Thursday, November 30, 2006

Just don't pat her on the back right now

The biggest disagreement I remember having with my best friend was back in high school. She thought the paper luminaries that lined the sidewalks in my neighborhood were pretentious. I thought they were beautiful. It was probably the first time I agreed to disagree with someone, so I credit her for teaching me that all important skill.

There are so many things she has taught me. The most relevant things lately are about motherhood. She has never given me bad advice, so I'm relying heavily on her as we both incubate our little ones. This is her second and my first.

Whymommy has a beautiful mix of left-brain and right-brain. There are times when I feel like I am in on that secret; like she doesn't share that right-brain with very many people. I have been packing up my house for the past several months and came across a journal that Whymommy gave my in high school. It was inscribed "From one closet writer to another." As we both blog now, I guess you could say that we have come out of the closet. See you later, Tom Cruise.

As she blogs, she handles honesty gracefully. During her pregnancy, she has been plagued with sciatica. It has put her on 8 months of bed rest. Dealing with constant excrutiating pain can be handled a few different ways. You could write about it and hope you get sympathy. You could write about it out of anger. You could simply not write about it so that you wouldn't burden people with the ugliness of the situation. Whymommy chose to handle it differently.

Without ignoring what is a significant part of her life, the pain, she has been able to write about this pregnancy as a mother and a scientist. Is she in pain? Yes. Is it controlling her life? Only certain details. Is she still focused on Widget and the incubating Whybaby and their development? Absolutely. But she writes with the calm precision of her left-brain and crafts those words beautifully with the right. That is just who she is.

She posts about learning opportunities that she has found for Widget even when she is stuck on the couch. She posts about braving the playdates even through the pain. She posts about the hope of physical therapy and is honest about the disappointment of finding out they were wrong.
She continues to post, no matter how she is feeling, and I continue to learn from her. I hear encouragement in her words, hope, contentment, and love. She helped give me the courage to leave the professional world as I thought it should be and make a new life and new work for myself at home. Stay-at-home-part-time-self-employed mother. SAHPTSEM.

There is something else amazing about Whymommy. She has been able to accept help without feeling like it is a sign of weakness. My parents still have trouble with that. Watching someone struggle and refuse help is frustrating and sad. I am so proud of her for allowing her in-laws to come into her home and help them with Widget, the cooking, the cleaning, whatever. Whymommy has been able to maintain her dignity through a time when she is flat laid out. She even had Thanksgiving at her house with all the grandparents and who knows, maybe she will feel up to Christmas too.

If you haven't gotten to know her, you are missing out. I hope you will go spend some time with her today and be inspired. I certainly am going to just that.

This post was prompted by The Mom Trap over at Club Moms. A little bit of loving on your favorite expectant mommyblogger.

I think he looks like Guy

Introducing Cleatus the fetus.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Stuff on the side

I have been having a great time playing with this blog design by Zoot. Although it would probably be easier if I got a book on stylesheets and html, I have instead, just looked through her code and been trial and erroring it to add on to the side. It is loads of fun.

So what do we have?

There is the "me" section. It's not very informative, but I do rather like the picture because Lovely took it. She is actually quite good with a camera. Especially for a 10 year old. I have yet to write an "About Me" entry. That is because I am not that interesting on the whole.

Next is the pregnancy ticker. It is too small, I realize, but I wasn't about to have something out of line with the rest of the sidebar. If you rightclick on the ticker, you should be able to select "view picture" and then see the ticker. That is if you are as interested as I am in how many days I have left to be pregnant. Which you probably aren't. The butterfly is pretty though.

Then we have the lovely button from Cool Mom Picks. If you still have shopping to do and would like to do it from home, I strongly suggest that you click here. It has some great suggestions for Christmas presents for anyone on your list.

Below that is the
Kind Blog button. This very much suits my new blogging mantra, "Blog unto others as you would have them blog unto you." It helps keep me in check, even with the unpredictable hormones.

Everything below that is pretty self-explanatory I suppose. You can see my links list. I only put people on that I check more than once a week. With my attention span being that of a gnat, often I will go to someone's blog, enjoy it, and then forget that I ever went there. So, although the list is small, it is
people who I really enjoy reading.

Meeting the little guy with the big Guy

It's official. We have a heartbeat. And a new due date. I'm a little more pregnant than we thought, which is just fine with me.

The ultrasound was Monday morning. Guy and I went to the visit together. It was a "nurse talk," which meant that we simply met with a nurse and she talked a lot. Just as I was feeling completely underwhelmed, it was time for the ultrasound.

My brother has named this little guy Cleatus the Fetus. It's annoyingly catching, and Guy has picked up on it too. So Cleatus it is - for now.

Cleatus was right where he was supposed to be. In fact, everything was just as it should have been. The heartbeat was strong and we could hear and see it. He looked like a little shrimp. Guy and I both cried, but also both waited until the tech left the room to do so.

I have waited so long for this. This happiness that has been completely unexpected, unscripted, and unbelievable. It is not enough that I have ended up with a man that I love, respect, admire, and simply love being around, but now, well, now I am carrying his child.

I knew I wanted to be a mother, but I never knew that I would want to be pregnant. Maybe that sounds strange, but I always just looked at pregnancy as a means to an end. It is so much more than that though. It is 40 (give or take I hear) or so weeks of bonding with baby and father. I have this time to become a mother.

One last thing: if you haven't figured out how sweet Guy is by now, let me give you another example. The man carried my pee to the lab Monday. Granted, it was double bagged and you couldn't tell what it was, but he knew. And he carried it anyway. I love him.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Braving my way back

After last week's hormonal mind vomit onto the keyboard, I've been a bit blogging shy. Not that they are under control now, mind you. I just spent several minutes sniffling and drying my eyes while reading the latest on Zygote Daddy.

Side note: Guy likes to read over my shoulder while I blog. He prefers to read my thoughts as they go instead of after whatever editing I give them before hitting the publish post button. Not that I do that much editing of course. Hi, Guy.

In honor of my hormones doing more than just sending me into crying fits over Christmas ornaments, movie trailers, glimpses of Lovely and Guy snuggling on the couch, and running out of milk, I give you the list of things I forgot last week:

1. I left out a cup of cheese from the shoepeg corn casserole.
2. I got out the corn syrup for the pecan pie, assembled the pie, baked the pie, ate some of the incredibly awful pie, and then realized (the next day) that I had never opened the corn syrup and added the cup that the recipe required.
3. I forgot to put the biscuits in the oven to rise right away, thereby offering buttermilk hockey pucks as the bread with Thanksgiving dinner.
4. I forgot to add the semisweet chocolate to the black bottom banana cream pie, a pie that I have been making for 8 years now.
5. I forgot to do the laundry.
6. I forgot to feed the dogs. Twice.

I'm sure I'm forgetting something, but you get the idea. I have pregnant brain.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Okay, it was so totally hormonal

Three hours later, post house cleaning and showering, I can honestly say that it was totally hormonal.

I have got to learn how the "save as draft" button works. Good grief.

Wishing it was hormonal

The biggest loss of my divorce was not my husband. I wanted him to leave. I was happy once he did. The biggest loss was that of friends.

Most of my friends were friends through marriage. I have never been one to collect lots of friends on my own. I was never one of those girls who would have a weekly "girls' night out" and drink pastel cocktails while giggling about the bartender's cute tush.

There have been five women in my life who I could call steady friends, best friends, and now there are four.

Two of those women have had their own challenges brought on because of my divorce. Their own husbands are good friends with my ex-husband. T has handled it graciously and with care. The other chose not to. I don't know why either. I was in the same position with her during her divorce, and my Ex and I lay down the law right away. Her Ex was not to be mentioned, he wasn't welcome in our house, and I didn't want to know if the two men spoke or saw each other.

Maybe it was different because she was the one that was left. Maybe she felt more empathy towards my Ex. Maybe I'm giving her more credit than she deserves because it hurts too much to think about how easily I was discarded by her.

There was a day when she said to me, "You just aren't sad enough."

I am changing my life for the better, and she wanted me to be more sad.

I think what she was really saying was, "You aren't sad enough anymore to make me feel better about my life."

It's too bad she left me when she did. It was just a couple of months before my father's biggest slide downwards into Lewy Body Dementia and my mother's diagnosis of metastatic ovarian cancer. If she wanted to see sad, I can do sad now.

The interesting thing to me is that she and I were friends during a period of time that my family claims I was not myself. That is one of the things they love about Guy. They see more of me, the way I used to be, now that I am with him. As soon as I started coming out from under the weight of a marriage that was drowning me, my friendship with her started to crumble.

Most of the time, this doesn't bother me. I miss her, but I don't miss the way she treated me the last few months of our friendship. Today though, I came across a set of photos on Flickr. I was looking for some pictures of T's little girl's birthday party this past Saturday. Instead I found a set of pictures where T and her family drove to VA to visit my former friend and her husband. Again, the husbands are friends.

It didn't matter though. My mother has always said that I am loyal to a fault. If someone wrongs one of my friends, then I will write that person off for life. I am a bridge burner in my personal life, and during the period of time when I tried to get better at it, I just ended up collecting a whole lot of people who drained the energy out of me. I have torched a bunch of bridges over the past 2 years, and I usually feel much better for it.

The problem is that sometimes I can't understand why my friends don't have the same trait. Looking at the pictures of T sitting there smiling and having a terrific time with this woman who had hurt me so deeply, frankly, it cut me to the bone.

Logically, I understand that it isn't fair of me to expect all of my friends to act the same way I would. Emotionally, it doesn't matter. All I can think is that if someone treated T the way this woman treated me, I would never be able to maintain any level of friendship with them, no matter what. And that hurts.
While I would like to blame this on hormones, I don't think I can. I would really like to not have this bother me, but I don't know how to just turn it off.

It didn't bother me when T and her husband sent out an email about something my Ex had sent their little girl for her birthday. I know they are still friends, and I wouldn't expect anything different. I wasn't abused or tortured in my first marriage, just deceived and disappointed. My Ex did not hurt me half as much as this woman did, and the pain he did cause was not intentional.

Of course I am too scared to talk to her about it because I will most likely say the wrong things and make everything thing worse. I know I can't handle losing her as a friend too.

Maybe it is hormonal. God I hope so.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Wimpy preggo

This is the time of year when my sinuses try to ruin my life. Usually it is a day of misery followed by loads of drugs including the miracle squirt or two of Flonase and an extra dose of Diet Coke. Now, it has become the source of migraines and the need for lots of sleep. In other words, I'm not getting anything done.

I am a person who likes to get things done. And yet, I have done nothing but take a hot shower for the purposes of steaming my sinuses and then go back to sleep. I'm fighting the urge to get up and go regardless of how I feel because what if this is my body fighting off a full blown sinus infection? I would really like to paint my porch and get ready for a yard sale tomorrow, but I sit here, with dog and laptop sharing my lap, not doing those things.

There might be drugs I could take. I could call the nurse at my OB's office and ask if my beloved Flonase is safe, but the last phone call made me feel stupid for needing to ask a question in the first place. Crying would be detrimental to the whole trying to mend my sinus thing I've got going on.

Why the wimpy label? Because my best friend has been on bed rest since her 2nd month. Her back and hip pain is so intense that she has days she cannot move. There are not drugs or therapy that she can have on a consistant basis, and so she endures the pain. For her baby. For her family. I do not know how she has done it. To trade her pain for a little sinus pressure would be a no-brainer for sure.

I guess it is okay to just sit here for a day and pay attention to my body. It's not like the work won't be there tomorrow. It's not all about me anymore.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Lovely's Christmas list

We haven't told Lovely yet about her pending sibling. Guy wants to wait until after the ultrasound finds a heartbeat. We did find a very cute monkey wearing a grass skirt who hulas when you pull its cord. The tag names the monkey with Lovely's name, so we bought it for her as a gift from the baby.

The best part though is Lovely's Christmas list. It includes the traditional TV for her room, iPod, clothes, and craft kits. Thankfully, it did not include the disturbing Barbie RV complete with hot tub. At the end though, she turned to Guy and said that what she really wanted though was a little sister. A brother would be okay too, but she would really like a little sister.

This makes us think she is going to be quite alright with the news whenever and however we decide to tell her. I hope so.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Preggo meltdown

Welcome to hormone central. Today, we have a lovely story of a pregnant woman cracking before your very eyes. It goes like this:

I started taking folic acid when I found out I was pregnant. Correction, I started taking it as soon as my dear friend T found out I wasn't and scared the crap out of me by hurling a bottle of it from her own cabinet at my head. Now, I take it religiously. 400 micrograms a day.

Today, I called the nurse and asked if my doctor could go ahead and call in a prescription for prenatal vitamins since my appointment is still two weeks away. She sounded shocked that I wasn't already taking them and didn't know that I could get them over the counter. I told her that I was taking my folic acid and she told me that I was only taking half the correct amount.

It is probably no shock to previously pregnant women that this sent me into a crying frenzy after I hung up the phone. I sat on the couch, stunned that I could already be the world's worst mother before my little zygote even grew out of its little tadpole tail. Guy called right as I was melting down and just laughed at me. I told him I was obviously trying to kill our baby by not taking the prenatal vitamins. He just laughed. Silly schmoopie. People have had plenty of babies without prenatal vitamins. You are just fine.


Can I just say again how magnificent he is? If I continue to gush about this incredible man, will you all roll your eyes and skip this part? Probably, so I'll just keep it to myself.

Besides, I have to go to Target and buy my prenatal vitamins and the new Damien Rice cd. Because I'm not emotional enough right now. I love that man too. He writes the most beautiful songs and orchestrates them like hanging tinsel on a Christmas tree strand by strand. Every instrument is carefully placed, the lines are simple, and when you stand back, the overall effect is stunning. I'm quite sure it will make me cry.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Another person that hates me

Why then, does the belligerent woman working the drive thru window of the Bojangles hate me so? I told her that I didn't want sweet tea while I was having to yell into the giant menu speaker while getting rained upon. She insisted that I did. In fact, I wanted sweet tea and french fries. No, no ma'am, I do not, thank you. I would like mashed potatoes with no gravy and I do not need a drink.

Why then, does she try and hand me a giant cup of sweet tea at the window?

I say, "I don't want any tea, thank you."

She sneers and says, "It comes with the meal."

I say, "Thank you, but I still don't want it."

She sticks her chin out and says, "You know you paid for it."

I say, "I understand, but I don't want the tea."

She expels a loud puff of air through her nostrils, takes the tea, tosses it into the trashcan behind her like she was hitting a 3 pointer and shoves my food through the window.

I ask for extra napkins because the inside of my car is now drenched from the rain pouring in the open window. She hates me even more as she generously gives me three.

Monday, November 06, 2006

It's all about preggo

I promise this will not just turn into a pregnancy blog. For one thing, I took the second pregnancy test and refrained from taking a picture of it. So there.

First-timers though are constantly aware of the changes I have found. Scanning through some of the pregnancy boards, I have read open conversations about boobs, gas, constipation, and God forbid, hemorrhoids. I am slightly afraid.

I am also slightly hungry. All the freaking time. The thing that sucks about it though is that absolutely nothing looks, smells, or tastes appealing to me. This is a very weird thing for me. I absolutely love to eat. I love food. I love to cook. I love to bake. And now that I need to eat, there is nothing that I want. Strange.

Then there is the tired. It is at least an hour before I used to go to bed and at least an hour before I wanted to go to bed. An early bedtime for me is bizarre, and 6:00 AM is not a favorite hour of mine, and yet that seems to be the new pattern.

Things smell funny. I smell funny. Body washes that I have used for years smell awful once I get out of the shower. World Market almost made me hurl yesterday; I think it was some unfinished wood furniture. Guy smells sweet though, like sugar. It is a good smell, but I know he didn't used to smell like sugar.

Tonight I was talking to my daddy. He asked how I was doing and I assumed he meant because I was pregnant and all. I told him I was always tired and hungry, but felt just fine. He told me to go get my thyroid checked. I reminded him I was pregnant. He pretended like he hadn't forgotten.

I guess some things are going to stay just the same.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

A little light reading

I have 2 books about how to be pregnant because I don't know what I'm doing. They are both kind of annoying really. While I appreciate the information, I get going reading and feeling like I'm learning something and then they will throw in a "Dad Tip." These are pull out boxes on the page with stuff for the Daddy. One of them says,

"Dad Tip: Give your partner a lot of hugs. May women enjoy more hugging and cuddling during this very special time."

I'm not kidding. That is the tip. Here is a more useful tip that I would have included,

"Dad Tip: Quit telling people that your wife is pregnant by slapping her ass and saying, 'My boys can swim!"

But no, their tips include,

"Dad Tip: Bring home flowers for no special occasion."

Isn't that probably one of the things that led us to needing a pregnancy book in the first place?

I offer in its place,

"Dad Tip: When your partner tells you that she has to pee on the spice aisle of the grocery store, do not respond with, 'Again?"

But no, this book gives us nuggets of wisdom for those prehistoric sperm shooters we call husbands like,

"Dad Tip: Buy a present for your partner and the baby."

Aside from all this nonsense, I'm learning quite a bit. I have quit the caffeine, skipped sushi, of course corked the wine. We went to the Costco and loaded up on organic fruit and veggies, hormone free meat, and whole grain goodness. I'm exercising and getting a lot done around the house.

Most of what I've learned is that I'm not insane. Lots of pregnant women crave ice cream and have a metallic taste in their mouth.

One question that I have not had answered though is this: Is there any records of your dog knowing that you are pregnant before you do? I swear I think that Pupstar knew. She started acting more protective of me and
will not leave my side for about 3 1/2 weeks now. I swear I think she knows. She is, of course, the smartest dog in the world. Evah.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Out of the bag

Momma is going to start chemo again. Her ca125 came back higher than it was before she started chemo this last time, so that is really disappointing. The news also included that she would be on chemo for the rest of her life. The rest of her life obviously, depending on how well she responds to the chemo.

Guy told them our news. I still couldn't. Not with her crying on the phone about her news. So he called them back and told them. I think Daddy got it. Momma certainly did. She said that they could really use some good news and that it was the best news she could have asked for.

I guess I should have told them days ago. Then again, I wasn't sure that I believed it myself. I took that 2nd pregnancy test that comes in the box just to see.

Very blue. Very quickly.

Very pregnant.

Friday, November 03, 2006

How much do you tell?

Momma goes to the oncologist today. She is rightfully very frightened. Today she will get a new estimate of the rest of her life.

The chemo was going well if you consider what it was doing to the cancer. Her ca125 had dropped into an almost safe range. She was well on her way to being on the 3 end of the number of years she had left to live.

Then came the pneumonia. After having the fever and cough for several weeks and finally being admitted to the hospital, put in the ICU and being on life support for 9 days, the chemo now looks like it wasn't going so well after all. She is pretty scared that they are going to tell her that she shouldn't take anymore. Or worse yet, that while she had been on hiatus from it and trying to recover, that the cancer has taken over and is unstoppable at this point.

I haven't told her that I'm pregnant yet. Each time that I call, she is so busy trying to tell me how alright they, and it exhausts me. She does this thing. If there is someone that she feels like is getting picked on or unfairly treated, then she does this passive thing where she makes sure to tell you all the good things they've done. Growing up, she would do that for my brother. She would try and passively change my dad's mind that my brother was a screwup. It never worked. And he wasn't, by the way.

Now, she is doing this for my dad. Every time we talk to her, we have to get the update on how well Daddy is doing. Nevermind the fact that while she is telling my brother the wonderful news on my father's miraculous recovery, he's in the other room falling off the air mattress that is supposed to be where my mother is sleeping for now. Hitting the floor, my mother's accolades are interrupted by unintelligible yelling, and Mom having to call out to him that she can't help. Oh yes, they are doing just fine.

I tried to have a conversation with my mother about the difference in being a wife and a caregiver. I have tried to help her understand how my Bro and I dealt with Daddy when he got mean and nasty. I have tried to encourage her to step up and take control so that Daddy will relax more and be easier to manage.

The bottom line is that she is incapable of seeing him as someone who is sick.

She still needs to see him as her husband and her rock. Really, if I step back from it, I can understand that. She needs a rock. God bless her, the woman has metastatic ovarian cancer. Doctors are telling her that she is going to die sooner rather than later. Her children are telling her that her husband is already gone just when she needs him to be there the most.

So how much do you tell each other? What is she leaving out of the reports? We know that he is yelling at her and berating her because he was doing it while she was still in the hospital. The fact that it is not his fault, rather the disease's fault doesn't make it hurt any less. Is he hitting her? Probably not. Would she tell us if he was? Probably not.

She did tell me about five years ago that he would hit her in his sleep. Part of his REM sleep disorder, this was probably one of the earliest symptoms. My reaction was to tell her that they needed to sleep in separate rooms. She never mentioned it again.

We keep so many secrets to be such a close family. I don't understand. Now, I'm keeping my pregnancy a secret. Part of me just can't get happy about the news as it relates to them. It just reminds me of how much they will not be with me. Another part of me doesn't want to tell her because I don't want it to effect her decisions about further chemo. Is that really my choice though, or should I let it be her?