We don’t need a damn dresser

Phone conversation between Husband and his mother:

DH:  This weekend, we ordered a crib.

MIL:  Oh!  I want to buy you the matching dresser/changing table.

DH:  Actually, we already have a dresser for the baby.  It was Mrs Whatsit’s mom’s when she was a kid.

MIL:  But, what about a changing table?!

DH:  We’re going to put one of those curved changing pads on top of the dresser.

MIL:  But you need something with a lip so the changing pad doesn’t fall off!

DH:  Look, we have a small apartment.  If a new large piece of furniture comes in then we have to get rid of some of the furniture we already have and we’re not getting rid of Whatsit’s mom’s childhood dresser.

MIL:  Okay, don’t get excited, I’m sure the baby will get changed somehow….

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An unfortunate series of events

So, last Sat. night, Husband and I were in a fender-bender.  We were on our way to a tapas restaurant in a nearby town, on unfamiliar streets, after dark, in the rain.  Husband was driving.  Well, we approached an intersection, and the left turn signal was red.  We were not turning left, but Husband was stressed out about driving in unfamiliar territory, in the dark, in the pouring rain and he started slowing down to stop.  Just as I was about to say, “What are you doing, the light is green!” we were hit from behind.  It was surprisingly loud.  Fortunately, were weren’t at a complete stop so it wasn’t as bad as it could have been.  Airbags were not deployed.

However, I did not handle it well.

See, for the last week, my thoughts have run something like this:

Baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, “What?  Sure, let’s have chicken tonight, “ baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, “Huh?  Ummm…no, I haven’t seen your phone,” baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby.

If Husband had said to me, “Honey, I think we should raise chickens on our back patio.”  I probably would have responded something like, “Hmmm?  Oh.  Yes, fresh eggs would be nice,” and go on thinking baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby.

Which is why, when Husband came back to the car looking for a pen after talking with the other driver, and looked at me and said, “Honey, it’s okay,” I shrieked, “IT IS NOT OKAY, WHAT ABOUT THE BABY?!?!?!”

Well.  This was not the best possible response.  Unfortunately, I’ve been pretty stressed out for awhile now, and the last week had been the worst.  First and foremost, I’m desperately worried about a miscarriage.  Yes, great, I got pregnant, but now I have to stay pregnant which is not as easy as it sounds and at this stage in the game, I really have no control over it.  Then, there are all of these things that are related to the baby.  For instance, we recently got a cat who is less than a year old and he has a tendency to bite and I really need that issue resolved before there’s a baby in the apt.  And, the other day, I suddenly realized that if I wanted to knit Christmas presents I should do that now because there will be very little chance to do that after the baby comes (who would be due to arrive mid- to late Nov.).  Then, I chastised myself for thinking about Christmas which is months and months away, let’s stick to getting through the next two months, okay?  And, I’ve been reading up on nutritional requirements during pregnancy (and I have a lot to say about that) and wondering how I could possibly fulfill all of them.  Additionally, I volunteered to cook a meal for a friend who just had twins (!) and I had to find a ride to get the food there because Husband had a car and then I visited her and she’s having trouble breastfeeding but not looking into all available resources about it, which threw me into a tizzy about women and not asking for help and being socially conditioned to suck it up and deal.  Which led me into a tizzy about women’s health.  And what about cloth diapers?  They’re better for the environment and there’s a diaper service nearby, but Husband looks at me like I’m whacked every time I mention it.  Wait, no, that’s months away, too, focus on the present!  Also, I’ve been taking this class that required me to spend time volunteering in an elementary school classroom which was in a Title I school and, my friends, the situation there is absolutely appalling and it is a poster child for everything that is bad and evil about standardized testing (more on that at another date).

Frankly, I was so scatterbrained from everything that was going on (and really tired on top of it) that it could very easily have been me who got the lights confused.  Just the other day, I was at the grocery store before picking up Husband at work.  I unloaded the groceries, got in the car, started it, put it in reverse, and then noticed a shopping cart directly behind the car.  And I thought, “Dammit, what idiot left a shopping cart directly behind my car?  People really inconsiderate jerks these days!”  And then I realized that I was the one who had left the cart back there.

So, with one thing and another, I was A Woman On the Edge.  And despite normally being perfectly level-headed and calm in small emergencies like a fender-bender (at least until I get home and then I fall apart) I completely lost my shit and sobbed after handing my purse to Husband (“Here, you look for the pen!”) and while husband was talking to the other driver.  Fortunately, I was able to pull myself together right before Husband got back into the car, at least enough to stop crying and say, “I want to go home.”

Unfortunately, Husband did not handle the situation well, either.  In the immediate aftermath of the accident, he hadn’t thought about the baby and when I brought it up it rattled him.  Therefore, he got the phone number of the guy who hit us and that is all.  No name, no insurance information.  It was all his fault, Husband  thought, why get the other guy’s info?  Never mind that we were rear-ended after slowing down and therefore, the driver behind us either wasn’t paying attention or following too closely.  I assured him did not think it was his fault, even if he was confused about the lights and I didn’t blame him at all, but the damage had already been done.

So.  We got home, ordered take-out, called the insurance, and I had a glass of wine.  Oh yes I did.  One glass of wine was not going to hurt the baby and I needed something to settle my nerves.  When Husband left to pick up the food, I called my friend, A, who I teach Sunday school with, told her what had happened, told her I was having a glass of wine (“Good,” she said*), and informed her I wouldn’t be coming to teach in the morning or to church, but I might be up for some light knitting in the afternoon if she wanted to do that.  But, I would likely need a ride.

The car appears to be fine, but appearances can be deceiving.  I was once in an accident while driving my friend’s, R’s, car and in that case, I rear-ended the person in front of me.  The was no apparent damage to the car I hit, and there was only a small crack in the bumper cover of R’s car.  However, when R took the car in for a new bumper cover, it turned out that the bumper underneath was totaled and had to be replaced.  So, despite the fact that the car looks fine, I want to take it in to a mechanic to make sure before we drive it very much, if at all.

In terms of the pregnancy, everything seems to be okay so far.  But, I realized last night that I am simply doing way too much right now and I need to cut down my activities considerably, sit back, take a deep breath, and relax.

It’s going to be a very long 9 months.

*A is is, well, kind of an ubermom as I like to call them.  There are several in my knitting group, which is where I met A.  She is also a Le Leche League leader and has been for the last five years.

Some news

Figure 1. Pregnancy test result. Test was performed twice and then confirmed by testing using a different method three times. For real.

 

It’s feels odd to be posting after such a long absence, but I wanted to share my news with you guys (if any of you are still reading!).  I am finally pregnant!  It’s early days yet (I’m only at 5 weeks), and we aren’t even telling many people until I’m in the 2nd trimester (because the risk of miscarriage is highest in the first trimester), but I thought I could at least share with you people.

As many of you know, this has been a very long time in coming.

To recap (grab some tea, it’s going to be a long one):

(If this kind of saga bores you, skip to the conversation between me and Husband)

I first started wanting a baby after I turned 30 (7 years ago), but was in grad school and wanted to wait until I was done.  And then grad school dragged on and on (and on) and then it became really complicated because Husband took a job that was half a continent away and I was still in Grad School City.  That situation continued for approximately three years.  And then, Husband and I were united, but I still had to write my thesis and defend.  And, I was trying to get on as low a dose with my meds (antidepressants) before getting pregnant which unfortunately backfired on us and we had to wait until I became stable again.  And then we decided to wait until after I defended because trying to get pregnant is not all rainbows and unicorns and I was under enough stress already.  Then, last spring I finally, finally defended.  So you’d think we’d be all clear, but then I was trying to get off of my restless legs medication because there’s no information about it regarding pregnancy in humans (boy, do I have a rant about that).  That didn’t work either (despite trying acupuncture, yes, you read right, acupuncture, apparently there’s a study going on at Stanford that shows that it has some affect on restless legs).  So, we had to wait until that was all sorted out because I was getting about 3 hours of sleep a night.  So, for those of you keeping track, that takes us to last September.  I did a search, found an ob that I liked (more about that another time) and then we actually started trying to get pregnant.

Except, it was still rather complicated because Husband travels for his work.  A lot.  And sometimes that coincided with with ovulation.  Or he was leaving the day I was ovulating (in one memorable case, I was ovulating on a Sunday so I went to teach Sunday school, then skipped church, came home and we had approximately 15 minutes before he had to leave for the airport).  Or it was the holidays and we were traveling so much that we decided not to complicate our lives any further by tracking ovulation.  Given that ovulation and Husband being home were often not coinciding, we even (briefly) discussed artificial insemination to get around this traveling thing.*

So, it was complicated.  And, emotionally stressful, which doesn’t help, of course.  But, we were trying when we could and if, after 6 cycles of trying, we didn’t get pregnant, my ob wanted me to come back (because I’m over 35 and we don’t have a lot of time in which to mess around).  Actually she said 6 months, but I felt we couldn’t count the months when we missed each other during ovulation.

Then, a couple of weeks ago, I got a call from my mother.  My sister was pregnant.  Again.  And this time, she was on the pill and she still got pregnant.  You may wonder at my reaction considering I was trying to get pregnant without success while sis was trying to not get pregnant without success.  Well, I laughed.  Granted, it was laughter with a tinge of hysteria, but I laughed.  The situation was so ridiculously absurd that there was nothing I could do but laugh.  Needless to say, it was not the reaction my mother was expecting.  We talked for awhile, hung up, and then I took a nap for two hours (I had been feeling very tired lately).  I woke up having to go to the bathroom** and I thought, damn it, it’s only a few days before my period is officially late, I’m going to use a pregnancy test.  So, I drove to the drugstore, picked up some prescriptions and a box of three tests, went home, and peed on a stick.  And waited.  And waited.  And then, to my shock and surprise, it said Pregnant.  Not, Not Pregnant.  Pregnant.  There was really no mistaking the result.  And yet, I stared at the test in disbelief.  I walked out of the bathroom and came back in and stared at it some more.  I took the test out to the dining room table and stared at it some more.  It still said Pregnant.

At this point, I decided to call Husband who was traveling (of course) but was on his way home and coincidentally happened to be in Denver on a layover.  I told him the news.  He was appropriately delighted.

Husband:  Yaaayyyyyyy!

Me:  I don’t believe it.  I don’t believe the test.

Husband: [Concerned]  You don’t believe the test?

Me:  No.  I mean, I don’t have any reason to disbelieve it except that it seems too good to be true.

Husband:  Yes, I can see what you mean.

Me:  I’m going to take it again.  It’s only one test.  What if it’s malfunctioning?

Husband:  Yes.  Yes, you need to replicate the result.  That’s the only way to be sure.

So, in the meantime, I was home alone with this Really Big News an no one to talk to, so I skyped my mother.  I kept the test by me, and would look at it every so often, sure it would change to Not Pregnant.  But, it didn’t.  And the next morning, I used the second test AND I used one of these little test strips I had (which can be more difficult to read because the test band might be very faint) and they both registered pregnant.  So, you’d think I’d be reassured.

But I wasn’t.

I talked with my good friend, A, about it (who is sworn to secrecy).

Me:  It all seems too good to be true, so I tested again today.  With two different methods.  And they both say that I’m pregnant.

A:  Wonderful!

Me:  I think I’m going to test again tomorrow.

A: ??????

Me:  I don’t know, I just can’t believe it.

So, the next morning, I woke up and tested, and, indeed, the test registered that I was pregnant.  And the test line was darker.  And then I tested the next morning and the test line was darker still.  So, that was five–count ’em–five positive results.

People, I am pregnant.  After 7 years of wanting to have a child, I am pregnant.  For reals.  I have 5 test results.  I’m calling the doctor on Monday.

But, I still might take a pregnancy test that morning.  You know.  Just to be safe.

 

*You may be wondering why I didn’t just go with him.  Well, for one thing, my cycles are a little irregular in length and so it is nearly impossible to predict when I will ovulate more than 10 days before the big event.  The second issue is money.  All of that traveling gets expensive after awhile, particularly if you would be buying plane tickets less than 2 weeks in advance.

**This was important because you are supposed to wait several hours after the last time you urinated before testing and because I drink a lot of water (and tea), that means I usually have to wait until after I first get up.

In other news, my mom is getting a divorce

So, now that I have moved to the Bay area and things were looking like they were going to be calm for the next month or so, a new emotional crisis has arisen: my mom is getting a divorce.

My parents got divorced when I was 15 and all I can say about that is thank God because they were absolutely miserable together. Sure, it sucked. Sure, our family was thrown into turmoil and I blamed myself (my parents got married in the first place because my mom was pregnant with me). But, overall, the thing made sense because, for various reasons, my parent’s marriage was a disaster.

Flash forward a few years and my mother got remarried just before my senior year in college. I was happy for her, even if she was treating her older children like they didn’t exist for awhile (Sis was something like 8 or 9 at the time and therefore was still very much a part of Mom’s life whereas I was in school far away in Boston at the time and it was out of sight, out of mind, it seemed). For awhile it was, “2ndhusband this,” and, “2ndhusband that,” and “2ndhusband wants to do this instead of visiting you because 2ndhusband hates the city that you live in,” and that got old fast. But, by and large it looked like 2ndhusband was good for Mom and they were happy together. After a few years, it seemed like Mom was learning how to balance her new husband and her older children and that was great. 2ndhusband still didn’t want to visit my city so Mom came without him. Things were hunky-dory.

Flash forward a few more years and now you have my sister living with her fiance and pregnant. Her fiance can’t keep a job to save his life. Sis and her fiance are really struggling and Mom helps them out every now and again. 2ndhusband doesn’t like that fiance doesn’t work steadily but how can we fix that?

Flash forward more time to present day. Sis and fiance have 2 kids and they are still struggling and Mom is still helping them a little bit. Sis and family are living right around the poverty line. Fiance is now a stay at home dad because he can’t find a job that will pay him enough to have the kids in day care. 2ndhusband is getting more and more upset with this situation. He doesn’t like Fiance. He doesn’t like Mom helping Sis and Fiance. He thinks they should stop helping them entirely because it is wrong to support Fiance when he can’t get a job. They bicker about it.

Then, last week, 2ndhusband announces he wants a divorce. Helping Sis and Fiance is “eating him up inside” and he can’t stand it anymore and since Mom insists on helping them, that’s it, they’re through. He actually tells Mom one of the reasons for the divorce is that he can’t stand she puts her kids before him. What kind of an asshole says something like that?! Other reasons cited: he can’t make her happy anymore (Mom didn’t realize she was unhappy), something about sex (please Mom, don’t need to know anything more about that one), and well, that’s it.

Granted, this is all from Mom’s perspective so we could be missing stuff. But, my mom is baffled. There was no warning, no, “We need to resolve this issue because it is making me unhappy with our marriage,” no, “If things don’t get better, we should consider a divorce,” no nothing. It’s left us all shaking our heads wondering, WTF? WTF is he thinking? Where is this coming from? Is there someone else? Because that might make some sense. Right now, nothing makes sense.

There’s more, so much more, but I think I’ve spilled enough family drama for the day. Now, I need to call my mother.

Nephews: Officially saved

Well, the baptisms are over.  Two baptisms in two days–it was a very holy weekend.  The first one was pretty casual–we did the baptism after Mass on Sat. night.  Nephew the 2nd (hereafter known as N2nd; his older brother is N1st) came through the ordeal all smiles–literally.  He just smiled and smiled and smiled through the entire thing.  The priest had a hard time keeping a straight face with all of that smiling; he looked like he was about to start laughing.  N3rd is a much more serious baby and he didn’t much care for the water being poured on his head.  He got through the water for the Father and the Son, but by the time the priest got to Holy Spirit, N3rd had had enough and started crying.  This is much more typical of the baptisms I’ve been to!  N3rd was wearing a baptismal gown that had originally been his great-grandfather’s.  It was over 90 years old and in pristine condition–really beautiful.

After N3rd’s baptism, there was a lunch at my brother’s in-laws’ house which was fun and it was great talking with family, but after a couple of hours of this, I was ready to go be by myself in the quiet for awhile.  Fortunately, I was able to keep it together until we left and then I took a nap back at Mom’s and felt much better.  I love visiting with my family, but what with the babies and my little cousins and aunts and uncles plus all of sister-in-law’s (sister’s-in-law?) family, it was a little too much for me.  I can stand being around that many people for a few hours and then I need to go somewhere quiet.

Today through Wed. there is more family stuff since the stars have aligned and me and my three siblings are all in Iowa at the same time.  Wed., we are going up to see my grandmother and then I am staying there until I go back to CA Friday afternoon.  That’ll give me a chance to wind down before I go back.