Thursday, January 27, 2011

To plan or not to plan?

Planning is a funny thing.  It's considered irresponsible not to, yet we're cautioned not to hold too tightly, that flexibility is key.  There are all the sayings:  Hope for the best, plan for the worst; If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans; He who fails to plan, plans to fail, and tons of others.


January is pretty much over.  Given that April 1st is my zero-hour deadline to have things done and in place, that means I've got 60 days left in this pregnancy.  60 days until we shut it down and wait.  And breathe, and get our games faces on.  The last thing I want is to be running around last minute feeling frantic that loose ends aren't tied up, that we have no more time and there isn't anything that can be done about it.  That's where it's good to have a plan.


Yet, Agent S is running this show and she'll show up whenever she sees fit.  I'll be 38 weeks on April 1st but 36 weeks is considered term and they don't stop you if you go into labor anytime after 36 weeks.  So while I've got April 1st in my mind, she very well could say "How do you feel about March?"  And we'll have to just fall in line and I can throw my plan out the window.


I've stopped teaching yoga and I'm heartbroken about it but between the no sleep and peeing 50 times a night, getting up at 4:50 in the morning was too much.  But one of the last mornings I was teaching, I was browsing Yoga Journal to get ideas for class and came across this article.  It's an interesting read, but what stood out to me the most was the following quote: 
 "A woman brings everything from her whole life to this moment," Crawford explains. "You can not go into a birth planning what you are going to do. You have to go in empty, so that life guides you."
"With my very first contraction, it became clear to me that nothing anyone had ever said about labor had prepared me for this," says Camille Mulchi, who studied prenatal yoga with Crawford. "But my prenatal practice reminded me to simply be fully present in each moment and to allow my baby's birth to follow its path."
That really resonated with me - the idea of letting go, of being empty, of taking this first step of a new life completely open and with no baggage.  Well, as little baggage as possible.


And again, I'm applying this to pregnancy but this idea can be applied to any new situation.  Particularly, new relationships or new marriages.  If you release your notions of how things should go or how you've always seen it in your head and instead allow life to follow an organic path, where would you end up?  How many times have you just let go and ended up saying 'it was better than anything I could have dreamed?'


With that in mind, how beneficial would it be for me to have a birth plan?  A part of me demands that a plan be in place since there are other players in this, namely the hospital staff and since we will be meeting for the first time on the day of the birth, we should have an understanding in place.  Yet, I've read so many birth stories of women that felt like failures because their birth didn't go according to their plan, whether it was circumstance, the doctor/midwife didn't honor their wishes or it was just the general unpredictable-ness of birth.


I don't want to feel like a failure.  I don't want to be so rigid that any deviation from my 50-point birth plan is cause for a meltdown.  Yet, I don't feel completely comfortable 'going with the flow' because I *am* going to deliver in a hospital and through no fault of their own, they will have an agenda that may not necessarily mesh with mine.  And if I don't speak up about my preferences, chances are they won't be honored.


I've studied pregnancy and birth for over two years now.  I've read the books, seen the movies, talked to the people, read the birth stories and I'm very confident about the process.  Not too much about this is going to surprise me.  I'm not even going to be surprised if the pain ends up surprising me; I'm ready for that too.  Knowledge is power, knowledge conquers the fear of the unknown.


But you can't know everything - I can't have a practice birth.  This is a one-shot deal, there are no do-overs.  There will be no dress rehearsal, not for me, not for Drew, not for anyone involved.  So it just doesn't seem responsible not to have a plan.


Furthermore, I'm not immune to normal feelings.  I had my first experience with doubt a couple of nights ago.  I had a moment of reality and I found myself questioning if I was really going to be able to do this - am I really going to stretch enough to accommodate a tiny human?  What if I'm not a good pusher and they have to cut me open anyway?  I can't practice this stuff!  Same with breastfeeding - what if I don't even produce milk?  Then all the videos I've watched about a good latch vs. a bad one, proper positioning and my meetings with La Leche League (oh yeah, I've been and it's a trip!) will be for naught!


I love the idea of being open, of simply letting my baby lead me on this journey, of allowing her to enter this world how she sees fit without me imposing my ideas on the process.  But I'm kind of an integral part to all of this, you know?  And as much as I would love to stay at home and have a birth like this one (so worth watching - I've seen it dozens of times) that's not in the cards for me.  So I feel like I have to plan,  I have to put something on paper - but what?  


I don't need to write down that I want the lights dim in the room.  When I get in there I will turn them down myself and if someone turns them up, I will tell them to turn them back down.  I don't need to tell anyone that I'm going to play music to soothe me - I will just play it.  I don't need to tell anyone that I will vocalize to deal with my pain - I'm just going to do it.


But I feel like I should let someone know that I plan to use mother-directed pushing - no cheerleaders for me, yelling in my ear to hold my breath and pushpushpushpushpush!!!  That will most definitely win someone a punch in the throat and I just feel like they should be warned about that, you know?


I don't plan to ask for permission to use different positions to labor in - I will follow my body's cues and that's that.  I have the power to say no at any time and I plan to exercise that power and I don't need to tell anyone that.


Oh yeah, and the eating and drinking during labor?  Got it covered - we're going to bring "snacks for Drew" and I DARE someone to take a banana or some apple juice out of my hands. I'm not asking permission to eat.  Period.  If I end up throwing it up, oh well.


In short, I feel like I should have a birth plan but aside from 'inside voices only please, no talk about anyone dying and I will come to you if I decide I want drugs, so don't ask' I'm not sure what else I should have on there.  I will not allow anyone to do anything without first thoroughly explaining it to me, but does that really need to be written down? Again, I will just say no if I'm not feeling it.


I'm not giving birth tomorrow, but 60 days is going to come and go awfully quickly and I don't want to get caught with my pants down.  I mean, at some point I'll have to take off my pants, but you know what I mean.


Where is the balance between being open and having a plan?  What needs to be said and what is simply understood?  My doctor and I have an understanding but she's not going to be there the majority of the time.  I know it will be very important to establish a  positive rapport with the nurses so I definitely don't want to come across as paranoid and militant, yet I'm no pushover.  I may freak out over approaching a stranger about paint, but it's a whole new story when you're heading my way with a scalpel or needle in your hand.  


So how 'bout it?  I've studied lots of birth plans and none seem quite right for me.  What would you suggest I write out on my birth plan?  Should I even bother?


I've got 60 days. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Be better, be smarter than me. Please.

Learn from me y'all, because I'm about to tell you about one of my finer 'dumb Desiree' moments.


We're trying to get big stuff done for the house before the baby gets here so we don't have to worry about it afterwards.  Now, since Drew is gone all the time, this task falls on my shoulders which is fine with me.  Incidentally, whenever Drew gets annoyed with me I always remind him that it could be worse, that I could be one of those women who calls their husband every five seconds because they don't know where the checkbook is, that he should be thankful that I can hold shit down.  But that's another story, and *this* story is about how you need to be better than me.


I got on Service Magic originally to find painters to do the nursery but then Drew said to go ahead and get quotes to have our floors refinished and the tile and grout cleaned and sealed in the kitchen and bathroom.  Service Magic is truly the bomb - you put in your request and like magic, people call you up wanting to do work for you!  They thoroughly check all their people so you can be confident that you're not getting a shady contractor and I love them!  So I had people in and out of the house all day Saturday for the painting, the tile and the hardwood floors.  I got it all done and got everyone scheduled and I was on a roll, so I went to get paint from Sherwin Williams so I could be ready when I chose the painters for the job.


My friend Brittani emailed me a 30% off coupon for Sherwin Williams, for which I was exceedingly grateful and armed with my list of paints for the back door and the baby's room, I confidently walked in.  


I had the color for the door so matching it was no problem.  I'm not sure why, but I ended up spilling my whole story about the paint and how I came to decide to paint the whole room.  I'm sure the clerk thought I was crazy.  Then it went downhill.


While she was mixing the paint, I wandered over to another section of the paint colors, away from their main offerings.  I shouldn't have done it - I should have taken my Krypton and gone about my business.  But I didn't because I like to torture myself.  There, apart from the main selections was yet another paint color, another bluish-gray that my demented mind told me might be a closer match than the two gallons of Krypton that she just mixed and I now HAVE to buy.  So I did the only rational thing - I had her mix me a quart of this new color, Colonial Revival Gray.
Colonial Revival Gray
Krypton - someone please just kill me now.  
I can't take this.

I seriously had my head in my hands at the counter at Sherwin Williams because I just. wanted. to. get this mother-effin room painted!  I was tired from having people in the house all day, it was 5pm, and I was over it.  So what did I do?  I bought it all - the two gallons of the Krypton, a quart of the Colonial Revival Gray, and a quart of the Wool Skein for the door.  $95 worth of paint - it makes me sick to even type it.

In my word vomiting, I mentioned to the clerk that the previous owner of our house was a Sherwin Williams rep and that she moved just one neighborhood over from us.  Can you believe that?  The people that painted the room were up the street from me.  I could have gone to their house, knocked on the door and freakin ASKED her what the effin color was.  But noooo!  Because I'm dumb Desiree - I was too chicken-shit to do that because I don't know her like that.  I felt weird going to their house unannounced.  We'd only met twice before at a happy hour and I was self-conscious and thought she didn't like me and was unfriendly so instead I chose to torture myself and spend $95 effin dollars on paint.  

The clerk asked me her name.  "Susie Smith?" (not her real name - duh)  I question-talk when I'm nervous.
"Oh yeah!!  I know Susie!!  She's such a sweetheart, you should just ask her what the color is!  Matter of fact, I think I have her number, I can give her a call if you want!"

AFTER I've already spent the money on the paint?!!?  Sure, of course, why not.  Let's give Susie a call.  But she didn't pick up although the clerk told me that she may just be arriving back in town, as all the reps were in Florida for a sales meeting.  I found it weird that she knew so much, but as she told me "Oh, at Sherwin Williams, we're family!"  Whatev - at least I had a 30% off coupon because I'd be cursing even more if I'd paid full-price.

I drove home so conflicted.  Now Susie had a message on her cell from a girl at work that some crazy lady who bought her house is paint-stalking her.  I practically HAD to go over there now.  I couldn't handle her thinking I was a nutbag.  I needed to go on and prove it to her.

And the thing is, I intended to go over there first.  I was even emailing with Rixa Freeze about it and I told her that I was going to go over there before I bought the paint.  But I chickened out - I'm a scaredy-cat.  So it makes even less sense that I would buy all the paint and THEN screw up the nerve to go to her house, but that's exactly what I did.

I pulled into the driveway and both their cars were there - shit.  It's now or never.  I took a deep breath, prayed they wouldn't slam the door in my face, and rung the doorbell.  Her husband answered the door.

Friendly, quizzical, why-are-you-on-my-doorstep look.  "Hi there."
Feeling thirty kinds of self-conscious, starting to sweat.  "Hi, um, I'm Desiree?  We bought your house?"  I actually waved at the man, y'all.  Waved at him, like the dorkiest dork alive.
"OH DESIREE!!  HI!!  Geez, sorry about that!  Come on in, let me grab Susie!  Susie, Desiree's here!"

Y'all, they were both so freakin nice!!  It was so in my head!!  They have a 1-year-old daughter, the last time we saw them she'd just had the baby, so they were all happy and congratulating me on my baby and I was so overwhelmed that I was full-out sweating by now.

"You guys, I'm so sorry to barge in like this, I never go to people's houses unannounced, but it's just the front bedroom, we're turning it into the nursery, and well, I'm losing my mind because I patched some nail holes and now I can't match the color, and I really just want to know the color and I'll get out of your hair and I'm so sorry for not calling but I didn't have your number andIjustneedthecolorI'mapaintjunkienandI'msosorry."

How 'bout SUSIE HAD THE FREAKIN COLOR IN HER GARAGE AND SHE WENT TO GET IT AND SHE GAVE ME THE MOTHER-EFFIN GD COLOR AND ALL I EVER HAD TO DO WAS JUST ASK HER FOR IT!!!!!

alskjdfl;sjig;woihawio;hio;gwer;ioghwoig  That's me setting fire to $95 effin dollars. 

Not only that, she gave me her cell number, and told me if I had any baby or paint questions, just give her a call and how SHE felt bad that I went through all of that because it was a custom color she was playing around with, adding a little of this and a little of that!  I NEVER would have been able to match that color!

I stayed and chatted with them, admiring the paint colors in their new house, I got a tour of her baby's nursery where I further put my foot in my mouth by saying I didn't want pink in our nursery and her freakin daughter's room was pink and green!  I was all backtracking like an idiot - "I mean, your daughter's room is gorgeous and I love how you've decorated it and IjustsuckatlifeandIshouldnevertalkeveragain."

I went home with my now-useless paint, stirred up the custom, perfectly matching, little of this and that color and fixed the mother-effin walls in the mother-effin nursery.
Now you see it.
Now you mother-effin DON'T.
Splotch - taunting me like The Tell-Tale Heart
Gone, fixed because it's a perfect effin match!
 Because it's fixed.  It's all frickin fixed.

I left a two-minute voicemail for Drew, creatively cursing that the paint was a perfect effin match, and that RIGHT EFFIN NOW is when I could really use a LARGE effin glass of wine.  Thankfully, he wasn't mad - glad that he wasn't home for my wrath, but not mad.  Yeah, and remember how I said I can hold shit down?  I take it all back.  

It's over now, the walls are fixed and I have the paint with the formula so I can have them make more if I need to.  But I am soooo mad at myself - I should have gone to Susie's house from the beginning.  I talked myself into this notion that they were mean and scary and what do I have to show for it?  Two gallons and two quarts of paint that's not the right color (can't forget that test quart of the Krypton!)  If you should ever come to my house and every conceivable thing is painted in Sherwin Williams Krypton or Colonial Revival Gray, you'll know why.

However, fixing the walls enabled me to get on with my life, put the nursery back in order and take on another small project.

I mentioned that Drew turned the sunroom/my sewing room into his office, right?  I figure since I've only touched the sewing machine once and he is, after all, sort of, you know, paying the mortgage, he can make it his office.
How it's looking these days.
I need to get in there and paint that cabinet thing white and one
of these days before I die, I'll reupholster that chair.  
Thank goodness Drew doesn't care.
This window and door look out to the office, with a bonus shot of the sconces
that left the nail holes, that left the splotches that caused me to go crazy.
Blinds gone, nail holes patched

Even though the office is to the left of the door and you can't see much, I still wanted some separation and the blinds were really cheap and ugly.  I took them down, patched the holes and feel much better about painting because I found the trim color so it'll be a perfect effin match (sorry, still working it out.)  I had some leftover window film from when I frosted the windows on the other side of the house, so I covered these windows and it looks so much nicer.
No cursing was involved in this particular project.

The walls are fixed, thank the Baby Jesus.  It was ridiculous and I made it way harder on myself than I should have.  Even though I would have done the exact same thing if I were Susie, I don't know why I have such a hard time believing that people aren't inherently meanies.  I don't know why I let myself get all worked up and scared that she was going to be rude to me or something - she was a perfectly decent human being, just as I would have been had it been me who had the paint.

Oh well, live and learn.

If you need me, I'm going to be in my garage.  Painting.  In Krypton or Colonial Revival Gray.

Monday, January 24, 2011

At the doctor's office

I spent the entire morning at my doctor's office.  I've seen my doctor for almost seven years now so she and I have a good rapport, which is why I know she won't be upset when I see her next week and call her a sneaky bitch.  With all love and respect, of course.


Two weeks ago, I had my glucose tolerance test.  For those that don't know, this is the test for gestational diabetes that they give you right before you enter your third trimester, hereinafter referred to as the 'beetus test.  It's pretty straightforward - you don't eat or drink for two hours before the test, drink a ridiculously sugary drink, they prick your finger and if you fall below the magic number, you're cool and most likely don't have the 'beetus.  


My test was at 9:30 in the morning, which might as well be noon according to my stomach.  Lately, I've been waking up for midnight snacks or eating very first thing in the morning - I'm talking, I'm in the kitchen stuffing my face before my eyes are even open.  So to go until 10:30 or later without eating was torture, which is why I didn't do it.  Mis-taaaaake!! (One of the best tv shows ever, btw.)


It said don't eat two hours before the test so I thought I was okay having a yogurt 2 hours and fifteen minutes before the test.  I was starving!  My doctor told me I could have a spoonful of peanut butter but peanut butter didn't sound good - a yogurt did!  If I knew then what I know now....


I failed my glucose tolerance test.  The magic number is 140 and you have to be below and I was 170, which according to my doctor was just a little over.  That damn yogurt!  So I had to go back today for the glucose challenge test, which sounds very American Gladiator.  But I got no rainbow-colored spandex and there would be no knocking people around with giant stuffed barbells.  You know what there would be though?


Blood draws.  Four effing blood draws to be exact.  My sneaky bitch of a doctor conveniently left that part out.  Probably because she knew I wouldn't come in and do it, 'beetus be damned.  I'm going to tell her about herself when I see her next.  


However, I made it through thanks to the most awesome phlebotomist in the world, my Blood Dude.  He gave me a hug when I walked in and I was all set to drink my drink and get my finger stick.  "No, Ma.  We have to do blood draws, every hour for the next three hours."  I'msorrywhathuh?  Blood draws? Are you shitting me?  No, no the Blood Dude was not shitting me.


So y'all.  If you're pregnant, sit up and take notes.  If you're gonna get pregnant, take notes.  That stupid test is sensitive.  Don't eat anything so you don't have to do the Gladiator test.  It's a pain in the ass, er, arms.  


He had to get a baseline blood draw, then I had to drink that drink.  The Gladiator 'beetus test is serious and you can't have anything from midnight the night before, so when I drank that extra-sugary drink on an empty stomach combined with the general dizziness from having my blood sucked out and contemplating him doing it three more times, I was not in the best shape.  But like I said, I made it through.


Mondays are 'beetus test days for my office so there were four other women in there for their blood draws, and they are the reason I'm pretty sure I won't do well in a mom's group.


Woman 1 would NOT shut. the. eff. UP.  She and her mother were there and they were so effing LOUD!  I wasn't even eavesdropping so I couldn't tell you what they were talking about and I could care less.  Woman 2 had her kid with her and spent most of her time entertaining the kid, who was quiet, thank God.  I don't think I could have handled another Demon Baby.  Women 3 and 4 were pretty, non-descript ladies who had excellent waiting room etiquette.  Stay quiet, read the magazines, talk in low tones.


However, as we all rotated in and out of the Blood Dude's room, they all loosened up and they started chatting amongst themselves - except me.  I was so freakin hungry and it took all I had not to stand up and rejoice when Woman 1 and her mother left to walk around.  By that time another woman had arrived, and her kid was probably less than two years old and he was wandering around the waiting room.  Am I a horrible person if I say I put out the 'keep away' vibes to the little kid?  Because I did.  I'm so mean when I'm hungry and getting stuck multiple times.


I didn't mean to eavesdrop on Woman 3 and 4 but they were right behind me and had graduated to speaking in normal tones.  What I heard really disturbed me.  As with most preggos in a doctor's office, they talked about the delivery and breastfeeding and diapers and whatnot.  It was  Woman 3's second baby, a boy and Woman 4's first.  Not only am I pretty sure I won't do well in a mom's group, I now know I'm a bona-fide birth and pregnancy junkie.


Woman 3 talked about the birth of her first and how she pushed for four hours and ended up with a c-section.  Then she talked about how her doctor bullied her into getting another one, sharing with Woman 4 that her doctor told her that mere contractions could cause her uterus to split open!  I very nearly turned around to start spouting my research and websites and name-dropping.  Can you imagine?  Furthermore, this woman's doctor told her that if she even attempted labor, NOT even delivery after a c-section she could bleed out and she and the baby could die!  


See, now I'm feeling guilty for not butting in.  I should have crawled over my chair and told them what I know, or at the least find out who her doctor is.  But the best I can do is say it here.


You guys, this is just not true.  It's just not, plain and simple and I'm getting tired of hearing that women are all of a sudden weak and stupid when they get pregnant, or hearing about women being treated like they're weak and stupid.  Yet, that woman has scheduled her second c-section because her doctor scared her (I say bullied.)


I'm going to have to start lining up my sources and websites so I can provide links and point people in directions but that kind of talk is just outrageous!  And these women didn't appear to be uneducated or gullible.  They looked just like any other woman, concerned for their health and that of their babies.


And yeah, this post is about pregnancy but it can be applied to any situation.  Be your own advocate.  Educate yourself.  Ask questions and get informed.


I've heard stories of doctors telling women outlandish things but I'd never experienced it firsthand, but that's because I've made it my responsibility to get informed.  I'll let the four blood draws bit slide but I very easily could have googled it and found out exactly what a glucose challenge entailed.  I didn't because, dare I say it, I may be overcoming my needle-phobia but also because I felt like I was in good hands with the Blood Dude.  But a blood draw is not major abdominal surgery!  You better believe I'm going to read everything I can get my hands on when it comes to that.  But here's the gist:


If you've had a primary c-section, you do NOT have to have c-sections for all the rest of your kids, no questions asked.  Naturally, if you have specific health concerns talk to your caregiver but my goodness, be wary of someone who says you have no options.  There are always options, and they're not just dead baby or alive baby.


That's another thing:  I'm really tired of people playing the dead baby card.  I know I'm scared of stillbirth and that's my thing to deal with, but I'll be damned if I let someone use that fear against me.  That's bullshit and modern medicine has come too far to be resorting to childish tactics like that.  Dead baby or alive baby are NOT your only choices.


Furthermore, you'd have to have had a pretty effed-up c-section to be in true danger of full uterine rupture from a simple contraction and that's something you'd know about waaaay before you get to the delivery room.  These dumb tv shows would have you believe that birth is a crisis that must be managed by all hands on deck, with doctors running the halls with their coats flapping when those types of cases are the only ones that make it to tv because drama sells.  My doctor told me that deliveries can go to hell in a handbasket in about two minutes, to which I asked her "Of the past 100 births you've attended, how many of them went to hell in a handbasket, requiring the crash c that you sometimes see on television?"  Do you know what she told me?


One.


One out of the past 100 births and it wasn't even a crash c.  The woman had been in the hospital overnight and her monitoring strip looked like shit all night and they had a suspicion that things weren't going to go well and were pretty well prepared for it, so when the lady's water broke and looked like sludge from all the meconium, it wasn't a giant surprise.


Drew is in the medical industry, as are many of his friends.  They often get to talking about work stuff and his friend once told me that doctors first treat the lawyers, then the baby and then the mother.  Ain't that some shit?  But that's another post - getting back to the woman and her bully doctor.


GET EDUCATED.  It's your body, your baby, your health, YOUR LIFE.  Sorry for the all caps and bold and italics but I just couldn't believe what I was hearing in the office this morning.  


Just because you're pregnant (or have diabetes for real, or don't have a leg, or have ADD, or have back pain, or insert whatever ailment here), it DOES NOT mean you're stupid.  Yes, pregnancy is a scary time.  I get that wholeheartedly, believe me I get that.  But for god's sake, don't blindly put your faith anywhere until you've done your OWN research and have settled on what works for you.


You want to schedule a c-section?  Knock yourself out, but do it because YOU want to and YOU'VE done your research and that's what YOU'VE decided works for you.  Fear is a very powerful motivator - fire and brimstone churches use it, armies use it, doctors use it, hell, even parents use it.  But it becomes very IN-effective with education.  Knowledge is power.  When you can see with your own two eyes that there is no monster under the bed, it becomes very hard to harbor that fear.  When you read that uterine rupture after a c-section is very very often due to other circumstances and vaginal birth after Cesarean is a very viable option, dumb bully doctors just start looking silly.


Have the courage to ask for evidence - numbers don't lie.  With a little digging, you can find out that a vast majority of women don't have those life and death problems at labor and delivery that they would have you believe are lurking around the corner and hiding under the bed, waiting to ruin your life.  Yes, babies die.  Mothers die too and uterine ruptures happen - but way less often than the fear-mongers would have you believe and it's just not responsible to take that at face-value.  Ask questions!


Was the mother obese?  Did she smoke and drink throughout pregnancy?  Were there other warning signs?  How often do these problems crop up in otherwise healthy women?  


Again, I wouldn't even be pregnant if it weren't for modern medicine so I got nothing but love for the medical community.  But they're people just like you and me.  They have jobs just like us and just like any other profession out there, there are good ones and bad ones.  I'm not even mad at that bully doctor, because I'm not the doctor police and maybe that woman does have some sort of condition that gives her paper-thin skin and no clotting abilities and a uterus made out of cotton.  It just didn't sound that way to me and it's irresponsible of the doctor to resort to fear tactics AND it's irresponsible for her to swallow it.  


Because we're pregnant, not dying.  We have not lost brain cells, no matter how much we all may joke about 'pregnant brain.'  And there is no easy way out of pregnancy.  Natural childbirth is no joke - labor is intense and my body is gearing up to do something it's never done before.  However, a c-section is not an avoidance technique.  Getting sliced open is no walk in the park and recovery from major abdominal surgery is serious.


Okay, I'm off my soapbox now.  But my goodness, let's stop swallowing what our healthcare providers say, be they doctors, midwives or woodland fairies and then turning around and blaming them when we have responsibility too!  


Whew!  This is why I must not ever join a mom's group - could you imagine me getting all fired up in the middle of a playdate when someone spouts off some nonsense that I actually know about?  I'd be run out of there so fast!  

Thursday, January 20, 2011

F you, big-ass wall. F you all day.

Thank the baby Jesus, my recovery continues.  My body no longer hurts and I'm mouth-breathing less and my appetite is coming back.  My sinuses are still a bit full so I'm still nasal-y but I'm on the road to recovery dammit.  I'm sick of being sick.


With this renewed bit of energy I am turning back to the nursery.  It has sat untouched since the paint debacle while I've tried to figure out what to do next.  I did go to Sherwin Williams and those paint chips have joined the others on the wall.


I thought I'd found a pretty close color but I was right - what is currently on the wall is a custom color.
Third from the top - Sherwin Williams Krypton
To my eyes, Krypton looks just like the bedroom walls.
Alas, it's just a pinch lighter.  The Krypton, that is.
But we're going with it because I'm over it and need to get on with my life.

I bought a paint tester from Sherwin Williams which, at $5, didn't break the bank but it's a quart!  I really only wanted a fingertip's worth of paint to smear on the wall to see if it was a match, which of course it wasn't.  Unfortunately, my only recourse is to cut a hole in the wall and bring it to Sherwin Williams where they can analyze the color and match it for me.  Granted, the hole doesn't have to be big but I'm not a fan of wrangling a drywall saw because my stupid ass would most definitely cut into something electrical and short the whole house, or the saw would get away from me and end up cutting a giant hole in the wall or worse, a giant hole in me!  Not cool for the pregnant chick.

So F you, wall.  Now I have to paint the room.  And I can't even do it myself anymore because I'm seven months tomorrow (eep!) and there will be no getting up on ladders for me.  I wish I only had to do the one wall, then it could be a cool accent wall.  But noooo!  I had to be all gung-ho Patchy Sue and patch all the nail holes in the wall and paint over the patches!
There are splotches like this on all four walls.  F.

I have several painters coming out on Saturday to give me estimates and I'm hoping it won't be too much since it's one modest sized bedroom and it's a pretty straightforward job.  Plus, they can paint our new back door.
This one was rotting so we got a new one with big giant window that 
brings so much more light to kitchen and laundry room.  
Now the new door and trim have to be repainted.

More importantly, I can get on with the nursery decorating.  I've decided on curtains and wall art and a duvet cover for the bed but I've held off buying them because until the walls are ready, stuff will have to just sit in the corner and I'd rather buy something and hang it straight away than let it clutter up the house.  Plus, I have to do something with the closet - right now it has all of our winter coats and we're planning to get a rolling rack with a cover so they can be stored in the garage.  My little girl already has a ton of clothes!  My cousin has two little girls, 3 years and 8 months and she's given me a huge box of their clothes and my co-worker Jana has a one-year old daughter and she's given me two huge bags of clothes so my kid's already getting the hook-up!  I haven't sorted through things yet, but wouldn't it be so great if I didn't have to buy my daughter any clothes!  I didn't register for any baby clothes because all the websites say that's a rookie mistake and I totally believe them now!  If we're lucky we may only have to get a couple things!

But anyway, back to that stupid wall.  The whole room is getting painted, probably with a no-VOC match to the Krypton and while I'm not pleased, it is what it is.

Stupid wall.  Stupid bedroom with your stupid custom color.  F you.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Back from the dead (sort of)

Would you believe I'm still sick?!?  This is for the birds!  I've never been this sick for this long in my life!  I laid on the sofa all day Saturday and Sunday and still called in to work yesterday.  Now, let's face it - being a receptionist is easy and there's really no reason to call in sick ever so it had to be really bad, which it was.  There are medicines I can take and I've taken them all but since pregnancy changes your body chemistry, even the plain stuff doesn't work the same.  Usually Benadryl puts me to sleep and I was counting on that since I haven't had a good night's sleep in over a week.  Ha!  I took a Benadryl and was up every two hours because I was so wired.  Plain Tylenol had me breaking out in sweats.  Plain Sudafed gave me medicine head so bad I didn't want to take it again.  Plain Mucinex produced truly impressive quantities of snot - I went through an entire roll of toilet paper that night I was up every two hours.  Then came the low-grade fever with the chills - this whole business is just not fun.  Not fun at all.


But there were two shining points.  One, my little baby has kicked me non-stop this whole time I've been sick.  I've been so worried because I haven't had an appetite and I've been eating less than I normally do.  I've been trying to force-feed myself as often as possible but it hasn't been easy between my inability to smell/taste anything and eating isn't very conducive to breathing since mouth-breathing is all I can manage right now - hot, right?  The steam facials work for the fifteen minutes that I'm actually doing them and then I get stuffed up again but they do work.  I just wish I could do them all the time.


The other shining point?  The bright sun in this horribly crappy crap?  My Prince Charming, my angel, my dear darling husband!


Damn Desiree, what did this man do?


Y'all - he cleaned the house.  Front to back.  Top to bottom.  He cleaned the house!


I could cry all over again just thinking about it.  All last week, it took everything I had to simply drag my ass to work.  I was fully confident that by the weekend I would be back to my old self and everything would be fine.  Unfortunately, that wasn't the case.  Drew came home Friday and I was no better.  Saturdays are usually my cleaning days and when I woke up feeling worse, I started to get worried.  I didn't directly ask him to clean but I was so scared that he was going to leave everything for me to do once I felt better.  But I couldn't even muster the strength to voice my concern.  So I slept - all day Saturday.  By Sunday, laying down was starting to hurt so I moved to the sofa and set up shop with my pillows and blankets.  I was dozing off and on when I heard the most glorious sound in the world.


He was vaccuuming.


Soon after, another angel joined the choir:  the dishwasher!  I could have wept with joy - in fact, a tear or two may have escaped.  He swept and steam-cleaned the whole house, took out the garbage and the recycling, and even did the laundry!  And I'm talking he moved stuff out of the way to fully sweep - he got under the sofa and pushed out all of Maya's chewies and all the dust bunnies.  He did it all - so I wouldn't have to!


And he went to the grocery store, made two dinners, went to the pharmacy three times for me AND checked on me the whole time.  Now, I know y'all can feel me on this one.  You know when you feel so bad that the thought of chores or even leaving the house makes you just want to cry?  To where you'd give anything, anything in the world if someone would just come mop your floors?  That was me.  And to hear the angelsong of appliances whirring and sweeping and general cleaning, well that was enough to make me want to dance and sing - if I could have stopped coughing and snotting long enough.


Once the house was safely sparkly clean, I confessed that I was scared he was going to leave the cleaning to me.  "Oh I definitely thought about it.  But then again, you're really sick."


I can live with that - it's okay to contemplate doing the wrong thing, as long as you end up doing the right thing.  And thank the baby Jesus, my husband did the right thing and our house is nice and clean.  I'm just hoping that I'm better by this Saturday because while he's an angel, my hubs is still a man and I know better than to expect a repeat performance two weekends in a row.


But it sure is nice having a clean house - especially when I didn't have to do it.  Thank you baby!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

When is a post not a post?

When your head is full of crud and you're coughing and sneezing and blowing your nose and you can't take Nyquil and have a better morning.  Or however the commercial goes.  I have AppleTV - I only see commercials in hotel rooms when we travel and I'm not missing anything.


However, my brain is full of thoughts as well as mucus so something's got to go.  The mucus is being asshole-ish and all nah, I'm cool.  I think I'm going to stay awhile.  So the thoughts have to go.  Be warned:  I'm bitchy right now.
  • We drop our drycleaning off at a place that's a block away from my work.  You can put your credit card on file and they have drive-up service so I love them.  I checked the bank account Monday morning and we'd already been charged for the clothes so like a rational person I assumed the clothes were ready since they already took our money. Wrong!  Hey guess what, drycleaners!  You take my money, y'all betta have my clothes ready!  However, I'm sick so my bitch-voice is not as effective.  
  • I may have found a Sherwin Williams color close to the wall color in the nursery.  However, I can't be sure since I have yet to see the color in daylight.  Thanks to winter, it's still dark when I leave the house and dark when I come home so I can't be 100% sure.  Hopefully they sell samples and I'll cross my fingers and hope it works.  
  • I really can't stand when people talk to me like they know my job better than I do.  And I'm just about done with arrogant new hires.  Whenever I'm the new kid, I hang back and observe and do my best not to piss people off.  I'm super glad you were King Shit at your old job but this is a new game homie.  Don't piss off the sick pregnant receptionist - that's a rule.  I give people one chance to be stupid and three dudes have run out of chances with me today.
But there is some nice stuff swirling around my head too.

  • Maya was being extra cuddly this morning and we spent about ten minutes in bed while I rubbed her belly and her tongue just flopped out with pure contentment.  I wish someone was there to see it, but then again I was happy it was just the two of us.  It was our bonding time.  Cesar Millan says you don't get the dog you want, you get the dog you need and I think he's right.  My big ol beast suits me just fine. 
  • I feel better about the baby shower invites and I'm getting excited about people receiving them.  My mom and my cousin are helping so much with the shower and I've been looking all over the internet for thank-you gifts for them.  It has to be perfect.
  • Not that I'm completely over my fear - it's just transferred itself to the baby registry.  We didn't register when we got married and I feel weird making a list of things I want people to buy me, I mean the baby, but whatever.  It feels weird.  This means I'm going to get nothing but newborn pink onesies.  F.  There's a place on the registry where you can leave a note for people looking at it.  I would never be so rude but I really just want to put Thank you so much for thinking of me but I'm freaked out about having to return this stuff if my baby dies so can you just get me a gift card so I don't have to look at a stroller I may not get to use?  A gift card I can put in a drawer and forget about.  
  • I know I have to stop thinking like that.  I'm trying.  It's not easy.
  • I feel like I'm getting to know the baby.  She's got patterns of activity and quiet.  Thankfully, the quiet times are few and far between.  Even though the kicks are stronger and now she's rubbing her knees across my belly and that's extra odd-feeling, I love it all.  I feel like she knows I need her to move lots and she obliges.  Although I can't tell if she likes or hates peanut butter, but I'm craving it and whenever I eat it she kicks in high-gear.  I hope she likes it.  
  • I figure it's her knees because she's head down and the movement is right where knees should be.  The lower ones are punches and I don't get those as often, which is nice.  She's not a rude baby, punching her mom in the cervix.
  • This is why it's hard to stop thinking about losing her.  I'm sliding down the slope of getting attached to my baby, like for real for real.  I daydream about her, about reading to her, singing songs with her, teaching her about boys, doing her hair, playing dress-up, teaching her baby yoga, and if I don't get to do any of that I may just .......I don't even know.  I'm falling in love and it's so freaking scary.
  • Drew's been gone all week and I can't wait for him to come home tomorrow.  He was home for three weeks in a row over the holidays and it was really nice.  The first night he's gone is always the hardest and the last night before he comes home seems to drag.
  • I made spaghetti with meat sauce last night and I added dried oregano and basil from our garden.  It was really good and easy!  I'm getting more and more confident about this cooking thing - just in time to spend another $50,000 at the grocery store.
  • I can't imagine cooking and grocery shopping for more than the two of us.  I get so annoyed when we run out of things because I really hate going to the store for one or two things.  I told Drew he needs to stop eating three times a day when he's home.
  • I'm not lactose intolerant right now, isn't that so weird!  In honor of that, we have real milk and cheese in the house (well, not right now because I have to go to the store) and I think we went through a half gallon in a couple of days.  Real milk is good!  
  • It's almost go-home time!  I made it through another day!
Thanks for letting me dump y'all!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The last 100 days

I was going to be clever and post this when I actually had 100 days left to this pregnancy.  But I missed the date.  And I'm near positive I'm not going to my due date so I had less than 100 days before the actual 100 days mark.  So the title of this post doesn't work at all, but it sounds very profound, like it should have an echo behind it or something so I'm leaving it.  When you read this to yourself, please provide the echo and the forceful male announcer voice.  Thank you.


You know what this is?


These are the baby shower invitations that are going out today.  I just finished addressing them and they are in the mailbox as I type this.  I'm surprised I can actually type this because I'm freaking out.


We had our hospital tour last week.


I did my pre-admission paperwork at the hospital today.


I had my glucose tolerance test today - the one you take right before you enter the third trimester.  


The baby shower invites are gone.  They're mailed.  I can't recall them.  


People, other people, are now going to prepare for a baby.  It's not just me and Drew anymore.  There will soon be a date on other people's calendars - for my baby.  I'm freaking out.


Right after my doctor took my heart tones this morning, the baby gave a big whopper kick that we both saw.  She said, "Huh, she must not like me messing with her."  I'd like to think it was a 'hello, I'm still here' kick.  


I wasn't nervous about the nursery decorations, but the baby shower invites just about sent me over the edge.  I bit Drew's head off last night because I couldn't get the printer to work and I was messing up the invitations, but I couldn't articulate that it wasn't the invitations themselves.  It's never that thing in that moment, is it.  


What if it goes south and we have to cancel?  When people RSVP to my mother, what if she has to tell them that actually, there won't be a shower?  I've ordered decorations, I've purchased favors for our guests, I have the list of food sitting on my desk and I'm nervous to place the actual order.  


Drew and I were so naive - when we found out the first time I immediately called the childbirth class lady and inquired about openings.  I happily sent my deposit to hold our spot in class and I remember the day I had to call and ask for it back because we'd lost the baby.  It was terrible.  Of course, she understood - she'd had three miscarriages of her own so she was very sympathetic but I remember that feeling.


I'm telling myself that I have to shake this - I have to attract positive energy to me all the time.  Every day I say to myself my daughter will live.  I will hold my healthy daughter in my arms on her birth day.  I am excited to meet my daughter.  My daughter will live.  We're all making it through this alive.  Every day I listen to my Positive Pregnancy Affirmations from my Hypnobabies.


There's just something so real about sending out invitations to a baby shower, about scheduling maternity photos.  The same thing happened with the photographer.  I didn't have anything on the books with her but she took our wedding photos so she knew that I was pregnant when we got married.  I emailed her that we lost it before she had a chance to ask and feel awkward but this time I boldly scheduled a maternity shoot with her on Feb. 19th.  


It's happening.  Baby showers, pictures, maternity leave, the waddling.  Yes, I've started waddling.  I swore to myself I wouldn't waddle but some days my hip joints feel like I have jello in them and I swear waddling makes me feel more steady on my feet.  It makes no sense but I've given in to the waddle.  It's not every day and it's not horrible (is what I tell myself) but I waddle.


I'm trying to stay positive and get excited and focus on the good things.  I just can't help but be afraid to let myself want this, to publicly declare to the world that I'm going to have a baby, even though my belly is kind of doing that for me.  I still check every morning that it's still there, nice and round.  I don't dwell on the negative and most of the time I smile.  It was just something about sending out those baby shower invites that sort of shook me.


I can do this.  I'm going to have real live baby and we're going to have a party to celebrate that.
Fear won't take this away from me.  That's why I got the tattoo, right?  So I could remember and be comforted?


I have less than 100 days left.  I, no, WE will make it to the finish line.  All of us.  ALIVE.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Snag, roadblock, setback

Or you can be like me and just say "Oh shit."


Did you know that when you're pregnant and have a cold you cannot take Nyquil?  Or Dayquil?  Or Tylenol PM?  Or practically anything else?  Therefore you have to just be miserable?  I have a cold and I'm dying because I can't go to any of my go-to remedies!  I've been drinking decaf hot tea all weekend long and I'd give my kingdom for some Nyquil right about now.


However, cold or no cold, this was the weekend of the mural and I was going to do it if it killed me - which it kind of did.  Observe.


It started with the chair.  You remember, the best chair ever?  Well, after I wrote about it I found myself looking at the pictures over and over again and having second thoughts about the color.  I'd made my peace with the fact that it didn't rock but I was told that an ottoman is something that cannot be forgotten.  Apparently, ottomans are a must-have for the late night feedings and such.  Luckily, I'd already found one that I was full-out drooling over but the colors they offered wouldn't work with the chair, nor would it work with the wall.  I consulted my team of trusted advisors (my girlfriends that care about this sort of thing) and they helped me to arrive at my decision:  Get the ottoman and switch the chairs.  Check it out!
Still the best chair ever, now with the best ottoman ever joining it!
I love it so much!
I'm going to find a girly lumbar pillow and throw and it'll be great!
I also offset the rugs because in the words of my trusted advisor Carolyn,
 "I know I have two rugs on top of each other and I totally meant to do it and I love it... so?" 


Sunday morning was mural day and I was all set!  I'd had a nagging sore throat and I felt a little puny but I really really wanted to at least start the mural, so I rallied and was up by 8am.  However, I was nervous and needed to do some warm-up painting first.  I needed to do something easy to boost my confidence as I'd never even attempted something like this before.

Drew had been wanting a chalkboard in the kitchen since forever and when I was at Lowe's I picked up some chalkboard paint and it was the perfect warm up project.
The chalkboard will be the inner panel.

I carefully taped the panel, having a little trouble with the beveled edges but I was confident that I got a good seal.  Ha.
I was soo pissed!  I had to score a clean line and now will have to 
scrape off the excess with a box cutter blade since we don't have anything smaller.
This should have been my clue to stop.

But I was on a roll.  I'd gotten my supplies from the garage and there was no turning back!  I went ahead and painted the inside panels of the cabinet in the dining room as well since sometime down the line Drew wants to turn it into a bar.
This went much faster and was much cleaner
because there's a groove between the two panels.

However, I'd recommend something other than the standard issue blue painter's tape because it really doesn't get a good seal on the edges, which is where it counts.  I've heard good things about Frog Tape and I'll be using that on my next painting project.

With no more chalkboards to paint, I couldn't hold off any longer.  If I was going to do this mural it was now or never.
 That's one big-ass wall
 Measure twice, cut once.  Or measure a few times if your tape measure
isn't long enough.
That's a big-ass wall

Assemble your tools.
I got several round brushes from Michael's since I have no clue what I'm doing.
Patch the nail holes and test the brushes.
I was looking for brush thickness, not penmanship and I chose the number 2 brush.

By this time I had to stop to take Drew to the airport.  I was feeling pretty run down but encouraged and I was thinking I actually might get the mural done Sunday night!  Next up was more measuring - I needed to figure out how many lines would fit on the wall and then figure out some form of word spacing so it would all fit without looking cramped or too random.  But that would have to wait until I came home from the airport.

Luckily, the previous owners left the paint they used and right before I walked out the door I painted over the patches and my practice words so it would be all dry by the time I came home.  I dropped Drew off and drove home carefully, planning my moves - maybe after a small nap.  The weather was starting to get nasty and of course I left my phone at home so when I walked in the door I went straight to the kitchen to call Drew and let him know I got home okay.  I was on the phone with him as I took my coat and shoes off and changed back to my painting clothes, so he was on the line when I walked back into the nursery and went

"Oh shit."
"What?  What happened?"
"Ooooooh shit."
"Babe. What happened? What's wrong?"
"The paint is the wrong color!"

I mean, it was lighter when I put it on, but I figured it would dry darker!  Or something!  I dipped my finger in the can and smeared some on the wall, hoping that my eyes were playing tricks on me.  It was lighter!! 
Shit.

This was a custom mixed color!  How. in. the. HELL am I going to match a custom mixed color!  I just assumed it was right!  All this time!  But the two cans of paint that I had matched our bedroom and the sitting room, not this room!  Shit!

I was so traumatized I laid down and took a nap.  This little discovery pushed me over the sickness edge and I was all of a sudden very tired.  Besides, it always helps to look at a problem after you've had a good nap.

Once I woke up, I had no choice.  I have to try and match this color, so I bundled back up and headed to Lowe's.  I pulled every bluish-gray paint chip they had and prayed that one of them would work.

I came home and taped every one of them to the wall.

Even though I only found one even remotely close, it's not an exact match.  I've never tried to color-match before and I don't even know how to begin with a custom mixed color.  I'm trying to tell myself that this is only a snag, a minor setback if you will.  It's not the universe telling me to quit kidding myself, that there's no way I'll be able to undertake such a big project and I should just put a tree wall sticker up there and call it good..

I'm going to Sherwin Williams on my lunch break.  The previous owner worked for them and I know that much about the paint.  I'm crossing my fingers that maybe it's not a custom color.  Maybe they have it right on their wall and I'll be able to solve my little roadblock by tomorrow.

Cross your fingers for me!

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