Sunday, December 30, 2007

Full Term, Full Tank, and Rearing to Go

I was 37 weeks as of yesterday, which is officially full term. This means we're good to go at any time, even though the due date is officially 3 weeks away. I'm voting sooner rather than later, though I'm not presumptuous enough to think my vote carries any weight in the matter really. As the food source both of present and to be, however, could my thoughts perhaps be slightly considered in the decision making process?

I have turned the corner into pretty damn uncomfortable territory, and it really seems to me by the pokes and prods I am constantly receiving that the LFM ain't but so comfy in there either. There seems to be a discernible lack of room for the both of us, and of course he's little so he always wins out. I'm also getting contractions all the freaking time, most of which are benign but just uncomfortable as hell. Yesterday I got the added bonus of the feeling of mild menstrual cramps and slight back pain, but it went away, so don't get all excited that anything is happening. Nothing is happening but awkward discomfort. Lots and lots of it. And as for sleep? That's most definitely not happening.

For the record: I still love love pregnancy. I absolutely adore being pregnant. I think its a beautiful journey and I think I'll actually really miss it when he's out.

Not that I don't want him to make an appearance...soon. As in before family flies in from all corners of the globe, so that we get a little time to ourselves, just the three of us before being overwhelmed and inundated by foreign languages and filial obligations. I'm a definitely finding myself a little anxious about the postpartum period. As if standing at the gateway of both life and death while learning how to be a new mother and breastfeed were not emotionally and energetically taxing enough, I get to do all that, with crazy hormones, no sleep, and company! Yay! Sounds like fun, doesn't it? I've always been a huge people person, but I find that the closer I get to birth the more anxious I am about protecting my space; defending my den so to speak. None of this may end up being an issue at all, and how I will feel is one gigantic question mark at this point, but for right now its a definite fear I'm trying to work through. I'm sure it doesn't help that I've never met WB's parents before. It also doesn't help that my Spanish skills have sadly not progressed at all during the last 9 months and his mother doesn't speak any English. It also doesn't help that my own mother is dying. Gee, why do I feel like the china shop itself watching a bull approach? Hmmm, can't think of any valid reasons really...

Speaking of Mimi, this is why I have not written in decades. To be very brief about it all, she had been falling a lot and was very weak and we brought it up at a doctor's appointment. They immediately did a CT scan and found 6 new brain tumors...and when I say new, these cropped up since the last MRI done in October. Yeah, fuckin cancer moves fast. When my parents met with the doc upon first finding out, he was all gloom and doom and basically there was a question as to whether or not Mimi would even make it to see her grandson born.

As she now tells it, when the doctor said the magic word, hospice, she suddenly burst into action. That was what she needed to hear to get her ire up, collect her inner resources, and motivate the troops to fight. She had gamma knife radiation, which they're hopeful has killed off the new brain tumors, is now on new meds and walking with help of a walker, and will begin a new injection chemo around the 11th of Jan to help buy some time from the 50 million other non brain tumors throughout her body. Its not only her choice, but now her passion to continue fighting with every ounce of her being. Her new goal is not the birth, but 2 1/2 years from diagnosis, which will put her at next December. She's a pretty stubborn lady- she just may make it! On a very selfish note, I'm so relieved not to have to experience both new life and death at the exact same moment. While it is clearly a very definite reality that she is dying, I'm so thankful that its not simultaneous to birth. Grateful for both of us.

So now you see why I have been away for so really wasn't that WB's snoring finally got the better of me. Life's challenges and grief did.

In the midst of all that, I had two amazing and beautiful baby showers thrown for me by two very wonderful friends, and got to have just a teeny tiny bit of light amidst what was otherwise a bit of a dark time. I desperately needed that, and I thank you from the bottom of my being, Coco and Muffinface. Thank you as well to all our wonderful friends who helped make us feel so loved and supported- this monkey couldn't be birthed into a more loving environment.

There was , sadly, one very horrible snafu wherein a friend felt very hurt and offended that WB and I did not get to talk with them enough and did not introduce them to other guests (disclaimer: we didn't introduce anyone to anyone else, and as we had been through the emotional ringer the previous week, which had been shared with said guest, we were understandably more than a little overwhelmed). The manner in which this friend chose to share their feelings was cruel rather than constructive (I had two witnesses to the events and conversation who can attest to that) and the friendship has definitely been irreparably damaged, to say the least. That was a very heartbreaking and supremely disappointing turn of events, but I don't even have the energy to deal with something like that amidst everything else that is going on. Its not a priority, nor should it be.

For the present moment (and I can only live in the moment right now), my priorities all revolve around birthing my baby. We've completed and organized everything we need and/or want for our home birth, I'm ruthlessly nesting (when not horrendously uncomfortable) and we're just excitedly waiting. So LFM, if you're listening, you can come anytime...Maman and Papa are ready and waiting with open arms!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Sleepless in Hippoland

The 3rd trimester insomnia/uncomfortableness is killing me here. I'm just getting over a horrible upper respiratory infection and a week of being a walking snot faucet and now I can't sleep. At all.

Also, did I ever happen to mention on this blog how WB got that particular moniker? It stands for Wild Boar...which is exactly what he sounds like when he sleeps. Seriously. I am not exaggerating at all. The first time he ever spent the night and slept (evidently he stayed up all not a few times, knowing just how terrifying the first exposure could be), I woke up in the middle of the night convinced there was some sort of wild animal in my bed. While that can be a good thing in the waking hours, when you're trying to sleep through that sound in your ear (night after night) it can try even the calmest and most patient of nerves.

I am all the way across our huge floor through apartment and he is in the bedroom behind a closed door and I hear him loud and clear right now. And even 1000 feet away (I totally made up that number, I have no idea how far it is, just far enough that any normal person's snoring would not be audible) its incredibly annoying. No, really. Trust me. I'm cringing as I type this.

Every night I wear the highest decibel blocking earplugs I can find in the drugstore and he wears a nasal snore strip and one of 3 things inevitably happens at some point in the night:
1. I ruthlessly kick him out of bed and force him to sleep on the very uncomfortable couch. When he carries the next child, he can kick me out of bed.
2. I scream out desperately at the top of my lungs "WB! PULEEZE STOP! JUST STOP! HAVE MERCY ON MY POOR MISERABLE SLEEP DEPRIVED SOUL!"
3. I try and smother him with a pillow.

This nightly cacophonous racket, compounded with an already difficult period sleep wise does not bode well for our little family. Either I will end up a Benadryl addict shivering and alone in an alley somewhere sniffling for my fix and crying that "I just need a little sleep man, just a little!" or the first ever adenoid removal surgery performed in a bedroom just might take place. I'm gazing longingly at the kitchen knives right now.

[Great! Guess who just decided that now would be a perfect time to start to use my abdomen for boxing training? If you need to find me, I'll still be here....awake and miserable all night folks. That's right! 24 hours a day of guaranteed fun!]

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Spagyric experience

I'm rather thankful for the path I've chosen here as well. And this beautiful alchemy that we managed to bring forth to our reality. We managed to transmutate our energy gathered from our past and present experiences into this wonderful new state of being. Now we are beyond excited to meet this third entity that will embody what is us!

"This is the miracle that happens every time to those who really love: the more they give, the more they possess."
-R. M. Rilke-

Monday, November 26, 2007

Here, Have Some Thanks, On the House

So this Thanksgiving was a little different than all other Thanksgivings, needless to say. Different in that this year I feel completely overwhelmed with gratitude. Not only am I incredibly thankful that Mimi is alive to see another Thanksgiving (something we weren't sure would happen last year at this time), but I'm also unbelievably thankful for the new family I am building. This sturdy little tripod that is my everything. Its something that's completely beyond words but which fills every single cell of my being. Something than is innate in nature, but beyond that is built upon the backs of many a loss, many a violation, many a life challenge. And you know what? If it all brought me here, to this place here and now, its all completely worth it.

[editor's note: to the bulbous bloody mass of mucous that used to be my nose, for the record, I am not thankful for you. You are making me miserable. Please stop throwing tantrums and running all over the place. Can't we live together in harmony? Please?]

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

30.5 Weeks

Why do I decide to take pics after an exhaustingly long day? So that I can look this bedraggled. It takes effort you know.

All Belly (and a little lipstick to look a little less like death)

the park across the street from our apartment this morning

So as I promised, here are some long overdue belly shots...and what a belly to shoot, huh? I was thinking the other day how much I'm going to miss it - how much I have grown to love this baby belly and what's inside it. I will miss the kicks and pokes and squirming around that have become so much a part of every day. I actually miss it when he's asleep now! I will also miss this wonderful little bit of time when its just us- it will never be just him and me again. I feel like its something so special and wondrous and beautiful.

That is until he jumps on my bladder, ramming it with all the force he can muster.

Which happens at least twice a day, if not more.

Still, I am remembering to enjoy this fully.

I think he likes it best when I speak to him in French.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Taking Ownership of Our Birth Experience

My blood pressure is down. Way down. And in hindsight, it wasn't really that high to begin with, its just everyone overreacted and panicked.

I just thought I should start with that since I totally left on a cliff hanger and disappeared into the scary world of hospital panic never to be heard from again. Only that's not really quite how it happened. Its more like I found out the following Friday that I did not have preeclampsia and thus was given the all clear to fly to New York for a deposition that was scheduled for the following Tuesday. Which I did, the next morning. Yes, after a week of partial bedrest, I was then immediately thrown into the mayhem of last minute travel and four fairly nonstop days in the city that is determined to raise your blood pressure at any and all costs. Not to mention the stress of a 6 hour deposition followed by more scrambling to get to the airport and fly home. And yet, after all that, my blood pressure was significantly reduced the next day upon my return home.

So what changed?

Well, my attitude, for one. I decided to stop worrying about it, plain and simple. I think it also helped immensely that WB and I had decided to call the home birth midwife and just investigate our options.

This isn't something I've even written about here, because frankly I didn't want to hear any one's opinions on the subject (for the record, I still don't), but for a great majority of the pregnancy I've been struggling with this major decision between home birth and hospital birth and failing miserably at trying to come to a place of peace regarding a hospital birth. This is due to a great many factors including my great mistrust of the medical model of care (I was misdiagnosed with Graves Disease 4 years ago and was harassed and made to feel like a completely irresponsible moron for not agreeing to let them fry away bits of my thyroid with radioactive iodine when it turns out the whole time it would have been completely unnecessary as it was an erroneous diagnosis). But really the main issue here is rooted in the fact that we've spent so much time in hospitals over the past year and a half with Mimi, that we are beyond tired of hospitals. Hospitals are where you when you're dying of cancer. And I'm not dying of cancer, I'm not even sick. I'm just having a baby- the most natural thing in the world that women have been doing for thousands of years with their wise women midwives without the aid of technology.

So last week, whilst my entire brain leaked out through my sinuses (what fun, especially when 30 weeks pregnant) we took the leap and are now hoping for and shooting for a home birth with the legendary home birth midwife here in River City. This is what I have really wanted, at the core of my heart, for many many months now. In taking this step, I took ownership of my birth experience, and honored myself and my needs. And wow is it empowering! And relieving! I can't even begin to explain the euphoric waves of relief that poured over me once it was finally done. Am I a bit scared? Yes, of course, labor is hard work and it will be painful, but a home birth is far less scary to me than a hospital birth. So much fear and anxiety just simply evaporated once the decision was made.

There is still a chance that we will end up having to be transferred to the hospital, but we will cross that bridge if and when we get to it. And if that happens, I will trust that it was absolutely necessary, and not overreaction or mere protocol. In the meantime, we look forward to welcoming our son in the warm comfort and peace of our own home.

Our own home that I'm frantically nesting in.

Yup, the nesting instinct seems to have magically kicked in, with only 10 weeks to go and a huge laundry list of things I'd love to do. This week's fun has mainly consisted of asking WB to frame and hang artwork...about 10 million different times, since every position I vehemently insist upon then seems totally wrong to me and must be rectified immediately. I am very lucky that WB is an infinitely patient man. Luckily reinforcements are on their way, and Chanteuse will be coming in for a long weekend in early December. I'm already planning on putting any and all holiday decorating in her expert hands, as well as help with the nursery. Also coming up in early December are 2 baby showers. I'm fairly certain I'll end up offending someone, if not multiple people, by completely forgetting to put them on the list to invite...not intentionally, of course, but because I am just that scatterbrained these days. That is my huge ridiculous fear.

I am now 30.5 weeks....only 9.5 weeks to go! And I am uber emotional! And I am HUGE! Belly shots will be coming soon. Hell, baby will be coming soon too! Can you believe how fast the time has flown?

Speaking of time, I'd better get to bed. I need all the sleep I can get these days.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Whisper Soothingly Around This Blog

So I had my 28 week Centering Pregnancy appointment yesterday. The good news is that I don't have gestational diabetes! Yay! I can continue my shameful practice of mixing in strawberry quick with my skim milk. Shhh, don't judge, its the only way I can stomach milk (though the odd thing is that I never drank that pre-pregnancy, but WB loved it so much as a child that he had a stuffed animal of the quick bunny that is still lurking somewhere in Puerto Rico threatening to make its way northward).

Ok, yes, there is some not so good news that I was vainly attempting to couch with my oh-so-distracting strawberry quick confession. I have very high blood pressure. High blood pressure in pregnancy is not a good thing. Like really not at all good. Especially if it develops into preeclampsia. They're testing the amount of protein in my urine this week to make sure it isn't preeclampsia, though the fact that I gained 12 pounds in the last 4 weeks doesn't look great. Neither do the headaches I've been getting. But we're being positive and will contemplate bridges as we approach them only, and not before we even know of their existence.

So I'm taking this week and laying low. I'm laying lower than I ever thought imaginable. I'm working half the hours for now and on bed rest at home for just this week, trying to see if we can lower it by relaxation, positive thinking, and the power of Netflix. So send good thoughts and positive comments only please. Whisper gently around here, we're trying to lower the blood pressure, not raise it.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Happy Halloween

I always know the LFM was a work of art! This is a creation (body paint on baby belly photographed by the artist) of the incredibly talented Noah Scalin, who is currently working on a project to create a new skull in any medium every day for a year. Its called Skull-A-Day and not only addictive, but very inspiring to any artist! So get out there and make some art, be some art, and see some art!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

27 weeks

We're now officially in the 3rd trimester, which so far involves some discomfort, some more discomfort, and then some discomfort to ice that there discomfort cake with. The LFM's latest party trick (and clearly, its always a party in my uterus...that's the hipster spot du jour for the umbilically attached set) is to try and remove himself Houdini style, through my right side just below my ribcage. I'm not sure what he's pushing with... a head, a butt, a chainsaw, Ann Coulter...but whatever it is, it is in no way comfortable. And this happens pretty much whenever he's awake. Its become a constant battle wherein he pushes out with mystery body part and I push back in with my hand or any available blunt metal object. He usually wins though, sad as it may be. He's also been hanging with the Beckster, clearly, because his kicks now have more power than the TGV and score a perfect goal every single time...right into my bladder. This constant assault on something that wasn't that strong to begin with has been a barrel of laughs, as you can imagine, and sometimes so painful its hard to walk. My uterus feels much much heavier, and sleeping or even lying down can be quite uncomfortable if I'm, oh say 2 degrees off from optimal body placement. And optimal body placement seems to change every 2 seconds. This makes a good night's rest the stuff of which dreams are made.

And as I write this he's mauling my insides, pushing and kicking and have a grand old time in there with the roiller derby bout of the century: the LFM vs. Synge's uterus.

WB and I have been taking the awesomest birthing classes ever, which are about to end this Sunday evening, much to our dissappointment. Because of the awkward timing of the LFM's imminent arrival, what with the holidays and such, we began the classes much earlier than most other folks (everyone else is due in November) now, here we are, ready and willing and excited and we have 12 1/2 weeks to go! On the one hand, that seems like an absolute eternity and on the other hand, ummm...where the hell did the 2nd trimester go? How can it already be the third trimester? I haven't even ever sent WB on a midnight run for weird cravings or gotten my share of massages! I was too busy moving and readjusting and taking care of people with cancer to rteally enjoy it all and now it feels like its sped by without me even knowing it and that makes me sad.

But not sad enough to remain this uncomfortable for that much longer.

The other thing that's occupying what precious few functioning brain cells there are that haven't been obliterated by hormones is that we don't have that much stuff. We have some, and we're getting the crib this weekend (thanks RKKS!), but there's this whole huge scary world of baby consumerism that frankly frightens me to no end. WB and I went into Babies R' Us a month ago or so, and were so scared off by that beige and pastel world of unoriginal mediocrity that we haven't ventured back since. RKKS is going to go with us this weekend and help us register for all the things we don't know we need. Like the basics. I'm truly frightened. Though I think I found the one crib set in the world that doesn't make me want to vomit, so that's a start. But my one question is, where the hell are all the primary colors people? WB and I are not pastel people, and the LFM, at least judging from his in utero personality, certainly isn't either. We want to stimulate our child, not eradicate any creativity which may be blossoming in those early months by surrounding him with bad taste and nondescript color schemes! So far the nursery walls are going to be designed by our wonderful friend and incredibly talented artist Noah, and the floor is covered by an antique Tunisian baby carpet in the most vivid of colors and design that my parents got when they first met in North Africa 39 years ago. As you can see, its not your typical nursery.

Then again, we're not your typical family are we?

Monday, October 8, 2007

Mimi Toujours

Grandpa took Mimi to the doctor today, as I had suggested (though he's now claiming the idea, criticizing my French relatives for not thinking of it before, when he never would have thought of it either had I not suggested it...oy, men...). The doctor gave her the okay to travel home tomorrow, and did find something that the American doctors never did- her blood pressure is plummeting every time she stands up, which is one of the things making her less than mobile and definitely dizzy and disoriented. The American docs had her on meds to lower her blood pressure, and indeed when she was sitting her blood pressure was normal. However the French doc took the next logical step and took it when standing, and voila! Yet another example of teh superiority of the French national health care system- they actually take time with their patients, and really explore vs. the two hour wait my mother has for every appointment at her cancer treatment center which is then slightly rushed. The blood pressure is not the entire problem, but at least its one thing out of the way and she will be able to come home tomorrow as planned.

And I did get to speak to her, and yes, she did sound pretty horrible...but I'm not going to buy into everyone's panic. Cancer is full of ups and downs, and a down moment in the midst of a long and tiring voyage does not necessarily signify a huge turning point. It signifies that perhaps this trip was a bit much for her weak body. I'll panic when its time to panic (actually, I'll probably panic when its all over), and in the meantime I'll pick her up form the airport tomorrow night and stay with her probably until I have to leave for New York on Saturday. And WB, being the amazing supportive partner that he is, will be right there with me despite an uncomfortable bed and 30 to 40 more minutes of driving time to get to work. Because he is just that wonderful.

In the meantime WB just arrived home with the pizza that he got for me, only to discover that it was pepperoni instead of cheese. And this, dear internets, this sent me into a fit of tears screaming that I didn't want anything and I wasn't hungry. Yes, this is the beauty of pregnancy. Or maybe pregnancy combined with a stressful moment in time. Who knows. I just know that for some reason I just can't handle pepperoni pizza today.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Mimi Part Deux

I just phoned France again, and spoke briefly with my aunt who said that Mimi was really not doing well. Yesterday she couldn't eat anything and was vomiting up water. Today she is eating but the exhaustion is probably the worst its been yet.

Then I talked to Grandpa (my Dad).

He's been in Tunisia during this time and just got back to France today, and he's probably pretty exhausted which certainly heightens the emotions, but it was scary as hell. He's in panic mode, talking about 24 hour care etc. I, being ever the rational one in these situations (when did that happen, and where does that come from, I wonder? Sometimes its truly surprising to me) reminded him that cancer is full of ups and downs and that we can't assume its time based on extreme exhaustion after a long and voyage. The trip was probably too much much for her, but it was important to her and the long term effects are not something we can know right now while she's still caught up in it all. I told him that if he was too worried about the return trip, to take her to the doctor there, just to get the okay to fly home. I told him she isn't dying right now. He asked how I knew, and i said I just know. She's going to be here for the birth of her grandson, I just know it.

But is that a gut feeling or wishful thinking? Is Dad panicking, or is it really one of those radical shifts that happen in cancerland? I can't really know until I pick them up from the airport on Tuesday night and see for myself. But his panic definitely scared the shit out of me. I'm not ready for her to die now. Not yet. I know I'll never be ready, but I want her to get to hold her grandson. That's important to me.

In the meantime, I calmed Grandpa down, and reassured him, because I can't be there to be the together one, so he needs to be together.

But I sure could use a parent somewhere myself, because I'd like a little reassurance too.

Friday, October 5, 2007

The Mimi Model

I just spoke with the LFM's "Mimi" (the variation on the french Mamy or Memere that my mother liked best), who is in France visiting her family for what she says is the last visit to her home country, and she sounds absolutely horrible. The mixture of chemo built up exhaustion and a very long voyage are pretty combustible, and she actually sounded worse than she has in a very long time. The last time she sounded this bad was when she was getting 2 blood transfusions a week because the chemo was attacking her blood...that was a fun time. Now the chemo isn't attacking her blood, its attacking her kidneys, and she's pretty anemic to boot. All of this means that she sounded horrible and my heart hurts to hear her like that. She kept telling me in French that she didn't want to speak French because French was much more tiring to her, and yet she kept getting confused with which language she was speaking and kept alternating languages, not really aware of which she was speaking.

Lately I've only begun to realize that perhaps Mimi's cancer does have something to do with the fact that this pregnancy has been so emotionally difficult. I haven't wanted to factor that in, but in truth its a huge could it not be? And somehow being pregnant and transitioning into motherhood myself, I find myself really wanting my mother around...wanting my mother as she always was, not as she is right now. As she is right now, she isn't super capable of mothering, and mothering is what I need in this time of transition. I want her wisdom that she isn't really capable of accessing right now, and I want to share this experience with her, but she doesn't always have the energy to really be a part of it.

Don't get me wrong, I'm thankful for every little bit that get, and I realize that these are stolen moments that I am so incredibly lucky to have. Its just that now there is an added desperation to hold on to her instead of letting go...a desperation to have her around for the LFM's childhood and beyond. A desperation on behalf of both of us to keep her here.

And desperation or not, she's not able to stay for as long as I'd wish for.
And not able to usher me through these changes as I'd wish for.

But at least she'll be able to be a Mimi, for whatever time she can.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

More Sensitive Than an Festering Abcess

I'm having one of those days when I'm having the hardest time not taking everything super personally and I'm on the verge of crawling under my desk and crying. That's one of the really difficult things of pregnancy that you're not generally warned about- sometimes I'm so uber-vulnerable that I can't even take a joke at all, even if I know its meant as a joke or light teasing. Me, the queen of sarcasm, can dish it but I most definitely cannot take least not today.

Especially not when its related to something I fucked up and then fucked up in the fixing of it. I hate fucking up.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

A Picture's Worth a Thousand Words and Some Good Old Fashioned Groundedness

How embarrassing for the LFM that his Mom is already posting nudie pics on the internets! (follow the arrow)

So not only did our beautiful son show all, but he did so in such a spectacular manner that everyone who has seen the ultrasound picture (ie the blackmail shot) has been incredibly impressed. Yup, that's our boy...and his gigantic no-mistaking-it-for-anything-else penis. We also got to see his other brain, which is also huge, and his face with his chubby little cheeks and WB's full round lips. He actually gave us quite the tour, thanks to the caffeine I had about an hour before hand, and it was nothing short of magical as we watched him open and close his teeny little hand (undoubtedly waving at the silly parental gawkers...he's a total ham, just like his Mama) or stick his teeny perfect little footprint right up to us. He looks healthy and the weight they estimated for him (1 pound 7 ounces) is right in the perfect range for his stage of development at 23 1/2 weeks.

We have a wonderful healthy beautiful (and well hung) baby boy!

We definitely made the right decision (for us) to find out now instead of waiting- its the little extra grounding force to make us feel more rooted in the pregnancy and our journey towards parenthood. What with all of the stress from the move and Mom's cancer, I feel like we needed that extra little something to make us feel even more solidly connected to our child and to each a whole funky family. And boy did it! Even though I've known all along (I kept saying I thought it was a boy, and I just couldn't envision a girl at all...somehow I just knew) somehow this just makes everything so very real and beautiful in a way that supersedes the sucky stress of cancer and moving a way that supersedes absolutely everything else. All I can think or say or do is "We have a son!".

And that's a truly wonderful thing!

**I tried to scan the ultrasound photos and haven't been able to get any decent quality pics...I posted the money shot for now, but hopefully will be able to get a better pics soon.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Interminable Wait AND My Beautiful Surprise

We have our 2nd trimester ultrasound today at 3:20pm. Yes, this is the ultrasound where we potentially get to find out the sex of the baby, providing the LFM complies and decides to reveal all. If it takes after its mother, it certainly will; if it takes after its father then modesty will undoubtedly prevail. Come on, LFM, be Mama's little monkey, just for today. After that, please adopt the easy going nature of your father, or we'll all be in trouble.

In the meantime, I'm trying desperately to hold on to my sanity until then, amidst a virtual standstill of time. Amidst a virtual standstill of time combined with a slightly stressful day at work, I might add. This is not fun. I think my head exploded an hour ago.

At 2:00pm I'll go get a little bit of coffee (our fabulous doula's suggestion), so that hopefully the LFM will be nice and active and not stubbornly showing us his or her butt only. That will take up, oh, about 10 minutes. Great. And as for the other 160 minutes???

I received the most wonderful surprise the other day, from one of the women in the Birth Circle that I go to (its a support system for women seeking natural birthing experiences- mostly for women doing home birth-which we'd love to do, but can't afford this time around, as insurance doesn't cover it and we don't even have monopoly money to spend after the move and all). At the last birth circle I was talking about how I would love to have a positive self image during this time (I believe my exact words were "I want to feel like fertile goddess") but how difficult I was finding that to be when faced with the plethora of not-so-wonderful comments I receive on a daily basis from total strangers and your average thug on the street with his pants around his ankles. The Nurturer had suggested that I designate a candle for positive thoughts and self affirmation, and light that candle whenever I was feeling negative about myself or life in general.

When I arrived home from a particularly upsetting day on Monday, I found a gift bag that had been left on the porch for me, containing a large pear scented (my favorite!) candle hand painted with a circle of women's faces superimposed on beautiful orange yellow flames. It even has glitter! The card accompanying the gift talked about how the circle of women in the candle represents the circle of women supporting me through my birth journey.

And it was just what I've needed. I have lit the candle every night and spent at least a few minutes by myself, feeling more centered and supported, and all from this one little surprise gift from someone I barely know at all. Sometimes the universe just hands you these wonderful experiences when you need them most. Thank you, Nuturer. You have, in a very simple way, given me a little extra peace of mind. That is invaluable.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

My Co-opted Body is Turning Against Me!

My new top favorite super fun pregnancy symptoms of the week (excluding the 45 minutes spent violently sobbing in a grocery store parking lot Tuesday night, because while the moodiness is a barrel of laughs and all, its not really new) include:

*My nose is now slowly but surely emitting any and all pieces of its bloody self every time I blow it, which is frequently because pregnancy swells your mucous membranes to epic proportions thus giving supreme dictatorial power to your sinuses to reign unchallenged over your entire being. Its like having the bloody snotty nose of a cokehead, but without all the extra energy (which I could sure use) and teeth grinding.

*Braxton Hicks contractions, which I've actually been having for several weeks now and thought it was quite possibly a re-enactment of the scene in Aliens where the alien pushes out through someone's stomach, until I checked with my midwife at the last appointment and she assured me that no, it is indeed the BH contractions. Not that I'm disappointment, mind you, but that really is kind of what it feels like. I keep wanting to shout, "No! Wrong way! That's not the way out! Head South and bear left at the cervix!" Its not painful at all, its just super uncomfortable and pretty damn creepy. And I get them multiple times a day every single day. Whew, jealous yet?

*My tailbone has started to hurt. Not my ass, but my tailbone. Its the oddest sensatuion and incredibly uncomfortable (read painful, I just don't want to admit it). I can't find a comfortable way to sit at all. Or stand. Or lie down. Or breathe and exist. Other than that, I feel great.

*The famed lower back pain of pregnancy has begun. Thank god for yoga, that's all I have to say.

Monday, September 17, 2007

New Year's Dinner

Me and My Two Honies

I Adore Him...(most of the time)

Maman Kissing the LFM

We had a wonderful belated New Year's celebration last night at Mim's, and it was a perfect gathering of family (both real and adopted). The LFM was particularly into the yummy radish spread, Mama Synge was particularly relishing the glass of wine it took her 12 hours to finish.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Goddess of the Hippos

2 days ago (before the nice New Year's haircut I got last night, which makes me feel much more attractive)

a few weeks ago, wearing the shirt WB's parents sent me for his birthday

Bless your sweet 'ole heart kind old woman at the health food store! Bless you for being shocked when I said I was 5 months pregnant, and bless your heart even more for saying I was tiny. You are my new best friend. In fact, I'm moving in to the Honey Shop, just so you can tell me every day how small I am. I like you more than my father, who loudly proclaimed the other night, to the detriment of my fragile ego, "Wow, you sure are getting fat there aren't you?". I like you much better than the playwright who came into work the other day and said "You're what, 8 months?" to which I of course assumed he must be joking, so I replied "Yup, 8 months...that's me..." and then upon realizing that he was indeed not at all joking I amended, "No, not at all. but thanks a lot for making me feel great." His way of rectifying the situation was to say "Well [female director] is about your build and she wouldn't have looked like that until 13 months!". Wow, glad you added that qualifying statement in there, makes me feel even better to be compared to a 5'10" super thin woman when pregnant. Let me go drown my sorrows by eating 10 tubs of straight lard, because you know, that's how I got to be this top secret diet of straight lard and sugar.

Even strangers at random campgrounds have told me, "Wow, you are carrying quite large!" and these are mothers, people! These are women who have been through the oh-so-fragile process of pregnancy and who have presumably known how awkward it feels to be waddling around like a gigantic hippo! How could they ever think that would be a good thing to say to someone who might not be feeling their most attractive ever? The only proper response, even if I call myself ginormous, is to say how lovely I look. And small. Even if you think I need to have a permanent tattoo reading "WIDE LOAD" drawn across my ass and can qualify as a high occupancy vehicle all on my own, the only proper comment is a flattering one. Really. Because let me tell, I do not feel like the gorgeous fertile goddess that I want to feel like. And maybe, just maybe, if people stopped being thoughtless in how they speak about my new changing body, I could enjoy it a little more, and love my new hippo shape.

So thank you, awesome lady in the Honey Shop, (who has birthed 5 children and ushered 10 more grandchildren into this world so probably knows a lot about pregnancy) for giving a pregnant goddess exactly what she needs. I walked back to work with my head high, feeling wonderful about my big 'ol belly and ass the size of Canada.

Happy New Year to all the Jewish monkeys out there - may you have a sweet and joyous new year! WB and I are going to Synagogue tonight, where I'm sure everyone will have some sort of opinion about my belly, and since many have known me since age 3, will feel quite at liberty to express said opinions. However, this is the most exciting Rosh Hashanah for me ever, with many exciting new beginnings happening this year.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

The Kitchen Sink and Beyond

Its 3:30 in the a.m. and I can't sleep at all. I can hear WB snoring very clearly from the other side of our very large apartment (that is after all how he got named the Wild Boar), I've already eaten the requisite midnight ice cream, and still I don't anticipate sleep arriving at any point soon. Don't get me wrong, I'm exhausted. I just can't sleep.

The Little Funky Monkey is awake too.

Then again, the LFM is awake much of the time these days, and is quite the active baby. I've been feeling movement for about 4 weeks now. It began at a little over 16 weeks when I felt what can only be described as someone tickling me from the inside, but very briefly. Just like this little tickle tickle and that was it. That progressed into what I call the "bloop" phase, because I decided that if the kicking had a sound effect, it wold undoubtedly be a "bloop!". Now it feels much more like a kick a lot of the time and its kind of also this weird dropping feeling at the same time, like when you're in an elevator and your stomach drops, only this is much more localized in the body. Its such a weird wonderful crazy happens all the time but still kind of takes me aback every single time. Its kind of like this weird thing that's taken over your body - mysterious and wonderful and truly bizarre all at once. It also feels like this wonderful secret between the baby and I - its just us communicating solely with each other during this time, and it feels so special and sacred, this dance that's occurred between mother and child in utero throughout the ages. It makes me feel humbled, even when its slightly annoying or quite strong and distracting.

We have our first midwife appointment here in River City (not its real name) on Thursday. I'm anxious to meet the woman who will be guiding us through this process and even more anxious to schedule our 20 week ultrasound (we turned 20 weeks on Saturday) and find out whether its a boy or a girl. I'm so impatient I can't wait for the ultrasound - I don't know how I'd ever wait through the whole pregnancy! Not to mention the fact that every single person I know as well as every stranger in the grocery line keeps asking me when I'm going to know the sex. Its driving me crazy! If one more person asks me (especially my dear mother who asks me every single time I talk to her, which is often) I'm going to lose my shit on them. Seriously. I'm just as eager to know as you people are - more so, because dammit its my kid - and getting asked every 6.3 seconds only makes it worse!

And that's it for my middle of the night posting - I have much more to update considering I've been a blogging slacker, but I really should try and get some sleep. Also I just don't feel like writing - that seems to be a rather constant symptom throughout this pregnancy, at least since the big move. Then again, I've certainly been more than a little down in the dumps and having a very hard time with the whole transition, so I guess its no surprise I don't feel like writing. Its not exactly fun to write about feeling depressed, and its certainly no fun to read about it. I try and save my pity parties for truly special occasions, like this evening, wherein I laid in bed paralyzed and staring aimlessly into the middle distance while convincing myself that nothing will ever be okay. See? I told you it was really not that fun. Ah, these are the joys of pregnancy that you're not supposed to write about or talk about..doesn't really fit in with the whole glowing thing. I could write post after post about the hormonally inspired mood swings (I'm sure WB could write an entire novel)..but its late and I don't want to scare you off from ever reading this blog again.

Really I'm usually much more entertaining than this. I promise.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

18 (and a half) Weeks

Here it is...the long overdue enormous hippo belly - though its so big I'm sure its probably reached out from your computer screen and whacked you upside the head...that's how ginormous this belly is. This is at the end of the day, mind you, after eating copious amounts of food...which actually does make a difference in belly size, and Muffinface has the photo evidence to prove it. Please ignore the droopy boobs and backfat...humor the pregnant lady, and just pretend that these things don't exist.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

(I Move Several States Away) With a Little Help From My Friends

(photos taken by Mica, who was smart enough to know we'd probably want the whole thing documented)

sad me with our life in a truck

WB and I on our old stoop, for the last time...

the microwave goes in the kitchen?? what?? shocking!

So we're here, safe and sound, and actually have been for a whopping three weeks (what??), all three of whom have disappeared into the nebulous cosmos somewhere because I certainly don't remember them. They were most likely a whirlwind of crying, unpacking, the search for the perfect shower curtain, more crying, and then maybe some crying. After that, I believe I cried.

But we're here, and the apartment is wonderful and WB and I have each other, which is the most important part of all. We also have the most amazing friends - on both sides of the mason dixon line - without whom we never ever could have done this. We had friends helping us through every stage of the process, from packing, to kidnapping me while packing and spiriting me away on an adventure involving lunch and the central park zoo, to the actual moving day (in which I would have lost my shit completely were it not for said friends who lovingly took over the entire process and forced me to sit and watch the truck as they hauled our life down 5 flights of stairs) to the unloading here in River City, Dixieland, as well as the unpacking, and the providing of watermelon and hugs to the freaked out pregnant lady. Our friends realy must love us or be very well paid by my parents, because they carried us so beautifully through the whole process from start to finish, all the while indulging me in my hormone induced fits of crying. That's friendship for you.

Moving day itself began on a rather ominous tone, as we were rear ended en route to pick up our moving van way the hell out in the Bronx. It was really such a minimal impact that the most damage it did was to my anxiety level, because of course I was terrified that the seat belt tightening below my womb would cause a miscarriage. Luckily I was wearing the seatbelt correctly, but of course it still scared the pants off of me. And that was just the begining. We had yet to even arrive at the U-Haul from hell.

Let me tell you that the customer service at the Riverdale U-Haul is, oh, less than stellar. Sp much less than stellar that the woman behind the counter could only have been ruder had she spit on us, which she was probably about to do had we stayed there 5 seconds more. The wait in line from the time of arrival onward was an hour people! there is no need for that! The U-Haul people are not building the trucks, they're just filling out the damn paperwork to rent them out! The worst blow, however, came when WB went to hand in his driver's license to complete the process. WB is from Puerto Rico, and he has a Puerto Rican driver's license. WHICH IS TOTALLY VALID IN THE UNITED STATES! Puerto Rico is a territory of the US! My father was able to out him on the driver's insurance of his car with a Puerto Rican license! Everyone knows this, clearly, except for U-Haul, who would not rent the moving van to WB.

I was less than thrilled about the prospect of driving a 10 foot truck for 7 hours, especially considering I had only slept for 2 hours the night before, so needless to say I asked to speak to the manager. The girl told me "He's outside". I has been waiting outside during the hour long wait in line (to refrain from screaming like a madwoman), and has seen the manager outside. With a bluetooth thingie stuck in his ear, talking on the phone. So I replied "Yes, I saw him outside, and I know he has a phone. So I'd like you to please call him on that phone and ask him to come in here to discuss this with me." She refused, claiming she didn't know the number, and besides, her "supervisor" had said it wasn't doable. That's when I started writing down names, or at least attempting to...our lovely lady behind the counter also refused to give me the name of her "supervisor", saying "She's right there, ask her yourself." Finally WB and Shaby-baby had to calm me down, before we were given the worst truck in the lot.

I did have one little lovely moment of revenge, however, when the rude rep told us that our 10 inch truck was ready. WB and I started laughing out loud, and he asked "Our 10 inch truck?" and she said, with quite the attitude,"Yeah, that's the size you ordered". I said "I don't think that's the size we ordered, at all. " and she said "Yeah, it is! It says right here, a 10 inch truck. That's what you ordered." and WB asked again, "Are you sure its a 10 inch trcuk?", as we continued to laugh the entire time. Rude Rep was more than a little peeved and said "Yeah, I don't know why that's so funny, cuz that's what you ordered!". I finally stopped laughing enough to say "No, I really don't think that's what we ordered. A 10 inch truck would only be about this big [showing the size with my hands]. I think we ordered a 10 foot truck." Rude Rep got all huffy and puffy and thoroughly embarassed and could only reply "Whatever." Revenge is sweet indeed.

A million thank yous to everyone who helped, even when they had shows to run to afterwards, and jobs waiting for them, and law papers to write. You are all wonderful people.

And now I must post this or it will never get done, its overdue enough as is.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

In the Thick of It

I'm in the thick of it...surrounded by boxes and mess (and stress!) everywhere I look. So far my brain hasn't exploded, but I know its only a question of time really. I just wanted to take advantage of a quick moment in which I am neither packing or sobbing (a rare moment to find, really) to let you know that I am still breathing. That seems like a feat in and of itself right now. Lets hope it continues.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Home Sweet Home (To Be)

We found the best apartment ever. Its in a revitalized historic district, with most buildings dating to the very early 1900's. Its got loads of character, loads of storage, and best of all.....its HUGE!!! We're going from an 8 X 8 living room to an entire floor. We have central air and heat, a washer and dryer in the apartment (now I really feel spoiled!) and a dishwasher whose name is not WB. (Though we still have a cook whose name is Synge)

I circled the whole gigantic area of the space that is our apartment in red, just because I am that much of a show off. Also it makes me very happy to see.

This is our entrance and ours alone. The apartment downstairs enters from a side door, so we have a front porch all to ourselves. Nice.

In addition to having a front porch all to ourselves, we have that humongous 2nd floor side balcony for fun summertime barbecues...its a little slanted, so drunk people can just slide right off.

This is the park directly across the street from the apartment. There are several fountains and lots of benches and some really nice flowers in this little park. If you walk about a block, there's this huge hill overlooking the river. Gorgeous.

This is the master bedroom. The photo does not do it justice. It alone is much bigger than our entire apartment now. WB got lost in this room alone, it was so huge.

This is the master bathroom. Two sinks. Count 'em. One...two! Right now our bathroom sink is smaller than an 8.5 X 11 piece of paper. The mirror shot is just for Mim.

This is the nursery, which we referred to as the "office" in front of the fabulous man who showed us the apartment. It has this great little super sunny nook (where WB and my adorable mother are looking) which is perfect for a rocking chair. I've already dubbed it the breastfeeding nook.

This is one of the 2 huge windows in the breastfeeding nook. Though I guess technically its a door, but whatever. Window, door...its still incredibly sunny.

This is the great room. and believe me, it is great. Its a living room, kitchen and dining room (eat in kitchen) all in one...with 2 working gas fireplaces!!! I peed in my pants a little when I heard that one. The kitchen is all redone with bamboo floors (a renewable resource, so that makes me happy) and counter tops made from recycled hardwood. I was impressed that they made an effort to be green.
My incredibly handsome WB in the kitchen space offering everyone gum, because he's just super polite like that. Also, he's super handsome and smart and funny and perfect.
Oh yeah, and all the appliances in the kitchen are new.

One of the working fireplaces in the great room, on the living room side of the kitchen island. The floors here are antique and the built in bookshelves are screaming to be filled with our many boxes of books.

Behold the miraculous machines which will make our lives blissful and about 90% easier. Also note the storage space. We're going from an apartment with one closet (and I use that term loosely, mind you) to an apartment with a downstairs hallway closet, 2 closets in the master bedroom, one in the nursery, and storage space above the closets in addition to this utility room. I can hoard sentimental crap to my heart's content! Also not pictured is the 2nd full bathroom...that's right, two full baths...with bathtubs! do you know how of longed for and dreamt about having an apartment with a bathtub? And now I got me 2 of em! I'm never leaving home again!

And the best thing about the apartment? Its 4 blocks from my good friend Muffin Face (who I adore beyond belief), and Muffin Face loves to cook. A lot. Could we be any luckier?

12 1/2 Weeks Posted at 13 1/2 Weeks With 13 1/2 Weeks Update (Confused Yet?)

So we're now closer to 14 weeks than we are to the 12 week shot I wanted to much for being on top of things with this blog. In my defense, I'm training 2 people at 2 different jobs, packing (well, some packing and a lot of stressing over packing, which takes up a lot of time you know), and growing a baby. The last one's the most tiring by far.
So here it is in all its weird brightly veined glory. The scar is not was a crepe related accident incurred while trying to impress WB's borther and sister in law the first time we went to their house for dinner. That's what I get for trying to impress anyone! Though I was super tough and didn't let on for a second that I had just seared my flesh to the second degree.
Anyway....I'm definitely looking more pregnant these days, and getting fun new symptoms. I've been getting more cramps (my uterus is growing, and well, its just not always comfortable) and I was kept up all night the other night by heartburn (which was loads of fun, let me tell you. Poor WB, I finally woke him up too and made him join in the vigil of misery). My ankles and feet are swelling like nobody's business - especially my left foot. I had to take off my left shoe today because it was swelling right out of my shoe! The mood swings are no fun either, let me tell you...especially combined with moving stress.
All of which is making me want sugar as comfort. That's bad. That's so so bad. (And so so good)

Friday, July 13, 2007

Boobs, Blessings and other Blabbering

There comes a time in every woman's pregnancy where she looks into the mirror at the blossoming essence of womanhood that her body is exhibiting more an more each day, and thinks "Oh my God! Did I get a boob job in my sleep and not know about it? Was I kidnapped by a group of rogue gypsy plastic surgeons dedicating their lives to the breast enhancement of all womankind? Where did this gigantic rack come from, and how did it get on my chest without me noticing?". That day, folks, was today. Mark your calendars. The Bleu Bust Explosion of 2007 is now officially underway. I'd include pictures, but this is a family blog, and WB would be forever horrified, as would most, if not all, of you readers. Suffice it to say, the carnage is great.

And in another vein totally unconnected by anything but alliteration, WB, the Little Funky Monkey and I got blessed by this amazing woman, (click here for the trailer of the film made about her) who is not only known as India's hugging saint, but is also widely respected for her tireless and expansive humanitarian efforts. We waited until 2:30 in the morning for this, but it was well worth it. I've felt much more of a sense of peace since we received darshan, and I love the fact that we got blessed together as a family. WB actually got blessed twice, as he received a hug and a kiss alone, as well as our family hugs and kisses and blessing. He also heard her say "There is no pain" in Spanish while holding us in her embrace, so I say whether or not this is what she actually said, this is our blessing. It was a beautiful gift to us as a family, and a beautiful gift to the pregnancy. Her devotees who kept the line moving are very protective of her, as it certainly takes a lot of energy to hug and kiss thousands upon thousands of people for hours upon hours without taking a break. So they are quite diligent about keeping those going along, and it was almost a bit aggressive to me as they pushed us on to her bosom and pulled us away. This only slightly marred the experience, however, and despite being pretty exhausted from the whole event and waiting until 2:30am, I'm still so very glad we had this opportunity, It brings good energy to the baby and to our little family. (And WB really dug the chanting.)

And now for the long awaited blabbering. We move in 2 weeks. 2 WEEKS PEOPLE! ARE YOU PANICKING? I SURE AS HELL AM! As of this moment, I have officially crate. Yes, one whole crate. Amazing, I know. This is a cause of great stress in my world, though as a friend of mine said the other day, it will get packed. Whether or not it gets packed how I want it to be packed is another thing, but at the very worst we'll just start randomly throwing shit into boxes and will move that way. It will get done no matter what. And my mother brought up a very good point, that I work best under pressure. Hmmm, 2 weeks to make a major interstate move and a big life change...nah, no pressure there.

Yesterday on the subway a seemingly nice woman gave up her seat for me on the subway, despite the fact that she had an entire apartment's worth of stuff in about 6 enormous bags with her. She said she'd been there; she understood. I thought that was incredibly sweet of her, and we began to talk about pregnancy, and this woman, who has evidently been there before was evidently giving birth to a microscopic organism before, because she guessed that I was 6 months pregnant! 6 months! I felt far too ashamed to tell her I was only half her estimate, so I lied and told her I was 4 months along. Then I got off the subway and cried. I'm definitely showing now, and I'm showing rather early (we're 13 weeks tomorrow), but people...I DO NOT LOOK LIKE I'M 6 MONTHS ALONG! So I'm including some crappy cell phone pictures (which do not accurately reflect the awesome boobage that is going on here), to prove to everyone that I am not that much of a beached whale...yet. (That would be your cue to leave nice comments about how perfect I look for 3 months...)

(Fear not...although many unexpected things have indeed issued forth from there due to pregnancy, despite all appearances to the contrary I have yet to produce an electrical outlet from my ass)

(Bellies clearly make me happy. And blurry, but I'm not supposed to talk about that in public.)

Oh, I also think I forgot to mention that I cut my very long hair in what was probably a hormonally inspired move wherein I woke up one morning and decided that I could no longer tolerate even one more second of my long wavy hair and that I had to get it cut that instant! Fortunately, WB convinced me to wait a few hours until I could get an appointment at this place in our neighborhood, where I walked up to my fabulous stylist and told him that I was pregnant and needed him to "fix me". After explaining to me that he really had no interest in all that, he got to work on creating what is actually a very adorable cut when my hair is actually, oh say, washed and maybe even combed?

And just for the record, I don't usually wear flowers or other girlie things. This is a borrowed maternity top (albeit one that I picked out - but I picked it out for a friend, not me) and its very comfortable dammit! I am not turning girlie, I'm just pregnant. There's a difference, I promise.

And now, I must go eat. Right this second! When the 6-months-along-looking-belly calls, I must answer. There is no other choice.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Oh my god, I want to write a nice long post but I'm just way too exhausted to say anything other than "mmmppphh."

Mmmmmppppphhhhh. mmmmmppppphhhhhh. mmmmmpppphhhhh.

I think I'm sleep typing.

And I can feel my uterus growing as I type this...yeah, that's fun.

We hit 12 weeks this past Saturday...I'm just waitiing for my Golden Trimester to begin any moment. Really, any time now would be great! Especially with all that packing to do and a move in less than 3 weeks now....
Is this thing on?

Sunday, July 8, 2007

A Beatle in the Belly?

I thought this was too funny not to dear friend Jessica has brought it to our attention that we are gestating a rock star. Please note the similarities below :

Little Funky Monkey - young George Harrison...can you tell which is which?

Friday, July 6, 2007


Why won't this let me post a title? [editor's note: this seems to be a weird Firefox only problem, as I was able to post a title later with Safari] Oh Blogger, not even you can ruin my good day. And you know why? Because, ladies and gents of the internet, may I formally introduce you to the Little Funky Monkey!

These were my 4 favorites of the 9(!) our super awesome ultrasound tech printed out for us. The whole process was rather quick - minus the customary wait in the waiting room due to lack of anything that might remotely resemble organization. We went in, she squirted about 2 gallons of the very cold ultrasound fluid on my belly and then proceeded to put huge amounts of pressure on my abdomen right by my hip bone, which was not really a very pleasant feeling. She then took a bunch of pictures of the neck, explaining to us (if one can really use the term "explaining" here) that the first trimester screen measured the baby's neck. Ummm, ok. No explanation as to why or what they were looking for. But the neck was duly measured and then she turned on the sound and we got to hear the heartbeat! It sounded like a huge herd of galloping horses and instantly brought to mind the famous Chincoteague Pony Penning, which I always wanted to go to, but never did (though we did go to the Eastern Shore several years in a row for vacations)....I guess that's what I imagine it would sound like. Like a fetus' heartbeat.
Ok, don't make fun of the pregnant lady, even if her connections ain't that tight.
Though WB had seats front and center and even backstage passes, I myself was unable to see a thing for the whole exciting process up until this point. Finally, I suppose my barely contained (read not at all) enthusiasm won her over and she turned the monitor towards me and I got to see the baby again, in far better detail than we had before. She fired off pictures to be printed in rapid succession while I, of course, cried like a blubbering sentimental fool. The coolest part was definitely when she did a sort of closeup on the head and face with one hand sort of waving (see the very bottom picture), and internets, I swear to you that baby has one enormous schnoz. And that enormous schnoz must definitely come from its father (though genetically speaking I must admit that both of my parents have pretty large noses and both of my grandfathers could fit a grand piano in each nostril so who knows). I like the idea that we can start attributing features to one parent or the other while the child is in utero, even if later we end up finding out that that is a butt and not a head.

And folks, this baby is right on schedule developmentally...lord knows where it got its punctuality from, certainly not either of us! I'm just happy to know that its healthy and that there are a million very strong sounding horses stampeding in my uterus as I write this.

(Actually, it does look a little monkey-ish in these pictures, doesn't it? I swear this child is human, I swear!)

Thursday, July 5, 2007

The Most Magical Moment Imaginable

Last Thursday (yes, my blogging procrastination is indeed that bad) we had our second official prenatal appointment. This was the big exciting visit where we were to possibly hear the heartbeat through the doppler (though I never thought we'd be able to... 10 1/2 weeks is a bit early, after all, and the baby's heartbeat just isn't that super strong yet). I was prepared for disappointment (and by prepared I mean I was totally freaking out and biting the hell out of my newly grown fingernails) and I was ready (and by ready I mean trying not to cry about the possibility) to have to wait another week to even know if there was a real honest to goodness baby in there or not. Somehow I had pretty much convinced myself that I was Mary Tudor and was having a hysterical pregnancy, because really my symptoms have been so mild, and also because clearly I'm bat shit crazy.

But not that crazy. I know ( I got me some proof.

My midwife (who by the way was so totally confident she could get the heartbeat) tried valiantly for quite a while to find the Little Funky Monkey's heartbeat. We did hear quite a bit of my heartbeat, which if I may just flatter myself here a little, sounded so soothing and comforting. I was actually a little jealous of the LFM that it gets to hear that all the time (except it can't really hear yet, but shhh....don't tell WB, I love that he talks to LFM every day, its really so sweet). I actually would love a recording of that to fall asleep fact it was relaxing me there up on the table at the midwife's office. But while I could have listened to my own heartbeat for hours, it wasn't about me, and we were seriously bummed not to hear the LFM's heartbeat.

That is until our rockin' midwife rolled the portable sonogram machine into the office, dimmed the lights (clearly the baby needs mood lighting to overcome its shyness), and began the show. And what a show it was! Oh my god, the appropriate words aren't even in existence, much less the proper combination therein, to describe what we felt. It was magic, pure magic. We were both struck completely dumb, mouths agape in awe, squeezing each others' hands as the tears rolled freely. I'm still tearing up at the thought of it, one whole week later. We saw the Little Funky Monkey Monkey! We actually saw it! And folks, not only is there definitely a baby in there, but that little sucker was dancing for us and I swear it waved. The midwife was definitely stoked that the LFM made her look so good and moved on cue. She also showed us the heartbeat (which was pretty darn cool to see) and said that it looked to be right on schedule developmentally and was the right size for 10 1/2 weeks.

I think we're still glowing from it all. Its the most magical wondrous thing imaginable. Its better than unicorns and kittens and ice cream. Its like being in love to the nth degree (which is a dizzying high, let me tell you)...not only is our bond strengthened between the two of us, but we're both totally head over heels in love with the LFM already!

And the best part is, we get to do it all again tomorrow! We had a previously scheduled appointment for the first trimester (which is almost over...hooray!) screen, where they will measure the baby and check everything out and best of all, if we're really good and behave very well, we get pictures! Yay!

(We also did find an apartment that's about 500 times better than the one we didn't get last time, but that's for another post. One celebratory post at a time, lest the excitement be too much for you to bear)

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

10 Weeks and the Story of the Out of Control Belly

This is me at the end of the day, and not first thing in the morning before eating or drinking a single thing with my arms raised high in the air. And no, I am not sticking my stomach out, that's just the real deal, gassey bloating and water retention in all its glory. No wonder I feel so very attractive these days.

I think I would feel better if my uterus had already tipped and I was showing...then I could say I had a right to look pregnant. As of right now, I just look fat, and can't really say I'm showing. Its just not all that great for the 'ol ego to say "no, its not my uterus or the baby, its just gassey bloating and water retention. "

Though Sarachkah did teach me a wonderful little trick of sticking out my stomach even further and putting my hand on the top of the mound 'o bloat, thereby effectively convincing people that I am pregnant and not fat. For some reason only pregnant people put their hands on their stomachs. But hey, it worked! I have now had 3 people give up their seats for me on a crowded subway car thanks to the old hand on the belly trick. This is very exciting! I'm going to do this even when I'm not pregnant!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Paradise Lost? Found? In Search of?

Its been a little while since I've updated here...I've been very very busy napping 3 hours for every 10 seconds I'm awake. And somehow the computer makes me infinitely tired upon merely turning the damn thing on.

The other thing (besides, you know...growing a baby and all the hard work of incessant eating, sleeping, burping and farting which it entails) that has kept me away from the blogosphere is stressing out about our impending move and obsessively checking craigslist every 5 minutes just in case our dream apartment has suddenly been posted - lord knows we wouldn't want to lose our dream apartment in the 5 minutes of hypothetical negligence that my neurotic self imagines to be our ultimate downfall in life.

Just to backpedal for a moment...there's some key info that I may have failed to mention in this here blog...WB and I are planning on moving to my hometown way down in dixieland, where we both have family (WB is from Puerto Rico and ironically his brother has lived about 15 minutes from my parents' house for about 10 years now...the world is teeny tiny, really!) and a vast and wonderful support network awaiting us. Also awaiting us is a much cheaper cost of living and the opportunity for my mother, who is very sick with cancer, to enjoy to the fullest extent whatever time as a grandmother she may have. So the move makes a lot of sense for us crazy kids just setting about starting our own little monkey family.

Unfortunately, I found out a little too late that things ain't necessarily done the same down south as they is in this here big city of ours. Namely, apartment hunting. In New York, you look the month before you move. Period. That's just how things are done. And then you get cutthroat, beat up the other people trying to throw cash at the broker and lay money down immediately.... the person who gets the money in the broker's grubby little hands first wins. Its simple. I found an incredible deal on our Hell's Kitchen apartment when I came up to look before moving to New York 4 years ago, and grabbed it immediately. It was the first place I saw, and I lucked out.

Such is not to be the case in River City (*not its real name), where it seems all the good apartments and awesome deals seem to go several months in advance, and they only show apartments on a waxing moon at 3:37pm on Tuesdays. That's it. If you can't make it then, you're screwed. In New York they bend over backwards to show you apartments and call you back no matter what hour you call. In River City they don't call you back half the time and many don't show apartments on weekends and no, they're sorry but they can't accommodate out of towners because they just don't show apartments on weekends. Period.

We actually found the perfect apartment for us that we completely fell in love with only to have it snatched out from under us by someone who got an application in before us (though we think it may have had something to do with the fact that my mother blurted out something about the Little Funky Monkey's impending arrival. While it may be illegal to discriminate against expecting couples, I'm certain its done; most people don't want their other tenants complaining about the noise of a crying baby).

We're heading back down south this Friday, and I have created a gigantic monster excel spreadsheet of apartment info - a 3 volume series we will lug with us from exhausting showing to exhausting showing. And we will pick something, dammit. Even if we move in a year, we will pick something this weekend, because I need the security of knowing that something is set and done and solid amidst all this scary change. I need to dream about nesting as I delve into the terrifying mess that is our current apartment (read closet) in the hopes of eventually making some sort of packing sense out of it. I need an image to envision us in our new life we're embarking upon. And most of all, I need to know what size bed we can get (I'm hoping for king - while I love my Wild Boar, I do not always love his snoring).

The good news of the day in between craigslist apartment hunting induced brain explosions, is that I found out in my 10 week email from Baby Center that we no longer have an embryo...our Little Funky Monkey has graduated and is now a full fledged Fetus! I plan to celebrate with lots and lots of Krispy Kreme doughnuts (which we can't find in New York and which I have been dying for) once we get to River City. As for right now, its seriously time for a nap.