Posts filed under 'Pregnancy'

Slip Slidin’ Away

I know, it’s been seven months. Seven months! I have a no-shit infant who sleeps and all that, but you know, she was also born, and I don’t want to forget how. So here, seven months later, Allie’s birth story. It’s long. It’s more for me than you. Sorry about that.

God, you guys, I was so uncomfortable. I was big, I was sad and weeping all the time (thanks, antenatal depression!), I was still flipping puking every day, and I had a dairy intolerance so sensitive that if I so much as ate one bite of boxed oatmeal with a little milk powder, I would spend the remainder of the day and into the evening in the bathroom wondering, why? WHY? WHY ME? I had perfected the art of puking while also . . . doing other things, because things were just flying out of everywhere. I threw away multiple garbage cans because I just kept sullying them and it was . . . it was a dark time. I actually keep forgetting that, you know? It wasn’t that long ago, but here I am, looking back on that time with a GOLDEN GLOW.

Haaaa, unless I shat out gold dust, nothing about that time was golden.

“Your body is changing,” my midwife said knowledgeably, as I dutifully reported my bathroom habits. “Those prostaglandins! It’s coming soon!”

I almost punched her, because shut up, I still had three weeks to go.

Sam was a day early, so I was fully expecting Allie to be even earlier and then came my due date — June 4 — and then came the next day and the next, and by Wednesday the 6th, I promised Sam that we’d go to a picnic the next day to celebrate her last day of school, because why not? This baby was coming never. Might as well plan fun things.

The waiting is the worst, am I right? I’d never gone into labor with Sam — my water broke, and contractions never followed, at least not without Pitocin — so I didn’t even know what was going to happen. Frankly, I assumed that the same would happen with Allie, so I just sort of waited and hung about for the inevitable POP! from my unmentionable bits. Labors, as I understand them, are generally protracted affairs. To be clear: I had never experienced a contraction outside of Pitocin, which is ah, painful. You know. Or you don’t. But you might!

And that’s the only explanation I can come up with for the following events. Is my pain threshold that high? Probably. But more likely, I was just used to really painful contractions that did nothing, so I didn’t realize how far along I was until . . . well, you’ll see.

In addition to the myriad gastrointestinal issues, I also had relatively mild symphysis pubis dysfunction, which was basically a lot of pain in the, ah, pubic bone. Honestly, it was fine. Everything else was so crappy that it barely registered. So naturally, when I woke up at 5 a.m. on June 7 with pubic pain, I was just … well, it was pubic pain, you know? Except that I’d been having a dream wherein I was explaining to my high school friend Michele all about childbirth! And while I was explaining this to her, I kept pausing because my crotch was KILLING me, and she finally said, well, maybe you’re in labor and boom, I woke up.

This is a step up from the dream I was having involving Cheech Marin and a kayak when my water broke with Sam.

But you know, contractions. Hooray! They were pretty regular and kind of painful? Maybe? I didn’t know! I didn’t know! I mean, I’d endured eight or nine hours of Pit contractions, which were CRAZY painful, and I’d progressed exactly nowhere, so I just . . . didn’t think it was that big of a deal. A call to the midwife said that I should call back when I was either bleeding or unable to talk through contractions. Sure, I’d lost my mucus plug, but was that . . . bleeding? I didn’t know!

Things got longer, stronger and closer together, sure. But hey, no blood! I could talk just fine! They were 10 minutes apart, sometimes 13, sometimes three! Who the hell knew? I ate a sandwich, figuring a long day of labor would mean that I wouldn’t eat for quite some time. It was 8 a.m., and my sister was on the way just in case she had to pick Sam up from school. Preschool was at 9, and I fully expected to drop Sam off and maaaybe take a leisurely drive to the hospital if I was ready. Adam came home, slightly panicked, but I assured him it was fine! Let’s take Sam to school! No big!

So we did! And my contractions were five minutes apart and the ladies at school were like, heeey, uh, maybe you should go to the hospital? And I talked through the contractions, la la la, and I still wasn’t bleeding, so hey! Long day of labor ahead! But fine, everyone, if you insist, we’ll go to the hospital, but after I pick up a prescription at CVS and grab my paperwork! La la la!


So we drove! To the hospital! La la la! And I responded to an email from TwoBusy at 10:03 a.m. all LA LA LA! We’re fine! Thank you for your offer of help! La la la! En route to the hospital! Stuck behind a truck, no big deal!

And after that, things started to get a little painful? Maybe? But I was stil fine! La la la! And then we pulled into the parking lot at 10:39. This is important, y’all. 10:39 we PARKED THE CAR. I know this because I’d recorded it on my stupid contraction app.

A quick walk to the maternity ward and we had to wait to be checked in after a bunch of rather leisurely-looking pregnant ladies had filled up the one (1) desk to check people in oh my hell. And then I had to pee! La la la! And I hit the restroom and wait, suddenly I didn’t have to pee anymore, I had to poop! SO BAD! Suddenly! Oh, I knew that sandwich was a bad idea! I didn’t want to poop NOW. I was going to have a baby soon! Who wants that area pre-sullied?

It was in that restroom, friends, that things got Very Bad. Because it turns out I did NOT have to poop, I had to push out a baby. And I started wailing, as I was stuck on the toilet, but I didn’t want to have the baby on the toilet, but I’d locked the door, and GOD, it was awful! Suddenly! So much pain! And the urge to push! RIGHT THEN. RIGHT THEN. I HAD TO PUSH RIGHT THEN. On the toilet on the maternity floor in the REGISTRATION BATHROOM. And I started to! As I was making my way off the toilet and to the door, I kept pushing and panicking and holding my crotch (yes, because holding one’s CROTCH keeps the babies in). I opened the door to find Adam looking slightly frantic and I was basically yelling I could NOT wait to be registered and I was going to have the baby! Right then! In the bathroom!

To which his response was basically no shit, I have ears.

You guys, it was 10:44. I’d been there FIVE MINUTES.

The rest is kind of a blur. I was given a rolling bed in a little triage room in the HALLWAY, checked for dilation (HAHAHAHAHA) and it was at this point that I asked for my epidural! “I’m ready for the epidural now!” I announced. The entire room just looked at me, splayed out in my black maxi maternity dress, FitFlops securely on my feet, a full ten centimeters dilated, baby’s head crowning like a mo’ fo’ and the pity was so thick you could spread it on a cracker.

“It’s too late, honey,” my midwife crooned. “By the time they get here, the baby will be out. Do you feel that?” She took my hand and guided it down. “That’s her HEAD. She’s HERE.”

“No! No! I want an epidural! It was my birth plan!” I SAID THAT.

“It’s too late! I’m so sorry.”

[Edited to add that I just remembered that I followed THAT with, “Fentanyl?” HAHAHA. I KEPT ASKING FOR DRUGS. ANY DRUG WOULD DO]

Y’all, I was fucking PISSED. I was also pushing. So, ah, you know, this triage table wasn’t cutting it anymore and you guys, they just WHEELED ME INTO A BIRTHING SUITE and four people picked me up — FULLY DRESSED — and moved me to a different bed while I pushed through each contraction, of which there was a total of maaaaybe three, four? I think it was during the second big one that I flat-out refused to proceed without an epidural. “I’m not doing it!” I pouted. “Well, it’s too late, you ARE doing it,” replied my midwife. It is then that she tells me I grabbed her by the collar, pulled her toward me and spat in her face, “I AM SO PISSED.”

And I guess I was. But it was quickly forgotten, because suddenly, there was little Alexandra, grayish and eerily silent. I got a brief look at her and then, boom, she was gone. Oddly, it wasn’t until after she came out that I ripped off my clothes and I don’t even KNOW WHY, I just did, it was all too much. I was like some weird feral beast.

I also most definitely did that awful guttural scream through each push, all cavewoman-like. Ugh. Retroactive embarrassment. Nice birth, cave lady.

Allie was born at 10:51 a.m. Twelve minutes after we arrived INTO THE PARKING LOT OF THE HOSPITAL. The walk to the maternity ward took up at least three of those minutes, and oh my hell, you guys, I had a baby TWELVE MINUTES after I arrived. TWELVE.

Things got kind of awful after that. As I lay on the table naked and bloody (holy shit, BLOODY), Allie was whisked away to the warming table to be examined and everyone was basically panicked, but trying not to ACT panicked, because she never cried. Oh sure, she appeared to be breathing, but crying? Nope. Apparently her cord was wrapped around her neck multiple times, so they were afraid she had some hypoxia.

Also, there was Surprise Meconium, which is apparently not a good thing, especially when the quiet baby is not crying, and quiet baby has had cord issues AND meconium, AND a super-fast birth AND AND AND. So there I was, bloody and miserable and also NAKED and nurses were pushing on my stomach to deliver the placenta (WHICH I NEVER WANT TO SEE AGAIN THANK YOU) and getting out clots and then stitching me up without an epidural (the worst part) and I WENT THROUGH ALL THAT (FIVE MINUTES OF) SHIT AND I DON’T EVEN GET TO HOLD MY BABY COME ON GIMME BABY.

I think I felt worst for Adam, who was torn between his naked and bloodied wife and his newborn daughter, and both were, frankly, pretty dissatisfied at the moment. But he stayed with Allie and I’m glad he did, because she was alone over there, while nurses poked and prodded and waited for the neonatologists to come down, and there was NICU talk and blaaah, I know, really, that it’s no big deal in the scheme of things, but it sucked in that moment, being naked and bloody and not holding your baby and hearing they might take her away even further was just . . . not what I wanted to hear, and maybe that makes me bratty, but I wanted my baby NOW. Finally, after declaring all of her vital signs beyond excellent, she was declared fine, just disinterested in crying.

And I got to hold my baby.

I can now report that she is still totally disinterested in crying. Turns out that’s just who she is, at least so far.

Man, I love this kid. She’s easy and magical and beautiful and cheerful all the time, I mean ALWAYS with the cheerful, you guys. Always.

Perhaps it’s that she was born in a maxi dress? PERHAPS.




70 comments January 16th, 2013

In the End

I know there are no more babies after this one, and frankly, I don’t even think that rationally, I WANT any more babies beyond two. I know Adam definitely doesn’t. Yet, I have two friends who are either in the process of gestating or thinking about creating, their third and it makes me inexplicably sad. That will never be me. I won’t have a boy, I won’t have three children who each have either two sisters or a brother and a sister. I mean, it’s SILLY, I guess to think about, since it’s not something I ever, ever wanted — three children, that is — but here I am.

I think it’s less that I want three children, and more that that I want to be the type of person who wants three children, I guess.

I mean, I am CERTAINLY not cut out for three pregnancies, considering the hyperemesis, the dairy intolerance (which my doctor is suspecting is actually an allergy! HURRAY!), the general aversion to all things food-related, bizarre yeast infections ON MY FACE, two ear infections, crippling fatigue and OH YES, less-than-robust fertility. And that’s just the pregnancies that worked, because if I were to get pregnant again, it would actually be round seven. Two out of six intended pregnancies working out AIN’T GREAT ODDS. I mean, the WRITING IS ON THE WALL, PEOPLE. I’m finished here. But it sort of sucks, even though I do not even WANT to continue on! What is this?

None of this makes any sense at all. Then again, neither does having children, when you get right down to it. Hey, let’s give up sleep, an astonishing amount of money and EVERY LAST BIT of personal freedom and/or free time for this tiny person who shows zero appreciation for any of it for AT LEAST thirty years! And let’s do it TWICE! Jesus, a pet shark is probably more rewarding and/or predictable. At least you can go on vacation alone, and a shark sitter is probably cheaper than one who watches live children.

Obviously, it’s much better than that. It’s great, actually. It’s just . . . I mean, WHY ELSE WOULD WE WANT MORE?

There seems to be no arguing with biology. I remember about a minute after I had Sam, my body was screaming MORE MORE MORE! LET US ALL HAVE MORE! It wasn’t until the hormones wore off that I adopted a more reasonable approach of only, say, ELEVEN, instead of forty. And then, even as sleep grew more easy to come by and life became easier and she became FUN, I realized I am not cut out to be the mother of more than two children, due to my personal limitations and more practical constraints like finances.

Ah, but still. As Swistle rightly pointed out, though, there will ALWAYS be a last baby, and it will ALWAYS be sort of bittersweet, I expect, no matter when that baby comes. Even if it’s the seventh, I guess.

I mean, I’m pregnant! Miserably so! Why am I sad not to do this again? LOGIC HAS NO PLACE HERE. But still, I am a little sad, knowing that this is it. Once she’s here, that’s our family. And it will be a WONDERFUL family, the precise one I wanted, but I think seeing the end of anything is always a little sad, even if it’s the right thing to do.

In other illogical news, I’ve had a sore throat on my left side since about January. An excruciating one, in fact, that started at the tail end of a rather brutal plague-like sickness that felled our entire household. Like a moron, I just let it go, because I’m pregnant! It’s just a sore throat! Everything lingers! Post-nasal drip! Whatevs! Until things got rather out of control and I could barely swallow iced tea, and finally, FINALLY, I sucked it up and went to the doctor.

Ear infection. EAR INFECTION. Eardrum so swollen, it was about to burst! But no ear pain. Just a sore throat. One day. ONE DAY of antibiotics and you guys, it’s gone. It’s GONE. I AM AN IDIOT. PLEASE DO NOT BE SO STUPID. Although realistically, you’re all grown-ups who don’t get ear infections, because you don’t go to preschool. And really, neither do I, I AM JUST PREGNANT, WHEN THESE THINGS HAPPEN.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go clean out every closet in the house, because for some reason, I can’t have a baby until I have eliminated all of the clothes that I don’t wear anymore. Babies CARE about outdated capris, you know.

Happy weekend!

*Snow Patrol

216 comments April 5th, 2012

I have returned. Stop the presses.


I hate when I do that. Not because I think YOU care, but because I then procrastinate writing again, as I feel like I have to say something VERY PROFOUND, either about what I’ve been thinking about or what I’ve been doing, when the reality is I’ve been busy . . . gestating. And gesticulating, I suppose, when I have the energy to move my arms. I mean, HONESTLY, y’all, when did pregnancy get so EXHAUSTING? Again! I never got the honeymoon period of ALL THAT ENERGY that is purported to happen in the second trimester, which is not surprising, and it’s fine, really. It’s FINE. Although here I am in my third, so, ah, yeah. I did enjoy a man telling me that I should be feeling better by now. ORILLY SIR? Tell me about the last time you were pregnant!

That’s one thing that gives me hope about newbornhood this time around. Pregnancy is annoying and miserable and fraught with food issues (I’m lactose intolerant, what IS that?), but it’s positively FLOWN by, and I know it’s temporary, and once it’s over, I . . . well, honestly, I never have to do it again. Frankly, even if I wanted more children, I think the nail was placed in that coffin shortly after I unknowingly ingested sour cream and was doing every gastrointestinal-related horrible thing at once, to the tune of having to throw away TWO garbage cans and Lysol the living daylights out of our bathroom at 2 a.m. NO THANK YOU, EVERYONE. I am good with two.

I’ve also finished Downton Abbey (TEAM MARY!), am reading Maisie Dobbs (Meh?) and working on the wackiest book I’ve ever encountered in my life (Tom Robbins on acid, but for children. I don’t even know), PLUS, I also take a nap every afternoon. Obviously I am the busiest person who ever lived, so stop pretending your life is hard. THIS IS THE HARDEST. You think it’s easy to nap every day AND get the laundry done? I NEED A BLOG FOR MY UNIQUE CHALLENGES OF GETTING IT ALL DONE. WHERE IS MY ESSAY IN SOME SORT OF “JUGGLING IT ALL” COLUMN IN THE WALL STREET JOURNAL?

Oh, wait.

No, seriously, that’s pretty much how it goes. By the end of the day, I am so pooped from all of the exertion spent doing light parenting (totally a thing) and keeping us out of a general state of total squalor that I just . . . God, well, I feel like I’ve been working as a nurse on the front lines in Afghanistan, and it makes me feel so pathetic that I’m embarrassed to even admit it, but admit it, I must. I am also strangely impressed with my ability to still sleep on my stomach, despite it being gigantor, thanks to a jury-rigged contraption consisting of a feather pillow and my best friend, the body pillow. Sure makes the urge to evict this tiny parasite a WEE BIT LESS urgent than it was with Sam, when all I wanted to do was lie flat on my belly in blissful slumber. If I’ve got that NOW, what’s the motivation for anything else? I’m a parent of two! And yet I am also sleeping on my stomach! LET’S GO FORTY MORE WEEKS!

Fine, not really. Because the sooner we move past this, the sooner we’re all sleeping through the night again and then life will REALLY BEGIN ANEW. So, look for some new vim and vigor sometime in 2014, if Sam’s example is any indication, I suppose.

ANYWAY, that is what’s new. I mean, other than an excessive amount of hand-wringing and facepalming about politics and SCOTUS and health care and women and racism and The Hunger Games (OOH OOH I LOVED THE MOVIE) and OH MY GOD, YOU GUYS, THE WORLD HAS LOST THEIR DAMN MINDS. I seem to recall a similar panic when I was pregnant with Sam during the crash of 2008 and that ying yang on CNN was screeching, “Will your ATM cards work tomorrow? FRANKLY, I DO NOT KNOW.” He said that! On television! While pregnant ladies across America watched in horror! GOD, WHY DOES NO ONE THINK OF THE PREGNANT WOMEN?

I’ll see you next week, promise. I BROKE THE ICE NOW.

230 comments March 30th, 2012


If you were looking for maternity yoga pants anywhere in the greater Boston area, be warned, I HAVE BOUGHT THEM ALL. For some reason it has ONLY JUST DAWNED ON ME, almost 26 weeks into this pregnancy, that the time of yoga pants outside of the home has come. I’ve never done this. Despite looking slovenly on hundreds of thousands of occasions, I have always had this feeling that leaving the house in yoga pants was verboten, akin to wearing sweatpants. I assumed I didn’t have the figure for them anyway!

SO MANY ASSUMPTIONS, DISPROVED. Also? I don’t care. We’ve established that pregnancy is a generally disgusting state of being for me, and since we reached a new low this week — that of angular cheilitis — and I’m smearing Lotrimin on my lips three times a day, let’s be real here. Should I be concerned about yoga pants? Should a person who regularly pees in a bladder protection garment, barfs all over town and smears JOCK ITCH cream on her FACE really be concerned about yoga pants in public? REALLY?

Besides, I’d forgotten that one of the small gifts of pregnancy — the only gift, really — is that once your belly eclipses your boobs, every single OTHER part of you looks delightfully tiny. For the first time in my life, I have an ass the size of an elf! A very large, elephantine elf, but compared to my belly, IT IS AN ELF’S BEHIND.

(Leave me to my illusions, friends.)

These are the things that make me wonder about people who claim to love pregnancy. If you love pregnancy, you have to tell me: Do these things just not HAPPEN to you? Do you not barf for nine months, pee through your pants and get YEAST INFECTIONS ON YOUR FACE? Or are you just made of tougher stuff than me?

Separately, and despite all of this horror, I often forget that I’m pregnant. I guess I’m just used to living this way, but sometimes I glance in the mirror and wonder WHEN my midsection got so FAT and my God, was I not paying any ATTENTION TO WHAT I EAT? Then I remember that oh, right, there’s a person in there (I HAVE TWO VAGINAS) and also, I barely eat, so obviously, I am pregnant.

Anyway, I have a question for you. What do you do for your kids’ birthdays? Sam’s birthday is March 7 6 (OMG, I got my OWN CHILD’S birthday wrong the first time), and we’ve only ever had a family party for Sam, and cupcakes for her little playgroup, but most of her friends have had capital-P Parties, with other kids and sometimes at outside locations. I don’t know, you guys, this is so hard for me because I just don’t see myself doing it, but then of course I FEEL GUILTY. And I don’t judge anyone who DOES fun/big parties for their littles at ALL — we love going to them — but I am generally a lazy mom, and also, she’s GOING TO BE THREE. Is she going to remember this? Or care? PROBABLY NOT.

(Small irony in this statement is that one of my first memories is of my third birthday party, held at — wait for it — Weiner King. Yes, Weiner King.)

So, ugh. I just don’t want to do it because it’s just not my personality to do so, but then I feel bad NOT doing it, like I’m missing my opportunity for her to have a good time, and everyone ELSE is doing it, but them I’m like SHE IS THREE, GET A GRIP, MY GOD.

At any rate, it’s time for my nightly salad of hummus, lettuce and cabbage with a drizzle of vinegar and some feta. Adam LOVES when I eat it in bed, as you can imagine.

Happy weekend!

*Bon Iver. I’m meh on the guy, but I try. Also, get it? Kind of like babies? BUT NOT AT ALL, REALLY.

215 comments February 16th, 2012

The Finish Line

Well, that was an enjoyable week! Few weeks? GOD I DO NOT EVEN KNOW. Y’all, we had the plague, and I know no one wants to talk about being sick, but it was hideous. Coughing! Barfing! Coughing! Peeing through pants! ALL THREE OF US. Well, wait, the peeing was just me, but don’t worry, I finally bought some Poise pads, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, but my God! Incontinence products are a pregnancy GAME CHANGER, did you know this?

(I think most people knew this.)

But seriously, I would gladly do ADVERTISEMENTS for these things. Before their discovery, I was doing laundry up to SIX TIMES A DAY. FOR MYSELF. THIS IS SO HUMILIATING.

One of the things that I keep thinking about is how if this baby works out (NO ONE COUNTS CHICKENS UP IN HERE), I am done with having children. Done. D O N E. Done. Whenever I hear other people having this conversation, it’s almost always after their child is already born, and they find themselves looking around, asking if everyone is here yet.

I want to be that way, I really do, but there are so many factors that help me realize that this is it. I would LOVE more children, honestly, I would, and I think if I’d started having them in my twenties, there would be a real possibility of having more. Alas, I’ll be halfway to 37 when this little peanut is born, and if my experience with Sam is any indication, I wouldn’t be remotely ready for another for at least three years, which puts me halfway to 40, and let’s be honest, here, my fertility is not particularly ROBUST, and at current rates, I’m guessing pregnancy would strike naturally at age 65, at which point my fetus would doubtless have nine limbs and four eyes, and I just don’t HAVE twenty years of trying to conceive in me, you know what I’m saying?

I would have — and will — fight for two. I don’t have the fight in me for three, which is sad, maybe, but there it is. And frankly, I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to the hard parts being over forever. I don’t want to say that I want to wish any of it away — certainly not — but there is something thrilling about knowing this is likely my last pregnancy. I will never, God willing, barf for nine consecutive months again. I can put the Poise pads away until I’m geriatric. Save for nursing, I’ll have my body back to myself again, forever. Ibuprofen and I will be lovers again, forever and ever amen, and never shall we part.

And you know, I just . . . is it bad to admit I’m not a newborn person? I want to love them, and I do, of course, love my newborn babies, but I don’t enjoy them the way I do, say, babies six to nine months and even up. If humans gave birth to the equivalent of a one-year-old, I would have THIRTY CHILDREN, YOU GUYS. I WOULD.

But ugh, newborns. The non-sleeping. The mystery of what they could POSSIBLY NEED from a long list of MYSTERIOUS THINGS. They just . . . aren’t enjoyable. Then, of course, there is the potential for screaming and not-sleeping and newborns are SO STRESSFUL and so help me God, the only way I’m getting through this next child of mine is because I know, deep-down, that I’ll never have to do it again. When she sleeps through the night, that will be it, save for the usual regressions and sicknesses and setbacks, which are all infinitely livable compared to the everyday stress of wondering just how long your eyes will stay closed—if they close at all—before you’re jolted awake by that teeny tiny wail of neverending need.

God, though, I am also acutely AWARE now of how worth it they are. With Sam, I had no idea. I thought that was my life forever. I thought this tiny little pupa-like THING was all I would ever get, and I didn’t see how much fun kids could be. I had no idea she’d turn into a mail-obsessed comedienne who loves to be naked and hates purple popsicles and enters a room with, “What UP, Daddy?” when she’s feeling feisty.

Thank goodness there’s an ROI I’m aware of this time, is what I’m saying. But even so. I’m done. I’m looking forward to taking things in our family from the GROWING a family stage to that of raising one.

So yes. Two and done.

Is it weird to know that while she’s still in utero? Related: I will be handing my maternity clothes out to LITERALLY ANYONE. ON STREET CORNERS. HERE, HAVE SOME PANTS.

Happy Tuesday!

*Snow Patrol

172 comments February 13th, 2012

Eat for Two

I feel as though I should be over this by now (haaaa, “over”), but nope, I still can’t get over the fact that I’m having two girls. Two girls! Two daughters! No matter what I’d be having, two children are bound to be packed with insanity, but there’s something about two daughters that’s both exhilarating and terrifying. Maybe it’s the teenage years (it so is) or the idea of having multiple females going through PMS at the same time. The expenses! The mean girls! (Please, don’t let my girls be mean girls. PLEASE.) The middle school years!

GIRLS. I am in so far over my head here. But I’m also so excited. GIRLS.

I have said before that I always thought I’d have boys, and I suppose that’s true only in the sense that it’s all I really saw modeled. My sister had two boys. My brother had two boys. Adam’s brother had two boys. Of course it would stand to reason that *I* would have two boys, because EVERYONE does.

The truth, though, is that deep down, I knew this was how it would be. If you’d asked me years ago, I would tell you that of course, I’m having daughters. I was a horror show of a teenage girl. I am not that girly (at all). There is nothing about me that indicates that I should be a good mother to little girls, but man, here I am. There I’ll be. In crazytown. But oh, I am so happy.

The upside is that I have zero plans to scrimp on my daughters’ clothing budgets. Well, Sam’s, anyway, because after all, it needs to LAST. RIGHT?

At any rate, I’ll tell you, I’m really done with being pregnant, and I feel like such a douche saying that because I wanted it — want it — so badly, but it turns out, even when you want something, it can still suck AND be terrifying and MANY OTHER NEGATIVE THINGS. I am thrilled every day, of course, but I am less than thrilled that I haven’t felt normally in MONTHS. I don’t remember what it’s like not to nurse low-grade nausea on a constant basis. Or to sneeze without peeing. I’m legitimately not sure if I peed every time I sneezed before I got pregnant. Was it always like this? I can’t even remember. I know my bladder lost some functionality post-birth, but was sneeze-peeing on the list of things that went south? Or am I doomed to a life of panty-liners? I DO NOT EVEN KNOW, YOU GUYS.


I was AlSO thinking, a la the sinus infection diet theory, that losing weight will be a CINCH after I have this baby, because my God, food isn’t even that appealing, RIGHT? What was I thinking? Why do people overeat? You can’t even eat that much in one sitting, and it doesn’t even TASTE good when you do! I have these absurd, ill-conceived fantasies of wearing teeny tiny jeans and T-shirts in extra small and nibbling daintily on healthy salads and roasted veggies within WEEKS of childbirth. And my hair will be magically grown-out and I will resemble Heidi Klum on her best day! Because, as it turns out, FOOD IS YUCKY, HOW DID I NOT NOTICE THIS BEFORE?

Riiiiight. Obviously I have blocked out the creepily delicious meal of hospital-prepared chicken marsala I devoured the night Sam was born. Y’all, I don’t even LIKE chicken marsala. And then, when I finished that, there was pizza Adam got me from the cafeteria. And the PANCAKES the next day. I felt like Jane Fonda in that pot scene in 9 to 5 as she sucks the pimiento out of a jar of green olives. “This is so wonderful. Everything tastes so WONDERFUL.”

You know why dieting is hard when I’m not pregnant? FOOD TASTES GOOD. Eating food is not a JOB, it is something to ENJOY. So perhaps I should lay off the smuggy pants attitude of “HOW HARD CAN DIETING BE?” as I watch people struggle with New Year’s resolutions to drop a few pounds. Because most people don’t have to stare down a bowl of Kashi GoLean, wondering whether eating it will make them feel better or worse? BETTER OR WORSE? No, they ENJOY that bowl of Kashi (or you know, whatever) and then think about having SECONDS. LIKE NORMAL PEOPLE.

The saddest part of this whole thing is that weight loss is not the desired option, and even when I don’t want to eat, I HAVE to force myself to eat that damned bowl of Kashi GoLean. It’s like some sort of twisted version of hell! You can eat all you want, but it will taste terrible! OR! You have to eat a restricted diet and EVERYTHING WILL BE FABULOUS. You hear that, Satan? This is how you torture people. I assume you’ve got this in your arsenal already.

Wow, I am sorry for whining. What I am going to do now is snuggle my ass up to a body pillow and call this whole thing a DAY. But not before eating that bowl of cereal, natch.

Happy Tuesday!

*10,000 Maniacs

118 comments January 23rd, 2012

And It Spread

So I had my second repeat ultrasound today at 20w1d, and after mentioning the, shall we say, less than stellar experience I had last time, the nurse took pity on me and told me precisely which ultrasound tech to request, and lo, I got her. She also confided in me that the bad ultrasound tech is known for getting the sex of the baby wrong most of the time. Most! Of! The! Time! SAY WHAAAT, AM I RIGHT?

At least that explains why she didn’t want to do it. Not that it’s an excuse, but I suppose I’d be reluctant to do something I knew I sucked at. But more likely, I would TRY TO GET BETTER, HELLO.

Anyway, I had to have the ENTIRE ultrasound redone, but the good news is that there is a healthy girl in there, still, and she’s tall, like Sam (long legs, long femur) and I had a delightful conversation with my super-talented, super-friendly ultrasound tech who is — wait for it — twenty-five years old. At twenty-five, this woman had more skill and grace than the forty-plus ying yang who left me crying on the table.

She ALSO regaled me with stories of how much she loves her job, although she admitted that eighty-year-old vaginas make her not want to get old, which: HAHAHAHAHAHAHA, I’m sorry, that’s hilarious. I mean, we’re all going to be in possession of one eventually, God willing, but you know, I imagine it’s disconcerting at twenty-five to be face to face with a vagina that has been through a lot more adventure than a fresher, more youthful one.

This whole thing has me sliding down the double-edged sword of guilt, which is always a pleasant excursion. On the one hand, there’s my Sam, whose life I am theoretically about to completely ruin, at least for a little while. I think of it this way: I keep picturing Adam coming home with another wife who is nothing but a needy asshole for the first three to six months, and no matter how many times he tells me he loves me the same he always has, I’d doubt I’d be able to say anything other than, HELLO, YOU BROUGHT HOME ANOTHER WIFE, DICKFACE. And while yes, the sister-wife and I might be BFFs eventually, in the meantime, I am stuck sharing my husband.

That would blow. So here I go, about to bring home a sister-wife to my kid. What a great idea.

On the OTHER hand, I felt like a total shit going into my ultrasounds both times, because each time they asked me if anyone was with me, and both times I was just like, uh, no? Second kid? Also, he’s home with our first, so . . . ? I mean, neither ultrasound experience was all that MAGICAL, because I am a jaded asshole who thinks all babies look the same in utero, and once I know the sex, I’m like, GREAT, THAT LOOKS LIKE AN ARTICHOKE, WHO CARES, DOES SHE HAVE ALL THE RIGHT PARTS?

And — and! — this kid’s a wiggler. An insane wiggler, way more than Sam ever was. The movements! The kicking! AND YET I AM NOT REMOTELY BOWLED OVER BY THE MAGIC. I’m like, meh, kicking. MEH, knock it off. I mean, these thoughts are all secondary to being BEYOND grateful she’s alive and healthy, but you know, with Sam, I was always, LOOK SHE’S KICKING and guiding Adam’s hand lovingly toward my abdomen.

Basically, I feel guilty that I am having a second child that will ruin my first daughter’s life, while simultaneously feeling like a turd because I am not fawning over my second daughter ENOUGH and she’s NOT EVEN BORN. What kind of bullshit racket is this?

(But seriously, will I be excited when she’s born, or will I be all, OH LOOK, a NEWBORN? Call me when you’re TWO.)

Happy Wednesday, folks.

*Avett Brothers

140 comments January 17th, 2012

Blood of Eden

First, I loved all of your comments on the name post, and my only gripe was that every comment wasn’t, oh! I wish I could have named my daughter Samantha! And [baby #2’s name]. What is WRONG with you people? I HAVE THE BEST NAMES WE SHOULD ALL USE THEM, THE END.

Well, except don’t, because I’m totally kidding, and then we’d all be living in some creepy John Malkovich world. Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich!

[Aside: Anyone else find John Malkovich COMPLETELY sexy, or is that just me?]

The only comment that perplexed me was Maya’s, because I had not previously heard that direction names were going to be popular. I . . . don’t know anyone with a direction name, except for West, who was the contestant on The Bachelorette, i.e., the season that poisoned the entire show for me. I could not TAKE Ashley’s insecurity and her creepy fawning over guys that are literally a dime a dozen up in here. She picked JP, who is a nice guy, but you know, she could have just come up here, hit the bars in Southie and gotten the same guy for a lot less agony and embarrassment, my GOD.

ANYWAY, you guys, I’ve written this all over the place, but since I got pregnant, I am having this ISSUE with my underwear that involves them cutting the inside of my thighs. CUTTING! I HAVE DRAWN BLOOD. And it’s very random, and I have found the solution, but Target only had ONE pack of them and I have to go back to get more. UNTIL THEN, however, I am stuck with my normal supply and OH! the results are not good, which is how I am—God help me—lying in bed as I type this with a smear of Desitin on the inside of each leg. The VERY INSIDE, where there is ACTUAL DAMAGE. DESITIN. That’s DIAPER RASH CREAM for the uninitiated.

(It . . . feels fabulous. No wonder Sam asks for it by name.)

This is worse than the hemorrhoid cream situation of Sam’s gestation.

Speaking of Sam, we have reached the endless narration portion of childhood, because everything that happens in this house needs her running commentary. “Daddy, are you putting on your pants? And your socks? To go to work?” “Mommy, you brush your TEETH?” “Sunny’s walkin’!” And every statement needs acknowledgement, or she repeats it, oh my GOD. The thing is though? I sort of find it endlessly entertaining, as I have most of motherhood, in a surprising way. This should . . . not be news, given that I’ve opted to have a second child, but I’m sort of surprised by how enjoyable it is to have a little chatterbox following me around the house, even when she perpetually asks, “CAN I HELP?” with tasks that would be MUCH FASTER without her assistance. Or—OR!—when her helping with the laundry consists of taking things from the clean dryer and putting them BACK into the (running, full of water) washing machine. NOT HELPFUL.

But you know, it’s kind of hard to stay mad at a kid who wants to help AND is obsessed with a guidebook on Boston terriers (Sunny is a pug, yes . . . long story). You guys, she takes it EVERYWHERE. We do not leave the house without it. We do not go to bed, either for naps OR bedtime, without it. She reads it no fewer than fifteen times a day, out loud. The story, if you were wondering, is simply, “Once upon a time there was a good doggie. He’s so cute. THE END.” And then she closes the book with a remarkable amount of satisfaction, as though she has just read the annotated Lolita and understood every word. (This would make her better than her mother.)

I’m super excited to have another one. But damn, I am terrified, too.

Have a great weekend.

*Peter Gabriel. And I don’t think inner thigh chafing is what he meant.

287 comments January 12th, 2012

What’s My Name?

In the event there was any doubt that pregnancy is the most generous state of being, despite being down ten pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight AND being able to throw on my pre-pregnancy jeans with relative, if appropriately belly-tight, ease, oh you guys, MY FACE. It is large. And puffy. And NOTHING ELSE IS. What has happened here? I have Tori Spelling Pregnant Lady Face! I mean, I wasn’t exactly at my fighting weight to begin this whole process, but given that I’ve LITERALLY spent an overwhelming amount of this past year pregnant, I’m not really bothered by THAT.

I am, however, bothered by the Tori Spelling Pregnant Lady Face. I had a chin! Where did it go? WHITHER CHIN AND JAWLINE, FACE?

(It is important to note that I adore Tori Spelling AND her Pregnant Lady Face, because she gives hope to all of us with this terrible affliction.)

Anyway, because I am already unattractive, I have also decided to let my super-short pixie cut grow out, and at this moment, I have reached the critical phase where I can no longer make this shaggy thing into anything even SLIGHTLY presentable, and it is time to call in the professionals. (You know how Dooce looks cute in hers? I do not. Mine does not look like that, despite being the same length. Mine is thick and puffy and matches my Tori Spelling Pregnant Lady Face. Also, there are roots. IT IS TIME FOR A HAIR APPOINTMENT.)

I am using this time for transitions, is what I’m saying, I suppose. Come June 4, I plan to emerge like Ally Sheedy’s character in the Breakfast Club after Claire gets a hold of her. I shall have great hair! Be thin! Have a normal face mere MOMENTS after birth! METAMORPHOSIS.

HAHAHAHAHAHA. Oh, dear. It’s going to be a while.

Anyway. Now that we know that this fetus is a girl, can we talk about names? I mean, she already HAS a great name that we’ve had picked out FOREVER, and so we are D O N E, but I am weeping for all the names we won’t get to use, either because we aren’t having a boy, or because we can’t agree or because they just don’t fit with us or our last name. But really, there will ALWAYS be names left behind, won’t there? My guess is that even Michelle Duggar has Naming Regrets.

SO! Here’s a partial list, and I would LOVE to hear yours:

Tobias (WEEP)
Alexander (XANDER)
Benjamin (nephew’s name!)
Nicholas (DITTO!)
James (JAMIE!)


Sarah (my favorite. MY FAVORITE. Alas, it’s a no-go.)
Katherine (KATE!)

SIGH. Sarah or Natalie or Alexa Rubin will never come to pass. Or Leah. LEAH. Leah Rubin is AWESOME. But no.

Do you have unusable awesome names?

*Yes, I went Rihanna. I DO NOT EVEN KNOW.

86 comments January 9th, 2012

Two Little Girls

The worst part about not updating for a long time is feeling like something UTTERLY PROFOUND needs to be put on the page to justify that much pondering and absence. Not that anyone else cares, for it’s purely a personal pressure made more complicated by the fact that the last deep thought I had was how seamlessly we’ve integrated my nightly puking into the family. I simply call out, “Adam! I’m going to barf!” and he slides into the role of chief distracting officer, busying Sam to the point that she usually doesn’t notice that I’ve gone missing until the episode is over, when she appears with her pirate sword to announce, “Mommy, are you okay? Daddy and I are PIRATES!”

It’s a big step from a few weeks ago, when she would literally rend her garments in horror, screaming and wailing as though I was being stabbed by the devil himself. The lowest point was when I had to HOLD HER IN MY ARMS while simultaneously losing my lunch in the toilet bowl.

Baby steps! Baby steps!

I feel better, though obviously not 100 percent, but you know, better in the sense that I’m not sobbing myself to sleep every night because I just! feel! so! SICK! I eat sometimes! I had toast for dinner! THIS IS WINNING!

Also . . . we’re having another girl. I could write a treatise on how horrible my ultrasound experience was, but ultimately, I’m getting a healthy baby girl out of it so far, and Sam is going to have a flipping SISTER. SISTERS! I have a sister, and I love her so, so I am VERY EXCITED ABOUT THIS. (I also have brothers and I love THEM so, so I would be VERY EXCITED about THAT, too.)

But the ultrasound. Oh. Oh my. It was over an hour long, as I flipped from this side to that side, while the (inept) ultrasound tech sighed and prodded, desperately searching for body parts that were either missing or two small, according to her mutterings. “Ugh, heart too tiny!” Jab jab jab. “Leg! The leg is very bad.” She squirted on more gel.

“WHAT?” I was understandably alarmed. “But . . . is something wrong?”

Her only reply was to herself as she made a note on her checklist. “Pulmonary artery missing.”

At this point, my unborn child—the one I conceived after MULTIPLE PREGNANCY LOSSES–had a too-small heart, a bum leg and was missing a major artery. And the tech still hadn’t said a word. I sat up, pulling at the towel at my waist, “STOP. Are you saying these things are BAD?”

She snapped to earth. “Oh! No. I just can’t get a good picture because the heart at this age is so tiny, the leg is blocking the kidneys, and the pulmonary artery is blocked by an arm.”


She then took a moment to peek at the sex—at my request, not her initiative—spent three seconds (I WAS WATCHING), declared it impossible, and when I protested, replied, “I’m not required to do that. It’s not a requirement. I’m happy to have the radiologist explain that to you.”

OH YES, PLEASE. And then, as I sobbed, she simply left the room.

(The end here is that the radiologist came in, found the sex, treated me like a mental patient as I cried, and OH YES I HAVE TO GO BACK NEXT WEEK TO HAVE A RE-DO ANYWAY AHH AHH)

(Yes, this is the same as my Twitter rant, but I HAD TO GET IT OUT THERE.)

Anyway, I’m happy to see you all again. Alas, I am nauseated again! TIME FOR BED.

*Ani DiFranco

28 comments January 4th, 2012

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