Why is Daddy looking at me?

I am going to preface this with a trigger warning. It took me quite awhile and a lot of courage to write this and publish it. I might end up deleting it…it hurts. It scares me to open up about this…

I really don’t know how to structure this post. My thoughts and emotions on this are all over the place. 

I guess I can start with…I wish I were ugly. I wish I wasn’t anything worth looking at. Maybe then I wouldn’t deal with any of this…

My stepdad has a thing for younger women. I have no idea how long he has been doing this, but for a few years at least, he checks me out. It has made my own mother hate me. She has slut shamed me. And it makes me feel disgusting. 

Ugly. Let me be ugly. Why can’t I be ugly? Ugly. Ugly. Ugly. Ugly. Ugly. 

This man raised me. He used to play Barbies, tea party…he used to let me be his hair stylist. I felt safe around him all the time. Up until I realized about a year ago what he was doing when he was around me. 

My own mother resents me. I want to be ugly.

I hate my looks. I hate being attractive. Maybe if I was ugly he wouldn’t look at me. Maybe my mother would love me. Maybe…

Ugly. Ugly. Why was I created this way? I wish I was ugly.

I’m left feeling like it’s my fault. How can anyone love me when I’m so digusting? Why would you want to touch me? Why would you want to be near me? I’m disgusting. 

He’s never touched me but it’s still a mind-fuck to be near him. Even for a short amount of time. And yet I am expected to be near him for family get togethers. Isn’t it bad enough that he emotionally and mentally abused me as a kid? Why? Why?! WHY?

I can’t even look at myself. I don’t want to be in my own skin. I want to be ugly. 

Let me be ugly. He won’t look at me if I’m ugly. Ugly. Ugly. 

The pain…the betrayal…it is crushing me. I don’t know who I hate more…my mother for how she hates me and does nothing to protect me…or my stepdad for being so sick in the head. 

She is leaving him…but will she always hate me? Why didn’t she leave sooner? Why is any of this happening?

Just let me be ugly…let me hide…ugly…ugly…

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Just Because I am Skinny, Doesn’t Mean I Don’t Need Support

Ok so I’m seeing a growing trend. People praise overweight persons for exercising and bettering their life. Which is amazing! More power to those people who do choose to get healthier. 

But what about those of us who are “skinny”? Where do we fit in?

I already spoke about my tendency to over do my workouts. If I don’t have someone there to stop me, I will work myself to the bone. On top of barely eating…you can see where I need to have someone helping me stay accountable. 

Not all of us “skinny” folk got here in healthy ways. 

And I am not by any means truly skinny as society sees it. I have a big ass and hips. My thighs touch. And I have tummy flab. I am about 15 pounds away from prepregnancy weight. (12 if I just want to be in a healthy range for my body type.)  I am mostly fat and very little muscle. My goal is to tone back up like I was. And even if I was where I want to be, does that mean people who are already at their goal deserve less support than anyone else?

I’m in a group of mommas aiming to get healthy. (I’ll likely be kicked out of said group after posting this but that’s ok. I don’t feel like I have as much support as others in the group get.) Whenever one of the mommas who is a little overweight posts, everyone praises them or comments. They don’t even have to post anything like “hey I worked out today” they could just post a picture of their kiddo and say they are feeling tired. The purpose of the group is to motivate each other and be supportive. When I post what workout I did, I don’t get that. We have a drawing system that each week someone randomly gets picked for a prize. All I get is a number. 

I’m not where I want to be. And the group was motivating at first. But it seems the closer I get to my goal, the worse it is. It feels like a bunch of catty women. And I honestly hate it. What happened to the support? I already called them out on the phrase “don’t watch the numbers” previously. Like I’ve said before, for me, watching the scale helps me not go underweight again. They kept saying that to me so I did a long post about why I do have to watch my scale. I explained to them that what works for them doesn’t mean it works for someone else. That was one of the only times they commented with something other than a number or that phrase. I can count on one hand times like that that they did for me. But all the other mommas? It feels like they have favorites to praise and support. 

Sadly, I see it in more places than just that group. We should be celebrating everyone who is working on bettering their current health status. It is so important to get healthy. And the road to health is not done when you reach your goal. You have to maintain it. 

I don’t care where you started. If you are working on reaching or maintaining your goal, you’ve got my support 100%.

Appearance is Everything

Or is it? 

One of the things I get complimented on a lot is my hair. I get stopped often when I’m out in public by strangers. Some just comment on how cool it looks and others will ask how I did it. The colors took me a long time to get the courage to try. Especially my full head! I used to only do a streak or two. One time I did the under part of my hair. Another time I did the ends only (and that was a disaster). I think it took me 4 months to figure out how I was going to do my hair. I wasn’t 100% sure how the purple and red would look together. But I finally took the plunge and tried it. It has been my favorite coloring I’ve done. I’ve tried many other colors in my hair and this look is my favorite. It reflects me the best. I love it. 

In this society, I shouldn’t be surprised when someone decides to be petty. I don’t normally blast people, but this hit too hard. It’s been weeks and it still bothers me. 

Vicente’s father asked me why I chose purple. Now I’ve had my hair like this for months. He’s choosen not to be a huge part in our lives so he’s not seen it much. That’s his choice. But I digress; his tone was rude. I told him nonchalantly that I felt like it and I like the color. He said okay and nodded his head. The gears were turning. I knew another blow was coming. See he does this kind of thing whenever he sees me. He belittles me and is rude. He next asked if it was natural. I laughed and said yes. 

And sure enough, he told Vicente to watch out because our kids hair was going to grow in purple soon. Because you know, purple hair is totally natural.

As I have mentioned before, I was bullied a lot for how I looked. And that’s what was going on that night. It was like I was back in middle school. It was surreal. My children’s grandfather was targeting me for my choice of hair color. Last I checked, it was my body and my hair. Not his. I could tell I was blushing from anger and hurt and did my best to laugh it off. 

But here’s the deal, no matter the age, those “tactics” they teach you to get bullies to leave you alone don’t work. Next time he will find something else to comment on. He always does. So here’s what I’m thinking of doing: Princess loves to dress up. She loves my hair and makeup and just about everything. She tries on my clothes and steals my jewelry. I’m going to get her some clip in highlights. And they will be purple. Next time he bothers to want to see us, she will wear them. 

He needs to see how ridiculous his comments were. He needs to understand that being rude and hurtful for fun is screwed up. Especially with his grandkids right there. He did that with them listening. It took me years to love me and be myself. And in a span of 5 minutes, I was considering coloring my hair back to brown (my natural color) because of how he made me feel. 

I don’t want my kids to think they have to change to make anyone like them. Vicente’s dad will never like me and I am ok with that. I’m not going to change who I am for him. 

His hair is still his natural color and he is one of the biggest assholes I know. Everyone I know who has an “alternative look” are the most loyal and amazing people I have met. So really, what you see is not what you get. You can look like gold but be nothing but shit on the inside. My hair and how I look doesn’t take away from my parenting. My kids love my hair. Critter told me the other night I am gorgeous. My 4 year old knows better on how to treat others than a 50 year old.

Pretty sad.

And the Struggle Begins

As a teen, I loved working out. Oh who am I kidding? I still do! I used to work out for hours everyday. But along with that, I restricted my intake of food. 

Why? Well for years I was bullied and told I was fat. From pre-K onward on a daily basis. Pretty ducked up huh? So as I got older, I would “forget” to eat and just ignore my hunger pains. Some days I got away with only eating one meal. Other days (when my mom was keeping a closer eye on me) I got in 2 meals a day. Couple that with hours of working out and my already slim figure was tinier than it should have. 

Here I am 4 weeks postpartum after my fourth kid in 5 years. I decided this week to do light work outs. Well “light” to me is only 3o minutes to an hour. But I have to go even lighter than that because my body is not ready for longer work outs. Already I am struggling with what I want to do, and what I know is healthier for me. I want to revert back to what I used to do to be the “ideal” (which I was still called fat and so forth but I digress). I only need to lose about 20 pounds to be in a healthy range for my body and frame. 

What doesn’t help is my scale is broken for good. The numbers help me stay away from the “danger zone”. It keeps me from going underweight. 

And so…the struggle begins…it is so tempting to work out until I can’t move anymore…

Dandelion’s Big Entrance

(Warning: I give all the details here.  From the screaming to the blood to the emotions.)

The morning of June 24th started pretty normal.  We all woke up, got dressed, and out the door.  I had an OB appointment later that afternoon so the kids and I were going to drop Vicente off at work and go visit with my grandparents until it was time for my appointment.

Driving to my grandparent’s house proved to be a tad nerve wracking.  I was getting inconsistent hard-ish contractions.  Trying to drive through them was not exactly fun. I honestly figured Dandelion was trying to keep me on my toes and she was giving me some more false labor vibes.  Besides, my OB would be able to tell me later if I was dilated or anything.

Once we made it to our destination, the kids got to snack and play and I rested on the couch.  I was still getting some contractions but most were triggered by movement.  But they were still hard enough to make me say I needed Vicente to help me with the OB appointment.  My grandparents then said they would drive close to me on the way to get him from his work in case I needed help.  And with the plan in place, we started our journey to pick him up.

At his job, we all decided it would be a good idea to have my grandparents join us at the appointment, you know, in case.  My contractions were still inconsistent but they were kind of hard to breathe through.  At that point, we were all kind of hoping this was going to be the day.

We got to the appointment early.  I had a few contractions in the waiting room while I was just relaxing.  I let the nurse know once I was called back.  Unfortunately, my blood pressure was elevated as well as my urine was a bit concentrated.  I had been downing water  and sweet tea that morning so I was quite confused and upset about my urine.  I was hoping my blood pressure was just caused by the contraction I was having while it was being taken.  My OB decided that blood work was needed and if anything came back odd, we would be inducing that night.  With my history of pre-eclampsia and gestational hypertension, they were not willing to risk anything.  But if my blood tests were ok, I was told to go in Monday for a blood pressure check.  If I was high again, I was going to be induced.

She also checked my cervix, and guess what?  Only a centimeter.  It has to be one of the most disheartening things to go through so much pain and to have very little to no progress.  Oh the joys of pregnancy, right?

We went home, I was told by Vicente I needed to nap and relax.  All of us were a bit on edge about my blood pressure and of course we had to keep my stress low.  My OB called later that evening to tell us that my blood work was ok and I was allowed to continue being pregnant.  We were all relieved and only had Monday looming over us at that point.  Part of me was really hoping my blood pressure would be low so I could maybe make it to my due date.  But another part of me was just tired of being pregnant…

Saturday came around with very few contractions.  It seemed that Friday was just practice.  We went about our day like normal.  It wasn’t until that evening that things started to get…odd.

Vicente, the kids, and I were eating supper.  He was prepping some diapers to get them changed and ready for bed.  I was sitting with them trying to wolf down the rest of my food and help the bedtime process.  Out of nowhere, I got a really big contraction and felt a small release of fluid.  (This is where we get to the TMI stuff.)  I told Vicente and went to go check on what it was in the bathroom.  I wiped and saw red.  Bright red blood.  I kind of worried as in the past, I only got that when I was in full blown labor.  I called my OB and she said to wait it out since my contractions were not consistent.  I was instructed to let her know when they got to be 5 minutes apart for a full hour.  Ok, I figured I had a long time for that to happen, but I called my mom to let her know anyway.

Tiger fell asleep on our extra mattress in our room (reserved for sick kiddos when they wanna be near us).   The other two were passed out in their rooms.  I was back to inconsistent contractions but more of them.  Most were triggered by movement, but we decided to track them anyway.

Around 12:30AM Sunday morning, the contractions got to be 10 minutes apart…and painful.  As in Darth Vader growling painful.  We still rode it out at home because we figured it would be several hours before we got to 5 minutes apart.  Vicente stayed awake with me by playing Overwatch and held my hand whenever I needed it.  For the most part, I laid down in between contractions.  I couldn’t sleep, but I let my body try to rest.  During contractions, I stood up and rocked or walked.  I even utilized our shower.  Warm water was really helping take the edge off some of the contractions.

I finally got to 5 minutes in between contractions.  Also known as Darth Vader howling and screaming “no”.  Yeah I was saying no…I was scared of going to the hospital in that much pain.  I could barely stand.  And at that point, we had it where my mom was going to come get me so we wouldn’t have to wake the kids…well older two.  (Tiger had been woken up by my noises.)  The idea of being driven around while having contractions so close was a very painful thought.  But at the same time, I was afraid we would not get to the hospital in time.  I had tested positive for Group B Strep and was worried we would not have time to get the antibiotics in me.  I was basically wishing teleportation was a thing.

Almost an hour of 5 minutes apart.  I was 10 minutes shy.  Vicente decided to call my mom to come get me and call my OB to let her know.  My OB called back and said to come in.

Here’s where it gets super fun:

I was in the shower.  The warm water was kind of helping the lovely back labor I was getting.  While Vicente was on the phone with my OB getting the ok to come in, I got curious and decided to feel up in my vagina.  I found my cervix right away, but even crazier, I found my bag of waters.  Yup.  I was that far along.  It was at this point, I knew we were not going to make it to the hospital and I got into a squatting position.  The next contraction broke my water.  Vicente had just gotten off the phone with my OB.  I told him my water had broken, he came into the bathroom and it was then that I had another contraction and pushed.  There was no stopping that urge and I knew it.  I saw the freaked out look on his face.  With that push, her head was out, I had him get his hands under her head and I pushed again.  She was out mid push at 5:55AM.  She was crying and pink.  I had her body in my hands while he was still cradling her head and asking me what he should do.  I breathed a sigh of relief and got her on my chest for skin to skin.  I told him to turn off the shower and call my mom and OB.

It was over, all the pain was gone.  I was calm and could finally relax.  I sat there in the shower waiting for my placenta to come and held Dandelion.  I tried getting her to latch a few times, which eventually worked.  Vicente put me on speaker with my OB so she could talk me through tying the cord and so forth.  I delivered my placenta first and then we tied her cord off and cut it.  My mom arrived, and per my OB’s instructions (because Dandelion was breathing fine on her own and everything), we got Dandelion and me ready to go with my mom to the hospital.

Once there, we got checked in and admitted.  They got her weighed in at 7 pounds 7 ounces and measuring 19.5 inches long.  She is the tiniest out of all 4 kiddos.  We were on a mandatory 48 hour stay to be sure Dandelion was ok and did not contract the GBS.  But at the same time, she was in isolation.  She was not allowed in the nursery and had to stay in my room.  Anyone visiting had to put on a protective gown.  All because she was born at home.

Our stay was uneventful.  Both of us were recovering nicely.  All the nurses and doctors were surprised at how well we were doing.  We went home that Tuesday and the little miss has been the center of everyone’s attention here.  The older 3 are in love with her.  They all rush over to her whenever she makes the slightest noise.  It is adorable watching them sit and watch her.

So to sum it up, I accidentally got the home birth I have always wanted!  In about 5 hours of full swing labor, she made her grand entrance into this world.  I am still kind of shocked at how fast it went and how we delivered her ourselves.  An unexpected home birth…though I had educated myself to be sure if this ever happened, I could handle it.  I like being prepared even if I am over prepared.  And in this case, I was well enough prepared.

She was not willing to wait for us to get to the hospital.  She was ready to meet us all.

 

(Photo of us at the hospital.)

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Little Dandelion

I realize I had not yet brought it up in my blog, but I am pregnant with our fourth and last kiddo.  She is due in early July.  We announced it on Facebook on April Fool’s Day to mess with our friends.  That was fun.

I have already been diagnosed with anemia for this pregnancy.  And I am looking at a 3 hour glucose test soon because my 1 hour test came back elevated.  I can’t seem to have an easy pregnancy!  At least my blood pressure had been behaving so far.  That is always a plus.

To go along with protecting my kid’s names, she will be known as Dandelion.  The other three are obsessed with dandelions so we thought it would be a perfect thing to call her.  As for her real name, we had one locked in…but then of course Vicente decided he liked something better.  That threw me for a loop.  But after much deliberation, it looks like now her name is picked out for sure.

Along with my own anemia, Princess has turned up anemic too.  My OBGYN has decided to be proactive and test me to figure out what genetic issue might be going on.  Anemia runs in my mom’s side of the family.  If I come back positive for genetic anemia, then Princess will have to be tested as well.  And of course I have been researching and it really does sound like I will be coming back positive for at least being a carrier.  I am lucky to only get anemia while pregnant.  But my mom and grandma are always anemic.

Lot’s of fun health stuff to worry about.  But at least Little Miss Dandelion and I are in our 3rd trimester.  It’s the final count down until we get to hold her.

Dear Non-Parent Friends

(This is a satirical and over exaggerated letter to anyone who isn’t a parent yet and therefore don’t understand the issues we parents faces just planning a simple non-kid get together with them.)

Dear friends who aren’t parents (yet or otherwise),

We love you. We really do. Your conversations with us keep us from falling into the pit of insanity. You are our link to the outside world.

The issue is, when we try to plan anything. You see, we can’t just drop everything and go out for a spontaneous girl’s night. The most spontaneous we get is if we happen to get to shower alone while our kids take an unexpected nap all at the same time. That’s really living life in the crazy lane right there. So please give us at least a couple of days notice before you try to plan anything.

Also on the opposite end of things, if we happen to have a free night out of nowhere, please get back to us with an answer as soon as possible. Do you know how long it takes to get ready? You take, what, maybe an hour or two? Yeah it can take all afternoon for us. First we have to shower the morning’s oatmeal and yogurt out of our tresses. Then we have to figure out if we have any clothes that aren’t stained…wait when was the last time we remembered to wash our clothes and not just the kid’s? Then after we have wiped a runny nose, make a snack, changed at least one really explosive diaper, read the same book twenty times, and found a blouse that is not too bad looking; we can finally make dinner. While stirring the food in the skillet, we might attempt to do our hair and makeup. Maybe. Or we may realize we need to go ahead and put all of our clothes in the washer. As we set up the kids with the food they will inevitably decide they don’t like, we will finally find a skirt or pair of pants to pair with our blouse. Time to get dressed! But wait! We just got food flung into our hair…again. Shower it is. Then come to find out our significant other gave the children access to markers. So remember that pretty blouse? Yeah it’s no longer so pretty. Maybe it’s better we just wear a sun dress. Less stress with trying to match two items of clothing even if the dress was from our pregnancy days.

And after redoing our hair and makeup, we can finally sneak out the door before our children realize they will have only one parent for their bedtime routine.

So basically…wait to make plans with us once the kids are out of the house. 

See you in 18 years.

Signed,
All parents who try to have a small night out at some point.