Tag Archives: pregnancy

Pomp and Circumstance

7 May


Ok. Not the classiest lead-in, but I’m just so fucking excited.

I know that everyone thinks their graduation is special, just like everyone thinks their baby is cute. I know that 95% of us are wrong. But let me tell you why our graduation tonight is the most specialist, amazing, wonderful accomplishment EVER!

First things first: You’ll notice that I used the third-person possessive pronoun “we.” Tonight, both Buddy and I walk for our degrees. He’s graduating with his Bachelor’s, and I with my Master’s. That’s a BFD (“Big Fucking Deal”) in and of itself: save for couples in the exact same degree program, I’ve never heard of a husband and wife graduating in the same ceremony. So that’s pretty cool.

The road to tonight was paved with bullshit and challenges. I know, I know: everyone says that. Everyone thinks their education was difficult. But they didn’t go through what we went through to get here.

Buddy started college just like everyone else: straight out of high school. A student by day, soldier by weekend, he soon learned that the military trumped college. On three separate occasions, the military deployed him, causing him to pause his education. The first time, he lost a semester. The second time, he lost four semesters. The third time, he lost two semesters before he began working on online classes during the deployment. All the while, he was diagnosed with Adult ADD, and had to struggle through the obvious road blocks to overcome the ADD and flourish in school. PTSD decided to rear its ugly head, and that fucked with his ability to concentrate and succeed in the classroom. Then we got pregnant. He stopped being a full-time student and went to work. Buh-buy, semester! Once the baby came, we decided it would be economically advantageous for him to resume his studies and stay home with the kid. His last three semesters were spent working during nap times and late into the night, around the baby’s schedule. In spite of the military; in spite of the PTSD and ADD; in spite of being a full-time Stay-At-Home-Daddy, he finished last week. He’s officially a college graduate.

Graduate school was not at the top of my priority list. I applied because my professional mentor and friend, Super Teacher, forced inspired me to. Right as my first semester began, we bought a house. Buddy was deployed, so I was doing all the house-hunting, inspection-supervising, and document-signing. Oh, and all the packing and moving and unpacking, too. Trust me, it wasn’t fun to do my reading on my bed because my desk was packed, and the couch was covered with boxes. But we moved, and we settled, and Buddy returned from the deployment. Hurdle number one: conquered. I kicked ass for another semester, but at the beginning of the following semester, I learned I was pregnant. I was tired, irritable, bitchy, and unmotivated. Suffice it to say, I wasn’t pleasant to teach or collaborate with. The semester of my last trimester, I only took one course just in case the monkey decided to arrive early. I was so pregnant and fat that I hardly fit into the desks at my university. When the baby was born, I took the next semester off to be with her. (Good call on my part, because I don’t know how I would have passed my courses with the 6 nightly feedings and 2 hours of sleep I was dealing with.) By the time that ended and I was due to return to school, I was so under-motivated that I was pathetic. All I wanted was to stay home with the kid and play; work and school meant shit to me. Already deep in debt from the previous semesters and six classes from graduating, I said, “FUCK IT” and pushed on. My last semester, I had an administrative internship apart from my teacher responsibilities, and I slaved away on superfluous tasks night and day for five months. Some days, I wouldn’t even see the kid, since she was asleep when I left for work, and asleep when I got home from class later that night. Let’s not even discuss my near-nervous breakdown, because we already covered that shit in a previous post.

Let’s recap: between Buddy and me, we served in the military, bought a house, struggled with our mental health, made the baby, baked the baby, had the baby, and raised the baby, all while attending school. Tonight, when we walk, we’re walking in spite of our obstacles. We’re sporting our caps and gowns (and me, my hood) for every life event that threatened to derail our education.


Where did my “Give a Fuck” go?

31 Mar

Fuck. My brain hurts from all this homework.

I’m finishing up my Master’s degree in Administration. Literally, finishing up. I graduate in six weeks, and you bet your ass I’m counting down every second, every class session, every assignment until the end.

Why the fuck am I doing this? I don’t even want to be an administrator one day! That job sucks. How did I get here?

A few years ago, my dear friend and mentor, Super Teacher, encouraged me to apply for a Master’s program. At the time, I was a fledgling first-year teacher. I had no kids. I rented a home, didn’t own. I really had nothing else going on in my life aside from my easy, carefree marriage. I thought, “Why the hell not? I can do this. I’ll sure as fuck take the pay raise!” I researched different graduate programs, and determined that a) I’d make a kick-ass administrator, as I’m a Take-No-Shit kind of gal, and b)  the Administration degree looked easiest; it has a final portfolio in lieu of a Master’s Thesis. So I applied for the program (even though the requirements stipulated that I had to be IN my third year of teaching), and I was accepted.

I charged ahead. I took a heavier-than-average load. I rocked straight A’s for the first time in my life. I was kicking grad school’s ass and making it my bitch.

And then I got pregnant.

We weren’t deliberately trying to have a baby, but it happened none-the-less. My trimesters and semesters aligned a little too perfectly. My first trimester, which was a fall semester, I was useless. I was tired and cranky and über hormonal. Staying awake through evening classes after teaching a full day was nearly impossible. I received my first A- that semester; bye bye, 4.0 GPA!

My second and third trimesters were during the following Spring. I was large, I was hungry, and I was still a cranky bitch. I was finding it impossible to schedule my ever-increasing OB appointments around work and school. My blood pressure was skyrocketing from the stresses of teaching and being a grad student. And let’s be honest: even as a pregnant mother, my priorities were shifting. My “Give a Fuck” was almost nil. I earned my first “B” that semester. Bye bye, Magna Cum Laude.

After the baby was born, I took the summer semester off to be with her and recuperate. Once the next fall arrived, I was back in the swing of things: teacher by day, student by night, and Mommy whenever the hell I found a spare moment. With my “Give a Fuck” completely gone, I wondered why the hell I was still working toward my Master’s. I definitely didn’t want to be an administrator now. I barely even wanted to work. I just wanted to stay at home with my Pterodactyl and be a full-time Mommy.

Then Daisy reminded me of something: I had spent an ass-load of money on tuition and books, not to mention thousands of hours studying and in class. I had dedicated too much of my life to this program to back out now. I looked objectively at what I had accomplished and what I had left to do. I was one semester away from graduating. I decided right then, come Hell or high water, that I was going to finish this fucking degree and graduate.

So here we are. I’m six weeks away from graduation. My internship is almost over. I have two classes left to attend. There are about 5 or 6 assignments, collectively, left to submit. My cap, gown, and hood have been ordered. Shit, I even got to order an honors medallion, something that undergraduate Violet only dreamed of. (That’s right, Friends: I’m graduating Summa Cum Laude!) I’m writing this post as a way to procrastinate from doing some research for a paper I’m writing, and guess what? I don’t Give a Fuck. What I’d rather be doing is visiting the local pool with my little one, taking her swimming in the infant pool, which is only 6 inches deep. THAT’S how I want to spend my Saturday; not cooped up in front of my computer, but experiencing life with my kid. Every instinct in me is telling me to close the laptop and play with Pterodactyl, but then I have Daisy’s nagging voice in my head: “You’re so close! Buck up and finish, already!”

Thank you, Daisy, for keeping my lazy ass on track.

Thank you, Super Teacher, for inspiring me to start my Master’s degree in the first place.

And fuck you both for not letting me quit.

Mommy Message Boards

15 Mar

After the sixth pregnancy test, I did what most twenty-first century Moms do: I went online and joined a pregnancy message board. It’s not something I would have normally done, but a close friend, who also happened to be pregnant, suggested it. Turns out, it was pretty fun. I enjoyed having a place to anonymously complain about the ins-and-outs of pregnancy. I liked hearing that other women were as constipated as I was. It made me feel better to learn that other couples were arguing over baby names, too. And yes, the catty little bitch-fits of “breast-feeders vs. formula feeders” kept me entertained while my fat ass was holed up on the couch.

After Pterodactyl was born, I continued to visit the site. Every mommy seemed to be on there at 3am. Like me, they were doing the mid-night zombie thing while feeding a colicky newborn. We shared our labor and delivery stories, and “oohed” and “aahed” at the lengths to which the others went to push a baby out.  When my breastfeeding attempts ended, I received plenty e-reassurances to make me feel like less of a failure. I’ve even made two “real” friends off the site, although due to the several thousand mile distances, we’ve only ever talked on the phone. These two mommies actually transitioned to my Facebook friends. (And I’m not one of those people who has all sorts of random strangers on her Facebook; I have fewer than 150 friends total, from high school, college, grad school, and work.)

I highly recommend joining one of these sites, for the aforementioned reasons. But take heed: some of these sites are just breeding grounds for stupidity, judgment, and internet trolls. While I was fortunate that my group of April 2011 mommies on What to Expect were some bad-ass chicks, other boards were not so blessed. I peeked in on the other boards, and some of those women are just bitchy bullies looking for victims. Think about it: if you’re on a pregnancy or new-mommy message board, the entire patronage of the website is women with an abundance of hormones. That’s a brew for evil, under normal circumstances.  I got lucky with my group of gals. You may not.

I’ll tell you who these sites are not for. They’re not for:

  • The overly-judgmental. By definition, you’re going to meet a slew of people from different backgrounds, socio-economic statuses, religions, political affiliations, and cultures. They’re going to do shit differently from you. If you can’t deal with that, or if you’re quick to condemn different lifestyles, stay away.
  • The easily-offended. If you plan to ask for advice or offer opinions, you’re likely to encounter someone who’ll say something you disagree with. The comment may be outright hurtful. I told you, there are catty bitches on these sites! If you’re inclined toward hurt feelings, don’t join a mommy blog.
  • Preachers. No, not people of the cloth; people with loud opinions. If you’re on a crusade to make everyone a vegetarian like you, or to convince people of the evils of disposable diapers, then you’re going to be met with aggression on Mommy forums.
  • Friend-Hunters. You mustn’t join a Mommy-board to make 196332 BFF’s. You’re just setting yourself up for disappointment if you join up thinking you’re going to walk away with sisters. This ain’t a sorority house. Most of these women want a place to anonymously vent, then go about their days. I was lucky to meet the two cool chicks that I met. Were they in my state, or vice versa, we’d probably have gotten together. I’m not buying a plane ticket to meet them or anything, but I do consider them “friends.” Do NOT expect that to happen for you, but if it does, cool shit.
  • Bullies. Nobody wants to deal with your shit. If you have aggression problems, go to therapy. Don’t bring your meanness to the mommy boards.

The unity of a collective due date brought us together. Almost a year later, the message board has died out some. Most of us are extremely busy with our almost-toddlers and life in general. But it’s nice to have an e-Cheers to go where everybody knows my name. When my kid enters a new and annoying phase, I can poll other women with 11 month olds to see if they’ve experienced the same headaches I am dealing with, and how they handled it. I’m sure that a year from now, save for another pregnancy, I’ll rarely visit www.whattoexpect.com, but the past 18 months of posts and e-friendships made it all worthwhile.

(Daisy Edit – As soon as I found out I was pregnant with Diva & Intuitive, (before I knew there were two of them!) I joined the now defunct AOL message boards. I am still great friends with many of those ladies, and that was 7.5 years ago! That message board was a great support system! We had our share of highs and lows.. from healthy babies to stillborn babies. Those relationships were amazing, and I am so happy I joined.)

What mommy message boards have you joined? Did they suck ass? Were they awesome? Tell us about them!

© Daisy and Violet 2012. All Rights Reserved.

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