Tuesday, August 29, 2006


I can breathe a sigh of relief. I finished the 4th cradle sheet yesterday. The baby now has somewhere to sleep.

Now, if only we had water...

Friday, August 25, 2006

Good Heavens!

So, last night I suddenly realized that I was in week 35. I had been very happy with week 33. I was ready to hang with 33 for several more weeks. 33 and I, we're like that. In the early 30's, the pregnancy books were clearly at a loss for what to tell you. It was all summed up as, you know that stuff that sort of sucked last week? Well, this week it will suck slightly more. I am now wandering into the parts of the books where they begin to discuss things like how to tell if you're in labor and begin issuing dire warnings about packing bags and such. They all seem to also include a section about what to do if you wind up delivering at work. I'm not clear who these women are who manage to sail through the first 12 hours of labor and suddenly look up from a pleasant IM chat only to realize the baby is crowning. Nor am I clear why these women cart various pregnancy books with them to work. However, the gist seems to be that birth is messy so they offer various strategies for saving the office furniture and that you should not cut the cord.

We took our hospital tour last night. You could tell that I was the one who worked in early intervention as I was the only one asking detailed questions about level of NICU care available and wanting to know exactly how long it takes to get from our hospital to the one with the Level 3 care. There are definite advantages to delivering a small, regional hospital but a part of me longs for impersonality, hordes of residents, and incomprehensible layouts if it means my baby never will ride in an ambulance to get to the NICU. I keep telling myself that the chances that my baby will need that sort of care are infinitesimal, but we can add that to the list of irrational ideas that I can't shake, which includes the idea that my baby will be sitting on a rock in the wilderness (or at least the cow pasture out behind the hospital) until I personally have the baby in my arms. Ah, motherhood...

We are in the process of getting water. The town engineer, in what I suspect was divine intervention, apparently failed to realize that we didn't have an easement until the water guys had already laid the pipe. So, it looks like we will have water late next week (I sincerely hope since I'm waiting on the water to wash the baby stuff which needs to happen before I can pack the bag and the books are really freaking me out about the lack of bag packing thus far). But, we will have to pay for a survey which will wind up being rather expensive. Apparently, there is quite the tangle over the road and which parcels which of it goes with. Once they have figured out who owns the part of the road that the town used as an easement, we will have to convince that person to sign off on the easement. We're a little worried that it will wind up being the crazy guy on our street but the fact remains that the pipes are there so, he won't gain much by not agreeing to sign the paper. We're hoping that he will demand that we buy a couple of loads of gravel (he's a former ER doctor turned bulldozer/dumptruck operator...we don't get it either) so that he can regravel the road or something like that.

In news of the weird, my mother-in-law is completely convinced that Penny is going to drag the baby out of the cradle while the baby is sleeping. Motivation for Penny to decide to do this is still unknown and the fact that Penny is still fairly afraid of the cradle (or anything that rocks- the glider is highly worrisome for her as well we haven't put batteries in the swing yet but expect that to be quite the event) doesn't seem to mitigate her concern.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Charitable Thoughts on Morning Sickness

So, something unexpected has come out of this whole well thing. I have come away feeling almost good about my morning sickness. It turns out that it probably did what it was biologically designed to do (if a bit overly enthusiastically). Very shortly after I got pregnant, I decided that the water from our tap tasted bad so I avoided drinking it. When I did drink it, it had to go through the Brita which is less than perfect but still is another layer of filtration. After just a week or two more, I could no longer tolerate still water at all. So, any tap water I did drink was boiled prior to making a tummy soothing tea and most of the time I was mainlining ginger ale. My extended bout with morning sickness meant that I cooked very little food in my home. When I could eat, it was often in the form of pre-prepared foods like crackers or (on really good days) take out. I also followed a rule that anything I drank had to contain calories since liquids were often my main caloric source- that cut way back on the tap water consumption too. This means that the baby was probably minimally exposed to well water during the entire 1st trimester and a good hunk of the 2nd. I never really thought I could look back gratefully on 6 months of puking but, apparently I was wrong.

Thank you so much for your reassurances. I hadn't thought about the filtering effects of the placenta. They spend so much time telling you about what will pass, thoughts of what won't didn't readily occur to me.

I also keep looking out the windows. We have had flocks of hummingbirds coming to the feeders this year and they don't seem to be falling ill from pesticides. We have oodles of other birds flocking to our yard as well as squirrels and rabbits and chipmunks and butterflies. It looks like we actually have markedly more than last year and more than other people in our neighborhood. I think that at least some of the birds are those that were hatched in our trees last year. It seems to me that if things were all that bad, our spring would have been much more silent.

The town seems to understand our urgency in needing to get on the town water and have been very helpful thus far. Forms are being expedited and faxed. Work orders are already in place. We are a little apprehensive about the actual laying of the pipe. We aren't terribly sure about the status of our road, legally speaking. The town won't or doesn't like to (which is unclear) tear up private roads to lay pipe. When we bought our house we were told it was private but if you look at official maps from the town it's not marked as private, nor is the street sign. It's fairly obvious when you look at the road that it isn't maintained by the city as it's gravel. But the water guy, the town engineer, and the work order guy all signed off on the work to lay the pipe so, we're not going to raise the issue. Our biggest worry is that the very odd man who lives a little further down the road seems to think he owns the road which, according to what we can tell from the deed and such, he doesn't. But, he does own part and real estate law can be murky. We plan to plead ignorance if the matter comes up and assume that trying to stop the town, once it is in motion, will take longer than the laying of the pipe and then, eh...

Monday, August 14, 2006

My Fucking Stars and Garters

So, we're on well water. I had assumed my husband had been testing it, if not the recommended once a year, then at least periodically, but he had not. With his dawning realization that pregnancy results in an actual baby (which seems to generally happen around 7-8 months for most men), he decided to at last test the well.

It came back positive for both e. coli and coliform bacteria.

There was much freaking out.

The tests came back on Thursday afternoon and the soonest we could get the guys to come and shock the well was this morning. We can't shock the well ourselves because of the way the well was installed.

The well man took one look at the well and said "Well, there's your problem right there, your well isn't sealed." Yes, in fact, we have basically been drinking from a hole in ground for the last 3 years. The well is drilled with a drill that has a much larger circumference than the pipe that is used for the pipe that brings the water into the house. So, after they put in the pipe they are to grout it or cement it in so that the surface water doesn't just go directly into the drinking water- a significant amount of purification apparently happening with all that trickling through clay and rocks and whatnot. Instead, every time we've had a heavy rain our water was polluted with whatever happened to be around. I am so beyond horrified.

We don't generally use any chemicals on our lawn or garden for a variety of reasons- some environmental, some not wanting to figure out which chemicals we should use, and some being that we just don't care enough about crab grass and dandelions. But, the man who lived here before us was definitely not an organic guy. The well is also right next to the dog play area (it's quite nice sized). The dog poop gets cleaned up regularly but still... Our neighbors, not so organic. We're on a 1 acre lot and the well is in the middle of it so, we may have escaped the worst of contamination but who knows what I have been exposed to during my pregnancy really. The only real plus is that no one has gotten sick from our water (that we know of) and my husband keeps freshwater fish and they haven't been showing any particular problems that might indicate Really Bad Things.

Shocking the well will only be effective until our next big storm but will buy me a little time to do some laundry and such. However, our water isn't safe to drink. I can't wash any baby items since there is a cold rinse at the end of the cycle and babies chew on everything. I can't wash anything that will be used in contact with food like dishcloths, etc. All of our dishes need to be rewashed and sterilized. I can't cook with our water. When we brush our teeth, we need to use bottled water. Our water problems have just been magnified since now, we don't just need to worry about killing the bacteria but we also have to worry about chemicals and other non-biological pollutants.

We're planning on connecting to the city water if it's at all financially feasible (which it looks like it probably is) but that will take about 5 weeks (assuming the town guy gave us an accurate time estimate). The baby comes home in just over 6 weeks. This is pretty accurate since I'm having a scheduled c-section. If there is not digging happening in our yard by the week before the baby is scheduled, we're going to go ahead and shock and seal the well again. I refuse to bring my baby home to place where I won't be able to give the baby a bath, wash my hands, or wash the baby's clothing.

My husband is calling our realtor tomorrow. The well tested positive for coliform before we moved in (so, someone was supposed to tell us to re-test regularly but no one ever did). So, it was shocked but we're pretty sure they didn't wait the amount of time you need to wait before re-testing and giving the all clear. And, there's no way you can look at the well head and not see the big hole around it so it seems like there should have been some disclosure somewhere. But, Real Estate law is far from anything I know about and I have a feeling that this issue will be murky since I don't think we included "inspect well head" in our contract. We aren't particularly litigious but, if there is some way of getting help for paying for clean water or whatever, we'll take it.

Ugh! I'm so glad I went to all that effort to try to eat organic while pregnant...

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Something's up...

I think that some sort of hormone shift must have occured over the last week. I became distraught yesterday when watching The Daily Show. They were doing this joke about using baby seals to seal the Alaskan pipeline. I also am starting to be a wee bit moody. And, there's totally something going on with my boobs.

Shirley has been a basket case all week for no identifiable reason. She keeps appearing stressed out when there are no identifiable stressors and it takes her an inordinate amount of time to tell me her tale of woe when I return from even very short outings.

Penny has been clingy for the last several days.

My husband has been getting progressively more schmoopy over the last day or so.

I expected at least the dogs to start getting a little wierd when I got close to my due date. I assumed I would smell different to them and such. But, I hadn't expected it to effect my husband and I certainally hadn't expected it to start at week 33.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Of Men and Dentists and Eating

Early this morning my husband and I had a bit of a tiff. It mainly revolved around the fact that he seems to have only figured out that there will be an actual baby living with us shortly in the last 2 weeks. I'm not sure what he thought was going to be the end result of this pregnancy but it didn't seem to be a baby that required things like a nursery. He had adapted wonderfully to pregnancy. The weeping, the getting me a glass of water at 3 am (what is up with this thirst?), the needing to help me out of the tub when I beached myself, puking at 4 am- all handled with good humor but the idea of a baby at the end was a distant sort of unreality. I've noticed this seems to be common among the expectant fathers. It seems that it is only in month 8 that the idea that pregnancy will end and a baby will come home (we hope and pray) really dawns on the fathers. One woman who is slightly further along than I am said that her husband woke her up after having a nightmare about the baby. When asked what the nightmare was he said that they had the baby and had to take it home and take care of it. Thankfully, realization has dawned on my husband and the nursery is close to done and things are getting ordered and such. What all of this has me wondering, however, is if this lag in realization (I had mine in mid-June) is unique to men or unique to the non-pregnant partner. In short, do lesbian couples run into this same problem? That would control for sex based differences in perception but still allow for only one member of the couple to be getting whammed in the ribs reguarly. Does anyone know?

Second, I finally went in for a dental cleaning last week. It was the most comfortable I've been in months. Everything was supported, nothing ached, I could breathe, my entire torso was happy. The cleaning itself was less than pleasant but the chair was a wonder. My husband suggested that we might get a dental chair of our own. I said that if we were planning on having a family of 10, perhaps, otherwise I'll just look forward to scheduling my late-pregnancy cleaning from now on.

Third, what is up with the baby making me need all these calories but then squishing up my stomach so much that it's impossible to actually eat? And, in one of those "wonder of pregnancy/the hell" sorts of things, drinking water in the night now causes heartburn and I required Tums! For water! Thai food for dinner- totally fine! But water- verboten! Argh!

Saturday, August 05, 2006


I think I am beginning to understand why the mommy isn't usually very involved with her shower. It's not really a matter of etiquette, instead it is a matter of keeping sane with all these damn hormones. I didn't want to include registry registry information in the baby shower invitation. I feel like the point of the shower is to come together. The gifts are great but, I didn't want to feel like there was an entrance fee or obligation. My host really wanted to include the information. So, we compromised with an insert that said something along the lines of "although a gift is not necessary, they are registered at Target under the names..." My Mother-in-Law has decreed this to be really weird. I'm just glad she didn't decide it was some sort of communist plot on my part or something. She tends to consistently search for the most negative connotation of anything I do or say so, this is actually a step forward...

The registry is giving me fits as well. There is actually a lot of psychology that goes into creating a "good" registry. I consider that to be one from which you actually get most of what you registered for and that most people won't look at and think "what was she thinking?" (as I did recently upon discovering that the bride had registered for a cherry pitter and handheld lime squeezer as well as lemon squeezer but only 2 sets of towels). I take into consideration the guests and what their expectations are. For our bridal registry I kept in mind that a number of our guests were graduate students and recent college grads with no money and made sure that there were plenty of gifts available in the $20-$40 range. I also knew that we had a hunk of people who were in the southern old guard and would consider the only appropriate wedding gift china or crystal- for them, there was the Dillard's registry. This is much more difficult with baby stuff. For the bridal registry, there were 7 different towel price ranges and I could pick according to our projected shopper, with baby stuff there is usually only the high and low option. For the bridal registry, I was picking items out for people I knew well (myself and my husband) and I was somewhat familiar with the items- I knew I preferred flannel sheets. For the baby registry I am picking items out for someone I've never met, to do tasks I've never done.

Checking on the registry also causes a hissing and a scandal on the message board I frequent. Most of the members view checking the registry as "cheating." I view it as being a responsibility. I check our registry reguarly. I want to be sure that items are still in stock. I make sure that there are still gifts in a range of prices that will appeal to a variety of gift givers. For instance, some people want to buy something cute while some people want to buy books and some want to buy something really practical. I want to make sure that no one gets to the registry only to discover that the only item still available is the $170 stroller. It just seems to me that if someone is going to the trouble of buying off the registry, it's your job to make it user friendly. Of course, it's also a thrill to discover that someone actually bought us the baby monitor...

Friday, August 04, 2006


This has been a week of accomplishments, small, but accomplishments neverless. My husband (I totally have to give him a nickname. I'm leaning towards snookums simply because there is no way I would ever get to call him that otherwise.) and I attended the breastfeeding class. The Early Inteventionist in my heart loved the class. Someone had been busting their ass with the outreach and there was a good representation of women who don't have the option to stay home indefinitely, don't have fabulous social supports, and don't have a partner cheering them on. In short, I was counting my blessings by the time I left. The Lactation Consultant was approachable and covered the topics that were pertinent to the majority of the class (if not quite for me). There was significant discussion of how to breastfeed at the mall, which pumps will still leave you time to eat lunch on your 30 minute break, and what to do if you get drunk at Applebee's (pump and dump). At the same time, the information was current and I got the impression that the LC was strongly advocating for progressive policies at the hospital. By the end of the class, I had decided on my pump (Medela Double Select) and knew that I no longer had to stress about acquiring a nursing bra since they will fit you and sell you a bra while you're there. I also have the price list and will be able to do some comparison shopping on things like lanolin and whatnot this weekend but, thus far, the prices seem reasonable.

My tomatoes show some signs of perhaps getting ripe before the summer actually ends and the gladioli and phlox have started to bloom so there are fresh flowers in the house again.

I've almost finished compiling the recipies for meals I plan to freeze and meals that Snookums (hee!) can make without a great deal of difficulty. I made sure to include all the things that other recipies leave out like "turn on exhaust fan."

I finished designing our Christmas card, birth announcement, and shower thank-you notes and should have an order in for the supplies this weekend. Of course, I had originally wanted to get the order in last week but, alas... I also received the supplies to make these really cute little baby bootie soaps that will be the shower favors. I'm a little wierded out by the amount of involvement I've had in the planning of this shower but, it just seems to be the way things are working out.

In baby news, the baby seems to be solidly in the head-down position and I have a feeling the baby is growing like mad. Once a week or so I get super hungry and then spend the next day sleeping. I assume this indicates a growth spurt on the part of the baby. While the baby still has a fixation on my right ribs, the baby seems to have shifted a bit to allow me to occasionally go a whole 2 hours without having to go to the bathroom.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Nesting and Calendar Disputes

I seem to be nesting. It's the only reason I can think of for waking up at 3 am with a burning desire to a) weed the garden b) do laundry or c) make a fall wreath to put over the fireplace. In other news, things seem to continue to chug along. Sleeping is getting somewhat better. I even seem to be ok with 8-10 hours of sleep (assuming I actually slept) instead of my peak amount of 12-14 hours a day during early pregnancy. It's amazing how much you can get done when you're conscious for more than 1/2 the day. I have noticed a few little "blips" though that I assume correspond with fetal growth spurts. I'll suddenly be ravenous and then the next day need vast quantities of sleep.

In the latest baby trick, when the baby is positioned just right, I can rub or tap her body in my rib region (in what is always a fruitless attemp to convince her to scootch over) and feel it in my heinie. I would assume that would be the vibration traveling down her body to her head which is hanging out in the very bottom of my pelvis (where she should be).

My husband has suddenly been spurred on to make great strides in preparing for the baby. I suspect he's nesting too... Although, he claims that it's actually because there are fewer than 2 calendar months left until the baby is born. This brings me to an on-going dispute between the 2 of us which shows just how boring our lives must be. I keep referring to how many months along I am via 4 week intervals, as such, I find the "What to Expect" book really irritating since they monkey with the weeks a bit to make them go along with 9 calendar months. This makes my husband happy since he argues that this makes sense since pregnancy is "9 months long." I make the argument that girl months are lunar. This means that pregnancy is actually just brushing 10 girl months by the end of 40 weeks. I support my argument with the whole thing about your period comes once a month but it actually comes every 28 days (for at least a hunk of women) so, it winds up that you get roughly 13 periods in a 1 year period. I choose to look at these disparities between girl time and standard calendar time as a lovely little way that women don't let the man get them down although, that might be reaching...