Are we there yet?
What a strange week. Well, not strange like panic-strange, just things feel a little “off.” OK fine, there was some panic, too.
The off-ness started over the weekend, when I had fits and spurts of nesting-like activity (you could call it, I suppose) – washing more baby clothes, unearthing and sorting through disorganized storage containers, cleaning the basement, finding colorful things to hang in the nursery, etc. This was all off-set by just as lengthy spurts of wanting to lay on the couch and moan in unspecified misery (we often call this “letting the cats eat my arms.”) I was completely unmotivated to do anything, including fun things like watch TV, poke around the internet, or even play the Wii. I know. I suppose a comparison would be running full force, then stopping to sit down and cry, then getting back up to run, and so forth and so on. Thanks, hormones!
Things didn’t improve when Monday came around and my mother slowly tore out my toenails one by one over the phone. It also involved resolving some questions we had about my maternity leave, which had us asking a thousand questions last week that no one was able to answer. Finally, though, we were directed to the benefits chart applicable to me, which sadly pointed out that I would only get paid 100% for the first two weeks of my leave, dwindling down eventually over time to just 60%. Unless the OB says I need to be out longer, six weeks is standard leave for a vaginal birth (eight weeks for C-Section, which I’d like to avoid) – all additional time off would need to be taken as unpaid or vacation days. Of course, this is just me and doesn’t address the other complications of my wife taking any additional leave other than the vacation time she’s stored up.
Monday night was also our one-time breastfeeding class, which was really informative (and attended by all of the normal people who live here – why can’t those people be in our Thursday night classes?), although I didn’t appreciate all of the mother-bonding crap that alienated the dads and partners and prompted small subtle tears to run down my wife’s cheek. They could certainly spend less time talking about dad’s just-as-comforting-and-important hairy chest, loud heartbeat, and deep booming voice. Toolbags.
Tuesday brought another stressful conversation – this time with our daycare folks, who are currently dysfunctionally working with an interim director, since the director we met with back in December has since left. We were passed along to an old biddie named Sue who is in charge of the administrative things like the ever important wait-list for enrollment. I don’t know if this is a common issue in other towns, but in our town, a secured spot in the infant room at a daycare is gold. Back in December, we were stoked to be number 1 on the wait-list for August enrollment, as we are number 75 on the August list (and number 14 on the September list) at our other preferred daycare location. Hoping to have some sense of “oh sure, there should be a spot in the infant room come August” from Sue, we got, “Hmm. I’m just trying to figure out payroll here, honey! And you haven’t even had your baby yet! Call me in a month, and maybe then I’ll know more. Oh, and then there’s this fella here who looks like he already had his baby – so I’ll probably give him the next spot that opens up.” Which was, as you might imagine, less assuring. Considering that all other daycare places in the area (that accept newborns at 6 or 8 weeks) have a wait-list a year or more long, we’ve spent this week contemplating our less-desired options in the case that Sue doesn’t come through in time for me to go back to work.
See? Now YOUR blood pressure has risen, hasn’t it? Mmhmm.
Wednesday, everyone (as in me and my wife) had the grumples. We’re running low on positive thinking and good cheer. Low? Well, maybe we’re in the negative. I had a brief moment of momentum last night as I decluttered some of the kitchen countertops to make way for the baby things (such as this awesome contraption) that will eventually take over, which included demoting the 12 cup coffee maker to under the counter. I also managed to do some laundry, take down the compost, walk the dog, and piss myself a little when I sneezed too hard (so.awesome.) The night was topped off by eating cream horns and watching ANTM (Vegas LOVES a squealing model).
We’ve barely made it to Thursday, and somehow we need to find the get-up-and-go to make it through redneck childbirthing tonight and a day-long trek to awkward-land to see my mother on Saturday. I haven’t even managed to find the time this week to complain about being tired, swollen, moody, and fed up with the little man who walks behind me all day shooting blow darts into my ass (sciatica much?). The light at the end of the tunnel is heading to the pool on Sunday for some pregnant lady float-time. Wish us luck with everything else.