Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Mini Melt Down

Not hers, mine.

See, I called the dermatologist today to see if I could get an appointment. Soon. The creams he prescribed weren't helping, and in fact, things are getting worse. My face is feeling tight and uncomfortable.

There was an opening today. Phew.

I texted nanny and Amy to confirm coverage for Calliope, since the appointment was for 4:30. Both confirmed availabilty.

After just barely missing my stop, I quickly got back on a train coming back the other direction, and was still on time for my appointment.

And then I sat. And sat. And sat. The waiting room started out crowded, and slowly thinned. People that came in well after me got called in to see the doctor.

I started to get antsy. I read two supremely boring magazines.

Finally, after an hour, I got up and asked how much longer. The answer was five people had gone before me, and there were two more people still ahead of me. The receptionist added airily, in response to my query, "It could easily be another half an hour."

I went back and squirmed in my seat.

I was imagining that Amy would've finished feeding the girls dinner by that point, and was no doubt impatient to take her own child home to bed.

Two more latecomers got called in. With the second, I popped up and went in front of him.

"Please." I pleaded. "I'm a single mom. I work full time. I have a baby at home waiting for me. I've been waiting for an hour and twenty minutes."

And then, to my embarrassment, tears welled up.

Where the hell did that come from?

I literally cannot tell you the last time I cried. I think it was within the first month of Calliope's life, when she woke me up just one too many times.

The receptionist -- much nicer than the first one than the one I spoke to previously -- promised me it would be mere moments, and had me sit in the hallway of the inner sanctum while she peppered me with cheerful questions about my daughter -- seriously, lady, you aren't interested! why are you pretending? -- that I answered in monosyllables as I tried to get myself under control. Totally embarrassing.

A couple of minutes later, I was put in an exam room. At the time I would normally be changing Calliope into her pajamas. The doctor came bustling cheerfully in, examined me, and prescribed some new creams to try.

At the end of the visit, I explained, "Listen, you're very nice, and I love coming to see you. But I waited ninety minutes to see you. And I'm a single mom and I work full time and I just can't afford to wait this long."

Because the truth is, while this feels very whiny, it's absolutely true. I couldn't have a repeat of today. There's just no room in my schedule for it. And he listened very sympathetically, and told me that the next time I need an appointment, to tell them to schedule me on a Friday, when he does only scheduled procedures, so that I won't have to wait so long.

Phew. Otherwise I was going to need to find a new dermatologist, or stop caring about the way my face looks.

It was odd, though, how completely depressed I was at the thought of not getting to spend time with Calliope tonight. It's one of those things that I couldn't understand before I was a parent. It's one night out of, like, a million. Right?

(Oh, then I called for a cab to rush me home and it took twenty five minutes to arrive. I could've gotten home by train in that much time. I was coming out of my skin with frustration.)

I think my hormones are in flux from weaning. I'm glad I've been warned to expect some blues as a result. Still, it's an unfamiliar feeling after all these months -- since the day of the positive pregnancy test -- of sunshine.

When I arrived home, Eleanor came rushing into my arms, shouting "Abby! Abby!" to give me a huge hug. Calliope, meanwhile, was too busy tearing paper to look up at me.

I guess she wasn't missing me, then.

Tonight, though it's only been four days since we took the plunge and started substituting a muffin for the morning nursing... I upped the ante. I got her ready for bed in the living room after giving her a bedtime snack, then read three books instead of our typical two, and sang our good night song on the couch.

As I got to the end of the song, she started whimpering and saying, "No!" And then, piteously, "neh neh."

I calmly (prayerfully) answered, "You had a muffin instead of neh neh." And she was quiet!

She said "neh neh" one more time as I carried her into her room -- blinds already drawn and lights out in hopes of speedy getaway -- and again I said, "No, you had a muffin."

I put her in her crib, she whimpered once or twice, and that was it. Silence.

I walked out and started to get teared up again. Yesterday was maybe, probably, my last nursing. And I didn't even know it.

But then I remembered that it made my skin crawl last night. I don't know why, but suddenly it made me unbearably claustrophobic. So I'm not nostalgic for that. But still, it's the end of an era. If I never have another baby (and I hope to, but of course there's no guarantees in life), last night could have been my last nursing, for life.

That's a pretty major milestone.


  1. I teared up for you too. There is a lot invested in breastfeeding (including all those hormones). Good luck and hopefully no more 90 minute waits at the doc's.

  2. So sorry you had a rough time with the appointment; I would have burst into tears, too. And I often find myself thinking "this is the last (blank) EVER" with regards to baby stuff, which fills me with a mixture of relief and sadness.

  3. It can be hard, but it will get easier soon.

  4. I would have been so frustrated waiting for the doctor as well! Hope those tears are dried up. I hear you on the end of nursing and feeling very sentimental about it. I let Rowan nurse a few last times in the early morning as we were weaning mostly because I wasn't ready for the last time to be over. It's probably been three weeks since then and I am nostalgic about it every once and a while but all in all--it's been nice to get my body back. I've been mainlining Diet Coke and had my first tuna rolls tonight since I got pregnant. Hope your transition goes smoothly as well!

  5. So I'm starting to piece together a picture of you as I read. And the "wow factor" keeps going higher. The stress of any of the following three: Living in NY; Singlemomedness; and being a medical professional for sick little kids would break me. You do all three and who knows how much more.

    Even if the nurse didn't really care about your kid, at least she was trying to be kind and comforting. Of course I bet by then you weren't in the mood for it.

    1. Oh, definitely. She was trying to be kind, and cheer me up. But I was trying not to cry, and having to talk was not making it easier to hide my emotions! But I appreciated her good intentions... it just wasn't helping me in the way it was intended.

      And I am a medical professional, indeed, but my patients are usually healthy little kids -- i do pediatric primary care.

  6. Huge milestone...I'm testy just reading it. It makes me remember when we weaned. I'm glad you're prepared for the blues, I wasn't & it took a lot out of me.