Random Bits of Pregnant Incoherence

  • Yes, Husband is home.  And I am just so very, very thankful.  I feel like an entirely new woman.  Part of that may be due to the fact that the ‘allergies’ are going away.  But mostly it’s because…  my husband is home.  And that makes me so very happy. 
  • He brought me fudge, and Moose socks, and a stuffed otter….  Yay! 
  • I really just can’t stop hugging him and trying not to turn into a little gelatinous moosh-pile.
  • We’ve been busy already.  We went to see tulips on Monday, and yesterday we went to the zoo for a ‘celebrate Little Miss day’.  I had a hormonal moment where I started crying because I had forgotten the digital camera.  *sigh*  Yay for hormones.  Little Miss had a wonderful time.  She especially liked the monkeys.  I especially liked the hippos and the gorillas and the penguins.  We took a special pilgrimage to the penguins because of the kinship I feel due to my very own penguin waddle.  And, And….  Can I just say that I was rather impressed with myself for walking all over a zoo yesterday?  I felt like quite the ambitious full-term pregnant lady.  Alas, it did not bring on contractions.
  • So…  one of the pitfalls of military medicine is that the doctors deploy too.  I  mentioned briefly in my previous post that my doctor has been called up.  Whether she will be in the country when the baby decides to make an appearance is anyone’s guess.  Whether she will be available and not in training is also anybody’s guess.  I saw another doctor for my 38 week appointment on Monday–and we like him.  He happens to be the doc who delivered Little Miss.  He explained the situation a bit, and let us know that us pregnant women who opt to deliver with a family practitioner are now being split between just TWO doctors, but ‘the official books’ say that they have FIVE doctors at our Naval Hospital.  The three who are on deployment still get counted.  This sounds like military intelligence at it’s finest.  So the remaining two are stretched pretty thin at the moment, and…  well…  it’s just going to be interesting to see how this all pans out.
  • I feel pretty ok with the situation, despite my initial reaction of panic, but I still find it a little unsettling to not know *who* will show up in the delivery room or even *who* I will be seeing for any of my remaining appointments.  Husband and I were discussing it today and the scenario I fear most involves getting down to those last bits of labor when I’m getting ready to push when suddenly a strange person enters the room.  Strange person says, “Hello Mrs. R, I’m Dr. Whatshisface and I’ll be delivering your baby today.”  And of course I will cordially reply, “It’s very nice to meet you Dr. Whatshisface.  I’m Val.  Welcome to my vagina.”  Ah well, I guess a little bit of uncertainty is good to keep us all on our toes (because looking forward to labor and delivery doesn’t carry enough inherent uncertainty). 
  • We scored a double jogging stroller for a pretty decent deal today.  It always helps to go to church with the owner of your favorite local consignment store.  I’m excited about it.  I hope it will come in handy for getting back into shape after Ingrid finally arrives. 
  • I really hate those grocery shopping trips where you are down to next to nothing in your kitchen and you have to restock everything and you know it’s really going to hurt, but you also know you have to eat.  At least the ‘car cart’ was free and Little Miss was able to pretend to be Mario Andretti while we picked out frozen vegetables.
  • I so act like a really pregnant woman.  One moment I have the energy to conquer the world, (or at least the zoo), and the next I can’t keep my eyes open.  Always an adventure.
  • And I think that’s enough for now.

Chester Update:

I do believe I was bamboozled…. 

The cat was in the linen closet.  After a trip around the neighborhood by car, one on foot, an attempt to make fliers, and a whole lot of weeping and gnashing of teeth, the cat is now happily playing in the kitchen (with something he’s not supposed to, no doubt).

Disaster averted.  Don’t I feel stupid?  (In my defense, he is all black and the linen closet is very dark–especially at 1 a.m.).

Ahhhh, but it’s the very best KIND of stupid.  ;)

Gremlins……

Military Spousesknow it well:  When our s/os leave for any period of time there will be gremlins.  The kids will get sick, things will break, issues that he/she would have dealt with will fly out of control.  Well….  for a long time when DH would go out things wouldn’t break and colds and flu bugs would stay at bay and instead, it seemed, something worse would happen with a family member.  I’ve written about this before.

This away time we’ve had our fair share of real gremlins.  And I am grateful, because *knock wood* our family has stayed healthy in the larger sense of the word….

But here’s our rundown with the latest addition:

  • I got a small cold immediately after DH left.  Kicked it fast.
  • The first weekend, after a marathon of helping Little Miss back into bed (57 times, I believe….) I threw my back out.  I couldn’t stand up straight that day.  It was not good.  That lasted only about 24 hours.  I was so thankful, as I couldn’t figure out how I would make it through with my back out and a two year old and pregnant. 
  • Little  Miss had a tummy bug that wouldn’t quit and we couldn’t get in to see a doc.  She was sick for 2.5 weeks–1.5 of those being during this little adventure.
  • Little Miss went on a sleep strike and would not stay in her bed for many nights in a row. 
  •  Our phone line snapped in a little bit of wind and fell down rendering us phoneless.  The phone company would not believe it was their phoneline until I checked our phone box.  Yay for me and my skills with a flat-head screwdriver.
  • I caught….  these ‘allergies’ which feel like bronchitis to me.  I’ve been sick for most of the last week.  The meds the doctor prescribed made it worse.  I still have rainbow pleghm and phenomenally amazing coughing fits.
  • I got a phone call saying that there was a good chance my doctor would be in a warzone in two weeks instead of delivering my child…  It’s really anybody’s guess who will wear the catcher’s mit.  Stinks much more for her than me, but it’s a little late in the game for such a switcheroo.

And now for the worst of all occurring yesterday:

  • I lost our cat.  Chester must have slipped out without me knowing it at some point yesterday when I was in or out of the garage, or in or out with Little Miss….  When we left to go work in the church nursery last night I saw a flash of black and thought, “I’m sure Chester is inside.”  When we got home, I assumed he was in one of the bedrooms or closets curled up asleep.  I woke up at 1 or 2 and realized I hadn’t seen or heard him, checked the house, checked the yard.  He’s gone….  I feel absolutely terrible, and I don’t know what to do.  He’s been a part of our family since Husband left for Basic, and Little Miss adores him….  I’m praying he’ll come back or we’ll scout him out somehow. 

So yes….  I am glad for the lack of major catastrophe over the last almost three weeks, but this little stuff has truly worn me down to a nub.  And I really want our kitty to come back.  And Husband. 

A vent–Sometimes it’s nice to sweat the small stuff

I am revelling in this vent.  You know why?  Because it’s all small potatoes.  We’ve had our share of gremlins this detachment, we sure have but… so far *knock wood* nothing of the really serious nature.  Just of the very annoying nature.

So here is my vent.  My wonderful, normal, my world is mostly ok it just has minor irritants that give me a headache and make me want to sleep for a few days of sweet oblivion vent.  I’m so excited about my vent that I’m actually starting to feel better about what I’m venting about, so I better get started before I lose my oomph.

Ok, here goes: 

I am 37.5 weeks pregnant.  That’s really almost there.  That’s “if you have this baby now you are considered full term so just go out and get yourself ready” time.  That’s freaking huge belly time.  That’s full out penguin waddle time.  That’s sleep is difficult, and walking is difficult, and cleaning is difficult but you are still nesting all the time time.

And I am sick.  I have been since Friday.  I am coughing so hard that you would think that I was trying to deliver my baby by coughing her up.  My phlegm is colorful and rainbowy.  I feel terrible.  My throat hurts.  I am tired and energyless.  And my doctor says it’s allergies.  Ok.  Fine.  But the allergy medicine isn’t helping.  In fact, I feel worse.

My two year old is wonderful and delightful and makes me smile, but when she doesn’t she is…  being naughty in a two year old way.  She has been especially grumpy the last few days.  She has been a bit of a drama queen blowing every little disturbance of her little life hugely out of proportion and whining and crying about it.  Today at nap-time after I laid her down and firmly said, “stay in bed,” I went in to check on her only to find that she had stripped a poopy diaper off and there was poop everywhere.  Great.  Big pregnant me is on her hands and knees cleaning up poop, freaking fantastic.

AND my husband is still gone.  Just for a few days.  Just for a few more days…  but he is gone, and I’m tired and I am ready to be done.  He has been having fun seeing moose and whales and bears and things and being a tourist, while I have been corralling a two-year old poop flinger at 37.5 weeks pregnant and sick like a dog. 

*I* am going on a detachment when he gets back.  Yes.  I.  am. 

(ok, not really but the fantasy is so soothing….)

–Ok and I just had to say that Mary Kay Lady sent me an email plugging mother’s day specials and I’m fighting the sadistic urge to send an email that says simply ‘my mom is dead, thanks for rubbing it in,’ just to make her feel bad….   I won’t, I won’t but it’s tempting–

So there it is…  My small stuff vent.  No family tragedies.  No major illnesses.  No death or destruction.  Just….  huge and pregnant and sick and dealing with a typical two year old. 

I’ll take it!

All right.  Your turn.  Feel free to leave me a vent if you’ve got one.  And if it’s a ‘small stuff’ one celebrate the fact that it can be.  ;)

My Wonderful Imperfect Mother and Why There Might Be Hope for Me

So let me tell you a little secret:  My Mom wasn’t  perfect.

As a person and as a mother, she had imperfections, flaws, problems.  She really did. 

Strangely, I find freedom in reflecting on that. 

I’ve said here before that I long every day to be able to go to her and ask her questions about life, about being a mother…  It is so hard to be in the beginning of the journey of motherhood and not be able to share it with her.  It is so hard to not have her to lean on and to advise and to drive me crazy.  I would give anything to see her tickle Little Miss, or to have her send her presents and cards.  I positively ache at the thought that she will never, ever hold Ingrid in her arms and smell her baby smell.  I so wish that I could have seen her playing with my girls, talking girl-talk with my girls, teaching her things that only SHE really could.  I’d even give anything to have her purse her lips in that way she could and give her unsolicited opinion of something I’m doing as a mother.  I just don’t have any of that.

But what I do have are memories of her as my mother. 

My Mom was no June Cleaver or Martha Stewart or Mrs. Brady.  I didn’t come home from school to cookies and milk every day.  Sometimes, instead of Mom cooking up a 4 course meal, she just made Hamburger Helper.  She lost her temper.  I don’t remember her down on the floor playing with me a lot.  Sometimes there were cobwebs in our house.  We argued all the way through my early adolescence.  Sometimes she swore.  In fact one of her favorite ways to advise me was to ‘tell ‘em to ‘F off!’   She would sit down and eat junk food in large quantities in front of me (and sometimes with me).

She wasn’t perfect.

And you know what?  All of those things are some of my favorite things about her. 

There is this trend in parenting today (and maybe it’s not just today, but I do think that there is a heightened sense and a strange psycho-babble about it all now) to place great emphasis on ‘getting it all right’ so as not to screw up your kid.  You can see this in the multitudes of ways that women judge one another when it comes to parenting.  You cannot make a decision as a parent without knowing that someone out there will look down their nose.

In the church there is even this sense of making June Cleaver an Idol.  Women feel that they are called to live up to these….  amazingly high standards.  Never feed your kid junk food or they’ll be obese.  Play with your kids for X amount of time or else they won’t know you love them.  Don’t buy things with preservatives.  Don’t use formula.  Don’t breastfeed in public (now there’s a real catch-22).  Don’t spank.  Don’t spare the rod.  Act in only the most pulled-together manner in front of your children or else you will cause them to be emotionally scarred.

My Aunt Darlene has been kind enough to share some particularly meaningful insights with me since my Mom died.  She told me that before she and Dad were even expecting me that Mom had confided in her that she didn’t think she’d be a good mother.  She told her on an outing with ‘the nieces and nephews’ around before me that she didn’t know what to do with kids.  When she was pregnant with me, Dar said she was nervous and jittery and sure she was going to get it all wrong.

If I think about it, and look at things closely enough, I can see traces of that fear in her.  Mom carried herself with incredible poise, and confidence, but she could underestimate herself to a very large degree.

What she taught me though is that I don’t have to be perfect.  I don’t have to get it all right.  *I* have only a limited amount of control over how Little Miss and Ingrid are going to turn out anyway.  They are their own people.  God designed them uniquely.  They are not mini-Vals or even cardboard cut-outs of a ‘kid mold’ that the June Cleavers of the world believe children to be.  There are a huge number of X-factors in parenting.  Some of it is circumstances, some of it is luck, and all of it requires an immense trust that even though we as parents are feeble messed up people that God will hold our children in the palm of His hand.

I have days where it is a struggle to want to get down on the floor with Little Miss and play for more than a few moments at a time (especially being this pregnant–YOU try getting up off the floor with a huge belly and joints all relaxing and stretching out).  I lose my patience….   I don’t always keep a perky happy but somehow still stern and disciplinarian voice.  Sometimes I skim through blogs, or sneak in a chapter or two in a book when I should be paying attention to Little Miss.  In the last two years, Little Miss has seen me cry many times.  Life has been tearful at times.  Sometimes, being a Mommy has made me tearful.  We’re having leftover Hamburger Helper for supper tonight–Why?  Because when Husband isn’t home I go for the ‘easy, mindless’ meals to cook and hope fore leftovers.  I let Little Miss eat Easter candy, and she’s already eaten Fruit Loops, and Lucky Charms, and some other varieties of ‘sugary cereals’ that I see other Mom’s turn up their noses to.

I’m not perfect either…..  Far, far from it.

But that doesn’t mean I’m not a good Mom.  I know that because I can’t imagine having a better mother than mine, and she was far from perfect.

She showed through example not only how to be loving and maternal and how to teach values and instill convictions, but she also showed me that it’s ok to live a little, it’s ok to have fun.   It’s ok to be a human being.  There is such freedom in that.

So I look at my Mom and how she mothered me, and I think there just might be hope for me after all.  I am no June Cleaver or Martha Stewart myself.  I never will be.  But I think by God’s grace, and the humor and grit and sense of life my Mom gave me, I can be the kind of mother that my girls will look back at and be glad they had. 

I sure hope so anyway.

And a Little More Empowerment

In addition to my previous post today I gotta tell you about this. 

Remember The joys and tragedies of an OB visit?  Remember paper drapes and pink paper vests that cover half of each boob and come down to about 5 inches above your belly button?  Remember how degrading I find those things to be?

Well let me just tell you–I had my latest “wear nothing but paper” visit on Monday.  And this time I decided, as a couple of people wisely suggested, to take matters into my own hands.  I brought a light ‘old ladyish’ type robe.  When the corpsman handed me the paper stuff I smiled, shook my head, and said, “I brought my own coverings thanks.”  Then I changed into my very own, fully covering, comfortable, cottony-soft stuff. 

The doctor came in and I told her I hoped she didn’t think I was being silly, but that I felt so much more comfortable in my own robe.  To my suprise she told me she thought it was a fabulous idea, and that she hates the paper crap too.  She told me that at her last command patients actually got to wear fully covering cloth robes and she thought that was a much better idea.  (I was relieved to hear this.  At least *some* military facilities care a little bit about the comfort and dignity of their patients.)

And the biggest shot in the arm was–I just felt so proud of myself afterwards.  Instead of feeling degraded  by the stupid paper and laying their vulnerable waiting for my doctor to come in, I took matters into my own hands and transformed the experience with just a little bit of cotton.  Talk about a “duh” moment.  Oh yeah!  I *AM* in control, here!

I highly reccomend it.  I’m never gonna wear paper again!