Monday, March 30, 2009

The Final Countdown.

I don't remember who sings it, but "The Final Countdown" is indeed looping in my head, over and over and over and over again. Why? Well, besides being 39 weeks pregnant, I've got the C-section scheduled, which means that unless she decides to make an early appearance, Baby Girl Page will arrive on Friday, April 3, sometime between 9 and 10 in the morning.

And I'd just like to pause for a minute to tell you how weird that feels. Not just that I am going to be a mom in less than five days, but that I was able to pick her birthday. Literally fit her arrival into a time slot that's convenient for me.

Here's how it worked. I met with the doctor again, who after telling me all the gory details about how much blood I'd lose (about 1.5 liters, for those of you who are too curious for your own good), what the increased risks were (surprise! death again), and how much recovery sucks (badly, but then, so does having a baby come out the regular way), said, "alrighty then, just go talk to the scheduler on the way out, and we'll get this baby out of you!"

So I did.

And after poking around on her computer for a while, she informed me that I could have my baby on Tuesday or Friday, which sounded better?

Uhhhh, I dunno. That's not a decision I expected to have to make.

But then the practical side of my personality kicked in and informed me that Friday would be more convenient for my husband, give me more time to clear my schedule at work, etc, etc. So Friday it is.

Which means she still doesn't have a name, but she has a birthday.

It's a strange world we live in, isn't it?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Conversation in My Head

AMBER 1: Do you realize that a week from tomorrow, I'm going to have a real, live baby?

AMBER 2: I know. Isn't it awesome?

AMBER 1: NO! I can't be a mom! This can't happen!

AMBER 2: Hate to break it to ya, babe, but it's happening. Unless you want to be pregnant for the rest of your life.

AMBER 1: But I don't know how to be a mom! Shouldn't you have to take a class or some sort of test or something before they let you bring a baby home?

AMBER 2: There was a class. You didn't want to go. You went to Target  and bought hair dye instead.

AMBER 1: See? I'm going to be a horrible mom.

AMBER 2: You'll be fine.

AMBER 1: But I don't even really like babies. All they do is cry, and poop, and cry some more—they can't even tell you why they're crying!

AMBER 2: It's different when it's your own baby. You know you already love her.

AMBER 1: But what if I poke a hole through her soft spot when I'm washing her hair?

AMBER 2: You won't.

AMBER 1: What if I forget to support her head when I pick her up and her neck breaks?

AMBER 2: Don't worry, they're not that fragile.

AMBER 1: Well, what if I put her car seat on the roof and forget about her till I'm driving 55 on the highway?

AMBER 2: One, you never drive on the highway. Two, the cops would stop you before you got that far. Three, you're not going to forget about your baby.

AMBER 1: How do you know? I get pretty spacey when I don't get enough sleep.

AMBER 2: True. Well, just don't leave the house when you get that tired.

AMBER 1: So you're admitting that I'm going to be a horrible mom?

AMBER 2: Huh? I never...Hey, let's go fold all the cute little onesies in her drawer again.

AMBER 1: Okay. At least I learned how to fold properly when I worked in that children's clothing store.

AMBER 2: No you didn't. You still stink at it.

AMBER 1: You're right.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Like Mother, Like Daughter?

Baby Girl Page had a big surprise for us this week. Turns out she's decided to be breech—just like I was. But she's taking it up a notch. Instead of landing in the standard breech position, she's in something called the oblique lie, which means she's laying on her side, like she's in a hammock. With her head oh-so-comfortably jammed under my right ribs, her butt on the left, and her shoulder where a more obliging baby would put her head.

In other words, unless something changes, there's no way she's coming out of there the normal way. And to make it worse, the placenta's on top of her, so trying to turn her from the outside would be a risky business, to say the least.

But I don't think I even want them to try. According to my mom, they attempted to turn me, and I obliged, but then decided I really didn't like being upside down and turned myself back around at the very last second. And since she's my daughter, I wouldn't be at all surprised if she has the exact same attitude.

Yep, so it looks like Mommy is going to get a C-section, like it or not. And I? Don't like that idea at all.

The whole thing scares me to death. I have a hard time not passing out when I have to get a little blood taken. And now they're going to cut me open and pull a baby out of me? Excuse me while I go throw up.

In fact, I know this is pretty immature of me, but every time I think of C-sections, I think of this clip from Spaceballs:

But, I know that at the end of the day, all that matters is that I end up with a happy, healthy baby in my arms. She certainly won't remember how she was born. Although, this way, I'll have a physical scar to prove  just how traumatic her birth was—proof I can use to slather on the guilt for the rest of her life.

And what mom doesn't love the opportunity to guilt the crap out of her progeny every once in a while?

Monday, March 16, 2009

Things You Should Never Say to a Pregnant Woman.

Throughout most of this pregnancy, I've tried very hard to be a good sport. Sure, there have been moments, even days, when speaking to me has been a dangerous undertaking. But for the most part, I think I've been very tolerant of even the most asinine comments.

But you know what? I have no more tolerance left. And I'd really hate to have to hurt you. So, for the love of all that is good in this world, don't utter any of the following comments in my presence:

"Man,  you sure are getting big." Really? I hadn't noticed. In fact, I thought my current shape made me a prime candidate for the cover of the next Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition. Here's a hint: if there's a chance the pregnant woman in front of you can't see her toes, it is no longer cool to mention her size. We don't feel cute. We just feel fat. And you're not helping.

Closely related to this comment is, "You're as big as a house!" Which is funny, because, technically, if you're pregnant, you are a house. To a person who's getting bigger, and stretching your body further out of shape, every day. And you know what? That's not really a lot of fun. Listening to people say things like that is even less so. So can it.

Another no-no: "Are you really going to eat that?" Whether the woman in question is eating a plate of broccoli drenched in strawberry jelly or a monster-sized hot fudge sundae, you'd be better off eating your own shoe than uttering that sentence. Food is one of the few remaining pleasures a pregnant woman has. Leave her alone.

And the worst offender? "Does getting knocked up give you a license to complain or something? Because that's all you ladies seem to do." My two word answer? Bite me. If you'd had your body taken over by an alien lifeform for nine months, been deprived of sleep, lost your ability to breathe, bend over or tie your shoes, and been put on a hormonal roller coaster with no off ramps for good measure, you'd be feeling pretty cranky too. So shut it, please.

Otherwise, that brittle smile and hollow laugh I offer you might turn into the snarl and hiss of rage it's intended to be. And what follows probably won't be fun for either of us.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Where the heck are you, Mary Poppins?

Remember how I was just telling you guys what procrastinators my husband and I are? Here's another perfect example. We're just now getting around to trying to find a daycare situation.

People have been telling me to get on it for months. And I have made a few calls. Even been on a couple of tours. But truthfully? The whole idea of leaving my three-month-old daughter with a stranger makes me so sick to my stomach, I find it easier to avoid the subject entirely.

But alas, it really can't be put off any longer. So we're finally being serious about it. And good lord, is it hard.

I dismiss a lot of providers before I'm two minutes into the phone call. Why? Well, some sound too old. Or too cranky. Or too distracted. One lady actually screamed at a kid to shut up in the middle of our conversation.

And others my gut just says, "nuh-uh" to, for no good reason.

A few have made it to the maybe list. In fact, I had almost convinced myself that this one daycare would work for us. It was in our budget. Run by two very nice ladies. And really convenient.

I mean, yeah, the older kids were running around like out-of-control maniacs, and the neighborhood looked an eensy bit shabby, but I didn't see any cockroaches and was reasonably certain no irrevocable harm would come to her there.

Until, that is, I saw the center we toured today. Sure, it's waaaaay out of our price range. But the babies have their own house. And soothing music is piped through the stereo all day. And the women who work there all have that magic, "you can trust me" vibe going on.

Oh yeah, I fell under their spell. Until I left and remembered that it's expensive. Make that really, really expensive. As in, we could send her there, but we'd have to live on hot dogs and  beans and rice for the rest of our lives. And do without cable, new clothes and fun of any sort. Forever.

Luckily, I have other options. There's one lady in particular who I'm hoping  will turn out to be my own personal Mary Poppins. She's got tons of experience. Only watches a few kids at a time. Is  close to home and work. Charges very reasonable rates. And seems super nice.

Unfortunately, now she's got to compete with the magic of the baby house. Hopefully, she can break the enchantment. I seriously hate hot dogs.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

At Least She Has a Place To Sleep.

Almost as soon as I found out I was pregnant, Brian and I started thinking about what we wanted to do with the nursery. Thinking being the operative word.

We are probably the world's biggest, most indecisive procrastinators, so to say that it takes us  a long time to complete big projects could be called the understatement of the year.

And the nursery was nothing if not a big project.

So, I think I was about three months pregnant when we started talking about it. First, we thought we'd do something traditional, like Pooh Bear. But that seemed too expected.

Then, we thought we'd do it up like a tropical retreat - in honor of the vacations we'll no longer get to take. But we couldn't find a mural we really liked. Plus, those puppies are expensive.

Finally, I just started flipping through paint chips, and promptly fell in love with the most difficult to match color palette ever. But the result? Is totally worth it.

As you can see, Brian added his artistic touch, both behind the crib and over the closet.
She'll have flowers blooming, no matter what the season

I chose such unexpected  colors (i.e. not pink, brown, or lavender), we couldn't find a single piece of bedding, or curtains, or anything else in the stores that would match them. And believe me, we looked.  Luckily, Grandma Foulkrod is a whiz with the sewing machine.
The curtains Grandma made.

And as a final touch, we put our most fervent wish for our family's future sanity right above the door.
Please, little girl, pay attention.

So, no matter how unprepared we feel to actually fulfill our duties as parents, at least we know that when we put her down to sleep, she'll have a gorgeous place from which to wonder, "who are these people, and when will my real Mommy and Daddy arrive?"

Thursday, March 5, 2009

One Month To Go.

Yesterday marked the beginning of the one-month countdown to baby delivery time. That should seem pretty scary. And honestly, sometimes the thought, “Holy crap, I’m going to have a baby in less than a month,” crosses my mind, and my body’s flight or fight instinct takes over.

My heart pounds. My brain bleats in panic. And I start searching anywhere and everywhere for a responsible adult to take charge. Then I remember, I’m supposed to be the grown-up now.

Which pushes me straight into “I want my mommy” mode.

But she’s seven hours away. Of course, I know if I were to call her up and start howling in her ear, she’d panic and show up at my door in approximately 7.5 hours—faster if sheer force of will could propel her there.

Fortunately, so far, I’ve resisted the urge.

The good news is that these moods are the exception rather than the rule. More often, I find myself getting all warm and fuzzy at the thought of actually meeting my baby. I’ll sit in the big recliner we moved into her room and imagine curling up there with her in my arms. Or I’ll go through her closet, trying to picture an actual baby in those tiny doll clothes. I’ll play with her music box, re-fold her onesies, smooth the sheet in her crib…all with a goofy smile on my face.

I can’t wait to stroll around the neighborhood on warm spring evenings with her, my husband and our dog—our family finally complete.

I look forward to working in my garden, chattering to her as I show her the latest flowers.

Heck, I’m even excited to have company when I’m awake at 3:30 in the morning, marveling at how quiet the world is.

As my husband recently remarked, “Even though she’s not here yet, I can’t imagine our lives without her now.”

Couldn’t have said it better myself.