Wednesday, March 15, 2006

And what's with the...

Has anyone else noticed that people say truly asinine things?

Behold the stupidity:

Person A: Hey! It's so good to see you! It's been ages! What's new?
Person B: Well, I actually just got engaged! We're getting married next August.
Person A: (chuckling) Well, you know, it's not too late to back out now! You can still save yourself!


A: Hey! I heard you just got married!
B: Yes, we did. We're lovin it!
A: Well of course you are! This is the honeymoon phase, after all. Be careful though, the first year is hell.

A: So, you still married?

A: Congratulations on your far along are you?
B: Just over 6 months now, actually.
A: Wow! You're not that big at all...I never would have guessed you were that far along! (in conspiratorial whisper) *Good job!*

Okay, so seriously? Why is it that the most life-changing, joyous events are met with such derision? Is it just a general inability to comprehend that someone may actually *want* to spend their life with their best friend? Or is the divorce rate so high in our country that people just assume all marriages will fail? And what about pregnancy? Honestly, we women have absolutely no control over what happens to our bodies during pregnancy, and most of us are self conscious enough about all the changes we're going through, without some random person telling us how proud we should be for staying small. Now, I'm worried that my baby isn't healthy. Thanks loads.

So, to recap. Yes, we're still married. It'll be a year in May. This year has been the easiest of our entire relationship. There was no awkward adjustment period, there haven't been any late night fights, or threats to jump ship. We have bickered *less* since the wedding, because, while we have stress and life is anything but easy most days, we have figured out how to deal with it as a team. Isn't that what marriage is supposed to be? A team effort? I always thought you were supposed to marry your best friend, in order to avoid serious conflict. And we do get to avoid most conflict, because we respect the hell out of each other, and always talk. That and the 48 hour rule - if one of us does something to upset the other (like emptying one's razor in to the sink and NOT RINSING IT!) then we have 48 hours to get it off of our chest. Past that, and it's no longer viable argument fodder. This helps avoid the whole "Well in 1976 you forgot to put gas in the car twice!" drama.

And yes, I am just over 6 months pregnant. To me, this belly doesn't look tiny. It looks like it could fit a box of tissues in it, which is how big our baby is now. Yep, she weighs a pound and a half and is as big as a box of tissues. Two weeks ago she was a banana. That's some serious growth. I'm just doing what I can to ensure that my baby and I come through this healthy and sane, and if that means that I don't have a belly the size of a Volkswagen right now, then so be it. My body is doin what it has to in order to create a healthy baby. That's all I need to know.

Honestly, folks. Just let it go, already! Stop saying stupid things to people, and just accept that maybe, just maybe, there are people out there who are making decisions based on what is best for them and for their families, and don't give a rat's ass what you think about it.

Beware the power of stupid people in large groups.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Week 25 (almost)

Wow. Time flies when you're, um, pregnant. Hard to believe we get to meet our baby girl in 15 weeks! Awesome!

There is a whole world of crazy boobness going on here in Pregnancy Land, and in all honesty, if they get any larger I fear for my balance. It's ridiculous enough that I went up an entire cup size in a week and a half. Then, I realized that it wasn't swelling, but that my boobs had, in fact, grown that much that quickly. Freaky. Now though, I'm noticing that they're not stopping. I stopped being able to see my feet by the 8th week of this pregnancy, and it wasn't 'cause of the belly. Now being just past the 6 month mark, you'd think that my belly would protrude further than my boobs. Nope! The boobs, they're still winning. I can't afford to go bra shopping *again*, so instead I'm relying on tank tops with "shelf bras" and warm breezes to keep me sane until they stop (will they ever?) their unceasing growth.

Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, things are moving along swimmingly. I have had a very angry uterine occupant for the last two or three days, but she seems to be calming down a bit now. She literally spent almost every waking moment of the last several days punching, kicking, or arching her back in protest. I know she was arching her back, because she was facing out towards my belly button at the time, and the arching forced her head back against my, well, back, and it felt all kinds of weird. So yes, she's angry. Portia says she's exercising. Nah, she's just my kid, and is/was in a pissy mood. I was looking through a cookbook the other night, and had the book propped on my belly, 'cause, you know, it's there. B happened to be looking over at the exact moment that Little Angel kicked so ferociously as to knock the book out of my hands. Seriously. My abs still hurt from that little stretch. So, apparently Mama isn't allowed to read for the next 15 weeks. Awesome. I keep reminding her she has to stay in there for 3 more months, and she keeps kicking my hip and punching my colon. Glad we straightened that out.

In exciting news, my parental units are bringing down furniture (!) on Saturday for BB3's room. Theoretically, they are bringing a cradle, a crib, and a dresser. They are definitely bringing the cradle, but the dresser needs to be painted (so says mom, and I'm okay with it as long as it's done here) as does the crib, because the paint is "badly chipped" on the end. Okay, fine. Then please, please, in the name of all that is holy, bring all the furniture here, and come visit to paint it. Otherwise, our child will be sleeping in bed with us, because she won't have any furniture, and her clothing will be spread out in stacks in her (empty save for a rocking chair) room. We'll see how much furniture we actually get. If worse comes to worse, we will most definitely be getting the cradle, and will have to purchase a mattress for it, as it is the cradle that my grandfather built for my father when he was a little one (my father was the little one, not my grandfather...that would be weird) and the mattress has disappeared in the 19 or so years since it was used for my brother. BB3 will have somewhere to sleep from the get-go.

I had my six month checkup last Wednesday, and everything is moving along just fine. I see a "regular" doctor, as well as a direct-entry midwife, because I am participating in what is known as "shadow care." I live in one of the few states where homebirth is illegal, and as I am adamant that I not have this baby in a hospital where I will be treated like an incubator, I have sought the help of a direct-entry midwife for the birth, but am continuing to go to my regular appointments with the ob-gyn/nurse midwife practice in town. At my doctor's appointments (not to be confused with my midwife) I am weighed, fundal height is measured, heart rate is checked, and we generally get to take a look at the little one through ultrasound. According to every once-pregnant woman I know, this is a very strange thing, because most of them received two ultrasounds during their entire pregnancy. So far I've had at least one at every appointment. I like it that way. I have to go a week between seeing my other two kids, which is hard enough. It's almost excruciating to only see our third child once a month.

The newest addition of my doctor's appointments has been to warn me of the dangers of pre-term labor. Thanks, guys, 'cause I'm not freaking out enough at the thought of my hips spreading *more* and not sleeping, and am I getting enough nutrients, and dear Jesus I took three Tylenol instead of two for my migraine the other day. Apparently, it is entirely possible that I will go in to labor Any.Second. and must be extra super-duper careful to not "aggravate" my uterus. Okay, so that means what exactly? According to the doc, that means no strenuous exercise (yeah, i'm doing any strenuous exercise...this is the one time in my life i'm totally expected to sit on my butt) no cleaning of bathrooms or kitchen floors, I shouldn't do too much bending and stooping, which means not too much laundry, etc. So, if I understand correctly, I am to let my house go completely to rot around me while I sit on my butt and watch? Um, no. Now don't get me wrong, PB does his more-than-fair share of housework, but he is also putting in 70-80 hours a weeks at the office in the hopes that we will be able to pay the bills and I won't have to immediately go back to work, so he's usually completely whipped by the time he gets home around 8 or 9pm, knowing he has to get us between 4 and 5 the next morning. I called my nurse midwife (we'll call her KC from now on, to differentiate) who told me in no uncertain terms that I was to pretty much completely forget everything the fire and brimstone doc had told me and was to live my life normally. I'm pregnant, not ill. My tests have all come back normal, every time, and I have textbook good blood pressure. I am not anemic, I do not have a problem cervix, nor is my baby's growth being stunted. I am to live my life, and listen to my body. If I feel like I need to take a nap, take a nap. If I feel motivated (like I did the other day) to clean out an entire room and make 8 trips up to the attic, I should do it. I am in no way to feel obligated to perform (or not perform, as the case may be) certain tasks simply because I am pregnant. My body will tell me if I am working too hard. I love her. She has a very, "we are woman, leave us alone to gestate in peace" attitude.

And did I mention that PB is planning to train for the JFK Memorial Marathon? That's a 50K, people. That's a lot. Luckily, he's got until November '07 to train for it, but still. That's just crazy. As someone who has spent her entire life trying *not* to run, unless chased of course, I just can not understand the appeal of pounding up and down pavement for 30 something miles. Seriously? Just drive if you need to get there that bad. But I totally support him doing it, and training at the butt-crack of dawn, when he'll take BB3 in the stroller so that Mama can get at least an hour or two of uninterrupted sleep, is an added bonus. Yay!

Friday, March 10, 2006

Week 24

Or, the point in the pregnancy at which I smother PB in his sleep, because he WON'T STOP SNORING!

Now then. PB is sick/getting sick/faking it to try and get sympathy. The disease he is working on is a lovely combination of a stomach virus, the flu, and, apparently, The Plague. 7 people I know have been out of work almost all week with this illness. PB's office consists of about a dozen people, half of whom have been home sick at least half the week. And these people get to take medicine to fight disease! We pregnant types are not quite so lucky. I can take Robitussin (gag me) or suffer through. As long as my fever doesn't go above 100.4 -this seems to be the magical temperature at which everything is okay...above that, and I will cook my baby to death-I'm fine. Above that, and I have to be hospitalized. Awesome choices, folks. So, more than likely I will commence with the sick any day now. Or, I'll get lucky for the first time e-ver and won't. Nothin like a good 'old fashioned crap shoot to make my otherwise dull life interesting! And when PB is sick, he snores, a lot. So much so that I woke up at 2am on Thursday, and just stayed awake. There was really no point in trying to doze off again, because I had only been sleeping intermittently at best since he came to bed. Last night was slightly better, in that I think I got about 4 hours of sleep. Honestly though, if I don't get a good night's sleep soon, I'll kill him. Slowly.

And now on to normal life news:

This week of the pregnancy has brought with it new and fun ways for BB3 to torture me. For instance, she is laying in my womb in such a way that her head is tucked near my left hip, and her feet are near my right hip, and her back is against my belly. Since she is my child, she apparently enjoys sleeping with her butt stuck up in the air. This explains why the only stretch mark I have is to the right of my belly button. Now, I'm not complaining about having a stretch mark, because it could be SO much worse, and I'm well aware of this. I am, however, a little peeved that this tiny little creature is making my belly lopsided. Seriously. I will try and get a good picture of it in the next week or so, 'cause it's absolutely priceless. Also, in this position, she is apparently only capable of punching me in the colon. While this doesn't really hurt, it's one of the weirdest friggin feelings on the planet. The other night I was sitting on the couch watching TV, and had a blanket laying across my lap, covering my belly. She kicked so violently that the blanket flipped off of my belly. It didn't slide, it didn't shift imperceptibly, it looked like I had taken the edge of the thing and ripped it off of myself. Not so much. That kick hurt a bit.

Also, with the magical 6 month mark in the pregnancy, came an odd pain in my hips. It's not like when you sleep on your hip and it gets sore, it's more internal. Like I can feel my hips spreading, which, may I just say, is TOTALLY not fair! I have been labeled "Holster Hips" since middle school. The last thing I need is wider hips. Seriously. She's got plenty of room in there. She does NOT need to be pushing my hips apart. You hear me in there? Knock it off, or you're coming out grounded!

Last weekend was a tough one with BB1 and BB2. There were some fun moments, but the majority of the time was spent with PB and I scratching our heads at why our normally well behaved and fairly obedient children were, in all reality, blowing us off.

Saturday, a deal was made that if they cleaned up their playroom a little bit (it was so bad they didn't have room to sit on the floor without sitting on a pile of crap) they could stay up late after dinner and watch a movie. "No problem" they said, "a movie? Yay!" they said. Uh huh. They were to clean the playroom before lunch and subsequent naps, and when PB asked them if they had accomplished this, they stared at him with their big blue eyes, saying, "Of course, Daddy. How could you possibly think we wouldn't do *exactly* what you asked of us?" Yep. After naps, they went up to the playroom to play, and I went upstairs just to check on them, take part in their activity, be a mom, whatever. Upon peeking my head around the corner, I realized that not only had they not cleaned the playroom, they had made it worse. The shelves that PB had so lovingly built for them to place all of their large toys on were completely bare, meaning the large toys were strewn all over the floor. So, no more movie. I told them that since they had not only not done what was asked of them, but had also blatantly lied to their father's face, they wouldn't get to watch the movie after all. BB1 shrugged and said, "that's okay, I don't mind." BB2 did the same. Okay, fine.

Sunday morning, I asked the girls to please stop pushing each other around on the stairs, because someone was going to fall, and I really didn't feel like driving to the hospital. After the third time, I sent them to separate corners to calm down for a few minutes. When I went in to talk to BB1 and ask why, all of a sudden, she and her sister had decided that PB and I weren't worth listening to, she replied with, "Well, it doesn't really matter how you punish us, 'cause it's not like we have to stay at your house very long anyway." She's 6. That slap in the face stung for hours. It also got her a day in her room, because as PB rationalized with her, if they're not at the house long enough for it to matter what we do *to* them, then it also doesn't matter what she wants us to do *with* them, and from here on out she can spend her time at our house in her room. Pretty sure that got the point across. I know that it comes with the territory that your kids will say things to make you cry, and will totally not mean to hurt you. I know that it doesn't mean they don't love us, they're just being logical. And she's right. Any punishment we dish out can only last as long as they're in our house (that is until they're teenagers and we can ground them for consecutive visits to the house if need be), but it doesn't make it any easier to hear.

And unfortunately now I must work. I have been having printer issues all morning, so the work that I am usually able to start at about 8:15 is just getting started now. And I HAVE to leave here at exactly 4 o'clock in order to get home, change, do my hair and makeup, and then drive an hour up to my hometown with my good friend from college in order to meet a high school friend for dinner and then go see a show. Whew! And we must leave my house no later than 5:00 to meet for a 6:00 dinner, to be out in time for the 8:00 show. Fabulous. So excited for a girl's night!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

I know it's a little late, but...

Does anyone else find it to be a sign of the Apocalypse that we went from a pope who grew up in Nazi-dominated Poland, and watched his family and friends get forced in to concentration camps, to a pope who was a member of the Hitler youth?

The mind reels.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Irrational Fears

The pregnancy ticker is cute, huh? For all you sports fans keeping track at home, that's how long we have left. That's it!

I work in accounting, and as such, the first week of every month is absolutely insane for me, because I'm trying to reconcile accounts from the previous month, set up the accounts for the new month, enter all account balances in to the master spreadsheet, and make sure that my account balances have all been printed, signed, stapled to the appropriate backup, and sent out to the managers of the respective accounts to be approved. Then, I have three weeks and this whole process starts over again. I realized this morning that including this month-end, I only have three left before BB3 gets here.

We only get to see BB1 and BB2 every other weekend. That means we will only have 8 more weekends with them until BB3 gets here. Seriously? That's SO soon. Wow.

Kinda starting to freak out a little. I've been *around* newborns (my neice), and babysat dozens of kids, plus my girls are 6 and almost 4, and I've known them since BB2 was 18 months, so I've gotten tons of big baby practice. I have not, however, ever been completely and totally responsible for every action of another human being. I know I will have PB there to help, and for that I am eternally grateful, but I will, for all intents and purposes, be on my own from 7am to about 5 or 6pm, every day. And while I desperately want to be able to stay home with my baby every day, so that I don't miss one single thing she does, I am so scared that I am somehow going to irrevocably screw her up. I know all parents joke that we're all gonna screw our kids up anyway, that it's in the book, listed under Job Duties of Parents, but seriously, what if I hurt her? I lay her down for a nap and she never wakes up. I give her a bath and she squirms away from me and falls on the floor. Hell, what if I drop her? I am so not the nervous parent type with my other two kids, but they have always been so damned independent, and like I said, I wasn't there in the beginning when they were completely helpless. They could both tell me what they needed, and how to get it for them from Day 1. She won't be able to do that. I will spend an entire year not knowing. How the hell do people deal with this?

And I haven't even started thinking about the childbirth part of it, because I know damn well that no matter how hard I try and prepare myself for it, it's not going to be like anything I've ever experienced in my life. My friend with babies keep asking me if I'm taking lamaze classes, or any kind of childbirth prep. On hearing that we've decided to forego that aspect of preparation, they're all supportive. "Not worth the time." "You've got more important things to do for the next 4 sleep!" "Once you're in the throes, you forget everything they tried to teach you anyway." "There's NO WAY to prepare for this." That last one was from a woman who is just barely 5', about a size 4, and gave birth to a 21.5", 10lb baby boy. With no drugs, because she dialated too fast for them to get the epidural in. And people who do not have kids keep asking me if I'm nervous about the childbirth part of it. My friends with kids understand that you do not ask a pregnant woman that question, because she's freaking out about every other aspect of her life, like why her favorite bra fit last week, but doesn't fit this week, or the fact that her dog does not love her anymore because said dog refused to go upstairs and go to sleep in the pregnant woman's room while her husband was out of town. Honestly though, I'm really not worried about the childbirth part of it, because every woman I know who's been through it has lived to talk about it, and even says she'd do it again (except the one with the 10lb baby...she's pretty much done). Besides, it's not like it lasts forever. Now, I'm sure I'll feel differently when I'm in hour 23 with no drugs, but as of right this minute, I can totally do this. Really.

I completely understand now why women say they're so grateful to have their moms around them through this whole process. And I really desperately wish that I felt that way. I wish I had the kind of relationship where I felt comfortable leaning on her for support, and didn't think she'd ignore me, or blow me off, or just forget to be there. In all reality though, I'm more afraid she'd let me down that I am to go through this alone. How sad is that?