Tuesday, July 28, 2009

It's a good thing I'm not much of a foodie. Also, I love my mommy and daddy.

Well, shame on me for being all glib and smug about my blood sugar and how all I needed was a meal plan or a list of what I could and couldn't eat to get everything under control.  

Because it turns out that, for whatever reason (possibly my age), this pregnancy has brought on an unbelievable level of insulin resistance in my body, meaning that the slightest thing -- half an english muffin, a single graham cracker square, or even a cup of milk (and I mean 1 cup as measured by a measuring cup) -- sends my glucose numbers through the roof.  

Which is bad.

I went to my class last week and was provided with a meal plan and a book detailing all different kinds of foods and what constitutes a serving, for purposes of the meal plan.  I had my trusty blood glucose monitor, as well as extra lancets and testing strips.  I had even already read the directions and practiced using the monitor a few times, in order to truly cement my status as the class nerd.  And the dietician/nurse taught us all about what gestational diabetes is and what causes it and what kinds of pregnancy complications it can bring on and how to measure portions and how to space out your meals and snacks and blah blee bloo.  

The meal plan is very precise, and looked something like this:
Breakfast:  3 carb servings (15 g of carbs = a serving), including a cup of milk, but no fruit; 1 protein serving; 1 fat serving (like a pat of butter or olive oil for cooking)

Morning snack:  1 carb servings, but no fruit

Lunch: 3 carbs (including 1 cup of milk); 3 proteins; 1 fat; and additional servings of non-starchy vegetables*

Afternoon snack:  1 carb, 1 protein

Dinner:  3 carbs (including milk); 3 proteins; 1 fat; non-starchy veggies

Late night snack:  1 carb, 1 protein
I'm to test my blood sugar levels 4 times a day:  a fasting level first thing in the morning, and then 1 hour after breakfast, lunch and dinner.

As a classic oldest child/numbers-and-data geek who thrives on a regimen and can't stand disappointing anyone (including a dietician I've never met), I arranged my papers with the meal plan and charts for writing down all of my meals, meal times, and blood sugar numbers in a handy-dandy folder.  I went to the grocery store and stocked up on the recommended foods and started working out my meals for the week.  And I was kind of psyched, because carb servings, according to my book, can include small servings of pasta or rice or a few graham crackers or goldfish or fruit (in the afternoon).  So it didn't seem like I would be that limited in what I'd be allowed to eat.  I'd just have to watch portion sizes and be sensible.  

I followed the meal plan to the letter.  I tried not to deviate from the portion sizes by even a measly gram.  I wrote everything down.  I tested my blood an hour after eating, timing the testing to the minute.  I was a good girl.

And still, my numbers were way too high.

So after a few days, I called the dietician, and we tweaked the meal plan so that I would eat fewer carb servings and more protein servings at a giving meal.  For example, instead of having 3 carbs and 1 protein at breakfast, I'd have 2 carbs (including the milk) and 2 proteins at breakfast.  So instead of an english muffin (both slices), a cup of milk, and an egg, I'd have one english muffin slice, a cup of milk, and 2 eggs.  Instead of having 1 carb as a morning snack (say, 4 graham cracker squares), I'd have the graham crackers plus a protein serving (a piece of string cheese).  

Once again, I followed the instructions religiously.  I wrote everything down.  I tested my blood.  I was a good girl.

And still, my numbers weren't where they should be, particularly the fasting number (taken first thing in the morning), which is the number over which I have the least amount of control.  I tried changing the timing of my late night snack, I tried cutting out the carbs altogether and just having a small cup of cottage cheese with some almonds sprinkled on top, and nothing worked.

So I kept on tweaking and tweaking the menu to the point where I am now eating no fruit and no starches or flour-based carbs at all (i.e., no pasta, rice, bread, potatoes, or sugar of any kind).  I'm using supplemental shakes and protein bars that you find in the diabetics' aisle at the drug store.  I'm still drinking milk, because it's good for the baby and keeps my teeth from being leeched of all calcium by the little parasite living in my belly, but I drink it a little while after a meal, because if I drink it with a meal, it sends my numbers up too high.

And only now are my post-prandial blood sugar numbers in an acceptable range.  But my fasting number is still too high.

The entire ordeal has completely stressed me out.  I had a period of about 36 hours from Sunday through last night in which I spent much of my waking hours crying or on the verge of tears.  Because all of this diabetes shit is on top of my generally constant level of exhaustion, worrying about how I'm going to pay my bills while on maternity leave (I have no maternity leave benefits this time around), how I'm going to pay for a second round of daycare when I took a huge pay-cut to work for a non-profit, how I'm going to take care of two kids by myself during the week while Jason is in Vail, and on and on.

But today I went to see my OB, and she put me on some glucose lowering medication that should bring my fasting levels down, and bring the other numbers down with it.  It's a low dose, I only have to take it once a day, and it should help.  I still am on heightened monitoring over the next 9 weeks to look at the baby's growth and development, but it seems like all should be well.

And yesterday I talked to my parents, and they are so sweet and supportive, and assured me that I didn't need to worry about money, they would help me with anything Jason and I needed. 

My dad said, "listen, you and Jason left Hawaii for legitimate reasons, and you managed to move to a new city and you both found decent jobs in the worst economy this country has seen in 80 years.  You're wonderful parents, you work hard, you don't live extravagantly.  Whatever you need, we're happy to help you out."

"But I don't want to take your money.  I should be able to deal with this on my own."

"Honey, that's what parents are for.  Everyone goes through tough financial times, and you'll come out of this because you're smart and talented.  My dad helped me what I needed it, and I will help you.  It's how it should be.  So I can't do anything about your blood glucose numbers, but I don't want you worrying about money, because your mom and I won't let anything happen to you."

"Thanks, Dad.  I really appreciate it.  You and mom have been so great."

"Well, we love you.  You are a wonderful daughter, and you've always made us proud, and we're happy to be in a position to be able to help you.  And we love Jason.  He's a great father and a great husband."

"We love you too."

"We'll just take Zeke as collateral."

Seems fair.
*Veggies have carbs, but don't cause big spikes in blood glucose numbers because it takes the body longer to break them down.  So while you could eat a portion of pasta or a portion of veggies and they might have similar grams of carbs, the pasta will cause blood sugar spikes whereas the veggies won't.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

This is why we need health care reform

As much fun as it is to live with and raise a toddler, especially one who is generally a sweet, funny little monkey whose vocabulary is exploding every day with new words and concepts, it's really hard when they get sick.  Not even so much because it's difficult to see them be uncomfortable and feeling yucky, but because before their language skills get really good, it's a challenge to figure out what's wrong.

After a while, certain things become fairly obvious.  The pulling at the ears, coupled with fever and an inability to lie down for long stretches without crying, is a pretty good indicator of an ear infection, particularly when combined with a runny nose.  Pink eye is relatively easy to discern. An nice rich, phlegmy cough that won't go away is a good indicator that a trip to the doctor's office is in order.

But sometimes the symptoms are more subtle.  

You pick your child up from school, and the teacher remarks that he has been inordinately fussy, which is totally not like him.  And you think, "Huh.  Maybe he's tired or having a bad day."

Then you get in the car, and suddenly he starts crying and won't stop.  And it's not whiny-type crying, but really upset, despondent crying that keeps starting and stopping.  No matter what you do or say, he's inconsolable.

And you say, "what's wrong, baby?" and he responds, "ouchie, ouchie!"  

So you ask, "where is the ouchie?  Can you show momma where it hurts?" 

But his language skills aren't quite there yet.  Then you notice that he seems to be tugging at his ear a little bit, and you say, "is it your ear?  Is the ouchie in your ear?"

And he responds, "yah."  

But he says "yah" in response to questions all the time when he doesn't really mean it, just as sometimes you'll hold out a cracker and say, "are you hungry? do you want a snack?" and he'll say "no" as he reaches for it and stuffs it in his mouth.

So really, who knows?

You think you should get him to the doctor, because it could be something that a little bit of children's ibuprofen will help, but it could be more serious, and you don't want to be up with him screaming in pain all night.  And of course, it's exactly 5:32 in the afternoon, so every pediatrician's office and walk-in urgent care place has closed for the night, so your relatively inexpensive health care options are ruled out.  

Meaning it's the ER or nothing.  And depending on what your ER coverage is, and how much of your deductible you've used, you could possibly be facing a few hundreds of dollars in medical fees for a doctor to look at the kid for 5 minutes and declare that all he needs is Tylenol.

I hate that the cost-benefit analysis ever crosses my mind.  And every time, I choose the ER, because the alternative -- that something is really wrong and making him wait out the night means to make him suffer unnecessarily -- is no alternative at all, as far as I'm concerned.  It's a no-brainer.

So I turn the car around and we head to the children's hospital.  And the minute we walk in the door to check in, Zeke immediately stops crying and gets all perky.  So I'm standing there talking to the check-in clerk, feeling like a ninny, and I say, "now he seems fine.  I don't know what to do."  And she says, "well, once you're here, we don't recommend that you leave without being seen."  So we check in and I fill out the paperwork.  

While we're waiting to go into a room, Zeke is playing with some toy and pointing out the colors of everything, happy as a lark.

We are escorted to an exam room and are seen by a nurse, a medical student and a doctor.  With all three, Zeke could not be more charming or flirtatious, giggling and obediently opening his mouth when they tell him to say "ahhhh" so they can look in his throat, calmly standing on the scale so they can get his weight, holding his head still and smiling when they look in his ears.

And it turns out he does have a little bit of an ear infection.  But it doesn't look too bad, so the doctor gives me a prescription for antibiotics, but because it's not good to overuse antibiotics, recommends waiting a day or two to fill the scrip and giving him -- wait for it -- Tylenol or Motrin in the meantime, because maybe it'll clear up on its own.

We go home, Zeke eats some dinner, takes some Children's Motrin, and sleeps relatively well.  No waking up screaming every hour or anything like that.

So now I'm waiting for my multi-hundreds of dollars in ER facility and doctor's bills.  For a Tylenol recommendation.  And thinking there has to be a more rational way for relatively simple, basic health care to be available to the public and not be so ridiculously expensive.

When I hear the discussion about health care reform and single-payer systems and universal health care, I hear opponents growling with horror, "It's socialist!  It'll turn us into Sweden or Canada."  They're practically spitting with disdain.  

And then I read about the health care systems in Sweden or Canada and think, "we should be so lucky."

Monday, July 20, 2009

Is there a clinical term for naked sleepwalking?

I have a long history of sleep issues. Even before I developed chronic insomnia at the age of 27 or so (coinciding with the onset of clinical depression), I had a sporadic history of sleep-walking.

I don't know if it happened before I was in my teens, but in high school, I went on a trip with a couple of (male) friends of mine in India. We were staying in a dive of a hotel on the east coast of India (Bhubaneswar, to be exact), but only one of the beds had a mosquito net. So the three of us slept across-ways on a queen-size bed so that we could all be under the net.

It was all perfectly platonic and innocent. The three of us were good friends who enjoyed each others' company, but nothing more. We went out for a yummy dinner, had a few beers, and then went to sleep.

But then I woke up in the early morning feeling very strange. And after mentally taking stock of the situation, I realized that the reason I felt so strange is that I was naked from the waste down.

And I had no recollection of how I got that way.

So I scooted down to the end of the bed, scurried over to my bag, and found my undies neatly folded on top of my stuff. I put them on, slunk back to the bed, and went back to sleep.

I spent the entire next day in a state of mortification. I could barely look either of the guys in the eye, and felt weird and embarrassed and awkward. Had I fooled around with one of them without even realizing it? With the other one right there?? It was too horrifying to contemplate.

Finally, that afternoon, Chris said, "Wendy, are you OK?"


"Because you've been acting a little weird all day."


"And I thought it might have had something to do with the fact that when I got up to pee in the middle of the night, I was looking at your bare ass."

"Yeah, uh... I ...um...I don't know how that happened. I don't remember anything."

"I thought you might have been hooking up with Dan."

And Dan said, "I wasn't hooking up with her. I saw her get up in the middle of the night and take off her underwear and thought she was hooking up with you!"

"I wasn't hooking up with anyone!! All I remember is going to bed and then I woke up with no pants on!!"

So as far as the three of us could discern, we had gone to sleep, and at one point I got up, went to pee, walked over to my suitcase, took off my underwear, folded them neatly and placed them carefully on top of my stuff, and went back to sleep.

My first year in college, I lived in a suite of rooms off a common area. My room was all the way down on one end of the suite. And one night, I went to sleep in my bed, wearing pajamas, but woke up the next morning completely naked in the bed of one of my suite-mates. Whose room was on the opposite end of the suite from mine.

Luckily, her roommate was out of town and she was spending the night at her boyfriend's. But to get from her room to mine, I would have had to walk through the common area, past a huge wall of picture windows that faced the hallway connecting the suites to each other. And the lights in the common room were always, always on. So basically, as far as I could tell, I had walked, completely naked, through a lighted room that everyone in the dorm could see into. And I didn't remember anything about it.

I had a couple of other sleepwalking episodes throughout college and law school, some naked, some not. Now it seems to have downgraded to sleep-talking, usually when someone calls me after I've gone to bed, and I'll have entire, lucid conversations with them without actually waking up.

That kind of happened this past weekend. Michele was in town visiting, and she and Kathleen and I went up to Vail for a little get-away. We walked around Vail Village and then had a lovely, leisurely, delicious dinner. By 10:30, however, I was feeling like I needed to lie down, so we went back to the hotel and Michele tucked me in. Then she and Kathleen went out to have a few drinks.

They came back at around 1:45 in the morning, and the three of us proceeded to have an almost hour long conversation about all kinds of things, including sexual histories, old boyfriends, funny life stories, you name it.

And I have virtually no recollection of it.

But I'm learning to appreciate the little things in life. At least it was just talking.

At least I wasn't parading around Vail, naked and pregnant.

Friday, July 17, 2009


I'm so tired of being pregnant.  And I'm so tired of bitching about how tired of being pregnant I am.  But I just feel like it's one thing after another.

Last week at my OB appointment I did a glucose screening, in which they look at your blood sugar levels to see if there are indicators of gestational diabetes.  Gestational diabetes can cause, among other things, the baby to grow too large, thus making delivery difficult, or jaundice in the baby.

I didn't think anything of the glucose screening.  I've never had issues with blood sugar or blood pressure or anything.  Never had a problem with my first pregnancy, didn't occur to me that anything would be different with my second.  I don't eat a lot of sweets, I'm not overweight, etc. etc.


My numbers came back pretty high, so the next step was to go in for a 3-hour glucose test.  This involves fasting for a night, going to the doctor's office in the morning, having them take a baseline blood sample, and then drinking two bottles of this sicky-sweet glucose solution, and then having blood drawn every hour for 3 hours.  For those of you keeping track, that's 4 blood drawings in 3 hours.  Oh, and they decided to give me another shot that I need to get before giving birth, since I was there and all.

It's a good thing I don't have needle issues.

I still wasn't too worried, because my friend who is an OB told me that 80% of women who have to do the 3-hour glucose test end up passing it.  I figured my odds were decent.

Wrong again.  

I failed the test, and now I have to go take a class at the hospital on how to monitor my blood sugar levels and how to maintain a diet appropriate for diabetics.  Which is fine, whatever, but it's a two-hour class, and these days, I don't really have two hours to spare.  I don't understand why they can't just give me a blood glucose monitor with an instructional video on how to use it, and a list of what I can and can't eat.*  I'm a smart girl.  I'll figure it out.  But I get the sense that they have these classes because people get all panicky and are too stupid to just follow basic instructions.  So I have to go waste two hours of my time because most people are dumb.

And I know that everything will be fine, but it's still one more thing to deal with.  I'm just so ready for this pregnancy to be over.  

*My understanding of the recommended diet is that it's basically South Beach -- limited simple carbs, limited fruit, lots of whole grains and veggies and protein.  Boring, but certainly doable.  

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Do I need to start looking for a Good Vibrations - Kidz store?

Zeke likes to brush his teeth while he's taking a bath.  Or, more accurately, he likes it when I put kids' toothpaste -- which tastes like Juicy Fruit gum -- on a toothbrush so he can suck the toothpaste off the brush, and then ask for more.

Last night in the tub, he said "toothbrush?" (or something approximating that in Zeke-ese), so I put some toothpaste on his Incredible Hulk toothbrush with the rotating brush.  

"No," he said, shaking his head.  He pointed to the vanity counter at my toothbrush, which is one of those Philips SoniCare brushes.  

"Do you want mama's toothbrush?"


I don't have toothbrush issues, so I handed him my toothbrush and he pushed the button to turn it on.

The SoniCare works because the brush vibrates at a really high speed.  So if you put it on your tongue or your gums, it kind of tickles, as Zeke quickly discovered.  He kept putting it in his mouth and giggling.

I turned around and started putting on some face cream.  (And for those gasping in horror at a mother turning her back on a child in a bathtub, I could hear him giggling behind me, so I knew he wasn't drowning.)

"Ha!  Hahaha!"  Giggle giggle.  Giggle.  Squeal.

I turned around, only to discover that he was holding the head of the vibrating brush on his penis.  He looked up at me and gave me a huge grin.

"Aw, dude...come on, now!  Really??"


I admire his ingenuity.  But my lack of toothbrush issues only goes so far.  I guess I'm in the market for a new one.

Monday, July 13, 2009

I believe I need to revise my previous statement...

Remember when I went on and on about how I think I'm a good mother?

Yeah, I need to revisit that assessment.  

Because last night, in an effort to get Zeke to eat something -- anything -- 

I gave him cake and ice cream for dinner.  

Even as it was happening, Jason and I were shaking our heads and saying, "I can't believe we're doing this."  But he hadn't really eaten all day, and was getting crankier and crankier and clearly needed something in his belly, but just kept refusing everything that was offered.

So instead of vying for Parents of the Year, we're vying for Crappy Parents of the Year.

Please don't call social services.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Why it's worth it

I feel like I've spent excessive time and interweb space writing about what a pain in the ass it is to be pregnant. And it is. I wish I could be one of those jolly pregnant ladies who relishes every minute of the experience, but I'm not. Particularly now that I'm in the third trimester, which is the most difficult and uncomfortable part of it.


but but but but but.

Let's give the other side of the argument a fair shot. I am a lawyer, after all.

And I don't mean the side of the argument that says that being pregnant is so great. It either is or it isn't for each individual woman, and no amount of rhetoric is going to sway her from her particular position.

No, I mean the side of the argument about why it's worth going through the discomfort of gaining weight and suffering from heartburn and hemorrhoids and swollen ankles and of course the process of actually getting the baby out of your body. Because I get the sense that with all of the talk about pregnancy poo and hurting vajayjays, I'm sending a message that it's an experience that others should actively avoid.

And I don't want to send that message, because it's not how I feel at all. Pregnancy is totally worth it. I wouldn't do it otherwise.

The "it's worth it"-ness is something that is reinforced all the time, every day of my life, and just not in a heavily emotional, I'm-a-grownup-now-so-it's-time-to-get-serious-and-be-responsible-and-isn't-parenting-an-awesome-and-miraculous-thing kind of way.

Because I don't feel at all that I've given up the "fun" of my youth to have children. I don't spend my weekends out clubbing or getting shitty drunk in bars, but one of the things I've discovered that I love about having a child, and what makes going through another pregnancy so worth it for me, is that being with my kid is a blast.

He's at an age where he's learning new words and new skills all the time, and it's so cool to talk to him and marvel at how he sees the world and take him to experience things that are thrilling to him, and which in turn become thrilling to me. The way we'll stand in front of the lion's habitat at the zoo, and Zeke will see the animals and yell "rwoawr!" So I'll roar, too, and we'll stand there giggling and roaring at the lions and it's wonderful.

Or we'll go get and ice cream, and it's so delicious that with every bite, he'll say "YUM!" so enthusiastically. I'll think to myself, "damn right, this ice cream is tasty!"

Making a mess while eating is fun!

Or there will be a tractor parked by the side of the road when we're on our way to the park, and Zeke's eyes will get big and he'll say "WOW! Tractor!" We'll spend a few minutes looking at the tractor, and I'll realize that it's been awhile since I looked closely at a tractor, and it's kind of an amazing machine. Then we'll be on our way again, but not before Zeke says "bye, tractor!" Which of course makes me laugh with the cuteness.

This kind of enthusiasm is infectious.

Or we'll be walking and looking at flowers and ladybugs, and suddenly he starts pointing to individual flowers and saying, "mun....tooo....freee....faw..." and it takes me a second but when I realize he's counting I feel like my head is going to explode with amazement.

Or I'll be in the kitchen doing the dishes and listening to some music on the iPod, and he'll come in and start bobbing his head and jumping around and clapping to the music. So I'll turn off the water and put down the sponge, and we'll have a little impromptu dance party in the kitchen that turns into both of us spinning around in circles and then falling down dizzily in a fit of giggles.

I defy anyone to cast their eyes on Zeke wearing a fireman's hat but no pants, and not dissolve into laughter.

Or he'll be in his jammies, all clean and sweet-smelling after a bath, and we'll be watching a few minutes of Elmo's World before bedtime. Maybe we're nice and tired because we've been splashing around in the pool or climbing on the jungle gym at the park. I'll settle him into the crook of my arm and rub him on his belly, and he'll snuggle up against me on the couch, leaning his head on my chest while absent-mindedly patting me on the leg with his hand. And sometimes he'll look up at me and smile and say, "mama!" in a voice filled with love. At that moment, there's nowhere in the world I'd rather be and nothing I'd rather be doing.

So notwithstanding the fact that I'm tired and huge and uncomfortable, none of that discomfort ever outweighs the joy I experience every day in being with my son, or the excitement I feel thinking about how it's going to be with my daughter. Being pregnant is just an unpleasant pre-requisite to the incredible fun and wonder of spending time with these hilarious little people that I helped create and who I have the enormous privilege of guiding through the world, at least until they can do it on their own.

So don't be discouraged. Pregnancy sucks, but if you decide not to have a baby because you don't want to be pregnant, you're totally cutting off your nose to spite your face, in my humble opinion, and will be missing out on one of the greatest experiences life has to offer.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

TMI Thursday: You might want to skip this one if you've never had a baby but plan on having one someday...

The lovely, talented and hilarious LiLu does a weekly segment called TMI Thursdays involving (over)shares of embarrassing, humiliating stories about her life (and if you're thinking of clicking over there, just know that it's not for the faint of heart).  Readers and fellow bloggers are invited to join in. I admire her and her readers' willingness to just put it all out there.  

I've never participated, not because I don't have ridiculous and embarrassing stories to share, but because my mother reads this blog. And my brothers. And some of my cousins. And many of my friends. And the friends I generally don't worry about so much, but there are some things that my mommy just doesn't need to read about on the internets about her precious baby.

But today I'm going to jump into the fray (and I actually already did earlier today -- on Lisa's blog, she and I had a lovely discussion about the consistency of pregnancy poo and the relative merits of Metamucil).   My mother won't mind this one. My brothers might, but whatevs. They'll deal. My friends will likely think to themselves, "Jesus, TMI!"  (Though Elizabeth, dearest, you might want to skip this one.)  But that's kind of the point. In any event, if you're squeamish and don't feel like you can handle the nitty-gritty of what actually goes on during childbirth, you might want to come back and visit another day. 

Seriously. You've been warned.

I was sitting in the break room at work today having something to eat, when one of my coworkers walked in.  We said "hello," and she asked me how I was feeling.

"Are you doing OK in this heat?"

"Yeah, I'm fine.  The heat doesn't really bother me.  I did my first pregnancy in Hawaii, so I'm pretty well used to it."

No, the problem isn't the heat.

The problem is that I think this baby is breaking my vagina.

I don't mean just the part from which babies actually emerge -- Zeke already broke that part. I have vivid recollections of the last 20 minutes or so of labor (in other words, 3 hours and 40 minutes into the actual pushing part -- yeah, that's not a typo, I pushed for 4 fucking hours), when Zeke was way down in the birth canal but stuck behind my pelvic bone because even though the ultrasound tech told me he was only about 7 pounds, he was actually almost 9 pounds and was basically too big for my body. And through the pain of feeling like my nether regions were going to split in two, I could hear the sound of scissors, because the doctor was cutting my vajajay open to make way for Zeke's ginormous head. The good news was, I was already in so much pain that I couldn't actually distinguish the pain of having someone cutting me open in that manner from the other pain I was feeling, so in that sense, it didn't really hurt. And he stitched me back up and it healed and whatever. But still, I'm not exactly intact down there.

Anyway, back to the Joey.

Conventional wisdom has it that with boys, you gain less weight and you carry the baby low and out in front, like a basketball. Supposedly, with girls, you carry more weight all over your midsection, and the baby sits higher up on your torso.

I call bullshit. 

Because while I've definitely gained a little bit more weight with the Joey than I did with Zeke (and starting 10 pounds heavier this time around didn't help), I feel like she is sitting -- no, make that pushing -- on the absolute lowest part of my pelvic floor, as if she's trying to crack the bone right in two.  It's different from the typical lower abdominal muscle stretching that goes on as the baby grows.  This is lower down, and feels like the stretching of the muscles and the weight of the baby are putting too much pressure on the bone itself.

So in addition to the standard pregnant-lady waddle, I've got kind of a gimpy thing going on.  I sometimes want to just put my hands down there and walk around holding my cooter together.  I don't  -- well, not most of the time, anyway.  Sometimes when I'm home alone I'll walk around looking like a 5-year-old who's trying to find a bathroom.  But out in public, I haven't lost all sense of decorum (not yet, anyway).

So if you see me and stop to chat, and I get this sort of distracted, vacant look in my eyes, it's not that I'm bored or blowing you off.  It's just that my vagina hurts.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

As my momma likes to say, I may have been born yesterday, but I wasn't born last night.

Though Zeke usually wakes up during the night, he has generally been pretty good at going to bed. We'll play after school, maybe at the park or at the local community pool, and he'll have fun and get nice and tired and be more than ready to go to sleep by 8:15 or so. We'll watch 15 minutes of Elmo, and then I'll say, "OK, baby, time for night-night." And he'll trot off to his room and I'll put him in bed and he'll say "bye-bye, Mama," and lie down and go to sleep.

Easy as pie.

But since Jason has been only home on the weekends, Zeke has been all excited about Daddy being home and has been going to bed a little later than usual. Plus he's starting to resist it, and in a way that shows he's a master of manipulation.

Another recent development is that he has basically stopped eating. Apparently, I did the same thing at his age. My concerned mother called the pediatrician for advice, who noted that he wasn't aware of many middle-class children starving to death, so she shouldn't worry, I would eat when I was hungry.

Even though I know this is sound and rational advice, the not eating drives me insane. I feel like I'm constantly trying to put together enticing plates of food for him, and he'll have a bite of pancake or a sliver of strawberry and then start throwing things on the floor.

Two nights ago, when Jason was home, I put Zeke in his bed and he made the sign for "hungry" and said, "cheese?"

"You want some cheese?" I asked.


I got him out of bed, sat him on the couch next to Jason, and went and cut up some little cubes of cheese and arranged them on a plate.

Zeke looked at the plate, grinned at me, and started bouncing on the couch and playing.

Realizing I had been hoodwinked, I put him back in his bed for the night.

But then last night I fell for it again. I think I'm so obsessed with getting him to eat something that I'm willfully overlooking the fact that he's playing me like a fucking Stradivarius.

Tonight after school we went and bought him a little kid's slide that I found on Craigslist. When we got home, I set it up in the playroom downstairs and he proceeded to slide and jump and giggle and wear himself out for over an hour. I gave him a good dinner, practically shoving hot dog pieces (Hebrew National, natch) and bits of pear and bread down his gullet, to make sure he was nice and full. And he actually ate everything on his plate.

I put him in bed at 8:30, and he again made the sign for "hungry" and asked for cheese. And I said, "no, sweetie, you've had plenty to eat, it's time to lie down and go night-night."

He fussed a bit, clearly surprised that I revealed myself to be something less than a complete moron. But I sang him a couple of songs and he finally settled down and went to sleep.

Mm-hmm. That's right, baby. I'm not stupid.

Or at least, not that stupid.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Crazy part of my brain, please STFU. Thank you.

Let me start out by saying that I think I'm a good mother.*  I really do.  I try very hard to be loving and fun and to instill in Zeke a sense of playfulness and adventure.  I encourage him to try to do things on his own, but give him a little boost when he needs it.  I encourage him to play hard and get dirty.  I read to him constantly, I get down on the floor with him and zoom trucks around, I take him to the zoo and the park and the pool.  I don't freak out about little things, but I do try to enforce a certain level of discipline, with consistency and patience, as best as I can.  I'm not always as patient and consistent as I'd like to be, but most of the time I think I do OK.

Which is why it's driving me nuts that I'm having massive anxiety attacks about my parenting abilities, particularly where a second child is concerned.

I've had a shitty time sleeping this pregnancy.  If I don't take something to help me sleep, I'll fall asleep for an hour or two and then wake up with my heart pounding and a panic attack in full swing.  You know that cold flush that spreads over your chest and neck when something is really scary?  I'll feel that way for 3 hours before I finally settle down and am able to go back to sleep.

So I guess the moral of the story is, "don't forget to take your meds, moron."  

Roger that.  Loud and clear.

But now, I think the nervousness I'm feeling about managing a second child and being a good parent to both Zeke and the Joey is starting to overwhelm my psyche, because I sleep, but I'm having nightmares, all involving an inability to care for my (or other peoples') children.

Saturday when Zeke went down for his afternoon nap, I decided to take advantage of the situation and get a nap in myself.  And promptly fell into a dream in which Zeke was fussing and I was feeling impatient with him, and so I slapped him hard across the face.  Even in the dream itself, I had the decency to be horrified by my own behavior, but I was completely freaking out when I woke up.  I burst into hysterical tears and had to call my mother to be talked off the ledge.

Last night I dreamed that a friend of mine had gone out of town and asked me to look after her 2 year old daughter.  I agreed, but decided to go out early in the morning to try out some new bicycle that my dad had.  But the bike was really hard to ride and the gears wouldn't shift properly, so after getting down a big hill, I realized I wouldn't be able to get back up in time to get the children up or get them to daycare or anything.  Then I got lost.  So I abandoned the bike and tried to take a bus back to where I was supposed to go, but the bus stop where I got off was a good mile from where I lived, plus I didn't have any money to pay the fare, and I was panicking because it was pushing 11 in the morning and the children were undoubtedly awake and HOLY SHIT, WHO IS GOING TO TAKE CARE OF THEM AND WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH ME????

I think alot of it is our current situation in which Jason is in Vail 4 days a week and then home for 3 days.  And I'm handling it OK, but during those 4 days, I'm very tired and my belly is getting huge and I feel very cumbersome and physically incapable of running around with Zeke as much as I'd like.  So the thought of that arrangement with Zeke plus a newborn is terrifying.

The logical part of my brain keeps telling me that I'm a capable human being and that I'll handle it.  People have cared for children in far more difficult situations than mine.  

But the crazy part of my brain isn't listening.

*I don't take all the credit.  Jason is an amazing father, and I believe that Zeke gets a huge portion of his sweet and happy disposition from his daddy.

Thursday, July 02, 2009


Last night I slept in a t-shirt that Kathleen got me from the Democratic National Convention last summer. It's got one of those Shepard Fairey-style pictures of Obama's face on it.

When Zeke woke up, I was sitting and talking to him when he looked at my shirt, pointed to the picture of Obama, and said, "man!"

"Yes, that's a man."

In Zeke's mind, all human beings of the male persuasion are either "daddy" or "man." At some point, I'll have to explain that daddy is a man, but for now, it's easier to let the distinction ride.

"Do you know who that man is? That's President Obama. Can you say 'Obama'?"


"Yes! Obama!"


Zeke pointed to my shirt again and smiled.

Then he leaned over, buried his face in my chest, and gave the picture a kiss. "Mwah!"

"Owrama!" he yelled again.

We grab 'em young, we Democrats.

Either that, or he's showing early signs of being a breast man.