Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Today we toured the Newly!  Renovated!  Hospital Birth Center!  I suppose... it used to be more depressing.

I guess they're trying.  But a class before you can even think about a waterbirth?  Anyone for a rousing chorus of LIABILITY? And that inevitable hospital-antiseptic smell.  And a model of care that involves being wheeled about whilst in labor.  And... and... and... I want someone to take away the scary surgical-looking lamps and the ugly hospital bed and the weird birthing tub thing.  I want my other midwives and their big comfy bed and jacuzzi and jangly ankle bracelets and peculiar love of moxibustion. 

I expect, when the time comes, I'll be too busy having the baby to really care.   And I like these midwives.*   They are doing their best to provide low-intervention care in a high-intervention environment.  I understand that they can color inside the lines, or take their toys and go get fired. 

I am also, I confess, a tiny bit nervous about this labor.  With Bug, my water broke at 2 PM, I was having serious contractions about 5 PM, and he was born at 10 PM.  "Faster" doesn't sound like a whole lot of fun.

Whine, whine, whine.

(It could be a lot worse.)

* With current insurance: other midwives $4000, these midwives $0. 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Eats Well

Today for lunch, Bug had: green onions, olives, and anchovy with potato.  Today for dinner, Bug had: marinated green beans.

My kid eats everything.  But on any given day, he may only eat crackers.  Toddlers are so weird.

(Monday: Lunch of ground cherries and smoked cheddar, by request.  Seriously.)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I Shall Cease And Desist

In brief: I was the youngest person at the ophthalmologist by a good 30 years, and I probably have the best vision of anyone they've seen all month.  Nothing is wrong enough to notice.*  Good: I'm not going blind this week.  Bad: I still have an ice-pick headache that wakes me up several times a night. 

My options now are A) wait and see; B) get a spinal tap.  I think we'll go with Option A.  I'm not that curious. 

Official diagnosis: You Have A Headache.

Now we will move on to more interesting topics, like... suggestions?

*My distance vision is a little blurry in one eye at very far distances, but it's still 20/15, so... um... they totally think I'm making it up.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Make Lemonade

I strongly suspect that weird-double-vision thing is coming back.  The constant scintillating scotomata and the never-ending headache might be a clue!

The sole advantage is that instead of being afraid, I'm now just frigging ticked off.

Neurology will not even take a message because - wait for it- I'm not a patient!  No, I am waiting for a referral. I have been waiting for two weeks while they incompetently failed to get my old medical records (I had to call various persons five times to effect this simple operation) and then, as far as I can tell, incompetently failed to read them.  Now, apparently, they are waiting for my midwife to call them back.  Why?  Who knows.  They are part of the same healthcare system and have the same damn EMR and she wrote it all down.

All I want is for someone to first pay attention, and then do something about it.  This isn't a chronic condition; this is something that is getting worse and worse, and is caused by pregnancy.  I am going to call the midwives over and over until someone does something.  Soon.  Now.

Addendum: I just talked to the midwives' triage nurse and they were all like OH SHIT, that is not good, we'll talk to neuro and call you back TODAY.  

Friday, August 19, 2011

Now With More Aargh

Maybe it's the weather: something to which I am violently allergic is blooming, so the outdoors is torture. 

Maybe it's the two-week-long headache and generalized sense of OOOOT.  Constant pain rarely improves one's mood. 

Maybe it's the cranky, sick toddler and the constant screaming. 

Maybe it's hormonal?  I feel full of wrath, intolerance, and a general sense of discontent.  It is sunny and pleasant out-of-doors, I have chocolate cake, and I just want to crawl into a closet and weep.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Here is a helpful hint: if you are having a mild disagreement with someone you have just met, screeching in complete seriousness"Are you RACIST?" in the middle of the conversation will distract mightily from whatever valid point you may have had.  In fact, it will convince your auditors that you are a complete lunatic.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

No Relation Of Mine

Dear Mother-in-Law,

When you say to us, "Well, I don't think I can visit you after the baby's born because I'm driving to a quilt show [two hours away] and I can't afford to also drive up to Cold State so I'm going to the quilt show"... you might have wanted to, first, consider on how many different levels that is offensive

As my grandmother, may she rest in peace, used to say, "At least she's no relation of mine."

At least we don't expect any better from you.


Not A Relation

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Dr. S recently spent the weekend away, at a friend's wedding.  (I told him to go, so I don't really get to complain - much -  about the utter misery of a rainy weekend, an angry toddler, and a truly epic headache.)  It was all lovely except for the following:

When he got to the city in question, the hotel clerk said, "Um... yeah.  so we have your reservation here.  For tonight.  But we... don't have any rooms."

"You can see how I would think that's your problem," Dr. S said.

(They found him a room at a very fancy hotel and charged $ rather than $$$.  All was well.)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Could Have Been Worse, Could Be Better

My former advisor had a small number of extremely reasonable questions (How much of this reagent?  What species?  For how long?) which took about 15 minutes to answer, including the hunt through boxes for an old lab notebook.  Fortunately, all my old lab notebooks contain an index in the front and are surprisingly clear and detailed.  It's almost like I did it on purpose.  Yes, I know most labs have you leave your notebooks; my old lab had everybody take them, because it took me 15 minutes, but it would take someone else an hour or two to figure out.  Also, most people don't bother with an index.

The headache persists and I foresee some thrilling times ahead. 

Saturday, August 13, 2011

So True

On a related note, my old advisor would like me, my toddler, my thwompy fetus, and my nail-through-cranium headache to edit my !@#$% paper.  Which I haven't seen in two years (Bug was a newborn, and I was dictating to Dr. S while nursing).

My father's summary of Dr. S's thesis defense neatly encapsulates my entire memory of my graduate work:  "Things Do Things To Other Things."

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Oh, Eeek

Someone asked a question that reminded me: when Bug was a baby, he gained a pound per week for the first ten weeks.  Which is about 1000 calories a day of BOOOOOB.  (Then he slowed down to a pound every three weeks, and then, a couple months later, we started giving him people food out of desperation.) I had almost forgotten how hungry I was.  Time to stock up on almonds and chicken, or something.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Oh, Bugger

Last night: searingly painful, wake you up three times in the middle of the night headache.

First sign of weird-double-vision-thing: searingly painful, wake-you-up headaches.

Next stop, neurology.  My favorite part of this is that it's so rare that I get to tell the doctors all about it.  Except the wonderful neuro-opthalmologist, who is no longer covered by my insurance: he already knew.  My second favorite part is that neurology alone cannot diagnose it- though I suppose they can tell me "I think you might have MS!" again-  so why the heck am I going to see them anyways? 

My third favorite part is the nervous/crazed look in my midwife's eye today, which read as, "If you develop this, I am handing you off to a high-risk OB faster than you can say BOO."

Monday, August 08, 2011

Now With A Side Of Pass The Pregnant Lady

My midwives, quite sensibly, want me to go see my PCP for asthma management.

This would be a better idea if I had seen my actual PCP in the past year.  Instead, I get whatever doctor has a slot that day- if I'm really lucky, a resident!  How is this better than the midwives? 

Anyhow.  We get to go back for Round 3 tomorrow, I think.  ("What are they going to do?" asked my mom.  "You're the medical professional; how should I know?" I said.) 

Can't.  Breathe.  Waaaah.*

*Don't worry, I can breathe well enough that my O2 sats are probably around 95%, I just feel like I can't breathe.  I can tell the difference, promise.  Besides, if I go to urgent care, they're going to give me albuterol and send me home.  I have albuterol here.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Things My Child Does

That I do not love:
  • Throws screaming fits on a regular basis
  • Hits (me)
  • Asks for something and then changes his mind three times
  • Wants to steal everyone else's trucks  

That I love:

  • Asks for naptime
  • Pees on command
  • Eats practically anything
  • Throws his little arms around my neck and says "I wuv you too, sweetie-pie!"

Friday, August 05, 2011


My acquaintance of the recent loss has developed an annoying Facebook tic (yes, I know, this is why nobody should ever use FB; however, it is convenient).  Anyhow.  I assume that it is a manifestation of her grief, because it's, er, new, and so of course I don't say anything.  But it's still kind of annoying.  This is it:

Any time anyone posts anything the least bit negative about their children (even something along the lines of "Some days it's hard to deal with the endless tantrums in a positive fashion" or "It's difficult juggling X and Y".... she feels the need to add "But please don't forget to be GRATEFUL for your children!"

Okay, yes, fine.  But not while he's kicking and screaming in the middle of the store, okay?  Would overall do?  Can we have a quota of generally-but-not-specifically grateful, each day?  As in, I'm very glad overall to have this child, but at this very moment, I would like to lease him to the circus for the next hour.

Much like I don't think infertility condemns someone to be endlessly grateful while throwing up in the toilet, I also don't think loss (or awareness of loss) means you have to love every single annoying thing a child does. 

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Blind Faith

I know another mom-of-toddler who's also pregnant.  She did the 1-hour glucose tolerance test and 'failed' marginally.  "What did you do?" she asked.

"I read all the recent articles on it, and declined it," I said.

"I don't want to do the three-hour one," she said, "and I read a whole bunch of articles about it and I'm low-risk and I didn't have GD last time... but I'll see what my doctor says.  I'll probably have to do it anyways."

Um.... what?  The premise that Doctor Always Knows Best is fundamentally flawed, and the premise that every intervention should be accepted is also flawed.  And this isn't a high-risk situation, either.  (Her last kid was 7 pounds.)  I will never understand this (culturally conditioned) impulse to accept a doctor's word as wisdom from on high. 

Of course, during the whole unfortunate double vision saga, one particularly stupid ER doctor said cheerily to me "We think you might have multiple sclerosis!" and I thought "Like hell I do.  'Rule out' is not the same as 'you have', moron."*

*What I actually said, because I just wanted to get an MRI and leave, was "Mmm-hmm.  We'll see."  But what I thought was "Fuck off and die, idiot."  Lo and behold, I did not have MS.  Or a brain tumor.  Or whatever other horrible but unlikely thing the idiot resident suggested. 

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

In Which I Am A Complainy Pregnant Woman

You have been warned.

Look, I am grateful that I'm having an uncomplicated pregnancy healthy baby blah blah blah.  However, even if a person's been trying to have a baby for N agonizing years, I firmly support every woman's right to be miserable when being kicked simultaneously in the bladder and the round ligaments, okay?

This baby is posterior and Bug was posterior and I don't care what that stupid baby spinning website says, I could lean on a yoga ball eight hours a day and this baby would not turn around.  Just.  Not.  I can feel the kid turn cartwheels in there, and he is never, ever anything but posterior. 

There is an endless fount of well-meaning but extremely irritating advice from my in-laws, who define the words 'irresponsible' and 'unreliable'.  Many other well-meaning people ask every day how I'm feeling. 

How am I feeling?  I'll tell you how I'm feeling.  I'm in constant pain, near-constant nausea (for 26 weeks running, thank you very much, and I'm only 29 weeks pregnant), and every time I bend over it hurts.  I wake up every night because something hurts.  Every time I pick up my toddler he pokes me somewhere painful.  If I take a walk I get dizzy and if I don't take a walk, you got it, something hurts.  My lungs are being squashed, I can't breathe, and this child kicks me for 9 of 12 waking hours.

I feel GRUMPY.  Now everyone stop asking.