Monday, June 2, 2014

Surviving In-Law

I'm throwing in the towel at this point. Being related to a narcissistic leaning lady creates an exercise in futility and frustration. I will just give some highlights.

"Her favorite word is NO."
When MIL-gramma asks a two-year-old the same question over and over, and the answer was no to begin with, who is the negative one? "You want to kiss gramma?" No. "You want to come to gramma?" No. "You want to give me a hug?" No. Sadly, after 5 days of practicing the "No" response, E has perfected it. Weirdly, both the Mr. and myself had managed to steer toddler conversations away from "no." But gramma brought the negativity along.

"I never had <insert whatever> that you did, and I always wanted <same thing>."
She's two, people. Perhaps the guilt trip function is so primary that she can't see how ridiculous this line of talk is for a little person. Feel sorry for gramma already.

"Boy SHE sure has a great daughter-in-law."
This one in context for her close friend talking about her relationship with her daughter in law. Said friend had spent 30 minutes talking about how thoughtful, non-judgmental, and polite she is with her son's wife. Of course people just naturally have these great magical daughter-in-laws with no work at all. My response (which caused pouting) was, "and she works so hard on that relationship! It must be super important to her!"

"So let's talk about me again, shall we?"
This visit, she didn't even pretend to pay attention to anything I said about my family. Futility and frustration. I make an effort because I do care and I want the Mr's mom to be friendly. The Mr. started to talk about how wonderful it was for him to feel Elfina move. And it took only two sentences for her to hijack the conversation back to her pregnancies. She wants so much to corner the Mr.'s attention that she even got in his face as he was tending to E and said, "um, hello, I was talking to you." The poor Mr. is about to pop. His mom wants all of the attention pretty much the entire time. So unfair.

We are still trying to buy a house. The Mr. delayed telling his mom, because, even though there is very little chance that he'll move back to the Bay Area, she seems to think it will happen any minute. She cried like someone died when he told her that we had an offer in. She moped as he gave her an exterior tour. In her mind, we are going to magically move to the outer-outer edges of SF civilization to be NEAR HER. Keep in mind that she has told more than a few stories in the past 5 days about people leaving her retirement community to live near THEIR children. Where they have jobs and lives. In her mind, we will all be getting jobs with those high-paying companies located 60 miles from Silicon Valley. (We've asked for what companies, but that impedes on said fantasy.) And frankly, after her visits, I don't see what having selfish assholes for family does for you. Living next to them is harder than not living next to them. Can we move to Australia?

The Mr.'s (bay area located) brother didn't even bother to email or call for E's birthday. All of my family, including my cousin that we just visited made the effort to wish our sweet (usually not negative) toddler all sorts of birthday love.


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Breaking on through

I know I'm slowly turning into a mommy blogger. I would love to post all my crazy things about how awful strollers are designed and how I've found a nearly perfect one, just in time for E to not need it. I have spreadsheets of information at this point. Info that is useless on my blog of infertility. I found thatI really wanted to just reflect on how much life has changed in two years.

First, once a Misfit, always a Misfit. I'm older than most moms at the playground. I parent with saying "no you can't run in the street," let my kid enjoy a cookie now and then, and generally take E anywhere and everywhere our family goes. The conflicts in parenting styles seems large in my 'hood. E watches a few minutes of TV to distract her from nail cutting, dr. poking, or hangnail removal. I seem to have a small group of parents that abide by the no rules parenting style, which means I don't want playdates with the kids or the parents.

People are nicer here. My sister is visiting and on our morning walk to the cafe, I chatted with a few neighbors and even she said, "wow, people are just nice." This winter made missing California so vivid, but the life we led there didn't involve children. If being where we are somehow magically made children happen, it is worth a dozen blizzards and 100 feet of shoveled sidewalk.

I never thought it would be possible to think about an end to the infertility. I am always going to be one. Just a freakish sort of alum. It really dawned on me when Elfina hit viability. Two children. My children. Yes, much, much later than I ever imagined, but so much, much more than I ever dared to hope.

I traded earthquakes for snowstorms, lemon trees for cherry blossoms, and tiny rooms for room to breathe. I gained valuable distance from MIL and Clueless peeps and this little unit of family right here. My only regrets these days are that there are other women with RPL looking for answers. I know that I have no answers AT ALL for RPL, but damn if I don't know the questions.

It's this space that helped me learn to ask them. It's the wonderful internet friends who made the failures easier to abide. I still think about everything it took to get to this point. I never ever thought I'd heal. And I don't think some parts do, but the truth is that I just think about it less. And as Elfina gets closer to being a real live baby not living parasitically off my horribly uncooperative women parts, it fades just that much more.

Who knew?

Monday, May 19, 2014

Whirly Girly Go

Starting at the end and then going to the beginning. All Misfits accounted for and healthy. Just letting you know before I stress you out with all this stress.

We put an offer on a house. House has septic. (It seems that you can expect some really RURAL amenities in this fair city.) Septic failed. Loan appraisal came in lower than asking price. Sellers are in a jam. No idea if our deal will fall through. We have a uncomfortable thousand dollars sitting in limbo as we wait to see what happens. We aren't likely to throw down lots of cash to make up the difference between the appraisal and the sales price. It looks a bit gloomy.

We put an offer on a house. It's perfect with a great size and location. The downside is the actual location being on a busy 4 lane street. It is cheap. It is in excellent condition and it has A (emming effing) C. At 27 weeks, I am not going to enjoy summer in our rental living from window unit to window unit. Said house has a pool. Not a bonus, but not a minus, either. When I'm not freaking about drowned children (said pool has fence) and my skin cancer, I dream of an evening solitary, weightless floating swim. Wow.

I'm 27 weeks. Viable. Officially. I have my next growth scan tomorrow to make sure Elfina is on track. I also do the glucose challenge. Yay. My head is full of so much stressful fluff that it has been so far back in my mind. Still worried. Just more worried about other crap.

E. She had a totally non-symptomatic ear infection two weeks back. The doctor had dismissed all of my symptoms and had proceeded to get that "I'm going to tell you are worrying for nothing" face and after a perfect eardrum, said, "don't be alarmed when this eardrum bursts." No fever. No pulling. No obvious symptoms. Just cranky toddlerhood. She was prescribed amoxicillin and everything seemed great.

Day 10 of antibiotics, she woke up with what I thought was mosquito bites. By 8, she had a hivey looking rash on her hips. I brought her to ped. Ped said she was having a drug (aka not allergic) reaction. Said it would get worse. Said nothing to do for it.

Day 2 of rash. E looks like she's been beat up with welts and wheals on about 40% of her body. She's running a fever. Another $15 co-pay says ery.thema multifo.rme. She's told to take motrin and tylenol and benadryl for itching. She's NOT itching, so I don't give her benadryl. By that afternoon, she was refusing to walk with swollen ankles. I called ped again and they said she wasn't swelling, but that the hives were stretching her skin. I think I know what swelling looks like, but the combo of ibu and tylenol seemed to solve the immediate problem.

Day 3 of rash. 70% of her body now covered in welts, wheals, bruised looking things and hands and feet firmly swollen (and darkly purple). Call doc again. Wake E from a nap and we are prescribed Benadryl and Prednisone immediately. Doc puts the amox on her allergy list for safe measure. The steriod makes E vomit and her fever spikes to 102. I call the night nurse. She gives me tricks. We get 1/2 of a dose in her before night falls. We are facing the ER by morning if she's not improved. Some fighting between the Mr. and myself ensues. Mr. has been at a conference. Arriving home just in time to critique care. Not like a concerned mama has taken the baby to the doctor every fucking day for half a week. Ahem. Bygones.

Day 4-5 of outbreak. E is clear. No rash, no redness, and no bruise looking spots. Whew. Taking a breath.



Thursday, April 17, 2014

Unrelated to anything else

Almost everyone knows about Elfina as of today. I gave up on waiting to see about my review and potential promotion. I have a pile of projects that need doing by August and if I need to also train a replacement, well, it will mean a lot of extra work.

I had this totally unexpected reaction to telling the family. It wasn't the actually telling of the family as much as my Clueless in-laws deciding to say that they could tell I had a baby bump. Which is probably something someone at 13 ish weeks wouldn't be offended by. It also turns out that the Mr. was grilled by his family as he went to his grandmother's funeral. They asked blatantly about whether I was pregnant.

So, yeah, I am, and yes, if you can look past the 10 lbs I already gained that is a GUT and not baby, one should not be offended by innocent speculation. Except, the whole, they have accused us of being pregnant when we weren't, or were, or all of a sudden weren't (as in lost the baby a week before). So saying you KNEW I was pregnant amounts to hogwash. My reaction was just a pent up frustration over dealing with being pregnant and not pregnant for so long and the grudge I seemingly carry over said years. RPL emotional whiplash, if you will.

More soon. I swear. This winter sucked in unimaginable ways. The whole thaw and freeze cycle of this last week was especially cruel. We were spared the snow. Which was the only saving grace. 

Spring is long overdue.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Elfina

Yes, our Elf is in fact Elfina. A sister for E. The scan went well. There was a few stressful minutes when the tech had trouble getting heart pictures. The MFM doc who reviewed our scan told us everything was on track and normal.

Being older means more monitoring. Mores scans ahead and the usual Non-stress tests. I find the care reassuring, even if I may complain about how big of a hassle it is to drive to appointments twice a week.

The majority if immediate family finally knows. The Mr. told his mom. I did try to sway him, to no avail.

My work does not know. I don't gave much of a plan to tell them. I can't figure out what I'll be doing with that just yet.

We have about six weeks to find a house we can buy. I have a cold that has me in the ER. (Coughing has turned into something frightful that I can't endure until my doctor is available on Monday.)

I promise more soon. The family response was, interesting. E is such a big girl these days. Singing, laughing, throwing tremendous tantrums, and just a gift overall. Her hair continues to not really grow in. I entertain myself with the idea of one day getting to do cute braids and curls. Most attempts at doing her hair are thwarted by a quick undoing by the little miss. You'll enjoy my handiwork in the meantime.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Still here

19 weeks tomorrow. Scan next week.

I had read on a blog that I won't link to about blathering on about the pain of infertility not going away after you have a baby. Her point was that for her it did go away. I felt weird for thinking that for me it did not. It's been on my mind lots and I can't figure it out.

Except, it wasn't really the pain of infertility I experienced. Yes, having a baby is a salve to the wound of not having children. Of course it is. For me, the pain was more that I just felt eternally behind. I watched almost everyone have kids, pair off in happy places of parenting, whilst I lived a carefree life of unattachedness. I've been examining the parts that still hurt, even if it makes no sense from a logical perspective.

The Mr.'s grandmother passed away this week. We had gone to CA to see her last month. It was a sweet goodbye for us all. E would run and kiss her great-grandma and anoint her with Elmo stickers as we chatted with her each day of our visit. He'll head out to see family and attend the funeral. E and I will watch movies, do hair, and get our nails done. Or whatever the 2-year-old equivalent is of that. Likely reading Cat in the Hat (aka homeless usurper arriving unbidden) and throwing back some fortified whole milk while discussing the new habit of verb conjugation.

"E eat."
"Mama eating."

Yes, there are whole days where I am simply amazed at the luxury of being blessed with this funny, sweet, and smart kid. I feel the flutter of Elf and count myself a very lucky 41-year-old. There's a little mourning of the life I thought I'd have. In lots of way, the life I have is much, much better.

I did some job hunting and lined up interviews. I know I'm insane. Please tell me any stories of anyone you know who is wildly successful changing jobs in her second trimester only to come back from a few months off to have a baby and be an international super star. I had the great advice to just ask my current job to make an OBVIOUS title change and the salary adjustment that entails. Her words were, "if you were a dude, you would have already done this." True. But uncomfortable to say all that without an exit strategy. Funny when you think that I would happily demand that if I had an offer in hand to say, "do it or else I leave."

Okay back to the messy thoughts and chaos of day to day life. I'm a bad commenter and am apologizing upfront for just not being with it lately. Spring is here. I feel tons better from my last post. More soon, I promise.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Blues

I am on the cusp of 17 weeks with Elf and I can count the people who know outside of the interwebs boldness on one hand. I promised myself that I'd embrace a second pregnancy in the T2 world with heart and soul. I said to myself that we'd start to tell people after 12 weeks. That came and went. I am now looking towards 20 weeks with more optimism.

Work. Major changes went down in the last few weeks. A few folks junior to me were pushed up the ladder all of a sudden. The title changes had nothing to do with performance, but more from the strategic short-term goals. It looked good on paper for this part of our business. The outcome of all the changes means my department of 8 is now down to 3 people. Funny thing is that one of the three is 4 weeks MORE pregnant than I am and everyone knows she's leaving on maternity leave. (Something I am thrilled about being that I told her she was pregnant before she knew...in fact, it was my stubborn belief that made me send her the internet cheapies to prove said fact. A hard won pregnancy if ever there was one.)

I know you aren't supposed to discriminate against pregnant ladies, but it's kinda hard to prove unless it's obvious. I'm long overdue for a few things. I don't plan on telling work until I know exactly how promotion/raise season plays out. I have already made up my mind to make a go solo. Perhaps the insult of being passed over and ignored (driving the largest $ for the company ever in it's history) will make it happen.

I do know any promotion is out at this point. When I don't get a raise, it will be a wonderful time to let them know that I will also be on maternity leave and that our department of 3 will be 2 in July and 1 in August. Hiring someone to manage just those 3 months I'm out will cost them around 40% more in salary.

Life. I turned 41 last week. The Mr. and I indulged in fancy lunch out and sorta confronted the emotional wake of Winter's fury. We are both just depressed. Me? The hope/fear of pregnancy working out, acknowledging 3 years of excellent work without recognition, and dealing with being stuck indoors with a toddler for weeks on end. The pressure to just keep the house functioning sucks sometimes. Planning meals, getting house shit done, and not falling behind in work takes a toll. Not that I don't have some "me" time in there. It's just too much all of a sudden. Mr.? Winter, job dissatisfaction, lack of living in California, still not having many friends, not finding a house, to name just a few... We are working ourselves out of this. My only plan has been to find one thing each week that makes us happy. Each of us.

Family. SIL's birthday is 4 days before mine. Her daughter, my niece is 1 day before mine. My brother-in-law was a close friend before I met the Mr (his brother). He's known me for 18 years and went drinking with me on my 23rd, 24th, 25th and 26th birthday. The Mr. even reminded him two days before my birthday. You know they forgot, right? They wouldn't be called Clueless otherwise.

The revelation for me is that I'm no longer really irritated by them forgetting. Outside of their world, we don't exist. The visit to see family in the Bay Area proved how very alone we were even when we were close back there. We spent a week at MIL's house to spend time with the Mr.'s Nonna. 94 and looking like she wont' make it to Spring. We were an hour away from his brother and they didn't bother to come out to see us. Rather, we made the trip in to see them for 3 hours and come home. The Mr.'s depression was aided by the realization of how one-way his family can be. We lived 30 minutes from his brother for 6 years and he visited us 4 times. The effort of being family fell to us to the lifting. They enjoyed help from us for parties, moving, and random things, but only once did they help us with something urgent. When we moved, we called our good friends. Family wasn't worth the hassle.

The thing is that my MIL is always setting someone up to fail...to teach them a lesson. She's going to expect you to help with dishes and wait for you to see what you do. When you don't, she'll let you know she's disappointed. The Clueless's forgetting my birthday is a great example. She loves that shit. But, I don't want to be bitter for things people do or don't do. I remember my SIL's birthday because I like it when a few thoughtful folks genuinely care to remember. It's super flattering. Do I need everyone to? No. If I did, you'd find it on Facebook. The people that matter remember. My mom, dad, sister, husband, and a few close old friends. It's a blessing of abundance, really.

SIL sent around a note to let everyone know that her 10-week scan showed just the one baby with two arms and legs. My pregnancy has been largely symptom free, and hers has not. I know Elf is fine, but without some daily burden like nausea or headaches, I feel more the fraud. Mrs. Clueless is well on the far end of the other spectrum. Her pregnancy is an ordeal. The week they couldn't see us was because she was falling apart with anxiety and lack of sleep. This combined with really awful morning sickness made her a mess. I found myself uniquely unsympathetic. Which made me feel like a huge bitch.

Why no sympathy? It's because my pregnancies were all so hard won and most were hard lost. My attitude is that I would embrace throwing up and not sleeping the way that many of the ladies here have. When someone tells you what an ORDEAL a pregnancy is and how hard it will be to get through it, you find yourself thinking that the ORDEAL is really not being pregnant when your heart and soul yearns for that baby for years. The ORDEAL is going through some or all of those awful weeks and losing that wanted, needed child too soon. So forgive me if I feel that being pregnant isn't so hard at all in my contextual view. Yada, yada, pain olympics first place medal, blah, still...my non-judgemental yet very judgy judgy stick does come out now and then.

Yes. Universe, thank you for the cover of a vocal, needy pregnant lady to distract the Mr.'s family. Please let me find the right balance to tell the family without pissing them off by telling them later than they would like. Let me not care how offended they will all be by hoarding our secret just that much longer.