Friday, February 27, 2009

I Enjoy Making Little Public Spectacles

Because sometimes I
a) can’t help it
b) can’t resist.

Can’t help it: Walking through grocery store last night, my right inner thigh tendon muscles were spasming/shooting pain. Me: “OW OW OW!” I hobbled toward the ice cream, having to pause a few times when the pain hit again. No one said anything to me. Later, in the cupcake store, when the spasm hit, a lady said, “Oh, when are you due?” She said her daughter came the day after she had pain in that area, so I continue to be hopeful this baby won’t be too late.

Can’t resist: Sometimes, if I’m tired, or wired, or just tightly wound, I cannot resist going a little over the edge. Example: At breastfeeding class Tuesday night, I was exhausted. I was also chatty, though, because I’m getting euphoric about this baby coming soon. I was bubbly with the lactation consultant, but when the other few ladies arrived, they were pretty quiet. I didn’t want to dominate the class, so I tried to tamp down my energy.
At one point, the lactation consultant (who I could already tell was one of those pushy people who are so much like me that I try to resist them but later we become best friends) asked the 4 of us ladies if we knew what we were having.
Me: “Yeah, a boy!”
Twin lady: “We’re going to wait.”
Lady in back: “We're waiting, too.”
Other lady nods: "Waiting."
Lactation consultant, smiling benevolently: “Oh, that’s great. That’s great. It really is one of the last big suprises in life.”
Me, voice quickly rising: “Why does everyone say that? It’s not one of the last surprises! I’m going to have all kinds of amazing surprises in my life!  I mean, it’s—“
Lactation consultant, trying to change subject because she clearly realizes I’m teetering on the edge: “Oh, yes, it’s really an individual choice. It’s nice to know what you’re having, too. So, what have you guys heard about breastfeeding?”

FIRST OF ALL, that was tactless of her! Don’t ask a question and only give a positive response to the people who say the answer YOU agree with. I have to tell you, I do NOT get good vibes OR hear good reports about the lactation consultants at the hospital. I have heard some VERY BAD first hand reports about how militant and rude they are. Therefore, I am prepared to TOTALLY FREAK OUT ON THEM in the hospital if they give me any crap.

SECOND OF ALL, people said to me from the very beginning of this pregnancy, “So, are you going to find out what you’re having?”
Me: “Yup!”
Nosy party: “Oh, don’t find out! It’s so much fun to wait! It’s one of life’s last big surprises!”
My response would usually be, “I’ll be surprised by a healthy baby. That’s good enough for me. And this is NOT the last surprise left in my life. If it is, that’s sad. I have all KINDS of amazing things that are going to happen to me.”
The nosy party would try to explain further why the surprise was so special, and I’d say, “I understand the excitement of a delivery surprise because I’ve seen it: my sister was surprised all 3 times. When her third baby was a girl, we screamed at the top of our lungs. But for me, I don’t feel the need to wait. I’m a logical person, and I don’t like waiting for things, so I’m going to find out. I feel no need to wait.”
Sometimes, they’d keep going, and I’d say, “I don’t relate to that reasoning. I just don’t think that way, and neither does my husband.”

It also comes down to the fact that I do not like people telling me what to do. If you tell me not to find out, I’m going to find out just to spite you.

And ANYWAY, I did not ASK if you thought I should find out. If I wanted your opinion about that, I’d ask. I didn’t ask; you just told me. Guess what? I really don’t care if you think I should find out if I’m carrying a boy or a girl.

Oh yes. I am a woman on the edge.

Related Post:
--Dec 29, 2008-- Fight or Flight: I'll Kill You, and Your Little Dog, Too
Click here to read full entry.

Symptoms; Diagnosis: Pregnancy

For most of this pregnancy when people ask how I'm feeling, I have been able to honestly say, "GREAT! AMAZING!" with a look of delirium on my face. (Delirium over excitement about baby and also over the idea of not working for a little while.)

This past week when people ask how I feel, I have to say, "I'm getting uncomfortable." I still feel great and amazing in many ways. I can bend over to put on my own shoes if I spread my legs out wide, and I can put on my own socks if I balance on one leg. I do not have much backache or swelling in my legs- some, not a ton. But what is really bugging me is the feeling in my pelvic area:
1. Muscle spasms in right inner thigh that hit randomly when I sit or walk. Yesterday, it spasmed when I was seated. This has been the past four days and getting worse. It's because the baby is very low, about 3 inches from the outside world if you know what I mean. The spasms are getting more frequent and more painful.  

Note: don't let the teeny-looking belly above fool you. I am positively huge. That photo is from 2 weeks ago. In the photos I took last night with my petite friends, I look like an absolute MONSTER.

2. Shooting pains in cervix. These I actually like, because this to me says, "Something is happening in the part of your body that's supposed to open up and let the baby out." I've been feeling stuff in my cervix for about 2 weeks, but yesterday I got 4 sharp pains right after the other. "Ow!" I said, but secretly was hoping for more. My doctor says I'm not dilated, but that's OK. I like to think my cervix is getting READY to dilate.
I think these things only bug me because I have to be pretty active at work. It's annoying to have to stand up to get papers, or answer my phone, or go to a meeting, or do some stupid errand downstairs. My inner thigh and heavy belly just want to sit on a couch.

Other issues:
3. Peeing every 2 hours at night. I'm OK with that, but the problem is, at the 3rd wakeup at 4 am... I often cannot get back to bed. Like, at this very second it's 4:44 am. I woke up at 4:08, laid in bed until 4:25, then got up. This has been happening for over a week, and it's tiring me out. My days have been too busy to nap, and now I have a cold because I got worn down. I don't even think it's a cold; I think I'm just fatigued. This is not good, because I don't want to go into a possibly long labor when I am already exhausted.
4. I'm finally doing that slow pregnant walk. My pelvis just feels heavy, for obvious reasons. I've got 20 pounds of stuff chilling out below my belly button. Walking this slowly makes it harder to get stuff done at work. But believe me, I am wrapping things up. I almost have everything ready for whomever my sub will be. Kids' grades are basically done... if I had this baby tomorrow, I'd be ready.

I don't mean to sound complain-y. I'm still out of my mind deliriously happy and I feel great. I think I am so focused on the physical things because I so badly hope they mean I'll have the baby soon. I don't mean to be impatient, but I'd like to move on from "preparing for baby" to "taking care of baby." I'm ready for this new person to be around.

People are starting to annoy me with their (as if I didn't KNOW THIS) common comment, "First time moms are usually late."
a. No freakin' DUH.
b. That doesn't mean *I* will be late, thank you very much.
c. Do I have to tell you that I am having shooting pains in my cervix, or tell you that I can reach in and feel the baby's head (remember the top of his head is only 3 inches from us!) to give you a hint that I personally think this baby will NOT be a week late?

I know people are just trying to tell me, "It's OK if you're impatient for this baby, but it might take even more time, so I don't want you to start going stir-crazy when he's a week late." That's what they mean, but it feels like they are telling me what my body is doing, when I think it is doing something else.

This feeling of irritation from me is probably due to my fear that he WILL be late- I don't mind him being late, but doctors around here tend to really want to induce you if you are late, and I DO NOT want to be induced. Many of the birth horror stories I hear relate to pitocin, the drug they give to stimulate uterine contractions. Evidently, that either a) hurts like hell or b) doesn't work on you, so you have to have a c-section. I really want to see what my body will do on its own... if I reach 42 weeks, which is when the World Health Organization says it's fair game to induce, then I'm fine with being induced. But if 41 weeks is AVERAGE for a first time mom, why the hell does my doctor say they prefer to induce at 41? That just annoys me. I don't want that painful induction drug unless I really need it.

The doc says that's because 41 weeks is when the placenta starts to deteriorate and the amniotic fluid can get low. Well, the WHO says that happens at 42, so don't rush me at 41 if the baby's heartrate still looks good and if my fluid is fine! I repeat: I do not want to be induced! Listen, all I'm asking for is 41 and a HALF.

I think after I hit my due date Wednesday, I'm going to start my own little induction campaign.
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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Big 3-4, 39 Weeks, Ode to Coworkers

Yay, I just got the urge the blog. I woke up at 4 am today, restless, feeling a little sick from being overtired... but it's my birthday! I'm not sure why birthdays are so fun; maybe it's because it's fun to have people make a big deal over you. I love that we as a species do that for each other. I'm also excited because last night my friend baked me a cake- it's on my kitchen counter, she's in the guest bedroom- and we're going to eat it at lunch at work today. I'm excited to celebrate with my awesome, awesome coworkers. Oh- and it's a FUNFETTI CAKE!!!!

I'm also excited about this upcoming baby of mine. I'm wondering when he's going to be born. I don't want to speak too soon, but I'm excited he did not choose MY birthday to be born. I mean, hey, if he decides today's the day, fine; it would, for sure, be a great birthday gift. But um, this is kinda MY birthday, and it has been for 34 years, so... let's just chill out for another day, baby!

It's kind of fun not being in labor, but anticipating it. Every time my stomach hurts a little, I get hopeful, and then, when nothing happens, I get a total rush of adrenaline at the idea that it will happen eventually. I'm still one week from my due date, but I'm eager to finish up this whole pregnancy and birth process- not because I'm tired of being pregnant, but because i know that birth is really exciting. People will tell you terrible things about birth, but I've seen a few, and they've been pretty darn amazing. I'm looking forward to experiencing it, even though I know it's hard work. And, I'd really just like to have this baby- like, have him where I can see him and finally see his face.

You know how people are always like, "Ooooh I hope my water doesn't break in public?" Well, I hope mine does, because that means you're gonna have your baby soon. I want this baby soon, and I want to go into labor on my own. I don't want to be induced. I'd be delighted if my water broke, like, in my new car, or in front of all my students, or... at the DMV. Whatever. Let's just get this baby out safe and sound and without too much to-do.

One of my coworkers said yesterday, "You know how to get that baby out of there- the same way you got it in." I had to think about that for several seconds before I could process it (I mean come on that's a long sentence for a distracted pregnant lady to handle), at which point she said, "Or you could drink a margarita and jump up and down." I liked that second idea best.

Do you see why I like my coworkers? They are almost all that open, friendly, and silly, but amazing at their jobs. Plus, they are good people. When I sent out an email asking for help with the school spelling bee, at least 10 of them responded. The bee went off without a hitch yesterday thanks to the 6 of them who ended up being available.

After the bee, I gave one of my coworkers/friends a ride home, and she offered to run errands with me. So, my baby's poster is now getting re-framed at an art store in town... with plexiglass, since another coworker/friend broke the glass when she came over 2 weeks ago to help me hang the poster. Do you see a theme here with my rocking coworkers? They are just nice, generous people... and because of that cycle of kindness, they'll get funfetti cake today.

One more thing about my coworkers: last Friday, about ten of us went to happy hour. I've known many of my coworkers for almost 11 years. It's such a good feeling to be so comfortable with such great people. At this point, they're like a second family, especially for me, whose family is NOT local. After happy hour, 5 of us went to our coworker's nearby condo, ordered Chinese food, and facebooked for hours. We made two of our coworkers join, and then we had fun showing them how to use it... oh, and texting in absurd messages to a TV music station and watching to see if our messages appeared. It was ridiculous. It was like being in college. Oh- and not a single one of us was drinking. We were just enjoying time together.

Here's a non-incriminating photo of some of my coworkers over at my house last year. You would not BELIEVE how loud a roomful of teachers can get. It's a little scary.

Related Post:
--SEPTEMBER 27, 2008-- That Man at Work Who Always Notices If You Gain Weight
Click here to read full entry.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

38 Weeks and Grumpy! Very Grumpy!

Pretty much because my body is hurting constantly, mostly my torso, mostly my lower back. It is kind of hard to concentrate on anything else. I watched like, 5 hours of TV yesterday (Real Housewives or Orange County, Desperate Housewives, 30 Rock, and Biggest Loser) because that's the best distractor to me. I have many other things I should be doing; I guess I'll try to focus on that today. But RRRRRR! I am grumpy! I woke up at 4:07 am to pee for the fourth time, and could not get back to sleep. I'm uncomfortable and I'm stressed.

I'm stressed about giving birth. I'm worried that I'm going to get to the hospital, and my labor is going to stall because I am stressed out and grossed out by the IV, and then they're going to want to give me Pitocin, and then it will hurt so bad that I need an epidural. Not the worst thing ever, but if I can avoid needles in my back and catheters in my urethra, that would be GRAND. I am also very grossed out by the idea of a catheter. My husband says all that matters is a healthy baby. Obviously that's the most important thing, but I'd also like to have a good birth. By good, I mean, smoothly progressing and not accompanied by all kinds of gross medical interventions. I know I need to relax to make that happen- so maybe I am preemptively freaking out now so I don't do it later.

Sigh. Whatever. What the freak ever. I'm going to go do a light workout with my pre-natal workout videos (Gabby Reece and yoga are both nice and easy) because I think that will make me feel better. Sometimes the gym gives me a real boost, but I'm too grumpy to concentrate on packing a gym bag and making sure I don't forget my bra and undies or something else important I need for work.


I hope I can be more positive later. Maybe I'll treat myself to a bagel with veggie cream cheese or something, and maybe I'll lie down on my rug during my meeting time at work. I think the pregnant lady- due in 2 weeks- can SKIP A MEETING. Lying down will probably allow me to be more patient with my students later (LIKE AT 2PM WHEN THE AFTERNOON SUN IS STREAMING IN THROUGH MY TWO BROKEN BLINDS THAT HAVE BEEN BROKEN SINCE AUGUST AND I PUT IN A WORK ORDER AND STILL MY STUDENTS HAVE TO SIT IN THE SUN AND HAVE A HARD TIME FOCUSING. That makes me grumpy- when the sun is beating in through the floor to ceiling windows, and my students are hot and blinded by the sun, and I can't blame them for being unable to pay attention to my lessons. Oh, and when the lights in my classroom won't turn off. That makes me grumpy, too. Sun beating in, lights won't go off, how can I do lessons on the overhead? I can't. That's what happened yesterday.)

And maybe I'll schedule my prenatal massage for today rather than wait until Friday. Because clearly, I NEED TO RELAX.

OH, and I'm just saying, those blinds were not broken on my watch. Someone else was in my classroom last year. I would never allow a chaotic blind-breaking environment.
Click here to read full entry.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Other Smaller Obsession: The Obamas

Me: I just found 2 great new Obama sites.
Husband: Whitehouse dot gov and c-span?
Me: No, This Week With Barack Obama dot blogspot dot com and Michelle Obama Watch dot com.

I'm sorry, I love the First Family. I love the video of Barack and Michelle reading to second graders, and I love the photos of the Obamas leaving on the helicopter for Chicago, with each daughter carrying a backpack. You know they did homework the entire way.

Michelle Obama Watch has short articles like "Video: First Lady Obama Visits Howard University - (”Be True to Yourself” Work/Life Balance)," "Cute Video From First Lady’s Visit to Mary’s Center for Maternal and Child Care- Hugs For Everyone," and "Michelle and Barack Understand the Value of Informal Gatherings." That last article says, Michelle and Barack Obama maintain what Amie Parnes describes as a "dizzying social calendar" to make sure organic relationships trump political maneuvering. Reporting for, Parnes reveals that the Obama's host informal gatherings where guests eat hot dogs, pizza and ice cream - and don't sit around talking about politics.

Obama Watch is a little more politically-oriented, which is understandable, but it still has fun posts like "Obama License Plates" (only available in Illinois) and "Ebony Magazine Obama Cover the Best Selling Ever." It, like the Michelle site, has good video and photos.

I prefer my political news interspersed with healthy amounts of feel-good video and paparazzi-like photos.
Click here to read full entry.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

New Obsession: Bob Jogging Stroller

I think I have shaken my obsession with the bugaboo Cameleon. I visited it at giggle in Greenwich yesterday, and realized that although it drives like a dream and is cute as sh!t, it truly is a pain to fold. The saleswoman told me that the Maclaren Quest Sport stroller (with orange accents!) is OK for babies 3 months or older- and at $225, 13 pounds, and a simple fold, that's a better deal than the 20 pound, $900 Cameleon! The Maclaren can also hold a kid up to 55 pounds, whereas the Cameleon can only hold a kid up to 40 pounds. So, until 3 months, I'll just use my Maclaren $80 frame with my Graco carseat, then I'll get me a Quest Sport or maybe just a Quest.

Dropping my bugaboo obsession leaves room for a new one: the Bob Revolution jogging stroller. It's 400 bucks, but also pushes incredibly smoothly, almost as smoothly as the Cameleon. It doesn't turn as sharply, but it got easily through the aisles at giggle. I am definitely going to get a jogger, so why not get the dreamy Bob? I hear great things about it from all my facebook friends, and one of them is a chemistry professor; who's going to argue with her?

I'm getting the Bob. It's only a question of when (I'm thinking a few weeks after baby is born?) and in what color (maybe light brown and light blue). The Bob does have a car seat adapter, but you can only walk with the baby until the pediatrician gives you the go-ahead to jog at 6-9 months. I think the doc has to make sure baby's neck and other important parts can handle the bumps.

I'm not supposed to work out until after I have this baby- doctor wants me to rest- so I am ITCHING to get moving as soon as I have recovered from delivery. I really like to move, and not working out has been very, very annoying for me. I'll get the Bob car seat adapter for my speed walks, because I need to do some damn cardio ASAP.

Bob, I already love you. I'm just waiting for the husband's approval to buy you. I'm also trying to decide if I should just get the dark blue or organge model, which is on sale at giggle for $311, or if I should pay $389 for the cuter light brown/blue model. So far, I'm leaning toward the sale item, mostly because it makes me feel justified in buying it like, tomorrow.

I have not completely forgotten the Cameleon. I know that no other stroller rides as smoothly, and thinking of my baby in his rickety Maclaren (well, rickety in comparison) hurts me just a teeny bit. I don't want to jiggle my baby, but Baby, $900 is a lot of money for a stroller, and Mommy wants the Bob, too. There's only room in the bank account for one over-priced stroller.
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Monday, February 9, 2009

Rain: I Like It

I know I’m such a sicko, but I love the rain.

I don’t love it if I have to walk around NYC all day, although I did have a chuckle this summer when I walked a few blocks for takeout in a drizzle in NYC, and on the way home, the rain and wind kicked up. I had to walk with my umbrella horizontal while rain pelted me. I couldn't see where I was going, and my jeans got soaked up to the knees. I was staying alone at my friend's apartment, so I had no one to complain to.  All I could do was find it funny.

I do like rain when I’m home. Right now, I’m in my house, it’s raining, and I’m cozy. Still, I see how sun cheers some people up. Not me; I’m prone to carcinoma. I only like the sun if there’s a good reason for it, like a ride on a friend’s boat, tennis in the morning, or a Memorial Day BBQ. Maybe I do like sun.

But rain is beautiful. At this time of year, fall, it’s beautiful. Winter rain? Not as nice because it freezes and driving gets sketch. That’s short for sketchy. My younger sister inspired me a couple of years ago with “whatev,” and now I abbreviate whatever I want. Yesterday I said, “… or is it my imag?” Why add the extra 3 syllables if everyone knows what you mean? I challenge you to find some cut-offable words in your life.

Oh- and I like dramatic rain. It poured last… Friday? Monday? And it was grand! The leak in our ceiling ratcheted up, but it’s a rental, and the drip is always in that one place, so whatev. Just put a towel town.

And you know what, we should appreciate this rain. Soon it’s going to be snow, and not even snow; it’s going to be that gross slushy mix that makes driving hard, then it freezes overnight on your car!!! Rain, on the other hand, is both pretty and convenient: you’ll never have to shovel it out of your driveway at 6 am before struggling to work. What’s wrong with rain?

I think my love of rain may have started with a Langston Hughes poem, which I saw on one of those large easels when I volunteered at a second grade classroom in college. Anton and I worked or writing, and he did a great job. One day he wanted to show me his new puppy, so we walked over to his house across the street. He went in and got the puppy, and I got in a pet or two before his mom screamed at him from somewhere in the apartment. As he shut the door on me, he gave me a scared look that said, “sorry,” and I could tell he was mortified. I have never forgotten that look. When I think of Anton, I think of this poem. I only remembered the last line, but a few years ago I came across the whole poem.

Let the rain kiss you
Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops
Let the rain sing you a lullaby
The rain makes still pools on the sidewalk
The rain makes running pools in the gutter
The rain plays a little sleep song on our roof at night
And I love the rain

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Obsessions: Nursery, the Color Orange, Bugaboo

My to-do list is far too long to write a coherent blog post, so I'll make this a several-topic, list-form post.

1. I am totally obsessed with my baby's nursery. I hang out in here all the time. It's actually the only place in the house I really hang out. I look up stuff on my laptop and look through my baby binder (has to-do lists, receipts, doctor info, lists of stuff I still need, etc.) Then, I either make a phone call related to the to-do list, or get up and do something, like baby laundry or get a drink of water, or pee, which I seem to be doing a lot. The doctor said the baby is pretty much sitting on my bladder. Well, sitting with his head, because my little angel is already head down. Good job, baby!

Today I am going to put together a little table from IKEA that will go beside my chair in here. Right now, I'm using the Diaper Dekor as my chairside table. It's actually quite good, but once there are stinky diapers in there, I probably won't want to set my coffee on it.

2. I truly am obsessed with the color orange. My wedding flowers were orange and light blue, the baby's room is light blue and my favorite sheets are the orange striped ones, and the concert poster I need to hang on the baby's wall has orange in it. There were orange dots on my wedding cake. And I bought a stuffed animal with orange in it.

3. The rumors I hear about Chris Brown, one of my celeb crushes, assaulting his girlfriend Rihanna, had better not even be the slightest bit true, or he is OFF my list of celebrity crushes.

4. I am obssessed with the bugaboo Cameleon stroller. This stroller is unfortunately $900. Since I can't have it, I am obsessed with it. I view the cost of all items in terms of a bugaboo. Example: "This dinner cost a hundred bucks!?! That's 1/9 of my bugaboo!" Or, "That IKEA chest is $240? That's almost a quarter of my bugaboo." The bugaboo comes in orange, which as you can imagine, only fans the flames of my bugaboo ardor.

See? See the cake? With the orange dots?
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