Thursday, September 11, 2008

I'm a mommy...

I've been a bit lax on updates due to T-total chaos in my general life - short version, sick infant, hubby quit job to go back to school full time, & my boss quit, so I've got the whole 'look smart and competent for the new boss who, incidentally is a morning person (ew!)' thing going on. So yeah....
Anyway, I've been mulling this post for a bit and putting it off since I don't think I can do the subject justice. I finally decided that an inadequate post is better than no post, so here goes.
I am a mommy. Theoretically, we knew this, what with the whole giving birth and getting pooped or thrown up on daily ever since deal. I also am a daughter. Again, not really a shock, except to those who think I sprung full grown from the surf all greek goddess style (it is to laugh). Being a daughter means I have a mommy, and now I AM a mommy, and that's the point where my brain melts.
Here's the why - my mother, whom I love and really is a pretty gosh darn rockin mom over all, can really get on my nerves. Why? Cause she's my mom. Period. Moms can just be annoying. Merely by existing. It's part of the job description. They tell you to take your shoes off in the house, and to make sure you eat lots of fiber, and look enquiringly at your new hairdo while very loudly saying absolutely nothing about it. Moms are just, YOU know, MOMS .
Now back to point number one - I AM A MOM. Now granted, at this stage, The Infant mostly chews on her feet so worst case she'd track spit around, if she could even walk which she can't. She has a diet of exclusively boob juice and formula (does anyone else think of cheesy 50's movie mad scientists every time they hear the word 'formula'? right. only me. check.) so no fiber issues. And she really doesn't have much by way of hair yet, so no conflict there. Yet. I know, no matter how much I swear swear swear it won't happen, I will be as annoying to my daughter as my mom is to me. Cause it's nature's way. Cause I am a MOM . I could sooner stop the rain as I could stop the teenage eye-rolling that is way closer than any of us imagine.
While the parent lore is true, you do gain a much higher appreciation for your parents once you become one yourself, you don't stop being a daughter or a son. When I'm with them both - it's all kinda confusing - I'm still rolling my eyes at my mom, while lovingly caring for a daughter of my own, who will, in due time roll her eyes at me.
The part that really floored me is when I realized that I am ALL parts of mommy, not just the annoying part. I love my mother, and she was the person I turned to when the kids were mean to me at school, or I skinned my knee, or when I had really done something big and wonderful. And to this day, when I am sick, there is always a part of me that just wants my mommy. I have an amazing dad, and I love him to death, but mommies are special. And to this very day, she cheers my victories and helps heal my booboos and sends me fiber bars in the mail, and above all loves me with everything she has.
Cradling my beautiful perfect precious baby girl in my arms last night, rocking her to sleep, it all came together. My mommy did this with me - she held me and rocked me and made it all ok. Now I have been blessed by God with a daughter of my own. And the true blessing I have with the chance to be for her all those things that my mom is to me. The weight of the gift was a little overwhelming, but I am so very grateful for the opportunity. I will do everything I can to earn the right to say honestly 'I am a mommy'.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Friday, August 29, 2008

I watch too much Project Runway

But is there really any such thing as too MUCH Project Runway?
Every year this time I watch Project Runway, get all hyped up, whip out my sewing machine, and sew SOMEthing. Now mind you, I can't really sew. I took Home Ec in 7th grade and made a 6 panel wrap skirt, which was the height of my sewing career. I've made skirts and costumes and various other things since, but really, I don't have any skillz. This year though, I have a new victim, I mean, subject. The Infant! And even better Infant clothes 1) are small so they take WAY less time to make and 2) since she's going to grow out of any given outfit in less than a fortnight anyway, the crappy construction doesn't matter. Win win!
So behold! The spawn of an old t-shirt, too much Heidi, and some bling...

Friday, August 15, 2008

Sick.... and tired!

Where've I been? Um, yeah - I've been sick. Now I've been sick before, and I've used that phrase - 'I'm sick' and I meant it when I said it, but this time, I was REALLY sick. Like a miserable f level of sick. Granted, I wasn't Really REALLY sick - that's when you custom design t-shirts and host a fund raiser - nothing like that - just a pile-on of generic nasty bugs having a little party in my body. A party that wouldn't stop. and 14 days later STILL HASN'T, God help me.
The source of this plague? My family, natch. I should say 'plagues' plural. See, that's one of the things that's made this particular party such a t-total blast. Back to back diseases - it was a little virus relay race. Shoot me now.
The first leg of this illness started with the Hubble- whom I nursed back to health JUST in time to get the very same disease, only worse. Perhaps we would have had a closer relationship with the Lysol container during the initial Hubble illness had we realized that he was, in fact, ill. Don't mistake, he was clearly having symptoms. Its just that the symptoms he had mislead us into thinking that what he actually had was food poisoning. FOOD POISONING! Can you guess what symptoms might have lead us to that conclusion?! Hmm?! Gads. But no, NOT food poisoning. Nasty ass stomach bug (no pun intended). Which I promptly caught and lifted to a whole new level of suck. I had managed to delude myself into thinking I had managed to avoid the whole thing until sat the 2nd.
I was feeling a little 'off' on Friday, but I'm always wicked tired on Fridays after a whole week of having to get up and act like a responsible human after nights of no sleep, so I didn't think anything much of it. Then Sat came around. I was up at a semi-reasonable hour, all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. I was all a-twitter cause I was going to see one of my bestest and oldest friends brand spanking new condo. This was her very first home purchase and consequently kinda a big whoop. Plus, I was deeply desirous of seeing the horrorshow wall paper that came with said condo. When I said it was new, know that I meant new to HER - it was, as a home, trapped somewhere in the mid-70's, decor and appliances inclusive. So I was excited about the flashback in residence form, on top of the whole 'yay for you!' aspect.
My bestest BiblioDiva, and her family were going to spend the day going mano e mano with the retrofunk spread all over the new joint, so I was going to bring them sustenance as a sympathy offering. Having been through the same procedure with my first home, it seemed karmically appropriate. But the virea had their own karma apparently, and it was totally screwing with mine. I gathered myself and bundled the infant up, ready to head out, and right when I hit the door I felt a little....urghy. Urgently urghy in fact.... Oh dear.... Um, ok, quick restroom trip and we're all good...ish... Take two on exiting the house got us successfully as far as the grocery store.
I debated. Can I do this? Can I make it through the grocery store, and through the 40 minute drive to the new pad without yorking on myself? Or worse, 'othering' on myself. I mommed up. I can DO this.
I spent several important healing moments in the grocery store restroom, and blitzkrieged the grocery aisles. Speed check up and out. I'm happy to report that I was able to make it down to her new place, deliver the food, NOT deliver any viral contaminates with said food, and get back home without embarrassing myself or others. It was a minor miracle. It was also the last time I left the house for the next 4 days.
Wednesday rolls around, and I'm feeling better. Not GREAT, mind you, but better. I'm also feeling like I perhaps ought to get back into the office. This feeling was perhaps partially triggered by my bosses response when I called in sick on Monday. 'Oh. um. ok. You have everything you need to work from home though right?'. Dude, seriously, what part of 'stomach flu' did you not get? I need to be on the crapper AND using wifi simultaneously? WTF?! So with this kinda environment you can imagine why I'm feeling like perhaps I need to hustle back in.
I toddle into the office on wed, zero appetite still, but able to eat bread and rice and other tasteless bland carbs. Luckily I still have all my morning sickness foods lying around, came in handy that. Plus side? lost 7 pounds! Healthy? um no. but still. Anyway, on my way in, I start feeling a little congested. Maybe allergies. Right? Prolly just allergies. No biggie. Wrong. Biggie.
By the end of the day, I was sneezing like a dwarf and had a regular snoterfall coming out of my nose. It totally sucked to be me. Right about 5:30 I got The Call. I was not the only one with a fever and runny nose. The Infant was snotting right along with me. Sigh...
I bundle us both up and head home, chock-a-block full of self-pity. The Hubble, and his unnaturally effective immune system was able to avoid round two of the disease-a-thon, which is a HUGE mercy - cause now it was his turn to take over all household care duties. And he did great. Credit where it is due. He took the lil stinker into her doc appointment the next day, where she was pronounced 'sick with a cold' - shocker. Apparently is went well until the full body exam at which point she became deeply unamused at the whole process. I was curled up at home during all this, whimpering, buried in a perpetually growing heap of used tissues and hating life, but still well pleased that I wasn't the one dealing with a doctor inspired Infant meltdown. During the worst of this, he kept both of us in sandwiches and formula (the first for me, the second for the Infant), and kept me entertained with movies and her entertained with ridiculous faces. She dealt with the whole thing much better than I, overall, and healed up faster as well.
We are now at the end of week 2 of the diseasing, and The Infant is pretty much back to normal, with a slightly higher amount of snot production than usual, but otherwise, no worse for wear. While I am back at work, I am still a disgusting human being. I'm making all those nasty old homeless smoker sounds in the back of my throat and snorking huge lugies every few minutes. My voice is on it's way back - I'm now more of a Kathleen Turner with allergies sort of sound vs the Hulk Hogan with a sinus infection thing I had going before. And before that it was gone altogether for 2 days. So clearly trending better. But still not 100%.
After 14 whole days of this mess. I'm hoping come next week I will be able to breathe without horking - forget dreams of Olympic Gold, I just want to be able to live snot free. Is that asking too much...?

Monday, July 28, 2008

Calm before the storm...?

Things have been a teetch odd recently, mainly in that they haven't been odd. Qua? Never fear, I will 'splain.
It seems that I have somehow managed to develop something of a routine in my day to day - a routine that includes the existence of the Infant. Having a baby around the house, at some point in the past couple of weeks, became NORMAL. Which in and of itself is abnormal ("Abby? Abby who?"). The occasions when I look over, see The Infant, and go 'oh RIGHT! We have a spawn!' are decreasing down to just about zero.
Now for those without children, this would seem to be normal and good - this settling in. In most circumstances, you figure something out, learn how it works, develop a way to work with it, then set things on cruise control. Here cruise control (or any form of control really) is merely a laughable illusion. I freely admit that I have learned very little in the short time I've been Infant-rearing, but one of the precious few things I've learned is NEVER let your guard down.
Raising a child is like living in Oz (HBO, not Baum, version) only with sharp little baby fingernails instead of shivs. JUUUUUST when you think you've got things figured out there's a riot or the mob tries to take over the lunch room or your child figures out how to roll over, the latter being the scariest by far. I can speak from experience (on 2 of the 3 anyway).
That's right, the Infant has figured out how to flip from belly to back (I'll save the riot story for later). Normally when one's child reaches certain milestones parental units are overcome with joy. Not so much here. Yes, we are well pleased in an abstract sense that our offspring is developing at a semi-normal clip. However, in a practical sense, this latest development is a source of stark terror for us. And it's not ALL developments - I wasn't concerned when, just a week ago The Infant discovered the fascinating appendages known as 'feet' - OOooo! AAaaah! - and begun spending a large portion of her day grabbing at, playing with and/or attempting to jam into her mouth said feet. This was cute, in a fetish-y kinda way. The rolling though - oh God the rolling.... this is terrifying.
But why, sez you? Because rolling is the very first 'step' (pun intended) in mobility. MOBILITY! Gah! See, this lovely routine we've managed to develop, while it sadly involves very little sleep, is one that has added some stability into our little parental lives. We're starting to get the hang of this! Said routine, however, is predicated on the Infant pretty much staying where you put her. Whether she wants to or not. This means we can say, lay The Infant on the middle of the bed while putting a shirt on without worrying about her scuttling off in the 2.3 seconds we take our hands/eyes off of her. This immobility is the lynch pin of our current day-to-day, and it's about to be removed, which will result in our little carefully crafted house of infant care cards crashing down about our ears. And possibly several loosely stacked boxes as well.
Which is the OTHER larger and more terrifying aspect of this looming mobility nightmare. We need to child proof the house. Typing that, my brain just froze. Overwhelming icy panic courses through my veins. Those of you who have been following this adventure since it began will recollect that I was rendered nearly immobile myself for a large chunk of my pregnancy. This had the ripple effect of the house falling totally into the crapper, organizationally-speaking. Add a thick layer of baby accessories and teeny tiny little clothes overtop of the original neglect of household layer and you get QUITE the caca cake. Caca which the Infant is >
And time is running out fast. She's got a pretty decent bead on the belly to back roll, mainly because she despises being on her tummy - hates the view I guess. It's just a matter of days before she figures out the back to belly bit and starts stringing them together in a twirling dervish of here to there-ish-ness. She's a freakishly strong little creature and it's coordination alone that's holding her back, not lack of strength, either in will or body.
Speaking of which, the strong will is starting to express itself as well. Already the Infant has begun expressing 'opinions' about things, in the form of a new vocalization that sounds remarkably like 'NNNYARK!'. While it is nice that her vocabulary is growing beyond impassioned wailing, the corresponding growth of what can only be called 'attitude' is a less promising development in the parent Infant communication timeline. Combine these strong opinions with the looming possibility of willful motion and you begin to get a sense of my dawning horror...
I'm trying to keep myself from asking the teachers at daycare to perhaps offer just a little less 'tummy time'. It would be moot anyway - all it would do is delay the inevitable. The Infant is slowly but surely developing the skills and ability to impress her ever-growing will on the surrounding environs, and we parents are included as viable will-targets. Forget the moving from here to there bits; attempts to take control of the lunch room are merely hours away.... God help us one and all...(where's a sharpened toothbrush when you need one?!)

Friday, July 18, 2008

No, actually, that is NOT funny...

A few nights ago at bedtime, I was in the bathroom performing my evening ablutions. The household routine developed involves my BabyDaddy taking over Infant control duties for a few minutes before I go to bed, giving me time to, say, extract my contact lenses and/or pee. It's a magical few minutes of peace and quiet.
This evening however, not so much with the 'quiet' part. The Infant was in her Le Terrible mood, one of my least favorites. So handing her over was a mercy. The Hubble was doing a good job managing, working his way through the List of Needs - food? nope, not interested - and was on number 2, which, coincidentally is about Number 2 (& Number 1).
Now all this is going on outside my visual tracking range. I'm able to get a rough lock on location thanks to Infant shrieks and the Doppler effect, but otherwise, blissfully out of the loop. So I'm pretty sure they are in the bedroom and she is unamused. I hear some snippets of Infant/Hubble conversation (he adorably attempts to reason with her - so preciously misguided!), a bit of minor thumping, the tapering of infant hollering, then laughter. She's 4 months so I know it's not coming from her.
Said laughter increases. So of COURSE I have to ask...'what's so funny in there?' Pause, additional laughter. 'Hello? what's the amusement source? Do share - I could use a giggle...'

The Hubble responds, "I don't think you are going to find this nearly as amusing as I do", the Infant is now cooing happily. I, on the other hand am growing increasingly concerned.

'What exactly are you thinking I won't find funny? Be precise please'
I talk and walk simultaneously (no easy feat in my current stage of exhaustion)
On arriving in the bedroom I find a grinning husband and a happy baby, and no obvious reasons for concern - other then the look on his face. 'What happened?'

The Hubble shares, "well, she wasn't hungry, so I went to check her diaper, and sure enough it was wet. So I left her on the bed and ran to get another one from the nursery. Right when I got back she curled her little legs up and peed all over the place! Isn't that funny?!"

I am confused. This must be a guy thing - they seem to find elimination amusing somehow. Even my normally very enlightened spousal unit giggles maniacally at fart jokes.
'Um, I guess its funny. I mean, so she got her diaper wet... I'm not sure I see the humor really.'

The Hubble begins chortling, "Oh no I took her diaper off when I left to get her a new one. I was only going to be gone for a second..."

WHAT?!? You left her sitting on our bed with a naked butt?! That's like leaving a loaded gun lying around!! That's just MADNESS!!
I don't say this though, because realization is beginning to dawn...
'So wait...if there wasn't a diaper.... do you mean she peed on the BED?!'

Much mirth from the Hubble, "Yeah!! And even funnier - it's on your side!! Ha ha ha ha ha a haaa! Woo! Isn't that Funny?!?"


No that is not the LEAST bit funny, in fact. Again, I did not say this, mainly because I'd lost the power of speech. My EXPRESSION however, said a great deal...
"What? It's FUNNY! All those cute stories about babies peeing places and whatnot - we finally have one! it's cute!"

'Its on my side of the bed.'

"Well yeah, but that's no big deal."

'No big deal to YOU! It's not on YOUR side!!!'

At this point the Hubble was beginning to sense danger. He's sharp like that. What he never really calculated into the Har-dee-har-har equation, is that right now, this wet spot is between me and sleep. And I need sleep. I mean, I REALLY REALLY NEED sleep. Like a junkie needs heroin kinda need. And this piddle pool is in the way of a nice juicy pile of zzzzzzs.

"Well it's not THAT wet, we can just put a towel over it or something"

A 'man solution' if I've EVER heard one.

OK, no. 1) we have no clean towels anywhere in the house since I haven't done laundry since it seems like the Reagan administration. The only cleanish towel in the house is the one I'm using in my bathroom, so if we put THAT over it, I get to dry off with pee tomorrow morning, OR not shower after having slept in pee. Both = Suboptimal. 2) I'm one of those 'can't stand to have rumpled sheets' folks - call me the Princess and the Pee-pee, but no way I could sleep with a big lumpy urine soaked towel under me all night. I sum this up in a coherent a way as possible.

Hubble offers solution 2 - "Let's switch sides!" Considering the number of plugs, books, & sleep accessories that he must have at arms length, plus all the various nighttime Infant care caca on MY side, swapping all this would be at *least* a 30 minute process. 30 minutes in which I could be SLEEPING. Did I mention that I need sleep?

At this point, the Hubble begins to sulk.
"well, I think you are being difficult - I've suggested a couple of perfectly good suggestions and you have rejected them both - I'm just out of ideas."

I grit my teeth to keep the expletives from spewing out.
'Just..... help..... me...... change..... the...... sheet......'

Lest you be confused, no - I hadn't washed a load of sheets or anything like that. No, mercifully and miraculously, I had just *bought* a set of sheets at Target, cause, well, it's Target. While I am sure they are covered with sweatshop manufacturing filth, they are, at least, dry. The mattress cover is, of course, soaked as well, and in my exhausted haze I manage to find a kitchen towel in the 'donate' box to sop up the remaining Infant excretions.
Net this fix took 20 minutes. TWENTY perfectly good minutes of sleep WASTED. But still, 10 less than if we'd switched sides, so yay for that!

A few days later, the Hubble told this very story to his dad, albeit with a slightly different spin. *He* of course found it HI-larious. Ho ho ho, hee hee hee, they tittered together. So amused by the Infants shenanigans. How very droll. She peed! How ADORABLE! I did note, however, that The Hubble did NOT tell said story to his MOM. Which to me proves that deep in his testosterone laden heart, he knows....

Friday, June 27, 2008

SummmmmerTIIME and the Infant is screaming...

We, being first time parents, are relatively ignorant of what we should and shouldn't do. As a result, we tend to try things many other parents would not. Not because we are brave or bold, but because we are stone cold ignorant of the possible repercussions. One of these boldly go things we heedlessly traipsed into was taking the Infant swimming. The Infant, mind you, can't even roll over, so it wasn't so much that she was going swimming, more that we intended to dip her in the water and see what happened. I suppose one shouldn't treat ones child as a science experiment but how else would one learn, I ask you? Now I did do due diligence, i.e. I did a google search on 'infant swimming'. And by all accounts, this would not kill her, so onward!
My BabyDaddy is the king of blissful ignorance when it comes to the Infant. It is a blessing and a curse. I, having consumed more preggers lit than any human should while on bedrest (cause really, after the 6th day of Real World marathons, what else was left to do?), am marginally more informed about what one 'should' do with a baby. He on the other hand knows no fear. Again with the blessing/curse deal. This blind bravery is what led to the pool adventure.
The BabyDaddy wanted, more than anything else for fathers day, to take the Infant to the pool. I, being a sucker for the 'but it's FAAAAATHER'S day' argument, agreed. With some trepidation. We waited til the last hour of pool time, to minimize both exposure to the blinding sun and trauma for other innocent pool goers. I battened down the hatches with 2 hoody towels, 3 diapers, a bottle, a binkie, a bottle, 2 towels for US, 2 changes of clothes for the Infant, a book for me (ha), etc. etc. etc (hey, I'm a first time mom, I have no CLUE what is going to be needed at any given time so I just take it ALL). As I gathered enough crap to fill the actual pool, I handed the Infant over to BabyDaddy to clothe, with a choice of bathing suits. Yes! Exactly - see you experienced womenfolk have successfully IDed this as 'error in judgment #1'. I gave him a CHOICE. After mounding enough crap to last us for a summer in residence at the pool, I turned back to the man and his child, who was, at this point, now wearing pieces of 3 swimsuits. the outfit read like this : regular diaper, one-piece swim suit, bikini swimsuit top, swim diaper on TOP of all that, and knit hat. I tried. I really really TRIED not to say anything but I had to ask at least the most baffling of the choices.... "so why the swim diaper on the OUTside of the swimsuit?" Apparently, he wanted to assure all the pool patrons that our child was indeed wearing a swim diaper designed to reduce spills, by making said diaper as obvious as possible. The fact that the diaper was rendered completely useless by it's location mattered not at all to him, it simply needed to APPEAR useful. Ah. Ok then. Sigh.
We managed to sherp everything to the local pool, which was mercifully emptying. In the gathering frenzy, I had not been allotted time to put on my swimsuit, but at the nanosecond of arrival, BabyDaddy had to leap into the pool immediately. Waiting for me to change would have been an unbearable delay. So I gingerly hand the Infant to mah man in the pool, and brace myself for the storm.... and..... nothing. A short pleased coo, and a mostly curious expression were all we got. BabyDaddy was delighted, I videoed, then trotted off to change, pleased and thrilled at what an easy charming adventurous little baby we had created.
By the time I got into the pool she was babbling happy, splishing about and her extremities were slowing turning a delicate shade of blue. So approximately 39 seconds after getting IN the pool, I get OUT of the pool, with the Infant. U-turn back to the changing room, to change her out of her swimsuit(s) in order to raise her core temperature to at least medium rare.
This part did not go as well as the swimming part. In fact, the second I touched layer one of her swim apparel, she let out a shriek that would shatter glass. And that was just the warm up. During the entire unclothing and reclothing experience, she made noises you would have expected if I had been, say, peeling her actual skin off, instead of just a soggy diaper. And I remind you of the 6 layer dip that was her outfit. There were a LOT of clothes there. Add the lovely echo chamber acoustics of the changing area, and I guarantee this child's displeasure was heard 4 counties away. Of course, the second the displeasure inducing changing was complete, she ceases hollering and turns back into 'pleasant baby'. I, on the other had am still shaking from the side effects of the shock and awe shrieking.
I emerge from the changing room damp, cranky and with significant hearing damage. EVERY eye in the pool area turns to look at me, and really no one wants that much attention while wearing a swimsuit a mere 3 months after giving birth. NO ONE. In truth, though, they weren't looking at me as much as they were inspecting my child for damage and/or blood.
Exhausted, I tuck her into her little carrycot, and flomp down on a pool chair, ready to finally, FINALLY get a little summer pool relaxing in for me. My hubby calls from the pool (where he has been frolicking this entire time), 'do you need me to come out and watch her so you can hop in?'. Just as the words, 'for the love of all that is holy YES!' are about to leave my lips, the lifeguard whistle blows... "POOOLS CLOOOOOSED!"
Ah... summer...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Debunking Parental Myths or Why people are full of poop

When you are pregnant people who are currently parents become very HELPFUL with their information sharing. They do have the nasty habit of restricting the information they share to the 'scary as all crap' category. You know the type: "I was in labor for 7 days straight and they had to finally pull my child out of my right nostril" or the "Oh just wait 'til he/she/it is born, THEN the nightmare REALLY starts" or the ever popular "My child just graduated high school and it STILL hurts when I poop".
And these stories of horror are not limited to women. My babydaddy got them too, only he got the ones designed to strike terror in the hearts of the y-chromo owners. For example, "You will never play a video game again in your life" or the nightmarish "that sports car you own? Say goodbye now, 'cause you'll have to swing by the car dealership on the way home from the hospital to trade it in for a 1987 AstroVan".
Initially, I thought people were genuinely trying to be helpful - sharing their learnings, so to speak. But as time went on, I noticed that NONE of the stories were positive, pleasant or even remotely helpful. They were all just scary. And they were all relayed with a certain cruel smugness. One of my best friends, a mother of 2 even got in on the act. And, because I was hormonal and because we are those kinda friends, I started shrieking at her, 'ARE YOU TRYING TO FREAK ME THE F OUT?!?!'. This actually startled both of us. Me, because I was unaware I could hit such high notes and her because she honestly hadn't really realized what she was doing.
After I stopped frothing at the mouth and she took that time to consider the valid, albeit high pitched question, we discussed. At length. Eventually we came to the conclusion that humans are spiteful crappy little creatures and the joy of "I know something you don't know" goes back to elementary school days. Parents 'in the know' just loooooooooove to wave their knowingness over the heads of the newly knocked up Bambis wandering in the woods of What The Hell is Happening to My Body and My Life.
But the largest part of it is simply carrying on a tradition. It's just want you DO. People did it to me before I joined the club of parenthood, so now I'm doing it to others. You are a pledge asking for membership in the Frat o' Parent, and you gotta EARN it - *I* sure had to, is the mindset. In short, it's Hazing.
Well, the tradition dies here. Even though I've earned the right to scare the bejeebers out of anyone with a fetus, I'm going to pass. I REALLY did not enjoy being on the receiving end of this hazing process, so now that I've crossed over, I am going to officially turn in my pledge paddle and tell the truth about what happens on the Other Side. Or at least whats happening to me. YMMV. I may get drummed out of mommy's club, but what the hell. I have the stretch marks to prove membership so Nyah. So on the the debunking!

TALE OF TERROR #1 - "You will never sleep again!" - This is sooooo totally untrue! I sleep all the TIME! I sleep in my bed at night, I sleep sitting on the sofa with the TV on, I sleep sitting bolt upright in a nursing chair with a child on my boob, I even sleep in the front row of a meeting while the president of my company presents not 3 feet from me! I am a sleeping MACHINE! Now if what they meant was, you'll not get a good nights sleep for anywhere from 3 - 30 months, then that is, in fact in my experience, extremely accurate.

TALE OF TERROR #2 - "Putting your child in daycare will the the single most emotionally traumatizing experience of your life" - OK this one I'm just calling Bullsh*t on. I'm sure that, societally speaking, it's SUPPOSED to be, but seriously, F that. I love my child. I even love her with that creepy not-quite-sane, throw-yourself-in-front-of-a-truck-to-save-her, hormonal, atavistic brain-stem-level kinda love. But after having cared for this child 24/7 for 3 months straight, handing her over to licensed, regulated, highly competent, professional childcare experts for a few hours was a tiny little slice of heaven. You know that classic labor joke? "nothing's fun for 15 hours straight!". If that's true, sure as hell nothing is fun for 2.160 hours straight. I don't think breathing a sigh of relief when someone comes in to help you out makes you a cold hearted Mommy Dearest. It just makes you human. Now granted, I was really happy to see her again at the end of those few hours, but I will not need years of therapy to get over having handed her over to caring and competent carefully screened professionals in the first place. Pfft on that.

TALE OF TERROR #3 - "You won't go out in public until your child is in kindergarten, if then - and forget about eating out again EVER" - This is doo. We've eaten out at least once a week ever since the Infant was cleared for public exposure (2 month shots). Now before I go any further, let me just cut the flaming off at the pass, I *know* that this is highly Infant disposition dependent. At least I know that *now* - back when I was sitting at the feet of the parental sages, as far as I knew, we would NEVER EAT OUT AGAIN. The BS here is that no one tells you that, actually, some babies don't give a flying monkey where you take them, and they are perfectly content to snooze away in a car seat in a back seat as they are in a car seat in ringside and the Loud and Boisterous Circus of Light and Sound. But since we're told it's IMPOSSIBLE everyone is afraid to even try.
We, being parental daredevils with a high tolerance for risk, tried. And since we happen to have a child who's not a recreational screamer (she's more of a needs based screamer. If she needs something, she screams, otherwise she's cool.),we go out to eat. Sometimes she's awake, mostly she's asleep, and once we had to get our food to go, but we knew we were rolling the dice by going out near bedtime for her. I'm here to tell you it's possible people. Her willingness varies wildly from day to day, hour to hour, and I expect, age by age, but you gotta give it a shot. There's no reason to write off sitting down at a table not covered in unpaid bills, and allowing others to bring you food they cooked for you.
The sleep though? That you can just kiss goodbye.

Friday, June 13, 2008

"But I don't WANNA!" as guest blogged by my inner 2-year old...

I am in a MOOD today. Partially sleep deprivation fueled, I'll admit. The more tired I am, the more years I shave off of my age, behavior-wise. For example, when I'm a little tired, I'm very likely to find jokes a 12 year old would make funny. When I'm very tired I start to act like a 2 year old, stomping around and saying I don't wanna and being generally self-centered, contrarian and illogical. If I'm completely exhausted beyond reason, I revert to being a 3 month old and just cry til someone feeds me and/or puts me to bed. Since I got 2 chunks of 3 hours of sleep last night, I'm merely 2 today. This means pretty much nearly anything you can name, I don't wanna.
For example, I've joined a weight loss challenge. Another of my Don't Wannas is that I don't wanna have to wear only my pregnancy clothes for the next 4 years of my life. While they fit, in so far as I can squeeze my a$$ into them, they are designed to show off your lovely life-filled belly. Except that my belly is filled exclusively with ice cream sandwiches and ding dongs, so really, not something I want to call attention to. Don't REALLY have a choice however, since I can't fit into and/or find any of my other clothes. Clearly losing weight is the best thing to do, and to do that, one must exercise and cut calories - except... I don't wanna! So I stomp about and sulk every morning when I have to squeeze into my preggers pants, or my non-knocked-up shirt is tight enough to accent my backfat, bitter that I'm not losing weight while eating fried cheese sticks. Logic is not the stronghold of the toddler, clearly.
And as if this self-induced drama doesn't start my morning with a song, my next step is a visit to Chez Bebe aka the baby kennel. Frankly, handing my child over to daycare everyday in order to walk across the street to spend 8 hours doing totally uninteresting stuff, sucks. I'm sort of between projects since I'm transitioning back on, and between projects translates into 'doing wicked boring stuff '. In short, work isn't challenging or interesting or inspiring or really anything other than an annoying timesuck at the moment. And since I am running on roughly a 14 hour time deficit per day, anything that sucks my time bugs the everliving crap out of me. (Although, to be fair, in my current mood, anything, regardless of its time suckness is likely to bug the everliving crap out of me. Remember, I'm 2 and cranky.) If things were marginally more entertaining here in the office there is the outside chance of an attitude shift. But likely the only real source of a better mood lies in sleep, and lots of it.
Even writing about it makes me want to just walk out of here go across the street, snatch my child up and go home, except ... really, I don't wanna do that either!
If I go home, I need to wade through the drift of dirty socks and newspapers that has accumulated around the corners of my house, and try to avoid knocking over the giant pile of unsorted unopened mail, chockablock with unpaid bills in pink envelopes. This could all be taken care of if I just spent a little time cleaning/sorting/billpaying except, well, nobody wants to do that, regardless of how well rested they are or how much time they have on their hands. Anyone who tells you they like cleaning is off their meds. Period.
Plus, when it comes to snatching up the child, honestly? I'm a little tired of being a mommy. At least for this week. I mean, I love my child and all, and with that blind hormonal nearly deranged kinda mommylove, but I've had to be a mommy a LOT recently. Like 24 hours a day. For 3 months straight. That's a lot of non-stop mommying. While leaving the Infant at daycare is a minor heartbreak every single time, it also is a brief break from hands-on child rearing, which is kinda nice occasionally. Using that break to schedule meeting rooms for analytic tool training, however, is not improving my mood. Using it to sit beside the pool, drink something girl-y, preferably with an umbrella, and read an entertaining yet non-taxing book, however, THAT I wanna! But no such luck.
So until such time as I am able to lose weight without dieting or working out, and am able to be a mommy whenever I want and take a break whenever I need, and am able to be inspired by work every day but able to walk away to play with my infant at will, and elves come in the night to clean my house, I will likely remain in a state of toddler tantruminess. Or until I get some sleep - whichever comes first. My money is on the elves.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Exactly how much 'suck' can you cram into one day, anyway?

Today is the Infants first day of 'school' aka the baby kennel. As the days passed with the family caring for the little one, I became less and less concerned about Official Corporate Daycare. Pros and Cons - Cons, no real family snugglely time & your child is guaranteed to be disease-ridden for the first 9 months of her little life. Pros - Official Corporate Daycare doesn't show up late to your house, or, occasionally forget they are caring for you child altogether forcing you to scramble around to find some one to watch the Infant at 9am on a weekday. So Yay daycare!
Also, this daycare center is insane. If it wasn't corporately subsidized there is no WAY our child would be attending this joint - They pipe classical music into the rooms. They have a separate baby gym. The 2 year olds have computers. They have a WATERPARK for God sake. Clearly, if one is going daycare, this is the kinda daycare to go.
But still, taking a little critter that can't even roll over yet and releasing her into the wild, sort of, is a little distressing. It would be one thing if she'd had a little jujitsu training or something, but no. She isn't totally helpless though - she can pop someones' eardrum if it comes to that, and her little fingernails are SHARP. Overall, my mommyheart is handling the concept fairly well, but still feeling a little twingy at the whole deal.
So I spent last night assembling everything she needs for her first day of school, and it's quite a list - extra diapers, formula galore, diaper cream, extra outfits for blowouts, blankies, forms and paperwork up the yinyang. I was fussing, as one does, before things one is nervous about, but I had the bulk of it all ready to go. All I needed to do was grab the checklist out of the car in the morning & give everything a last once over to make sure I had everything. I went to bed content.
I also woke up content, mainly cause I was waking up, which meant I got sleep. That is a good night. With most of the pre-daycare prep completed the night before, I felt comfortable spending a little extra snuggle time with the Infant. It was a big day, for me, more so than her, but it still - it called for cuddles. Happy warm family time with birds singing and chipmunks outside doing my lawn work. Quite lovely... I finally rousted myself, got the Infant ready for her big day with minimal hearing damage, and headed toward the door with a big smile on my face to get my checklist from the THE F IS THE CAR??!?!
The smile went byebye. Our car had been towed. From our reserved parking spot. TOWED! Today of ALLLLL days, my car gets towed. Um, SUCK! No checklist for me... so now instead of wisking the Infant off to her first day of daycare with a song in my heart, we're running around like maniacs trying to locate my automobile.
The series of phone calls that finally led us to the cars location read like a transcript of Who's On First. I kid not, the woman at the association actually said "well, why don't you go check and see if your car has been stolen, and if it HASN'T then you can call us back." Seriously? Did you just say that? What, I'm supposed to call my local car theft ring? Not really sure where to find them in the yellow pages - under 'J' for 'Jackin''? 'Excuse me, did you steal my car? Yes? Ok cool - no need for me to call the tow-happy association then!' I mean really people.
Finally they 'fessed up to having us towed, cause my registration was expired. Which is wasn't. I had renewed it. However, my stickers hadn't come from the DMV yet so my tags showed a May 08 date. I thought that this would be counterbalanced by the large white paper saying "TEMPORARY REGISTRATION" stuck in the windshield, but, gee, it sure is dark at night and SOMEHOW the tow company 'missed' it. Uh huh. Don't GET me started.
Finally auto located, so now all three of us have to shoe horn ourselves and all the Infants extensive daycare accessories into the husband's convertible studmobile to go reenact an episode of Parking Wars. Props to the dude at the car impound lot - he didn't suck. At least he appeared not to suck. Mainly by blaming the other division of the company and saying that yes they DID suck a great deal, very sorry about that here's their number and the receipt for the $175 bones you just had to had over to get back your car that probably shouldn't have been towed in the first place. Car reclaimed we transfer ALLLLL the baby crap, and the baby into the car, then promptly transfer the baby back OUT of the car since it was approximately 7000 degrees in there. After 10 minutes of AC on full blast, the car was no longer a baby slow cooker. She got retransfered, and we were finally on our way to start our day. At 12:30 pm.
The sole upside to this entire debacle is that I was so discombobulated about the whole towing disaster that I didn't have the emotional wherewithal to get too bent about dropping her off. Happy Monday!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

My boobs can tell time! Bet yours can't....

Since I have become a food source, (which, frankly, is just totally wack) there have been several ripple effect changes in my life, none of which was even remotely expected. The expected change e.g gigantic knockers did NOT occur, mainly because life is cruel. What DID happen is, well, weird. Since the Infant has developed something of a 'feed me' routine, I as food source, have had to fall in line with said routine. The negative reenforcement should I not is really pretty dreadful and is measured in decibels. So I got with the program. After 2 1/2 months of training, we developed this was a lovely symbiotic cover-of-a-mommy-book loving kind of relationship. She'd cry, I'd whip 'em out, everyone was happy.
Then, just when my boobs for fully trained to perform on command, we ran into a little scheduling hiccup, called "working full time". Regardless, every 3 1/2 hours or so the kitchen opens at the brestaurant as scheduled. Not so useful since the Infant is all of 20 miles away. There IS a way around this, but man is it inelegant.
Generally, whipping 'em out in a workplace is frowned upon, unless, of course, your boss is called 'Guido'. My boss is called 'Scott' so, really, not so much. However, when one is a food source, in enlightened aren't-we-so-understanding companies it is considered acceptable to slink off to the 'mother's room' aka the milking barn to have a little rastlin' session with the archaic torture device known as a 'breast pump'.
I have a long and difficult history with said mechanical boob sucker. We had a really rocky start since I was using it to convince my body that I needed to make milk. I wasn't actually MAKING milk when the pumping started so I'd have the thing on full mega suction and, after 30 minutes of high powered mechanical titty-twisters, would extract all of .025 of an oz. of milk. Epic Fail! And emotionally draining, especially considering all this was happening in the first 2 weeks after the major surgery that produced the Infant. I'd come to view the Sucking In Style boobulator with a great deal of trepidation, for obvious reasons.
However, there came a healing in our relationship. See, when one is all boobjuiced up, you begin to develop a FULL feeling. And not a good full feeling, more of a 'ok don't TOUCH those, OW' full feeling. And if the fullness continues unrelieved, the tatas develop an every rack for themselves mentality and open the pressure release valve, at which point you end up with large damp circles right over your knockers, bulls eye style. I remind you again, that I am back at work. Large damp knocker circles are not technically considered 'business casual'. This is when the Sucking In Style became my new brestest friend.
So now right on schedule at 11:30am everyday the milk train comes, and I have to grab my newly adored breastpump and head out. For those of you who have mercifully not ever had to deal with one of these things, it is roughly the size shape and weight of a cellular phone from 1983 so tromping around the halls with this chiropractor's dream of a bag is hardly subtle. It is however more subtle than a soaked shirt, so yay for that?
This routine continues at roughly 3 1/2 hour intervals, schedule providing. Let me clarify - the NEED arises every 3 1/2 hours regardless - my ability to do anything about it is what gets messed with. And past 4 1/2 hours the pressure valves start to kick in. So there IS a window but it's a small one, and one that is fairly non-negotiable. If I could negotiate with my rack, believe me, it would be a different world.
This compressed time frame has resulted in several of the more unexpected ripple effects, among them, me leaving meetings early, cause the boobs were done WELL before the agenda was. Higher on the things I thought I'd never do list, during all day off site team training events, I've slunk out to my car, plugged the MilkMaster into the cigarette lighter and took my top off in the backseat. And really, you know your life has changed radically when its a boob appliance that's getting to second base in the backseat of your car.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Goooooood MORNING! Or it was anyway....

See, I got Sleep, with a capitol 'S'. Any night that includes a chunk of sleep greater than 3 and 1/2 hours is considered a good night. If a good night includes *2* chunks of sleep greater than 3 and 1/2 hours, it will be followed by a good morning. Which was what I was having. Note use of past tense...
Many things were contributing to the good morning-ness, beyond even the sleep. I'd had the presence of mind/time/energy to switch my wallet and phone from my weekend diaper bag to my weekday working drone purse (how terribly symbolic), so I wasn't going to get 1/2 way to work and realize I would be foraging for leftover conference room food for lunch and/or getting arrested for driving without a license.
I'd also prewashed a bottle so I'd have SOMEthing to leave with the sitter to feed the Infant from - so she'd get to eat too. I'd managed to get showered, find underwear AND a bra I can wear, as well as an outfit I don't feel totally schumpy in. Mommy tummy is restricting my fashion options rather severely at the moment. That and being 4 years behind in laundry.
Speaking of laundry, I managed to get a load in without dripping detergent on myself or having to rewash a load from 4 days ago that had gone all stank. And, while in the basement, cleaned the kitty boxes *before* the inevitable editorial poop appeared on a landing or hall corner. All this and I was only running 30 minutes late. Truly a great morning.
And then......
The Sitter-In-Law had the Infant in arms feeding her a bottle - I was in full sherpa mode: boob pump, purse and computer bag all dangling off of me. I was just reaching for my lunch, the last step on the 'exit stage right' routine when..... YOOOOOOORK! The Infant represented apparently the entire 3 oz of formula she had just schlorped down. And, drama queen that she was, it went everywhere, including out of her nose. She was righteously offended. The expression while pitiful, was somewhat amusing - a mixture of 'oh, seriously, ew!' and 'what the f did I do to deserve THAT?!'. I would be lying if I didn't admit to freezing, with my hand on my lean cuisine lunch, and seriously debate just bolting. But one look at that confused and indignant little babyface and mommy guilt won. Plus I *like* my Sitter-In-Law. So I backed away from the the frozen pizza, de-sherp-ed and dove into decontamination. Since it was morning and the happy Infant side was in place vs. the later hours Sybil who shows up, she took it all with relatively good humor. Meaning her screams didn't actually shatter glass, and it only took 7 minutes to peal her off the ceiling after her onesie was removed.
Once the Infant was stripped and the worst of her hurl was hosed off of her, the Sitter-In-Law was kind enough to take over for the last of the dry down and redressing and I made a bolt for the door, now at least 45 minutes late. As I piled all my electronically laden saddlebags back on, I heard the MOST adorable coos and giggles from upstairs. Those sweet little sounds kept me smiling nearly 1/2 way to work. Which is when I realized I'd left my lunch at home. Le sigh.
Happy Monday to one and all!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Things no one warns you about: Infants spawn paperwork

I am still wading through an insane backlog of mail and various other bits of paper built up from The Dark Days (so named because, for the first 2 months of the infants live, day became night and visa versa). But wait! There is still more! The pile of paper I need to fill out to get the infant into daycare makes my extended tax returns look like cake. PLUS, I need to get the pediatricians office to fill out part of it. So there is the added level of difficulty of dealing with medical personnel. PLLUUUSS, I need to fill out even MORE paperwork for the flexspending account that will help me pay for the arm, leg and kidney that daycare costs. They tell you about late night feedings and they tell you about stinky diapers, but they never warn you about THIS stuff...
Pray for me to emerge sans papercuts and still sane-ish...

Overheard from the nusery....BWAHhahaaha!

Infant: WAAAAAHHH!!!!

hubby/studmuffin: Welcome to So You Think You Can Poop! I'll be your judge today... show me what you've got...

Infant: WAAAAAHHH!!!!

hubby/studmuffin: That's it?! That's all you've got?! I've seen better poop from hamsters! Where's the PASSION?!

Infant: WAAAAAHHH!!!!

hubby/studmuffin: Please leave the auditorium


hubby/studmuffin: You know we're going to have to bleep all that out... bleeping bleepity bleep judges wouldn't know good poop if it bit them on the bleep!

Infant: Waah... Waa.... Aahgoo!

hubby/studmuffin: Come back next year.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

"Working Mother" = redundant OR, phrased another way, shoot me now

Mommyhood is HARD. Seriously. There is a Darwinian reason that nature makes infants so gosh darn cute. It's so they will survive the day - cause they can't do Jack for themselves, and, frankly, in the early days, they really aren't all that entertaining. In fact, they are downright annoying at times. They are kinda like tiny little asexual Paris Hiltons. Good thing they have their looks. They are, all in all, just a f-load of WORK.
The cruelty of 'life today' means that riiiiight about the time they start to suck a little less - adding cooing and gurgling to their to-date limited vocabulary of shrieks - that's exactly the time your maternity leave is up. Which is like, now. That's right folks - I'm back at work. My OTHER work I mean... the corporate stuff that you can get paid for.
I'm only sort of back, in that my brain is still firmly attached to the infant. Not literally, cause, ew. But figuratively, the hormonally-driven two-way baby clinginess is far far more powerful than I gave it credit for being. I miss the creature - the same creature who keeps me up at all hours, who poops on me, and who chews on my nipples for fun - I MISS her. Clearly this is not a feeling driven by logic.
The 'work' part is a little shaky. In part because, compared to what it takes to keep an infant alive during the first few months of its life, my job can hardly be called work. It's bordering on being a vacation, comparatively speaking. A wicked boring one, but still. I am still expected to produce things, for my pay, and that has been a bit of a challenge.
In part because the small segment of my brain that is not attached to the infant and has managed to make itself present in meetings and whatnot, is TIRED. Bone weary tired. Drooling on oneself tired. Consequently, some of my contributions are tending toward the, 'I don't know whatever you think' category. Others are just, well, lame. See, some people work fine on low sleep. Me? I start walking into walls and giggling to myself. Not really employee of the month type behavior.
One of the other little barriers to peak employee performance are my boobs. I'm not Dolly Parton so they've never really had a large impact on, well, anything before, much less work. But now? Since I've managed to get them up to speed on the babyjuice production, they require a lot more maintenance. Specifically, just like the cows in the fields, if I don't get milked regularly, I start to hurt. And/or leak. Both suck (no pun intended). So every few hours I have to take a midevil style boob sucking torture device roughly the size shape and weight of a cellular phone from 1981 down to the officially designated tata room and have at it. Which is just (and there is no better phrase to describe it) flat-out weird. Some things should not be brought into the work place. Rack Milking is one of those things. But here we are.
So between the exhaustion, the hormonal baby yearnings, and the Bessie the Cow deal, I can't honestly say that I feel like I am running at peak performance. In spite of all these however, I AM able to add a few sniblets of value - enough that I am not a TOTAL waste of space here. Some hours it's touch and go though.
The infant meanwhile is currently hangin with relatives, and apparently being incredibly easy to deal with. "She's SUCH a good baby!!!" This is because she saves allllll her cranky up til mommy's home. Now, granted, my arrival home tends to coincide with when she starts to get tired ( 6 or 7pm which my mommy friend refers to as the 'arsenic hour' ). But still. Its hard not to wonder if there is something deliberate there....or if the relatives are drugging her somehow. And if they are, can I get some of what they are dishing out?
In the next week or two she will be starting 'school' aka day care at work. We struggled with the decision on where to put her/keep her. With relatives is nice AND free, which is no small benefit. But they have lives to lead, lives that don't always mesh with the schedules of the infant. On the flip, daycare = no scheduling conflicts ever, but wicked expensive. Ultimately, family could only help for the the summer anyway, and we got a slot in the work daycare which is like, the Harvard of baby care. So we went for it. They seriously have a 'gym' just for babies. A baby gym. seriously. And, I feel pretty sure that the bean will do great there. Like mommy and daddy, she has the attention span of a hamster, and anything bright and shiny and new is considered good to her. They have a LOT of bright shiny and new at this place - more than we could ever provide even at home. We'll know for sure her review of the facilities next week, and I'll report back in. For now, I'm going back to 'work'....

Friday, May 9, 2008

Knocked up no more!

Clearly, quite a bit has happened since my last post... I spent the week after penning that puppy in and out of the hospital. BP would go up, doc would send me to the hospital, they'd drug me more, BP would drop, they'd send me home, then BP would go up again. lather rinse repeat. It was an ever escalating battle - drugs vs. skyrocketing BP. 'I dare you!' 'I double dare you!!' By the time we'd reached the triple dog-dare of blood pressure treatment aka 750mg of TWO different BP drugs 3 times a day with full left side only hospital bed rest, it became pretty clear that we were out of options. It was babytime.
Because she was only 34 weeks, I was all for riding it out as long as possible. A couple of docs in my ob's practice were down with that, to a point. And there was a lot of 'discussion' about exactly where that point was. This was a bit confusing from the patient side of the conversation since opinions varied. When you are hospitalized, you get the doc du jour, which means you get the opinion du jour. 'You are good, just hang on your left side indefinitely and when your BP spikes again, we'll have a baby!' Next day, next doc? 'Get her out!! NOW NOW NOW!!!' Um, what? Many confused calls and intense spousal conversations later - we went with doc 2s opinion, who, come to find out, was dead serious about the 'NOW' part of her opinion. The hubby barely had time to get to the hospital before they were wheeling me into the operating room. He was literally met at the door with the little paper booties and hat. Exceptional timing!
I'll spare you the details of the delivery, but it could have been worse. We went c-section. Considering that rolling onto my right side spiked my BP by 20 points, we were pretty sure that a 24 hour bout with intense induced pain would probably have had a negative impact on my readings, to the tune of 'not enough drugs in the world'. So a quick slice n' dice and boom! Baby.
She was born at 3 something on march 7th (hey, I was drugged - cut me some slack!) and weighed 5lbs 9ozs. And after 10 days in the NICU, she was allowed to go home. I had to stay in the hospital myself another 4 days. The first of those 4 days, I was drugged to the gills on magnesium, to prevent seizures triggered by my ridiculously intransigent blood pressure. I refer to that period as my Keith Richards days. I was borderline incoherent and feeling zippy pain. This was especially welcome since shortly post birth the epidural wore off/broke (trust me you don't want the details) and I had been feeling EVERY bit-o-pain that comes along with being gutted like a codfish. Yay for magnesium, I say! And percocet and tylenol 3...
Next few posts I'll get y'all up to speed on the transition from human podcreature to mommyhood - its been quite a ride. But details will need to wait - the infant is paging me (read: there is an air raid siren going off in my home).... Happy Early Mother's Day!

Friday, February 29, 2008

You want the good news first?

VERY good news! The kicked in the crotch sensation has subsided substantially! Now, it's subsided because I've been put on full time bed rest and am not allowed to leave the bed/sofa for more than 5 minutes at a stretch, but hey - I'm all about looking at the sunny side of the street. Another little bit of solar radiance is that I don't have to do said bed rest at the hospital. This was a strong possibility, and in fact, got a little trial run. Here's the fun summary of the past week in short. Monday, standard doc appointment. Been going in once a week for a while, so no biggie right? Um no, BIGGIE. My BP was not exactly what you'd call low... 160/100. This displeased the docs so much they sent me straight to the hospital. Um what? You want me to go where?! 'Labor and Delivery'. Uh-huh. And When do you want me there? 'Now.' Did you say now? 'Now!' Crap. Didn't really expect that one.... to say the least. So I freak, my husband rides in on his green stallion and rescues me from displaced hysteria, and shuttles me over to the hospital, which turns out, not to have been as bad as I expected. Mind you, I expected a cross between a Spanish Inquisition Torture Chamber and the movie Saw, cause I'm what you'd call 'anti-hospital' in spite never having been admitted to one before. I was wrong. It actually wasn't all that bad. It was less fun on the second day. In part cause they sent me home Monday evening, then went and sent me back the very next day. I expect that impacted my overall attitude on day two. Day 3 I was definitely not feeling it. All that said - they really were pretty nice, the food didn't suck as much as I thought, and in spite of all the poking and prodding at all hours, I did actually get SOME sleep. The upshot is that the baby is still doing well, I'm still doing pretty well, but the timing on all this birthing stuff is likely going to be, um, moved up a bit. Like she's going to be showing up any where from one month to 6 weeks early which would be anywhere from 3 weeks away to like, tonight. This is causing some minor scheduling difficulties, in so far as we kinda thought we'd have another, say, month or 6 weeks to do things like get the nursery together and buy diapers. Not so much. But really, of all the things we could be dealing with at this stage of the game, being stuck is bed is minor. She's healthy, I'm all good, and she'll be here soon. So yay!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Ahead of Schedule and Overdelivering - how overacheiving is BAD during pregnancy...

Normally, the American Way is to do things bigger better and faster, and that is Good. When dealing with baby-growing, average really is optimal. Trust me. I know this for several reasons.
The first reason is that being ahead of the curve when it comes to labor readiness, actually translates into a cootch that hurts like a mother (no pun intended). Here's the medical 411 on this little joy. When you are pregnant, your body is flooded with a chemical that relaxes your ligaments and muscles and whatnot. The technical, medical name for this chemical is, and I am NOT kidding here, 'relaxin'. 'Relaxin' for goodness sake. It's not inherently bad. I mean, loosey goosey ligaments and muscles are a major plus when passing a child out of your nethers. They aren't however so useful when it means your esophagus ends up relaxed enough to allow dinner to wander up in your craw every time you lay down for bed. This is a relatively minor inconvenience, however, when compared to the irritation I'm currently experiencing.
I either have extra relaxin, it started really pumping early, or I'm relaxin sensitive - regardless, I have a REALLY relaxed pelvis. Super chill, is my groin. I am, in short, a loose woman. Now again, when passing a child like a bowling bowl from twixt your legs, this is good. Prior to the actual moments/hours of birthing, this is not so good. Cause it HURTS.
Having the four major bone-parts of your pelvis free to wander about at will, independent of each other and with no ligamentarian supervision means that all the surrounding muscles and joints and tendons and whatnot get wicked ticked. These bones gone wild are wreaking havoc in their bodily neighborhood, and the complaints from the nearby residents are coming in loud and clear.
The overall sensations vary from person to person, depending on how you walk or carry your weight or the weight of your mini-me-2-b. In my case, my pelvic area, for example, feels exactly like I was assaulted in a Law & Order SVU kinda way by an elephant or 12. Or, alternatively, like I just finished a 48 hour bike ride, had my legs removed at the hip, swapped, then screwed back in improperly. So, you know, um, OW! As you can imagine from these scenarios, spreading my legs, or really separating them at all, hurts like heckola. (I'm not exactly sure how that's going to work with the whole birthing process, but I figured I'll worry about that when forced too. Hopefully the drugs will have kicked in before it ever matters.)
Plus, since most of that groinal area seems to be running amuck most of the time, when I need to actually USE those joints, they need a lot of advance notice to get back into marching formation. When I get up after sitting for a while, or lying down, I have about 5 yards of shuffling like a stoned zombie, followed by some rather disturbingly loud popping noises coming from my lower regions, before I can walk even remotely normal. This makes the semi-conscious 3am bathroom trips especially exciting/entertaining for any viewers in the area.
The official medical word on this little adventure is that it is quote, normal, end quote. That's doctor speak for 'I know it hurts like a bieotch but there isn't jack doodly we can do about it so suck it up, and also, drink a lot of water'. Any doctor given advice while pregnant always ends with 'drink a lot of water'. Apparently hyper-hydration cures everything pregnancy related. Who knew?
On top of this day to day groin-centered painfest, last weekend, courtesy of my overrelaxed muscles, I managed to twist my ankle. Doing nothing. I sat on the sofa and pointed my toes. Seriously. That was it. For this impertinent toe-pointing I was rewarded with near total loss of mobility. If you thought the idea of me shuffle stepping around while I waited for my pelvis to get it's act together was amusing, imagine me HOPPING around like a stoned zombie. It WAS really impressive, I have to admit. Jaw dropping even. So being overrelaxed extra early, really? Not recommended...
The other ahead of schedule bit would be, oh something minor, like OUR CHILD. We just went in for an ultrasound (number 3) and were informed that the baby-2-b is approximately 2-3 weeks bigger than is average at this stage. She seems to think I'm in week 31 of my pregnancy vs the actual week 28-29 that I'm in. AND she's started to grow hair. With as much as she kicks and the size and the fur thing, if I wasn't actually there at the time of conception, I would be concerned that I have the love child of Jean-Claude Van Damme and a Yeti in there.
My official advice to any and all pregnant women, now and into the indeterminate future, is Average is Good. Watch Maury, eat McDonalds, Get 'C's. Just let go of any overachieving bone you have anywhere in your body, cause if you don't, I promise you, it will sure enough dislocate itself and start to wreak havoc on every body part you own.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

This just in...

At my appointment this morning the doc decided she wants to 'monitor me more closely', mainly because of the high blood pressure. She wants to make sure that I don't end up with preeclampsia - or more specifically, so they can catch it as soon as possible should I get preeclampsic, since apparently there is Jack Doodle you can do to avoid it, if'n it's a-comin'. Now, I appreciate the vigilance - it's a bad-to-dreadful thing if it kicks in - but the monitoring... oy! I now am on every 2 week doc visits, and they are making me do that pee in a jug thing AGAIN. (Mercifully, they're letting me wait til after I get back from my LA trip so I can collect my urine in a giant gas can in the privacy of my own home, instead of having to skulk around in the work place with it like last time. Whee.) I appreciate the on-top-i-tiveness, I just have a hard time reconciling it with the totally normal BP reading I got this morning.
I was also given the heads up that if I should go all preeclampsic and whatnot, the only 'cure' is to deliver the baby, which clearly, ain't an option for quite a few months yet. Barring the cure, the 'treatment' is to chain me to my bed - the dreaded bed rest! Ugh! Now, the doc said, everything is good now, but she just wanted to let me know so I'd be mentally prepared if this did happen, and that I could, and I quote, 'turn at any time'. I did consider turning on her at that point.... Lemme get this straight, the only thing I can do to possibly avoid this is drink more water? And the treatment is to just go to bed? Greeeeeaaat... sounds like my last stomach virus, and it would be about as welcome.
And on top of this adventure, I'm also due for the standard glucose screening (aka 'the drink some nasty-a** sugar laden goop and then get blood sucked' test), they want to up my ultrasounds to every 3 weeks and I need to go to the hospital for some Ghb, Gbh, Gamma boogen sompin' shot so my blood doesn't end up in a head to head face off with the baby's blood. Basically, I'm going to be spending a CRAPload of time with medical professionals over the next few months.
Talk about starting the new year with a bang! ;-)

Tuesday, January 1, 2008


Between 2 funerals (grandmothers ::sigh::), 2 rounds of work layoffs (still employed), and the general holiday chaos, blogging went bye-bye. But now that I've got a nanosecond to breathe I'll get everyone up to date cause a lots gone down - all good.

- We got our 20 week ultrasound which is the 'measure ever bone in the baby's body' ultrasound. We learned that all bones in the babies body are intact and accounted for, heart's there and beating, so allll good. We also discovered the babies gender. Before we got all excited we asked the doctor, how sure ARE you? Since we've heard stories of all blue nurseries that suddenly get populated with baby girls and visa versa - a boy named Sue and all that. So the doc whipped out the scanner, flipped the switch, and the screen was filled with our lovely child's splayed legs. Nowhere to hide a thing, no pun intended - 'Oh yeah' he said, 'I'm sure - that is DEFINITELY a girl'. So yay!

- We've also discovered that the first ultrasound did not lie - this is one active baby. Now that I can feel her, I'm pretty sure we've bred a kick-boxer. She's now kicking hard enough that I'm not the only one feeling her. The kick like a mule skill is concerning considering I've still got a whole trimester to go. She's going to get WAY bigger and WAY stronger over the next 3 months. THIS is where the stretch marks come from, I'm sure of it. God help me...

- I've also retired nearly all clothes that are non-maternity. I am unmistakably knocked-up from nearly any angle, including the rear (waddle-a-rama!). Now like the kicking skillz, this is concerning. I am short, petite, vertically-challenged, stumpy, un-tall, whatever you want to call it, but the upshot is there really isn't a lot of torso here for baby-hosting. Unless I get a liver removal, I calculate I've got about another 3 or so weeks 'til the only way to grow is out. And with 3 MONTHS left to go, it looks like I'm going to end up approximately as wide as I am tall. Now it's not like I'm giving up a skateboarding career here, but with these proportions I'm not sure how WALKING is going to go. It's going to be entertaining I'm sure.

Next up is a trip next week to LA so we'll be flying cross county and playing tourist, at least as much as I am able in my early-waddling state. This will be one globe-trotting fetus - she'll have been to NYC, West Palm Beach and LA all before she's born! We're clearly enjoying the travel thing while we can. ;-) I'll be updating on the fun upon return...