(Part of the Ebola Mom series)
Yeah not to detract from her genius, but she’s 13 and I look like this:
(Part of the Ebola Mom series)
Yeah not to detract from her genius, but she’s 13 and I look like this:
Yesterday I got into the elevator and there was a young woman in there with her newborn baby girl.
Me: “Awww how old is she?”
Woman: “Almost a month.”
Me: “She’s adorable.”
Woman: “Thank you. How far along are you?”
Me: “A few weeks to go! I can’t WAIT to not be pregnant!”
And then the woman’s tired, weary eyes grew wide and essentially this is the scene that unfolded:
Eric decided to add a little friendly fun to this pregnancy experience (as his role has mainly consisted of fetching me things and being the human crane that lifts me from couch/bed/uber/toilet) by starting a family Baby Pool. The instructions were as follows:
Here’s what has happened so far:
1. Dad became instantly confused by the Venmo situation. He doesn’t know how to use it and asked that somebody show him. My uncle, trying to be helpful, suggested “download it. It’s pretty self explanatory from there.” I am certain he lost Dad at “download.”
2. Mom remained silent on the Venmo topic but I already know she’s confused, because the last time I was home the following conversation took place:
Mom: “I need you to show me how to buy Venmo.”
Me: “You mean download Venmo?”
Mom: “No, I know how to download things, thank you very much. But I need you to show me how to buy it.”
Me: “But you don’t buy it, you download it.”
Mom: “I know that.”
And then nothing happened.
3. My mother-in-law texted separately with her own Venmo questions, but I’m still not quite sure where we stand on me being allowed to make fun of her on my blog, so I’m just going to let that one marinate.
4. Zack sent in his due date guess for August 28th, despite Eric and I sending these follow-up emails beforehand:
So either Zack doesn’t read our emails, or he is banking on me being induced the 26th and laboring for 48+ hours. Either way– fuck you, man.
5. Jeremy hasn’t given even the slightest indication that he has read the emails or plans to participate (or is alive). This might be because Eric called him poor (in highlighted font), or it’s simply Jeremy being Jeremy. I’m banking on the latter. He’s pretty fucking aware that he’s poor.
6. In a shocking turn of events, nothing from Steph. We know she read the email and text conversations because Andrew has been actively responding while in her presence, but we imagine that she is this exact level of interested .
7. My 3-year-old nephew The Boog, however, was the first to submit his entry. He thinks the baby will be born on August 10, at 10pm, weighing 10 pounds and measuring 10 inches. He also insisted on paying $10. We tried to explain to him that the entry fee is $5 (and that numbers other than 10 exist), but he told us to keep the 10 and cover Uncle Jeremy’s entry, who he heard is poor.
8. As for our niece, we have been informed that she has some follow-up questions for me and Eric, as she would like to collect a bit more information before entering her submission. She is 3.
So bottom line we only have 2 submissions so far, as this whole fun baby pool idea has derailed into a bit of a shitshow and likely won’t actually come to fruition. To be clear, this post, which I will link to Facebook and tag every single family member in, is not at all a passive-aggressive attempt to spur everyone into action. Because I’m above that.
Yesterday Eric and I went to the hospital for our 36-week growth scan (a thorough, more in-depth ultrasound to track baby’s growth/health, generally performed every 4-6 weeks in pregnancy). After the hell parade that was Sunday, we* were pretty anxious about what this scan might reveal.
*we = I . Eric doesn’t scare easily. See “marrying me” as evidence.
The first thing the technician said before performing the scan was “So, now that you’re 36 weeks and 3 days along, baby should definitely be in the head-down position, preparing for delivery.”
“Funny you should say that,” I countered. “Because we ended up in the hospital on Sunday due to contractions, nausea, and shortness of breath, only to learn through a quick ultrasound that baby flipped to breech, even though she’s been head down since week 30.”
“Ugh,” said the technician. “What a little stinker.”
I immediately liked her, and wondered if she’d be interested in nannying my child as a side-gig.
“Yes,” I agreed. “We’ve been using the term ‘bozo,’ but stinker works too.”
“Alright, well let’s see what Stinker’s up to today.”
She placed the ultrasound wand on my belly and immediately determined that baby had, somewhere in the past 36 hours, flipped back to head-down (the correct position).
“Oh, thank god,” I sighed, followed quickly by, “Fucking…seriously, though?”
My initial interpretation of this behavior was that this baby is exactly like Eric– an energetic bunny hellbent on filling her day with activities, despite the person sharing space with her being in NO MOOD.
A true Lerman baby, by contrast, would have found a cozy spot at week 6 and not moved a muscle until she was tugged out with forceps, suction, and a blowhorn at week 43. But this kid has been kicking, jabbing, and playing my ribs like a xylophone for months now. Activities!!!!!!!!!!
But upon further contemplation I realized this late-in-the-game-flip-trick was maybe less a display of restless hyperactivity and more indicative of chronic indecisiveness. A sudden, crippling fear that she was doing everything horribly wrong, and attempting to change course when it made absolutely no rational sense to do so. Or perhaps it was just straight-up bitchery performed for her own amusement. All clearly traits of her mother.
Terrifying realization that my daughter might be exactly like me aside, I was relieved that our little gremlin found her way back home because no breech = no automatic c-section, which, sure, might still happen anyway, but at least now it’s not a set inevitable. (Side note: after listening to several women in the throes of excruciating labor on Sunday, a c-section did actually start to sound appealing. But in general I have a rule about avoiding knives to my body if/when possible. Nose job at age 15 aside, of course. That was obviously necessary, according to my mother.)
Then, suddenly, something dawned on me, and I quickly formed a medical hypothesis about Sunday’s trauma that no doctor had offered up, because apparently in this pregnancy it is up to me, with my BA in Sociology, to accurately diagnose all health conditions with no help from the people who attended 7+ years of medical school (see: Hypothyroidism section of this post for further evidence of how I am
smarter than all doctors everywhere my own best advocate.)
So I presented my hypothesis to the technician: “Wait, so– on Sunday they chalked my nausea, contractions and difficulty breathing up to dehydration or something I ate. But is it possible I got sick because of her breech position? Because honestly everything felt different and so uncomfortable for that one day, even the way I was able to move and lay, and I think maybe it was because she flipped to breech so quickly?”
“Oh, that’s absolutely possible,” replied the technician/my future nanny/new best friend. “At this stage in pregnancy all of your organs have shifted up, and there’s not much space left in there. So when baby flipped and pressed her head against all those organs, it definitely could have made you sick.”
What exactly did I know? That this was ALL HER FAULT– NOT MINE! The doctors kept trying to tell me I’m not drinking enough water (literally impossible– I’m blogging this from the porcelain whiz palace, because I live here now) or that I “shouldn’t have eaten that chicken salad” when in reality I drink 20 vats of water a day (as something had to replace the wine) and Gracie Mews Diner would NEVER hurt me.
No, Sunday’s disaster was the result of baby’s choice, not mine, and to be honest I am slightly resentful that I had to take the heat for HER poor decision.
Although I suppose, in the end, this is exactly what parenthood is– begrudgingly accepting responsiblity for your kid’s bonehead choices.
And fine. I accept that. I guess I was just kind of hoping the boneheadedness would hold off until toddlerhood. Or, at the very least, birth.
Anyway, she heard all this so here she is trying to give me the finger.
I’m sure she’ll have that down by the time I meet her.
Yesterday I woke up having contractions, shortness of breath, and nausea.
So, thinking there was a slight possibility I might be in labor, as I am thisclose to full term, we called the doctor and described my symptoms. She advised us to check into the hospital’s labor and delivery building.
Eric: “Ok, and where is that?”
Probably a pretty fucking good sign that we are not quite ready to have this baby.
So the doctor gave us the address and politely decided to not acknowledge the fact that we were basically the pregnancy version of Dumb and Dumber.
We got to the hospital and eventually someone came to give me an exam. The monitors showed that I was in fact having contractions, so they wanted to check if my cervix was at all open (a possible sign of impending labor). I thought maybe this was the kind of thing that could be easily detected on, say, a sonogram. But no. Turns out this “exam” involves the doctor sticking her entire arm up my hooha and apologizing profusely, while Eric hides in a corner.
After a minute of intensely uncomfortable digging she declared “Nope! You’re completely closed off!”, confirming that my cervix does indeed match my personality.
She then performed a sonogram to check on the baby. “She looks perfectly happy in there!” she declared in a sunshine tone. “But you know she’s breech, right?”
Ummmm NO, Dr. Hooha Hands, we did NOT know that.
“But she’s been head down since 30 weeks, including when I went to the doctor 5 days ago!”
“Oh. Yikes. Well, now she’s breech. Her head is up here (points just below my left boob). It’s unlikely she’ll flip again at this point, but you can discuss options with your regualr OB, such as a planned c-section….but anyway, that’s not why we’re here.”
No, it’s not. BUT NOW THAT’S ALL I CAN FOCUS ON SO THANKS FOR NOTHING.
“So let’s get back to the contractions and nausea,” she continued.
“Ok. Yeah. Why is this happening?”
She might as well have answered with this emoji
“Possibly dehydration? Or maybe something you ate?”
<— that’s me being impressed with the expertise and insight one gains after 7+ years of med school.
“Either way, we’re going to give you this anti-nausea pill so at least you can get some relief on that end, and then we’ll see.”
I swallowed the pill.
Ten minutes later, I vomited profusely, filling two bins so quickly that two nurses and Eric (poor, poor Eric) were not enough helping hands to prevent it from spilling everywhere.
After they changed my entire bedding, wiped down my plastic mattress and re-dressed me in yet another gown that did nothing to cover my pale, pregnant tush-sag, they hooked me up to an IV to rehydrate me and dripped some meds through it, which eventually put me to sleep for about an hour. This was nice because it allowed me to tune out the woman next door in the throes of what seemed to be extremely painful labor. Eric still got to listen, though, because everything about his life right now is roses.
When I woke, I felt much better.
The doctor came back and looked at the monitor. “You were contracting a lot while sleeping so I’d like to check your cervix again.”
So, one more painful round of arm-up-the-vajayjay and Dr. Hooha Hands officially confirmed that I am definitely closed, not in labor, and can go on my merry way. The nurses then came to check on me one last time, and Eric took this opportunity to clarify, “So, when we DO give birth, we come HERE?” They smiled, because nurses are angels, and cofirmed that yes, Lloyd and Harry, this is where you two will come to have your baby.
They then discharged me, advising me to drink lots of water (duh) and not eat chicken salad from diners (oh.)
There is no real wrap up or moral or point to this story other than in case you haven’t been listening for the past 8 months, (this) pregnancy sucks.
“Well, yeah. She’s a girl. You think they’re all ready to go and then at the last minute they’re like ‘OH WAIT, ONE MORE THING!’ and then EVERYONE IS SCREWED.”
— Eric, reacting to the news that despite being in the correct position all pregnancy, our baby has decided, in the home stretch, to flip to breech.
Eric: “You look really uncomfortable. Is there anything I can do?”
Me: “Get her out of me !!!”
Eric: “Well, I don’t think I can do that.”
Me: “BUT YOU’RE THE ONE WHO PUT HER IN THERE!!”
Eric: “You MADE me! I just wanted a corgi! But you were like ‘No, dogs in the city are too expensive and too much work so LET’S HAVE A KID!'”
Our kid will be born knowing exactly how to get her home cleaned (call 1-800-Steamer), book a car to the airport (666-6666) and who to call should she find herself needing to file a lawsuit (Cellino and Barnes, injury attorneys), as these are Eric’s go-to jingles when I tell him to sing to the baby.
And I gotta say, at first I rolled my eyes (particularly when he followed one of these “lullabies” with a lecture-warning about the gender pay gap), but then I was like you know what? That information is WAY more practical than knowing the detailed comings and goings of Mary’s lamb (and if I can avoid having to eventually break the news that nobody ACTUALLY has a lamb, and that if they do, they’re probably going to eat it with some mint jelly at some point– yes, even Mary– then great).
And why does baby need intricate knowledge of Miss Muffet’s breakfast ingredients? Particularly since they consist of curds and whey, two words our kid will use approximately zero times in her life. If Miss Muff wants to go ahead and slip some bacon and tots into that bowl and pair it with a bloody, then I’ll consider getting on board with a lesson on how to brunch like a boss. But until then, her sad little Amish meal is a waste of everyone’s time.
And don’t get me started on the old woman who lives in a shoe. It’s called homelessness and I’m not about to suggest to baby that there’s anything whimsical about not having her own apartment.
So this led me to rethink my daily singing of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” to my belly. Like, does she really need a song to inform her that stars twinkle? No. She’ll look up one night and get the point (and if not, at some point while in the Outer Banks, Uncle Zack will explain it to her in a weed-induced, hours-long oral disseration that she will understand approximately 2% of). So I’m keeping the melody but replacing the lyrics with directions on how to avoid subway rats, and a reminder to clean her toothpaste spit from the sink before leaving the bathroom, because no one wants to see that shit. I also threw in a stanza about how to get money from her maternal grandparents without actually asking for it, but making it seem like it was their idea to offer. The song ends with specific instructions for Facebook and Venmo privacy settings, because that shit gets confusing and BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING, BABY GIRL.
Bottom line, songs are great but let’s not waste baby’s time. If I had spent less hours getting intimately acquainted with every single fucking animal on Old McDonald’s farm (zebras, mom? No. Now you’re just tired and everyone is getting dumber) and more time learning how to embellish a résumé when the only “job expereince” you’ve had is camp counselor and SDT Pledge Master, I probably would have had less of a nervous breakdown at age 26.
From here on out, no more impractical ditties. If baby wants a soothing song, she’s going to learn a useful life skill in the process.
So twinkle, twinkle, baby girl. Tie your hair back before you hurl.
Forgive my blatant racism, but here’s a list of the most respectable group of men (from most to least respectable), by race, based solely on who has been standing up to give me their seat on the subway in this last trimester of pregnancy.
So that’s it. Those are my findings*. Did I really need to break this down by race, and was doing so kind of offensive? No, I did not. And yes, probably? But I notice what I notice and thought it was an interesting trend, and unlike people who claim “I don’t see race,” I’d like to counter with “Ok, but I have eyes.”
*Findings of this study** are based solely on MY experience and observations alone. They should not be generalized to apply negative stereotyping to any particular group of people, which shouldn’t really be an issue as all races above are presented in a complimentary manner. Except, as a reminder, white men. They are all dicks.
**calling this a study is an insult to the word study.
So here’s what actually happened.
Last week, I got into the elevator on the first floor, with 3 other adults and a 4-year-old kid. We all pressed our floors. Then the elevator stopped on floor 2, and a woman with a huge laundry cart got on. Fine, that’s allowed. But I would like to note that she entered the elevator somewhat aggressively, and essentially backed me into the far corner without so much as an “excuse me.” Technically still her right, but objectively pretty cunty.
Then, something strange happened with the elevator. When the woman got on at floor 2, all the floors we had previously pressed became unlit. So the woman, let’s call her Nasty McDouchecanoe, who was now standing directly in front of the buttons, barked, “Ok everyone just tell me their floors and I’ll hit them.” So, everyone did. Someone said 17, another said 20, another said 25, and I said 28.
She proceeded to hit floors 17, 20, 21 (presumably for herself), 25 and did not hit my request of 28.
So, thinking she simply didn’t hear me over the demons and firemonsters dancing in her head, I leaned forward from the time-out corner she had shoved me into, and attempted to press my floor.
When she saw my hand coming from behind and reaching for the buttons, she pushed it away, back towards my body, and hissed, “Back off, you can wait!”
Not knowing wtf was going on but assuming this woman was legit insane, I calmly said “Ok…” went back to my time-out, and stood there in silence. The elevator proceded to rise and go to everyone’s floor except mine, as she had not pressed my button nor was she permitting me to press it for myself, because apparently when I stepped into this elevator I had entered Gilead.
Everyone was silent and not really sure how to react, particularly with the 4-year-old kid there. A couple people looked at me, but mostly with sympathy, rather than what I wanted, which was either a gigantic “What an asshat!” eye roll or a punch to this woman’s vagina.
When the elevator stopped at 21, Nasty McDouchecanoe got off, and, over her shoulder, spat, “See, you still have plenty of time to get to 28.”
The doors closed and I was left in the elevator with one other woman. I calmly hit 28, now that I was back in the free world and allowed to do so, and took a deep breath. The woman looked at me awkwardly and said, “When is your due date? You look fantastic!”
She clearly felt sorry for me.
Again, not what I wanted– I would have preferred this woman save her compliment and instead put that energy toward tripping Nasty McDouche on her way out, but fine. At least she was being humane. I smiled, told her I was due in a month, and thanked her for her kind words. Then she got off on 25.
The bizarre incident was officially over and I had survived it with no real harm done, so what did I do once I was alone in the elevator?
I sobbed like a pregnant little bitch.
Yes, clearly hormones were at play here, but still– the amount and decibel of sobbing was batshit. I had clearly caught an insanity bug from Nasty McD, and there was simply no controlling the extreme emotional reaction I was having to what, in hindsight, was a pretty fucking minor event.
I tremble-sobbed my way into my apartment, and, once confined to the safety of my hibernation station, immediately texted Eric the following:
Hey, here’s a tip! Don’t tell your husband that someone slapped you if no one slapped you.
Clearly I was distraught and wasn’t thinking through my words. Yes, this woman had pretty much “slapped my hand away” from the buttons, but if we’re going to get VERY literal about what happened, there was no actual SLAP. She pushed it away. Not gently, mind you. But nobody got slapped.
Eric sent a series of concerned texts and then, when I didn’t answer fast enough (because the mucus-tears were dripping down my screen and preventing touch-typing, as somehow Apple has not yet developed the technology to keep up with my nervous breakdowns), he called.
I was still hysterical choke-sobbing, because sure. I told him the whole story between blowing snot into copious napkins, ending with “and then she slapped my hand away from the buttons and told me to back off.”
Again, that word “slapped.” Not QUITE in line with what happened. But then again, neither was my shitnado reaction.
Eric calmly said, “Ok, I’m calling management, and I’m coming home,” then hung up and did exactly that.
To be clear, this is NOT what I wanted.
I tried to text him to tell him to PLEASE not report this to our building’s management company, but it was too late. He told me he reported it, that they were horrified, and that they were going to review the security tapes, find out who it was, and handle it.
I wanted to die.
Me: “Eric, seriously, I really don’t want management involved. This is getting blown out of proportion.”
Eric: “SOMEONE ASSAULTED MY PREGNANT WIFE!”
I closed my eyes, took a deep, snot-filled breath and PRAYED this was not the wording he used when he spoke to management, while at the same time fully recognizing that if he DID use those words, it was 100% justified and totally my fault because I literally relayed the information to him in the same way Sarah Huckabee Sanders holds a press conference.
Which is to say I lied.
Not intentionally, like Sarah Huckabee Sanders, but more inadvertently, because I don’t do words good, like Sean Spicer.
Regardless, semantics matter.
And unfortunately, when speaking, I’m not always so on-point. When writing, and given time to edit and revise, I can be fairly articulate, but even then I end up with phrases such as Nasty McDouchecanoe and words that aren’t words, like “cunty.”
Once Eric got home (because yes, he left work at 2pm to tend to a wife who got her feelings hurt, as he is a saint of epic proportions), I was a bit calmer (still crying a few more whimper-tears though, because I’m an adult with 2 masters degrees and my own business). I was able to explain to him what ACTUALLY happened versus what he was probably imagining happened based on my extremely shitty initial relaying of the story.
I then made Eric, god bless his definitely-regretting-marrying-me soul, call back the head of management (who is basically the nicest person on the planet, and who I will now forever have to avoid due to crippling embarrassment) and explain that no one is claiming assault of a pregnant woman. Yes, Nasty McD pushed my hand away. Yes, she prevented me from pressing the button to my floor, which I just kind of took for granted as my basic human right. Yes, she was extremely rude and yes, the incident clearly upset me and made me and everyone in the elevator extremely uncomfortable, but no, Mr. Management, we are not thinking of pressing charges or calling the cops and oh jesus christ what is happening and how is this my life?!
Mr. Management thanked us for clarifying (and luckily we were able to do so BEFORE he grabbed a tub of popcorn and reviewed the security tape, as he for sure would have laugh-choked once he viewed “the assault”). He also said that while it was not a crime per se, it was still an upsetting and unacceptable incident that should not have occurred. Therefore, the woman would be contacted and gently warned that her behavior had been reported and viewed on security footage, that what occured is not in line with the neighborly atmosphere they like to cultivate in their residencies, and to please consider this the next time she is interacting with her neighbors in the communal living spaces.
So remember that post where I said I somehow manage to make enemies in every building I occupy? Well, add Nasty McD to the enemy list. Also mark this as #920183098219839382195 on my list of reasons why I am scared to leave the apartment or interact with humans in general.
But whatever, this woman was a huge asshole for NO reason, and a part of me is not sorry that there will be some kind of small consequence for her behavior (although let’s be honest, this woman is not going to give a FUCK when she gets that call from management…or, alternatively, she is outside my door right now with a shotgun.)
But yeah, overall, I definitely feel like that annoying Kindergartener who runs and tattles to the teacher instead of using her words to defend herself.
But let the record show: I did NOT want to run and tattle to management like a whiny little 5-year-old pussy.
I wanted to run and tattle to my husband like a giant 36-year-old pussy.
And that, I think we can all agree, was accomplished with accuracy.