Thursday, January 20, 2005

Prego Update

Like good little first time parents we’ve been attending a weekly childbirth preparation class. It’s been pretty informative (for me, anyway… Curt thinks he’ll just know naturally how best to soothe/massage me during labor). I turned into a blubbering mess last week when they showed the first birth story videos. Not because of the whole “miracle of birth” or “oh my God she’s in excruciating pain” aspects, as you would think. It was the absolute total exposure of pure emotional vulnerability that scared the shit out of me. When I was a starving college student and juggling 3 different part time jobs and a full class load, I’d often catch little mini naps on the couches in the study alcoves at Portland State in my downtime. When you’re bone-assed tired it’s easy to get over the ick factor of stretching out full length on a couch that’s stained with over 30 years of accumulated student drool and spilt coffee. But the thing I could never quite get over was perfect strangers walking by or sitting across from me being able to watch my sleeping (and probably snoring and drooling) face. So I’d render myself invisible either by facing the back of the couch or cover my head with my raincoat.

So you can understand why the concept of having perfect strangers bear witness to my extreme pain and exhaustion terrifies me. I know they’re medical professionals who see this every day, but it’s still quite alarming. So I’ve decided a couple of things. There will be no video allowed once I reach a get past the initial “ok, that smarts” phase of labor or before all evidence of delivery has been cleaned up and my naked nether regions have been comfortably tucked away from the sight of visitors afterwards. Only Curt and my mother will be allowed in the room during delivery. I’m still not quite sure how I’m going to break it to Pop, for all I know he’s eagerly awaiting watching every second of his first grandchild come slithering out. But maybe not. Curt is strongly suggesting I actually, you know – talk to him about it before the blessed event occurs to prevent another tearfest*. Silly man. That would be too emotionally healthy!

’m feeling pretty good. I always suspected I was genetically predisposed to be Fertile Myrtle and so far, I’ve been proven right.

When not entirely overcome by raging hormones and resultant emotional trauma** that keep me awake all night, I’m getting lots of sleep. I gave up my night-owl tendencies many months ago and have a pretty strict 10:00 pm bedtime. I’m usually asleep by 11, wake up about 3 – lie awake for about an hour and sleep pretty well, off and on until 7. Regular visits to the chiropractor and massage tech are doing wonders for my back pain. At my last blood test my iron came back a little low so the Doc. put me on heavier iron supplements. Regular chewing of Rolaids is keeping the indigestion down to a tolerable level. I managed to avoid the bug I felt coming on over New Year’s, though I think Curt caught may have caught that bullet for me instead. Overall it’s been a pretty boring pregnancy. I can’t believe I’m approaching 34 weeks (8 ½ months to the uninitiated). I do have to walk and get up much, much slower and more carefully than usual. But I still have no trouble seeing my feet. In fact, I almost hate to mention it (except it’s had me worried quite a bit)….. I’ve only gained 2 lbs. Apparently, there’s a little benefit to getting pregnant when you’re already 60 lbs overweight (at least in my case). You’re not expected to gain as much weight as everyone else since you've already got a good fat store built up to take care of the critter.

In fact, it’s a good bet that when the River Fry makes his encore I’ll be a good 15 or so lbs lighter than when I conceived. He’s been like a little liposuction machine turned loose for 9 months. First there was the nausea, which killed my appetite (and reversed the direction of the calories if you get my drift). After that I just never really gained back my pre-prego appetite. With him squishing my intestines and stomach so much, I feel full much sooner than I ever did before and eat less at each sitting. If I eat more than that I get the killer indigestion. And the weird thing? No cravings. In fact, the thought of stuff I used to crave (like sweets) turns my stomach. I was really worried for awhile, but my doc tells me he’s been growing at a perfectly normal weight, and appears perfectly healthy. My body will make sure he gets first dibs to all nutrition and calories I intake.

I tell Curt, now we have to have more kids! Just think – 2 more and I’ll be down to my goal weight!! Woohoo!***

On other personal news – we dropped off our 2nd car to a mechanic friend 6 weeks ago who was going to do a simple clutch replacement for us. 4 clutches, one transmission cable, one blown fuel pump, bad vibration of undetermined source, 3 mistaken diagnosis by assorted dealerships and/or shops and two motor mount repairs later – we may get it back this week.

Curt’s hands are doing much better following his 2nd surgery. He was all ready to hit the job hunt fast & hard again when he developed some intestinal problems. His doctor thinks it’s gallstones. If so, she also thinks they *might* be able to remove them without surgery. Might.

One good thing, though. It’s beginning to look like the new guy my boss hired at the first of the year to do some of the projects I thought I had been hired to do last year isn’t intended to replace me after all, as I had feared. Sometimes I can be paranoid but when someone is hired 2 months before you’re going on maternity leave and given your same job title, to take over some of the things mentioned at your initial hiring interview as part of your long term job description, you’d be worried too. Especially when your partner is unemployed and raking up the medical bills right and left.

*I don’t know if I ever posted about this. My dear father is a sentimental pile of mush. I am not. This causes some issues in our relationship. When we told him there was no place in the Zen Buddhist wedding ceremony we were having for the traditional “who gives this woman” speil (and even if there were – I’d have been damned sure to have it taken out) he burst into tears. He’d been agonizing for weeks over how to phrase his reply in order to be inclusive of my mom, step mom and step dad.

**It is not generally considered a good idea to make the “it’s either your cats or me” ultimatum to your 8 month prego wife. Or, as turned out to be the case….. leave her thinking that’s what you’re saying for 2 days. Especially a wife who has lived with cats her entire life and you promised when you moved in together… and again when you decided to get married… that she would not be deprived of said feline companionship despite your allergies. She would especially not be deprived of the companionship of her arthritic, half-toothed calico who has been her loyal companion for 10 years. Stayed by her side through at least 8 moves, a half a dozen boyfriends and 4 different jobs. No matter if the magical pheromone diffuser runs dry and she begins marking the sofa right in front of you.

However, after a 4 day sob-fest and a half a night sleeping in exile with said Calico on a camping mattress on the cement floor of the basement, we did manage to work things out without the attorney involvement and nasty child custody battle I was envisioning in my worst moments. Cats have run of the utility room and basement, and visiting rights on eves and weekends to the main house. Cleo the Calico seems content with the change of routine, especially once I brought in her favorite electric radiator heater. And the new arrangement will help the cats adjust to their demotion in the household hierarchy before the baby comes, when it otherwise may have been much more traumatic.

***I’m afraid by mentioning this I might somehow start a new diet craze – “Get Knocked Up to Slim Down!” Everybody’s body handles pregnancy differently – I just appear to have struck the genetic goldmine in this regard. Gramma says she lost weight with each one of her 4 pregnancies, too. OTOH, it’s about fucking time I caught a break with the weight thing. After so many years of watching more genetically blessed girlfriends pack down 7 course dinners and a steady diet of MickeyD’s and never gain so much as a pound while I’d gain 5 if I just thought of chocolate cake, it’s my turn for a little genetic luck, Maude-dammit!

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