Friday, September 11, 2009

Eight Years Later

Today in New York City the sky is dark, the wind is blowing, the rain is falling. A sharp contrast to the weather 8 years ago. September 11th, 2001 was a crystal clear September day. In sharp focus, yet oddly dreamlike, people burned, they jumped, they ran. Buildings tumbled. First responders fought a losing battle. They knew that, yet forged ahead regardless. We were stunned, we were horrified, we turned to each other and held on tight.

We often felt powerless, yet there was power in every small bit of kindness that was shared.

Today we remember.

Here's my post from last year.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Angry, Tired, Cranky, and IN PAIN!

WARNING: If you’re not in a good place to hear a preggo vent. Skip this post.

Really, I’m thrilled to be pregnant. Feeling my daughter move is the most amazing thing. BUT … it’s physically and emotionally harder than I expected. I’m 46 years old, my feet are KILLING me (and I’m having trouble getting the drs to talk to each other in order to get the surgery scheduled), I’m working full time (which entails public transportation, again, hard on my feet), not sleeping well, and overwhelmed by what I need to do to get my apartment ready (which I have no energy to deal with once I get home from work and put my feet up and ice them). And as I look around, overwhelmed, there’s no one but me to deal with it. There’s also no one next to me to share the joy of my daughter’s kicks. Mostly I’m fine with it, but sometimes it sucks.

But what I really need to vent about is empathy. Or rather, the lack of it from my family. My sister has been bitching and making digs about the fact that she was not informed of my pregnancy within a timeframe that SHE deems appropriate. And has been putting my 11 year old niece in the middle. My sister and I do not have a close relationship. We never have. As an example, nearly 5 and a half years ago, when I ended a destructive relationship, my sister got on the phone with the creep and said terrible things about me to him. He then left me nasty, ranting voice mails saying, “Your sister says xxxx about you.” I was livid! Rather that completely lose my cool with my sister, I called my mother and asked her to speak to my sister. My sister denied that she was in contact with him. Yet, that very day I received another vile voice mail from him, saying (among other things), “Now you’re getting your mother involved!” Despite this PROOF, my sister continued to deny she was speaking with him and never apologized. I DO NOT FORGIVE HER. There is no way it should be any mystery to her why she was kept out of the TTC/pregnancy loop.

Back to the present situation. Several weeks ago she told me that my niece had asked if she could take her out of school if she wanted to. My sister replied that, yes, she was her mother, and if she had a drs appt or something, my sister could take her out of school. My niece then said, “When Auntie Dora has the baby, I want you to come get me to bring me to the hospital.” My sister’s response to her was unbelievable. Unbelievable that she would say this to her 11 year old, and even more unbelievable that she would repeat this to me as if it were okay. She said, “Well, Auntie Dora didn’t tell me right away that she was pregnant, so she might not tell me right away when she has the baby.” Then, shortly after that, I was visiting my mother, when my mother was out of the room, my sister must have signaled to my niece, because she asked me, “Mommy wants to know why you didn’t invite her to your ultrasound.” WTF???? I said something about the room being too small and there already being too many people there. Later, when alone with my niece, I told her that what her mommy did wasn’t right. That if she had something to ask me, she should ask me herself, not have her ask me.

BTW, there have been other little digs about this here and there.

In the moment with this crap, I have kept my mouth shut in an effort to maintain my equilibrium. And also, to not ream my sister in front of her child. Instead, I have called my mother later and asked her to speak to my sister. My mother has said she would, but has also consistently told me that I am overreacting. (Gee, a pregnant woman having an emotional reaction! Heaven forbid!) She also keeps telling me that I should try to put a positive spin on my sister’s behavior, and look at it as her being excited about having a niece. I might as well go bang my head against a wall.

So … Monday we’re all in the car together after looking at baby stuff (FREAKY!!!). My niece pipes up, “You know, I don’t think mommy’s ever going to get over you not telling her …” I jammed my hand over her mouth before she could finish the sentence. Middle of the night I get up to pee, then can’t get back to sleep. The rage grows. I called my mother Tuesday morning and told her I’d had it. She needs to STOP IT NOW and she needs to stop talking to her child about it. Because if it happens again, I’m going to really let her have it. Again, my mother tells me I’m overreacting. She says she doesn’t think my sister is still talking to my niece about it, that my niece is just talking, wanting to feel grown up. Again, she tells me to try to put a positive spin on it, and also says something about me contributing to the problem. I stopped her cold. I reminded her that I have NOT SAID A WORD when this happens. I have made a major effort not to call her on this shit in front of her child. My mother can’t disagree with this fact, but continues to tell me I’m overreacting.

Which brings us to last night. I called my sister to ask her about a folding bathing thingie she liked for bathing newborns in the sink. My sister was out walking the dog, so I was able to have a private conversation with my niece. I reminded her of what she said in the car and asked if her mom talked to her about that a lot. She said yes. I asked her when was the last time. “Yesterday.” I called my mother to relay this information. Again, she tells me I’m overreacting. I start to lose it. I tell her I’m getting very tired of the lack of understanding. I reminded her that I’m doing this on my own, I’m working full time, and in a lot of pain. That normally pregnant women have someone around to pamper them somewhat and cater to their heightened emotions and mood swings. She responded to this by saying, “I don’t think that’s really true that pregnant women have mood swings.”


Updated to add: Thanks for the support! I've had 2 teary phone calls with "sisters of choice." That helped. I admit, I'm probably haven't been handling this the best I could. I'm guilty of triangulating, too. Normally with stuff with my mother and my sister I simply retreat. Keep my distance. But my niece is over the moon about her new cousin, and I just hoped (despite evidence to the contrary) that for once, my feelings could be the priority while I grow a new member of the family.

Ya know, I'm growing a person here!!!

Oh, yeah, and my mother wonders why I don't want her anywhere near me when I'm in labor!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Miss Strawberry Shortcake

I admit it, I’m taking some perverse pleasure in driving my family a little crazy. I won’t tell them the name(s) I’ve chosen for baby girl. As I commented on Cassandra’s post about names, although I’ve told others, I just don’t want to hear my family’s opinions.

They know that I’m naming her for my father (among others, see this post), and that her first name will start with an “s.” Last week my sister was fishing for the name, and admonished me not to give her an unusual name like “Apple.” Well, I was visiting with my family over the weekend and told them that since my sister mentioned that, the idea is growing on me. So I told them I decided to name her “Strawberry Shortcake.”

Well, you know she’s going to be delicious! Nom, nom, nom, nom!