An Autocidal Life, Part 8: In Which Babe Plus Babe Equals Trouble

A new mom, forced down on her knees!? A new baby, shoved under a bed!? A new grandma, accused of almost killing her new grandson!?
Oh, wait: That last one is in the NEXT post 🙂(If you missed the beginning of our exciting and sometimes-gross-but-still-riveting story, here it is.)
A Helpful Baby Doctor
Where Babe does not let nature take its course.
By 1987, Babe and Joe had been trying to get pregnant for two years. Babe had no problem getting pregnant. Staying pregnant was another thing.Her body had no rhythm: Flows from 5 to 9 days long, 26 to 42 days between them, periods two days after ovulating…Scared Hands-Up Twin Egg in Frying PanPoor Little Eggy. (This One Would Have Been Twins 😐 😐 ). No Time To Grab On!
Babe’s OB prescribed an ovulation regulator. But the day Babe was supposed to swallow the first pill, she knew she was pregnant again. She phoned her OB.“Bob, I’m two days pregnant. If I take this pill, it will abort the fetus, right? Isn’t there anything we can do to keep this one?”.“Babe, how can you possibly know you’re pregnant by two days?” A Little Pregnant Test StickWe Women Have Our Ways… 
Though not entirely convinced, Bob said there was something experimental they could try: A progesterone suppository.That two-day-old egg is 27 years old now.Study Questions:Wouldn’t that old an egg be rotten by now?
How DID Babe know? Does the toilet paper turn blue or pink THAT soon!? 😉
 Rotten Egg by Nagel PorcelainDoes This Egg Look Rotten To You? Off the Lupus Drugs and On to Adventure!Where Babe lets nature take its course.

Babe’s rheumatologist was not happy with her.

He had strongly advised her never to have children (the lupus bible points to a disastrous life for lupus moms), and here she was, pregnant.

Now, he was telling her that she should continue her lupus drugs through her pregnancy.

“No way!” said Babe. “You don’t know what those drugs will do to my baby!”
My Mom Fights Like a Girl
Dr. R.’s mood changed from unhappy to really irked. Her previously-sympathetic diagnostic savior turned stiff with resentment at a patient refusing to follow his advice.

To be fair, Dr. R. truly cared about all of his patients. He was probably very concerned for Babe. But some of his sudden transformation still seemed like it stemmed from ego.

It’s Learning to Crawl Time—for Mom!

Where Babe gains an excellent perspective for baby-proofing.

Even off the drugs, Babe’s lupus almost entirely disappeared while she was pregnant. (Some lupus moms have the opposite occur.) However, because she kept having vaginal bleeding, both Dr. R. and Bob, Babe’s OB, sent her out on disability early to be cautious. A small price to pay for her first wonderful son, Justin.


Justin At 3 Months At Zoo With 'MomJustin, 3 Mos., Happy At Zoo With Mom


Part of the story of Justin’s birth is told elsewhere. But that other post doesn’t say how Babe kept calling “Give me back my baby” (he didn’t breathe for a very long time–the doctor was trying to fix that);

or how they put Justin on his tummy on Babe’s tummy at last and she was finally happy when she put her hands on his little back;

or how he pushed himself straight up on his arms and looked right at her, with his eyes wide open, and then all around the delivery room;

or how, a week after having Justin, Babe couldn’t walk.

Oh, she could walk. Just not for the first hour or two after she woke. The arthritis pain was so severe and the morning stiffness so bad that she was forced to crawl to her baby like a baby herself.


Crawling Like a BabyHow Babes With Lupus Crawl


Fresh Prince Carlton Crawl Races Across Floor Animated GifDon’t Feel TOO Bad For Me–Some of Us Get Pretty Good At It!


Even after she could walk upright, walking was slow and painful for the first half of the day. Everything was painful.

Study Questions:

Who thinks Babe should NOT have gotten pregnant?

Child Abuse

Where Babe jams her new baby in a dresser drawer.

Babe moved Justin from his crib to one of the drawers under the captain’s bed (open, of course). When he woke, all she had to do was reach down and grab him.

Pawing Through File Drawer Animated GifI Know I Put That Baby Here Somewhere…

She was scared that her stiff fingers might make her drop him, but she learned to lift with her wrists. When this became too iffy, Babe kept Justin in the bed beside her.

Changing his diapers was really challenging. Babe could soon no longer unpeel tapes. For the worst times, Babe fastened and unfastened Justin’s Huggies tapes with her teeth.

It didn’t help that little Justin had 24-hour colic. (Some of us are just Luck Magnets.)


Colicky Baby ScreamingI’m Sure Justin Wasn’t Feeling Very Lucky, Either


If he wasn’t feeding or moving, he was crying.

In the early mornings, Babe would stay abed and let him nurse to bursting until she could move.

Later she would try to rock him to calm his fussiness. The pain in her hip while rocking was brutal. Justin was happier (and he was worth it), but Babe was miserable.

Each afternoon, when Babe was finally able to really move, she would walk or jog him in a front carrier up and down the driveway. (Her neighbors thought she was insane.)


Sleeping Baby in Front CarrierSleeping. HAH!!


Study Questions:

Where was Joe through all of this?

How the heck did Babe clean up Justin’s backside during the times her fingers were really stiff? (Don’t ask!)


The next post will reveal the cause of Justin’s fussiness. He did not sleep through the night until over a year old.

Joe did not do one night feeding. None. There was a night I begged him to get up and just carry the baby to me because I was in so much pain. He refused. He said he was too tired and he had to get up for work the next day, whereas I did not. When I returned to work, I still did all the night feedings.

Part 9, In Which Babe Borrows Blood Baddies


Forever NooB

No doctor or special test is needed to check older people for signs of senility.

I’ve watched it with my father. To almost all appearances, he seems to match our genetic heritage:

Still looking and feeling great in his 80s (we live healthily into our late 90s), still intelligent and witty, still able to solve any three-dimensional spatial relationship challenge you set for him.

Born a geek, he can still speak the speak. And yet…

Sit him in front of a PC, and you will instantly see why no doctor is needed:

The PC draws each fail seed from the inner recesses of his brain and spills them into full flower from his mouth and fingertips. It’s a truly ugly sight. You don’t want to be there.

You need to run. Run away! Very fast!

No, I am not kidding.

If you love your parents, tattoo the number for their local Geek Squad directly onto every one of their keyboard fingers so that whoever is saddled with their computing support woes will at least be paid for the pain.

Otherwise, you, too, will be awakened at 1:00 a.m. by a call two time zones away:

“How do I get the email to talk to the Facebook again?”

Did you say google goes inside Foxfire, or outside?

The man was a technical engineer who designed some of the fastest assembly lines ever put on this planet; lines where millions of parts moved a hairsbreadth distance apart at lightening speed with nary a clogged cog in his almost-fifty-year career.

And yet he can’t figure out how to plug in a mouse cable when he pulls it loose.

Sadly also, here is me, currently headed toward my own age of crone-hood, already seeing the signs of—NOOOOOOOooooo!!!!!

Eek!  Me?  Tech-phobic?

Eek! Me? Tech-phobic? NOTE: Photo am not really me…see About page for pic of senile self…

Could it be???!!!!? I, who once ran circles around others as a programmer, and then a systems analyst, and picked up new technotools with ease…

I, a once-data processing dinosaur who took joy in tweaking machine code, yet who moved smoothly into designing web pages and flows years later when these came along…

I is now gettin’ tek-dum like my dad. Flowers for Outlier.


Getting dumber isn’t a new experience for me, thanks to the brain-deadening effects of my diseases (systemic lupus and Behcet’s), but the tech-related dumbosity of aging is.

– I have trouble learning simple html instructions.

– I go to post my first-ever comment on imgur, and panic when my first attempts are hugely dork-worthy and I can’t manage to delete them (my stupidity is permanently online for anyone to google).

– When Chrome first came around, I hated it because it had…because it was…new and unfamiliar.

Oh, crap. That is a really bad sign.

What a noob. And now, thanks to old age, a noob forever.

Aw, hell. Might as well embrace senility. It’s as if I’m reborn each day, right? Maybe I’ll start a new online identity daily and cruise the web free of all prior days’ blush burdens. No one will know it’s that senile ole’ Outlier.

Now: If someone can remind me what “cruise the web” means?

You've reached the end of the web.

You’ve reached the end of the web.


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