Linear Thoughts? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Not anymore.
by Leigh Hope Fountain 11:06 AM 0 comments
So in 3 weeks, Gypsy will join us and I will be a first-time mom. I can't even begin to describe the extent of my anticipation and excitement. No really... I can't. I can barely wrap my head around it even after 9 months, so rather than attempt to ascribe a series of words to it beforehand, we'll just leave it there for now.
Another first however is not quite as attractive to me: The hospital stay. I've never stayed in a hospital overnight for anything - and quite honestly, I'm dreading it - and we're not talking one night... we're talking a minimum of three.
Chances are, I'll be sharing a room with a stranger. I'll have just gone through one of, if not the biggest life-altering moment I'll have had and possibly ever will have - and there will be someone else in my room. Someone I don't know. I'm quite social - but I don't like this prospect at all.
Then there's the food. I'm on a restricted diet as it is for gestational diabetes - and actually I'm totally cool with that, but the last thing I'm going to consume, particularly after Gypsy is born, is hospital food. (John honey, I hope you're prepared to do a lot of running around). Also - wine. There's no way in hell I'm going 4 days without wine after having a baby. We'll be sneaking it in somehow - and by "we" I mean John. Not sure how, but it's happening. Yes, I'm breastfeeding. No, I'm not going to get loaded. CALM DOWN.
There's also the fact that I am a night owl. I guess I'll be watching a lot of crappy television in between feedings every two hours. There will be no Netflix, Hulu or DVR. (I know, I know, first world problems). But I've earned my right to bitch and moan at this point, haven't I?
Also, while I have no fear of doctors, nurses, needles or generally anything of the sort - I am afraid of the germs in hospitals. Necrotizing fasciitis anyone? Did I check myself in to a hospital to potentially become as close to the un-dead as one can get without going full zombie? NO, I most certainly did not. MRSA is seriously one of the creepiest grossest things I can think of - and I feel like all of the hand sanitizing stations in the world can't seem to eradicate the presence of the antibiotic-resistant bacterium that appear in hospitals nationwide that have us one step closer to actual zombiedom.
WHY IS THIS?
A hospital should be the most sterile place you can be - and yet somehow I'm more comfortable on the dirty, grimy, germ-riddled subway cars of New York City. Over-sanitization? My thinking is YES.
Keep that gelatinous hand sanitizer away from me and my baby. I don't trust it. Regular hand washing and wipes will do just fine, thank you.
Speaking of subways... (SPOILER ALERT) - Did anyone see the latest episode of The Mindy Project? She gives birth on a subway - on a subway! She was scheduled for a C-section - or as she aptly refers to it, her "Baby Removal Appointment," and instead went into labor on a New York City subway. This is one of my biggest fears. I'd really prefer to be above-ground... even on the street in fact. I'm hoping I don't follow suit with Ms. Lahiri and that I get to keep my happy little baby removal appointment on Oct. 22nd despite it requiring a hospital stay. And speaking of which, it just occurred to me that Gypsy's birthday will literally be a surprise party.
I love it.
Headaches, Heartburn and Hemorrhoids... the Heinous Hallmarks of my Pregnancy
by Leigh Hope Fountain 11:52 AM 1 comments
Wow. I swear no more than 5 minutes after I recently exclaimed to a colleague, "I really can't bitch too much. This pregnancy hasn't been that rough," did I get hit with a supreme wave of hell in the form of a hemorrhoid.
Headaches and heartburn have dominated my life for the past many months - but I was spared the horrific hemorrhoid until fairly recently. Perhaps this is TMI, but I honestly feel compelled to share this information with friends, family and really, anyone contemplating getting knocked up who hasn't yet, because this is one of those things that nobody really talks about - and apparently, it's one of the more common side effects associated with the whole pregnancy thing. Personally, I appreciate knowing what lies ahead. It gives me an opportunity to brace myself accordingly - but nobody warned me about this. Having never had one before, I assumed I wouldn't even while pregnant. That was stupid.
Nothing could've prepared me for the levels of discomfort the evil creature inhabiting my ass would create. Again, my apologies if this is TMI - but seriously... SERIOUSLY - hemorrhoids are straight from hell. I have heard myself exclaim, "My ass literally feels like it's on fire." Note the use of the word literal. That was intentional because, THAT IS WHAT IT FELT LIKE. And don't get me started on the itching. It feels like something is MOVING AROUND in there. It's creepy and disgusting and downright awful. And try sitting on a subway acting as if you're perfectly fine, when in reality, you're silently suffering and counting the stops until you're able to get above-ground again, wondering if moving around will actually even help, knowing that it probably won't, but here's to hoping, right?
I am well-aware of how indelicate this subject is, but again, I feel it's my duty to be forthcoming here. If you are thinking about having a child, be warned accordingly: Morning sickness will probably get you. If it doesn't, you're among the lucky one-in-four who is spared... (as I was), but before you celebrate... be advised that you might have to battle what can only be described as an 'ass demon' down the line.
For me, headaches and heartburn are old hat. At times they've been intense, but relatively manageable. Unpleasant? Yes, but manageable. No biggie. But hemorrhoids? Are you kidding me?!? Holy $#!*balls, Batman! NOT OKAY.
The pain and discomfort seriously had me thinking, "This kid better be an absolute doll - nothing less than a ray of sunshine, 24/7, or else." Of course I realize that this is an impossibility. Nobody is perfect. Fine, fine, fine, but she better be damn close.
A Secret Battle My Mom Has Been Fighting for Decades
by Leigh Hope Fountain 9:00 AM 0 comments
I received a call from my mom sometime last week - and I could hear it in her voice. She was definitely very upset. I didn't need to ask why. I already knew what was up. Interstitial Cystitis (IC) - a disease that most people still haven't heard of despite it's impacting an approximate 3 - 8 million women and 1 - 4 million men in the United States alone, has plagued my mother with debilitating chronic pain for as long as I can remember.
She was diagnosed when I was still a very young girl and was hospitalized at one point, during which she underwent a full hysterectomy, which produced a series of complications that led to a much longer hospital stay than anyone in my family anticipated.
To this day she reminds me of the conversation I had with her doctor during one of our hospital visits:
"When is my mom coming home?"
"You say that every time we're here and then she doesn't come home. You're lying."
Needless to say, it made the doctor feel terrible, but there really wasn't anything he could do. She had lost her cerebrospinal fluid and needed to recover from that on top of the hysterectomy.
Despite a massive operation, it barely made a dent in what would ultimately become the bane of my mother's existence. Interstitial Cystitis would change her life dramatically - impacting her ability to do things many of us take for granted, like walk long distances, exercise and attend events, (including those she considered important throughout my childhood). It would impact her mood, her overall outlook on life - and her will to live, (though I wasn't really aware of this until very recently).
My mother has fought a disease that has subjected her to chronic pain now for more than three decades. We're not talking about mild pain either. We're talking about stabbing and burning to such an extent that she literally cannot do much of anything on days where her flare ups are really bad. There is no cure. There are treatments, though most are incredibly unpleasant, including one she has undergone herself countless times, wherein they instill your bladder with an acid-like substances to try to burn off the ulcerated lining). Fortunately for her, the treatments have more or less worked over the years. (She only resorts to them when the pain becomes just too unbearable). Unfortunately for her, one of the more recent treatments hasn't really delivered the same results - and she has been horribly depressed, having to undergo a second round of bladder instillations which also have yet to produce the results she's looking for - even after 6 weeks of them.
So when I got this call the other morning, and for the first time in my life I heard her admit that she has thought about taking her own life - it broke me. I was horrified and stunned. I know how upset she has been over the years for even having this illness. I know she is riddled with guilt over it, (which is absurd because she had nothing to do with it). Nevertheless, she STILL feels guilty about missing those supposed "important" childhood events of mine. I can't recall her missing anything. She was at every dance recital, every play, every everything I can think of. She says she missed things like Open Houses. Who the hell cares??? Well, apparently, she does. She wanted to be at those. Frankly however, I have no recollection of her missing them, but I feel terribly that she still beats herself up over what seem to be to be very trivial things. But she's a mom... and moms want what's best for their children - and that would've meant her not missing a single thing - ever, no matter how trivial.
In any case, her admission of thinking about taking her own life gave me serious pause. As those of you who know me may already know, I am petrified of death so I cannot even begin to imagine a scenario in which that thought would cross my own mind - but then again, I have never, ever experienced chronic pain. (Knock on wood).
She has... and she has for well over 30 years - and as she explained, she is, "...tired of the fight."
As anyone can understand, this is not something you want to hear your mother say - especially when you're about to become a mother yourself. Thing is, she's really been struggling for a while now - and she needed to get it off her chest - and I'm the one she talks to about these things. I think she actually tried to hide it for quite a while, because I'm pregnant and emotional and dealing with a lot myself... but I'm glad she said something - because it forced me to take a look at things... like how someone could even think that - and what I might be able to do to help her... because that's what I love to do best. I love to help people. I have read about her disease time and time again - Googling everything and anything to see if there are new treatments available she might not be aware of because she refuses to read about her disease. (It depresses her, freaks her out, etc.) She also still doesn't know how to operate a computer, so there's that. I have actually found a few things for her on occasion - and she is always eternally grateful, so when I got this most recent call, I was on a mission to conduct more research - find something she hasn't tried yet - something that would give her hope and eliminate any thoughts of wanting to cease her earthly existence. After all, Gypsy needs her grandmother and really, I still need my mom.
Fortunately, my mom called me again later to reassure me that while she may have thought about it in a very, very dark and desperate moment, she would never ever go through with it. She will keep fighting.
THANK FUCKING CHRIST.
Obviously, that's a very good thing - but I hate that she has ever experienced so much pain to begin with that she even gave it a moment of thought. Also, my mother is one of the strongest people I know, so for her to feel like quitting really speaks volumes about just how horrible IC is. (Apparently depression and suicidal thoughts are very common in people with IC. Sadly, some people actually go though with the suicide part). In good news, now that I'm gigantic, (see pic) and having a harder time being mobile, I have plenty of time to read and research the latest treatments for her illness. Interestingly, but perhaps not surprisingly, Botox is on the list.
Anyway - this is partially why I haven't written much recently. I've had a lot on my mind.
P.S. - If anyone reading this knows my mother, please do not even mention this to her. She's incredibly weird about people even knowing that she has this disease and she'd probably kill me for writing this. Good thing she doesn't know how to use a computer.
by Leigh Hope Fountain 9:27 AM 4 comments
You will be here in 44 days. I know this because we're serving you with eviction papers on October 22nd because the doctor has decided that's what's best for both of us. I'm 100% fine with this because even though it's 8 days before your "due date" we seriously cannot wait to have you here and can barely tolerate another day - let alone another 44, so we're thankful that it's not 51. Also, seeing the 3D sonogram pics has not made the waiting game any easier. In fact, seeing your beautiful face has truly made time move like molasses and we don't help matters by keeping your photos plastered all over our fridge.
As we get closer to your arrival, we sit up at night talking about you. In fact, we've had numerous conversations about your future already. (No pressure hon - we just want you to avoid making some of the mistakes we did, if at all possible). We spend a lot of time thinking about what you might be interested in, and if those interests will mirror ours or be vastly different. We are excited to see either way - though of course we secretly hope that you love Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, horror/thriller/suspense movies, (when you're old enough), Boston Terriers, (and all other animals too), New York City, shopping for strange things at flea markets, food, conversation and art. We hope that you have little to no interest in Dora the Explorer and Bratz dolls. Again, no pressure - though when it comes to those, we might have to put our feet down.
We wonder if you'll be a girly-girl, a tomboy, or somewhere in-between. We wonder what eye color you'll have since really it could be almost anything given the fairly diverse gene pool you're comprised of. We wonder if you'll be a towhead like John was when he was born, or have a full head of thick black hair like I did. (Interestingly, neither of us maintained the color we were born with). We wonder if you'll be an introvert or an extrovert... serious, silly or both.... gay, straight or bi. Will you want children of your own? God knows we weren't sure for a really long time. We won't push you one way or the other - we promise. (We were very lucky to have parents on both sides who never nagged us to procreate and are more than happy to extend that same courtesy to you).
We wonder if you'll avoid sleep as much as I did from the day I was born, (keeping my parents up at all hours), or if you'll relish your zzzzs the way that John does. (For the record, I still wish I didn't have to sleep. John wishes he could sleep more). We wonder what your obstacles in life will be and hope they aren't too daunting. At the same time, we both know how obstacles can shape you and make you a better, more well-adjusted human being, so we hope your life is sprinkled with a few challenges that will enhance and enrich your life - even if they aren't the most pleasant in the moment.
We hope you know that we always have your best interests at heart, even if you think we're being mean, difficult, unfair or ridiculous.
We hope that you never question our love for you and we hope that one day, you also find love outside of our family to create your own - including your own definition of what a family is.
We hope that you are a caring, considerate soul and have an abundance of intellectual curiosity.
We hope you like us and we can't wait for you to get here!
Tons and tons and tons of love,
Your mommy and daddy
Pregnancy Brain is Real
by Leigh Hope Fountain 10:21 AM 0 comments