The way things are, and, walrus butt

AHHHHHHHH!

Melt off… HA!  Now past the official ‘6 weeks’ time frame where I actually am medically allowed to restart my workouts, I’m still sitting in the 180ish area.  I thought I’d get a nice head start by picking it up a couple weeks early but apparently not.  I’m extremely irritated but there’s not much that I can do other than keep trying.  Clearly I’ll have to dedicate myself better to my workouts and modify what I’m eating a bit.  The end of this month will bring me to 11 days in the gym for April thanks to both my late start and the missed weekends (and a few week days even).  That also is a good reason for not getting well into the 170s like I had hoped but more importantly, it means I missed the cutoff to have my insurance cover my gym dues by ONE DAY.  Yuck.

My 6 week appointment went well – if you count TOTALLY spacing on the whole point of why I even scheduled the appointment as ‘well’.  I could’ve kicked myself when I got home but I’m not that flexible.  See, my left knee is messed up.  I can’t kneel on it because it shoots pain as if there is a grain of sand sitting under my kneecap.  I can even feel the electric nerves shooting as I shave my legs past that spot on my knee.  I can make the whole thing tingle just by pushing on my kneecap – which is oddly way more fun than it probably should be.  Anyway, it happened as the swelling from the pregnancy went down and while I highly doubt my OB would have any clue what it was, I was hoping he’d send me in the direction of a specialist that would.  He might have, if I had brought it up.  Instead I spent the appointment making small talk while checking off the apparently overdue papsmear from my chart.

I did mention that my incision had gotten some more red spots and that I thought perhaps it was hair growth issues.  The only problem with that was that by the Friday that I went in, those spots had pretty much healed themselves and I pretty much just looked like an idiot saying anything about it when everything right then and there looked fine.  My very kind OB looked extremely uncomfortable as he suggested that if it was bothering me I could pack some gauze over it as especially as the weather got warmer the area could be getting irritated.  His discomfort was justified as it is probably not every day that a guy would try to get away with telling a postpartum woman that her belly looks like a walrus butt and the fact that it is hanging there could be irritating the underside of the skin.  Thankfully that is not the issue (the irritation, not the walrus part, that’s still true) but I don’t blame him for trying to come up with something to placate me since my real issue must’ve sounded pretty left field for him as there was no longer any redness where I was claiming it to be.

If you missed going out with me on Friday night, rest assured that there was only a very small party because only one friend was able to make it out for the night.  We opted to not actually go out afterall as she had a little one and it was just the two of us.  Instead I went over to their place and got to see aborable little Evan (http://morrisonbaby.wordpress.com) and play some Rock Band with her and her husband.  Thank you Jeanette for a very fun night!  I’m still looking to put something together though – I’m thinking a night when we can maybe meet up at a coffee place with some games and play and chat there.

As for the boys – it’s been awhile since I’ve heard much (ahem, guys, pictures?  As if you’re busy or something over there…) but what I did hear last was that they were well over 8 pounds back on the 17th.  At that rate, it is possible that they were over 9 pounds by their due date and, um, it is a good thing I wasn’t still pregnant with them!  I also can’t tell who is who in the pictures that J sent a few weeks ago as they are getting closer in weight.   J said their temperament is still very different so in person it is still much easier to tell.

My hunt for a new intended parent to carry for has not had any finds as of yet.  I’m learning that it is very difficult to really get the word out as even with good friends it is hard to go up to them and say “Hey, any fertility problems that you haven’t felt the urge to share with me?”  I haven’t been hit yet either so the people that I have mentioned anything to must not have been terrifbly offended, or the fake glasses I was wearing hoping no one would whack a 4-eyes worked.

On Thursday this week we have the orientation to PACT for our kids.  Yep, our kids, as in both.  Gavin got into PACT as well.  (There were 9 open spots and 8 siblings on the list of 200 kids wanting to get into 5th grade so as a ‘sibling’ now it turned out to have been a sure thing.)  I had a difficult choice to make with his acceptance.  Put him into yet ANOTHER new school for the 2nd year in a row and hope that the smaller school and consistancy all the way to 12th grade would make for a better school for him or leave him in the school he is in now to not shake him all up again.  Even though as people I’ve really liked the teachers he has had at his current school, the school as a whole drives me a bit insane.  I’m not really sure why as other than the nurse they’ve all been very nice to me.  I think the principal is actually afraid of me as she goes way out of her way to sooth anything she can.  I get the distinct impression I’m being dealt with as something extremely flamable – which in the case with Gavin and his school is probably a pretty accurate assessment.  Any ‘good school’ thoughts you can send towards having a great orientation with the kids would be greatly appriciated.  I’m really hoping Gavin makes a friend with some of the other new kids that will be there.

blog-keeping

Just some general blog stuff – I’ve added a couple of blogs on the right, Jen, Cyn, and antropologa.  I also updated Sara’s blog link.

Now I have to go get lunch because I am cash-less and they don’t take credit cards in the cafeteria here.

Below the yellow line

The biggest loser, I am not.  Not even close.  My first week of being back at the gym and I’ve lost a total of 1 pound.   Honestly, I’m happy with even that because most of this week I’ve been actually over my ‘181’ starting weight for the week.  The assumption, of course, is that it has something to do with my body adjusting to working out again and the stress of the workouts.  I know my feet regained a good amount of their swelling that lasted until Monday even though I didn’t make it into the gym on Sat or Sun.  Hopefully things are adjusting back now though.  I know one thing, I’m a wuss in the gym now!  Wow does that elliptical take it out of me, and I’m just on level 9.  I can’t even imagine level 14 like I was using.  I was looking forward to hitting some runs this summer but it may take longer to get the endurance back up than I had thought.

It’s a short post today.  Sorry – I’m not feeling the greatest.  I’ve got my 6 week postpartum appointment coming up on Friday (my due date) and I’m hoping something can be done about the fact that my incision is not healing well at all.  I’m pretty sure that once it stops hurting, it isn’t supposed to re-start.  It should probably also not be quite so red.  Yay for csections, huh?

That said, Friday is my due date and I would really like to get out and have some fun that night.  The alternative, I think, would be to sit at home by myself and be somewhat depressed and lonely so getting out would be good.  Why depressed and lonely?  Because it is significantly less exciting to NOT be the center of attention for everyone when you are approaching your due date.  Especially the exciting part when you are actually in the hospital giving birth.  Instead I will be at home thinking, holy crap this is boring.  I don’t want that.  SO – who is up for a fun night out???  I’m open to suggestions for places too but yes, Jen, alcohol is allowed. LOL!  You have heard that I’m not pregnant anymore, right?  (Clarification that I am speaking to the Jen that I knew in college and commented on my facebook status, not the blogging Jen that I’ve recently gotten to know, although that Jen is certainly invited as well.)

After Friday… I may actually take down the pregnancy ticker.  Maybe.

My family

015-final

We had this picture taken about a year ago.  It took awhile, but I got the digital copy to post up here finally!    Kris and I got married out at the ren fest with everyone in full costume.  We go out generally once each year when it opens in late summer and of course, we all have fun.

This studio is a lot of fun to work with.  After they take the pictures they paint over them a bit.  Kinda spendy, but this family shot was partially paid for because Jessie won the kid’s photo contest the year before with her individual picture.  (And that picture was used as an ad for the studio at a local mall for a bit!)  If you’re interested, look them up.  Radamacher Studio in Prior Lake, MN.

What does it take to be a friend?

Message from my fat cells received loud and clear:  Get down to the 150s once, good for you.  Down to the 150s twice?  We’ll just see!

Yesterday I hit the elliptical for 30 minutes on my way home from work and then this morning I walked another 30 minutes at 3.5 MPH.  It’s kinda a toss up for which one is more ‘taking it easy’ for the whole csection thing as the elliptical is more ‘work’, but the walking is more jarring for my body.   I know I won’t be running any time in the next couple of weeks due to the surgery but even if I hadn’t had that I think I’d put it off until I’ve got my legs a bit more flexible.  The actual incision is starting to bug me again, which is annoying.  More annoying?  The 182 that I got on the scale this morning.  Um, wrong direction, dumb scale.

I’m going to approach a topic that I’ve been avoiding on my blog due to the audience of this blog.  In not wanting to offend anyone, I’ve not said anything about this.  The thing is, it is entirely focused on me and not anything anyone has said or done specifically (well, at least, not anything that anyone has said or done that was offensive or wrong.)  The other thing is, it is a HUGE part of surrogacy from what I’ve heard so it deserves some mention.  I will try to keep it brief though as I think I could write a lot on this.

A part of the matching process asks both intended parents and surrogate what their expectations are regarding contact after birth.  At least, in a well formed match it should be.  This is one point that initially P, J, and I did not actually agree on.  They wanted little more than shared photos from time to time (according to the match sheet) and I was looking for, well, more.  I was looking for a match with someone that I’d become friends with.  A family that would welcome me in as a person, not as a person contracted to deliver a service.  When I read this on the match sheet I contacted the agency and said I didn’t think it would work out.

Now, after having spent some time in the internet world of surrogacy, I’ve learned that this is honestly the biggest issue that I’ve seen between IPs and surros.  The vast majority that I’ve seen have, in fact, formed great bonds of friendship that last well into the years after the children have been born.  I’ve been told my exposure has been a bit off from reality as most drift apart, mostly due to geographical distances.  I have, however, seen a lot of pain and heartache from the other side too.  Women that were told there would be a lot of contact, women that grew to love the IPs, and were then never spoken to again as soon or very soon after the pregnancy was over.  The thing is, even with all the things you can contract about, you simply can’t contract about that.  Even if everyone is being totally honest (with each other as well as themselves) it is impossible to know how you will actually feel when it is all said and done.  Minds and feelings can change.  It is the big scary unknown that you take on when you do a surrogacy with someone you did not know at all before matching.  For that matter, I would guess it is something that is unknown even if you are close friends before the matching because, like I said, no one really knows how they will react at the end.

In my specific situation, the agency really wanted our match to work out so they spoke with P and J about my concerns and ‘cleared up’ the meaning for all of us regarding contact after.  As the agency explained it, there was a misunderstanding regarding ‘contact’ and the concept of wanting to rather co-parent (aka open adoption type relationship) vs continued friendship.  My IFs confirmed that they were completely open to a maintained friendship type of relationship, they were just worried about the surrogate wanting to participate in raising their child(ren).  Everyone happy again, we matched and here we are.  (I have my hands full with my own children and while holding scrunchie babies and possibly feeding a bottle from time to time greatly appeals to me, I have no desire at all for the responsibility of giving enough attention to someone else’s children that they, the children, would consider me a stable part of their lives.)

Now, as I said in the beginning, P and J have not actually done ANYTHING to make me think that they don’t intend to, indeed, want to, follow through with that.  I have, however, in my mind been struck by the vulnerability that a surrogate enters once the pregnancy is over.  I have nothing for them at this point.  I’m not even delivering milk as some surros do so the value of my friendship at this point is resting on nothing more than the sparkling quality of my personality.  Certainly it is not bound by something as solid and unyielding as ‘your children are growing inside my body.’  While I try to put forth a confident front, I’m never all that confident about my value as a friend.  Honestly, I’m actually a kinda bad friend in that I get very absorbed into my own life and don’t pay nearly enough attention to the others in my life just for the sake of paying attention to them.   Generally in my life, things like changing jobs means never seeing those I used to spend every day with and share all ups and downs of life with, again.  I’ve never mastered the art of holding a close friendship through years of not having a specific reason to see someone each day.  As such, I’m always extraordinarily thankful for those friends that I do still have from college because I’m pretty sure that it is them doing most of the work and then forgiving me for dropping the ball when I do.

This whole history adds together to make one very awkward me.  Not only am I coming at this with a nagging worry that P and J initially SAID they didn’t want contact after and that some surros do, indeed, encounter IPs that are simply not comfortable having a lasting reminder in their lives that their children grew in someone else’s womb, but I don’t have the skills that are required anyway in holding together a long term friendship.  Truth be told, this is important to me so I’m really struggling in learning those skills.  I have a suspicion that there is a difference between contacting someone often enough to stay in touch and actually stalking them.  It is a bit like climbing mount Everest for me as the whole ‘don’t scare the new parents’ and ‘give them time to be a family’ and all that make for something that would be complicated even for someone with the sophistication to handle normal social situations.  Me?  Toddler birthday parties put me on edge.  I’m hoping that over time things will fall into a natural rhythm – and that it happens before P and J decide I’m just a tiny bit too pushy (whatever) and start screening all their calls.  In the meantime, I find myself  calling and leaving messages in the spirit of Monica from Friends: “This is me, Robyn, just being breezy!”  And yes, the dorkiness kinda makes me want to gag, just a little.

Don’t quit your day job

AKA, my life as a movie critic.

But first, something completely normal for my blog:

Happy 1 month little guys!

You know that first big step you take towards something new?  How you’re all fired up and looking forward to whatever it is?  I was so excited about my first day to get back to working out yesterday.  I was pretty sure it would change.  the.  world.  At least, my world.  Maybe I was thinking I’d go work out and, abracadabra, my old pants would fit.  I’m not sure.  I do know that I was thinking my weight check this morning would reward my trip into the gym.  Not so much.  181.  Still. 

And now for something completely different.

As I mentioned, I wanted to talk about the Watchmen movie.  It seems there is a philosophy that is part science, part theology, about the world and a watch.  Now, I looked this up and the formal argument is actually the opposite of the theory of evolution.  That something with ‘intelligent design’, such as a watch, must have had a maker.  Contrary to common misconception, as a pagan I am not, in fact, an atheist and thus I have no problem with the concept of a watchmaker.  I happen to believe that it is not a given for how the world formed because I also believe complex things can just happen because they do, not because ‘someone’ wanted them to.  Anyway, this gets away from the actual point.  The philosophy out there correlates the world to a complex design and states that there must be a watchmaker to have created it.  If you can re-make this watch, you can become for humanity purposes, god.  René Descartes worked at something akin to breaking down humanity into those watch parts so that it could be put back together just right. 

If you put the watch together, then you get to define humanity.  You get to define what is right and what is wrong and indeed, what makes right right and wrong wrong.  These ‘Watchmen’ were, to that extent, the watch creators.  So here you have a bunch of superheros and the world thinks ‘superman, save us’ but the reality of a superhero is that it is not possible for anyone to be always morally right all the time.  It is not even possible for everyone to agree on what is morally right all the time.  So what if the ‘villian’ is right?  What if the person that defines ‘morality’ differently than you has a better result?  To link this to my previous post, think about the way the population seems so worked up over homosexuality.  What makes ‘right’ ‘right’?  Who gets to decide?

So that was just one part of the movie.  Another part, if you DO get to decide and you are all powerful and basically a god yourself, what happens to your wants and desires?  Would you even care about the world and humanity if you were so far removed from the same constraints of day to day life?  How is your ability to decide on right vs wrong possibly clouded because it doesn’t matter so much to you.  This goes along the lines of ‘power corrupts’ but it isn’t corruption so much as apathy.  Then again, everyone is different and who is to say that the individual that happens to be the one bestowed with this power for whatever reason (Dr Manhattan due to accident, the smartest man in the world due to, I don’t know, genetics… the movie didn’t really say how or why the rest of the watchmen were ‘super’) is going to react in any given way? 

Another part?  Humanity exposed, naked (and in full frontal on a regular basis although reality was a TAD suspended in Dr Manhattan’s endowment) and raw and gory.  Is it so very beautiful?  It can be.  The relations and the randomness that makes everyone who they are.  But it is also very very ugly.  How does someone take such raw materials that are so inherently and randomly flawed and beautiful at the same time, and make something that doesn’t self destruct itself?  How do you let humans make their own choices when their own choices can be so potentially wrong, and still get the desired outcome?  Can you even do it?  What if you do something that you THINK will help get the desired outcome but it doesn’t work and things get worse?

I know – it is just a movie.  I didn’t even read the graphic novel and I wasn’t even all that excited to see the movie.  Kris wanted to see it and it was starting at the right time when we went to the theatre so we just saw it.  My first comment to him when he suggested it was that the superhero guy looks like a cow.   When I read reviews of the movie though that comment on the fight scenes being poorly done or that the plot is weak I want to shake that person and say that if you didn’t get it, sorry for you, but the depth was there for the taking if your brain wanted to make the plunge.  Walking away though, your mind is left chewing on this huge question of philosophy, theology, science, math, politics, randomness, beauty and human nature.  At the end of  it all I keep coming back to thinking “what makes right right?”  I cannot answer that any other way than to say that we just have to go by how it feels as an individual choice and hope for the best.  Keep your mind open, be willing to consider a full world where the other person’s concepts are reality, and see where that takes you.  We are, after all, only human, right?

Holy crap

I have been spending my lunch hour browsing the internet while sipping a really really horrible mocha (but it was FREE, people – mix a hot chocolate packet from our work ‘coffee’ station with some of the gross, stale, doesn’t-even-smell-good coffee also from said station) and eating my standard work lunch of spinach salad, cup of soup, and a cookie.  This is my life, people, don’t laugh.

I ran into something nearly impossible to miss today called “Amazonfail”.  Google it, if you must, because I don’t feel like linking it.  The basics are that somehow Amazon made a goof in the metadata (the stuff that sorts out everything you search for) categories and put ‘gay’ as well as a few other things into the ‘porn’ category so that it wouldn’t show up on regular searches.  As you might imagine, this pissed off the ‘gay people have rights too’ group (which I dare say should be everyone in the universe even though it is not) who were angered at not only the loss of revenue to the authors of said material but the general societal message that every pissed off committee group has to look for that the gay and lesbian community is obviously a porn-crazed, oversexed, mind numbingly inappropriate group of people.  (Gosh, if they knew how corrupt I am compared to P and J I’m pretty certain Amazon would NEVER have even accidentally sent out that message.  I mean seriously people, they GIGGLED at seeing the twin’s privates on ultrasound.)

So from there I meandered across a link about the end of the world and legalized gay marriages which I figured would prove some entertaining ‘bad-mocha-drinking’ reading material.  THEN, people, then I found the link below.  Yes, “Connecting the Dots: The Link Between Gay Marriage and Mass Murders” is actually the title.  I’m not even making that up.  I had to share this.  My blog title – holy crap – is exactly what this is.  Crap.  Holy crap.  But see, it is so obviously crap, that I had to share it because whenever I wonder how in the world ANYONE could think that gay marriage is a bad thing and that the world will come to an end because, really, people might be allowed to get married out of love and commitment and not out of a desire to get jiggy in the bedroom, I can go back and read this. 

Christians, it seems, have for all of time taught to LOVE your neighbor and NOT to kill your neighbor.  Christians, it seems, have taught that murder is very very very wrong.  All of them.  For all of time.  This ‘post christian world’  (Gosh that made ME giggle to write) is all over killing people and child porn and unwed pregnant teens (Cripes, who the hell was this ‘Mary’ person they keep talking about in December anyway?) and taking advantage of women (Oh, I’m sorry, they actually said ‘trafficking in women’ – I just thought the taking advantage of women pointed out the hypocrisy better).    Yes people, this is all really correlated to a world in which we allow committed, stable, family relationships between two people in love, EVEN if they don’t want to have heterosexual relations.  And, let me just point out, CHRISTIAN PEOPLE have NEVER EVER EVER even considered such sins as wars or treating subgroups of people as less than worthy of respect.

For the record, I’m not saying Christians are inherently bad.  I’m saying that they are not inherently good just because they define themselves as Christian.  I’m also saying that it is so ironic that someone, with a straight face, could even insinuate that there is no blood on Christianity’s history, that I nearly snorted bad mocha out my nose.

http://www.christiannewswire.com/news/904759988.html

Tomorrow, I will dissect the Watchmen movie for you.  Because it makes my brain twist in knots. Also, who wants to watch the new Star Trek movie with me?  I could probably see it with my husband but he isn’t a Trekkie and couldn’t possibly appriciate the Star Trek movie as much as he really should.