Tuesday, August 31, 2010

birth class

I had a minor meltdown on Saturday afternoon.

It happened after our second and final childbirth class - the one where they give you the hospital tour and talk about pain medication options and then explain what will happen post-partum, which is the part I was really interested in and I think also what put me over the edge.

The meltdown started internally, in class, but I kept it inside. I think it was primarily a "we have been here for four and a half hours and this chair is SUPER uncomfortable at this point and I have to pee and IT IS JUST TIME TO GO RIGHT NOW." I looked over at my husband, who was clearly no longer paying attention (admittedly, it was during the post-partum bit, which is naturally more interesting to me than to him, plus he has a hard time dealing with blood (I know, I know, labor, we'll figure it out) and sometimes his way of coping is to zone out and think about golf, or steaks, or something). So, naturally, I started by getting slightly pissed at him for not paying attention to this very crucial part of class filled with information he absolutely needs to know, even though I myself was barely able to get any more stuff into my head at that point.

Pregnancy: not the greatest friend to logic.

Anyway, I could feel myself wavering between, "WHAT is wrong with him?" and, "dude, I can't take any more either," and I think my brain just started to shut down. Trust me, I've thought before about what labor is going to be like, but there's nothing like six videos and a long discussion about peri bottles (take the class, I'm not explaining it to you) to make you realize that OHMYGOD I am going to have to push this actual baby out of my actual hoo-ha and that is going to HURT and it is happening real soon and there is no way of getting out of it oh shit.

Hence, meltdown. Mostly, I took a nap. I think my brain just needed to reset, like turning off your computer and then turning it back on, which fixes about 90% of the things I do to screw up my computer. And it worked pretty well. I cried for about 10 minutes when I first hit the pillow - not so much from fear (okay, a little fear) but mostly from information overload. Over the past few days, I've been able to take the class apart in my head and digest the information piece by piece, and it feels much better.

I'm glad we took the class. I feel more prepared. I know I can do this. I know I have a great hospital and great medical people to help me.

But there are a lot of unknowns out there. And it feels like they're rushing up to meet me awfully quickly these days. Because it's not just the unknowns of giving birth - how much will it hurt? how long will it take? what will it be like? - it's that those unknowns are just the beginning of a lifetime of unknowns, and they only get bigger from here.

Dear God,

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

urination fascination

I'm just saying that, when you feel like you have to go to the bathroom about 75% of the time and you finally give in to the temptation and practically RUN to the nearest bathroom because it feels as if you do not pee RIGHT FREAKING NOW your bladder will explode,

it would be nice if you were rewarded with more than a thimble-full of urine.

That is all. Carry on.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

because I'm too lazy for anything but a bullet list

Last week:
  • Saturday, childbirth class. Yes, we were the oldest couple there (although not by quite as much as I feared). Out of 13 couples, only two of us didn't know the gender of the baby. It was not bad - my husband wasn't overly enthusiastic about a 4 1/2 hour Saturday commitment (and next week too), but he admitted afterward that it was pretty helpful. "You know," he said while we were watching TV that night, "the whole birth process is pretty amazing."
  • Baby shower last Saturday was great fun - still slightly unbelievable, but fun - and I had fun today putting away lots of cute things. I did a load of baby clothes in the laundry. If laundry can be described as "surreal," that load certainly was. Actual baby clothes are now being put away in the nursery. Weird. And wonderful.
  • The highlight of said baby shower was the assistance of two four-year old girls who opened the packages for me. Almost every package involved tissue paper of some kind. And each time we opened something, one of the girls in particular would say with excited awe, as if she had never seen such glorious stuff before, "TISSUE PAPER!" Every. Time. It was awesome.
  • I made it through three church services today, with lots of sitting down. It wasn't as bad as I thought. And no BH contractions all morning. Cheers to that.
  • It's starting to feel less like "kicking" in there and more like, "I'm running out of room in here and I need to stretch and I especially need to stretch by pushing against your bladder on a regular basis." Considering that we still have 9 weeks to go, "running out of room" is a little disturbing...
  • I made it through a 2 1/2 hour movie in the theatre on Friday night without going to the bathroom even once. Amazing. (Mostly because it was Inception and I was afraid that even a 2-minute bathroom break would completely shatter my tenuous hold on the plot.)
  • I had a very small glass of wine on Tuesday night with dinner. It tasted delicious. Take that, pregnancy police. (Also: if you have not had a glass of wine in 8 months, it doesn't take much to give you a buzz. Good to know.)
And last, my brother and his wife, and our family, are doing much better about their son's diagnosis. Thank you so much for all your good wishes and kindness, and especially to whomever posted the news to LFCA.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


The train whistle.
The marching band practicing at the high school down the street.
The whisper of the ceiling fan.
The dog barking.
His cousin asking for another piece of cake.
His mother's voice.
His father singing.

These are things my nephew, 4 weeks old, cannot hear.

Today, my brother and his wife were told that their adorable, wonderful, otherwise-perfectly-healthy son is nearly deaf. "Profound hearing loss in both ears," is what the doctor actually said. I'm not sure exactly what that means, but it's certainly not good.

He will likely be a candidate for cochlear implants, and he will have a very good life. He will be able to hear some things, eventually.

There are far worse things in life. We know this. On the other hand, there are better things too.

Sometimes you forget how fragile life is. Infertility teaches you this, and pregnancy does too, but most of the time you can only manage by ignoring this fact, because if you let it all the way into your heart, you will break into a thousand tiny pieces.

And then you begin the work of putting the pieces back together, one at a time. That's where we are today.

Monday, August 16, 2010

4 out of 5 dentists didn't see that coming

The other day, my work colleague reminded me that I should just ask if I needed any help. By which he means that there are people who will help me with worship on Sundays if standing up for six hours straight is just too much (and, let's face it; it is).

Part of me thinks this is very kind and compassionate. I have a very supportive workplace for pregnancy and kids, and that's no small thing.

But because I'm in a mostly male profession, I've always steered clear of anything which would mark me as 'different.' I don't like 'girly' robes, stoles, or other liturgical gear. I never wear dangly earrings on Sundays. Don't get me wrong: I love shoes and my mostly-discount-store (how do I love thee, TJ Ma.xx? Let me count the ways) wardrobe is pretty fierce for a pastor, but I just want to be a pastor. I don't want to be "the girl pastor."

But when the girl pastor gets pregnant, it's pretty clear that she's a girl. And she may need to ask for a little help, in spite of her overabundant pride.

This was made clear to me at the dentist's office on Monday. I was just there for a routine teeth cleaning; no big deal. About 10 weeks ago, at my regular OB appointment, I asked about something I had read in one of my many "everything you need to know about pregnancy plus some stuff that will scare the shit out of you" books: namely, that after about 20 weeks, you were not supposed to lay flat on your back anymore. Apparently there is some kind of large artery running down your whole body, and when the baby lays on it, you get short of breath and lightheaded.

This was pretty depressing to me, because, at the time, lying flat on my back was about the only way I could sleep, but after visions of dying in the night while gasping for air only to have my poor husband wake to his dead wife (and he would only wake up because he realized I had not gotten up the requisite 15 times that night to pee), I decided to check with the doctor. Sadly, she confirmed this advice. Lying on my side was recommended.

Frankly, I never really believed it. I obediently slept on my side, to the detriment of my hips, but I never really bought into the whole "you'll get lightheaded if you sleep on your back" theory.

Until I went to the dentist.

I had to sit up five times during the teeth cleaning, because I keep feeling like I was going to pass out. It. Was. Humiliating. The hygienist was unfailingly nice about it, but seriously: who knew? I laid there, getting clammy and lightheaded and watching the blackness close around my eyes while the mint toothpaste churned in my mouth, until I finally had to admit it: I need help. I need to sit up. I am a girl, and I am pregnant, and apparently, I cannot fake "I'm fine! It's all fine! It's no big deal!" any longer.

Sigh. Yet another blow to the pride. Right in the incisors.

Friday, August 6, 2010

nursery update

Given that today's 'baby status update' says, "baby is preparing to see the world after birth," I thought I'd post some photos of what baby actually will see...eventually.

The nursery is coming along fairly well. After a little bit of drama ordering the ottoman for the glider (which the salesperson thought was discontinued until they finally figured out that was not the case), most of the major pieces are in place. I'm loving the wall mural, which I found at wallnutz.com; super cute. Like most things, it's hard to find murals which are gender-neutral and not-too-theme-y. (That's the other question I get a lot after, "is it a boy or a girl?" "What's the nursery theme?" "NO THEME," I say.)

The bookshelves should arrive this week, and the glider a few weeks after that. (Side note: I hate gliders. HATE them. Hate the look, anyway. They're like the mini-vans of chairs. I swore never to get one, until I sat in the super-cute gliding stuffed chairs from Pottery Barn which turned out to be hideously uncomfortable. Normally, I will put up with some suffering for appearance's sake - hence the purchase of several pairs of darling but pinch-y shoes. But, this time, I decided that comfort had to win out. So, glider it is. Sigh.)

The framed wall art is from Etsy.com - such a fun place to shop. For now, the bassinet is in this room, although it will end up in ours once the baby comes - it was a $35 find at the consignment shop yesterday. Between online merchants, craig.slist, and consignment shops, this nursery has been pretty inexpensive to put together.

Some days, I walk into this room and can hardly believe this is real. That a baby will come and live here. That I will end up in that glider some night practically crying with exhaustion but, I hope, also remembering the miracle it took to get me there. That someday, this baby will grow up and want me to take the cute alphabet off the wall because "it's for little kids."

Here I am, already resigning myself to my child growing up too quickly, while said child is still kicking me in the bladder. I blame the pregnancy hormones.