Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Week 30 update:
Chap Ass, No TV? An Observation

Oh, it's been so long.

Another 60-hour workweek last week kept me from even reading the blogs I follow, let alone blogging myself. I've finally caught up with things and am out from the work (and home after dealing with the crap wind and snow and rain where I live. Why, why do we live here? The Mister and I ask ourselves this every winter, and it's always because "our families live here." I wish we could all move, en masse, to a warmer location. With a hipster city. But I digress.)

In the last two weeks, what's happened? Well, I've gotten myself to week 30 of this pregnancy. My maternity jeans I bought around week 10 officially don't fit anymore. My skin is dryer and more chapped in weird places than I've ever noticed before. Like, my thighs and back near my underarms--dry as a desert. I call myself Chap Ass when I get out of the shower. My belly, though--smooth and (knock wood, can't believe it myself) still stretch mark-free. I've taken to rubbing massage oil all over my body to try to relieve the dryness and on the thighs and tush, but there's been no change. I think it's just winter doing its thing, not pregnancy-related, though.

Went out of town last weekend to celebrate my brother's son's second birthday. The young'un is a Total Cutie, but watches Baby Einstein, it seems, all the time. It's like kid crack. I see the benefits, as in when my sister in law needed to cook and prepare dishes for the actual party, the nephew was glued to the TV and she got stuff done. But on the other hand--doesn't the Association of Pediatricians recommend no TV until age 2? Personally, I'm not a big TV fan myself, so I'd like to think I can entertain my kid with books and activities and whatever. But the truth is, I'll likely want some time to take a shower or check my email or heck, pee, without someone whining or crying in the background. I'd like to say I won't stick my infant in front of the Baby Einstein, but like everything else, I'll have to see how it goes. An online friend just gave me a bit of good advice, too: you don't have to drop everything as soon as the baby cries. It's ok for them to fuss a bit, particularly if you're trying to pee. I'll need to remind myself of that over and over again, I'm sure.

Today we are interviewing the first of two potential pediatricians for Baby L. Due to the crazy ice and snow outside, I'm technically "working from home" but I'll likely end up doing not that much work today. But at least I'll be able to get to the (local) pediatrician's office without leaving work early, schlepping home, and feeling like a slacker because I'm leaving before my coworkers do.

In fact, because I have workaholic tendencies, I've wondered if having a baby and staying home might even be easier than all the schlepping and commuting and late hours in an office I've put in. Every friend I've had with a baby has told me how hard it was, and believe me, I've never had to deal with diaper changes or incessant crying at the office, but in terms of not having to show up in an office and deal with deadlines and multiple personalities and stuff like that, I wonder if being a mom might be a welcome change.

Along those lines, last weekend, I tried to play with my nephew as much as I could whenever his attention strayed from the Baby Einstein. We sat and colored with magic markers, and I had to help him pull off the cover of the marker and put it on the opposite end. At one point, I taught him how to pull the cover off himself. Mr. L watched with a klempy look on his face. "You're going to be a great mom," he smiled.

Of course, not all was klemp and roses. My mother and brother, not known for their quiet tact, saw me on Saturday wearing a long wraparound maternity sweater that I wore because I knew it would keep me warm.

"Are you sure you're not having triplets?" one asked. The other just cackled.

"Shut the fuck up, you idiots. I'm seven months pregnant."

"That sweater isn't doing you any favors."

"What favors? Again... I'm pregnant!"

When I peeled off the sweater to reveal a maternity t-shirt and black maternity pants underneath, my mother seemed relieved. "Oh, you don't look so big underneath the sweater."

I mean, seriously, this is my family here. It's a good thing I can defend myself against their indignities. Shrinking violets don't thrive with these people.

Mr. L., on the other hand, tells me I continue to look beautiful. He just downloaded two years of photos from our digital camera last night, and it's clear to me that my face and body have gotten rounder and rounder since we got married. I'm pleased he's not into the waif look, because with me, that ship sailed back before I hit puberty. But hey, it's not like I can do anything about my current zaftig look until this kid comes out.

But then it's the quest for Lyrehca as Yummy Mummy in '08. I can't wait to join Weight Watchers and do hard workouts again.

In blogosphere-related news, Namaste commented awhile back that she was meme-ing me to reveal six weird things about myself. Honestly, I feel like I'm always writing about something odd I've worried about/said/done, so I open it up to the crowd. Want to know something weird about me? Ask a question in the comment section and I'll address it in a future post.

And Watson, probably the Funniest Blogger Ever, had a little competition asking her readers what to name her first IVF cycle as a subject on her blog. While the very talented Serenity won the contest with "IVF #1: Leggo My Eggo," Watson kindly commented I was a runner up with "IVF #1: Vote For Pedro." (Who doesn't love Napoleon Dynamite?)

Which brings me to another blog-related issue. Reluctantly, I upgraded to Blogger Beta, which is now just the current version of Blogger. (And crap, I just realized that many of my commenters now are listed as "Anonymous," which is totally lame.) So this means I can put my posts in subjects or labels, which might make it easier for someone new to actually read about topics which interest her (what? My entire life doesn't interest you? Pshaw!). So now I have to come up with my own subjects and of course want them to be snarky and funny. So the general categories are Diabetes, Infertility, Pregnancy, TTC, Food, Medical Care--Bad, Doctor, Doctor, Give Me the News, and Working. At some point I'll figure this all out, but if you have any suggestions for category names, comment away.

And on a final note, I commented to a (non-blogging, but very close in real life) friend that I read a ton of blogs these days, mostly diabetes-related and infertility-related, with a few outliers thrown in. It may be because the infertility blogs are women my own age, typically dealing with the parade that is infertility treatment, but they tend to be snarky and smart and funny to read. The D-bloggers cover more ages, more genders, and even more relatives (like, no one's mom is writing about her daughter's attempts to get pregnant). As a result, perhaps there are more worldviews and perspectives being covered in the d-blogger world.

But I sense a lot of underlying anger and despair (which is perhaps too strong a word) and sadness from the D-bloggers. The infertiles are full of anger and sadness too, but it seems to dissipate. I suspect it's because for a good chunk of them, the treatments either end up working (they get pregnant and go on to write about that), or don't, and then they reassess (do we try again? consider and pursue adoption? decide to be child-free?) and move on. The diabetics write about another high reading, another low, another annoyance, another scary eye appointment... but perhaps not enough about the moving on from these issues, likely because there is no resolution but to learn to live with the condition and be happy in spite of it. I'd like to think I've done that (and hopefully done it well). I don't know, I'm just saying I don't see as much humor and fun in the posts from the d-bloggers (at least, what I can relate to. Not being an animal-lover, pictures of people's pets don't get me all happy inside.) And while 29 years of the D hasn't been a picnic for me, I still like to think I have a sense of humor about things and try to laugh whenever possible.

What do you all think--am I being too hard on the d-bloggers? Do I just relate more to women in their 30s dealing with infertility than I do with other diabetics? Is my sense of snark and humor just not in tune with most of the d-blogging world? Let me know (nicely, please!).


serenity said...

Glad to see this post and the update! Sounds like you've been as busy as me with work. Funny, as of right now I can see being home with our baby as a relief from the work grind, but I think my perception is skewed because a) I'm infertile and pregnancy/motherhood is probably rose-tinted right now, and b) I'm completely overwhelmed with work and at this point bagging at the local Mar.ket Bas.ket seems like a good career choice.

Anyway. It's an interesting thought. I do hope you'll keep up with your blog when Baby L comes around so we can see what happens.

RE: dryness- try Eucerin. I get the very same winter dry skin under my arms every year - this year I've been using Eucerin every morning, and wala- nothing this winter (*knocking on wood*).

If it helps, dear, you are currently the front-runner of the motto for my IVF cycle name...

SaraS-P said...

Why do people EVER comment on the weight of pregnant women???

Penny said...


I think someone dealing with infertility is dealing with it for a season. They either get pregnant or they get too old and move on to something else.

That doesn't mean they don't have pain. That doesn't mean their heart doesn't hurt every time they see a baby or a pregnant lady. But, it means they move on. They enter another phase of their life.

People with diabetes don't have that option. They can't just move on to another phase. Diabetes will be there when they are 60 too, if they live that long.

I don't find despair in the posts I read. I find people that are doing the best they can living with a chronic disease.

I don't read a single blog where I think that the people are in never-ending despair. They have their ups and downs like everyone else.

Most of the time when I post, it's about the bad things. I think it's like most of the world. If someone goes to a restaurant and gets exceptional service, how many people do they tell? Usually a few close friends. But, if they go somewhere and everything was horrible they will tell everyone.

Diabetes is not even close to being the top thing in my life. But, some days it sucks and I write about it then.

I can't compare D-blogs to fertility blogs because I don't read fertility blogs. But, the D-blogs I do read have been an inspiration to me. They don't make me sad. They let me know I'm not alone.

OK, there's my answer to your question (and a long one at that)

Congrats on being at week 30. I hope the next 10 weeks are smooth sailing all the way.

Minnesota Nice said...

L, I agree that there is never really any resolution to diabetes. We may find ways to resolve some aspect of it, like solving an annoying bg pattern, dealing with the latest hypo, being pleasantly surprised when something is covered by insurance. Yet, it's always there..........just trailing along behind us like the tail of a kite.
I think blogging, though, has shown me that we are first a foremost a diverse group of people, with similarities and differences, struggles and victories.
And you, sister, are living well with the challenge!
You're on the home stretch (no pun intended).

Rachel said...

You hit the nail on the head of why I've been not as interested in blogging about the big D lately. I need happy in my life, not worry and sadness and anger and most of all, not obsession. There are very few OC blogs that make me feel like that these days.

anywho. yay! 30 weeks! (Still hoping for a baby L on my birthday.)

Major said...

I think that's why I don't blog about D all that much although I'm ostensibly a d-blogger. It's a part of our lives and it does take up a big part of my brain, but it doesn't take up much of my life, if that makes sense. There are problems, usually I know what to do and I do them. I don't let it consume me or my thoughts, most of the time.

Chrissie in Belgium said...

D is hard, and it is never ending, and we do need to vent to others who understand. However contrary to this, there are many of us who totally LOVE life, b/c we have come to tryly appreciated it. That makes us EMOTIONAL. I can only speak for my self, but I LOVE life and all the things it offers. I think this comes across in my blog. At least I hope it does.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you addressed this issue. I do get the feeling that there's a big ol' pity party going on in many of the D blogs I read. I have been D for 30+ years. Is it easy? No, but it doesn't seem to consume my life as much as it does for some others.

I am hoping that for some, the tales of dramatic lows, the need to make it a huge part of their lives, the need for constant D support from loved ones, is just poetic license.

I have always wanted to prove to the world that you can have D and still have a normal life. I do love that the bloggers understand lows, frustrating swings etc. But I try to move on, not dwell, not obsess.

Laurie said...

Hi! Great to see the Week 30 update and that things are going well!

Per your d-blogging question, let me start with the caveat that I do not have diabetes so really ,who am I to talk. But your point resonates with me anyway since I am a person with conditions that are never going away who also reads a lot of blogs. Maybe the appeal of fertility blogs is that you've had diabetes for such a long time and pretty much see it as life as normal for you, so the daily happenings of the disease aren't so much news or newsworthy to you...whereas the fertility issues are very much new and different ones and the thoughts and perspectives on it are fresh (and often, funny).

I mean, if ever a subject called for Napoleon Dynamite humor (I just clicked the talking pen I got for Christmas that loudly exclaims "I caught you a delicious bass!", thanks for reminding me I have such a wonderful writing utencil), it's this stuff. My first experience in a fertility specialist's office started with this sentence: "In this day and age, I can get a table pregnant." Sweet. As long as I know the table can get pregnant, I'll have 100% confidence in my own abilities. If that was my introduction to fertility issues, then I am glad there are people out there capable of mocking it with me.

Um, so basically I hear what you're saying. Sorry it took me several paragraphs to reach that point!

Erin said...

I can't really comment on the D questions that you raised, but I'm also pregnant and suffering from very dry skin. I got this from Origins last week and it is REALLY helping my dry, itchy skin.

Nicole P said...

L -

In regard to the dry skin - mine has been TERRIBLE this winter. Especially at the back of my thighs. I am currently using Vaseline Total Moisture. It seems to be working.

Regarding D-blogs versus Infertility blogs - it's a little like comparing apples to oranges, isn't it? I would make all the same points that Penny made in response to the question.

When I blog - I mostly blog about the hard stuff. I do try to have my posts end with how I've moved on, how I've gotten something from whatever experience I had - but sometimes, I'm angry and frustrated and tired - and blogging about those feelings - and what's causing them helps a bit.

And in re: anonymous. I think most d-bloggers aren't obsessed, but their blogs ARE centered around that one part of their life. Around the difficulties and challenges and the triumphs (when they happen) that come along with the disease. It's not 'poetic license,' this is a venue for them to vent to tell the stories about highs and lows, about diagnosis and daily life. At least, that's how it is for me. If you want to read my short stories, or my life in general, or my poetry - I have other venues for that, just ask.

Maybe, L, your being unable to relate to posts on the OC of late is related to the fact that you're very much through infertility and very much into pregnancy - and all of the NEW things that come along with it; the new questions, the new experiences, the new mysteries. You are focused on being healthy while preganant - focused on your baby being well - and you've got something to offer for women going through infertility. Maybe your voice is lending itself better - and therefore your state of mind is more in-tune with - those blogs than the diabetes blog.

I will say that I don't think the tone of diabetes blogs have changed much over the year and a half I've been reading/writing them - there's as much tough and as much positive as there has been.


Watson said...

Well, shucks!

I just popped by to say hello and congratulate you on getting to 30 weeks, and then I read farther down and you've gone and said just the nicest thing (she says bashfully, looking down and kicking foot across the ground).

I loved your entry, it still makes me laugh actually!

May you have a lovely weekend, free of dry skin and pain-in-the-ass comments from family members about your sweaters not 'doing you any favors'


Kassie said...

I didn't get far enough into my first pregnancy to do the whole interview a pediatrician thing (I probably would have procrastinated to the end anyway). I just chose the ped that the parents of the baby in the next bassinet in the NICU chose. They seemed like the kind of people who had created excel spreadsheets of pro's and con's and done interviews and gotten references.

It turned out well, luckily. But it was wayyy more about the front desk and the nurse practitioner than the ped. I loved the Ped (Dr. Aisling Gaughan in Concord, MA if that's near you) but what I really loved was how pleasant the girl at the front desk was and how available the NP was.

Re D-blogs... I can only speak for myself, and I don't think mine is full of despair and sadness. I wouldn't want to comment on the community as a whole, because it's such a large and diverse group. I'd guess, though, at 30 weeks, you are pretty much done with infertility and I can only imagine that has a different feel than a chronic, potentially life-shortening or disabling condition. You've been through both - what's more depressing, diabetes or infertility?

Oh, and until the American Academy of Pediatricians sends someone over to give me a break with my kids, TV's alright by me ;)

Scott K. Johnson said...

Hi L,

Congrats on the 30 weeks!

On the blog stuff - I think we write what we feel, and we are also drawn to read what strikes a chord with us.

And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that!

I've always appreciated your input over at my place, and hope that you'll continue to stop by every now and then.

Natalie said...

OMG I can't believe you're already 30 weeks. Wow, how the time goes.

I can't comment on the d-bloggers, you're the only one I read. ;) But your reasoning sounds on-track. I deal with depressin - which to me isn't as "big" as diabetes, but it's something I've had to come to accept will be with me for the rest of my life. And yeah, I think we all tend to write about the crappy stuff that happens. I know when I'm feeling down is when I really feel the need to write.

Jen @ Diabetia said...

Am heartened to read your story and read of your pregnancy. My own daughter is wondering whether she'll be able to get pregnant after loads of high levels in her teens - thanks for your encouragement.

BetterCell said...

Lyrehca....Does your pregnancy increase your need for more insulin?
I recently came across this bit of information related to food intake in pregnancy and inflammatory conditions effecting the fetus such as allergies. I will pass it on to you.

February 20, 2007 — A maternal diet with high intake of margarine, vegetable oils, and citrus fruit during the last 4 weeks of pregnancy is linked with eczema in children by 2 years of age, according to the results of a study reported in the February issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

"Maternal diet during pregnancy might be one of the factors that influences fetal immune responses associated with childhood allergy," write Stefanie Sausenthaler, of the Institute of Epidemiology in Neuherberg, Germany, and colleagues from the LISA (Influences of Lifestyle-related Factors on the Immune System and the Development of Allergies in Childhood) Study Group. "Postnatally, a high dietary intake of n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) has been shown to be associated with an increased risk of allergic diseases because of their proinflammatory properties, whereas n-3 PUFAs and dietary antioxidants are supposed to have a protective effect on asthma and allergies. Although there is a biological basis for a prenatal effect of dietary factors on the development of allergic diseases, the number of studies investigating this subject is very limited."

The Town Criers said...

I think people can find humour in illness--but the times that I've seen it, it's usually come from an illness that has a cure in the end. There is a whole genre of breast cancer books out there that celebrate the friendships and lessons learned from going through a crisis--but most are written from the other side. After the cure (or during the remission). Does that make sense? Diabetes has the ability to be controlled (for some), but it doesn't have the ability to be cured. Therefore, there's never the perspective. I like the funny posts and certainly gravitate towards them, but I also love the heart-felt posts. Or the ones that just give you a glimpse into someone's day. I don't need to be entertained by blogs--that's for Grey's Anatomy in 25 minutes--but I like blogs to open my eyes to something. Or confirm my feelings by making me feel less alone. Does that make sense?

With kids, I think everything falls into place in time. You find your own groove. And you discover how to check email and have the child play and keep off the television all at the same time. I'm not sure HOW it happens, but I know that it does happen :-)


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