Archive for November, 2011

“Tiny” People, Bite Me

“Tiny” people are not small in size. They are the women who, for the past few months, have taken it upon themselves to exclaim, “You’re TINY!” at me without provocation. They have been mothers, mothers-to-be, and never-to-be-mothers alike. They have been people who see and know lots of pregnant people. They have been my least favorite people for a while.

I know it’s cultural and therefore nobody’s “fault” that women feel compelled to comment on other women’s bodies. I guess there’s just something about pregnancy that makes most feel better about doing it to your face than behind your back. Oh, the good old days…

I think they think it’s some kind of compliment because most women like to be told how skinny they are. But I personally found it terrifying to keep hearing over and over how small I appeared and that somehow my baby must be too small and that that meant I already wasn’t being a good mother. I’m not saying I’d prefer women yell at me that I look like a rhinoceros who ate a whale; I’m just saying shut your pie hole.

Now is the time when I get my “revenge.” K and I went in for an ultrasound this morning. Guess the eff what?! Babies at 35 weeks tend to be weigh 5 pounds, and this “tiny” girl is already 6.6 pounds. Hear that, ladies? That extra 1.6 pounds means there’s plenty for each of you (I’d say at least a dozen over that past few months) to take a big bite! Mmm… being wrong tastes good, huh?!

With that tirade out of the way, I can say how much this info made me faint on the table. The baby will be gaining a pound a week from now till delivery. Does anyone see a math problem here? Four weeks at a pound each + 6.6 = 10 and a half pounds!!!! I’ve also been very frank about being okay with her coming at 38 weeks instead of 40 (like I did), and some people have given me stink eye and said, (insert your favorite judgmental tone) “You mean, you want to have your baby early?” Yes, yes I effing do. You go ahead and push out a 10+ pound baby. I’ll take an 8-er, thank you very much.

That brings us to the other bit of info from this morning’s ultrasound. As you may recall, I have had a bit o’ the placenta previa (an obstetric complication in which the placenta is attached to the uterine wall close to or covering the cervix — not great). Where it is now (and where it’ll be on labor day) is 1.4 cm from the cervix. They (the medical establishment) like to see at least a 2 cm distance. This also gave me the faints because, as with most things in life, there’s no clear cut (ouch, the pun!) decision to be made with the info. The doctor this morning said the latest research says it’s still safe to try for a vaginal delivery if the distance is over 1 cm. She would not say that she recommended a C-section. The complication lies in the risk of the placenta separating from the uterus before the baby comes out and a lot of bleeding. It could mean blood transfers and/or an emergency C-section. My scared, tiny self thinks “Why not just get the C-section? It’ll be over in 15 minutes and she’ll come out with an unsquished head.” Yet I know there are a lot of good reasons to do it naturally if possible (I can’t think of ’em right at this moment, but that’s only because my brain is swimming in impossible images, like that of a 10 pound baby head somehow coming out of me).

Oh, life. It’s bigger; it’s bigger than you, and you are not me.

Next Stop: Everest

I can’t breathe, and I’m told it’s totally normal. Besides climbing mountains, what other human endeavor can boast that effect besides late pregnancy? I mean, unless you’re one of those soccer-playing asthmatics, I can’t think of any offhand. (Btw, “offhand” is as thorough as my thinking goes these days.)

The baby has found her favorite spot, which is diagonal with her head in my lower right quadrant and her big ol’ bootie under my ribs in my stomach/left lung/diaphragm area. She still moves around more than I appreciate, but if I’m looking for butt, I need only place my hand at the top of my uterus under my left boob.

I miss breathing. We took the pooch for a walk this morning, and once home I had to rest for 4x the time of our walk just to get it together to go on with life. Now I’m back from Sunday before T-giving grocery shopping, and I’m not sure I can rest enough to make up for it. Speaking of recovery, lord help the poor people who try to engage me while I’m out. I think I made a Walgreen’s manager cry when I told him that calling the stupid 1-800 number on the receipt is so not a high priority for me even if a score of 9 or higher for the store could yadda yadda yadda. Really? I’m standing behind this huge bump and panting and you’re circling numbers on my receipt?! Shave your goatee, a-hole!

Sorry. It’s the discomfort typing. I won’t let her anywhere near my daughter.

Now from a more forward-looking place… This week we went to the hospital for the infant car seat installment training (okay, just a quick mention here of the constant morning Arctic breeze through the second level of the parking structure where the training was held.) It’s fun getting into the car now and doing a double take of the big thing over my shoulder. I can’t wait till it’s occupied.

Also, yesterday some beautiful moms came over and brought us delicious wicked treats, which I let myself devour. They asked and answered questions about our pending birth and postpartum period. It was so nice to get some low-downs… and some beautiful beads to focus on when I get to that point in labor when I need to focus on a spot or something. K made this lovely necklace out of them.

So, Thanksgiving, then birthday 1 and birthday 2. Then… ? Should we start the betting pool? I’m double-downing on 38 weeks.

Daylight Saving Crime

I lived in Arizona, one of the few places without daylight saving time, for 21 years. Now, after 15 years on this crazy back and forth schedule, I’m still not used to it. Sure I loved the extra hour this morning to get things done. But I also grew up in the sun for 21 years, so to take away an hour of my sunshine — especially in one of the cloudiest/rainiest regions — is criminal, plain and simple.

Growing up, I used to love this time of year because it meant: 1) Thanksgiving turkey and stuffing (full of gluten in those days), 2) my birthday, which I shared with my snowbird Grandpa, 3) Chanukka, and 4) I might get to wear a sweater soon. Alternately, in the Pacific NW, November means stuffy noses from heaters, wet dog smell, mud chunks in the house, and wearing coats over sweaters. I would say that the joy of my approaching birthday remains, except that it’s just not fun to celebrate my getting older anymore.  Mortality takes all the air out of my party balloons. The biggest change to this season is that it’s now the time when my entire being relives my dad’s death. The light, air, smells, etc. trigger my mind to remember and “see” various traumatic scenes from 2 years ago. My cells like to remember things, too, so my body gets in on the act by feeling anxiety where there is no longer the imminent loss. Back to my brain, which now finds new reasons to be anxious to make sense of the anxiety’s presence (pregnancy is a well-fueled source of such reasons). All I can say is that at least this year I’m home; I turned 35 on my trip to AZ for the gravestone unveiling last year.

Then come the self-lashings for not letting the anticipated birth of my daughter completely wipe away all of this dark stuff. Am I not excited to be 8 months pregnant after trying for so long? Do I want the last weeks of my daughter’s gestation to take place in a gloomy womb? What the hell is wrong with me?, right?! My dad sure wouldn’t want me waddling around like a sad duck.

I’m not saying there aren’t lovely moments of light in this time as well. Some of these days I actually see the sun way off in the southern distance. Other folks I know are having babies, and I get a hit off their joy. K and I get to snuggle on the couch more. Friends are truly wonderful.  Maybe I’m just going through sugar withdrawal (the “close, but not a diagnosis” diabetes test has brought out the protective mama in K).

Since I can’t have a problem without a solution, I’m going for this long shot: to travel back in time to 1895 and steal all the ink from George Vernon Hudson’s inkwell. And put a gag in his mouth for extra precaution.

(Disclaimer: No men were harmed in the making of this blog.)

The Family

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