A Tale of Two Mommies

…because more seems excessive…

Monthly Archives: February 2016

Hugh and Boys at Play

Today is a day; one day closer to my Warrior Queen’s birth…hopefully trending on the early side like Little Man’s.  It is preposterous to doubt that I will start insulin next week, but I have this week to watch things; one week less of injections.  Mercifully, our insurance will cover a spring activated syringe, rather than the classic needle and vial.  I can’t say if I’m okay or not at the moment, but I will be…eventually.

But, now is the time for funny thoughts, so I will think to last night.  My husband is brilliant at many things, but I especially appreciate his ability to program our television.  Verizon provides us with thousands of channels, most of them crumby, but I couldn’t tell you what they are because my husband programmed our television to house only the channels potentially worth watching.  Furthermore, there is an additional favorites program for my son, not that I use it, but it’s there nonetheless, and the sheer magnificence of such a feat existing is enough for me.

Last night my husband decided to refresh his memory on the selection he saved for Mr. Man, and he was not terribly appreciative that the Playboy channel seemed to be permanently affixed to my son’s personalized catalogue of channels.  Initially, both of us found this hysterical, and I attributed it to the tendency for my son to select the, fortunately blocked, channel every time he managed to take hold of the remote.  All humor aside, however, there is something vaguely disquieting about the title, Destroy her Cooter, appearing just under Curious George; I don’t care how creepy his relationship is with the Man with the Yellow Hat.

With steadfast tenacity, my husband erased the channel only to have it reappear with a couple other choice porn channels as soon as he exited and reentered the favorites menu.  I, of course, found this increasingly hilarious, and appreciated titles such as, Tits Ahoy!, should my son choose to apply to a maritime academy at some point.  My husband, however, found this situation increasingly distressing, probably more because of the task itself than Verizon’s proactive efforts to nurture my toddler’s coming of age.

My husband finally gave up with the small success of eliminating all but Playboy.  I imagine Hugh swells with pride at his channel’s ability to maintain vitality despite bombarding opposition.


Strength of My Children

My son is a brave soul at twenty-two months.  I take him to his favorite play establishment, and he unabashedly seeks out random children at any age to join him in a brief stint of play.  It doesn’t seem to register that he still struggles to express himself as other toddlers his age do.  He doesn’t care that a little girl of three tells him, essentially, to shove off in the direct way three-year-olds manage.  He doesn’t give up, even when he is pushed out of an area with a subsequent door slammed in his face.  He doesn’t whimper or seek my comfort, merely teeters on to another group or to find adventure by himself.  When he isn’t having a wailing fit because a big person’s fork wasn’t placed on his tray fast enough, he is smiling and laughing, telling jokes.

Typical for his age, he becomes frustrated easily with tasks requiring more toil than he would like, but he plods until he manages success.  I’ll watch him during times like these and wait for him to sign for help, but he almost never does.  It’s only after his hard earned achievement that he will seek my assistance as a reward for his efforts, and I wonder how he came to be like this.  And, I wonder if this is a prediction of his future.

I have not met my Warrior Queen face-to-face, but I can tell by her assertive movements and gestures that I’ve aptly nicknamed her.  I feel in her presses against my hand that have almost no history of retreat that she is her own pillar of strength.  My daughter wants to be a known presence, and for that she is cultivating courage in spades, and I envision her charging on in the world.  I couldn’t say much more than that about my little girl, but I look forward to this pregnancy ending; eager to see what awaits.

I think of my children when I reflect on the events of the day.  I hoped so ardently, and had such a cruel tease initially that my gestational diabetes would be managed by my diet alone.  It doesn’t matter that my fasting and first meal glucose levels the last two days are hovering just over acceptable.  It doesn’t matter that the rest of the day is perfect.  I will be injecting myself with insulin beginning early next week nonetheless.  I’m embarrassed of my reaction thinking of the near future.  I’m embarrassed that I fell to pieces yesterday having to stick myself seven times before achieving success with my meter, knowing the sticks stopped causing me pain.  I hate that I fear next week in the most core part of me.  My hope is that I can muster my children’s strength and perseverance to carry me through my first injection; maybe then I can stand on my own.

Spanks for the Memories

Over the holiday season noticed a disturbing trend on my Facebook Newsfeed; maybe it was the emergence of the season of giving that brought to light certain voids in society. Regardless of the motivation, it appeared that there was an increase in random articles and commentary taking the time to illustrate society’s desperate need of returning to beating children into submission in order to ensure gratitude and respect from them.  This sentiment seems to cross religious, racial, and gender lines; which I suppose in some respect I should feel pleased unifying ideas are still possible despite the rigmarole of divisive atrocities that occur with increased frequency of late.

I, of course, am providing a hyperbolic and flippant characterization of this disciplinary idea passed in mass through social media. And, full disclosure, I almost never read the articles posted, when there are articles; much of the time, out of frustration, I don’t even completely read the status updates.  Really, it’s a cost saving measure because it will be expensive to continuously replace my laptop after throwing it across the room.

As a relatively new parent, I’ve thought quite a bit about the issue of spanking. It’s one of those topics people whisper at family gatherings, along with which relative has cancer or breast augmentation.  As an educator and social worker I decided not to completely decide how I feel about spanking that leaves a teary face and a slightly red bottom for ten minutes.  As someone who cultivated a career working effectively with at-risk adolescents and incarcerated individuals, I know enough to understand child discipline is complicated.  One thing is for certain in my mind, I cannot categorically denounce any parent who has spanked their child a time or two.  While I hope I never have to, knowing it is not my preferred intervention, I’m not so arrogant to think I am immune from the impulse.

What I find disturbing about this trend of disciplinary commentary is the assumption that (a) the past was so dramatically different from today and (b) that the only way to manage a child is through physical force no matter how mild the act of punishment.

In the most severe declarations of the need for mild corporal punishment I’ve read, crime is the crux of their determination. But, crime has been steadily decreasing, for the most part, since the 80s, but media coverage and the glorification of events for ratings have increased.  In my mind there is a link, but I don’t know of a study that explores the relationship.  I do know, however, that there is no causality for crime, only correlations in research; the strongest being societal exclusion and poverty.  These issues I’ve grappled with in my professional work for years; consequently, I’ve developed a bit of immunity from some of the commentary I’ve been reading from random people on the internet from keeping me up at night.

My second point, however, is something that rubs me quite a bit more raw, but I’m not so sure why.  Perhaps it is the perpetual oversimplification of human behavior.  Maybe it is what I interpret as a misunderstanding or an individual’s poor assessment of the issue.  A while back I read an academic article discussing the link between increased usage of media for communication and a decrease of empathy in children and adolescents.  This is not to say that our society is generating future criminals, rather developing people who lack the ability to communicate and relate to others, as well as a diminished conscience.  The article indicated, for example, that adolescents were less likely to see a problem with cheating on exams.  I’m aware that my readers will have to take my word on the existence and discussion of this article, as I can no longer produce it, but if one were to suspend this specific conflict, it is an interesting issue to consider even if it isn’t the entire picture of why “children are so ungrateful and disrespectful these days.”  As I mentioned earlier, this is a complicated issue, and if it were an easy fix with some brainiac possessing the answer, this specific social trend (if you believe it is, in fact, a social trend) wouldn’t exist in the first place.

With my single toddler and one child on the way, I am far from an expert, but I have learned a thing or two that a decade of work in the field never really touched. Discipline is an ongoing conversation with my kid that requires constant diligence.  As a mom who is my son’s primary caregiver during the day, it’s the choice to embrace the difficult path most of the time.  When he is running his laps on the sofa and I’m ready to collapse from exhaustion, it’s standing up to take him off the sofa once again.  It’s praising him for sitting on the kitchen chair the correct way instead of only chastising him for using the chair as his vehicle to dance on the table.  It’s an ongoing battle not for the weak.  Sometimes I’d love to simply plunk him in front of whatever asinine cartoon happens to be on television and nap.  When I have two, I may very well do that from time to time.  But, for me, discipline is about consistency of choice; most of the time I balance between my son playing independently and engaging with him in an activity.  I try to be proactive as much as I can, but I’m not always.  Sometimes I’m reactive and lose my patience, but most of the time I commit to grooming and modeling positive social behaviors I want to see.  It’s too early to know if my tactic will work, and the day may come when he or my growing daughter receive a spanking, but I like to think that spanking is not the only option for raising a good human who contributes positive things to society.

Some Days are Like That

Fair assertion that yesterday was a bad day.  I’m almost thirty-weeks pregnant at this point, which assumes the delight that sleeping is a distant memory.  Last night was my crowning glory…  I woke at two in the morning, and never fell back asleep, not really.  I think I drifted off for thirty or forty minutes, but my son has had an early rise for entirely too long now, so he woke me up when I finally managed to get comfortable.

Pregnancy does interesting things to my body, so it isn’t just that I’m unbelievably tired, but I also feel an underlying nausea.  I managed a half a piece of toast and attempted some water before I received the signal that my meager sustenance offering might not stay down, much less anything else.

In the last week or two I’ve been having exceptional trouble breathing (I can’t remember my name some days, so you can pretty much forget about me recalling any timeline besides my due date.).  Everything is pushing up as I get larger, and, boy, am I getting larger.  It doesn’t take all that much for me to require pause in general daily activity to catch my breath…Oddly, my exercise hasn’t been impacted by this development.  This situation, however, is not new to me.  The same thing happened with my son’s pregnancy until he dropped.  Most interesting for me is that my daughter’s trajectory seems to be about a month ahead of his.  All of this makes me wonder if there will be an even earlier arrival than his.  But, I digress because this musing was not on my mind as I was making every effort to get through the day.

I had my first diabetes clinic appointment with my son as my escort.  The plan was meeting with the nurse to go over the sugar testing with a quick hustle to the nutritionist immediately after.  The entire whirlwind would last an hour exactly.  My meeting with the nurse could have been worse, but it could have been significantly better as well.  In a fog I’m looking along her walls seeing all of these sugar testing meter boxes, and immediately begin to well up…ridiculous…  My son is eating his crackers, and smiling at me because he’s good that way.  Then the nurse begins to tell me quickly about the logistics of how often and when I need to test.  I begin to sob…obnoxiously…  Oh, but it gets so much worse.  I see the needle.  The nurse is showing me something about it with the plan that I’m about to puncture myself.  I open the alcohol wipe, and immediately request for her trash can.  As my son was admiring the general festivities, I’m ralphing in a complete stranger’s trashcan because I can’t handle a needle.  My saving grace is that I had only eaten toast all day and sipped a bit of water, so other than the idea of borching into the nurse’s garbage and the elimination of my dignity, no real harm was done.

My son continued to be wonderful throughout the remaining portions of a, blessedly, uneventful appointment.  He was telling jokes, and seemed in good cheer despite having an absurd mother.

At home my son took his nap; I was so tired that I managed to as well.  I felt better after, but it was an extremely long night.  My husband has been home with a fever, but I had such heinous heartburn that wouldn’t abate that he eventually needed to take on some of the evening’s Little Man duty.  Did I mention my son is wonderful?  He clearly missed and wanted to play with Mommy, but was content to do his own thing much of the night while I sat uncomfortably on the sofa nursing the pain that was radiating throughout my entire chest.  I think my son just knew Mommy was at her end by the evening; I’m not sure what I should think about this, so I choose not to.

After an hour or so, my heartburn subsided, replaced by my inability to breathe and extreme exhaustion.  I was physically completely unable to get through the entire night routine, and am exceedingly grateful my husband was enough on the mend to help.

But, I was asleep by eight.  I was up, literally, every hour throughout the night to use the facilities, but fell back asleep without issue.  I feel oodles better this morning.  It will be eight soon, and my son is still asleep…Ah, I remember mornings like this so fondly…  I rescheduled my stabbing appointment and have a strategy because that can’t happen again.  I started my dietary shifts this morning.  I’ll get through all of this, but really I’m pulling for a delivery in the thirty-seven week neighborhood.

Cause for Celebration

Make no mistake, I still feel a nonspecific yuckiness, and will continue to feel out of sorts until I get a handle on things and recover from the grief that my body decided this pregnancy would require a little more TLC than I’d like.  But, I’m thankful I did not keep this news to myself, reminded of the wonderful support of new friendships I’ve formed since the birth of my son.  But, the pivotal rebound can be credited to a very close friend of many years who has an uncanny natural ability to talk me down from a ledge.

Some days have passed; I can’t remember how many exactly, but it isn’t as many as it seems.  Perhaps it’s best to say hours at this point.  As I trudge through the beginning of an uncertain process, I’ve embraced all the necessary things that will help me grapple all the stuff that piled in a week’s time:

  1. Sugar free chocolate isn’t bad, and I’ll have the extra benefit of not encountering constipation for the remaining two months or so of my pregnancy.  I realize, however, that I will need a contingency plan as to prevent adding artificial sweeteners as a superfluous food group.  I plan to explore “no sugar added” products.  Cookies are a solid second to chocolate…
  2. Not an ongoing habit, but it certainly helped me yesterday:  bacon.  Bacon makes everything better, and when you add avocado to your BLT on a wheat wrap, then, my friends, hope there is no remaining spring mix in your teeth as you present your coy smile to onlookers viewing an orgasmic reaction worthy of Meg Ryan.
  3. Considering further the commitment to consistent sugar level testing, I figured after spending a couple of months puncturing my skin seven times a day, I will be that much closer to building the courage to obtain that amazing tattoo I never thought I wanted.

So, it’s the beginning of a new week, and likely containing my first appointment in the abyss…  I always enjoyed spelunking.  Enjoy always will be an excessive term with this situation, but I will tolerate it by ensuring I maintain a steady supply of cookies with the occasional Russell Stover assortment.

It’s Never All Bad

I don’t like leaving things on sour notes, so perhaps it’s time for some sweet news.  As I wrote many posts ago, my son is receiving speech and language services.  His therapist thinks it is an issue of motor planning.  From her characterization I’m inclined to agree although I don’t have an array of selection understanding.  He likes her.  He likes the toys she brings, and seeks opportunities to pilfer her giant monogramed bag immediately upon her arrival.  I have to say I like her too.  She is the right mix of knowledge of her craft with honesty of research and literature deficits.  She stated that motor planning typically resolves on its own, but the purpose of the intervention is to help it correct in a good way (i.e., He doesn’t start avoiding certain sounds or develop other unhelpful habits as a result.).  I can buy that.

It hasn’t been much time since he began, but I think I see positive shifts in his language development and behavior even though he continues to point and gyrate his needs as his primary mode of communication.  He’ll get there at some point, and it will likely be repetitions of my snarky commentary that he will choose to recite when it is least appropriate as his grand awakening to the art of speaking.

Little Man reached the point in his treatment length when a brief behavior assessment is administered.  There are no concerns, but there was a specific question that made me feel better about something that I mull over whenever I take my son somewhere he is allowed to explore on his own to some extent.

Having a professional emphasis in children and families, I’ve taken several classes discussing attachment theory and the various child development assumptions.  I’m lousy with all of them, especially really understanding the implications of attachment theory.  Actually, the only area in this academic arena that makes sense are Piaget and Erikson, but I wouldn’t harken me for a lecture on their specifics.

Part of what I have clear recollection of from my two graduate programs is this notion that toddlers my son’s age trot off, but frequently check back to ensure their parents are present.  Mr. Man just trots off.  If I set him down at the mall, he just goes never looking back to me for assurance like I’ve heard in so many classes over.  I haven’t been concerned per se, but I wondered what that meant.  I described to the therapist this behavior following a specific question from her assessment.  She looks at me and says, “Wow, he has really strong attachment.”  Toward the end of the day’s lesson, Mr. Man backs into my nonexistent lap without looking…like he always does.  I think nothing of it, but the therapist notes almost to herself, “He just knows Mommy is there.”  I still don’t understand attachment theories much less their implications, but I’ll take whatever good news I can after a time span of stuff that I can’t believe has only filled a week.

At the end of the day it was pleasing to see my little man using his coy manipulations with his therapist to get what he wants without actually participating in things that are required; He’s quite ingenious, actually.  I liked having a professional in the room who chuckled at his antics, and that would have been enough, but she says, “His cognitive abilities are really advanced.”  I don’t know what that will mean for his future, and it isn’t like I thought differently about my son’s intelligence prior to her comment, but since the idea of him I’ve been determined not to think of such things, asserting that I have no issue setting high expectations, but they will be for him, not me and my desires for his future.  But, when everything is an avalanche of bombardment, it’s quite pleasant to have good things pointed out for me because of the extra burden it is to retrieve them among the issue cacophony.  I still don’t spend too much time considering my aspirations for my son that are more his responsibility as he grows, but I like hearing other people notice the things that make me smile.

What does quicksand feel like?

My primary hope writing this is coherence, as I usually wait some time to have semblance of bearings with difficult things.  But, how do I even talk about this when I’ve always been such a failure at person-to-person discussions regarding things that are troubling for me?  I’ve been trying the last week using likely the wrong supports most of the time, but they are around during the day when I either have time to think about or look at my beautiful boy knowing this experience is not the same on such an important level.

I retook my three-hour glucose test, which was an experience generally less heinous than the last; probably a consolation for the eventual news that I’m still diabetic, but at least my values make sense.  They are different values this time.  For simplicity it is easier to name them, and I apologize for the air of droning such description entails.  This second round my fasting blood sugar lower, 76, but considering the last test had me at 80, I’m still a rock star on that front.  Whereas my first test had my first hour draw within range, yesterday’s was 207…well above anything remotely desirable (I think the maximum level allowed is 180).  My first test had my second hour draw nine above the range, but dropping as it is supposed to.  Yesterday’s rose to 217.  For my final draw three hours after chugging the drink that somehow missed its place in the history of noteworthy culinary excellence spiked to 180 when it should have been close to fasting levels.  That was the rub that had me retake the test; apparently with a fasting level of 80, such a spike is not possible.  Yesterday’s third draw level dropped off a cliff to 86.  The range would have respected a 140 level.  My dad said it’s strange to drop like that, but it sounds like it’s nothing that indicates a problem with the test.  Other than knowing there is a problem, I couldn’t describe much else.

The referral from my Ob-Gyn’s office is in transit as we speak.  I was told to call later this afternoon to make an appointment with the diabetes clinic.  So, there it is.

I can’t stop myself from crying about this whole situation; it’s been like this for a week now.  I’m not even sure why that is, but I’ve had plenty of people telling me not to worry about it because it will be fine (translation: You’re behaving like an overly emotional child.) or it’s for the health of the baby…maybe I’ll be added as a footnote (translation:  You’re behaving selfishly about your objection to experiencing this entire process.).  The thing is, I know all of this, and I can’t tell anyone why I’m so upset.  Yes, the prospect of stabbing myself with a needle seven times a day to check my blood sugar (I asked my endocrinologist to look at my blood work in the system, even though she will not be involved in the treatment.) leaves me nauseated with anxiety.  Apparently, it really isn’t a big deal as EVERY FUCKING PERSON begins to describe in great detail the specifics of the sugar checking experience and how minor this entire situation is.

My endocrinologist thinks I may very well need insulin; who knows…It isn’t like I have a handle on anything anyway.  Let’s just add to the situation because more is really moot at this point.  It’s just a flood of what the rest of this pregnancy will be like until I actually start the process.  I suppose I should feel sick by how dire my second opinion was regarding my results; honestly, I’m not.  I told my dad; he doesn’t understand her assessment, saying no one has a blood sugar result under 120 one hour after eating.  When you look at the test range, the lab agrees.  My gut tells me she wasn’t careful looking at my results for something she didn’t order and doesn’t routinely do; not the first time I’ve had this problem with her, but appreciate her willingness to help.  It was worth a try for some clarity before my first appointment with the clinic.  The desperation for a foothold I’ve been feeling for a week borders pathetic.  Maybe what bothers me so much is that I was too eager to reach out for something I knew would likely be unhelpful, but wanted so very much to believe that  maybe someone in this moment could give me a structure to clutch as I feel myself sink.

Yet, when I read her message, the floodgates opened, and I can’t control the weeping.  Why is that?  I’m not worse or better off than I have been.  Nothing is relieving this horrible pit feeling.  It’s just more waiting until the process begins.

I don’t know why this is so difficult.  I suppose I should have some deep Mommy dramatic crusade that I worry for the life of my daughter, but I don’t.  She’ll be fine, and behaving like a pain in the ass around our house in no time.  I’ll have to make whatever lifestyle changes this process requires; fine.  I can’t imagine it will be anything so dramatic that I’ll look like the lost tribe that managed to find civilization centuries later.  Okay, I have to do something about my chocolate intake; I’m sure I can figure something out as an alternative.  I’ve already cut it back almost entirely once I found out I had a problem with my glucose levels.  Sure, I don’t know what the specifics of my diet will be, but I’m fairly certain virtually freebasing anything from the cacao plant is out.  I’ve mentioned the needle thing; whatever, I’ll deal.  It likely won’t be the most painful or unpleasant experience of my life even if you disregard the blessing of vaginal childbirth.  I can’t imagine I’ll need insulin.  I haven’t found much online that is helpful, but the few message boards I’ve perused described women with more significant glucose issues who were managed with diet.  I have a friend having her second round of pretty severe and hard to control gestational diabetes; she didn’t need insulin.  I’ll get a handle on the appointments and classes and whatever else I have to schlep a toddler to who will undoubtedly save his best tantrums for such occasions…Do they make baby Valium?  Maybe I should take my own and let him do his thing…He’s cute; they’ll deal…

So, why am I an absolute mess when I think too much about all of this?  What is my problem because it very much is my problem, which I am reminded fairly frequently when I start trying to talk about it?  I know the people who love me have the best intentions, and it’s hard to know what to say.  Maybe it’s loneliness.  Maybe it’s fear, but I don’t know what I’m afraid of.  Maybe as much as I know I didn’t cause this to happen with this pregnancy, didn’t I on some level?

My son knows Mommy has not been her best the past week.  He gives me pats on  my thigh and sweet looks when I’m staring off into space.  He cuddles me and pats his sister with his delicate, small hands.  The Warrior Queen, however, gives me a strong jab, “Suck it up and push through.”


Sugar and Spice, but Not So Nice

I am a lot of things right now, but it’s all such a rush that I can’t place exactly what I’m experiencing.  Maybe the specifics don’t matter because it isn’t good.  I was an idiot for my one-hour glucose screening; perhaps too arrogant.  My appointment was at three, so I wouldn’t be fasting like I did with my son.  I should have opted for a first thing in the morning appointment…coulda, should, woulda…  Without thinking ate three servings of chocolate before heading out to my appointment.  Even though I had a bit of a drive to the hospital and an ultrasound first, both were surprisingly efficient.

I failed the test and sentenced to the unpleasant three-hour glucose test.  I’m fairly phobic of needles, but felt optimistic with the nurse who drew the first of four; it was virtually painless.  Just as she wrapped my arm in a fancy way that eliminates bruising like magic, she informed me someone else would be taking my last three blood samples.  I knew this other person; she is terrible.

Over the years I’ve made my peace with undergoing blood tests; I no longer feel as though I will faint.  I must say, though, this individual gives me a run for my money.  Not only is the needle stick painful, but so is the duration of the draw.  I can’t believe I managed the remaining three like a mature adult with blasé, humorous commentary.  Although, if I’m honest, the third one left me a bit green with an aching arm for forty-five minutes.

But, I left hopeful.  I did not have gestational diabetes with my son.  My only risk factors are my age and my father’s diabetes that he manages with his diet.  I eat well and exercise religiously.  I was at a healthy pre pregnancy weight.  My fasting glucose has always been good, and it did not occur to me, or perhaps I didn’t want to consider the fact that things would not continue to move along as they should for the duration of this pregnancy.

It was Friday, and with the blessing of technology, I was able to see my results at eight that evening.  My fasting level was perfect; literally, in the middle of the range.  My one-hour was well within range.  My two-hour was a bit out of range, but falling.  My three-hour shot up to well past any of the other numbers; it was almost 200 actually.

Looking at the screen in an incoherent daze, I needed my husband to translate what was happening.  The next step was calling my father, a physician who manages his glucose effectively.  I relayed my numbers, to which he informed me that with my profile, the last value is impossible.  My father-in-law with the same professional and health resume as my dad said the same.

The weekend passes, but I felt every minute.  Apparently Dr. Google never encountered my issue…that’s comforting…

I call my Ob-Gyn Monday; It’s her day off…lovely…I find waiting exhilarating…  I leave a message for her to call me back; not a nurse.  If my last number is strange, I don’t want to wait by the phone with a vomiting child going through a hierarchical process of repetitive explanations to befuddled listeners.  I love to talk, but at some point the simple thrill of conversation is lost.

Later Monday a nurse calls…so glad communication is so effective at this practice.  She doesn’t tell me my results, rather conveys that they are referring me to the diabetes clinic as though she is offering me a cheese sandwich in such a way that I will find it mildly amusing…I didn’t.  She didn’t know I called and she doesn’t know anything about my specific results…that was the high point of the conversation.  Not only is this individual unaware that a diagnosis of gestational diabetes is not received as good news, she continues to tell me that I will be assessed by the clinic checking my sugar multiple times a day for several days…Apparently, that was the appropriate response to, “Something isn’t right about my fourth glucose value.”  Then she brattles on about all these classes and appointments I will have to attend, but she doesn’t know if I can bring my son with me.  When I attempt to ask for clarification, likely inarticulately advocating some of the challenges, she changes her tone to perfected patronization that this is important for the health of my baby.  Had I been of a better mind at the time I could have said something to the effect of, “Thank you, Captain Obvious, clearly my reaction is because of my intent to peace-out because of this minor inconvenience.”

I like to think that I’m a fairly level individual.  I’ve successfully created and run behavioral schools for adolescents that were mere months from shutting their doors.  I’ve worked with various incarcerated populations.  Suffice it to say I’ve had diverse and colorful employment experiences, and to manage those well I like to consider that I’m not a complete wing-nut, even while preggers.  But, perhaps I’ve been mistaken all these years…

My husband was out of the country, succumbing to whatever ailment of the week  my son contracted as soon as his plane landed.  My son’s stomach bug in conjunction with a snow storm keeping us homebound kept me isolated much of the week.  How many days did I receive unsolicited advice and various inquiries?  These past days were a blur with the finale having my son relapse a bit with his illness and unable to be independent.  I had such lofty plans for my husband’s return; my intent to ensure small things were completed, so he could sigh in relief in stepping through the doors.  Three guesses if any of this happened, and the first two don’t count.

Last night my doctor called with the comment to check-in because of my fear of needles; she was equally confused.  Clarifying my concern about the final glucose value resulted in her confessing that she just looks to see if her patients pass or fail.  It’s been twenty years since her residency, and she just doesn’t remember glucose values.  Should I be pleased that she took my word for it that the fourth was amuck?  Interestingly, when I called the clinic earlier, they did not receive my blood work…an unusual occurrence?  Had I never said anything I would go through the gestational diabetes intervention without anyone looking at my actual glucose results…hmmm…

At the end of the day, I’m taking the three-hour glucose test again tomorrow morning…with the same phlebotomist.  I’m tired, waking up with hip pain every hour for the last two nights that intensified from the other two trimesters.  I’m drained and scared.  I’m many things I can’t identify, but I feel foolish.  I don’t feel particularly hopeful this will relieve my diagnosis, and after this week I don’t know how I will manage the gestational diabetes intervention.  I know I will because I have to, but what am I going to do?


Unacknowledged Murphy’s Law No. 201

Your child will only gag himself to the point of vomiting…everywhere…when you spend an entire evening trying to avoid giving said child a bath, managing to survive until thirty minutes before he goes to sleep for the night.  The purging episode will occur promptly when you and your husband begin your silent cheers that bedtime will soon wash over the house in a grand and beautiful light of marvelousness.  The true purpose, however, of such a purging event is for your child to remind you with the projectile remnants of an entire day’s food intake, that the behavior induced from not napping will never be the grand finale of a genuinely craptastic afternoon and evening.

Your one consolation when reflecting on the tail end of the evening is that your child mostly threw up on the floor and your husband.  At this time it is best to suppress the lingering thoughts that twice in a row squarely places you on borrowed time.

Rest for the Weary

My husband and I have relatively frequent conversations regarding the misery of the first three months of newborn life.  Part of these conversations consists of him mentioning the challenge of having two blessed cherubs vying for our affections…or at least a meal…  I approach this near transition with a similar stoicism that served me well expecting and slogging through the first months of our first.  No argument, the beginning is lousy on many levels, mostly akin to sleep deprivation.  But, how do I explain to my husband that the misery after our daughter is born will feel much more tolerable and even oddly invigorating than these months of pregnancy?

I’d say that fortune blessed me with another easy pregnancy, but it’s never quite so easy.  My assertion expressing my obligation to minimize the hardships because so many have it worse.  My relationship with my daughter is an interesting thing that I can process more fully now that the experience is a repetition.  Pregnancy is surely miraculous and the closeness I’m developing with my tenant so strange.  But, the toll on my body nurturing this miracle is constant and inescapable.  The virtue of understanding the full process and timeline is my only relief in some moments.

I could describe at length the various symptoms that illustrate the annoying encumbrance pregnancy is on my life, but there is one specific experience worth the characters for this post.  Fatigue seems like such a paltry way to describe it, yet other descriptors aren’t appropriate expressions either.  On a basic level I’m tired; the same unrelenting sleepiness that one would expect from months of restless sleep.  But, even when I’ve clocked sufficient hours at night with nothing noteworthy interfering, soon after I awaken I can feel the heaviness in my lids that never alleviates other than fleeting seconds of distraction.

Fatigue, however, is a versatile beast, as sleepiness only characterizes the least troubling of its many faces.  Perhaps best represented as walking through body deep water while carrying a burdensome load, but the liquid does not share the effort as expected.  Every trudge is a slow plod of heavy motion that persists so long the previous ease of movement becomes a nostalgia whose incarnation seems forever lost.  But, with familiarity as my guide, I will reacquaint with the self I remember from so many months ago.  It will be the dark early hours of morning when I’m holding my daughter during those harsh initial months, but I will smile and this time almost will be forgotten.

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