Archive for BabyK

Words I am trying to remember

“Celebrate and enjoy this special closeness, since it will pass all too soon. Like many ‘problems’ in parenting, your situation can also be seen as an opportunity. Take it as a compliment that your baby loves to nestle in your arms. A perk for you from having your baby sleep in your arms is that you are forced to take time to relax. You certainly need this rest, but unless baby ‘demands’ it, most mothers don’t allow themselves the luxury of frequent rest stops during the day.”

(formatting mine)

The Baby Sleep Book, by a whole lotta Sears, M.D.’s

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A Tale of Two (V. Unflattering) Photos

Photo One:

Taken October 20, 2007. Months of heartbreaking infertility. Months of heartbreaking family drama. Insanity causing fertility medications. Two days earlier, doctors appointment revealed ‘suspiciously high’ hormone levels, pregnancy test scheduled for the 22nd. DAYS OF PARALYZING ANXIETY. Hiding in my book. Trip to the pumpkin patch to hear favorite band and enjoy some fall fun. Two days later it is confirmed: BabyK exists.

Photo Two:

Taken October 18, 2008. Trip to the pumpkin patch (missed favorite band) and fall fun.

Happy family.

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Five Beautiful Things

Quiet, warm, sleepy baby

Beautiful roses from the baby shower on Sunday

Clean fresh diapers on the line (and it’s not raining!)

BabyK’s first pumpkin

Homemade apple crisp with apples from our trip to the orchard on Monday (Betty Crocker recipe)

BabyK seems to have an illness. We see the doctor tomorrow at 9:30, but ‘sleepless’ doesn’t really describe last night. Hopefully he’ll sleep better this evening.

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All Quiet on the Western Front

So. I have something to report, which is: there is officially nothing to report.

Since my last post so many moons ago, I have spent approximately 3 hours doing anything exciting. Potentially 1.5 hours of that time was spent at an Art Parade yesterday, where crazy whacky artist types did floats and many people trying to get elected wooed us. (Some of them quite poorly. You know who you are. I’m talking to you.) The other 1.5 hours I was probably… catching up on 30 Rock and How I Met Your Mother? Or does that not qualify as exciting? We also saw Leatherheads but I assure you that was no where close to exciting.

So, if you’ve been wondering what you’ve been missing, it mostly looks like more 12 hour days of work, work, working for free, and more work. Whether or not great things are being accomplished, I have no idea. I’m just trying to get as much done as I can. Because you know, that clock she is a-tickin’, and I have roughly two months left to live. Er, work. Er, whatever.

People keep asking, what’s going on? How’s the baby? Blah blah blah? And I’ve begun to realize that they must be playing some montage of baby preparation madness in their heads: me and Mr. K having hilarious hijinks trying out baby gear, my own personal Franck redecorating our entire house, endless slapping of credit cards and ringing of cash registers and toting of adorable baby goods. Sort of a cross between ‘Baby Momma’ and ‘Father of the Bride Part II’.

Yeah. So, really, imagine that none of that is happening that you’re getting much closer.

I have been making lists, because May is the month of baby shower madness. Honestly, the people throwing these showers are doing much much more than I am. I am just trying to be a good spouse and wait until after the showers for that orgy of spending that signals new parenthood. I have been making those registries and checking them twice, though. It is a strange exercise to me, because I know that people (mostly related type people) want to participate in the baby experience and having this little event is the expression of this desire, but I have made some different choices about how we’re going to raise our family and it is strange to express them to those people via a shopping list. Of things that I feel kind of particular about, if you must know. No baby bottles with BPA,  and I really don’t need them for the first few months until I go back to work and start pumping… try to answer that question delicately – I dare you! Cloth diapers only please. No baby bucket carseats. Of course, many people have opinions about these choices and quite honestly I’m not that interested in hearing them unless we’re talking about specific product experiences. They don’t know my baby. They don’t know jack about how our household works. And I didn’t make these decisions in order to foster debate or even open conversations. I made them for my baby.

So. My baby. How is he? Mostly, he’s like a fetus. I’m not sure what sort of special, inside scoop people are looking for with this one. He does baby things, like have the hiccups and pee amniotic fluid. He doesn’t communicate. We have no special rituals or anything. I will say that he does not like it when people push at him, and hands on the belly are almost guaranteed to make him stop moving around and hide. Even for Mr. K. So there isn’t any point in putting your hands on me. You won’t feel anything. Which isn’t an answer that’s popular, I’ll tell you that. But I do feel pretty confident that he is going to be sensitive and introverted like his parents, and our Ninja Delivery plan is the best thing we can do for him. I don’t think he’s going to like being the life of the party for a long while yet. And yes, I even asked the midwife and she said it was perfectly normal and no one should expect him to be Mr. Social before he’s even Mr. Breathing Oxygen. I’m sure there’s some sort of hormonal influence at work here, but my tendency to hide away is very pronounced right now, and BabyK seems to prefer it which only reinforces the tendency.  12 hours of people a day is more than enough for me, thanks. Too bad I can’t pick and choose who those people are, but such is life.

As far as how I’m feeling, really, I feel fine. I don’t know what the expected answer to this question is, but clearly I miss the mark on a regular basis. I’m not under any illusions that this is easy or even comfortable anymore, but really, I can’t complain. My blood work is good. My swelling is minimal. I’m not on bed rest, or in horrible pain, or even having bad headaches (just the more annoying sinus ones lately). I get really worked up when people think that Hillary Clinton’s candidacy for president is an excuse for the most misogynistic, backwards, hateful speech, but mostly I am happy to just get work out of the way and go home and put my feet up. I really don’t want much other than that (although better AC at work would help). I perform on May 16 and so far so good. Except for rolling around on the floor I can do just about everything the other dancers can do. My weight gain is right on track and all in the belly. So really, fine is a good solid answer.

So, there is my update on there being nothing to update. We have anywhere from 8-12 weeks left of pregnancy and until that time I don’t think anything else is going to happen, with the eternal caveat of family drama potential, which we live with daily.  More working and laying around, I am guessing. Sorry to disappoint. I’m not sure if anyone remembers my life last year, but being boring is just about the best thing that could happen to me. I’m down for a long, long stretch of boring.

In other news, I have been working on a post in my head for literally months now, and I think you’re all going to love it. It’s a fun game we can all play. So I’m hoping that posting about it here will encourage me to actually get it done. We’ll see.

I might be too busy being boring to get around to it. 😉

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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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