Archive for January, 2006

Pediatrician Update

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the ped issue. I read each comment and took it to heart. Um, except for the “do you hate white people?” one. I am a duck, people, more and more each day.

We have decided to go with the aa lady 20 minutes away. But it’s not because she’s black, though that’s a bonus. It’s because the peds across the street turned out to be neonatologists that don’t actually see regular patients (though it’s good to know that there are about 15 good peds across the street should we have any trouble with Boomer–we can literally walk to the ER). The receptionist at the hospital directed me to a big pediatrics practice that is within walking distance so I called them. I talked to three people and was on hold for what seemed like hours before someone finally told me that they don’t do visits with the parents before the baby is born. You’re just supposed to show up with your baby and hope that the ped is one you’re comfortable with. Now you veteran parents probably wouldn’t bat an eye at this, but I’m going to be a new, nervous parent and I’d like to have a good rapport with this person before the baby comes home. Adding in the stress of the adoption and the unique circumstances that come with it, I’d rather not be nervous about anything I don’t absolutely need to be. Plus, their reason for not having baby-less visits is that they are an insanely busy practice and they don’t want to take time out of the doctors’ schedules for what they don’t consider to be a necessary visit. This explanation turned me off completely. If they don’t have time for that, they don’t have time for a nervous first-time parent who is going to be calling about every bump and rash.
We figured out that before we leave for Iowa we are probably going to have less than ten visits to the ped, so a 20-minute drive is do-able. The most important thing is that I LOVE this lady. Not just for her qualifications and philosophy, but because of how she presents herself and her awesome life story (experienced illness at a young age and wanted to help kids like her; also super committed to working in low-income areas, which is why she’s working in the neighborhood she is). She knows about the adoption and had good things to say about it. She was very supportive of the decision to seek out an aa ped. Most of all, I know this is a good match because I can’t WAIT to bring our baby for her to meet.

One anxiety-producing decision made. Check!


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I’m about to pull all of the baby things we got at the shower from the dryer and fold them. Ten minutes. I know that in ten minutes, a whole flannel and softened cotton pile of little baby things will be ready to go in the dresser drawers, and ready to wrap a certain Boomer up tight should he arrive in the next few days.

And he could…but maybe not…and will it be tomorrow (as Daisy’s baby is term right now, and could come any time), or in two weeks, or two weeks after the due date? I won’t be in labor, so I won’t know when it’s coming. And of course Daisy may decide to parent. I have this so much in mind, and qualify my statements so much that I was asked at the shower, “has there been some change in the certainty of this placement?” No, I said. Just trying to protect myself and show respect for Daisy. I have told my classes so they don’t worry if I run out of the room to answer my phone or they walk in to find a sub one day. They looked really excited when I told them.
I just finished a “lovie” for Boomer that may turn into a blanket or stay small and just be a special thing for him to clutch, if he likes it. It’s the first thing I’ve ever knitted and I want him to have it, misshapen or not.

I want this baby. I want Daisy to be able to parent. I want both things.

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I have to confess: I used to loathe showers. The little games and hen chat was just not for me. Growing up I always preferred the company of boys and had a bad taste in my mouth for any kind of gathering of women. I don’t feel like teasing out why this was so; it probably has to do with the bitter, pinched-faced, cruel church ladies that weren’t so nice to my mother.

Recently, though, I have begun to love being with other women. I am beginning to appreciate the circle of womanhood and the bond we share through motherhood and other experiences unique to women in our culture. And…I love showers! I loved the one I went to last week, where we sat around eating chocolate and talking about how to raise girls in a very gendered world. I loved my own, thrown yesterday by my mother, sister, mother-in-law, and sisters-in-law.

I loved the gifts, sure, but what I loved best, and what surprised me the most, is how supported I felt. I didn’t need to explain anything about adoption. My in-laws have adopted twice, and my sisters-in-law read this blog anyway so they know where my thoughts are. All present were really kindred spirits and it was so cool just to feel like I had eight strong women pulling for me and for Attic Man during this whole nerve-wracking process.

21 days until Daisy’s due date.

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1.  Revision is a bitch.

2.  Knitting is my new form of procrastination.  I can knit for hours without noticing that everything around me is turning to shit.

3.  We are full speed ahead in getting the dogs ready for Boomer.  Right now we are on an intensive tethering schedule.  By the time the baby arrives the dogs need to be able to be tethered at all times in the house, for an hour at a time.  We’re working them up to it by giving them short times on the tethers and letting them out to play a lot.  They are not in the house untethered at all anymore.  We are getting them used to being very restricted.  They’re actually doing a pretty good job.  Lenny might just be moving out of the puppy stage!  We hope!  It’s cute, but it’s a pain.

4. We got more information about Daisy last night.  I want to know as much as possible.  Daisy wants a completely closed adoption, so the more we can tell Boomer the better.  She sounds like a really cool person, like someone I’d want to meet anyway.  Our social worker is going to ask her if we can have a picture of her and her other kids for Boomer.  She’s due on Feb. 20, so it’s getting close now.  Except it doesn’t feel like it, atall atall.  It just doesn’t feel real.

5. If this is to be our baby there will be three cousins on Attic Man’s side all within a month of the same age. How cool is that?

6.  I used to love face kisses, but ever since I discovered the dogs are eating their own poop I politely decline.  I also brush their teeth with more frequency.  How, do you ask?  Very carefully.

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If Daisy places her child with us, we will have the baby for five months in Pittsburgh before we relocate. I would really like to have an African-American ped for Boomer. Here are our choices:

1. AA woman, 20 minutes away. Have talked to her on the phone and LOVE her.

2. AA man, 11 minutes away.

3. Indian woman, office is just a walk across the street.

4. Any ped across the street (we live across from a major hospital)

Who would you choose? At only 1-5 months, does the convenience of walking outweigh having an AA doctor? Won’t all peds know about AA issues? What if they don’t? Will a five-month old recognize whether or not the ped is of color?

If the kid were 6 months or older we would go for #1 or #2.

So…what do you think?

Added, in anwer to LSU Lady’s question:

At the end of the day, a superb ped of any race will do.  However, we’d like to seek out an AA ped for a few reasons: 1) One more black person for Boomer to be in close contact with; 2) Boomer will have an opportunity to be served by a person who looks like him who also has a high-status job (the more role models, the better; and because most of the people in his life who are in power will be white); 3) more familiarity with AA issues (though, as you’ve said, most peds should be good with this anyway).  I think that if we were black parents raising a black child we might not be as concerned.  It’s the transracial component of this whole thing that we’re considering.
Also, we haven’t planned out our whole family yet, but we’d like to have more than one AA child.  And no, I don’t think we’ll end up having different peds according to race–a little absurd, no?  One will be fine.  For now, for our one kid, AA is preferred.  If we have more, and they are of different races, probably one with superior credentials and of some kind of minority background.

Probably when we get to Iowa we’ll have fewer choices.

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Diva Cup

Any women around here ever use the Diva Cup? Did you like it? Would you recommend it?

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I’m Not a Dog, Continued

Whew! Just returned from an impromptu Steelers pep rally on our neighborhood’s main drag. Attic Man is down there now, waving his Terrible Towel. Even the cops are in on it. It’s GOOD to be in Pittsburgh this year!

Anyway, there was one more thing I wanted to add to the rap discussion. Last night I attended a very hip baby shower. The honoree has one boy already and just found out last week that she’s having a girl this time. So we were all talking about the various issues that come up when you raise girls, like body image and that sort of thing. We were talking about whether or not we were going to let our girls play with Barbies. It went back and forth a little bit, and then one of the ladies brought up a point from a book she’s reading. Basically, it’s that every academic mother swears she’ll never buy her daughter a Barbie…but then every academic mother ends up buying her one anyway. I don’t know if this is accurate statistically, but here’s the point: I think a lot of us academics–especially ones like me who are in cultural studies–believe that just because we’re superb critics and students of culture that we’re somehow outside of it. Which is, to be academic, pretty retarded. Because none of us are. We are gendered, for instance, and we live in a raced society. We are marked in so many ways. It is downright pretentious for us to act as if we have some kind of secret knowledge that will prevent us from falling into the many traps we theorize about all day.

Here’s what it has to do with race: Mamamarta’s right. However we present rap music to Boomer, he is still going to get it mediated through a couple of white folks. So this is to reiterate our resolve not to collect mammies for the shelf, but to give our kids opportunities to experience varieties of black culture in context. In many ways we just need to get out of the way.

And the other thing we run the risk of is turning black people into specimens for our study. We don’t want this to be our family’s social studies project. So, dude, we have to get some black friends.
In other news, wouldn’t it be cool if the year Boomer is born is the year the Steelers win the Superbowl?

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