Friday, January 23, 2009

28 weeks

Yesterday was terrible, but a bit of sleep can vastly improve my outlook.

I am still uncomfortable, but have moved my focus to thinking about how good my massage is going to feel this evening.

I am wearing a hand-me-down t-shirt which has a giant question mark on the tummy. People like it.

I am so in love with this baby-fish-alien-creature inside me that I can't even believe it! I mean, I've never even met 'him'! But it's undeniably love, even when he's kicking my kidneys or stretching out my bellybutton. Actually I love that part too... he's so present now, under my skin, with smooth long bits that must be his body and sharp pointy bits that I imagine as feet and knees and elbows, and sometimes the long planes of arms and legs. I can't wait to stop imagining his geography and run my fingers along his skin instead of mine. (Well, I can... he's still so tiny and I want him to get big and strong and fat first.)

I am in a panic of nesting and being unbelieving there's only 12 weeks(ish) to go, and horrid frustration like yesterday's where the whole idea of this only getting bigger and heavier for the next three months is terrifying. I am pondering getting a work crew over to my house to paint the damned trim that I didn't paint all summer... because it *bothers* me now, in crazy ways. I want his little room she'll probably not sleep in for months and months to be the dreamy ocean green I have in my head. I want to wash and fold and unfold and refold so many tiny clothes. Some part of me is terrified I won't get it all done, I won't be able to hold the house or myself together until this thing is over...

I am not scared of labour... (yet?) It seems like something that's a culmination of this whole thing, some work I need to do at the end, but work my body is all ready for. I am reading all sorts of natural birth books, because I'm obsessive like that, and really looking forward to working with my doula...

Work is a good distraction, though it's hard to focus, especially on my bad days. And work's not great for my body, let's just face it. But I'm still succeeding in getting things done, overall, even if I have to bawl over making stupid mistakes these days...

Anyway... yesterday I felt horrible and hopeless... today I am just achy and full of anticipation.

What's the state of the you?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Pre-natal classes

I was kind of looking forward to pre-natal classes--there's a ton of stuff I'll bet it would be good to know about babies and what to do with them.
We had our third, roughly two-hour, session last night and Rhia and I in agreement those are six hours of our lives we wish we had back.
Before last night we had the feeling these classes were really aimed at teenagers or others who might not be as ready to become parents as I think we are. But after last night, we're thinking these may actually be classes for people who have never before seen a baby.

Last week (class #2) was on "parenting," or it was supposed to be. It largely consisted of videos, whose message was: you should talk to your partner to avoid conflict. Great (although I don't know how that made the one woman in class who seems to be on her own feel). The one potentially bit of useful information about parenting was that you should not expect more of your developing child than is appropriate for his/her age. Except they didn't attempt to explain what's normal for different stages of development.
Maybe they'll cover that next week in the class on "babies," I thought, puzzling at the order of these classes.
Not really, as it turns out. There was a powerpoint slide on roughly how much and when infants sleep as they age, but that was about all on that subject.
The lowlight of the class came early on when our nurse (I'm giving her the benefit of the doubt and pinning the uselessness of all this on their lame materials), broke us into two groups and passed out flash cards that were supposed to help us identify "cues" about when a baby is "engaged" and when baby is "disengaged."
These engaged cues include when the baby looks at you for a long period of time. Or when the baby smiles. The back of these cards had helpful definitions. You'll know the baby is looking at you for a long time if...the baby looks at you for a long time!
And a smile is when "the corners of the mouth turn upwards."
At this point we started to wonder if we had somehow enrolled in an ESL class by accident.
All of us were openly mocking these stupid cards. Unfortunately, our nurse was not picking up on our disengagement cues and allowed this to go on until we had finished all the flash cards.

I had expected this baby class would at least have some basic practical information: how to put on a diaper, perhaps. Nope. How to care for the umbilical stump, what to watch out for. Nope.

There was another long video about responding to crying. It noted three situations in which a baby might cry: baby is upset, baby is hurt, baby is sick.
How do you know when baby is sick? I don't know--they didn't tell us.

Fortunately for us, and others we talked to after class, we've been reading books and talking to people who do have helpful information on these and other subjects. Relying on these classes alone, I would have no idea what to do with a baby.
Next week the scheduled topic is breastfeeding. We do plan to breastfeed--well, Rhia does! But at this point we're wondering whether it's worth the bus trip and crappy mall dinner for what's like to prove another infuriatingly useless evening.

We're definitely looking forward to working with Shannon, our doula. We're confident she'll be able to answer questions and help get us ready for birth and taking care of a newborn.

***

It's inauguration day. I have the day off and I think I'll probably veg out on the couch for much of it to watch this all unfold. I've never been gaga (note babytalk) over Mr. Obama. Sure, he's much better than the alternative, but I don't think he's the flawless superhero many seem to view him as.
Still, I really enjoy seeing how he's inspired people and I think the day will be full of emotion.
It is a historic day. I remember thinking, back in November, that Petey will be born into a world where the president of the United States has always been a black guy. I think that fact, maybe more than Obama himself, will go a long way toward addressing racism, prejudice and disaprity. Hopefully, people like Petey will grow up with a worldview that would see the suggestion that a person's physical or other characteristics might limit his abilities or opportunities or worth, as totally off the wall.

***

Petey will also grow up in a wrold in which there has always been this Animal Collective album, Merriweather Post Pavillion. And it's pretty great, so that's pretty great too.

(Image: Painting, "Octocopter," by Lesley-Anne Steeleworthy)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Think you know when Petey's coming and what he's like?

Come one, come all, place your bets on Wee Pete's vital stats. No fees, no prizes, just good clean fun.

Go to : http://expectnet.com/game.php
Tell it you want to play : Peteysday
Make your guesses.
Wait and see!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Apocryphal family lore

video

Well, actually none of that's true (you might have guessed this since Petey is still only -3.5 months old, not 60ish) except the part about pineapple-loving being intolerable in a rock and roll band. We were just playing around with our new camera, a Christmas present from the grandparents (and aunt) to-be. (I didn't realize how sensitive the microphone was, or I would have crinkled that chocolate wrapper less.)

The beginning of The Empire Strikes Back is on TV, which is appropriate since today we are living on the Ice Planet Hoth. This channel has been showing all the Star Wars movies lately. I was thinking the other day how much fun it will be to watch all six episodes in order with Petey (Empire will blow wee Petey away...you must all swear not to spill the beans about the Luke/Darth Vader thing).
When I'm not being a giant dork, I do think about more practical and near-term baby-related things, like all the small little tasks to do in various parts of the house in order to get a nursery ready. And how to be a dad.

But that part I'm going to learn tomorrow night at pre-natal class, as long as it doesn't fall victim to the storm. I dunno, maybe it's a little more complicated than you can learn on a Monday evening. I started curling lessons last weekend and after two sessions, I'm not yet ready for the Briar.
The thing is, actually, that I don't know what I don't know. That thought is sometimes daunting.
But that's outweighed by sheer anticipatory excitement and the delight of feeling our little pickle kick and swim in his bubble.
And what a beautiful bubble it is!

I'm not much for New Year's resolutions, but I thought maybe mine should be to post here more regularly.
And no doubt things are going to get a little more hectic and exciting than they are today.

26 weeks

Woo! The third trimester, by some accounts. Other accounts would have me wait until next Thursday, but who's consulting every source possible anyway?

Still feeling overall great, though a little achier and less agile all the time.

My own self has become largely subsumed in the belly. I mean, I still have some real conversations at work, and with friends and things, but the first conversation with anyone, anywhere, tends to start about the baby. And I admit I'm fully complicit in it. I feel special, and I like feeling special. But I also sort of feel... not-me... and I guess soon I will have a baby, and then it will be even more so... But that's what people want to talk about. It's fun, I guess. But the world is full of so many things. Ah well. Worse things have happened.

None of the legendary pregnancy dreams, though I do keep dreaming that people are buying me extra-large maternity clothes and I have to keep explaining that you buy them based on the size you were before you get pregnant, and they never get it. I guess that means I feel very big. And I do and I don't. I will only get bigger, so I'm not going to fret about it.

I am getting nesty too. Sometimes I get so absorbed in a cleaning or organizing task that I completely miss bedtime. Need to watch out for that one.

Looks like we are going to have a BABY soon. How did that happen?

 

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