Monthly Archives: February 2011

Day 49: Much Better and Mommy Wars

Darcy’s home for the weekend, thankfully. He leaves Sunday night for two more weeks, but today he made me stay in bed, took care of the twins, made me good, hearty food (steak, baked potatoes) and got me girl scout cookies. I feel loads better.

He rules.

On my enforced bedrest, I’ve been trying to read some parenting blogs. (I’m avoiding the term mommy blogs.) It’s a jungle out there! What’s up with the strident, controversy-provoking craziness out there? I’m referring to “The Stir”, “Feminist Breeder”, and other mommy war zones that I shall not name.

It all reminds me of a Chris Rock stand-up routine I once saw. He made the point that women are smarter, work harder and know much more than men, yet they don’t rule the world even though they should. Why? “Because women HATE other women!”

I’m going to provoke ire here, but I would never profess to have a one-size fits all philosophy on parenting, co-sleeping, breastfeeding and disciplining. Dr. Sears has caused much pain and suffering among some mothers who can’t physically or mentallly live up to the exacting demands of attachment parenting. Do I admire people who try? Sure! Do I hate people who are human and can’t do it? No. No, I do not.

Why all the hate? I think it’s cool you breastfed for two years. I ran out of supply at four months even after seeing the most devoted lactation consultant ever who was at my house three times a week at least, who after having me feed on demand every two hours, try special teas and herbs, a glass of beer, domperidone (which caused corrosive acid reflux I’m still dealing with), nipple shields, having me feed, then weighing the babies after, pumping, finally concluded “you have run out of supply.” Yes, I tried everything, no I didn’t want to fail. But I did. It happens. Why do you have to make people feel bad about it?

Arghhh. Women! But not you, beautiful readers 🙂

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Day 48: Asking for Help

Everest kalapatthar

Photo image: By Pavel Novak [CC-BY-SA-2.5 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons

I’ve never climbed Everest. It’s a source of fascination to me, those who climb it, putting themselves through inhuman conditions just to achieve some personal glory. “Into Thin Air”, by Jon Krakauer, is one of my favorite books. It describes a slow-moving catastrophe among two guided tours attempting the summit. My father, and many others, see the climbers as selfish and vain. I see them as utilizing their bodies and minds so fully, so exhaustingly, so completely. How do they do it? It’s a marvel to me.

Last night, I felt like I was in the Death Zone (higher than 26,000 feet). “Extreme Fatigue” is one of the symptoms of Whooping Cough. Krakauer’s descriptions of altitude sickness: shallow breathing, coughing severe enough to break ribs, severe headaches. Check, check, check.

If I drag out this metaphor, if I was on Everest, I would have been a guide in charge of weaker, less experienced clients, or, the twins. They were miserable last night, and kept crying for food, water, bathroom help, anything, because they couldn’t sleep. For two hours I trudged through trying to give them what they needed until I finally collapsed on the floor in a near-swoon.

All I could think to do was say “help”. I’m not sure who it was directed at, but I said it over and over, as if in a meditative state. Part of me felt foolish, but I kept saying it for a few minutes. Then, I felt better. Not fully cured or anything, but well enough to convince the twins to fall asleep. (I guaranteed them, like George Zimmer, that they’d be able to sleep.)

Hmmm…I guess we’re all alone here, really, in the end. (Wouldn’t that make for an uplifting Hallmark card.) But maybe asking for help from the universe at large (or God, or whatever you believe) can help get us through our toughest times? Is that sappy?

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Bad words, bad words!!

Have I ever sworn on my blog before? I don’t think I have. I’m afraid my mother will find out.

Sorry, I’m going to have to break that rule this one time.

FUCK!

I have whopping cough. Which means me and the kids are in total isolation for at least 5 days. Thankfully, the kids are fully vaccinated against it, so they won’t get it. Which is all I really care about.

But I feel like shite. I haven’t felt this ill in ages. I think I felt better when I had pneumonia.

No one can come near us unless they’ve had the adult vaccination. Which I am painfully learning, almost no one has had.

I mean, really. Fucking whooping cough. Really?!?!?!?!?!?!

Sorry mom.

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Day 46: My Friends, Both In the Internet and On T.V.

Friends-Haus

Photo credit: By Beleg Langbogen (Own work) GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), via Wikimedia Commons

Thanks so much everyone for the well wishes and offers of help. You make me feel much more supported – and you guys rock. I definitely think I have bronchitis, so it’s off to the doctor for me tomorrow. I’ll keep you posted.

In the distant past, I used to watch the show Friends when I was sick. I know it’s cooler to say that Seinfeld, its biggest contemporary of the day, was the better program, but something about Friends was like eating chicken noodle soup, wearing your most threadbare cardigan and fleeciest sweats and settling into your softest chair. In other words, Friends was the comfort food for my soul.

Tonight, as I lay prostrate on the bed, hearing my lungs rattle with every breath, I knew what I had to do. I downloaded a few of my old favorite episodes from iTunes.

Impressions:

1. A lot of 90s fashion has come back in style. I really hope those ugly mom Levis don’t come back. They flattered NO ONE on the show and those girls had awesome bodies.

2. A lot of the jokes have aged well. The ones about Ross’s monkey did not. I hate Marcel.

3. It was strange to relive the show’s 90s/twentysmething vibe and remember the days when all I thought about was dating, my job, getting my laundry done and clothes.

4. At one time, I definitely identified with Rachel the most. I was the most like her. (Fashion-obsessed, a little spoiled, not super well-adapted for living in the “real world”.)

5. Now, I admire Monica. I imagine her living in Westchester County with her twins in a sparkling clean house, cooking all the time, running the show. She was a tough cookie.

6. How STUPID was the depiction of infertility on that show – and it was addressed surprisingly often! Joey’s participation in a fertility study is ridiculed; Phoebe acts as a surrogate for her brother, has a completely normal and full-term pregnancy with TRIPLETS, delivering them all vaginally!?!; Monica and Chandler are diagnosed with insurmountable infertility in one month, immediately move on to adoption and are quickly matched with a woman who is unaware she’s having twins, the delivery of which is a shock to everyone, doctors included.

Can I get a HELL NO?

But, I must say that the show still makes me feel better when I’m sick. It’s funny, but without that challenging edge I just don’t have a tolerance for when I’m indisposed. (Watching “Curb Your Enthusiasm” or “Larry Sanders”, which I love normally, would just make me feel worse).

So, thanks bloggy friends and other Friends for being “there for me”. It helps more than you know 🙂

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Day 45: Digging in, Seeking Fortitude

It’s too bad I broke up with the stoics: I need some real, inner strength and am unsure where to get it. My husband will be traveling for the next three weeks, and I will be on my own completely with the twins. The family that lives nearby doesn’t do childcare on demand. (It’s a complex affair that demands planning weeks in advance, their dance cards are very full.) Now, on the eve of Darcy’s departure, I have fallen ill with something I fear is bronchitis. I have hypochondical tendencies, so hopefully it’s not, but on the other hand, I get bronchitis a lot. Last year, I had it five times.

I’m freaked, I don’t mind telling you. I wish I had one of those strong, iron, peasant constitutions like Ma Ingalls, who could endure starvation, hours and hours of manual labor and general hardship. Instead, I was built with the constitution of one of those stupid Victorian ladies, always ill, always needing to return to the fainting couch. It. Sucks.

I’m thinking about dipping into our meager savings and flying my mom out here. But it’s time to pull on my special super strong big girl pants, suck it up, and be strong.

It’s time to be stoical, I daresay?

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Filed under Family, Fear