Tuesday, November 30, 2010

What to get Big Love

December begins tomorrow and with it, one of the busiest times in our year. With Big Love being a church musician, everything starts now and he ends up putting in more hours than usual both because he feels he has more prep work to do and because the church people demand more of him. (There are times that the latter part bothers me because some of their expectations are ridiculous and would never be present at a different church.)

Mixed in with all of his work comes much celebration for us. Big Love's birthday is 10 days before Christmas, then there is Christmas, followed by the in-laws short visit and Sweet One's 2nd birthday exactly two weeks after Christmas. So much in a short amount of time. I can honestly say that I made sure baby #2 would be born at least a few months away from all of this commotion!

I'm completely at a loss of what to do for Big Love's birthday. It is his 30th and so I feel like I want to recognize it differently than the quiet way we've celebrated his other birthdays. I want to buy him a special gift he is truly a person who wants for nothing. Sure, there are a few books and CDs in his wish list but nothing that could be 'the wonderful gift I got for my 30th birthday'. (Now, we don't spend a whole lot of money on gifts, usually they end up around $100 in total for any occasion.) He is not a gadget guy, his interests for hobbies lie within his work and I can honestly say that I have never ever heard him say "I'd like to have" in regards to anything.

I also want to give him something a little special to say thank you - for waking up early with Sweet One so I can get some extra sleep, for enabling me to get my workout done on the days when I feel like I really need to, for not getting cranky when the evening comes and I collapse on the couch because almost every muscle in my body is aching, for never getting mad when I snap at him because I feel like shit, for not complaining that he's had no physical affection since I got pregnant (oh, he did gently remind me that I don't even kiss him these days), for doing the dishes so often because he knows I hate doing dishes, for not giving me shit that he comes home to a house that is littered with duplo, spongy blocks and colored balls, for making sure I can go to a movie when I want to, ..... and the list goes on and on.

So what do I buy for a man who wants nothing and doesn't play with gadgets? I have no idea. But really, I also need to figure out Christmas at the same time!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

If I were a cupcake, I'd taste gross while trying to cover it all up with some cream cheese frosting

For the past few months I have been absolutely lacking in any desire for making suppers. No adventure to try new recipes and often end up scrambling to throw something together at the last minute. Or I end up making a recipe and make do without some of the ingredients. All this leaves me a little bitter that I am always having to think of supper and plan it - but really, when I express myself regarding this I seem to be kept company by the proverbial tree in the woods. I guess I can thank my MIL for never teaching her sons to cook and accepting their complete absence in the kitchen while they grew up. Big Love will help if I ask and once in awhile even asks if I need help. What I want is to have it all taken care of so I don't even have to waste any energy planning it. Just as it does for Big Love pretty much every day, I want supper to miraculously appear in front of me. Luckily, the man does do dishes and I think if he didn't, I'd lose my mind.

So to distract myself I try to focus on some of the entertaining things going on here. My primary doctor is a DO and so today I went to him for an adjustment. The appointment started out:
Do you have an equivalent to Thanksgiving in Canada?
Yeah, it's in October.
What do you call it?
He started to laugh his head off and the rest of the appointment seemed to go like that as if moved from me explaining why I think it is insane to have more than two kids, to having my OB offer to tie my tubes during my cesarean, to him telling me all the times I can go and watch his eldest daughter in a production of The Nutcracker where she will dance as a present.

While it can be very exhausting, from about 4:30 on for the past three days, Sweet One has been very clear that I am the only one allowed to do anything for her from washing her hands after supper to giving her her blueberries. She seems to need a chunk of time where we are attached for up to half an hour. The end of day comes when we are in her bedroom ready to read a book and she looks at her Dad and says, "Bye" clearly telling him that he is no longer in her room as the two of us begin to read stories. I do feel bad for Big Love and the small amount of rejection he sometimes feels when he is told in many little ways that he just doesn't cut it! Then again, they are both currently inside of her fire truck playing so maybe she does like him after all. (She does answer "yeah" when I ask her if she loves her Daddy.)

Monday, November 22, 2010

A few cute moments make the hard ones worth it

Sweet One has been a little clingy lately. She goes through phases in the day when she wants to be attached to me or I am the only person allowed to do anything for her because Daddy just doesn't cut it! It's a little exhausting especially when she's had another two 5:30am mornings with me on the hardwood floor for one of them trying to get her to go back to sleep. Isn't it two weeks after the time change and still no major adjustment for her! With the last two canines making their way through her gums, a nose that won't stop running and these early mornings I have a toddler who is doing her best to be happy (happidy, happidy) when she can. I'm also starting to feel some of the muscular fatigue of a belly that is pulling my back in directions it doesn't usually go. Each day I am more and more thankful for the moments of sheer adorable toddlerhood that keep me going and help me make it through the next time she has a mood swing.

Moment One
Do you want some blueberries*?
Can you say please?
Yes. (In a tone that completely says, 'yes, you know I can'.)
Say please.

*You can substitute blueberries for anything a toddler might ask for.

Moment Two
(Arms outstretched.) Hai. Hai!
You want a hug?

And this can happen anywhere - in her booster seat, in the car seat, in a cart in the middle of a store, on the couch, blah blah - anywhere at all!

Moment Three
Uppity! Uppity!
You want to come up? Just a moment, Mama's got raw chicken* all over her hands.

*Once again, substitute for pretty much anything I could be in the middle of. But it's probably not the begging to be lifted up as much as the word she uses that makes this moment cute to me.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sweet Relief

I had an appointment with my new OB and all I can say was that by the time I was done talking to her nurse before the doctor even came in, so much of the stress from the last two months had quickly dissipated!

The nurse first said to me, What did the other doctor tell you about VBACs? and the look on her face made me realize that all my concerns about having a VBAC at this hospital IF it becomes allowed were completely warranted. At this point, the hospital is not allowed to do them because they do not have anesthesiologists in house, they are on call. That means that if someone suddenly ruptures, they may not get the pain management they need for an emergency c-section in time. Also, VBACs require special expertise and since this hospital has not done them for a very long time, they do not have the experience necessary.

Then the doctor came in and we talked more. I thanked her for taking me on and her reaction was so much more relaxed than the women I spoke to to get switched in the first place. You gave it a try and it wasn't for you, that's just fine. So, they are working on booking my c-section early so that they can try to get one of the first surgery slots of the day and we were allowed some input into when it happened. We chose the day so that Big Love can have his choir rehearsal the night before - being close to Easter with a choir that needs much prep and all!

I have completely lost where I was with all this. Sweet One had two friends over while their mom was at an appointment and then I had them for lunch. In the past hour and a bit I feel like a tornado has hit me! Luckily, dishes are done and the living room is tidied. Now I will hope Sweet One naps so I can relax a bit.

A final thought on my OB. I feel so relieved that this one and her staff seem to be of a similar wavelength as the one I loved so much and I am feeling much better about the next half of my pregnancy.

Monday, November 15, 2010

I want to be a bitch rather than gracious and understanding

My in-laws recently emailed me asking about Christmas lists and if they could come for a visit next month. This is quite a surprise as they usually give us much more warning about when they want to come and also December is probably one of the busiest times for Big Love. I have no idea why they directed the email in a joint account to just me because if they knew my initial reaction was to scream NO! they might have also addressed it to Big Love!

I wish I was one of those women who got excited at the idea of the in-laws visiting but I simply am not and can't seem to be no matter how hard I try. The conversation wraps around and repeats so many times that I get dizzy out of boredom and I truly can not relate to my MIL's life. She's retired from her part-time work at retail stores and, from what I can tell, spends it watching tv and reading. Sometimes Big Love will call and my FIL is out doing something on his day off and she is still at home doing nothing. She doesn't have any friends that she gets together with, doesn't do crafts or bake or cook to pass the time. She's quiet, prim and proper and likes to glare at me when I say things she either doesn't understand or thinks is ridiculous. I find this very hard to relate to and it exhausts me to be tiptoeing around my personality in fear of doing something that might blow the roof off.

Sweet One and I have also been battling a relapse of whatever it was we were sick with a few weeks ago. Add the time change being something she hasn't adapted to and we're all very tired here. For instance, this morning she woke up at 5:04. I went in to try and get her back to sleep and at 5:20 I left to use the bathroom. She started crying again and so I spent the next hour and ten minutes sitting on the cold hardwood floor with my arm between the slats of her crib trying to keep her relaxed and resting. Big Love came in when she started talking at 6:30 to find me lying on the floor between the crib and the wall. (We have to pull the crib out from the wall or she turns on and off the light instead of sleeping.) I'm exhausted and she's exhausted. Big Love is also very tired with a demanding month ahead. The idea of having to cook and clean for anyone at all for a 'few' (curious about their definition of that word) days makes me want to cry.

I am trying to believe in the importance of putting myself in their shoes as well. I understand it can be hard for them to be away from Sweet One and it would be good for her to have time with her grandparents. Also, Big Love is approaching his 30th birthday so there is no doubt in my mind that that is part of the reason they want to come to visit. I have told Big Love that in the end it is his parents and if he'd really like them to come he can make that decision and I'll suck it up. Because every once in awhile you have to do something you don't really want to for the rest of your family. He'd just better find a way to take a few days off work so I'm not stuck with them on my own for the majority of the time because the last time that happened I almost lost my mind.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Small town, smaller options

It has been awhile since I have felt bitterness at living in a small town. The resentment and anger I had been feeling for a good portion of my time here wasn't doing me any favors and I decided that a change was in order. I found reasons to be happy - the low standard of living enabling us to own our house and for me to be at home with Sweet One was a big one.

Today I was reminded of what can be lacking when living in a small town. Choices. And not just choices in terms of stores, restaurants and concerts. Today I was shown that there are limitations to my health care. I made the decision to pick up the phone and ask to be moved to a new OB. After my previous one went on medical leave (I adored her and would trust her with my life to this day) and I got put with a doctor I didn't feel comfortable with, I spent much time trying to see if I was going to be ok. But I just don't. A male doctor of similar age to my father, whose emotional and physical abuse has left me with many wounds that I am still trying to heal, leaves me feeling uncomfortable. I have plead my case in the most gracious and level-headed way I know how with a receptionist and the office manager but I do not know if they are going to move me. While they argue that there is a 50% chance a male doctor will deliver my child, I argue that it is not just the delivery that I am uncomfortable with but the consultations leading up to delivery and after. I simply do not feel comfortable in the care of a man who is from the same generation who spent so much time making me feel horrible about my abilities, choices and who I am.

This is the only OB clinic in town. I can not go to a nearby city because at the time of delivery I believe that it would be too hard on Big Love and Sweet One. Added stresses of travel at a time of year when weather isn't the greatest is not something I want to put them through.

I may also have the decision of whether or not to VBAC and this is also a bit disconcerting. Up until a month and a half ago I had been told that they do not happen in the local hospital and that I would be delivery via c-section again. But now they may be implementing protocol to encourage VBACs. Do I want to choose this with a doctor that I am not familiar with and be one of the first people in this area to attempt the VBAC? While the doctors are capable they are obviously inexperienced in this area since their policy has been against these types of deliveries.

More doctors with more opinions to help me make the choices I need to make. That is what I desperately wish I had right now.

I'm happy to say that I got a phone call the next morning with the news that one of the female doctors will be taking me on as her patient!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

I think I'll keep him

I've had two nights and one full day as a single mom and it isn't going too bad. At first I realized there were a few nice things about being on my own.

Lately, between me, Big Love and the maternity pillow it has been getting a little cramped in the bed so I was excited to have it all to myself. My last two sleeps have been a little less disrupted than other nights but last night after being in bed for just over an hour, Sweet One woke me up and I realized that I was still cold. I hadn't yet warmed up and my feet felt like ice. Usually I would have had them tucked under Big Loves long, skinny legs to warm up but that didn't seem to be an option!

Pesto. It is lovely. It's the only reason I grow parsley and basil (because I rarely remember to use it fresh during the summer) and so I make a bunch and freeze it. I can't use it for a family meal because "oh my god it is made of cheese and cheese is evil because it is made by letting something curdle and go bad and it stinks unless it is mozarella and only on pizza" and so I was able to enjoy it last night without making someone's stomach churn! But then when dinner was done and I was feeling a little pooped, as I often do these days, I realized that I would be the one to do dishes. I kinda hate doing dishes.

After getting Sweet One to bed last night, I came downstairs to watch The Boys Are Back (it was interesting but it didn't hold my attention very well) and realized that there was still stuff on the floor. Since I'm the only one 'allowed' to put her to sleep, the living room has often been tidied by the time I get downstairs. It only took a few minutes but every inch of me wanted to collapse on the couch. And I had to get the cloth diapers dried and folded, which is often something Big Love takes on. I did like being able to hunker down and watch a chick flick without feeling bad for taking the tv hostage and leaving Big Love to figure out what he was going to do.

I've woken up with Sweet One the last two mornings, obviously because I'm not going to let her take care of herself while I catch a little more sleep, but usual Big Love does because my sleep can be so disrupted. Luckily, over the past while I've been falling asleep easily after I wake up (KNOCK ON A FOREST!!!) and so getting up hasn't been too bad - and Sweet One hasn't woken up before 7!

After a full day of thinking that being on my own wasn't too bad, I talked to Big Love on the phone and kept rambling and repeating myself to keep the conversation a little longer even though we were both tired. I guess I missed him!

It seems that Sweet One is ready for her morning poopy bum change - which Big Love usually takes care of. Just one more reason the Cons outweigh the Pros. I guess it's nice to have him around and so I won't get rid of him any time soon.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Right here and now

It's 7:30 am and I am hiding out in my bedroom. I'm very rarely awake this early but I haven't been able to fall asleep since Sweet One woke up at 6:30. Luckily for me, Big Love gets up with her in the mornings due to the sleep difficulties I have brought on my hormonal changes. Rather than going downstairs and joining them I'm hiding out in my nice warm bed and taking some time f0r myself before I gather my energy and face the day. Over the past couple days I've felt very unstable and by the time Sweet One is going down for her nap I am on the verge of tears. I'm not exactly sure why but I think it is hormones and all the crap that seems to be going through my head.

One of the ways I deal with big changes is to try and figure out as much as I can ahead of time. Lately, I have been starting ta o think of Sweet One's move to a big girl bed and moving her entire room to a slightly larger one. We have three bedrooms upstairs with one being a studio/office. I slash an office because I had hopes that I would be teaching voice lessons in the studio and so we used the second largest room for that. At this point its use as a studio has been limited and so now the best use for it will be a bedroom for Sweet One and her sibling. Especially good will be the fact that this room is a little cooler in the summer because it is does not have west facing windows. Sweet One's actual transition into this room is what worries me because I've never done something like that. I know in the end that it will work out and that once we are in the midst of it all will be what it is, but that seems to be something on my mind in preparation for the new little one.

Tomorrow we will hop into the car and take Big Love to a nearby city so that he can do some professional development. Nothing huge and exciting, just sitting in on some church choir rehearsals, going to the symphony and another concert as well as attending a church service. This will be Big Love's chance to recharge and do things that he desperately needs at this point to take care of himself. It will be the first time I am on my own for a few days with Sweet One and while it isn't really that long I am not sure how I am going to do it. The weather may not be great and when we are cooped up in the house all day long I struggle to find ways to entertain her in a productive manner. I think the kid has inherited my love of tv watching and if I'd let her, I think she'd watch all day long! My struggle here is that I feel like a shitty mom when I let her watch too much tv because I lack the ability to keep her stimulated.

As I write all this down I feel like a bonehead. Things have felt very overwhelming lately and I do know that it is my pregnancy hormones causing the disturbance. I was sick for almost two weeks and am now trying to get my sinuses to finish up whatever they want to do. While I was sick I didn't have as much time to rest as I would have like because I spent all my spare time, and the very little energy that I had, trying to get a skirt made for my niece's skating this year. I did get it done although I'm not sure if I have recovered from the trauma of trying to fit 400 inches of tulle on a very small skirt! Now I move on to the skating dress and I am working with the 4way stretch of polyester and lycra for the first time. It is a steep learning curve and within the first few steps I was saying how great it was that I got my new machine after I attempted this the last time!

Our ultrasound is tomorrow. I am eager to see this little one and hopefully feel more excited about the pregnancy, but I am equally eager to see if my placenta is going to do the same thing that it did last time. Just knowing where it is will give me some idea of what kind of decisions that I will have to make. If it is not blocking the baby's exit, I may be able to choose a VBAC which scares the crap out of me because with my old doctor there was never going to be that option - and I am still sad that she is no longer my doctor. If I will have a recurrence of placenta previa I look forward to eventually being taken off exercise. I also have not decided if I want to be put with one of the other doctor's in the office as I am not completely sure how comfortable I am with the new one they placed me with.

It's nearing 8:00 and after typing all this out I feel like I'll be able to take on today without being too afraid of what my nervous system might put ahead of me. I sometimes wonder why I keep this blog going but I guess I have realized that it is only for myself and the catharsis I can experience as I look at what is going on in a different way. Right here and now my struggles are not a large as what many other people have in front of them but they are still mine and I need to figure them out.

Perhaps this morning I am also avoiding getting out of bed and seeing how this country voted. For the last two election I have been afraid that decisions will be made out of irrational thought brought on my fear.