Friday, May 29, 2009

Cuteness Will Only Get You So Far

For inspiration I pulled my “someday I’ll get to have a baby” onesies out of the drawer. They’re still adorable, but now I mostly just think Something the size of that is going to come shooting out my vagina?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Cracking the Code

I’ve lost all confidence at making decisions—likely a result of too much concurrent home renovation and wedding planning. How many times can a person choose between white, cream, and ivory before going insane? I'll let you know once I get all tucked in a bed in the nearest psych ward.

Dr. Fiancé’s mom has very kindly offered to plan the rehearsal dinner for us—a particularly complicated endeavor given that we’re holding the dinner on an antique steam train as it ambles through the mountainside. She’s understandably antsy to get things finalized with a caterer, which requires Dr. Fiancé and I to agree on which caterer, what food, what drinks, whether we need appetizer plates, whether it’s fair to ask people to dress up if they’ll be eating dilly dip on a train, etc., etc., etc. I don’t want to keep my future mother-in-law hanging all day without some answers, which meant that I had to screw up my courage to call Dr. Fiancé in the emergency room—something I hate doing unless I’m mortally wounded. It just feels so lame to call an emergency room and have your fiancé paged so you can ask him how to get the automatic garage door open when the power’s out—not that I’ve ever stooped that low.

But my mother-in-law needs answers, so I screwed up my courage and dialed the number and was told by the friendly telephone operator that he would try to put me in touch with Dr. Fiancé “but he might be busy ‘with a code.’”

I’ve watched enough Grey’s Anatomy to know that a question about what caterer to go with doesn’t merit interrupting “a code.” Not that they would interrupt “a code,” but you know what I mean. Luckily when the operator transferred me, the phone just rang and rang and I could justify hanging up before I had to tell someone that while I knew my fiancé was dealing with “a code” I really needed to know whether he preferred the caterer that serves the mushroom caps or the one that makes spinach dip.

I don’t want to care how awful the bread is in our picnic-style rehearsal dinner sandwiches, but I do. And so does Dr. Fiancé. And so does his mom. And if you were eating one of the sandwiches, maybe you would, too.

I just wonder what the appropriate amount of time is to wait after a code before asking questions about hors d’oeuvres.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

If the Bra Fits

I went bra shopping for the 478th time since I got pregnant, returning two bras I bought approximately five minutes ago and buying one with a cup size that is alarmingly close to the middle of the alphabet. I’ve spent more time in the Nordstrom lingerie department dressing room this spring than I have on my own front porch. I haven’t done a lot (by which I mean “any”) research on this, but I just can’t imagine why it takes breasts nine entire months to transform themselves from decorative to functional. I also can’t imagine why they (They!) refuse to make bras for pregnant ladies in colors other than beige, white, and, occasionally black. Would orange with white polka dots really be so difficult?

Monday, May 25, 2009

Dress Success

Well, folks, come July 13, I will be all dressed in white—and hopefully only moderately fat and wide. A dear, kind, patient friend braved the suburban wasteland bridal warehouse with me and cheered me on as I tried on a handful of dresses, one of which was the clear winner—a simple, dress-shaped dress with straps to hold up my pregnancy cleavage and ruching across the front to slightly obscure my pregnancy belly. And it decidedly did not cost $1600, which my dear, kind, patient friend pointed out means I have more to spend on shoes and accessories—none of which have to be maternity-specific and all none of which I will have to shorten, dye, or otherwise alter to ever use again.

Also on this momentous day, Dr. Fiancé and I finalized a honeymoon plan, and by “finalized” I mean, we purchased actual plane tickets and made actual hotel reservations. We will be spending a week in Hawai’i—honeymoon destination to the masses. I could not be more excited—even if I weren’t pregnant.

Okay. Fine. I guess I’d be a bit more excited about going to Hawai’i if I were allowed to eat mango. But only a teeny bit.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Magical Elixirs

Usually Dr. Fiancé doesn’t have to work in the emergency room on Saturdays, but every so often he does, and today was one of those times. I woke up feeling absurdly sad and anxious and borderline despondent even though last night we hosted our most successful social event to date—an after-work happy hour that lasted until 9pm. Four couples joined us under the wisteria in full purplebloom glory over our back deck to eat cheese and olives and help us rate four wines we’re thinking about serving at our wedding. I took a sip of each, and it’s a good thing we had nine other mouths on the job because to me all but one wine tasted like ammonia with a hint of dandelion stem and overtones of skunk cabbage.

Maybe the four tiny sips of wine were enough to trigger my pregnant self to experience the kind of post-drinking depression formerly brought on by four large glasses, or maybe the stress of planning a wedding and remodeling a house and having a high-anxiety mate and a medium-high-anxiety self and being pregnant all at the same time was simply reaching an inevitable apex.

But! What better thing to do when you’re feeling sad and grumpy and tired and unattractive and unloved than drive to a suburban wasteland to a bridal warehouse to shop for a wedding dress? And not just any wedding dress, but one that will flatter a five-and-a-half-months pregnant figure.

Whoops, was that my last shred of self-esteem that just flew out the car window?

After learning that even at a suburban wasteland bridal warehouse one must have an appointment to try on bridal gowns, I plodded across the parking lot to Old Navy to buy some pants with an elastic waistband because what better thing to wear when you’re feeling sad and grumpy and tired and unattractive and unloved than pants with an elastic waistband? Unfortunately they were having some kind of major sale, and the line, which must have been at least 100 people long, wrapped around the entire store like a serpent hissing at me to jusssst ssssssssslink back to my housssssse to sssssssssit on the ssssssofa and feel sssssssorry for myself.

So I did—but not before stopping for doughnuts, which went a surprisingly long way towards cheering me up.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Will the Wonderful, Joyous Glories of Pregnancy Never Cease?

At the grocery store today a pile of mangoes beckoned to me from the edge of the produce section, seducing me with their smooth skin and plump, blushing cheeks. OhmygodI’mtotallycravingamangoI’dforgottenaboutmangosyumyum I babbled to Dr. Fiance as we headed toward the checkout aisle. I managed to control myself until after dinner, when I sliced the fruit off its pit and shoved it into my mouth like a starving baby.

Within ten seconds my hands started to itch. Then my lips, then my chin and cheeks—basically every part of my face below my nose felt it had been attacked by mosquitoes. “Is it possible,” I asked Dr. Fiance, all casual-like, “to develop food allergies when you’re pregnant that you didn’t used to have?” He said, sure, not looking up from his laptop. “Why?” “Oh, it’s just that after eating a few bites of mango my face, um, itches.” He looked up at me, his eyes all big and then this man who’s totally nonchalant about spending his workdays pulling knives out of peoples’ skulls and testing other people for cancer was suddenly all, “Do. Not. Eat. Mango. Ever. Again. Promise me!”

Maybe we won’t be going to Hawai'i for our honeymoon after all.

Like a Pregnant Teen

My new ordered-online-from-a-maternity-store wedding dress finally came today. It arrived tremendously wrinkled on a broken plastic hanger with a pile of advertisements (a baby thermometer, an Olan Mills baby portrait package, a credit card that helps you save up for your baby's college education). It's strapless but lacks any sort of support to hold it up, and the skirt bears numerous smudge marks that have the look of permanence. I'm beginning to get the feeling that the world doesn't want pregnant brides to feel good about themselves.

My feeling at this point is an overwhelming sense of Oh, well. Maybe if I steam out the wrinkles, hire a tailor to add some decor over the black marks, and safety pin a string at the top to help hold it up...

Why must wedding dresses be either trashy or thousands of dollars? Can't someone make something nice for under 700 bucks? Even for pregnant ladies?

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

If I Had a Million Dollars

I just learned all about life insurance—something I’ll confess I’d never given any thought to before. Every time Dr. Fiancé tries to bring up the topic—approximately once a week since I got pregnant—I end up shedding tears, partly because I don’t like to think about him dying and leaving me and the baby alone (even with a million or two dollars, which, when you come down to it, doesn’t go all that far anymore) and partly because it’s all so mind-numbingly convoluted and boring.

I keep trying to tell Dr. Fiancé that if he were to die in the next five or ten years, I’d have far bigger problems than having enough money to maintain the lifestyle to which I’ve become accustomed—namely I’ll have to figure out how to get myself out of the deep well of depression I’ll certainly plummet into and how to eventually resume dating. . . It would be too weird to meet two husbands on Match.com, right? But where else will anyone be meeting anyone in five or ten years?

Dr. Fiancé is under the impression that the right thing to do is to make sure I’d be left with enough money to pay off the house so the poor orphaned baby and I will have a place to live even though I still may not be making any money yet off my writing career—which is a nice thought (the paying off the house part, I mean), but I can’t imagine staying in the house with Dr. Fiancé, um, dead. Too many memories—and I’ve never liked the kitchen that much.

“If you died,” I told him this time around, “we’d sell the house and move in with your mother. The view from her living room is very soothing, and she could probably get me a writing gig at her magazine.”

But Dr. Fiancé wasn’t convinced. Something about 401(k)s and maximum contributions and term plans and tax brackets and a fixed rate of seven percent of something.

“Those insurance guys are good,” he said. “He pretty much convinced me to go with the plan that seems the most expensive but apparently isn’t in the end—and he sounded really, really smart.”

I suggested Dr. Fiancé could maybe call his dad for advice—dads are often good at that sort of thing—but he said his dad doesn’t believe in insurance. He grinned, adding, “He thinks insurance guys are total skeezeballs.”

Gee. I wonder why.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Me and My Monkey

Dr. Fiancé returned last night from a four-day bachelor party in Costa Rica, courtesy his brother and three best friends. He brought me back a present, warning as he handed it over that there weren’t a lot of good gift options in Costa Rica—by which I assume he means at the airport—but he proved himself to be totally wrong by bringing me the world’s most adorable stuffed monkey with a baby monkey Velcro-wrapped around its torso. “I saw it and thought mama monkey and baby monkey—she’s got to have that,” he explained as I cried—yes, cried—at the sheer adorableness of it all—including the fact that I have a fiancé who brings home stuffed animals from his bachelor party.

It used to be that when Dr. Fiancé went out of town, I’d get sad and lonely and kind of pissed off at him for leaving me alone in this big house in a fancy neighborhood that is decidedly not a historic school building filled with friendly artists eager to come over for a cup of tea and a chat about the best way to decoupage an old map of onto an old desk salvaged from the curb. Plus, we don’t have curtains on any of the windows, so cranking the stereo to 11 and dancing around the living room in my underwear isn’t really an option, and what else is there for a girl to do when her fiancé dashes off to, say, Costa Rica with his boyfriends for the weekend?

But this time around, I didn’t get sad or lonely or angry—I just got kind of cranky. I’m not sure exactly what I was cranky about, but for once it didn’t feel like I was cranky at Dr. Fiancé, more like I was cranky the way someone is when they have a million things to do (plan a wedding, prepare house for baby, write a book) and are too nauseous and exhausted to get many of them done in any kind of efficient way. Plus there are these pregnancy hormones to blame.

Truth be told, it’s not the book or the baby that are the issue. I want the wedding to be planned for me. I guess this isn’t a new feeling so much as a return visitor—the kind that eats all the cookies and overstays their welcome.

Once again, as much as I want to be married to Dr. Fiancé, I do not want to interview more photographers who will tell me that their $2000 base rate doesn’t include a single actual physical photograph—just their time. I do not want to spend even one more minute shopping for a maternity bridal gown, a maternity rehearsal dinner outfit, or a suitable maternity day-after-the-wedding outfit. I’m not interested in finding a tailor, a seamstress, or someone who knows how to make corsages, and I’m done with all the meetings and emails with the woman struggling to make our invitations look the way she swore they would when I forked over a deposit. I do not want to drive to Mount Rainier to taste potatoes and salmon and make sure they’re up to scratch—in part because if they’re not, I do not want to find another caterer. Ignorance is bliss, baby, and salmon is salmon.

I keep telling myself the reason I’m not making wedding progress is that surfing the internet exacerbates my morning sickness—which is totally true but didn’t stop me from registering for fifty-some-odd baby items at Target yesterday morning. It’s so much more compelling to do stuff for the baby who will be part of our lives forever than for the wedding, which will be one weekend, so I started trying to think of wedding planning as “marriage planning” instead to see if that helps.

Unfortunately I quickly realized that it’s not like the caterer, photographer, and cake maker are going to be with us for our entire marriage—if only—so it really is planning for a wedding.

I’ve returned to wanting to elope or squeeze into my Goodwill wedding dress and traipse down to the courthouse on Friday afternoon and spend the weekend honeymooning downtown at the W Hotel. Surely everyone who’s already purchased a plane ticket will understand. They’d still be welcome to visit us in July—they’d even be allowed to bring us gifts—especially if they’re completely adorable.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Maternity Wedding Dress Shopping Expedition No. 2

I ordered a maternity wedding dress online today from one of those godawful maternity stores that prides itself on being stylish but is about as fashion-forward as the plus-size department at Sears. On a positive note, this place actually sells maternity wedding dresses—a rarity, it turns out. Of the two options, both were on sale and only one was too hideous to consider. There’s a chance that the one I ordered will make me look like a pregnant albino mermaid, but there’s a chance it will work. For $200 I had to try. The other dress that I like is handmade by a local designer and runs $1600—before alternations. That’s a lot of onesies.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Size Matters

According to the sole “So, You’re Having a Baby! Here’s a Bunch of Stuff to Worry About!” book I own, the baby is now the size of a peach—three inches from the top of its head to the bottom of its bottom. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never seen a peach that small, even at the hippie organic non-genetically-modified stores where I get my produce.

On a different size-related note, it’s hard to imagine shooting a peach out of my vagina—even a small one. I shudder to think what fruits the next six months will bring.