TTC and Auntie Flo

That most frustrating part of the month, soon after the negative pregnancy tests, when you have to go out and buy pads and tampons, pain meds, and chocolate.  Lots of chocolate.

Personally, this month has been extra difficult since the anniversary of our second daughter’s passing is at the end of it.  I’ve had to double up on the self-care and taking one day at a time, and to be honest, I haven’t been as social as I usually am.  And when I am, I leave social settings completely drained.  My sweet husband has been very kind and patient.  Since this has been on my brain this past week, I thought I would share some of the things I do to take care of myself.

  1. Make the bed.  I like to keep the house clean, but when the depression hits, it’s hard for me to do all of the cleaning tasks each day.  So, I severely simplify the list.  Make the bed.  Do a load of laundry.  Empty the dishwasher.  I know that this too shall pass, and I will be back up and around cleaning the house again.  But for now, just make the bed, do something simple so that you feel like you have accomplished, and let the rest of it go.
  2. Take a bath.  Do something that is pampering.  Even if that just means a hot shower instead.  Take a moment in the day to slow down.  I, personally, prefer bubbles, but it could also be wearing a face mask or sipping on my favorite tea.  Or, if I’m feeling really crazy, do all three.
  3. Escape for a certain amount of time.  This could be watching a favorite movie (something you have seen before that won’t bring up bad memories).  It could be reading a favorite book.  Sitting outside in the sun.  Snuggling with a pet.  Meditating.  But do it for a set amount of time.  It’s really easy for me to lose myself binging on a tv show, and while that’s not completely bad, it’s not completely healthy.   That’s why I choose favorite movies over TV or YouTube, two places where I can easily lose myself.
  4. Yoga.  This is my favorite type of movement because it connects body, mind, and soul together.  But a simple walk around the neighborhood listening to a podcast or music could work as well.  Or dance in your living room.  But I find it very tempting to just spend the whole day on the couch or in bed.  One of my favorite yoga sequences is done by Yoga with Adriene for PMS specifically.

  1. Spend some time with God.  You know, when I think about when someone says they spend time with God, I think of this:

pexels-photo-370037

Quiet beach time, or sitting in the silence in my library, as the light filters in perfectly, as I commune with God.  But sometimes it’s more like this:

1c3964b68777cad23e32efb0826cfac8

And that’s okay.  I mean, have you read the Psalms?  God is present in the silence, but he’s also present in the scream.  And if I learned anything, it’s that one of most healing experiences on this journey has been a good, ugly cry out to God.

It is frustrating to have to go back to square one every month, but remembering to give myself a little space and grace definitely helps the process.  What are some ways that you practice self-care when going through a difficult time?

Advertisements

Friday Ramble: My Adventure to the Drug Store

Drugstore

Usually, I buy my pregnancy tests and all things ovulation related from Amazon.

SPOILERS: I am not pregnant.  This is not that post.

Let’s continue.

Lately, my cycles have been predictable, even leading up to the cycle, I know I’m not pregnant.  My body is really good at making that clear.

Until this month.

Now, last month’s cycle, without going into any TMI, was WEIRD.  It was so weird, you guys.  So, I should have suspected that this cycle would be a little off, especially since it’s finally sunny outside and I’m spending more time out in that sun, hence the extra activity can also play a factor in weird cycles.

But as the days have passed and I haven’t had any of my normal symptoms, that little voice in the back of my head starts to scream.  Of course, due to the “normalcy” of my cycles of late, I ran out of pregnancy tests a couple months ago and didn’t restock.  But, I can’t wait two days for Amazon to bring me more, so I have to go to the local drug store.

My local drug store is great.  It has amazing people that work there.  But some of them are quite nosy.  For example, one day I bought a Dr. Scholls Ingrown Toenail repair kit for a stubbed toe, and the cashier proceeded to give me all of the tips and tricks to avoid such a situation.

Also, I worked in a drug store when I was a teenager, and I was quite the nosy cashier, myself.  So, I’m thinking as I pulled into the parking lot that I’m about to receive a lot of karmic justice.  I’m fearing that even a “good luck” and knowing look as the pregnancy test boxes are being rung up will send me into a tearful meltdown.  I know that either way (either preggo or PMS), I have a lot of hormones running through my system, and I’m gearing up for the inevitable breakdown in this store, a store that I frequent a lot due to the proximity to my house.  But I have to know, and that need overcomes my shaking hands, so I get out of the car.

As I walk in, I see the front cashier chatting with some customers, but he takes notice as I enter and welcomes me to the store.  I make a beeline straight for the aisle I need, but as I am walking there, the manager and another employee asked if I need help finding something.  Where is an invisibility cloak when you need one?

I head down the aisle.  It is not lost on me that on the same aisle as pregnancy tests, there are condoms.  So if one works, it means the other didn’t.  There are also pads on this aisle, which I guess is also appropriate.  Cause you will need these if the test doesn’t work.  Just found that slightly entertaining.

Oh!  Preggo tests are “buy one, get one half off”.  They know their customer.  Cause you know that pregnant or not, I’m taking at least two at a time just to be sure.  And there aren’t that many there, which means that of course, everyone else is doing the same thing I am, and I’m wondering if this time of year is particularly busy for the pregnancy test industry.  But now I’m standing too long in front of this section, so I grab two boxes and make my way up to the front of the store.

The cashier is still chatting to the customers, but as he sees I’m ready, he points me to a register and rings me up.  I’m thankful that “Ingrown Toenail” girl isn’t there today, and slightly happy that it’s a man at the register, as they are less likely to even realize what I’m buying, or at the very least less likely to say anything.  He rings me up, we talk about the loyalty rewards card and I leave the store relatively unscathed.

Of course, I go home and take a test, finding out that it’s negative.  Michael comes up later to put something away and I tell him the results.  He comes up and hugs me.  He doesn’t know what to say and neither do I.  It’s all part of it.  Every month this year has been a disappointment.  Tears fall down my cheek, but I’m not ugly crying or anything.  Just disappointed and frustrated that my cycle has decided to shift a few days to the right, giving me slight hope.

I don’t know if there was a moral to this story, although reading it back, I find it both hilarious and sad, which I think aptly describes life in general.  Some days we are hilariously anxious over what ifs that turn out to be nothing, and other days our hopes are delayed for a little longer.  I guess, I just wanted to share the window that is my life to you, my sweet, dear friends.