Monday, December 27, 2010
Friday, December 24, 2010
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
I have four cats. I have not named any of them.
When I was little my siblings and I had cats and named them, but that was different. All names were approved by The Parents (whether explicitly or not), so it wasn't something I did ON MY OWN. I had approval from An Authority Figure.
Naming Troy Emmitt, the fetus, was like naming a character in a story. Because it wasn't real -- naming my fetus was like naming my GPS (her name is Gloria, by the way. She's very friendly, except when you go the wrong way and she has to recalculate... that irks her a bit. But I digress...)
Unless you count those community-chosen cat names when I was, what, twelve?, I'd never named another living being.
So, suddenly, I'm in charge of naming a baby? An actual PERSON? A person with his own thoughts and opinions?
Freddy and I didn't tell anyone Troy Emmitt's name until he was born. Freddy and I discussed the name, of course, but since we named the baby after his grandfathers, we chose the origin/tribute rather than the name, really (we didn't get to choose what baby's grandfathers' names were). And we -- Freddy and I -- decided baby'd go by his initials, instead of his first (or middle) name. So, really, we picked his nickname for him.
Um... I hope he likes it...?
Because of my freakouts during the pregnancy (Troy Emmitt was a bit of a diva; throughout the pregnancy he kept having scary test results or sonograms, even though there was NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT. Ornery fetus), I asked Freddy to call Troy Emmitt by his fetus name, not his future baby name. So we didn't even use the name until after The Birth.
It was weird.
I called him "the baby" for the first few weeks. It took me time to get used to using his actual name.
AND WHAT IF HE DIDN'T LIKE HIS NAME??
What if we picked the wrong one?
Should we have gone with those names? What was he going to think of his Spanish middle name (my dad's name)? Should we have used the English equivalent of that name? Was he going to hate having to spell it out for people all the time? Do the names sound weird because one's in English and the other in Spanish? What about his first name -- we used Freddy's dad's first name, even though Freddy's dad went by his middle name. Should we have used that instead? Is he going to like going by his initials, or is he going to think that's too cheesy? HOW WAS I SUPPOSED TO KNOW THIS STUFF???
Kid was barely a few hours old and I'd already screwed up, scarred him for life.
Freddy and the grandmas used the baby's name so casually, so confidently. As if it were, like, his name; as if it was supposed to be his name, and there wasn't anything wrong with it.
So, after a while, I started using it, too.
He seems to like it. So far.
We'll see what he has to say about it, you know, once he starts talking and stuff...
And after all the hullabaloo about his real-life name, I had to figure out what to call the little booger here, on the blog. Freddy suggested Freddy, Jr., which I vetoed because WHAT ABOUT ME?? I thought about Criss, Jr., but that's not fair to Freddy, and Criss-Freddy Jr., is just silly.
I thought of Little Red, short for Little Red Cryin' Dude, also in honor of his carrot-top mop. Or Red Hulk, as my sister observed (srsly, you should see him change colors when he get mad), which is fitting considering how much radiation the guy got in utero thanks to all the extra sonograms he made us give him.
I came up with a few others, I think, but they were all equally not good.
So I'm going with MonkeyBoy. Which is what his daddy calls him. (It's what his daddy called the cat, but the cat's been demoted. Now the baby's MonkeyBoy. The cat's just plain ol' Gus now.)
(In case you're wondering, by the way, yes, we have called the baby by the cats' names. Both of us. More than once. More than one cat name. It's OK, though, I don't think the kid noticed. Or the cats.)
Monday, December 20, 2010
But other people are out there, keeping up with all the sh!t that's happening, and writing things like this. Which is much better written than anything I could have done.
So, please, go read Cassy's Open Letter to Michael Moore and Keith Olbermann.
(But also take a moment to chew on this for a bit: the women in the Assange case are lucky. At least there is public outrage over what's happened to them, and the way the media has treated them. Because they're cis. When a trans woman is raped, we don't hear a peep, do we? Even if, somehow, the media bothered to report on a trans woman's rape and the media did to that woman what Olbermann and Moore are doing to these cis Swedish women, would the rest of the Internet notice? Would Salon and its cis feminist bloggers show anywhere near the same outrage?)
Thursday, December 16, 2010
- my beautiful, healthy baby boy who just turned two months old!
- the breastfeeding-friendly hospital where I gave birth
- my OB, who treated me like a person, respected my wishes about my birthing experience, and was open, honest, and compassionate throughout the pregnancy and birth
- my Freddy, who's an awesome daddy
- my mom, who took care of me and The Boy during those first weeks, even if she got no sleep and put a ridiculous amount of miles on her car driving from and to Austin...
- my long-distance doula/pregnancy-and-birth guru, Marcy
- Lacey, supernanny extraordinaire, for taking care of my sweet baby when I'm at work
- my mom-in-law, another awesome babysitter. And so much more.
- all the awesome #bfing and #clothdiapering moms on Twitter who answer all my ridiculous questions. IT TAKES A VILLAGE, people. And online villages rock.
- my NaNoWriMo co-MLs, who picked up my slackery-slacker slack this November. (I was busy. Baby busy. I wrote a whopping 1,765 words. w00t.)
Tuesday, December 07, 2010
Either that, or they're angry, bitter people who really, really hate women.*
*(Yes, women can be misogynists too.)
Friday, December 03, 2010
Saturday, November 20, 2010
As a cis feminist, I know I'm part of the problem. Most of the names on that list (and please realize the list is really much longer; these are merely the crimes that were reported) are trans women of color. Traditionally, "feminism" has ignored cis women of color; while we're "getting better" about thinking of cis women of color when fighting for "women," we have a long, long way to go when it comes to supporting and fighting for trans women, and especially trans women of color.
I feel awkward, "unqualified" to write about this day, about these lives and deaths, about these women's lives, because as a cis woman I know nothing of what they face. I was going to post a collection of links, like Arwyn at Raising My Boychick did, but since she did it already I'll be lazy and link to her. (Yes, I realize I'm a cis woman linking to another cis woman. But she has a good collection of links.)
You should also read It Makes Sense at Questioning Transphobia. (Actually, this whole archive is good reading material.) And Helen's post at Bird of Paradox. And Remembering Our Other Dead by lucypaw.
As someone else just tweeted, my voice is not one that needs to be heard or centered today, so I should stop writing and let you go read the posts linked above.
I just want to leave you with a thought, especially if you're a protected, cozy cisgendered person like myself: yeah, very few of us can fathom murdering another person, committing the acts described here. But that's not where it starts.
How many times have you heard someone make a joke about Ann Coulter being a man, and using that as a way to attack her political views? How many times have you laughed at that joke (or RTed that comment)? How many times have you sat there silently while a friend made that comment, without challenging the transphobic attitude that inspired it?
How many times have you laughed at a sitcom where the guy is put down by being called "a girl"? Or his worth as a man, as a human, is questioned because he does something "girly," and crossing gender boundary lines like that is an unforgivable sin?
Words have meaning, and they have power. Pay attention to how you use them, and how those around you use them. Let's work to make transphobia and transmisogyny NOT be so unquestioningly mainstream, so that next year's list can be at least a little bit shorter.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Freddy and I were planning on using his flex spending health care account thingie money to buy a breast pump, especially since he needs to spend the money by the end of the year and doesn't have anything else to spend it on. But I guess that's just trying to ABUSE THE SYSTEM!!!
Maybe I should just quit my job so I can feed my child as God and nature intended -- with breastmilk, not some chemical substitute. Of course, that would mean Freddy and I would have to go on some sort of government assistance program. That's a much better option, right, IRS?
Gotta love American Family Values: YOU MUST CARRY THAT PREGNANCY TO TERM!!! THAT LIFE IS SACRED!!
Until it comes out of the womb (i.e., becoming an ACTUAL life). Then, we'll screw you any way we possibly can...
Monday, October 25, 2010
The umbilical cord stump fell off this morning, which caused much rejoicing for Freddy and me because we were a little freaked out that it might have gotten infected. We noticed some greenish-yellowish crusty stuff on The Boy's onesie and at the top of his gDiaper, and looking at the cord stump itself it has some yellowish-greenish goo in it. Didn't exactly look like pus, but it didn't exactly look healthy, either...
We had not been cleaning the stump because the hospital hadn't said we had to, and my books said you could clean it or leave it alone. However, the presence of goop prompted an emergency trip to the store to buy some alcohol (er... for cleaning, not drinking).
After a while we noticed that the stump looked... less attached. So maybe it wasn't infected, it was just detaching. Which was a MUCH preferable situation.
(Plus, it just looked so yucky. And it icked me out every time I had to change his diaper.)
Then, this morning, Freddy showed me The Boy's clean and clear (and not infected) belly button. Whee! The stump was gone!
Freddy asked if I wanted to keep it. Part of me wanted to throw it away, because it was yucky and it had caused me stress. But part of me felt sentimental, and wasn't ready to throw away that nasty, crusty, dried-up stump.
It was, after all, the source of his life force for 39 weeks and two days. (A life force he sucked out of me, like a good little parasite.)
Now, he still sucks his food source from me, but that's because I CHOOSE to breastfeed him. If I wanted to, I could let him have a bottle and let Freddy or one of the Grandmas take over; breastfeeding is borderline torture right now because my nipples are cracked from a bad latch I keep thinking I can fix myself. It kinda sorta seems like it's getting better, but then at the next feeding the pain when he latches on is so fierce I'm surprised I don't draw blood each time I bite my lip.
But I keep doing it. I keep letting him feed off me, I keep letting my day revolve around his needs and his feeding schedule, even though it's wearing me out mentally and emotionally and taking its toll physically -- even though I have such an easy out, now that he's no longer inside of me, attached by the umbilical cord.
Because I WANT to breastfeed him. See how this works? I CHOOSE to put up with the sh!t and pain and "minor inconveniences" because it's for something I WANT. Some people would make a different choice when faced with this same situation -- some people would make the same choice as I when faced with a worse situation; some would make a different choice when faced with a less challenging situation.
This doesn't make any of us "better" people than the others, it just makes us people who exercise our God-given free will.
Monday, October 18, 2010
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Then I realized why Troy Emmitt doesn't want to come out. Even he, a teeny, tiny little fetus, knows that there is a difference between a fetus and a baby. He knows that as soon as he comes out, he stops being Troy Emmitt the Fetus -- he'll become a Real Baby Boy. And he likes being Troy Emmitt, Fetus Extraordinarie, doesn't want to become [Real Baby Boy Name].
See? Even fetuses get the difference.
Now, I feel sorry for Troy Emmitt, and I know that I, too, will miss Troy Emmitt the Fetus, but we gotta do what we gotta do. So we're going in to the hospital tonight, to start the induction process.
I know Troy Emmitt's going to be peeved that we're doing this to him, instead of letting him stay in there, all fetusy, forever, but once h becomes Real Baby Boy, I think he'll get over it.
Monday, October 04, 2010
Since Friday, I've been seriously wondering if instead of calling Troy Emmitt "Troy Emmitt," we should have called him "Bruce Banner." This kid has been exposed to so much sonogram radiation, I truly won't be surprised if he comes out green. (The rage part he's going to have regardless -- I mean, look at his mom. Need I say more?)
Early on (first trimester), we had the nuchal-something scan, where Troy Emmitt decided to have a thick neck and no nasal bone. Which threw everyone in a tizzy, thinking he had some chromosomal abnormality. We went to these fancy specialists, with their fancy-shmancy super-powered sonogram machine, and looked at Troy Emmitt, only to find out everything looked "normal" now. We did an amniocentesis and everything... to find out the little bugger was fine.
All that fuss, for nothin'.
But because of that abnormal scan, we've been doing biophysical profiles every week for the last [something] weeks. (We were doing them monthly before that, and maybe every two weeks... can't remember. There've been LOTS of them.)
He scores high on all the BPPs; our appointments are a lot of, "Fetus looks good, mom looks good..." I think we bore my OB sometimes. She's sick of seeing us.
BUT THEN FRIDAY, little Mr. LookAtMe!!! decided to have a "prominent aorta." Again, everyone got all worked up over this. We scheduled an emergency appointment with the specialist doctors and their super-powered sonogram machine, and made the grandmas worry all weekend long.
You know what the fancy-shmancy super-powered sonogram showed? Nuthin'.
Now, Troy Emmitt, prima donna that he is, decided to turn the wrong way to make it hard for the nice doctor to get a good look at his heart (he even used this fetus-harasser vibrator thingie, to make Troy Emmitt turn around, but the boy refused to cooperate), and we're under orders to tell the pediatricians at the hospital to make sure to check for heart murmurs and other stuff after he's born, but everything's fine so far.
Here I was, thinking this fetus was just a fetus, floating around drinking his amniotic fluid (and peeing in it, and then drinking it. Yeah, fetuses are gross. They drink their own pee), and hiccuping like nobody's business, but all this time he's been actively, purposefully doing these things to call attention to himself. Just like his dad, he's a tooter-face. Attention hog. Prima donna, just like his mom.
Dude's not even born yet, and he's this much trouble?
Freddy and I are in for a rough ride, aren't we? (I can hear the grandmas laughing... Are they saying something about karma...?)
Saturday, October 02, 2010
Yeah, sure, "It's easier to take care of them in there than out here!" Well, that depends on what you mean by "easier." Yes, "in there," I don't have to DO anything to feed Troy Emmitt; once he's "out here" feeding him will require action on my part, or the part of one of the many other people who will be caring for him once he is no longer part of my body.
But that's the problem.
EVERYTHING I eat, he gets. Once he's out, if I'm breastfeeding, he gets most of what I eat, but there are ways to get around that -- I can wait until the offending food is out of my system before feeding him again. If I formula feed, I don't have to worry about that at all. But now? Nope. I eat it, BOOM! immediately, he's eating it.
If I'm not eating enough, he's not eating enough. If I'm not drinking enough water, he's not getting enough water. If I have caffeine, he's having caffeine. And while it may be "fine" for an adult woman to have ONE caffeinated drink a day, it's not "fine" for a newborn to have that same amount of caffeine injected directly into his bloodstream. So imagine what that does to a fetus that's even younger and smaller than a newborn.
Same goes for any medicine I may need to take. Fun, huh?
Same goes for any involuntary actions and feelings.
If I'm stressed out, guess what! He feels it. Yeah, sure, tell me to "relax" and not worry about stuff. BECAUSE THAT'S GOING TO TAKE CARE OF IT.
I can make myself LOOK relaxed. I can take deep breaths and smile and sit quietly -- that's not going to make the stressful situation or feelings go away, it's just going to make those of you outside of me feel better about it.
I can refrain from talking about the stressful situation, but I can't stop my mind from thinking about it. Trust me, I try -- my mind's going to go there. I can try to focus on other things, but it's going to find a way to go back to it.
I can control the outward appearance of "stress," but I can't control my body's physiological responses to it. And the fetus feels the physiological responses, not my outward demeanor.
But, FUN AS THAT IS, it's not just that.
Right now, I'm the only person in the world who can feel Troy Emmitt.
Yeah, you can put your hand on my belly and feel that foot that just kicked me in the ribs. Or you can put your hand on my belly and feel the rhythmic thumping of his hiccups. (You, however, can remove your hand when you get bored, and stop feeling these things. I'm stuck with them 24/7. Yeah, it was cute at first. Exciting, and all that jazz. But after a while? I just want to sit, okay? I want my body to stop doing these weird things.)
But whose responsibility is it to check kick counts daily? Is he moving? Is he dead? When was the last time he moved? Is he moving enough? Has the frequency of his movement changed? Has it changed enough that I need to contact my doctor, let her know something may be wrong?
We found out about halfway(ish) through that we were at a higher risk than most for a stillbirth. That's nice. So, besides dealing with everything that life involves, I need to be constantly attuned to my uterus and its movements -- because a decrease may mean my fetus is dead. And the only person who can be in charge of this oh, so pleasant task is ME. No one can relieve me of this duty, or take over for an hour. Just me!
So far, I'm 37 and a half weeks and I haven't killed the kid yet. He's still moving around in there. So that's good.
But yesterday we found out he has a "prominent aorta." Which could mean there's something wrong with him, bad enough to require surgery once he comes out, or it could mean nothing at all.
I don't know if you noticed, but yesterday was Friday. Which means today's Saturday, and tomorrow's Sunday. Monday doesn't show up until AFTER that, so that's how long we have to wait until the other doctors can do yet another sonogram to look at this uppity aorta and decide if it's nothing, or if it could be something. If they say it could be something, then we get to go to yet another doctor to do yet another test to see what sort of something it could be.
(Remember that "stress" thing? Yeah.)
We've been having weekly sonograms for seven weeks now. Why did this aorta thing not show up in any of the other sonograms? Did it just grow from last Friday to this one?
That's what would make the most sense, right? This abnormality JUST NOW developed.
So... where did it come from?
What happened NOW that made this thing screw up?
I currently have two huge, red scratches on my left thigh from when one of the cats tried to get in my lap when I was sitting on the toilet. I also have several smaller scratches on my hands, from when I had to pick up the other cat to get him out of the bedroom, and he felt he should stay in there.
Throughout the last eight months I've accumulated quite a collection of bites and scratches from our four cats. Three of whom are known hunters. Who kill and eat wild game. (If suburban rats, mice, and birds are considered "wild game.")
You know why pregnant women aren't supposed to garden or change the cat litter? Because there are bugs in dirt and cat feces that can cause birth defects. These bugs are not just in cat feces, but in cat bodily fluids; the reason we focus on the cat poop is because that's how most people interact with bodily fluids or excretions.
These bugs come from cats eating raw meat. Like rats, mice, and birds (wild and suburban varieties).
Despite living with cats for pretty much all my life, at the start of this pregnancy I did not have the immunity to these little bugs, which means if I was exposed to them sometime during the pregnancy, I could make Troy Emmitt have some nasty, horrible birth defect.
I've been getting scratched and bitten by cats who kill and eat raw meat. And now my fetus has a "prominent aorta" -- a potential birth defect.
You do the math. What is any rational person going to assume?
They may be "easier" to take care of "in there" than "out here." But you know what would be nice? NOT being the one and only person to blame.
Monday, September 13, 2010
Sunday, September 12, 2010
(It wasn't until I started reading the brochures and stuff that I realized StrongMoms is a Similac thing. So when the cats chose to pee on the bag a few weeks later, I was not too bothered about it.)
The bag contained some useful information, like the brochure from the doctor's office detailing the three trimesters, what medications were considered "safe" during pregnancy, and what I could and could not have done at the dentist. But most of the other stuff? I could have done without. (Seriously, ViaCord, HOW MANY TIMES are you going to "remind" me of my "SPECIAL OFFER!!!1!!" to bank my baby's cord blood with you??)
You know what would have ACTUALLY been helpful?
- A portable fan. Battery powered. Two, actually: one to keep on a desk (or other surface), another to wear around my neck.
- An overnight maternity catheter. Or a nine-month supply of overnight Depends.
- A bib. Large enough to cover the overgrown boobs and overgrown belly.
- Coupons for unlimited quantities of healthy, antioxidant-rich dark chocolate. Redeemable at any store, nationwide, throughout pregnancy and the child's first year of life. (Once the kid's a year old, he/she is old enough to ask you to SHARE the chocolate, so the magic's gone by then.)
- Optional: sign reading "Yes, I'm pregnant. Due in _____. My doctor says I'm just the right size, thank you."
Due to reader input, it has been decreed that the coupons for unlimited quantities of healthy, antioxidant-rich dark chocolate do not carry and expiration date. Once you get pregnant, you get free chocolate for life, for yourself and your child.
(Are you listening, Nestle? If you wanna win back the mom demographic, you'd better quit your unethical practices and get on this chocolate coupon thing.)
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Thursday, August 05, 2010
If you get married and take your husband's last name, you're an appendage to said husband. And that's BAD.
If you DON'T take your husband's name -- either because you never married him or because you married him but kept your own name -- then you still have YOUR FATHER'S last name, which means you are an appendage to your dad. Which, honestly, is kind of creepy in an icky way... so let's not go there.
(Oh, and... if you happen to NOT be part of the monogamous heteronormative binary borg... well, you're screwed. We have no idea what to do with you. Sorry, polys, genderqueers, and lesbians.)
BUT I HAVE FOUND A SOLUTION!!!
Because, really, ladies... who wants to be an appendage? Let's face it -- appendages only look good on the Flying Spaghetti Monster, who knows how to wear his noodley appendages with style. And we know neither your husband nor your dad are the FSM. (Really. Don't blaspheme. That's just not cool, dude.)
So, what's a gal to do?
We need to have a last name, but the two options open to us right now are YOKES OF THE PATRIARCHY. And we radfemz won't STAND for that -- WILL WE?
Didn't think so.
This leaves us only one option:
(Actually, it leaves us two. Because I am SO GOOD, I came up with TWO awesome solutions to this problem.)
1) We must make up our own last name.
And you can't pick someone else's name, because that's being an appendage to that other person. AND WE DON'T WANT THAT. (Remember?) Just pick something cool, that you like. And make that your last name.
For example: I shall heretofore be known as Criss L. Bananalaffytaffy. Freddy shall heretofore be known as Freddy Thebatman.
When Troy Emmitt is born, he'll hyphenate his parents' names (so he'll be Troy Emmitt Bananalaffytaffy-Thebatman*), until he's eighteen. On his eighteenth birthday, he'll pick his own last name, to replace the hyphenizationing.
*"Bananalaffytaffy" goes before "Thebatman" because you have to follow alphabetical order. Otherwise, chaos ensues.
Now, I know this option will not work for EVERYone, because some people like to have a little more continuity (or "lineage") in their families, so they can go on genealogy websites and find out if they're related to anybody famous. This is why I've designed Option #2:
2) Instead of a last NAME, everyone gets a last NUMBER.
For example, the last four digits of your Social Security number. Or your driver's license number.
So, let's say my number is 0805. And Freddy's number is 2010. I'd be Criss L. 0805, and he'd be Freddy 2010.
When Troy Emmitt is born, his last
Let's say one day he marries a girl named Eugenia 3715. Their kids, my grandkids, would have the last
So, who's on board with this plan?
Monday, August 02, 2010
Seriously, people? THIS is what we need to fight about? A freakin' last name?
Feminism's treatment of non-cis, not-heterosexual, non-white women is not stellar. That's a big strike against it. Some feminists are working to correct that, learning to check their privilege and actively work to help those that need it most.
But then... other "feminists"... pull this crap : Can I be an Appendage to a Man But Still Call Myself a Feminist?
Really? Just because a woman decides to get married, she can't be a feminist? Just because she decides to change her last name, she's not a feminist? Just because she does the dishes while her partner is working 12-14 hour shifts at work, she's not a feminist?
If that's what "the cool feminists" do, then no thanks, dude.
Maybe I'm the one who's all backwards. I mean, here I thought "feminism" was about women breaking free of the roles imposed on them by outside parties (otherwise known as the kyriarchy), and pursuing their own happiness, their own dreams and ambitions, instead of someone else's.
Apparently, "feminism" is being part of the FemBorg. It's all about teh manhatingz. And if you break the rules, even just a little bit... YOU'RE SARAH PALIN!!!!
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Because of my abnormal AFP screen in the first trimester, my OB has warned us that we are at a higher risk for something going wrong (read: stillbirth). This is why I'm getting a sonogram at every appointment, to make sure the fetus is moving the way he should, his heart is beating the way it should, that he's drink-breathing his amniotic fluid (and his pee) the way he should, etc. If he starts to get lazy, lethargic, or his little fetus organs don't look as active as they should, she'll want to induce labor (or go for a C-section) to get the fetus out and fix him.
Just what every pregnant mom wants to hear, right? "Hey, by the way... that baby you thought you were having? Yeah, he's likely to die, for no reason at all, before he's even born. No, we don't know what causes it. No, we don't know how to prevent it. We just know to tell you about it so you can spend the next
At our appointment Tuesday, our OB shared the above story. It happened to one of her partner's clients, just the week before.
I'm feeling better now (our appointment was Tuesday morning -- and, of course, this was the first appointment where I only took a half-day off work, same for Freddy. I really needed time to sit with him, talk about all this... but no. Had to rush to work from the doctor's office, without even time for a quick lunch); have had time to process all this and accept it. Sort of.
It's beyond infuriating that I have absolutely no control over this. I do everything I'm supposed to do. I eat good things, have severely limited my intake of processed crap, eat organic fruits and vegetables, don't eat fried crap. I rest, don't exert myself physically (picking up heavy items, etc.), listen to my body when it's tired. I've modified my lifestyle to accommodate this fetus. And now he's going to quit on me for no reason? Make me go through all this, just to wait until the last minute to die for no reason? WTF, fetus??
Now, statistically, the most likely possibility is that everything turns out fine and all this worrying is for nothing. But there's no way of knowing that. There are ways of knowing it's NOT going to be fine (if the biophysical profile comes back with poor results), but even as "good" BPP can't say that everything will be hunky-dory.
Freddy and I both had to go back to work after this appointment (the first time neither one of us took the whole day off -- I had to rush to work from the doctor's office, didn't even have time to eat lunch. Of course, this was also the day we'd done the glucose test, so I'd had nothing to eat all morning except for two hard-boiled eggs and a super-charged artificial-sugar drink), so we had no time to sit and talk about the news.
(It wasn't truly news-news, since we'd already talked at our last appointment about the need for monthly screens until 32 weeks, then weekly screens, to make sure everything was "okay." But when you throw the word "stillborn" in there, especially right after "perfectly normal screen," it changes things a little.)
Freddy and I had started calling Troy Emmitt by his real name, Blanky McBlank, when it was just the two of us. We used his real name when talking about him inside my belly, when talking about his nursery, when talking about what he'd be like when he grew up. We'd started talking about him as if he were a 100% guaranteed, real baby.
I know there's never a guarantee. Even if he's born, he could die of SIDS in the first few weeks after birth. He could catch some easily-preventable disease at the doctor's office, from some kid who's parents believe Jenny McCarthy's crap and decided not to vaccinate their kids. We could get in a car wreck on the way home from the hospital, or on the way to the grocery store, or on the way to daycare. He could get leukemia. There's a bazillion things that could happen.
But in each and every one of those scenarios, before that death happens, I have a baby to have and to hold. I can see his face, look into his eyes, hold him, hug him, SEE HIM before he's gone. I have something before he dies.
When we got home from work that day, I told Freddy, "I want to go back to calling him Troy Emmitt."
Freddy paused for a second, then said, "Okay."
I was going to explain -- I had my speech all rehearsed. But I didn't need to.
"No, I know," he said. "You know it's going to be okay, right?"
"Yes, I know."
Except we don't. But that's okay.
I can deal with losing Troy Emmitt. I know he's going to go away, eventually -- when he becomes Blanky McBlank. But I can't deal with losing Blanky McBlank before I even get a chance to meet him.
This is why it's not "a baby" until it comes out. Because too many things can happen before the fetus finishes doing it's thing. Too many -- wanted -- fetuses never become babies.
This doesn't mean the loss of a wanted fetus is not a terrible, horrible loss -- please don't be that naive or ignorant.
This means that there is a significant difference between a fetus developing inside a woman's uterus, and a baby living outside of it.
Monday, July 05, 2010
It's going really well. Most of the time.
(Like, the other day, when I was driving home from work and stopped at the green light because my #preggo brain thought it was a four-way stop . Because on my way TO work the first intersection after I exit the freeway has a four-way stop sign, so of course the first intersection after I exit the freeway on my way home FROM work would be the same, right? Clearly.)
I have resigned myself to the fact that I need to write everything down, because if I don't, it didn't happen. Kind of like the dude in Memento (but I use Post-Its instead of tattoos. Can't find a decent tattoo artist at work).
I have had an extremely easy pregnancy (so far). My 24-hour sickness in the first trimester was mild; I was very picky about what I wanted to eat, but I could eat, and as long as I was munching on something throughout the day I was fine.
Freddy works at a health-food grocery store, so I have access to all sorts of healthy, organic goodies daily. He texts me before he leaves work asking me what I want to eat. And he does all the cooking (and all the cleaning, and all the laundry, and all the cat-duties...) because he is, pretty much, the Bestest Hubby And Dad-To-Be In The World.
(Seriously: I come home from work, sit on the couch, get waited on hand-and-foot, and after I pass out around 9:30 he gently wakes me up and takes me to bed. Once I get home from work, I do NOTHING.)
Troy Emmitt has been kicking healthily, but he likes to give me a few good kicks, so I make Freddy stop what he's doing to come over and feel them, and then Troy Emmitt stops. But Freddy has gotten to feel a few of them... and you should see how his face lights up when he feels those little kicks.
I also have an extremely accommodating job where I sit most of the day, so I don't have to worry about overdoing it physically or straining myself. I cannot imagine how miserable I'd be (and how stressed and unhealthy Troy Emmitt and I would be) if I were still in the classroom, teaching full-time, dealing with parents and administrators and grades and all that blah-blah...
Tomorrow we have our 24-week appointment, where I get to drink the glucose stuff to test for gestational diabetes. I'm either going to ace the test or fail it miserably... but I've been really good about getting my sugar from natural sources, so I should do well. My body's so used to processing massive amounts of sugar, I'm probably going to metabolize (or whatever you do with it) all that glucose in half the alloted time. (How does that glucose mixture compare to a bag of cotton candy, washed down with regular Coke? Anybody have stats on that?)
Last week Freddy and I started our Bradley childbirth classes, so I've been doing my exercises and counting my protein intake. I thought I was doing really well nutrition-wise, eating 65-75 grams of protein a day. Well, according to Dr. Bradley, I should be getting 80-100 grams of protein a day. EIGHTY to ONE HUNDRED grams of protein A DAY.
They give you this little chart to fill out, and though it looks a little intimidating at first, I've actually done well so far. I just have to make sure I eat, the right things, pretty much all day long.
So, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to eat some hard-boiled eggs and get back to reading NATURAL CHILDBIRTH THE BRADLEY WAY.
So, belated, but here it is! I turned 33 on Saturday. I have lots of stuff, including a PUR water filter attached to our kitchen faucet, so I can have extra-clean purified drinking water whenever I want. Talk about privileged.
I whine about having to walk down the hall and around the corner to get to the water fountain at work, to fill up my water bottle. There are people who have to walk miles to get to any water, and it's not even clean or fit for drinking.
So, instead of asking for stuff for me this year, I want to ask for water for those people. Because they need drinking water way more than I need another Hello Kitty trinket (trust me, I have plenty).
How about you skip that frappuchino or ice mocha this week, and give the $5 to
Monday, June 14, 2010
Oh, I know... silly me! I'm pregnant! That must mean my body is now part of the public domain! (At least that's what the politicians keep telling us, isn't it?)
Well.... sorry. WRONG.
Still my body. If you want to touch it, you'd better ask permission first (and be ready to have it denied).
I'm five and a half months pregnant.
Yes, I'm sure. Yes, seriously. Why would I lie to you? What purpose could that possibly serve?
Kindly put your eyes back in your sockets.. there you go, that's it. Better?
Again, I'm really very sorry, but "You're so tiny!" is NOT a compliment. I'm effing pregnant -- I'm not supposed to be tiny, I'm supposed to be PREGNANT.
I'm very aware of my size. It's one of the reasons I asked my OB if I was big enough when I saw her two weeks ago, at my last appointment. (You know what she said? SHE SAID I WAS FINE.) I really don't need you making any comments on my weight or size, thank you. Notice how I'm not commenting on your size? See how nice that is, my NOT telling you what's wrong with your body size?
Just in case this isn't sinking in (heck, if I had to tell you the first part, I doubt you'd be clever or aware enough to get the second part without having it spelled out for you): three months from now, when I'm huge, I'm not going to need you to tell me how huge I am. I will be aware, trust me.
Also: if you meet a woman who tells you she's, say, six or seven months pregnant, and you think she looks HUGE... you don't need to tell her that. You don't need to ask her if she's sure she's only six or seven months. I can guarantee you she knows how far along she is. And that she's aware of how big she is.
All you need to do is shut your huge mouth and smile. If you must speak, congratulate her.
It would be really nice if people stopped feeling the need to tell women what their bodies are supposed to look like. Pregnant or not.
Saturday, June 05, 2010
how did calling hubby Freddy come about(sorry, I'm sooooo out of the loop!)? Also, congrats on the fetus! Do you plan to find out the gender or keep it a surprise?
Freddy and I met while doing Picasso at the Lapin Agile (a play by Steve Martin). His character was called "Freddy," so that was his name as I blogged about my suitor. It's stuck. :D (He likes having a code name. It's almost like a superhero alter ego.)
The fetus is doing quite well; doctors say he's growing just like he should. And he's doing his fair share of pummeling me, mostly around my underwear/pants waistline... which makes me wonder if he's getting squished? I've noticed while my belly is not growing at the rate I'd like it to, the hip/butt/thigh area is picking up the slack, so my pre-preggo underwear is tighter than it used to be...
We found out the fetus is a boy (or will be born one, at least... he'll let us know later if he has other plans). I'm trying to avoid the barrage of blue, but it's hard. Not that I want to dress him in pink (not EVERY day, at least...) but what about some PURPLE clothes? Or YELLOW? Apparently, baby boys are only allowed to wear blue, light blue, dark blue, or green-and-brown. Meh.
He already has a "This is what a FEMINIST looks like" onesie, courtesy of his Aunt Marcy, so, overall, I'm happy with his wardrobe. :)