Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Eviction Notice

So we've reached it.  The proverbial D-Day of growing a human.  The elusive Due Date that basically means nothing except that you should hopefully have a baby by now.  Except when you don't.  Which is my case.  No baby.  No anything.  Just me, sitting here at work, waiting a bit longer.

I had a doctor's appointment this morning where they talked to me about the NOTHING that's going on South of the border, and I concluded that she's basically my husband at this point.  Never quite on time, always procrastinating.  I'll be sure to hold this against her for the rest of her life.  It may be the last thing I remind her of on my death bed.  My doc informed me that if she doesn't make an appearance by next Wednesday, she's being served an eviction notice.  No more cozy warm floaty home, Seahorse.  Time to GTFO.  That'll be interesting, since it means she'll likely share a birthday with either my niece or my dad.  Not sure how much my niece would like sharing, but my dad would be cool with it.  So at least now I have sort of an "end date" to go with.  If she's not here by the 7th, then that will be my last day of work.  There's some sort of comfort in that.  Plus, originally they said they would let me go up to 2 weeks past my due date, so this is better.  I'm not looking forward to the meds they'll be using to induce me, mostly because I keep hearing they seriously suck, but sometimes you do what you gotta do.

I feel like, when I stop to reflect on the past year, I sort of think that's the motto that sums everything up.  "Do what you gotta do".  In some ways, it's been a really rough year.  That's not to say it was a bad year, but it wasn't easy.  I started it off 10 days into the year with a pretty serious injury, and a surgery 5 days later.  That in itself came with a lot of financial stresses along with a lot of struggle.  The initial recovery wasn't so bad, but the rehabilitation was grueling and in the end it didn't amount to much.  I was told I'd never have full use of my arm again, and that was a crushing blow.  I kept on with the physical therapy, as painful as it sometimes got and as hard as it was to keep going and hoping the doctors were wrong, because sometimes you do what you gotta do.  My husband has struggled with job stresses for as long as he's been in his current job.  He hates it, it makes him anxious and stressed out all the time.  He's miserable every day.  He wants to get out but the paths out from where he is aren't panning out.  He went back to school, trying to come up with an alternative option for himself, even though he doesn't want to be in school and he doesn't want to use up all of his time and energy going through more classes.  He doesn't want to keep working this job that sucks the life out of him, but he keeps going in every day because sometimes you do what you gotta do.  And then there's this whole pregnancy/childbirth process.  This blog is a clear indication that it wasn't something I was jumping up and down about.  I have been scared, reluctant, apprehensive and a variety of other adjectives throughout all of this.  It's not about not wanting children, it's about doubting myself and being afraid of what's around the next corner for me as a pregnant person, or us as a family.  It hasn't been a hard pregnancy.  It's actually been a really easy one.  The hard part has come from battling a lot of my personal demons and trying to convince myself that, despite all of the voices around me telling me I shouldn't do this, that it's something I can do and that I shouldn't be afraid of.  I haven't fully succeeded, but I'm making peace with things a little at a time.  I've powered through this whole pregnancy thing, because sometimes you do what you gotta do.  In this situation, it's the destination that matters, not the journey.  Sometimes you just have to take the journey because it's necessary.  So I did.  Now we're about to hit the destination and I think even when that gets hard, I'll keep powering through because you do what you gotta do.

I guess that's just who we are, my husband and I.  We're people who don't make a big deal about things that are hard because you do what you gotta do.  But it's been a rough year, and we made it through together.  We'll make it through the next year together too, because I know when the chips are down, we can depend on each other to do what we've gotta do to get us past it, and when one of us is weak the other will step in to be strong.  We're very lucky.  Happy New Year.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Know what sucks?

At this point, pretty much everything.

That's not entirely true.  In fact, it's a bit over-dramatic.  But waiting does suck.  And I'm still doing a lot of that.  It doesn't help when people are texting me like "Where is that baby?" as if I'm holding it hostage or something.  Trust me, I'm as tired of waiting as everyone else.  Perhaps I am even, wait for it, MORE tired of waiting than everyone else.  I'm not looking forward to the exit process, but I'm ready to move on to the next milestone.  I'm ready to do something different.  I also wouldn't mind being able to roll over in bed without it being a bunch of effort because my ab muscles are pretty much fucked.  I've done really well throughout all of this, keeping as active as I've always been, not letting anything stop me from living like usual, but lately my abs are stretched to an extreme and they do not want to work like normal anymore.  I want them to.  They just aren't cooperating.  I'm basically back to feeling like I just had some sort of serious workout involving hundreds of crunches and now my abs are screaming for mercy.  It makes things a bit annoying, and certain activities just lead to me feeling like I've pulled more muscles by trying to do normal every day stuff.  I'm glad this has been something that's just come up in the last week or so, when I'm nearly done, but it's still a bit annoying.

Of course, I say I'm "nearly done" but am I?  I have no idea.  Apparently they won't let me go more than 2 weeks over my due date, so at most I have 17 days left, but 17 days seems like a long time.  It's a lot of waiting and wondering.  I'd like for it to not drag on that long, but I don't get much say in this situation.  I fully understand this is probably some sort of metaphor for my future, that I will never have a real say in anything again and life will become unpredictable and whatever else, which is all fine and good, but I'm ready to move forward.

The fact is, this whole time I've felt like this is happening to someone else.  That it's sort of someone else's life.  The lack of pregnancy complaints or struggles (at least other than the ones in my head) and the fact that this kid is pretty mellow as far as I can tell in comparison to other people's kids during pregnancy, has left me feeling like I'm detached from the whole thing.  Intellectually I know this is my kid, she'll be half of my DNA (poor girl) and I'm going to bring her home and be responsible for her for the rest of her life, but on an emotional level I'm still just not there.  I know, terrible of me to say when I'm sitting here 2 days out from my due date and still don't feel "connected" but that's the truth.  It's who I am.  Nothing is real until it's in front of me.  I've always been that way.  So I sort of need to be done so this can be real.  So that I can look at her face and pick out which features are mine, which are my husband's, and I can touch her and hold her and say "Yes, now you are real.  Now you exist and we're a family".  I need this piece of the journey.  As afraid of it as I am, I also just need to get to it.  I need to make something abstract into something real, and I'm tired of waiting.

Plus, I have to start plotting to show her all of these terrifying sonogram photos we have of her looking like an angry alien.  Maybe I'll save that for her wedding.

Friday, December 26, 2014

The wait continues

This morning I had a doctor's appointment.  I had hoped there'd be some information about how much longer this waiting game would keep going on, but nope.  They didn't do an internal exam, again, and they didn't really have any new information.  Took a heart rate.  Estimated she's around 6 lbs.  Sent me on my way.  Yet another 10 minute appointment.  If I were my insurance company, I'd be all sorts of pissed about having to continually pay for these appointments, since they don't DO anything.  It seems like such a waste.

I had to see another doctor because mine is out of town for the holidays, and she asked if I had any concerns and I said "Paying $3,000 for my deductible if she's born on the 1st as opposed to paying nothing if she's born on the 31st".  She seemed wishy washy on that.  She basically just said that if I want to talk about being induced I should do that at my next appointment with my actual doctor.  The appointment that is on my due date, so it wouldn't really matter.  Not that I'm jumping up and down to be induced or anything.  I haven't even requested that.  I just wanted to know if there were other options.  Doesn't seem they're very open to those.  It's frustrating.  I don't want to be put in a financial bind because she shows up a day late.  I'm probably being stupid, but it's stressing me out.  Waiting is stressing me out.  Not knowing what projects I can and can't start at work is stressing me out.  I am also just getting burned out over being at work.  It's like knowing you're going to go on vacation so your brain keeps thinking "Vacation is soon!" every time you leave the office, but not knowing when that vacation is going to happen.  I fully understand that I am by no means actually going on any sort of vacation, but not being in the office is a big deal and I'm frankly burned out on work in general right now, so I have little patience for handling work related tasks.  I'm trying not to check out mentally, but it's hard.  I feel like I'm in the movie Clerks always thinking "I'm not even supposed to BE HERE today".

All in all, I'm just tired of waiting.  This has been a journey of milestones and I'm just ready to move on to the next one.

Monday, December 22, 2014

T-Minus 9 Days

Or like 23 days, if we're not being optimistic.  I was told that they'd let me go up to 2 weeks past my due date before inducing so.....it could be a while.  People are like "So, no signs that it'll be soon?" and I keep wondering what sort of signs these people mean.  I'm told that there are some things that could happen in advance of arrival, which are semi-gross so I will spare you the details, but also that those things may not happen at all until you're in full on labor so.....what exactly are people wanting me to look for?  Trust me, I wish there was a sign that said "Today's the day" because it'd be make things easier.  In fact, I'd sort of like today to actually be the day.  The 22nd tends to hold significance for my husband and I, and there's a piece of me that thinks the 22nd would be a really cool birthday just to keep in line with our other big events on the 22nd of other months.  The day we started dating was the 22nd.  Our wedding anniversary is the 22nd.  It'd be neat to add this to the list.  But, I'm sitting here and it's nearly 3:00 p.m. and there's a whole lot of nothing going on so I somehow doubt it's going to happen.  In fact, from the way things are looking, she may stay there until she's 30.

I'm also moderately freaked out by the idea that I could go from zero to "Oh hey, there's going to be a baby today" without warning.  I said something to my sister last week along the lines of "Well, if it was going to be today, I'd probably already be going through something at this point" and she said "Not really.  You could be sitting there feeling totally normal right now and in an hour your water could break and you're on your way to the hospital.  There's really no telling.  That's how it was with mine.  I spent the whole day feeling totally normal and then it was baby time.  You can't predict anything in this".  That's a scary idea!  I mean, you'd think your body would prep you a bit, but I guess not.  And since I haven't even experienced false contractions, I have no idea what to expect from actual ones.  I assume an ass-ton of pain.  I always assume an ass-ton of pain.

So basically this is just to say the waiting game continues.  We'll see how it goes.  I'd prefer her to not show up on Christmas.  I would also prefer to see her outside of my body before the end of the year so I don't have to re-pay my insurance deductibles.  Fingers crossed!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Still here

The funny thing about this point in a pregnancy is that everyone starts asking how you're feeling, but they ask it with one of those tones like they're sort of afraid of your answer.  I think people are used to getting their heads bitten off by women who are just over the whole process.  I find that when I reply "I'm fine", everyone looks at me like they're waiting for something else.  Like that's the opening line for a flood gate to open and the bile to start spewing out about how I really am.  Or, they just look at me like I'm lying.  But I'm not lying.  I'm fine.  I'm impatient.  I hate waiting.  I hate not knowing.  But I'm not miserable.  I'm not "so over it".  I'm not shouting things like "This baby needs to get out of me!" like some of my co-workers did.  I'm fine.  I just sort of want to know when the next step is going to happen.  I'm not looking for a light at the end of the tunnel, I'm just looking for an end to the uncertainty and anticipation.

I think other people are looking for that too.  I've now reached ticking time bomb status, where everyone thinks every call or text from me or my husband is going to be THE CALL.  My mother didn't hear from me for 2 hours last week after I said I'd stop by to pick something up "later" and called to make sure we weren't squirreled away in a hospital somewhere keeping her out of the loop.  I was at work and my computer shut down while I was in a meeting so my connection to the office instant messaging program went dead and I got a text from a friend I work with that said "Are you having a baby?" because that's what people immediately think now when anything seems odd.  It's sweet, and nice that people are thinking of us, but it's also so weird.  I'm not used to people really paying attention to what I'm doing on any given day.  It's been interesting to see who is excited, especially since some of the people who have been inquiring are a bit unexpected.  Now I feel like it's not just me who is on edge going "When will this happen?", but instead it's everyone.  Everyone waiting and wondering.

My husband had a weirdly prophetic dream over the weekend that she'd be born on the 18th.  I don't know whether to put much stock into that dream or not.  He's done that before, predicting his grandfather's death and also being within a day of our friend's son being born, so who knows?  I'm not sure if it's good or bad that he told me that.  On one hand, it's funny and I fully understand that it means nothing.  On the other hand, there's a piece of me that is mentally like "Ok so it'll be tomorrow.  I better wrap up ALL of my work stuff today" even though there's absolutely no reason for me to believe that's true.  It was a dream.  It doesn't mean much.  But there's that little voice that says "but what if he's right?" because you sort of can't help thinking that sometimes.  I guess we'll find out tomorrow.

Speaking of work, I handed off most of my stuff to people who will be covering while I'm out.  All of my big projects were wrapped up last week, so I don't have a whole lot going on in my work world at the moment.  It makes it really hard to not just have ADD and spend my days doing a lot of nothing.  Such a bad way to handle your work life, I know.  But at the same time, I have no idea when my last day here will be so....it's hard to get really invested in what I'm going to be doing tomorrow.  I'm trying not to mentally check out, but it's difficult.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Waiting Game

I'm quickly realizing I'm entirely too Type A for this whole uncertainty thing when it comes to babies being born.  I feel like, for the most part, I've held things together pretty well through this whole pregnancy process.  Yes, there's been a bit of whining here and there throughout this blog, but on the surface and with friends I've been fairly laid back about everything.  I get stressed out, but I usually keep it to myself, and I fully understand that most of the time it's my own personality that is causing the issue.  I'm a very "Do it now" sort of person dealing with a lot of people who feel like "We've got time" and that just puts me on edge.  I try to keep everything as normal and even keel as possible though, because most of the time, in the end, it's not worth it to get worked up.

That being said, waiting is hard.  I plan everything.  I think ahead about everything.  Hell, even my job is tied to thinking ahead about stuff.  It's who I am.  So not being able to have a clue when something as life changing as having a baby is going to happen is pretty much pushing me over the edge.  I feel like I'm constantly wired lately.  Could be today.  Could be tomorrow.  Could be up to 2 weeks after my due date.  No one knows.  This is insane, and so nerve wracking.  I can't plan things for work, I can't plan things for the holidays, I can't plan things for after the holidays.  All I know is that at some point between now and 2 weeks into January, a baby will be here, and not having any control or ability to predict anything is the absolute worst.

I've been pushed to more frequent doctor's appointments, which I thought was going to make me feel better.  I figured they'd start doing actual exams as opposed to what we've had up to this point where they listen to the heartbeat and send me on my way.  I thought if they were doing actual exams, I'd have some clues about what was going on.  Maybe nothing is going on and that would let me feel like I've still got a bit of time to wait.  Maybe everything internally is getting prepped and ready and I should start thinking about getting my shit together.  At least if they were taking a look, I'd know SOMETHING.  But.....no.  My appointment this morning was less than 10 minutes long.  Listen to the heartbeat, send me on my way.  Nothing else.  Nothing important.  Come back in 2 weeks.  Great.  So I leave with no more information than I had when we went in.  Normally I love that my doctor doesn't waste a lot of my time and doesn't bog me down with a bunch of unnecessary stuff but this time, I just wanted....something.  Some tidbit of information to work with.  I don't know why I thought it would help me feel less on edge, but I did.  Instead I left feeling just as anxious but added a ton of frustration to that feeling.  So frustrated that I cried when I got into the car.  This morning I was sent on my way with a "See you in two weeks unless we see you in labor and delivery before that" as if that was supposed to be somehow reassuring.  Super.  

I sort of envy the civility and decisiveness of a c-section.

So now I'm just here, waiting and waiting and waiting like I was before, still on edge, still feeling like I'm about to jump out of my skin, still wondering when things will happen.  I do not like it.

Everyone asks how I am and whether I'm "done being pregnant" and the truth is, being pregnant isn't the issue.  I'm not suffering.  I'm not uncomfortable or feeling miserable or anything.  I'm fine.  I'm less done being pregnant and more done with the anticipation.  If I knew exactly what day it'll all happen, I'd be totally fine.  It's the waiting that kills you.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Making Room


So part of the journey to not having a total meltdown at the prospect of how close this whole thing is getting was to figure out where this kid was going to live.  The problem was that we kept stalling out on actually doing anything.  The room had been an empty shell since the beginning of October, and I had primed the walls weeks ago before everything came to a halt.  We pretty quickly hit a point where I couldn't do anything myself.  I wasn't supposed to use most of the stuff I needed to make any progress.  There were some pin holes in the walls that needed to be patched with spackle, and the spackle had a nice warning about causing birth defects so I wasn't allowed to use that.  I hate getting to a point where I have to rely on other people to do things.  Plus, there was this whole board and batten wall treatment that we wanted to do that required some construction and some lumber purchasing, which required more thought and planning.  It also required more people to do work with things I wasn't allowed to use, like wood filler and caulk.  I'm really bad at having to wait for other people to do things.  I'm really independent and I prefer to do things myself because depending on other people to get things done is difficult for me.  Especially because I like things done on my timeline, and no one else seems to have the same priorities I have most of the time.  I find myself a lot less frustrated if I just take care of things on my own.  Unfortunately, this was not a situation that lent itself to me being able to do that, so I had to do a lot of waiting, and finally had to break down and ask for help before I had an actual breakdown over how long it was taking and how close we were to having an actual baby with no room to put it into.  So, after my dad agreed to swoop in and rescue me, we were able to make some progress.  Between him, my husband, and me, we were able to knock out most of the work in one night.
 This was during the process of constructing the board and batten.  After my dad came over to help put everything on the walls, we had wood filler all over the boards and it had been sanded down a bit.  I did manage to paint the top portion of the room with the blue I had picked a few weeks ago but the bottom part of the room hadn't been painted yet, but it was mostly ready for a coat of white paint.



Boards painted, but the wall behind them still coated in primer and in need of a coat of white paint.

 Everything painted, patched, caulked and ready for furniture.  The white looks super nice against the blue, and all of the spackle patches smoothed out perfectly so you can't even tell where anything was damaged before.



 Painted the closet lavender so that it wasn't a plain boring white like every other closet in the house.  Also, homegirl has a lot of clothes.  The top shelf is all blankets that people have purchased or made for her.  I feel like she's already spoiled as hell.

  Furniture added to the room so that it looks like it's finally ready to be lived in.  The rocker was a gift from my baby shower.  I purchased the dresser from Craigslist and refinished it with yellow paint.  Not the biggest fan of the Pepto-Bismol pink changing pad cover, but it's pretty much all they had at Target so I registered for it anyway.



Got the crib put together.  I made the quilt, and my mom made the little banner out of the scraps from my quilt fabric.  The whole room isn't officially finished yet.  We need a lamp, a rug and some curtains, plus some artwork on the blank walls, but at least at this point it's a habitable room where we can put her if she shows up early.  I'll probably be working on finishing it for a while, at least until I find the rug and curtains I like, which is proving more difficult than anticipated.  At least for now, it's a space I can live with.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

So close....

That's what I keep thinking every time I look at the calendar.  It's all so close now.  The nature of my job requires me to look and plan two to three weeks out most of the time, and I'm realizing that three weeks out is the middle of December and so close to that whole due date thing.  I shudder to even plan work related things around then because who knows if I'll be here to handle them?  This is all so unpredictable.  She could be early.  She could be late.  She could be right on time.  How am I supposed to know?  How does anyone plan?  It's terrifying.

Back in April when I was peeing on a stick, this all seemed so distant, but time has flown.  The worst part about a holiday season baby is that the holiday season always goes by super fast.  There's never enough time between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and there are always parties and gatherings to go to, so by the time you know it, it's Christmas morning and you don't know where the time went.  When you still have a fair amount of things to do in prep for a baby, that's just added stress.  Knowing that time will go so fast you won't know where it went is so scary.  I started to panic about not having anything in order the other day.  My shower gifts are all still sitting in my library, still in boxes and bags.  I have no clothes in the dresser, nothing hanging in the closet.  The room is still an empty unpainted shell.  I freaked out.  I did what I do in almost all situations where I freak out.  I called my dad.  My mom had mentioned he wanted to know if he could help with anything and I finally broke down and said yes.  I am letting him handle helping with the construction in the room.  He stopped by last night to see what kind of work we were looking at, and then said he'd be back on Thursday to work on some of it.  He thinks he can get it all knocked out in one night, but if not, he'll be back over the weekend.  For the first time in a while, I'm not in total freak out mode over that room.  I can put the crib together on my own while my husband is in class if I need to.  I can hang up the clothes, set up the furniture, put away all of the diapers and the gadgets we received, and those are all things I can do in my free time instead of having to depend on someone else to help with them due to construction issues or toxic chemicals.  I'm ok with that.

But in the end, I keep looking at the calendar and counting down to realize how little time there is left.  I've still got so much to do.  I hope I can get it all done in time.

Not that time matters.  She's going to show up when she wants to, whether I'm ready or not.

Hint: I don't think I'll ever feel ready.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

I'm a fixer

I'm not entirely sure this really relates to impending parenthood or anything like that, but this is the venue I have for getting things out of my head so it's going here.  I've been thinking a lot lately about the idea of helplessness, and how I'm not very good at it.  My husband has been reading a book that is a compilation of writing from a teen who died of cancer about four years ago.  I asked him if it was sad and he said that at times, yes, it can be very sad, but for the most part it's a teen being a teen.  Her life wasn't just about the cancer, and that seemed like a bright spot in a sad story for me.  He mentioned that there were some pieces her parents wrote that he just got to where they talked about being upset or angry for the first time.  Her father mentioned that people often say that dying is an end to suffering and they'll all be together again some day in heaven, and he said he doesn't want to be together "some day", he wants to walk her down the aisle at her wedding and he's not going to get to, and it makes him angry.  Her mother talked about her daughter being in pain and being able to do nothing to help her except sit by and watch and hope it passed.

I know that everyone's supposed to feel for the person doing the suffering in these situations, and I do, but it's the bystanders I often feel the worst about.  The people who have to stand by and watch someone suffer and are powerless to stop it.  The people who are left behind, trying to find a way to fill the gap for the loss they've encountered, and trying to find a way to not hate the universe for taking away someone they loved.  Those are the hardest stories for me to hear, probably because I'm a fixer and the idea of having something I can't help with or fix is just too much for me to handle.  It's a crushing sadness I can't even describe.

It makes me look at my own life.  My husband has been going through some stuff, probably for the past 5 years.  In some ways, I blame myself for it.  He hates his job, but when it was offered to him I asked him to take it out of fear of him being unemployed again, since the two of us had been going through varying rounds of unemployment and we had a mortgage to cover and bills to pay.  I knew he hated it there, he'd been temping for a while and every aspect of the job made him miserable, but I was so afraid of losing our house, and him not having insurance, that I asked him to take it.  Now he's been stuck there for years, and it's probably mostly my fault.  I deal with that every day.  There's a lot more going on with him, but the fact is that he's been spiraling downward for a long time and the pit has become so dark and so deep that I don't know how to pull him out of it.  I need someone to jump in it with him like that story from The West Wing, someone who is able to say "Yeah, but I've been here before, and I know the way out".  The problem is that I don't know anyone who has.  I don't know anyone who can help, and it's becoming clear that I can't help so I'm not sure what to do.  The helplessness of it all kills me.  The fact that someone I love is hurting and upset and there is literally nothing I can do to make it better in any way is so hard for me.  Sometimes I cry when I'm thinking about it, though never in front of him.  Usually just when I'm alone, trying to figure out what might make it better.  Trying to figure out what I can do to help ease his pain, and knowing nothing will, that's the hardest thing for me.  In some ways I feel like those parents of a kid with cancer.  You're angry at the world for what it's done to someone you love, and you're sad at the same time because it's not fair.  I think that's the hardest part to come to terms with.  It's not fair.  It never is.

It also makes me realize that as a parent, I'm never going to accept helplessness in the face of struggle with my kid.  I'm always going to want to try to make things better.  Maybe not personal problems she has to struggle through as learning tools, but illness.  Definitely illness.  Viruses and colds pass, but if it was serious and chronic illness, yes.  I'd rather take it on myself than watch someone I loved suffer that way.  Or even struggle the way my husband is struggling right now.

I guess what I'm saying is that for a fixer, not being able to fix things is hard.  I spend a lot of time crying lately.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Tugging at the heart strings

I think through this whole process, one of the things that has intimidated me the most is the idea of trying to parent another human.  I'm not really rolling with a super awesome track record, since it's been a roller coaster with our foster daughter the last few years and I often feel like I've failed to make any sort of meaningful connection with her.  It makes me feel like I'm not cut out for trying to parent or guide anyone else, and if I'm going to be entirely honest, my role models in this area weren't exactly the most stellar examples most of the time.  Sometimes I think my husband is much more cut out for this, because he's much gentler with offering guidance, and he's a lot less blunt than I am so people don't find him as abrasive as they find me.

The thing is, I often forget that even though my husband is a really sincere and caring person, and he offers gentle guidance to so many of the teens we have mentored and friends who have needed advice that this whole thing is probably freaking him out too.  I don't know if it's the same way, his attitude is that a lot of this stuff is early because you feed them, you change them, you keep them from dying, and then eventually you also work toward not letting them grow up to be an asshole, so it's not a huge deal.  But then I remember that he didn't have a dad.  He didn't have someone who did "dad things" and looked after him.  Sometimes he didn't really have a great mom either, so I guess his role models weren't stellar either.  The difference is that even when my mom was basically just providing me with examples of what not to do some day, his dad was providing him with no examples.  I guess if it was me in his shoes, I'd feel pretty intimidated stepping in and doing something like being a dad when I didn't know what dads are supposed to do.  I mean, obviously in my opinion, all he has to do is love her and look after her, but still....it's something I was thinking about lately.  He hasn't said anything or talked about it at all, but I do wonder if it bothers him.  I wonder if the idea of being a dad soon just makes him angry with his own dad for being such a shitty human being.  I wonder if maybe there's a part of him that is just looking forward to having an opportunity to do better than what he was stuck with and to give his daughter something he never had.  I don't cross the line into this subject often, because I don't want to drag up skeletons that may have long since been buried, but I do wonder and sometimes it makes me very sad for him.  He deserved a lot better.  He still does.

As for me, I'm actually looking forward to watching him be a dad.  I make a lot of jokes that he's a total sucker and she'll have a pony the first time she asks for one because I don't think he'll be able to say no to her, but the reality is that I know he is going to love her so much, and I am glad to be able to give him someone to love that way.  She's already very lucky.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

All the things

Today was my baby shower.  The day I've been sort of dreading from the start, because baby showers are usually terrible and I hate going to them, so I felt bad about making people suffer through one for me but at the same time, you sort of need stuff so it's a necessary evil.  For the most part, it went really well.  There was an incident with my mother where she made a comment about me being "chubby" as part of an announcement to the whole room and I almost burst into tears, but after that everything was pretty much ok.  We did it at a hotel, so food was catered and tables were set by hotel staff.  We did brunch.  Everyone had enough coffee to fuel them for days if they needed it.  I made sure mimosas were served so everyone could take the edge off with some alcohol if they wanted to.  We didn't really do any stupid games, because I hate stupid games.  We didn't make people do anything ridiculous.  They just got some lovely food, and then I opened gifts awkwardly in front of everyone because once you're past the age of 4 there is no way to open gifts in front of people that isn't kind of awkward.  But, in the end, it was what I would have wanted it to be.  It was classy without being over the top, and casual enough to feel very "me".  I can't complain.

Now, one entire room of my house is an explosion of gift bags and tissue paper.  We are up to our eyeballs in clothes, baby blankets and diapers.  It's crazy.  I have to begin the daunting task of sorting it all out and finding a home for it, which sounds incredibly intimidating because it seems like so much stuff and so little space.  People were more generous than I could have hoped, and I'm a little overwhelmed by the number of thank-you notes I'm going to have to write in return for all of the generosity.  

Having all of this stuff lying around makes everything seem SUPER real at this point.  And it makes it seem super close, which makes me nervous.  

Monday, October 27, 2014

Freaking out

I might have possibly hinted blatantly stated that I'm a total control freak.  I'm also a planner.  I plan ahead for everything.  I spend most of my time around procrastinators, most of my family and friends are always putting things off to the last minute and I can't understand how they live that way.  I get stuff done way ahead of time, and if I'm not getting it done, I'm mentally planning and thinking about getting it done.  It makes me difficult to work with sometimes if you don't keep up with my work style.  Even when I have a project at work, if I say I'm "procrastinating" on it, it typically means that I'm only going to have it ready to go to a client a week ahead of schedule instead of further in advance.  It's just how I operate.

So....the whole not knowing when a baby is going to feel like showing up makes me insane.  Sure, they give you a "due date" but that's really just an educated guess, isn't it? She could show up early, she could show up late.  She could do whatever she wants.  As of next week I'm in what a friend referred to as the "red zone"(not sure if he was making a pun?) where, if she decided to show up, they might just decide to go ahead and let that happen.   NEXT GODDAMN WEEK.  I looked at the calendar and realized we were already in November as of Saturday and I was like "WHAT THE WHAT?!" and something triggered the panic button in my brain that literally turned me into a crazy person.  Like, I'd been semi-crazy before this, but now it's in full force.  It's freaking me out.  I am literally unable to sleep some nights because I can't turn my brain off from fixating on the things that I, for some stupid reason, feel NEED to be done right this second.  The normal rational part of my brain keeps trying to talk that other part off the ledge but today I found myself sitting in my cube at work crying because I had a serious moment of total panic that I am running short on time and I do not feel ready.  That's been brewing for probably a week now, but it hit full force today.  Now I can't focus on other things because all I can think is "There is no time left!" which is difficult when you pair it with my husband, the ultimate procrastinator, repeatedly saying "We've got time, don't worry about it".  Sure, HE has time.  I'm a ticking time bomb with a timer that feels like it just keeps speeding up.  I sort of wish, for once, that someone would have the same sense of urgency that I have at this very moment and would say "Ok, if it would make you feel better, let's get those things done" but that's just not how I see it happening.

My current hangups, for whatever crazy-lady irrational reason my brain has chosen, are the fact that we don't have a finished nursery.  In fact, we don't really have a started nursery, unless you count the swatch of paint I put on the wall to make sure I liked the color.  I don't know why this one stupid little thing makes me feel like if it's finished I'll feel like I'm ready for all of this life change, but it seems to be something that my brain things gives me some control in a situation that I have zero control over, and it's fixated.  I can't turn it off.  Nothing is done.  She has nowhere to live.  She has no home.  I want to give her a home.  When our foster moved in, one of the first things we did was make sure she had a room that was hers so that she felt like she had a home.  My kid isn't going to have a home because we can't get our shit together and finish the stupid goddamn room.  There are several circumstances contributing to this, but I'm just saying....it's making me lose my mind.

I'm having a similar reaction to not having a name for her.  I want her to have a name.  I want to know what to call her when I see her.  I want to not look at her and feel like she's a tiny stranger.  This is also irrational, and lots of people don't pick a name until right before they take their kid home, but I just.....I feel like I need it.  I've wanted to name her since the minute we found out she was a girl, but my husband has resisted so we don't get "stuck with something".  Again, I totally understand this, I get it that you might want to change your mind.  But....it's just one more thing that keeps making me freak out and feel like I'm not ready for this at all.

Or maybe the problem is that I really am just not ready for this at all.

Either way, I'm freaking out.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Monday, October 20, 2014

Why I'm not breastfeeding (hint: because I don't fucking want to)

There's this big push back toward all things natural when it comes to pregnancy, childbirth and child rearing.  Like, it's not just a series of options that get presented to you as a "You could do this, if you wanted" suggestion, but instead it's a giant way of life.  Like if you don't do this, you will probably be a giant failure as a parent and your child will die in infancy or something.  I find the debate over breastfeeding to be a lot like this.  I've heard women, we shall affectionately call them "The Breastapo", make blanket statements to women who formula feed like "Well, next time you'll know better and make a better choice".  It's sort of gone into this weird realm of evangelism that I can't even begin to wrap my head around.  And I hear all the time about women who are persecuted for breastfeeding their children, which is funny because I don't think the issue is the nursing part, the issue is you whipping your boob out wherever you feel like it.  And yes, I hear over and over that it's natural but like....so is pooping, and I don't do that wherever I please.  So, no one cares that you're feeding your child, or how you're feeding your child, they mostly just care that you're pulling your boobs out in public places.  When I worked retail I had a woman come in feeding twins and, I kid you not, she had the front of her shirt pulled up to her collar bone with her bra cups pulled down and one kid hanging on each boob like nipple rings.  Just like "Hello, I have these tits, and here they are".  Unnecessary.

What I find more common than the persecution of nursing mothers is the persecution of bottle feeding mothers.  I've never seen anyone who is nursing get told "That baby deserves better" but people will have zero issue with saying that to a bottle feeding mom.  Plus, I see article after article posted about women who want the world to know why they don't nurse their children, and it's always justified with some extenuating circumstance like "I had a double mastectomy" or "I was on anti-depressants and couldn't" or "I was going through chemo".  NO!  Your circumstances shouldn't be relevant in this conversation.  Yes, it's great that you have a way to explain why you're doing, but why does it matter?  Why don't you just say "I'm not nursing because I'm not nursing" and leave it at that?  Why does anyone need to know more than that to make it acceptable for you to be doing what you're doing?  Your kid is being fed, that's really all that matters.  I have a huge issue with having to justify something with a huge set of circumstances just for other women to shut their damn mouths.  I'm not going to breast feed because I don't fucking want to do it.  I know myself.  I know my limitations.  I know that if I'm solely responsible for always being the one to do midnight feedings or have to pump every 3 hours at work or whatever else, I will lose my goddamn mind.  I will become one of those crazy women who sort of subconsciously fantasizes about running away from their screaming child and never coming back.  I don't want to do it.  I don't want to be tethered to my baby 24/7 when there is another alternative out there.  There is a way for my husband to take half of those midnight feedings, and for me to leave my house without having to worry about being back in a couple of hours, or having to pump milk from my boobs like a cow.  Science has given us an alternative and I'm going to fucking use it.

What's funny is that even as I say this, I've become a victim of what I'm rallying against.  While registering for gifts at Target I told my mother I was looking for a container like what my sister had, where you can measure formula out into portions and toss it into a diaper bag to avoid having to carry around a can of formula all day.  You can measure 4 individual bottles worth to be added to some water later and be on your way.  As I was saying this, I realized that I lowered my voice when I started talking about measuring out formula, like I didn't want anyone to overhear and judge me.  I have no idea why I did that.  I am totally happy with my choice, and I'm comfortable with it, so why was I standing in Target lowering my voice to avoid judgement?  I got SO MAD at myself for it.  Suddenly even I was starting to wonder or worry about what the Breastapo might say to me if they were passing by.

I think that's how it is though.  Women keep trying to find a place where we dominate in the world and it seems the gender has latched onto this motherhood thing with all of their fangs and claws.  Now we're totally cool with mom shaming, persecuting others for their choices, and attacking one another for our differences.  Didn't do a water birth?  Well, your kid will be a stripper.  Got an epidural?  Hope your son likes that crack addiction your choice left him with.  It's all so goddamn stupid.  Especially when people take it to extremes.  More and more studies are showing no difference between bottle and breastfed kids in terms of intelligence or immunity.  Formula was invented to reduce infant mortality rates globally because women weren't producing enough milk most of the time for their children, so their kids were starving, but we don't want to acknowledge that.  Men can actually bond with their babies while giving them a bottle, but that doesn't matter because in the big scheme of being a sacred female entity, the husband doesn't matter much in the life of an infant.  I've even known women who weren't producing enough milk to the point where their children weren't gaining weight and it was actually causing harm to the child, yet still refused to buy a can of formula to keep the kid from getting worse.  Is it really so evil and large a health risk to your child to have formula?  Is it worse than what you're doing by not providing enough nutrients on your own with nursing?  I doubt it.

But the Breastapo are relentless.  It's not a suggestion, it's not an option.  It's a way of life and you should be conforming to it.  Until every woman is walking around bare breasted with a baby on each nipple, we are failing as a gender, and we should be ashamed.  Those of us who choose to give our kids formula are basically using the powdered testicles of Satan to nourish our children and will surely pay for it some day.

Or maybe we just know it's not for us, and you should shut the fuck up.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Adventures in gift registry

Part of this growing a human thing is that when it's your first human, you don't have any stuff.  This means that people want to give you stuff because they're celebrating the parasite you've decided to spawn and women all just luuuuuurve babies.  So that means you have to go through the process of dealing with a baby shower.  I don't like baby showers.  I've never liked them.  I hate attending them.  I hate all of the women walking around clucking like hens, going on and on about babies and asking whoever is pregnant a ton of personal questions that would not be acceptable anywhere else in polite society.  I hate the idiotic games they have you play.  I hate watching people open gifts while everyone goes "Awwwwww!" or whatever.  It's just.....showers suck.  But, on the other hand, I like stuff.  Stuff is expensive.  You need to get the stuff that is expensive and it's often nice if you don't have to get it yourself.  So, for the sake of stuff, I'm suffering through a baby shower.

The thing about stuff, and getting the stuff you need/want is that you have to do a gift registry.  Gift registries basically shout "I WANT THIS ONE" which I think is probably good, that way you don't end up with a ton of crap that you don't want, in theory.  The thing is, I was being all nice and trying to let my mother be involved in this so I let her go with me to do the registry thing.  That got dramatic.  I am very minimalist on what I think you "need" for babies.  My mother is not.  Her house and yard look like a Toys R Us vomited all over them.  I don't think you "need" a million pieces of gear.  I think you probably "need" some gear but probably don't end up using most of it.  That's what I'm told anyway.  So, I wanted to keep the list minimal.  She wanted to make it batshit insane.  There were a lot of arguments and exchanges that went a lot like this:

On Sleeping Gear
Mom: You need one of these sling hammock bassinets.
Me: Why?  I got a pack n' play.  It functions for sleeping AND as a baby cage.  That's a multi-tasker.
Mom: Those are big.  You don't want something that big in your bedroom.  You'll want something smaller like this.
Me: I have a really big bedroom
Mom: No, it's going to be in the way, you will want to have both.
Me: No, if I have both then one of them will ALWAYS be in the way, because I'll have to store one somewhere and it'll be annoying.
Mom: I'm just saying, if you get the hammock sling one, her head will be propped up and she won't choke to death.
Me: Mom, we survived the dark ages, I'm pretty sure she can survive sleeping in a goddamn pack n' play.

On Cribs
Mom: You need to register for a crib
Me: Haven't found one I like yet, I'll get to it.
Mom: At this rate she won't have anywhere to sleep when you bring her home.
Me: Apparently you missed our previous conversation about the pack n' play.
Mom: Well if you don't get a crib she's going to end up sleeping in a dresser drawer.
Me: That's probably fine if you just line it with some blankets like you would do for a litter of puppies.
Mom: That's not funny.
Me:  It'll prep her for all of the years we plan to keep her chained in the basement like Sloth from Goonies....
Mom: If you keep talking like that, I'm leaving.
Me:  Promise?

On Other Gear
Mom: You need one of these bouncer seats.
Me:  No, you gave me one to keep at the house when I was babysitting the niece, along with a ton of other shit you thought I needed just to be able to babysit and then she never used.
Mom: You can't use that old piece of junk, you need a new one.
Me:  You bought it and put your granddaughter in it!  Now it's a piece of junk?
Mom:  You need a new one.  This one has elephants.  Get that one.

Mom:  Scan this.
Me:  I don't want a bunch of pink stuff, do they have a more neutral color?
Mom:  Scan this one.
Me:  Mom, I said I don't want a ton of pink.
Mom:  You're already painting her room blue.  She's going to get a complex.  It's a girl, she needs pink.
Me:  No, she needs you to not conform her to your gender roles.

Mom:  Did you get a baby monitor?
Me:  No, not yet.  *picks up random monitor from shelf*  This one will do.
Mom:  YOU CAN'T DO THAT!  You can't just pick one up and say "this will do".
Me:  Why not?  Everyone says these break all the time anyway so I'll just be replacing it in 6 months.
Mom:  Because you have to be able to hear the baby!  You have to be able to make sure she's ok.
Me:  I can.  This one is made solely for that purpose, otherwise it wouldn't exist.
Mom:  You need a video monitor.
Me:  No I don't.  You didn't have a video monitor with any of us and we all survived.
Mom:  Well you can't just pick up a random monitor and decide it's good enough.
Me:  It also has the the longest distance range of anything else on the shelf, it has 2 handsets, and is mid-level price.
Mom:  How do you know all that?
Me:  I can read the tags on the shelf, mom.

On clothing
Me: *looking at Thanksgiving themed sleeper* Ooh, let's dress her as a turkey!
Mom:  That's so mean, stop being like that!
Me:  No, it's funny.
Mom: There's nothing funny about it.
Me: *holding up sleeper* How is this not funny?  Its entire purpose is to be funny.  You've just insulted its whole existence.

It goes on, but you get the general idea.  Eventually, after arguing for a while I realized I could edit the registry at home online and delete everything I didn't want that she was insisting I order, so I started just scanning everything she held up.  We call those survival instincts.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Things that are stressing me out

I don't know why, but as we get closer to the whole due date thing, more and more stuff is stressing me out.  I can occasionally be a bit high strung, and I realize this about myself, but lately it's more than just high strung.  Lately it's semi-panic attack mode.  I keep fighting it, beating the feeling back when it starts to creep up, but it's manifesting in a lot of weird ways because I keep trying to lock it down and I'm not always successful.  I keep getting snappish and impatient and sometimes over emotional.  I know on some level it's stupid, but I'm literally over here trying not to have a full blown panic attack over the stupidest stuff sometimes.  I don't know if it's the fact that everyone around me seems to think we have "lots of time" and I'm realizing how little we have, or if it's just that I am putting too much emphasis on stuff that doesn't really matter or what.  So, I thought that maybe it'd be good to list the things that are stressing me out, and if I have a coping strategy, that as well.  I have no idea why.  It just sort of makes me feel like I'm in more control.  I am fully aware that I'm not really in control right now.....


  • Not having/discussing a baby name.
    • No coping strategy for this one.  I know it's not a necessity.  I know we could name her 10 minutes before we walk out of the hospital, but everyone keeps bothering me about it and pressuring me to pick something and it's stressful.  I sort of want to name her too, just to know that I don't have to look at her and think "Hi.....baby.....no name......"
  • Zero nursery progress
    • Again, she's not even going to sleep in there at the beginning.  But, there's a baby shower and the baby shower involves me having shit to bring home and no real place to store it.  I just sort of want things to go where they belong when I bring them home.  No one seems in a hurry to make any changes on this front though, so I just wait.
  • Baby showers
    • I decided to pay for my own shower so that we were sure to have everything taken care of, since no one in my family has like....money or anything.  But showers are expensive.  Showers are REALLY expensive.  I am stressed out about how expensive.  I'm also stressed out by how much I've had to do myself.  Like, I said I'd pay for it but other people said they'd find/book a venue, help with invitations, help with planning, and pretty much it's been me doing everything, which makes me feel both unloved and stressed out.  My mom is doing games and decorations now, I guess.  We'll see how that goes.
    • Handed off some stuff to my mom, invitations are being mailed, venue is held pending deposit being paid (doing that this week).  Still have to finalize a bunch of the stuff my mom is working on, still have to finalize a menu.
  • Money
    • Babies are expensive.  All the crap babies need is expensive.  I'm freaking out about how expensive it all is.  Like, not a little freaking out.  A lot freaking out.  Like, regretting paying for the shower and anything else style expensive.  I'm not entirely sure we thought the whole thing through when it came to being financially ready for a kid.
    • With this one I'm mostly just hoping that the shower (that is expensive and I shouldn't have said I'd pay for) results in us getting most of our big ticket items, otherwise I'm going to have to start finding stuff on Craigslist.
    • Cutting back on ideas/plans for the nursery.  Making any artwork I can, not doing the wainscoting I originally wanted to do, not doing much more than just painting and then painting out the dresser we bought.  No rug, make curtains if I can but if it's not budget friendly then the blinds will have to do.
  • Daycare
    • Where the hell does this kid go when I go back to work?  I have no solutions for this at the moment, but it's tied to my freak out about money.
  • Going back to work
    • My office gives me 6 weeks of maternity leave paid in full, which is awesome.  The problem is that when I think about having my girl bits ripped apart, and sleepless nights home with a newborn, and then having to go back to work, 6 weeks doesn't seem like a very long time.  I'm not even one of those sentimental people who is like "Ohhh, I can't leave my baaaaaaaby" or anything.  I'm just not sure 6 weeks is long enough to mentally and physically get back into the swing of regular every day life.  I'm allowed to take up to 12 weeks, but 6 of those would be unpaid entirely and I don't think I can possibly afford that (see money stress) so I'm going to have to go back to work after 6 weeks, but thinking about how little time that really is has me freaking out.  Why can't we live in Europe where you get like 6 months off?
  • Clothing
    • The bad thing about having to carry around a fetus is that it makes you fat.  Yes, I know, it's not fat it's a baby and whatever.  But you still feel fat.  And your clothes don't fit.  So far, my jeans are still all good.  I wear them around no problem.  The issue is that it's getting cold out, and my sweaters are not as easy to wear as my summer t-shirts were.  You stretch out a sweater, you're pretty much fucked for life.  But I don't want to buy clothes in October that I can only wear through December because that feels like a giant waste.  So, I'm currently recycling the few outfits I own that sort of work and hoping to make them sort of work for a while longer.  But again, this sort of ties back to that whole money thing.  It seems like such a waste.
That's most of it, for now.  It doesn't seem like a lot, but it feels like a lot.  It feels like a lot when I start to panic about it.  And I do that more often than you'd think.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Admitting defeat?

I had my first true breakdown last week.  After instant messaging my husband from work and making some comments about my own self consciousness and being a bit hurt by his response, I spent the better part of a day silently crying in my cubicle.  Not a proud moment.  Then I went home, made dinner, watched some tv and cried some more.  Then when my husband got home from class I cried some more.  If I were a normal pregnant person I'd just say "Oh, it's just hormones..." but that seems like a cop out.  I think it was just a flood gate that got opened and I didn't know how to close it.  Lots of stuff I've been holding back for ages and then it all bubbled to the surface and I couldn't make it stop.  My husband asked me why I was upset and all I could manage to mutter is "Sometimes this is just hard".  That sounds like a cop out too, but sometimes that's how it feels.  It just feels hard.  I'm learning that fear is my worst enemy, but it's also hard to keep at bay.  I'm still afraid of things.  It doesn't go away.  Currently I'm afraid of my vagina being torn apart and living in pain and gushing blood for weeks.  Tomorrow it might be something else.  The next day, who knows?  But there are always fears cropping up from all of the unknowns.  Maybe this would be easier if I had done it before, I would know what to expect and I wouldn't have to be so afraid, but as of right now, that's not where we are.  We're in this place where I'm still afraid of the unknown.

Then there are little things.  Little things I don't talk about because I don't want to be a whiner and it's not really a big deal, but day after day they start to get to you.  Things like my ab muscles constantly hurting from being stretched and pulled.  Imagine pulling a muscle during a workout.  Now imagine pulling a bunch of muscles, all the ones in your abs plus the ones in your sides.  Now imagine walking around with those pulled muscles for weeks on end.  That's my life.  It sort of sucks.  I keep trying to keep up with everything I'd normally do, but by the end of the day I just want to fall on the sofa and pass out.  I'm not used to tiring out after normal every day stuff.  On Friday we went to a friend's house after working on painting the exterior of the house all day and by 10 p.m. I was struggling to contribute to conversation because I just wanted to go to sleep.  I just sat there not talking, feeling anti-social, wanting to nap on the table.  That's foreign to me and it makes me frustrated.  There's the fact that now if I have to bend over and pick something up it's kind of a challenge and it leaves me going "Does that really need to be picked up?" which seems so lazy but at the same time, everything is so effing sore that I hate that I have to ask that question.  Getting up off the sofa is hard because I can't use my abs to pull myself forward anymore.  Plus there's the whole body image thing of watching yourself get more huge and unattractive by the day, and while you intellectually know it's a baby and not you, that doesn't help when you look in the mirror and think "Wow.....I look gigantic".  It also makes you frustrated when your clothes stop fitting because you can't pull your shirt over your stupid baby belly, but buying actual maternity clothes feels like admitting defeat and resigning to somehow allowing yourself to get bigger.  Yeah.  Those are things that go through my head.  And having all of that going on is hard.  Especially when you're already mentally and physically exhausted by every day life.

But it sounds so whiny and stupid to mention it, so I just shut up and say nothing and keep on doing the things I always do even if I'm super tired or I can't keep up.  I always find a way to keep up.  I don't feel like it's ok for me to do anything else.  I feel like I have to be super woman but some days I just want to wear my PJs, have someone cook me dinner and do the dishes afterward, and lay on the sofa doing nothing.  It's stupid, but it would be nice.

I don't know.  I have it easy.  I know I have it easy compared to pretty much every pregnant person I've known, but sometimes even having it easy can feel really hard.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Arm-y

Back in January I slipped on some ice and snapped my arm.  Well, snapped my arm, ripped all of my muscles and tendons, and basically made my arm useless.  Then I had surgery, and went through month sand months of really painful physical therapy.  In the end, it didn't do a whole lot for me.  My arm moves a little more than it did post-surgery but not anywhere near what one would consider "normal.  I also have almost no strength in it.  It's difficult to lift heavy things, and when we climbed the mountain I couldn't straighten or bend it or lift myself up onto the rock ledges very easily.  It's pretty inconvenient.

Lately it's been feeling more stiff.  A month or so ago, I was walking the dog in the yard and didn't notice that he had seen a bunny before he started to take off after it.  I tried to tighten up on the leash before he got up too much speed, but I wasn't fast enough so he ended up straightening out my arm more than usual and I felt some of the scar tissue snap.  It hurt, and ever since I have felt like the arm is stiffer than it was before that.  Plus, it's obviously weaker than it was before the injury.  I was helping my husband move boxes in the basement and it was an actual challenge to lift things that weren't really all that heavy.  I was struggling to do normal every day lifting and it sucked.  It's been wearing on me a lot lately to think about it.  On top of all of the regular stuff you're not allowed to do when you're pregnant, I have this.  I have this useless stupid arm that doesn't work properly and is a hindrance to my every day life.

Plus, every time I'd lift a box I'd think "How much does this weigh?  10 lbs?  15?  At what point am I going to be unable to lift my kid out of her crib, or carry her around, or pick her up when she's crying?  At what point do I have to say 'Mommy can't, I'm sorry' because my stupid fucking arm won't work?" and that weighs on me too.  It stresses me out.  It's just one of those additional things at the back of my mind to make me wonder at what point I'll start to fail because I'm physically incapable of something.  I want to be able to carry my kid around or pick her up.  I hate my stupid arm sometimes, and I hate myself for falling on that ice.

I had been coping with it.  I really had.  I had accepted it all.  I had a total meltdown the day the surgeon told me there was no hope of it getting better, but afterward I picked myself up and I moved on.  Now it's starting to become a weight that crushes me a little bit.  It makes me angry and afraid.  And there's nothing I can do about it.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Made the bed you lie in

I brought up the issue of being frustrated about some of the stuff I wrote up yesterday to my husband and he was basically like "Well, you can't have it both ways.  You say you don't want to talk about it all the time, so don't be surprised when people don't talk about it".

So I guess this is all my fault.

He's right, I don't want to talk about it all the time.  I do sometimes want someone to give a fuck.  I also wouldn't mind if it felt safe to talk about anything with my social circle.  I honestly think the only reason any of them have been cool with this stuff is because I'm not talking about it.  Plus, I've made such a huge deal about how I would not become a mommy and talk about nothing more than my kid that I don't feel it's ok to bring up the subject at all.  I feel like, with most of my social circle, I'm half a step from an eye roll and the "Oh great, here it is, she's becoming a mommy" statement.  I don't think anyone gives a shit, so I don't bring it up to avoid being the person who has to bring up their baby and their pregnancy.  Despite the fact that it's not on Facebook, I don't talk about it on social media at all, so basically unless I personally told you, you have no idea.  I have done an excellent job at not making it a big deal, not just because I didn't want to be one of those people who makes the whole thing a big deal, but also because everyone around me seems to hate those people.  I've kept this as under the radar as possible because I sort of feel like I have to.  I don't want it to be a huge goddamn deal, but I guess the problem with being under the radar is that no one picks up on anything going on.  Not that I think they want to know, since everyone is wrapped up in their own bullshit all the time anyway.

I don't know where I'm going with this.

I'm just cranky.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Back to the lonely island

At the risk of sounding like a total whiner, I didn't expect this process to feel so isolating.  Maybe part of that is my fault.  I'm not really embracing the whole "sisterhood" of having a baby.  I specifically avoid talking to people who want to talk about nothing but growing a fetus.  The thing is, the people who want to talk about those things are not people who are close to me.  They're people who want to find some sort of kinship with me through this subject, sometimes people I've drifted from and don't really feel the need to be pulled back to for any reason.  The people around me who do have kids are the sort of parents I want to be, the ones who don't constantly talk about their kids or the process of growing them.  The ones who don't have kids well....why bother them with details they don't care about?  So who does that really leave?  And the thing is, I don't want to talk about it all the time but sometimes I wish someone would ask me in genuine earnestness how I'm doing.  Not that "How are you feeling?" crap you get from co-workers where it's not really appropriate to say anything other than "Fine, thanks!" but a genuine "Hey, how are you?" where it's safe to say how you really are is sometimes welcome.  I don't even have anything to complain about.  This has been a piece of cake for me so far in the sense of physical change and all of that.  I'm not crazy hormonal and emotional.  But sometimes the fears creep in and it'd be nice if someone asked if I was ok.  Sometimes I just feel more tired than usual and it'd be really nice to have someone else offer to make dinner or at least help with it.  Some days I just wish that I wasn't sitting around feeling like it's just me, all alone, while the rest of the world goes about their business.

Sometimes it's hard because my husband is in the type who doesn't talk about anything.  Like.....anything.  I find out more from reading his blog than I do from him actually telling me anything about himself.  I struggle with that, but I'm trying to just accept it and find a way to make it fit with my own needs, though there are days when that's hard.  This whole process has been a non-thing for him.  He's actually said, several times, that he doesn't make a big deal about it because it's not a big deal.  I suppose for him, it's really not at this point.  Nothing changes for him until this kid shows up and starts needing things.  He can go days or weeks without ever thinking about it at all.  He doesn't have to.  It's not happening to him.  Me?  I can't go more than 4 hours because at some point something's going to happen and my bladder is going to get kicked, and there it is.  A reminder of everything that's going on and sometimes a reminder of how afraid I still am.  Not so much of being a total screw up anymore, but just afraid of how things are going to change, or afraid of what the end game for this looks like for me, in that whole "Sort of afraid of being ripped apart" way.  It's also a bit of a reminder that, although she's in there rolling around and doing her thing, I'm still sitting here feeling like that's somehow separate from me.  A friend of mine said something about how she was "already in love" by 20 weeks and I'm like "I'm not even sure if I'm in love now" because....there's still an element of it that doesn't seem entirely real.  I'm struggling with this lack of feeling "super connected" that all of these other women seem to have.  It's not that I'm unhappy or not excited, I just sometimes feel like all of this is happening to someone else.  Like, I still feel too much like me for it to be happening to me.  I half expected something to trigger in my brain and turn on and make me suddenly feel like a mom, but I just feel like myself, and the me I know is certainly not a mom.  The problem is that I don't know how to express that to people.  I also don't think it's actually ok to express that to people.  Especially when people don't ever ask how I'm doing in the first place.  Even my husband doesn't ask how I'm doing.  Probably because it doesn't cross his mind because again, he could go days without thinking about it.  I don't expect it to occur to him that, because I'm not walking around with a list of pregnancy related ailments and I was never puking every day, and I was never so exhausted I couldn't function, that it's exactly the same for me as it is for him.  But it's not.  It's different, and I don't know how to express that either.

I keep latching onto things that are easy to get excited about.  I'm actually excited to put together a nursery.  I like decorating.  I like picking paint and fabric and all of that stuff.  The problem is, that's on hold.  Just like everything is on hold.  So it's just me surfing the internet looking up ideas and doing nothing with them.  I like picking out tiny baby clothes and for some reason having those makes me feel like maybe this is happening to us.  Something, in the not-so-distant future, is going to fit into those clothes.  I think about names a lot, despite the fact that he refuses to talk about it.  I keep latching on to all of these things that do make me excited, but there's always resistance.  There's always a reluctance to move from one milestone to the next and to get things done that might help me feel like a mom.  Moms buy their kids clothes.  Moms decorate bedrooms.  Moms take care of necessities.  This probably doesn't make any sense to anyone.  I'm not sure I'm articulating it properly.  I don't know how to explain myself, and when I try, I feel like I just make everything more complicated.

Basically, I'm just lonely right now.

And I wish I wasn't.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Running out the clock?

So a few things have happened over the last couple of weeks.  One, our house project list has been getting some major items checked off of it.  This wasn't just a list of things that existed because we were like "OMG there's going to be a baby here" but a pre-existing list of crap that you always mean to get around to and just never manage to do.  Lost of maintenance stuff like touching up paint on baseboards, cleaning out the basement, finding better storage solutions for some stuff.  You get the general idea.  Then we added baby related things to the list, like finding a place to like....put the baby once she gets here.  As of right now the plan is to move my husband's office to the basement and use that room for a nursery.  Knowing the basement was going to become an office meant doing some additional prep work to the basement to make it office-ready as opposed to "crappy ugly carpeted room we don't do anything with".  That meant new flooring, a fresh coat of paint, touched up baseboards.  It's been a process.

During this process, the weather also changed.  We got what I thought was a cold snap, but it seems to be persisting, which makes me realize it's already fucking fall.  Where the hell did that come from?  Plus, colder weather has me going "Crap, we're almost to Halloween, which is almost Thanksgiving, which is almost Christmas and almost baby time.  I HAVE NO TIME FOR ANYTHING NOW!" which is, of course, totally irrational, but I'm a planner and now I feel like I've hit crunch time.  Now I've got this irrational stupid list of crap that I feel like has to get done ASAP to not leave me in panic mode.  At the moment I'm like:

  • Pick a name (which my husband doesn't want to do in case we change our minds at the last minute)
  • Prime nursery
  • Paint nursery
  • Paint dresser/changing table
  • Poly dresser/changing table
  • Buy a stupid crib
  • Buy some clothes, since we have like 3 outfits right now
  • Figure out a baby shower, which is more stressful than anticipated
  • Set up nursery once it's primed/painted
  • Figure out artwork for nursery
  • Finish the two quilts I've been working on
  • Move husband's office to basement so we can do things in nursery
  • Pick curtains for nursery
  • Clear out other parts of basement so that husband isn't working in a disaster zone and we can store more stupid theater stuff that we have no room for.
  • Figure out how I'm going to get my car into garage since it's filled with theater stuff we have no room for.
  • Do that whole hospital maternity ward touring thing
  • Get essential baby gear (though, I guess some of that might be covered if we figure out the shower?)
  • De-junk the guest room and other areas of the house so if there's baby item overflow it can go in the guest closet or something.
  • Figure out Christmas shopping way in advance in case I can't actually go shopping closer to Christmas due to spitting out a baby.
See.......it's not a super short list.  And it's giving me anxiety.  I know I've got time still.  Intellectually, I know that, but time seems to be going fast lately and now I'm afraid I'm going to blink and it'll be November and I'll still have nothing done.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Sometimes I feel like a bitch

Here's the thing about being a pregnant chick:  other pregnant chicks want to relate to and commiserate with you.  It's just a reality that most don't realize prior to being a pregnant chick.  And it knows no boundaries.  It's not limited to currently pregnant chicks.  It's literally everyone who has ever had a baby in the history of ever.  They all want to share their stories, which is fine, but they want you to share yours and when you don't really have any well....you become a tad boring.  At least for the people who have already had their kids.  For the currently pregnant chicks, I think you become Satan.

I'm in a situation where I have a family member who is about 14 weeks ahead of me in this human growing thing, and a family member who is about 12 weeks behind me.  The friend who is ahead of me has told me about being sick constantly at the beginning, ravenously hungry during the second trimester, and now that she's near her due date she's talking about being swollen, hot and hungry all the time.  She sort of gave me one of those "So....how are you feeling?" questions where I felt like being honest was going to be the worst thing I could do, but I also couldn't lie.  I said that at 22 weeks, I'm still wearing all of my old clothes, I'm no more hungry than normal, I have zero cravings, no issues sleeping, no problems with heartburn, never had nausea issues, no major dip in energy (with the exception of like 2 or 3 weeks at the end of the first trimester where I think I was just doing too much and not sleeping enough) and that's about it.  At work, the only people who know I'm pregnant are the ones I've told.  My clothes still sort of mask the whole baby thing.  I look sort of pudgy, but if I don't tell people, they don't seem to know.  I felt like saying all of this made me a HUGE bitch.  I couldn't fault anyone with a "normal" pregnancy for hating me because I'd friggin' hate me if I weren't me.  But what else are you supposed to say?  I can't make stuff up.  It'd be really obvious.

Even my family member who is 12 weeks behind me keeps saying "Oh, sometimes I just forget I'm pregnant, it's been that easy" but then other pieces of conversation come out that point to the contrary.  Like the fact that at 12 weeks she's had trouble sleeping and already has to sleep with a body pillow to support her frame due to nerve pain in her back and her butt.  Or the fact that at 12 weeks she's in maternity clothes.  That when she doesn't want people at work asking questions she has to "suck in her belly" when she walks past.  So, maybe she's not sick all the time, but there are things going on.  I can't even relate to that.  She started telling me about how I should get a body pillow for sleep problems and I had to say "I don't have sleeping problems.  I'm doing fine".

I feel like this is one of those situations where everyone wants to share the same misery and I can't, which I'm totally fine with and incredibly grateful for, but I think it might make other women hate me.  Possibly a lot.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Thoughts on Things

Lots of thoughts swirling around about lots of things these days.  Mostly on how this whole process is a bit strange, and it makes someone like me feel more than a bit awkward sometimes.  Like, people ask to touch you when you're pregnant.  Why?  They want to feel your belly.  You didn't have permission to feel my belly when there wasn't a creature growing in it.  Why do you think I'm giving it to you now?  I suddenly feel like one of those chubby Buddha statues that people want to rub for luck.  It's so weird.  It's not even like I have much of a belly to rub anyway.  I'm still sitting over here, hanging out in my regular clothes.  I'm not sure why people want to man handle my not-that-large belly.  And it's not like there's a super polite way to say "Stop asking to touch me, it's not going to happen".  It just makes me feel awkward.

People also keep buying us stuff.  This is very sweet, don't misunderstand.  It's so nice that people want to buy us baby gifts, but I'm so awkward about accepting gifts, especially when it's not a specific gift-giving occasion.  Birthday and Christmas gifts are far less uncomfortable for me.  Just random, out of the blue, I got this for you gifts?  Those make me feel weird when accepting them because I always feel like I should be offering up a gift too or something.  So far most of our gifts have been clothing, which is always useful.  Cute things like PJs and socks.  One friend bought us an adorable sweater, which I love because it's the first non-pink article of clothing we've received and I have nightmares of my home turning into a giant Pepto-Bismol pink nightmare so it's nice to get something in another color.  Then there was the person who bought me a maternity shirt, and that made me uncomfortable.  To begin with, this is a family member I'm not exactly comfortable with receiving gifts from in the first place, because it's always awkwardly given and I have some personal hangups about somehow being seen as "owing" this person anything later for whatever I've received.  Beyond that, she bought me a maternity shirt.  I mean, really?  I get it, she's trying to be helpful, buy something for me that I might need, but clothing like that is a bit personal because it sends a couple of messages.  First is "You're looking pretty fat, better wear this", which I get is more about the baby getting bigger than it is about me being fat, but there is a certain degree of self-consciousness that comes along with hearing about having gained weight, and losing a bit of your waistline, and although I'm still able to wear all of my regular clothes even now at five and a half months into this process, I don't really love when people point out that I look "bigger".  So, maternity shirt sort of does that.  The second message it sends is that perhaps you don't realize you're kind of big now, and someone needs to buy you a shirt as a hint.  Again, I don't think this is the case with me, and I don't think that was this person's motivation, but your brain sort of goes there still and you find yourself standing there awkwardly accepting your fat-chick gift.

On the subject of gifts, and receiving several pink outfits (and being guilty of buying one ourselves), I sort of hate this whole "pink for girls" thing.  Not that I have a problem with pink.  I don't.  I just sort of hate the immediate assignment of a gender role that comes from it.  Do I sit around and look at adorable dresses online on occasion?  Yes.  Do I worry that I'm already assigning a gender role that my kid might not want or be able to accept?  Yes.  It's a slippery slope.  My husband takes a very "If you think something is cute, buy it" approach to baby clothes, because he feels like the kid is basically a ball of putty for the first couple of years and can't form opinions on what they like or don't like, so if I find a t-shirt with puppies on it in the boys section but I think it's cute, he figures we should just buy it and put it on her, because she won't care either way.  I like that approach, but it's hard to keep friends and relatives from turning your whole life pink.  We have, partially, decided to paint her room aqua.  Mostly because I can't stand the idea of a big pink room, and until she's old enough to tell me she wants it to be pink, I'm avoiding it.  I like the idea of just mixing a bunch of pastel colors together.  Aqua, lavenders, yellows, and perhaps a hint of pink here or there, but definitely not the focus color.  Of course, immediately when I said aqua, my mother replied with "You know it's a girl right?  Blue is for boys".  WHY DOES BLUE HAVE TO BE FOR BOYS?!  I just don't get it.  I'm sure she's not going to give a crap.  Gender roles get so weird.

Also, she moves around now.  Like, she moved around before, but now I can feel it sometimes.  I guess I have a situation where the placenta is in an anterior position, so it's sandwiched between my abdominal wall and the baby, which means that whole early movement thing didn't happen for me.  I kept reading about how you're supposed to feel it move as early as 16 weeks and I just sat there feeling nothing.  Given my constant concern that something was going to go wrong, that was frustrating.  When we went in for our ultrasound, they said the placenta was in the way and that was part of the problem.  Basically, even now, I can only feel her when she's got some serious kicking around going on.  Sometimes you can feel it on the outside, but it's very light.  My husband tried and kept saying "Ok was that my pulse in my hand or movement?" and I had to point it out to him when she'd move so he could tell the difference.  I'm not sure if feeling movement is more or less nerve wracking.  It's good to know she's in there doing her thing.  It's also a little stressful when one week, it seems like you feel it quite a lot, and then the next you are pretty sure she's hardly doing anything and you start to wonder if something is wrong.  So far I've convinced myself that it all depends on where she's positioned when she's flailing.  I figure if I feel her doing something at least a couple of times a day, it's probably fine.  But this whole process is full of so many unknowns that it's sometimes hard to not be a paranoid freak.  At least she doesn't keep me awake at night with kicking around.  I'll take that for as long as I can get it.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Thinking Pink

Yesterday we went in for our 20 week appointment where they took measurements of pretty much every body part and organ the kid has.  This time was less difficult, since it's large enough to find pretty quickly.  It's no less wiggly or uncooperative than it was last time, but finding all of the parts seemed to be a lot easier.  Getting a good view of all of the parts, less than simple since again, we're dealing with wiggly and uncooperative.  There was a lot of belly tapping to try to get it to move to the right place.  There wasn't a lot of discussion during all of the scanning, just lots of measurements and an odd question about whether I'd had any bleeding during this pregnancy, because of course nothing can be simple for us when we go in for appointments and scans.  Apparently there was some "brightness" in the bowel and that can be a soft marker for Down Syndrome, so that was a nice scare to get around 7:30 in the morning.  We were pretty sure we'd already gotten past that hurdle.  We had a scan at 12 weeks to look for genetic markers in my blood as well as fetal abnormalities in an ultrasound.  Our risk was rated 1 in 9,000, so we thought we were out of the woods.  This added a small layer of stress.  The tech told us afterward that he was going to take all of the ultrasound pictures and all of my other records over to a specialist to have them reviewed and that the specialist may be in to talk to us.  A few minutes the later the tech came back and told us that the specialist was "unimpressed" by what was found and said to send us on our way.  I am still a little freaked out, but I assume that a specialist would know what should be impressive and would have talked to us if there was anything to worry about.

Beyond all of the freaking us out parts of our visit, we also got to find out the sex of the baby.  The whole time, I sat there looking at various things on the screen prepping to hear that it was a boy.  We had been hoping for a girl, but since nothing in our world ever seems to go the way we want, I was fully prepped to hear it was a boy.  There were even a couple of moments where I was like "Oh, that might be a penis right there.  I'll bet it's a boy".  Then, casually near the end of the many measurements the tech said "So, are you ready to find out what you're having?" and we said sure, but I was anticipating that it would be more prodding for him to get a look at the right parts, but then he just casually said "It is a...girl" like he'd known for a while.  I was surprised.  I was happy, possibly for the first time in this whole process I was honestly truly happy about something.  Not nervous.  Just happy.  I said "Wait, how good are you at this?  Am I going to get a surprise penis at delivery?" and he sort of laughed and said no, so I'm coming back for him if he's wrong.  So, there it is.  A girl.  Something we wanted worked out, and it felt nice.  It makes me cautiously optimistic that maybe things will go smoothly for us from here.

Plus, now I can stop saying "It" when I make baby references and instead I can say "her".  That's sort of nice.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

And with that, it feels like it might all be ok

"Maybe there's something you're afraid to say, or someone you're afraid to love, or somewhere you're afraid to go.  It's gonna hurt.  It's gonna hurt because it matters." -John Green

It's funny how sometimes you're going about your day and you find yourself doing something mindless, like surfing the internet or scrolling through Pinterest and then....bam.  The thing you needed reveals itself to you.  In all of my trepidation, all of my nervous thoughts on this process, all of my fear about what happens and what will happen, I've constantly found myself wondering why I have all of these fears and hesitations.  I've felt like maybe I shouldn't be having these thoughts or feelings about any of this.  Then, tonight I came across this quote from John Green and I realized that it's ok to have all of this fear, all of this hesitation, all of these feelings I'm struggling with.  It's ok to have them because this matters.  All of this matters.  This whole process of becoming a parent is something that matters, and because it matters it's ok to be afraid, and nervous and everything else.  Even if, over time, there are things about this that are hard, and that hurt to go through, and that scare me, it's ok to feel all of those things because if I didn't, it would mean they don't matter.  And being a parent should, if nothing else, matter.  So now I feel like maybe if all I ever felt was over the moon excited, maybe it would mean that to me it doesn't matter in the same way.  Suddenly, that makes me feel better.  I'd rather be afraid and know it's because it matters than be over the moon excited and realize later it's because I didn't realize at the time how much it mattered.

And maybe, the next time I start to get nervous about all of the ways I keep imagining things will happen, I'll have to remember another little piece of wisdom from John Green:

"Nothing ever happens like you imagine it will."

Thanks for the wisdom, John.