Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The 2AM Rantings of a Woman Close to Birth

As pregnancy goes, I fall asleep at 10pm with my dear 3 year old by my side and then wake up, disoriented, around 1:00...but tonight I am frustrated and angry, so...warning.  This blog may contain cursing.

I am 39.  I waited forever to find the right person, and felt no longing to have children until I made a home in which I knew a child would feel safe.  It doesn't really fit, this lifestyle I now have.  After all, I'm the child of an alcoholic, and a person who struggled with mental illness.  I am the child of musicians, who changed the word "sin" to have a million meanings over time. I am the child of a divorce, an affair, and a lot of screaming.   I am the sister of someone who abuses their children, but gets away with it.  I am the person who likely would have made only a lot of bad decisions.  And I think that one thing really changed me....my pursuit to be thin.

It didn't work.  I am still fat.  I have really, always, in every stage of my adult life, been fat.  I have been "healthy looking and pretty" fat, I have been "this can't be good" fat, pregnant fat, etc.  But in addition to diets, I sought for years a way to change my brain and heart to be thin.  I thought, maybe something internal will change, and I'll find a way to change my body.  And I never really did, at least not by societal standards.  However, all those years of counseling, of groups, of work, of prayer, of commitment....they changed the rest of me.  They changed the parts you don't see.  They made me choose a spouse who is consistent, faithful and won't touch a drop of something that might cause him to make a bad decision.  Those years of "work", I'll call it, gave me some peace.  Reassured me that I don't need him for happiness, but that I could choose a life of partnership rather than dependence.

But having babies changes things.  I am up and angry tonight and trying to decide what is the worst thing.  Is is the assumption that they were going to cut me open and take the baby from early on?  Is it the fact that the doc, two years older than I am, called me "kiddo" and patted my knee, or is that this doctor is a million times better than the last, and I still feel angry, out of control, unhealthy.  I am like a victim here.

I went to an "empowerment" page, of women who were overweight and pregnant, or mothers.  I felt better looking at pictures, hearing them talk about how they had natural births, home births, the "dream" I know I won't have.  I envied, and felt a sense of sadness.  I wished I could be somewhere and someone else.  I longed to not be part of this group that tries so hard not to feel shame, while made to feel it.

My OBs are always people I would not ever have hung out with.  They are always part of "normal", a part I was never that crazy about.  Maybe I would have liked midwives?  Maybe at least a person with a hippy background would be more like me...but I don't know.  I just think that shame, for whatever reason, always comes from a group that passes itself of as "normal".....like the medical community.   And here I am, fat, on the outside, being called "kiddo."

Part of me wants to desperately attempt a second time at this dream of being more involved in the birth of my children.  Part of me wants to get done and get out.  And part of me wants to mourn, to feel incredibly sad about the years of work, the change within me, the fruit, which no doctor will ever see, since what they see is "FAT".  They diagnose fat before me, they treat fat before me. 

Monday, April 29, 2013

Sooner or Later

I think that if I compare my life to others' lives, I am a person with more transitions than most.  I will have a few years of "being settled" doing something, being with someone, being someplace, and then that will change.  I cringe at job applications that want a list of 5-10 years of addresses.  For me, that is a long, confusing task which involves looking through old emails searching for mentions of where I've lived.  I don't think everyone has to do that.

I'm sure part of it is the pursuit of being an artist.  But here I am, married, home owner, mother, and we find ourselves anticipating change again.  A new kid, hubby interviewing for new jobs, me contacting jobs near the jobs he's looking at just to see if that's changing for me too.  It's enough to give one a huge headache, if being 36 weeks pregnant didn't do that on its own.

I've learned after time that you can be happy on either side of change.  You can be happy before a change but feel something's not right for you.  You can be happy after, as soon as the dust settles and the feeling that you've got no ground under your feet subsides.  Change is the biggest fear of most people, but as I've heard a dozen times, it's actually the only constant in our lives.

I am comforted by the thought that God never changes, but confused by it.  After all, EVERYTHING changes right?  

Last night I saw David Wilcox perform, and if you've read my blog before I am such a huge fan of his storytelling, and his honest music.  I see myself doing something like that.  Of course-- I see myself doing everything musical, as long as it doesn't involve tattoos and rock star hair.  I have been writing a few songs lately, frustrated that singing has been tough.  But I really long to sing again too.

It was a good concert, but he was sick, and so he chose to not take a break.  He worried about his voice cracking and strained for high notes, so I never felt swept up in his stories. I knew the feeling of struggling through a "sick" performance (although I would never perform that sick). 

There were so many changes I noted in that concert.  I had a friend with me, I had a baby coming, I had no coat on, and I was a teacher at a college.  Two years, and I can't even imagine what 2 more years would bring me.

Sooner or later, stuff changes.  Off to a Dr's appointment this morning, and of course I'll ask about the strange, sudden lightning pain in my lower abdomen last night.  More change, I assume.  More change.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

What Daddies and Mommies Do

I'm in so much back pain.  My stomach seems to be pulling downward at all times, as if the child inside me is headed somewhere (down) and needs to get there desperately.  I have a strong excess amount of fluid, which makes everything more uncomfortable, God help me.

My daughter says that "daddies go to work and mommies go to the gym."  I have ideas about where she got this notion (I never take her to schools to watch me teach, but I do take her to the daycare at the gym) but as at least somewhat of a feminist, I'm kind of horrified to hear it from her mouth.  I have told her a million times that both mommies and daddies work, but it's not a conversation she "gets", and I realize I can't get too caught up in a 3 year old's perception of the world.

I have learned so much in teaching how falsely the expectations of artists (and therefore my own) can be.  I got so angry at a student today who expected to sing in a contest this weekend.  She came in with the new music in the new key, that I had asked her to get.  I had given her a lecture that if she DID want to perform this new song, it would require a great deal of work on her part, daily work, and that she needed to commit at the very least to listening to a recording of it every day until the next time I saw her.  Easy homework.  Today she came in not even able to read through 5-6 notes in a row.  She didn't know anything, and obviously had not looked once at the music.  She honestly thought she was singing a competition in 2 days not able to perform the piece without my prompting EVERY single pitch on the piano.  It was so ridiculous I had a rare moment of actually wanting to just ask her to leave.  I was much nicer.  But I see parts of myself in this, parts of the dream without the work, or the idea that that would be ideal.  I see parts in those who work their butts off too, but this maybe more.

I also had one of my favorite students do her annual disappearing act.  3 years of teaching her, and 3 years of her disappearing when softball season starts, and reappearing at the end.  Only at the end this time she'll be moving, so I may not see her.  I feel so hurt....so attached to her beautiful voice and sweet personality, and sad to know I mean so little that she'll just disappear forever.  Teaching is full of relationships that feel one-sided, sad and happy, codependent.  How could I not love it?

When I read reviews from college students I find that often the comments "I thought the music was too challenging" accompany the line "I never practiced."  Hard to take those seriously.

Since I am focusing on gratitude, I should note how grateful I am that students wrote things like this
I love lessons with Piper.  I appreciate everything she has to say and feel like I am improving as a vocalist.  As a senior, I sincerely wish she had been my voice instructor for my first three years of college as well.

Trying to remember how Daddy never gets comments like that at work at all :)  And I sure as hell never get it at the gym!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Gratitude

I have no idea what day of this it is...like 8?  Mondays and Tuesdays feel exhausting, so I don't even bother with the old blogosphere.  This morning I am living in an infirmary...sick husband, sick daughter, pregnant mom.   BLech.  Hubby's home from work, which means he's REALLY sick.  And I'm kind of amazed I'm not sick.

I've been on the phone all morning trying to figure out how much the hospital will charge me for the 7 tests I'm required to take there.  So far my answers have ranged so broadly that I've asked them to "investigate".  It's kind of nuts.  Hospitals, if you don't know this, don't have REAL prices.  There is no price list.  There is only a 'range' for each thing you can get done.  All of these ranges are dependent on the insurance company you have.  Isn't that weird?  So your insurance company says, "ahhh, we'll pay 200 for that" and then the hospital says, "ok that sounds cool" and then the insurance company charges you 15 percent of that.  It's literally impossible to price shop.  How did we get this incredibly unfair system?  Anyhoo....trying to figure out who might be less of the two hospitals, blocks from each other.  So far the same procedure has been quoted to me as $162 and $365.  That seems like a big difference right?  Especially since I have to have SEVEN of them.  Oy.

So here's my gratitude.  I am so grateful for my immune system.  Eh, that just popped in my head.  But it's true.  My whole life, I have had short illnesses, short colds, short flus.  I have had entire illnesses pass me by and affect everyone else.  I am convinced I have a pretty kick-butt immune system.  This year has been the sickest of my whole life.  Teaching students, having a 3 year old in preschool, ugh, that has just SLAMMED me with various flus and bacterias, blah blah.  But at the end of the day, I know how much worse it could be.  I am so grateful that up to this point, I have had a body that if it fails me, doesn't fail me long.  I don't have to be afraid of people with colds, because if I get it, I know it will leave me soon enough.  No docs, no meds, Makes me feel pretty lucky.

And now, back to the phone calls.