Friday, June 29, 2012

First flight

I'm in a sterile campus dorm room outside of Boston, nursing my baby who hasn't had any breassesses in probably six hours. Poor kid! He was a real trooper, though. Mom, not so much.

I was a ball of nerves all day. I don't know if this is a first time mom thing or what, but I have a terror, and I mean terror, of annoying people with my baby. To the point that even when people remark how "well behaved" he is, I find I have to answer by qualifying, "well, at this age they aren't really good or bad, they're just communicating when they cry, blah blah blah" as if anyone cares. I say a lot of this is still related to my previous and sometimes still crappy attitude towards other people's children. I'm working on it (my crappy attitude).

There was a couple in front of us with a toddler and a baby, and watching them struggle made me not want two kids, ever. And then tomorrow morning I'll change my mind. And so it goes.

So Bumpus was "good" I guess, in that he didn't scream his head off or anything, but he certainly had his moments and was super squirmy. In the bathroom changing him I put him on my shoulder and he promptly threw up all over my shoes. Upon return to my seat he peed all over my pants and shirt (not to mention himself). In an attempt to keep him quiet I let him mangle my nipples. Then I tipped a half cup of water directly into my purse. Mostly I was just tired and hungry and stressed out from running a little too late to the airport, and then the flight being late anyway resulting in nearly missing our connection. And thank God my bandleader friend thought to race back to the gate to pick up the gate-checked carseat halfway through the trip - I never in a million years would have guessed they wouldn't check it through, even though earlier I had had the fleeting thought, "can you imagine if we get there and they lost the car seat?" I'll never make that frigging mistake again!

So we're here now and on to the next adventure, which is the singing gig tomorrow night. I did connect with the woman who had been recommended to me by the organizers - her teenaged daughter doesn't dance and was looking for babysitting opportunities. I figure this will mainly consist of her hanging out near the stage with the baby in the Beco, since this seems to have worked last Saturday. I'm going to meet them for lunch tomorrow. Fingers crossed! And now - lights out!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Thanks, apologies and travel dilemmas

Hey all, first off I wanted to give a belated thank you to all you ladies who have been commenting on my blog. I appreciate each and every comment, even (or especially) the ones I accidentally delete (this happened again yesterday - sorry SurlyMama, my fingers can be clumsy on my phone sometimes). And that's another thing - I've been a bad commenter lately, and there's a good reason - I do 99% of my blog writing and reading on my phone, and since blogger changed formats I find it really hard to read blogs and make comments - the font is too small and I can't seem to get past the "make sure you're not a robot" thing so I get frustrated and quit. But I do care what's going on in your lives and hopefully will find a solution for this soon!

Tomorrow is my last day in LA before flying to Boston. I have exchanged emails with, but not solidified anything with, a potential babysitter for when I sing Saturday and Sunday nights. Now I feel like an idiot for not being more proactive about this - I mean, what if we never connect and I'm stuck with no one to watch him while I sing for three hours? What am I going to do? I can't take him on stage and breastfeed while singing. This is the kind of crap I need to be better at.

I've decided not to take the stroller. Although it's a good way to cart around the car seat in the airport, I won't actually use it for the baby, so what's the point? Just one more big bulky thing to cart around and he hates it, so carrier it is.

I read some interesting blogs and comments today by women thinking about a second baby and some feeling like the reason they want to have another is to recreate their first baby and do everything right - or at least, with less anxiety - this time. I can understand that. I often think of myself with a newborn a second time and how great it would be to know exactly what to expect. But then this image is shattered when I think of having a jealous two-year-old who's used to having me all to himself, and how incredibly hard it would be to balance those two unique needs. A newborn who needs constant holding and feeding and nurturing day and night, and then a toddler who needs cooked food, big poopy diapers changed, stimulation and attention and love. It's a lot. Hats off to you ladies who manage two close in age by yourself. I'm not saying I couldn't do it; I'm just saying it looks really, really hard.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Insurance, Inshmurance

Today I had my meeting with the insurance lady. She explained the ins and outs of life insurance, which is far more complex than I ever imagined. Basically, you can do a cheap version called term life insurance, but they really encourage this other kind which becomes like a line of credit you can borrow from at any time. This is very appealing to me due to the insecure nature of my job – I like having low-interest places to borrow money from. However, in doing the numbers the only way to have a nice cash stash to borrow from is to pay a super high premium (like, $300 a month). For a shmoe like me who can only afford $100 or so tops a month, I can maybe have $10,000 at my disposal ten to twenty years from now. Not so exciting. Still, they recommend doing a combo of term and this other thing who’s name escapes me now (and I can’t get up to check the paperwork because the baby is asleep on the Brest Friend pillow that’s around my waist and…well…you know how that is). So I will likely set myself up with a $400,000 policy so that in the event that I croak l’il RT will at least be able to pay off the house and have some left over. I don’t know what the heck I’m doing tying myself down to still more monthly payments, but I just know if I don’t do it now I never will. And I do want him to be protected since, after all, he has only me.

Any attempt at lowering my health insurance costs of course failed. I can save on the premiums but then leave myself hanging if ever one of us needs prescription drugs or runs up expenses meeting a large deductible…and if I ever have baby #2, this scenario will happen. I can’t imagine the luxury of having an NHS that just covers you no matter what. Sure, you have to wait, and sure, the care isn’t up to US standards (so I’m told). But at least you have FREE health care and you don’t have to be utterly destitute to get it. I never was for national health in my more conservative days, but age has made me more, not less, liberal. If every other freaking country in the world can have some form of national health care, why can’t we? At least people like me – single mothers who make some, but not a lot, of money, would have something to fall back on. I was watching a Dateline or 20/20 on my DVR about the “new poor” – people who were middle class but are now going to food banks, etc, just to get by – and there was one similar thread in all of these families’ stories: crippling medical bills, that caused them to lose homes, savings, everything. People in other countries must look on stories like these with horror. It’s just so utterly wrong. I mean, here I am thinking about having a second child, and the number one reason I would pass on the idea is because I can’t afford a second baby’s $300 + a month cost for health insurance.  How screwed up is that?

Well, at least I know that Kaiser is, in fact, the best deal in town, so I am not (for all intents and purposes) being ripped off. And I was reminded that once Bumpus turns two his premium will drop dramatically, AND Healthy Families is still on the table until I get a “no” from them. I just have to accept that things are going to be kind of expensive for a while. Oh well, I guess all the money I’m saving from not eating out, traveling, or shopping at Anthropologie (not on the sale rack) has to go somewhere, right?

Monday, June 25, 2012

3 months pic

3 months

Totally didn’t have time to do the cute little 3 month sticker photo yesterday. I spent the day in San Diego and didn’t get home until midnight, and by then we were both over it. But I’ll do it today. The anal retentive (OCD?) person in me that’s strict about exact dates and times is very uncomfortable with this.

Bumpus is three months, which according to Dr. Google, means he is no longer a newborn. I have often wondered how our ancestors felt about this milestone. A friend of mine pointed out recently that a baby’s first birthday doesn’t mean much to the baby because he’s too little to understand, but it means a lot to the parents, in that they managed to keep the baby alive for that whole first year. So today I celebrate the passing of the fragile newborn age. Despite my utter ineptitude I have kept Bumpus alive past those first difficult months. And even better he has not been sick, had diaper rash, failed to thrive, nor been dropped or fallen on my watch. I knew this one was a keeper.

I did notice that the anniversary of my chemical pregnancy passed on Friday.  Like so many of my fellow bloggers who suffered loss before a healthy baby, I did contemplate this a bit on Friday. I remembered sitting on the couch with my heart pounding, feeling more and more discharge slipping out of me, finally calling the Kaiser helpline, then getting myself over to the emergency room, then going to my bandleader friend’s house to tell him and his wife what was going on since we were about to leave for Boston (the same trip I’m going to take this Friday). I remember that ugly, insecure feeling of being the single chick trying to have a baby and having no idea if it would ever work out, and the torment of keeping it from my friends in case it never did. How alone I was in all of it (although very grateful for the few friends I had told, and my sister, so I at least had a few shoulders to cry on). I remember lamenting, “I wish I had a crystal ball.” If only I could have had a peek at a year later and seen cute little Bumpus and how amazing he is!  But unfortunately life just doesn’t work like that. Today I sit here and wonder if in a year I’ll be pregnant with baby #2 or if I will have abandoned the whole idea, or if I’ll still be unsure. OR even worse, if I’ll be in the middle of trying and have experienced more loss. It could go any way, really.

My enthusiasm over my Boston trip has been somewhat dampened by the fact that hardly any of the relatives I arranged to meet with after my singing gig are actually going to be able to show up. First my sister warned me her husband probably wouldn’t be able to make it because he’s an engineer and is on a huge project – fine, I’ll see him on my NY trip in August, so no big deal. But then it was her brother in law, who works, who can’t get off work. And then it was his wife, too (my “other” sister), which also means their son. And finally Saturday morning it was their parents (my son’s defacto grandparents) who emailed to say they also couldn’t make it because of work. Huh? Apparently nobody realized the 4th of July this year is in the middle of the week, and where I’m going to be in Massachusetts is about three hours away from where they all live, so a quick day trip isn’t really possible. So even though everyone was gung-ho about meeting up to see the baby for the first time when I planned this months ago, now nobody’s coming. After talking to the “other” sister on the phone, I get it – they are poor working folks who just took all their vacation time on a trip a couple of weeks ago and just can’t ask for more days off. Had I come on a weekend it would be no problem. But it did dawn on me just how difficult it’s going to be to have my son be consistently in their lives. They are never going to visit me here, and most of my trips to the east coast are for gigs which are always on weekends. I can come on holidays of course – but just visiting once a year doesn’t really cut it with a kid who grows so fast. It breaks my heart when I think these people aren’t going to see him at this stage – in fact probably won’t see him until maybe Christmas, when he’ll be so much older. Ugh! Oh well, what can you do? At least my sister will be there, and we’re gathering at my cousin’s place, and I imagine my uncle will come out too. So there is that.

I now have to start my flurry of activity before I leave on Friday. Luckily I stocked up on diapers, bought a new big suitcase, have arranged a ride to the airport, and am in general ready for the trip. Now I just have two remaining big event projects – finalizing the contest music for eleven contests, and editing the video tribute, which I am absolutely determined to get done before I leave. When I get back it will be (gasp) only three weeks until my event, which is always a mess of paperwork, customer service, and niggling last minute details.  In other words, not good at all for in depth projects that require long stretches of time and concentration. On the health front, baby has not slept through the night again after those three nights. We’re back to a four-five hour stretch, followed by cluster feeding the rest of the morning until I just give up trying to sleep and get up for the day. But hooray, my breast pain appears to be gone. It left as suddenly and inexplicably as it appeared – one day I just noticed I wasn’t in pain anymore. I haven’t done anything different, so all I can guess is it was just some kind of temporary growth pain I was in, or something. Lack of pain has allowed me to almost always now nurse without the nipple shield, which makes things less fussy and gear-intensive. So, hooray for no more pain!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Future fears

Lately I've been in this weird habit of fearing upcoming parenting hurdles (I know most of you are thinking, "what do you mean, lately?"). I guess when some of the parents you know are going through a "rough patch" all at once, it doesn't inspire confidence.

For example, walked with my friend the other day with the video game-addicted seven year old and she reiterated how he calls her a "mean mommy" and how disrespectful he is to her; I find this horrifying, but she seems sort of sadly resigned to it, like it's normal for kids to throw fits and lash out at you, say they hate you, etc. Is it normal? Maybe I'm the one with unrealistic expectations. Am I still in that delusional "my kid will never..." mode? It's possible. However, I know I would never have dared talk back to my mother, tell her I hate her, take a tone, no way, Jose.

I look at my sweet, innocent little baby and it breaks my heart to think he could ever be angry at me, defiant, disrespectful. But he's not always going to get his way, which means he'll be mad at me from time to time. Do I have the testicular fortitude to handle this?

Another parent friend of mine with a ten year old finally admitted to me last night what I'd suspected for years - that his son has major sensory/OCD/anxiety issues. He would tell me stories about his son sitting down to draw a picture and then throwing a screaming, crying fit when it didn't come out just right, and throwing and breaking things, and I'd think, "ummm...that's not normal." But then again it seems like every kid today has some "disorder". God knows I had major anxiety at his age, but nobody cared in the 80s. So nobody did anything about it, and eventually I figured out my own coping techniques.

Before I was pregnant I was scared of being pregnant. When I was pregnant, I was afraid of labor. When I was in labor, I was afraid of caring for a newborn. Now I'm afraid of having a baby that's mobile and needs to be entertained. And so it goes. Some of the things - caring for a newborn - have been nowhere near as bad as I expected. Others - labor - were infinitely worse than I ever could have imagined. I suppose raising a kid will be a bit like that. Some phases will be good, others a nightmare. Or not! I have one friend with a son who's now grown who all along the way was just a delight (and I can confirm this, since I've known the boy since he was five and now he's 21). He was just always a pleasant, mellow kid who loves his mama. Can I have one of those, too, pretty please?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Cabin fever

I'm still kind of puzzled by my compulsive need to be "out of the house". Mind you, the evenings are WAY better now - rather than being a six hour nipple-mangling fest, now the baby can sit contentedly for hours just arching his back and playing with his toes, which is awesome! So why do I still make up excuses to go on long car rides? Yesterday I was actually happy to be caught in traffic! Wtf!

I think there is something to be said for living with another adult - I can see looking forward to the husband coming home and having someone to talk to, someone to connect you to the outside world. That does sound appealing right now. But before the baby my days were equally void, why did I not mind then, but I mind now? Why did I used to take a Friday night at home alone in stride, but now it's intolerable? What's up with that?

My event is now less than six weeks away, and it's time to tackle those big projects, like picking contest music for ten contests, and creating a video dedication for the old time jitterbug that died back in January. Today I ordered $6000 in blank track jackets and t shirts to be printed and sold at the event. Gulp. I also ordered a beehive wig and a snow white costume, and black gaffer's tape. Such is my life.

Mr. Bumpus is on the verge of rolling over, I can feel it. He loves to push off with his feet, and rolls to his side from his back. He scootches all over the place, so I'm going to have to keep a closer eye on him from now on!

My flights have been bought for my Boston trip next week and a New York/DC trip in August. I'm not even nervous about Bumpus being a nightmare on the plane - I'm so psyched for a change of scenery, he can scream, poop, pee, and projectile vomit the whole five and a half hours if he wants - everyone will just have to deal with it!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father/Mother's Day

A friend posted on my Facebook wall today wishing me a happy father's day, as I am doing both roles. I posted happy father's day to Bumpus, who hopefully one day will be a great dad. I wondered if anyone seeing this will say to themselves, "and who is he going to learn to be a dad from?" But if anyone did think this, they kept it to themselves, which I appreciate.

I think about the donor sometimes. I think about this totally amazing thing he made possible just because he was broke one day - he made a whole person, lots of people, possible. I hope one day I get to thank him - I hope, if Bumpus wants, that they can connect. Who is this guy? Who will he be in eighteen years? If I met his mother, would we compare notes about Bumpus, "oh, my son used to do that, too." I'm sad that I don't have a mother in law to share the joy of this baby with. I'm also sad my biological father is looney tunes. Eh, I'm over it. Apart from having substantially more money and less of a sweet tooth, there's nothing I'd change about my life, honestly.

Speaking of money, I had a maddening experience with Healthy Families on the phone the other day - as I had dreaded, they rejected my profit & loss statement because they need a more recent one. I can't give them a March/April/May statement, because it will push me above the income limit (since I make all my money for the entire year during this period). Tried to explain this to the person on the phone, who kept robotically repeating that they need my most recent profit and loss statement. I can't give it to you because it isn't a true reflection of my actual income. We need your most recent profit and loss statement. And so it went until I yelled I would just make one up then, and hung up. And so I did make one up and send it off. And now I wait another month - and another $330 premium payment - before I find out if they accept it. I think I may have to come to terms with the fact that even though I legitimately qualify for this program, I may not be able to get it because they cannot make sense of how I make my money. No, I do not have pay stubs. No, I do not have tax returns that reflect my actual income. No, I don't have a profit and loss statement that reflects my actual income, either, since half the year I make a ton of money (almost none of which I keep), and the other half I make nothing at all. So, I may just have to let this go, as much as it pains me. In the meantime I'm going to hit up my old insurance broker (a friend's sister) to see if I can get a better deal on our health insurance than Kaiser. I doubt it, but I feel like I owe it to myself to at least try. I may not have to spend $630 a month. And hey, if I really get hard up I can wait until the half of the year I make no money and apply for MediCal directly with my no-income profit and loss statement and see if they accept that. You never know.

After three nights of just about sleep through the night, last night was not so much - he slept from probably 1 AM - 6 AM, then nursed a lot until we got up at 11. It's all good - Lord knows I'm up anyway!

Friday, June 15, 2012

But nought for me

Another sleep through the night for the baby! However, not for me. Why? Again, the dog. After having put her in the office the other night I was going to do it again - but she'd plunked herself down on her blanket that happened to be on the floor of the bedroom. And she had her ears down and this look of "don't take me to the bad place!" so I brought in her food and water and let her stay there.

To my detriment. She whined ALL night; then around 6 AM I heard her go into my closet and start messing around with my shoes, so I immediately picked her up and put her in the office. What am I going to do with the little nub? If only I could explain that it's not that I don't love her anymore, it's that mom needs her bed back. Will I be saying this to Bumpus one day?

Can't wait until I can enjoy a nice long night of sleep. I feel it coming, any night now!

She peed on the carpet again yesterday, ugh. At this point the carpet is so ruined I barely have the energy to try to clean it. I might just tear it up and leave the raw floorboards.

Three new babies in my circle, a new one brought into my Thursday night dance spot last night, and another pregnancy announcement. I do think there's something to be said about women cycling together and having babies all at the same time - whether it's purely hormonal or just psychological or a little of both, I feel like there has to be something to it. There's just an unprecedented baby boom in our dance circle, and it keeps going and going. People are working on their seconds and thirds now. Crazy!

Thursday, June 14, 2012


Ok, I have some wonderful news – last night we “STTN”, or Slept Through the Night!  Or rather I should say Bumpus slept through the night.  I was up quite a bit for reasons I’ll describe later. But I would say he slept solidly from about midnight to nine AM, when he woke up for a little nurse and then went back down (he’s sleeping now). I don’t feel terribly rested – what ended up happening was after the dog started her run to the end of the bed and bark routine, I finally broke down and locked her in the office with her dog bed, food, and water. And I felt horribly guilty and so didn’t sleep well. But is it a coincidence that the first night the dog wasn’t in the bed was the first night Bumpus slept all night…? Maybe, but I think I’ll continue this dog-in-office thing. I probably should have done it all along, but I was afraid of pee-on-the-carpet reprisals. Since the carpet is being peed on anyway, I figured might as well fix our sleep time problems. And the dog is fine. Heck, maybe she even prefers it – when she’s not in bed with us, she’s not “on the job” and therefore doesn’t have to be alert and barking at every noise or shadow. Maybe in the office she can relax and sleep. Something to think about.

The idea of from now on sleeping all night – ahhhh!  It seems too wonderful to be true; although honestly I’m used to waking up a lot so I really don’t mind anymore. As I’ve said before, I’m getting far better sleep now than when I was pregnant, which was a nightmare of desperately wanting to sleep but my body not letting me, either from insomnia, heart burn, or general discomfort. Every time I think back on the pregnancy I remember another awful thing about it – the aches and pains, the swelling, the weird food issues, the guilt about weight gain or not working out or missing my yoga class again…and I wonder if it would be different a second time around. I mean, I don’t expect it to be different physically, but I wonder how it would feel to know what to expect from both the pregnancy and the labor, to not be blissfully ignorant. Would I be more scared, knowing what’s waiting for me (no doubt more pre-e and some f’d up birth experience)? Or would it feel better, knowing exactly what it’s going to feel like, emotionally and physically? Personally I prefer being prepared…and god knows it would be better to not have that deer in the headlights feeling, especially when presented with a new baby (the first diaper I ever changed was Bumpus’ when he was in the NICU – I had to ask the nurse how to do it). Much like the nausea, I can now know to expect it to (probably) only last a certain amount of time, just like the newborn phase before the baby really sees and connect with you. I understand about cluster feeds, growth spurts, and wonder weeks. I now know there are times your baby is inconsolable and it’s not your fault. In fact, unless you’re screwing up intentionally, your baby crying is never your fault, he’s just communicating. Knowing all these things from day one would be enormously helpful. Had I read any of my baby/parenting books before he was born I probably could have had a lot more guidance…but I chose to just figure it out as I went along. And hey, so far, so good. But if I could do the first baby over I would have read those books. I also would have assembled the bouncy seat, swing, and strollers before he was born, not as he’s screaming in my ear and I’m frantically trying to build something to soothe him with. One of these days I’m going to make a list of “I wish I had done x…” lists for you gals. I’m compiling one in my head now.

So now to go see if the nipper is still asleep. I think it’s time to take off his swaddle and let him kick around for a bit.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

50 wks 0 days

This is what my WTE pregnancy app says every time I check in to see what the other March 2012 ladies are up to. That I am 50 weeks pregnant. Can you imagine?

So I am going to talk more about baby #2, just because I'd be lying if I didn't admit it'd been constantly on my mind, and discussed with every girlfriend lately, some of whom have made excellent points.

Had dinner with a 33-year-old friend last night in which I suggested she freeze her eggs. When did I become that woman? I guess when I became aware of just how grim the conception stats are, and when I was haunted daily by the wish that I had more time to sort this all out. But I know that a) I just wasn't ready before 38, and b) had I done this in my early-mid 30s, I would have been haunted by the thought that I might have met a nice guy had I just waited. I don't relish the thought of two little kids in diapers - but my Doula friend, after watching Bumpus last night for five hours along with her eight-year-old daughter, rightly pointed out that once your first child reaches a certain age you just don't want to start all over again. I suppose there is a certain freedom in just being "in it" as I am now - I'm used to being the mother of a small baby; it wouldn't be too jarring to add another. But I sure wish I had three-five years to contemplate, save money, etc.

I was supposed to call Healthy Families to see if they accepted my profit and loss statement today, but I chickened out. I'm so afraid of more hassle, or disappointment. And if I'm turned down it will definitely tarnish my fantasy of baby #2. So I guess I'll just wait for that letter.

I wrote to my midwife to ask about elective c-sections in the case of pre-eclampsia, we'll see what she says. I also did a little math to see when I could conceive so it wouldn't conflict with my event, and it leaves me with only five months, and they are all in the early part of the year. So this means I either roll the dice a year from now or take my chances and wait until 2014 when I'll be almost 42. Can you see why freezing eggs might be on my mind...? Not that that's an option for me, but boy do I wish I'd done that ten years ago!

Bumpus is such a delight these days - just smiley and cooey and only wakes up once or twice at night. He's a totally different baby than he was even two weeks ago. does make one think, this is a snap! Lest we forget, huh?

On the house front I got an estimate from a new pool guy which is almost double what I'm used to paying. Ugh. I guess you get what you pay for, huh? I know I need to get rid of the current guy who never shows up, though. If I were a man I never would have tolerated that b/s. So, time to put on my big girl panties and make some decisions!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


"I just wanted a Pepsi!"

That's a little in joke for all you 80s hard core fans out there.

The title of this post refers to my experience with the drop in babysitting place last night. You know, it was a good experience. This is obviously a well-run place with good caregivers and systems that work (they had me fill out a form when I got there all about his eating/sleeping/diapers for the day, and left me with a full report of the same when I picked him up). I will certainly keep using it.

However, I was a wreck of nerves all night. Now I know why women flip out when they leave their babies. It wasn't because I thought anything bad would happen - I knew the odds of that were very, very slim. It was more a sick feeling of being a selfish witch - how can I so callously leave my baby with strangers? What kind of a mother am I? And for dinner and a movie? Prometheus, no less? He needs me, my warmth and cuddles and breassesses. I should never leave the house again. He should be strapped to my body at all times. His feet shouldn't touch ground until he's in kindergarten. But of course none of this is logical. I kept reminding myself that a happy mommy makes a happy baby, and mommy needs adult time sometimes. I also reminded myself that right about now is when most mommies go back to work and have to start leaving their babies all day, whereas this child gets to have me all day, every day. Still, the guilt, and irrational fear that "something" might happen to him, was intense.

I made the leap and reserved the sperm for a year. So I have put off any decision making until next June, hurrah! The irony is the donor is still listed on their web site and not as "limited", which says to me I probably didn't even need to shell out all that dough to buy the four vials nor pay any storage - I probably could have popped up a year from now and bought one vial for an IUI and had no problems. Oh well. At least this way I don't have to worry about it. He'll be there when (and if) I'm ready.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Freakin' dog

Woke up in a rotten mood today because the dog - not the baby - had me up practically all night. She had to get down off the bed for a drink. Ok, fine, that happens every night. Then she needed to go outside. Ok, better than peeing on the bed. Then she was hungry. Then she just wanted to bark randomly at nothing. Then she spent the rest of the early morning hours fussing around the bed whining and barking. All this while the baby slept! I haven't felt this lousy since my first night home from the hospital!

I could lock her up in the office in her dog bed at night, but I'm afraid this would only escalate the already escalating incidents of peeing and pooping on the carpet, which is becoming a daily occurrence lately. I thought she was doing ok with the baby's arrival. Maybe not so much. What to do? Any dog owners have advice? I've done everything I can to make her feel loved and included and not change her routines. I'm at a loss.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Forcing my hand

So, the day I have most dreaded is upon me. Yesterday I finally got my bill for sperm storage – and it was marked “post due” with an angry handwritten note saying I’d better settle up immediately or they’ll turn it over to collections. Apparently they sent me a bill three months ago that I never got. So that explains that! I now owe $300 for the past two quarters of storage. But now I have to decide what to do about future storage.

It will cost $450 to keep my four vials for another year. And a year is to me the amount of time I feel I need to make a definitive decision about baby #2. But wait, you ask – didn’t you already make a definitive decision about baby #2? What was all this talk about “never again” and “not for a million, billion dollars” and all that? Well, surprisingly enough I still feel that way – today. But how can I make a decision today for the tomorrow me who doesn’t exist yet? How do I know I’m not going to change my mind later, after the dust of my wretched labor experience settles and I get in the full swing of this whole parenthood thing? Is it worth $450 for me to have options, even if in a year I decide against it? Right now I’m thinking it is.

A couple of weeks ago I was thinking that if someone could guarantee me I’d never have to have an early induced labor again I might consider having another baby. I mean it when I say I will NOT ever endure anything like that ever again, not for a million, billion dollars. But as a friend pointed out, if I were to develop pre-e again, I could probably opt for a scheduled c-section. Now the idea of this gives me the heebie jeebies…but I know plenty of people who have had c-sections, some by emergency and some by choice, and not one of them had anything horrendous to say about it – most said it was a snap, that even the recovery wasn’t so bad. Compare this to the hell I went through. Is it really so terrible? In and out in half an hour, no labor pains? No days of pain and starving? It could be done…couldn’t it?

Then there’s the money issue. For sure the way things stand now I couldn’t afford two kids. But I’m moving my event to Labor Day next year. There’s a very good chance this could get me more people – to the tune of $10,000 - $20,000 more a year. If I made that kind of money, I could afford two kids. Now nothing’s guaranteed in my line of work – but is anything guaranteed in anyone’s line of work? By next year I’ll have done this event for sixteen years. Do I really think it’s all going to fall apart now, after all this time? It’s not. I see only positive things ahead, actually.

So, why this urge for more children? Especially after the negativity I spouted on here recently? Shouldn’t I just keep it lean and mean? Just the two of us? Right now it’s so easy and convenient (and cheap). Why would I want to mess with it? Well, for one, because Robert is so awesome. He’s just so darned cute and such a delight. Having another one of him around sounds lovely. And two, because 90% of the time I really love this. It’s been much easier than I thought, and I’m handling it much better than I thought. The idea of doing this again, and next time having experience under my belt and not thrashing around in the dark, appeals to me.

What doesn’t appeal to me is another pregnancy – the sickness, the endless possibilities for disaster, the scary ending with all the complications and spending my life with doctors and hospitals telling me what to do. I hate, hate, hate that part, and I believe it could only be exponentially worse at 41 than 39. And the labor – we know how well that went for me. And the early part of having a newborn, which although I got through it ok and never once lost my cool, can be pretty challenging (and imagine it without having a healthy normal kid). So why the heck not write the whole thing off and say screw it?

Because none of this is logical. Because it has nothing to do with how much money you have in the bank, how emotionally prepared you are, how much one or more children fit into your “lifestyle”. It just IS. For me the desire to have two children is no different than the desire for the first. And that first try was fraught with uncertainty and fear and some heartache and frustration – but look how it turned out! Would I be pushing my luck to try again, as an older woman? Yes, absolutely. But I pushed my luck the first time, too. It does sort of make you want to keep pushing your luck – as I am a gambler by nature.

Anyway, I’m not here to try to justify my desire for baby #2. If you were to ask me if I had to, would I do it right now, I would say hell to the no. But maybe in a year I won’t feel that way. By end of next summer I’ll know if my event is going to be more successful or not, I’ll know what’s happening with my fertility (at least from outside appearances), and I’ll have spoken to someone at Kaiser about their policies regarding elective c-sections (when medically indicated). I don’t think it’s a bad idea to just buy myself some time. After all, this whole thing was about not living with regrets. Will I regret having had the chance to have another baby and passing on it due to momentary fear/exhaustion/uncertainty? Probably! 

I mean, come on now, who wouldn't want another one of these?