Monday, May 19, 2008

The Vadge Update

41 weeks and counting. I am really hoping this is my last post as a pregnant person. For the last few weeks, there has been this constant tantalizing knowledge that it could (and should) happen any second. You never know when your body is going to decide to go into labor, so you just make as many preparations as you can and try to limit your exposure to the public to avoid the risk of having your water break all over the produce section of Trader Joe’s. I have done every project imaginable that involves sitting with my feet up – even finally constructed my wedding album AND baby shower album. A piece of advice to other moms-to-be: save up all that crap you’ve been procrastinating doing for the last two weeks of pregnancy. You want busy work, but nothing you have to focus too heavily on since you are brain-damaged at that point.

So we went to the doctor today for the third time post-due date to confirm that yes, the wee babe is still fine in there, yes, he still has enough fluid to wriggle around in, yes, the placenta is still functioning properly, etc. But today (our one-year anniversary, BTW) is when it starts getting dicey. I am not dilating or really having any labor signs other than some irregular contractions, and you have to weigh the risks of waiting against the benefits of letting the little feller cook on his own schedule. In my case, according to the doc, it is becoming clear that waiting much longer means adding more bulk and heft to an already larger-than-average baby. This would raise the likelihood that he could get stuck in the birth canal and necessitate an emergency C-section, something I REALLY do not want. All this sitting around being incapacitated and 50 lbs overweight is making me crazy enough without adding the prospect of six weeks of recovering from major abdominal surgery. Not to mention the benefits of the vaginal birth: The fluid gets squeezed out of the lungs on his way through the birth canal; the milk production hormones get released, etc. It’s just the way I feel the birthing process should go for me.

So . . . we come home and wait some more. But we decided to only wait two more days if my body hasn’t started the labor process on its own by then, and then we'll go in to induce. It’s not as exciting as just letting nature take its course and having the fun surprise of “Honey, it’s time!” but there is some relief in knowing the grand prize is in sight. I know a lot of women in my position would, at this point, be losing their minds and screaming for the baby to be taken out by any means necessary, but I really haven’t gotten to that point. Yes, I am huge and really uncomfortable. My feet are so puffy and swollen, they look like little hams with sausage toes. My low back hurts if I stand for any length of time. When I do have contractions, they aren’t necessarily painful, but the way the baby is positioned makes it feel like there is a lead weight squishing my bladder for about a minute. This doesn’t feel good. I would love to walk, but the nearly 100-degree heat is making that prospect really unattractive. As it is, I sweat like a pig just by sitting in the easy chair and doing this.

So physically, I think I’m handling it fine. It’s my mental state that is getting icky. I think it’s a combination of things. The waiting around does get to be excruciating. The hormones are kicking the emotions into overdrive. The lack of sleep and the constant interruptions to sleep due to my enormous size and frequent bathroom visits are enough to make anyone batty since I have had no REM sleep for months now. And yes, I am WELL AWARE due to constant reminders from about a bajillion people that there will be sleep shortages after the baby arrives, but dammit, at least I will get to sleep fairly comfortably whenever he sleeps (which is often for newborns) and feel some measure of energy from having a ton of baby and fluid lifted off my person. Besides, I started sleeping through the night my first night home from the hospital and Derek did at two weeks old. I can’t help but think some of that might rub off on our offspring, maybe? I don’t know, call me crazy. Because I am starting to feel that way.

But at least the time is drawing close and of course I take a lot of comfort in the knowledge that my little boy is still kicking ass in there and is coming out soon into a world full of such incredibly loving family and friends that already love him and can’t wait to meet him. That is the prize I have to keep my eye on. Meanwhile, I wait. And wait. And wait.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Tourettes Guy

This is how bored I am while waiting to go into labor:

There was a South Park episode not long ago where there was no more internet, and Kyle's father was having withdrawals from his daily dose of Brazilian Fart Porn.

So.  You guessed it.  Today I googled Brazilian Fart Porn.  What?  Aren't you the least bit curious to know if it really exists?  I will let you solve that little mystery on your own, but in my quest for the South American flatulence fetish, I came across quite possibly the funniest thing I have ever seen on video in my life:  Tourettes Guy.  I CRIED from laughing so hard, and then promptly watched the thing again and laughed even harder.  I would love to have this man over for some wine and cheese.

Obviously, don't watch if you are offended by coarse language.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Finally!

The nursery is finally complete.  And it looks darn cute, I must say.  Again, artistic credit goes to Bunnie and Erin for creating the adorable vines over the crib.
The McLean Library:


I just love this painting that Derek's mom dug up out of storage.  It is a jungle safari scene featuring Derek, his bro and his sis from when they were little.  It is magical, and I love that we get to have it in our kid's room:


The ceiling.  The stars glow in the dark:

Baby's First Hat Rack, conveniently located above the Poop Deck:



Another Shitbiscuit

So now we wait. It’s only a matter of days now and could happen any minute. I’m not having any real signs of labor aside from more intense Braxton-Hicks contractions and have taken to doing as many activities as possible that involve sitting with my feet up: Eating Lucky Charms; eating a Chipwich; messing around on the computer; watching the TV; eating a Chipwich; fielding a jillion phone calls (“Are you STILL pregnant?”); and of course, eating a Chipwich.

And just so the Universe is sure I am kept on my toes, I get a call from my gyno’s office Thursday afternoon, four days before I am due to pump a chil’ren out into the world: Their office had been robbed that day. A nurse’s purse and checkbook were taken, along with 18 medical charts that were sitting out for the next day’s appointments. Mine was one of them. So not only does some nameless, faceless, chicken-shit asshole have my entire vaginal and reproductive history, but my address, social security number, date of birth, insurance info, you name it.

To say I did not react well would be kind of an understatement. Pregnancy is a very vulnerable time for even the most bad-ass of us women. I’m a pretty tough L.A. chick who does not adopt a victim stance in any situation. I consider myself to be pretty street-wise and I don’t put myself into compromising situations.

But this is a strange time in a woman’s life. Not only are you in a hyper-vigilant state because of the life you are nurturing inside you, but you are physically weaker, unbelievably tired, and waaaaaay more emotional than usual due to hormones and feeling out of control of your own body and mind.

Add to this the fact that there are a lot of sick puppies out there who do terrible things to children and to pregnant women, the knowledge of which is difficult to escape when the stories are all over the news and even entire shows are dedicated to such crimes on the crime and court TV channels and such. You can only filter out so much of reality, but some of it still seeps in and keeps you up at night. Because of this vulnerability, home security takes on a whole new meaning in a pregnant woman’s life. And when that security is messed with, it’s not difficult to completely lose it.

A couple of weeks ago, our alarm system was set off by accident and neither Derek nor I received a call from Protection One asking if they should send the police. When I called them to ask why, they informed me that we had changed the primary contact numbers several months ago. They rattled off two phone numbers I have never had nor even heard of in my life. As the maddening conversation with this “customer service” person went on, it became clear that Protection One had made some sort of clerical error with our account, and it was rectified and our correct contact numbers placed back on the account. I’m always saying it is extremely rare to find someone who does their job meticulously well anymore. I’m like Mr. Hand from Fast Times: “Are you people all on dope?” I am convinced that everyone in customer service is medicated, mentally-challenged, just doesn’t give a crap, or all three. Rare is the person you can get on the phone who comprehends the problem and knows what they’re doing, and can execute an efficient resolution. And this point was proven even in the security business, where being extremely detail-oriented is of extreme importance. So it was a stupid clerical error -- it's really no surprise.

But I was hysterical. What if the alarm hadn’t been set off by accident, but by another thieving asshole? As some of you may remember from a year and a half ago, we only have this alarm system in the first place because we have had our house broken into before and several important items stolen, not the least of which was our computer with a ton of irreplaceable personal photos and information on it. At the time, my only solace was to remind myself that they had not harmed my dogs, who were locked in the backyard and thus, unable to defend their house. You dickheads can take whatever stupid material things you like, just don’t touch my loved ones.

But the sense of being raped and blatantly pirated was devastating. Some stranger of God-knows-what origin had seen fit to invade our home, take whatever they wanted, look at our faces and those of our family and friends in our pictures, see where we sleep, what we ate for breakfast, what kind of toothpaste we use. The outrage you feel in that situation is indescribable. And it had all happened in broad daylight while we were at our jobs, trying to earn a living.

And here I was, faced with that icky, powerless feeling again. Somebody has stormed in and taken what is rightfully mine on the eve of the most important event in my life – bringing my first child into the world. Seriously, WTF?? Who the hell does this to people? What happens to them in life that this is an acceptable solution to a money shortage?

Of course I placed the fraud alert with the credit reporting agencies and with my health insurance and so forth. Had a good “Why Me?” cry on Derek and my girls. But where is the lesson in all this? I used to enjoy being the person who would walk the dogs and leave all the doors and windows unlocked. I never looked over my shoulder at the gardener or worker on the street I didn’t recognize. I freely gave out my social security number when I visited a health practitioner and didn’t think twice about it. Is the lesson here that I am too trusting? That trust is bad? I hardly think so, but it’s hard not to feel that way with all these security breaches happening.

Anyhoo, I post this not just to bitch, although I do feel better having released it into the internet ether, but to warn you all: Don’t give out your social to anybody. ANYBODY. Most people who ask for it on forms and stuff don’t really need it anyway. Leave it blank, and tell them to have the insurance company contact you personally if there is some problem verifying your identity. Run your credit report periodically to be sure there are no strange items on there that you did not sign up for. When I worked doing massage at the chiropractor’s office, patients’ charts with all their most personal information were left out on the front counter every single day in front of God and everybody, and nobody ever complained. I’m begging you – please complain. According to the police who handled the theft from my doctor’s office, this is becoming more common: Identity thieves will hire some petty pissant to specifically take medical files because they are a goldmine of information. And there are always people in and out of a doctor’s office. It is impossible to keep track between specimen-drop-offs, patients, lab workers, etc., not to mention medical care workers who are shits and will sell your information to the highest bidder. They will harvest your information and use it whenever they want. And that is just a hassle you don’t need, whether you’re about to have a baby or not.

So do me that favor, m’kay? I think I just figured out what my lesson in all this was….