Triggers During Pregnancy

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I was extremely worried when I found out I was pregnant. I was scared that my anorexia (ED) would take over. If you’ve read my posts, you know I refer to my anorexia as ED. I still get ED attacks every so often. Not as often as I used to when I was really sick, but still when they happen they can be extreme. I had hot chocolate for the first time in…. maybe a year the other day. I absolutely had an ED attack. ED was telling me that because I drank hot chocolate I was going to be fat, so I had to eat salads for the rest of pregnancy. I know, it sounds crazy, even as I typed it. But when ED attacked, the scary thing is it seemed logical, rational. Luckily, Cody was there and calmed me down and grounded me and we talked through the irrational thought. I challenged myself by making sure I had hot chocolate again the next day, and also today, to de-stigmatize it. I still feel guilty that I drank it, but not horrible about myself.

Another trigger has been getting the classic pregnancy round stomach. There are days where I am happy about it, and I’ll  rub my stomach and talk to our unborn son, but there are days, when I feel so crappy about my body I don’t want Cody to see me. For the most part, I think I’ve been doing an amazing job with eating when I am hungry and doing my best to stay healthy. On the other hand, I feel guilty whenever I don’t eat a balanced meal.

I am nervous about post pregnancy and dealing with my body. I know that will be a challenge, but I am hoping that I can overcome it. I am taking one day at a time, and reminding myself that I have to nourish myself so our son can be healthy.

XOXO Anna

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We Are Having A….

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Boy! We found out yesterday, and we couldn’t be more excited! I can tell you that  I was honestly terrified about if we were having a boy or girl. There are different fears that come with each sex. Honestly, my reasons for being scared of having a daughter are because of the things I, and many other women have been through. The over-sexualization of women, the rapes, the body- image issues, and so on. I know men get raped too, and that there are objectification’s of men, but as a woman, I can say that because of my gender it automatically means that it’s dangerous to be me. Just being a woman is scary these days. Growing up, I didn’t know the realities of the world. Once high school hit, I saw them more, and college was a full on wake up call.

I am excited to have a boy for many reasons but one reason is that I want to do my very best to teach him about the issues of today’s societies with gender. There are issues on both sides, and I just want to teach my son to be a gentleman. I know that our culture is one of hook-ups and one-night stands, but I feel society has lost the art of romance. Where is the courtship?

These days it seems our society is sex obsessed. There is so much more to life than sex. What about careers, education, and building a relationship with another person?

I can say that learning about Cody’s porn addiction has been eye opening to me. I never knew that kids as young as 9 could get their hands on porn. Honestly, before Cody, I barely even thought about porn. I honestly thought most guys grew out of watching porn after middle school experimentation and curiosity and would rather have a relationship with a real woman.

I just hope I can instill good morals in our son. I want to teach him respect, kindness, love, courage, honesty, etc. I know all parents want to have their kid be the best and have access to the best. I know that we may not have the best financial situation, so we can’t buy our son endless amounts of toys, or go out every week to a museum, or the movies, but I know between Cody and me we can give our son a loving and safe environment, with lots of knowledge (both street smarts and book smarts). We want to teach our son about science, both the hard science and soft science. Given that I study psychology I hope that our son can be very psychologically intelligent. I know that a lot of people grow up not being fully aware of themselves, their desires, wants, behaviors, but I hope that we can teach our son to be aware.

Society teaches men to repress their feelings and not to cry, but I want to teach my son that crying is okay and more importantly that feelings are okay and welcomed. I want him to be able to say, “I feel X, Y, Z.” I want him to have the best and I hope that Cody and I can give him the very best.

November 17th… I am almost half way through the pregnancy (18.5 weeks) and I just want November to be here. I never knew how excited I would be when becoming a parent, especially at 23 when it wasn’t expected. I know our son isn’t here yet, but I already feel such excitement, and love, and joy at the anticipation of his arrival. I guess it’s true when they say becoming a parent changes things, lots of things and that sometimes you just can’t understand until you’re a parent. I know my parents told me that one day when I was a parent I would understand.

I now understand a lot of their decisions and their intentions. They always wanted the best for me. Always tried to give me the best. For that I am thankful. I hope that I can emulate the things that I think my parents did well with, and hope to improve on the aspects I think they faltered with.

I know I haven’t been on as much as I used to, and I think it’s partly due to how busy my schedule has gotten, but also because these past couple months, I’ve been processing my feelings. I wasn’t sure of my feelings and thoughts about being a parent. But last night, during the ultrasound when I saw our son’s arms moving around inside me, something changed. Maybe it became more real? But something changed and suddenly I am aware of how I feel about this pregnancy, about parenting, about having a son. I feel so blessed to have Cody and to be having our son. Besides my career, I feel like my life is amazing. I am going to have a husband and a son. Both of us will be finishing school and starting our careers, but aside from that things are amazing.

Life is very unexpected and throws so many curve balls. I have to say, I think I’ve managed a lot of the curve balls well -the anorexia, the rapes, transferring school, dealing with a partner with addiction, and this pregnancy. Through all those issues I never gave up and kept persevering. I know being 23 and having a baby is going to be tough, but I know I will persevere.

XOXO Anna

Recovery

Cody and I have been doing very well for the past month. We started couples therapy, EFT specifically and it has been one of the best decisions we’ve made in our recovery as a couple together!

In a couple days, it will be a year of Cody being clean and in recovery. It’s crazy to think a year has gone by since I found out about his addiction, but we have made so much progress, both as individuals and as a couple. Cody even got an A- in Statistics! He hasn’t gotten an A in almost four years! He really has made so many improvements to his work and educational life. I still have plenty of triggers, but some triggers aren’t as bad anymore, and 95% of the time I realize his addiction has nothing to do with me. Only if it’s a day full of triggers do I get those thoughts of not being good enough.

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Cody asked me out on a date for Saturday, which was cute! I can’t wait to go on a date, we haven’t been on a date in about a month or so. So, it will be very nice to just go out, have dinner, talk, and go to the beach where we met almost 2 years ago.

Also, everything is good with the baby. We have an appointment in a week and a half and then near the end of June, we are going to find out the gender!! We can’t wait!

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Overall, it seems like things are going much better these past couple months. I am very happy about the progress and honestly, lately, it seems like we are finding “our love” again. It’s been very nice to hang out with him and just have fun. Back in the first couple months after I found out I couldn’t have fun with him, let alone be alone with him without being in pain. These days I enjoy his company much more. I think it’s because we have been talking a lot with each other, about a variety of subjects, but we’ve talked about the addiction a bit more and I think it’s been helping me process, and be able to move forward more.

XOXO Anna

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