Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Pregnant with various observations

Wednesday, May 31:

My husband, JP, and I are leaving tomorrow for our "babymoon!" If I have a chance to post during our trip, I will. If not, I'll post next week.

- - - - -

It seems half the people around me are super-sensitive to my comfort and needs during pregnancy, and the other half have forgotten that my current state makes it harder for me to do certain things. Either way, people in both groups don't seem to listen to a word I say anymore -- me, the one voice of moderation between these two sides of thinking. Being pregnant has made me both the center of attention and yet invisible at the same time. It's almost patronizing. Maybe it's time to unleash the Wrath of the Pregnant She-Beast.

- - - - -

Speaking of being the center of attention, I'm glad I'm not the only one in my little band who is pregnant. With two other women also expecting their first children, I don't look like as much of a spectacle. That's comforting, and it's reassuring to be able to share pregnancy stories with the other moms-to-be. Because I work from home -- alone -- the band is a big part of my "social scene."

- - - - -

And speaking of being invisible, I called JP's aunt after finding out from his mother the aunt had been calling stores every two weeks to see if we had registered somewhere! I told his aunt she didn't have to do that, and told her where we are (now officially but not completely) registered. I told her we didn't register for a few "big" things on purpose because both she and JP's parents want to give us something big for the baby, and we wanted to give them first chance to choose from a few things we still need. So I told her what those big items were -- and then all she wanted to talk about was another, different big item, the same big item she purchased for JP's sister when she was expecting!

- - - - -

JP's sister is a mystery. I recently called my mother-in-law -- MM -- to ask her about family friends who need to get an invitation to the shower my friend is giving for me. (My friend wants to get the invitations out soon.) MM told me JP's sister is thinking about giving a shower, too, and so any family friends would probably go to that shower instead. This is the first I've heard of it. I don't understand why his sister has to do everything through their mother instead of talking to me directly. The play yard and high chair seat, and now a shower? These are nice things to offer, but I just don't get why she wants to communicate to me through MM. (Junior high moment: "Would you tell Michelle she can borrow my curling iron?") I guess there's no good way to turn down a shower, but maybe I'll think of something. It's just weird ... and it doesn't give me hope that my husband's family will hold together when his parents are gone, and we're the oldest generation.

- - - - -

My own sister called yesterday, which almost never happens, under the guise of wishing JP and me a good trip. She did a very good job of being nonchalant in asking me what the baby's heart rate is, sandwiching the question in between "Bon voyage" and "I'm getting my mulberry tree trimmed." But I know her too well. She calls only when she wants something. And in this case, that something was the heart rate -- because she thinks she can tell what the baby's sex will be from that information. I didn't let on that I knew what she was doing ... and I hope her guess is wrong! Serves her right. I will be happy with the baby whether it's a boy or a girl, and everyone else should be, too.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

DIY overboard

Friday, May 26:

After lunch, I call my mother-in-law. She left a message on the machine last night while my husband JP (it's time to give him a name of sorts, don't you think?) and I were eating dinner.

She says she just talked to JP, who is coming over her house on his lunch break to pick up some items that our adorable nephew used when he was a baby.

There are a Graco Pack 'n' Play, baby monitor and a high chair that you strap onto a regular chair. If we want them.

I already know JP won't go for the monitor. He is super paranoid about security issues and is concerned about neighbors or drive-by crooks being able to listen in on our conversations. True to JP form, he is planning on making his own closed-circuit video monitor. The wires will go up through the attic, across and down into the baby room and other areas. I have asked him a couple times if he's sure he wants to go through all that trouble. He is sure.

(And then there's moi, who insists on sewing the baby's room decor instead of just picking out a complete room theme package for the nursery like everyone else. So I'm just as guilty at going DIY overboard.)

When he brings home the Pack 'n' Play and the high chair seat, the play yard is in a box ("The cleaning lady cleaned it as if she were cleaning it for her own child," my m-i-l said), and we're reluctant to take it out. After all, the "room of doom" is still more "doom" than "room." But the play yard looks as though it will work out. It's even the same color as the family room. The high chair seat is bright red, blue and yellow, and looks as comfortable as high school bleachers -- not what I had in mind, but easy to clean.

I realize you have to draw the line somewhere. You can't make everything yourself. I haven't found a lampshade that will fit the lamp that's in the baby's room, for example, and I'm tempted to make (or at least decorate) that myself. I'm thinking about making the baby birth announcements. JP is considering buying some unfinished furniture and staining it to match the crib. He's even thinking about building shelves, a toy chest and a rocking horse. But making my own high chair? Yeah, and why don't we cobble together a car seat and stroller while we're at it? Maybe forge all the child's eating utensils.

I suspect these DIY urges will go away once the baby arrives and there's no time to do anything ourselves.

Pregnancy (and iced tea) for Dummies

Thursday, May 25:

My newly pregnant friend comes to my rescue this afternoon.

"Happy Birthday!" she says, holding a giant gift bag.

Uh-oh. My birthday is about a half a year away.

"I just had to say happy birthday because this is a birthday bag," she explains.

She has given me her unused iced tea maker! It's the same kind as my old one, except much newer, so of course I couldn't find a replacement, duh. The setup has completely changed. Ain't she sweet?

Now I can go back to having unsweetened herbal tea in the fridge.

Also in the birthday gift bag are books, including "Pregnancy for Dummies."

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Losing your hotness

Thursday, May 25:

This post about losing your hotness just makes my day.

"...the baby that was almost constantly attached to my saucer-sized nipples that you could see from China (the nipples, that is). In fact, I'm pretty sure if you type in 'Kristen's Nipples' on Google Earth, you could see them."

The upcoming holiday weekend, or the overcast sky, or both, are making me feel really lazy and plain today.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

And the well wishes just keep on comin'

Wednesday, May 24:

Today I have come to a point I can't ignore any more. I have to tell some people I work with -- long-distance people, that is -- about the baby.

One of the women e-mails me back right away.

"What a wonderful experience this will be for both of you. It is really amazing, and I sincerely hope that you have been feeling well. I guess you're about 5 months along.... I do so hope that you are feeling good. Have you felt the baby move yet? That is sooo cool! Do you know if you are having a boy or a girl? We just had to know but I know lots of people, my sister included, who actually insisted that NO ONE know so that she wouldn't inadvertantly find out before the birth....

"Well, take care and I am just so thrilled to hear of your impending birth. It's so neat. It will change your life forever in ways that you really can't imagine or really plan for. I remember trying to explain it to a colleague
who chose not to have children, and I just really couldn't get it across. Another mommy friend later said, 'Yeah, I know exactly what you mean. You think you love your husband...but this is something else.' Congratulations to both of you. Keep me posted!"

Now, if that's not an enthusiastic and supportive e-mail, then I don't know what is. I feel so blessed.

Take a bottle, drink it down ...

Tuesday, May 23:

My husband comes home with lots of bags from Whole Foods.

With me as his audience, he carefully empties each bag and explains the goodies.

"This one has no sugar, no caffeine and no artificial sweetener ... this is juice, so it has like 20 grams of sugar, but it has less sugar than some of the other ones I found ... this tea has only 4 grams of sugar ...." and he details how he hand-picked each beverage with me in mind.

I guess my mumblings about not knowing what I'm supposed to drink as a pregnant person -- and the breaking of our iced tea maker -- haven't gone unnoticed.

I'm so overcome that my husband was so thoughtful he went and found things for me to drink that I might like. My eyes actually teared up.

"You did that for me? There's so much to drink here I'm going to float away."

Really, though, how can a person be expected to drink only water? I haven't been able to find a replacement since the iced tea maker broke. (I have made tea the old-fashioned way, but it has taken so long that I'm through with my meal by the time I can drink it.) I have cut waaaaay back on diet soft drinks and other Splenda-ized beverages. And with the glucose test coming up next month, I don't know if I should drink juice or not drink juice because of its sugar content -- even if it's natural -- and I end up being thirsty.

I'm still not sure what to drink, but by golly, these Whole Foods beverages are going to disappear.

The other thing about my husband's random act of kindness that gets to me? In a different way? Is that he's being more romantic to me than I have been to him lately.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Forecast: Sunny and warm with a chance of worries

Tuesday, May 23:

Parents worry about a lot of things. And I am beginning to realize worrying starts as a pre-parent.

Sunday night, my husband talked to his mother on the phone. Afterward, he said she asked him if my doctor knew we had been snorkeling (I think she said "swimming") and were planning to fly to the Bahamas (a rather short flight) for a little "babymoon."

I think that led to a dream that my husband decided he didn't want to have anything to do with me anymore. He and my mother-in-law are really just waiting for the baby to be born, when they'll take the baby away from me and raise the child on their own, kicking me out of the baby's life.

This dream bothered me all day.

When I told my husband about it, he put his face in mine and said no way was he going to raise a child on his own, even with his mother's help. I think he even said something about needing me.

I'm not much of a worrier, but lately I can take a far-flung idea, an irrational fear, and let it roll around in my head until I can almost convince myself it's true.

What if the baby is brain damaged? What if something happens to my husband or me? Will we be able to keep from spoiling him or her? What if someone molests the child? What if s/he goes away to summer camp and drowns? Or becomes the victim of a school shooting? I just read about a baby who died of SIDS while sitting up and everything seemed normal. What if that happens? What if the child is hopelessly homely?

This worrying could be the result of pregnancy hormones and not something that's here to stay. But a lot of my friends, whose kids are already teenagers, seem to have their share of wild-eyed moments.

As for my m-i-l, I think she, too, still worries even though her children are grown. If you ask me, her unfounded concern about our snorkeling and upcoming trip came out of the premature birth one of her friend's kids experienced this past week; her grandbaby was born at around 2 pounds.

Worrying as a pre-parent, a parent or a grandparent ... maybe it's just a part of life.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Fire drill

Monday, May 22:

This is a test of the emergency baby system. If this had been an actual emergency, you would have run out of the building, stumbling down the stairs, clutching your stomach and trying to keep your too-big pants up, screaming and hoping not to go into labor early. But this is only a test.

As soon as I get to see a doctor for my regular monthly Ob/Gyn appointment today, the fire alarm goes off. I'm sure I fairly leap off the exam table and almost hit my head on the ceiling. The doctor -- the newest one in my doctor's practice, who looks somewhat pixieish -- checks with someone in the hall and finds it is just a fire drill. Nobody flees the building. There is no teacher-like person standing in the hall to make sure everyone walks quietly single file to the nearest exit. The alarm keeps going off, loudly, during the rest of my visit.

Over the noise, the new doctor goes over my chart and confirms things are going well. The genetic counselor comes up, and even though I wasn't going to mention it, I end up telling her I'm not too hip to go to the next scheduled appointment at 30 weeks because nothing seems to be wrong. She admits -- aha! -- that no one can make me go, but it's nice to have more people looking out for me and taking care of me.

And then she mentions my "low placenta" blah blah blah . . . .

"What's that about a low placenta?" I ask.

"One of your early ultrasounds showed your placenta was lying close to your cervix."

"Hmm, no one mentioned that to me."

"Well," the pixie doctor says, riffling through the pages in my file, "let's see, yes, the placenta was low."

"I believe you, but no one told me that before."

"Oh, I'm sorry," she says. "Could be they knew that 20% of the time, the placenta migrates to where it's supposed to be, so they didn't say anything."

I don't know who this mysterious "they" is. But the doctor keeps apologizing that I wasn't told about this. Isn't that what's called placenta previa?

"So the placenta is OK now?" I ask.

The pixie doctor says everything is where it should be, so there's nothing to be worried about -- but I'm a little peeved "they" didn't tell me about the situation at the time they knew about it, especially when 20% seems like a low chance for this placenta migration. And she's so apologetic. My own little fire alarm is going off in my head.

But the real alarm in the building keeps starting and stopping, and I just want to get out of there.

Me and my migratory placenta.

But first I have to take a brown paper bag with a bottle of this bright-orange fluid for next month, when my appointment will include yet another rite of pregnancy passage: the gestational diabetes test. Drink the super-sweet stuff an hour before the appointment and get tested for blood sugar.

People who do recreational drugs supposedly get some nifty stuff to hide the evidence of drugs in their system when they have to take a drug test, like when they apply for a job. Is there something like that for pregnant women taking the glucose test to hide the sugar?!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Two stops on the baby prep route

Saturday, May 20:

I don't know why I have been looking forward so much to going "baby shopping" with my husband today. But it's all I have been able to think of since he said today would be good for him.

First stop: going to pick up the crib my stepmother gave us. It's at a store next to a Lowe's. To me, Lowe's is like a higher-end Home Depot. To my husband, it's like a bug zapper to a bug. And yet he doesn't even whimper or swallow hard as we pass the store.

I lead my husband to the display so he can see the crib set up with matching furniture and sheets. He likes it. He gets grumpy, though, at the poor way the display furniture has been assembled. Then we pass the other displays for fun, and I show him the cute crib bedding that's my favorite (but which we probably won't buy because I'm sewing the room decor myself with a theme that's not found in any crib bedding set, anywhere, period).

We ask about the crib at the front desk and are told to pull around to the back, where someone will load it up for us. Me, I want to make sure the crib is in the natural finish and not the white. My husband, he wants to make sure the box fits in his truck.

It is, and it does.

"It's like the truck was made for this crib," my husband says proudly.

Next stop: Babies R Us. There is hardly any parking. There is a long line at the registry desk. But it's deceptive, and soon I get to sit down in front of a grandmotherly type who takes about a half-hour to describe how the whole baby registry thing goes. I had assumed these registration desk people would be more demanding. Finally, she gives my husband and me a folder full of information. She gives my husband the scanner and tells me, "You point, and he shoots."

That's not exactly how we do things, though. In fact, I'm so concerned about our time constraint and my husband's patience that I tell him he's the boss today, that he can register for whatever he wants, and I can come back and fill in the registry later.

We register for a grand total of six items.

But to my surprise, my husband says we could come back some night next week to add some more things.

We do accomplish settling on a car seat, which he will suggest his parents give us, because they asked what they could buy. We also decide to make choosing a crib mattress his aunt's job, because she is notorious for over-researching everything (and then painfully detailing the results of her findings to you), and my husband and I don't even know where to begin in picking out a mattress.

There are still so many decisions to make, and the project/junk/future baby room (my husband is now calling it the "room of doom," much to my consternation -- how can you put a baby in the "room of doom"?) is still full of things my husband needs to clean out.

It's easy to get overwhelmed. But I guess a little progress is better than no progress.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

The waiting is the hardest (and most necessary) part

Thursday, May 18:

I am now about five months along. I have passed the halfway mark.

Along the way, I wished many times that my husband and I didn’t have to wait so long to meet this new little person our love created. I’m not hoping for a premature baby. It’s just that 38 to 40 weeks seems like a long time to anticipate the arrival of someone new in your life. As I mentioned before, I’m going to spend most of 2006 pregnant, and the rest of the year getting used to taking care of an infant and being a mother.

But also along the way, I realized God must have made the waiting period long for a reason. Not only for the child’s sake -- few things in nature can truly grow overnight -- but also for our sake. This waiting period is for our own good, so we have time to prepare. More and more, it’s harder for me to think back to when we weren’t expecting this baby to come along; this child has taken root not only in my body but also my mind and heart now. It’s happened to my husband, too -- he likes to hug me and say, “I love the both of you.” We also need this time to get ready physically, to gather baby supplies and get our home ready.

And even though this preparation, doctor appointments, baby book and magazine reading, extra sleep and other baby-related activities are taking up some spare time now, I know it’s nothing compared to what’s coming.

People say you’re never really ready for a child, that there’s never a perfect time to have a child. And it’s true. But at least for me, being pregnant and anticipating the baby have made me ready, have made this the perfect time.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Bundle me

Wednesday, May 17:

So I've mentioned a secret baby registry somewhere. I haven't told many people about it yet because I am still waiting for my husband to go with me to help pick out the bigger gear items.

But I told my stepmom -- she was the one who couldn't wait to give us the crib -- and she told her best friend (who has been like yet another mom), who went ahead and sent us an item from the registry.

And it has arrived! It's the JJ Cole Collections Urban Bundle Me, in green. This will be great when the temperature cools off only a few months after our baby is born. My plan (will it work?) is to avoid having to buy warm clothing for a quick-growing little body for the few months that it's actually cold where we live. I'll just dress the baby as usual, then stick him or her in this envelope/sleeping bag thingy to keep warm. Soon enough it will be warm again, and I won't have a pile of useless sweaters and fleece pants.

We'll see.

It's amazing to think about the people who have given us things for the baby already. Sometimes when I wonder if it's really true -- if there really is going to be a baby to come out of this weight gain -- I think about the gifts people have given us, and look at the sonograms. Yep, I reassure myself, a real baby is coming, ready or not.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The return of the almost-mom

Tuesday, May 16:

Oh, what a week and a half. (Sorry for not posting, Mega Mom).

My mother and sister came for a week, and they nearly ran me ragged. I enjoyed every minute of it, of course, so I can’t complain, but I’m way behind in my work, and I’m way tired.

We celebrated my mother’s birthday last Tuesday with a day of activities. I called it her “birthday kidnapping” because my sister and I wouldn’t tell her what we were going to do with her from one moment to the next. (“You girls are up to mischief!” “Don’t worry, it’s nothing big. It’s not like we hired a male stripper or are taking you out of the country or anything.”) The main part of the kidnapping involved spoiling her with spa treatments.

But even before we could get the birthday kidnapping going, they gave me a baby shower.

They came full of gifts for the baby -- all in a lavender bag so large that I can’t imagine where they could have found something so huge. There were onesies, blankets, hooded towels, socks, a baby health kit, soft padded book and on and on. There were even a couple maternity tops for me.

The gifts they seemed most proud of, though, were a webcam (my sister’s idea) so they can see the baby long distance, and a leaf-thin CD player for the baby. (Husband: “The kid already has a CD player?! I didn’t get a CD player until I was 16.”)

They also threw in a box of 192 diapers. (Husband: “We’re going to need a bigger house.”)

Whatever we did all week, my mother and sister were supportive of me. Whining because my maternity clothes don’t quite fit yet, so I have to go out and buy size 13 jeans so I have something to wear? Worried I’m going to ruin the baby’s life? Wondering when I’m going to find time to get the current junk room turned into a real nursery? They were the most sympathetic I have ever seen them. Ever. They weren’t concerned about giving me one sip of their bellinis. And they bid me goodbye with a giant tiramisu, which I’m still nibbling away at.

And then there was Mother’s Day. Since my husband’s sister sent me that first Mother’s Day card, I have received others. It’s a strange, wonderful feeling, yet I feel like an imposter. I mean, I haven’t even done so much as allowed myself to be spit up on. How can I possibly be celebrated along with the mothers who have actually given birth and done the day-to-day tasks of raising another human being?!

But in any case, my husband gave me a beautiful handmade Mother’s Day card. And two picture books -- one of my favorites, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie (Yes, I read picture books. I always have. Now I have an excuse to loiter in the children’s section of the bookstore.) -- even though the books aren’t technically for me.

What he doesn’t know is that while I was out running around with my mother and sister, I picked up a couple Father’s Day gifts for him -- which are technically for him and not the baby, unless the baby can whip up ice cream confections a la Cold Stone Creamery.

All in good time.

Friday, May 05, 2006


Thursday, May 4:

What a day.

It wouldn't have been such a day if I hadn't had to spend three hours at the genetic counselor's office, the appointment I didn't want to go to in the first place.

The first two hours? Spent just waiting to be seen. I should have known it was going to be really bad when one of the front desk women asked if my husband and I would like to go for a walk or get something to eat. I think I now understand the look I've seen on so many pregnant women's faces when they're in these doctor office waiting rooms. Two hours of sitting around in uncomfortable chairs ... while the husband keeps standing up and sitting down ... when it feels like it's 80 degrees in the office and there's no water left in the cooler to drink ... when nurses leave for the day and joke they hope you're not still waiting when they return in the morning ... when you already feel going to the appointment is a Big Waste of Time.

Then we had the ultrasound -- we saw the baby yawn, and lie with legs over head as if doing yoga -- and waited some more, to see the physician's assistant.

The lips are fine.

But they still want me to come back at 30 weeks.


Look, people. I've passed every damn test. The ultrasounds are beautiful. I've been patient in your waiting rooms. The baby's heartbeat is great. The baby's weight -- now 1 pound, 5 ounces -- is right on target. My blood and urine are fine. (Sorry if that's too much information.) Get over my age already.

I plan to talk with the new Ob/Gyn at my doctor's office when I have my monthly appointment in a few weeks and ask if all this foolishness is necessary. And what about that weird phone call by the pushy office woman?

My husband, for his part, behaved himself and didn't get angry. (Although once we were outside the building, we both faked a scream at the same time.) I rewarded him by cooking a nice dinner when we got home.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

M is for mother, and Mother's Day is for me

Wednesday, May 3:

Oh. My. Gosh.

I got my first Mother's Day card today.

My first ever in my whole life.

Mother's Day! How could I forget about Mother's Day? I mean, not for my mothers, but for myself. When my little person gets a little bigger, s/he will make me a card with fingerpaint or make some crazy craft I won't know what to do with. Maybe later when s/he is grown, jewelry or brunch might be involved. Delightful!

The card is from my husband's sister. It's disguised as a thank-you note for her recent birthday present. But it's still a bona-fide Mother's Day card.

The best Mother's Day story I ever heard is from a former co-worker of mine. Together, she and her second husband had five young sons living with them. One Mother's Day, the boys wanted to make her breakfast.

They presented her with a tray of biscuits -- and a melted microwave.

Seems they turned on the (empty) microwave to time the baking of the biscuits in the oven, bypassing the nifty kitchen timer sitting on the counter. The microwave imploded. Or something.

"I am going to eat every one of these biscuits," she recounted telling them, rhythmically making a reach-grab-eat motion, "because they are the most expensive biscuits ever!"

Note to self: See if my family can avoid the death of kitchen appliances on Mother's Day. Make that every day.

For better or for worse, I am going to be a mom.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Who wears the maternity pants in the family?

Wednesday, May 3:

Last night’s episode of According to Jim really made me laugh. When Dana announces she is expecting, Jim dreams he is pregnant and that men are the ones who carry babies. If the tables were turned, how would men deal with being pregnant and giving birth? How would women? In the end, Jim wakes up and is a lot more sensitive to his sister-in-law Dana and pregnant women in general.

- - - - -

Cheryl: What is this?

Jim: It’s my new paternity Bears jersey.

Cheryl: Oh, come on. You’re only going to wear that for a month.

Jim: I can wear it when I’m losing my pregnancy weight after the baby.

Cheryl: How long is that going to take?

Jim’s band: (starts booing and complaining about her comment; they’re all wearing paternity clothes, too -- almost like the band I’m in!)

- - - - -

One thing I didn’t like about the show: The over-the-top generalizations about pregnant women -- whiny, always having weird cravings, being jealous, getting moody over nothing, etc. It’s too bad pop culture keeps perpetuating this stereotype.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Honey, I think this baby needs some WD-40

Tuesday, May 2:

Husband: (offers a container of kitchen disinfectant wipes to a co-worker who wishes she had some hand sanitizer)

Me: That’s for counters and appliances, not people!

Husband: Well, it’s the same as baby wipes, isn’t it?

Heaven help our poor child, who just might be bathed in Windex some day when I’m not looking . . . .

The missing piece of last week's puzzle?

Monday, May 1:

Tonight, I tell my newly pregnant friend about last week’s depressing call from my Ob/Gyn’s office.

Then she tells me a horrifying story about a friend who was dropped by her Ob/Gyn during her first pregnancy. Seems her doctor demanded she do something in regards to gestational diabetes -- I can’t remember what, exactly -- and Medicaid didn’t cover it, so my friend’s friend was kicked out of a network of physicians.

Is that what’s going on in my case? Is my doctor’s office so insistent on the baby getting a clean bill of health from the genetic counselor because otherwise, I’ll be persona non grata? She won't take another look at me or the baby if we're not "normal"? It's not as though I'm on Medicaid.

Now my husband is angry because A) I tell him I rescheduled the appointment this morning anyway, and B) he doesn’t like people bullying me into doing things I don’t want to do, and C) it seems neither my Ob/Gyn’s office nor the genetic counselor’s office has been forthcoming with information about what’s going on or what we should expect.

My husband says he wants to go with me to the genetic counselor appointment on Thursday. I have told him he is always welcome to come to any appointments that his schedule allows because I want him to feel included. But now I’m concerned if he goes angry, he’ll just make a fool of himself and embarrass me.


Monday, May 1:

My stepmom e-mails me:

“Just a quick note to say I was able to get you the crib you wanted. I purchased it through [a store] by you. (I'm so happy I found it!!!!!!!!!!) You can pick it up anytime on May 5th or after . . . . Got to run, hope all is well with you, I love you loads! Love, Mom.”

Yes, those are the actual exclamation marks she wrote.

Holy cow, now I have a crib.

And nowhere to put it.

Weird that I was just talking about this with my husband's mother last night.

When my husband and I moved into our house, we made the largest of the spare bedrooms our “project room.” It has since become a catch-all junk room for unused furniture, flooring yet to be installed, an assortment of lamps, piles of CDs and books, gift wrap, binders full of whatever my husband is filing, etc. A small portion of the room goes to my sewing. Terrible feng shui for creativity, that room.

That room is going to be the baby’s room. Because most of the room is occupied by my husband’s stuff, he won’t let me go in there and clean it -- he thinks I’ll get it so organized that he won’t be able to find anything.

It’s driving me nuts.

But now that there’s a crib in the picture, it may provide an incentive for him to get going on the room.

Thanks, Mom!

Er, is it OK that I only e-mailed her a link about the crib based on an ad I saw and never actually got to lay eyes on it, price it and confirm that’s what my husband and I want? And I hope she remembered I prefer the natural finish, not white.

If it takes a village . . .

Sunday, April 30:

My husband’s parents want to take us out to dinner. I suspect something is up. After all, why do they seem so urgent? But it turns out nothing is up.

After dinner, my mother-in-law wants to talk about the baby, naturally. It seems whenever I tell her preparations I’ve made or what ideas or plans I have, she tells me a story about what she did with her kids or about what Jim’s sister did with our adorable nephew. I don’t know if she’s just making conversation and that’s all she can add, or if she’s trying to “correct” me or “one-up” me.

She also says she and my father-in-law would like to buy us a crib for the baby.

I tell her my stepmom offered to do that the day I told her we were expecting.

So my m-i-l says, then, they will offer something else.

On one hand, I wish this baby would be just mine and my husband’s. But I realize it’s also part of two, er, three families. And maybe it does take a village to raise a child.

This is a no-belly-rubbing zone. That means you. But not you.

Saturday, April 29:

Three people have now felt the compulsion to rub my tummy.

I told myself I wouldn’t let anyone do that.

But everyone who has done it has rubbed briefly and gently, with a kind attitude.

I’ll have to bust out my high school freshman tae kwon do moves on any strangers who attempt to touch me, however.

What's it to ya?

Friday, April 28:

Late in the afternoon, I get a call from someone from my Ob/Gyn’s office.

“Why did you cancel your appointment with the genetic counselor?” the woman asks. I don’t know her or her name.

“I had a scheduling conflict,” I say. “I already took care of it with their office.”

Obviously, the person calling must know I am an adult who can make her own appointments. The whole reason for referring me to the genetic counselor is that I am over the age of 3-freaking-5.

“Well, you need to reschedule,” the office person says.

“I told them I would reschedule,” I say.

“You need to do that today,” she insists.

“I’m not going to do it today,” I say evenly, “But I will reschedule,” I repeat.

“Well, if you don’t reschedule soon, you’re going to miss your chance to see the doctor.”

“What do you mean?” I ask, assuming she’s talking about me running out of weeks in which I still have time to abort the baby. As if.

“The doctor is going away on medical leave,” the office person says.

Oh, so her whole office is going to shut down? Does this person know I didn’t even see the doctor during my last visit, having met with only the ultrasound tech and the physician’s assistant?

But her phone call leaves me rattled for hours. Just Monday, the nurse practitioner assured me all of the doctors in the practice would let me give birth the way I want and not make me do anything I wasn’t comfortable with. But now I’ve got a person from the office, clearly an FBI, breathing down my neck about missing some appointment that was made for the convenience of the genetic counselor, who should have looked at the baby’s face the last time I was there, when they had the chance. What if I had declined to see the genetic counselor in the first place, three months ago? What difference does it make to my Ob/Gyn if and when I make or don’t make my appointments with the specialist I was referred to? I have never had this kind of treatment from any other physician who referred me to a specialist.

I relate all of this to my husband. We talk for probably an hour about nothing but the situation.

There just seems to be something missing here . . . .


Wednesday, April 26:

I am supposed to have an appointment with the genetic counselor tomorrow. The whole thing about how they didn’t get a good enough look at the lip last time, so they’re making me come back again for another look.

But last night, my husband encouraged me to ditch the appointment. Every time, there’s a long wait. And it’s another copay. And he’s convinced there will always be another ultrasound or another test the doctor will want to do, and it will be a never-ending string of time-wasting appointments until the baby arrives.
So I call, find out the office closes earlier than usual on Wednesday, and cancel the appointment with a voicemail. I say in my message that I will call back to reschedule. Because I just might, after all.