Friday, July 30, 2010

Questions of Science and Progress

I loved this song when Coldplay released it as a single, however many years ago. Then I recently encountered this Aimee Mann cover and listened to it again more closely. Post-IVF, pregnant, and single-digit weeks away from finally meeting my baby, it has a completely different meaning to me now.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Silent Night

Ahh, the peaceful sounds of sleep:

Friday, July 23, 2010


Hopelessly Obligated to You: Our friends and family are working feverishly to squeeze in quality time with us before the due date. Which is sweet, but frakking exhausting. I cannot keep up. For example, our dinner reservation tonight (the third in a week) is at 8:30PM. Which, in pregnant time, may as well be midnight. I'll have to eat pre-dinner just to survive. [Quasi-amusing side note: our dinner is with a casual friend we see about twice a year, and have somehow neglected to tell we are having a baby. So we will show up with my 30-week pregnant belly leading the way and then wham-o! surprise! I am a little squicked out by dropping such a huge knowledge bomb on said friend and his new girlfriend, but KB thinks it's just peachy. And I'm a team player, y'all, and also too lazy to do anything about it, so I'm rolling with it.] I just can't maintain this schedule of dinners and get-togethers every weekend, Friday through Sunday, and then back to work Monday morning. KB always asks me if it's okay before confirming any plans, but I'm lousy at saying "no" when I feel a sense of obligation to our friends and family, who only want to celebrate and spend time with us. If only they knew it was killing me. I am putting my foot down for the month of September, though, and preemptively striking with declarations of no plans in the weeks leading up to the due date. For one thing, I'll be busy transitioning work projects to colleagues, which will be a job-and-a-half in itself. Second, I need to set aside time to call my OB in tears, begging for induction, and/or boiling steak knives and making homebrew spinal anesthesia from crushed Altoids and peppermint Schnapps so I can perform my own C-section out of misguided desperation. Or as I call it, nesting.

Braxton Hicks Part Deux: They're baaa-aack. They never really went away, but they are increasing a little now. Combined with the constant backache and growing activity of the bebe (who may well be an octopus, based upon the pattern of kickpunches), these little "practice" contractions suck donkey nuts. Oh, and I figured out how these contractions were so-named. I believe it's based on a hypothetical duet between Toni Braxton and Taylor Hicks, which (when it occurs) will signal the opening of the seventh seal and the onset of Armageddon. Beware. Ready the bunkers and start investing in gold. And remember to bring a sweater.

Boob Tube: Double entendre alert! First, my lovely lady lumps have grown again, and the few nursing bras I bought a couple of months ago are practically obsolete. Also, wearing any type of bra is now downright uncomfortable, as they push down on my ribs while a bebe head or foot or buttock or jabby little finger pushes up. I keep meaning to go to le Target and buy nursing camisoles, but that requires leaving the house which is not in the plan for now. It's ninety million degrees Kelvin outside, and I feel like a pile of turds most days, so no-go. Although, I am starting to think that if I don't find some kind of support for these milkjugs, I will end up looking like a National Geographic centerfold. Second, our television died this week. Our monster, 50-some-odd-inch television that costs, like, a zillion dollars to either repair or replace. (KB bought it years ago after he had his first, and only, big win in Vegas -- we called it the Vegas TV.) We've already replaced the super-expensive lamp and had a repair dude come disable the lamp door sensor which kept erroneously triggering a system shut-down, and this week the color wheel (maybe?) went kaputt. So KB, being a frugal man when it comes to electronics, bought an emergency replacement television that is even bigger than the outgoing model. There goes the kid's freshman year college tuition. (Actually, it's cheaper than its predecessor as flat-screen prices have come down since the early 2000's.) But being a voluntary shut-in requires some form of mindless entertainment, and I have a week's worth of Daily Shows on the TiVo that aren't going to watch themselves. And the new TV is so shiny and pretty. The TV is dead, long live the TV.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Impossible Germany, Unlikely Japan

Only recently have I allowed my brain to begin processing what should be an obvious reality: that in about two months, I will have a baby. That starting on some particular day this fall, there will be a baby, my baby, in my life every day, all day, forever. Dude.

The endurance and durability test that is infertility fractured my perception of what preparing for parenthood is, to the point that I still have difficulty grasping the realness of what is happening in my ladyparts as we speak. That the kickpunching and twirling and swishing is a real live baby. For so long, I grew to believe that getting pregnant was impossible. It would not happen. Ever.

And now that it has, the possibility (ne, probability; okay, fine, eventuality) that a real live baby will emerge still seems...unlikely. Some days I play mind games with myself (the good news: I always win!) and pretend there's no baby, that I'm just incredibly and front-focally fat. Even as KB and I prep the nursery and finalize registries and send out baby shower invitations, I have a hard time truly comprehending that this is happening. We are well past the paranoia of things going catastrophically wrong. The few possible dangers that lurk for me or the baby are rare and not generally on my radar. I just don't trust the universe anymore, I guess.

I sort of loathe that people are treating me like a normal pregnant person, because I will never feel like I had a normal pregnancy. I didn't get here by the normal route. I had to take the long and winding road and there is not, and never was, a map. I suppose I just have to trust that we are about to arrive at our destination.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Observe and Report

I find three things to be apparent from this ad:
  • This product is stupid. Diapers are to catch shit, not to make a fashion statement. FAIL. Put pants on your kid.
  • This kid is going to grow up to be a douchebag. I empirically know this because his parents are obviously douchebags to outfit him in this douchey diaper, and we all know that douchebaggery is heritable. Ergo, baby is on a path to douchebagdom. Sorry, kid; them's the brakes, genetically.
  • This ad seems to be narrated by none other than Triumph the Comic Insult Dog. WIN. (For me to poop on.)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

When Life Imitates ART

A close friend of mine recently confided that she is about to embark on her first Clomid cycle to try to get pregnant via donor IUI. She's married with three stepchildren, and her husband has had a vasectomy that he doesn't want to reverse. He didn't even really want to have another child, but I think the ongoing discussions and his awareness of how important this has become to her won him over. They are already great parents. They deserve one more.

I couldn't be happier and more scared for her. Her cycles are irregular and her ovulation not yet confirmed. She's in her early- to nearly-mid-thirties and hasn't seen the test results from her day 3 FSH yet. She is currently sorting through candidate profiles for her baby daddy sperm from the donor bank. I want this to work for her straight away, so badly. But I know the statistics. Even if her ladybits all check out fine, IUI has an iffy track record for even the most fertile of women. Still, this is her best chance. She can't afford IVF.

I'm glad I can cheer her on, knowing exactly what she is going through and what she may be facing. The promise, the hope, the anxiety, the Clomid monster, the fear of disappointment. The sting of failure. Or, if all goes well, the glorious celebration of success.

Come on, universe. Hook a sister up.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

New York State of Mind

Well, I managed not to die in the Eastern heat wave. Oh, wait, it's exactly as hot here in Michigan. Right.

I put myself to the test with the city walking, and had to explain to KB several times (until he snapped at me that he knew already) that an avenue block equals four city blocks, so telling me something is a "few" blocks away may be an inadvertent but consequential lie. Like when we shuffled up and down Park at 44th for 30 minutes looking for a pizza place that was closed by the time we found it. Anyway, I thought this was the city that never sleeps? Apparently it does, sometimes by 9PM.

We got our dose of culture in with tickets to see Fela!, which was all kinds of awesome. I loves me some foreign radical cultural revolution, and with songs! and dancing! And the theater was ass-numbing cold, a quite welcome retreat. We spent an afternoon at MoMA and then the better part of another day at the Met, meeting up with a friend and his four kids. That's right, four children. I took the girl child and claimed her as my own and let KB and his friend manage the three boys. They were asked by a museum docent if they were the boys' dads. As in, My Two Dads. Hehe. If I had been there, I totally would have chimed in that I am the surrogate carrying their fifth. Cause you know how Their Agenda works, building a small army and all.

My favorite piece of modern art, this trip:

I found out after a mishap at a museum gift shop, and a few phone calls, that my banking card was frozen because of fraud. Sweet. My card was either skimmed and/or counterfeited and the bank froze it when charges were attempted in Panama. Yep. I have violated the spacetime continuum and managed to physically use a card in both NYC and Central America at the same time. As much as I would like to be all "All Aboard!" with the banks-too-big-to-fail-all-suck-a-palooza, I keep my money in the biggest bank in (of) America and their rapid response to the fraud, before I even knew it happened, prevented some Panamanian asshole from stealing thousands of dollars from me. So they're not all bad.

And then there were the Things I Shouldn't Be Eating So Much Of: pizza, doughnuts, bagels, gelato. I don't think I'm any worse for the wear, and it was vacation, dammit. I overdid it with the sugar a bit (goddammit, those doughnuts were good) and spent an afternoon able to empathize with Cornholio, feeling threatened and searching endlessly for teepee for my bunghole. Totally worth it.

We spent the Fourth on a Hudson river taxi tour to be front-row for the fireworks. We were on that boat for four hours. Holymotherfuckinggawd. They provided "snackbox dinners" which consisted of, I don't know, a SlimJim and an Oreo, but we used our noodles and brought our own food and water with us. I had scary moments of near-seasickness, but it subsided and it turned out to be a lovely, if warm, night. Evidence:
And now, back at work. Boo, hiss. Oh, and I'm in my third trimester. What the fuck? Three months to go. Three long, but closing in, months. Oh, and a random lady in the ladies' room line with me in a NYC midtown restaurant told me I look 9 months pregnant, I will have the baby any day now, and I am having a girl. She asked me over and over where I will deliver, and I told her over and over that I live in Michigan, and yet she still wanted to know which hospital. Maybe she is the Rain Man of hospital directories and can recite them all alphabetically, or by US News & World Report rankings, or by average resident USMLE scores. She must be an obstetrical savant. But what does she know, really? My dry cleaner tells me I'm having a boy. So many armchair OBs, so little time.