Sunday, July 23

The Heat is On!

It has been frikkin' HOT this week--as all of you know, unless you live in a cell with no windows or doors--and I have finally discovered why pregnant women don't like heat. It makes you swell up like a goddamned freshly-cooked sausage! I have had to put my wedding ring away for safe-keeping until after the baby is born (which Ian is not happy about, but I'm sure he'd be even less happy with a nine-fingered wife), and my Birkenstocks have become the only shoe I can stand to wear. I want the second trimester back! Wah!

I've definitely gotten over my ambivalence of a few weeks ago when I wasn't sure how I felt about being ready to give birth...I'm ready now! Bring it on! Ian asked me this week how I felt about only having 2 months of freedom left. I laughed at this and asked him how he figured I was currently "free." I am enslaved by a violent baby 24/7 who controls my body and emotions. I'm not sure how that is "freedom." Freedom to me, I told him, is the freedom to actually hand the baby over to him, kiss them both goodbye, and hit the town with my girlfriends for a night of drinking alcohol and highly-caffeinated beverages, eating sushi and soft cheeses, and wearing a killer pair of shoes. (Please, God, please let my shoes still fit after I give birth!!!) I think the better question is how do you feel about your last 2 months of freedom? Heh heh heh. If only I could make his feet swell up.

Tuesday, July 11

Motardmageddon II: Idiot Parent Pre-eclampsia

I guess there is something about being pregnant (or trying to get pregnant) that heightens your awareness of bad parenting going on around you. (Note Ian's frustration in Motardmaggedon 1.) That said, it's time for a rant. I was in the Dr's office today for my check up, and, lucky me, I got to sit there for almost an hour because the receptionist forgot to pull my file when I checked in and so the nurse didn't know I was there. Now, I could go on about the ineptitude of my Dr's office and the foolishness of making a 7-month pregnant woman wait for an hour and so forth, but actually, I understand that mistakes do happen, and that my Dr was not purposefully trying to torture me. Plus, when my nurse finally saw me sitting there, she 1) recognized me, which, as many of you may know, is a big deal in a busy OB practice and 2) she immediately made a big apologetic fuss and brought me in right away, cutting into both her and the Dr's lunch time. So, all is forgiven and I am not angry with them. What I am angry about are the motards I had to suffer in the waiting room.

Let me set the stage: This is a big practice with 6 different Drs with lots of patients, obviously necessitating a large waiting room. The room is lovely and spacious and typically a comfortable place to wait. Comfortable, that is, until two running, screaming, 2-ish-year-old boys are using it as their own personal play yard. Now, I know what some may say...they are two-year-old boys and genetically predisposed to run wild. These kids, though, were racing around the waiting room, screaming loudly, throwing a small plastic ball and then crawling underneath people's chairs to retrieve it, and generally behaving in a manner barely acceptable outdoors, let alone in an area where pregnant women (already not the most graceful creatures on the planet) should be allowed to walk unimpeded by little screaming obstacles. More than once I saw one of these boys slam into a pregnant woman trying to make her way across the room. Thoughts of the litigation that could accompany a horrible accident kept running through my head, and I seriously began to wish that Supernanny had some sort of hotline to call to report obscenely bad parenting.

And what of the parents? you may ask. They (The mom and dad of one boy and the solo mom of the other) were sitting in the corner of the waiting room chatting away as if nothing was amiss, blithely ignoring the glares of the other patients. Every once in a while they would call out a token "Tyler, come back here" or "Damien, settle down" (I actually forget the name of the second boy, so I made up my own), which the boys would completely ignore and which the parents never followed through on. This went on for quite a while until an older nurse popped her head out and chided the young boys for their behavior, telling them that somebody was going to get hurt. After this, the parents, apparently humbled by the reprimand of an authority figure, made a genuine effort to control their children for all of five minutes. They got up out of their seats (shocking!) and carried the now screaming boys back to the corner of the waiting room where they tried to calm them down and amuse them with some sort of game. Once the threat of the nurse had dissipated, though, the kids went right back to running around. At one point the dad, who seemed to have a slightly deeper sense of discipline than the moms, put on his best "firm voice" and told his son to "Come sit down RIGHT NOW." The little boy turned around and replied, I kid you not, "NO!" I was stunned. Surely, I thought, this kid has finally brought the smack down on himself. I was actually afraid for the little monster, possibly because the thought of what one of my parents would have done if I had told them "NO" was still deeply enough ingrained in my psyche as to cause me actual terror. Holding my breath, I waited for the response. Waited...waited...waited...THE FATHER DID NOTHING!!!!! He ignored the boy, who went on with his running and screaming, while I sat there fighting back the onset of an apopletic fit.

When did it become OK for kids to behave like this? When did it become OK for little kids to tell their parents "No"? How stupid do you have to be to not realize that you are failing as a parent when your children behave in such a way and blatantly flout your authority? And, most importantly, why in God's name are you sitting in an OB office pregnant with your next kid when you already can't control the ones you have?!

It was at this moment that I looked down at my giant belly and promised Twitch that her and I would never have this problem. The day she decides to look at me and say "NO!"...the one time this happens...will be a day carved forever in her memory, even if buried deep in her subconscious. If this makes me un-PC, so be it. I would rather be seen as an overly strict authoritarian than as an irresponsible motard who put an entire room full of pregnant women in danger. I would rather my child fear me then feel good about herself while ruining everybody else's morning. I tell you this now, Twitch--you can scream all you want, but I am bigger, stronger, and smarter than you. I am the parent, and I have the power to make you behave. It is just that simple.

It was at this point that I finally got to go in to see the Dr, and when the nurse took my blood pressure, it was (surprise!) high, causing her and the Dr to get worried looks on their faces and start talking about the danger of pre-eclampsia. The Dr started to tell me about the symptoms of pre-eclampsia and what to look out for, until I pointed out that possibly my blood pressure was high because I sat forgotten in the waiting room being accosted by ill-behaved two-year-olds for an hour. The nurse kind of chuckled and agreed with my self-diagnosis. "Maybe we should wait and see how her levels look next visit, Dr."

Let this be a warning to all you motard parents out there...the inability to control your children can lead to pre-eclampsia in innocent pregnant women; so USE SOME SENSE!

Oh, and in case you're keeping up with such things, here is my belly update for this visit:

Total weight gain since conception: 13 pounds
Approximate baby weight: 3.5-4 pounds
Fundal height: 32 cm
Belly circumference: 47 inches

Saturday, July 8

The Safest Baby on the Block

When Grendel and Calle were just puppies, I read in a dog behavior book about how best to deal with dogs and pregnancy. The book taught me that, contrary to what most people think, dogs understand pregnancy in their own doggie way. In fact, your dogs probably know you're pregnant even before you do! Because dogs are pack animals, they will embrace the new "puppy" as long as you, the human, don't screw it up by trying to exclude them from baby preparations, which only confuses them, as they naturally want to be a part of the process.

Due to this information, I have assumed throughout my pregnancy that the dogs "get it." They know we will have a new puppy soon to take care of. I have assumed that they have long ago sniffed out my crazy hormonal fluctuations and now they are just waiting for my litter to come in. But here is something interesting...Calle, known also as the-dog-who-is-so-smart-it-is-scary, has recently figured out where the puppy lives. It started a few weeks ago when he became oddly obssessed with my belly button, sniffing at it constantly as though he was expecting a cookie to come flying out. Strange, I thought. But then it got even stranger. My genius dog, who normally wants nothing to do with cuddles, has started guarding my belly. He does this by climbing right on top of me whenever I am in repose and curling himself around my stomach, resting his head right on my belly button, where he will stay until I force him to move.

Twitch does not like this at all, and she will inevitably start pounding away at whatever spot Calle is lying on. Calle's head pops up each time he gets whacked, and he gives me a martyred look as if to say, "See the sacrifices I make?" But then he just resumes his position, much to Twitch's chagrin. It is a very interesting sibling relationship. To illustrate, here are some pictures Ian took this morning while I was enjoying my post-yard sales nap:

Although my nap was rudely interrupted by the unpleasant sensation of Twitch doing her best to beat the crap out of her big brother (imagine the dialogue:
--"Moooom, Calle's sitting on me!"
--"Mother, please inform my sister that I am only keeping her safe."
--"Will you both keep quiet so I can nap!"), it still pleases me to know that Twitch will be well-cared for by her entire pack. She is a very lucky puppy.

Tuesday, July 4

Belly Update

And now, by popular demand, a belly update. I haven't been growing too rapidly as of late. I sort of plateaued with my freakish growth early on, and for the past couple of months I've reached a sort of belly equilibrium the result of which is that I now almost look as pregnant as I actually am. Here's the stats as of my Drs. appointment last week:

Total weight gain since conception: 12 pounds
Approximate weight of baby: 3 pounds
Fundal height (size of uterus): 30 cm
Diameter of belly at belly button: 45 inches

With 11 weeks to go, all is well. I passed my gestational diabetes test, and I'm a little low on iron, but not enough to worry. All there is to do now is wait for my little streetfighter to grow and try not to deliver her too early. I feel great as long as Twitch is sleeping, but when she wakes up things aren't so comfortable.