Tuesday, August 26, 2008
She makes this weird little noise, kinda like an otter, hence her new name. In fact, I think she looks like an otter too. Minus the big whiskers. But the pelt... That still remains to be seen.
The one thing she doesn't have yet?
On Monday (8/25) our kitchen was finally finished-ish. Since our light fixtures are still MIA, we can't quite say it's done, or will ever be. But for the moment, we welcomed our kitchen into existence and began the arduous process of unpacking the ten thousand kitchen boxes that had lived in the garage for nearly 3 months.
We went out for Cuban food, opened some wine, and took about 18 trips to the Russian store. And then, finally it was Tuesday, and packed like sardines into my car, we made our way down to the hospital...
Friday, August 22, 2008
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Not much to report, or any deep thoughts to share.
My mother now calls me at random intervals to say things like "I bought you a mobile." That's it.
I call back to say things like "I can't find the pomegranate juice you asked me to buy." That's it.
Our kitchen still isn't done, and I'm getting word that the back-order light fixtures are further away from being delivered than I was led to believe. I'm kinda pissed about that, and intend to fight the light manufacturer. To what end, I don't know.
I had a really bizarre dream last night involving my upcoming surgery, a baby (that looked frighteningly similar to the Reborn we have at the office), working in the edit bay while waiting for my C-Section, and Dr. Phil. I woke up frightened.
Image by tanakawho
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Over the last 8 3/4 months, I've had some insights and reflections on this crazy process called pregnancy. Some of it was what I'd assumed and expected, while a lot of it was revelation. I've tried to share my thoughts and epiphanies with you through this blog, as honestly and uncensoredly (is that a word?) as possible. Perhaps too honestly for some.
Now, as I near the final bend in this road (or the merge onto the Superhighway ahead, as the case may be) I'm trying to step back and assess what it is I've discovered.
So here it is - yet another list...
1) Pregnancy doesn't always feel "natural." In fact, to me, there was little that felt natural about it. You feel ill, parts of your body grow suddenly, after a point things move around inside you of their own volition. If you ask me, this has more the makings of a sci-fi thriller than a natural process. Nevertheless, generations of people, cows, whales, ants and mitochondria prove otherwise.
2) Any shred of modesty or shame will be stripped from you by your doctors once you're pregnant. Relative strangers will poke, prod, monitor and manhandle you in a variety of ways too graphic do describe in a public forum. And they won't even buy you dinner.
3) People notice that you're pregnant. This may seem totally self-evident, but it kinda took me by surprise. There were days, even in the later stages, where I would momentarily forget I was knocked up. Maybe I was feeling a bit more energetic, or was getting used to the added weight and girth, but I would truly wake up, having forgotten She-Blob. And then, as I was going through the routine of the day, someone would say, "So, when are you due?" or "Can I assume...?" and I would be shocked back into reality.
4) Hand in hand with #3, my stomach looks fake. Still. It shocks me EVERY time I see my reflection that a basketball has made a home for itself below my skin.
5) People touch you. I'd read about it, I'd heard about it. It was still initially unexpected, though you get used to it quickly.
6) She-Blob has a personality of sorts. She is neither weak nor gentle. And she has moods - quieter days, more active days. Things that make her perk up, or settle. I have yet to figure out how this translates into real life, but it's a strange thing to realize.
7) People want to know the name. They assume you've come up with one immediately. They don't believe you when you say you don't have one, and assume you're holding out on them. You, on the other hand, become strangely protective of the name (or lack thereof, if you're like us, and really don't have one).
8) People assume you're going to change once you have children. And I'm not saying that I won't. Maybe this is revelation mixed with hope, but I think that the values that have made me, me for these years are still in place.
9) That said, you ask yourself a lot of tough questions about your preparedness, ability and even desire to be a parent. You begin to have plans and hopes for your Blob-to-be long before it's an entity distinct from you.
10) People are really, really nice to you when you're pregnant. They are interested in how you're feeling. Strangers chat you up in stores. They offer advice and help. It's made me wonder if I'm somehow a bad person because I don't automatically think to talk to pregnant people about their pregnancy. But I'm very grateful for everyone who's taken the time to simply smile at me, or hold the door a second longer.
So as the clock ticks down, and I face the future with an equal mix of hope, denial, fear, anticipation and sheer horror at the thought that in less than a week I will be handed a human to take care of, all I can ask for is more patience, more knowledge and more revelations. And maybe another candy bar, before I have to start getting "back into shape."
Image by CarbonNYC
Image by Zoonie
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Today was my C-Section Pre-Op consultation, at which I learned all of the things that could go terribly wrong and how the qualified staff of Cedars-Sinai was going to deal with it. Apparently a lot of organs (both the important ones, and those less so) can be pierced, resulting in varying degrees of complications and hospital stay lengths. Or I could get an infection.
Other bad news - seven days from now, I can't eat. And afterwards, I'll have to eat bland boring food for a while (no sneaking in Jerry's Deli onion rings). Sad that in the range of things that can go awry, this is the one that stands out to me.
Keeping my legs crossed tighter than ever...
Image by flattop341
Friday, August 15, 2008
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
1. None of my clothes fit. The ones that still do, don't fit well. That's because I look like the broad side of a barn.
2. Up and Down are no longer viable directions for my body to take. All movement also includes a sideways component.
3. Macy's doesn't carry any maternity wear. Considering they have hundreds of types of "intimate wear," is it too much to ask that 5 or 6 of those models be designed for people in my "condition"? Who does a girl have to sleep with to get a nursing bra around here? (The answer, apparently, is the people at Target.)
4. We are woefully behind on Olympics. There's no way we'll ever catch up, but I refuse to give in and erase the HD broadcasts that are taking up TONS of space on my TiVo.
5. I've been getting road ragey. Yesterday, a man who wouldn't pull up into the 3 car-lengths of space ahead of him drove me to near insanity. I honked. I passed. He tailgated. I slowed down to 10mph, ignoring the very real possibility that, this being LA, behavior like that could get me killed.
6. I hate...hate...HATE iPhoto. It is the least user friendly program. I'm a reasonably intelligent, college educated, computer literate woman and I can't figure out where the picture files are actually stored on my Mac. Moreover, I can't figure out how to email them (without using Mac-approved email servers, which I do not have). And circumventing the program only corrupts the files. Who came up with this????
7. I'm not going to get to refinish my antique chair before the She-Blob comes. I want that damn chair reupholstered.
8. Today has been the longest day since the creation of time. And it's still only 1:21.
9. I'm dealing with it by mindlessly eating everything in sight. I'm not even remotely hungry, so my chowing is mixed with equal parts shame and disgust at my own gluttony. It results in me looking like the broad side of a barn. (See #1)
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Packing for the hospital is akin to planning for a vacation - just without the anticipation of having a great time. For me, this involves some changes of underwear, leisure wear (preferably with draw-strings), slippers, toiletries, magazines, games, music, snacks (in case I get peckish during my surgery?), and an outfit to wrap the souvenir package in for home delivery. Bree also gets to tote every tourist's must have - the camera. All we're missing is some fanny packs and our passports.
Last night, I bit the bullet, pulled out my duffel bag and packed. I also updated my ipod, gathered electronics and chargers, and prepped an extensive pile of clothes to launder.
I'm no more ready to birth, but I did succeed in upsetting our dog, who knows that duffel bags lead to no good.
Monday, August 11, 2008
For this, you can thank the kind folks who have brought us Ikea, as part of their diabolical plan of world domination.
If any of you have not had the pleasure of visiting this Hades disguised as a home goods store, allow me to give you the run-down:
Situated over 2 warehouse-like, gargantuan floors, it sits, poised like a monster, in some mall complex in a town near yours. Inside, is a labyrinth of passageways through showrooms, exhibiting "rooms" created solely out of Ikea furnishings and home decorating items. Come armed with a map, a compass, and plenty of food-stuffs to keep you nourished during your quest. Though there are signs, placards, and even arrows on the floor, instructing you where to go, their sole purpose it to get you hopelessly lost. Eventually, frightened and dehydrated, you decide that renovating your kitchen with laminated particle-board cabinets is a great idea.
Moreover, you'll need to make room for the hordes of what can only be tourists wandering the aisles with you. My theory on these people is two-fold: either they really got the short end of the stick on some package tour, and think they are at Disney Land instead (this would explain the crowds that stop dead in front of a particularly awful display of lamps or mugs, pointing and snapping photos); or, lulled in by the promise of cheap furnishing "souvenirs" to take back to the home country, they have become lost like you, and have also been wandering for days, unable to find the exit.
Add in a healthy dose of couples how have decided to make "A Day at Ikea" a family outing for their 2 screaming infants and out-of-town in-laws, and you get a general idea of what Sunday morning at this Swedish Design strong-hold has in store for you.
Oh - and -
the escalator up doesn't work;
and the elevator is long and narrow, forcing you to head in, but back out in reverse;
and while ALL the curtains, bedding, etc. are together in the jauntily named "Marketplace," children's textiles, bedding, etc. are in a COMPLETELY different location, deep in the bowls of the furniture area;
and if you happen to need curtains that AREN'T 84" long, Ikea helpfully suggests just cutting their curtains in half;
and everything has cute Swedish sounding names like "SKILHO" and "BLARG" which tell you NOTHING about what the product actually is or does;
and the signs explaining what the products are are in 3 different languages, English not always being the most prominent;
and God help you if you've taken a wrong turn and have to backtrack - Ikea is designed to be a strictly one-way operation;
and the "restaurant" smells revolting;
and there are no bags, so be prepared to carry everything by hand.
Here's what we came for: She-Blob's curtains, curtain rods, lamp, bedding, rug, picture frames, animal pictures for the walls.
Here's what we left with: place mats, bedding (for us), She-Blob bedding, 2 lamps, rug, picture frames, light bulbs, frozen Swedish Meatballs.
All in all, a rather successful trip, even if it has shaved years off my life. My greatest accomplishment though? Successfully fighting the urge to take that 12-year-old kid, walking as slowly as he could in front of me while swinging his arms and stab him with my pen.
I hate Ikea.
Image by OiMax
Friday, August 8, 2008
Thursday, August 7, 2008
To that end, Bree and I began our search for a pediatrician. Contrary to what those lilting insurance company ads will have you believe about finding a new doctor, simply going on their "Find a Provider" website tells you diddly squat about the actual physician. Sure, I can find out if the otherwise-anonymous physician speaks Farsi or Mandarin Chinese, if they have offices in Santa Monica and Beverly Hills, and (most importantly) if they're taking on new patients, but in terms of picking a doctor that will match your personal philosophies, and keep your child relatively alive, the websites are about as useful as throwing darts against a board of names. To truly learn about a doctor's personality, you need recommendations. But who to ask?
Let's face it - though we have friends with children, we spend very little time actually talking to them about their offspring. Besides, they all live close, but not THAT close to us, and we're told proximity is key when your screaming infant is burning up of a 104 degree fever at 3am.
Fortunately, we had an epiphany - our Breathing Instructor seemed to have lots of opinions on everything while we were in her class, and didn't always tow the company line, so we decided to call her. And she recommended the pediatrician who had taken care of her own kids.
The meet-n-greet was set. We arrived at the conveniently situated office building prepared to interview and be interviewed. The only catch being, I had no idea what to ask. "So, have any of your patients died recently?" or "Any pending malpractice suits we should know about?" sounded like they might start things off on the wrong foot. And past that, I had nothing.
Again, the universe intervened, and when we sat down with Dr. Helen, she instantly made us feel comfortable, offering up all kinds of information about her background, education, medical philosophies and love of dogs and dog rescue. This was a woman after our own hearts. Though there was no talk of random patient deaths, we left feeling reasonably reassured that She-Blob would survive her care.
The universe is a funny thing, the world is small and serendipity abounds, if you just look around for it. I didn't want to go to breathing class, and learned little about breathing there. And in fact, since I'm C-Section bound, will likely not use any of the skills I acquired there. But in return, we found a woman who led us to our future child's doctor. What's more, turns out that the guy who runs the rescue where we got our other, dog child (and whose opinion and outlook we trust) takes his kids to Dr. Helen too.
Looks like we found our doctor.
Image by takomabibelot
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Now before you accuse me of rushing her out the door and into an other's arms before the poor kid has even had the chance to be born, let me assure you that this is completely on the up-and-up.
What it means, is that the baby, in anticipation of celebrating her birthday, has descended into the pelvic area. So what I once simply referred to as "wedged," now has a much more official and doctor-sanctioned moniker.
For most mothers-to-be, engagement comes hand-in-hand with another term - "lightening." Quite literally, mothers feel relief from the pressure that their baby is putting on their internal organs as the kid falls lower in the uterus. Breathing becomes easier, weight is taken off of the stomach... I suspect this happens with the other kind of "engagement" too - when parents can finally take a deep breath, finding that their child is moving on with his/her live and won't be living out the rest of their post-collegiate days at home.
Of course, because She-Blob is breech, the engagement has changed little for her and me. She is just that much more stuck like a cork in a bottle, ass down, head/arms/legs planted firmly in my lungs. I hope this is not a portend for years to come...
Image by stephend9
Monday, August 4, 2008
Image by kevindooley
Sunday, August 3, 2008
I found these images among my search results for "nesting." Now whatever you personally think of them, I'm gonna go ahead and speak out and say that I find them horrifying. Just like those photos of babies dressed up as flowers and bugs, that seem to be so popular.
On the other hand they capture the symbolism, if not the actual scene, of what we did this weekend. Which, in short, is finally starting to assemble the She-Blob room/office. Which required the following steps:
1) The "office" was downsized to an office cube and a bright green file cabinet.
- There was much cursing about the thousands of wires a computer/monitor setup actually have. All of these wires seemingly lead to nowhere and contribute nothing, yet the whole thing won't work unless they're connected just right.
- There was more cursing about the "easy snap together" flat-screen monitor. Which was anything but. What kind of direction is "Tilt at a 5 to 10 degree angle,"? 5 to 10 degrees? Really? Wait, let me find my protractor so I can be sure I'm following your simple directions correctly.
- There was yet more cursing when we realized that while the printer fits perfectly onto the printer shelf of the cube, there's not enough space to open it and therefore, can't use it to print.
2) The remaining furniture was carried out of the room to the garage, our catch-all for all items without a permanent destination.
- This was mostly done by Bree, who managed to lug vast quantities of shelving around without assistance.
3) The living room rug (which is being temporarily stored in the office until it can be temporarily moved to the guest room, from which we'll have to remove it - hopefully back to it's rightful place in the living room, once the construction is done - before my parents arrive and actually need to sleep in the guest room) was shoved to the other side of the office to free up a path to move the remaining bookshelf.
4) I mopped the piece of floor I could access.
5) We prepared to move the bookshelf back into place, until Bree realized that we'd be moving it out of the way again to allow for the baby furniture to come in. We abandoned the project.
6) We went to Carters and got baby clothes. This was easy. The biggest debate being "Is that for boys or girls?" We decided we didn't care.
7) We went to Target to get the things we hadn't received at the shower but still needed.
- We discovered that there is A LOT of baby crap out there. And that we still don't know what most of it is for.
- We wandered around like aliens visiting earth for the first time for a while, before grabbing things that we had pictures of in our registry and had therefore convinced ourselves we needed.
- We discovered that Target carries biodegradable diapers. We were actually excited about this. We were almost immediately shamed that something like diapers was now "exciting." We fled from the diaper aisle.
- We quickly understood that there were still things we were missing, though we couldn't quite tell you what they were, and assumed we'd just get them at some other point. And fled the baby section.
- We went to the video game aisle to ground ourselves with a purchase we could wrap our heads around. We didn't find anything we liked.
- We left with a pile of mysterious baby crap, some low-energy consumption light bulbs and two bottles of wine.
Yeah, that was our Saturday. What did you do?
Images by Brittany's Expressions