Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Tummy Tuesday - 37 Weeks

3 weeks to go!

Weight gain: 24 pounds
Tummy girth: 47.5 inches (right at belly button)

Apparently eating a diet rich in chocolate is exactly what I needed to put a stop to gaining weight. And now I know why my stomach muscles - what's left of them anyway - hurt so much. I don't even like the feel of my shirts' fabric rubbing against me. But it's not likely I'll be walking around with the ginormous belly hanging out either with all my stretch mark glory.

But I've made it! I am officially a full-term pregnancy now. If things don't start moving in the next week I'll start trying some of those folk remedies. Mostly I'm concerned about not getting a trial of labor; I'll be forced into a c-section at 41 weeks. The frequent contractions come and go, but today they started getting more intense...

I think I may have mentioned here before that my dog, bless her lovely little heart, is a bit strange. When we went to get her more food on Sunday, Monkey Man and I decided to shop for a new pillow to go inside her kennel. The old one had shrunk to half the size of the kennel, and I felt bad that she only had a blanket on the other half.

*Quick aside - who the hell makes a dog bed that's not supposed to be washed? It states clearly on the label to not wash it, which would explain the shrinkage. But really? A dog bed? That can't be washed?*

So we found a large, cheap pillow with a removable and washable cover that's even the right color to fit into our living area. I was so excited. The dog was...less excited. We almost had to carry her into the kennel Sunday night. Monday morning I had to use a leash to force her inside. This morning when I was trying to leave she was still eyeing the thing like it might suddenly jump up and bite her. Because that's happened at least, well, never.

Sunday, October 21, 2007


10 Things You've Been Putting Off (from 10 on Tuesday, archived from Sept 2007)

1. Grocery shopping
2. Showering
3. Getting ready for baby
4. Dinner
5. Getting passports for myself and Quake
6. Buying stamps
7. Making a Christmas list
8. Getting more dog food
9. Ordering photos
10. Finding a dentist and a dermatologist

It's about 4:15, and I've done exactly 2 things on my to-do list. I'd blame preschooler interference except that Quake is visiting family in another town at the moment. I did manage to watch some DVR recorded shows this morning. And take a nice long nap this afternoon. I should be thankful to have hours to fill with nothing, but of course I'm too busy being anxious about all the things I'll have to squeeze in tomorrow to make up for it. I'm such a dork.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Dreams of the Dead

The other night I had a dream about my Uncle Billy who has been gone for many years. And for many years prior to that he was confined to a wheelchair and bed, a result of strokes and heart attacks. Turns out eating too much good Southern food, smoking like a chimney, and drinking far too much alcohol on a daily basis isn't all that good for you health. I don't often dream of the dead, and I tend to treasure those few dreams.

My Uncle Billy, aka Fat Man, was a larger than life character to me. He threw his vices around like they were virtues. He cursed freely - then always apologized for doing so but you knew he didn't really mean it. He made big promises I knew he wouldn't keep, but the words themselves made me feel better (he promised me my own white Stetson when I became enamoured of his; he gave me his card and promised to pick me up at the airport in Dallas if I ever need to escape from my parents). My dad's family has produced more than its share of storytellers - a tendency I've inherited but perhaps without the talent - and Billy was the loudest, most outrageous of them all.

In my dream he was talking to my dad, his "baby brother". And when I approached them, he hugged me, told me he'd missed me and loved me. He suggested that we needed to spend more time together. He was himself but perhaps toned down a bit from my childhood memories of him. It was such a little thing, not some big production, but it made me feel happy when I woke up, like maybe, just maybe Uncle Billy is watching out for me. Even if it's only from a perch in my own memory.

Illness update: Took Quake to the doctor Tuesday morning - he has strep throat!

Pregnancy Issues: Coffee suddenly tastes better than my beloved tea. Wtf?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Tummy Tuesday - 36 Weeks

4 weeks to go!

Weight gain: 24 pounds
Tummy girth: 46 inches (right at belly button)

Still packing on the pounds - I give up. I think for breakfast I'll skip the oatmeal and just eat half a pan of the spiced pumpkin chocolate chip bars I made last night (what's not to love about a dessert recipe that includes the justification of "it has vegetables in it!"). Although the constipation theory wasn't all wrong last week - I did spend an inordinate amount of time in the bathroom last Tuesday. Monkey Man would also like to add that I did not include the 1/2-inch of my actual belly button sticking out in my tummy measurement. Perhaps he needs a laxative with his coffee this morning?

I had my prenatal class last night and even the midwives and nurses couldn't contain their comments about my ginormous belly. My fundal height (that's how big my uterus is getting) is measuring exactly on time so it's not that the baby is outrageously huge. Apparently I just carry my pregnancy all out in front. Like a 24 pound medicine ball glued to my tummy that I have waddle around.

The baby has dropped further into my pelvis. That and my intense and frequent contractions has one of the midwives guessing that I'll go early. From her mouth to the gods' ears. Not that I'm complaining. I'm letting go. I'm breathing into the moment.

Kept Quake home from school yesterday to see if a little rest would help him feel better. Right. It's a good theory for a child like I was. When I was home sick I would happily stay on the couch all day drinking fluids, watching TV, and reading. But three and a half years is apparently not enough time for me to figure out that this child is nothing like I was. He was so excited to watch TV. For about 6 minutes. Then he was off looking for trouble. But it was obvious by late yesterday afternoon that he was developing pink eye so it's a good thing I did keep him home. Now I have to call him in sick to school again today and hope that I can get him in to see his doctor. And of course stop by the pharmacy to pick up a packet of Airborne in a desperate attempt to not catch any of his sickness myself. Because that, that would really piss me off.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Snotty Noses and Contractions

Woke up at an ungodly hour again last night. Quake was tossing around and then said in the world's quietest whisper, "Need to blow my nose." Seriously, during the night he says things that I swear are just above the audible threshold. The rest of the time he keeps his voice at just below shrieking. He belongs to me and Monkey Man afterall.

So my mommy duty done, I snuggled under the covers to try to get back to sleep. Even the ever hot, sweaty pregnant woman needs at least a sheet at 70. Then the contractions started. Four of them in about 10 minutes. Uh-oh. I had to get up and walk around, drink a glass of water, generally hope something would help. Not that I wouldn't mind this baby coming a bit early, but I'd like to wait at least a week so I'd be considered full term. Once things settled down I fell asleep on the couch again.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Dreamy Thoughts

I couldn't sleep last night despite being exhausted. I had a terrible headache and every time I went into a prone position I would throw up a little bit in my mouth. So I popped half a Unisom, sat on the couch in the dark until it took hold, and then spent the night there on the couch. I actually like sleeping on our couch; it's way more comfortable than our needs-to-be-replaced mattress, and there is no preschooler smothering me. I dreamt of coyotes yipping and howling in the night. Of course the windows were open last night so that may not have been a dream at all.

I'm trying not to complain about the indigestion and headache and exhaustion even though complaining is something I do so very well. I'm trying to just accept what's happening to my body in these last few weeks of pregnancy. Many years ago, while still living in the Silicon Valley, I had the opportunity to take a self-actualization class with this amazing woman. The two most important things I took away from her class were 1)trust your instincts, and 2)an introduction to Tao.

The instinct thing...I'm still pretty terrible at it and forget to do a gut check pretty much all the time.

But Tao is something that keeps coming up in my life over and over again. So much so that even I, she who forgets she has an instinct and overthinks everything instead, has had to take notice. It's popped up again recently, and I suddenly feel that I need to try to be in the moment instead of fighting so hard. I spend too much energy wishing this baby would come early, feeling miserable and beaten for being in pain, beating myself up for not being that perfect, blissful image of mom and pregnant woman that I carry around in my head. God, she's a bitch.

Right now I have an almost overwhelming urge to curl up on the couch and disconnect from so much of life. I want to cocoon - flip through magazines, try to read (I suddenly can't concentrate even on my guilty pleasure books), nap, snack, maybe watch a movie, maybe journal a bit. I don't want to run errands or cook dinner or do laundry. I don't want to be distracted from the last bit of time I'll have with this child that is just him and me.

Of course that's not realistic. Things still need to get done. I still have another child and a husband who both need attention and can't carry the household load alone. I still have obligations. Here I smile to myself and think of a line from Illusions by Richard Bach - the best way to avoid obligation is to say I have obligations.

So I'm taking a deep breath (hey, that's not so easy with a baby pushing into your lungs), and just going with the moment. Today I need to get snacks for tomorrow's prenatal class. Today I need to do one load of laundry. I do not need to worry about volunteering at the school tomorrow, if I'll have the energy to meet friends on Wednesday, or even if I'll sleep well tonight. The time will come for those things and the time comes for all things.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Tummy Tuesday - 35 Weeks

5 weeks to go!

Weight gain: 22 pounds

Tummy girth: 46 inches (right at belly button)

How is it possible to eat practically nothing and gain 2 pounds in a week?! I'm blaming constipation. I haven't pooped in 4 days - ran out of the corn chowder - so I must be retaining every bite that I've eaten. And that new inch around my belly? I feel every millimeter of stretch in that puppy.

I have started preparing for the baby though. Monkey Man pulled out all the boxes of Quake's baby things, and I started going through them. I even washed a load of 0-3 month sized clothes as well as changing pad covers and co-sleeper sheets. And the preschooler finally prevailed at Target, forcing me to go down every aisle in the baby section and explain all the things he didn't understand. He also insisted on a package of diapers and a box of wipes. At least someone is watching out for the new arrival.

In other news, some of you may remember me complaining about being bored with my life here. I really shouldn't talk about these things because apparently Someone. Is. Listening. My husband is once again being recruited for another job. I'm delighted to know that he is so highly sought after! But I'm not so sure about actually moving again. I made him promise when we moved to San Diego that we would stay for at least 5 years. That didn't happen. I wanted the same promise when we moved back to Tucson. At least I was smart enough by then to know it was pointless. But I still hoped.

It's still way way way way too early to even be stressing about the possibility, but dammit, it takes my mind off the pregnancy and birth thing I've got going on. I know I should listen to my gut. Too bad there's so much interference on that line...

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Tummy Tues...er, Wednesday - 34 Weeks

6 weeks to go! (Technically 5 weeks and 6 days since it's Wednesday)
Weight gain: 20 pounds
Tummy girth: 45 inches (right at belly button)

I make myself feel better by saying I have "3 weeks until a full term baby!" Which of course means I'll probably be 40 weeks and 6 days when I go into labor. At 41 weeks they'll force me into another c-section so I'm trying to be really positive. We all know that's not easy for the cranky pregnant lady.

Went on a tour of the hospital Monday night (as a VBAC patient I can't deliver at the birth center). The labor and delivery rooms are really quite nice. The recovery rooms...not so much. All the more reason to make sure I get this baby out vaginally - I do not want to spend 48 to 72 hours in that recovery room.

Dr Magic and I will once again be spending some quality time together over the next few weeks. My pain level has risen drastically, as if the Pain, angry at being sent away, has decided to return with a vengence. Yippee. The consensus among Dr Magic and some other peoples "in the know" is that the structural strangeness in my hips that causes the pain, may also have contributed to my labor failures during Quake's birth. Oh yes, Dr Magic is about to become my new best friend...

Other than my wild fear of having another c-section and complaining bitterly about my pain, I have done pretty much nothing to prepare for this baby. My mom sent us new crib bedding a few weeks ago, and my mother-in-law recently sent us a mobile and matching curtains. I have managed to open and unpack those boxes. I justify this by saying that we'll be cosleeping anyway so the crib doesn't have to be ready right away. Which in no way explains why I haven't unpacked the cosleeper and washed those sheets. Or why I haven't pulled out the other boxes of baby stuff to see what I have and what else I might need. Or why I can't seem to make myself go through the baby section at Target even though my preschooler is already insisting that the baby needs diapers.

On the dietary front, I have made the satisfying discovery that all that extra iron is simply no match for my homemade corn chowder. Need to make an extra batch to have in reserve in case I do have a c-section - can't go home until I poop? No problem!