Friday, December 24, 2004

Ho Ho Ho

Merry Day Before Christmas! I am having a lovely day already... it's 11am, I'm still in my pajamas and my husband has spoiled me rotten yet again. He can never wait to give me my presents until Christmas so I got to open them this morning. I love gettin' stuff. I got Futurama Season 4, Simpsons Season 5, perfume and a whole bunch of fun stuff in a bag, including a weird Japanese toy called a NoHoHon that bobs it's head by solar power. Don't ask me.

I'm officially 33 weeks today. Next week, I go in for a final ultrasound to make sure my placenta migrated north for the winter. The appointment after that, the "internal" exams begin. Bleh. Not looking forward to that. I've heard mixed reviews. One person told me they were worse than labor, another person said it w as no worse than a yearly exam. So who knows.

I can't believe that I only have 7 weeks to go. It seems like just yesterday, I was puking into the toilet. My friend Rebekah just had her baby the day before yesterday. She was due only five weeks before me. We work together, so for eight months now, the babies have just been wiggling bumps on our stomachs. Now her bump has come out to play. It's strange to imagine her no longer pregnant, with a baby to boot.

It's also strange because there is someone in my life who has still been dealing with infertility throughout this whole time. I wanted so badly for her to be able to be pregnant with me. Not for some cutsie "Oh let's be pregnant together" reason...I've just wanted her to be able to get pregnant period. I think that I truly expected that we would both be decorating nursery rooms together at this point. I'm still a prayin' though. (And if you guys wanted to pray for her also, I'm sure that she would greatly appreciate it.)

Anyway, I just wanted to say thank you to all of you out there in cyberland who actually find my drivel interesting. I have really enjoyed writing on it for the past year and a half, and receiving all your opinions and advice about my wee life.

Even you, Wade.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004


I am not good with the cappuccino maker yet. This was my second morning to use it, and granted, I made less of a mess and spent less time than the morrning before, I still suck at it. Jason now knows that I can use it without blowing up the kitchen, so he won't make them for me anymore. (That happened with changing my tires, too. I need to stay more inept, I guess.) It's made me late for work, too. This morning, I hopped up and down, watching it let out steam, and yelled, "Hurry hurry hurry!" like Parker Posey in "You've Got Mail."

My boss called me "low maintenance" today. He was actually referring to my pregnancy and saying that he appreciated me being "low maintenance" during it. It's a compliment, but sometimes I wonder if it doesn't actually serve a person well to be low maintenance in life. You get overlooked. I would've liked to have been fussed over a bit more these past eight months, but people mainly just forgot that I was pregnant at all. My friend Mindy was a very low maintenance pregnant woman. This past July, she was out mowing the lawn while nine months preggers, with a toddler strapped to her back. Honorable, I suppose, but....oh come on.

It would've made a good beatitude: "Blessed are the low maintenance, for they shall be fussed over."

Tuesday, December 21, 2004


Sometimes I wonder if it is better to have high expectations, low expectations or no expectations.

When you have high expectations of an event, most of the time you will be terribly disappointed. However, there are the few times when an event will actually live up to your dreams. And on the upside, you generally spend the time leading up to the event in good spirits because you are looking forward to it so much. Even if the event sucks, at least you had the time proceeding it to savor.

When you have low expectations, you are almost certain to be pleasantly surprised. I generally approach most situations this way. I was a High Expectations kid, so somewhere around college time (probably after I studied abroad for a year), I learned to change my position to protect my heart a little. The downside to this is that people tend to think of you as a pessimist, or at least unexcitable about life. And you also miss out on some of the giddiness that High Expectation people seem to experience. However, Low Expectations people are easier to deal with than High Expectations people...maybe because they expect less out of others. High Expectation brides are the worst. They spend months planning every tiny detail of their wedding, and expect everyone to perform up to task. When the cake leans too far to the right or the lingerie shower is lame, everyone pays the price.

And then there are the no expectation events. I am learning that these are perhaps the scariest. This is how I am feeling about childbirth and impending motherhood. I just don't know what it's going to be like or what the circumstances will be. I have a few "plans"-- good hospital, comforting husband, favorite doctor, epidural, vaginal delivery, healthy baby. But you never know. I might have the baby in the car, or my doctor might be stuck in Cleveland, or my husband might hyperventilate, or I might have a c-section, or my epidural might only work on the right half of my body. And still, even if everything goes according to plan, I still don't really know what it's going to be like. I have found myself envying my c-section friends, Stephanie and Mindy. Stephanie has a small pelvis and a huge husband. She will always have c-sections. She's had one, she knows what it's like. Mindy has a weird uterus resulting in breech babies. She's had two c-sections, and will always have them. They know the drill.

Not that I want a planned c-section, but at least then I'd KNOW.

And actually, for motherhood, I think I'm in the low expectations camp. No sleep, sore boobs, crying baby, crazy hormones. I'm not expecting much, at least for the first few months.

And I feel kind of alone in all of this. When I tell people how I honestly feel (i.e. fearful), I get a nice pat on the back and a "Oh, you'll do just fine." The shower I attended on Saturday was full of newly registered nurses, two of them the guests of honor. I am due before both of them, and everyone asked how I felt. I said, "Physically fine, but really scared of pushing a baby out of my vagina." Most of them had just finished an OB rotation. More back pats. "Oh, you'll do just fine." But there's another bit that all the nurses added:

"Get the epidural."


Yes, I am a blogging slacker right now. Apologies.

We visited my folks this weekend. My husband had to take his final exam to be an Official Therapist (which he passed, with 100% answers correct--the lady said that was the first time she'd seen that) so we stayed with my parents beforehand. My chihuahua, Squirrel, has now transferred all allegiances to my parents. A few months ago, when we went to visit, he still preferred to sit on my lap. Well, no more. He follows my mother around to make sure he knows where she is at all times (as he used to do to me), and his favorite spot is sitting on my father's lap, buried inside his red hooded sweatshirt. My feelings aren't hurt. On the contrary, it is a huge relief that I did the right thing. He is still an annoyingly exasperating creature, but my parents both seem to find him highly amusing.

Last week would have been absolute hell for me if I hadn't ever gotten pregnant. I had three baby showers to attend, none my own. Infertility dies hard, though. At one shower, I kept having the urge to flee. Part of it was that I didn't know the girl all that well (work shower) and several other people had brought their babies to show off. (I always wonder if that annoys the guest of honor. Bringing new babies to occasions always steals the thunder from the main event. It probably depends on the event. There were three babies at my shower several weeks ago, and it was totally fine. They actually just seemed like smaller guests who drooled a bit more.) But this particular shower wasn't really my sort of shower anyway. It was one of those showers that extreme extroverts had been in charge of throwing, so there were loud games where blind-folded contestants taste melted food items in diapers to determine the origin (don't worry, mostly chocolate.) When the second newborn entered the room to loud "oooo"s and "ahhhh"s, my gut reflex kicked in and my eyes searched for the fastest way out. Interestingly, a single co-worker friend (also an introvert, also an INFP) had the same reaction, so maybe it's wasn't infertility residue after all.

Another shower I attended was completely different. It was a joint shower (didn't know the other girl) at a very well-to-do house. My sister and I went. We realized that we are an excellent shower duo. That could be our secret superhero identity. The AMAZING SHOWER DUO! They can activate a conversation with a single topic! Make pleasantries with evil relatives! Detonate an uncomfortable silence! Conquer a registry with matching gift wrap! Anyway, I think it's because I am an introvert and she an extrovert. I sense the need for conversation, and she pounces. Plus, even if nobody else is talking, we can always manage to entertain ourselves ("Where did you get those ugly shoes?" Commence mock argument.) and people usually jump all over that.

One funny (not really ha-ha, more like offensive) incident happened at that shower. There was a Hispanic lady there who was obviously the housekeeper. While the big-haired Southern (rich) host babbled away, the lady quietly cut the cake, served punch and straightened up. No mention as to who she was (but we all knew.) Later, as the lady was walking up the stairs-- HOLDING A WINDEX BOTTLE-- the host said loudly, "Oh everyone! Did you meet my friend, Maria? Say hello to my friend, Maria!" Everyone mumbles hello. If I were Maria, I would've thrown the Windex bottle at the host's head and said, "I'm your HOUSEKEEPER, you dolt! You PAY ME." There's nothing wrong with being a housekeeper. But I'm sure it made her feel like crap to not have Miss Hoitie Toitie acknowlege her profession.

It just seemed offensive to me. Am I wrong?

Thursday, December 16, 2004

War Path

Boy, am I ever on the war path today. I just got my "wellness" check. I participate in a stupid program at work so my deductibles will stay minimal, and I get a wee bonus at the end of the year. I completed all their stupid modules, sat through their dumbass "How To Get Fit" educational meetings, and got myself jabbed with needles twice. And SOMEHOW I missed some goal along the way and my check was puny.

I'm not letting it go. I've been calling the Wellness People all afternoon to get a straight answer. Actually, I'm only settling for one answer from them: "Oops. Sorry. We screwed up. Here is your money." I am usually not one to fight da man, but I am pissed and rarin' to go. I am going to Shawshank that poor Wellness man until he calls me back and has to deal with me. And our HR is playing the "We don't know anything" card, despite being completely bombarded with calls from all over the company. Dumbasses.

And then our parent company does not seem to know how to work a computer, or does not own Photoshop, because they keep requesting the same darn logo file over and over again. Dumbasses.

Oh, and we were informed that our insurance is going up again. Real smart, HR, to send everyone that sweet little memo the day you screw up the Wellness checks. Just to add more fuel to the fire.

RAWRRRRRRRRRR. (that's the sound of Ellen standing on her desk and shaking her fist at da man.)

Tuesday, December 14, 2004


I said this last year, but I'll say it again this year: My boss is awesome. He bought me a cappuccino maker for Christmas! He is always so generous. My co-workers received, among other gifts, a mitre saw, a pack-n-play, a World Atlas and a Cuisinart. The problem is, there is no possible way to return the generosity. The man has everything he could ever want. He wants to buy himself a backhoe, but sorry, I don't happen to have $25,000 lying around.

Jason and I spent the weekend in Branson, MO, with some friends of ours and their 20 month old and newborn sons. And here's what I learned: Everything, whatever action it may be, takes twice as long with a child involved. Add a newborn, and you can triple that. It's a good thing that I'm pregnant and have to stop to pee every hour anyway. I used every lag as an opportunity to either find a restroom or prop my feet up on nearby objects.

Branson is always interesting to me. It astonishes me that it is such a mecca for some people. People actually drive from as far away New York or Montana to go to Branson. I have grown up in the Ozark mountain area, so I've been going to Branson since it was just Silver Dollar City, a lake and the Baldknobbers show, which was good for a weekend family jaunt when you were seven years old. I was away at college
when it turned into the Redneck Las Vegas. I went back for the first time a couple of years ago and couldn't believe my eyes. Gone was the little mountain town with a couple of good barbeque restaurants and a quaint little crafts and entertainment park. It was replaced by flashing "Ripley's Believe It Or Not" billboards, Yakov Smirnov, Andy Williams and many many country buffets attended by retirees. It's so unhip and cheesy, Jason and I actually find it mildly cool.

So it was fun. Cold, crowded, cheesy, but fun. And I still secretly want to be a saloon girl at Silver Dollar City.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Boobie Class

Thank you guys for your encouraging comments yesterday. They definitely helped me feel like I'm not alone and/or crazy.

Well, I went to Breastfeeding Class yesterday evening. Let me start by saying that I am not an easily embarrassed person or particularly shy about talking about bodily functions. My mother was always mortified when I would talk about getting my period (which explains why I did not realize until well into adulthood that I had endometriosis. I was assured by my mother that my periods were normal and I should just suck it up like every other woman. It wasn't until I was talking to my OBGyn years later that I learned that periods generally are NOT eight heavy days long, and accompanied by a hot flashes, vomit-inducing cramps and a pre-week's worth of spotting.) I love watching bloody medical shows on TV. I talk with my girlfriends about sex on a fairly regular basis, and can say the words "cervical mucus" out loud without cringing.

So when the instructor asked if I wanted to be in an all-female class or one that husbands can attend, I said I honestly didn't care, so I ended up in the co-ed one. I went, sans husband (who was working), and I was surprised to find myself uncomfortable with the co-ed situation the entire evening. For one thing, I was the only one to ask questions. And I KNOW, by the looks on everyone's faces, that we all had many questions about this breastfeeding thing. I mean, for Pete's sake, only one other woman besides me picked up the fake baby to practice the football hold. Also, the nurse would demonstrate different massaging techniques on her own breasts, and having the men there suddenly made me uncomfortable. At one point, she talked about inverted nipples and other shapes and bumps and such. I really really wanted to look down my bra and check out my boobs (and I have a sneaking suspicion that other women wanted to as well) but I stopped myself for fear of looking like a self-peeping tom.

Other than that, the class was fine. I get the feeling breastfeeding is one of those "trial and error" type of things. It really is bizarre, when you start thinking about it. There is going to be a creature sucking milk out of my boobs. The very boobs which have really only been decorative until this point. And my body knows when to produce milk, how much to produce and can actually adjust itself to the baby's feeding schedule.

My biggest stress has actually been revolving around the breastfeeding aspect of motherhood. Well, two big stresses. The first is the initial breastfeeding learning. So this baby just gets born, attaches herself to my breast and my body just turns on the juice? And what if I forget to wake her up for feedings in the beginning? Shelley had to drip ice over Sadie to get her to wake up for the first few weeks. What if I am so dead asleep that I just sleep through an eight hour feeding schedule and my baby loses five pounds? Stupid worry, but it's in my head.

The second stress is the returning to work, pumping thing. Having a creature sucking milk out of my boobs is one thing, but a machine?! Even more bizarre. And I've got to pump like three times during worktime. And where I am going to do this at? I guess I need to go scouting all the secret bathrooms in the building....

I know it will all work out and women have been doing it for many many years. It's just weird to ponder right now.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004


I'm feeling a bit down today. When I was at home for lunch, I found myself nearly crying while eating my McDonald's cheeseburger. I'm glad that I stayed on my anti-depressants during the pregnancy, or I'm sure that I would be ten times more emotional than I already am.

I'm not sure what it is. I feel scared, for one thing. I can't even place my finger on what I am scared of. All the changes, I guess. And everyone keeps "warning" me about this and that. Not all the warnings are necessarily bad. Just warnings about labor pain, babies being breech, not getting any sleep, breasts hurting and bleeding. Warnings about not being emotionally able to leave my baby in daycare. Warnings about my milk drying up if I return to work and have to pump. Warnings about making sure I wash all the baby clothes in Dreft. Or not taking the tags off my pink baby clothes until she's officially here to prove that she's a girl. I've also heard a lot of vague judgements on my choices... like choosing an epidural, allowing the nurses take the baby to the hospital nursery while I try to get some post-partum sleep or putting her to sleep in her crib from day one.

My brain is tired. It's like my mind has taken in all it can handle for the time being.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Catching Up

It seems like my life is flying by so fast right now, my brain doesn't have time to catch up in processing it all. Writing it out always helps me, so here goes.

The Subject of Bitterness...

I have decided that I am tired of exposing myself to bitterness. In life in general, but especially in the blog world. Don't get me wrong. I am all about exploring your feelings, and sadness and anger are just as valid as happiness and joy. Sometimes, it feels like they are actually more valid and real. However, there is a big difference between expressing those feelings to get them out and reveling and/or wallowing in them. It can get addictive reading a bitter person's blog. Let's face it, "I hate all you bastards" is a lot more interesting than "Isn't life grand?" or even "I went to Walmart today and bought some double-stick tape." And bitter people seem to cause a fair amount of blog "trolls" to come out of the woodwork, usually starting a heated comment engine firestorm, which is always good to get your blood boiling for a half hour's worth of reading. (And some trolls aren't actually trolls, just people presenting a different point of view, which always frustrates me when other commenters are so quick to jump on the "Fuck You, Trollie" bandwagon.) So yes, the bitterness is interesting. But do I really need that hatred and venom in my life? I've I don't. Sort of like watching "Fear Factor." Do I really need to watch someone ingest squid testicles? It may be out there for me to "enjoy" but it's probably best for me to avoid it.

The thing about bitterness is that it is entirely avoidable. Life can be crap. Life can be hard. You don't always get the thing you want, and sometimes the person next to you gets it without even asking. Then they win the lottery and get to move to Aruba. But you always have a choice in life on how to handle it. Just counseling and medication are great bitterness fighters. I have an aunt who is bitter. For her, the glass is half empty and filled with poison. I tried for years to be sympathetic and a listening ear. But after listening to a rant about the evils of me registering for baby gifts at the dark empire, Wal-Mart, then laughing at my daughter's chosen middle name, I decided enough was enough. Go ahead and be mad at life and God...but don't drag me down with you.

The Subject of Working vs. Staying At Home-

I went in to talk to HR this past week. I found out the grand total of how much I will make while out on maternity leave, including all the half pay, deductions and insurance increase and whatnot. I actually laughed out loud when I saw the amount on paper. The HR lady even apologized. "I know it's a small least we get maternity leave pay, even half. I remember back when you had a baby, you just went without pay for five weeks then hurried back to work." I know. I wasn't mad at her. But I'd just been turned down for a small raise a few days prior (apparently, I was on a salary "track" that I didn't realize I was on) and I've been weighing the cost of daycare greatly. I've been very open to working after the baby comes, and still am, but I guess I was hoping from a large neon blinking sign from God that I am doing the right thing. I haven't really gotten that. Instead, I've gotten more and more of my stay-at-home mom friends begging me to stay home with them, so we could go to the park with our children and eat sack lunches.

The Subject of Control-
I've been trying a little experiment lately. I've been attempting to trust my husband more. When he says, "We've got enough money. Stop worrying," I am trying to do just that. When he says, "Everything is going to be okay," I have been deciding to believe him and just go read or fold laundry. I figure that if he's willing to be in charge of all those things that stress me out, I should take him up on it. So far, it's working out pretty well.