A different Limbo

Over the years, I have been used to being in limbo.

Am I pregnant?

Is the line dark enough?

Are the numbers going to rise enough?

Is there a heartbeat?

When will I start bleeding?

When will the test results come back? And what do they mean?

When can I try again?

Rinse repeat.

 

And then also during the successful pregnancy:

Is it still alive?

Does it have all of the right chromosomes?

Is he going to make it through this?

 

But now I face a different limbo. One that when announced a couple of months ago, I honestly wasn’t worried about. But now as the time goes by and it is looming over us, I am getting increasingly nervous.

I will not mention the name of the company that I work for, but they announced major layoffs back in November. Layoffs to take place by the end of January. Ones that they are waiting until the last minute for it seems. Which just ramps up the nerves and makes it hard to focus on anything else at work, especially when the week so far has been particularly slow.

You may remember, I only just started this job in March. Had I been here longer, long enough for my performance scores to be on record, I would not be worried. I am a great employee and my bosses agree and constantly reward me and let me know this. The problem is… they aren’t the ones who made the decisions. Everything at this point is really just ‘rumors’ but what seems to be true is that the decisions were made based off of these scores from the previous years and probably various other things. No emotion or bias. Which sounds great. We SHOULD be judging people at work based on their performance and behaviors. Not whether they are your boss’s buddy. But for someone who doesn’t have these performance scores yet, I am worried. I don’t know how they made the decisions. We do know that the decisions have been made though, and not by our bosses.

The things we don’t know:

When will this happen?

Will it be me?

How much severance will I get?

Will my child be uninsured?

Can we afford insurance on only my DH’s salary?

Do I need to start looking for another job?

Will I find another job?

When will this be over?

Just like in the TTC times, I wish I just knew. I wish they would just do the ‘Band-Aid” method.

It will be fine if I get let go. We will make it work. DH and I have planned for these such scenarios with our savings. I know one thing about this scenario, it would be the company’s loss. More so than mine.

But I just NEED to know. So I can move on. Move on from the company, or move on with the company and most importantly move on with my life. Because since this announcement, all of the plans we were making have been halted. No vacations, no visiting friends, no booking accommodations for wedding. No big purchases (necessary or not). Not many small purchases either.

I can live with the outcome. Whatever it may be. But I can’t keep dealing with this limbo.

 

Is it February yet?

S

 

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The final straw

I was sick with a cold for nearly 2 weeks. It wouldn’t have been all that bad if I just could have slept! But it is hard to sleep when you can’t breathe. Every day I would wake up hoping that today was the day I would finally feel better. I was supposed to have a meeting with my counselor last Monday, but when I ended up not sleeping well Sunday night I gave her a call and left a message hoping that we could reschedule. When she finally called back she was like “What’s going on?” I told her and she asked “So there is no way you can come in? Being that this is late notice?” Sorry, my cold didn’t give me enough of a notice for you….

After I told her I could make it happen if I HAD to, she said we could just reschedule (flaky, eh?). The rescheduled appointment was yesterday. She seemed in a bad mood since she answered the door, telling me that I can just come in after ringing the bell (My bad for using manners to wait for someone to answer their own door at their home) and then when I went to shut the door she told me to leave it, so the next person knows to just come in. It doesn’t sound that bad in writing, but she did not say any of this in a very nice tone. Okay, whatever, we all have bad days.

For the past week or so I was afraid that DH would not follow through on his month of planning a date, at which time I would schedule us with a marriage counselor. Well, he did follow through, he asked my sister to watch Little Bach and he made dinner reservations to a place he knew I had been wanting to go for a while now. I was really excited about it. Of course I still ended up feeling like crap that day, but we still went out and had a good time experiencing fondue for the first time together.

I told (We will call her Mrs. B) that he came through on date night. She asked what we did and I told her we went to dinner.

Mrs. B “What else?”

Me “That was it. He asked me what I wanted to do after we left there, but I was still sick and couldn’t even stay awake, I just wanted to go to sleep”

Mrs. B “So he didn’t plan anything else?”

Me “No”

Mrs. B “So he STILL doesn’t understand what you want?”

And then it got into her saying that because he asked me what I wanted to do after, that he didn’t do what I wanted him to do. I told her I was happy just to go to dinner! And he booked it all and set it up at a place that he knew I wanted to try for a while. And she was just really trying to get me to be mad about it!! “But… he still didn’t know what you wanted to do after. He still asked you and wanted you to figure it out.”

I was seriously picturing in my head leaping across the room to choke a bitch. I was SO MAD.

I defended him saying that of course he asked me what I wanted to do, he knew I had been sick for over a week and it is not just perfectly fine, but also perfectly logical for him to ask me what I want to do in that situation so he can learn what I was up for in my condition. (Which turned out to be nothing. Going home and sleeping).

She did not like that answer. I am getting fuzzy on the details of the conversation by now because I am just so mad. But she seriously kept trying to convince me that I didn’t get what I wanted and that I should be upset about it. “But don’t you think that he … didn’t do… blah blah blah”

Finally after our arguing she said “So you are okay with it?” In a tone that suggested she thinks I shouldn’t be (which was obvious). I told her “Yes.” And she just stared at me (mean look on her face). And finally said “K.” pause as she looks at her notes and then said “What else then?”

I was so mad at this point (10 minutes in) that I wanted to just leave.

I know that no one else was there and couldn’t back this stuff up. But just based on her words alone. Does this seem like a legit reason to get mad and be done? I am on my period, so maybe I’m just over-reacting.

I had other things I had written down to talk about regarding my husband, but at that point I had NO intention of sharing those. I really felt like she was villain-izing my husband.

I had to fill the remaining time with something. So I brought up one of the biggest issues for me, being my anxiety, and how it keeps me up at night some times, when DS doesn’t get up and cry at night I get worried something is wrong, I get up, check the monitor, sometimes I even go into his room to make sure he is okay. This is ridiculous, and I can’t keep doing this, I recognize that. Her response: “You have to stop.” Ummmm Thanks Lady… “How?” she told me “You just have to discipline yourself to stop”

But she didn’t stop there she went on to tell me how my anxiety could affect my son, which I realize is something that could happen and is an okay thing to tell someone on its own. But she described this at length. “He will see you scared, and then he will be scared and will grow up being scared of things that aren’t scary, and then you will have to console him and then what will you say to him?”

So here I am pissed that I have to defend my husband after making what I think is great progress (and isn’t this whole therapy thing about me and my feelings?) and now ready to cry because I feel like an awful mother. I really did, she gave me no help in how to stop my anxious feelings but proceeded to tell me the terrible things that could happen if I don’t. Well as you ladies with anxiety know, telling an anxiety riddled person about all of the things that can go wrong is NOT going to help ANYONE!

The most advice she gave me during this session: say to yourself “I’m calm, I’m relaxed”

That’s it.

Never even brought up the perfectionist thing from the previous appointment. Didn’t have the info on it she was going to give me. Nothing.

 

Am I overreacting? Either way, I’m done with this B.

 

Seeing someone

A couple of weeks ago I decided to try out the EAP (Employee Advisor Program?) offered by my new employer.

I had my first session with the counselor last week. Before I went, I wondered what I was really going for. I was having a good day, things seemed to be going well, I almost thought of cancelling it. I didn’t. I wasn’t super impressed by the counselor, she is one picked by the EAP, she seemed less professional than the ones I had seen before, maybe it was the home office thing, I don’t know. Or because she wants me to come every week, and didn’t like the idea of my wanting every 2 weeks, and then brought up that we would have to continue with my insurance after the EAP sessions run out. It is probably just me reading into things, but she seemed most interested in her income. But I get 5 or 6 sessions covered by the EAP, so I figure I may as well use them, right?

She told me to keep a journal for random thoughts, so I have done this. My second appointment is today, here are some of my random thoughts:

  1. I feel guilty going once a week because I feel like that is time I am supposed to be spending with my son and husband.
  2. I feel guilty taking any ‘me’ time
  3. I feel guilty even taking ‘us’ time (Me and B)
  4. Everything falls on me. If I want us to go out, I have to make a plan, find a sitter, decide where to go. If I want a family outing, dinner, ANYTHING, I am told “Just tell me what to do” I don’t want it all on me! Everything is on me, I work, get home and start making dinner and play with the boy until DH gets home and I can finish dinner, we all eat, I do the dishes about 85% of the time, we both get DS ready for bed and DH puts him down while I shower, then it is finishing dishes if there are any and going to sleep, because Lord knows the DS wakes me up at least once every night these days!
  5. I hope this is a phase of teething. I feel like he will never sleep through the night again consistently. It has seriously been so long.
  6. I don’t know when to transition to the big bed. I don’t trust him at all, he cannot control himself when he wants to get into something, especially when he knows he isn’t supposed to. Am I doing something wrong?
  7. I have a lot of resentment towards my husband that I didn’t even realize. There is seriously 3 full pages about him fishing or kayaking or helping friends or working on the vehicle or the house while I watch DS.
  8. I feel like as a society Dads still get to be themselves and get the “Dad’ title as a bonus, I feel like Moms turn into just “Mom”
  9. I have completely lost my identity. I feel like I am “Mom” and nothing else. ( I love being a mom and I am so grateful) ThisI have been struggling with huge, I avoided doing a post about it because I feel like all I ever post is negative, but this is honestly an outlet for me (I’m not a very good blogger). But I don’t even know the person I used to be, I don’t travel much because I don’t trust DS to behave enough to not die! I couldn’t even remember when she asked me what I like to do for fun. Because even if and when I would get time, I don’t even know what to do with it, I spend so much time feeling guilty for not being around my son, and guilty for not making better use of my time, that it becomes unenjoyable.
  10. The massive anxiety I have even THINKING about early pregnancy and how to hide it and the pit in my stomach just thinking about having to announce it at some point. I am clearly not ready to have another child.
  11. I had another chemical at 6 weeks a couple of weeks ago, and I feel like the worst person ever, like seriously the worst person and have so much guilt over being okay with it, because I am not okay to deal with that anxiety of things going well again, I know that doesn’t even make sense.
  12. I’m pressuring myself into wanting another child and wanting it soon. I know this, but it doesn’t change the fact that I think about it all of the time.
  13. We are definitely avoiding TTC now. I am obviously not in a place to be okay with it yet. And I don’t know when I will be if ever. But I will not TTC until I can be okay and at least somewhat excited about being pregnant.
  14. I feel like if I get to go out for dinner with a friend that I am ‘using up’ the ‘me’ time I should be allotted (which is weird, because it isn’t like I’m allotted a certain amount or anything…)
  15. Maybe I just like to complain?
  16. DH and I NEED more date nights. Just us, because the very few we have had have been great and they make me so happy, but again, very few. And taking time for us isn’t taking anything away from DS, because we need our relationship to stay strong to set a good example for him.
  17. I hate my house. I hate it so much. For the amount of money we spent on it, I just hate it. I am not comfortable there, It is dated and dark and things seem to be falling apart. And It doesn’t smell like ‘home’ and I don’t know how to change the smell.
  18. I hate the color of my living room, grey and my blue/grey bedroom, I really think the colors make it cold and not at all homey and comforting, but I feel guilty about this because we just painted a year ago and I feel wasteful.
  19. My house has no carpet. I love carpet, I have hardwood, especially when it is throughout the house. It makes everything cold and hard.
  20. We moved the couch and TV in the living room around yesterday, I was hoping this would make me feel more at home. I do like the change, but I almost cried (and almost am now) because it still seems dark and gloomy.
  21. I worry that I can do all of these things to my house and still not feel at home in it.
  22. I miss my old house. Not the smallness and unfinished basement, but it felt like home, we did so much work to it, I was proud of it and couldn’t wait to show it off. I don’t like people coming into my new house.
  23. I realize a big thing I want to do to make me feel like me again: I want to get my house to a state that I enjoy it again. I want to remodel it top to bottom, inside and out. I LOVED home improvement projects before, and still do, though I never seem to have time for them. I really don’t have the time and can’t do things with DS around, and then I get back to the guilt of taking time away from him to do, well, anything.
  24. Working mom guilt is rough.
  25. All mom guilt is rough.

I love my son. So much. I want everything in life to be the best it can be for him. I want to be the best I can be for him. I love my husband. I want our marriage, our home to be the best for all of us.

So much falls on me. And I don’t feel like I am handling it as well as I should. I have so much anxiety over things I can’t control. I really want to learn to just let some things go and focus on the important things. But I don’t know how….yet.

Why it still hurts

Before starting my new job I had met with my new boss and her replacement (M), who would take over shortly after I would start. It turned out that M has a little boy only 6 days older than my boy.

Within the first week or 2 of starting, my boss left for a job at a different site and we had a small celebration where M and I talked. She was talking about how they were thinking of adding to their family. No big surprise, I mean, that is what people do, right?

It turned out that M actually had to stay in her current job for a while longer before taking over and becoming my boss. I would just see her and wave in the hall once in a while, but our paths didn’t cross much.

A few weeks ago I noticed she was wearing a flannel that seemed a bit more baggy than what she would normally wear (she is a pretty slim person). So I had some thoughts about that, though I would obviously never say anything or ask (I’m not a moron, though there are surprisingly a lot of those out there…). Yesterday was her first official day as our new boss. As she stood in front of the meeting room and told us about herself I noticed that she kept pulling her jacket over her and that she had gained some weight, but just in that area. At the end of the discussion she said “And since I’m apparently bad at hiding it, I am expecting my 2nd child” with a big smile on her face. She was showered in ‘congratulations’ as expected.

I smiled and congratulated her as well. I am happy that she didn’t have to go through months or years before conceiving this child that she wanted. But I couldn’t figure out why it hurt me. It stabbed my heart (though I knew it was coming).  It wasn’t as deep as before I had Baby Bach, but it was there. I didn’t want to talk to anyone after, just went right out to my car, picked up my son and went home to cry. I didn’t ugly cry like I used to, but I was just sad.

And I couldn’t figure out why. I have my rainbow. I am not TTC a sibling yet (though I may have allowed a ‘slip-up’ last week). And I am still feeling like I am not sure I want to. But I couldn’t stop thinking about it, so I dissected my feelings for a while until it became clear to me why I was not only upset (and jealous) at this announcement, but why I am struggling to be okay with trying for a sibling:

I was jealous of her excitement. I will never have that in pregnancy. During my pregnancy with my son my anxiety was at an all-time high. I had to seek help from a therapist. Every ultrasound probably put my blood pressure through the roof. I was horrified. And even when the results came back good, I still couldn’t feel at ease. Yes, this one was going better than the rest, but for how long? I kept my pregnancy hidden for so long. It kept me up at night knowing that at some point I would have to tell people, I was mostly nervous to tell my family. I didn’t want to see their excitement, because I didn’t want to have to bring them back down later. I was in the 2nd Tri before I told my family and even my best friend. And I didn’t want to. I was so nervous (I can feel the nerves now just thinking about it). I started by telling my mom not to cry and to stay calm. But I don’t think it was to protect her, it was to protect me. Having to untell her when my first pregnancy failed was awful. She had been so excited. Most people, family and friends, didn’t even know I was pregnant until they got a shower invite, or even until after he was born. I couldn’t even bring myself to acknowledge it, how could I deal with other people knowing it?

I had to take a break from the blog world and the baby site world. I didn’t want to be involved in any of it. I would get seriously angry if people started making a fuss over the baby or my belly or even talked or asked about it.

And then I went on to have Gestational Diabetes, so that sure didn’t help things.

But I didn’t take pictures of my belly. I didn’t do a gender reveal. I didn’t do a pregnancy announcement. All of those things I had once imagined doing before RPL. I just didn’t want a big deal to be made about it. And when I think of getting pregnant again, I start feeling very anxious on how I would hide it form my family, especially now that I live closer and see them more. It is terrifying me to think about. GD aside, my pregnancy wasn’t that bad physically. But mentally it was awful. And just thinking about going through the mental exercise again makes my stomach hurt.

I have been considering seeing a counselor again. I do want my son to have a sibling, but I don’t want to go through the process again. Loss after loss. Then a high anxiety pregnancy at best, that would hopefully end in a living child. And have Gestational Diabetes.

I guess I am realizing just how messed up my mental state is surrounding this right now. I didn’t realize until M made her announcement what was really holding me back. But now that I know it, just maybe I can fix it?

 

It wouldn’t have changed my decision

I wrote this Friday and then got interrupted and sidetracked, so I am posting today. 

To expand on the job I applied for a few weeks ago, where I got a call and interview request in less than 24 hours…

I went to my interview a couple of weeks ago, I thought it went pretty well. It is crazy how different I felt going into this interview as opposed to going into interviews for my 1st job in my career. I was relaxed, slept well the night before, didn’t practice, I just woke up that morning and went in and went with the flow. I was told it would be 2 weeks until they made a decision. Then… last Friday, I got a call with an offer.

And I have been going crazy ever since. Do I go? Do I stay? I mean there are wayyyyy more pros to going, better company, MUCH shorter drive, and much better pay and benefits. Also, the people seemed great, I got to meet up with them again yesterday for a tour of the facility. They really want me to join their team.

Here, I have the people I work with, who have been there for me when things were not going so great in fertility land. They have always been compassionate and understanding. And my boss is allowing me to work part time at 32 hours a week (4 days) but of course I drive 1 hour each way in great conditions. And I have a great reputation here, I worked hard to build it. It would be scary to start over.

A couple of days ago I told my boss about the offer, he understand completely with the drive I have why this is so lucrative to me, I told him the pay and benefits were greater too, but I have still yet to make my decision.

Now, when B told his boss (we worked at the same company) he had an offer, he went immediately into action offering raises etc. to stay. Another coworker that left recently also got offered a very large amount to stay (he still turned it down). So I figured I would give my boss some time to decide what he wants to do to try to keep me.

Today he had me meet with people in charge of a new position where I would be somewhat closer to home (closer, but with heavy traffic making the drive worse than now!) and that was it… haven’t talked to him since. But for as many times as he said “I really don’t want to see you go” he sure didn’t put much effort into keeping me. And that makes me sad. VERY very sad. I’ve worked for this guy for 6+ years… and I don’t feel worth much to him anymore.

 

So…. I accepted it.

And I’m terrified.

New Chapter in the Bach’s life will begin mid-March.

 

Holy crap. What did I do?

 

 

Some Background

When I was in college, my junior year, my life changed.

I was president of Hall Council which involved much of my time and energy through the week and a lot of weekends too! I was into what most students said was the hardest year of my degree. I had constant classes, study sessions and meetings which seemed to never end. I had just been dumped by a boyfriend who lived 5 hours away, so I really immersed myself and kept myself busy.

I didn’t take really great care of myself during this time (probably didn’t do a great job of it before either…) and between everything I had going on, I didn’t leave myself time to eat. One day in the middle of the craziness, just when I was about to meet a friend in the cafeteria, a dizziness just came over me while I was sitting at my desk. It was like an electricity/numbness running through my body. It scared the living daylights out of me. It came up again… in waves it seemed. I called for my roommate who went and got the RA. She called the RHD and they decided I should go to urgent care be seen.

My friend took me to the urgent care where the hooked me up on the (EVT?) machine to check my heart rhythm, and while I was in there, the episode happened again, so they transferred me to ER and I told my friend he could leave and I’d call him when I was done. So I was alone. Nurses kept asking me what I had eaten, and took blood. Blood work showed low sodium and I don’t remember what else. They kept asking me if I needed help and why I wasn’t eating and if I had a problem. I kept telling them no, that I was just super busy. I honestly don’t think I had a problem, people always whispered about me as if I did because I was always really skinny, which I think was more of a result of being super super picky and not always having a lot of food at home.

They sent me home with a referral to the cardiologist. The cardiologist said that I was fine, it looked like I was just having a panic attack.

Unfortunately these episodes of panic continued. I would be in class and feel something off and just stand up and leave because I thought I was going to die. I stepped down from hall council. I stopped being able to drive myself places and I stopped going out and doing things I once looked forward to. I eventually called my aunt crying to come home, and that night she sent my uncle up to pick me up and bring me home. I had become so afraid of everything.

I finished the semester somehow. I didn’t do great. But I didn’t go to class much because I was so terrified to leave, and what if i died in class? I even walked out in the middle of an exam once! The next semester I tried to return, but I couldn’t even make it to my first class. And in a very difficult decision, I knew I couldn’t stay. I dropped my classes and moved back home. I did take 2 or 3 online classes, but nothing pertaining to my degree.

The anxiety was so crippling. It wasn’t just a stress or thought or feeling. It crippled me. I couldn’t leave the house. I refused to drive, what if I died while driving and hit someone else and hurt or killed them? The panic when I did try to go somewhere, even to a friend’s house made it not even worth it. I would have to have someone pick me up.

Of course, none of it was real. I wasn’t dying. And I knew it in my head, it was logical. But feeling it? I couldn’t calm my mind. I was agoraphobic. Afraid of everything.

I would cry. I knew I would never get married, who would want to marry someone like this? And how would I even meet anyone? I would never have the life I always dreamed of.

After summer I knew I had to return to school, I had already signed an apartment lease. I had to think to myself: So what if I die? Is it worse than this? Is being here going to magically stop it? So I went. But I wasn’t really much better. I called my grandpa crying one night, and he had no idea what to do. I went to class some, but not much. I still avoided doing the fun things I wanted to do, well, the old me wanted to do.

I had so many tests and doctors visits and ER trips during this time. Always diagnosed with Panic Disorder and put on one anti-anxiety/depressant or another. Panic attacks can do the worst things to our bodies, and it is all so real, even if our head is making us do it. I went to a student therapist at college and she used Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) with me, and it really did do wonders. I also got a puppy during that time, and him relying on me to take care of him, and him needing me, made me feel better about myself. I had to get up and go out. I had to take care of him. I don’t know which one helped more, but I am so grateful for both.

 

That was 10 years ago now.

After that year, I really started to improve.

I went to class, I did well. I got a job. I met a boy. Okay… maybe a few. But I met THE boy. I graduated, got a career, a house, married and by some miracle I am a mom. But I’ve never been the same carefree person I was before. I don’t think I will ever be the same.

10 years…. But I still feel the panic sometimes, not often. I find myself calling my husband and he has to talk me through it. I still think I am going to pass out and die sometimes. This last week I have felt it come up a lot more. I need to start deep breathing while I am driving. Tears in my eyes. And I feel like something is wrong with me and I am going to die. This morning I thought I couldn’t breathe on my way in to work, I thought my chest hurt and I was going to pass out, though I could still breathe… I thought it wasn’t right, I don’t know how to explain it. But the brain and logic can’t stop the panic when it starts. Of course I can breathe, and I am okay, I mean, I’m still here typing this.

But I wouldn’t wish the horror of panic attacks and the never ending anxiety it brings on anyone.

I still miss me from 10 years ago. I wish I could be her again sometimes. But I guess she would have turned into someone different. And she grew up to have a different life. And I’m glad for the people in my life right now. So maybe this is just what had to happen.

But I wish I could shake this. For good.