Friday, February 26, 2010

Alternating Joy and Frustration

I promised pictures...and they're in here. I had a lot to post about though, so grab the safety rail and hang on.

It has been quite a week, full of highs and lows. Which can take a serious toll on a woman in her 9th month of pregnancy.

First, the highs:

--- My final day of work was Wednesday. I didn't get much actual work done on Tuesday or Wednesday, as I was trying to tie up loose ends, go over things with my secretary, finish up or pass off projects, etc. Everyone was very sweet and I got a lot of hugs as I left on Wednesday. Bittersweet, since I really enjoy my colleagues.

--- Thursday morning I had an OB appointment with the doctor who will assist the surgeon in my C-section. All remains well with baby boy. I got to ask my surgery questions and I feel comfortable with the process.

--- Thursday afternoon I went through the tons of gifts we received at the two showers last weekend. I sorted, hung, folded and stashed. I took several duplicate items back to the store and bought some other items we would need.

--- My DH and I are counting down the days. We say, "X more days to Baby BWUB!" Today I said, "Twelve more days to Baby BWUB Eve!" It's fun to know he is so close!

--- The baby is really responsive to my touch these days, and I just love the little intimate moments we have together, despite the fact that I am enormously uncomfortable most of the time.

--- This weekend we will buy the remaining items from our registry that we will need. Even if there is no crib or dresser yet, we will be ready!

--- Here are some pics: diaper cake, baby things, my gigantic belly

Now for the downs/frustrations:

--- My DH has been super, supportive and helpful most of the time. But we had a little tete-a-tete over some financial paperwork that pissed me off and drove me to tears...30 minutes before I was to leave for last Saturday's baby shower. Of course I am extra prone to tears right now anyway (kooky hormones), but when one person (me) invested the better part of a year pursuing, handling and following up on a matter that involves Giant Financial Corporation, it really pisses said person off when the other person (DH), who did none of the work or time investment, is now uncomfortable with the current status of the matter and wants to simply give in to Giant Financial Corporation. Fortunately, we've found common ground upon which to deal with the matter that appeases us both, but I went to my baby shower with puffy, post-crying eyes.

--- DH also promised to do the taxes this year. Unable to wait for Mr. Procrastinator, I've done 98% of the background work - gathered, organized and added receipts, did all the Schedule A math and even penciled in a 1040. Yet weeks later, here it all still sits. And we'll be getting a nice refund! Grrrr.

--- My mother has drained me dry and gnawed on my last raw nerve. I don't think I have posted much about this because, well, I have a baby coming and the baby has (fortunately) absorbed most of my attention. Here is the bullet list short version:

* My mom lives in another state, is about to retire and she planned (before she knew I was pregnant) to move here to be closer to me.

* When she learned I was pregnant and due in March, she decided to put her house on the market with the goal of selling and moving here around May.

* Too cheap to use a real estate agent, she put her home on the market in a "for sale by owner" manner. She doesn't exactly know what she's doing, so she called me several times over the past month or so for advice (I used to practice real estate law). I did what I could from here, but never saw or read actual documents.

* She and a buyer signed a contract, with escrow set to close the first week of April. Mom didn't closely read every line of the contract carefully enough and is now flipped out angry over some HOA items she might be responsible for.

* Meanwhile, she has consulted with a local real estate agent here, and has done some online research herself to find a house to buy in my city. She is extremely picky (which is fine), but her expectations and reality are not lining up well. This is causing her much frustration. Plus, the agent is not doing everything my mom wants, causing more frustration.

* Mom will be here next week, from the 3rd to the 9th (yes, up until 2 days before my scheduled C-section) to be carted around by real estate agent to look at homes. Except real estate agent hasn't provided her with enough homes that meet mom's criteria (more frustration). And I'm not sure just how much time Mom expects me to spend with her while she is here....but I can't walk fast or far these days, can't spend all day taking her to see possible homes, and wanted to spend this time nesting and relaxing before baby comes.

Bottom line: My mom is very stressed and frustrated, and every communication I have with her consists of my getting about 5 minutes to talk, and the rest of the time (oh, like nearly 2 hours on the telephone each time) is her ranting, complaining, bitching, and spewing negativity about every little thing that isn't going her way. Honestly, it wipes me out. This isn't anything new - it's how she is.

She rarely stops to ask how I am doing, and so it came as a great surprise to her when I told her last night that I am taking 6 months of maternity leave and so I won't be returning to work until approximately September.

Her response: Gee, if I had known that, I wouldn't have hurried up to sell my house so fast.

My (silent) reaction: Gee, if you gave me a minute to talk or asked about my life, you might have known.

I'd really like to say, "Mom, I love you, but I can't handle the constant stream of negativity, so please don't unload it on me anymore."

But you know, everyone needs to vent...and I'm the only person she's got. I didn't ask her to move here, and I surely didn't ask her to be desperately searching to buy a house the week before I'm due to deliver. But here she is, trying to move to a new state, and of course she needs some help and support. I get that. With a baby coming in a mere 13 days, I sure would like to enjoy this time and not feel pressured to make sure everything in her life works out to her satisfaction.


My DH and I will do what we can to help my mom, but I also intend to be selfish to some extent, taking care of myself and my baby, and not letting these precious last few weeks slip into the Negative Vortex that is my mother.

If you've made it through this whole post, thanks...I appreciate the shoulder.


Lara (NoodleGirl) said...

It's NOT selfish to take care of yourself and baby boy! Seriously, you are 1000x more patient with your mom than I could ever be. I would constantly be thinking of ways to duck her callsat this point. As for her staying with you next week, don't let her bully you into anything! You took leave this early to relax and get things set up, you can support her without needing to be physically present with her on everything.

I'm glad your colleagues were great about your send-off and that you don't have to worry about work for SIX months! Yippee!

Now if only I could tell that hubby of yours to get off his ass and files those taxes. He's certainly not going to have any extra time come a few weeks, NOW is the time to do it! Cmon DH, get with it!

stillhopeful said...

That's really too bad that your mom is draining you so much. The last 2 weeks of pregnancy is tiring enough!! I hope you are able to find a way to enjoy yourself - now, and in the future with your mom living closeby once the baby is born!

Love the baby stuff, especially the closet, look at all the clothes baby boy will have! Must be fun to look at all of it.

But as I read through the highs and the lows, the highs definitely seem to be winning, so enjoy them as best you can!

anofferingoflove said...

awwww!! the baby clothes are so adorable! you look fantastic! im glad to hear you are able to enjoy some of these last special moments of pregnancy. i cant believe you are so close!!

mothers are stressful (i often wonder how long it will be until i stress/annoy my own daugther!) take care of yourself and dont hestiate to put yourself first. if you've ever been entitled to do so, its now!

Anonymous said...

You look amazing. I can't believe you are just weeks away from meeting baby! So exciting.

You are absolutely NOT the person your mom should be venting to. If she needs to vent she should get a therapist, perhaps you can recommend on for her? hahaha! I'm betting that wouldn't go over well. But be aware that as she moves close you are setting up the structure of the "new" relationship now - so don't let her spew negativity all over your budding family now, it will only continue.

Best of luck hon. I hope things work out with mom!

tootertotz said...

I agree with everyone else...put yourself first.
The first several weeks with a newborn are really challenging and you'll appreciate being as well rested and un-stressed as possible until that kicks in. It really will help with your recovery...especially since you are a c-section. I had one with my first son and am scheduled for one with my next son...and it just takes a little longer to bounce back from the surgery since you are doing all the 'mom' stuff rather than simply recovering.

GO grab a nap. And when you wake what you want. Whenever you want a nap, go get another one. You have worked really hard and deserve this downtime.

Please don't let your mom take from that. Remember she is a grown-up and can handle whatever happens her way while you need this time for yourself...and your baby.

Be well in these final days and just be!!!

Alex P said...

Your mommy sounds tough!

Have you watched the movie knoccked up? If not, you should. I love watching it because of the sister dynamic. I love how the outlook of the characters shows how attitude changes everything- when the characters are down, they just get dragged down. When they think positive, they can build each other up, and find ways to overcome.

When baby gets here, your mom is just gonna be so happy that she will be all baby, all the time. If she isnt, set some rules: limit negative talk, try to steer the chat into "ok, so how do we solve the problem..." or just use the baby as an excuse to leave.

You mentioned she didnt have many hobbies and whatnot- maybe you could nip over to the community centers in her area when you do know where in town she'll be moving, and figure out a few things she might like to try- or suggest EVERYTHING- knitting 'stitch and bitch' evenings at the craft store, volunteer opportunities with some kind of non prof- anything... sometimes people complain about themselves because they don't realize they're bored...

Pics were awesome, Im excited for you!

Mad Hatter said...

Aw, sweetie, I'm so sorry your mother is draining you so. (I totally get the DH stuff, too - I have my suspended license to prove it, but the mother thing is worse...I can relate!) Gosh, it's so hard to be the only one a parent can rely on emotionally - I have been there, and it's a terrible and somewhat unnatural responsibility. How to balance the support she needs with the R&R you need? Why doesn't DH spend a day or two taking her around and showing her houses? For the sake of Mommy and Baby, I think it is the least he can do.

I adore all your pics (especially the one of you!). I swear I can smell that sweet baby smell by just looking at that closet of darling clothes!

Thinking of you and sending you lots of hugs and support.


cindyhoo2 said...

You look great and those are some sweet baby things you've got there!

Sorry that you aren't able to relax and enjoy your last few days of pregnancy. I agree that you should be able to just anticipate and nest these last few days. I don't think that putting your foot down is selfish or mean at all.

Lorraine said...

Well, you're a more tolerant person than I am, that's for sure. If my mom even mentioned moving here I would have a nervous breakdown.

I like what MMM said about establishing a new relationship with this move. All the changes give you a chance to recreate the dynamic, to let her move into the grandma role and to set some rules about all the negativity.

It sounds like the six months before you go back to work need to be about establishing some kind of structure for your mother's life - otherwise, the structure is going to be you. And that doesn't seem like the best idea.

Less than two weeks! Wow!!!

Fran said...

Petal, your priorities must be different. Do tell your mom that you cannot handle her frustration. You are having a baby my friend, how can you possibly NOT be your number one priority? I'm sorry sweetie, I don't mean to upset you, but between Wacky P, your MIL and your Mom I'm afraid you are really going to suffer (even if only with stress) and I wish you didn't. Sending you love and counting the days together with you. Fran

IVF 40+ said...

you're not being selfish at all. its the other way around! so sorry you have these folks not being supportive tho.
wish there was a way to help out!!

I think you look amazing by the way. Radiant! and yes, BWUB baby belly looks much bigger than the last photo. Lovely!!

Thinking of you

embieadoptmom said...

Your plate is definitely FULL dear! Praying it all chills out and mom gets settled in without too much stress! You got LOTS of nice gifts huh? what a blessing!

BB said...

Part of me wants to tell you to gentley tell your mother to back off a bit and explain to her that you are trying to have peaceful days leading up to baby coming. The other part understands that you are at the point of picking your battles and it may not be worth even bringing it up - not knowing what the backlash will be -or knowing exactly what the backlash will be. I wish she would just think about what she is saying before it comes out. You are the only person that knows what you can and can't say to your mom. Just remember to keep breathing and smiling- think baby :) I'm praying you have some peaceful days ahead, no matter hwo you get it. I love your shower gifts- so many clothes! I'm glad you have 6 months off- me too! We can dread going back to work together... I already am :(

tireegal68 said...

You looks awesome and the baby stuff is so cute. I don't know what I can add about your mom. It sounds like a catch 22 situation.
I really feel for you big time.
I hope you can have the strength to do what is best for you! And tell DH to get with the program. You can't procrastinate with a hungry baby around - ESP
when it's time to change the diaper!
Hugs! Hope you can get through this and hang onto the joyfull moments!!