Tuesday, December 30, 2008

what will it take?

I too am flummoxed by the unwrapping of the gifts, only to return them. What, if they were really good, they would have kept them? Did the gifts themselves not measure up? Inexplicable. But then again, the whole thing is inexplicable.

So, my husband says every time something happens with them, it's like a punch in the gut. And this was a wallop. He semi-expected it, though, but that doesn't make it any easier.

But, he's not done. Against all logic and reason, he's still trying to figure out what the next step is. I pressed him hard, asking what it would take to realize they won't change and stepping away is the best for now. He countered we stepped away for a year, but that didn't help, and there's got to be something..........

There's nothing. I know there's nothing, except complete capitulation to their way of thinking, that will resolve this with them. But my husband can't walk away. He says he can't fathom they don't want to have anything to do with our son. That no one in his immediate family is willing to welcome him in any way.

I don't know what to say to that. But, then again, once the year turns and things get relatively back to normal, real life will kick in and it won't be the holidays and time will just pass. Part of the problem is I am done. I mean, come on, what else do they have to do to demonstrate how awful they are? But it's not my family.

So, he wants to send the box back. Write that Christmas is a time of giving and we give these gifts freely to them because we want to, and please don't send them back. And that he notes for the second year in a row they've failed to acknowledge their granddaughter, and now grandson, on the holidays.

I semi-joked I wanted to send them a postcard that simply said, I'm sure your grand-daughter will understand your petty sentiments.

I was going to do a post this week about my pettiness. The thing is, I miss their gifts. They are absolutely the worst money managers in the world - already gone through bankruptcy 10 years ago - and part of their problem is they spend extravagantly. Not wildly extravagantly like giving Coach bags or designer this or that, but fairly nice stuff. My parents aren't well off, so Christmas with them is always modest. But it was nice to get a $50 gift card to Ann Taylor or whatever, on top of a nice assortment of knick-knacks and stuff. I'll admit it, I liked it. And of course the overload for our daughter. And I find I am actually resentful there were no gifts last year and now this year. I have to remind myself every extravagance they spend now is just one step closer to running out of money in their retirement and their pending need to be cared for in their old age. And believe me, they're not living in my house when that day comes.

Though there is the first year we were married. We went to my parents house for Christmas, and so made it to the inlaws after the New Year (something they bring up now - we've had to celebrate the holidays with you in January!). We were swept into the living room, where there was a stack of presents. I unwrapped the two for me. You know those quilted boxes that you store china in? Yep - one present of the box for tea cups, the other present was the boxes for dinner plates and salad plates. I still use those boxes, actually, the six sets of wedding china we got are carefully stored in the basement right now. But my husband had about, no lie, 25 presents to unwrap. I sat there as he unwrapped Ralph Lauren shirts, and pants, golf shirts, t-shirts, underwear (yes, my MIL gave him underwear our first year of marriage!), socks - a whole wardrobe of 3 or 4 outfits, plus golf balls and gloves and various other things. About half way through I excused myself and let the dog out back and shed a few pity tears for myself. The next year my husband's brother was married (to someone more suitable, natch) and the gift giving evened out.

But those quilted boxes! What a message that sent in year one. So tell me, what messages have you received over the years in your stocking? Coal comes in many shapes and sizes.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Oh, noes they did not

Remember I last typed we had busted our butts getting presents out to the in-laws? Well, today we got a package from my parents-in-law. They had unwrapped the gifts we gave them, repacked them in the box, added a note that said "we think it is inappropriate to exchange gifts this year" and mailed the box back to us.

Oh yes they did.

Friday, December 26, 2008


Survived Christmas, though it was exhausting. Too much (mostly shopping) left for the last minute, too many things to do. The little man is sleeping a little better, but still up at least twice in the night. I'm getting by basically on 5 interrupted hours a night. And the two days leading up to Christmas were so busy there was no time for a nap - and getting a nap is key to surviving sleep deprivation.

Things have been tough with my husband. He's sleep deprived and stressed about his family and there's been too much to do and it's resulted in us not not connecting and a pretty bad week, actually. Without talking it out, we both just kind of came to a mutual let's not be upset with each other moment on Christmas Eve. And it's nice to be more connected. I hope next week we can talk some of this through. Or maybe, I've been thinking, we need more joint counseling to hash some of it out. I just don't know.

On the in-law front, no word from anyone. We busted our butts to get packages out to his brother and his parents and sister. And nothing in return. Actually, we got a package from his brother's wife, with two presents - for our daughter and son. When we opened the presents on Christmas morning, realized, because of cards, it was my daughter's 3rd birthday present (from September!) and son's birth present.

My husband called his brother Christmas morning, but the brother had gone back to bed. So he chatted with his 4 year old niece and sister in law. She said if it was up to her she'd pack up niece and the two of them would come to the baptism on Sunday. But it's not up to her. No call back from his brother, no word from his sister, nothing from his parents.

My husband e-mailed his sister on Monday to ask about being godmother (he had called a few days prior with no response). She e-mailed back neither a yes nor a no, but did say she couldn't get off work to come.

I hadn't sent in the paperwork to even have the baptism (despite scheduling and sending out invites for an open house party for Sunday!). I sent them in Christmas Eve and certainly hope we're on the schedule this weekend. Gotta call and confirm. I just wrote his sister's name on the paperwork, and said she would not attend.

Oh, and despite eating horribly the past week, I still managed to lose 2 pounds. Breastfeeding is a miracle in some ways.

So a quick update. My husband and parents are out shopping for food for our open house, and I'm home supposed to be cleaning/organizing. This is just a quick just the facts post - but there's so much more going on. Between my husband and me. Thinking about my in-laws. A question about my sister. Too much thought about the past. Thinking about the future for all of us. More thoughtful posts to follow, I hope. I feel like I've been on a non-stop treadmill for the past week. Just have to hang on til Monday, when it should at least slow down. A little.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

hot topics

It appears weight is a hot button topic for many, not that that should be a surprise. The thing is, in real life, I almost never talk about it. When I was in my 20s and young 30s, I never, ever talked about my weight. Other women my age were skinny and would gripe about (non-existant) body flaws and I would stay mum, since carrying 20-30 extra pounds speaks for itself. But now that I've reached a certain age and had two kids (and two more relatively short pregnancies) and so has everyone else my age, my shape isn't that far from normal, so I can be someone who gripes with women friends about getting my old body back. Except I don't really want my old body, either. But antigone hit it on the head - for me, it's really about feeling better, stronger, healthier in my body. I want to chase my children around on the playground and not be too tired or too out of breath. (as I was much of the pregnancy). Though there is a part of me that is vain and wants to wear my old clothes. Or maybe that's the broke part of me, who doesn't want (and can't right now) purchase a bunch of stuff!

But, in the of course category, the weight had been magically melting off, and as soon as I published the last post, the melting stopped. I'm hovering around 187 or so. I fit into my old jeans, but barely. I really need to get 15 pounds off to have my wardrobe open to me again, and I really don't want to buy anything large right now. So, I still wear those army green maternity pants. I really, really hate them.


In other news - my husband is seeing his counselor again tonight, having last seen her two weeks ago, to talk about the latest missive from his lovely mother. I finially did read the email - it was as disjointed and illogical as you might expect, and not worth typing out. She's delusional, and the queen of it's all about her. At one point she said how hurtful it was my husband called the day of the delivery, as if the date wasn't embedded in her mind. How dare he care to intentionally hurt her with the reminder her grandson, whom she couldn't see because it was too painful for her, was to be born that day.

I mean really. What is there to say to that. My husband told me about his counseling appointment that night -counselor said, look, their pathology runs deep and you're not going to change them. Perhaps with family counseling, with a highly trained counselor, they might understand how they hurt us. But otherwise, it's worked for them for 60+ years, and they're not gonig to change. Especially when their behavior is tolerated by so many others in the family.

Counselor also told my husand that while he was welcome to come and talk to her about all this, he'd do a lot better talking to me about it. I agreed, there was a pause, and he said, but I dont' know how to do that. I asked why, and he said do you want to hear I look at my son and my eyes well up with tears thinknig about my parents and especially my dad? Or that I think about this all the time, trying to think of a resolution?

I told him I knew this was hard on him, and of course it should be hard. It's hard to be rejected by people you love.

The thing is, what I did not say, is that their rejection of him is so tied in my mind to their rejection of me, and that's integrally tied to his rejection of me. It hurts me, too, though for totally different reasons.

I've thought about printing out some comments I've received here from others with family estrangements. Cause while I am perfectly happy walking away from these hateful people, he is not yet there. He's seeing his counselor again tonight, so we'll see what that brings.

Meanwhile, we've just sent the birth announcements out, and are prepping for the baptism on the 28th. He's going to call his sister and ask her if she will be godmother, but I think his sister wil say no. Bleah. I don't know what we'll do then.

I've told my husband I want to model the behavior we want to receive from his family, so we sent off a birthday present to his niece, and still have to go out and buy them all (modest!) presents. We've sent them the announcement, and will mail them a Christmas card and holiday package. Maybe I should not even be trying that little bit. I don't know. Because of course they might take it as everything has been swept under the rug and is perfectly fine now. That's the one place I won't go.


And one last tidbit - remember the job that wouldn't hire me, I surmised because of pregnancy? Part-time contract position? Well, they sent me an e-mail today asking for references! So maybe who knows. I have hope, but trying not to think about it too much. Applied for a government job yesterday (4 stinking hours on the application!), heard of a possibility yesterday, have a contract temp job to send in resume, have two other good contacts to follow up..........gotta make something happen in the New Year.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Weight for it

Wow. Last night the little man was up from 2-7 am. UP. He slept for about 20 minutes at 3 and again at 6. Brutal. So instead of a thoughtful treatise on my inlaws or finally commenting on some thought provoking posts I've read recently, or outlining the travails of marriage, I'll talk about something I really don't talk much about in real life. The weight/body image. I've been more honest on this blog about my weight struggles than I ever am in real life. I might say sometimes I want to fit into my pre-pregnancy clothes, or bemoan with other women the general body stuff women do when they get together, but in general I don't talk about it much.

I really, really want to be more healthy and energetic and that translate into weight loss. Plus I want to fit into older clothes again. I dress very conservatively, so yeah, a pair of black trousers or a white top from 4 years ago is still going to be in style today.

I spent most of the end of 2007 at 173 pounds, so we'll consider that my starting weight. I gained a lot in the early days of pregnancy, but that slowed down - my final weight was 211. Bleah. About a week after delivering my ten-pound baby, while still bloated and retaining a lot of water, I made what might be considered a stupid mistake and stepped on the scale - and it read 202. What the hell? How do you have a ten pound baby and only lose 9 pounds? But, it wasn't a mistake in that I knew I was at the peak of bloatedness and all that would come off quickly, and it has. This morning I weighed in at 188, having spent the last few week weighing myself every day and watching it just drop off. There's definitely something gratifying about the early days of breastfeeding, when the weight really does slough off quickly.

I remember with my daughter, when I went for the 6-week check up, the doctor said, ok, you've lost all you're going to lose in just plain old your body shedding pregnancy weight. Whatever you lose from here on out is about you working to lose weight. Which was pretty true. I'd really like to be in my non-maternity clothes by the baby's baptism, which we've scheduled for December 28th. Wait, I've just realized that's only 2.5 weeks away. So no way will I be 173, I must be realistic. But maybe I can hit 180 or 179. I was in the mid 180s when the shit hit the fan with my husband last year, so at least, while I'm not happy about how I look, I should have some things that fit.

I've been cutting out most sweets and most dairy, hoping that might help him sleep better, and that definitely helps with the weight. So if I keep it up, who knows. I'll keep you posted.

Tell me, in real life, do you talk openly about getting in shape/losing weight/poor body image? Or are you comfortable in your own skin? (I hope you are!) Or do you keep it all - whether good or bad - private?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Remember all my complaining about sore boobs? Like, every post since the birth? Well, turns out my little man is tongue-tied - has a shortened frenulum. So on Monday we went to a pediatric surgeon who fixed it with a simple clip. Poor little guy - they brought him to me immediately (they made us wait in the next room, which was fine except not like the walls were sound-proof) and he was angrily crying with a wad of gauze stuffed in his mouth. But it's a simple procedure, it really is, nearly blood-free, and not much more traumatic than biting your tongue. And there's a definite difference in nursing, so I am hoping the soreness will resolve quickly.

And my tiredness? Little man also has his nights and days a little shifted. His magic hours are between 1 and 5 am. During the day, he naps a lot, and heavily. Up to 4 hours of napping at a stretch. But at night? It's party time. Some nights he nurses like clockwork every two hours - 11 pm, 1 am, 3 am, 5 am, 7 am, then bam, sleep for 4 hours. Other nights, he's awake and nursing continuously from 1 to 5 am. Those are not the fun nights.

So all of this leaves me a bit tongue-tied, too. Or finger-tied. Or just not thinking so clearly and definitely not up for posting anything coherent with a beginning, middle, and end. Generally, things are fairly ok. And that's about all I got right now.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Antigone's baby shower!

Happy baby shower day, Antigone and Perseus and Sothis!

Hosted by Yummy Sushi Pajamas. (how the frig do you get the jpeg to LINK to a website?????)

I type this with a squalling infant on my lap, one hand holding my sore boob to ensure good nursing, the other hand slowly picking at the computer on the TV tray set up next to my glider chair. I've not had more than 2 hours of sleep at a stretch for the past week and a half. My boobs hurt. I've only showered twice since the birth. I have a weird rash on my back. Baby has a goopy eye, which the doctors assure me will clean up by the time he's two. Other stuff I have to blog about. I stepped on the scale the other day and after having a nearly ten pound baby, scale showed I had lost a whopping 8 pounds. WTF? How is that even possible? Well, probably water retention as my legs have swollen. My scar hurts.

And this - some form or fashion of this, your own version of this - will be you in just a few short weeks.

And I couldn't be happier for you. Because? While it sounds, um, not pleasant all typed out, and there's nothing that can prepare you for the reality, the truth is there's nothing that can prepare you for the love. For the joy. For the best.

Congratulations from the bottom of my heart. I can't wait to read and hear all about it.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Whew. Families are tough.

So, you may recall, my parents are here from Thanksgiving through New Years. So far so good, with just the usual, expected irritations.

Got a call today, though. My dad's brother passed away this morning. My father's sister passed away in April, so now my dad is alone from his original family. And to make it all worse, my dad and his brother have been estranged for many years. My uncle was kind of a jerk in a lot of ways - he's the one who estranged himself from everyone in the family. My uncle has been under hospice care, so this was not unexpected, but as my dad is saying, still upsetting. So now we're all on our computers trying to figure out how to get him to Key West for the weekend. Let's just say not easy.

Meanwhile, on the other side, my husband got an e-mail from his mother last night. I haven't seen it yet, and will post it if/when I do. My husband told me this morning it basically said goodbye. We had left her no choice but to cut herself off from us because it was too painful for her.

Kymberli at I'm a Smart One (I'm still sort of reading as much as I can, but am waaay behind) posted yesterday asking about cursing. My favorite curse is Jesus fucking Christ. Which, raised to be the good, guilt-ridden Catholic that I am, I think is blasphemous (gee, ya think?) so it's mostly my own internal curse and I think looks vulgar on the page (southern upbringing) so I also resist typing. But I digress. Jesus Fucking Christ. My mother-in-law is, I swear, the most self-centered person in the world. Except for all the other horrible family stories I've heard in solidarity in the comments, of course. Anyway, am totally rambling here. My mother in law's note also contained the gem that she told my husband 9 years ago he was choosing another family over hers (that would be mine - we were married 9 years ago).

My husband said he was hurt and angry. That of course she has a choice - she's making this choice. He has a counseling appointment tonight, so I'm sure will talk it through more.

I've lived with family estrangements. It's possible to cut yourself off from your family, have a perfectly content life, and reach the end and have some regrets, but regrets mostly that it wasn't possible to work things out. Absolutely. But I think the key is to believe, genuinely believe, that you've done everything you can do and the estrangement is because of the other person. If this was just his parents, I think it might be easier. His stupid siblings getting involved, choosing sides, makes it harder.

In baby news, my little man has his nights and days flipped. So long sleep stretches in the middle of the afternoon, but up every two hours at night. But we're getting there. With, as usual, too many other things on our plate.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Early days

These early days are tough, there's no getting around it. It's hard to not have every post be some version of good grief I am tired.

It's also really hard, given my place in the blogosphere, to think (or overthink) posting subjects. Believe me, like any new mama, I love to hear how my child is amazing and beautiful and shiny and happy and new. And he is. And yet I very much know, that were the shoe on the other foot, I'd be extremely happy for bloggers who achieved a baby. And incredibly sad for myself. So I am thinking of many of you while simultaneously reveling in my joy. And it's hard from this side, too, it is, though I know it's easy to say. And boy, kind of hard to complain about sore boobs and tiredness and all the other myriad joys of new motherhood when so many people are prevented from experiencing it. What I'm trying to say, and saying badly, is that I haven't quite the brainpower to figure out how to balance all these conflicting emotions.

This doesn't solve everything - or anything - but it does certainly change the game a bit. Having a new baby is like entering a new relationship. Well it is exactly starting a new relationship. It's all you want to talk about for a while and probably drives many of your friends to tune you out for a little bit until you settle down and put it all in perspective.

And there's still quite a lot of relationship stuff to blog about, too. Hormones are powerful things, and while right now, I'm not as hormonal as I was with my daughter, there's still a lot going on emotionally. My husband is being great, though, and it really helps to have that.

On the in-law front, my husband's brother's wife, who appears to be relatively sane, sent a congratulations card to the house. Just said how happy they were their daughter has a new cousin and how they hope we're doing well. No other word from anyone else in his family. My husband has another counseling appointment this coming week, on Wednesday, so interesting to see how that goes.

More to come - I do want to write about the birth, and scheduled c-sections, poochy stomachs, swollen legs, and more......next week.

Saturday, November 29, 2008


Wow, you really do forget how tiring the first days are. There's no rhyme or reason to anything, it's all just about doing what needs to be done in the moment. But now at day 6 there's a teeny bit of, ok, maybe we're starting to see patterns emerge. I like a routine, a schedule. And it just takes a while to learn that routine - or learn enough to start adjusting (him or me). And for right now, I'm sad to say the routine is up all night, with the longer stretches of sleep happening in the afternoons/evenings. Not atypical at all, but exhausting to be up every hour all night long. I took two back to back naps today (interrupted by a feeding) and am still worn out. Meanwhile the little bean is racked out, sleeping soundly.

All I got tonight is a picture. From hour one of life.

Friday, November 28, 2008


First full day home. Yesterday was just a blur, as was much of today. Let's just say 14 feedings in the past 20 hours, with probably still 2 more to go, pretty much sucks everything out of you (ha). Except for what I think seems to possibly be a developing blocked duct. Wohoo! (I nursed my daughter for 16 months - once this kicks in it'll be fine, but boy you forget how hard it is to get things started).

Watching the Sex in the City movie with my entire family (husband, baby, parents, sister). Perhaps not the most appropriate family movie, but I've wanted to see it and it was $9 at Target today. Everyone else went out for shopping, and I got to take a short nap.

And the hormones are starting to kick in, 3 near tears today. And tiredness is just starting to hit me. More - much more - to come. Good stuff. Happy stuff. Tired stuff. And cute stuff, too.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Two years ago, I thought I had everything I wanted. The future was
bright and clear.

One year ago, I thought I had lost everything. The future was dark and
scary and unimaginable.

And today? Maybe I'm learning to avoid extremes in language. Maybe
today is enough for today.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Home or hospital?

There are two schools of thought. Stay in hospital as long as possible
to bond with baby with no other duties. Or, go home to get out of
uncaring hospital with weird rules, middle of night vitals checks,
bitchy nurses who refuse to give you percoset, and go home to recover
in familar surroundings.

After last night's bitchy night nurse, I am ready to go home tomorrow
- a day early. Everything looks good, recovery is going quickly, and
I've never spent 4 nights away from my daughter. So even though it
will be a bit more hectic, I'm looking forward to home.

And wireless access!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Day 1 is tiring

Life with an infant, wow. You forget how overwhelming it is. Of course
he wanted to feed all night then sleep all day, so looks like another
exhausting night tonight.

Once I have computer access, not just iPhone, I promise birth story
and pics. It's just too hard to type a lot on the phone.

On the in law front, no reply to any of the voicemaild my husband
left, except from his sister. Who left her own voicemail screeching at
him to stop calling his parents because it was too upsetting to them.

Thank YOU for all the congrats. It's still hard to believe. One minute
you're pregnant, the next suddenly there's a new person to love!

Monday, November 24, 2008

He's here

And he's perfect. 9 lbs 8 oz, 20.5 inches. And nursing like a pro.
Lots of dark hair and blue eyes.

More later!


IV in, monitor ok, just waiting now. Husband's sister just called
cursing and husband hung up on her. She probably doesn't know we're at
hospital , to cut her some slack. Husband did talk to his dad for 20
seconds to tell him we were here, and was thanked for keeping them

All else is fine, slightly nervous, hate IV, but I'll get over that.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

E-mail posting?

So it seems blogger has a feature that allows you to post automatically
using an e-mail address. This post is a test to see if/how it works.

In other news:
- I have to tell you all we have another blog. A family blog, talking about
our daughter, family stuff, etc. It's a nice project to do with my husband
- turns out he's quite a funny writer. Anyway, by watching the stats I can
see that my husband's brother is reading the blog every day. No word from
them or anyone in my husband's family. He'll call them tomorrow, and I am
sure he is prepared for screened calls. Doesn't make it any easier.
- if this works smoothly, I'll keep you all updated from the hospital.
- Still not packed, but that's about the last thing to do. We have to work
on our phone list and e-mail list, but otherwise everything is as done as
it's going to be.
- had friends and family over tonight and it was nice to catch up.

And that's about it. Hope everyone has a nice short week ahead of them, and
I hope to keep talking to you! Thanks for all the good wishes.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Too much

Let's see. Our daughter is sick. I'm now sick. My husband is sick. We still don't have everything set up. Nor do we have the room to set it all up. The c-section was moved up by two hours, which is great, except I was planning on those two hours Monday morning to pack and get the final things ready. We have mountains of laundry to do. Out of dog food. Friends coming over tomorrow. Trying to cram everything possible into the day left remaining.

I think I might actually enjoy a few days in the hospital.

Friday, November 21, 2008

If it Ain't One Thing

It's definitely another. First, everything is fine. Just another example of things getting complicated.

So, off to the pre-op. I have a fairly healthy skepticism of the medical profession. At least I think it's healthy - and basically based on I think their major practices are based on the convenience of the health provider, not the receiver. And pre-op at the hospital is another example. It was pretty straightforward - arrived, checked in at admissions, filled out insurance paperwork, then two vials of blood. I was prepared for long waits, but was only there 40 minutes. But, certainly could have done the paperwork Monday morning. And given a full bloodwork set at week 36, not entirely sure why they needed blood. So, their convenience, not mine, and I was slightly grumpy about it, and pleased to be out in a relatively quick time (but say I worked a job where I did not have much time off - this was their convenience, not mine).

Headed home, thinking I had a few hour or so unexpectedly, and with no one around. I like my independence, and my parents had wanted to take me to the hospital! For pete's sake. So I was actually mulling over just driving around a bit, and was annoyed because the car seemed to be responding sluggishly. And was loud. And what was going on? It took me a mile, thinking maybe hole in muffler? A door rattling? What? When I realized, duh, I have a flat. Pulled over, and yep, rear tire flat flat flat. Oh, and did I mention how frigging cold it is right now? And that today was my husband's last day of work for two weeks, so he had a whole series of meetings set up for today to hand everything off. And had I been driving on a flat all morning? How had I not noticed? (I pride myself on being a good driver). So a series of phone calls between my parents and husband and me - my parents have AAA, so they came out to meet me, my mom called the service, my dad took off to run more errands, and 40 minutes later they showed up and even plugged the tire (for an extra $30, which was high, but at least it's all fine). So, it all worked out in the end. But seriously? A flat tire? Though, let's put this in perspective, in the grand scheme of Things That Might Go Wrong, I'll take a flat tire any day.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Tomorrow is my pre-op appointment at the hospital. I cannot believe how quickly these last few days are flying by. Meanwhile, tonight we went to a neighborhood meeting about school options for our daughter. Open houses for public and private schools start up in November and run through January. So in addition to juggling the newborn, we have to really think about what to do about school. She's eligible for pre-K in the fall, but there are still pre-schools, or keeping the nanny and taking extra classes (music, dance, sports) to fill a few mornings. Public schools. Magnet schools. Private schools of varying stripes. Parochial schools. Or.. or.. or.... there are too many choices. No wonder I have no time to think.

I wonder if the hospital has joined the 21st century and has wireless. Probably not, given the interference with medical devices issue. But that would be nice. I have visions of sitting around for several hours tomorrow while they do who knows what to me. Not like I had pre-op work done before my daughter's delivery. Somehow that managed to work out just fine.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I want to think

But there's no time. I want my time back. Hahahahahaha. Seriously. I think very very soon I will really really miss my whole days of doing whatever I wanted to do. Which really wasn't much at all, I am sorry to admit.

My daughter is sick. We've had two nights of terribly interrupted sleep. We're 5 days away, and she's clingy and weepy and whiny because she is sick. I need to recognize sick has nothing to do with world changing in 4 days, but at the same time I worry about her clingy to me and how that won't be possible oh so soon. But she's sick NOW, and she needs me, so cling away, right? Besides, in 4 days, being up every two hours will be the norm, right?

My husband met with his counselor today and was glad he did so. Played her the voicemail from his dad, and asked if he had characterized it correctly. She agreed he had, and added, but the tone of voice.......so angry, so bitter, so mean.

Basically, from what I've gathered, she's said of course he's sad, and of course that's a normal reaction. He needs to know he'll never change them - the are who they are, and it works for
them. So what my husband has to decide (together with me) is what he's willing to deal with from them. Her only suggestion at this time was to call them, say he had gotten the message and understood they were making this decision, and it saddened him but was their decision. That he would call them when the baby came and give them the news, but that was all he could deal with right now.

Given that it's only 4 days away, the other option is just to call them with the news. I really wonder if they'll pick up or if they'll screen whatever calls he makes. I think screen, but what do I know about crazy? It's impossible to predict.

I pressed him a tiny bit on what he thought he wanted. And he just said, you know, I just can't think about it right now. I want to not deal with this.

So he has another appointment in two weeks, which is a good thing. He said the counselor told him, as he was walking out the door, you should thank your wife for encouraging you to come. You need this outlet.

I really need a few solid hours sleep tonight, that's what I really need. Run a few errands tomorrow morning, and who knows, I might actually get time in the afternoon for me.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

no time to think

Exhausting day today, though not quite sure why. The baby is shoved up so tight against my rib cage on the right side that I am going to make this quick so I can go lie down and find a way to be comfortable. My 3 year old is sick and whimpering in her bed right now, after we had a restless, disturbed night last night, so that's not helping either. I hope she sleeps tonight.

OB today said, yep, high and tight, so see you Monday for the c-section.

There's a tiny tiny little part of me that still wonders if I had a different OB - one more naturally focused - if things might be different, but mostly I think there's not much you can do with a baby that refuses to drop and a cervix that refuses to open.

So I'm calling it a night.

Monday, November 17, 2008

What's not good

So, yeah, it's Pepsi floats. Love them. Any type of ice cream - peach, cherry vanilla, mint chocolate chip, chocolate.....delish. I usually do not indulge, but what's the last week of pregnancy for if not indulging?

What's not delicious? Waking up at 1:30 am with killer heartburn. Not fun. Not fun at all. So no more ice cream for me before bed. I can't go through that again.

I loved Tash and CLC's posts on Saturday. Much food for thought. I want to write more about this, but my parents arrive today so trying to get a few things done first. I hope to be able to carve out thinking time tomorrow morning.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

hanging in

A week to go. I know every relationship struggles with big life changes. Our relationship is damaged enough that tough things have an impact. We talked it through today, I don't know if it'll help over these next few weeks but I hope so. He is trying. I am trying.

You know what is really, really good? Chocolate ice cream with pepsi. Good stuff.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Some days

Things just don't click. I don't know what it is, but I'm on the couch mad and frustrated by my husband. He's on the couch mad and frustrated at me. We've just been off kilter all day today. He's been in a bad mood, and I've had enough of his bad mood.


I thought it would be a while before we had a day like this. I thought it would be after baby, when we were exhausted and sleep deprived and on each other's nerves and my parents were hanging around and our daughter was acting up.


Friday, November 14, 2008

getting real

So last night we're watching TV and my husband looks at me and says, just think, in two weeks, we'll be sitting here with a whole new person in our midst!

If all goes as planned, and I have a c-section the 24th, the plan is to come home from the hospital on Thursday, Thanksgiving.

A whole new person. It's easy to forget, in waiting-for-baby-land, that it's just not a baby you're waiting for. It's a new person on the planet.

Sometimes when my husband (kiddingly) gives me a hard time about being tired or being slow, I'll say, hey, cut it out - it's hard work growing a brain, and I'd like to see you try.

Last year, in a counseling session in December, soon after he had made the decision that he wanted to work on our marriage, he said, you know, it's just hit me that there was supposed to be someone else here celebrating Christmas with us (meaning the baby lost in February of 2007, due August 2007). That our family isn't complete, and is missing someone.

I remember just turning to him open-mouthed in shock and anger. Well, hell, yeah. Wasn't that what the past 10 months had been all about? Somehow, during his "break" from our marriage, he had managed to forget all about the loss. Or just bury it so completely he never saw that my troubles had turned into our troubles had turned into his troubles had turned into him wanting to leave the marriage for something better (ie, not troubled). I remember that counseling session as the first one where I truly got angry.

And now here we are on the cusp of a new person entering our life. It doesn't negate the loss, of course not. But I......I don't know. I don't know how to write this so it makes sense. Everyone approaches loss differently. For me, there's an alternate history of what could have been - maybe some alternate universe where the baby was fine, we never separated, he never had an affair, I never left my old job, and never lost the new job, wasn't expecting a baby now. And here, now, there is what is. Expecting a new person any day now. Sitting in our living room, with a brand new person on the planet.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

last session

Yesterday I had my last session with my counselor - well, last prior to baby, and likely for awhile. Though I imagine I'll want - and need - to pick it back up, those first few weeks/months might be filled with other things.

It's actually kinda fun, in a truly sick/bizarre way, to relay the in-law saga. It makes a good story, with lots of "and THEN" and "but wait, there's more" and "but the next day" type elements. And it really spirals out of control into nonsense, too, leaving most listeners agape. At my last mom's night out, I said, well, there's in-law news and all conversation ceased and one friend leaned in and said, great, I live for this! And, even here, my hits go up when I write about them.

So as with everyone else, the counselor was dumbfounded by the latest twists and turns. But of course, with her I was able to delve more into my husband and his reaction. It's been hurting him, without a doubt, and I've let him have space to work it out. But that space has been making me nervous. As the counselor said, he has a tendency to drift off a little too far. So we talked about it last night. He is most hurt by his father and unsure what happens next.

I hope his appointment next week helps.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Down to the dregs

When I first scheduled my c-section, the doctor said, well, remember how miserable those last weeks of pregnancy are. You might want to schedule as early as possible? But I really felt, in the absence of any medical reasons otherwise, that letting nature take its course was important. Letting the baby develop as much as he needed.

And now of course, I'm remember just how uncomfortable those last weeks of pregnancy can be. Can't go up a flight of stairs without pausing for breath, and that includes taking a rest halfway up, anyway. Can't get my breath at night. Back aching. And a tight, tight belly.

So now I'm down to 1 pair of pants and 4 different tops. A minor annoyance, in the grand scheme of things, but once you wear the same pair of pants something like 14 days in a row and you still have 12 more to go - not to mention going home from the hospital and some period of time after - it gets a little aggravating. Part of the issue is my daughter was born in September, so most of my former maternity pants are cropped pants, and it's too chilly for cropped pants. I'm 5'4", so a lot of pants are too long for me. Another problem is that I carry my pregnancies really, really high. So while I have a pair of jeans, they have nothing to grab onto, and just slide off. Hate them. And the last problem is the no job thing, so suffering through the same pair of pants day after day seems like a small sacrifice.

Oh, olive green pants - a color not seen in my real life wardrobe - how I hate you.

Tell me a story of your most hated clothing that you still, for whatever reason, wear.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

13 days

It's so hard to believe how quickly these last weeks have gone. Every day flies by. I have an appointment with my counselor tomorrow, and a long list of things to do before the appointment.

Meanwhile, my 38 week appointment was this morning - and as expected, "high and tight." This baby isn't going anywhere until the c-section. The OB had a little trouble finding the heartbeat, which she blamed on the doppler. But I was getting tense. The whole placenta in the front thing is getting old.

Last night I had trouble sleeping, and got up for a bit, thinking, hmm, he's not really moving that much (though he's got his butt stuck so far out my side I can feel it!). Maybe if I get up, it'll wake him, too. So after a pee break, clambered back into bed and tried to settle down again, and sure enough, movement started right away (whew). Except you know that careful what you wish for adage? Tap dancing, shadowboxing, and general mayhem ensued for the next 30 minutes.

Given my history, I'm for the most part reasonably confident at this point. But I know too much, have read too many stories, to be fully confident. It's an unsettled time, but the time is passing quickly. I seriously can not imagine the anxiety of someone who has a very different history than mine, who cannot feel confidence. I am thinking of you all right now.

Monday, November 10, 2008

getting some things done

Ok, my husband has an appointment with his counselor - but not until the 19th. At least he has one scheduled. I really do think he needs to talk this through, at least once.

And I had lunch with my former co-worker, and it was good to hear how dysfunctional that office continues to be. There are days I think I never should have left that stable job for a startup, look at where it's got me, but then I remember how much I hated my stable job and know things will (eventually) work out.

Tomorrow another OB appointment, to hear yet again no progress, no dropping, no dilation. I really see no need for internal exams every week at the end, but there you have it, that's what my practice does. And I should schedule another appointment with my counselor. But otherwise, a nice long nap this afternoon really helped.

Unlike last year, NaBloPoMo makes for very boring posts. I'll take boring right about now.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

2 weeks

Tomorrow means the two week countdown begins. I have a c-section scheduled on the 24th. It's actually 2 days after my "official" due date, so there's a chance things may kick in earlier. I have a ton to do. Cleaning, organizing, getting things ready. Plus have to call my counselor and try and squeeze in another appointment. Lunch with a former co-worker to discuss jobs. E-mails to about 5 job contacts, to keep prospects alive these next few months. Getting my husband to his counselor to help him through rejection from his family.

Somehow those last 4 things don't really match up nicely with folding cute little onesies in freshly laundered piles, do they?

Saturday, November 8, 2008

the gift that keeps on giving

Last night I had 'mom's night out' dinner with my mom's group. Nearly everyone has a second child or is currently pregnant. One of our friends just had her second, and the first born, who already has a strong personality, is not taking it well. One of my friends said, just think, for your child, it's just like your husband brings home another woman and tells you, I still love you, but I love her, too, and she's here to stay.


I just smiled and laughed along with everyone else.

Friday, November 7, 2008


Dora has it right - I am more at peace.

And Tash is spot on in her comments, too - a while ago I wrote I wished they'd just cross the line - be really horrible so we were more justified in cutting them off. So it's done. The cutting off is easy. They've done it. They've made the choice. And I'm 17 days away from giving birth, and I don't care a whit about them anymore.

I know it's not as easy for my husband, and I know it's not done for him. It's complicated with his siblings. I know he doesn't want to disconnect from them completely. I don't know what his mom will 'allow' with his siblings, nor how his siblings will react. We plan(ned) to ask his sister to be godmother, and I know my husband still wants that. She very well might say no. We don't have a easy substitution, no obvious female we'd ask. His brother and my sister are my daughter's godparents, and so we always planned his sister and my brother. It'll mean a lot to my brother. (And this is the ceremonial catholic godparents, not the who will raise my kids if I die style godparents).

My husband has not called the counselor yet, and I do think that's very important. I'll press that. But otherwise, it really is like a huge weight lifted off my shoulders, except when I think of how my husband does not handle stuff very well. He's feeling a lot of stress in these pre-baby days - too much to do, too many costs, too many burdens, and jerk parents. We just have to make it through.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

missed it!

Darn it - my last post was my 200th. And about my idiot in-laws. Oh well, so much for profound thought on the milestone.

I'm over it, I really am. Their stupidity, their choices. The only ones losing here are them. My life is actually a lot nicer without having to deal with them. But. My husband. Yeah, it's a little harder when it's your parents rejecting you. Especially when it's your dad, and you thought you had a good relationship with your dad and only your mom was crazy. Let's just say my husband was not in the best mood yesterday. I think rejection from your father, as you yourself are about to have a son, is a hard juxtaposition.

I listened to the message last night. It was mean, and hateful. How dare we put them through a 'bizarre interrogation' about how they treat our daughter? He said, it was demeaning and insulting. He said they knew everyone else knew about the baby except for them and that was embarrassing and humiliating. He concluded, enjoy your 'family' and your 'life' - we won't be in it. (imagine the most sarcastic tone possible with air quotes)

I said to my husband last night - I really think you should make an appointment with your former counselor, despite her not taking insurance. We'll get reimbursed for a part of it, and one visit pre-baby I think will be very important. Without a pause he said he'd call her today. I haven't heard if he has, but I really hope so.

The thing is - yes, they've hurt my husband. But this doesn't hurt me (actually quite the opposite) and it sure doesn't hurt our daughter. I think maybe we don't have to respond. Maybe we should - to document our version of the events. But it doesn't really matter, one way or another. They really have shown their true colors. And they aren't pretty.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

the drama never ends, or, they really are crazy

I've spent a lot of time thinking of what to call this post. God does answer prayers? How many shoes does this woman have to drop, anyway? Drama mama? OK, now I really give up? Apparently my soap opera has been renewed for another season? All I can do is laugh?

Yeah. Or, how about, the in-laws have reared their ugly sides, much like Putin peering in Sarah Palin's backyard. (That's too long for a blog title, plus no longer relevant, huh?)

Their exuberance over the impending grandson was over the top. A little too over the top. I knew that at the time, but thought it would be a bubble that would only burst once my mother-in-law figured out I was never going to leave a nursing baby at her house to be her plaything, or leave my daughter alone with her ever again. But I thought, and was depressed by the thought, that I'd have them gushing about my life for the next 6-9 months or so. That was my unspoken prediction.

My husband sends me a quick e-mail today: after they didn't call last night, knew something was up. The other shoe has dropped. Angry voicemail from my dad, no worries about them hovering about for the birth as they do not intend to be here nor ever speak to me again.

I call my husband, who is in a conference call. He says he'll play me the voicemail when he gets home, but basically, they thought about it and how dare we only give them three weeks' notice of the birth? It's unacceptable and they are done with us.

Oh, how I wish this is true. But I just feel it's another excuse for more drama. Our duty, now, is not to feed the drama. I said to my husband, ok, it's another letter, this one saying we're sorry they feel this way, this is their decision, the ball is in their court. Though, if they want a place in our lives, it won't be through passive attempts to send weak gestures. Once again, we're only interested in resolving conflict in calm, rational ways. And then we let it go.

Seriously. I've moved to the I don't care stage. I don't care. And also the, could they make this anymore about themselves? I mean seriously. How dare we only gie them three weeks' notice? Wow.

My grandfather from the old country had a short little saying: "spit up!" He'd say it anytime someone was acting angry or acting out in any way. You'd look at him quizzically and then he'd explain with hand gestures, too - Spit up, and see where it lands.

Or, another way of saying, cut off your nose to spite your face.

I was worried all summer about telling them. Worried how they'd react. Now they've reacted, and it's so over the top it's become a farce. It's actually laughable. To me, at least. I am going to insist my husband see his old counselor, despite the cost. He needs some validation right now. And I'm going to do what needs to be done these next 19 days and focus where I should - my family - my husband, my daughter, my soon to be born son, and myself. The rest will sort itself out.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

letting go

As usual, Niobe makes a very perceptive comment. When you can't solve a problem, give up.

I've asked time and time again in this blog, what should I do about my in-laws. And I've gotten great advice, and heard tons of stories about difficult family members, learned lots about narcissistic personality disorder, gotten tremendous support, and been very grateful, but it's not solved the problem.

I've told you before how I grew up in a small southern town, where church was the center of my social life. There's an expression - let go and let God. Give up, let go - it's the same. There's nothing I can do to 'solve' the problem.

Like Antigone, I decided to just bask in the profoundness of that comment and relax a bit yesterday, though after relaxing the tiredness took over and I took to my bed for the afternoon and felt a bit sorry for myself. Physical exhaustion, plus physical uncomfortablness, plus stress = a teeny tiny pity party. But that's over now.

We'll see if they call tonight - they knew I had a doctor's appointment, so we'll see how intrusive they try to be over the next week or so. (there's a line - hard to define, but how they act in the next week or so is going to be very telling.)

And so in medical news, the 37 week appointment was fine. The baby is super high; the cervix is tightly closed. The doctor said, ok, so you know this baby is not coming through this pelvis, right? And yeah, I know. I had a c with my first, and while natural was my preferred option, sometimes you just know. If I was carrying differently than from my daughter, or even if this baby does drop, and the cervix does open a bit, who knows? But I'm not going to stress about it. Healthy mom, healthy baby. That's the only goal.

Monday, November 3, 2008

'this solves everything!'

So, yesterday afternoon it occurs to me - if my husband and I are in this together, presenting a united front, protecting our family, we should call his parents on speaker phone, with me on the call too.

I hate this idea, but it's the right thing to do. So we called last night at 9. And talked/argued for over 2 hours. Told them the baby news at an hour and 45 minutes in.

Let's see, there were probably two money quotes.

First, after hearing the baby news, my MIL says, why didn't you tell us this at the beginning of the phone call? It solves everything!

Second money quote, from his dad - you have only one set of parents. I have three kids, so I have two other kids to lavish attention on if you turn away.

The whole conversation was unbelievable. His mother refused to acknowledge anything. Flat out denied telling our daughter her daddy sucked. Absolutely denied putting our daughter into the conflict. Said we did. Did say that she treated daughter differently, but we caused it, and it killed her to do so. She would never hurt our daughter. Said she took our daughter's pictures down from her house because they hurt her too much too look at.

Proudly, and with no irony, said she had handled the conflict far better than we did. After all, they sent cards to acknowledge milestones over the past year, while we had ignored them.

And the conflict? Was 100%, in her mind, about how on holidays we always choose my family over her. How last year - in the midst of the shitstorm of our marriage, trying to put things back together, we decided we would not spend 24 hours with them on Christmas - never mind our plan was we'd go up a few days early, have all Christmas prep with them and Christmas morning, it was leaving Christmas Day.

She wanted - she insisted - on making nearly 80% of our conversation over the issue of Christmas Day. My husband actually did a great job of trying to rise above the specific issue and talk about how to best resolve conflict without involving the kids. But each and every time, his mom brought it back to how could we have not spent all of Christmas Day with her.

At one point, I sputtered - I just have no response to you saying you haven't talked to us, you took daughter's pictures off the wall, that this is all about dinner.

And she engaged in revisionist history like you would not believe. I said to my husband after - I did not do a great job of rising above the details to get at the heart of the issue. It's too hurtful to me to hear her dismiss our November and December as nothing out of the ordinary. I know dates - hell, I have them chronicled here. And to here her spout nonsense about how we'd prmoised in early December to spend all of Christmas with her, after we'd spent all of last Christmas with my family ,was just over the top. OVER THE TOP. At another point, I said, well, remember, my dad almost DIED last year? And she said, exactly, he shouldn't have been driving all that way to see you.

The only time I think I said something good was when she was gonig on and on about how we could have had a "nice holiday" and I interrupted. Would it make you happier to know we only spent maybe two afternoons with my parents? That they stayed with my brother for the holiday? That we did not have a 'nice holiday?' That there was no such thing as 'nice' last year? NICE was not at our house last year. That we were just struggling to stay afloat? His dad actually got that and acknowledged that. His mother, on the other hand, immediately switched tactics and said well, we shouldn't have come at all then (we had gone to our niece's 3rd birthday party). We should have told them that. WHAT? What planet was she on?

Another of her diversionary tactics was to go on the physcho-babble offensive - why did we have to make things so difficult? Why were we so neurotic? She'd never hurt our daughter, etc etc.

My husband said can't you even acknowledge that we need new ways to handle conflict? Can you acknowledge there could have been a different way to play last holiday? She said no. His dad said yes.

His dad actually tried to end things on a civil, if distant, note - how about we leave it at this - we don't involve the kids, you all do whatever it is you need to do, invite us along when you want, and if it fits into our schedule maybe we'll participate in your life. I was happy with that. My husband, not as much - I think too hurt.

And then, as we were wrapping it up, my husband said, ok, well, there's one more thing. And dropped the baby boy arriving in three weeks news. And, for them, that did solve everything. His mother immediately switched into happy tears and when could she take the baby and we would need a break and maybe in the first few months we should drop the kids off at her house and what did we need and how was I feeling and oh yeah, when were my parents coming, and when was my next doctor's appointment and they'd call that day and why didn't we tell them earlier and she could have spent part of the summer with us helping us get ready, and she was going to kill my husband's brother because he had known and hadn't told her so on and so on
in the run on way she has.

I have the sinking feeling she's going to cram 9 months of preparation into the next three weeks. God help me.

As one of my friends said to me this morning as I was relaying the saga - you're right back at square 1. And yeah. I am. When we plotted this all out in advance my husband and I had agreed that we would limit post-baby time with them. Not have them waiting in the waiting room with my parents (my parents know most of the story, and know they've been badly maligned by this crazy woman), not have them visit. After we hung up, of course, I said, shit, we shouldn’t have told them the exact date and time of the C section. And my husband just utterly and completely caved. Said, well, we can’t hide it from them, you heard how excited they were, I’ll just have them wait separately, we can’t have your parents there and not mine, that’ll just make things worse, etc etc etc.

In our one hour post phone call decompress, my husband kept saying, I just don’t know what to say to get through to her. And I kept replying, nothing is ever going to get through to her. She’s 60+ years old. She is not changing. All we can do is set our limits and live our life.

The women in her family - with the exception of her own mother - have all lived into their mid-90s. That means 30 + years of this craziness. I'm not up for that job. I'll just flat out admit it.

The good news is my husband joked, well, you won't see us at Thanksgiving or Christmas and they both said oh no, of course not. Whew - at least we have cover this holiday season. But it all starts back up again.

I walked the dog this morning and thought more about this all - not like I hadn't tossed and turned all night replaying it all. And it's depressing. We are exactly where I feared we'd be. All is forgotten, swept under the rug, the slate is clear as far as they're concerned. No acknowledgment of bad behavior. No understanding of our concerns. No respect for resolving conflict in a way that might lead to better relations in the future. Just them, as usual, thinking of themselves.

OK, all you folks with bad in-laws and successful boundaries drawn - what now?

Sunday, November 2, 2008


It's hard to think of something to post on a Sunday, so a short little cheater post. No news from the in-laws. My husband will, I think, call them tonight. I hate listening in to his side of the conversation, so I'll definitely be in another area of the house.

In other news, I wish real nesting kicked in for me - have you heard of people who have a ton of energy and rush around doing all sorts of things in the last weeks of pregnancy? Well, I nest in the sense that disorder bothers me, but I don't have a lot of energy to do anything about it. Yesterday I ran some errands and 3 people brushed passed me with muttered excuse me's. Yeah, I'm slow. Get over it.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Welcome to year 2 of my participation in NaBloPoMo. My own personal shitstorm had just really gotten going last year, and NaBloPoMo gave me the structure to post here every day, during what was, to put it mildly, a difficult month.

It's hard to believe now that the real storm - the real in-your-face awfulness - was just over a month long. October 20th or so (discovery of affair) to December 5th (decision to work on the marriage). Of course, the months leading up to October were awful, but for reasons I didn't entirely understand. I thought they were pregnancy loss and infertility related, but I was both right and wrong (Tash got new car insurance (along with a host of other things, not remotely making light of her experience at all, I really identified with her post); I got what I got). And the months after have been sometimes awful but mostly hard. It's not easy to recover from infidelity. I was thinking last night - what was the worst? The nadir? The absolute bottom? Is there one point that I could identify as the worst? It's a fruitless exercise. The whole thing sucked, and ramifications continue to reverberate.

A year older, a year wiser, a year later. Some things are better, some things are not. But I'm still here, and ready for the challenge again. A few regular readers found me through NaBloPoMo, and I've enjoyed meetings others, too, so I'm in for another year. Despite what I hope will be a major interruption in just a few weeks (but maybe I can configure my phone to post - hospital food: still bad).

So, just today's update - the letter to my in-laws was sent on Thursday night. My husband did edit it to suggest he call them on Sunday. He called them Thursday afternoon and left a voicemail that he was sending an e-mail and hoped they'd reply.

No reply yet. Which, as he says, means they either did not check e-mail (which they don't do everyday) or did get it and are super pissed. Hard to even guess which one. Meanwhile, last Tuesday I mailed them professional pics we had taken, and they should have received them on Thursday. My hope was that might soften them a bit.

We are nearly 100% confident they don't know about the pregnancy. If they do know? And are still acting this way? Wow. That really might be the final straw for my husband. I still love my husband. I really, really dislike him sometimes. And I don't forgive him. But my heart does hurt for him. No one should have to send a letter like that to his parents. He's lived through the shitstorm too, even if most of it is of his own making. He gets it from all sides. I worry he doesn't have his own outlet for what he's going through, which, uh, is kinda what got us to this place to begin with. Great. I hope we've both learned and grown enough to make it through.

So - who among you is also NaBloPoMo-ing?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

writer's block

Bleah, I've got nothing too interesting to post, or maybe just no energy to post. The results from my 35-week bloodwork came back and my anemia is worsening - hmm, perhaps because I am not taking iron supplements. There are uncomfortable side effects, and I was feeling ok, and I've added red meat into my diet so thought I was ok. But, the iron starts up this week. I got STUFF to do and need motivation.

But, at least one writer's block has thawed. We (mostly my husband with limited input from me) wrote the letter to my-laws last night, and I think my husband is e-mailing it today. Here's the text:

Dear Mom & Dad,

It’s unfortunate that we’ve not really talked or seen one another for the past 10 months. A lot has happened. We wanted to write to you not to rehash the past but to explain what we’d like to do to move forward as a family.

Our chief concern is [daughter] and making sure that she is not inappropriately involved in disagreements between us. We will have disagreements in the future, and that’s OK. Hopefully, we can resolve them in a civil manner between us as adults and not involve any of the grandchildren. In the heat of the moment, statements like “I’m no longer her grandparent” are extremely hurtful, and acting like it is simply inexcusable and unacceptable. She is a gentle child who adores all of her grandparents. She will always be your grandchild, and we know you adore her as much as we do. As her parents, we will not put her in a situation where she could be directly or indirectly hurt or confused.

Our other main concern is showing respect for the decisions we make as a family. We have never intended to hurt or slight you in any way. Of course, you are free to disagree with decisions we make, and we appreciate your advice and counsel when offered with “no strings attached.” We need to be able to have disagreements in a civil, rational, constructive way and work together to develop a common understanding of whatever situation we are facing. This means changing our behavior as individuals and changing the way we interact with one another as a family.

Lastly, we need you to understand that 2007 was an incredibly difficult year for us. We are still working to strengthen our family. We want you to be a part of our lives. We need your understanding and your support. We want you to spend as much time as practicable with your granddaughter. For that to happen, we need to come together and agree to work on the aspects of our relationship that we expressed above. And to address the concerns that you have as well.

We love you both. And we look forward to being a richer and stronger family.



Wow. We'll see what this brings us. Probably nothing good. But trust me, you'll be the first to hear.

* ETA - Meg in her comment brings up the really important point - no, they still don't know about the pregnancy. The plan is send the letter, talk on the phone, tell them then. My husband was going to tell them in person, but after many discussions, we decided phone was best. First, he was going to take time off work - time he doesn't really have and that we'd rather spend when the baby arrives. Second, one of the hassles about his parents is their demand to rehash, over and over, and "negotiate." Well, negotiate what? Why not talk on the phone, when it can be more controlled, and if it gets out of hand, husband can say, ok, well, this not going well, let's talk again when you're calmer, I'm going to hang up now. (the general advice for disengaging with people who are trying to control you - refusing to let yourself be controlled). So, I actually suggested this morning he edit the letter to include a specific reference to talking on the phone.

I said to my husband, your mother is going to throw a fit over not knowing about this pregnancy before now. I hadn't really considered her reaction, but yeah. We're 3.5 weeks out. Not a lot of time to adjust to the news. But, that was their choice. Somehow they'll deal.

Friday, October 24, 2008

blog love

Yay! Someone hearts my blog!

Always nice to be hearted, especially when it comes with a meme. Answer these questions with one word answers (yikes! 1 word! Brevity is not my strong suit. I may cheat.).

1. Where is your cell phone? Back pocket
2. Where is your significant other? Work
3. Your hair color? Golden brown
4. Your mother? Trying (both senses of the word)
5. Your father? Himself
6. Your favorite thing? Feeling glamorous
7. Your dream last night? Did I dream?
8. Your dream/goal? internal peace
9. The room you're in? Master bedroom
10. Your hobby? pastime? Blogging!
11. Your fear? Abandonment
12. Where do you want to be in six years? Happy
13. Where were you last night? Bed
14. What you're not? Together
15. One of your wish list items? JOB
16. Where you grew up? Small, small town America. You know, real, pro-America
17. The last thing you did? Grocery shopped
18. What are you wearing? Too big maternity jeans that keep sliding off. HATE.
19. Your T.V.? Prominent
20. Your pet? Siamese cat/semi-Westie dog
21. Your computer? Full
22. Your mood? Surprisingly cheerful
23. Missing someone? Not currently
24. Your car? Forrester
25. Something you're not wearing? Anything remotely stylish
26. Favorite store? Target
27. Your Summer? Gone
28. Love someone? Yes
29. Your favorite color? Multi/brightly/not neutral
30. When is the last time you laughed? 8 am
31. Last time you cried? Last Friday.

So who do I heart? Many many. Antigone's been tagged, as has one of my favs where I lurk, I'm a smart one.

Am I doing ok?
Wabi-Sabi Life
The Muddled Sage
Jeez Louise
Please Give me Back My Heart

And, it looks like other people have been tagged already, so I'll stop at 5.

But this reminds me, as part of year 2, I want to do a little cleaning up and reorganizing. If you're a reader and want a blog link in the good old blog roll, let me know! I've slowly been adding blogs to my reader, but haven't done any cleaning up here since last year, so I'm past due.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Today is my one year blog-iversary. If I had my act together, I could have timed it to also be my 200th post, but I've been a blogging slacker this week.

Wow. A year. A long, long year of lots of ups and downs and downs and a lot of medium, too. Getting to know other bloggers and creating a bit of a community online - a high. So thanks for reading and commenting and just making this a nice place to be. I told Antigone when I met her that for me, blogging was journaling. But that in real life, I've never managed to journal for more than, um, a day. So this is a meaningful date, in a time period of remembering too many bad anniversaries.

So I was thinking about boxes. A year later, which boxes am I checking?

Pregnant? Check. 36 weeks tomorrow.
Married? Check. Still, and working on it. Slowly. Verrrrr-rrrrry slowly.
Unemployed? Check. Unhappily so.

I ask in my header - happy? Sad? Angry? Can I check, check check? All of the above, though angry is, and will always be, tough for me.

And I've been tagged by the awesome Tash, so I have a post for tomorrow. See you then. And next week, and for, I hope, the long haul.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Counseling makes me sad

The few times I've mentioned counseling, people have commented that it's such a good thing, and they feel better after. Hmm. I may be exaggerating looking back at some comments. I don't know, I guess I think of counseling is something that is supposed to help you feel better, not worse. But maybe like Niobe said, the things that are the most troublesome are the things I least want to talk about.

I just leave each session so sad. Whether it's a joint session or my own, I always leave feeling more burdened than when I started. Why is that? Will it get better? Do I have to let all that sadness out? My husband and I really do not talk about our relationship much. So this was the first time in a long time it was out there. And I just cried the whole time. The hurt is so deep, I can't even describe it. I don't know how to "get over it" or "forgive," or anything like that. Hell, the ignore it strategy and just let time lessen the pain might actually be the best option. I don't know.

We left with me still just too teary, so we stopped and took a break at a coffee shop. I had mentioned during the session that I just so felt my husband wanted to ignore everything. My example was that a few days prior I had gotten an e-mail from one of my friends - our husbands had spent some time together at a party recently. And in the midst of a longer e-mail, my friend wrote, oh, by the way, my husband really enjoyed getting to know your husband. I want to ask her, but I interpreted this along the lines of despite preconceived notions about my husband, friend's husband was pleasantly surprised he actually seemed like an ok guy. My husband said, well, he thought it had just meant the other guy was a tad shy, kept to himself, and enjoyed talking to another guy for once at a get together.

And so later, at coffee, I said see? What I don't get about you is that everything, and I mean everything, we do I view through the lens of infidelity. And you just don't. It's why it was a good thing - I think - for me to say to my husband this weekend that no, I wasn't just tired (what I usually say), but it was hard to be there given everything that happened last year. So, I guess that's progress?

I just don't know. I have a solo session tomorrow. They just leave me so wiped out. When do you start to feel better in therapy? When it really works, how does that feel?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

weird employers

Sigh. Ok, so last week I got a sort of rejection letter from my Boston interview. I interpreted it as I was the best candidate they had, but for some reason (PREGNANT!) they didn't want me.
To review, this is a contract position, no benefits, 20 hours per week. But I left the interview feeling like they were a little naive about contract positions - no discussions of deliverables, or schedules, or goals - it really was an interview for a staff position.

So I've been toying with responding to the letter by preparing a proposal, including a deliverable schedule, that covered the first 3-4 months (which would include any 'leave' time) of the 1 year contract. But I hadn't done anything, just not sure of the right response.

Yesterday, I got an e-mail from the staff director, a person with whom I have worked and someone I like, though we didn't work together long enough to develop anything beyond that feeling of hmm, we could maybe be friends if this continued.

It read:
I wanted to let you know how much all of us thought of you and your work. You stood head and shoulders above the other candidates, but we felt like we wanted a broader playing field before making a final choice. It puts you in the awkward position of being too good! It is also important to us to evaluate direct experience, and we just felt like we needed to meet a few more candidates of your caliber before making a decision. I hope you hang in there through our next round, but I absolutely understand if it is not ideal.

Anyway – I just wanted to send a less formal note to say thanks, and to let you know we all thought you were terrific and continue to be a top candidate.

Very best, [name]

I sent this to my husband, who responded, great! Finish a proposal and send it off.

I decided to write back right away, sincerely, off the top of my head a quick note that I continued to be interested and would continue freelancing, and meanwhile I was
doing one project that might be related, and had just heard of a new project someone else was doing that they should connect with.

And then I also sent the note to one of my more practical friends, asking what he thought. His take - if they wanted to hire you they would on the spot. But clearly they (or someone on the panel) thinks there's better out there.

Yeah. Blah. I mean seriously, I'm just supposed to hang in there while they search for someone better, can't find them, and then come back to me? It is a little on the absurd side. If this was a full time staff position, maybe I could understand. But a part-time contract? Come on. It is a tad on the galling side. Jerks.

I once interviewed for a job and was told I did not get it. But then, the HR people called me back and said the #1 candidate had backed out, so they were re-interviewing. And then I didn't get it again. But then their 2nd choice person turned it down, so they came back to me and offered me the job. Third choice, and I knew all the excruciating details. I had just started a new job 6 weeks prior and it would have been awkward and sticky to extricate myself, so I turned it down - leaving them with no other option, so they had to start all over again. If they hadn't kept me in the loop of every twist and turn along the way, honestly I might have taken it and quietly bitched about how long the process was.

We're definitely closing in on even if they offer me the position, maybe I don't want to work for them. So, tell me your most absurd employer story. I know there's worse out there.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Stillbirth Awareness and Research Act - S.3142 and H.R. 5979

I've been remiss in getting this up - October 15th is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day in the United States. More than 25,000 children are stillborn in the United States every year leaving mothers, entire families and communities devastated. Estimates of the rate of occurrence of stillbirth make it at least as common as autism.

Antigone is spearheading a blogger effort to raise awareness of these bills, which are right now still in sub-committee. The bills are Senate Bill 3142: "Preventing Stillbirth and SUID Act of 2008," and H.R. 5979: "Stillbirth Awareness and Research Act of 2008." I have not had the chance to research these are thoroughly as I would have liked before posting, but both appear to be in subcommittee still (and Tash has a good analysis of them both). And, they're not going to move this calendar year, I'm sorry to say. Senators and Representatives are all home campaigning. They may or may not be additional sessions this Congressional cycle, but to deal with the economic crisis. So realistically, nothing could possibly happen with either of these bills until the Spring. But! That doesn't mean awareness raising isn't a good thing. By starting to raise awareness now, we can help build a grassroots support effort for these bills when their time truly comes. Antigone and I are talking about what next steps might be - if you have strong interest in these bills, or Congressional outreach experience, please get in touch with her or me - and we'll see if we can put some blogging power to work.

For now, as per Antigone:

Action Steps:

Step 1. Use Your Blog to Enlist Others
-Copy the contents of this entire post and publish it on your blog immediately.

GOAL: Enlist 10 of your readers to spread the word

Step 2. Use Your E-mail to Enlist Others
-E-mail 5 bloggers and ask them (nicely and in an unspammy way) to publish these action steps on their blog. Consider contacting celebrity bloggers, political bloggers, medical bloggers, or bloggers who are not part of your reading community.

GOAL: Enlist 3 bloggers outside of your normal blog sphere to spread the word in other online communities.

Step 3. Help Pass the Stillbirth Awareness and Research Act
-By October 15th, publish a post on your blog supporting H.R. 5979 Stillbirth Awareness and Research Act. For maximum impact, title your post: "Stillbirth Awareness and Research Act."

GOAL: 1,000,000 Google results on October 15th when that term is searched for. Currently, Google only returns 20,400 pages - most of which have nothing to do with the bill.

Monday, October 13, 2008

fudge and trolls

Spent the weekend eating too much fudge, courtesy of the lovely Antigone.

My very first meeting with a fellow blogger, and I had a very nice time. Not just because of the fudge present, either. We talked about blogging, about anonymity, building community. And we talked about trolls. I have never been so blessed, thank goodness, part of my (partially intentional) lower profile.

Funny enough, this weekend I got the closest I've ever had to a troll! We went away for the weekend, meeting up with my husband's college buddies. 3 families, 6 adults and 6 kids - ours is the youngest, and only girl. I usually don't check my google account much during the weekends, but was standing in a long line and pulled out my iphone to pass the time. And found a long, anonymous comment on a post from, I'm not kidding, 48 or so weeks ago. Not a real troll, but a stinging rebuke for trying to work things out with my husband, with lots of biblical quotes.


48 (ish) weeks ago. Did they start at the beginning and when things got really ridiculous, couldn't help leaving a comment? And then did they keep reading, I wonder? But no more comments? So odd. I keep light track of visitors, but given being away, and that it was two days ago, it would be more work than it's worth to do any sleuthing.

Last year this college buddy trip was in November, when it was really bad, and while I wanted to go and pretend everything was normal, I wasn't on the invite list - my daughter and I stayed home "sick." Actually, the fact that my husband wouldn't tell his oldest and closest friends that we were having trouble was something I took as him having second thoughts. I'm still sad, about it all. But this weekend, when my husband asked me if I was tired, I whispered to him that it was hard to be here this year and hear talk of last year. And we were both able to tell each other we were glad we were there together. Small steps, one day at a time.

So, anyway, between the fudge, new friend, and sorta troll, I feel like I've made it! Have you ever been trolled? What do you think when someone criticizes you anonymously? Ignore? Reflect? Delete?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

teh crazee

First, you all crack me up. Double down on chocolate? Good stuff. I found a brownie mix that came with icing, so double down I did. (sadly, no chocolate chips in the house, or I would have tripled - instead I compensated by having three brownies over the course of the evening.)

I had some ups and downs yesterday thinking about this whole ridiculous job stuff, but really, what can I do. I'm better today, though growing more pissed. Still have not decided on a response, what I should say, what form it should take. This is not an amateur group, though they are small. And I think this is new to them. This is for a contract position, not a staff position, but I don't think they've really thought through what that would mean. I think they'd treat it as a part-time staff. I asked questions about how they'd structure hours, deliverables, etc, and they could not answer even the most basic query. So I think a period of time where I'd be "on leave" is not something they know how to handle. I still want it, but we shall have to see.

So - those crazy in-laws. My husband decided not to go to the funeral. And he decided not to send flowers, because apparently his family already did, from everyone. I think he should have, but his decision. He did e-mail both his cousins, the immediate family of the great aunt, and got a quick blackberry response from one of them that was very nice.

Over dinner, husband tells me his mother called him yesterday on their drive to the viewing. Why, I asked? To thank me for not going.

It makes my head hurt.

She also gave him addresses and e-mails for the cousins. As we were eating, it just didn't make sense to me, so I asked again, wait, why did she call? I don't get it. And he said to thank me, and well, she also agreed that we had to talk soon.

You all get this, it was obvious in the comments. I'd be perfectly happy cutting off all contact. My husband isn't there yet, but he is close and holding a firm line. The involvement of his siblings makes it harder. His parents want everyone to be so intertwined, it's difficult to breathe in this family. I don't know what's going to happen. I haven't had the time or energy to do any drafting. I have verbally suggested a few lines, and each time he's nodded non-commitally. I think he thinks my words are too strong. But I'm not sure.

Oh! we just hung up the phone. His old job called him on a totally unrelated manner. He said he chatted perfectly amicably with the president, who told him about how they'd just separated from a difficult business partner. President then said they should talk about his unresolved financial issues with the company. So, good.

Tomorrow is our first joint counseling with the new counselor I found. Tomorrow is also 34 weeks. 6 weeks to go. And we still don't have a name. Moe on that later......

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Just got a snail mailed letter from my Boston job interview. My heart sank at the sight of the thin envelope.

Here are the contents in their entirety:

Dear first name,

Thank you for taking the time to travel to Boston to interview with us. We all enjoyed meeting you and were very impressed with both your professional experiences and ideas for our program. We also very much appreciate your enthusiasm for the position and your attention to our programs and goals.

We will be keeping the position open for an additional round of interviews, but wanted to let you know the your you've [sic] been chosen to continue on in our selection process. We anticipate this will take several weeks and we will keep you up to date as we progress. We understand that your situation may change, during this time, and ask that you keep us updated as well.

Very best,


ARRRRRGGGGHHHHHH. This is exactly the bullshitty non-answer I was dreading. This is a fucking part-time job. It should not be this hard. I think what this means is I'm the best they've got, but they dont' want to hire me. FUCK.

Gritting teeth. I just got this not 5 minutes ago, so still processing. But am thinking of a mailed letter (MAILED!! WTF! They could have e-mailed this.) that says thank you for the notice, I would continue to be a freelance consultant and would likely still be interested as their process continued and I continue to believe I was the most qualified person, in terms of knowledge of their program and needs, that they would find for this contract position. I need a better way to frame that, but again, it's off the top of my head.

Seriously. Well, at least it's not an outright rejection. I've put searching for freelance gigs on hold (and just lost one - but it was one I didn't really want to do), so I need to ramp that up. If I could find one short project, I'd be in such better shape.

I am going to make brownies.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

shoe dropping

My husband came home this afternoon, walked in the door, and announced, well, the shoe has dropped.
Husband's brother sent him a long e-mail this afternoon, saying in-laws had asked brother to tell husband not to come to the viewing tomorrow. It would be too upsetting, particularly since husband didn't even bother to send them an anniversary card. Further stuff in e-mail about how we haven't responded to in-laws gestures, are being selfish and stubborn, someone has to be adult, etc etc. Husband writes brother back, I don't know all the details, but that yes, husband has been swamped and has just not had a chance to send card, he can be blamed for being insensitive, but there was nothing meant by not sending card, etc.

Then, husband calls his mother. And she lights into him for not properly responding all the times they've sent cards to us. Apparently we were supposed to call them and thank them for their thoughtfulness. Husband yells at her that she couldn't even bother to call for daughter's birthday. MIL says she didn't bother since we would have seen caller ID and not answered. Husband shoots back - it wasn't even worth trying to make the call? Trying to talk to her? There's much yelling back and forth (thank god I wasn't around to hear, these calls stress me out so much), and it ends with MIL crying and hanging up on husband.

So. Here we are. Husband says he is in a lose-lose situation. Go, and risk a scene. Not go, and offend other family. He would like to go. But in the midst of all this, work is insane, and his car is up on jacks in the backyard (I told you we were classy). I first suggested he think of what HE wanted to do - ignoring his parents. I think he'd rather go, but he doesn't want to spend hours in the car with his brother (he'd drive to brother's, they'd drive together) arguing over this. So then I suggested sending flowers tomorrow, writing his second cousins heartfelt sympathy cards, and then sitting down and writing it all out for his parents. I think that's the current plan. Of course, it all could change.

Midway through relating this to me, I burst into tears. I just really, really despise my MIL so much. The drama, the histrionics, the pressures. She's a crazy woman. And it plays into my insecurities. I'm not an ideal daughter in law. Isn't it the wife who buys cards and remembers things? I am terrible at that. I've never been her ideal daughter in law - I'm just not wired that way. I'm not compliant, and I believe in independence and creating an adult life. I don't know how reasonable I am. I don't really blame myself all that much - I know she is troubled and selfish. But there's definitely a piece of me that gets hurt by all this drama.

So, we're less than 7 weeks out from birth. They still don't know. I do think a letter is the next, best step, but I don't think these people will magically grow up. Any ideas?

aw shit

One of the great aunts died yesterday. My mother-in-law lost her mother at a critical age - when MIL was 18. I think it's scarred her in many ways, and kept her always the perpetual victim, the forever baby of the family, the needy one. Her mother's sisters have all lived into ripe old age, into their 90s. Great Aunt Jo is the first of the great aunts to pass, though another is quite ill.

I like these great aunts. I like extended family. It's the immediate in-laws that are the problem. I guess extended family is just a little more distant, you only see them on special occasions, on relatively good behavior. They probably have their issues too, but not the same as dealing all the time with in-laws.

We found out when my husband's brother called last night. Yep, brother. Not my husband's parents, despite "all the reaching out" they are (not!) doing. My husband is pissed his parents couldn't/wouldn't call him directly, especially after husband called them on their anniversary.

We've known this day would come, so I'm not being heartless when I say this timing is the timing I dreaded - I'm at 33 weeks. So technically a 5 hour drive is doable, though not advisable. My daughter has been to 3 funerals, but they've made no impression on her whatsoever - she's been too young to get what's going on. At three, that equation starts to change. We got the news in a voicemail, and discussed plans before husband called BIL back. I took a deep breath and said, I really don't want to leave you alone, but I don't want to go, I don't think it would be good. Husband agreed, and said yes, there was no way he wanted daughter to go.

But the planning was far smoother than I thought. It's right away - viewing Wednesday, funeral Thursday. BIL was just able to go up and back for the viewing, and he and his wife were going to leave their 4 year old in daycare for the day. So they worked it out that only the two brothers would go up and back.

I don't know if there will be any time for my husband to talk to his parents. He said he was going to write a letter tonight. We'll see. I'm not heartless, I'm really not, but it sounds heartless for me to say that my MIL, a drama queen, will be a mess. Probably best if the brothers just go and leave, without adding any more drama.

My husband did joke, well, we'll have a lot to talk about Friday morning in our first joint session.