Bad Mama

Mama Bear
September 27, 2007, 2:17 pm
Filed under: Disability, Peanut

I sent an email the other day to the city parks department. A neighboring suburb is putting the finishing touches on what they are calling a 100% accessible play park, and I was wondering if there was something like it here, because I hadn’t seen one. There are a large number of parks in Madison, so I thought there must be someplace where there is a play structure with a ramp, or has some paving to the toys, for instance. It’s just that I haven’t been to one. Here is my letter:


I am the parent of a mobility-impaired child in Madison, and have been watching with interest the building of the accessible play park in Sun Prairie. I have not been able to find a remotely similar park in my area (near-east side). Is there a park in Madison that has play structures designed for disabled children? I know several places have swings that offer more support, but I’m talking about paved paths and ramps to play structures, etc. Thank you.

So I asked, fairly politely, I think. This, in part, is the response I received (and it starts with the first line, there was no greeting):

“Almost all of our playgrounds are accessible with a path system to the equipment. All of our older community park playgrounds also have the accessible loose-fill surface and we are continuing the transition, whereas many of our older area park playgrounds now have accessible loose-fill surfacing. In a few instances we have done new additions to older neighborhood park playgrounds that have included upgrading those surfaces with accessible loose-fill material…In all cases our playgrounds are designed to include a transfer point for inclusive accessibility. Only in a couple cases do we have a ramp onto the structure as that concept has not been totally endorsed by the Access Board or CPSC. Additionally, ground based activities are included in many playgrounds to contain that inclusive element as recommended by the Access Board.”

He goes on to tell me how expensive and difficult it would be to create a “Destination Park” (I don’t doubt that at all) and how some are being shut down because they can’t afford to maintain them. That’s nice info, though I didn’t ask for it. And then he told me to check the city website for info on accessible parks. Which I did before I emailed, but didn’t find any information.

Is it just me, or does anyone else get the urge to write back saying, “thanks, I’ll tell my kid that apparently she just isn’t trying hard enough, since she can’t play on anything in any park we’ve been to without help.”

Instead, I will be finding out who this “Access Board” is composed of, and letting them know how well their plans are working. Possibly a letter to the newspaper as well. Because before, I was simply disappointed. Now I’m pissed.

September 26, 2007, 9:20 pm
Filed under: Pistachio

All my maternity shirts now have little dribbled stains right on top of the belly, where they can’t be missed.

I’m fine, by the way. A friend called up today to check on me, because of my last few posts. Hormones are kicking my ass, but we’ll all be okay. I’m just really, really ready for her to be here. Except that nothing else is ready. I want her here, but I won’t have any place for her to sleep or any clean clothes for her to wear or a car seat for her to come home in. I have diapers, though. I suppose I should start getting on this soon.

September 24, 2007, 9:41 pm
Filed under: Pistachio

I forgot something that was kind of cool from the ultrasound. It turns out Pistachio has so much long hair that you can see it on ultrasound, floating in the amniotic fluid. When I have some energy, I’ll scan in some of the photos from today.

As cool as it is, I’m still having a hard time with the fact that I didn’t get any nice shots of Peanut like that. Just a couple they took to point out what was not right. It’s hitting me a bit harder than I thought it would, all these reminders of what we missed at her birth. I’d hoped that they’d be overshadowed by all the new happy stuff, but it isn’t happening quite like that.

Week 34 ultrasound
September 24, 2007, 3:15 pm
Filed under: Pistachio

Everything is fine. Pistachio is in the 55th percentile all around, and weighs about 5 lbs. 2 oz.  Meaning she’s bigger than Peanut was when she was born at 37w2d.  She has turned from her head-down position to kind of transverse, though. I think she just got bored.

However, it was still a freaky appointment. I’d finally convinced my mom to come along. She was there with us at Peanut’s “bad” ultrasound, and hasn’t been able to shake the post-traumatic stress of it. But I told her that so far, everything has been just fine, it is different now, it’s time to shake the superstition, so she agreed.

The tech was the same as with Peanut. And so was the room.  They have, like, 5 rooms there, but that’s the one we got for this appointment. And instead of the female doctor we’ve had all along, the one who went back over all the measurements and walked us through them and explained what they were looking for and how they knew everything was cool, we got a silent male doctor who explained nothing. Just like with Peanut. While ultimately we weren’t taken to the little conference room with the round table and given facial tissues, I am just a bit stressed. I’m actually glad we don’t have to do anymore of these screens. I just want to concentrate on getting her head down again and out of my body safely.

September 24, 2007, 11:55 am
Filed under: Parenting, Peanut, Pistachio

If you don’t want to hear pregnant lady bitching, stop reading now.

My heartburn is so bad I am surprised I have any esophogeal tissue left. When I am lying down, Pistachio likes to kick my stomach and shoot the acid up my throat to my mouth. She has also taken to demonstrating her dissatification with the accomodations by using her very sharp little elbows in an apparent attempt to create ventilation holes in my uterus. When that fails, she attempts to force her fist down into my cervix to open an escape hatch.

My lower back is very out-of-whack. This morning, I stepped off the bathmat and slid on the tile, wrenching it even more. There is no position where it doesn’t hurt right now.

I have to get up for the bathroom at least four times a night. I have a hard enough time with insomnia when not pregnant, so I end up staying awake for several hours every night after at least one of these bathroom visits. Everything in my life is suffering because of this: marriage, work, housekeeping, bill-paying, and worst of all, parenting. I am essentially handing over care of Peanut to her grandmothers, and while I am exceedingly grateful I have that option, I do not like having to use it.

Peanut has been choosing random nights to not sleep. Last night, she didn’t fall asleep until 11 pm, and woke up again at 4:30 am, and had to come to bed with me in order to get back to sleep. Which would have been fine, except that she snores. And whaps me in the head with her arm when she’s turning over.

I have my final ultrasound this afternoon. Maybe they’ll tell me she’s all ready to come and this can be over. I have been having to remind myself over and over, I don’t want a baby in NICU. I don’t want a baby in NICU.

Bad boys
September 20, 2007, 7:24 pm
Filed under: Peanut

We found out from the teachers that Peanut sits with four boys for lunch every day. One of them is her new favorite friend. When I asked what she liked about N., she said, “He wears a striped shirt”. Also, he’s the one that taught her to call people “butthead”. As she told me this, she had a huge grin on her face, and giggled. “He’s naughty.”

Her father is thrilled, as you can imagine. And as anyone who knows anything about what I was like before I was married will understand, I am secretly pleased.

September 20, 2007, 12:47 am
Filed under: Pistachio

How in the world do I think I am going to get through labor with a minimum of medication when the practice contractions wake me up out of a sound sleep, leaving me gasping for breath and unable to move until they are over? How, I ask you, how?