Friday, August 26, 2011

Extranjera's guide to being pregnant: When to know you're fucked (not in the good way), fuck the fucker right back, and only remain mildly fucked, but with a whiff of glory.

Yesterday, when I blogged about coming home with an actual baby, seems that I may have spoken too soon.

Jinxed it big time.

Or, as we Finns so 'eloquently' put it (remember that our poetic language houses more swear words than any other, made up [Klingon, Swedish], or otherwise), I seem to have 'started licking before the drop had actually fallen off whatever it was hanging on'. I said 'eloquent', not sanitary, or sane.

There are complications.

It seems that as we were proudly handling the diagnosis of Down syndrome, learning more about it, coming to terms with it, rising above it, being completely fine with it, telling people to shut up and fuck off for not understanding how cool we were with it, and just plain looking forward to meeting our special and not so special (Let's face it, the Viking and his genes can be pretty generic sometimes. Me? I have been referred to as special enough times for it to sink in so deep that I do believe I will be passing it on to generations to come, whether they like it or not) little one, and thinking that this was what Universe had in store for us as far as her curve balls go. But no. Universe, the giant bitch, was planning to aim at my un-helmeted head with the next pitch instead.

"There is a problem with the flow in the umbilical cord," the doctor tells us, "that means there'll soon be a problem with her getting oxygen and nutrients, and such."

"Her growth is restricted too," he goes on, "she is in the 5th percentile"

"She'll have to be born soon via a c-section," he finishes off.

But we already knew something like this was coming, so we nodded, made mental notes about already packing that mysterious thing called a hospital bag, and kind of braced ourselves for the early arrival of our kiddo, and willed her to pull through facing this world possibly a full 10 weeks before she was ever meant to.

"Oh, one more thing," the doctor then decided to add, "the doctor at the ultrasound also mentioned that the bones in her head might be prematurely fusing, but we'll have to wait a few more months to get a proper diagnosis, so that's not something to worry about now."

So instead of her having to take on the big playground with the aid of one extra chromosome, she might also come loaded with the diagnosis of craniosynostosis and whatever that might entail in terms of surgeries and hospital visits. If the cause for this doesn't turn out to be that her brain has stopped developing, that is.

This is approximately when we knew we, all three of us, were utterly fucked (not in the good way).

And what does one do when one finds out one is hugely fucked?    

Well, if one is me, one cries a little in the car, then some more back at the apartment, and then one Googles some hard core information, comes to terms with things, and gets on with the living of that life that involves watching bad television and eating some cajeta ice-cream.

Because, and this is the only way to get on with things, one has to bear in mind how fucking fortunate one is on this earth.

We have to bear in mind that regardless of the feeble attempts by the Universe to kick up her pitching skills, we've pretty much owned the game right from the beginning (Does anyone else find it odd that I'm using baseball as my game of choice? Because I do.).

Our babe owns the game. She kicks and fights (as only my bladder/ ribs can tell you) and wisely decided to be born to us, two people with major resources, healthy appetites for Googling obscure research, and even major-er will to get things done (Unless that thing be showering on a day with nothing on the agenda. But that's a different post, possibly involving laundry, a talking fridge, and/or shoes.).

We are the fortunate ones in this world. The ones with the power, the possessions, the knowledge, and the potential.

We are the ones who have enough left over for those who have nothing.

And that's what the Universe can stick in her pipe and smoke.

I remain only mildly fucked, but with a whiff of glory. I am superwoman after all.

      Some people don't even have shoes because some other person threw them up on some wires.
What do you mean by a sign that this is where you can score heroin? I took this pic from our old back yard in Mexico City.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Extranjera's guide to being pregnant: How to have a proper meltdown.

As I tweeted and Facebooked earlier today (yesterday really, but who gives a flying fuck?), late last night a thought hit me.

Like a ton of bricks. Or like that pretend (I hope) shit they discreetly (also not really, but again, who really cares?) squirt on your leather shoes on the streets of Rio de Janeiro about 20 seconds before offering you a very expensive shoe shine. Smooth.

It hit me that once this baby is born (this is the part everyone's supposed to care about), they'll probably let me take her home with me (not the same people who, as part of their clever business plan squirt shit, but the army of doctors and nurses, who inhabit our chosen hospital in Mexico City). It is looking very likely indeed that in not so long I will be coming home with a tiny person who will, at that point, no longer be inside my belly.



See. That part really gets to me all of a sudden.

Unlike many of the tiger mothers-to-be I've encountered on the interwebz, I haven't really given a thought to things like the birthing experience (I thought about taking a class or maybe ordering a DVD, but then decided, by spacing it out subconsciously, that years of pushing on the toilet were training enough), the birthing environment (I'll intend to battle traffic to get to the hospital my OB/GYN's practice is, as well as the best NICU in the city [which boils down to me possibly giving birth in a Mexico City taxi], which I'm still counting on will admit me regardless of them having absolutely no record of me on account of me never touring their vast facilities, just as long as there's amniotic fluid/ bloody mucus leaking down onto the floor), or the pregnancy plan (I haven't given a leaping anything about weight gain, the minimization of stretch marks, lubing up the va-jay-jay and performing some sort of massage to avoid tearing [?!?!], and all that fizzy jazz).

I have been laboring on (obviously meaning watching bad television and knitting) under the assumption that unless I suddenly feel a tiny head between my thighs and as long as there are tiny kicks aimed at my ribs every now and then things are more or less under control.

But now I'm freaking out about the 'WHAT THEN?'

I'm plenty prepared as far as Down syndrome goes. We have therapists and specialists lined up. We know all about the potential health issues as well as the early intervention stimulation programs. We are looking into nutritional information regarding the syndrome. We have read and memorized, and met with children with Down syndrome and their parents. We got it. We've done the research. And then some.

But that's only a tiny part of it all. It's just one chromosome. She'll be a baby first. A tiny little life, who'll need to be fed, bathed, changed, not dropped, played with, talked to, rocked to sleep, clothed, and all kinds of stuff I'm completely oblivious to.

She'll need stuff.

Someone told me that they'll scratch their own eyes out if you don't cut their nails all the time!

And who knew you can't give honey to a baby? (I know chocolate will kill a dog though. Does that earn me some points at least?)

There's so much.

And I don't know any of it.

At least my hair color will stimulate her vision:

Please leave me lots of comments regarding how I'm a natural parent and how my daughter will never go eye-less even if I can't find the tiniest nail clippers on earth in time for her impending arrival. Thanks.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Begin here. Right now. Right away.

I had my two last steroid shots yesterday (the first ones more or less painlessly administered by the kind in-house doctor [But with uncomfortable chatter concerning how to give injections in the buttocks as it seemed this was the first time in quite a while he had glimpsed one in the actual flesh] at the Viking's office, and the second set administered after quite a few washings of hands and random, yet endearing, sterilizings of the surrounds, at our kitchen counter by the, at this point only very slightly, freaked out Viking, since by the second round, the in-house doctor had tapered on off to the land of head colds, which I'm sure was in no way a trip related to witnessing the right side of my behind. I'm sure.) and since then, I have to say, I have really felt no need for actual sleep or rest of any kind. Let's hope the steroids work their magic now (other than giving me angry stay-awake superpowers) and there will be no need for a ventilator, unless it's for the Viking, which is a distinct possibility, for when our daughter decides to shimmy down/ shoot out of the birth canal.

So it might just be the 'roids speaking (Viking is apparently 100% sure of this and has vetoed my intended round of potential maid interviews for this specific week as apparently I seem "a little confrontational"), but I'm fuming. I'm filled with good old early 90s 'roid rage, as portrayed in several American football movies and series for teens, produced in the actual 90s.

Here is what I wanted to craft as one more in a long line of snarky and moderately (and oh so fucking annoyingly when done by others to me) cryptic status updates on Facebook (since I'm bed resting where else am I going to yell at the world and all the people in it but Facebook and Google [However, this was before I realized that none of the peeps I really wanted to yell at (about this, there's plenty of other stuff to go around) were on my Facebook.]):

Not being able to save everyone is not a direct invitation to stick both of your thumbs up your ass and sit on it. That way you'll only be able to smell later what you're made of while the world goes down the drain in one famine, blood, disaster, and hopelessness streaked swirl. 

I didn't post this though. (I won't admit to the Viking talking me out of it either, but that might just be what actually happened.)

But I will elaborate. Right here on Google Blogger. Because at least some of the peeps I do wish to yell at from the prison that is comfort of my bedroom seem to be here. Not sure if they're reading, but at least I get to yell. And what else is there really to do when you're getting absolutely no sleep, but you're still forced to lie on your (now more uncomfortable than ever) left side and do nothing at all?

But what is it specifically that I'm yelling about this time around?

Well. I broke my (unintentional, I assure you) no comment streak of at least a good year and a half a couple weeks back because I just had to have my word in about bible school and choosing wisely (i.e. atheism). And then a couple days ago the inspiration (i.e. the 'roids) struck me again. Forcefully and right over the head. I had to weigh in.

I read my longtime pal julochka's post on all of the horrible goings on at the moment and her desperation at taking it all in and perhaps doing something about it. Now, I have to say that I respect this woman's life choices tremendously (Except for what in the hell is the deal with marrying a Danish man? Who does that these days anyway?), but some of the comments she received in response really rubbed me the wrong way (Much like the strangers and acquaintances who decide that they can rub my pregnant belly completely unannounced. The yelling in their case, they so have it coming too.). It seems that some people feel that if they cannot save everyone they'll rather just shut their eyes and do absolutely nothing at all.


(See how I went all Kanye there, but with a dash more grammar and punctuation?)

There is always something you can do. There is always someone you can save. There is always somewhere you can begin.

Throw light on stupidity. (Thanks MissBuckle for the link on Facebook!)

Throw money at hunger.

And then some more money (this is one of my all time favorites and everyone's always paid back what I loaned them!) on self-reliance.

Put time into education. (I know no one has updated the site since I created it, but the contacts are still good.)

And cuddles. (And maybe a few changes of diapers.)

Click on it. (Now how fucking effortless is this?!?)

Create awareness. And then spread it like it's going out of style.

Buy and be cool for a better future for a few disabled folks.

Give valuable experiences to strangers (who should never rub my belly, just read the books). There should be less time to loot if you're inspired to pick up a book and put down that Blackberry.

And So. Much. More.

I'm really only scratching the surface here. There is so much love and compassion to go around as long as we're ready and willing. There is so fucking much we CAN and SHOULD do. Every fucking single day of our lives.

If we fucking don't get started now, we'll all just be smelling our shitty thumbs in no time at all, reminiscing about what could have been if we would have just done something when we fucking had the chance.

Let's fucking begin now.

Stop smelling your fingers

and start contributing to this instead.

Monday, August 01, 2011

When he said shots, this is not what I had in mind.

If you found out that you had to have a couple of shots of steroids to mature your unborn baby's lungs on account of her being at least 3, if not 12, weeks early (Or possibly to win that championship title in the 80s. I don't know your life.), what would you expect of the whole deal?

Would you be like the naive, Scandinavian-rules-and-regulations-coddled me, and expect to show up at a doctor's office, have a qualified and appropriately dressed nurse (Also not wearing make up that in any way suggests a side job as a cabaret artist named Toots, which seems to be a popular night job for a multitude of Mexican nurses. At least based on the war paint.) perform some quick medical magic, and walk out of the place feeling a little sore in the buttock area, but without ever actually having to witness the actual needle or even the swab of disinfectant as anything else than a little prick on the skin and some unpleasant odor?

Or would you be thoroughly Mexican and receive a vague 'prescription' for some steroid solution while the doctor amiably chats away about his upcoming trip to Orlando's Disney World, show up at a drugstore, have a confused as well as confusing discussion with the guy behind the counter regarding how many ampuls it is you actually need, walk out with a feeling of discomfort and a mental note to email the doctor to make sure you're not doubling up on the 'roids by accident, get home and finally actually take a look at what's inside the packages you've just purchased, completely freak out (okay, so this is apparently where I stopped being the laid-back Mexican) by the length of the needle that you'd envisioned to be something more like the epinephrine-pen you were once, many years ago, shown how to use in case of a peanut/bee sting emergency at a children's summer camp (while you made a mental note to always be accompanied by someone who actually paid attention during the demonstration), or like the insulin-pen you once saw your high school friend use in the bathroom (There was no visible needle in either case, mind you!), to be followed by one mother of a breakdown, prior to regaining faith in the (at that moment absent) Viking and his nursing abilities, especially those involving giving other people shots, only to learn that he vehemently declines even touching the syringes, let alone giving anyone any shots of any kind? Unless they're of the Jaegermeister-persuasion in tiny glasses.

Would thoughts such as "Can you actually stick the needle straight into your hip bone? And if so, will the drug still get to the baby?" come to your mind?

What would you do?

Woman up, and stick yourself in the ass with the mother of all needles, hope that you don't hit anything that would kill, paralyze, or forever mentally traumatize you, or if you do end up doing just that, that at least the death is swift and painless or that your insurance covers years and years of therapy?

Or scroll through your list of local friends for doctors, nurses, vets, seriously sick folks who might be familiar with giving shots, and failing all else, intravenous drug users, and then make some calls?

Because that's what I'm doing.

Anyone medically qualified out there, within a 100-mile radius of Mexico City? I'll buy you Starbucks...

I bet there's someone in there who could give me my shots... Too bad this place's in Venice Beach, California.