Becoming a Parent

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I never thought I would be becoming a parent before I turn 24. My mom always had this vision for me. She knocked into my head, school, career, marriage, kids. I am currently close to getting my bachelors, only 9 classes left after I take 2 summer classes. I also want to possibly do volunteer work at a rape crisis center or the center for family justice in my county. Of course, I would have to wait a year or so to do that. Hopefully, I’d be able to do that while getting my Masters in Counseling, though I really have no idea what my life is going to be like at that point.

I am 14 weeks pregnant, and though the changes in my body make me squirm with discomfort on those days I feel insecure, the days I feel excited I see my body as something that protects my unborn child. I can’t wait until I have that ever so popularly known baby belly and can feel the baby kick. I think that will make it “more real” in my head. Not that I don’t think it’s not happening, it’s just there’s no obvious sign I’m pregnant. I’ve been lucky with minimal nausea and no vomiting, and some light cramping that probably is due to the uterus growing. Other than those discomforts and no period, my life hasn’t changed that dramatically.

We did pick out names! Cody and I liked Xander for a boy and Violet for a girl. I can definitely say that I didn’t expect to have a kid so young, mainly because I wanted to be financially secure and in my career beforehand. I am coming to the acceptance that I have to be flexible and rework the plan I had in my head for myself.

I cannot tell you how ridiculously excited I am to actually be a mother. I honestly wasn’t sure when I would feel the excitement but over the past week or so I’ve been having more exciting moments than anxious moments. The thought of seeing my baby and bonding with the baby just makes me smile. I plan to love this kid with all my heart. I only want the best for my kid, and for my kid to have good values, and be a kind person. I know that my kid won’t have all the newest and nicest toys or electronics, but I would hope that the love that Cody and I provide will outweigh the desire for the new things.

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The one thing I am struggling with is giving all the love I can to this child and balancing school. Also if I want to volunteer at a center (it’s only 2 shifts per month) I would have to make sure that Cody, my parents, or a babysitter could look after the child. Is it possible to do it all? Finish a bachelors, start a masters, be a mom, and possibly volunteer, and be a wife? And yes, I caught Cody buying the ring, and also know that he has the ring somewhere hidden in his car.

I know that being a parent means sacrifice and that it means putting your child first. I also know that I want to help people, hence being a counselor and wanting to be a volunteer at a crisis center. I just don’t know how to balance those two things. I also know that I want Cody to not feel like I’m giving the baby all of the attention, I’ve read that some husbands feel neglected when a baby is first in the house because the baby does need a lot of attention. I know Cody and I will work something out.

I guess it’s the perfectionist in me worrying about doing or being it all. I don’t want to let anyone down – Cody, the baby, my parents, or myself- and that’s what I am struggling with.

Any moms want to comment and share how they handled juggling the many demands of life?

XOXO Anna

Body Image and Pregnancy

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I have found it increasingly difficult to accept that my body is changing. I have struggled with anorexia for too many years, and now that I am pregnant, I am terrified about my body. I know I’ve gained weight and it’s probably just water retention or baby getting bigger or my boobs getting bigger and I know that I have to gain weight to have a successful pregnancy. But until there is a baby bump, I just feel fat. I don’t like these changes but know that it’s all for baby to be healthy.

It’s hard eating when you get nauseous at your favorite foods, especially when you’re already a picky eater. I just feel like I’m failing to eat enough due to food aversions and nausea and I feel terrible about it. Part of me doesn’t like the not eating because it reminds me of the days I used to restrict food.

I really want to have a healthy baby, and I know that eating right is part of that. I just hope that I can get enough food in for baby and me to be healthy.

XOXO Anna

Pregnancy is daunting

I am completely not used to this. I am almost 10 weeks and I am always tired. Plus commuting to NYC for two hours twice a week doesn’t help the exhaustion. I am really excited about this, but at the same time have worries like any other first-time parent. May 5th we are going to be having a consultation for possible genetic testing. I know I am 23 years old but given that I am adopted and really know nothing about my medical or genetic history scares me, especially being pregnant. On May 5th we will discuss finance, the tests, and options. If we decide to go ahead we would get an NT and the blood test that also tells gender.

All this pregnancy stuff is so new and unknown at times it seems so daunting. Especially the body changes. Given the history of anorexia and the fact I got out of treatment in the beginning of January, I am anxious about how I will handle the body changes mentally. I know there’s lots of bloating and water retention in the first trimester and I’ve been dealing with that to the best of my ability.

Also, I don’t know how to announce the pregnancy. I’ve told some close friends, including Quick Silver, and our families know, including extended family. But announcing the pregnancy to our friends is something I am unsure of how to do. I feel like my friend Serena, who I have known since kindergarten might be a bit judgemental. I want to tell her soon but just hope she can have a positive reaction, like the other people I’ve told. Everyone has been positive, happy and supportive. I just hope our friends can be the same.

XOXO Anna

 

I’ve Been MIA because…I’m Pregnant

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I haven’t been on posting because I found out I was pregnant a month or so ago. I am 9 weeks and had the first ultrasound this week. Everything looks good. Cody and I are really excited! I just didn’t want to post this until I got the first ultrasound, hence the radio silence on my end. I am not sure how I’m going to tell people. Our families know, and now it’s about telling friends. I am not sure how they will react. I hope positively. I’ve told maybe 3 close friends so far and they have been positive about it. I know, I am 23 and most people will think that’s young. Hell I think it’s young, and this wasn’t planned but we are really excited for this. That is why I haven’t been on, trying to hold this news in until the first ultrasound and everything was cleared by the doctor.

XOXO Anna

Cody’s Mother…

She is still being difficult. Last time I posted about Cody’s mom we were supposed to go over to her house. When we went over, she refused to look at me or acknowledge I spoke. It took at least fifteen minutes of me trying to engage in the conversation for her to look at me, and then would give me a short answer.

We then the next day went to her brother’s surprise party. She acted completely normal in front of me, as if she didn’t have any issue. She put on a good show since Cody’s dad was there and her boyfriend was there. Her boyfriend had told her that she had no reason to be upset with me because I’ve done nothing wrong.

So, for about a week or two weeks, Cody has been trying to get his phone line off his mom’s account. She didn’t do it this past Sunday like she said she would. He messaged her earlier this week, and she didn’t reply. He texted her this morning. The only reason she texted was because he changed the pin on the account when trying to contact verizon to get his line off.

She texted, “Did you change my pin”

He replied, “I tried calling Verizon to see if they can remove my number from your plan because you won’t. I know you’re busy but come on I’m sure you’ve had plenty of time”

She replied, “Cody, stop it! Today is my first day off and I planned on getting to you. You still owe $95 to and I could say the same to you”

He replied, “I wanted this done before this billing period, you said you’d take care of it. It’s almost been a week and I’m still on your plan”

She said, “Come by after work and we’ll take care of it”

He replied, “I hope so this time”

She said, “Knock it off don’t be so rude”

It’s getting to be exhausting dealing with her childish behavior.

 

XOXO Anna

 

Relationship With Mom

Since I got out of treatment, my mom and I have been working on our relationship. I honestly thought this time was different. I am not sure how much I’ve really mentioned my relationship with my mother on this blog, but it has been superficial.

I love my mom. I want my mom. I know, I am 23 but I still need her. I think I’ll always want her, but I don’t know if I’ll ever really have her. I don’t think I’ve ever “really” had her. I know that she cares, I just think she might not be capable of showing it in the ways mothers usually show they care.

In treatment, we had family sessions each week. In those sessions, my mother and I addressed many issues and topics that were keeping our relationship in a tense place. My mother expressed that she mothered the way she thought was best. She thought signing me up for as many activities as possible was showing her care because she never had that growing up. I think she showed her love through money. I don’t want to sound harsh, but I think she didn’t realize the emotional needs of a child after the age of seven, or she just worked too much.

I know these days women work just as much as men, and that is great. I just don’t think my parents anticipated how much their new company would consume them. I want to make clear that I am not blaming my parents in any way. I am just giving my opinion. I know they did the best they could.

I just wonder why my mom can’t be emotional. I know her parents were distant, and she grew up to be independent, strong, and tough. Not everyone has that personality, though, especially not my sister and me. Not to say we don’t have those qualities, but we are sensitive as well. I am closer to my dad than my mom, and my sister is as well. My sister once told me that she doesn’t have a chance at having a relationship with mom, but she saw that I had a chance. She told me to fight for that relationship. Since she told me that I have fought. I have tried my hardest to have a relationship with my mom, but some days I am not sure it’s possible. Other days I think it is. The worst part in all this is the back and forth, the uncertainty, which leaves an emotionally unsafe place to be in.

Last week I went over to my parents to cook with my mom because that was part of the bonding we thought would be good, and it’s good for my recovery to learn how to cook. When I walked through the door in sweat pants and Cody’s t-shirt my mom instantly criticized the way I looked. She then commented on my hair after insulting the outfit. I was very hurt and felt self-conscious but paused. I didn’t yell or explode, instead, I told her I felt like she was projecting and asked what was going on in her life. She admitted to projecting and talked about the stress. That was something we have never done. That was huge progress. It made me hopeful. She also really wanted me to join her gym and go with her twice a week. I’ll admit I was nervous because that’s a commitment. I wasn’t sure whether our new relationship was going to last, but because she was so confident in her decision I started to hope.

Yesterday I talked to my mom about many things and got to the topic of buying books for class. My dad was being strange about it, so she said she would chip in to help me afford it. I was thinking, “wow, my mom really cares and is stepping up her game.” She asks when she can give me the money, and I said that since we had therapy she could give it to me then. She said she couldn’t make therapy (she also canceled last week’s therapy session). I said that was okay. I also asked if she knew if a dietician was in our insurance plan because I need one. She replies, “You don’t need a dietician Anna, please you are fine. You can do this yourself.” I don’t fight her on that, even though I was crushed and hurt. I then continue the conversation of therapy and when she can come. She, in the end, said she could maybe do therapy once a month but said she feels we don’t need it. Meanwhile, before we talked about therapy, she was asking me to come to work today to help out, and when I asked about being paid she said she shouldn’t be paying me because I am family. In the end when she said she thinks we don’t need therapy I told her I wasn’t coming into work and hung up.

After that conversation, I was broken. I felt scared, abandoned and family-less. I’ve already pretty much lost India since she never replies to me, my mom and I were trying to work it out and I feel as if I’ve lost that, and if I lose mom then I, in turn, lose my dad who will be on her side.

I have given my mother many chances to be there emotionally for me, to be closer, to help, and so on. It’s been three years of chances. I really thought this time was going to be different, and maybe it will turn out to be okay…but I feel hopeless right now since she just lost the trust that was slowly being earned.

I am not someone who trusts easily. Sadly, I trusted my mom and that she wanted a relationship (that’s deeper than a kiddie pool). I am not sure if my mom is just scared of having a relationship or what, but I do know that her actions have been quite hurtful and now I feel scared. I am scared to talk to my mom, scared to hang out with her, and scared to try again. I’ll get over it, but I hate feeling scared. I am sure if she knew any of what I was feeling she would apologize, but I don’t know if she would change her mind about therapy or about a dietician. She always “knows” what I “need” and don’t “need.” When I ask for something and she dismisses it, like she has done for as long as I can remember, I doubt myself and knowing what I need. I just want this cycle to end.

If I could have a relationship with my mom it would be both of us communicating honestly, and openly -no secrets. It would be us being able to say what we each need, and both of us accepting those needs. I guess it comes down to being supportive and accepting. I hope one day we can get there…

XOXO Anna

 

Denial?

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Last week Cody’s mom texted me “perhaps your screening Cody’s calls. Please have him call me tonight ASAP.”

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I know it happened last week, but it still has been quite hurtful. First off, I don’t control Cody’s phone, so I don’t know where she came up with that. Second off, Cody’s phone’s speakers are funky and sometimes don’t work so he gets missed texts and calls. He just has to reset his phone and they work again.

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Cody ended up talking to his mom about the phone bill and then hung up. After that he gets a long text from his mom telling him that she is calling Verizon in the morning and going to shut off his number, get him a new phone, and install extra security that only she and Cody has the passcode to. She also said to come to her house in the morning without me.

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That was even more insulting on many levels. Insulting because she obviously thinks I’m being controlling in some way, and insulting by treating Cody like he is a child who can’t have or handle a phone. First off, Cody worked at Radio Shack and Verizon for years and knows everything there is to know about phones. There’s no extra security to be installed. Then he was really upset that she was going to cancel his number and shut his phone off. He also was mad because his mom suggested I was controlling his phone and he said that he has always been able to shrug off her selfishness but he said that he is not okay with seeing how hurt I get by her actions.

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So the next morning we went to his moms. I stayed in the car. He gave her the money and came back. I asked how it went and he said she didn’t mention anything. I was infuriated. We went to breakfast after that and argued. I couldn’t believe he didn’t say anything to his mom about the way she spoke to me and what she insinuated and that he let it slide that she was treating him like a child. He said he was scared.

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In the end I expressed how hurt I was and how I felt it was important for him to stand up to his mom not only for my sake but for his own sake. He sent her a text saying, “I forgot to mention something while I was there. I really didn’t appreciate you accusing Anna of screening my calls. You should’ve just asked me why I wasn’t answering. She doesn’t control me or what I do on my phone so don’t worry about that. It kind of felt like you were treating me like a kid. We have a account together because it’s cheaper between the two of us, you may be the account holder but I do not want you ever canceling my line I would love to not get a new number and if it’s a problem I’ll take my number off.”

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She didn’t respond to that text. Later that evening she texted him about if we used her Christmas gift yet, and because he was driving didn’t respond. She then called five minutes later and Cody didn’t answer because he was driving. Cody told me to text her he was driving. So she replied with, okay, just working on the computer at home, call me when you’re home honey. When Cody and I got home, Cody replied saying we hadn’t used the Christmas gift yet, and that he wasn’t sure if she got his earlier text, and he resent it. No reply.

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Then this money she calls him, telling him all about her day, and then the second he says, “about the other day-” she cuts him off before finishing the sentence saying, I’ll talk about it in person, okay, not now, only in person. Then she said goodbye.

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I am very confused and off-put by her behavior towards me, and the subject of his addiction and the fall out. I know that when he came out on Facebook a lot of people made really negative assumptions about me and automatically started disliking me and thought I was brain washing and controlling Cody by telling him how bad porn is for our relationship. Cody’s dad and mom thought I wrote the post and posted it on Cody’s profile. Of course I didn’t, nor would I ever do that. The dad and I sat down with Cody for brunch a couple weeks after and I read him a letter I wrote explaining the whole situation. After that the dad was shocked at Cody’s actions and apologized for me, not knowing the extent and the pain that was caused.

So I am thinking that the mom somehow still thinks I wrote that post or something like that, because honestly her behavior is SO out of line it’s unbelievable. I processed this at Center for Discovery (and I discharged yesterday!) and the therapist told me I didn’t cause Cody’s addiction, I can’t control whether he stays sober, and that people are shocked at the situation and need to blame someone, and that just happened to be me. She said that they were all living in some other reality if they were saying such cruel things about me and not listening to me or Cody. So that made me feel better.

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I know that addiction can only be solved by the addict. I have also started to come to terms with the fact that if Cody were to relapse, that is not on me. I control my actions and my actions alone. I also know that he if chooses his addiction, that does not mean he does not love me or find me attractive. I don’t believe that every day, but I’m starting to believe that more and more these days.

But back to his mom. I personally was very disappointed in Cody for not standing up to his mother, but I do get that he was scared. I know he is realizing he has a lot of issues with his mom, and he is going to figure that out in therapy. I just hope that he does stand up to her when he sees her soon, because if not, I don’t know what to do. I personally want to be with a partner who wouldn’t stand for anyone saying such false and harmful things to or about me. Only time will tell though.

XOXO Anna