Saturday, December 22, 2012


Panic is a sudden sensation of fear which is so strong as to dominate or prevent reason and logical thinking, replacing it with overwhelming feelings of anxiety and frantic agitation consistent with an animalistic fight-or-flight reaction.

This week I had a panic attack.

I have had three of them in my life that I can remember.

1. After watching "Black Swan" while on my period due to too many doses of Midol
2. Three weeks ago in the grocery store with my older daughter when I was thinking what would happen to her if something happened to me when we were out and about. I got a pain in my chest, and there it started.
3. Thursday afternoon after talking with a friend about a big stressor in my life. The discussion made me realize someone I love may be in real danger, and so it began. This time the panic attack lasted over 30 minutes.

Why is this happening?

I have had my share of bad times, and lately, I'm pretty freaking humbled about my life. I have everything I have asked for. I am full of joy and love. To be honest though, this fulfillment is scary for me. I mean, what if everything falls apart again? I know what you are thinking "wow, she's a pessimist" but that isn't it. I'm just a super cautious person. I am a nurse, and I see lives of people turn upside down in an instant. It is true that some completely healthy twenty-something year-olds do develop serious illnesses. They even die from them.

I did just leave a job I was very comfortable in (my last day was yesterday) for a job that will be challenging but very rewarding. The unknown has never been a place I like to be, but I also believe that you've gotta take big risks to get big rewards.

It is the holidays, and in the midst of the fun, and happiness is the stress of accomplishing shopping, getting Christmas cards out, having to get on a plane with two kids next week (big stress) and a husband who has a phobia of flying (bigger stress). And, of course, the fact that my sister is in heaven and not here with my enjoying our family always lays heavy on my heart this time of year.

Stress. I know I have it, but it really bothers me that my body is reacting to it. I don't know what to do about it other than to be honest about it, write about it (hence this post) and work through it.

What does it feel like?

It usually starts with a visual disturbance. My vision feels darker and blurry. Then I sort of get an overwhelming feeling of fatigue, like I'm so tired I'm just going to pass out. Then the heart starts pounding, and my throat and chest are tingly/burning and I cannot catch my breath. All of this is coupled with pain in my chest and nausea. The first two times it happened I prayed to God for help, and deep breathed my way through it. But this last time, I happened to be driving, so thankfully my husband talked me through it. There was a point I was ready to pull over and call an ambulance, but I refrained.

After it happened, I was wiped out the rest of the night, and the next morning, my stomach was still in knots. I work at a hospital, so a friend hooked me up to a monitor just to help me rationalize that this is all in my head, and I'm not having a heart attack or something. My vitals and heart rhythm were fine (of course).

Now, two days later, I'm still not feeling completely normal, I think just because I am worried it'll happen again, and I won't be able to control it.

So, I'm working on doing a few different things to help me calm down and function without this happening again.

1. I have not been exercising much lately, this is something that I have always done, and helps me a lot with dress. So, I'm getting back into that---- tomorrow!
2. stretching
3. laying off caffeine
4. sleeping and resting a lot
5. writing in a journal, and talking to my husband about how I'm feeling.
6. deep breathing

If anyone has had this happen to them and has more ideas on how I can manage it, please let me know. I'm completely open to suggestions.

For now, I'm off work for two weeks, I have a great holiday planned, and I will be fine.
I will be fine.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Gripe- Searching for Peace

The girls birth certificates came last week, as I mentioned, and since I've gotten them I've been thinking to myself a lot about how adoption finalization does kind of erase their past. With my kids, they don't really have any memory of their birth mother, and at this point, they don't even mention their prior caregiver. With that being said, I don't bring these individuals up at all, they used to mention things about their prior caregiver, but never their birth mom.

Anyway, I've sort of been having this personal guilt trip about changing their names, and now changing their social security numbers, having my name on their birth certificates, etc. Like this woman that gave them the gift of life is just gone. And did that make me a bad person for feeling relieved? I almost felt in defense of her.

That is, until today, when I get an email stating she has bought the girls Christmas presents and wants them to have them. A whole new momma bear reaction stirred within me. How would I present the kids with these gifts? Who would I say they were from? Is it really my decision to withold the presents from the kids? In discussion with a few friends, someone said, "you could tell them that these are from their real mom." Of course, my friend didn't mean anything negative by this comment, but it brought my heart into my throat. Oh. I am not their "real" mom. Does she have a right, as the biological mother, to stay in their lives despite the series of events that lead them to me?

I think the most difficult thing for me is that I both love and despise their birth mom. I am jealous of her, but could never be like her. This woman carried my babies. But because of her poor choices, I now have my daughters. She had to fail for me to succeed. What a wonderfully horrible thing. It's so conflicting.

In the midst of dealing with all these thoughts and emotions, one of my best friends had her baby this week. And I am watching this beautiful process of giving birth after carrying this baby, who looks like her, who is hers, and how special that is for her and her family. I am so happy for them. But it brings me back to three short years ago (tomorrow will be to the day) that I was in the same hospital, having surgery to remove the only pregnancy I've been blessed to have. Three years, two kids, and a whole lot of perspective later, and I cannot sit here and write that I know everything is going to be OK.

I still don't know how i will rise above it if I am never to be someones "real" mother. If I never carry a baby, I don't know that I will ever be able to sit here and say, "it's OK."

Pregnancy surrounds me now more than ever, and I love that my friends, and coworkers get to experience such a blessing. But will I ever have my shot? And, if I don't get it, will there come a time where I can look into the mirror and say "it wasn't meant to be, it's OK"

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Moving Forward

Again, I've turned into a blog slacker.

I just don't know what direction to take you in, little blog. Since I'm a mom and I haven't the slightest clue what the frick I'm doing as a parent, this sure as hell cannot be an advice blog.

I suppose it could be a "hey my kid did this so I did this" blog, and you can all read, laugh, and judge (but hopefully not report) me. Ha.

I'm not ready to even think about actively trying to have a baby. Though I do WANT another kid, preferably one made up of parts of me and my husband the idea of "TTC" aka Trying to Conceive, or paying any kind of specific attention to my cycle makes me have symptoms of PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder).

I don't know how I'll ever go back to that place. I have never prevented pregnancy since we left the realm of fertility treatments 17 months ago. But, I do not have much sex (thank you kids) and have just tried to not notice those weird small things like: cervical mucus. Early on I avoided my "fertile" time aka: watery and egg white cervical mucus. (If I'm speaking Dutch here go back about two years and you'll learn all about my fertility antics and research- which by the way did NOTHING for me). this post has gone array to a personal, akward place.

I did get an early Christmas present today: The girls new BIRTH CERTIFICATES came! They told us when we finalized the adoption (not even two months ago) that it would be six months at the earliest. So that's really exciting! The new birth certificates list their adopted names (we kept their first names but changed the spelling) gave them new middle names, one of them after my sister, the other after my grandma, and of course, our last name.

The best part? Under MOTHER it says ..... my name! And, under Father, my husbands. It's so weird, like we erased their past, and now it's like they were born to us.

Of course, they will know they grew in someone else's tummy. They will know age appropriately how we became a family.

I honestly still cannot believe we adopted two kids. We just (did a lot of paper work and stuff 1st) picked them up, brought them home, and kept them. It's crazy. Sometimes it still doesn't feel real. Well now these kids are pruning in the bathtub because I left them playing in there to write this....don't judge, I can see them.