Monday, April 30, 2007

Parenting advice? Please?

Ordinarily, this is the type of thing I'd take to my not-even-close-to-anonymous personal blog, but since the child in question has a mother who reads that blog, that's probably not the best idea... so here I am, asking for parenting advice on an IF blog...

G has this friend, 'Junior'.

Junior is a pain. I know that sounds harsh to say about a three-year-old, but he is. He's kind of a bully, and G usually gets the brunt of that, while Junior's mom is oblivious til G gets fed up and retaliates, sending Junior running to his mom.. and all of a sudden then she notices the boys are fighting.

Naturally, they're 'just being boys', oh how cute.

Cute, my arse.

I have severely limited the amount of time the boys play together. G is not allowed to play with Junior any more unless I'm around to head off problems. I refuse to encourage him to fight (although B's suggestion is that if G just thwaps the hell out of Junior a time or two, maybe he'll quit getting picked on), and I refuse to parent someone else's child - i.e., I'm not going to step in until it's MY child being aggressive, save for removing G from the situation... so my best solution so far has been to closely monitor their time together and end the play date when G starts getting upset or aggressive.

Problem is, G has come away from this with a sense that being kept from his friend is punishment. This morning, he asked to play with Junior, and I told him that today wasn't a good day... naturally, I got the pathetic-boy look, a couple tears and a promise that he'd be good.

How on earth do I communicate that HE is not the main problem? I'm not a totally oblivious parent, I know that G is not entirely innocent, but he's reactive, not instigative.* He also doesn't fight with any other child he interacts with, which leads me to believe that I have a fairly normal kid on the aggression scale.

I have searched for other little boys his age in the area, thinking that if we could replace the problem friend, life would be easier.

I have not found any.

I know that when pre-k starts next year, G will have more child interaction, but for now, he gets his speech class (which consists of G and one younger child who is nearly nonverbal, and apparently completely uninteresting to my son), and his heavily supervised play dates with Junior.

.. that's the only reason I have not completely ceased contact with Junior.

For the life of me, I can't understand why G would WANT this friendship, but he does.

.. and for the life of him, he can't understand why I am turning down potential play dates, when in actuality, it's because I can't stand the thought of dealing with Junior... particularly when I know that whatever happens, G will end up being the one disciplined, and Junior will get a pat on the head and a 'boys will be boys' speech.


*G has been known to taunt Junior... like, Junior will get mad and throw a toy at G. If he does not connect, G will triumphantly crow "HA! You missed!" .. and then come running to me when Junior decides that it's easier and more painful to punch G. So yeah, he's not innocent.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

I am trying to hold myself to a maximum of one major freakout per trimester.

I actually thought I'd make it out of the second trimester without that major freakout.

Yeah, sometimes I laugh at myself.

I noticed yesterday that Rice was moving a lot less than usual.

I figured it was just an off day... until it happened again today.

For future reference, do not Google ANYTHING about fetal movement - the 'net is full of horror stories.

So I ended up going into L&D for monitoring this afternoon. I figured I'd go in, get checked out and be sent on my way with a pat on the head and some veiled references to paranoia.

.. until Rice's first NST made the nurse ask the resident if she was happy with the results. Her actual words were somewhere along the lines of "I'm not happy with this".

Oh yes, those are the kinds of things I want to hear.

NST #2 was given after I choked down some juice and cookies to try and wake up the babe. Apparently that worked because the test looked good after I ate. The ultrasound showed adequate amounts of amniotic fluid (no, I didn't ask for specifics, I'm neurotic enough without numbers to Google) and an awake babe who was bouncing around just fine. Coupling that with the strong heartbeat throughout the NST, they determined things still look good and sent me home with a strong suggestion that I get my gest diabetes test done ASAP, (since Rice seemed to be really affected by what I ate) and that I spend a little more time making sure I'm eating often enough, and drinking enough water... and the advice that kick counts, tho recommended after 28 weeks, are not very accurate for another month... since that particular warning was accompanied with that familiar she's paranoid tone of voice, I was sufficiently reassured and able to drive myself home.

Tho I didn't get new ultrasound pictures, I am pretty sure I saw some genitals. Probably I should have not looked once they determined that the best pocket of fluid to measure was located directly between her legs, and while the doctor quickly adjusted the view when I gasped "is that a girl?!" swearing that he had not, indeed, noticed genitalia, I'll be a bit surprised if Rice emerges with a need for blue booties. My half-a-second glimpse isn't enough for me to go buy pink paint (particularly since Rice will share a room with G, who may not want a pink bedroom), and there's still an element of surprise as I ask myself "did I really see that?", so it's all good. And, you know, I'm not an expert and maybe I missed something. That's enough for me to keep wondering, which is how I want it.

I also got a quick lesson in how to read the NST printout when the nurse walked in on me scrutinizing the little graph while debating if it was reassuring or scary. At least I know what they're looking for now, and kind of how to tell if it's there.

.. I have plans to go do my GTT tomorrow, and until further notice will again be limiting my sugar and sticking more closely to my diet, just in case. As much as I like my sugar and my junk food, sitting in that little room with all the little monitors and wires, I realized just how much I do not want to meet Rice yet... and more importantly, I do not want to meet a Rice that is unhealthy because I like ice cream a bit too much. I'm still feeling a bit exhausted emotionally, and I'm sure that I'll be paying extra-close attention to baby-movement for the next few days *ha - who am I kidding - months*, but overall things are still ok tonight.

Monday, April 23, 2007

disappointed googlers...

I do so aim to please, but - alas! - fall short of the mark at times.

I just checked my stats for the first time in ages and found these little gems from people who I am quite sure discovered that my blog was not, indeed, the font of knowledge regarding their specific queries:

third trimester ultrasound shows short femur and humorous - why yes, when you're freaking out, it helps to find something humorous. Pretty sure that wasn't what you were looking for, tho.

bouncing boob - can you imagine searching for something vaguely porn-ish and stumbling on The Grail? yeah... bet you were disappointed, too.

quiver full minded site: - oh my. I'm not what you're looking for, either, am I? Sure, my mind is full.. usually with fluff and nonsense, but it's generally full. My quiver? Not so full. My mindset? Not so quiverful either. I am quite sure there are a zillion quiverful blogs out there, and yet... mine merited this search.

shopping and organizing - heh. ok, this one made me laugh so hard I snorted. If you look in the dictionary, my picture is about as far from 'shopping and organizing' as it gets. I suck royally at both.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Does procrastination make me a bad mom already?

I really don't have much to say these days and I feel bad about that.

Nothing's new, or changed, or anything like that... which leaves me with two choices: either wait til I have something actual to say, or bang out a superbly boring post about nothing.

Neither is an appealing choice, but I'm going with the latter.

I'm trying desperately to focus on the future here instead of worrying about the present - only three months to go til I can worry about a babe in my arms instead of a babe in my belly. Somehow, I think it will be easier to worry about the babe in my arms since I can, you know, actually look at him/her and be reassured rather than debate if it's been long enough since my last kick that I need to break out the doppler.

I'm still having a hard time with the reality that this may, indeed, lead to a babe in my arms. Relatively soon.

And I'm having lots of trouble doing the usual preparing-for-baby rituals.

We haven't picked out a name.

I have barely bought anything, nor do I feel like I should be shopping.

I have yet to send for my records from my old OB so that my current one can actually discuss birth options with me.

I have not even thought about signing up for birthing classes.

.. and so I worry - am I subconsciously trying to tell myself something by NOT preparing for Rice's arrival?

Am I in denial because admitting that I am, indeed, getting closer also means that B's deployment date is looming as well?

Or am I just scared to death that overplanning would be jinxing myself?

I did arrange for G to stay with my parents whenever little RiceCake debuts... but that was a 10-second conversation, hardly a massive amount of planning... something along the lines of "Hey, ma, it's ok if G stays with you when Rice is born, right?" yes, I do call the baby Rice in my real life

.. and as for overplanning, I think I can explain away all the rest of my not-planning.

The name thing.. we've got a name. We may even use it. We didn't find anything else that was appealing, so it's a frontrunner by default. Having scoured two separate baby books and finding very few names we actually liked, we sort of figured that it's this one or nothing. Re-reading the books in case I missed something... well, that sounds pretty boring, doesn't it?

So I haven't bought much.. I don't need much. I bought the few big items I wanted to replace, but the fact is, I saved everything that was G's as a babe.. so the only shopping I'll need to do is if Rice does indeed turn out to be a girl... then I'll need clothes that aren't blue... since all I need at this point are gender-specific items... there's no desire to shop.

As for the records and birth options... I'm ambivalent about birth choices. I have so many conflicting emotions about V*BAC vs planned section, it's no surprise that I'm passively procrastinating by not requesting my records. I suspect this subject will be a blog-post of its own in the future, so I'll leave out all the reasoning here.

.. which brings me to the birthing classes. I dutifully signed up for those during my pregnancy with G.. and it was a total waste of money. We made it to ONE class. By the time the second class rolled around, I was three floors above it, on the maternity ward, holding my newborn. Throw in the fact that B is not going to be consistently around to take a class with me, and even if he were, he hardly paid attention to the one class we attended (his only input on the subject of helping me relax in labor was "baby, just get an epidural, you'll feel better") .. and you'll see why I'm not chomping at the bit and buying new publicly-presentable pillow cases for the much-anticipated class. I have thought about attending solo, but I don't think I'd learn anything useful. I (briefly) considered asking a friend or relative to come with me, but that sort of implies I want them as a labor coach... which I do not*. I am not a person who believes that a birth should involve a standing-room-only crowd.. or any kind of crowd. I know it works for some, but for me, I just want to be left alone. B knows this, which is why my labor with G involved him watching a baseball game, and taking a nap. I can think of several people I'd allow in to view a cesarean, but very, very few that I'd invite to a vaginal birth. Judging by hospital policy (liberal visitation during labor/vag birth and only one person allowed in for a section), I've got that ass-backwards from the popular opinion, but I'm often ass-backwards from popular opinion, and birth is no time to start conforming, right?

So.. really, my birth ambivalence isn't really ambivalent. It's practical, given the situation.

All the little preparing-for-baby things that most people do, aren't really necessary here. At least not yet.

I am very anxious to get everything set up for Rice's arrival.. but it's just too early. I have three months to go... so assembling a crib, and setting up the car seat, organizing the baby clothes or even packing a hospital bag.. all of that seems premature. I will get it all done, just not now.

.. and yes, admitting that July is getting closer IS admitting that B will be leaving. I'd be in denial if I didn't admit that Rice's birth and B's deployment are all tied in together in my mind. I'm sure that contributes in its own way.

*I've given this a lot of thought while debating what to do if B is out to sea during the Blessed Event.. the one person who I would like with me is my sister.. which may seem strange given our current relationship. Probably I should blog this out because it's complex.. will do that in the future... at any rate, it's not a feasible option to have her with me, or I'd ask.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Status of the R...

The Cold - still here. It went away for a few days during the arctic Easter weekend, but is back today now that it's practically Spring again.

I'm chalking this one up to allergies and throwing up the white flag. I can't win this war without medication, and I'm still not comfortable with that, so... I anticipate many days of stuffy noses and sniffles. On the bright side, if I generally look sick all the time, people will avoid me and I won't have to deal with the horror of having a stranger pet my stomach.

.. not that I think that would happen - I guess I give off those 'leave me alone' vibes because I have never - ever - had someone touch my belly without asking. I'm talking friends and family asking. Strangers just avoid me. I'm just really friendly-looking apparently.

Rice is still kicking. I've noticed a pattern.. A day or so of serious baby mambo complete with rolls, kicks and jumps ALL day.. and then a day of an occasional kick here and there interspersed with a whole lotta nothing. At least I've gotten wise to the pattern now and am not freaking out every other day.

Well, mostly not freaking out. Wouldn't be me if this were all calm, huh?

I think I invent things to worry about.

I had a horrible dream last night.. I dreamed I got my period. Really heavy for an hour or so and then nothing. In my dream, my friend casually mentioned that maybe I was pregnant since it stopped.. to which I replied "I'm six months pregnant, that's why I'm freaking out!!"

(Oddly, in the dream, the first thought I had when my period started was "I guess it didn't happen this month" .. so even though my subconscious was well aware that I'm six months into this gestational thing, I still had that knee-jerk IF reaction. I don't think that ever goes away..)

To get back to my point, this was the first pregnancy-related nightmare I've had in a while. I had to remind myself that this whole freaking out nightmare worry thing is because I have a doctor's appointment this afternoon. (well, ok, nurse practitioner, I still haven't rated a viewing by an actual doctor)

I detest OB appointments. When I was pregnant with G, I had the worst doom-and-gloom OB practice. They were constantly finding fault with things I did, had the most dire predictions and generally reduced me to tears at least twice a month. They were condescending, and dismissive and just not the kind of office I needed*.

I don't know why I still dread appointments. I really like my NP now. She nicely balances out my worries.. there's something about the way she can tease me about my paranoia that makes me feel like I'm worried about nothing, without making me feel like a total idiot. She'll order random tests just to make me feel better. I dig that. It's exactly what I need... now if I could just get her to understand that it's NOT too early for braxton-hicks, she'd be perfect.

.. but I am still apprehensive about appointments.

Even so, I honestly feel like today will be fine, that things will look good.

*with one exception - the doctor who delivered G, who was absolutely fabulous.. to this day I still think of her as one of the most caring doctors I've ever seen.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

I am sick.

I think it's allergies.. even though I've never had allergies before, this seems to fit the symptoms.

Either that or it's a raging cold that coincidentally gets worse with any exposure to the outside world, and all the pollen contained therein.

..So I'm sniffling and sneezing, coughing and peeing myself (yes, I know that one's not cold-related, but it's still one more irritation I'm blaming on this sickness) .. and I'm fucking miserable.

BUT.. I don't have anything to take.

This afternoon, I set out to find what medications are safe to take during pregnancy.

Had a little trouble with that.

Found a few things that were 'probably safe' but nothing that screamed out 'definitely safe'.

Oh hell... now what?

Well, now I just refuse to take anything.

I think it's an IF side effect. Even the stuff that my friends have been assured is 'safe in pregnancy' is not safe enough for me. It feels like a risk, and any perceived risk is not one I'm willing to take.

I suppose I could call my OB tomorrow and beg for relief.. I could dig up the pregnancy handbook they gave me and look for the list of acceptable meds..

.. but then I'd worry.

Everything makes me worry.

90% of it is baseless worry, but I still can't shake it.

'S ok - a cold can only last so long, right?

I mean, yeah, allergies can last for a while, but wouldn't I get used to them after the first month or three?