Bad Mama

Skeletor says hello
April 24, 2007, 5:26 pm
Filed under: Photos, Pistachio

Please note, if you will, the open hand. That, along with seeing that arm extend and seeing the legs do a big frog kick when poked, means the likelihood of this baby having arthrogryposis is pretty slim. We are not out of the woods for sure until week 16 or so, and of course AMC is not the only thing that can go wrong, but for today, things are good.

Also, the kid is measuring over a week ahead. Great, the one I have the c-section for was under five pounds, and the one I’ll do vaginally will be huge.


Protected: Sticks and stones
April 22, 2007, 10:13 pm
Filed under: Parenting

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Protected: Her first ballet
April 18, 2007, 8:42 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

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April 16, 2007, 6:11 am
Filed under: Disability, Parenting

A couple of weeks ago, a very dear friend of mine had her son evaluated for speech delays. What was expected to be an appointment that concluded with, “he’s fine, just a little delayed, here are some ways to encourage his language” ended up with a series of appointments and evaluations and a diagnosis of autism.

When she was telling me about what was going on, she said, “Now I understand you a lot better” and what part of my heart was not broken by the diagnosis shattered completely. I did not want her to understand me better, not like this. I don’t want anyone to have to. This has gotten me thinking about what, if anything, someone could have said to me when Peanut was born that would have brought some comfort. There isn’t a lot, but I have learned a few things through my own experience and that of hearing from other parents of children that have extra challenges.

  1. This sucks. It doesn’t matter that it could be worse, it still sucks and you are entitled to think so. And parents of kids (as well as the kids) who are pointed to as examples of “worse” don’t really appreciate it.
  2. I don’t know anyone who was originally comforted by the idea that “God placed this child with you because He knew you could handle it”, but some people do eventually find comfort in those kind of beliefs. It’s okay if you don’t, however. I have found that many parents end up with a different relationship with their faith after they’ve had time to adjust to their new reality, and quite often it is stronger than it was before. In the meantime, it’s okay to be very angry.
  3. You may be very angry about a lot of things. Anger at your child’s doctors, and your OB who told you everything was fine. Anger at your partner, your friends, and even at your child. This is part of processing your grief. It can be a very useful emotion when things need to get done. I don’t know if it ever goes away entirely, but it certainly improves.
  4. It is possible to both grieve and to still think your child is the best thing since sliced bread. You are not being disloyal to her by being sad. It helps to understand that what you are sad about is not your child today, because she is the same kid she was yesterday. You are sad because her future life is going to be different and more difficult than you expected. It was going to be different anyway, but you are facing that disappointment a lot more suddenly than most parents do. Maybe that’s a blessing, even though it doesn’t feel like it.
  5. There is a difference between people who mean well and just don’t know the right thing to say and those who are truly clueless (Trust me, if I wasn’t grateful she was alive I would have given her away). When you do not respond politely to something that was offensive, the ones who mean well will be embarrassed to have said something dumb, and will probably learn from it. The clueless ones get mad at you for not appreciating their insight. The important thing is to encourage the well-meaning people to understand that no one expects them to have all the right words, because the “right” words are different on different days. We all say dumb things sometimes.
  6. And the most important thing is that it will be okay. As sucky as it is, it isn’t the end of the world. Humans are pretty adaptable, and you will adjust to your new reality. That’s not to say that seeing “normal” families and kids will not be hard; it is. But it does get easier, in part because you begin to see your child again as a whole person that wouldn’t be the same without her challenges. I still struggle with this, but seeing adults with Peanut’s condition that are happy and healthy helps me to remember that everyone has challenges, and while hers are more unusual than most they are certainly not insurmountable.

It’s early and I haven’t had enough sleep. These are the thoughts that were running through my head and keeping me from sleep. If anyone else has something to add, I’d be interested to hear it.

April 10, 2007, 10:19 am
Filed under: Boo boo, Peanut

Peanut’s surgery is scheduled for Monday, May 7.  The last we heard, she’ll be in a body cast for four weeks, possibly longer. I was really hoping to have a family vacation on Memorial Day weekend, but alas, it is not to be.


I need some advice. How do I explain the cat dying to her? I started out telling her that Bridget was old and very sick, and that eventually she was going to die. All she seems to understand about dying is that a dead person isn’t around anymore. Then her grandpa got sick, but he isn’t going to die. Then Big Daddy started telling her that I was sick when I needed to stay in bed because of nausea or fatigue. So now we’re trying to back away from the “sick” word. The other issue is that we really haven’t taught her much about “heaven”  or anything like that. Part of that is, I think, due to our own (my) ambivilence about what we (I) believe, so it’s been hard to sit down and explain it to her. I guess we need to start thinking about that a little more.  I was kind of looking forward to having things explained to her at the Jewish preschool she’ll be attending in the fall.  We may not be Jewish, but I figure it’s a start, and they’re not going to say anything I really disagree with.  So does anyone have any ideas or experience they could share? I was really hoping to have a couple of extra years before it became an issue. I guess I was spoiled by my first cats living 19 and 21 years each.

April 1, 2007, 11:33 am
Filed under: Home Sweet Home

Internet and cable TV were out last weekend.

Acupuncture helped stomach pain, but new prenatal worsened nausea (I don’t throw up, I just feel like I’m going to all the time). Fatigue is still unbelievable.

Sucked it up and called to schedule Peanut’s surgery. They’ll call back on Monday and give us the date.

Spent nearly a thousand dollars we don’t have on the cat to find out she’s got incurable cancer. This is the cat Peanut identifies as “hers”.


Julia’s son Gage got a new kidney last Tuesday, from a living donor they met in church, and he’s recovering fabulously.

Big Daddy’s 12-day business trip turned into a 6-day trip, and was home yesterday in time to take Peanut to Ella’s Deli for a late lunch.

Our house wasn’t damaged in the storms that blew through last night.

The cat is not currently in pain, and is sleeping on the heating pad next to me in the bed.

And the bad cramping and lower back pain I had on Friday meant that I got to hear the baby’s heartbeat at the doctor’s office, nice and strong, at 8w5d.

On balance, things are pretty good.