2.03.2010

This, I Don't Get

It's 2 things really. First? The number of people who were shocked
that I didn't want to even attempt a VBAC. Apparently, in some circles
(by and large, it seemed to be circles of people without kids, people
who might not have even seen that film in health class) it's expected
that one would, of course, be willing to risk uter.ine rupture/the death
or severe maiming of the child. All in exchange for the sheer joy of
ripping apart one's lady bits.

Gee, no thanks. Not for me. Especially now, when I have the advantage
of hindsight. Vivian didn't drop, she made no real attempt to head out
via my still-intact lady bits. I suspect that being 0 for 2 in the 'kid
trying to emerge via your privates' department is related to a tailbone
injury I got a few years ago.

But who knows and who cares. What I don't get is the number of women
who are not doctors and who are not me yet rage freely on message boards
far and wide about how horrid women are for 'choosing' c-sections.

I have just one thing to say in response.

Fuck you.

Well, maybe two things. That, and shut the fuck up, what do you know?
I guess you're 'lucky' enough to have had a life-changing, unmedicated
birth surrounded by 800 of your closest friends and some kind of
extensive ritual. I wasn't. And a lot of women aren't. No, we had to
make a hard choice to put our children's safety before our own. Like
that will never happen again in the course of parenthood.

What's so bad about starting that program at birth? What? You need to
fill some void in your life by berating those who don't get to have the
same experience as you?

Well, you and your weird agenda can just suck it.

I realize that sounds defensive. I can only offer you this: I'm really
not. It's more about being really tired of self-righteous people with
weird agendas telling other people what they should or should not carry
guilt about.

2 for 2. C-sections, for the win.

The other thing that Absolutely Blows My Mind is people giving me shit
about pumping. Because apparently, I'm supposed to do two things: call
a lactation consultant and try a nipple shield in order to improve
Vivian's latch.

MOTHER OF GOD. DO YOU HONESTLY THINK I HAVEN'T DONE THOSE THINGS?

Clearly, these people do not know how very stubborn I am. My kids get
breastmilk for at least a year. I *will* make that happen.

If pumping is soooo bad, what's better? Formula?

Not to the lactavists, not by any means.

The lack of appreciation by folks with these weird agendas for the extra
efforts inherent in pumping as much as I do and for the extra recovery
time/issues involved in a c-section will no doubt always piss. Giving
birth and breastfeeding are very personal experiences. I resent anyone
who dares to question a parent's motivation in either area. Especially
mine. Heh.

In the meantime, I'll continue to be a bit of a hypocrite and give you
shit about your carseat usage. How do you like them apples?

1.30.2010

How It All Turned Out

Vegas was great, if a bit odd. One by one, a good chunk of the team got
sick. Including me. Instead of skating in our 4th game, I stayed back
at the hotel barfing my guts up.

We saved a lot of money on buffets, I tell you what.

We made it to the championship, where we played our hearts out for 5,
count em, full periods. We went to a shootout and unfortunately lost in
the shootout. But sometimes, that's all you can do. We're disappointed
but we could not have tried any harder.

For the record, I played those 5 periods after eating nothing but
saltines, gatorade and part of a Sonic cherry slush. I sorta feel like
superman for having done that.

So now, instead of a monstrous trophy, we have little ones that Val is
fond of creating little displays for all around the house. They're
often adorned with a variety of stuffed animals, small plastic toys or
notepads.

I will console myself with the knowledge that I'd be less inclined to
let her play with the big trophy.

Both girls responded to the disruption in their lives by taking turns
having huge meltdowns when we got home. I spent 4 solid hours on
Tuesday dealing with one child, then the next, screaming her head off.
It sucked in ways I can't fully describe.

However, it beats going back to work, which I'll be doing on March 1.
Sigh.

1.22.2010

Post-Flight Report

I said more than once that if I spent a lot of energy worrying about
getting through security with the pump and enough milk to get through at
least a day, that it would turn out to be no big deal but something else
would cause issues.

And hey, I was right.

The milk itself was subjected to some vapor test. Right, still not a
bomb but thanks for checking. And that was it. Pump and parts were
hardly glanced at and we were on our way.

To a plane that didn't leave until 4 hours after it was supposed to.
Weather in Vegas prevented them from leaving so we sat at the gate.
When it was clear it would be a while before we'd actually leave, I
availed myself of the nursing room off the airport bathroom. I
displaced the custodian who takes her breaks in there but it was all
fine.

I packed frozen milk in my checked baggage and that was just starting to
melt when I finally got to our condo around 10 pm.

More on the hockey later...

1.19.2010

Long Time No Blog

But it's for a good reason, I swear. I've been playing a shitload of
hockey and when not playing hockey? Enjoying the heck out of my time
with the kidz.

However, since it is now 5 am and my back pain has once again flared up,
rendering me wide awake and more than a little afraid to lay down, I'll
fill you in on what's going on.

Hockey. I am slow. My shot, which was once sort of okay and could
somewhat consistently get a fair bit off the ground, is now a dismal
shadow of the kind of shot I seem to remember having. But I've got
faith, it'll come back eventually. For now, I keep winding up like I
expect it to be my old shot, then being annoyed when the puck gets about
2 inches off the ground instead. I get even more annoyed when the puck
stays on the ground.

But oh, am I having a fab-u-lous time out there.

Random - what is with all these cooking shows hosted by people who chop
as poorly as I do? Isn't that sort of the basic requirement for the
job?

Anyhoo. Val is a fabulous big sister. She's handling the whole thing
very well and we're so proud of her. It kills me that I can't carry her
around right now. Between my c-section scar and my back, all 32 pounds
of her are out of luck. Of course we cuddle in the bed, couch and on
any horizontal surface but I know it's not the same for her. And it's
sure not for me.

To that end, I'm headed into the chiro today to get started on actually
fixing this.

Also random - we now have more breastmilk in the freezer than we have
food for people who chew. We're about to start eating only frozen meals
to make room for more milk in there.

Though we don't really have space for it, I see a small upright freezer
in our future. It pleases me to have so much milk on hand. Assuming my
stubborn ass makes it through Viv's first year with the breastfeeding,
it's my hope that she'll be able to have a bottle of the stuff a day for
months after the year mark thanks to this freezer stash.

Recently, I posted on fb a question about flying with the pump. In
response I got a whole bunch of assvice about working on Viv's latch.
Wtf, seriously? Was that in any way related to the question I asked?

Why do breastfeeding advocates have such a narrow agenda about the
'best' way to feed a baby? According to them, the only acceptable way
to feed my baby is at the boob and I'm at fault for not trying harder.

I know. It is complete horseshit and about as unsupportive of pumping
moms as you can be. Would they rather I just quit and buy formula
instead? No?

Then SHUT THE FUCK UP. Exclusive pumping is hard. Ridiculously hard.
You do not know the suck that is attempting to pump while the baby
you're pumping for screams her head off because she's hungry for a
bottle you can't quite prop up correctly with your elbow and your 3 year
old is suddenly no longer content to watch Olivia.

Oh, how I wish that I were making that up. But I keep at it because I
know the value of breastmilk. No matter how it makes its way from the
recesses of my boobs into her wee tummy.

To that end, I didn't give up on the Latch Situation. No, no, it has
actually improved and right now she is feeding The Preferred Way
(according to breastfeeding enthusiasts with an agenda) about half the
time. That is good enough for me.

I realized recently that one of the greatest gifts in my life is that I
am rarely plagued by self-doubt. I'm guessing that this confidence is
my reward for suffering through years doubting myself/low self-esteem
and now I'm done. It's freeing, knowing that at any given moment, I'm
confident enough in my choices that I don't make them more difficult by
second-guessing myself.

Just now, I put together that my Days Of Doubting Myself ended right
around when Andrea and I got together. Go figure that she's the
catalyst for even more fabulousness.

That's all for now. Hope you all are well.

1.09.2010

Breaking My Own Rules

We're going to take Val to see the new princess movie. I'm making this
exception because 1. there really aren't a whole hell of a lot of movies
Val can see in the theater and 2. the princess isn't lily white.

Since movies seem to make her scream and cry these days, I don't have
high hopes for how this will go. The weird thing is, she screams and
cries during the movie, then, later. talks incessantly about the parts
of the movie she did get to see.

For example, we saw the chipmunks movie while my folks were here. First
scene in, she screamed and cried. Andrea took her to the lobby for a
while and when they returned, she buried her face in Andrea's lap,
peeking out periodically.

At school, EVERYONE knows that she saw the 'squeak-wheel' and she's even
made her male teacher be Alvin, to her Brittany (of the Chipettes
fame). So there's something about movies that she likes.

We'll see how it goes. That's all we can do.

1.05.2010

Back To It

Ha, ha, I know, a pun in a post about my back. Very funny.

Yes, it is, thank you.

Anyhoo, it was 2 days of misery, absolute misery before my back and abs
felt better enough that I um, skated in a really low-key local hockey
tournament while hopped up on a large number of Advil. Y'all knew that
sitting around is just not my thing, right?

However, lowering myself down from the world's tallest boards took a
toll and I ended up skipping our final game.

The good news is that I've sort of started to regain my skillz (limited
tho they are) on the ice. Or at least my confidence. The miracle of
water aerobics means that my stamina is sort of intact, and that is just
huge.

Also, somehow, I fit back into my excellent, super-favorite red hockey
pants. This feat, which took almost 3 years after Val's birth, took all
of 7 weeks after Vivian's birth. Go, me!

5 days after The Great Back Pain of 2009-10, I'm still in a bit of pain
but it's a lot better. I have learned my lesson, I won't be attempting
a full ab workout anytime soon. Sometimes I can be just so dumb. This
was one of those times.

12.31.2009

While These Drugs Are Working

I realized that 2009 contained 0 failed cycles for us. Because the only
one we did actually worked. And somehow, we have a Real Live Baby
resulting from that one attempt this calendar year.

The numbers go like this:
Failed cycles in 2007: 1
Failed cycles in 2008: 11
2009: IVF and eventually, wee Vivian!

Every day of her short life thus far, I look to the heavens, I look down
at her perfectly round, slightly hairy head, I plant a thousand kisses
on that perfectly round, slightly hairy head. I grow drunk on her baby
scent, I listen as she sighs and snorts, I look into her blue, blue eyes
as she attempts baby pushups on my chest and I thank God for the miracle
and the technology that brought her to us.

Though it seems pushing my luck to do so, I also give thanks that she
was not born with a heart murmur the way Val was. We are spared any
visits to the cardiologist's office. Even though having Viv end up back
in the hospital was awful and scary (make no mistake, it was all of
these things) I knew that we would emerge from that hospital stay with
her jaundice fixed. And we did. And it was.

And with that, 2009, I bid you a fond farewell. I thank you for the
many blessings we received this year and hope that your replacement,
2010, has only good to offer as well.

I Must Have Overdone It

Tonight at water aerobics, I was the only student. We had a substitute
instructor, as our regular one is out of town. The sub taught Monday's
class as well so I had an idea of how much faster the pace was.

I thought I was up for it.

So when tonight's sub put me through the paces, I tried to keep up. And
I did, for the most part.

Only, um, about an hour ago I woke up in the worst pain of my life. My
abs and my back were so painful. Cannot. Describe. There was
sweating, my face was red, red and oh the panting/heavy breathing got me
nowhere but made me feel like I was doing something.

I took 3 advil and paced the house, breathing like I was in labor,
periodically crying out. Eventually, I wavered between wanting to go to
the hospital (but stopped short since who would take me? Andrea? Yes,
but then What About The Kidz? Ah yes, the shortcomings of having a very
limited local support network once again rear their ugly head. Why
can't emergencies happen at a convenient hour?) wanting to die and
wanting to just call 911. I grabbed my giant ice pack and headed back
to bed, stopping to take a perco.cet on the way.

At this point, I woke up Andrea because the thought of being alone and
feeling like this was too much. Even for stoic me. She asked what she
could do (nothing) and held my hand.

Eventually, the drugs started to kick in.

That's right. This post is brought to you by advil and narcotics I just
happen to have laying around the house. It's been a little while and
I'm starting to feel less awful. But crap, I'm scared about how I'll
feel when these drugs wear off.