Glimpse

“Every moment, if properly utilized, has the potential to transcend space and time.”

Haresh Sippy

 

2pm.

Bottle washing. Formula prepping. 

I am missing a sock. 

My right foot gets stiff

from being exposed to the chilly kitchen floor. 

 

We smell

like baby formula more often than not. 

 

Our sleeves permanently stained from wiping Baby’s face.

The coffee pot is always on. 

If coffee pots could have wrinkles and grey hair ours would look like Dumbledore..

There are tiny baby washcloths EVERYWHERE.

Nova prefers to be outside when the baby wails. 

 

Laundry piles up. It’s completion a pipe dream. 

It mocks me as I watch it grow. 

 

Our studio apartment seems to be shrinking with us inside it. 

 

Sleep deprivation, postpartum depression, dry cracked skin from constant hand washing, an extremely jealous dog, Holidays, visits, a leaky washing machine, a leaky sink (we fixed that!), the constant and I mean CONSTANT process of making more bottles and asking one another “when did He eat last?”

 

(Spoiler Alert: Life is f*cking INSANE right now. We are totally ‘In it” – as they would say. )

 

Christmas comes and goes and the new year approaches quickly. 

 

Every few days Devon and I find our way back to each other.

Grabbing at solace and the calm that can only come from being as close as possible to one another. 

 

 We center ourselves with hand holding, encouraging words and quick sleepy kisses before sleep overtakes us. 

 

We lay together in the dark quiet that only comes in between feeding times and take deep breaths. 

 

We have never been happier.

Emergence

Years ago when I lived on Long Island, I was riding the train into Manhattan.

I swiftly navigated my way through the hoards of people with my headphones drowning out the noise of Penn Station. As I rode the elevator and emerged onto West 33rd street, I remember briefly wondering what it would be like to live in a busy city that never slept and quickly decided it was not for me.

Fast forward ten years-
At the present moment I am enjoying the cool evening air as I drink a diet root beer outside the Ronald McDonald House in Portland, Oregon.

Street sweepers drive by and Bond Avenue is empty of cars. It’s a quiet part of the city with no traffic this time of night. The people on the bench next to me strike up friendly conversations and try to answer trivia questions together.
The air is easy to breathe. There isn’t any garbage littering the sidewalk.
None of the shops are open past 11 pm.

In the distance on top of a huge hill shines the lights of a enormous hospital. Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU).

The lights remind me of the beacon of a lighthouse. Guiding people to safety during a storm.

I will be living in this part of the city for the next several weeks. I’ve been here for four days and I have to admit – I love it. I would have never thought I would say that. Then again the story behind how I got to this park bench is something is an event I never imagined would unfold.

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When I began this blog I swore to myself that I would take Hemingway’s advice.

And I meant it.

-Ash

Who’s Counting?

Second Trimester

July
Week 21

It is becoming increasingly difficult to concentrate. To begin a task and complete it without stopping to eat or pee. Pregnancy brain hasn’t even kicked in yet!

Things are not all scary and stressful all the time. Especially when I feel Baby Moon begin to move! I get used to waking up every morning with my hand on my stomach. At first I thought my stomach was growling from hunger (again) but soon realize it’s the baby moving!

We are having a boy!

A precious, and amazing boy. Just what we had wished for.

Our excitement has reached stellar levels!

My body had never been this heavy before and my knees and feet are not happy about it.
However when I look in the mirror, I love what I see. I battle self conscious thoughts like everyone else but overall I am so proud of my body for being this strong that I have been able to just admire the natural shape it has taken in order to help my son grow and flourish.

This further confirms to me that my eating disorder really is behind me. I have learned so much about myself during recovery, and now during pregnancy and those lessons still continue to accumulate. I am secure in the body I have, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Week 22
Day 156 (but who’s counting?)

There is a subtle hint of anticipation in the air. Gradually the reality of future parenthood settles over us like a warm, heavy blanket in the middle of winter. Feeling like the longer it’s on your shoulders, the more comfortable you get.

To me it feels like that twinge of excitement you get when you are bone tired and go to bed not having to set an alarm the next day,
Something like that.

The paralyzing fear that consumed me throughout the first trimester of pregnancy has changed shape and I am working on managing my anxiety more optimally.
In addition to that something powerful appears.
Instinct. Nature.
More often than not I feel like a driving force of bravery is growing inside me along with my son.
I feel like each day I am growing stronger in the most meaningful way.

Its difficult to describe… but I love it.
The desire to nest and prepare is among the first things I think about after checking my blood sugar and eating. It has become such a habit to wake, check the number on my CGM and grab a banana then immediately go back to sleep. I am really hoping that skill stays with me.

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-Ash

Uncharted Waters

May
Week Thirteen

I am admitted to the hospital.
My blood sugars are too high, and too erratic.
My hard work is helping but it is just not enough.

There are tests to be done, dosages to be changed, and  food to carefully measure, carbohydrates to count, time and give a bolus for.

Nurses come to my room every hour on the hour to prick my finger and take my blood pressure.

There is little uninterrupted sleep.

Devon comes down with an awful cold and shows up looking like the mascot for a NyQuil commercial. The poor guy sleeps on a cot and wakes up every hour with me and the nurses.
I send him home at six in the morning and tell him to get some real sleep.

It is the second trimester and I have an IV in each arm. I am brushing my teeth with hospital toothpaste and watching obscene amounts of television.

After a week I am sent home.

Week Seventeen
In two days we find out the sex of our baby.
I am a constant ball of emotions.
My blood sugars have begun to stabilize and if my calculations are correct my A1c is down to 7.3%
A number I never thought possible.
I wish so much I could share that news with my mother but she is in the middle of a major health episode, and I am unsure of the outcome.
After speaking to her on the phone I feel myself crumble like a sand castle being pulverized by a violent surf.
My brain feels like mush- racing with thoughts, memories and imaginary catastrophic events.
I am tired.
I am hungry.
This is hard.
This is scary.
These are dark unfamiliar waters and I am treading along with my head above the surface.
I am swimming with newly learned movements, cautiously moving with the strange yet exhilarating current.

-Ash

A brief recollection of the first trimester.

“To lay her eggs the sea turtle must leave the safety of her marine world and brave the alive world beyond.” – a nature documentary I watched on Netflix sometime during the first trimester.

When I imagined what pregnancy would be like for me, I imagined myself being deathly ill and weak the entire time. But that has not been the case. 

I also imagined being so overjoyed at the fact that I was pregnant that nothing in the world could possibly bother me!

That has not been the case either. 

Every day is different. Everyday I am caught by surprise at what is happening to me. 

  • There are days where everything makes me cry.
  • I have never been so hungry in my entire life.

I am in awe.

I am nervous. 

I am happy. 

 

I’m trying not to freak out

Really. Really trying. 

When you have spent the last three years finally accepting and getting used to your body a certain way and (very) suddenly it begins to change on you – it can be very weird.. 

Foods that you like become foods you can’t stand. 

EVERYTHING has a smell.

I have a backache that just won’t go away. 

Start a task – get thirsty, stop task, drink something, start task again, have to pee, stop task, get hungry  (again) , delay task, check blood sugar, count carbohydrates, eat, eat again. Now it’s nap time because I can’t keep my eyes open. 

Puke in the driveway,  on the door of my car, and/or the neighbors grass, because morning sickness can strike at any time!

Cry. Laugh. Get Tired again. 

Please don’t gt me wrong. I am super excited. I have waited my whole life for this. But I am also terrified. And have I mentioned I am super freaked out?

Don’t Panic.

Nascence

Nascence
noun. A coming into being; a beginning:

 

So this is how it all went down…

My Grandma Jo passes away and I take a last minute trip to Long Island to spend some time with my grandpa, dad, and other family…

February 28th:

I walk into my mother’s house and hug her for the first time in over a year. 

“You’re pregnant.” She says after giving me a good look over. 

I laugh and shake my head. 

“Not this time mom.” A gentle reminder to my mom and myself that after five months of trying, I was not pregnant. 

This was normal. It can take a while! I know this. 

But I am not a patient person. 

Blame it on being a Scorpio, being a native New Yorker, or my personality.

When it comes to things I am working toward, and something I have dreamed about my whole life – I’m just a tad impatient. 

The trip goes surprisingly well. I see friends and get to spend time with my parents and siblings.

 The entire time I am there I am eating everything and anything I can get my hands on.

Bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches, pizza, bagels, Chinese food.
All the good stuff.
I give insane amounts of insulin to cover all the goodies I am happily shoveling into my mouth. 

My best friend Allie becomes suspicious. I try not to get excited. When the house is quiet I fall asleep on her couch delicately placing my hand on my stomach.

The night before I leave – as is the custom – my sister and I walk down the street to my favorite pizza place. The owner already knows I need a pie to go, folded in quarters so I can freeze it and fly it back to Oregon with me. While we are waiting, my eye spots a slice of what looks like the most amazing, delicious slice of buffalo chicken pizza I have ever seen.  I order it and get Olivia a slice as well. 

“I think your pregnant.” 

I look across the table at my nineteen year old sister.
She has grown up so fast it blows my mind.

“Why would you say that?” I ask delicately.

She gestures to the pizza in front of me. 

“You hate buffalo chicken pizza. The only time you ate it was when you were pregnant last time.” 

My breath catches at the mention of the experience I shared with her long ago. A small detail I thought she would forget. I have always aimed to be honest with her, and when she was old enough I shared with her the painful experience of a failed unplanned pregnancy I suffered through when I was twenty. 

She had a point though. I looked down at the pizza and my mouth watered, my belly grumbled.

“Well it’s too soon to check but I will keep that in mind. Thanks for having my back.” I tell her. 

She grins at me. 

I have her take a photo of me eating the pizza and send it to my husband. Who immediately responds with:

“IS THAT BUFFALO CHICKEN PIZZA?’”

His excitement radiates through his text message. I can feel him buzzing from across the country. 

Too soon to tell. Too soon to tell…

March 3rd

The moment Devon and I are alone that evening I notice he cannot stop smelling me. 

“You smell different.” He says before bed. 

“You always say that when I get back from New York.” I giggle, scratching his back. 

“No this is different. I can’t explain it.” 

March 11
Monday

I feel different. Something just feels weird. I can’t put my finger on it. Devon still swears that I smell different and as each day passes we become more and more suspicious. My period is due on Thursday. We check, and double check the expected period date. We check and double check the ovulation chart.

I feel no tell tale signs of PMS. In fact I am feeling pretty amazing. Still hungry. Ravenously hungry. But really amazing!

When I say ravenously hungry- I am serious.
I ate my cousins’ dinner while she was using the bathroom because the noodles smelled so  delicious and my mouth would not stop watering. Imagine her shock when she comes out of the bathroom and I am crouched on the couch like Golum scarfing down her noodles. She looks shocked – then giggles.
I get embarrassed and start to cry. 

“You need to take a pee test.” 

Not yet. Too Soon. Not yet. 

March 13
Wednesday

Devon is at work.

I am staring at the ovulation calendar again.

I need to relax. 

I take a shower. When I get out I take a long look at myself in the mirror. 

Woah.

I swear my boobs are rounder than usual. And my hips… have they always looked like that?

I get dressed and look at the dog. 

“Either I’m pregnant or there is something seriously wrong with me.”
Nova blinks. 

Coat on. Grab my bag.
Speed walking to the Walgreen’s on the corner. 

It’s not raining. And for once I am not freezing my ass off. I’m actually sweating. 

Buy the pregnancy test. Two pack. Just in case. And a big bottle of water.  This becomes my mantra as I walk.

Walking home I think of the other tests I’ve taken since November.
How each negative result seemed to be more sad that the one before that.  ‘

To say I have been unkind to my body in the past is a gross understatement. Although I have worked for three years to heal and repair it – maybe there’s been some damage that just can’t be fixed?

I drink the water as I walk home and try to steady my thoughts. It’s gonna be fine. I’m gonna pee on this stick then just move on. Make some dinner for when Devon gets home and go to bed early. Maybe eat the rest of that chocolate cake in the fridge.

I pee on the stick and quickly leave the bathroom. I straighten up the living room, turn on the outside lights, and check my hair in the hallway mirror. The timer on my phone goes off.

As first I think I am seeing things. I blink and look again.

But there it is. Clear as day. 

The positive sign. 

“Oh my God.” I gasp. My hands begin to shake. 

“NOVA!” I shout for my dog who comes into the bathroom rather concerned. 

“We did it. Oh my God. We did it. I did it. We did it.” Over and over again. 

I sink to my knees clutching the dog in my arms and the test in my hand.

 I sob. 

Boots back on. Coat on. Running back to Walgreen’s. 

How to tell Devon? I still have an hour before he gets home. 

I am still shaking. 

I find a red box with a ribbon. I pick out a cute card. The associate digs the only balloon he has from the back which just so happens to say GREAT JOB on it. 

I giggle as I walk back home. 

Change into something nicer than old pajamas. Put the test in the box and close it with the ribbon. 

Attach the balloon.  Place gifts in the middle of the living room. 

And wait. 

Devon works forty mins away. Time seems to drag on forever. I make myself a cup of tea. I eat some chocolate cake. FINALLY he walks into the house. 

Shaking, I hand him the box.  He opens it. 

“Are you serious?” He looks like he may go into shock.
“We did it.” I say. 

“YOU did it” he beams at me with tears of job in his eyes and I have never seen him look so proud.


And that, my friends is how we found out we were expecting our precious Baby Moon.

 

-Ash
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Greetings.

Hello there.

It’s been a while since I have posted here. Over the last few months I have been quite preoccupied however I have been making sure to write as often as I can.
I have managed to save almost everything for editing and then posting onto this blog.

As with all my writing in the past – it is my sincere hope that by sharing my experiences with Type One Diabetes, Diabetes Burnout, and Diabulimia Recovery, I can give the reader some idea of the depths and details of life with Type One Diabetes and all it entails.

As always I encourage anyone with questions to reach out to me.

-Ash

 

“Real generosity to the future lies on giving all to the present.”
-Albert Camus