Sunday, July 29, 2007

Three Short Posts In One!

My maternity pants, my FAVORITE maternity pants, are way too tight this morning. Some foolish helpful person clearly shrunk them in the dryer this week... Or it could be related to the scale's gloomy announcement at the doctor's this week- a whopping ten pounds higher than the week before. I felt so ashamed- no one has ever said a word to me about pregnancy weight gain until last Thursday. But they actually seemed more worried than judgemental, I guess because rapid weight gain is a sign of preclampsia, right? But no, my urine was fine, my blood pressure was fine. I wasn't dilated or effaced any further than last week. Nothing. So basically the diagnosis was either, I am retaining water at a crazy rate, or, just possibly, I need to stop eating so much freaking pie.

Our doula came over yesterday for her last prenatal visit before the actual birth. We went over some final details, and then, as she got up to leave, she reminded me, "Well, the next time I see you, your baby will be coming!" Holy crap, how has it snuck up on me like this? If I go into labor shortly after the bedrest is ended, like last time, that means I have about two weeks! I am freaking out a wee little bit here. So excited, but also getting freaked out. And also, I am determined to not cheat about the bedrest this week because my doula will be in California for the next ten days and well, I REFUSE to have the baby without her. I just do. I am so excited about having her there and feel so much more confident about trying to do it naturally again. (Maybe I am using her as a mental crutch a little bit. I mean, doula or no doula, it's still gonna hurt a whole freaking lot, right? Sigh.)

I am slowly getting a little more indifferent to the general messiness of the house. Maybe this is a blessing in disguise- I'll be less depressed about the chaos of the first few weeks postpartum if I'm already used to the way the house looks now. See how positive I'm being? See what a happy spin I can put on things? The coffee table so covered in crap that I can no longer see the actual table at all is a GOOD thing! The crumbs buried in between every sofa cushion due to my constant snacking are a GOOD thing! We are HAPPY about the clutter and the crumbs!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

It's In The Genes

So the other night, I could not get peanut M and M's off my mind, and sent Beth (the babysitter) on a little candy run. She came back with both plain and peanut M and M's, as well as two giant mix bags of wrapped mini candy bars- Twix, Kit Kat, Crunch. And another bag with individual Reese's cups, Rolos, and Hershey's Kisses. Um, hello nirvana! The chocolate craving was definitely soothed within the hour. And then some.
But that was too much candy for one person, even for me, so obviously I didn't polish it all off. The next day, there was bowls of candy and M and M's still on the coffee table, which Addy of course discovered within minutes of waking up. We let her have a few plain M and M's, and then hurried the bowls out of sight. Problem solved, right?
Until yesterday evening at dinner, when from her high chair she spotted the now empty bowl in which the M and M's had briefly resided. She pointed and gestured wildly, whimpering, until we showed her the bowl and its emptiness and general lack of sugary goodness. Upon which she promptly snatched it from our hands, buried her head into it deeply, inhaling, and moaning, "MMMM!" After huffing the residual chocolate fumes, she began running her fingers around the bottom of the bowl, desperately and painstakingly trying to pick up the morsels of chipped off M and M coating which still lingered tauntingly. She was a woman possessed.
"I think I'm going to cry," Jim said, as we stared.
I'm beginning to think healthy eating habits are a lost cause. How can good intentions compete with something so clearly in the blood?

Saturday, July 21, 2007

In Case You Missed This Month's Issue...

Well, I have nothing better to do than pass along useless and amusing information, and I actually have unlimited use of the laptop today, so, enjoy these ingenious tips from that tome of truth, Cosmo!
For Men: "Your girl might need significantly more foreplay than you do." Is this STILL news?
For Women: "A man who can't keep his paws to himself has sex on the brain." NO....
For All of Us Hair Extension Wearers: Dip the extensions in fabric softener to make them appear more natural. At last, an answer!
For Us Sweaty Pigs Out There: After applying an antiperspirant, "Cover your skin with plastic wrap...This locks the antiperspirant into sweat ducts so it'll work better the next day." How exactly does one go about plastering Saran Wrap to your armpits? And once that is accomplished, how does one walk around their house like that and maintain any respect among members of their family?
A Genius Idea For Staying Cool: Drink a glass of cold water. I can't wait to read their January issue. "Hot tip for staying warm and toasty: Wear a coat!"

But there was an actually interesting article, "Will He Ever Marry You?" (sidenote: can you imagine a men's mag ever featuring such an article? "How To Get Your Wild Woman To Settle Down and Commit Already!) It sited a study by the National Marriage Project, which found that eighty one percent of the married men they surveyed claimed one reason they decided to marry was simply that it was time. I've always believed this- it's basically the "Men As Cabs" theory first proposed by Carrie Bradshaw on Sex and The City- that is, that men drive around having fun, letting different women in and out of their cab, but a certain age comes and they decide they're ready to commit. So they pull over, turn their light on, and the next woman to hop is is "The One." The study also said that ninety four percent of the men surveyed said they were happier married than single, which I also believe. But it's still good to know.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Non-Stress Tests, Scrotum Sightings, Etc.

SORRY it's been so long and I left everyone hanging a bit- it's just been kind of hard to get a chance to get on the laptop, 'cause I have to have someone get it for me and set it up and that's assuming its true owner isn't using it to do actual work.
As noted, I am fine- the contractions had of course died down by the time I actually got to the doctor's office. I also had my regular weekly appointment on Thursday morning, and I am still just at one centimeter, although I am continuing to efface. (Don't you love getting the lowdown on the state of my girl parts?) They also did an ultrasound to measure the baby, which was very exciting since I haven't had one since twenty weeks. He looks great, weighs about four and a half pounds, and is still definitely a boy. (For some reason I continue to obsess that it will turn out to be a girl, so I can never get enough reassurance that there is indeed, um, equipment in sight.)
Not a whole lot else to update on- still on the couch, still bored, still peeing every half hour due to a rapidly descending baby head on my bladder. I got about a year's worth of pictures printed, sorted, and put in the album, though- triumph! And I have been eating so well, it's almost embarrassing. (By well I mean deliciously, not necessarily nutritiously. I'm afraid my vegetable intake has dropped and my homemade pie intake has risen sharply- today's count: three pieces.) I've really felt overwhelmed by how much people have pitched in and helped with food and stuff, and also just come by to visit and make sure I don't feel like I've fallen off the face of the earth. It's hard to feel sorry for yourself when people are killing you with kindness. I am very grateful, most of all for how well Adelay is being cared for.
Really the only complaints per se are the discomfort from being on my back or shoulders constantly, and also the slight sadness I feel about not getting to be physically involved in putting the baby's room together. I almost asked Jim to bring me a basket of already sorted baby clothes tonight, just so I could look at them and refold them and feel like I was doing something. And of course, there is also the weirdness of not being the one to pick Addy up when she wants held or take her to the park or put her to bed. She comes and cuddles with me a lot on the couch, which is comforting, but it also reminds me how much I just want to pick her up like normal. I miss it A LOT. I'd even enjoy changing a diaper, I think.
So! (Brushing hands briskly.) That's me so far. And now what I need from you: recommendations of good movies I can send people to rent for me. And also good books I could have reserved for me at the library, provided they are in no way SAD books, because I just can't handle that in my delicate (read: psychotically hormonal) condition.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


Well, the nursery is painted! Even the ceiling got done, since the last painter left a lot of yellow and blue smudges around the top (that would be me.) It is kind of a dark sage green, and the bedding is a kind of sporty quilt thing with light blue, navy blue, sage green, tan, and some red and orange. It's none of the ones I had originally linked to. It is, in fact, this.
But now I have to go, because my Brethine isn't helping and I'm still having contractions and I have to go in to the office to have them monitored. Please keep your fingers crossed that I don't write my next post from the hospital!

Monday, July 16, 2007


1. Okay, today was better. If nothing else, I haven't been looking at the clock every five minutes thinking, "It's ONLY seven o' clock??" Also, Jim's coworker Lisa sent us this amazing beef and noodles for dinner, and it was literally so good that I just may have mentioned (with my mouth still full) that it was worth having to lay down all day long just to get such a yummy dinner.
2. Also, I got some scrapbooking down, though not as much as expected. It's harder than I thought it would be to crop pictures and arrange stickers and stuff while propped on one elbow! But I'm making progress. And I at least finally got a year's worth of pictures printed and sorted, so now I just have to put them in the albums. That will be a really good feeling. Until I forget to print pictures and have another year's worth to sort and print and file NEXT summer. Ah, well.
3. Jim and I actually went to bed at the same time last night and cuddled and stuff. There's no, er, extracurricular activities permitted, of course, but it was really nice to be all touchy-feely. It's sad how you can just kind of forget to do that stuff.
4. My mom got started prepping the nursery to be painted tomorrow! Can I tell you how excited I am? No, I cannot. I started daydreaming about the actual, real-live baby that's going to live in there and got goosebumps.
5. Contractions still coming pretty hard, though infrequent now. It's a little worrisome. Every time I stand up I feel the pressure of that head moving lower and lower. Please stay in there for a few more weeks, kid!
6. What does everyone think of the name Greydon (or Grayden or Graden) instead of Grady, but still call him Grady for short? Does this sound a little less babyish, and if so, is that good or bad?

Sunday, July 15, 2007

One Day At A Time!

So far, these last two and half days have taken approximately ten years. I remembered bedrest last time as being, in its way, somewhat fun and an interesting change of pace. It took a while to get used to it, but I settled into a pace of reading and eating and napping. There were certain shows I would watch at certain times, people I would call every day. It wasn't mentally stimulating or anything, but it was tolerable. At night, someone would bring over dinner, or Jim would pick something up or cook, and we would eat together in the living room. Then we'd play cards or cuddle and watch a movie or something.
My memories of bedrest were of being, yes, bored and hot and sore and frustrated, but also of being cared for and feeling loved and pampered. I received genuine sympathy when I had to take my Brethine and endure the shaking and heart racing, the dizziness and feelings of anxiety. I felt appreciated and acknowledged for the actual work I was doing by laying still and allowing our child to continue to grow safely. I didn't feel like a burden or an inconvenience.
Yeah. This is nothing like last time. The most obvious difference, of course, is the presence of a toddler in the house, needing changed and fed and bathed and dressed and played with. Her fingerprints, her toys, her sippy cups, and her Veggie Tales DVD's are everywhere, her magnetic letters and her doll stroller and her play yard. Every time I get up to use the bathroom, it's like navigating a maze. And the main objective throughout the day and night is to keep the kid occupied and happy and cared for.
Jim is still pretty miserably sick, and Addy is high-energy and full of new needs every five minutes. She makes messes all over the house- like peeing straight down the front of the couch last night after fleeing naked from her bath- and by the time she is cared for, I sort of feel like my needs or wants are petty and selfish. Jim uncomplainingly brings me my water or vitamin or whatever, and he doesn't act put-upon or anything, nor resentful, just tired. Obviously, understandably. It's just that Adelay has to come first, and by the time Jim gives her what energy he has with a horrible cold, there's not exactly an overflow to be spent on rubbing my sore back and inquiring solicitously as to my emotional well being.
I realize this sounds horrible. I realize I sound whiny and childish and ungrateful. That I maybe AM whiny and childish and ungrateful. This realization is kind of scary to me, and makes me even more depressed and low than I already feel. I need to put on my big-girl pants here and realize that this sucks for everyone, and it's just going to suck for awhile, but it is what we have to do. And it could be MUCH worse, as already noted, in that the baby could be imminently arriving, or that we could live far from all relatives and friends and really be stuck up a creek right now. This is just inconvenience here, nothing truly devastating.
But can I just whine, here, for a little bit? About how my hips and shoulders are all sore and out of whack from tossing from side to side, and about how these contractions really hurt already, and the Brethine is making me feel miserable and I don't want to take it even though I need to, and about how I'm gross feeling and dressed in unmatching pajamas, and how my eyebrows need plucking and my legs need shaving, and my bikini line doesn't even exist anymore? And also, may I tell you about how I see myself, my lumpy thighs and my stretch marked belly and my grouchy, shiny face, and I wish Jim wasn't seeing me like this? I hear my voice asking for a blanket, or a glass of juice, or for my crosstitch project (which my shaking hands can't handle anyways) and I wish there were a way to have my needs met without his having to wait on me hand and foot.
And of course there is also the Bad Mother guilt about how Addy calls for me and I can't come, it has to always be Jim or someone else, and also there is the guilt that I'm not enjoying this pregnancy more. I keep thinking, "I need to cherish this! It will be over soon!" And I will, for a few minutes. I will admire the way my baby rolls around visibly under my taut belly skin, and will gasp audibly at the sharp kicks to my ribs. It is amazing. But also, there is the (whisper) constipation from the medicine/pregnancy/lying around and getting literally no exercise. And there is the crumbs all over me every time I eat and the dizziness every time I get up for the few things I'm allowed to get up for. There's the irrational despair I felt last night when the DVD player crapped out and I realized I was facing a weekend with no movies and nothing but basic cable, which essentially means golf or the Tour de France coverage.
I think what's going on this time is that it's not in the least romantic, the way it kind of was last time. We had this month of enforced togetherness, time spent just sitting and talking and daydreaming about the baby, enjoying our last weeks of alone time. It was like a honeymoon or something.
And this, with the lingering headcolds and tantruming toddlers and trying to arrange round the clock childcare... This is not so romantic, and feels nothing like a vacation for any of us. More like Survivor.
But survive we shall. For instance, last night Jim went to the grocery at almost ten, after Addy was in bed, to get me the pie I had been craving for two days. This was above and beyond. And this afternoon, while my mom has Addy for awhile, I am entertaining myself so Jim can get in a few hours of video games with his friend, and not have to run and fetch anything for anybody. I think as long as we keep giving each other these little things, we'll manage. It won't be a honeymoon, but we'll make it.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Bad, Good, Bad, Good, Etc.

1. I had to go in this morning to get my second shot of steroids for the baby's lungs, which they told me would take fifteen minutes. They asked me how I was feeling as we walked back to the exam room, I mentioned that I had been crampy after the exam, and wound up getting another internal (still just one cm.) and getting hooked up to the contraction monitor for half an hour. Which showed a couple minor ones, so now I definitely have to take the Brethine instead of Vistaril. All in all, I was in there about an hour.
2. Thank goodness Beth (babysitter) was there to watch Addy. And is a patient soul. And was a very good, cautious driver all the way to and from the office, while I lay in my semi-reclined passenger seat.
3. That shot freaking hurt. Yesterday's burned, because the medicine just does, going in, but the nurse who gave it was pretty good. Today's nurse was EVIL, jabbing right in the least fleshy part of my hip, and I swear to God I couldn't put weight on that side of my body for like an hour. And then she kept asking me, "You okay? Did it hurt?" And I wanted to be like, "Um, no, the giant needle filled with stinging steroid injection stabbed into my hipbone did NOT hurt! It felt like kitten kisses!"
4. My mom brought me McDonalds for lunch, and it was very, very good. I love me some McDonald's french fries, I cannot tell a lie.
5. When we stopped by the pharmacy on the way back from the way too long doctor's visit, they told me they were OUT of Brethine, and it would be Monday before they got more. I could actually feel my blood pressure rising a little, and I asked, a little tersely, I'm afraid, "Can you CALL around TOWN and ask if someone ELSE has it maybe? Because I'm really supposed to be starting it NOW, not Monday." And so she did, and someone else did have some, but my poor Mom had to bring me lunch, feed Addy, and then go get the Brethine on HER lunch break.
6. Jess brought me a big bag full of baby clothes and magazines and a book and a bunch of chocolate, Good Chocolate, and made me feel loved and pitied. I am a baby sometimes and I really needed to feel that just for a while.
7. It is amazing how quickly things get kinda trashed without my bustling presence. The kitchen is clean, basically, people have been cleaning up after themselves. And the bathroom sink got wiped down after I requested it. But the living room, in which I spend most of my hours, is kind of crazy looking. There are used tissues and empty water glasses and half-filled bowls of Cheerios, a hundred pairs of shoes, random stuffed animals, mail, slippers, and DVD cases strewn all over. In truth, it probably looks like the living rooms of most people with toddlers in their homes, but I am kind of a neat freak, and usually the first thing I do after Addy goes to bed is do a sweep through the main areas of the house and clean up all the random crap. So I feel frankly bitchy to be nagging at people every second to pick stuff up.
8. On the other hand, it kind of makes me feel needed and useful and virtuous that I must usually be so on top of things, if it only takes a day without me to get like this. I must be pretty darn good at my job, after all.
9. I miss being on the computer during the day SO MUCH, but Jim takes the laptop to work and I am not allowed to sit upright to use the home monitor. So I have to wait till after Addy goes to bed to do anything. Also, laptops get really freaking hot when they actually have to sit on your LAP for an hour at a time.
10. I am kind of excited that I will finally get caught up on filing pictures and scrapbooking. I went through and chose all the photos I want printed tonight, and maybe over the weekend I can convince someone to go get the rest of the scrapbooking supplies I need. I haven't printed pictures in a YEAR, people. This job was WAY overdue.

Thursday, July 12, 2007


Apparently thirty two weeks is the magical point when my body decides to start kicking babies out. Because here I am, on the couch, sentenced to bedrest again for my crime of one centimeter dilation. It's deja vu all over again- I think I was even in the same exam room as I was last time when I got the verdict.
It's weird how you can know before you know. I went in thinking, "Routine exam," but as soon as the doctor came in, I just sort of got a bad feeling. And then when he checked my cervix, and was quiet for an extra beat while helping me sit up and then removing his gloves, I knew before he even started talking.
The really weird thing is that the contractions had slowed down the last few weeks, as far as I could tell. Or maybe I was just taking it easier, staying more hydrated, and so I was feeling them less. I don't know. But I'd only felt the need to take the Vistaril once or twice in the time between my last appointment and this one. I went in pretty optimistic that all was well. I had plans to start getting the baby's room ready this weekend, all that good stuff.
At least, thank God, we had hired the babysitter and even got her started coming in. She was over tonight and we made plans to have her come over every morning and stay until lunch, and then my little sister can do the afternoons. Jim will have to get off work a little early for the next month, to be home by four, so he'll probably have to go in earlier. And here's hoping Addy never wakes up at six o' clock in the morning before the sitter gets here but when Jim's already gone!
So it could be worse- I could be stuck, for instance, in some strange town with no friends or family and a toddler to take care of and then the bedrest on top of it all. Addy would have to suddenly be shipped off to daycare, which would have made me very sad. I must count my blessings here.
Such as not changing a single diaper for the next four weeks. Pretty awesome. But so scary- four more weeks! Maybe only four more weeks 'till delivery! Must start practicing those Kegels...
P.S. Sorry if this sounded rambly. I've had a shot of steroids for the baby's lungs, plus a dose of Vistaril today, so I'm a little woozy right now.

Battling the Demons

So a couple of weeks ago, I posted about worry and fear as related to our kids, and promised a longer post on it later. Now I'm thinking I don't know if that's such a good idea- who really wants to dwell at length on our own craziness and mental fragility? Plus I'll just make myself cry, and I'm really not in the mood. My face is red enough from the heat.
But maybe we could do this a fun way. Maybe everyone could contribute their own personal irrational pregnancy and childbirth fears, those one-in-a-million chance scenarios that you maybe never told anyone else for fear of being stared at blankly, but that constantly circled in your mind nonetheless. You know what I'm talking about, right? It's the same theory as the infamous knife thing from Swistle's postpartum post- if you anticipate something intently enough, you will somehow prevent it from happening! Because moms are magic like that.
So here was/is mine- this was my crazy fear during both pregnancies: That the umbilical cord would somehow get wrapped around one of the baby's limbs or something and that when the baby came out, it would have a limb that would have to be amputated because it had gotten no blood flow in utero. (I know, how gruesome is that? Where and when did I hear some horror story that would cause me to concoct this awful scenario?) And also, with equal intensity, I of course worry about the cord being wrapped around the baby's neck and the doctor's somehow missing it until the actual delivery, even though of course the hospitals monitor the baby's heart rate during contractions to check for things like that. And also I worry about the cord becoming knotted in general, because one of my pregnancy books has a frightening picture of what that looks like, then says reassuringly, "This complication is very rare, but can be fatal."
So! That was liberating to get off my chest. Anyone else? Any bizarro or very unlikely to ever happen kind of situations that you fretted about late at night while pregnant? Let's hear 'em! Everyone break out your inner crazy- it's nice to share.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Further Grumblings

First of all, after reading the last post's comments, I'm feeling like I should amend my husband-related complaining of yesterday. I think maybe I made him sound selfish, when in fact I was mostly just grumpy about the fact that even though he DOES take turns getting up with Addy, I always wake up every time anyways due to that internal baby monitor that kicked in the second she was born. And he certainly does his share of child-care, like for instance in the evenings when I go to my aerobics class. Not to mention that getting a babysitter to help me out during the day was HIS idea. In fact, he thought I could use the help now and even urged me to have her start BEFORE the baby came! So compared to most women, I think I have very few husband gripes overall. Just for the record.
I do have illness gripes and pregnancy gripes, though, fear not! Jim is still very sick with some sort of horrible upper respiratory hacky thing, Addy has been running a fever, and I am feeling queasy and achy and have headaches- basically, like I have morning sickness again, which is a terrifying thought! But I also have a bit of congestion, so I'm hoping I just feel nauseous from sinus drainage or something equally unpleasant, but virus related and temporary. I have heard horror stories of women who get full-blown morning sickness again in their third trimester, and this thought makes me want to... I don't know. Go to bed in despair and say to heck with it all.
Also, I'm getting really itchy to get that baby's room put together. It is currently still painted yellow and blue with pink flowers around the ceiling, but has the boy curtains hung and the boy bedding in the crib. A can of sage green paint sits hopefully beside the crib, dreaming of fulfilling its destiny. There are baskets of baby clothes, washed and folded but still not put away. Bouncy seats and pack'n'plays and exersaucers, all needing their cloth parts washed and their plastic parts wiped, cover almost every square inch of floor space. All of Addy's old clothes are still in storage in the closet, housed in a teetering stack of Rubbermaid containers. In short, the room is a mess, and it's beginning to make me nervous.
By this point in Addy's pregnancy, I was already re-cleaning and arranging the room because it had been put together perfectly for so long. I remember going in and refolding clothes, touching the blankets and admiring the impossibly small socks. Now, I keep thinking, a little frantically, "One more month! One more month to get all this done!" Because in my mind, I still think of thirty-six weeks as possibly being the end point, and I don't want to push my luck and just assume that I have plenty of time when in fact TIME is RUNNING OUT!
The stress is driving me to eat another cookie. More later.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Night After

I don't want to be awake right now. I want to be under a sheet with the ceiling fan twirling overhead, the curtains drawn to shut out the glaring light. Instead here I sit, already sweating in this frickin' hot den, while Addy cuddles Jim's cell phone in one hand and her childproof bottle of children's cold medicine in the other and watches Between The Lions. I am blurry and clammy, and vaguely worried about how the scale this morning said I had LOST five pounds since the last time I got on, even though I ate two dinners and two snacks throughout the course of last night. Intrauterine growth restriction? I wonder. Or just water weight?
Last night was... Endless. Just up and down and up and down and up and down with Addy about every three hours. I feel like I've had a string of restless naps, but nothing even approaching a good night's sleep. It was made worse by the fact that we've all had colds around here, and Jim and I had taken, respectively, Nyquil and Benadryl before bed. So by the time Addy started in on her first round of wailing at her door, we were both groggy and half-coherent. She too had had her dose of medicine, but it apparently had the opposite effect on her that it did on us. During one stretch of awakeness, lasting from three thirty to six thirty, I was wondering if I should just forget about sleep altogether. I'm glad I didn't, since Addy did not sleep in forever like I anticipated, but woke up at nine, only an hour later than usual. I needed those last few hours.
I can't help feeling grumpy that Jim is still in bed, sleeping off the night's misery, while I am up changing diapers and toasting waffles, though. I know he is sicker than I am, quite a bit, but I am pregnant. Why am I always the one who wakes up to the kid? We don't even need a baby monitor; I appear to have one in my brain that alerts me the second my child's eyes open. It's just one of the perks of HIS job- he can call in sick and actually lie around and be sick and generally unbothered. This possibility does not really exist for the stay-at-home parent.
Anyways... Let's wrap up with a positive note, shall we? Last night, the therapy pool in which my prenatal aerobics class is usually held was closed for "chemical treatment," which I think means some kid pooped in it and messed up the Ph balance. So we had to have our class in the big pool with another group. Their class was a lot more high impact than we were used to- at first it was hard to keep up, but then it felt great. I was SO hungry afterwards (thus the second dinner.) But it felt great to be in the cold water, getting a workout without sweating. So I'll just keep thinking about that invigorated sensation today, when my forehead and upper lip are getting damp just from walking around the house, and when I feel hot and irritable and tired and start yelling excessively at the dog just to have someone to vent at.

Monday, July 09, 2007

The Weekend Update!

The heat! It's so hot!! Today I felt that Addy and I were literally hibernating- I put her down for a nap just a little after noon, and crawled into my own bed soon after. We both slept like the dead all through the hot, hot, ninety-five degree afternoon, only reemerging after three p.m. And I am now awake, but sweating my balls off, so to speak, in this hot, hot den. (This is my current excuse, btw, for not posting more often- the computer room is untouched by the air conditioner, and by the time I get a free moment to get online, it is sweltering and I am unwilling to enter it.)
We met with our doula on Sunday afternoon, which was both great and scary. She totally amazes me- she's flying to L.A. at the end of this month to try to get impregnated again with a second surrogate child for this couple in Australia for whom she gave birth last year. It will be her sixth birth, and she's all modest, shrugging, "Pregnancy and birth are easy for me, I actually like it!" when I tried to express my utter amazement and awe. I cannot fathom putting my body through this again EVER without the return at the end of a snuggly little baby who gets to be MINE. But I think it is incredible and commendable that she is willing to do this for another family. I myself just don't have it in me.
Anyways, we put the birth plan together, spending over an hour debating such things as evening primrose oil and perineal massage, internal fetal monitoring, circumcision, episiotomy, vacuum suction, stirrups, fundal massage, etc. (My feelings on these subjects, respectively, would be yes, yes, no, yes, no if avoidable, no if avoidable, no, and a BIG no. Just in case you were wondering.) It was good to get all these details on the table and go over them, but it was a little terrifying to start envisioning the actual birth, to see myself here, in the tub, or there, in the hospital, laboring and then, inevitably, pushing. Yikes! Yay, but also yikes. I really can't wait to see this little guy, though. And also, I kind of miss being able to see my bikini line.
Today was the babysitter's first day with us. She got here at nine, just as I was cleaning up breakfast, and went to the grocery with me. I had been putting off shopping for about two weeks other than little desperation trips, so we had a lot to get, and I was already feeling hot and tired just from the morning routine. It was really nice to have someone there to help carry Addy and push the cart, to shop while I made the inevitable mid-shopping bathroom run, and to help load and unload the car! She stayed and helped put things away (which was probably good, so she could see where all the kitchen stuff is for future reference) and also made lunch with me. She is an excellent grilled cheese maker. Plus Addy seems to really like her. I am a lucky girl.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Big and Beautiful

So here is the obligatory post about gaining weight in pregnancy. Swistle did a great one a few months back, and I totally agreed with her theory: Your body gains what it is supposed to gain for the baby, and will in turn lose it eventually, so long as you don't completely lose your mind and eat the entire IHOP menu for breakfast every day. So it's really not worth stressing over too much- eat the ice cream, don't eat the ice cream, whatever. You're going to feel like a whale by the end regardless, so don't overthink it.
That said, I will also say that it is much easier to keep this perspective the first time around, when the magic of the blossoming belly is much more, well, magical. The first time, I actually got EXCITED about every pound gained. This time, especially when I realized that the only cure for my morning sickness was to keep something in my tummy at all times, I was not so thrilled to see the scale creeping up at only eight weeks along. I am now almost thirty-one weeks, and I have gained a good thirty pounds. I am anticipating at least ten more, since with Addy I gained ten pounds just in the last WEEK before delivery (most of it water weight, though, I think.)
My stomach is definitely up and out there, the proverbial snack tray on which I can balance my most frequent craving, cheddar cheese and Triscuits. I have new stretch marks climbing all the way to my belly button, and my thighs, never my best feature, have reached epic proportions. Really. You could slice whale steaks off of them. My boobs, rather than growing buxom and full like ripe fruit, have grown big and loose and elastic, and also, mysteriously, decided to migrate into my armpits. When I see myself in recent photos, my face looks weirdly bloated and my arms looks like Another Person's flabby arms. I feel strange in my own body sometimes, trapped, even.
But despite this temporary weirdness (please God let it be temporary) I also feel a little more like a real pregnant person this time, if that makes sense. My last pregnancy seemed so easy, and I had so much energy for most of it, that if I hadn't been so obsessed with all things baby I might have forgotten I was pregnant at all. Not so this time around. If the heartburn isn't reminding me, my cumbersome waddle is, or the random limbs pressing down on my bladder. The other day I coughed and felt such intense pressure down there that I literally checked my pants, thinking I had broken my water. Glamorous stuff. But there is no chance of my forgetting for more than five minutes the significant task my body is busy with.
My belly is an orb, stretched tight like a drum. It's actually kind of awesome to behold, if you're in the right frame of mind. I'm not always in said frame, but when it happens, I can actually be amazed at what my body is capable of doing. My hips ache a lot from separating, for instance, but it is kind of remarkable that my brain can trigger a hormone to cause my actual joints to relax and stretch apart like that. It will be a whole 'nother kind of remarkable when none of my jeans fit a few months from now, but, as I said, this kind of thinking requires the proper frame of mind!
So what do you think of pregnant bodies, particularly your own? Did it mostly just horrify you towards the end, or were you able to keep perspective and appreciate the miracle you were creating?

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Mixed Blessing

I was doing really well there for awhile at posting everyday. Now there is either not much to say, or I am too busy frantically completing random nesting projects to post (Jim called home yesterday and was in shock to hear that I was ironing tiny baby shirts. "I go to work in wrinkly pants and you're ironing baby clothes?" he asked incredulously.) It hasn't been terribly hot lately- only in the eighties- so I've been able to keep up on the housework (at least to my satisfaction) without becoming overheated and exhausted. The contractions have been much fewer, possibly just because I'm not being constantly afflicted with heat stroke and dehydration. And my weight gain seems to have slowed down, though my belly feels more cumbersome every day. I have The Line now, the linea negro, as I believe it is properly called, running from my pubic bone to belly button. Which, by the way, is fully popped now, as though to announce to the world that the bun has outgrown its oven.
But these are not the things I was going to write about today. What I wanted to talk about is how we are going to be having my little sister's friend, who just graduated but will be staying in town at least for this year, come over a few days a week to help out after the baby arrives. She'll also be on call the rest of the summer in case I should have to suddenly go on bed rest again. I've known her for a long time, and Jim and I both are really comfortable with her and feel she's old enough to be trusted. She'll only be here for two or three hours at a time, but enough for me to take a shower, or a nap, or maybe even work out or something. Or get some solid housework time in without being interrupted every five minutes, or even escape to the store alone.
I feel amazingly lucky, and much less frightened about Life With Two Children than I was a few weeks ago. In fact, I almost feel like I should whisper this news, or put it in parenthesis or something, lest the jealousy rain down upon my head from all of you who aren't lucky in the babysitter department.
And yet, when she came over yesterday to discuss hours and wages and all that, I had this weird, possessive feeling. She got here just as we were finishing up lunch, and as I was cleaning up the kitchen and changing a diaper, explaining to her as I went our basic routines and showing her the kids' rooms and stuff, I had this territorial feeling about it all, even the piles of toys and the dirty diaper and the messy kitchen. Do I really want someone to come in on a regular basis and interfere with my daily rhythm? I was thinking. Can I really let someone else fold my towels and give my daughter snacks and even comfort my crying newborn?
It's so silly, right? How many times have I been picking up toys and refilling sippy cups and wiping bottoms and thinking, What I wouldn't give to just hand this off to someone else right now? And now I get to, at least for a few hours a week, and I'm feeling sad? What is the matter with me?
It's gotta be the hormones. How else to explain any sense of reluctance to relinquish tedious daily tasks? Or is this just my being hyper-controlling, subconsciously wondering if I can really trust someone else to kiss boo-boos and wipe counters and fold onesies as well as I can?