Friday, December 30, 2011

Hopes and resolutions


Personal: A Healthy Baby
I haven't been told any stillborn stories lately, and I've managed to keep myself off the Internet in that regard, and so I've calmed down on the fretting. I know I'm lucky to be pregnant, particularly after the first IVF.

On a related note: that month, while waiting to see, people told me so many friend- or friend-of-a-friend stories about multiple (like, up to 12) failed IVF attempts. It was kind of like the stillborn thing. Then they'd say, "Oh! But I'm sure it will work out for YOU!"

And we'd look at each other awkwardly. And then it did.

I know, I know, how fortunate we are. And please god, let the rest of the pregnancy go well.

Global: World Peace
I don't expect it really ever, but if you don't hope for it, it definitely won't happen, you know?

Which of course makes it totally unlike true love and getting pregnant, where if you stop thinking about it and stop trying, it will just happen for you. (Ohh, hahaha! I just cracked myself up. It's actually shocking that I never facepunched anyone who said those things to me along the way.)

DC: The End of the Fucking Construction on 18th Street, Already
Who do you have to blow around here to get the construction crew to speed up their glacial pace and get to the top of goddamn 18th Street? Actually, forget I said that. I'm sure someone, and, uh, ew. I'm in favor of supporting our troops, but I'm not that into public service.

But I don't believe they're in any hurry, and I do believe someone is profiting, and it being DC, I'm sure that there's someone high up with an open palm. I mean, we tip the trash collectors quarterly. Yes, we feed the system, but trash pickup turns out to be critical. And people like to be appreciated for their work.


Write and send Thank You cards.
I have such good intentions. I am grateful. And yet, I suck at sending the cards. I owe years' worth of thanks. This year, I am going to write and send them. Instead of just feeling guilty about not doing so.

Be more patient. I'm giving myself until mid-year to start this one, though. Because with pregnancy and newborn, really, all bets are off.

Revamp LG. I should finally grow up, blog-wise, don't you think?

Potty train our son. This one I dread. But I want him out of diapers before the next poo-factory arrives. Plus, his man-poops now almost make me puke, even when I don't stick my head in the trash can. And we need his changing table; I'm not buying another one.

Get back in shape post-baby. Also to begin mid-year.

WRITE WRITE WRITE. No explanation needed.

And, because this is my favorite one ever and easy to succeed at, I am going to make it a resolution every year: Eat more bacon.

I hope your 2011 ends happily! Huge New Year's hugs to all of you!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Kind of like if the Yeti were blue and worked in a law firm downtown. Plus a brief poll.

In Nick's office Santa Swap game, Nick wound up with a Forever Lazy bodysuit. Have you seen these things?

Naturally, he donned it immediately. One of his colleagues snapped this photo.

I had seen pictures but I'd never felt one all up close and personal. I certainly didn't know anyone who owned one, nor aspired to spend the day in something that doesn't even have to be lowered when you have to use the facilities.

Not to imply that I'm above this sort of thing, but, uh...

Then Nick gave me the socks (there are matching socks!), which are spectacularly soft and fuzzy and warm. They look like Grover feet. They're kind of like wearing little blue feetmice.

I imagine. Although I assure you I'd never actually thought about wearing mice.

Anyway, he said the whole suit is like that inside. Which, after the socks, so made me want to get all naked and put it on immediately. Seriously. Really kind of terrific.

Plus, he said it was so warm! Although he did have clothes on underneath. He wore it the other day while we watched Brideshead Revisited in our TV room, which is approximately as cold as my memories of ice skating at Christmas in North Dakota.

So I huddled under a fleece blanket up to my nose and he wore his fleecy suit and was plenty warm. And then eventually he stuck is legs under my blanket.

His ankles were cold.

Turns out the suit shrunk in the washing, and now it's a bit too small for him. The backflap for convenient bathroom use is nowhere near his bottom - rather inconvenient if your goal is to really and truly be lazy in your Grover outfit.

More importantly, however, it cleaves his manly nutsack in twain.

And thus the short shall inherit the earth. Or whatever the expression is.

So what do you think?

A. Horrifying. Should be given to Goodwill stat.
B. Comfort above all.
C. Keep it, but don't tell anyone.
D. Put it on immediately and take a picture for my amusement.

Warm fuzzy blue hugs to all!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Where are me?

Please behold the train table, tracks, and land of magical wonders that Jordan's grandparents gave him for Christmas.

Nick started putting it together when we got home from our annual Christmas Eve festivities with dear family friends. I waited up being all supportive as long as I could, and then pregnancy exhaustion took over, and right around 10 pm I had to go to sleep.

So when I got up in the morning, it was seriously like Christmas fairy dust for both Jordan and me.

While all the adults were still all, "Ooh, look! The tracks go up in the air!" and "Hey! A gas pump!" Jordan discovered The Drawer.

This table, it has a large drawer underneath, in which to stash the multitude of toys that would otherwise be strewn about the room. We were excited about the drawer.

Not half as excited as Jordan.

He promptly climbed in, looked at Nick, and said, "Close me!"

The kid loves to be closed in the drawer. And then he says, "Where are me?"

To which we respond, "I don't know! Where's Jordan? Is he in the bathroom?"

Jordan pipes up with a soft little, "No!"

"Is he behind the radiator?"

You can see a blue eye peering through the gap between table and drawer, Jordan barely able to contain his glee. "No!"

"Is he under the kitchen table?" And we go through places in the house, each time with Jordan's delighted and unsuppressed "No!"

Finally, finally one of us says, "Maybe he's in the drawer! OH! HERE HE IS!"And then he climbs out, runs around, then climbs back in and says, "Close me!"

He could do this all day. We don't even necessarily have to play the Where Are Me? game. Sometimes we just close the drawer and then wait until he says, "Open me!"

Where's your child? Oh, he's just hanging out in the drawer.

The nice thing is, we know where he is and what he's up to and he's not banging, climbing on, or breaking anything. On the downside, um, our kid likes to lie quietly in a closed drawer.

Also, we're pretty sure Closing Your Kid in a Drawer is a no-no on the Social Services checklist.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

It's Christmas and I love you

Dear Invisible Friends,

This year, this 2011, was going to be the year that Lisa Sends a Christmas Card.

Because I absolutely adore getting annual family pictures of friends and relatives. I know people who think it's cheesy; I eat it up. I love seeing kids change year to year. I love knowing what people are up to. If you have extras annually and do not know WHO might appreciate them, let me tell you: me.

Go ahead, make fun, it's fine. I love these cards.

So I thought, this year, I will be one of the organized people who sends them!

We had a number of attempts at Family Picture - all failures. And then, then at a Christmas party, where all of us were dressed up, someone took a very nice picture of all of us (except that I'm doing something weird with my face/jaw - but this is comparatively minor, let me tell you) and yay! Family Picture! Make a card, Lisa!

And then I...didn't. I tried, and I couldn't decide - Shutterfly? Tiny Prints? Snapfish? This design? That one? - Truly, I am best when I have like three options, tops. Too many and I just can't do it.

So I spent more time than I'd like to admit furtively comparing card designs at work (because home, home is too busy!) And then I didn't decide, and then, well, truth be told, I just...didn't.

And here we are, on Christmas Eve, and nary a Lisa and Family card has been sent. I'm considering sending a Happy 2012! card, but let's be frank: the odds are low.

But even though I cannot get my act together to get a picture on paper and paper in the mail, I love all my friends and I adore all of you. I hope you're all comfy and cozy and happy and surrounded by people you love for who love you right back.

Big hugs,

Lisa, Nick, Jordan and Betty

Thursday, December 22, 2011

What I want for Christmas

We are having a very low-key, practical Christmas this year.

Honestly. Like, slippers and tools and such. None of us actually need anything (besides slippers and tools, of course). Except Jordan. Jordan is getting a train table.

Also, further simplifying our Christmas plans: our oven is broken. Well, not broken. The gas to the stove is turned off.

You know, so that it doesn't cause the entire house to explode.

It turns out we had a gas leak inside the oven. The part doesn't arrive until next week.

Betty and Nick are talking about grilling Christmas dinner. I was wondering if you can do a whole turkey on the grill, but I think they're going to make lamb. Sticky buns, however, Betty's awesome North Dakota sticky buns? Cannot be baked on a grill. This, this I find is the tragedy of the situation.

But truly, it's all good. I'm embarking on four days off with my family. And the weather, while not Chrismasy, is really quite nice.

You know what I would really, really like? Like, if I could ask for anything within reason?

I want two solid weekends of movie watching. Two entire weekends in front of the TV with absolutely nothing to do and nobody asking anything of me.

One weekend would be entirely devoted to Star Wars. The original three.

The other weekend would be a Harry Potter-a-thon.

I'd take breaks to make popcorn and take naps, of course.

But I want them AFTER Christmas. Because Christmas is about spending time with the people I love most in the world. We're going to wear our new slippers and put stuff together.

Like train tables.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Itchy and squarchy

So if you've been pregnant you know that it's this big body- and mind-fuck of an evolving science experiment.

Of course, if you've never been pregnant but it's something you want, then what I really mean by the above is that it's a beautiful, serene experience. Nothing alarming happens to very personal parts of your body like your anus and you never have daily WHAT THE FUCK IS HAPPENING TO ME kinds of moments.

Although truthfully, I'm not so freaked out by body stuff this time. If you were on the pregnant ride with me last time, you know that I had these daily hysterical preoccupations.

This time I'm all, oh, right. This is the point where I feel like I've been run over by a bus. But eventually, I won't feel that way. And oh, here's the sticky sticky 5-million wipe poo. Must remember to bring baby wipes with me to work. And also to push my sleeves up before I get to work.

Fortunately, I kept my squarch bottle. This morning, I sang myself the following ditty:

"I wanna squarch right now
I'm Rob Base and I came to get down..."

In case you, uh, lived through the 80s and remember that fine tune. Otherwise, nevermind! Look, a squirrel!


I know that eventually I'll hit the I CAN'T SLEEP AT ALL AND IT'S YOUR FAULT AND NOW WE'RE SUPPOSED TO HAVE SEX TO SOFTEN MY CERVIX AND DON'T EVEN TRY IT I HATE YOU MOTHERFUCKER point. But hopefully that's a couple months away.

See how much calmer I am this time?

One thing I have gotten recently is incredibly TIRED. Like, back to first trimester exhausted. I pull myself out of bed in the morning by my fingernails. Even when I go to bed at 9 pm, I wake up so wiped out I can barely function.

I drag through the day, doing the bare minimum. Nick and Betty are really picking up the slack. I am lucky about this.

Also, I've gotten so ITCHY! Itchyitchyeeeeeeeee kinds of itchy. I've been putting on Palmer's cocoa butter cream and Lubriderm and then slathering Baby Oil or Vaseline on top of it. All over my body.

And still! Within a couple hours! Itchy!

The other day, I was about to pull up my pants and put hand lotion on my legs when my boss appeared at my desk. I seriously had an entire handful of lotion that I then had to rub into my hands.

Lots of awkward hand rubbing. It wasn't a situation where I could be all, "Hey, want some?"

So what I'm wondering is, does anyone have a suggestion for an insanely moisturizey moisturizer? I'd love to not have to add the serious grease to my body and clothing. I'd love to reduce the itch.

Also, you can't necessarily itch the places you need to in public. So then you're stuck in a meeting trying not to think about your itch when really all you can think is HOLY CRAP MY NIPPLE ITCHES!

In other words, I need help. Seriously.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Mr. Play It Safe was afraid to fly. He packed his suitcase and kissed his kids goodbye...

After the last story that I was told about a stillbirth, I started wondering if they're kind of like plane crashes.

They're terrifying, and yet the odds of your plane going down are lower than you winning the lottery or something like that.

These stillbirth stories are tragic, upsetting, horrifying stories...and somehow, somehow people keep telling me about them. At least once every other week, I'd say. Something that happened to them. To their wife. To a friend.

But then I gave it some thought, and realized that plane crashes, while sensational, can't be as common.

A friend of my cousin's died in the Lockerbee explosion. But other than that, I don't think I have any friends of friends who have died in plane crashes. Knock wood, of course.

But the late-pregnancy miscarriages, the stillbirths (which is what they call them after 20 weeks), Christ, it seems like every third person has a story.

And they tell them to me.

And then, then after they've told me the worst piece - that the baby died in-utero at five months, six months, full-term...they all of a sudden look stricken, look down at my belly, and stop, and say, "I shouldn't be telling you this."

Silently, I think, "No fucking kidding."

Out loud I say, "I can't really talk about this."

The most recent person to do this to me is a friend of Nick's. He was telling me that their first child was incredibly premature - and now she's a healthy 19-year old. This led to him telling me about the 5-month stillbirth...

But in a case like this, once you know the worst of it, you don't want them to stop. Because you want to know the WHY?

You want to know that this won't happen to you. Was there a logical reason?

No, not that they know of. There was nothing apparently wrong with their baby. It just happens.

You can't worry about everything, all the time. But somehow, I do try.

It's like the punch in the face versus the $1,000 for leaving your house kind of thing. I just haven't had Nick lay it all out for me in those terms yet.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Assorted unmentionables

So I was going to talk about underwear, because it's very much on my mind, or rather, my abdomen. I mean, it was, until I folded it down.

Because postpartum, once I was out of the gigantor hospital undies, I went out to Target and got huge cotton underwear that came up way past my scar and kind of helped hold in my sloshy belly. Which I made the mistake of putting on today and now they're squeezing my little baby house.

But then I was thinking, does anyone really want to hear about my underwear? So that's probably all I should stay about that.

Speaking of baby houses, the kid is all kicking and turning and flipping and generally, I assume, keeping herself amused in there. She's busy, I tell you.

I'm now 21 weeks, which means that due-dately speaking, I am more than halfway done. Even though it is likely that I will go past it, it's nice to have the countdown to the end be smaller numbers than the ones behind you.

If that makes sense.

Speaking of behinds, which I'm sorry, kind of leads back to my underwear, or rather the reason I thought the big ones were a good idea. Ass containment and all.

Because this! Sometime between Wednesday night and Thursday afternoon, when I was doing squats and happened to look sideways in the gym mirror, my ass doubled in size.

Doubled. I am not kidding.

And because I have been through this science experiment before, I was all, "Crap. The ass explosion has begun."

I apologize for how that sounds. You understand that what I mean is that my ass is just going to just grow exponentially from here on out. Kind of like a chia pet in my pants. God, that's not a better visual, is it?

Anyway, it is about size and NOT that I suddenly have no control over my fecal matter.

Oh, god, which reminds me. Also: one of Jordan's diapers - we have to assume dirty, although also we can fairly safely assume JUST PEE - somehow made it into the washing machine. We only realized it once our clothes came out of the dryer with shockingly tenacious white clumps on them.

You know how sometimes you run a Kleenex through? And you wind up with tons of white speckles that are a pain to get off? But they're not like totally industrial white chunks that cling to your clothing like it's the only thing between them and death?

We're running the load through the washer again. In case. Because, well, really, does anyone actually need a because?

OK, I'm stopping now before it gets any worse.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The opposite of air fresheners

I don't know if you've spent any time looking at air fresheners.

There's a spray can in the bathroom at work. It's called Morning Linen. Which, if you think about it, is kind of an odd name for a smell.

Because linen on its own doesn't really have a smell, does it? And you can only associate times of day with particular smells if you associate them with what's going on.

Like, morning might smell like breakfast cooking. Mmm, coffee and cinnamon and maple syrup!

But morning could also smell like last night's debauchery. Eww, too much alcohol and, uh, I can't believe I brought you home with me.

I get that they're trying to conjure up crispness and cleanliness. I looked up some others. Linen seems to be popular. Linen and breezes and spring and water. Linen and Sky, Crisp Breeze, New Zealand Springs, Refreshing Spring...

So then I started thinking about names for air fresheners that would be distinctly unpopular:

Gingko-lined Street
Damp Wool
Afternoon on the Ganges
Adams Morgan Alleys
New York Subway Breeze
Kiddy Pool
Evening Rush Hour on Metro

You'd think I'd put my mind to a higher purpose, wouldn't you? Or maybe you know me well enough by now.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

It wasn't the milk; it was the whine

So Jordan has been kind of a whiny little bitch lately.

I mean, yes, I adore him and the air he breathes and of course I consider it an honor to call him my son and to wipe the poop off his bottom.

But he's still been behaving like a whiny little bitch.

In fairness, he's had a cold, so he's not feeling 100 percent. But cripes, the WHIIIIINING started weeks ago, and so I know it's not totally cold-related.

And it makes my blood pressure go through the roof while simultaneously causing my head to melt.

I pick him up from day care and he's all excited to see me and we have a nice little walk home and we chat about his day and then he just hits this point where he starts to WHINE. It's the whining. The whining fucking kills me.

Honestly. I'm walking along all normal-headed and then the whining starts and what used to be my head is now like 300 degrees and oozing down my body. There's steam rising from my neck hole.

So last night there was the WHINE SOB! "Fiiiiix it!" from the living room as I was cooking. Because the backhoe, which is too small to pick up the car, couldn't pick up the car.

I've explained this 54 million times. The backhoe is too small. The car is too big. It can't pick it up. It's just not big enough.

And still, he insists. "Pick it up! You do it!" And he whiiiines.


While I contemplated saying no, that he could have goldfish after dinner, I weighed it against the quiet I might have while he worked his way through goldfish and I got dinner ready.

I gave him the damn goldfish.

No, I'm not proud. Just...tired.

And I couldn't ask my mom to step in because Jordan had been a huge dick to her for a couple days. Seriously. He was hurting her feelings.

She would ask him something and he'd say, "Don't talk, Nana!"

We'd make him apologize, and tell him we don't talk to people like that. And then he'd do it again.

We were finally having some dinner with a mere modicum of WHINING when he knocked over his milk.

It was an accident, completely inadvertent.


I yelled. Very loudly. It was maybe more like a roar. I can't exactly recall. It was just this extremely loud sound that came out of my mouth. And made me feel a whole lot better.

Jordan just sat there, eyes wide, with a "holy shit" look in his face.

And then I mopped up the milk. I said, "I know it was an accident. You didn't mean to spill the milk."

He reached up his arms for a hug, and I hugged him, and then he ate some more dinner.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Things you do for a discount on your caulk

I got an email last week that a Living Social coupon for Logan Hardware was about to expire.

It gave the option to email it as a gift, so I emailed it to Nick. Not to be all stereotypical, but he adores hardware stores. Somehow he can always use things like more caulk.

I joke about the caulk at work, but in this case I'm not even kidding.

He bought four tubes. He brought it home and immediately went outside and caulked the shit out of the holes in our house.

Anyway, he said he was in line and these two guys behind him were totally flirting and making inane conversation. One of them needed a hex key, and the other guy said he had one for him. And then the first guy said he needed a special size, and the other responded he had his special size...

You get the picture.

So Nick was standing there thinking, "Idiots."

And then he realized that the guy in front of him was looking down at his felt slipper-clogs, and kind of looked Nick up and down and gave him a, "you idiot" look.

"So basically," he said, "there we all were judging each other, thinking we each the only non-idiot in line with a bunch of imbeciles."

Anyway, he got to the register and presented his coupon, and the woman said, "You're Nick Lastname. This coupon is for Lisa Gloria."

He said, "Lisa Gloria is my wife."

The woman just looked at him. So he started thinking about how to prove it.

He took off his wedding ring and showed her the inside, which reads: LG + NL September 27, 2008.

So then she said, "Oh, you just had your third anniversary! Congratulations!" And then she looked at his hand and added, "And you wear your ring all the time! So sweet!"

And he knew that everyone in line behind him was just rolling their eyes, all, "Get over it, you idiots, and move on."

Coupon success, however. And our house is well caulked. At a discount.

Friday, December 09, 2011

How to make friends

We have neighbors who have a daughter just a bit younger than Jordan.

She and J go to the same day care, and we've just started getting to know the parents. We keep making neighborhood friends with kids J's age...and then they move away. These people said they're here to stay. So I'm trying to cultivate them as friends.

So I ran into the husband on the street last night. Apparently his wife had told him I'm pregnant, as he said, "I heard congratulations are in order!"

I thanked him, and then he leaned in and said, "How did you make the decision to have another one?"

I was a little surprised - it's the first time I've been asked that - but he went on to explain that they'd originally thought they'd have two, but then they had their daughter, and it's so much work...and the thought of having a second is so daunting.

Which is true. I admitted that even though Nick and I had set out thinking we'd have two, for much of the first year after Jordan was born, I was adamantly opposed to having another child. No way in hell.

"But you know," I said, "Nick is 43 and I'm 42. ."

"We're in a similar situation."

"So we figured it's kind of now or never. So, we just went, 'All right! Fuck!'"

And then I realized how that might sound. So I added, "I don't mean...That's not what...ha ha ha!"

"Oh, yes. Ha ha ha!"

We both laughed awkwardly, all, "OK, then! See you later!"

Thursday, December 08, 2011

We don't poop in the bathtub!

Yah, so, Jordan pooped in the bathtub the other night.

Apparently, this happens to everyone. It's just a matter of time.

We have these texturey sliding doors on the tub, and lately, once a bath, he likes to close them and splash around all privately for a couple minutes. I see no harm in letting him. I can see, so I know if he's up and about and not drowning.

So he announced that it was time to close the doors, and I let him. I could see that he was sitting up. He was being awfully quiet, but I figured that maybe he'd discovered his penis.

After a couple minutes of quiet I said, "I'm opening the door!"

"No, mama! Keep your face away!"

And then I went ahead and slid open the door anyway, and there were three long strings of poop, bobbing in the tub.

I won't bore you with the cleaning up and scrubbing down details, but after we both got over the poop trauma and got all clean and into jammies, Jordan announced, "We don't poop in the bathtub!"

"No, we don't."

"And we don't poop in Daddy's bed!"

"You're right. We don't poop in Daddy's bed."

"And we don't poop in Nana's bed!"

"Actually, we don't poop in anyone's bed."

He pointed to the toy-filled tub in his room. "But we can poop in that bathtub."

Because we are not raising him in the same places and way that my brother and I were raised, this seemed a good time to say that we only poop in diapers, and potties and toilets - and nowhere else.

We now have regular conversations, however, of where we don't poop. The sofa. The floor. The chair.

Um, right. No, no, and no.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

She doesn't get eaten by the eels at this time.

I don't know what the descent into depression is like for other people.

I've talked about it like falling into a hole, but lately, I realized that it's not like that for me. I think it would be easier if it were. Like, one day you'd be walking along singing what you think is an upbeat tune that actually turns out to be about a dark teenage mind contemplating a Columbine-like killing spree.And then suddenly, you'd find yourself in the bottom of a hole.The contrast would be so stark, you'd realize immediately, I think.

For me, however, it's more like stepping off the sandy shore and slowly walking further and further into the ocean. The change is incremental. Once the initial shock of getting your feet wet wears off, the downward slope is gradual enough that you don't really realize what's going on.With each step, your footing gets less secure, as the ground shifts beneath your feet. You reflexively readjust.As you get further in, the vicissitudes of currents beyond your control pull at you. And you resist, without consciously doing so. As they get stronger and stronger, it takes more work.

You get a little colder, a little less secure, with each passing day and each step forward and downward. And somehow, somehow still you do not recognize that you have been here before.

You just know that you hate your life and everyone in it. How come people suck so badly? How come you suck so badly?At some point, though, you're in deep enough that you're not only over your head, but you've lost your footing entirely. It's so dark, and so cold, and so very scary.

This is the point at which, finally, finally, you realize that unless you get some help, you are fucked.You push for the surface, and you reach for the strongest hands around. You gasp and you sob, and you choke out, "I'm in a very bad place."

And while they cannot fix you, they can pull you into their laps, and put their arms around you, and say, "We know, and we're here for you."

With the support of those hands, that warm towel of reassurance wrapped around you, you have the impetus and strength to seek out the help you need.

Having hit that point last week, I'm back on the shore. I fully expect to resume singing about pumped up kicks any day now.

Monday, December 05, 2011

When politics of smugness try to creep into my uterus

I never, ever thought I'd say this, but Rick Santorum has been on my mind recently.

(Yes, I still think he's the Devil. And if you haven't ever googled Santorum, please do so. It's kind of a delight.)

So, during the 20-week sonogram on Friday, one of the things the technician pointed out was that the baby had her hand open flat, and she said that if she had Trisomy 18, she wouldn't be able to do so - her hands would be clenched. Now, we had the amnio, so we knew already, but I found it interesting.

There is all this news about Rick Santorum and should he be campaigning when he has this critically ill daughter with Trisomy 18. She's three, and needs 24/7 care, for which his wife quit her job.

Presumably, they have good health care, the Santori, because the fraction of babies diagnosed with the disorder who live much past birth require astounding amounts of medical intervention and care. So the choice they made - to have the child - is manageable from a health-care perspective. And presumably they make enough, even with eight kids, that his wife was able to make the choice stay home.

But it underlines for me that it needs to be a fucking choice. And this man who lives with a child who suffers, perhaps daily, who knows how much money and work a special needs kid requires, wants to take the choice away.

Oh, and isn't interested in health care for all. Devil ass douchebag fuck.

And I feel like people like this are always so fucking smug about it.

I don't know if you remember back a number of months when I wanted to rear-end that anti-choice minivan and wrote that mind your own uterus post?

Yah, so, now I'm almost 20 weeks pregnant. Last week I spent over an hour looking at my daughter-to-be flipping around on the sonogram monitor. When you watch what's going on in your uterus, it's extraordinary what a little human being it looks like is bopping around in there.

I came into the office after my sonogram appointment on Friday. I showed some of my colleagues the strip of pictures.

We were talking about how extraordinary it is that at 19 weeks of development - which is actually just 17 weeks, because the first two really don't count - you have this little human with all her organs and bones and what-have-yous.

One colleague, who is Catholic, pointed to the strip and said, "And this is why I just don't understand people who believe that life begins at birth."

Comments like that make my hair stand on end. I'm pretty sure I physically backed up. I don't know when I think life begins, but I know for a fact that at this stage, one of us can breathe on her own, and one of us can't.

I said, "Listen, you're talking to someone who is relentlessly pro-choice."

I think it's miraculous, I do. And I want this baby so badly. I worked hard to get her, and I try not to fret about losing her. I'm so thankful that our tests showed she was healthy.

But people need to have the choice.

Our other colleague, who pointed out that she is also Catholic, said she is pro-choice as well.

So the first woman said, "Well, if there were something wrong with your baby, I would still pray for her."

I believe she meant it kindly. I do. I smiled, but I couldn't really respond.

Because like boats against the current, my refrain is always: mind your own fucking uterus.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Week 19: the 20 week sonogram. Yes sir, that's my baby!

So this morning we got to see our girl in all kinds of detail.

Like, she has a real face! It was easier to tell on the monitor than in this picture, but you guys, she has a little facey face! And little fingers and toes and, thank god, all her itty bitty organs as well. Oh, it just made me teary.Today was resident interview day at GW. We rode up in the elevator with a bunch of nervous-looking people being led by someone all official-y. I couldn't get Grey's Anatomy out of my mind. I swear that show has colored how I think about hospitals for life.

But the sonogram.

Much like Jordan looked like a naked boy sitting on a glass table, she was all girly bits to the camera when they turned on the sonogram.

Nick was all, "Hey! There's the girl!" and the woman doing the sonogram said "Oh yes, absolutely!"

I was all, "How can you tell? I can't tell any of it."

So Nick of course had to say, "Well, as someone with plenty of experience in this area..." And then I gave him a shut-uppy look.

I think because he's an extrovert, he just needs to interact so much of the time. Sometimes it's really helpful, because he asked a lot of intelligent questions and we learned a lot. And sometimes it's just too much. At which point I suggested that he sit back and enjoy his coffee.

But did you know that girls in utero have all the eggs they're ever going to have? They're already there! Isn't that insane to think about?

I have to say, I'm incredibly impressed with GW so far. You check in at a kiosk with your credit card or your name. They're pleasant. All of their equipment is so high tech. And today we had the head sonographer (which, I have to tell you, spell check wants to change to stenographer or pornographer - oh, do I have Damn You Auto Correct on my mind!), who was incredibly nice and patient and positive.

It would've been much more awkward and much less productive if she were a stenographer or pornographer.

In any case.

She explained everything about the organs and the amniotic fluid and the placenta and the cord. It all looks great with the baby. Not that I didn't expect it to...but it's such nice confirmation. And someone being so kind to you through the process makes the whole experience smoother and happier.

She was genuinely enthusiastic, so excited that everything was checking out healthy. Really. She said things like, "Oh! Look at your cute baby!"

When honestly, it's hard to see the cute even in the 4D pictures. But even so, I appreciated it.

Anyway, that's my good news. Happy weekend to all of you!

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Ell Oh Ell

Have you laughed hard, like really laughed out loud, lately?

One of the things I am supposed to be doing in pregnancy is seeking joy.

They didn't put it exactly that way, but that's what it comes down to. They want you laughing and having sex and doing things that make you happy and up your endorphin levels.

And it occurred to me that apart from a giggle or a chortle here and there, and the occasional laugh out loud - but short laugh, not like laughing so hard you cry and it hurts - I have spent very little time laughing lately. Appallingly little.

Granted, I have been low on the humor front lately. I need to start seeking it out.

So I am wondering - has anything made you laugh out loud lately? A movie, TV show, stupid cat video, hilariously-written blog post, book, joke? If so, what?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

But since I don't work in advertising or have a penis, nobody has to worry. In case you were in the first place.

I have now given some thought to how to best display four fingernails and a thumbnail-worth of nail polish.

Gripping a nail polish bottle, as Jenn suggested yesterday, is a less clenchy-looking way. And, I believe, how they do it in the magazine ads. But it's still very staged and weird.

So I picked up a cup. My hands aren't big enough to reach all the way around. You couldn't see the nails. Nick's hands are, but giant manhands are an unlikely choice. Granted, I have short fingers. This might work with longer fingers. And maybe a thin glass.

Then I thought, what about hand weights? Some of them are probably the right size. Although how often are you standing around gripping a hand weight? The ad would have to be set in a gym. And then would you be advertising how strong the polish is? Not as fun.

Maybe a large carrot. Or zucchini. But then again, you'd have to be holding them very artificially. Like, you're poised to make victory salad! With your new manicure!

No. With a new manicure, in my fantasy ad world, I'd want to be taken out to dinner. Not make my own salad.

And then it occurred to me!

The average penis is probably the perfect prop for showing off a handful of painted nails. It wouldn't even have to be a bizarrely contorted pose.

Which is not to imply that I sit around with a penis in my hand more often than hand weights. Because I don't. Sorry, Nick.

And I guess you wouldn't necessarily be just sitting around, really. Even if you were feeling patriotic next to a serviceman. Because that in itself would be odd. But you know what I mean.

You also know that if I had my own, I'd totally be waving it around all the damn time. So we can all agree that it's better that I'm a woman.

There is, of course, the awkwardness of the ad being centered around a penis. I suppose it could only run in porn magazines. And how many people looking at porn are likely to notice the nail polish and want to buy it?

Maybe if you had celebrities wearing the nail polish, so guys would then be prompted to buy the color for their partner and then fantasize about, I don't know, Alyssa Milano or somebody giving them a hand job. So you wouldn't want Justin Bieber advertising his own stuff. I mean, not in straight markets, anyway.

But would men actually be paying attention to how the nails were painted?

And no, I don't know why I spend my time on this kind of thing. I really don't.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I've got a fieber and the only prescription is more, uh, cowBieber?

I don't know if I'd be as horrified about my attraction to Justin Bieber's nail polish if I didn't get hung up on grammar.

Although I probably would. Wouldn't I?

Also, I know my hand looks kind of deformed and clenchy, but it's kind of hard to take a normal looking photo of your own hand while trying to show your nails. You try it. I'm not kidding.

So I was in Target all by myself and just that fact alone felt like magic and then I didn't have time pressure and so I headed over to the nail polish section. And driven by my love of all things shiny and sparkly, I immediately noticed this clear nail polish with large silver sparkles. Exactly what I neeeeeeed.

Upon inspection, it was Justin Bieber for OPI. His One Less Lonely Girl collection.

Did you know about this? I didn't. Which was OK with me, really.

One Less Lonely Girl. Naturally, I was all: It really should be "One Fewer Lonely Girl." Girls, as we all know, are nouns you can count. In which case, fewer is appropriate. Not less. Unless, of course, she's just less lonely when she's with you. But still lonely. In which case, you're still an idiot.

An idiot whose nail polish I really like.

The specific name of the concoction I chose is Make U Smile. From the Justin Bieber One Less Lonely Girl collection.

Puke. was so...full of prettyshinysparkly! I put it in my basket. I carried it around the store. I liked it, and yet, it was so stupid.

I texted a friend. He said to walk away. I walked away...

And when I returned, it was gone. There was only one bottle to start with.

I thought about it for a whole week. Yes. Because I have nothing better to think about like my family, my job, pregnancy, nutrition, etc. I mean, intermittently. Not solidly.

But still. I spent a week of my life, time I will never get back, thinking about Justin Fucking Bieber and his glittery nail polish.

And then, when I dashed into Target to get snacks for the ride home from Thanksgiving, I minced by the nail polish aisle. And there it was! One of two bottles!

Made Me Smile!

My nails, they are less lonely now.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Weird science. Not what teacher said to do.

At this point in my life, I don't actually think there's anything available in a drug or grocery store that I'd be embarrassed to take to the register.

Seriously. I've bought plenty of things that might make people twitchy: Condoms. Dipping tobacco. Ovulation tests. Pregnancy tests. Sperm-friendly lube. Fiber powders. Laxatives. Stool softeners. Preparation H.

I just can't think of other products that might embarrass me. In fact, the last time I can remember being embarrassed checking out of a store was a couple years ago at a Trader Joe's.

And along these lines, it wouldn't have occurred to me that anything could shock me at the register either.

So last week, I found myself standing behind a man buying three cartons of Marlboros. And two giant bottles of Pepto Bismol.

The cashier said, "$210.37."

At which point I got really interested. Seriously? That much? And who knew they made Pepto Bismol in what practically look like liter bottles?

The man pulled out a large wad of cash. His hands were shaking severely, but he managed to give her two $100 bills. And then, pile of cash in hand, he kept checking his various pockets for the rest of the money.

It was a long process. I was starting to think I was going to be there all day. But I was also rather interested in the scene.

Does he always carry big wads of cash? Does he really smoke that much? What's the deal with the Pepto Bismol?

She eventually reached across the counter and took a $10 bill and a $1 bill out of his hand, telling him as she was doing so. I was so grateful. It was painful to watch him struggle. I couldn't imagine him counting out 37 cents.

She double-bagged his purchase, and then he kept asking for more and more bags. I think he had at least four or five by the time she turned her attention to me.

What does he need with all those bags?

He was still puttering around as I was getting ready to walk out.

I told Nick about this very heavy smoker. He said not to be naive; the man clearly does crack, and crack tears up your stomach and gives you instant diarrhea.

The cigarettes? Probably to calm him and his cronies. The bags? No speculation.

He said it so authoritatively that I totally believed him. Even though I know for a fact that his only real-life experience with crack is watching David do crack with the crazy hitchhiker on Six Feet Under.

But I don't have a better theory.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Maybe if I were the Georgia O'Keefe of vegetables. And here we are at 17 weeks. With news!

This week the kid is the size of a turnip. And if I wasn't willing to draw an avocado with toenails, I'm damn sure not drawing this one out.

So we had the amnio and we were supposed to get early results in 48-72 hours.

The genetic counselor we met with was very nice. When she called the following week she said, "The preliminary results look good. No Downs, no Trisomy 13 or 18. [Thank God] And it's a girl. [What?] BUT..."

BUT is not what you want to hear in this circumstance. I sucked in my breath.

Turned out it wasn't a punch in the face but. It was this kind of but:

"But they got some maternal cells in with the sample."

"What does this mean?"

"It means that at this point, they can't be certain that these are the results from the fetal cells. The odds are that they are, but..."

"In other words, it could be a healthy girl..."


"OR they've verified that I don't have Downs, or Trisomy 13 or 18. And I'm a girl."


So we had to wait for the culture to grow for 10-14 days. Apparently they feed those little suckers something that only promotes the growth of the fetal cells. So they really really know by the end.

And then the cells were slow growing. Which I took as a very bad sign. Slow growing? Slow? They assured me this had nothing to do with the cells. It could just be lab conditions.

Nick called for updates twice a day. Just to see if they'd gotten results. He was very polite. Just, you know, persistent.

I am sure they were sick of him. He was fine with this. He wanted them to be tired of him to the point where they'd give us results the minute they had them just to stop the calls.

This is not something I can do. But I am so grateful he can.

He said, "I don't care if I annoy them. We're paying them a lot of money - and it's not like we're going to invite them to dinner next week and it's going to be so awkward."

And they called - the minute the lab reported the results. In fact, the genetic counselor spoke with the head of the lab to get his assurances that there were no concerns about maternal cells.

And so...

It's a GIRL! A little vagina-having turnip!

And she doesn't have Downs, Trisomy 13 or 18, or any of a host of other potential genetic things they test for!

And neither do I.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Sh*t Jordan's dad says

In response to me asking him to make sure I'm in bed by 9:30, because if I go to sleep any later, I'm barely functional the next morning:

"Absolutely. Even if I have to drag you up the stairs in a headlock every night."

Talking about dealing with a particularly not-bright judge in a trial:

"I've realized that the line between dumb and fairly sharp is extremely thin."

When I said that Sibley is going to send my labor and delivery and operating room reports to the midwife group:

"OH ARE they?"

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

And now they're going to refer to us as the Genital Table.

Which, now that I think about it, is better than the Bedbug Table.

Also, this makes me think of the phrase "the curtains don't match the drapes" - which is not actually the phrase, is it? It's more like "the curtains don't match the rug" or something like that, I think.

And anyway, this has nothing to do with curtains. Nor really the rug. Or it sort of does. Depending.

Also, I'd like to point out that while I wind up in a lot of penisy genitally kind of conversations, I am not always the initiator. I don't know if this matters to you, but I just want to have that out there. OK?


What this post mostly has to do with is this: BEDBUGS.

Which we do not have. We don't. Really and truly.

But because of these friends, on my last trip to NY, staying in a Hilton, I set my suitcase on the desk, and immediately hung my clothes in the closet not touching anything. My typical behavior is to just let my suitcase explode organically as I try to figure out what to wear.

Also, I only changed in the bathroom, perched on the tile floor. It was very hard to force non-maternity panty hose on a preggy belly balancing on one foot and holding onto the sink.

The price of paranoia. And not being organized enough with hose for business meetings.

I tiptoed across the room in my underwear. I don't know why, but it seemed like the less surface area on the floor, the better. I wore disposable socks from the doctor and threw them away on my way out the door.

Thus visiting the bedbug capital of the world seemingly unscathed.

But anyway. We had dinner with friends last night who had bedbugs. They have just, after months and months and two expensive rounds of house treatment, just gotten rid of them.

Doesn't just hearing the word bedbug make you all clenchy?

The wife, M, said there's such a stigma attached that she's just been telling everyone to get it all out in the open. Kind of like when she got out of prison.

I'm just kidding. She hasn't been telling anyone about the bedbugs.

Oh, I crack myself up. However, candid as she may be, I told her I'd write about them anonymously.

So - get this - the second treatment, which has a one-year warranty - leaves residue on the floors, walls, everywhere. And you cannot clean or mop for two months or it voids the warranty. Nor can you move any of the furniture. For a year.

What they said was that you move out for the weekend, the bedbug people come in and put all this (ostensibly child- and pet-safe) chemical all over the house. And then after 48 hours you move back into your house, unpack, and start living your normal life.

In fact, you have to. Because you are the bait.

The bedbugs have to think life is back to normal so they come out of hiding and head towards you and then walk all over the poison and die. And you have to wait for their sticky sticky eggs of evil to hatch so they can do the same.

I dislike insects and suspense and I think this combination would pretty much kill me.

So far, it's been a couple weeks, and they haven't been bitten once.

Now, there we were, last night, discussing this over Thai food at this nice, low key place with very friendly service. We always seem to wind up there when the four of us meet for dinner.

We were across the table from them, listening intently. For my part, I was slack-jawed, goose-bumped, with arms clenched tightly across my chest.

It's the universal pose of warding off evil, no?

And then our friend M said, "But they don't bite palms of hands or genitals!"

"They don't bite hands or genitals?"

"Or maybe it's that they do...The bedbug guy said something in particular about the hands and genitals...but I was too upset to process it."

"Genitals seem like a prime target. All that blood flow. I'd want to know."

Unfortunately, this was said in the moments juuuust prior to the moment that our server chose to refill our water glasses. So he was reaching in, hovering across the table, as M said:

"Anyway, my genitals are always covered when I sleep, making them hard to bite." She looked across at us and shrugged. "I don't know about your genitals."

And our server, this very gracious man, paused, ever so briefly, mid-reach.

He kept the same smile, but you could tell that he'd heard, processed, and couldn't quite decide if it was better to just keep pouring, or back away.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Meager Mushroom

November 22 update: I got an email from one of Mellow Mushroom's co-owners, and she was incredibly kind and gracious and wanted to make it up to us. We will be going back to try their pizza, and I will report back.


I don't know if you've tried the new pizza place the Mellow Mushroom in Adams Morgan?

I was excited to try it. Until we did. And I'll never get pizza from there again.

We've been eating really well, but last Friday we all decided was a pizza night.

So I called Mellow Mushroom, which I'd heard good things about, and ordered a large pizza with gluten-free crust, tomato sauce, two kinds of cheese, peppers, sun dried tomatoes, and Italian sausage.

(We were splurging, health-wise, on pizza for dinner, but being a little virtuous with the gluten-free. Plus we used to go to Rustico and have amazing gluten-free pizza. So that was my frame of reference. I miss Rustico.)

Nick and I walked over to pick it up. It was $27. He plunked down his credit card.

And then they handed me the box.

It was so light and small, I was sure they'd given us the wrong order. "This is your large?"

"Oh, no. There's only one size in gluten-free. They should've told you that."


And then we got home, and opened the box. There was a suggestion of sauce, a hint of cheeses, a giggle of sausage, perhaps three to five sun-dried tomatoes, and a pirouette of peppers on it.

In other words, a very thin, tasteless crust with the pretense of a number of delicious-sounding toppings.

For $27.

I wanted Nick to go back and complain, because he is good at that sort of thing and I am not, but it was Friday and he was tired, and he said fuck it and ordered a white pizza from Astor instead.

It was about half the price and fucking delicious.

And now I think it's just too late. You can go back later in the evening or the next day, but you can't really show up a week later and say that your pizza is really fucking expensive and skimpy and tasteless.

Or can you? Because candidly, it still pisses me off. I don't know why it's stuck with me, but it has.

Or should I just remind myself to breathe and there are children starving all over the world and one overpriced crappy pizza is nothing to be worked up about?

Monday, November 14, 2011

All the dishes rattle in the cupboards when the elephants arrive

We met four years ago last night.

I must mention, because a friend asked, that this is a NOW picture, not a THEN picture. Although it made me think how funny it would be if I had whipped out a camera to document each first date.

Awkward, no? Plus, I'd need an extra hard drive just to store them all.

So, I wanted a picture that showed us and showed the couch and the room so it included some atmosphere. But Nick chose to ask a couple sitting like 15 inches from us to take a picture. And so we loom LARGE in the photo.

(And no, I'm not sure why I'm hell-bent on capitalizing shit today.)

And also: I have to show you what I wore. I love this dress. I got it in Paris and it is A-line and knit and accommodating and I can still wear it and it has such cute flowers and embroidered collar and sleeves and did I tell you I love it?I love the anniversary of our meeting more than our wedding anniversary.

And not just because the service at the Tabard is so much kinder and friendlier than our wedding venue. Even though the place is spectacular and I do feel very fortunate that Nick's father is so into genealogy and found an illustrious dead ancestor (are ancestors necessarily dead? I think so) so that he could belong to this particular society and Nick therefore could belong, which ultimately resulted in us getting married at an affordable and spectacular venue.

But also at the Tabard they let you drink red wine and set things on tables and aren't all pursed-lipped and unhelpfully rulesy, thus making you want to spray urine in their corners.

Which I would of course never do. Of course.

So they do have a couple things up on the wedding venue. Plus I don't suppose anyone actually celebrates their anniversary precisely where they had their wedding.

God, I can speculate about useless crap, can't I?


I think the main reason I like our first date anniversary is that first dates are so fraught.

By the time our wedding happened, there was no uncertainty left. Walking into a first date? No certainty whatsoever. When I started doing all the Internet dating, I was excited about first dates. Honestly.

Oh, the possibilities!

And as you know, by the time I met Nick, I canceled our first first date, because I had already had so many that not only had all the excitement been squozen out of me, but I was tired and jaded and fully prepared to loathe him by halfway through the first glass of wine.

I write about this every year, so I won't bore you with the rhapsodizing or the oh-thank-Godding on luck turning my way again this year.

But...I still feel lucky, so very lucky. And not only because meeting Nick meant I never had to die alone again.

So far, of course. I suppose he could always get hit by a bus.

Look both ways, Nick. I mean it.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Week 16: Mama's belly button! (while I still have one)

Nick was reading the Richard Scarry book What Do People Do All Day? to Jordan the other day.

This is low on my list of books to read. I love the illustrations, but I have a hard time with these books that are sort of but not really stories. Nick, however is great at being all, "Oh, look, there's a tractor! And a farmer! And a big truck!"

He makes it all very exciting.

So, there was a mama bunny who had a big tummy and went to the hospital...and then had a new baby to bring home!

It's kind of suspect in that Dr. Lion, her OB, instead of eating her right up, delivered her baby bunny.

Anyway. Nick thought he'd capitalize on the moment.

So Nick said, "Remember how much you liked David's new baby at his house?"


"Would you like a new baby at our house?"

And Jordan said, "No."

Also, yes, I buy boxer briefs to sleep in. I love them. They're comfier than any jammies I've ever had.

Which reminds me. We recently were given the Boynton book Pajama Time. Love love love! Except I've realized I pronounce pajamas "puh-jah-mas" but I say "jammies" like a plain old normal American.

Or maybe this is regional? Pajamas Dunno.

Happy weekend, all!

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Everybody bump and grind... it was porno for pyros

So I was initially going to title yesterday's post "Racist porn got me where I am today."

But then I realized that it might sound like I had actually been featured in racist porn. Which I have not. And really, if I were going to be in porn, it would definitely be of the non-racist variety.

Once I went down that path, though, I realized that it was very much like the whole erection skirt thing and I would probably get all wrapped up in something tantamount to the size of the penis I don't have and really I should just pick a whole nother title entirely.

It also reminded me that I have this story from my single and going out all all all the time days that I never told you.

Back when I started this blog I went out almost every night. Sometimes I had dates, but I also had this close circle of single friends who lived within blocks of each other. And we'd make last-minute plans all the time.

So it was one of those random Mondays or Tuesdays that a group of us found ourselves out at Chi Cha Lounge, which, was (and perhaps still is?) low and couchy and a comfortable place to hang out.

And early in the week it was maybe about half full of small, quiet groups. It was decently lit, wiht low music, and an setting to make conversation.

Conversation which turned, in our case, to opinions on talking dirty in bed.

One of our friends said she thought it was ridiculous. "I mean," she began loudly, "what am I going to say?" She continued just as loudly, happening to coincide with one of those 8-minute lulls in room conversation, "Ooh, I just love your big cock!"

This kind of thing will garner the attention of pretty much everyone in the room.

And one of our guy friends, who is Indian, responded without missing a beat: "Brown. You forgot to say big brown cock."

Those were the days.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Although for all I know, racist porn may have gotten us where we are today

So you know I did the IVF.

For me that entailed a bunch of shots and having my blood taken 85 million times and then having my eggs sucked out and then having a couple of them put back in. When they suck out your eggs, they give you an IV with some very nice drugs, I have to say.

When they stick them back in, they're so itty bitty that the doctor has to take his syringe thingy into the lab and have them look in a microscope and tell him whether he got them out or not. So he did, and they determined that they were, in fact, set up in their new home, and they drew a little line on the sonogram screen to show where they were, and sent me on my way.

They were always all, "Good job!" Which of course is exactly the kind of thing you want to hear, even though really, you have absolutely no control over what's going on.


Nick's piece of the process entailed giving me a bunch of shots, being incredibly supportive of me ALL THE TIME GODDAMMIT and then leaving his, uh, contribution on the day of the egg-suck-out-ing.

He said they really need to improve their customer service towards men. They make you feel cheap and dirty. You walk in and they don't really meet your eyes and they hand you a cup and they're all "There's the bathroom."

He said he really wanted to ask them if he could leave the door open, and if they'd mind watching.

Me, I see no reason to joke in these circumstances. If you get a humorless nurse who thinks you're an icky icky creep, I'm the one who is going to have to see her multiple times a week. And even if you don't. For God's sake, man.

So then, without saying anything idiotic to the nurses, cup in hand, you head into the bathroom. He said there's a variety of porn to appeal to a variety of taste. The one he mentioned as example was called Whorientals.


I didn't ask for details, because I just don't want to know.

Also. Whorientals? Who picks these?

Friday, November 04, 2011

15 week goings-on

So today was AD, or Amnio Day. It all went fine.

We were hoping to find out the whole BOY or GIRL, but the kid was turned away from the camera. Nick is always all chitty-chatty with people, and sometimes this works with their personalities and sometimes not.

Hell, sometimes it works with my personality and sometimes not.

He was talking too much for my taste while they were doing the sono and prepping me for the amnio and at one point he said, "You're doing fine!"

And I said, "So are you, but it would be nice if you would do it a little more quietly."

Anyway, they got their basic measurements, confirming that we are, in fact, at 15 weeks and 1 day, and there are still arms and legs and a brain and what-have you. But Nick was holding out for the sex. Nick asked the sonogram technician, who was nice but not one of those humor-you types, if she'd prod the baby a bit to get it to turn.

She was all, "Look. It's on its tummy. We wouldn't be able to tell your sex if you were on your tummy, would we?"

And Nick was all, "Oh, you'd be surprised!"

I just lay there and cringed, naked belly towards God.



Also, what's your opinion of belly pictures? I quite liked having them with Jordan, but I wonder if it's silly to do twice? But I am house-bound and it just seemed like why the hell not.

One remarkable thing (to me - not to anyone else who has ever been pregnant more than once) is that my stomach poked out significantly faster with this one. It's not surprising. I had kick-ass abs prior to our friend J, and then they went all to hell.

I think I'm poking out about a month faster than I did the first time. I need to look back.


And! Big news in my world! something just happened to me that has never, ever happened in my whole life.

The midwife I met with on Wednesday? Called to check on me.

Have you ever had a health care provider call to see how you're doing?

I told her, very candidly, that I felt like she had taken what I assume is her hostility towards the medical establishment and directed it at me. I said I felt very put on the defensive, when I would never have chosen to have a C-section, and wasn't happy about how things went the first time...but this was what my OB was supporting, and nobody was suggesting otherwise.

I told her that I was so upset when I left. I was just very frank about how bad she made me feel.

And she apologized! She didn't try to justify, except that she said that they have to bring up some very difficult, negative things, to make sure that this is what you are looking for.

She said she was sorry that she made me feel so bad. She didn't mean to put me on the defensive. Especially when I'm in such a vulnerable position, being pregnant. It's the opposite of how they want to make you feel. Their goal is to make you feel very supported and to give you a good experience.

Which, I told her, is what I'd heard from everyone. Everyone I know who has gone to her, including two friends of mine, everything I have read, has been nothing but positive.

We spoke for 15-20 minutes. We talked about all my concerns.

There is an increased risk of fetal death past 37 weeks. It is small, but it is there. She said it's 2 babies per 1,000 after 41 weeks. Which is a small number...unless it happens to you. So it needs to be talked about.

She asked if I'd made a follow-up appointment, and I said no, I'd been too upset when I left and I was thinking about what to do. That she had caused me so much anxiety that I wasn't inclined to put myself through what I assumed would be another hugely anxiety-provoking appointment. But that our conversation had made me feel a million times better.

And I do. I've never had a medical professional call me to ask how I'm doing. I've never been apologized to.

This woman has already spent more time talking to me than my OB did at almost all my prenatal appointments combined. And she actually talked about FEELINGS. How I FEEL emotionally. Something I'm sure my OB would rather have cut off his toes than do.

So I am going to go to another appointment.

I will be 19 weeks, and if at that point it doesn't seem right, I still have time to switch. And if it seems like a supportive, safe place to be, then I will feel like I'm in the right place.

Nick, however? Still mad. If you hurt someone he loves, he takes a long, long time to get past it. He is not in any hurry to get past this.

In this regard, he's just like me. I get it. I used to follow Maude's horrible ex-boyfriend around at parties just to give him the stinkeye and make him twitchy. I did this for years.

It made him very uncomfortable. Which I found profoundly satisfying.

I'm not saying it's normal. Just, you know. Uh. That it's probably not, now that I think about it. But I appreciate the protectiveness, and I have a huge dose of it in me, even if it comes out in weird ways.

Happy weekend, all!

Thursday, November 03, 2011

And now I totally have "The Ides of March are come" stuck in my head. Whatever, Caesar.

So, I got all weepy waiting to see if there was a baby in my uterus, and if it had a heartbeat, but I'd never, ever been made to cry , like, really cry, at a prenatal appointment. Until yesterday.

When I saw my OB - the one who complimented my hair - for the first time this pregnancy, he said that we would just schedule me for a repeat Cesarean at 39 weeks. They cut on the same scar. Easy.

And I was thinking, Yeah, easy for you. Not your abdominal muscles. In fact, you don't even have a vagina. What am I doing?

But I said, "Uh...that's the next thing on my list to ask you. What's your approach to VBAC?"

For those of you who haven't jumped through the Cesarean hoops (Hahaha - it's not really a hoop, just a small incision in your abdomen and uterus. A small incision through major muscles.), VBAC stands for Vaginal Birth After Cesarean. Those in the club pronounce it Veeback.

On a sidebar: in the fertility/birth world, I believe there are more acronyms than in the military. I don't know if you read Julia, but if you've ever struggled with fertility, or even if you haven't, you might love her. I think I've read her entire archives, would stalk her if she lived in DC, and love this post about dippos.


My OB, who I actually really like, gave me a verbal pat on the head and said, sure, sure, we could think about it and discuss it later in the pregnancy. Although very candidly, he strongly favors repeat C-section.

At which point I promptly started shopping for another practice. I might wind up with another C-section, but I don't want it to be automatic.

So I was very excited when I got into this highly regarded midwife practice, which is part of one of DC's major hospitals. You deliver in the hospital. But they are midwives, really focus on nutrition and exercise, and will work very hard for you to have natural childbirth.

This approach appeals to me. And the midwife I got to see is THE recommended person in DC for natural birth and VBAC.

(And I am deliberately not using names. They have an extraordinary reputation, and it's a a well-respected practice. They just take a harder line than I am equipped for. So if you're in the DC area, and this rings a bell, please don't guess.)


As soon as we began talking about my prior birth experience, the conversation became, well, kind of hostile.

WHY did I have a C-section?

Well, I was induced at 41 weeks...and I never dilated...and...

WHY was I induced?

Well, my OB was in favor of it, and it was August, and I was huge, and it was so hot, and I just couldn't handle being pregnant anymore.

Long story short, I found myself defending the choice I made to be induced at 41 weeks. The choice that was highly supported by my OB. Who would've made me induce at 42 weeks in any case.

I wound up bursting into tears, explaining how my dad had killed himself two months prior, and we had moved into this row house with a 4th floor kitchenette, and I was just so big and everything was so HARD.

What I didn't say was: first we moved out of Nick's place, and then there was my dad's suicide attempt, and then my dad's suicide, and then we moved again into this asshole of a house where everything was broken and dark and creaky and creepy and there was no normal kitchen and I had to lumber up to the 4th floor. And sometimes I would just waddle over to the liquor store and buy 10 pounds of ice because they don't sell it in smaller bags and waddle home in the hot fucking hot August sun with the goddamn ice melting down my leg.

And then I would haul both of us - the ice and me - up to the 4th floor and drink iced drinks and refuse to come down. And my husband worked ALL THE TIME and my mom was in her own crisis and FUCK YOU LIFE WAS REALLY REALLY HARD IT'S NOT LIKE I WAS SMOKING CRACK AND HAVING SEX WITH STRANGERS.

But I didn't say all of that. I just cried. And she asked me if I was under the care of a therapist.

I'm not currently.

She suggested that it would be helpful.

I said I'd had a lot. I'm on a break.

Her response then was as follows: I need to understand that with their practice, there is no induction because you're tired of being pregnant. I will probably go past 40 weeks. Given my profile, I will probably go to 42 weeks, because in their practice, you wait for the baby to come. And I could be in labor for five days.

If this is what I want, they will support me in this. It's a lot of risk for them, and so you have to sign a risk statement. Which makes sense to me. It's a litigious world, and their liability is high.

Also, I need to understand that the risk of stillbirth increases every week after 37 weeks. Every week after 37, the chance of your baby dying goes up. Am I prepared to take these risks? I need to really think about this.

(I didn't know about this. Nobody told me about this, as Jordan was happily cooking away, week after post-37 weeks week.)

Also, she said, having IVF increases your likelihood of a C-section. So there's also that.


Plus, being older, you could just take longer to dilate. And clearly that's an issue, since I didn't before.

I see.

"So," I said, "you think I'm a bad candidate for VBAC?" (At that point, it seemed silly to even ask the question.)

"Not at all. I think you're a good candidate. You just have to really think about all these things and be prepared to deal with the risks. And your husband has to be on board."

I am dramatically condensing the conversation. We talked for at least 45 minutes, I think. I'd say I was on the defensive for 43.5 of those minutes.

So finally, finally when she said it was time to get on the table to listen to the heartbeat, I was so relieved. And then it took her a while to find the heartbeat. And I almost started to cry again.

She then found it, and said it sounded good. She added, "You have a lot of anxiety, don't you?"

I nodded. But I really wanted to say, "I was fine when I walked in. The only way you could possibly have made me more anxious would be to set my hair on fire."

Monday, October 31, 2011

Five on Monday

1. We went to a delightful wedding at the Hay-Adams this weekend. It was beautiful and elegant, and after 10 years in DC, I realized I'd never had a view like this. Amazing, no?

Even the oh-so-important-they-take-away-your-chairs W doesn't have this.

I'd only been to the Hay-Adams twice. and both times to the downstairs bar, Off the Record. Once for a happy hour, once for a first date just over a month before I met Nick. And I really quite liked the guy, who never asked me out again.

Lucky all around, it turns out.

2. We watched The Social Network on Friday. It made me want to quit Facebook.

3. I have had this terrible plague cold that Jordan brought home from daycare for almost two weeks now. I hear it's going around. I'm really fucking sick of being sick.

4. I was thinking the other day that now that Sarah Palin isn't fake campaigning for president, she's really not getting any attention. So I realized that she should probably drop in on the Kardashians.

I don't know what their politics are, and it's kind of hard to picture them interested in moose chili. But it would be great for Sarah. I mean, they're better at getting attention than anyone, don't you think?

5. We saw a guy dressed in a giant green bodysuit about 9:30 on Sunday morning. He looked ridiculous. He was hurrying.

And Nick said, "When I was in college we called that the Walk of Shame. He's just now going home."

And I was all, "Those don't look like pajamas. Maybe he's out exercising?"

"Lisa. That was his Halloween costume."

You guys. I have completely turned into my mother.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


So I was totally wrong and he doesn't weigh two tons and his name isn't Mahadev. His name is actually Mahavira, and he is an incredibly important Jain deity.

Also, Nick says he probably weighs about 400 pounds. In any case. He's too heavy for me to lift.

Be that as it may, Jordan still calls him Buddha, and I don't correct him.

Growing up, I was very used to offerings to the gods. I mean, they weren't our gods, but they weren't not. I can't remember living in a house that didn't include statues of deities. And while we weren't leaving daily food or flowers for them, we might if we went to a temple. When we were in Thailand, we would always buy flowers to put outside the spirit houses.

I like this idea. It's very hard to imagine leaving a bowl of milk at the feet of Jesus, though, isn't it?

Anyway, the other night I brought home a bag of clothes my friend Michele had given me. Her son had grown out of them.Jordan peered into the bag, saw some Thomas the Train underwear, and was enchanted.

"Oooh! What do we have?"

This is now what he says when he sees something new.


Man, was he excited about the underwear. Oh, the underwear! The trains! The underwear!

"Here Buddha. Want some underwear?"

Monday, October 24, 2011

Two in August

Dear Jordan,

So now you are two years and two months old.

It's always bugged me when people talk about their child's age in months when they're past two. Although really, the leap between two and three is huge, and two doesn't accurately cover it.

So now, whenever people ask me how old you are, I say, "He turned two in August."

Yesterday, when you and your dad were talking about there being two of something, and he said, "two," you replied, "two in August!"It turns out you truly are listening.

In fact, we learned this on a recent car trip. Your dad made a wrong turn, and said, "Fuck!"

And from the back seat we heard a little, "Fuck! Dammit!"

He and I both blanched. Yikes. We need to be a lot more careful.

In fact, we passed the Friendly's on the highway where we stopped last year and had the terrible Jesusfuck incident. Hopefully that family has long forgotten it. I, on the other hand, will never eat at Friendly's again.

So the trip.

Two weeks ago, we drove to upstate New York to visit your friend David's family. You two hadn't seen each other in almost a quarter of your young lives, and yet you walked over to him, pointed to his jammies, and said, "You have fire trucks on your shirt!"

And then the two of you turned to his toys. It was like no time at all had passed. You guys had the best time together.

I love our city life, but seeing you run and run - safely, I might add - on the grass up there made me feel bad for you that we don't live out in the country. Of course, if we did, I'd probably just sit home and drink a lot, which would be fairly unhelpful, so I suppose it all evens out.

Halloween is coming up, and I bought you the cutest little dragon costume at Old Navy. We put it on you and you had a fit. "OFFFF! TAKE IT OFFFFF!"

So I returned it. Last year you were the angriest little frog, but you had significantly less muscle control. This year, you're old enough and strong enough to rip off your clothes when you choose.

Plus, I figure you don't actually know what Halloween is, and you don't particularly need the extra sugar. When you figure out it's all about candy, boy howdy do I bet you are you going to be more open-minded about the costumes.

Your fascination with all things backhoe, front-loader, skid steer loader, and general digging machine continues unabated. You now have very strong preferences for clothing, and if it doesn't have some kind of vehicle on it, you are not interested.

I might start a line of vehicle-focused kid's clothing, because I do think there's a lack of cute clothing with cars and trucks that don't also say stupid shit like, "Mommy's little dirt monster!"


Another good month, all around. Except for you getting really sick and then Nana getting your cold and having to spend a couple days in the hospital. But now you have Nana living with us full-time, and that makes you really happy.

I myself have been fairly tired and crabby and haven't had as much patience for you as I would like. You're still my joy, my best thing ever. Let's just cut it out with the fuck dammits, OK? And maybe eat a few more vegetables, even though I'm not currently doing so?

Love love,