Third Location in Three Months. This Time, We’re Staying!

Well, our little stint in New York didn’t last very long. In what seemed like an overnight whirlwind, we’ve moved on down to Charlotte, NC. So far, it’s a beautiful little city with the friendliest people we’ve encountered in a very long time! Things just weren’t working out in New York, perhaps as quickly as we were hoping for, so when a job opportunity popped up for Husband here in Charlotte, we just couldn’t pass it up.

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I had to walk away from NYU for the second and more permanent time, but in all honesty, it’s a decision I am thoroughly okay with. There were little to no job prospects for Husband in NY up to this point, and let me tell you, I’ve never seen ANYONE fill out as many applications in one day as he had. It was a strange situation, because it’s not like Husband doesn’t have a really impressive resume, because he does! Yet, because things were looking bleak career-wise for Husband, the apartment hunt was even worse. The real estate market in New York is ridiculous. In order to rent even the most miniscule amount of space in even the most unsafe of neighborhoods, in any borough, you’ve got to make at least 40x the rent, annually. Then there’s the broker’s fee of 12-18% of the entire year’s rent, first and last month’s rent, and typically a security deposit of equal to the amount of one month’s rent. You’d also need proof of income, proof of employment, previous bank statements, and a credit check. But fret not my friends, if all else failed, you could always use a guarantor; they’d only have to make 90x the rent annually, plus all those other requirements as well. 0_o

And thus, our move to Charlotte.

Husband landed the job in five days within applying to it, and we signed a lease to the most amazing space just a few days later. It’s been about two weeks since we’ve been in our new apartment, and it still feels a little unreal. Husband and I have been living like two teen-parents in our parents’ homes for the extent of 2013, and this blessing couldn’t have been more on time. For nearly half of the budget we set aside for a studio/one-bedroom in New York, we’ve landed ourselves a huge 2-bedroom/2-bathroom unit with a fireplace, the biggest closets we’ve ever had, valet trash, full amenities in the kitchen, and so many other perks! We’ve even been reunited with our little son Apollo! The most amazing aspect of this entire blessing however, has got to be our renewed access to PRIVACY! Husband and I can once again be a couple, a married couple at that! Excuse me while I praise dance!

Freedom!!

Freedom!!

Apollo LOVES all the space!

Apollo LOVES all the space!

This has been Husband’s first full week at work, a 3PL logistics company, and so far he seems to like it. Training is a drag, but he’s using his degree and we’ve got full benefits for the baby when he gets here! I, on the other hand, have decided to take a crack at the stay-at-home-mom thing for the upcoming year. Husband’s job will require many, many hours of his time weekly so it’s probably best for me to keep my schedule open. I’m not sure how long I’d be home next year, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.

This whole year has been nothing but chaos, and similarly, my pregnancy is flying by and I’ve barely noticed. We’ve been so preoccupied with trying to get ourselves stabilized, that I’ve become completely disconnected from the pregnancy. I’ll officially be 7 months pregnant on Sunday and the fact that I’m pregnant still hasn’t really dawned on me. Staying home for the remainder of the year and clearing my plate academically will really give me a chance to sit in this moment with this belly and this baby and try to be present. I don’t want our son to get here in February and I not know what to do with him. So, I’ve got about 13 weeks to get it together!

Oh, and in baby news. Our son is developing wonderfully! We still don’t have a name yet, but Husband’s 4 year old step-nephew has so graciously taken it upon himself to name our son Tarzan. Tarzan Youngest, actually. I don’t know where his brilliant little mind came up with that, but it’s sort of stuck! We all now, grandparents included, refer to our baby as Baby Tarzan! It really does fit considering the amount of pain I am in day in and day out from all the moving and kicking and bouncing around he’s doing in utero.

We passed our glucose test the other day, no gestational diabetes!! We’ve also been doing very well with all the other testing he and I have had done; everything is wonderfully normal. Except for, perhaps, his size. I am carrying a big baby. (My Husband is 6’4 so…. yea) Even at my very first 6-week sonogram, he measured 3 days bigger, and that notion has certainly continued. At our last sonogram, several weeks ago in New York, he should have weighed between 10-12 ounces when in fact he weighed in at a whopping 15 ounces. He’s 2.5 pounds now and I am feeling every bit of it: back pain, pelvic pain, abdominal pain, knee pain, neck pain, and thigh pain… I don’t think I could even express to you in words the severity of muscle pain and soreness I feel in my lady parts. It feels like my vagina muscles are shredding. I’ve been walking around for weeks with my hands in between my legs trying to hold my crotch UP to alleviate some pressure. I am definitely carrying LOW! So low in fact, that with a single kick, jab, or stretch of his body my extremities go numb and I am frozen, paralyzed in pain. Damn sciatic nerves. Pregnancy sucks. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. I feel exactly like Elizabeth Banks’ character in What to Expect, When Expecting!

This juice tasted like a thousand sour skittles, and had Baby Tarzan bouncing off the walls of my uterus for HOURS!

This juice tasted like a thousand sour skittles, and had Baby Tarzan bouncing off the walls of my uterus for HOURS!

Heartbeats & Tummy Aches

Husband and I had our very first ultrasound the other day. It was a vaginal ultrasound, and I was beyond relieved I hadn’t taken my BFF along with us!!

Our GYN was a few days off, as our Little Manatee measured in at 6 weeks and 3 days. Husband got to see everything on the monitor first, so I got to watch his face.

As our nurse dimmed the lights, and shoved the ultrasound stick right into my lady parts, she began navigating my womb and explaining to him what she was seeing.

I don’t think I have ever seen such a vast combination of emotion in Husband’s face before. Our nurse was able to locate our Little Manatee, and explained that the little fluttering he saw, was the heartbeat. When she played the audio of the heartbeat, I was so caught of guard!!

I cried so hard! It was the most beautiful sound I’ve ever heard. At first, I thought it was my own heartbeat, but she assured me it was Little Manatee’s! It was so strong, and so steady. I think in that moment, it hit me… there’s a baby, growing, in my belly.

A real baby…. WITH A HEARTBEAT!

When it was my turn to see the monitor, I was so amazed that something so small was causing me a world of pain!

The morning sickness has been more like an all day barf fest. And the abdominal cramps are very crampy and very scary. I just keep praying that nothing goes wrong, and that these cramps are normal.

Our nurse gave us ultrasound pictures to take home for Little Manatee’s grandparents.

This still feels totally unreal!

Seven Weeks and Counting

I feel terrible. Absolutely terrible. I feel like I’ve had a level 5 hangover for a week straight. I keep hearing that it’s normal and that it could potentially get a bit worse from here, but goodness… this is torture! I wake up insanely nauseous and it doesn’t let up until I pass out for the night. Oh, and I can’t seem to stop eating. Oddly enough, the only time I DON’T feel nauseous is when I’m stuffing my face. I’ve been taking my prenatal vitamins at night as well, to offset some of the nausea. They taste like fish-oil and ass! Yuck. In addition to my nausea (not vomiting so far), I’ve been quite the narcoleptic. I am constantly operating below 50% charge all day, everyday. I think I fell asleep in the middle of a conversation with my mom today. How embarrassing!

Mom sent me a photo of what our baby looks like at 7 weeks…

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He/she looks like a little manatee, but it is supposedly measuring the size of a blueberry! Now I’ve dubbed him/her our “Little Manatee.” It’s becoming more and more real everyday that this pregnancy is legit and NOT a sick joke from the cosmos. Husband is definitely getting more excited. To say he was a bit shell-shocked would be the understatement of the year!! It’s totally understandable too. I mean, we’ve barely figured out what’s going on with us in regards to NYU and the Peace Corps, and now this.

Perhaps this is why things were just seemingly much more difficult than they all should’ve been. I hear they say, “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.” Ha! How appropriate. We’re just trying to figure out now, what’s the best option for our Little Manatee.

Tomorrow is our first ultrasound. I’m not sure what to expect… lots of medical history questions and perhaps getting to see how many little manatees are in the depths of my uterus. Mom keeps joking around that my GYN put my ovaries into hyper speed and sort of revved up the engines of my lady parts and that I shouldn’t be surprised if my ovaries released an egg or TWO. I say, stop it! Husband and I are just fine with one little Invader of the Uterus!

Apollo doesn't seemed to thrilled at the idea of being a "Big Brother."

Apollo doesn’t seemed to thrilled at the idea of being a “Big Brother.”

This Changes Everything: The Confirmation. Part Two

* Disclaimer: If you follow our story through this blog, please be a friend and keep the following story here. We will transfer this news across the social media boards on our own, at the right time. Don’t beat us to the punch, FB friends, Twitter tweeters, and Instagramers! If you fail this mission, Jenn will be really mad and Husband will smash your house and eat your young. *

I cannot believe this. I’m pregnant. Six weeks pregnant. Like, with a baby. A real baby. Not a food baby, a human one. That Husband and I made.

How could this have happened? (I don’t mean that in a when-a-man-and-a-woman-love-each-other sort of way)

Doctor after doctor, test after test, result after result have all confirmed my infertility and have made it very clear that Husband and I wouldn’t be able to conceive without medical intervention….

… Yet here we are, with a bun in the oven.

I’m so overwhelmed with emotions: happiness, gratitude, fear, concern, worry…

I’m a bit shell-shocked actually.

I sort of put the idea of children out of my mind, because infertility treatments are so expensive and emotionally taxing.

The more I think about it, I believe it’s a matter of nothing but Divine Intervention. Here’s the thing:
1. I’ve been seeing my GYN every two weeks for the longest to try every treatment, supplement, and option she can think of to stabilize my very hostile insides. I mean I’ve been on pills, on liquids, on suppositories, on shots…. The works…
2. In the course of 6+ months, I’ve really altered my diet as best I can, eliminating gluten, soy, dairy, processed meats, preservatives and additives, and I’ve even shed about 10+ pounds.
3. I’ve become very familiar with essential oils and natural organic products, in order to eliminate some of the xenoestrogens from the environment that may be setting of my internal chemistry to worsen my Endo and PCOS.

But here’s the craziest part, because of the painful sex situation, Husband and I have had sex TWICE in the entire month of May.

So you mean to tell me, that 10 pills a day of natural supplements, and estrogen blockers encouraged my ovaries to produce an actual egg this time, that just so happened to be fertilized on one of the TWO days that Husband and I had sex, and that my body was stable just enough to actually support the embryo….

Divine Intervention.

Husband and I are so crazy excited! I just can’t believe it’s even real. I’m so afraid of sharing my news, because my body’s been so fragile up to this point, I feel like I really have to protect this blessing.

I know you should wait until after 8 weeks to say anything, because that’s when you’re relatively in the clear for avoiding miscarriage, but I just had to post. If anything were to happen, I would hate myself for not allowing me to be fully present in this moment, now.

We’re having a baby.

OMG!

This Changes Everything: The Test. Part One.

* Disclaimer: If you follow our story through this blog, please be a friend and keep the following story here. We will transfer this news across the social media boards on our own, at the right time. Don’t beat us to the punch, FB friends, Twitter tweeters, and Instagramers! If you fail this mission, Jenn will be really mad and Husband will smash your house and eat your young. *

Something told me that this late period was going to be much different from any other late period I’d ever had. I haven’t even craved chocolate for God’s sake! Typically when my cycle is near, late or not, I’m a crying, bloated, killer for chocolate, hormonal, attitudinal ass mess! This month, something was off.

My period has, since my surgeries last August, become pretty regular. I can expect it to start at least between the 3rd and the 6th of each month, but as the 11th rolled around… I got a little worried. No spotting, no pink, no nothing.

I’ve been taking a handful of natural, holistic, of-the-earth supplements every day aimed at fixing my hormonal imbalance; reducing my excess estrogen, lowering my insulin, restoring the vitamin and nutrient deficiency, and replenishing my ecosystem of good bacteria via probiotics. I’ve even shed 10 pounds, and have modified my diet. No gluten, soy, or dairy; at least 75% of the time.

…But my period hasn’t come. My suspicion: My endometriosis has regrown and taken over my ovaries again and my PCOS has caused cysts to reform that are triggering irregular periods. It’s been almost a year since my laparoscopy, and I can’t believe I’m in the same physical condition already!

I went to see an endocrinologist on Monday the 10th and he gave me some amazing information about PCOS and thoroughly explained what Metformin is and how it would help me out. What I liked about him, versus my GYN, is that he aims to target my hormonal imbalance and it’s affect on my entire body, whereas the GYN wants to target the hormones keeping me from getting pregnant. I want to fix my whole body, not just pieces of it. I returned the following morning to have EIGHT viles of blood extracted for many tests. The nurses say he’s thorough.

June 11, I sat downstairs watching The Braxton Family Values, my guiltiest pleasure ever! Tamar is my absolute favorite next to Toni! The season’s been following her throughout her pregnancy, and I don’t know what came over me or what about my mini-marathon triggered my reaction, but I ran upstairs, dug through a box, found a pregnancy test and peed on it…

Two pink lines: one dark, one faint.

Later on when Husband got home, I took the second one I had stashed away.

…Two pink lines: one dark, one faint.

Immediately, we knew it had to be a reaction to the all-natural, holistic, medicine man, juju pills that I’ve been taking. There’s no way, one little month of natural supplements could find or create a loophole in my infertility to get us pregnant. It just doesn’t work like that.

On the 12th, Husband and I went to Walmart to get an electronic pregnancy test. At this point for shits and giggles. We aren’t convinced at all we’re pregnant. It’s not possible, but where is my period? Why aren’t my boobs sore? Why haven’t I gone batshit crazy for some chocolate?

Husband is really scared that something is wrong. We’ve worked so hard to stabilize my body so far, hell I’ve been DRINKING LIQUID SILVER, and now we could possibly be back to square one.

But that’s the thing with the pregnancy tests with the lines, no matter what it reads, you can always convince yourself of a faulty outcome.

As soon as we got home, I peed on the electronic pregnancy test in the bathroom downstairs. It showed me a blinking timer, which gave me enough time to run upstairs to Husband. Of course I find that he is in the bathroom himself, so I slide the pregnancy test under the door to him. A few moments later, I hear a roar of laughter, and I sort of slump down, is an overwhelming cloud of emotions…

…The test reads “Pregnant.”

Trouble Down Under

I’ve sort of been having a lot of trouble with my lady parts. This is not really new. My lady parts have actually been damaged goods for about two years now, and with the endometriosis and PCOS creeping around, everything from my body chemistry to my sex drive has really suffered.

When Husband and I were finally able to be together, in August 2011, after our long distance relationship from Seattle to Statesboro (a small little shit town about 3 hrs away from Atlanta), we fucked like doped up little horndog bunny rabbits. For a good 3-4 months, we’d rack up around 20 days of sex (each month), leaving 7 days to my period and the remaining days for soreness or something. How do I know this? I chart it. I used to make so much fun of my Seattle roommate for charting her period and sexual activity, but now I am so glad I ended up following suit…

Anyways, I started to notice that our sex days were starting to decrease; slightly at first, and then just suddenly. By February 2012, we were averaging between 2-5 days a month of sexual activity. At first, we contributed it to the stresses of him being a college student, and me working full time. Our schedules were very opposite. Between April-August, I started to notice how painful sex had become for me. No matter what the position, no matter how long the foreplay, sex was becoming severely painful. Like, having sex with a double-edged blade, sort of painful. Not only was the intercourse painful, but so were the following 5-6 days. My panties would feel like cardboard rubbing up against my skin, and my girly pieces were constantly swollen and red. I didn’t know what was happening to my body.

By the end of December 2012, I had had a surgery for Endometriosis, I had been diagnosed with PCOS, and was having a surgery to remove a lesion and pre-cancerous cells from my cervix. My doctor was also sure that this triad was the culprit for my painful sex, and assured me that this would no longer be an issue for us, and let’s face it, this problem was becoming an issue in my marriage.

Fast forward to May 2013, painful sex is still a theme in my life. I’ve invested countless hours on Google and WebMD, and have diagnosed myself with every possible infection, disease, disorder, and malfunction I can find. I’ve been seeing an OB/GYN in Lithonia who specializes in “everything woman” and who treats her patients with holistic medicines and treatments. Today was my follow up appointment to receive the results of the blood tests she had ordered from a previous appointment.

Most of my vitals were pretty normal. When it came to my hormone results, however, she was pretty shocked to see how high my estrogen levels actually were. I sort of anticipated this, as that’s what PCOS is all about. She explained to me in great detail what PCOS is and what it’s doing to my body. She explained in great detail what my results meant and for the first time since my diagnosis, I felt like I was finally getting some insight into the disease.
I ended up leaving with $93 dollars worth of prescriptions, and an interesting treatment plan. I honestly am not even sure what it is, but I’m desperate enough to try just about anything.

Here’s what she prescribed:

1. Argentyn 23: a homeopathic SILVER first aid gel. Not silver as in color. Silver as in, that’s the active ingredient. She says that silver is naturally antibacterial and that I should apply it on the areas that are usually sore and inflamed after sex, just in case the pain is coming from some sort of bacterial infection that didn’t show up on my results.
2. CDG EstroDIM: She says that this should help to “block” the estrogen production in my body, and “eat up” some of the excess. Excess estrogen is was is causing the greasy hair, the acne, the weight gain, and the annoying facial hair issues I’ve been having courtesy of PCOS AND is what causes the endometriosis to grow and spread.
3. Liquid Silver: Liquid silver, again not in color. She actually gave me a huge jug full of this liquid and said that the consumption of this liquid was help to eliminate the bad bacteria all throughout my body because I’ve been having some digestive trouble as well. The way she described it sounded like a pretty intense detox, but said that it might be one of the best things for me to help my immune system out.
4. Taylor MD Mineral Care Dietary Supplements: She says, “Oh I forgot to mention, you’ll probably have a really bad reaction to the silver. When your body is overwhelmed with dead bad bacteria, it takes a while to flush it all out, so you’ll probably feel a lot like shit.” This concoction of intense vitamins and minerals is supposed to help counteract the really shitty reaction that I am not looking forward to.
5. Ortho Probiotic Powder: Because we’ll be doing so much killing of the bacteria in my body, this should help me help my body restore the army of good bacteria, which should be present naturally. This is something she recommends I keep a part of my bodily upkeep.

I was the last patient to leave the office, with 5 medications in tote, and I left with my emotions pretty scrambled. One thing I did appreciate about my doctor was the fact that she supported every single one of my concerns. My goal is not exactly to get pregnant tomorrow (thanks to waiting the Peace Corps). I am not looking start fertility drugs next week either. What I do want though, is to get my body ready to carry a fetus. I want my body to be at a state of normalcy, and I would LOVE nothing more than to get pregnant without drug assistance. I would never want to carry a life in this shitty little body of mine in its current state. Most of all, I want to be able to make love to my husband again without my vagina feel like I dragged it across the driveway.

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The Baby Fever’s Back

Husband and I went to church with my mom for Mother’s Day. It was quite the chaotic affair, as we showed up just before service started. The choir women were arguing about who was the better singer and why said better singer should have the solos. The mother’s were all dressed in white suites adorned with a red carnation, presented to them by the Pastor. Even that good gesture when unnoticed as one of the mother’s decided to gripe about why hers should have been a significant color to represent the death of her mother. Husband and I sat huddled together beside my mother trying our best to avoid any eye contact with any of the drama queens!

The service finally began, much later than it was supposed to, and the choir opened with their horrible covers of the loudest praise and worship songs possible. It wasn’t long before we noticed they were competing in noise level with the church upstairs. I think the drama before service threw everyone out of whack, because I couldn’t even begin to explain the sermon. I just didn’t get it.

Luckily for me, there was the most adorable baby seated right in front of me to occupy all of my attention. She couldn’t have been more than six weeks old, with a head full of hair, wearing the cutest white frilly dress. She rested in her mother’s arms just chewing away on her little fist. She was so alert: looking all over the place, often making eye contact with me.

It was during those moments, that I felt that pang deep in my heart. I want to have a baby so badly. Husband kept looking at me with the strangest gaze, like he understood that want because he feels it too, but sort of feels a little bit helpless because he knows that that want is torturing me. And it is. I want to have a baby so badly and I’m so afraid that I won’t ever get the chance to. I feel like I’m living right in the middle of an unwavering war between my two biggest desires. I want to have children, and to do so would require a lot of medical attention, preparation, planning, time, money, and effort. But, I want to serve in the Peace Corps too. I want to serve, in the trenches, abroad. That’s been a dream of mine since I was a little girl.

I’m so afraid of not making the right choice. So afraid that this situation is a “you can’t have your cake, and eat it too,” sort of situation; that I won’t be able to have both.

Husband and I want to lead a life of service, we just weren’t built for your average 9-5 jobs; we weren’t built for unfulfilling jobs and a monotone lifestyle. Sure we could start our fertility treatment journey after our two years of service in the Peace Corps, but what if we wanted to stay longer than two years? What if the Peace Corps lead us to something else that would require more time abroad in the trenches? Or what if we decide to just start a family now, and later on down the line, we resent our lives, or god forbid resent our children, for turning us into soccer parents and keeping us from things like the Peace Corps. It’s too much to handle.

A million scenarios, a million emotions, a million fears and concerns are racing through my mind as I’m looking at this little girl. And this happens all of the time, with each baby and each belly I see. As if it’s a silent reminder of a choice that needs making, that’s just lingering in the universe…

Jenn & Tommy Do Date Night

Over the past ten months, Husband and I have been abiding by a very strict budget, rarely having any chance to deviate, not even for special occasions, and because of that, we’ve grown accustomed to not dating. We have become very unspontaneous, often settling for cuddles over Netflix, and we’ve both heard our fair shares of, “we’ll celebrate next year babe, promise.”

While we’re not exactly struggling in that department, and we really do enjoy the one-on-one time we’ve been getting lately, we do miss dating each other. We miss being able to parade our love in public, showering each other with dinner and a movie, and ice cream dates. We’ve become complete homebodies….

Well,

Despite our fear of deviating, we’ve decided to implement “Date Night” into our weekly routine. At this point, it’s become a necessity. We need to make an effort to remove ourselves from the stressors of our surroundings, just to be a couple, and talk about everything BUT our stressors. What better than a date night to help us escape?

Last Thursday Husband and I went to Olive Garden for dinner, and I’m not sure if it’s because we really haven’t been out in that long, or if the food was that damn good, but man… Husband and I short of licked our plates clean! I had the most wonderful Chicken Parm, and I honestly couldn’t even tell you what Husband had, it was gone before I knew it! We talked about where our lives were headed, the possibilities of the Peace Corps and babies, we talked about moving to NYC; we just talked. Oh, and we laughed. We laughed like we were on our first date all over again. It felt so good.

Fine Ass Husband

Fine Ass Husband

We followed dinner with a 7:30 showing of Iron Man 3 and a late night dessert run to Baskin Robins!

It was sooo good!

It was sooo good!

You know, things haven’t really been easy since I got sick, but I am truly blessed to have such fulfilling love from my husband. He’s stuck with me through everything thus far and is continuing to move me forward. I am so happy God blessed me with a love like this!

Never Been Happier.

Never Been Happier.

Mr. & Mrs. Hyde

Here’s what I’ve noticed lately: being in limbo, for as long as we have been, has put an incredible amount of stress on our marriage; it’s put a lot of stress on our friendship. We’ve done our best to adapt to our surroundings and our circumstances, and we’re learning so much about what it truly means to be married. Because our marriage is still so young, we’ve spent a lot of time in the Honeymoon Phase, and being jolted right out of our comfort zone has really tested our relationship.

My favorite aspect of our relationship is our communication. Up until now, Husband and I have never argued. We never had fights or uncomfortable disagreements. We talk about everything, openly and honestly. He hears me out, I hear him out. He values my perspective, my ideas, my feelings and the same vice versa.

Lately however, things haven’t been quite so smooth. We’ve opened the floodgates somehow and all of our outside stressors are becoming imbedded in our marriage. We’ve started picking at one another over things that are completely irrelevant to our relationship, like his job and my family drama. We’ve got poor stress management skills and have been, unfortunately, using each other as relief. Just the other day, I found myself shouting at Husband about something completely trivial, all because I was so annoyed with something my mother did, but because I didn’t address my issue with her, Husband paid the price.

Last night, Husband said something to me during our shower about dishes, and I went right off the deep end. He said it with no ill-intention, but I was so offended that I didn’t speak to him the rest of the night. He sat beside me in the bed trying with all of his might to pull an explanation out of me, but I wouldn’t budge. I was so disgusted with what I felt to be a total lack of consideration. I was completely checked out in that moment, and went to sleep infuriated. I didn’t care that he was confused. I didn’t care that he didn’t understand why I took offense to what he said. I didn’t even care that he meant no harm. I was not having it. The next day, I was able to explain to him why I was so offended, but what alarmed me most was my complete disregard for his desire to work things out the night before.

And Husband is just as dry with me. I find myself having to ask for affection, or wondering if I’ve done something to earn the cold shoulder. I’ve brought this to his attention twice before, and both times he’s admitted to not even noticing his lack of attention to me. I don’t want to be a nagging wife, but I also shouldn’t have to feel like my husband doesn’t even want to be around me.

Our overwhelming stresses are beginning to bring out the worst in the both of us. We are officially starting to see the effects of, not just our individual stresses, but also our lack of dealing with those stresses. A lot has happened over the course of these nine months, and we’ve had very little time to cope, but we’re trying to keep up.

And don’t get me wrong, Husband and I spend the majority of our time in good spirits, but our fuses are getting shorter and shorter. We’re not as “lively” as we usually are. We’ve sort of stopped being all over each other, being romantic, and spontaneous. So, we started having those awkward conversations about how to rebuild the walls to keep the outside out and the inside in, so that when we are together, none of that other shit matters. We’ve decided to start a “date night” every week, just so we can be out and about, some place completely neutral, and just enjoy each other’s company, alone. We’ve decided to steer our conversations away from the bullshit too, to protect our friendship. I don’t want us to always talk about what’s bothering us. We can’t change what we can’t change, and that’s all there is to it.

The Quiet After A Storm

Husband and I have made a relatively permanent move to Athens about a week ago. Long story short: I have a lot of issues with the women in my family, namely my mother and sister, and being in their territory was becoming a bit of a hazard. I was pushed far beyond my limit, and I needed OUT. So, here we are, in Athens, to stay.

Husband and I are doing much better here. He’s a lot closer to his job, which cuts his commute about 20 minutes. We also have a lot more privacy here. His dad is rarely around, and when he is, there’s no tension. The stress of being at mother’s house has diminished so much and is tangibly visible. My skin is so much clearer, my headaches have stopped, my nausea has subsided, and I just feel more peaceful.

We’re finally able to spend time together, talking freely, without fear of being overheard and redirected. My mother has developed this nasty habit of eaves dropping and sort of telling us how we should be living our lives. Here, we’ve been able to have a lot of easy conversation. I never really realized how structured our conversation had been at her house.

Recently we’ve been talking about finding a place here, now that we have an idea of what our prospective Peace Corps timeline may look like. I’ve also started the job hunt! I finally feel more confident in my body. I’m not spending so much time feeling sick or in pain. Plus, I’m getting rather bored. It’s been about nine months now that I’ve been on a medical leave, and I’ve NEVER spent this much time unemployed. I’m ready to move forward with my life; ready for our next phase.