I'm on day 2 of a killer migraine that just won't quit. The good news is that I've got some pretty heavy duty pain meds that are (mostly) taking care of the pain. The bad news is that the meds make want to do things like sleep all day and fall over for no reason.
I had a migraine exactly like this when I was pregnant with Elle so I'm sure it's no big deal and it will pass and everything will be fine but for right now, jeebus cripes, this aint fun.
Yesterday I went to the ob to get checked out because I wanted to be sure that my haeadache was just a migraine and not pre-eclampisa or something because I'm totally paranoid about that this time around. I didn't get to see my regular ob because he's always booked (overbooked actually) so they had me see this total dingbat instead. She checks my blood pressure - fine. Listens to the baby's heartbeat - fine. Weighs me - ack! Then she says "Well, you look great and baby sounds great. Anything else I can do for you today?"
Um. Yeah. Can you do something about this SEARING PAIN IN MY TEMPLE? Please? She advises that I try some Tylenol. Lady, if Tylenol had worked for me I wouldn't be here right now holding my head in my hands and moaning in pain. Then she suggested caffine. Again, nice try. Then she started rattling off some other meds she could give me. This is where my time as a twice weekly migraine sufferer paid off. No, that kind doesn't work, no that one makes me naseaus, no, that one won't do anything for me. I recignized the look she gave me, it's the one I would always get in the ER back in the day. It's the "Are you a junkie?" look. I get that it looks suspicious but spend enough time in pain and you learn what works for you.
Actually getting the presscription into my hand was an adventure in itself. First I had to go to the lab to get blood drawn. Their computer system was down so they were reduced to comminucating via a system of hand gestures, grunts and post it notes. At one point the person drawing my blood said "And what tests are we running on this?" I guess my post it note fell off my folder and no one really knew why they needed blood from me. Wheeeee!
Once my blood was drawn (I'm betting no tests were ever done on it) I had to track down a nurse who tracked down another nurse who tracked down yet another nurse to give me my prescription. I went and got it filled and I've pretty much been in bed ever since. Until I came downstairs to write this that is. It takes more than a little head pain and a near fall down the stairs to keep me from my
bitching and whining blogging. Hope everyone is doing well and I swear that one of these days I'm going to catch up on my blog reading.
Friday, November 30, 2007
I'm on day 2 of a killer migraine that just won't quit. The good news is that I've got some pretty heavy duty pain meds that are (mostly) taking care of the pain. The bad news is that the meds make want to do things like sleep all day and fall over for no reason.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
The kids are insane. Joseph won't stop doing nonsense talk. Elle won't stop screaming. My back hurts so bad I can hardly walk. My hips hurt so bad I can hardly sit still. My ligaments hurt so bad I can hardly stand up straight. I've been reduced to serving frozen chicken patties and peas for dinner. Jesse won't be home for another two hours.
If anyone needs me I'll be sitting in the closet and crying.
Monday, November 26, 2007
For all my talk about not sweating the small stuff and not getting into power struggles with your kids I have to say that right now Elle is doing the one thing that drives me totally batty. She's not napping.
I've tried explaining to her that at her age she still needs to nap. I've tried letting her cry it out (well, it's more like whining it out). I've tried changing her nap to a later time of day. I've even tried snuggling her until she falls asleep. Nothing is working.
What the hell? Why won't she just fricken sleep already? Joseph stopped napping long before he turned two but that was different somehow. He seemed ready. Elle doesn't. If she doesn't nap it throws her for a loop and she's really cranky in the evening.
I've heard of kids napping into their pre-school years. Why do my kids have to be the non-napping freaks?
Experienced parents, I need your advice. How old were your kids whent hey stopped napping? What did you do when they wanted to stop? Anyone ever have success getting kids to start napping again after they thought they were ready to stop? If Elle refuses to nap would it be wrong of me to lock her out of the house for an hour or two a day so that I can still get a break?
We've got a long time left to spend together. Please, for the love of all that is holy, please dislodge your head from underneath my ribcage. You're not even that big yet but I already feel like I can't take a deep breath. Oh, and while your at it could you please stop tap-dancing on my bladder?
Thanks in advance,
your prenatal nanny
Help me! I am out of control! I cannot stop buying Christmas presents for Joseph!
I keep going out intending to buy for the other people on my list but then I just end up with a crat full of stuff for Joseph. I can't help it though. He's just really, really easy to buy for and just about everyone else I have to buy for is really, really hard.
I get great satisfaction out of finding the "perfect" gift. The problem is that I keep finding the "perfect" gift for one person over and over while everyone else on my list remains unbought for.
I think I might be acting out on some guilt I feel over Joseph's first Christmas with us. He was still our foster child at the time and we were being told on a weekly basis "He's going to go back home any day now. Expect it to happen at any time." I went to a used children's clothing store and bought him a big bag of clothes. I thought it would be of good use when he was back living with people who didn't know how to provide for his basic needs. About two days before Christmas I realized that he would be with us for the holidays and I went and got him a coupleof cheapie baby toys somewhere. And that's all he got for his very first Christmas. Yeah, I still feel a little crummy about that.
So now I need to make up for it by buying him everything that he expressed even a mild, passing interest in. Movies, computer games, Wii games, a Nintendo DS, art supplies, Tech Dudes, Cars cars, puzzles, board games, I'm out of control!
I hope Elle won't mind watching Joseph open presents for three hours while she sits there with her new pink bike and pink helmet and ..... not much else.
Friday, November 23, 2007
The other night my brother came over for dinner and to play a little Wii. Like the good sport that he is he agreed to watch some MST3K shorts with Joseph. He didn't complain once when he couldn't hear a single word from the movie because Joseph was lauging and talking so loud. Then he agreed to play the Wii game that Joseph wanted to. Then, as he was getting ready to go home I showed him the Thanksgiving card that Joseph had made in school. The card read:
Joseph writes like a toddler and didn't know if Ben would be able to read it but much to Joseph delight he read it without missing a beat.
I had a lot to be thankful for this year but one thing that I am most thankful for is my brother. I'm thankful that Joseph has an awesome uncle who will play Wii with him, watch MST3K with him, share corny jokes with him and sing the SpiderPig theme song with him. I'm thankful that Elle has an uncle that she calls "Uncle Friend". I'm thankful that he's no longer with the Wicked Witch of the North and has gone back to being his old self. I'm thankful to have back the brother that I missed so much.
So what were you "thakful" for this year?
Urgh. Medication is so frustrating. We were trying something new out with Joseph to help him with his anxiety and it has become very clear that it's not working for him. It was causing some strange behaviors that he couldn't really seem to control. He spent a good part of our Thanksgiving family get together crawling around on the floor looking for little bits of dirt and debris. Why? Who knows, he couldn't explain it. And when we asked him (over and over) not to do it he would say "Ok!" and then be back on the floor within two minutes.
It hurts to see your child acting "odd". It especialy hurts if he's acting that way as a result of a choice you made. We put Joseph on the medication to try and help him but it obviously didn't work and in fact made things worse. When we have setbacks like this it makes me want to give up on ever finding the right meds cocktail for him.
I swear that I'm not trying to make him "normal" with meds. I just want to make things better for him, make it easier for him do cope with day to day life. But days like yesterday make me wonder if I'm doing more harm that good.
I just want my boy to be happy. Why does it have to be so flipping hard?
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Do you ever have one of those days where you would be willing to pay someone to come over and watch your kids so that you could take a nap?
Today is one of those days.
I will pay anyone who is willing to watch my kids $200 so that I can lay down for an hour.
No, seriously. I mean it.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Picking up where I left off here and here I'm going to answer another one of my most asked questions about surrogacy. One thing that I get asked a lot is "How does your husband/kids/family feel about this?"
Jesse is very supportive.Of course when I first brought it up he was kind of like "What the hell?" but once we researched it a little bit he was all for it. He mostly just wanted some assurance that I would be ok with all the meds I would have to take. I think he's proud of me and he's happy to support me in something that he knows is important to me.
The kids are an interesting factor in all this. Joseph knows what's going on and he likes to tell people his version of events. "My mommy is having a baby but then she's giving it away so that we can go on a cruise." I always try to remind him that I'm not really giving the baby away, that it's not mine to begin with. I explain that I'm just helping B & J by giving their baby a place to grow and after he's born he'll go to live with them because they are his parents. I think he gets it but some of the language involved is sort of hard for him to understand.
Elle is too little to understand what's going on at all. I haven't even tried to explain it to her. If I do this all again (and I hope to) I'll let her know what's going on but I think this time around she's just too little. I'm not trying to hide it from her but I don't want to confuse her. She's very perceptive so I wouldn't be suprised if she had figured out that something is going on. If nothing else she has probably noticed that my lap is getting smaller.
At this point in my life my parents are probably used to me coming up with kind of wacky ideas. So I imagine that when I first brought this up they thought "Yeah, we'll beleive it when we see it." I also imagine they were pretty suprised when I went ahead with it. It seems like they're ok with it though now. I guess neither of them has ever really said how they feel about it but I'm taking that as a good sign. (As in, I would hear about it if they didn't like it.)
My extended family is largely supportive. As are my in-laws. Mostly. The only people who have really expressed some negative feelings about this whole thing are my father-in-law and his wife. They're really convinced that I'm going to fall in love with this baby and be heartbroken after it's born. I haven't been able to convince them otherwise so I guess I can't really worry too much about what they think. I also suspect that my FIL might have an issue with the fact that I'm doing this for a gay couple. He's never said it but it's just a feeling I have.
So there you have it. Everyone has been (for the most part) pretty suppportive. I consider myself lucky to know such great people.
Next time I'll answer the big question: Won't it be hard for you to give up the baby?
Monday, November 19, 2007
I just realized today that (assuming I give birth on or before my due date) I have less than 100 days of pregnancy left. Where did the time go? It really just hit me today that pretty soon I'm going to be giving birth to someone else's child. It's exciting and crazy and strange and wonderful and really just can't wait. I look forward to being able to hand J & B their new baby. I think it's going to be awesome.
I'm going to be starting a new blog to talk about some stuff that I don't feel comfortable talking about here. I'll still use this one just like I have been and this new blog will be more of a side project. If you would like to follow me there just drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave me a comment. I'll let you know once I've got the new blog up and running.
Friday, November 16, 2007
I have a confession. Well, two really. The first is that I should be doing some transcribing right now and I'm not. After so many years of being a SAHM the idea of doing work for someone on their schedule frightens and confuses me. (Don't worry Ben, I'll get it done.)
The second confession I have is this: I don't like my name. I think a lot of it stems from the fact that from first grade on I was always one of three or four Jennifers in each of my classes. No one ever called me just "Jennifer" or "Jenny". All through school I was called "Jenny S.". Well, at least till high school when I got a lot of "Hey you" and "dyke" but that's a whole nother can of horrible, scaring worms.
Legend has it that my name was going to be Katelyn until shortly before I was born when my uncle said to my parents "Katelyn? Don't name her something like that. Go with something nice and simple like Jennifer." I guess my parents responded by saying "Oh, ok." and naming me Jennifer.
The only time people call me Jennifer anymore is when I'm at the doctors office or during telemarketing calls. My family calls me Jenny and I'm cool with that but I really hate when anyone outside my family circle calls me Jenny. It seems too personal and assuming. Most people outside my family call me Jen. I used to hate that name but back when I was working (before Jesse and I were married) everyone I worked with called me that and it just seemed to stick. Now when I meet people I tell them to call me Jen because I've grown to like it and it seems to fit.
I like my middle name. Rose is a nice name I think. You don't hear it a lot but it's not so unusual that when you hear it you wonder if the person who came up with it was high at the exact moment they picked it out. I also like it because when I was a kid my grandma (a Rosie herself) would say "Jennifer Rose sat on a tack, Jennifer rose". That always cracked me up. I like Rose so much as a name that it's now Elle's middle name.
My last name is an issue too. Growing up I always thought my last name was clunky and awkward and I never liked it. My goal was to marry a man with a nice last name like Smith or Jones. I ended up marrying a man who's name was three letters and a whole syllable longer than mine. I considered keeping my maiden name but I decided against it. I'm a pretty traditional gal and keeping my maiden name just because it was easier to pronounce seemed kind of silly to me.
Of course there were other options. I could have hyphenated my last name. No, as it I have a hard time squeezing my name onto forms and into signature boxes. I have a family member who got married and he and his wife put their last names together to make one name. Look, no offense to anyone out there who has ever done this but that seems kind of dopey to me. Maybe it's just their name though. It doesn't look like a real name, it looks like two last names smashed together. Maybe it could work for some people. Not for me though. If I had done that my last name would be 24 letters long. I get a hand cramp just thinking about it.
Speaking of hand cramps, this was a pretty long post. I should probably rest my hands for a little while. I don't want to overdo it and injure myself by doing any transcribing right now. I better rest and play some Zoo Tycoon.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
I haven't posted about this very much but I have been trying for a while now to find a doula to attend the baby's birth. I've had zero luck for a long time. There aren't a whole lot of doulas in my area and the ones I've been able to track down have all turned me down. Several have refused because I am working with a gay couple. A few have refused because I'm not willing to commit 100% to a medication free birth. I was pretty sure that I had exhausted every avenue availible to me but then something really great happened.
On the day I was supposed to have my 24 week ob check up I got a call from my doctors office telling me that my doctor was way overbooked for the day and asking if I would mind seeing a certified nurse midwife instead. I agreed and I'm so glad that I did.
The nurse midwife was awesome. You know how sometimes you meet someone and you just click right away? It was like that with her. We talked about everything pregnancy and birth related and in the course of the conversation I told her about my difficulity in finding a doula and she told me that she had been a doula before she became a midwife. Before I left the office she gave me a list of a couple of places where I might be able to track a doula down. I was glad for the suggestion but as I was leaving I thought "She's the one I really want as a doula!"
I thought about it for a few days and decided to just go ahead and call her at the office and ask her to be my doula. She called me back yesterday and said "I'm so glad you called! When you left the other day I was thinking 'I would love to be at that birth!'"
Hooray! I found my doula! After searching all over Minnesota I finailly found her in my own doctor's office. I'm so happy! (Can you tell?) I feel like this is such a big weight off of my shoulders. The next big step will be at 28 weeks when I go to the hospital to meet with someone to discuss my birth plan. Hope they don't mind me bringing a whole crowd of people along!
We are having a realator come and look at our house tonight to give us an estimate of it's market value. It's just the first step in a long journey towards moving to a new house and this is about the worst time of year to take this on but we've got to do something. There's a lot I can put up with but drug dealers moving in across the street is just too much. There is some crap up with which I will not put.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
As an Aspie Joseph has a hard time understanding emotions. He's just starting to get a handle on his own but other people's leave him completely befuddled. He often tries to guess how people will feel about certain things and he's very often wrong. He'll say something like "You would think it was funny if Elle fell down the steps." Now, he doesn't say that because he thinks it would be funny. He's seen her get hurt before and he's always been very upset by it. For some reason though he thinks I would think it would be funny. He doesn't make the connection that tells him that if he finds something upsetting, someone else might find it upsetting too.
Anger is really hard for him to figure out. He's constantly misunderstanding what makes us angry and how angry it makes us. He always waaaay overestimates how upset we're likely to be about something. One day after school he was just in tears because he was certain I was going to be so upset at him because he took too long in the bathroom. He said that no one else had been mad at him but he was so sure that Jesse and I were going to be. He couldn't even explain why he thought that but it took a lot of convincing to get him to believe that I wasn't upset about how long he had spent in the bathroom.
I used to think that maybe Joseph thought these things because maybe we sometimes over-reacted to things. Maybe he had some reason to think we might just fly off the handle for no reason. I didn't really think that we did but I worried that he was getting this fear from somewhere.
Then not too long ago he told me he was worried that my mom was going to hit him for not eating enough lunch. Now, if you know my mom you know that there is no one in the world less likely to hit Joseph than her. She would probably cut off her own hand before striking either one of the kids. Nobody has ever hit either one of the kids so I don't know why Joseph had this sudden fear that he was going to get smacked over his eating habits.
He just doesn't seem to understand the way other people feel. Lack of empathy is common in Aspies. It's not that Joseph doesn't care how other people feel, it's that he just doesn't understand. We try to verbalize our feelings a lot so that he understands how we feel and why we feel that way. "I feel angry because...", "I feel happy that you...", "I feel sad when..." and so on. I feel like it's helping but it does lead me to say some strange things.
This last weekend I took Joseph to see A Bee Movie (I give it a solid "meh") and when it was done I had him come into the bathroom with me. (Because I am a paranoid mama who does not let my seven year old wait outside the bathroom for me.) I had him wait right outside the stall for me and when we were done I said "I'm proud that you did such a good job in the bathroom. You didn't complain at all and you were very respectful of my privacy**. I'm happy that you did so well." As I said all that I saw this woman giving me a look that said "What in the hell are you talking to him like that for?"
I just smiled a smile that I hope said "I understand. I would have made that some face a few years ago too if I had heard someone saying that. It's what my boy needs right now though."
*Extra credit for anyone who knows where I got this title from.
**I've caught him trying to peak at me in bathroom stalls before. He can't help it, he thinks my fragina is hilarious.
Friday, November 09, 2007
Joseph's school had a Veteran's Day program today. I knew right away it made a big impact on him because for once he was willing to talk about something that happened at school without me having to harrass him for details. He told me that there were people that showed them how to fold flags and then they sang some songs. Then he told me that he cried when they sang "Proud to be an American". He explained it like this "It wasn't sad crying, it was like happy, proud crying because I was thinking about veterans. I was the only one crying but I wasn't even emberassed."
Of course after that I was in tears. Sometimes Joseph's such a little goofball that I forget what a sweet and sensitive little boy he really is. I don't know a lot of seven year olds that are moved to tears by patriotic songs and feelings. He's one of a kind I think.
I'm so lucky to have him.
Elle and I are playing together today when all of the sudden she asks me "Achee potty?"
Um. Huh? "Itchy potty?" I ask her.
"Yeah! Achee potty!" she replies.
"Itchy potty?" I am confused. "Does your.... do you have a diaper rash honey? Did you go potty and it hurts?"
Now Elle is confused. "Achee potty? Pease? Achee potty, Mama?"
What in the hell is she saying to me? "Sweetie, I don't understand. Do you need a diaper change?"
"No diaper! Achee potty!" Now she's getting angry.
"Elle, can you show me what you want?" That works sometimes.
She runs over to her play kitchen, grabs a teapot and with a big grin on her face exclaims "Achee potty!"
And then it clicks. "Yes sweetie, we can have a tea party."
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
I loooove watching the Food Network when I am pregnant. It's like porn for me. I just can't get enough of it.
It occured to me today as I was watching it though that there is one food that no on on the Food Network should make or eat or talk about ever again.
I'm talking about fish tacos.
I don't care how good you say they are. I don't care how easy they are to make. I don't even care if they contain magical powers that enable me to fly and become invisible and turn things into chocolate just by touching them.
None of that matters because I can't even hear the phrase "fish taco" without feeling a little ill. Show me someone cooking one and I'll alternate between giggling and feeling sick to my stomach. I cannot bring myself to watch someone eating one.
Is it just me? Or is "fish taco" just about disgusting sounding?
I've broken out the Giant Purple Mumu. Yes, it's come to that.
I acquired the Giant Purple Mumu when I was about 7 months pregnant with Elle. It was on super-mega-clearance at Target and cost less than $5. It's not really surprising that I got it so cheap. The thing is a size 4X and ugly as sin. By the time I was 9 months pregnant I had taken to wearing the thing every second that I was at home. Even when I was at my biggest, pregnantest size the Giant Purple Mumu was huge on me. It made me feel comfy no matter how bad I felt.
Now the Giant Purple Mumu has seen better days. It has a small hole in the front. There are new loose threads appearing at the hem and armholes.
I recently had a giant clothing purge. I sent three big bags to the Goodwill and one bag to the trash. For a long time I considered pitching the Giant Purple Mumu.
Then I have a day like today and I'm glad I kept it.
Last night I crawled into bed at about 9:30 because I was feeling like absolute crap. This morning I woke up aching from head to toe. If I blink too hard my head throbs. If I walk across the room my legs get wobbly and jelly-like. I can't think straight or even really see straight.
I am wearing the Giant Purple Mumu. My plan is to wear it all day and then lay on the couch as much as I possibly can. This means that I won't be able to take Elle to school today or pick Joseph up from school later. I would like to get dressed and attend to my kids but ...... the Giant Purple Mumu, she calls to me.
I am powerless to resist her.
Update - I still feel like crap but I am going to scrape myself up off the floor, get dressed and take Elle to school. Wish me luck. I can't feel my left leg or see out of my right eye.
Sunday, November 04, 2007
I'm feeling very sad today.
Someone I love was hurt very badly last night. I'm scared for her. I'm worried about her ability to heal from this. I'm sad for her family who will have to find a way to deal with the aftermath of these events.
Out of respect for my loved ones I won't go in to any more detail than that. But I will ask one thing of you kind people out there. If you're the praying sort please take a moment to pray for every child out there who is lost, that they may somehow find their way safely back home.
Posted by Jen at 2:21 PM
Thursday, November 01, 2007
I know that I'm biased but I think Joseph is a really awesome kid. He's funny and sweet and smart and interesting. It's not just me who says that though! Most people who know him feel the same way. All of his therapists have really liked him. His teachers have all loved him. My family (for the most part) is crazy about him. So it's always a little bit of a suprise for me when I come across someone who doesn't like him. I'll never understand it but apparently some people are immune to Joseph's many charms.
When Joseph was three he and I took a parent/child class at the same school where Elle and I now go. The teacher in the class really, really didn't like Joseph. The fact is that he and never cared for her much either but I always wondered what in the heck a baby could have done to make this woman dislike him so much.
During the time we were in this class we were also starting some initial assesments of Joseph through the school district. This teacher was asked to fill out some forms about him and when I saw her answers I was livid. She made him sound like a holy terror who was mean to other kids and rude to teachers. It didn't fit in at all with what every other teacher who knew him said. Across the board they all said he was a smart, polite little boy who seemed to prefer playing on his own and occasionaly engaged in repetative behavior. Her answers were so out of whack that the person who compiled all the data said that this one teachers answers should not be considered in the final analysis because they appeared to be based on a personality conflict and did not truly express Joseph's personality.
I don't know if she got ahold of that report or what but as soon as it came out I noticed a real change in her demnor towards me. Where before she had been unfriendly and cold now she be was downright rude. Whenever she saw me she would shoot me a nasty glare and then move away from me. No skin off my nose since, as I said, I didn't really like her but this continued for a long time. Joseph had two years of preschool at this school (not with this teacher) and we always seemed to run into each other in the hallway.
Now that Elle and I have started going to this school together I've been running into this same nasty lady. I actually made an attept at a friendly smile the first time I saw her but all I got back was the same mean glare. Whatever lady, I don't like you either but I wasn't going to be such a bitch about it.
Yesterday when Elle and I were at school yesterday we were informed that there was going to be a fire drill. We were told that when the bell went off we should grab our kids and their coats and head out to the sidewalk in front of the school. Pretty simple right?
So the bell goes off, I grab Elle ("What that sound?") and her coat and we go out to the sidewalk. Once we're on the sidewalk I move off to the side and set Elle down so that I can put her coat on. We're standing well out of the way and a good 100 feet away from the school itself. All of the sudden the nasty faced teacher herself comes barreling down the sidewalk yelling "Clear out of the way! Keep moving down! Don't block the way of the fire fighters."
Um. Ok. First off, no one is blocking anyone's way. Second, what fire fighters? The ones that won't be coming since this is just a drill and not an actual fire?
Nasty faced teacher keeps waddling down the sidewalk, waving her arms and yelling about people blocking the way. When she gets to Elle and I she puts her hands on Elle's shoulders and tries to physcially move her.
Oh no. I don't think so. You don't get to put your hands on my kid even if it is for a really important reason (like to free up the 1/2 inch of space we were taking up that belonged to the imaginary fire fighters).
I snapped my head up to look at her and said "Oh cool it! I'll move after I put her coat on!" I enjoyed the flustered look on her face for one split second before turning back to Elle and finishing up with her coat. I gave her a big hug, scooped her up and then deliberatly moved one over one step. The nasty teacher turned on her heel and started yelling at other people to move. Elle and I smiled at each other until I realized all the other parent/child classers we standing there watching me and had seen me snap at the teacher. None of them looked to impressed.
Something tells me that Elle and I won't be invited to any after school playdates any time soon. Oh well. Bitch shouldn't be touching my kid.