Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Stuff about Dad, my baby shower, and missing my mom

It's been a little while since I've written.  Honestly, nothing really happened last week.  This week and the weekend were more eventful, so I'll just give a recap of the following: my dad, my baby shower, and pregnancy/spazzing out a little.


Yesterday I went out to see Dad - rented a Zip Car because public transportation is really tough for me right now (I can manage the subway, but subway + bus is hard).  I hadn't seen Dad in just over two weeks and I figured I'd take him to chemo and see how he was doing.  I picked a good one to go to.  A few days ago, Dad started experiencing pain in his upper right abdomen (roughly where the liver is), and that's sort of worrisome because Dad has a lot of metastasis in his liver.  The pain wasn't terrible, but it's uncomfortable.  He also sounded and admitted to me that he's been quite tired and fatigued.  I'll skip to the chase - his nurse practitioner was able to palpate the spot where the pain is originating and based on his scan from March and what she felt, she's pretty sure it is a node on the liver that is pressing on a nerve.  Which sucks, cause obviously it means stuff is growing.  But she said he's only had a little chemo since the scan in March, so hopefully with a few more treatments, it will shrink.  Hopefully she's right, though who knows.  In the mean time, she prescribed Dad some pain meds and a sleep aid (since he wakes up a lot at night, we're hoping a deeper sleep might help a little with the fatigue).  As for the fatigue, it's probably from the chemo.  He's been doing chemo for 5 years - it gets harder to bounce back the longer you've been on it.

On top of that crap, they had some problems with Dad's power port (the implanted device that allows them to infuse his chemo without putting in an IV every time), but they were able to fix it.  The house wasn't a disaster when I was there, but he didn't have much food in the fridge and he's lost some weight.  I got him some food and went to the pharmacy to pick up his meds.  You know what would be sweet right now?  A home health aide.  Oh, that's right.  He got rid of the home health aide.  Eye roll.  Basically I feel like things are reverting to how they were a few months ago.  So that was a nice feeling.  Obviously I'm being sarcastic.  My sister is being a little weird these days, I think she's having some family issues of her own, so although she's been visiting Dad, I sort of doubt she'll step up as much as I'd like her to.

I have 6 more weeks to go in this pregnancy and a little part of me is scared Dad won't make it to meet Manuji.  He probably will, but what if he doesn't?  Yesterday after I showed him pictures of a friend's baby he said "That baby is very beautiful, but it's not as beautiful as our baby is going to be."  He was talking about Manuji.  I was really touched, it's the first time he's really taken any sort of ownership of his new grandkid.

I was talking to my sister-in-law about what's been going on with Dad.  Her father died years ago from a chronic blood disease.  She said that when he was really sick, he'd still insist on driving himself everywhere even though just a minor accident could have been completely disastrous for him.  As she put it, when you are very sick and/or dying, you have no control.  And so you need to feel like you have control over something, and what you can control are things like driving or who is in your house/taking care of you, etc.  When she put it that way, I understood a little more about why my dad has been so resistant to having an aide.  Though I still wish he would have one.

Baby Shower

This past weekend was my baby shower!  It was hands down the best baby shower I have ever been to, and I say this as someone who has thrown a number of showers myself.  I understand if you think your baby shower was the best.  But you're wrong.  Mine was!  I cannot believe the amount of time, effort, and money Wendy put into it.  I'd like to say I'll someday repay her for her generosity by throwing her a great bridal shower or baby shower, but she doesn't plan to ever have children and who knows about marriage.  So I think instead I will have to throw her a kickass surprise 40th birthday party in a few years.

It was so great to see my friends, and everyone was so kind and loving.  The food was great, the cake was amazing, and it was just all around really fun.  The only sad part was that I really didn't get to talk to anyone as much as I would have liked to, but I think that's always the case at parties where you're the guest of honor.

And I got to meet Kate's daughter Ella!  She is adorable.  Kate's mom was invited to the shower as well, and spent most of the time holding and taking care of Ella.  My sister turned to me and said "I'm jealous of Kate because she has her mom to help her out."  I nodded - I know how she feels.

Pregnancy thoughts and stuff

I am 34 weeks and 1 day pregnant.  Six more weeks till I'm due, kind of like the ground hog.  I've been feeling okay.  My digestive system has finally, finally adjusted to the iron supplement (hey, only took 6 weeks!) so that's pretty cool.  I still have acid reflux but it's pretty well controlled with the Pepcid.  I still hate staircases.  I feel like a furnace.  This is a weird experience for me because I'm usually cold unless it's over 70 degrees outside.  I actually have Raynaud's phenomenon - I've had it since I was a teenager.  Dad has it too.  Anyway, I haven't had a single instance of losing feeling in my fingers since I've been pregnant, and now that it's warmer out, my hands are constantly hot, sweaty, veiny, and a little swollen.  I usually walk around the apartment in a tank top and capri yoga pants, and even then I complain about how hot it is [Note: It is not actually hot, I am just feeling hot].  I'm pretty sure I made Ella cry the other day because I was so freaking hot that I made her uncomfortable while holding her.

I really can't complain.  Yes, I'm uncomfortable and roly-poly and and my back hurts and I don't sleep great and I can't do a lot of stuff like go for a nice walk without panting and having cramps.  But it's not bad right now, really.  Ask me again in another 4 weeks and I will probably be singing a different tune.

We had our breastfeeding and parenting class this weekend, and it went well (except for the annoying younger couple who kept giggling during the breastfeeding video - ugh, get over it!).  And then when we came home that evening, I freaked out a little about the apartment, but mostly Manuji's room.  Our crib and dresser (generously bought for us by my in-laws) are coming next week, and the room still needs a lot of work and unpacking.  I may have cried a little about it, and about whether I'm going to be any good at breastfeeding, and a number of other things.  I say this just so people will know - just because you're infertile and you had to work like hell to get pregnant and having a baby is your heart's biggest desire does not mean you're only allowed to feel 100% awesome and happy when you are pregnant.  You're allowed to feel apprehensive and nervous, and you probably will feel that way at some point.  Anyway, the feeling passed.  I still can't look in his room too much because it makes me anxious.   We have a lot of work to do, and I'm not entirely sure when/how it will get done.  

Since we moved, we've mostly been subsisting on take-out, and I've gotten really, really tired of it.  I've also been feeling like a bad mom-to-be about it.  Here I was, harping last week about how parents should try to take care of themselves by exercising and eating healthy and I eat way more pizza and Chinese take out than is good for me.  Part of the problem has been that I don't have a lot of energy, so cooking something generally means I won't feel up to doing any work around the apartment afterwards.  But mostly I've just been lazy about cooking.  It's silly because there are a lot of really easy, healthy things I could make that won't wipe me out.  So this week I resolved to do a better job, and I have been.  I've also started having a green smoothie every day so that I at least get more veggies into Manuji (and me, for that matter).  The smoothie recipe I've been making is delicious!  It's from the NY Times, and I don't bother with the Chia seeds, and I threw in a little fresh coconut because I had some in the fridge.  Anyway, give it a try (it's also vegan, if that matters to you).  The Times had a whole set of smoothies with greens in them, so tomorrow I'm going to try this recipe which has blueberries and kefir in it.  

I've been missing Mom a lot.  I know that's not surprising given what's been going on with my dad and that I'm hopefully going to have a baby in a few weeks.  But it hits me at random moments and I start tearing up in the middle of the grocery store.  When I was little, I didn't know my mom's mom and dad at all - they had both died long before I was born.  And Dad's mom had also died before I was born.  But my grandpa (Dad's dad) lived next door to us.  He died when I was 5.  I have fond memories of him and I was really sad when he died, but mostly I was worried about my dad.  I remember asking him how he felt and if he was really sad about his dad dying.  Mostly, in typical 5 year old fashion, I was worried about myself - I was scared about what life would be like for me if my parents died and I was trying to figure out if Dad was okay because maybe that would mean something about whether I would be okay if my mom and dad died.

I remember Dad told me that yes, he was sad, and yes, he missed his parents.  But that he also had his own family - his wife and me and my sister - and that made it easier to bear and less lonely.  He assured me that someday I would have a family of my own, so I shouldn't worry.  It comforted me.  Having Jeeves and Manuji comforts me now, but I still would rather that my kid (and any possible future kids) could know my mom and dad.  I still wish my mom were here to give me advice.  But I also know it's made a difference in my life to hear my dad's stories about his mother, and how even though I never met her I really feel like I know her because he talked (and still talks) about her all the time.  So I guess that's the best I can do for Manuji, so that in some small way he will know my mom.


  1. I'm glad you enjoyed your baby shower!!! Continued prayers for your dad and of course you and Manuji!

  2. Megs! That is a lot going on. So glad that your baby shower provided much joy and surrounded you with love. Continued prayers for your dad's health. I empathize so much with you on missing your mom. Father's day is really tough for me and I also lost my grandparents too soon. I think your dad is wise to remind you to find comfort in your own family.

    Oh and that smoothie recipe is quite unique! Might have to try it if I can make it to the store to get the ingredients. I've been drinking raspberry leaf and nettle infusions to get in lots of greens.

    1. Highly recommend that smoothie with the pineapple. The blueberry kefir one is good too, but I tweaked it to add more greens and make it more to my taste - I'll probably post my tweaked recipe for it soon.

      I'll be thinking of you on Father's Day. These holidays can be so rough.

  3. I don't think anything will ever comfort you in the loss of your mom, but I hope when you have Manuji you feel connected to her in a new way. It sounds like you have a lot of people who love you, and I hope that they're able to step up and help where she would have. Even if it's not the same, you really do sound loved. I hope your dad is able to stick around for a while, too. It's not fair that all of this is happening and it makes me angry, which is silly and useless, I know… But I'm hoping the best for all of you, whatever that may me. And also now I want cake.

    1. Thanks, Adi. Sometimes it makes me angry for me too! But all this stuff is just part of life - I just wish the timing were different. I definitely believe that when Manuji is here, I'll be connected to my mom in a new way. And ugh, I want cake ALL THE TIME now. Or cupcakes. I'd take a cupcake too.