Still Standing

on 31 July 2008


Sorry about the lack of updates lately, my MIL, Aunt-in-law and Grandmama-in-law have all been here visiting.

Well, they were here for the Boy--the Husband and I are totally superfluous to the situation now. Well, the Husband more so than me, at least they still need me to feed the Boy so I'm not entirely superfluous.

It was a great visit, they showered affection, presents and compliments on the Boy ("He's so ADVANCED! He's beautiful! He's an Angel Baby!") only some of which were true and the Boy is having withdrawal from being held all the time.

He's currently wrapped in a blanket and sitting in his car seat staring out the window. He's fed and clean and happy and Mama needed both hands to eat some breakfast, he will survive even if he is not held every blessed minute of the day.

In Guantanamo news, he's doing much better. We had a bit of a relapse this morning (alas, I saw yet another sunrise) until I went and rousted the Husband out of bed around 6:30 (his alarm was set for 7, don't feel too sorry for him, it was the first time I got him up all night) and I crashed and he sat up with the Boy until he went back to sleep. The best news of all is that he's eating for longer periods of time which means the Boy SLEEPS for 4-5 hours at a stretch which makes his Mama love him so SO much more.

And the adults in Burnstopia? We're good. I'm still sore and healing from that nasty section, the Husband is still plugging away at his internship (he'll probably work through the first week of August), we still love each other and most of all we still love the Boy. Who is now paging me from his car seat proclaiming his current state of discontent. I'm off to assess the situation.

As means of an informal poll--I'm currently rereading Harry Potter (quiet, it's mind-numbing goodness is exactly what I needed post-partum) but I'm in the market for some book recommendations since the Boy seems to be hitting a growth spurt that requires the constant presence of me and the constant absence of a shirt. So, what are you all reading right now? Anything good?

More Guantanamo Hours

on 27 July 2008

And the crap hits the fan.

So, the Boy is brilliant. In my efforts to teach him that nighttime is for sleeping I neglected to stipulate that nighttime is for sleeping in several hours at a time. Last night he slept great but in hour and half increments and was up to eat every hour or hour and half ALL NIGHT LONG.

Needless to say, bits of my brain are draining away with every nighttime feeding.

This evening we managed to keep him awake for a while, but then--and this is quite a feat of WILL--he manged to fall asleep MID-CRY of fury. Seriously. I'm only sorry I didn't get a picture of it. There he sat, on top of the Husband (because I was also having a CRY of fury), mouth wide open in RAGE, head bright red, veins standing out on his forehead; he blinked and then was asleep. Mouth still wide open. Honestly, the Husband and I both laughed--what else could we do?

In other stimulating news, I'm pretty sure that everything I normally eat is upsetting his stomach--hence the wails of pain during the day. Me? I have been living on bread and cheese most days...and water. I hate the idea that I'm trying to feed him what is best for him and it's causing him pain...enough people in this world are going to cause him pain, his mother shouldn't.

The Husband has been notably awesome during the Hell Week of Guantanamo, he's holding the Boy now as he WAILS IN UTTER INDIGNATION. He's taken him most of the day so that I could get some sleep--which I did, but not nearly enough, I did get to read a bit however, and relax in general.

Any suggestions for my nightly lectures this week since the Boy will not go quietly into that dark night?

The Wife: 2--The Boy: 2

on 24 July 2008

And, we are NOT calling it a draw.

The Boy managed to sleep through the Guantanamo hours again today (he did so on Monday as well), in spite of a doctor's appointment and visiting friends--which means that I'll likely be up around 2am again tonight, if you're around, give me a call--we'll be up.

This is the Boy, circa 6:45pm:

I'm doomed.

So the score as it stands for this week is The Wife: 2 days of successfully keeping him awake and getting him to sleep in 3-4 hour chunks at night. The Boy: 2 days of successfully sleeping through the Guantanamo hours and staying up in the wee hours of the night just looking cute and annoying his poor, sleep deprived mother in general.

I am not giving up. Tonight's wee hours will feature yet another lecture on the values of being awake during the day and sleeping at night and how we do not live in a vampiric society but rather a human society which highly values night-time sleep.

In other news, the boy is squarely in the 50th percentile for weight gain. He's just up above his birth weight which makes the Husband ridiculously happy--myself, I'm just relieved that in spite of the long recovery things are going well. Excepting the day--night switching bit.

And since I have been mocking the odd bits of parenting in the last few posts I present you with my favorite parenting moment:

I get up with him at night. Almost exclusively. I figure the Husband has to get up early and get to his internship and he's there all day 3 days a week and is on half days the other 2 days where I stay home with the Boy and theoretically can sleep when he sleeps (this doesn't happen very often in reality, but it's a possibility). So I get up with him from midnight on until 7ish when the Husband hands him to me in bed for that first feeding of the day. Oddly enough, my favorite moments are those 3am feedings. When I was pregnant I would often be up at 3am to use the bathroom and climbing back in to bed the Boy would wake up and kick kick kick against my belly. Granted, some nights were wretched with the heartburn and the acid and nausea, but then there were other nights when it was just me and him inside me and a part of me, and it was a moment that was just ours and no one else's.

Now it's the same. We get up at 3am and he nuzzles in to me and he's so soft and squishy and I hold him close and it's just him and me in the dark and the quiet, me giving nourishment and him giving warmth and comfort and reminding me that in spite of its current squashy, state, my body is a powerful thing because it created this amazing little person with his miniature fingers and toes, with his tiny shell-shaped ears and long-fringed eyelashes. I stare at his tiny face trying to memorize the details of these moments because I know that it can all fade in a moment and he will be big big bigger and then one day he will grow up and leave home and love some one else much, much more than he loves me and the Husband. And that is all as it should be. But for now, in this moment, he's mine. I'm just grateful I can be awake for it.

Like Guantanamo Bay but Different

on 22 July 2008

So, the Boy is switching his days and nights. I shouldn't be surprised because all the time I was pregnant he was much more active at night than during the day, but now that he's out it's a bit more trying to my patience than when he was IN.

The situation mandates that we spend 4 hours every afternoon over stimulating him to keep him awake so that he'll sleep come 2am rather than fussing. It's like Guantanamo Bay but different. And in all fairness if we were to let him sleep the afternoon away then Burnstopia would still be like Guantanamo Bay but with him as the torturer at 2am and his MAMA as the poor degraded and sleep deprived victim.

The unpleasant situation results in many hours of this kind of face:

Fortunately, his MAMA is more determined than he is...and also the sleep deprivation means that she's somewhat less than sympathetic to his pitiful wails of the injustice of being kept awake all afternoon.

Plead: No Contest

on 20 July 2008

The Boy: You have been charged with assaulting your paternal parent with projectile poop and PEE in the first week of your life. How do you plead?

The Boy pleads No Contest. Also, he blames the delicious cream produced by his beautiful, if somewhat disheveled Mother.

Oh come on! He doesn't look THAT guilty, does he?

1 Week later

on 19 July 2008

Hello, World.

I am still alive.

And to prove it, I come to you now, to blog about nothing in particular...

First, there's this post from my lovely friend, Sarah. Behold, she is awesome and I love her much and miss her. It has been far too long since we got to hang keeps happening and time passes and well, the road just never gets any shorter. We will have to remedy that.

Second, the Boy. Oh I may be blinded for life from the cuteness thereof. Although, what with the whole If I'm not Eating at this very Moment I will DIE attitude he has had all day dampened that cuteness slightly. We gave him his first bath tonight--sponge only, don't worry, we aren't complete idiots--and he worked himself into such a state of righteous indignation that he slept for an hour afterwards and even took a pacifier (that was not ME). Here he is, watch your eyes...

Third, I find myself more than a little melancholy of late, so please to hand me a box of tissues. And also excuse these posts if they seem gloomy, I'm using my Hormonal Get out of Jail Free Card. I was thinking last night, as I was up with the Boy and we were beginning the Great Nurse Fest of July 19th, how sad it is that he's only this small for so short a time and I have to be so heavily medicated that I feel like I'm missing it. He's going to keep eating--what with the delicious cream that I am producing--and the cream will make him grow and soon he won't be my little wrinkle any more, he'll be...big. Well, bigger. His clothes might fit him...and then he'll outgrow them and will need bigger clothes and before you know it, he's mobile and then off to college!

I know. Don't mind the hormonal girl in the corner, she's going to be ok...eventually.

Last but never least there's the Husband and the awesomeness of him. He has cooked and cleaned and done laundry and changed more dirty diapers this week than in his entire life all together. More than that, he has taken the Boy so that I could have a good cry and rubbed my neck and shoulders and mediated with family members regarding visitation and fielded phone calls and much much more. And then there's this picture which absolutely makes me laugh...

Bed Sweet Bed has never been so sweet.

The Boy the Birth

on 14 July 2008

One week ago the golf clubs came!

I was going to post this picture:

Look at how HAPPY the Husband is! The poor man has spent this entire summer WAITING. Waiting for the Boy to arrive, waiting for golf clubs, waiting with his internship, waiting for family and friends and LIFE to get going. And something finally CAME and the waiting became a bit better!

I sent him to play golf on Friday hoping for the trustworthy Irony of Fate and labor to begin Thursday night.


Fate is funny. Also, Fate loves the Husband too. Labor didn't start until Friday, after he went golfing!

I admit that I researched labor and delivery A LOT. I read everything I could find on it--including sections of Ina May Gaskin's Guide to Childbirth. And everything I read said that labor would begin gradually. So, naturally I focused on what was consistent--the gradual bit.

Friday morning came and I got up and got dressed and went and walked and puttered about the house. I read and did some laundry and made grocery lists. The Husband worked and then golfed and then came home and we went to Target to buy the aforementioned groceries and my contractions started--STARTED, people--at 2 minutes a part. And they were...shall we say...intense.

5:00pm July 11th:

One hour went by with no change, Target was done, we went to Sam's for milk and blueberries (I know! But I was a week late! Contractions are SUPPOSED to start gradually! And denial ain't just a river in Egypt!) and they kept going so we headed home.

I climbed in the bath tub fully expecting the contractions to stop, after all, they are supposed to start GRADUALLY and they didn't. So, I told the Husband to eat some dinner and relax, we weren't going to the hospital tonight because contractions are supposed to start GRADUALLY.

Are you sensing a theme here? Also, I tend to be a very literal person. I need help.

7:00pm July 11th:

Contractions were still 2 minutes apart and there Now, all the books say that at the onset of labor there is blood but I had expected, you know, light, pinkish spotting...NOT what I got. So I got scared. I was 9 months pregnant! I hadn't bled in a LONG time! So I panicked a bit and we headed to the hospital.

I should mention here, that the contractions were close and they were intense and painful but I was able to cope pretty well. I got up and moved around and bounced on my exercise ball and did my breathing and stopped when I needed to and then went on with things...I was coping. It wasn't pleasant but I was coping.

I mention this because once we get to the hospital everything--especially the coping part changed. I'm reminded of this blog post, which summarized the whole situation perfectly.

8:00pm July 11th:

We headed up to labor and delivery and they stuck us in triage and left us there. Oh, they came back eventually, about 45 minutes later the nurse came in and I was standing--because the contractions didn't quite cripple me so badly as long as I was on my feet--and the nurse made me LAY DOWN and strapped me up to the fetal monitor and the contraction monitor and a blood pressure cuff and my incarceration began.

I have seldom been so miserable in my entire life.

And the irony is that in childbirth classes, the coping strategies they teach you involve changing position frequently, your birth partner rubbing your back and neck and breathing--you go to the hospital and they strap you down so that all of these coping strategies become not only irrelevant but impossible.

So, there I lay in PAIN and tied down and there sits the Husband looking increasingly distressed at his inability to do ANYTHING to help me.

The doctor came in to assess me at around 9:00pm and I was only dilated 3cm. I could have cried. But, he said, the good news is that I was definitely in active labor! Really. He went to school for 8 years and did a 4 year residency to be able to tell me that? I could have told him that with my big fat degrees in the LIBERAL ARTS.

The doctor was very nice. I shouldn't be so sarcastic, but I was in a lot of pain and felt that I was being undermined by the hospital system and it was still very early. He recommended that since it was 9:00pm that I get a "lighter" epidural and get some rest and by the time I was ready to push, I would have sensation back and be able to move around etc.

Since I was strapped down and miserable and there was nothing anyone could do for me, I said, Sure. Sign me up.

The anesthesiologist came in between 10:00 and 11:00pm and put the epidural in and my legs went numb almost immediately but an hour later I could still feel the contractions. They weren't as strong as they had been but I could still feel them enough to not really be able to rest. So, he returned and increased the narcotics. I was soon completely numb and feeling a bit more relaxed.

The Husband was just starting to have, what proved to be, one of the hardest nights of his life.

Some time between midnight and 1am I started to feel the contractions again...and they were...angry. I kept clicking the little green button which was supposed to release additional medication but I think was just there to mock me. By 2am I could feel everything. And to add insult to injury I was still strapped to the monitors, and still had an epidural in my back so getting up and walking around was out of the question, moving into any position other than laying on my side, was out of the question. The Husband was awesome. He told the nurse, the nurse relayed it to the anesthesiologist who was in a c-section and he came back and he rubbed my back as best he could, he breathed with me, he talked to me...but mostly he watched over me with a look on his face that I can't quite describe. I may never be able to. Please accept my limitations as they are.

The resident had come in and checked me at midnight and I was dilated to 5 cm and completely effaced. The Boy's head still had not dropped but hey! I was already at 5 cm! We'd be pushing by 4am, no problem!

The anesthesiologist came back and gave me another dose of medication and this time it worked only for another hour. The contractions came back around 4am and were more painful than ever. My legs, however, were still numb! The Husband and I were left alone. He paced and sat and held my hand and breathed with me and worried and stressed, and I clung to the rails of the bed feeling as if my entire body would split into pieces.

I kept thinking of those lines from Yeats, "Things fall apart, the center cannot hold..."

The anesthesiologist was in another c-section and remained unavailable until 5am. At 2am they had re-evaluated me and I was at 7 cm and they broke my water. They wanted to start us on pitocin--the drug from HELL--and the Husband and I both said, NO. We do not want pitocin--it's only going to make this worse, worse for me and worse for the Boy. So the resident managed to stall everyone else for a couple of hours.

By 7:00am on July 12th I was starting to feel the contractions come back. The doctor came in and checked me again and it had been no change at all. My labor had effectively stalled at 7cm dilated, which, he even admitted, is weird. So the Husband and I caved. They started me on low doses of pitocin at 7am to try to kick start things again in the hopes that I would be pushing by 9am. Remember that whole theory of pushing by 4am? Yeah, I was pretty skeptical at this point.

There is a lot that I could tell you about the Husband during this night. This very long, very dark and very quiet night. Some of it funny but most of it not funny. I know that I write a lot about him. How funny he is and his eccentricities and how tender and sweet he can be. Those are snapshots, fragments of our life together. The Husband on this particular night, the things that he said and did, those moments I'm putting in my pocket and I will keep them with me forever. They are mine. I can't share them with you. If you are privileged to know this man, then chances are, you know much of what I could tell you.

They brought in a new anesthesiologist at this point who pulled out my old epidural and placed a new one in. She was awesome. Kind, compassionate and capable. The contractions vanished for the most part, I could feel intense pressure, especially on my hip bones, but beyond that the pain had faded.

The doctor had come in and reevaluated me and in his words, "Your pelvis is just tiny." Now. As a heavily pregnant woman I was torn. On the one hand, I was happy that ANY part of me was tiny at that point, but when you've worked and planned for a natural delivery for 9 months, only to be told that your body isn't going to be able to do that--it's disheartening to say the least.

The Husband had reached his breaking point around 5am. The doctor said that we could continue to increase the pitocin and try for a natural delivery but he felt that to do so would be risky what with the tiny pelvis and the Boy not dropping in the least and that it would probably lead to a c-section anyway but a c-section in dangerous circumstances. OR we could say, "we tried our best" and have a c-section under calm and controlled circumstances.

We opted for the controlled c-section. Of course we did. We joke about being rebels and a little bit crazy, but in the end the Husband and I are fairly conservative people. We like safety and security, we like calm and controlled situations. And there is the Boy. The boy that we've been building and nurturing and fretting over for 9 months. I was not willing in the least to risk any damage to him.

The doctor went off to prepare for the surgery. The Husband and I were left alone. We talked. I cried. A Lot. I had had this shadow in my mind for the duration of my pregnancy. A part of me had always known that this would be the path my body would take. I had hoped, I had prayed and wished for a natural birth, but I had this shadow creeping closer and closer to cognitive reality and here it was.

After that, things went fairly smoothly. The Lovely Anesthesiologist (Kathleen) came back and increased my epidural and told me about her own c-section and how routine and safe it is. That I didn't need to be scared, they were all going to take good care of me. She really was wonderful. The nurses came in and prepped me for the transition to the operating room and then they wheeled me out and left the Husband there and that's where I started to panic.

Now. I have had more than a few theater classes in my day. I don't often admit them because they are a wonderful secret to being a great diplomat, acting. So while I was calm and focused on the outside I was panicking on the inside. All I wanted was the Husband. I wanted his face and his hands and his voice and they wouldn't bring him into the operating room until I was completely prepped and they were ready to begin.

They set up the room and it was full of people and bright stinging lights. Kathleen started me on 4 frillion bags of fluids and I started to shake. After what felt like an hour but was probably only 20 minutes, they brought the Husband in. He sat down next to me and I stared at his face and asked him random questions about the room because I really didn't want to think about the cutting, about my body exposed to this room full of strangers. I didn't want to think about the smells and the clanking of instruments.

And then there was this cry.

And the people, the noise, the lights, the smells they all faded away and it was my child. He was howling and I could do nothing for him. I began to cry...again...and to loathe this situation further.

The staff was really great, they were voluble and effusive in their descriptions of him, knowing that I couldn't see him. I cried and I shook and I hated my body for not doing what I wanted it to do. The Husband kept rubbing my hand and arm and telling me that it was ok, that the Boy was ok and it was going to be over soon.

And soon it was. They took the boy to recovery and the Husband went with him. They put me back together again and moved me in to recovery with my little family. The Husband put the boy on my chest and things started to get better from there.

And the rest is done. There was a 3 day hospital stay with a continuous flow of hospital staff, doctors, nurses, and assistants. There were visitors and well-wishers. There were pills and pills and pills and bad food that I was not the least bit interested in eating. All I wanted was to be home. With the Husband and the Boy and bed sweet bed.

Whimsy keeps asking me how I feel about the whole thing. And I say that I feel fine. I accept the limitations of my body for what they are. 200 years ago I would have been a statistic, one of the thousands of women who died in childbirth. Now we have this technology and I can have my boy and raise him too. I should be grateful. I am grateful. But I have had issues with my body my entire life and this has only added insult to injury. To be honest, I'm angry. Not with the hospital, not with the Boy, but with my body. I work hard to take care of it, to feed it well and to exercise. I'm conscious of my blood sugar and blood pressure. And yet, the one thing I wanted from it in return it would not, it could not give me. I'm trusting to time to relieve this.

In the meantime, I have a baby to feed and cuddle and smooch on. His feet are enormous and the perfect size for blowing raspberries. And Bed Sweet Bed has a new occupant--no, we're not co-sleeping, but with the whole Major Surgery thing, I spend most of my days and nights in Bed Sweet Bed which means that a lot of nursing and cuddling and blowing of raspberries also takes place there.

The Boy is here

on 12 July 2008

Hello, Burnstopia readers. As a special guest appearance, The Husband will be writing a quick post. The Boy arrived and decidedly not in the manner that The Wife had hoped. However, he is here. He is healthy. The Wife is healthy. The Husband and Wife are both exhausted. I didn't do anything last night (compared to what The Wife was doing) and it was the single hardest thing that I've done to date.

For those of you wanting the full details of the birth experience, you will have to wait until I have slept at least a whole number of hours continuously in a 48 hour period (i.e. no half hour or twenty minute naps but a full hour or two at the same time).

For a quick run down--The Boy arrived at 11:59am Saturday 12 July 2008 via C-section and weighed 8 pounds 5 ounces (we still have no idea how long). Yes, I hear you asking, "What? A C-section? I thought that The Wife..." and you are correct. That's why I said earlier he arrived in a manner that neither of us had expected nor planned for. For full details see a later post. For now, enjoy a picture of Cameron Russell on his birthday at about two hours after arrival.

Midnight blogging

on 11 July 2008

Just in case you didn't believe me about the nightly heartburn/acid reflux, here I am at 12:30am updating my blog because 2 Zantec and 8 TUMS is just not enough.

I'd rather be in Bed Sweet Bed asleep. It was not such a good day on the nap front. And last night this activity lasted until 4am so I'm a bit tired...and also crabby.

The doctor's visit was a bit better, I'm no more dilated than I have been but I am more effaced which is a good thing...either way we're still looking at an induction on Monday morning. Yay for me.

I know. There are people who swear by inductions. There are people who think that c-sections are the only way to have a baby. There are also the other extreme of people who think that the only way to have a child is at your home with a midwife.

I've done a lot of research on this topic in the past few months. I started off thinking that it's just a doesn't have to be such a big deal, but the fact is that sometimes the things that happen to women on that one DAY have physical repercussions that can last the rest of their lives and I'd really rather not traipse into those things if I can help it.

I just ate a piece of bread, I'm hoping that absorbs some of the acid--I can hear it sloshing around in there...and it's grossing me out.


As some of you know, I really wanted a natural, unmedicated, physiological birth. I didn't want to evict the Boy, I wanted him to come when he's ready, on his own, by his choice--or the choice of his body and mine. I wanted my body to do what it is built to do without intervention, without medication. There's a string of chemical reactions that take place in the brain that create a bond between mother and child through the natural process of birth and I really wanted to experience that. I need to experience that.

My greatest fear at this point is that I won't feel connected to this child. He is a stranger to me. And yet. It's my job to nurture and care for him and without that chemical reaction, how will it happen? I know plenty of mothers and they all tell me not to worry about this--that it will come, but I can't help but think that they are simply better women than I am and that I'm perfectly justified in being worried about this.

I hope that I'm wrong.

The fact remains that we're likely facing an induction. A heavily medicated induction chock full of all of the things I DID NOT want, pitocin, constant electronic monitoring, an epidural and nurses yelling at me to PUSH. Add to this the reality that 1 in 3 inductions ends in a c-section and you're looking at a very scared Wife. I REALLY don't want surgery. You lose twice as much blood, your recovery time is doubled and it's a black mark on your insurance record now a days.**

It's just not the way I wanted to bring the Boy into this world. But at this point I'm caught between a rock and hard place--or as the case IS, between my body and its inadequacies and the US health care system. My doctor, the hospital, they won't let us go past 41 weeks. I'm 41 weeks on Saturday. So waiting until the Boy is ready to come out on his own is a moot point. And yes, lovely people, we've tried everything...well, everything that we're willing to try--I'm not doing castor oil because my GI system is sufficiently rancid on it's own right now without inviting catastrophe. So, we wait. We walk. We take the stairs. We hope hope HOPE that he chooses to come out on his own in the next 3 days before modern medicine takes charge.

And we take more TUMS because the bread isn't doing much at this point. And then we go to bed and try to sleep and try not to dwell on this topic any longer.

I apologize for being cagey over the past few days, but this has been the only topic on my mind and I have been reluctant to write about it as I know that people have STRONG opinions about this and I really didn't want to engage in open hostilities about birth. Every woman is different and what every woman needs and wants is different and all women should be entitled to give birth in the manner of their choice--the fact is, the reality is, that most women don't have that choice, or if they do, their choices are limited by their bodies, the insurance companies and the US health care system.

Clearly, my judgment is impaired by lack of sleep at this point as I have just rambled on extensively on a subject that I didn't want to enter in to to begin with.

So, I'm taking my son--who is currently rammed up against my loopy and acidic stomach and we're going to bed. Well, we're going to chomp some more TUMS and then we're going to bed.

**The New York Times ran an article around the end of June about women being refused insurance coverage because they had had previous c-sections and were still fertile, thus the c-section becomes a prior existing condition that may necessitate additional c-sections in the future and insurance companies don't want to pay for them. Welcome to the US Healthcare System! It sucks! Can we get you a drink? Chances are you're going to need one.

Sheesh, ok, I'm updating!

on 10 July 2008

Seriously, y'all! Enough with the mad comments and assumptions! READ the previous post...I got annoyed and wasn't going to update until I had something INTERESTING to share, which I still don't...not really.

I do however have a whole myriad of new complaints.

And also we have a doctor's appointment today. I'm having delusional fantasies about all kinds of progress and I'm pretty sure I'm going to get another big, fat "No Change." And probably also a lecture about the inadequacies of my pelvis. FUNTASTIC!

But I've finished a couple more books and had multiple naps (in one day!)--mostly because I'm having some acid reflux issues at night that are keeping me awake to unholy hours and up to my nose in TUMS. Seriously, if anyone can tell me how yogurt for dinner can cause acid reflux 4 hours later, I'd really be interested to know.

In other news, we are still pregnant.

BUT! A big Happy Birthday shout out to Thatcher who turns 1 today and to his mama who is the epitome of cool!

We're really not messing with you lovely people, we'll let you know when the Boy gets here. It looks like it won't be before the induction which is scheduled for Monday morning. So please send happy delivery vibes into the universe on our behalf and I will harass the Husband to update on Monday as soon as he gets here! With pictures!

Hello Due Date!

on 07 July 2008


I'm bored talking about the NON-events of my uterus. So, for those of you lovely people who are all anxious and concerned, just keep checking. We'll post--actually The Husband assures me that his very first post here ever will be the announcement of the birth of his progeny--when the Boy gets here.

In the meantime, go read a book.

I just finished Farenheit 451 and am starting Amusing Ourselves to Death by Niel Postman. I'm also rereading a great biography on Jane Austen. If your tastes tend in another direction check out Haven Kimmel's memoirs or novels, Edith Wharton--best read in the summertime, or F. Scott Fitzgerald--I also like to read him during the summer.

I recommend fantasy for escape and novels for pleasure.

The only non-fiction I can bring myself to read lately is a good biography of a writer, 19th century history, or baby wrangling books--though Amusing Ourselves to Death is a commentary on popular culture and proves to be interesting, if a touch enraging. If you want something to make you think, well, Farenheit 451 was AMAZING and the Husband is reading 1984--can you tell we're a bit cynical lately? What with all the dystopias in the air, it's little wonder.

I promise to update as soon as I come up with something more interesting to talk about than the current status of my womb.

Sunday Cats

on 06 July 2008

These are the only babies in Burnstopia.

You may now return to your regularly scheduled programming.

Full Circle

on 05 July 2008

So, the Husband and I found out that we were pregnant the day after Halloween last year. Which means that we were technically pregnant whilst we were visiting Boston. Since we had a similar experience this evening I thought you might appreciate the symmetry.

While we were in Boston, the Husband's best friend, Pavlichka, suggested we go see this movie. I don't remember where the theater was (somewhere in Boston...maybe right around MIT I think...) but it was POURING down rain when we came up from the T to trek to the theater. And I mean it was pouring. A deluge would have been an appropriate description. After walking around in the rain for 30 minutes trying to find this theater, we gave up and headed for home looking like we had all showered together with our clothes ON.

Technically (and unbeknownst to us), the Boy was a recent resident of My Womb at the time.

This evening the Husband and I went to see WALL-E (very, very good, also very good given that I'm currently reading Farenheit 451). When the showing ended and we stepped out of the theater we noticed that the lobby was more than usually crowded and with fairly good reason. There was a storm beyond description taking place just outside the door. POURING rain, thunder, lightening, the whole shaBANG!

Not being a fan of crowds, I suggested that we should just dash for it...the Beetle wasn't far and I'm full term, we have to go past our hospital to get home anyway, so if I went in to labor--no problem! We dashed.

People, my uterus is made of ultra-light titanium; thunder, lightening and a DELUGE with RUNNING could not make me go in to labor!

But we did get soaking wet! And then we crept toward home to ensure safety because we're mad cats like that. The Husband was reasonable and kept suggesting we pull over and wait it out. The Wife has an 8 pound baby parked on her bladder and kept saying things like, "Let's just risk it!"

While driving along at truly Old Man speeds, the Husband reminded me of this--that the pregnancy started in a deluge, how fitting it is that it's ending (hopefully) in a deluge as well.

Conversation Overheard 1

on 04 July 2008

So, since the Krista said she would check the blog daily for a birth update, I feel compelled to let you all know that we are still pregnant. And since I'm pretty sure that that information is going to get old after a while, I was thinking I would come up with some creative way to let you know every day that we still have not had the Boy, that he is still stubborn and will get here when he gets here.

That solution is the following:

I overheard the following conversation this morning and thought you might find it entertaining as well.

The Husband: Hi Leike, how's it going?
The Leike: meow. MEOW.
The Husband: I already cleaned out the [litter] box, have you checked it?
The Leike: Meow. MEEOOW.
The Husband: Oh yeah. Well, I can understand that you're disgruntled.
The Husband: No. I'm sorry to disappoint you but we can't get rid of Agnes.

And then I laughed until I cried.

Thank you all for the comments and encouragement. You are all lovely. I'm hoping that being home from work every day and being able to walk and rest more will help convince the Boy that life on the outside is not such a fearsome thing--despite what Whimsy might tell you, we have no holiday themed outfits for him...we have an unnatural amount of plaid, but not holiday themed outfits.

Sketches 3--and a non-update*

on 03 July 2008

The Husband wears a shirt and tie to his internship almost every day. He is really not a shirt and tie kind of man, though he wears it well. Thus, when we come home from work the first thing he does is to change clothes. The tie comes off, the belt, the shoes, and we generally talk about the day that has been while he slowly divest himself of his uncomfortable clothes.

Last night, we came home and it was the same routine. I lay down in Bed Sweet Bed because my feet are painful puffer-fish and it had been a long long day. He begins the habitual stripping and walking and talking and wrangling cats. Suddenly, a contraction creeps in on me and it hurts.

I say politely to the Husband, "Please. Will you come and rub my back during this contraction?"

His response? "Can I change clothes first?"

Readers, I wish I were kidding.

Naturally, my response went along the lines of, "NO YOU CANNOT CHANGE CLOTHES FIRST, IT'S A CONTRACTION NOT A WHIM!!!! GET OVER HERE AND RUB MY BACK!!!!" I don't like to yell, but I think in the case of pain it's excusable.

Needless to say, we both cracked up laughing and he did indeed come and rub my back.

But Men--let this be a lesson to you--when your wife is in the late stages of pregnancy, when she has those contractions, do not expect to be able to change into comfortable clothes, just know that she is indeed MORE uncomfortable than you in your pants and button down dress shirt.

*As for the non-update. I went to the doctor this morning. As of Saturday (the 5th) I will be 40 weeks pregnant and the Boy has no inclination for life on the outside. Perhaps you could all send him lovely messages about how wonderful life is on the outside of a human being and that would convince him to try his hand at it. Ok. Go!


on 01 July 2008

I have 3 days of work left. 3. I have worked for the past 380 days (working days, and dude, totally not counting the sick days because I have no idea...) and to think that I have 3 days left until an extended leave is a little strange.

The temp who will be taking up some slack started this morning. He's nice enough, but I feel like a neurotic mother handing over my children to the care of a stranger. A STRANGER. And yes, I bitch about them, they are often ridiculous, but they're still like my children. I know all of their neurotic ticks, I know their passions and addictions (one of my faculty members consumes his weight daily in diet Dr. Pepper), I know what's going on in their families, what they like and dislike, how they want their work organized, what makes them happy and how to read their body language when they are NOT happy. Many of them are gone this week---off on holiday with their spouses and children--and they will come back to the office and find a STRANGER. It's a very, very weird feeling.

I have been pregnant for 276 days. I have at least 6 more days to go until my due date and 13 to go until my doctor will induce me if I have not gone in to labor on my own.

Please excuse me for a moment while I hyperventilate into this paper bag...

Ok. I'm ok. It just seems so strange. It's been 409 days since the Husband and I made the ultimate decision to throw away my precious little packs of delicate white pills. It's such a strange journey that we've been on. I was telling Whimsy in an email--that here, at the end of things I'm looking back at the beginning. And at the time, I couldn't think of anything harder or more frightening than throwing away those little packs of pills--even though I knew, I KNEW in my bones that it was the right decision. I was so freaked out that I threw them in the trash and had to remove the trash to the dumpster immediately.

I was telling the Husband the other day how with pregnancy it seems like you hold your breath a lot. Not literally, but hold your breath to make it through the first trimester--those critical 84 days. And then it's holding your breath until that first ultrasound--119 days of tension waiting to hear that everything is ok. After that it's holding your breath for the baby to gain weight, to drop, to turn and rotate and shift and in the end you've held your breath for 290 days.

I've been nervous. Not really that anxious for the boy to come out just yet-- he is rather portable as he is. And yesterday one of the women that the Husband works with gave us this willow-wood statue of a man, a woman and a baby--and I started to cry because I'm ready now. At least, my heart is ready for this little boy to come out and be part of our family.

After all, I've held my breath for 277 days. I think we'll be ok now.