The Frenemy of My Frenemy is Probably Also My Frenemy (#NaBloPoMo Day 15)

I’ve been blogging every day for two weeks straight, which means we’re on to Day 15 of NaBloPoMo.  Today’s theme is Frenemy, that devious portmanteau.  

As I’ve said before, I’m kind of a jealous person.  So it probably goes without saying that I’m prone to frenemies.  You know, friends that are also enemies?  My most memorable frenemy was a girl named Jackie.  Is it me, or are they always named Jackie? (No offense if that’s your name.  It just means you are stunning and perfect and I’m jealous of you).

Jackie and I met in law school.  I was unbelievably threatened by her because she was basically the upgraded version of me.  A more brunette brunette, with bluer blue eyes, and whiter white teeth.  Thinner than I was, but not so thin that it didn’t look good.  A runner like me, but she ran farther and faster.  She was smart, she was funny, she could sing.  And socially, way less awkward than me.  Honestly, I don’t even know why she was friends with me.  Deep down, ugh, I just kind of wanted Jackie to fail at things a little bit.  Nothing serious, of course, maybe she could just gain 20-30 pounds and develop some acne?

After law school, Jackie and I both joined the same law firm.  Needless to say, she was a pretty big hit.  One day, she got drunk at a recruiting event and accidentally replied-all on her blackberry to a firm-wide email, sending a “$” in response to a message about our recent deals and cases.  Everyone thought it was adorable.  Classic Jackie.

And while we were working in New York together, Jackie got into the NYC Marathon through the lottery system.  And when she crossed the finish line, she threw her hands in the air and flashed her toothpaste-ad-worthy pearly whites.  I know this because her picture ended up on the cover of the online edition of the New York Times.  Classic Jackie.

We don’t talk or see each other much anymore, but I still find myself jealous of Jackie all the time.  Is that pathetic or what?  It doesn’t help that her Instagram game is on point. Like, can you please stop traveling to Iceland and Zimbabwe so I can be satisfied with my life?

Therein lies the problem with frenemies, at least for me.  It can’t be healthy to get so worked up about what someone else has, especially when what you have is pretty freaking good.  I’m 32 now, it might be time to learn how to be happy with myself, my life, my choices.  Honestly, who cares if my friends are running marathons and starting charities in Africa.

Until next time,

Vee

Birth Story Jealousy (#NaBloPoMo Day 5)

It’s Day 5 of my NaBloPoMo, which means we’re already 1/6th of the way through November, folks.  I’m having a blast exploring topics like how my husband is a doofus and how working for biglaw is like working for the devil.  Today’s NaBloPoMo theme is Jealousy, that beautiful green-eyed monster.  Ugh, why does she have to be so beautiful?

Confession time: I struggle with birth story jealousy.  Is it just me, or do people classify birth stories based only the the level of perceived bad-assery?  If you had a vaginal birth after 105 hours of drug-free, doctor-free labor, you are a warrior.  And if you had a c-section after 2 hours of laboring on the good stuff, you are a wimp.

Well I think that dichotomy is really fucking stupid, but I still can’t help but feel jealous of women whose birth stories resemble the former rather than the latter.  I guess I want to be regarded as a warrior, too?

My birth story jealousy started before I even gave birth to my first kid.  I had a “we’ll see” mentality about the epidural, and I was most definitely planning to have my son in the hospital.  But, I was surrounded by women who had the most natural of natural births.  Both my mom and my sister — six children between them — birthed at home without epidurals or doctors.  I mean, my sister freaking squat-pushed her first baby out onto her living room floor.  Even if I didn’t want to do that, I felt incredibly inadequate because I wasn’t willing to try.

As much as I yearned to tell an epic, amazonian birth story, I was actually terrified of —  and grossed out by — the idea of childbirth.  Maybe even a little bit hopeful that I would end up with a c-section? Is that awful?

So you can probably guess from the preamble that both of my children were born via c-section.  With K-Man, I developed hypertension and suspected pre-eclampsia at 37 weeks.  I was induced with pitocin, but failed to ever progress past 1 cm after about 20 hours.  So when K-Man started having decelerations, I was taken in for a somewhat emergent c-section.  With Ell-Bell, though I was hoping for a VBAC, I developed that darned hypertension again at 37 weeks.  My OBs didn’t really want to induce me for a VBAC when I was not even a little bit dilated, so back to the OR I went.

In case you were wondering, both of my c-sections were actually great.  I was awake and lucid, I experienced overwhelming love when my children came into the world, and my recovery was A+.  But I couldn’t help but feel embarrassed that I was “just” a c-section momma — like I had copped out somehow.  (Why did I feel like that? I was fricking cut in half, is that not badass?)

It didn’t help that my sister-in-law (SIL) had both of her children at the same time I had both of my children, and that both of her births were, well, warrior status.

A few weeks after after I had K-Man, SIL was overdue with her first born and developed actual eclampsia.  When her doctor prescribed her magnesium sulfate — the supposed death knell for any natural birth plan — her midwife reportedly cried.  (Major eye roll.)  But of course, SIL powered through, labored forever, refused the epidural, and had a vaginal birth.  Of course.

And a few months after I had Ell-Bell, SIL accidentally had her baby at home.  Like, she didn’t make it to the hospital. I guess her cervix was just too ripe (why even is that a thing that I am jealous of?)  But seriously, how gross is it that when I heard my precious niece was born, my first reaction was a jealous “ugh, of course.”  I’m a bad person.

 

But anyways, I know — I know — it’s time to let this jealousy go.  There is a much bigger picture here, which is that that I am so incredibly lucky to have two beautiful, healthy children.  Who cares whether they came out of my vagina, or my abdomen, or some other woman’s body?

Until next time,

Vee