Tuesday, March 7, 2017

When your 94 Grandma proclaims that your 2-year old is no lady and you die a little inside.

Here we are, deep in the heart of Dallas, Texas. Home of one million of my relatives, sunshine in late winter, and my 94 year old grandma - Bubba. She has lived nine lives and then some and will continue to live many more we are fairly certain. Her Will-to-Live recipe consists of a few cups of love, a few more of laughs, some handfuls of spite, and gallons of Budweiser. She continues to live out her days in an assisted living place where she is surrounded by friends and life, much to her dismay.

When I showed up for lunch on Sunday, 2 littles in tow, she was sipping coffee with her 2 friends Billy (who is a young and spry 70 and blind as a bat - literally), and Eleanor. Billy proclaimed proudly that she had kidnapped Bubba and wheeled her down to the dining room. Billy steered Bubba's wheel chair while Bubba shouted directions. According to Billy, they only took out 3 by-standers and hit 2 poles. I'm inclined to believe that story. The whole time Billy talked, Bubba rolled her eyes and mouthed 'whoopee' with a twirly hand. For the record, she would have done that even if Billy had been able to see.

Prior to Billy's tale of adventure, Bubba was surprised to see us. So surprised that she pretended not to know us.

Me: Hey Bubba! It's so good to see you!
Bubba, looking up, clearly confused: Well Who. Are. You? 
Me, crushed and panicked thinking: Oh god. She's lost her memory.
Bubba: Ha! Just kidding. I know who you are but why are you here?
Me: thinking Whew, there she is. 

Fast forward the arrival of three loud brothers, two parents and one hard-to-warm-up toddler and Bubba was starting to twitch. Finally my sweet Adelaide climbed into the chair next to her Bubba. Swoon. Being the painfully awkward introvert that she is (bless her heart), Adelaide indeed sat next to her Bubba but she did so in a slumped fashion with her hat just over her eyes. Knees up. Skirt up. Dear lord make it stop.

Bubba: Well what's wrong with her??
Me: (dying) She's just a little shy, Bubba.
Bubba: (staring mouth agape at Adelaide's form) You know, real ladies don't let their skirts up above their knees. Bring your skirt down, girl!
Adelaide, side-eyeing Bubba just below the rim of her hat, slowly starts to lower her skirt past her propped up knees. Bubba nods in satisfaction as Adelaide reaches the below the knee destination and without pause or breaking side-eye, then begins to start the journey back again of the skirt coming back above and over her knees until her skirt was all. The way. Over. Her. Head. And I died.

The end.  

Monday, February 27, 2017

The answer is 'None of the above.'

I'm skipping past the last 7,8, 9? months because they've been a blur. I've written some posts since my last one but none to completion, or satisfaction. I've written even more in my head and while they never made it past my fingertips, even those have been therapeutic because too damn much has happened. It's like I blinked last February and it's suddenly a year later and I've woken up in a some punked version of reality. Can you guess which one of the following statements is false?

A) I am 40.
B) My son spent 70 days in the NICU last year. 70.
C) I am a stay at home mom now.
D) Donald Trump is President. Of like the United States of America. Thanks to Russia. Russia.
E) Mike Pence is no longer Governor of Indiana! Because he's Vice President of like, the United States of America.
F) U2 is touring The Joshua Tree.
G) I've figured out how to fly with an infant and toddler and still score a glass of wine in-flight.
H) The new Secretary of Education stated that guns should be allowed in schools due to grizzly bears. And she was elected after that statement was made, of course she was.
I) I've participated in 3 protests and rallies in 2017 and it's only February 26th.
J) I wore a pussy hat on my head in a sea of other pussy hats and it was totally normal.
K) We have a president, of like, the United States of America, who uses Twitter as a bully pulpit and regularly creates his own versions of the truth to suit his needs and ego - and it's considered normal.

So which one of these is not true? The answer is NONE OF THEM. THEY ARE ALL FUCKING TRUE WHAT THE HELL??

Like I said, punked reality. Alternate universe. Life's been busy and just when I thought I was getting my energy back up to embrace life again last fall, November 8 happened and my world was thrown on its axis once again as Donald Fucking Trump was elected, despite losing the popular vote by several million. Months later I'm still waiting for Ashton Kutcher to jump out at a White House Daily Briefing and yell PUNKED! Goddammit Ashton, where are you.

In the mean time, I do what I know. I continue to raise my little people to not be assholes (that's my bar). I join rallies and protests and shout from the rooftops - and troll Twitter like a mad woman - as I am indignant on a daily basis of the policies being spewed forth from the new Oval. The oval which is now full of CEO's, billionaires, and oh yeah, white supremacists. No big deal. Totally normal. Did I mention I'm a stay at home mom now?

In the meantime, I prepare for another trek back to my Texas in four days with lofty mom goals of scoring my in-flight wine and maintaining the semblance of sanity while traveling with 2 tiny humans, sans Special K. My soul prepares for blue skies and sun which I need to drown out the cold - and not cold - but always gray days of the past 4 months.

In the meantime, I continue to struggle with the reality of my stay at home momness. And while I have no regrets I'd be lying if I said this new gig was easy - because it's not. It's the hardest fucking thing I've ever done in my life. Every day is hard but there's beauty in it. Every day there are tears, smiles, poop - so much poop, so many highs and lows. But this is my gig right now. They are my job and they make the HR profession look easy. When I look at them I want to vomit with love because even in their worst moods and most maniacal moments, they are beautiful and they are mine. Ours.

So yeah, I'm looking forward to sky blue skies very soon as I take advantage of my unlimited 'days off' with my monsters. I will enjoy them while I have them.


Friday, May 13, 2016

29 and 1

So it happened. He happened. Frederick Rogers Schoville was born at 11:50 p.m. on May 1, 2016 I was able to cook him for 3 1/2 days until I just couldn't cook him anymore. I got him to 29 weeks and 1 day exactly. 3 days straight of icky magnesium drips and on the fourth day they cut me off. It was a good day actually, the best day I'd had since I'd been there. The doc on duty encouraged me to get up and walk around a little without the sensors. Take a shower - and I did indeed. My work spouse came to visit and brought me my yummy comfort coffee drink and a Wonder Woman Build a Bear which he and his partner had spent their Sunday morning building... It was the best day,
But inevitably, the back pains - aka contractions - ramped up and before I knew it it was show time. Scared to death is the only way to describe my state of mind. Like on some level I seriously thought I could just stop it all from happening. Willing it not to be happening was all I could do but my body - and Frederick - felt otherwise. After much much pushing,  some F bombs (many F Bombs) and 2 failed attempts at epidural, teeny tiny Frederick was finally pushed and pulled from my body. You'd think that a 3 lb. 13 oz. baby would fly right out but no. Not. At. All. In those moments I swore to never ever do that again. I really did and my doc laughed as it came out something like me grabbing Special K by the shirt and yelling 'WE ARE NEVER FUCKING DOING THIS AGAIN!'

And poor Frederick. It took forever for him to make a noise as the NICU team put him in a plastic bag and hauled him over to the table to work on him. I kept my eyes on Special K as my doc worked on me and the Neonatology team worked on my new little person. I've never seen Special K look scared but he looked downright terrified in those minutes that crawled by. He paced back and forth between me and the little. Then we both heard it. The tiniest little scratch of a voice I will never forget as long as I live. The look of relief that swept over Special K and the sob that emerged from me before I realized it was me. But then they brought him to me and I was in shock. I wasn't quite sure what to expect but I wasn't expecting that. Him. My baby in a bag was black. 

Or I thought he was. I asked if he was black and they assured me that no, he was not black, just badly bruised. Like his entire head was a giant blue berry. My vagina did that to him and I was horrified. I didn't get to see him again for another couple hours and it felt like an eternity. And then there we were, back in the NICU with a little person. Only this little was way littler then our fist little. This little was way earlier. Scarier.

On Day 2 I held him. Scared. to. death.

He was under the blue light special for almost 2 weeks until the bruising went down. 

The bruising was especially significant due to my baby crushing vagina. One of the nurses said it was actually a pretty impressive bruising and that it also wasn't actually my vagina that gets to take credit for the blue berry state of my child, but my pelvic floor. Anyway... The blue light special did not last forever. Eventually the goggles and hat came off and we were able to see his sweet face. Kind of. But we were lucky.

We are lucky. And he's OK. Cooking in the NICU womb instead of my own, He's finally off the blue lights and was only intubated for a short time. 2 weeks old and he's finally almost at his birth weight. In the meantime this is our second home. 7 days a week. Special K and I tag team then both come up in the evenings. Every time I leave him I can't breathe. It's like leaving one of my lungs behind and I can't fully breathe until we return and even then my breaths are short as I feel like I am breathing for him and me. Returning in the evening, racked with guilt leaving our first sweet little, I cry in anticipation of what I might find when I return to his side. But he's always OK.

I have to allow myself to take comfort in the fact that he really is OK. It's just going to take a long time for him to be good. In the meantime, we have his monitors that bring us comfort as they also bring us fear. Tracking his heart rate, his respiratory rate and his blood oxygen levels all at once. So many moving pieces that set off alarms at the slightest dips. It feels like the alarms will never stop. But they do. His breath finally returns - usually with help - and then he is OK today. I'm getting there. Slowly.

The tiniest baby steps ever.
30 and 6


Saturday, April 30, 2016

It Wasn't Supposed to Happen Like This

Well here we are. I never did make it to my afternoon work meetings the other day. Nope. Instead, I (we) am full of IV drips, dosed with what I think can only be a borderline legal amount of magnesium and steroids, and attached to a bajillion monitors. Me and him, him and me. We are in this together. My last words as I left my office Thursday morning. Be back in a couple hours! Schovillova out. OK, not that last part, but I'm fairly confident that was part of my inner dialogue. 

What the fuck. How did I get here? A measly 28 weeks and now 6 days pregnant and my cervix decides it's done with the whole cooking the baby thing. In the words of the world's best OBGYN, I have a shit cervix. What a shit head that cervix of mine is. At least it gave me until 34 weeks before my first sweet little person came upon the Schovillova scene. But this. I wasn't prepared for this. Who can prepare for this? I went into the world's best OBGYN's office for a check up and it went something like this:

WBO: So, how are you feeling? 
Me: (Auto tears) I feel weird. Low back pain, lots of it. And my stomach keeps tightening. 
WBO: Does your stomach tighten when your back pains happens? 
Me: Yeah, but just in one area. It bulges out every once in a while. (Yes, in hind sight I am slapping the hell out of me)
WBO: (totally calm and cool because she is the calmest and coolest cat) Well let's just take a look... (takes a look) Uh huh. OK, here's what's going to happen now. (again, totally calm and cool this cat, she could have rattled off her Christmas list, I wound't have been surprised. But I was surprised.) We're going to go ahead and check you in. 
Me: Check me into what?
WBO: Into the hospital. You are fully effaced and 2 cm dilated. 

For those of you not in the know. The term 'fully effaced' means paper thin. Means ready to drop. Like there's absolutely nothing holding that bad boy in and up. 

Me: Does this mean I won't be back for my meetings this afternoon? 
WBO: You won't be back for a meeting for.. quite some time. 

Side note: when I got to work Thursdsy morning with all the back pain the only thing that occurred to me was that perhaps I should stop wearing high heels. Yep. 

So here I am. Monitors for me and the little human male in my womb who is trying to escape. The magnesium makes me feel buzzed and numb and so fucking hot (as in over heated as in Texas in July). I can't walk a straight line and I have to call a nurse every hour to help me hobble to the bathroom every freaking hour. In the meantime I stave off a panic attack/nervous breakdown when I'm left to consider the worst case scenarios of our actual situation. Of his actual situation. 28 and 6 now. Not good but not the worst. I actually called the neonatologist (perhaps the kindest human I've ever met but oh so serious and severe, rightly so) out for being 'a downer'. 

I'm such an asshole sometimes but it was either that or it was collapsing to the ground and curling into fetal. He did an excellent job at painting the most realistic/horrific picture of  'Here's what we're looking at folks' for xx weeks. Current goal, keep me drugged and dosed to make it to 29 weeks on Sunday. Ideally 32 weeks would help us rule out a lot of complications. One day at a time. And for the love, do not Google this shit. For once in my life, I am not remotely tempted to Google this shit. 

My sweet perfect little came to visit today. I hadn't seen her in 2 days and I bawled like a baby when my in-laws brought her in. I missed her terribly and mourned the fact that she was (all too soon) about to not be my baby. My sweet little. I at least remembered to hide the wires so she didn't lose her shit completely. I was already doing that enough for the both of us. Oh sweet A. 

So here I am and here we are. Tick tock you guys. I need a few more weeks. He needs a few more weeks. It wasn't supposed to happen like this. 


Saturday, April 23, 2016

That time when Target did something awesome and then people turned into assholes.

Last week Target released an inclusive bathroom policy that allows people to use whichever restroom they identify with. In other words, transgender friendly. And not surprisingly but always surprisingly, the human race turned out in masses to protest, fearing that the lives and virtue of mothers and daughters nation-wide were now at risk. Target has given free reign to creepy predators to dress in women's clothing and walk in to any Target restroom without fear of repercussion. And what will they do once inside these restrooms? Well they will undoubtedly pray on our women and daughter folk of course. Yes, that is the argument and yes this is the 21st century.

Because that is where the predators go. Predators have been laying in wait apparently for the day to come when the skies rained free passes to stalk people in restrooms. Because they're not doing that already? Because it doesn't already happen in men's restrooms too? Sadly what people are failing to remember/realize is that almost all predators never have been and never will be found inside restrooms and that 75% of predators are actually people we know. You know. I know. Our kids know. They're not cross dressing and lurking in the shadows. They are in our families, neighborhoods, and classrooms. And while 1 in 4 girls will be targeted at some point in their lives, it is also 1 in 6 boys that will be targeted and the predators don't just have penises, but they have vaginas too!

So it's not about the restrooms at all. It's about continuing to deny basic civil rights - human rights - to our fellow men and women. It's about using fear as an excuse to be a total asshole. Why not let people go to the freaking bathroom in the same facility as people with whom they most closely identify? Instead people feel much better about showing their own children that discrimination is OK and that it is OK to fear and judge that which they do not understand.

Target's bold move was meant to send a strong message while some conservative governors recently signed legislation to allow individuals and institutions with religious objections to deny service to gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, and transgender people.  We need more bold moves like Target. We need more companies and politicians to show our youth that being different is OK, it doesn't make you a predator or a person to be feared until you do something to someone that is predatory or fearful.

I'd like to say that by the time the little human person is 10 years of age she won't have to see headlines about people being discriminated against due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. Who knows what hers will be? But then it was only 8 years ago when Proposition 8 was being disputed in California and even though 7 years later the Supreme Court legalized same sex marriage, we are still fighting battles against organizations and institutions that have also been given a pass to refuse service of any kind to those groups. As fast as laws are being created to include all the humans, just as many are being passed to discriminate and ironically, it's the people who rally to discriminate that I start to fear, rather than those being discriminated against.