Tag Archives: Pregnancy

Two Weeks (maybe) and Counting

I have exactly two weeks from today til our little bundle of joy is due. I’m over it.

My back hurts.

My ribs hurt.

I’m covered in ugly stretch marks.

I have gained so much weight, I could audition for the part of Jabba the Hut,  if they were in the process of remaking it… again.

I can’t roll over in bed.

I can’t get off the couch by myself.

I am incredibly moody. And by moody, I mean ready to throw chairs at people.

I am sick of people asking me “are you still here?!?!?!” at work. (No, this is a hologram. I’m actually in the hospital in labor RIGHT NOW.) Or some variation, like “are your bosses making you work up til you go into labor?” No, of course not. I chose to do it this way.

I might punch our cleaning lady if I’m forced to interact with her and answer her stupid questions next week.

My legs, feet, hands, and face are so swollen, see the Jabba the Hut comment above.

The very best part? There is NO KNOWING when this kid is coming. And because I’m a first-time mom, I must be ignorant about the fact that most first babies are late. That sex is supposed to help induce labor. So are walking, pineapple, red raspberry leaf tea, castor oil, bouncing on a yoga ball, etc. People, I am NOT a magical pregnancy glitter-pooping unicorn. Trust me, I have LOOKED THIS STUFF UP. REPEATEDLY. Now that the baby’s lungs are fully developed, the brain is fully-functioning, and the sucking reflex is practiced, this kid is basically living inside me rent-free. But no matter what eviction methods I try, nothing will work “if the baby isn’t ready.” (I swear to Cthulhu, the next person who tells me that the baby will come on her own time will get arsenic in their food. Like I haven’t read the books, the websites, the articles, etc. or been to a single doctor’s appointment.)

BUT there is something: this pregnancy can’t last forever. The doctors won’t let it. I will be able to suffer an all new type of sleep deprivation in just a matter of a few weeks, tops. I’ll have an adorable, squalling poop machine and a fabulous husband to help me out. I’ll have 4 weeks straight off work, two weeks part time, and then back to reality. I’ll have family there, too, if I need them. I’ve had the best non-pushy offers from my mother to stay or not, depending on what my particular needs are. Apart from bonding with the newborn and my husband, I’d like to spend those weeks maybe trying to get some writing done. Maybe getting back into photography. Maybe reading some novels. I want to sing lullabyes to my baby, take naps, and not get out of my sweats for any reason other than dropping into the office to introduce my baby to my bosses and doing some quick analysis of how much my life will suck when I come back to work. (I can’t let my bosses see my after-work uniform. :P)

I keep telling myself that this is all worth it. I want this little girl so badly and I want her to be happy and healthy. I’m so excited to bring her home with us, to hold her, to cuddle her, to hear her, to see the color of her eyes and hair and her little body in general. I’m excited that, however little sleep I’ll be getting, I can at least do it on my back. I’m excited that I’ll be losing weight and that my stretch marks will begin to fade. I’m excited to not wear maternity clothes anymore, however long that may take. I’m excited to be a mother.

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It Might Be Hormones, or Maybe the Questions Really ARE Stupid

Don’t joke about eating your baby after it’s born. Apparently morbidity is not an acceptable sense of humor when you’re expecting a child. It doesn’t matter how stupid the question is or how many times you get asked. I have learned from experience that the following is not a society-approved manner of dealing with irritability at someone’s mundane questions (keep in mind, I see this woman every other week):

Her: It’s getting closer to your due date, isn’t it?
Me: Yep.
Her: Are you getting excited?
Me: Oh yes. My family has been preparing for the ritual sacrifice and consumption of a newborn for YEARS now.

Ok, so I didn’t actually say that. But I WANTED to. I’m so, so, SO sick of the stupid questions. Yesterday I had THE baby conversation TWICE.

People: Are you expecting?
Me: Yes.
People: When are you due?
Me: March 11.
People: Is it a boy or girl?
Me: Girl.
People: What’s her name?
Me: Charlotte.
People: What’s her middle name?
Me: Rayne.
People: (various murmurs of approval) Is this your first?
Me: Yes.
People: Are you excited?
Me: (something that means yes.)
People: How do your parents feel about it?
Me: (something that means they’re happy, too.)

Why, God, WHY??? I would rather spend my time with my head hanging over the toilet bowl than have that conversation AGAIN. I’m considering crawling under a rock til I go into labor to avoid meeting another human being and having to answer those stupid questions again. And the first lady I was talking about? I have that conversation with her every other Wednesday. I’m so sick of talking about the blah facts of my pregnancy. I would love to share stories about my birth board, vent about the things people do that get on my nerves, joke about my food cravings, etc. But I hate the “how are you feeling?” and other typical questions.

See, now this is where Facebook comes in handy. I keep people updated on how far along I am, I talk about the new and interesting things in my pregnancy, and people who ask follow up questions have questions I actually enjoy answering. I get questions about her kicking, about the nursery, about the supplies we need for her, how Tom is doing, and specific questions about how we’re coping emotionally. Not “so, are you excited?” or “how are you feeling”, but like “What does Tom think about all the pink?” and “Can’t you just see Tom with that little girl? He’s going to be so cute” and then we proceed to speculate about tea parties and how wrapped around her finger Tom will be. Cute stuff. Personal stuff. Stuff I can gush about happily as I look forward to the birth process.

But I guess I shouldn’t complain too much. Hardly anyone has tried to dump on me the horror of their birth experiences. I’ve had some commiseration from my mother, which was completely solicited and actually made me feel better. But no one said “Oh yeah, I was like that too, except a lot worse” or “well it might be going fine now, but the doctor could do this really horrible, painful, disfiguring etc thing to you…” Thank goodness. God help me if I become one of THOSE women.


The First-Time Mom Problem

This is yet another rant about the horrors of my birth board. I do believe, however, it is a valid rant.

There seems to be this disdain, bordering on hatred, for First-Time Moms (FTMs) from Been There, Done That (BTDT) moms on my birth board. Sometimes it’s as benign as saying “I hate getting advice from FTMs. They don’t know what they’re talking about. They think because they read a book or an article or talked to their OB that they know more about pregnancy than I do.” Ok, that’s fine. I find it annoying when people who’ve never been pregnant give me advice, too. I especially hate it when MEN give me advice. So I get that, I really do.

But today I just wanted to reach through the computer and strangle this self-righteous BTDT bitch. It was a thread begun about a lady another mom saw at her OB’s office who was bragging about not knowing who her baby daddy was. This lady (not the original poster) was also allegedly cussing up a storm in front of other people’s children. The self-righteous BTDT bitch was the first commenter. And she said, verbatim, “No doubt shes a FTM. She will be in for a rude awakening when the baby gets here. She has no idea how much her life is about to change.” (Spelling error is hers, not mine.)

Oh, so some woman who’s proud of not knowing who her baby daddy is and who cusses in front of kids MUST be a FTM??? Have you ever watched an episode of Maury? Or Springer? Have you read some of the atrocious grammar and spelling of some of these BTDT moms on this VERY BOARD? And the stories! Oh, the stories about getting accidentally pregnant for an Nth time because they still haven’t figured out how to practice safe sex! Or they cheated on their significant others and don’t know who the father of their Nth child is! My definition of what makes a suitable mom doesn’t include a woman who’s proud of sleeping around a lot, but to blame it on an entire category of women who have absolutely nothing to do with that is asinine. Some of the BTDT moms are a LOT nastier folks than the FTMs who are there for support, advice, and to just complain about being pregnant and having other people around them.

I don’t understand all the animosity towards FTMs. Anyone who has a baby or two or twenty or however many was a FTM at some point. So popping out more than one child suddenly makes you a superior human being? It makes you infallible or absolutely immune to the possibility of being trashy? I think not. While I may not know tricks to help a child sleep, and while I may struggle to breastfeed or change a diaper or potty train my child, I bet I’ll learn it the same way the BTDT moms did: experience. And when a FTM expresses some kind of concern or opinion or, Hell, complains about someone else’s parenting or offers advice to me on my second pregnancy (when I’ll be a BTDT mom, if we choose to have more children) I won’t dismiss the entire population of FTMs as being inferior people. As the first woman in my peer group to go through pregnancy, I imagine there will be a few questions from friends. Stuff like “is this normal?” to “what was your opinion on this issue?” I’m sure my friends will roll their eyes at me when my child acts out. I’ll just smile knowing that their child will probably misbehave just as much. Unless their child is a space creature. Like a Vulcan. Or a robot. Or a sociopath. But in any of those cases, they’ll face their own challenges. And while I probably won’t be able to relate to those, I’ll at least be sympathetic and not judge them from a high horse of having reproductive organs actually complete their biological function before theirs did.


Suicide Threats Online

I’m a member of a community forum for women who are pregnant/trying to get pregnant/mothers. We compare experiences, ask questions, bitch about our husbands, and talk about food cravings. Sometimes it breaks out into horrible arguments and fights. It’s a bunch of hormonal women! Of course it’s going to get rough sometimes!

But last night was different. I found a post in the community titled “Sorry.” I clicked on it and the text said “I’m sorry I asked. I’ll never ask again.” I did some further reading to find out what that was about, thinking “oh, someone got her panties in a twist over something one of the snarky ladies said.” Turns out, this woman had been asking us, her fellow forum members, to donate money to her because she couldn’t afford maternity clothes. Some women had responded to her by saying she should go to goodwill, reach out to friends. Other women, the judgmental kind, said she shouldn’t have gotten pregnant if she can’t afford clothes, how is she going to afford a baby? No one said she should abort, no one said “put your baby up for adoption” or “you’re going to be a terrible mom” or anything like that. But still. Low blow. I was kind of irritated too, thinking “jeez, how dare you ask us for money? You’re on the internet somehow. Maybe you should get a job or go to friends like they suggested.” But I didn’t say anything to her or the others.

Shortly thereafter, this woman updated her post saying she hoped we were all happy because she was killing herself. She said the light was already fading and she hoped we were all able to sleep at night knowing we’d driven her to suicide. She said we’d shown her it was the only way. And that’s when I became livid.

1- Suicide is a SERIOUS thing. Threatening suicide is the lowest, cruelest thing someone could ever do to someone else, besides actually committing suicide. It is emotional abuse. It is manipulative. It is just plain wrong in every single way. (Please note, threatening suicide is different than expressing that you are having suicidal thoughts and reaching out for help.)

2- I thought that was one of the dumbest things to threaten and/or actually commit suicide over. So some women were being judgmental bitches. Big deal! That’s no reason to threaten to kill yourself and it’s CERTAINLY no reason to actually kill yourself! They’re anonymous strangers online! You were asking for money, they said no, so you threaten to kill yourself?!?!?!!? That seems more like emotional blackmail than an actual cry for help.

3- There was nothing I could do. What, post words of encouragement? I was way too pissed off to do that. What I really wanted to say was that she was being immature, manipulative, stupid. That suicide is serious and she shouldn’t just throw threats like that around. That it was absolutely RIDICULOUS to react this way over something she read on the internet. I wanted to reach through the computer screen and slap her until either my hands bled or some sense occurred to her.

4- She’s three months pregnant! Some states won’t even allow you to have an abortion after this time period, and she’s going to kill herself AND a baby! How selfish is that?!?!?! I wanted to tell her that if she was really willing to kill her baby, she should put it up for adoption! She can’t afford it AND she doesn’t care whether it lives or dies?!?!?! As a pregnant woman, this steamed me more than anything.

So, what did I do? I said nothing to her. I noted that lots of women were responding with things like “No, please don’t do it” and “No, it’s not worth it, it’s not the way out!” Not one person said “this is bullshit” or anything like that. People were posting the phone number for the suicide hotline and encouraging her to call, begging her to reach out and seek help. So I thought, ok, I should do something about this.

I reported the post to the staff and the user moderators. Twice. I begged them to trace her IP address and report the situation to the authorities. Furthermore, I begged them to remove the post from the website. I also made my own post to bring people’s attention to it (because not a lot of people were actually commenting, so I was worried) and begged those people to also report it. Hopefully the owners/staff/moderators or whatever would notice it and be able to help. I googled “how to report an anonymous online suicide threat” and received no answers. I called the suicide hotline to see if they knew of any resources that I could file a report to, to see if they could intervene. I was told that there was no such thing, that I’d done all I could do. The post was eventually removed and I don’t know what happened in regards to the woman who made the threat or her baby. I won’t get a good night’s sleep for a long time over it.

I’m just beyond pissed off that someone would react this way. Yes, the women who told her she shouldn’t have gotten pregnant in the first place were way out of line. I feel guilty that my first instinct was to feel the same way about her asking us for money: irritated at the audacity. They deserved to be reported to the staff and have their comments removed. Maybe even their entire accounts deleted. But to threaten to take your life over that? Or worse, to actually take your life and your baby’s life over that? Unforgivable.

I reported it because I am worried about that baby she’s carrying. If this woman is a Borderline Personality, using this threat to garner pity, then that is one of the most disgusting things I have ever seen another human do. (Not THE most disgusting. I work in criminal law, remember). If this woman was serious and really going to/trying to harm herself, or had already done so, then that makes me angry, too, because it’s not just HER life anymore. It never will be ever again. I did what I did out of anger and disgust rather than concern. And that makes me feel like I’m a bad person.

I’ve talked to friends and family who were threatening suicide to manipulate people and who were actually thinking about suicide. It’s not easy to forgive the emotional blackmailers and it’s not easy to stop worrying about the people who are actually considering it. It’s also hard to talk those actually considering it down from that perch. It is stressful. It is exhausting. It is heartbreaking. And when people use that threat just to make you feel those feelings, just to get you to do what they want or just to inflict that pain on you, it enrages me.

There’s no way to know if she was serious. There’s no way to know if the moderators or whatever were able to get her help. There’s no way to know if that help got there on time. And this stranger, this selfish woman, made me feel this way. I’ll never forgive her.


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