waiting for waiting

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We’re still planning on #2 in 2015, despite Mike’s layoff. We’re optimistic he’ll be employed by then.  And hey, if not — free daycare!

Buuuut seriously.

It’s on my mind because of articles like this, which support the theory that what a mother eats well in advance of getting pregnant has an impact on the pregnancy, which means I kind of need to get on it.  Certainly being deficient in folate and Vit-D is a concern; I’ll be upping both in the coming weeks.

Aaaand…I’m old.  I need all the edge I can get.  That means getting back to the best I’ve felt.  And the best I’ve felt was when I was eating paleo.

Oh, the paleos.  Vegetarians hate it, normal people wonder what’s so bad about bread/pasta/donuts, waiters roll their eyes when yet another person asks if there’s gluten in their iced tea*.  I want to grab my walker and remind people I was doing the paleos before Tim McGraw was, and maybe to get off my lawn (seriously, I just got that thing to grow back), but what’s the point?  I don’t need to prove to anyone what makes me feel right.  It works for me, I’m not surprised when it works for other people.

The biggest problem, of course, is that meat ain’t cheap, and I’m off one of the cheapest sources (eggs), and we kind of are on a restricted budget right now (see: layoff).  I’ve been cutting our meat portions in half and supplementing with rice, potatoes, and corn, but it’s not — strictly — paleo.  And I don’t have that buzz I got when I was doing the very strict, very meaty, full-of-fibrous-vegetables paleos.

Historically, I tend to use the day after my birthday to “reset” my diet clock, and this year’s no exception.  From my birthday, I have 6 months before we start “trying”, and if Zoe is any indication, “trying” will take a few months, possibly less.  When mom asked me what I wanted for my birthday dinner, I said, “Steak, please.”  What better way to go back to what works for you, then at the hands of your own mom?

And of course, there are two other matters: I want to lose the last of the Zoe-weight before I pack on another kid, and I want to get some exercise in, too.  We were actually doing a really good job of going for walks, Mike and I, during the first pregnancy.  Then I miscarried, and we cut back because of the anemia, and then I whammo got pregnant again, and between moving and adjusting to the current wee one, it’s been a yo-yo.

But I think — knock on all the wood — things are settling.  My physical therapist seems to think I need to get my back strong, and I agree.  So I’m going to start focusing on strength training again, and getting in my 7500 steps a day, and not go too crazy.

I’m a planner.  I like to plan.  For all its pain and tribulations, pregnancy is an exciting time.  Unique, surprising, promising, and sometimes rife with pain and fear and constantly needing to pee…but also great potential.  I hope we’re successful again.  I’d like Zoe to know the joys (and eye-rolling tests of patience) (but mostly joys) of being a sibling.



* You laugh, but boricha is made with barley, so technically, it’s possible!

Getting Your Nesting On

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Arguably, I didn’t get a chance to “nest”…except that I did.  Back in November/December. That was when things went on sale and I went a little crazy buying up supplies. At the time I even thought to myself, “This is crazy. She’s not coming for four months or more! I’m being a crazy person.” And then I went right on doing it.

And as it turns out: it wasn’t crazy. By the end of January I had two changing tables (one upstairs, one down) all set up and ready to go with diapers, clothing, blankets, cloth wipes, and burp cloths. I had all the clothes friends had donated sorted and hung by the end of February. We had a co-sleeper set up at around the same time which…I mainly used for my laundry, because I’m a terrible person who never puts her laundry away. YES SORRY MOM IT’S TRUE. I’m in my late 30s, and I still leave my laundry in the basket, unfolded, wrinkling as it cools.

(Rest assured: it’s not used for laundry anymore. The cosleeper is next to me and at night, Zoë sleeps in it and reassures me by snoring along with her daddy.)

In February I bought a breastpump, despite the fact that at the time I thought things were going swimmingly and that we wouldn’t need it ’til I went back to work. But I thought, hey, buy it now, won’t have to remember to buy it later. Me and that breastpump have become very good friends, let me tell you.

And taxes. I did our taxes in March. Even though we owed money. Because I could.

I installed the baby carseat two weeks before she showed up, and the day we went to the hospital my brother-in-law (who is a police officer) inspected it. Okay, that one was cutting it a little close, but it still counts.

What we’re really lacking? Maternity bras and tops. I have one bra, two tops, and I’m reluctant to buy more because…I am always reluctant to buy more. I had no problem buying Zoë more bottles and diapers when it became clear we needed them, but you can’t get me to spend a red cent on my own clothes. It requires Mike’s scowl or my mother’s pleading to get me to do it. Have I mentioned I’m obstinate?

So what I’m saying is that, despite having felt like we weren’t prepared for our bundle of joy…we kind of were. I wasn’t spending her first days home sorting out clothes or figuring out where we were going to change her — all that was done. I didn’t have to spend time at the hospital chasing down a breastpump or figuring out what we were going to do when we got home — I had it ready to go, to her immense benefit. And I didn’t spend any time thinking oh god our taxes are due. They were already handled.

Just goes to show…if your nesting urge kicks in months early, listen to it. It may be smarter than you.

And so the “Waiting” part of the blog begins in earnest….

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Two separate appointments with high blood pressure readings, plus some protein in my urine, equals bedrest.  Now you know the recipe for “medically necessary maternity leave”.

I am of course unreasonably annoyed at my body for this…especially when I go looking for something — anything — I can do to “help” and see people accusing women of “poor diet” when they get hypertension in pregnancy.  But those people aren’t me, and they can kindly go die in a fire.

So, day one of limited bedrest: I woke up hungry; painfully so. I started with a banana-avocado smoothie (for the potassium and magnesium), let that settle, then cooked up two eggs, two slices of ham, and a slice of cheese.  And a cup of coffee.  I’m probably going to soak in a tub after all that digests a bit.  I know this sounds like the most bizarre spa day ever, but I assure you — I would much rather not have to do any of this.  In my head, I’m on my feet and working until the water breaks.  But part of this adjusting to motherhood life is that things don’t go the way you want them to all the time.

Zoe is still moving and shifting and — based on the pressure in my torso — overall running out of space.  She’s at 37 weeks as of Saturday, so if the unexpected happens we can always go the induction route.  I don’t want the induction route.  But see last sentence in the paragraph, above.  We’ll do what we need to for a healthy family.

And once I’m done soaking in a tub and getting over myself, I’ll hit the market for a few things that may be old wives tales, but certainly can’t hurt to try. I’m going to make some tea with red raspberry, nettle, and dandelion leaf, and probably buy a Vitamin B6 supplement.  I’m going to buy more bananas and avocados, and some spinach for sauteeing with lunch.  I’m going to keep track of my protein and hope that, if I can’t reverse this, I can at least keep it at bay.  And someday we’ll have a lovely footnote to tell our daughter.


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36 weeks, and here at last I can say I’m experiencing one of those uncomfortable and highly visible pregnancy symptoms: swollen ankles.  It started, oh, Wednesdayish, and some days it’s worse than others. Exercising seems to exacerbate it. It’s not too bad in the mornings, and I guess this is as good a reason as any to put my feet up and drink more water. Like I wasn’t doing that enough already.

Tomorrow’s checkup will be the Group B Strep (GBS) test, one of those things no one tested for back when I was born but that is now ubiquitous in any modern practice in the USA. We’ll also be revisiting my blood pressure; it was a little high last visit, but I think it was a fluke. Then again, it did coincide with my ankles deciding to turn into flotation devices. Urine samples were collected. So…we’ll find out!

And it’s also the start of my last week at work, which with all these suddenly ballooning bodyparts isn’t such a bad thing. Soon I will be bored on a couch, burning through a Netflix queue and thinking to myself, “I now understand why women want to be induced.”

Other than that, I’ve been pondering what to make for my labor playlist and giving my new-to-me grill a workout (steak and ribs). I’m intermittently packing my labor day bag — currently it’s got some pads, a scrunchie, lip balm, and massage lotion in it. Tomorrow I get the official birth center list.

Zoe’s been very active all day and yesterday — last night in particular, when we were watching a movie, she turned and squirmed and flipped the whole time. Not quite the acrobatics of last month, but still clearly busy and mobile. I wonder if she’s making lists in there?

My Neurosis, Let Me Show You It

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When I got pregnant, I remember being warned about things like raw milk cheese and sushi.  I remember being warned about deli meats and undercooked eggs.  But no one warned me about the cantaloupe.

From the article:

Michelle Wakley was in her sixth month of pregnancy in September when she ate fresh cantaloupe in her home in Indianapolis. Within days she was rushed into a hospital emergency room, forced into premature labor from the infection ravaging her body.

This was in 2011, of course, and it was one of the worst outbreaks in the country.  Roughly three dozen dead, 110 sickened.  From fresh melon.

And when you read that when you yourself are six months pregnant?  It can freak you out a little.  So being a modern day mom-to-be, I did what seemed natural: I created a Google alert for “listeria recall”.

And this is where I found out something funny.  Most listeria outbreaks don’t seem to be with raw dairy and meat.  The last two that have popped up?  Smoked salmon and a fruit and grain salad from Publix.  Which no one’s warned me about, either.

So in short: food supply roulette.  Extra fun during pregnancy!  And I’m not deleting my Google alerts anytime soon.

And During the 35th Week….

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I got tired.

Really tired.

This is similar to the exhaustion I felt in Trimester the First, only now it’s accompanied by tingly fingers and some lightheadedness.  It’s making that couch look very attractive.  Ryan Gosling attractive.  And I’m now starting to guess what I’ll be doing during my maternity leave prior to the birth: sitting on a couch, sleeping on a couch, and/or wishing a couch was nearby.

Mostly, though, I just want to sleep and eat and sleep some more.  And when I say “eat” I don’t want to give the impression I have a raging appetite…because I don’t.  Aside from early morning, I’m back to making myself go get lunch and prepare dinner.  I suspect I’m more tired than I am hungry, and my body would rather sleep than spend time prepping food.

(Though when I do eat, I’m craving protein. Protein and potatoes. Also, that glass of milk in the morning. Sweets not so much. I just want steak.)

So I have one week left of work. And though I’d earlier thought I could stick it out another week…I’m glad I don’t have to.  Truth is, I probably could. I’d be exhausted, but I could do it.  But it wouldn’t prove anything, and at this point I’m ready to put in some rest time after eight months of playing host.

The other news: girlfriend is head down.  That’s her butt up against my ribcage.  Those are her fists drilling into my kidneys.  She’s still active, but not acrobatically so.  She shifts around and juts her butt out and wiggles.

There was also some vague worry over my blood pressure at yesterday’s check-up…which I’m not worried about. We’re going to retake it next clinic visit (Monday), and my urine is being tested for protein (glamorous!), but I’m  asymptomatic in every other way. High blood pressure is something to worry about in pregnancy, I know, but it seems more like a fluke to me.  If it’s not, we’ll deal with it.  Simple as that.

And now I’m going to take my lunch half-hour and nap.  ‘Scuse me.

The Virtues of Sleepwalking

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I started sleepwalking in my early twenties. Prior to that, I don’t recall any heavy sleep disturbances, though I was a night owl and when I lived at Casa de la Crisis (aka Greenwalls) in Berkeley I generally went to bed at 10 AM and got up at 5-6 PM, and then only because my roommates would bang on my door to let me know I was missing dinner. Those were interesting times.

What changed? Well, when I was 21 I went to work for a game startup.

Yyyyup. That pretty much sums it up.

Also, I started working a night shift because I thought I was a night owl and that caused all sorts of interesting complications. To whit: my period stopped, I gained about seventy pounds (with associated ramifications: sleep apnea, sore knees, low energy), and I started to have waking nightmares. Also, sleepwalking.

Shift work: it’s a hell of a drug.

Obviously my period came back (though there was a point where my doctor point blank informed me I was probably infertile — ha ha! showed you!), and I lost a lot of the weight, but the waking nightmares stuck around. And so did the sleepwalking.

Sometimes it happens when I’m stressed. Sometimes it happens because I was reading a really good book before bed. After my home in Missouri was broken into, I did it every night — sometimes multiple times — for nearly a year. And it’s not always a gentle, I’m-walking-into-the-kitchen-to-eat-processed-cheese sleepwalking. This is jumping-out-of-bed and screaming-like-my-head-is-on-fire sleepwalking. I have woken up to find my hand on the front door to my house, trying to escape…I don’t know what.

It’s calmed down over the years. The last really active period was when we were living at Montalvo in San Clemente and I would walk our of my room, down the hall, into Mike’s bedroom and proceed to assure him I was awake. He would lead me back to my bedroom, tuck me into bed, and in the morning I’d be all, “Did I try to tell you I was awake?” And he’d say, “Yup.” And I’d say, “I lied.” And he’d say, “I know, baby. I know.”

My dad sleepwalks. Mom has great stories about waking up to him standing on the bed with a sheet wrapped around him like a toga. My sister sleepwalks. When she was pregnant, she’d wake up with glasses of orange juice in her hand. Apparently my nephew sleepwalks. So this is a hereditary thing. I suspect my brain just fails to shut down appropriately. It’s always in the first two hours, and it’s usually after I’ve been thinking hard on something.

So what’s the virtue in all this? Simple: I have, over the years, developed a knack for going back to sleep when my brain or body decides to interrupt my snoozefest by making me get up to investigate the ninjas coming through the wall. Despite the fact that over the last three months I have been getting up at least once or twice a night to pee, I have now boiled it down into what is essentially…peewalking. I wake up, I get to the bathroom, I pee, I go back to bed, and between the time my body sent the signal and the time my head hits the pillows, I’ve had a less than two minute interruption. I’m back to sleep almost instantly.

I suspect this is kinda important.

I really suspect this is going to come in handy when we have an infant demanding boobtime at all hours in the next month or so. Get baby. Apply baby to boob. Go back to sleep.

Or I am completely deluding myself! I am aware that this is very possible.

Oh well. That’s why I’m taking all this time off from work. To recover when I completely underestimate the rigors of motherhood.

State of the Pregnancy: 34 Weeks

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If I don’t post these often, it’s mainly because there’s not much to say. I have heartburn. I have some swelling in my hands that’s causing finger tingling and pins-and-needles and as of last week my wedding ring no longer fits comfortably. Walking up stairs is a little challenging. Otherwise….

Otherwise there just is not a lot to report. Would you like to know about my exercises? Well, I do pelvic tilts in the evenings, Kegels when I remember to, squats throughout the day. Eating patterns? Breakfast anymore is a banana, some nut butter, and a glass of whole milk, which mysteriously enough keeps me fueled up through to lunch. Dinners are mostly in — at the end of the day it’s just easier to come home, put on really comfortable clothes, and cook a meal. The “really comfortable clothes” part is key, I find. Weight gain? Normal, for once. HOORAY. You still can’t pry the yoga pants off me, though.

Zoe herself is as active as ever, though her space is running out and I definitely have days where I feel like she’s bruising ribs.

Mike rubs my back and sometimes my ankles and is about as close to a dream partner as a girl could get. You don’t realize how much the love and support means until you get it. Then you want to cry a little because life is short and someday this will all be a memory and did I mention that sometimes I start to choke up for no reason?

And as another friend said: mad props to single moms. Having someone who comes in and lovingly cuddles with me and rubs my back reduces so much stress. Having someone who wants to go to my checkups, who tells me he loves me before I leave for work, who leans down and whispers to Zoe that he loves her — yup, sorry, choking up. BE RIGHT BACK.

But we’re in the home stretch, as I am told, and that’s good. I’m going to do my best to enjoy these last few weeks of relative quiet, our life-now as opposed to our life-with-Zoe. Trying not to rush rush because this is life and we only get these moments. But I am excited to meet her, and to show her the world.


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I am endlessly amused by the fact that pregnancy has a disease code associated with it on my disability insurance paperwork. Then again, either R.D. Laing or Neil Gaiman said that life is a sexually transmitted disease with a 100% fatality rate, which I can’t help but think of every time I look at that paperwork.

April 5th is my last day at work for a while, and that’s a very odd reality to be facing. While I’ve done vacations and I’ve done breaks between jobs, I haven’t actually been not working at a job longer than 2 weeks since high school. I haven’t stopped going somewhere to stare at a computer screen or tap on a keypad and take care of the emergency du jour in twenty years.

Twenty years.

And I am used to it. I got bored during the one-and-a-half week I had off in December. I’ll be (hopefully) waiting 3-5 weeks for a baby to make her grand entrance. And that is weird.

(And no, I am not saying that the life of a stay at home mom is not work. It is. It absolutely is. But it is also different from working for a company, with benefits and timesheets and coworkers who are hopefully better behaved than a newborn, though I know — not always. When we decided to mix our chemistry kits, Mike and I talked extensively about whether one of us should stop working and if we could afford it and still be happy. Ultimately, we came to the conclusions we came to, and I will be going back to work, and so will he. But that’s probably a separate post.)

Weird. Weird to not have to go someplace in the morning. Weird to not have things due (except a date). Weird to be waiting — not for email or a call back, but a baby.

I’m a worker bee. Even on days off, I’m probably planning something. I need doing. I just don’t know how to live, otherwise.

My husband — though invested with a nigh-religious work ethic — is something of the opposite. Once the workday is over, he winds down and is content to be still. If we do nothing over a weekend, he’s happy. This is another one of those “ways we balance each other out” things. It also helps that he sleeps in on weekends, because then I can get my doings out of the way while he’s oblivious to the world.

Ah well. Anyway. I’m sure I’ll adjust. Actually, I’m sure I’ll sleep a lot. And cook a lot. In stages. Standing and chopping have, of late, been a bit wearying. I’ll probably get in some walking. And maybe some pushups. I do miss my bench presses. Maybe I should make a list. Ooh! Or a spreadsheet. Or a Project file.

Like I said.

Always need to be doing.

A Day Early

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To our surprise, Mike and the Moms (this is almost certainly my next band name) made it to California a day ahead of schedule. I roasted chickens and ignored my dirty kitchen and overall we all settled in well.

I also feel I am about to cross the pregnancy Rubicon: I need to buy maternity yoga pants. The Bradley class we attend wants us to squat. I cannot squat in maternity jeans. Well, I can, but not comfortably.

Yoga pants just feels like that final resignation, though. I am by no means a clothes horse, but I have my limits. And one of those limits is wearing workout clothes in public. I just…I don’t.


But having a kid is a chance to re-examine your “don’ts”. And it would be nice to go to class and not feel like I’m fighting the fabric of my jeans. And though many of my old sweats still fit — there are some benefits to having lost 70 pounds and then not throwing out your old hang-around-house clothes — they’re not…tremendously…flattering.

It’s a vanity thing. I know.

Meanwhile, here we are at 32 weeks. Girlfriend seems to sleep in the mornings before I head to work, but perks up when the food hits the umbilical, and then spends most of the day shifting and squirming and playing with the configuration settings on my bladder. I am curious to see if this translates into a squirmy baby. I guess we’ll find out soon enough.