mama's pregnant blog

of bellies and belly-achin'

From BabyCenter: Your baby now weighs a little under 2 pounds and measures about 14 inches, from head to heel. The nerve pathways in her ears are developing, which means her response to sounds is growing more consistent. Her lungs are developing now, too, as she continues to take small breaths of amniotic fluid good practice for when she's born and takes that first breath of air. If you're having a boy, his testicles are beginning to descend into his scrotum a trip that will take about two to three days.

2005.02.07. ramblings

I'm watching a movie that got *one* star, with Sarah Michelle Gellar and some cute boy actor whose name I don't know. It's the most ridiculously unbelievable thing ever. And I'm totally in love.

It's one of those movies where magic takes over and romance is everywhere. And details are left out all over (like, Sarah Michelle taking a raw piece of chicken out of the fridge, pounding it and tossing it in the fry pan, then playing with her hair before moving on to the crab napoleon). Every time she serves her boytoy dessert, everyone gets all sexy. Right now she's making some vanilla custard in Tribeca that he can smell all the way from Bendel's in midtown.

It's a terrible thing to watch when you're not supposed to be eating dessert, and your husband is three weeks away, and Valentine's Day is coming up, and oh, now she's peeling oranges, there must be sex coming up.

Valentine's Day is in a week, and, while I'm trying to feel sad about being alone, I'm really not all that upset. It will be a nice night; according to my doctor's calendar, I'll be at 28 weeks by Valentine's Day. Twenty-eight weeks! By then, Truman will have a 96% chance of survival and only a 25% chance of suffering any handicaps should he be born. I can spend my night knitting and blogging and watching sappy B movies on TBS.

I'm now knitting for Truman, and it's really fun; I love making these little jewel-like pieces of clothing, the tiny chunky booties and the soft stripey hat. He loves the knitting, too, and reminds me with a series of little punches right in his favorite spot, just above my c-section scar. Thanks sweetie...

And tonight as I sat on the floor at Chance of Rain with the hip knitters who are friends of Shetha's, knitted my tiny little hat with its tiny little stitches, and listened to the tense house music and the talk of things like movies and bars, I just floated - like Sarah Michelle and her boyfriend - off into my own little world, so disconnected am I from the sorts of events that one goes out to when one has no babies. I think Truman might just be applauding in there, pleased that I have gotten so wrapped up in this mommy thing that I view the hip world of Valentine's dates and loud bars as an amusing, unbelievable excursion into unreality.

And now it's after 1 a.m., I'm eating organic oatmeal with raisins, half-and-half and a smidge of maple syrup (o.k., well, two smidges), listening to BBC on the radio, typing in my blog as my baby flexes his muscles and I am totally content.

2005.02.08. ow, ow, OW!

Truman, you are one hurtful little child. Less than two pounds and you can really pack a wallop.

Tonight at my neighborhood meeting I sat knitting your little hat, and no sooner had I settled in than you started your pinball-with-limbs routine. Pow! Zap! Bang! It was all I could do not to yell out in the middle of the meeting.

Then, thanks to the prodigious amount of fat you've caused me to gain, my sitz bone started aching like the dickens from the hard school library chair. I can't remember for sure, but it seems that you hurt way, way more than your brother did. And what's with the punching me right on my c-section scar? Not cool!

I spent the rest of the meeting swaying from position to position, NOT knitting, and if your little head is cold after you're born it's ALL YOUR FAULT.

But I promise to love you just as much as I love your brother, which is one heck of a lot. Love the baby, hate the pogo stick routine, isn't that what they say?

2005.02.09. one month and then some

Somehow, I let the one-month marker pass without fanfare. One month! It's been 32 days since my partial placental abruption, the injury that rocked my world, sent me into the sudden world of fear and vulnerability. Calling it "partial" makes it seem so non-important, but it was huge, terrifying, bone-shatteringly painful.

And now, it seems so far away. I feel completely healed; my energy has returned to its normal variable status, I can throw Everett into the air, carry him on my back, remove him from the premises kicking and screaming. I know it's not recommended, but I even run up and down the stairs upon occasion. And I feel fine, just as good as I did two months ago, when I was low-risk and eating cookies for dinner.

I'd just like to state for the record that, wow, I'm happy. I never thought I'd make it this far, and now here I am, leisurely planning the baby book and chatting with my friend the gas station attendant about her poor cousin who's spending two months in the hospital because of pre-term labor. "I'm not leaving Portland!" I exclaim, commiserating over her cousin's ambulance ride from her home in Hermiston. But not really thinking, anymore, that could be me.

Truman's lungs have started to create surfactant, which will keep him in the clear for a lot of potential problems, and he's about two pounds now. His brain is behaving about the same way it will when he's born. He's only days from the 28-week mark, my personal ultimate goal.

2005.02.10. the music of my life

Three years ago when Everett was a resident in this tummy o' mine, I was very in tune to what he was hearing, and worked as much as I could to make it beautiful. I read poem after poem to him, mostly Hopkins and Yeats and Sharon Olds and a little Auden thrown in for good measure (I love you, dear, I love you / Til China and Africa meet / Til the river jumps over the mountain / and the salmon sing in the street). And after his birth, too, I recited my favorites to him as I (tried to) put him to sleep at night, especially the Wind-hover (I caught this morning morning's minion, King- / dom of daylight's dauphin, dapple dawn-drawn falcon, in his riding / Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding...) and Pied Beauty (Glory be to God for dappled things...). It was calming, and wonderful, and I felt as if I was creating an aura around him, of beauty and peace and reverence.

Truman's aura is different, I've realized, but no less wonderful. His aura is about Everett's happy repartee with me, or Percy, or his excited utterances, his overwhelming love and joy for Truman, me, and the Backyardigans. Of course, there's plenty of wailing and a little bit of anger, but the joy seems to overtake us.

Today as we drove to our park playdate Everett asked me, "are you happy mama?" and we had a long, funny conversation about how we were both happy, we weren't sad, but happy, very (or, "weh-wy") happy. That's got to be a little piece of joy for the baby inside. Calm? Ummm, no. But very, weh-wy happy.

2005.02.11. things that are hard

One day, Truman, I'll tell you about how hard it was, how impossible, to go all night on February 11th without fixing myself a piece of yummy brown sugar-cinnamon toast. I'll tell you how I longed for the toast, how every time I walked into the kitchen I imagined myself spooning brown sugar onto well-buttered white bread, sprinkling it with Ceylon cinnamon, and putting it under the broiler until the sugar bubbled up into caramel goodness. I'll tell you how I held myself back and ate plain yogurt and frozen raspberries and tea instead, so you could grow healthy.

I'll leave out the part about how it's only a selfish plot to avoid another surgery and fit into my leather pants again someday.

And you'll just look at me with those soulful eyes and drool, and cry until I let you drink some more yummy sweet milk. You won't get it at all.

2005.02.12. unreasonable madness

Have you ever been utterly convinced that the reasons you were so pissy were entirely unworthy of pissiness, yet you kept getting more, and more, and more pissed at said unworthy reasons until you wanted to SCREAM?

Yep, that's me right now, and I think it is connected to my absolute lack of patience at living with my brother-in-law instead of my sweet husband. It's two weeks, only 14 days, until hubbie will be back with me. And I'm once again nearing my breaking point. Somehow, it gets progressively harder the closer his arrival comes.

The things that are making me so DAMNED ANGRY?? the BIL, who finally went out and bought his OWN large bottle of laundry detergent two weeks ago, doesn't have any clean towels. Why doesn't he have any clean towels, you ask? Because he USED UP ALL THE LAUNDRY DETERGENT. In two weeks. I just started a load with my dollar-store Woolite knockoff. So, you want to know how much laundry I've done in the last two weeks with his precious detergent? ONE LOAD. Yep, one. For both me and Everett. He managed to use up an entire bottle of laundry detergent, in two weeks, whilst I used one regular-sized portion. He just asked me for a clean towel (me, who bought him his own towels for Christmas because he always used up all of mine). ARGGGH!

I'm also pissed at him for: (a) buying Everett seven sticky candy bars instead of milk with the money he wangled (despite his unprompted promise that he'd buy three gallons); (b) letting Everett watch Yu-Gi-Oh while I was at mom's group; (c) coming home every night stinking of stale cigarette smoke; (d) when I ask him to babysit at 1 p.m., coming upstairs and closing the curtain and putting a blanket over his head, and telling me everything's going to be o.k.; and (e) never EVER responding in the affirmative when I ask him if there is anything I can get him at the grocery store; then eating everything I buy him, within 48 hours.

OK, he's a kid, really, he's 24 but in his brain he's more like 13, with a fake ID. I want to just be happy that he does the dishes (usually), and takes out the trash, and at least doesn't smoke here at the house. Or, umm, have wild parties. And let me tell you, it is REALLY hard to be the de facto mom, sans that famed mom respect, of a 24-going-on-13-year-old. This is the reason I cry big tears when I watch those Sex and the Single Mom movies on Lifetime.

2005.02.12.later. unconscionable hipness

Oh, I'm so ultra-hip that the prefix "uber" is to little to describe me. At least, for a minute or two.

Tonight I had the occasion to go to an ultra-swanky fundraiser at an art gallery in the Pearl. The Pearl is Portland's answer to you-pick-the-city-name-the-hip-artsy-neighborhood. I spent an hour or more fixing my outfit for its Valentine's maximum impact; a pink men's tuxedo shirt I altered to accentuate my pregnant self; a red silk tie over my belly; hot pink hot pants under it; and my ever-so-popular pink polka-dotted coat. If I didn't already stand out, boy, baby, I stood OUT.

I have this strange way of wanting to dress the way no other pregnant woman dresses, and boy, tonight, did I achieve it. I don't know if I looked good or not, but I'll tell you, heads turned.

And I had a fabulous time. Kristin kept introducing me to people as "Cafemama!" (with an exclamation point, I LOVE her) and for only the second time, I felt famous for my web site. Tanya said she felt like she was with a celebrity. We circled the gallery a few times checking out the art and the fantastic array of chocolate goodness (I indulged a bit, but nothing like I would have had I not been on my self-imposed pregnant diet), and I had the tiniest smidge of Shafer Pinot Noir. Yummy.

I even saw some other pregnant women there, including the "other" Sarah, who's pregnant with her first, a daughter. We met through Shetha and had already done prenatal yoga together. She didn't stand out as much as I did, but she unequivocally looked fantastic in her sexy little black maternity dress. A third pregnant woman sent the single gallery employee into baby lust, and I wished her luck with her quest for a nice daddy-to-be to complete the equation.

After binging on a delicious square of chocolate and an amazingly sugary slice of chocolate cake, we said our goodbyes and headed out on the town. We tried the hip Pho place with no luck, then headed up the street to Andina, where we sat like the temporarily free mamas we were and soaked up the hipness, eating smoked trout, avocado and hearts of palm like that was how we spent every Saturday night. And it was fun.

We could have stayed out later, but we didn't really feel up to it; we turned in around 9:30 after a rip-roaring three hours on the town. We went home to babies and jammies and, oh, it was worth it. It was fun being hip for a nighttime.

2005.02.13. unbearable heaviness of being

Over the past week, I've fallen asleep on the couch with Everett three or four times; it's our favorite way to slip into dreamland (me always thinking, "I'll just get up and finish my work after he falls asleep and I rest a little..."). Each time I wake up around 3 or 4 a.m. with the most incredible pain in my hip bone.

Sure, our couch isn't the most cushy - it's too small, really, for both a chunk of a toddler and me, and too poorly stuffed for maximum sleepy comfort. But it's not the couch, oh no, I get the same issue if I sleep too long on one side in bed. It's my darned heft.

I, my dears, am SO heavy that I practically bruise my hip bone from the unbearable weight of my mid-section. It's not pretty, and it's not fun. And it aches, oh, how it aches.

So what should I do? Last night I spent the remainder of my uncomfortable sleep trying to find the position that didn't weight too heavily on my hip bone, without squishing my intestines unreasonably. I wasn't thoroughly successful and woke feeling as if I'd slept five hours, not nearly nine.

The internet's no use. I've looked up everything a thousand times. I'm just hoping for...I don't know...a Serta Perfect Sleeper to be delivered on my doorstep maybe? Is that what I need? Or is this one of those maladies where they say, "the cure is delivery"?

Well, that's not coming anytime soon. I had one of those uneasy feelings today - the ones I'm sure I'll have with increasing frequency and irrationality as my due date approaches - of impending labor (no, it really IS all in my head, I know that). I awoke somewhat early, after my hip-aching sleep and several middle-of-the-night phone calls from crazy people in search of my brother-in-law. I got Everett going and got to church without much sustenance and zero caffeine. Result: nausea. I had to get up from the offeratory to have some water and tea, which seemed to calm down my stomach somewhat. Then an extra-large bowl of chili and two hot dogs later, I was back to my old (exhausted) self. Except that...I spent most of the afternoon cleaning. Cleaning? Me? The living room looked almost presentable by the time I was done, I ran the dishwasher and folded clothes. It was so out-of-character I wondered if I wasn't nesting.

But night fell with ever-increasing activity from Truman, lots of normal pregnant hunger, and no other urges to organize. I laughed at myself for the thought and fell asleep - again - on the couch with Thomas on the TV. Ouch, I'll be feeling THAT for a while.