Thursday, December 31, 2009

Dear California's Central Coast,

I thought I knew about pretty stuff. But oh my. You really know about pretty stuff.

We had a good time, friends. Piddled down Route 1, stopped in Santa Cruz for a grilled cheese, found a bed and breakfast in Carmel-by-the-Sea (and the name don't lie - our room faced the ocean, I woke up to waves crashing, and after breakfast we walked but two minutes to the beach), had dinner in Carmel and grabbed goodies at a bakery, then met other roadtripping friends in their woodsy cabin-in-the-wilds (thank you, GPS technology) to eat S'mores and play board games (words I came up with on my turns - when other people were saying "potato" or "book" - included "bestiality!", "Hooters!", and "*unt!").

We spent the following day driving along the coast, singing along to Aretha (we do weddings) and oogling Pebble Beach and cypress trees and rivers and seals and mountains and - man. Lots of crazy beautiful scenery all jumbled together. It was a quick lil trip - we debated doing two nights, but ultimately we're homebodies and heard the siren call of our couches - but I'm v glad we did it.

Here are a few pics from our travels. I mostly left out the plain scenic ones, because I usually skim over those on a blog, and because my family just wants more belly. But please - if you ever have the chance to check this neck of the woods out? Dooooo it.

Oh! And Happy New Years Eve! Bring it, 2010!







Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Impromptu



By all accounts, these types of things get trickier after +1 robaby, so we're grabbing a few things and setting off on a very last minute road trip to Big Sur. Why you be so ugly, California?

We'll listen to some tunes and maybe eat some In 'n Out along the way and stare at the pretties out our wagon window. Hopefully we'll find a place to lay our heads tonight (reservations? what're those?) after a yummy dinner at someplace yummy. Be back tomorrow!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Nesting part two

Because I was finding a little too much happiness from all the cleaning product fumes, I ditched my beloved bottle of Pine Sol (it only lived with us for about a week before I had to pour it down the drain - I couldn't stay away) and slowly my insane cleaning fury has died down, replaced with a much better and more sustainable maintenance program. I've figured out some systems and seem to be sticking to them pretty well (they mostly involve doing a little + all the time) so that's keeping my obsessive compulsiveness satisfied/at bay...for now.

So then I turned to more lung-safe nesting activities - like cooking.

In the past few days, I've made homemade cream biscuits, cranberry scones, peppermint bark, hot wings - and a handful of from-scratch dinners, too. I'd tackle more - and I will - but I have to be careful with how much I'm scarfing and how much time I'm spending on my feet.

And so now we're onto decorating. Which is where Clay will always join in. Because he's only 76% straight.

We'll take some pictures as we get more done, but wooooo eeeeee are we excited about our last night/late night replacing of the heinous cheesetown light fixture our landlord had hanging in the dining room space. And now we're looking at paint chips to color this place beautiful; because as much as we wanted to stay simple and white in here - we're way too fruity to leave things plain. Stay tuned!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Bumpdate: 33 weeks, 3 days


I've got no idea if these are even looking any different week-to-week at this point, but here we are! Bumpalumping along. Hope ya'll had a great Christmas, if you do that sort of thing, or just a relaxing day off if that's more your deal. I cooked us some brekky (first time making biscuits in celebration of the Biscuit - they were okay, but a little burnt on the bottom...tips?) and we opened our lovely presents and lounged around and enjoyed the view and talked with our fams on the phone and ate too much (I also made scones? wha?) and napped. It was a good day and holy what-the-what? Our last Christmas without a kiddo. Woh.

Biscuit's still been moving a lot a lot a LAHT lately so that can make eating/sitting/sleeping/living a leeeeeeetle uncomfortable at times. Lately, she's been going especially psycho during movies. We saw Avatar (fun! goofy! be sure to do it in 3D!) and she moved the entire 2.5 hours. Then last night we watched Inglorious Basterds (two big thumbs up) and she was elbowing (?) me the whole time; these super sharp pokes that wouldn't quit. So. She either can't get enough of the ceen-ima or she really hates James Cameron and Quentin Tarantino. I'll ask her in a few weeks.

THAT'S RIGHT. A FEW WEEKS. Gulp. And yay!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Have a holly, jolly one!



We're comfy, cozy, and cuddled. Hope you are, too! XO, friends.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Staycation

I won't lie; the thought of being grounded during the holidays bummed my bum out at first. I've never missed Christmas on the East Coast with the fam and it seemed especially bad timing this year after missing Thanksgiving with peeps, too. I love dancing to Stevie Wonder's What Christmas Means to Me with my little bro, munching on fresh snow, seeing all the little kiddos run around with their new stuff, and just catching up with everyone over a cookie or four.

But I'm at the very edge of when flying is approved and after our little Missouri adventure, I feel a lot more relaxed on my own couch. As attractive as free airfare for life sounds, I really don't feel like sharing my crotch with a pilot.

So! This year, we're doing a quiet little holiday in our cozy little space. We bought and decorated a tree (the ornaments are a little slim since I've yet to steal mine back from Mom, but the lights sure are pretty), hung up some tinsel and tchotchkes, and I've cued up A Charlie Brown Christmas on Hulu.

But I'm most impressed with what's going on under the tree. Apparently, if you get knocked up and can't come home, the family showers you with things and more things. Dang! Thanks, fam damly! It's looking purty darn festive up in here.

We're calling these next couple weeks a staycation for obvious reasons, and so far I definitely approve. It's quiet, it's relaxing, and everyone's cleared outta town - leaving us to enjoy shorter lines at turkey burger takeout, better seats for Avatar viewings, and less crabby elevator run-ins. We win!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Us



In a nutshell.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Bumpdate: 32 weeks, 2 days



Double shot!

The front angle always weirds me out, so I thought I'd let you share in the weirdness. That "cute" little "extra" belly button up top? Oh, that's where my pierced hole never filled in. Things they don't warn you about when you're 19 and ready to get wild.

Still feeling pretty good, but I just don't know how there's anymore room for her to grow. She moves CONSTANTLY and with SERIOUS DETERMINATION. Like she's trying to bust her way out of my belly button. Or hip bone. Or ribs. I talk a lot about wanting to avoid induction, but seriously? By the time 40 weeks rolls around I'm pretty sure I'll be begging them to pull this baby OUTTA ME.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I won't have to give her the shots myself!

This morning I had my 32 weeks appointment. Zooming right along! Zip zip! Gulp.

All looks good with both ladies, which is always great to hear.

My only...frustration is how nonchalant they all are about this diabetes thing and whether it's, like, really a thing or not.

Meaning, the OB looks at all of baby's measurements and goes:

"Huh. So she's bigger than average, but really proportional all around. Her belly isn't any bigger than anything else, which is usually how it is with GD. In fact, her highest percentile measurement is her long legs. Huh! Probably she's just constitutionally hardy!"

And then she made sort of like a square-dancing-golly-gee-Popeye-the-Sailor-Man gesture.

And then:

"I mean, your blood sugar numbers being good could be because you're eating right or because your body just is handling whatever you're feeding it like it's supposed to. Your initial test results weren't really that high, so who knows!"

Basically saying - meh! Who knows if you really need to be pricking your fingers all the time or not! Your body is probably fine! But keep doing it! Because meh! Why not?

BIG SIGH.

In other news!

I FOUND A PEDIATRICIAN.

And he's close by. And he's young and un-stodgy. And gets great Yelp reviews. And offers alternative vaccination scheduling if I want it. Or not if I don't. And has a sick kiddo entrance and a well kiddo entrance. And and and! I'm working on my marriage proposal right now.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I think it might be a Northeast thing

But we really love us some Billy Joel.

For me, his songs are all tied up with childhood dance recitals, high school adventures in my Jeep, first kisses on the T, long talks on the front stoop, and sprinting down Commonwealth Avenue to make class on time. Every single time I hear a song of his, I just feel like YES. I can't wait to get our little biscuit hooked.

Monday, December 14, 2009

I don't think Angelina goes through this

Dudes. I'm feeling like a teenage boy being prom-rejected. Over and over and over again.

It's time. Time for me to find the biscuit a pediatrician.

But NOBODY WANTS US.

My OB gave me a list with recommended baby doctors for the lady baby. Admittedly, she started bugging me to do this a month ago. But - well. I didn't.

*karate kicks it out the window*

I spent today ringing up all these offices. The secretaries could barely contain the smirks in their voices when I said the baby's coming in two months.

"Hello! I'm having a baby in February and was wondering if you're accepting new patients?"
"...No."
"Oh lovely! Great! Thanks!"

Rinse. Repeat. Sob. Eat a sandwich.

Okay but seriously, folks. Is waiting till 32 weeks to find a pediatrician the most sinniest of sins? Is this just a big city problem? Should I start reading medical textbooks and ordering syringes online? I'm very good with needles.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Bonus bumpdate

As much as I love to do things with my main squeeze and other buddies and family members, I also really enjoy my solo time. I love seeing movies alone, I love roaming libraries alone, love long drives alone. Etc. This is one thing I know's about to change big time, so I'm trying to take advantage of and appreciate every little moment.

This morning, after dropping Clay off for his weekly basketball date (in Mom mode already!), I headed out on my own for the Farmer's Market. It was drizzly, but warm enough, and I got to wear my new rain boots. Piddling around from stand to stand, I picked out some apples, pork chops, a couple loaves of bread (olive and raisin rye - YUM) and some nom nom cheeses. I like this type of shopping - little grabbies here and there, no rhyme or reason and no real rush.

As I waddled around, I noticed a lot of beatific smiles aimed at the belly. It wasn't till I glanced in a window that it really sunk in how big I've gotten. I've been feeling so spry lately, it just doesn't feel like it.



But, uh, yeah. I am.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Bumpdate: 31 weeks, 2 days



Happy Friday!

I like to call this ensemble my Stage Manager for Community Theater Outfit. Baggy black sweatpants and a matching turtleneck? Check! Just add a headseat, a marked-up Our Town script, and a self-important attitude -- and I'm complete!

Oh and stuff in the background? BABY THINGS. Lots and lots of BABY THINGS. I want to eat them.



Also, sometimes I like to look at myself from the front and do poses because I like to look unpreggo for five seconds. (Sidenote: If you don't know me in real life, this is how I like to stand when I'm hanging around. It's a little harder when knocked up.)

And now! Now, I must find somewhere to go so I can wear my new rain boots in the drizzle. Lates!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Post-appointment update and other stuff

Why, hello! And happy freezing cold chill my bones I'm not leaving my apartment Thursday! I actually just got back in.

Yesterday afternoon I spent two lovely hours at the DMV, finally changing my name on my driver's license. Everything else (social security, credit cards, my New Yorker subscription) has been changed for eons, but um. This just took awhile. The sense of accomplishment I got after I was done probably isn't healthy. Let's just say, things change after you don't have a job.

Then I drove down the peninsula to my lovely friends Lou and Christian's house (with a yard! and trees! and a driveway!) where I was invited for (a yummmmmy) dinner and a sleepover. Clay's traveling lately, so I really appreciated the night "out" - and I really appreciate my thoughtful friends for thinking of me. Lou's preggo, too, so there was lots of crazy cravings and nesting talk (put simply: I huff cleaning products, she buys beautiful things) and belly poking and food snarfing. Loved it.

Then! I woke up, we ate some brekky, and I ventured back to the city for my appointment. Which went well!

Everything on the ultrasound looked good - cervix long enough and closed, amniotic fluid levels fine, baby's head down and ready for evacuation. (I coulda told them that part - she's obviously taken up permanent residence on my bladder.) She's still in the upper percentile of size, but the interesting/important thing is it's an all-over bigness, not just her tummy. So she's got long legs and a healthy noggin and all that jazz, as well as a tum. The real red flag for GD growth is when everything else is once size and the belly is HUGE. When everything's proportional and growing at a steady rate (which it has since last month), it's prolly just a genetics/who-knows-why thing.

Bottomline is, she's healthy and happy and chugging along great. They'll take a look at her again in a month, just to make sure she's staying on a steady growth rate before labor, and that'll be that. The doctor said they'll really try to avoid induction and hopefully even let me go a few days past my due date before intervening. (They'll never let a GD patient go a full 10-14 days past due date.) Huzzah! That's good news.

But the best news came after my appointment with the nutritionist. She looked at all my food journals and blood sugar numbers from the past month and gave me two big thumbs up. My numbers and weight are so good, that I get to cut out 2 of my 4 daily finger pricks! Just one after breakfast and one after lunch now. Score. Fingers crossed things stay good! We both think they will.

So! That's the news. Baby biscuit is face down and low down, so I only got a few quick glimpses of her tiny profile - and no pictures. Maybe next month we'll get a better view, but as things get more and more cramped in there (seriously - how is she not having a panic attack from the claustrophobia?) good pictures get harder and harder to capture. We'll probably just have to wait till she's live and on the scene! *dances*

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

The diabeetus

Thanks to everyone who's asked how I'm hanging in with my GD.

Basically, the answer is: fine!

The finger pricking has become (an annoying) habit and it's kind of amazing what your tastebuds will adjust to/what becomes the new normal. And it's not like I'm eating brown rice cakes and ice all day; I can enjoy mostly normal things (minus SUGARY BEVERAGES - I never have those, sigh). I just have to be really aware of the carb count in each serving.

This can sneak up on me in sneaky ways. Like...a big bowl of organic raisin bran with skim milk? Slow down, big spender! Healthy enough, yes, but serious blood sugar spike. So if I want that desperately (which I did the other day), I have to measure out very carefully 1/2 a cup of cereal and a 1/4 cup or so of milk. Clay knows I'm fixin' a "treat" when he hears the clank of measuring cups in the kitchen. It's all very Biggest Loser of me.

What I heard would eventually happen, though (and which has) is that I've found a group of foods I can rely on and eat happily with predictable blood sugar results. And because I'm lazy, I just eat the same things over and over and over. I have to write down every single thing I eat in a food journal for my doctors, so it's becoming a little embarrassing seeing those same foods parading through each day.

My daily menu:

Sprouted wheat raisin bread
Chunky peanut butter
Tea with milk
Apples
Clementines
String cheese
Popcorn
Nonfat lattes
Chicken sausage
Cream cheese
Walnuts
Ice cream (allowed! in 1/2 cup servings!)

If we go out to eat, I'll mix it up with a burger or ribs, but this is pretty much my home menu.

The interesting thing is, I feel almost wholly satisfied after eating these things everyday. I stay full and have found things tasty enough to feel un-sad. I do miss eating without care and I miss cupcakes occasionally, but I don't miss those blood sugar spikes and dips I got even pre-pregnancy. I'm basically on an even keel all day now - which is nice.

Another bonus? I haven't gained any weight in the past month. Huzzah! Totally not a goal or something I've done on purpose, but it is a nice side effect of all these changes. Means my postpartum weight burn may be a little easier. And no worries - the doctor assures me baby is growing just fine even if I've slowed down, so I'll take the weight plateau!

Tomorrow I've got my first specialist appointment since they showed me how to prick and eat a month ago. We'll chat about how it's going, look over my food journals, suck some blood, and then take a look at baby. The hope is her tummy growth has slowed down and she's more on track with weight gain than she was a month ago. If she gets a thumbs up on that front, they're less likely to talk induction and other interventions - which would be great to avoid.

So! Fingers (all twenty of 'em) crossed!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

We've already gotten some really awesome

And beautiful and cute and thoughtful gifts for Baby C. (Thank you, thank you!)

But because I can't do the fair thing and feature every single one (and because she's a very lucky biscuit and may be receiving more), I'll just show off something yummy I bought myself. I mean herself. Her.



Ah! A black onesie! With a sassy butterfly and puffed sleeves and ruffled cuffs!

She'll be kicking ass and taking names and drinking breastmilk!

And the best part? Three bucks. Sassy and thrifty - that's my girl.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Cozy feet blankets

I've lusted after these for quite some time, but finally - after seeing this week's rainy forecast and realizing I'm about to have a baby smackdab in the middle of monsoon season - took the plunge.



I was torn between the dark purple and the greenies, but had to go with the color that originally grabbed my heart a few years ago. Plus, they match my stroller. Duh.

Can't you just picture these over leggings and cute, wolly socks pulled up high? A REAL SUGAR white mocha in the stroller's cupholder and a huge, rainy, San Francisco hill under my feet?

And now I must search for the baby-sized version.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

A little preview of February

Don't worry, folks - we didn't have a repeat performance this weekend. Just got this picture from our Missourah buddies and had a giggle over its awesomeness. I wish all the nurses looked like him.


Friday, December 04, 2009

Bumpdate: 30 weeks, 2 days



And who are my my co-stars this week? Why, our new car seat and stroller combo and a very cute Ken doll business model husband! Hello, nifties!




Chick mag-net.

(Apologies for the ghostly lighting. It's 100% fog-covered outside and makes it all spooky inside.)

Last night, Clay came in late from the airport. I was already nestled in bed, pretending insomnia wasn't rounding the corner, and soon heard him fumble into the darkness, exclaiming: "Ohmygodastroller!" when he saw its outlined shadow in the adjoining room. Just wait till the breast pump arrives...

But seriously, folks. Can you believe we're in the 30's now?!

B-a-n-a-n-a-s.

Had my monthly check-up yesterday (which will now be an every-two-weeks check-up because, well, it's just that time) and all looks great. Heartbeat is happy and strong, belly measuring right on schedule, pee and blood pressure are problem-free. My Braxton-Hicks contractions are on a totally normal schedule now, which is a relief. I still get them a few times a day, but that's actually a good sign at this point - shows the bod is warming up for the big event. (Do I really have to do that? I ask myself ten times a day. Yes. Yes, I do.)

In closing, I remember my buddy Nik wrote a post this spring when she reached 30 weeks, about finding a carton of cream with an expiration date AFTER the baby's due date. This means that we, too, could find such a dairy product right now. N-u-t-s.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Boxes

Yesterday, our car seat and stroller arrived. I was maybe going to save them for the registry (more on that in a soon-to-come post, I promise), but after realizing I wouldn't be able to even leave the hospital with my baby without a car seat - and the stroller I wanted is a really simple frame that goes with the car seat - I just took the plunge.

I put the little set together last night and oh my little heart just crumpled into a bajillion pieces. There's going to be a little biscuit in there soon! This is HAPPENING.

So anyways. That.

Then, this morning, I'm hauling the enormous boxes down to recycling in the garage. They take up most of the elevator, but it's 10 AM on a Thursday so I'm not feeling too guilty. But then Crazy Lady walks in. I shoulda known! She's always home.

She's in her...fifties maybe?...with a tight bun and Botox and red lipstick and huge Audrey Hepburn glasses and two small dogs and no wedding ring and a shaky voice and I'm afraid of her. I've also spoken with her like 75 times, which made this conversation all the more disturbing.

Audrey: *Cringes* "Ohhhhhh. So. Many. Boxes...."
Me: "Yep." *Crams into one corner* "Sorry about that."
Audrey: "Did you just move into today?"
Me: *Pausing to consider a life where a pregnant lady moves into a fancy high rise alone on a Thursday.* *Looks over at the very clearly labeled STOLLER CAR SEAT ETC boxes. And down at my huge stomach.* "No, I didn't. We're having a baby so this is...baby stuff."
Audrey: *Blinks* *Eyes my belly* *Contemplates her childless life* "Oh. That's...NICE."

I hightailed it out of there when we reached the garage, trying to forget every single Law and Order kidnapping episode I've ever seen. And there are a lot.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Either this is nesting

Or I'm in the middle of a manic episode and should be hospitalized.

I cannot stop cleaning.

Can't.

Stop.

I just cleaned Clay's toilet two times in a row because it didn't look shiny enough.

I spent an hour cleaning my bathtub last night, using two different cleaning products and two different sponges. I'm still not happy with the results.

We got a new vacuum cleaner and I'm dancing with it like a long lost lover. I've vacuumed over the same part of the rug 10 times just because I can.

While on the phone yesterday, I was having a hard time concentrating at times because that DUST ON MY RECORD PLAYER HAD TO BE DEALT WITH IMMEDIATELY.

I'm ordering handmade storage buckets off of Etsy to organize our electronic stuff and my knitting and magazines and bobby pins and and and and!

Last night, I researched online for...two hours?...different types of non-toxic versions of Pine-Sol and found a promising idea! But now I need to find it. I WILL FIND IT.

Clay ordered a squeegee (wow - I have never in my life typed that word) and I'm about to run to the store to get a bucket so I can fill it with warm water and soap and clean our outside windows. I hope if I start climbing on ladders, someone has the good sense to stop me.

I actually jumped out of bed this morning and got dressed before enjoying my sweatpants a few hours longer, because I was so excited to buy more cleaning supplies.

Should I put an ad out on Craigslist asking if anyone has seen my soul? Because it's been stolen.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Phew

The very brief word on the street (heard through text and Twitter) is my Gram's out of surgery and all went fine. (Although she ended up having a quadruple bypass instead of a triple. Dang.) Now comes the crazy recovery process. Go go gadget Gram! You can do it.

In other news, I want to marry Clay (I already did? Oh.) because he did weeeeeeeeeks of laundry last night. AND THEN FOLDED IT. This last part always seems to defeat me - the laundry will get clean, but lives in the basket or on the bed for days - so I'm pretty much worshipping the ground he walks on right now.

(Um, he also woke up at 4:30 this morning to catch a flight back to Minneapolis so he can work his tail off till midnight every night and probably not get a dinner break. Don't know how he does it while staying so calm. Your ladies love you to smithereens, McGavin.)




But back to the laundry. See those things in the lower right corner? My purple sweatpants. He even folded the heinous purple sweatpants instead of burning them. That is lurve.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Blergh, says Liz Lemon

Woo eee its been a stressful couple weeks!

First, there was that gestational diabetes thing. And all the finger pricking and hand wringing that comes along with it.

Then, that there trip to the ER and all the resulting Google binges ("WILL MY BABY LIVE TO STAR ON BROADWAY IF SHE'S BORN AT 28 WEEKS" etc).

In the midst of all that, my childhood home got sold/moved out of/closed on. Which, basically, I don't let myself think about. I certainly don't want to write about it. Healthy, I know.

And now, my 86-year-old Gram - my only living grandparent and a stellar one at that - has to undergo open heart surgery tomorrow morning. A triple bypass, to be exact. It's sudden and unexpected and, frankly, it blows. She's stubborn as hell and otherwise healthy, so I really think she'll pull through this with flying colors. But it's still scary. And the recovery is going to be tough. And I'm on the wrong coast, separated from everyone, feeling pretty useless and emo about it all. Sigh.

So! Let's all cross our fingers and send happy thoughts, 1-2-3? Thanks, friends.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Bumpdate: 29 weeks, 2 days



Hello, franz! Hope you had a lovely Gobble Day. Ours was very quiet, but quite nice. I made corn bread and turkey chili in the slow cooker, cuddled with mah man and mah lady, and watched a bunch of Monk on Hulu. It was cozy and sleepy and good for my belly.

Which, by the way, is doing just fine. Wednesday's ultrasound showed my cervix is long and closed, there's lots of amniotic fluid up in there, and the baby is happy dappy. (And, may I say, cuuuuuute?) My belly still likes to get tight at night, but I'm learning that's just what I (and lots of other preggos) do. I drink a lot of water and put up my feet a lot and we're all good.

P.S. Look how HIGH my belly is getting! Breathing is getting interesting. Her feet live in my RIBS. Bam!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A tale of the squeezies *UPDATED*

I wrote this out in a super long story format, but honestly it was zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

So!

Here's the Reader's Digest version, told in 10 points, of why I'm back in San Francisco:

1) Saturday night, after dinner and during Act One of a regional theater production in Rolla, Missourah, I started getting lots of squeezing in my lower parts. Sometimes people call these contractions.

2.) I start to worry that maybe baby lady doesn't like theater?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

3.) At intermission I tell Steph the Nurse Practioner/Midwife that my uterus is in a vice grip. I chug a bunch of agua and head home with instructions to head to Labor and Delivery if it doesn't slow down.

4.) It doesn't slow down. We swing by the theater, pick up Steph and Jonathan, and head to the ER.

5.) To be clear, I'm not really in pain so much as discomfort. Plus, I really don't want this baby to fall out.

6.) I get admitted, I beg for Steph to come in the room with us and they give in (they will rue the day! I only listen to what she says and not them! muahahha!), Jon hangs in the waiting room:



7.) They hook us up to the monitors. Baby looks great, I'm contracting every 2-3 minutes. Dang. They start me on an IV* of fluids and run some preterm labor tests. We wait and wait.

8.) My cervix is closed and the preterm labor test comes back negative. This = very good news and means it's very unlikely I'll go into labor in the next two weeks. However, I'm still contracting, dangnabit! I want to put a sheet over the stoopid monitor so I can block it out. (Like I did with the washcloth over my IV.)

9.) They give me a shot and a pill (you love the specifics) and my contractions stop. They send me home with a "sometimes women just contract" explanation, more pills to pop, and instructions to take it easy. They also say I should probably head home to SF instead of taking a long road trip followed by a couple flights and lots of activity.

10.) And here we are! I'm bummed to be missing our Texas Thanksgiving (the food! the foooooooood!) and sad that my fun trip was cut short. However! I feel a lot comfier two blocks away from my doctor and a few minutes away from a super big, fancy hospital. I'm checking in with my OB today, but I'm feeling a lot better (only a few squeezes here and there, which is normal). I think this was just a plea from my body to STOP MOVING ALL THE TIME AND FLYING AND NOT EATING ENOUGH BECAUSE YOU'RE WORRIED ABOUT YOUR DIABETES JUST FEED ME AND SIT DOWN, WOMAN.

So! In summation: We're back by the Bay, taking it easy with tea and Netflix, and feeling good. We really do think all is fine - it's just always better to play it safe with these things. Let's keep this lady cooking, folks!

***********************Update**************************

Just had a quick convo with my OB. She sounded very relaxed and told me she contracted her entire pregnancy; so everything really probably is fine. But she still wants me in for an ultrasound tomorrow morning so we can fully check my cervix length. To which I said: I'm there! Afterward, she'll let me know if there's anything iffy, but she sounded unworried.

7a.) OKAY FINE. I had a leeeeeetle trouble with the IV. OKAY?! I don't like needles. OKAY?! It's hard to explain what happens to me when the needles come out until you SEE it happen to me, but it isn't pretty. I don't just moan, I don't just fret...I pull up my legs into the fetal position, I say 'NO NO NO NO NO NO', I start to hyperventilate, I FREAK THE EFF OUT.

I always let them do it, though, because I cannot DEAL with more than one attempt at insertion. So I made terrible noises and yelled at the nurses, but I stayed still. Toward the end, though, I was approaching FULL FORCE PANIC. It was taking so long to get the thing in, to get some blood drawn, then taped down and oh my sweet baby Jeebus I couldn't take it anymore. I knew I was about to seriously, truly lose it - so I SHUT IT DOWN. Meaning, they (Clay/Steph/nurses) were sure I had passed out and/or died.

I closed my eyes and did this intense, into-the-Zen-zone meditation breathing. I went to a different planet. I don't even know what was going on anymore, I just knew I had to run far far away, Forrest Gump style. And it worked. Not that I recommend approaching full-on DEFCON 500 levels in the first place - but if you do, may I recommend Jon Kabat-Zinn and his breathing techniques? You're welcome.

And sidenote: Since Clay brought all this up in the first place, I would be remiss if I didn't point out that Mr. Fella had a tough time during IV Insertion 2009, too. As in - had to sit down NOW or they'da been mopping him up off the floor. THE END.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Bumpdate: 28 weeks, 2 days


A new studio locale! Hangin in Missouri, visiting with our buddies, Steph (a midwife! I made her poke my belly last night to find the bum) and Jonathan. Everyone but me and the bump is at work.

And we've got snacks!

(Look close for my new, fun, pink stretch mark! Yip!)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

What I like to do when I have nothing to do

Aside from shopping and eating and walking and swimming and pricking my finger a lot, I've mostly been taking it easy since arriving in Minneapolis. In the middle of the night on Friday, I got this super intense and insane and otherworldly charley horse - another fun pregnancy thing. It took about five minutes to stop, five minutes in which I thought I'd probably die and never get to drink another sugar free vanilla latte again. (My new "favorite" "dessert".)

But that wasn't the end of it. My leg was busted (from a charley horse huh??) until this morning; I literally had to hobble everywhere - like a maimed, knocked-up, sad clown.

Today, though, today! I woke up ready to roll. I walked to Peter's (my third visit already), ate a Reuben and fries (just a few, you worriers out there) then snagged a cab to the Walker Art Center. Because I love museums, but mostly because I REALLY LOVE sculpture gardens. Something about them just makes me giddy.

And today's tour did not disappoint. The Walker's gardens are huge, scenic - nestled in trees, with the cityscape behind it - with some great pieces. (Claes Oldenburg! George Segal! I love thee!) Plus, the sun was shining, the leaves were crunchy and musty beneath my feet, and I was alone for most of my wandering.

After I did up the outside, I saw some super odd conceptual stuff inside, shopped the shop, then decided to walk home? It was a hike, but I happened upon a coffee shop (for the local community college, obvs) halfway home and nommed on a peanut butter sammich before completing the journey.

All in all - a successful and arty and walky type day!

Some fotos bee-low (click on 'em to make 'em better):






Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Stone cold Martha Graham face



Dude. Someone just posted on Facebook this ridiculous pic of me and my old dance company circa...1998 maybe?

Holy intense/dramatic/sad/tired/tan?

Funny to remember a time I spent approximately 82932302938203982 hours a week in dance class.

Abs and smiles of steel!

Monday, November 16, 2009

An update about annoying stuff

Why, hello there!

I'll cut right to the chase.

To zoom past the gory details of extensive testing and blood-letting and leeching, they tell me I've got Gestational Diabetes. What does this mean, you ask? It's a little confusing, because each type of diabetes is quite different from the others. (Which is why I have all sorts of fun discussions with peeps who think I brought this on by eating too many Twinkies.)

 During pregnancy, all the new hormones bouncing around make it harder for the body to use insulin. Most of the time, the good ol' pancreas steps up and produces extra to help out while the baby's cooking. But turns out, my pancreas is being a little lazy and takes a bit longer to churn out the good stuff. So my glucose levels stay too high for too long, which results in Big Baby Syndrome (it's a technical term). Mama stays fine no matter what - we just want to make sure baby is the right size to push out.

So why'd I get this? They really have no clue - the specialist was bewildered. I'm young, I've never had a weight problem, my diet is fine (my one real weakness is fruit juice), I've got no family history of diabetes, and I'm a Whitey (though maybe my Middle Eastern blood plays a role?). Basically, it just happened. Things should return to normal after baby lady's on the ground, so this isn't a Forever And Ever type of thing.

I was really bummed at first, but I'm adjusting. I just felt upset that women who started pregnancy overweight and gain even more on top of that can keep eating their doughnuts and pumpkin pies with no blood sugar issues and I'm stuck with eggs and whole wheat toast, after eating nothing but fruit for weeks on end. But! I'll look rad after this baby pops out and they...won't. (Please allow the sass; I'm dealing.)

There's no real cause for concern - I just have to monitor my blood sugar levels and keep them low and even-keeled and all should be fine. This means a fun finger-pricking sesh four times a day (super fun for a needle-lover such as me), a modified diet (it's really not too bad - I can even eat dessert if I plan for it), and scheduled exercise.

So far, since I started testing on Thursday, my levels have all been low, steady, non-diabetic levels. Which is great and also a tad curious. I wouldn't be surprised if my INSANE OMG NEEDLE PHOBIA DIE DIE DIE tweaked the results a little, since stress/adrenaline can increase blood sugar levels. But meh. Shrug. It's a good diet to follow anyways and will keep me lookin'/feelin' trim and the baby healthy.

So that's the haps, fellas!

Just one more thing the lovely Mary Tyler Moore and I have in common.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Mary and me



Look! I'm hanging with my best pal! After she catches her hat, we'll head to work at the station and maybe meet Rhoda for lunch later. Hopefully Mr. Grant isn't mad we're a little late after stopping for this photo opp. Fingers crossed!

So yup. I'm here. Made it to the Minny Apple.

We're staying downtown in a lovely, lushy suite, moments away from Mary and cute sidewalk Christmas decorations and neat old buildings and THE BEST TARGET I HAVE EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE. And I've seen a lot.

By the end of this trip, those red-shirted peeps are gonna know my name. As will the folks at Peter's Grill, a ridiculously cute, established-in-1914 diner down the street that I plan on frequenting...all the time.

Happy to be done with work (but will miss the peeps!), happy to be hanging somewhere new, happy to be cuddled with my Cram on the couch, happy to be WATCHING CABLE. Oh yes. Cable. Lalalalalaaaa!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Bumpdate: 27 weeks, 2 days



And yes, I'm in my undies.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Who can turn the world on with her smile?



Starting on Friday:

First.) Work is done (!)
Second.)  BJA heads to Minneapolis to hang with Mary (and Clay.)

See, husband guy is there on a new project and I'm heading there to save him lots of back-and-forth flights and to check out a new city. I'm most excited to visit all the ridiculous Mary Tyler Moore goodies sprinkled around and to hang with my BU buddy Lauren, whom I haven't seen in years. I think the last time was when I was in that play where I wore that underwear and kissed that girl. Ah, my acting days.

I'll be gone from SF for awhile. After a week in Minneapolis, we're off to Missouri to hang with our buddies who just moved there, then we'll continue onto East Tejas for turkey and pecan pie and Sonic beverages with those little, highly crunchable, balls of ice. Then back to Minneapolis for more wholesome midwest fun.

I'll land back here in a month or so, ready to bunker down and burrow in for a long, baby-filled stay on the ground.

(And don't ye worry; bumpdates and the like will continue on my sojourn.)

Monday, November 09, 2009

A transcript of a message from my OB

For some reason, this made me laugh for like 10 minutes straight as I listened to it on repeat.

Hi Amy! It's Dr. ___

Wanted to let you know I received your ultrasound report from the 3rd of November and the baby is...big.

*laugh laugh giggle*

The abdominal circumference is big, too.

So you'll be getting another ultrasound to check up on her size next month.

Now, the good news is the placenta is in the right position - so no longer the placenta previa.

But... it's a big baby!

And hopefully it'll start to slow down on growth.

See ya at the next appointment!

I kept thinking she was going to yell at me, like robogirl's bigness was my fault? Because doctors are really good at that. But nope! She just wanted me to know that little lady is a bruiser. It must be the Texas in her.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Bumpdate: 26 weeks, 2 days



Can't tell if you can tell, but apparently there's been some sort of belly change this week. Multiple people in the past few days have said WELL NOW YOU LOOK PREGNANT.

Oh do I?

I think the difference is that even under clothes, this thing is getting serious. All business all the time.

The weirdest change is calculating what I can and can't fit through. Like the small spaces between parked cars or tables at a restaurant. And of course I always err on the side of not-caution. And then wine glasses are falling or I'm suddenly contemplating calling Triple A to get me out from between these Saabs.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Sure they sucked my blood

But I got to walk past these lovelies on the way to the lab. What's up November 5th?


A little West Coast treat every time I have a baby appointment.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Sap

As the time till our girl gets here draws closer and closer, I've been spending more and more time thinking over the pieces of my childhood that made me who I am, that made me feel happy and safe and confident.

Of course, many of my happy memories lie with my family; those are the ones I think of most when I think of the life I want to create for our buddy.

But there were important outside influences, too. One special one, maybe my most favorite, might have been your favorite, too. I've been searching everywhere for DVDs of his shows because I want to share with the little lady all the good stuff he brought us.

And lately, I've taken to watching this short little video. It reminds me, on the days I need reminding, that I'm doing just fine. 

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Our lady pal buddy friend!



I want to feast on her cheeks! The sweetness!

(She's already a talker - kept opening and shutting her mouth the whole time.)

All looks good with mama and baby. Love that lady!

Monday, November 02, 2009

Don't get too close or I'll eat you, too

This morning brought me and the lady another monthly appointment. Same little waddle down the hill, ride up the elevator, pee in the cup, step on the scale (gag), heartbeat listen, rinse repeat.

The cool thing doctor lady did this time was figure that wacky fundal height, where they take a tape measure and see how far it is from your pubic bone to the top of your uterus. Starting around 24 weeks, the distance in centimeters should match up with how far along you are. Science experiment!

Sho 'nuff it's 26 centimeters from mah bone to the top of the ute. Nuts!

Hearing the heartbeat was also good times. Little friend was RIGHT THERE and stopped moving for a few seconds so we got this super clear listen, complete with this sharp *click click click* - her heart valves opening and shutting. Aw, buddy!

Not good times? Doctor asking me

"So...what did you EAT for Halloween?"

Because I gained a few extra lbs this month and..she wanted me to feel super sad and chubby? Fail.

I got that quick sting of tears and felt 100% fug, but shrugged it off and gave her a death look. Because seriously? I know I'm on track, I know I'm healthy, and screw you for making a preggo feel self-conscious about her pod person body.

Moving on!

Tomorrow I've got a funner-er appointment for my monthly cervix check. Which means foto time!

Hopefuly we'll get some good shots and I'll post 'em for ya tomorrow.

Chubby out!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Because I am crazy.

Um. Remember when I done lost mah mind and did National Novel Writing Month in 2007?

Me, too!

Starting today I'm... doing it again?

(My conviction is overwhelming.)

But this time I'm going to break the rules a tiny bit. Instead of one, long 50,000-word story (novel), I'm going to (attempt to) write 10 5,000-word short stories. Why? Because I want to. Huzzah!

I figure it'll do my preggo brain good to have to come up with 10 different ideas over a month, but also, in some crazy way, be a little easier because after each 5,000 words I'll get to say: NEXT! Just like that MTV show.

It's also a good move to get some short stories under my belt. I've never really done them and it's sorta something I should.

And maybe, just maybe, pounding out these words will get me inspired to finish up the other story on the side. (I don't have TOO much left to do on it - I've just run out of steam and fallen a little out of love.) Because even if I don't do anything with it afterward, even if it sits in a drawer for awhile or forever until kids have gotten all these vampire books out of their system, it'll feel good to have it done and done.

So! Today. After brunch, after a walk, after baking pumpkin bread, after staring into space. Today it starts.

Friday, October 30, 2009

25 weeks, 2 days


Yes. I ate a person.

"Sleeping" didn't happen too much last night. I went from mildly-stuffed-up to cannot-breathe-through-nose-while-horizontal and my back has been in bad shape. It's just so hard to get comfortable; I'm starting to understand why preggos end up sleeping upright in chairs. Sad puppy dog face.

So I'm kickin it at home in my pjs. Sad to be missing the Halloween costumes at work, but hoping I can fool my bod into some zzzz's when it least expects it.

Onward ho!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

THINGS YOU MIGHT WANT TO WARN A PREGNANT LADY ABOUT

So I walk in the door from work. I'm hungry. I have a headache. I need to pee. The typical trinity.

Put on the kettle. Put on my sweatpants. Ponder snack ideas. Head to bathroom.

I do my thing. Flush. Start to wash hands. Happen to glance over at toilet and



?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?!?!?!?!?!

And then I died.

Oh wait, I'm still here!

Actually, I grabbed my nether regions and there wasn't a baby coming out. Which was very good.

But still. !?1?!?!?!!?1?1/1!/!/

And then I remembered they were planning some sort of plumbing check today in our building. So I ran to Clay's bathroom. Bowl was clear and clean. But then I flushed and

BLOODY BLOOD BLOOD HALLOWEEN MASSACRE 2009.

Do you THINK MAYBE they could have left us a friendly note under the door? Like

Hey!

All will look normal with your toilet until you flush for the first time. And then it'll look like you peed out your insides!

Love,

The Plumbers

Excuse me now, while I try and fish my heart out of my mouth.

Things I'm swooning over


These earrings!

Through a Twitters mention, I found this local jewelry maker. And then, after some website perusal, these kick ass (felt!) earrings. I’m not much for bedazzling my person, but something about these said YES to me.

Unfortunately, I cannot for the life of me get one into my right earring hole. Perhaps because I got my ears pierced at 21, forget I even have them, and last wore earrings on my wedding day in 2008? But I will triumph, people.


THIS BOOK.

Jeebus gawd this book is incredible. (I was about to link to a 1981 New York Times article talking about just how awesome, but let’s be honest; no one would dig through the article to find the mention, right?)

I bought it last weekend at the Mystery Bookstore in Noe Valley, a treasure trove of all things good and pure and creepy. It came untouched, covered in a plastic sleeve, and the cover – the cover! I want to read this book in one sitting it’s so delicious, but I also want to slow way down so it’s never over.

And now! Red pen time.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Friday the 13th

Will be my last day of work. That's 13 more actual work days. Zoom time flies.

I feel good about leaving third trimester to baby growing, holiday enjoying, and home readying.

But that doesn't mean I won't miss this job. Or the (kick ass) people that go along with it. I haven't typed much about the past 6 months at the office - because talking about work on the Internets can be a whole mess of trubs - but I've never had a more positive work experience. Super glad to have been there and definitely plan on staying in touch with my new franz.

And what comes after third trimester and baby landing? I'm staying home (such a weird way we all phrase it, no? I do plan on leaving my house) and doing the Mom Thing full time. Mostly for the health insurance and 401k, of course.

So ooo eeeee baby - BJA's about to be a breastfeeding, playdough cooking, Raffi singing full time mama.

And I can't wait.

Monday, October 26, 2009

I have a testimony


Of Ira Glass.

Without whose podcast, charming cadence, and quiet perfection I simply could not live. (Nor continue to earn a paycheck.)

You make work worth working, Mr. Glass. Keep on keeping on.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

When you don't have cable

And you've got friends that are pulled together enough to organize real outings, you can get yer man - on football Sunday - to go along on a real field trip.

Here are some pics from our Half Moon Bay brunch-by-the-sea/pumpkin patch excursion. I feel like I really checked the box on FALL today. (Also on sun-my-face-needs-in-one-year.) And if you're wondering, the moccasins held up gah-reat.



Casey (Master Supreme Outing Organizer and Clay's frosh year roommate at Harvard) and me during brunch on the water. We took some without the glasses, but we look cuter here. Plus, my hair looks shiny.


At the pumpkin place, we all raced through a corn maze. For reasons unknown, I felt the best strategy to win was tip toes.


It did help bring us in second.



Group glamour shot, surrounding our trusty rusty tractor.

How lucky are my girl and I, surrounded by a gaggle of such hotties? I'm teaching her young.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Bumpdate: 24 weeks, 2 days



Horizontal stripes, baby!

(Thanks, Christie and you're welcome, Eric for taking this shirt out of your house.)

According to Billy the Doorman, told to Clay the Spouse, it "looks like she's gained 7 pounds since Saturday!" WHAT OF IT, BILLY.

But here's the thing. Extra l-b's or not, I'm feeling good lately. I can eat foods without dying, my roly polyness makes me giggle, and my mood is, at times, bordering on euphoric mania. Oh, hormones. Whattapal!

Oh AND. AND! Guess what came in the mail yesterday? (Last part in a sing-songy voice, please.) These puppies!


Yum yum yum yum yum yum yum yum yum yum. YUM.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I didn't work today

Last night, a little voice told me to stay home today. Maybe it was the baby. Maybe it was a bird or the wind or a superhero with a crystal ball who saw I'd get sprinkled with H1N1 today. But who'm I to say no to mysterious voices? They always tell the truth about how good pumpkin butter toast will taste in the mornings. And afternoons.

So I took it easy, but I also got some things done: a beef stew in the crockpot, a load of laundry, knocked out a couple SVUs. (Yes, that last one counts.)

I piddled too much on the Internets, though, and started getting worked up about things I have no control over (um, other people). So I forced myself down the elevator and into the park before my brain exploded.

I brought an orange and a magazine and stared at the palm trees. And decided, while licking sticky fingers, to take a break from some of my usual Internets haunts. No one's forcing me to read anything I don't want to - it's up to me to surround myself with smart and uplifting messages. You know, like this.

So that happened.

And now? Now I remove the robot arm and peel some apples for the crisp I'm baking up. You wish you were a nose in my apartment right now.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Until the real one comes


This is our placeholder baby. His name is Grobot.

He watches the balcony all day, alerting the doorman to any intruders.

We love him and his green grass hair and his porcelain heart.

Muah
, Grobaby. Muah.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Footbell

Baby girl likes to kick me all the time, but does NOT like to be caught doing it. So while Clay has felt her move several times, it's not consistent and it's never the big ones that make me gasp. He doesn't really seem to mind, but I get obsessed.

"Put your hand here now!"

"But I'm looking at cars?"

So last night, after my cookie and tea (round 3), when she was feeling especially feisty, I ran over to his couch and placed his hand on my tum. But then, of course, nothing. Stopped dead in her tiny tracks. Radio womb silence.

So I scooted to the end of the couch and moped for a second, before I felt his feet on my bare bell. She squirmed a few times under his tread, though never gave a good enough wallop for him to feel. But while daddy and rogirl didn't meet up last night, it still made mama happy.



And look! I still have an innie!

If you want to know what makes me laugh

Maybe harder than anything else, watch



I sit on my couch after work and giggle until I cry. Just me and my belly and my maple cream cookies. If you're a Netflix Instanter like me, there are now a bunch of episodes ready to press play on whenever you're ready to get awesome.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Windshield snap


A purty little rainbow just for me on the drive home.
I was singing this song and loving life.