Meltin' Mama and the Peppy Pumpkin: Jaunting to July in the 42nd Percentile.

Through the thirty-second week of child-miracle-ing gestational excitement, hot hot jicama cabbage kiddos thrashed enough to raise the heat on an already sweltering mummy-tummy. Daddies and daddy's-daddies went on the lam to the Great North, as dataversaries were remembered at the flip of a phone. Work went wild in the south and mums-to-be had bouts of nesting between torpid roostings. Internet terrors as a netless Monday threatened to take a week off track. But miracles abounded in time for daddies and daddy's-daddies to fly to the Greater North for daddy's-mommies magical marriages. 

In thirty-third week,  Air conditioning cranks to a jagged ragged rousing as the trumpets blare with heated haze yet another leg of this darned heat-wave. Mr. (W)right flies to the fog of Saint Francisco to celebrate nuptial rites, while wifey-poo-pooh shutters the home and seeks respite anywhere but there. Love from a cranky distance celebrates entry into THE FINAL MONTH of belly beasty's inside job. Grand debuts threaten as babies biggen. Ultra-mega-super-ultra-sounds bode tidings of good growth and fastidious positioning and peppy pinappley pumpkin keeps up her mad baby rager in the over-heated oven.

Piney Punkin' and the Ultimate Ultrasound (maybe - I have no idea)

Little belly creature (or as her uncle-to-be is purportedly calling her "L.C." to sound like "Elsie") is getting less little by the day. She's rounding out the gestational calendar towards her doo-bee-dooo-beee-due date with a striking celerity. That's right, we're already on week 33! 

Meaning 7 weeks until D-date. Meaning - more terrifyingly - that the "term birth" window breezes ajar in just one month! One sticky, sweaty, hot and steamy month. I could go into labor while watching the Tour de France. Gulp. Andrew seems to think this is a fabulous idea - we could really relate, me and the tour guys. Especially in a mountain stage. All that digging deeper and pushing and hitting up against the sheerest physical limits... We could name our unfortunate little girl after whomever won the stage or tour on the day of her birth. Just think! 

Yep, still a she. So sayeth the follow up ultrasound. And still in the 42nd percentile, growing just on schedule. Phew! "Measuring small": Pshaw. My belly needs its own zip code these days. 

She's still being compared to various items of produce, of course. At this mid-to-late stage, our mega-munchkin can be compared to: 

1. A Pineapple - Again! Just in time to complement my estival obsession with frozen pineapple chunks. (I ran out of melon). She did not appear to be spiky in the ultrasound, but one can never tell. Ultrasounds can be a bit hard to read. 

2. A Head of Lettuce - Lettuce thrash about in mummy's belly? Lettuce see if a good punch to the diaphragm will make her faint? Lettuce play the umbilical cord like ukulele? Lettuce stay right and comfy in that baking baby oven until August and not wind up being named Contadora or Nibalia?? 

3. An Average Pumpkin - Aww punkin, you are adordable! But much prettier than any jagged Jack o' Lantern I've seen. Really. we saw her face yesterday. She has blinky little eyes and the cutest pursing little lips. She was happily slurping up amniotic fluid in just such a way to make me worry she was blowing smoke rings from some teeny pipe hidden in her itty bitty hand. 

And really. The nerve. Average? Well, I guess she's just a little below average size-wise. But pretty darned close to dead-on average at four pounds and a few ounces. The baby sites predict that she will continue to put on half a pound a week. Possibly doubling her current weight by birth. 

In this week alone she could grow another inch (ouch ouch abdomen says ouch) and her head circumference will increase by half an inch (ouch ouch, other parts say ouchie). And while my amniotic fluid is right on track (for her to drink a liter of it a day - little hog), it's also starting to diminish in ratio to baby. Which may be why all those tossings and turnings and rompings through the mid-portion of my body is starting to feel a fair bit sharper to full on Alien. 

My favorite advice this week, in fact is all about increasingly strong baby movements: "place a small object (baby blocks or a remote control) on your belly and see how far your star-kicker can lob that thing across the room!" I think we've discovered our weekend entertainment here. 

But all that moving has paid off: she's in head-down birthing-approved position now after having been slantwise for a good bit. So nice to have seen the ultrasound and know more authoritatively which little baby body parts are beating me at different parts of the day. Girl can shake her toosh, that's for sure.

As we saw with all that eye-blinking, she's getting much keener in the vision department. Apparently she can actually tell night from day (in this scenario am I a nudist?) and her pupils can dilate. She's also sporting her very own immune system these days. I am so very proud. 

Me? Same old same old. I should have my hospital bag packed and be pre-registered. I am halfway packed and I faxed a pre-registration sheet off somewhere into the abyss. Not really sure that it managed to hit any targets, though. Will have to check in on that ... eventually... using the dreaded telephone. Me and the hubs should also program the doctor and birthing center numbers into our telephones now. It's getting real, baby. Panic panic panic!

Oh yes, and I can expect all the same stuff. Hot flashes. Heavy fatigue. Heartburn. Indigestion. Waterbed legs. Overheating at the slightest suggestion of incandescence. Living the rest of this atypically steamy summer in a blacked out room with cardboard stuck up in all the windows and several fans plus an a/c unit whirring me to a shhhhhhhhhh-ing slumber.  

Which will be more appealing with the hubba-hubby gone all weekend for the grand wedding. Except I do have a massage scheduled and I may find my desperation to be mediated by a nicely cooled movie theater (playing a nice quiet art film that doesn't jump start premature labor). Possibly I will dare to inch out towards a lake But mostly legs on pillows and surrounded by fans in a crepuscular cave. Oh heaven... 

-ish. I do like moving. And with the a/c in the office, I'd consider coming in to use the treadmill this weekend except... seriously it's been less than three months and the darned thing already is threatening to die on me again. This time, it sounds like a rear roller is defunct. I can use it for a little bit before there's a horrible knocking noise and the belt gets weird. We have an appointment with the right people this time fairly promptly, but they won't be able to come out and look at the problem until July 9th. I may go crazy here! I can't really stand for periods of time. I hate sitting. I must be in the stream of the air conditioning or I'm burning up, which limits me to about two spots in the office. It's not great news. Two weeks. Sigh. I'm going to have to get a new office fidget-outlet. this treadmill is just being a nuisance these days. 

But maybe it's time to set up a bed where the treadmill used to be and see if the baby can kick paper off my stomach into the trash can or something... we are at that point after all!

Happy Friday all! Stay cool my hep cats. 

Flame-Eared McPreggerston and the Torrid Humid Heat-Horrors

We're havin' a heatwave. We always have a heatwave at some point during  summer here in the Pacific Northwest. Or recently, it's been a consistent trend that at some point, we'll all suddenly wonder why we didn't think about climate control previously and everyone starts obsessing over the weather. Typically, it comes some time in July and temperatures scale into the unpleasant nineties before abating back to our nice temperate middle ranges. We all complain and obsess over the weather and people who've lived elsewhere in the country laugh at the silly pampered Northwesterners for their swooning swan dives. I used to be of that number, but over the years I've grown less heat tolerant and this year's "condition" has amplified my intolerance quadruple-fold, what with the internal baby-making oven going on full blast. 

Also, I will note that we've been having a bit of a moderate heatwave for all of June, with temperatures all quite about average. And this heatwave will likely not be an anomalous little burst of a week or two. It's probably the harbinger of parturient summer to come. 

And so I say to you, stupid stupid weather: BLURG!

Today is supposed to be the high peak... of this week. Yesterday was technically cooler than Thursday, but felt far less tolerable due to a higher level of humidity. My poor little a/c unit could not keep up and left our bedroom several degrees hotter than tolerable. In fact the downstairs, which has no air conditioning, was only about three degrees hotter than the air conditioned bedroom. And that was before I drafted mombossa to "help" (read "do all the hard stuff because I'm weak and wussy") put up some black out curtains in the bedroom and downstairs. We broiled a bit and then escaped to her house, where the air conditioner was also having trouble keeping up but not be nearly so direly behind. At her house there was at least a good ten degrees' difference between the un-airconditioned house and the air conditioned room. 

 I'm not the slightest bit certain what today will look like. Other than "Adella with very red face and a surlier than usual disposition." But I've done what I can to prepare by rising at 5 a.m. and flurrying about in a "it's a tolerable temperature, must MOVE" frenzy. In addition to forestalled household chores, I did attend to the air conditioner filters. They are supposed to be cleaned every two weeks. They have not been cleaned in my memory. And I know the a/c is my baby (Andrew mostly tolerates it - given his magical ability to sweat, he could easily live in the hottest of climates without much noticing). Thus, I'm pretty sure that means "they have never been cleaned." They were dirty, but I doubt the a/c now magically pumps ice into the Sahara. Ah well. Every little bit. And hey, I deconstructed an electrical device without electrocuting myself! I win! My prize is not being in the hospital... yet. I'd like to keep my hospital visits exclusively to the birthing center and at least a month away. 

Oh and any window that isn't covered by a black out curtain probably has cardboard shoved in it at this point. I think it's all a lost cause when you wake up at 5 a.m. and the temperature is already the typical average for this time of year. And probably even more so when the humidity is 88%. But every little bit helps. And if it doesn't, at least we can pretend I have done something. Since reloading the weather forecasting sites repeatedly is a fun compulsion but does not appear to actively impact the weather patterns. 

Currently, all the windows are open and the fans are on full blast. I am trying to get in all the cooler air before there's none left. Once the temperature outside exceeds the inside temperature, everything will be sealed off and I'll be fleeing to try to bide my time in various air conditioned locales. Including a massage, which I certainly could use. After that though... I hear the Denny's in Ferndale is nice and cold. Maybe the Pickford. A walk-in cooler or ten. 

Possibly even the office, which at least has a slightly more efficient air conditioner. Sometimes you find a way for work to become massively appealing and it's usually the air conditioning. 

Happy last weekend of June! I can't believe we're moving into "the month before and/or of my belly creature's birth" Yikes. 

Moany Monday and the Harrying Heatwave

I should grant that yesterday turned out to be far less taxing than initially predicted. Between the time that I went in to see Julie Taymor's Midsummer Night's Dream and the time that I was released full of sleepy eyes and marvelous fantasies, the temperature had actually dropped. It was scaling 80 at 10:30, but down to a relatively more comfortable (if humid) upper seventies by afternoon. The respite was short lived, but it certainly was less taxing on our poor air conditioning in the meantime. 

This morning, the house had cooled a scant two or three degrees from the incalescence of the night before. The windows were open but a curtain had fallen in front of our screen door. And we just can't bring ourselves to leave the garage door open overnight, despite its excellence in cross-ventilation. Today will be a "mild" day by comparison to the bookending weekends, but with the house already fairly hot and with skies predicted to be clear... it will feel pretty bleck to me regardless. 

I'd love to acclimate to these climes and stop fussing and complaining. I know there are parts of the country where things are much worse. But at this point, well... it's not happening. I know there are pregnant women who love the heat. I'm not one of them. And at this point, I can't really draw the line between "third trimester symptoms to be expected" and "heat stroke." But whichever they may be, the combination is leaving me perpetually grumpy, tired, absent appetite, nauseous, and headachey. And I'm not loving it. 

I did read that actually overheating could be very unhealthy for the baby, so it is a relief to have a thermometer tell me that I'm staying shy of that mark, but my body is radiating heat like a little furnace. I'm cooling for two and not super effectively. 

I'm afraid Andrew's homecoming from the grand wedding was less than a surge of romantic music and a passionate embrace. More of a harried "hi" followed by a kiss with some instinctive distance tossed in and an immediate reference to various HVAC components of our house. I may also not have looked my most elegant, although I was still riding on the joy of a lukewarm shower. Apparently super cold showers would likely cause me to overheat later by priming me to retain heat. I'm not 100% convinced it's not worth it, but lukewarm feels pretty frigid to me by contrast anyways. 

At any rate, wheeee welcome to the final pre-baby (knock on wood) month. It's all whale waddles and back aches from here on out. And an adorably roiling little tummy.

 In the meantime, I'm planning my massages every two weeks and doing whatever I can to eat small cold meals in nicely cooled areas. And reminding my husband that I don't feel super stellar. And his window for doting wife probably closed some time during one of his exciting adventures last month. Now it's wailing whale-wife. Feel the love. Just don't feel me!! 

Fingers crossed that we get a little break from the East-Coast weather, although none is predicted. And that maybe that can coincide with a little burst of energy. I still am promised some of that nesting instinct before the baby's born, but grow more and more skeptical by the day. 

Happy Monday. And it truly is happy. For we have two air conditioned offices in which I can hide today. I can't tell you how much I was looking forward to that this weekend!

Stay cool daddios and mom-to-be-ios!

Merry Mama Meltaroo Mambo

Weather Underground lied to me yesterday. Or the forecasters magicked their little meteorological mojo inaccurately and showered me with false promises. Yesterday was supposed to be a cooler day compared to the weekend and the days to come. Instead it veered erratically straight into one of  the - if not the - hottest days of the year. We are not amused. But we are glad to have been at work for much of the torpid trauma that was yesterday. 

Needless to say, the air conditioning unit did not keep up. But oh so like its owner, the portable a/c seems to underestimate its own impact and overdo things to compensate. This weekend, I bought a second room thermometer to check the various conditions of the room. I've often suspected the a/c thermostat both for claiming coolness that seems inaccurate and calescence in variable and unpredictable manners whenever moved.

While the a/c doggedly struggled to get the room below 75 (verified with the other thermometer), it did not in fact allow the room to get up to 77. And by the time the evening had cooled off to allow a nearly tolerable 72 in the rest of the room, the a/c was still claiming it was 76. 

We suspect that the heat of the hose is part of the problem. The hose gets quite hot on days like yesterday for obvious reasons. The hose is necessarily right next to the a/c unit. I suspect it can cause false temperature results on the hottest days and probably not in a linear fashion. Although this morning, I had set the a/c/ to 68 overnight and it was about 66 across the room. So perhaps there is a usual deviation that can be predicted. Except that when I came home earlier in the day, both the a/c and the thermometer agreed on 75 for most of the evening. And in prior times, the a/c has claimed 71 with several fluctuations while the room thermometer remained at 72. 

Oh fictive measurers of the chimerical "objective reality," how you fail me and cast me into existential crises beyond all fathoming. 

Because one cannot obsess over air conditioning units enough, we also experimented with moving the unit. Actually the hubba-hubba did the experimenting. I did the complaining. But in fairness to me, he did something I'd feebly attempted to do (and nearly killed myself in the offing) a while before: to put the a/c unit up on our dresser so that it was no longer isolated in the corner. Nobody puts baby a/c unit in the corner... without maybe suffering spottier climate control in the related room. It didn't necessarily change the effectiveness of the cooling element of the room, but the humidity did go down notably after this action. And it did seem to help reduce the "freezing bicep and broiling body" syndrome otherwise associated with keeping the air conditioning unit about a foot away from the head of my side of the bed. Now it's more like "fairly cool right side and steamy left side" ... which is progress. 

Of course, this move correlated with the major increase in thermometer temperature read-outs. And it's still not 100% comfortable. Not to mention the fact that the dresser is not quite deep enough to hold the entire a/c unit, so the dresser is now pulled away from the wall at a rakish angle with the a/c unit propped awkwardly atop. Or the fact that our baby bassinet will still be going in very nearly in the same corner by my side of the bed... there may still be some moving to be done. 

But it's an improvement. And we got time! I mean not in some grand sense, but the wildness of June has not yet infected July. Yet. There are rumblings of course (least of which being the threat of belly creature's early arrival on the scene). But we may actually have some time to put the bassinet in the room and move the air conditioning around it somehow. 

And we'll need that time. Because time's all we've got in terms of this stupid heat wave, which is increasingly promising to dominate the entire summer. Pshaw blobs and ridges and high pressure areas! Fie on you!! A pox on your houses. Wunderground is once again reassuring me that this will be the "coolest day of the coming week." I've been jerked around once before. I won't trust again so quickly. And when eighties counts as "coolest" there is still something very, very wrong.

Ben and Jerry's pickle-milk-stout-cookies-and-cream and the relentless weekdayish weekend.

In the 31st week of whacky pregnancy wonderment, spiky coconut baby legioned up with leeks as her parents underwent an early test of strength and valor: intensive childbirth prep! Blood was spilt. Videos nodded off too. Positions learned. And water less broken than gushingly spilt down mommy's effervescent back. 

As week 32 winds its way to two-months-to-go panic mark, jicamas head to Napa for a proper belly thrash and mosh pit, while mommies make do at home in the heat. Relationships are feted and pondered with memories and analeptic antics of a somewhat serious sort. Fathers have fun in sun of Canadian forests. And work whirlwinds carry away the last little downtime of June joys. 

Yep, Let's Get Treakly Deakly Starred Out and Sparkle Eyed - 

Six years ago, I was finishing up my first year of law school. Oh  yes, I was as crazy as you might anticipate. Despite my strongly held belief that OKCupid was a swarm fest of creepers and polyamorists, I kept an account because they had five bajillion tests and quizzes that I rather liked. Plus, I'd broken up with somebody a few months before, and figured casual dating with no expectations and minimal follow through would be a good reintroduction to the wild singles world. The blues dancing world was marvelous, but what happens on the dance floor best stay on the dance floor. Lesson learned over several mistakes: physical and musical chemistry don't always translate once the final resolve of a piece of music; why risk a good dance partner with a bad date?

So perhaps funnily enough, I found myself going on repeat dates with (1) a guy I met on OKCupid (who was not a creeper and did not appear to be polyamorous), (2) a guy who messaged me specifically to ask about blues dancing in the area. A relative newbie to the area looking to expand his dance territory. Semi-fresh from New York and touting some stage craft and a ballet resume that made me worry he might be a total dance snob. As I often relate, I really had no clue that he was actually interested in anything other than a social contact in the blues world for quite some time. He's not exactly versed in the art of flirtation, which was a boon at any rate. 

We met once for a very civil tea. After kibbitzing on various dance scenes, we walked around the neighborhood. He talked about flip phones and cycling. We hugged goodbye, which could almost mean something if dancers weren't typically prone towards hugging anything and anyone more often than most salesmen shake hands. Met again for a dinner (we split the check... down the middle... even though his meal was twice the heft and price as mine... his suggestion). Met yet again for dinner, and he asked me if I had an eating disorder because I had a very small meal. Requiring me to explain me "tiny bird stomach and frequent eating schedule thing," something he likely did not believe until he saw the bag of food I took to my summer job. Super romantic, yes. 

Went dancing, and I finally decided to say screw the ambiguity. So I kissed him. He seemed ok with that. We met again... and then it was more clear that we were, in fact, dating. Who knew? I know this because a month later, he got a calendar reminder on his phone and told me with a blush that we had been dating for a whole month! I made the calendar, baby... Well, he says the 19th and I say the 18th. But it kind of was a double-day sort of date, so the specific moment of dating might be hard to pin down. 

...And then we kept dating. And then we dated some more. And then we got engaged. And then there was this fabulous dance party during which we also appear to have gotten married. 

And now I'm all knocked up and we're talking birthing plans and pediatricians and all kinds of - still very romantic - stuff! 

Happy Dateaversary to Mr. (W)right. Who knew I'd stumble on EL UNO in the most random of places? 

I think we both totally forgot in the hubbub of this crazy year, but we did manage to carve space out yesterday to go on our date night. This, in the midst of a busy week of late work nights and impending weekend insanities. The forces of destiny were not in our corner. Traffic was awful heading home yesterday, adding nearly 30 minutes to a long commute. Andrew tried to buck fate, by following a google route that did not pan out - setting him back an additional thirty minutes. By the time he got home, I was hunmonampy (hungry + hormonal + grumpy). Despite my best efforts and a relatively gentle weather day, my flaming ears had flushed and flashed, creeping into my cheeks and head. 

It wasn't looking good for the (W)right date night. But somehow, a return to El Albanil - which is now quite a ways from our house unfortunately - delivered quick service and climate control. I rallied. Andrew started to fade, but we both rallied enough to make physical contact in a heavily air conditioned room. Sure, my ear lit back on fire after just a little snuggling, but it was endurable after a nice dinner respite. 

Tonight, he is back to his crazy work schedule and tomorrow, it's all bikes baby. But good timing for us to beat the odds once again and have a lovely little couples evening. 

Thirty-Two and the Terrific Two Months to Go (and/or "anytime now")

Today marks my graduation to thirty two weeks pregnant. That's some sort of milestone or other: the baby would likely survive without super intensive intervention and has a high shot of a relatively "normal" (considering her parents) life if she did. So go baby! Just don't take that too much to heart. I'm happy to wait. Really. You can keep growing and developing and whatnot. We can keep talking about how we're really going to get to packing that hospital bag and pre-registering for the birthing center and setting up the nursery and... yeah, you can wait. August is a nice month for a birthday, little one. 

Odds aside, the little one continues to make her orbit about the produce metaphors. This week she is theoretically 3-4 pounds and around 17 inches. In others more florid words:

1. A Jicama - Well, she hiccups a lot. That's kind of similar, right? I'm all for jicama. I could eat an entire veggie plate of jicama and still want more. Again, I promise not to eat the baby, but... also, most jicama I buy are significantly smaller than the whole 17 inches, although I'd buy that they reach 3-4 pounds. But that's a side quibble. Produce mileage may vary. 

2. A Napa Cabbage - California gal like her daddy, eh? Or, well, Chinese in honor of her mother's whylum undergraduate degree? In case anyone is wondering "Napa" in this case is from the kanji "nappa" which refers to the leaves of any vegetable. I think the Chinese name for Napa Cabbage is something that translates to "big white vegetable" Not as much to the wine valley. But to each fetus her own. 

3. A Small Watermelon - But does she have seeds? Well, actually, her reproductive system (or his - we only have the one ultrasound to go off of still) should be pretty well formed by now. So some form of fecundity at any rate. 

As any enormous white produce might be expected to have, she's got a nicely developed skeleton of soft and pliable bones. And fingernails that may be getting long enough to require postnatal trimming. Oh my lucky innards. 

In theory she sleeps 90% of the time now, but if this is true, I'm pretty sure she has vivid dreams, because she's still as active as ever. I can watch my stomach really get rolling when she starts shifting positions. Maybe she's a tosser and turner like her daddy. But whichever, the promise of baby movements "chilling" due to less room have yet to manifest. Still this may be the peak week. Maybe. 

Speaking of getting bigger (which I strongly hope she is doing and right on schedule - fingers crossed for next week's ultrasound), she's packing on the chubs. I'm still expected (though I don't always live up) to gain a pound a week. And half of any weight I gain will be her from here out. So I guess I'd better devour the heck out of the "fruit plate" left over from yesterday's joint session. Incidentally when did brownies and macaroons become fruits? I knew about ketchup, but apparently I still need to pay closer attention to the health news. 

And, yes, I'll be getting bigger. In fact, I rather have. Quite rapidly. I suspect it has to do with her changing position as much as growth, but I look visibly more gravid than I had previously. I'm pretty sure that confirms that all my internal organs are getting squeezed out some more. Which supports the ongoing breathlessness and digestive woes. I'm looking forward to the prognosticated "heart palpitations" (not that my heart doesn't just skip a beat when I see my sweet husband and feel his hand on my belly from pure love), and increased braxton hicks contractions. 

Don't forget the swelling! But I have pretty new compression socks for that. They're really cute and very effective, although they scratch at the very top of my calf and generally irritate my skin. Kind of a trade off. But not having several tons of water flopping over my ankles is generally appreciated. 

Oh and that back pain! I think I've jump-started that a bit by beginning my practice squats. At the childbirth prep class, they gave us a hand-out of exercises to do in order to prepare for labor. Seriously, preparing for labor is a full time job. I may really need to take that maternity leave soon. A billion strengthening exercises, packing, forms to fill out, breathing to do, and various massage and stretching that may or may not make nursing and birthing easier (best left to the imagination). I won't go into too vivid a narrative, but at least with the easier exercises, I'm peppering them into my daily routine. I climb stairs a lot and am no stranger to squats, but this sheet suggests doing "ten a day for up to 90 second each." Squatting in itself isn't hard, but holding a squat (in goodish form) for a minute is not super easy. Especially by the seventh or eighth squat. Definitely good preparation for doing several cat rolls.

Aside from the stereotypical hand-on-lower-back waddle, I am told I can alleviate a sore lower back with a heating pad. No. Just no. Because my ears don't light on fire in a 64 degree room. Not happening. 

Maybe laying on a tennis ball or something. And I do think it's time for Andrew to also help with the preparation. While I practice various "positions" he really might want to practice those massages and pressure points and holds. He doesn't realize how much he will want to train for this nonsense. Of course if we both really did, I'm pretty sure I'd have an emergency c-section before even starting labor. The fates don't appreciate well-prepared anything. So maybe just as well. But if something should be practiced, I'm thinking it's the massage part. 

When I'm not awkwardly squatting and massaging myself, I may be bringing good fortune into the office by my sheer presence. Or absence. Yesterday, I was a brave little girl and asked a girl from the childbirth class to tea/coffee/gelato. While we were out, Mombossa settled an impossible case. Just a few weeks shy of trial! A trial for which we knew the preparations were going to be absolute stressful agony for us and our client and her family. I can't tell you what a relief it is to have that off. I've been dreading the trial ever since I was a few months pregnant. Baby doesn't need that kind of toxic stress soup in her tasty amniotic piss water. 

To celebrate we'll likely be happy little logs on the desk today. There's work to do, but my god, my mombossa went through hell yesterday (settlement conferences are exhausting - and I know because I participated in a lot of the prep work). And hell, I'm kind of tired after all those squats and stretches. Oh and that growing a thrashing little baby thing. 

Tonight Daddy Dubya is staying over so he can rise nice and early and accompany my husband (who is less aware that baby birth could theoretically happen anytime now and is thus a little more focused on getting in work and cycling while he can instead of sitting around staring at his wife and waiting for a baby shoe to drop) to a big endurance race in Canada. I theoretically will use this weekend time to jump start a bit of nesting, do some thank you cards, and pre-register already. But I'll likely actually just find a nice couch and some air conditioning and slip into a semi-cool coma. 

It will be quite strenuous that coma, so I'd best rest up now for it! Much practice required. 

Bring on the Massage And the Cabana Boys

Well it's a solo-Saturday for this gal (bike race). To be complemented by a solo Sunday (work for Andrew). And followed up next week by a solo weekend (wedding in San Francisco I finally admitted I wouldn't be able to attend). Yeesh June, you're crazy!

Last night was very non-solo. Andrew and Daddy Dubya are going to a big endurance race in Squamish (hinterlands of Canada) today. Since they had to leave ridiculously early and Seattle is a few hours further away, I suggested it would make the most sense if Daddy Dubya slept over last night. We decided with the variability in schedules and all that it might be nice to invite my mom and her boytoy over for take-out pizza.

The dinner party ended up eating in shifts a bit, but that worked well considering we don't quite have enough chairs for five people anyways. This morning, I roused the loris, made breakfast and kind of dazed myself through some conversation about bike shops and race routes. Just as Andrew was off to the bathroom, Daddy Dubya came up and I baffled some expectations (and pre-evening kitchen training) by making him breakfast too. We had a very pleasant and desultory morning before I took off for my massage and they took off for some epic and ridiculous Andrew-race. He claims the race will take fourish hours. Given the post-race wander about, the post-race eating, the border rates, and the saturnine speed of post-race settling in, I'm pretty much expecting him to be gone for the bulk of the evening.

In a brutal turn-around, he has to work tomorrow in preparation for a big meeting with a client on Tuesday. This is after working late a bit this week as well. We're hoping that he can take some time off on Wednesday or Thursday. And since my schedule isn't booked, I'll try to take whatever time he has off.

We do already have an ultrasound on Thursday to attend! Bring the popcorn baby! Although I suspect he'll want some time to just catch up on his usual weekend stuff as well. But by golly, the baby could pop outta me at any time. I'm rather determined to get some personal time with the husband before that's a major feat of acrobatics and goodwill of trusted relatives.

Today, I'm planning on ... well I don't know yet. A massage for sure. But after that, my hopes to be very productive are thumping up against my desire to be a diffused log loller. It will be interesting to see how these impulses battle it out. But hey, I've got two days and an upcoming weekend to be productive. Just enough to not feel enough urgency to actually be so! Maybe the inevitable bout of hormonal introspection.

We talked briefly in our birthing class about our fears around becoming new parents. One of the ones that struck me was when one of the other women said she was afraid of the resentment she'd feel for her husband's freedom. I admit, I struggle a little with that. I realize how amazing it is to have life growing inside of me. I realize that I would choose this over and over again. I am so thoroughly excited and immersed in the childbearing experience that even the thought of a decision is a no brainer.

But it was bought at a hefty personal cost. I went through some pretty heavy stuff to get pregnant (that month of self-inflicted shots, near-daily blood tests, and endless commutes). The limitations on my body right now can also be tough. Really, anything beyond focusing on this life inside of me is tougher to nearly impossible. I can't not be aware of this baby and of the impact of any actions I take on it. I can't not be concerned. I can't not make our little belly creature a priority. Maybe it's choice, proximity, hormones hijacking my brain, or just how I was wired all along, but I can't "shelve the baby thing" and have a total personal day or completely pursue a self-focused passion. There are multiplying categories of "plans I can't make" and "interests I can't pursue right now."

One could argue that fixation of one's proto-progeny is the ultimate selfishness but in other ways I just can't be as self-focused as I was before. And that makes it harder seeing Andrew out there able to turn off awareness of this thing that's coming into our lives (and me and everything around him but the self at hand). Able to focus entirely on his own personal goals, his hobbies, his little adventures, and his work. Not particularly anxious about the impact of his personal choices on third parties. Not constantly wondering if he'll be strong enough to get through labor. Not wondering if such and such an action will make breastfeeding easier. Not just waiting and wondering and caring for himself as a means to an end instead of an end in itself. 

And maybe it's challenging to realize that this isn't a focus that I can entirely share with him. Back in our pure DINK days, we had parallel personal interests. We could run together, for instance. We can also do this birth-thing together, but in a more lopsided fashion. As much as we're "a team" going into this, I've got a lot more self-interest and palpable altruistic interest in nailing the birth and pregnancy (or at least getting through it safely and with minimal intervention).

I think we both make and have made many sacrifices; and we will make many more, but there is a freedom that he has that I don't now and probably won't again have. The connection I feel to this creature and the way it springs from an utter dependence on me is going to fill up my life for at least the next few years (which is amazing and difficult in the same stroke). And it's a memory that will shape my attitudes and concerns and very personhood for the rest of my life.

And, yes, ok, I'm a little disappointed that the image of the nervous expecting father constantly doting and rushing home and overly concerned is not actually how fathers-to-be act. More like "munching an apple and fantasizing about forums while holding up the legs and remembering to say 'good job honey'." We're in this together, but not entirely. And that's going to endure through at least the beginning of parenting. I'll have the memory of that dependence and connectedness coursing through me for the rest of my life - the sense of sharing flesh, blood, and soul in a tangible way. I won't be able to just go back to where I was before when this is all bled and born. 

It's a minor pebble in my shoe. I empathize entirely with his pursuits, and understand that what's most real to him right now is that a time is coming where he'll be less free to embrace them. I know why the birth thing isn't as engrossing for him yet. And I don't fault him for that.

And the power of that little kicker in my belly is utterly indescribable to the point where I am sorry for him that he can't experience. But it's something to be aware of. And from what I understand of parenting, it will always be there.

Maybe just a little more noticeable when back to back weekends of adventures for him and not-being-able-to-have-my-own for me (except this biggest one at all) mean we don't really see much of each other.

But massages loom and I'm running late already! I suspect I'll feel miles better after a good squeeze and wring out of all those retained fluids!

And a day of staring does sound rather nice!

Sizzlin' Summer's Papa's Parade To Work and Back

Well, we are officially sprung right out of unseasonably warm spring into dauntingly toasty (or so sayeth all augers) summer! Bring on the BBQ! I'll enjoy the smell from inside my walk in freezer! 

Quite a day yesterday, being both Father's Day (a/k/a "every restaurant in town is packed for breakfast and stay away from the card sections of any local shops day") and summer solstice. Didn't see too many druids or other celebrants of the solstice. Maybe they were all bonding with their fathers. Or sacrificing them. I don't really know that much about druidic practices honestly (but bet that last flip comment was offensive to somebody somewhere). 

Summer is less exciting when we've already hit our typical "warmest summer" weather in April and May. Now we're just getting to the blobby sweaty period. Less inspiring for celebration. 

So... to father's day I guess. Despite his preternatural talent for being insensate to these sorts of events, Andrew certainly got his Father's Day fill this weekend! On the one hand, he has a pregnant wife who already likes buying him socks and children's books (and occasionally stuffing him with fancy celebratory foods and other candies that don't quite qualify). On the other, he spent pretty well the entire weekend with his very own daddy. Well... kind of. He spent Saturday riding a bike in Canada somewhere, but his dad drove down and back with him and stayed over both nights. And then he spent Sunday working, but with a two and a half hour break to again meet up with his dad, show him around his work and get lunch. 

I decided to channel the whole "Father's Day is also a pretty good day to celebrate single mothers" vibe and focused on my very own pending motherhood (which was a bit more single this weekend due to all the excursions). Channeled some powers to get a wee bit of nesting going. I don't have that charging instinct I've been promised, but I did sort out more of the baby room, put together more toys and set up the crib! Before collapsing in a pile of my own "meh" in a happily air conditioned cave. 

Since we've been following our weekday morning schedule (well, at least getting up at the weekday time and having breakfast - Saturday was followed by a longer linger with Daddy Dubya before bikes were packed up etc.), I'm quite disoriented today. It feels like the weekend didn't happen. And also like it's been eons since the workweek happened. 

Doesn't hurt that our week last week was a doozy. Mostly for my mom, but I pick up those vibes. We settled a pending trial. It was going to be brutal and painful and messy for all involved. No doubt the angst and pain vacuum will be filled with a dozen other emergencies, but for now there's a nice sense of space, quiet and breathability. Or so I imagine. I'm actually quite short of breath these days, having a squirming creature practicing karate on my diaphragm. But I think there's breathing! 

And plenty of it. 

Fingers crossed for a similar resolution for Mr. (W)right, who begins a week of meetings with the client to review the progress of a very large contract. And for me, for that breathing thing to continue eeking through. Maybe a little bit for some unpredicted rain, just because. 

Internet Fiasco and a Phew of a Fix 

Another one of those rare mornings of sheer and utter panic: the internet at the office was down when I arrived this morning. Dead as a doorknob that's been melted down to little pieces and poured into an early grave... This is, of course, problematic on many fronts. Of course it interferes with any procrastination and social internetting. So there's that. But it also means that we have almost no access to our emails, the court records, most research tools, a variety of documents detailing vital case information... 

There's very little to be done in the absence of internet. I did, in fact, manage to find some drafting work to be done. But some of that still is inaccurate because little details were missing and only likely to be found in emails or court records.  Oh you necessary evil and merciful savior, speedy internet. How did we survive without you? Well I guess back then we had these things called "books" and "files" and people with my sort of organizational bent got to archive them and... ok that sounded pretty cool. 

Ah well. Phew is all I can say. Disaster averted. Because my motivation to actually work was already strikingly slim. And once I got through those drafting tasks to a shoddy semi-completion, I was pretty well tapped out. Not that I mind not having a trial the prep for which I'd been procrastinating on, well... it was certainly a constant source of "stuff to do when I really had nothing else."

We are inching slowly towards the theoretical end of the hubba-hubby's big work push. They have their big meeting today, meaning yesterday was definitely clean up and last minute rushing about time. I realized about a half hour before the bike-and-chain usually gets home that I hadn't heard anything from him yet and subsequently affirmed that he was still at work. Just shy of his usual arrival time, he confirmed that he was actually departing. He hied with haste, though. And after inhaling his dinner, he did still leave some time for our evening Angel ritual. Talking maybe in a more limited fashion, but we'll talk when we're old and empty nested again. 

Nests! Oh right those. I'm much more fascinated by playtime with proto-baby exercises. This mostly involves laying on the bed or couch (wherever the fan/air-conditioning is most effective), waiting until the bizarre belly rolls and kicks start happening, exclaiming "oh you brute" and "hellooooo," and then playing a gentler version of Whack-a-mole (pet a mole?) with the little creature. 

She's got a bassinet and fifty billion different donated outfits. And plenty of stuffed toys from the shower. That's good enough, right? But hey, just in case she's a neat freak in rebellion against her parents, we do have the cleaners coming today. 

At any rate, yes, there may be a brief moment of "catch up time" between work insanity, cycling season grand finale with major dad-and-son time, and grand wedding in San Francisco (which is predicted to be about 15-20 degrees cooler than here, making me all the more rueful that I won't be going). Maybe. Of course between the folks and fun, the boy hasn't gotten a good night's sleep in eons and is itching for some kind of purely self-indulgent ride plus a major catch up and errands involving his new computer. Now that me and a wee one are bottom priority, but it will be a bit of a battle for mental attention on those grounds. I'll just get the little belly creature to launch a belly attack. That oughta get some attention!

Or demand proper pregnant lady treatment. I have thus far received no late night on-demand deliveries of pickles and ice cream. I wonder if Ben and Jerry's has done pickles and ice cream yet. They really ought. I wonder what else they might add... Oh or some version of milk-cookie (cookies that involve potential galactagogues for mothers hoping to boost their natural supply)  ice cream with brewer's yeast and oatmeal/flax cookie... and chocolate. Because chocolate is a superfood goshdarnit. It cures heart disease and makes you hundreds of times thinner and smarter. So it probably boosts production too. And magnesium is good for pregnancy and baby. Ok, forget the ice cream. How about just late night deliveries of chocolate? Pickle highly optional. Maybe instead of the pickle, I could have some extra truffles. I think my time has come!

But we're getting there. And I'm getting closer and closer to unthrottled and full on work here! Fingers crossed for me!

Pina Colada Crazy Capers in the Birthing Center Canteena: A Preparatory Weekend

Apexing the great Three-Oh-My(!!), bursting bellies nestled into Much Ado About Old Countries. Cabbage-cuties cut a rug inside an laden armful of genuine maternity wear. And DINKs took their last stand in the Green Lands of Fairhaven Park. Buried under gifts and goodwill, they could not hold and the melting towards parentage began in earnest. 

The Thirty-First week forged ahead in INTENSIVE PARENTING PREP!! With a groggy groan and moan and spacy "huh?" our pre-parents prepare for the hurdles and happiness to come. With dolls! And videos! And lots of massages. Belly-creature-coconuts kick up in utero storms when told they may be "measuring small" Belly remodeling follows suit. Blood and soda spill in the wake of a wearying but inspiring weekend. And June lopes to a jolting close of spun up work and busier weekends, while our water-logged proto-mommy collapses near a couch with tissues and ice packs flocking her. 

Langor-toes and the Thursday Thump

It was another night with the hubba-hubba-hubby in Seattle and the mums-to-be soaking up her last dregs of alone time. Boy oh boy, I slept well last night. Everso blissfully well. Had the bed entirely to myself, prime camping ground for an elaborate pillow fortress and carefully strewn sprawl. The evening air was cool enough to leave windows open and rely on fans (always a better ambience for nuzzling Mr. Sandman and luxuriating in his soft and silky dream-weaves). And, I slept in, of course. 

And, yet, I'm still ready to snooze. Or to return to my pillow fortress, plop my swollen extremities amidst the pillows and gaze deeply into the depths or heights of the ceiling before succumbing to the through introspection of the mysteries of my own eyelids. 

So nice and cozy... and full of things to do. Ah well. 

I am feeling somewhat more organized today. I have my major project in rough draft form (phew - because starting that was the biggest hurdle of the month). I have a decent packing list for that theoretical hosptial bag. I have a list of people for whom to pen Thank You Cards, although little afflatus to actually break the seal on my adorable monkey cards. I even have a few black out curtains to hold up against various windows and see what fits. Joy of joys, I remembered my sunglasses this morning. 

Small progressions towards a pretty exhausting but informative weekend. Yeesh, I need to pack a bag just for our childbirth prep intensive weekend class. Pillows and blankets and snacks! I think I can handle that one. 

The office will be abuzz with various activities this morning. Another four-way for which snacks must be provided (says Adella). Plenty of visitors at whom to wave. And a lunch out that sounds so fun in theory but exhausting in the whole "leaving the office and interacting with people... even people I love" kind of way. Better chug that tea with lemon. It's like a morning caffeine fix, right? Hot and acidic at least!

You Put De Lime in the Coconut and Add a Pineapple Melon Thirty-one weeks in

Another week, another string of produce metaphors (and reminders of symptoms long held and some new ones - one is silver and the other gold as the girl scouts would say). After a little lull, the creativity is back, and our wee Fonzarelli may now be any of the following: 

1. A Coconut - Ok. Coconut everything is fairly trendy these days - water, milk, meat, sugar... you name it. Why not coconut baby?

2. A Pineapple - Is there a developing cocktail theme going on here, or is that just me and my many months of abstinence? I am ok with pina coladas, and sometimes long walks on the peach. But I still don't fancy the idea of birthing a spiky (or spiked) infant. 

3. Melon - Little Aubergine Midori. Still going strong with that booze theme. Speaking of melon, I've discovered frozen melon chunks! I'm not much of a melon fan. I find honeydew and cantaloupe to be the uninspired "seasonal fruit" filler of any otherwise appetizing fruit plate. But they work really well frozen. Most fruits are pretty amazing when frozen. At least when you're overheating in a swelter. But I will be buying some premade fruit salad and freezing it for consumption during labor for sure. 

4. A bunch of leeks - Getting away from the beverage theme, here. Well, she's been a leek before, but a BUNCH. What, my baby now has dissociative produce identity disorder? We call her leek-legion, for she is many. 

5. A bunch of bok choy - Bok choy!! I just like to yell that out as if I'm doing some kind of exciting cooking related kung-fu move. 

Perhaps her produce variety has been amped by the variability in what size she might actually be right now. Somewhere between 14 and 18 inches, but with an average of about 16.* And probably about 3.5 pounds with lots more adorable white fat sucked from mommy's marrow. And she's getting quite big-fish-small-pond in my ever burgeoning belly. Unsurprisingly, she's likely stuck in some form of fetal position now. So much for all that raising the roof and long-leg can-can extensions she was doing in the second trimester. Serves her right for sucking up all that amniotic fluid (and then peeing back 2 cups of it a day)

* Or so we hope. I am apparently "measuring small" across my big old bump. They're scheduling an ultrasound in two weeks to measure her growth and make sure it's all progressing well. 

Otherwise, it's more about refinements at this point. She has blood cells; She's building immunities, can hear even better and more aptly than before; she could smell if she weren't buried in amniotic ambrosia; her brain has trillions of neurons popping about and making more connections; and she can officially breathe on her own. Go little belly creature!

For me, it's decidedly more of the more of the same and then some. If my duple-blood volume were not sufficient excuse for my perpetual broil, then I take comfort in knowing that my metabolism has also increased by 20%. And I'm fairly certain my blood pressure is at the highest it's ever been (was unearthly low, so this is probably good). I'll know more excitement after my OB appointment this morning about measurements and numbers.*

* Apparently, actually it was about the lowest. Who can say. I'm going with the duple blood volume as the culprit 

But I know the most important things now: I get hot fast! I've started to notice that I get tired with equal celerity. Oh so drag-down tired. Feeding a fonza-leek is no easy job. 

I also lose my breath easily (must be the absent-mind of pregnancy fog - I'm sure my breath and my ability to concentrate are behind a couch somewhere). My eyes are bleary and sometimes unfocused. My brain is a muck. My coordination is post-post-modern abstract. My legs, hips, back, and belly ache as various muscles are twisted and nerves tweaked. It's not all too bad, since I'm used to a certain level at this point. But I hear it might increase as the little one gets less teeny weeny. 

But a fun new one: my legs are starting to get really into this swelling nonsense. By the end of the day, they are waterbed bulging over my socks. Very attractive, I assure you. 

In other news, well, I'm off to find out more news about the general progress of this third trimester nonsense.* It's been a baby-intensive week and will become more so this weekend. I hope they let us play with birthing balls at our childbirth prep class!** 

* They'll follow up on the measuring thing, but my other tests were fine and I got to have my very own TDAP so our little wee one won't whoop up the whooping cough. But I'm up to every other weekly appointments now!

** They did! Boing Boing! 

Prepped up, Pumped up, and ... a bit Backsore for Baby

We are just a wee bit over halfway through our megablitz Childbirth Prep Intensive weekend. My head is bursting with baby (though not quite in the Zeus-bearing-Athena fashion just yet). And images of various little uncanny valley baby-or-fetus dolls passing through skeletons of pelvises. Creepy? Everything about childbirth is simultaneously magical, disgusting, beautiful, and creepy. 

Magically Disgustingly Creepy? Let's just say that we saw several videos of various couples during actual labor experiences. And at least two videos of live births. One was a full beginning to end piece. This followed the more segmented look at several couples in the different stages and phases of labor. It may be saying something that I found these more inspiring than terrifying (despite the obvious pain demonstrated at times) and that I even murmured cute when the little misshapen and bloody newborns burst from their mommys' loins. 

At the end of the beginning-to-end segment, the women in the group were largely misting up and sniffling while their partners were fighting off comas. I guess that's better than "scared witless out of their minds."

Not sure what this says of our collective future birthing experiences except maybe (1) pregnant women have a lot more hormones and are a lot more intimately connected to an idea of birthing, a concept which is is far more abstract to future daddies (2) future daddies kind of rise to the occasion when it occurs in specificity, and can connect less to the generalized idea, (3) there may be an empathy gap, given the hormones and the hitting closer to home and the general male/female divides - after watching several women sobbing, moaning, and otherwise getting through tough labors in an evident amount of pain, my sweet bike-and-chain commented that it didn't seem like anyone was in pain so much as like they were focused really hard the way people get when jumping barriers in cyclocross, for instance. I'm sticking with #2 though. That and narcolepsy. 

It was a bulging day, teeming with facts swarming with information, and full of practice. Things that could have been daunting but were instead mostly inspiring. We learned several positions and techniques for managing pain (far beyond the stereotypical lamaze huff-huff-puff one sees in movies). I feel like I have a much better grasp on what to expect when I'm super duper expecting a baby to pop out of me within several hours. Well, yes, pain and eventually a baby, I'd previously gotten... but some greater detail for the meantime. A lot of the positions make instinctive sense to me, even the various pushing positions. I'm glad that we live in a town where the nurses and birthing center are far more open to facilitating a patient's preferred birthing approach. 

I also came out of it with a greater sense of confidence. Not just for myself, but for us as a birthing team. It's hard to imagine being as vulnerable as I will be during that process. We have a pretty modern and progressive marriage, based largely on the "we support each other, but we take care of ourselves in our things" principle. Having my husband be that attentive to my needs, to talk me through to focus when I'm totally overwhelmed, and to advocate for me... it's a little foreign. And since we don't have that dynamic, it's maybe hard to imagine Andrew would be comfortable there. I guess some part of me has thought "I'll have to get myself through this labor and then support the daddy-to-be so he isn't too freaked out and so horrified that he'll never be able to touch me or the baby again." But at this point, watching these couples on the video, it's reminding me that I don't have to approach it this way. And I know my sweetie will take that charge when it's appropriate if I ask and make way for him to do that. And I can ask. And he knows how to do the double-hip squeeze now. Blessed, blessed back relieving press. 

So that was inspiring. To the little leek too, apparently. She was super active all day yesterday. I'm all keyed up and ready for labor and so is she... except not for another very long 9 weeks. Which is good, but also... wow, long time. 

And there's more to learn today. I may faint from sheer exhaustion at all that sitting, but at least today we get to start later and have time for a walk. And walk or waddle I shall! Before it gets steaming out, which is already being threatened. 

So-da Stream Flows A Brisk Morning Baptism for a Hot One Heading Here

It was an exhausting and edifying education excursion this weekend. My body feels a bit like I've run a mental marathon, so brimming over with ideas and opinions and expectations and to-dos as I am... But to really start the Monday off right, sometimes you just need a little cold water thrown in your face... or down your back.

In a moment of ecological concern, I recalled that since summer is anon and this heralds the dawn of my desire for soda water, it would be better to stop crushing through cans, and resume my soda streaming habit. So I tried. I really tried today.

It would appear that I neglected to apply the force of my will towards a final twist of the cap. Or so I would glean from the damp sensation seeping through my blouse as I approached our office building. I did stop and tighten the offending cap, but the damage was officially done. Or at least about 3/4 of a liter of carbonated water had divested itself to the contents of my bag. It was a soggy slog up the stairs and into the office - keeping the bag at arm's length to minimize my personal saturation.

There are  pools of water in the pockets of my bag. And some of my devices and papers are clearly unhappy. The quartet of seasonally inappropriate gloves stashed in there for months are sodden. They lay supine in the sink. My semi-damp papers are on the floor, along with any other sundries from my bag. And my back is just drying off in time for the heatwave period in which all that wet would feel nice.

Yep, gonna be another hot one after a little blip of a reprieve. I'm so very glad that (1) our weekend was actually below scorching, (2) the room in which our intensive introduction to childbirth and care occurred was well-air conditioned.

Yesterday's class was shorter, but the real endurance kicker. One intensive day can be had with a high level of energy, but there's an inevitable flagging that occurs on a second day of such things. Nonetheless, it was a pretty interesting day full of "and now all the medical interventions and stuffs" followed by breastfeeding (no practice sessions or live demos on that one), break out discussions about our fears and expectations of the difficulties of post-natal care (divided by gender/role), and some primers on soothing newborns. 

It appears that newborns like to be straight-jacketed, lightly shaken (not stirred), and then have their provider HISSS and SSSHHHHHH obnoxiously in their ears. Preferences. We all have preferences, but I still say those babies were more quieted by a "hold still so the crazy man doesn't hurt me" survival urge than any automatic calming reflex.

Exhausting as it was, I'm really glad to have been through it. It has definitely sparked conversation between me and my future-birth-coach. It's a balance of recognizing that I currently - as he put it - have more ownership over this process, and of wanting this to be a shared experience. I think we're both trying to suss out how to change the engagement ratio between us, and it's coming around a bit. I have those hormones reorganizing with my brain, and a constantly shifting belly just full of my little creature. Andrew may have to wait until the moment comes for those bursts of mind-altering chemicals (although I hear some men of pregnant partners already start undergoing neurochemical changes). But in the meantime, we're still using mostly "big event"/"Race prep" language because it's familiar to him and works to a certain extent.

In the meantime, who can help but be mesmerized by my ever-shifting and rippling belly? It is surreal and she's full-on shifting positions in a pretty visible way right now. Definitely excited by all that birthing talk, I can only assume.

And - future birth plans aside - it was just nice to be "doing something" intensive like that together. Andrew's schedule has been pretty nuts recently, and with the limitations from this belly-creature thing, I feel like we've just kind of inevitably drifted to our separate-interests corners when we do have time together (his being bike stuff and getting his downstairs ready, and mine being laying on a couch somewhere). Last weekend was great, but with all of our families here, we still barely saw each other. And this coming weekend, his dad will be coming up on Friday to accompany him to a big all-day endurance race in Canada on Saturday. That's after a week of longer hours for an impending deadline. Then there's a big trip/wedding in San Francisco that I'm starting to think I won't be able to attend... I've told him we're reserving some time together in July, because downtime together is highly lacking going into the baby madness. And we should practice those soothing techniques for the birth. Especially that massage bit... definitely the massage part. Lots of practice on that.

But I guess it's all good practice for our future balancing act, right? Work/self-time/couple time/baby time/sleep(!!!) I'm sure we'll just figure that all out no sweat... just maybe a few barrels of soda stream down our backs!

Bloody Nose McGroggy and the Beautiful Bouncing Belly

In the annals of "pregnancy makes this highly sensitive lass feel wussier than worn tissue paper," it appears that an intensive weekend of sitting, watching videos, getting a few practice massages, and playing with dolls is just too strenuous for my delicate little incubator these days. Yesterday was ... not my top form. Mostly. A mix of morning sickness (finally aptly called such, unlike the evening sickness of my first trimester), mini-migraine, cramps, and fatigue. And the return of senor el bloody nosey. Although thing time I was prepared with ice and the determination to sit and pinch without gallivanting off on my treadmill or any other distractions from the "cut it out nose!" focus. 
 The head pain and fatigue outlasted the others and endured through to today.

But it appears the little Fonzarelli was unphased by the event. Possibly energized by it. She's been thrashing around pretty nonstop since this weekend began. I couldn't capture the really big ones, because she's also a little imp who does not want to perform on demand (so prepared to be a real kid). But, well, I wish my belly dancing muscle isolations were good enough to do those movements. 

Glad she's feeling spry. I am going in for an ultrasound next Thursday check things out, since I'm measuring a bit small. Or was. I swear my belly popped a whole new shape shortly after the appointment. But I'll take the ultrasound. I'd like any confirmation that all is well. Plus we haven't seen her on the inside for quite some time. I am dead-curious what position she's gotten herself into. I can tell she's repositioning, but not exactly how. 

In other news, Andrew's work is amping up again just in time for the two crazy weekends that plan to finish out our nutso June. He'll be out late for a lot of this week (when he's not off to Canada or other foreign lands), so we were fortunate to get in a nice relaxing and heavily air conditioned evening together last night. We're trucking through the final season of Angel now, which I love. They dropped a lot of the "Turgid supernatural soap opera" angle of the prior season and reinserted a lighter more episodic feel that only occasionally goes Nutso Supernatural Alley McBeal. Really, though, they dropped the angsty love triangles (mostly) and brought in Spike and Harmony from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. How could I complain? 

Especially in a room that couldn't keep up with the low-eighty degree weather but at least was sub-upper-seventies in temperature. Andrew acclimates quickly! He was wearing a long sleeved shirt in our 75 degree downstairs, and had to get under the covers with an extra hoodie to hang out in the bedroom's chilly 71 degree climes. I was, of course, covered in cold water and little else besides a tank top and light linen pants. 

I wish I acclimated that rapidly! But I guess I'm adapting in my own way. A month ago, these temperatures would have killed me. Now, I can keep them to tolerable with a hearty helping of evaporative cooling, all courtesy of the kitchen sink and several industrial fans. I am still, however, eternally grateful for the air conditioning in my office, car and bedroom. Even Andrew had to admit that it was warm in our room last night and that was with the a/c on high. 

Today, I get less hubba-hubba-hubby action, but a purported break in the swelter. At least they're currently predicting a ten degree drop in temperatures for today. Fingers crossed.