Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Stepford Fries

(I did not make up the title of this entry. One of my friends did. She's cleverer than I am.)

I have The Sick. Oh, it's just a cold, but I'm in the final tired-all-the-time stages of pregnancy, and I can't just sleep whenever I feel like it. I wake up six times a night and spend so much time trying to get out of bed without having an accident (really, body, why can't you wake me up to use the restroom before the contraction starts?) that I'm wide awake by the time I get back.

Grace wakes up at 8:30 or 9 and needs love and attention, and I just lie on the living room floor, feeling guilty and wishing she'd just COME over HERE, already, if she wants me to read Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? for the 46th time that day (who says stay-at-home-motherhood isn't intellectually stimulating? I have memorized no less than 14 books, cover to cover, and I've gotten waaay better at imitating animal noises, especially the sheep; my sheep is masterful). I have also developed a cough, which was to be expected. I get these nasty seal-bark coughs near the end of every cold. The last one only stuck around for a couple of days, but usually they stay for weeks. Goody!

James and I had a babysitter on Saturday. A nice couple from church came over and watched us while The Child went out boozing.

Actually, James and I went to dinner and a movie. In a freakish turn of good luck, Grace didn't even peep when we walked out the door. This is odd because when she's left with more familiar people, she screams like they're attempting to decapitate her with a dull steak knife (ten minutes after we leave, of course, she's completely forgotten she even has parents). Unfortunately, this does not mean she is finally letting go of her separation anxiety; on Monday my mom came to babysit, and The Child began freaking out before I'd even left. Good times!

So, we were going to see Sherlock Holmes. I can't stand Jude Law (I used to think he was gorgeous, but now he just grosses me out), but since Iron Man my affection for Robert Downey Jr. overshadows just about any objections I might have to his costars.

Well, we got there only to find that either the website had the movie times wrong, or James had read a "6" where there was really a "7." Our babysitters are very nice people, but we didn't they'd appreciate us showing up at 10 when we told them we'd be back around 9.

So we saw The Book of Eli instead. Still not sure what I think of it. It definitely wasn't what I expected. I think I liked it, but I'm not sure. My love for Denzel Washington and movies about the end of civilization may be coloring my opinion. I think I could watch Denzel Washington stare into a styrofoam cup for two hours straight. Anyway, if you're thinking of going to see that movie, it's not really the action-packed adventure it appears to be, and it's really violent in parts (not graphic or gory, which I hate). Just so you know.

The whole point of this post is to complain about my fellow moviegoers.

First, popcorn. I'm assuming all the popcorn is edible, so what is wrong with just taking one or two pieces off the top at a time. What compels people to DIGDIGDIGDIGDIG? Are they rats? Or puppies? And it's always during the heavy, thoughtful, quiet moments of the movie that this happens. I know this because I watch people. They sit, slack-jawed during the noisy parts, and then the minute dialogue starts again, they dive their fists into the popcorn bin with such eagerness that I assume they're trying to make up for the eating time they lost during the action.

(don't get me started on candy wrappers and boxes)

Then, the people who arrive late. I sit near the end of the aisle because I can count on one hand the number of times I've made it through an entire movie without getting up to go to the bathroom at least once. When the seats are filling up, I do understand that I'll have to pay for my choice to sit on the end. But a couple of guys arrived several minutes late at a kind of crucial point in the movie, and choose our row to sit in the middle when there were, oh, 35 others completely empty.

And THEN! Ten minutes later, a lady arrived with all their snacks. Two crinkly bags of popcorn and 43 crinkly candy boxes. She stood in front of their row to hand them off, then came around and climbed over us, AGAIN at a kind of crucial point. This would have been annoying enough if I were actually able to stand up and allow them to go past quickly. But I'm as big around as a yoga ball these days, and even if I could get up out of my seat quickly, standing up wouldn't help at all; they'd probably bounce off me and go hurtling down and over the seat in front of me.

On second thought...

Does anyone else get terribly dry skin during pregnancy? I'm not talking just itchy, dry skin. This is... weird. Freakish. Like, I think I belong in a circus. Most winters I get scaly skin, but if I exfoliate and drink lots of water and apply lotion every morning and evening, it's not so bad.

Well, this winter it's like I'm metamorphosing into Godzilla. The worst part is that I can't shave my legs in the condition they're in. And we're almost to that most delightful part of pregnancy: the weekly pelvic exam. Also known as Super Awesome Fun Time.

I know my OBs have seen in all. They probably don't even notice grotesqueries that I can't even imagine. This is totally my hangup.

But I must go to my appointments with shaved legs. This is very important to me. Because the first thing someone will notice when faced with a reptilian leg is the tiny hairs sprouting out of it.

(I did ask my OB about it at my last appointment. I was a little embarrassed; I mean, he's not a dermatologist, and seriously? dry skin? Should we call the waaaaambulance? But I think he's had this question before because he suggested some lotion with lactic acid in it. Now I just have to find the stuff.)

I got a bonus ultrasound at my last visit. High amniotic fluid. Well, it was normal this time, and she is no longer breech! Goody! Not goody: the hour every day she spends burrowing her way toward my toes.

I'd also lost a pound, so I decided to stop at McDonald's for a cheeseburger on the way home. Shut up. I did it for the baby.

The guy who took my order was really cheerful. And super nice about me delivering my order in a very confusing manner. When I pulled up to the window, I saw that he was very good-looking. Like a 17-year-old version of this guy, minus the gigantic earring:

He sincerely wished me a nice day. And smiled.

Then I got to the window to get my food, and there was another one! Cheerful! Good-looking! He, too, looked like some kind of famous person, but I can't remember who.

I had to pull ahead to wait for my fries (which were so hot they burnt my fingers, and I almost injured myself trying to snarf them down fast enough), and the girl who brought them out looked like this:

She thanked me for waited. And there was more smiling.

It was eerie.

Don't take this the wrong way. I worked food service a long time. I hated the assumption that just because I worked a job that didn't require an education, I must be surly and unhappy. But this was like Stepford.

They did forget my straw. So there is that. But I think that might have been done intentionally, just so I wouldn't suspect anything.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Taco Bell

Let's talk about food aversions. They're not as bad as morning sickness, I will grant them that, but when they're persistent, they can still make a hungry lady's life pretty miserable.

My food aversions are not just me disliking food I used to like. I can look at a plate full of perfectly cooked cheesy scrambled eggs, and all I see are the rotting entrails of several cats, topped in shredded maggot. And eating is not just a matter of closing my eyes and choking it down anyway. If something doesn't sound good, my body will reject it, and I'll throw up within fifteen minutes. I don't know what causes this, but it's really, really annoying.

(ETA: I don't ever feel sick unless I eat something that sounds gross. Or sometimes after I take a vitamin. Or if my stomach has been empty for most of the day. So I'm actually not miserable all the time, just hungry.)

It's much more persistent this time around. This is probably why I've only gained a total of five or six pounds, which is fine by me. If I can manage to eat a good protein-rich breakfast right away in the morning with lots of water and take half my vitamins (vitamins on empty stomach = blaaaaarhhhhftz), the days usually goes pretty well, and the aversions aren't so bad. But that's IF I wake up wanting to eat something other than a celery stick and a Cheerio.

Some days it's only healthy food I can eat, which is nice. I stuff myself silly on lettuce and mangoes and chicken breast and feel good about myself at the end of the day. Other days, it's only lettuce. And then I starve all day, but at least I'm not eating something devoid of nutrition. I feel lousy and tired and heartburny, but I console myself that I've had plenty of vitamins A, B and C that day.

And then we have today and yesterday, and the day before that and the day before that. All I want is bad, bad food--the kind that sits in my stomach for three days, encased in a ball of grease and sodium. We don't generally keep that kind of stuff around the house, mainly because I have NO RESTRAINT in the face of bad snack foods. So I've been wasting away on the couch, every cell in my brain fixated intently on beef soft tacos supreme from Taco Bell. Why Taco Bell? I have no idea. I'm not even sure they use bovine flesh in their tacos. I eat it maybe once every six months (and it's always when a strange craving for the stuff takes over out of nowhere... hmmm).

We don't even have a Taco Bell in this town. Yes, that's right, I live in a town that HAS NO TACO BELL.

James went out last night, and at ten o'clock, after a full day in which I ate a piece of toast with peanut butter, a mango, an orange, and six spoonfuls of plain yogurt, my brain finally lit upon the one thing that would make me happy and complete: the Taco Bell. So I called him and asked him if he could pick some up for me on the way home. When he got home with it a few hours later, I think the intensity of my face-stuffing scared him a little.

I was already in bed when he got there. He came upstairs to see if I was still awake, and he neglected to bring the bag of food with him.

Me: Where are my tacos?
Him: Oh, I was just seeing if you were awake first. You want me to bring it up.

(I may not have said please.)

And when he came back upstairs, I sat in bed hunched over my two tacos like a starving vulture on the last piece of roadkill in Arizona, and I shoveled them down in about ten seconds.

Usually that takes care of it. My focus narrows to one single food, which I must have before life can go on, and then once I have it, I'm over it. Actually, I'm usually disgusted by it after that (one of my most annoying food aversions: leftovers. No matter how delicious the meal, anything that's spent time in the fridge post-meal becomes a horror of rotting flesh and congealing vegetable matter).

But not Taco Bell. Oh no. I now want MOAR MOAR MOAR of the stuff. Right now, my vision of a perfect meal is a pyramid of soft tacos stacked up to the ceiling.

So what I'd like to know is, what is in the stupid beef soft taco supreme that is so special? Is it a drug? A special chemical? What does my body want out of such a thing? I really wish I could figure it out because this is going to get expensive.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Babies, owls and cheese

I was all excited to post an ultrasound picture here, but our printer/scanner is hooked up to my husband's computer now, and he doesn't have the scanner driver on his computer, so they won't talk to each other, and all I can do is make photocopies of the pictures, which doesn't really help unless I mail them all to you, and that would just be stupid. And expensive. And as much as I like you all, I don't like you that much.

Also, I have coined a new term: FauxD. As in FauxD ultrasound, NOT 4D, because SUCH A THING CANNOT EXIST. That way you all know what I'm talking about, and I do not have to use language I object to.

So, we got some pretty good pictures of 2.0. Now, I realize that FauxD ultrasound images are kind of all smushy and globby looking, but I swear to you this child looks just like Grace. She is already chubby (the ultrasound tech even noted this with some surprise, but I'm not alarmed since I've taken TWO blood glucose tests this time around, and all is normal). And she DEFINITELY has my nose.

She is 5 pounds right now. This is... large. But not DANGERHUGEDANGER like Grace was at this point, even if the ultrasound is underestimating by a pound. If she comes a week early like Grace did, there's a chance I could have a normal-sized baby. That would be awesome.

The doctor I saw Monday was the one who performed my C-section; he's also the one who I had my first prenatal appointment with, the one who seemed the most leery of a VBAC. At this appointment he asked what we were thinking of doing, and I said I didn't want to schedule a C-section. I was expecting some resistance--not pressure, 'cause that's not the way these people roll, which I really like, but slight resistance, like maybe an eye twitch or a certain tone of voice. Instead, he just said, "Okay, sounds good!"

I said, "Oh. Huh. You seemed to be the one least in favor of taking that route at my first appointment."

He said, "I did? That's really weird. I normally try to be as low-intervention as possible." So. I don't know. Maybe when I saw him last he'd recently had a VBAC go awry, and it was fresh in his memory. Whatever the reasons, that relieved the last little bit of apprehension I had about not scheduling a C-section.

Enough about babies. I'm sick of talking about babies.

I almost hit an owl on the way to James's mom's house a few nights ago. We came over for New Year's Eve, and on this dark, icy road into her development, there was this giant bird, just hanging out on top of a hunk of snow. I hit the brakes as hard as I dared. Luckily, it saw us and took off. Once it started flying, we realized just how huge it was. I'm pretty sure it was a great horned owl, but that's based solely on my spotty memory and pictures on the Internet.

Also, in my ten minutes of research I discovered that the barred owl is possibly one of the creepiest-looking birds on earth:

Tell me those soulless pools of darkness don't make you want to pull the covers up over you head.

And finally, I'm kind of obsessed with owls now. Odd.

I did A Bad Thing today.

Whenever I find out someone is pregnant, my first inclination is to be all, "Oh, hey! THIS is what happened to me! And THIS is how it works! And, also, when they tell you not to do THIS, you should know that's totally outdated advice, and it's perfectly safe, don't worry!" And then I realize how obnoxious that is, and I shut my trap and just wait for people to ask me, which almost never happens, but when it does it makes me really happy hint hint hint.

Well. An Facebook friend of mine from church growing up is now with child, and she posted an update about wanting cheese, cheese, more cheeeese! and I started writing a response about how I ate nothing but grilled cheese and quesadillas for months, and with Grace it was nothing but potatoes and pancakes, and blah blah pregnancy is weird. Or something. And then I saw that someone ELSE had written something about soft cheeses being DANGEROUS, with a UK link, and I just HAD to correct that person and say something about how soft cheeses are fine, so long as they're pasteurized, which pretty much all cheeses in the US are, unless you go looking for unpasteurized cheese. And then I hit "Comment" without really thinking about it, and now I kind of feel like a dork.

I HATE being That Guy, the one who has to correct everybody. I was That Guy in elementary school; I was school's biggest dork, constantly picked on, and the only thing I HAD was the fact that I was smarter than all those [redacted], so I was constantly all, "Well, actually, you're WRONG, and here's WHY, and you're DUMBER THAN I AM." As you can imagine, that kind of snottiness really backfires on a nerd. And then the double whammy is that it was That Guy + Unsolicited Pregnancy Advice, and if this seems really stupid to some of you, that's probably because it is, but I am still worked up about it.


I'm going to go eat a whole bunch of cheese now because I just realized I haven't had any in, like, 16 hours.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Fancy ultrasound! Maybe.

Ultrasound tomorrow! Woo!

2.0 had better cooperate, unlike someone else we know who refused to show her face but was all LOOK AT ME LOOK AT ME when it came to the girlie bits.

Last time, I was so excited for the 32-week ultrasound. They do the *4D or 3D or whatever it's called, and you get a nice little DVD of your precious wee squid's little face, blah de blah de blah. Well, The Child decided that day was a good day to hide behind the placenta, so the fancy ultrasound didn't happen. Feh. I'm still excited about this one, but no more than the others. I don't want to get all disappointed again.

(*4D? I do not understand how you can have an ultrasound in four dimensions. I mean, no matter how nice it is, it will always be two-dimensional. At best, it's faux 3D, since yes, the eye can translate a 2D image into three dimensions, but I refuse to believe that a photograph can capture both time and space, or am I missing something here? Do we have new technology?)

Now, I think this baby is smaller. All my clothes fit better now than they did at this time with Grace. And **last I checked, I was way behind on weight gain compared to my first. Finally, my fundal height is measuring normal, and with Grace it was consistently 3-4 cm ahead after about 24 weeks or so.

(**This would be before Christmas, I admit. I have not had the guts to weigh myself since I spent a week at my grandma-in-law's house eating fabulous cookies and all kinds of good comfort food, and then, of course, there was the road food on the way there and back, and the food-you-eat-when-you-are-totally-exhausted-and-get-home-from-a-trip-and-there's-nothing-in-the-refrigerator kind of food, and oh, I do not want to have to worry about 40 pounds of baby weight yet again. Especially if I have another C-section and everything's a struggle for six months anyway.)

But then yesterday I looked at myself sideways in the mirror, and either that mirror is bent in the middle, or somebody was doing a headstand on my spine, like this:

My spine
|o>-< <--"somebody"

or this baby just got huuuuge. She doesn't seem huge, really. But now I'm starting to think that's just wishful thinking. We kind of find out tomorrow, I guess (only kind of because ultrasounds are not terribly accurate).

Grace was measured at 6.5 pounds by this point. Six. Point. Five. Pounds. I remember getting these weekly emails from What to Expect, and right around the time I got my 32-week ultrasound, they sent me one that said something like, "Your baby is now about 3 pounds!" and then I snorted coffee through my nose onto my laptop screen.

So, here's to Emmeline being a wee little thing. Or at least wee enough that she can exit in the normal way (please oh please oh please).