Test Taking Strategies

March 15, 2011

Because my first two pregnancies happened quickly, I’m assuming conception for #3 will also happen quickly. My sister had such a challenging year conceiving her second child, becoming emotional and devastated at the arrival of her period each month, that I have consciously decided to be Zen about the process. This does not stop me each month from being convinced that I am pregnant. Why else would I have heartburn, be exhausted, act more impatient than usual and crave unhealthy foods? Apparently PMS and early pregnancy symptoms are nearly identical.

As a result each month when I am so convinced my period should have arrived I pee on a stick in anticipation. And each month I try to wait a little longer than I did the previous month before taking the test. Last month I definitively had my period on Valentines day so I should be menstruating by the 15 of March (never mind I have not documented my schedule which could still be irregular from birth control or that February is a short month). By the tenth of the month I checked to see if I had a pregnancy test left, I had one, and tried to see if I could go a little longer before taking it. A day later I threw out the box and hid the test with my panty liners. I usually discharge heavily but since I have not this month, I wonder how/why my body is changing and hold off a little longer.

In fact every time I am in the bathroom I wonder if it is a good time to discover that of which I am convinced. I have a party tomorrow night where it would be fun to drink, so perhaps I can wait until Thursday to test. The longer I hold out, the greater the chance that either my period arrives or it doesn’t and thus more likely for me to pregnant. I try to hold off as long as I can and each month it feels like every day without my period or a result feels like an accomplishment.

After resisting all day, last night I took a test thinking it would be a good time to tell my husband that we were expecting. Having thrown the box away I could not remember how to read the results. So in my pajamas, hiding the test in my shirt sleeve I excused myself to check on one more thing before getting into bed only to realize I’ll have to wait another month and buy a new pack of pregnancy tests.

I want to restrain myself. I do not want to think/ obsess about having a child. But then I see other people pregnant, intentional or not, second or third child and I get competitive. I want to be pregnant, not even so much to have another baby but to be in the game. If so-and-so is knocked up then I can as well. I want it to want it and to be in the game. I do not want to listen to people lament about negotiating three (which sounds almost prohibitively exhausting) I want to join in the conversation. I want to roll my eyes and say, what was I thinking?

Lying in the steam room at the gym I think how once I conceive I’ll have to sacrifice this luxury. I savor every bite of sushi and enjoy trying the fancy cocktails at restaurants. I eat blue cheese and deli meats without fears. Later this month we are taking a family vacation to Jamaica where I think it would be awful to have morning sickness. I tell myself it will happen and I will roll my eyes and verbalize, what was I thinking?


Professional Training Required

March 14, 2011

My kids are great: smart, funny and exasperating. I parent them in the way that I deem best at that moment. Logically I know that screaming, “I’ve had enough” to quell the whining is not the most ideal solution but it must be better than spanking or arm twisting. I just came across this article by Anne Lamott who eloquently articulates how her son knows just the right combination of buttons to push to get a reaction and I can relate.

I’ve gone to a few parenting classes offered at the school and some are more helpful than others, but when my husband comes home and undermines me by not adhering to the schedule (begin dinner and wind down at 5:00, day light savings or not) or responds to my daughter’s attempts for him to linger longer in the bedroom I’m frustrated. Not only are the kids that much more challenging, but also I have to share my husband. He resents my reminders of the existing routine and we both end up more bitter and tired than we would like.

I told him tonight that I want us to take a parenting class together. He was a little hesitant at first, justifying our parenting (as if we were a completely united front) and slightly defensive as he is whenever I share observations. (Knives do not go in the dishwasher. Please close the refrigerator door. Do not leave stinky running socks around the house. Move your mail from the kitchen pile…Just a few that come to mind) When we adopted our dog (who has long since found another home, executive decision by yours truly who is coming across more as a drill sergeant than she would like) we hired a trainer. A trainer who trained us on how to handle the dog, exert our dominance and remain consistent. Certainly raising two toddlers necessitates at least as many visits with a trained professional.

Maybe, Maybe Not

March 11, 2011

My husband and I have been talking about having another child. It seems crazy articulating this as I can barely handle the two now and can feel my hair going gray as I wrestle to feed, dress, bathe and attend to them. But we are both one of three kids (Hubby’s the oldest and I’m the youngest) and I imagine it is easier to shuffle a new one into the mix before we completely abandon the toddler obstacles of diapers and tantrums. My parents, and my in-laws were both miraculously able to raise three kids so why not us? I am after all dividing my living room in a half to create an additional bedroom for the munchkins.

I had been a bit reluctant to go off the Pill because I was afraid that I would get pregnant super fast, before I technically wanted to. Number 2 snuck up on me faster than I would have hoped (one week moment when my daughter was 7 months old), and child #1 was conceived in about three months. So once I made the decision to quit the Pill I assumed I’d get pregnant immediately. Then I rationalized that it could take months and simply wanting to conceive was not enough to make it happen.

Yet every month since I stopped the Pill at the end of November I think I’m pregnant, perhaps because I do not have the Pill dispenser to remind me when I should expect my period or because after over a year on contraception my period is irregular. PMS symptoms are highly similar to pregnancy ones: moodiness, exhaustion, the cravings of chocolate and carbs. So, I’ve taken about three pregnancy tests all of which come back negative.
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Happy to See You, now please clean up

March 10, 2011

I missed my husband while he was on his company ski retreat (Wall Street is Back!). Now that he has been home for six hours I wonder what it exactly it was that I missed: his help in the morning, his occasional company in the evening? I say occasional because he is rarely home at a decent our and when he is he bonds as much with his Blackberry as he does me.

Since his return at 2 am last night, my three year old climbed into my bed. This has been an issue I’ve been trying to curtail and considering my husband had just walked through the door, I was not ready to share my bed with an additional creature child. As I put her in bed, Hubby from upstairs whispers Shh which has the exact opposite effect. Now my daughter knows her dad who has a history of undermining my parenting authority by being more lenient is home. She wails for him then stops then resumes, making me wonder if he is comforting her, not an appropriate reward for getting out of bed at 2am.

Hubby is great in the morning, getting up with the kids, making breakfast and plopping them in front of Curious George. When he has them dressed and with food at the table before 7:45, a little television is acceptable. Today he even brushed teeth and greatly facilitated the morning departure. Tomorrow may be another story.

When I came upstairs I found remnants of my Hubby’s arrival. All of the lights instead of being turned off, were dimmed. The freezer drawer was not closed properly and 90% of a bottle of wine missing. He sounded slightly annoyed when I mentioned the freezer but I asked, would you prefer I say nothing? It’s one of those situations where I feel like I am repeating my myself (I must tell him weekly about the lights) and no matter how kindly I relay the message, he responds defensively. I just hate watching people waste – whether it is leaving the refrigerator open while eating, running the shower water while on the toilet or not turning lights off, it’s irritating. Almost as irritating as my husband coming home, opening the bedroom window then leaving the room for an hour.

I’m sure my frustrations about our lack of bonding time manifest itself in my tolerance level for all things annoying about my hubby.

About that deadly sin

March 7, 2011

Disclaimer: I’m aware just how very fortunate I am for so may reasons. Everything said below is said with knowledge of how lucky I am, in spite of everything.

Fact: My husband just took a private jet to Aspen for a company ski trip, extended an extra day so he can ski with his brother.

Reality: I have two toddlers at home, have not gone on vacation in ages and fantasize about vacations, skiing and private planes.

I know, I know, I’m very lucky. I should be proud that my husband has reached the echelon where he is not only invited on such trips but also there is room for him on the plane. And unlike other married women, I do not question his fidelity.

I can go on about how he is a good guy, a great father, a hard worker etc. etc. but the reality is I would love to be skiing. I’ve talked to him about going to a nearby mountain that may not have the white powder of out west but might satiate my skiing itch. I bring up romantic getaways with no success.

We pretend to have conversations about the two of us going on a exclusive weekends but he cuts them short when the subject of the kids surface. I trust our babysitter with the kids, either in our apartment or my grandma’s. My husband dismisses it. I ask my dad how he would feel about having the kids and the sitter at his house but he has yet to give me a definitive answer. I know I’m not the only one. A friend from Australia living in New York who did not even have a 92 year old grandma in town with whom she could consider dropping her kids off, but it does not make it much easier.
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