Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The Talented Mr. E...

He loves bath day (notice daddy holding a diaper in the firing range; Ethan is a pro at the suprise pee attack)...
He sleeps like an angel (for about 45 minutes at a time)...
He ponders the meaning of life (until he gets a bit gassy; then he just fusses)...

What I really want to share with you, but I can't, due to technical limitations and a serious lack of timing, is our favorite thing that Ethan does. We need a video camera and an entire day to roll film, just in case opportunity presents itself in order to bring this to you--it is the SneezeScream and it makes me laugh so hard I think my incision will bust...

We know it's coming when Ethan starts to get a little squinty-eyed and scrunches up his face--we know it's either the SneezeScream or a big old fuss-fest coming on. We pray for the SneezeScream.

After the initial expression, the cartoon-like inhalations start as he gears up for the sneeze. There are usually two or three good "ah-ah-ah"'s before the "CHOOOOO!!!"

And then it happens. A look of complete confusion and the scream. I don't know whether it's fear, indignance or what, but he lets out this seamless, squealing scream right after the sneeze. He doesn't cry; he doesn't fuss. He just lets out one solitary scream as if to say, "HEY!!! WHAT THE HELL IS THAT??? KNOCK THAT CRAP OFF!" And then he's done. Peace is restored until the next sneeze sneaks up on him and rocks his world. Husband and I fall all over ourselves laughing when he does it--it is the funniest thing I have ever seen and heard.

It is the final straw in our decision to buy a video camera. I have to capture that SneezeScream before he figures out that a sneeze is just a sneeze and ceases to punctuate it with the indignant wail of "what the???!!!" I can't bare to think that I might forget this if I don't have it saved forever.

The other "skill" that my son has exhibited is the ability to hiccup, practically on demand, and for seemingly hours on end. And not little dainty, baby hiccups, either. No--I'm talking loud, juicy, hear-them-downstairs-without-the-monitor hiccups. They come out of nowhere and possess his entire little body until I think he is going to just explode. They don't seem to bother him at all, but they make me writhe in agony--I hate having hiccups. But as far as hiccups go, this little man could win awards--and probably not just in the newborn category, either!

Tomorrow we hope to add a new skill to our bag-o-tricks--breastfeeding. The lactation consultant is coming over to tortu--uh, I mean teach us how to get it right. I am so hoping that it works; life will be easier when I can just whip out lunch for the little man without a moment's notice. Right now, with the pumping and storing and re-heating and bottle, it is like preparing a 4 course meal as opposed to pulling up to the drive-thru window...i love a good drive-thru. Wish us luck...

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Three weeks & a day...

The funny thing about preemies (or maybe all babies--I only have experience with the preemie kind) is that they are born with all this hair. Not necessarily the hair on their head, although Little Mr. E was born with such a full head of hair at 34w that had he gone to term, he would have been a long-haired hippie freak when he came out.

No, I am talking about the hair that covers my little boy's shoulders and back. Not light wispy hair, like earlobe fuzz or anything like that. Long, full, dark hair. Like he should be on a beach in the South of France, sporting a Speedo and wearing a gold chain & medallion. This image frightens me to no end. When will this newborn Guido hair fall out? I hear my son's first words, "Foggetaboutit" and I cringe. I want to hear "mama", not, "How you doin?"

But Little Mr. E continues to amaze and astound. Aside from being impossibly gorgeous (biased? perhaps), he has the sweetest nature we could hope for. No, he doesn't sleep through the night or giggle while we change his diaper, but he only complains when something in his little world warrants complaining about. He lets mommy & daddy sleep at least a couple of hours at at time and seems to really like anything that vibrates, so the Pack N' Play and Aquarium Bouncy Seat are big hits in our house. At first I worried we were scrambling his little preemie brain, but the pediatrician laughed at me, and I guess he'd know. So buy stock in Duracell; we'll be single-handedly keeping them in business until this little man reaches 20lbs.

As for me, I have been slowly reacquainting myself with the world outside. I've been out to dinner with my best friend, taken money out of the ATM, and gone grocery shopping in the past week. Ah, the romance of all those things I left behind. They'd be a lot more fun if I wasn't in a constant state of achiness from my breasts and my gut. I got about as far as the cereal aisle this afternoon before I really REALLY wanted to just sit down and pay some shmoe to do the rest of my shopping for me. Seriously, I had a well detailed list; anyone could have followed it and met me at the checkout in a matter of minutes. But considering there aren't random volunteer shoppers roaming the aisles of Harris Teeter scoping out those too tired or sore to fill their own carts, I was pretty much on my own. I made it through, but was thrown by the remodelling of the frozen food section--I almost didn't go into that area of the store at all, but I needed frozen mixed veggies. You wouldn't think they'd go remodelling an entire section of the grocery store while I was sitting on my ass for the past five months, but they did. Just to mess with me, I imagine.

When I was first "grounded" by Dr. Dark Cloud, I read an article that said some women on bedrest for long stretches of their pregnancy have a tough time readjusting to life in the "real" world; the article specifically cited every day activities like grocery shopping as becoming overwhelming experiences for some women recovering from bedrest. I thought that was very silly--imagine being afraid of grocery shopping. But this afternoon, when I turned the corner and the frozen food section was different, I definitely had a moment. My cart stopped. I looked around to make sure I was in the right place. The person behind me kept going and bumped into me, making for that fabulously embarrassing "oops, sorry. My bad," moment. I had to actually make the decision to go into the "new and improved" chilly sector of the store. And I was so thrown by the experience I forgot several items on my list that came after the frozen food section. Good lord. I can't imagine what my first trip to the mall will be like.

Of course, part of the distraction is that Ethan is at home. Not with me. Until he gets his 2 month shots, we've been told not to take him to malls, grocery stores, etc. So while I am waiting for the lady in the paper hat to slice my deli meat for me (and this could take HOURS...) I am obsessing about what Ethan is doing. Is he sleeping? Is he gassy? Is it time for him to eat? When did I pump last? How much tummy time did we get in today?

Of course, this is not to say that I didn't thoroughly enjoy grocery shopping--I love driving my car again, I loved being around people and walking around (in spite of the aching) and actually DOING something for my family instead of depending on everyone else to do for me. And after the millionth dirty diaper (okay, I know we're nowhere near that yet--I like to exaggerate), it IS nice to have a moment or two in the day just for me (ugh--I feel guilty even typing that).

And now, it is time for a nap...normally one wouldn't nap at 7:15pm, what with it being so close to "bed time", but in this world I live in now, there is no such thing as bed time, just 2-3 hour increments of time when one isn't feeding or changing a baby. You sleep when you can get it...

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Energy burst...

So, it's 10am and so far today I have managed to shower, do a load of dishes, put away two loads of laundry (all right; my mom actually DID the laundry, but if I hadn't put it away, it would still be sitting on the chair downstairs...), made the bed (pulling up the duvet counts, right?), fed the cats, fed the baby and pumped breakfast #3 for little Mr. E. AND I have company coming at 10:30 am.

I fully intend to crash by noon. I was going to go to a breastfeeding support group this afternoon, but considering I am not actually breastfeeding, I'm at a loss as to what kind of support I would get. Next week we are going to introduce Mr. E to the breast and hope that pure chaos and desperation does not ensue. Then I will need a support group (or my own round-the-clock therapist), but today I think napping is probably more important.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

stolen moment...

that's pretty much all I have right now while little Mr. E snoozes briefly.

Many things to report. I am happy to announce that I still know how to drive. Clearly not the most important development in the past few weeks, but it is reassuring to know that as incompetence abounds in other areas of my body, my brain is still relatively sharp (if remembering how to drive after 5 months as a passenger qualifies as an IQ test).

Little Mr. E is apparently not looking forward to being called a "4lb, 13oz weakling" on the beach this summer (chicks don't dig the chicken legs, you know), so he has shot up to 5lbs, 3 oz in just one week's time. The pediatrician (hello, cute Jewish doctor who is definitely younger than me--ugh!) was very impressed not only be Ethan's cuteness (I choose to believe his reaction was unique to my baby, not just his regular routine), but also with his growth. He is, according to the dr. "perfect"---we like this doctor. He knows his stuff...

What is NOT perfect is the fabulous gas that Mr. E endures about an hour after every meal. So now, not only did I have to restrict everything I put in my mouth during my pregnancy due to the GD, now I have to cut out anything that might upset the little senor's belly because I will tell you---there is nothing worse than the "I"m in pain" cry, especially when you know it's your milk that did it. I'm telling you, the mommy guilt never ends!

Oh and sleep? Hmmmmm, I have a vague recollection of sound, undisturbed sleep. It is a lovely memory and I hope that sometime within the next few years I will be able to revisit such bliss. Yesterday, I actually rejoiced in a 25 minute nap between 3:15-3:40. Ethan enjoys the sound of his voice, even in sleep. This makes for many "what was that?"and "Is he okay?" moments for mommy and daddy throughout the night. Sometimes I just end up awake and staring at the little man while he sleeps. How can I bare to sleep through his babyhood? I fear I will wake up and he'll be going to college.

And my son, aside from being a good eater, is freakishly strong--at 3 weeks (and 5 weeks early, so really minus 2 weeks!), he is already lifting his head up and looking around during tummy time and exerting his will by wriggling indignantly out of every swaddle we can fashion. It is truly astounding that his father can wrap him so tightly I wonder if the little burrito will be able to even breathe and then---poof! 30 seconds later he is waving his hands and taunting us once again. Unbelievable. We have our work cut out for us...

My work for right now is to try to grab a nap, whether it's for the next 10 minutes or an hour. One never knows what the little man has up his sleeve...

Thursday, May 18, 2006

technical difficulties...Ethan's birth story is two entried down...

Sorry--pregnancy brain has turned into new-mommy brain; I seem to be getting dumber as the days go on and posted incorrectly...

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

oh how I miss the blog...

I have a snippet of time while the little man sleeps on one side of me and the big daddy sleeps on the other...I miss the opportunity to write, but these days I am far more focused on trying to master the art of the swaddle (you need a freaking degree, people!! A degree!!), examining poopy diapers for just the right color/consistency combination and hooking myself up to a fabulously torturous device to literally yank the milk out of me until Ethan has figured out that the Avent bottle isn't actually where his food comes from. One of the joys of preemies is the limited ability to latch on and eat at the boob; hence I spend a good portion of my day with my pal the pump.

But all in all, life is wonderful and blissfully sleep-deprived. Don't forget about me--keep checking in; I will be back!!

Friday, May 12, 2006

And so the adventure really begins...

8:45am, Friday, May 5th. You know that feeling right before you get your period where you're achey and crampy for a few minutes and then---woooooosh?! Well, that's how I woke up, but I was pretty sure, considering I was 34w5d pregnant that I wasn't being visited by Aunt Flo...

Indeed, I was not. I was being initiated into the fabulous world of labor and delivery. And I hadn't even packed the all-important hospital bag yet. As a small ocean poured out of me, my entire focus became that bag--where was my bag? Where was my collection of travel-sized toiletries?? I need my toiletries!!!

That is what was going through my head. Where was my mini bottle of pantene??!! Interesting how your brain shields you from the overwhelming. Like the fact that my cervix was trying to dilate with a big old piece of fishing wire wrapped around it. Oh yeah...there was that.

Which I think is why the contractions started right away. My poor cervix , it was so confused. And, as for the stupid Lamaze DVD lady Husband & I were watching for a couple of weeks before this--she told me I would have hours of "hey, this isn't so bad" type contractions before I started feeling any serious "discomfort". Lying bitch. I hate her and her New York accent.

One of my favorite memories of the day was walking into the entrance of the women's center of the hospital with a giant bath towel wrapped around my waist (how much water is IN there??!!) I must have looked like such a dweeb, especially as the contractions hit while I was registering at the front desk. Yes, people were staring. And nope, I didn't care.

I also loved the fact that Husband double-parked in the entrance and was just as jittery as one would expect to see in a sit-com. He wasn't quite Hugh Grant in "9 Months" (we didn't hit any pedestrians or give anyone a heart attack) but he was still pretty tightly wound.

Let me say one thing about the epidural--i love it. I listened to people for months tell me that I did or didn't need one, that I could deal with the pain, or that I couldn't, that it only got so bad and then plateaued, I could deal, yadda yadda yadda...and yes, had I not had a cerclage holding my cervix closed, I might have made a valiant effort to forge ahead for as long as possible without the assistance of pain meds. But the doctor assessed me and decided that I was not a good candidate for unmedicated cerclage removal...let's just say that when in pain, I am not good at holding still. And a writhing patient is really not the patient you want on your table when you are trying to snip a stitch from a cervix with a pair of scissors. So epidural it was....thank god. And immediately following the removal of the cerclage, I dilated to about 4cms.

I had about 2 hours of pain and then the epidural kicked in. From 11am until 4pm or so, I dilated from 4cm to 9cm without so much as a cramp. Around 9cms, I started to feel pressure. And then it all stopped. No more dilating for me. My cervix, in its infinite incompetence, after trying to dilate for almost 4 months, came to a complete stand-still at 9cms and refused to budge. Not only did it refuse to budge, but the little man, who had been so mischeviously pushing on my cervix for months, now refused to make friends with the cervix and kept floating back on up...are you kidding me, kid???!!!!

To make matters even more fun, Ethan's heart rate decided to yo-yo into dangerous territory and the doctor started in with the "c-section" talk. I don't remember a lot of it--was I freaking out and shutting down or just super mellow? Not sure. But at that point, I just wanted Ethan out, whether it was me pushing or them cutting. I didn't feel frantic, I just wanted to meet him, already!!! Enough with the drama!

And so, c-section it was. Husband, who carried the burden of the panic on his own shoulders, signed the consent form and away we went. My parents had been in the delivery room with me up until that point, apparently taking turns at kicking each others' asses at Texas Hold 'Em over by the window while I napped on and off. I remember saying, "bye" to them and then it was all bright lights and blue paper sheets.

Husband and I had our final, "what are we naming this kid?" conversation to distract me from the surgery. Here's where the boundlessness of my body's incompetence becomes almost comical--turns out the c-section was far more necessary than any of us realized when the decision was first made. My uterus is nearly as incompetent as my cervix. I recall hearing the description, "as thin as wet tissue paper." Ah, the poetry of it all...yes, my uterus was barely doing its job and apparently, had I been allowed to push, it could have been super ugly (haven't really discussed it in detail with the doctor yet, but in my daze I heard the words "could have ruptured" in there somewhere...)

Discussion of the recovery doesn't really merit any space here--recovering from major abdominal surgery sucks and I dont' want to remember it as I look back on the blog in the future.

If I were ever to do this again (don't get me started), I would actually like to pursue the whole idea of the "quiet birth" that was made infamous by Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes and the birth of their daughter, whose name, by the way, does NOT mean "Princess" in Hebrew (um, that would be Sarah, dumb-asses). I say this not because I am considering a conversion to Scientology, but because some of those L&D nurses are LOUD!!!! I had one woman who walked in every 15-20 minutes and yelled in an Asian accent, "YOU FEEL PRESSURE LIKE YOU HAVE TO POOP??!!" front of my dad. No, lady, I don't feel pressure like I have to poop, but thank you for asking again. And again. I think the idea of just shutting up and letting the woman "be" is a pretty nice idea. I found the experience to be very relaxing (pre-c-section)when I wasn't being yelled at by some crazy nurse about the state of my bowels.

The other thing I noticed about the nurses is that all of them seem to have taken, and passed with flying colors, a "How to Distract the Patient from the Current Situation" course in their education. Every single nurse from triage to the OR and recovery said to me, "Wow, what a lovely manicure you have!" EVERY SINGLE ONE. And honestly, it wasn't that great of a manicure, for god's sake; I did it myself!! By the time I got up to my room on the baby floor, I could almost see the nurses scanning me for something innocuous to pleasantly comment on (I haven't had a haircut since December, so it wasn't going to be that!). Very bizarre.

So now, here he is. Little Mr. Ethan, after 9 hours of pretty mellow labor and one rocking c-section, made his way into the world, kicking and screaming, all 8& 9s on his apgars. We spent 8 days in the NICU, being the big old bruiser on the block. Compared to some of the little peanuts in there, Ethan looked like a linebacker at 4lbs, 13oz, which was reassuring to us, but it also made going to the NICU difficult and made me sad for other parents. I cannot begin to express my gratitude to the universe that I got to 34w.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Little Senor update...

Little Senor and Big Daddy's hand. Pay no mind to the little white velcro pads on the side of his head; they are to hold his "Joe Cool" sun glasses while he hangs out under the phototherapy lights getting un-yellowified.

The aforementioned "Joe Cool" glasses--I really need to bring those fashion statements home with us for the old scrapbook. He actually loves them--he claims they help him get a good night's sleep, the diva....

While I am really looking forward to writing the mother of all birth stories, I am dividing my time between sleeping through the "discomfort", pumping milk and driving back and forth to the NICU to visit the little senor (he was born on Cinco de Mayo, after all....)

So instead of the great American novel of childbirth (stay tuned--there is more fabulous irony from the woman of unflinching incompetence...), I will simply let you know that the baby is doing great! He is still in the NICU, but has moved from the "not so healthy" baby room to the "much healthier" baby room. He was eating and breathing on his own from the get-go, only needed help regulating his body temp for a day or two and has a touch of jaundice. His numbers are going down every day, though, so they are talking about sending him home sometime within the next few days. He just has to get through a day outside the isolette without the phototherapy lights and then pass the carseat test--piece of cake!! :-)

To tide you over, here are some pictures of the little guy--fear not the wires and all that hullabaloo; they aren't in him, just on him, monitoring his breathing and whatnot. Of course, I wanted the pictures down here instead of at the top, but I still don't know how to do that and have no time to learn now...back to sleep for me.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Friday was interesting...

Considering I had a baby. :-)

My water broke at 8:45am. Hmmm...nothing like waking up from a dead sleep to dash to the bathroom with warm water rushing out of your body. Scared the hell out of the cats, I can assure.

The story is long and I'm exhausted, what with the major abdominal surgery and all. When I am feeling less overwhelmed, I will tell you the whole story from start to finish. Suffice it to say that Ethan Jacob, formerly known as Peapod, came into this world, kicking and screaming at 5:24 on Cinco de Mayo. Mom and baby are doing quite well--him moreso than me, I think! He's in the NICU, but he's regulating his own temperature and eating on his own, for the most part. I, on the other hand, am very whiney and busy experimenting with a variety of drug cocktails to alleviate some of "sting" involved with a c-section...

Okay--must pump & sleep...

Thursday, May 04, 2006

What is the world coming to?

I am shaking my head in disgust at the world today. As I lounged in bed this morning watching Regis & Kelly (I lead a life of tremendous importance and dignity), I learned that Judge freaking Judy has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Now, as cultural and/or historical landmarks go, the Walk of Fame is perhaps the least significant and shallowest of them all (hello, Gettysburg, Mont Vernon, even Graceland (maybe) rank way higher in importance), but has Judge Judy REALLY done anything to merit that honor?

She yells at yokels about how stupid they are for lending their toothless roommate a clunker of a car after the roommate drives it into a lake. She says "witty" things like, "Don't pee on my leg & tell me it's raining". Is this talent? Is this icon-making material? Do we, as a culture, really want to immortalize Judge Judy? Am I going to take my son to Hollywood one day, point at her star & say, "This is Judge Judy, honey. She yelled at dumb-asses,"?

She said in her interview that she had hoped to have her star somewhere near Sidney Poitier's. Sidney Freaking Poitier!?! I can't stop shaking my head. Its as if my little 5 lbs, 12 year old kitty just turned to me and said, "You know, I think I'd like to move out of this dump, head to the jungle and run with the big cats"...Aside from the fact that in that scenario my cat starts speaking to me, it's just ABSURD. Sidney Poitier??? Did she SEE, "To Sir, With Love"?! He makes no analogies to pee and rain in that movie...

I always thought that the Hollywood Walk of Fame was reserved for our legends--our Katherine Hepburns and our Gregory Pecks; people who made Hollywood a respectable, iconic mecca of talent as opposed to the sess-pool of "white-trash made good" that it is today. Or at least today's Walk of Fame stars should have contributed in some way to----uh, HOLLYWOOD. Your Julia Robertses and your Tom Cruises (before he went insane), or your Charlize Therons (just for ability to ugly it up when the role calls for it!) At this rate, they're going to give Lindsay Lohan a star for "Herby--Fully Loaded". How can I bring a child into a world where Lindsay Lohan gets a star for "Herby--Fully Loaded"??!!! Oh yeah, and where you need to refinance your house to fill your gas tank, there's terrorism, mad cow disease, bird flu, war, unchecked genocide & a president who says, "nucular" instead of "nuclear"? These things concern me, too.

Speaking of the little man--he is fixing to bust out of me in whatever manner possible. I don't think he's received any formal training yet on the whole, "you leave via the birth canal" tradition and is currently testing out the idea of coming out through my side, just under a rib, or burrowing his way out via my butt. The side exit seems pretty obvious--he likes to kick and punch and he's really strong. I'm not entirely convinced that at some point, I won't look down after a vigorous punch and find a teeny little fist sticking out of my body. And my burrowing through the butt theory is due to the fact that my tailbone feels like it is slowly being cracked in half, as though somehow the little guy smuggled in a chisel and is hammering away in there at this pesky piece of bone that is keeping him from the outside world. I particularly like it when the pain radiates up my entire back and down my thighs--that's a party. Thanks, kid.

I am also taking a lot of grief from my belly button these days. Apparently, prior to pregnancy, it went all the way to China because it has yet to pop out at almost 35 weeks. However, I have started to notice that it's on its last "legs" so to speak, in the "innie" department. That really isn't a big deal to me, cosmetically speaking. I have no deep connection to my innie, nor am I losing any sleep at the thought that if it pops out, it might never go back in. Please, I'm losing sleep over about a million other things right now--this doesn't even rank.

What is unexpectedly disconcerting about the shallowing out and disappearance of the belly button is that all the skin around it now has previously been sheltered from the harsh world outside my belly button by being IN my belly button. What they don't tell you is that all that skin is very sensitive and not at all happy about being rubbed by the fabric of your clothes or the constant finger poking by your husband who thinks it's "so cute" to try to push that little bit at the bottom back in. No, friends, my belly button is not happy. And if my belly button's not happy, then in some small way, I'm not happy...because it's always a bit achey and nagging.

Today the chauffeurs will escort me to another growth scan of the baby (perhaps I will be able to catch him red-handed in the act of demolishing my tailbone with his little chisel). My fingers are crossed that he has cornered 5lbs at this point, since that seems to be the 'magic NICU' number. Of course, I am also hoping that he's not pushing 8 lbs or anything obscene like that. Monday is the big meeting with Dr. Dark Cloud to discuss the removal of the old cerclage and the "planning" of....gulp, labor. I feel like from here on in, my life is going to become a blur. Hopefully a very happy, happy blur. Thank goodness I took the opportunity to bitch about Judge Judy while I still have the chance...

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The Week in Review...

So I haven't posted for awhile because I've been out bungee jumping and mountain climbing. Ha ha.

Actually, last Friday I started this long rambling entry about leaving my career behind and how it is changing my sense of myself and whether that's for the better or not, considering the abruptness with which it all took place. It got long, convoluted and pretty pointless by the end, even though I tried to re-work it two or three times. The thing is, it can all be summed up in one sentence: I don't miss working & I don't think that makes me a bad person. Judge me if you must. Ahh, that was easy.

Now I have some random highlights from the past several days.

My "research" in life as a quasi-handicapped person continued on Saturday morning as Husband took over the role of wheel-chair pusher and, as anticipated, did exactly the same thing my mother did just days before as she wheeled me around Babies R Us. We went to a baby specialty store to peruse the over-priced crib options available to us. It was fine while we were in the furniture showroom, amidst a 100 little nursery set ups--everything was right there and easy to see, what with my spectacular periphery vision. It was when we went through the aisles of sheets and bottles and clothing that I noticed it. Husband pushed me two feet farther than anything I wanted to see. It truly is a phenomenon of perspective. Again, no fault of his; just the effect of not realizing that someone in a wheelchair is just a bit ahead of & below you.

Anyway, in spite of my having to crane my head to see anything of interest, we did indeed pick out a reasonably priced crib made of something other than cardboard and duct-tape (which is what you are basically getting unless you cough up the serious dough). And news of news, it was in stock and slated to be delivered a week from today!!! No waiting for months for our fancy Italian crib to cross the ocean and sit, rotting on a dock in customs! No sir; it was just sitting in their warehouse waiting to be picked.

The other joy of Saturday was that, sorry Mom, I snuck out to dinner with friends. I had no intention of doing so; I was actually pretty tired by mid-afternoon. But after lounging for several hours in bed, I felt refreshed enough to have Husband drop me at the door of a restaurant about a mile from our house, and while he went to park, my other pregnant friend and I schemed a way to get seated more quickly---

I went to the maitre d, rubbing my belly and asking how much longer for a table for 6. The man was made of stone, people. My gigantic pregnant belly and weary look did nothing to melt his stern and fair seating plan. Damn him. I haven't had a chance to get seats on subways or adoring little "ah, the circle of life" looks from strangers in the store--I wanted an opportunity to get some mileage out of this bump before it's gone! Alas, we waited for about 25 minutes on bar stools until they seated us at a table that, I swear, had the most uncomfortable chairs I have ever encountered in my life.

Is my ass so spoiled after fifteen weeks in my bed that it can't abide a regular restaurant chair? The answer to that question, my friends, is "yes". I now possess a very particular derrier.

Truth be told, I noticed it on my first foray back into the caffeine mecca that is my local Starbucks. What once was the joy of sipping coffee, filling in the crossword puzzle and lazy people-watching became an aching guanlet of "ouch, my butt!" and "ooooh, that hurts" as I shifted in the cold, unforgiving wooden seats I had never so much as noticed before. And it's not because of the baby or because I should get back into bed and need my rest, yadda, yadda, yadda. It's because I now have a snobby, prima donna butt....

I can see myself now--a la Joan Crawford, "I said NO WOODEN CHAIRS!!!!!"....really, though. They are evil and uncomfortable. Think about it the next time you sit down in one. Wouldn't you rather be on a cushion?

Cranky, sore butt aside, dinner out was lovely and well worth it. To sit among people in a normal setting and have a regular old conversation about something besides my cervix was just fantastic. It's so nice to know I'm capable of being social still. I have had nightmares during the past 15 weeks about turning into wacky recluse woman who speaks in broken sentences and points at things as a primary form of communication.

On Sunday, Husband ripped the built in bookshelves out of our guest room to make room for baby's bureau/changing table. I swear, the people who lived here before us had a love affair with built-ins the likes of which this world has never seen before. They are in the basement, they were in the livingroom, they were in our bedroom AND they were in the guest room/nursery. Gladly now, with Husband's handiwork, they are only in the basement at this point.

Not that I can't appreciate a good built-in bookshelf--I dream of a living room that looks like a library (even one of those groovy ladders would be cool). But these were, let's say, one step below Trading Spaces built-ins; thrown together in 24 hours and installed by morons.

My staff of personal shoppers, chefs, chauffeurs, house keepers and contractors have also been busy this week. They prefer I just call them "Mom" & "Dad". Thanks to them, tonight's dinner is already made, the grocery shopping is done, the laundry is clean, and the nursery is painted the most precious green and light yellow. Tomorrow they will be driving me all around town (okay, to Target and Babies R Us), so I can take care of some last minute purchasing. I say last minute because even though I am only 34w, the doctors have told me that anytime after 35w is a possibility.

That about catches us up; athough I am haunted by a dream I had on Sunday night. There's not a lot of sleeping going on here, as Husband & I seem to be locked in an unconscious battle of wills with the snoring. While he snores, I am awake, grimacing and sighing. Apparently at some point, I manage to fall asleep, commence with the crazy pregnant lady snoring and wake him's funny to laugh about in the morning, but it makes for a pretty miserable night.

But anyway, I dreamt that I fit into my pre-pregnancy jeans only days after giving birth. Sigh. What are the chances? It is occurring to me that I will only be pregnant for another blink of the eye and then all eyes, when they aren't staring adoringly at my child, will be focused on how fast I can get my body back into a shape that looks anything other than "marshmallow-y"....ugh. I hope breastfeeding is the diet plan it promises to be....