Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Mother Lode

I can be sensitive. Impatient. I am often prone to hyperbole. Sometimes I jump to conclusions and become unnecessarily defensive. So tell me if I'm off my rocker here.

Today I took H to our class at a local parenting center. The center that I walked into while pregnant and declared the Parenting Theme Park. It's a high-end baby gear store, and they also offer prenatal and mom-and-baby classes for overthinking parents. In truth I love this place and have been blissfully spending lots of time there since before H was born. The classes are great -- lots of fun activities for the babies and time for the moms to meet and share war stories. I've met a bunch of great women this way.

Anyway, today we walked in and the others were already sitting discussing naps, namely the consolidation of two naps to one -- when, how, etc. I got us settled and mostly listened to the conversation, since H and I aren't there yet. At the end, I offered up the fact that I'd done a sleep consult through this center (more on this another time) when we'd had transitional sleep issues in the past and had found it enormously helpful since an actual expert tailors a plan to your child's needs. The woman who'd brought up the topic in the first place with regard to her son looked at me squarely and said, defensively, "See, I don't really think that we have a problem." Okay, then.

Twenty minutes later, we had the kids at a water table the teacher had set up with sudsy water and bath toys. Another mother in the class watched as her son removed a full cup of water from said table, turned around and dumped it on my lap. And then said nothing. I gave her plenty of opportunity, too. I said, "Oh, gee, that was a lot of water on my lap." Not a peep.

People. Am I the insane one?

I don't know what it is, but becoming a mother does often, unfortunately, seem to bring out the crazy in people. Mainly what I see in these parts is an unfortunate testament to all those negative stereotype monikers floating out there: Sanctimommies. Martyr Mommies. Mompetition. It seems like all this choice-making to stay at home has created a new monster of competitive women with a lot of latent energy from their formerly driven career lives to now dedicate, solely and completely, to raising the perfect specimen. And to show how brilliant they are at mothering by demonstrating how everyone else fails to measure up.

Case in point: A woman I'll call Jane, from one of my mom & baby classes early on. I knew Jane was trouble from day one. It's sort of hard to describe how she slowly tortured us all with her nonstop oneupmanship and conversation-hogging blather. But oh, she bugged. Anyway, friends of mine have since run into her in random kid-centered venues. What she does when you see her "off-campus" is, she comes right up to you. Doesn't say hello. And simply says, "Is so-and-so walking/talking/reciting Shakespeare/playing Mozart yet?" and then proceeds to tell you how her little darling is.

Another case in point: A friend of mine recently met another mom in a social setting. They talked about a play date, given that their children were of similar age. But then crazy mom found out that my friend only has one child. Apparently she prefers to consort exclusively with moms who have kept pace with her output and have two children. So, no play date for you!

Okay, it's true, the vast majority of moms I've met have been wonderful women that are quite supportive and nonjudgmental. Maybe it's because I spent so much time and energy watching other women with babies, wanting what they had, that I zero in on this kind of BS and have such little tolerance for it. It annoys me (I am just figuring this out now while I write) because I feel it's distracting from the real mission. I don't want to play the game. I just want to keep my child healthy and try and enjoy the ride.

Motherhood is hard, sisters. It's exhausting and it can be hard to get measurable feedback on how you're doing from the person who really matters. So really, unless you're intentionally (or through lazy neglect) doing something harmful to your child, who am I to judge whether you're giving him the exact right proportion of meat to vegetable today?

I have no idea if any of this is coherent, but how 'bout that for a rant? I can't even blame hormones.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Another Holiday Down the Toilet

In the fine tradition of the past few months, I'm spending another holiday in the bathroom.

Not that we had any Valentine's Day plans anyway. So, why not?

Stomach bug and/or food poisoning has hit our house. Woke up at 3 a.m. Sunday morning to find husband in downstairs bathroom. Was actually annoyed (I know -- I'm not winning any wife of the year contest) that he was getting sick, since we had things to do! People to see! that day. Until I started feeling the nausea about an hour later. And then the diarrhea. And then the body aches and chills -- and then, oh, woe to me, I threw up, which is like the Worst. Possible. Thing that can ever happen to me. Still so sick today. Thank Gd for my parents, who came yesterday to pick up H for the night. Although I felt like the worst mother ever -- shouldn't I be able to overcome my own complaints for his sake? -- it was a lifesaver as neither of his parents was equipped to take care of anyone.

Meanwhile, H seems to be having "loose" GI action as well. It's confusing with him, because a) I'm pretty convinced that what husband and I have is food poisoning, since it's hard to think of what we ate on Saturday night without feeling the need to run to the toilet; and b) we just started him on milk last week, so I was aware that this might happen, especially since he does seem to have digestive issues when he has a large volume of yogurt and cheese.

The milk switch thing has been fairly rocky, and I'd love any helpful hints. Our pediatrician recommended switching to a cup (as in giving up the bottle completely) at the same time that we gave him the cow's milk (which we started last Tuesday). That was pretty much a non-starter. He'd drink a few sips, make a face and push it away. Even though he's been drinking water and formula from a cup for months now, and even though, we've since learned, he will take the milk in a bottle. Any negotiation tips on that front? And as far as the GI issues, my understanding is that they can come on several days after starting the milk (which they have), but usually resolve within 1-2 weeks. Should we just continue to watch it (as if we have any choice), especially given that we also possibly have a GI virus in the house?

Praying that we all are spending less time in the bathroom tomorrow, and that the next holiday (St. Patty's Day?) will please be GI-disturbance free.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

My Ute Makeover

Hysteroscopy a resounding success. My ute is as good as new.

Can't type much now, because I'm still having a hard time stringing words together. Percocet + valium made me love everyone for most of the day. Now I'm just foggy and having a hard time keeping my eyes open. Thank Gd for husbands who aren't afraid of quality time with the little one.

More later.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Ctrl + Alt + Delete on My Ute?

Aunt Flo arrived on H's birthday.

A 32-day cycle.


Before I started IF treatment, after I went off the Pill (which I was on since the age of 18 since they suspected PCOS), I once waited eight months for a period. And even then I had to medically induce one. So a 32-day cycle is unheard of. Could it be that in this case, I'm on the good side of the odds, I'm one of those stories you hear about pregnancy hitting the reset button on your reproductive system?

I'm not getting carried away or anything. Obviously. Even if my cycle is regular and I'm ovulating now, I still have the Asherman's to contend with. I scheduled the office hysteroscopy (she's going to try to cut out the remaining adhesions in the office with the help of my friends valium, percocet and cervical block. Night night.) for next Thursday. Stay tuned.

Anyway, getting my period was a relief, because I was starting to think I was developing major anger management issues. At a wine tasting party we went to last weekend, I wanted to rip some guy's head off for making an obnoxious comment. Just an old-fashioned case of PMS. Although, in all fairness to me, the comment was, "I know which bottle of wine here is most expensive, because I brought it."

In other news, my husband is back from his business trip (he was away this week, which was not ideal considering he missed H's official birthday -- not that I can complain about such things, since he is by far the main breadwinner these days) and we're going to my parents' house to celebrate H's birthday tomorrow. There will be cupcakes, party hats, balloons, presents. I even got him a t-shirt for the occasion. I can't wait to see my little boy smash into a cupcake. I'm sorry, but life doesn't get any better than that.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Happy Birthday, Baby

My sweet, sweet boy turns one tomorrow. The idea of this is kind of blowing my mind.

How is it possible that an entire year has passed since I lay in that hospital bed, blissed out with my squishy, warm, heavenly baby? I took one look at his perfectly innocent, sweet face (well, the first look that I really remember after I came out of my doped up c-section trauma) and realized that I knew both everything and nothing about this little being and how to take care of him. It was terrifying and exhilarating all at once.

Let's be real. I won't pretend baby poop doesn't stink. This first year hasn't been all mommy glow and baby bliss. Having a newborn is a grueling exercise in physical torture. I never knew you could feel fatigue in your bones like that. There are the whiny days, when the baby is just "off" and cranky, and you feel like calling the funny farm to see if they can send a car service for pickup. And I definitely think I have become a little bit dumber over the past year. I forget details, leave small objects in public places (two weeks ago I bought a pair of gloves at Target and lost them while doing errands the very next day) and am the least informed about world events as I've ever been.

But, oh. The joy. The heaven-on-earth that is your baby's laugh over a face you just made. The feeling of his warm head burrowed in the side of your neck -- the pride that you are the mother he needs you to be. Watching the milestones unfold before your eyes like a story you know has been told before, but is somehow full of new magic at that very moment. There have been many, many times throughout this year when I've looked around and thought that I must be getting away with something, I must have the best-kept secret, to have this be the way I'm spending my days.

Tonight, I feel gratitude. For the amazing doctors who helped me believe in the power of my dream of parenthood and deliver the medicine we needed to see it through. For the strength I somehow found, time and again, to keep hitting my head against the wall when nothing could guarantee me that it would end well. For all of my amazing blogger and IRL friends for cheering me on, and for never laughing at me when I asked stupid, rookie-mom questions. And most of all, for this delightful, miraculous, spirited child who has turned my life upside down in all the ways I'd hoped.

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