Laundry on the Line.

9 09 2010

As I begin writing this, Adelaide is playing with her dinosaurs on the floor next to me. This is a relatively new thing, that she’ll sit and play by herself without needing my constant attention. Just in time, right?

I’ve been absent from my blog for a bit, sort of on purpose. I’d read over some of my recent posts and found that the spirit of what started this blog was missing. When I started, it was because I had a huge, traumatic thing happen, and my way of coping was to laugh at it. Without finding humor in the situation, it would have been just too much. Too heavy. Too thick. So I chuckled. But after nine months of dealing with a constant, nagging feeling of fatigue and nausea and aches and pains, it got less and less funny. And so did my blog posts.

Not to say that I am or was some great humorist. But I was laughing at myself, and other people told me that they were laughing right along with me, so I think I was accomplishing a little of what I wanted to accomplish.

But then I got more angry than anything, and it bled through.

So, being pregnant, I’ve been very conscientious of this anger. I believe wholeheartedly that it can affect my unborn baby’s health and well-being. And I’ve been afraid that blogging will send me into a tangent that will raise my blood pressure, so I’ve avoided it.

Instead, I’ve been reading and learning and soaking up information about stuff. Not the stuff you’d expect so much, like baby-birthing or my disease. (Although, I do visit for nice natural parenting and pregnancy articles, and occasionally I check out to see what size fruit or vegetable Babo is this week. And that’s English cucumber this week, in length.) I’ve been reading blogs and visting sites and checking out books from the library that just make me happy.

SouleMama has been my most favorite in the last couple of months. Amanda Soule is the author of a couple of books about creating things for the home, and she’s got four kids and is apparently perfect in all ways. She really exemplifies what and who I strive to become as a mother and a home-maker (ick. I hate that term.) I mostly find her inspiring and love her recipes and can’t wait to get started on my sewing lessons so I can start making the same dresses for Adelaide that she makes for her daughter, also Adelaide. But sometimes, I have to admit, I kind of a little bit want to smack her. I read about the things the accomplishes in a day with four kids and I look at my own disaster of a moldy kitchen and I decide that jumping off a bridge would be easier than trying to make three homemade meals from scratch each day, and sew a few dresses and take the kids to the beach and teach them where clouds come from in between those meals. But I try to keep it in perspective. Baby steps. I will do what I can when I can. She may have four kids, but she doesn’t have porphyria, dammit.

I’ve also been reading Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef a bunch, trying to glean meal ideas and basic kitchen inspiration. Through this blog, I learned about Udi’s Gluten Free bread. I found it at a local market, and my life has seriously taken a turn for the better. The bread is ~gasp!~ just like real bread! I get to throw together a PB and J for the first time in over a year, and enjoy it!

I’ve found Rhythm of the Home, filled will great articles and tutorials, and a bunch of other blogs and sites that have inspired me to do things like convince my husband to give up TV at dinner so we can sit at the dinner table as a family. He does so a bit reluctantly, but he knows it’s not something he could easily argue with, ya know? And I’ve been cooking huge batches of soups, to eat half now, and freeze half for when I’m too pregnant to cook. For me-time (ha!) I’ve been reading the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo series, instead of escaping to stupid TV that rots my soul and makes me feel mushy. (Although, I did plow through all five seasons of Weeds on Netflix for a couple of weeks there, while I hand-sewed bo0-boo bags and birthday crowns for Adelaide’s fourth birthday. And I have to mention that my ex boyfriend has a role in Weeds, starting in season 5, and continuing this season, which I won’t see until next year because who in the hell can afford cable with premium channels? He’s the crazy anti-abortionist nutjob. On the show. Not in real life. And he’s marvelous and my claim to fame at the moment.)

Now, the days of going to the pool or the beach in the mornings are nearing an end. Adelaide started her two homeschool co-ops this week. She’s loving it. And I’m loving the 3 hours I get to sit and talk to other mammas twice a week while someone else keeps her entertained and educated and discourages running with scissors.

I’ve just decided that, though I hurt a lot, and though I’m often too tired to think straight, and though I spend a day in bed here and there, I cannot give up and decide to just be “sick.” I’ve become dangerously close to identifying myself as the “sick” girl. And once that happens, it’s a hard u-turn to make. I got a good wake-up call recently when I responded to a post on a porph discussion group. A woman wrote to say she’d just found out she was pregnant, and wanted to know if anyone had any experience with dealing with porph while pregnant. She was nervous. I know the feeling.

The first person to respond to her, one of the regulars on the list who seems to have an answer for everything, told her of her own horror stories of being pregnant and having several miscarriages and complicated births and almost dying, etc. She told the woman that specialists are necessary, pregnancy is “dangerous” for “us,” and that homebirths are certainly out of the question. Now, while I certainly feel much sympathy for this woman’s experiences and loss, I didn’t want for the newly pregnant woman to ONLY hear scary things. I can’t imagine how that would have affected me in my early pregnancy! So I pretty quickly responded that I’m currently pregnant, it’s going well, my first pregnancy went well, and when issues arise they can be dealt with in a safe and effective way. And that I am having a homebirth, thank you very much. I encouraged her to explore all of her options, talk to as many doctors, specialists, midwives, doulas, mammas, that she needed to in order to feel comfortable making a decision about her birth choices, and to relax. Enjoy being pregnant and forget about being in control of things.

I got slammed by the old woman who knows it all. I was even accused of not being sick enough! NOT SICK ENOUGH! She questioned whether or not I’d ever had a “real” attack, and basically told me I had no right to speak to any of these issues and was passing along dangerous information.

I never responded to her. I read her blast at me and I realized, right then and there, that I can NEVER turn into that. I don’t care how sick I get. I can never turn into the person who is determined that I’m the sickest, and that I will always be sick no matter what, and that I should give up all hope for being healthful and happy.

And THAT is just why I took a break from everything porph for a while, including my blog. My porph hasn’t taken a break, but I’m certainly not letting it take over. I’ve decided that I’ll try to equalize this space for a bit. Instead of it only being about my health and porph related things, I will make it more about whatever I need it to be about. And, in turn, it will hopefully contribute to my well-being, rather than contribute to my sick-being.

Along those lines, here are a couple of things I’m liking right now:

Boo Boo bags. Handsewn. That's a lot of handsewing.

Jungle Safari AND Fairy Princess Birthday Cake. For the Jungle Safari Fairy Princess.

The 26 Week Bump.

Warming up and drying off, after the last outside pool swim of the year.

And I just can't help but love this.