ramona astrid xyerra-taber was born last night at 11:37pm va emergency cesarean after a trial of labor foiled by severe pre-eclampsia. she is 17.75 inches long & weighs four pounds, eleven ounces. she was pink & angry & hollering. she is now in the NICU at overland park medical center getting CPAP therapy & intravenous nutrition (including colostrum). she was born at 32 weeks, 6 days. i am in recovery, trying to heal from the surgery & toxemia. more later!
i can’t believe i am already 32 weeks pregnant. only seven weeks to go, tops, if my doctor has her way & induces me by 39 weeks (due to the whole gestational hypertension/pre-eclampsia issue). i am now twice as pregnant as i was when i started taking these weekly photos. let’s take a trip back in time & revisit week 16…
even though i am kind of obviously pregnant in that photo, it’s hard to remember being that small. i am now so enormous that i have to turn sideways to squeeze between the dishwasher & the bathroom doorway. i’m just waiting for the inevitable day that my belly gets wedged in there & i have to get jared to butter it so i can be free again. getting in & out of the car is like a five minute endeavor. we were going to install the car seat this weekend, but i suggested to jared that we wait until the baby is much closer to being born–or possibly already born–because we’ll have to move the passenger seat forward to fit the car seat behind it & i’m afraid that i won’t be able to get in or out of the car at all if my space is limited any further. (jared does most of the driving while we’re together so i can space out & stare out the window & change the radio stations & deal with my constant braxton hicks contractions.)
i’m thankful that i am still sleeping pretty well. a lot of pregnant ladies complain of back pain or hip pain while they are laying down & i haven’t had to deal with anything like that yet. laying down is in fact one of the few times when i am almost 100% comfortable. i just have the world’s most boring pregnancy dreams. i literally dream that i am reading studies about the efficacy of episiotomies or whatever. other women have dreams about losing their babies at amusement parks, or their babies turning into ostriches, or giving birth to their grandparents or whatever. my dreams are super science-y. last night, i seriously dreamed that i was reading the footnotes in an obstetrics textbook.
with the baby’s arrival imminent, jared is getting more & more enthusiastic about holidays. he’s already brainstorming future halloween costumes for the baby. for baby’s first halloween, he wants to dress up as professor plum & i’ll dress as mrs. white & we’ll dress the baby as mr. body, dead in the billiards room. he has this big plan to construct a billiards room in the interior of a wagon & dress the baby is a dapper little suit & lay it down in there. it’ll work great if the baby falls asleep, but if the baby is excited & wiggly, it won’t look much like a dead guy. hopefully our costumes will help people understand the concept.
this is going to be our first xmas flying solo as a couple. usually we fly back to boston to spend xmas with jared’s family, but we can’t do that this year because i am too pregnant. so we’re going to get ourselves a tree & jared is teaching himself how to make origami cats with which to decorate it, since we don’t have any ornaments & don’t really want to buy any.
he wants to make them our of white paper & then paint them to look like calicos. i really like this idea. i think the calico coloring will look nice on a green tree, i think the cat idea is unique but in keeping with our tastes (we love cats!), & i am always a fan of not having to buy stuff. but once we have a tree, the pressure will be on to put some gifts under it, & jared & i are just terrible at buying presents for each other. neither one of us ever really wants anything, & if something does capture our fancy, we usually just buy it for ourselves. i could maybe use a new winter hat & the 2013 nikki mcclure calendar, & i’m looking forward to maybe a new sweater or pair of jeans once i’m not pregnant anymore & can go back to wearing regular lady clothes, but other than that, i’m all set. jared has been talking about wanting a meat grinder for years, but we now have two food processors & a food mill, so i don’t know if that’s still topping his list. (he wants to experiment with making his own sausages.) i have been thinking for a long time about buying a digital photo printer, but it’s hard to justify, because it’s such a large upfront purchase & then a money pit as time goes on, replenishing the paper & ink.
we don’t even need much more stuff for the baby. i guess you can never have too many cloth diapers, & we could maybe stand to pick up some toys at some point–a rattle, maybe a nice set of blocks. but if the baby was born today, i think we have everything we need to get started.
i keep toying with the idea of making a zine before the baby is born. obviously it would be mostly about pregnancy. it’s been interesting for me to think about how different it is to be the pregnant lady, compared with everything i thought i knew from midwifery school & doula training. i’ve had so many weird experiences i was unprepared for, like pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel, symphysis pubic dysfunction, pregnancy rage (which is apparently a real thing–in some cultures, the hormonal feelings associated with pregnancy translate to “the mean feelings,” rather than socially-sanctioned american weepiness, which i’ve not experienced at all)…to say nothing of my pregnancy getting hijacked by high blood pressure & turning into this carefully monitored high-risk situation. i haven’t made a zine in over two years. we will see…
i’m still a little behind, but this is the most recent pregnancy photo, from last weekend:
yesterday was thanksgiving. i had to go to the hospital & get some labwork done. specifically, i had to drop off a great big jug of pee (the look on jared’s face when i explained that it had to be refrigerated to inhibit the growth of bacteria was truly priceless) & relinquish a few vials of blood. because it was a holiday, the elderly docents that usually rule the registration desk with an iron fist were gone. off terrorizing their great-great-grandchildren, i assume. i had to go to the ER to register, which was unsettling. & then the lab tech misread my orders & thought i needed to pick up a fresh jug for the 24-hour urine catch. i was like, “oh no, i already did that. it’s in my bag,” & he was like, “awesome! hand it over!” it’s really awkward handing someone a jug of pee. i felt like i should say something, so i said, “um…happy thanksgiving!” luckily, it got a big laugh.
jared & i did a fairly traditional thanksgiving dinner, despite at least a week of non-stop haranguing on facebook from all our well-meaning hippie friends who want to convert the world to vegetarianism & raise awareness about the genocide of first nations people. i was the same way when i was 21. so was jared. i don’t know what happened. i just find all that shit really tedious now. i mean, be a vegetarian, that’s cool. i have no problem with that. i even have some great vegetarian-friendly recipes i can make when i invite you over for dinner. it’s also a very good thing to set the historical record straight when it comes to indigenous people in north america, & the fact that they are still around & still being oppressed. but there’s something about the social networking aspect of all of this that makes it kind of insufferable. add in a bunch of people flipping out over how fucked up & consumerist black friday is & exhorting everyone to celebrate buy nothing day & it’s just a perfect storm of sanctimony. no one is saying anything i disagree with, but they’re also not saying anything that is blowing my mind so it all comes across as a distinctly smug strain of white noise.
then again, i read something recently about the way hormones affect a pregnant lady’s brain, making her want to just hunker down in a safe place with her baby bump & be loved & focused on her growing family more & more as pregnancy progresses. rationally, that strikes me as a bunch of essentialist wombmoon bullshit, but i can’t deny that i have become more & more averse to political arguments & drama as my pregnancy has progressed. compared to growing an entire person from scratch, arguing about buy nothing day–AGAIN, because people have been getting up on their self-righteous buy nothing horses for well over a decade now–seems utterly ridiculous.
jared & i were talking about buy nothing day last night after dinner & he said, “buy nothing day. the holiday created by ‘adbusters’. a magazine whose livelihood basically depends on impulse purchases at whole foods. kind of ironic.” the man makes a good point.
anyway, for dinner, jared brined our turkey & it was fantastic. moist & just a hint of saltiness. he also made cornbread stuffing, which was superb, sour cream mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce with apples, & gravy. i contributed green bean casserole, made from scratch. i might be from ohio, but this is not a household that uses cream of anything soup as an ingredient. we also made a pumpkin pie (from scratch–we used the baby’s food mill to puree the pumpkin), an apple pie, & a chocolate pecan pie. i reduced the quantity of syrup & sugar in the pecan pie & added extra pecans & chocolate. it was a lot better that way. denser & not as sugary sweet. jared just used molasses to sweeten the pumpkin pie so it had a rich pumpkin flavor. the apple pie was something of a disaster. jared was too tired after cooking everything else to make a proper lattice so a lot of moisture escaped during the baking process. he deemed it his worst pie ever. i’m not wild about apple pie to start with, so i wasn’t too disappointed.
we ate & ate & ate some more & then we laid on the couch to digest for a while. i asked jared what he was thankful for & he said, “i’m thankful for our new family, & the generosity people have shown us in the baby showering process. & i’m thankful for the internet. …actually, in retrospect, i’m not so thankful for the internet.” i said i was thankful for him & the baby & charlotte, especially the fact that charlotte is much nicer now that she’s getting kind of old. & i’m thankful that i only have like seven weeks left in this pregnancy.
i told jared i read this goofy story involving a 15-month-old in “parenting” magazine while i was at the hospital lab waiting for my blood draw, & he said, “fifteen months? that’s barely even two years old.” i said, “it’s barely even one year old.” he said, “no, you’re one as soon as you’re born.” i was like, “what?” & he was like, “yeah, it’s like the millennium, how there’s no year zero so the first year is one…oh wait. never mind. okay, you’re zero when you’re born.” i laughed & laughed & he got kind of upset about it. my doula told me that her husband had been thankful when their first baby was born that the baby didn’t have “sticky skin”. apparently he thought that some babies were inherently sticky & he was worried about getting a sticky one & having to pick cat hair off of it all the time. i think this was jared’s “sticky skin” moment. i don’t know where dudes come up with this stuff.
he also thought i was chuckling at how slow-moving he was when we were getting ready for bed & he said, “it’s hard to get ready for bed when you can’t bend at the waist because you have an entire thanksgiving dinner in there.” i flipped up my shirt to show the bump & was like, “dude, tell me about it!” he took this perfect three-second pause & then said, “you ate a baby?!?”
wow, i am so behind. this photo is from a week & a half ago.
never fear, i am still pregnant. i didn’t fall behind because i precipitously gave birth or anything. instead, i came down with strep throat & ear infections in both ears. i honestly just thought it was kind of a rough cold, but i guess my OB caught strep throat during her last pregnancy & she insisted on checking me for it because she had been really miserable. the test came back positive, much to my surprise. she got me on antibiotics, but i was still pretty sick for kind of a while. in fact, i’m still a little bit congested & suffering from a residual cough & stuffy ears.
but hey, i guess it’s better to be sick now than after the baby is born. if the baby is feeling angry or rambunctious, it is well contained in my belly & can’t bother me with its screaming yet. & now jared is home, so he can help me out with the house & my terrible health.
i’ve had three biophysical profiles so far & the baby has done great at all of them. there are no signs of fetal distress at all & i am measuring right on target for gestational age. they’re doing growth scans every four weeks & the baby was ENORMOUS at the first one–measuring in the 96th percentile. but those things are really just estimates that can be off by a pound in either direction, & at this stage, being off by a pound could plummet a 96th percentile baby down into the teens. it also may have just had a growth spurt that was throwing off the estimates. the baby FEELS big, but what the hell do i know? i’ve never been this pregnant before.
i too had been doing pretty well at my first few post-gestational hypertension prenatals, but today’s was a bust. my blood pressure was well into the danger zone & the urinalysis was also pretty bad. they are having me do another 24-hour urine catch–because nothing says thanksgiving quite like a big jug of pee in the fridge. i also have to go in tomorrow for bloodwork. yes, on thanksgiving. they wanted to put me on travel restriction too, but luckily, we weren’t planning to go anywhere for thanksgiving anyway. i can’t even imagine how pissed i’d be if i’d shelled out a couple hundred bucks for plane tickets to have thanksgiving with family somewhere or something & then i go to a prenatal & they say i have to stay put. we’ll see how i do on all these tests, but if things come back looking less than great, they are talking about putting me on bed rest for the rest of the pregnancy. or at least some kind of modified limited activity. i have a hard time imagining how much more limited my activity could really get, considering that i already don’t work & spend the lion’s share of my days reading library books & napping, but hey.
so it seems like jared has come home just in the nick of time. obviously he still has work to do, like writing an entire dissertation from scratch. but he’s also been pitching in with the cooking, keeping the house clean, helping me put my socks on, taking care of errands, etc. in a dish-washing frenzy the other day, he broke my favorite coffee cup, so we had to go get me a new one. which inspired him to also order a pasta maker. i probably would not have thought to buy a pasta maker if left to my own devices, but now i am really excited to find out how my lasagna recipe is affected by homemade noodles. i already make a stupendous lasagna (if i do say so myself)–i mean, i actually get cravings for my own lasagna recipe sometimes. & i’ve made it so many times, i could do it in my sleep, so it’s not this huge complicated undertaking like people associate with lasagna. i’ve had lasagna in some pretty fancy italian restaurants & it’s really not as good as mine. so i can only imagine that homemade noodles are going to take deliciousness to unforeseen heights.
he also came home just in time to go to my doula’s class on carriers & cloth diapers. obviously we decided long ago that we were going to be a cloth diapering/babywearing family. & to that end, we have already stocked up on about four dozen diapers (an even split between pockets & prefolds with covers) & three different carriers (including a moby & an ergo, both of which i got used for really nice prices). so we weren’t attending the class to necessarily learn if these were the methods for us. we were just curious about what the doulas had to say.
it was kind of weird because they talked a lot about how it’s probably smart to just use disposables for the first few weeks, until breastfeeding is established & you feel like you’re in a good rhythm with your baby, because having a newborn & dealing with feeding & sleeping & screaming & recovering from giving birth & everything else, plus cloth diapering, is just too much. maybe jared & i will live to regret our hubris, but we didn’t really understand this logic. neither of us is really at all familiar with disposable diapers, so no matter what diapering system we choose, there’s going to be a learning curve. so why not just start with what we really want to use for the long haul? sure, there’s laundry involved, but it’s not like we didn’t know that babies make laundry. & we are both committed to cloth diapering, so, you know. we’ll both be contributing to the work involved in laundering. just like we’d both be involved in taking out the trash every ten minutes if we were doing disposables.
i discussed the topic with my doula privately & she was a lot more supportive of cloth diapering right from birth. some people had discouraged me because they said those first meconium poops were way too gross & would “ruin” my diapers. which i also didn’t understand. babies poop. that’s what diapers are for. how can poop “ruin” a diaper? supposedly the meconium stains really badly, but…it’s not like i was planning to frame my pristine white diapers once the baby was pottytrained. i really don’t care about stains. she said that as long as i wasn’t looking at cloth diapering as some kind of hobby where i was going to resell my diapers & make all my money back, i could cloth diaper from the start, no problem. so…i’m going to try it. i will report back if it ends up being a complete disaster.
one of my friends told me that she doesn’t understand these pregnancy photos & can’t gauge how big i am getting because of “the flash” in them. i was super-confused because i take these photos in a mirror & obviously don’t use any flash because i know it would obscure the image. i still have no idea what the hell she was talking about. i even took a photo right in front of her & showed it to her on my camera without any photobucket alterations & she was like, “yeah, i can’t really tell what you look like.” rationally, i feel that an inability to understand a photo is something weird on her part, but i’d be lying if i didn’t admit that it made me feel self-conscious about these photos. i don’t think i am necessarily getting appreciably bigger from week to week, but you can see the bump, which is all that really matters. i don’t know. the whole thing totally weirded me out.
so, after much hullaballoo, i got my hands on a blood pressure machine & blood pressure medication yesterday. i got the machine from the hospital pharmacy. my regular pharmacy told me that was the way to go because the hospital pharmacy can bill my medicare for a “medical device” & i can be reimbursed for the expense. of course, when i inquired about it, the pharmacist was all, “yeah, they are really cracking down on that & it’s probably not even worth filling out the paperwork.” when i explained that a doctor had actually ordered the machine for me, & i stepped back from the counter so he could see that i’m legit pregnant, he changed his tune. it was kind of annoying because he walked me through all the paperwork like i’d never filled out a form before. it was mostly just filling in my name, address, & medicare claim number over & over again. the last page was a survey about my experience at the hospital pharmacy, & he said, “what we like to see here is all fives,” & then sat there & watched while i circled all the fives. even on stuff that was totally inapplicable, like “ease of use for product,” “product safety,” & “explanation of how product works” (he did not explain how it worked). i considered answering more honestly, but i was late for my doula’s breastfeeding class & just wanted to get out of there without any strife. it was uncool though.
when i rolled into the breastfeeding class, i realized that i knew one of the other pregnant ladies there. & i was not pleased about it. i mean, we’re all adults, we can go ahead & have babies any time we want, no one needs my permission. but this is like the third person that i don’t really like at all that is pregnant at the same time as me. i wish one of my close bros was having a baby at the same time as me–just one? please? to balance out all these assholes & nitwits? not that it really matters; it’s not like our kids will necessarily play together or anything. but i was especially upset to see this woman the day after being diagnosed with such a serious pregnancy complication because we have had some major arguments in the past over things like medicare. which basically boiled down to arguments over whether disabled people deserve to live. i mean, if you are seriously arguing that you don’t deserve access to health care if you have health conditions that prevent you from working for an employer that offers health care or making money so you can buy a policy on the open market, you’re basically arguing for disabled people to just go die in a corner. i really don’t think i’m being hyperbolic here.
i had been thinking that morning about how grateful i am that my health care will cover the lion’s share of my suddenly super-intense & expensive prenatal care (i have to have a biophysical profile done every week for the rest of my pregnancy, & each one would cost me at least $500 out of pocket without insurance), & then here’s this awful woman sitting there, all knocked up. obviously i am feeling a little extra-protective of the baby right now, & i could barely stand to be sitting in the same room as someone that i know holds such vile opinions about the health care i need to keep my baby healthy. she has not historically been the best at understanding that our differences of opinion are actually fucking serious & not just a whimsical lark that i’m willing to overlook, so i was really nervous that she might try to chat with me after class. thankfully, i think one of the numerous times that i informed her that her political viewpoints make her a horrible monster of a person actually sunk in, because she just got the hell out of there once we were dismissed. here’s hoping she takes the same approach if we ever run into each other on the playground. here’s hoping even more that becoming responsible for a tiny life imbues her with some degree of compassion for other people.
i started trying to figure out my blood pressure machine when i got home, & it kept giving me crazy high readings, like 154/126. i mean, my blood pressure is on the high side, but that’s taking it a bit far. i had a friend come over to serve as a control & his reading was also abnormally high. but i think i figured it out. the cuff needs to be positioned just so for an accurate reading. i’m still getting high-ish numbers, but they’re not completely beyond the pale. i am still absorbing all of this new info & recalibrating my feelings about the pregnancy, but between my perfect bloodwork, lack of edema, & decent home blood pressure, i’m hoping i can avoid a super-premature delivery. my goal right now is to make it to 37 weeks. i just want the baby to have nice mature lungs & be able to breathe on its own. i told my doula that a week ago, i was just focused on getting ready for a newborn & not really thinking about the pregnancy that much. now the newborn aspect is totally on the back burner while i put all my energy into sustaining this pregnancy to term. so much of the stuff i cared about a lot before seems really unimportant right now. i’m glad that jared & i are mostly all set for the baby. all i really need to do is prep our diapers, install the car seat, & put together a labor bag. i’m so relieved i don’t have a bunch of last-minute shopping to do. people may have laughed at me for taking care of so much of that early in the pregnancy, before the baby showers, but thank god i did.
i am officially in the third trimester now. there is some debate about whether the third trimester starts at 27 weeks or 28 weeks or maybe somewhere in between, but either way, we’re in the home stretch. i’m not sick of being pregnant yet but i’m getting there. i have had some mild swelling for several weeks, mainly in my hands. i have a mild case of pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel syndrome, which isn’t a problem i have ever had while not pregnant. my right hand is tingly & numb 100% of the time & i can’t really grasp stuff with it anymore. which means i have a hard time writing anything by hand, because it’s difficult to grip the pen. this is very frustrating to me, because it means i can’t really write in my journal, & i am banking on not having a lot of time for journal writing once the baby is born & this swelling situation resolves itself.
in boston, i noticed that my feet were swelling as well. actually, i had a pretty serious elephant foot situation happening in boston. even loosening my sneakers as far as they would go, my toes were still crowding each other & it was difficult to walk. i didn’t have nearly enough opportunities to elevate my feet, & i am always bad at staying hydrated when i travel, which didn’t help things. by the time i got back to kansas, i could hardly walk. my feet were so swollen, even my slippers were too tight. my socks no longer fit. i had a prenatal on friday morning, the day after i flew home, & i went in just a pair of jared’s socks because nothing else fit on my feet.
it wasn’t a great appointment. i had to get another rhogam shot & i wasn’t really prepared for it. needles don’t bother me, but it’s never fun getting a shot. especially a shot in the ass. good thing i no longer have any dignity about stuff like that. my first blood pressure reading was atronomically high. the nurse tried again with a bigger cuff & it came back with a far less terrifying number, but it was still on the high side. she took my pressure again ten minutes later & it was even higher. combine that with the sudden swelling & the fact that i’d gained about sixteen pounds in a single four-week period (twice the amount they like to see) & basically i was showing a lot of risk factors for pre-eclampsia, which is my worst pregnancy fear.
the doctor sent me to the lab for some bloodwork, & i was also given a lovely jug & told to collect all my urine for 24 hours so they could look for elevated protein levels. it was definitely one of those situations where i was really thankful that jared is away doing research. you have to keep the urine jug cool, in the fridge or on ice, & it was just a lot less embarrassing to deal with the whole thing with no witnesses aside from a cat who doesn’t give a fuck what’s going on as long as she gets fed in a timely manner. though i am now blogging about it, so…i figure this is just one of those sucky pregnancy things people should be aware of going in. i suffer so that my constant reader might not have to.
i returned the jug 24 hours later, & also after fasting for like twelve hours or something so i could do my glucose test, which screens for potential gestational diabetes. i don’t have any symptoms, but it’s a routine test in the states, & the fact that i have a family history of diabetes puts me in a risk category. the glucose test is arguably the most dreaded routine pregnancy test. it involves being forced to chug a disgustingly sweet, syrupy beverage & then sitting around doing nothing for an hour, & then having your blood drawn. if you fail, which is to say, if your blood sugar comes back too high, you have to do the test again, but this time it takes three hours. so picture it: you’re in the third trimester & probably enormously pregnant. all you want to do is eat your way through your daily routine like the episode of “the simpsons” where homer imagines being transported to candyland. but you have to fast, & the first thing you’re allowed to eat or drink (aside from water & black coffee, which are both permissible) is this totally horrifying cup of syrup. & then you get blood drawn, which is a horror all its own to a lot of people (not me so much–again, needles don’t bother me).
i got tropical punch flavor. i hate tropical punch even when it doesn’t come in the form of pure glucose in a styrofoam cup at the hospital. i really i hope i pass. i do not want to do that again.
my doctor also accelerated me to every-other-week-appointments a month early to keep an eye on the blood pressure situation. if i do end up with pre-eclampsia, either now or at some point later in pregnancy, the only cure is to deliver the baby. if left untreated, it can shut down my kidneys or liver, i could have a stroke–all kinds of awful stuff. so basically, maybe i should stop telling people i’m having an easy pregnancy. i mean, everything is more or less copacetic at the moment, aside from the symphysis pubic dysfunction, third trimester nausea, pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel, swollen hands & feet, toothaches, congestion, i could go on. apparently my definition of a “complicated pregnancy” is being out on bed rest at the hospital. it’s almost kind of sick that i have all these issues with my own comfort & well-being, but as long as the baby is kicking away & measuring well (& it is–i can even SEE it kick now, which is really cool), i am happy. i guess i really am going to be a mom.
i have been pretty much incommunicado for a week & a half because of houseguests, baby showers, & traveling. but i did manage to carve out five minutes to snap a belly photo last weekend & make it look all goofy in photobucket.
my friend amanda, from philadelphia, visited last weekend for our kansas baby shower. jared took a temporary time-out from his research to fly home for it as well. it was a nice visit in some ways, & kind of depressing in others. jared seemed to be fighting off the flu & was really out of it all weekend. he didn’t want to get up in the morning because he was up half the night coughing. i actually got up & got him a glass of water one night at like 3am, even though i am in the third trimester now & getting to my feet is no easy task. it made me think about how easy it is to take care of someone when you really love them, & that made me feel hopeful that i won’t find taking care of the baby too onerous (although it will be much more demanding than just a boyfriend who is feeling under the weather).
it was great to see amanda. we hadn’t seen each other in over two years, since i spent the summer living in her south philly row home while jared was in new york city doing a hydrology fellowship. she talked a lot about how windy it was in kansas, & how it was exactly what she expected. it was indeed uncommonly windy on the first day of her visit, but i have lived here for over three years & a) it’s seriously almost never that windy here, & b) i have never heard this idea that kansas is an especially windy place. she also spent a lot of time answering texts, taking photos & sending them to her boyfriend, trying to connect to the internet to look up various things she wanted to tell us about, etc. it didn’t bother me too much at first, but by the end of the visit, i wanted to run her phone over with my car. i didn’t even check my e-mail the entire time she was here, because i didn’t want to waste friend time doing some dumb bullshit i can do any time. maybe i am a complete dinosaur, but i’m so sick of people fiddling with their phones when they are hanging out with me. are facebook & foursquare really more important than whoever you’re spending time with?
jared & i flew to boston together on sunday for our babymoon. in case you don’t know, a babymoon is kind of a couple’s last hurrah vacation thing before they have a baby. it’s kind of new-ish, trendy concept, & it’s a little silly, but i knew we couldn’t go back to boston for christmas this year because it’s too close to my due date, & i didn’t want my next trip to boston to be post-baby. jared had to go to the east coast to do dissertation research anyway, so we carved out a few days, booked a stay in a bed & breakfast, & decided to have a real vacation.
in a lot of ways, it was awesome. i got to do almost everything i wanted to do, which is to say i got to eat almost everywhere i wanted to eat. (the only thing i missed was ethiopian food, but jared surprised me one night by suggesting we go to trattoria di monica, the delicious italian restaurant he took me to for my birthday last year, so i was more than happy.) jared had access to a car, so we were able to drive around boston & window shop at all kinds of cute, expensive baby boutiques, the likes of which don’t really exist in lawrence, kansas. i only bought one thing: a stuffed calico cat toy. i’d been looking for one for months with no luck, so i was pleased to walk into an independent toy store & find one no problem. it’s a classic calico, not a tabico (tabby/calico mix), which is more charlotte’s coloring, but close enough. the baby won’t really be old enough to appreciate it for kind of a while, but that’s okay. it’s very soft & a dog outside the toy store thought it was real & went absolutely insane trying to attack it.
we did a lot of socializing in boston. we visited with jared’s brother & his girlfriend because we wanted to ask them to be the baby’s guardians if anything happens to jared & me. they also hosted a baby shower for us, & the following night, jared’s parents had us out to newton for dinner & to load us up with baby heirlooms. we looked at photo albums of jared & his brother when they were babies. jared seriously was such a cute baby, & it was so cool to see baby jared making the same faces adult jared makes. his mom gave us two little outfits jared wore when he was a baby, plus a stuffed bear & a bunch of blankets, & the peter rabbit-themed quilt a friend of hers made for baby jared. it’s really beautiful & we decided we’re going to hang it on the wall over the baby’s crib & maybe someday we’ll be able to pass it down to our first grandchild. she is also giving us jared’s garndfather’s silver cup from his babyhood exactly 100 years ago. our baby has family heirlooms! it’s so cool.
i kind of had a meltdown that night though. our friend bart was in town & wanted to hang out before he caught his plane to chicago. but it was 11pm & everything was closed except for bars. if there’s one thing that just doesn’t sound fun to a pregnant lady in the third trimester, it’s sitting around a bar with her boyfriend & his best friend, unable to drink while her feet are swelling & she has just had to justify to her baby’s grandparents why she isn’t marrying their son anytime soon. the three of us went back to the bed & breakfast & hung out in the lobby, but i really wasn’t having fun. i was wishing that jared & i had taken our babymoon in some city where we don’t know anyone, where we could just be alone together, because alone together couple time is going to be in short supply in about three months. i told jared, “i can’t wait until you come home again & everything goes back–” & then i burst into hysterical sobs because i was going to say, “goes back to normal,” but i realized that we’re having a baby & there is no normal anymore. we are changing our lives & it’s exciting, sure, but let’s face it. it’s also completely terrifying. & the days where i can just fall asleep on jared’s lap or hide out in his arms & shut out the rest of the world are about to come to a screeching halt. sorry if that sounds weird, i know i don’t usually write so bluntly about the more romantic/personal side of jared’s & my relationship. but we are about to become jointly beholden to a brand new little life & yeah, sometimes i worry about how that will affect “us”.
i must say, though, after my little crying jag, i slept the best sleep i have slept all pregnancy. i guess i just really needed to get that stuff out in the open.