Thursday, December 14, 2017

Do they know you're pregnant?

So my mom calls me up because she just received my In-laws' holiday card - they usually attach a lengthy typed letter to a card, and attached one to a Chanukah card for my rents, as appropriate.

"Have you seen this card?"
"No, not yet, is it the usual doozy?" I ask.

They tend to write these rambling formal letters documenting everything from their most recent medical history to their daily activities at the senior retirement community where they live.

"OMG.  THEY DIDN'T MENTION THE BABY?  WHAT ABOUT THE BABY???" screeches my New Yorker mom, in a most intentionally Seinfeld-esque way.

"ALL we talk about is the baby," she continues.  It's true.  My mom and dad are buying layettes, and onesies and crib sheets, and mailing us all of the things that make Niblet coo when she opens these boxes.

Mom proceeds to read me the letter.  Indeed, it documents my in-laws' "increasing medical appointments and decreasing energy."  But with that, they're remaining active at their community, doing things like the library book collection and maintaining the community bulletin board and gardening.

They mention being in close distance to their son D and his wife W, and their son T, his wife [Me] and their almost 9-year old daughter.

And that's it.  No mention that they are hoping to meet another grandchild soon.

Now, look, being Jewish, I am used to superstition.  Some of us don't even buy anything before this kid takes a breath outside the womb.  But, having endured the loss of a baby in the second trimester - who I went as far to name - I would like to think that if in some horrific twist of fate I lost Nutmeg, we would be publicly shouting her name to the hills.  She would be honored.  She has been loved, by more than just me.

But I'm about to pop out a kid, and likely sooner rather than later. (Another post on this soon).  Niblet is currently the ONLY grandchild in the family, on both sides.  Aunts and cousins on Viking's side are already sending us cards talking about their excitement for this impending arrival.

You guys, the retirement community BULLETIN BOARD got a shout out in this Christmas letter and my baby didn't.

"They seem oddly hostile to this poor baby," said my best friend, who has met them too many times to count, and following the saga of how they don't talk about the pregnancy at all.  ""Did they include the test results from the colonoscopy in the card?"

Recall the day after we told them Nibble was going to be a big sister, I was 18 weeks along.  And my MIL pulls me aside and whispers, "aren't you worried that you have too much on your plate?"

PSA - when someone tells you that they're pregnant - and they're smiling and excited about it - the only thing that should come out of your mouth - regardless of that someone's age or personal circumstance - is CONGRATULATIONS.

Rant over.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

"I could write a fucking sonnet..."

Just about 33 weeks pregnant and I wanted to write a fucking sonnet about the breakfast sandwich I had this morning.

It was egg and cheese and avocado on a biscuit all made from scratch at this ridiculously expensive but delicious coffee shop in my 'hood.  It was an EIGHT dollar breakfast sandwich.  And it was gone too soon.  Far too soon.

That was honestly what I was thinking about this morning when I took this picture, my break from anonymity below.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The marathon stretch and better living through chemistry

I am approaching 32 weeks.

Yesterday Dr. W and I chatted and laughed about the final stretch.  There are going to be a lot of fucking appointments.... continued bi-weekly visits and then starting at 36 weeks, weekly Non Stress Tests (NSTs  - which could stand for "No Such Thing" where stress and I are concerned).

I mentioned how some of the memories of painful childbirth have begun to flood back to my brain, to which Dr. W responded 'Better Living Through Chemistry" - ha ha Dr. W.

In all seriousness my epidural experience with Niblet was something of a tragicomedy.  After about 16 hours of active labor, exhausted out of my mind, and with no real progression in sight, I said fuck it (out loud of course) and asked for an epidural.

The douchey anesthesiologist walked in - no seriously, guys, he wore a Pittsburgh Steelers do-rag on his head.  I'm not even a football fan, but this is very bad form in my adopted home town, especially in a hospital. 

I remember sitting in a sort of straddled split position, my back to Mr. Douchebag, and holding Vikings hand's.  Staring into his eyes, I noticed that Viking looked a little queasy watching the Steelers fan work.  See, apparently, the needle that administers the meds looks exactly like a drill-bit to my handy around the house husband.  Anyways, I braced for the pain of the needle/drill-bit/harpoon and probably only gently cursed out loud (according to Viking, I don't actually scream when I'm in pain).

Douche: "You did great there Justonemore.  But, let me ask you, are you a runner by any chance?"

Me: "No, but I am a former professional ballet dancer."

Douche: "Interesting.  Because you have a really muscular back."

Me: "Ummm, Thank you?"

Douche: "Well, see, the thing is, I like to work on floppy backs.  And unfortunately that needle didn't go in, because your back isn't floppy at all.  We're gonna have to try that again."

I look up at Viking, still clasping his hands, his bright blue eyes are starting to look a little unfocused, and I swear, he looks like he's going to faint dead on the floor.  Thank god he knew I would have clocked him if he even tried pulling that bullshit on me.

I have some pretty strong memories of labor pains coming back to me.  I also have the distinct memory of the calm, cool sensation of the medicine rolling down my spine when the (second) epidural eventually started working.  Yes, it completely felt like the sensory equivalent of a York Peppermint Patty.  Months later, I chewed some of this gum, and I swear, I would hold the canister out to Viking and say, "THIS DUDE.  THIS WAS THE FEELING OF MY EPIDURAL."

Friday, November 17, 2017


Well, it's done.  I am out on Facebook and Instagram. 

If you can believe it, there were many friends and family members who didn't know before today.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Niblet's Birthday

So Niblet is nervous and excited and all of the rest about Nutmeg.

She also turns nine exactly nine days before Nutmeg's due date.

Can you feel my stress?

We are trying to put a party together for her on Saturday the 6th or Sunday the 7th.  Theoretically, this puts me in the 38 week arena.  Niblet didn't arrive until 41+2.  My OB won't let me go past 40.  

Niblet *understands* in the way that a nine year-old can understand, that Nutmeg can arrive anytime.  But honestly, who gives a shit - she wants her party.  Can you blame her?

So I am putting a deposit down on either two hours at a local bowling alley, or a craft store.  The bowling alley is the easier of the two, everything is provided for, but it's more money up front.  And then I am praying that I am not in the hospital on the weekend of January 6th.  I love her to death, but I don't want my mom anywhere near me in the hospital.  It's Viking or no one.

I am trying to stay rational.  I have no reason I believe that I am going into labor early.  Labor is like a 20 hour ordeal anyways.  What's two hours in the grand scheme of things?  Worst case scenario I lose a deposit.  We can cancel and promise Nibble to reschedule the party after Nutmeg arrives. 

And in more comical news people are asking me if I am having a baby shower.  Are you fucking kidding me? 

Monday, November 13, 2017

When your brain goes to dark places

We are trying to line our ducks in a row, as one does when a newborn may arrive into your house in less than 10 weeks.

Viking's benefit enrollment period begins in a few weeks.  I have that magical unicorn of insurance known as cadillac insurance in the states - no co-pay, no deductable, no costs at all.  All employer paid.  Covering everyone in my family.    However, we've been paying a few hundred dollars a month for Viking's employer insurance for one reason:  IVF coverage.

Naturally, with me heading out of work for six months, some of this time unpaid, and with mounting expenses of daycare looming, we should drop Viking's insurance.  Right?  Of course.

Unless you worry that something terrible will happen.  To the baby you are carrying.  And deep in the recesses of your mind you worry that you will have to endure another IVF cycle.

But the baby is dues in January and we need to make this decision by the end of November.  Which means we are likely throwing caution to the wind and dropping his coverage.

What's it like to get ready to deliver a baby, and just imagine delivering that baby without incident.... to just walk around without any sense that something can go wrong?  Beats the fuck out of me.

Thursday, November 9, 2017


I was sitting in Dr. W's office today, waiting on the nurse to get my BP reading.

The walls in her office are paper thin.  I could hear the sound of the doppler.  And distinct the lack of whooshing.  I have too much experience with these scratchy sounds.  It was clear: they couldn't get a fetal heart rate on the baby of the patient next door.

I stared at my phone and the google search I had done on "ear clogged pregnant" (for reals, I haven't been able to hear outta my left ear in almost 2 weeks).  Anything to not focus on the idea of a mother not hearing her baby's heartbeat.  Anything to keep this 40-something's blood pressure down.

"Write out the ultrasound order" I hear my nurse being instructed.  She rushes in, fills out a paper, runs back out, and I am grateful to the gods above that the patient next door can be seen by an ultrasound tech just down the hall (Dr W's high-risk practice is a godsend in this regard).

My BP was fine, 124/76.  I gained two pounds in the last three weeks. Then I laid down for my own doppler reading.

"150s.  Totally normal.  Your baby decided to be cooperative."

Thank you Nutmeg.  I am going to believe that the couple rushed to the ultrasound room merely had an uncooperative baby.