Archive for December, 2007


December 26, 2007

Last night I dreamed my baby was born; the doctor said he thought it would live, but at 17 weeks I knew better. I woke up gasping for breath. When I went back to sleep, I dreamed that I was a cross-dresser competing with George Clooney for the affections of Marilyn Monroe, and the three of us chased each other around a grape arbor.



December 25, 2007

I’ll be four months on Friday, but as my life quiets down a bit (only because we’re not doing gift exchanges, baking, decorating, or much of the other holiday “stuff”) I find myself worrying . . . a lot. The more freely we tell people, the more I worry. I find myself telling someone I’m due in June and then thinking (really? Really???).

My sister sent me this book, which I hesitated to read because I thought it would make me feel guilty for choosing a doctor over a midwife, a hospital birth over a home birth, and so on. But almost the very first section was on… worry. The authors make the claim that “worry is the work of pregnancy.”

The thing is, I’ve been wondering whether the worry itself is a symptom or sign of intuitive knowledge that something is deeply wrong. This line of thought clearly leads right back into itself, with a kind of mobius recursiveness that’s hard to shake.

So after reading that section in the book, I sat down and got quiet for a minute, and asked myself, what do I really know in my heart of hearts about this pregnancy, right now? Not for the future, and not what do I think might be the case… and the answer, at a level beneath all that anxious buzzing, was that everything is fine. The Critter is fine right now. For the moment, everything is ok.

That state of mind turns out to be difficult to sustain, though. I’ve been waking up every day at 5 or 6 in the morning, unable to fall back asleep. Eventuall I get up, eat breakfast, and read until T. gets up – then I got back to bed and sleep for another 3 hours or so. I find that I have to get something to read, otherwise I just stew in bed – worrying.

All about the symptoms

December 21, 2007

Now that I’m more relaxed, I’m also obsessing more about physical symptoms. The good news is that my blood pressure is coming down – 125/82 today. The bottom number tends to run between 82 and 84, the top number has come down from 132 from yesterday. So that’s reassuring.

I’m definitely getting a tummy, though you can’t tell so much with the nice big winter sweaters I’ve been wearing 🙂 But I can feel everything stretching and expanding.

Monday I felt lots of Critter movement while we were driving to NY; yesterday maybe a little flutter, but nothing else this week. So I’m obsessing about that. I know it’s really early to be feeling movement at all, but while we were travelling it seemed to be more frequent and I miss it now. I miss the reassurance.

I’ve also had a little return of the evening nausea and sensitivity to strong smells. And I’m catching up on lost sleep like a hibernating bear!

But otherwise I feel fine.

This morning I had the second blood draw for the integrated screening test thing, they said I’d have the results in a week. So we’ll see how that goes.

Critter and P-word stuff

December 20, 2007

This past weekend we went to AZ for my SIL’s graduation from business school (she totally rocked too, getting several major awards!) and worked our way through the ice storms of Saturday to get back to the East Coast. All the travel pretty much wiped me out for a few days; I was kind of worried yesterday about how “off” I felt – but after lots of sleep and eating more regularly I feel much better. I’ve been feeling Critter movement almost every day, and that’s so fun.

I was thinking about my last post in conjunction with another nagging thought, and realized that I’m pondering the meaning of life (as usual) but more specifically wondering how becoming a parent will affect my sense of identity.

There’s this online game I like to play (in the Tetris genre – very simple stuff) and I found that every time I was playing this game I’d end up thinking about this author for some reason (“a very sick man, in the best sense of the word”) whom T and I quite enjoy. We were introduced to him by friends who just had a baby, and I kept thinking “Will A&T still read Christopher Moore now that they’re parents?” As though these two activities are incompatible. T and I enjoy the odd vampire novel, and I started to wonder, will I have to get rid of them all this summer?

For the record, A&T continue to be ardent C. Moore readers, and T. says we don’t have to worry about our sketchier books since the Critter won’t be learning to read for quite some time. But that doesn’t really answer my underlying question, which only time will tell.

Panty Semiotics

December 12, 2007

(That title’s going to get some nice search engine hits…)

When I was in high school and college, I was deeply committed to plain, white, cotton underclothes. My senior year I bought a pretty bra, blue with tiny white flowers – not really pushing the envelope, but color. And then I started branching out – experimenting with different colors, fabrics, styles… I became enamored of the string bikini bottom, and tie-dyed all my plain whites purple. When they started to wear out, I actually patched them… with an old T-shirt… (I was a volunteer in Bolivia at the time, but really, that takes “simple living” to an excessive degree!)

Mind you, during all this time the only way anyone saw my undies was when they were hanging on the clothesline to dry.

A few years ago, when I was going through a period of depression, I got really into buying new underwear. Really into it. I got a card with a well-known women’s lingerie shop (the one that’s all pink everywhere, seems to hire only Brazilian and German models, and seems to be catering more and more to college students) and in six months accumulated about 30 pairs, all in different colors and patterns and styles. I now have about 60 pairs of undies; I keep half in NY and half in VA (favorites here). No two are alike, and I love seeing them hanging like so many fun flags to dry.

Recently, though, it occured to me that they kind of look like child’s undies. I don’t go for the lace and bows much, just fun colors. Like rainbow stripes. Hm…

So I’m wondering, am I getting too old for my underwear? Do I need to switch to more grown-up colors, like the traditional black/white/beige? Sad!

(T. really has nothing to say on the subject, other than “stuff that gets in the way: yes/no?”)

Do underwear choices relate to self-perception and identity? What do readers think?


December 12, 2007

Ever since my last appt., I’ve been anxious about my blood pressure. Normally it runs about 120/70. Last summer I was quite ill and had a high reading, which went back to normal shortly. Ever since the bfp I’ve had high readings at every single appointment, in the order of 140/90+. Usually it falls by the end of the appointment, but this last one didn’t. It’s the end of the semester, so stress abounds, but I was still worried, so T. went out and bought me an electronic home bp monitor. Last night before bed it was 117/78, and this morning when I got up it was 115/78. I’ll keep an eye on it but this is much better anyway. Writing down these little numbers in the back of my journal feels reassuring. I’m using the page facing those rows and rows of bbt numbers.

"Wierd Little Family"

December 11, 2007

This weekend one of my professors hosted a small party at his house; as I was taking leave of the host he said, “So V. announced in faculty meeting that you’re expecting.”

I was so surprised (V. is my advisor), I didn’t know what to say.

“Yeah,” he went on, “we’re a wierd little family here.”

So today the director of grad students stopped by my office with congratulations, and to talk a little bit (pre-negotiate, if you will) about my plans for next year. At this point I’m planning to carry on as planned – assuming all goes well (we always have to tack that on, don’t we, in case the gods are listening). But it could affect which TA-ship I get. Right now I’m actually teaching my own class, which is really fun but also quite demanding. She doesn’t think I should try to take that on next fall. Welll, we’ll see. I felt a lot better about being here with an infant after talking with my landlady – she’s very supportive, and also said her 15 year old twins would love to babysit 🙂 So, again, we’ll see. Many unknowns yet coming down the pike.


December 7, 2007

Another post about the P-word.

This morning I was sitting very still with my laptop writing a paper, when I felt a really *different* sensation, just over my pubic bone, towards the front. It was like a gentle wave-like movement and lasted for maybe 15 seconds. I felt it again about an hour later, after eating a piece of chocolate (hey, I do what it takes to get papers done by deadline). It was kind of, but not really, like indigestion or queasiness, but not as uncomfortable.

Could it be the Critter????? At 14w2d????? Already????? I’d love to think so… I guess I can believe whatever I want 🙂 I just wasn’t expecting to feel anything for another four weeks, at least.

I have one more paper to write, and 15 final projects to grade, but all I really want to think about is my little mouse.

It’s like (not) recycling

December 6, 2007

Just so you are forewarned, in this post I process my thoughts about a decision that I’m thankful I’m facing but still perplexed about. And it is this: midwives, or doctor?

Today I met with the doctor I’ve been assigned to. Heard the hearbeat (good), peed in a cup (standard), blood pressure check – high. Not so good. I think it’s partly end-of-semester stress (when I woke up this morning my neck and shoulders were so tight they hurt, like I’d been lifting weights, which I hadn’t) and partly just the unknowns of meeting a new doctor. I liked him. Straightforward, kind, and efficient. I asked all my questions (mostly about vitamins and exercise) and he asked me whether I’ve decided to continue on with him or would I like to see the midwives?

At first I felt at a total loss even to know how to think about this question. Everybody says that the main difference between the two is that midwives have more time to spend with you. Frankly, that’s not my #1 criterion. In terms of pain management at delivery, he said that the only thing he can do that they can’t is a C-section. I know a lot of people feel really strongly about C-sections, but I can’t find it in my heart to care either way very much. I don’t have strong feelings about epidural vs. “natural” birth either. I’m kind of interested in having the option to get totally drugged out if it helps.

But the thing is… I feel like I should. Care. More. I realized that the question has a social dimension to it I hadn’t really foreseen. Choosing the doctor over the midwives feels like… not recycling. What will my friends say? What will my sister think? Who will judge me when they see the glass bottles in the garbage can instead of the recycling bin? It feels like precisely that kind of a moral and ethical decision to me, but the truth is – I don’t really want to see the midwives.

I’m not sure if it’s because of my negative experiences with the practice in VA, or because of anxiety about something going wrong. I’m just… not… interested. And I feel kind of guilty about that.

Kinda fun

December 5, 2007

Yep, sounds like me