Thursday, February 25, 2010
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Friday, February 12, 2010
So today marks the beginning of my 34th week of pregnancy. I had a doctor’s appointment yesterday which was all-in-all uneventful, but she did measure my belly and we talked about various important matters. Apparently, Keats is somewhat of a big boy. Not super big, but “a bit big.” My doctor noted that besides my large belly, I didn’t look all that pregnant, something I’ve been hearing quite a lot of lately. Here’s what I say to that: “Wonderful.” Water retention levels are down, belly button is out, and besides the occasional fainting spell, I’m feeling great.
Oh, right, the fainting spells. You don’t know about that, perhaps. Well, I fainted once during the first trimester but we’re pretty sure that was because I hadn’t eaten anything in far too long (I have since started a regimen of eating small meals and snacks every two or three hours). However, in just the last month, I’ve fainted or nearly fainted three times. Once while I was doing some part-time data entry work, once while I was at my in-laws, and once while I was standing around doing nothing in my living room. The most common denominator in all of these moments is heat. At work they had set the thermostat to seventy-four degrees to help warm up someone who had been freezing all week in the snow. At my in-laws, I was standing in the sun talking about the local birds that come into their garden. And in my living room, well, I don’t actually really remember what happened there. One minute I felt fine, the next I felt strangely hot, I felt dizzy, I sat down on the couch, told Birch I felt dizzy, then fainted and was out for about three seconds. Luckily, I’ve felt the dizziness coming on before fainting every single time (some women don’t get any warning at all apparently and just faint out of nowhere – scary!) and so I haven’t had a bad spill like that first time in Whole Foods where I collapsed onto the concrete floor and was sent to the emergency room in an ambulance. Yeah, don’t want to repeat that experience. Both the advice nurse and my doctor suggested that I refrain from going anywhere or doing anything by myself, so I’ve cut myself off from driving, going on walks alone, etc. And yes, if this seems like it would limit my movements quite a bit, you’re right. While Birch is at work (thankfully he usually gets home by 4:30 or so), I’m home. Period. I’ve reorganized my baby binder completely, written and re-written “the birth plan,” made a list of things to do, a list of things to get, I’ve made a budget for February through March, reorganized the clothes closet, made a to-do list for Birch when I go into labor, a list of presents we received at our first baby shower (we’re having another one next week) so that I can organize thank you cards, watched lots and lots of nature videos, sketched some ideas for drawings, paintings, and appliqués, and yes, played quite a bit of Farmville and Zoo World so as not to go completely insane with all this list-making.
So, all this de facto house-arrest nonsense aside, I’ve felt fairly calm and relaxed ever since last Friday when I met Miriam and Ben’s brand-new baby girl, Sofia. Though it was a long and arduous task, Miriam was a champion and has renewed my faith in myself that I, too, can do this. With loving care and support from her man, her mama, and a couple of good nurses, Miriam was able to deliver completely naturally and her and Sofia are doing great. I can’t believe she’s already a week old! Sometime this week I’ll go take some pictures, but until then imagine big cheeks, a full head of dark brown/black hair, scrunched up little hands, inquisitive dark eyes, and a baby who likes to be bundled and snuggled. That’s Sofia. When I first heard Miriam was in labor, I had my first twinge of anxiety towards going into labor myself that I’ve had all through the pregnancy! It was a weird feeling to all of the sudden feel nervous and apprehensive, but as soon as I walked into that room with this beautiful new family inside, Miriam smiling up at me, and Sofia understandably fussing during some routine medical checks, I was immediately at ease again and I remembered a feeling I’ve felt before—it’s the hardest physical thing you’ll ever do, but it’s not as hard as you imagine it to be. Some women may scoff at a remark like that, but I found it to be true for myself and I’m hoping that this time around it’ll be a little easier and a bit faster. I already know it’ll have a much better ending because I’ll be able to take little Keats home with me forever.
Birch and I are going to be (and are) so happy.
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Some days my eating schedule is seriously off-kilter and for whatever reason, be it an unexpected nap, the need to take Olive out for a walk, or just a lack of food in the apartment, I find myself in the midst of a too-long gap where I haven’t eaten a thing for a few hours. This may seem innocuous to some, but understand that Keats is sucking me dry, despite not even being born yet. The longest I feel full, even after a large meal, is approximately ten to twenty minutes, thirty if I ate phở '(all that broth helps).
It was on one such day, at the end of January when our funds had been depleted to literally a few dollars each and then gloriously replenished with Pay Day, that I had gone about an hour and a half without eating. This was no cause for alarm but I knew that in about half an hour I would start to feel Keats barreling around inside me, signaling that food was again necessary. Birch came home from work at about 4:30 in the afternoon and as usual prepared to take Olive out for “Frisbee,” “Walk,” and “Field.” All words that Olive understands very clearly and which Birch was now saying to her as she freakishly jumped up and down and ran back and forth from her leash hung up on the wall to Birch in the kitchen, all the while being reminded to be “Gentle” when she jumped up. Just as they were leaving, it began to rain. Birch decided to go anyway but claimed he’d skip the field and just take her around the block.
Thirty minutes later, they still weren’t back. Suprisingly not worried, I figured Olive had not accepted this compliance to the weather and that Birch had taken her to the field despite the increasingly heavy rain. This all would have been, of course, fine and indeed a welcome break from Olive if the combination of Keats kicking my diaphragm and my stomach rumbling for food hadn’t started a few moments later. Within fifteen minutes I was cleaning the living room, hoping to get my mind off of it, not wanting to eat because I had since set my heart on pho at our local haunt downtown and I didn’t want to spoil my appetite. (Even though I’m still not sure whether that is even possible). So I waited and when I heard Olive sprinting down the pathway to our door ten minutes later, I grabbed my coat, slipped on my shoes, slid my keys into my pocket, and greeted Birch as he came through the door (strategically holding my hands out to keep an extremely wet Olive from jumping up on me). Birch then did what was perfectly acceptable for him to do and yet completely unbelievable to a hungry 8-month pregnant lady—he began disrobing out of his wet clothes. Fifteen minutes and several fidgety paces later, we were out the door, rain pouring down but not caring, my only thought being, “Phở, phở, phở, phở, phở.”
Then I made the mistake I’ll never make again—I went down Moffett ten minutes before six towards downtown. Only two cars behind the line it started—the seemingly endless repetition of trains pulling into the Mountain View Station and trains pulling out. Now, if you’ve never been at this spot before, let me explain the order of the light changes. If a train is going to move, the light headed from downtown and across Central Expressway turns green to allow the few cars that could fit to move out of danger from the trains. Then both directions of Central traffic are allowed to go, then the light favors our direction, the one going into downtown from Moffett, or, at least, it should. However, when it came to be our turn, another train signaled the gates to go down and our light never changed. Instead, the cars opposite were allowed to move, then Central, then… another train signaled the gates yet again. This pattern continued for literally another fifteen minutes as Birch and I watched with envy all the other people that were allowed to get on with their lives and forget this intersection even existed. Indeed, all the other cars rotated so perfectly, I doubt they ever realized that there was a section of us who hadn’t moved since they left the restaurant or the office or wherever it was they’d come from.
And then it struck—Pregnancy. Without warning I felt a tear roll down my cheek. Then another. My cheeks were wet with tears and I realized that I was crying over not being able to go through an intersection (although to be fair, my stomach was at this point in actual pain from hunger). I could feel Birch watching me out of the corner of my eye trying to decided whether he should try comforting me or not. He opted not to, which was the right decision as a loving hand or a comforting glance would have set me over a dangerously embarrassing precipice. At minute thirty-five our light turned green and stayed green long enough for Birch and I and a few more lucky souls to get through and finally make our way to our destinations.
We parked, walked to the restaurant, and sat down. I ordered a small number sixteen as usual and when it came the tension left. The ridiculous not-so-well hidden idiocies within pregnancies’ tantalizing guise were all-too apparent and the only thing to do was laugh, and that’s what we did.