Tuesday, July 29, 2008

"Wow, that head is low."

So sayeth the midwife at yesterday's appointment. I'm nearly 36 weeks and 50% effaced. I wouldn't know this if I hadn't already been undressed from the waist down for the Group B Strep test. But since I was, the midwife offered to check me.

"Sure, why not?" I said. The midwives don't routinely check you "down there", mostly because it's very uncomfortable for some women (although not for me) and if you're in the safety zone for delivery (usually 34 weeks or later, when most babies can survive without major problems) it doesn't really tell you much, as you could walk around partially effaced and dilated for weeks.

So who knows- I could remain 50% effaced with no further progress for four-ish more weeks, or it could mean that I'll go early. Mike and I started packing the bags and got the car seats installed over the weekend, just in case.

Two confessions:

#1: Sometimes I worry that the baby is lonely in there. I try to talk and sing to him a lot. So far Blackbird by the Beatles seems to be his favorite, although he gets really excited when Mike sings Dean Martin songs. Also, whenever I'm at home, I tend to pull my shirt up to keep my belly exposed. No, this isn't a great look, but as I told Mike, "Otherwise it feels like I'm keeping him under the bed!"

#2: Something you might not know about being pregnant is that a hormone called relaxin (don't you love it?) gets all jacked up with the mission of loosening the joints of your pelvis. The goal? For the baby to be able to fit through the birth canal. Between that and the baby's head being so low, walking makes me feel like my legs are about to pop off. I frequently envision this happening, leaving just the stump of my upper body sitting in the hallway at work as I frantically wave my arms at the security camera.

Speaking of work, my co-workers threw a lovely shower for me last week. The cake alone would have been enough-- it was a heavenly confection that rivaled my wedding cake (and I really loved my wedding cake- so much that I ate the entire top "anniversary" layer within two weeks of our honeymoon). I also got a number of nice things for the baby, including a gift certificate for three infant massage lessons. And the infant massage expert will come to our house!

If you've never heard of infant massage before, there are a number of organizations and institutions dedicated to it. It's supposed to have numerous benefits.

To round out this disjointed post, I need a good seque.

Uh, SPEAKING OF SOAP, a couple of weeks ago I made laundry soap using the recipe that Caro kindly emailed. It was super easy, and it took just a fraction of my ingredients supply to make a two gallons of the stuff. And it works. Just a little washing soda, some Borax, and grated laundry soap.

For some reason, Alex was obsessed with the Zote soap. I held it out so he could sniff it and the fool licked it, and tried to keep licking it, despite its obvious SOAPY SMELL. He probably would have devoured it if I'd put it in his food bowl.

I don't get it.

Mmm... soap!

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Head down!

The baby is indeed in the preferred position. The ultrasound tech tried valiantly to get a good picture of his face, but it wasn't easy, since he's pretty well down there and things are a bit crowded now. I was actually a little sore afterward, because she really had to be aggressive with the wand to get the pictures they needed.

Not that the picture of his face was necessary- that was purely for entertainment purposes.

In case you can't tell, his face is on the left and his hand is covering part of it, just to the side of his nose. Feel free to ignore everything on the right, as I have no idea what that is. According to my dad, it looks like my hip bone and part of my spine.

I'll take his word for it unless you have a better guess.

They took some more pictures of the calcification on his liver, and we'll find out more at our next midwife appointment. I'm not thinking about it too much anymore. It didn't look like it had gotten bigger, although we've already established that I'm an ultrasound interpretation moron, so what do I know?

I recently dreamed that my son was four years old already. He was sitting on the kitchen counter while I showed him how to make scrambled eggs.


Friday, July 18, 2008


Mike had to get up at 4:00 this morning to drive his mom and her husband to the airport. So guess who also got up at 4 a.m.?

Alex! Because 4 a.m. is the perfect time to party!

The plan was for Mike to get up and quietly exit the room, closing the door behind him and leaving Alex to slumber away at the foot of the bed. Instead, the second the door shut, Alex leapt to the floor and started... I don't know, Hammer dancing, or whatever dogs do when they think no one is watching. His collar jingled loudly as he raced back and forth across the room, commando-crawled the rug, and scratched at the door.

I know he's just a dog and he can't tell time. What he knows is that Mike is usually the one who takes him out for a walk first thing in the morning, so if Mike is getting up, IT MUST BE TIME TO START THE DAY, and starting the day is his FAVORITE THING!

Whenever I get up first and try to get Alex to come downstairs, even if it's as late as 8 a.m., he grunts at me and flips onto his back, legs splayed, so the ceiling fan can blow his belly hair.

I'm a little offended. And I can only think that pretty soon there will be THREE boys in the house, all lying on the bed under the ceiling fan while I poke and prod and try to get one of them to go get a facial with me.

Mike is picking me up from work later today so we can go get another ultrasound. This one is unexpected, and we're getting it largely because three midwives in a row are not completely positive that the baby is head-down. They're pretty sure, but apparently he's in some contorted yoga position and they hear the heartbeat over here which seems to indicate that his chest should be there, too, yet I think this is his bum is over here and the fact that his feet are way up there doesn't make any sense, WHAT IS THIS CHILD DOING?

Also, my abdominal muslces are still tight, which makes it harder for them to feel anything. Don't worry, I'm not expecting this to last much longer, this prancing around in my muscle shirt begging people to bounce quarters off of my abs.

34 weeks. Muscle Beach, here I come.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Can I blame this one on pregnancy hormones?

Okay, I know you'll think I'm insane, being a demure little librarian lady and all, but I have to introduce you to my latest crush.

He works in the entertainment industry, is in good shape, has a healthy head of hair, and obviously takes great care of his teeth. I've never spoken to him, but I have a feeling that we would really, REALLY hit it off.

Internet, meet Wolf.

Photo from nbc.com

Mike and I sometimes watch American Gladiators on Monday nights (anyone remember watching the original show in the late 80s/early 90s?). I keep thinking about what great exercise it would be to face off with a gladiator every day and run through all those obstacle courses. Of course, when I mentioned this to Mike he was positive that by "face off" I meant "have sex with".

Well, whatever. SEMANTICS.


Friday, July 11, 2008

Life Lesson #162

On my way to work this morning, the school bus driver in front of me put on his blinker to get into the left lane. I watched in disbelief as a dozen cars sped up to pass him.

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Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Excitement, but then not so much

So last week on Wednesday and Thursday I was having a lot of contractions. The midwives said that a maximum of 5-6 painless contractions per hour was okay, and I was having upwards of 10-12. They started Wednesday morning and continued throughout the day, and by the time I got home around 9 p.m. I was a little concerned.

Despite sitting with my feet up and drinking glass after glass of water, the contractions kept coming. Mike wanted to call the emergency midwife number, but I refused because I knew that since it was after hours they'd tell us to come to the hospital and I didn't want to drive up there and have to be hooked up to a monitor for an hour and then told, "It's OBVIOUS that you haven't been getting enough vitamin Z-862, HAVEN'T YOU BEEN EATING THE RECOMMENDED DAILY 3-4 SERVINGS OF SQUID INK?"

(Before anyone gets upset, I really would have gone if I'd been experiencing pain or if I hadn't been feeling the baby move in between contractions. I'm not too stupid.)

On Thursday the contractions continued, and around 10:30 I called the midwife. She asked me if I'd tried resting (yes) and if I'd had plenty of fluids (yes, so much that I briefly considered buying a pack of Depends), and if I'd eaten recently (yes).

They told me to come in within the hour.

Thankfully, I was not yet dilating or effacing, but the baby's head was a little lower than last time. Much to my annoyance, as four people asked me on Wednesday if the baby had dropped and I said, OF COURSE NOT, I'm only 32 weeks, he's always been low and if he were any lower his head would be hanging out, DON'T THESE PEOPLE KNOW ANYTHING?

Ahem. So apparently it is possible for the winner of the fetal Does Your Womb Hang Low? award to one-up himself. Or one-down himself, as the case may be.

Everything is fine. By Thursday evening the contractions were back to an acceptable frequency and it continued that way for most of the weekend, except for a couple of hours after I swam laps at the pool, when my uterus started acting up again.

I guess maybe sometimes I am "overdoing it".

On Friday night we watched fireworks from the comfort of our own home, as usual. We can see most of three different displays from the front of our house, so we went up to our bedroom and pushed the bed up against the wall of windows and enjoyed. It was the perfect set-up for a pregnant woman, actually, air-conditioned and with a bathroom only five feet away.

Alex missed the fireworks, as he was hiding behind the washing machine.

Before I sign off, I have to tell you that I washed a load of baby clothes last night, including a big pile of wee socks. Despite carefully placing each sock in the washing machine and then making sure that each made it into the dryer, I ended up with two odd socks. I shook out every other article of clothing, checked the lint trap and the floor around the machines, and they were NOWHERE. Alex cannot be blamed because he was hiding under the bed.


(promised pictures are coming soon)


Wednesday, July 02, 2008

32 weeks

This is me, dressed up to go to a wedding. Of course I still danced to Love Shack at the reception. Everytime the B-52s sang "Love shack, baby!" I had to rub my belly and point obnoxiously, like, "HA! Get it? They're saying baby and I'm pointing at my baby!"

You know you want to go out dancing with me.

It just occured to me that since we've entered the month of July, I can officially say that I'm having a baby next month. At least I hope it's next month, since he's due the last week in August. Someone at work helpfully told me that his wife went six weeks overdue with their son, and I immediately covered the baby's ears, lest he get any bright ideas (though I was probably grabbing his bum, come to think of it). I thanked the man for that encouraging story and said that I'm holding him personally responsible if I'm still pregnant in October.

Of course, Mike is slated to be a groomsman in his best friend's wedding on September 6th, which pretty much guarantees that I'll go into labor that morning.

Meanwhile, a couple from our childbirth class became the first to have their baby (four weeks early, but prefectly healthy). After hearing this announcement, we all sat in uneasy silence and eyed each other's bellies until someone muttered, "Overachievers!" Then we all laughed and went back to pretending that these babies will never actually exit our bodies, ho ho ho!

Alex has been having a rough time lately, between the wicked thunderstorms and people setting off their 4th of July fireworks in the street. If we can't find him, it's safe to bet that he's hiding under our bed.

He's also very aware of all the changes underway in our house, though we've been trying to do things gradually so he has time to get used to it all. Alex is the official inspector of everything baby, which means that he gets first dibs on smelling and examining each new baby item that enters the house. His favorite items so far seem to be the wee baby socks. For those of you who don't remember, stealing socks is one of his all-time favorite pastimes. I think the baby socks are kind of blowing his mind, like, Woah! The perfect mouthful!

He's especially intrigued by the socks that have rattles on the toes. Are they socks, or dog toys? OMFG!

Anyway, to ensure that Alex continues to get adequate respresentation on this blog, I bring you this very exclusive interview! People and OK! tried to get there first, but I beat them all down by swinging my belly from side to side.

I caught up with the handsome Alex as he lounged on the stairs at home. He tried to ignore me at first, but his curiosity finally got the better of him (he's always been a bit of a camera whore).

Interview with Alex from Liz on Vimeo.

As you could see, Alex chose to end the interview prematurely. Hey, sometimes a dog needs a little privacy, you know?

Avoiding the paparazzi from Liz on Vimeo.

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