...that's what a friend of mine posted recently on Facebook.
And I agree.
2016 was a F***ed up year for me and for lots of people. It feels like dark days. The election was a disaster. Just that alone would mess it up for many. But the political unrest, the disconnection between parts of our country, multiple groups of people being displaced and feeling unheard.
And then the Oakland fire. Why? WHY!?
A daughter at my teacher's school was killed in that fire. She was 30. So, yes, it affects me directly. But not just in this way.
The fire represents a giant tragic blow to my city and the artist community that makes Oakland amazing. There are warehouses like this all over the city. Artists live and work in them and create the beautiful, creative tapestry that makes my community so fun to live in!
Most of us who live here have been to one of these warehouses/collectives at some point. This could have been any of us. And we are worried about our artists, about their ability to continue to thrive here in the housing crisis, which is ruining my own personal life in ways I won't go on about here.
I feel sad. Abuse. Pain. Heartbreak. Separation. Divorce. Sadness. Confusion. Compounded Sadness. Sickness. Poverty. I hope 2017 is better.
I need to look to God in all this. But right now, I want to be thankful that I have my children. However hard it is to have them, I'm thankful for them. And I love them dearly. I'm thankful that I have family. I'm thankful that I have housing, however hard it is to keep it. I'm thankful for my job. I'm thankful for the friends and support I've found through some of the hardest things I've ever gone through in my entire life. I'm thankful for my church and my God. Because he's been there through all this. He will always be here through all. No matter how f***ed up things get, he's in charge and he can make it better.
In the meantime, though, dark days.
Thursday, December 08, 2016
...that's what a friend of mine posted recently on Facebook.
Tuesday, November 08, 2016
Even though this election cycle was the worst thing ever and I can't wait for it to be over, I'm excited and happy that we have a woman on the ballot for the first time in US history!
And, I've moved from sadness mostly to some anger. And also today overall I feel good. I got some sleep, my appetite is back (hooray!), I'm starting to feel like I can handle my life again.
Sadly, though, not everyone in my broken family is there. The kids, of course, need so much right now. More than I can give them. My (soon to be ex) DH is still in the sadness phase of grief. He's getting treatment and wants more of a chance to show how he's changed, but I cannot do it. I wish I could. I really, really do. But I can't. And, like, me he wants to minimize the impact on the kids. And we are trying to figure out ways to do that.
At any rate, Happy Election Day! Go Vote! Even if it's not for a woman!
Posted by Hannah Kirk at 2:34 PM
Thursday, October 27, 2016
Today I am so sad.
I am sad I've lost a partner and a friend. Well, truly, he wasn't much of a partner the last few years. And he wasn't a very good friend either.
But still... Any potential for that is gone now and it hurts.
The stinging sadness of heartbreak. The break up of a family. The feeling that your forever is ending. We were supposed to be together forever. We were supposed to love and care for each other, forever.
And then he hurt me. Over and over and over. And at first I blamed myself. Then I blamed him. Then I blamed his illness. But in the end, it doesn't matter who is to blame. Someone I loved hurt me in a way that left me scared and anxious to simply be around them. And, even though they want to change, they are still incredibly selfish and self-centered about it. They can't see me for who I am. They can't see outside themselves. And it hurts to feel like you are invisible, like you don't matter at all to the person you work so hard to care for.
I don't want to start anew. I do. But I don't. It hurts. Starting over is hard. I feel sad. I feel an overwhelming sense of loss.
I do feel optimistic for the future. But tainted with sadness. My happily ever after was not so happy. And not so ever after. I don't regret my choices, but it doesn't make them less painful now.
I loved my family. I loved what I thought we had. But it was still mostly me. It was me taking care of everyone. Except myself. Now I need to try to learn to love myself and know who I am.
The one consolation is that God is always with me and can redeem anything. I pray for him to redeem this situation. And thank him that he is the husband I never had, no matter what. He is there and he cares and loves me the exact amount I need. And loves me for me. Something that none of us broken humans can ever do.
Posted by Hannah Kirk at 7:26 PM
Monday, October 24, 2016
...Some are good and some are not.
I'm going through a hard and dark time right now. I am up and down. It is to be expected.
On the one hand I am sad and devastated and in pain.
On the other hand, I am free from something that has been causing me pain and heartbreak for at least 10 years. And the future feels bright.
But I often feel sad and happy and you never can tell which day will be which.
Sometimes I can't eat. Sometimes I can't sleep.
I'm learning to draw new boundaries.
I'm learning to adapt to new and difficult situations.
I'm learning a lot, in fact. About myself. About what I went through. About what I'm going through now.
And, it's painful. It's painful to know that a person you trusted would hurt you the way I've been hurt. It's painful to know that you gave someone everything you had and they used it against you. It's painful to know that even when that person finally realizes what they did, you are so traumatized you can't even walk around your house without living in fear that that person will hurt you again. You are worried that they are still there. That they will still harm you, mentally, emotionally, or physically. That they will still take you for granted and not appreciate you. That they will criticize you and blame you no matter how hard you try to do the right thing. That you are so traumatized that forgiveness is not enough to move forward or be together. And that is very sad.
I wish this wasn't what was happening in my life. That I could have a "normal" relationship and a "normal" life, or that healing could come faster. But the fear is real and even if the person can change, it will never be enough. Because they are bound to mess up and it will throw me back into the trauma. And I am years and years away from moving past the trauma I'm already feeling.
And, now, even more pain is coming from (former?) friends and family, from people who need someone to blame. Sometimes we can move forward without having to be enemies. We can. And I wish others could too.
I am not angry. I am not bitter. I forgive and I care. And I understand that others don't understand that. And I hope they will in time.
Posted by Hannah Kirk at 4:09 PM
Sunday, July 12, 2015
Posted by Hannah Kirk at 12:10 PM
Tuesday, June 02, 2015
Put her down awake. Do some amount of sleep coaxing and she was good. Sleeping through the night 5 hours at a few weeks old, 7 hours at 2 months, and 12 shortly after that. I followed a plan and stuck to it and she did great.
Fast forward to any time I met anyone whose baby had problems sleeping and I immediately thought to myself, well, how hard is it? I did it. Make an effort.
Now I have the great pleasure of being confused and sleep deprived for 5 months. I love that God knocked me down a peg and is teaching me to get over myself and my pride. That I need him and have no right to judge.
I love when God teaches me these lessons of humility. And how wrong I am to judge others. Maybe judging us a Midwest thing? not so common here in the west. But that's for another post.
Sent from my iPhone
Posted by Hannah Kirk at 1:29 AM
Sunday, April 19, 2015
Posted by Hannah Kirk at 2:29 AM
It's been one week. I can't wait to see if I change my mind and how.
Posted by Hannah Kirk at 2:26 AM
Sunday, April 05, 2015
Friday, December 19, 2014
So I just had my baby! He's a beautiful and precious baby boy! I wanted to write down my birth story with him for anyone who is interested. He was born at 7:44 am on December 17, 2014. He's an amazing, precious kid and I'm SO THANKFUL he's out of me! I felt like the pregnancy and labor and everything took FOREVER.
So, FAIR WARNING, there will be a lot of TMI, a lot of gross stuff, and no filter in the following descriptions. If you don't want to read it, stop now. Otherwise, don't say I didn't warn you!
So, I was due December 14 and I expected him to come early because his big sister was 3 days before her due date. And I figured he'd come a few days before she did. But when we got to my 37 week appointment, the midwife said he'd probably come around my due date. So of course I assumed that meant a few days before my due date. Well, we got to the 38 week appointment and I was 1 cm dialated, maybe 50% effaced. Then at 39 weeks, same. Then I started to get pretty upset. When my midwife said he was probably not coming before my due date, I was not happy. I was partly furious with my body and angry at myself for expecting he'd come early.
I was feeling ok pregnancy-wise, just tight and big, but I'd come down with bronchitis and then pulled a muscle or bruised a rib on my left side from coughing so hard. It hurt so much that I was in pain when I was breathing! Ugh. Not fun. I tried calling my pulmonologist because I was experiencing it as breathing pain. But his office was closed (this was a Friday--actually a week ago). So I called my primary care doctor. Their office was closed for a staff meeting. So I called my midwife. She told me to go to Labor and Delivery triage. I didn't want to but I was concerned and so was she. She made it sound like I'd just go in, get checked out, verify that everything was ok, and then leave. When I got there they made sure the baby was fine, then sent me to the emergency room. They gave me EKGs, heart monitors, etc. then I demanded to leave, so they had a doctor come to clear me to leave who checked my chest and said it was bronchitis. I got a chest xray just to make sure it wasn't anything more serious and everything was clear. I asked what I should do for the pain. He said Tylenol. Took 4+ hours for this verdict.
The next day I figured out that the pain was coming from one side and was incredibly severe. So, I took Tylenol and iced it. That helped but it still hurt. At my 40 week appointment a few days later, I BEGGED my midwife to prescribe me something stronger than Tylenol and she prescribed me Tylenol 3, which helped a bit.
I also begged her to strip my membranes so she tried, but I was still only 1, MAYBE 2cm and 60% effaced. She said she couldn't even get in my cervix to strip the membranes. That made me super sad. She said the baby was turned crooked which was why he hadn't come out yet. And why it might take awhile before he did. I got some tips from friends and family on stuff to do to reposition him and I did it all. I worked SUPER hard on it because I kept hearing from people that after they did one position or another they went into labor right away. And, of course, I wanted him to come out so I did every one of them!
The next morning (Tuesday, the 16th) I woke up to a disturbing sight: my "mucus plug" had apparently come out. Yeah, so I never heard of it coming out the way it did. Most people see a bit at a time or once they are in labor and apparently it means almost nothing about when labor will start, but it was basically a GIANT mucous-y dark blood tinged thing that was 4-5 inches long and 1 inch round in diameter. SUPER GROSS. I called Aaron in and said, "you have to see this. Be prepared to see something gross." and showed him. He was grossed out too. And I called my midwife, doula, etc. and read up on it and was basically like, yep means nothing. Call me if you continue having blood come out. And I did. Light blood, but fresh and steady like a light period.
So I made an appointment with the midwife for later that day around 1:30. I started having some contractions around noon so my doula arranged to meet me there. The midwife checked me again and I wasn't any more dialated or effaced, and she said I should go home until labor got more intense. So we did. At that point, my contractions mostly stopped. Even though some were kind of intense, mostly they had stalled quite a bit. So the doula and I hung out, took a walk, and then she left around 5pm. I laid down and tried to sleep a little, but then the contractions started to get longer and stronger. The doula said to call her when they were about 45 seconds long and 3-5 minutes apart. I rested. I took a little walk around the house with AJ and tried to stay upright and moving so they would progress.
The doula came back around 8 and we walked a little around the house, I sat down, we watched some TV and I laid down. Then around 10pm I said that the contractions were getting strong enough we should probably go to the hospital before the car ride was miserable.0
We got to the hospital around 10:30 and they put me in triage, hooked me up to the monitors, and checked me. I was only 2cm dilated STILL and 60% effaced. They asked if my water had broken. I told them I wasn't sure (earlier I thought that it might be leaking), so they checked, but because I had blood they couldn't do the usual test. I was having contractions here and there, but the contractions had reduced a bit and weren't as close together, even though they hurt. They said they couldn't admit me to the hospital unless my water had broken. So they did another test. After another hour they came back and said it hadn't broken. So they said I had to be discharged and I could either get a shot of Morphine mixed with something to help me sleep for about 4 hours if I was in a lot of pain or I could try to walk around the hospital for awhile and see if the contractions got worse.
They discharged me around 12:30am. The doula and Aaron and I discussed what we should do. Should I go home and try and sleep? I said if I had to go home, I would definitely take the Morphine because I was in so much pain and because it was my reward for having to go home and come back again, but I had questions about what if I progressed quickly--what would the effect be? Aaron suggested we just go home. I couldn't decide (it was hard to make choices even in early labor and that late at night. I asked the doula what she thought. She said we should walk around for 30 minutes then check in and see if it makes sense to leave, then go and get the morphine if I want that. So we walked around the L&D ward a few times and the contractions started getting a little stronger, but not dramatically. After a few laps I was tired and said we should just go back and get the morphine.
So we checked back in, then they had to monitor my contractions and the baby again. I tried laboring with my arms draped over the back of the bed and moving around so I could get "uncomfortable" to try and progress labor. They monitored me for 30 minutes and then checked me and I was still only 2cm dilated. At that point, I just started crying. I completely broke down and bawled my eyes out. Then, in between contractions cried because they hurt and cried because I hadn't progressed at all. I was having back labor and it hurt in between contractions, too.
At that point the midwife decided to admit me because she saw that my labor was changing and because with my daughter I progressed so quickly, she was concerned that if they gave me the morphine and I had to turn around and have a baby in an hour it might hurt the baby (then my question is why the heck would they give it to me anyway?). She said she'd admit me, but not do any interventions unless my body started showing progress on my own.
It took an excruciating hour at least to be admitted and when I finally did I was hardly able to walk. But sitting in a wheelchair sounded worse, so I slowly walked, supported by my doula and husband to the room, stopping for a couple contractions. When we got to the room I had to be monitored again, but I was begging for drugs. I decided to try the Fentanyl first but I was almost sure I wanted an epidural. However, because I wavered on that, I decided to try the Fentanyl first and then see how I was. After at least another 30 minutes of contractions they finally got me the Fentayl. It did help a little, but not as much as I needed. 30 minutes after I got that, the midwife checked me and I was finally at 3cm. The midwife asked if I wanted her to break my water and I said yes please. I wanted to speed up the process. Apparently the bag of waters was very thick, she said. Which explained why it hadn't broken yet.
After she broke my water, everything got MUCH worse. I was in the most severe pain I could imagine, even with the Fentanyl. I was begging for the epidural. I had been previously been concerned if I got it that it would stop labor and I'd need Pitocin, then more epidural and then end up with a C-section. But at that point I was begging for a C-section, so I didn't care. Within 15 minutes the guy got there, but during that time I was screaming. I could not bear the contractions. They were at least 90 seconds long and a minute or so apart. I couldn't go with the pain. I couldn't do the breathing they told me too. I couldn't get a break. When I finally go the epidural around 3:30am, the guy who did it told me that I needed to move a certain way and I felt I couldn't especially with the contractions. I was screaming and crying about it, but eventually he got it in me. He said it would take 15 minutes to kick in. Slowly it started to, but I screamed through it until the contractions finally were lessened. I could feel the pressure and my crotch felt sore and my teeth were chattering uncontrollably, but there was relief. I felt itchy all over from the numbness and I could still feel contractions, but I could finally get some rest. I fell asleep for a little bit.
I woke up a little before 6 and asked when someone would check me to see if I'd progressed. They said they wouldn't do it until 8 unless I thought I was feeling pressure. I said ok, then in about 15 minutes had 4 contractions in a row that had a lot of pressure and I felt like I had to poop or push. So the midwife came and checked me and I was all the way dilated and effaced! I was thrilled. I wasn't sure if they were going to tell me I hadn't progressed and they needed to give me Pitocin. So they got ready for me to push and I started pushing at 6:44. I pushed and pushed to try and get the hang of it--it was a little tricky with the epidural and numb legs and laying down. I was expecting I would squat like I did with the first one. But the epidural meant I couldn't squat. And the contractions helped me push. I could feel them but they weren't the horrible pain I experienced with my daughter.
At 7am there was a shift change and the nurses and midwife that had been helping me had to leave and new ones came in. The midwife who came in looked in on my next push and then said, "Oh! We're getting ready to have a baby! Let me get my gloves!" That was so encouraging and exciting. I was so happy. I thought for sure at that point that I'd have to push for hours and then need a C-section.
So she helped me push and pretty soon I heard that the head was coming out. The pushing contractions became more intense and I pushed him all the way out. When he got out, I held him. It was so exciting and wonderful! I said, "I'm SO GLAD you are out of me!" I have never ever ever been happier about my baby being outside of me and in the world. The pregnancy and labor were so long I thought he would never come out of me! And he had. I held him close while they cleaned us up. He had pooped meconium all over me, but I didn't care, he was here! It was the most amazing moment of relief I ever had.
And that's about it. I had first degree tears and got 2 stitches, but really my recovery has been fine. Being up all night really exhausted me, but beyond that I feel pretty close to recovered. Once I got some sleep, I feel really good. Baby is perfect. Literally came out not crying - just a few fusses, didn't cry from his heel pricks, or being naked, or getting a bath or anything! Hardly even fusses when he's hungry. And I love him so very, very much.
Hope that labor story was fun.
Posted by Hannah Kirk at 11:30 PM
Thursday, July 03, 2014
So I finally uploaded some belly pics! The first is me at week 9. It's hard to believe that I was ever so thin and small. Waaaaaah. I say this as I'm about to go into week 17 and I feel much more huge and a little shocked I ever looked THAT good.
For comparison, here are pics from my first pregnancy of around the same time: http://mskirkobaby.blogspot.com/2009/08/blog-post.html.
The one below is from week 14 (comparison 12-14 weeks and 15 weeks):
And this one is 16 weeks. (Comparison: Me at 17 weeks with baby #1) Roughly now. Look how much rounder!
All of these were taking in the morning before I ate any food. So you know they can't be tainted by anything but the occasional extra bloat.
I think this baby is going to be huge. Then again, I have some awesome comparisons from my first pregnancy and maybe it's not that different!
Posted by Hannah Kirk at 12:44 PM
Friday, May 30, 2014
I hate drama.
I know some people thrive on drama. And, I'll admit a little bit keeps things interesting. A little mistake here and there or accidentally angering someone and then apologizing keeps things from getting boring. But only with quick resolution and in long-term friendships.
But what about a friendship that is new, not deep, and not committed? What if someone perceives you to have done something so terrible that they must "talk to you about it" but not so heinous that they can just permanently end the friendship, but you have a minimal investment in the friendship? Then what? How do you determine if a friendship is worth trying to work out an issue?
To me, very few friendships are worth the drama. Even some of the best friendships I ever had ended over drama. Drama that I can't even remember now. I was mad for some reason. And maybe they were too. And we just let circumstance end it.
I'm a classic extrovert. I make friends easily and I lose friends easily. Almost none of my friendships are deep. I just don't naturally foster and keep deep friendships. I don't consider myself the kind of person who "throws away" people or finds people disposable. On the contrary, I believe that, for me, friendships meet certain needs at certain times. For example, I am very good at making friends with people who are outcasts or know no one. And I consider myself a "transitional friend" to them. I bridge the gap, help them feel welcome, give them confidence, and am a person they can confide in until they can meet more friends who will meet their deeper needs. I don't believe I meet the deeper needs of most people I befriend. And I'm totally ok with this.
With this in mind, when a casual friendship hits a serious bump in the road--to the point where the other person needs to have a deep, serious conversation with me, this is where I usually decide to cut my losses and move on. Sure we can have the conversation, but the fact that you need to have it with me is enough for me to think I don't want to continue with this long-term. If, every time you have an issue, you need to sit down and have a serious talk, I'm just not sure it's worth the trouble. Yes, you care enough about our friendship to talk it out, which I appreciate. But it also signals to me that you might be a person who finds drama where there is none. And, sorry, but I can't deal with that.
If you are family, it's worth the effort. If I've been friends with you for a long time, you probably haven't done this before so I know it's not a pattern. But I just don't have that confirmation in a new or casual friendship.
But here's the tricky part: What if your kid and my kid are friends? What if they are best friends? And what if we see you all the time, so will be faced with each other regularly? Now, my decision to end a friendship is not just my decision. I'm faced with 2 choices: 1. Try and explain to my kid why she can't see her friend anymore EVERY TIME she sees her friend AND try to awkwardly be polite to the parents when I see them, or 2. Try and deal with it for the kid's sake. Try to mend the damage that's been done and move forward.
I really hate being forced into this position. But I guess I have no choice. I guess I have to try and face the drama head on and move on. Hopefully this is a one-off. Hopefully this will never happen again. But if it does, we probably won't be friends anymore. Yep, maybe it's my issue. I'm damaged and can't deal with conflict. But it's still my choice.
Ugh. What do you think?
Posted by Hannah Kirk at 12:16 PM
Friday, May 16, 2014
I started out this pregnancy freezing cold. And I mean FREEZING cold. A few weeks ago, our house was 74 degrees and I was huddled up with a blanket. When it got to 84 later that day, I finally felt comfortable enough to remove the blanket.
It's clear to me that pre-pregnancy, I was getting back to feeling cold all the time after having been through 4ish years of pregnancy and post-partum raging hormones which kept me warm. When winter started this year (and, keep in mind, "winter" here is in the 40s and 50s), I ordered silk base layers because I was literally wearing 3-5 layers on top on any given day. No matter how much sun there was, no matter how much time I spent indoors. No matter how much time I went outside and exercised to warm up.
Then I got pregnant and hoped I'd be warm again. To the contrary, I got even colder. When the temperature inside reached below 74 degrees, I felt very, very cold. When it dips down to 65 inside, I am beyond uncomfortable. Multiple layers, warm sweaters, heavy blankets, and a heating pad barely help.
The last 3 days we've had a heatwave. It's been nice and toasty in the house. Then today it dipped down all the way to 71 inside. Brrrrrrrrrr. But now it's 73 and I'm sweating. And, I must say, I'm... confused. Am I hot? or Am I cold? Did my system need a heat jump-start or am I finally reaching the point where I'm warm again in pregnancy? At any rate it is weird to be shivering at 71 degrees and sweating at 73.... so yeah. Confused. Anyone else have this problem?
Posted by Hannah Kirk at 6:16 PM
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
We are doing it again: having another kid. Am I crazy? Well, we already know I'm pretty crazy to begin with and the last pregnancy pushed me over the edge, so I think it's safe to say yes.
But really, I'm under the watchful eye of a trained psychiatrist who is going to help me try and manage my perinatal and post partum depression this time with medication. I'm still on the Zoloft and a few other things and he and all my doctors are keeping an eye on me and the meds to make sure both me and the baby are safe.
I'm 9 weeks something and so far the second time is way easier than the first. Well, easier mentally. Physically probably a bit more challenging. I've been nauseous more intensely, but for a shorter period of time. My boobs hurt as much as the first time around and it's been harder to take care of myself because of the older child. None of these are surprising. I think I find myself more annoyed by pregnancy this time around, just because I don't have time to pamper myself like I did the first time around. And I know how much worse it gets. And I know how awesome it is when the baby comes out and I'm super impatient.
And I'm already showing a bit. And indigested all the time. But my big girl is so excited to become a big sister! And that is so fun.
Posted by Hannah Kirk at 7:23 PM
Monday, March 10, 2014
My friend started selling this mascara and I thought I'd give it a try and share the results with you!
What: mascara and green tea fibers that you alternate putting on your lashes to build them longer and thicker. Comes with 2 separate wands: gel (looks like regular black mascara) and fibers (don't be intimidated! They go on just like mascara).
How: I will admit I was intimidated at first. But then I watched this video my friend posted and I gave it a try and it was so easy! Just put on the gel, then the fiber, then the gel and repeat to build up you lashes to your liking. I love that you can build up the lashes as long and thick as you like. Here are the results:
Posted by Hannah Kirk at 6:10 PM