Bad Mama


To my new neighbor
August 31, 2007, 2:03 am
Filed under: Home Sweet Home, Madison

While I understand that not everyone works regular 9-5 hours, do you really think that 2:45 am is an acceptable time to move furniture? Seriously? On a weeknight? I thought Wednesday night at 10 pm was pushing it, especially when you were doing so with a group of somewhat loud friends, but I know one can’t always control when the truck comes available. However, tonight you were using an SUV for some chairs, and I can’t believe that they couldn’t wait until a time that did not make me wonder if I had some giant raccoons trying to break into my house. See, I’d like to think you noticed that the driveway you are in? It is right up against my house. See? No lawn there. You live right in the middle of the city now, and that means there isn’t a vast acreage separating your noise from my bedroom. And since I am the one that bought the house in the middle of a very urban residential neighborhood, I am well aware I have to put up with more noise than if I was in suburbia. I’m cool with that. It’s just that I expect it from the jackasses who drive down the street, not the ones who live next door.

I guess it is going to suck for you that my dog likes to go out early in the morning. And she’s part beagle, with that delightful baying bark. You know, usually we try not to let her out early, and to bring her in if she decides to go apeshit after a squirrel, because we want to be good neighbors. However, I’m kind of a softy when it comes to my pets, and, well, when I’m tired because I’ve been awakened by noise night after night, it’s a lot harder for me to ignore her whines or to go and chase her down in the backyard to keep her from barking like mad. So sorry. Hope you enjoy your new apartment.



Delivery date
August 24, 2007, 12:13 pm
Filed under: Pistachio

I am at work but my brain is absolutely fried so I am going to write a blog post for a few minutes.

My due date is November 4. Since I cannot be induced because of my previous C-section, I either have to go into labor on my own or have another C-section.

I need to know that there is an end to this pregnancy (though since I started taking extra magnesium, the contractions have much improved). So my doctor said I can go ahead and schedule surgery sometime around the due date, which is on a Sunday. If I go into labor before that, great. If I’m dilated and halfway there on the surgery date, I can cancel it. But if I’m not showing signs of delivering, then I still know that it will be over and I will have my kid.

So what day do I pick? The Friday before, or the Monday after? Anybody know astrology? Any other advice?



Vanity? What vanity?
August 21, 2007, 8:12 pm
Filed under: Parenting, Peanut

Peanut: Mama, what are those scratches on your belly?

Bad Mama: Those aren’t scratches, they’re stretch marks.

Peanut: Stretch marks? What are those?

Bad Mama: They are from where my skin stretched when I was pregnant with you, and from where it is stretching now because of the baby in my belly. It made marks.

Peanut: Big red marks on your big fat belly!

********

In the bathroom, where I was about to get into the bath.

Mama, I like your breasts! I like how your nipples point down towards the ground! That’s funny!



Don’t ask me about work
August 17, 2007, 8:16 pm
Filed under: Parenting, Peanut, Pistachio

I was in OB triage earlier this week, for pain and contractions that lasted a bit too long. I was fine. So was Pistachio. In fact, she was so fine, the nurse said she was the most active baby she’d ever seen at her gestational age. She and the doctor continued on talking about the “bizarrely active baby” I was carrying. And when she was hooking me up to the monitors, she said, “Hey, you’d rather have a baby that was too active than one that was not active enough, right?”

Heh.

Actually, Big Daddy and I both did laugh and say, essentially, been there, done that.  And frankly, we know how to deal with a kid who can’t climb the furniture. It is actually a little scary for us to imagine one that can. But I suppose that we adapted to Peanut, so we’ll adapt to Pistachio, even if it means signing her up for gymnastics the day we bring her home.

**********

Speaking of Peanut, I may have to give her a new nickname, like String Bean.  She’s grown somewhere between 2 and 3 inches since May. She’s taking as many as 8 steps independently. She’s potty-trained when she feels like it (some days, she just doesn’t want to bother with running to the toilet all the time). She’s starting pre-school in a few weeks. And she’s learned to argue.

I don’t mean the standard , “No, I don’t wanna!” that we’re all used to. I mean, she has, within the last two weeks or so, started giving logical arguments as to why she should or shouldn’t be able to do things. I’m sorry I don’t have any examples, I think I’m too stunned when it happens to think too hard about it. But trust me, it’s like I suddenly have Stephen Douglas* living in my house. I was unprepared for this, to say the least. Generally, my main argument is that people who still poop in their pants don’t get to decide, but I am going to have to come up with something better soon.

We have, however, solved a problem that was beginning to get a bit out of hand. Peanut had decided that she was scared of the dark and that her room was too scary and filled with monsters and ghosts and goblins. This was resulting in refusal to sleep anywhere but Mama’s bed, with Mama in it (not watching Ugly Betty reruns in the living room). Discussions of how Big Blue Whale would protect her went nowhere.  “But Mom, I have trouble sleeping!”

Then, inspiration struck: Back when she was having trouble sleeping in her cast, I got a little bottle of aromatherapy oil for babies. It is small, scented with lavender, and has a roller top meant to roll the scent on to a kid’s temples. She wanted nothing to do with it then. But I brought it out last week and told her it was monster repellent. You see monsters, ghosts, goblins, green-faced witches**, and other assorted creatures of the night do not like the scent, and will run away from it, thinking it is stinky. She was overjoyed, and immediately wanted some on, so I dabbed a little on her wrists and her temples. “Ick, it’s stinky!” Well, I don’t like lavender either, but it works. So far, she has happily gone to sleep in her own bed, safe from lurking ghouls.

She is growing up so quickly, all of a sudden.

*Without the racism, but just a little shorter.

**As opposed to real, regular witches, who look just like us and sometimes have kids and are regular people who just believe different things about where the world comes from. It’s the same as the difference between real scientists, like her Uncle Ben, and “mad scientists”, who are admittedly pretty scary. Yes, she should probably watch less TV.



Excuse me
August 7, 2007, 5:14 am
Filed under: Peanut, Pistachio

Pistachio is hiccuping on a daily basis.

This is supposed to be comforting, right? The predictable, rythmic reminder that all is well, and a chance for Peanut to feel her sister move (her hands are so tiny it’s hard for her to be touching the right spot at the right time). It should be, anyway.

 Instead, I have some trauma to work out.

When I was pregnant with Peanut, when it began her hiccuping was a great joy. It was the first concrete movement I felt, a chance for me to fully relax. Obviously all was well, even if I didn’t feel the same somersaults and kicks other moms did. My baby was just quieter. I felt swishes and little tickles here and there, but nothing really clear until the hiccups, which happened multiple times a day. It was then that I was first able to really bond with her, to believe I actually had a kid in there that would be my child in a few short months.

She was hiccuping madly as the doctor sat across the table and wrote “thanatophoric dysplasia” on a piece of paper, where he’d also made a crude approximation of the size of her heart vs. her rib cage to demonstrate her lack of lung development. She hadn’t moved for over an hour of ultrasound testing, but now, now I felt those regular tickles nonstop.

All I could think of was how she was fine inside me, but they were saying she would die when she was born. She was fine, but when I gave birth to her I would kill her.

Every day over the next 9 days, I took a warm bath to help my sore back. Every time I did, she would hiccup. And I would cry. All those months of wanting her to be born, those last weeks of discomfort and wishing she would just get here, dammit, I’ve been pregnant my whole life, were done. Now all I could do was pray and try not to think about her practicing lungs she would never get to use, because being born, being outside of my body would kill her. I made her this way, and now I would be killing her, in a way that would require giving her morphine to make it tolerable.

I was able to be in denial about the whole thing except when she hiccuped. It was only then that I was reminded of how safe and well she was right there, and how that was ending soon. I was torn between wanting it to just stop and clinging to it, the only way I’d get to feel my daughter alive.

She hiccuped once the morning of her birth, briefly, and then stopped. By that day, I had steeled myself. I had to believe she would be okay, I had to, or I wouldn’t be able to make it through. And I convinced myself that if her lungs were as bad as they said, she wouldn’t be hiccuping so much.

I was right.

Even though it turned out ok, that stressful time is so linked in my mind with baby hiccups that I’m having a hard time now, with a kid whose idea of being quiet is hiccuping. She kicks and punches and rolls with such vigor the book I rest on my belly bounces up and down with her movements. Her last ultrasound showed her smack in the 50th percentiles for all measurements, not even a single iffy sign. The doctor herself comes in every time and essentially re-does the scan, making absolutely sure that what we are seeing/not seeing is accurate (it helps, I think, that we said in the beginning “we don’t trust you people, and we have a damn good reason for it”).

I will get through this, and learn to appreciate it, I know. That time period is over, they were wrong, and I have a beautiful girl who brings me great joy every day. She loved me enough to keep reminding me that she was there and okay, even though everyone was telling me otherwise.  Now, she sings her favorite lullaby to her baby sister and gives my belly a hug every night.

And giggles and tells me she is “hiccing up” at the slightest burp.



iSuck
August 2, 2007, 8:02 pm
Filed under: Disability

Ok, so I was reading a story about how the iPhone is unusable if you are blind (it sounds like this may change as they upgrade them), the same as iPods are. I did a little search, and found this blog, where this issue was addressed back in January. I literally got ill reading the comments. Seriously, I’ll save you the trouble and nausea and summarize: Why the hell should we care if blind people can’t use it? Boo hoo! There’s all kinds of things they can’t do, why should this be any different? What’s next, iPhone discriminates against people without fingers*?

I need to believe people like this are in the minority, but sometimes it’s hard. I read blogs and stories from adults with diabilities, and while it is comforting to be reminded that Peanut will probably be just as happy an adult as she would have been if her legs worked right, it is very, very hard to read the stories about what these people have had to deal with and continue to have to deal with in regard to discrimination. The sheer number of idiots in the comment section of that blog is very depressing.

And then I discovered Steve Jobs likes to park illegally in handicapped parking spaces.

You might guess what that did to my decision to buy a Macbook. I don’t even want to use my iPod anymore.

*****

As I was writing this, Peanut stuck a sticker of a hippo on my belly. Thanks for the reminder, kid.

*Yes, someone said that.

After I posted this, I found this site with some “educational” disabled parking signs. Excuse the excessive advertising on the site, please, because the signs made me laugh out loud.

Penny from Disability Studies at Temple U. did a post on these and other signs a while ago. Look there instead!



Too close for comfort
August 2, 2007, 6:44 am
Filed under: Love and Marriage

Yes, Big Daddy was in Minneapolis yesterday, but he is home safe and sound now after leaving about an hour before the collapse. The road was near his hotel, but he does not ordinarily drive on that stretch.

Thank God for keeping him safe, and my prayers for those not so lucky.

So yeah, still a little jumpy.