Monday, April 30, 2012

Watch out, you might get what you're after; Cool babies, strange but not a stranger

I'm not kidding when I say that compared to a C-section, vaginal birth is like a dance party.

And please forgive me if birth stories are not your cup of tea. I know I was never interested in them until I had a kid. And now I'm all, "So your mucal plug was the size of a golf ball??"

Honest to God, a couple people told me that. I never saw mine. No clue.

Also, this is very long. Because I want to record it all for myself, for India. You won't  hurt my feelings if you decide to wait and read another day, or just skip to the end where, you know (spoiler alert!), the baby comes out.


I trudged home from work Wednesday the 18th, exhausted, crabby, and having spent the day feeling like I was being stabbed in the vagina from the inside. I took Tylenol before I went to sleep because I was all, fuck the stabbity stabbing. I need some sleep.

Water Breaks and Contractions Hurt Like Holy Hell
And then at 2 am I felt this little twinge. And then I started to leak. But not gush, like in the movies. I had time to wake Nick up and be all, "I think my water broke. It's like I'm peeing but I'm not peeing."

Naturally, I dragged him into the bathroom so I could demonstrate the not-peeing on the toilet. It just kept going and going.

I called my doula, who confirmed that it did indeed sound like my water bag had broken, and told me to call the midwife and then to get some sleep. I called the midwife, who said it sounded like there was meconium in the fluid, but not to worry, and to come to the hospital at 6 am. And sleep in the meantime.

Which was when the contractions started. They were much like my midwife had demonstrated. Except like 50 times more painful.

My doula had said that they'd start, and they'd be far apart, and not to pay attention to the clock. Approach each contraction as an opportunity to move the baby down. And then rest in between.

Basically, I was prepared to rest, watch a movie, read, what-have-you in between contractions.

Except that these motherfuckers started 3-5 minutes apart (yes, I'm a clock watcher) and they hurt so much that I was on my hands and knees on the bed, squatting on the side of the bed, leaning over and clutching the bed...

I was all, "Breathe, breathe, this is an opportunity..."

I finally texted my doula all, "These hurt like holy hell and there's no way I can do this for 24 hours." At which point she called and while we were chatting she was all, "Hmm. Sounds like it's going a bit faster than anticipated."

Honestly, I would recommend her to anyone. She's very even and calm and soothing, and she handles both Nick and me and our varied styles extremely well.

And It Doesn't Hurt Less Just Because You're at the Hospital, Until...
We got to the hospital a little after 6 am. The midwife (a very sweet, gentle one - not the hardcore one who I respect but fear) checked my cervix around 7 and I was not at all dilated. She pushed, and she said most people's will open if that happens. Me? Zero.

They had both India and me hooked up to monitors, and she was doing fine and I was contracting like all hell and yet no dilation.

This continued for another couple hours. The nurse was wonderful, doula, and Nick were all there the whole time and were wonderful. They would rub my back, breathe with me, remind me to relax my shoulders, breathe into it, etc.

And then, about 9, the anesthesiologist came in, I think as a routine visit in case I wound up needing anesthesia. She asked me what meds I was taking, allergies, etc. And then she said, "If you want an epidural, you just need to ask. There's no shame in it."


Nick reminded me that I'd worked so hard for all these months and was I sure? And since he wasn't within kicking range all I could say was "Please shut up, Nick."

The doula had suggested that I ask for the attending to perform the procedure, so I did. The resident left to get him, and the nurse said, "Actually, she is very good."

I looked at Nick and said, "GO GET HER BACK!" and, good man that he is, he sprinted.

Accio anesthesiologist!

Epidurals Are Magic And Then I Slept

As I dozed off (sleep! after days and days! finally!) Nick and the midwife had a little meeting. She was going to consult with the head of OB. Nick called family to tell them it looked like I'd be having another C-section.

My body kept contracting. India kept doing well. And my cervix, it turns out, decided to dilate. They would occasionally reposition me to help the baby work her way downward.

Somewhere around noon, as they were shifting me, they saw the bloody show. 

And when the midwife came back in to check, she said, "I can't really feel..." I was sure she was going to say "any dilation" but instead she said, "much cervix. You're almost fully dilated."

Which made me burst into tears. My body works like it's supposed to after all. And I've spent the last three years thinking I was totally defective. Fuck you very much, OB.

So they said to hang out until I felt a tremendous urge to poop. Then I'd start pushing. This took another hour or so. I was worried I wouldn't recognize it.


And Then With Much Encouragement, Behold, I Squoze a Baby Out of My Vagina
Suddenly I was all, "Oh! I feel it!" This was right about 3 pm.

And then they all sprung into action. I was all worried I would poop. They told me I probably wouldn't but not to worry. If I did, I wouldn't know.

Oh, I did. And I knew.

Somehow, I had always envisioned women depositing a large turd on the table. I don't know why. But then my friend Jane said her husband said it was like a Play-Doh factory, if you remember extruding your Play Doh.

Nick started making fun of me, at which point they directed him up by my head. But then he settled down, and they assigned him leg holding duty. First they had me on my side. They'd have me take a breath and let it out, then take a breath and push for 10. The nurse was counting.

And then they asked if I'd like to try being on my back. Neither of these would have seemed like optimal pushing positions prior to this little exercise. But you have these contractions and then you just, well, push.

So there we all were: the midwife, the doula, the husband, the nurse, and me. All up close and personal. They were doing warm compresses, they were supporting my perineum, they were discreetly wiping away the poop. That just kept coming and coming and coming.

I know it did. Nick unnecessarily confirmed this fact.

You know how when people tell you you're doing a good job, it just makes you want to try harder? This is what was going on. They were complimenting my pushing abilities. Clearly Lisa, you are very fit and have great abs! Such fantastic pushing!

(Fortunately nobody was like, clearly you have a lot of huge poops!)

And then after a while her head was almost out, and my vagina cheerleading squad got all excited, and they were all, a few more pushes! and then it was out...and the midwife asked Nick if he'd like to catch the baby...

Personally, I was about to suggest that they leave it to a professional, but he was really excited about it.

So Nick caught the baby. And they put her on my belly, all gunky and red and what the hell just happened? She was there. Right there. My baby!

They left the cord connected until it turned white, so she could get all the blood, oxygen, whatever else from it. And then they offered for Nick to cut it, which he was also all thrilled about. They put her up to nurse.

I'm telling you, although my doula contends that I could have, and I just made a choice - the right choice for me - I don't believe I could've done it without the epidural. I have never, seriously never, been in pain like that.

But I will also say that as soon as it was over, I genuinely felt the urge to be all yee-haw yippeee naked backflips down the hallway! when it was over. I mean, if I had been able to move my legs.

Honestly and truly one of the best days of my entire life.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Miss India Lillian

Yesterday, at 3:39 pm, little miss India Lillian joined us on the outside world.  She weighs 7 lbs 2 oz, and is 20.5 inches long.

Except for a slightly smooshed head and red little face (because the VBAC, I did it! and yes I do feel like a rock star, albeit a non-partying one who currently has to squarch her vagina 54 times a day), as far as we can tell, she is pretty much perfect.

Thank you for such good wishes. Big hugs and happy weekend to all of you.

Lisa and Nick

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Baby Sister is Here

Lisa gave birth to our daughter on April 19, 2012, at 3:39 pm at the George Washington University Hospital. Baby Sister (her actual name to be finally decided in a few hours) and Lisa are resting comfortably. Nick

At the hospital and in labor

Lisa's water broke at 2:00 am last night, and so we are at the hospital waiting for nature to run its course. She now has an epidural, and she is resting comfortably. Jordan's baby sister is taking her time arriving, so Lisa and the doula are resting. We will post when there is more news. Nick

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

So Nick and his dudela walk into the hospital bar...

Ha, no, I'm kidding. I'm a frayed knot. If you know that string joke.

So here's the deal. It dawned on me, as we were walking to work this morning and I would stop every so often to catch my breath after a particularly sharp internal stab to the crotch that actually, I'm not a person who likes to suffer in silence.

In other words: my labor is likely to be rather hard on Nick.

I relayed my epiphany. He wasn't all, "Oh? Do you think so?" More like, "Um, hell yes."

Clearly it's something he's known for quite some time.

I told him that our doula will be very helpful to him as well. To which he replied, "I've been thinking about it, and what I'd really like is a dudela. I need the support. I need someone to hang out with me at the hospital bar."

I'm not kidding you when I say that the night I was induced with Jordan Nick asked one of the nurses where the bar was. He wasn't kidding.

They were rather stern in telling him, in no uncertain terms, that hospitals don't have bars. Although he wasn't joking, if you can't see the humor in a husband's offer to administer the suppository, you aren't going to laugh about a hospital bar.

Now, on the one hand, I think a hospital bar is a great idea. It could be a huge revenue source. Most visits to the hospital are for sad reasons, and you leave wanting something to take the edge off. It would be kind of nice to be there with the edge off. I don't know how that never occurred to me during my myriad visits.

Candidly, all those times my dad was in the emergency room, I'd have headed straight to the bar rather than sitting in the wretched waiting rooms.

But then you figure it's a rather bad idea as well. Because I'm sure the last thing hospitals want are drunken imbeciles wandering the halls. People might get so drunk they'd wind up in the emergency room. Plus there'd be the risk of drunk drivers. Liability would probably be high.

I suggested that Nick's dudela could bring him a flask. In my mind, his dudela would be this big, muscular guy who would sit around and talk football or something else stereotypically manly.

And then, then my dear husband had the temerity to say, "But the dudela isn't going to be a guy. My dudela needs to be a hot woman who can massage my shoulders and sympathize with how stressed I must be."

Pretty sure we won't be hiring her anytime soon, uh, ever.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

When a spaceship doesn't land in your alley and also the difficulty of finding somewhere to talk about your vagina in an office environment

Hiya! It's early to wonder, but in case you were, I'm still around and still pregnant.

I got a very sweet email from my friend Sophie yesterday all, "I assume no news is good news?"

Basically we've been getting organized and I've been so very tired and sleeping a lot, except in the middle of the night which seems to be my girl's preferred window of time for aqua-aerobics. And being all, "Settle down in there!" gets you nowhere.

Also, the rat issue keeps me up.

And I don't mean I'm up fretting. I mean that I'm currently sleeping nestled in a little pillow cocoon on a day bed in the elevator room/nursery, which is just off our bedroom. And the on-off-on-off of the motion sensor light outside the window downstairs comes up through the plexiglass shaft and wakes me up.

Or rather, I wake up for one of myriad reasons (Must pee! Or: hip aches! Or: stuck, can't turn over, am I going to have to call for Nick? Or: awake! Let's see if I can remember all the words to The Gambler...), and then I start fixating on the on-offness.

I was kind of disoriented the first time, so naturally I assumed it was beams of light from a spaceship landing in our alley. I didn't see Close Encounters 78 million times as a kid for nothing.

Then I decided it was a signal from one sketchy alley person to another, like, "Coast is clear to break in!"

But no. It's the rats. There are so many scurrying around next door that the light is on-offing for a significant portion of the night.

Because, you see, the next door neighbors have approximately a million rats. This was verified by the DC Rat Eradication Department (or name to that effect), which, at the behest of one of our neighbors, came out and inspected our alley and back yards/areas.

The neighbor who spearheaded the project has an actual back yard sort of space, and rats have dug up their flagstone patio. Because it turns out there are 16 rat burrows! Each with a WHOLE FAMILY OF RATS! Evidently their yard is popular because they have a little fish pond. So the rats have somewhere to quench their ratty little thirst.

Vomit, I know.

Now, we are not a source of rats because we have no yard. Only concrete. But they still come over to visit and eat our basil and such.

Rat bastards.

However. The could-be-nice-but-is-not-slumlord-run-apartment building next door has a lot of garbage, a lot of piled up junk, and is a rat haven. But being a private apartment building, the DC Rat Department couldn't go in.

We're supposed to take photos and email them to a different DC department, which I guess deals with apartment buildings and health hazards or something. So far, Nick has emailed them several times with photos and they've passed the buck.

Aaaaand now I realize there's no actual graceful segue from neighborhood rats to my vagina, is there?

So my doula called this morning to check on me. How's everything going? And also, all of her April clients have delivered! Her schedule is wide open for me.

Now, while I like my Quad-mates very much, and talk about all sorts of inappropriate things with them, it seemed like sitting in my cube discussing my vagina would be sort of...disrespectful. Plus, anyone could walk by and overhear.

But my vagina was precisely what I needed to discuss.

So I headed to the hallway and was just saying, "I'm having a lot of stabby pains in my va...!" when two men rounded the corner.

So I cut my pronouncement short, went into the stairwell, told her about my vagina, and then heard voices on the stairs. Seriously. It's impossible to find a quiet moment to say the word vagina out loud during the work day.

I returned to our office and found an open conference room in which to discuss the state of my business.

My doula, she was delighted. This is a good sign! The head is down and the girl is turning and mashing down on my cervix! My body is doing what it should! Great!

I'm pretty sure I heard her right when she referred to it as the "grapefruit juicer" - yikes.

Then I caught her up on the dread sex assignment, to which she said that self-pleasure would work fine (I seriously love this woman), but I explained the explicit mandate for the magical cervical-softening penile prostaglandin serum.

I also wanted to tell her that Nick has to go out of town Thursday night. This judge scheduled a hearing on our due date, to which Nick said, no, not possible, potential baby birth and all. So the judge rescheduled for this Friday.

Nick was concerned, but I think it's better to just have it out of the way. My doula agrees - odds of the kid arriving in the 18 hours he's gone are slim, even with all the super-positive cervical mashing that seems to be going on.

So not Friday. Saturday, though not expected, would be kind of awesome though, don't you think?

Friday, April 13, 2012

38 weeks. Filter is gone. Long, long gone.

Yah, so when I woke up this morning, I was pretty sure my belly had doubled in size. I realize that's unrealistic, but it feels like it has.I had no intention of doing a tummy picture this week, but I couldn't resist, because I'm just astounded by the enormity. Even though I've been told I was even bigger with Jordan.

So once again, here I am in Michele's office. Skinny, glamorous, so fucking fit, high-heel wearing Michele's office. This time all, the hell?

Maybe my stomach hasn't actually doubled, but it is definitely bigger than yesterday. Seriously, a lot.It's like there's this huge tender bulls-eye around my belly button, too. I keep bumping that one hurty spot. Because my stomach sticks out so much farther than I think it does.

A friend of mine told me weeks ago that this baby sits lower than Jordan did, and I'm just lately realizing that it's true. Because now that my tummy is this big, there's so little room below it to keep my pants up. I'm constantly scooting them up on the sides.

I lumbered into the kitchen the other morning, one hand on each side of my waistband, complaining to Nick. "It's so annoying! My pants slide down constantly because my stomach is so big it pushes them down! But I suppose you already know all about what I'm talking about."


"Did you really just say that to me?"

(Crap. I did. But so totally not maliciously. can probably commiserate? Kind of thing?)

"Oh, God! Not on purpose! By accident! Water's boiling! Tea? I love you!"

No graceful recovery.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Books to get down to: A list for the Three-to-Five a Week Pregnancy Countdown Literary Society

You know how sometimes you walk away from a conversation and then you think of the perfect thing that you wish you'd said?

Admittedly, with me, I more more likely to walk away wishing I hadn't said whatever it was that fell out of my mouth. (Just one example chosen from myriad.) Oh, here's another. And crap, possibly my favorite one, where there are not just words, but actions involved.

But sometimes, sometimes I have the ideal response...just a few minutes or hours too late.

So, along those lines, I woke up this morning thinking, oh, here's how I wish I'd ended yesterday's post: It might be time to pull out the Dickens. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...

I told that to Nick. He agreed. We talked about being hard core Dickens fans. That Dickens, he's deep. And so on and so forth.

We think we're funnier than we are, I know, I know.

I knew people in college who had their preferred sex music - particular albums or mixes they'd play.

Then I got started thinking, wouldn't it be funny to compile a reading list? Books to have sex to?

So I've been trying to compile a book list for the 3-5-times-a-week-task that lies ahead of me. It's a hard project (no pun). I asked my friend Kaysha for help, and here's what we've got so far...

Deadeye Dick - Kurt Vonnegut
The Sound and the Fury - William Faulkner
The Sun Also Rises - Ernest Hemingway
The Fountainhead - Ayn Rand
As I Lay Dying - William Faulkner
Of Human Bondage - W. Somerset Maugham
Anything by Balzac

I know for a fact that you all are an extremely clever crowd that loves books. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

So it turns out that the natural childbirth business is going to hurt like holy hell and also, Dear Nick: You have a job to do

Note to reader: If vagina talk and childbirthy stuff and TMI make you twitchy, you should just stop reading now. In fact, you might just want to check back in, oh, June or so. I envision a lot of vagina talk in my near future.

OK. So.

I had a midwife checkup today. All is good. And I'm almost at 38 weeks! Super exciting!

Although she said I should be fully prepared to go to 42 weeks. I should gear up for it, rather than being disappointed to not go into labor two weeks from now.

She did the only cervical check they do until you go into labor. They don't believe in it. Which is fine with me.

In fact, this particular midwife feels very strongly that nothing but a penis should be put in your vagina. No latex gloves, nothing that can introduce bacteria.

Seriously. She's said, "Nothing but a penis!" to me a number of times.

I get her point, but it kind of makes me want to pull things out of my purse and be all, "Not even some sparkly lip gloss?"

Yah, so all was going well and we were having a perfectly nice conversation even though her hand was in my vagina and then all of a sudden she was all, "OK, now, here's what a contraction feels like."

MOTHEROFGOD FUCK FUCK FUCKITY FUCK OW! Is kind of what it felt like.

What I said once I was able to speak was, "Wow, that hurts!"

"Yes. And when you're in labor, that's what you're going to feel every 3-5 minutes."

(Huh. And why didn't I opt for the repeat C-section?)

And then, then she did some other kind of little trick and was all, "Do you feel this? What does that feel like?"

BESIDES JESUSFUCKINGHELL? "Um..." (breathe, Lisa, breathe...) "Full? And burny? And like it's pressing on my butt?"

"Exactly. That's how it feels when the baby is descending."

So we went through this mini-enactment of how it's going to feel to go through contractions and the baby coming down through the birth canal. I knew it was going to hurt...but somehow I thought it would just be like terrible menstrual cramps.

I didn't think about the fact that it would be all stabby and fiery-burny awful inside my tenderest little womanly parts. I don't know why.

And then! Then, as I was recovering from the fisting she said, "Now, you and Nick need to be having sex three to five times a week."

THREE TO FIVE TIMES A WEEK. (Visions of C-section scheduling began to dance in my head.)

I replied in a tiny little voice, "Oh, please don't make me."

"I know it's awful. I know. And it's not going to get better. But you have to. You need to get that cervix-ripening sperm up there."

"We have to?"

"Yes. Nobody thinks it's fun. Maybe you can lie on your side and read a book or make a grocery list. Just tell Nick he has a job to do."

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Cold Pants (He Got to Use What He Got to Get What He Wants) - apologies to James Brown

You know how I told you that Jordan hates shorts, really likes the cold pants, and hates the crunchy pants?

Now the cold pants are the ONLY pants he will wear.

Also, we learned the other day that crunchy just generally means bad. Because the back door was locked and Jordan wanted to go out on the deck. And so he yelled, "Daddy! I need HELP! The back door is CRUNCHY!"

But back to the cold pants.

Months ago, my friend Michele very kindly gave me a bunch of her son's clothes, and among them were two pairs of Jumping Beans nylon track pants. These have turned into the magic cold pants.

They're not pants I'd choose to wear, because they're all nylon, and not lined with cotton. And so, while soft, you know how synthetics are chilly, particularly in winter?

Apparently this is a desirable feature for some people.

The cold pants we have are size 24 months. Jordan is thin, so he can still wear them, but pretty soon they are going to fit him like leggings.

Also, we only have two pairs. We wash them pretty much daily.

I know it sounds indulgent, but the fact is that lately we've had limited success with other pants. Every once in a while we can talk him into another pair - ooooh, this pair has pockets! You can put stuff in the pockets! (Goddammit, you used to love pockets!) These have stripes! Feel how soft these (velour, loungy, Tony Soprano-style) pants are!

He'll get interested in the pockets/stripes/mobster lounge pants and let you put them on him, and then 20 minutes later you'll find him wandering around in his diaper and socks all forlorn. "Pants! Mama, I need cold pants!"

Those skinny little legs and the pleading look on his face just kill me. MUST FIND THIS CHILD MORE COLD PANTS!!!

I looked them up online. Jumping Beans is a Kohl's brand - but they currently only have shorts on their site. So on Saturday, Betty and I got in the car and headed to our first-ever Kohl's. For my son, I made the trek to Springfield.

NO cold pants. Only cold shorts. I got him a pair, hoping that perhaps this summer he'll be willing to wear them.

One of my colleagues called me from a Kohl's last night. She found one pair of 3Ts on a clearance rack. They're not knit nylon on the outside - but they are mesh inside. I'm hoping they do the trick.

Was I this fixated and stubborn as a kid? I fear the answer is yes.

Monday, April 09, 2012

We like to sleep all day and party all night! This is how we like to live our life! Hands up!

We have been talking up the Big Boy Bed for some time now.

Because one, we need his crib for the girl. And two, his room is all new and shiny, and we figured that would be the perfect time to introduce The Bed. It's just a single bed on a box spring. Grown up, but not too tall.

Jordan was excited! We got sheets with cars on them! A quilt with an airplane! His own bed, just like Mama and Daddy!

Now, to be fair, we didn't approach it right. I read about it on the internet, uh, last night. After the experiment FAIL. You're supposed to maintain continuity. Not rock your kid's little world. Put the bed in the same place as the crib and all.

Because of construction, Jordan hadn't slept in his own room for a few weeks. The guys finally finished on Friday, and we got J's room cleaned up. On Saturday Nick and a friend moved all of Jordan's furniture back into his room, and extra furniture upstairs.

We can't put the bed in exactly the same place as the crib because there isn't enough wall. It doesn't fit. It's in the same corner, though.

Anyway, Nick and his friend went out for beers, and Jordan and I made his bed. He reveled in the designs. The pillows! All of it! I felt certain this was a very good sign.

We borrowed a bed rail from a friend, whose son, who is Jordan's age, started sleeping in his own BBB at age two, and now no longer needs it. She said he got in bed and treated it like his crib - not realizing he could jump out anytime, and calling for his parents when he wanted to get out.

Jordan? Not so much.

That night, he did not want to fall asleep in his new bed. Did NOT. So Nick put him down in his crib. And then, once he fell asleep, Nick carried him into his room and put him down in the bed.

Nick then laid down next to him. He said he figured that if Jordan woke up he'd be scared, and then Nick would be right there.

Woke up scared? Ha.

Nick awoke at midnight alone in Jordan's car sheets. Jordan was nowhere in sight. His bedroom door was wide open. Nick ran down the hall in a panic.

We've taken all the baby gates off of the stairs because they started getting ripped out of walls when people were moving furniture and construction stuff. So was he up? Or down?

Nick said he heard my mom's TV on. So he decided to check upstairs first.

Where he found Jordan sitting up in bed with Nana. Eating coconut cream pie and watching Rachel Maddow.

Kid you not.

Naptime yesterday consisted of Jordan pulling all of his clothes out of his dresser, chucking them all on his bed, and having a diaper dance party in his room.

We're back in the crib for a while, is what I'm saying.

Friday, April 06, 2012

37 weeks: full term!

"Oh, God, do I really look like that?"
"You do when you don't smile. Would it kill you to smile?"Apparently not.

Happy Friday, all!

Thursday, April 05, 2012

A modest proposal

You all know I'm not political but that certain issues - particularly ones pertaining to my body, my uterus and the contents therein, and the rights of women in general - fire me the fuck up.


I should shamefully admit that I was a political science major - something Nick loves to point out, because isn't Chapel Hill supposed to be a really good school? - and yet I know next to nothing about how our government works. I only added it in my senior year because my dad said French wasn't practical enough, that I should double major with something useful, like Poli Sci.

Hilarious, I know. And now I ask Nick or Google everything I'm interested in knowing about governmental processes.

What I'm saying is, I have no idea how this proposal might actually work. Also, I might have details wrong. Nick's been away all week and I haven't had time to watch the Daily Show.

In other words: I'm giving you the general gist of my vitriol. Feel free to correct me on facts.

What's pissing me off:

But here's what I've been stewing about. 1. The abortion ultrasound bills; and 2. the Affordable Care Act in the hands of right-wing justices on the Supreme Court.

Naturally, the whole idea of forcing women seeking abortion to undergo ultrasounds - vaginal or not - enrages me. So now in Virginia they can't force a vaginal one on you...but they can make you get an ultrasound.

And all these wretched political elites criticizing other politicians for being elitist - want to keep health care in the hands of those who can afford it. Rather than extending it to those who can't.

It's so fucking galling.

A modest proposal:

Basically, I'd like to propose some kind of asshole scan for politicians and justices who take women's rights lightly.

You want to take the right to choice - reproductive choice as well as the choice to carry a child to term or not - away from women?

You're an asshole. I say this without hesitation.

You want to make sure that universal health care is not an option? And yet you want to force women - women who potentially can barely afford to pay for an abortion - to also pay for an ultrasound?

I'm going to confidently say you're an asshole.

But really, there must be some objective way of measuring assholiness. And my guess is that the rectum would be the best source of the information. And you'd need some sort of medical device that measures, I don't know, something.

So I'd propose the use of an ultrasound wand in the ass to confirm it.

Not being a medical professional, I don't know what you'd be measuring. Level of bile? Level of contempt for women? For humanity? Maybe you could get this with a large swab rather than needing an ultrasound.

But who fucking cares? Let's mandate an ultrasound as well.

It costs more - more for insurance companies to pocket. So they're more likely to lobby for it, no? Which would make politicians more likely to vote for it. There must be other special interest groups I could get on board, don't you think?

Of course I'd leave the details on the testing to the doctors. I mean, they're the professionals. Oh, wait, the OB-GYN's opinions don't actually matter in terms of pregnancy and ultrasound.

So I suppose the best thing to do would be to find a politician to write a bill and then, uh, try to ram it through?

Like I said, my understanding of political processes is kind of sketch.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

I need your baby stuff opinions. Neeeeeeed. Pleaseandthankyouverymuch.

I'm sure I've said this before, but I do best when I have like three options. The baby stuff world is too full of options.

And I realize this is a topic of interest to a fairly narrow slice of the population...but it's kind of pressing for me at the moment. Particularly because in a scant few weeks we won't be able to leave the hospital without the kid in a car seat.

So if you have opinions on car seats and/or strollers - and actually, any baby products you've come across that you generally think are awesome that I might not know about - please, oh please, share!

Here's the deal: So, with Jordan, my brother - who found out I was pregnant when our dad died - passed along his car seat and Snap n Go. He and his wife are super cautious and particular, and I was grateful that what I found a confusing decision was made for me.

But by the time J was done with it, it was too old to save. So all I remember is that it was Graco, but not the height/weight limit.

I've been looking at Graco and Chicco, and was originally going to bypass the 22 lb seat in favor of 30 or 35...but then someone said, really? Are you going to be carrying your kid in an infant seat at 30 pounds?

Um, no. I can barely hoist Jordan, who is now somewhere in the 30s.

The bucket seat with the Snap n Go worked out well, and while there are parents who are totally opposed to letting their child nap in it, I will fully admit that if he was asleep when we took him out of the car, we let him sleep in it until he woke up. Hell, sometimes I'd keep rocking it to keep him asleep.

He's a big, strapping lumberjack of a kid and doesn't seem to have suffered any ill effects from over-use of infant seat.

But I realized the other night, while doing obsessive internet research, that Jordan's convertible car seat can be used with infants 5 lbs and up. We have three of these seats, as we had one for Betty's car as well.

So I could just use that one, and buy an infant stroller. But that takes away the portability of the bucket seat. And means I'd be waking the kid up as soon as she needs to get out of the car.

Also, then what stroller? Would it be better to just go with a set, if I'm going to buy an infant car seat? Or get another Snap n Go?

Seriously, I'm hung up on this. I just need to make some fucking decisions and get on with my life.

Opinions? Help!

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Construction with ex-convicts, the bathroom, and The Surprise!

Typically Australian Builder calls Nick with questions or to talk about how construction is going.

Even when it's something that pertains to me, because, let's face it not to be so fucking stereotypical, but I'm significantly more interested in what color we should paint it than what it's made out of. Plus Nick is a lot more anal particular than I am.

And can you tell I'm kind of fixated on construction? Which is supposed to be done on Thursday? Fingers so crossed and also yippeenakedbackflips?

Actually, let me back up. The bathroom is done! They put up a pole yesterday and last night we put up the super cute elephants shower curtain, but I didn't have time to take new pictures. I had trouble working the angles, but you get some idea of what it's like. The window is over the tub. I'm pretty in love with it. I love the tile and the color and the tub and the cabinets. The fact that we are no longer in danger of stepping straight through the floor figures in as well. And the fact that I can just walk down the hall and shower is kind of magic too.But! Back on semi-track! I don't think I've told you how Nick used to spend his summers working construction in New Jersey with a bunch of ex-convicts, have I?

He did.

So he knows a lot about construction (and ex-cons from New Jersey - who, seriously, used to do things like inject tequila), and can not only talk about materials but techniques and tools and wiring and you know, whatever else one might talk about when talking the construction talk. He might also be able to talk prison talk, but surprisingly, that's never come up.

Even before that, Nick's father, who is cerebral and not remotely practical, started asking Nick to fix plumbing and electrical problems in their house at quite a young age. And so he figured stuff out. Thankfully, for the more complicated projects where he thought he might get electrocuted or flood the house he said he was like, "Um, Dad...maybe we could hire someone? I'm only 12."

But this is such a sidebar, because what I really want to talk about is The Surprise.

Last Friday Australian Builder called me - me?! - all excited. "Remember I told you I had a surprise for you? The surprise is done! What time are you going to be home?"

I tried to get it out of him, and he wouldn't tell me. All he'd say was, "It's for you and for Jordan."

He'd put a surprise for us in the bathroom. It was not a puppy. And I was to call him when I figured out what it was. Jordan and I looked everywhere. We got in the tub. I opened all the cabinets. We closed the door and looked behind it.

It's a good sized bathroom - certainly bigger than what will be our master bath - but it's not that big. How could we miss the surprise? So I had to call him and say, "OH MY GOD I LOVE LOVE LOVE THE BATHROOM I LOVE IT SO MUCH BUT WHAT'S THE SURPRISE?"

So he told me to lift the toilet lid. He said the plumber, who is an equally large and manly man called him one day and was all, "Listen to what I found!" And AB said, "Buy it buy it buy it!"

Surprise! Magnetized little tiny toilet seat that folds down for little tiny potty training bottoms!

Monday, April 02, 2012

Pregnancy Tourette's

Australian Builder came over on Saturday, looked at me, and said, "This racing the baby is really stressing me out."

He's one of these big, strong, macho types. The kind of guy whose idea of a touchy-feely conversation is sharing a bottle of scotch. But this kid has him frazzled.

"You know what one of my other clients said to me?"


"That babies can be two weeks early! You could have this baby next week!"

I'm not going to say he got shrill, because he doesn't have a high voice. But this baby, she's stressing him out. They're almost done, though. Now, the odds of her being early, everyone has said, are very low. Which I didn't tell him. Because the construction, it needs to end.

We need to clean and move Jordan back to his room and put dressers in place and put clothes in dressers. We have to get a mattress. We still have to buy a car seat.

Still much to do!

All that said, ooh, I'd be delighted. I think I'm holding it together better this time, in that I'm not just sitting up on the top floor weeping into my iced drinks and refusing to come down. So there's that. But I'm glad to be counting down more in days than weeks at this point.

This morning I walked into the kitchen at work and two of my colleagues burst out laughing.


"The look! On your face! Is just so 'fuck off'!"

It's true. I know I walk around all Stay. The. Fuck. Out. Of. My. Way. And don't you hurry up to get in front of me on the sidewalk. Don't even think you're faster than me just because I'm pregnant. And if you brush against my belly I will cut you.

Is kind of how it is now.

The other day a woman got into the elevator after me and turned around, moving backwards. I saw her backpack heading for my stomach and without even thinking about it, I squawked loudly and my hand shot out and I pushed her forward. Because, owie hurty tender!

I know that particularly at the end of the day I'm really slow when I cross streets, but if I'm at a zebra crossing, I still give impatient cars the stinkeye. They're supposed to stop for pedestrians, no matter how slow and waddly.

Older women tend to be nicer. Cab drivers and bus drivers are typically nice about stopping and letting you go. It's usually the early-20s men and women who are dicks and only stop at the last minute because you're in the street. You're clearly inconveniencing them.

I give them this semi-sneer you try being all hugely pregnant don't fucking run me over and PS I hate you kind of look.

That said, I don't just fling myself out into the crosswalk if it looks like someone isn't going to stop. But in that case, I do my best to catch their eye. And then I narrow my eyes and mouth "ASSHOLE" as clearly as possible.

It's like temporary Tourette's or something. I can't seem to stop myself.