Sunday, January 18, 2015

Baby Is Here!

I'm finally no longer pregnant! It was a long pregnancy - lasting 42 weeks and 5 days before baby decided to come. Baby boy was worth the wait! It was a lovely birth experience.

And thank you for the thoughtful responses on my last post. I will respond to those when I get a chance to do so. For now I'm basking in postpartum land enjoying my perfect new baby!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

MIA Since September And Where Are We With DD???

Once again, I sincerely haven't meant to fall off the face of this earth. It just kind of happened. I feel that there have been so many things keeping me from this lovely community of supportive DD/Ds participants.

My business has closed. I would've thought I would've been on my blog the next day with a big "Woohoo!" and "Let's celebrate!" type of posting. But the reality is that I went straight from struggling through the last few months of my business to throwing myself into attempts to transform a daycare home into a home that suits our needs. I spent my time going through massive amounts of toys, excessive amounts of children's books, and many personal items that were simply shoved around daycare items into spare nooks and crannies in the house. In other words, four years of daycare in this house meant that the house was full of hidden chaos and disorganization. It still is. Four years worth of shoving our belongings to the side is not fixed in a few months. But it's a lot better and we're a lot more functional.

I also decided that the eighth and ninth month of pregnancy was a lovely time to sew a bunch of handmade Christmas gifts. Do you see how logical I am? So in addition to attempting to get the house ready and struggling with the exhaustion that late pregnancy brings, I also sewed my butt off. The funny thing is that I'm not done, but part of my family will be having Christmas in February, so those gifts will be sewn after baby is born as I refuse to do another ounce of sewing in my pregnant state. There's something about sitting there in the same position at the sewing machine for hours at a time that makes it hard for me to walk for the next few days. It's not pleasant at all! I was so happy to get handmade things made for my kiddos though! I'm sad that Captain's gift still did not get done. But such is life. He will either get it late or get it for next Christmas!

And yes, I'm still pregnant. In my tenth month of pregnancy to be exact. I carried my second child into my 42nd week of pregnancy before he decided to come out and meet the world. This one is following that same path. So birthing will occur literally any minute now and we can't wait to meet our little one.

Now this all has nothing to do with DD, but I just wanted you to hear all of the personal things that have kept my time. I will share another thing that has kept me away. I've really really struggled with DD throughout this pregnancy. Early on I was disappointed that Captain "wasn't stepping up" as I saw it. And then I was mad when he did! I don't know. I feel like something switched in my pregnant and hormonal brain. Emotionally it seems that I just can't handle being spanked while pregnant. I just couldn't get in the right frame of mind to be okay with it. And it wasn't about fear of harming baby or anything as I have no doubt baby would've been fine and Captain was only doing very light spankings anyways as he is one to be very cautious about such things. It was more that the dynamic itself was getting to me. I even told him that I can't do this right now. And I feel bad for him. I know that I'm frustrating him. He feels that we start to go down the DD path again and then I dig my heels in and say, "That's it. I can't do this!" And I know that I do. There are the juicy moments of DD where it's easy to go along for the ride and feel turned on by the dynamic itself. Then there's the "in the trenches" times in DD where I don't like anything going on. I don't like DD. I don't like punishment. I don't like not having a say in things that I feel are damn worthy of my say. And I don't like Captain in those moments. I realize this all sounds very spoiled and it likely is. I don't know how to fix this about myself.

So, is DD for us? I don't know. I feel that DD shines a very large and clear mirror on a relationship. The faults become faultier. And the good things have the potential to be so fantastic that it unlocks relationship possibilities that would never have been dreamt of prior to DD.

So what's bad about us? We can't communicate for shit. There. I will just say it plainly. We have a hard time disagreeing in a manner that is loving or respectful...both of us. Opinions escalate and that turns into name calling and threats to end the relationship and other nonsense. The reality is that we are best friends and we do love each other. So I don't understand why it's so incredibly difficult for us to come to a discussion with different opinions and discuss those opinions amicably. The thing is, even with DD, I want to have my say. Now I realize that DD means being willing to give up having my way, but when it's something very important to me, I feel I should at least get to have my say before a final decision is made. Right or wrong, this is the sort of flavor of DD that makes sense to me. And to be honest, my husband wouldn't want a relationship where he's not challenged with my differing opinion on various matters. I know this to be true because he tells me this and he likes my fire and spirit. He does want me to go along with his final decision on things, but he doesn't want a Stepford wife wherein I never have any differing opinions. So this is a struggle for us. How do we find that balance where we can debate our feelings on various issues without it crossing the line that takes us into dysfunctional communication? We've done counseling in the past and I don't know whether we haven't found the right counselor or the right approach, but it hasn't been helpful for us. In fact, we felt that the money we spent on co-pays for the counseling was better spent on date nights where we could connect and have fun. Sadly, finances this past year have been terrible and so date nights are very few and far between. I do think our communication improves when we're able to get out and connect more.

What else is bad? This relates back to communication, but it seems there's a basic lack of love and respect. If you've heard of the men need respect and women need love ideas, then you will understand what I'm referring to here. The one thing that's part of this whole idea is that women are naturally wired to give love, so they don't have to work at that so much with their partners. And men are naturally wired to give respect, so they don't have to work at that as much. Well, there is so much yuck in our relationship that not only are we not giving the other partner their primary need, be it love or respect, but we're not even good at giving the secondary need that should be easier and more natural for us to give by default! So both respect and love are not being given or received by either party. I'm not saying never. As I said in the prior paragraph, we are best friends and we do love each other. But on a day to day basis, there are constant little instances where both love and respect are neglected. This is no foundation for DD because continual lack of love and respect by both parties erodes trust. Trust is essential for DD!

So this sounds pretty desperate and hopeless, huh? But there is good. We both love to laugh and have a good time. We connect over some of the same silly movies and comedians. We are both artists in some sense or another. We love to create and imagine. We both like to dream and have big ideas for our lives and where we'd like to see our family in a few years. We are both resilient and determined, not personality types to give up on something. This fortitude has been wonderful in our marriage. We have been through so much together - financial distress, unexpected job loss, vehicle repossession, miscarriage, infertility (for a time), multiple moves, full-time school for one of us, a home based business (the kind that takes over a home), struggling to buy food some months, lack of reliable vehicles, illness, etc...And guess what? We still believe in life. We believe in something good around the next bend. We believe that hard work and determination will create a better life, even if it's like the movie "Shawshank Redemption" where one must crawl through an awful lot of shit first. And guess what? We're in the shit. We've been in it for the last seven years or so. The water has gotten slightly less shitty, but there's still more to go through before we can come out the other side. But we are at a point where we can at least glimpse the other side from time to time. But let me tell you, this constant wading and struggling to hold onto that light at the end of the shit is HARD on a marriage. Any marriage - be it egalitarian, 50's style, DD, etc...

So where does this leave us with DD? Well, hubby told me the other day that he wants to return to DD. And I said I'd love to discuss that with him, but I really need time. I'll be honest. I don't want to struggle with the DD side of things while I'm working through postpartum recovery and all of the physical healing as well as emotional and mental adjustment to a new normal. I feel like it would be one more thing that would stress me out. And honestly I just want to be during that time. I want to rest, nurse my new baby, help my older kiddos adjust to the new baby, lean on Captain and be proud of him as he supports the family while I heal. What I don't want to do is obsess over where we're at with DD, what the current balance of power in our relationship is, and how should I have been more submissive today? Not while I'm healing. I just don't think I have it in me. And I know plenty of my readers do and you are BETTER women than I - truly!

I do want to return to DD. But I also feel nervous about it. My husband loves me and my family and wants the best for us. I have no doubt of that! But I also feel that sometimes his decisions are made from what is convenient and easier for him and not truly from a place of taking an honest look at my needs. Now I don't say that to bash Captain. I am just saying that's how I feel, whether that's a true assessment or not I can't say. I can only say that's how I perceive things. And this goes back to communication I know. We've never done regular check-ins or dates to discuss DD and how we think it's going and I feel without this level of communicating constantly along the way, I just can't commit to this. I can't give a blank check without lots of opportunities for feedback.

So I guess where this leaves us I don't really know. And that's confusing. And I think I've not only confused myself, but possibly anyone who actually reads this long and convoluted post.

But that's where we've been. I do hope to check in again sooner rather than later. And I apologize sincerely for not checking on everyone's blogs. I so want to catch up. I know I've missed at least two births that I can think of and I so want to check in with those ladies when I get the chance. But I also know that I'm on the verge of giving birth literally any minute and it will take me a bit to get back to this and to checking in regularly as I work to find our new normal as a slightly larger family.

Thank you for reading and I sincerely hope that everyone's 2015 is going wonderfully thus far!