Friday, 20 December 2013

Oh my god, today

I had a lot on my plate today.  Regular Christmas prep coupled with the in-laws visiting tonight meant that I had to: make dinner, clean the house, wrap the gifts, and pick up some groceries - all while caring for a tiny human.  And oh, facing a snowstorm.

It started out fine, as most jerk days do, and then BAM it bit me in the ass.

To begin, my baby monitor randomly died during Fraggle's morning nap.  For those of you who don't know, this is basically a crisis.  First I had the initial OH MY GOD HOW LONG HAS THIS BEEN OFF IS SHE ALIVE panic.  The the WHAT IF IT HAD BEEN NIGHTTIME anger.  Followed by the FUCK NOW WHAT frustration - because unless I intend to sit outside her bedroom listening for sounds of life, I need a monitor.  Plus, so. much. to. do.

I tried everything and couldn't fix the fucking thing, so I called the company.

Company lady: "Have you tried plugging it in?"

Me:  *resists snarky comment* "Yes."

Her: "Ok can you [insert troubleshooting obstacle course]."

Me: "Nada."

Her: "Well, we can send you a new one.  First we'll send you a voucher for free shipping.  Then you send us the broken monitor.  Then we send you a new one."

Me: "Oh, so you have teleportation capacity?"

Her: "...?"

Me: "Seriously? What am I supposed to do? Now I have wait weeks for a new monitor - a monitor I'm not sure I want if it's just gonna die.  And in the meantime I have go out to buy a new one. Three days before Christmas."

Her: "What's your address?"

UGH.  So my quick grocery outing became an urgent find a way to function today outing.

The rest of my day included: pushing a grocery cart through a snowy parking lot; terribly short and terribly upsetting baby naps; and, fifteen thousand chores.  I must be a fucking hero because somehow I managed to achieve it all... while watching White Christmas.

To top things off, my brother-in-law's flight was delayed (enter: snowstorm), so my in-laws arrived a couple of hours earlier than expected to kill time.  All  my chores were done (except my DISGUSTING floors which desperately need to be vacuumed), but it doesn't seem to matter because I'm a giant crazy stressball with a sore back and a baby on my boob and an un-shoveled walkway BECAUSE THE NEW STUPID BABY MONITOR DOESN'T WORK OUTSIDE MY FRONT DOOR.

Furthermore, my brother-in-law missed our dinner - lovely festive table setting and all- and I'm exhausted but still staying up to see him because I can't not.

I'm currently sitting here with a cat on either side, a computer on lap, and a crappy baby monitor on my hip, listening to a poorly-rested baby whine, while Hubby and Ma and Pa-in-law drive through a snowstorm to the airport.

I'm trying to find the merry here people.  But we're gonna press on.  We're gonna have the hap-hap-happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap danced with Danny fucking Kaye. And when Santa squeezes his fat ass down that chimney, he's gonna find the jolliest bunch of assholes this side of the nuthouse.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Hey Canada Post - could you also feed me grapes?

Canada Post announced yesterday that it's going to phase out home mail delivery in urban areas within the next five years, and jack-up the cost of stamps.

From what I understand, this means that Princes and Princesses who receive mail delivered to their front doors on a daily basis are going to have to walk 30 seconds to a neighbourhood group mailbox.  I also understand that some people are feeling pretty upset about the whole thing.

Clearly, I am not one of those people - for about a dozen reasons.

First, the obvious:  It's cheaper.  I think we can all agree, for a business that's been losing money for years this seems a little late.  It makes perfect sense given the move toward electronic everything and the related decrease in snail mail.

There are other reasons I like the idea, though.

The environment, for one.  It's about time individuals and businesses set up online billing, which will save trees, trash, and cash.  Who isn't sick of getting nothing but bills and flyers in the mail - each filled with 23 useless coupons.

It's a hard job, for another.  Although I hope most postal workers won't lose their jobs (through attritian), this must be a very difficult and fairly thankless job.  Hiking through Canadian weather, facing crazy dogs, avoiding reckless drivers - all for a few bills and flyers and some greeting cards at Christmas. Can't be easy.

But the primary reason I support the change?  I don't care.  Sorry, I just don't.

I've been a self-retriever of my mail from a community mailbox since high school (in five separate homes).  Sure, it can be annoying, but I obviously don't have the life-long emotional attachment to home delivery that some seem to have.

In fact, I very much enjoy my little jaunt to the mailbox.  It is literally a 35-second walk (I counted).  Yesterday I plopped Baby Fraggle into her snowsuit and wandered us both to the mailbox and back.  It was exactly the two minutes of fresh air that we needed.

What about the magic of receiving mail at my front door, you ask. Honestly, there's more fun in going to check the happy little box.  What treasures await me in there? How big will the haul be today?  Did anyone send me any money?

As for big packages, sometimes there's a slip in my mailbox and I have to go pick up my parcel.  But other times, there's a special key in my mailbox that opens another larger mailbox to the left of mine.  It's basically a miniature scavenger hunt. And who doesn't like a scavenger hunt.

Look.  I appreciate the romanticism and nostalgia of home mail delivery.  Like e-book versus "real book" or internet vs newspaper.  But guys.  C'mon.  This is a natural progression.  We're already quite spoiled (anyone wanna take their own garbage and recycling to a local depot?) and I think our society can handle this momentous change.

More importantly, we can find fun and romance in something new.  We just have to look for it.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Careful. Don't pee in the bath.

Last Friday was a good day.

Just like every Friday, we kicked it off with Baby-Mommy Yoga (aka "Baby-Mommy Sitting On A Mat").  This is the highlight of my week due mostly to the lovely moms I get to hang out with and our visit to the coffee shop afterward.

Later that afternoon, I got to experience my favourite part of motherhood - watching her learn.  You see, after a month of plainly sitting in her bouncer and staring at the toys, she finally figured out how to actually bounce. And bounce and bounce and bounce.

When Hubby arrived home, he played with Fraggle while I - wait for for - GOT DRESSED UP AND WENT TO A PARTY.  Yes, that's right.  I curled my ever-decreasing hair, put on a dress and heels, and went to dinner with a room full of adults - adults who spoke to me about adult topics.

(Although I adore talking with my mom friends at a coffee shop following Baby-Mommy Mat Sitting, my conversation earlier that day was primarily centred around the fear of having my nipples bitten off by a teething baby, and the joyous procedure of sucking snot out of her nose.)

Not only did I relish in adult conversation, I also enjoyed belting out K-Os' "The Dog Is Mine" at the highest possible volume on my fancy car stereo, ate a giant steak meal, downed a glass of pinot grigio, and... ATE ICE CREAM FOR THE FIRST TIME IN FOUR MONTHS.  (Thank you Fraggle for your improved tolerance of dairy in my diet.)

I arrived home a mere two and a half hours later after what felt like a miraculous three days of freedom.  After ranting to Hubby about my joyous solo outing, I headed upstairs for my regular evening bath, Kobo e-reader in hand.

This is where I was unceremoniously reminded of my new parental identity.

I was enjoying my hot bath and e-book, when I suddenly had the urge to pee.  Now, in case you didn't already know, a mother's bladder control is not what it once was, before she pushed a tiny human out of an even tinier hole.  So, the urge to pee is not something that can be ignored.  I jumped out of the tub and in my haste dropped my e-reader directly into the water.

This was precisely my fear four years ago when Momma bought it for me.  Of course the damn thing went sketchy.  Ruined I was sure.

Hubby happened to come up and I begged him, dripping wet and precariously holding my pee, to bring me some rice - because when you accidentally immerse your electronic device in water, burying it in rice helps eliminate the moisture.




That said, I had little hope of saving my Kobo, humbled by my realization that no day is perfect.

It seems, however, that the universe was watching out for me that day, because guess what?  My Kobo works.  Perfectly.

So now I want to thank the people of Kobo for making an e-reader with the durability to survive a new mother, a bathtub, and weak bladder control.  And also Uncle Ben's rice, for supporting its recovery. My only question is if the rice is still edible...


Monday, 11 November 2013

I value that

I've struggled for years to define what Remembrance Day means to me.  Like many, I don't generally support war.  But defining "war" can be just as difficult as defining "peace."  I suppose the point is I would always prefer a diplomatic solution - but wouldn't we all.  Unfortunately, war and peace are far more complicated than that, and I cannot begin to understand all the facets and intricacies.

Ultimately, I think I'm coming to the conclusion that Remembrance Day doesn't have to be about war, or about peace.  It can simply be an opportunity to reflect.

Many military "missions" aren't about fighting, rather about peacekeeping, or protecting, or preventing a larger fight.  Even if they are "war" in the traditional sense, regardless of the macro-level political and social intricacies, I think the individuals who provide their service are doing it with a sense of courage, a sense of loyalty -- I think are are doing it for something.  I value that.

I don't know much about my Papa during WWII, but I know that I couldn't have balloons in his house because the popping sound was too traumatic for him.  I know that he met my Nana there, in Italy I think, while they were both serving, and that they married in three separate countries to make sure it was legal.  I value that.

I know that without a father to do "dad" things with, my uncle let me camp in the backyard in his giant army tent.  I know that I fretted for him when he went to Somalia for peacekeeping when I was eight years old.  I know that it was beyond special to speak to him for one minute of his allotted five minute phone allowance while he was there.  I value that.

I know that Hubby's Gramps, now in his 90s, takes immense pride in his service during WWII.  He is so highly appreciated and respected and has achieved some incredible things in his lifetime.  And he loves his family; he loves my Baby Fraggle.  I value that.

This all means that Remembrance Day doesn't have to be about the wars, or the peace.  For me, it can be about these people who have participated in something bigger than themselves, and how it has impacted them.

Lest we forget that.


Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Dear Fraggle - Volume 3

Dear Fraggle,

Three months? Are you kidding me? I'm still unclear on how the final six months of pregnancy dragged on like a tortuous apocalypse, while the first three months of your little life have flown by like the Roadrunner on meth.

One of the saddest things about you being three months old is that I don't think I'm allowed to count your age in weekly increments anymore.  Technically, you're 13 weeks old, but if I say that to people they're going to think I'm a weirdo.  "This is Baby Fraggle, she's 13 weeks old.  My name is Marianna, I'm 1544 weeks old.  Pleased to meet you."

Another exciting/sad thing since the last time I wrote is simply how much you've changed.  I woke up one morning and I swore to Hubby that you looked different.  You changed, literally overnight.  He thought I was crazy. "No, it's just her hairstyle" he said.  But then, when he arrived home that night... "She looks different" he said.  I TOLD YOU.

When you were 11 weeks old, you achieved the most amazing feat.  YOU ROLLED OVER.  Apparently it's early for this particular accomplishment, but I don't really consider it all that werid - given how much you've wanted to MOVE since your days inside me, as well as how much you dislike being forced to sit on your tummy.

The actual roll-over event was more of a two-minute process of forceful grunts and heave-hos as you tried desperately to get the hell off your stomach.  I obviously videotaped the whole thing - complete with my screeches of delight in the background.

Since then, you roll over about half the time.  It seems to depend on how much energy you have and how much you're hating your stomach in that particular moment.  Every single time you do it, the pride in me swells like a hot air balloon - a really big, bright hot air balloon.

My other favourite thing is your coos.  You gurgle and gobble at me all the time and I have an unhealthy number of video recordings of you doing it.  I goo and you gah, I ah and you ahrg.  The joy this beings me is indescribable and ridiculous - second only to your smiley kicking delight upon waking when I come to rescue you from your crib.  These are the best parts of my day, every day.

When I last wrote, you were refusing to nap.  I later learned it was less of a "refusal" and more of a "Mom, I'm a textbook and just because you can't figure me out doesn't make that my fault get your act together I'm tired K thanks" situation.

Turns out you're a rockstar napper, if I conduct the "prance around the nursery saying goodnight to things" routine.  Actually, you nap so much that I'm bored much of the day. (Sorry other moms.)

So, contrary to my previous advice, I'm going to now suggest that you wake up, at least a little bit, just to hang out with me.   Because the bottom line is that you're so freaking cute that all I want to do is hug you, and sing to you, and smell you, and stroke your hair, and kiss your cheeks, and otherwise gobble you up all the livelong day.

Also, I'm cool and fun and you oughta want to hang out with me.  Just saying.

Love,
Mom



Thursday, 3 October 2013

It's not a secret what a mess I am

I don't know if you've figured this out about me, but I'm a giant stressball.  Shit stresses me the fuck out.  I get worried, and anxious, and up tight about crap that probably shouldn't matter, but for some reason it totally does.

Although I am not currently in a mental state strong enough to attempt to lessen my crazy, I can at least point it out.

One thing I am trying to improve? I'm trying - really trying - to acknowledge that what stresses me out probably doesn't stress other people out.  Especially Hubby.  And, of course, what stresses him out doesn't bother me in the slightest.  So when Hubby wants to clean the garage or insulate the crawl space, I need to let him - even when I'd rather he mop the floor or cut the grass.  (The grass has been cut about three times since April, just for the record.)

Unfortunately, I've been at home for five months, which means I sit around my house finding things that bother me, and then I add them to my list of things that need fixing.  Because crazy.  However, when I actually get to cross something off the list? True euphoria. Last weekend was a prime example.  



Yeah.  Those are our batteries.  And by "our" batteries, I mean they reside in our house but they really belong to Hubby who seems to have an unnatural and unrequited love for batteries.

Some are rechargeable (no, we're not total monsters who care nothing about the environment), but many are not. Most importantly, there is no way of knowing which ones work because all the dead ones just sit in the house for years and years waiting for me to take them to some sort of green recycling place or something, which I will clearly never do.

Thanks to my weird stress obsession, though, the batteries have now been sorted into three boxes: working; not working; and, probably not working but maybe working and we may never know so let's keep them and maybe we can put them in the tv clicker or something.

That's what you call SUCCESS, people.


Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Uh oh. Now what?

I can't lie.  Since being home on maternity leave (and advised to stay still for 2 months before that), there is a significant possibility that I am going entirely stir crazy - sick of staring at these walls, tired of trying to find productive things to do, starving for interaction.  And it seems I'll take interaction of any type...




This is Franco.

Earlier this week, Franco appeared at my sliding glass door, put his paws up on the window, and politely requested some peanuts.

I of course obliged because what if Franco is actually my Nana reincarnated?

When I texted Hubby to warn him of my indiscretion he wasn't super impressed, but he also didn't think much of it.

Then, last night, Franco returned! And, to my great astonishment, Hubby encouraged me to feed him.

Hubby: "Get him some peanuts!"

Me: "Really? Ok..."

Hubby: "No, put them close to the door, so he'll come closer."

Me: "Alright... Who are you by the way?"

Hubby: "No.  Closer.  Really close.  CLOSE!"

Me: "Wow, ok, they're nice and close.  What shall we name him?"

Hubby: "Franco."

Tuxedo Cat: "WHOA.  SQUIRREL.  I'mma get it...  SHHHH, you guys.  Quiet.  I'm working here."

As Tuxedo Cat sat at the door stalking poor Franco, Franco simply continued to eat his peanuts with zero interest in the idiot cat staring at him.  I suspect that Franco is a seasoned squirrel - well versed in sliding-glass-door-peanut-eating, even when there are stupid cats nearby full of empty threats.

But then, this morning, I've recognized the error in my ways...


Ooops.  We knew this would happen, didn't we.

When I texted Hubby, he called me a few minutes later.  Uh oh.  This merits a phone call?

Hubby: "What. Have. You. Done."

Me: "ME?! You encouraged me! Put it closer you said!"

Hubby: "Get my BB gun."

Me: "Nooo! That might be Nana!"

Hubby: "...?  Um, I'm not sure where we go from here..."

Me: "Me neither."


Sunday, 15 September 2013

Speaking up wins again

I'm not a person who's afraid of confrontation.  I speak up.  I consider this a good quality.  Sure, sometimes it gets me into trouble, and sometimes I say too much, but overall I believe that speaking up is the only way to live.  Don't bottle that shit up, man.  EATS YOU ALIVE.

So last week when I was at the mall, I spoke up.

Baby Fraggle and I were in the Hallmark card shop. We were walking in, between two big rows of greeting cards.  (Well, I was walking.  Fraggle was happily riding in her stroller.) There was an old couple ahead of me, in their 70s, and there was another mom leaving the store, also with a stroller.

That's when shit got real, y'all.


The crazy old couple wasn't looking at me, they were watching Other Mom.  Other Mom was walking out, while I was walking in.



Crazies, not seeing me, started to back up to let Other Mom go by.  (They didn't have to do that.  Other Mom had plenty of room, as you can see from my very adept drawing.)

As Crazies started to back up, so did I, giving them room.  Crazy Man almost bumped into me.  I smiled.  But this wasn't good enough for Crazy Lady.

Crazy Lady: "Watch out, husband!" And then, under her breath, "These women - have to bring CARS into stores with them."

Umm, pardon me?  These women?  Cars?

No.  We are regular women, just like you.  And these are baby strollers.  You know, to safely and lovingly transport the tiny humans that we grew inside our bodies who are yet incapable of walking on their own.  What if you had a wheelchair or a walker, Sunshine?

So of course, in my speak up style, I said:

"Pardon me?"

*No response.*

"Hello?  Did you say something?"

*No response.  Starts to walk away. Ignores me completely.*

"Excuse me ma'am, I'm talking to you..."

By this time, Crazy Lady had walked around the other side of the aisle. I obviously continued to attempt to engage her in conversation, leaning on my tiptoes, looking over top of the giant shelf of cards.


"I think you said something.  Care to repeat it?"

*Looks past me like I'm a ghost.*

"Yeah.  That's what I thought."


Saturday, 7 September 2013

Dear Fraggle - Volume 2

Hello again my dear.  I wrote to you a few weeks ago, and here I am again because I have some new thoughts I want to share.

You will be nine weeks old this Monday.  NINE WEEKS.  I don't have a friggin clue how that happened, but here we are.

The first couple weeks with you were an impossible gong show.  The following four were pretty good - life abounded with small victories and I regained a small semblance of sanity.  You learned so many neat things...

You grabbed stuff - like really reached out and GRABBED it - and then you pulled.   Hard.

You started standing.  Ok, not standing, per se, but extending your legs and pushing off while we held you up.  Your little head and neck got so strong.  Hubby and I predict that you won't really crawl, rather you'll start walking around holding onto our fingers.  Mark our words.

And the piéce de la resistance:  SMILES.  You, my sweet little koalacorn, learned to smile.  You do it all the time.  You grin when you wake up and I lean over your bed.  You grin when I change your diaper in the front window sill.  You grin. At me. And then I melt.

Then the six-week mark hit.  One day I was saying to people "Nah, she never really cries..." And all of a sudden, well, you cried.  It's like you just learned how and you simply had to show off your new skill.  Huh. What a novel idea Mom.  If I cry you'll notice me?  COOL.

And so it went, you crying (and probably spurtishly growing) for 10 days straight.  Hubby and I thought we'd go crazy.  I mean, you were still cute as all-get-out, but holy hell girlie.

Here's the good part though.  After your 6 week vampire conversion, you were the sweetest little angel.  Your dad and I were over the moon having our lovely little darling back again.

For three days.  Three days you were a perfect little doll.  By the fourth day you made a pretty big life decision. No more naps, you said to me one day, and then you cried and cried and cried all the livelong day.

Now.  Here is some advice for you my sweet:

When you are old like me, you will adore, nay, RELISH, any single solitary chance to NAP.  You may nap on a bench in the sun during your lunch break.  You may nap at your desk in the afternoon, with your hand on your mouse so your colleagues think you're working.  You may nap at a friend's house.  You may nap on the bus.  You may nap on a couch, on a pool floatie, on a lawn chair at Home Depot.

When you are old like me, you will not only wish you had more time to nap, but you will wish you capitalized every previous napping opportunity as the precious gift that it is  because naps are cumulative, and priceless.  So nap now, my sweet.  Enjoy it while you can.

I love you Fraggle,
Mom

PS Please nap.


Friday, 6 September 2013

Kickin' ass and takin' names. Or not.

Today was going well.  Better than yesterday at least. 

Baby Fraggle woke at a decent time, and we were on track - on track for our newly created get-the-baby-to-nap-so-we-don't-go-insane plan.  She had a half-nap this morning IN HER CRIB (never mind the fact that I sat there with her) before we walked over to the grocery store and pharmacy. 

I was kickin' ass and takin' names.  These are big accomplishments, people.  Don't doubt me. 

Furthermore, on the way home I encountered an actual mail man at the actual mail box, with whom I had an actual conversation and he even mailed my actual letters. 

By the time we arrived home, Fraggle was still sleeping in her stroller (WIN), so we sat on the front step allowing me a precious 10 minutes to soak up the sun and tweet up something fierce.

Then something went awry...

About 15 minutes after coming inside, I noticed the front door was open. 

Fucking holy hell shitballs craphole dammit where are the fucking cats. 

Tuxedo was, as usual, under the shrub by the front step, since he's too damn stupid to venture far.  I spooked him, so he came flying into the house - covered cobwebby junk.   

Patches though.  Where was Patches?  I called her name, no luck.  I clinked her food bowl, no luck. 

Umm, uh oh. 

And a tiny human inside that I couldn't, ya know, leave alone. 

This is when it happened.  A matter of time, really.  The "turns out I don't love the cats as much as the child" moment officially occurred.  It's been coming for a while (such as when they are meowing like lunatics at 3am), but this was the true moment in which changing and feeding the baby was potentially more important than hunting for the stupid cat...

But then it wasn't. 

So back in the stroller goes the baby, and off we go, wandering through the neighbours' backyards, clinking bowls and shouting PATCH for everyone to hear.  The little shithead emerged from a backyard a few houses down, running for the food her clinking bowl seemed to indicate. 

Thanks to all that I missed the baby's "sleep window" so Fraggle is now accidentally sleeping in her swing, rather than her crib (but at least sleeping thank heaven). 

Oh, and I just unloaded the grocery bag and it turns our that I bought the wrong fucking coffee.

So, not acing this motherhood thing yet, eh?

Sunday, 1 September 2013

So much good happened today

Today was a good day.  Four things in particular made it better than average.

First, Hubby let me lounge in bed for an hour while he went downstairs with Fraggle.  I can't really accurately articulate how helpful this is.  If only he could be here to help me all the time, but noooooo, he needs a job.  Whatever.

Second, Fraggle fell asleep for a whole two hours this morning while I watched - wait for it - The Fast and the Furious.  The original.  This movie makes me happy.  It perfectly balances worst movie ever made with fun and cheesy.  Plus, it reminds me that I need to use my serious driving face more often. We should never forget the value of a serious driving face.

Third, the three of us made our way downtown for some lunch and wandering.  It was pretty spectacular - sunny day, friendly people, happy baby.  The best part of our outing? Driving into the parking lot and being stopped by an exiting driver who offered us his parking pass.  Yes, that's right, a stranger did us a kindness.  WEIRD.  Which we totally paid forward on our own way out of the lot.  Y'all need to do this. It's easy and it totally makes somebody's day.

Finally, and most importantly:



I had wine.  Well, a wine spritzer, but wine nonetheless. Since Fraggle came into the world, I have had a couple light beers, but I've been saving a glass of wine for the best possible opportunity.  Although the perfect giant glass of pinot will have to wait for another time, this was the sweetest tasting cheap spritzer in the history of the world.  Not gonna lie, I got a little tipsy.

So between the lazy morning, the so bad it's good movie, the free parking and of course WINE, today was basically the best day of all time.


You don't have to read this

I wasn't going to write this because, well, nobody gives a shit.  But then I remembered my rule about this blog:  write it for ME, and don't leave anything out.  Ultimately, this is a creepy online diary which I fully intend to read years and years into the future - and what woman's diary doesn't include her birth story?

********* 

I wake up on Monday July 8th - two days after my due date - around 6am, with ridiculous back pain. This is the same back pain I've woken up with for the past several months.  Hubby is busy getting ready for work and I'm busy propping up 50 pillows so I can lean over them like a drunken hobo.

By 7:00, Hubby is about to leave, making a bowl of cereal, when he hears from upstairs: "Ahhh!  HUUUuuubbbyyyYY!  MY. WATER. JUST. BROKE!"

Which it did.  In the bed.

Aaaannnnnddd... PANIC.  Because that's what I do.  It's kinda my thing.

Hubby calls the hospital.  They say we should come in, but we could probably have breakfast first.  We jump in showers, wolf down cereal, pack last minute crap in our bag, climb in the car, and of course STOP FOR GAS because Hubby's goal in life is to make me crazy.

We arrive at the hospital around 8am.  I'm having regular contractions but they aren't much different from the constant Braxton Hicks I've been having for eight weeks already.  Problem is, I've learned, even if you are in labour, no medical professional will even look at you until you're screaming.  There are six screaming women ahead of me.

So we sit.  And wait.  My contractions are getting worse, but I'm breathing through them.  Maybe I won't be one of those screaming woman, maybe I'll be able to breathe through it, at least until my epidural.

We finally see Smart Smiley Nurse.  I'm three and half centimeters dilated.  Progressing, but still early enough for MORPHINE.  Shoot me up, doc.

We go sit in the "Early Labour Lounge."  How charming.  Hubby gets snacks and I call our car dealer to ask him to hold the car I've been trying to buy.  True story.

A couple hours pass, I keep leaking, but pain is fine.  I try to pay brain games but I'm loopy from the drugs.  Bonus.  Hubby discovers a cereal spoon in his back pocket that he apparently brought from the house.  You know, in case he needed it.

By noon the pain is getting worse.  Back to Smart Smiley Nurse.  Five centimeters!

Time passes. OUCH OUCH OUCH.  Epidural please!  NOW.

Funny how they start paying attention to me.  Now I'm the screamer. Seven centimeters.

Oh, the anesthesiologist is in surgery? Oh, he can't come and drug me up? Oh, I have to keep enduring this pain?  Oh, you can't find a wheelchair?  Oh, FUCK YOU.

Somehow I get to my delivery room, screaming every minute or two.  It's getting worse.  WAY WORSE.  Where is that godforsaken anesthesiologist?  I'mma kick that mofo in the shin.

I remember staring at the wall, trying not to lose my fucking mind, smacking my lips as a signal for Hubby to feed me ice chips.  I remember wondering why the hell we attempted that pinky toe massage reflexology shit the night before to encourage labour because it apparently worked and I totally regret it.  And I remember the worst part: when each contraction begins because I know what's coming...

Mofo Anesthesiologist arrives.  Once upon a time, I was afraid of the needle-in-the-spine process, but now I'm just terrified that I have to STAY STILL for ten minutes, through a few contractions, while he does his work.

I lean over Friendly Nurse André's shoulders begging her "You. Have. To. HELP. ME."  Hubby sits helplessly nearby.

Oh, that's better.  Hey Mofo Doc, they should pay you more.  I mean, I know you make a lot of money already, but you deserve more.  Hubby, get my purse.

Clearly, I'm feeling much better and acting less insane.  New Nurse is putsing around the room, and informs us that it may take a few hours to get to 10 centimeters.  Once I do, we'll wait TWO MORE HOURS before pushing, so the baby can get closer to her grand entrance on her own. Baby will probably arrive around 10pm or midnight.

Huh. Clearly New Nurse has not met my baby.  My baby is in a rush to join this world, or hadn't you heard? But ok, you're the professional.  I trust you.

Hubby goes to grab dinner.

All of a sudden, a skippy dude doctor waltzes in.  Apparently Fraggle's heart rate has been too high for a while...

Doctor Skippy:  "I'm just gonna check you.  If you're fully dilated we're gonna start pushing.  If not... well, let's check before I scare you."

Yes he said that.  And no, Hubby was not there.

He checks, I'm fully dilated, and Baby Fraggle is blowing New Nurse's estimated timeline out of the water.

Oh great.

"Let's try pushing."

Um, WHAT?

"Just try a push.  I want see how you do.  If it's tricky, we'll do a C-section."

WHAT THE FUCK.  Uhhh... ok... here goes...

"Oh, you're doing great.  You push for a while and I'll come back in a half hour."

Hubby returns, hearing from Doctor Skippy that I'm pushing.  "Not my wife" says Hubby.  YEP, YOUR WIFE.

New Nurse is panicked because she was too stupid to set up her baby table.  I'm begging her to warn me when I'm having a contraction so I know when to push.  She says she will, but she never does, so I end up pushing whenever the mood strikes.

And here's where it gets really nuts.

Apparently I'm a rock star pusher (something for the resume).  This baby is coming out, and she's coming out NOW.

From across the room, New Nurse is counting to five instead of ten on every push, and Hubby and I are concerned that there's nobody there to catch the child when she slides out of my body.

Finally, Smart Smiley Nurse returns and makes this seem fun and exciting instead of TOTALLY FUCKED UP.

We do a few more pushes and everyone praises me for my skills.  Hubby looks at all the hair emerging from my vagina.  Everyone says "So much hair!" - a phrase I've been hearing on a daily basis ever since and, for some reason, take great pride in.

Smart Smiley Nurse adjusts our pushing pattern, counting to TWO instead of ten.  I push a couple more times.

In total, I push for 17 minutes, mostly miniature pushes.

Baby Fraggle arrives at 7:40. ("Arrives" makes it sound like she danced into the room.  Let's be clear: the tiny human is pushed out of my loins through an even tinier hole.)   They plop her on top of me.  I think whoa, she's bigger than I thought. Hubby cuts her cord, I don't notice.

They take her away for a second to clean her off (damn meconium), then bring her back.  She's 7 pounds, 8 ounces.  She's round and cute and pink and LOOKING UP AT ME and HOLY FUCK WHAT IS HAPPENING.

New Nurse gives me a shot in the leg, I don't notice.  Smart Smiley Nurse grins and pushes on my tummy, I don't notice.  Doctor Skippy marches in (a bit late there shit head) and Hubby gets a rundown of the placenta.  He does not eat it. I wouldn't notice if he did.

I puke.  Then Student Doc somehow squirts my blood all over the walls and ceiling.  Seriously.  It looks like a CSI scene in there.

Doctor Skippy parks himself in front of  my vagina and goes to work like a mechanic or a painter.  I pay very little attention, but I do notice.

After a couple hours, Young Hot Nurse helps my broken body into the shower.  "This is a weird part of your job," I tell her.  She doesn't seem to mind.  Of course she doesn't - she looks great.

We spend the next two days trying to breastfeed, trying to absorb fifty different "expert" opinions on breastfeeding, trying to sleep, and trying to crack the code of this tiny child who is totally and completely dependent on us being at least somewhat competent in caring for her.

In the end, I could totally do that again for the reward.  It was survivable.  Pregnancy SUCKED, but if you could promise my next labour would go like that? Sign me up.


Friday, 23 August 2013

I'm a goddam medical mystery. And a failure to boot.

I wrote this in June, but I was afraid to post it.  It was a dark time for me; I wasn't sure how many details I wanted to share.  Time has since passed, and now I want to share it - for any woman struggling through pregnancy, with or without complications and/or antepartum depression

*************

How common is pregnancy?

Probably about half the human population is physically capable, and it's safe to say that most of those do happen to experience it at some point in their lives.  Even for those women who don't experience pregnancy, there are several others who experience it multiple times.

Not only that, but pregnancy has been going on since the beginning of time.  It isn't even specific to certain parts of the world - women get pregnant internationally.  Plus Arnold Schwarzenegger in Junior.  



I think it's safe to say, then, that pregnancy is the most common medical "condition" of all time.     

So, I find it continually dumbfounding that the most common medical condition, particularly in an advanced nation such as Canada, is such a FUCKING MEDICAL MYSTERY.  

Perhaps it's because I've never actually experienced a significant or long-term medical condition, nor have I ever had much direct exposure to the medical system, but tell me:  How is it possible that doctors have so few immediate or precise answers?

Not only is my little Fraggle's health and well being entirely relying on me and only me, but I have essentially little-to-no control over her safety and development, let alone any true knowledge of how she is progressing.  

Every time I speak to a medical professional, they seem to apply 50 different random and uncertain measures of baby wellness, but they don't actually know the answers to anything.  

Is Fraggle happy in there?
Well, here, let's strap this monitor to your belly and listen to it for 30 minutes.

Is she growing?
Well, we can put this measuring tape on your belly to see if it's getting any bigger...

Can't you measure her?
Well, we can do an ultrasound, but we just did one last week and so any change would be imperceptible.  

Am I in labour?
Well, that depends on you - What's your pain level, on a scale from one to ten?

Am I dilated?
Well, if we check, we may dilate you, so we're not going to check.  Actually, let's check and make matters way worse.  

Is there a chance of me going into pre-term labour?
Well, let's do a test. 

What were the results of the test?
Well, they're inconclusive.  

Is she moving enough?
Well, that depends on you - Here, hold this little clicker and click it every time she moves.  

How many Braxton Hicks contractions are normal?
Well, you're having too many. 

What do you mean "too many" - what does that mean?
Well, we don't really know, except that you should sit still for several weeks on end.  

What causes them?
Well, there isn't a lot of research but we think your uterus is irritable.  

Huh.  Doesn't that just suit me perfectly.  What "irritates" it?
Well, moving.  So sit still.  But don't limit yourself.  But don't go shopping or anything.  And drink lots of water.  But don't let your bladder get full.   

So, my uterus doesn't want this little one in there, or what? I'm a terrible mother already? My body is incapable?
Well, no.  Maybe.  We don't know. This is not your fault.  Just sit still. 

Ok, so can these constant, uncomfortable, and terrifying contractions lead to labour?
Well, there isn't a lot of research but we doubt you'll make it to your due date.  Then again maybe we'll have to induce you at 42 weeks.  But just in case, stop moving.  

So now I'm terrified of pre-term labour.  How can I prevent it?
Well, sit still, and call us if anything changes, but no, Braxton Hicks contractions are not real contractions.  But we don't want you in pre-term labour, so please sit still. Hopefully we can just get you to 34 weeks.  

Ok, 34 weeks.  Good news right?
Well, yeah.  But let's get you to 37 weeks. You should probably sit still.   

Ok, what about after 37 weeks? Then we're good?
Well, every week after that is better.    

So, we're still aiming for 40 weeks then...
Well, no, 37 is full term, but yes, 40 weeks.  Please sit still.  


I never anticipated that keeping myself physically well would be so fucking emotionally exhausting... 

Fraggle ended up staying put until 40 weeks and 2 days.  And she rushed out of there like a bat out of hell.  



Monday, 12 August 2013

Let's be honest - what it's like to have a newborn

People kept telling me it would be hell.  That doesn't describe anything. That just scares me while also making me doubt that it's true.  So as I was laying in bed at 3am, I decided I needed a way to describe the joy/misery that is nerborn-dom.

I figure it's kinda like a natural disaster, a tornado or a hurricane.

First, the storm is coming.  You have some warning from the experts and you start to prepare, but you don't really know how bad it will be.  Will it be like the one you saw on tv? Or maybe it will pass right over you?

When the baby comes, the storm hits.  In an adrenaline-rushed flurry, you run to your storm cellar.  You grab whatever supplies you guess you'll need and you barely keep your wits about you. For the duration of the storm, you hold up in the dark and inevitably go nuts.  You're scared and you can't concentrate.  You have moments of lucidity and moments of panic.  You can't fall asleep, even if the noise outside did subside long enough for you to try.  You're terrified of what will become of you.  You cling to your partner to keep you sane and safe.

Not only that, but you are weak.  You've just finished competing in the iron woman competition and your whole body is wrecked. Also, you may or may not be recovering from a "saw the lady in half" magic trick you were forced to participate in yesterday (after the iron woman events).

On top of it, in a freak occurrence of nature, you are suffering from puberty, PMS, and menopause, simultaneously.

Oh, and there are stitches in your vagina.

Furthermore, you aren't alone in the cellar.  You've been entrusted with the care of a very tiny, very delicate baby koala bear.  Sure, it's a cute koala bear, but you have no idea how to take care of a koala bear, particularly in these traumatic circumstances.

And this isn't just any normal koala bear.  This is the world's most precious koala bear - a koala unicorn - the first and only of its kind known to humanity.  Should anything happen to this koala unicorn, you will never forgive yourself, and neither will society.

This goes on for a couple weeks - you locked down in the cellar during the longest tornado in Earth's history, scared and crippled by exhaustion.

But then the storm begins to subside. You inch your way to the cellar door and gently open it inch by inch, carefully emerging into the light.  Sure, there's an utter disaster around you, everything is a mess, and your whole world is wiped out.  Parts of your life before the storm have been lost forever (including bladder control) and you're generally very fragile.

HOWEVER, your surroundings have never looked so beautiful.  You're in awe of nature.  It may look grim in some ways, but also so promising in others.  Your friends, family, and neighbours will help you put your Humpty Dumpty world back together again.

Ultimately, you're hopeful that everything will be better than it was before.  You're just so fucking grateful that everything truly important - you, your family, and your koala unicorn - are safe and happy. Everything else will fall into place.


Wednesday, 7 August 2013

You're gonna want my autograph

Just so you guys know, I'm totally famous.

No? You're doubting me?  Well don't.

On Saturday, Hubby, Fraggle and I went on a shopping trip.  We had some time to kill, so we decided to have lunch at a nearby pub.  WITH THE BABY.

Now, you should acknowledge what a monumental accomplishment this is for us - as nervous, pathetic and completely exhausted first-time parents - to leave home for several hours WITH THE BABY.  It's what you call stress.

That's not what made us famous though.  (Although I do think we deserve some international recognition for this achievement.)

While in the pub, I tweeted this:


It was priceless.  They were betting on the game, shouting, cheering, and otherwise raising the roof, all in the name of Tiger wandering around a big green field with a big stick.

What I didn't mention in my tweet was that there was also a young good looking gal sitting in the pub by herself, knitting.  Yes, knitting.

Hubby and I laughed, because only in our friendly, boring city would a pub's patrons include a bunch of old guys all worked up for a golf game and, of course, a knitter.  Not to mention the young couple with the newborn baby.

Still not famous eh?

Well this morning Hubby texts me.  "Call me when you're up, I have a funny story."

Hubby's driving to work listening to the radio.  The morning DJs are taking calls about the weirdest thing people have witnessed in a pub.  The conversation continues, and the one DJ tells her story - how last weekend she was hanging out in a pub, getting a total kick out of the group of old guys watching a game of golf as if it were the Superbowl.  Oh, and how meanwhile, SHE WAS KNITTING.

Too funny.

So I of course place a phone call to the radio station and tell the whole story to the gal, who totally remembers us and fully agrees that this is a perfect example of the perfect pub, in the perfect city, in the perfect small world.

Then she plays our conversation on the radio, and BOOM - famous. So you can totally have my autograph if you want.  Only $5, plus shipping and handling.

[For the purpose of this post, "famous" is loosely defined as "heard my voice on the radio, recorded it on my kickass iPhone, and played it later for my friend LB who said I can totally count this as my productive activity for the day. ]


Friday, 2 August 2013

Dear Fraggle

In case you didn't get the memo, I FINALLY gave birth to my tiny human a few weeks ago.  (Wait, has it been four weeks already? What the hell? Is she driving yet? Has she graduated?  Is she married?)

Although I have been saving a ton of blog material in this pathetic messy brain of mine, who knows if I'll ever find time/energy to expel it from my mind onto the interwebs.

So, I'll start with this one post, this one thing I've wanted to write for a long, long time - a letter to my darling daughter.

********

Dear Fraggle,

My god, I had no idea having you would be like this.  Nobody could have prepared me for it.  It doesn't seem to matter what people said or how they tried to warn me - the overwhelming nature of growing, birthing, and loving you has been, well, indescribable.

Sure, your life inside me was tricky for both of us, and for Hubby too, but my god I loved you.  I talked to you all the time, I sang you "I Will" by The Beatles on a daily basis, I imagined what you looked like, I adored when you moved inside me, and, above all, I worried about you pretty much every minute of every day.

And then you came out, in a flurry of (holy super painful) labour and only a few quick pushes. You came out and the nurse plopped you on my chest, and all I could really think was "wow, she's bigger than I thought she was."  Seven pounds eight ounces, with the cutest little face and ohmygosh so much long dark hair.  And those big brown eyes looking up at me.  And then Daddy cut your cord and before I knew it we were parents.

That first week was, (well, Fraggle dear, I'm always going to be honest with you) one of the hardest things we've ever done. Trying to feed you, laying crooked in a hospital bed opening my eyes every 5 minutes to look at you through that clear plastic bassinet, coming home and camping out in a not-dark-enough and anxiety-cloaked bedroom for days on end trying to figure out how the heck to keep you safe.

But then, then there was a light.  Slowly, very slowly, some weird normalcy began to emerge unlike any "normal" I have ever known.  A new normal where nothing else in the world matters as much as you do, and where Hubby and I truly rely on each other in a way we never had before, finding a way to exist as your parents rather than whoever those two fools had been beforehand.  I woke up the other night wondering, where is the grown up that is supposed to be caring for this child?

Now, honey, you'll be four weeks old on Monday.  I have no idea where this time has gone, or how I managed to survive it, but I'm starting to see what everyone was trying to tell me.  It was worth it.  All of it.  Because you are the most lovely, sweetest little baby known to humanity and it aches my heart how much I love you.  You are the most beautiful thing I've ever done. It kills me when you cry, and it warms me when your eyes gaze at mine.  And this week, when I was feeding you, you held my hand...

I love everything about you.  I love your jazz hands (aka newborn reflex), and your "ET phone home" (aka burping bliss), and even your giggle-cries (like Dick Van Dyke floating on the ceiling in Mary Poppins) and your monkey scream (which sometimes sounds more like a Michael Jackson "Ah hoo hoo").  I've watched your hair lighten, and watched your eyes shift from dark brown, to a deep sea blue that I can't describe, to now a grey blue that mesmerizes me, just like Hubby's.

I promise, no matter what, I will keep watching.  Be patient with me, though I'm not perfect, not even close.  But I will always do my best.  I will be there, for everything, all the time. I will support you, no matter what, without judgement.  I will hold your hand, and teach you things, and take you places, and adore you, unconditionally, forevermore.

Love always,
Mom


Monday, 24 June 2013

All I wanted was strawberries

At 38 weeks pregnant, I'm into the weekly doctor appointments.  Usually, I end up waiting forever and then some random baby health indicator requires more monitoring or testing.  Two weeks ago I was there for six hours.  SIX.  HOURS.

Don't get me wrong, I want to check on her and I'll wait as long as it takes.  However, I'm not really gonna be happy about it.  Don't you know me at all?

Today I headed to my regular appointment, and amazingly I was only there for 40 minutes.  Sure, parking cost me 7 bucks, but everything looks fine and I didn't even have to wait.  Huh.  Having a lucky day.

So I thought to myself: well, maybe I have time to stop at the bank then.

The bank.  I HATE the bank.  I never go to the bank. I would take cash out of my iPhone if it would dispense it.  I use the internet and maybe an ATM whenever necessary, and I rip Hubby apart every time he makes an actual trip to an actual bank (old man).  I hate banks.

Unfortunately, though, I've had this one cheque for a month that I need to deposit, and it isn't a cheque that I can deposit into the machine.  I actually need to walk into a bank and speak to a human.

Instead of going to my regular branch near my house, I decided to stop on the way home from the doctor so I could also withdraw some cash in order to purchase fresh strawberries at the local fruit farm on the way home.

Strawberries are KEY, and much to my dismay, fruit farms don't accept MasterCard pay-pass.

I used my bank's iPhone app and found a nearby location.  Once I arrived, I stood in a stupid bank line and eventually made my way to the stupid bank teller.  And then it happened.

The fucking POWER WENT OUT. Right at that moment! I'm standing there, in a bank, in front of a human bank teller.  Not even my normal bank, but a bank that I made a special stop to visit.  And the whole place was rendered utterly useless by a lack of electricity.

So no cheque deposit, and worst of all, no fucking strawberries.  Story of my goddam life.


Sunday, 16 June 2013

I bet parenting is a shit show. But he's got this.

I never really had to think about Father's Day, given that I never actually had one. I mean, sometimes it popped up here and there, but generally? Generally Father's Day doesn't really occur to me. 

Until this year, because this year HUBBY is the new father in my life. 

This little Fraggle is due to exit my womb in about 3 weeks (we'll see what she actually decides to do - she's indecisive, I can already tell... Like Hubby maybe!) and all I can think about is what a wicked dad my Hubby already is, let alone how awesome he'll be once he can actually, ya know, *see* his daughter. 

First, he will totally play with her. Not just "Hey let's play catch after dinner" but also "Hey let's get down on the floor and build forts! And stack blocks! And tackle each other! And tickle each other! And dress up dolls! And have a tea party! And bounce around on the exercise ball! And use power tools! And fix things! And run with a grocery cart, jump on it, and coast through the parking lot! And sing songs! And STRUM THE GUITAR! And hey I'll race ya!"  I picture Hubby as the "let's do anything you want to do" kind of dad, because: a) he's young at heart: and, b) he will in *no way* be able to resist her smile.

Second, he will understand her. I think he *may* have a little doubt on this one, simply because she's a girl - and growing up as the oldest of three boys makes him a little uncertain about girls. (Who can blame him? Girls are volitile and mysterious jerks.) However, it is, in my estimation, completely impossible for a sensitive and loving man such as my Hubby to not fully understand his daughter - or at least fully support and adore her, no matter what. Even when she needs a diaper change, or a pretty outfit, or a braid in her hair, or when she cries about some dumbass boy. She'll go to him for that stuff. She'll go to him for anything. 

Finally, Hubby will protect her - protect her in a way that I was never protected, a way that only a daddy can protect. That "you're safe in my arms and I will NEVER hurt you" kind of way that (no matter how much feminism I spit at people) I know I missed out on - even with a strong and independent momma. The way I see it, Fraggle will get the best of both worlds on this one. Me, being strong and conscientious on my own, but also knowing I depend on Hubby as my rock and my defender on a daily basis; and Hubby, being patient and helpful, and overall an active participant in his relationships. 

Hubby dear, I can't wait for you and I to tackle the SHIT SHOW that this whole parenting thing is bound to be. I wouldn't have it any other way. We got this. Hands down. 

 

Friday, 14 June 2013

Hello Antepartum Depression

Is there such a thing as pre-partum depression? Or I guess it would just be partum depression? Because it's 4am and I've been laying here for an hour realizing that I have not felt any good for an extremely long time.

I've stopped blogging lately, because all I can really think to blog about is how hard this pregnancy is, but I'm pretty sure most people either don't understand that, don't buy it, are sick of hearing it, or are judging me for it. 

Add to that a month of pregnancy complications that are beating the shit out of me (and Hubby) and then ask us if we'd ever do this again...

So I stay silent. 

And it eats me alive.

Somehow I'm supposed to go into labour/delivery/newborn/parenthood mode on this remarkably *depleated* capacity. How the fuck am I supposed to do that?  Everyone keeps saying "the first three months are hell."  What am I supposed to do with that information? I apparently can't handle the 9 months prior to the three-month hell and you want me to raise a child on top of it?  My body and mind are clearly not strong enough to grow the human, let alone be its mother. 

At this point, I feel like the only thing I have to cling to is the possibility of upcoming *change*.  I already adore this little Fraggle more than anything and I really just need her to be OUT of my body. I need to go for a bike ride. I need to roll over onto my stomach. I need to pick something up off the floor. I need to hug her and soothe her and call her by name. 

But I can't do any of that. So instead I face every day like a marathon and try to find any single solitary little source of stability that provides any small fraction of peace. 

But I'm running out of sources...


****
Updated

Elle (below) shared this link with me.

The Beast Known As Antepartum Depression - By Allison Zapata

Although my situation hasn't gotten as bad as it can for others (yet), I apparently am experiencing what's called Antepartum Depression.  I wouldn't be so quick to self-diagnose if I didn't already have a propensity for Depression in the first place.  It's been a slow build-up over time, magnified by recent complications and doctors orders to stay still all the time - the Stir Crazy has added to the already-existing Crazy and I'm running out of power to overcome.

But having a name for it helps, and knowing there are some women out there who understand and who are maybe not judging me helps too.  I also have a therapist that will get me through and an understanding and supportive Hubby who *always* makes me feel unconditionally loved.  And then there's hope - hope that when this adorable little darling arrives I will find some form of peace... new stressors, sure, but hopefully some new strength as well.



Sunday, 2 June 2013

Our love story will freak your freak

Hey look.  I'm blogging.  Weird, eh?

I can't put my finger on why it's been so long, necessarily, other than the fact that I'm now 8 months pregnant and it has not been the easiest thing I've ever done - to say the least.

But something funny happened today that made me and Hubby laugh, which is nice because if I'm honest with myself, laughter hasn't been as prominent in my daily life as it once was - another symptom of pregnancy, I suspect.  So laughing out loud today, shaking this giant belly of mine, felt, well, pretty damn good.

We went to Hometown for a wedding this weekend.  Not just any wedding, but my best friend's wedding.  My best friend who is so sweet, and so considerate, and so happy with her new husband that I have been devastated - and I mean devastated - that I haven't been able to be the perfect maid of honour.  The effort and emotional energy that growing a baby requires has unfortunately taken away from my capacity as best friend.  I've done my best, which in my eyes it isn't good enough.  In fact, I almost couldn't even be there, so at least I accomplished that much, right?

So.  Hubby and I drove to Hometown, enjoyed the wedding, and then made our way to our hotel for some much needed rest.  Given the emotional disaster I had become throughout the course of the day, a two-hour drive home late last night stopped being an option.

I felt a bit better this morning.  We packed up our stuff (poor Hubby carrying my 16 heavy bags) and walked (in my case, waddled) to the lobby to check out.

When I came around the corner I immediately recognized the girl behind the counter.

"Annie!"

Annie went to school with me.  In fifth grade.  And in case you haven't heard the story a million times before, not only did she go to school with me, but Hubby too.  Yes, Hubby and I went to school together in fifth grade, and every grade after that until we started dating at 16, married at 25, and are now in the process of growing a tiny human at 29.

Annie recognized me too, and quickly noticed how fat I am - but that's not the funny part.  She looked at me, and then Hubby came around the corner.  Annie, like every other girl in our class (including me), had a huge crush on Hubby.  She looked at him, recognized him right away, exclaimed his name, and then:

"...wait..."

*eyes to me, eyes to Hubby, eyes back to me*

And then?  Then came the most hilarious confused and surprised facial expression I've ever witnessed.

See, Annie is apparently the one person in Hometown that I haven't actually seen since we were about 12 years old, and it seems she wasn't familiar with the adorable Hubby-Wifey Love Story.

It's as if she was in the twilight zone.  We freaked her freak.  The look on her face said "Whoa. What year is this? Am I on shrooms?"

I laughed. "Yep.  We're married."

She laughed "And you're pregnant!"

We chatted for a minute, left the hotel, and then laughed for about 20 minutes.

This is Hometown; this is my remarkable history with this wonderful husband of mine.  And I adore it.


Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Seven reasons I cried at work today

Crying at work is not necessarily uncommon for me.  Life upsets me and I don't really know how to hold it in.  Today, however, the crying at work was the result of a series of related reasons, of which I will enumerate here:

1) When I arrive and run into a coworker I haven't seen for weeks, I don't need him to exclaim "Well, let's see your belly! Let's see the reveal!" as I'm removing my jacket - even if he is the kindest, sweetest colleague of all time.  This makes me feel like an object that is being pointed at.  Not to mention, I don't think if he were gaining weight he'd want me to point at his ass and shout at him. 

2) I am a whale.  I'm already too big to touch my feet, or bend, or do yoga, or sit up, or roll over, or put on my underwear, or shave my legs, or wear any of my clothes, or find new clothes that I like, or tolerate my bulky winter jackets (WHICH I STILL NEED BECAUSE SPRING WON'T COME).   And guess what sunshine? I still have 3 months to go and this tiny human is less than 3 pounds so far.  There's nowhere else for her (or me) to grow.  I am as big as I can handle, and I'm so terrified about that fact that I can't even type it without wanting to cry. 

3) Add to that: I am fucking tired.  Not only is my mind running at warp speed with baby thoughts all hours of the day, but I can't sleep because my back and hips hurt like hell (yes I have pillows). 

4) I am in pain.  See above.  The back pain has started and I'm still working on ways to relieve it.  Anyone who is in pain might be a little extra sensitive, no?  Well, add pain to the other 6 reasons, and I feel justified. 

5) I am hormonal.  I have to admit this must be part of the problem.  I tend to resist the "crazy pregnant hormones" hypothesis, but I do feel fragile lately which must at least be partially due to the raging ridiculousness that happens to one's body when she is housing an ever-growing human being.

6) I am embarrassed.  Being the centre of attention is hard for anyone, especially when it comes to a person's body.  Not to mention, nobody likes crying in public - it tends to lead to more crying. 

7) The barrage of attention is constant.  There is no reprieve.  So even if you are a well-meaning colleague, friend, or family member, having people comment on or point at my body all day does not make it easier to withstand. If I've learned anything in my life, it's that tolerance boils down to volume and frequency. 


I get that some pregnant women don't feel this way.  Or they do and they just don't talk about it.  Or they do and other people are not paying attention.  But I am not the only one to say this.  I am not crazy.  This is hard, and it's allowed to be. 

My advice to people (including Past Me who has also made this mistake): Please don't make everything about the baby, even if it is all you can see.  Remember that she's a person - a person going through a lot right now - and maybe you could just act normal sometimes.  Or at least be subtle...

Friday, 5 April 2013

Hubby darling, play me a tune

One of my absolute favourite things about Hubby?  He plays the gui-tar.  Scratch that, he doesn't play it, he masters it.  He's really quite remarkable on that friggin thing.

Sometimes I beg him to for the love of god put that thing down already, but most of the time Hubby's guitar playing is the highlight of my day.  Neither one of us can wait until he teaches our little girl to play along with him. (I'll just watch.  And continue to pretend I know how to sing.)

If you know any guitarists, especially any good ones, you know they usually have a few key influences.  In Hubby's case, John Mayer is the go-to.

Now.  You might not appreciate John Mayer. Sure, sometimes he comes across as kind of a douche, and you might not even like his sometimes cheesy tunes.  However, in case you don't already know, I'm here to tell you that John Mayer's skills on six strings are very nearly unmatched.

Often to my particular frustration, John Mayer has become the backdrop to our lives.  Mr Mayer was playing when Hubby and I decided to tie the knot.  Uncle D quoted him at our wedding ceremony... This is not roman candle, firework, Hollywood, hot pink love; this is I got your BACK love.  Not to mention every goddam road trip of all time.  And of course, without fail, every. single. one. of Hubby's daily guitar sessions.

Despite the over-exposure, I have what one could call a soft spot for those tunes, so naturally I was glad to see John perform on Ellen this week.  Watching him play his new bluesy song Olivia, I learned something: As it turns out, it isn't John Mayer's guitar that I love - it's Hubby's, when he plays Mayer's stuff.

So when I went upstairs, I made of point of sharing this tidbit with my dear husband, for which I was greatly rewarded...

As if I didn't love him enough already, my darling set me up with a full-fledged bedroom concert to entertain me while I showered, complete with Strat, amplifier, vocals, harmonica, and pedal board.

Oh, how much I adore him - even when he's been a total wiener on three separate occasions that day.


Sunday, 24 March 2013

Hubby should never leave me to my own devices

Hubby is working today (yes, on a SUNDAY) so I'm all alone to entertain myself and/or accomplish things.  I wouldn't be so worried about the accomplish-things part, except that this tiny human is coming in, like, three months and oh my god there is so much to do.

We went to Ikea last night to purchase some I-need-this-or-I-will-be-a-bad-mother items, including: some shelves, some picture frames, and a stupid little white end table to sit next to the rocking chair so that I have a place to set my wine bottle while I'm breastfeeding.  

As I'm sure you can imagine, Ikea usually means Hubby has some work to do.

But Hubby's not here.  He has basically abandoned me to raise this poor child all on my own.

Or he's away for a few hours.  Whichever.

In any case, at 10:00 this morning I decided I could probably put the little table together myself.  This is how it went:

10:00
This doesn't look so bad.  Just one little box.

10:01
DAMMIT BOX OPEN.  OOOPPPEEENNNNNNNNNNNNnnnnnnnn

10:02
Oh, much easier with scissors.

10:03
Only a table top, three legs, a few screws?  I can do this.

10:04
Oh my god these legs are all wonky.  Which way is up?  Why does the picture show TWO screw holes.  There is only ONE.  Oh.  There's the other one.

10:05
Ok Tuxedo, not a toy.  Also, not even safe.  Like, you're seriously gonna get hurt.  These big metal poles are flailing around like nobody's business.



10:10
Fuck this.  FUCK YOU THREE WONKY LEGS AND A MILLION GODDAM SCREWS.

10:11
Oh.  It goes like that.

10:22
My hands smell like metal.

10:23
DAMMIT TUXEDO.

10:31
This doesn't fit.  This.  Doesn't.  Fit.  THISDOESN'TFIT.

10:32
OUCH MY HAND.

10:34
*Starts crying*

10:40
Perfect! Those screws don't have to be tight.  Hubby'll fix it.

10:44
Nap time!

 

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Thank you Pregnant Chicken, I finally know what to say


Anybody heard of the Pregnant Chicken?  If not, you are most certainly MISSING OUT.  This blog is right up my alley (and almost as cynical about pregnancy as I am...)


My friend sent me a link to the Pregnant Chicken's list of Clever Pregnancy Comebacks - for all those stupid comments people make when a woman is growing a tiny human. 

There are 3 installments on the Pregnant Chicken blog, plus a multiples edition.  I've pasted my favourites below, because, well, study up people.


"Are you sure you're not having twins?! You're so big!"

Shhh, it's actually a litter of puppies but don't tell anyone yet.

Did you say "twins" or "violins"? Oh, okay I guess both sounded kind of stupid.


"Is the nursery ready?"

No, the baby isn't going to be staying with us.

Yep, the sock drawer is all ready to go!

Sort of, we're just waiting for the electric fencing to be installed.


"You're just hormonal."

Shall I tell your family that those were your final words?

"I was simply hormonal, your Honor. I didn't mean to stab him in the neck with a pencil."


"How are you going to handle this?!"

We're just gonna sell her on eBay.

Oh, it’ll be fine. I drink a little.

I just won't pick her up when she cries. I figure that will free up a lot of my time


“How ya feeling?” (with a head tilt).

I don't know, I'm still a little drunk.

Strangely violent today.

It's funny that you should ask that... *abruptly walks away*


"You should NOT be drinking caffeine."
(or doing, eating, touching, etc. something else that's none of their damn business).

Oh my gosh, Th...ank YOU! Are you SURE? I had NO idea. My doctor said it was fine, thank god you are here to save me from...what is it exactly the caffeine will do?

The Voices say I can have caffeine. I don't fuck with the Voices.

Decaf make PREGNANT HULK SMASH!!!!!!!!

You shouldn't be wearing those jeans, but I didn't bring that to your attention.

This is the best I can do since kicking the meth habit.


"Feeling fat yet?"

Whoa, I was just going to ask you the same thing. How weird is that?!

You feelin' lucky, Punk?


“You still haven’t had that baby yet?”

I'm trying to hold it in so I can finish a novel I'm working on.

Oh, I had it, I just left it in the car today.

Don’t worry; you will know when your husband starts paying child support.

I had it yesterday but I'm trying to shoplift this basketball so could you bugger off?


"You'd better sleep now because once that baby gets here..."

Why!? Don't they sleep?! Next you'll tell me they poop too.

Sleep is for pussies and ugly people.


"You're so small!"

A really heavy person said that to me yesterday too. I guess it's all relative.

I had my internal organs removed so I wouldn't have to buy bigger pants.


"You're huge!"

I know!! It's like I'm growing a whole baby or something!

Holy shit, you too

I don't know why either, all I consume these days is cocaine and Diet Sprite. Weird, eh?


"How many babies are you going to have?"

It depends on how many we can sell.


"Do you know if it's a boy or a girl?"

It wouldn't matter anyway because we're naming it Thermos the Third whether it's a boy OR a girl.

I'm kind of hoping it's neither and it's just gas.



Marianna’s own personal additions:

"Pregnancy Braaaiiinnn!"

Well, at least it's better than yours on a good day.

You mean the heightened sense of awareness?

I have TWO brains in my body right now, how many do you have?


"Feeling sick this morning?”

Nope. Constipated as hell though.

Only when I smell that perfume you’re wearing.

*pukes on them*


"Does she move a lot?”

Well, she’s winning the gold medal for the Cervix Trampoline Olympics right now

Only when I snort coke.


"Oh really? I loved being pregnant.”

Huh. Mother Nature really duped you, eh?

Well, you know what they say, good pregnancy, ugly child.

You would.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

He didn't even lose his shit

Grocery shopping is a shit show.  This is a fact of life.

For Hubby and I, grocery shopping is more than a shit show - it is a devastating ordeal of remarkable proportions.  We either argue about Hubby's 15 minute pickle-selection process, or Hubby's 20 minute cereal-selection process, or Hubby's 25 minute sauce-selection process.  Or the fact that not every set of apples needs its own environmentally unfriendly plastic bag.

Today, however, we did quite well.  We didn't need much, just a few snacks to satisfy this tiny human I'm growing.  We made it through the produce section (with only one minor "discussion" about whole grain bread), and then it happened... I could tell, Hubby was starting to lose it...

For some unknown reason, I was in a perfectly pleasant mood.  Normally, the insanity that is a discount grocery store on a Sunday afternoon would be too much for me to handle (RUN THE FUCKERS OVER), but today I was downright calm and cheerful.  Blame hormones?

Hubby, on the other hand, was on the BRINK.  Although entirely imperceptible to anyone but me, the small aisles, large carts and idiot people were starting to sloooowly push him closer and closer to the edge.  It wasn't obvious, it was subtle - a little twitch in his eye, a sigh now and then, an occasional speed-walk past a fellow shopper.

But I could tell.  I could see it.

And what did I do to prevent his meltdown? Absolutely nothing.  I just kept moseying through the aisles, asking the dumbass store kid to find my soup, and oooh look ice cream sandwiches!

Then we got to the end, and I thought one particular encounter would really send Hubby into the realm of intolerance that would result in total abandonment of our grocery mission:

There was a 4 year old randomly running through the crowds like a stun-gun victim - only made worse when his dad (who probably stun-gunned the stupid kid in the first place) started shouting at him FROM 8 AISLES AWAY, only to receive a insolent exposed tongue before the kid took off in the opposite direction reverting to his original "I'm a demented airplane without a steering wheel" style.

But no.  That was oddly NOT the end of Hubby as I knew him.  Sure, I knew what he was thinking ("I will SO not let my kid do that" and "get me the fuck out of here"), but he didn't verbalize it.  He simply found the path of least resistance to the cashier.

To top it off, he returned the cart to its little hut without even reclaiming his deposit quarter, and now I don't know what to do with the world.  

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Things that should be available to me in my everyday life

I find my life is not as easy as it could be.  This is a problem because I am lazy.  Here are my demands:

1) My tv remote should sound an alarm when it's missing.  Like, I should push a button on my fridge and then the remote will start beeping and then I just follow the beep and then I change channels at will.

2) My front door should be able to lock and unlock with my car lock clicker.

3) MY CAR SHOULD HAVE AN AUTO STARTER.  WHAT CENTURY IS THIS?

4) My cats should feed themselves.

5) My DVR should have Siri.  "Siri, record every episode of Grey's Anatomy no matter what channel it's on, no matter what time, no matter what. And then play it on my bathroom mirror while I'm in the shower."

6) My bathtub drain should have an automatic "garborate the hair" setting.

7) My cats should scoop their own poop.

8) My couch should convert to a massage table.  And my Hubby should convert to a masseuse.

9) My house should have a laundry chute.  Why don't houses have laundry chutes anymore?

10) My house should have a chef.  And a butler.  And a maid.  And a masseuse (see above).  If you could pick one of these, which would it be? I'd pick chef.  And butler.  And maid.  And of course masseuse.


Monday, 11 March 2013

Phase three of growing a tiny human


Hello dear friends.  Amazingly, I've managed to keep up with my iPhone pregnancy journal.  I know.  Incredible right?  So, picking up where I last left off...

December 26
[Telling the fam…]
Whoa THAT was a lot to take in. Glad everyone is excited but holy, overwhelming is an understatement.  

December 27
What do you mean the baby might not be ok?  Oh.  So that's the panic and fear everyone is talking about that will last for the next 50 years.  I was not AT ALL prepared for that.  The only thing keeping me sane right now? Tuxedo Cat is in a bag.



December 29
Much more emotionally stable today.  For now anyway.

December 31
I'm gonna be the dancin mom. All 90s all the time. I'm gonna learn all the backstreet boys dance moves. Mmmm Bop baby.

January 4
Dr appointment today. I love my doctor. I trust no one else. Everyone's a HACK. [And yes the baby was ok.  This is a reference to the fact that emergency room doctors are apparently not at all qualified to deal with such an array of medical concerns. My own doctor is never allowed to leave me.]

January 6
My doctor got me thinking about a midwife. Never considered it before. Don't know why. I guess I thought a 19 year old hippie named Willow wearing a hemp skirt would come to my house and whisper at me while I pushed a human out of my vagina “naturally” in a plastic kiddie pool. Turns out? Not exactly.

January 7
Hubby just came home from work with the RANKEST odor.  And proceeded to blame MY heightened sense of smell... uh, no. Do something about that.  Immediately.  

January 8
Wow. So, going to sleep at 7:30 every night is a real thing, eh.

January 9
I can't decide if dinner in bed is good for the soul or a very bad sign.  



January 10
Hey pants. You're too small. Fuck off.

January 11
Hubby was reading about baby proofing. "You're supposed to go around on your knees to see stuff from the baby's perspective. Luckily, Honey, I guess you won't have to do that."   Nice. Throw a short joke at the grumpy pregnant lady.

January 15
THERE ARE WINE SAMPLES IN THIS GROCERY STORE.  FUCK YOU, WORLD.  

January 30
Yay Hubby building the crib! I helped.  Mostly by sitting in the rocking chair.  But when asked to hold up one side, I totally did it.  I held that sucker up for at least 10 minutes.  ("held" = put my hand on it until I realized my hand was no longer needed because it was all done anyway)

My handywork

February 4


I was TOTALLY just advised by my doctor that my extra 300 calories per day can be junk food if good food is unappetizing.  Even better, Hubby needs to back off giving me a hard time about it. Bring on the Crispers.

February 8
So sleeping on my stomach is uncomfortable, and sleeping on my back will apparently result in the apocalypse. So, sides only? MY HIPS HURT.

February 9



February 10
I've had the most bizarre change of heart in the last couple of days. No more baby. Ha just kidding. I actually just think a boy would be good. Girls are assholes. I vote boy.

February 11
First day with elastic pants. I've put it off as long as humanly possible. One benefit: peeing is way easier when all you do is slide down your waistband.

February 19
Ultrasound day. Sitting in the waiting room.  No, Hubby, I don't have any games in my purse.  And to the lady filing her nails: STOP IT.

What do you MEAN it's a girl? What does that mean

February 20
Remember when I wanted to be kicked? So masochistic. Now? Stop kicking me you little brat! Ok don't,  But still.

February 28
Worst. Sleeping. Ever. Ouch my back. Ouch my hips. OUCH.

March 1
I'm beginning to think this baby is like Hubby. Can't sit still! My whole insides are flailing.  Either that or she's like me - a total asshole.  

March 3
My new nemesis? Indigestion. Which is particularly terrible for someone who physically does not know HOW to burp. (Swallow my air, I know I know. DOESN'T WORK YOU GUYS.)

March 4
We bought a stroller yesterday! And now I wish I had a baby to put into it. So far, all I have is a Tuxedo Cat.  But he likes riding around, that's for sure.  

March 5
My mood today equates to this: 


March 6
Bought our bassinet! And the cats love that too it.



March 7

March 9
Whatever you do, do NOT google "placenta images"

March 10
Ok. Who gave this little thing a bongo to play inside my uterus?  She could also probably stop jumping trampoline on my cervix.