Monday, November 30, 2009


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.


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!


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


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.