Can I take a moment to kvetch that Top Chef this season is just … meh? I’m not really rooting for a single candidate and there are many that I flat-out actively dislike. (LEAH. SHUT UP.) Okay fine. I liked Ariane, despite her incredible inconsistency, but beyond that? Fleh. And I HATE the new judge. HATE. He’s embarrassingly insecure! And not funny! And … oh, it’s awful. I’m angry at the casting people for making me almost dislike a show that I once loved so, so much.
You bastards! *shakes fist*
Anyway, not to transition to an even duller topic, if possible, but did your family have things like house cheeses growing up? Or a specific kind/brand of jelly? Wow, I am not introducing this well at all, but for example, growing up, we ALWAYS had swiss cheese in the house. Always. Not cheddar, not American, not Muenster — it was always swiss or bust. In fact, I never HAD American cheese until long after I went to college. Not Kraft singles, not Land O’ Lakes sliced yellow American, not a single taste of American cheese of any form! None!
And it was always, ALWAYS strawberry jam — never grape. And now I’ll admit that I never had grape jelly until I met Adam, and I can’t say I like it much, because ew, concord grapes, EW.
My friend Eve grew up in a muenster house, and I know this only from eating far too many sandwiches with her over the years. She will ALWAYS get muenster, and she is, perhaps, the only other person I know who had a non-mainstream house cheese.
These are things I think about now — they’re utterly ridiculous, surely, but it’s weird things like this that make up a child’s memory of how they grew up, provided it was otherwise healthy and loving. What kind of cheese your mom stocked, or whether you ate your macaroni and cheese with ketchup or never had it at all. (We never had it, ever. My mom is Hungarian, so instead, we had things like fried cabbage noodles and chicken paprikash and now that I think about it again, there was an awful lot of sour cream involved in both dishes.)
Since Adam and I both grew up in such disparate environments growing up — his was much more quintessentially American than mine — I wonder what we’ll end up with, and what our daughter will remember. And what’s totally farked is that we’ll probably never really know.
Anyway, you may or may not be interested to know that thanks to your comments, a visit to the doctor today and some (for once) constructive Googling, I learned that my chances of being paralyzed or dying during an epidural are equal to or less than that of dying in childbirth regardless of method. Which, you know, is SPECTACULAR to know, thank you, doctor!
But further, that epidural statistics are factored using the general population, not just pregnant people, meaning that many of those who are afflicted are also sick and/or elderly, with things like infections and compromised immune systems. And — AND! — I have a greater chance of dying in a lightning storm than I do being paralyzed with an epidural. Take THAT, birthy lady! I reject your fearmongering!
I’m sure I’ve mentioned this, but this kid in my abdomen really rarely sleeps. She moves constantly, even if it’s just flinging her fists onto my bladder, though more often, she’s sticking her heels into my ribs and spazzing out like she’s in a mosh pit. I’ve always worried a bit that this means she’ll never sleep when she’s out, but meh, what newborn does, cry me a river, blah blah blah.
However, never have I worried that she’s going to be a totally belligerent little PILL the way I did today when the doctor REPEATEDLY tried to find her heartbeat and she REPEATEDLY dodged the Doppler in what seemed like a caculated fashion. She’d swoop in with the wand, and my baby would swim away, at one point swirling a full 180 degrees to avoid the doctor’s pokes. This went on for a good five to ten minutes, and it would have been funny had I not imagined her standing before me stamping her feet screaming that she wants an Oompa Loompa NOW, Mommy and she’s NOT LEAVING UNTIL I BUY HER ONE AND I CAN’T MAKE HER.
This is not unlike the ultrasound wherein she kicked the wand as hard as she could the second it appeared between her legs, over and over again. I can only hope she’s as vigilant when dating boys. Keep it up, kid. No one belongs in your pants, sister. NO ONE.
I realize this is all unrealistic and I’m totally projecting, but man, it’s hard not to, even over the most happy, benign things.
Since returning to my own bed with Adam, my outlook on life has improved significantly. I feel silly saying that, but being away from him at night, especially now, really threw me. I mean, it made me sad. That’s kind of ridiculous, I know, and also may have more to do with the fact that our spare bed is underneath the heating vent, which is like having the Sahara desert blasted on your face for eight straight hours.
I’m not one of those people who likes to go on and on in long, saccharine entries about their relationship and life partners (NOT THAT THERE’S ANYTHING WRONG WITH THAT), so I’m writing this more for me than anything else, but one of the things I want to remember most about this time is the impact it’s had on my relationship. Pregnancy is such a universal experience, but each person’s is so very specific to them in its cozy feeling of anticipation and excitement. If parenthood drives us apart the way many say it does, well, it’s a good thing we spent pregnancy getting closer together. I think I’m going to miss that.
Yesterday, my computer fried, and I’m not convinced everything is back to normal. (God, am I hoping Adam doesn’t read this.) There was a sizzling sound and a fried power cord and long hours with the black screen of “Rescue and Recovery” and OY. All this on a laptop that is a year old, if that, and I have UNFINISHED PROJECTS on there, and oy vey, bad bad news. I am a computer-killer, for those who don’t know– I whip through them like Kleenex and it’s just. plain. miserable. I’m spending a good part of tomorrow doing some backing up, is what I’m saying, not to mention figuring out if the writing I did yesterday and today still exists somewhere. Oy.
Onward! To birthing class! It seems that yesterday was circumcision day on the Interwebs, and apparently my birthing class got the memo, as it was on the menu almost immediately when we walked in. We’re the only couple in the class expecting a girl, and HOO BOY, I don’t know that I have ever felt so obnoxiously smug, because HA HA, not my problem. I watched the proceedings and listened to the warnings with detached amusement, because who cares right now? No one’s going to hack away at my kid’s private parts, and I don’t have to make any decisions, nor do I have to deal with the consequences in either direction!
(Memo to universe: this is not the time to hand me a boy, despite three ultrasounds confirming that it’s a girl. I mean, not that I wouldn’t love him regardless, but really, NOT NOW.)
I will say this, however: I don’t think I’d tell the Internets what I did if I were having a boy. Because man oh man, people are NUTS about that shit, and the last thing I’d want my kid to read about later in life is a bunch of crazy-ass strangers vilifying his mother for what she did or did not do to his VERY PRIVATE PENIS WHICH SHOULD NOT BE UP FOR DISCUSSION BY ANYONE IN THE WHOLE WORLD EXCEPT HIM AND HIS FUTURE WIFE.
Yesterday was also drug day, where we learned about the various drugs available to us during labor. We were also, perhaps not surprisingly, warned about the DIRE AWFUL THINGS that could happen to us as a result of said drugs, thanks to our earth mama doula/teacher, who is staunchly pro-natural childbirth.
And while I don’t regret the decision to give birth at the big hospital here vs. the small one where I am almost certain to pass my infant into the hands of Dr. Leans A Lot, I am now wishing they had intrathecals as an option vs. the epidural, because my birthing teacher spent some quality time freaking me out about paralysis and migrating catheters and death! LET US NOT FORGET THE DEATH. And you know, with an intrathecal, the risk of paralysis is only during the injection itself, whereas she was sure to tell us that the epidural’s risks are for the ENTIRE TIME.
Adam, in particular, is completely freaked out, and spent the car ride home from the hospital repeating things like, “Call me crazy, but I don’t want my wife PARALYZED OR DEAD.”
Well played, birthy lady, WELL PLAYED. You’ve got two people totally freaked out and spending way too much time Googling epidural risks and freaking right the fuck out. At this rate of conversion, I’ll be taking my midwife up on that birthing pool or requesting my own bed of straw in the great outdoors for a truly natural experience.
(Side note: I’m all for all-natural births, no kidding, I just never thought I’d have one, so please don’t think I am in any way mocking the experience. And I’ll also be honest in that now that she’s got me all paralyzed and shit, I’m seriously considering it.)
(Except that I’m also planning on talking through all my options with my doctor and will totally pick what I’m comfortable with based on real information.)
(I’m saying this because I can see the birth police coming out of every corner and it will be all my fault, but dude! We are ALL UNIQUE BIRTHING SNOWFLAKES! And no one gets a prize for how their kid came out! There is no medal for childbirth!)
Anyway! I hope that you’re all enjoying your snow if you’re on the east coast. Naturally, we’re buried, but it should be clear and dry in time for my southern baby shower migration (“southern” being “Boston”).
*Nine Inch Nails. Once in a while I pull out the old albums, and I’m always glad I did.
Oy. So, when last I left you, I was a reasonably healthy (if not so much mentally) person, yes? I believe shortly thereafter, it all went Horribly Awry, with my fourth, count it, FOURTH head cold-slash-sinus infection this pregnancy, resulting in the Return of the Neverending Barfles and … well, nevermind. I feel much better now, and thank God.
During this Sick Time of Woe, Adam and I opted to separate for sleeping, because there is pregnancy snoring– which is horrendous and loud and rivals a freight train — and then there is sick pregnancy snoring, which is not unlike TWENTY freight trains and six air horns. And between me snoring and waking up Adam, and him poking me to roll over, no one was sleeping more than six seconds at a time and, as everyone likes to remind us, the time for sleeping is now, or forever hold your peace. And I hated it, as I got painfully lonely and strangely sad. I’d rather not get any sleep than be sad.
Onward! It turns out that Honda was perfectly content to give Adam and me a car loan, and that we’re picking up our new! shiny! Silver! Honda! CR-V! tomorrow. Which is amusing, since we’re trading in our old! broken! silver! Honda! CR-V! at the same time. Essentially, we’re driving out with the same car, only it will be a newer model that doesn’t sound like it’s about to croak (likely because it is) and ultimately, it will be cheaper (yes, cheaper) than the one we’re turning in, thanks to the bizarre world of auto economics resulting from a woefully underperforming global economy.
I have to tell you — and everyone who follows me on Twitter who will listen — that I am BESIDE myself with amusement over the downfall of Blagojevich. He’s a victim of a plot to raise taxes! He’s oppressed! He’s just like Gandhi! He even considered nominating OPRAH to the senate, as she can really TOUCH PEOPLE! My friend Anna rightfully, I think, assumes he’s busy building an insanity defense, because honestly, why ELSE would anyone opt to upstage their own impeachment with a media tour of epic proportions? It’s … it’s SO FUNNY. And awful. And, well, you know. Sad. And strangely hairy.
And finally, because I’m trying in vain to go to sleep in my own bed tonight so as not to wake up lonely and mournful for someone angrily poking me in the ribs, I’ll leave you with three things that are thrilling and alternately killing me:
— My baby shower is this weekend in the Boston area, and while I am incredibly excited to see my family and friends, I am wracked with guilt that I’m even HAVING a baby shower. I wish there was a way to have a baby shower/party without feeling like you were forcing people to, uh, shower you, you know?
Two sub-bits of anxiety from this event are: 1) I made the grave error of using my baby registry as a shopping list for myself as well. Ergo, the breast pads and nipple butter, which I can’t imagine anyone picking up without snickering and/or feeling mortified, and that sort of includes myself. And 2) This is the last major milestone before I actually HAVE THE BABY and I’m feeling very sad, nostalgic, hormonal and totally freaked out. Hence, any attendees of this weekend’s event who might be reading this should be adequately prepared for extensive waterworks when I see your face.
— We have reached the freakout stage that is oh-so-familiar to me before major life events and/or things I’m excited about that I’m about to experience for the first time. The first time Adam and I went on vacation together, for example, I became convinced we weren’t going to live long enough to see it, even going so far as to watch with terror as we landed in the Caribbean, certain we were bound for the coral reefs. Before our wedding, I woke up almost every night in a cold sweat, sure that something awful was going to happen and we were, as usual, going to die before the wedding. As a result of my panic and second-hand stress, I think we both ended up hospitalized and/or visiting the doctor more than once.
Now, six weeks before my baby is due, I’ve stayed up late three nights in a row Googling obscure medical conditions related to some vague symptoms Adam and I have been having, most notably — please wait for it — DRY SKIN. As a result, I became CERTAIN that while I might survive, as my symptoms were less severe (BECAUSE I MOISTURIZE), I’m afraid Adam needs an organ transplant, and my baby won’t get to meet her daddy, because he’s going to be in the hospital getting a new liver while she’s being born.
This kind of fatalist thinking is also special with babies, because there are tasks like wills to update and life insurance to add and beneficiaries to change and then mull sadly over after you’ve completed them. It’s all very morbid when you think about it, the steps you take before adding a new life. There’s a bit of irony there, and not the good kind.
— Lastly, and perhaps most frivolously, why didn’t anyone tell me that Jet Dry would solve all the problems I’ve been having with my dishwasher? How did I not KNOW this would be the panacea for cloudy glasses and schmutzy bowls? And further, how did our parents SURVIVE without this? Or has it always been there?
Lately, I’ve been talking to a lot of friends and other bloggers who have been struggling with when to have children — they don’t feel “ready”, they want to eat better, quit smoking, learn Mandarin before they take the plunge, etc. etc. Oh heavens, I sure understand this circular thinking, and God KNOWS I wrote a ridiculous amount of overwrought personal essays on the topic, most of which embarrassingly reside in the archives of this site, but I’m surprised that my answer, each and every time, is the same answer I always received: you’re never ready. True story.
(Existential parental crisis aside, GOD I was annoying back then (“back then” meaning as recently as “yesterday”), and I should know better than to peruse my own archives, lest I blow them all up in a fit of irritation on my irritable, annoying self.)
Anyway, not to belabor the topic, but I finally understand what everyone meant when they told me that I’d never be ready, and that now — whenever now was — is as a good a time as any. Because, even at 33 weeks and change, I’m not ready. I mean, I’m excited — nay, THRILLED — to meet this tiny person who wiggles and kicks so hard that she actually hurts, but I’m going to be honest: I’m not ready in more ways than I’m actually ready. And yet, I’m as ready as I’ll ever be.
We recently bought a new car, and I had what could be considered my very own Night of the Meatloaf in very condensed, yet painfully awkward, format on the phone with the finance agent, and frankly, all she did was ask me my occupation and income. I … I froze. I froze COMPLETELY, because my head started spinning as I thought about the year to come, and what my income might or might not be this year, after taking time off for the baby and whether I’ll be able to go back to work the way I used to, or even quite frankly, whether I’ll WANT to, and if this whole freelancing thing would work out with a baby, and … well, I think we can all see where this is going. Hardly unique, but you know, THERE nonetheless.
My part of Vermont isn’t exactly fraught with in-house opportunity for people like me, and when we moved here, we made the very calculated, well-considered decision to do it anyway, for reasons that have to do with what’s best for us as a couple — now, a family — and decided that my career would have to make a shift. And I knew that — I actively chose to do this, and I’ve known and embraced it since we’ve been here, and I have absolutely no regrets about the choices I’ve made, and will continue to make in the interest of the three of us. In fact, I’m probably happier now than I’ve ever been.
But there’s nothing to make you feel more worthless than talking to a financial agent at a car dealership when you realize that because you hesitated like a loon as your future flashed before your eyes, causing you to panic and put your hand over the receiver as you whisper-scream to your husband that the coming year is full of unknowns, both exciting and terrifying, and that despite a credit score climbing towards 800, you don’t think you can QUALIFY on your own, even though you probably would have before you LOST YOUR SHIT on the nice Honda lady who now thinks you’re SHADY and trying to SCAM HONDA. I mean, all she did was ask my INCOME and I just panicked for a full three minutes before I pulled something SO LOW out of my ASS and then begrudgingly handed over Adam’s social security number and financial information. Fine. You win, Honda. You WIN.
That is, assuming she even gives us the loan after the absurd amount of hemming, hawing and abject panicking I did before answering her VERY SIMPLE QUESTION.
It was so awkward and upsetting that when I hung up, ADAM ASKED IF I WAS OKAY, and we had a very long talk about it. Thank you, Honda Finance!
I mean, I don’t think there’s any way to be ready for that. I don’t think there’s a way to be ready to realize that your family contributions and priorities are about to shift in a way you didn’t expect, away from being measured on tax returns and bank accounts, to that of family first, and finding the perfect balance — a balance I think we can all agree, simply does not exist without sacrifice, no matter what your decisions.
I don’t know. I don’t even know where I’m going with this, except to say that we all do the best we can, and make the best choices we can with the circumstances we’re given. And trust that it will all work out for the best, for all of us, because, well, it will.
I mean, provided Honda follows through and actually gives me a loan. I’m not sure I would if I heard someone freak out like I did. And uh, they haven’t called me back today, so God only knows. There’s probably a giant red flag next to my name that says, “SHADY-ASS LUNATIC.”
Despite all this, I mean it when I say that I am truly happy. It doesn’t mean I’m fully ready, but it means I’m perfectly okay with not being ready, because I don’t know who is.
We made a pilgrimage to Target this weekend — a full hour and 45-minute drive across state lines — and for those of you who live near a Target, I hate you, but it is merely an ENVIOUS hatred, not a true one. It’s just that I’ve been away from any kind of consumerist lifestyle for almost a year now, and I had completely forgotten that so much totally convenient STUFF resided in one store! One! Store! And normally, I don’t need that much stuff, but I’m having a baby and hotdamn, I need STUFF and Target has A LOT OF BABY STUFF.
There is no Target in the entire state of Vermont. True story! The only other state that shares this illustrious distinction is Alaska. You know what else we have in common with Alaska? Loose gun laws, moose, frigid temperatures, and the complete lack of iPhone availability, because neither of us get AT&T service. Sarah Palin and I are, in fact, soul sisters. Moose chili for everyone!
At any rate, the diaper jury is still out on what we’re going to do, but in the meantime, I DO know that when this kid first comes home, I’m having plenty of Swaddlers on hand to prevent myself from having the pressure of a new baby AND extra laundry, given that I had to recycle socks once this week after being super-busy. And I will also tell you that I unloaded a bunch of those diapers into a basket for the living room and damn near fainted, because they are SO DAMN TINY and I cannot believe that my baby’s bum is going to be that TINY, and … seriously, it’s very small. A VERY SMALL BABY’S BUM WILL BE IN MY HOUSE AND IS ALREADY IN MY BELLY.
I think that’s what’s most disturbing. There’s another bum AND a second vagina inside of me, to say nothing of eyeballs and hair.
Moving on, to pop culture anyway, I’m TiVo-ing Big Love and won’t get to watch it until later, so no spoilers please, but can I just say that I am BESIDE MYSELF that the winter golden age of television is upon us? Big Love! Lost! Top Chef rages on! And then there is MTV’s The Real World, which continues to air AND receive applications, year after year, despite the fact that surly adolescents should know better than to have their every weakness and selfish moment on tape for posterity, dear God.
This season, however, they have a transgendered female castmate, who made quite a big deal about coming out to only some of her roommates as transgendered, when forgive me, it was PAINFULLY OBVIOUS ALREADY, and oh dear Katelynn honey, THE REST OF THEM ALSO KNOW, and no, no one had to tell them. It’s okay.
Speaking of painful adolescent experiences, has anyone seen American Teen? I loved it, despite the fact that it was among the most brutal cinematic experiences in recent years, and I cried like a baby knowing that my poor, poor daughter is going to be going through adolescence under the painful torture of the pretty mean girls who aren’t really that pretty or worse, she’s going to BE one of those pretty mean girls and inflict pain on others, and I won’t see it, as I’ll be BLINDED BY LOVE, and I’ll be there DEFENDING my mean daughter as she puts others through hell, and oh lord, it’s all too much to think about, seriously.
But American Teen was excellent. Really. And, if you’re anything like me, the most infuriating character for you will be one of the teen’s parents who refuses to encourage his son to go to college because they can’t afford it, totally ignoring things like financial aid and student loans and OH MY GOD, I wanted to knock the dude out, and if I’m ever in Warsaw, Indiana, I might.
Happy Monday! I hope you are off for the holiday, and if you are, remember why you’re off. Hats off to Martin Luther King, Jr.!
Birthing class continued to be a barrel of laughs or, say, NOT, given that one of the participants has been put on bedrest for non-stop contractions (she was the one on the floor surrounded by pillows, no kidding), and if you’d seen the look on the faces of everyone else in the room, it was like a balloon full of germs EXPLODED and we were all afraid of getting them in our nostrils.
Although truth be told, I wouldn’t mind attending birthing class while lying supine on a bed of smooshy pillows, rather than lame-ass conference room chairs the rest of us shlubs are stuck in, but not at the cost of bedrest. I hate to be in bed as it is, as since being pregnant, bed has moved from being a source of comfort to being the equivalent of a torture device. Bed is fraught with backaches and pain and misery, oh my!
In case you were wondering, the knitted uterus was once again the star of the show, and I was shocked — shocked, I tell you! — to discover that there was a BABY inside the knitted uterus, as well as a stuffed placenta! And a knitted umbilical cord! And they TOTALLY SHOWED THE BABY CROWNING THROUGH THE KNITTED UTERUS, followed by placenta delivery and all sorts of sordid birth details, wrapped up neatly in a blue-striped package.
Interestingly, we also covered the possibility of saving our placenta, in case we wanted to bury it, or, uh, eat it, and while half the class chuckled (or in my case, alternated between snickering and gagging),the husband of the bedrest woman announced that no, really, his culture (I think he said he was Indonesian?) did such things — they either ate it, or dried it out and presented it to the baby later in life as a gift. And then we all felt a little ridiculous, but really, what were the chances that we had a placenta snacker in our midst? SLIM TO NONE, REALLY.
We also discussed whether we wanted a mirror during the, uh, proceedings, and I can say with total certainty that I do not, nor do I want Adam acting as a verbal mirror. “STAY BY MY HEAD, ADAM” is my birth motto, thank you very much.
Anyway. I’m off to take a defy gravity the only way I know how: through a hot bath and some Marley & Me which someone gave me as “lighthearted” reading, and while it’s fine, if vapid and not my usual fare, it always annoys me to read mediocre books about universal experiences, because damn, I know a thousand people who could have written that book just as well. (Am critical asshole!) But first! Two things!
– Speaking of books, I could not get through The Outlander series. Not even BOOK ONE. Too much absurd 18th century sex for me that, as I said before, was not titillating, but was instead RIDICULOUS, and the whole thing was just … well, RIDICULOUS. If you really want a hilarious recount of precisely what makes them so comically awful, please e-mail my friend Jessica of Balancing Everything (and congratulate her on her brand-new baby while you’re at it), who sent me the most side-splitting take on the absurdity of the whole series. It’s so good, I believe it should be published somewhere. (Hint: she’s not a fan.)
– Reba McIntyre is one of those people I want to punch in the face for absolutely no defensible reason. Occasionally, I’ll TiVo WifeSwap (I KNOW. It’s a PROBLEM, and I CANNOT STOP) to have as background while I do administrative bullshit and hence, at the end of the day, our TV is often set to Lifetime, and Reba is on and my God, I … I can’t take her for more than a second. I don’t know why. (I KNOW I KNOW WIFESWAP I KNOW)
*Peter Gabriel. The placenta theme sent me down a gross, bloody path.
Those of you who know me on Twitter and/or The Facebook are all too informed of my ongoing brawl with a wee local grocery store, although the store seems to be painfully oblivious. A lethal mixture of hormones and vague (and not so vague) transgressions leave me essentially flipping off the store when I drive by one moment, sheepishly patronizing it the next (their meat! is so cheap, fresh and delicious!).
Last week, there was the battle over the grocery cart, wherein I stupidly thought that I could take my heavy purchases and bring them out to my car with my cart, not only avoiding the pain of carrying them out, but using it for balance. See also: pregnant. Also, it’s a grocery store. That’s what carts are FOR. Except, apparently, I could not, as they sent an infant boy out after me to retrieve the cart with the stupid statement that “[The owner] doesn’t want carts to get lost,” followed by an angry look and some sullen cart-snatching. Which is FINE, but, you know, PUT UP A SIGN. Don’t make the pregnant ladies feel stupid by RUNNING THEM DOWN LIKE THIEVES.
I’ll allow that maybe hormones played a part in my fury, because really, it’s a GROCERY STORE CART, but still. And yes, some big city stores don’t let carts leave the store, but you know, we have more cows than people here, so FAH! FAH MEAT STORE!
I needed chicken and ground beef today, and seriously, you guys, it’s so cheap and fresh and I save SO MUCH MONEY there, so I went back, and lo, all was fine until I reached the checkout, where, upon my approach, the clerk announced, “Whoa! You look UNCOMFORTABLE! When are you due?”
Yes, yes, not the greatest comment, but whatever! I am uncomfortable! Will gleefully accept sympathy!
But when I replied that yes, it was a little less than eight weeks, she came back with, “That LONG? You’re GIANT! I’m surprised you didn’t give birth in the aisles!”
GIVE BIRTH IN THE AISLES. NEXT TO THE TRIPE. I actually laughed at her, because seriously, what can you do? Oh meaty grocery store. You break my heart. And you know what’s worse? I know I’ll go back, lured by fresh meat.
Anyway! Moving on … Sleeping has continued to be a challenge, and I usually wake up to pee a jillion times, and arise at least once to un-jam my jaw, when Adam usually kindly rams a pillow into my back for support, because that hurts too, and oh, man. Preparing for the baby and all that, fine. Maybe I AM giant.
Also, I should tell you that I’ve seen several movies in the last few days, including Zack & Miri Make a Porno and … well, really, Seth Rogen has to be one of the most disgusting people ever, I’m sorry. I can’t see him in any kind of romantic role, much less using the term, “making love,” which he did on multiple occasions in what was supposed to be a LIGHTHEARTED MOVIE. (MAKE IT STOP.) Ergo, it remains one of the most miserable movies I’ve seen in years.
In addition, I caught The Wrestler, which I DID like, and Mickey Rourke, I’m sorry, was just freakin’ awesome. I know some disagree and take a much more critical view of it than I do, but man, I did like it, implausible allegory and all. See also: Marisa Tomei SMOKIN’ HOT at 44. My God.
And finally … Slumdog Millionaire. Yes, yes it was very good, but after all the hype it received, seriously, it would have had to enable the entire cast to come to my house and clean it with a toothbrush for me to really dig it to the degree I was supposed to. Dude there are a LOT of indie films out there that are great that don’t receive the same amount of attention, but once in a while the world grabs hold of a wee indie gem and is all, “BEHOLD! A NON-COOKIE CUTTER MOVIE!” and anoints it king of the world.
I don’t mean to take anything away from it — it WAS good, if hilariously implausible and sort of ridiculous in a way that required an absurd suspension of disbelief, Bollywood influence aside — but holy baloney, was it HYPED UP OMG.
I … I think I liked The Wrestler more. Sorry.
Hey! Happy Tuesday! And you know what Tuesday means? BIRTHING CLASS! Who’s excited to see what knitted body part she whips out? I’m thinking boobs. And maybe testicles, because why be sexist about it?
Honestly, there is no good reason for this other than:
1) What else is there to do when you’re pregnant on a cold, icy Saturday night? Although to be fair, I wasn’t expecting this, and was lumbering into the bedroom for the night. At like, SEVEN.
2) The stroller arrived! All hail the orange Quinny Zapp! Which was the ONLY THING that would calm my absurd nesting instincts, for completely illogical reasons, but there you have it.
3) We had just wrapped a nearly hour-long tutorial wherein I could NOT figure out how to break down the goddamn stroller, nor could I put it back up. I … I was sweating. And my belly got in the way. And … oh whatever.
4) Being pregnant is the only time you’ll see me in horizontal stripes. Ever.
So, uh, I went to my first birthing class tonight. Out of a six-week series. And while it wasn’t terrible — in fact, parts of it were quite soothing — I still think it’s going to be a long six weeks.
How do I know this? For starters, I was the oldest mother-to-be there by a LONG SHOT, which has me panicked that I will never find any mom friends I can relate to, ever. And then my baby will be poorly socialized and never leave the house and WOE. WOE. Why do I live in a small town again? WOE.
Ahem. I seemed to have taken a turn down Crazy Lane.
Anyway, the OTHER reason birthing class was interesting, aside from the fact that I had ten to fifteen years on most of the participants (I’m 33, for the record), was that the instructor employed the use of a hand knitted uterus to demonstrate dilation, etc. A HAND-KNITTED UTERUS! With a removable cervix! And … well, what else is there to say? I mean, other than the fact that when she presented the hand-knitted uterus, I started snickering and COULD NOT STOP, because COME ON, the uterus was done entirely in rib stitching, and was blue-and-white STRIPED. And the cervix was essentially a sweater cuff! And how am I supposed to take such a thing seriously? SERIOUSLY?
Everyone else had no trouble taking the blue (STRIPED) uterus seriously, and because Adam didn’t make it to the first class due to a raging sinus infection, I was left alone with my snickering, which could not be controlled and earned me several stares. But COME ON.
For some reason, I don’t think this is translating well. It’s just that when she explained a fully dilated cervix, she took off the damn CUFF.
Anyway, other than that, it was less painful than I anticipated and may actually be helpful, if slightly biased towards a drug-free birth. There was a lot of talk of miracles and the astonishing power of a woman in labor without drugs (and pointed looks in my direction, as I’d already said OH HELL YES to the possibility of drugs), and while it’s not that I don’t believe that, necessarily, it’s that I tend not to look at things quite so earnestly in a group setting. I mean, especially when there is a blue-striped uterus being passed around the room. Who can focus?
Anyway! I’m sorry to keep the gestation theme going — I promise we’ll move on to other topics ASAP — but I would be remiss in not mentioning a few symptoms that absolutely NO ONE — not a book, not a doctor, not a single person, warned me about until it hit me, and my God, if I can help just ONE PERSON when they’re knocked up, my work will be done here.
– I wake up every morning with crippling arthritis in my hands as a result of pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel. The carpal tunnel I expected; the old lady hands that I can’t even OPEN in the morning, I did not. For an indication of its severity, the tops of my fingers still hurt, and it’s 11 p.m. Why did no one tell me this? And yet, this is not unheard of! Which leads me to …
– Lockjaw. I’ve always had TMJ, but these last few months of pregnancy, it’s gotten approximately 1,359,000 times worse. And so, in addition to crampy gnarled fingers that barely work, I can’t open my mouth first thing in the morning. As in, I have to take my (barely functioning) hands and massage my jaw, moving it side to side until it pops and opens. There is both pain and copious amounts of drool involved. Again, no warning! And yet, NOT UNCOMMON!
This is all a long way of saying that pregnancy is both sexy AND comfortable. And, once again, thank God they give you a baby at the end of this, otherwise I’d be pretty damn embittered, wouldn’t you?
Welp. Another holiday season come and gone, but oh, it was fun nonetheless. Also, slightly panic-inducing, as I realized it was (God-willing), my last one sans baby, which is so exciting and thrilling and scary, I can sort of hardly see straight. I could also hardly see straight from bald-ass terror and fury when my stepmom insisted on taking the belly photo she’d meant to take earlier in the weekend this morning, pre-shower, when I’d been clearly visited by the hair gremlins, not to mention the wrinkled pajama fairy. AWESOME. What better photo to make the family rounds? Why not take one YESTERDAY, when I was wearing an adorable little sweater set and a great accessories, not to mention MAKE UP?
So anyway, yes, my parents were here this weekend, and it was wonderful and completely and utterly bizarre, when I realized that the next time I see them, I’ll have a baby, and oy, that brings me to my other conundrum, which is that my WHOLE FAMILY wants to descend upon us the moment we go into labor, and while this makes me feel very, very loved (seriously … SO LOVED), I can’t decide if I’m going to want everyone here right away, or if I’m going to want a day or two to just be with my kid and figure out how to hold her without fear of her head falling off like wilted dandelion. Also, without fear of hovering Experienced Parents telling us we’re Doing It Wrong.
Is this rational? Or will I want them there to tell me that I’m Doing It Wrong, because in fact, I WILL be Doing It Wrong?
I honestly don’t know, and I’m not sure anyone can tell me, as we’re all unique little snowflakes, and oh poor me, my family wants to come help me and see my baby. CRY ME A RIVER.
Something else I wondered while hanging out with my family this weekend: When is it that you learn Magic Mom Things? You know, those things that only moms know how to do, whether it’s cleaning a stainless steel sink to a perfect shine in four seconds flat, or instinctively knowing how to handle a pull in Berber carpet. I don’t think I’m ever going to be effective at those Magic Mom Things unless there is some date in the future where all new moms are taken to a strange room in heaven where we all learn how to mend seams in five minutes or less.
At any rate, I’m exhausted and off to bed — I get pathetically fatigued earlier than usual these days, not to mention spending an inordinate amount of time whining that my back hurts and grunting like a pig when I take off my boots.
But! I hope you are off to a rousing start to 2009, and made as many delightful discoveries to improve your health and happiness as I have (a body pillow and Honey Bunches of Oats with Peaches have made my life CONSIDERABLY better these days).
*Um, the one I had in mind is Olivia Newton-John, and I love it, and I DO NOT CARE WHO KNOWS.