The Cranky Ol' Bat

Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death! - RuPaul

2006-11-13

I'm the World's Worst Mommy.....And I'm Surprisingly OK With That

Yup, you read that right.

I've only been doing my new gig for a little over six weeks. I have since found out that I have done irreparable damage to Joey in so many different ways, it's amazing he still breathes without assistance....and has even thrived.

A modern freakin' miracle, lemme tell ya....

What has the poor child endured, you ask?

Let's start from the beginning.

1) I had him via cesarean section. I get a marginal pass on that one, since it turned out I would have needed an emergency one anyway. Joey's cord was going to be delivered before he was if I had insisted on going for a normal birth. That was a recent development that didn't show up on my last ultrasound, and something the doctor only found out about once he cut me open. My reason (eighteen hours of labor, stalled progress, possible stuck shoulder leading to potential paralysis for the rest of his life in said shoulder, and a very large baby at 10 lbs, 2 oz.) still doesn't cut it with some birth nazis.

2) I actually used the term "birth nazi" when I couldn't stand how this one broad was pontificating about how anesthesia during childbirth was a crutch and there was no real reason for epidurals.

Me and my mouth dug that hole even deeper when I stated that once we started having "natural tooth extractions" or "natural appendectomies" I'd reconsider my position that the whole no-anesthesia shtick is just misogynistic crap perpetrated by some misguided male physicians and self-hating women. (Ever notice how all the "natural childbirth" philosophies were started by men? Lamaze, Bradley, Dick-Read....all men. After all, childbirth has been painless for men for centuries.....)

At least I put a sock in it before I blurted "Why the hell didn't you just squat in a field then, instead of forcing other women to hear you scream while they were giving birth? You think we wanted to hear a complete stranger screech for hours down the hallway, honey? Listening to that howling sure wasn't part of my birth plan." The birth nazi was ready to kill me as it was. No need to spike the ball.

3) Oh yeah, my birth plan. That's a good one.

For those of you who are birthin' virgins, a birth plan is where you plot out how you are going to bring your kid into the world. You specify who will be allowed in the room, if it's going to be immortalized on video, and what drugs, if any, you want available. It seems like a lot of them involve scented candles, soft music, and lights turned down low. Kinda like a seduction scene, only no booze (dammit!!), and the nudity involved isn't particularily erotic.

My birth plan didn't involve any of that. I knew damn well that I really wasn't in control of the circumstances. Whether it was going to be easy or difficult would be impossible to predict. So my birth plan went something like this:

I go to the hospital. I bug the crap out of everyone by asking anyone within earshot for an epidural the minute I walk in the door. Receptionists, food delivery people, other expectant parents checking in, janitors who don't speak English, nurses....I beg them all for blessed relief. Finally they have enough of me and arrange to get me the good stuff to shut me up. I consider naming my son after the anesthesiologist if he gets there in a reasonable amount of time. I deliver the kid....somehow. Maybe vaginally, maybe c-section, could be out my damn ear for all I know. I leave a few days later with the most beautiful baby boy ever born in Florida.

Unlike the scented candle crowd, I fulfilled my birth plan completely. (Candles aren't allowed in the hospital....fire hazard. Oops.)

4) I apparently have doomed my son for years of embarrassment in the showers at high school by not circumcising him. I don't know, but the idea of whacking off part of his anatomy without anesthesia didn't appeal to me much. And yes, with the set of lungs this kid has, I would have known exactly when it was happening. Hell, I could hear it when the nurses changed his diaper and I was still coming out of the anesthesia for my c-section. That was bad enough.

I might have reconsidered for religious reasons if we were Jewish. But even though our last name sounds Jewish, we're not. So with that reason gone, we decided to go with the American Association of Pediatricians recommendations and skip it.

Besides, if he wants it done later, I'd rather that he would be old enough to say if he needed more anesthesia, thankyouverymuch.

What the hell are guys doing staring at each other's schlongs in the shower, anyway??? Ewwww!!

5) He has had formula. Quite a bit of it. He will have more in the future.

To some women (usually the birth nazi type), this is tantamount to child abuse. Yet my son wasn't gaining enough weight until I supplemented. Go figure.

6) After determining that I can't make enough milk to breastfeed only, I've decided to look upon breastmilk as an appetizer or dessert for the little mite. Yes, I've tried everything including fenugreek (it made me smell like an IHOP), mother's milk tea (I hate licorice-tasting crap like anise, but I'd still probably be drinking it if it didn't give me horrible stomach cramps that made me crawl to the bathroom....not a good thing when you are recovering from a c-section), and oatmeal. At least the oatmeal didn't taste horrible, especially with a smidgeon of strawberry jam. I've tried all the miracle cures, but nothing has helped increase the supply. I'm at peace with the fact that I cannot be a walking milk bar.

Otherwise, to be honest, I'd have given up weeks ago. Let's face it. It's boring and hurts like hell. The minute Joey sprouts teeth and bites me is the minute I quit doing it. I am not going to be one of those women who breastfeed for four years. No way, no how.

7) I didn't save his cord blood in case he gets a horrible disease sometime in the future. I decided to spend that money (approximately $1500 to start, with about $100 to $200 in annual storage fees thereafter) for his college savings instead.

8) I don't use cloth diapers. I'd consider it if there was a diaper service in Brevard County, but I can't stomach the idea of washing them out myself. Trust me, there have been some of them that could only be described as "unholy". Thank God I could toss 'em and not have to see them ever again once they go to the diaper pail.

and finally

9) I'm vaccinating my child. He's getting all his shots. Hell, I'd arrange to get him the ones for yellow fever and cholera if I could. Hemmorhagic fever? Sure! Bring it on! If there was one for ebola, he'd be poked for that, too. My family has wandered the globe even before there was a term like "the Jet Set". I don't know where this little guy will wander, but I sure as hell don't want him picking up evil microbes if it can be avoided.

I don't buy all this "vaccinations cause autism" crap. If it was true, then why have the rates of autism continued to go up even after they've taken thimerosal (a mercury-based preservative that theoretically causes autism to this conspiracy crowd) out of the shots in the mid-90's? Could it be better diagnosis, like in the case of ADD? Funny, but I never see anyone claiming that vaccinations cause ADD like they supposedly cause autism, and rates of both have skyrocketed. Hmmm.

As long as there are a bunch of people running around leaving their kids vulnerable to things like whooping cough, measles and mumps, you bet I'm getting Joey poked. A tiny little shot that makes him (ok, me too, when I see him screech in pain) cry for five minutes is better than a vigil at his bedside hoping that he doesn't get some of the nasty aftermath of the above diseases....especially when he didn't have to go through the infection in the first place.

What's worse is that virtually all of those diseases are preventable with a tiny little stick. I don't understand how some people still can risk their children's health that way.

All three of those diseases I mentioned are on the upswing. With the amount of world travel that we take for granted, are you really that sure that we couldn't have a possible polio outbreak, for example? Talk to the Saudis about that....they had one during the hajj. People from literally every part of the planet participate in that, and then fly home. We didn't get an outbreak, but Nigeria did. Some of their "enlightened religious leaders" counseled against vaccinations for boys because they thought they were part of a cunning Jewish plot to make Muslims impotent. I kid you not.

I guess they didn't get the autism memo....

There you have them. Nine instances of bad parenting, depending on who's doing the critique.

Yet, Joey is growing bigger. He's in his 3 month clothes already, with the occasional sneak into the 6 month clothing stash. He's even given me a sweet, toothless smile on occasion, and has babbled excitedly at me. Ok, he's had longer conversations with Mr Bear, but he's still tried to include me in his attempts to talk.

He's even raised his big ol' heavy head to look deeply into my eyes....right before he ripped out a huge belch that startled the dog. It could have been worse. He farted himself awake once and the resulting gas chased his Daddy out of the bedroom. Joey spared me that one.....I guess it was one of those male bonding things I'll never understand.

I'm sure that soon enough he'll let me know just how horrible I am at this whole mommy business. It will probably be around the time that he can fit into the Superman footie jammies (with detachable cape!) that I got him last week instead of the "Beethoven for Baby Geniuses" CD all the good mommies got their little dumplings. I'll give him a time out or a swat on the butt, and he will formally dub me "The Worst Mommy in the World".

Good thing he won't know the half of it, right?

3 Comments:

  • At 2:03 AM, Blogger Scone said…

    Who the heck is telling you this stuff and who let them stop taking their meds? Geez. I've had one or two, "Oh, are you really?" comments, but mostly I've had sympathetic nods and commiseration. Well, you'll get no swats with a rolled-up newspaper from me, young lady. Sounds like you're doing fine. And hey, I hear that by the time our kids are in high school, they (the uncut) will be just as common as the cut boys. So no worries.

    Nazis. Hee. That brings back memories.

     
  • At 7:44 PM, Anonymous Don Pablo de Spaz said…

    I laughed my head off when I got to the term "birth nazi" and realized that my "weetle seester" is back to "normal".

     
  • At 8:58 PM, Blogger Deacon Blues said…

    Im male. I don't know what birth pains are like, but my sister told me when she had a kidney stone that (she's had three children) that she'd rather have another kidney stone. I've had kidney stones (at last count 33). I can't imagine any worse pain. The Pain Relief Nazis need to be eliminated. It's a wonder any of us are here. What did women do before all the Birth Nazi Bullshit?

     

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