Saturday, December 12, 2009
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
He loves being around all the kids. I am now considered quite boring in BabyJaguar's eyes as there is only one of me. I in no way can compete with the several tiny tots and bushels of toys that are at Nancy's house. It's true. And I'm okay with it. In fact, I'm happy about it because I know he's happy and well cared for.
And Super Sitter Nancy? She's great. Nancy's one of those people who is just meant to care for young children. She's so laidback and you can tell she enjoys the kids. Nancy took the time to talk with me on the phone, meet me in person and then meet BabyJaguar in person, too. And she was really sensitive to my concerns about how many children were there. She let me bring my own Pack'n'Play that is just for BabyJaguar where the other kids who are older share them. And Nancy always encourages me to call and check in whenever I want and she's just warm and fuzzy and lovey and all the things you want in a sitter.
She's so good that, sometimes, when I drop BabyJaguar off in the morning, I feel grossly inadequate as a mom as I watch her deftly care for four or five little ones at once and I, meanwhile, didn't manage to eat breakfast while just caring for my one, quite easygoing kid. But that's a good thing, too. It means my kid's in the right place.
The other thing that makes me really happy is that he's being raised in a home by a good family. Nancy has three children, all in their twenties, and when she's having a hectic day, they help out. Her own children are so nice and just naturals at caring for kids. I came in the one day to her twenty something son feeding one of the babies a bottle and just cooing away at the little guy, laughing and talking with him the whole time. It was adorable.
You know when you meet someone and they just immediately give off the "good people" vibe? That's what it is. They're a family of good people. Sure, we've had hiccups along the way: bibs that are MIA, a puppy eating a teething ring and that one time we realized another kid was drinking BabyJaguar's bottle of breastmilk, but the bottom line is, they're just hiccups. Those things are all small when I know that he's cared for by someone who truly cares about him.
I think Douchey Sitter #1 came into my life for a reason...to let me know when a really great sitter came along. If BabyJaguar had started off in Nancy's care from the beginning, I would've just thought that this is what all sitters are like. I wouldn't have known how special she is and how lucky I am that she came into my life. So, I guess I have to thank you, Douchey Sitter #1, for showing me what sucky daycare is really like. Your gross inadequacy at showing my child affection and attention is much appreciated.
And, as for you, Nancy, well, I big pink puffy heart you.
Saturday, October 31, 2009
I didn't know until my pedi told me that I'm not supposed to put baby lotion on babies when they're young...which seems like the perfect time to put it on them being as it is called baby lotion. You're not really supposed to put much of anything on them, except clothes and diaper rash cream. And Aquaphor.
Aquaphor is the duct tape of the baby world. It can be put on scratches resulting from little baby fingernails, irritated neck creases, diaper rash, minor skin irritations and dry patches. And it's awesome on my super dry hands from washing 7,412 times a day and sanitizing them 1,893 times per day.
Friday, October 30, 2009
And somewhere in the Pampers headquarters, there is the design department.
And somewhere in the design department, there is a 21 year old guy.
And he is laughing at me.
BabyJaguar, being the husky little beast that he is, has been in the size 3 Pampers for a while now. And the size 3s present a new challenge. Rogue Elmo. I previously referred to him as Wandering Elmo but, as time goes on, I find him to be more menacing hence the name change.
There is where the 21 year old guy comes into the picture. He's clearly new to the job, has no children of his own and likes to stir up trouble. Because he has made the decision that on some of the size 3s, Elmo will be on the front. And on others, the back. Elmo now shows up in different places and different sizes just to mess with me.
How do I know he's a 21 year, childless man? Because no mother in her right mind would start screwing around with new, exhausted moms in the middle of the night who are changing their children in the semi-dark by placing Rogue Elmo in different places all over the diaper. This is exactly how new, exhausted moms put their children in diapers backwards.
Damn you, Elmo. Damn you.
And 21 year old, childless, new guy. I will find you. One day....I will find you.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
with my previous post. This picture of sick baby and caring momma is grossly inaccurate for several reasons. Let's investigate...
- This baby appears peaceful. Sick BabyJaguar was not a peaceful child. Sleeping was work for him because he was so stuffed up.
- This baby does not have his mouth wide open to help him breathe because he sounds like a little mini-Darth Vader.
- This baby does not have bodily fluids leaking from every hole on his face, including his eyes because why wouldn't a horrible cold have to include pinkeye as well?
- Either the momma has really great skin or she's wearing makeup. I vote that she's wearing makeup. No part of my days with a sick baby included makeup. This included any visits to the pediatrician. And the dark circle under my eyes from too little sleep looked hot with no cover up on.
- And finally, this momma doesn't have vomit in her hair that's been there since the wee hours of Saturday morning and, oh my God, it's now Sunday afternoon and I still haven't showered because I've been taking care of BabyJaguar. Where's her vomity, crunchy hair?
See what I mean? Inacurate picture, grossly inacurate.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Babysitter #1 is our friend's sister. She was watching two children (our friend's daughter and another child) and was eager to add BabyJaguar to her responsibilities. She had him every week day except Thursday. On day seven of watching the boy, she asks me to see if I can change her schedule to have Wednesdays off instead. I tell her I don't think I can do that but I figure it out by day 9 and tell her she can have Wednesdays off instead of Thursdays. She declines. WTF? On day 10, she quits. Her reason? "He cried a lot today. And when I picked him up, he'd stop so I know he was fine." Ummmm....yeah, he's a four month old who's getting over a cold, got vaccines last night and is teething. He may occasionally have days when he needs some extra love. I'm so sorry you had to show affection to my child. Fucking asshole. It seems that the third child is the straw that broke her back. She cannot fit a third carseat in her car and it leaves her stuck at her house. Her 3rd grade daughter forgot her lunch that day and she couldn't bring it to her so she had to call her mother-in-law because her daughter couldn't eat the sandwich or cereal that the school would provide to her child due to the forgetten lunch. What a crisis of mass proportions. I'm surprised I didn't feel the Earth stop on its axis.
So now I'm looking for a new sitter. So far I found two possibilities: one who is just up the road from my job but watches up to seven children at a time (when my kid is too young for both the regular and H1N1 flu shot) and one who is totally and completely out of the way but would only be watching BabyJaguar, leaving me driving a lot of miles each day but with peace of mind that he's not catching every bug in sight.
We'll see how this all unfolds. It may involve me throat punching my original sitter.
Friday, September 18, 2009
But the thing was, it wasn't that awful. Like nothing so horrible happened that I shouldn't have been able to recover, but I couldn't recover. I'm still on the edge of tears and have been for most of the day. I woke up ridiculously tired, my daycare lady is trying to change our schedule after only working eight days, my principal is trying to make my rearrange my classroom furniture, and I couldn't pump in the morning because I had a meeting where I had to argue about what is considered appropriate testing for my special ed students. And I may have used the word "stupid" at least five times in that last conversation, not about my students, but about the fact that the district requires me to test my students using material that is way too hard for them. Sure, it was a heck of a bumpy morning, but I should've been able to bounce back.
But I couldn't. I couldn't because returning to work is so much harder than I thought it would be. I hate it. This was my first full week as the last two were only two days and then four days. These last five days were so hard. For one, I'm exhausted. BabyJaguar still rarely sleeps through the night and lately has been waking up twice instead of once, leaving me dead tired on most days. Second, pumping at work is taking its toll. I try to pump three times a day. I always pump on my prep period and at lunch. Plus, I also pump either early in the morning or sometime after lunch depending on when the boy last ate in the morning. This cuts my lunch and prep period in half, twenty minutes apiece. It's not enough time. It's not enough time at all. I don't have enough minutes in the prep to get done everything I need to do and I don't have enough minutes in the lunch to regain my sanity. There's no down time. Ever. Sometimes, I just cry in the closet while I'm pumping because I'm feeling so overwhelmed. Also, I have a mediocre milk supply so I'm always stressing about how many ounces I'm pumping. I need to start addressing that.
I just want to be home with my baby so badly. Not worrying about pumping or washing a billion bottles, not constantly rushing, not wanting to shatter my alarm clock at 6 am. I just want to be home taking care of Ben.
When I was at home full time, I had one job: mommy. And I was good at it. Now I have two jobs: mommy and teacher. And I feel like I kinda suck at both of them. I'm too tired and don't have enough minutes in my day to be successful.
I know this will get easier. But right now, it feels impossible.
Saturday, September 5, 2009
This morning, BabyJaguar woke up very early. I fed him, we hung out for a bit and then Mr. Jaguar got up and took him so I could sleep a bit longer. My husband is generally very good about this on the weekends. He sees how often I go to bed after him, get up during the night and then wake up before him, so I slept for an extra hour.
Then I woke up but BabyJaguar had gone down for a nap and was still asleep, so I showered.
Then he was still asleep, so I shaved.
Then he was still asleep, so I pumiced. Just because I could.
Then he was still asleep, so I ate.
And now here I am....rested, clean, smooth and fed all by ten thirty in the morning. This is unheard of in my world.
In other news, my return to work was as okay as it could be. I was a flat out mess on the first day. I shouldn't have even bothered to put on makeup because I cried it all off. And since I'd been out on maternity, everybody wanted to welcome me back with a hug and that just made me cry harder and then I got more hugs because of the tears which made me cry harder...you get the idea. It was a vicious cycle. I settled down after a while. BabyJaguar had a great day away. He was happy and rested well and that's all that matters.
The second day wasn't too bad because I knew I had five days off at the end of it and I was busy working in my classroom. Oh yeah, my classroom.....for the past three years, I've taught in-class support where I work in someone else's room, so I haven't had to set up my own and instead have just helped my co-teacher set up theirs. Well, that was supposed to be my gig this year until state test scores came in, the special ed kids didn't do well and my principal decided to shake everything up. So on August 26th, one week before work starts, I get a call that my job has changed, I teach in a different grade and I have a classroom to open. And I have to wait to work on my room until the other teacher moves her stuff out and she's been in that room for about 15 years. Awesomeness. The first day and a half of my two days back to work pretty much consisted of helping the other teacher move her stuff out. Needless to say, the room is in shambles. Whatever. It will be done when it is done.
Next week is only four days long and then two days with BabyJaguar.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
And, believe it or not, the mantra works. It makes a huge difference for me, keeping me relatively unphased in the tougher moments.
And in the good moments...oh, the good moments. It reminds me to cherish everything about him because he's changing and growing so quickly. The smiles he sends my way. They're like gold to me. When I watch him suck on his entire hand, knowing that in only a short time he'll have moved on to some other new skill. This is temporary. When he makes that weird Bill Cosby face in his sleep. When he works with all his might to turn over. When he raises his eyebrows as he "talks" to me. When he snuggles into me during our naps. When he tries to suck on my nose. This is temporary, this is temporary, this is temporary....
And now, as I try in some way to brace myself to return to work on Tuesday, the mantra, sadly, still rings true. This brief time at home with BabyJaguar, the most amazing vacation I've ever been on, it's all temporary.
Friday, August 28, 2009
I went to a good friend's house tonight and was shocked to find her daughter standing, a new accomplishment of the last few days. And then she crawled over to me, another new accomplishment of the week. I even got to watch the video of the first time she stood and cried tears of joy and pride for her great accomplishment.
And then more tears of sadness for myself and BabyJaguar over the firsts I know I'm sure to miss.
I had no idea how much this would hurt. How hard this would be. How much my heart would ache.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
There are a lot of elements factoring into this. First, pushing during delivery can lead to hemorrhoids and, unfortunately, it did. And, unfortunately, three months later, they're still not entirely gone. Improving but not entirely gone. So there's my concern about extra physical pain added on to the common physical pain of sex after shoving a baby out of you. Second, BabyJaguar sleeps in a cosleeper in our room, as in his sleeping area is strapped securely to our sleeping area. Third, I've always been a multi-tasker, but this has now reached a whole new level. I go to bed thinking about what has to be done and I find it very hard to quiet my mind and let myself be present in the moment when it doesn't involve BabyJaguar. Fourth, I have BabyJaguar in my personal space all day long. Don't get me wrong. I absolutely adore it. I love nursing him and playing with him in my lap and and having him doze on my shoulder. But at the end of the day, I often need my own space for a while. Fifth, my hormones are not what they used to be. My libido is really really really low right now. Sixth, I feel like I've lost a lot of my sexual identity. Through infertility treatments and then pregnancy where sex was banned the majority of the time, I can barely connect with my sexual self. I don't even know where she is frankly. Seventh, Mr Jaguar and I are negotiating our way through the bumps of being new parents. It can be stressful and the adjustment has been difficult at times, leaving us both tense as we are stretched thinner than normal. Eighth, I feel really unattractive right now. My body is not what it used to be and I'm still working on accepting it. Ninth, it seems my body has been repurposed. Its responsibilities include growing a baby, delivering a baby and now feeding a baby. My sexual self is not included in any of those three categories. Last, I am completely exhausted. This has improved somewhat but by the time my head hits the pillow, I am beat. And I'm counting the hours until BabyJaguar is going to wake up to nurse. Geez, this a long paragraph. I told you there were a lot of factors.
How's my husband doing with this? Not great, but okay. He has been extraordinarily patient and understanding with me in this arena, but he is ready to get back in the saddle and has been for a long while. We don't actually use a saddle...that's just an idiom. Just wanted to be completely clear on that.
How am I doing with all of this? I am riddled with guilt. I am definitely feeling like a failure as a wife in this department and, ultimately, as a mommy because I know I have to take care of my marriage to be a good parent. And I love my husband so much and feel like I'm letting him down, neglecting his needs.
So my friends keep telling me I need to make a date with my husband. But I start back at work on September 1st (a very depressing post that is soon to come) and, honestly, I'm not willing to give up time with BabyJaguar when I know I will have to leave him for over 40 hours a week very very soon. I can't do it. And I would ruin the date. So, in September, I vow to make a date with my husband and see if I can get my sexy back. It may be a slow process, but I'm up for the challenge. My marriage is too important.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Fast forward to her labor scene where the poor thing is struggling. I mean, her contractions were some serious business and, out of an intense fear of needles, she was delaying getting an epidural until it was absolutely necessary. So she is writhing around on the bed, starting to cry and then she says, completely serious....
"Am I dying?" And I can't help it, I laugh. Because that is a perfectly reasonable question right at that moment. She's saying what so many women must think in the throws of labor. Surely this has to be the funniest line in the scene.
"Cause I don't wanna die......" I can't help it. I'm laughing harder. Surely this is the funniest line in the scene.
But then the nurse, completely deadpan, follows with, "So are you ready for that epidural now?" I am dying with laughter by this point and my son is glaring at me because I'm being disruptive during nursing.
And yeah, she was ready.
I do not miss those pre-epidural contractions. I still need to post my birth story (I know, such a slacker) but from the get go, my contractions were no joke. No.joke.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Do you know what it is? It's freakin' awesome. It's a line of clothing that is very....how do I capture it?....Florida AARP chic. And this woman Jeanne Bice, queen of all things sequined and appliqued, is usually on chatting about the items. Let me find a picture of Jeanne...
Does the headband give you an idea of why I love watching Quacker Factory? It's mesmerizing. I can't look away.
Sadly, Jeanne was not on the air this time which left me with an oddly empty feeling in my heart, but this was the first item being pitched: the Quacker Factory Seasonal Fiber Optic Cardigan for $34.12. It was glorious. A boxy red cardigan with an excessive variety of hearts, vines and flowers climbing up the front. And then, the host turned out the lights and it.lit.up. The wonders of technology. Get the phone!
One of my favorite things about QVC and any home shopping network for that matter is how the host has to talk about a particular item for an outrageously long amount of time. They inevitably start babbling. The two women on the air must have talked about the hideous sweater for at least ten minutes. They talk about the colors, the detail, the fiber opticness (obviously!) and then list the places and events where this sweater would be just perfect...."I wear this shirt to wear errands all through February and I get so many compliments! The mailman at my post office just loves it! He always makes me light it up for him." That's because you're the only person whose clothing involves batteries.
As I sit there astounded by how long a host can describe one item for, I also can't help but watch the ticker of how many have purchased the sweater. It's amazing! Hundreds of people can't live another minute without that fiber optic sweater! It was selling out in multiple sizes. Do you think that ticker is even real? I kind of wonder.
Anyway, if you're flipping through the channels and you see Quacker Factory, you should absolutely check it out, if only to see what headband Jeanne is wearing. I'm seriously considering DVRing it.
And as for that sweater, don't you worry lovely ladies of QVC. You had me at fiber optic. You had me.at.fiber.optic.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Right now, all I have left is bullsh!t reflection stuff. And if you're one of my professors who in some freakish scenario is infertile, stumbles upon my blog and figures out my true identity, then by "bullsh!t reflection stuff" what I really mean is "time to meaningfully look back on the knowledge and insight I have gained over these past eight extraordinary weeks stuff".
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Wrong. My friend, Kristen, is there gloriously put together with her 6 month old daughter. Her baby is in an adorable stars and stripes outfit with matching bonnet. Mommy is in a cute red shirt, navy and white striped cardigan, perfectly fitted capris and red white and blue shoes.
Red white and blue shoes?!?! She even had on red white and blue shoes?!?!
Yes, red white and blue shoes. And you know what? They were stinking adorable. Navy with tiny white polka dots and red trim. The little ballet flat style but they're canvas sneakerish instead.
Man, I dropped the mommy ball. Look out for me next year. My son will be dressed as Uncle Sam, I'll be Betsy Ross, my stroller will look like an American flag and I'll have goddamn sparklers in my hair.
Freakin' red white and blue shoes....
Monday, June 29, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
1) Thermal sensors....he can sense when there is hot food within 30 feet that his mother intends to eat (preferably while it is still hot) at which point he will cry and demand to be fed.
2) Horizontal sensors...he can sense when his mother has transitioned from upright to horizontal and will then immediately begin to cry.
3) Super poop shooting skills... he has the ability to cover everything in the immediate vicinity in poop while avoiding soiling his own clothes. More on that later. It is so impressive it warrants its own post.
Monday, June 22, 2009
Saturday, June 20, 2009
And I smiled, laughed and cried all at once. Happy 5 week birthday, BabyJaguar. Mommy liked her gift.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Monday, June 15, 2009
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Yesterday was hot but I had forgotten to turn the air on and then decided I would wait until the evening to put it on. Ben woke up from his nap seeming a bit warm so I decided to change him into just a onesie.
Change diaper. Change his outfit. Start nursing.
Ben starts pooping. Okay, that's normal. But then he's not stopping. Still pooping. Still pooping. Still pooping.
And my lap is wet. Okay, stop nursing (the boy is now not happy), take off my pants, take him to changing table, strip him down, clean up the outrageous amount of poo, lean over to throw out diaper.
It's raining on my arm. No, that would be pee. In the crazy poo clean up, I forgot to cover Ben up so now he's peeing in a big arc right out of the Pack-n-play.
Okey-dokey. Start cleaning up the pee, go to pick up Ben and the pee has puddled underneath him and he is soaked from his feet all the way up to his neck. Let's just take a bath. Pantless mommy bathes the boy, finally gets new diaper on him and gets another onesie. Back downstairs and finally get back to the nursing.
My husband comes home from work, questions my pantlessness and then tells me that his friend who is also our life insurance agent will be over in about twenty minutes because we have to sign some forms. I finish up nursing in fifteen and get pants on just before agent friend arrives.
I like agent friend. He's a good guy. We all chat for a bit. Then Ben starts going bonkers rooting on my cheek and neck. Did I mention how much breastfeeding went on that day? A lot. Ben ate 16 times that day and gave me only ten to thirty minutes breaks in between. It was some kind of freak hunger day...maybe a growth spurt? So I throw on my nursing cover to start feeding him again and go to unbutton my henley style shirt.
Only it's already unbuttoned.
To below my breasts.
And has been the whole time I've been sitting here chatting with agent friend.
Hey, at least I remembered pants.
Friday, May 29, 2009
I came into mommyhood scared of a million different things but really scared of one thing: connecting with the baby. I'll be completely candid. My mom has some great qualities but mostly she's just nuts. Like please-God-just-go-on-medication-nuts. So I don't have much of a relationship with her. I never have. And it scared me that I wouldn't be able to build some kind of connection with Baby Jaguar.
Don't get me wrong. I loved to feel him move inside me. I talked to him. I sang to him. But I was unsure the whole time if I felt as much as I was "supposed" to feel. My best friend wrote her unborn child letters and I remember thinking to myself, "Am I supposed to write letters?" I thought it was amazing that she felt that intensely connected to her child while I simultaneously worried that I didn't feel that.
Throughout the latter part of my pregnancy, people kept asking me if I was excited and I mostly said yes (y'know, because you're supposed to say that), but I wasn't that excited. I was scared. And I wanted him out. Those were my two predominant feelings. God, please don't let me mess up this whole parenting gig and also, please get him out immediately. I was so uncomfortable.
When labor actually rolled around, I still wasn't truly excited. "Are you excited to meet him?" everyone would ask. (Yes, because that's what I'm supposed to say.) In my head, I couldn't get to the moment where I actually got to meet him. I could only think about how I needed to get him out of my womb. Are you sensing a theme that I was outrageously uncomfortable by the time he made his appearance?
In the final weeks of my pregnancy, Mr. Jaguar would tell me how he couldn't wait to meet the baby and I, yet again, was wondering what the heck was wrong with me. Still, my only thoughts were get him out, get him out, get him out and please God don't let me suck at being a mommy.
And then Ben was born. They placed him on my chest. I looked at him. He looked at me. I didn't have to check for all of his fingers and toes. I didn't panic waiting for his first cry.
I knew he was just right.
And that he and I were a perfect match.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Friday, May 15, 2009
Jungle Villas Complex
123 Wildcat Way
Amazonia, Brazil 54321
May 15, 2009
Dear Baby Jaguar,
This letter is in regards to previous requests to rectify issues resulting in complaints from your neighbors. Your belongings continue to exceed the amount permitted given the square footage of the property which is in direct violation of housing code M.O.M., section 5.15. We have tried to work with you to address this situation in a cordial manner, but are sorry to inform you that you are ordered to vacate the premises immediately. You must remove all belongings within 48 hours, return your key to the office and leave the property in the condition you initially found it in (minus normal wear and tear). Failure to do so will result in the loss of your security deposit.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Mr. Jaguar and I headed to the hospital around lunchtime at which point I realized I forgot to pick up the necessary paperwork from the OB yesterday because I now have a memory like swiss cheese. So I end up rushing, which I hate and which at one day shy of 39 weeks I pretty much suck at. In my doctor's office, I see the doc who is scheduled to do the version so I relax a little realizing that I can't be all that late. Get my paper, rush to the hospital and head into admissions. At this point, I get paired up with a woman I guess is new to the admissions process. That's my nice way of saying she's really slow. Then she decides that I need to sign all of my forms for when I deliver right now because it will make it so much easier later. Oooooookay....let's sign quickly, sister. I got somewhere I gotta be. Sign sign sign....up to labor and delivery.
I get changed into the gown, monitors get attached, one last ultrasound to be sure Ben is still breech, IV in, shot of turbutaline to relax my uterus and the doc starts rolling up his sleeves well past his elbows. Seriously, I thought the man was going to start stretching and jogging in place to warm up. This procedure looked to be some serious business.
A mountain of the ultrasound goo was poured on my abdomen and then it was go time. While I tried to focus on relaxing my abdomen, the doctor started smearing that goo all over the place (now I understood the very rolled sleeves). And then it started. Painful but manageable at first, maybe about the first 30 seconds. And then not manageable at all, for about the last 30 seconds. I couldn't speak through the last half which was probably good because I would've been begging him to stop and then he might have actually stopped which I'm now very glad he didn't. I made some I'm-in-pain noises that I can't even recall because I think I blocked out those 30 seconds as much as possible. And then the boy was flipped.
I laid there staring at the ceiling, trying to regroup while I listened to Ben's now slowed heartrate. I had read up ahead of time so I knew it was normal to slow and should come up on its own. I glanced over at the monitor but couldn't tell if it said 54 or 94. Mr. Jaguar told me later that it had dipped very briefly to the 50s and then quickly went up to the 90s before climbing back up to normal.
The boy is doing well. I am hanging in. I feel like....well, like a baby inside of me was turned 180 degrees from the outside. Not comfy but I could be much worse. I am now sporting a sexy, hot girdle in an effort to keep him in place. It spans from just below my bra to the top of my hips and I am instructed to wear it "as much as I can stand it" which to me means it only comes off to take a shower. I'm not going to lie, it's hot and itchy and uncomfortable but I can't deal with the potential guilt of taking it off and then having him flip and feeling like it's my fault. He may very well flip anyway but at least I'll know I did everything I can.
The whole procedure felt so weird. I couldn't see what was happening because I was lying flat but I could feel it all. I could feel my entire abdomen being moved while the rest of my torso stayed in one place. Mr. Jaguar witnessed the whole thing and when all the medical people left, he looked at me and said, "Whoa.that.was.crazy." And that about sums it up.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
So now he is undropped.....lifted??!! And his skull is pushing up into my ribs which I am not so impressed with.
The good thing in all of this is we know he's breech. I got sent to Labor & Delivery yesterday for some funky spotting and bleeding. All was fine...except that he was now breech. When the resident doing the ultrasound told me, I didn't believe her. I couldn't see the screen because of a glare and just figured she must be a major newb or something. In my head, I scoffed at her, thinking, "You silly goose, that's a skull, not feet."
Apparently, she was not a newb and that skull really was a skull. The doctor said it was very good that I ended up at the hospital that day otherwise I could have gone into labor not knowing he was breech and had I gotten to the hospital late in the game and God forbid......etc etc etc. So where does that leave us? On Thursday afternoon, Mr. Jaguar and I head to the hospital to try an external cephalic version to see if we can get this little guy flipped around in the right direction. The odds look to be about 65% in our favor and then hopefully, if we can get him there, he'll stay there. If we can't, it's a guaranteed C-section. I'm trying to make peace with the C-section. Before this, I always knew it was a possibility and thought I was okay with it, but it turns out that it makes me pretty sad. I want to hold him right when he's born (this is the one that really gets me). I want his uncle to be there for the birth (only at my head). I want to be able to nurse right away. And while I know I can't guarantee those things if I try for a vaginal delivery, I'd at least like a shot at having them happen.
On another note, I'm terrified of the external version because I'm so scared it will hurt. I know...I'm a big wuss. What am I going to do when it's actually time to have this baby? I'll be the one curled up in the corner of the bed, rocking myself and sucking my thumb because I'm a giant wuss.
Sunday, May 3, 2009
I got locked out of the house. That's not the accomplishment part, that's the dilemma part. I had a contractor working at my house and, on Friday, when he finished up early, he locked the front door. Which was very thoughtful and responsible. Only he locked the lock we don't use because we don't even have a key for it. So when I came home Friday, completely exhausted with my nasty swollen feet, I couldn't get in my house to my glorious couch that was just shouting my name. I could hear it through my front door along with my crying greyhounds who couldn't figure out why their mommy wouldn't just get in the house already.
I pondered the predicament. It's an old house with a wide variety of old windows, but we are very good about locking the ones on the first floor that we open regularly. Hmmm....I decided to explore. I paused at the first window that we can never manage to get to click all the way shut. After some moving and shaking, I determined that this screen was not a screen that goes up or comes out. Is that even possible? Whatever, it wasn't budging. I moved on.
I came upon my back steps and scoped out the scene. We never use the kitchen windows because they don't stay up on their own. Maybe some of them don't click all the way shut and I just don't remember. I placed my palm against the first one and attempted to slide it up. It practically fell in the kitchen! Christ on a bike! That's not very secure. Note to self: invest in new windows or Sloman Shield immediately.
So I slide up the window which I have to hold up so it doesn't fall back down, lean into to move my kitchen table out of the way, greyhounds move into the now open space to give me some love and then I realize that the bottom of the window is at the top of my hips. Hmmm.....visions of my daily ritual of trying to put my pants on dance through my head. This could be ugly.
It took me about five minutes to find the energy to attempt the task and then three tries to get my leg in the window. It was pathetic. I move in slow motion. It must have been like a sloth trying to get up there the whole ordeal took so long. Once I got a leg in, I was eventually (and slowly) able to heave me and my 34 extra pounds in the window all while not letting the window crush my head or a limb. I'm pretty sure this moment will be recorded in my personal history as one of my sexiest moments ever.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
....until my due date. That means I've been pregnant for 250 days. Wow. In some ways, it feels longer than that. In other ways, it's flown right by.
Still, I can't get over the fact that, in 30 days, I'm due to have my son. So many days that I still can't even believe I'm pregnant and now we're actually going to meet him.
Friday, April 10, 2009
I don't get it. I just don't get it.
And so I'm kinda mad at the universe lately. I'm trying to make sense of why some things work out and some don't, why some have no issues conceiving, others deal with infertility, some never conceive and then for others, the inconceivable, losing a child. But the bottom line is, I can't make sense of it. Because none of it makes sense.
I briefly questioned God's role in all this yesterday, but forced myself to dismiss it. I ultimately don't believe he chooses who gets babies and who doesn't. In my head and heart, his role is to support us along the journey rather than choose the path. So that leaves the universe. How vague, huh? I feel like I have to lay blame on someone or something, so the all-inclusive "universe" is the winner. I recognize that it's kind of a cop out.
I know that infertility and loss isn't the only cause for this kind of thinking. I'm sure people dealing with issues like terminal disease and natural disasters have asked the same kinds of questions and wondered about the same big ideas. And what about those people who manage to make peace with all of this stuff? How do they do that? Like Randy Pausch in "The Last Lecture"? How does one find a sense of peace in devastation? I'm in awe of this kind of thinking, but I can't figure it out for the life of me.
So today, I'm still stuck in search of an answer: Why do some of us get the brass ring while others are left just grasping for it?
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Infertile guilt is interesting. It is rooted in our sheer loathing of hearing easily impregnated, fertile women complain about how horrible their pregnancy is. We think about screaming at these women, responding with obscenities and even smacking these people. And all of these desires are completely legitimate. We as infertiles are in no position to have to be subjected to pregnancy complaints. We swear up and down, on a stack of Bibles, on our mothers' graves that we will never....ever.....in a million years complain if we manage to get pregnant.
And many of us infertiles do eventually become pregnant ourselves. Hooray! We're shocked, stunned, can't believe it's finally happened. All of our hard work, extra stress and tears have finally gotten us to the finish line or at least to the point where we can see the finish line on the horizon. Our anxiety begins. Am I really pregnant? Is this too good to be true? How many sticks should I pee on before I let myself believe that I'm really truly pregnant? (Approximately 27.) Is this little bean going to stick? If I start to enjoy the fact that I'm pregnant and let my guard down, is something bad destined to happen? We try not to tempt fate or fail the universe in any way to ensure that the bean remains with us. We are understandably superstitious after having looked at so many single lines and having swallowed down the bitterness of failure for so many months before.
And then......here it comes. We start to feel like complete shit. Welcome to pregnancy. We want to sleep all the time. In the hopes of finding some small sense of relief, we're wearing sea bands and sucking on ginger drops, gagging on ginger tea and drinking outrageous amounts of ginger ale all to no avail. On top of physically feeling like shit, we now emotionally feel like shit, too, because......that's right, we swore we'd never complain. We promised. We raised our right hands and declared it so many times when we listened to pregnant people bitch and complain about pregnancy, the one thing we desired the most. Those bitches. And here we are. Fighting the words that are about to come out of our mouths. Feeling like complete and total hypocrites and traitors to our infertile sisters.
It's out there. You can't take it back. You've officially complained. About the one thing you wanted most and worked so long for.
And you know what?
It's okay. Go look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself that over and over and over again because it takes a long while to sink in and truly believe it. Some days I still have to go look in the mirror and say it again when my infertile guilt creeps back up.
Now I'm not saying you should call up all your infertile friends you've made up to this point and bitch every day about how awful you feel and how this pregnancy is so incredibly difficult. That is still inappropriate and those friends would still have permission to want to punch you in the face. You may have a few extremely close friends who are comfortable with listening but, for the most part, the majority of infertiles should not be subjected to your complaints unless they are also currently pregnant or have had kids.
But when it comes to all those easily impregnated, fertile bitches? It's on like Donkey Kong. Complain away. After all, you had one hell of a road to get to where you are, that few of them can begin to understand. So let go of the guilt and bitch when you need to.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
I can't even believe it. In one sense, I'm excited to be somewhat close to the homestretch. Not quite in it yet, but certainly getting closer. It's so weird and overwhelming to imagine meeting Ben, seeing if he has my eyes or his dad's smile or just doesn't look like a big, hairy wookie.
In another sense, I can't believe I still have 50 days left to carry Ben around on the inside. This child is seeming quite large these days. I read in one of my books last week that he would double in size between now and 40 weeks and I actually almost cried at the thought.
And in another sense, I am absolutely terrified that in 50 days, I'm going to attempt (hopefully successfully) to shove a baby out of my vagina. I find no comfort in the gaggles of women who have done this before me. None at all.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Click on the video....
Can you hear that? That's the sound of me trying to turn my cart around in the middle of the aisle in Target only I can't because the width of me plus my belly plus the cart is just too much!
I had to tell Mr. Jaguar I'd meet him in the next aisle and take the long way around.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
My maternity leave is (allegedly) worked out. Basically, my union has been fighting with my school district for over a year regarding the district not following federal law as well as their own contract in terms of family medical leave and benefits for teachers out on maternity. Enter me, stage right, the next person in line to be screwed over. For weeks, I've been dealing with this, stressing over it. Basically, my HR person reached a point where she just started ignoring my very polite, friendly e-mails regarding what she was telling me versus the law. They really were friendly. I'm not even being sarcastic. I've got people that can vouch for my friendliness.
So last Thursday, the day of reckoning was looming: the union's attorneys and district's attorneys were prepared to meet the next day. If things could not be resolved at this meeting, the union would file a federal lawsuit against the district. Who should e-mail me but the HR lady asking me to call her when I had a minute. This would be a good time to mention that HR has put absolutely nothing in writing regarding my maternity leave, even in e-mails (because the f-ers know they're shady). So I call her and what does she say?
"I just wanted to let you know that everything worked out with your maternity leave. You do qualify for federal Family Medical Leave (no shit) and your benefits will be covered through the summer."
Here's what I wanted to say: "Thank you, go f#ck yourself." For needlessly stressing me out. For making me sob, worrying about money. For wasting my time for weeks. For ignoring my e-mails. For completely disregarding the law which was written so clearly and in such layman's terms that a goddamned monkey could understand it. Just.Go.F#ck.Yourself.
What I actually said because I need this woman to work with me in the future: "Wow. That's the best news I've heard all day! Thanks. Have a great day. Talk to you soon."
But seriously, SHAME ON YOU, SCHOOL DISTRICT! Shame on you for treating your employees like this. Shame on you for wasting time and resources intentionally trying to screw people over to save a buck, people who work hard for you. Shame on you for blowing my union dues on unnecessary attorney fees. Shame on you for spending money on your own lawyers that could be going to our students, or God forbid, raises for your staff. Shame on you for wasting my precious 40 minutes of prep on who knows how many days because I was calling you trying to figure this crap out or e-mailing back and forth with our union leaders about this stupid bullsh#t waste of time.
I can't help but wonder how many women got the same call that Thursday, less than 24 hours before the attorneys go at it, to say, "Tada! Everything's fixed!"
I haven't heard the outcome of the attorney's meeting yet. I'll write about it when I know what's up.
P.S. I forgot to mention my thoughts on this poor HR woman. Basically, last year the real, trained, lawyer HR woman's contract was not renewed and she was never replaced so the woman who was essentially her assistant is now in charge of the entire department and I think just pretty much doing whatever the superintendent says. Can you imagine the position she's in?? This is another reason I try to be very nice to her. I'm not sure she's okay with what she's being required to do. Still, I hope she's really a mole, reporting all this crap to the Department of Labor when she gets home at night. That would make her my hero.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
I'm not sure that I've even really blogged about my Masters' program. Basically, late last spring, while feeling like a complete failure in the infertility arena, I decided that I should find something I could be successful with. I decided I should pursue my Masters, but also decided that I really really like my bathrobe. So then it was decided that I should get my Masters online. Genius, right? Well, yeah, it turns out it is because I can do the whole thing in my bathrobe. A major concern, however, was that I am huge procrastinator, or at least I was for my entire undergrad experience. But it turns out that once you hit 30 and actually pay for stuff yourself while fully understanding the impact student loans have on your life, you step up to the plate and figure out the whole growing up thing.
Last June, I started my accelerated program. On July 31, provided everything goes well with the remainder of my pregnancy and the arrival of Ben, I will be finished with the program. I have had little to no social life since last summer and will finish the last 9 weeks of the program with a newborn, God willing. What the hell am I thinking? I'm thinking I don't want to return to work in September with an infant and two grad classes left. The road has been bumpy. Full time work plus part time work plus full time school has not always made for a happy pregnant woman (not even close, in fact she has often been sobbing), but I'll be done. I'll have a (slightly) higher salary to take care of my child. And I'll have more time to spend with him after a long day apart. And I just have to keep telling myself that for the remaining 18 weeks of my program.
In other news, I am awating the arrival of my Snuggie (more on that later). That's right, I'm getting a Snuggie, in monk-maroon no less. Can you picture me at the computer, blogging or writing a paper while not having to deal with that pesky blanket thrown over me that keeps slipping off my shoulders? You know you're jealous...as you should be.
Saturday, March 7, 2009
When breastfeeding women climax during sex, they often let down their milk. That's right, when they orgasm, their breasts start leaking everywhere or possibly even spraying everywhere. So keep a towel handy.
There are no words.
If you are one of the breastfeeding women this did not happen to, please leave a comment letting me know. If you are someone this happened to, keep your trap shut! I don't want to hear about it! Lalalala.....I can't hear you!!!
Friday, March 6, 2009
"Kick a$$ couture"
Instead of dollar signs, the s's were little hearts.
WTF??? I don't even say anything in front of the mom because I decide I am not in the mood to start my Friday morning with a confrontation. Instead, I talk to the daughter later that morning right before I make her go flip her shirt inside out. What does the daughter say?
"My mom knew my shirt says this, but she thought the words were so small that no one would notice."
Oh, okay...then it's totally fine. By the way, your mom's a moron.
Saturday, February 28, 2009
This week I was at school with my 5th graders and noticed that one of my boys was wearing a shirt with two hands on it held up in capital L's as if holding an invisible camera. The phrase posted above it?
"Picture me caring".
On the same day, I noticed that one of my girls had writing on the behind of her sweats.
The very next day, another one of my boys came in wearing a shirt with a pair of eyes rolling upward and the following word:
Cue my rant of the week or month or whatever. Why the hell do parents allow children to have writing printed on their backsides and wear shirts with rude remarks on them??!!! Seriously...I've had enough of this. My students are 10 and 11 years old! Why do people think it's okay for young girls in our society to have attention intentionally drawn to their behinds? I don't get it. Have you taken a look lately in a kids' clothing store? A ton of stuff for the girls is more like outfits for teenagers or women that are just smaller. It makes me ill. And don't even get me started on the Playboy Bunny that has popped up on shirts, keychains and purses in recent years. I can't even begin to talk about that. Our society sexualizes our children younger than ever and then is baffled by why they are dealing with issues that kids previously struggled with much later in life. And so, early on in the words-on-a$s trend, I came to the conclusion that any daughters I may have will not be permitted to have any butt print of any kind. I don't care what it says....pink, justice, field hockey. No to all of it. Because I don't want my kid to think that's what's important in her life should be announced via her a$s.
The rude shirts thing annoys me even more. And you know that 10 and 11 year olds are not out shopping for their own clothes which means some dipsh!t parent is out with them, chuckling over the fact that they're about to drop $20 on a shirt that has a comment on it that would make me want to smack a child if the comment actually came out of their mouth. And the thing is, the kids who wear these shirts to school, let's just say that in my nine years of teaching, none of them are winning any awards for their outstanding dedication to their studies or positive attitude towards life in general.
And in the same respect, why are small children wearing clothing with statements like, "100% spoiled brat" or "diva"? I don't get it....if your kid's wearing it, it's generally because there is some ounce of truth to it that makes the shirt humorous to whoever purchased it. But really, what's funny about it? What compels you to advertise the fact that your child is currently struggling with behavior? It's normal for kids to go through difficult phases, but is it normal for parents to brag about it via a onesie like they hope it continues forever and ever?
I'm all for kids expressing their individuality and coming into their own. In fact, I think it's an important part of their development. But why aren't some parents providing a little more guidance in this department?
JackiJaguar steps off her soapbox, bringing her judgemental and harsh but completely honest rant to a close.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Well, first off, he has a name. Benjamin Michael. My husband loves the name Benjamin and I do, too. However, I never brought the name up because I have a college ex by the same name, so I just assumed it was off limits and was fine with that. Eventually, Mr. Jaguar brought the name up and we both talked about our love of the name. So, Mr. Jaguar, being the confident man that he is, announced that he could care less that it's the same name as my ex and I decided that I could be on board with that kind of thinking. Some of my friends from college will probably have a field day with it and it's one more reason I'll never join Facebook, but it's all good.
So far, Ben is big. He measured 24 ounces back when the book said he was supposed to be 20 ounces. That's not so much, right? Except when you realize that's 20% larger than the book says. We had another ultrasound when the book said he should be between 1 3/4 and 2 pounds. He was 2 1/2 pounds. That's 25%+ larger than the book says. I know you're not supposed place a lot of faith on the u/s weights, but still, I hope to get this kid out via my vagina. I'm just saying. The whole thing is a little alarming. Makes me feel a little sore down there.
Sometimes, Ben gets the hiccups. It's the craziest, strangest thing.
Ben prefers to chill on my left side. He's breech right now and seems to be jabbing his little hiney out to the left of my belly button at all times. Nothing symmetrical about it. This also puts him in the perfect position to repeatedly kick me in my pubic area. Little feet just kicking straight down at me.
Ben's nursery is, ummm....coming along. I'll post more about that later. Let's just say it's going to be a very slow process. The windows just arrived as well as the interior door. Are you getting the idea?
I have my 1 hour glucose test tomorrow. Wish me luck. I do not have the sick days to take a half day off if I fail and have to go back for the 3 hour. I'm throwing up little glucose prayers to Baby Jesus.
Monday, February 23, 2009
I'm definitely back to being tired like in the first trimester. And as for the "2nd trimester burst of energy", I kinda rank that with other mythological beings like dragons and unicorns. The 2nd trimester could better be referred to as the "few months when you somewhat stay alert for the majority of the day." It's by no means a burst of energy, at least not for me. It's more like the trimester when you feel more like a regular human for a bit.
My head has been in a rough place these last couple weeks. I've been really tired and just generally stressed. While I'm so excited to meet our son, I'm beginning to have some anxiety about it. I had my first baby dream and it was definitely stress related. In the dream, he was in a sling but the sling was really like this deep duffle bag. And he was in the bottom of it, completely swaddled but the swaddle was wrapped all around his face. I was in a panic thinking he couldn't breathe and had died, but when I get him out of the duffle and the swaddle, he was just all red and sweaty. And in that moment of relief, I realized my baby was not cute at all. Doesn't that sound horrible? Like completely shallow? But in the dream, he didn't even look like a baby, he was like a little ugly man baby. Sorta like Danny Devito.
I'm also having a lot of money concerns but that's really not anything new. It's just that now those concerns are a little bigger because we will be a family of three instead of two. Pile on to that the fact that I don't get paid over the summer because I teach and well, I'm just really stressed. Every summer, I teach a summer program but obviously won't this season, so I'm worried. I squirrel away money where I can but it still worries me to no end. There are proactive steps I've taken to address the money issue. I tutor 3 hours per week to generate some extra income. I'm in school full-time earning my Masters' so that I will have a pay raise next year. But the problem is that doing those things while pregnant is exhausting and is making me even more stressed.
Finally, my school district is screwing me on my maternity leave, like completely illegally screwing me. My union is in the process of grieving this issue and my understanding is that if it does not get resolved, a federal lawsuit will be filed. Basically, the district is saying that, because I will not be in school in June to finish out the year and do not have enough sick days to cover me through the end of the year, they are not responsible for paying my health insurance for the summer. This goes against everything in our contract as well as the law in general, but my district has a tendency to do whatever they want and deal with those pesky details later on. So even though I will only be missing the last 4 1/2 weeks of the school year, they are requiring that I take a full 12 weeks of Family & Medical Leave time which will last me through July (assuming I can work up until my due date). Then I will be responsible for paying health insurance for the month of August for myself, my husband and the baby. The sooner I have to go out on maternity, the earlier my 12 weeks will be up and the more health insurance I will have to pay. Awesome, right? Hopefully, my union and district will resolve this before my maternity starts but I honestly am not hopeful at all. In the meantime, I need to suck it up and keep my mouth shut because I won't be tenured until next school year.
Where's my husband in all of this? I don't know really. Finances are a topic we generally struggle with communication wise and there's often a large wall between us on this issue. Sometimes, I think he doesn't talk about it because it stresses him out. But most of the time, I kinda think he just thinks it will all work out in the end because it always has in the past. I handle the finances and sometimes feel like he has too much faith in my to fix things that are not fixable without some major, major changes.
How could I forget? There have also been some major issues with my baby shower....family stuff that is too personal to explain on a blog. But the issues are driving a major wedge between me and my husband as well as making me pretty unenthusiastic about my shower. Don't get me wrong, I'm extremely grateful that people I love are going to come together to celebrate the birth of our child and shower us with the many things needed to have a baby, but the stress of the other issues is just making me wish we had gobs of money so that we could just go buy what we need and forget about all of it. With the stress of everything else going on, the shower issues are just becoming too much to handle.
So that's where I'm at...stressed, tired and often teary. But still really grateful that I'm pregnant.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
This is for our other halves…our husbands, partners and lovers. Infertility is one hell of a ride and, without you, we may have demanded to be let off this crazy roller coaster early. While nobody can be all of the things on this list all of the time, you sure are a lot of them…
This is for the ones who join us on the couch for the sobfest. They listen for as long as we need and manage to say exactly what we need to hear.
The ones who exude positivity.
The ones who bring us Cheetos….or whatever else may be the snack du jour.
The ones who ask the doctor questions other men can’t even imagine speaking aloud.
The ones who cook for us on the nights we’d just as soon starve than get off the couch.
The ones who arrange their work and social schedules around injections, even when we could easily give ourselves the shot.
The ones who support our dreams.
The ones who aren’t embarrassed to talk to others about infertility.
The ones who know how to read our charts.
The ones who don’t speak of their fear of needles even though we know it’s true.
The ones who keep a cool head when our heads have exploded.
The ones who get up early after working late just to go with us to have blood drawn or an ultrasound.
The ones with the endless supply of hugs.
The ones who never laugh at any of the kooky ideas we’re willing to try to get pregnant.
The ones who are all too familiar with the sterile cup.
The ones who answer the phone when we know it's news from the RE's office and we just can't bear to hear it firsthand.
The ones who never comment on the extra mileage on the car because the RE’s office is an hour drive one way.
The ones who feel sad about our bruises.
The ones who are our endless cheerleaders.
The ones who don’t ever want us to feel alone on this crazy journey.
The ones who make us laugh…and laugh…and laugh.
The ones who show up for the IUIs.
The ones who know when the only thing they can do is hug us.
The ones who come to the endless appointments.
The ones who show up at those appointments with their questions written down ahead of time.
The ones who remind us to take our temp.
The ones who know just when to bring us flowers.
The ones who don’t point out when we’re having an irrational moment.
The ones who have the serious talks even when we know they don’t want to.
The ones who visit the dirty magazines room without complaint.
The ones who take their vitamins.
The ones who watch their alcohol and caffeine intake.
The ones who tell us we’re beautiful, regardless of our infertility weight gain.
The ones who bring us a little something special when we get our periods.
The ones who weather the moodiness of infertility meds like a champ.
The ones who love us unconditionally even though we feel “broken”.
The ones who don’t complain.
The ones who know when to cuddle up next to us for the pity party and when we need our space.
The ones who pack the igloo cooler for the day when we’re on bedrest.
The ones who are always there.
The ones who would rather be infertile with us than fertile with someone else.
The ones who will do whatever it takes.
The ones who one day will be the most amazing fathers.
Need something added to the list? Leave a comment and I'll be sure to do some editing.