She can say “Dada” and “Baba.” “Baba” is Farsi for “Dad.”
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Published November 30, 2020 by Editor in Chief
She can say “Dada” and “Baba.” “Baba” is Farsi for “Dad.”
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Published August 5, 2020 by Editor in Chief
I’ve started writing jokes again! Here’s what happened:
1) I was very sad.
2) I saw there was a Level 2 online stand-up class available for people with some experience.
3) It was 200 dollars! 200 DOLLARS! In COVID times! Can you imagine?!
4) I asked David if it was okay if I signed up for a $200 class, because I thought it would help force me to write jokes again.
5) He said “mhmm hm mm,” because he was looking at his phone and not paying attention.
6) I signed up for the class.
7) The three week class involved work-shopping your tight five. So I wrote some new jokes. I pulled in some old jokes. I laid out a concept to explore. I was rusty in the first class session. The second session was a 30 minute one-on-one with the instructor. The third session you presented your updated tight five. I pulled together a pretty solid chunk of jokes that came full circle. The instructor said, “Wow you took a concept and fleshed out a whole joke. Amazing, this is why I love teaching this class.” I felt really good about my set. My classmates liked it! Of course they did, classes are so supportive. I love classes. Since then, I’ve cleaned up the jokes further! Every day I’ve made updates!
Last night, I presented my tight five to my comedy group’s online workshop, under the guise of asking for feedback.
Here’s what Tammy said:
“Have you timed this? It feels longer than five minutes.”
CAN YOU BELIEVE TAMMY?
I was like, “Okay well I’m thinking the audience is going to be so engaged, rolling over with laughter, that the host can’t bear to pull me off and will wave me on for ANOTHER five.”
Tammy looked away from her monitor. “You said it was a tight five. Those are five minutes.”
Other people weighed in on feedback for different parts. Every time I said, “I could cut this,” someone would say, “I liked that part, what about cutting ___.” This feedback just confirmed my suspicions that my set is very, very good.
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Published July 16, 2020 by Editor in Chief
Thanks for visiting this site.
Readers, let’s welcome Sophia to the site! *Clap* *Clap* *Clap*
Sophia is a bright light that lives with our very close friends. She has hopes and dreams, which I had too. Follow the dreams Sophia. Because if you don’t, if you stay in a job that you got out of college because it was convenient, and then maybe you thought you were working your way up, but ultimately it was still a place you never thought you would be and the more time you spend there you realize it’s a place you should have left in August 2015, because there was a window there, and now that window is CLOSED LIKE THE REST OF THE WORLD IS CLOSED TO AMERICA, you might not be happy Sophia. It’s important to try your best when you are young.
But you have to try.
You have to try every day. You might think you are trying every day, but writing a blog post once every few months, that’s not every day, Sophia. Joining a comedy group and writing lots of sketches at first and then not-writing when you have a kid, that’s not every day, Sophia.
Do you understand? You have to try every day.
And you have to keep being rational.
Sure, you might think, “What if I am the one who lights the match that torches the house to the left of 1602 Pennsylvania Avenue, with its occupants barricaded inside? I would be a heroine.” This is not rational thinking. Rational thinking uses poison, a woman’s weapon. It’s harder to detect.
And most of all, you have to love.
I guess if everything else feels out of your hands, or some of it is in your hands but you can’t bring yourself to risk not having a salary for an unknown amount of time, you can remember that you love so many people and you have people in your life that really love you. That’s the most important thing.
Anyway, here’s Wonderwall.
Apparently Wonderwall does not appear if you are just reading this on the main site. If you click in to the read the post it does appear though.
Published October 31, 2019 by Editor in Chief
Last week my baby quietly wept as she ate. Having a person latched to your breast and weeping can be pretty devastating, I realized. Gentle sobs are much worse than the loud, angry cries. There is no way to know what is wrong: is it my milk, is it the way I’m holding her, is it that I’m not wearing deodorant? I stopped wearing deodorant after labor because I didn’t know if it was toxic for her to inhale all day. She has been taking in my natural musk, which admittedly is unpleasant.
I don’t think David has noticed the scent change, but he’s not tethered to me. He remains free.
She is tracking objects now, which is super neat. She also seems to pay attention when I hold books in front of her and turn the page. She doesn’t hold things for long yet. She does have long nails and scratches. That’s on me: I’m scared to file her nails. I have scratch marks all over, and I’m fine with that. I do need to file her nails though.
I have no idea if she’s eating enough. She has generous bowel movements, so I assume she is eating well. She also casually spits up milk, which I have read is normal. I do suspect she has acid reflux. I can smell it on her breath sometimes! Other times the smell of her breath is perfect. Any kind of discomfort she experiences or might experience (is she cold? warm? damp? is this shirt material going to bother her? she just farted – but maybe it was a shart and she needs to be changed?) is deeply upsetting to me. Now I know why my parents were/are so empathetic every time I had/have a cold, immediately giving me soothing remedies and checking in nonstop.
I’m super paranoid about her getting a UTI or bladder infection. She poops all the time and sometimes just hangs out in a deeply soiled diaper. She won’t tolerate a wet diaper, but she seems content to sit in her poop so it’s harder to figure out when it has occurred.
Also the Nationals won the World Series! We watched every post season game together, and I can’t wait to tell her when she is older that I only started learning about baseball when she was born, but now I care deeply about it. Three Nationals players also had newborns around her age and delivered at the same hospital! More on that later.
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Published October 20, 2019 by Editor in Chief
To be fair, we are both sick.
Here’s what happened: we went to a wedding on Sunday. That is the only time I was really out in public. We also went to a restaurant Saturday, but I feel we were pretty isolated there. Anyway we went to a wedding on Sunday. Then I stayed home with our beloved while David continued living his best life, playing D&D, working out, playing tennis, going to a baseball game, etc. Tuesday night, I was exhausted and thought, “When David gets home, I will ask David to give her a bottle of expressed milk for her middle of the night feeding.” I was really excited about this plan. David got home after baby and I fell asleep, and when I woke to give him the good news, before I could even say it, he told me his throat hurt and he had bought cover guards to help prevent him from giving the baby a cold. I was really glad he bought guards, but I was not ready for the baby to have a cold. I also got sick soon after David broke the news of his impending cold, so I don’t know if I caught the cold from David or if we caught the cold from the wedding. Our immune systems are compromised, so it was only a matter of time. David keeps repeating how rare it is that we have coughs and runny noses at the same time.
Also yesterday she was really fussy after an excursion to the park. Nothing I did would calm her down. While David napped, I tried feeding her, rocking her, skin to skin, changed her diaper twice, fed again. I was worried this meant she had caught a cold, but I think she might be in a growth spurt. Anyway, when David woke up from almost a TWO HOUR NAP, I said, “David I don’t know what’s wrong,” and he said something to try to be soothing, but I think I heard “Calm down, she’s totally fine,” and I can’t remember how I replied, but it was with extreme displeasure.
Anyway now I have a different dilemma! If she is in a growth spurt, I should wake her up to feed her, but I’m not supposed to wake her up at night. WHAT AM I TO DO!
Also I have to write Thank You notes for all the gifts we have received. Yesterday I tried posing her with one of the toys she received to include with the note, but I can’t decide whether to send the picture. She is propped up (you can see our hand in the photo), with one hand on the toy and her face looking away from the toy in disdain. I feel like the toy is a bit of a nuisance, and her expression seems to reflect that sentiment. We are so on the same page. She is literally the best.
Published October 9, 2019 by Editor in Chief
My beautiful girl is having trouble passing gas. She turns bright red and breathes heavily every time she does it. She also screams. We try cycling her legs, lifting up her legs, and I give her a breast, but nothing seems to work well. And yesterday it felt like she had gas all day.
On Sunday I read somewhere that it could be my diet, but my diet is pretty limited. I don’t drink cow’s milk – only almond milk. I don’t know why. I started doing that for the gestational diabetes. I do eat lactation cookies, because they’re essentially oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, which are delicious. I also have kale smoothies, Greek yogurt, eggs, salad and fruit. That’s pretty much it!
On Monday we went to her one month check-up. We asked about the gas, and the doctor advised we try probiotics. When we asked when and how to administer the probiotic, the doctor asked, “What time do you give the Vitamin D supplement? That’s when you can give her the probiotic.” And we were like, “WHAT VITAMIN D SUPPLEMENT?!” She was very taken aback that we weren’t giving her a Vitamin D supplement, but we did not know we were supposed to be doing this. If you breastfeed, you are supposed to give the baby a Vitamin D supplement. Breast milk is magical, they say, but apparently it’s lacking one thing. My knees and wrists feel awful and standing is difficult – I am now wondering if I also need Vitamin D?
On Tuesday our baby was super alert. We gave her the probiotic around 5pm, and she was very alert all night, not pausing for a nap, and around 11pm she lost her mind, screaming inconsolably until around 2am. David fed her, burped her, changed her diaper, changed her clothes, but she would not be appeased. Tears streamed down her face, and it was devastating because we did not know what was wrong. Finally she fell asleep on me, with both of us terrified that in our fatigue she would fall off. They advise you not to sleep with your child, but these past couple nights she hasn’t been able to fall asleep in her bassinet. They say kids at this age sleep 16 hours a day, but that is not what we are experiencing, unless she’s napping with her eyes wide open like some kind of productivity master.
Now it’s early Wednesday.
Something else that has also happened in Week 4 is that David and I have been I-don’t-want-use-the-word-arguing-but-maybe-that’s-the-right-word. We have been debating pacifier usage, bottle feeding, and I have asked David to make breakfast in the mornings. He thinks I’m holding her too much, and I should put her down, which might be fair, but given how quickly these four weeks have gone, it has dawned upon me that these moments are fleeting, and should something happen to me, I want her to know or vaguely recall she was loved. He also asked why I was so committed to breastfeeding, and I shared that I read that when you breastfeed, the baby’s saliva communicates back to my body if she is fighting disease or needs additional antibodies, and my body creates them for her.
During the one month check-up they also administered a worksheet for me to fill out asking about whether I was “extra anxious for no particular reason.” The response options were: All of the time, Some of the time, Once in a while, and Never, and I was like, “I am anxious all of the time for VERY GOOD REASONS.” David agreed that my disposition had not changed from pre-pregnancy, and we filled in “Once in a while.”
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Published October 3, 2019 by Editor in Chief
People always tell you you are going to be so tired, but they never explain why. Well we are in week 3, and I’m going to try to document what happened in weeks 1 and 2 in case we decide to have another.
Week 1: We left the hospital (I’ll write about labor in another post) and we drove home. Our baby pooped in the hospital, so she was sitting in poop the entire ride home. We changed her, and then she was crying, so I fed her with my breast milk. OR SO I THOUGHT.
The next day (Tuesday) we had our first pediatrician appointment where they weighed our baby. She had lost 10% of her birth weight, which meant I was not adequately providing enough breast milk. Upon hearing this, I started crying, because all through Monday night and early Tuesday morning, I thought I was feeding her. It turns out she was sucking very hard but not getting any milk. Poor thing! She must have thought I was playing a cruel trick every time I presented a teet! And we were both exhausted!
Anyway, upon seeing my tears well up, the pediatrician handed me a tissue box and started writing down the steps we needed to take to get her weight up: I needed to feed for 10 minutes on each breast and then David was to give her formula. “You’ll schedule an appointment for tomorrow, and then probably another one right after that to weigh her and make sure she is being fed,” the doctor said. While the pediatrician is writing this down, and I’m blowing my nose, David whispers to me, “Have you been drinking that broccoli smoothie? Your breath smells terrible!” This is exactly how it happened. He hates the smell of my broccoli smoothies, and it was consuming his thoughts in this moment. “I told you to step drinking that stuff!” he mouthed. Then we went home.
Earlier I had invited her grandparents over on Tuesday and asked them to help us clean-up our home and get the baby room set up. We needed and appreciated their help, but for me this turned out to be a terrible day for it. They arrived right after we got home from the pediatrician. We shared our breast milk problem, and each time I went for my 10 minute feeding for her, they looked at me as though I was a sad, insane person and recommended we just feed her formula rather than carry on this charade.
Wednesday we returned to the pediatrician for another weighing. The pediatrician appeared taken aback by my foul broccoli breath when I asked her my list of questions, but that did not stop me from going through the list. The doctor also said our baby had put on quite a bit of weight, my milk had probably come in, start feeding her less formula, and that they wouldn’t see us for another two weeks. I was excited but not ready to cut the umbilical cord tying us to medical professionals, so I was also nervous. We went home, and for the next couple days any time she drank a lot of formula I was happy she was eating and also very competitive with the bottles of formula that could accomplish in two minutes what it took me +30 minutes to do. I beamed in my heart when she rejected formula.
I don’t remember the rest of the week, only that we fed, changed diapers, and repeated this every two hours. My mom also came over almost every day, and when she had originally told me she had taken a month off of work to help, I was worried this would be too much time together, but it turned out to be amazing. She cleaned our bedroom – a task that I hadn’t been able to accomplish in over 8 years – brought me healthy food and made sure I ate it, and did all the laundry. I’ve been extra emotional and thinking about how much love my parents have for me was always touching, but now it’s extra touching. I’m also extra worried about everyone’s mortality, but I’ll leave those feelings bottled up for now.
Week 2: On Sunday our friends brought over lactation cookies, and I feel like these were a bit of a game changer. First, they’re delicious, so nom nom nom. I feasted on cookies for days. Second, I feel like my milk started really coming in. We also had some questions for the pediatrician, so we scheduled a Monday appointment to cover our list of questions. Week 2 was also exhausting, but less so than week 1. By week 2, our place had come together and was in a state we felt really good about. Before we birthed the light in our lives, I was reluctant to throw anything away. Afterwards, I was open to throwing all the things away, lest the clutter distress her gentle sensibilities.
The pediatrician’s office we go to has a rotation of doctors. We saw the same doctor on Monday that we saw on the previous Wednesday. She has an interesting bedside manner and gave us the impression she does not really care for children. She also said we should avoid going out with the baby for 6 weeks, because if they get sick in the first 6 weeks, it’s bad. David continued to chastise me for my use of broccoli in my smoothies.
David also went out on Monday night to play D&D. This was difficult and I wanted to call him back, but my sister, who was over with my mom at the time to help, discouraged me from doing so. We made it through Monday night, but just barely. On Saturday we had our two week check-in, and a different doctor told us what we wanted to hear: we could go out, just not let anyone sneeze on the baby, and that I didn’t have to wake our baby up to feed her every two hours, but also not to go more than three to four hours without feeding her. This was not a problem, because she does not allow me to go for more than 1.5 to 2 hours without feeding her. We slept little in week 2 as well, but I distinctly recall it being better than week 1.
Week 3: We’re on week 3. I’m glad I’m writing down notes that I remember, because I’m already forgetting a lot of distress from weeks 1 and 2. This week our baby is interested in falling asleep on us. I love this. I can physically feel when my milk has come in – it stings. I’m trying to figure out when to pump to make sure there’s still enough for her when she’s hungry.
Our baby has trouble pooping and farting. It’s a whole thing. She lifts her legs, squirms, cries. We comfort her and try to help, but there’s little that can be done. Also I read that if I’m gassy, she’s gassy. So I don’t know what I ate yesterday, but I was gassy, and I just thought, “Uh oh,” and sure enough she had a rough night. I tried to eat differently today, and I’ve been less gassy. You’re welcome, baby.
Things that have stressed me out this week:
1) She spits up more now. I can’t tell if it’s because I’m overfeeding or because I’m bad at burping her.
2) Burping her.
3) Sids. Sids always stresses me out. I don’t know how it happens, and it sounds like medical professionals don’t either, but I’m always worried about it.
Also I go back and forth between deciding she’s a genius and uh, decidedly not a genius. For example, one day she was amazing at tummy time, and then two hours later she grabbed a tuft of her own hair, pulled her head back and started screaming in pain.
And I think she knows when I’m panicked that David is out. When he goes out for prolonged periods, she gets extra fussy. Then he gets home and she’s a saint.
Okay that’s it for now. Sorry for grammar mistakes – I’m writing this with blurry eyes and it actually took me days to write. I tried to write the post this morning at 5:30am after she fell asleep, but then David asked for a massage for his shoulder injury. So I’ve been writing bits and pieces of this post throughout the day.
Also, I owe you three specific posts: a labor recap, some thoughts on nursing clothing, and how the dulcet tones of Adam Schiff demanding a congressional inquiry into presidential misconduct are music to a baby’s ears.
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Published September 6, 2019 by Editor in Chief
They have been giving me pills to soften my cervix. My water broke, but I wasn’t dilated and as of Tuesday (two days ago) my cervix was in tact, so I’ve been taking low doses of some pill every four hours that is supposed to soften the cervix and bring on contractions.
It’s 3:49 am and I’m in pain, but that’s it. I don’t have much else to report.
I was not in pain from 12:30pm to 2am, so I’m kind of pleased to finally be in pain. I was having contractions according to the monitor earlier, but I didn’t feel anything.
I can see the other rooms as well on the monitor, and I’m a bit jealous that those ladies seem to be having more frequent contractions. I’d like to get this show on the road.
David’s sleeping in a pull out bed next to me. He’s doing well. Our parents have visited and people are excited, but I’m worried she’s taking her sweet time.
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Published September 5, 2019 by Editor in Chief
My water broke this morning around 10:35. Last night I thought I was having contractions, but since the pain was in my upper abdominal I decided to stay put.
So I was very curious about how I would know that my water broke and it wasn’t just me having light pees. Here is what happened: I peed a little. Then I leaked. Then I put on clean underwear and that got wet. Then I walked around and liquid I had no control over dripped down my thigh as I squealed in dismay, “I’m leaking in the apartment!”
Then I called the ob-gyn office and left a message asking what to do. Then I called the hospital to pay my co-pay, but no one picked up there and I left a message.
A little later someone called from the hospital. It was a person to collect the co-pay! After paying, I told her my water broke and asked who to call. She transferred me, and now we are at the hospital in the labor and delivery room waiting to see the doctor.
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Published September 4, 2019 by Editor in Chief
Me this morning: David! I lost my mucus plug!
David: Oh! Should we buy you a new one?
David doesn’t know what a mucus plug is, which is fair. I didn’t know what one was until we got closer to labor. Losing a mucus plug is one of the signs of impending labor. You can lose it weeks before, so it’s not like your water breaking.
Other signs of labor are contractions and bloody discharge. Bloody discharge is not a great sign.
Yesterday the doctor was going to do a cervical wipe to help thin out the cervix, but she said I was so closed they couldn’t do it. The baby’s head is down and facing my back, which is how she was positioned last week too. Hopefully she stays this way so labor goes smoothly.
Movement has become quite difficult. Also there’s less room in my stomach, so I still love eating, but the next day if the food doesn’t come out, I feel like what I imagine labor will be like.
I got a pedicure and a manicure Sunday (manicure didn’t have polish, just made sure to trim down nails so I didn’t accidentally poke the newborn). And I uh…think I’ve decluttered? There is of course more to do. I think I’ve been secretly hoping the baby comes and someone else does the final cleaning for me. Or with a baby I don’t care about things anymore and just let David throw everything away, which is what he has been itching to do.
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