Thursday, April 26, 2012

About dogs.

Yesterday I took my daughter for a walk around the neighborhood.   As I turned the corner to head down another street, someone's giant, purebred German Shepherd saw us and came toward us at a run.  I immediately turned Madelyn's stroller away, placing myself between the dog and my daughter.  I chose not to run, partly because I know how much dogs like to chase running things, and partly because I'm not sure if I could have gotten my feet to respond to my request to "go the heck away from here".  I hung up on my husband who was on the phone with me, mostly because I couldn't think or talk or listen or be on the phone right now, and I looked down and waited for whatever would happen.

"HEY!  GET BACK OVER HERE!!!"  The dog owner noticed the dog's trajectory, and meandered toward us.  "Don't worry", he informed me, probably after noticing my face's lack of any trace amounts of coloring, and the defensive posture I'd taken to protect my daughter from the beast, "he's friendly.  I have two little boys, he definitely won't bite!"

As he meandered up, the dog finished his run and took to his inspection of me.  I tried to keep myself from sending off too much "you freak the hell out of me" scent.  (I've had another German Shepherd  sit and growl at me because I was nervous and that made him nervous.  In that occasion, the dog was sitting on the bed next to me, growling inches from my face, and it wasn't until I got so scared I actually got loopy and started laughing that he relaxed and took on a friendlier posture.  That was the time I learned that being scared of things makes them want to kill you that much more.)  He snuffled at my legs and feet until his owner arrived to pull the dog away.  With a big disarming smile, the owner again assured me that this particular dog would NEVER hurt anyone, and I had nothing to be afraid of.  Silly me.  It was completely fine and responsible of them to have this beast of an animal running around untethered in the front lawn of their suburban home.

Yeah, see here's the thing, and pardon my language in advance:  I call some serious bullshit here.

Yes, it's personal.  Duh.  For those who don't know, I was mauled by a dog just like my neighbor's when I was not quite 4 years old, and the picture of an animal baring its blood soaked teeth at you (more specifically, teeth stained with YOUR OWN blood) is a pretty tough one to erase from your brain.  I received over two hundred stitches on my head alone.  In fact, my skull had to be cut from ear to ear and my face, like, pulled down so they could do repairs below.  (I watched a similar surgery on tv once before.  The things we can do to the human body and still put it back together never cease to amaze me.)  I have a frankenstein scar between my thumb and forefinger on my left hand, from the stitches that were put in after the dog nearly bit my hand in half when I tried to hold him off with me not yet 4 year old length arms.  I've also got a couple of scars over my left eye, one of which  makes it look like I over pluck the middle of my eyebrow.  I got those the one time I did open my eyes to noticing the blood stained teeth and fur, just before the dog, Duke, noticed and went after the moving eyelid.  How I still have an eyeball in that socket is beyond me.

Duke was my neighbors dog.  Duke ran free between their farm to ours, and was a dog I was very familiar with, and who should have been very familiar to me.  He attacked me that day because I patted him on the head.

I say all of this not to be graphic or disturbing, but to explain myself a bit.  I know that most people cannot and will not understand my fear of this particular dog breed.  Yes, it'll have been 25 years this coming summer.  No, I haven't been bit by another Shepherd since then, and no, I'm not really afraid of most dog breeds.

But I have something that I think most other people don't: a stronger grasp of what can happen with a dog.  Sure, we domesticate them and cuddle up and call them our best friends.  But really, they have their own volition, unexpected things can set them off, and they have more than enough power to kill human.  Cops don't use Shepherds because they're the best breed for sniffing out drugs.  Hounds are better at it.  Beagles are great.  But no criminal is afraid that they're going to be eaten by a beagle.

I know that my fear is less than rational.  I know that my sense that I have probably a 50/50 chance of getting attacked any time I'm approached by a German Shepherd is, let's say, a little on the high side.  But it's like my job.  I work with children and let every parent know that, no matter how timid your child, every, EVERY kid has the capacity for aggression, and may resort to it when pressed.  Every dog has the capacity to do to someone what Duke did to me.  As much as I try to convince myself that I and my children do NOT have a 50% chance of getting eaten by someone's dog, it's hard to convince myself that I have a less than 10% of getting mauled, and I still don't love those odds.  See, I don't really know what set Duke off that day, and I'm sure I never will.

But take the PSA folks.  There are kids and strangers in your neighborhood.  As comfortable as you feel around him, it's honestly very stupid to say that your dog would never bite someone.  He's a dog.  He's a hunter and a carnivore and it's in his nature.  Seriously folks, tie the damn things up.

Last minute thoughts!

Well, it seems we have arrived, folks.  Tomorrow is the day.  Tomorrow is the day that we've been preparing for and thinking about for nine months.  Tomorrow is the day we've been telling people since August.  Tomorrow is the day a nurse told me I wouldn't make it to two weeks ago, when I spent about 12 hours in steady labor that eventually just decided to give up (they gave me a sleeping pill and sent me home, with a very, "we'll see you tomorrow once this has progressed farther" vibe.  And just so we're clear, having your body give up in the middle of labor feels like a ridiculously terrible cheat.)  But really, as we all well know, tomorrow means absolutely nothing.

Of course, I am sure that once upon a time I looked at April 27th with a little more skepticism and realism than I have the ability to today.  In fact, when people asked about the due date, I would frequently respond "late April, early May".  I mean, these things are not an exact science, right?  Medical professionals the world over seemed completely flummoxed by what makes a person go into labor.  Of course, they might try to push it along, and of course, it seems you can always cut the baby out (though personally I'd rather not feel like a fish being gutted, thank you very much), but in terms of what your body will due naturally and why, well, that's a guess and a gamble at best.

This has been a very long 9 months.  While the weather's been better, my back hasn't been as sore, and I'm not nearly as swollen as I was last time, I have to say, this pregnancy, especially the past 5 or 6 weeks, has been pretty rough on me.  As much as the doctor insists this is all very "normal" (I'm pretty convinced he says this just to be a jerk, and to make me feel like a wimp), coming to expect blinding and debilitating shots of pain spontaneously every time I'm on my feet doesn't feel normal.  It feels annoying.  Like last night, when an out of the blue shot of pain was bad enough and long enough to drop me to my knees, just because I got up from bed to walk to the laundry room, roughly 15 feet away.  I'm tired of waddling, tired of feeling fragile and disabled, tired of pain, tired of getting up once an hour to use the bathroom.

An interesting thing about pregnancy is that at some point, it always stops feeling like a time of preparation, and starts feeling like your new life.  The good part about that though, beside the fact that it leads to this incredible and life changing experience that is parenthood, is that it teaches you to value your body.  I was feeling big and old and slow and crippled for many, many months after Madelyn was born.  I didn't take care of this vessel, and this vessel responded accordingly.  And it was pretty bad.

Some day, some day soon maybe, I'll have a little baby boy in my arms.  I'll fall in love all over again, and I'll be filled with joy and exhausted and exhilarated and depressed, frequently all at the same time, if I remember correctly.  And in the midst of this, I'll have a whole lot of new reasons to neglect this body once again.  It's going to be hard, I know that.  Going on any sort of diet again is going to make me very cranky.  Forcing myself to schedule in times to start exercising again is going to be a very big problem.  But it's worth it.  I owe it to my kids.  I owe them a mom who is not crippled by her own pains and lack of self control.  I owe it to myself and my husband, because who the heck wants to be, or wants to be married to, a 28 year old woman in a 68 year old's body?!?  And lastly, I owe it to the one who gave me this body.  This is prime real estate I tell ya, and any good property manager would feel obliged to keep it in its best possible shape.

Anyway, hope you're all doing great, and finding your own motivations today!  Yes, lots of life is hard, lots of life takes worth, but generally speaking, those are the things that are the most worth it!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Parenting Fail #27,538

In an effort to NOT traumatize my daughter upon the sudden arrival (they say it'll happen one day) of our new little family member, we've been taking some preparatory efforts.

For the most part, we've been trying to prepare her through loads and loads of talking.  We talk about her brother, talk about a new baby, talk about where he is now and when he's coming, and during prayer time she asks God to bless "Mommy, Daddy, Mommy, Madelyn, aaaaaaand Kaden!" (By the way, no, I never asked for double billing in prayer time, but I'm sure as heck not turning it down.)

And all this talking has helped.  She's actually getting excited; mostly of course because she has no idea how ruined her life is about to become, but just the same. Excited.

But as we get closer to the date, closer because time continues marching forward, not because I actually believe that giving birth is going to be part of my new future, I thought we should try some stronger tactics.

The other day, Madelyn was sitting on my lap during one of Kaden's furious kicking fits.  She's not felt him before, she doesn't like me forcing her hand onto my stomach when she has so much running around and jumping to do in her day, but today I thought I might make it happen.  I put the distracted child's hand on my stomach and waited.  Within seconds, she turned to me with shock and delight in her eyes as he kicked her hand.  "Did you feel that?"  "Yeah!" She laughed as she pressed her hand onto my stomach to feel more of the strange sensation.  "That's you're brother, Kaden!"

As those words sunk in, as the truth became realized that Mommy hasn't been joking about having a brother in her stomach, Madelyn's fascination changed.  Her smile faded and her eyes filled with concern and, yes, I'm pretty sure more than just a little bit of horror as realization settled in: Mommy ate her little brother.

To make matters worse, she found some old ultrasound pictures yesterday.  She remembered, it seemed, that these in someway represented Kaden, and she told me as much.  So I sat down with her to show her the face within the picture. "See Madelyn?  There's Kaden's eyes, and nose, and mouth!"  Madelyn looked at me and laughed awkwardly "... ha ha ha, Scary."

It seems my futile attempts at NOT traumatizing my daughter aren't working out so well thus far.  I guess I just never realized how much pregnancy can seem like some sort of supernatural horror flick.

8 days and counting!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Hot Problems... My only thought continues to be: Wow.

So I found a link to this video yesterday, and I can't stop watching it.  It's amazing in a way that my brain can't really grasp.
Please to enjoy: "Hot Problems"

If I were the type to tell jokes like this or say this phrase, you would definitely hear me respond, "More like, HOT MESSES!" Before bursting into gut-busting peals of laughter.

But I'm not, so I won't.

What is the MATTER with this?  I get that these girls have got to be about 15 years old, and that there's something psychologically off with EVERY 15 year old girl, but these two seem to have a lot more problems than they're currently aware of.

First off, where did they get this "hot girl" notion in the first place?  What happened wrong in their lives to make them think they were so incredible that they could make this assertion in a music video, post it on the internet, and then assume that all of their watchers would agree: Yep, those conceited teenagers with the terrible, terrible voices? HOT.  And yes, I'm certain they're better looking than me at age 15, but seeing as pretty much EVERYone I knew at the time could make the same claim, I'm actually not impressed.

Second: "I lie, and being hot makes me a raging bitch sometimes", these are not problems.  These are significant character flaws.  15 year old kid problems include things like failing out of school (I'm sure they've got that problem, why couldn't they have talked about that?), getting shunned by the in crowd, falling to peer pressure, not getting invited to prom.  "My life is hard too, because I'm a liar" is not a life problem.  It's just more evidence that you are a horrible, horrible human being.

Oh right, and adding that the only difference between you and me is that you're hot and I'm not, it's not entirely a true.  I can also carry a tune.


Monday, April 16, 2012

Extra brain wrinkles. Just keep thinking, extra brain wrinkles.

So my great big update:  NOTHING.

That's right.  Freakin' nothing.  Although I did get an anatomy lesson and learned a little bit about what it means to have a posterior cervix (look it up if you'd like, I am in no mood to talk about it here).

Quick side note, the more I learn about my own anatomy, the more I feel like a creepy nasty alien creature. My new mental picture of what a cervix looks like will definitely be haunting my dreams tonight.

Basically, what it means is that my doctor thought it would be pointless to check if I was dilated, as OBVIOUSLY this is not happening any time soon.  I don't know if I'm still dilating, I don't know if I'm effaced, but apparently, none of that matters.  He's giving me a 60% chance of still being pregnant by next Monday's appointment.  Which, he added, was better than the "100% chance" he was thinking (but didn't mention to me) the week before.  Most of the appoint was spent with the doctor convincing me how all of this practice was going to make labor like, awesome.  Basically, it'll be more akin to a weekend at a luxury vacation spa than to shoving a bowling ball through my creepy nasty alien creature.

But in the meantime, I guess I've got more time to wait.  Wait, and clean house. Wait, and do some extra cooking.  Wait, and feel ridiculously exhausted while sleep continues to escape me.  And for those of you who have to encounter me at any point in this period, sorry that I'm so unpleasant.  Every day hurts a little more, and every day I'm a little more tired, and these things are not conducive to happy cheery moods.

Have a happy day folks, and if you have a chance, take a nap on me!  I plan to live vicariously through your well-restedness.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Wait: WHY am I still pregnant?!?

Alrighty, this is getting a little bit ridiculous.  Seriously folks, is there even such a THING as labor vacation?!?

I was in labor.  I swear it on my undead (not zombified, just not... dead) mother's grave.  I've been in labor before, I know what labor feels like.  2 days ago I was having regular contractions that were, in fact, confirmed by a medical professional AND a machine that were both created for the singular purpose of identifying real life contractions.

So here's a question:  WHY THE HECK IS IT THAT I AM STILL PREGNANT?!??


Now, I understand that my due date is still 12 days away.  I've not been DYING for our little guy to be early, I've been enjoying getting things done, getting rest, spending 1 on 1 time with my little girl.  And all those March of Dimes sheets on the walls at the hospital insist that if your baby comes early than 39 weeks their brain will basically be perfectly smooth, and that is NOT want you want in any sort of brain.  This is not about wanting to be done with pregnancy before my intended time.  I didn't have a problem with the wait.

What I DO have a problem with his this, this, cheating that seems to be going on.  I may not know much about human anatomy or, I don't know... science, but I do know this: When you are full term, AND THEN you go into labor, YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO GET A BABY.  So seriously, can someone please tell me, why am I still pregnant, and WHERE is my BABY?!?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Re: Why I'm still pregnant.

As you may have deduced from the title of this post (you magically super deducer you!)  I am still "with child", and am not yet, you know, with child.

Contractions started around 4pm yesterday, and around 9:30pm, when they'd gotten consistently at around 3-4 minutes apart, we decided to head for the hospital.  I was in very little pain, but just the same, I'd been having contractions from 3-7 minutes apart for 5 1/2 hours, which was a good deal more than the "1-2 hours at 5 minutes apart" that my doctor had instructed me just a few days before.  So we packed our suitcase into the car and headed out for our 5 minute drive to the hospital, plus short "oops, that side of the hospital is closed, please go around" stroll in the rain.

So we get there, I get weighed in (190.  TERRIFYING, but it was night time, and I was fully dressed and... and I don't like to think about it.) changed, questioned within an inch of my life, and strapped down into the cozy hospital bed, and it's time to get checked.  Sure enough, contractions are, in fact, happening between 3-4 minutes apart.  Which is good, because up till that point, I was convinced I was being crazy, or that the contractions would immediately stop when someone else started monitoring them, and the fact that we were showing with a suitcase like we expected to move in or something would make our inevitable walk of shame away from the hospital later that night all the more shameful.

But no worries, I WAS in fact having consistent contractions every 3-4 minutes.  Booyah, I wasn't crazy!

So next step: "The Check".  How far along WAS I, exactly?  What exactly were those contractions doing for me and and when could they get us a room?

Results?  60% effaced, 1 1/2 centimeters dilated.  So basically: contracting, yes.  "In labor"... debatable.  But because of my super quick labor with baby 1, the doctor decided I should "walk".  So up we go, around and around the teacup sized nursing station in the center of labor and delivery, between 11pm and midnight, turning the same direction enough times to feel dizzy from it.  During our stroll, we made a command decision:  If this was not going to happen, if they were going to walk of shame us out of that hospital in the middle of the night, we were definitely, without a doubt, going to Denny's for middle of the night food.  It was going to be delicious and awesome and exactly like being young and impulsive and in college again.  And seriously, what better way to celebrate being in pretend labor than that?

So eventually, after our hour was up, I waddled back to be further examined.  New results:  TWO and half centimeters dilated, 70, no we changed our minds, 80% effaced.  So what does that mean exactly?  It means that the doctor gets to decide my fate.  And that fate was that it was time to go home, after having some sort of sleeping pill practically forcibly inserted down my throat. "I don't know that I want to take that..." "No no, it's better.   You need to get rest, and if you get to where you're in a ton of pain, it won't work anyway.  You need it."  So terrifying nurse Nazi won out (that's not really fair, she was a fine nurse), and I took the blue pill.  As I am still in a drunken stupor today, I'll say I regret this particular piece of advice.  Also, as we stumbled into bed around 2am, about 10 minutes after that pill had begun to take effect, I'm pretty sure I declared a war on pants.  I couldn't figure which side was front and I was confused and tired and frustrated and decided that pants were far too complicated to be worth anything they had to offer.

So now it's Saturday.  Saturday afternoon and, it would seem, labor took a vacation.  Sometime during the night my contractions quit out, which may have been a wonderful gift, as feeling drugged out from the stupid pill would have made labor much more difficult than if I, say, simply hadn't slept all night.  I'm not sure exactly what to do with myself, I don't know how long labor vacations typically last.  I've been pretty well assured that I won't last till my due date, but I may very well go to my next OB appointment, this coming Monday morning.

As for now, I'm ready for another painful walk.  Let's see if we can't get this sucker started back up again.  I haven't been feeling the need to have an early labor, but after last night's escapades, I feel like I deserve to see my little boy now.

So have a wonderful weekend, friends.  Hope your trials and tribulations all end in massive amounts of joy!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Middle of the Night Crazy Post

At the moment it's 3:07am.  That means I've been awake for about 2 hours, 10 minutes.   ::sigh::

This is a particularly hard time of life to sleep.  Aside from massive heartburn, RLS, and basic body discomfort, my brain seems dead set against me getting any rest.  It takes far too long to fall asleep in the first place, but then decides to continue its crazy and obsessive nature into my dreams.  My dreams, in fact, don't feel a whole lot like dreams anymore.  Instead, they just feel like really obsessive thoughts I'm having in semi-3D, over... and over... and over...

Tonight, it was labor.  I dreamed I was going into labor right now.  I dreamed I was going into labor and I was out of town.  I dreamed I didn't realize till it was slightly too late, and now I might not make it to the hospital.  I dreamed about it till I was essentially convinced that I am ACTUALLY only a few minutes from starting labor, and I'd better stay awake so I don't miss it.  Because that's the deal, right?  Why would I be randomly obsessing about this so much if my body wasn't trying to express its secret plan, wherein the baby is coming today?

I don't know.  It's all simultaneously very exhausting and not letting me fall back asleep.

So I'm watching cartoons now.  That's right.  Looney Tunes, in fact.  and I'm learning some pretty important information.  For starters, apparently Gak is Back.  Remember Gak?  Like, a cross between silly putty and play dough but with a gooey, snotty sort of texture?  Plus, if I remember correctly, it smelled really off.  Now I feel like I kind of miss Gak.

Next, I learned that Monopoly is now played with a sort of credit card.  Not really sure how or why the Parker Brothers sold out so obviously to the likes of Master Card, but I feel like this one's particularly sad.  Ah well.  I guess original Monopoly had us mortgaging ourselves up to our eyeballs, maybe this was the logical next step.

Alright.  Now, it's 3:32, and Ben 10 is on and that probably means it's time to give sleep another go.  I'm not sure what this show is, but so far there's a boy who owns a watch that turned him into a monkey. Yep, it's definitely time for more sleep.

Adios, Lectores! Espero que puedes contar tus muchas bendiciones en este Viernes Santo!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Seriously, Little Dude Baby?

My son, who has been riding impressively low for the past 2 and a half weeks, seems to have found new depths today.  To the degree that, for the past hour or two, standing up straight just seems to be out of the question.  Straightening my body out allows him to sit directly on the nerves running to both legs, sending sharp blasts of pain through my everything, and causing my legs to buckle.

But isn't there some ridiculous solution to this that can remove my pain and high probability of falling, while also making me look like an absolute charicature of a real life human being?  Of COURSE!  I can walk around just fine, so long as I keep my knees bent, and I tilt over at the waist.

Basically, today I look a lot like this:

Just, much heavier, and with more hair.  And without the cane.  Or the word "sample" written across my midsection.  That guy should really have that looked at.

Anyway, 3 weeks left from tomorrow, or less, which is my guess.  We shall see!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Wowie wow wow wow!!

Just had a moment:

I recorded my April 1 weight just now, which, if you're curious but not enough to click a tab, was 183.  In the process of doing so, I began thinking about next month, what I would weigh a little closer to the end of the pregnancy.  That's when I had the realization:

I probably won't be pregnant then.

Wowie kazam, this is coming up fast all of a sudden.  My son is due this month.  More specifically, my son is due in 24 days.

In the words of my daughter, "I CAN NOT BOOO- LIEVE IT!"  Credit where credit is due, those words are from Little Einsteins.  My daughter is a movie/television quoter.  After her second viewing of 101 Dalmations, she turns to me and says, "I not sleepy, I hungee!"  Yep.  She's all about Rolly.

Back to the point, hopefully by May Day I'll weigh like, 40 pounds less, and be sharing thousands and thousands of pictures of my perfect little baby boy, who already sleeps through the night and really hardly cries at all.  Yep, that's what I'm expecting.


It's possible that I'm not in the most rational place right now.
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