"Survival Mode" and Other Stories from 38 Weeks

I posted this picture on facebook, along with the caption,

Moxie: KEEP YOUR DISTANCE from this here bowl of MAC AND CHEESE! – I realize that at 38 wks, I'm letting the kids pretty much live off of Mac and cheese. And Popsicles

 

Whereupon my friend said, "38 weeks = survival mode. They will be fine"

And I thought, yeah. 38 weeks kind of really does = survival mode.

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Survival Mode involves Mac and Cheese. The kids dig it.

I find it easy to make, even when the last thing I want to do is make something.

Survival Mode involves naps, or "rest time"s: lots of them.

I am grateful to these precious people of mine – they go with my flow right now.

They can relax into sleep even when I can't, and somehow their snoring, warm bodies calm me.

****

Survival Mode involves McDonalds too. I'd like to say it doesn't because I don't want to be that Mom; never thought I would be either.

But it does.

And I am.

And it's easy.

Amen.

I never have to struggle to get the kids to finish what-ever "food"

Except well, Micah read the ingrediants on the back of his McNuggets – then, horrified,  moved on over to his "apple fries."

 

Alice in McDonald-Land. I like the ease of McDonald's. The bright colours, the packaging, the slim prices. The playlands where I can chat with Bosnian grandmothers or Iraqi women in burqa while our kids play together.

****

My body is as big as I think it has ever been – no, maybe bigger.

Pink Jaba

Distended, huge.

All the things I talked about last week are still there – the heartburn, intense pressure, feeling that I'm going to explode along with a couple of other delights that I hesitate to publically share (but if you have had a baby, you know exactly what I'm talking about).

 

In Survival Mode, my brain is stuck somewhere between NEED SLEEP and MUST PLAN, not leaving a whole lot of room for much else.

 

Ahh… pregnancy! What a joy you are!

And I am getting my tubes tied.

****

Speaking. Of which.

My hospital said I am "high risk" because of the chance I might have a uterine rupture – which would, you know, kill me. And they say that because of the fact that they punctured holes in my uterus while trying to figure out what was wrong with me during the Placenta Incident (– it was placenta left in, infected, post-Moxie-birth). Then Boo has stayed breech, and evidently, that's also risky as he could decide to come, then his umbilical cord could conceiveably come out with his foot or something and then it would stop delivering oxygen to him – his head would still be inside me. He'd suffocate.

Double risk going on there.

After a LOT of encouragement from my OB to have Boo cut out ealier than his due date of 10/31, after agonizing over what day to pick to have a c-section, after much online consultation with charts and astrological pieces, I chose 10/24. I gave that date to the OB over the weekend and finally late Monday night I heard back from her, "full up until October 31st – would you like to get on the wait list?"

They schedule c-sections twice a day only and never on the weekends. Spots are limited. I totally get that. But where in any of this is all that concern over the "high risk" factors they've been pushing at me?

I'm back to being flabbergasted by this American Medical System. The things that truly piss me off are:

1. A lot of Americans actually think this medical system is good. They don't know anything else. I do. My health care pretty much any and every where else I lived was better than what I receive here. Does this influence how I feel about moving back abroad? Better believe it does.

2. A lot of people abroad think that because America is so rich, our health care must be awesome. When I was working with LG as a cross-cultural trainer, the Koreans were astounded that they had longer maternity leave (- 3 months, paid) than I did (- 6 weeks, paid).

3. Our insurance is almost criminal: take my own family for example: we pay almost $400/month for insurance and this non-elective c-section will for the most part NOT be covered. We are easily looking at thousands of dollars, as a "co-pay". Our teeth are considered separate from our body or something and are not part of our insurance; my hearing aids are minimally covered (I paid $3,000 for my current pair).

 

Don't talk about this stuff with a 38-week-pregnant woman. In fact, don't talk about anything with a woman that pregnant, except to ask her if she'd like her feet rubbed, or maybe a glass of… lemonade?

 

We are in Surivval Mode.

*****

Giveaways on right now, right here:

1. "Moxie" onesies – pink, american apparel. Handmade from kudu-lah. 4 winners. Ends tonight (10/18), 11:59, my time (Pacific): open only to the US/Canada

2. Beautiful Conny Wenk 2013 Calendar. This is hard to find here in the US; since Conny will be shipping it from Germany, it's open to the world. Open till 10/22, 11:59 my time.

3. "Moxie" key chain: "Live with Moxie" – handcarved from Carlito's Creations. Open till 10/24, 11:59 my time

 

And: Tea Collection's Inspiring Moms Award:

Do you know a mom who encourages her kids to open their eyes and explore the world across the street or across the globe? If so, then now’s your chance to nominate a mom you know who is so inspiring she deserves an award with Tea Collection's Inspiring Mom Awards contest! Plus, when you submit a deserving mom, you will be entered for a chance to win a $250 Tea gift certificate as a thanks for your nomination!

Launched to celebrate ten years of Tea Collection's globally inspired children's fashion–and to honor moms who embrace the world–the awards will be given in three categories. There will be a mom selected from each of the categories and those three moms will win the distinction of "Tea's Inspiring Mom Award," as well as a $1000 to the charity of her choice! For more information on these awards and to nominate a fellow mom visit:Tea's Facebook page. Hurry, because the nomination period ends 10/23!

 

Meriah
Meriah Nichols is teacher and artist who lives in a yurt off the grid. She is deaf, has 3 kids (one with Down syndrome) and a lot of chickens. She writes about travel, disability, and getting dishes done. She likes her tea Earl Grey and hot.
Meriah

@meriahnichols

#deaf mom, teacher & #disability activist, living in a yurt #offthegrid. 3 kids (1 with #downsyndrome), a camera and a lot of chickens. Never a dull moment
This is a really fantastic idea and tutorial - book mark it! https://t.co/DRNLLzzQpi - 17 hours ago
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11 Comments

  • I love to see your kids rocking in survival mode! I have a funny story about babies in breech position. My Lucy was breech, and I was scheduled for a C-section. Went in at 6 in the morning. There were all kinds of emergencies so it wasn't until about 2 in the afternoon they finally said they would do it. Then, because they had a student nurse there, they wanted to let her look at my belly with the ultrasound. And guess what she found? Lucy had flipped from the time they first checked me that morning! So I had to pack my bags and go home while all the nurses laughed. And she was born on her due date exactly a week later.

  • Love to you my incredibly courageous mama!  Blessings of strength & protection as you bring little Boo into the world.  May it be easy & graceful & safe for you both. Were you able to choose another date for the C-section?

  • 10/24 has always held a special place in my heart.  24 is my favorite number (my birthday is on 7/24), and my grandmother's birthday was 10/24.  I always think of her happily on that day.  🙂  Omg, c'mon, Boo, let's do some somersaults!!!!  (or just one…)

  • Sending you more positive vibes!!  Sounds like you need them today. : )

    Your healthcare system is seriously flawed. When my girl was born it was 3 days in hospital, all meals, diapers, blankets, toiletries provided and when we left: no bill. Just a 'best of luck!' from the nurses. Move to Canada. It's cold but amazing.

    I don't care what anyone says. McDonalds is delicious.

  • OMG! You're freaking me out! What exactly does a waiting list for a c setion looks like? Wait and see if an expectant mom doesn't show up? Wait and see is another expectant mom decides to go natural birth at the last minute? WTH!?!?!?! I've been thinking of you and Boo every day! I hope and pray everything turns out well!

  • Girl, there are far worse things than McDonald's-your kids could be living on Rice Krispie treats or something. A little fast food won't kill them, that's for sure.  (It hasn't killed mine!  LOL)

    Here's to Boo's safe arrival!

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