Tuesday, November 23

Waiting, waiting, waiting...

Well, the long and short of it is that I am bored out of mind. These last weeks of pregnancy haven't been fun. Actually, this whole pregnancy hasn't exactly been a barrel of monkeys, but unless you are one of those incredible women who enjoy being pregnant, what pregnancy is? But lately... ugh! At least I didn't have anything to worry about health-wise earlier. However, since I came back from Florida, I've had high blood pressure, low red blood cell count, low sugar, tested positive for GBS... nothing exactly uncommon, life-threatening, or terribly serious, but all added together, definitely an annoyance in the extreme. But on the bright side, the baby seems fine. So it could always be worse, right? Keep reminding me that as these days drag interminably on. At first, I was freaking out because I was worried about having the baby before 36 weeks. Now that I've hit the magic 37 week marker, I want very much for him to be out. My midwife is taking it all in stride. The high protein diet she put me on, plus the assortment of "calming" herbs and teas are really working to lower that pesky blood pressure. I blame Gallup, again. I'm telling you, this place is slowly trying to kill me. Little girls from the cloudy midwest states were not meant to live 6,500 feet up in the air, where they can't breath and where their blood count drops deplorably. Because I don't have any of the other typical indications of preeclampsia or toximia, I'm blaming the high blood pressure on the high altitude and Greta. Kids are ones for getting your blood pressure up and keeping it there. The worst part of it all is that as of Sunday, I'm on "bedrest." Hearing that was like receiving a death sentence... for me, anyways. I am happiest when I am up, busy, doing chores, keeping things in order, and relaxing when everything is together. Thankfully, the herb supplements have been working to the point where my blood pressure stays low enough that I can get up, take care of most things around the house, go for walks.... the principle difference is that my mother in law is here to keep on eye on Greta most of the day. That is a huge help! I miss Greta, but this works out perfectly because I've also hit the point in pregnancy where I am tired-off-my-ass most of the time and it takes the biggest act of will to move anywhere, especially in the evening.

I apologize that this is such a sucky post. I am just absurdly tired, wallowing in self-pity, anxious, impatient.... God help me! And if I'm not pathetic enough already, I really wish my MIL would go to bed so I can spend some alone time with my husband, who I haven't seen all day. There. That is the pettiest thing imaginable to say at the moment, but whatever.

You can come anytime now, baby dear. Bring on the labor pains, the sleepless nights, the crying, the nursing, the baby blues... at least I won't feel like the girl who turned into a blueberry in Willy Wonka.

Monday, November 15

What are friends?

I'm dedicating this post to all my friends, but especially the ones I've come to know better through that artificial medium - Facebook. These days, there is a lot of bashing of online relationships by some of us more conservative folks. Don't worry, I've been there and done it myself. But that was back in the day when I had school, a job, what most would term a social life. Somehow, before one has children, it is so much more easy to engage in a social life. However, a social life requires just that... engaging. An active participation on your part to keep it up, invite people over, go out randomly, make and return calls, plan fun things, hang out.... If you're doing that now, you know what I mean. If you used to, you definitely know what I'm talking about. Yet when one decides to be a "stay at home mom," having a social life in the typical sense becomes much harder and requires more from you than it does your single or newly married friends. For one, there is a lot less room for spontaneity when you have kids. And spontaneity is the soul of having a social life. But how can one be spontaneous when a small someone has to go to bed at 8pm. Otherwise, the consequences include waking up in the middle of the night, waking up too early the next day, being a cranky pants all day next day. It's harder to go to a party and then end it with a late night in the pub because while your single friends can go home and sleep off their hang-overs, you are going to roused by a bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, and HUNGRY child at 6am. Strong coffee, anyone? Children are no respecters of weekend, sleeping-in privileges, the saving grace of those Friday night parties. Even "hanging out" with a girl friend and engaging in some good girl talk is not the same when your child is unpacking a tissue box, scattering crumbs all over a cutely decorated apartment, or pulling all the DVDs off a shelf. The quality of conversation is strained when you aren't giving it your full attention as you smack your kid away from the cups of hot tea. Heart to heart conversations take a lot more cultivation under the circumstances.

So it's been my finding that "real friends" - as in friends you physically spend time with or do things with - are much harder to come by once you have children. It's not that they aren't there, or that I don't have a few faithfuls from my college and work days who put up with my decreased topics of conversations or inability to focus. It's just that the quality of the friendship changes a bit. And making new friends! If they aren't moms, moms to be, or single friends with an interest in child psychology or babysitting, forget it. It's at this time in my life when I find my daily source of female companionship to be Facebook. I actually count Facebook as a blessing in my life, no kidding. Because of it, I have made so many new friends with girls I either barely knew in my past life, girls I didn't know at all but who were friends of a friend, girls I knew by name but never hung out with, or girlfriends who are now moms. What is friendship, anyways? As with most good relationships, it is based on a common factor. Ours is kids. My circle of friends has become so much more eclectic since having Greta because now I have something in common with all the diverse people I would never have dreamed of becoming close friends with back in college or at work.

A couple friends come to mind immediately. One I met in grad school during my first year there. She stood out in my mind because fellow classmates said she'd leave class to nurse her baby. "That's awesome," I thought. (I don't know if that was actually true or not, but it impressed me favorably). "Baby, teaching and grad school. I want to be that person." The next year, when I waddled into class, very pregnant with Greta, she was there again, too, also pregnant. The main difference was that she had lots of intelligent things to say, while I felt more or less a prisoner of baby-brain. We never became close friends in grad school, but since then, she has been one of my favorite go-to moms for good advice, a necessary laugh now and then, an overall inspiration on how to balance your life. Another VIP in my Facebook world is someone I never actually talked to in real life! She's the very intelligent and well-educated older sister of a friend of my younger brother's. How's that for a far-out connection? But she is one of those people I'd like to be some day. Teaches in college, has a PhD in English (I think it's English), has two kids under 6, married to a seemingly great guy, has a farm in Ohio, knows all about canning, gardening, farming.... all the wonderful things I miss so much and want to rediscover when our life allows. Literally, she's living my dream life, as far as I can tell from FB. And just reading her status updates makes me feel smarter... poetry quotes, political opinions, or just random humor. Can I say "hero worship"? There are many other friends I could name, but then this post may make me look even more like an inveterate Facebook stalker than I really am.

So friends, how was this for a suck-up to say, "please keep my Facebook life interesting for the next couple weeks as I wait anxiously for this kid to come out?" Thanks, all :)