Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Do You Know What I Know?

The ultrasound was yesterday.  I thought once or twice about coming here and posting what happened, but I was too wiped out.  Was the suspense killing you?  Probably not, but it is getting to some people.  Relatives from California to Georgia have been trying to find out what's up.

Here's your exclusive sneak peek at the real story:

I'm on spring break this week, so I brought the kids down to my dad's house in time for Mad to have lunch and get her nap at Grandma's.  Tom was shockingly close to on time.  This was an unexpected occurrence, so I went ahead and showed up half an hour later than he had said.  I did tell him I'd do that because he never leaves work on time.

He and I went to lunch at our favorite Mexican place.  The service is so fast that we were done in 20 minutes.  There was still more than an hour to wait.  We stopped at the bakery to map out our plans in terms of design for the "big reveal" cake.

I talked to Nance, who was on her way.  She arrived a few minutes after us (still about 20 minutes early).  I'd already completed the paperwork.  Tom went to the restroom and, of course, my name was called.  Three minutes later we were still waiting for Tom.  There was only one other man in the waiting room, a big guy with those huge rings inside his earlobes.  His girl was dressed in full 40's style.  He was my only hope.

"Excuse me.  I have a very weird request.  Can you please go into the restroom and tell Tom Somethingorother that he'd better get his ass out here ASAP?  I was called in for the ultrasound several minutes ago."

As is often the case with big, somewhat scary looking men, the dude immediately got sheepish on me.  He looked scared to go in the restroom and call someone out.  Clearly this is his first baby.  Any mom who's shopped with a son beyond the age of using the women's restroom knows what I'm talking about.  But this was Tom, not Corey, and I didn't notice how many other guys might have been in there, so I wasn't going in.  If it had been Corey (back in the day, not now), I could have told you the number of people and given complete descriptions.

So the guy faked it.  He went in and came right back out saying, "I think he's finishing up."  Dude, my husband's one of those guys for whom a trip to the bathroom is a chance for some "me time."  Last time we were here, it took a long time to be seen.  He could be finishing up for the next 15 minutes.  Argh!

In the meantime, we found out that I could only have one person in the room with me.  This made no sense to me since the rooms are spacious.  When Tom and I went in, it made even less sense because there were two chairs.

The woman who took us back gooped me up (hooray for warm gel!) and asked, "If it's able to be seen, do you want to know the baby's gender?"


Before leaving home yesterday I had printed out a paper with
It's a
Boy!         Girl!

I also brought notecards in envelopes so that we couldn't possibly see inside what the tech had circled.

She did some measurements before calling in the doctor, who simply verified the existence of all the necessary parts.  Doc had a hard time finding one arm, but eventually did say, "Upper extremities."  And she reiterated that we'd need to come back for the baby's echocardiogram (appointment was already scheduled based on my age, so we didn't freak out); she just couldn't see enough to know everything she wanted.

We did learn a couple of interesting things.  Unlike my OB's statement about it being "impossible," I am allergic to Benadryl.  No surprise to me.  I remember what happened when I took it.  But she also gave me some alternatives should I ever choose to do shot therapy for my allergies.

She also said that my latest miscarriage was probably because my eggs are old and decrepit (okay, she didn't use those words exactly, but close enough).  Since I'd had genetic testing done after all the miscarriages before Corey, she attributed those to incompatibility with my ex-husband.  Well, DUH!

Oh, and did I happen to mention we're having a daughter?  Fynn Willow.  I'm getting teary-eyed again just thinking about her.

When Nancy and I talked before getting to the perinatology center, she said something about how there wasn't any difference between learning today and finding out on the 11th.  Tom thought she meant it was no big deal to wait, but I knew she was saying, "Can't we just find out now, huh?  Can't we?  Please?"

Before she got there, Tom and I talked some more about it.  He agreed rather quickly and we went for it.  (Nance and I learned later that his mom had given him a lot of grief for not wanting to find out last time... go Mom!)

The tech told us first.  Tom asked how certain she was. 

"As sure as can be.  Labia, labia, clitoris."  She pointed out those three lines over and over.  In fact, we have no fewer than five cooch shots.  That's almost half of the pictures!

The doctor came in and, not knowing that we'd heard the news, did her exam and said, "Looks like you have a very healthy baby and everything's fine, unless you were expecting a winkie, 'cuz if you were expecting a winkie, everything's not fine."

Well clearly I was stunned, but I'm over it now. 

Baby Fynn. 

There's something so different about knowing who is in my womb. 

On the one hand, I'm sure our doctor was right that the moment of birth will be different.  When Mad was born, Tom was the first to see and call out that we'd had a girl.  Hearing the tech and the doctor each quietly tell us we were having a daughter could never compare to that.

On the other hand, I have four and a half months or so to get to know little Fynn.  This is something I've never gotten to do.

Now we just have to wait until Mad's party on the 11th to tell everyone else.  In the meantime, our answer is, "Nancy doesn't know any more than we do.  I handed her the card that says, 'It's a Boy/Girl.'"  Shh!

Know What I Love About Blogger (And Me)?

Every time I check out a particular draft post of mine, it ends up getting published.  My own list of things I keep meaning to put down on "paper" so that Mad will be able to look back on them someday... Even as I sat here thinking about how annoying it is when I accidentally publish this list, I did it again.  Love it!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Vote Early and Often

I could tell you exactly how many hours and minutes between now and the big ultrasound tomorrow.  Oh, happy joy!, the doctor wants to leave early, so our appointment was bumped up by over three hours.

I have always been excited to see any of my babies, no doubt.  But this is the first time I might get to know if we're having a boy or a girl.  With Corey and Mad, it was a decision not to find out.  I am dying to know this time.

Our plan is to get the information on paper, but not have the technician tell us.  We want to wait until Mad's birthday party, when most of the family can join us, for the big reveal.

Still, I am not so secretly hoping to Oops! see a penis.  That's right, I said it.  Even though a month or so ago I openly said a girl would be more convenient and blah blah blah, I'm convinced I'm having a boy.  And that has led to me wanting a boy.

The other day Baby and I were driving around and I just blurted out, "You can be a girl if you want to, I won't mind, but I know you're a boy."

So let's take a vote... who believes in mother's intuition and who knows that it doesn't really work that way?

Saturday, March 27, 2010

*muttering* Hmm... Whattodo, whattodo...

I'm gonna lay some things out here.  It could be too long for many people, but I'm mainly doing this one for me.  There may be a point and a question at the end.  We'll see.

I was 19 when I married Stephen.  He turned 20 the next day.  So, ya know, we were, like, mature and all (is that me popping my gum?).  Prior to meeting him I had spent about 18 months being more of a party girl than I care to admit.  I've always had a very low tolerance for alcohol.  So when the weekly 2-3 nights of partying led to my being able to consume two drinks a night, I was a little concerned about the direction of my life.  (For context, I can start feeling the effects of alcohol within 1-2 sips.)

Enter my high school buddy, Deb.  She had gotten pregnant and then married within a year of graduation.  Her husband immediately went in the Navy.  I don't recall ever seeing him again, and it didn't take long for her to stop talking about him.  After the baby was a few months old, Deb and I headed down to the Naval Training Center (NTC) to check out the clubs where, rumor had it, we wouldn't be carded.

Not only weren't we carded, the ratio of guys to girls was something like 10/1.  We were as happy to see them as they were to see us.  Somewhere in that night, Stephen and I met.  Deb met a guy, too.  The four of us went to the peninsula at Point Loma and watched the sun rise.  It was a nice time, fun and kind of free, but nobody was making out or anything like that.

Stephen took my number.  The first time he called, he left a message for "Sharon."  There was never any amazing, wonderful love between us, but we got on well.  He was willing to talk about all the same stuff I liked to talk about, plus we both loved dancing.  That was the basis of our relationship.  The conversation when we said we loved one another started off like this (in the bed of a pick-up truck as we headed back to his base one night):

Him:  "I think I might be falling in love with you."
Me:  "Get back to me when you're sure."

I don't even remember how it ended.  Ahh, romance.   Clearly I needed a change in my life and he was willing to be that change.  I'm not sure what he got out of the deal.

Stephen and I suffered many miscarriages.  By the time I got pregnant with Corey, it was more by sheer determination than even affection.  Halfway through my pregnancy, I knew the marriage was over, but it was too soon to leave.  Things got progressively worse between us, but four days after Corey was born, I agreed to move the family to Oklahoma, where Stephen's family lived.  It was either that, which would allow me to stay home with the baby, or stay in San Diego but return to work and let Stephen stay home with him.  By that time, he'd been kicked out of disinvited to re-enlist with the Navy and was all but refusing to get a job unless we moved.

Making that move was the first time I truly sacrificed anything in my life, and it was for my son.  We moved from our perfect little apartment half a block from the beach and 90 minutes from my family to Enid, Oklahoma.  To say I was devastated doesn't really express how hard I took it.  We arrived when Corey was seven weeks old; Corey and I left eight and a half months later, when my dad and two brothers came to get us. 

During the Oklahoma sentence, Corey and I spent a month visiting my baby sister in Alabama.  It was supposed to be a two week visit, but Stephen spent the money for our return trip partying with his friends.  His parents sent me the ticket and offered to have us go straight back to California, but I guess everything wasn't finished between us yet, so we returned to Enid.

Going back did one thing for me, which was let me know that I was not making a rash decision in leaving.  We were being evicted from our apartment for non-payment and for the wild parties that required police to break up.  Stephen and I started off agreeing to divorce.  I was just about giddy with relief that he was letting me take Corey back to California without a fight.

Me + giddy often = stupid jokes.  We got into a fight and ended the night in separate parts of town: Stephen at the apartment; Corey and I at a shelter.  In the one thing I will ever say to defend Stephen, he was not worse than me that night, only stronger.  The good thing about that fight is that my dad moved up the date he could come get us by six weeks.

Stephen came out to California about a week or so before Corey's first birthday.  He couldn't stay with us at my mom's place, but also didn't bring enough money to stay anywhere for long.  He chose the vacant lot down at the end of our block.  We tried to be cordial to one another, but it mostly didn't go well.  I don't recall much of our actual conversations, but I'm willing to concede that I was more of a smart ass than I needed to be.  He became a bit of a stalker.  After I got a restraining order and my dad and sister's boyfriend had a little chat with him, Stephen decided to really and truly return to Oklahoma.

Things settled down between us after that.  It took me two years to finalize the divorce because I'd handled most of it on my own.

Over the years we have had very little contact with Stephen or his family.  I used to call his dad and stepmom.  Christmas cards went to all of his family members for several years even though I never heard back from them.  Stephen's mom, Janice, came out to California a couple of times and we made sure to spend time with her, but again, we rarely heard from her.  When Corey's great-grandfather passed away in 2003, we flew back for the funeral.  By then Corey hadn't heard from Stephen in four years.

I spent some time with Janice, who defended her son by saying she'd done something similar to him when he was young and she knew how these things could happen.  I guess there's just some information I refuse to learn because I will never understand that.  Even though I never heard from her again, we still sent a Christmas card to her every year except last year (the year I quit sending cards to a lot of people who aren't really a part of our lives anymore... not just her).

And here's my point in writing all this down:  Today I received a Facebook request from Janice.  No message, no anything in over six years, just a friend request.  I asked Corey what he would prefer I do.  She's his Mimi.  He shrugged his shoulders and made a sour face and said he didn't care what I did, but that he didn't want to be involved.

His feelings are clear, rational and understandable to me.  If I were in his shoes I would likely do and say the same.  In fact, I do believe in the ability to choose your family, or at least the ones to associate with.  The part that's muddying this up for me is that, odd as it sounds, I like Janice.  That last conversation was the only time we disagreed.  She is the one who told Stephen in front of me, "Yes, you did have a rotten childhood.  I'm sorry.  If I could change that I would.  But I can't, and the fact is that you're an adult now.  No one cares what happened when you were a child."  I don't know if that helped him, but it put my own childhood into perspective.  The other problem is I don't feel I'm making the choice strictly for me, I am the door between Corey and the other half of his family.  He doesn't have Facebook or MySpace or even use an email address.  They will only find him through me.

Is it completely lame that I'm wondering what to do here?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

No, I'm NOT Kidding and I'm Not in Denial

Tom went to the dentist today because he's apparently got some ligament damage from when he got smacked in the face with a softball about 6 weeks ago.  The dentist gave him some new rules to follow, mainly regarding the need to eat soft foods for the next couple of weeks.  He swore to me she didn't say anything about talking less.  He made the same claim to his mom.

As he was wrapping things up at the receptionists desk, the guy who did Tom's Xrays must have overheard his (alleged) age.  Tom says the guy said, "You don't look 40."  (He's not, he'll be 42 in a few months.)  "I would have guessed early 30's."

I would just like to make it clear (again) that I just turned 39.  For the first time.  More than one person has alluded to my being "39 again."  One of them actually said, "You're joking!  I thought you were 40."


Irony and a Question

On the drive back from dropping off Corey tonight, Mad and I were stuck behind an 80's pick-up truck driver who used the solid double yellow line and bot dots as his guide (I call that driving by Braille).  We made the same left turn, so I also got to see him choose a new lane repeatedly over the course of less than a mile... without his blinker.

I loved the little memorial sticker in his window that said, "Please drive safe... I miss my dad."  Made me wonder if Dad died in a car accident or if he's locked up for reckless endangerment of the general public.

Speaking of memorial window stickers... WTH?  When they started popping up after 9/11, I wondered what future anthropologists and sociologists will make of us.  It's been a few years and become more common, but I still don't know what to make of them.

If you have one, I'm not saying you should take it down.  I'm just saying I don't get it.  How do you choose who has earned a sticker on your rear window?  For most people it seems to be simply based on who died after these stickers became a fad, but I've seen a few that are clearly honoring generations past.  Where is the line?  I'm just waiting for the sticker "marker" like I've seen at grave sites.

Joe Schmoe                       Mary Schmoe
11-23-36 to 10-7-08           4-17-37 to ???

What do you say to Mary?  "No pressure Mom, I just want to make sure I still have room when your time comes.  And don't worry, I've had all of the numbers made so your end date will match everything else."

Sunday, March 21, 2010

My New Favorite Sound

... is the silence after a houseful of people have left.

It's been a lovely weekend.  Yesterday's class was preceded by an hourlong trip to the bookstore by myself.  Yes, I might have spent my time reading an entire People magazine for free because it annoys me that the website has pop-ups despite my blocker, but guilt be damned, I'm glad I did it (or as glad as I can be for reading that crap).  I also looked through some of David Sedaris' books that I haven't yet read.  I liked "When You Are Engulfed In Flames" and loved "Me Talk Pretty One Day," but the new (to me) stuff didn't hold my interest.

After the class we drove back up here and took the kids and ourselves out to dinner.  I have vague recollections of the last time that happened.  The weather was consistently warm then; that's as close as I'll come to narrowing it down.  We had a lovely time, and Mad wasn't any more difficult out than she is at home (which is saying a lot... she's an easygoing kid).  However, she did try to get the server to bring more milk many times.  She got to use that same cup this morning and it was fun to watch her remember where it had come from.  As she's losing her baby words, her facial expressions are also becoming so much clearer.

Last night we stayed up late.  Tom did the grocery shopping after dinner.  My first big hint that something was up was that he'd bought six bags of tortilla chips.  Now I did request that he purchase enough food to last the entire week, and we do live with a teen boy, but that wasn't quite what I'd had in mind.

I went to bed around 11:00 and awoke at 2:00 AM to the overwhelming scent of something lemony.  Turns out he was downstairs shampooing the carpet.  We've lived here 11 months and have cleaned the carpets four or five times.  I don't think it's an unreasonable amount in either direction, but the fact is the carpets get cleaned right before something is going to happen (except for when Maisy went through that phase in November).  I didn't figure out what the aroma was until this morning when I took Mad downstairs and saw all the furniture was sitting in the kitchen.

Tom came down and we put the furniture back.  He started doing some deep cleaning, but declined my help.  Normally I'd honor his response and "dutifully" go upstairs and take a nap.  This time I cleaned the bathroom downstairs and washed some windows and the slider screen.  By the time I finished, most of the rest of the work was done, too.  It was still only mid-morning, but Mad wanted her nap.  Once she went down, so did I.  Tom had some mysterious errands to run and Corey had a friend over to play video games.  Kind of a nice way to pass the time on a Sunday, I have to say.

When he returned home, Tom said I had to get showered and dressed and be ready to leave by 2:00.  In the meantime, he had another errand to run. 

I sent a text to Nance to say I was thinking about her.  We had been in the midst of a meeting at Starbucks the other day when an elderly woman walked by and Nance broke down.  Checking in on one another is normal for us.  She lied said she was at her mom's signing more papers (the home is in escrow for the second time this month... keep your fingers crossed).

In keeping with his family traditions, Tom wasn't home even by 2:10.  A few minutes later my mom walked in.  She could tell I wasn't expecting her (maybe it was the way I said, "Something is up, but don't tell me"... I'm subtle like that) and made up some cockamamie story about just coming up for a visit.  On a Sunday, when she's got church in the morning and in the evening.  On a spring break weekend, when the pass is filled with hundreds of thousands of cars returning from Vegas and the river.  And with her recent knee problems that are exascerbated by driving.

The doorbell rang and it was Nance and a small crowd of people, including Tom.  Apparently they'd all met up where Tom had ordered the cake and had come over together.  I almost cried when I saw them.  If they had been the only people to show up today, I would have been a very happy girl.  But the doorbell kept ringing and people kept arriving.  The last few times I suspected it might be one of our smokers or the kids just playing around with me, but it never was.

There were gifts, but none were as special as what Tom had done.  However, my second favorite has to be the one from my dad and Margaret.  We have talked about the cravings I've had with this pregnancy and about what a hard time we have finding decent cranberry juice.  Neither of the places we shop carry Ocean Spray's straight 100% cranberry juice.  Dad's gift?  Cranberry juice, lemons, tomatoes and salt.  Between that and the cake, I could be set for the next week!  I might not have any teeth left, but I'll still be smiling.

Once everybody left and Mad was in bed, Corey invited his friend back over.  I felt bad he'd had to leave earlier, but I thought we were going somewhere.  Tom and I played gin rummy and had a picnic dinner on the front room floor.  It was perfect.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Pamela Who?

This afternoon Tom and I went to an early pregnancy class.  Why yes, I am popping out my third kid.  What's your point?  We never took this one before and I'm up for doing anything that makes the third baby seem special, too.  I heard someone say that nobody cares about the pregnancy by the third kid... I just don't want it to be that way.  And (and this trumps the other two reasons), the class was being taught by Pamela Capps.

What?!  You've never heard of her?  She is a legend among my family and all friends who've had babies after we had Mad.  Pamela is a goddess of prepared childbirth and early childhood development.  One of the things I love about her prepared childbirth class is that she taught the dads what to do and how to advocate for their partners.  It's not about coaching her, it's about supporting her.  And for every nice thing you do in class Pamela says, "You just earned another hour off your labor!"  Which is pretty good for me, since I was in labor 24 hours with Corey and 35 with Madelyn.  (No, not in "serious" labor, but unlike some birth Nazis people, I count from when it starts, and mine always start off with a bang.)

It's been about two years since we finished the childbirth class with Pamela, and about 20 months since I took a new mommy class that she offers.  And yet, as soon as she walked in and saw us, she knew who Tom and I were.  She even remembered our names and asked about my "older boy."  That just floors me.  Tom says it's because we're memorable people.  I'm hoping that's true for all the right reasons.

One thing I'd forgotten about Pamela is how fricken funny she is.  We laughed and learned for over two hours today.  In her presence I am either laughing or on the verge of tears because of some touching story (like the video montage at the end today... all sorts of newborn babies who's moms and dads had been in her classes, with "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" by Roberta Flack playing in the background).  It made me think about Rebecca's idea of having a birth song as I was dabbing away the tears.

One thing I wish for all parents-to-be is that they could all have their own Pamela Capps, to guide, to cheer, to enlighten and to encourage them to find their own voices.  Perhaps more moms would see their bodies as a source of strength and pride.  And more dads would feel inspired by what their women do to bring a child into this world.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Reading Signs

I stopped at the grocery store near my dad's house to pick up some groceries for Madelyn.  The woman ahead of me was reading the gossip magazines and didn't put her item on the belt right away.  She eventually put the mag back and gestured at a picture of Elizabeth Edwards.  I wasn't sure what she meant, so I just shrugged.  Then she pointed at Corey Haim.  At this point I was ruling out that she spoke a language other than English and wondered if she was Deaf.  In a true "I'm a professional, I can handle this" manner, my face got hot and, I assume, red.  I wondered if I should throw a sign out to see.

I did.  She was.  I haven't signed with a Deaf person in a couple of years, or with a hearing person in about nine months.  Rusty does not begin to describe how I felt, but we had a lovely conversation about what a stupid waste of Corey Haim's life, how nice the weather was today and even why the heck we moved to Victorville.  We even hugged.*  It was the best three or four minutes I've spent in line in quite some time.

*If you know Deaf people, you understand that bonding conversations happen pretty quickly.  If you don't, you might feel thrown by the familiarity, close proximity and physical contact that are not a part of typical American culture.

My kids both sign, but not conversationally.  Corey learned how to spell and to say that he's hungry, tired or wants to play.  He knows some other stuff, but that was sufficient for him.  Madelyn can recognize most of the alphabet and sign maybe seven of them.  I tried to teach her THANK YOU yesterday, but instead of signing it, she just bowed at the waist each time.

Grandma Margaret took a sign class five years ago.  She aced it, but missed out on the next course because of a heinous car accident that completely paralyzed her for a few weeks.  Her mobility is probably about 70-80% of what it was.  Going back to the class might have been an option, but I don't think it entered her radar as she adjusted to a life that initially involved daily physical therapy.

Recently at Grandma's house, Mad watched an episode of Barney that was all about shapes.  She's pretty good with the three most basic (circle, square and triangle... rectangle comes and goes... parallelogram does not compute).  Barney or one of the kids demonstrated how to make shapes with your hands.  Grandma was excited to have Mad show me her latest skill when I dropped her off the next morning.

"Show Mama circle."

Mad made a circle with her thumbs and indexes.  Nice!

"Show Mama square."  I don't really remember if she made a square or not.

"Show Mama triangle."  She made a triangle, but then stretched out her thumbs too far.

Did you know there are several signs in ASL that do not have the negative connotations people in the hearing world attribute to them?  For example, there's an Italian gesture involving the thumb and teeth.  In ASL it's just PEANUT.

Conversely, if you don't sign and you saw what Mad did after triangle, you might think, "Oh, it's a diamond!"  Well in ASL it's the sign for VAGINA.  When she showed Dad and Bwuwa her shapes that night, guess which one Corey picked out...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Suspicious Mind

My birthday is coming.  (Note: That should not be read like you're announcing the arrival of Paul Revere.)  I have a "thing" about my birthday.  I was going to tell you the hows and whys, but remembered I'd written it last year.  The how and why is less interesting than what made me write it all down, but you might want to check it out:  Family Tradition.

This year I have tried to guide my husband into remembering that he's not the only one who likes to have a nice birthday.  Dear god I hope I have neither harassed nor harangued, but after last year I might still feel a little justified.  It hasn't been easy to keep his mind off himself as he's still going through an all-about-me thing (could this be the start of a midlife crisis?... do people still have those or was that only in the 70's?).

In any case, I have either been successful or not.  Today I received an email from a good friend saying she can't come up to see us this weekend because she's working a satellite launch.  I suspect that Tom may have arranged for a few people to come up, which would be fabulous.  However, it's entirely possible that Jo really meant to send that email to her male friend named Shannon; it's happened before.  I sent a reply saying she must have had us confused again.  I sent another email linking her to Bossy Betty's Bad Mystic Cat (which is awesome).  She replied to that and to the earlier link I'd sent so she could check out Hank's reason for not watching cable news (equally awesome, but NSFW or children), but nothing about this weekend.  Hmm...

In any case, I'm hopeful that this year's birthday will get rid of the bitter taste of last year, whether my suspicions are true or not.


The other day I went for what has become my annual haircut.  My hair is long.  According to the chart on the wall, it's extra long.  A request that 3-4 inches be taken off  was stealthily denied; 3/4 of an inch was apparently enough for her tastes.  Similarly, I specifically said, "Please do not straighten my hair.  Yes, I like that look, but it takes too long and I don't have the time."  Too bad for me.  My hair appeared longer when I left.  It's magical!


Friday afternoon I purchased airline tickets for an upcoming trip to Chicago.  No big deal, it was kind of a breeze.  Room reservations were... not so breezy.  The evil gnome over at Travelocity apparently has a policy regarding Visa debit purchases that not only verifies you've got the money in your account before making the actual charge... they leave the verification on your card for 24-72 business hours after the charge has gone through.  Know what it costs to stay in downtown Chicago for an extended weekend?  How about doubling that?

How about putting some gas in my tank?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Dree-ee-ee-ee-eams, Dreams Dreams Dree-eams

I have always had bizarre dreams.  I am known for them; my sign name is a derivative of DREAM.  Most of the time they drift away as I become more alert in the morning.  One time I almost broke a two and did get two large hematomas on my knees from trying to save my son from a blue shadow man.  (Note to self:  If you're going to leap from the bed, go with the leg that's closest to the side you're on... and hope that your toe isn't wrapped up in the sheets.)

You know the suggestion to write down a dream immediately upon waking so that you can recall it later?  I tried that recently.  I don't keep pen and paper near the bed, but I do usually have my cell phone handy.  I texted myself all about the craziest dream I'd ever had (until that day anyway).  There's no point in trying to go into details; whatever I thought I was jotting down came out gibberish.  Two days later, however, the dream was crystal clear and stuck with me, probably forever.

A couple of points for context.  First, no matter how much I've declared that I'm not worried about this pregnancy and baby working out, I'm kind of an internal mess about the whole thing.  A week or so after seeing the doctor I'm great, but then the worrying begins and progressively grows stronger until I get to see Doc and hear the heartbeat again.

Second, I don't eat or drink chocolate, coffee or most teas (only peppermint... and at this point, sparingly) while pregnant.  I know, people have those things with NO problems.  They just aren't me.  Even without the caffeine, I've had more heart palpitations in the past four months than I've probably had in the last 10 years.  No coffee or chocolate sometimes wears on me.  Oddly, chocolate deprivation sometimes bothers me more even though it's not something I have often, whereas coffee is my life.

My latest dream was set on the same day of my real life; the day before my next appointment.  In it, I delivered the baby that day.  It didn't survive and it looked more like a malformed space alien wax figure.  Tom and I were absorbing the shock when he suddenly said, "But someone brought you a small box of chocolates."

It turned out to be a giant box of rather large chocolates, covered in chocolate shavings.

I remember reaching for the box with a smile and saying something like, "Well, no baby, but there's chocolate."  (I would just like to add that I haven't even gotten to that level of chocolate interest, let alone desire, yet.)  Somewhere in there I must have known that everything was okay, because I wouldn't eat anything until I could confirm what I didn't really believe had happened.  I woke up right after that.

So no surprise that I almost burst into tears on the exam table on Wednesday, right?  Baby's heartbeat is strong and fast.  It's more like Madelyn's than Corey's.  We didn't get to hear it for long because this baby is a mover and a shaker.  Even at the first ultrasound (around eight weeks) the little bean was moving like I've never seen happen before. 

We go for the ultrasound in less than three weeks, and my biggest real concern is that he/she won't be still long enough to learn what I'm dying to know.  After that we only have one last insurance-covered opportunity to see the baby before birth (one of the true the joys of being of "advanced maternal age").  In any case, my goal right now is to match my internal chaos to the external calm.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Just Wondering...

Last night my husband and I had a tensish conversation.  I've been pretty upset since then.  I've been trying to scheme and plot, but all I come up with is, "People have bigger problems than this."  Over and over.  I'm pretty sure Ken is trying to keep my priorities straight.

This afternoon Tom called to talk about his job, which sucks, and I had a pretty easy time not acting like a jerk (okay, I might have pressed the "quiet" function on my phone the first time he called).  I like when we pull together as a team.

Still, when I got off the phone I did wonder if it hurt to drive to work with his head jammed that far up his ass.

Just curious.  I didn't ask.
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