Saturday, May 17, 2014

My "Secret Life"

One of my biggest pet peeves is people who claim they have OCD because they really like to have things organized, check things multiple times, or don't like germs. They say something like "I'm OCD" (which, by the way, doesn't make sense. That's saying "I'm obsessive compulsive disorder" --what??) while laughing. I've witnessed this happen a lot lately.

Here's a public service announcement: If you can say something like that and laugh at the same time, you clearly don't have OCD, so stop claiming it. If you had this disorder, I promise you wouldn't be laughing about it. It's debilitating and brings a person nothing but anxiety.

I have severe OCD. 

I have for as long as I can remember (at least since I was 4) and it's always been something I've been embarrassed about.

On a recent trip to Phoenix I went out for ice cream with some girlfriends of mine. One of the topics led me to admit to having OCD, which I almost never tell people. They started asking me questions.

Q: What do you do?
A: I count.

Q: What do you count?
A: Everything. Stairs, patterns on the wall, the number of times I chew things or even the number of bites I take, and how many times in a row I scratch my itching arm. But it doesn't stop there. I count the seconds it takes for our fan to oscillate. I count the number of lines on a page in a book. I count the letters in a word, whether it's written out or someone's saying it. I count the syllables in a phrase or a sentence.

I had a really hard time at BYU because I'd be taking notes on a lecture the professor was giving and start counting syllables or letters and completely miss what he would say next. I've also always been a speed reader because if I read things word for word, I can't focus on what I'm reading since I'm too busy counting. Oh, and I always have to end with the number 13. I count to 13 over and over again until I'm done counting whatever it is.

Q: So how often do you count?
A: I never stop counting except in my sleep. This picture sums up how cluttered my mind always is with numbers, even when I'm relaxing:

Then my friend asked
Q: So what are you counting right now?
A: I'm counting the syllables in what you just asked me.

Q: So you're always multitasking? Even while you're talking or listening, you're counting?
A: Yes. Always.

Here's the part where I can't answer anyone's questions.
Q: What's it like to never be able to shut your mind off?
A: I can't say. What's it like to be ABLE to shut your mind off? I've never experienced that in my life 
so that concept is mindblowing to me. 

I remember not being able to sleep at night as a kid and it frustrated me so much I'd come tell my mom I couldn't sleep. She'd have me lie down on the couch and try to help me shut my mind off by imagining things like being at a beach. While she'd describe the beach - the sound of the waves, the beautiful blue sky, the wind on my face - I couldn't stop counting everything she said. It's just not something that I'm capable of turning off. I honestly think it's partly/mostly to blame for why my insomnia is so bad.

And what happens if I don't count? If I try to stop myself from counting, I get so anxious I can't handle anything. My heart races, I feel flushed, I feel dizzy and/or faint, I feel out of control, and the only thought that goes through my head is I NEED TO COUNT. It's like something bad will happen if I don't. I don't think that, but my brain seems to. It's a chemical imbalance in a person's brain that causes OCD and it's the most difficult thing I've ever tried to control. In fact, I can't control it. I have to take medication for it just so I can have some control over my life.

I've always felt really dumb because I have amazingly intelligent siblings, and I'm smart, but not like them. Teachers expected me to be as smart as my brothers and sister and get as good of grades, and I never did. I fell short of everyone's expectations, and everyone let me know that quite often. I always had really low self esteem, and I can attribute most of it to that. It wasn't until 12th grade that my AP Psychology teacher, when she found out I had severe OCD, told me that if I didn't have OCD, I would be able to make much better grades. She told me that was hindering me. It was a real eye-opener for me. Maybe I really wasn't dumb. That was the first time I'd been able to see that maybe I'm smarter than everyone thought - maybe it really was something beyond my control that made me "dumber" than my siblings.

It's funny. I always feel like people must be able to tell I have OCD just by talking to me, and it amazes me that no one's ever noticed. Even my husband says he can't tell. It's all going on in my brain, and to me it's so obvious that it feels like I'm wearing it for the world to see. Like I said, I've always been embarrassed and not told people about it. But after hearing so many people joke about having OCD lately, I had to write this blog.

Orderliness, extreme organization, hatred of germs, and ritual-like behaviors exist in people who don't have OCD. There's also something called OCPD - Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder. The difference is that people with OCPD don't see their habits as a bad thing. It doesn't bring them anxiety, and their lives aren't controlled by it. And they feel good afterwards. Basically, it's a choice

But for me, it's not a choice, nor do I feel better after counting. So please, the next time you're about to say jokingly that you have OCD, please think to not say it. It makes people like me feel really bitter that other people see it as funny when it's anything but that for us.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

And The Baby's Name Will Be...

 ♥ Braden Alexander ♥

This will be our last child because I can't go through another pregnancy with this much pain (and I certainly don't want a third c-section!). I've told a couple people already that if I ever get baby hungry in the future, they need to remind me exactly why I should never get pregnant again.

We're really excited though because we'll have one boy and one girl. It'll be perfect ♥

Thursday, January 30, 2014

21 months!

I can't believe my sweet girl is almost 21 months old already! She's turned into a crazy little booger who loves life and has endless amounts of energy, which is hard for me to keep up with when I'm pregnant.

I know it's blurry, but she actually SMILED for the camera for once!

Here are recent facts and stories about Evelyn:

*At least once a week, she'll wake up at about 11pm and again at about 2am...and happily play in her crib! She does this for about an hour each time. It's the strangest thing, but it happens like clockwork!

*Her favorite song is If You're Happy And You Know It. She won't sing it at all but she loves the hand clapping and foot stomping and always does it at the right time. If we make the mistake of singing it once, we usually have to sing it about 10 more times before she'll (sometimes) let us stop.

*Every time I sneeze (which is a lot since my allergies become terrible during pregnancy), Evelyn says "Bess oo!" (Bless you)

*One of Evelyn's favorite games is "counting," meaning she helps us say "1, 2, 3" and then she gets thrown on our bed.

*She puts purse-like things on her arms (gift bags, buckets, etc) and then tells me bye-bye and that she's going shopping:

*She's already taking after her daddy: she loves the Star Wars ABCs book my parents got for her and she's already learned Han Solo, Wookiee, and Tie Fighter.

*She has a cute little boyfriend named Keegn (no, that's not a typo) she met at church and even though he turned 4 last week and she's not even 2, they absolutely adore each other. He's so protective of her and she thinks everything he does is amazing.

*There's a lady at church, Sherrie, that she decided looks like my mom the week after we moved in and calls her bamma (grandma). So when my mom visited last week and she suddenly had both of these "grandmas" in the same room, she was so distracted from everything else. She'd point at my mom saying "bamma" and then turn and point at Sherrie and say "bamma." She did this more than 15 times: "Bamma. Bamma." She was so happy about it.

*One day this past week I was in the bathroom blowing my nose and suddenly I see Phoebe running past at full speed. I wondered why until I saw Evelyn run past a few seconds later, chasing Phoebe with a huge mischievous grin and a purple shovel raised in the air :)
Other times she's so sweet with her dog. She throws her tennis ball around the house for her and tells her "drop it" when Phoebe brings her the ball and "good girl" when she drops it. She also goes out of her way to give Phoebe her toy bone and pet her, and she always is asking me if she can give Phoebe a treat.

She's quite the cuddlebug, but only with Daddy

*She has a favorite puppet and gets nothing but pleasure out of him gobbling up her princesses and then spitting them out.

*Did I mention she has an obsession with Disney princesses? She has Little People, regular figurines, and larger bath toys - 20 in all - and she can't do anything without them. They go to bed with her (ALL of them), she has to take a few in the car, shopping, to church, you name it. She also throws tantrums because she can't carry them all at the same time. At least twice daily, she wants to move them to a different room but won't just move a few at a time. Instead she has a meltdown and cries and yells "PINCESS! PINCESS!" over and over until someone comes and helps her carry them.

Elmo "tickling" her favorite princess, Pocahontas ("Hontas")

*She's such a little mommy. She feeds her baby dolls and princesses her food and holds bottles for them to drink. She puts diapers on her favorite stuffed dog. She makes sure they're always cozy by putting blankets on them and tucking them in. When she sees a real baby and their pacifier or bottle has fallen, she helps them put it back in their mouths. I can't wait for her to be a big sister, she's already so good about everything and loves to help.

Evelyn Renae has been such a huge blessing in our lives. She brings the most stress to our lives, but that's okay because she also brings the most happiness. We love this wild child so much.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

6 months already!

I can't believe my little buddy is 6 months old already! She's become the happiest little girl over the past couple months, started sleeping all night long, and just got her first tooth!

She loves food (unless it's peas, then she cries) and LOOOOVES Puffs. She just figured out how to feed herself puffs and is working on crawling (she's still trying to figure out how to move her arms at the same pace as her legs so she faceplants a lot) and sitting (her longest was about 45 seconds BUT she gets distracted super easily and lunges, therefore falling).

Even if she's upset, Matt and I can kiss her tummy and she giggles at us, and her new laugh makes her sound like a velociraptor (shown in the video below) When she wakes up, she happily chatters (and yells) to the fan and the butterflies hanging over her crib for up to 30 minutes before she finally starts getting upset. She laughs at her puppies and always wants to play with them, as shown here:

It's crazy that she's growing up so fast, and I'm loving every minute I have with her. Being a mommy is the hardest thing in the world, but it's also the most rewarding and I wouldn't trade it for anything. I love my sweet girl so much.

Friday, July 6, 2012

2 Months

2 months ago today, we were getting ready to go to the hospital the next morning for my scheduled C-section. I was waddling but because I'd hurt my back a few weeks before, I was also limping. I couldn't wait to get this hiccuping, wiggly, head-in-my-ribs baby girl out of me and at least get rid of the waddling and pregnancy pain.

The next 3 days in the hospital, Matt and I had to switch off who got to sleep and who had to hold the baby, because she would only sleep if she was being held. It was adorable and frustrating at the same time. I was in a ton of pain from the surgery and was on pain meds and sleeping the majority of the time, so Matt ended up holding her most of every day while he watched shows on Netflix on his laptop.

My mom came out to help after the first week and ended up staying for 3 weeks for me. The healing process was slow, and when coupled with a newborn who needs to be held to stay asleep, that's a recipe for disaster. There were several nights I fell asleep holding Evs and almost dropped her, so I'd hand her off to my mom. In the morning, I'd see them cuddled up like this:

My mom got her to start sleeping in her bassinet for the first time and had so much great advice for me that has helped a ton. I'm so lucky to have such a loving mother who was willing to come help me for so long and  help me when I needed her most, even at 2am. I love you Momma.

2 months later, I couldn't be happier. Evs is beautiful and perfect in every way. She's a smart girl who wants to see the world (and usually gets overtired and cranky because she never wants to shut her eyes -- she's too busy looking at everything). She's a very happy girl who coos when she wakes up instead of crying and loves staring at fans (she also has conversations with fans -- it's pretty adorable). There have been many [almost] sleepless nights, but she's making up for it now by sleeping around 12 hours at night (even if she does think nighttime starts at 1am or later), only waking 1 or 2 times to eat. She's an absolute Daddy's girl already. Her favorite part of the day besides eating time is being with Daddy.

She was lifting her head up in the first few days of life and rolling from her tummy to her back at 4 weeks. She scoots across her entire bassinet while sleeping and I wouldn't be at all surprised if she decided to start crawling right now! I love this girl, and as tired as she makes me, I wouldn't trade it for the world.

May 6th, the day before Evs was born
What I have 2 months later :)

Monday, May 14, 2012

First Bath!

Evelyn's umbilical cord fell off early this morning, so we gave her her first bath this afternoon before Matt went to work. She screamed for about half of it, but the other half she was pretty calm!

My itty-bitty baby in her currently huge tub

Showin' off those lungs!
She HATED having her hair washed more than anything

And finally calm! Yay!

We gave in & introduced the pacifier to her this morning -- all she ever wants to do is suck, so this pacifier's going to save us (meaning ME) and give us a happier baby!

She kept dozing off when I brushed her hair afterwards - when I stopped, she started crying!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Breech / Transverse

My baby girl seemed to be going along with the plans for awhile. She was head down for a few weeks, which I could tell since she gets the hiccups at least 2x a day. Then about 1 1/2 weeks ago, I suddenly 
realized she was sideways.


I could feel her head on one side and her bum sticking out on the other! Let me tell you, babies THIS size do not fit sideways in a belly. It's so painful! She spends the majority of each day in the transverse position (she is as I'm typing this), but sometimes she's head up. Ever since she flipped, she hasn't been head down a single time! 
I can always tell from the hiccups :)

I went to the OB yesterday and asked him when he would start worrying about needing to do a c-section. He felt the baby and told me he was pretty sure she was head down, but he did a quick ultrasound to make sure. He looked at the screen, sighed, and told me "I hate it when you're right." So he talked to me about breech babies. I had 2 options:

1. Have an external version, where they try to manually flip the baby


2. Schedule a c-section

Guess which one I chose? I'll give you a hint: definitely not the c-section!

My OB warned me that a version is painful, and if my abdomen is sensitive (which it is), it's going to be even worse. He also said it's only a 50% chance that it will work AND she won't flip back. So who knows, I could go through a bunch of pain just to find out she's switching back to breech or transverse. And since she's been in the head down position before and apparently doesn't like it as much as her other options, I'm afraid she will be stubborn and flip back. If this doesn't work out, my OB does want me to schedule a c-section. I'll try to put it off for a bit in the off-chance that she flips on her own. Who knows what could happen in the next 3 weeks!

I have to check in at the hospital at 10am tomorrow even though the version isn't until noon. Matt's going with me & will be studying for exams while they prep me & monitor the baby, so at least I won't be alone.

One thing I have to admit I am excited that they'll do an ultrasound at the hospital tomorrow. I haven't seen her on an ultrasound screen since 18/19 weeks!