meals for mommy: crock pot
its been quite a while since I've added any recipes to my "meals for mommy" series. My delay is partly because I'm not a chef and I'm still a mom. I cook nearly every night and it's always something quick or easy. Unfortunatley, It's not always both but hey we win some right!! You can trust that anything I share will be delicious, but again disclaimer: I'm no chef or food photographer. So just trust me!! Everything here is for the regular schmegular parent... Like me!
A rainbow story
My daughter is a rainbow baby. This a little known fact. I didn't want to share my first pregnancy loss when it happened. There was no pregnancy announcement. I actually didn't know I was pregnant the first time until I was already experiencing the pains of miscarriage.
I'd had some abdominal pain that was unusual and I hadn't had a menstrual cycle so I thought maybe this was it. The next day, I doubled over in pain and couldn't stand for several minutes. I felt the pains all the way down my legs and I couldn't move. It was so intense that I didn't even want to move my hands. My husband came and sat with me while I breathed through my pain. He was trying to determine if I was experiencing pains from endometriosis, which he had seen before but this looked different. This felt different to me. We decided to go in to see a doctor immediately and I was admitted to the hospital. At week 9 we found out that not only was I pregnant but I was painfully miscarrying and had a cyst burst in my ovary. I was admitted to the hospital and given IV for two days.
Because my husband and I are very private, we chose to go through this process by ourselves. We didn't let our families know where we were. It was just another "busy" weekday/weekend. We stayed "unavailable" for about 2 weeks after that recovering. Our families actually never knew until March 2017, nearly 6 years later, that we had ever had a pregnancy prior to my daughter. I probably would have never shared had I not experienced another miscarriage in February 2017.
This time we knew we were pregnant. The second pregnancy jitters had worn off and the excitement sunk in. We had prepared to trade in our SUV for a larger one with a 3rd row seating. I'd purchased my first batch of maternity clothes and vitamins. I'd just barely started showing but it was much faster than my pregnancy with Zazu. I started playing all the announcement scenarios in my head. I settled on having my daughter's huge superhero birthday bash also be a pregnancy announcement. Hence the clubhouse rental for a one year old.
One day in February, a very inconvenient day (I remember the date but I will keep that for myself) I got up and didn't feel right. I honestly didn't feel right the night before. I told my husband "I just don't feel pregnant anymore". The next morning I woke up with familiar pains. I was preparing for a discussion panel that I was hosting on the racial disparity in infant mortality and all of a sudden I knew. I rushed to the bathroom with my daughter in tow. I Confirmed what I saw and looked in the mirror and told myself it was okay, aloud. Then I yelled down for my husband who was preparing to take me to host this discussion. I let him know what was happening and that I would deal with it later. I know that decision may not sit right with some people but I just felt deep in my spirit that I wouldn't let this crush me. I wouldn't let this take me off track with the importance of the work I had that day. I carried on as if nothing had happened forcing my smile and pushing through the pains and discomfort. It became a little difficult when I got so dizzy I nearly passed out but I was hosting at a hospital so my thought was if anything happened I'm already here.
After the discussion, which was an incredible success, the emotions hit me like a ton of bricks. Much harder than the first time. I didn't want to talk to anyone about anything. I stopped blogging for a while. I posted some previously written material. Other times I just didn't post anything at all. It was hard for my husband and I both.
After the miscarriage everything felt a little excessive. The clubhouse was too much space for a party. I thought, why did I get these clothes in this size? Trading in our car became less of a priority because we didn't really need the space and the rush to upgrade every aspect of our life just seemed depressing. I chose to ignore it...All of it. Unanswered texts, unreturned calls, I cut it all off. I just didn't want to deal with it. I needed my time.
In the midst of my emotions ( or sometimes lack thereof), I sought strength in a conversation I had in 2015. I'd just started a new position in the same department at my old job. In a somewhat casual conversation a coworker shared that he and his wife had recently experience their own pregnancy loss. I just nodded my head thinking back to my miscarriage but too afraid to say I could relate. I just replied with " I hear it's more common than you think". He said "it happens all the time, 1 in 4 pregnancies." He explained to me how they were coping and that their focus was on their son who was healthy and active. Thinking back to that conversation while going through it a second time really helped me.
This conversation in combination with my incredibly supportive husband helped me to figure out my feelings. The most difficult part for me is figuring out how to feel. With so many different thoughts it's hard to really know how you actually feel or what feelings are appropriate. I felt thankful for my daughter but I also was sad. It made me think I was cheating my daughter out of the happy moments she deserved. I chose to be the mother she deserved but to feel what I needed to feel when she went to bed. I didn't want to internalize it all. You must feel it and get it out. For me it didn't mean tears. It was just sadness and anger. I wasn't angry at anyone I was just angry. That's ok. It is ok to feel. I was also argumentative and that isn't ok to me. I allowed my self the time to feel so I became aware of my feelings and very present. I would quickly apologize for my actions, mostly to my poor husband. The awareness that he was also going through his own emotions and experiencing the same loss that I was, was helpful in my healing. I knew that he'd keep his feelings more shielded from me , but I understood that he was being strong for the both of us.
I knew miscarriage was something I likely would experience because I was warned of the effects of my surgeries. Nonetheless, it is one thing to talk about it and another to experience the mental,emotional, and physical affects of loss.
This information is deeply personal and provides a raw personal glimpse into my life. More so than anything else I've written before. Please keep that in mind while reading it because it was incredibly difficult to write and release. However, I believe there is a reason I have this platform, I'm just not sure what it is yet.
Parenting is hard! I've been a parent for all of one year, and I just don't know how people manage.
Its hard to find a good pediatrician
"It's hard to find a good pediatrician. I really like you guys and I would like you to stay"
That's the greeting we received from our current pediatrician at Zazu's 12 month check up a few days ago. Correction- the first thing she said was actually, "Hey little guy! How are you doing buddy?" I said "she's a girl."
It's not uncommon for people to mistake our daughter for a boy because 1. She has short hair and 2. We don't dress her in tutus and dresses every day. Unfortunately, In our overly gendered society we must categorize everything. So she seems to be a boy.
Most societal robots cannot compute this.
No hair *robot shuffle*
no dress * robot shuffle*
Danger Will Robison danger!!! * head explodes*
But the doctors head didn't explode she just turned red. She glanced at her chart and said "of course she is I'm sorry about that. " it was a genuine apology and a somewhat easy mistake. Then she quickly went back to the naughty parents. We missed her last appointment. Zazu didn't see the doc at all for the nine month check up because our car wouldnt start AND my phone broke. I asked my husband to reschedule and he didn't. Husbands don't do what you ask them too. However, I heard him on the phone cancelling it. Then the person in the background told him he needs to call back to reschedule. Unless he was on the phone with Pizza Hut then he cancelled the appointment.
Nevertheless, her pediatrician said we were a no call no show and preceded to tell us we missed our 6 month appointment as well. Now that one got me. I was going to let the first one pass but we actually came and saw another doctor so I told her. Then she corrected me by showing me the appointment book......... I don't know how many " ..." I should put here because I actually had to pause for a second. The rule here is if you kiss three appointments then you are kicked out of the office. It's important to get this corrected so that we don't have to find another pediatrician. I knew I was right so I paused but also I don't like being corrected when I'm right, call me crazy but when people incorrectly "correct" me I always take a pause break to make sure my next response isn't out of line. So, I waited until she left the room and confirmed with my husband that we came to Zazu's 6 month appointment. He confirmed. I'm going to speed this story up a bit so you can get the point of this all. What happened was we missed her 4 month appointment because the office called and said Zazu's insurance wasn't pulling up. We actually came to the appointment on time and sat in the office while the front desk assistant "checked" and "confirmed" she had no insurance. Then I missed the appointment while sitting in the office confirming that she in fact had insurance. I'm not sure that's really my fault. Computer error? Either way it shouldn't count against us.
After some back and forth with the Doctor she said we can work it out with the front desk. Most importantly though, she stated "it's hard to find a good pediatrician and I really want to see you guys stay." Again.
This exchange was annoying but the office made a mistake. The mistake hasn't been corrected yet but im sure it will be. This whole thing made me evaluate her statement though. During this appointment my daughter received her vaccinations. As her parent I have to evaluate why I trust a doctor, and an office, that has made so many mistakes up to this point with my daughters life. They are injecting my child with diseases. I understand that everyone makes mistakes and that human error happens in all fields. However, this is the one field that you don't want any mistakes to be made, but they do. I'm a realist. There were already mistakes made on my daughter when she was born but this wasn't with the pediatrician. Another pediatrician in the office I'm currently with is the one who corrected the mistake and made an attempt to mitigate the damage done. (But not this one.)
This pediatrician has been pleasant. Nonetheless I've had to convince her of everything that has happened with my child up to this point. I've also had to do a fair amount of research to confirm two different conditions that she has in order to get any real solutions. This may be common practice. I'm not sure. My daughter is only one and I've personally only met one doctor I trust with myself. Maybe doctors, including pediatricians, just aren't trusting of their patients. Maybe they have seen so many anxious parents and hypochondriac moms that they just don't trust any of them. However, I still wonder how hard is it to find a good pediatrician. I don't think she should have posed this question to me because at the very least I feel it would be fairly easy to find an equally good pediatrician.
I'm sure I can find a pediatrician who
A. Doesn't know how to pronounce my daughters name
B. Believes me about any issues my daughter has only when I provide overwhelming evidence and extensive research. ( not web MD, but scholarly journals, medical encyclopedias etc)
C. Doesn't know if she is a boy or a girl
D. Can't keep track of her appointments
I wasn't thinking about leaving this office but now I have to evaluate that. Our pediatrician isn't necessarily bad, but is pleasant really enough? Is that all we get? Pleasant. She seems to be a good person but how good of a doctor? These are questions I hadn't asked myself. Is it really that hard to find a good pediatrician? And who says you're good in the first place?