mama's secret pregnant blog

of bellies and belly-achin'

Gestational week eight, from BabyCenter:

Your baby still appears to have a small tail (actually, it's an extension of his tailbone), which will disappear in the next few weeks. But that's the only thing getting smaller. Now about half an inch long roughly the size of a raspberry he has elbow joints and distinct, slightly webbed fingers and toes. In his oversized head, both hemispheres of his brain are developing. His teeth and the inside of his mouth are forming, and his ears continue to develop. Eyelid folds partially cover his tiny peepers, which already have some color, and the tip of that nose you'll be tweaking someday is emerging. His skin is paper-thin and his veins are clearly visible.

Your little one also has an appendix and a pancreas, which will eventually produce the hormone insulin to aid in digestion. His liver is busy producing red blood cells, and a loop of your baby's growing intestines is bulging into his umbilical cord, which now has distinct blood vessels to carry oxygen and nutrients to and from his tiny body. You can't feel his gyrations yet, but your baby is like a little jumping bean, moving in fits and starts around his watery home.

2006.12.13. confirmation, commitment, throw up

baby, seven weeks
I had my "confirmation" today and my baby is, indeed, beat-beat-beating along in there. He/she may be a little less far along than I thought, of course, it's still early -- Dr. Kehoe ended up calling it "seven weeks and one day" when I'm a whole week further in my calculations.

I had a whole thing I was going to write about the meaning of the word "confirmation," and how it related to commitment, the church, yada yada. And then Everett, and then I, started throwing up, too. So blech.

More... later.

2006.12.15. thought process

Over the past 40-some hours I've not had much energy to do, well, anything. Of any sort. Even thinking has been fuzzy, mixed in with dreaming and snoozing and guilt and an endless supply of laundry.

Oh, where your mind goes when you're pregnant. It may start out in a perfectly benign place ... wondering whether the next OB appointment will include a heartbeat soundcheck, or another ultrasound? Do they do ultrasounds again so soon? I can't remember ... because naturally I should worry. After all I'm sitting here, starving my poor baby while I, utterly without sustenance of any kind (and most certainly not fruit, milk, cheese, vegetables, or proteins, all of which I've been struggling so hard to eat but are now scattered in disgusting bits through my laundry and sewage system), endlessly breastfeed an almost-20-month-old who's only going to expel that goodness from his body in the next few minutes anyway, and what the hell kind of mother am I, I can barely bring myself to change his diaper within an hour of the stinky little squirts let alone carefully and lovingly wash, dry and powder his aching bottom, and he keeps whining and crying ohmigodi'mgoingtofreakin'looseit oh my I wonder if we should all go to the hospital and oh, oh, OH MY I couldn't possibly sit in a bus or taxi or call my sister for a ride or even think about moving from this bed to go to the hospital. Please god let everything be o.k. And now that I think about it I forgot to be worried about how big the baby is. Isn't it supposed to be eight weeks along? Why did Dr. Kehoe say it was o.k. at seven weeks? Seven weeks is altogether too small. It's not possible. Could I have gotten my dates wrong? Could her calculator be off? Is she not trying to worry me, let me have a good Christmas and then set in with the concerns over the baby's inability to grow? I wish I had the energy to get online and look up to see if there is another version of the pregnancy calculator. That would make my mind rest...

And when that is over and I'm on to the next snooze or cooking show, I mourn the loss of my pregnancy symptoms. Who knows what is pregnancy or flu any more? It's all yuck, bound together inexorably by the awful virus that invades our lives.

Today, it's almost over, but my sad sad Truman remains, and there is still no dairy product passing my lips. I long for coffee and peppermint mocha and juicy steak and creamy mashed potatoes and green bean casserole and sauteed brussel sprouts with balsamic vinegar and roasted vegetables and orzo rice and parmigiano, but most of all I long to long for it again.

Or, at the very least, know that I can't long for it because of pregnancy, not the gosh darned stomach flu!

I can't shake the Kims' story. I stay up late at night wondering what it was like, going through scenarios in my mind... did they argue? How long did it take before they started asking each other, will we ever make it out? ... did their children cry, will they suffer post-traumatic stress syndrome, did Kati yell at her husband in anger in the moments before he left to find help (never to return), did she blame him for their predicament or was she as sweet and generous as her photos suggested?

I can't take it. The newspaper had yet another in-depth report on the Kims taking up pages in today's Oregonian, I started reading and read that searchers had seen the human and tire tracks the first day, that National Guard helicopters weren't called though they could have been on day four, that the expert who eventually helped find the body of James Kim ignored a call on the same day because he was watching... an OSU football game. I put the paper down, before reading the next two whole newspaper pages full, with more maps and diagrams and timelines. It's awful.

To get "away" from it all, this morning, from the children and the Kims and the buzzing in my brain, I went to the coffee shop and picked up the Sunday Business and Styles sections of the New York Times, lots of good stuff. The story on women in executive positions had me in tears, like when one woman (who would end up as a CEO) flew across the country, while nine months pregnant, at the insistence of a potential client. She closed the sale by threatening to have the baby on his desk. Tears sprung to my eyes again when I read of another executive mom whose husband owned a vineyard and had time for the kids (what? why? I'm insane).

Things are truly bad when you can't make it through a business story without needing a Kleenex. (And for what it's worth, the article only renewed my desire to fly high through the corporate ranks, myself, three-four-five-N+1 kids and all.)

Even worse was the story on a near-death experience on an airplane. Great. Don't you know you have pregnant mamas trying to read in public, Mr. Times??!?

2006.12.17. exertion

running too fast around the tree
As I'll be travelling most of this week and last week was spent on the family sickbed, I've been trying to fit all my holiday-ness into a small time. Ok, one day, really. So today was the day to get a Christmas tree.

Our high school, the one where Jonathan and I met, and where we now coach track, is about a mile away, and the booster club sells Christmas trees at the football field each year. We had such a picturesque plan: we loaded the boys in the wagon, took a detour to Burgerville, then headed back to the school.

Only to discover, after 1.5-some miles of walking and a quite delicious meal of cheeseburgers and chocolate mint milkshakes, that the trees were "sold out." I say "sold out" because (a) there were still trees in the lot, although they were locked up well and (b) the huge "Christmas Trees for Sale!" signs still festooned the tracks, with much-smaller and often impossible-to-see "sold out" signs taped to the chainlink fence.

What to do but head to the Boy Scout lot another mile the other direction. We picked a tree (Everett and I knew it was perfect at first sight, although Jonathan needed to walk up and down all the aisles looking for one that was a bit smaller ... finally we convinced him and he lashed our generous, exuberant 8-foot fir to the wagon) and we walked home through the park. Everett asked me to run with him and ...

I felt that feeling, that twinge of wrong-ness around my belly and cervix, much like I felt at the end of the Race for the Cure, two-plus years ago while pregnant with Truman. I panicked a little bit, feeling that contraction, tautness, fear.

When I got home, there was no blood, but a sick feeling stayed with me for hours. I was afraid of another loss, now, after I've become accepting of the baby's reality, heartbeat, future.

Nothing happened. I put Truman down for a nap and sank into the bathtub with a Jennifer Weiner book, a tawdry suburban mom crime drama. It wasn't a great book but I read, and read, and read, sank myself into it, escaped the reality of my life and dwelled in snooty Upchurch, Connecticut for the night.

When I came back to my own life, I felt fine, nothing seemed wrong, and best of all, I didn't live in Upchurch. I snuggled Truman to sleep and all was well.