State of the Weight Wednesday: Dear Diary

Welcome back to State of the Weight Wednesday! This week we’re adding a link-up to the bottom so if you’re following along on your own and want to add a link to your post, please do so that we can all offer support. We’re all in this together. Whatever this is for you.

State of the Weight Wednesday, Not Super Just Mom

This week I’m…whatever…to report absolutely no changes at all. Not in the number on the scale and not in measurements that I took last week and this week to compare.

To be honest, it’s kind of discouraging. And this has been the hardest week so far so I’m kind of struggling mentally with where I am and how the week went and seeing no change.

I started tracking my food, water, and exercise on the MyPlate app last Wednesday. I actually didn’t find that to be the hard part at all. Tracking, that is. It was pretty easy to just go in at each meal and find out how much I was putting into my body in order to know where I was for the day. It was also revealing.

I’ve got to do something about my coffee but I’m not ready to switch to drinking it black nor am I a fan of artificial sweeteners. Agave has more calories than sugar and I’m not sure about the flavor of honey in coffee. I don’t know what the answer is.

I didn’t stick to the daily recommended intake allowance on Saturday and Sunday since it was Mother’s Day, but I didn’t blow everything out of the water either. And if you subscribe to the notion that the entire week’s intake is more important than a single day, which I do, I really did a great job for my first week of tracking and being responsible about what I ate and I’m proud of that.

I measured portions with a scale or scoop when I was unsure instead of just eyeballing. I planned healthy meals with lean meats and lots of veggies. I ate more fruits instead of crackers or pretzels. Small changes that make differences.

Through the Livestrong community, I also discovered that I might be overestimating my activity level, so I changed that in my profile yesterday morning and lost some daily calories. That made me grumpy.

Dieting is making me grumpy. Sluggish. Short-fused. I don’t like it. I know that part of this is the adjustment process. That my body has to find its new “normal.” But guys, this? This is hard.

I’m not giving up even though I really want to drown my sorrows in a bowl of ice cream with a side of Pinot right now, but this is hard.

Exercise continues to plague me because I can’t be as consistent as I’d like to be. Inevitably, one of the kids has an issue and I’m called away. Last Wednesday Joshua got physical with another kid and I had to “escort him out” after only 12 minutes. Saturday was short because I didn’t know what time childcare closed and we walked in at 5:15 when they close at 6:00. Monday Emma pooped after 30 minutes. It’s always something.

The number of calories I’m burning each time I exercise is all over the place depending on what I consult. The machine says one thing and the app says another. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle, but I have no idea how to actually measure that and don’t know if I should even worry about it. I mean, is it important that I know how “productive” my workouts are?

I know I have to add weights into my routine. It’s just daunting to think about. Probably as daunting as anything I’ve done so far. Cardio on the elliptical is safe. I can zone out while watching Claire have a baby and Boone die after Jack gives him a blood transfusion with a sea urchin (RIP, BOONE!) and before I know it, 45 minutes is gone.

I can’t do that with the weights. I have to pay attention to what I’m doing but what it feels like is that everyone else is paying attention to me. I know that’s irrational and that no one is likely to even notice the fact that I’m there, but there’s something about that side of the gym that feels like a spotlight is shining on me going “LOOK! LOOK AT THIS GIRL WHO HAS NO IDEA WHAT SHE’S DOING! LOOK AT HER MUFFIN TOP AND FLABBY ARMS!”

Gah. Sorry to sound so discouraging right now. I know that I’m doing something good for us so that keeps me going but there are just some weeks on this journey that are going to be harder than others. And since this is about being real, I guess I’m okay with that. I hope you are too.

Weekly Goal: Continue to track food and plan healthy, filling meals and snacks so I’m not so freaking grumpy
Weight Goal: 10 pounds total. A pesky .5 pound to go.

Remember we’ve got a link-up now, so, uh, link up. (Share the badge if you want! It’s okay. I don’t mind!) :)

State of the Weight Wednesday, Not Super Just Mom

Emotional Minefields

Ever since Joshua was a baby, it’s been clear that he’s a deeply emotional kid, prone to outbursts of the epic variety at the slightest provocation. Or sometimes without being provoked at all.

I’m trying to get our days more organized and scheduled since his therapist recommended that as a way to help him out a little, but I’m kind of floundering a bit. I feel like I’m failing.

I can’t seem to come up with a schedule that meets the needs of all three of us. Someone is always getting the shaft and in a lot of ways that can’t be Emma right now. She’s the most demanding physically and requires the most redirection. But that means that Joshua isn’t getting the attention from me that he needs. I could use her nap time to give him that, but then I can’t shower and take care of myself. And probably 4 days a week, I don’t shower or take care of myself. At least not when he’s awake.

I’m almost a year into this and I’m still fighting the same battle. It’s beginning to feel never ending. That there will never be a moment where I feel I’ve hit my stride and I’m capable of balancing them both.

Compounding everything is the fact that he’s given up his nap. I can’t even really make him lay down and rest most days and he doesn’t understand why resting is good for him. And for me.

And if he does understand, he’s doing an amazing job of pretending he doesn’t.

Everything has gotten worse since he stopped napping. Way worse.

So much worse that from 2:00 p.m. on, we’re pretty much trapped at home because I’m navigating my way through an emotional minefield of rage and tears. His and sometimes mine.

If we do venture out of the house, say to the playground like yesterday, he screams at the other kids who come near him. He thinks they’ll try to touch his bubbles or his sister or they’re just too close and SCREAM!

Or he falls down more often than usual and it’s the end of the universe even if he’s not visibly injured. And when we’re at the playground, or even outside in the yard, I’m also chasing a now-mobile baby, usually in an opposite direction.

I feel like a neglectful parent because I can’t watch them both and Joshua practically requires someone to play with. But when he screams at the other kids who come near him, he’s not exactly making friends.

He’ll be great and I’ll think that today is the day we’ll have a great day and there will be compliance and no meltdowns. And then suddenly he’s not great at all.

He’ll fall to pieces because Emma looked at him. Or he bumped his leg on the table and it hurts like he’s been shot in the arm. Or I gave him the peanut butter sandwich he asked for but he really wants grilled cheese and not peanut butter. Or the dog, who has been laying on the rug asleep, has licked her chops and made a sound. And then he’s wailing about it.

There’s a lot of screaming and yelling and anger and sensory-seeking behavior, like spinning in circles. And touching me.

He must be touching me. A foot in my lap. Sharing a single cushion on the 108″ couch. In my lap. I’m his lovey.

I try to give him as much of that as I can stand because I know that he seeks touch to calm himself. But I reach my limit after being touched continuously for so long.

He has invisible issues that the people who see him melting down in public don’t know about. I feel like I should carry a sign that says “My kid has a sensory processing issue. Stop staring. Where are your manners?”

But I don’t have that sign. I just try to hide my exasperation (and often fail to do so) and get both of my children out of wherever it is we are. And if we’re at home, on the really bad days I just count down the minutes until Dan gets home to help.

He’s over-tired. Every day. I am over-tired. Every day. And the mood swings as a result of his over-tiredness and sensory issues are awful.

This is really hard, y’all.

I feel completely beaten up by the emotions of someone half my size and 2/15ths my age.

And no, I didn’t do come up with that fraction in my head. Who do you think I am?

Math is hard. So is motherhood.

Eternal Flame

I feel like I lament this at least 17 times a day, but being a mom is hard work. Like, super hard. Mostly because it’s the only job I know where there’s little in the way of training and a whole lot of making it up as you go along.

See also: fake it ’til you make it.

If I tell myself I know what I’m doing and I’m competent and making the right decisions often enough that will eventually be the truth, right?

Isn’t that how it works? Isn’t that how you create a self-fulfilling prophecy?

I’m stuck in this weird headspace right now where I’m questioning myself probably more than I should. My kids are alive and thriving and mostly happy, I think. That should be enough.

But I’ve never been one to rest on my laurels and think that I’ve reached the pinnacle of excellence. There’s always room for improvement.

There’s always room to be a little more this and a little less that. Whatever that is.

I feel like I both need and want to be better, but I constantly feel like life or the weather or the incessant whining of a kid who doesn’t yet understand logical thought just punches me in the gut until I crumple on the floor and scream “uncle” at the top of my lungs while the small creatures in my care dance around like little creatures who like to dance around.

Or that’s what I look like in my head when I’m the floating observer in the room. Probably it’s less dramatic than that.

Probably.

I’m tired of feeling like I’m spinning my wheels. Tired of feeling like I can’t manage to get anything done without first putting out someone else’s fire.

This is the life of a mother, yes?

Well, they’ll take your soul if you let them. Oh yeah, but don’t you let them.

The single hardest thing about leaving the work force and staying home, for me at least, has been the significant drop in adult interaction in my life since last June. And by significant drop I mean Dan is sometimes the only adult I see in an entire week, except dropping Joshua off at school.

No more idle chit chat over lunch about what was on TV last night, or politics, or the news, or being invited to go grab a drink after work even if there was a strong chance that I’d have to decline because, hi, two kids and one of them’s still on the boob.

Now I spend an inordinate amount of time talking about Wonder Pets, Angry Birds, Captain America and Mario Kart and what, exactly, Joshua would do if he encountered a special flower that let him throw fire balls and can I please look at Emma and make her say “brother” right now this very second and can I also get some more milk and a cereal bar and also sister is looking at me the world is ending because she is looking at me.

So I go to Twitter and say “OMG MY KID WON’T STOP TALKING AND I JUST NEED TO PEE.” And sometimes I get a few responses of “hang in there” but frequently I get nothing and then I’m all “oh, okay, so I’ll just stop my whining and keep on talking to myself inside my own head. Carry on then.”

I mean, I’m incredibly grateful for the many, many people who talk to me daily, like Alena, and Isha, and the women who also defected from a popular message board for women with babies on the brain.

But even if I do get to talk about those above things with people who live in my computer, it’s not always the same as a flesh-and-blood person sitting across from me having a conversation that makes my ears have to work to hear more than just the click click click click of my fingers on a keyboard.

Basically, my adult friends are Dan and two or three people who live here in the real three-dimensional world with me. And that’s it. And our lives are such that getting together regularly is really difficult. We’re all spread out, or they work during the day, or our kids have conflicting schedules.

I watch Joshua on the playground, and when he’s not growling at strange kids he’s got a gaggle of preschoolers following after him, playing chase, climbing structures, and asking to be his friend. (Yes. Growling. We’re working on it)

Imagine the shock on another mom’s face if, at the playground, the mall, wherever, I just walk up and say “Hi. I’m Miranda. Would you like to be my friend? Awesome. Now let’s go braid each other’s hair and gossip.”

If it were that easy, I wouldn’t be writing this. But it’s not that easy and so I am. Basically, I feel like I don’t know how to make friends.

Making friends used to come so easily to me. I used to be the girl who never met a stranger. And while I’ll talk to anyone about just about anything, I find that it’s increasingly harder to develop real friendships as I get older.

I know there are a few mom’s groups in the area because I’ve sniffed them out on the internet, but I’m scared to try them because what if they find out about this blog and read this and think I’m some kind of neurotic freak?  What if they don’t like me? What if I don’t like them?

What if I’m too fat? Or too loud? Or too control-freakish? What if I try to compensate for some of those things and I become some sort of shy introvert?

What if I’m being judged for my choice of whatever choice it is that I’ve made??

I feel like my tolerance for bullshit has lowered considerably as I’ve gotten older. Either that or I’ve gotten more efficient at weeding out those relationships that I know will not put into my life what they’re taking out of it. Or both.

What I want in a friend is someone who doesn’t think twice about the fact that I maybe haven’t showered in 2 days, perhaps have hair that hasn’t been washed in 4, and who doesn’t stop to wonder just what, exactly, the mystery stain on my faded yoga pants might actually be. (Peanut butter, cheese, or drool. Probably even bits of graham cracker, if you’re wondering. None of which came from me. Thanks, Emma.) (Also, hi J. I just described you. ::smooches::.)

If you meet the above criteria, applications are now being accepted.

Judgy Judgers need not apply. I won’t let you take my soul.

Are you there, Internet? It’s me.

I’m on day 4 of AT&T being a bag of screwballs with our home Internet connection with their official word being that our service should be restored tomorrow night following their “unplanned” outage.

Unhappy, thy name is Miranda. And that’s putting it mildly.

You’d think that not having Internet access at home would make me…productive? Zen?

I could scale Laundry Mountain without Sherpa Dan’s help. I could finish painting those salt dough ornaments. I could sort the toys and decide if a dining room-to-play room conversion is a good idea and then make it happen. I could clean out my car. I could exercise.

Or I could be all “ahhhh! My life is peaceful and full of bliss without the Internet mucking it up! Hiatus forever!”

But no. Neither of those is taking place. And let’s be real. That exercise thing is a shot in the dark under any circumstance at all. And so is that quitting the Internet thing.

Because I can’t quit you, Internet. I may have dropped NaBloPoMo like a dozen hot potatoes, but I can’t just quit.

For one, my COUPONS are here.

Do you know how crazeballs it is for me to grocery shop without a list and coupons? I ambled through the store with both kids buying things and thinking “oh, I totally have things to put with this!” not knowing if that’s even remotely true. But just in case I get to the point of cooking dinner and realize all I have is cubed steak, there are party pizzas to save me.

Most of all, my people are here.

You people keep me sane when Joshua won’t stop touching me and Emma is screamcrying to be picked up and then immediately wants to be put down and then picked up again. Wash, rinse, repeat at 3:00 a.m.

I’ve got posts I want to write and posts I have to write and people to chat with and pictures to share. And it’s all trapped in a computer like some giant case of information constipation.

This is annoying.

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Gratuitous blurry shot of Emma in her brother’s old jammies carrying a koozie in her mouth like a puppy. She’s got places to go, people.

No More Sick Days

There is so much snot in my life right now, people. It’s pouring from the heads of both children and then today it started pouring out of mine.

Three sickies in this house. Coughing. Sneezing. Snot nosing.

Glamorous life I’m living.

In the sickness, I’ve stumbled upon what might be the most unfortunate aspect of being a stay-at-home-mom.

There are no sick days.

I developed a fever at some point last night so when I woke up this morning, my body ached. My skin hurt to the touch. My joints felt stiff and creaky. I was shivering. Whatever Joshua had was now making its way through me and once we got up and moving, it was clear that Emma caught his snots too.

Joshua’s on the mend now, but he’s a toucher, that kid. At any given moment, some part of him must be touching some part of me. Even when my skin is in pain.

Because it’s my luck, Emma napped for 15 minutes at a time, exactly 3 times. All day. And spent the rest of the day either happily crawling everywhere or wanting to be held. I can’t exactly blame her. The poor thing doesn’t know what’s hit her with the sneezing and the sneak attack with a baby wipe and saline spray.

All I wanted was for both kids to nap so that I could lay down and rest. Or at least for Emma to nap. I can chill on the couch while Joshua watches Wall-E for the 100th time, but Emma requires vigilance to make sure she doesn’t chew on the dog’s tail or crack her head open on the floor.

In the world of working outside the home, if I got sick I had the option to call in, drop Joshua off at daycare, and spend the day resting and getting better. (Assuming, that is, that my kids weren’t also sick. I’m not that douchey parent who sends her kid to school to spread infection by spraying snot all over everyone else.) It may not have been ideal, but the option was there. I may have chosen to push through it, to go in and teach instead of write sub plans and lose a day. But there was a choice.

As a stay at home mom, that’s not really an option. There is no calling in. There are no days off. Resting and taking care of myself isn’t really something I get to do.

And if it’s supposed to be an option and there’s some secret as to how we make that happen, that chapter was conveniently torn out of my SAHManual.

This is the hardest thing I’ve done so far on this new adventure, I think. The day is done and somehow we all survived. So here’s hoping tomorrow brings health and less snot.

Things I’m Afraid To Tell You–I (can’t) do it myself

There are lots of things that I’m afraid of. Lately, it’s that I’m not stacking up as a mother to Joshua. Or that I’ll never fit into my regular clothes again, never mind anything smaller than that.

I’m also afraid of my feet hanging over the edge of the bed, getting poop on my hands (though vom–real vom, not spit up– doesn’t bother me), being buried alive, and running out of coffee (or wine).

But the thing that I’m afraid to say out loud, the thing that scares the shit out of me most, is that I cannot do it all myself. Sometimes I need help and I find it nearly impossible to ask for it when I need it.

I thought about this post for three days. What would I say? Would I be silly? Serious? Both?

I wanted to write that I’ve been afraid to say that I’m coping well emotionally and mentally with being a mom to two. Sure, there are moments when I want to run screaming for the nearest bottle of Sauvignon Blanc (or Tahiti. Whichever.) but that most of the time, things are good.

That I am good.

And then days like this one happen.

Joshua’s up early. Emma won’t be put down. She spits up all over everything, including her brother, prompting two clothing changes before my first cup of coffee. He’s whiny. She’s fussy. I’m starving and can’t eat breakfast because everything involving either of them requires both of hands.

She falls asleep just as he needs me to wipe his butt and putting her down to take care of him means she’s awake and I’m starting the process all over again.

And the giant lump of Overwhelmed climbs up into my throat and threatens tears.

Then the doctor’s office happened today, which isn’t a normal occurrence, thank God. Nurse Lemon-Face-Who-Maybe-Hates-Kids is bothered by Joshua’s curiosity and need for me. Which annoys me. But I’m not annoyed with her.

I find that I’m annoyed with him because he needs so much of my attention. That he needs validation from me for the things he’s saying and doing. He doesn’t just need it. He demands it. And I’m downright irritated about it.

The nurse practitioner asks how I’m doing and I force out a clipped “I’m…managing” with a glance behind me at Joshua who is asking me another question and beside me to Emma who is screaming on the table.

And then another lump climbs up. This one is named Guilt, cousin to Self-Loathing who has also joined in the attempt to make me cry. I’m guilty because what kind of mother gets annoyed with her child for needing her attention? And then I hate myself a little bit for both feeling guilty and for being annoyed.

After doing my best to pay attention to her appointment and to his need for approval, I was spent. And when Emma got her shots and cried, I sobbed all over that exam table.

I sobbed and apologized. For her physical pain, for neglecting him, for hating myself.

Dan stopped in after lunch today and planned to go back to work for the afternoon. I’d gotten Emma to sleep in the Rock-n-Play. I’d put Joshua down for a nap without a fuss. My emotions were settling. And then the dog laid down on the leg of the Rock-n-Play and woke Emma up and I said words that would make my mama blush and then sobbed some more.

I sobbed that I wanted to be normal. I want to be able to handle days like today and shrug them off more easily than I do.

I want to remember to “Finish each day” like I tell so many other women to do.

I told Dan I needed him to stay home this afternoon and he did. That was huge for me, both the asking and the having him here. He took Emma for a drive and I got to lay down by myself for some rest. When they got back and I woke up, I felt better. A little more centered.

I need help y’all. I can’t do it all by myself. And that’s the thing I’m most afraid to tell anyone.

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A special thanks to Jess Constable and Ez of Creature Comforts for encouraging honest dialogue about the things, big and small, that we’re afraid to tell. And thanks to Robin for hosting the link-up. You can link up at Robin’s blog, Farewell Stranger, if you’ve got something to share.

That’ll teach me

Alright, Monday, I came up in here and bragged about how successful my Saturday alone with both kids was and how we’re settling so nicely into this family of four business and sunshine farts with rainbow sprinkles came flying out of my ass.

Despite the fact that we were dealing with the stomach flu from Hell in Joshua’s intestines, Monday was actually good. Dan and Joshua rocked the afternoon while I took Emma to her two-week check-up.

(21 inches. 8.4 pounds. “Growing” and “Perfect” and “Beautiful” according to the NP, which, duh. Of course she is.)

And then Monday night happened. Which was proof enough that The Universe? Does not so much appreciate a bragging bragger.

Monday night Emma decided to nurse from 2:30 to 4:30. Joshua was up for the day at 6:00. Dan went to work. It was just a really tired me and the kids until he got home.

I thought I’d lose my mind that morning because Emma turned into a Drama Queen with a raging case of DontPutMeDown Disease and Joshua just doesn’t understand this. I probably heard “You go put baby sister in da bed, Mama!” half a dozen times.

And believe me, I wanted to put her in the bed.

I wanted her to nap somewhere not on me.

I wanted to be able to put my boob back in my shirt so I could stop accidentally flashing the lawn crew outside my windows mowing the grass.

She just wasn’t having it. And Joshua was so whiny.

I mean, the poor kid hadn’t really eaten anything aside from crackers in several days and his little bootycakes were so raw from the upset stomach we damn near needed a Xanax (for all parties involved) to change his diapers. Plus, he’d been cooped up in the house since Saturday because the water butt was so bad that all the diaper changes were starting to end in a shower.

(And thank the baby and standard sized Jesus for the giant shower in our master bathroom. Yesterday, I put Emma’s tub on the shower seat and laid a fully-clothed, fully-swaddled infant in there so that I could shower whilst also hosing down the toddler’s butt. It was…interesting. And laughable, I’m sure.)

We made it through yesterday. And last night.

And then this morning happened and Emma would.not.stop.screaming and I grew a crazy hair and decided that since Joshua had finally (FINALLY) had a solid poop, we were going to Target.

So we did.

She stopped crying in the car and I thought “Oh, Happy Day!” I put her in the Moby once we got to the store and we had a pleasant trip. Until that store didn’t have what I was looking for (the Snuggabunny Rock n Play, which I am assured by all of Twitter and half of Facebook may be laced with Baby Crack that will make her want to chill there long enough for em to eat a bowl of cereal or pee).

But look! The little scanny thing on my Target iPhone app says the store down the street has this in stock! And look! It’s only 11:30! We can make it to the other store and still make it home before nap time!

(In case you were wondering? That was the 3938402th bad idea I’ve had in my life.)

Emma woke up about three minutes away from the second Target store. And she was not happy. So she started screaming.

The Moby couldn’t soothe her. I tried to nurse her while walking around Target and she nearly flashed my boobs to random passersby. Joshua decided to whack me with a potty seat insert and then have a meltdown in the baby section. Which caused me to lose my freaking mind and become THAT MOM who seems to be unable to control her children in public and why, oh why, does she have her kids in public if they’re just going to screamscreamscream doesn’t she know that there are people shopping this morning and workers working and none of them want to hear her kids screaming?

They both cried the whole way home and I screamed a primal “AAAHHHH!HH!H!H!H!H” in the driver’s seat prompting Joshua to go “No, you don’ screaming, Mama!”

As I was putting him down for a nap, Joshua looked at me and said “Mama went crazy!”

::sigh::

Yep. I sure did, little dude. I sure did.

After some chocolate, and naps for everybody, we’re better over here. But I’ll not be bragging about this whole mother-of-two thing again any time soon.

Lesson learned, Universe. Lesson learned.

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The Mom Pledge, a community dedicated to ending cyber-bullying among moms, is currently running a series called “Giving Birth: A Defining Moment.” I’m proud to have been a part of this series and I’m sharing my birth experiences today. I hope you’ll visit and read not only my experiences, but the experiences being shared by the other women in the series.

Pompous blowhard

So, I had a doctor’s appointment this morning. Taking Joshua with me was actually quite humorous. Like when I took him to the bathroom with me so I could pee in a cup and he kept asking “Where Joshie cup!?!” So there’s that much, at least.

But this appointment was scheduled with Dr. With the NIH Fellowship. Hereafter and forever known as Dr. Blowhard.

He came in and seemed slightly annoyed that Joshua was there, like he’d never seen a small human before. Joshua, as if to give the man his toddler-middle-finger, was a dream child, sitting in the chair the whole time Dr. Blowhard and I “talked” and while we listened for New Girl’s heartbeat.

Joshua was probably more calm than I was. In fact, I know he was.

Dr. Blowhard walked in and said, “So, they did your ultrasound last time. Did you find out the sex?”

Did you fail Chart Reading 101??

Instead I said “Yes, it’s a girl.”

“Oh, congratulations! Did they look at your ovary to assess the cyst we found at the ultrasound in August? I don’t see it in your paperwork anywhere.”

So you CAN read a chart. INTERESTING.

“No, I don’t think so. Actually, no. She didn’t look for it.”

**Hold on to your horses kids. I’m about to lose it.**

“Well, when we do your c-section we’ll take a look.”

WHAT THE MOTHER LOVING LOVE!?!?!?!

O_O. I AM NOT A C-SECTION. I AM A VBAC.”

“Oh, okay, so you’re a VBAC. Okay.”

“Yes. That’s supposed to be in my chart per Dr. iLike and my last visit.”

“What was the reason for your last c-section?”

::head explosion::

::deep breath::

“Failure. to. progress.”

“Oh, so how far along did you get?”

::more deep breath::

“7-8 centimeters and 90%. And then Dr. Impatient said my water had been broken for 24 hours and it was time to do a c-section.”

“Oh, so you didn’t get stuck at 7 for a while?”

“No. I NEVER GOT A CHANCE TO GET PAST 7-8!”

“Well, we’ll do an attempt at VBAC and I’ll put a note in your chart that we need to follow up on the cyst postpartum. How much did he ::waves hand nonchalantly in Joshua’s general direction:: weigh at birth?”

“9 pounds.”

“Oh, so he was a big baby! Did you have your blood drawn already this morning for the glucose test?”

Uh, no. Because we decided I wouldn’t do that until 28 weeks like normal people and the last doctor to see me didn’t think it needed to be done until then and I trust his judgment more than yours.

Except I just said “No. Dr. iLike didn’t mention it at my last appointment.”

“Well, you were supposed to have that done at 24 weeks and repeated 28 weeks.”

o_o

“We’ll get you the glucose drink before you leave and you can do it at 28 weeks.”

o_o

“If you fail the 1 hour, we’ll have you back in for a 2 hour.”

“Oh, so you’re not doing a 3 hour test anymore?”

“Oh, so you had that done last time? You know, mothers who fail more than one screen are at greater risk for gestational diabetes. Did you have gestational diabetes with your last pregnancy?”

CAN YOU READ A FACKING CHART?!!?!?!?!?!?!!?!?!? Or is your ability to read a chart limited to only the parts you WANT to read?

Me: “No. I did not. And I passed the 3 hour test perfectly.”

“Well, failing that test is only one indicator of gestational diabetes. You still failed the 1 hour screen and then had a large baby. That’s an indicator of a problem.”

Except it’s not. The 1 hour glucose test is a screening test. The 3 hour test is the real test. Mothers routinely fail the 1 hour test and go on to pass the 3 hour test, which is the actual test. (See also: Me.) If failing the 1 hour test and passing the 3 hour test was an indicator that a mother had gestational diabetes then 1) there’d be no need for the 3 hour test or 2) there’d be no need for the 1 hour test and all mothers would go straight to the 3 hour test. But who am I to point out the fallacy in someone’s logic.

Instead I said: “His dad was a large baby, and is about 6’2″ now. Joshua was 22″ at birth. And he’s a tall almost 3 year old.”

“So some of his size may have been constitutional.”

GEE, YOU THINK?

More polite response: “Yes. I expected he’d be a large baby based on family history.”

At this point I climbed up on the table and laid back and Joshua, sweet boy, just kept sitting in the chair being awesome. Dr. Blowhard felt for my uterus, declared its positioning “perfect” and gooped me up to listen to New Girl’s heartbeat.

“Strong,” he said.

“Like her Mama,” I thought.

At this point, I was completely over being in that room with him. Completely. But I needed to ask him about the recurrent pain in my vagina bone (which I’ve neglected to write about because I’m afraid of what loonies I’ll attract with the phrase “vagina bone.”)

But, because I was there, when he asked if I had any more questions, I asked.

“Well, my only concern is some pain I’ve been having when I stand from sitting or if I’ve been in one position for too long. I sometimes feel like an old lady when I try to walk.”

I indicated the general region where I’m having the pain.

He says “Oh, that’s just your ligaments stretching so that your pelvis can accommodate the fetus.” And he went on to give me a quasi-anatomy lesson about how pregnancy works and how the body changes during pregnancy. While I just looked at Joshua and thought “This ain’t my first rodeo, pal.”

So then I asked another question, apparently because I’m stupid.

“At what point does this pain move from normal to abnormal pain that should concern me?”

“Oh, well, preterm labor is the same as regular labor except it occurs before38 weeks, but we can always try to stop the preterm labor with magnesium. If you’re having more than 4 or 5 contractions in an hour, you need to call us.”

Scccrrreeeeeech.

Yes. That conversation went from one wherein I asked a very specific question about my vagina bone pain to one where he assumes I think I’m in labor. Because every woman who has ever had a pain during pregnancy MUST THINK SHE’S IN LABOR.

o_o

And then he says “I don’t think you’re experiencing preterm labor, but I can check your cervix if you want me to, though it’d really just be exposing you to a lot of unnecessary discomfort right now.”

Uh, no thanks, pal. Really. You’re not coming anywhere near my vagina–ever–if I can help it.

“Uhh, I really don’t think that’s the issue here. I’m pretty certain that I’m not in labor. Or preterm labor. I might have a few Braxton Hicks contractions here or there, but no, I’m not in labor. I’m good.”

So then I, because I cannot help myself, ask him if there are any suggestions for managing the pain.

And then he told me I should be exercising 5 days a week for an hour at a time–brisk walking, swimming, weight lifting.

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAAHHAAH.

o_o

(I’m not laughing about exercising during pregnancy. I should be exercising during pregnancy instead of eating bowls of ice cream and Nerds every night. I know this. But 5 hours a week? In my week? BWHAHAHAHHAHAHAH.)

At this point, he handed me my paperwork and I collected my things and Joshua and I walked down the hall toward the appointment desk. While we were walking, he called out and told me that the fact that I intend to VBAC this baby is, in fact, noted in my chart already, thanks to my conversation with Dr. iLike at the last appointment.

When I scheduled my next appointment, I made sure to tell the receptionist that I didn’t want to see Dr. Blowhard and she said “Is this something I should pass on to The Administrators.”

“Yes.”

So she made a note on a separate piece of paper. I have no idea who The Administrators may be or where that note went or who might see it.

But I will not be seeing Dr. Blowhard again.

(If you finished this, you’re not a douchebag. Unlike Dr. Blowhard. My apologies for the length.)

Pissed off or pissed on? Doesn’t matter. Both suck.

This has been a week, y’all. A long, busy, tiring week.

Three nights of basketball, one night of gifted class, and one night spent frustrated because Joshua decided to “decorate” the couch cushions with an ink pen while I was making Christmas presents.

Add in a healthy dose of anxiety over his picky eating and whether or not I’m a complete screw-up [yes, again] and his being switched to another class at daycare and you’ve got a recipe for Meatloaf Meltdown. Which is exactly what I had today. Minus the meatloaf.

This morning I needed rest. But Joshua woke up at 6:00, ready to start the day. And Dan had to go to work.

When it was clear that Joshua was not interested in having a calm morning and insisted upon turning the Christmas tree lights on and off, throwing his crayons all over the living room, and slinging his animal alphabet flashcards from one end of the rug to the other, and when it became clear that my only choice would be to take him with me to the craft store, we loaded up and left the house.

What a mistake.

A mistake I’ve made before.

He refused to ride in the cart at the store. But he also refused to walk.

He wanted to be carried. Because lately he always wants to be carried. By me, of course. The woman who is currently carrying another human and whose vagina bone feels like it’s being ripped into two pieces on a near constant basis. The woman who cannot really handle carrying an additional 35 points of wiggling toddler simply because he doesn’t want to walk or ride.

Yes. Me. Only me.

I tried to resist. But when you have to get things done so you can leave, how do you have that fight? How do you have a battle of wills with a 2 year old in the middle of Hobby Lobby over holding hands and walking or riding in the cart?

At one point I plopped him in the seat of the cart and let him protest. I bribed him with “games” on the phone and that worked for about 5 minutes. I grew increasingly frustrated and angry with his protests. My voice got erratic. My skin started crawling. It was a million zillion degrees in that store in the middle of December.

By the time we got to the register, he’d managed to climb out of the seat which meant I had to grab him before he kamikaze’d to the floor. And at the register, I couldn’t exactly put him down because of all the things he could get into right there.

So I held him.

And he asked for this and that and “I need get down.”

And then I felt it. I felt the warmth and the wetness on my hip. The telling feeling of having just been peed on. A feeling I think most moms know all too well.

The diaper that had been fresh when we walked out the door an hour earlier had been completely soaked through thanks to the water he had in the car.

I huffed and the cashier apologized for the wait. So in my absolute classiest voice I said “Oh, no big deal. I just got peed on.”

Finally, it was my turn. I had to unload my cart one handed while I held Joshua on my left hip. No one even bothered to help. Which kind of made me want to cry. I feel like it was clear I was struggling at that point. And there I was, taking care of things on my own.

I paid and took Joshua to the car and changed his diaper in the back. I wasn’t nice about it, which makes me feel like shit on a stick. It wasn’t his fault the diaper leaked.

As I picked him up and didn’t put his pants back on he started protesting. I put him in the car seat and he started wailing. I wasn’t nice about that either.

Almost the entire drive home alternated between him screaming and crying because he wasn’t wearing pants and shoes to me screaming at him to stop crying which led to me crying so hard at one point my sunglasses fogged up.

And then I just felt terrible and started apologizing to him for having me as his mother.

I don’t want him to grow up afraid of me and my irrationality. He deserves so much better than a mother who can’t keep it together. So much better.

I need a clear head and a clear heart.