Thursday, April 29, 2010

35w 3d effacement


I got the car seat all set up to go in my little two-door. It was actually pretty simple and just has the drawback of making the passenger seat (which was already uncomfortable for Andy) even more uncomfortable, because it can't be pushed all the way back now.

I'm still beaming from today's doctor appointment. I'm doing what all the pregnant women do -- getting all excited about physical progress that really doesn't guarantee anything. But dang it's cool.

The doctor said the baby's heartbeat couldn't be any more perfect. She pushed around and felt the baby more than anyone ever has -- quite a feeling -- and confirmed that the head is down, the big rump on my left, and the legs and feet way up on the right, like I thought.

Then I got my first real exam measurement and I heard her say the sweetest words: "I don't think you're going to make it to your due date."

Part of me is all, She's just getting my hopes up. But then the really eager part of me is all, Isn't she the expert?

Well, I'm one centimeter dilated and 70 percent effaced. And I have to admit I Googled to find out what I should be doing to help things along.

Go, baby, go!

Time for a fun song. Explorations into trip-hop have unearthed this onomatopoetic gem, "Fun For Me" by Moloko:
I dreamt that I was dreaming, I was wired to a clock,
Tickled by the minute hand, tick tock, tick tick tock...

I dream I'm in a tunnel between here and now,
Scooby dooby, where would you be, bow wow wow wow,
I dream I'm at a crossroads, no place left to go,
I look in each direction, eeny meeny miny mo...

Fee, fi, fo, fun for me... fun for me

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

35w 1d lost

I hope everyone in my world can forgive me if I'm a wee bit sensitive. "Wee bit" as in I started a fight over a sentence in a car seat manual. As in I cried half of last night over something stupid and then started scrubbing down the kitchen in an attempt to refuse to talk about it. Yeah, I roll like that now.

Although my emotional state isn't rational, it is still real. I can gain perspective and see that what had seemed absolutely heartbreaking yesterday should not have been. Because really, it was just stupid words and no one is out to hurt me intentionally... But it doesn't change the fact that my heart did break. Does that make sense?

How horrible must pregnancy be for someone who truly is alone, instead of just feeling alone with all of this.

Tomorrow is our first baby's due date. Fate reminded me today via iPod shuffle with one of my favorite songs, Last of Days by A Fine Frenzy, which I cannot listen to without thinking of the baby I would never get to know or see or hold. I've posted the song before, but I just want to post it again, for the little lost one. You'll never be gone, not for me.
the sun is in the east,
rising for the beasts
and the beauties
if only I could tear it down,
plant it in the ground to warm your face

I built myself a castle on the beach
watching as it slid into the sea

the world carries on without you
but nothing remains the same
I’ll be lost without you
until the last of days
until the last of days

through wars and harvest moons
I will wait for you.
the world carries on without you
but nothing remains the same
I’ll be lost without you
until the last of days
until the last of days

Sunday, April 25, 2010

34w 6d ready

Everything is ready. My bag is packed. Baby's bag is packed. We have the car seat, the diapers, the cute going-home outfit.

Now the strange dreams are surfacing. As if it isn't bad enough that I can't sleep through the night, I'm waking up stressed and worried by the dumb images my subconscious digs up. Last night I gave birth to a baby girl who was, the very next day, potty trained and speaking... and one week later was a grown woman (who weirdly enough had no hair and wore very bad makeup).

In the dream it was explained as a rare condition called sarcoidosis (which I just Googled and found out is actually a swelling/inflammation disease, not a condition where you grow to adulthood in a matter of seven days). I loved this child/woman/whatever she was, but felt deeply panicked and cheated by the situation. And woke up stressed.

So I busied myself this morning with adding the final touches to the hospital bags, into which I've packed much more than baby or I will actually need. I stood motionless in the nursery for a while, just looking, because everything is pretty well unboxed and unwrapped and waiting for baby's arrival.

We're all waiting for baby's arrival, ready in all the ways that anyone can be. Eager and impatient, fearful of the unknown, worried for all the things that can go wrong... but ready.

Sia was sadly underrepresented on the blog. Here is "I Go To Sleep," her cover of The Pretenders:
When morning comes again
I have the loneliness you left me
Each day drags by
Until finally my time descends on me
I go to sleep
And imagine that you're there with me

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

34w 1d idealism

I was already contemplating a certain train of thought today when I read a post from Her Bad Mother listing the 10 worst things about motherhood, and the one best (her children).

I was thinking today about idealism, or as Her Bad Mother calls it, romanticism. Arguably, I started this blog because I was so full of this romanticism that I had to have a place to let it spew out on the page, so I could say, I am pregnant, finally pregnant -- I'm going to be a mother -- I love this baby already -- and holy crap, I have a baby growing inside me right now and isn't that the weirdest/ coolest/ most sublime thing ever?

At the same time, the blog is used so I can get my brain to shut up about all the discomfort and fear (again by spewing on the page).

On the way to work this morning, out of nowhere, I had the thought, I am so lucky. SO lucky. I love the greatest guy in the world and by some miracle he loves me back and we're married. We managed to make a baby. And in no time at all, we're going to be this crazy happy family, and how did I get so lucky? Yes, it was like someone took hold of my hormone dial and turned it all the way to the super sappy setting.

But I've been wondering, is it a good thing or a bad thing to romanticize motherhood at this stage in the game? I'm going to be there shockingly soon, and wouldn't it be better if I focused on reality (or as close as I can, given that I won't know the whole reality until I get there)?

Should I focus on and somehow begin coping with the 10 worst things about motherhood?

Should I leave that in the hazy future and instead be the sappy romantic who admits to talking lovingly to her belly?

We are all part of the dichotomy at work in today's baby culture, and the dichotomy is all part of us. Tortured and in love at the same time, filled with equal parts terror and idealism.

Perhaps the real challenge will be holding on to the idealism when the difficult job begins... Or perhaps that will be the most natural part of it all?

From the beautiful 9 Crimes by Damien Rice:
Is that alright? Yeah
To give my gun away when it's loaded
Is that alright with you?
Is that alright? Yeah
If you don't shoot it
How am I supposed to hold it?
Is that alright with you?

Monday, April 19, 2010

34 weeks album

Today's post is a full-on photo album, starting with a comparison of five weeks to 34 weeks...

We officially have six weeks to go (give or take... hopefully take...). Things are beyond busy, in a wonderful way -- we've had all three baby showers and have a very full nursery!

Here's the pack 'n play from the Simpsons that we set up in the living room, featuring Alex the Lion (we named him after the Madagascar character). The lion serves two purposes. Andy picked it out and bought it for the baby, but also to be my focal point in the delivery room.

Here are photos from the Simpson shower, featuring the belly yarn game, baby bingo... and the last picture is the backseat of the car afterward! Thank you, everyone, for all of baby's amazing gifts.

Finally, here are pictures from the shower at the Stawicki house. The baby shower games were definitely the highlight, featuring the men-with-balloon-bellies first, then blindfolded-pudding-feeding, and near the bottom even Andy got a special shower gift:

One more big THANK YOU to everyone. We're so lucky, and Baby Schultz is certainly going to be spoiled.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

33w 2d hysterics

Even Walker wants to feel the baby.

Sometime after this photo was taken, I found myself on the living room floor, in hysterics. "Are you crying or laughing?" a bewildered Andy had to ask. It was both.

The culmination of all things pregnancy led to that episode. All the discomfort, the weirdness, the awkwardness of trying to move and function with this misshapen form, the unbelievable tension in my muscles, the fears, the impatience, the worries. I just wanted to hug my husband -- who had been sitting on the floor -- and the task was ridiculous. So I lay in a heap just letting it all out.

I hope I didn't scare the cats or the husband. I'll try not to do that again, but no promises.

From "Orchid" by Alanis Morissette:
I'm a sweet piece of work
Well intentioned yet disturbed
Wrongly labeled and underfed
Treated like a rose as an orchid

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

33w 1d shower

Forty-seven days to go. For serious, people, I'm not joking.

It's been a long time since I've done a list of "symptoms." Maybe I'm feeling nostalgic for those days because of something that happened a week ago... when I was done brushing my teeth for the night, I reached into the vanity looking for a (nonexistent) birth control pill. I think it's been about 17 months since I've taken one.

So here are some third trimester symptoms I've been dealing with:
  • Late morning nausea (and sometimes during car rides)
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Hot flashes
  • A baby bump that is slightly off-center -- baby prefers to curl up on the right side.
  • Major kicking -- it seems like the baby has set periods of wakefulness and sleep. The worst kicks are to the ribs, way on the right side.
  • Dark veins (darker than my usual)
  • Tiny bladder, especially when I stand up
  • Difficulty sleeping (it could be all that kicking)
  • General discomfort... all the time... and the unfortunate state of having to heave and roll myself off the couch and bed
  • About 31 pounds that, ahem, weren't there back in September
Some facts about baby this week:
  • Between 16 and 18 inches
  • Between 4 and 5 pounds
  • Baby's arms and legs are filling out with fat -- dimpling at the elbows and knees and forming creases around the wrists and neck (aww)
  • Baby's fingernails have reached the end of the fingertips
  • Baby can see and blink, and acts completely like a newborn, closing its eyes when sleeping

Thank you to everyone who made it to the first baby shower on Saturday, April 10! Especially Agnes, Amy, and Amanda for giving me such a wonderful day.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

32w 3d Tenley

Welcome to the family, Tenley Melanie Patterson, born April 7, 2010!

Congratulations, Josh and Megan!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

32w 2d insult

What is it that gives insults so much power?

Even now, days later, I'm hurt by something someone said. It wasn't even said with bad intentions, I'm sure. It's just in this person's nature to speak without recognizing the words as being hurtful.

Immediately afterward, I felt humiliated – an overreaction for a very minor insult. Why did such a small thing humiliate me? Why do I let it? I think having witnesses made it worse.

Then, for the next hours... days... my mind formed responses, reasons I could have attributed to the subject of the insult. They were believable but not really true. Why does the brain do this, struggle to create a reality I could better live with, one that's free of tiny humiliations?

It's at moments like this that I get sick of my own thoughts. There's no escaping yourself, though. I hate knowing, even though time has already pushed the silly insult to the bowels of my memory, that it's going to resurface periodically in the future. Insults always do. I mean, every morning, tweezers in hand, I still remember grade school children mocking my eyebrows 20 years ago.


From "Nobody's Home" by Avril Lavigne:
Open your eyes and look outside,
Find the reasons why.
You've been rejected,
And now you can't find what you left behind.
Be strong, be strong now.
Too many, too many problems.
Don't know where she belongs,
Where she belongs.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

31w 6d morning

"Do you like being pregnant?" Andy asked last night, after laughing at me. When he had turned to look at me, I don't think he had expected to see me sprawled on the couch with my belly exposed staring with seriousness at the pale, vein-y roundness.

My first reaction was, of course, silly, but maybe I haven't made it so obvious.

"I love it," I said. "It blows my mind." He agreed.

There's nothing quite like watching another person move underneath your own skin, or waking up to someone nudging you from the inside, and you press your fingers there, and this person pushes back. No one has ever said a more amazing "good morning" to me.

It's to the point now where I can't imagine not being pregnant. June will be a strange adjustment period in many ways. For now, though, I am enjoying life, its good and its bad, its routine and its surprises.

The birds are chirping this Easter morning. He is risen!
After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. [...] The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay."
Matthew 28:1-2, 5-6

Friday, April 2, 2010

31w 4d sacrifice

It's easy to be happy on a day like today. Above is a shot of my budding lilac bushes. Is there anything better than spring?

The warm breeze is blowing in off the pond, billowing the patio curtains. I sit in the peace and the quiet, save for the sound of the happy ducks and geese splashing in the water. A little voice in my head says, Enjoy it now, for there may not be a lot of peace and quiet and open freedom in the time to come.

I'm okay with that. Sure, a little selfish sadness exists for the solitude that I so love, a little grieving for it. But I think I will find that it's a waste of grief. What are buds compared to blooms? I shouldn't fear change.

Once there was a father who sacrificed his own child to save those who don't deserve saving... It's easy to be happy on a day like today.

From the Lenten hymn Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted:
Tell me, as you hear him groaning,
was there ever grief like his?
Friends through fear his cause disowning,
foes insulting his distress.
Many hands were raised to wound him,
none would intervene to save.
But the deepest stroke that pierced him
was the stroke that justice gave.