Monday, August 30, 2010

Have a Lovely Day

There are two things that I don’t want to write about today. One is the Scientist. The other is the Illness. I’d prefer to write about how excited I am to be going on another beach trip in just a few days, or how nice it is to have a quiet day with my boss out. But I don’t have the enthusiasm I normally would have for those things because of the first two. So instead you get this. It's very long, and there are no pictures, so you may want to click over to something with videos of kittens tumbling out of laundry baskets or something else. You were warned.

The Scientist

When I first began to put together some vague thoughts around maybe, MAYBE having a Jellybean on my own, I had lots of concerns. The expense. Daycare. How much more difficult was it going to be to meet someone once I had a child.

You read about it all the time, right? How it’s hard enough finding a man without bringing all kinds of kid issues to the mix. Hollywood loves to tell stories about women trying so hard to find the perfect Daddy that they forget to focus on good Husband qualities (yes, I am thinking of Look Who’s Talking, shh, I love that movie). I thought this was going to be the problem. I was never much of a dater to begin with, and I didn’t really have a lot of worries about the actual act of meeting someone – I was more concerned with my high-to-begin-with expectations, and how I’d look at him as a potential JellybeanDaddy.

Imagine my surprise when I got a few more emails from the Scientist, asking for another date, and felt really, really weird about it. Not happy, not excited. Then my stomach started to hurt. Then I started to shake a little bit. Then I started to feel really seriously panicky. I didn’t want another date. I don’t ever want to see him again. I don’t ever want to go on another date, with anyone.

I.Don’t want to share.Jenny.

That’s what it comes down to. I don’t want someone else in our lives. I don’t want my time with Jelly to include another person. I don’t want to even consider, god forbid, the idea of someone else saying something to her that I don’t agree with. I don’t want someone else playing with her. I don’t want someone else hugging her. I don’t want our routine interrupted, or a critique of how we interact, or my time with her taken away from me.

When I first became pregnant and joined the Single Moms by Choice forum, a lot of women said that they’d been criticized for getting pregnant on their own as being selfish. I thought about that a lot. I think there is a very small percentage of women who might do that, who get pregnant because they are lonely or in a bad situation or hate their lives or whatever, and think a baby will magically make everything wonderful. That’s selfish. The majority of SMBCs are the opposite – getting pregnant is an incredibly selfless act, and they recognize going into it that they are going to give up a lot, and compromise constantly, and struggle and get by and do it all for the benefit of someone else. I never felt like I made a selfish decision as a mother until I was faced with the idea of the second date. The first second date possibility in a very, very long time. Possibly the first the whole time I’ve been doing the internet thing.

I don’t think that a child suffers from a lack of a father, but I do think that a father is a really nice thing to have. I think there are times when not having a father will be very hard on Jelly, and since my driving force since the day she appeared in the world was to do everything within my power to make her life better, I feel like I should do everything I can to get a father for her. I also keenly feel the lack of male companionship, on all kinds of levels, every day.


39 years is a very, very long time to be self-sufficient. It’s a lot of years of having the whole bed to yourself, and watching what you want on TV. It’s a heckuva lot of dates where you see the same personality traits in people that you know you could never live with, where you see a lot of ‘could be’s were you willing to give up more of yourself, but it gets harder and harder to consider doing that. I’m all for pushing myself to try harder, to give more chances, to be more flexible. And there’s a nagging voice at the back of my head that wants to know if I’m pushing people away purposefully, in advance of getting hurt myself, or some such psychological rubbish. I don’t think that’s it. I just don’t think this should feel like such work. I’m tired of the same old ‘get to know you’ questions. I’m exhausted by the thought of saying the right things and looking the right way and fretting about what he thinks. I just don’t want to do it. That’s what it comes down to. I’d love to have someone else to share the responsibility with, and to cuddle up to at night, but when faced with a flesh-and-blood figure with a face, it makes me queasy to picture him in our home. OUTLANDER! INTRUDER! I don’t want to talk to him on the phone. I don’t want to get to know him better. I don’t want him to think he knows me.

My cousin said I might want to consider talking to someone. Like, a professional (not that you guys aren’t awesome). I dunno. Therapy in the past hasn’t done much but annoy me further. Is it possible that, despite all my bitching and complaining to the contrary, I really am happier by myself? Again, I say, I dunno. I do know that I’m going to have to come up with something to say to that very pleasant, very patient, Scientist dude. Um, sorry, but apparently I didn’t really want this. I thought I did, but here it is, and, oh shit, nope, uh-uh, get me the hell out of here. Thank you for your time. Have a lovely day.

The Illness

The three of you who faithfully read every single blog post the very second I click ‘Publish’ know that I am a migraine sufferer. You may also remember that not a lot of drugs have worked for me. And that while most of my migraines are triggered monthly by hormones, they are sometimes triggered by MSG, as well as a myriad of other things including alcohol, caffeine, time zone change, Teletubbies, etc..

Last Thursday evening I got a migraine. One of those out-of-the-blue, on-you-before-you-know-it types. I got the nausea before the headache, which is common for me. I had just put Jenny to bed and felt a little unsettled. Since I hadn’t eaten dinner yet, I made the tragic mistake of trying to settle my stomach with nachos. Yes, I know, don’t even say it. Needless to say, the nachos short visit to my stomach was violently interrupted within about half an hour. As soon as it happened, I knew what was coming, and headed up to bed. I got the electric blanket plugged in, in preparation for the body temperature drop that was imminent, and had a glass of cold water ready by the bedside.

It was bad. Possibly the worst one yet. Despite the fact that I was in an 80 degree room with a heated blanket, I shook and twitched. All my muscles locked up. It usually starts in my abdomen, and travels down my legs. My thighs cramp, then my calves seize up. The pain works its way back up my body, to my midsection where I double up, and into my lower back, fingers of agony then clutching their way up my spine and pulling on my shoulders before settling into my neck at the base of my skull. Normal migraines tend to be a hollow pain on one side. This one made my teeth ache, and my ears ring, and my sinuses pinch. One of the irritating things about a migraine is that there is no distraction from the pain – you can’t focus on anything else. For some reason I repeated the words to ‘Fuzzy Wuzzy Was a Bear’ over and over, trying to get my mind of the ripples of knotting going on throughout my body, telling myself I did not need to throw up again.

I threw up again. Unable to move more than a hand to tremulously grab a garbage can near my bed, I clutched it and heaved into dryer sheets and stale Fruit Loops and crumpled papers. I shook so hard that I have bruises on my upper arms where the pail handles dug into me. When I get like this, I also have the added bonus of relieving my bladder, which I uncontrollably did so in my bed. Around this time my temp caught up and I spiked a fever as well. It was not a fun place to be.

So there I was, for 3 more hours, sodden and soiled and sweaty, muscles clenched and unable to release, head throbbing, watching the clock and feeling grateful that Jenny was out of the newborn phase and safely in bed sleeping. Every so often, parched and desperate for relief, I’d try to rinse my mouth with water, but would immediately hurl again. The movement makes me sick to think about. I stopped throwing up around midnight, and the dizziness eventually overwhelmed me long enough to rest for 15-20 minute intervals here and there for the rest of the night.

So. Normally when I have a bit of a rough night like that I understandably feel like I’ve been through the ringer the next day. I have ‘migraine hangover’, where my muscles ache and I’m tired and generally not in a very happy mood. This time, however, was not like that. This was worse. I don’t know if it was just so bad that I triggered cluster migraines or what the deal was. I drove to drop off Jenny and almost threw up in the car. I hadn't showered, had vomit in my hair, and could barely walk. I worked from my bed the rest of the day, and the headaches didn’t go away. Saturday morning I woke up and started to cry. The headache was still there. The nausea was still there. All plans were cancelled. I made it through the day by taking an old Oxycodone prescription every 4 hours, on the dot. It helped enough that I could shower, and clean things up, and get out of the house for a few hours. I kept down the few bites of lunch and felt very positive. Finally, at 6pm Saturday night, like a light suddenly went out, the headache left. I got a good night’s sleep. And woke up with the headache again. And again today. I also broke out with several fever blisters at some point yesterday.

So this afternoon I’m going to see the doctor, although I really don’t expect him to say much. I mean, it’s headaches, what can he do? I’m going to ask for whatever birth control there is where you only have your period like once a year or whatever, because I think the trigger this time was wacky hormones. But, um, it was scary. It was the almost-black-out stuff that got to me. And that was my weekend! Sheesh. So here it is, Monday morning, and I feel like crap and I’m surly and I don’t want to go on any damn stupid date. But I have the beach to look forward to, and that’s a good thing.

Hope that inspired you to feel better about your Monday :-). Next post will be happier, I promise.

**I want to add that lots of people offered to help me, and I really, really appreciate that. Jenny was an angel, and played very nicely by herself, and watched a whole lot of TV, so there's not a whole lot anyone could have done. And apparently, no matter how bad things get, I worry about saving my favors for when it's 'really bad'. I'm dumb that way.


Barb said...

Yikes. You make me feel guilty for complaining about a little upset stomach or a restless night of sleep. Those migraines sound unbearable... so stop "saving your favors" and use them!

And as far as the date thing... I get it. But since I'm pregnant right now with #2, it's not really currently an issue. However, I do think that some point in the future I'd like to find a single dad with kids of his own to hang out with.... not someone to "be a father" to my children so that I'd have to share them, but someone who wants and enjoys being a parent and loves kids and wants to hang out and do kids things together. That is my new ideal. Both of us will probably be hit over the head and knocked out by someone completely unexpected who doesn't meet any of our requirements. Or not. :)

Jellybean Mama said...

@Barb - I like that - hang out and do kid things together. I think that will be my new ideal also.

Stephanie said...

Dude. Please, please, please call me (don't save the damn favors!) and I will come get Jelly and let her gaze adoringly at Zach. Zach loves it when people gaze adoringly at him.

As to the second date thing. Sigh. I have tons of advice on that...but since I'm a relationship failure (seriously, at the one month mark Joel was my longest boyfriend) perhaps I'm not the best one to ask.

However, if homey is going to buy dinner, I say go for it. :-)

marit said...

When I saw you on Saturday I didn't know the migraines were ongoing -- you said they were two days in a row but you didn't mention they were still bothering you. Please call me if you need me. Please. And go to the doctor.
I agree with you about the psychiatrists or psychics or whatever you call them but occasionally there's a good one who does help. And the only other advice I'll give is that maybe you take the "dating" element out and tell The Scientist you're just looking for a friend right now. If he's worth it he'll stick around and maybe less pressure and stress will mean less headaches?
Love to you and The Bean.

chris said...

Sorry you're having such a hard time with your migraines. Hope you'll find a doctor who can help.

Wish I could do something to help!!

Genkicat said...

OK - so exactly what would you consider "really bad"? Seriously. I was about to complain about a bit of a cold I've caught again. Won't be doing that now!

Those are not just headaches either. If your Dr. doesn't do more than pat you on the back and send you on your way go see someone else. You shouldn't have to suffer like that.

And I get the not wanting to share Jenny. Totally. At the same ... its only a second date. Just a date. Go out. Let him buy dinner. Have fun. You're not at the sharing stage yet.

just my two cents.

MommieV said...

Get out of my head!

I read this yesterday and couldn't put thoughts together coherently to post. Thirty-something years being independent. Don't want to share. I agree with G that it's only a second date, you're not sharing anything yet. But it's also more than that when you're thinking about what you want overall. And how much you are willing - or not willing - to give up to get it.

I have alot of thoughts about all of that mulling in my head about my own situation too. I guess that's why your post rang really true with me.

"I don’t think that a child suffers from a lack of a father, but I do think that a father is a really nice thing to have" - thanks for that.

And my god, your description of your migraines made ME feel ill. I've had two hormone-induced migraines since I had the girl. Both times I was at my mom's, so I could dump the girl into her lap and crawl into the guest bed and wish for death. And neither were anything like that.

Chris said...

MommieV has a good point: it is what you want in the long term, not just about that 2nd date.

Anyway, your post struck me as well even though relationship/family/etc wise I'm in a different place than you. When I first read your post it was so shocking to find my own in your list concerns I couldn't get myself to write about that in my first comment.

Although I have a significant other who has been there throughout the entire process (and who took many a months of work to stay home with baby) I too am very protective about his interaction with baby G. This may seem strange but we do have different parenting styles and we've struggled with this ever since baby G arrived. We've had a perfect relationship otherwise (before baby).

Anyway, I guess what I'm trying to say is that whether good or bad my relationship is directly related to how I feel their relationship is going. That to complement your thought on whether it is good to pick a mate based on how he is with Jelly. Anyway, that's just been my experience so far.

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