Archive for March, 2008

Again, with the pointless being online

A) It is snowing. This seems to somehow validate my non-productivity. Like, who could expect actual accomplishment in this weather? GEEZ.

B) Something horrible happened to my toe but I seem to have fixed it with some creative nail polish application. Perhaps when the horror fades I’ll give you the details. In the meantime, THANK GOD.

C) A shout out to my infertile homies: alittlepregnant.com is an AWESOME blog, and I think even if you’re not infertile, today’s post is worth a chuckle. Who doesn’t love evasive celebrities?

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Perspective

Okay, so this was a dark and stormy weekend. A dark and stormy collection of multiple days, really. (Factually: sunny and freezing, with scattered snow flurries). And I’m feeling marginally better rested if not revitalized and refreshed. (Mr. K and I also had a good, supportive weekend together which helps. When you hardly ever fight, a stupid spat is a big deal). My face seems somehow curiously too small, and my nose is dripping, so I’m still wondering if some of this is legitimate illness.

But I remain emotional, weepy and overwhelmed. Sources indicate this could last another 15-17 weeks, and beyond. And while that isn’t a great diagnosis, I have found that there is another human out there right where I am (although he is male and not pregnant). Rand Richards Cooper, who blogs for Wondertime. I like Wondertime because it is full of learning and goodness and optimism about raising kids, and we’ve been subscribers since before we managed to make BabyK. But I especially like them today because of this blog. See, it’s totally fine to be overwhelmed! This is overwhelming!

Guess we will take our comfort where we can find it. I am trying an exercise today, in which I am trying to put things in real, prioritized order. I belong to a message board with a bunch of other ladies due in July. This weekend, two went into labor. One lost her baby at 22.5 weeks. 24 is when they seem to actually have a decent shot (BabyK is currently 25.5). Her water broke, she labored, he was born, he died very shortly after. His name was Owen. She seems to be doing as well as can be expected, but geez. The other went into labor but hasn’t delivered, and she is a few weeks ahead of the other one so we are waiting to see how long they can keep the little one inside to fight for those lungs.

So here it is: that parental clarity that people talk about. Is any of this more important than BabyK’s health? No. Is he doing fine? Yes. Both of those mamas had problems before they went into labor, and we have had none. So I am trying to be the best person I can be today, remembering that none of it matters more than that little guy doing backflips in there.

Also, I am resolving to NEVER EVER EVER again open a link that is titled, “When a baby is destined to die.” Because that totally shoots that whole ‘no crying at the office’ plan all to hell. How can they even put that on the front page of msnbc? Don’t they know there are emotional pregnant people out here?

So. It’s spring, right? Things are really fine, right? It’s all going to be okay, right?

If it’s not, please don’t tell me.

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Not waving, but drowning

I have no business being online right now. None whatsoever, unless I am answering the inbox full of emails with questions that need real, substantive answers NOW. But before I can make myself sit down and do that, I have to stop and let myself peek out for a moment from underneath all this really heavy crap I’ve been carrying around. So I am here. Writing in that spot where I try to say authentic things.

Lately I have not felt very authentic on my blog. I have not felt that the things I am actually experiencing were acceptable for publication on my blog. That may or may not be true, or maybe I am being oversensitive and once again imagining all the terrible things that people are just sitting and dreaming of doing to me, waiting for me to slip up enough for them to make their move. Have you ever heard the phrase, ‘Just because I’m paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get me?’ I am a close friend of that phrase. Fortunately, most of the time I am wrong. But enough of the time I am right, enough that I still hold on to that watchfulness.

Have you ever pondered how many people out there are doing just really shitty work? I mean, all of those people out there in big corporations or, heaven forbid, consulting firms, or whatever industry you like, who are really and factually not getting it done? Are they always not getting it done? They seem to have fine lives – relationships, jobs, often more money than those around them. Have they made a pact with the devil? Is their life a house of cards about to come crashing down? Because the funny thing I see is that there are very very rarely any consequences for their not getting it done. They miss the point completely, or fail to deliver the objective, or find some actual working type person to do it for them and pass it off. And yet, it seems that even when people see this about them, they are excused for it. Life continues on uninterrupted, it is too much trouble to remove them or correct them or attempt to change them.

So naturally, my greater question here is this: why am I so clearly not one of those people? How am I different that the normal or even sub-par average for getting by does not seem to apply? Please do not think that I am unaware of how much of this lives inside my own head. I am very aware. That is part of my question too: why do they not have that relentless, driving voice in their head telling them that they must perform, they must achieve, they must surpass expectations … that only that, and nothing less, is getting by, and even then it might not be enough? I had a rough childhood. This is nothing new. One might think that acknowledging that fact and realizing that there are scars that I still carry would even earn bonus points, somehow. I find that the opposite is true. I must work that much harder to overcome those things. Perhaps it was the humiliating and constant need to be excused for something: needing more time for the check to clear, needing a ride, needing time off for another doctor’s appointment, needing to hide my house and my home life from my friends. At heart, I am still that person. Writing that sentence, I feel a sense of impending doom that at least 50% of the people reading that will say, you still are that person. We are tired of making excuses for you! You need to get with the program! Suck it up and get it done!

Perhaps you are saying those things. Perhaps I am that person and everyone is very tired of my unreliability and general shoddiness and most of all, hearing me whine about it in my blog when already I pay a therapist good money to listen to this, for over four years now.

Oh well. Too late now.

The truth is that I am very tired. I am so tired, in fact, that a very unique phenomenon has been visited upon me. My brain, that large and driving machine, has been shut down and only this morning am I seeing hesitant flashing lights and irritated beepings. I am not sure if it is purely a symptom of physical exhaustion, or that I have been ‘overclocking’ it as they say, and my body isn’t a good heatsink anymore. I don’t think it is hormonal, as my brain has been very functional in a variety of areas. I feel overclocked and poorly cooled. The funny thing is, I have this little boy in here too, now. And thinking about him is bringing genuine tears to my eyes because what a sad, sad thing it is to try to be growing in a place that is overclocked. He should have chosen some bucolic and earthy mommy, whose brain is concerned with starting her seeds for cool season vegetables right about now (lettuce, kale, etc.) and making sure that the vet gets out to see one of the animals. A mommy who goes to bed when it gets dark and wakes up with the sun, eats plenty of leafy green vegetables and doesn’t even have the option of shoving something processed and manufactured into her piehole as she drives between meetings. Poor little boy. You can’t go back now.

However, I am trying to find some solace in knowing that my body is at least being maternal, even when I am failing at most of it. I think that when the overclocking got too high, my body just shut it all down. I have been going places and doing things and talking to people, but in a strange sort of way – as if time has become more fluid somehow, and the things that people NEED from me will wait patiently until I get to them. Or take care of themselves. Or something. And then I lay down and can’t move, can’t even read. This might seem like a good thing, except that I must have a little battery in there somewhere that keeps the memory of all those things that people need and the week that is coming up and all the expectations and responsibilities and millions of opportunities to let people down flashing on and off, so that when I see it again I feel like a complete piece of shit. And as much as I love this little boy and think that this life can not be good for him and perhaps it would be better to chuck it all and go plant something, to hell with my allergies, I am also terrified knowing that this is only going to get worse until he arrives, and probably for some time after. What is making this worse is that everyone else can see that too – he is growing right out in front of me and the people that depend on me are getting very nervous about it and wanting answers and measures and plans and how am I going to make it all okay? Even when they are happy for me and supportive and say lovely things about putting that little boy first… like, ‘BabyK is the most important thing you are going do with your life. Don’t fuck it up.’ It does not assuage their panic. It seems to increase it. And therefore mine as well.

So. I guess I am now going to start going through the motions and see how far it gets me. Maybe I will get real things accomplished today. Maybe I won’t. Maybe I am that worthless, undependable person and maybe I am merely fighting off some little bug and just too tired and overwhelmed and hormonal to sort it out right now. Maybe BabyK is much more resilient than I give him credit for and there was some good quality in me that made me the right choice. Maybe he wants to learn how to make art and do good and fight the good fight – even if it is exhausting and impossible and unending. Maybe he’s allergic to plant mold too. Or maybe he’s really here for Mr. K and I am not even a contributing factor. I don’t know.

But I am going to eat some cheerios.

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Compare and Contrast: A Dramatization of Actual Events

Scene: A tour of a hospital maternity ward; inside a Labor/Delivery/Recovery/Postpartum suite

Players: a nurse/doula leading the tour, six expectant couples

AnonymousK: Can you tell me more about how the doulas work with the one-on-one nurses?

Nurse: It’s a great relationship! The doula really focuses on contractions (blah blah blah)

AnonymousK: What about the birthing tub?

Nurse: Birthing tubs are great! We set them up in here (blah blah blah)

AnonymousK: Is there a hospital policy against eating and drinking while in labor?

Nurse: Yes! We plan to starve you while you’re working hard for hours on end to push that baby out in order to cover our asses legally. Besides, you probably won’t want to eat anyway! (Pause) Does anyone else have any questions? I can see you’re all getting really quiet. You’re probably thinking, ‘oh no! There’s one of those natural birth people in here.’ But don’t worry! We have drugs too!

AnonymousK blushes furiously. A beat. Awkward silence.

Mr. K: Yeah, can I get a wireless connection in these rooms? I don’t want to fall behind just because my first born son is arriving. You know. I love technology.

AnonymousK sends him a look of death.

Black out.

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Mr. K

Mr. K and I celebrated five years of marital bliss last month. And when I say celebrated, I mean, spent the evening repeatedly blowing our noses and packing for our vacation. (We discussed this later and realized that I had frozen chicken tenders for dinner, which he romantically cooked in the toaster oven. I have no idea what he ate.) I had intended to write something here in his honor for Valentines/anniversary type events, but I never quite got around to it.

After having weeks to think about how to express the depth and breadth of my feelings for him after nearly thirteen years of togetherness, the myriad ways in which he cares for me and the people around us, the magic and wonder of carrying his child as we become a family, I think I have summed it up quite succinctly:

Every time I drive around the corner in the alley and catch sight of his car in the drive, my heart lifts and for a moment I feel like all will be well and peace and happiness and safety are actually possible and might even happen to me in the next few minutes.

And then I realize, like this week, that he is in fact out of town, and the car filling me with hope and light is that same stupid car I have hated since we bought it new oh so long ago.

It isn’t the car at all.

It’s just him.

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Previously on ‘Insert Witty Title Here’…

I took a look at my blog from the visitor’s point of view and realized I never officially gave the ultrasound update!

So.

It is a little boy. (!) There are no obvious signs of delinquent mothering or fetus neglect at this time.  All is well. He has a name and we are trying it out. We’ve had it picked out for years (literally – since at least 2006) but I’m not quite ready to publish it in print yet. But we are calling him that at home to hilarious effect.

I am also growing exponentially right now – apparently BabyK enjoys the sunshine. Or the seafood. Or the incessant sleeping or something.  I know I am going to get a LOT bigger, but right now, I am as big as I have ever been. Which feels ENORMOUS today.

Cautionary whale, indeed.

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Lessons Learned on Vacation

  • If you are a celebrity, then people will spend lots and lots of time analyzing your waist and declaring that you are pregnant. Even if you’re not. Case in point: Angelina Jolie. If you’re not a celebrity, even if you look clearly pregnant and are wearing a bikini, no one will assume that you are pregnant and will REPEATEDLY OFFER YOU MORE ALCOHOL. You will then have to politely refuse their offers. Every time. This is not as fun as it sounds.
  • If you have a panic attack while spending a week at the beach, then maybe that grinding anxiety you’ve been dealing with at home is chemical. Sorry bout your luck.
  • Mr. K does have a karaoke talent up his sleeve. As long as he’s singing ‘I’m Henry the VIII I am’ after a pitcher of beer and three bourbons. This is more adorable than I can describe, even with the reek of bourbon on him.
  • Mr. K likes MythBusters. Also, Alton Brown and Iron Chef. AnonymousK likes Ben Stiller movies, TLC and the Oscars. How can these two find common ground? By making fun of people trying to flip houses and/or complaining that their 4,000 square foot, $500,000 house doesn’t have enough room for two adults, a baby and a dog. Thanks,  HGTV.
  • Spending an entire week watching HGTV while pregnant leads to overwhelming nesting instincts. Be prepared. Also, cable TV will rot your brain. But if it’s 50 degrees out and you both have sinus infections, why not? Wasn’t that the point of going on vacation?
  • Flying home with a sinus infection is JUST NOT WORTH IT. Next time, cancel the flight and rent a car. Or find some narcotics and do it unconscious style. On the other hand, it certainly makes being at home seem a lot more desirable.
  • Your dog will never like living with you better than living at the Breed Specific  Doggie Spa. This is a sad fact of life and he is going to pout about it and you might as well get over it.

Having greatly increased in wisdom (and apparently in girth as well) after our three days in the sun/three days in bed, I am now going to spend some quality time with my very own bed and walk around barefoot and not worry about germs or the judgment of housekeepers.

Bliss.

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