Friday, March 30, 2012

A Way in Which This Pregnancy Is Different From the Last

(On the off chance that you care.)

Instead of craving—and eating my weight in—strawberries, the smell of them makes me gag. Every time I open the refrigerator, I half-retch at the stench of perfectly fine strawberries that reek of rotten, poisonous fruit flesh.

(For the record, English muffins smell like bad foot funk, but only while being toasted. They're fine beforehand and afterward. WTF, hormones?)

photo courtesy krumdieck, morgueFile

Thursday, March 29, 2012

International Space Station

As of Saturday, I’ll be 37 weeks pregnant, and I found out at my OB visit today that the baby is at “zero station”(!) His or her head is nestled down all nice and cozy in my pelvis—a position my first baby didn’t reach until the day before I delivered her. My cervix isn’t effaced or dilated, so it’s not like I’m going to deliver tomorrow or anything—but with some luck this baby won’t be coming ten days late.

I’m more than a little panicked about what we’re going to do with the two-year old when I do go into labor, as it’s been predicted by reliable sources (a Magic 8-Ball at Goodwill and my beloved obstetrician) that this time around everything is likely to go “very quickly.” Though our two-year-old is a tremendously good sport, I’m not sure how well she’d handle being pawned off on a random nurse in the maternity ward while mama shoots a baby out her vagina in a room down the hall.

It had been my hope and plan to have a babysitter in place by now—one who would be able to be bribed into being on-call throughout the month of April, including in the middle of the night—but so far no luck. Sittercity, it turns out, is a lot like Generally speaking the people that you're interested in aren't interested back, and the people that are interested in you aren't your type.

photo courtesy morgueFile

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Today's Random Confession

You know that new Train song? The one where the guy confesses in dorky rhyme (“When you move me, everything is groovy…”) that he really IS that into you, he was just too scared and shy and overwhelmed by his feelings at first but now he is ready to commit?

I. Love. It.

I paid $1.29 to be able to play it on repeat in my car.

This baby I’m gestating will be my second offspring to have been exposed to incessant Train in utero. Train played a very unlikely concert at a local pow-wow (for real), and as a fan from way back (back when they were the first band to sing (in dorky rhyme) about soy lattes—wait, I think they’re the only band that has ever sung about soy lattes), I jumped at my husband’s extremely unlikely suggestion that we attend the Stillaguamish Festival of the River and Pow-Wow. (His rationale: Scottish-Australian Men at Work frontman Colin Hay was performing! The randomness!) I was six months pregnant and feeling enormous and unwieldy (if only I knew what was to come! Oh, the perspective) and none too excited about sitting in the grass all day—BUT—say what you will about Train, they give GREAT concert. They were clearly well on their way to a comeback back in the summer of 2009 and now they swear to me, they’ll be here for me—and I believe them.

photo courtesy taliesen, morgueFile

Today's Random Coffee Shop Rant

I’ve never been a big fan of crossword puzzles. Rather than a fun word game (which you would think I, a writer, would like), I experience crossword puzzles for what they are: a torturous trivia game with a heavy spelling component.

My brain sees the letter “s” in the middle of a word and can suddenly only think of words that start with the letter “s”—or whatever.

Anyway, it turns out that there is something more torturous than doing a crossword puzzle—and that’s sitting at a table next to two old men doing a crossword puzzle together, but only one of them can see it. So he is narrating the entire process for his buddy.

“It’s number four down.”


“Down. Four. The clue is merry.”

“Mary? Like mother of God?”

“No, merry, like Christmas.”


“No, merry. M-e-r-r-y. It’s four letters and the third letter from the end is a “c.”

Holy Mother of God!!!!! Make it stop!

photo courtesy cohdra, morgueFile

Friday, March 23, 2012

Do You Know the Muffin Woman?

The two-year-old and I were going a little stir-crazy this morning. She has some sort of leaky nose-and-butt combo virus and lord knows I haven't felt well for eight months, and the combination led to a lot of whining—plus the two-year-old was no angel, either.

Finally I declared that we needed to get out of the house—to go somewhere, do something to break my funk if nothing else.

"The park?" she suggested.

"It's too cold for the park. I don't have a coat that zips up over my ridiculous belly," I complained.

She contemplated this for a moment. Then, "Let's go get a muffin!"

I smiled. She smiled. Then, eying my ridiculous belly and sensing how much of her muffin I would eat, she said, "Let's go get TWO muffins!"

She is so my offspring.

(The muffins were delicious.)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Thirty-Five Weeks

(Photo coming soon. Maybe.)

Did you read that, people? It says, THIRTY-FIVE WEEKS! In a mere fortnight this baby will be officially full-term and I can start pestering my OB to strip my membranes and give me just a wee little nip of Pitocin to get this party started!

On the flip side of my joyous revelation that I am 7/8ths done with this seemingly neverending pregnancy (all pregnancies are neverending!) is my sudden and complete panic over all the preparations loitering on the to-do list and, more pressingly, all the things about raising a newborn that I TOTALLY DO NOT REMEMBER. How to wrap a Moby around my torso... How to swaddle the baby... How to attach the infant car seat... How to angle my nipples so that when the baby latches on it doesn't feel like a barracuda is trying to kill me... How to know when to go to the hospital on the off chance my labor starts spontaneously this time... How to use the breast pump... How to cut out the 2am night feeding... How to dress in such a way that those leaky-breast pad thingies aren't visible through my shirt... How to sterilize a pacifier with a stuffed animal attached to it... How to care for a tender, war-torn vagina... How to convince my husband to cook all my favorite foods—including the ones he doesn't like... How to be the mama to a newborn and still retain a smidgen of my dignity and my identity...

Not to mention all the things I haven't forgotten but simply have not yet learned, such as how to care for a newborn and a toddler at the same time without causing any temper tantrums. Or upsetting the toddler.


Last night I was wide awake for hours after my standard 9pm pregnancy bedtime, frantically scouring the internet for an affordable (very) part-time nanny who can cook, clean, take excellent care of a toddler and a newborn, not drive my husband or me crazy on the days we need to work from home, not have to shift her hours every time a new quarter happens to start at one of the local colleges yet be willing to work totally different days of the week this fall when the two-year-old's preschool schedule shifts from Tuesdays and Thursdays to Monday, Wednesday, Friday. So far all I've gotten is one "video resume" spammy response to my Craigslist ad from a person who is "Very excited about this opportunity."

Oh, I'm excited, too, spammer. So excited I could pee my pants.

Sometimes Life Really Is Grand

... I'm sitting in the living room eating my favorite cheese while my husband and the two-year-old are hanging out together in the kitchen making CHOCOLATE-COVERED CAKE BATTER TRUFFLES. With sprinkles.

Lest I forget when domestic times are tough, THIS is why I got married.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

On Having Things and Eating Them, Too

The baby-to-be is 34 weeks old (I’m finally 17/20ths done with this pregnancy—now there's a milestone!) I myself am now 37. Years, that is. I found out I was pregnant with my first kid in my last days of being 33, and given that she’s just over two years old now, it doesn’t make sense to me that I’m 37 and still having babies. How did this happen? Where did the time go? When did I stop being twenty-seven? Why are all thoughts about adult birthdays such clich├ęs?

To celebrate the day, I ate a breakfast of fresh coconut cake (homemade (per my annual request) by my show-offy husband) and took a shower all by myself while the show-offy husband took the two-year-old to the zoo for the morning. I had time to blow-dry my hair, touch up my months-old toenail polish, and apply lip gloss all without interruption. It was glorious. Though not as glorious as the cake.

The next night the still show-offy husband took the two-year-old out to dinner while I had a handful of girlfriends over for pizza and wine and homemade (by me) chocolate cake (you think I’d share that coconut cake? No chance.). Because three of us are pregnant and a fourth just had a baby, the conversation naturally turned to placenta eating.

Apparently this is now a thing—at least in Seattle—eating your placenta after giving birth to it.

I’m working on a longer essay on this phenomenon, so stay tuned. In the meantime, to each her own. (But seriously? Eeeeeeeeeeeewwwwwwwwww!)

Photo courtesy gracey, morgueFile

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Weighing on My Mind

For the first time in all my scores of OB visits, I worked up the ’nads to tell the nurse weighing me in at this month’s check-up that I didn’t want to know my weight—she would have to read it off the scale herself. She acted like my request was the most normal thing in the world (surely I’m not the first?) and then kindly (if unconvincingly) made an approving noise after my weight (presumably) registered. I can’t say that it felt like a major triumph—a major triumph would be NOT GIVING A SHIT WHAT I WEIGH WHEN PREGNANT—but given that it’s something I’ve meant to do for seven consecutive months (plus nine consecutive months a while back), I do have to count it in the “win” column.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

All the Pregnant Ladies

Last time I was gestating a baby, I didn't know a single other pregnant person. My friends were all too young to reproduce (in terms of their life plans, not their biological capacity—I don’t tend to hang with eleven-year-olds), Childless by Choice (I like to think of them as members of an official club made up of writers and artists and people who REALLY can’t handle the smell of apple juice), or too overwhelmed with their preschoolers to even think about doing it (or DOING IT) again.

There I was, floating solo in my motion-sickness-inducing boat of enormity, waving (a little desperately) to my friends on shore, turning to Heather Armstrong’s memoir and boxes of Cheese-Its for solace and commiseration.

This time during my tenure as pregnant lady, six friends have kept me company in the rocky, nauseating boat—though none of them were bothered much by the waves or the relentless rocking back and forth. Bitches.

But as much as I love—nay, need—to complain about being in the family way, I haven’t been so much in the mood lately, after one of my friends miscarried and another is finding out today exactly which terrible genetic anomaly her statistically-likely-to-have fetus has—or maybe doesn’t have.

Every time my wee one kicks or head-butts or butt-butts my belly from the inside, I’m just so insanely grateful that he (or she) is alive and statistically likely to be well, with the right number of chromosomes and everything as it should be.

Bless you, little critter. I am so glad to be your vessel and I love you so much—even though you make me barf.

Photo courtesy tjk, morgueFile