Thursday, April 27, 2006

One of everything, please...

So today my mother pushed her invalid daughter (that would be me) around the local Babies R Us in a wheelchair for about an hour. Her application for sainthood should be arriving in the mail any day now (Do they cannonize Jews? No? Oh well...) After my shower on Sunday, I was thrilled to realize that there still plenty things on my registry that I could go out and purchase myself (no sarcasm there--I was bummed out by the prospect of getting everything on my list and having no excuse to roam the aisles of the baby mecca myself).

Between breakfast and snack (ah, the life of the diabetic), I made my escape. I even slapped on a fresh face of makeup, because let's face it, after 105 days in bed, shopping for breast pads is a luxurious treat worthy of foundation, blush, mascara and a kicky lipstick.

Before I even get to the store, let me say how fabulous it is to step outside into spring and feel normal enough to say, "Gosh, Husband really needs to mow the lawn." Or, "Neat, somebody returned our recycling bin!" (who temporarily absconds with a recycling bin and then returns it under cover of the night? And what where they doing with it when they had it? I shudder to think...) I am in love with spring and the fluffy white dandelions choking our "lawn". I'm glad my front porch is inanimate and therefore incapable of suffering from allergies, because the layer of golden pollen on our red concrete is about 2 inches thick and I know I'm not getting out there to sweep anytime soon...

Let me say this about the whole wheelchair experience--while I am eternally grateful for the full use of my lower extemities and would never wish to rely on a wheelchair for mobility, it truly kicks ass to be wheeled around a big old store like Babies R Us. I've grown quite fond of allowing someone else to push me from one place to another (if you recall, I truly enjoyed my wheelchair trips in the hospital to an almost amusement-park like extent).

Although, I felt badly for my mom; I was a bit snippety about where she stopped me (mid-aisle, faced away from products, two feet past something I wanted to see, etc.) but it occurred to me--if you're not the person in the chair, it's really hard to get the perspective of the person in the chair. I felt like Tyra Banks putting on the "fat suit" and going out into public to do an expose on what it's like to be obese. Only in this case I was faking paralysis, not being fat----I AM fat, no need to fake that one, sister!

We printed up my registry so I'd have some idea of what I still "needed." Let's be clear about this--what I "need" is some diapers and a boob. End of story. Baby would survive quite nicely with just those accomodations, thank you very much. BUT, how do you resist the lambie mobile for his crib or the tiny boppy pillow for "tummy time"? How could I roll on past the multi-pak of hooded bath towels when I only received a quarter of a million of them at my shower??!!! It can't be done. And of course, baby needs at least one bib for every color of the rainbow and bottles with every conceivable type of nipple for seemingly every day of development. Sheets for the crib mattress we have yet to purchase. Closet organizers for the towels and blankets and clothes. These things mysteriously jumped into the mini-cart attached to my two-wheeler hot rod.

Truly, the only thing that brought our little spree to a close was the fact that we ran out of room in the tiny little cart that was attached to my chair. That seemed entirely unfair. Other women were strolling the store with their full-sized carts and they got to spend way more money than I did, just on volume alone! This would definitely be part of my "expose" on having to shop in a wheelchair...spending power discrimination. Believe me, after almost four months in bed, I was ready to spend!!! My piggy bank is spilling over with change right now and I wanted to give it all to Babies R Us...but as soon as we had to start setting things in my lap, mom called our aisle-hopping to an end. Sadly, I had to concur, because I was going to have to start holding things between my teeth otherwise (oh, and because she was pushing me around and with the cart full, I was incredibly trapped--I couldn't just get out and run away from her!)

So then we drove home and I was ordered back to bed while she unloaded the loot and stacked it neatly somewhere downstairs. Later on, when no one is looking, I am going to sneak downstairs and ohhh & ahhh at it all again.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings...

Now that I am allowed the occassional taste of freedom, I find myself that much more...irritable, we'll say, when I am confined to my bed. Mind you, if the pseudo-medical professionals in my life (read: mother and husband) had their druthers, I would still be on round-the-clock supervised bedrest (envision armed guards and the like).

So far, I have ventured to Target (as described in a previous post), Starbucks (ahhhhhhh...) and the airport, to pick up Jennifer who came up for my shower (didn't even get out of the car for that one). I have also seen the downstairs of my home daily since last Thursday. In a few hours from now, Husband & I will be leaving the house to interview a potential pediatrician for the little man. Every day is an adventure!

A quick word about my shower--it was magnificent! I rebelled against all things bedrest and diabetes related and somehow managed to keep the baby in my uterus. Imagine that. I even indulged in a hunk of chocolate cake that should have sent me into the glucose stratosphere, but it did not---two hours later, I got a 113 reading; better than after your average tuna sandwich. Go figure. I guess the glucose-gods were smiling on me Sunday afternoon. In addition to the good fortune of tolerating tasty food, I did not turn into the socially-incompetent freak I feared I would, not having been around that many people in so long. I think I held my own.

I want to post a picture of myself looking all fat & happy at my shower, but for some reason, I can only get the picture to post at the top of the page and that's not what I, you'll have to use your imagination. And in your imagination, please picture me as all belly & only 15 pounds above my original pre-pregnancy weight. We'll all be happier that way.

A few days ago, my pregnancy soul-mate, Amy (see Spreng Bling Bling), "tagged me" for a "meme." Being the blogger virgin I am, it took me awhile to figure out that means I have to share things about myself that are not immediately evident through reading my her blog, she did 6, so that's what I'm going to do, although I have no idea if that number is a requirement or not. (Damn it, I should be more blog-savvy!!!)


1. I have a psychological twin. I met my friend Karen back in my junior year of college, during my semester in London. We went to the same school for undergrad, but lived in different dorms, had different majors, so we never met until we were 1000's of miles away from home. It became quickly apparent that although we don't look the same, sound the same or act the same, our psychological make-up was, almost eerily, identical. The exact same things made us happy, angry, miserable, hysterical. We can anticipate how the other will handle a certain situation, almost down to the word, because we would have the exact same reaction. We even went so far as to marry men who are practically the psychological twin of each never ceases to amaze me.

2. I am an English teacher who sucks at Scrabble. I cannot win a game of scrabble. Against anyone. An illiterate monkey (is that redundant?) could kick my scrabble-impaired ass into next week with nothing but a smattering of X's and J's at his disposal. Of course, I rarely have the chance to compete against said monkey. Usually, I am whipped senseless at the hands of my own father, who isn't happy unless he beats me by at least 100 points.

Actually, that's not fair at all; he's been known to offer me advice and free turns. I still lose. He even traded his high point letters with me once, and instead of waiting for a good chance at a triple word score with the W & the X, I wrote "waxy" on regular old no-extra-point squares. I am a disgrace. I comfort myself with the idea that it's stategy and luck I lack, not a basic handle on the English language. I can explicate Shakespeare, damn it!! Certainly I must know some big words!!! *hanging head in shame*

3. I wanted to be a massage therapist. Or a yoga instructor. A few years ago, after teaching for two years at a high-stress, high-pressure private school where students and teachers alike were known to have nervous breakdowns and parents were known to buy their students' grades, I decided it was time for me to get out of "the biz". I was so tired and stressed out from teaching that I couldn't bear the thought of standing in front of a class for one more day. I developed a fascination with becoming a massage therapist, did all the research on schools in my area, even interviewed at one. I envisioned opening up a wellness center with massage therapy and yoga classes (I took yoga for years & was signed up for a pre-natal yoga class which was to start the day I ended up being sent to bed for good)

Then I got scared. Teaching, while it will never make me rich, paid well and provided great benefits and stability. I decided to keep teaching. But far, far away from that snooty, pretentious awful school. But you never know...perhaps I only need one post-natal yoga class to shift my perspective again. Here's hoping...

4. Going apple-picking in the fall is one of my favorite things ever. It's a little "Laura Ingalls Wilder" of me, I know. But there is something about driving out to the country on a crisp fall day, walking through the orchard with the bag-o-apples in my hand, dodging bumble bees and climbing into the trees to get the biggest apples that just makes me to-the-core (no pun intended) HAPPY. Poor husband has been subjected to this two years in a row (yes, I kept it a secret until I knew I had him hooked). He seems to enjoy it, too, but it might be an act, or he might just like seeing me childishly giddy for a few hours.

I do next to nothing with these apples--I don't create culinary delights of any kind. I honestly don't know what to do with an apple. Once, in college, I thought I was making an apple pie, but I ended up with something more akin to apple/cinnamon stew in a soggy graham cracker crust. Now, they sit on our dining room table in a lovely bowl & we eat them until they rot. It's not the apples I love---its the picking them!

5. I drove across country in '98. My pscyhological twin and I (the aforementioned Karen), hopped in my teal Toyota Corolla the Monday after the 4th of July and drove from Cape Cod, Mass., to San Francisco, CA and back again. It took us almost 7 weeks, and it was 7 of the best weeks of my life. We camped under the stars in the Bad Lands, YellowStone Nat'l Park, and Santa Fe. We lived it up in San Fran, Vegas and New Orleans. We slept in a rest area in South Dakota, and we had to stop 1/2 way through Kansas because we were too hung over to drive a mile further. We rode horses in Wyoming and saw a real live cowboy in New Mexico. We sat in our car for over an hour while a "traffic jam" of bison crossed the road and we pulled over to watch three little bear cubs eat berries on the side of the road. We drank wine in Napa & Sonoma. We drank one of everything in the French Quarter. I don' think we ever got lost.

6. I have no "poker face". I cannot hide an emotion. Husband has informed me of this on many occassions. I think I am doing an impeccable job of hiding my irritation or annoyance at someone or something, but apparently I have "ugh--I hate you/this" written all over my face. I have no idea how I am so disconnected from my facial expressions, but it is something I have been working on. I would hate for everyone to know when I am annoyed at every little thing---that's so intimate. I like to think that perhaps Husband just knows me so well he's the only one who can see it.

But since I've been made aware of it, I sometimes can catch myself in a frowny, furrowed-brow "are you kidding me????" expression and realize, alas, he is not speaking just for himself, but for the entire seeing world.

So that's it; my "meme". I would be tagging Becci next, but Amy got greedy and tagged her, too! :-) I don't know of any other bloggers who read my blog on a regular enough basis for a tag to do anything but gather dust and sound like tumble-weed blowing around out in cyber-space...

Friday, April 21, 2006

Let the Learnin' Begin!!!

Or continue, as the case may be. My friends often tease me that when this pregnancy is all said and done and someday I decide to rejoin the working world, I really should consider being involved in some way with the world of high risk pregnancy. Not sure what a girl with my background (English education) is going to be able to add to that particular arena, but I DO understand all the fancy terms....quiz me. Ask me what a Fetal Fibronectin test does.

Within the past week I decided it was time to dig into the nitty gritty of childbirth and breastfeeding. I hit 33 weeks this Sunday and Dr. Dark Cloud said anytime after 35 weeks was a "go", so I figured I couldn't put it off any longer. As you might remember from my entry, "Lactating, Lamazzing and Lovin' It", I ordered a DVD on Lamaze and was fortunate enough to have a lactation consultant send me her course via powerpoint/DVD.

First stop---breastfeeding power point. Holy moly, there were a LOT of boobs in those slides. Not to sound like a 12 year old boy, but I would be lying if I said I didn't giggle a little when I first started watching. Two thousand slides of breasts aren't something you're exposed to every day (unless you look at a lot of internet porn, but these were NOT your standard porn-boobs) But it's important to know what "good" breastfeeding boobs look like (thankfully, I possess two such gems), and what the proper latch looks like, etc., so all boob shots were entirely necessary & not simply for entertainment value.

So there I sat with my computer and my notebook, diligently taking notes on how to breastfeed and all associated information. I learned all the different "holds"--my personal favorite being the "football" hold---this will be a Sunday and Monday night standard in our house during the fall and winter.

After two and half pages of notes and countless slides, all I need now is the baby, and his 140 degree latch.

Next stop--the stupid Lamaze lady and her smiley face belly DVD. Tons of good information once you get past the "introductions" of the 4 couples she finnagled into "starring" in her DVD. I don't know who these people were, but she went around the room and asked each person, "Why are you here?" Husband and I listened to each of them explain, in different words, " learn how to have a baby." Really--when you sign up for a Lamaze class, is there much question as to WHY you are there? I don't think it's for the juice and cookies.

The woman is clearly a frustrated stand up comedienne and everyone knows there's nothing funnier than childbirth---in the first lesson she insinuated that she would be "discussing" the likelihood of pooping on the delivery table in a later lesson. I can't wait for her hilarious take on that mortifying humiliation. Should be a hoot...

Husband and I looked at her charts and graphs, listened to her explain the anatomy of the woman's reproductive system (duh) & the six signs of impending labor (some are quite icky--can hardly wait!!) We are now experts at effacement, stations, dilation, Braxton Hicks, etc, and that was just the first 3o minutes. Next we will be watching "The Beginning of Labor"--I can only imagine what fabulous one-liners she'll have for us in that lesson.

For a girl who hasn't left her bed for almost 100 days, I'm thinking I'm pretty "academically" well-informed and well-prepared for this. All I need is a few hours of cardio kickboxing to prepare my body for the actual labor...

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Free at last!!! Free at last....

well, sort of. I am, relatively speaking, "free". Yesterday I would have described myself as being on "strict bedrest" and today, I am magically just on "bedrest". Ahhhhhhhh, how I love getting rid of the word "strict".

Today the nice doctor told me that I can go out (yes, leave the house!!!!!!) a couple of times a week and that I am free (there's that word pretty) to move around the house a bit more. I'm not to take up jogging or anything like that & I have to check my blood pressure after any activity to ensure that going from 0-25mph doesn't send me into a pre-eclamptic frenzy. That seems fair to me---I can comply with that. Thank you, nice doctor!!!

First stop---Target. I needed something to wear--the last item of clothing I bought was in January; you can't wear a sweater in DC in late April--unless you want to sweat and be smelly. So I needed a bit of Liz Lange to get me through the last few weeks of this chapter in my life. I knew I was going to be wheelchair-ing it, but I had no idea what was in store for me...

Repeat after me: Motorized, sit-down shopping cart. Oh yeah--I highly recommend it. After I got over the feeling that I should be wearing a sign around my neck that said, "I'm not lazy, but my cervix is!!!" so that people wouldn't judge me for being a fat, lazy bum, it was really fun to zip around the aisles.

Of course, there was one huge draw-back to the cart. Much like a giant truck, it makes a deafening "beep beep beep" noise when you back it up. As if I wasn't already aware of the size of my ever-expanding body, that "watch out!!! watch out!!! fat lady coming through!!!!!" warning really felt goooooooood. Because nothing boosts self-esteem like the knowledge that your hulking form in the aisles of Target poses the danger equivalent to a 2-ton truck on the road...yeah. That's great. Thanks.

But I did get some clothes for me and a few things for the little man. It was brilliant. I never would have thought a trip to Target would feel so fulfilling--and next time I'm going to make a list....I will be unstoppable!!!

I am already planning outtings for the next couple of weeks. Babies R Us, a manicure (dare I dream???!!!!), Starbucks (brings tears to my eyes just thinking of it!!!!) and of course, the back yard.

Husband and the parents aren't entirely thrilled with this new development. They're happy for me, I'm sure, but fretting. It's like I'm a baby who's suddenly learned to walk and now they are going to have to chase after me, making sure I don't fall and bump my head. It was easier when I was stationary and safe and easy to keep track of....I'm sure. I feel for them, I really do. The next few weeks might be a bit of challenge for them. Sarah's on the loose!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

An Open Letter to My Placenta...

Dear Placenta,

First of all, let me start by saying I appreciate you and all you do. You've got a round-the-clock job and you've been an incredibly hard worker these past several months. Words can't express my gratitude for taking such good care of the little man.

However, since you've seen fit to afflict me with gestational diabetes, I have one minor little request that I think might make life easier for both of us. Could you maybe COOL IT on the hormones a bit? You wouldn't have to work as hard, and I could eat the same meal more than once without my blood sugar levels being totally out of whack from one time to the next. When you look at it that way, we both win.

Really--what is it about having a tuna sandwich one day and getting a 102, then having it a week later and getting a 130? Not very consistent performance, Placenta, now is it? I would appreciate a little more clarity in the Do's and Don'ts, and you keep changing the rules on me. Not very thoughtful of you, really. Do you WANT me to have to go on insulin all day? Isn't it enough that you kick my pancreas to the curb every night? Do we really need to make it a day time issue, too?

We have a few more weeks to get along, you and I. For the sake of the little man, could you try to tone it down on your insulin-blocking hormones? It seems you are thus far shielding the little man from the affects of your little feud with my pancreas, and I do appreciate that, but it is difficult for me to play a positive role in all of this if you keep flip flopping on what I can eat and what I can't.

Soon enough, we will be out of eachothers' lives forever. Perhaps you are feeling a bit smug because right now you hold all the cards. I hate to be threatening and I didn't want it to come to this, but keep in mind that after the little man is born, you are going to end up in a big old red bag marked "medical waste". And then the baby and I, we'll be eating whatever we want.


Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Getting itchy....

This is the one where I freak out my parents when I say that I am seriously battling urges to get up out of bed, do a couple loads of laundry, walk around the block, go shopping, drive myself to Starbucks for a giant caffeinated, sugary beverage and try a couple of cartwheels in the backyard...

All of the latent rebelling that I DIDN'T do as a teenager (you've never seen such a goodie-goodie) is starting to chip away at my resolve to be the good bedrester. I have been in bed for 13 and a half weeks at this point and I'm not sure how much more "resting" I have in me.

My shower is this Sunday and I have already announced to anyone who will listen to me that I AM going to be spending most of the day downstairs, on the couch, out of bed, and I AM going to eat whatever I want, at least during the few hours I am being social. Part of me feels guilty and bad mother-ish for that declaration, but one afternoon, when weighed against the past 98 days during which I have been so good, really isn't that big of a deal (as long as I don't go into labor at 4pm on Sunday...)

Truly, I don't know how much more of the whole 45 degree angle crap I can take. The more they allow me up for doctor's appointments and the like, the less I understand why I'm not allowed to sit on the damn couch, either in my house or at a friend's house. It's still sitting!!!!

My fingers are crossed that the doctor is going to start loosening the chains after this Thursday's appointments. Even my hyper-cautious, nervous nelly perinatologist (who I have avoided like the plague since getting out of the hospital) told me that by 32 weeks they would start loosening their vice-like grip on me. Well, I'll be almost 33 weeks by Thursday. Something's gotta give.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Happy Freakin' Nesting...

A sure sign that husband & I reside in the 'burbs is who inhabits the abandoned house next door to us.

When we first thought of entering the bittersweet world of home ownership, we dared to dream big and imagine we could afford a house or condo inside the city. When we awoke from our fantasy, we realized that one could only afford to live within the city limits if one :
a.) had bought their home while husband and I were still in diapers
b.) didn't mind living next door to a crack house, or
c.) was a rich, gay man, combining one's income with another rich gay man.

Husband and I meet none of these criteria, so we packed up our bags, and with our combined salaries that in other parts of the country would buy us 5 acres of land and a 4 bedroom McMansion, we purchased one side of a quaint little 2-bedroom duplex just outside the city.

Our neighborhood is in "transition". That means we spent a shitload of money on a house in a neighborhood that 5-10 years ago, no one wanted to live in. It means that 1/2 the houses are owned by young, yuppy-esque types like husband and I, with our stainless steel and granite kitchens and our Crate & Barrell, and the other 1/2 are owned by people pushing 100 years old who haven't been outside of their homes since the '80's and whose kitchen appliances are still of the avocado and marigold variety. It's pretty easy to tell, just by looking, which houses belong to whom.

The house next to us is the stuff that childrens' fantasy novels are made of. It is old, brick, boarded up on the ground floor, and broken-windowed on the top floors. It wouldn't surprise me one bit if someday, Boo Radley walked out the front door. Husband and I turned up our noses when we first saw it right next to our potential new home, but the truth is, we couldn't bear to lose another bid and figured, "what the hell--at least the neighbors won't disturb us" we bought it.

It didn't take us long to realize that the abandoned house (still owned by some fool who keeps paying the taxes on it, so it can't be auctioned off or anything like that), is actually occupied. Not by way-ward homeless (they stay mostly inside the city, although I have seen a few "regulars" in our Starbucks) or by tweekers seeking a new location for their lucrative meth lab (also more of a city phenomenon--the previous owners of our house had the city board up the downstairs to discourage that sort of industrious, but deadly behavior).

No, the house next door is occupied by an entire village of squatter squirrels. They run across our roof, jump into the tree separating our houses and then scurry into the broken attic window of the house next door. I can only imagine what the scene is in there---it must be a veritable garden of Eden for those little critters. It's a 3 story home, for cripe's sake; a whole world by squirrel standards!!! I shudder to think of what will happen someday when this house does get put back on the market. I hope we've moved on by then, as I imagine the equipment required to gut a home is big and noisy. Besides, I don't want to see "squirrel eviction day". Imagine the carnage...

Generally, our squirrel neighbors wouldn't really be blog-noteworthy, but as it is spring, and I think there must be many, many baby squirrels just making their way into the world inside that house, I have noticed a flurry of activity outside my window. For the past 3 or 4 days, one little male squirrel in particular has been defying gravity and flinging himself all around the tree branches that are just now starting to bud in a herculean effort to gather leaves and twigs for a nest. Ah, the beauty of nature. Ah, the mockery of it all....

Yes, that's right. Not only am I forced to watch spring from the confines of my bed, now I have to watch a daddy squirrel (I know it's a "he"; the branches are very close to our window and he's pretty shameless when he's dangling from a limb) "nesting". At first I thought, "Oh, how sweet" and all that "circle of life" crap. Then I realized, "hey--that's what I want to be doing!!!" Of course, I don't want to be dangling 25 feet up by my toes or anything, but I DO want to be preparing for the arrival of my baby, making him a lovely little "nest" and whatnot. But of course, I have the cervix of incomparable incompetence, and so here I sit...forced to watch this little rodent mock me with his industrious zeal, creating the perfect little home for his baby squirrel.

I am trying not to be too bitter about it; that's just silly and sure sign that I am losing touch with my sanity more and more on a daily basis. I am perhaps equally as disturbed by the fact that my cat is not the slightest bit interested in this creature, only inches away from the window screen. The first day she got all up in the window, intense and chattering like "Let me at him!!! This is my destiny!!!!!" But after 12 years indoors, I think she realizes she would have no idea what to do with him if she actually did get him (she is known to just watch an ant walk across an entire floor rather than actually attack it), so she has gone back to curling up on the bed and watching the squirrel's acrobatic antics as her own form of "kitty TV" or something.

I guess all in all, they make pretty good neighbors. No loud music, no car doors slamming, good family values...

Thursday, April 13, 2006

a day of needles and very big heads...

So husband and I took turns stabbing each other today. Wait. Before you look for us on the next installment of "COPS", let me clarify. I had an appointment with the nurse at the Diabetes Center and she has to show me how to inject my "wisp" of insulin. Rather than have me drop my drawers in the office, (What? Someone who allows me a wee bit of modesty??!!! That's unheard of!! I'm pregnant--I'm used to being on display to anyone in a white coat!), she had husband and me practice injecting eachother in the tricep.

I had to go first, to "get the feel" of breaking through the skin with the teeny weeny needle. The feel is icky. And I would rather have done it on myself--there's nothing quite so icky as piercing your spouse's skin with a needle. It's not romantic. There's no Barry White song about this experience...

But after husband stuck me, I realized it was no big deal--it feels like nothing. How is it possible that a needle going into one's flesh gives next to no sensation whatsoever? The mind is a powerful thing, though. Even now that I know it is no big deal, the thought of it and the sight of the needle still makes my heart race a bit and my gag reflex recoil a little. Once again, happy reassurance that I could never be a druggie.

So onto my next experience of the day. Two days ago, I called my OB office with a question regarding the growth and size of my little man. I was told by the tech that 3lbs, 9oz was in the 25% percentile for his gestational age and that is enough to put a mother into a neurotic tailspin. I have since done enough research and received enough reassurance from others that this is indeed no big it was pretty much out of my head.

Today the doctor called to share with me that all looks good. He did assuage my fears about the weight, saying that was a perfectly acceptable size and that actually, the little dude has a pretty big head. While his femur and abdomen measure about 31 weeks, his head is looking more like 32-33 weeks.....ummmmmm. This gave me an entirely NEW thing to tweak out about and I bombarded the doctor with "Is that normal????" "Is that okay?" in as many different ways as I could word it and as many times as possible without sounding like a mental patient reciting code.

Apparently at this point in pregnancy, especially when the baby is head down, it is hard to get an exact measurement, so he supposes it could be off a bit, but even if it is the actual size of his head, he says it's fine. No sign of cysts or abnormalities---just a giant head. He reassured me by sharing with my that his grandson has a big head. I'm sure the kid is thrilled to be grandpa's point of reference when calming neurotic pregnant ladies about their infant's super-sized skulls. "Yeah, sure. Tell everyone I have a giant noggin, Gramps! Thanks!" But it did make me feel a bit better....

After I hung up the phone it occurred to me just what my child is preparing to do to me. Notice it's not his feet that are big. Noooooooo, that would be too easy for mommy. Let's make sure the part of your body that is already the biggest, that is already going to rip the living daylights out of me, is just a bit BIGGER. Mmmmmm...something to look forward to.

Perhaps instead of giving out celebratory cigars in the waiting room, husband will hand out bauble-head dolls.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Song of the Day....

Ever have that day when you wake up, or you're in the shower, and there's already a song running through your head? If you're lucky, it's not the theme from "Sanford & Son", or "the Girl from Ipanema", as having either of these songs stuck in your head is guaranteed to turn you into a foamy-mouthed lunatic by lunch time.

When I could classify myself as part of the working world, I relied upon this daily soundtrack to dictate the tone and mood of my day. For months, I drove to work listening to Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young's "Suite Judy Blue Eyes" just for the bounce-in-your-seat ending, "doo doo doo doo do, doo doo, doo doo doo do, etc."

I even learned to time it so that the song was just coming to an end as I pulled into the parking lot of the school. You can NOT have a bad day when that is the last piece of music you've heard. A kid threw a desk at me once on a "Suite Judy Blue Eyes" morning. I ducked, picked the desk up, set it upright in a new place in the room and made the kid stand for the rest of class. "Whatever, sucker!!! You can't rain on my day!!! doo doo doo doo do, doo doo, doo doo doo do!"

As a teenager, I remember spending hours copying poignant and poetic lyrics from my favorite songs into my journals and verbally bleeding my angst onto the page. Doesn't every teenager do that? As a teacher, it is hard for me to know how to deal with the teenage angst I see expressed in my middle schoolers' writings. On the one hand, I know that 99% of it is self-imposed and pretty ludicrous to begin with. On the other hand, I was the exact same way.

Point being, music has always spoken to me in some way, whether it was to cheer me through the first years of teaching or to validate the "all in my head anyway" misery of being an adolescent. In recent years, though, I have listened to more NPR in the car on the way to work than music, and I've grown all "fat and happy" in my life, and have lost the need to connect to music the way I used to. Until I got pregnant....

There is one song I consider to be the soundtrack to this pregnancy. I tried to write this entry several weeks ago, when I was in the hospital and anticipating the dangerously premature birth of my son. I couldn't get through the writing of it and deleted it before I even posted it. Now I think I can deal...

The song is called "Fix You" by Cold Play and it seems to have followed me throughout my pregnancy, forcing me to listen to it and understand it as a parent's promise to his/her child.

Fix you
When you try your best but you don’t succeed,
When you get what you want but not what you need,
When you feel so tired but you can’t sleep
Stuck in reverse.

And the tears come streaming down your face,
When you lose something you can’t replace.
When you love someone but it goes to waste,
Could it be worse?
Lights will guide you home,
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you.

And high up above or down below
When you’re too in love to let it go,
But if you never try, you’ll never know
Just what you’re worth.
Lights will guide you home,
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you.

Tears stream down your face
When you lose something you cannot replace.
Tears stream down your face
And i…
Tears stream down your face
I promise you I will learn from my mistakes.
Tears stream down your face
And i…
Lights will guide you home,
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you.
The first time I remember hearing the song during my pregnancy was on my birthday. I was seven and a half weeks pregnant, and I started bleeding. As I drove myself, crying and praying to the doctor's office, this song came on the radio. I remember singing it to try to calm myself, realizing as I went that this could be me--I could at that moment have been losing something I could not replace. I changed the station--it was on another channel. I couldn't stop listening to it and there seemed to be a reason why the universe wouldn't make it go away.
After the reassurance of an ultrasound showed me for the first time my baby's heart beating (what better birthday present could a parent ask for?) and the bleeding stopped, I heard the song again. It ceased to be about ME losing something I couldn't replace, and became more about my child and my hopes and anxieties for him.
This song may be a love song from one partner to another; who knows? I didn't write it. But to me, it epitomizes a parent's loving angst--doesn't every parent want to "fix" whatever is hurting their child? Whether it is the pain of teething, or that first heartbreak, or losing the big game, or dealing with death for the first time-- a parent's primary urge is to prevent pain and suffering for their child, to fix it and make it go away. Or protect them from ever feeling it all together, which I know is impossible. And as first time parents, husband and I spend hours contemplating the ways in which we might "mess it up", but all we can do is promise to do our best and learn from our mistakes...
I have heard this song a million times since that first scare; through the second scare, the cerclage, the hospitalization and all of it. It still makes me cry big, sobby tears. But now they aren't tears of fear; they are simply because I am overcome by the awesome realization that from now on, I will always be someone's home.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

When a baby isn't really a baby...

So today I went for my 31w ultrasound. Haven't seen the little bean in almost a month, so it was very exciting. He's been moving so much lately and feels so much bigger than he did even a few weeks ago.

I'm happy to say that he is head down and not at all the Incredible Hulk that I feared he would be. As a matter of fact, I am actually fighting the paranoid mommy crazies right now about his weight--3lbs, 9oz., as all my reading says he should be rounding out at 4lbs or above right now. I have a call into my regular doctor as I write, so that hopefully before the end of the day he will call and talk me down off of the ceiling.

I didn't even ask about my cervix, because quite honestly--at this point, any day the baby doesn't just fall right out of my uterus is a good cervix day.

Anyway, to the original point of my post--today's embarrassing moment. For the past two weeks or so, I have noticed, on and off, a seriously hard bump just under my left rib. It wiggles from time to time, and can clearly be felt from outside. I came to the conclusion that this was infact my baby's precious little butt. It's been so exciting to finally be able to identify a body part and "bond" with that part. I have spent a fair amount of my time rubbing it and talking to it...yes, talking to my baby's butt. Bedrest can leave you a tad lonely for companionship...

However, today I had a rude awakening...I found out the bump that sticks out of my belly every so often, is not, in fact, my baby's bottom, but my sticks out a bit when the baby moves a certain way... so, yeah, I've been lovingly rubbing and coo'ing at my fibroid the past week or so, not my baby's butt...nice.

I just hope the fibroid is passing on the love...

Monday, April 10, 2006

Week 13...

It is almost impossible to believe that I have been in bed since January 16th. Eighty-four days...

And today, when I called Dr. Dark-Cloud to inform him that my pancreas is on all-out strike on the 3rd shift, he said something that totally freaked me out. This was after he mentioned the "wisp" of insulin he's going to put me on over night(quite the poet). I really have to back peddle a bit on the whole Dr. Dark-Cloud thing--anytime he gives me bad news, he also tries his very best to soften it up with kind reassurances and encouragement. I might have left that out in my initial tirade about him being the king of doom and gloom.

What freaked me out was when he said, "Wow, 31 weeks today...that means we've got...four weeks left!" FOUR WEEKS???? A MONTH???? WHAT? I know I'm not a math wizz, but doesn't that only bring me to 35 weeks? Isn't pregnancy 40 weeks? Isn't MY pregnancy supposed to be 38 weeks, which to people who can do simple addition (I am one of those people), would mean I have 7 weeks to go?!!! When counting out M&M's, there's not a huge difference between 4 and 7 (unless you've got diabetes). But when you're counting the number of weeks your baby needs to stay IN YOUR BELLY, it seems like the difference between 4 and 7 is pretty vast.

So after I finished exploding on the inside , I managed to ask, "what?" as I searched for a paper bag to breathe into. Mercifully, the doctor explained what he meant--yes, they want to keep him tucked away inside of me for another 7 weeks, BUT if I were to experience any labor or further complications after another 4 weeks, they would not try to stop labor or they might actually create labor to put an end to the complication...

okay--that isn't so alarming, then. I just have to make sure I don't go into labor, and at that my friends, I am clearly an old pro.

What does make my bed-ridden foot start tapping with anxiety though, is that this announcement makes it screamingly clear to me that we are all but 100% unprepared to relocate this little man from his current residence. The nursery? Still a guest room. Furniture? Still in the store somewhere, waiting for us to see and purchase it. Oh my.

It's going to need to be like an Amish barn-raising when he finally does get here...

Sunday, April 09, 2006

"Ode to Saint Husband"...the one where I kiss my husband's ass and make fun at the same time...

Sometimes I'm difficult. Really, I know it's hard to believe, but it's true. I can be a bit stubborn and sullen when I either don't get my way or realize that my way wasn't necessarily the right way. Being wrong is a big turn-off for me and needing help is on the top of my "no-no" list. Mind you, that's only as it applies to me; hey, people make mistakes and I'm more than happy to lend a hand to someone in need--as long as I never have to ask for help myself.

So you can see where I'm going with this. For the past 12 weeks, I have required help at almost every turn, from fixing meals to putting on socks (yes, shut up, putting on socks). And who has been the helper during all this? For the most part it has been husband. Husband has borne the brunt of my dependence on others and the slippery slope of my resulting insanity.

Here is just a partial list of things husband has done for me in the past 84 days:
1. cooked my meals--pre- and post- gestational diabetes diagnosis
2. driven me to doctors appointments
3. brought me check-out line rag mags so I can keep up with Brangelina & TomKat
4. grocery shopped
5. done laundry
6. brought me my soy chai tea lattes, extra chai, extra hot
7. rubbed my back when it was sore
8. rubbed my butt when it was sore
9. rubbed my feet when they were sore and even put lotion on them (husband loathes lotion)
10. finished a friend's baby shower invitations for me when I went to Hotel High Risk
11. brought practicially everything I owned to Hotel High Risk so I would feel at home
12. bought me Girl Scout Cookies
13. braved the ladies underwear and cosmetics departments at Tar-jay multiple times
14. sat with me & held my hand in the scary L&D triage
15. sat with me & held my hand for the terbutaline shot rollercoaster
16. sat with me & held my hand after Dr. Dark-Cloud told me I was a sugar factory
17. held me while I cried
18. held me while I cried
19. held me while I cried....

Now, I'd like to highlight one of those herculean feats in particular...Is there anything more precious than a clueless man, basket in one hand, cell phone in the other, stumbling his way through the ladies underwear department? I like to imagine this when I am feeling down (daily--read past posts) and it always manages to make me laugh.

As my butt has expanded, my need for underwear has expanded with it. Now that my caboose is the size of a small continent, I require the much-dreaded but wonderfully comfortable "granny-panties" and husband has had the honor of making that purchase for me. I can only imagine how much he looked forward to that trip to the store. He may have toyed with the idea of packing his passport, getting in his car and heading for the border, but he never mentioned it to me, if he did.

This was when I was at Hotel High Risk and my first collection of "bigger" panties had outstayed their welcome on my ever-expanding ass and the baby had started kicking at the waist line, like someone had tied his tie too tightly. I sent husband to the store with this description: BIG. BRIEFS. COTTON.

Men are lucky--they have boxers and briefs. Not a lot to choose from and each are pretty easy to discern from the other. Not so with womens' panties--we have thongs, bikini briefs, boy cut briefs, hi-cut briefs, and about a million other variety of briefs...poor thing; I'm sure it made his head hurt. And I'm sure he couldn't meet the eyes of the little old ladies standing next to him making their own "granny-panty" selections and thinking, "Pervert." I'm even more sure he bought about a dozen other things that day to cover up the package of Hanes Her Way Cotton Hi-Cut Briefs in his cart.

And among some of those other dozen things?---pantyliners. Yes, I had to ask Saint Husband to purchase pantyliners for me. It doesn't get much manlier than that. I did receive a call during that selection--there were questions about dri-weave and wings. There was a twinge in his voice--it was the voice of a broken man; this was an aisle he'd never been down before and it was sucking the life out of him by the second. I instructed him to "grab whatever is closest; I'll make due. Just save yourself!!!!" lest my husband return to me sprouting breasts and a working female reproductive system from sheer exposure to the Always and Playtex...

The next call I received from him that trip was while he was in the cosmetics aisle--I needed a nail file and some clear polish (I can live with my gnarled old man hobbit feet for now, but a girl needs shiny fingernails). What brand of polish did I want? The vast array of options available in this aisle made the underwear selection look like a communist grocery. I tried my best to talk him through it.

At this point in my husband's emasculating trip to Target, there was apparently a woman following him and attempting to aid him in his selection of girly purchases. This struck me as odd; not that a woman would try to pick up on him, but that she'd do it while he had a cart full of womens' underwear, pantyliners and nail polish. Clearly he is either attached already or in the midst of some sort of life crisis--either way, you'd think most women would run screaming in the other direction. What can I say? Some women love a challenge. Happily, husband did not leave me for that woman, even though she can clearly make her own embarrassing purchase whereas I cannot. I must not be THAT bad, after all.

I am sure I am leaving out about a million other things husband has done for me while I have been at my 45-degree angle and when he reads this eventually he will say, "Hey, what about the time I (insert any one of a million heroic deeds here)?" Yes, yes, that was amazing, too....

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Lactating, Lamazzing & Lovin' it...

Okay, well that's a really poor attempt at alliteration b/c I'm not really doing any of that right now. But it's in the works...

oh and by the way, Dad, I'd skip this one if I were you...I'll be talking about boobs. Mine, in particular. Go watch some golf or something.

Contact lactation consultant. Check. As I write, there is probably a package in my mailbox containing a DVD sent to me by the lactation consultant on the "how" of feeding the little man once he emerges. It is apparenlty the power point presentation she uses in her own classes and, considering I have friends in high places (my mother in law knows her), this kind woman has taken pity on my poor bed-ridden self and agreed to be own personal breastfeeding sherpa. Once I watch the DVD and have generated my list of questions (1. how badly is this going to hurt--really. That's all I have so far), she is going to come over so she can, and I quote, "get a look at" my nipples.

Oh my. I keep forgetting that the laboring/breasfeeding mother is a veritable peep show of body parts and bodily functions. Yes, she is going to come over and take a look at these things. Quite honestly, at 31 weeks into my pregnancy, I am still flabbergasted by them every time I look in the mirror. WHAT ARE THOSE??!!! I know they aren't MINE. That's not what they looked like in September, or any time in my life BEFORE September. They have grown to such an insane size (just the nipple, not the whole shebang), that if slapped some yellow paint on them, I'm pretty sure a helicopter could use them as a landing space. If the kid can't find these suckers (no pun intended), he's going to need some teeny tiny baby glasses right away.

So that's one thing checked off the list.

Next stop, learning to breathe. Lamaze. We have, since my "to doula or not to doula" post, decided not to doula. Considering some of the horror stories we've heard (the incredible disappearing doula, who never showed up to the birth) and the cost (almost as much as the doctor makes on a delivery) as well as the possibility of a C-section which would render the doula pretty useless to us (now that I"m carrying Mr. Transerve Incredible Hulk), we decided better to keep the money for either booze or marriage counseling later on, after 3 months of sleep deprivation.

So we still had the issue of me being stuck in bed, unable to attend birthing classes, and knowing that epidural or not, I'm going to experience some, shall we say, discomfort during Junior's wild ride down the birth canal. (yes, I like to think of myself as my child's first amusement park ride; someone should be able to enjoy it). People tell me that learning to breathe through this "discomfort" is helpful. I'll believe when I see it. Right now, I"m not to optomistic--I think it's a lie devised to keep the human race going.

I ordered a DVD from some Amazon called "Laugh & Learn About Childbirth: Lamaze and Beyond"...I'm hoping the "beyond" part is either about narcotic pain relief or actually "how to hire someone else to go through this for you".

Anyway, this DVD showed up at my door yesterday and just the cover makes me want to puke. (Please recall I have lost all good humor about this process, am sugar-deprived and wishing for heavy sedation through the rest of my pregnancy). I will explain: Aside from the aforementioned title which makes it sound like the childbirth experience is an episode of Sesame Street, brought to you by the letter L & D, the picture on the cover is of a big old pregnant belly with a finger-painted smiley face on it, complete with outie belly-button nose.

Yes, I'll admit, the first thing I said to husband when we took it out of the package was, "Ooooh, we so have to do that to my belly and take pictures!!!" I think I had a little bit of my graham cracker snack sugar in me at that point and thought it was just too cute.

That's the problem--it IS too cute. What SHOULD really be on the cover of this DVD is a sweaty, flushed, scowling woman, yelling at her husband and throwing ice chips (what the hell are those even for??!!!) at the nurses. That would at least make me feel like this woman isn't about to lie to me for the next 4 and a half hours of my life as she explains the "miracle" of my labor and delivery to me. It would scare the crap out of me, but at least I'd believe her.

I have taken the DVD out of the wrapper (and explained to husband that using plastic wrap as a cat toy is bad b/c it can kill kitty about 12 different ways), but I am still hemming and hawing about putting into the player. If this woman pisses me off with her cheery "this won't hurt a bit" crap, I am going to throw a rock through my TV screen--if husband will go outside and find a rock for me.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Bladder as Trampoline...

I am seriously considering moving into my bathroom. Just taking a pile of books with me and sitting on the toilet for the next 7 weeks. That way, I will already be there the next time I have to pee, which is literally 10 minutes after the last time I peed...

It just seems more efficient that way.

I Wanna Be Sedated...

Okay, so I am starting to think the next several weeks would be a lot happier for everyone involved if I could just be sedated between now and the delivery.

I don't know if it is that I'm in my 12th week of bedrest, or that I can only have one bite of chocolate within a 24 hour time span, or that my sciatic nerve is literally throbbing by 9pm every night, or that I get up every hour ON THE HOUR to pee at night, or what---but I have definitely turned a corner with my whole, "I love being pregnant" attitude.

I spent the first 2/3 of this pregnancy basking in the fact that I was pregnant. Through everything, I would still say, "it's so worth it; I love being pregnant even though I'm on bedrest, blah blah blah." And I meant it; I really did. And yes, I know now, even in my sour crankiness, that it IS worth it and I wouldn't trade it for the world. grrrrrrr....

I will only be pregnant for 7 more weeks. I am almost 31 weeks now and the doctors won't let my malfunctioning, incompetent body be pregnant for more than 38 weeks. A month or so ago, I would have lamented the ending of this phase, considering how much I loved being pregnant. Yes, I'm excited to meet the little man who has been the cause of so much lounging around and stress on my part, but considering this is very likely the only time I am going to embark on the pregnancy adventure in my life, the thought of it ending was sort of sad.

Now, however, I am calculating days and hours and crossing off dates on my calendar as I get past them. Yes, I have loved being pregnant, and I would do anything to ensure that he is healthy and safe, but now I want him OUT. Does that make me horrible? You know what, don't care if it does. Obviously, I"m not going in there to get him or anything. He can stay until my doctors, the uterine landlords, decide it is time to evict him. But I'm not making any more repairs on the place between now and then! And this kid is so NOT getting his security deposit back...

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

A Spoonful of Sugar...

Today I had a follow-up with my dietician, Jane. Jane is a very animated person with a lot of good ideas about how I can actually enjoy eating without turning my child into the Incredible Hulk and sending my pancreas to an early grave.

First of all, I weigh exactly the same today as I did last Thursday. I'd be lying if I said that didn't make me smile just a bit. It's nice for the fat pregnant lady to get one week out of 40 where she isn't growing, or shrinking, but just staying the same. ahhhhhh....

My pancreas is apparently a "day person" as opposed to being a "night owl"...during the day it seems I can pretty much eat at will (Starbucks muffin for breakfast, brownie with dinner--but not in the same day) and my "little pancreas that could" has no problem churning out the insulin. PAR-tay...

However, nighttime is a different story. My pancreas apparently thinks it was hired to work in 14 hour shifts and between 11pm and 9am, it is pretty much off-duty, turning my veins into an all night rave for the sugar. Thus, my morning blood readings are ever-so-diabetic. Ah well, so much for the terbutaline theory...(I still think I'm one step away from an "honorary" medical degree for that little discovery).

But get this--Jane recommends 1/2 a bagel and "a lot" of cream cheese as my night time snack. Cream cheese and bread??!! Hell, yeah, I can do that!! And it's GOOD for me?! Sign me up. Dr. Atkins can kiss my carby ass! I was afraid she was going to say "eat a hard boiled egg before going to bed" and I was going to have to vomit on her shoes. Apparently the fat in the cream cheese will counteract the carbohydrate in the bagel and help it digest more slowly....I have very little idea what that means for my insulin, but it means I get to eat 1/2 a bagel and cream cheese at 10pm.

I'm wondering if that means I can slather a bunch of cream cheese on a chocolate brownie and have the same effect...

Jane is the Mary Poppins of dieticians--she recommended a spoonful of Splenda on pretty much everything I eat. I love this Jane woman.

As for the little man, I think he is trying "moon" me, in utero. I'm pretty sure I have a baby butt sticking out of my belly right now. He seems to enjoy interacting with husband and I these days. If husband puts his hand on my belly, a leg or an arm, or hand or foot will greet him with a big old kick. Although, it's hard to tell if we are amusing him or being the annoying, loud neighbors and he's trying to shoo us off of his property.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

And the Judges Say...

I've noticed a phenomenon about pregnancy and impending motherhood. Everyone seems to have an opinion of how to either BE pregnant, GIVE birth or RAISE a child. And when I say everyone, I mean it sometimes feels like every person you come in contact with, from family to the cashier at the grocery store, have some tidbit of advice to "share" with you about how to care for your child, lest your precious little miracle turn into the uni-bomber or the leader of their very own cult by age 8.

I spend some of my zillions of hours in bed on a message board for pregnant women/mothers where women post inocuous questions like "How much weight did you gain by week 20?" or "When did your feel start to swell?" or share their feelings like, "I"m terrified of labor" or "I'm afraid to start trying again since the miscarriage." These types of questions and comments ellicit a veritable sisterhood of goodwill, as women are more than happy to moan and groan with their pregnant counterparts about the aches and pains and difficulties of pregnancy--let's face it; after a few weeks of kvetching to our friends, they are pretty sick of us and we run the serious risk of alienating them forever. We are also not very likely to ask our friends about our leaky boobs, but the internet message board provides support for even the "ickiest" of topics.

What gives me the creeps about the message board is the zeal with which some women assert their philosophies and opinions on mothering. Perhaps it is the anonymity of the internet that allows women to spit venom at each other if they disagree with any of the following "controversies" in birthing/childrairsing:
--epidural vs. unmedicated birth
--breastfeeling vs. formula feeding
--to circumsize or not to circumsize
--eating deli meat while pregnant
--the occassional drink while pregnant
--piercing a baby girl's ears
--co-sleeping vs. "crying it out"
--vaccinations vs no vaccinations
but women who, three posts down were commiserating with eachother like long lost friends about how to tell their bosses that they are expecting, become bitter rivals when the topic of breastfeeding vs. bottle-feeding comes up. And I don't mean a simple, "I'm right, you're wrong" disagreement. I mean accusations of ignorance and incompetence and "unfit", like one party wants to take the other to court for faulty parenting techniques. Regardless of my own feelings and my own plans of how to feed my child, do I have the right to hurl metaphorical piles of poop at some women who disagrees with me?

I read another blog daily where the writer shared her story of sleep training her baby. I didn't necessarily agree with her technique, but I also realize that, last time I checked, I wasn't raising her child. And until I am the primary care giver of her baby, I can keep my mouth shut. But she received almost 400 comments on that one entry from women who HAD to share their opinions of her technique. Now, some of them were supportive and encouraging, which I liked, even though I, personally, wouldn't emulate her sleep training style. But some of the responses were so scathing and intentionally hurtful ("what you did is child abuse", "your child is scarred for life", etc.), the anonymous eyes of judgment were so piercing in some of these comments that it made ME all but hyperventilate and it wasn't even my blog!!!

Why do women feel the need to insist that there is ONE right way to parent? Why do friends, relatives and strangers alike not realize that, for the pregnant woman, the options are no less overwhelming when 1000 different voices try to tell you which ONE way is the ONLY way to ensure you don't screw your child up for life (which, from the moment you see the + on the pregnancy test becomes your most all-consuming fear)? Why do they assume that their child survived only because of a particular choice they made in regards to birthing or feeding or sleeping or clothing and that your child is doomed to disaster if you don't do the same exact thing? The feeling of judgment is crushing and does nothing to promote the self-esteem of the pregnant women when it comes to her confidence in raising her child.

When husband and I first announced that we were expecting, a friend of our said something to us that I have carried with me ever since. He said, "I have one piece of advice for you. Don't listen to anyone's advice." ahhhhhhhh, that's a piece of advice I can live with.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Prison Break....

Yesterday I went outside. Shhhhhh....don't tell Dr. Dark-Cloud.

It is cherry blossom time in DC and it is a force of nature that can't be denied--if you are anywhere near DC, you MUST see them. I would never have thought trees could be so compelling, but it is like stepping into another, softer world when you stand under them.

This year, however, I didn't get the chance to stand under them--I'm not that audacious. (Because standing up is generally considered to be a pretty ballsy action, right?). No, husband, or as I call him, "Jeeves", put the seat back on the passenger side of our car, rolled my window down and chaufferred my sorry ass into the city.

Note to self: Never, ever take for granted again the fresh, spring air coming through an open car window. It doesn't take much to make me happy these days, and that was pretty much unspeakably blissful.

We drove over the Potomac and into the city for the first time in 3 months. Husband drove up and down the Mall and then over to the Tidal Basin so I could take it all in. The flowers are amazing--I won't even try to describe. I did a lot of giggling. Husband and I had "that" moment, when we realized that next year, we will be down there, under the blossoms, pushing a stroller. Lump-in-the-throat time...

If you've been to DC in cherry blossom season, you know that 2/3 of the world's population descends on the Tidal Basin during these two weeks, so people watching is pretty much at its most spectacular. Perhaps even more than the flowers, seeing all the people sort of brought me back to life---really, in the past 3 months, I've hardly seen anyone but close friends, family or medical professionals. Nothing against them, obviously, but realizing there is still a world full of people out there was very reassuring!!! Even if most of them are idiots who dart in front of moving vehicles while pushing toddlers in umbrella strollers. Aside from its beauty, DC at cherry blossom time is a great opportunity to see Darwinism at its best.

Alas, all good things must end and after about an hour of a 3-lb baby using my bladder as a trampoline as we drove, I found myself unable to contain myself anymore and asked Jeeves to turn the car around and take me home to my bathroom--I haven't been more than 15 feet from a bathroom for 3 months....I felt like Linus leaving my trusty blue security blanket behind. If only SUVs came equipped with built-in bathroom suites--they're certainly big enough.

So home I went and back to bed...sigh.

But this is the beginning of a trend in "out of bedness" for me. I have two appointments this week--one with the dietician and one with my doctor. I plan on putting my foot down and demanding a terbutaline-free glucose tolerance test and I will pout at my doctor until I get my way. I am also allowed to spend an hour at a friend's baby shower this coming weekend. A whole hour!!!! (please note the sarcasm...) But it is better than nothing.

Oh, and I'm having a piece of cake at the shower.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Interactions with the Outside World, Part II, or More Proof I Should Stay in Bed for the Rest of My Life...

Aside from the fabulous new stretching pain I experience anytime I get out of bed (hang in there little cerclage!!!), I have received yet another piece of evidence from the outside world that, after almost 12 weeks in bed, I am no longer fit to interact with other human beings.

On Thursday, after Sugar School, husband dropped prescriptions off at the pharmacy for my handy little blood test strips and stabbing devices ("lancets" is one of my least favorite words, for no apparent reason--besides, it's not nearly as dramatic as "stabbing devices"). They were out of them; they said they'd order them. Come back on Friday. No biggie. How easily we put our faith into any yahoo wearing a white lab coat and standing behind a counter we have to stand on our tippie toes to see over.

Fast forward to this morning. Husband goes to look at cribs in a galaxy far, far away (there are no cribs to peruse in our bedroom and anything outside of that realm qualifies as inter-galactic, as far as I am concerned, at this point). He calls to ask me to check on the prescription for the aforementioned test strips and stabby things. He is an efficient man, husband is, and he doesn't want to waste a trip to the pharmacy if it's not ready. I, on the other hand, waste hours of my life on the "let's wait and see" approach and end up standing in long lines or returning at a later time, just to avoid making a phone call. Yes, I am perhaps one of only a handful of women worldwide who would really just prefer to never have to speak on the phone.

The pharmacist answers the phone at the precise moment she is yelling at another customer that she'll "just have to wait. I am here all alone today!!!" I know already this is not going to be my most pleasant conversation of the day. I ask about my prescription. I give my name---several times. I have to clarify that I am SARAH S., not VIRGINIA S more times than I think one should have to. The pharmacist is a mumbler...that makes me nervous.

No, the prescription's not ready. No, they don't have either the strips or the stabby things on hand. She doesn't know why the man behind the counter in the white lab coat on Thursday said they would have it. They don't even have a record of my prescription... Then she yells at another customer.

Here's where I realize I am no longer fit for human interaction. I went OFF of her. It was like I stepped outside of myself, and the nice, gentle, non-confrontation Sarah watched this new, possessed, must-test-my-blood-in-three-hours-and-you-lost-my-prescription Sarah rip the pharmacist a new one...."How do you lose a prescription??? What am I supposed to do now? I have to test my blood sugar levels in 3 hours! How am I going to do that??? HOW do you lose a prescription??!!!" It felt goooooooooood.

But it didn't get me any test strips or stabby things.

Now on top of all the other shortcomings I am faced with in life---I have an incompetent pharmacist....

Eventually we hung up, after she promised to keep searching for it. WHATEVER!!! Like I'd accept her test strips, etc. now. After the way I verbally accosted her, I wouldn't be surprised if she opened the boxes and sneezed all over them...

Solution to problem--make a Saturday "emergency" phone call to my doctor's answering service and ever-so-sweetly request a new prescription to be called into a new pharmacy.

Then cut off all contact with the outside world for at least 24 hours.