The story of us...The Watts Family...and regular updates for those who are following...


MIA in April '08

Unfortunately, this has not been a good month for me. So far, I’m 12 weeks along and for the last 6 weeks or so I have just been beside myself. For the last 4 or 5, I have not even BEEN myself. I am having trouble recognizing my thoughts, feelings, emotions. I really don’t understand my emotions lately, when I have really always been good at knowing myself and being able to name my feelings.

My doctor and many others chalk it up to hormones. But the thing is, I am seriously depressed. It is beginning to lift, though, I can feel it. But in the meantime, the entire month has sucked! My OB took me off my antidepressant and instead of April progressing from bad to better, instead it went from bad to worse. I have had what feels like a sinus infection/ear infection for the last 3 weeks and when I went to see the doc about that, she didn’t give me anything for it because I’m pregnant. So, my left ear has been giving me trouble nearly 3 weeks and I can’t even open my mouth all the way because of the pain radiating to my jaw. The nausea is markedly improved, although I still feel nauseous in the afternoons/evenings some days. I have had an increase in crampy sensations and after my exam on Monday my entire lower body has been aching like crazy. I don’t know if that is normal or not, and I called the OB’s office today but they have not called me back. Hopefully I will get to question them about this on Monday sometime. It’s not the type of cramping I had when I was miscarrying, but it is still really kind of annoying and uncomfortable and of course it concerns me.

Today, I have not been able to keep anything down. Everything keeps getting stuck on me and Todd is urging me to make yet another appointment with the gastroenterologist for an endoscopy and dilation. I have PROMISED myself that I will call Monday and see if they are even willing to see me, seeing as how they have to administer anesthesia to put me under and I don’t know if they’re comfortable with doing that on someone who’s preggo. I don’t want to harm my baby, but I also cannot eat much without puking and it is progressively getting worse and it’s NOT because of nausea. Trust me, getting something stuck feels nothing like throwing up from being sick to your tummy. Instead, it feels like there’s a fist ramming into your upper chest. It’s not a good thing.

So. Along with the sinus/ear infection/moderate-but-gradually improving nausea/suspected esophageal stricture situation, I have had a real problem with withdrawal and depression for the past month. I got out a little last week, though. Monday I chose to go to a meeting but couldn’t pull my head out of my butt enough to enjoy it. Tuesday night I met my cuz Amy for dinner in Tulsa. Wednesday I stayed home. Thursday night I had class and I can’t remember what I did on Friday. Probably nothing. In fact, from Friday to Sunday, I planted my fat butt on the couch and didn’t move except to go to the loo. I didn’t shower. I know, that is really gross, right? I even slept on the couch, too. I mean, I just felt diminished and deteriorated and defeated.

I haven’t returned anyone’s calls or texts in almost a month. I know people are worried. I hate that I am being like this but right now I feel extremely overwhelmed and consumed with myself. I feel like I really NEED my antidepressant but again, I don’t want to harm my baby. The drug I was on, the Emsam transdermal patch, has only been on the market for a year and my OB said that there is just no data to confirm the safety of it being used by pregnant women. So. There you have it.

What annoys me is that some people just chalk it up to “hormones”. Yes, I know hormones are a big part of my problem right now but the truth is that I have been clinically depressed for years. Why would it just “go away” because I’m pregnant? Why would hormones be the only cause? Why is it that some folks, doctors mainly, fail to see the importance of keeping women ON their meds instead of yanking them off and expecting it all just to “be okay?” If you’ve never suffered from depression, you haven’t a clue what the hell I’m talking about but if you have then I’m sure you can identify.

I know I’m only 12 weeks along and all and I’m really hoping that my “hormones” even out real soon because I am getting on my own nerves. I hate it that I’ve ignored so many of my friends, my family. I hate it that I have been in such a funk that I refused to go to the door when my dad or a little girl that I know, comes by to see me. I haven’t returned calls, emails or text messages…simply because I am not capable of it right now. I dropped out of school because I just can’t handle the stress of everything. Not right now. I actually left dirty dishes in the sink on 2 or 3 occasions, and the sink was crammed full of dirty dishes, which I think is disgusting and I never do that. But yeah, this past month I have. Todd has come home from long days at work and actually unloaded the dishwasher and then loaded it back up, just because I “didn’t feel up to it”. It’s a wonder he hasn’t kicked my tail yet, but he’s been wonderful through all of this. He’s my greatest support and I’m thankful for him. He’s gotten us takeout when I haven’t felt like making dinner. He’s brought me my favorite pasta salad from the deli we like in Bartlesville. He’s made me bowls of sherbet while we’re watching the tube. And, bless his heart, he cleans out the litter boxes EVERY NIGHT because I’m not supposed to be messing with it, and he never complains. He is the BEST.

I keep trying to talk myself into feeling better. Coax, actually. I am kind of envious of those women who beam and float around on Cloud 9 while they’re knocked up because I sure don’t feel that way and haven’t except for maybe the first few weeks. I LOVE that we’re having a baby and I feel very BLESSED and yes, I’m truly EXCITED, but I just don’t feel all mushy-gushy-happy-go-lucky like I believe I should. You know, the media always hypes about postpartum depression, but what about depression WHILE you’re pregnant? Surely I can’t be the only person who’s ever felt so…cruddy. Right?

On a lighter and more exciting note, my belly is kinda starting to show. I’m not sure how I feel about that yet. One thing I fear is that people will want to touch my stomach! I have always been a touchy-feely kind of girl, but I just don’t know how I feel about this specific thing. I do like boundaries and I just don’t know if I’m comfortable enough yet with my body to tolerate people putting their hands in my personal space. Hmmm. Hopefully I will change my view on this as the time goes on because I know that it happens and people are naturally curious, but jeez! My aunt reached out to touch me and I jumped back like I’d been bitten. Now, had she tried to hug me or something, that wouldn’t have phased me. But please, people, keep your hands to yourself where my gut is concerned! Hehheehe

I have an interest in this prenatal yoga class in Tulsa but with gas being so high I can’t justify driving there twice a week to participate. I am getting ready to start working part time again, with the public. I NEED a reason to get up and get dressed and leave the house, you know? I love working at home but my uniform is my pajamas and house shoes, and I sit around here with no makeup, hair all a mess, and then at the end of the day I am usually still in my jammies. That’s ridiculous! So, I’ve made the decision to continue working out of my house but I HAVE to get out at least 3 or 4 times a week and I have always enjoyed working with the public, so I am thinking that will help me feel better. And, the extra money certainly can’t hurt, right? Sure, gas is high but I look at this as more of a necessity than a luxury because it’s for my mental health. LOL.

If you’re reading this and I have been out of touch, please accept my most sincere apologies. I honestly have not intended to alienate or block out anyone…all I can say is I’m sorry and I hope you all understand. For everybody involved, please know that it is NOT a personal attack on/against you…this is just all I am capable of right now but I feel like it is beginning to get better. At least, I really hope so.


Fear and Loathing

For the last week I’ve had WNS…Wet Noodle Syndrome…that’s exactly how I feel. Like a big, fat, floppy, wet noodle. I haven’t done much except work, and even then it’s been half-heartedly. Mostly, I have slept, lay on the couch, watch a boat load of TV in between sleeping TOO much! I’m depressed about the pain I know is inevitable, I’m depressed because I’m afraid I won’t make a good mother, I’m nervous about being responsible for another living being for the rest of my life (or at least the next 18 years). I’m scared of my kid being messy. I’m afraid what the cats will do/think when we bring home the baby. I’m upset with weight gain, my face breaking out, and those “unexpected” bills that have come up for me recently. I’m depressed because my OB requires his patients to “pre-pay” for his services, but even with insurance this unexpected bill makes me a bit nervous! I haven’t been out of the house in days and have been nauseous and felt too badly to attend my scrapbooking retreat that I paid dearly to attend this weekend. I’m mad at myself because of my protein woes I wrote about last time. All I want are sweets, but they make me SICK. Still, I eat them. Then I get sick. So I get even more upset with myself for eating the sweets I know I’m not supposed to have. For the last 2 weeks, I’ve been hit and miss on my prenatals, and I KNOW, KNOW, KNOW how important they are! It’s been CRAZY, the stuff I’m not doing. Taking the prenatals, just ingesting them, make my tummy feel ill and so I don’t WANT them! But I know how very important they are.

I saw a commercial the other night with Sarah McLauchlan and all these poor, helpless, beaten, sad-looking animals. It was for the ASPCA, I believe. Anyway, I just boo hooed. It really put me in a funk and I can’t seem to drag myself out of that funk. I don’t know why I just didn’t change the stupid channel. I’ve seen that commercial before and it did the SAME thing to me and I wasn’t even pregnant at the time! Still, why didn’t I just change the channel? UGH! Now I feel like poo and I’m letting everything bother me and I just sleep all the time. I haven’t had a B12 shot in almost a month because last time Todd gave it to me he hit a nerve in my hip and I thought I was going to hit the ceiling. SO. Haven’t wanted one of THOSE anytime recently. But still, I know the B12 is REQUIRED after gastric bypass surgery, and even more important for me now that I’m responsible for nourishing another life! Aaaah, the PRESSURE!!!!!!!!!!!!

I’ve got to turn this around. I’ve got a busy month ahead of me and no time to just lie around in my own funk, being depressed about stuff that I know I have no control over. I know labor is going to hurt like nothing else I’ve ever experienced, and that makes me question…WHAT HAVE I GOTTEN MYSELF INTO? Terrible, I know. I am excited to have a baby, this is what I have wanted for a long, long time. But every day, it is more real to me that it’s going to HURT. I’m really scared. I hate needles; I do NOT want an epidural in my SPINE!!!!!!!!!!! If I could find a place, I would elect to have my baby at a place where they don’t even use IV therapy in the mothers. Oklahoma is so ass-backwards, though, I doubt if any place like that exists around here. The needles coming out of my arms will only make me THAT much more anxious and scared. For the past week I have just wanted to crawl into a hole and cover my head and not think about anything but getting through the next minute of my life. I have a lot of anxiety about the messes kids make, too. Like, while they are eating. What am I going to do???? I hate messes. I hate disorganization. I hate not knowing what lies ahead. I’m really scared about everything, and it’s just taken hold the past 6 days or so. The feelings of despair have gotten worse, not better, and I don’t know exactly what to do about it yet.

The good news is that this week I will be 10 weeks along. I have been so sick to my stomach and the Preggie Pops work but I am stubborn about taking them. I’m hoping and praying that within the next few weeks the sickness will go away and STAY AWAY. Sometimes it lasts all day and sometimes I am fine in the morning, and then it will start in the afternoons. Whoever deemed it MORNING SICKNESS was seriously deluded…


Protein Woes

As a gastric bypass patient, I have been dedicated my entire journey to getting at least 100 grams of protein per day for the past two years since my surgery. Unfortunately, pregnancy has completely changed all of that.

I tried and fell in love with AchievOne, this DELICIOUS protein drink that one of my support group buddies recommended to our group. Nevermind that it’s 37.00 for a case of 12 bottles, I didn’t care because I LIKED it. Well, that is, I liked it before I got pregnant. Now, I don’t know why it has to be this way, but pregnancy simply changes a woman’s tastes, or so it seems. Almost overnight, I developed a STRONG aversion to my beloved AchievOne drinks (which, in a way, I’m glad because of the expense) and am finding it harder and harder to choke down ANYTHING related to my protein regimen. And this makes me a sad momma!

Before becoming pregnant, I could get in 100 to 120 grams of protein per day. Most of my protein intake came from protein powders and supplements and ready-to-drink proteins like the AchievOne. I’m not a big meat eater and because of these braces on my teeth I have trouble chewing food anyway, so obviously I had to find a do-able source for nutrition. Now, though? Fuggetaboudit. The thought of protein…the mere THOUGH…turns my stomach. Right now, I’m sipping on an EAS ready-to-drink carb control that offers up 17g of protein, but I wince with every drink. It’s not that I dislike the stuff now…it’s just that I would RATHER be eating something salty, or carb-y or a combination of salty and carb-y!

Todd bought a jar of Vlassic Zesty Dill Stackers. The entire jar lasted less than 24 hours and he didn’t get even one pickle! I polished off an entire jar of manzanillo olives and bought more within 2 days. Each time, I washed the pickles and olives down with a glass of Dutch Chocolate chocolate milk. Hey, at least the milk has protein, right?

So. Combined with whatever I can get down the hatch for lunch and dinner without throwing up, I would say I get about 40 grams of protein per day. I am deeply concerned about this because I’ve seen gastric patients who DON’T do their protein supplements and to tell you the truth, they look drawn up and OLD. I do NOT want to look old before my time! I’ve always looked younger than my real age and I don’t want to start now by screwing myself out of my youth, hehehe. I’m also concerned because protein is very important to a growing fetus. Todd read in one of his books that protein helps the baby’s brain and cognitive development. It scares and concerns me that I have gone from 120 grams per day down to a measley 40 grams. As a gastric patient, we absorb only about HALF of what we consume (which is what causes the weight loss)…so in reality I’m only consuming half of whatever protein intake I’m getting right now. And that ain’t a lot, let me tell you.

At our first appointment a few weeks ago, I expressed this concern to my OB. He was not concerned at all, stating instead just to eat whatever I could possibly get down. The bad thing is that I can eat sweets and carbs until the cows come home but protein sources make me want to gag. Still, he was not at all concerned, stating instead that this should change or go back to normal by the second trimester. THIS WEEK, I’m heading into my 9th week of pregnancy, with only 3 more to go until I hit the second trimester, and I can’t wait. I’ve been nauseous, tired and very pukey feeling for the last I-don’t-know-how-long, and I cannot WAIT to feel “normal” again, whatever that means, and get back to eating the correct way for my lifestyle.

I am disappointed in myself in the area of exercise, also. The doc said I was fine to exercise and that it would make delivery easier, blah blah blah, and I have videos and an eliptical just waiting for me in the living room, but have I tried either in the last 9 weeks? NO. This is ridiculous! I got on the scale this morning and it said 146.0,which isn’t bad considering I WAS 149.9 last week. I’m not TRYING to lose weight, trust me. I eat every sweet thing in sight, too.

I keep telling myself that when the weather gets nicer, when it stops raining, I will walk the dogs. They need the exercise just as badly as I do, only Buttons COULD stand to lose a few pounds whereas Peety and I are fine how we are, hehehehe. My friend Bobby says Buttons has TREASURES, not junk in her trunk, but she is a hefty pooch anyway! LOL. You know what I REALLY want to do???? Strap on my rollerskates, put on my iPod and get after it at the track or the church parking lot. THAT is excellent exercise and it really doesn’t feel like exercise. But, I have a husband who’d freak out if I put on rollerskates while preggo! LOL. Even though I have all the protective gear, he would still have a conniption fit!

Anxiety is high for me right now due to the fact that a small part of me keeps waiting for this pregnancy to take a wrong turn, and for something bad to happen. I know, I know, that is not having faith in God to take care of things, but I’m still human. I was at about 8 weeks when I had the miscarriage so I’ve pretty much secretly been holding my breath, waiting but praying that nothing bad happens. So far, everything has been great. My doctor isn’t concerned at all and he even told us to just keep the faith. So. As I head into my 9th week this week, it is with a grateful heart. Every day, it is becoming even more real that in less than a year, we’ll have a real live baby of our very own. OMG! Life as we know it will never be the same.

And for that, I am excited and hopeful and nervous all at the same time!