Wednesday, December 21, 2011

"Rub dirt on it"

My dear friend H lost her miracle twins a week ago (not her first loss). Please visit her blog and give her a hug. She's feeling very alone right now.

H and I email often. She was there for me earlier this year when my world fell apart. She's a strong, wonderful woman. In our recent emails we have been discussing how we deal with loss, with emotional pain. We both are of the "don't show weakness, bottle things up, emotionally 'rub dirt on it' and move on because that's what is need to survive (until we fall apart later under the strain)" camp.

Only lately have I tried to do things differently, want to do things differently. For example, since I got pregnant my mom has been talking to me about how she's going to move down to California from Oregon to retire so she can be a part of her granddaughter's life, even watch her one day a week. She talked about having Friday or Sunday dinner together as a family, along with her sister, my dear aunt, who also lives in my area. It made me so happy to imagine us being physically and emotionally close. She told me that before my grandma died last year she asked her, "Mamma, what is your one regret in life?" and my dear grandma answered, "The only thing I would do differently would have been to live closer to my granddaughter Jem and watch her grow up." We both cried together about this. My heart was filled with hope and love.

Sunday my mom called and told me she "just couldn't afford to move." Now, this is pure rubbish (I'm being polite). She could if she really wanted to. The truth is my mother has always put herself first. Her international travel, her seminars, her expensive hobbies are all more important. 

When I was three my mother decided to leave my dad, for various and valid reasons, including infidelity, and drug use. Unfortunately, this also meant leaving ME with my dad (who was a good father, as good as a stoned hippie in a Berkeley commune can be) to "find herself," which she did in the arms of another guy. 

A year later she wanted me back, but it meant exposing me to abuse and neglect by her crazy, Vietnam-vet-turned-hippie boyfriend (this was the early 70's). I could go into details, but won't. Let's just say it was bad. Not as bad as it could have been, but still bad. I was often sick, hungry, and punished disproportionally to whatever the little three-year-old me might have done (played with matches, for example).

After a year of that insanity, I went back to live with my dad for two years, but only once she actually saw what a horrible physical threat the boyfriend was and got her life together. 

She then started making better choices, but it was always her world and I just lived in it. The minute I could, I moved away (to college) across the country and then afterwards, across the globe. After many years living abroad I was sick of being a foreigner and moved back to the U.S. in 1998. Since then I've done years of therapy to gain my emotional autonomy, gotten married, etc.

So, on Sunday I just sat there on the phone and listened to her whine about how she wanted to but she really couldn't swing it. All I could say was, "I have to go. Bye!" hung up and then went and cried my eyes out on Mr Jem's shoulder. 

I was holding on to naive hope that my mother would actually really be there for me, for her granddaughter, be able to be with her and take care of her on a regular basis. Well, she's not. And will never really be. She's a good woman in so many ways and has changed quite a bit over the years, but not enough. And I have to accept her the way she is.

But it hurts. 

So, do I just 'rub dirt' on this wound, stay silent and "just move on?" How do I do this differently?

How do you deal with loss? Disappointment? Those emotional boo-boos?


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Enemy territory + Happy Hanukkah!

I actually ventured into one of those baby stores (Buy.Buy.Baby) this weekend. Yes, talk about enemy territory! Actually, it was a pleasant experience. Started a registry. Mostly went to get educated about infant car seats and strollers, and check out the cribs and co-sleepers. I asked for a personal shopper who walked me around the store. She was super helpful. While it was clearly enemy territory, maybe I'm experiencing Stockholm.Syndrome, because I started to feel affection and true affiliation with my kidnappers (the non-IF population and those who cater to them).

My mother-in-law is here from Boston and we are taking her to a party tonight for the first night of Hanukkah. I made apple sauce the last two nights. Why two nights? Because I didn't feel I made enough the first time, and in typical obsessive fashion, had to make another batch for a total of 8 lbs of apples! I saved some for us for other nights. The apple sauce came out nice. I love just chopping  up apples (seeds, core, and all), and having them bubble on the stove. I recently bought a food mill, which quickly did the job. I hope to be using the food mill soon to make baby food with (we'll see how long that lasts).

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

20w2d: pregnancy update

(Today's post will be all about pregnancy. If you don't feel like reading about that right now, I completely understand. Hope to see you again soon.)

Friday, December 9, 2011

"Something in the water"

Oh, dear G-d, if I hear "there must be something in the water around here" on more time, I'll scream! There are three of us in the office "in a family way" and now all of us are showing and I keep hearing that stupid phrase. I even told one woman who said that, "Um, it doesn't quite work that way... do we need to talk about the birds and the bees?" She had the good grace to blush.

On a much happier note, I spoke yesterday to my HR department and it looks like I can take WAAAYYYY more maternity leave than I originally thought - AND get paid almost the whole time (I've been saving up my vacation days - they should do an episode of hoards on me and my PTO)! We're talking 2 weeks before my due date, and then 18 weeks afterwards for a total of 20 weeks. That's 5 whole months! So, with my April 30th due date, I would go on leave starting April 16 and I won't have to go back to work until after Labor Day, on Sept 4! I'm beyond thrilled! Told my boss today and he seemed supportive.

Mr. Jem is away this weekend for work. In typical Jem fashion I overbooked myself and have had to cancel the sleep-over at my aunt's house for tonight and lunch in a different part of the Bay Area with a friend for tomorrow. I'm going to go home and curl up and watch a movie with my lovely cat Sharky tonight. Still going to a colleague's Holiday party Saturday night, then a brunch with the other now pregnant women from my local resolve group (all 8 of us!!). Then dinner on Sunday with other friends. Busy enough.

Ohhh, Baby is moving around (she must have liked the eclair I ate for dessert!).


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

19w1d: Pregnancy update + new bump pic

(Today's post will be all about pregnancy. If you don't feel like reading about that right now, I completely understand. Hope to see you again soon.)

Friday, December 2, 2011

Mr. Ed?

If I thought the hemorrhoid and heartburn were bad, last night I experienced a whole new level of pain...

At 2 a.m. I was awakened to the worse Charlie Horse I've ever experience. I went from horizontal to vertical with a piercing scream in 2.8 seconds. If I expected a calf rub from Mr. Jem, I was sh*t out of luck. Allegedly I have begun snoring so loud that he couldn't sleep and he wasn't feeling generous. At all. (Ha! Payback for the months of putting up with HIS snoring.)

I was able to massage my leg and fall back asleep, but my calf still hurts this morning. I've left a message with my favorite massage therapist to see if she can help me. Someone suggested upping my magnesium intake. Any other ideas?