Sunday, September 5, 2010

Oh that's right, I have a blog!

I got all distracted by having a baby. :)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


I've been so up-and-down lately I hardly know where I am anymore! Sometimes I'm terrified of motherhood--what if I'm bad at it? What if I don't like being a mom? What if my baby decides she hates me? What if, what if?!

Sometimes I'm so exhilarated--I already have a sense of babygirl's personality (I think she swims around in my belly exploring every inch she can) and I already love her for it. She's going to be small and soft and lovely and I can't wait to see her grow and learn and be part of our family.

I get waves of complete wonder and disbelief--this little child will be half me, half her father, completely unique, unexpected, unplanned, miraculous! I am very thankful and also very mystified that God chose to make our species procreate this way. CARRYING a new one around inside of our bellies?!?! HOW did He think of that?!?! Seriously. If I were God (which the universe I'm sure is very grateful is not the case) I probably would have made some sort of assembly line. Or something. I don't know! ...Robots?

God's way is much better.

I am sort of scared of labor, but I keep reassuring myself that I've broken enough bones, sprained enough joints, that I must have built up some tolerance to pain, right? I think I read some study that said people who experience a lot of physical pain have a lower perception of the same amount of pain than people who have lived a relatively painless life. I think this probably applies to emotional pain, too, but that's just my theory. So this should be a piece of cake, right? RIGHT????????????

And afterward there will be A NEW HUMAN BEING. HOLY COW PEOPLE.

There was a baby at my small group (from church) this past Sunday. There are always babies, of course, but this one was not a child of any of the members. It was the niece of a woman who'd come a few times; she's looking for a job and needs some input raising her little 3-year-old, and one member of our group had befriended her and we're all trying to get to know her better. The little baby was her sister's--and her sister is only 15. The baby is 2 weeks old, and apparently her teenage mom has no interest in bothering to wake up in the middle of the night to feed her, no interest in putting in all the extra effort it takes to care for a baby. She's still in school, for heaven's sake--how is she going to raise a baby? Her sister (the woman attending our group) apparently has been looking after the baby, although she has her own challenges to deal with. And the girl doesn't want to give up her baby. Apparently she thinks she can do it and nobody better tell her what to do. You know. That sort of attitude.

Well, I can tell you I wanted to offer to take that baby home with us that instant! I guess I have a lion inside of me for vulnerable children. I wanted to cuddle her in my arms and take care of her and make sure she had constant, good attention. What's two newborns instead of one, right? But of course life is more complicated than that. My heart just goes out to this baby and I want her to be all right. I want every baby to be loved and taken care of. She was so little... she had big dark eyes that looked all around and little tiny adorable feet, and she held my finger while I smoothed her dark hair. She was absolutely precious and seeing her, for some reason, made me feel so much calmer and better about having our own baby. We can do it. We can raise our baby and love her ferociously.

And maybe we'll end up adopting a few more!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Miracle! Wooo!

Hi peeps, guess what?!?

I have experienced a miracle!

Here's the deal: My joints have always been loose. I used to pop my shoulders out of joint as a trick to impress people in elementary school (but I learned that that's not good for me, so I don't do it anymore). I used to be able to bend backwards and touch my head to my feet. My kneecaps slide out of place sometimes, and my wrists and elbows slide around too. When I used to rock climb a lot, I would sometimes stretch my legs wide and feel like my hip was about to pop out of it's socket.

And now I've got a lovely hormone called relaxin coursing through my veins, causing all sorts of havoc, like heartburn, peeing when I laugh, and my joints floating apart. ...Hurray? It'll make it easier for babygirl to come out, but in the meantime it has made walking very painful and difficult. My pelvic bone itself hurts, along with all the muscles and tendons that connect to it. For the last two weeks, I was reduced to a hobbling old penguin-woman who could only walk in tiny, embarrassing steps--when I could walk at all.

I went to my chiropractor in sack cloth and ashes, begging for forgiveness for my prolonged absence, and she did what she could. She's great, sure, but the pain! O, the pain!

I tried stretching, I tried swimming, I tried ice and heat. My bones and joints, they just SUCK.


My dear lovely mother sent me a package filled with mixed CDs, maternity clothing, and the best present ever: a maternity support belt!

Seriously people. I put it on and IMMEDIATELY felt better. I thought it would just support the belly--a valid pursuit, but those things are expensive and I needed help with my hips and pelvis! So I hadn't bought one. But it really did hold my hips together and I could feel the stability immediately. I'm not completely pain-free, but the difference is between a bruise and a broken bone. I can walk again!

Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Brilliant Idea of the Week




Regular bra + garter clips = maternity pants that don't fall down!

My maternity pants either slide down with every step, or settle halfway down my belly and leave a silly line that shows through my shirt. If only I could clip up my pants to my bra... or do they sell maternity pants that are more like jumpsuits, with straps that just go all the way over your shoulders?

Maybe I need suspenders!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Let's Hear it for Science!

So I'm driving around with my good friend Cari, chatting about babystuff, and she asks me if I'm using any sort of cream for stretch marks.

Nope! (Maybe I'm too lazy?)

So she recommends that I use cocoa butter (or something, I can't remember), because that's what her mom used every time she was pregnant, and she never got stretch marks.

Now science must intervene!

How did her mom know it was the cream and not, say, genetics, if she never had a pregnancy with no cocoa butter to compare it to? How does anyone know if a product is effective if you don't have a control? So, perhaps I should use some sort of lotion for this pregnancy and not the next one, you say?

But what's the fun in using the cream for this pregnancy and having to wait until the next one? What if something else is different (like the elasticity of my skin) just because it's later in my life? We must control for as many variables as possible!

SO--I'm putting cocoa butter lotion just on the right side of my belly and nothing on the left. Hurrah for science!

I know that I already get stretch marks, as evidenced by my hips and thighs through various points in my life. And I've also heard that no cream or lotion will do the trick, that if you have stretch marks in your genes you'll get them no matter what. So I guess we'll just have to see!

I did a similar experiment when I was in college to see if I preferred shaved or unshaven legs. Because seriously, most of our society's rules are stupid made-up nonsense anyway, so is there a reason to shave besides "everyone doing it" (a rationale that works so well for jumping off of bridges and doing drugs)?

Left leg: shaved. Right leg: unshaven. I went 6 months without shaving my right leg, so I could experience several seasons and really be able to compare the two. I had one smooth leg and one hairy yeti leg! Yes, I got weird looks walking down the street--a sacrifice that scientists sometimes just have to make.

And do you know what? I like shaved better! My leg hairs got all caught in my socks and rubbed funny and I did not like it. Also I like the smoothness of newly shaved skin; it's just nice. Finally, one of the things I like about men (in general and one in particular) is how different they are from women--and men are generally hairier than women. I like my man with a beard. And not coincidentally, I like my man with hairy legs compared to my shaved legs.

Because come on people, without science we're all just wandering around, making unfounded observations and sticking leeches on people to cure their pneumonia or whatever!

I am a nerd, I realize this. I'm going to give birth to a Nerd Baby. Isn't it wonderful?!?!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Phrase Every Woman Loves to Hear:

"Wow, you look HUGE!"

Thanks. Thanks a lot. That's the first thing I want to hear when I get to work in the morning. I know that she didn't mean any offense, but sometimes things are just offensive all by themselves. I'm not mad at my co-worker... But I still feel like a freakin' walrus.

Flop flop flop around the office. Somebody throw me a fish.

This past weekend I also got:

"You're really big, aren't you?"

Oh, gosh, thanks Random Man at the Science Museum. I'm sure you're an expert in pregnancy and the appearance of pregnant women's bodies, and are the perfect person to judge how large I've gotten after 6 months of baby-growing. Sheesh.

I'm just going to start telling people I'm 8 months pregnant instead of 6. Someone might notice when the baby ends up being two months overdue, though...

Friday, February 12, 2010

Hey, How about a Post about...

Ten Weird Pregnancy Side Effects WOOOOOO!

1. Dizziness. Gets to be number 1 because it's annoying me right now.

2. Bloody noses. ALL the TIME. We got a humidifier and that helps, but one time my nose burst a vessel or something right in the middle of class and I had to run out with my hand filling up with blood, and it was dripping all down my face and chin and I looked like someone out of a zombie movie! Gross! But that was just the one time.

3. Swollen corneas. My eyeballs swelled all up and now I can't wear my contacts overnight anymore.

4. Nice nails. Not technically "weird," but veeeery noticeable. Or... maybe I've stopped biting my nails?

5. Tingly feet and legs. Something to do with nerves in my hips and back, a very weird feeling.

6. Swollen feet and legs. My midwife was surprised when I told her I was swelling like this so early. Awesome. I'll probably look like Wallace from Wallace and Gromit by the time the baby pops out.

7. Brain loss. My brain has escaped, or been eaten by my baby. I cannot remember ANYTHING anymore. Names of common household objects? Gone. What I just said? Nada! It's starting to seem inconvenient to be pregnant in grad school.

8. Sob-Fest 2010. I cry all the time. Usually after laughing for a while. One time I ordered three types of drinks at McDonald's on a road trip and cried for ten minutes because I thought it was funny. Another family on a road trip eating at the next table over probably thought Alex was abusing me.

9. Pain when I... sit, stand, walk, roll over in bed, anything. Pain in my tummy, pain in my pelvis, pain in my back, pain shooting down my legs. Wooo for pain. Training for labor? This is NOTHIN'! BRING IT ON! Or... bring me an ice pack.

10. I can't think of a number 10. But 10 is such a nice way to round out a list, isn't it?


Sunday, February 7, 2010

Wait--I'm SUPPOSED to gain weight?!?!

Ain't no secret, folks--this mama's basically been off and on a diet for her entire life.

So now I've entered this strange, magical alter-universe of pregnancy, where half of society is telling me that it's totally fine and awesome to gain weight, and why not eat an extra bowl of ice cream every night?!

And the other half is saying, WHAT are you putting in your MOUTH?!?! You need to watch every single little bite to within an inch of your life because if you don't you'll not only be a fat mommy, you'll give birth to a baby made of chocolate bars and cheetos (and with a heart defect GUILTGUILTGUILT!)!!

What the heck?!? I know, I know, moderation is everything, but I'm not getting any moderation of advice or input... no moderation in the way I or others are analyzing my eating choices! I read about women who cheerfully chomp their way to gaining 50 lbs and their babies come out pink and happy and whole. And I read advice about how I'm not supposed to eat nitrates or preservatives or salt; and no bread, pasta, or anything processed because I should be eating everything in its natural state... which sounds great and all but I'm not a freakin' saint here.

I like eating sandwiches! And pickles--I love pickles, and I thought I was going to get to eat them while pregnant, but they're so SALTY!!! And don't ask me why, but this baby has been DEMANDING hot dogs... and those are full of preservatives, aren't they?

So I've had a few freak-outs, I guess. I want to eat good things for my baby! I also... want to eat ice cream. It's a struggle. I had an afternoon when I wandered around picking things up and putting them down, just standing up and sitting down, trying to hold in my panic about gaining too much weight so quickly. And I'm pretty much on track right now, it just came on so fast! And I told Alex about my worries, so then he was worried, and then he was noticing everything that I was eating and I was feeling so paranoid and it was just a BAD time. Gosh.

I read about an obese woman who only gained 2 lbs while she was pregnant (willpower!) and that was considered a good thing.

I am not obese, just overweight... a bit. I'm pretty much average, which for America is overweight.

(Side-note: One time I was reading a magazine and it had an article about perceptions of attractiveness and it had a bunch of women's bodies lines up in their underwear, size 2 to size 22 (in perfect increments); they'd asked men in all sorts of places which body size did they think was most attractive, and they chose various sizes--many of which were not in the single digits. :) But the real story is that I picked which one I thought looked exactly like me, totally brutally honestly, and the body size I chose was SIX SIZES larger than I actually am. SIX. So maybe I have a bit of an unrealistically negative view of myself. Maybe I need to relax a little.)


Let's be real... I'm not going to gain only 2 lbs, and I don't think that would be healthy anyway. But I'm not going to gain 50 lbs, either! No! I'm shooting for 20-25 lbs. My midwife is happy with that, and so am I.

Also, she says exercise is more important, and Alex for some reason has decided he loves the gym (after never willingly exercising once since the moment I met him, besides when we dogsat this crazy mean bite-y dog named Bubby who was sort of doofy and Alex took him running with wild abandon and they looked sort of like Phoebe looked on that episode of Friends when she tried to convince Rachel to run wackily in Central Park with her, remember that?) so now we go to the gym all the time and we HAVE FUN!

I know veggies have good things in them, vitamins etc., and also fiber for my poops, so I eat lots of veggies. I am trying to eat more protein, but I used to be a vegetarian and I just don't really cook meat all that often--though I've adopted many good strategies from my current-vegetarian friend Cari who is awesome. Calcium, my prenatal vitamin, whole grains, the odd chicken breast, I'm eating them all!

I've been doing my best and this baby is just gonna have to grow by the grace of God and God alone!!! He's the one building the little thing anyway, I'm just supplying raw materials. And Baby Pistachio needs lots of good materials to make good bones and skin and eyes and everything.

And I've stopped weighing myself every day and obsessing.

I guess... I guess I'm trying to have some freedom concerning this issue. And that feels really good.

(Fun side note: tonight's dinner involves eating mac and cheese and watching the Biggest Loser... STOP YELLING AT ME JILLIAN)

Some Snazzy Baby Pics

... for your pleasure! Here are some photos of our little Pistachio (who is now much larger, and either a pepper or a banana depending on what website you read). Also, we found out the sex! Wooo!

Our baby is a...


Here is our gorgeous little lady, only 9 weeks old! We could see her wiggling her arms back and forth (her hands were little dots) and so now we have a dance called the Baby Dance. Baby says "Wiggle wiggle, cha-cha-cha!"

How quickly she's grown! This is 20 weeks. What a profile! Someone call Tyra Banks, we've got America's Next Top Model!

This is her cha-cha foot. It's especially good for kicking mommy and looking adorable.

We love our darling girl!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Musings on Alcohol (and the Ballad of Sad-Day Grocery Shopping)

Let's talk about... drinking! Now, I miss my vodka cranberry like an old friend who's abandoned me (coincidence that I'm currently addicted to dried cranberries? I think not), but there are ways to cope.

For example, I now put normally boring drinks in a fancy glass. I use either a martini glass or wine glass, and I find myself requiring at least three ingredients before a beverage is satisfactory. First, half a glass of ginger ale--I started for the nausea, kept it for the bubbles. The other half might be cranberry juice with a dash of orange or vice versa. And why not add a bit of lime juice? How about a maraschino cherry? Grenadine? My drinks are now bar-quality virgin luxuries. Mmmmm.

I found peach juice while wandering around Aldi, and now it's my favorite. What a horrible trip, though--I forgot to get a cart before I walked through the automatic doors, and then I was too tired to walk all the way through to get out again because the door wouldn't open behind me, and so I just picked everything up with my hands and got so tired I nearly started crying, plus I looked ridiculous carrying a million slipping grocery items.

So I put them all down on a counter and rested for a moment, paranoid that I'd be accused of lazily leaving items out of place if I walked away to get a reusable grocery bag (which I bought and have forgotten to use ever since). Boo. Also my back hurt a lot. I called my husband to whine and he assured me that I never had to get groceries again, but I can hardly expect him to know what brand to buy or where to go to get the cheap stuff, right?

Plus how will he know that I'll be having a craving for white cheddar popcorn at 2 am? I have to plan ahead for these things, and I can't put junk food on a grocery list because then it COUNTS. It HAS to be impulse, otherwise I'm guilty of premeditated junk-fooding.

Although I have made him walk to Walgreens at around 10 pm for the following:
- a Caramello bar
- another Caramello bar
- boxes of macaroni and cheese so I could use the cheese powder on my popcorn
- three more Caramello bars
- teriyaki beef jerkey
- gummy bears

He's never around when I'm craving V-8. Sheesh.

AAAAAAANYway, back to the alcohol issue. I miss it. Obviously. Especially when my good friend Cari says she's gonna go back to her place and relax with a bottle of wine and a movie, and I am jealous even though I don't really like wine. It just sounds fun. THAT'S RIGHT, SINGLE LADIES. This married, pregnant woman is jealous of your ability to sit at home alone and watch movies by yourself while you drink.

Just take note. You've got it good.

I was out last night with Cari and darling Elizabeth and the handsome fellow who shares my last name, playing darts and talking nonsense at the Chatterbox down on Ford Parkway. It was fabulous fun, and strangely enough I felt pretty drunk just because I was so tired. Pregnancy + 11 pm = woozy feeling! Don't worry, I got lots of sleep for the baby.

It was funny, though, that Elizabeth (the tiny girl) didn't get carded--though she had come straight from work and was wearing her nursing scrubs, so presumably she was a working woman of drinking age--but my tall, bearded, broad-shouldered husband did! The guy rubbing his pregnant wife's belly might not be old enough to drink? Well, it's possible, I guess. Elizabeth argued that the beard should be proof enough of age, to which Alex responded that he'd sported a full beard since age 16. I proposed that one should be able to tell a man's general age by how broad his shoulders are: teenage guys, and even those in the first half of college, tend to have skinny, narrow shoulders to rival any girl, but give 'em a few years and they broaden right out into sexy territory. And my manly man? He's president of Sexy Territory. He's taming that wild land of Sexy. He's... whooo-boy, pregnancy hormone rush. I should probably stop now.

Um. Darts are fun. The end!