Wednesday, June 7, 2017
Obviously I'm working on Parenting Part III but in the meantime, thought I'd let you all know about another project I'm working on! It's called Absolute Worst Podcast and you can listen here. It's very funny and my co-host is Dana Powell who is best known for her role as Cam's sister on something called Modern Family...whatever that is. Hope you listen and enjoy!!! More blog posts to come!
Thursday, April 20, 2017
I used to be a professional rapper. Wait … no. That came out wrong. What I meant to say is that one time I got wasted in Manhattan and then spent the evening free-style rapping with a group of men who I have to assume were in a professional rap group. Or maybe they were cokedealers, it’s hard to say. What I CAN tell you is that in the morning it was obvious that I had slept with one of them so I’m pretty sure I made the team. Also, despite feeling really confident that I had been in Manhattan, it was soberingly clear the next day that I was now in New Jersey.
I guess what I’m saying is that I’m not well-suited to be a parent. I’m not someone who “works hard to achieve their goals” or “learns from their mistakes.” Instead I’ve spent my life bucking authority, never reading the rules in the first place — thereby ultimately breaking them and being severely punished — and, most embarrassingly, realizing that my peers had been trudging along in an orderly fashion for years and were now young professionals whereas I was in rehab. My life has been a real slap in the face.
Clearly parenting was not part of the plan. While I was aware that other people were having children, it was obvious to me that I would instead be having whiskey so I didn’t pay a lot of attention to what would ultimately be required. Most of my childhood friends had children years ago and I wondered what had happened to them. I saw women who used to excel at joint-rolling now swaddling their newborns with the same sort of intense precision and I wondered why they had traded in ganja for shitty diapers. Also, what was all the fuss about? Couldn’t you just throw a blanket on the kid and call it a day? What was this perfect origami sheet situation and how could it possibly be important? I watched my friends fret about their kid’s schoolwork, struggle to buy houses in “good school districts” whatever that meant, and meticulously chronicle their children’s sports activities, social events, physical fitness, and general wellbeing. In the end, I figured having offspring was unlikely, but if it happened I wasn’t going to become one of them.
I constructed a belief that is already dissolving before my eyes: I Am Not Going To Be A Helicopter Parent!
When Perfect Daughter was born, I played it pretty fast and loose. I didn’t insist that people antibacterial their entire bodies prior to holding my kin. I brought her out of the house pretty quickly with no fears of her absorbing world germs into her tiny, new, pristine immune system. I wasn’t going to be overbearing and over-involved or keep my kid in a glass castle. She was gonna be passed around like a cocktail. She was going to meet new people and like it! She was going to nap when she was tired, eat when she was hungry, and wear whatever the fuck I had laying around. I wasn’t going to fall victim to this belief that your kid needs to be sheltered and programmed and calendared and scheduled. My kid was gonna live it up and we were gonna roll with the punches!!!
This lasted for around three months during which she mostly slept and ate so there was little else to be accomplished. But, as soon as she started making eye contact and showing interest in the world around her, I started to panic.
Me: Husband! She’s looking at me! What are three month olds supposed to be doing?!
Me: Like, am I supposed to be doing something? Surely she’s supposed to be learning something. I can’t just sit here like an asshole.
Husband: I think she’s supposed to be raising her head?
Me: Shit! Raising her head?! And here I’ve been letting her lie around like a fucking blob. Head raising … what the fuck … How did you even know that?
Husband: I Googled it.
Me: You Googled what?
Husband: What’s my three-month-old supposed to be doing?
Me: You. Are. Fucking. Brilliant.
Little did Husband know he was watching the beginning of my demise. I started a daily Google search so that I could track the milestones Perfect Daughter was supposed to be achieving and, like a good drug addict, I got hooked. Before I knew it, I could not be bothered with any activity that did not immediately further her ascension to first female president or C.E.O. or Soul Cycle Instructor. Perfect Daughter was going to take over the world and clearly she needed me to guide her. I started demanding that all toys be educational. I banned rice cereal because there have been studies that show it is laced with arsenic. I forbid all walkers, jumpers, and other gadgets that would have ultimately made my life significantly easier.
I adopted a theory that, if I was happy or relaxed, my child wasn’t engaged and therefore she wasn’t learning which meant she would probably end up homeless or worse, find herself in a position where she thought she was auditioning for a rap group in New York. Luckily, my inner-voice did a wonderful job of keeping me on track. Anytime I thought a nap sounded nice, the alarms would ring and the helicopter parent that was growing inside me would scream, “A NAP?! ARE YOU KIDDING ME, YOU LAZY FUCK?! MUST BE NICE TO TOTALLY CHECK OUT WHILE YOUR PERFECT DAUGHTER LEARNS LITERALLY NOTHING AND THEN SLEEPS UNDER A BRIDGE SOMEWHERE FOR THE REST OF HER LIFE. IS THAT WHAT YOU WANT?! NEXT THING YOU KNOW, YOU’LL BE LETTING HER PARTICIPATE IN SCREEN TIME, YOU PATHETIC DEGENERATE!”
Things were not going well and I was about to embark in every Helicopter Parent’s worst nightmare — daycare. This is when you leave your child with strangers who you’re certain aren’t as smart as you despite the fact that you’ve had six months of experience with a child and they’ve had literal years. Regardless, I was on high alert and things started to spiral out of control.
In the beginning, I attempted the Perfect Mother approach. I brought pastries in on my first day. Then I started handing out individualized gifts to each caretaker with thoughtful notes written on behalf of Perfect Daughter. I sent emails with helpful hints and suggestions in case they were wondering how to fulfill Perfect Daughter’s every want and desire. When these offerings weren’t met with immediate responsiveness and gratitude, I concluded that my child was being held hostage by a band of self-important dimwits. I became increasingly suspicious and paranoid that these women were somehow trying to outsmart me. I couldn’t exactly tell what they were doing wrong but I knew it was something and I was determined to get to the bottom of it.
For starters, I found it to be very suspicious that someone was always holding Perfect Daughter every day when I picked her up. There’s a lock on the door (which I approved of because it will keep out the murderers that are rampant in suburban Glendale, CA), so I have to knock every time I come to get my precious cargo. I concluded that they were waiting to see which parent’s car pulled up, at which point they would pay extra special attention to that person’s baby in order to make it look like our children were in the hands of loving caretakers and not THE LITERAL MONSTERS I had convinced myself they were.
Thus began an eccentric car hiding process — I would park in places that would not reveal my car so they couldn’t look out the window and ready themselves for my arrival. AH-HA!!! I braced myself to find my beautiful fawn chained to furniture or otherwise abandoned. I shared my beliefs with Husband and he threatened divorce then suggested potential hospitals where I could maybe “get some rest” and “meet some new friends.” I could tell he didn’t love our daughter nearly as much as I did and I felt sad that he would have to live alone someday while Perfect Daughter and I moved forward together in our impeccable lives void of pacifiers (NO!) and nonorganic baby food (ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!).
But my imagined fate never materialized. Each day, I walked in to find Perfect Daughter in varying degrees of self-soothing, independent play, or otherwise general happiness in the loving arms of an Armenian woman.
At this point, I was exhausted. Maybe it was from all the extra miles I was walking to daycare while my car hid near a row of camouflaging bushes. Maybe my eyes were weakened from the tireless amounts of reading I had done on which toys are best if you want your six month old to eventually attend an Ivy League school. Or maybe my brain was scrambled from the constant demands my inner-Helicopter Parent voice was barking at me involving reading books together every day, having a consistent sleep schedule, only dressing your child in cotton pajamas, making sure they get 10-12 hours of sleep a night, don’t forget to lose that baby weight! OH MY GOD, STOP EVERYTHING, SHE LOOKED AT THE TELEVISION! ALL IS LOST!
I’ve regressed. After the stalker/believed-to-be hostage situation, I threw in the towel. Perfect Daughter was obviously fine and I was obviously about to spontaneously combust. I stopped trying to trick her caretakers, I’ve started letting her eat whatever she wants, and I don’t panic if someone tries to put her in a jumper (although I will monitor her tirelessly). Ultimately, I just want Perfect Daughter to be happy. I want her to be safe and I want her to be healthy. And every day I try like hell to be a good parent because at the end of the day, I think we all just want the same thing for our kids — each morning, when they wake up, we want them to know which state they’re in.
Thursday, March 16, 2017
Well, hell has officially frozen over — a small child has been left in my care and it’s just dawning on me that I am literally responsible for her for the rest of my life. In the beginning, after accepting the horrific physical ailments I was left to overcome, I started to settle into this parenting thing I’d heard of. I had acquired virtually no parenting skills, nor had I picked up any tips throughout the duration of my life, so I was very much going in blind. All I had in my arsenal was a series of beliefs I had developed while single.
First and foremost: I Am Not Going To Let A Child Keep Me From Living My Life!
As an adolescent, I would scoff at sad women wrestling with strollers on busy city streets. I felt sorry for them and thought to myself, “I will never let having a baby keep me from living my life and having a good time.” This seemed like a reasonable and achievable ideal but I’m sad to say I’ve fallen short. It’s unclear whether I’ll be able to overcome my current obstacles or if I should just get a Kate Plus 8 haircut and throw in the towel.
To be fair, things started off wonderfully. Within a week of having Perfect Daughter ripped from my abdomen, I was sauntering over to Target to pick up a few things I needed. In the beginning, I took Perfect Daughter with me everywhere. If she was sleeping and someone commented on what a good child she was, I took full responsibility as though I had already imparted some sort of parental wisdom onto her — when, in all reality, the smaller the baby, the more they sleep. Regardless, I felt pretty proud of myself for all I had accomplished. It could not have been easier and I was wondering what all the fuss was about. Perhaps it was the pain meds talking, but I started calling all my friends and telling them to go ahead and have babies because it was easy As Fuck. Perfect Daughter and I were living life to the fullest. We went shopping, we went for walks, we cooked dinners, we napped. It was glorious.
From there, things devolved into total pandemonium. The thing about fatigue is that at first it’s cute — you have an extra little buzz going as you move through your day and it’s just the kick in the rear that you needed. After two weeks, you’re wired but it’s kind of nice because you feel sort of high and you realize you can survive solely on cigarettes and espresso and you start to feel very European. After a month you realize that having a baby was a huge mistake and you would complain to your friends about it but you no longer have time to talk to them nor are you able to shower or get dressed. One day while I was sitting in my apartment, covered in my own filth and trying to figure out how to sleep and eat at the same time, I wondered how things had unraveled to such a degree.
Then I returned to work. And all hell broke loose. On day one I was struck with the realization that in order to get my kid to childcare and myself to work on time, I’d need to wake up at 5:30 a.m. I’m someone who has historically stayed out until 5:30 a.m. In Chicago, there are 2 a.m. bars and 4 a.m. bars and on Saturday everything is open an hour later so 5:30 a.m. is typically when you get in a cab with your friends and go looking for drugs. Nowadays, 5:30 a.m. is dedicated to the extraction of milk from my bosom, assembling the gajillions of baby accoutrements required for day care, feeding and dressing child, feeding and dressing myself and then inevitably realizing that I’m running late and have forgotten a multitude of steps that needed to be accomplished. Most mornings I realize that I’m a horrible failure by around 6 a.m. At that point, there’s no hope in trying to save the day so I just start looking for french fries and counting down the hours until it’s bedtime again.
As if I didn’t have enough on my plate, my hateful “friends” eventually started inviting me to do things. It was a huge slap in the face and I was furious.
My Friend Josh: Hey lady! I’m going to be in town next week. Would love to get together for dinner!
Me: Oh, that’s out of the question. Perfect Daughter goes to bed at 7 p.m.
Josh: No, I totally get it. I’m happy to come to your apartment instead of us going out to a restaurant.
Me: I don’t know if you heard me. I get home at 6 p.m. and she goes to bed at 7 p.m.
Josh: Riiight. I guess I just thought we could have a little nosh and catch up.
Me: Catch up? CATCH UP?! I AM TRYING TO RAISE A PERFECT DAUGHTER, JOSH! I DON’T THINK YOU’RE GETTING IT. Are you aware that babies need 10-12 hours of sleep each night and that perfect daughter wakes up several times over the course of each evening meaning I never know exactly how much sleep I’m going to get? I don’t know if you’re aware, JOSH, but I have to wake up at 5:30 a.m. every morning. FIVE-THIRTY! Literally no one in the course of history has had to wake up as early as I have to wake up every morning so I would really appreciate it if you could respect that.
Josh: Totally, I just…
Me: I don’t think you’re getting it, JOSH. I am a mother…A MOTHER! I’m SORRY if I’m trying to put my daughter first. I’m sorry if studies have shown that lack of sleep leads to a weakened immune system thereby making it more difficult to retain certain lessons throughout the school day making it harder to get into a good college which makes it more difficult to be gainfully employed which then leads to a higher mortality rate. DO YOU WANT PERFECT DAUGHTER TO DIE, JOSH?!
Josh: I’m confused. Is your six-month-old in school?
Me: THAT’S NOT THE POINT! GOD, YOU JUST DON’T GET IT BECAUSE YOU’RE NOT A PARENT, JOSH!
Here’s the thing. I have become unreasonably obsessed with my child. I no longer live my life or do things that don’t involve teaching my child some sort of monumental life lesson. This shouldn’t really be all that surprising. I’m a horrible alcoholic with a bad attitude so it was safe to assume childbirth was going to go one of two ways: 1) I was going to reject the fetus and expect it to make it on its own; or 2) I was going to become overbearing and protective of the most Perfect Daughter in the world, readjust my schedule in order to accommodate her flawless life, and reject all things that didn’t support the betterment of her journey to be the most well-rounded, well-adjusted, brilliant, supportive, unblemished, curious, healthy Perfect Daughter in the world. It’s safe to say I’ve fallen into the second category.
I’m not sure how I let this happen. I barely had a social life to begin with. I have had incredibly unreasonable excuses every time someone asks me why I can’t leave my house and the sad part is, I literally believe myself when I’m talking.
Hateful Friend #1: Hey, we’re all driving to Santa Barbara this weekend. Do you wanna come?
Me: Perfect Daughter doesn’t really like being in a car for long periods of time.
Hateful Friend #2: Yo! I’m in your neighborhood and thought we could go for a walk.
Me: Ya know, I’d love to but Perfect Daughter isn’t feeling well.
Hateful Husband: Sex?
Me: ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?! I’M EXHAUSTED, YOU MONSTER!
I’m a shell of my former self. After a mere seven months, I have removed everything in my path that does not immediately fulfill some part of Perfect Daughter’s life. So I tried to think back to that surly twenty-something that was literally pushing pregnant women over in the street and I realized that that woman was just as ill-informed. I suppose this is what Oprah refers to as “balance.” Currently I have none. I’m trying to find that cushy spot between daily drinker and pathetic shut-in. I’m sure it’s best to start small. Husband and I have a date on Friday night. We hired something called a babysitter. From what I understand that’s a person who watches your baby while you go try to save your marriage. To be honest, this entire experiment is already causing me a lot of anxiety. But Perfect Daughter needs to buck the fuck up and I need to be awake past 9 p.m. Turns out it’s slightly difficult to make no changes to your life once a baby arrives.
There are a few things that will likely never return like going on a last minute trip, staying up until 4 a.m., and the suppleness of my vagina. But there are lots of new things that are fun in a different way like watching your daughter grow into a person who can run errands for you and teaching someone to swear. It’s a give and take really. My life will never be the same. But I don’t have to die in the transition. Twenty-something me was fun and she made some good points. Sure she drank to blackout proportions, slept with strangers, and judged her elders. But she knew that you could still be a fun-loving and effective person even if you never showered. I love her for teaching me that.
Thursday, November 10, 2016
Society lied to me about the bloodbath involved in pulling a person out of another person. First of all they use frothy emotional phrases like “giving birth,” which sounds more like you’re merely handing something over, as opposed to being sawed open and having an alien removed. But I persevered and now I’m responsible for keeping a person alive.
There was no downtime between horrific surgery and parenting. A weekend would have been nice. Regardless, I have a child now and she is doing just fine. I, however, continue to suffer physical symptoms I didn’t even know existed, proving once again that pregnancy is a hideous process and not the pink-bonnet-party-bus it’s often described as. Those symptoms don’t end after delivery/womb-opening. Ladies, run for your life.
After three days of changing my own diaper, I was ready to leave the hospital. I was tired of being yelled at by nurses and was eager to return home where I could relax in the comfort of being yelled at by my family members instead. It’s safe to say that once Perfect Daughter was ripped from my loins, she only needed me for one thing—breastfeeding. I’m fairly certain this is the only reason Husband hasn’t left me yet. I’m his daughter’s major food supply, so he’s incentivized to keep me around.
I had intended to breastfeed merely because I knew it was free (turns out formula is expensive AF), and I heard it led to dramatic weight-loss. Beyond that, I was indifferent. But when I was in the hospital, the nurses kept commending me on my breastfeeding abilities and I started to feel pretty good about myself. I am historically bad at everything and after enduring the horrific procedure known as creating life, I felt elated by the revelation that I was a BREASTFEEDING CHAMPION!!! I finally started to relax, knowing that I was literally better than everyone. And then I left the hospital. And all hell broke loose.
I don’t have a good track record where wellness is concerned. Conversely, every time I turn around—oh wait, I can’t turn around because my entire spine is fused together. The point is it was foolish to believe I was excelling at something. I should have known that a moment of high self-esteem would end in some sort of debilitating illness.
It all started with my vagina. Over the course of my life, it’s safe to say that most of my problems started there. When I went to see the doctor for my 8 week postpartum visit, I was convinced that I had chlamydia. I didn’t have an explanation as to how I would have contracted such a thing, but if there’s one thing I know about STDs, it’s that they creep up on you when you least expect it.
My doctor seemed uninterested as I tried to convince her that I was potentially dying. She instructed me to take off my pants and get in the stirrups. There was a time in my life that this would have sounded like a great time, but it means something different when it’s coming from your gynecologist and not a strange man with a mustache that you just met at a bar. ANYWAY, I climbed in and awaited the bad news. But instead of gasping, my doctor started laughing. She got me naked, peered into my vagina, and lost her shit laughing at my cootch. I was distraught.
Me: Um…what’s so funny?
Dr.: Alison, I don’t know how you do it.
Me: I mean…I’m not trying to do anything. As a matter of fact, I specifically had a C-section in order to avoid future experiences where people are laughing at my vagina.
Dr.: You have Atrophic Vaginitis.
Me: What is that and why is it funny? Also, I don’t know a ton about doctoring but it feels like you should have attended at least one course entitled, “whatever happens, don’t laugh at a person’s vagina.”
Dr.: Basically all the estrogen in your body is moving to your breasts in order to create milk…
Dr.: As a result, there is no estrogen left to keep your vagina moist and supple…
Me: I’m literally throwing up in my mouth right now.
Dr.: So basically the pain you’re feeling that you’ve decided is chlamydia, is actually a multitude of cuts all over the walls of your now paper-thin vagina.
Me: OMG, PLEASE STOP TALKING!
Dr.: This is typically found in postmenopausal women.
Dr.: I’m going to give you a cream that needs to be administered via syringe into your vagina.
Me: This can’t be happening.
Dr.: It is. Good luck.
Me: Again, didn’t you have to take some sort of bedside-manner class?
This entire experience forced me to believe in God because only some sort of supreme being could have worked so masterfully in my life. Over the course of my existence, I have gone to great lengths to avoid syringes and have instead sought out chemicals that could be ingested via nostril. Yet here I am, shooting estrogen cream into my wilted flower like a 70-year-old widow who’s headed to a church picnic. In addition, I actively had a baby ripped out of me in order to preserve my vagina but somehow my vagina has atrophied… ATROPHIED!!! DOES ANYONE THINK THAT’S WEIRD?!
It’s obvious that I’m being punished. God forbid I have one thing…just one thing that I’m good at. I experienced high self-esteem for like five minutes when I thought I was good at breastfeeding. But it’s hard to feel good about yourself with the knowledge that each time you feed your child is another moment you won’t be having sex with your husband BECAUSE YOUR ENTIRE VAGINA DOESN’T WORK ANYMORE AND YOU’RE TOO BUSY SHOOTING CREAM UP YOUR PIE HOLE TO FOCUS ON SEX ANYWAY.
I had to regroup. I had intended to breastfeed Perfect Daughter for a year and my doctor informed me that the old baby maker would doubtfully repair itself before then. I dusted myself off and started to reassess the situation. Sure my coin slot had shut down and my perfect apricot had been replaced with sandpaper and hay. But this was the cross I had to bear. I was doing my best to give myself a pep talk but it was slightly difficult due to the fact that my arms and legs were itching like crazy. I was confused. Surely lack of estrogen didn’t make your entire body itch…did it? I decided to ignore these symptoms and try to focus on caring for the child I had created. That night, I woke up and was convinced I had poison oak. Again, it’s probably good that I’m not a doctor because I’m not great with initial diagnoses.
I wasn’t about to visit my quack doctor again so I decided to roll into Walgreens. At the very least, I was confident they wouldn’t ask to see and then laugh at my vagina, and that felt like a win.
Me: Hi. I think I have Poison Oak.
Walgreens Person: Have you been near the wilderness?
Me: I mean…I live in Glendale and we have squirrels there. Does that count?
Me: Listen, you’re being mean. I just had a baby and am clearly dying of some sort of flesh-eating bacteria.
WP: Oh, so it’s possible that this is postpartum. Are you stressed at all?
Me: IS THAT A JOKE, LADY? A SMALL PERSON HAS BEEN LEFT IN MY CARE FOR LITERALLY THE REST OF MY LIFE. MY VAGINA HAS BEEN COMPLETELY SHATTERED AND HUSBAND IS BOUND TO LEAVE ME AT ANY MOMENT. DO YOU KNOW HOW HARD IT IS TO BE A SINGLE MOM WITHOUT A VAGINA?! ANSWER ME!
WP: You have postpartum hives.
Me: No, thank you.
WP: Just wipe Benadryl cream all over your arms and legs until it feels better.
Me: Well I’d love to but I’m a little busy shooting it up my vagina right now.
WP: Excuse me?
Me: YOU’RE NOT A REAL DOCTOR!
Honestly, I don’t have anything else to say. After two months of parenting I had gone from wearing a diaper to blasting my vag with lotion, covering my body with oatmeal to help the hive itching, lathering the Frankenstein scar above my vagina with some exorbitantly expensive plastic surgery cream which…let’s be honest, there’s really no need to keep my vagina looking good WHEN IT HAS LITERALLY ATROPHIED AND I WILL NEVER HAVE SEX AGAIN!
For a brief moment, when I was doing a good job at breastfeeding, I thought it was possible that my body was actually made for mothering. The systematic breakdown of my physical body since then indicates that perhaps I should have adopted or at the very least should be switching to formula. But I have dreams. And I have goals. And if there’s one thing I know about breastfeeding, it’s that it burns a lot of calories. And Goddamnit I want to wear pants someday.
Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Let’s just quickly discuss the bloodbath that was my child’s birth. Holy. Shit. I knew I was going to have to have a C-section because of my spinal fusion and had convinced myself that this was really the way to go. In retrospect, I may have been mistaken.
It all started off mundane AF. Since the baby retrieval was planned, there was no breaking of water or emergency rides to the hospital. I packed a bag the night before, drove to Cedars Sinai at five in the morning, and ultimately it was a lot like checking into a hotel. However, after the initial paperwork, things got weird. The first thing I found to be peculiar is that they put me in a hospital gown (expected), gave me some weirdo hospital wet wipes and asked me to rub them all over my body (confusing, but ok) and then a stranger shaved my vagina (I’M SORRY . . . WHAT?!). I thought the beauty of the C-section is that your vagina is not involved. I would have gotten myself waxed if I knew we were going to be so focused on pubic hair. More upsettingly, this was just another day in the life for the nursing staff, so Joy the nurse was pretty blasé when she nonchalantly said, “ok, I’ll be back in a minute to shave your pubes.” I MEAN, BUY ME DINNER FIRST, JOY! Husband was front and center for each additional demoralizing procedure. The shaving of the vag was just the entry point (nailed it) for a day of horrific firsts. It’s shocking that anyone in the world has more than one child after witnessing the birthing process.
Since these sickos deliver babies on the reg, no one hesitated to wander into my room as Joy was coiffing my private regions. It was the closest I’ve ever come to being in a barbershop quartet. It seemed like all the doctors and nurses on staff that day had decided that this was prime time to stop by and ask questions.
Dr.: Hey Alison, how are you feeling today?
Alison: Um . . . a stranger is shaving my crotch literally right now and you are trying to make small talk. I wish I was dead.
That was probably the most jarring fact of the day. All the nurses and doctors were un-phased by things that I found to be truly appalling. I think I would have felt better if just one person stopped by and said something like, “hey Alison, removing a child from a woman is truly a barbaric process. Feel free to experience shame and horror as the rest of us casually move through what is essentially our day job. We may seem uninterested and unaffected, but you’re right to feel that this entire event is a God damn shit show.” Instead, I kept enduring frightening procedures while everyone else caught up on their weekend plans. After the shaving session, I was moved into what was essentially a meat locker, and while I received a spinal tap, the rest of the staff took the opportunity to catch up.
Random Nurse #1: Hey Claire, did you ever get that lasagna recipe I sent you?
Random Nurse #2: I did actually! We made it for John’s birthday.
Anesthesiologist: Ok Alison, you’re going to feel a little pinch. Are you ready?
Me (while shaking uncontrollably): Are those women talking about lasagna?
Anesthesiologist: I’m sure they’re not. Everyone here is very concerned about your well-being.
RN #1: Did I tell you that Janie and Bobby are getting married?
RN #2: Wow! So he finally popped the question?! And right before her graduation! What did Barb have to say about that? I’m sure she wasn’t thrilled.
Anesthesiologist: Mmmkk Alison, you’re going to start feeling a little numb.
Me: WHO IS BARB?! WHY IS SHE SO MAD?
Anesthesiologist: Alison, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed by the anesthesia. Are you having trouble breathing? It’s important that you stay relaxed.
Me: I MEAN I LITERALLY WANT TO BUT I’VE GOT THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS HAPPENING OVER THERE AND IT IS DISTRACTING ME!
Anesthesiologist: Alison, calm down. Do you want me to go get your husband?
Me: Of course I do! I didn’t even know he wasn’t in here. HE IS MY CARETAKER! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, GET HIM IN HERE AND WILL SOMEONE PLEASE TELL ME WHAT THE FUCK BARB’S PROBLEM IS!
My memories of the rest of the actual surgery (NO BIG DEAL, I HAD SURGERY) are pretty foggy. Husband says my arms were strapped down, probably so I couldn’t reach for a cig while I was getting my morphine drip. He says I just stared at the ceiling the entire time and looked catatonic. All I remember is this:
Dr.: Ok Alison, you’re going to feel a lot of pushing . . . lot of pushing. Ok. Almost there. We got it. OH MY GOD, IT’S A GINGER!
Literally. I had a Ginger Baby. I’m not even sure how it’s possible. I remember hearing this proclamation and thinking, “wait . . . how did they pull the wrong baby out of me?” But there she was. Next thing ya know, they bring me the Ginger Baby and don’t ya know, she looks exactly like Husband. I mean this kid looks NOTHING like me. I’m terrified every time we leave the house as I’m certain someone is going to assume that I stole her and I’m bound to have DCFS called on my ass.
Next, there was a gap of what felt like 100 years wherein everyone ooohed and aaahed over this supposed Ginger Baby that I had yet to see. I would have gotten up and checked out the situation myself BUT I COULDN’T BECAUSE I WAS STRAPPED TO A GURNEY AND HAD NO FEELING IN MY LEGS!!! Finally, a nurse came over and said, “ok Alison, is it ok if I put your baby on you?” I remember thinking, “holy shit. This bitch already thinks I have post-partum and am going to kill my baby.” Even in a drugged state, I was offended and replied as such: “bitch I carried that Ginger for nine God damn months, I had shingles in the process and have tried my best to be patient while you people ripped her out of me so no pressure or anything BUT LET ME SEE THE GINGER BABY, YOU WENCH!”
For the next hour, I was in recovery with the Ginger Baby and we tried to get to know each other. It seems fitting that she was introduced to me while I was high on drugs. She got a good long look at what I’ll be like if she acts up and forces me to relapse—inattentive, distracted, and negligent.
Finally, they took me back to the hospital room I would be sharing with Husband for the next three days. I was in and out of consciousness for the rest of the day and only remember a few horrific details. For starters, a stranger (I pray to God she was a nurse) came by eventually and told me it was time to use my legs and go to the bathroom. It was at this point that I realized I was wearing a diaper and bleeding profusely. Apparently that’s part of the C-section. They pump you full of drugs and then put a diaper on you without your consent. They also inserted a catheter while I wasn’t looking but then removed it while I was high as a kite because I don’t remember any of that. What I do remember is the stranger leading me to the bathroom, removing my diaper, literally spraying a water bottle at my vag and then telling me to clean myself up and get back in bed. It felt a lot like the time I had visited a Korean Spa. In the meantime, I wasn’t allowed to eat or drink anything. Everyone said I wouldn’t be hungry since I was on so many pain meds BUT CLEARLY THEY DON’T KNOW ME CAUSE I WAS STARVING TO DEATH! Eventually I was allowed ice chips, but every time I tried to stomach them, I threw up everywhere.
My parents and Husband were with me the entire time, but they were distracted by the Ginger Baby so when I had to throw up they intervened by saying, “not on the Perfect Ginger Baby!” at which point they would grab her from my arms and throw a garbage can my way. When I said I needed my diaper changed and attempted to get up they’d help by kindly suggesting, “don’t get up while you’re holding Perfect Baby! What’s the matter with you?!” I tried to point out that I was bleeding to death, battling a copious amount of pain killers and projectile vomiting. They seemed wholly unimpressed and instead turned their attention to Perfect Baby, who had apparently made a sound, resulting in a bevy of picture taking, applauding, and calling other family members who weren’t present to report the news of Perfect Baby’s activities.
The point is, my family doesn’t care about me anymore. The Ginger Baby has taken over and I had to weather the storm of surgery quietly while simultaneously attempting to keep the offspring alive. The nurses were just as uninterested with my ailments as my family was. They would wake me up every two hours and yell at me.
Angry Nurse: Why haven’t you fed your baby?!
Me: OMG, what time is it?
Angry Nurse: It’s 3 a.m.
Me: Why are you yelling at me?
Angry Nurse: You need to feed your baby.
Me: I literally just did.
Angry Nurse: Why didn’t you write it down?
Me: OH I’M SORRY, I’M A LITTLE BUSY CHANGING MY OWN DIAPER AND VOMITING ICE CHIPS ALL OVER MYSELF. GET OFF MY BACK, DEVIL WOMAN!
This pattern has continued. Perfect Baby continues to live an incredible life while I focus on the Frankenstein scar above my vagina and wonder if Husband will ever have sex with me again. Ultimately, child birth is disgusting. My body is in shambles, every part of me hurts, and I’ve been reduced to a walking milk jug. I can’t wait for the Ginger Baby to be able to understand words so I can tell her how good she’s got it. I'll probably start by framing the picture attached and putting it in her room so that she can see how I suffered. Holy shit, I have a kid.
Wednesday, August 10, 2016
This was a huge mistake. I’m 900 weeks pregnant and scheduled to go into the hospital tomorrow to have this thing ripped out of me. I gotta tell ya, I am not prepared. The only silver lining I currently see is that I’ll be able to smoke soon.
For starters, I already can’t sleep. This is probably due to the fact that I am literally humongous and every sleeping position seems to either crush or suffocate the baby, thereby relegating me to nuanced choreography that requires a plethora of pillows, blankets, and a spark of creativity. Needless to say, none of this has worked. I’ve been up since 3 a.m.
The good news is, I’ve been able to get a lot of support from Husband. He does this great thing during the day where he pities me and insists that I wake him up in the middle of the night if he’s snoring and I can’t sleep. Solidarity. One night I tried this, only to realize that he’s just as good at ignoring me in his dreams as he is during normal business hours. Is it wrong that I’m looking forward to a few relaxing days in the hospital where I will be taken care of by nurses who don’t snore? They’ve offered to bring a bed in for Husband and I’m still trying to formulate a plan to expel him from the hospital. I’m sure everything will be easier once the baby gets here. OH SHIT, I’M HAVING A BABY!!!
Due to the fact that my entire spine is fusing together, I am scheduled to have a C-Section on August 11th at 7:15 a.m. As previously mentioned, I’ve opted to roll through this pregnancy blind and did literally no research in order to prepare for this scenario. It was only recently that I learned I’d be having what some people like to call “major surgery.” I found this to be alarming but it was too late. It turns out, there’s really no good way to get a baby out of you. Either a baby rips your vagina to shreds or a team of medical professionals cuts you open, throws your organs on a coffee table, and hands your daughter to your husband and tells them both what a great job they did.
The good news is, I lost a pound! Granted, this is after having gained fifty, but it feels like a triumph and I think I should be congratulated. I have my unborn baby to thank for this. Towards the end of one’s pregnancy, your baby completely overtakes your body, forcing all organs to new locations and turning what was formerly known to be saliva into a burning acid that makes it nearly impossible to eat any food. It’s great! The only thing I eat now is Tums. I’d snort them if I could, but I have reason to believe it’s not advantageous.
Have I mentioned that my maternity clothes don’t fit? At this point, I’m just draping sheets around myself and calling them clothes. I use bandages for bras and disposable pedicure sandals are the only thing that fit my swollen brick feet. Seriously, I look great. I knew I wasn’t alone in this so I jumped online in an attempt to find some comradeship with other pregnant women who were wallowing in self-pity. Here’s what I found:
Martha: “I loved being pregnant. It was like a dream come true for me. Got off the pill one month and pregnant the next, unbelieveable. I had long awaited seing myself with a big belly. At 33yrs I loved it. I had not one bit of morning sickness, not one ache, not one pain.”
Ok, so obviously I hadn’t started in the right place. My first attempt at pregnant solidarity was to Google, “Did you like being pregnant?” as which point I was directed to whore Martha who clearly hates spell check but LOVES being pregnant. I can only imagine that Martha spends her Sundays at Church and has never snorted a Tums. Regardless, I would not be deterred and thought perhaps a different approach was necessary. I finally picked up one of the Parent magazines that my mother-in-law had been shipping to me weekly (she doesn’t know about the Internet yet). I turned right to an article titled, “20 Reasons Why I Loved Being Pregnant.” I was willing to believe that maybe I had missed something and began skimming the list for recognition — no such luck. Here are a few of their gems:
10. World-class service. One night at a trendy Italian restaurant with a 45-minute wait, the maitre d' insisted, "We don't make the mama wait! Take this table!”
I went to Canter’s one day for brunch and they told me I was too big to fit in a booth.
16. Baby hiccups! Once I figured out what those weird rhythmic pulses in my belly were, they gave me a good giggle.
Is that the thing where it feels like you’re getting punched in the cunt?
18. Watching my husband look at cribs and diaper pails with the intensity he used to save for digital cameras and HDTV.
Replace “digital cameras and HDTV” with “syringes and tin foil,” remember that your child is likely going to have severe substance-abuse issues, start fantasizing a night out at the bar, realize the error of looking at cribs and diaper pails with Husband, immediately call Sober Coach.
The coup de grace came when I accidentally stumbled upon this on Pinterest:
Mine should read: I’m mildly tolerating the parasite that’s trying to kill me.
No, but here’s the deal, I’m clearly already a bad mom. My strategy is to never teach my child how to read or show her where the Internet is (worked on my mother-in-law). That’s got to be one of the signs of good parenting, right?!
If all goes according to plan, I will meet this broad tomorrow. God only knows what I’m about to encounter. Luckily, I’m her major food source so if she starts to act lippy, I can always starve her so that she knows who’s in charge.
Everyone says that after the kid is actually here, your heart will crack open and you will know a love you’ve never experienced before. I’m guessing those people have never tried sausage. Regardless, I’m willing to believe that my whole life is about to change. OMG, I’m gonna have a baby!
Monday, June 27, 2016
This is outrageous. I’ve been pregnant for 400 years and things aren’t going well. As soon as I was struck pregnant, I suffered immediate outlandish symptoms that ranged from hellacious nausea to something called mouth ulcers, which I’m pretty sure only afflicts like .5% of pregnant women. I wish I could say that all the indignities I’ve been enduring were well worth the heartache, but I don’t know much about the kid inside me other than the fact that she likes to kick me in the cunt about twenty times a day which doesn’t lend itself to a lot of heartwarming feelings. Mostly I feel like she’s either trying to kill me or escape. The point is my unborn child literally hates me.
I’ve shared this theory with several mothers who all blankly stare at me and then stop returning my phone calls, but I feel that it’s plausible. Basically my child spends every waking moment sucking all imaginable nutrients from my system so that she can get big and strong making her solely responsible for all of my ailments. I mean would it be so hard for her to just leave me a few morsels of sustenance? It seems she is punishing me for having to live in a uterus that’s filled with cigarette smoke and bong resin. OH PUHLEASE, IT CAN’T BE THAT BAD IN THERE. LEAVE ME SOME VITAMIN C, YOU WITCH! Now I know what you’re thinking: “Alison, fetuses aren’t malicious. You’re confusing your embryo with the girls from high school.” Am I though? Let me just tell you what this kid has put me through.
Most recently, I felt that my vagina was falling apart. Something was very wrong down there and I would have been able to diagnose myself sooner had I been able to actually see the goddamn thing. Instead I had to roll it into my doctor’s office. Do you have any idea how demoralizing it is to have to make an appointment to see your vagina? I mean…vagina and I used to be friends. We were close. We hung out. We spent time together. Now she’s a literal stranger and I have handed her off to a medical professional because there’s clearly nothing else I can do for her at this point. Well, sure as shit, doctor said I had broken her.
Doctor: Oh! I see what the problem is. Nothing to worry about. You just have a yeast infection.
Me: What?! That sounds fucking disgusting. Stop pretending that this isn’t a big deal.
Doctor: Oh, it’s really common in pregnant women.
Me: Does it happen because our children are hogging all of our nutrients?
Me: I just think my daughter is stealing all my nutrients and I want her to stop.
Doctor: I mean…she needs them to live.
Me: BUT WHAT ABOUT ME?!
Doctor: You’ll just be a little more tired and you may have a yeast infection from time to time.
Me: Please stop saying that. It is so gross.
Doctor: Mmmkkk. Get yourself some Monistat 7. You’ll be fine. And be grateful you’re having a healthy baby.
In case you haven’t deduced what’s happening, my doctor has colluded with my offspring in an attempt to kill me. It’s pretty obvious.
Let’s just talk about Monistat 7 for a minute. It is the grossest thing I have ever encountered. From what I had been able to glean from commercials, I had determined that Monistat 7 was some sort of flowery device that you insert into your vagina which then leads to your husband loving you more? I just remember seeing pictures of women using this product and then going for long strolls on beaches with men. Turns out I was dead wrong. Listen to this shit. Basically you fill what looks like a plastic syringe full of lotion, you then insert that syringe into your vagina at which point you shoot all of the lotion into your vag cavity. OMG, I just threw up everywhere. You then attempt to move on with your daily life but it’s difficult because VAG LOTION IS LITERALLY LEAKING OUT OF YOU AND YOU ARE PREGNANT AND YOU STILL HAVE TO GO TO YOUR JOB EVERY DAY AND YOU ARE ENCOUNTERING MEN AND IT IS LITERALLY THE WORST THING THAT HAS EVER HAPPENED AND YOUR UNBORN CHILD IS LAUGHING AT YOU AND SHE IS STILL STEALING ALL YOUR NUTRIENTS! Seriously, how do people deal with this? This lasted for seven horrific days. I cannot believe Husband hasn’t left me yet. I am fatter than ever and spend all my free time shooting lotion up my twat.
Needless to say, I was under a lot of stress. We had just returned from New Orleans where I had managed to rip the flesh of my inner thighs apart by attempting to walk and as soon as we returned I was diagnosed with yeasty vagina. I was bereft. I was uncomfortable and tired and sure the world was out to get me. And obviously by “world” I mean “demonic offspring.”
I want it to be noted that I legitimately try to not get diseases. My life mantra is “don’t get diseases.” My spirit animal is anything that doesn’t have a disease. I take vitamins, I exercise, I drink water, I smoke. I basically do everything a healthy person should be doing. Yet last week, I was walking around naked — Husband’s least favorite activity — when he noticed something was askew.
Husband: What happened to your back?
Me: Oh God, is this an ass joke?
Husband: No, it looks like you have a rash.
Me: Stop it.
Husband: Come here. I’m trying to get a picture.
The fact that Husband was trying to get a picture was upsetting for a myriad of reasons: (1) I was naked but he was only trying to capture the image of my rash and was unmoved by my actual naked body; (2) this picture resulted in me literally sexting my doctor and trying to get a diagnosis via text; (3) this strategy worked and the outcome was shingles. SHINGLES! I WAS SIX MONTHS PREGNANT AND HAD SOMEHOW GOTTEN FUCKING SHINGLES!!!
I just literally don’t even know what to say. Shingles is some sort of horrible viral rash that afflicts the elderly and me. I’m just not even sure where to begin. I tried to call my doctor for more information and just like every other medical professional I have ever encountered, she was completely useless.
Me: Hi Dr, just wanted to follow-up on our sexts.
Doctor: Please don’t ever do that again.
Me: I get it. No one likes seeing my naked body.
Doctor: You have shingles.
Me: Right, I heard. The thing is, what is that?
Doctor: It’s a viral infection.
Me: But why do I have it?
Doctor: It’s usually brought on by a weakened immune system or stress. Do you feel that you’ve been stressed at all?
Me: IS THAT A JOKE?! OF COURSE I’VE BEEN STRESSED! FOR STARTERS, MY ENTIRE SPINE IS FUSING TOGETHER WHICH MEANS I HAVE TO HAVE A BABY LITERALLY RIPPED OUT OF ME WHICH SOUNDS HORRIBLE. I’M NOT ALLOWED TO DRINK OR SMOKE SO I HAVE NO WAY OF “RELAXING” AND I HAVEN’T SEEN MY VAGINA IN LITERAL WEEKS. FOR ALL I KNOW I HAVE A DICK THERE NOW SO YEAH, I’D SAY I’M MINORLY STRESSED.
Doctor: I think you may be overreacting. Lots of people get shingles.
Me: WHO?! WHO GETS SHINGLES?! LITERALLY NO ONE!
Doctor: My grandma had it.
Obviously, I’m never talking to my doctor again. This fucking baby is going to have to fall out on its own because clearly my doctor takes me for a motherfucking chump and I don’t want to have anything to do with her. Ultimately, I had to be on an antiviral medication for 10 days that resulted in horrific stomach pains proving my point that pregnancy is a lot like food poisoning. Regardless, it’s obvious that my unborn child hates me and gave me shingles. I can’t wait to meet her. Once she finds out I’m literally her only food supply, perhaps she’ll treat me with some motherfucking respect. I’m gonna be a great mom.