Thursday, August 28, 2008

There's no bumper sticker for this one


90% effaced, still 1 cm dilated.

The midwife swept my membranes this morning, and the whole time I had to fight the urge to call her Sensei.

Kreese: Sweep the leg.

Johnny: (looks almost capable of human emotion)


Johnny: No, Sensei!

Kreese: NO MERCY.

Yes, it was as uncomfortable as they say, but compared to what I'll feel later, it was downright enjoyable. So I enjoyed the sweeping of my membranes as much as one is capable of enjoying such a thing.

39 weeks and 6 days.


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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

You think?

I thought Sunday night was the night. I really did. I was getting contractions that were pretty uncomfortable, pain radiating from my lower back to my abdomen. But after an hour, they stopped.
So I went to work in the morning and proceeded to exhaust myself. Not that it takes much, mind you. But my back was killing me and I was feeling crampy and so I was still thinking, "Well, maybe today!"
(Baby says, HAAAAAAAA! Also: hiccup.)
I should have worn a big shirt that said YES, I'M STILL HERE!, as every. single. person. who walked past the reference desk exclaimed, "You're still here?" New students who don't already know when my due date is smiled and asked when I'm due, barely able to conceal their horror when I answered, "Friday!"
Is it that crazy to work up until your due date (or beyond)? So long as I can make it through the weeks by taking a sick day here and there, I don't want to waste my maternity leave by sitting around at home.
There was a very amusing day when I walked into a staff meeting and heard a chorus of gasps. "I can't believe you came in!" my boss said. I'd been out the previous day due to a slight cold and general infirmity NOS, so I said, "It was nothing! I'm fine."
Later I found out that there was a miscommunication between her and the person I talked to when I called in sick, and somehow she got the idea that I was 8 centimeters dilated. In a fit of excitement she told a bunch of other people, so when I showed up at work the next day everyone thought I was freaking Wonder Woman.
It was kind of awesome. Yes, Wonder Liz can fly! Leap tall buildings in a single bound! Whip her own uterus into submission! Eight centimeters? It's nothing, I'm fine!
(Baby says, HAAAAAAAA!)
I have no idea if I'm any further dilated, as my next appointment is this Thursday. I have to admit I'll be pretty disappointed if there's been no progress, so I'm mentally prepared for the worst news.
Midwife: Sorry, Liz- your cervix has regressed so remarkably that you're not even pregnant anymore.
Liz: Dammit.
I can take it. Am Wonder Woman. Though seriously- I keep drifting into this dreamlike state where I feel certain I'll be pregnant forever. I don't mean that in a I'm so miserable and this baby is never coming out! way. Rather, I think I can't imagine existing in any other body. I am Pregnant. That is my identity. I am simply destined to carry a bowling ball in my belly for the rest of my life.
In other TMI, Mike had to go out and get some more KY for our perineal massage. He was planning to buy just the KY, nothing else, so I wondered if he would go through the self-checkout line to avoid embarrassment. But would that really avoid embarrassment? Those machines talk, and they talk loudly.
Machine: THANK you! Please place your KY JELLY on the BELT!
Machine: ERROR! ERROR! Please RE-SCAN your personal! LUBRICANT!
Machine: (lights flash and a siren wails) ALERT! ALERT! Please call a store clerk! to ASSIST you with your SEXUAL ENHANCEMENT AID!
Turns out he just took it to a cashier and wasn't embarrassed in the least. What a man.

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Thursday, August 21, 2008


So yesterday I was walking down the hall at work when I spotted a someone coming my way. She looked familiar, and I figured I'd probably helped her with some research at some point. I smiled as I passed by.

"Ooooh!" she said, stopping and eyeing my belly. "You're pregnant!"

(I've been getting a lot of that lately, as people who have been gone for the summer return to campus)

"Yes," I said. "I'm due a week from Friday, on the 29th."

"Just like your twin!" she beamed.

I paused for a moment. There are identical twin sisters in my workplace and they're roughly my age, so I thought maybe she was mistaking me for one of them (even though we look nothing alike).

"No," I told her. "I don't have a twin."

"Yes, you do-ooo!" she sang.

And Internet, suddenly it hit me. I knew who she was, but it was too late to run away. Or hobble away, to be more accurate.

"TORI SPELLING!" she crowed. "Your TWIN, TORI SPELLING, just had a baby!"

I stared at her, wondering if she would ever, ever get tired of this conversation.

"SERIOUSLY, no one has ever told you that you look like Tori Spelling?"

And figuring that any jury in the country would buy a plea of temporary pregnancy-induced insanity, I ripped her head off and ate it for lunch.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A promise

I can't chat for long, but I wanted to let you know that I'll do my best to post here when I go into labor. Because that's the kind of Internet friend I am, see? I'll post that the contractions are coming, oh yes they are, and then I'll let you sit for a day or two and freak out while you wait for the birth announcement.

It's the least I can do.

Between the impending birth, my parents dealing with Hurricane Fay in Florida, and my sister's accident last night, this is too much excitement for one family! (my sis had just returned to her apartment building in Brooklyn and carried her bike up to the third floor when she lost her balance and fell backwards down the stairs, breaking her arm and several bones in one foot. Some of you may remember that my brother was hit by a cab while biking in Manhattan a while back. Perhaps bikes and my family don't mix? Just to be safe- I will not get on a bike today.)


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Monday, August 18, 2008

80% effaced, 1 cm dilated

A quick update, since every move I make (or don't make) has people gasping, "Are you in labor?!"

I have learned to preface every phone call with, "I'M NOT IN LABOR." The other morning I called my mom and was uttering those exact words as I heard my dad exclaim in the background, "IS SHE IN LABOR?"

Of course, they're more interested than most, since my mom is hoping to be here for the birth and if the baby comes early, she's got her suitcase packed and will immediately jump into the car for the 12-hour drive. She's got directions to the hospital and the phone number and knows which floor L&D is on- we are PREPARED.

So, anyway, I'm not in labor. I'm still going to work every day, where people eye me fearfully. Mike and I hit some garage sales on Saturday morning to scavenge for baby clothes, and he got a taste of what I hear 10 million times a day:

"You don't look 38 weeks!"

"You're so tiny!"

"That baby is REALLY LOW. Must by a boy/girl/alien."

"You'll go into labor on Saturday- there's a full moon."

"You must be having a girl- I can tell by your facial structure."

(on that last one- WTF??)

Anyhow, we wait. I'm feeling good and we're excited. Stay tuned. :)


Monday, August 11, 2008

She's a maniac

You're getting a post this morning because Alex puked at 5:45 a.m. and I couldn't see how going back to bed for 45 minutes was going to ease my fatigue in any significant way.

In the darkness, I heard the soft gulping noises that indicate **PUKING IMMINENT**. Mike tends to be a heavy sleeper while even the beating of a humingbird's wings could break my delicate slumber, so I'm typically the one who hears the pre-puke noises and snatches Alex from the end of the bed, rushing him onto the safe (easy-to-clean) tile of our bathroom floor.

I guess it's been quite a while since this has happened, because when the gulping started I tried to bolt from the bed, only to find that I was stuck pitifully in the land between lying and sitting, my regrettably NON-Go-Go-Gadget arms outstretched toward the heaving dog.

(I CAN get out of bed by myself, but these days it takes a while)

Fortunately, Mike somehow woke up, saw me flopping like a catfish on a hot, dry dock, and immediately sprang into action.

Unfortunately, the puking started mid-sprint to the bathroom.

Fortunately, the puke landed on a pillow, and not on the off-white area rug.

Unfortunately, it also ran down Mike's leg.

"Oh well," he said, as we began the clean-up. "This definitely won't be the last time I have puke all over me."


Okay, the baby's name. Part of his name was correctly identified, but no one came up with the other part. I'll wait and tell you after he's born, just in case we change our minds. Which is impossible, actually, because we already have a blanket with his name embroidered across it, and that's like cancelling your wedding after the invitations have already gone out. I mean, what the HELL are you going to tell Aunt Millie? That she has to return the tea pot?

It's on the blanket. That's his name.

To be serious- we quite like it, but I won't be using it on this blog after the initial announcement. I don't want his future bosses to Google his name and find out what a weirdo his mother is.


I'm here to tell you that the nesting instinct is not a myth. On Friday night, as Mike nodded off on the couch (you are so jealous of our exciting nightlife, best to just ADMIT IT), I was struck by the sudden, urgent need to refill every soap dispenser in the house. Then I had to wipe down all the sinks, and clean the tops of the various q-tip holders, etc., because you know how they get dusty and grimy over time and I can't stand that.

Note that we have four bathrooms in our house, so this took a while.

Then I noticed that the kitchen faucet had seen better days, so I polished it. I POLISHED MY FAUCET.

And on and on until 10:30 or so, when I woke Mike up so we could go to bed.

On Saturday, the madness continued. Here is a partial list of my accomplishments:

  • cleaned all the baseboards and moldings in the house
  • vaccumed kitchen floor, including under the fridge and in the tiny pantry
  • mopped kitchen floor- twice
  • mopped floor of main bathroom
  • cleaned bathroom's mirror
  • took count of all the spare toilet paper rolls in the house (six; NOT ENOUGH FOR MY COMFORT)
  • scrubbed microwave inside and out
  • scrubbed freezer and reorganized contents of (hey, no one wanted that homemade spaghetti sauce from 3/07, right?)
  • cleaned any visible yuck from inside fridge
  • cleaned stovetop
  • de-crumbed toaster oven
  • cleaned blender (I haven't made margaritas in a long time- it was a tad dusty)
  • did four loads of laundry
  • sterilized 10 baby bottles and their assorted parts
  • went swimming at the pool
And though my back was killing me at the end of the day, I was not nearly as tired as I expected to be. All this from a woman who has barely had the energy to get up from the couch.

Weirdest thing ever.

37 weeks. I am not playing around.

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Monday, August 04, 2008

Photo extravaganza! (or: Better Late than Never)

Oh, Internet. I've had so many ideas for great posts, and none of the energy to sit down and write them. Bearette aptly described third trimester fatigue as a "lack of life force".

Yes, that's exactly it.

But otherwise, I simply cannot complain. Things are going well, I am healthy and I have to assume that the baby is, too. He gets hiccups several times a day, poor little guy, but he continues to move around and amaze me and doesn't kick my rib cage too much anymore. I'm still going to work every day, although it took only the smallest bit of encouragement from my doula to "rest when needed" to call in to work last Wednesday night and say that I was turning off my alarm and would be in whenever I woke up on Thursday morning.

The car seats were installed with only a smattering of expletives, the essentials have been purchased, and Mike and I have been doing our nightly perineal massage. If you don't know what that last one is, you can Google it, though you may not want to do so at work (the massage OR the Googling of, just to be perfectly clear).

But enough about my perineum... you'd rather see pictures of the baby's room, right?

This isn't technically in the baby's room, it's in my room. But this is the bassinet that my brother, sister and I all slept in as infants. And yes, I know that the use of old bassinets and cribs is strongly discouraged by the President of the United States and many other important people, but I think it will be okay. Really.

Here's the baby's room. It's quite small, but it will work just fine.

The crib, a gift from Mike's dad:

Baby's view of the mobile:

Rocking chair, a gift from Mike's mom (my mom crocheted the blanket on the back):

My antique dresser-turned-changing table. How better to reward your furniture for decades of faithful service than to expose it to baby pee?

A picture of Mike and I with the pee stick. I assume we will replace this with a picture of the actual baby at some point.

Hanging above the door- Mike's mom made this for him when he was a baby:

Hanging inside the closet, a gift from Mike's brother. This is a clue to part of the baby's name. Anyone care to take a guess? (if you already know the name, you're disqualified. I mean, do I have to say that? Probably not. But I will anyway.)

Wee baby socks! Which I have managed to keep track of, thanks to you geniuses with your brilliant MESH BAG suggestion!

Wee baby clothes! Those little pants with the drawstring just slay me. We've gotten lots of items that sport lions... another clue to the baby's name.

BabelBabe was kind enough to send a boxful of much-needed baby clothing, things that her fourth and last son (or so she says) has outgrown. This is one of my favorite items:

And here's a onesie from Mike's brother. NOT one of my favorite items, but I figure the baby will be too young to be frightened by Gene Simmons and his bloody, snake-like tongue.

Swaddling for cheaters:

Stuff my friends said I should have:

Things my mother said were essential:

(is it clear yet that this nursery is powered by the suggestions of Other People?)

Hat and bib made by Lisa, who is currently in Malawi:

Cozy blanket that makes me laugh, from Bdogg:

Beautiful quilt made by Betsy:

Giraffe models the cloth diapers we'll be using at home:

Librarians have librarian friends who like to give books as gifts, and I love that. The baby has a small library already. (BTW, Bearette sent a really cute one that I can't show you, because it has the baby's name on it and I don't want to spoil the guessing game).

Note that while I did NOT use the safety strap on the changing pad while diapering the giraffe, I do have safety plugs in the outlets. I get half-credit, right?

So, we're ready, thanks in large part to the many kind and generous people in our lives, some of whom we've never even met. Thank you.

And meanwhile, we wait.

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