Posts Tagged ‘babies’

Week 38

I’m fearing the results of unprotected sex are near.

Last night I went to the dollar theatre with Clint and his mother.  We had seen every single release at least once, all except for INCEPTION, which I had been avoiding because I’m not such a big fan of Leonardo, and or confusing plots (I prefer big  belly laughs or kung fu).  As the movie started I began taking notes. This was one time I wasn’t going to get left behind in Act One.

Right around the 30 minute mark I began to realize that my feet, hands and face were feeling quite tingly—like when your leg goes to sleep tingly.  Now I know that the hands and feet are expected to swell, and swell I have! But the face? Isn’t that a bad sign? I thought so.

After the movie I was convinced something was going on and requested a side trip to Rite Aid. My mother takes my father’s blood pressure four times a day, so I figured checking mine out once couldn’t hurt anything.  After the machine squeezed my arm into oblivion it reported that I was high, much higher than normal.

My mother-in-law was adamant:

“I’ll tell you what—that number is a direct reflection of that stupid movie! How confusing was that? I’ve got a headache. I bet my blood pressure is through the roof. That was a horrible movie; Josie, it’s that darn Leonardo DiCaprio.”

While her assessment of my health as a result of Leonardo DiCaprio’s odd movie roles could be seen as genius by some, I was not quite convinced. Clint decided to drive us over to the hospital for a quick check-in.

Twenty minutes later I am checked into the local hospital and an orderly takes me up the elevator to the OB floor. The doors open and a nurse is immediately at my side, “Alisha? Hello, I’m Linda. I’ll be your Delivery Nurse.”

“DELIVERY NURSE? No, hey, I’m just here to get my blood pressure checked out, not deliver a baby.”

“Well,” she said smiling, “this is just procedure. Here’s your gown and there’s the bed!”


Linda hooked me up to all kinds of machinery and fetal monitors. “Now I’ll need to ask you some questions, Josie. Is this your first child?”


“Does your family have a history of diabetes? Preeclampsia?”

“No and no.”

“Have you had any contractions?”


“That’s odd! Because you just had one!”


See, I thought that was just indigestion. Those are contractions? In that case, heck, I’ve been having them all week.  But that doesn’t mean I’m having the baby right now.

Linda hands me my clothing and tells me to go home and rest, drink more water and stay cool.  On the way out the OB Nurses showed me a real live baby. Do you have any idea how big those are? I have it on good authority that my vagina is not, in fact, that big. Just sayn.


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Week 30

My mother didn’t exactly call me an invalid, but the sentiment was there. And rather than becoming offended, I had to agree with her on a certain level. There are just things that I can’t do as well now, as I could before. Tie my shoes, for example. That’s hard. Get in my brother’s lifted truck: nearly impossible. Run away, perform self-defense and hide: yea right!

Defending myself comes into play because Clint is gone for the week—his grandma’s failing health making his trip south imperative. (I didn’t go along, for many reasons—although now, home alone and feeling completely unmotivated to do pretty much anything—I wish that I had piled in that full carload of people and headed 18 hours down the freeway. Then again, that is a long time for a pregnant lady to hold her bladder. Pity the others who are forced to stop every 15 minutes for a pee stop.) But back to self-defense: I came home yesterday evening to find my front door wide open, and I don’t make a habit of keeping that door open when I am gone. Had I merely forgotten to shut it tightly when I left, or was a robbery in process?

I was pretty flustered. I could call Clint, but what could he do? I could turn around and drive away, but I had to go to the bathroom really bad, and what if I just forgot to shut the door?

The house was empty. Nothing was missing. But I did get down Clint’s gun from the closet and walked around the house brandishing it violently, hoping I wouldn’t have to prove that it was actually unloaded. I slept fitfully last night with the gun under his pillow—just in case—and I woke up tired and decidedly missing Clint more than ever. I guess I have taken his presence for granted; that when there is a loud bang, scrape or thunderous clap, he can jump out of bed, grab that 9mm and run down the hallway faster than any one else I know.

It’s not like we live in the ghetto—don’t get me wrong—but we do live in a house on a dead end that can’t be seen from the street, and whose doors do not all lock. Strange people have walked through my yard in the middle of the day, so who can say what’s happening at night!

Gosh, writing that down really makes me think. I’m getting a hotel room.

Have any other pregnant ladies felt defenseless?

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Well, I’m sure everyone is wondering what transpired over my three-day sojourn with mother-in-law Nadine. I arrived in Chicago all plump and gaseous (that’s air travel for you), made my way through the airport, security, baggage claim, and van transport using every feminine wile available to me through pregnancy. [FYI: it does not work on United Airlines corporate, their employees, or baggage handlers.]

rocking chair


Nadine had arranged for us a suite at the Hilton downtown. It was, in one word, Amazing. As were the next three days of flushing money down the toilet. Not my money, mind you (fifty dollars in quarters would have stopped any good commode) but the bajillions hiding discreetly in her tiny leather wallet. I guess I shouldn’t say there was “flushing” or “toilets” per se—that’s fairly indiscreet— however, I have never imbibed in so many glorious events in months, let alone days.

I did my best to keep up both physically and mentally; she is after all, a top-notch criminal defense attorney. I mentioned her pedigree to a fellow air passenger and he said, “Wait, wait. Let me describe her.”


“She’s on the short side,” he said, “with a square face and a likewise short, severe brunette bob.”

“Do you know her?” I asked, astounded.

“I’m not done,” he said. “She is slight of build, skinny as a rail, and wears expensive suits made by Dior and Ferrangamo.”

“Are you gay and you know her?” I asked, clearly impressed.

“Nope.” He said. “I’m an optical engineer. Straight, nerdy and taking dance lessons at the local community college. But I’ve met the type.”

I did really well for the first two days. I had composure. I did not wear my tennis shoes. I curled my hair each morning and wore perfume. But I felt the threads of decency unraveling that third morning. I was coming apart at the seams.

Roused at 6:30 for the requisite coffee and scone, I felt the effects of seven months of pregnancy coupled with two nights of six-hour sleeps. I can only say that Kindess and Decorum were taken out of my royal title. Instead, my crown read: Josie Strung-out Angry and Irritable.

When Nadine wanted to buy the $2700 fur stole as a fun memento of our trip, I should have said, “Oh, wow! That’s beautiful! Go for it!” Instead, Josie Strung-out Angry and Irritable blurted, “If my kid burps-up broccolini on your shoulder while you are wearing that, I’m not paying for dry cleaning.”

Obviously, I needed a nap.

Asking for a nap, however, proved in many ways, fruitless. I don’t have the same easy rapport with Nadine that I share with my mother or Clint. I could tell them I was taking a break and not to bother me for at least an hour, maybe two. But how do you say that to your mother-in-law? Especially when she wants to take you to the Chicago Cubs game where she has reserved two seats in the mayor’s box and purchased champagne buffet tickets to boot?

In any event, I was relieved to go home just in time to attend the very last Birth Class at the hospital. Here it was okay to groan in agony as the baby kicked you in the ribs.  I could stretch out my legs and complain of my aching shoulder muscles. I yawned without covering my mouth.  And our classmates were equally impressed with the cafeteria cookies as they were with Kay’s final exciting tour through the birthing suites upstairs.

I’m not sure which environment fits me best. I could be swayed.  Opera, Ballet, Nordstrom and Fine Art have obvious benefits, but I wonder if these ornaments of grandeur will be lost on a postpartum first-time mom. While others will be wondering whether a rabbit or fox swing coat goes best with platform Louboutins, I will be watching carefully for the “passing of a fleshy dot larger than a lemon,” and or, “putrid smelling lochia”. Both captivating prospects.

POST SCRIPT: Weigh-in before trip: 158.2 lbs. Weigh-in after trip: 164.8 lbs. YIKES!

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Am I a terrible person for thinking of my cervical mucus during a baby shower?

I can see clearly how this leads to obsession.  There is no room in my life to think about anything else.  This month, as I attended a friend’s baby shower, I worried that I had no idea what my cervical mucus was saying.  Where is it?  It should be here.  Why doesn’t it look like it did last month?  I should be ovulating, but why can’t I tell?  Am I a terrible person for thinking about my cervical mucus during Katie’s baby shower?

During the care ride home, I lamented to Angela about my problem.  I viewed her as a seasoned pro since she had just given birth three months earlier.  She shared a tip.  “The secret to getting pregnant is using ovulation strips.” 

“But weren’t you a devotee of acupuncture?”  I asked.  “I was thinking about making an appointment this week.” 

“Yes, I went to acupuncture, but I also finally bought some ovulation strips.  You pee on them just like a pregnancy test and they tell you when you’re ovulating.”

I nodded my head taking in this new information.  Why had I not seen this in my research? 

“They’re kind of expensive if you buy them at the store, but I found them online.  It’s pretty cheap if you find them online.  I got pregnant with Ben pretty soon after I started using them.”

I made a mental note: buy ovulation strips online.

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Nothing is getting in the way of making a baby tonight!

I’ve always been under the impression that men want lots of sex all the time.  And while Clark pretty much wants sex ten times more than I do, even he has his limits. 

Trying to make a baby ain’t for the faint of heart.  Long day at work?  Too bad.  Have a head ache?  Don’t care.  Feeling fat?  We’ll cover you up.  Hungry?  Guess you should have eaten lunch. I can’t count the number of times I’ve had to suck it up and make a baby.  So why is it that when he isn’t in the mood, I have to suck it up and put on a show?

I’ve been counting carefully and I know that today is THE DAY.  When Clark begins his story about the terrible contractor, I get annoyed.  “This guy changed his mind four times and then lied when I showed him the paperwork.”  

I try to listen patiently.  I nod my head. “Yes, I think you did the right thing.”  A sympathetic smile.  “That was the perfect reply.”  And then coyly (at least so I thought), “I know what will make you feel better.” 

“Annie, I’m not in the mood.” 

“What? What! WHAT!!!”

Dear God, I pulled out all of the stops.  I donned my most attractive, most uncomfortable lingerie.  And then I gave him the world’s longest back massage. “There’s no pressure, honey.  I just want to make you feel better,” I cooed.  But we both knew that one way or another, we were going to make a baby.

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Do not get up to go to the bathroom after sex when you're trying to make a baby.

 Oh no!  I’m screwed!  I thought had carefully read every chapter of the “How to get pregnant” book and committed all of the advice to memory.  I charted my monthly cycles.  I examined my cervical mucus.  I took notes on texture, color, and amount.  I listened to the signals my body sent: Cramps? Location? Duration? Pimples? Tender breasts?  I even took notes on our love making: Position? Orgasm?

So how could I have missed the section on post-coital position? When Josie asked if I was supposed to stand on my head, I thought she was joking.  Surely once the sperm has entered your vagina, you don’t need to help it travel to the egg.  But there is was in black and white: do not get up and go to the bathroom immediately after sex.  But I have to pee! 

Clark and I discussed the seriousness of our mistake.  Or rather, I worried and he nodded patiently.  How many months had we wasted?  How many little Clarks and Annies were lost forever?  And more importantly, does that mean I start all over again on my long treck to the six month average? 

I’m not normally neurotic.  I swear I’m normal.  And smart!  But how did I miss that important instruction?!

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Cute but Dangerous.

 My husband Clint has always wanted kids. And he will be a fantastic Father.

I, on the other hand, must admit that up until recently having children was akin to “Writing the Great American Novel”—I’d get around to it, but the timing was off.

Somehow, Clint convinced me that raising a puppy would be the perfect test for my aptitude in raising children.

Puppies are small, they love you, they need care & discipline, and the result is a grown-up dog that adores you and enriches your life. This is what he told me. So I agreed to a Puppy-Testing Phase. A full year of raising a puppy as a sort-of litmus test for our parenting skills. However,

He did not tell me about the adoring brown eyes, gazing lovingly up at me while the puppy pees on my white carpet.

 He did not tell me about the sharp little teeth, or the hooking claws that ruined my cashmere sweater.

 He did not tell me he was going to wake me up by putting the puppy on my head and giggling as Brit nipped my nose and pulled out a clump of my hair.

He also did not tell me that he was going to impregnate me the same weekend we bought the puppy.

So far, I have watched no less than 5 different training videos and read 3 books on potty training puppies. Brit has defied them all.

And I wonder….if I have zero control over something the size of my shoe, what am I going to do with a surly teenager? You know, the kind that dye their hair black and wear it over their face to hide the sarcastic eye rolls.

The answer is, of course, I don’t know what I am going to do with a teenager. 

I don’t really know what to do with a puppy. I dry-heave myself around the house, cursing the puppy nipping at my heels and eating the toilet paper rolls that litter the floor around my-head-inside-the-toilet.

Today the puppy-training videos seem like 60-minute jokes. Who cares about sitting and staying? I’m having a BABY. Stunned into submission, I will spend the next two weeks wandering from home to work to home, absorbing this new “I-AM-PREGNANT(?)” revelation with equal parts incredulity and confusion. I had never before thought about being pregnant. That may seem strange to some of you. But I am a planning type of gal. I plan these things. They don’t just “happen”. I drove to Nevada to pick up that freakin’ dog, so I had plenty of time to think about THAT.

Brit stole my underpants this morning and I, in my best mother-impersonation, yelled, “DROP IT!” You know what? She did! I “MOTHERED”. I gave Brit a big hug and a puppy treat.

She came, she sat, she dropped my underwear.

And now I can go back to fixing dinner knowing that even though she probably pooped behind the couch when I wasn’t looking, Brit will be a good dog.

But I hope to God my mom comes to babysit this new baby.

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