Friday, September 26, 2014

When men should have bangs--Confronting Anemia--and Naked Windows. (Or, a small and somewhat meaningless update.)

{the morning after we moved.}

I am supposed to be working, while watching one of the two shows I actually sit down for during the week.

No, this isn't true.  I'm supposed to be cutting Ben's hair, which he has been asking me to do for about two weeks now--but he fell asleep on the lower bunk where Leah and June sleep together (vertically, in their full-sized bunk bed) while trying to get June to "calm down and stop pretending to karate chop her Curious George blankie."  Those were my words, not his, that I said to June right before Ben switched me places and I came out to the family room to settle my swollen feet on the ottoman next to the couch to begin my nightly computer work.

However, he fell asleep, so I don't feel guilty that the haircut isn't happening for yet another night.  Besides, I really like his hair long, when it begins to curl.  This is something we've disagreed about for going on 12 years of marriage, and I will admit there have been times when I've avoided those haircuts as long as I possibly can so I can enjoy one more day looking at the dark curls that grow.  "Men should not have bangs!"  Has been his motto.  Sometimes I agree with this--but in his case, I do not.

Anyway, I sat down to work and instead began reading blogs and started wondering if there would be a time when my words would come back to me to write has been a long, long time.  I miss this side of me.  So, I decided to just begin.

The months that have passed so quickly have provided our family with a lot of twists and turns.  Caleb turned 9, June turned 3, I turned 34, Ben turned 35, we went to Utah to visit family, Ben found a new job, we made it through another stifling Arizona summer, the older two kids began school, Ben passed his dissertation defense, and....we have unexpectedly moved (again).

I'm attempting to gain the attitude of expecting the unexpected with our lives, because that is the way it continues to go--thinking that the element of shock and stress and surprise will leave and I can roll with it better.  Or this is my hope.

I could tell I was in a funk when we had been in the house for 3 weeks and not one picture or curtain had been hung yet.  Not one!  This is unheard of, for me.  I worried I was depressed, honestly.  Or just avoiding the unpacking because I'm anticipating another move in our future and leaving everything ready to go at a moment's notice.  It turns out neither of these was true.

About 3 weeks ago, at the doctor's office for my glucose pregnancy blood test (so extremely un-fun), I was told I have a severe case of pregnancy-induced anemia.  How it was caused is unsure and something the midwife/doctor team is still puzzled about, referring me to a hematologist to double-check things next week.  In the mean time, I have been put on a high dose of iron and have been informed to take this matter seriously.

Week one and two of my iron dose seemed relatively the same, but last week--something clicked.  The iron pumping through my system started working and I began to feel human again.  I no longer had to come home from dropping the older two kids off at school and beg June to watch a movie so I could lay like a zombie on the couch or sleep until it was time to pick up Leah from half-day kindergarten.  I no longer lived on Tylenol or Excedrine (the one without aspirin) because of the constant and persistent headache I had been enduring for almost 4 months.  The room no longer spun each time I stood up.  I no longer had bouts of time (sometimes up to 20 minutes or more) where I struggled to breathe and my heart could not slow down.

And, I began hanging pictures on the walls.

I'm now answering phone calls, scheduling play dates, making dinner, and occasionally taking my kids to the park.  Every day no longer feels like I'm crawling my way through it, but actually getting up and walking through, with possibly a small spring in that step, even.  May not sound like a big deal for some, but unfortunately just existing day to day had become my story before the iron supplement.

Though I'm not grateful for the overly and intentionally sweetened glucose drink I had to consume that day in the doctor's office, I am grateful this anemia was discovered through that glucose test, and handled so I can come back to life just before this fourth baby enters our world.

Our new home is beginning to feel like us.  Curtains still need to be hung though.  Why do windows look so naked to me without them??  We will get there.

For now, I will settle with finally writing something, and getting to look at Ben's curly bangs one day longer than planned.

Also?  This is me, just after drinking that nasty sugary drink, before the iron supplement began, at 29 weeks along.  Anyone in the mood for a cupcake?