Oops, I'm Pregnant Again!

A SAHM's take on pregnancy, babies, beauty,and life as a baby making machine.

Happy 1st Birthday To My Little Sophie-Monster


1 year ago today, our lives were blessed with the sweetest, happiest, most beautiful little baby girl. She was our miracle baby after years of trying, and a few sad losses. Today, my sweet daughter is 1 year old. It has been the most wonderful year ever, watching her learn and grow, and her smiles and giggles have made every day just a little brighter and more magical. I love you, Baby girl. Happy birthday! *Note to local family and friends: Since I am basically in the middle of start and stop labor, we have elected to have a quiet family celebration here at home with our little girl today…I will be making a cake of course, and she will get her gifts, but we will be saving her actual party for sometime after Xander is born and we’re not at risk of having to cut the celebration short due to a hospital run. I will keep you all posted as to when and where her actual bash will take place as soon as we know!*

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December 31, 2010 Posted by | My Story | Leave a comment

Early Labor Confirmed. Now We Play The Waiting Game….


I had my doctor’s appointment on Monday, the 27th. My blood pressure was perfect, Xander’s hear rate was perfect. Everything looks good. Well, I also had my first internal pelvic exam to check and see if I have started to dilate or efface. My doctor is a trip. Before doing the pelvic, he said, “So where do you think you’re at right now?” I told him I thought I was closed tight and long….So he checked out the goods, and proceeded to tell me, “Honey, you’re not closed!” I was actually 1.5 almost 2 cm dilated, 95% effaced, and Xander’s head is at a +3 station. (That would definitely explain all the pelvic pressure and feeling like he is going to fall out all the time!) His head is dropped LOW…He could actually feel the head BIG time, and even had to check my cervix twice to get my dilation because his head was right there! I asked if he felt any hair, and he told me that since he was wearing gloves and since the baby is still in the amniotic sac, there was no real way for him to tell all of that. Darn! I hope he gets a full head of hair like his big sister!

He also said that he highly doubts that we will make it to my scheduled c-section date of January 14th. He said there is a very good possibility that I won’t even make it to my next appointment on the 5th. When I got home, I started having more contractions, which have become a daily thing for me, but these ones have been different…They have been much more intense, and have literally been knocking the wind out of me. I cannot even speak through them a lot of the time. When I stand up or walk, it literally feels like I have an anvil, like the ones in the old Warner Bros. cartoons, inside of me trying to push its way out. I feel like I need to walk around with my knees locked to hold the baby in! And my back is killing me, my boobs are hurting, and I am now starting to feel the panic….

It is really beginning to sink in…I am having a baby. Soon. Very, very soon…I mean, of course, I already knew that, but now he is making his presence known in a way I have never experienced. I have had 2 previous c-sections, so my experience with labor pains is very limited. I was in early labor for a while with Sophie, but it was NOTHING in comparison to this…. And I have to admit, I am scared. I am scared of how much worse this pain will get before it’s time to head to the hospital, and I am afraid of getting another surgery, which unfortunately, I have absolutely no say in. I am afraid of trying to take care of a 1 year old and a newborn while trying to heal, and I am afraid of any complications that can occur.

I know I shouldn’t be so scared….But I can’t help it. I have never felt this kind of pain before in my life, other than while in recovery from my c-sections, but that pain, while just as intense, was a completely different kind of pain. I literally feel like my body is being ripped apart. I feel like I have no control….The pain and uncertainty is overwhelming. And I don’t know what’s going to happen next. And I hate it. I am soooo ready to have Xander, but I am also very, very anxious. So all I can do now is sit and wait…Hopefully it will all be over soon!

December 29, 2010 Posted by | My Story | Leave a comment

Merry Christmas, Baby!


First, let me say…No, this is not my belly….I can’t see myself painting my bump.(Let alone photographing my unclothed belly!) But this brave woman DID, and she lacks the stretch marks I have, so we’ll just go with it! Plus, that is just about the size of my ready-to-pop belly, so it is fitting. 🙂

I just wanted to express my warmest wishes to all of you this Christmas Day. I hope your families make a ton of memories, eat a lot of yummy food (but not TOO much,lol) and that all your wishes come true this year!

We will be having  a busy day tomorrow. We will be spending the day with family and friends, and this year is extra special to me because it is my Sophie-Monster’s first Christmas! And in a few days on New Year’s Eve, her first birthday! Now we’re celebrating her life, as well as preparing to welcome Xander into the world in just a couple of weeks. (If he stays put that long!) So this has been a very hectic, very busy time of year, but one full of blessings as well.

I may not post much in the next few days due to the holiday and last minute preparation for Xander’s arrival, and 30 days of truth will temporarily be put on hold. But I am excited to say I have a few really awesome reviews and giveaways lined up in the next few weeks, so stay tuned!

Merry Christmas!

 

December 25, 2010 Posted by | My Story | 2 Comments

Come On, Labor! I am DONE!


Okay, so I am ready to be DONE with the whole perpetually pregnant thing. I am moody, I am in pain, I am having awful contractions quite frequently, but not frequently enough to warrant a hospital trip, and every time I pee, it feels like Xander is going to fall out. I cannot sleep. I cannot get comfortable. Just walking around makes me have this crazy, intense pelvic pressure coupled with a tightening pain and nausea….This just is not fun anymore! When he gets the hiccups, I FEEL it in my crotch, as gross as that sounds, and I am having shooting pains in my thighs that are pretty painful. I am also having what feels like menstrual cramping x 100. Oh, and not to mention diarrhea! Can’t forget the Hershey squirts that never seem to subside! I can’t get up without help, unless I roll everywhere, and I am literally so irritable that I want to kill anyone who looks at me wrong. I am HUGE…My belly is like an overinflated beach ball, and I have lost pretty much all balance and coordination. I feel like cattle, too, on top of it all. My boobs are not just leaking, they are spraying, especially when I am holding Sophie. It’s so gross!!! I guess I won’t have to worry too much about having a good milk supply when Xander is born, but come on, really?! That’s supposed to come after the baby is born, not before! Hopefully this is a sign that he may actually decide to nurse. I really would like to breastfeed, but that didn’t work out with Kyle or Sophie, so we shall see….

I am also now totally rethinking peacefully going along with another C-section. They have recently changed the guidelines regarding VBACs, and are saying that a vaginal birth (which I have never had) is much safer than even an elective, repeat cesarean. And even having had 2 cesareans, I may still be a good candidate for a VBAC. The increased risk is literally miniscule, and if labor is attempted in a hospital with medical staff on hand in case something goes wrong, I really think I could handle having a normal birth. My pregnancy has been smooth sailing…I don’t have diabetes, my blood pressure is textbook perfect, I have not gained a lot of weight, and the baby is measuring perfectly. So why wouldn’t they let me try, at least? It’s my body…It’s MY baby…It should also be MY birth, the way I want it. Now if it were deemed medically necessary to have a repeat surgery, I could understand. But I really haven’t been given any reasons at all why this is a necessary procedure. I plan to ask at my doctor’s appointment on Monday, and to make my feelings known, with Dan there to back me up, of course. As much as I adore my doctor, I do not think he will budge. But I have to know I at least tried.

In the meantime, I am thinking about trying to speed up labor….I am pretty much considered term now, at 37 weeks, and maybe if I go into active labor and dilate enough, I can try and time my arrival to the hospital so that I get there just in time to push. Okay, so maybe that’s a nice daydream…But maybe if labor starts on its own, I will have a better shot at having a VBAC. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised at all if I am already dilated a couple of centimeters already. I really have the feeling that it’s close…Just a gut feeling…Dan even thinks we may have a Christmas baby, or maybe even another New Year’s baby.

So I guess it might be time to start amusing myself and going through the motions of trying to start labor, yet again…It didn’t work with Sophie, but I am just so ready to be done that I guess it may be worth another shot….Everything except for the castor oil, of course…That just ended in disaster and gave me the most painful thrombosed hemerrhoid ever! THAT was misery! But there are other things I am prepared to do….Raspberry Leaf Tea, Cumin Tea (YUCK!!!), spicy food (which I normally love so I may be immune), running up and down the stairs, galloping,intercourse, bumpy car rides, cleaning like a mad-woman, and I might even pull out the breast-pump, even though I am dreading it. (Ouch!!!) Maybe even get some blue or black cohosh or some evening primrose oil…I haven’t tried those in the past, but I hear they can be effective.

In any case, I am tired of constantly being in pain…I am tired of going from 0 to bitch in no time flat, I am just tired of the whole thing…I want to meet and hold my baby! My body is giving me every sign that’s it’s time…Now why won’t he just be ready, already?

December 23, 2010 Posted by | My Story | Leave a comment

About Bipolar Disorder-In Conjunction With My Pepsi Refresh/Robyn’s Online World Post


As promised, here is some more in-depth information about Bipolar Disorder. Please read this and educate yourself on how to support a loved one with this condition, as well as what warning signs and symptoms to look out for. Also, please visit my Helping Bipolar Children and Teens post and learn how YOU can help via the Pepsi Refresh Project. All it takes is a simple vote to make a difference.  Instructions for voting can be found in that post. Thanks to Robyn over at Robyn’s Online World for alerting fellow bloggers to this project, and for sharing your experiences as a mom to a teen who suffers from Bipolar.

 

I recently had an experience I did not understand with someone I care about. It came out of left field and took me completely off-guard, and I handled it completely wrong. Of course, I didn’t even know I was handling it incorrectly. My intentions were good, but there was one important factor I forgot to consider that actually changes the rules of interaction significantly. You see, the person I had a falling out with is one of millions that suffer from bipolar disorder, which when left untreated, can cause many, many problems in relationships, in the workplace, and in one’s personal day to day life. This disorder has even led to unnecessary suicides. It is also a disorder that people THINK they know about, but more than likely do not. I thought I understood it, but I have been doing some research, and I found I knew very little about this condition, and due to that fact, was probably doing more harm than good, albeit unintentionally. This relationship is over, and could never be the same again. But I do feel that the loss of a friendship could have been prevented if I had only known what signs to be on the lookout for.

The reason I am writing this post is because I wouldn’t want anyone else to make the mistakes I made in handling things with this loved one. I thought I was helping by doing things one way, when really, I should have recognized a cry for help. A plea for support. I did not understand. In my research, I have learned that many, many people who suffer from bipolar disorder have a much more difficult time during the holidays. There is all the added stress of the season in general, with scheduling, shopping, and the general winter time blues that so many of us can be prone to. I will be listing some common symptoms and also some ways that you can help someone who suffers from this condition. A little understanding can do a world of good, and this condition is often misunderstood. Someone suffering from bipolar, or manic depression, is not crazy. But they do process and handle things in a different way, and require extra consideration when dealing with them during their highs and lows. Dealing with someone who is bipolar is much like walking on a tight rope or in a mine field. A little understanding of the condition is essential at being a support to someone who is bipolar. And please remember, if a loved one lashes out during an episode of depression, mania, or even a mixed episode, this is behavior they cannot control and they may do and say things that they would never do or say while in a balanced state. It is also not uncommon for someone suffering from bipolar disorder to black out and become violent towards themselves and/or others. Do not take it personally, or try to argue with someone who is having an episode. It will only make it worse. Chances are, their problem has nothing at all to do with you, but with their own feelings of loneliness, depression, and hopelessness. These feelings are  often manifested by aggression, anger, and overly critical behavior. If you keep in mind that it’s not YOU, it’s not THEM, it is their mental illness doing the talking, it will make it so much easier to cope.Please, if you know anyone with this condition, please do your best to show them love and support. It can make a huge difference in someone’s life, and just the reassurance that you care will do a world of good.

Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder:

(Provided by helpguide.org. A GREAT website with a wealth of information.)

Bipolar disorder can look very different in different people. The symptoms vary widely in their pattern, severity, and frequency. Some people are more prone to either mania or depression, while others alternate equally between the two types of episodes. Some have frequent mood disruptions, while others experience only a few over a lifetime.

There are four types of mood episodes in bipolar disorder:mania, hypomania, depression, and mixed episodes. Each type of bipolar disorder mood episode has a unique set of symptoms.

Signs and symptoms of mania

In the manic phase of bipolar disorder, feelings of heightened energy, creativity, and euphoria are common. People experiencing a manic episode often talk a mile a minute, sleep very little, and are hyperactive. They may also feel like they’re all-powerful, invincible, or destined for greatness. They may want to “save the world” in some way, and get down and defeated when the reality hits that they cannot.

But while mania feels good at first, it has a tendency to spiral out of control. People often behave recklessly during a manic episode: gambling away savings, engaging in inappropriate  activity, or making foolish business investments, for example. They may also become angry, irritable, and aggressive–picking fights, lashing out when others don’t go along with their plans, and blaming anyone who criticizes their behavior. Some people even become delusional or start hearing voices.

Hypomania symptoms

Hypomania is a less severe form of mania. People in a hypomanic state feel euphoric, energetic, and productive, but they are able to carry on with their day-to-day lives and they never lose touch with reality. To others, it may seem as if people with hypomania are merely in an unusually good mood. However, hypomania can result in bad decisions that harm relationships, careers, and reputations. In addition, hypomania often escalates to full-blown mania or is followed by a major depressive episode.

Common signs and symptoms of mania include:

  • Feeling unusually “high” and optimistic OR extremely irritable
  • Unrealistic, grandiose beliefs about one’s abilities or powers
  • Sleeping very little, but feeling extremely energetic
  • Talking so rapidly that others can’t keep up
  • Racing thoughts; jumping quickly from one idea to the next
  • Highly distractible, unable to concentrate
  • Impaired judgment and impulsiveness
  • Acting recklessly without thinking about the consequences
  • Delusions and hallucinations (in severe cases)

Signs and symptoms of bipolar depression

In the past, bipolar depression was lumped in with regular depression. But a growing body of research suggests that there are significant differences between the two, especially when it comes to recommended treatments. Most people with bipolar depression are not helped by antidepressants. In fact, there is a risk that antidepressants can make bipolar disorder worse–triggering mania or hypomania, causing rapid cycling between mood states, or interfering with other mood stabilizing drugs.

Despite many similarities, certain symptoms are more common in bipolar depression than in regular depression. For example, bipolar depression is more likely to involve irritability, guilt, unpredictable mood swings, and feelings of restlessness. People with bipolar depression also tend to move and speak slowly, sleep a lot, and gain weight. In addition, they are more likely to develop psychotic depression–a condition in which they’ve lost contact with reality–and to experience major disability in work and social functioning.

Common symptoms of bipolar depression include:

  • Feeling hopeless, sad, or empty.
  • Irritability
  • Inability to experience pleasure
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Physical and mental sluggishness
  • Appetite or weight changes
  • Sleep problems
  • Concentration and memory problems
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

Signs and symptoms of a mixed episode

A mixed episode of bipolar disorder features symptoms of both mania or hypomania and depression. Common signs of a mixed episode include depression combined with agitation, irritability, anxiety, insomnia, distractibility, and racing thoughts. This combination of high energy and low mood makes for a particularly high risk of suicide.

Tips for coping with bipolar disorder in the family or circle of friends:

  • Accept your loved one’s limits – People with bipolar disorder can’t control their moods. They can’t just snap out of a depression or get a hold of themselves during a manic episode. Neither depression nor mania can be overcome through self-control, willpower, or reasoning. Telling a person to “Stop acting crazy” or “Look on the bright side” won’t help.
  • Accept your own limits. You can’t rescue a person with bipolar disorder, nor can you force someone to take responsibility for getting better. You can offer support, but ultimately, recovery is in the hands of the person with the illness.
  • Reduce stress – Stress makes bipolar disorder worse, so try to find ways to reduce stress in your family member’s life. Ask how you can help and volunteer to take over some of the person’s responsibilities if needed. Establishing and enforcing a daily routine— with regular times for getting up, having meals, and going to bed—can also reduce family stress.
  • Communicate – Open and honest communication is essential to coping with bipolar disorder in the family or circle of friends. Share your concerns in a loving way, ask the person how he or she is feeling, and make an effort to truly listen—even if you disagree with your loved one or don’t relate to what’s being said.

Supporting a person with bipolar disorder

What you can say that helps:

  • You are not alone in this. I’m here for you.
  • I understand you have a real illness and that’s what causes these thoughts and feelings.
  • You may not believe it now, but the way you’re feeling will change.
  • I may not be able to understand exactly how you feel, but I care about you and want to help.
  • You are important to me. Your life is important to me.

Coping with mania and depression: Tips for family and friends

If relapse can’t be prevented, there are things you can do to cope during a manic or depressive episode.

  • Don’t take bipolar symptoms personally. When in the midst of a bipolar episode, people often say or do things that are hurtful or embarrassing. When manic, they may be reckless, cruel, critical, and aggressive. When depressed, they may be rejecting, irritable, hostile, and moody. It’s hard not to take such behaviors personally, but try to remember that they’re symptoms of a mental illness, not the result of selfishness or immaturity.
  • Be prepared for destructive behaviors. When manic or depressed, people with bipolar disorder may behave in destructive or irresponsible ways. Planning ahead for how to handle such behavior can help. When your loved one is well, negotiate a treatment contract that gives you advance approval for protecting him or her when symptoms flare up. Agree on specific steps you’ll take, such as removing credit cards or car keys, going together to the doctor, or taking charge of household finances.
  • Know what to do in a crisis. It’s important to plan ahead for times of crisis so you can act quickly and effectively with it occurs. Having a crisis plan can help. Make sure to include a list of emergency contact information for doctors, therapists, and other loved ones who will help. Also include the address and phone number of the hospital you will take the person to if necessary.
  • Call 911 in an emergency. If a person with bipolar disorder is suicidal or violent, don’t try to handle the situation alone. If you’re worried that your loved one may hurt you, get to safety and then call the police. If the person is suicidal, don’t leave him or her alone. Call 911 and stay with the person until an ambulance arrives.

Supporting someone who is manic

  • Spend time with the person. People who are manic often feel isolated from other people. Spending even short periods of time with them helps. If the person has a lot of energy, walk together, which allows the person to keep on the move but share your company.
  • Answer questions honestly. However, do not argue or debate with a person during a manic episode. Avoid intense conversation.
  • Don’t take any comments personally. During periods of high energy, a person often says and does things that he or she would not usually say or do, including focusing on and exaggerating the negative aspects of others. If needed, stay away from the person and avoid arguments.
  • Prepare easy-to-eat foods and drinks (such as peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, apples, cheese crackers, and juices), because it is difficult for the person to sit down to a meal during periods of high energy.
  • Avoid subjecting the person to a lot of activity and stimulation. It is best to keep surroundings as quiet as possible.
  • Allow the person to sleep whenever possible. During periods of high energy, sleeping is difficult and short naps may be taken throughout the day. Sometimes the person feels rested after only 2 to 3 hours of sleep.

These are all wonderful tips that I wish I had known before. So please, if someone you love suffers from this disorder, please be there for them. Don’t let them feel alone. I didn’t know how to help appropriately, and it ended my relationship with someone I care about. I didn’t realize that I was getting a cry for support, and I felt attacked. But in reality, it wasn’t about me at all. It was a symptom of this often debilitating condition, and I didn’t even realize it. But if you take the time to learn about the life and thought processes of someone who is bipolar, it is possible to make a difference. Make sure to check on them…Invite them to join in activities. Don’t let them feel isolated, and show you care in the ways they need to be shown. If they tell you they need space, DO NOT assume that this is actually what they want. Check in with them and don’t allow them to feel isolated. Especially during the holidays, when the suicide rates increase.  Compassion and understanding is key, and never be afraid to show you care.

***I am NOT a psychiatrist. Just someone who has been indirectly affected  by this disorder and wants other friends and family members of people suffering from manic depression to understand the warning signs and symptoms in their loved ones so they can provide the best support system possible for them. This is a complex disorder, and is painful for not only the person suffering from it, but for those who love and care about them, as well. All symptoms and recommendations come from the above listed reputable medical website. Like I said, I do not have a PhD or an MD. I’m just a person who cares. ***

December 23, 2010 Posted by | My Story | Leave a comment

Help Children and Teens With Bipolar Disorder With Pepsi Refresh Everything Campaign


I am posting this as a favor to Robyn, at Robyn’s Online World. She recently put a call for help out to other bloggers to raise awareness of bipolar disorder and to let everyone know that there are things they can do to help the many children and teens who suffer from this condition. Robyn is the mother of a teen who is bipolar, and has lived day to day with the struggles associated with caring for a loved one with bipolar. I will actually also be posting a separate post that is much more in depth about this mental condition, so people are aware of the signs and symptoms. It is a complex and often misdiagnosed condition that can be debilitating, and it is a condition that needs a lot more understanding and empathy from those whose lives are touched by a friend or family member with the condition. Here is what Robyn wanted posted. Please read it over, and do what you can to help. Also, feel free to read my post on Bipolar signs and symptoms and familiarize yourself with the disorder and learn more about how you can support a loved one who is suffering.

Right now CABF is in the running for a $250,000 grant from the Pepsi Refresh Everything campaign. They have to come in 1st or 2nd in order to get the grant money (as of today they have slipped to 3rd). So, I am asking ALL MY BLOGGING BUDDIES – Please, please, please take a moment to post on your blog about CABF and how to vote for your readers and share on Facebook and share on Twitter and just share any way you can so they can get some more votes and win! Below is a sample post you can use – take any or all of it – whatever works for you and your blog.

There are over 5 million U.S. youth who live with depression or bipolar disorder. Unfortunately, a very small percentage receive treatment. The Child and Adolescent Bipolar Foundation (CABF) is hoping to win a $250,000 grant from The Pepsi Refresh Project during December to raise public awareness and help more youth and their families who suffer from depression or bipolar disorder.

Youth depression and bipolar is seldom discussed. It affects 7% of all children in the U.S., yet only a small fraction receive treatment. We plan to launch an outreach campaign to inform parents about the symptoms of mood disorders and how to find help. The outreach will be accomplished via:

-Detailed Communication Plan

-Online ads

-Bi-weekly webinars

-Weekly podcasts

-Daily social networking

-150,000 brochures & 3 mailings to psychiatrists

Experienced CABF staff members will coordinate the webinars, podcasts and volunteer training.  Our trained volunteer corps of 100+ around the US are ready to assist new families and youth who reach out to us in crisis. CABF has the capacity to refresh the lives of so many more youth!

DAILY VOTING METHODS
The Pepsi Refresh voting allows you to vote daily in EACH of these ways for CABF, plus you can vote for 9 other organizations each day also to spread the love!

BONUS FOR YOU – WIN AN iPAD
That’s right, CABF is going to give away THREE iPADs if they win! You just have to sign up for their daily email reminders about voting in order to be entered. Super simple!

Thank you all so much for your continued support and votes for this cause. It is very near and dear to my heart! xoxoxo

Do you have a cause that is also participating in this program trying to get a grant? Please share in the comments so we can vote for them as well!

December 23, 2010 Posted by | My Story | Leave a comment

30 Days Of Truth~Day 14: A Band Or Artist That Has Gotten Me Through Some Tough Days


Wow….So many of them!! I am very sleepy, so I am sure this will be a partial list, but here we go:

  1. Sarah McLachlan
  2. Better Than Ezra
  3. The Doors
  4. The Beatles
  5. Colby Callait
  6. Norah Jones
  7. ELO
  8. Blessed Union of Souls
  9. Maroon 5
  10. Martina McBride
  11. Cheap Trick
  12. Evanescence
  13. Hinder
  14. Flyleaf
  15. Boston
  16. The Band
  17. Tori Amos
  18. Tim McGraw
  19. Taylor Swift
  20. Athenaeum
  21. Vertical Horizon
  22. Live
  23. Alanis Morrisette
  24. Ryan Cabrerra
  25. Shai
  26. Beyonce
  27. James Taylor
  28. Gordon Lightfoot
  29. Loggins and Messina
  30. Queen
  31. A Fine Frenzy
  32. Aerosmith
  33. Bon Jovi
  34. Warrant
  35. Jeff Bates
  36. Chris Cagle
  37. Gary Allen
  38. Keith Urban
  39. Diamond Rio
  40. John Berry
  41. Live
  42. CCR
  43. Lords of Acid
  44. Bob Marley
  45. Liz Phair
  46. Sheryl Crow
  47. Kansas
  48. Nelson
  49. Guns N Roses
  50. Wings
  51. Elton John
  52. Billy Joel
  53. Lady Antebellum
  54. Mandy Moore

And it’s 4:43 AM and I cannot even think right now…I am sure there are many, many more, but for now, that will have to do. Mama needs some sleep!

December 21, 2010 Posted by | My Story | Leave a comment

A Very Serious Matter In Today’s Cyber World: Internet Harassment


Email harassment is a form of stalking, and often includes consistent, unwanted electronic communication sent to a recipient or their family, friends, or associates with the intention of intimidating, frightening, or harassing him. It commonly occurs at the end of a relationship, whether romantic or a friendship. but also happens in the workplace, when inappropriate jokes or other offensive material is sent via email, either by an employer or an associate. This material may be sexual in nature, or otherwise discriminating. While email harassment is frequently a repetitive act, sometimes, it can result from a single transmission, if it is sent with malicious intent, or if the material is potentially damaging to the victim. Internet harassment is a crime, and is punishable by law and often carries community service or even a jail sentence.

The most frequent instances of email harassment occur in domestic disputes, when one person leaves the relationship, and the other becomes disgruntled. The rejected person may send a series of emails that are threatening, spiteful, and intimidating — but not always. On occasion, repeated emails intended to entice another person to return to a relationship can cause significant distress and constitute harassing behavior as well.

Sometimes, the correspondence vacillates between emotions. The scorned person may pledge undying devotion in one email, which may be followed by violent statements, or even threats of suicide in other messages, to persuade the recipient. Email harassment to an ex-boyfriend,ex-girlfriend, or ex-friend  frequently accompanies other forms of intrusive behavior. Repeated phone calls, unwanted gifts, and visits to the person’s home or office may escalate feelings of impending danger.

This scenario can also stem from a vindictive individual using email to defame someone’s character. Inappropriate photographs or private information may be sent to a victim’s coworkers, family, or friends in an effort to cause embarrassment or humiliation. There have also been occasions in which a public online forum was used to entice others to make contact with the victim. In these, the culprit may post a phone number or other identifiable information about the target.

Please remember that these actions are a CRIME and are all forms of cyber-bullying, which in this day in age, is a very serious problem and isn’t taken lightly by law enforcement due to an influx of violence and even suicide due to this form of harassment. If someone is harassing you either directly, or by contacting friends, family or coworkers of yours, record and document any and all transmissions and save them to a disc or a hard drive. Take screen shots. DO NOT REPLY. People who engage in this type of behavior are often mentally unstable and may be capable of causing harm if provoked. The best thing to do is document all evidence and contact your local police department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The FBI usually handles these cases, but if you feel threatened, your local police department should be given a heads up as well. Also, contact the person’s internet provider and report them as well. They may end up losing their internet service.

So what is the best thing to do if you have a falling out with someone and they insist on harassing and cyber-stalking you? Follow all of the above steps and be the bigger person and walk away. Pretend that they never even existed. People like this aren’t worth the time and effort it takes to retaliate, and they are seeking a response. They crave the attention, because it makes them feel important. Do not allow yourself to feel intimidated. This kind of behavior only reflects the weakness and immaturity of the person committing this crime. It only makes THEM look bad.

And as a note to those who engage in this cowardly form of bullying: With the internet, as well as in real life, if there is someone you have a problem with, no one is forcing you to seek them out. No one is making you go to their web-pages or email them, their friends or their family. If you don’t like something, stay away from it. Hit the nice little X in the corner of your browser window. Let them disappear into cyber-space. Find a hobby or something else to do with your time. If you keep bothering people who aren’t even talking to or emailing you, all you’re doing is making your own mental illness more apparent, and building a better case against yourself should it end up getting reported to the police. And making false reports or accusations against someone is called slander and defamation of character, and is also punishable by law. No matter how irrational and upset you feel, be very careful of what you do. It is far better to cut your losses and walk away and leave people alone than to try and create problems that will only backfire. Cyber bullying and stalking is wrong, and certain people should know better than resorting to this based on their own personal experiences with this. Walk away. Live your life. Leave people alone. Especially when they are leaving YOU alone.

December 20, 2010 Posted by | My Story | Leave a comment

30 Days Of Truth~Day 13: What Are Your Views On Religion?


First here is a bit of a disclaimer: This is my blog. I find it easier to open up when I write, and I am very candid and to the point. Sometimes what I say is positive, sometimes it’s not. Sometimes  people may agree with me, sometimes they won’t. This 30 day challenge is all about raw honesty and self-examination. It is about being real with your feelings. It is not to cause drama, it is not to point fingers, it is not to do anything other than be real with myself as I complete this 30 day journey. I will not sugar coat things, and I will not deny myself the ability to express my feelings freely just because some of them may not be all rainbows and butterflies. I am a firm believer that if you feel something, LET yourself feel it. Get it out. Learn to heal. Right or wrong, feelings are just that: Feelings. And there is no personal growth if they are not dealt with or expressed. I am not doing this challenge to bash anyone or hurt anyone’s feelings. As a matter of fact, I am choosing to not go into specific names or relationships where applicable, because I do not want to create drama. But this is MY blog. It is my outlet to express myself  in any way I choose to. Life is not always happy or glamorous. I won’t lie to my readers or myself and say it is on here just to placate anyone or present things a way that they’re not. If I am having a great day, you will know it. If I am having a bad day, you’ll know that, too. This challenge has not been an easy one to take on, but I see more benefit to MYSELF in doing it than in not doing it. If you want me to keep things real, keep reading. If you cannot respect my right to talk about my own feelings and my life in a raw and honest manner, no one is forcing you to stay and read. That’s the wonderful thing about the internet. One click and you can go somewhere else, and anything you don’t like will be lost in cyberspace. Out of sight, out of mind. Now on to today’s challenge….

 

Okay…Now this is whole big can of worms that I am reluctant to open. I don’t usually talk about religion. I avoid it, actually, because my views on the whole topic are just a bit unorthodox, and I more than likely won’t get into too much detail here. But first and foremost, I will say I 100% believe in God. I also 100% believe that Jesus died for our sins. I am a more spiritual person than a religious one, however. I think that organized religion is flawed, as it is something that is basically man made and has been altered over the centuries to meet the needs and goals of the church at the time. I mean, while the Bible is a wonderful tool to use to help guide your life, do I think it is the direct word of God himself? No, I do not. The Bible was written over hundreds of years by many different men, and each man had their own personal interpretation of what they were writing. And if man is flawed, then how can one really take 100% of what is written in the Bible literally? Especially when there are many contradictions contained therein? The Bible is a wonderful teaching tool. I have read it cover to cover. It has heartwarming stories, lots of inspirational passages, and sound guidelines by which to try and mold our lives to the best of our abilities….But do I think it’s the actual word of God Himself? No, I don’t.  Like the whole concept of hell….I don’t personally believe in it. I think it was a man-made fear tactic used to get people to conform. In the times of Luther, the reigning Catholic Pope actually tried to SELL the church’s followers tickets to Heaven. If they did not comply, they were sure to go to Hell. I’m sorry, but that alone is proof of the church extorting it’s followers and playing on their fears, all the while abusing their trust and their faith. I do not believe God would condone that. Just as I don’t personally believe in God condemning any of His children to an eternity in Hell. If God is kind and merciful, He would never turn his back on His children, it is US who turn away from God. I think “Hell” is something completely different than the fiery pits we are accustomed to hearing about…I think it’s something different, and something far less eternal. I think true Hell is a complete and total disconnection from God. Like when you die, if you have rejected God, maybe you get stuck in limbo, in a lonely existence. Do not pass go, Do not collect 200.00, and no Soup for you until you come to the realization of your wrongs….And only then do I think these lost souls get into Heaven. I know…Pretty weird…It just makes more sense to me than what we’re commonly taught.  I also don’t believe God cares what church you belong to, how often you go to church, or even what name you refer to Him by…. I think we are all worshipping the same God in many different forms, and we all choose to worship in different ways. I think that what God cares MORE about is the manner in which we live our lives and how we choose to treat others. That’s another reason that some people who claim to be zealous irritate me. I cannot stand seeing someone preach the love and Word of God, and yet find it acceptable  to belittle others, to lash out, and to be downright cruel and ugly human beings, all while hiding behind the name of God. Isn’t that quite hypocritical? What God would condone cruelty from one of His children to another? What God would condone treating others badly for selfish purposes? What God finds it acceptable to lash out at others, whether it be with our words or physically? Not any God I am familiar with, and unfortunately, you see this everyday. People masquerading around as “good Christians” while they live their lives as anything but. We ALL have our flaws….We all sin. But to hide behind religion and then behave in the nastiest, LEAST Godly manner possible? It makes me lose respect for humanity in general. What ever happened to kindness? What happened to forgiveness or humility? What happened to turning the other cheek and learning acceptance, truth, and love? Is it ever RIGHT to judge others when you haven’t walked in their shoes? Only GOD can judge.Is it ever RIGHT to be vengeful or dishonest or hateful? Is it ever RIGHT to try and make others suffer to try and alleviate one’s own insecurities, pain and fears? No God would reward this behavior. And there are too many people parading around as Christians who behave this way. They should be ashamed of their actions, and they should really try and form a real relationship with God and fix the error of their ways. There shouldn’t be any hate….There shouldn’t be any intentionally hurting people….There shouldn’t be any “holy wars”. War is anything BUT Holy, and I do not think God applauds anyone killing or maiming in His name. I could keep going, but I will quit while I am ahead. I think people have lost track of the TRUE spirit of religion and what God truly expects of us. I think that there needs to be more God in our lives but LESS religion. A relationship with God is a personal one, and shouldn’t be dictated by a man in a little hat or a funny white collar. I don’t need a middle man to talk to God. Anyway…Done ranting now.

December 20, 2010 Posted by | My Story | Leave a comment

Less Than A Month Now…It All Feels So Final


I cannot believe how quickly this pregnancy has flown by. With Sophie, it seemed to drag on and on, but now with Xander, it has literally felt like no time at all. Maybe it’s because I am just so used to being pregnant by now. Almost 2 years straight will do that to you. I can’t believe that in less than a month, I will have my little boy. It seems so surreal. I must admit, when we found out we were expecting again so soon after Sophie, I was terrified, and yes, I will admit, I was not overly thrilled. I had just had a C-section and had barely had time to recover. Plus, the idea of having  2  babies at once was never on my to do list. We knew we wanted one more, but I had hoped that would happen in another year or so. At least after Sophie was potty-trained. But things happen for a reason, and who am I to argue with whatever plan God has for me?

Anyway, it is now December 19, 2010. My son will be born on January 14, 2011, unless he decides he has the patience of his daddy,haha. So it could be 3 weeks from now or it could be tomorrow. Either way, it’s getting close, and I can feel it coming. He has dropped already, and I think I have shed the mucous plug, or at least part of it. I have sudden bursts of energy, and I cannot sleep. I am even having contractions off and on, and they have gotten stronger and more frequent. More signs that his birth is nearing. I feel strangely calm….At this time 1 year ago, I was awaiting Sophie’s arrival. I was a bundle of nerves, and I couldn’t wait to be done. Okay,I still can’t wait to be done. I am in pain and exhausted and ready to meet my baby. But the difference here is that there is no state of panic. I am not full of what-if’s….I am confident that while surgery is never easy, everything will go smoothly and that Xander will be a big, healthy baby. I don’t have all the worry that surrounded Sophie’s birth. That’s a blessing in itself, since I tend to over-worry things.

The only thing that is bothering me is that, while we decided this is our last child and our family is complete, the decision to get my tubes tied seems so….final…..Like I will no longer be a fully functional woman. Dan and I had played with the idea of HIM getting fixed instead of me, since I had a friend that may be in need of a surrogate someday, and I would have been more than willing to do so, even if it meant using my own eggs if need be. You never know what the circumstances will be surrounding that, and I wanted to leave every option open to her. But that will no longer be happening, and since I will already be opened up, we have decided that we will go ahead with the tubal ligation. Dan may still get a vasectomy for added insurance, but now it seems there is no real reason for me to postpone getting my tubes tied. I don’t know why the thought of this is making me sad. I know I don’t want any more children. 3 is enough, and we couldn’t afford a 4th, anyway. I guess maybe it’s because it’s the end…the end of my fertility….I will be officially “broken”. While that isn’t a bad thing, and it’s the smartest decision, I cannot help but grieve just a little bit. Is this normal? I mean, I’m not crying my eyes out, and I know this is the right thing to do, but a small part of me is just a little bit sad and uncertain over the whole thing. Dan has insisted that if for whatever reason we decide we would want another many years from now, we can adopt. We actually looked into that while suffering from infertility before we were blessed with Sophie. Dan was adopted, and adoption has a very near and dear place in our hearts.

I don’t know…I know we’re making the right decision. It just seems to all be coming so quickly. Less than a month…Wow…. It’s amazing how time flies!! All I know is I cannot wait to meet my little Zan-Man!

December 19, 2010 Posted by | My Story | 1 Comment

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