December 31, 2014 3:29 pm

Looking Forward

I saw this series of statements somewhere today and thought it would make sense to write them down here.

This year, I want to learn how to needlefelt. I want to make little animals! My mother-in-law knows how and maybe if I ask reaaaaallly nicely, she might teach me.

I want to read all the books we pick out for book club. I’m already side-eyeing this month’s pick as it’s not something I would have chosen myself (On the Road by Jack Kerouac) but I will soldier through.

I want to make friends! I know I grew up here, but I honestly don’t have many in-person friends where I live. I joined a mother’s club and have been attending their monthly book club to try to make this happen. We shall see! Wish me luck. Friend-making is hard once you’re past, like, age eight.

I want to visit Portland! But I always want to visit Portland. Maybe if we win the lottery we can go to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter because I neeeeed to go at some point in my life. I finally logged back into Pottermore the other day and then spent two days HOOKED to the website going through all the moments. Now I’m thinking about having another Harry Potter themed birthday because I will turn 30 in 2015 and what better way to celebrate than dressing up as a fictional wizard?

I want to change my career path. I have GOT to find something else to do. I have been out of the professional web development loop for so long that I don’t even know how to break back in anymore and frankly, the thought makes me feel exhausted instead of excited. I’m still really interested in becoming a lactation consultant, so maybe I will do some more research. Seems dumb to switch careers and possibly go back to school when I haven’t even paid off my student loans for my first degree, but doing client web work makes me feel super panicky in a way that helping people breastfeed does not and I think I should follow my instincts.

I want to be better at finding a place for everything and putting everything in its place. I want to have a living space that won’t make me cringe on a daily basis. I’ve put this book on hold at the library and I’m excited to read through it. I’m an inveterate packrat and I’m desperately trying to change that so I’m not wading through junk all the time.

Most of all I want to not worry so much this year. Things will work out.

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December 10, 2014 12:27 pm

December

  • Hospital Records

    Yesterday, I went and picked up my medical records from Thora’s birth. I was really nervous to read through them, but happily, there really weren’t any surprises. The official post-operative diagnosis was “fetal intolerance of labor” and “fetal malposition with asynclitic position,” and I was diagnosed with atypical HELLP syndrome. In short, I appear to grow crooked babies who panic during labor. And my placenta tries to kill me.

    I still want to go over my lab work with my mom (an L&D nurse) to better understand what all the numbers mean, but for the most part nothing stood out as being “not how I remembered it” or anything. One operative note mentioned “adhesions noted to the uterus,” which I assume is scar tissue from the first surgery? I’ll have to ask about that too I guess.

    There weren’t any tears involved in reading through the notes; I think mainly because nothing came as a surprise to me. I knew why we transferred, and even though I hated to do it, I knew that it was a legitimate reason to transfer. The midwives’ notes from my labor are all very positive and show that I was handling everything well and I feel a little more at peace with everything now that I’ve read through all the notes.

  • Thora

    Thora continues to be a delight. At seven months old, she doesn’t fall asleep by herself anymore, and wakes up at 2am to nurse (it used to be 5am) and nurses every two hours thereafter, but if those are my only complaints I HAVE IT SO GOOD. Rocking her to sleep is a small price to pay for a baby who actually sleeps long stretches at night.

    She’s got a super-quick army crawl and is already working on pulling up to stand on things like laundry baskets and the couch and our footstool. She is so much more active than Wesley was at this age. Keeps me on my toes.

    We’ve introduced solid foods, but like Wesley, she’s not super interested in actually eating anything for real yet. (Except paper she finds on the floor. She will happily eat any and all paper garbage.) I’m completely fine with her intake; it’s way easier to just nurse a baby than try to figure out what and how much solid food to feed them. She hates bottles and I had FIVE OUNCES of pumped milk go to waste recently because I couldn’t get her to drink it after it was thawed. Argh!

    I started calling her “Beebee” a while back (like “baby” but with more Es) and that devolved into calling her “Beebz” and “Beeberton.” I make no excuses. Nicknames are dumb and hilarious.

  • Wesley

    He loves preschool and asks me if he can go three days a week instead of just two. (Would if I could, but his class only meets 2x/week.) I love hearing him talk about what he learns at preschool. This past week, he made a walrus out of a paper lunchbag and it was so funny to hear him explain stuff about his “rahl-wuss” to me.

    He is finally mostly over his bad behavior phase; he doesn’t throw things at me in anger anymore and only has occasional tantrums. I knew it was just a phase, but man, that was a rough couple of months.

    He’s pretty conscientious of not leaving stuff on the floor for Thora to grab/eat/choke on, and we’re currently working on making sure that if he has something he doesn’t want wrecked (like a train track or block tower) it needs to be in his room because if it’s in the living room, she’ll Godzilla it immediately. He’s a great big brother and really likes her company.

  • Secret Quonsar!

    My third year participating in Metafilter’s annual SQ gift exchange was the best yet. My recipient gave me a lot of info to go on which was very helpful. I ended up getting her a Jane Austen-related book from her wishlist, plus a Graze box, two chocolate bars, some paper clips shaped like bunnies (she said she liked office supplies!), and a Tattly tattoo of a rainbow riding a skateboard.

    The gifts I received were amazing. Trader Joe’s chocolate caramels (two different kinds!), a little birdie letter opener, a letterpress postcard from San Diego, the gift-giver’s favorite book (The Secret History by Donna Tartt), and a cute little notebook with feathers on it that was personalized with my name. I actually didn’t even notice my name at first, and when I saw it a few days later I was like OMGGGGG because I never get to have stuff with my name on it and it made that gift so much more special. Thank you, SQ!

  • Christmas

    I’m pretty ready for Christmas, actually! I got most of my shopping done before the end of November, and I even managed to get some family photos of us so our Christmas cards are all ready to be stamped and mailed.

    Family photo:

    daniel-meggan

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October 6, 2014 10:59 am

Strength

strong – strôNG (adjective)
1. having the power to move heavy weights or perform other physically demanding tasks.

I started a bodyweight challenge for the month of October in order to beef myself up a bit. I’m tired of barely being able to support my own bodyweight on the monkey bars when I play with Wesley at the playground – I miss the days when I was a competitive gymnast and was able to do a ton of pull-ups no problem.

I’m happy I’ve chosen to take on this challenge. It’s something I’ve been meaning to do for a while; I know the things my body used to be capable of, and it’s hard when I remember I can’t do those things anymore.

strong – strôNG (adjective)
2. able to withstand great force or pressure.

During my labor with Thora, I felt very strong. Contractions were definitely uncomfortable and painful – I don’t want to minimize the difficulty here – but I knew I could do it. One of the signs of transition (the stage just prior to pushing) is often the woman saying “I can’t do this anymore” or “Just give me the drugs!” and I made it through without saying either of these things! It was so, so hard, but I never felt like I wanted to be drugged. I was tired, and hurting, and I kept saying “I could handle these [contractions] better if I could only get a break between them!” but in hindsight, I was handling them fine.

——

As a woman, we’re conditioned in many tiny ways over the course of our lifetimes to avoid feeling strong.

Weight Training class in high school was open to both genders, but girls rarely took it. You just knew it wasn’t for you.

Girls say things like “I don’t want to lift weights because I don’t want to get bulky.” They aren’t told it’s actually kind of hard to get “bulky” and it’s not going to happen on accident.

Growing up, we’re told that “boys won’t want to date you if you seem like you can beat them up.”

Girls are encouraged to keep quiet and not make a fuss.

Women are told childbirth hurts. What they aren’t often told is that during labor, if they don’t receive drugs, their bodies naturally secrete hormones and chemicals to minimize the pain of labor. Instead, it’s just expected that we won’t be able to handle it and we receive drugs as a matter of routine during childbirth. As a result, many women miss out on the endorphin high of a natural labor.

I’m tired of it.

——

I am PROUD that I was able to make it through twelve hours of labor completely unmedicated – it took a ton of mental strength and I proved to myself that I could do it. I was wired for HOURS after T’s birth because of my endorphins.

I am strong.

I want to have functional muscles, and joining this bodyweight challenge is the first step toward that goal.

And I’m getting stronger.

Forget stardust—you are iron. Your blood is nothing but ferrous liquid. When you bleed, you reek of rust. It is iron that fills your heart and sits in your veins. And what is iron, really, unless it’s forged?

You are iron.

And you are strong.

-n.t.

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