When you're infertile people constantly piss you off for various reasons. There is the regular spectre of assvice, Child Bores, Smug Pregnants, and that co-worker that chews crisps so loudly that one is driven to blissful thoughts of said co-worker's head on a spike. That was the basis of my blog pre-P., and let me tell you, this shit doesn't get any better. Sure, the irritating things are no longer centred around my lack of ability to have a child, but they are now replaced by my hang-ups as a new parent and recovered (however temporary) infertile.
Issue 1: The size of P. As some of you may recall, P. only weighed 5lbs 14ozs at birth. She was born at 36 weeks, so I think she was entitled to be born a bit on the small side. Somehow this means that people can constantly comment on how small she is. If I had a dollar for every time someone screeches, "Oh! She's such a dink!" or "She's a dinky little one, isn't she?", I'd have a blog on Typepad rather than Blogger and it would have a template much more interesting than this one.
I know these are just statements of fact. She is small. However, I don't need to be reminded of this all the time. I know I'm paranoid, but given our feeding issues and the fact that my body failed her then and my body was unable to provide her with a full gestation, being told how small she is feels like an admission of that failure. Some people, even family members, actually call her "Dink". This friggin' kid is going to have a complex way before I get a chance to fuck her up.
Issue 2: P.'s middle name. Yes, it is traditionally a boy's name. This does not preclude me from being able to give this name to my daughter. When she was born and her name was announced to family, both sides decided to enlighten us as to the traditional gender association of this name. We still hear it, and the birth certificate proves that she well and truly has this name now. My Mom went so far as to tell us that she "didn't mind" that we gave P. this middle name, as if it was ever up to her in the first place. Thanks Mom, you're all heart. Others have told us how much they like her first name, but "don't think they really care for" her middle name. Who tells new parents this? Well, our families obviously, but shit...do people have no tact?
Issue 3: Breastfeeding. Yep, that old thing again. I won't talk of how much I hate it, but I will mention the incredible assvice that comes at me from all sides. MIL found it her responsibility to tell me that P. probably wouldn't breastfeed because of nipple confusion, as if she's a qualified lactation consultant now. This was said to me multiple times after I had my horrible breastfeeding experiences, which of course have led to more feelings of failure. I spent countless hours trying to get P. to latch on before I introduced the bottle, you know, so she wouldn't starve, yet the simple answer was nipple confusion. Of course! A breakthrough!
My Mom factors into this segment of assclowns and fuckwittery as well because giving assvice is what moms do best, or mine anyway. My Mom was on the receiving end of tearful telephone calls from me about failing to breastfeed when I got out of the hospital, and knew that I had more or less come to terms with the fact that I could only provide breast milk for P. if I pumped. However, when she visited, this did not stop her from assailing me with breastfeeding advice despite my pleas to shut.the.fuck.up (said somewhat more politely...at first). I thought she got the hint after I shouted at her that I had done all this for every single feed in the hospital for a week. Altogether, I saw about 20 midwives who consulted on the problem in P.'s first week. My mother, unless she has a secret life I'm not aware of, is also not a lactation consultant. Perhaps she and my MIL can hit the road and offer crappy breastfeeding advice and wisdom to frazzled and depressed new moms.
Issue 4: Blue clothes does not equal boy. Yeah, I know babies all look the same. Boys, girls, who can tell? I went to high school with a few people of debatable gender, so I'm well aware that in the very early stages these things all look the same. Why can't girls wear blue? I sometimes put blue onesies on P., and when people ask how old my little boy is I of course set them straight. Well, you'd think I'd just committed the poor wee thing to a lifetime of therapy with my clothing choices because they look at me as if I am mad. Their eyes plead, "But she's a girl! Pink! Pink! Pink!" I think it's pathetic that we've been conditioned to start them off in such defined gender roles from birth. If my memory serves, it's the Victorians that are to be blamed for this. Uptight bastards.
Issue 5: Moms who lose the postnatal weight immediately. Good for them. The "but" comes in when they brag and marvel to other new moms at how quickly and easily the weight fell off. As I mentioned in my previous post, I have been attending weekly meetings with the group from my antenatal class. I thought it would totally not be my scene, but so far, so good. However. There is always a "however" with me when I say something positive. Anyway, there is a woman in the group I will call Miss Priss. Miss Priss is a GP's wife, and well...she lives up to the cliche of the doctor's wife. I know there are some doctor's wives that blog and read my tripe as well, and I of course don't mean you.
So, Miss Priss shows up at a meeting a week and a half after giving birth. One of the other women mentions how fabulous Miss Priss looks so soon after having her baby. Miss Priss, barely able to contain her excitement, gives a big toothy smile and says, "I know! I was so surprised that my stomach went back to normal so quickly! Look, (:::lifts shirt to bare her stomach:::) it's flat! It must have been all the swimming I did when I was pregnant! My husband says that he's never seen a stomach so flat so soon after birth!" After vomiting into my massive, swollen cleavage, I quickly shoved one of the brownies on offer into my gaping maw. Who needs swimming and flat stomachs when you can enjoy moist brownies?
But really, who says these things when in the presence of women that still have baby guts? I call mine the Pipgut, and it doesn't seem to want to shift for anyone. I know eating brownies is not the answer, but this is what I do when faced with physical ideals. Where is the logic in that exactly? So, to change one of my favourite lines in Sex in the City: "Fuck that fucking face girl.", I will say, "Fuck that fucking stomach girl." I showed her. She may have a flat stomach less than two weeks postpartum, but I am foul-mouthed and eat brownies. Consider us even.
That's all I've got. I'm annoyed by many more things, but apparently my brain snuck out with the placenta during birth because I can't remember them. I'm sure more assclowns and fuckwits will surface soon, so stay tuned.