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 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 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?