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)...so 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 influence...how 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 it...at 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.