Friday, June 30, 2006

My earth, my sun, my universe













Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Notes, observations, admissions, embarrassments

My girl has rubbed a bald stripe right 'round her head, like a senile tonsured monk who has forgotten to shave off the top. This is the result of recurring head-thrashing, the cause of which we cannot determine. She just seems to enjoy head-thrashing. Sometimes she laughs while she does it.

My left breast makes two ounces of hard-won milk for every five produced by the right. There is no rhyme or reason to this, but it is remarkably consistent. Right breast is now a shocking D cup; left hovers between B and C. In combination with my seriously deviated septum and generally angular mien, I bear a striking resemblance to this fine woman. Striking.

Much to my dismay, I am bucking the promised breastfeeding trend and am, in fact, gaining weight each day. Stems and stalk are ballooning in sympathy with my right breast. I read today that sleep deprivation can lead to obesity, so there go my hopes of burning up extra calories through continued wee-hours whimpering. Wish I could share some of my lard with Wavery, who could really use a few dozen buckets of the blob.

Olivia prefers her father in all matters unrelated to the boob. She reserves her finest gummy grins and doe-eyed looks of adoration for Jeff. I feel a spurt of bitter jealousy each time I see it, tempered only slightly by the fact that I love him madly, too.

LilyPadz, though expensive, are my new best friends. They are the only things I can wear under my lopsided bra that don't show through my work clothes. My work clothes that are two sizes bigger than they should be, due to the reverse breastfeeding weight gain scenario described above.

The fact that I care even a smidgen about the weight gain makes me feel like a leperous ingrate.

I am doing a decidedly crappy job at work and a marginally crappy job at motherhood. As for wifehood, I am not even showing up--I seem to have resigned, or at least gone on a leave of absence.

I cut off all my hair, in the classic regulation mom style--the "I'm still a little hip, right?" cut that really says, "Nice try, mom."

She likes being changed. She likes being bathed. She hates going to sleep. She hates tummy time, unless it involves being flopped over a parent's leg while sucking on said parent's finger.

Olivia's eyes are the color of the sky on a clear December day. Ours are the color of dirt. We just discovered how much fun it is to dress her in blue.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

More interesting IVF reading

Pre-fertilization egg testing reduces miscarriage rates

IVF pays for itself tenfold!

And some good news for Olivia and the rest of the ICSI babies

Monday, June 19, 2006

And the study says...

...no link between stress and IVF success. Too bad; I really wanted to be told to relaaaaax next time.

Food for thought

Or for choking on?

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Real, baby

You know that BBC show, "Faking It," where they take a house painter/burger flipper/sheep shearer and turn him into an artist/chef/hair stylist? The bumbling volunteer has four weeks to effect the transformation, with the help of skilled subject-matter mentors and the motivation of a national television audience. The process is invariably gruelling, emotions run high, the words "I can't" are muttered and shouted and cried, the mentors give tough love and there's just no going back.

At the end of the four weeks, expert judges are brought in to spot the faker in a field of pros. More often than not, the house painter/burger flipper/sheep shearer succeeds in fooling the judges, if only just. And we, the audience, say to ourselves, Boy, that pole dancer sure does look like a genuine equestrienne! or, Goodness me, that classical cellist makes a really good DJ!. More impressive, however, is the fact that so many of the volunteers find themselves thinking that maybe, just maybe, they are meant to be artists or chefs or hair stylists. That it's for real.

When I was pregnant, each new symptom and predictable body change surprised me: I would think to myself, How funny, that's just like a real pregnancy. And when Olivia arrived, and cried and pooped and squirmed, I thought, Huh. Just like a real baby. (My dad, after first being introduced to Olivia, said that he was so impressed with her; that somehow, knowing how she was made, he had this idea in the back of his mind that there would be something wrong with her. And while it sounds rather horrid and blunt, who am I to judge? Even knowing that there's no basis for such an assumption, isn't that just what I feared and expected, too?)

Motherhood has, from day one, seemed like a high-stakes Faking It episode. The sheer fact that I was allowed to name her--that this name I decided on is now official, printed up neatly on a Social Security card with a number she'll use for the rest of her life--makes me feel like an impostor. I go through these often joyous motions of motherhood--the feeding and changing, smiling and chirping, carrying her in the sling and pushing her in the stroller--but still think, Who, me? whenever someone asks how old my daughter is. My god, the word "daughter" alone is enough to daze me.

I remember feeling something similar when Jeff and I first got married. He introduced me to someone as his wife--his wife?--and it sounded like something silly we'd made up between us. It took me a good six months not to giggle inside at words like "husband" and "spouse".

Of course, six years later, it feels perfectly natural. With the help of my own subject-matter mentors--you, for example--I think one day motherhood will, too.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

London calling

So. Ms. Who. The brand-new nanny. She has emailed to say that she's accepted a "fantastic" job offer in London. An "opportunity she couldn't refuse." That she has, in fact--between last week and this--already moved there.

I have to start work again fifty miles from home a week from tomorrow and we have no caregiver. Jeff has big contracts with two important clients, contracts he has been putting off till we had help.

In a way, I am relieved; I found myself strangely and selfishly bothered by the idea of someone else holding her, someone else changing her, someone else comforting her. But I know this is just a temporary reprieve: we need help. If we're to fulfill our other responsibilities, we need to work. To work, we need someone else to take care of Olivia.

Ouch.