Monday, November 24, 2014

Body Conscious, With Whining

I started out this unexpected pregnancy by losing ten pounds.  Not on purpose; I was too sick to eat.

Since then I've gained back the weight I lost (which is good!  I needed those pounds!) and about ten more pounds.  (I'm 34 weeks.)  The number of people who feel free to comment on my appearance drives me crazy, though.  'You look great!' they say cheerfully.  Well, for one, I feel like an angry whale with stabbing pains, and for two, it's not like I did anything to cause this.  Did I exercise, refrain from eating that entire pumpkin pie, or make sure to take my vitamins?  I surely did not.  And, if I'd gained 30 pounds net instead, that would ALSO be fine.  (Though more of a pain to get rid of later, naturally.)  I have terrible headaches, there's a nerve-pinch-with-dagger every time I take a step, I wake up five times a night or more, and if I try to walk more than a quarter mile I start having contractions again.  The kind that hurt enough you're nauseous.  Frankly, I'd rather people say nothing.  I know they're trying to be nice but I'm maaaaybe just a little irritable about, oh, everything.

(I do dress up in Southern-business-casual every day and put on earrings, makeup, and a necklace.  The South can be pretty judgmental about personal appearance, in a totally different way from the North - where, I'll remind you, I lived for my entire adult life up until now, so I do know what I'm talking about.  So at least I'm not in yoga pants or Leggings Are Not Pants, even when I'd prefer to be.)

I feel entirely out of control while pregnant.  For me it's completely different from being not-pregnant, when I could perhaps convince myself to eat a carrot or something.  Now, if I eat a carrot when I don't feel like a carrot, I'll throw up.  (That entire pumpkin pie, however, was purely a loss of self-control.  And the pound of chocolate.  I could have not eaten the whole thing. That month I gained 7 of the 10 pounds.)

In summary: cranky, unhappy pregnant lady will bite you if you say something nice, but realizes that this is an unkind response.

(I am probably about to eat another entire pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving.)

Thursday, November 20, 2014

In Lab

Student: Dr. Scientist, do you know yet which sections you're teaching next semester?

Me: I'm afraid I won't be teaching at all; I'll be otherwise occupied.

Student: Are you putting your own children ahead of us ?!?!

Me: Well, Mr. Smith*... you're less adorable than a baby.

(Everyone laughs.)


*I call all of my students Mr. or Ms. Lastname.  One, it's the South, and two, they all wear nametags with - you guessed it - their last names.  

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Worry Worry

My mother is an expert worrier.  Just last week, she went all the way from how I'm having an occasional uncomfortable contraction (okay, a dozen a day, but just uterus-freaking-out contractions, I can still carry on talking, plus nothing is happening, and hey, this is my third baby, I do know what something is happening feels like) to "You'll come visit and go into labor and then they'll do a C-section because they'll have NO medical history on you!"  ("The fuck they will; I'd sue their asses into next year.  Plus, they could CALL the person ON CALL like NORMAL humans, Mom.")

I try very hard not to worry irrationally.  Isn't there some human coping mechanism of willful disbelief, where you tell yourself to believe that bad things won't happen to you and your loved ones, because the constant contemplation of death and misery would make us all catatonic?  Usually I'm pretty good about it.

The midwives are mildly concerned that a) no matter how they measure it, my uterus measures a couple centimeters behind, for the first time (a little outside error but not impossibly so) and b) I haven't gained any weight for a month.  (I am now 34 weeks pregnant with a net gain of 9.4 pounds.... have I mentioned that pain makes me nauseous?   Does it count if you lose weight but gain it back? Well.)  I know that everything is probably fine.  The baby is whomping the living daylights out of me right now.   And yet, I'm still just a little concerned.

(I did NOT tell my mother.)

Monday, November 17, 2014

FEEEELINGS About Nursing/ LL

People keep asking me about breastfeeding and then giving me That Look if/when I explain that one round of mastitis = We. Will.  Be.  Done.

People also keep asking if I'm planning to go to LLL meetings.  Maybe?  If things work out okay?  Because I WILL hit the first person who suggests echinacea.  I don't feel like I need support.  (If other people want suggestions about tongue ties, thrush, bad latch, pumping, or multi-drug-resistant mastitis, however, I'm their woman.  Ye gods, what an assortment of bad luck.)

As it happens, I've nursed my children for a combined total of 30 months.  But if I had nursed them for a combined total of 30 minutes, it shouldn't matter.

There's still a part of me, though, that feels that doctors' general lack of breastfeeding knowledge and support is a big obstacle (though not as much as the fact that nursing hurts and is kind of terrible even when it's great).  Just think how little the average MD knows about drug safety in nursing.   If women are getting bad advice, then I'm all for support.  But I'm also all for acknowledging that parents have needs too and sometimes those needs are incompatible with breastfeeding.  This whole ethic of "if you loved your baby enough/ wanted to do the best thing, you'd breastfeed" makes me feel squidgy all over.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Dear Student Affairs Office,

It's been four months since you didn't hire me.  I'm totally fine with you not hiring me.  You made a professional decision to hire someone else!  Great!  I like the (very part-time!) job I have now, and I'm perfectly happy doing that for as long as they'll pay me.  (Plus, it pays better.)

What I'm still not fine with is the way you screwed me around and fucked around with my personal time. Plus, based on how everyone reacted during my interviews, you'd already decided to hire the other person.

I find it unprofessional and offensive in the extreme, how you scheduled my interviews on five - FIVE! - separate days.  So the other person's time was valuable to you, and mine was worth nothing?  Because I'm the wife of some faculty member, I had nothing better to do than be jerked around?  I'm left with the unfortunate impression that you interviewed me solely to check off HR's 'interview two people' box, and you couldn't even get your shit together to do it on one day.

Overall, Student Affairs, really clever choice!  Way to really piss off the spouse of a faculty member!  I mean, it's not like we're going to be around for a long time or anything, right?  It's not like I'll remember how discourteous, dishonest, and unprofessional you were, RIGHT?

Monday, November 10, 2014

Dear Elementary School,

NO, I do not want to come for the Halloween Parade/ help with art class/ show up at school while my child is there.  I want him to be elsewhere, and to not have to worry about it.  I do not, particularly, want school to be a collaborative effort.  I will send in paper plates for the Halloween Party.  I will also show up once a month, for an hour, to help with reading.  I will make sure he practices his writing.  Aaaaaand that's it.

(I know exactly how underfunded public schools are in general - although this one is NOT - and I understand that they do rely on parents to participate - but NO.  I can't even manage to send back my kid's Monday Folder on Mondays.  There is no way I can do anything else for his class.)

Friday, November 07, 2014

In-Law Reprise

Now they're coming.  They claim.  WHATEVER; I'll believe it when I see it, and our deal is that it's Dr. S's problem to deal with them in every way.  I'm making pizza for dinner tonight and... um... I put some stuff in the recycling.  That's my contribution to the effort.  I am excused from attending Extra Special Parade Thing That I've Seen 23 Times Already on the grounds of not being able to restrain myself from a constant stream of snark.

Next up is doubtless an encore performance of how NO we cannot come for Christmas (five days after my due date) and NO my MIL cannot come while my mother is here in January (my mother would be entirely polite and courteous but she also might go down in the basement and spontaneously combust).