Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Babies afoot

We are heading to the hospital. Down to regular 5 or 6 minutes apart, lost more of that lovely snot-thing (yum!) and puked once. I think it's time.

If we get turned away, I'll post again, so if you don't hear anything from me, it means we are, in fact, having this baby. If you do hear from me, I will be a very angry still-pregnant woman.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Feh. And more argh.


I think I might be in early labor. I know I wrote this a week or two ago, but this time is very, very different.

I think I lost my mucous plug this morning, or part of it. Well, something weird was going on. I've had painful contractions since about 7:00 this morning (it's now 10:40). At first they were 6-18 minutes apart--not promising. Now they're 8-11 minutes apart and seem to be holding to that pattern. And they hurt. All the way around to my back.

It's certainly too early to make any phone calls, and it's too early to throw a bunch of stuff into my bag that I'll possibly need to just take out tonight when we go to bed, still babyless.

And then I double check the differences between real and false labor, and they don't really help.

False labor: irregular, far apart; true labor: regular, getting closer together. Well, how fast do they get closer together if it's real?

False labor: painless or mostly painless, most tightening is in lower abdomen; true labor: pain from lower back to upper abdomen. Well, does a kind of belt around the lower torso count? My upper abdomen doesn't really hurt, but my back sure does. And it's hard to breathe normally unless I'm very intentional about it.

So. I don't know. I'm just sick of waiting and seeing.


And more argh:

It's 3:30 pm. They slowed down to once every 15-20 minutes around noon, but they aren't going away. They're just hovering. In fact, they're more spaced apart, but they seem more regular. If this is false labor, why isn't it going away? And why does it hurt so much? If it's real labor, why aren't they getting closer together?

I've been up and moving constantly since I posted, drinking water, cooking, doing laundry, gathering junk together, tidying up, and that didn't make them go away (another sign of false labor is when doing that stuff makes them go away). I even took a shower and shaved my legs. If it turns out I shaved my legs for nothing, I will be so angry. Do you people know how much I hate shaving? I really hate shaving.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Smelling salts. I needz them.

This t-shirt thing has given me ideas... I was joking, but all of you seem pretty enthusiastic. I looked at CafePress, and their base price for a maternity t-shirt is $30! Aaah! That seems excessive to me. Are there any similar shops out there?

Okay. So today was possibly one of the best days I have ever had. You think I exaggerate. I don't.

The only bad thing that happened to me today is that I found out I'm still not dilated at all.

Good things:

1) I found out I can get this irritating mole removed for free when I have the baby. I know it's normal for moles and things to grow during pregnancy, but this thing was beginning to alarm James, so I asked about it. He said it was nothing to worry about, but if I wanted they could just zip it off while I'm in the hospital. Free cosmetic surgery for the win!

2) Free crib. I had to drive a ways to get it, and I had to disassemble it halfway to fit it in the car, but still. Free crib! With mattress!

3) We got this (free) queen size headboard and frame a while back and installed it in our bedroom, planning to just sleep in the guest room on the full-size mattress until we could afford a queen set. Well, my friend called me up (hereafter referred to as Awesome Friend, unless I can find where I've mentioned her elsewhere and update accordingly) and said this lady in her office was selling a hardly-used queen mattress set for $20. I had been adamant that we not buy a used set, but Awesome Friend personally vouched for this lady's cleanliness ("She smells like Tide!"), and I took her word for it. I trust her because she is Awesome Friend.

Today was the day she and her husband were to come by with the mattress set. She called me up around 4:30 and said, "Um. Sandy got all the stuff out of storage for her garage sale, and it turns out they don't have a queen mattress set after all." Oh crap. In an effort to hide extreme disappointment, I just said, "Oh!" Awesome Friend said, "But they do have a king-size set." I said, "Oh. Oh!" The best part is that, while slightly oversized, it works with our queen headboard. We got a king-sized bed. By accident. For $20. Unbelievable. James and I checked it out a few minutes ago. I laid on one side and he on the other, and we shouted and waved at each other. We need a couple of megaphones. And telescopes. And possibly a golf cart.

4) Awesome Friend and I went outside while our menfolk wrestled the mattress upstairs. She opened the back of her car and said, "Oh! What's this doing here?"

And then I fell over and died.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I have whole conversations with a cat.

I remember how three months ago I had a mild cankle issue. I had to stand up all day, packing boxes, for it to appear, but by golly I had a cankle and it was Terribly Upsetting.

(It wasn't really; I just wanted something to write about, and placing books into boxes hour after hour isn't exactly what comes to mind when one hears the words "Writing Fodder".)

The cankle went away the second we were done packing and never reappeared. Then, a few days ago, after a day of lying and sitting on the couch, I looked down at my feet (it is possible for me to still see them, provided I'm in the right position), which felt oddly hot. And tight. And there on the ends of my *shin bones were two very pale, size 10EEE sausages with five little Vienna sausages each. This is what I get for being smug about how delicate and ladylike my ankles have remained this whole time.

*I originally wrote "chin" here, which, if it were true, would have been terrifying and hilarious. How's that for a freakish pregnancy symptom?

I bought some baby clothes today. I feel so guilty when I do it. But we have very little in the 0-3 mos section, and as awesome as naked babies are, I would like my little one to be clothed and warm for at least the first few weeks.

And old lady glared at my belly in the baby store today. I'm wearing jeans and one of my three remaining shirts that don't expose a pornographic amount of belly. My shirt is tight, okay? You have a problem, woman? You want to buy me a bunch of shirts just for the last month of pregnancy? Or is it that you think I'm a teen mother? Next time I get pregnant, I'm going to print myself a maternity shirt that says, "This child was conceived within the confines of holy matrimony."

Maybe I'm just touchy and need to calm the heck down.

One of those dang bees somehow got into the house. It's been swooping around the house like it owns the place. The cat growled at it earlier, but didn't do much more. Useless animal. She's getting too comfortable in this place. She needs to larn to earn her keep. All she does now is saunter about, grumbling at me all day.

I got up at 5:00 this morning (again! augh!) and sat at the kitchen table for a while. She stared at me a little, bumped her scent glands against my bathrobe, then flitted off. James came down the stairs a while later, and she all but bowed down and bathed his feet in sweet oils. Suck-up. Don't even try, cat. You have no idea what tricks we wily human females have up our sleeves. You'll never get him back. And I'M the one who's home all day, so get used to being MY friend. Mwah hah hah. And catch some bees.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Nesting sucks.

I am still pregnant. Average gestation for pregnancies that go to term is 38 weeks, 5 days. Assuming it's a bell curve and that my due date is right (within a couple days' accuracy is what I was told, since we had the first ultrasound so early), I have a 50% chance of having this baby by Thursday.

Yesterday I set out to clean the kitchen, dining and bathroom floors. I started the kitchen floor, decided to just check and see how bad the radiators were, since weird, tiny little pebbles keep popping up every time I sweep. I mean, it's the kitchen. How bad could they have let them get? It's not like you let your cooking and eating space get that dirty, right?

Oh my gosh. I should have remembered the *refrigerator.

The kitchen radiators were worse than almost any of the others in the entire house. I spent hours degunking those incubators of filth. And without ripping out all our radiators and buying and installing new ones, there is no way to get absolutely everything. I'm not selling the baby to pay for that.

It looked like they'd had an aquarium set on that side of the kitchen, and one of the kids had dumped it out one day, all the little beads settling in the space between the floor and the radiators. There were also bits of what looked like very old animal feces. I am so glad all the food prep areas are way on the other side of the kitchen.

So, James comes home to find not sparkling clean floors, but a seriously grossed-out wife on the front lawn with a bucket of Pine Sol, a rag, a scrub brush and a couple of very nasty radiator covers. Inside, the kitchen is all in disarray. The refrigerator, table and microwave cart are all on the wrong end of the kitchen, and we have smaller radiator pieces soaking the sink. I usually like to let him relax a little when he comes home, but I set him to work doing the last bit of cleaning on those that I couldn't really do. Poor guy.

There's me, still in the front lawn, wearing white flip-flops, black gaucho pants, and my pumpkin shirt (must post a picture). It's late enough that teenagers are walking home from school all over the place.

Of course, that's when the bees started attacking. I don't know if it was the shirt, or the Pine Sol or what, but those little buzzards would just not leave me alone. I wasn't near a nest. At first I ignored them. I'm not allergic, and I'm not really scared of them, but then they started dive-bombing me. I found that a little unsettling. I'm pretty sure they didn't just want to play. I dropped an already very beat-up cover on the sidewalk and starting ducking and weaving all over the front yard.

Well, that was my plan. I forgot that I'm nine months pregnant. Nine months pregnant doesn't duck and weave. Nine months pregnant stoops and shuffles. In my enthusiasm, I managed to wrench a bunch of muscles I didn't even know I had in places I didn't even know could hurt unless you were actually in labor.

So I yelped and winced my way back into the house to a freaked-out James, who probably thought I was in labor. No, just neurotic. Thanks for asking. I sat for a bit and limped back outside, repeated the process two or three times, and finally had clean radiator covers. Oh, and a clean mailbox, too. And one section of clean-ish porch railing. I would have scrubbed the whole thing, but there are way too many spiders out there.

We finished the radiators, I finished the floor, washed the dishes, cleaned the bathroom, and would have kept going, except there was pizza, and I was hungry. And then I tried to stand up and found that I'd been stabbed repeatedly in the stomach. I'm still having great difficulty standing up straight and walking. This makes nighttime bathroom trips quite an ordeal. I feel like a very old woman with a giant tumor. A stomach goiter.

This baby cannot arrive soon enough.

*The refrigerator! I thought I told you all about that. Apparently I didn't. When we first bought the house, the first order of business for me was to clean the fridge. Our realtor, who did the trash-out, had cleared everything out and wiped it down, but she hadn't cleaned it. At first glance, it just looked like there were a couple food and juice spills. One juice spill was particularly bad, but it didn't seem too offensive.

Oh my gosh.

I sat down to clean that germ house and nearly passed out. It's a miracle these people didn't die of food poisoning before they had a chance to cut and run. It took me four hours to clean the fridge. Four.

The good thing is that I'd been lamenting the lack of other essential appliances, like an oven, but once I was done with the fridge I realized there was no way in heck I could have cleaned their stove, too. No. Way.

I'm not easily grossed out. I've had pets most of my life. I worked in a restaurant for nine years, cleaning both poop-stained bathroom stalls and vomit-covered tables. I've changed diapers. I even sat in goose poop once by accident.

It still took me a week after cleaning it to be able to trust that refrigerator with my food.

Monday, September 22, 2008

She's better-dressed than I am.

You ever read the book Insomnia? If not, I'm not going to ruin it by making a mess of the plot here. But the reason I bring it up is that I am becoming the main character. I go to bed, I sleep, I wake up 47 times to trot to the bathroom, fall back asleep each time, and then at 4 or 5 in the morning wake up for no apparent reason, unable to go back to sleep.

Or do anything, really, except make grand plans about all the stuff! I will get done today! And the wonderful breakfast! I will cook for James! I had bacon, eggs, coffee, lunch, toast all made by the time James got out of the shower this morning around 6:30. I'd also washed the dishes from last night and this morning and sorted and started the laundry, taken out most of the recycling, and made two trips to the car with baby crap (Hi, neighbors! I'm wearing ugly pajamas and no bra, and you can totally see my giant white belly hanging out of my shirt from across Lake Michigan! My apologies, since the brightness probably woke you all up!). I was seriously contemplating cleaning the kitchen floor, too, but I decided to eat my breakfast instead.

After James left, I sorted all the junk that's been accumulating on the dining room table, folded the laundry, started another load, and took out the rest of the recycling.

Then I sat on the couch and instantly fell asleep for almost three hours. See, it's not so bad on days I can nap whenever I feel like it. But I've been doing this on days I can't nap (example: this entire weekend), and it's killing me. If I'd gone into labor yesterday afternoon, I'm not sure I would have made it. I was so exhausted already.

We will know there are problems when I start seeing colored balloons hovering over people's heads. And creepy little men running after them.

Also, on Saturday there was a baby shower. And lo, my child was richly blessed with all manner of adorable clothing and bath items and books and more clothing and toys and oh, more clothing. One lady even bought me a huge Toblerone bar, which made me love her eternally. I've been savoring it slowly and beating James off it with sticks.

Well, I've never had so much fun doing laundry in my life. The tiny dresses! The little socks! The hats! They are so small! Even if I have ten babies, I don't think I'll ever get over the fact that new human beings, they arrive with feet the size of James's thumbs. And my mom and mom-in-law got a Baby Bjorn, which was just an idle fancy of mine. I didn't actually expect or even hope that someone would buy one for us.

And then I came home and relived the shower by forcing James to watch as I pulled all the stuff out of bags and emitted high-pitched squeals until his ears bled. He was richly compensated with leftover shower food.

The church lady who put it together asked me what foods I was into lately, and I told her "Potatoes. Empty carbs. But potatoes, mostly. And more potatoes." I was just trying to be funny, but she decided that a baked potato bar would be the best idea, and it was. Oh, it was. And the desserts! One lady made a blueberry cheesecake from scratch. I had two pieces for breakfast on Sunday morning.

I think the baby gained twelve pounds on Saturday, and I gained a whole new appreciation for Tums.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Just shut up already.

We finally saw Juno last night. Loved it. I find myself wishing I were an unwed teenager just so I could call myself "the cautionary whale".

I started today full of hope and excitement.

I've been walking, walking, walking every day for a few reasons. One, I don't want to wake up the day after my mom's last day here and realize that my legs are totally useless for anything except walking to the fridge. Two, I like walks. And the sun. And even when I don't like them, I know that I will slip into a depression and die if I don't get my sunlight quota every day. Three, it's the only thing that helps my muscle pain go away. On Saturday, it went from "mild stretching sensation" to "oh crap I can't walk anymore." Four, BABY COME OUT NOW.

I thought after Tuesday, that maybe things were gearing up to get moving. Maybe, at least, I would show some progress.

Not so! Nothing. Zilch. A few things I learned today:

1) False labor is good because it means my body is gearing up for the big day. But that doesn't mean the big day is anytime soon.

2) Horrible, horrible wrenching pain in my groin (TMI! Sorry!) and an inability to stand up quickly due to my abs ripping themselves from my body is totally normal and there's nothing I can do about it. Comfort (your baby is not trying to come out through your hip bone!) and discouragement (you'll just have to suffer because Tylenol is USELESS, you filthy Excedrin addict) at the same time.

3) Walking probably doesn't do anything to bring labor on sooner. "It just makes you tired." Those were his exact words. I kind of knew that, but I was hoping.

4) Absolutely no dilation whatsoever.

Excellent. I know, I know. I could dilate five centimeters by tomorrow morning and have my baby by Sunday. But I like having something I can point to and say, "There! See! She'll be here soon!" It's all psychological, I know, but I need it.

I do love my doctors, though. Have I mentioned that? The first thing Dr. M said to me today (after reassuring me that last week's alarm over a narrow pelvis was probably not that big a deal) was, "Dr. S just had a patient deliver a 10 lb 8 oz baby a couple days ago. Perfectly smooth delivery." I said, "Was she built anything like me?" He said, "As a matter of fact, yes." And I felt better.

I requested to have either him or Dr. S for my next appointment. I haven't done that before, since I did want to get to know all of them. But I'm so oogy about being poked at that I've reached my limit, and now every appointment involves The Pokening. If I have to get used to one more doctor, I will need tranquilizers. I'm to the point with Dr. M and S that I can actually eat before coming to my appointments.

I've met with and very much like and trust the other two, but we've only ever talked to each other, nothing more, and I am twelve. Also, Dr. C is a very tall man and probably has large hands. 'Nuff said.

The receptionist (who is awesome, by the way--she greets me by name as I walk up to the desk before every appointment) said to me, "You do know it could be any of the four that actually deliver the baby?" Which is totally beside the point. I don't think I'll really care too much who is looking at and touching what when my body is beating me to death with a small, giant-headed human. However, when I need to lie calmly (hah!) on a table with a paper sheet while a stranger pokes around my innards, I care very much.

One other thing I like about this practice is that the lighting is awesome. I didn't realize that until we went to meet with a pediatrician on Wednesday, and the fluorescent lights had me craving a bottle of anti-depressants. Small, windowless room in varying shades of beige + cold lighting is a nasty equation. I nearly climbed up the wall and out through the ceiling tiles.

Which brings me to my next point*. What on earth makes a person want to become a gynecologist? I would think that would be up there with **proctology (which, again, huh?). I can see becoming an OB/GYN because BABIES! But gynecology? Why?

*I am not disparaging these professions at all, obviously, since I love my doctors and trust them with my own baby. I just don't understand the appeal. I've always been curious as to what draws someone to gynecology and other fields like it.
**Okay, Firefox. I'm willing to accept that you prefer certain spellings of words, like "dialog" over "dialogue", but I don't think a whole branch of medicine has ceased to exist by the power of your word.

Remember how last time I said something like, "Enough of this pregnancy crap. I won't bored you anymore"? Yeah, me too. I'm sorry! I can't help it.

It's not even that I'm obsessed with the baby. I mean, I am, but that's not what all the writing is for.

What I'm obsessed with is getting that baby out and making progress and losing my girth and being able to lie down comfortably again. Sometime in the last week or so, it stopped being fun. I'm not miserable or anything. But everything--everything!--is hard now. Even writing this is a task because I have to sit up to do it, which is wearying. I shaved my legs today all by myself, and it was like I'd conquered Mt. Everest. I was so proud. I've tried to explain it to James like this: It's like having to type with your elbows all of the time--not misery-inducing by any means, but incredibly awkward and hard and ugh. Even the fun things have lost much of their appeal.

It's been a long day. I didn't get my nap. I need my bed.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

As I run screaming off the top of the white tower.

One of the nice side effects of having a huge belly is that it pulls all my love handles flat against my sides. I look skinnier from the front and back than I did pre-pregnancy. While I know that, after birth, it will all spring back and leave a tire around my middle, I'm enjoying it while it lasts. Some high school boys got a nasty surprise yesterday. I went for a walk in a dress (if the fabric's right, it's the most comfortable thing to wear).

(Well, I went for a shuffle/waddle. I don't really walk anymore. My leg muscles do not do the things they are supposed to, and when I try to make them, they punish me mercilessly. I've taken to signing emails to my mom as "the penguin".)

Anyway, here I am shuffling down the sidewalk, when a car driving up from behind starts honking. They go past just as I turn to look, and it was magnificent to see their leers turn into WTF? Suckas. That'll learn ya. But it was also flattering in a very perverse kind of way. I don't get leered at too often anymore.

Doctor appointment tomorrow. I'm kind of glad the baby hasn't come yet because I do have some last-minute questions that I want to ask before I'm trying to squeeze out a bowling ball. On the other hand, this does mean I'll be subject once again to some very painful poking and prodding.

I can blame that on the baby's giant head thunking ever so gently into my pelvis (yay, guys! aren't you glad you're reading?). She's been really fond lately of wiggling her head around, which feels AWESOME. That and caressing my bladder with her wee poky fingers.

One great thing about pregnancy is the free entertainment for one's spouse. James things I'm the cutest thing ever, which is good. I could have gotten a man who thought pregnant women were disgusting. We have a pretty noisy hallway and dining room on our first floor, and I thump around on it like a teetery T-rex. That's my quiet walk. When I have shoes on, I fully expect to fall through the floor.

Then there's the getting out of bed. I have several moments of panic every night when I wake up to a contraction and a full bladder. I am invariably lying with my back to the side of the bed, so not only do I have to worry about sitting up, but I also have to roll over first. I'm like a drunk turtle stuck on its back. When James is awake to see this, he thinks it's hysterical. He helps me, of course, but not without a healthy dose of the giggles. I don't blame him. I'd be giggling too if I weren't so worried about having an accident.

Enough with the pregnancy crap. It's the most amusing thing in my life right now, which is why I talk about it all the time. If I couldn't make it funny, I'd probably be crying. And if I didn't talk about it, you guys would get one-paragraph updates, mostly detailing the ever-increasing lengths and frequency of my naps, my housecleaning accomplishments, and lots of book reports.

I have a new show I like to watch. Fringe. I'm still withholding my verdict, but I think I like it. The first two episodes have seemed a little bit clunky, but I think I saw some improvement between the pilot and the second one. I love JJ Abrams, and I love freaky sciencey stuff, no matter how absurd it sounds.

It's like the X-Files with prettier people (Scully and Mulder being the exception, of course; no one is as pretty as those two) and better clothes and Denethor. Denethor! They certainly cast the crazy scientist perfectly. If the rest of the show sucked, I'd watch just for him. He's perfect in every way.

I think it's time to end this entry. James gets home in eight hours, and I haven't even had my first nap yet.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Too excited to sleep

Either this child is messing with me, or I'm in the early stages of labor. I think it's the former. I've had contractions between five and ten minutes apart, lasting between thirty seconds and a minute and a half all freaking night. Early this evening, they started out about half an hour apart and slowly got closer together. But they're not painful or very intense (well, the last three have been, but those have also been more erratic). I just don't know what to think. I'm far too impatient. She'll come when she comes, right?

Maybe if I keep telling myself that, it will help. Hah!


I had three somewhat painful ones after this entry, but they started spacing out further. I called it a night, went to bed, woke up to a few more, and now nothing. Child has a sense of humor, I suppose. I should be glad of that.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Nope. Not yet.

Absolutely no news. The reason for this entry is that I hadn't written in a while, and I wanted to assure you all that I am alive, and that the two of us are still firmly fused together. Unless I have no internet, I fully plan to post an entry the moment we leave for the hospital. And even if I don't do that, I'm bringing my laptop with me because there is free wireless. I can imagine that I won't care very much about the internets once I have my BAY-BEE, but there's always the chance that I could go into withdrawal and get the DTs and be unable to feed or care for her at all without getting my internet fix.

My stomach looks like it's shrunk about an inch. In reality, I'm bigger than ever, but she's dropping, and it's all spread out (although I gained no weight last week--oh! maybe she's slowing down!). I'm less "cute" and more "who ran over the beach ball?" She had better come soon, though I've been informed that I'm not allowed to have the baby until Saturday afternoon. The church ladies are throwing me a shower. I love my church ladies.

Last doctor's appointment (Friday): not dilated at all, but softer. I am *ahem* extremely tender and am dreading my next appointment. This last one was with the wee tiny female doctor (I could break her with my pinkie) and her twee hands. The next is with my favorite doctor (yay!), but he has substantially larger hands (boo!). Still smallish for a guy, but definitely not the size of Wee Tiny Doctor's. Meh. It'll get a whole lot worse in a couple weeks.

Oh, also! Great news! I have a narrow pelvis. That is just awesome. It's like the genes on either side of this baby's family got together to conspire against me. My side of the family: itty bitty bone structure, narrow pelvis. James's side: giant babies. Both sides: giant heads and shoulders. It's like a cat giving birth to a Cro-Magnon.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Yesterday I Got Up and Did Productive Things. The first fifteen minutes were agony (my legs fall asleep and my head goes woozy if I stand for more than thirty-two seconds), but I kept at it, and by the time James got home I was freaking ball of sunshine. With teeth. But little teeth.

I cleaned the kitchen and washed three days' worth of dishes. I did laundry and even folded some of it. I took all the crap for the hospital that was heaped on the dining room table and started organizing it to go into my bags. I took three loads' worth of clean laundry off the dining room table and dumped it on the bed upstairs. We won't talk about how I completely forgot about Getting Back to It until James hollered down at midnight, "Honey, what's with all the clothing on the bed?" I made notes of dates on my calendar, and I sorted through mail to find some coupons. James and I hauled out a whole bunch of cardboard boxes and wadded-up magazine pages from the boxes and boxes of candles I'd finally unpacked. We went for a walk. I made a pork roast and baked potatoes. That was my daily cooking limit, so I just microwaved a package of spinach.

Wow. I didn't realize how much I accomplished yesterday until I wrote it down. It felt really good. I've done almost nothing but lie on the couch the last few days, and the house was starting to feel like a garbage heap.

Today I vacuum and maybe even clean a floor or two. If I were more diligent, I'd be mopping the kitchen floor every day. When I'm preparing dinner, food goes flying everywhere. Vegetables especially. I'm like a blender with no lid. And a jet fuel-powered motor.

On our walk, a familiar little sports car rolled up to the curb next to us. "Oh my goodness! You haven't had that baby yet?"

It was our realtor. The last time she saw me I was five months pregnant and already looked close to delivering. We stopped and chatted for a while. She kept eyeing my belly like I was about to give birth right there in the street. I don't blame her. I own exactly two shirts now that don't expose the underside of my white, white belly. This sucks because it's getting colder, and I have this half-moon of ice cold flesh running across the middle of my body. Also, it causes children to go blind.

Did I ever mention that we have a cat now?

We have a cat.

James's mom had knee surgery and can't very easily take care of her anymore, at least not for a while. So we took the cat. At first I was okay with it ONLY because my mother-in-law is awesome and needed us to help her and it wasn't such a big deal, I suppose. I guess.

I. don't. like. cats.

I'm allergic, for one thing, and Zyrtec can only work so many miracles per day. And so many cats lack personality. I just heard 87 Krazy Kat Lovers inhale so sharply their noses collapsed. You want to convert me, I know, but just give it up. Our family has had like 24 cats over the years (I'm only slightly exaggerating, for once). I know cats. We don't click. To me, they're just warm, fuzzy things, which is not a redeeming quality at all since I can't very well snuggle with them. I especially didn't care much for this one because she so prissy and skittish and hates me for taking James away. I am That Woman.

But. I'm starting to like her. (Shhh!) I wake up with more cement lodged in my sinuses every day, but she's nice to have around. Especially when she gets Insane Cat Syndrome. Or spends twenty minutes staring at the living room fan like it's the cat Messiah. Don't tell anyone, though. And I still don't like cats. I just like Cat.

And I can't wait to see her flip out when I start vacuuming.

I had something else to talk about, but I don't remember what it was. I may add it later if I remember.

That's absurd! I don't remember things anymore. The phrase "if I remember" should just be struck entirely from my vocabulary.

The one good thing about all this is that I'm learning to keep a calendar and be organized and write things down. Which doesn't really help if I can't even remember what day it is.

So I guess we're back

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Stop touching me! No, I mean, I love you?

Contractions. Still. All the time. But they're not regular, so they don't count. I spend a lot of time communing telepathically with the baby. I keep telling her it's safe to come out now, but she doesn't seem to care. I wouldn't either. It's 99 degrees in there. Out here, it's about 64.

(Now that I'm a full-blown adult with all the bills that come along with it, I'm learning to tolerate the cold. The heat doesn't come on until the temperature outside becomes life-threatening.)

Honestly, we have so much stuff left to get yet that it's better she doesn't come for a week or two (at least). But man am I ready. She doesn't need a crib or a dresser right off the bat, right? We have a bassinet, and the girl has more closet space (with shelves!) than I ever dreamed of at that age.

I've become hideously cranky the last few days. I'm cranky with everyone and everything. Everybody sucks and is stupid and would you please get your stupid cart of the aisle? And that perfume smells like skunks. You hair looks like it just flew in from 1986. Must you smack your gum as loudly as possible?

James just can't win. Sometimes I can't stand to be touched, other times I need him to just sit on the couch and put and arm around me. But this is stuff he should just KNOW, and if he ASKS, well, what kind of husband are you if you can't read my mind? And your breath stinks! Chew some gum! But don't make any chewing noises. You know I HATE chewing noises. Honestly, what is your problem?

Honey, I really don't hate you. I hate the world in general; you just happen to be around all the time. No, I don't know why I'm so angry. Yes, I'm doing my best to control myself. If I smile sweetly at you with my jaw clenched, it means I'm simmering on the inside and know I'm being an idiot, but knowing that I'm being an idiot only makes me angrier, and it would really be best for both of us if you stepped away before I bite you face off.

It's like the most horrific PMS times a thousand. I don't really know where it's coming from. I'm not terribly uncomfortable. In fact, since she's finally dropped a little, I'm a little more comfortable. I can breathe most of the time, and I can eat more than a single rice cake without getting so full I want to puke. Also, hardly any heartburn anymore. Bad things: walking is hard, and I feel a thousand pounds heavier all of a sudden. But still! I'm more comfortable than I was a week ago.

So why does it feel like everything in this world is conspiring to be as irritating as possible? The optimistic part of me says this means labor is nigh. But I've never heard that before, so I'm pretty sure I'm BSing myself. The pessimistic part of me says that I'm just a huge jerk.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Boring doctor stuff and girlie things

BH contractions like crazy. They don't hurt, but they are more intense and more frequent than they have been. Of course, that could be because I've not had quite as much water as usual today.

The baby moves like a hyperactive chimpanzee at all times now. I don't know when she sleeps, if ever. It's pretty cute.

I think the baby had another growth spurt this week. I was suddenly exhausted and starving at all times from about Wednesday until Sunday.

I went to the doctor on Friday, had another ultrasound. She's still measuring very large. 8 pounds (at 35w6d). They estimate based on head and belly circumference and femur length.

After the ultrasound, I went back out to the lobby to wait for my visit with the doctor. I never thought this would happen, but my favorite of the bunch is a male doctor. There are four of them--two men and two women. I like them all, but I really, really like this guy. I can't say enough good things about this place. If you live in the Madison area and want to know where I go, just ask.

Anyway, I sat in the lobby for about 5 minutes before they called me back. Got to the exam room, the nurse took my blood pressure and said, "Ok, Dr. M will be here in a minute. He's just going to do a strep B culture and check your dilation." Do what? Up 'til then, the only person who'd messed around with my girlie bits was the nurse practitioner. Even my first ultrasound (internal) was *ahem* begun by me. The tech did absolutely no fiddling around with my person. And then they just spring on me that I'm about to have an actual doctor do what he's supposed to be doing?

I flipped out. Internally. To the nurse I chirped, "Okay!" Like a strep B culture is my absolute favorite thing to do of a Friday morn. Then I sat. And sat. And sat. For like half an hour. I would have been pissed, except that (a) this clinic has never made me wait more than ten minutes, and it's almost always more like five and (b) I was grateful for the time to mentally prepare for the coming invasion.

After half an hour of learning all about postmenopausal osteoporosis (brochure) and muscle cars (I think some husband left that book in the room by accident), I got a knock on the door. A nurse said nervously, "Um, Naomi? Um, Dr. M just had to run down the hall to get a second opinion. He'll be right there." I think she was expecting me to flip out on her for the long wait.


She laughed. "Of course!"

I said, "Um. All I have is this drape." I'd been sitting there the whole time with a white sheet wrapped around my lower body.

"That's okay. It happens all the time." She kept watch for me until the nearest bathroom was unoccupied, and I scurried down the hall with my pumpkin shirt (must post a picture) and flappy white sheet and dark grey socks. Dignity!

I got back, Dr. M came by shortly. "So. How do you feel about this big baby?"

I said, "Um."

(This is going to sound weird, so I'll try to explain: I'm really not scared about it, but it's not because I'm cocky or think I'm really tough. Labor is a vast unknown to me. It's going to be far worse than I can imagine, I'm sure. There's no point in worrying, so I don't. I can honestly say that I haven't stressed out about it at all. And adding a slightly larger baby to a vast unknown doesn't really change things. Make sense?)

He said, "Okay."

I said, "Should I be worried?"

He looked relieved, like maybe he'd been preparing himself for Hysterical Female. He said, "Well, there's a chance the ultrasound could be off, of course. And the size of the woman doesn't have much to do with it. I've seen tiny little women deliver ten-pound babies and big, tall women have trouble with six-pound babies. Until it happens, we really don't know." Well, that's good.

I asked him about intervention. He said that, with a baby this size already, inducing would only make labor more difficult. It's better to wait until my body is ready and starts doing things on its own. Then, if there's a problem, there'll be a C-section, but they aren't going to schedule one or anything.

Then we had the strep B culture (woo-hoo), and he checked my dilation (nothing), poked at my belly and said, "You know, she really doesn't feel all that huge."

"You know, my husband and I are both huge-headed long-legged freaks of nature, and have been since we were kids." I didn't say it quite like that, but he got my point and told me that could definitely skew the weight estimate. Of course... huge head is still not comforting.

So, I left happy, despite the, uh, unexpected aspects of the exam.

The same doctor is giving a birthing class tomorrow evening, and we're going. We didn't think we'd be able to fit one in, what with the house and distance and one car thing, but I saw the notice on the wall and had to sign up.

It's strange that my favorite of the bunch is a man. Doctors are not quite up there with spiders; they're closer to dark basements. Female doctors don't scare me as much, but I still don't care for them. I never, ever thought I would ever be okay with a guy who is not my husband looking up my hoo-hah, but there you have it. I still have to mentally prepare, but I don't run screaming from the exam room or pass out like I always thought I would.

I think it's because this guy is very funny and talks to me like my IQ might possibly equal his. Not that the other doctors are boring and condescending. They're not. But it seems almost automatic that people treat me as young as I look. When the other doctors explain things to me, they don't bother to go into as much detail. They explain less and just give answers. I'm really, really hoping he's the doctor on call when we have the baby. But even if he's not, I feel like I'm very good hands with all of them. If we have more kids, I'd like to stay with this clinic despite the driving distance. It's totally worth it. Unfortunately, James's insurance is changing again, and I have no idea if they're in the new network. They better be.

Friday, September 5, 2008

I want to believe.

I was still living in Janesville when The Boy Who Broke My Heart (Oh, sob, you big baby, and yes, I'm over it, of course, but I don't want to use his real name on here, and heaven forbid I use a flattering term) and I were dating. He moved down to NIU for school. The route there was I-90 to I-39, then the Rochelle exit to DeKalb (just north of I-88).

One day--I think it was about midway through first semester--, I went down to visit. I remember approaching the first Rockford exit. The next thing I remember is rolling up to a toll booth on I-88 halfway to Chicago from I-39. It's like I blinked and teleported there. It remains, to this day, one of the weirdest things that has ever happened to me.

Well, until today.

I was hugging James goodbye this morning and he said, "Don't forget about your doctor's appointment today."

I said, "Whaaa? It's not 'til Friday."

He paused a little, then said, "Uh, hon? It is Friday."

"No, it's Wednesday."

In a tone reserved for very small children and imbeciles, he repeated, "No, it's Friday." I checked my phone. It's the fifth! I checked the calendar. The fifth is a Friday!

People, I just lost two days of my life. Not a measly 45 minutes. I don't know where it went. I think this points to only one thing: alien abduction. If you watch the X-Files, you know what lost time means. I've been abducted. And it's entirely possible that I'm not carrying one single human baby. I think I am, in fact, carrying a giant alien baby with twelve arms.

Everything makes so much more sense now.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

A photo. Or two.

My eyebrows aren't as plucked as they look in this picture. They're really not a weird pencil-thin line. And I'm not pissed off.


No left arm! Or disembodied left hand! (My upper left arm was doing very unflattering things, and I am vain.)


If these pictures took in my full height, you'd see how weirdly rotund I've gotten. Not in a grotesque way. It's just very disproportionate. I've actually slimmed down in many places, and all 35 pounds I've gained have gone straight to the front of my belly. It was a lot cuter before it finally started to droop under its own weight.

A lady rolled up behind me at the grocery store a few nights ago. Out of nowhere: "YOU MUST HAVE FIVE BABIES IN THERE!" Lucky for her, this is not a sensitive subject for me (I'm growing a child! I'm supposed to be huge! It's totally normal! And feminine!). I thought it was hilarious. But really. You don't go around saying that to random women.