My Tired Butt Can't Keep Up

I know you all are way beyond "winners" and "losers" in the baby roulette, but I figure that I'm a person that finishes things, so here goes. Special, extra warm thanks to for compiling the stats. Were it not for her, I'd say you were ALL big winners, and who likes competition anyway? But since she had the heart to figure it all out for me, you guys are now welcome to rub each others' noses in how good or bad you are at making random guesses work for you.

In the date department, wins the big prize! She was only four hours off, and were it not for the little dickens crooking his neck on the way out, she might have hit the numbers even closer! When I was in labor (an apt term if ever there was) we definitely thought he was a "16th" baby. By the time he was hatched, I was so delirious I had to ask what day his birthday was. I had no idea.

For weight, my man hit it like a champ: 7 lbs. 13 oz. To the ounce! It must be because the last time I saw him, he was weighing me with his eyes just like lumber: "Oh my god, you're huge!"

And lastly, wins the golden wreath for length at 20 inches. Twenty little tiny inches, but so much charm packed into every cell! But this also means his own mother didn't get one guess right! Is this a sign that I should fork the kid over to one of you, who seem more in touch with his stats pre-bun-arrival than me?

You can't have him. So there.

Anyhoo, he's already plumping up, and he's looking quite different from the hatchling baby he was just a few scant days ago. [Jewish mother] Oh woe, where did the time go? [/Jewish mother].

So thanks for amusing me in my time of need, and for those of you who were tap-dancing to Public Enemy's "Fight the Power" as a form of baby-out dance back when I needed you so, my sincerest gratitude. It was a team effort, and we brought him through safely! Go Team Bun!

Well.

It seems that many of you, while taking my call to arms seriously, haven't been going the extra mile with that "Look at me, I'm running through the streets naked so that Readymade can have that kid" ritual. So here's the dealio: today is his due date. We don't want to have contributed to the making of a slacker,* so we're going to try and get him out as near to his due date as possible. Therefore, bring out all of your superstitious doobobs and shakey-shakey sticks, whiskey bottles and celebratory "Baby-Out" Cosmopolitans, funny tap shoes, well-loved stuffed animal totems, your dog-eared copy of The Phantom Tollbooth for a re-read, and any other fine ritual or objet that seems to echo the call of "Let's Meet the Tot." Thank you for your continued cooperation.

*As I'm sure that your sarcasm lobes are all well lubricated, you know that "slacker" is not in fact what I think of the little tyke. I can understand perfectly why he wants to stay inside, especially after these two gems from our current administration:

Bush Readies His Call for a Return to Space Exploration and my personal favorite:

Bush Plans $1.5 Billion Drive for Promotion of Marriage

And I had no idea that it needed promotion.

Anyhoo, while the country reels from a crap job market and the biggest deficit ever, Bush comes out with a couple of the looniest spending plans ever hatched. Or at least since Harding was president. Why, oh why does anyone take this boob seriously?

So I'm trying my best to stay focused on the very important job at hand, namely bringing a cute mini-human into the world, but every now and then the outside world forces it's way into my little nest and I become completely and utterly exasperated.

He can stay in there for another couple of days...it's the last respite from this craziness he's apt to get. How can I begrudge him that?

Today is "Bring the Bun" day!

All of you viewers out there in TV Land, this is where you really count. Whether it's by lighting a bonfire in your neighbor's backyard (why risk your own?), or Googling for "Baby Out Dances" or wearing a diaper on your head, today is where your little goofy rituals count. Now it is true that he's not due until tomorrow, but if we all pull together today, maybe we can get him in a timely fashion! There are those of you who will say, "But that's not the date I put my money on...I'm still pulling for February 29!" but I implore you as one who can no longer tie her own shoes, get out of bed in a graceful manner, walk more than 100 feet without wincing, please: in my time of need, beg, borrow or steal that "Baby Get a Move-on" mojo and send it my way.

We here at La Casa de Nachitos thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Happy birthday, Pop!

We're trying to give you a really nice present, but he seems to have other ideas. Just as well since it's still an ice rink outside. Have a lovely day! Love, me

The Cosmos Are Witty

So this inclement weather that we're having, right when I'm supposed to drop a baby? They keep saying it's going to get better...tomorrow. They've said this for three days now, and each day the roads are worse than the day before. The streets are solid ice now. I mean completely solid ice. Last night we could look out the window and the street lights were flickering off of everything because it had rained and frozen everything to a high-gloss sheen again. Our car is covered in a half inch of sheet ice. The snow on the ground is so crunchy that my husband can stand on it without breaking through.

We keep telling the boy that today is not the day, hold out until at least tomorrow, but we're not sure if he even speaks English yet so we don't know if he's getting the message. As a little more cosmic humor, there are signs that he could be showing up at any time.

As a result, we're watching the news with special attention today, and hoping that the little tot isn't as rebellious and contrary by nature as his folks are. We would really hate to have to prove exactly how indomitable the human spirit can be by having to either climb up the side of a mountain to the hospital with ice cleats, or delivering the baby here. You know the shit is bad when I say to my incredibly sweet and fearless husband, "If it comes down to it, I believe that you can deliver this baby just fine."

So I sit, going stir crazy, keeping my legs crossed, hoping that a bizarro warm front moves in, and that Tiny doesn't decide that being a drama queen is the way to be by showing up today.

Hold out for your Granddaddies' birthdays, okay? It's only one more day...

Radio silence not due to baby but exhaustion

So tired. Can't keep eyes open. Slept twelve hours last night, and took a two hour nap yesterday. I've heard that you get this burst of wild energy before you drop; if that's the case, I fear I'll be hanging onto the boy for another month. The roads are still quite terrible, so hibernation is not a terrible way to spend the day. Must sleeeeep.

Hanging onto the package

The weather is downright ominous. It's been a winter in Portland unlike any I have seen in the Northwest, and today is a perfect example. The first flakes of snow are those tiny light ones that herald a bitter day, more heavy snow on it's way, and a dry cold like Colorado, not our usually damp Northwest drizzle. I'm a little alarmed. Even with that fifty percent extra blood I've been producing I've got goosebumps. And did I mention that our hospital is on the top of a very steep hill that only has two two-lane winding roads leading up to it? There has been many a time when we've driven up the steep hillside and said, "Who's bright idea was it to put a hospital up here?" You can't help but imagine ambulances trying to skid up through icy snow with a slight sense of dread when you're 39 weeks pregnant. For the first time, we're hoping the little fellow decides to settle in through the storm and wait it out. It could be quite a harrowing journey should he decide to show up today.

(As if in response to my agitation, he's trying to stick his foot straight through my stomach. Straight through! It looks like I have a beach ball under my shirt except for this huge pencil eraser that's poking out my right side. If I put my hand there, it pokes up somewhere else. Disconcertingly, it's kind of like Whack-a-Mole.)

The bird feeder is swinging wildly in the wind, and the birds are trying to hang on for a few sunflowers seeds before the truly inclement weather begins. Hopefully the boy is hanging on like the birds to avoid the storm.

We'd love to see you, but really, it's better for all parties if you wait a little bit, okay?

Nothing says "I love you..."

When I was about 12 or 13, my stepmother bought my father a paper slicer for his birthday or Christmas (he's an artist, and would actually use it quite a lot). It was one of those guillotine types with the big ol' handle that will take your finger off as good as anything. Heavy, industrial, completely functional, I thought to myself, "That is the lamest present ever. Where's the romance? Where's the mystique?" Fast forward twenty-some years. I'm making baby announcements that are, as usual, completely beyond complicated: a multi-page layout, staples, glue, slicing, dicing, making things uniform. My husband says, "You really need a good paper slicer." I laugh, and tell him the story about my stepmother and father's little love token of a paper guillotine, and how I just didn't understand. A couple weeks later one shows up in the mail for me, and I couldn't be more thrilled.

Nothing says "I love you" like a paper slicer.

Betting pool

Here are the ranges so far: Dates: between January 7 and January 28 (!!!) *shakes fist at Karl*\ None of you seem to think that tonight is the night. *cries*

Weight: between 5 lbs, 8 oz and 10 lbs, 2 oz. *shakes fist at the Goose*

Length: 14.5 inches and "really, really, really long." (what's up, cat? You got it in for me?)

Names for females: Hahaha. Petunia is lovely, but no. Karla? Pernilla? Saffron? See, I couldn't name her Saffron because that would make me too much like Eddie from Ab Fab, and really, I always prided myself on being more "Pats." Sorpresa sounds Italian, which me likey, except that the poor tot would have the same mispronunciation kerfuffle that I've always had. Madison...this was the only normal name in the bunch, and because of this, it would have to be a "no." That, and it reminds me of Daryl Hannah.

In the advice department, I got "Hurry up so I can sit on the baby," to "Soylent Green is people" (very good advice indeed) to "If he refuses to budge, an exorcist may be in order." All sage wisdom.

The table's are still open so vote early and often, as they say in Chicago.

In other news, many of you opened LiveJournal accounts to fill out the poll, and I feel obliged to befriend you all (in the LiveJournal sense of the word, which means that I link to you on my user page) though I have absolutely no expectation that any of you will ever write a blasted thing. You are too kind (or crazy). But I hope that you all become junkies for the public exposure of your deepest humiliations like me! Or that you use your new journals for some creative endeavor, like writing the fictional account of your boss's pathetic love-life or the biography of your inner garden gnome.

If there are still those of you who want to get in on the gambling fun, I will reiterate that all you have to do is leave a comment in the "Be an art-eest" section with your guesses and not actually sign up for a LiveJournal account.

You have amused me in my corpulent phase and I am grateful. Now let's get this baby out, shall we?

And the jokes just keep on comin'

Yep. Can't fit into the maternity overalls anymore. THEY WON'T GO OVER MY GUT. For those not in the know, the maternity overalls are the last clothes you resort to when everything else has been outgrown.

Except in my case, where they serve as the punchline to a very long joke.

Pregnancy by the numbers

This pregnancy is comprised of: 40 weeks (give or take) 280 days 3 Trimesters 6 weeks of morning sickness 450+ Tums 1000+ prenatal vitamins 450+ midnight pees (a VERY conservative estimate. Dammit.) 4 ultrasounds 6+ baby/pregnancy books 8+ trips to Babies R Terrifying 10+ maternity shirts, none of which fit anymore 3 pairs maternity pants 6 new bras, 3 which fit now. Sort-of. 13+ trips to the midwife 13+ pees in little sterile cups 2 oz. blood drawn 50 percent extra blood produced 27 pounds gained 2 cup sizes gained (would be impressive if the twins weren't overshadowed by my gigantic tum) 2-4 inches in the ribcage gained 39 cm from pubic bone to ribcage (apparently on the LARGE side) Hundreds of gasps received: "Wow. You're huge!" Thousands of complaints about my hips, lungs, ribs, ankles, etc. 1 patient husband Thousands of exclamations: "Oh my god, we're having a baby!" Multiple panic attacks 1 baby, male flavor

Phew! That's alotta work! No wonder I'm so tired all the time.

I think it's time for a little nap.

"I'm ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille..."

38 weeks. I could pop any ol' time, and yet the little bugger seems quite content where he is. Come out, son! We've got a welcoming committee waiting for you! So this is it. One minute you're a parent-to-be, the next you're a parent. How does this work again? We keep imagining the day we bring him home, when we look at this little wrinkled, pink stranger and wonder what we're supposed to do next. He'll be looking at us, we'll be looking at him, and it will be quite mysterious. Will I want to go back to the hospital, like I've heard so many first-time mom's do, where the nurses will tell you what to do next and there's always someone to take care of the little fellow? Or will it be love at first sight? Or both?

As the final pregnancy assault, my feet are finally beginning to swell. And I thought I might escape that particular indignity... The bun's knees are getting quite pointy, and he's not moving as much due to cramped conditions, all of which makes me hope that he's gearing up for the big entrance: I dreamed that I went into labor last night, and awoke both bummed and relieved that it wasn't happening.

And my brother who leaves in a couple of days keeps doing "baby out!" dances around me, trying to get the bun to pick up the pace so he can be here for the big event. Which would be great; if we can get him in the world before Jan. 1, we can claim him as a deduction on our taxes and not have to pay our enormous insurance deductible for the hospital stay. Heh.

You come whenever you want, little boy. No rush.

*drums fingers on tum*

Holy guacamole!

I believe the tot has dropped. And when I say "dropped," I mean "precipitously dropped." Last night, in fact. There I was, minding my own bidness, sitting there making the bun announcements (a MASSIVE UNDERTAKING, I might add, making this one of my typical "Let's make this as complex as possible" productions) when all of the sudden the boy was on the move.

There were all these punches and weird little movements and I was rather surprised (the look on my face must have been somewhere between, "Oh crap, I left the house without my pants on again," and "I think we need to enroll him in synchronized swimming lessons, pronto."). And then I took a bath, and then I went to bed.

And peed about four thousand times.

And today, as I looked down at my great girth, I noticed my ribs were freed up and weren't as tender anymore. And my bra fit better. And my stomach seems to have come back. And the boy is packed into a new ball, with his feet slightly farther from my right lung.

All this is a great improvement. I know that it just means that I'll be peeing every ten minutes now, and that the strain on my hips will be even worse but Hallelujah! Lungs! Ribs! Stomach! All returned to me in good working order.

Of course, this also means the little nipper is working to make his escape. Which is a little scary. But yay! Breathing! Go, baby, go, baby, GO!

Edited to add: It's insane, but you can actually SEE how much he dropped. We took a photo this morning and compared it to the last one we took, and holy cats! There's like a good two inch difference. He was ridin' tall in the saddle until yesterday--now it appears he's a low-rider kinda feller. Another example of how the body is freakishly amazing.

A very short update and a very long footnote

All I'm doing these days is bitching and wondering where the time went.* *I suppose this is not strictly true. We've managed to get our Xmas cards printed and stamped, so that's something. And I'm continuing down the path of baby-fying our lives--yesterday's pet project? Packing up a diaper bag. Do you have any idea how much crap goes into one of those things? I don't think I lugged that much crap around when I was in college!

And while mostly I'm bitching and wondering if I'm the big present that will be unwrapped for Christmas (truly, Christmas would be too early, but jeez, I gotta dream), I'm also finding all this loot that normally might bring bile to my throat but seems irresistible these days.

Case in point: while trawling a store looking for something for my husband, I saw a plush retro Tigger for the tiny tot. It had a built-in tractor beam, I swear! Latched on to my tummy and I was forced, FORCED to bring it with me when I left. Or maybe there was some psychic connection between the bun and the plushie and I was merely the tool to bring them together. Regardless, I'm positive that I had very little to do with the actual transaction; I was merely a pawn in the game. But when I showed my husband the Tigger, good grief, I got misty. Auuuugh! Now Tigger sits there, staring at me, chuckling to himself and I have to rub his plush fur every now and then to make sure he's really as soft as I thought he was in the first place (he is--BIG improvement in the plush goodness since I was tiny. I remember some stuffed animals were filled with this crap that resembled sawdust. Mmmmm. Comfy!)

But yes, most of my day is spent wishing that my tum would stop feeling abraded, with my hips screaming at me for a little relief. The bun himself seems content enough though--his feet are squarely planted under my right lung, where they have been for quite some time. He really, really likes it there.

Amusing the pregnant lady

Because I'm very tired of being pregnant (very, very tired), I've decided to get the bun's young life off to a rollicking start by opening up the tables for bets. Why? Why not? So even if you never respond to anything in this ridiculous journal, place your bets now to see what kind of a gambler you really are and whether or not you're ready for a life of ponies at the track. Prizes? Probably nothing, except the good feeling you get from knowing that you entertained a very cranky fat lady for one more day. And the slightly dirty feeling you get from gambling on a tiny helpless being's entry into a new, weird world.

Here are some stats to help you make your bets: His due date is estimated on January 14, 2004 Last ultrasound he already weighed five (!) lbs. I'm only five feet tall. It's my first kid.

How much will the little nipper weigh? How long will he be? (inches) Date of birth? Anything you wanna say, re: anything? ANYTHING AT ALL?

A dream so obvious...

...my subconscious should be ashamed. I dreamed that my husband and I were surrounded by relatives we didn't know very well, and that they all wanted to do different things. They were edgy and bored, and we were doing our best to entertain them, but I was wildly pregnant and thus not as much "fun" as usual. We tried taking them to a gallery, but people were getting cranky at us because our car didn't have enough room, so we all had to take separate cars. None of them thought we were being hospitable enough.

Finally my husband took a bunch of them away, just about the time I was still looking for boots to wear to this gallery and coming up with a mismatched pair every time, but at last I got out of there and was on my way to eat with the rest of these odd relatives when one of them said, "I think your water broke." I looked, couldn't see anything, continued this strange journey with people I didn't know, and then had qualitative proof that my water had in fact broken. Off to the very bizarre hospital we go, where none of the phones worked, and I tried to call my husband from dead cell phone after dead cell phone to tell him "THE BABY IS IN PLAY!" Finally, one of these relative-strangers (literally) told me, "Oh, he took everyone to Reno." Desperate, I asked her if I could use her phone, which she sort of threw at me, and I couldn't figure out how it worked because it was somewhere between a transistor radio and a brick. Eventually, I hear a broken-up voice on the other end of the line, and I'm shouting, "You have to come home! I'm having the baby!" but all I can hear is intermittent crackle interspersed with drunk laughter. I can't even tell if it's my husband or not. Meanwhile, the hospital is setting up the delivery room in a most haphazard way, I'm leaking all over, and these weird relatives are creeping about wondering how they can get away without seeming insensitive, but not really caring enough to offer me any help reaching my husband.

I think it's safe to call this one an "anxiety dream."

A look into the near future

Last night I was looking through all these journal entries for photos to show a friend who wanted to see pictures of my rather round self. It was really something: in seven or eight months I've written copiously about this very odd journey (odd to me, even if the greater world at large finds it rather a mundane activity, as it should) and while not every entry is a wealth of insight, or even very interesting, it is certainly a well documented event. And then I realized that I may very well not have the luxury to update about the best part: the bun himself when he makes his appearance. Which made me sort of wistful...all these words flowing about a little person I haven't even met yet, and then when he comes, I won't have the time to wax poetic (or pathetic, or something) about him. Sure, I'll be burping him and cleaning him and holding him and loving him and completely confused and generally mystified as to how this kind of thing can happen, but I won't actually be able to write about it.

And that's okay, because really, who wants to hear yet another parent rambling on about "blah blah blah, my kid's so great, lookit his dirty diaper, isn't it adorable?" No-one. Not even me.

But for the bun's sake, just in case you (the bun) ever go back into the annals of the "pregnancy documents," know this: there wasn't a lot written about your first few formative months because we were up late changing your pants and singing little dumb songs to you. We were very busy learning how to be parents, which entailed a lot of hours and dedication, but was totally worth it.

So the lack of words doesn't mean any lack of interest in documenting your brand new life. We were probably just trying to get a couple hours of sleep between feedings.