Tag Archives: hormones

As Usual, I’m Making New Friends Left and Right

We just moved to a new apartment building last week, and I kid you not, Eric already knows the name of every person who works here, from the 7 different doormen to the maintenance crew to the service entrance security guards. He passes them in the lobby and with a huge, happy-to-know-ya smile, says, “Hey, how’s it goin [insert worker’s first name here, because I sure as shit don’t know it]!”, as he is already everyone’s best friend and probably in some form of fantasy sports league with them, as he was with the doormen in our last building.

Me? I’ve interacted with one person. Unwillingly.

It happened in the gym this morning.

Me: <“exercising,” headphones on OBVIOUSLY, and generally minding my own business>

Guy: “Wow, look at you! You’re ready to pop!”

Me: “Well, not quite yet, but yes, end of August…”

Guy: “And you’re allowed to exercise? That doesn’t seem safe! You’re sure that’s safe?”

Me: “I’m on a back-supported bike made for seniors, cycling at level 1. I think I’ll be ok!”

Guy: “I don’t know, you’re making me nervous…”

Me: “Well, you’re making me uncomfortable, so I guess we’re even.”

Guy: < Silent. Shits self. >

So it’s safe to say Eric and I have comparable social skills.

The unfortunate thing is that I know the guy meant no harm, and yeah, dude, OF COURSE I’m making you nervous. You think this situation doesn’t make ME nervous every time I look in the mirror?!

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The fact that I am not straight up face-planting every time I stand is truly defying the laws of physics (I assume. Can’t actually quote any laws of physics.)

But sorry, man, I’m in the home stretch here and the hormones win. Between my rapidly expanding frontal load and a preexisting discomfort with strangers talking to/looking at/being near me, I’m in no mood. If my rascal pouch makes you nervous, that’s fine, but keep it to your damn self.

So yeah I’d say we have about one year in this building before I make so many enemies that it’s simply too uncomfortable to stay. Took me about two years in the old place, but pregnancy is going to speed up this timeline a bit.

But that’s perfectly fine– since college, I’ve established a pattern of living in a place only JUST long enough to serve my needs and then moving out right before EVERYONE writes me off as the unfriendly, awkward weirdo-tenant, and it’s totally worked out for me so far.

Meanwhile, as I type this, Eric is enthusiastically shaking hands and exchanging “good-to-meet-ya!” pleasantries with yet another building occupant.

A corgi.

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Shit. We can never move.

 

 

I’m Getting More Reasonable With Each Trimester

Me (whining): “None of my t-shirts even fit me anymore. I have nothing comfy to wear around the apartment.”

(Later, I walk into the bedroom to see a t-shirt folded on my pillow)

Me: “Why is this here?”

Eric: “It’s my t-shirt for you to wear, so you’ll be comfortable. It’s a large.”

Me: “WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU TRYING TO SAY?!”

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In a Shocking Turn of Events, I Am No Glowing Goddess

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We’re pregnant! With a girl! (Which is great, as long as she is nothing like me).

We’re definitely starting to feel the excitement now that we are entering the second trimester and I no longer want to Linda Blair vomit all over town and have stopped drooling like Homer Simpson at a pig roast (oh, you didn’t know involuntary drooling was a pregnancy symptom? Well, neither did I until I got up to pee for the 47th time one night and essentially slipped in a pool of my own saliva).

So on that note, hey, here’s something no one tells you: the first trimester fucking blows. No, I’m kidding. Tons of people DO tell you that, minus those goddess-moms who feel great and glowy from day 1, but let’s be real, I’m not friends with those people. Because ew.

So yeah, most people say the first trimester is tough but guess who sort of secretly thought she’d be different, based on absolutely zero evidence?

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In fact, not only did I have zippity do dah ZILCH reason to think I’d have an easy first trimester, every thing I’ve experienced in life up to this point perfectly illustrated that I would be literally THE WORST.  My run-of-the-mill non-pregnant existence– like, a day I’d describe as “feeling pretty good”– is essentially already a mild version of pregnancy (exhaustion, stomach issues, headaches, irritability, anxiety, moodiness, profuse sweating, overactive bladder….). So I told myself, based on whatever the opposite of logic is, that because I feel pregnant NORMALLY, when I actually AM pregnant I will feel BETTER. It’s similar to the kind of logic one uses when they’ve had 18 too many tequila shots or are Forrest Gump.

It was just hopeful optimism– something I don’t usually partake in, so I’m not sure why I chose THIS particular circumstance to start lying to myself.

Here’s the logical conclusion that a rational person would come to, and perhaps then wisely prepare herself for– If you feel sort of physically crappy in your day-to-day regular life, in no circumstance are you going to feel LESS crappy when you add a nutrient-sucking fetus into that equation (and by “into that equation” I mean “into YOUR UTERUS.” The uterus that is INSIDE YOUR BODY, GUYS! I will never get over this. The “What’s Happening to My Body Book For Girls” Mom gave me at age 14 did NOT adequately prepare me for understanding how this is a thing humans can and should be doing. It’s fucking Animal Planet over here, except I have to go to a job every day and politely respond to people without vomiting on their face).

So anyway, yeah: “Feel Semi-Crappy Normally + Fetus Monster in Belly = Feel Crappier” is not exactly as obvious, concrete and indisputable as “1 +1 =2” but it’s pretty damn close, Forrest.

So weeks 5-12 were miserable. And I don’t say that to sound ungrateful, because believe me, I know how lucky Eric and I are that this happened for us, and happened so easily (more on that in a future post entitled “My Geriatric Uterus is Wearing a Catcher’s Mitt”). We are of course thankful for that, this is something we very much wanted, and we are both beyond looking forward to being parents (in that terrified-excited kind of way you look forward to riding a super-rickety, still-in-the-test-phase roller coaster that you heard many people have died on).

But I’m not going to sit here and say this early part is magical. If you’re looking for that sentiment, I’m not entirely sure why you read this blog. Maybe this is your first time here and you know nothing about me, so if that’s the case, let me catch you up: My name is Emily. I don’t do whimsy.

So that leads us to the texts below. I was too tired, nauseous, and, quite frankly, sad to do any real writing these past two months, but I did somehow find the time to annoy/harass/alarm/frighten/disgust Eric with every single feeling I experienced as I experienced it. There was no emergency-bathroom situation that he was not a part of because A) THAT’S HOW LOVE WORKS and B) the late Steve Jobs definitely invented iMessage for the purpose of toilet updates in real time, so what am I going to do, NOT honor him?

So below is a chronicle of highlights (and I use that term VERY loosely, because I know of no society that would list “violent dry heave” as a highlight) of the first trimester, through text.

I’ll admit that reading through these was hard because, now that I am in a better place, my assessment is that I sound pretty damn whiny in a lot of these exchanges (and by “exchanges,” I mean me texting novels of complaints and Eric not knowing what to say because there is literally nothing TO say, but I just needed someone to listen and also not divorce me after listening. God bless his soul).

I imagine his face while reading was a mix of this blank-stare-gif-17.gif, this incredulous.gif and this 200w.gif , but he never let me know it, and that’s all that counts. 90% of marriage is knowing how to swallow your feelings and lie convincingly when your partner needs you to.

I actually ended up removing the majority of the sad, exasperated texts because they were just far too frequent, don’t make for great reading, and I think you can get the gist of my mental state by just perusing a few.  And the texts aren’t ALL misery– there’s humor sprinkled throughout, because I’ve done my best to try to laugh when I can, which is SUPER hard when you feel like death, but becomes possible when you have a partner with the temperament, light-heartedness and excitability of a newborn corgi.

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But bottom line– this shit is hard. For ANYONE. Is it harder for someone with mental health issues? I’m honestly not sure. I’d be lying if I said that I haven’t had some seriously depressive thoughts these past couple months, but I think early pregnancy can do that to anyone– veteran mental-health-sufferer or not– because the hormone surges are nothing short of batshit insanity. Sprinkle in some isolation (not sharing this HUGE thing going on in your life straight up sucks), the removal of your usual get-through-the-day crutches (coffee, wine, Advil, vigorous exercise, writing, openly venting to anyone who will listen including the internet) and add some persistent anxiety over not having that possible miscarriage that Google (and every Jew) loves to warn you about, and you have a perfect shitstorm for needing emotional life support. I legit don’t know how anyone keeps it together in the first few months (but if you’re one of those people, no judgement at ALL. Just a lot of jealousy and maybe also a touch of spiteful resentment and hatred).

And so if one struggling woman reads this and can relate and feel a bit better about the fact that her early pregnancy is/was no walk in the park either, then I’ve done the job I always set out to do– reach someone with the ugly, vomit-ridden truth.

So here’s what you missed– enjoy!….?

(note: Days refer to when we found out– so Day 2 is the 2nd day we knew we were pregnant)

Day 2 (while at a dentist appointment):

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 Day 3:

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Day 3, later:

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Day 4:

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Day 4,  (meeting my girlfriends for dinner): 

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Day 17,  (once daily vomiting commenced): 

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Day 19

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Day 20

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Day 23:

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Day 25:

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Day 28 (After finding out that my blood type is negative, and if Eric’s were to be positive, I would require an injection)IMG_4723.jpgIMG_4724.jpg

Day 35:

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Day 49 (after a lengthy ultrasound):

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Day 50:

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Day 64 (after finding out it’s a girl):

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Day 65:

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Hi Again! Here’s Where I’ve Been.

I’ve gotten many comments about my lack of posting lately. Most of you think it’s because I’m too happy and in love to bother writing anymore. HAH! No.

Yes, I love Eric dearly and yes we are very happy together, but that would never be the reason I stop posting. If I’m writing less, that is usually a bad sign. I write more when my energy is good. I make myself write when my energy is bad, too, because it is definitely therapeutic. But you’ll certainly see more frequent posting when my spirits are up.

SO STOP BLAMING ERIC.

Jk, you can blame him a little, at least for the blog’s decrease in entertainment value. My pre-Eric dating life was more amusing. For you guys, at least. Living it was bona fide hell.

Anyway, back to the point. Here’s where I’ve been:

I have felt like absolute dog shit for the past 5 weeks. No, not depression (wahoo!), but feeling this awful for this long was starting to make me FEEL depressed, which is when I knew I had to make a change. I was blaming the new Paleo diet (for those of you not familiar, Paleo is essentially a whole-foods diet…nothing processed, no added sugar, no dairy, no grains, no legumes). I had started feeling this way about 6 days into the diet (after an initial first week of feeling fabulous), so I was certain that my body was just transitioning from carb-burning to fat-burning for energy, and it was taking a little longer than normal because I’ve been feeding it approximately 16 gallons of sugar-coated garbage per day for the past 34 years and now it’s like WHAT THE FUCK DO I RUN ON NOW!?!? CHRIST.

So I was just giving it some time.

But weeks passed, and I still felt incredibly weak and depleted. I essentially felt as if I possessed no muscle whatsoever. My arms and legs were extremely heavy, and when I walked, I felt like I was going to teeter over. It hurt to hold things in my hands (even my phone. I HAD TO PUT DOWN MY PHONE, GUYS). I was so irritable I wanted to punch everything in sight, which is less than ideal when you work with children.

But I really didn’t want to give up the Paleo diet, because the switch to this lifestyle had instantly cured my two biggest life-long ailments– headaches and stomachaches. So I kept riding it out, certain my strength would return, as well as my ability to not be a fang-toothed fire monster.

It didn’t. I started crying every day because I couldn’t run anymore. I could barely make it up the stairs to my classroom at school. I couldn’t carry a grocery bag.  Social events made me anxious because I didn’t know how I’d feel. I pushed myself to go to a friend’s outdoor-concert birthday party, only to end up crying hysterically to her when I didn’t have enough energy to stay on my feet.

Nobody likes the girl who cries to the birthday girl. I know that’s not even a thing, but I made it a thing, and I think everyone involved can agree it was not a good thing.

So I had a ton of blood work done. Checked all my vitamin levels, thyroid, cholesterol, blood pressure. Everything came back fine. I started to think I was going insane (you know…again).

I googled everything I could find on issues with pervasive weakness. About 3 hours into my google search, as Eric tried to gently pry the computer out of my hands and suggest I do something productive, like stand up or blink, I came across a testimonial from a girl who had very similar issues. They were related to her birth control. Specifically, she started noticing herself fall apart as soon as her pharmacy switched her over to the generic form of her pill.

This had recently happened to me. About 7 weeks prior, my mail-order pharmacy had sent me a 3-pack of the generic form (Levonorgestrel and Ethinyl Estradiol) of my regular birth control (Aviane). I wasn’t thrilled about the switch without notice or approval, but I naively trusted it’d be the same thing, and I’d be fine. Well, you know how the saying goes– “naiveté killed the cat.” (Yeah, I know, it’s “curiosity.” But that doesn’t fit this context and there’s no good quote about naiveté so BACK OFF.)

I immediately googled “Levonorgestrel and Ethinyl Estradiol.” The reviews and patient testimonials were insane. Basically, women switched to this pill and turned into Medusa. One girl swore it caused her divorce, because she became a completely irrational and emotional lunatic. Another used to be a marathon runner and then found she could barely walk (um, hello?!). Another gained 15 pounds in 3 weeks despite going to the gym every day and being in the most active, healthy phase of her life. Another stopped having sex with her husband because the sight of him disgusted her (that sounded more like a life problem than a medication problem, but godspeed to that couple.) Overall, the pill had a user rating of 1 star (for comparison, the name-brand pill I’d been taking had a rating of 4 stars).

“Holy shit. I’ve been poisoning myself,” I thought as I scrolled through testimonials that easily could have been written by me. I had basically been waking up every morning and swallowing a tiny little dragon pill that turned my insides to mush, my pupils red, and my breath to Game-of-Thrones-worthy fire darts.

I stopped taking the pill immediately. Didn’t even ride out the pack like they say you’re supposed to. Just stopped mid-pack and threw the rest in the garbage.

I quit it last Sunday. By Thursday, I was myself again. My body no longer feels heavy. I’ve been running every day. I have my strength back (not 100%, as I haven’t worked out in 5 weeks, but it is infinitely better). I can walk up stairs and not lose my breath. I can laugh again. I don’t hate everything.

Needless to say, Eric is relieved.

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So the point here is four-fold:

  1. Know what’s going into your body.
  2. Know that generic drugs are NOT the exact same as the brand-name. By law they do not have to be. They can be stuffed with fillers and binders that might be EXTREMELY harmful to your body, particularly if you are someone who is hormonally sensitive, as I am.
  3. Pay attention to how your medication affects your mood and energy. If it’s not good then
  4. Go off of it before you murder your significant other.

Number 4 is very important. Because if you murder your significant other, it should be because that’s just who you are as a person, not because a pill made you do it.

You’re welcome.

I’m glad to be back!

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When PMS and Monday Collide

Goddamnit, crossing guard– what the hell is the point of living in NYC if I can’t jaywalk?!? This is like, the ONE point you had over LA.

And what the fuck is this weather?!?!? Foggy with a chance of murder?

Are you SERIOUS, door? You want me to PULL you open? Who has time for this shit?!

Why is everything working against me today?!?!?!

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