No, that wasn’t a panic attack.

March 24, 2011 § 1 Comment

So… Future Mama D and Papa M had given up for a bit on this whole pregnancy thing because Mama D’s job, which provides the Challenged Family with their lovely health insurance benefits, turned out to suck big time.  While she was searching for another, they thought they’d put the family planning on hold.

Mama D turned 30 yesterday.  She’s been increasingly frustrated with the situation at work.  She’s slipped into a deep depression and been waking in a malaise, unable to cope with the never-ending fights and belittling disrespect as she attempts to force feed a bunch of 15 year olds with the collective reading abilities of a third grader the information and skills they are convinced they do not need (yes, she is a High School English Teacher).  The last two days, she’s been especially emotional and touchy, so she stayed home to rest and scheduled a counseling appointment for fear she might go off the deep end.

This morning, she awoke determined to bitterly fight through the anger and hatred and fear and go teach those darn kids something.  She made it to the bathroom with a coughing fit.  She felt flush and like something was twisting her stomach into impressive nautical-style knots.  Still–she must persevere!  She drove to school, made it all the way to her classroom before the nausea hit.  She defiled the porcelain throne and returned to arrange her sub plans, nearly passing out from dizziness.

Given the emotional crap, she figured she’d just snapped.  Here was the panic attack that had been building.

She got out and headed to the doctor, who she was sure would try to convince her to check in to a mental hospital post-haste.  After running all kinds of Scary Tests, the doctor came in and announced that Future Mama D would lose the Future within this year.

In other words, kids, we’re pregnant.

Now would be the proper time to panic…

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That last glass of wine…

September 15, 2010 § Leave a comment

Well, now that (Future)Mama D is employed–thus blessed with health insurance from the magical health insurance fairies– and (Future)Papa M has arrived in the U.S., it’s time to start having the babies.

Apparently, making babies is a highly physical process that mostly involves things that are fun that you can no longer do (like downhill skiing) and, more importantly and dismayingly, things that are delicious that you can no longer eat (like sushi).  D is a bit overwhelmed by the numerous rules public health organizations are encouraging her to impose upon herself to boost fertility and prevent permanent harm to the yet-unformed fetus.  Nevertheless, she is determined to limit the negative effects she has on Future Baby as much as possible and as such is attempting to renounce the awful diet soda habit (even caffeine free, yes).

So Saturday night, she found herself at a lovely restaurant and bar, with her charming husband, looking longingly into her cool, oak-flavored glass of chardonnay about half sipped and realized it might be her last such indulgence for some time to come.  She would have to trade the wine and the chocolate for milk and prenatal vitamins if she was to be serious about this healthy pregnancy thing.  While she had similar passing thoughts before, this buttery, scrumptious glass of golden perfection suddenly became a farewell, not just to vineyarding snobbery, but to a whole life of bodily choices that had really affected no one but herself before.  A life of bingeing on doughnuts when the desire to do so outweighed the known effects on her body, of studying a martial art where she’d get repeatedly kicked, of dangling over the edge of mountains she’d climbed for the rush and the thrill, of downing Diet Coke after Diet Coke like it was water in the desert.

And as this sobering thought overtook her and killed her buzz, she brought the glass to her lips to enjoy and savor these last moments of narcissism.  But before the sweet nectar could be hers, a black fly landed in that delicious California brew.

Screw you, Alanis Morisette, for turning out to be right.

And how often do you have sex?

August 30, 2010 § Leave a comment

(Future)Mama D had a lovely Sunday afternoon visiting her college roommate and dear pal, J.  J is a wise, wise woman, and also a bit of a wise-ass, who has had the misfortune to deal with two younger siblings’ and a cousin’s weddings in the last three years with neither the assistance of her dear old college pal who was glamming it up (and having her own wedding) in South Korea, nor with a gentleman friend to ward off the nosy questions of well-intentioned relatives.

“I’m not unhappy about being single–in fact, I quite enjoy my solitude–but it does seem like everything about weddings is designed to draw attention to the fact that you are single and to make you feel bad about it,” J explained.

D slips into a bit of a defensive apology.  “You would be proud that (Future)Papa M and I eschewed the entire nasty tradition of bouquets (therefore there were no tosses), wedding attendants (forced into false coupledom and other sorts of nasty attendant-related drama) and seating arrangements (in favor of a buffet).  I think most people–coupled and single–had an ok time.  I do hope so, because I know it sucks to be single for most weddings.”

“That does sound pretty nice,” J says politely, avoiding eye contact.  Ah, good friends.  They will never tell you about your own stupid bridal-induced comas.  How kind.  “I think the worst was when my aunt decided to find the sole unattached male from the groom’s guests who was approximately my age and financially solvent and wanted to ‘introduce’ us.  Because, you know, all a single gal at a wedding is waiting around for is some random guy with a steady job.  Nothing else about relationship-making is important, you see.”

Both laugh.

“Why do people think it’s ok to ask these questions?” J continues.  “‘When are you going to get married?’  Um, ok, grandma.  You see me every week, and I still have yet to mention a boyfriend, so um… I was thinking… next month?  Is that soon enough for you?”

“When your mail-order-husband from Pakistan arrives,” D explains.  “You know, you wanted one from Egypt, but those Egyptian men were just too darned expensive, so you had to go with South Asia.”

“And I can see from my sister and sister-in-law that it’s no better after you get married.  Then it’s, ‘When are you going to have kids?'”

“I’ve been fielding that one a lot lately,” D moans.  “It’s almost as if people think the whole purpose of marriage is to have kids.  I mean, how many movies have you seen about a married couple with no kids (or even no kids… yet)?”

“Movies either end with people getting into relationships or getting married or they start out with completely established families,” J remarks.

“That’s what annoys me.  I actually was depressed about this a couple of months after getting married.  It’s like people think that when you get married something about your life is over.  You’ve got your happily ever after, now move on please to having kids because everything between the wedding date and the birth of your first child is just filler, transitional, non-life.”

J nods, sympathetically.  It seems that no matter what “stage-of-life” in which one finds themselves, it will not stop the stupid questions.  Both women sit for a bit, sipping their tea, and allow that idea to sink in.

“I think,” D offers, “That the next time you’re asked about when you’re getting married, you should just burst into tears.”

“And you,” replies J, “Should respond with very personal, inappropriate questions about the asker’s sexual life.”

“Agreed.”

The Pressure is On.

August 26, 2010 § 1 Comment

Eight months after FutureMama D and FuturePapa M wed, they have moved to a new country to be near D’s aging parents.  Before departing M’s Ohmma (that’s “Mother” in Korean), was grabbing D’s belly fat, asking when the babies were on their way.  Not pregnant, yet.  Just a little chub.

Upon landing in the good old U.S. of A., D’s Mom has begun a campaign of not mentioning babies, at least three times a day.  A typical episode of not mentioning babies:

“You know, D, Brother B’s friend, E, just had a baby.  Her baby is so sweet and cute and active.  You would love it!”

“I’m not that into babies, Mom.”

“Well… no pressure.  I’m not talking about babies, for the record.  I don’t care if you wait three years or ten to start having kids.”

“I just stepped off the plane, Mom.  I don’t have health insurance in this county.”

“You could qualify for insurance automatically if you were pregnant.”

“You want me to be an unemployed, pregnant, welfare mom?  Are you seriously saying this to me?”

“No, no.  Like I said, no pressure.  I’m perfectly happy with E’s baby.  You’ll love her so much.  You’ll want to have one right away.”

“Mom, my husband doesn’t even arrive in the country for another four weeks.”

“Well… you never know.”

D gives Mom a look that hopefully says, Never know what?  That I’ll mysteriously end up a welfare mother with a baby that is not my husband’s?  Should I be worried about you sneaking into my room at night with a turkey baster from the local sperm donor center?

But remember, D, I am not talking about babies.  Not at all.  No pressure”

Five minutes later, in a totally unrelated conversation.

“Oh, D!  You know, if you had a baby, I could take off work and take care of it while you’re working.”

“Mom!  No job yet.  In this country for 15 minutes. Comprende?”

“Oh, I’m not mentioning babies… I’m just offering.  No pressure.”

Whatever you say, Mom.