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Things That Are Real And Things That Are Not


By nature, I’m not A Worrier. It’s just not in my blood to aimlessly sit around and think deeply about any and all of the consequences of my actions. If that implies that I sit around on a fluffy cloud of pink cotton candy, nary a care in the world, never dealing with the consequences of my choices, it’s sadly incorrect. Mayhap someday I’ll be fortunate enough (read: medicated enough) to live like that, but not today.

I just don’t waste a whole lot of time worrying about what might happen if Jupiter aligns with Mars at a 33 degree angle which is a remarkably good way to live especially if your spouse has been conditioned at birth to be A Worrier.

No, the only problems that come from this is that often, when things are about to go all apeshit on your ass, you don’t spend enough time talking through the what-ifs of the situation.

Let me back up a minute.

I currently have two children: Alexander and Benjamin, both of whom are flesh of my flesh, blood of my blood, and easily two of my favorite people on the planet (see! I can be sentimental sometimes!). Now.

Problem is Baby A and Baby B were both Baby Dickheads. I’m sure this will offend someone out there, me calling my child(ren) a dick or an asshole, but they were simply horrible babies. What made matters even worse is that they were both badly behaved in such DIFFERENT horrible ways, so I was left shrugging my shoulders and fantasizing about suicide.

Ben, as we now know, is on the autistic spectrum and as a baby, had massive sensory issues that were then undiagnosed. Which meant that I knew this about my child:

1) He hated being touched
2) He hated life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness
3) Absolutely everything evoked the exact same response: SCREAMING AT THE TOP OF HIS WEE LUNGS.

It’s fairly safe to say that he had both colic and a bad attitude and there was NOTHING I could do about either of these issues besides wait it out. Or kill myself, which just seemed like a bad idea.

Alex was born and literally could not get enough of me, which was, I suppose, my fault. When I was pregnant with him, I furiously wished that I would now have a child who liked me best. If it sounds sad to you, it’s because it is. I had been so incredibly hurt by Ben’s ultimate rejection of me that all I wanted out of my child was to have one who liked me.

It’s safe to say that I got that in spades. Remember the Monkey Paw story?

Alexander couldn’t handle the mere thought of being apart from me. He’d scream mercilessly if he was taken away from me so that I could do such things as take a pee alone, or perhaps shower. Rather than sleep like a normal baby, he decided that sleep was for pussies and refused that too. Only thing he ever wanted was a boob in his face. Constantly.

Seriously, the kid nursed every hour for nearly a year. I shit you not.

Even now, sleep issues mainly resolved (save for the naps he often doesn’t take AT ALL), I am the preferred parent, and if I am around, the world is right. It’s fucking cute as hell and it warms my heart and it terrifies the hell out of me that when Amelia comes and he realizes that he has competition (Ben is old enough that he doesn’t seem to be fazed by his relationship with Yours Truly).

I mean, I’m pretty scared of some fierce sibling rivalry and there’s very little at his age that I can do to prepare him for a baby. Hell, there’s so little you can do in general to explain to a child (or anyone else, really) how a baby can turn your life on its’ axis just by being here. I have no idea how to divide myself up like I’m going to have to especially when there’s no other acceptable adult substitution available to either of us.

And I’m terrified of having another awful baby. I’m so, so afraid of what this will do me. I’m no pus-bag and I’d even venture to occasionally call myself Hard Core, but after nearly a year of not sleeping (thank you, Baby A) my grasp on reality was getting so shaky that I was actually considering suicide. Or at least a hospitalization. It was just that bad. I talked about it here and there on my blog, but not wanting to turn my blog into a list of complaints about the life I’d WANTED made me restrain myself mightily.

I’m afraid and yet I know that I’ll get through it all unscathed. We all will. It’s just what we do.

So, Internet, what’s on your mind today? Complain away. Let your fears out here. Write another blog post in my comments. Relieve yourself before you have to go and eat Aunt Shirley’s gross fruitcake and laugh at the jokes of relatives that just aren’t funny. Or have to listen to how Grandpa Bill hasn’t taken a proper dump in two days!

Let it out, man. Let it out.

39 Comments to

“Things That Are Real And Things That Are Not”

  1. On December 23rd, 2008 at 11:24 am Marie Says:

    I am terrified that one day my son will choose to live with his father full time. I try not to worry about this but I do. I know that I give him what he needs. I know that he loves home. I just can’t shake the nagging thought of spending his teenage years on the outside looking in.

    I know this feeling is made worse by not being able to have other children. I also know the holidays make things more bleak when he is away but I still worry that this will happen.

    If it does then i don’t know what I will do.

    That is my all time worry. It is always there. I am not a worrier by nature and could care less what the planets are doing. But every day that little worry pops up somewhere in my head and I have to catch my breath.

  2. On December 23rd, 2008 at 11:28 am Ms. Moon Says:

    Listen- you WILL be fine with this new baby. It might be tough, but there is that magic of a baby which occurs. I know exactly what you’re talking about when you talk about each of your children. I had some of those in my litter. But they are all grown up and we are all still alive and we love each other TREMENDOUSLY. And they are wonderful, wonderful people.
    There you go.
    Now, as to my own fear- let’s just say it involves MY mother. Let’s not say anymore except that I am aware that strong drink and sharp knives are not necessarily a good combination when she’s around, which, it being Christmas, she’s going to be.
    Take that as you will.

  3. On December 23rd, 2008 at 11:31 am Coco Says:

    You’ll be fine. Really.

    Now go read the blog post I left JUST for my favorite Aunt Becky.

    It will make you laugh. Or want to hit me. Whichever.

  4. On December 23rd, 2008 at 11:42 am DD Says:

    Worry? What worry?

    I worry I made the wrong decision when I emailed XBoy’s counselor this morning and gave the OK to a script.

    I worry that my daughter will resent me when she realizes that she has no biological connection to me.

    I worry my son will soon get over the “but he’s my dad” stage and really end up hating his Dad with all his heart.

    I worry about offending someone with no children.

    I worry about offending someone with only one child.

    I worry, and worry, and worry.

  5. On December 23rd, 2008 at 11:45 am fidget Says:

    baby 1 (we now know is autistic) was hell. Screamed all the time, puked all the time, craved consistencey which was beyond my reasoning coping or ability. Picked my arms bloody

    baby 2 screamed b/c 1 still screamed, Baby 2 did not like me. around 11 months I went on anti Ds and tried some anti Ps. Xanax helped

    baby 3 took a bit to get sorted out but turned into a fantastic love ball. he’s almost 2 now and hell on screetchy wheels but sill snuggly. lovey and generally fine

    baby 4 took a bit to get sorted out and now he’s like a slice of strawberry pie

    moral of this rambling? it’ll take a bit to get sorted out but eventually you’ll get pie.. or make pie.. damn it now I want pie.

  6. On December 23rd, 2008 at 12:04 pm another sue Says:

    Well, my “baby” announced to me that her new Life- Philosophy-Which_must-be-Respected is something that oh, basically makes me want to curl up in a ball and die, as it is so totally opposite of everything she was raised around. She wants to own weapons against what I have no idea, because if the city folk come for my garden? They can have it. And while I might like a weapon at that point in time to faster self-destruct, the truth of the matter is that I do not want to live in that world. Y’all can just have it. You don’t think any of these issues-that-must-be-respected have any basis in the ex-con she just married, do you? And my mother died recently. I did the dutiful daughter thing although she never really liked me and made it quite obvious who she preferred (anyone male would come in ahead of me), and yet I went. (Didn’t run into any of those preferred males either.) And now that she is gone and everyone is telling me how wonderful she was, I’m just kinda’ looking at them and wondering what it must be like to live in their world, because in mine? Not so much wonderful on that issue. And my dog died this last summer. I really miss my dog. Yeah, I suppose we will all be all right in the end. How long till the end again?

  7. On December 23rd, 2008 at 12:06 pm Maria Says:

    When my brain gets a quiet moment I spend a lot of time having inspecific mommy-worry about the new little one. I want to get out of the SIDS range so I can stop FREAKING OUT about it. Except I want to hang onto this adorable tiny baby stage. (I’m lucky to have an “easy” baby and I don’t think I’ll be shooting for three.)


  8. On December 23rd, 2008 at 12:11 pm Just For You, Aunt Becky. « Mommyhood and Life Says:

    […] For You, Aunt Becky. My beloved Aunt Becky is having a day. She needs some lovin’, and nothing says lovin’ like Coco’s Christmas Tales of The […]

  9. On December 23rd, 2008 at 12:12 pm kbrients Says:

    You are just looking for trouble. The baby is going to be what it is and there is nothing all this worrying is going to do about it.

    One thing is for sure! It will be a girl, and you can dress her is all the adorable pink stuff you have wanted to buy for oh-so-long!!

  10. On December 23rd, 2008 at 1:06 pm LilSass Says:

    Haven’t I complained/worried enough in the past several days?

    Ok, let me being by saying I deeply admire your ability and strength to say what you said today. You defy all notion that mothers should ALWAYS love their children. That all women should LOVE pregnancy and breastfeeding and living a completely selfless life. You can chose to do those things and still piss and moan through certain steps of it. And I know women on the internets are sometimes unforgiving about this kind of thing. So I just wanted to say I thank you and am proud of you for feeling the way you feel and feeling comfortable and secure enough to say it here.

    Ok, about me. Hmmmm. Every time I go home (to California) I return to DC completely overwhelmed with feeling. I miss home so I go. Then I go and can’t wait to come running back to my own space. It always makes my head twirl and my heart leap. San Francisco will always be my home but I know I’m not supposed to be there, at least for now. I know this is where I “need” to be, but it still toils with my brain and my heart when I vacillate through these emotions. I am going to take up some ocean-side meditations during this trip. I am going to literally take it one moment at a time.

  11. On December 23rd, 2008 at 1:33 pm Anjali Says:

    I so wish you an easy baby. My first was a quasi-combination of your two. She had terrible colic, and wouldn’t let me leave the room until she was 3.5 years old.

    And you’re right, we all do get through it, somehow.

  12. On December 23rd, 2008 at 1:52 pm guilty noodles Says:

    I’m getting a massage today and I’m afraid I’ll poop on the table. Not as bad as yours.

    Our second son is nicknamed “demon child”. He came out of me screaming and didn’t stop, for the LAST THREE YEARS. No amount of painkillers could knock me unconscious enough to not hear my son scream. I feel your pain. I really do, Aunt Becky.

  13. On December 23rd, 2008 at 2:09 pm Emily R Says:

    just be sure he knows about breastfeeding well in advance!

  14. On December 23rd, 2008 at 2:19 pm Jessi Louise Says:

    Dylann cried a lot as a baby and didn’t like to be held and Jack was the opposite, but not in too extreme of a way. I felt like it correllated with my attitude while pregnant because I was a nervous wreck the first time around and the next I was totally ready. Maybe if you stay relaxed and calm your baby will pick up on that and be more easygoing. But who knows!

    The only things I’ve been concerned with today are my ugly curtains and what I’m going to serve for Christmas. No big worries this year!

  15. On December 23rd, 2008 at 2:33 pm baseballmom Says:

    Dude, my babies were just huge opposites. T was laid back, quiet, but never slept and wanted to be held all the time. Alex was happy to be on the floor, but slept like a champ, and is now very, erm, determined. You will have a fabulous life with your three fabulously different kiddos, believe that! I worry constantly. If we don’t have money, I worry about that, if we do, there are countless other things to worry about. I hate it! I always have to tell myself to calm the fuck down and stop it. Why can’t life just be simple and chill?

  16. On December 23rd, 2008 at 2:37 pm Sara Says:

    I’m moving across the world in a few months. What am I NOT worried about?!

    Amelia will be perfect. I have a feeling that in a month you are going to wonder what you were ever worried about in the first place.

    And if I’m wrong, well, I’ll send you chocolate. And wine.

  17. On December 23rd, 2008 at 2:46 pm Kristine Says:

    I worry about familial confrontations, mostly that never actually occur. I.e. if Clint’s cousin tells me one more time about how she’s homeschooling because some kind brought home “Heather Has 2 Mommies” from the school library, I’m going to kick her teeth out and tell her that I’d rather my kid know that families come in all shapes and forms and accept them rather than spew bigotry over a group of people who love each other just like we love each other in our family.

  18. On December 23rd, 2008 at 2:50 pm foradifferentkindofgirl (fadkog) Says:

    My kids were opposites, too, and I was so filled with the postpartum that I was a mess before the second one every showed up. I talked to my ob/gyn a lot while I was pregnant with my second, but he kept saying I’d be fine. Yeah, well, I still asked for meds!

    Ok, so anyway, what’s bugging me…hmmm…well, I think I’m on a bit of a roller coaster lately. I’m on really high highs and then I go screaming down the hills and find myself sitting in the coaster car at the green lights while the cars around me are honking and going past, and I’m wondering what the hell is up with this state of mind. It’s way beyond PMS. I’m kind of working on stuff, I guess. So..yeah…

  19. On December 23rd, 2008 at 2:58 pm Holly Says:

    The first thing is this is your daughter. She will love you and learn to deal with her brothers. Mine wouldn’t know what to do without her brother’s. I have a feeling she’ll “know” what you need at this point in your life.

    My worries: mmmmm….how about that friend of mine who commented up there…heffer is leaving ME here in this place with crazy people.

    Seriously though. I worry that my children will one day realize what sucky extended family they have although I try to make up for it. I worry that they will be hurt by these people who can care less about them.

    I worry about what I’ve done to make my daycare parents act like they don’t care that I care for their children 50+ hours a week.

    I worry about my new school semester coming up in Jan.

    I worry that I didn’t do enough for my husband for Christmas.

    I have silly worries.

  20. On December 23rd, 2008 at 3:00 pm michelle Says:

    My mother in law always told us we were doing every thing wrong.. my mom did too most of the time. I felt like I was as well…. I had serious issues, tough babies, depression, yadda, yadda, yadda. My standard responses to bth myself and to outside criticism: “She is mine to break. Children are their parents to screw up, you had your chance to screw us up, and you did jus fine. We need to give our kids something to talk to their therapist about when they are older” You do what you need to do to get through the day. If you need to be tough, if you need to be harsh, sarcastic, whatever, then that is what you do. You love htem all in the end, and you keep on keeping on. A friend says by the 3rd kid they pretty much are easy and raise themselves because the parents are so busy with the older ones though, so you are due for an easy baby this go-around :o)

  21. On December 23rd, 2008 at 3:52 pm Ginger Magnolia Says:

    Oh, baby girl. I’m sorry you’re having such a tough time, and honestly, I don’t think that any one of your readers will be offended by anything you have to say here. We love and adore our Aunt Becky. She is fully awesome!

    What do I worry about? I worry that my kids will turn out to be like their dad. I worry that they’ll want to go and live with him when they’re old enough to decide. I’m worried that they’ll make the same mistakes I did. I’m worried that I won’t be enough for them. I worry that they don’t have grandparents that ACT LIKE GRANDPARENTS. Most lately, though, I worry about always being alone.

  22. On December 23rd, 2008 at 3:54 pm Ginger Magnolia Says:

    OH and I wanted to tell you…I was a very clingy child, and I was about Alex’s age when my younger sister was born (we have an older sister, too). I loved her so much and treated her like my own baby. So…maybe that will happen with Alex and Amelia. Maybe he will take care of her, and not be totally jealous. One can hope, babe.

  23. On December 23rd, 2008 at 4:47 pm melanie Says:

    You know I am a believer that our kids will pick up on our moods and insecurities (I mean animals KNOW so why not babies)…… first was a dream baby, a frustrated young toddler and now a pretty good 3 1/2 yr old. For us language was the key, he was a late talker and he would have these HUGE meltdowns from about 9 months to 2 years old because he couldnt communicate his wants/needs, and I suck at reading minds, but the first 9 months were CAKE!!! (course I didnt breastfeed, and I tend to think that helped me, but breastfeeding moms would probably disagree with me). My second baby was totally different, the first night in the hospital she SCREAMED for hours, the nurses finally took her into the nursery so as not to disturb my neighbors, what with their peaceful babies. Turns out 3 weeks later we get a diagnoses of GERD and after the first 2 weeks of meds she turned into a brand new baby. Aside from having to be fed more often than my son (he was an every 3-4 hours and slept through the night consistantly at 8 weeks old) because her little tummy couldnt be too full or the reflux was 10 times worse….. and consequently it took her 5 months to consistantly sleep through the night….

    Anyway I think you will get your easy baby this go around, just dont expect the worst, make sure if things are going badly that you check with the doctor and check again (our doc first said she was just a colic baby)….. and then do your best. Dont be afraid to ask for help and DONT BORROW TROUBLE!

  24. On December 23rd, 2008 at 4:49 pm kate Says:

    i don’t worry much anymore. not because there’s nothing to worry about. and not because i’m that evolved. just because i don’t anymore. i used to. not so much anymore.

    thinking of you and your baby. you are evolved. so you will be just fine. except for all the parts that are fuck all hard. and even then? you’ll still be okay.

  25. On December 23rd, 2008 at 5:42 pm AKLadyJ Says:

    I have a two-year-old son with Down Syndrome and am expecting the second (a girl). My worries for my son are endless and range from completely inane to serious things I’ll really have to face one day. Funny thing is, the worries are all to do with me, and not him. He’s fantastic and when I dig down deep I know that he’ll do great despite all my worries.

    I also worry that I’ll put too much pressure on this baby to make up for a profoundly atypical first child experience (son was 2.5 months early, in the hospital for 2 months, came home with feeding tube, oxygen, and etc), I hope I can just chill and enjoy the experience of having her for whatever it may be.

    I don’t blame you for being uneasy about what’s to come…I couldn’t even agree to try for #2 while the pain of newbornness was still fresh in mind, and it sounds like it still is for you! You’ll be ok though, and I agree with above comment that it may just be that your daughter knows exactly what you need.

  26. On December 23rd, 2008 at 6:07 pm Betty M Says:

    I’m sure she wont be awful but if stuff gets difficult get help – someone to take the strain of the house stuff or the older kids something even if it seems crazy expensive – way better feeling a bit poor than feeling like life is too awful to deal with. You will be fabulous though. I know.

    My worries are the usual ones – death and disease. Last night was hdeous as I dreamed of drowning children, ailing parents and lost bags ( I have always h d lost luggage dreams since tiny).

  27. On December 23rd, 2008 at 6:50 pm Stacey Says:

    Havoc & Mayhem are not named that way because of their easy going laid back personalities. 🙂 Havoc cried & screamed from the moment of his birth until we brought his brother home from the hospital 15 months later. Then apparently, suddenly, the world became about more than just him & he was too busy being fascinated by the sleeping bundle of brother to do much screaming.
    I am currently visiting my parents and worry about them. My dad is 70. He is in constant pain from his back, he takes more pills in a day than I can count. He is so very different now from the father I remember. My kids are 4 & 6 and I worry about just how much time they will get with their Pa

  28. On December 23rd, 2008 at 6:50 pm Lola Says:

    Well, I had the rottenest baby until he was four months, so I know of what you fear. That’s why his brothers are dogs and his sisters are cats!

    Hopefully, the girl thing will make a difference and she’ll be an easygoing little angel.

    Complaints? I puked those out all over my blog in my last few posts, but now that all the bullshit on my plate has ended and I can sit down with a giant glass of wine and check on my blog friends, I’m doing all right.

    Fears? Too many to name, and they’re moving targets, changing all the time, so I’m choosing to ignore them all for now.

  29. On December 23rd, 2008 at 8:46 pm SciFi Dad Says:

    Aw Becky… you’ll be surprised how much of this worrying you’ll actually remember when your baby comes. I know I had tons, and when I look back on those posts, I don’t even remember writing them or feeling that way. I’m sure everything will be perfect with your little girl… at least until she’s 12 and knows everything, thereby rendering you ignorant and useless. 🙂

    Merry Christmas, my friend. It has been a pleasure to have “met” you this year.

  30. On December 23rd, 2008 at 9:42 pm Jenn Says:

    I’m a worrier and I envy you your ability to not stress over things. I worry about everything. EVERYTHING. It takes me 8 years to make any kind of significant decision because I have to weigh every pro against every con at least twice. And even after I make a decision, I am still constantly questioning whether it was the right one or not. I even agonize over what to make for dinner sometimes. Seriously.

    The thing I am most afraid of (aside from being sure that someday everyone I care about will die and/or leave me all alone) is that my kids will be the way that I was when I was a teenager. Suicidal and depressed I mean. It’s okay if they turn into argumentative assholes as long as they don’t feeling like killing themselves. 🙂

  31. On December 23rd, 2008 at 9:59 pm Em Says:

    I worry I won’t be able to come and read all of your incredible stories about how awesome Amelia is because I will be pea green.

    I worry that a part of my heart will never get over never having a daughter.

    I worry about my friends – so stop stressing so I can check one thing off my worry list!! You survived One and Two – Three is going to be your reward.

    As my mother likes to say – “don’t borrow trouble.” Funny thing is, she’s the biggest worrier on the block.

    Hugs. You’re going to do just fine.

  32. On December 24th, 2008 at 2:40 am SCY Says:

    I’m really worried that I’ll never get to experience pregnancy and have a baby of my own. I worry that by the end of my journey I’ll have spent hundreds and thousands of rands all for naught.

    BUT even though I’m worried, somehow I’m still hopeful. Weird huh?

    Merry Christmas to you Becks!

  33. On December 24th, 2008 at 9:59 am Badass Geek Says:

    Um… What straight male doesn’t want a boob in his face?

  34. On December 24th, 2008 at 2:02 pm gypsygrrl Says:

    it appears i participated in this without even knowing ~ which would be the irish (read: totally backwards) to do it 🙂


  35. On December 26th, 2008 at 8:20 pm Betts Says:

    Kids are so different, even if they are made from the “chemicals” of the same mother and father. It’s impossible to know what Amelia will be like, but whatever, you will figure it out and deal. I think you’re due for an easy one. I had an easy one… well, she wouldn’t sleep long than 20 minutes, wanted to be nurse or be held all the time, but she was happy and good-natured… so I didn’t dare have another one.

  36. On December 28th, 2008 at 10:05 am Eva Says:

    I had a miserable, occasionally dangerous pregnancy, and then hideous and long-lasting breastfeeding problems, and am left with a strong distaste for babies. I feel sorry for pregnant ladies; I am happy to hold briefly, while they are happy, infants, and then hand them back. So I admire your courage! And like with the other ones, you will manage it, and it will improve.

  37. On December 28th, 2008 at 1:09 pm Stefanie Says:

    Hi Becky, it’s your lovin’ pal Stef here just wanting to chime in that I desperately wanted to kill myself every five minutes during my first 6 mos. with the twins. and yet, I didn’t actually do it. But it was complete hell. I recommend that you just brace yourself for the first few months with a new baby and then expect things to be much much better. Because they will. And it’s one day at a time. And get some xanax.

  38. On December 30th, 2008 at 2:06 pm jerseygirl89 Says:

    Clearly should have read this before having a whine on my blog today.

    Since I’ve already whined once, I’ll offer up a thought on siblings instead. When my second was born, the oldest was only 15 months old. Not much I could do about explaining the new baby and whatnot. What I did do, and am doing with this one, is that I always say “your brother” instead of “the baby”. This seems to foster some connection, as we’ve always had very little jealousy around here.

  39. On January 5th, 2009 at 11:16 am mandy Says:

    Considering cigarettes. Seriously. This is late, and you do NOT want to know what is really on my mind…

    But, I hear you on this one. My daughter is 3, she hates me. She told me yesterday she wanted me to leave and her daddy live with her. (keep in mind we all live together, cause ah, we’re married) When we fight, she takes his side, even if he is the culprit. He is blameless in her eyes. It is very hurtful. My other one who is almost 2 loves me, but still prefers his father to me. I just can’t win here. I don’t want to have a tube reversal surgery just in the hopes I could birth one that might like me. I’m not seeing a whole lotta options though. It is painful to be rejected by a child who you gave everything for. My oldest is no exception, sadly.

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