Childhood Neurosis

I’ve been thinking a lot about what our future kid is going to be like. What will their interests be, their personality, their likes, their dislikes?

And beyond that, what things will they inherit from me, good or bad?

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I was kind of definitely a weird kid. I was anxious, even then, and lived almost entirely in a world populated by my imagination.

My mom and I had a good laugh about it recently when Tammy and I went to visit them. My parents are cleaning out their basement and they came across a lot of stuff from my childhood, including artwork, school pictures, and books. A lot of these things brought up memories.

Weirdo Kid Memories:
1) My sister and I each had a special “comfort item” that we slept with. Hers was a doll, and mine was a bear. We used to play together at night when we were supposed to be sleeping. We would pretend we were new moms, and we had just given birth (not that we had the slightest concept of how that process would work) to our doll and our bear.

The only weird thing about my sister’s doll was that it was bald.  Because she had thrown up on it so many times as a child, my parents had pulled the wig off it, basically saying, “fuck this”.

Anyway, we would play this game where we introduced our new kids to each other. Here’s how that conversation would go:

Sister: Sarah, come meet my new baby! She’s beautiful! Only problem is…she’s bald.

Me: Sister, come meet MY new baby! He’s beautiful! Only problem is…he’s a bear.

And then we’d play the game again.

2) I freaking LOVED the Little House on the Prairie series. The books, not the show. Don’t speak to me about that abomination.

Little House on the Prairie

(I also loved the spinoff books about Rose (Laura’s daughter) and Caroline (Laura’s mother.)

I went through a period when I was about 8 where I longed to live in “olden times”. I would steal one of my mom’s work skirts (calf length on her, beyond floor length on me), put on the prairie boots that were inexplicably in style at the time (and that I had successfully convinced my parents to buy for me) and run around the backyard pretending I was saving the crops from a looming tornado. Or frost. Or something. I also wore those clothes while making forts in the living room, and then knocking them down when the tornado came.

3) I had a dress when I was around the same age that I LOVED. Actually, I loved dresses my whole childhood and my mom had to FORCE me to wear pants when it was cold outside. I know. Worst lesbian ever. Anyway, this dress was old-fashioned, with a sash and smocking along the top. It was kind of maroon colored.

When I was in elementary school, we took a field trip to some local caves. Upon learning this, I instantly knew I would wear my dress because being in the cave would be ALMOST like being in olden times (no telephone wires, no cars, etc to ruin the illusion), and my dress would make things more authentic. I also had these stickers that were little paw prints of animals.

animal paw prints

Before leaving for the field trip, I accessorized my dress by sticking many of these stickers on my dress, reasoning that girls in olden times obviously had wild animals as friends. Perhaps people would even think these stickers were real animal prints and know me to be fabulously cool. I was so excited.

Of course, as soon as kids saw me they made fun of me. They said my clothes were dirty and ugly and that my mama should “wash me better”. While we were in the cave, I peeled off those stickers, but held on to them. That night in bed, I stuck them on my headboard. The see-through backing of the sticker showed the maroon fuzz that came off my dress. For as long as I had that bed, every time I saw the stickers I felt those kids mocking me, and was ashamed and embarrassed all over again.

Anxious Memories:
1) I had an immense fear of my parents death, and “what would become of me” (I picked up that phrasing from books). I worried constantly that they weren’t taking their vitamins. For a long time I thought it was normal for kids to worry about their parents dying, but I have since been informed this is not actually the case. My parents had to talk to me over and over about which aunt my sister and I would live with if they died. Far from reassuring me, for some reason this made my fear worse.

2) I also had a huge fear of fire. The area my parents live in often has droughts during the summer months, and sometimes the town will tell people not to water their lawns to conserve water. Combine this with learning about Smokey the Bear (and how one unattended campfire can cause a forest fire) and I was convinced our (brick) house was going to burn down every day.

Smokey the Bear(I took this sign a little too seriously)

To combat this, I ignored the town’s injunction over watering the lawn (rule bender, even then) and watered the…house. Yes, I would go outside and water our brick house during the summer. To keep it from burning down. No need to thank me, Mom and Dad. I’m here to help.

What kind of funny/weird/sad things do you remember about yourself from childhood? Do you think these memories influence who you are as an adult?

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Ick

***Warning: pregnancy whining***

When I was at the doctor earlier this week, I mentioned that I had started throwing up. They gave me a new prenatal vitamin to take, that has extra B-6 and ginger. I started it that night, and the next day I felt pretty good. Don’t get me wrong, I still felt the nausea “verge” as Emily puts it. But I was OK; I even managed to eat some actual food.

That brings us to today. First of all, it should be noted that various doors throughout the office building are locked, so you use this little electronic key to get in. The most direct route between my desk and the bathroom requires a key fob to get through.

You know where this is going, right? I totally left my key fob at home today. Aaaaand cue vomiting. I’ve now run to the bathroom two times, pants undone (because they’re too tight and make me feel even more sick) and once I very nearly didn’t make it. Next time I’m taking my trash can with me as I go. Do you think that would be too obvious?

My first reaction was the curse myself, for forgetting the damn key fob. My next reaction was to curse this damn open office plan (I work in a godforsaken cubicle). If I had an office, I could puke behind closed doors. Although then, I’d have to deal with the barfy trash can, so that’s not really a good solution.

Whatever. Too sick to deal with it. I’m now nibbling Cheerios, one cheerio at a time, because I know having nothing in my stomach makes my nausea worse.

Anyone have suggestions for nausea? We’re going to get preggie pops this weekend, and when I’m at home, homemade cran-grape popsicles help considerably. Cannot eat those at work, obviously. Thoughts? Suggestions? Commiseration? Distraction? Jesselyn, you’re my resident expert – what say you?

In which I am an idiot

I’ve been peeing a lot more than usual, which is good. On the negative side of Things That Enter and Exit From That Region, I also have to use progesterone suppositories three times a day. A side effect of which is some rather unpleasant leakage. So I’ve established a close personal relationship with panty* liners. Unfortunately, I ran OUT of panty liners the other day, and haven’t had a chance to go buy more. In the meantime, I’ve been wrapping my underwear with toilet paper that I swap out a few times a day (yes, just like you did in middle school when you got your period for the first time). I do my best to keep things classy around here.

Mid-morning today I went to the bathroom at work. I entered the stall, pulled down my pants and underwear, and burst into tears. There was a beigeish, reddish stain on my underpants. It’s a good thing no one was in the bathroom with me, because I sobbed hysterically for a full 90 seconds before realizing the (white) toilet paper had ripped down the center, exposing my (beigeish, reddish) underpants underneath. Friends, there was no blood. It was my underpants, moistened by the progesterone ooze. I am now officially only wearing white underpants (the better to analyze the color of discharge) until I am AT LEAST in my second trimester. If I make it that far.

*Is there a more upsetting word than “panties”? I think not.

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My scan today went perfectly.

sac

One gestational sac, located in the uterus (rather than a fallopian tube, for which the embryo would be SO GROUNDED. Next scan is on the 11th. I will endeavor to make it there with some shred of my sanity intact. Wearing white underwear.

Drug Urine

I had a mock embryo transfer yesterday. I needed to have that done as the final piece of screening/testing before being approved for IVF Option B (which I am…approved that is!). It was fine, didn’t hurt (I was terrified it would be like my HSG experience, but it felt similar to an IUI), and showed a uterus clear of polyps or fibroids.

Before the test I had to pee in a cup to prove that I was, in fact, not pregnant (spoiler alert: I’m not pregnant). The theory is that if you ARE, the mock embryo transfer could cause a miscarriage.

When I was told I needed to provide a urine sample I had a mini internal panic attack because I had just peed. I thought I might be able to squeeze some out though, and went to the bathroom to Make My Attempt. Unfortunately, things had just gotten going in the old bladder department when someone tried to open the door. It was fine, I had locked the door, but the damage was done. My bladder instantly clenched up, and no amount of relaxation techniques was going to allow a single additional drop out. Maybe ketamine would have relaxed me enough. I’m not sure. I wasn’t offered any. (What the fuck am I paying them for again?)

I sat there in the bathroom with my pathetic dribble (seriously, there was like half a centimeter in the bottom of the cup) and just KNEW I couldn’t take that out of there. So here’s what I did, and I’m ashamed to admit it: I added water to my cup of urine. Ladies, let me tell you. You know you’ve hit a low point in life (and infertility) when you’re watering down your own urine to try to impress the lab technicians. I felt like some kid getting drug tested, trying to dilute my urine enough so that the pot/coke/whatever it is that kids do today wouldn’t show up.

And then, to make matters worse, I went out and confessed my crime to Tammy. I thought I had been quiet (I was whispering for God’s sake) but apparently another patient heard me. And Tammy only told me someone was listening hours and hours later, and then added that she was sitting there chuckling to herself. Even typing this out now I’m blushing uncomfortably. It’s bad enough that I cared enough about what the lab techs think to water down my own urine sample, but now other patients in the doctor’s office know! And I’m SURE that my nurse was told. Guys, I’m officially that patient.

Why didn’t I just take out the dribble that I had? Why did I think my self-worth was connected to how much urine I could produce, on demand? My thought process sometimes. I can’t even.

Urine Sample