Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Things that start with the letter P

Potty, panties, pee, poop.  That's what we've been dealing with at our house lately.

Andrea has been talking about using the potty for months.  At first she would mention it while watching me go, then it transformed into contempt for her diapers.  After every diaper change she would tell me how twisty the wretched thing was and when I'd mention big girl Dora panties it seemed to give her hope that her discomfort was coming to an end.  Despite her constant pleas for panties and demands for no diapers, I kept putting off potty training because of my schooling and all of her sicknesses.  At least, that's what I kept telling myself and others.  Last week I wrapped up my finals, and all that talk I'd done caught up with me as questions started arising from friends and family.  Monday, I committed.  Monday I will pull the trigger.

I didn't sleep Sunday night.  I was not merely nervous for potty training but absolutely dreading it.  Because I have a strong-willed little girl I was acutely aware of the potential battle ahead of me.  Additionally, I have control issues and I knew that a lack of diapers meant placing my security and control into the hands of a 28 month old.  This, more than anything, scared me the most.  If she was using a big girl potty I could no longer take her on errands adventures anytime I felt like it.  If she soils herself in a diaper I have the option to change it at my convenience   But now. . . I'm going to have to be aware of public bathroom locations (*shutter*), which are places I personally avoid if possible.  I'm going to have to figure out ways to convince Andrea to use toilets other than her own.  I will have to constantly watch the clock to give her periodic reminders and figure out ways to minimize public accidents.  And if I do all of these things, I still will not be in control!  I will walk the aisles of Wal-Mart staring at Andrea's little face, watching for the moment where I will be cleaning up a mess or running to restroom.  I live with enough anxiety that I wonder if I can handle one more worry.

I laid awake for hours Sunday night thinking about all of this until I told myself to focus on getting her trained at home first. Monday morning I got up with two hours of sleep under my belt and began the process.  After one accidental poop in the potty and a whole lot of peeing in her pants, day one felt like a bust.  This morning was painful.  Andrea continued to have accidents, and I was starting to lose my mind.   Every time I found myself scrubbing pee from the carpet I wondered what I was doing wrong as a mother.  I thought with all of her enthusiasm for panties she'd be doing better than she was, so it had to be me who was messing things up.  When she woke up from her nap and I heard her little voice on the baby monitor I burst into tears.  I just didn't want to keep going.  Then I retrieved her from her bed to find her nap pull-up dry.  I put Dora panties back on her and we proceeded to have three successful trips to the potty.  I danced and sang and cried and rewarded her for each success.  Her triumphs were my triumphs too.

Now she's asleep and I'm trying to have positive thoughts for tomorrow!  I think we can!  I think we can!  I think we can!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

A belly picture and the RhoGAM

I can't help but feel rather big these days.  I've received a few comments about how small I look for how far along I am.  Such comments make me laugh because, well. . . see for yourself:

Me right now at 31 weeks.

Me with Andrea at 40 weeks.

Lumpy belly for the win.

Two weeks ago I went to the hospital and did my glucose test (which I'm assuming I passed since no one contacted me about the results).  I also got my RhoGAM shot for my negative blood type.  Positive and negative blood types don't mix, so women with negative blood types can potentially create antibodies to attack a fetus with a positive blood type.  Since Paul has a positive blood type there is a 50/50 chance each of my children could be positive as well.  Every time I am pregnant or miscarry I will have to have this shot to keep my body from potentially killing my babies.  Lovely, huh?  My great grandmother was RH negative and lost three of her four children, so I'm extremely grateful for this technology that makes my own pregnancies less stressful.  However, there is one downside.

If you've never had a RhoGAM shot I'll let you know they shoot you in the tush.  A sweet nurse comes into a room, kindly asks you to pull up your shirt a bit and then pull down your pants.  She directs you to lean over a table or bed and then. . . POKE!  The pain is very slight, but then she puts on that dreaded band-aid which you get to rip off later in the comfort of your own bathroom.  That part always hurts worse than the shot.

My first RhoGAM experience was a little awkward.  I was taken into a bright exam room.  A wall of windows greeted me, and the mid-afternoon sun streamed in to calm my nerves.  The nurse entered the room and had me lean over a table overlooking the picture window and front lawn of the hospital.  "Alright," she said sweetly.  "Let's just get your pants out of the way."  I tugged at my layers of clothing until I had exposed what she was looking for.  I leaned back over the table and my eyes met a mother and son approaching the hospital.  The boy stared at me with terror, probably wondering if he was going to suffer the same fate.  Distracted by the embarrassment of being on display during a rather personal moment, I barely remember the shot itself.  Next time I'll ask them to close the window, I thought.

The second time a RhoGAM shot was administered to me was the day I miscarried last May.  After spending the afternoon being poked and prodded and crying in waiting rooms, I was finally sent to the hospital for the dirty deed.  I was taken into a long hallway with curtained stations.  The nurse asked me to expose the appropriate spot, and while she swabbed and prepared the injection site I attempted some lightheaded small talk to ease my own discomfort.  "Yeah, RhoGAM shots aren't that bad," I casually commented.  "If it were up to me I'd get all shots in my--"  I didn't have time to finish the sentence because at that moment I felt the nurse stab me so carelessly that I actually jolted forward.  She quickly bandaged the injection sight and then threw opened the curtain as she walked away without a word.  I tugged at my clothes and tried to cover myself as a male nurse or two walked past.  Paul repositioned himself to allow me some more privacy during the re-tucking of all of my many layers, but he was not fast enough to save my pride.  I had just lost a pregnancy, was shot in the butt, and then mooned some strangers.  I insisted Paul buy me some chocolate on our way home.

For this pregnancy the RhoGAM experience was much more pleasant.  I managed to be in a real room with no windows and assigned a gentle nurse who allowed me all the privacy a person could ask for when getting a shot in the bum.  Andrea watch inquisitively but didn't seem too disturbed by the scene.  This is good because I passed down my negative blood type to her.  In twenty-someodd years she may find herself leaning over a table feeling a draft and a poke.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Are we there yet?

I'm taking a break from homework to blog a little because I feel like I'm losing my mind.  As I was showering this morning I felt the random urge to cry, and since I was essentially alone, (I'm never really alone as I live with a three foot tall peeping Andrea) I decided it would probably be a great release to allow some tears to mingle with the water running down my face.  It was rather exhilarating until I tried to resume singing which seemed to drag me straight back into sobbing episodes.  I thought it was perhaps my choice of music so I experimented with some Popcorn Popping on the Apricot Tree and Wheels on the Bus.  No matter how goofy the song, the results were the same: me singing/laughing/blubbering/looking like a fool.  I am so ready for this semester to be over.  Just two more weeks, I tell myself.  Are we there yet?

I have a list of things to do that probably spans from here to Denver, but I know until all of my papers are written, my biology assignments are submitted, and my tests have been studied for and taken, I am at the mercy of UVU.  And UVU doesn't care that I'm having a baby, planing a move, or taking care of a commonly sick toddler.  Nor does it care the the dust bunnies under my bed and behind the couch have names as they've grown large enough to become sentient life.

Wilbur and Helga
UVU merely wants me to rise the occasion, so that's what I'm trying to do.  Thank heavens for my hubby who has been super dad too many times to count. . . and for my parents for letting me steal a corner of their kitchen table for an occasional Saturday homework marathon.  Oh, and thank heavens for my little sister who, on multiple occasions, has arrived at my house for what she thought was fun and frolic only to find herself babysitting so I could take a test.  Opps.

As hard as this educational pursuit feels sometimes, I'm so grateful that I have the opportunity to study at a university level.  I have learned so much about the world and about myself as I've written papers about topics that challenged my views and studied societies that lived and believed differently from what I've chosen.  I've learned that several of my limitations are only concrete if I choose see them as such.  The efforts required these past two semesters have forced me to break through invisible barriers I had built for my personal comfort, and as I did, confidence began to replace fear.  I know that I have not had to do any of this alone.  Divine hands cared for me and my family.

Having said all that, I am still looking forward to taking a year off to regroup and rededicate some time to my home, that man I love, and my little Rowbabies.  I bet they are just as excited.