The game’s a foot!!

Yesterday we felt a foot! Or was it is hand?

It was definitely an appendage of one form or the other, and Lee and I each got to feel it rest right under our hands. I almost felt it in my hand at first! It had edges and definition. He becomes more and more of a little person each day.

Monkey sings Otter a lullaby at night after I sing her one, and he kicks mightily away as she sings into my tummy. He is really going to know who is sister is when he comes into this world. She is so excited that she has really spent a lot of time talking and singing to him.

I am still nesting, the instinct growing stronger and changing form as we get closer to Delivery-Day. This week it is a scrapbook of artistic images of me and my belly to commemorate this pregnancy. I wanted something to remind me of what it looks like for me to be pregnant. It is a pretty neat project so far. I am having fun with my Photoshop elements program and my pictures. Most of them I will not post on the Internet, as they involve no clothing, and once you put naked pictures out there, out there they stay. However, this one is I feel is harmless enough.

I am trying to capture the sense of quiet peace that fills me from time to time. So much of pregnancy is hard, and so many of our culturally supported memories are the hard ones. Nausea, sleeplessness, cramping, feeling fat, etc. I wanted to create memories for myself that reminded me of peace, and beauty, the internal sense of fulfillment one gets when you’re growing a baby. That way, even though I more often look sleepy, or a little rumpled, or tired and grumpy, I will remember feeling beautiful and calm, and ready for baby.

It has been an interesting project. When Monkey was in my belly I had a cast done of my torso, but I have not gotten it from the artist, and recently found out he had passed, so it is unlikely that I will have that memory, in any form other than a memory.

Of course my mom took a ton of pictures of me while I was carrying with her, so it’s not as though I have no memories of that time, they just aren’t full on belly nudes.

I am also making curtains and designing a little book and doing all the other stuff that lends itself to a sense of readiness for baby. We have our first meeting with Ellen, who is our Doula for the grand day, this weekend, and our having our tour and birthing class the following weekend.

I am still anxious about delivery, and a little sad that this is my final time doing this. It is such a complicated thing, pregnancy, I can’t imagine signing up for a life of it, but I am sad to see this part of my life slip into the past. Sometimes I wish life’s experiences were less ambivalent.

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John Hurt

I am in a John Hurt way at the moment…

He is trying to break out of my stomach in a bloody screaming horror movie mess!!!

Okay, not really, but that is how it feels sometimes. The problem is this, I have really sore Round Ligaments and have had them since early month 4. The spot is so sore that I actually hit my doctor when she poked at it.(Really though, why poke at the exact place someone tells you is hurting?)

Otter, in his fiendish babyiness, has decided to roost flush up against the round ligaments on my right side. He has been pressing his darling little back up against them for a week now.

This lovely snuggling results in me feeling a rolling pain in my side every few minutes. It keeps me up at night, it keeps me up during the day! I can’t get comfortable! I tried pushing against him to get him to move, but doing so hurts too much.

Argh!!

And of course, there is nothing you can do for it. Well… except take tylenol, which is the same as doing nothing, but with a nasty after taste. Ow! There is goes again! What makes it worse is, when he wiggles and kicks around, he presses further into my side. OOW!!

This kind of pain is bad because I recognize on some level that it is not even on the scale of labor pain, so how can I plan a natural childbirth if I can’t just breathe and soothe this lovely pain away? If I can’t soothe away pain that hasn’t even hit the scale yet, how in the world am I going to soothe away pain that does hit the scale???

A random note about pain scales. I am a horrible patient to deal with becuase I have suffered from Migraines for about 19 years. Therefore, I do not have the ability to answer the question, How badly does it hurt on a scale from 1 to 10? You see, I start examining the pain and I think, well, I could go to work like this, or school, I could drive a car, I could go to a place with many people, and it wouldn’t hurt more than it does now. So it must not be high up on the scale. Granted my comparison pain is migraine pain. A 10 on a migraine scale renders me drugged on percoset in a dark silent room lying down for three days. So really, should the scale be higher than 10? Should there be a different scale for me to work with?

Back to the John Hurt experience. On a scale of I don’t notice it to Oh MY God I need a doctor!!, the pain is around a, occasionally takes my breath away.

I am getting tired of it though, and I start to wonder if there is something going on. Am I in early labor? Are these pains braxton-hicks contractions? (BTW, despite medical science’s reassurances to the contrary, they are not freakin painless.) Should I be calling my care provider? I get them all day long, but I am still pretty sure they are the baby in collusion with my body, tormenting me.

Sigh. Please send me some energy and any hugs you have to send, I could certainly use them.

I don’t want to do this anymore…

I changed my mind!!

32 weeks pregnant and 8 left to go (or 10 if you count from conception.)

How can 8 weeks seem like so long when 32 weeks have already passed? Is it because I can’t get out of my couch without assistance or much grunting? Could it be that I am anticipating returning to life without frequent bathroom trips, a life where I can once again sleep on my stomach or back? (When I sleep at all!)

These last 8 weeks seem like forever! The time between now and April 1st is an eternity! Argh!

However, there are reasons that make me happy about the time left in this pregnancy. Lee and I have started preparing for childbirth, and I am scared!

I know I have strong ideas about experiencing birth naturally, entering laborland, letting my instinctual self take over and having this baby without the assistance of drugs. I really want to do this, it bothers me on some level that I have a child already, and couldn’t honestly tell you what it feels like to give birth. However, I discovered a truth the other day, while I would like to have this natural birth experience, I would much rather have no birth experience at all!

I don’t mean a birth experience with drugs that reduce or eliminate pain, I mean, none at all. Which is why I turned to my husband last night and said “I change my mind.” He responded that it was too late for that. Grumble.

See the problem is that the closer I get to D-Day, the more I remember what it felt like to get the feeling back after Monkey was born. Ha ha ha. I remember the huge overdose of epidural medication finally wearing off, and then feeling as though a truck had driven through my vagina. Ouch! Walking hurt, sitting was completely out of the question. The only thing I liked was the numbing spray they gave me for my stitches. (Yes, stitches, there are NEVER supposed to be stitches in your vagina. If you are male, sympathize with me by imagining them in your penis. Groans and winces are appreciated here.)

I remember pain memory, even though I was not a part of the physical event that caused the pain. I think I am more afraid of this birth experience, simply because I have no physical recollection of that last one. They screwed up so much stuff with my first birth. They induced me when I likely didn’t need it, and drugged me with narcotics to help me sleep. This sent me into labor, but I was too drugged to wake up except during contractions, so after god knows how long, I gasped out “epidural” and finally woke to no pain. Until it wore off. Then they gave me so much, I couldn’t move at all. I had to cough Monkey out, because that was the only way I could get my muscles to push! After she was born, I couldn’t walk for eight hours.

By the time the feeling came back, I was completely unprepared for it. How could I be? All I had was the memory of watching myself give birth, which in itself was very cool, but I couldn’t even imagine what it felt like. So when my nerves awoke, and began to complain, it was bad.

I am hoping this time I will understand what birth did to my body, and will be more prepared to give it the time and understanding it needs to heal. I hope I will not be left wondering forever what birth feels like. At the same time, I really don’t want to go through it again! I am finally, at 32 weeks, afraid of it.

Happily, Lee has really come through this time. He turned to me and told me he would be shocked if I hadn’t been afraid. He told me he was afraid, and it wasn’t even his body that would be going through it. I felt better knowing he didn’t expect me to be excited about this, and have no fear. I suppose there are very few experiences in life that are this intense, fear should be one of the feelings we have during it.

Still, anyone want to volunteer to do it for me?? Anyone??

A picture is worth a thousand words…

A photographic update of the last few months…

It has been a while since I flooded the internet with family photos, in the interests of friends and grandparents, here are some pictures of events in the last few months.

One of Monkey’s christmas gifts this year was a fort construction kit by Cranium. She loves it. She has made several forts since then, including a ship and a camp-out area.

Monkey sails the seven seas with cereal and Ariel…

Monkey reads “The Stupids step out” in her camping tent, complete with sun hat.

It was such a successful gift that we are going to buy another, just to create more fort fun options!

Margot and I finally got to take some pictures together, baby bellies and all…

Rue has been extra cute lately, even as he passes through kitten years and enters the dreaded teen kitty years… Here he is perched under the christmas tree.

Lastly (for now), Monkey was in a choral performance with other kindergartners in her class for the christmas show, here she is in her little singing outfit.

There will be more, but now I am late for coffee!! Miss you all!

Nesting…

Nesting…

How strange is the nesting instinct? I spent three years, hundreds of thousands of dollars, and all my remaining energy for the next decade on graduating from law school and passing the bar. I should be thrilled to work as much as possible, flex these legal muscles and experience the power of my new license.

But no… I am nesting, I feel that each hour spent on law is one less hour spent hand crocheting baby blankets or hand quilting soft books to chew on. All I want to do is stay home and move all the furniture in the house, clean the walls and floors, pack away all the clutter, and arrange hand made baby items into a cute little nursery of calm for my son.

I want to buy a rocking chair and sit in it while I painstakingly learn to knit. I find myself more entranced by Jo-Ann fabric’s annual post christmas sale than I do any legal texts or cases. I want to make tapestry to bring color into my house and homemade fleece blankets to wrap his warm little body in.

I want to learn what each setting on my fancy sewing machine does, and employ it somehow.

The nesting instinct kicked in two weeks ago, when I made curtains for the guest room, continued into last week when I placed plastic weatherproofing stuff over all the bedroom windows, and hand stitched a fleece curtain for Monkey’s room. It has now grown to the point that I have panels of fleece, flannel, and batting for a number of projects that call to me every day.

“Don’t go to work! Measure, cut, and sew a receiving blanket!”

It just goes to show you that all the education in the world can’t halt the power of the instinctual self. It is a force of nature, and far more powerful than anything we can create. It pushes aside the logical self, insinuates itself into the emotional self, and leaves you craving knitting needles when you should be reading over the parol evidence rule.

I wonder if the court would accept motions in cross stitch format.

There was an old lady who swallowed a fly…

I sympathize with the old lady who swallowed a fly…

Pregnancy is such a huge change. It happens so fast and yet takes forever. I can only vaguely remember a time when I was able to run and life heavy objects, but I know it’s only been a few months. At times like this I wish we were more like the Greeks, who measured beauty by their bride’s weight in gold, and the largest most rotund women were the most sought after.

I certainly don’t fit anywhere within the definition of heroine chic, nor do I fit the definition of any chic! I feel, in this seventh month of pregnancy, as though I have swallowed my former self. I feel that I can just see her, if I squint and turn just right in front of a mirror.

I enjoy my belly, it is very round and satisfying. I can’t help but stroke it soothingly, as I will the baby when he is born. However magical and wonderous this experience is, it still lasts nine months. Nine months is a long to time to maintain a sense of wonder and awe. I fight hard against the belief that I have to be skinny to be happy, but even the healthiest of self-esteems has weak moments when one’s body is changing every day for nine months.

I have done this once before too, so I can’t even hold onto the lie that I will return quickly to my pre-pregnancy body. Ha! No one returns to their pre-pregnancy body without the assistance of a scalpel. Everything is subtly different. A little lower, a little looser, a little bulkier. So instead of holding to that illusive dream, I am left wondering what changes will stay this time. Will I ever feel comfortable in low rise jeans again? Will I ever see my toes or will my breasts remain huge forever?

And still, in the bath with the baby kicking, I say hello to my new little man and I am proud that my body can do this. I can grow another separate human being. He will, like his sister before him, emerge from my body and become his own person. My children will accomplish things that I have nothing to do with, even though there very existence was brought about by me.

Pretty amazing stuff. It blows my mind really. How complicated is the relationship we have with our children? I want them to be their own people, do their amazing things, yet there is a voice in my head that cries “come back” with each step towards independence. Is it because they grew within me, that I can’t just be joyful at thier successes? That there must always be this little touch of sorrow for the days of their babyhood?

My daughter has lost all her baby fat. You can clearly see the woman she will become even while helping her button her jeans. She is lithe and muscular and strong and lovely. Her face is delicate and her eyelashes dark. She can hula hoop, and play sports, and has experiences each day that have nothing to do with me. I am very proud of her, but oh I long for my little baby girl, with her chubby cheeks and belly, and her duck fuzz hair.

Life is too many emotions.

PETA

How PETA engages in the objectification of women to advance it’s pro-animal goals…

My professor sent me this link yesterday, PETA’s State of the Union (Un)dress. It was interesting to watch, but more interesting to think about the goals of that organization and how they apparrently differ from the goals of many women. The clip is a woman giving a speech about PETA’s goals, while undressing in front of an American Flag while clips of clapping congressmen are spliced in.

There were several points Jay and I emailed over, the most disturbing being that he had sent this link to many men he knows and they were unable to tell him what the woman said while she was stripping, nor did any of them watch anything in the video after the stripping. Even my husband was hard pressed to remember anything beyond a few sentences. So why have a naked woman deliver your message if the only thing men will remember from the experience is the naked woman?

How does this help the plight of animals? There is unlikely to be an increase of PETA members who are interested in assisting in changing the treatment of animals now that they have seen a naked woman talk about it, if none of the target audience can remember what in the heck she was talking about while she removed her business suit.

Further, this message is another in a long line of advertisements that supports objectifying women. WHO CARES if it’s for a good cause?? Should we smile and nod and say, okay, you can use women’s bodies to sell sex if the profits of said sales are going to “Save the Children” or NARAL?

The very fact that the men who watched this video said they never paid attention to the actual message indicates how poorly physical objectification helps causes. The only thing PETA has managed to do with this message is put another naked female body on the internet.

It would be nice if they could find another way to get our attention.