Things Change

So, most mothers of 2 or more kids will tell you that each kid is different. That each pregnancy is different. Well, I’m not here today to tell you otherwise. Some of it is just the natural progression from over-zealous first-time-around motherhood to been-there-done-that-who-cares-if-the-baby-eats-some-dog-food-it’s-not-toxic second child syndrome. Some of it is more situational.

For example, in my first pregnancy I laughed at the idea of sewing my own hospital gown. Why would you waste money on fabric that’s just going to get all stained with lord-only-knows? Of course this time around, I feel compelled to tackle this sewing project. Mostly because in my sterile visions of childbirth, there’s always a lot of medical interventions involved and I’m always in a hospital gown. In Germany, they tell you to just wear a comfy shirt, when you come in labor. Now, if I own a comfy shirt, chances are, I like to wear it. So why in the world would I want to trash it by giving birth in it? If the hospital won’t issue me a disinfected, hospital grade material gown, then I guess I will be making my own.

Another case in point: not choosing my hospital based on my doctor. So in Baton Rouge, I had the most wonderful OB/Gyn. His office was in the tower at Woman’s Hospital. So, of course, it was planned out that we would drive 45 minutes to his hospital so he could oversee everything and take care of me. In Germany, the doctors aren’t so much involved. In fact, legally, you have to have a midwife with you for the birth in a hospital, but the doctor is totally optional. You might not even actually see a doctor during your labor and delivery. I’m still planning to drive the 45 minutes to Tübingen, but not because my doctor will be there. In fact, I don’t even know if someone has to call him to tell him I’m in labor, maybe they just send him a letter all official and German like from the hospital. Something with a signature and a stamp. Germans like to stamp important things. The hospital in our town actually has a WHO “Baby Friendly Certification, but I don’t really want to go there… I’ve heard that they tend to not send critical patients to the specialty hospitals as soon as they should. My nursing education makes me all too aware of every rare and life-threatening thing that could happen. I don’t want to stroke out from an embolism and be a vegetable because the doctors here were too proud to admit they couldn’t handle it themselves. I don’t think my husband or my in-laws fully understand this. But I really don’t care. In the words of every 13 year old that’s ever been on Maury Povich, “It’s my body, I do what I want.”

Also situational: In the last pregnancy, it was a question of “when” and not “if” I wanted an epidural. In Tübingen, there’s a variety of choices for pain relief. I’m still leery of all of the breathing and relaxation techniques people recommend. But I’m keeping an open mind. Also up for grabs are laughing gas and some kind of opiate. I may turn this birth into my own little science experiment. Of course, I never actually felt contractions during my first labor, so I may be screaming for my “Rückenspritz!” before I make it through all of the different options. (Also- I am not a super human- I didn’t feel the contractions despite my Pitocin drip due to an overwhelming and excruciating backache that I’d had from about 32 weeks into the pregnancy. Kind of like you wouldn’t notice if you busted your lip falling if you also broke your arm at the same time.)

Now that I am officially on Maternity Leave (another situational difference. Yay, socialism!) I hope to update a bit more on these differences. Maybe on the next post I’ll go into detail of some of the all natural recommendations for inducing labor. 🙂 But really, it’s been interesting so far. And I’m learning to not be too neurotic. Maybe.

I love my child, but….

Peaches Geldof- thanks for supporting my theory that most women must be on something if they are full on “attachment parenting” parents.

 

I’m writing this post from the bathroom the tiny water closet with just the toilet in it. Now, I’ve had this thing where I really don’t like being in a bathroom with the door closed since I got stuck in the tiny bathroom in the Pre-K room at St. Theresa. But I’ve come to learn to love hiding in this very tiny tiny room with a functioning lock on the door. Even then, though, sometimes I can’t enjoy pooping (or pretending to poop) in peace. Case in point: As I was writing that last sentence a small voice called through the grate on the door “Mommy!!! I have to go! Are you in there, mommy? Are you trying to poopoo? Is it coming out?” (We discuss poop quite openly in this house, apparently)

*Sigh*

We’re on Day 3 of O not being at kindergarten. May 1 is a Labor Day sort of holiday here in Germany. So the kindergarten was closed Thursday and Friday, too. How lovely! What makes this time even more special is that my child is at that age where he asks A LOT of questions. Like repeatedly asking, “When are we going to …?” Or asking, “But, why?” in response to anything that comes out of my mouth. As the title of this post implies- I love my child, but… I swear, it’s like he has this special patience detector. And right when I start to run low on patience, that’s when he attacks. Endless questions, whining, repeating the same things over and over, clinging to my legs. Gah!!! I mean, I know that someday I’ll look back on these times and laugh, maybe even miss the way he has to be physically attached to me in some way at EVERY MOMENT. And I must obviously love O. My brother used to be the same way as a little kid. I punched him quite often. So my restraint of not knocking my kid out is proof of both my increased maturity and my motherly love, right? 🙂

 

 

Note to attachment parents: I admire you for doing what you think is right for your kid. I just really, really don’t understand y’all. I think our brains are just wired differently.

What next?

Well, well, well. There are big changes coming up in the next few months. Where do I begin?

 

I guess I should start with the job situations. Yes, plural 🙂 No, I haven’t yet gotten my nursing certification recognized here. Still trying to get through the mounds of red tape and I need a document from OLOL that doesn’t exist (yeah, good luck with that Shelley). HOWEVER, the lovely people at Vivat Lingua offer medical terminology courses in English for healthcare personnel in the area. And they just happen to need a new teacher. It’s just a little part-time job, and it’s not like a big salary or anything, but you guys have no idea the weight that has been lifted off my (durable, yet weary) shoulders. I will be back in society as a productive citizen. I know some women love being full-time stay at home moms. I applaud those women and all they love they put into their families and homes. But I need at least a little of that other world. And this gives a me a chance to get out of the house and justify paying to send Oli to Kindergarten.

Speaking of Kindergarten, Oli is very excited about going to his new Kindergarten in Albstadt-Ebingen! Yup folks, A got a position at one of the high schools in his home town. We found a lovely apartment with a patio, balcony and a yard! Ok, so I’m not really excited about yardwork or the uphill hike to the apartment, but it won out because it was cheaper and Armin liked the view of the mountains. We’ll be moving in September, if we can get it painted and hang light fixtures in an orderly fashion. We’ll see.

My plans for August are focused solely on Oli’s birthday and packing. It works out conveniently. I’ve got Oli’s birthday present (a huge ridable back hoe) under a sheet behind a pile of boxes. He hasn’t even noticed it…

I’ve been slacking

On this blog. On writing letters to my grandparents. On sending emails to friends.

Please understand, I’ve been up to my ears in being a stay at home mom. It has been my own personal Hell.

Now, I know most of you are thinking, “Dear God, what the heck is wrong with her?” Let me put it this way: neither my son nor I have the personalities to be stay-at-home-with-each-other kind of family members. O is the greatest joy of my life. But sometimes I want to lock myself in the closet and not come out until his father gets home and puts him to bed. O is social. And energetic. Curious. A pain in the ass. He is helpful and wants to interact and jumps at any chance to be with you and do things with you. Unfortunately, his eagerness to close the dishwasher and turn it on does not bode well when I haven’t finished loading it and he starts it running while I’m in the middle of scraping oatmeal off of a bowl.

I’ve tried giving him tasks. I’ve even dragged his toys into the kitchen so I can get my stuff done while he plays. No go. So I end up engaged with him all day and trying to get all of my cooking/cleaning done while he naps. Thank God he naps. Its the only hour and a half I have a moment to myself. I just want a moment to myself. That’s all. To make dinner without little hands trying to grab the onion  off the chopping board. Without O screaming “Look, Mama!” and me dreading to see what mess he’s made… I’m not cut out for this.

Don’t get me wrong, I think stay at home parents are great. The child has a primary caregiver around all the time. I just don’t know if I should be O’s primary caregiver. It’s like adult me has my baby brother trying to play with her all day long.

I thank the dear sweet Virgin Mary that O is orienting at Kindergarten this week. I can start dropping him off and leaving him there next Monday.