Saturday, January 13, 2018

And now.... we wait

I cannot believe I am going to write the following words:  I am thirty-nine weeks pregnant.

Yesterday I said farethewell to my office.  My work-husband and friends took me out for lunch and I ate a ridiculous amount of spicy Ethiopian food (PSA - go for mild, the heartburn isn't worth the miniscule chance that you can jump-start labor).  I left all of my work in his capabale hands, and of course asked that he call me as much as possible to keep me in the loop of gossip and brainstorming for the next six months* because OCD.

I see Dr. W on monday, where we will learn whether my cervix of steel (can you believe it?) has budged.  If not, it's a scheduled induction in my future, likely a foley balloon.  You know why I love my doctor?  Because when I asked her for an explanation of the foley balloon, her exact words were "Yeah, it's fucking barbaric."  But waiting for Nutmeg after I hit forty weeks (friday) isn't an option, so barbaric obstetrical tools it may be.  As I write this I have the feeling that nothing is progressing.  Pretty much no braxton hicks going on here.  Viking and I took a walk today while Niblet was taking her ballet classes, and I plan on attempting a sort of modified hike tomorrow.  (And yes, we are attempting to sex this baby out of me and he is a fucking champ for a 47 year old). 

On other fronts, another co-worker just e-introduced me to - check this out - another 43 year old pregnant lady due at the end of January who lives maybe 15 minutes away, if that.  She's a musician and not from this country, and I just emailed her and was all "PLEASE please please be my friend cool musician lady." I know from my go-around with Niblet and PPD and birthing in the cold, dark, dead of winter that the isolation is the worst.  I've learned from those experiences and know that the more coffee dates I can set up after those first few weeks at home, the better I will fare.

So we wait.

* Yes, my leave is six months long.  There will be an essay on this topic, and what an insane stroke of luck I have working for such a generous employer.  My readers outside the US have no idea, I know.

Friday, January 5, 2018

and like *THAT* I'm fine

So I cancelled my chiropractor appointment because my back is miraculously healed.  Fuck if I know how or why.  I am thinking that maybe I did too much lifting last week?  Anyways, my hair color is refreshed, I am back to walking at my usual NYC speed, and things are good besides it being cold enough to freeze your face off outside. 

On other fronts, there's this semi-hilarious thread on the BBC January Birth Board, asking "how old is too old" to be pregnant.  You can just imagine the fun of this exercise.  Lots of 26 year olds on their second or third kid, aghast at the idea of being over 40 with a child.  My favorite response was this:

I am 26 with my second.
I think it's morally wrong to have kids when you reach 35. You need to think about your health and lifestyle instead of changing diapers. I always find it so sad when I see older women pregnant.
It's sick. 

My response:

Things that make me so sad:
 - Abused animals
- Homeless people without shelter in destructive storms
- Children who are abandoned and unloved.
Things that don't make me sad:
- Babies loved and nurtured by parents who happen to be over 35.
Now look,  Niblet will be having a long and hard conversation in her future about embarking on childbirth far sooner than me (if she is so inclined).  Because if I am a carrier for whatever genetic clusterfuck put me here, then she could be one too. 

But this notion that you're decrepit after 35 is sort of hilarious to me, especially since I live in an urban area where there are so many moms, even FTMs over 40.  Our economy is pretty much built on academics and PhDs, it's what you see in these parts.  Do I sometimes pause at the notion of having a kid in college when I'm 60?  Sure.  Am I particularly afraid of the age 60?  Ehhh, surprisingly no. 

"Grandma F doesn't seem 71 at all," Niblet was saying this morning.  "I thought she was in her fifties!  Same with Miss Holly (one of her dance teachers who is 70)."   I've always known that while in some critical ways I drew the genetic short straw, but in others I won the genetic jackpot.  Maybe because I've had too many people ask me if I plan on having another after this one is born.

I just feel so lucky to be in such exceptionally good health.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Dear Maternity Support Belt


And while I'm at it: 

Dear Car Defroster,

You really chose a bad time to stop working.  I hear that clicking sound behind the dashboard and OF COURSE there's nothing I can do about it now, I am certainly not taking you to the mechanic tomorrow when I am getting my hair color refreshed, because, hello, PRIORITIES.

Dear Ice Scraper,

I know you were likely manufactured in a factory in China by shivering starving workers, but you chose a shitty morning to split in half.  I think I threw out my already thrown out back by trying to scrape my windshield this morning using a little scrap of cardboard I found in my trunk. 

Dear Planet,

Stop fucking with me.  A BOMB CYCLONE?  This is what the latest weather system will be called to hit my region.  Are you fucking kidding me????

Monday, January 1, 2018

Dear Niblet (Happy 2018)

It's January 1, 2018, and I am so sorry you have the suckiest cold in the world.  But trust me, seriously, Mommy didn't want to go to that party with Dad anyway, everyone would have been drunk and annoying and I would have had to drive our tired asses home at night, and I'm 43 and my night vision sucks, and my back hurts, and curling up in bed with a trashy romance novel and falling asleep around 11 was TOTALLY the way to go this year.  I didn't lie at all when I told you that I will always be your mommy, and being your mommy includes wiping your snot and giving you tylenol and having your germ-ey self curl up next to me even when I am deathly afraid of catching whatever you have. 

I was staring at you this morning while you were sleeping and trying to breathe, and I couldn't believe I have you, that there's a gentle force in the universe that decided I should be your mother.  I mean, we all joke in our family that you have a face that belongs on a renaissance painting, which is shocking, given it's actually your Dad's goofy face, but so goes the great genetic crapshoot.  You are the reason why I am pregnant right now.  I love you so much - and shockingly I enjoy mothering you so much - that I needed to endure the indignities of pregnancy again.  The panic ridden ultrasounds, the morning sickness, the PIO injections, and now the excruciating pain of walking up a flight of stairs.... all of it is strangely attributable to the love I have for you.

You need to know and feel at your core that you have always been  - and will always be - enough.  There isn't another baby in the world to replace you or enhance you.  I used to wonder whether it was deeply fucked up that I wanted another so badly, because you are enough.  And while I used to get a kick out of imagining you as a big sister, I've never subscribed to the belief that creating siblings are a reason for procreation.  And yet, just a few short weeks away from meeting a sibling, I am excited at how excited you are at the prospect.  Because you will completely rock at this.

No, I think besides the inexplicable feeling that there is someone who has been missing from our household, there's the fact that you made it really fun to have a baby.  Now don't get all cocky, you were actually the most challenging baby in the world - the colic, the crying, the reflux, the temper, oh my god, you were not an easy baby by any stretch.   I had to wear you about 16 hours a day and we blew out a vacuum trying to satisfy your unrelenting need for white noise.  People came over to our house terrified of your colic - those screams.  Oh. My. God. And my PPD didn't help.  But your intelligence, the way you observed the world, jesus, what a trip. And I guess I must be a selfish mother, the ultimate narcissist, because I want to do it again. Despite the upheaval in our home, the craziness we are walking into willingly in our forties, the physical and emotional toll and face it the exhaustion we will all endure to keep another little human alive, here we are.

This will be a new baby, a new personality, a new set of adventures.  And I wouldn't want to embark on this adventure with anyone other than you by my side.  Nutmeg will be the luckiest sister in the world.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Hate to complain, but....

So, about three days ago I started getting this sharp pain in my lower back.  Like a sharp, scrape-ey, knife twisting in my spine sort of pain when I got up from a chair or out of bed.  If I walk (well, hobble would be more accurate) around for an hour, I get some relief.

But a girl's gotta sit.  And lie down.  And sleep.  And Niblet has a pretty nasty cold, so I definitely gotta sleep while I can because the late-night MOANING, oh my god. 

I have a little less than three weeks to go.  But I am a total fucking wuss about not being able to gracefully skitter around and speedwalk in my usual way, so I made an appointment with a chiropractor, her first available appointment which isn't until the end of the week.  I am still scheduled to work at my desk job for the next two weeks (my drop dead date for work is January 12th). 

I HATE being the pregnant woman who complains. I've come too far over six years to let a little back pain ruin this. And I could be having waaay worse problems right now.  I had a good run of 36 weeks, I need to focus on that.

I'm getting the occassional braxton hicks contractions, but I really don't feel like this baby is imminent.  So this pain will be with me for the forseeable future.  Turns out it may be my sacroiliac joint, according to Dr. Google at least, and Viking.  The only person I've even told about this pain is Viking.  Who was once close to 300 pounds and had similar sharp pain when he got out of the car or a chair.

All of this should end as soon as the bowling ball that is wacking out my spine is gone.  I hope.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

still knocked up

Yesterday was insane because I got sent around my hospital for three different appointments, and yet none included an actual growth scan to see what the fuck this baby looks like.

I got a peek at her during a fluid check ultrasound (and OF COURSE she held her fist up in front of her face, because she is my daughter and hates the papparazzi).  But my fluid levels at 36 +4 weeks are normal, AND Nutmeg is (finally) head down, so, Yay!

Then I had a Non Stress Test (NST) to check her heart rate and movement - with the chattiest nurse ever.  Now, the thing is, I met this nurse years ago - she was the attending OB nurse at my D&C when we said goodbye to Celine.  I remember her because she was kind, but also very no-nonsense, and said to me before I was being wheeled in "You look very young and very fit.  You'll be able to get pregnant again."

Well, she didn't remember me all  these years later, but as I lay down she was asking me my age.  "Ancient," I said.  "I am forty-three."  "Not ancient at all.  You look really young," she replied.

Anyways, as I listened to Nutmeg's heartbeat, I learned more about this woman than I know about some of my own family members.  She was raised Jewish but now considers herself a Wiccan, and doesn't wear her pentagram because she doesn't want to freak out patients.  She used to be a dancer and did a two year stint as an NFL dancer.  She married her high school sweetheart and has two grown children.  I could go on.  I'm sure I'll learn more at my NST next week.

Finally I had an appointment with an OB in Dr W's office.  My cervix is closed.  My weight gain is still under 30 pounds so far.  I should have gotten a growth scan by now, somehow that was missed, but I'll get one next week and we'll see what we're dealing with.

Obligatory "I swallowed a bowling ball" shot in depressing office bathroom at nearly 37 weeks:

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Gaslighting (or I have NO TIME for this crap) - UPDATE BELOW

So meanwhile....

My car - a snazzy 2008 Pontiac Vibe - is a deathtrap. Or, to be more specific, my car has one of those deadly passenger-side Takata airbags that has been recalled because people have died.

So I schedule my free servicing with the closest dealership to my house, about 30 minutes away.  I take the day off from work, knowing this will be a five hour job.  Knock this off the list, justonemore, you got your oil changed already, let this be ONE. LESS. THING.

I pull up to the station.  The lady notes my VIN number.  And we have the following fucked up exchange:

"Ma'am, this car has already been serviced, this recall has been addressed."

"Um, no, it hasn't.  I think I would remember taking it in."

"No, our records show that this car has been serviced, the airbag was removed and replaced."

"No.  It wasn't.  I have never been here before." (You can imagine I am large and hormonal and getting a wee bit upset).

"Ma'am, calm down. Maybe you took it to another dealership."

"Look, I can't.  This is insane.  I've never taken this car anywhere.  There is a takata airbag in the passenger side dashboard and I am having a baby in four weeks."

"I'll go get our service manager."

Service Manager arrives.

"Ma'am, how many miles do you have on this car?"

(I turn car back on). "57,673"

"Oh.  And you live in Baltimore correct?"


"So, according to GMs records, a car with your VIN number was serviced in Connecticut, in June.  That car has 190,000 miles on it."

"So you're telling me that my car's identity has been stolen?!?!?"

Friends, I'm not going to record the continued fuckupedness of this conversation.  How I was accused of overreacting because the airbag really isn't *THAT* dangerous.  How my parts were never ordered (despite getting confirmation from the station that my car was being serviced this day), because GM would never allow the manager to order them.  And It's five days later, and this tool promised me he would call GM, sort this out, order my parts, and get my car fixed asap, seeing as I am about to have a fucking BABY.

I have been stalking the station manager over the phone for two days.  Nothing.  

OMG, this is like being pecked to death by ducks.


I called GM - now the story gets even more ridiculous.  The Service Manager lied.  My car's VIN number clearly indicates that the recall is open.  He probably lied because he never ordered the parts.  Weirdly pathological, I know.  Oh well.  They got him on the phone with me and he quickly backtracked, saying the parts arrived and all was well, and let's schedule this servicing.

(He got the parts yesterday, did the world's fastest repair, and this stupid chapter is blessedly over.  Back to ruminating about pregnancy!)