Archive | January, 2011

Grandparents

30 Jan

I was reading a post on LiveJournal today, from a mother who does not feel it would be in her child’s best interest to maintain a relationship with her estranged mother (the grandmother) and was seeking a second opinion.

It was a bit of a reminder that I’ve got to start figuring out the boundaries that I want to set for my parents and in-laws in regards to my unborn child.

See, I feel that my mom can do no wrong.  I really think she did as best of a job as she could given her single-parent status, and I don’t blame any of my personal short comings or problems on the way she raised me.  She had no habits that are contrary to how I wish to parent my child (partying, drinking, smoking, drugging, etc.).  My mom also avoids offering unsolicited advice and even when she does, she picks up on my emotions pretty quickly and would probably step away before a tense situation regarding a non-life-threatening instance happened in front of my kid.And she’s really excited for the baby and lives in a town 3.5 hours from here – when she wants to see the baby, she’ll have to really weigh her situation and set things aside to make the visit a special time.

The problem is, I know I view my mom through rose-tinted lenses.  I feel she can do no wrong, so obviously, I am less apt to be critical of her as a grandparent to my child.  I’m going to have to “check myself” and make sure I’m being fair to my in-laws and others when they are around my child, because otherwise, I’d be putting my mom on a pedestal that others couldn’t attain.

On the other hand, I find my in-laws quite flawed.  My mother-in-law has some life-long mental health problems that caused a strained relationship with my husband that only recently is being rebuilt.  My father-in-law is socially inept and a religious and intellectual bigot; he and I are practically polar opposites in the way we choose to present ourselves to others.  My in-laws keep a far less tidy house than I do.   Parts of their house are like something out of Hoarders.  They have a couple of cats that they keep in different bedrooms because they “don’t get along” and a rarely cleaned litter-box 8 feet straight from the front door.  My M-I-L also  smokes in her home; sometimes she decides to quit but never quite gets past the weaning stage – my F-I-L would rather that she doesn’t smoke at all, but doesn’t know how to positively reinforce her efforts.  Their parenting style seems non-existent. For example, my husband claims that they failed to completely potty-train him and his brother; I don’t know how true this is because he was a child, but it does worry me. His dad also used physical punishment repeatedly on him when he was young; I know I have witnessed domestic violence, so I don’t think I’ll ever allow that to be part of our punishment options, because I don’t trust myself. In current times, my brother-in-law, who is in high school, faces no consequences for having near daily detention for failing to turn in homework.  (He goes to a student-paced work-book based,  private school, with “teachers” who are little more than supervisors, and still manages to fall behind enough that he faces “summer school” to catch back up to his peers; allegedly, if he would just stop napping through the day, he could get enough work done during the school day to avoid homework entirely.)

I try to be respectful of the fact that my in-laws are different from the family I grew up in; a lot of it cultural, some of it because of their state of mental and emotional well being.  I want them to have a relationship with their grandchildren, but because I have trouble understanding their parenting choices, I don’t want to hear “advice” from them, much less allow them to be in loco parentis for long periods of time.  This is going to be a hard issue to address tactfully and respectfully.  My husband and I will have to reach mutual agreements concerning related issues like sleepovers and babysitting before his parents broach the subject, and we’ll have to be firm and clear on the terms of our mutual decisions with his family.  Our baby deserves to know every part of his loving family but it will be our job as parents to keep those relationships from being harmful – physically and emotionally.

Which brings me to my own dad.  My father and I have seen each other TWICE, since my mother separated from him in April of 1993.  I was 6 years old.  He came to our state once when I was in the third grade and spent a weekend with us, I can’t look back and say it was fun.  I know that the little girl I was then was so excited to see her father, but he bought us stuff and took us to an ice show.  I don’t think he tried to get to know us, or at least spend time with each child independently of the other. That was followed by years of broken promises to visit or to bring us to our home state to meet our half-sisters.  It was followed by years of knowing he was behind on child support and pleas left on his answering machine at 3 am pacific time to just talk to one of us.  I did not want him at my wedding and when I was finally able to see my half-sisters nearly two years ago, I held no desire to see him then, but we did run into each other and the meeting was civil.

I have to tell him that I’m going to have a child.  That should be the easy part.  The hard part is going to be letting him know that he will have to make any and all effort to get to know his first grandchild. I personally don’t have the emotional energy or desire to make that effort.  I don’t know my father on a personal level and I don’t know if I’ll ever have the desire to want to know him.  I have a lot of hurt because of his cowardly ways of “parenting” my sisters and me and as an adult, I can choose to not allow toxic people in my life.  As a parent, I can choose for my child, at least until he or she can begin to reason for him or herself.  I’m going to leave that open to him. I’m going to say, “if you want to make contact with your grandchild, you have to be the one to arrange a visit to this state, including finding accommodations.  And you’d better consider bringing my sisters, too.  If you want pictures, you get an email address that I can forward them to, don’t expect personal messages.  We’ll start there, and see how this goes.”

I’ve got to make that phone call before I put it off until the kid is two.

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Make It Work

26 Jan

Well, it looks like I’m stuck with the MFM I was initially referred to.  This is partly due to reluctant-tones coming from the medical assistant, partly due to me just giving in to the inevitable and realizing I was being a bit overdramatic about the situation.

I look back on it, and while I still feel like the office is not being accommodating, I have to realize, they’re not accommodating anyone but themselves, so I can suck it up.  And while it may be inconvenient, I’m lucky because I do have paid time off available, I have my own transportation, and that I make enough(-ish) money to pay for doctor’s visits.

I feel a bit silly for getting so worked up, but I still feel that the suggestion that I should go in for a non-emergency appointment “today” was ludicrous, so it balances.  I want respect, but to get it, I need to not present myself as crazy.

I also find that my need to get names from the staff I interact with is really important.  I may be suck at remembering them, but I’ll remember whether I heard a name or not.  That’s definitely going in my birth plan: all hospital personnel entering this room must introduce themselves by name and purpose.  I put up walls with “strangers” – it makes sense as an instinctive defense, but to not be able to turn it “off” means I have to find another way to make myself at ease.

Already frustrated with the MFM

26 Jan

My mood this morning: frustrated.

At my prenatal visit yesterday, Dr. V. finally said that she was officially referring me to an MFM – a Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialist (also known as Perinatologist). She also wants to see me again next week.

*Grumble grumble* I have a life outside this pregnancy. It costs money for me to take off work (or vacation time). It costs gas money (with gas consistently at $3 here) to get to appointments (and if I took the bus, then I’d lose more work-time). It causes me stress and disruption of my daily schedule, which for the sake of my anxiety and my health, is really fucking important that I stick to. So I’m not happy that I won’t ever get a break between visits. Fuck you What to Expect When You’re Expecting – I won’t see the doctor once a month, I see a doctor at least once a week. *sigh*

So I honestly was disappointed that I would see Dr. V. again so soon, but I figured that it was to be expected and that I should take it in stride. Besides once a week isn’t bad…

Well, the receptionist from a MFM’s office called this morning. I missed the phone call yesterday afternoon because my phone was on silent.  She wants me to come in for a “class” – TODAY. Um, no? I understand the pressing urgency of my pregnancy and the need for diabetic control and monitoring, but seriously, even if I had actually received her call yesterday, what makes you think that 24 hours is enough time to notify someone that they have to take off work for a educational office visit that is “just 2 to 3 hours…” Yeah, factor in travel time out to that area, plus getting there early for patient registration… We’re talking 4.5 hours of time! Out of their minds. It becomes increasingly apparent that the medical office staff members I’ve encountered have lost perspective that their reality isn’t everyone’s. What if I had limited transportation? Or was a stay-at-home-mom to non-school-aged kids? They don’t offer this class at any other time. Just Wednesdays at 12:45. Really?

I was PISSED. It felt like once again, my life outside of being an incubator for my child has become unimportant. All this modern literature on parenthood focuses on the fact that you can be a mom and work and have a social life (to some extent), but I’m already clued in to the reality that that “fact” is really friggin hard to achieve.

I love my baby. And I want to give her the best. But I also have to provide for her and myself monetarily. And I have to stay sane.

*BIG EXAGGERATED SIGH* Okay, rage-y, frustrated moment is over. The baby is apparently having play time, so I don’t want to let her feel my frustration.  It’s time to be PROACTIVE!Salty Mama!

My Proactive!Salty Mama Plan:

  • Get a hold of Dr. V. or one of her medical assistants so that I can try to get a referral that will work for me.  I’ve already called and left a message.
  • Failing that, arrange to take off for the class next week and call to for a possible reschedule with Dr. V. for later in the week.  (Since she’ll want to know how I’m doing with the MFM I’m sure.)
  • Failing a reschedule for Dr. V., suck it up and take the paid time off.  There’s no way that I’ll be able to come in early and stay late enough to make up time for two appointments.  Also ask if we can figure out a schedule of appointments (every other week, once a month for the next two months?).
  • At MFM appointment/class, ask about telemedicine/electronic monitoring options where I can avoid extraneous office visits by faxing or calling in numbers or checking in via phone or email.  I will gladly pay/ask my insurance to pay for these “appointments” so long as I can avoid taking off from work just to sit in an office for an hour to see the doc for 12 minutes.
  • Get notes from Dr. V. and possible MFM to confirm that I am under their care.  When I see Dr. Endocrine, ask if I can delay extra visits with him for awhile if indeed MFM will be monitoring my diabetic care.  Get scripts for strips and insulin ANYWAY, just in case I experience a gap between MFM and returning to regular diabetic-endocrinology care.

Quick update

25 Jan

I’m about to go to see Dr. V – finally! My husband decided that he didn’t need to be there for this visit if they’re not going to tell us the sex today. My doula was planning on coming, but her plans changed at the last moment, so I’m flying solo. If anything exciting happens, I’ll let you know.

I really just wanted to post because I’m pretty sure that I’ve been feeling the baby move this morning. It’s like dense bubbles popping and moving in my low abdomen. I’d been having some pokey-feelings in that area in the last week and a half, but today I just know it’s him or her. It’s so cool

I love you so much little one.

They Say the 2nd Trimester is Supposed to Be Easy

22 Jan

*sigh*

Another random pain alert.

TMI pain description to follow cut.

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Gotta Hold My Horses

21 Jan

I called Dr. V’s office, to just finally ask, “SO… WHEN CANZ I NOE SEX OF BABBY?” Because I’ve built up all this anticipation in the last few days after I didn’t get to see her on Tuesday, I’d just about die if I get there next week and they won’t tell me, so I might as well figure it all out now, right?

24 weeks* is the usual for their office.

WHAT?

Frickin’ a. Oh well. Still… I think we’re team pink over here. As embarrassing as it could be if we’re wrong, I’m willing to live with the consequences… or maybe just burn all evidence of wrongness with fire. We’ll see how it goes.

(*Any one else have a sneaking suspicion that this Ob/gyn group chooses the late date for the sex-ultrasound is to keep parents from using the result as reason to terminate if the gender wasn’t to their liking? 25 weeks is the cut-off for abortions in Texas.)

Today is the day…

20 Jan

that I discover what a hot flash feels like.

I read somewhere once that carb-intake can make it worse and let’s just say that I didn’t pack breakfast or lunch today…

I’ve got a headache and I feel feverishly hot on the inside, but my skin feels normal. I’m not even sweating!

I want to strip buck-nekkid, take a cold shower, and lay under a fan on cold, high thread count cotton sheets with the air conditioning on full blast.

There is not enough water and air conditioning in the world.

Yesterday’s Doctor’s Visits

19 Jan

I’m sure that I mentioned that I had not one, but TWO doctor’s visits scheduled yesterday.  I had an appointment scheduled at Dr. V’s downtown office and an appointment scheduled with Dr. Endocrine’s FNP, Jennifer.  I made crazy stupid plans to work 7-9 a.m. and then if I could finish up early enough at the endocrine clinic, I’d return for a 4-6 p.m. stint.  Oh Salty! You are so cute sometimes – look at you planning stuff!

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A Bit of Laughter for You This Afternoon

19 Jan

Shamelessly reblogged from a short Jezebel.com post called “The Story Behind Lucy Ricardo’s Babies — On-air and Off. Apparently, the episode of I Love Lucy where Lucy goes to the hospital to have Little Ricky was purposely aired on the same date she gave birth via cesarean. Gotta love Hollywood. 🙂

It’s Gettin’ to Be That Time

17 Jan

Soooooooo…

Being at 20 weeks means that pretty soon my doc will tell me if my hubby and I are having a little boy or a little girl.

I know I’ve been leaning towards one side of the binary and I’ve been telling people that it doesn’t matter to me because no matter what sex my child may be born as, I don’t want to make him/her/zhir feel like they have to live up to some specific gendered stereotype… or only have toys that are pink or not be allowed to play with dolls.   (Other people desire that too: here’s an old news item about a Swedish couple that specifically refused to reveal their child’s sex to avoid confining the child to a gender.)

But I’m really excited to find out!  I can’t wait!  My doc didn’t specifically say that she’d tell me on Tuesday when I’m there so I’m hoping that at the very least I can schedule the appointment to find out, if she won’t be able to tell me tomorrow.

What do you think?

Also: if you’re really bored, here’s a list of names we like – a.k.a. the list that proves our nerdiness, so leave it alone!

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