Sunday, May 31, 2009

Time to reorganize

I've been very anxious lately. I hadn't quite realized how anxious until Thursday night, when the relaxation exercise in class started me crying. I can blame pregnancy hormones a little, but only a little; it's my nature to be a worrier. (The instructor handed out a small questionnaire for each couple and on my side was "How good are you at relaxing?" and on Eric's side was "How good is your partner at relaxing?" The options were Excellent, Good, Fair, and Poor. We both chose Fair.) Not all of the anxiety has been about L.E.O., but a good deal of it has: how the delivery will go, how we'll figure out how to care for her, how we'll handle our finances to fit in daycare and diapers and college savings, how our lives will stretch and trim and reshape to accommodate her.

(And of course how much time we'll have left before she orders our execution, but we'll be very proud in the intervening time.)

We have sixty days left, approximately, and we're getting more serious about preparing for a baby in our lives: rearranging a bunch of the house to get the bookcases and other things out of the nursery ("You don't think we could leave this in here?" Eric said, brandishing a RenFaire sword), discussing daycare options, filling out insurance and preregistration paperwork, freaking out. Every once in a while Eric or I will grab the other's hand and say "Are we sure we really want to do this?" The other person always says yes (or "Well, it's too late now"). Maybe that's why it's good to have two of us. I was talking to Eric about my anxiety the other day, and I guess it was his turn to be the optimistic, confident one. He said, "What is there to worry about?"

I started enumerating all the potential problems I was thinking about, and--here's the strange part--he shot them all down. Normally this doesn't happen. Normally nothing budges my worrying. But whether I was too tired to disagree or too unsure of my ground to contest or too insecure to deny myself the offered comfort, I found myself thinking that maybe everything would be all right.

That didn't last terribly long, of course. But I remember the feeling, and it helps to know I had it. Maybe everything will be all right. And if it isn't, at least we're getting a nicely reorganized house out of the deal.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

All the pretty little ponies

L.E.O. had better not ever ask for a horse for her birthday. She's already given me four--four charley horses, that is; one two nights ago and three last night. ("How is that possible?" Eric said. "You only have two legs." I would have hit him, but he was out of arm's reach and my calves ached too much to get up.) The Mayo Clinic guide says no one knows for sure why they happen, but it may be due to the uterus putting pressure on the nerves, or decreased circulation. The Web concurs. Both tell me there's no cure and it sucks to be me. I suppose when L.E.O. is running things and has her advisory board of mad scientists I could ask her to have them find out, or make me bionic legs or something.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Childbirth class I: We Won't Laugh at You Until You Leave

The childbirth class looks like it's going to be okay. We were a little skeptical when we started out watching a video of Bill Cosby talking about the birth of his first child, and then going around the room saying (among other things) what traits we wanted our children to inherit, but we also discussed symptoms of late pregnancy and labor stages and warning signs and how preterm labor could be prevented or stopped.

Apparently the instructors of childbirth classes used to lie to expectant mothers, telling them there would be no pain involved. (I’m not sure I believe this. Didn't any of these people talk to their own mothers?) Also, apparently nurses laugh at expectant mothers a lot--but not until they leave, so we should feel free to come in and get checked if we're not sure what's going on. I can see drawbacks to having a nurse teach this class.

However, it was nice to hear actual anecdotes, and apparently she's also the lactation Nazi the nurse who gave us the hospital tour told us about, so we can expect to get plenty of information on that. We did a breathing exercise, but only as a five-minute end-of-class thing; it sounds like mainly it's going to be education on options and the actual process of delivery, plus some newborn care, which is what we want. Next week we get into the hard stuff: positions and drugs.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Best foot forward

Earlier this evening, I swiveled in my chair to get up and get a shower. I pulled my feet out from under my desk and yelped, "Holy $#@!" because suddenly my feet also looked seven months pregnant. I've been going around saying (in my head) when I look into mirrors and bump into doors, "I had a waist once," and if feet could think mine would be thinking, "I had ankles once." Welcome to late pregnancy, I know. I suspect this is the point where that "Only two months until we need to be ready/get to meet our baby/have to try to keep a fragile human being alive" we've been saying to each other in eager but panicky voices becomes "An entire two months until I get my body back," at least for me.

Tomorrow is our first childbirth education class. They're holding it at the brilliantly-planned hour of 5 PM, so I'll be leaving work a little early the next four weeks to attend. The lady I called to sign up told me to bring a blanket, a pillow, and my "support coach." I was a little concerned about the blanket and pillow thing--it screams "exercise that will make us feel really stupid" to me--but now I'm thinking anything that involves lying down, and therefore keeping my feet elevated, is probably the right stuff.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The amazing shrinking shoes

My shoes shrank today. They were fine yesterday, but this morning they were small. This does not bode well. I really love these shoes.

I'm now on the two-week plan with the midwives' office, as the receptionist said when scheduling my next appointment. It feels almost like a promotion. (Actually, I wouldn't know. I've never been promoted.) I met the second of the three midwives who assist with births, Sandy. One of her first questions was, "What's your birth plan?"

"Um..." was my response. ("Survive" didn't seem like what she was looking for.)

"So, whatever? I like that, actually, it means we'll be able to work together to find out what works for you." We discussed pain management, water and relaxation and medications--her attitude toward epidurals seemed to be "Most people would consider them unthinkable but I'm very progressive in my outlook"--and she warned me that first-time mothers tend to be late rather than early, but they'll start suggesting induction at 41 weeks and start getting tough about it at 42. I'd mentioned that my parents live in Seattle, and she said, "So keep that in mind when your parents are making plans." She also said, during the epidural discussion, "Since you're from Seattle I expect you're more open to natural birth than some of the girls around here, who don't want to feel any pain." That amused me.

L.E.O.'s development continues to be splendidly normal. Presumably she's getting it out of her system now. My blood pressure is also normal (due, I expect, to a slow week at work--if I were dealing with clients at full speed I bet it'd be elevated), I'm neither diabetic nor anemic, and my weight gain is pretty reasonable. The nurse said something while taking my blood pressure about me being "little," which made me laugh since I'm now the heaviest I've ever been. Eric pointed out the other day that when I lie on my back I don't really look pregnant, just kind of round, but in any other position it's pretty easy to see at this point. Once the heat kicks in and my shoes shrink permanently, it'll be easy to hear, too, because I'll be complaining all the time.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


Yesterday we moved our science fiction and fantasy books from the nurserary downstairs to the dining room. This involved several iterations of filling up laundry baskets with books, hauling them downstairs, unloading the books, and sending the laundry baskets up again; putting all the books on the shelves to see if they would fit; stacking the books in twenty-two stacks, one for each letter of the alphabet (we had no E, Q, U, or X authors); and placing them back on the shelves in alphabetical order. (Eric was the one who wanted them alphabetized, incidentally. I was okay with just making sure books by the same author were together.) It was quite a bit of work, but the dining room seems much friendlier now.

In the process we pulled out some books that can stay with L.E.O. (like Alice in Wonderland and some picture books I own from when I corresponded with a children's author, though those will have to come out again when L.E.O. is likely to deface them) and a few doubles we didn't realize we had. Some will go to Goodwill or friends, and some will go back to the nursery (a nurserary no more) to wait until L.E.O. can read, or until we start reading to her. A six-month-old can't really tell the difference between Goodnight Moon and The War of the Worlds, can she?

Monday, May 11, 2009

28 weeks

I am now officially in my third trimester and officially into maternity clothes. (This happens to be one of two tank tops I already had that are long enough to cover maternity pants for the moment.) I bought a few things, and Mom gave me some, and so did Carol, so I think I'll be set, at least for a while (and if all else fails, I have a loose dress or two). Someone at work told me I was awfully small for someone in her third trimester. Apparently twenty-two pounds don't show as much as you'd think, at least not on me.

L.E.O. is getting very squirmy these days. You'd think she'd realize her happy womb-without-a-view days are numbered and enjoy them, but apparently no. Or maybe she wants to bug me as much as possible while I can't get at her to do anything about it.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

I'm up here

I want one of these shirts, only with the message a little lower down. (And the arrow longer, come to think of it.) I'm wearing another actual maternity outfit today, and people keep looking at me and then looking down at my midsection. It's disconcerting. I'm guessing in another two months I won't get even the momentary eye contact.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Weight matters

We got back from Penguicon yesterday. Technically L.E.O.'s first conventions were in 2009, though I doubt she'll count them as she gets older. I wore the Geek Inside shirt that Eric got me (unfortunately, we decided that the next size up from my usual would be best, but it's still way too big for me--we'll see how it fits in two months) and we were able to share our plans for L.E.O.'s world dominion with a few con friends.

Today's milestone: I am wearing maternity pants for real. Mom gave me three pairs and I tried out the jeans a couple of times, because I miss my jeans. But they felt like they were going to fall down, so I put all three aside. But today I discovered I've grown out of another pair of pants ("From this angle you're huge!" Eric said last night. "Huge!") and decided to give this pair a try. They're still slipping a little but not bad at all--mainly, I think, because they're much lighter than the jeans. However, I've been popping out rather a lot the last few weeks (despite not having gained as much as I did last month), and I'm pretty sure that before long I will also be able to defy gravity with the jeans.