Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Oh, my burning heart



My uterus is getting bigger; it's pushing on my stomach (among other things) and I can't do things like I did last week.

After eating nothing yesterday that would be offensive to my stomach... at least, nothing I thought would be offensive to my stomach... I still had heartburn yesterday and felt icky. I did not have the vomiting, but it was unpleasant. Unpleasant enough to want to begin to take preventative measures. It's no fun to feel little lumps of acid rising into the back of your throat, then descending, then rising again, ad nauseum. Add to that the burping and weird hiccups that are not really hiccups, and you have an equation that equals misery. Not to mention glamour. I leafed through my books, found a few suggestions with which I felt I could comply, and headed to the co-op.

There, I purchased yogurt, string cheese, apples, and papaya extract chewables. I know. You're hungry and jealous now. I also stopped by Target and got "Hard Candy", but that's a record by Madonna and a different kind of cure.

We'll see how it goes. I am not saying that there is no more Indian or other spicy food in my prenatal future, but I am going to be more careful about it. There are leftovers from the Indian restaurant just sitting in my fridge, and I did not touch them yesterday. I only gazed longingly at them for a few seconds. I was that uncomfortable.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Food Rerun

In case anyone is keeping count, so far, I had only thrown up three times during this pregnancy.

Make that four.

I know that I have been lucky. I am in my 22nd week, and I really have not had a problem with the vomiting. My mother was sick for nine months straight with both my brother and I. I feel kind of bad about that, and I was dreading that the same thing would happen to me. It hasn't.

That does not make it any more pleasant to see one's chicken masala again.

Last night, Sue (Pete's mom), took us out to dinner. Pete chose our favorite local Indian restaurant, as we had not been there in awhile. Their food is excellent. During dinner, I was remarking about how I get acid reflux a lot, almost every day, and probably should not be eating spicy food because that makes it worse, but oh well! I would live with it because I love spicy food, and I have had to give up so many things... I would truly, madly resent having to eat brown rice and mild cheese for the next 4.5 months.


I made it through Medium just fine, and then went to bed. I was having the good old reflux, and it was definitely worse than usual, but there was really nothing to be done about it. By the time Pete came to bed, Squirmy was squirming, so Pete wanted to feel it. Pete likes to put on some pressure with his hand to make contact; it's not much, but last night, it was also putting pressure on my stomach, and that pretty much did it.

I felt a little better after that, but not well enough to really get some sleep. Squirmy seemed to be having a celebration dance, and then Max, the middle cat, the Jan Brady of the family, decided that night time was fun time, and had himself a little party with whatever he could find on the floor. This morning, Pete found the remains on the skewed rug in front of the kitchen sink: empty cat food can and small plastic bead. Sounds like heaven. I bet that we will find a hair tie or small ball of paper in the couch later as well.

Suffice to say that I have felt better before, and were it not for a budget meeting with the dean, a site visit, and a houseguest, I might have considered not coming in. But alas, the meetings must be attended to, and I can sleep later, right?

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Kids (Other)

As part of the prenatal fetal-education program in the McCauley household, not only does Squirmy get morning greetings from future papa Pete and occasional mandolin serenades, we are taking it out to shows. It really does not have a choice in the matter, but so far, it has been to Steve Earle, Bruce Springsteen, and the slightly less-well-known Hounds of Finn.

Last night it was Canadian Comedy Troupe "The Kids in the Hall", so it was multi-cultural as well as entertaining.

And hee-larious. Pete spent the evening hanging out with his mom at The Dubliner while I sat in the Orpheum a few rows away from Dave Foley, Kevin McDonald, Scott Thompson, Mark McKinney, and Bruce McCulloch. It was lovely. They were my best friends while I lived in Wyoming alone and their show was in reruns on Comedy Central. Sad, but true.

They did mostly new material, and it was excellent. It's great to be in a crowd like that; people were there to enjoy themselves, and all the laughter can only be good for me. The next show is "A Midsummer Night's Dream" at The Guthrie, then the ballet in New York City, followed by "Wicked" on Broadway, and Eddie Izzard and "Spamalot" here in Minneapolis.

McFetus is gettin' some culture!

Saturday, April 26, 2008


The placenta is still doing the majority of the work in there to feed McFetus, but this past week, it began to get a little bit of sugar from gulping down that yummy amniotic fluid. The bone marrow is also starting to make blood cells, something that the liver and spleen have been doing until now.

It's all very odd because it's happening inside of me, so I am making this thing that is making these other things, even as I make dinner, tiaras, sweaters, and blankets here in the outside world. I guess I am still multi-tasking, no matter how dumb I feel.

Last night, the factory that is me made its way to a birthday bash that was quite extraordinary. A marvelous queen named Bitch Flowers was celebrating in a mad public way by hosting a party at the Varsity Theatre here in Dinkytown, Minneapolis. To make everything wonderful, my friend Krystal Kleer was giving her first performance on the stage in eight years, which was about the only thing that would drag my pregnant ass out on a Friday night in late April when it cruelly decided to Snow On Us. It was seriously miserable, weather-wise.

The party was, if I may say so, balls-up-and-in fabulous, though. Even if I could only have pregnancy beer. Kira, Greta, and Tiki were there (so this time, all that was missing was Liza, who is still recuperating from spine surgery, of course). I had been wishing I had nothing to do because *whine* I'm tired and *whine* It's cold and *whine* Woe is Me. Whatever. Sometimes, you gotta just suck it up, get pretty, and go out. I figured if Krystal could do it, so could I. And the last thing I would ever want is a six-foot-eight drag queen miffed at me.

Not to put too fine a point on it, Ms. Kleer was outstanding.

The place was packed, and interestingly, I found myself wishing that I looked more pregnant so I could use that belly to part the seas, but in the light, it was pretty hard to tell that I am in the family way.

The belly that is there is hard and shifting. I saw it move for the first time in the bath last Thursday night, which was an alien experience--watching a lump push out next to your navel, slowly and repeatedly. I called Pete in, and he got to see a little of it, too. Kira remarked last night about how you do feel like you have an alien in there, especially when it gets a little bigger. It's like it rolls over in bed and takes the covers with it, but the covers are your uterus, and the bed is you.

After the show, I stopped off at Pete's gig at The Dubliner pub, which was much less crowded, though Pete's mom had stuck it out until the bitter end. It was a good night; I was out and awake, entertained and sober.

And McFetus had its first drag show.

Now if I can just get the placenta to take over some of the housework as it has been given a break from some of its glucose responsibilities...

(one more portrait to end the post)

Friday, April 25, 2008


Last Sunday, we went to see "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" performed by my brother's church. They did a really good job, and my sister-in-law and niece were both in the production. It was lively, and the songs certainly get stuck in your head, which means it just keeps giving and giving. I can't imagine what it must have been like for Ruth and Ashley with all the rehearsals going on for weeks. I have seen the musical before; I think it was put on by Winona State when I was in high school, but I forgot how truly terrible the actual bible story is.

As with most disorders, in order to get full impact, you have to go back to the childhood of the father, Jacob. This is where the family dysfunction gets going. Although, dysfunction is a pretty continuous theme from Abraham to Isaac, and on and on throughout the bible. This is the general idea of the story, though not a comprehensive summary:

Jacob and Esau, twins born to Rebekah and Isaac after they prayed for conception, are divided first by the lord while still in the womb and second by the attentions of their parents who each love one more than the other. Once, when Esau was starving and came to Jacob for bread, Jacob made Esau give up his birthright in exchange for sustenance.

(I will not be looking to the bible for any parenting advice. Pete and I did not pray for conception; we did something else entirely, and it was much more enjoyable and biologically necessary. Were this fetus twins, which it isn't, I hope I would not choose one over the other. It clearly only leads to one sibling threatening to let the other starve right in front of him if the other doesn't pay up, and it also apparently leads to the other being completely incapable of taking care of himself.)

When Isaac was dying, he asked his favorite, Esau, to get him savory meat. Rebekah overheard this and dressed Jacob up as Esau and sent him instead so that Jacob would get the father's blessing before he died instead of Esau.

(I will also not be getting relationship advice from the bible. What kind of marriage is this, anyway? Although I do love the term "savory meat".)

Thusly, Esau missed out on his father's blessing and his birthright, both to his brother, Jacob, and he was a little pissed about this. Esau decided to slay Jacob once the mourning period was over--nice of him to wait it out--but Rebekah warned Jacob and told him to flee. Jacob went to stay with his uncle.

He took a liking to his cousin, Rachel, and agreed to serve her dad for seven years so he could marry her. At the end of the seven years, however, dad disguised Leah, the eldest daughter, as Rachel, which Jacob did not know until morning (caring husband), so he had to serve another seven years to marry Rachel. He didn't love Leah so much, but he loved Rachel, so the lord gave Leah children and not Rachel. Even the handmaid had children by Jacob. And then the other maid had children by Jacob. Finally, Rachel had one son whose name was Joseph. In the end, "the man increased exceedingly, and had much cattle, and maidservants, and menservants, and camels, and asses."

And children.

(OK, who ARE these people? If this is supposed to be a parable that will teach us to learn from the mistakes of our elders, it fails miserably. Are any of the citizens of the old testament happy? Nice? Well-adjusted?)

At one point in the story, Dinah, Jacob's only daughter (oh yeah, by the way, he had a daughter), was "defiled" by the uncircumcised son of a prince who then asked to marry her. Jacob's sons said that she could only marry him if all the men in the city were circumcised, to which the men submitted. When they were still sore and at their weakest, two of Jacob's sons went into the city and "slew all the males."


Then they cleaned out the city of animals and crops and anything valuable.

(What have I learned from this story so far? Do as your parents did, even if it wasn't such a good idea when they did it; favor one child over the other; let the lord make decisions for you; enter into agreements and then renege and kill people and steal all their stuff; have lots of kids with many different people; generally deceive others; and run away if you are threatened with retribution because you are chosen by god. Cool.)

Rachel died giving birth to another son, leaving Jacob with twelve: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Is'sachar, Zeb'ulun, Joseph, Benjamin, Dan, Naph'tali, Gad, and Asher. By four different women.

(None of these names are on the list for boys.)

Jacob loved Joseph best and was not shy about letting everyone else know. (He clearly had not learned anything from the ill effects of favoritism his parents demonstrated). He gifted the boy with a coat of many colors, which did not make him a favorite with his brothers. Joseph, in turn, actively lorded his favored status over them, telling them about dreams in which their sheaves of corn bowed to his sheaves of corn. After hearing a few of these dreams, the brothers decided to kill Joseph. Reuben said, "Nah, we won't kill him outright, but we will cast him in the pit and leave him there." That's much better. Even better than THAT, they decided to sell him into slavery because he's their brother, after all. So Joseph went to Egypt, and the brothers dipped his colored coat in goat's blood and presented it to their father as evidence of his death. And Jacob was sad. Very, very sad.

(It was at this point in the play that I felt like crying. Jacob is there weeping and clutching the shreds of the bloodstained coat, the brothers are singing, and I think we are supposed to see it as ironic and funny because they are acting sad and then winking at the audience. But basically, there are no good characters on the stage. Jacob has been horrible to his twin brother and unfair to his sons, and he has four wives. The brothers have let envy and resentment take them over and have sent their brother into slavery. Joseph was arrogant and selfish.)

In Egypt, Joseph was bought by one of Pharaoh's officers, Mr. Potiphar. Unfortunately, Mrs. Potiphar took a liking to Joseph, and Joseph eventually wound up in jail. He becomes Pharoah's dream interpreter, and then the governor, and when his starving brothers come begging for food, they don't recognize him, which is TOTALLY believable. Joseph asks for Benjamin, who has not accompanied them. He takes the oldest prisoner and makes them go back for his youngest brother. When they come back with Benjamin, Joseph gets verklemmt and tells the brothers who he really is. He has them to bring the whole family back down to Egypt. Jacob dies at 147 years old (heck, that's nothing. Abraham was 175 and Isaac was 180; don't get me started on the old guys in the earlier chapters of Genesis), and it's such a happy ending.

I don't understand why this particular story was chosen to be a musical. I don't feel that I have learned anything about appropriate moral or ethical behavior. I would find it more appropriate for a benevolent OverLord to have intervened long ago and told these people to knock it off and be compassionate to one another. At least, at the end, the OverLord could have given everyone involved a taste of their own medicine as punishment for their wrongdoing. Not eye-for-an-eye, but just a little perspective. A "teachable moment", if you will.

Actually, the best thing would be if one--just one--of the humans in the story had stepped up at some point to be the better person and put a stop to all the madness. Take some responsibility!

I think I might be taking this too seriously. Then again, maybe not. A lot of these ancient stories get tossed around in simplistic forms without ever being questioned, and they should be questioned, especially when believers are using parts of this book to justify behavior, "morality", and interventions into politics, among other things.

At any rate, I should get back to the fact that the church members involved in the production did a really good job with the material, and they showed a lot of talent, which I did appreciate. And afterwards, we had pizza with the family, which is always a good time, even if Pete did feel the need to point out that there was Aspartame in the Diet A&W Caffeine-free Root Beer, and I shouldn't be having it. More restrictions of which I am very well aware, thankyouverymuch.

"It's amazing you two lived," quipped my mom, referring to my brother and I.

Shopping Social

I'm wearing Jeans! I'm wearing Jeans!

Last night I went over to Liza's house. She had surgery on her spine last Friday to take care of a herniated disk that was causing a lot of pain. They not only found that the disk was totally shot , but that she had a bone spur. She already feels better, even though she is on meds, has pain from her back where her vertebrae have been fused, she isn't allowed to do much, and has to wear a neck brace. That she feels better says a lot about how much pain she was in before.

Greta came in to town to help her out because her hubby Marc has to work and also take care of their two-and-a-half year old son, Lukas. So I dragged over my hat-making materials, and we sat in Liza's room catching up, making tiaras, and watching awesomely bad reality TV. The only thing missing was Kira. She was at a play absorbing actual culture; like, Shakespeare and stuff, while we were watching a young Canadian girl being turned into Christina Aguileira on "Look-Alike."

Liza saved her maternity clothes for me, which is just the best. I have only purchased two items of actual maternity wear and have been holding up my pants with the Bella Band (though lately, it's been all elastic and stretchy waistbands). Today, I am wearing jeans! And they are not the weird jeans with the giant scooped-out knit panel; they have elastic at the back, but are really low rise, so they button under my stomach. It's weird how nice it feels to be wearing "normal" pants. Today, it's extra nice because it's raining and 42 degrees. They are predicting snow tonight. I am hoping they are wrong.

It's too bad that the weather is so rainy because Pete's mom just arrived on Wednesday afternoon. It's nice for us because it has been steady but gentle enough to soak in, and we can use the precipitation, but it means that she can't get out and walk around the neighborhood while we are at work. Hopefully it will clear up. And hopefully, it will not snow.

Monday, April 21, 2008


I went to bed at 7:30 last night.

I had no idea I was that tired. The exhaustion from the first trimester has gone, and I generally feel pretty good from day to day, so it took me by surprise. It reminded me of a time in college when I went to take a nap at five in the afternoon and did not get up until class the next morning.

I was 21 years old then!

So I guess that almost seventeen years later plus a pregnancy, I should not worry about it.

I didn't get anything done last night, needless to say.


I used to drink cow's milk.

I should say that, in the past, I used cow's milk, as drinking milk for the sake of drinking milk--like with meals--is gross to me. Milk is only a drink when it comes with cookies or cake.

mmm... cake.

I digress.

When Pete moved in, he brought his soy milk with him. I eventually started using soy milk as well (vanilla flavored) because I would not use up my entire glass returnable gallon of milk before it went sour. Then, we switched to an organic rice milk. Then, I got pregnant. I don't remember it being a conscious decision, but I started buying cow's milk again. Somehow, this came to the attention of our oldest cat, Fritz.

Now, he's a milk fiend. He squawks at me in the morning when I am eating my cereal and checking up on the news, he squawks at Pete when he gets home at 2:00 in the morning and has a bowl of cereal. Pete still uses the rice milk, so it is pretty disappointing to Fritz when Pete sets his bowl down, and he has finally stopped Snoopy vulturing me from the piano and waits a few feet away until I am done.

This morning was particularly disappointing. I had hardly any milk left and Pete had hardly any already disappointing rice milk left.

Fritz is the only member of the cat family who gets this treatment, at least from me, and he does not get that much... at least from me. Pete is a little more generous, which should probably stop because he's remarkably loud when Pete gets home in the middle of the night, and it's not a pleasant sound. If Pete stops giving him anything, eventually, Fritz will (hopefully) give up. Also, I don't want him to have too much of the stuff because whatever I have been doing for him for 18 years has been working, and it did not include table scraps and milk, in general. He's enough of a monster as it is, so any more milk, and he will probably drive us both a little bit nuts.

Friday, April 18, 2008

The 50-yard Line

It's 20 weeks and halfway to go. The time is going by much too quickly for my taste at this point, and I wish that it would slow a bit. For one thing, who knows if we will do this again, and I want to be paying attention and getting all I can out of the experience. Also, I need to absorb it all, and I need a chance to form my desires for the next five months, and then express them in an understandable form so that I can make sure that they are realized.

On the inside, McFetus' skin is thickening, which is good because mine never really did. I hope that the eventual child will be able to withstand adversity, criticism, and judgment better than I ever could. Or do. It sounds like Pete had fun as a child, and he even looks back at 11 years old as his best, most happy time. The idea of being 11 makes me cringe with insecurity, vague and unsubstantiated fear, and worry. I don't know why, but I was a nervous child. Were I a child today, and I actually expressed that nervousness and worry, I would probably be recommended for medication (not that my parents would allow it; I doubt they would).

That protective skin is developing into the epidermis, dermis, and subcutis (mostly fat). Pete had a recent dream that it was olive in hue, and I don't know where that came from, as I almost expect the child to be translucent, it will be so white. In that dream, he also named it "David King McCauley." (I must have been unconscious at the time). That's interesting because he thinks it's a girl; most everyone does, if they have an opinion one way or another. I think "boy", but I have no reason to think that. It's certainly not some sort of creepy "feeling"--I don't believe in that sort of thing. The only way to "know" is for the ultrasound technician to tell us, and even they have been wrong before.

My skin is stretching over an increasingly larger surface area. In the past week, my stomach has really expanded. There's no doubt about the Pregnant now, no hiding it--not that I was. The book says that it is 6 inches long and nine ounces. Ours is actually 12 ounces, and maybe a bit longer, but I did not get that information from the ultrasound. I don't feel "fat" anymore, which I did for awhile. I think that was more about exhaustion and bloating. I actually feel pretty good. Also, I have only gained about 5.2 pounds total so far (I was 157.2 yesterday), so I think that the extra fat I was already carrying pre-fetus has redistributed itself, and my boobs make up the rest.

The hair and nails are continuing to grow, but we did not see a halo around its head, so no word yet on the red afro. Our midwife did say that she hopes it gets my haircolor. We concur.

My Mayo Clinic book stumbled over its choice to call the fetus a baby throughout the text, and it had to do a little backtracking this week during this sentence:

"If you could sneak a peak at your baby this week, you would see a fetus remarkably baby-like in appearance." (my emphasis)

In other words, this is not a baby, it's a fetus, but because we have been calling it a baby, now we have to differentiate and let you know that it finally looks like a baby, but really, it's a fetus. The ultrasound tech, our midwife... they call it a baby, too, and I let it slide. No need to take up the time explaining my preference there, but I get to say what I want here. We are so used to calling it a fetus that we don't find it weird. At least I don't. Other people still do. Usually, they laugh when we say it, like we are trying to be cute. Pete's the only one who gets to call it a baby, but Pete is also the only one who gets to talk to my stomach.

Also in my book, I read something that infuriated me so much that I have apparently read it out loud to Pete twice. Regarding the quickening (which will never not make me think of Highlander), the book reads:

"these early movements remind you of the reality that your baby is a separate, unique individual, allowing you to imagine what your baby will be like."

Oh, rrrrreally?
Separate and unique? Individual?
In that case, I think it's high time that the little separate, unique individual got off its greasy little butt and helped to make some money for its new room.

Semantically, that sort of crap lends itself to the devaluation of women in favor of the elevation of "the unborn," and contributes to all sorts of behaviors and assumptions that are not helpful--the idea of pregnancy as a condition to be treated rather than a normal life process being one of them; the erasure of the actual woman being another. I don't feel that I am so delicate now that I am pregnant that I must be handled with kid gloves. In fact, lately, I have been feeling more like myself than I did during the first trimester when I was so exhausted I could lift a fork. I still don't like being referred to as "Mama" or "Mom" or "Mommy", as those are roles I do not currently have. Again, Pete is the only one who gets to do that, and then, I prefer "Mama", and I prefer that it not happen too often.

The book also bothered me a bit when it started talking about when the internal movements of the fetus would be felt by people on the outside:

"you and your partner..."

Ok, good. Good. They used "partner." That's not gender specific...

"... will both be able to feel your baby's movements--he by placing his hand on your abdomen."

Oh, you lost me.

So yes, my partner is a man, and twenty years ago, this may have read "your husband" instead of "partner", but the reality is that plenty of women have babies together, and we should be over the idea that the "other" in this situation is always going to be male. That sentence denies lesbian couples and it also denies single women who are pregnant.

I had no blood taken out of me on this last visit to the midwife, which was nice. I don't think I get the vampire treatment until my glucose test at 28 weeks. I'll be back in in a month for a regular little "how's it going let's weigh you and listen to the heartbeat" visit, and in the meantime, I need to get those aforementioned desires and wishes in order as well as look into and sign up for classes like Infant CPR as well as Childbirth.

Oh, and we have to get financing for the house because Squirmy is not showing any signs of getting a job.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


Yesterday morning was the 20 week ultrasound, and this morning, we met with Edie (midwife). Last week was meetings about the house, and this week, it was meetings about the womb. So far, the house looks like it will cost more, at least all at once. But drawn out over the course of a life, I think that McFetus will wind up costing more in real dollars. Aside from that, the house is in a bit of limbo because of financing, and McFetus is doing really well according to the results of the ultrasound.

This was the moment when I was wondering what would happen to my Firm Resolve not to find out the sex. When asked if I wanted to know, what would my first answer be?

Well, it was "no".

She asked, I said "No".

And I realized that I would have been disappointed had it slipped out or seemed obvious. I don't want to start subconsciously assigning gender roles and expectations; I don't want to be inundated with boy/girl stuff (I don't want to be inundated with Stuff, in general); I don't want to know. We can't change it, and I don't care which it is. I don't see how it matters, anyway. Even if we were decorating a room or buying stuff now, I don't go in for all that pink and blue crap.

If it's a boy, I hope it's like Pete. If it's a girl, I hope it's like Pete.
If it's a boy, I don't want to have it circumcised. If it's a girl, I don't want to have it circumcized.

(We can add on the hope that it has red, curly hair and the hope that it's not tone deaf, but those things are not dependent upon the absence or presence of ovaries or testes).

After all, it has bones and fingers and toes; it has kidneys, a four-chambered heart--pumping away at 162 beats per minute, both halves of a brain, and it weighs about 12 ounces. It's almost a pint!

At one point, when a hand showed up, the technician said "Cute." I find the word "cute" as applied to an ultrasound to be... well, it's not apropos:

1 a: clever or shrewd often in an underhanded manner
b: impertinent, smart-alecky
2: attractive or pretty especially in a childish, youthful, or delicate way
3: obviously straining for effect

Yeah, no. It's not 1a, nor is it 1b. It's not 2, nor is it 3. Were it 1a or 1b, we would be in decided trouble because something that cannot survive on its own would be plotting against me in a sassy manner, the universe would be out of whack. As far as 2 goes, I suppose that some people would say that, yeah, it's "cute", but it's not a correct use of the word. I'll grant you that it would be delicate were it outside of its secure environment, but it's pretty safe in there. As far as being "attractive" or "pretty", those are loaded terms, and, well, it's not either of those things.

Here is a skeleturtle (thanks to Liza for the analogy):
Here's our fetal monkey:
(open mouthed and probably gulping down amniotic fluid, I might add.)

And here, exhibiting the bad habit of sucking either a thumb or a finger:
That's the only one that someone might be able to say was "cute", and even then, they should not say it to me. To me, it is interesting, scientifically amazing (that we can get these images), reassuring, and fascinating. It's also a great way for Pete to get involved and see what is going on in there. It was also cool to see it moving around. As for cute, just remember that it's greasy, covered with hair, and swallowing its own pee. Cute things are generally not like that.

Friday, April 11, 2008


Welcome to the end of the 19th week: it's greasy, covered with hair, and peeing in its own pool.

During this past week, the fetus developed a white, fatty, protective coating called vernix and a fine hair called lanugo. Its kidneys are developed enough to make urine, which gets excreted into the amniotic sac.

Its hearing is well-developed enough to start to recognize voices, so Pete often talks to it in both his puppy voice and his normal voice. I am now used to him talking to my stomach. It's making conscious movements because the motor neurons are hooking up, which means it is already developing bad habits like sucking its thumb. Luckily, it has no teeth to screw up with this behavior.

It's just generally squirming, and I feel like I have swallowed a water balloon. A water balloon that has a solid treat in the middle that you only get when you break it. Like an aqua pinata.

I hope there are no children with sticks at the end of this party.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Silly Me

I cried because Pete was going to rehearsal. Well, that's not the whole story. He was heading out to rehearsal, in the sleet, with three Guinness. I told him to be safe, like I always do (and like he always is), and he said that Chris does not usually have beer, so he would share. I said "And you can't rehearse without beer." Pete paused, smiled sardonically, and left without it. I told him to take it with him, but he didn't, and so I immediately felt really bad. Anyone who was reading my travel blog from when we were in Maui knows that I was having a beef with Pete's lack of restrictions and the up close and personal presence of mine. I just want him to give it up voluntarily, and I kind of thought that he said he would. I am no help; I keep going back and forth because I don't want to be a shrew.

Ah well, I don't have much control over these responses.

I don't think I am being wildly emotional in general, and Pete tells me (as he has to) that I have been fine. It was probably more a result of the money meeting at the bank regarding the house remodel (it was frustrating), the three big projects going on at work, and the many other things that I have to do in my free time. It bubbled up in bitchiness and tears.

I feel better now.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

What's going on?

I think I need mashed potatoes, but that is not going to happen. We are in the middle of many things at work, and the budget part of it is going to make me loony. When I get frazzled, I tend to fall back on comfort foods, mashed potatoes and gravy being a favorite. But I have to remember that I have very little control over how this happens, and I am not going to die. No one is, in fact, going to die from a University budgeting process. I would hope that no one ever has. I have to divest myself of all the bits that are out of my control.

And I can't let this stuff get to me because I have so many other things to think about.... childbirth classes, birthing plan, whether or not to circumcise (no), whether or not to vaccinate (need more info... I am going to say Yes on that one, I believe), what things we need to have the day we come home with a baby (so, what we need to buy).... money... the house...

I am almost half way through this gig, and I need to start looking at all that.

You know how it is when you feel like you have ten thousand things going on and your brain can't stop and concentrate on just one at a time?

That would be me. Add in that my brain is not as organized as it normally is because of the fetus, and I am a little frayed at the edges. But ironically, I think that the fuzziness has been tempered with a strange calm, also because of the fetus. I am not running around, tearing my hair out or even appearing to be a mess. I don't actually FEEL like I am a mess. It's odd.

I think we have settled on the type of diapers and the system: these are not my mother's cloth diapers. They are quite nice, and there are many different kinds. With the upcoming new washing machine and dryer, things will be even better. I am the last stages of knitting up a diaper bag (my first felted project). I need to start going through the baby stuff in the basement and confirm what "big" things I already have, then start looking for the stuff I don't have (and also ask if I can keep them at other people's houses until there's a baby. I have a couple of books to read about childbirth, and I have a pretty good idea which hospital we will be at as there's a health plan choice of three. The only other thing I know is that, aside from any medical personnel--and me, Pete is the only one who gets to be in the room for the birth.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Nice Pants

Some people might like the idea of having their pants open at work. Me? Not so much.

But I don't have a choice anymore. My pants don't fit. None of them. My nurse midwife suggested that I get a belly band. These ingenious contraptions hold your pants up when you can no longer close them. I was going to make my own, and I searched out patterns online, but when it came down to it, I would have had to buy fabric and then make it. At that point, I figured I would just drop the $30 and use the time in other ways.

It works, but it feels odd. I can still tell that my pants are undone. It's better than buying a whole bunch of new pants, though, so I can work with this.

Thing is, when I sent Pete a message that it felt weird to have my pants undone at work, he replied "I know! Same here!"

Perhaps I should be worried about that...

Friday, April 4, 2008

Ossify My Love

Bones are hardening, beginning with the ears. This means that McFetus can hopefully hear, which means that Pete can start playing it music. He's been talking to it for awhile, in his fetus voice which is similar to a puppy voice. I said that he should start using his normal voice sometimes, too, so that when it comes out, it will still recognize him.

It can hear all the inner workings of my body, which are numerous.

I feel badly for it. Luckily, it has no socialization to tell it which noises are inappropriate in polite company.

It can also swallow, which means that it is gulping down amniotic fluid. Amniotic fluid is the "water" surrounding it. The kidneys will start producing pee soon, and that goes into the amniotic fluid. By swallowing, it's self regulating its pool, making sure the levels remain balanced.

Smart little thing.

Smart, but gross.

While we were in Maui, I ran across the movie "Nine Months" on the television. I had seen this movie when it came out because it had Hugh Grant and Julianne Moore. I thought of it recently, so I left it on while we got ready. Aside from the fact that this movie managed to make two hot people un-hot, I could barely stand Julianne Moore's character. She's the cliche of a hysterical pregnant woman. Making him get rid of his car and his cat, refusing to have sex with him because she's worried that "the baby" will see "it" coming and "it" will "scare the hell" out of it. She's completely absorbed in contemplating her own uterus and its contents. He's not handling the situation very well, either, but in the end, I think that the birth of the baby brings them back together. I don't remember because it was a long time ago, and we did not watch the whole thing.

Right. Because everyone knows that when there are problems in a team, the way to fix it is to bring in a small, smelly, screamy player from the bench.

Thursday, April 3, 2008


See that? At the top of my head?
That's my natural hair color.
I have not seen it in a long time...

But I don't see any grey.