Happy Birthday Mom

Yesterday was my mother's birthday. She would have been 64 years old.

She was the second born child to Bill and Iva Noles. My grandparents were still so young then, just 18 and 23 when my mother was born. They lived in a mill village in west Atlanta that by many recollections was just about perfect. Mother always said that she didn't know that she was poor since everyone else around them was poor too. My grandparent's employer provided excellent medical and dental care and my mother's memories of her home (rented to them by the mill) described a well built, well maintained, but small house.

She met my dad at the Varsity, a locally famous drive-in restaurant. She was initially attracted to his cousin, Jerry, who was there with him, but later she and my dad got together and the rest is history.

She worked for 28 years for a major tax preparation company - you know the one that rhymes with "clock" - and was a damned good tax preparer. She instilled confidence in her clients and had a large clientele. She took pride in being a professional and she was good at her job.

My relationship with my mother was great, but irritating. How do you explain a relationship with a person that is so wonderful, caring and nurturing, but at the same time is aggravating, annoying and overbearing?

My mother was simultaneously the best mom and the biggest pain the ass. She knew exactly how to push my buttons and then would lecture me about my temper after I hit the boiling point.

She was paranoid about my safety to the extreme, demanding that I call her the moment I got to my destination or fearing that I was "dead in a ditch". She never understood boundaries. She never understood that she had done a good job raising me but needed to trust that I could handle things on my own.

I talked to my mother 4-5 times every day. Most times, not because I wanted to, but because she demanded it. Left to my own devices, I'd probably have still called her at least twice a day, but she insisted on knowing what was going on at all times.

But even as she was irritating, she was knowledgeable. She was one of the smartest people I've known and could calculate strings of numbers in her head. She had a wicked sense of humor and loved playing poker. She was incredibly generous. She had no problem sending a friend down on their luck cash to tide them over with no expectation of gratitude or repayment.

Kids and animals loved my mother. She could calm down a newborn or a puppy with a single touch and the sound of her voice.

In an emergency, she was calm, but skillful. Hysterics had no place in an emergency or a hospital room and she'd stay calm and optimistic for as long as she needed.

Now, as I close in on the half way point of my pregnancy, I long to talk to her. To hear her calming and sympathetic voice as she told me everything would be ok. To listen to her maddening air of superiority as she told me about her pregnancy with me.

I miss her so much and even 4 years after her death, I still sometimes reach for the phone to call her when I hear a funny story or have a bad day.


I've been looking through the last few posts and it would seem that I'm more content to complain about being pregnant than about being grateful.

This is not the case. It's just that.. that.. I don't feel very pregnant. Being a woman with extra padding, I can't see the changes in the mirror (although Moo says he can). I still haven't felt the baby and I can't see the baby so it's almost like I'm going through all this crap for no reason.

All I can see right now are the symptoms and complaints most common to pregnancy. I'm constipated. I feel bloated. I'm still nauseaus from time to time. I've got this cold from hell and I can't take a damn thing in the world that will help.

But my heart knows. My heart knows that I'll feel my little one soon. My heart knows that in just 23 weeks - give or take a week or two - that we'll be gifted with a precious little baby. And I am grateful. Me, who thought that I would never be a mother - I am grateful beyond anything to experience this. I am grateful for the bloating. I am thankful for the constipation. I am grateful for the nausea. I am grateful to be pregnant.

Being sick while pregnant sucks

I've had a fun few days. I got an upper respirtory infection that's progressed to bronchitis. My internist, Dr Sexy, prescribed antibiotics and cough medicine. While I'm feeling a lot better, I can't sleep for anything. I lay down and I cough. I try to sit up to sleep, I cough. I've coughed so hard that I've vomited. This sucks.

I would love to mix up my tried and true cough syrup recipe, but can't because of the booze (one part whiskey to two parts honey with lemon juice to taste; take it one tablespoon at a time until the coughing stops). While the honey would still soothe my throat, the whiskey is what calms the cough.

Meanwhile, I've purchased my first maternity clothing - a beautiful empire waisted top that looks so cute! I've also purchased the first item for the baby. A cute receiving blanket with a little dragon on it.

My butt is broken

Pregnancy Countdown: 16 weeks
We'll we're securely here in the 2nd trimester and I went to my OB/GYN's practice yesterday for a check-up.

I took the time to discuss a couple of issues - 1) the Effexor that the male midwife prescribed isn't the XR variety and makes me sick - solution is to prescribe the Xr version. and 2) my butt is broken.

My butt and lower back have been hurting for a week or so now. As the day goes on, my chair seems to get progressively harder despite cushions and pillows. I have a little timer on my desktop that rings at 5 minutes before the hour signaling a small break where I get up and stretch my legs. Nevertheless, my butt is still hurting. When it's really hurting, I can usually talk Moo into rubbing my butt.

The nurse practitioner doing my checkup said that it would probably get worse as my pregnancy progressed (thanks!) and the ligaments and joints started spreading more. She suggested light stretching exercises and wrote me a letter for my employer to get me another chair.

I got to hear the heartbeat - which is always exciting - and otherwise had a great exam.

I get to do an early gestational diabetes screen at my next appointment.. oh boy, my first experience with glucola!!