Mommy “Blogger”

So, all you Mommy Bloggers out there – tell me how you do it.

Cuz I have no idea how to fit all the things to do into my day, plus blogging.

It’s quite ridiculous, really.  All the things we’re told we should be doing as mothers.

I’m supposed to feed the squid every 2-3 hours.  But first I have to change his diaper to help wake him up and/or calm him down before feeding.  On a good day, this takes 5 minutes.  On a bad one, he pees all over himself and then projectile poos all over the clean diaper I had waiting for him.  So, sometimes “changing a diaper” can take 20 minutes.  Then we breastfeed (The fact that we’re actually breastfeeding now is a whole other story.  It used to be 20 minutes of let’s-scream-at-mommy’s-boobs-and-kick-and-squirm-fun-time.  Not fun.) maybe 10-20 minutes each boob.  And then, since I don’t make much milk (sad face), we supplement with formula, which takes another 10-20 minutes.  And then he’s probably got himself a wet diaper (or worse) that needs attention.  And THEN I try to pump, if he doesn’t scream when I set him down to do so.

By the time I am done pumping, he’s maybe asleep.  Maybe.  If he’s not, I start over to figure out what his boggle is.  If he is, then I have a decision to make – do I try and sleep?  (note the word “try.”) Or do I fold laundry?  Or wash the bottles?  Or cry in the bathroom?  So many choices…

And then, it’s time to do it all over again.

There’s no time for it all.  Do midwives and nurses and doctors hear themselves when they’re telling you to do all these things?  Because I haven’t even mentioned the walks I’m supposed to be taking or the sitz baths or pooping or eating lunch or training for American Ninja Warrior.

And then there’s blogging.

So hang in there with me, Psychos, because I don’t plan on going anywhere.  I just may have to start blogging during my scheduled crying-in-the-bathroom time instead.

No News Means No Baby

I basically wrote this post in my head last night while laying wide awake in bed because I took a nap way too late in the day because we got home lateish from our first trip to Home Depot as HOMEOWNERS.

It was very exciting, but so physically taxing for this 40 week + 5 pregnant lady that I sweetly had to ask some employees if there was a place where I could sit a spell.  The dude jumped into action and was like, “You stay right there” and he went and got me a chair and had me sit right where I was in the middle of the flooring aisle.  He then asked if I was ok (I think he was asking if I was going to pass out or give birth or both), and I assured him that all I needed was to sit until my husband was done shopping.

He left and then came back with a bottle of water for me.  How freaking kind is that!  And not only that, but he came back several times to check on me, and other employees asked if I was ok as well.  Never have I encountered such nice, helpful folks.  Really renewed my faith in the goodness of this world into which I am about to bring a screaming, pooping lovebucket.

And that brings me to the entire point of this post:

Don’t ever ask a pregnant lady if she’s had the baby yet.

Ever.

Like, not even if you word it differently.  Or if she’s your best friend.  Or your best friend’s Home Depot coworker.

You wanna know why?

Because, I’d think it’s safe to say, most 40-ish-week pregnant ladies would love nothing more than to just have the thing already, get to meet their screaming pile of joy, and get to reclaiming their bodies a bit.  We’re exhausted.  We’re cranky.  We’re feeling heavy as hippos.  We’re fucking done-zo.

And it’s because of that, that pregnant ladies are usually ready to squeal that they’ve given birth by SHOUTING IT FROM THE FRICKIN ROOFTOPS.  You’d have to be absolutely deaf not to hear.  Trust me.  They’ll be inundating your Facebook feed with pictures, videos, and stool samples demanding that you agree that this baby and its poop is the cutest poopy baby who ever lived, ever.

You won’t have to ask.

And if there’s no news – THERE’S NO BABY.  Say it with me.

Either that, or for some reason momma hasn’t told you because she’s simply not ready to.  Maybe you’re not very close to her, and not all of her friends and family have gotten to see the baby yet.  Maybe there were medical complications that momma is still dealing with and doesn’t feel like sharing.

At any rate – if the momma wanted you (yes, you) to know that baby was born, YOU’D KNOW.

You won’t have to ask.

And honestly, do you really want to ask knowing that the answer is most likely a thinly veiled, “Fuck off, the baby ain’t here yet and I hate my body and my life and omg, will this mucous ever stop leaking out of me?!

No.  Of course not.  Because everyone would like to avoid talking about excess mucous.

And don’t say that you’re on pins and needles waiting for this baby as a means of justifying your need to ask.  You know who’s even more anxious about it than you are?  You know who wins this one?  You know who doesn’t give a fuck how you feel about the baby not being here yet?

You guessed it – the momma.

So please, don’t ask.  Be patient.  The momma can’t plan for this, and so neither can you.

Now get this baby out of me so I can start drunkenly Facebook feed-bombing about how my baby is cuter than your baby.

If you feel like a chicken without a coop

Brian and I often chat online while he’s at work and I am at home eating muffins.  He likes to check in on me to make sure I know just how much he loves me more than he loves designing planes (which is marginally, but I’ll take it).

Last week, he begins his daily chat with this:

B – Dude.  I’m a genius.  I have something for your blog.

Now, usually Brian rolls his eyes when I declare this is going on the blog! so, at hearing this, my interest was definitely piqued.

Me – What?

B- Check your email.

I checked my email, starting reading, and began laughing to the point of crying.

Me- Did you write this?!

B- Yes.  I’m so proud of myself right now.

He had written very special alternative lyrics to the song Happy by Pharrell Williams.  Before I get any more specific, allow me to back up and give some background.  Most of you know I enjoy a good poop joke.  Jamie Lee Curtis really doesn’t lie – when your colon feels good, you feel good.  It’s really that simple.

Now, my colon has a history of having a rough time (or not having one, as the case may be).  Yet another parallel between my cancer experience and this pregnancy is that constipation has been an ongoing challenge, and that’s putting it very delicately.  I’ve been working with my doctor and trying various remedies, and we may have found a regimen that doesn’t leave me feeling miserable every day.  On Mothers Day, of all days, I was given the best gift ever – an empty colon.  I was singing in the bathroom when I heard Brian sing back.

Me- Sing that again!  What was that?

B- …because happiness is a poop!

Me- You’re so right.  Sometimes happiness is a poop!

And unbeknownst to me, this idea grew in Brian’s head, and instead of designing planes, he rewrote the lyrics of Happy to describe a particular brand of happiness.

In B’s words, it is something for pregnant women to sing when they’re constipated.

He gets me so well.

So please, play the video whilst following along with the new lyrics.  We hope you find it as amusing as we did.

 

 

 

Crapping by Pharrell Williams and Brian

It might seem crazy what I’m about to say
Sunshine she’s here, you can take a break
I’m a hot air balloon that could go to space
With the air, like I don’t care baby by the way
[Chorus:]
Because I’m crapping
Crap along if you feel like a chicken without a coop
Because I’m crapping
Crap along if you feel like happiness is a poop
Because I’m crapping
Crap along if you know what happiness is to you
Because I’m crapping
Crap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do
[Verse 2:]
Here come the push trying to take a shat, yeah,
Well, I’ll give it all I got, and won’t hold it back, yeah,
Well, I should probably warn you it’ll take some time, yeah,
No offense to me, it smells just fine
Here’s why
[Chorus]
Hey, come on
[Bridge:]
(crapping)
Bring me down
Can’t nothing beat my brown
My level’s too high
Bring me down
Can’t nothing beat my brown
I said (let me tell you now)
Bring me down
Can’t nothing beat my brown
My level’s too high
Bring me down
Can’t nothing beat my brown
I said
[Chorus 2x]
Hey, come on
(crapping)
Beat my brown… can’t nothing…
Beat my brown… my level’s too high…
Beat my brown… can’t nothing…
Beat my brown, I said (let me tell you now)
[Chorus 2x]
Come on

 

 

 

Birthday and First Trimester Recap

Today is my birthday, and it’s right around what will be my baby’s half birthday (WHAT?!).

I am 14 weeks today!

What a difference a year makes.  Last year, if you recall, I had some fun drinking adult beverages and then attempting to throw a very heavy ball down a hallway, all whilst dressed up in the clothes of the time of my origin.

A lot has changed since then, and I imagine a whole lot will also change in the coming year.  I’ll look back on this time and wonder where all my freedom went, where all my time went, where all my sleep went.  But I imagine I’ll also wonder how I ever got by without a drooling, pooping, screaming angel strapped to me.  Weird.

I’d like to take this opportunity and do a little recap of my first trimester, since it came and went in a whirlwind of leaving jobs, packing, the holidays, the flu, and moving.

I think it’s interesting that nausea and vomiting are the only acceptable pregnancy symptoms that people seem to be allowed to ask about.  Or interested in.  And that those symptoms really weren’t a major issue for me, so conversations beginning with those kinds of questions are pretty much nonstarters.

I remember sneaking a copy of What To Expect at the shelter where I used to work before we started to try to get pregnant, and it was horrifying.  While I knew on some level that pregnancy affected the whole body, I had no idea about the sheer range of potential side effects.  Face skin turning colors?!  Anal bleeding?!  Eyes frickin changing shape?!

How come nobody asks me about my eyes and how they are doing, hmm?

I feel like my pregnancy symptoms started happening before the pregnancy.  As soon as I went off birth control (that I had been on for the entirety of my adult life), I felt like a 13 year old kid all over again.  My skin became greasy and broke out everywhere.  Like, all the places.  I usually shower every other day, but I quickly started having to shower every day to keep from feeling so hormonally gross.

Which reminds me – I watched the movie of What To Expect because it was on netflix instant view and I was bored and full of pregnancy hormones, and thank goodness for Elizabeth Banks’ character’s storyline.  She struggled to get pregnant, felt horrible during pregnancy, and actually uttered the wonderfully descriptive term ‘bac-ne.’ (How does one spell that?  It’s like ‘acne’ and ‘back’ had a baby, only this baby aint cute.)  It felt validating to see a pregnancy experience that wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows and that I could partially relate to.

Once my pregnancy train left the station, I started feeling heartburn for the first time.  It prevented me from eating a donut at work for about an hour, but I eventually prevailed.  Soon after, I became so exhausted that I couldn’t make it through some days without taking a nap.  I remember the first day the movers were packing up our stuff, all I did was stand there and watch, and at 3pm when they left, I felt like I had done all the work.  An hour nap, and I still had no problem getting to sleep at night.

At that point, the flu struck and I couldn’t tell what was flu and what was pregnantness – I just felt like a zombie in pajamas.  I only wanted comfort foods like ramen and PB&J.  I slept all the time.  Interestingly enough, still no vomit.

Once I was feeling fairly normal again, the completely random food aversions hit.  Our first night in Portland, we were exhausted from driving all day (and being pregnant) and so we ordered pizza.  I demanded no meat because that sounded pukey.  Nevertheless, the veggie pizza arrived and, while it looked amazing, it smelled and tasted like barf.  I forced a slice down and then passed out.  A few days later, Brian cooked us up some veggie burgers and I thought I’d have to run outside to escape the stench.  For the first time, their look matched their smell.  Ralph.

What confused me through all these food aversions (that only happened at dinnertime) was that I couldn’t tell – was I hungry or was I pukey?  The answer was yes, all of the above.  I hated that this babe was ruining mealtime for me, and I am thankful that the phase didn’t last very long.

Heartburn continued, although it hasn’t been predictable or consistent like the bloating and constipation.  Funny that people love to talk about food coming back up and out, but in the absence of an exit, it’s suddenly gross.  I am no stranger to GI issues, as some of you know, but this was/is by far the worst batch of symptoms for me.

It was also weirding me out.  Am I full even though I only took two bites of my cheesey blasters?  Nope, it’s just gas.  Am I starting to show?  Uh-uh, it’s just gas.  Did I just feel the baby?!  Nope – gas.

I think the only other major symptom left is the constant peeing.  Twice, sometimes three times a night.  Like clockwork, too.  And forget trying to laugh or sneeze and stay dry.  My belly had better grow bigger faster, because now that I actually want to eat a horse, there’s no room for it with all that pee, poop, gas, and the reason we’re having this party in the first place.

I forgot to mention the one good side effect of all this – since getting knocked up, my migraines have all but disappeared.  Thank you, first trimester gods, there is a silver lining.

As I already alluded to, the second trimester is treating me well so far.  I’m told I need to enjoy it before the third, and I definitely plan to – starting by stuffing my face with a huge birthday dinner in a few hours and demanding that the bartender mix me up a mocktail so good that I am convinced it’s the real deal.

Baby’s First Troll

It’s happened, you guys.

I think I’ve finally made it as a blogger!

Screen Shot 2013-06-14 at 5.54.17 PMI don’t even know where to start, q1605.

Should I comment first on how you used the incorrect form of your/you’re?

Or maybe I should point out how awesomely creative and not at all ironic you are for inserting a poop reference into your comment about my post on, well…poop.

And then there’s the content of your comment; you so appreciatively imply that you’re a longtime reader of Psychobabble, and for that I thank you from the depths of my colon.

I have no idea why it took so long for me to attract the attention of an honest-to-goodness troll in need of some quality hugs and psychotherapy, but I won’t speculate.

I’ll just accept the honor and keep right on blogging about the same old crap.

Happiness is an Empty Colon

I talk about poop a lot.

Freud would say this means I am stuck in the anal stage of childhood development, and I am not sure that’s too far off the mark.  Let’s just say that The Beatles were wrong when they said that happiness was a warm gun.  No, no, it’s an empty colon.

—–

Since Brian and I get up for work at different times in the morning, we don’t get to see each other until we get home from work in the evening.  We supplement our communication needs with email and chats during the day.

me: You know, because of this bloating, I’ve had to get up and pee TWICE each night since Saturday

Brian:  eek

me:  My sleep hasn’t been good
Brian:  Have you asked Dr. Internet what to do?
me:  No…but it’s just going to tell me that I am dying.  Or pregnant.  Besides, I pooped this morning, so that’s a plus!
 Brian:  Was it a lot?
 me:  Not a lot…
 Brian:  Still good though
 me:  From 1-10, it was a 4
 Brian:  Hah
 me:  10 being MASSIVE, EPIC poo, you know, that breaks the water
 Brian:  On the Shat Scale
 me:  Right!  So at least my poo wasn’t a 1, which would be like two little nuggets…plop, plop.
 Brian:  Let’s change the subject.
 me:  Why?  This is awesome!  …This could be a blog post!

Boats Full of Gravy

I am not dead.

Thank you, Le Clown, for confirming this fact earlier today through email.  Next time, please keep pictures of your painted white butt cheeks to yourself.

—-

The other day, I had a conversation with a coworker about weddings.

She’s pretty freaking liberal, even more so than I am, and we were having a lot of fun trading opinions.

Me (complaining about all the work it takes to plan a wedding): I just want my life back!

Her: You should just go to the courthouse.

Me: …Is that what you did?

Her: Hell yes!

Me: Did you get any complaining from family members?

Her: Actually, my family doesn’t know I’m married.  It’s none of their business, really, and I’m an adult.

—–

Holy frick, what a different take on things.  I have to admit, there is a part of me that really wishes Brian and I had just gone to the courthouse.  I actually turned to Brian the other day and said, “I hope this day (our wedding day) turns out to be worth it.”  And in all honesty, I think we’re both unsure of the answer.

And then she (my coworker) said: Please tell me you haven’t registered for one of those huge gravy boats you’ll never use.

I totally got the question.  What she meant was, I hope you aren’t blindly following a tradition *just* because it’s a tradition.  Because we’re both therapists and are doomed to over analyze everything, this led to a conversation unpacking traditions and customs around modern day weddings.  I’m the kinda person who needs to know why we do things the way we do.  Rarely do I just take things for granted as “the way things are.”

So I am very glad that my coworker reminded me that I am also an adult (at least I pass for one on legal documents), and that at the end of the day, I get to make my own decisions.  I don’t have to register for a gravy boat just because the salesperson at Bed Bath and Beyond tells me to.

YOU KNOW WHAT, LADY?!  IF YOU LOVE GRAVY SO MUCH, GO BATHE IN IT.  HERE – USE THIS BOAT!

It’s easy to notice when our preferences land outside the norm, and for that reason I am pretty good at weighing how important something is to me versus the backlash I may get for not conforming in that way.  But the other question is, what happens when what I want actually coincides with the norm and the dominant culture’s expectations?  Because I do want the white dress, I do want a medium-sized party with nice things.  I enjoy flowers!  But do I enjoy these things just because it’s the dominant culture, or is my enjoyment genuinely personal?  I’m not sure anyone can ever separate out these two things, nor should we be able to, but the answers are still important to me.  So, I’ve also reminded myself that it’s okay to like things because they are “normal.”  Hell, there’s a reason why they became “normal” in the first place and that reason is not always oppressive or malicious, regardless of what I might have been taught in my college sociology class.

I am reminded of a quote from a book written by one of my favorite musicians, Jewel Kilcher: It’s okay to want.

It’s okay to want what everyone else wants – for the very reason that everyone else wants it.  This is big for me.

You know what else I am learning?  With the help of reading things like The Waiting, this process is really forcing me to let go.  It’s okay to want…and it’s okay to go without.  I am increasingly able to let things roll off my back when they aren’t going perfectly, because if I cared about every aspect of wedding planning like I care about making good poop jokes, then I would go stark raving mad.

More so than I already am.

My Tainted Love

I look over at the kitchen table, which has become Wedding Central over the past several months, piled high with brochures, copies of contracts, and color swatches.

Me to Brian: Hey, what is this stuff?

(I am pointing to a book and a hat that doesn’t belong in Wedding Central.)

Brian: That’s my Lance Armstrong stuff that I want to get rid of, but can’t decide exactly what to do with it.

Me: Well, it’s tainting our wedding stuff. Move it.

Brian: By “tainting” do you mean getting ridiculously buff, winning, and then lying about it?

Me: ….no. TAINTING. Like, making it dirty.

Brian: Don’t talk about dirty taints.

Me: If we end up getting divorced, I’m blaming Lance. Also, this goes on the blog.

Brian: Fair enough.

——–

In other news, I was adding the tags to this post, and I actually had to ask Brian, “since this post talks about taint so much, does that qualify as a poop joke?”

His answer: “close enough.”

Dress Me in Lace and Awkwardness

Shopping for a wedding dress is awkward. vulnerable. Fucking scary.
First of all, they make you write all of your identifying information down on a pretty piece of paper.  They even ask where you keep all your porn, so you know they really have you by the ladyballs.

Each boutique is different on purpose, because they don’t want you to get too comfortable.  Who are they, you ask?  They are the The Powers That Be.  The bridal industry.  Those doctors who insist you get an exploratory colonoscopy “just to rule some things out.”

What do I mean by different?  I mean that all the rules change, bro.  In one place I was allowed to paw through the gowns like my cat paws through a pile of dead rodents.  Expensive albino rodents.  And in another place I wasn’t allowed to touch anything.  Indeed, I couldn’t even scratch my own ladyball without my keeper attendant yelling at me and swatting my hand away.

Another variable involves unmentionables.  When I first went dress shopping, I didn’t know what to expect, and so I made sure I wore my best skivvies with minimal amounts of unsightly holes and skid marks, just to be safe.  You know, I even removed my leg hair and made sure my head hair was in socially acceptable condition.  The preparation that went into this expedition wasn’t unlike the grooming needed for a blind date where you were promised some second base action good conversation.

Once I was half naked in front of huge mirrors and cold because I was missing all my winter leg fuzz, I had to actually put some dresses on.  Getting into a dress was like trying to claw my way up through an igloo that had collapsed on top of me.  I could feel my world closing in on me.  It was hard to breathe.  My arms were stuck up over my head, groping through endless, fluffy white matter.  I could hear my attendant, just barely, reassure me from the other side.  Don’t worry, she said, I’ll get you out.  Even if I have to cut you out! 

I requested that if she couldn’t get me out to please refrain from cutting of any kind and call some hot firefighters to sexily rip me out.  And have some cold glasses of milk ready and waiting.  At that point, who needs a bachelorette party, amirite?

Once I emerged with a second degree tulle-burn from the white abyss, a complicated pattern of zipping, tugging, lacing, and clamping ensued.  For a moment I was not sure if I felt more like Kate Winslet in Titanic when her mom is doing up her corset and reminding her -yet again- that the money’s all gone, or if I felt more like the stuffing in a Thanksgiving turkey.  Eh, the latter involves more butter so I’ll go with that.

Then I was made to stand there displayed on a platform while people took my picture and commented on various parts of my body as if I were that amazingly tasty-looking pig from Charlotte’s Web.  And don’t get me wrong, because I am rather tasty, but where the hell is my motherly, not-at-all-creepy, talking spider who is supposed to save me from torture and almost certain death?!  You and your web of lies!

Taking all this into account, I am somehow supposed to have an opinion about which dress I like the best doesn’t make me look like a Big Fat Greek sparkly snowstorm.  There are so many things to take into account.  It’s gotta be slutty, but not too slutty.  Pure and chaste, but not too pure and chaste.  It’s a delicate balance. And remember, all this is provided the dress costs less than what Oprah’s “s” shaped poop goes for on eBay.

So there you have it.  I feel like a poor barnyard animal lost in a snowstorm.  With no firefighter milk and no under the shirt action in the car on the way home from that cheap restaurant with the colorful crap on the walls because Blind Date Man “thought it would be fun.”

I must be a masochist, because even after all this, I am still going back for more.  I have an appointment at yet another new boutique for a week from Sunday.

Wish me luck!

Somebody’s got a case of the Mondays

This morning I got out of bed and had one of those what am I doing? moments.  Well, I guess it’s longer than a moment cuz I am still having it.

This is the first time in my educational/professional life that I haven’t had a plan for what comes next.  For so long, my ultimate goal has been getting licensed as a therapist, and I had all the smaller goals leading up to that.  I viewed my professional life as this visual cliff, where I could look out and see all these roadblocks (earning hours, turning in the application, studying, taking each exam, etc.) leading up to the sheer drop-off, and just at the edge of the cliff was licensure.

Now I am standing here, at the edge of the cliff, and I look over and I see…nothing.  Air.  Blank space.  A long drop.  Sure, I have a few floating ideas for what may come next, but nothing that really takes shape.

I am doing my best to hang in this space and feel what it’s like.  I don’t have too much judgement- it’s neither good nor bad; it’s just where I’m at right now.  It is an interesting mix of excitement- that my world could go in any direction right now- to fear- that I have no idea what the hell I am doing from this point forward.

With that said, I wonder what I will say or how I will feel about this time in my life when I look back in 5 or 10 years time?

More and more I find myself thinking about the personal/family development of my life, and so far that has been a nice change.  The timing couldn’t have been better, that as soon as I got licensed I got to start planning a wedding (and not at the same time, thank goodness).

Maybe some floating babies will materialize as I continue to look out over this cliff, who knows?

At any rate, I hope they are diapered, or else look out below.

***

How have others conceptualized life transitions (or lack thereof)?

Anyone else have that feeling of now what? once you’ve achieved some long sought-after goal?