Friday, June 28, 2013

Overwhelming & Exhausting

I am  30 years old, and I'm still learning about myself.

With the recent birth of my baby, I have realized that I have more signs that I need rest than I realized. Obviously, the normal "feeling tired" type symptoms aren't the only indication.

I get an odd feeling in my head when I am needing rest desperately. It is hard to describe. It almost feels like my head is heavy, almost as if I'm not in my body, and though I have never fainted, I would probably describe it as an almost faint feeling.

I have choices when I feel this way: ignore it and go on feeling miserable, or sleep. With a new baby and 6 year old, sleep is hard to come by, but I'm learning that the sooner I can get to sleep, the sooner I can feel better and get over that icky feeling! I hadn't ever really realized that this was a tired signal, I almost always felt it was something else, like a panic attack or something, because I don't often get overtired, but I do get overstressed sometimes. Usually this feeling comes when I'm overwhelmed and overstressed, so of course I connect it to a panicky type feeling. But I am realizing that even when it is caused by some kind of stressor, sleep is the cure! 

A lot of Aspies feel that sleep is their cure for overwhelming times, moments, feelings and emotions. What are YOUR signs of overstress or exhaustion, and what are your cures?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Arrivals! A Birth Story!

Our little baby girl, Bonnie Elise, came into the world in a hurry at 8:45 PM Friday June 21, after only about 3 hours of real labor! She is beautiful! They didn't weigh her until the middle of the night and she weighed 8 lb 6 oz! Her brother was only 7 lb 2 oz! She is 20 inches long.

She is a fantastic baby! With my son, I ended up with some kind of relaxer drug, and I think we both suffered because of that - we were both very tired and out of it. Though it was also 2 am, so I was exhausted on top of not eating since lunchtime. With my son, I still only had 7 1/2 hours of real labor. This one was much better, and faster obviously!

We went in for the appointment, and I told the doctor we were all there (hubby and son) because we fully expected not to go home. I had been having "tightening" contractions, but nothing regular or painful at all. She sent me upstairs to monitor and see what was happening. I was at 5 cms in her office. Went upstairs, and after an hour or so up there, I was at 6, and having contractions but nothing with a pattern or even much pain. Very slight cramping I would say.

So they admitted me, sending me across the hall to the nice birth suites. Since I wasn't really in active labor, she let me eat! I ordered some scrambled eggs, toast, potatoes and yogurt. I didn't eat a lot, but it was so nice to get something to eat beforehand! Totally different from my son! I also got some alone time since the boys went to Pizza Ranch to eat. So that was nice. The couple nurses in the room set things out for the delivery and whatnot. It was really relaxing and pleasant!

Probably an hour later I started having cramping with the contractions that I had to bend over for. They weren't horrible yet, but I sure felt them, and leaning over forward was really helpful. My friend who was coming as labor support/doula arrived and no one could believe that I was having these contractions and talking or smiling through them!

I got in the tub (with jets!) and relaxed in there a while. The contractions started coming a bit better in there, where I had to close my eyes. My son had come in and wanted to take a bath in the jets himself, but I told him he had to wait, and when I closed my eyes that he had to quiet and wait until I was done. I was impressed by how long they were lasting.

I wasn't in the bath long (I really am not that big of a fan of baths). So I got out. I think things moved on rather quickly then, but I didn't know how quickly they would move! I found that being leaned up against the back of the bed (which was leaned up) was the most comfortable, but unfortunately for the nurses, they were unable to get the monitor on baby in that position. (Ha, ha too bad!) That is always annoying that they have to do that so often, but they were probably more anxious about it because they had trouble finding her in there to get her heart rate monitored. She was being shy (probably because she was almost out! LOL)

A couple made me feel like throwing up, so I asked for something, and my poor hubby had the thing near him. When I threw up, he decided that it was time to go, and him and Brody left the room, thinking it would maybe be an hour or so before it was done.

They must have decided to call the doc because the contractions were so close together. She came in and though it was extremely uncomfortable, she checked and said "ok, you're at a 9!" and LEFT THE ROOM! LOL. I immediately turned back over and said I felt I had to "go to the bathroom".... to which the nurse had to run out of the room, leaving my friend and me the only ones in the room for a moment or two! At some point I felt her come on down, the water broke, and her head was crowning! Holy cow, did NOT expect that! They don't like you pushing without the doctor in the room, but I was surely not pushing. I could not stop it, as if you could stop throwing up. So she chilled there a minute or so while I hoo-hoo-hee-hee-ed through one contraction. That didn't do any good though for the next one, her head just came on out. I'm sure the doctor must have come in at that point and wanted me turned over, so they all got me on my side and pretty much got the shoulders out and PRESTO, all done. Three hours or so. That was it. And I don't feel like I did any of the work. It was almost like she said "You know what, enough of this womb stuff, I'm OUTTA here!". Cuz that's just what she did.

I had my labor support friend go get the boys, and hubby was shocked that it was already time! They both came in and it was so precious! My son wanted to cut the cord, but I think the doctor probably forgot in the hustle and bustle of how fast it happened! I got her on me, and started trying to nurse and get her latched on, and stuff like that. She was alert and open eyed, and just so precious! Everything turned out wonderful after that. She nursed pretty steady on and off for the next 3 hours with wide eyes and such interest! She just couldn't wait another moment and soaked it all up! She was wonderful! 

Anyway, so that's that! We were going to leave the next night after the blood draw for testing, but it turned out she was jaundice and had to stay for more blood draw the next morning, and the guys went home the 2nd night because that was just not going to be good to have to stay another night in the hospital. My son was so ready to be out of there. Just too boring. So that was hard for me to be alone and sad because we looked forward to going home. But it was probably ok.

I did feel pretty weird the first night I was home and I got concerned. I just felt a bit overwhelmed, as if how am I going to do this, mom to this new baby, and my intense 6 year old, and take care of the house and bills and money  ...... and you know what? I just have to keep telling myself to take a break! I just had a baby for crying out loud! I need sleep, rest, a vacation, a babymoon! I need to sleep when I need to sleep, and ask for help. I need to sit in the chair and not worry about cleaning up things or putting things away. I need to not worry about that long to do list I always have going for myself. I need to remember that those things are NOT as important. If we are washing dirty dishes to use for the meal we are having, fine, we wash them then. It is ok!

I'm grateful for my husband, he has really been doing so great. He has done cleaning and chores and stuff, and really been there for me, even though he has to work. No babymoon/leave for him! He feels really bad, but he is doing what he can, and its really helpful! So that is helpful too knowing that I am ok to just chill out and things are indeed still getting done. 

So I'm feeling better today, its the best day so far! We got into routine for bedtime last night with our son, so that was probably helpful. I felt pretty good after that. It feels good to get back into routine, so that some sense of normalcy is back. :) So things are looking up! I still am keeping out on how I'm feeling and making sure I don't end up with any depression issues. I talked to the doctor yesterday when we were in for the jaundice test again, and she said when we come back tomorrow we could do a progesterone shot if I still didn't feel that great. I might not need it now! But it is nice to know there are other options before throwing the towel out at the "ok, well, you're depressed, heres antidepressants". Those are not something I'm interested in having to take. I will if I feel bad like I did, but it doesn't make me feel good. So I will be glad if I'm over the hump.

I'm sure there will be bad days and tired days, but I just have to be more aware of my needs for rest and a break. I can't expect myself to be this "perfect" person with a "perfectly clean house" and everything always perfect. Aspergers has meant that I always did everything perfectly and kept it wonderful all the time. But I gotta let it go. I can change, even when I don't want to or don't like it. So this is probably all a good thing. Things will sort themselves out. It will all be ok. I have to use my time more wisely as well, making sure I don't sit on the computer all the time because that will make me feel worse, not just because of the guilt but because I can spend so much time that I end up not doing things that need to be done, like rest! So I'm working on changing. Change is not something Aspergers is friendly to. But I think I am going to be doing a lot of it!

That's enough. What a long post! Back to life! Sorry if I dont post frequently, but I will check in now and then. :)

Monday, June 17, 2013

I Need Space

I know many Aspies are "solitary people". We like our space. Some Aspies can be and are social creatures too, but for me, I am the kind of person who sincerely needs my space. And I've come to realize that I need more space than probably most people, autistic or not. 

To me, this makes me a really low maintenance friend. I don't NEED to see my friends every weekend or anything. I don't NEED to talk to them on the phone or over the internet every minute. I don't get to feeling lonely very easily or often.

This is how I am under normal circumstances, normal days, normal life. When things are different, whether its a stress, an exciting time, a crisis, or whatever, I find that I need MORE space than I do normally. I don't really require or need a lot of people to feel sorry for me, support me by visiting or being around me to help, or whatever. I like "silent support" - people who say they are there, or silently cook me a meal or something (actually no one has ever just cooked a meal and dropped it off before - so that would be something I would LOVE). I don't need people coming to socialize with me.

Very rarely will I reach out for support or help because I prefer to do my own thinking, research or just being alone to figure things out. When I do reach out, I usually make a specific point of reaching out to someone specific, someone I feel would perfectly satisfy my question.

CURRENTLY: I am "almost due". My due date isn't actually for another week. I'm in NO hurry to have this baby. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to see her and hold her and start things off, but I am perfectly content and happy for her to be on the inside. All her needs are provided for, life can still sorta maintain its normalcy, I know I am going to be more tired and overwhelmed once she's here, so I am perfectly content to wait until the moment that my body and baby decide that it's time.

I do not understand others who aren't more patient about this. I'm not just talking about other women who are or have been pregnant, and not even the doctors who are in such a rush to get the baby out once the 38 week mark starts clicking by. I wouldn't even be in a rush at 41 weeks or 42. I'd like the freedom to wait. (Though for simplicity's sake, I hope I do not go that long because the pressure to induce gets so high and I'd rather not deal with that fight).

I'm talking about friends and family. You. Yes, you.

What I want friends and family to know is this: I need space. I need calm, peace, comfort, relaxation. I'm not a great social person to begin with, but I'm here at the end, hormonal, tired and just trying to mentally cross things off some magical "nesting" checklist. I'm trying to picture things out in my head as best I can, I'm trying to deal with the unavoidable hospital interventions that I can't change, and the few fears I have about those interventions.

What I don't need is people interrogating me every single day as to whether or not its time, or what's new, or whatever. I'd like my birth to be quiet, without the pressure of having people waiting for me, or pressuring me to "tell them right away" and stuff. I will tell people when I tell people. Trust me, it's not like I'm going to keep it from everybody. But again, I need my space people. I need peace and quiet, not the sound of my phone ringing (I have the ringer turned off in advance of any inquiring phone calls. Bug my husband instead! LOL) This might stem from not being comfortable with change to begin with. I welcome many kinds of change, but one of my ways to deal with change is to take my space.

It will happen when it happens. God knows her birthday and when it is her birthday, she'll come. Not a minute before and not a minute later. After she's born, people will know. I'm going to take that time, to myself, and my husband and son. Our son wants to cut the cord, so this is going to be unforgettable for all of us. The precious 6 year old that has been an "only" for all these years is the one who wants to cut the cord from the baby to me. I am going to have my hands full, and I'm going to take my time, space and peace and keep it to myself until I am ready, until we are all ready, to share our family with the world.

But until that time, I just need my space. I need my peace. If you want to do some "silent supporting" - drop off a meal, come clean some dishes or something, you're welcome to do that, just don't expect me to socialize. Other forms of "silent support" are appreciated as well, but don't expect it to be a "I get to hold a baby" visit. I hold my own babies. ;) I am reluctant to hand them over, and that should be ok with everybody. I would never pressure another mom to hand me her baby, and since I have been a mom, I haven't. I've told moms what I want to be told; "don't feel obligated to let me hold baby, she/he is yours".

Anyway, I'm going to stop blabbing. Don't know when I will post again. Probably after baby is born. So until then, PEACE YA'ALL! 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Almost 5000!

Well, I'm almost to 5000 views! I have to say, I've never known of anything I've done that has ever had 5000 views. 

What I'd like to know from you readers is: What should I talk about? 

Obviously, the challenges of a new baby and a 6 year old is coming eventually here. Baby is still hanging on in there. About 2 more weeks until I'm actually due, and I'm perfectly happy knowing that she's still on the inside. I don't know if its just that I don't want to look "not pregnant fat", or if I'm just a lot less overwhelmed and tired knowing she's in there having all her needs met without me having to do anything really. :P It's a complicated emotion. Both with my son and this baby though, I'm in no hurry, I'm not of the mind of "let's get this baby out of there", so I'm content right now where I'm at. 

But what else should I write about? Future topic idea suggestions! Leave a a comment!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Aspie Obsessions - Collections

I am positive that this is my most prevalent aspie obsession. I have rocks EVERYWHERE. You know how some people collect salt and pepper shakers, or bells, or coffee cups, spoons, or whatever, I collect rocks, and I use them for decoration. Who needs some stupid bell or spoon that says "Iowa" on it that is exactly the same as the one that says "Idaho" on it? What about a genuine ROCK from Lake Superior? I have a TON of those (many are agates!). Or even Lake Michigan! I don't have as many local rocks anymore, but my son is taking care of that particular collection just fine.

I had them in vases separated by trip, but I cant remember many anymore specifically, except in the first picture, the very large vase with the marbles and rocks is from a wedding of a friends' north of Chicago. The rocks came from the lakeshore of Michigan near there. Definitely different from Lake Superior rocks.

I have sand from White Sands in New Mexico, and on top of that are some shells that, to be honest, I can't remember if they were from a great uncle, or if they were from my grandpa's girlfriend. So, I have shells too. Not as many, because I personally have never been to an ocean beach with many shells. When I was at Cocoa Beach in Florida, I cannot remember seeing or picking a single shell (or rock, for that matter).

I LOVE sand dollars, and I have one that I bought that had the doves separated from it, was framed and had a story by it. I also have one that appears to have been picked, but I have no idea where that came from either.

Anyway, if you ever doubted that I have aspie obsessions, now you won't because this is probably about half of the rocks I have. After I took these pics, I found more in a box I was going through. Yup, there are quite a few, and even though I am very specific about which ones I pick, I still end up loving so many.

Monday, June 3, 2013

REFERRED POST: My Aspie Brain Was Set On Buying Milk

I find this to be totally how I experience things in public. I'm not trying to ignore people, I am trying to get done what I'm doing, and I don't expect to see someone I know. Even if I do, I never know what to say, or I don't properly remember the person until long after we've parted.

Aspergers & Pregnancy: A Sensory Nightmare

I really enjoy being pregnant. I do! I think every woman does to a certain extent. I suppose, unless you are sick the entire time.

I have found that probably do to Aspergers, and the sensory issues that come with that, I am very intolerant of feeling sick. Motion sickness is not something I can tolerate for the "fun" of a ride at the fair or something. Being ill, especially a stomach ickiness type illness, is very upsetting. It could be something as minor as hunger, and I am very disturbed by it.

Pregnancy sickness was the hardest for me. Putting it into perspective of the flu I ended up with later in pregnancy (with no stomach upset), the stomach ickiness I had at the beginning of my pregnancy was not that horrible. But to me it seemed as if it were the worst possible feeling. It never ceased to bother me. I was very irritable because of the discomfort I felt, and that carried over to everything else. Some people might say that they could still function, that they could busy themselves and almost feel better, or that people should just be able to ignore those feelings of ickiness and move on with the day as if nothing was wrong. I don't know about other Aspies (please leave your feelings about stomach upset in the comments), but for me how I feel physically and how I feel mentally are very tightly connected. To expect me to be able to separate my physical from my emotional and mental is a task I am unable to achieve. 

There have been many other symptoms that I have been intolerant of, but I guess after days and weeks of them they just become a part of the whole experience, crankiness and all. I have been very tired and uncomfortable some days from certain aches and pains, and again, that carries over to my whole emotional feeling. Then of course comes the feelings of guilt that I should be able to be more to others, be more cheerful and helpful and loving, but I cannot seem to be able to get past the physical far enough to cure the emotional.

Then there's other people.
Oh my, other people.
I tread this with caution because though this stuff drives me crazy, I tolerate it with a great amount of patience and respect. I don't mean to make anyone feel rejected or whatnot.

I am the kind of person who doesn't look at other people when I am out and about. I could be walking right past you and I probably will not see you. Eye contact is uncomfortable enough with someone I know and am talking to, it is much worse to even think about making eye contact with random strangers. I have found also that NOT making eye contact with other people means that I am "closed off" enough to not be bothered a lot of times with comments, questions or uncomfortable "hellos" from people - even people I might know, but not recognize.

Of course, near the end of pregnancy, every person you meet wants to talk about it. They want to ask you when you're due, they want to ask you what it is (girl/boy), they want to ask you how you feel, they want to tell you their stories, and worst of all, some of them want to touch you. It is hysterical that no one walks around waiting to touch other people's body parts, until you're pregnant, when it seems like everyone and their mother wants to poke and prod at your stomach. This pregnancy has been rather strange anyway, because my stomach has been sensitive to poking and prodding. Baby isn't bothering me at all, but if I bump into something (even gently), or my son or husband pokes at it, it really does hurt. That's not to say that every person who touches me hurts me, but that is a part of it. The other part is that for some reason I am just uncomfortable with it. Even with people I'm really close to. I can't really explain it, but I am just not the sort of person who does that to someone else because I would feel uncomfortable doing it, or having it done to me. 

It is the part of pregnancy where I just don't want to see anyone or go anywhere, because I'm tired of answering the same questions. Sure, everyone wants to know, and usually other people don't keep those kinds of things locked in permenant memory or anything. That's fine, I don't expect them to. But it sure would be a lot easier if I just wore a shirt that said the when, what and whatevers that people are asking me so that I wouldn't have to. Talking is exhausting. Especially when it is repetitive.

Anyway, I don't know if every pregnant woman feels this way to an extent, or if the Aspie sensitivities and sensory overload is what puts me over the edge. Other Aspies shuold weigh in on this, even men, because it would be helpful to know how Aspie men react to pregnancies too! Men might not carry the babies, but men have symptoms they go through as well. Or, if you didn't have any!