Having admitted my faults here numerous times, I feel totally comfortable adding another to the list. I’m really good at feeling sorry for myself. Luckily, it never lasts long. I am resilient, and I always reach a point where I remember that there are people all over the world with real problems, and I need to put on my big girl panties and deal.
I’ve mentioned before my love of Dave Chappelle’s early comedy, particularly his “Killing Then Softly” comedy special. Several of the lines have entered the “couples vernacular” of Odie and me. Chappelle jokes about how Sesame Street teaches children to label people, using Oscar the Grouch as an example. He says, no wonder kids grow up and step over homeless people. “Get it together, grouch. Get a job, grouch.” Whenever I’m being particularly Oscar-like, Odie will lighten the mood with “Get it together, Grouch.” The last week, it isn’t easy.
I’m not the first person to teach high school, parent a toddler, and be a wife through morning sickness. Still, despite having no festivity planning talents, I seem to be able to whip up a pretty snazzy pity party on a moment’s notice. Poor me, poor me, pour me a milkshake. Only DON’T because I will annihilate you with my gas. You do not want to give me dairy.
Only, I ate half a pint of chocolate frozen yogurt today, so Odie is in for a rough night.
But let’s not talk about my digestive tribulations. Let’s talk about my nausea, backache and sore boobs.
Nah. How many blogs are there complaining about pregnancy and all of its predictable and not terribly funny discomforts? What it comes down to is that it’s hard to not be a complete and total grouchy bitch right now. I woke up this morning after a night of bad sleep not so much on the wrong side of the bed as on a tiny six-inch sliver of bed that my co-sleeping daughter allows me to occupy. Perched thus precariously on the edge, I was a perfect target for the dog’s cold nose, which she jabbed affectionately into my own. If she could talk, I have no doubt she would have exclaimed, “Hey! You’re up! You know what’s awesome? Dog food.”
Our dog used to annoy me. When we adopted her, I expected the undying love and loyalty I had cherished in my late Golden Retriever, who died of cancer in 2000. The Dog has delivered just that. Except, to Odie. In her world, there are no gods before him. I had to process my feelings of rejection and jealousy. When he would come home from work and cuddle with her on the couch, all 65 pounds of her, I felt a bit squeezed out. When she turned out to be a resource guarder (which is dog trainer-speak for “if you try to get between her and something she thinks is hers, that dog will cut a bitch”), I worried that we’d never be able to have a child in this house. When Baby V was an infant, The Dog would infuriate me when she ran to bark at people walking their dogs in the morning. The first time The Dog startled my baby into terrified crying, I contemplated taking the four-legged menace for “a long drive in the country.” But I gave her too little credit. She barks because she isn’t going to let anyone she doesn’t know come near this family. She loves us all. She protects us. She is shockingly gentle with Baby V, tolerating her anatomy lessons (“EYE!” Baby V exclaims, plunging her finger into The Dog’s cornea), and rolling over for tummy scratches. She bears, with canine dignity, The Little Dictator’s shrieks of “Bad dog!” (we’ve been known to chide her with this when she gets into the litter box) and overly enthusiastic pats on the head.
Despite all of these canine heroics, it isn’t my favorite thing when she gives me face time in the wee hours. It didn’t help my mood. My nausea kicks in shortly after I wake up. My back has been killing me for two years, but now that I’m in my first trimester, my doctor says I can’t take ANYTHING for pain. I have found that the best remedy for back pain is Motrin (children’s Motrin is even better because the liquid gets into my system faster), and when it’s really bad, Tylenol too. But my doctor is very conservative and she forbids all medications in the first trimester. I’ve contemplated calling the office late at night and getting a different doctor on-call who is more willing to encourage me to take some Tylenol, but I’m sure Dr. O has excellent reasons for being so conservative. My baby’s organs are developing right now. The little heart is already beating (I hope). The best choice is to expose him or her to no chemicals at this delicate time. So, I’m a grouch.
You know what really helps relax my back? Wine. Yeah, you see my problem. There’s the grouch thing again.
I see my doctor for the first check-up on November 16th at 1:45. I’m nervous and excited. I remember this appointment from last time. My doctor examined me, weighed me, then took me into the ultrasound room. She had the monitor turned away from me as she examined the contents of my womb, her face stoic and unreadable. After what seemed like too long for good news, she turned the monitor to face Odie and me, revealing a little bean with a fluttering heart and said, “Everything looks perfect.” Since I’ve done this once before, I know what to expect and what to fear. I’ll feel such relief if I can see that little beating heart.