When I was in my twenties, I had visions of what it meant to be in my thirties.
As it turns out, my thirties are a lot like my twenties, with some slight differences. I now sort of understand how to use Robert’s Rules of Order. I absentmindedly let the car run out gas but once a year. I’ve developed a habit of pointing to things in my house with a frown, while proclaiming, “We should have someone take a look at that!”
And I spend a LOT of time talking about Other People’s Pregnancies.
Despite having recently trudged through the pouring rain to fill a gas can (coincidentally, I ran out of gas in the parking lot of the Medicaid gas voucher program office which was funny/not funny), it’s the last one that causes the most issues.
95% of the time, I’m awesome. I’ll drop off ginger ale for the morning sick, ogle over ultrasound pics, and obsessively check for Facebook updates when I know someone is in the vicinity of their due date.
But sometimes, I’m…less awesome.
Every once in awhile, an innocuous Facebook picture of someone’s sweet new baby triggers a seething resentment. “Oh,” I rabidly whisper to the screen. “You think you’re SOOOO COOL with your typically developing kid who is reaching their stupid kid milestones at the stupid, normal kid times.”
It’s absurd! And self-defeating! But it’s THERE.
When it happened a few weeks ago, I first tried employing my usual strategy of barreling through the unpleasantness. Two days in, I tested out the opposite approach: baby-focused immersion therapy, which turned out to be a sort of self-flagellation by social media.
And then I just cut myself some slack.
I deleted Facebook from my phone, put off talking to anyone about their pregnancy or babies for 24 hours, and turned all of my attention to loving on Luella. I connected with a local group of moms online whose children have special needs. I did some embarrassingly effective guided meditations (vomit), watched two seasons of Gilmore Girls, and took a night off to go dancing and stir up some adult-centered rowdiness.
And now? I’m good. Excellent, even. I can barely remember how it all felt, even though I know I’ll be back in that resentful, irritated, grieving spot someday.
But next time, I’ll skip the masochism and go straight to Luella cuddles and Youtube videos of British men telling me to “breeeeeeeeathe” over crashing waves.
I’ll be ready, because when it comes to OPP?
Well…I know me.
Health Update: We are still slowly increasing dosage on Luella’s new seizure medication to try to eradicate her tiny seizures. They seem to have improved, but they have to be completely gone for at least a week to call the medication a success. We’re probably down to 10-15 (very short) seizures a day.
At long last, Luella has started physical therapy, which accompanies feeding and occupational therapy. She’s working on all sorts of things with a main focus on gaining head control, which can help her to independently sit and stand on her own in the future. Physical therapy pushes her a little outside of her comfort zone, but it also involves a lot of bouncy balls, swings, and fun toys, so she’s tolerating it quite well.
On the communication front, we are hearing giggles more frequently, usually while being bounced and listening to “Shake it Off”. Like mama, like daughter.