Twenty Questions

Mkay, so I started this last night with the intention of just typing and not editing anything, but I faltered halfway through and didn’t finish it – here we go (again)!

What was the last thing you threw in the garbage/recycling?

Paper towels in the bathroom (at work) after washing my hands.

What’s the #1 most played song on your iPod?

Don’t have an iPod and not sure how to even retrieve that info from my iPhone (where I have the most music), if it’s even possible.  I generally just leave it on shuffle/random and skip past songs I don’t feel like listening to.  It’s a silly way to listen to music when I could make actual playlists, but I am indecisive and lazy about organization of…most things, but I liken it to the way I also enjoy scanning through the radio stations on a commute every once in a while, just to see if I’ll hear a song I hadn’t thought of in a long time.  Radio in my city generally blows, though, so I don’t often get that lucky.  The song I play most, though, is on CD – Muse’s Madness.  Ike used to fall asleep in the car to it all the time when he was tiny, and I still try it when he gets fussy while I’m driving, but it doesn’t work much anymore.

What is your favorite quote?

I have many regrets, and I’m sure everyone does.  The stupid things you do, you regret…if you have any sense, and if you don’t regret them, maybe you’re stupid.  ~Katharine Hepburn

What chore do you absolutely hate doing?

Pretty much all of them, but if I had to pick the worst, I’d say cleaning the bathroom.  Things are awfully dusty around here, too.

What is your favorite form of exercise?

The closest thing to exercise that I manage is yoga.  I wouldn’t say that I have a practice outside of snatching up Groupons for all the new studios that keep cropping up all over the ‘burbs here.  I am, however, signed up to run a Warrior Dash in August.  I should probably start thinking about training a little bit for that, maybe. Soon.

What is your favorite time of day/day of the week/month of the year?

Weekdays, arriving at my parents’ house to pick Ike up, and getting that big smile when he sees me.  Weekends, lying in bed as long as I can after waking up and listening to baby babble, having our nonsense chats.  Saturday is my favorite day of the week, year round, and I love spring, so let’s say May.  When green things start poking up out of the ground and flowers start budding and blooming, I feel better.  To put that all together, I’d say waking up on a Saturday in May, windows open to let in the scent of the lilacs outside the bedroom.  Can’t wait to do that with Ike this year.

What is on your bedside table?

A lamp, a Kindle reading light that I designated a night light, the copy of Anna Karenina I’ve been trying to finish since…I think I was still pregnant (!), and a stack of Ike’s books.  Right now, there are Goodnight Moon, Runaway Bunny, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, a Cleveland Indians book, and a couple Sesame street books about numbers and shapes.  Also usually a glass of water. Surely a good deal of dust.

What is your favorite body part?

On me?  Years ago I would have said my hair, but since about three months after Ike was born it’s been shedding like crazy, so for now I guess I’d have to go with my feet.  As far as feet go, they’re pretty not bad.  Neglected, being near the end of winter now, but a pedicure is within sight!

Would you use the power of invisibility for good or evil? Elaborate.

I can’t imagine not getting a little evil with it, at least.  Hopefully I wouldn’t have to choose absolutely between the two, and could use it for a lot of good and a little evil?  Fund some Batman-type do-gooding, or something like that.  Force the most fortunate to help the least.

If you could choose to stay a certain age forever, what age would it be?

Probably somewhere in the 23-25 range.  Finishing school, falling in love, getting married.  Good times.

What is the first thing you would do if you won the lottery?

Pay off all our debt.  Depending on the jackpot, maybe I could still make a serious donation to March of Dimes or something similar (would require much research) and take a serious vacation.

What is your biggest pet peeve?

Consistently atrocious grammar.  Occasional fuckups that don’t cause actual confusion, I can generally deal.  But COME ON.  It’s not that hard to get the basics right, most of the time.

If you could know the answer to any question, what would it be?

This is a hard one.  Since I’ve come to terms with my atheism/agnosticism, I’m much more okay with not knowing things that are just unknowable.  Everything I can think of, like…will Ike be happy and okay even after Mike and I are dead and gone, leads me to more awful possibilities where that wouldn’t be an applicable question.  Yeah, I don’t like this idea!  I’m going to cop out with this:  will I die content?

At what age did you become an adult?

Probably 23, when I graduated and officially moved out on my own after school (even though I basically had lived with Mike for a year or more already) and got a “real” job related to my degree.

Recommend a book, movie, or television show in three sentences or less.

The Wire.  If you haven’t seen it, go on a binge – watch as many as you can at a time, and you will not regret it.  It’s tragic at the same time as it’s hilarious and thought-provoking.  Good, good TV – and I even like some bad TV now and then!

What did you do growing up that got you into trouble?

Not nearly as many things as I did that SHOULD have gotten me into trouble!  I was a pretty wild teenager, but I was extremely crafty at not getting caught.  I like to think of it as being young and stupid, but not quite recklessly stupid.  Sex, drugs, rock ‘n’ roll – standard, stereotypical stuff.  Without going into much detail (here anyway, if you ask privately I will divulge more), the one time I nearly got into actual legal trouble involved an ex-boyfriend so dumb he admitted to a drug abuse charge in order to report drugs as stolen (it wasn’t me!).  Thankfully, there ended up being no juvenile record (nor is there an adult one!) to have sealed, but only due to me being lucky and/or smart enough to do dumb things in intelligent ways.

What was the first album you bought with your own money?

I’m not sure, honestly, if I ever have, as impossible as it sounds. I know I requested some things as gifts when I was a kid (NKOTB, etc.), but I have never been a big purchaser of music.  Most things were given to me by friends who made copies of their own for me.  I may have bought a copy of STP’s No. 4 after I lost the one my brother gave me for a birthday, I think.  Love that album, still.  Even when I fall in love with a song, I can’t justify spending money on it when I know there are ways to hear it for free (I know, the artists should and do hate people like me).

If someone wrote a book about you, what would be the title?

… And She Got Away With It, Too

What story do you wish your family would stop telling about you?

Probably the childhood one from when I was apparently regressing a bit or being upset about not being the baby – when my (younger) sister was learning to cut her own food, I was being stubborn about cutting mine, even though I obviously had the ability.  She’ll still offer to cut my pancakes for me whenever the opportunity arises.

True or false: The unicorn is the greatest mythical creature. State your case.

No way.  When I think mythical creature, the first thing I think of is Cerberus.  Three-headed dog!  Actually, I have a hard time suspending belief; I don’t get into sci-fi very much at all, and I like fiction that is at least possible, if not plausible.  Still – any one of these creatures sounds more interesting and intimidating than a unicorn to me!  Plus, the whole thing about only virgins being able to capture a unicorn (yeah, I totally had to look that up, too)? Gag.

Way Back Machine Memory Jogger

The title above is the subject line of an email my dad sent to me and my siblings a few days ago, and it is definitely apt.  The email contained two links to You.Tube videos of this crazy song, apparently from the 70s, that we found absolutely hilarious as little kids.  What can I say?  We are a bunch of weirdos.  Memories like this from my childhood are one of the many things that make me hopeful that we’ll be able to give Ike a sibling someday in the not-too-awfully-distant future, so he can have someone to share giggles and peals of laughter with, creating memories with his own family’s strange silliness.  Not to say that I’m really anywhere near ready to start taking action now toward that end, or even soon, but it serves as a reminder not to wait too long, either.  It still feels like a greedy thought to imagine another baby coming into our lives, and I don’t assume that it will definitely happen, but I am hopeful enough to allow myself to think about it from time to time.  I love the idea of Ike having a little brother or sister with whom he can someday look back on the funny things they remember from childhood.  He needs someone else who’ll “get” how weird his parents are, and thus are probably going to make them.  I would rather there not be a huge age gap between siblings, so they’ll be able to relate to one another (though I’m sure not always) but again, I know that we certainly don’t always get our druthers when it comes to family building.

Here is the video that gave me such a flashback/flash-forward (skip to the two minute mark if you want to go right to the song – but the first two minutes do contain some supreme oddness that I think is worth watching!):

Fish heads, fish heads,
Rolly-polly fish heads,
Fish heads, fish heads,
Eat them up, yum!

Fish heads, fish heads,
Rolly-polly fish heads,
Fish heads, fish heads,
Eat them up, yum!

In the morning,
Laughing happy fish heads,
In the evening,
Floating in the soup!

{Chorus}

Ask a fish head
Anything you want to,
They won’t answer,
They can’t talk!

{Chorus}

I took a fish head
Out to see a movie,
Didn’t have to pay
To get it in!

{Chorus}
They can’t play baseball,
They don’t wear sweaters,
They’re not good dancers,
They don’t play drums!

{Chorus}

Rolly-polly fish heads
Are never seen drinking cappicino
In Italian resturaunts,
With Oriental women, yeah!

{Chorus x four}

Yeah.

(Link)

I am still laughing at “they don’t wear sweaters, they aren’t good dancers….”

What oddball things from your childhood would you like to pass along to your own child(ren)?  Do you share certain things with your sibling(s), if you have them, that instantly have you laughing, but would make no sense to anyone else?

Miscellany

Not a lot of visible progress on the mountains of baby stuff that still needs sorted, washed, organized, etc. Slowly but surely, a little at a time, we have chipped away at some edges, but there is still a helluva lot of nesting to go.  Including of course our ongoing side project of the front bathroom.  And, you know, finishing the nursery, I’d think.  I’m hoping we get a lot done this coming long weekend.

Yesterday was another double appointment day, with the NST and regular OB visit in the morning, and the BPP ultrasound in the afternoon.  Both looked good, low blood pressures at both visits, even.  My weight gain seems to have stalled, with no change from last week and very little even from the week previous, which is confounding because it seems like I’m hungrier than ever and continually indulging it, so hopefully it’s all going toward baby fat and baby brain (sorry about all those Doritos the other night, kiddo).  I certainly FEEL bigger around, which is reassuring (if also somewhat disconcerting, to be honest).  They only give me a weight estimate for the baby every other week at the BPPs, so next week I’m hoping to hear at least 5.5 lbs, since he was estimated at 4.5 last week.  On the small side of normal, but as long as we hang on to the normal part, that’s fine.  At the first appointment they surprised me with the group B strep culture.  I’d asked a few weeks back when they did that, and they said 36 weeks, so I thought it wouldn’t be until next week, but whatever (I so hadn’t shaved my legs and so didn’t really care, either).  Will be interesting to see how that comes back.  They also had me go for a repeat hemoglobin/hematocrit – those results just popped up in my email.  Still a little short of the normal ranges, but higher than they were the first time, so I guess the iron supplement is helping a little.  We’ll see if they want me to do anything else. More steaks and strawberries in the meantime, I guess!
It’s getting hot here; all three days this weekend are supposed to hit 90°F or higher.  I’m feeling a little puffy, but not much in the way of true swelling, thankfully.  I haven’t been wearing my wedding rings for quite a while now; I’d swapped for some pretty bands that my sister actually gave me and our mom for her wedding, but I’m not bothering with those either anymore.  I keep wearing flipflops at work (hey, at least they’re the nice Clarks ones my mom treated me to and not the cheap Old Navy ones I bought for myself) and only switching to socks & tennis shoes as absolutely necessary.  Socks are the enemy.  Closed shoes without socks are just a terrible idea.
I can’t tell if it’s really that the baby has dropped/is dropping or if it’s just ligaments stretching, but I swear it feels like my pelvis is being pried apart.  Really quite an odd feeling, worst when going from sitting to standing or lying to sitting to standing.  I had noticed it a bit in my second trimester, too, and then it seemed to ease up for a while, but now it’s back with a vengeance.  I imagine it’s still a way better deal than back pain or sciatica, but it’s definitely something in the ‘pregnancy is very weird’ column.  Still having little if any heartburn, too, so I’m pretty sure he’s gonna be a bald baby (that old wives’ tale has actually been shown to be true, surprisingly enough).  All in all I’m not ready to start complaining about these discomforts. So much left to do, and really feeling quite well overall.  Still plenty of cranky, which I’m blaming on the length of the to-do list, but I have had a few moments of eerie peace.  Amazing how far we’ve come.
Last night our doula and her backup came to visit.  It went really well.  Turns out she’s a former Deadhead, like, dropped out of high school and followed the band for a year or more in her youth, before she had her first son.  It probably says something not so…upstanding, or something, about me that I found that extremely endearing and comforting, but that’s exactly the feel you want from a doula, so, so be it!  We were talking about music for labor, for which I’ve had a hard time trying to decide which extremes of my tastes might work, and I showed her the CD we registered for and received of lullaby versions of the Grateful Dead classics.  She immediately lit up and asked for a copy, and we were off and running.  This really helps Mike feel comfortable with her, too, since he’s gained a lot of appreciation for what he used to think of as my “damn hippie” music in the past several years as he’s reconnected with some of his old friends that are really into it, too.  On the other end of the musical spectrum, she told a story about one of the births she attended in which she arrived at the hospital (or house?  don’t remember – she has attended home births, too) to find the mom headbanging on a birth ball, jamming out to Tool.  I knew I couldn’t be the first or only one to have thought that serious rock might be less annoying than plinky-plunky meditation music at that point in time.  So I think we made an excellent decision, doula-wise; very glad to have gone with my gut on that!  
(35w1d)

20w5d

I’m falling back into the bad habit of going too long between posts.  This is just an attempt to break that – there won’t likely be much of real interest (I guess no news is good news, finally).

We had our 20 week anatomy scan last Thursday.  All looks good, and we even got a cute shot of his face mid-yawn.  I need a brag book just for ultrasound prints, there are so many.  Kind of cool to be able to someday show him pictures starting from when he was less than seven millimeters.  I may or may not eventually post some here, I guess.  Same with belly photos.  My sister asked my mom to take one and send it to her last night, and I asked her to forward it to me, so…a current one does exist, along with the ones I took in the mirror earlier on.  I won’t lie…there are two reasons I haven’t posted any yet.  One – I still feel like the asshole infertile/RPL girl turned happy(ish) pregnant lady.  It’s HARD to read those kind of blogs when you’re still in such an unhappy place, I know (yet it’s almost impossible not to, I know).  So as much as half of me would like to be plastering ultrasound images and belly shots up here…the other half of me just screams DON’T BE THAT ASSHOLE.  Not promising I won’t, just…haven’t yet, I guess.  Two – they are terrible shots.  My camera sucks, my mirrors suck, the lighting in that room sucks, and even the one I let my mom take with her phone is far from flattering.  Just makes me look like the lump of frump I pretty much feel like most of the time.  Excuses, excuses.  I am not complaining, I swear…it’s still thrilling to be feeling movement and kicks and just so NORMAL AND PREGNANT, but I have to be honest – I’m not glowing (except that giant zit…yeah, that one, too.  And that one.  They glow in the dark.  I bet you can see ’em from space).  

What else?  Oh yes, registries and hospital tours.  Partly done with both.  I still want to see the hospital birthing center and try to find out if I”m too “high risk” to plan to deliver there.  Can’t get much info from the website, but we’re touring that hospital next Monday.  Unfortunately it sounds like my OB practice prefers to not go anywhere near the place, but…meh.  I’ll get a new OB if I have to, I suppose.  The hospital they prefer is not terrible or anything, it’s just very…here’s your monitor and your IV and your Pitocin and your epidural and now good luck lying flat on your back and pushing against gravity.  We’ll see.  If that’s how it’s gotta be, then so be it, but if I can plan something cozier and less…stringent, I guess, then I’d like to.  My only real plan is to be flexible, of course.  As usual, I’m grasping for control where little or none can really be had.

Oh yeah.  Happy Valentine’s Day, if you do that sort of thing.  We really usually don’t…it’s just so obnoxious.  I have been fighting a cold that kept trying to turn into a sinus infection (OB said a Z-pack was safe enough, so I took it), so I didn’t get to go to yoga last week…so I’m going tonight, now that I can mostly breathe out of both nostrils FINALLY, and Mike plans to cook a fancy dinner tomorrow instead.  What will be funny is if I’m the only pregnant woman at prenatal yoga on Valentine’s Day.  Time to go find out….

Still alive!

Frankie is still kicking (well, not really kicking yet but you know).  Frankie?  I dunno.  Peanut?  That’s about the size s/he is (out of the shell, in my RE’s words).  Maybe we’ll just go with Lightly Salted.  I kind of like that. There is an inexplicable (I will try, but be prepared for it to make zero sense) episode from my childhood in which my dad brought home some airline peanut packets (yep, dating myself here) from a business trip for us (what a treat!), and something about the way he said the phrase ‘lightly salted peanuts’ was absolutely pee-your-pants hilarious to my sister and me.  Completely dissolved into fits of giggles.  For at least an hour, probably.

Yeah.  Nonsensical.

Anyway, the heart rate is up to 154 beats per minute and he/she/it is measuring 7w4d.  That’s only one day behind 7w5d by LMP, so I guess we could say s/he’s made up a day or two since last week.  Don’t know if that’s really the right way to think of that, but last time we measured 2 or 3 days behind based on LMP.  Seems like good progress! CRL is 13.35 mm, so looking something like this creepy thing or this maybe slightly less creepy thing.  If you really want a fright go back and check out Carnegie Stage 15.  Yikes!  Glad we’re past that and moving onto stuff like gonads and nipples.  Wheeee!

I am clearly still not quite grasping that this is, like, real.  I get to keep going back weekly until 10 or 12 weeks.    I think that will help, though part of me is going to continue to be terrified every time that the heartbeat will just cease to be there.  I have no real reason to think that will happen, it’s just that I know that it does happen.  I am very encouraged; this is definitely the farthest (furthest?  I hate that one) we’ve ever gotten – maybe not date-wise, but definitely signs-point-to-good-wise.  They said today that I’ll discontinue heparin and progesterone after the first trimester.  Progesterone, fine, yes.  At that point the placenta should be doing its job and I am fully aware that supplementing won’t prevent miscarriage anyway.  The heparin I think I may be nervous about stopping.  I never actually tested positive for APS, and was never tested for MTHFR, homocysteine levels being normal, so I have no concrete reason to think I should continue it, but…I can’t help but fear a rogue clot in the placenta or the umbilical cord or…whatever else worst case scenario I haven’t even come across yet.  On the other hand, I won’t miss the bruising.  Maybe by 15 weeks or so my stomach won’t look like it lost a bar fight anymore.  See?  I am thinking I will get that far, it’s just…weird to have these thoughts.  I never wanted to give up and not try at all, but it seems like my mind was trying to prepare more than I consciously realized for the possibility that it would never even get this far. It’s a strange yet perfectly logical dichotomy of sorts.  Trying to acknowledge it and leave it be, not poke at it too much. Also, they’ll back me off the metformin at some point.  I’m on the fence about that one, too.  Studies have gone both ways on whether it may actually help prevent miscarriage or not.  It has, however, been shown to reduce the incidence of gestational diabetes.  A restricted diet does not sound like any fun at all, but…again, I never showed any definite signs of insulin resistance, and cart way the hell ahead of the horse on that anyway.

One. day. at. a. time.    

Trivial

At the traffic light on the highway exit coming home after work, I got winked at by a guy in a NASCAR hat who had Paula Abdul’s Straight Up cranked to eleven on his Cavalier’s stereo.  Before I could stop myself or default to just rolling my eyes, I laughed.  Genuinely.  Actual laughter.  It’s mean-spirited, but I’m sure he’d laugh or just think me a geek if he could hear my All Things Considered, too. 

There’s no more to the story.  Just that actually laughing felt good, and made me realize how long it’s been since I’ve been able to find anything truly funny.  I could use more of that.  I wish I could say that I’ve turned some kind of corner and from now on life could be all levity and hilarity, but it’s far from that easy for me.  I’m still awfully weighed down by anxiety over what’s transpired and what may come.  But still…I laughed.  For now, that’s something, and I’ll take it.

GiST

  1. Our house filled (but not overfilled) with friends and family to help us celebrate our five years.
  2. That they brought so much booze we may have to have another party to consume it all.
  3. Having family photos taken for the first time in six years.
  4. Seeing my siblings happily paired with their significant others.
  5. My brother and his girlfriend are thinking of getting a dog and it is sure to be hilariously named.