Monday, July 31, 2006


Today marks the second time I have walked into a Dunkin' Donuts, paid with a $20 bill, and walked out without getting my change.


I think this pregnancy is making me stupid-er.

Friday, July 28, 2006

happy birthday to me

Yesterday we went in for our 18 week ultrasound. Everything was wonderful and baby was beautifully healthy and kicking like the devil I already know he or she is. We had two technicians exclaim that we had a very active baby in there (while he or she twisted and turned and changed positions 4 times). I couldn't have asked for a better birthday present.

We checked out the brain, the spine, the stomach, the bladder, the umbilical cord, the heart, the fingers and toes and legs and arms, oh my! Everything was perfect. Although I will tell you that this baby, at 18 weeks, 3 days, had a 20 week old head. This did not please me. I'd like to know why he can't have long legs instead? How about a big belly? Why the one body part that allegedly has to exit my nether regions first? Why must that be far larger than normal? The technician kept asking me if I was sure about the dates, and then if anyone else had ever mentioned this before. But I'm quite sure about both the cycle dates and the date of conception, so no question there. Baby just has a big noggin.

In measuring the big noggin, though, the technician (who was actually a doctor), kept measuring and remeasuring the belly and femur to see if the baby was ahead on all counts. The answer is yes, around 19 weeks for the belly and femur, but not the whopping 2 weeks ahead like the head. While doing so, he kept returning to one particular view, coming up from the bottom. In it, I could see the butt, two legs, spread-eagled, and then, umm, something in the middle. Since he was talking throughout his examination, it became crystal clear what direction we were looking from. At one point, I turned to Josh and asked, "Do you see what I see?" and his response? "I choose to ignore what I think I see." So we have no confirmation.

Clearly, I am no ultrasound technician. I have seen only a handful of boy and girl parts in ultrasound pictures from friends, and I can't be sure of what I saw. I also know that at this stage of the game, boy or girl parts are both very exaggerated and still settling into their relative positions. So the truth is, we still don't know and are keeping it that way until this baby decides to pop out and meet us. If anyone asks me, though, I am leaning toward thinking this baby is a boy. That would at least explain why I can only come up with a boy name for this baby, even though I've always thought that girl names are easier!

We'll see in December or January, I suppose.

The very most important thing, though, is that this beautiful little monkey is healthy and growing well so far. We watched him or her yawn, play with his or her face, kick around like crazy, curl up and stretch out and rub his or her eyes. It was amazing and I'm walking around on cloud 9, wondering how I can be so blessed, so very very fortunate.

I have a frame on my desk this morning, with a profile shot of my little tenant, one hand rubbing his eye and the other on his chest. The picture is in an engraved silver frame with the following at the bottom, "there is no such thing as a little moment."**


** Gift from Chatty Cricket.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

lots on the brain

1. Last night we attended a cooking class for Argentinean Barbecue at our local community center. I'm not sure why I planned this, since I could probably teach a class on Argentinean Barbecue, but Josh's birthday was a couple of weeks ago and I thought he'd like it. In theory, it could have been fun, but I found myself internally correcting the teachers at times. It was obnoxious, even to me, and it took something away from the class. Josh had fun, though, and so did two of our friends that came along. That is the important part.

2. Tomorrow is our big ultrasound, the one where they look at all the parts. Up until now, I've convinced myself that finding out the sex of this wee baby is not an option. It just isn't. Josh and I agreed that it was a surprise, and we're just not finding out. But for some reason, knowing that I could find out tomorrow is a little bit like torture. I really don't want to. I really want a surprise. I really think that waiting until the birth will be better for me. Still, a tiny part of me is screaming, "HOW CAN YOU NOT FIND OUT?!?!"

3. Yesterday my mom asked me if I talk to the baby all the time. Umm, I don't. Does this make me a bad mom already? I think about him or her all the time, and I keep being surprised by these little movements and teeny kicks. Sometimes I am in someone's office and out of the blue feel the tap, and it feels like this delicious secret between the baby and I. I almost cannot believe that other people don't realize this is happening. But I'm not talking to the baby, and I'm barely keeping up with my belly journal that asks me for thoughts and feelings. Is this strange?

4. Is it possible that my belly is growing by the day? Seriously? I think it is bigger since Sunday.

Monday, July 24, 2006

kicks and dreams

On Saturday night, I had a terrible dream that I'd given birth to this baby, but I couldn't remember anything about it. In the dream, I'd accepted painkillers for the labor and for some reason, these painkillers wiped my memory clean of the birth or any of the aftermath. I was at home, it was 24 hours later, the baby was still at the hospital, and everyone refused to take me to go see her. In the midst of my begging to see my baby, Josh told me that he'd named her himself and already signed the birth certificate. I remember crying because he'd named her Sophia, and while I thought it was a perfectly lovely name, it wasn't what I had chosen for a girl!

But the worst was this horrific feeling in my stomach, because I needed to see my baby. I wanted to try to breastfeed, I wanted to hold her, and no one seemed to be taking me seriously. It was awful. I woke up Sunday morning, and spent most of the morning with a stomachache, because it felt so real.

We went out to breakfast to have some bagel sandwiches, and as I sat down to eat, I felt it, clear as day.

Kick... kick... kick...

Truthfully, it was more like a tap... tap... tap... but it wasn't gas, it wasn't ligaments, it wasn't anything except this baby kicking away. I felt it a couple more times that day, usually only once or twice, and today I've felt intermittent moments of pressure with a slight tap. I'm assuming that is the baby rolling or swimming, or whatever it does in there. It is lovely, and I'm anxious for it to move more. During a lunch meeting this afternoon, I found myself zoning out and focusing on my abdomen in the hopes that I might feel more of those sweet movements. I can hardly believe that it is only going to get stronger from here on out.

Up until now, I've been telling people that time is flying by, and that I am in no hurry for December to get here. The list of items to purchase and rooms to organize is overwhelming, and although I know that our lives will change this winter, I need more time to actually believe it. On Sunday morning, though, I realized that at the same time, I cannot wait for this baby to get here. I cannot wait to hold him or her in my arms!

I'm searching for a balance now, between trying to enjoy every moment of this pregnancy, and looking anxiously and happily toward the future. The truth is that time IS flying by, and I can hardly believe that August is right around the corner. We are taking a babymoon next month, and once we get back, the real job of preparing for this little one will start. I can't wait!

Friday, July 21, 2006

improvement on the horizon

Thank you for your sympathy and your advice. It is amazing how your comments made me feel like I wasn't going to lose my mind anymore. Friends really can change your outlook.

It has been almost 36 hours since Murray last threw up. He has been begging for food nonstop since about 6pm last night, and gulping down the tablespoons of water I offer him every hour. At 6:30am this morning Josh gave him a teaspoon of rice with boiled chicken, and I gave him another teaspoon at 8:30am. Both of which he happily inhaled with grubby snorting licks. I am keeping fingers and toes crossed, and encouraging baby to do the same in utero, that this marks the end of our forays into vomit and diarrhea. Please, oh please, let this be it.

I'm terrified that this might be an existing problem in the house, so I'm taking all of your suggestions. We're super washing the bowls and bedding, throwing out all of the current dog food and starting over with a new bag. I'm searching the house for plants or dirt or dust, or any other material that they might be eating inside. I watch them like a hawk if they step outside for 5 minutes. Besides that, I'll just hope that this is it.

In excellent news, though, my mom came to visit this week and has been helping out on the dog care. I feel much better knowing that she is home with them all day, watching to make sure no one gets sick. She also brought with her a creamy dill dip from a bakery in Sacramento (La Bou). I've been craving that dip for more than a month. It even inhabits my dreams. So every day, I get to eat some baguette dipped in the creamy dill, some vegetables dipped in the creamy dill, I even sometimes resort to eating the creamy dill straight off of my fingers. Ahhh, pregnancy cravings are a wonderful thing.

If you can believe it, though, getting the dip was an adventure. When my mom went to the bakery last week, they refused to sell her more than 5 tiny containers of it. 5 tiny containers about the size of what you would get mustard or mayonnaise at a sandwich shop, those small clear containers with a lid. It must hold about 3 teaspoons of liquid. The bakery claimed that their company policy did not permit them to sell more than 5 containers in one day to anyone. My mom explained the story, assuming that the tale about carrying the dip across the country to her pregnant daughter in Boston would clearly be enough to thaw their hearts. Nope, company policy.

Mom asked if she could come back later in the day and pick up 5 more containers. Nope, company policy. Then she was told that if she didn't cause too much trouble, they wouldn't call the other stores to warn them that she might be coming to buy more dip. They actually said that, out loud, to my mother. Almost like a threat, as if it would even be legal to try and stop her from purchasing another product at another bakery across town!

So we sent my dad to do the purchasing, and when they gave him the same line about 5 containers, he made a scene, telling people at the tables about his poor pregnant craving daughter in Boston, until he had people offering to purchase containers of dip for him, and the bakery finally relented.

Victory only makes the dip all the sweeter.

Too bad Murray and Tango can't have some too.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

and the universe continues to conspire

Let me tell you about my last three weeks, okay?

Three weeks ago, Tango started acting funny. We didn't know why, but he was hobbling around the house in pain. At night, he would get up and down and pace around the room or the bed. This meant that I was up for most of the night with him, trying to make sure that he wasn't throwing up or having diarrhea, or in excruciating pain of some sort. I eventually called the emergency veterinarian, who told me to wait and see if other symptoms developed. After a couple of days, he started to have diarrhea and continued with his strange behavior, so I brought him in. The doctor examined him and prescribed some antibiotics to see if it would take care of the stomach troubles, and we started him on a strictly bland diet. After a few days, he seemed better.

For about a week, we had a blissful period where no one was sick. Both dogs were cheery, we kept with the bland feeding program and all was well.

A week and a half ago, Murray broke out in hives. All over his abdomen. Of course, it happened on a Sunday, because it seems that dogs never get sick in the afternoon or morning, preferring the late night or wee hours of a weekend. I waited a few hours, and his hives began to spread into bigger rings, so I sent Josh to fetch some baby Benadryl while I did research on the internet for dosage instructions. I eventually found a dosage on a veterinary web site, and gave Murray a little bit that night. He was able to sleep without scratching and his hives seemed mildly improved, so I gave him a little more in the morning. And then he started throwing up.

Since we didn't know whether the throwing up was because of the hives or because of the Benadryl, Josh took him to the vet. There he received subcutaneous fluids, and a shot of Tagamet to stop the vomiting. Thankfully, after only a couple more episodes, the vomiting ceased that night.

We had new strict orders to watch him carefully for dehydration, feed him small amounts of water and after 24 hours without vomiting, small amounts of rice and chicken. I worked from home in order to watch him and make sure all was okay. Unfortunately, that day coincided with Josh's birthday. The poor guy had to spend it listening to me complain and fret over Murray's health, and then come home to no birthday celebration because I was afraid to leave Murray in order to go to the store. That night, Josh went to play in a softball game, and five minutes after he left, Murray had explosive diarrhea all over the house.

When I say explosive, I mean that I left to grab a glass of water in the kitchen and came back to diarrhea on the couch, on the living room rug, in the front hallway, in the office, and on the stairs. To the point that I sunk to the floor and sobbed at the injustice of it all. I gagged through cleaning it up, while leaving Josh tear-filled messages on his voicemail begging him to come home. I was up with him that night, and the next night, every time he padded over to the door begging to be let out.

Murray continued having diarrhea for 4 days, until it finally tapered off, and we again had 3 days of peace and harmony and health.

And then, last night he started vomiting again. He vomited a couple of time last night, a couple of times this morning, and now again this afternoon. My mom is home with him, and she has called to report on his behavior.

I'm at my wits end. I hesitate to take him to the vet again, because I'm certain that their response will be to charge me $200 and then tell me to continue with a strict diet. At the same time, though, I'm worried that he isn't getting better and that maybe he is dehydrated. He is acting mostly fine, with only a little bit of sadness or gloominess when he throws up. On the other hand, I feel like I'm losing my mind.

I don't know how people deal with sick dogs when they have to work. How will I deal with these sick dogs when I have a baby? I guess I just will. In the meantime, I'll wait to hear from the vet and hope that soon we'll be done with these ongoing sicknesses. Sigh.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

i can't make this stuff up

The pooches and I have a routine in the mornings. I get up while they lounge in bed, I shower and get dressed, and then I spend 10 minutes coaxing them out from under the covers and off the bed. We go downstairs, I make myself a bowl of cereal or oatmeal, and we head out to the front yard while I sit on the stoop and eat my breakfast and they run around like banshees. Right before I leave, we come back inside, I fix them breakfast, do last minute things like brush my teeth, organize my lunch, and I leave for the day while they are munching away.

This morning, Tango stood patiently by the door as I poured myself the bowl of cereal, but when I turned the knob and slowly opened it, I heard this awfully loud screeching sound. It sounded as if it were coming from the door itself, or from something inside the front entryway. At almost the same moment, the phone rang, and I turned away to pick up the call. I started chattering away to Josh, and walked back to the door, and as I reached to open the screen, I again heard the loud screeching. I leaned close to the screen door to see what was outside of the door making the awful noises. As I came close to pressing my nose against the metal, I saw something out of the corner of my eye.

Yup, a bat had wedged itself into our screen door, and was protesting loudly that someone was disturbing his daytime rest.

First I screamed, then I hopped up and down, then I slammed the door shut until I figured out that, in fact, it wouldn't be able to get to me on the other side of the door. And then I got the camera.

It didn't like the camera flash, and proceeded to screech loudly every time the flash went off.

After 15 minutes of alternating banging and flashing, it eventually jumped out from the screen door and onto the front porch. While on the front porch, it started crawling around in circles, with no apparent goal to depart from our front step. At that point, I started to worry that perhaps this particular bat had rabies or was injured. Ironically, about 2 weeks ago I saw a special on Martha Stewart on the different species of bats, and how helpful they are in their bug-eating capabilities. That being said, while I'm grateful that this bat digests the many mosquitoes that are out these days, I'd prefer that he not hang out on my front stoop.

I called my town's Animal Control, and their suggestion was that I swoosh it off the steps with a broom. I assured him, though, that I didn't think my ob/gyn would want me outside playing around with a potentially rabid FLYING animal, so he agreed to come out and help it along.

So that's what I did this morning. How about you?

Thursday, July 13, 2006

an actual baby

Pregnancy consumes my mind these days. I find myself looking down in awe at this growing belly that blocks my view of my feet. Josh noted the other day that my belly button has become somewhat larger as the area swells outward. In quiet moments I try to keep still, looking for that fluttering everyone tells me about. The other day, I felt a mild tap tap tap from within, and I held my breath at the thought that perhaps those were the tiny tap tap taps of tiny feet. Only time will tell, I guess.

At the same time, though, I try not to talk about the pregnancy as much as I'd like. At home, I talk poor Josh's ear off, with ideas and plans and schedules. My mother also gets the brunt of my chattering, but other than that, I try not to be the all-consumed, self-centered preggo that I actually feel.

Despite all of the pregnancy thoughts, it is only recently that thoughts about an actual baby have entered my mind. Listening to the heartbeat at appointments seemed so surreal, as if something strange was making that lovely chug-a-chug-a-chug, not an actual beating heart. So it was with a good deal of shock that I saw a real live baby on the screen today during an impromptu ultrasound.

I've decided to switch doctors, despite loving my current ob-gyn because I'd gotten some pressure from friends regarding the hospital at which she delivers. With the wealth of options in Boston, many of my friends and family felt that we should be delivering at one of the top rated hospitals, rather than the community hospital associated with my doctor. It was a difficult decision to make, because my doctor is truly a lovely person. Very friendly and kind, laid back and calming, but the possibility of delivering a baby in need of a neonatal intensive care unit was weighing on my mind, despite the low probability of that happening. I wanted to know that the best NICU in New England was a corridor away, rather than a 15 minute drive. Paranoid, I know, but that is first time motherhood for you.

So today, at my introduction appointment with the doctor, I was stunned when she suggested we "take a quick peek" at the baby. Poor Josh had opted to miss his first appointment of this pregnancy, since this was an introductory appointment that was supposed to take 15 minutes, and it was in the middle of the day. Unfortunately, this turned out to be the most exciting one thus far.

I felt that same momentary panic as she got the ultrasound machine set up. That fear that this time something will go wrong, but as she pressed the wand against my abdomen, a fuzzy image of a beautiful, sweet baby filled the screen. A baby that played with one hand against its chin while holding the other hand against its cheek. A baby that flexed and pointed its teeny tiny feet, and turned its head from side to side. A baby's whose beautiful heart showed 4 beautiful chambers that were beating at 140 beats per minutes. It even wriggled a few times on screen, showing off a healthy spine and rounded belly. Two eyes, a little nose, a mouth that opened and closed.

Folks, there was a BABY inside there.

Not some random growth that is forcing me out of regular clothes faster than I can buy maternity clothes to replace them. Not a parasite making me vomit for weeks on end. An actual baby that might actually be born, that might actually come to live in our house. It blew me away.

The doctor said we were taking a quick peek, but in fact, we spent several minutes while she pointed out the different body parts and did a heartbeat measurement. It was amazing, and for much of today I've been walking around in a daze, tears prickling my eyes when I remember the little face turning from side to side.

A baby. Who knew?

Thursday, July 06, 2006

fourth of july fun, cookies and blogger meetups

The week before last was a rough week around these parts, and I was counting the minutes until we headed out of town on the Friday night before the Fourth of July to visit my inlaws in the Berkshires. Work conspired against me, and we didn't hit the road until after 10pm. Not ideal for a 2 hour drive, but I was terribly anxious for a change of scenery. I couldn't help but feel flooded with guilt all of last week, whether that makes sense or not, whether it is healthy or not.

Getting away to my inlaws' home, in the middle of nowhere, with mountain views from every window, and deserted roads for walking, and nothing to do but play with the pups and eat, was exactly what I needed. My inlaws were stellar to us, too. We went swimming at a local pond per my request, went to see Superman Returns at the drive-ins with a picnic dinner and big cushions to sit on while watching the movie. My mother in law baked chocolate chip cookies for me at 9pm at night, just because I said I was craving them. It was enough to make me want to never come home.

I have to admit, though, that the highlight of our trip was a visit out to visit Chris of Notes from the Trenches. Josh kept asking me what having 7 kids must be like as we drove over to her house, and as we were leaving, he told me that he never thought someone could make it look as easy as Chris did. Her children were beautiful, sweet, and incredibly well-behaved, to the point that we were wondering what she feeds them. There wasn't a single fight amongst them, and each of her adorable children was polite and friendly and chatty. After we'd left, we also marveled at how Chris and Rob can look so unbelievably young too! Josh kept asking me if I was sure that Chris wasn't in her 20's. It was fabulous to put a face to her hysterical posts, and meeting her felt like seeing an old friend. I can't wait to do it again!

After all that fun and inlaw pampering, it was hard to return to regular life in Boston. For some reason, everything is overwhelming these days, and I guess I just have to chalk it up to hormones. It doesn't help that both Tango and Murray have been putting us through the ringer with different stomach problems. Last week we were up all night with Tango throwing up, and starting this Saturday, we've been up and down with Murray and his stomach problems. I had to work from home today because Murray couldn't stop throwing up until the wee hours of the morning and we were terrified that he'd get dehydrated. I'm praying he is feeling better by tomorrow morning because I don't think I can manage another day away from the office.

Besides that, life is great. I've been feeling pretty good except for random headaches that I'm starting to think might be attributed to sugar. My belly is also starting to look actually pregnant instead of just chunky, and seeing myself in mirrors is a bit of a shock. I can't believe my body is actually doing this!

Anyway, sorry for the bloggy break, I'm going to have to kick myself back into gear and resume my regular blogging.