One Year Ago Me…

Okay, so after my last post, Ande asked what the ME from one year ago would say if she read it. And that’s a super good question. Because I don’t even think that today me would be friends with one year ago me. And not because that me wasn’t a good me, just that THAT me? Well, she didn’t want kids, she had toxic people in her life, and she was too stubborn to admit that she had everything in the world already that she could ever want. It sounds super cheesy. And THIS me, she knows that. But THIS me also knows that One Year Ago Me spent a little too much time worrying about everyone else and not really considering that everyone else didn’t matter as much as…well…ME.

A year ago, I had a job that I loved, but that made me feel like I was wasting my potential and running in circles. I was constantly overworked, underpaid and grossly underappreciated and I put up with it because…well, One Year Ago Me was sort of a moron. But that job, however ridiculously insane it made me, helped people, and at the end of the day, made me feel good. The people I worked for/with, on the other hand, were pretty much the worst. (And, as you know, they later proved that.) One Year Ago Me took my job home with me and considered that job to be one of the most important things in her life. FAIL.

A year ago, I was friends with a bunch of selfish people. I spent years and years being there for them through deaths and births and things that I, too, experienced, but received little to no support from those people during. I placed these people over family. Because I didn’t have a great childhood and I didn’t feel like many of my family members really gave a shit. And I felt like my friends would be my family if ever I needed them to be. Turns out, they were horrible, selfish people who would disappear when things in my life got tough. FAIL.

The one place One Year Ago Me didn’t fail was with MB. It took a while to get somewhere in my head when we first started dating that I didn’t feel like something was going to get screwed up. And I had to deal with that for a long time. One Year Ago Me was celebrating her one year anniversary with MB and finally accepting that something was going right. And One Year Ago Me was a pretty happy gal in that respect.

The moral of the story? One Year Ago Me was concerned with being the most knowledgable at work, the best friend she could be, and coming to terms with being a live-in girlfriend. But she was, in no way, wanting to start a family. Because that girl didn’t really think that family was all that big a deal.

Today Me knows differently. Today Me has the best relationship with her mother that she has ever had. She is unemployed but she feels like things will work out and that, the asshole move that her former employer pulled, might have been kind of a blessing. Has the best relationship she has ever had. And now, has this beautiful daughter. Who lights up every, single moment of every single day.

So, to answer your question, Ande? It doesn’t really matter what One Year Ago Me would say. Because she had a dumb job, selfish friends and was too scared to do something that really meant something. She was kind of a fucktard.

In your FACE, One Year Ago Me. Your friends are assholes and you’re gonna get fired.

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On Motherhood

 So, since the birth of Baby L, I have literally written 37 blog posts about motherhood. You know, like, in my head. Where none of you can read them. Shockingly, between diaper changing and bottle washing, and being puked on, I haven’t really had a lot of time to actually type things. But lemme tell you, I’m a hell of a mind blogger. If only there was some way to hook up WordPress to my actual brain, you guys would have reading material FOREVER…

Anyway, so yeah. What’s up, internet? I’m a mom now. And it is INSANE.

I have to say, internet, that it honestly is one of the most rewarding things EVER to have a baby and to be someone’s parent but it is also terrifying. I have never felt so truly inept* at anything as I did the first few weeks of Baby

sleep

sleep (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

L’s life. And I don’t say this to scare all of you preggos or to discourage those of you who aren’t yet on this path, I just mean to say that it is WORK. Granted, I would trade this work for any other work I have ever done in my life. Because even though I haven’t slept in my bed on a regular basis in five weeks, it was worth it the first time that little girl smiled at me. (Which may or may not have been because she was trying to poop, but you take what you can get at this age, because she is basically a meatloaf. A really, really adorable meatloaf.)

I knew that the sleep deprivation was going to be hard. And I honestly thought that, given the fact that I hadn’t slept well for several months anyway, (you know, because a ginormous belly does nothing for sleeping comfortably) I could rock the hell out of not sleeping. Because, I was in my twenties once.  (Hard to believe, but it is totally true.) I never expected, however, that my child would not sleep in or on ANY contraption that I purchased for sleeping. Because MY kid was going to sleep through the night right after birth. And she would do it anywhere that I put her, but she would MOST DEFINITELY love her bassinet.

FAIL.

Baby L likes to sleep one of two places: on my chest or in her swing. Period.

This makes sleeping in my bedroom impossible because I can’t sleep with her in the bed (believe in co-sleeping or not, when you are desperate, you are desperate) because MB is a giant and sleeps like he is even BIGGER than he is and is terrified that he will kill her and I can’t move the swing into the bedroom because it is huge and cumbersome and I need it to be accessible if and when I try to do things in other parts of the house. So, internet, I have moved into the living room. (Which, by the way, has recently become infested with spiders of all varieties, and I am totally phobic.This was remedied last week, but HOLY CRAP.) I sleep the first half of the night with Baby L in the swing, swaddled and comfy and after her feeding, she is changed, un-swaddled and sleeps on my chest.  I have to say, even though it means that I barely sleep at all, I rather like the cuddling. Because she is teeny and warm and adorable. And I grew her. So, there’s that…

During the first week, Baby L did not sleep at night at all. Evidently, she was confused about what to do when it gets dark outside and mommy is crying hysterically because she hasn’t slept in four days. Luckily, MB’s mom spent a few days with us after it became obvious that I might never sleep again and, since she works nights and was on vacation, she was able to hang out with the nugget while the parents actually slept. Together. In the same room. It has gotten gradually better and now she is sleeping, sometimes, up to five hours at a time after her bath and last bottle. Which makes mommy very, VERY happy. And if I weren’t so exhausted, I might even do a cartwheel or two about it.

MB has, however, been a huge help when he is home on the weekends and has even let me have the day shift while he sleeps on the couch at night so that I don’t get all delirious and start streaking through our neighborhood or something equally ridiculous. And the crazy thing about sleeping in my bedroom? I feel guilty about not sleeping in the same room with my kid. GUILTY! Can you believe that? (If you are a new mom, you probably can and don’t think I am insane. Evidently, this is a thing.)

Either way, things are getting better, and sleep is becoming something that I do sometimes. Which I enjoy.  And I have a bunch of amazing friends who have either come by to help me get some random things done around the house or have at least been there to answer their phones when I call them and freak out about the fact that the baby has just spit up into my cleavage and it was more spit up than I remember ever having happened before and OH MY GOD is that OKAY? Is my baby sick? Should I call the doctor on call? (Which, mind you, I have done on THREE, count ’em THREE occasions since we brought her home.Yep. I am a spazz. And I’m okay with that, internet. I don’t know how to work a baby! Give me a break!)

I should really get back to my kid now. But I wanted to say THANK YOU to all of you ladies (and gent!) who have commented here, tweeted, emailed or come by to help, say congrats, or whatever. You guys rock my face off! (Special thanks to Kathryn for the cute goodies that I use daily because I MUCH prefer the adorable burp cloths to the gross white ones! I’m a burp cloth stuff elitist now, see what you’ve done?)

Okay, now which one of you is NEXT?!

*Except Math. I am super inept at Math.

Also, you guys should go here and buy some cute baby stuff! Expansion is coming soon, I hear!

Keeping On…

During pregnancy, you can definitely start to tell when the “glow” starts to wear from your face and is replaced with that “I am 33 weeks pregnant and would stab myself in the neck if it hadn’t taken me so long to get THIS CLOSE to the end”. You can tell when this starts to happen and when people are starting to notice because people are no longer all excited and hugs and giggles when they see you. Nope. Now they smile politely and sympathetically as if to say, “You look sort of miserable/homicidal. Please don’t hurt me. I love you and promise that I will bring you chocolate next time I see you. Or…you know…I can just run to the nearest Dairy Queen right now and pick you up the largest Blizzard they have. Yeah. Let’s do that. Be right back. You like peanut butter, right?”

The Medical Assistant at the doctor’s office gave me that look on Friday right before she took my weight. She was brave about the whole thing, given the fact that she had no ice cream to offer. And I like her, so she is still alive.

The good news about the whole thing is that I only have seven weeks left. SEVEN. Meaning, like, less than two months. That is so awesome, I can’t even stand it! There is still so much to do and so many decisions to make with regard to when exactly we will be moving and if we will be moving in with family for a couple of months prior to the cross-country move in order to save money. I am so torn about this because, while I know it will benefit us (A LOT), I really can’t stand living with family. I haven’t done it since I was in my very early twenties and then only for a few months until I moved in with a couple of girls (one of whom being the one that I lived with for the last 200 or so year before I came to my senses and, instead of murdering her, just moved out). I really don’t love the idea of living with anyone at all. Ideally, MB and I would stay where we currently are until we can make the big move. And while I know that this would be extremely difficult with my not being employed right now and everything, I think it would be better for our new little family to get to start off alone, without interruption and without too many people all up in our faces. I just have to decide if my sanity will withstand a newborn and cohabitating with any members of the family (mine or MB’s) and then just suck it up until we get the hell out of dodge.

I guess I will just have to play this one by ear and see how it all turns out. We will just have to do what we can afford to do. And I will have to just keep in mind that, no matter where we are, it will be temporary and SOON we will be where we need to be. Uggghhh.  I just can’t wait to get things started already! I want to skip over all of this stressful nonsense and get to the good stuff.

 

 

Better Late Than Never

Today, at nearly 30 weeks, I had the anatomy scan which should have (and would have, if the system hadn’t tried to kill my baby) been done about 9-10 weeks ago. This being able to go to see doctors thing is pretty rad, I must say. Everything looks good so far, but of course, Baby L is stubborn and, just like last time, wouldn’t roll over so we could get a decent look at her face. The tech did manage to get a few decent shots, though, and I will go back in four weeks for another scan, just to check up. It feels good just to know I haven’t been abandoned.

20120307-135011.jpgThe last three months have really worn me down (and OUT). I think that this has been the most trying period of my life. I have stayed awake at night, my mind racing about what I would do if I never got some assistance. How I would pay. Where I would go. I have forgotten how to relate to people at times. I have been so consumed with worry that nothing has mattered. And the attempts at easing my mind by MB have been appreciated but have mostly failed. I had forgotten how to breathe. How to sleep. How to interact. Since my appointment last Thursday, I have gotten some of my normalcy back. I have laughed outloud. I have remembered to breathe. And mostly, I can sleep again. I can actually rest without the panic that loomed over me for so long. And I am telling you, all of that pent-up panic sure does wear a person out, I could likely sleep until the end of this pregnancy at this point. (Relief is the new Ambien, people.)

I still worry about unemployment. And I still harbor a good bit of anger about being fired after announcing my pregnancy and knowing what kind of morons and wastes of space are still employed there (but aren’t pregnant, so they get to stay) but I am working through that. And am certain that the parties involved will get what they deserve for what they did to me and my unborn baby. I try not to harp on the absolute absurdity of the whole thing and I try not to harbor any animosity and am certain that karma is a bitch, but, it is hard to take the high road when your child (whom you haven’t even met yet) could suffer from the insensitive and discriminatory actions of another person/entity. Just saying. I still worry things won’t work out. But I am faithful. And I am sure that they’ll get theirs. And I love being witness to karmic bitchslaps.

On a Serious Tip

If you follow this blog at all, then you know that I lost my job of nearly FOUR YEARS just DAYS after announcing my pregnancy on Facebook. I have spoken with a LOT of people regarding pregnancy discrimination over the course of the last few months and today, found this article and thought it was VERY informative. I tried to reblog it for you, fellow preggos but was unsuccessful, but please check it out. Pregnancy discrimination is a real thing. A real, terrible, thing. 

Share your story or input on pregnancy with the EEOC here: commissionmeetingcomments@eeoc.gov

On the Edge

I have been a bad blogger. I know, I know. Don’t hate me.

The truth is, I have been a little stuck inside my head lately. I have, throughout everything that has been going on, held on to the hope that my situation will work itself out and that, at the end of the day, things will be fine. This has been easier said than done. I applied for Medicaid at the start of this whole ordeal, after having losing my job and health insurance and have been not-so-patiently waiting and submitting all sorts of ridiculous paperwork to the powers that be, trying to secure medical care so that I don’t have a baby with 3 arms. At first, I truly was optimistic. Because I have heard that Medicaid can be a life saver, and even though I am proud and a bit too stubborn to readily accept help from people or even admit that I need it, I pressed on. I held my head high knowing that I am doing what is best for me and the baby. The health of my baby is more important than feeling defeated (because sometimes, internet, I do feel defeated and more than that, betrayed by a company that I was loyal to for years for firing me just days after the announcement of my pregnancy. Because, really?! How do they sleep at night?) I let my guard down and admitted I needed help. And you know what? The Medicaid system sucks.

After everything I did and all the waiting for results. Still nothing. Not only nothing, but now I find out that they denied my claim because they “did not receive all necessary documentation”. Mind you, their online system shows that everything WAS received over three weeks ago. BOTH TIMES THAT I SENT IT (just to be on the safe side). And I’ll be damned if I can get anyone on the phone who isn’t a total BITCH or who speaks English or who knows how to work the computer. (Seriously. This is not a joke.) So, there are unreturned calls and 45 minute hold times that end in absolutely NOTHING. Meanwhile, our little bean is just kicking it inside my belly. (And by kicking it, I mean kicking the hell out of ME.)

And I am six months along today. And I am starting to panic. Because I have no idea what to do. I have never felt more helpless in my life.

My Beloved has been wonderful. He reassures me that we will do whatever we have to do. And if he has to work 3 jobs, he will. I can be comforted by this for about 3.5 seconds, until I feel a kick or a hiccup and then I want to hurl many glass things at many walls and stab people and all sorts of other violent things. (This could have something to do with hormones…)

I desperately wanted to write a post about the Zaxby’s commercials about the fried pickles that makes me salivate and be all charming and funny, but I can’t. The reality is, this situation is sucking all of the charm and wit out of me and making me a big, panicky psychopath and I really just want some effing fried pickles and a prenatal OB appointment.

It’s All Downhill From Here…

But totally in a good way!

Yesterday, the wee one hit the 20 week mark! This is amazing news because it means (gasp!) that this whole pregnancy thing is HALF OVER! I know that this doesn’t necessarily mean that I am out of the woods and that it is going to be a piece of cake from here, but it definitely means that I only have to be pregnant for as long as I have been pregnant so far and this, my friends, is awesome news. I know that there are many trials and MUCH growth to go, but it will be over SOON(ish) and then we will have a real, live, honest-to-goodness baby. And then I will freak out for a whole new set of reasons. Hooray!

Since the sonogram and the announcement to the family of the sex of our little bean, I have actually (slowly but surely) been taking on a new attitude. The excitement of the whole thing is starting to outweigh the longing for a girls’ night out complete with a giant, dirty martini. I am not saying that I spend every minute of every day super excited and nesting and running around like a momzilla or anything, but I definitely feel more moments of intense joy than I did, well, probably ever before in my life. The more the wee one moves, (which let me tell you, she is definitely fond of doing) the more I feel connected to her. Sometimes she doesn’t move all day and I have a mini coronary, thinking that something might be wrong. But then I lie down in bed with My Beloved and he puts his giant hand across my belly and there she is, flipping around like a little dolphin. I think she is showing off for her daddy. Already a daddy’s girl, I see. (As it should be, I guess. I am totally prepared to take on the role of the evil mother and disciplinarian since, like most daddies I’ve seen, MB is already melting at the idea of having a little girl and will likely be useless as far as discipline goes…)

I don’t really know when this change happened but I feel a mixture of things. I feel calmer than before. It sounds weird, but I haven’t really been nervous about actually having a child. I feel completely confident and confident that I will figure it out. Yes, I have moments of crazy panic and irrational spaz attacks, but for the most part I am sure I will be a good mother. I know what kind of little person I would like my little person to be and I will do my best to make sure that she knows that she is loved and special and wanted, every, single day. Because I never really had that. And I think that is the most important thing  a child needs to know. “You are a miracle and we love you very much.” I know that this pregnancy, expected or not, is something that was meant to happen, and despite my cynicism and sarcasm, I don’t take it lightly, and I won’t take being a parent lightly either. I may not know the specifics of HOW to do it yet, but I have a pretty good idea of how NOT to do it, so, that’s a start.

I also feel, sometimes, that I am completely unprepared and ill-equipped. Again, parenting, though I know it won’t be easy, is not what scares me. What scares me is the uncertainty of our situation right now. Obviously, it is not ideal. My unemployment, while we are working it out quite well, has been a blow that has caused a lot of extra stress. And I have had to keep reminding myself of how much I hated that hell hole I was working in. And how much happier I am now that I don’t have to be there with those people. Plans have just changed because of it. Things will have to be re-planned and reconsidered. The move that we have planned will have to be delayed until we can figure out how to make it happen with a newborn. Things that will ultimately be beneficial for all of us, as a family, will still happen, but the plans will need tweaking.

Overall though, internet, I am optimistic. I feel fresh and clean. Like I have a new lease on life. Even though I am fat and cranky and my body will never be the same. And even though, my neurosis will be amplified infinitely after this kid pops out. I know we will make it work. And dammit, I am so glad that this is half over. Because I am ready to hold this little girl already…

A Reality

Being knocked-up hasn’t been the easiest thing in the world for me to accept (yes, I know that you are all very surprised to hear this). It has been quite the process of coming to terms with things for me. I mean, I never wanted to have kids in the first place. The anxiety of the whole thing was almost too much for me at first. For someone who is really private about her personal life and seriously uncomfortable about letting just anyone in, it was quite the announcement to make that I was pregnant. (i.e.: “Hey! Guess what everyone! MB and I had sex a couple of months ago! And pretty soon, a child is going to come out of my lady parts!” Awkward.) Then, to top it all and add insult to injury, as soon as I felt confortable announcing my pregnancy to the masses and my employer, I was fired (coincidence? I think not.) from my job of almost four years! Naturally, this hasn’t been the best and brightest of experiences thus far. And I struggled so much with the reality of becoming a parent atop the loss of employment, insurance, stability, pride and many, many other things, that it was almost just easier to pretend it wasn’t happening to me. Even when I heard the baby’s heartbeat for the first time, six weeks ago, I was still kind of in denial. I cried my face off, worrying about how on earth I could do this whole motherhood thing. And for the first time, even despite all the vomit and heartburn and fatigue, it was actually starting to become a real thing. A REAL THING, ya’ll.

I can say that, through it all, most of my friends have been super fantastic. (I say most because some of the people who are my “best” friends have been little more than a faint memory since I told them about the pregnancy. And to them I say, “Screw you, bitches.”) They have kept me from slitting my wrists on more than one occasion and forced me to look at the positive aspects of having a baby.

1. I can eat McDoubles often and without excessive guilt. (There is guilt, but it is outweighed by the pure joy that the satisfaction of a McDouble provides to “the baby”. Because, all of us preggos know that it isn’t actually US craving the disgusting food, it is “the baby”.)

2. I can take naps. And not only do I not feel guilty about naps, but I also feel justified in taking them. After all, there is a foreign parasite in my pelvis. It is sucking the life out of me.

3. I am going to have an actual baby. Like, one that I made. I MADE IT. Granted, I did not do this alone, but whoa. I have some effing talent, for REALS.

Over the Christmas holiday, MB and I were able, through a gift from his sister, to have our first sonogram. For the first time, we were able to see this weirdo thing we created, as it rolled around in my belly (which, by the way, is totally the weirdest feeling in the entire universe).  I have to say, while it was one of the most bizarre experiences of my life, it was also one of the most miraculous. Who knew that I would actually feel love for the squishy, little bean inside of me? Who knew that I would be so happy to see it wriggle around. I knew something was in there and I was reminded nightly when I lay down in my bed and felt the “quickening”, but it still wasn’t…real.

 

Well, internet…it is real. And it’s a GIRL! I’m gonna be a momma!

HOLY CRAP.

On Worry…

I have to say, internet, that this week of unemployment has been…well…glorious. It is so nice to feel calm most of the day. I realize now how long it has been since I have felt this way. Calm. It is heavenly.

There are, however, some things that do tend to weigh on my mind these days. I mean, being jobless and free is a beautiful thing, but it also allows a lot of time for thinking. And for worrying. Which, by the way, I am super fantastic and skilled at.

I worry mostly about insurance. Currently, I don’t have any. I have applied for some aid, because as My Beloved and I have discussed, it is sort of unrealistic now to consider finding a job a real option. I am currently 17 weeks along and soon the pregnancy will be painfully obvious (yes, I can still hide it if need be, but not for long) and who is going to hire me at five months pregnant? Then I will have the 90 day probation period, where I will not have insurance and, during that time, the employer will have the option to let me go (and I can’t help but feel that this would be the plan of action because by that time, they would be well aware that I would soon be taking a period of time out of the office or whatever, for maternity leave). So finding a job? Not so much something I want to put myself through. So for now, I await answers from the powers that be to see what I am eligible for. Things are looking good for aid, even though I am pretty proud and never really wanted to have to go this route but, I think it is the best thing for me and the wee one. And being unmarried, in this case, has proven to be SUCH a benefit. (Go team ME!)

I worry, obviously, about money. Even though I have pretty much budgeted the bejesus out of everything and planned for everything short of an alien abduction, I still get a little freaked out thinking that the only income I will have is unemployment. Which, by the way, SUCKS. But, again, the fact that I can stay home and remain mostly stress-free is worth the money I will lose. It honestly is.

The money thing is a big concern, also, because I need to somehow be able to fund my McDouble habit. Which, honestly, has taken a back seat for the time being. But I am not sure how long I can keep the cheeseburger monster at bay. (Note to former employer: Seriously, you should really have thought of how dangerous it is to fire a pregnant lady with a serious cheeseburger problem. This was a grave mistake.)

Mostly, though, I am concerned that I may never sleep again. Why does no one ever tell you, before you get pregnant, that you will NEVER SLEEP AGAIN? Seriously. I was expecting that, once this kid is born, I would be up all night feeding and banging my head against hard stuff, but I thought that this not sleeping thing happened AFTER destroying my vagina. Not DURING gestation. I find myself physically and mentally exhausted by 7pm and passing out and dreaming about fried stuff with cheese and then waking up promptly at 2:45 am, moving back to the couch where I will watch re-runs of bad TV shows from the seventies until I finally get so frustrated that I start the hysterical crying/eating until about five minutes before My Beloved wakes up and comes into the living room. Which is when I will have just fallen asleep. I am not going to even get INTO the painful attempts at sleep while IN my bed. With my giant boyfriend wrapping his tree-legs around me periodically and my giant cat sleeping directly ON MY HEAD. Because I will start crying right now. And it is only lunch time. And my bed time/hysterical crying time is not for another 6-7 hours.  I could bear to disrupt the schedule of insanity. It is the only routine I have these days.

 

On A BREAK.

First, I would like to say a HUGE Thank you to all of you ladies (rays of internet sunshine) who have commented with all your encouraging and supportive words. All those words mean more than you can possibly know!  THANK YOU!

I actually feel pretty good. I have been a little ill (the vomiting has returned, just in time to make life just a little bit more fun!) but other than that, I am calm and feeling optimistic. I have honestly surprised my self with the lack of spaztastic tantrums and my ability to stay all cheery and to look on the bright side. (I finally learned about this “bright side” I have heard so much about!)  And the bright side is this:

While I may have come into this pregnancy reluctantly and even begrudgingly, it has happened. It is a real thing and it will happen whether I am ready for it or not. (This may not sound like a bright side, but hold on, I swear I’m getting there…) Everyone knew that I hated my job and the majority of the people that I worked with and the stress it caused me was painfully obvious to everyone around me. Bright side?  I no longer have to deal with the anxiety of working in a toxic environment and try to maintain my sanity for the health of my unborn child. Who, by the way, I am recognizing more and more every day as a real blessing.

So, there it is. Things have happened and are out of my control. And I feel good. Confident. And…strangely happy. (Go team ME!)

I have even gotten several phone calls already to schedule interviews for new jobs. The thing is, I am not even sure I want to attempt to find another job right now. In fact, the more I think about it, I am not sure I want to work at all. Like…ever.  And not because I want to be lazy and eat bonbons. Because it dawned on me that I couldn’t bear another job like the last few that I have had. And how good a parent can I be if I am constantly stressed out and unhealthy?  So, that’s where I am at the current moment. I am ON A BREAK! (And for you “Friends” fans, I need you to go ahead and read that in the voice of Ross.  If you didn’t, you did it wrong. Try again.)

Now if I could remember what sleep feels like…