2008

Nothing says, “Party Pooper” like telling someone to fuck off, no?

While logging onto WordPress, this was the headline from a blog: “Fans are outraged by Infinity Challenge”. At first I thought it said, “Fans are outraged by Infertility Challenge”. Now THAT’S  post I would read.

“Hey, DD, how about the year in review!”

Why, sure! Love to.

January 2008 – First trimester of ZGirl’s pregnancy and I was sure I would miscarry any day.

February 2008 – Made it to second trimester of ZGirl’s pregnancy and I was sure I would miscarry any day.

March 2008 – Bought a minivan and my husband discharged a rifle accidentally  in my parents’ house…and I was sure I would miscarry any day.

April 2008 – Made it to six months and every one knows. While no longer fearing I will miscarry any day, I am still babygear shy.

May 2008 – Actually purchased my first major babygear and blogging like a “normal” pregnant person. Why didn’t you smack me when I got annoying like that?

June 2008 – Eight months pregnant and so over the hype.

July 2008 – Surprise! It’s a girl!

August 2008 – Exhaustion.

September 2008 – Exhaustion Part Deux.

October 2008 – Back to work. Yuck.

November 2008 – I’ve become a mommyblogger and talk about breastfeeding! *shudder*

December 2008 – Took a break from blogging. Came back from break. Not much of a break if I was to be honest.

Wow. I’m dull.

And for 2009’s Resolution? I don’t believe in resolutions, but this seems like a good start:

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Pass the valium and champagne!!

Happier 2009 to you all!

MOTHER FATHER

Whenever I hear or read something that infuriates me, it is a true test of my patience not to go off half-cocked. Doing so normally gets me into trouble and I end up eating shoe leather.

On the other hand, once I’ve cooled off or had time to research, I get bogged down by my rational side trying to convince me to be fair. To present both sides. To not offend. Unfortunately, it then loses all meaning.

This will be one of those posts that will either piss you off or it will not. I won’t apologize if it does. I will add that none of your comments on the poll, which are now also published, were taken any other way but with sincere openess.

Does becoming a sperm donor or egg donor make one a “mother” or “father”? I guess it depends on who you ask.

Me?

No.

As I thought about this over and over again, I realized that the ONLY people NOT referring to the donors as Mother and Father were the donors themselves. So why is every one else?

If I thought about the literal sense of donation, then Fathers would be made with every one night stand. Mothers would be made every time there was unprotected sex during ovulation.

That doesn’t count, you say, because there was no intent?

OK, so for any couple who has gone through IVF, IUI or even procreative sex, they became Mothers and Fathers even if there was no conception, right?

Now I’m just being argumentative, you say?

Yes, I am, because our society has become so uptight in our pursuit of being politically correct even when it logically makes no sense to do so. What’s wrong with the donor being called a Donor?

What bug flew up my butt and inspired the poll (final results were 74.59% said no, donors do not become mothers/fathers while 24.59% said they did, which at one point was as high as 33%, and there were 51 votes)?

This comment to a thread I subscribed to. I won’t link the thread because the response really had nothing to do with the topic:

I was conceived through an anonymous sperm ‘donation’ (no money exchanged) back in the mid 1960’s through a private doctor practice. I learned of my conception origins at 18 but didn’t feel entitled to acknowledge the confusion this created for me until I had children of my own.

It was only until I saw how much my children were a part of, not only my husband and me, but our collective (bio/genetic) families. This was no long just a personal loss, this was much bigger than me. I searched for my biological father (my parents donor) after the birth of our second child and learned that because I was not of his marriage that I and my children (his grandchildren) could never be acknowledged, recognized or embraced by him – our extended bio/genetic family (grandparents/half siblings/aunts/uncles/cousins etc) or know or be a part of our family ancestry/history.

I see many reasons why donor (especially vendor) gametes/traditional surrogacy is wrong, not for religious reasons but for human dignity reasons. Knowing a name is not the same as being loved and embraced. These methods of conception are not the same as adoption, although they share many issues in common. Adoption (which has many ethical issues of its own), as an institution, is very pro-child. Adoption does not intentionally separate a person from their bio/genetic mother/father/family. It recognizes this separation as a tragedy. BUT donor/vendor/traditional surrogacy intentionally creates a child that will not be loved nurtured, unconditionally embraced or supported by one or both of their bio/genetic parents and extended family. This puts adults wants for a child (pre-conception), before the needs of a child (post- conception).

Of course people conceived through donor/vendor/surrogacy need to be accepted, loved, supported (THAT MUCH MORE SO) by the Catholic/faith community. But these methods of conception — when a child/person is intentionally created in a way that PROHIBITS them (and their future children) from being acknowledged, embraced, loved and nurtured in a fully inclusive way by ALL the people they come from and belong to — do not.

Verbatim and in its entirety.

I do feel sorry for this person as she found out what I think is too late in life that she was donor conceived, but third-party conception has a rather slow learning curve. No one knows the impact of what we tell or don’t tell our children until that moment, and usually it’s too late. In another 20 years, will the trend to tell your child as soon as they are toddling that there was a donor or they were adopted or were bore by a surrogate, come back and bite us on the ass? In some form or another, yes. That child will probably resent “feeling” different then other children. Then again, some children never have an issue. It really is a matter of perspective on life and temperament.

Also, I find myself asking, hypothetically, what right did this person have in asking to be embraced by her donor and his extended family? His donation was not intended to increase his genetic lineage so it seems a rather large leap to assume that 30 years later, he would welcome with open arms that possibility by a stranger. Not only would I never expect ZGirl’s genetic donor to ever acknowledge her if the two were ever to learn of each other’s identity, I also would never demand ZGirl to acknowledge the donor’s family as her own. The donor’s children are not my daughter’s half-sisters or half-brothers. These are terms modern society puts out there to both welcome, and yet exclude, children in a mixed marriage. They are titles to make sure that the Consanguine Family never rises again, and rightfully so.

It was this statement that pushed me over the edge, “Adoption does not intentionally separate a person from their bio/genetic mother/father/family. It recognizes this separation as a tragedy. BUT donor/vendor/traditional surrogacy intentionally creates a child that will not be loved nurtured, unconditionally embraced or supported by one or both of their bio/genetic parents and extended family.”

Adoption is the most intentional form of separation  out there! While I understand her intent in the statement, there is no such thing as an “accidental adoption” unless it’s a swapping of newborns in the hospital.

And to state that donor and surrogacy intentionally creates a child that will not be loved, nurtured or unconditionally embraced or supported by the genetic parents and the extended family??!! Fuck her. And fuck her “non-bio” family for screwing her over by making her feel as if the only unconditional love she could get was from her genetic father and his family since it seems apparent that they did not provide it themselves..

I am not so arrogant to believe that my anger about the quote is directed purely at this stranger. I am angry that it made me question the choices we made. The choices we will eventually make with our own children. How dare I allow some one else’s shitty experience cloud the utter joy I have when my daughter reaches for me, smiles at me, laughs at me. Her mother. Her ONLY  mother.

INFERIORITY COMPLEX

What do you think would happen on the day that you decide not to take a shower; or put on make-up; or style your hair? You know, since you are only going to your Mom & Dad’s for a soup lunch?

Or on the day following Christmas so every new toy has been systematically disassembled on the living room floor, including both sets of K’Nex, and the kitchen table has been modified to be the new PixO’s factory, but since the baby still isn’t mobile there’s no hurry to get it all picked up yet?

Or even on the day after your sister spent the night on the sleeper sofa in the den but wasn’t sure if she’d sleep at Mom & Dad’s that night or again on the sleeper so you leave it set up?

Why, I’ll tell you what happens:

On your way back from Mom & Dad’s at 6:15 p.m., your husband, who is in a separate vehicle because he wasn’t ready to go when you were so you left him behind but who still made you late enough that you missed the phone call from your sister who lives in Jordan, decides to call his buddy who is in town himself for the holidays and invite him to come over.

At 6:45 p.m.

With his wife…who is Swedish….and a model. Yes, really, a Swedish model.

And their one year old boy who is quite mobile.

I don’t know about you, but I screamed inside my head the whoooooole time.

But that’s just me.

JOLLY? HO HO HA

The holiday season never fails to remind me why children grow up and move away from home.

Le sigh.

The in-laws decided that we would exchange gifts just between the little kids. Great idea as I never know what to get any of the adults. Well, unless it’s something I’m regifting back to them.

They asked for a list for XBoy and ZGirl so I sent them one.

Not sure why I bothered since neither of them got anything on their lists. Just to give you an idea of how “complicated” the list was, the only thing on ZGirl’s was books. Don’t ask how many books she got (one).

WTFF?

Even when we try to make gift-giving simple, it becomes a fiasco.

Speaking of such, my husband got me a label maker.

Not sure why, but he did. I pulled it out of it’s box and read half-assedly through the instructions. Sadly, I’m not feeling it and I’m afraid to ask him to return it. I remember what happened the year he got me a slide for a necklace with an emerald in it. Nothing against emeralds, but it’s not my birth stone, nor the birthstone of anyone close to me. When I tried to explain that to him, his pissiness was enough to keep me from ever suggesting his subsequent gifts were anything other than perfect.

That said, I must not have made enough sarcastic comments about the amount of dust rhinos inhabiting the house to inspire him to hire someone to come in once-a-week and clean so I could make sure all my Christmas candies would be consumed without interruption. Obliviousness must be contagious. He constantly hints about the lack of nooky and I haven’t given in to that, either.

Tis the season, and all that jive.

So…how was your weekend?

FIRSTS

I got my first real period since October 2007. I forgot how much fun they were!

It was the first time I went to bed in the master bedroom and woke up in the master bedroom. The new three month old mattress is fucking awesome!

That means it was the first time I did NOT sleep in ZGirl’s room since September. That doesn’t sound pathetic or anything does it?

ZGirl slept through the night for the first time. Almost. 9:30 to 5:30 at which time she woke, ate, and went right back to sleep.

She’s also getting her first tooth. I can feel it juussssst below the gum. Maybe if I keep pushing on it, it’ll pop through like a rivet?

Her first cold. Well, if colds last for 10 weeks, that is.

The first full day came and went where she did not breast feed. She wants nothing to do with my hormonally charged breast milk.

Also, the first full day I didn’t pump, either. As I tweeted, the milk factory is closing due to the poor economy. As excited as she gets when she sees a bottle, you would never know that just a month ago she would shriek at the sight of a bottle.

Her first ER visit, but I’ve already covered that.

I wish I could report her first roll-over from back to front, but alas, I still cannot. It has nothing to do with strength, either, as she can sit up on her own for a few seconds and do the airplane on her tummy.

She wore her first pair of tights and a dress this weekend. I’m hooked. And oh-so-screwed.

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Have you voted? On the poll? Do so so I can close that SOB down and turn off comment moderation. Thanks.

BABY FALL DOWN, GO BOOM

So while you are waiting with baited breath (what does that EVEN mean?) for the story that goes with that poll, I will now fill you in on what happened to ZGirl.

BTW, I have set the comments to moderation as I don’t want any one to be influenced unfairly in their voting. On the poll. Yes, there’s an actual voting process. Click the link and you’ll see.

Anyway, ZGirl. One of the daycare employees dropped her on her head. That’s the short version. Here’s the long version chalk full of my own irrelevant gobbledygook.

Friday, December 12th, early afternoon I picked up a message on my voice mail. It was the daycare Director who wanted to talk to me about moving ZGirlup to the next level, a 4-18 mos room. Me, not ready to move my baby to be with a bunch of toddling toddlers and their clumsy ways, didn’t call her back. Oh, the irony!

Around 4:30 the phone rang and I recognized the daycare number. I let it ring a couple extra times since I just thought it was the Director trying again to get my permission to move ZGirl from the newborn room, but I decided to pick up.

She asked if I had got her earlier message.

No, I lied.

Well, she said, I wanted to ask about moving ZGirl to the next level, but I also need to talk to you about something else, but I want to talk to you in person. Can you be here soon?

I’m thinking to myself that something is wrong since I normally would have been there by 5:00, just 30 minutes from the time of our phone call. I asked what was going on.

I don’t want to alarm you, but I’d rather tell you in person.

Now you have me alarmed, I replied.

There was an accident with ZGirl. She’s OK, the Director quickly added and then started to ramble about the details. I just then realized that the funny little noises I heard in the background was ZGirl hiccuping. You know? Those diaphragm spasms you get after you’ve cried so hard, you can’t catch your breath?

The only thing I said into the phone was I’ll be right there, and I hung up and drove the 10 minutes it takes me to get to the center.

As I walked up the sidewalk, I could see the Director’s office and two of the care givers inside. The door to her office was closed, but I marched in without knocking and saw the Director holding ZGirl, still hiccuping but asleep, in her arms. Care Giver #1, was sitting down at a desk. Her eyes were red and her face was tear-stained. Care Giver #2 only looked at me as I walked past her right up to the Director who tried to hand me the incident report. I didn’t even look at it, but let it drop on the desk and reached for ZGirl.

That’s when I got the first close-up look of the huge bump on her head. It was already dark with blood and there was an angry rug burn on top of that.

Now that she was safely in my arms, I was told again what had happened. They were moving the babies from one room to another and they use the car seats to transport them by putting the seats in a little wagon. ZGirl was pitching a fit, either hungry or tired. Instead of arching her back, she curled up, throwing her head forward…at the same time the car seat was picked up.

The momentum of her head and the moving car seat pitched her forward and out of the car seat onto the floor, head first. I was told that she may have fallen a foot, at the most. Yes, I know, a foot to a 5 month old may as well be 10 feet. Especially when it’s on to your head.

I now marvel at how calm I was, or as the Director said when she called me over the weekend to check on ZGirl, how I maintained a sense of grace. CG #1, on the other hand, was hysterical. When I happened to look at her, she burst into sobs. I walked over to her, ZGirl in my arms, and just hugged her and told her I knew she loved ZGirl and that it was a horrible accident.

CG #1 has a sweet spot for ZGirl. ZGirl is the only baby who seems to know that all the other babies are crabby and will smile and coo for CG #1 when the others won’t. The following Monday and Tuesday, she admitted that she had basically carried and cuddled ZGirl all day.

CG #2 was there as she had witnessed the accident.

It could have been worse. So, so much worse. I remember specifically telling the staff on the first day I left ZGirl at the center to be especially caring with her as it had taken me four years to get her. I won’t even let my mind go to the unthinkable. Just now, by typing that I froze up, mentally and physically.

Within 10 minutes of arriving at the center, I was bundling ZGirl up in the same car seat to take her to the ER to be examined. And well, the rest as you know, is history. If you go to my flickr (the link over on the right of your screen), you can see a little montage of ZGirl’s face that first week.

The Director has assured me (the best she can) that have taken steps to reduce the likelihood of something like this ever happening. *IF* the babies must be moved (they will not be shuttling them from one room to another, but staying in the one room), they will be buckled up in their car seats. I do not blame them for not having her buckled in in the first place. It’s hard to imagine that a baby, who can’t (or won’t) even roll over, could throw herself into a seated position.

Her eye is still a little puffy and a rather unpleasant shade of puce and pee yellow, but the bump on her head? Gone. Completely and totally. I imagine in another week, all physical traces of the accident will be gone from her sweet, little face. 

I have forgiven the care center, but I most certainly never, ever will forget.

BILLIARD BALL

ZGirl was born with a lovely head of dark, wavy hair. Visual proof:

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And now?

Her coif has been reduced to duck fuzz. More visual proof:1107-hair-loss

She has been able to sustain her original hair on the very back of her head. The only hair on her head that DOESN’T touch a mattress. I refer to it as her baby goatee.

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All those little barretts I have? It seems they will remain tucked away for a couple of years. At least.

Her head is like a fuzzy peach that has gone incredibly moldy in spots.

Wait until I show you the close up of the hair she has on her butt and shoulders.

SPIRIT

I hate shopping at WalMart, but the other day I ended up there to pick up toys for Christmas gifts.

I lucked out by snagging a RSP (Rock Star Parking) space, but the downside to those spots is that I either have to take my empty cart back up to the store or half-way down the aisle to a cart corral, and when it’s minus 50-freakin degrees and you have a baby in a car seat…ugh.

Anyway, I put ZGirl in the car. Emptied my cart. Eyeballed the closest option: store front or cart corrall when a man, leaving the store, offered to take the cart and put it away for me.

I thanked him profusely. He wished me Merry Christmas.

Someone with manners…in a WalMart parking lot. What are the odds?

What’s the nicest thing a stranger has done for you lately?

GOING POSTAL

What I think is the last of the holiday cards should be sent today. Please, for the love of festivus, let me know if you did NOT receive a card by the end of January even though you indicated you wanted to participate. I may have transcribed your address incorrectly or didn’t put a stamp on it (it never fails that this happens every year).

Every day I receive the loviest of notes and pictures and cards from people in my computer. I try to explain a little of each of your stories to my husband, who, for some reason, gets a weird, glazed look over his eyes when I do so.

When I had to go to the post office for overseas postage, the postmaster asked if I had been to any of the places I was sending the cards. No, I told her, but maybe someday. She asked how I knew all these different people from across the world. I told her that we met through an on-line support system for women who have difficulty getting pregnant or staying pregnant.

She said, “That’s nice….oh, not that you or your friends had a hard time…I mean, er…”

I told her that I knew what she meant. Yes, it is nice to be so lucky to be able to send holiday wishes across the four corners of this earth to women (and men) who I’ve never met.

It makes me sad that there are so many other women who hide their infertility like a badge of dishonor; who chose not to – or simply don’t – know that there’s a lot of other couples out there who REALLY do get it.

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Also, if I did not reply with my address, please let me know. I simply wasn’t as organized this year. Which reminds me, if you sent ZGirl something and I did not specifically thank you, it is not because I don’t know my manners. I take “thank yous” pretty seriously so it’s likely I did not get it (and hopefully, neither did my neighbor). I try not to put too much faith in the postal service, so let me know if you haven’t heard from me on that.

THOSE WHO CAN’T DO, TEACH

In a joint effort, we are working with the school in trying to improve XBoy’s behavior at school. Whether his attitude is a reflection of ZGirl’sarrival; a change in classrooms (I think K to 1st is major and so is 8th to 9th); or something more biological, we continue to search for answers.

One of the other factors I believe DOES in fact play into how he’s doing this year is an inexperienced teacher.

The other day, his report had these comments noted on it:

XBoy was agressive today – said many “put downs” to others and was distructive to meterials

XBoy did have good focus on his math Quiz but then crumpeled it up and tried to throw it away.

Except for me changing his name to XBoy, this is verbatim.

Sure it bothered me that he was having a particular bad day, but I’m way more irritated by his teacher’s spelling. This is the woman teaching 19 children in a private school? Who next year will teach 17-20 more? And the year after that, ad nauseum?

I’m no spelling bee champion (ask any one who has to read my tweets), but that? Four words misspelled? I’m discouraged, to say the least.

(Time for me to hit the spell check…

….. I misspelled “misspelled”. Ugh)

UP FOR DEBATE

Soooooo….day care dropped ZGirl on her head.

For those of you who didn’t know that yet, I’ll provide details about it later (she’s fine but did end up with a nice shiner to match my avatar). Instead I want to ask your opinion about who should pay.

Well, besides ZGirl, who paid with seemingly endless tears and screams, the swelling of her eye to less than 50%, the abrasion from the carpet or the goose-egg on her head. Or of course, myself, who when she received the news via a phone call from the day care director, had the blood first drain from my head and then rush back up to it in fear and anger.

I’m talking money here.

I used to deal exclusively with no-fault insurance situations through my employer. I understand that most home-owners and almost all business carry it and why. However, I have decided to have the charges related to the ER visit (they charged us a level 5. I should be impressed since that’s usually for patients who have coded, lost a limb or need to be strapped to the bed with ankle and wrist cuffs), which will include a CT scan, sent to my own health insurance. I will then send the copay and/or deductible to the no-fault insurance at the daycare.

I made the mistake of mentioning this to someone who thought that since my employer pays for my health insurance (a portion. Not a majority, either), that I should send it to the no-risk first.

My reason to submit it the way I just mentioned is that I’ve seen similar instances where the no-risk is sent a claim, they pay, but the benefits get maxed (don’t forget I will have more than just an ER visit, but the ER physician and radiology physician to pay), and a balance is billed to the private insurance, who then apply the copay and/or deduc, leaving the poor policy owner/injured still having to pay out of pocket.

Some technical stuff to know: my health insurance is not Medicaid or Medicare which WOULD require by federal law for me to go through the no-risk insurance first.

What would YOU do? Yes, I really am interested in your opinion either way since nothing has been done yet.

(Tidbit of no purpose whatsoever:  did you know that there’s are codes for fall from commode, fall from other furniture, fall from wheelchair and even one for fall from cliff. A CLIFF! I’m not sure why that struck me as bizarre.)