Friday, August 24, 2012


you brought me your shoes
on a summer morning
dewy and cool

i followed you
in my sweats and no bra
while you ambled
carrying too many pebbles
they spill out of your hands
precious stones

we saw cars pass
and heard men working
other lives in other worlds
but oh said my mind
isn't this a holiday
some national vacation

this day is special
to nobody
but me

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Mind Killer

So remember how my doctor and I were really optimistic about those cells in my vajayjay? Wellllll, it might have been a bit worse than that. I mean, not WORSE worse. What's worse? It's much worse to have cancer now rather than get a high risk result and fer sure cancer in two years. It's way way worse to be dying and have to make a will and do all that adult stuff instead of just going to the doc and having them knock you out so they can scrape all the evil pre-tumor tissue right out of you. So yeah, that second one? I got that.

Well, I did. I had my operation already and thank god that's over. But of course when she told me I needed the LEEP I proceeded to FREAK THE FUCK OUT, stick my fingers in my ears like a nine year old, and generally ignore the situation until the very damn day of the operation. I imposed internet silence on myself because I just didn't want to worry about all the stupid complications and horror stories and “welp, now I have cancer anyways” scenarios that would inevitably pop up (believe me, I went WAY too far about research when I was pregnant and even do a bit too much now that I have my kid and now basically think every bad thing ever is going to happen).

I was able to venture a few questions. My MIL told me a story about when she was a nurse and a woman came in with her two kids and she had cervical cancer and died in, like, six months and she wasn't even thirty because cervical cancer is a young woman's disease and jesus I wish I didn't have that statistic in my head. The moral of that story is to get checked out on the regular because she hadn't. I get my paps on time, yo.

Truth, the LEEP was not THAT bad. I fell asleep without even knowing it, the last thing I remember was thinking the operation table they moved me to was not as comfy as the bedzzzzzz. However, waking up SUCKED SO HARD. I was in a lot of pain, a four on my scale, which is very high for me (I'm crying if I'm at a five, for ref). Also, shaking uncontrollably. Also I guess my blood pressure took a dip and scared the crap out of everybody so I had to get stabilized in a special quiet room where they wouldn't even give me a magazine or anything (they wanted me to rest, go fig).

Since then, things have been okay. Was told to do “pelvic rest” which means...don't do anything down there, we mean it now. Also gross clots coming out of me randomly ewewew and I still have some pretty bad crampy pain even though the surgery was a week ago. WTF. All this after I had my first period in 18 months (crash course in menstrual cups, FTW. Love you Diva Cup!) so its just been one bleedfest after another. Sometimes being a woman just blows. I don't think my husband has been to the doctor in like, years, and he's healthy as a horse.

Also, the days after were an emotional shitstorm. Songs that are not sad getting stuck in my head and then making me cry. Crying at comedies. Anxiety, and lots of it. I'm a stable person, my husband backs me up on that, so when stuff like this starts to happen, we take notice. It was like getting the baby blues all over again. When I mentioned it to my OB, she couldn't say it was anything specific but that since I am quite obviously “sensitive” to anesthesia, it probably had something to do with that. And my menses returning? I guess?

But all this is complaining. I don't have cancer. I probably won't get it now, if ever. For that, I am supremely grateful.

Friday, March 9, 2012

“I'm optimistic.” She said. I am too. I'd been waiting on this appointment for nearly a month after I got the call, but it'd barely registered on my brain as an important task, instead it was just another thing that I needed to check off my to-do list.

I wasn't ignoring the significance, not making myself purposely busy so that I didn't have to think of the implications. I am certain that at 28, I don't have to worry about cervical cancer. After just having a baby, still nursing, and having regular (ahem) alone time with my husband, an abnormal pap just isn't that abnormal in this situation.

I don't mind OB visits all that much even, usually. The doctors are quick, the discomfort fleeting, and then it's wham bam see you next year. But this wasn't a standard visit. This was a biopsy. I hadn't really thought about that till I was sitting in the exam room with just a sheet covering my lower half.

Anyone who's had one knows the deal. The exam was uneventful, except for the name of one of the instruments was “cervical punch” and it works exactly like a hole punch in exactly the place a hole punch should not be. The doc asked me if I felt lightheaded and I actually had to consider if I did. You would think after an emergency C-section and several months of trial-by-fire learning to be a new mom, I would not be fazed by this routine procedure.

At the end, they offered me a basket of the tiniest, thinnest pads I had ever seen. Pads for 12 year olds who weight 75 pounds. I had to line three up in my underwear before I felt moderately safe. Behind me, there was a bright streak of red on the previously spotless bed paper.

On the way home, I felt odd. I tried to sing to C to keep her entertained, but couldn't manage that. I felt exhausted by the time we got in and didn't know why. I was glad C was able to motor around the living room by herself before bed because I don't think I could've played with her otherwise.

That night, I curled up tight in my bed, trying to block out the fact that there was a tiny wound inside me and that's why my insides ached. It didn't matter how much I crossed my legs, the action was still there, it had already occurred, and why was I freaking out about this? It wasn't a big deal god dammit, just go to sleep like a normal person and get over it.

It didn't help that I would have liked some (ahem) alone time with my husband, and continued to want it but was terrified by the idea at the same time. Confusion, anger at myself, fear, anxiety. I didn't sleep well.

“You'll have some light but bright red bleeding for the rest of the day, just to warn you.”

“Of course.” My smile, practiced for years, showed my demeanor as easygoing and calm. “Just like any other fresh wound. Makes perfect sense.”

“Oh.” She sighed as she got up to leave, and shook my hand. “You're so rational.”

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Spin spin spin

Some kind of new and improved super cold has swept through my household. Features include: extreme fatigue, nonstop dizziness, the inability to sleep, fever spikes at night, plus 33% more used tissues. Call now while supplies last.

The dizziness was a serious concern for me, as it got so bad that I didn't feel safe driving. I could barely focus. I think this is what was keeping me from sleeping, because when I closed my eyes, I could feel the world turning around me and it would cause my body to tense up. When I did sleep, I dreamed of swimming or falling.

C got it, of course. I had to use the Nosefrida on her, which is nicer than the bulb thing but she still screamed. At least she got to nurse after that.

So often during motherhood I feel like I am of two minds. One mind is the conscious one, the educated anxious one that tells me I need to turn the TV off so that C's brain doesn't rot out of her eyes whether she's actually looking at the screen or not (she's not). The other is the quiet whispering brain, silently guiding my actions with the steady hands of generations of mothers before me. So often, I discover that I am the one who is holding C back, second guessing myself. "She's too young for that" I'll say. But the next week, despite my louder brain's protestations, I move my three month old to her big crib with barely a blip. Next she's trained out of needing her swing for naps. Then she's eating tuna (!) at just seven months. It's maddening. What would have given me a heart attack a few weeks before seems like no big thing today.

This all comes on the heels of my worry that C is going to wean soon. Sooner than I would like anyway. I really love breastfeeding her, but her excitement about solid food is unmatched. She still eats the baby stuff, but practically demands a small bit of whatever you are eating, be it turkey or bread or spicy chicken or pickles. A month ago I was getting weepy reading about "The Last Time They Breastfeed" stories. Now I sense it on the horizon, and while it will make me a bit sad, I don't think I will cry a single tear.

Growing up, moving on. I wouldn't, shouldn't and downright can't keep her a baby forever. Just the other day I noticed that I really don't need the diaper back with me all the time like I used to. It's an oversized purse right now. And I still have the co sleeper next to the bed, but only to hold things like towels for side lying feeding and a+a blankets that have become C's comfort objects (the sleeper also makes a convenient guard rail, C would have fallen off the bedside multiple times by now by distractedly popping off and rolling over if it wasn't right there)

And then there is perspective. As in, keeping it. It's hard to stay strong about something without second guessing yourself because your LO is crying or giving you the puppy face or just seems so darned persistent. Are you sure you don't want to give in? Sometimes I don't even know I'm doing it, or I feel guilty for not. And then I have to tell myself, "You're not starving, hitting, or otherwise abusing her. She gets everything she needs and most of her wants. You don't have to cave for this." Shit's hard man. Shit's hard.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

We (could) have (had) it all

There's been a lot said about public nursing moms lately. There's been the Target nurse in, Kasey Kahne, and don't even get me started on this judge (Inappropriate? You can take your inappropriate and stick it up your inappropriate).

I am a vehement supporter of breastfeeding, whenever, wherever it is required. Most states have specific laws that allow women to do just that. I am so SO grateful that I live in a state that is very clear that a woman is 100% allowed to breastfeed in ANY location, public or private. It is illegal to move, berate, or otherwise harass said mother. I hope that someday we can live in a country where no one, not even dickhead NASCAR drivers, bat an eye at a breastfeeding mother.

And yet. Have I done my part to raise awareness and encourage NIP? The more often that babies eat in full view, the less taboo it becomes. I know this, I believe in it...and I've never actually done it.

It used to be that I wasn't perfectly comfortable with BFing yet. We didn't have the rockiest start, but it wasn't the smoothest either. At first, it was because I was using nipple shields and I still (still!) am. I didn't think I could figure out the logistics of feeding a baby and having the shield and doing it without having to trek the boppy around. But now I could probably swing it if I had to. I just...haven't. The one place I did that was semi-public was the pediatrician's office, tucked away in a comfy rocking chair, next to the bathroom.

Even then, I eyed the bathroom, wondering if I should just go in there and then mentally kicking myself for having such backward wrong headed thinking. But since then, nothing in public. And I don't know if it's because I don't particularly like confrontation, or if I am actually ashamed of the idea of exposing myself.

I feel like I can't afford to be embarrassed, that I have to advocate for breastfeeding and that actions speak louder than words here. I know that all of the responsibility doesn't rest on my shoulders, but If I Don't Who Will and "be the change you want to see in the world" blah blah blah. GUILT. Also FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS. It doesn't help that I'm also a total homebody who prefers her house to any mall/theatre/strip club.

I'm not sure where I'm going with this. I think I'm going to have to get outside my comfort zone on this, maybe even force the issue by going somewhere far enough away that I have no choice but to nurse. I actually ended up writing a lot more about the subject than I expected.

NEW TOPIC. I am always eleven billion years late to the party and I am also a snob about everything so sometimes stuff takes a while to matriculate through my skull but I just got around to listening to some of Adele's stuff and it's pretty damn good. Especially her hit, Rolling in the Deep. I like it because it's sultry, angry, passionate, soulful. And then there's the refrain, "We could have had it all." That really made me think, what is the "all" she could have had? Love? Marriage? Kids? A good life? And I realized that's what I've got. I've got it all. I'm in paradise and loving every second of it.

Saturday, December 17, 2011


I always knew I wanted children, and I always knew, academically, that it would be hard. Of course, knowing something will be hard and then actually going through said thing is very different. But the hardest thing? It's watching her get bigger every day. I swear every time I look at her she's just a bit taller, a bit more filled out, etc. Every day she's more and more active during her waking times. I can already tell she's going to be a handful when she starts crawling, walking. I can't picture her speaking yet, with her mouth. She talks to me every day, in squeaks and wails, happy or sad moans, distinctive leg kicking. Big toothless smiles. Out of breath belly laughs.

C. is less than 6 months, but we have set our routine. It starts when she wakes up, then two hours later (or less), it's nap time for two hours. She's up again for 2-3 more hours, then back down for another two hour nap. Bedtime starts at 6:30 and can really begin anywhere from 7-7:45, with wakings around midnight and then, depending on how she feels, there can be a couple more feedings in there.

Speaking of sleeping, we are all getting a lot more of it than we used to. We ended up having to do a gentle "fuss it out" because one night we were just so exhausted, it was getting really unsafe. After ten minutes, she was out. And she stayed out. And it's been like that pretty much every night since. To say it is lovely is an understatement, but sometimes (often...) I find myself missing our late night meetings (even though most of the time, they still happen).

Missing things. That is the hardest part. Taking pictures has dropped off, of course. I get so caught up in the routine, the morays of day to day life, that it isn't until she's asleep and peaceful that my brain turns on to remember to guilt me about forgetting to take pictures. Every day I say to myself, I will take more pictures tomorrow. I will make it a priority. I will take more pictures.

I have to remind myself that these are the easy times, the times when I can instantly cure any crying spell with a boob or an arm to pick her up, or a bounce on my knee. Someday things will get harder, so much harder and easier. It feels like that day is far away, but the reality is everything is going by at warp 9 and I'm the one who's standing still. That is, until I hold her tiny hand in mine and my hand looks so old and wrinkled and malformed compared to hers. I'm going at warp speed too, I just don't feel it.

Tomorrow I will take more pictures.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Tanks and routines

I dunno about other mothers, but ever since I left the hospital I've had to wear a nursing bra 24/7. Lemme let you in on a secret. Bras? Can get very uncomfortable if you wear them too long. And before baby, I was the kind of person to just take mine off as soon as I got home from work. It was like a signal for my body to get into relax-at-home mode and out of work mode. "You should get a fitting!" I can hear the ladies crying. Relax, I've had one and I know my size, etc. But no matter how comfy the bra is when you first buy it, it's going to start to sag and pull and just show its wear and tear. And it's going to get uncomfortable if you wear one for an extended period of time. I know there are women who wear them because they are more comfortable than without, but as a "well endowed" girl, I can say that it is much MUCH nicer to just let it all hang out, so to speak.

Anyway, I picked up a nursing tank (why is it called a tank? Am I in the army?) and it is SO MUCH BETTER. It feels like a shirt instead of a bra, and is just so comfy. I LOVE IT.

NEXT UP: Okay, can we talk about sleep schedules? Routines? Because yeah, I don't understand them, I think. When I complain that it's always up in the air when C. goes to bed, they say put her on a schedule! Start a routine! I'm like, Okay! How do I do that?

Seriously, this doesn't make sense. We tried it and it was FAIL. Nurse, rocking, singing, bed. As soon as she hit the mattress she was like, WTF. Since we aren't doing cry it out or anything, what was the next move? I ended up doing what we always do, nurse her to sleep and then move her to the crib. She usually wakes up a bit when we do this and knows she's going in the crib (opens her eyes, struggles for 0.2 seconds).

Anyway, it wasn't until later that I had a mini epiphany. Nursing her to sleep is part of her routine, but the END of the routine. I need to build from that and create a routine that signals to her that sleep is going to happen soon, but it will still end with nursing to sleep, then crib. I know, it sounds super easy and something everyone already knows, but when people say "routine routine routine" they don't really elaborate on HOW a routine is created, and that you need to incorporate what has worked for your child in the past and you can totally use what you've been doing to get your kid to sleep up to that point. I feel like sometimes advice like this is touted so often that people forget that first time parents are in completely foreign territory and don't have a frame of reference to draw from and so, like us, will just FAIL and feel like shitty parents because their kid doesn't sleep when they need her to.

In other news, C. pooped so hard that I had to strip her out of her clothes and hose her down in the sink. AGAIN.