Saturday, May 31, 2008
Finn James McCauley
Born Thursday, May 29 at 1:56 a.m.
25 weeks, 4 days
2 pounds, 1 ounce
He's in the Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit at Children's Hospital, Minneapolis, and he is doing very well so far. He's definitely in good hands with all his caregivers. The hands in the picture are Pete's. Also, very good hands.
He's off the ventilator and hates having a wet diaper. He is still very squirmy, and now I can see what he was up to all that (short) time in there.
Now that you know this part of the story, I will go back and tell you what happened in the middle.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
The bath seemed to help, though it was still jumping around as I lay in bed, just not directly on my cervix.
They say that the really active time starts during weeks 27-32.
I can't wait to see what THAT'S like.
She told me to go out and smell the lilacs and apple blossoms; to enjoy the sunshine and the grass and have picnics and be outside, but to make sure that I take water with me and avoid getting dehydrated. Dehydration can bring on contractions, and this is something that we don't want. She said that my pee should not be the color of Pete's shirt, but the color of a Post-It (TM). Of course, when I take my vitamins, it's the color of a neon Crayon (TM).
I spent the weekend in New York City with the Meyers Girls, and I figured that this would be a challenge, water wise, especially because they don't let you bring your water bottles on the plane. I have heard some people say that you can check them as long as they are empty, but that some TSA employees don't even allow that. As my water bottle was $20 bucks, I don't need to risk it. Of course, this puts me in the position of having to buy bottled water, which is a bane of my existence. And then, once I buy one, I am in the position of either reusing it (which you are not supposed to do) or buying more. I chose reusing because I figured that the environmental impact was less than the biological impact of three days of re-use.
I managed to drink a couple of liters a day and keep that pee the proper color the whole time, and even with the walking and walking and walking, not the slightest hint of a contraction.
It's fascinating to have to be so biologically aware...
Friday, May 23, 2008
This marks the end of week 25. Squirmy has fully developed hands and has hopefully been listening as Pete would like it to play the fiddle. It still needs some work on the nerve connections, so it can't really grasp anything or have much dexterity. It can certainly make a fist, though, because it's punching. And kicking. And rolling. Regularly. I guess there is a "count ten" exercise that some practitioners ask the pregnant woman to do, where you count each time the fetus kicks until you get to ten, and then you can stop. I want to know what defines "kick" and how far apart these movements have to be to count as separate from the previous one. I am thinking that sometime I would get to ten before breakfast. Edie has not asked me to do this, and I suppose if she does, I can get clarification from her then.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
"And here’s a couple of ice cream suggestions, if the craving hits (better make it worthwhile if Squirmy demands it): Castle Rock Creamery (at the Mississippi Market) Molasses-Chocolate Chip flavor. It doesn’t taste like molasses, but the molasses takes the vanilla to the Nth degree - it’s astounding. Another one to sample is the new Haagen Dasz – Vanilla Honey Bee. You can’t miss it, the carton has black & yellow stripes on it, it’s cute. Again, the honey doesn’t overtake the vanilla, but makes it very, very special."
Spring in Minnesota is, indeed, good.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
That's all well and good until you step on the scale, and it says something like "164.4."
That's nine pounds in a month, according to my calculations. My midwife did not say anything; she says I am doing "terrific." Pete told me not to worry; he says I look great. He has to say that. I know I should not worry about it, but isn't 75% of our time devoted to worrying about our weight? It's hard to get into the mindset that a certain amount of weight gain is GOOD in this case.
It has been a very ice-creamy month...
It was not popular knowledge to me that pregnancy can also make you stupid, stopped up, and smothered in acid.
Oh, and no one told me that brushing my teeth would turn into a blood bath.
The Stupid that I mentioned in an earlier post is not getting any better. Because my expectations for myself have remained unchanged, as has my relative inability to adapt to new circumstances, I am often frustrated when I can't multi-task or understand simple directions. Pete keeps telling me that it's ok, that now I am like any other mortal, but I don't like it. It seems like it takes me twice as long to do everything, and I can be easily set back if I am interrupted. Contributing to The Stupid is the fact that while I am trying to concentrate at work, Squirmy is trying out for the synchronized swimming team.
The stopped-up part of the fun is the (hopefully) every other day pooping. I did not want to have to think about my bowel movements this much. Indeed, I have never really thought about that part of my life because I am not a guy. Clogging the toilet it not ladylike or sexy, and no one really ever wants to hear the words "That's some impressive dookie-making, honey."
Heartburn. Sucks. The papaya extract helps, but for a good part of every day, I feel like I have a small plastic farm animal toy lodged in my throat. It makes me cough, and being bathed in hot stomach acid for hours a day is just plain gross.
I already know that I don't floss enough, and my gums have a tendency to be bleedy, but now... well, it's a good thing that my body is making extra blood because it all seems to be washing down the sink.
I kind of feel like a walking medical experiment.
The Book says that I should have expected to gain about a pound a week over the last two months. It's mainly fluids and tissue. Squirmy itself probably weighs a little over a pound and a half, then there's extra blood, amniotic fluid, more *ahem* breast tissue, other fluid retention, and other things I am forgetting. I don't want to gain too little; it's important for the fetus to gain enough weight so we have a baby who starts out healthy, and as shrinking pelvises due to scurvy are not such a concern anymore, as they were in Victorian times, I don't need to shoot for a low birth weight just so I can get the thing outta me.
The only thing I was hoping for today's appointment was that my every-other-day poop would happen beforehand because--there's no nice way to share this except not to share it, and too bad, you're here, and pregnancy ain't always pretty--the poop itself would have to account for at least a couple of pounds. There's just a lot of it. I often clog the toilet.
There it is. Glamour, at its highest level.
Also, sometimes, like when I sit down or do something physical, a little pee will come out.
So very sexy.
Monday, May 19, 2008
I am keeping it low key; I am not interested in a lot of fuss or bother. There's so much going on, just in general, that I will be happy to go home with my honey, have hotdogs and cake (separately. Hot dogs first, then cake), and get to bed early.
Pregnancy makes you want to PARTY!
p.s. Now, Pete thinks it's a boy.
Friday, May 16, 2008
There's a little over a pound and a half of creature in there right now, rolling and kicking and punching, mostly when I am trying to concentrate on something else, like a colleague during a meeting. I tell ya, I am not getting any smarter.
The time for it to have committed a crime and gotten away with it is also over, as footprints and fingerprints are forming. It missed that little window of database obscurity.
Supposedly, it could be developing a regular cycle of sleeping and waking, but if so, I sure have not noticed it. Although it either hates or loves being at work because it tends to be pretty active then. But when I wake up at night, I often notice it as well. It's just busy. I don't know that it is really getting anything done, however, aside from muscle practice, hiccups, and fat storage. And it thinks that my cervix is a drum set.
We're at the point when it could possibly survive outside of me were I to deliver, but those odds are 50-50, and there would most likely be severe complications. It can stay in there; I'm just fine. It's still going by really fast, and sometimes it can seem that there a lot of things left to do because, well, there are. We are registered for our childbirth classes; I began the conversation about my leave here at work; I started a list of pediatricians and childcare options; I think I know what diaper system I want to use; and I think I know which washer and dryer I want. I still have to figure out what I have already and what I need to get.
Monday, May 12, 2008
We have our suspicions.
That one. Max. Jan Brady. The middle child; the special one. He's going to want to be On. It. All. The. Time. Because it will be smelly and warm. Those are two of his favorite things. If we could keep the smelly warm thing in a small, enclosed space, Max of the Golden Urethra* would be well pleased.
The one in the front will treat it with the same disdain he treats small dogs: "What IS that THING?" He can't hear, so he won't be bothered by the noise. He does like to be held like a baby, though, so he will also resent it.
The above, Mistress Hazel is going to haaaaaate it. She does not like loud noises. At all. Or strangers. Which this will be. A small, loud stranger that smells weird. I expect that Hazel will be spending a lot more time in the basement.
*at this time last year, Max "blocked", which is a nice way of saying that he cost me $1500 dollars because he couldn't pee anymore. Cats never block during normal vet hours. They only block after 1:00 on Saturdays, through Sunday night.
Sunday, May 11, 2008
I said "Wow!" thinking that she must be in, say, her early fifties.
"Yeah, he said, she's, like, 41, so..."
It was one of those moments when you think "Wait, are you old enough to be getting paid to ring up my groceries?"
Then you think "My god, I could have a twenty-year-old kid right now, if I had even a late-teen pregnancy."
Then "So I could be YOUR mom, Mr. Check-out Guy."
And then "So that would make me... old."
Saturday, May 10, 2008
I was stunned.
I have always believed in "replace yourselves and stop," and at 38, I am thinking that one might be enough. My husband is an only child, and he's not mental. I wanted to ask her about her grown daughter, who has just moved back in with them, but I held my tongue.
She then went on to talk about the neighbor girl, who is an only child, and who is also a loud little mess. She was attributing this to the fact that she is an only child, even though she continued the story with how messed up the parents are and how terrible their relationship is.
Hmmm.... methinks that they could have ten children, and they might all have issues.
Friday, May 9, 2008
Inside and out.
I guess I am a Shakespeare traditionalist. Not entirely, mind you. I don't mind contemporary or interesting staging and costumes, but, apparently, I do mind characters bursting out into song, complete with backing tracks.
The Guthrie's production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" is excellent. The casting is superb, the characterizations are fantastic, the actors are great. I like the costumes and the staging. It was hilarious and entertaining. It's just that... they sing. The faeries sing. Not all the time, mind you. It's not like it's Andrew Lloyd Weber whenever the faeries are onstage, but... they sing. None of the human characters sing. Had the humans been singing as well, I definitely would have been upset. As it was, I just could not get used to the singing; and I had been warned.
Granted, there is at least one part where the play itself notes "The faeries sing," but I had to keep telling myself it was ok every time they started singing. And I didn't believe it. Suffice to say, it distracted me. It did not bother me enough to come out with an unfavorable impression of the play. It was excellent, and I am glad that we went. I just didn't need the singing.
My own fluttering faerie is still busy in there, swimming and kicking, rolling and punching and who knows what else. Apparently, its lungs are producing surfactant which allows the air sacs to inflate, so it's practicing breathing amniotic fluid, getting those things moving. It's so odd to think that this little thing in there is just chock full of liquid. Its skin is gaining more substance, becoming less translucent, and its gaining fat. All this lends to that sinking heavy feeling I have in front, especially when I have been sitting for a long time. After sitting almost all day yesterday and through the evening, I was more than ready to stretch out in bed. I had dreams about watching Squirmy move all around, my stomach undulating as it rolled stretched.
Thursday, May 8, 2008
I just don't care.
And I don't expect other people to care about mine. Why should they? Aside from family and very close friends, I mean, it's just a baby to everyone else. People make them all the time. I see them everywhere. Most of the time I think "I could do better than that."
Take today. I met a colleague for lunch. She was in the process of holding the three month old baby of a friend of hers. My thought upon seeing the baby was "Look, a baby. I'm going to have one of those soon. Wow." I did not want to hold it or touch it or anything like that. Why would I? It's wholly unconnected to me. I mean, congratulations and all, Mr. Stranger Man, but no thanks. I'll hold my own when it gets here. We are not presently living in some sort of sci-fi world of infertility, and it's not like the species is in danger of dying out because of under-reproduction, so I don't have a sort of kinship-with-the-human-race thing going on, either.
I can only imagine that I will have to be dragged out to "show off" the baby when it gets here. Am I supposed to bring it into work when I am still on leave so people can see it? Probably. That seems a little gross. I know that people do it all the time, and it's probably expected, but do people keep doing stuff like that just because it's expected, or are they so exhausted and saturated in abnormal hormone levels that they have become entirely deluded, truly believing their experience to be central to everyone else's life as well?
As I did the required cooing and polite listening, I kept thinking "Why am I doing this? I don't care." I don't have to tell people that I don't care, but do I have to lapse into Cute-ery and primordial nonsense because you squeezed out a smaller version of you? It's like I can't help myself. I am compelled to sink into the expected societal responses. How often we are subconsciously dragged along with those tides, even when we intellectually reject them?
More often when we care to think. Sneezing for instance. I hate it when people acknowledge my sneezes. It doesn't matter if it's a "Bless you" or a "Gesundheit," can't I just sneeze in peace? A little part of me dies every time I knee-jerk out a "Gesundheit" for someone else's sneeze. Why am I perpetuating this nonsense? Do people do it because everyone does it? Do people actually like it and expect it? Frankly, a cough is a more alarming symptom than a sneeze, and no one gets a blessing for that. So here I am in my little ol' cubicle, trying to surreptitiously sneeze so no one will hear it, and no one will bless me.
If I sneeze in the forest, and no one is around to bless me, will I be more subject to disease?
If my baby is born, and I don't parade it around like a whippet at Westminster, does it exist?
We're going to The Guthrie tonight to see "A Midsummer Night's Dream" with my parents, and Pete wants to go to a seafood restaurant beforehand. I asked him if it was perhaps a seafood and soft cheese restaurant, and he replied "Yes, a seafood and soft cheese restaurant with really good wine."
He's such a kidder.
You know, this would be an issue for me even if I were not pregnant because seafood is an ecologically sensitive product. Pregnancy just adds another level to the issue because of mercury and chemicals. I don't have my book with me that has the chart in it, so I am trolling the internet for advice.
It's silly, in some respects, and I certainly don't want to be hysterical, but overfishing and mercury are concerns of mine no matter what. The fact that I have an internal dependent just makes it more important. My little fishy is always there, flopping and swimming around. Neither of us need extra mercury, and the oceans need to be treated with a little more respect. As much respect as I afford my little internal ocean.
Pregnant women are not holy vessels or china dolls. Women have been having babies for as long as there have been women. I think it's just the surrounding environment that has become more perilous, and precautions have to be taken, many of which are just good for me anyway. I figure if it's recommended I avoid something, I might as well, even if it's just a CYA.
This is a good list, and I am printing one out right now that will go into my wallet. It's divided by regions, so you can have one for wherever you are and wherever you live. It's not specific to my present natural state, but I think I can remember enough to mentally cross check and find something tasty on the menu.
It's a good thing that there are not literary restrictions for pregnancy or I would be screwed.
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Not to put too fine a point on it.
It's amazing how little I can do now. I'm not sleepy tired, but I am easily worn out from simple tasks. We came home yesterday, and it was a lovely day. First of all you must know that my garden is a mess. This must be distinctly understood, or nothing wonderful can come of the story I am going to relate.
That's another tale.
My garden is a mess, and the weather has been wildly uncooperative for gardening. Furthermore, I have been wading in a sea of hats. Yes, hats. Fluffy, pink tiaras. Mind, they are not all for me or for the future baby, whatever its sex may be. I am not hiding anything from you. I make these hats and then they are sold at Renaissance Festivals around the country. I have been doing this for 22 years, and it's a great way to make extra money. But it does take time away from other things when a fair(e) is looming and inventory is low, and it makes parts of the house look like this: That's a trip to New York City, baby.
But that's a future tale.
What with all the hatmaking and other assorted busy-ness, I have not tended to the garden at all, except to cut down some itinerant raspberry canes and clear out the old horseradish leaves. It's a good thing that I had the sense of forethought to cut down a lot of the old growth in the front gardens last fall, or I would be even more behind.
My mother came to the rescue on Saturday. She arrived and started clearing out in the back. (Look at me! Accepting Help!) It was part of the weekend's Meyers Family Work Exchange Program. On Sunday, she was to be found cleaning out my brother's gardens, and Pete volunteered to make a DVD of the Joseph Musical for Jim and Ruth's church. In return, they loaned us Star Trek: The Next Generation, Season 4, but I am thinking that their might be some room painting labor in my brother's future.
Yesterday, I decided that I had to do at least a little bit, so I tackled the side garden, which is rather small. I cleared out the leaves and pine needles and the old growth; now it will be Pete's job to make trips to the compost yard. I made it the whole way through that section, and I could tell that I was physically done with gardening for the day. My lower back was hurting, and I was actually tired. I came inside and had a bath, then decided to put ribbons on the hats. By the time I was done sorting them by color and had put ribbons onto 20, I was decidedly exhausted from Doing Stuff, and my abdomen was feeling tight. Squirmy tells me when it's time to stop, and I do. I cleaned up in time for our weekly "Medium" viewing, and went to bed.
I have determined that I should approach each day with the idea that I will do at least a little bit of everything.
Yesterday, I did a little bit of knitting, a little bit of reading, a little bit of gardening, a little bit of hatting, and a little bit of laundry.
Today, it will be a little bit of reading, a little bit of knitting, a little bit of laundry, and a little bit of hatting. No gardening.
Sunday, May 4, 2008
Man, he's wasted...
And you know what happens when you are high?
Apparently, you get the munchies...
Does anyone else have to deal with this when they are having breakfast?
Saturday, May 3, 2008
You really should. Be prepared to be a teensy bit frustrated.
This weekend was the Living Green Expo; it happens every May, and I always go. I find that I am learning less and less, and that it is attracting more and more people. Don't get me wrong:it's a great event. I am only learning less and less because I have already tried to establish sustainable practices, and there's less to know. Now, we go to see who the new vendors are. This year, we were looking at building products and a few baby things. Last year, we were still choosing builders and architects for our remodel, and now we have moved on to thoughts of construction and financing. We're looking at countertops (paperstone), floors (bamboo and marmoleum), decking (recycled composite), and insulation (icynene), and we're begging for money.
One new thing at the show was the Zenn. It's a little electric car, approved in the USA for use only in town at speeds below 25 mph. I would love to replace my car with one of these for running around to the co-op and what not:
It's freaking adorable, and surprisingly roomy. Pete could even use it for gigs that are nearby. I love how it lists its (comparable) gas mileage at 245 mpg. It doesn't use gas, of course, but people want to know these things. It lists for about 17,500. We could plug it into our house; we buy 100% wind power.
My tolerance for crowds is already rather low, and this year, what with Squirmy in there, I was even less tolerant than usual. I knew what I wanted to see, and I didn't want to dawdle. It's no fun to dawdle in a sea of people. Pete's better at blocking things out than I am.
Being out in crowds makes you notice: there are a lot of babies and pregnant women around. I don't think it's just because I am pregnant that I am noticing this; there seems to be a mini baby boom going on. Again, I blame Angelina Jolie.
Friday, May 2, 2008
I can't help it. That quote from an episode of Sex and the City keeps running through my head. In it, Carrie and Big are friends, and they go out to a jazz club together. Carrie winds up hooking up with the bass player/owner of the club. Big razzes her with that taunt.
I am not constantly referring my life to television shows.
It's probably only once a day, really.
And it's just two shows.
But anyway. Last night we went to a jazz club for a coworker's birthday--Squirmy's first jazz experience, but probably not its last (that won't be my choice). I put on a dress and got to show off my husband to colleagues who had not yet met him. It was a nice break, sort of a grown up outing, but not in a stodgy way.
The fetus now weighs about one pound, according to the book, and it's throwing its weight around. Sometimes, I think that if it tried just a little harder, the punches and kicks might actually hurt. As it is, they don't really, but they can be quite... insistent. It still has plenty of room in there, and it's using it. A lot. Usually during meetings or times when I am trying to concentrate. The squirmy little alien gets going like a strong-kicking free-style swimmer.I still feel like this experience is going by very quickly, too quickly, though I am sure it will slow down about August. Today, I was looking at labor room and delivery issues in one of my books, and I put together the list of classes we want to take at the hospital we will use. I figure we should register for those now before time slips away, it's July, and we can't get in. I may look into some alternative classes regarding childbirth as well, but it's probably a good idea to see what the hospital thinks it's all about, as that's where we will be.
The list is:
6-week (once per week) Childbirth Class
We can also sign up for a free tour at the end of May. They include one in the Childbirth Class, but I would like to check it out beforehand, just so I know what's up.
What's up inside is that Squirmy is getting taste buds so it can really experience that yummy amniotic fluid, and its brain and nerve endings sense touch. So it's in there sampling sugar-urine water and playing with whatever it can reach. At least it finally has something to do.
If Squirmy is a boy, see above "playing with whatever it can reach", and his testes have started to descend from his abdomen. Maybe they are already down; it's the end of the week, after all. If Squirmy is a girl, as almost everyone seems to think it is, her uterus and ovaries are in place — complete with a lifetime supply of eggs. She never needs to go to the store again, if all is well. Omelets for all!
Thursday, May 1, 2008
I don't want the baby to be TOO smart, after all.
Greta stopped by on her way home to Wisconsin, which was a nice surprise, and Christine and I sucked her in to the show. Somehow, she managed to leave before the elimination, so she's a stronger woman than I am. She brought her little dog, Lupe, who is part Chihuahua and part Pomeranian, and she's freaking adorable and tiny. After they left, and toward the end of the show, Christine and I were speculating on the bottom two and who would go home (we guessed Katarzyna and Whitney, and that Kat would go home, and we were right. Not that this is rocket science), when we all noticed something out of the corner of our eyes. Something on the porch. In one, we all froze and turned our heads to the west.
There, on the porch, were the largest dogs I have seen in a long time. It looked as if we had been invaded by wolves. Two Malamutes were pouncing all over, looking in the storm door, panting and smiling. Even though they looked friendly, their size was daunting. We all remained still and silent while we watched the spectacle. We saw no humans, and when the dogs left the porch, Pete and I went outside to investigate.
They were exploring the front garden, and when I asked them what they were up to, they stopped, perked up, and raced back up the sidewalk and onto the porch, very excited. They were jumpy, so Pete made me go inside to protect Squirmy, and they really wanted to come inside with me. It took Christine and I together to keep the front dog from entering. I am not sure how he did it, but Pete got them into the back yard and closed the gate.
One of them had a tag on their collar, and we called and left a message. It was baffling to me, not how they could have escaped (I imagined them just knocking down whatever was in their way, or jumping over the house), but how two things that large could be missed.
It turns out that the owners were in the process of moving and were staying with friends a couple of blocks away. She came by in a few minutes and picked up the dogs who we learned were named "Daisy" and "Scooby."
"Huskies," she said "are the smarter ones. Malamutes are kind of the stoners of the sled dogs."
Huskies are not that smart, either.
I cannot imagine having two dogs that big. It would be unthinkable in a house our size. The house would be dismantled in days. A smoking pile of rubble with two happy dogs, panting and stinking up the place (they were RANK).
I am thinking that we will eventually have one dog that will be somewhere on the Dog Spectrum between 5 pound Lupe and 150 pound Daisy. Closer to Lupe than to Daisy. I think I will stick with a herding dog and not a working dog. They are both really active, but I like the herders better.
Oh, and Christine brought over another knitty thing for Squirmy:
At this point, Squirmy was not very interested. I held it up to The Belly, and got nothin'. Ungrateful.
Max, however, obviously has some love for it, because it was on the floor this morning after having obviously been molested sometime during the night. It had better get used to it.