him from Friday at 5pm (which, btw, he wasn’t even in town then) until Sunday at 6pm and there was not a damn thing I could do about it. I broke down. I have never felt so helpless in my life. I didn’t know where my child was. I didn’t know what he was doing. How he felt. I knew that absolutely no one in his parent’s household (where I’m assuming that he was.. I have no way of knowing) knows a bit of sign language and nobody can communicate with my child. Nobody wherever he was knew anything about his schedules, his routines, the way he likes things, nothing. Nobody knows him. They’re hardly ever around him. They didn’t have a crib, his organic milk and food, his toys, his movies… not a thing. And there was absolutely nothing I could do. I felt as though my child had been kidnapped. I was terrified and a nervous wreck. The ex had been abusive to me while I was pregnant.. there was nothing telling me that he didn’t have the potential to be that way toward my son. I just wanted him home. Finally, on Sunday the ex-smother-in-law came and brought my son back at 5:47pm. No phone call to tell me that that was who was bringing him. No phone call (or text even) telling me that she was on the way. We weren’t even home. We pulled up at 5:47 and she had already gotten my son out of the car, in the cold, without his jacket (that I provided in his backpack) and was getting my carseat out of her car. The Fiancee and I assumed that the ex sent his mommy to deliver the kiddo home to us because he was scared to face me. Good on him. Really. I was livid. I had already decided that there was no way that I would be able to be face to face with him and hold my tongue (or my fists). I didn’t get out of the car. I didn’t speak to her. I didn’t wave. I waited until she got her car out of my driveway and then I pulled in, went inside immediately and checked him over. He had flea bites (I took pictures, no worries) and horribly dark circles under both eyes. The kid was thrilled to be home. An hour or so later, the ex posted a status (good ole facebook.. for once I like you..) from the state where he works. He had left town at 1pm. Now, let’s go back to where I mentioned that his visitation is for him and him alone. It is not to be delegated to anyone. Not a single soul. However, not only was my child left with people that he shouldn’t be alone with, but I was never told anything. This goes against every law pertaining to visitation. Guess who will be going to court soon.

For the next week, I spent time in my lawyer’s office, trying to figure out where to go from here. I never heard a word from the ex. Then here we go again with facebook and all it’s wonders. This past Friday, he posts a status about being back in this state. Apparently, he was in town. Never said a word about wanting to have anything to do with my son. Never tried to call, text… Nothing. Monday, however, back in his work state, he texts and asks how the kiddo is. I never responded. He has my phone number and is more than welcome to call and I can put Monster’s hearing aids in and they can talk. No issues there. He has Tango, I have Tango. He could video call him. But he doesn’t. He won’t. This way he can say that I won’t let him know how his kid is because I won’t respond to him. Except I guess that he’s forgetting the fact that there are many more avenues of communication and if he doesn’t try all, then he hasn’t really tried any.

And here we are today. Wednesday. He sends me a text this afternoon and asks for a picture of the lil monster’s insurance card. Take into consideration that he is on the ex’s insurance and that both the ex’s card and monster’s card look identical. Same numbers. Same everything. I sent the picture anyway. When it took forever to send, he responded with, “I know you’re ignoring me and that’s fine. I just need some numbers off the card for the kid.” After sending that, he asked for a picture of the back. I obliged. I then asked if he was finally attaching a rider to the policy that would cover Monster’s audiological expenses ((which it says in the divorce papers that he must do)) and he never replied. Still. This was hours ago.

Apparently, my gift of today was facing the demons of my past and reliving it all over again. I have hugged my Monster so much today that I think he’s probably sick of me. This all looks like a bunch of rambling.. and it very well may be.. I think more than anything, I just needed to type it all out.. I needed to see it in black and white rather than live it in my head. Mission accomplished. Time to go hug the Monster once again.. Until next time…

–Isabella has spoken…–

Posted in The Past, The Present | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Not Switched at Birth..

but I gotta say I’ve learned a lot from that show.. ABCFamily’s series about two girls who were switched at birth.. one of the girls is deaf, the other is hearing..

This series premiered in June of 2011, just 4 short months before my precious baby boy was born. I fell in love at the beginning of the first episode. Little did I know that I would be faced with something pretty life altering over the course of the next year. I’ve always had an interest in sign language and I learned some back in grade school. I didn’t know much.. the basics I guess.. the alphabet, how to ask a few questions and random animals. Now that I have a deaf son, I can’t ever feel like I’m learning enough. I can carry on a pretty slow conversation at this point and I find myself signing to people while I’m talking ((case in point, I signed an entire conversation to a lady at my local bank.. she looked at me rather odd..)) and I just don’t think about it. Now it’s second nature.

Finding out that my son was deaf was a huge shock to my system. I was confused and scared and a nervous wreck. I was sad and hurt and so very angry. I was happy that it wasn’t something worse. I didn’t know how to deal with it. I asked myself where I was supposed to go from there. Looking back, the first few months were a blur. Audiologist appointments, fittings for ear molds, choosing hearing aid colors, a plethora of knowledge and information about ears and aids and cleaning and batteries and prevention of ear infections and feedback and ear molds and the dirtiest of words– “options.”

Options. For hearing loss/deafness, there are two options. 1) Hearing aids, 2)Cochlear Implants. SO much goes into both. They’re both expensive. They both will eventually require some sort of therapy (speech, psychotherapy.. etc..) From day one, CIs were NOT an option for me. I saw (and still see) no need for an unnecessary, RISKY surgery to make my son “normal.” Let me be honest, if you’re pro-CI and don’t want the possibility of being persuaded, then you might want to stop reading right here and if you do stop, thank you for your time. It’s been a pleasure. My son is not broken. He is not abnormal. He is not disabled. He is not mute (by any means, believe me). He is not dumb. He is not deformed. He is not disadvantaged. My son is exactly the way that God intended him to be. No matter if it was the vaccine that caused it or if he was born this way. Being deaf does not define him. At 16 months old, he makes sure to let you know exactly who he is every single day. There is absolutely no reason to change a single, solitary thing about him. My ex-mother-in-law as well as my ex-husband have both been on the CI kick since we learned that my son was deaf. They both tell me all the time that without the CIs, he won’t be normal. He won’t be able to do things like normal kids. He won’t be able to have normal conversations. He won’t be able to interact with people. He’ll get made fun of because he can’t hear. He will miss out on life because he’s deaf and I refuse the CIs. “He just needs to be able to lead a normal life. Don’t you want that for him? Don’t you want the best for him? Don’t you want him to be normal?” and my personal favorite is where it turns to being all about me– “You just want him to be like this so that people will feel sorry for you and give you attention. You want to keep him trapped in his own mind just so that you can get sympathy.” Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha….. *deep breath…* Okay, sorry about that. hah. hah hah. *clears throat..* Okay, really. I’m alright now. Newsflash: CIs don’t make your life easy. They don’t make you normal. They make you deaf with a “fix.” ((Author edit: This is my personal opinion for MY child.. This is based on how I was approached from the beginning by the ex and his family; that CIs were a “fix to Monster’s problem.” This is not how I feel about those who have chosen CIs for themselves. I have friends who are deaf who have chosen to have CIs and I rejoiced with them. I was excited for them. But I will not ever force my child to have something permanently added to his body that he may not have wanted in the first place. I fully recognize that just as ASL, speech therapy and hearing aids are tools for deaf, so are CIs.))  If they even work 100%. (For those with CIs, if you’re offended by now, I tried to tell you to stop reading before all this. Flame away if needed.)

I want my son to love who he is. I want my son to accept his deafness, not feel beaten down by it. I’m not naive. I know that this is going to be a long, tough road. I know it won’t be easy. But NOBODY’S LIFE IS EASY! Everybody on the face of the planet has had at least a moment in their life where they struggle. Everybody. No one is immune. And no matter how much, as a parent, we wish for perfect lives for our kids, they will still be met with trials and struggles and heartbreak and hurt and pain.. Because that’s life. Nobody ever said that it was easy.. but it’s how you deal with the struggle that determines who you’re going to be. Life goes on. Deaf is not a death sentence. It’s a life experience. My son will see life from a perspective that I will never get to experience. I’ve covered my ears, I’ve held my head underwater, I’ve blared my headphones and tried to hear myself talk. I’ve tried everything to understand what it must feel like but I can’t. I can only experience his perspective through him. And I cannot wait until he gets older and we meet that first challenge. I know my kid and I know that he’s a fighter. He will fight like hell to make sure that he overcomes anything. He will have a Mom standing beside him that will hold his hand, hug him when he needs it, hold him when he cries, love him unconditionally, fight his battles when he needs me to, stand back and let him fight his own battles when he’s ready, listen to him when he needs to talk, be there for him when he needs me, be his mom first, his best friend second and his everything when needed.

I already had a pretty positive outlook on this whole thing before Switched at Birth started to really touch my life. Watching it now, I can imagine my son at high school age and it makes me wonder what kind of outlook he’ll have. Will my family (The Fiancee included) be enough to give him the right outlook? Or will the ex have made him feel inferior for so long that he hates himself? Will he blame me because his bio dad does or will he have accepted that this is the path that God allowed him to walk because He knew that he could handle it? Will he embrace his deafness and never let anyone hold him back? I hope so.

I’ll end with my favorite scene from Switched at Birth so far. This was all ASL but I paused and wrote it down. It was inspiring and beautiful. And I couldn’t have been more humbled. So here we go, from the recent episode, “Human/Need/Desire.”

MELODY: I want to talk about language today. When a deaf child is born, what is the first thing the parents hear in the hospitals?

TRAVIS: “Your child failed the hearing test.”

MELODY: Right. A baby is five hours old and he’s failed something already? What about the term “hearing loss?” What does that word evoke?

NATALIE: Hearing as the norm. Deaf as less thanLacking.

MELODY: Are we less than? Do you believe being deaf has taken away or added to your life? If someone invented a pill… you could take it tonight and tomorrow you would wake up hearing… How many of you would take it?

*No response from students*

MELODY: None of you. Why not?

EMMETT: Because being deaf gives you friends anywhere you go.

MELODY: Community.

TRAVIS: And a way of seeing the world that’s different from anyone else.

MELODY: Perspective.

STUDENT 1: Hearing kids don’t know who they are. We do. We’re deaf; first, last, always.

MELODY: Identity.

NATALIE: Hearing people think they have more than us… their lives are better, we have it so “hard.” But I’d never give up being deaf to be just like everyone else.

MELODY: Not hearing loss. Deaf gain.

Until next time..

–Isabella has spoken…–

Posted in The Future, The Past, The Present | Tagged , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

First one.. I’ll explain..

I’m a terrible insomniac.. So anything from here on out, don’t hold me responsible for..

Maybe I should start with explaining who I am.. I’ll start off with the biggest part of me.

I’m a Mom. First and foremost. Before you stop reading, hear me out.. I’m 24, divorced and getting remarried in a couple of months. My son is 16 months old (as of today, the 26th) and is deaf. Not entirely sure if he was born deaf or if the Hepatitis B vaccine that he was forced to have in the hospital is what caused him to be deaf. Stick with me on this journey of writing and you’ll find out when I do. He is my whole entire world. Every thing I do or think is for or about him. He’s an amazing little kid with a smile brighter than the sun. I cannot possibly imagine ever loving anything or anyone as much or more than I do him. I found out that he was deaf when he was 2 months old after going to many appointments with an audiologist and then finally an audio/brain stem response test. 2 months later, he was wearing his first set of hearing aids. Since then, I have worked tirelessly every day with him on wearing his hearing aids, getting him to pay attention and teaching him sign language (which he is wonderful at already). It’s been a tough road.. processing what this means for his life and dealing with being blamed by my ex-husband because he “didn’t know what to think or feel.” (not excusing his behavior, just to make myself clear there. Those were the words I heard in an apology later on down the road) But as hard as it seemed at first, it seems so easy now. Don’t get me wrong, there are days and times when I feel like pulling out my hair because he can’t hear me tell him no or that he could hurt himself. But all in all, deafness isn’t bad. I wish I were deaf most of the time.. it’s gotta be nice for the world to be tuned out. His deafness will open avenues for him that I never could have dreamed. And when things get tough, we’ll conquer the mountain. I am beyond blessed to have this precious little guy in my life. Out of all the bad that came from my marriage and relationship with my ex-husband, this kid makes it all worthwhile.

So there’s the biggest part.. guess I’ll explain the new guy next.

This man… I don’t know that I CAN explain.. he’s the second best thing to ever happen to me ((the kid being the first, of course..)) and he’s the best Dad my son could ever ask for. I’m pretty positive that if he were able to pick his Dad out himself, this guy is who he would choose. He’s strong and brave and bold and doesn’t take crap from anyone. He’s understanding, caring, loving and considerate. He steps up when needed and backs off to let me be me without having to ask if he should. He has been a constant in my son’s life for months now and there’s nothing like seeing his eyes light up when the Fiancee walks into the house. He’s my sounding board, my rock, my safe place, my best friend, my protector, my knight in ripped up blue jeans, my handy man ((kinda literally)), my other half.. Plato said, “According to Greek mythology, humans were originally created with four arms, four legs, and a head with two faces. Fearing their power, Zeus split them into two separate parts, condemning them to spend their lives in search of their other halves.” I fully believe that he spent his 27 years looking for me and I spent my 24 looking for him. Although, we met when he was 21 and I was 19.. so I guess technically we found each other some years ago. We dated back when we met for 6 months. I won’t go into the gory details that led to our untimely demise as a couple.. all that really matters at this point is that we are together here and now and are getting married. He’s the perfect fit for our imperfect lives. I really could go on all night…

As for me, I’m loud and goofy and I don’t mind making a total fool of myself if it means that someone in the vicinity will smile. I can be crazy at times, but in all the right ways.. I can be a complete bitch when necessary (especially when it comes to the mistreatment of my child.. I’ll explain that a different day..). I like to have fun anywhere I go and in whatever I do. I am mostly a glass half full kind of girl but I have a tendency to be the typical slouch on the couch with a gallon of mint chocolate chip and the saddest chick flicks ever made if something has made me really upset. (keep a box of kleenex handy for some of the upcoming blogs as it may possibly get a bit dusty wherever you are) I love photography for the sheer beauty of still life.. those candid shots where nobody knows you’re taking pictures and they’re laughing and truly enjoying themselves.. those gorgeous sunsets and beautiful nature scenes, all animals included.. I have a terrible habit of making my gorgeous pitbull the subject of many photo shoots. I don’t get to go out and shoot as much as I used to.. that whole full time mom thing.. but when I can, I take full advantage. I am creative and talented but don’t put much of it to use. I can do a variety of things but I’m not sure I’ve mastered anything in particular. I love to drive around with the windows down, the radio blaring and singing at the top of my lungs… alone or with people.. I miss my freedom.. I wouldn’t trade my son for anything, but I think that every stay at home mom goes through points where they really wish they could be free for a few days. I grew up really fast. A lot of things in my life could have made me an awful person.. but I was fortunate.. and I think I ended up being pretty okay. Enough about me..

I don’t know who all might possibly follow this… I don’t know that anyone will… if not, that’s alright too.. either way, I’ll have at least gotten it all out.. If that’s even possible.

For now, it’s time to check on the kiddo and make sure that he is on his way back to dreamland (he woke up half an hour ago.. he’s getting in two canine teeth at the same time and I’m thinking it’s making for very uncomfortable sleeping.) and then I have a date with a pillow and some strong tattooed arms.. Until next time…

-Isabella has spoken…-

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