Tuesday, December 28, 2010

My kids are perfect and yours suck

There's a dirty little secret of the mommy world. It's not secret if you're a mom. But others seem to be blissfully oblivious.

Step a little closer, though, and I'll share. Ready?

Moms are HUGE assholes. Competitive, horrible bitches that will make you want to kill them and/or yourself on a daily basis.

Oh, of course, not all moms are this way. But there are an awful lot of them. And be prepared, because they will do everything possible to make you feel like shit. And they are everywhere.

Example: I read this comment today on a post about scheduling c-sections or inductions for tax purposes. Do I think this is a good idea by any means? No. For a plethora of reasons I won't even start to get into. But here's what Anonymous Internet Bitch Mom thought -

"Well, women in developed countries are so uneducated about their bodies and birth anyway, what do you expect from a country with such a high c-section rate. I have never known of anyone who had a c-section for any reason that wasn't selfish or stupid."

And then there are the comments on breastfeeding posts. Here are two lovely examples:

"It's disgusting to breastfeed in public. These women are just attention whores. That's what bottles are for. I would proudly tell off a woman nursing in public, I have kids, they don't need to see PORN when we go out."

"Breastfeeding is a BIRTHRIGHT. I struggled for months to nurse. Every baby is entitled to breastmilk, and every mom should have to provide it. If your job doesn't accommodate breastfeeding, maybe it's time to find a new job."

Or the great circ debate:

"If you don't circ your boy, when he goes to high school and gets laughed at and has lasting psychological issues, it'll be all your fault for not doing what you were supposed to to his penis. Uncirc'd penises are gross and they are smelly."

"If you circ your boy, you have participated in genital mutilation. You should be arrested."

And don't even get me started on vaccines, diapering, or - GASP - occasionally eating fast food. You might as well just kill your child now and save them the slow death they will face from chemicals/obesity/autism/cancer/toppled over Happy Meal toys. It's the humane thing to do.


Look, I get it. Raising your child is one of the most important things you do in life. And you have such a brief window to turn them into a decent, caring, humane person. There's this wonderful being in your care and it's your job. It's all you. What if you fuck up? How tragic will that be? No one wants to be the mom of the serial killer or the drunkard or the asshole. We all want to raise cheerful, healthy, functional members of society. Ones that hopefully never have plaque and learn from the mistakes we once made.

But we can't save them from everything.

True story: your kid will have a broken heart. They will have times where they are mean, or selfish, or screw up epically. They will refuse to learn from your mistakes. They will believe they are impervious to danger or injury. They will stop thinking that you are the wonderfully perfect person with all the answers who can solve every problem that they have. They will likely be a sullen moody teen eventually. There's not a damn thing you can do to stop it.

But what we can stop is making every other mother out there feel like shit if they do something differently than we do. We can keep our judgments - because, yeah, we'll still have them; we're not perfect - to ourselves. We can stop assuming that everyone who does anything differently than us is uneducated and abusive. In fact, we can start caring more about preventing true abuse rather than shoving our choices down everyone else's throat as smugly as possible. When we do feel the need to educate, we can do it gently, knowing that once, this was probably foreign to us, too.

We can be nicer, better, more supportive people. We can do it in part for our kids. Because no one wants their child to grow up to be the competitive dickhead parent that everyone else loathes. But if that's what the learn from you, that's what they will become. That or a nun, after deciding to rebel as much as possible. One of those.

And at the end of the day, your love and support and time will be important to your child. Not how you birthed them, or how you fed them in the first few years, or whether they were in cloth diapers or if they occasionally had a HFCS laden soda.

And if your kid turns out less screwed up than the really trashy one from Teen Mom or any of the cast members of the Jersey Shore, you have succeeded. ;P

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Stranger Danger

My oldest is an extremely friendly kid.

She will be out in public and happily start discussing almost anything with anyone. She'll yell out from inside the cart to random people - asking them their name, telling them hers, telling them mine.

On Saturday, we were at WalMart (otherwise known as the holiday epicenter of hell) and she selected this sandwich lunch pack thing with a sandwich, cheese stick, apple, juice, and animal crackers. And she was sooooooooo proud of it. So proud that she felt the need to show EVERYONE that came within 5 feet of our cart.

We pass by a middle aged lady.
Rhi: "Hi! I'm Rhiannon. What's your name?"
Lady: looks at her like she's lost her mind, turns and walks quickly in the opposite direction
Rhi: "Wait! You didn't see my lunch!" holds up box and waves it.

Shane LOATHES this. I caught him lecturing her about it. "Stop showing people that! You're not supposed to talk to strangers!!!!"

I hate that shit.

I talked to strangers as a kid. I remember being just as friendly as Rhi. I remember not really being concerned with things like kidnapping or pedophiles or drug dealers. Somehow, I managed to get to a whopping 28 years old without being axe murdered and raped after I ran off with a stranger.

I know that sounds flippant, and, trust me, I don't mean for it to be. Yes, kids get kidnapped. Yes, they get molested. Yes, it's tragic. Yes, I, like every other parent, worry about it happening to my kids.

But I see a big difference in the boundaries I try to instill. Call me a bad parent, I don't stop my kids from talking to people. Especially since my kid is three, and I'm right there, parenting her. Is someone going to snatch her from my cart and run off while I'm right next to her because she said hi? I guarantee you they will be beaten, possibly to death, with some frozen chicken if they try. Rhi knows damn well not to go off with a stranger. But I refuse to stop her from being nice. I refuse to instill the suspicion that all people are bad and that she should trust no one. I'd love for her to be at least 5 before she's that jaded.

I also think about it this way. If, god forbid, my kid was lost, what are the chances that the nearest adult would be a pedo/kidnapper/murderer? Probably unlikely. So she'd probably be in more danger by wandering around alone, looking for me and refusing to get help from someone (who is likely completely benign.) I want her, if we're separated at WalMart or something, to TELL someone.

Also, stranger danger discounts the fact that most children are harmed by people they know. My kid is more likely to be abused by somebody that I know right now than by some random person. Statistically, she's most likely to be kidnapped by her dad than a stranger (not that I think he would ever do so.)

I think it's sad that people turn away from my perky, cheerful child in the store. And I'm sure that part of it is the concern that somehow I'll take offense to them being friendly to my child. But I won't discourage her from being a happy, amiable soul.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Morning After

I'm ashamed of my country today. Yes, you, America. I'M ASHAMED OF YOU.

It's not, as you might believe given my left leanings, that the House went red last night. Whatever on that. Not my choice, but I'm not angry or ashamed of it.

No, I'm ashamed of HOW and WHY it went red.

Last night, political commentators were discussing how a LARGE MAJORITY of people, in exit polls, said that they pretty much voted straight Republican. One of the commentators summed it up by saying that, "In this election, the color of the jersey was more important than the name on the back of it."

Say WHAT?!?!?

America, it is NEVER ok to just decide to vote straight ticket. It's not. It's how we get awful people in the government. It's how we get people who are easily seduced by special interests. It's how we get elected officials who are total crazy people (I'm looking at you, Rand Paul.)

I won't even get started on Prop 19 or the judges ousted for voting for same sex marriage, except to say that we are worrying about all the wrong damn things if pot and gay marriage are our huge concerns here.

That all said, I am interested in seeing what happens with all the turnover. Put your money where your mouth is, Republicans and Democrats and WORK TOGETHER. Do SOMETHING.

Friday, October 1, 2010


Hi, I'm Star. And I could already be dying.

I wish that I could laugh now and say that I'm joking. I'm not.

My grandmother, on my mother's side, had a disease called Huntington's. You may or may not have heard of it. It's a degenerative brain disease. It usually starts out with involuntary movements and leads to dementia and ultimately death. There isn't a really decent treatment. There is no cure.

If your parent has it, you have a 50% chance of having it as well.

My grandmother had it. She died from it. My uncle currently has it. And my mom? Well, we don't know for sure. She seems ok. But who knows if she is or not? She tends to repeat stories - is that a degeneration of her brain, or just a normal "people who are getting older repeat shit a lot" thing? When she talks about insomnia, is it a sleep disorder like the ones commonly attributed to Huntington's? Or is it just because we've had some really stressful shit in our family this year?

So I'm currently in a Schrodinger's Cat situation. Until my mother is diagnosed or I'm tested, I both do and don't have Huntington's. And as I get older, this terrifies me.

You see, I watched my grandmother degenerate with Huntington's. She didn't recognize us. She was utterly unable to take care of herself. She couldn't dress herself, or go to the bathroom on her own. She would get into her adult diapers and smear fecal matter all over her room. She would randomly yell at us. She would call us names.

And we were young, my sister and me. And while looking back on it now, I realize how heartbreaking it was, and how scared and confused she probably was, my young self was bitter. Or embarrassed. Or one of 800,000 other negative emotions that shame me terribly now.

And I'm so scared.

Huntington's generally begins between 35-44. You have maybe 20 years after that. And most of those really aren't wonderful years. They're years where you lose your mind, lose your bodily functions.

Lose yourself.

I'm 28 years old. I'm almost 29. That gives me, if I am carrying this disease, a scant 6 years of having full hold of myself.

And it's not just losing myself that I worry about.

Remember how I told you how I felt about my grandmother? Yes, I'm ashamed of it now. Totally. However, those memories are so strong that I have a hard time remembering my grandmother any other way. Her as a demented, dying woman has colored everything about her in my mind.

If this happens to me - if I have this disease - is this how Shane and the kids will remember me? That is my worst fear. Being a burden to my family. I don't want Rhi, or Keira, or Shane to remember me as the crazy bitch who painted the walls with poop, or the woman who came in with her clothing inside out and only one fake boob in to their party. If I were to die, I would want them to remember the good things I did. But if I have Huntington's, is that even possible?

I'm sure right now you're all thinking, "Jeez, Star. Get tested. Then you're not unsure. And you can cope."

Here's the issue with that. Again, if I do have Huntington's, I will get demented and die. The end. There are no other paths in my choose your own adventure. So why find out? Why have that hanging, daily, over my head for what could be my last good decade?

Also, it's hard to get tested. Because Huntington's is a death sentence, you must go through psychological testing. It can be very lengthy. And expensive. Remember how I'm a broke college student/part time peer counselor?

And what the fuck difference will it make? If I get the test, and I'm positive, it's not like I'm Queen Latifah in the Last Holiday. I can't suddenly pack up everything and travel the world, see all the things I'll miss out on later. Can't go follow my dreams all crazily. Not like there's a Make a Wish foundation for low income moms.

And I don't trust myself. I don't trust myself to take knowledge of impending death and use it wisely. I'm worried that I'd use it to justify selfishness. Or that I'd wallow in self pity. If I'm gonna go nuts and die, I don't want that to happen. I don't want to be that person. But I can't say for sure that I wouldn't succumb to that. :/

Monday, September 27, 2010

Why I'm (apparently) not a lactivist

Today, I was on one of my favorite breastfeeding support Facebook pages. The moderator of the page posted a link to this article. I read it, and agreed wholeheartedly.

Then I read a comment that basically said that you can't be ok with any kind of formula feeding and still be a breastfeeding advocate or lactivist.

Most of you know by now that I work as a peer counselor. And I advocate breastfeeding every single day. I think breastfeeding is normal, and should be encouraged. I think more companies should allow babies at work, so that breastfeeding continues longer. I proudly nurse in public. I'm all for extended breastfeeding. I want to make sure that every woman has the tools she needs to meet her breastfeeding goal. I want to stamp out every silly breastfeeding myth out there.

But there are exceptions.

I myself had to supplement with formula. Several times, with Miss Rhiannon. It sucked. I had been so sure that everything would work out well that I can remember standing in the formula aisle in tears, feeling so judged, like I was a terrible, terrible mother. I hated every second of supplementing. I worked so, so, so hard to get Rhi back to just breastmilk. But I did it. Know why? Because, in the end, formula feeding didn't make me a terrible mom. But NOT feeding my child so that I could keep some silly ideal alive totally would have.

And before anyone scoffs at that, yes, that *has* happened. I remember reading of a vegan family who were so against using any animal products (including breastmilk) that they used a homemade formula and killed their child by malnutrition. Killed their baby. The cause was so important to them that they allowed their child to DIE for it.

I see moms daily that want to breastfeed. And most of them do. But some of them don't wind up being able to. Sometimes a well-intended bottle turns into horrible nipple confusion. Sometimes they're victims of a sexual trauma that makes breastfeeding a horrible experience for them. Sometimes they're simply low income and working at jobs that make it next to impossible for them to pump.

It reeks of over-privilege to say that all mothers need to breastfeed exclusively unless they literally cannot produce milk. Because, you know what? There are a multitude of factors that lead to women using formula. And not all of them are as cut and dried as some lactivists want us all to believe.

I am a proud breastfeeding advocate. I am pro-breastfeeding. I am a future lactation consultant. I am, and will remain, committed to helping moms breastfeed and normalizing breastfeeding. But if being a lactivist means shoving all moms into groups based on hasty generalizations, well, then, lactivists can suck it.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

9/11 Nine Years Later

I remember the horror of that day. I woke up like any other, decided to be irresponsible and skip my first class to get some extra sleep. Pushed myself out of bed, took a shower. Turned on the news. A generic anchorman was talking about a plane having hit the World Trade Center. It was speculated that it might have been an accident at that point - faulty navigational equipment or something. But even as he was saying this, another plane streaked in from the side of the screen and smashed into the second tower.

It was immediately apparent that this was no accident.

I remember calling my father - he travels a lot for business and I was a typical 19 year old, paying next to no attention to what this schedule was. So, for a moment, I was terrified that one of those planes could have contained my dad.

He wasn't, thankfully. But not everyone was as lucky as me. So many people lost fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, cousins, lovers, friends, grandparents...people they loved...that day.

The worst part of it was that these people were innocent. They weren't military personnel. They weren't people who were in the business of putting themselves in a dangerous position, knowing that there's a possibility of injury to them. Nope, these were just normal people, going on their daily routines.

I didn't go to class that day. Instead, I watched TV. I watched as stories unfolded. I watched as shell shocked New Yorkers wandered around covered in ash, as people jumped or fell from buildings. I watched the buildings topple. I watched people die, which was a pretty terrible thing. I felt powerless, and sad, and frightened, and afraid.

But I watched something else, too.

I saw stories unfold of average people working together to help others. Firefighters and police and aid workers putting themselves in peril to help rescue those that could be rescued. Citizens pitching in, even though there were many, many inherent dangers. I heard about another plane, which had crashed far from the location it was supposed to impact and heard the moving, heroic story of the passengers who stood up to the terrorists. Their heroic actions ensured their deaths, but also kept the death toll from rising further.

People all over the country did what they could. They sent money, they gave blood, they did everything they could to personally help out with the tragedy. Maybe they couldn't be in New York, but they took the steps they could to help.

I remember being so proud to be an American that day. I was so impressed by how people were working together, in spite of differences, to help their fellow countrymen. United We Stood.

But it's nine years later, and we are divided again. We have let our differences define us, without letting our similarities bind us. We not only define ourselves, seeming almost proud to break away into small, neatly labeled groups - we do it to others, too. Bleeding heart liberals. Muslim terrorists. Crazy Tea Partiers. Blacks. Whites. Young. Old. Republican. Democrat. For the mosque. Against it.

We will always, as a country, have differences. No one will ever agree over everything.

But nine years ago, we all pushed our differences aside to show everyone what we could do as a country. We showed everyone that we had a backbone of steel, and that, when it came down to it, we were a country united. A country that would help and love their fellow citizens, no matter what labels they had.

We need to find that again. We need to find our ability to compromise and agree again, our ability to work together. Because when it comes down to it, we're Americans. The other categories don't matter when we all want the country to succeed. When we look first at our similarities, our differences are less important.

To those who lost their lives and loved ones in 9/11, we have not forgotten. We will never forget. To those who are still here, I leave you with this quote:

"I know that there is strength in the differences between us. And I know there is comfort where we overlap." -Ani DiFranco

Let's find the strength and comfort in the country again.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Hey, everyone

So there's this place called bumbleweenursing.com, and they have AMAZING nursing clothes. Seriously, they're gorgeous. And today the contest is for a nursing top, and I need new shirts, as my boobs have eclipsed the ones I currently own. But I'm also poor. Soooo...here's the link to the giveaway. If you enter, please put that you were referred by me (the e-mail is star.rodblog@gmail.com) Then I get 10 free entries, woot! Thanks, folks. :)


It's a new thing every day, so I'm going to post each day's one here! This is the next one, here. 9/8/10

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Sometimes, when I hear the outrage over the WBC protesting at funerals of soldiers, it makes me a little sick.

It's not that I think the WBC is in any way a decent organization - I think they're proprietors of hatred - and it's not that it doesn't completely sicken me that they protest at military funerals. It does. They're probably the biggest douchebags on the planet for what they do. I can't imagine, as a parent, how ridiculously upset I would be at someone protesting my child's funeral. I can imagine launching myself at the nearest WBC member and trying, in grief fueled rage to take them down.

I begrudgingly give them that they have the Constitutionally protected right to be such asshats, but, really, I wish they would just stop.


The Westboro Baptist Church has been picketing funerals since something like 1995. It's hard to find an exact start date, because, quite frankly, prior to them picketing military funerals, very few people gave a damn.

What? Why wouldn't people care that an extremist group picketed funerals and said horrible things and disturbed the mourners?

Because they started out picketing funerals of gay people. Or people who had died of AIDS. And we, as a country, turned a big old blind eye to it, for the most part.

Even in 1998, when they protested the funeral of murdered 21 year old Matthew Shepard (whose gruesome story can be found here if you're not aware of it) and drew national attention, there wasn't the huge attention paid to them that there is now. Hells Angels certainly didn't go to the funeral to counter protest, although some of Shepard's friends did. The WBC even had plans to build a monument to Shepard entering hell. And put it in a park. Nice, right?

And there were several other funerals they picketed, of dead gay men and women, many who had been murdered, that went pretty much below the radar. You know, until roughly 2006, when they protested a military funeral and all hell broke loose. The Respect for Fallen Heroes Act was signed that year, counter protests sprouted up in droves, people suddenly gave a shit.

People should have given a shit before, too.

Phelps got almost as much media coverage after the Shepard protest - where the fuck were the caring people of America then? Why weren't we stepping in then to make sure that bereaved family members weren't suffering from the picketing these asshats were doing? Because these people weren't soldiers, they weren't worthy of respect?

Screw that.

Look, I hold in high esteem fallen soldiers. I recognize what they do for this country, and I have a lot of respect for the job. And the Westboro Baptist Church should be drowned out at these funerals. There should be legislation keeping them a few hundred feet back, in respect for the mourners.

But that should apply to *all* funerals. Not just military ones.

A funeral isn't for the dead. The dead are just that. They don't care what their funeral is like. It's for the people left behind. For them to lay the person they loved to rest, to have some closure, to grieve. And that should be respected. Across the board. Military families don't grieve more than the families of anyone else who dies and leaves loved ones behind. Pain isn't less intense for a family even if the circumstances of the death were less tragic. Death is still death, and it still brings heartbreak to the living.

So, yes, counter protest the WBC. Sign legislation protecting the mourners. Give support to the parents and family and friends. Let them know that the WBC is a small, small minority of people gladdened by their loss, but that most Americans are sane, and rational, and can empathize with their pain. But do it across the board, not just for military families. Do it for everyone that this awful group wants to protest.

Friday, August 20, 2010

"I'm afraid of Americans"

Not all of them, of course. But there's an element, a group that terrifies me here.

They're all over the media lately. They talk and talk and talk and talk. They spew misinformation at best, blatant lies at worst. They infect the brains of even the most rational people I know. The only thing they bring to the table is hatred, and I'm quite concerned that some of their more extreme followers will resort to violent actions.

And I don't mean Muslims.

I could write an impassioned blog detailing all of the misinformation about the "Ground Zero Mosque" (a misnomer if I ever heard one.)

But it wouldn't matter.

People masquerading as concerned Americans, wolves in patriots clothing, have spread so many lies so far and so wide that most of the people who really, really need to hear the truth wouldn't listen. They can't handle the truth, to be cliched. They can't handle it because they've been whipped into a frenzy of anger, hatred, emotion.

A frenzy of lies.

I worry for America, I really do. I love this country. I think I was very very lucky to be born here.

But we are on the cusp of something very very bad.

People are more and more and more angry. And all too often, that anger is misdirected, stoked by misinformation. We let politics separate us. Worst, they're not even our true politics. They're what two groups blow up and distort in a bid to get our vote.

Granted, that's not new. People have disagreed with politicians as long as there as been government. And misinformation has been spread for just as long.

But this is 2010, people. If you can read this, you have access to a wealth of information from many, many different sources. You can fact check. You can educate yourself.

There is no reason that in the age of the internet, that anyone rational should still believe that Obama wasn't born here, or that Bush plotted 9/11, or that the "mosque" is Islam's way of flipping us off.

But we're lazy in this country. Physically and intellectually. We like our food fast, our news pre-slanted, our enemies painted with bright red by whatever pundit we're listening to that day.

This has got to stop. If we don't start caring, if we don't stop being lazy, if we don't educate ourselves and at least try to find a common ground...

Right now, the US is chaos theory personified. And we're either going to move to a higher order or disintegrate.

I encourage everyone to look into the Coffee Party which is all about people coming together, being civil, and being united instead of divided despite differences.

But don't take my word for it. Seriously. Don't. Educate yourself. Check your facts.

(And please god stop saying that Barack Hussein (always emphasized, of course)Obama is a non-American Muslim. Honestly. It's not third grade, stop allowing a fucked up game of telephone to control what you think.)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Perspectives: When "Natural" =/= "Easy"

I'm honored to be a part of the Breastfeeding Blog Carnival hosted by The Leaky B@@b. It's World Breastfeeding Week and the carnival theme is "Perspectives: Breastfeeding from Every Angle." Visit The Leaky B@@b for more perspectives on breastfeeding.

Hi, my name is Star, and I used to think breastfeeding was disgusting.

I like to think of myself as a breastfeeding success story.

My mom nursed me, but, obviously, I don't remember that far back. Growing up, no one ever nursed around me. The few babies I saw were fed by bottle. I thought that that was just, you know, how it was done.

When I was sixteen, my sister had her first baby. I went to the hospital to see my new nephew, and there he was – attached to her breast?!? Ewwwwwww, sister boob! My teenage self was so horrified. I spent the visit doing everything I could to not look at her while she nursed.

Fast forward seven years.

I'm married now, and, after trying for a veryveryveryvery long time, expecting. I'm so enamored by my tiny little ultrasound pictures, and the small bump I'm pretending I already have. I'm buying up all sorts of baby stuff and maternity clothes, and I'm loving every second of this experience so much.

I'm really concerned about her car seat. I want to get a really good one. While researching that, I find, inexplicably, a bunch of stuff about breastfeeding. The more I read, the more it intrigues me. The health benefits for my baby and me, the amazing components of breastfeeding...I decide, right away, to give this a go. The websites all seem to talk about how natural and beautiful it is, and I'm so excited.

In my mind, “natural and beautiful” becomes “easy” and I'm shocked when, in the hospital, my baby won't latch on. After three consultations with the lactation consultant and a begrudgingly given nipple shield (that “you'll want to wean her off of as soon as you can, dear”) we're on our way. Yay! It's time for the natural, beautiful, EASY part!

Except it's day 4 and I have no milk. And my beautiful baby has dropped 12% of her body weight. And now the nurses are pushing formula. A lot.

So I tearfully feed her it. And she responds happily, and gains back some weight, and we can leave. When we get home, and my milk comes in, I will get back to breastfeeding, and all will be fantastic.

Day 5. At home. No milk. I cry to my husband that I'm somehow faulty, that this isn't right, and how the hell can I ever get milk when the baby's not nursing anymore? I dissolve into a flood of tears, while he looks on helplessly.


But...I'm horribly engorged, and she can't latch on, and I don't know what to do. So I go to her pediatrician, who is (luckily) very pro-breastfeeding. And he helps me out a little, and also refers me to a lactation consultant.

Except now the baby has nipple confusion. But slowly, steadily, we work through that. And the next few months pass in a beautiful blur.

At 5 months, we go in for a pediatrician appointment. And my daughter has fallen off the growth chart. Even the one for breastfed babies. Her doctor asks me questions about her eating, orders a couple of tests, and says he wants to see us in a month.

A month later, she's even further off the chart, and none of the tests showed anything wrong. So more tests are ordered. And then a five day stay in the hospital for us two, where she will be weighed before and after every nursing to see how much she's getting.

About an ounce – maybe two - on each side, as it turns out. My pediatrician orders a daily LC consultation in the hospital, and, until we can make what he is pretty sure is my supply issue better, he wants to supplement formula. She refuses a bottle, so we try sippies. This seems acceptable to her. But I can't help feeling like a big huge failure. Why is this so hard for me? I just want to nurse my child, damn it!

On top of all this, the reason we were admitted to the hospital is classified as failure to thrive. Fun fact: in my state, this means an automatic DFS case is opened on you. So, in the hospital, we get the first visit from DFS. I am lucky; this woman is the sweetest person ever. She asks a bunch of questions, I answer truthfully, and she makes notes. I'm very upset, so I'm stuttering and sounding ridiculous. Eventually, she leaves, promising to come back later. She doesn't, though. I find out after the fact that they questioned our parents as teachers person, the people at WIC, and someone from a state program for stay at home moms that I participated in, all of whom reported that I was, in fact, a decent mother. The case was dropped. Not that I knew that while I was utterly stressed in the hospital.

A month later, after eleven hundred pounds of Mother's Milk tea and fenugreek and pumping up a storm, I'm producing milk well again. Enough milk to cut out formula entirely. I feel more accomplished than if I'd won a gold medal. My daughter nurses until she's a little over a year, at which point she self weans.

My breastfeeding experience was fraught with all sorts of issues. It was hard work, and stressful, and one of the most time consuming things I've ever done in my life.

I have no regrets about it.

I'm not going to lie – parts of my experience were dreadful. But the benefits far outweighed the stress. My daughter and I not only got the health benefits of nursing, but the time we spent, and the act of nursing, bonded us so strongly. We still have a strong, I believe unseverable, bond. And some of my favorite memories involve us nursing – the delighted smiles at my breast, the nighttime feedings where we curled up together and took comfort in each other's presence, the ability to make everything better so easily for my daughter. The beauty of that experience – likely already forgotten by her – will be something I cherish forever.

I'm now nursing, and creating those memories, with my second. Even though this nursing experience has gone much smoother, I'm not worried about issues that might pop up. I know I can fight like a tiger to have this with my child, and I know how worth it it is. So I'm just enjoying the ride.

Who'd have known that someone who once found nursing disgusting would have such a turn around?

(And, on a side note, I've nursed both of my daughters in front of my younger brother. The first time around, he was 12. This time, he's 16. And he's never had an “OMG, gross, sister boobs!” moment. This gives me incredible hope that by openly nursing around him, I've helped create someone who will be respectful of lactating mothers everywhere.)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Just Be Happy With Who You Are

I've heard that statement, or one like it, a billion times and you probably have too. But it never disturbed me until today.

I was trying to figure out what my BMI is right now (let's just say not good :/) and I happened upon some forum. The girl was 5'7" and 180lbs. She was asking how to know what size frame she had and how to know if she was within a decent weight limit.

Someone posted the information on frame sizes, and she identified herself as having a large frame. So someone posted this, "Well, you're like 15 pounds above the range for your height, but that's not that bad. You should just be happy with who you are."

So this girl is trying to lose weight and be healthier, is looking for the right range to do it in, and the only feedback she gets is that it's ok and just to be happy? Seriously?

Yes, 15 pounds isn't that much. Pfft, I *wish* I only had 15 pounds to lose (and might I add that large framed people suck - my frame is classified as small, even though I'm super tall, and it means a 10 pound difference to the BMI charts for me. Damn it.) But 15 pounds extra is still excess weight, and if someone is trying to lose it, you should ENCOURAGE them, not advocate that they ignore it! Jeez, this chick had previous posts and she was really looking for healthy weight loss ideas . It wasn't like she was anorexic or trying to binge and purge to lose weight!

I wonder, sometimes, if the "just be happy as you are" movement is causing lots of unintended trouble. If I was complacently happy, I wouldn't be going back to school, or trying to make my life (and my family's) healthier. Would I be happier? Maybe short term. But long term, I imagine it would cause more stress, lower quality of life, and less happiness.

I try to think of what to tell my girls. Because I *do* want them to have high self esteem and love who they are. But I also want them to strive, to always reach for improvement. To want to be the best that they can be.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Breaking Point

I'm stressed out beyond belief.

We bought this new trailer almost a month ago. I was so excited when we found it - it's the perfect size, a better layout for watching the girls and getting stuff done, compatible with everything we have.

It's also not here yet.

Now, keep in mind, we bought this trailer so that we could quickly be in a nicer place. We *wanted* to build a home. This was a compromise to get us happily and safely through winter so we could take a longer time building our dream home next spring/summer.

The past three weeks, the mover (whom we've already paid most of the money to) has put us off. And put us off. And put us off. I've been trying to be very nice about this. But I'm sort of done being nice.

Today, I snapped at him a little (when he blew us off again) and told him that it needed to be done next week. After much hemming and hawing, he actually set a time up with me for next weekend, and he also said he's going to try to bring the trailer over here earlier than that so all he has to do is move the current one and pop the new one on this weekend. This is the first time he's been so forthcoming with details, or set up an actual time, so I'm cautiously optimistic.

What pisses me off, though, is that I had a bunch of stuff I could have done this weekend, but, instead, I stayed home and waited for this dude for no reason.

Also, as I may have mentioned 940000 other times, I HATE our current place. It sucks. We're cramped, mice get in regularly (although since my daughter's cat came here from my mom's house, that's actually diminished, even though he's outside) and I have no stove. I cook everything by toaster oven, crockpot, and electric griddle. You'd be shocked at how hard this can be.

And I'm tired. I'm just so tired of waiting.

Since we've been put off so many times, I find myself scared to do the things I have to do for us to move. Like pack. Because if I pack up our stuff, and he doesn't come, I have to unpack half of it for us to live. It's causing even more stress...the stress of being unprepared vs. the stress of undoing and redoing things, over and over and over and over.

So, basically, if I don't want to lose my mind, the new place has to be there this weekend. I think if it isn't, I'm not going to be able to contain my frustration. I think I will be bitchy, and yell, and I don't think it'll do any good whatsoever.

I'm not even sure why I'm writing this, except to vent.

Anyways, in happier news, look for my post in the Perspectives Blog Carnival to be posted this Friday. I'm SO excited. I've never participated in a blog carnival before! So watch for that. :)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

It's only Tuesday, but this has been the longest week ever.

Sunday, I came down with mastitis. For those of you unfamiliar (and how lucky you are) it's an infection. Of your boob.

And it makes you soooooo sick. I woke up Sunday evening shaking like a crackhead, demanding Shane turn down the ac, and took the hottest shower ever (I'm not convinced I turned the cold on at all, and am quite shocked that I don't have 3rd degree burns, honestly) which still felt like the Arctic.

People in igloos were shaking less than me, for serious.

And I looked awful. I caught a glimpse of myself in a mirror, and I seriously looked like I was on something. I was pale, with huge dark circles under my eyes. Also, since my fever induced delirium made me forget to actually wash my hair (instead, I conditioned it, twice) I had the stringiest mop of awful on my head ever.

Then I added to my "homeless woman on crack" look by layering no fewer than three shirts, two pairs of pants, and fuzzy socks...none of which matched, btw. And I don't mean like, pj mismatched. I mean, like, glaringly different colors and patterns combined to form something so WTF that even people of WalMart wouldn't have bought it as a serious fashion choice.

Of course, I felt like death, so I couldn't have cared less.

When I returned to bed, I moaned something incoherent at Shane which he (rightly) took as me begging him to hold onto me, so I could steal his body heat and stop shaking. During this, I also kept tearfully apologizing that I was inconveniencing him on his birthday (it was after midnight and thus his 34th birthday. But, really, who doesn't love to have sleep interrupted on their birthday to take care of their sick fiancee? It's the American dream.)

Oh, and I forgot to mention that my right breast was swollen to 2x the normal size and anytime anything touched it, I almost screamed.

Fun fact: it took my sickly self TWO HOURS to remember that ibuprofen existed and take some. Good times.

I woke up the next morning drenched in sweat (who knew dressing for the North Pole in 77 degree weather was a bad plan?) but better enough to go to my first day of work. Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond her control, my trainer was almost a half hour late. So I sat in a chair, having no clue what to do, and waited.

The actual work part was pretty good, and I stayed unsick enough to handle it.

Then I went to the doctor.

First, I waited 45 minutes beyond my scheduled time for anyone to see me. By this time, I felt awful again, and had, of course, forgotten all pain medicine at home. Good times. Oh, and while I was in the waiting room, there was also a woman there who kept spitting chunks of godknowswhat into a plastic pink thing in her lap.

Ten minutes before we're ready to go in, Keira lets out a HUGE fart. Suddenly, I feel something wet on my thighs. What the...? I looked down, and sure enough, my child had pooped so much that it had outleaked her diaper and gotten ALL over me. When this happened, I was holding her on my lap, so this ended up creating, after clean up, a huge wet spot right on my crotch. Fabulous.

I finally procured antibiotics and went home, where I pretty much decided that I didn't give a damn about anything. When Shane came home, I took to my bed with Keira and let him fend for himself and Rhi. I'm sure this pleased him greatly, as it was, again, his birthday. No cake or ice cream or gifts here. :/

Today wasn't as bad - mostly just hot and I forgot my debit card at home and couldn't go to the store to get some stuff - but it still feels like the longest week ever. Probably partially because I still don't quite feel 100% yet (although so much better than yesterday.) And also partially because if I get sick, everything goes to hell around here. There was a mess of dirty dishes, Rhiannon had taken out every toy she owns and threw them all over...ugh.

Speaking of which, tonight I told Rhi to clean up her toys. She didn't want to; she'd start, then stop and do something else. I probably asked her 4 times or so, and Shane asked her a few times, too. So I told her that I was cleaning the kitchen and that when I was done, if she hadn't picked up her toys, I was going to throw them away. You know what that brat said? Oh so casually, she said, "Ok, Mommy, throw them out. I want you to." Are you kidding me? How am I even supposed to get through to this kid? It's making my nuts, because she's three. She helps me wash dishes and mop and stuff - because she thinks it's fun - she damn sure can pick up her toys. She just doesn't want to, and I can't figure out a way to get her to. I've tried making it a game, I've tried asking, I've yelled, I've thrown away toys. Nothing bothers her! Infuriating. If any of you has any suggestions, please...I'm lost here.

Ugh. I'd better get off the internet and do something productive, like shower and lay out clothes for tomorrow. Goodnight, blog readers.

OH! I switched up some stuff here, and you can click little adjectives about my blog at the bottom if you don't want to actually comment, or if you think I'm totally profound or something (yeah right) you can share it. I also posted my blogroll for you all to see, because I follow some awesome people. :)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


I'm pretty disheartened today.

I read a story earlier about a couple. Both were blind. They had, a day after I had Keira, a lovely little girl. The mom got to "see" her baby emerge by feeling her crowning, and was so ecstatic to hear her newborn daughter's first whimpers and cries. The mom and dad were overjoyed by their new daughter, and the mom immediately tried to breastfeed her. In doing so, she accidentally covered her daughter's nostrils with part of her breast.

Now, as anyone who has larger breasts knows, this happens. You learn to adjust. It's part of mastering breastfeeding.

The nurse who saw it didn't think so, though.

Instead of helping the mom, she notated in her file that the "child was without proper custody, support, or care due to both parents being blind."

When their daughter was 2 years old, she was taken away from her parents and placed into foster care. The parents were only allowed to see their child 2-3 times a week under the supervision of a foster parent. For 57 days.

Imagine, if you will, having your newborn whisked away. Having your beautiful baby taken from you before you can have the time to bond with her. Not being able to smell her babyness, or kiss her, or tend to her cries. For 57 days. Because someone has deemed you unfit without any allegations of abuse or neglect or anything.

That, my readers, is criminal.

This happened in my state, the state of Missouri. The state in which I frequently see 2-3 year old children riding in the front seat of cars, not only not in carseats, but not in seatbelts. The state in which I - daily - see people leave their children unattended in cars - even now, in the summer, during excessive heat warnings - while they go into stores, gas stations, or what have you. For sometimes 10-15 minutes at a time. I have seen people hit their children with belts in public places and seen others cheering them on. I know someone whose children are with an abusive parent who regularly flouts the court dictated rules, whose children are terrified to be with them, but are still entrusted to their care.

Yet, the state never seems to intervene on those.

However, these two blind people? Their daughter was removed from my home. When Rhiannon wasn't gaining weight "properly," Mike and I were investigated. And there are a billion other cases like that - places where the state decides to step in unnecessarily.

It's fucked up.

I don't understand the way the system works. I just don't get it. It goes against the whole truth and justice thing that I've always believed in.

You can read the story of the state of Missouri's grievous error here. Thankfully, she is back together with her parents now, where she belongs. But I can't help but wonder how many more parents are suffering away from their children, or being looked at harshly, while the actual bad parents who could use the intervention, slip through the system.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Guess Who's Gainfully Employed?

Shane is.

But, also, me! Hooray! I'm pretty super excited about it. I'm going to be helping moms with breastfeeding, which is something I feel very strongly about. I know that I could never have succeeded in nursing Rhiannon without all the amazing support that I had, so hopefully I'll be able to pay it forward on that.

I did not, however, get the pecan pie blizzard that I wanted. Because Shane FORGOT TO GET IT. Which makes him the worst fiance of the year in the Buying Ice Cream Olympics. Not even a bronze medal for you, Shane!

Now, you might be thinking, "But, Star...aren't you trying to lose weight?" Indeed I am. But everyone knows celebration ice cream doesn't actually contain calories. It's written in the tomes of history. Or I just made it up. But one of those for sure.

Also, I am getting p90x. So expect a blog entry saying I've broken something on my body about 2 days after that occurs. ;P Seriously, though, I will put my impressions of it on my other blog so if you are considering getting it, watch for that.

Well, that about wraps it up, mostly because I'm playing I Spy with Rhi and I keep looking for things on the screen on accident and/or wanting you to find the surfer's hair. Ahh, the joys of 3 year olds. :)

Monday, July 12, 2010


I am not a materialistic chick.

I can happily live in small places, not have a lot of money, buy things at thrift stores and drive older cars. Doesn't phase me. I've always figured that *who* I am with is more important than *where* I am or *what* I have.

But this trailer has been all nine circles of my personal hell.

We have been inflicted with bugs of all kind, mice, leaking windows, rotting floors, busted pipes...it's been, quite frankly, awful.

All of that is coming to an end, though.

Thanks to our wonderful family giving us a loan, we are getting a much much much nicer, better trailer. We plan to use this one as storage and live in that one this winter and while we build a house next spring.

I am the most excited that I have ever been. Seriously, I'm excited about lame stuff like steam cleaning my rugs at the new place and stuff. It's insane.

Annnnd, we won't all be sharing a bedroom anymore! Yes, you read right - up until now, all four of us have been in one room. While Keira will still room in with us - even if we stop co-sleeping, it's just easier that way - Rhiannon will have her very own room. Which means her 8 million toys will have their own home, too, lol.

We have a final walkthrough of the new place tomorrow to make sure that everything is up to par. And if it is, hopefully, next week or so, we'll be in the new place. Squeeeee!

I want to thank not only the family, who have been freaking incredible, but also a few friends who have done so much to make us have a more comfortable experience here. Atina, Tara, and Jessica - thank you sooooo much. You guys are amazing. Jessica, even though my lazy ass fiance hasn't gotten that fan yet, you are incredible for offering it. One of these years, he'll remember, haha. And Atina - I swear, every time I've needed help with something, you've offered it up like we were family, and it means soooo much to me. Tara, you're the same way. You guys are so giving and wonderful, and when I have money again, I am taking you all out to dinner.

Anyways, fingers crossed tomorrow goes well, and one more YAY!!!!! for the road. :)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Sometimes, people are douchebags.

I'm 28. You'd think that would have sunken in by now. Like, I'd be adequately jaded against this shit already. But somehow I forget it, over and over.

And then I get really depressed when I remember it.

Maybe it's me. Maybe I have too lofty of an idea of how people shouldn't fucking suck.

Rhiannon is on this kick lately where she keeps telling me to not let monsters get her. And she makes us check under the beds and stuff, and holds onto me. And it's 20% fear, 80% playacting. So I tell her every night how there are no monsters and blah blah blah.

But I'm a liar, because there *are* monsters. They don't have fangs or claws or anything. But they exist. And some day, she'll meet one.

Hopefully, it won't be the really, really awful kind - the abusers or the killers or the rapists or whatever. But there are others. There are people who lie and cheat and fuck up people's lives out of some stupid reason that is known only to them. There are people who pretend to be friends who sell you out because they somehow think that that's the fair thing to do. Because they are totally incapable of taking a goddamned stance on anything that doesn't involve their own life, even though they expect that stance from their friends. There are people who ignore injustices and people who perpetrate them and they surround us. Because some people are just douchebags.

I've always been one of those people who totally believes that bad people get theirs in the end and karma and so on. But lately it's been pretty hard to buy that, since no one seems to get comeuppances and the best people I know seem to get systematically screwed.


My optimism is at an all time low today. Maybe I should look up pictures of baby kittens or wonderful heartwarming crap to feel better. Or maybe I'll just take Keira to bed with me pretty soon and sleep it off. Perhaps pessimism is like drunkenness that way.

I wish I could write more and give more details to just get all this shit out and stop letting it weigh on me, but I can't even do that, as there could be real ramifications if I did and the wrong people happened upon my blog. Suck.

Bed it is then. And maybe the rest of that fair trade chocolate bar I've been saving. Mmmm hazelnut.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

What a long strange trip it's been...

I never thought I'd be a crunchy mom.

Hell, for a long time, I didn't think I'd be a mom at all. Growing up, kids never really figured into my plans. I kind of assumed maybe I'd get married or something, but kids were...meh.

And then my sister had kids. And they were cute and stuff. But I still didn't, you know, want any. Maybe if I was 30 or something. But when you had kids, you had to take care of crying, pooping babies and bratty two year olds. Really, there was little appeal. At least when I was the aunt, if they were bad, someone else got to deal with them. I could leave.

Then Mike and I got together. And suddenly, I wanted a baby. I have no idea why. It's not like there was some amazing moment where I held a baby and my heart exploded with longing. Hell, to this day, I don't like to hold other people's babies.

It took Mike and I a trillion years to conceive Rhi. When I found out I was pregnant, I was over the moon. I had all these plans. I was going to formula feed. I'd pop the kid in a daycare at 6 weeks, have a career, do it all. I planned baby rooms. I told my new ob I wanted an epidural, like, instantly - women who were drug free were fucking crazy.

I have this tendency, though, to research things, almost to the point of compulsion. Also, I was on maternity leave and I had the internet. It was better than soaps. So I started reading.

The first to fall was formula feeding. I read the benefits of breastfeeding, and I wanted to do that for my baby. I was blown away by how amazing the milk created by the human body was. And when I went out in public, I could totally pump beforehand, so I didn't have to publicly nurse.

When I felt Rhi move for the first time, I had this thought out of nowhere that I could never, ever, ever leave her at a daycare at 6 weeks. This tiny little thing in my stomach needed to stay with me. She needed me. And I needed to be with her. So I told Mike I wasn't going back to work right away after I had her. Luckily, he was supportive and did not think I had lost my mind.

Then I found some articles on something called HypnoBirth. To make this short, it's a drug-free birthing method. So I decided to try that. (I won't lie - part of my urge to try that came from an intense dislike of the idea of a catheter.)

Oh, and the bedroom? It was painted, decorated, ready. She never slept in it. Rhi's crib was right next to my bed. Right until the day we moved. Quite simply, I couldn't imagine her so far away.

Then, I got crunchier.

I nursed in public all the time, and still do. Pumps suck. Pumping is boring, and hard; bottles have to be washed and warmed; and I'm lazy. Much easier to pop out my boob than do Bottle Wars with a baby. And figuring out exactly how much a baby will want to eat at a certain time seemingly never worked for me.

At some point post Rhi's birth (where I distinctly remember saying, "If she comes out as a boy, we want her circumcised") and pre-Keira's conception, I decided that circumcision was pretty silly. There was no real point, it could be harmful...it was pretty much a cosmetic procedure. If I had a boy, and they wanted it done later, they could go for it. But since I couldn't undo getting it done, I decided it wasn't my decision to make.

And now...Keira is cloth diapered (usually,) she co-sleeps, I plan to make her baby food, we do a lot of babywearing (something I never quite got the hang of with Rhi.) I've also started buying more local and organic foods, we're going to build our green, dream home...

The me from my early twenties would be horrified, lol.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Stay at home mom

I'm officially one. I resigned from my job today, which was kind of nerve-wracking.

I did apply for, and interview for, another job about a week ago. It is one where I'd get to bring Keira, though, for awhile and I won't know about it for a couple of weeks.

I'm nervous, because if I don't get this job, I've just pulled out the rug on me making any money for awhile.

However, I could never work at the preschool and go to college. It's just impossible. And with Shane's recent upgrade in jobs, no income from me is more workable than ever. And we've been doing on one income since May, so...

Still scary, though.

This new job would be perfect - I could even do it while doing school, so that would rock. I'm crossing my fingers times a million.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Romance and Motherhood

I got spam today about "keeping the romance alive with a new baby!" It had stuff in it like, "Have a night out - just the two of you!" or "cook him a candlelit dinner!"

Are you fucking kidding me?

Listen, I have a seven week old (which the e-mail knew, since it was for "your baby's 7th week.") And a three year old. I'm not cooking a candlelit dinner unless the damn power goes out. And as for having a night out right now? Spam, I'm exclusively nursing a baby. Going out alone ain't in the cards right now.

There's too much importance on "rekindling the romance!!" after a baby. Let's be honest, first of all - who really wants candlelight and big nights out? It's not the guy, usually. It's the girl. If the guy wants to go out, it's not usually to, like, a showing of Eclipse and a dinner involving soulful gazes over wine. In fact, most guys are probably cool if you resume having sex and regularly shower. Bonus points if you occasionally dress in something other than sweatpants.

And why are we so freaked out about the standard definition of romance anyways? Everything changes with kids. Romance does, too. I'd take Shane cleaning the kitchen because Keira's having a growth spurt and all I do is nurse her over a dozen roses. I'm not saying I never want the hearts and flowers crap again. But right now, I'm too tired for it.

I love Shane a ginormous amount still, but I'm cool with dates right now including our whole family. We're rock steady, and if we wanted our whole lives to be all about us, we wouldn't have had kids. And our children are the fleeting part of our life together. We'll have years when they've grown for long walks on the beach and all that jazz.

I'm not saying to ignore your significant other while you raise your kids, and you should certainly strive for alone time and work on making your love stay strong. But you're just delusional if you think the relationship of two people can ever be the same with kids added. One of the real challenges of relationships is keeping your love strong through all different aspects of life, and saying a candlelit dinner will do that is naive at best. Being realistic about things is much more sensible and leads to way less disappointment.


I'm going to be whiny.

This house is driving me quietly insane. Not the new one we plan on building, the one we live in. If it's not one thing, it's another here. It's super cluttered, it's really hot (although I have a repreive from that this week, thank god,) I can't find anyone to brush hog it, so the grass is ridiculous - and because of that, we have ticks and chiggers out the wazoo, we have insane barn swallows dive bombing us, and now we suddenly have mice. It's not even the right season for mice!


We haven't started building the new house yet for two reasons. One, it's hard to lay a foundation when your grass is 12 feet tall (yes, a slight exaggeration) and two, money.

We had some earmarked for the house, but when Shane switched jobs, we had to use it for bills due to the change in how often he was paid making it almost a month until we had any cash rolling in. That sucks, especially when you weren't planning on it. On the other hand, we were hugely lucky to have that money to access.

The really irritating part is that, by my calculations, we need maybe a thousand bucks to do the outside of the house. Including the foundation. A grand is not a massive amount. And we don't even need it all at once - we need about $500 for the foundation and then $500 for the walls. And the inside? Once the outside's done, we can kind of nickle and dime that along.

I'm just worried about getting the outside done before winter. We can press it into fall if needed, but not winter. And I seriously can't handle winter in this place. It's just straining me way too much.

Sigh. I'll stop complaining now. We have a lot of good going on, too - Keira and Rhi are wonderful, Shane's new job seems to be going swimmingly, I interviewed for a job I would really love - so it's certainly not like the bad overshadows the good by any means. I just wish we had a mysterious benefactor to toss us a thousand bucks, lol. Or a way to get a loan for it until tax time (but nowhere will lend for this variety of construction.)

Oh well. We'll press on, and it'll fall into place, or we'll make a new plan, I suppose.

And we're very lucky, in comparison to a lot of others. I try hard not to take the blessings we have for granted.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Stop saving me from myself, please.

The Center For Science in the Public Interest announced plans to sue McDonalds if they don't remove toys from their Happy Meals, saying that the toys give kids "pester power" and "foster unhealthy eating habits."

Well, screw you, CSPI. I don't actually want, or need, your parenting help.

First of all, I find the concept of "pester power" laughable. You don't want to be pestered? Well, you are in the wrong profession then. My kid pesters me over a trillion things daily. It's called "being a child." Get over it.

Or, here's a novel concept - turn off your damn TV so they don't know that Shrek's in the Happy Meals.

I find the part about McDonald's fostering poor nutritional habits with these toys to be utterly offensive, though.

It's not McDonald's job to teach my kids how to be healthy. It's their job to sell quickly prepared, nutritiously crap food that appeals to you on a level of "This tastes good and is pretty cheap." Yeah, it's fatty and salty and high calorie and junk food. So what? Fast food isn't healthy. Oh noes! *rolls eyes*

It's not McDonald's, or CSPI, or anyone else's job to teach your child good nutrition. It's yours. You're the parent, so act like one. Your kid wants a Happy Meal? Learn the word no. Use it. It's not that hard. Jeez, if I let my kid decide what to eat, I'd live on a diet of ice cream, chocolate, bubble gum, peanut butter, spaghetti, chicken soup and cantaloupe. That's why she doesn't plan the menus in this house.

I feel the same way about Spongebob mac and cheese or Dora Spaghetti-Os. Your kid may have pester power, but you have the cash. A child won't die of heartbreak if her noodles don't look like Squidward. TELL HER NO. Tell her Spongebob lives in a damn pineapple and buy one of those instead.

There was a great quote in the article I read from a man who voted against a toy ban previously. He said, "If you can't control a 3-year-old child for a toy, God save you when they get to be teenagers."

I totally agree.

If your kid is fat and eats awful foods all the time (barring a medical condition,) it's because you aren't using the word no enough. No, you can't have a Happy Meal. No, you've watched enough TV, go play.

When did we become such wusses that we can't deny our children anything ever?

Kids not always getting their way is good for them. Know why? Because life isn't all rainbows and butterflies and they won't always get their way in it.

And as far as nutrition goes, if you're giving in on eating crap foods all the time, maybe it's time to tell your inner child no, too. No one eats healthily all the time because pizza and ice cream suck. They do it because they know that the half hour of "yum" isn't worth the damage to your body.

But this is something you can handle, parents. You don't need CSPI holding your hand.

Besides, ban toys in Happy Meals, and, I assure you, someone somewhere will come up with something else to make unhealthy things appeal to kids. That's why parenting is important. So FFS, stop kowtowing to your kids and do some.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Mom x 2

Having a second kid is balls hard.

No one said that, while I was pregnant. I got hearts and flowers stories of sisterhood, and siblings being best friends and crap like that.

Don't get me wrong - Rhi loveslovesloves Keira, and there are probably 5,000 adorable moments a day that make me go, "Awwww, sisters."

But it's still hard.

No one explained to me that housework is damn near impossible with a toddler and a newborn. And I have a wrap, so I get a little more done than I would otherwise. But ohmygod. Try to do dishes with one kid strapped to your chest while the other one is on a chair next to you demanding that you help her feed her fish and damn near falling off in her exuberance. It doesn't work well. And playing Shrek with your eldest while nursing your youngest is a real treat. Inevitably, someone gets pissed at me - either Keira, because her latch gets screwed up, or Rhi because "Mommy! You have to be Donkey AND Fiona! And make Fiona dance with me. Mommy! Mommy, you're not listening!"

Also, I don't have a "real" vacuum. I did, but somehow, in the move, it lost important parts, like the brush and the brush guard. We have a mini car vac that I use to vacuum. I haven't replaced this yet because I don't really want carpet in the new house, so it's a moot point. And vacuuming on your hands and knees with two kids is impossible. In fact, even with the wrap, by the time I have one thing half done, Keira usually wants to nurse or something, Rhi has tried to "help" (sweet, but usually more of a hindrance than anything else) and I have decided that if I ever win the lottery, the very first thing I'm getting is a damn maid and why don't houses just self clean anyways?

Also, I still can't get the hang of dividing attention very well. And Rhiannon's budding interest in all things gymnastics and sporty is really not conducive to keeping babies safe. So I find myself saying no a lot. "No, Rhi. We don't throw the ball around our sister. No, Rhi, we can't do headstands on the same couch cushion Mommy is changing Keira on."

Incidentally, I used to be one of those "I won't use the word no because redirecting is way more effective anyways" moms. Yeah, it might be, but you try redirecting a toddler before she falls atop her newborn sister while pretending to be Lady Gaga (who she has never seen a picture of, and for some reason involves the same costume as Prince Naveen from Princess and the Frog) while singing and dancing to Bad Romance (which, in Rhi's version, goes, "I want your love and I want your fence you and me could have a bromance.")

That all said, I love both my kids tremendously, and Keira has brought all sorts of extra love and light into our family. She's already a character, with a plethora of expressions (that usually express disdain or concern for your mental health, lol.) She smiles a lot, she can hold up her head on her own, she can sometimes roll over - she is the most determined baby I have ever seen. You can just tell she loathes being immobile and not having words yet.

And Rhi is, of course, amazing. She's so smart and so fun, and everything about her just shines. She's taken to sisterhood way better than I imagined she would, since, until now, she has ruled the roost and been the number one star in everyone's sky. Right now, she seems content to make a spot in her galaxy for Keira, though - although that may change when Keira starts, you know, stealing her thunder or getting into her stuff.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Dear Everyone

Because some of you will be bored to tears if I constantly write this here, I started an offshoot of this blog called I'm Not Pregnant Anymore...Now I'm Just Fat. I intend to use it as a weight loss blog for these extra thirty pounds I'm hauling around. If you wanna read it, check it out and or follow it...if not, I'll still be writing normal crap here. Yay!

Ok, good night, all.

Let's hear it for the boys...

Dads sometimes get a bad rap.

You mostly hear about them in the context of bad - the absentee father, the guy who won't pay child support, the man who beats his kids.

But that's largely not the truth.

There are certainly men out there who have fathered children, yet don't deserve to be called fathers. Just like there are moms out there who have been a vessel for a new life but shouldn't really be called a mother.

But most of the fathers I know, even if they, for various reasons, aren't in their child's day to day life, are wonderful people who love, care for, and teach their children. My own father saw me only on the weekends once my parents split up, yet I couldn't imagine a more loving, supportive dad. He's been one of my heroes for my whole life. Thank you, Dad. I love you so much.

I was also truly lucky to have a great stepfather, who put up with me like I was his own for years, even through the terrible teenage years when I'm certain every adult around me wanted to lock my black lipstick wearing, rebelling against nothing, emo, selfish ass in a closet somewhere until I snapped out of it.

And, as I'm always saying, fathers are important. Kids with involved fathers are more successful, have higher grades, have better self esteem, have less mental health issues, and a billion more things.

So, on Father's Day, I salute the dads out there. Not just my own, or the fathers of my beautiful children, but all the dads who:

change diapers
teach their kids how to swing
get up in the middle of the night with fussy babies
do all they can to be with their kids
teach right from wrong
provide for their children
play with their kids
sing with their kids
dance with their kids
show their kids what a man should be
fight for their children
worry about them
give goodnight kisses
check for monsters
drive to school/practice/playdates
let their little girls put makeup on them/play dress up with them
cook dinners

and otherwise contribute to making your children happy and healthy.

Thank you for being awesome.

And a special mention to stepfathers and grandfathers, who do all the same stuff, but sometimes get less recognition.

This wouldn't be complete without:

Shane, Happy Father's Day. Thank you for being a wonderful father to Keira, and an amazing stepfather to Rhi. You're fantastic, and we love you.

And, Mike, even though you don't even know I have a blog, thanks for being a great dad and co-parent, even though we're not together anymore. Happy Father's Day.


Robby, I'm mentioning you here, because I don't know many other dads who are as loyal and dedicated to their kids. Happy Father's Day. Have a great one - you deserve it.

Friday, June 18, 2010

I'm not an addict

But I was.

After Rhi, as many of you know, I lost a lot of weight on Weight Watchers. Well over 100 pounds. One of the many, many things I did to accomplish this was by swapping soda for tea. Tea that I sweetened with Splenda.

I used Splenda in a lot of other stuff, too.

But mostly tea. And if the place I was getting tea from didn't have Splenda, I swear, I shook like a crackhead from the lack of it.

I knew, smart person that I am, that maybe Splenda might not be the best thing ever. And I'd heard the studies about artificial sweeteners making you fatter, or causing health problems. But I didn't seem to have those issues, so I overlooked them.

Then, I got pregnant with Keira.

I don't do a lot of artificial crap while pregnant. I feel like I should not throw too many chemicals at a newly developing life, you know? So I cut the tea cold turkey. Which sucked, but in nine months, I could go back.

Well, I did go back - to the tea. I'm still not drinking gallons of the caffeinated kind, but I'm in love with tea, and not a huge water person. But I still haven't done any Splenda. I sweeten my tea still, but lightly, with regular sugar. I thought this would be an issue, but I've grown accustomed to less sweet beverages now. Which is good.

This is all part of my attempt to eat healthier foods and set a good example for the kids. Gotta admit, it's been circumvented slightly by trying to deal with an infant and toddler and keeping the house respectable - especially since Keira is a high maintenance baby for sure. But I found a huge cookbook of healthy crock pot stuff, so I'm going to start doing that. :) I really want my family to put good, nutritious things in their bodies. Including Shane, despite his hatred of anything not processed and heaping with MSG, saturated fat, and yellow dye #4. ;)

In other news...I'm going to resume running tonight. Which will probably be more like jogging, or power walking, since I haven't done anything in forever. Hopefully my guts won't fall out lol.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

House Stuff

So plans for the house are well under the way. I made up a list of what we'd need (based on The Cob Builder's Handbook) and posted it in a note on Facebook, asking for help/materials. We're pretty inherently broke, and a lot of the point of cob building is using green materials and reclaimed materials, so asking seemed like a good idea. We had several people offer to help with stuff/lend tools/give materials, including Mike's fiancee, who says that her uncle is always tracking stuff like that down for people. I feel really blessed to have such a wonderful group of friends who will help me with this. :)

I'm struggling with the dimensions in our plans, though. I'm honestly not really sure how big I want everything to be. Our plan is to build 3-4 rooms by the end of summer/fall - a kitchen, a bathroom, a living room, and a bedroom. Then, next spring, we'll add a hallway and attach to it 1-2 more bedrooms, an office for Shane, and maybe a 2nd bathroom. Since we won't have a dining room, our kitchen has to be largeish, I'd like a decent sized living room, and the bedroom and bath sizes are kind of in the air, too. I certainly want things bigger than we have here - we're so crowded here that it's insane. But I don't want to over-do it, either...we have a limited amount of time to complete this before bad weather comes, and, let's face it, it's not like Missouri always has the most cooperative of climates even in the right seasons. So I want to be reasonable, but comfortable. I'm not sure what size that would be, and we kind of need an idea of how large everything is so we can start clearing the ground and readying things for building. I tried looking at blueprints online, but the issue there is that building with cob is a lot more fluid and rounded than building with "normal" materials. So blueprints don't mesh correctly. :/ And, for some reason, most of the free blueprints don't have dimensions, anyways. Which I kind of thought was the point of blueprints. But whatever.

Luckily, with cob, you can build in lots of storage and even some furniture. So our rooms don't have to be massive to hold everything. For instance, I have a bajillion books, so we plan on making the future hallway have book shelves up and down the entire length. Shane's room will also be full of shelves so that his office space can be quasi-organized.

The more I think/talk about this, the more excited I get. Which is weird, because, originally, I was against the idea of building here. I don't want to stay in Missouri forever. Neither does Shane. I thought doing the mobile home thing might be a better idea. But the thought of constructing something exactly as we want it is so appealing. And, honestly, we'll have a larger, nicer space for close to the same amount that we would have spent on a larger trailer.

Anyways. So, my goal for this week is to get the plans finalized and start working on readying the ground for building. I also need to track down sand, clay, and straw - the three most important components in this endeavor. :) Wish me luck!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

More random crap

So, in my last blog, I mentioned that we were co-sleeping with Keira, half expecting a few people to warn me of the inherent dangers of it. Instead, a lot of people have told me that they, too, co-slept with their kids. Even people who aren't at all attachment parents or crunchy or anything like that seemed to have done it a few times.

We still are, too, and I can honestly say that I never thought I'd be feeling this good 9 days postpartum. I'm not sleep deprived and frustrated and unhappy. I sleep at night, so, during the day, I can actually do stuff. It's crazy awesome.

I also am in love with my (generic) Moby Wrap. It makes everything so much easier. We went to the store today, and I could actually accomplish stuff and hold Keira. Plus,people didn't get all up in her face like they did when she was in a carrier. Since she was on my chest, people kept a more respectable distance, which was lovely.

The only thing I'm having a hard time with is restrictions from this c-section. And that's mostly related to how much I loathe my body right now. I look at pictures of myself where I was so toned and thin and strong, and I hate that I'm not any of those things right now. I want to break out my weights and exercise DVDs and go for runs. And I can't. Which irks me to no end...I don't like not being able to do what I want to do. Also, nothing fits. I'm using a belly band to hold up maternity pants, and I refuse to buy new clothes when I am NOT staying this size.

I'm looking up a bunch of house stuff today. I want to get some concrete plans together so I can make a material list, see what I can get off of Freecycle and through friends and such (also, my ex seems to always know someone who is tearing something down or getting rid of materials or something, so I'm hoping he'll have some friends who have supplies, too. Which will be reason 9876579 that I'm thrilled we're still on good terms.) I want to get this crap started!

My blogs aren't very fun lately, sorry. :/ I'll be humorous again someday, I promise.

Oh, hey, someone else who blogs on here should tell me how to change my template to one of the cute ones, like you all have, or make one or whatever. Because I totally don't get it.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Oh, Many Things...

So I've been a mom of two for a week now, almost, and it's pretty nice. Still trying hard to balance the two girls, and kinda failing miserably, but that'll come in time, I imagine. When Keira's a little less needy, Rhi will get more attention again. And living by my mom is so helpful, she's been sending us food, and taking Rhi over there to play sometimes so she doesn't feel super neglected...

Keira is totally gorgeous, and a pretty good baby. We've been sleeping really, really well, because we've been co-sleeping. I know, I know...you're not really supposed to, for a billion reasons. But Keira does NOT sleep well in her crib. Like, she has us up every fifteen seconds. But in bed with us? She sleeps amazingly. Every couple of hours, she wakes up, makes little noises, smacks my chest with her hand, I latch her on, nurse her, and then we go back to sleep. We're taking appropriate co-sleeping precautions (I read a lot of the Dr. Sears stuff on it) and it's working wonderfully for us. I still intend to try to get her into her crib, but, right now, she wants nothing to do with it. And I have so many co-sleeping friends whose babies have done very well, so I'm not that stressed about it. I might change my mind when she can move around more, and the dangers of her suffocating or something increase, but for now, this works. We feel very close as a family at night. And, I get sleep! Lol.

So, as you may or may not know, our family moved while I was ginormously pregnant with Keira. What you almost certainly don't know is that we moved into a very small trailer. We did this mostly so that I could stay home longer with the baby - I own the trailer, so no rent or mortgage, and it's all electric, so no gas, either. But it is VERY, VERY, VERY crowded. And making us slightly insane. Soooooo...we've decided to work on constructing a house. Soon. Optimally, we will do 3-4 rooms by fall, and move into them for the winter, keeping the trailer as storage. Then, spring/summer of next year, we'll add another 4 or so rooms, completing our home. We're going to try to do almost everything ourselves (but if you're local, and want to help, dear god, we would love you FOREVER) and we're going to try to use a lot of green materials and reclaimed stuff for the building itself. We're thinking of doing a cob bale construction, although we need to look into some stuff with that, like how you do normal electricity in those (we're not green enough to be able to be totally off the grid.) But we're excited about it all, and I'm looking forward to creating a new home for us all.

We have a 2nd doctor's appointment for Keira tomorrow. She lost a BUNCH of weight in the hospital, and had gained a little back as of Monday at her first appointment, but her doctor wants to see her again tomorrow just to make sure she's still doing ok. Which she should be, as she is growth spurting like crazy, and has detached from me for, oh, 2 hours total today. :/ Oh well, it'll calm down soon.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Tomorrow at high noon...

I give up.

I'm 41 weeks, 1 day pregnant. So eight days “overdue.” (I put that in quotes because everyone knows your due date is a guess unless you had IVF or something.) And nothing is happening. I'm not dilating. I'm not effacing. The baby isn't at the right station. None of this has changed for at least 3 weeks by anything but the most minimal of progressions.

My OB has been amazing. She knows how much I wanted to have a VBAC, and she's been amazingly supportive. She's done every non-chemical induction technique she can think of (save breaking my water, because she literally can't, due to the aforementioned non-progression.) She's been supportive of the non-chemical things I've done to try to help things along. She's let me continue past my due date, although most of the group that she practices with has a pretty stern policy of “as a VBAC, you go into labor by your due date or you schedule another c-section.”

But nothing's working. And I'm beginning to feel like I'm putting principles over everything else.

It was fine for awhile. But I found myself today, with a less than wonderful non-stress test, and higher than normal blood pressure, and everything still not looking favorable for labor, and I really can't deny anymore that this just ain't doing it.

If you know me, you know I'm pretty pro-intervention free labors. I didn't even want an epidural, much less another c-section. I started this pregnancy in optimal health, and although I gained more weight than I wanted to, I stayed pretty active and ate pretty healthy foods for the most part. I did a lot of things right. But something is just wrong.

My OB said today that every time she does something – a c-section, an induction, any intervention – she thinks, “Is this a necessary thing for the baby, or am I doing it for some other reason?” If it's necessary, then she goes ahead. Otherwise, she looks at other options or holds off. Well, for weeks now, I've been looking at other options, so to speak. I've been doing all in my power to make this happen. But I've been doing it for me. I've been doing it because *I* didn't want a c-section, because *I* was scared, because *I* felt like less of a woman, because *I* didn't want to give up.

I remember, at the start of this pregnancy, bargaining with my body after reading the risks vs. rewards of VBAC. I remember thinking, “Ok, body. I'm gonna trust you. I'm gonna let you do your thing. Because I believe that you'll inherently know if something isn't right, and you won't go into labor..”

Well, labor hasn't happened. And it's time for me to go, “Maybe this isn't meant to be, and since it's possible that I could be endangering my kid by keeping this up, it's time to throw in the towel.”

And so I scheduled my c-section today. For tomorrow, at noon. And I cried. I cried in the OB office, I cried in my car, and I'm crying now. I've always been an amazingly determined person, and I honestly have a hard time believing or admitting that I can't do anything. It's served me pretty well so far, too. Usually, what I set my mind to hard enough, I get. This is one of those rare times that I'm not going to. And it hurts my pride.

It's not like that's the total reason I'm upset, of course. I also feel defective, like a failure. How can I not birth a child normally? Really? That's what my body's design is for, but I can't manage it? And I'm terrified of the surgery itself. If you remember, in a previous blog, I talked about it being a pretty traumatic experience. And I almost felt like this successful delivery would cause some of those wounds to heal. And I'm still scared of things like “getting a blood clot” or “dying on the table” or a multitude of other things.

But I'd be scared if I had a vaginal delivery, too. I need to try to remember that, I guess.

Anyways. Tomorrow I will be a mother for the second time. And it won't be the way I had hoped or intended or wanted. But that's life, I suppose. And it's just dumb to let my upset about the way I'm delivering my daughter cloud the momentous and wonderful occasion of her birth.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

I'm like a superhero. Except crazier.

Or maybe the hormones are just a good excuse for the fact that I'm just nuts? It's possible.

Anyways, folks, it's been an interesting couple of days.

I should mention that I've been in the middle of some really stressful events that require a lot of manual labor for a 9 months pregnant chick, and we are not amused. This could be contributing to my psychosis.

Basically, I am the Incredibly Pregnant Hulk. And I will explode on your ass if you piss me off.

Probably the best thing to do would be to sequester myself from everyone on the planet til this kid pops out, but that's not really an option.

Let me give you an example of my insanity. As some of you may know because I whined about it on Facebook, Facebook was taunting me today with these ads. They were ads for Kansas City. Inexplicably, these ads contained some of the most amazingly delicious looking cupcakes I have ever seen in my life. Cupcakes that looked so good that I wanted to lick the screen of my monitor. These ads were making me literally do nothing for 5 minutes at a time but stare and think, "Jesus, why don't I have a cupcake? Could I bake some cupcakes...no, they wouldn't come out that good, I'm not that talented. I could *buy* some cupcakes...no, no, no, the cupcakes at the store aren't that good, either." It was not conducive to doing anything.

Then I realized that you can click "x" on the side of ads and make them go away.

Ha! I thought smugly. Screw you, cupcake ads!

And I victoriously clicked X.

If you click X on an ad on Facebook, Facebook gets very concerned. So they ask you why you clicked X.

Since "these cupcakes were too delicious looking and pissed me off" wasn't an option, I clicked other. And silly, silly Facebook gave me a little box to post what "other" meant to me.

Bad move, Facebook.

I'm not certain what the advertising team at Facebook will do/say when they get this gem back:
"I clicked X because those cupcakes were destroying my soul with their deliciousness. You see, I am hugely pregnant, and actually overdue, and seeing those cupcakes made me want one with a desperation usually only discussed in soap operas or Twilight fan fiction. However, all the ad says is some vague crap about Kansas City. Wtf? You don't even say WHERE I should get these cupcakes. And also I can't drive to Kansas City this pregnant. What if I went into labor? And! These cupcakes were probably made with HFCS *and* slave chocolate, so they'd probably be awful for me, nutritionally and morally."

I was going to write more examples, but that's probably the funniest. Well, that and when I went off on my friend Summer's BIL. But I really have to be productive now, on account of how the cupcakes seduced me into laziness earlier, so I'll have to tell that one another time.

End note: If you need someone bitched out, I'll happily do it right now. It might not make any sense. But I will. Spots are quite limited, though, as I won't be this hormonally insane forever.

We hope.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Pity, party of one

I am officially postdate.

For those of you who might not speak pregnant woman, that means that my due date was yesterday and now I am on borrowed time with this baby. In America, it is unheard of for the most part to allow a pregnancy to progress beyond 42 weeks. Most doctors get itchy around 41 weeks and start talking inducing.

I am in the unique position of being totally unable to be induced, though. I had a c-section with Rhi, as most people know. It wasn't what I wanted, and followed an induction at 40 weeks, 1 day after there were some serious issues with the amniotic fluid levels in my uterus. I've come to terms with Rhiannon's birth, although it was quite unlike anything I wanted. However, the c-section makes it possible that if I were to be induced, my uterus could rupture, leading to serious issues and/or death for Keira and me. I'm gambling that anyways with a VBAC, but the odds increase exponentially if I'm chemically induced.

So two weeks from yesterday is the longest possible time I could go before I have to have a c-section.

I'm not happy about the idea of this, to put it mildly.

I healed well from my inital c-section. My body is a champ and takes what I throw at it with a lot of grace. So I'm not worried about that, or the pain, or anything. I have a small weird paranoia that I'll die in childbirth but that actually appears to be a fairly common fear, so there's that.

But my c-section before was just so disappointing. I remember being taken into surgery. I remember it taking FOREVER for them to get the spinal in (apparently, I have nice, thick cartilage. That's not the compliment you'd imagine when they have to stick you about 9 times to get it to go through.) They laid me on a table (the second the spinal worked, I lost all movement from my mid chest down and just kinda flopped over.) They poked me several times to see if I was numb enough, and then my ex came in. He and the anesthesiologist sat by me while my OB was cutting me open. I remember thinking, "Pfft, this isn't that bad."

Then it happened. Despite the fact that they'd given me anti-nausea medicine, despite the fact that I hadn't eaten anything for over 24 hours but Bomb Pops, and despite the fact that I have a cast iron stomach and rarely vomit, I had to puke. Epically. But I couldn't. The spinal had made my muscles too weak to allow me to. Which scared me terribly. I remember being convinced that I was going to choke on my own vomit and die and I wasn't even a freaking rock star post drunken binge. And I got hysterical and started shrilly talking about this to everyone. So Mike and the doctors are trying to calm me down, and I just kept telling them that I didn't want to do this anymore and to please stop and take me off the table now. I actually tried, at one point, to get up, which - and this may shock you - doesn't work when you're given a spinal. And, in retrospect, is a bad plan when someone has cut the lower half of you apart.

It was terrifying, and I have never been more sure in my life that I would die. I know I sound melodramatic, but it is true.

When they pulled Rhi out, I saw her for all of five seconds - I can't even remember if I got to touch her - before they left with her. And then they stitched me up and I was so exhausted that I passed out on the table.

When I got to the recovery room, I did, in fact, get to hold and nurse her right away, which is fairly unusual for many women post c-section, I guess. But the experience had been so traumatic for me that I was emotionally and physically exhausted, and I really felt...disconnected from the whole thing. Understand, Mike and I tried for this baby for a long time. I spent every second of the pregnancy waiting anxiously for her. I was so connected to the whole process, so ready to have my baby, but the events and the drugs of the day made me almost ambivalent to my own kid. And then they shot me up with morphine, and I projectile vomited all over the room. So that was special.

The c-section also made my milk come in later than it normally would have, leading to issues with nursing. And there were a lot of things I wasn't supposed to do right away, either, because of the c-section. It made me feel very weak and almost powerless, which is not a feeling that I enjoy.

Because of the events of then, I'm pretty against having another c-section.

I want to birth my baby normally. I want to hold her instantly. I want it to be a beautiful moment for Shane and me. I want to see her, touch her, hold her before everyone else this time. And I want to be able to bond with my kid without being all doped up and traumatized.

So far, my body doesn't seem to be cooperating. Keira's head down, has been forever, I'm having Braxton Hicks contractions, but I'm not dilating or anything. At all. I take some solace in the fact that there are many people who just...don't, until they actually go into labor. Those measurements appear to not matter for a whole hell of a lot.

Which is only slightly reassuring. Because I have, again, maybe 14 days to spontaneously burst into successful labor before I lack choice in the matter. Which seems like an awfully short amount of time.

I'm doing everything possible to encourage my body to go into labor, but, in the end, it's really my body's call. I can wish and pray and prepare all day long, but if everything's not perfect, it's just not gonna happen.

And that's kind of depressing.

It depresses me, too, that people get elective c-sections. Seriously. Reading an article about some chick going into the hospital 5cms dilated and *opting* to have a c-section to "avoid the pain of labor" made me want to jab that person in the throat with something sharp. Fuck you. I'd love the pain of labor. Send it my way.

I know being all resentful doesn't help anything, but I'm a hormonal psycho right now and not entirely normal anyways. And I think even if I wasn't all hopped up on pregnancy insanity that I'd be pissy reading that stuff. It's human nature. I'm not justifying it, or saying that it should happen, but it does.

I'm not even sure where I'm going with this blog anymore. I think I just had to write it to get my feelings out about this whole thing. Because this mixture of dread and depression and jealousy and resentment and anxiety is a pretty crappy one. And although I've talked about it before, I don't think I delved into it this much.

*Sigh* Makes for pretty boring reading for you guys, though. Sorry.

I promise a funny, happy blog soon.

Also, I'm not spellchecking this. Because I hit the button and it flagged a bajillion words like "Braxton" and I thought, "Man, screw this." So if my spelling sucks, I'm sorry. Kind of.