Life as a New Mom

A first-time mom adjusting to her new everything

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Failing my one job

I had my ultrasound appointment at the high-risk practice earlier this week.  They confirmed there is a cyst there, and they believe it’s on the spleen.  I go back in 4 weeks to see if it grew, shrank, or stayed the same.  At this point, the doctor tells me it’s small and doesn’t concern her because it’s below the diaphragm and there is excellent blood flow to all the surrounding organs, with fetal weight in the 43rd percentile.  All that is good, but I still have one overwhelming feeling.

I’ve failed my one job before this baby is born, and that is to gestate a healthy fetus.
Is that unreasonable?  Probably.  Have I done my best? Yes.  Does that make me feel any better?  No, not at all.

And yesterday, I find out that my husband has told his family about this, right before we’re due to go visit and before I was ready to say anything to our families.  It’s easy to be anonymous, and not have to face the people you’ve told; it’s not easy when I’ll have 3 days of them in front of me, wondering what is the problem/solution/how I am.  I suppose it’s nice to have people that care enough to be concerned, but I don’t feel like discussing this with anyone, or accepting sympathies.  And honestly?  I’m mad at the person my husband told, because THAT person is the one who went and told everyone else.  It wasn’t that person’s news to tell, and I feel my parental boundaries being stepped over.  It’s a shame my husband doesn’t feel that way.


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It should be fairly obvious from all the advice out there that holidays make new and new-ish parents cringe.  I am no exception.

My experience has been that even though my husband and I have been together over 5 years, we still did holidays mostly the way our parents wanted us to.  It wasn’t a battle worth fighting, and we were comfortable in our traditions, even though we had to adopt some of the other family’s in order to make everything fit.  I am slightly shamed to say that my parents made way more of an accommodation than my in-laws, but now that we’ll have a child for the Big Holidays (possibly Thanksgiving this year, though I’m due about 4 days after, and definitely Christmas) I am not willing to go with the status quo.

Until now, it’s been about doing what our families wanted and trying to avoid hurting anyone’s feelings.  The result of this, of course, was that we never really had a good time.  Extra complications arise due to my in-laws being divorced, so there are 3 sets of parents involved.  Where’s the harm in this, you ask?  So far, there hasn’t really been any harm aside from our feelings of stress when we try to make everyone happy and no one actually is happy.

But we haven’t had the chance to develop our own holiday traditions, or find our own holiday identity.

This Thanksgiving, no one is allowed to come down.  That was a rule put in place by me, because I don’t want 9 people in my home either right before I have a baby, or right after, or (god forbid) during their visit.  Christmas is likely going to be delayed, again at my instigation.

I have no problems with people coming down to see us – our family all live 8 hours away and I understand they’ll want to meet the newest family member.  As my sister-in-law T. put it,”we’re not coming down to see you anyway – nobody cares about you!  We just want to see the baby.”  The visit is a double-edged sword since they live so far away: we get to see them, a rare thing, but they never come down just for a few days.  It’s usually at least 5 days, and they stay with us.  That can’t happen this year.

It’s about knowing yourself; I know I’m introverted and social situations drain me rather than energize me, and having them come while our child is barely 1 month old is too much on what will already be drained resources.  I also know that having so many people staying with us before 12 weeks is ill-advised in terms of baby’s immune system.  Our Christmas compromise is this: people must stay at a hotel instead of with us, and they must come in January, so we have the actual holiday to bond and spend as a family.  I’m also not refereeing the non-amicable divorce between my in-laws, so they’ll have to either be cordial or work out with us when the other is coming so paths don’t cross.

I hope this all goes as smoothly in reality as I imagine it happening in my head…

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Waiting for the call

Do you ever feel like once you have a grasp on everything happening in your life, there’s always something new added, just to keep you off-balance?  I do, and it’s been happening more and more often.  I find this disturbing, probably because I struggle with wanting to control everything so my equilibrium doesn’t get thrown off.  Weird and counter-intuitive, I know.

But I was doing pretty well, handling all the pregnancy-related symptoms and stresses, until last Friday.  I was scheduled to have an ultrasound to see if my placenta was still low-lying.  I also took the one-hour glucose test while I was there.  The placenta had moved, so everything there is good.

Nothing is ever that easy.

On the ultrasound, the technician noticed there was something.  She and the doctor weren’t sure what, but they had a guess.  They ended up referring me to a high-risk practice for another ultrasound to confirm what they think.  The guess right now is that there is a fetal splenic cyst.  Being a librarian, the first thing I did was look through medical literature I have access to and see what has been published about the topic.  2 articles, total.  I’m guessing that makes it rare.

Now I’ve got nothing to do, but sit by my phone and wait for the referral office to call me to schedule the ultrasound.  My OB’s office said it would likely take place this week, so I’ve been nothing but anxious waiting for the call.  I want to get it scheduled and figure out what the problem is, and how we address it.  I’d also like to know so I can square everything away at work, but honestly?  I’ll take the first appointment they can get me.

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Temporary Insanity is a TOTALLY valid defense for my behavior!

I’ve dealt with a lot of guilt, off and on, lately  – normally it comes about 16 hours after I react or overreact to some stimulus in a way I know my mama taught me was inappropriate.  There are honestly times when I wonder how old I really am, and why I think I can act decades younger…

I tried talking to my husband Friday about how concerned I was for our upcoming trip, how I didn’t want to be the center of attention, how I wanted to talk with the people we’re visiting about things other than my pregnancy.  I did make it clear I don’t mind a few questions, like “how are you doing”, “how far are you”, or other neutral statements.  The problem is that I do not often get neutral statements.  At work I get told constantly how small I am, where am I putting the baby, am I sure, and while I think they’re well-meaning, the bottom line is that those comments are rude and hurtful.  I also get stories of how horrible things will be, and the last thing I need is horror stories of birth, babies, or turning into Driving Miss Daisy.

Some of the people we’re visiting have a history of wanting to always talk about the bad.  It happened when my mom was dying: always wanting to talk about how unfair it was because she was so nice, how hard it is, how rotten she must feel, and on and on for hours.  So maybe I’m a little sensitive to things that could be considered rude questions.

My husband’s response: suck it up and you’d better be nice because if we don’t want to alienate people then sometimes we have to just deal with things we don’t like.

I don’t know what I was expecting, but I was hoping for a promise of defense, or running interference of some sort.  I just felt incredibly let down, and it’s affected my mood this whole weekend, as I try not to sulk like a 4-year-old because honestly?  It wasn’t that big of a deal.