Monday, March 26, 2007

Throttling 3's????

Yep, 2 posts in 1 day. The earlier one was when I thought (hoped, prayed) N would take a nap. This one comes much later in the day after she didn't take a nap and jumped on every last one of her mama's frayed and pregnant nerves.

Every year we go through this in the months following her birthday. She was a sweet wonderful baby until she turned 1, and then she started doing weird stuff. Same thing happened after she turned 2. History is repeating itself yet again. She has gone from being an agreeable little girl to a mischevious, push-the-limit, whiney stinker.

God love her, I know she is just doing what any self-respecting 3-year-old would do, but it is so annoying. She is working on her negotiation skills, trying to see just how much power she wields in this relationship and in this family. It has to be hard being so little and so essentially powerless. I get pissy whenever I realize how little control I actually have over things, and I know she doesn't have the reasoning skills to cope as well as I would.

So what has she been doing?

Trying her darndest to forego her naps, which she still needs because she is in meltdown city by 5:00 (if she even makes it this late). She keeps hopping out of bed, turning on the light, coming out of her room, trying to get me to give in and let her come downstairs. Today was a little weird because she took a "power nap" in the car on the way home from the zoo and didn't want to return to sweet slumber once I got her out of the car. Plus Nana being around makes N worry she is missing far too much.

And then there is the trying to get what she wants by dragging a chair, climbing up and straining every upper body muscle in order to reach something I've just told her she can't have. The "Well, I'll show you. I'll get it myself" stage.

There is also the whine....that only a female 3-year-old can do. I've just been telling her mommy doesn't answer to a whiney voice and hopefully in a couple months she'll stop (before mommy gives in just to make that cloying sound go away).

And she is becoming (or trying to become) a power negotiator. She gives me this sweet look and says, "We'll leave it open all the way (her bedroom door), ok?" When I give her the real choices she has, she just sweetly repeats her original idea over and over until she eventually loses her mind and screams. By God, one of us is more stubborn than the other and I've had 30+ years to cultivate mine so I WILL WIN!!!!

I try to stay calm. I try to give her choices whenever possible. I try to use logical discipline with her. And maybe part of my issue is simply that I'm pregnant and tired. But I just can't help but think the person who said the "2s" were terrible had never hung around a 3-year-old for any extended period of time.

Of course, then she goes and says something hilarious. Like the other day when I asked if she wanted her ceiling fan turned on (since it's been so warm), and she said, "No, it'll blow me out of bed."

She has always been cute, but thank goodness she is developing a sense of humor because I just don't know that the cuteness alone would be able to save her during this stage.


Can you see the bump?
Brave Birdgirl.

Ahhhh, it feels good to be out among the living again.

Today I went with my mom and N to the zoo. N was thrilled to be out and about. She was such a brave trooper when a lorikeet landed on her arm and tried to eat at her bracelet. After about a minute, she started to get a very worried look on her face (like inside she was screaming, "GET THIS FUCKING BIRD OFFA ME!), but afterwards she crowed, "I didn't even cry."

Of course, it wouldn't have been a normal day if we'd gone the whole time without tears. After I bought tickets for the train, she raced down the walkway only to see the train pulling away from the station. Immediately she burst into tears saying, "He forgot us." Poor thing. Mom and I tried to ease her worries only to have some tease of a grandpa next to us tell her the train wasn't coming back....and so we had to deal with round 2 of fretful tears. Just like a man to tease a crying child.

I did not have any meltdowns myself at the zoo. I had to eat more often than I normally do, and I got very winded pushing N's stroller up the hills, but I did it. I left the couch, got dressed, brushed my teeth, tousled my hair, packed lunch, and drove the car. It feels so weird to say this and feel such a sense of accomplishment, but I guess my standards have been lowered. And, Lord knows, they've always needed to be readjusted downward anyway, so this is a good thing.

I am feeling the need to redo and rework some things in the house and yard, perhaps because I've done nothing but look at the house and yard (mostly the house) for the last 8 or so weeks. Nothing makes you want to redecorate like laying on your couch, seeing the same walls day after day and watching entirely too much HGTV.

I know I'm feeling better because I'm starting to get really irritated by all the dust. I don't know that I'll have the energy to actually deal with it, but it's bugging me.

The grocery store is still not do-able. Last night on the way home from Mamaw's, we stopped to get bread and strawberries (my latest craving). I had to mouth-breathe the entire 7 minutes I was in there. A little bit of Lamaze breathing too (through the mouth). And certain smells are still way coffee, pizza, the refrigerator, my bathroom soap.

Anyway, I hope to soon call all of my friends who asked to get together over the last 2 months to schedule some fun...although I'm gonna give myself a few more days of feeling ok to see if this is a minor reprieve or the start of something permanent-like.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Am I hot???

What's this? No self-pitying romp today?

I happened to read about the dating site, which is only for extremely good-looking folks. Allegedly, you send in pics of yourself (including 1 full-body shot) and are then rated by people who are already members on the site. You have to be rated an "8" or higher in order to become a member.

The article was in my local paper and included a pic of one of the co-founders, who is not surprisingly, a man. He wasn't a bad looking individual, but if I was gonna rate him I certainly wouldn't have been as generous as those who gave him an "8.2." His eyes are set too far apart, and he's kinda working a Matt Damon horse-teeth thing.

Who in their right minds would even set themselves up to try to become a member of one of these sites? Aside from allowing perfect strangers to rate you, assuming you became a member, you know for a fact that the most important thing to the people with whom you talk on this site will be how you look. And you'd be talking to people who are so wrapped up in their own looks that they had to find a specific web site for people who are hot like them. God, I suspect the site might run on the ego-power of these individuals.

What do "hot" people think about or talk about? They are like an alien species to me. Is it possible to be hot, but not realize you're particularly hot? If you are hot but don't recognize your hotness, are you shallow enough to be able to survive a site like Do these hot people have conventions? Are there mirrored walls everywhere?

I only know 1 or 2 people who might be considered "hot,"--my hairdresser and his wife. And I think they are both nice people, but I find it a little annoying how often my hairdresser stops primping my hair during a cut in order to look in the mirror and fluff out his own hair. Actually he doesn't do this as much as he used to. Maybe he's mellowing out as he's getting older. He and I get along very well, but there is a definite "divide" between me and him and I suspect it's his hotness that gets in the way....or my lack of hotness.

Anyway, thank god that 1. I am not single and participating in online dating, and 2. I am not hot. I imagine it takes a lot of work and effort to be hot. Working out at the gym, spending exorbitant amounts of money on cosmetics, hair products and self-tanning supplies, saying "Go get em tiger" to yourself in the mirror prior to every check of the email.

Attraction is such a weird thing, far more than just what is hot. For example, the guitar player sexiness phenomenon. I have seen some of the butt-ugliest, skinny-ass rock stars on stage, guys I would kick to the curb in a heartbeat under any other circumstances, but see them play those strings and they are hotter than the sun.

Years ago, I had a thing for Harvey Keitel, a man who is certainly not high up there when it comes to standards of beauty. But if you've ever watched The Piano, you know he oozes sexiness.

Anyway, I personally go for the tall, thin, dark, dorky type...which is why I fell for D. And he clearly goes for the smart-looking, short-haired, insane type, which is why he fell for me.
We couldn't stand each other if we were hot. We dig each other's not-hotness.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

March madness

No, this post is not about basketball.
This post is a self-pitying whine, so stop here if you don't feel like wallowing with me.

March has been a month of madness for me in 2 respects: I've been mad as in angry, and I may well go officially mad as in crazy if things don't shape up soon.

I've lost track of how many weeks I have had all day pregnancy sickness; it's just as well as I'm now certain it will last the entire gestational duration. But then on March 6th, I came down with some nasty stomach bug which involved losing fluid from virtually every orifice. I was in bed for 2 days and was prescribed an anti-nausea med given to chemo patients. That was my fun the first full week of March.

The second full week of March, last week, on Thursday night, I came down with what has been a 6 day (and counting) viral thing. It is getting better as evidenced by the fact that I am typing this, but now N has it. We have all been on the pullout sofa in the living room since Friday. Today she and I fell asleep watching Muppet Theater, and I didn't rouse until the phone rang at 6:30 p.m.

Right now I am unsure if my tiredness is pregnancy-related or residual viral sickness-related. My nausea is back, and now I seem to be on a carb kick. I had been only able to eat protein...lots of burgers and Arby's beef & cheddars. Now the idea of protein makes my stomach curl. I want Raisin Bran cereal (my supper this evening) and Eggo whole grain waffles. The only beverage that tastes decent is orange juice. I have run my course with lemon-lime Gatorade.

So back to the madness. When I've had 2 ounces of extra energy, I've felt pissed because I am SO FUCKING TIRED OF FEELING SICK!!!! I just want to feel good....hell, I'd be thrilled to feel mediocre for a couple days in a row. It simply has started to wear me down. The pregnancy sick is bad enough but throw in 2 consecutive weeks of 2 different and equally aggravating bugs on top of it and you've got an unhappy camper.

Which brings me to the crazy mad part. Despite my meds and all I've learned in therapy, it takes a considerable amount of psychological energy to fight my anxiety demons at times, and at no time are they as strong as when I'm faced with the unknowns of pregnancy and sickness. When I am hormonally sick, and then virally sick on top of that, I don't have the reserves to fight the little monsters so my worries tend to build.

I go to the doctor in a week to hear the heartbeat, a visit which causes me considerable stress. It did when I was pregnant with N. Once I get through that visit, the others don't bother me, but it's that finding the heartbeat, that doppler running over my belly as the doctor hunts for the sound, that makes my breathing shallow. When I am feeling semi-ok, like right this second, I think it will be fine, but when I am feeling poorly, I fear the worst and I don't have the energy to keep myself from catastrophizing.

And I have been feeling out of sorts, out of touch....downright lonely.

I had been hopeful that before too long I would see my mom friends, but now I am not so sure. I am keeping my calendar totally open and unplanned and maybe, just maybe, I might be surprised to find myself feeling good before too long. Or not. March madness may last forever. There is still a sliver of hope, but resignation is growing stronger every day.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

3-year-old starlet

Despite being terribly shy, N is a starlet waiting to happen. Let's hope she's of Audrey Hepburn starlet-type fame and not Anna Nicole.

I mustered the energy today (with assistance from my nearly 70-year-old mother) to take N for her 3-year pictures. Normally I am totally on the ball with getting pics taken and annual doctor visits made, but I am just a shadow of my former self. It is kind of refreshing to not be so anal.

Anyway, I love having N's pictures made because it is one of the rare times when I find myself swooning and fawning over my own child. My mom made her an adorable Winnie the Pooh dress with a crinoline type skirt underneath it, and N picked out butterfly sandals to wear (which match the applique butterflies on the dress). Anyway, her outfit was cute, and then when the flashbulbs came out, the child turned on the charm.

She just smiled and shrugged her shoulders as she looked sideways at the camera. Work it, girl!! When she started to lose interest a bit, I told the photographer to talk about Disneyworld. HOT DOG! You've never seen so many grins in your life.

I never intend to spend as much money as I end up spending at the photography studio. I really don't need 300 wallets of N....Lord knows I neither have that many friends or know that many people. But the shots are just so cute. I kick myself when the Visa bill comes, but I never look at all the photos of N and think, "I wish I hadn't spent money on those photographs."

She'll have her awkward looking years soon enough when I'll be like, "What is the smallest possible package I can buy?" But for now, she is aglow in her 3-year-old cuteness, and I just want to savor it forever.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

We have lift-off...

Ok, I know this was a total fluke, and I just happened to be paying attention but N pooped in the potty today. We only started her wearing underpants all day yesterday, so I am pretty pleased. Of course, she seems to only be able to pee in a potty when we are not at home...although, I guess for this I should be thankful. Her poop came at Miss A's house.

At home, she just lets it go whenever and wherever she feels like it. I'll be ok so long as the company that produces Resolve carpet cleaner doesn't fold.

And, of course, later in the afternoon, while at home, N proceeded to poop again, but this time I was conked on the couch and missed my window of opportunity to get her butt on the can. So we had some soiled panties. Add those to the other pairs sitting on the washing machine ready to be cleaned.

D asked tonight how many accidents she'd had today. The only way I can keep up is to average the number of panties on the washer and the number of rags on the floor soaking up pee residue so the cats don't take to using my entire house as their litter box.

I had promised her a bag of M&Ms for pooping on the potty, so after calling Daddy, Nana and Mamaw about her exciting feat, we went to Target. I don't know if it was Target, just being tired or a combo, but by the time I got home, I was nauseated pretty badly and ready to crash (hence the missed second poop of the day).

It is nearly 9:00 p.m, and I am off to bed in anticipation of another day of potty training.

I must say I think my meds work tremendously well because for me to be able to flip N's turds into the toilet from her underpants, bend her over with heiney in the air, wipe her tail and then only have to wash my hands once (ok...I lied, I washed twice) is pretty amazing. There was a time I'd be dousing my hands with paint thinner in a futile attempt to get the fecal germs off my skin. Ain't being a mom and an obsessive-compulsive freak grand??????

Monday, March 12, 2007

Pregnancy and potty thoughts

It has been a terribly exciting 6 weeks, and I think (knock a redwood) I may be (knock a redwood) easing a little bit (knock a really fucking big redwood) out of the sickies. There I've said it, and 2 years of therapy has me convinced that having said it won't jinx anything and send me spirally back into a pit of feeling gross on my couch until the fall.

I suspect I am having a boy for 2 reasons: the incessant desire and need for protein (not carbs) and the general fear I have of having a boy, selecting a decent boy's name and dressing a boy in the mostly ugly navy blue and orange clothes I see in the male section of baby departments.

Yes, I know I got my girl the first time around, and I am thankful. And I am not anti-boy necessarily. Boys are just so foreign to me--I suspect I'd feel slightly more at ease if I was having a cat. I can handle the dingleberries when it comes to that. It's the psychology of boys that terrifies me. My father just about burst a blood vessel in his eye the time long ago that I suggested that it might not be bad having a gay son. With a gay son, provided he was the stereotypical gay son, he would at least be someone who might show his feelings on occasion.

Yeah, I'm jumping the gun, I know. But I am determined to enjoy this pregnancy --the talking about being pregnant, the getting fat, the buying baby stuff, the name-choosing. Maybe since I didn't do all this stuff when I was pregnant with N, I feel a need to relive it as if I'm carrying a female. This fretting over a boy, though, I did do this with N. I "knew" she was a boy until they told me she was a girl, and then I took a deep breath of relief.

I feel guilty saying that, though, because I think D would like a boy, especially since his dad died. Oh well, it makes no difference because he determined the gender anyway.

I have begun "seriously" potty-training N....well, as seriously as it's likely going to get. I'm sticking the girl in underpants, keeping her little Pooh potty in the living room, and asking her every 10 minutes if she has to pee-pee. I am SOOO not into this business. It is far too time-consuming for me, takes more thinking and planning than I care to allot.

I'm gonna blame my mom for one more issue of mine from childhood, but I wonder if my aversion to potty training has anything to do with listening to my mother ask my brother 10,000,000,000 times: "K, do you have to go poo-poo?" "K, do you have to go pee-pee?" I know I wasn't very old when all this was going on but it sounds like a refrain in my head. My brother was a stubborn little Uncle E has referred to the boy as "Turd" since potty-training was not the easiest endeavor my mother had to face. But all that questioning just drove me nuts. I wasn't being potty-trained but that always sounded like nagging to me.

Plus, there were all the poop in the tub during shared bathtimes that scarred me for life.

I guess another motivation that didn't really occur to me until today is that I have spent all of my life wanting to do and trying to do the opposite of everyone else. Just to be different. Yeah, I know there are tons of people like me....little drummers marching to our own beats. I think this "wanna be different" thing maybe has something to do with my refusal to enter N into preschool before she's 4 and a half. And my hesitation to potty-train or have her give up the pacifier.

I know a lot of day-cares have certain requirements kids have to do before they can move to the next room or level, and while I understand the reasoning behind it, I think it sucks. In the spirit of "doing things my way," I guess I want to be the opposite by letting N do things when she is ready or at least before she is at the end spectrum of developmentally delayed. And I don't want to be like other mothers either. I don't think it is so much a judgment against others as just a determination to be the "honcho." The boss of me and my own choices.

Which makes me think it has nothing to do with N at usual it is all about me. And I thought you became less selfish after you had children.
In my case, I am just selfish in more complex way.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Warranties. Guarantees. Certainties

Actually this post should be called, "Why I HATE Obs," but I don't want every rabid ob in the country to make hateful comments on my blog.

Yes, I know they are the most sued medical specialty and have outrageous malpractice insurance. I feel for them. They deal in a field where people have their hopes and dreams focused on that precious cargo, and if something goes wrong, it is far easier to blame a doctor than nature or god or themselves.

But for just once I'd like for an ob to try a little bit not to terrify me to stinking death. Some history:
In May 2006, I saw my ob for an annual exam and asked her about the use of my AD, Lexapro, during pregnancy. In her defense, she said she prefers women to use Zoloft or Prozac. I told her I can't take Zoloft due to serious side effects and that my psychiatrist was ok with me using Lexapro during pregnancy. She seemed ok with that. She didn't tell me I needed to switch.

Fast forward to last week when she tells me I need to get off my Lexapro. Uh doc, you think you could have said this last May long before I started trying to get pregnant? She mentioned things like babies possibly developing ADD or ADHD and possibly having respiratory problems at birth (which I knew about). She said something about fetal demise, and I think that is when I stopped breathing and thinking and went into panic and pissed mode.

Now I know her job is to warn me (and cover her ass), but really, when I tell her straight up I HAVE GAD AND OCD (not 1, but 2 anxiety disorders) and am medicated and under the care of a psychiatrist, DO NOT TELL ME SHIT LIKE THIS!!!!!!

And then she suggests I start taking Prozac in addition to my Lexapro until I can wean off the Lexapro (sure, expose the fetus to 2 ADs, not just 1). When I asked her what would happen if I didn't respond to the Prozac or had serious side effects, she said I would go back on the Lexapro. (I didn't tell her that Prozac tends to make patients more anxious which is specifically why my psychiatrist avoided giving it to me in the first place).

And then she actually looks at Prozac's information and tells me nevermind, Prozac has the exact same warnings as Lexapro.

How many weeks of therapy will it take me to get over all this crap?

I think I was too stunned to process a response to her. And it wouldn't matter anyway because she is ignorant like most of the rest of the world about mood disorders and medication. And her game is "avoid litigation at all costs."

So here is my response to her:

God knows, if I had my preference, I would have no need for antidepressant medication. Under no circumstances do I like the idea of potentially exposing my baby to anything that may harm him/her. However, given the extent of my 2 anxiety disorders and the fact that I have to function for myself and my daughter, it is not in my best interest, my family's best interest or the best interest of the fetus for me to change or stop my medications.

Granted I am not a physician, but I have consulted my psychiatrist and read lots of books and research concerning AD use during pregnancy. I know there are risks, but there are also serious risks if I forego my meds. It is far more risky if I switch meds when the one I use now works at a low dose. It is entirely possible that if I attempted a switch, I would have to go back on the Lexapro at an even higher dose (and I am on the lowest dose now). Plus, if I have to endure the weight loss and insomnia that occur when my anxiety rears its head, that isn't good for anyone.

Pregnancy and birth are a risky business, in general. Always have been. Plenty of children are born who develop ADD or ADHD who's mothers never took ADs. Plenty of babies are born with respiratory difficulties who's mothers never took ADs. I have mood disorders and my mother never took ADs. That is genetics and nature and chance. I accept that.

I know your job is to present information to me so that I am well-informed but the mistake you make is 2-fold: assuming I don't know shit about my own mood disorders and the resulting risks of medication and assuming you can speak to me in the flippant way you do other patients who don't take things to heart as much as I do.

There, I feel better. I told her, "Well, we'll just have to hope that everything works out ok." And isn't that all we ever do anyway in life....pregnancy or no, meds or no.