Wednesday, November 22, 2006

This Is Not a Fat Post

I have had some really odd pregnancy dreams. I mean, crazy stuff.

Last Monday I went for another glucose test. Yes, I have already had a glucose test. Apparently the first one was just to test if I had any diabetes issues before pregnancy, and this one was the standard 26-28 week glucose test. Let's just call the first one "the fat test" and the second one routine. My remonstration with the midwife fell on deaf ears. First of all, I was sure I'd just come back borderline again and have to endure the whole three hour hell again. And she said that was certainly a possibility. I like my midwives, I really do, but I just saw fat judgment all over her when talking with her about the whole thing. She wasn't going to budge, and handed me the orange soda, noting I had to take the test between 26 and 28 weeks.

I took the test one day before I turned 29 weeks, and then promptly began to hold my breath for the phone call telling me the results.

I have a midwife appointment today and I dreamed about it last night. In my dream the receptionist told me that my glucose level after the one hour was 936. First of all, I don't even think this is a possible result, but someone can correct me if I'm wrong. I woke up thinking about it. No one has called me with the glucose result, which probably means it came back normal, but I have small fears about going today and finding out otherwise.

It wouldn't be the end of the world, I know that, but somehow for me, this feels like a huge hurdle to overcome. I know that I came into this pregnancy in less than optimum health and I like to turn on my Catholic guilt gene occasionally (well, okay, all the time) about that. If I have/had/get the GD, it's going to poke me even more. If I get around having the GD, I think it's a huge gift and I'll have to think about that as I try to lose some pounds after the birth of the baby.

And listen, this isn't about feeling fat-- I feel pregnant and finally look that way too. This about feeling more healthy. Last week we were in a mega toy store looking for gifts for some friends. We were also walking around in a daze thinking about life to come. We stopped and looked at bikes and wagons for a long time. We're both on the same page that no kid will have a battery powered car and, wow, haven't wagons changed? I think some pioneers would have been thrilled to have some of the options that you can get on a wagon now, although since they all seem to be cheap plastic crap, maybe not. And then we looked at bikes and I looked up at Partner and said, "Boy, we better lose some weight because, I mean, can you run next to a bike to teach the kid to ride a two wheeler? Because I sure as hell can't." My dad was killer teaching us how to ride bikes-- Every one of us kids learned crazy early to do so, and he was always there sprinting along side us, not only running but yelling out encouragement. Now for my kids, I'd be yelling alright, but it would be along the lines of "Call 911!! My heart! My heart!"

So anyway, notwithstanding dreams about GD and ridiculously high glucose levels, I haven't had a dream about the kid yet. I'm a little edgy about it too-- People keep asking me, "Have you dreamt about the baby yet?" No. No, I haven't. I can't even explain the look of disappointment that flickers over people's faces before they launch into their own dream sequences that they had when pregnant. It seems that everyone who didn't have an ultrasound to tell them the sex had a dream that did.

I did have a dream where I was pushing a stroller, but it was empty. I prefer to not think about that dream, thank you very much. Although the dream did morph slightly, and eventually there was a toddler in the stroller, but that toddler ended up being my brother N. I don't know that this counts as a baby dream, and since for the majority of the dream, the stroller was empty, as I said, I try to not dwell on it too much.

After my gramma died, my mom had several dreams where my gramma came to her. Despite being very close to her, I never got one of those dreams. I was desperate to have one.

Why am I not getting the dreams? I'm consoling myself with thinking that I am actually having the dreams, but that I'm just not remembering them. That somewhere on that dream plane, I have already met the Cricket, and in a sense that is true. I have already met the Cricket-- Cricket likes to kick only when I'm alone or with Partner. Cricket is demonstrating shyness around other uncles and aunts who are just as desperate to feel it move as I am to dream about it.

I guess for the mean time I'm stuck dreaming about dreaming. Or day-dreaming, and maybe that's better because in the day dream, I have a perfect baby that hardly cries, totally behaves, and sleeps through the night. Perhaps I shouldn't be pushing my luck...

Monday, November 20, 2006


Found/taken from TKO. If you play too, let me know. But I'm not tagging anyone, because mostly I feel badly when I don't get tagged (insight into the inner middle school girl still lurking around inside me).

[A is for age:] 34
[B is for beer of choice:] Depends on the season, but mostly Newcastle.
[C is for career:] undecided
[D is for favorite Drink] Canadian Club Manhattan on the rocks.
[E is for essential item you use everyday:] Typhoo tea
[F is for favorite song at the moment:] Let me emphasize the word moment: It’s either “Half Acre” by Hem or “Open the Door Richard” Louis Jordan and his Tympani Five
[G is for favorite game:] Backgammon. Any day, any time.
[H is for hometown:] Birmingham. Not Alabama. Not England either.
[I is for instruments you play:] My voice. But even that’s out of practice.
[J is for favorite juice:] Cranberry. With a little Perrier.
[K is for kids?:] Coming soon... with the help of God and a few policemen (See Q is for Quote)
[L is for last kiss?:] At the airport, Friday afternoon when I dropped off Partner... *Sigh*
[M is for marriage:] Illegal for me in my state.
[N is for full name:] I like it. My full name. I’ve no complaints with the parents.
[O is for overnight hospital stays:] None! The kid will be my first overnight stay. I’m not really looking forward to that.
[P is for phobias:] Spiders.
[Q is for quote:] “With the help of God and a few policemen” (My Gramma used to say this all the time.)
[R is for biggest regret:] Uhg. I really try to not engage in this category at all because it opens a can of worms that’s better left on the shelf.
[S is for sports:] Saturday’s a RUGBY day!!
[T is for time you wake up:] About 7:30, or whenever I smell Partner cooking my oatmeal. Yes, I am spoiled beyond belief.
[U is for color underwear:] It’s bright purple today! And huge! Pregnancy panties!
[V is for vegetable you love:] Michigan corn in the summer.
[W is for worst habit:] Eating beyond being sated.
[X is for x-rays you've had:] Knees, both, many many many times. Right hand. Teeth.
[Y is for yummy food you make:] Everybody Eats When They Come to My House—(Cab Calloway song. I make some good eats.)
[Z is for zodiac sign:] Libra. And Scorpio. I got to be born on the cusp. Which is so perfect for a Libra.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Soliciting More Advice about Baby Gear

We've pretty much narrowed our crib choices down to two. This is going to be our Christmas present from my parents, so we need to make the final decision very soon. In fact, I fear it's already to late for under the tree, so to speak, but nonetheless.

One crib has all stationary parts-- only a mattress that lowers. No moving side bar. It's a very nice and sturdy crib.

The other crib has a side bar that moves up and down. It's just a crib, which is just fine with me. We have more than enough beds for the kid once it's out of a crib.

We completely torn between the two, although the more people we talk with, the more we are convinced we need a side bar that goes up and down. But we also thought we should ask the blog world too since we got such excellent input about gear after my "freak out at the baby store" posting.

There's also some serious stroller angst going as well too, but The Crib Question rules the roost today: So, go on. Tell me what you think.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

On the Hunt-- Or Not

Tomorrow is the first day of regular firearm deer hunting. It's a big deal in certain parts of Michigan, and with certain cohorts of workers. For example, most of the trades we work with are gone for the next week, up north hunting. I had students who asked to be excused from class for opening day. I also spent quite a few years begrudging hunting and being really quite judgmental about the whole thing.

Last night when we pulled into the driveway, there were quite a few deer sleeping under the rows of flowering crabs that border our lot. At least one buck stared back at us, so we quickly swept into the garage, hoping our car didn't disturb them or the clanking of the garage door as it came down and returned the outside back to darkness.

When I woke up to pee last night, I found myself wondering if the deer were still out there sleeping. It was a peaceful thought. I like the deer that frequent our backyard, and even that they come close enough to the house to eat plants off my terrace.

Last year around this time, cycle number one that we were so sure would just work, failed. Suddenly everything seemed a little more fearful to me and I started doubting if any of this baby making palaver would work at all. I think I was in a pretty dark place, and then I went to the shooting range with my friend J, an avid hunter and Native American. I had never even held a gun before the bright sunny day I met him at the targets. It was all men, and I remember feeling nervous when getting out of my car and hearing the shots echo around the hills. I stood mesmerized watching men shoot skeets out of the air; even as a total beginner I could recognize there was real skill involved in what they were doing.

Once at the target practice area, the ranger was enormously kind to me, escorting me to J's station and talking to me gently about gun and range safety. And J was an excellent teacher. Squeezing the trigger for the first time didn't feel quite as scary as I thought it would. After all, it was clear that we were using hunting rifles; the same as everyone else there. Most men were calibrating for the hunting season. And then I actually hit the target, again and again in the same place. It was exhilarating. I thought about buying my own gun and coming back every day. I concluded that target practice should be recommended for every women doing ART.

I haven't been back since though. I think we finally threw away my target from that day. I talked to J about going hunting with him since his particular method seemed gentle and respectful and he assured me that there would be no posing with dead animals, or taking any type of photograph, something that I am in particular horrified by. He even said that he would recommend I'd just come with him for the first few times when he went out, just to get used to it.

Get used to it. What's the undefined antecedent of "it" there? Hunting? No, I don't think so. Instead, "it" would be seeing a live animal shot down. And become a dead animal. It would be feeling the warmth go out of the body of an animal I admit loving to watch as it sleeps under the trees in my backyard. When I announced to some friends my hunting intentions, the suggestion was scoffed at. I think even my own family was shocked. (In fact, it spurred a discussion wherein my mother proceeded to tell me she was more liberal than I am. First of all: not possible, and second, don't get me started on why gun ownership/hunting should not demarcate a person as liberal or conservative. It's a pretty reductionist and simplistic argument, and on the whole, I'm inclined to dismiss out of hand arguments like that.)

We host Easter for our families at our house-- it's the only holiday I can wrangle away. For Easter, I like to get a whole leg of lamb and have the butcher leave the bone in. Then I come home and debone it and butterfly it. I proceed to stuff the lamb with whatever takes my fancy that year: sometimes it's a tapenade stuffing, sometimes simple rosemary, garlic, sea salt and pepper. I promise, it's amazing. I save the bone to boil up to make broth for a Scotch broth. And that too, I promise, is wonderful on a cold night with a fire in the hearth.

I tell you this so you can understand, we eat meat in this house. We like meat. I'm not squeamish about preparing meat, even making my own cuts up from larger pieces. And my friends who chastise me about not hunting, well, one of these very discussions took place over a large piece of prime rib. If I'm prepared to eat the meat, shouldn't I be prepared to look in the eye the very raw and true event of hunting (and perhaps even more humane than sending an animal to an abbatoir)?

Yes, to me the answer is yes, but I still haven't been out there. I have pointedly ignored several calls from J as we neared hunting season this year (although I believe he can hunt anytime of the year). I honestly don't know if I could hunt, but I do know that really looking at the issue has forced a couple of home truths for me. I don't think hunting is wrong per se, but I abhor the idea that you might feed a deer for weeks, and then sit high up in a tree and wait for that deer to come back to get the food you've been setting out for it only to shoot it. I don't quite see where the sport is with that. I think these set ups where you fly a plane over some herd of animals to shoot from the air is wrong too. I think shooting multiple animals just to shoot them is wrong too. If you want to hunt, in the true sense of the word, and be a sportsperson about it, I don't actually have a problem with this. Eat what you shoot. Just hunting for the damn thrill of it-- well, what's the point other than killing? And that I can't stomach. Most of the men I know that hunt, shoot one deer and take it to the butcher and have it carved up for meat. Once in awhile, we'll get some venison sausage, jerky, or ground meat. I also can make a fine venison chili.

I'm not sure I can face hunting myself yet, but I've made sure I can at least stand in front of my own double standards and shoot them down. Even as I doubt I'll ever make my way into the forest during hunting season, I know at least I'm making cognizant choices. Frankly, I think that might be quite enough hunting for me. And although I know this, all of this, I'll still keep whispering to the deer in my backyard that they're safe. They're all safe. And they should just settle down for the next fifteen days in the high grass under my crab apple trees.

Friday, November 10, 2006


It has begun. We walked all around our new hole yesterday and I even found myself dreaming about the new pantry. But then I remembered we still haven't sold the albatross we're in right now. It's hard to get excited about the new house you are building when odds are on that you'll never move into it. Because someone will probably buy the new house before the old house. My mom told me to think of it as a project, rather than a new house, but after all the rigmarole so far, it's hard to detach. The concrete will probably get poured on Monday or Tuesday. I'm de facto foreman since I can watch all the action from the office window. Because yes, we are building across the street from where we live now.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Kisses Sweeter Than Wine

Today, it's warm. There are bugs buzzing outside the window making shadows across the wall where the sun is slanting into this room. It's a slant this room only gets as we near or are actually in winter, so seeing the shadows of bugs is not common. For some reason it's oddly comforting. The window is open also and every so often a cat will make its way in here to smell the outside air, putting paws up onto the sill and tilting a head backward to look at me and then back at the window.

The days of this room being the "office" are numbered as this room will become Cricket's. I've told Cricket that a few times today. I've actually looked around the walls and thought about paint colors. I may have spent more time leaning backward in the office chair thinking about Cricket than I have studying anticoagulant agents. I don't regret a minute of it. I spend far too much in the present with studying and new house building and general busy-ness that I'm in danger of losing myself in that. If thinking about softness and baby's heads and pajamas and baths and cribs and all of that means that I don't get the highest A possible, than so be it. (Note, I didn't say not get an A-- I can only lose myself so far.)

When we were in the throes of IVF, I remember thinking (and perhaps even posting) about how I so wanted to feel a little foot or hand pressing outward and knowing that foot or hand came from Partner. I feel that all the time now. It's mind boggling and the power of what's happening sometimes slams me so hard, I almost have to gasp outloud. We're some lucky ladies getting to have this experience. I'm not ever going to be able to forget just how lucky we are.
I fell asleep last night with Partner's head on my stomach, and the Cricket kicking harder than it ever had before. In fact, all was quiet until she placed her head on my stomach and started talking, and then Cricket went to town doing a little jig. I eventually fell asleep and left the two of them alone to bond, and I think they did. Before Partner could feel Cricket moving too, it was the only thing that made me sad-- I just wanted her to feel it too. And now she can.
Me and my girl. We're pretty happy together. I really didn't think that much else could make us happier than we already are, and even worried sometimes how Cricket would change our little life together, but today I'm so full of hope and wonder, and just total assurance that Cricket is going to be like a multiplication factor of love for us and everyone around us. And I know that we're all going to be just fine. Just fine, indeed.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Some people don't like to cook. They eat out and have small utilatarian kitchens.

Other people, they like to cook and the kitchen gets hot-hot-hot. I'd like to think the chefs are returning to the kitchen and some people realized now that we're not going to be going out to eat as much, it might be better to leave the kitchen.

And that works just fine for me.

Pregnancy Symptom #42: In Which I Become an Old Grouch

On Sunday night we were exhausted. Shower number one happened that day and I honestly think we were just both so overwhelmed by the amount of loot and the tangible realization that the stuff will actually be used (with the help of God and a few policeman, as my Gramma would have said) that we fell asleep, both of us, about 8:30. While watching something about the Battle of Culloden. Not that that wasn't exciting or anything.

When we roused ourselves, Partner realized she had some work that needed to be done and as we sat in the office, we noted a car sitting outside out house. Just sitting there. It drove away, but reappeared minutes later. Pulled into our driveway and sat there for a few minutes.

Then I noticed our new neighbors behind us-- it appeared that there was party. A teenage party! On a Sunday night!! Of all things! So we assumed, I think correctly, that the car was looking for that party. Peering unabashedly, squinting and otherwise, I sussed out that the kids were playing beer pong. And then I promptly got freaked out. I told Partner I was sure they were going to get drunk and come harass us. The lesbian neighbors. Not hurt us or anything, just harass.

Partner tried to calm me down-- She noted that could have been her in high school or any number of other young high school people we know now. She noted that the kids of our neighbors were probably not likely to bug us, and if they did, the parents would kick their asses.

She's right, of course. Nothing happened, and the next day I felt like a fool. And then I realized I'm becoming a freaking curmudgeon. As soon as this kid is born and I don't have to worry about feeding it every two hours, I think I need a good night out on the piss. Pregnancy has turned me into an 80 year crotchety person who yells at the kids to get off her grass. I've gone from being cheap on the heat to complaining about someone taking my seat in Chemistry to worrying about kids playing beer pong...

Seriously. This has got to stop.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Popsicle Toes, and then Some

It's snowing. And sticking to the ground.

I do not like this. Snow. I know there are probably people who this seems terribly romantic to, and they're dreaming of cozy fires and warm drinks and snuggling under down comforters. I'm doing all that anyway, sans the romance factor. I'm doing it just to keep warm.

We have two furnaces-- One for the upstairs, one for downstairs. The downstairs one went on a goodly while ago. We have it programmed to go up in the morning, down in the day when ostensibly no one is home, back up in the evening and down in the night. The lowest I'm allowed to set it is 62 (17C). I'd go colder, but Partner has nixed this proposition.

It's not that I'm naturally warm or anything. I think we've already established I am snake, preferring the thought of lying on a hot rock and absorbing heat rather than being cold. It's partially that I'm cheap. And I prefer to sleep in a colder room rather than warmer.

I think I got this from my grandmother, who was raised on a farm in outside Pembroke(Canada). They moved to Sault Ste Marie after that. In Sault Ste Marie she got the name she was called her entire life after that-- it was a hockey nickname. I love that little fact about my Gramma. Her father ran the locks when he wasn't out portaging with his canoe. I think this Canadian cold stayed with her, because in her house here in Michigan, she had the heating units removed from her bedroom. She had no heat at all in her bedroom all Michigan-bloody-cold-winter long. Perhaps this predilection toward cold bedrooms slipped down to me.

I told Partner we'd turn the heat on upstairs starting November 1st. It's the 2nd, and I still haven't been able to bring myself to flip the switch. This has nothing to do with preferring the bedroom cold, because at this point, let's face it, it's going to be cold no matter what. This is all about being cheap. The master bath is above the garage, and can I just say, taking a shower is not all that fun. Well, taking a shower is fun, but getting out is another story. Still, that misery only lasts for moments-- I think we can take it

As soon as the baby is born, I'll turn up the heat full blast-- There's no way I'm subjecting Cricket to this, and I'll pay the price at that point. But not before. The bedroom thermostat now reads 60F (15C). Maybe I could turn on the heat to surprise Partner? But I'm getting ready to leave for Chemistry lab, so what's the point?

And since I've decided that Cricket deserves all heat, all the time, I only have 13 weeks (plus or minus) left to freeze us out. Because, holy shit people, I'm officially in the third trimester. And time flies when you're shivering. Isn't that the way the expression goes?