Thursday, April 13, 2006

the towel and the feeling, or, NOW, we WAIT

I said something to Dave last night as I was doing my nightly moaning organization of myself into my elaborate system of pillows. One of the things in my bed arsenal is a carefully folded-up hand towel that I put under my waist to align things so that my hip won't attack me in the night. The placing of myself over the hand towel is TOUCHY. The towel is folded in quarters horizontally, and every night I say to myself, "Tomorrow I'm going to sew this thing closed so it'll stay like this." I have been using a towel like this for a month and a half, and tomorrow has never come. So, I refold the towel every night and then get myself propped up on one arm all sideways amongst my pillows, and aim the towel at the place where I think my waist was before all of this happened. Once I've moved the towel up and down my side a few inches and feel satisfied that I've sort of hit the "waist", I gingerly start to lower myself to the mattress. The towel begins to curl and flop. I innerly begin to curse. I grab one end of the towel with the hand at the end of the propping-myself-up arm, and wind my free arm around my back to try to grab the towel from behind my back and pull it straight before I hit the mattress. I am never successful. The towel is lumpy and hurting me. I launch myself back onto my propping-up arm and with the other hand I assess how fucked up the towel fold has become. Do I have to sit up and refold it? Can I sort of just smooth it out beneath me and pull it into place? The towel has usually ended up totally diagonal and I have to strain to reach the back end of it to try my next maneuver. This is where the towel-related moaning starts (some mild pillow-related moaning will have already happened).

Last night, when I reached this stage with the towel, Dave asked if he could help. I agreed, and he grabbed the back end of the towel while I held the other end and tried to both lower myself and direct the towel accurately to its intended place. Having someone else involved in this towel thing is tricky. It's like a one-armed man inviting a blind man something where it would be great if everyone both had two arms and could see. Dave pulled the towel taut but it wasn't touching me so I couldn't tell if it was in the right place and then suddenly some part of my body ached in a minor but annoying way and I said to Dave:

Stop, I'm having a feeling.

I know it's wrong to be all delighted about something that comes out of your own mouth, but I was and I am. I love the idea that "a feeling" is enough for a universal time-out. I imagine people in business suits everywhere stopping on city streets and making the time-out signal whilst looking inward for the source of a little feeling, while the world and traffic respectfully stop and wait for the results.


In other news, I went to the midwife on Tuesday, and what do you know? She did strip my membranes after all. I was wrong that she couldn't. She could and she did. When she did it, she said, this might do something or it might do nothing, and if it actually helps we'll never know. Since then, nothing has happened. Or, no, lots has happened - Larraine, Dave's mom, got here from Australia and she is the BEST and having her in the house is THE BEST and makes me want to weep for joy. And the baby seems to be threatening to be backwards. Sunny-side-up. When he moves now, I can feel a little knee coming out the front of my belly. And as I'm sort of on a pre-eclampsia* watch, I've now been told by the midwife to pretty much stay lying on my left side as much as possible. So how I'm organized now is either lying like a queen sideways on my couch or on all fours on a yoga mat trying to wiggle Finn into alignment. And I'm eating protein bar after protein bar, since giant amounts of protein may or may not help prevent pre-eclampsia.

*Pre-eclampsia is a...bad thing that involves overly high blood pressure and headaches and seeing stars and swelling and not getting to have a home birth, and it's a precursor to eclampsia which is a worse thing, a very bad thing, but, thankfully, a very rare thing, whereas pre-eclampsia isn't that rare.

Might I recommend the Promax Chocolate Mint Energy Bar? I will! I do. It's soft, minty and delicious.


We had a sketch back when I was in the now-defunct Bald Faced Lie wherein I played a character called "The Puppy", who was the fur-coat, fur-hat wearing head of a bizarre little crime syndicate. At the end of the sketch, we're all gathered around a table where we've been on an important phone call. The Puppy hangs up the phone and says momentously, "Now...................................................we wait." And the lights dim painstakingly slowly, and the sketch ends.


Reb and Heidi said...

Oh my god you are the best. Hang in there puppy. I can't wait to come home this summer and meet Finn. I love you.

(egg) said...

Oh, The Puppy! We wait with you, for ze mos' par' ...

Red, The Broad, Wormy, The Baby, and Chavis

Ash said...

I am not 100% sure what you are using the towel for, or how you are trying to position it, but maybe you should try attaching the folded towel to yourself instead of trying to aim for it? :) Maybe with elastic or something like that? I guess this would only work if you are putting it around your waist.

DL said...

If the world stopped for feelings, the world would indeed be a better place. YOu have no idea how timely this post was in my life.
Well I'll tell you actually : I realized this week that one of the things I do in the world and what my life work is about : it's about seeing that happening in other people when they can't even see it and asking them to stop because they are having a feeling and it's okay.
Yeah, I don't know what that realization will turn into , but it's probably not going to be small is my guess.

Come on Finn, be my twin : april 20th. You can do it.
All three of you are in my thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Do you have your Boppy Breastfeeding Pillow yet? (If you don't, get someone to go get one for you.)

When I was in the last moments of the WAITING, I discovered, "Hey, this Boppy works!"

You put the very tip under your "waist" and let the rest sort of support the belly, or even put the other tip between the thighs.

Now, when the labor part comes (you will prolly read this whole thing about ten minutes too late), become a Buddhist about the whole thing.

During each wave/surge/contraction/ass ripping pain (whatever term you like), remember that it is temporary and transient, only about 30 seconds at a time.

I kept a rough estimate of the actual time in pain- less than 40 mintes. And all of it in bite sized bits, with rest in between.

You may not believe it, but it is true, you forget the pain. My husband kindly kept a video record of the whole thing, and were it not for the video, I would not believe it ever really hurt that bad.

About 15 minuted before the delivery, I tell the midwife that it is time that I stop bullshitting with her about being able to do this au naturale, and it is time that she stop pretending there isn't morphine in her fucking bag and fork it over.

She said she could do that, but I wouldn't respect myself in the morning.


Baby Jackson Carter hit the scene just a few minutes later, without narcotic intervention.

And I was so glad! He was so alert, just looking at us with wide open eyes.

Good luck, You'll do great!

C'mon BABY!


Michelle de Seattle said...

What Ash said...maybe some sort of nightgown/towel could patent it!

la Ketch said...

oh my gosh FINN. This is too much! I CAN'T WAIT ANY LONGER. please tell him to hurry it up. also, to turn it around. turn around and get down and come on out! thanks so much for keeping us posted. i keep bugging alissa about it. she swears she will tell me as soon as she hears but i keep thinking maybe she forgot and ask her anyway...

Callie said...

OMG, the recent post about racing the pee was quite humorous, and this one nearly had me peeing my pants... when I say nearly, I mean it probably did. I have given up the race. The pee has won. Or maybe that is evening primrose oil from the caplet I had to shove up into the secret cavern that my baby seems to be hiding in... dunno.

These last few days of my pregnancy have certainly been the most humbling.

Good luck on your battle against pre-eclampsia, I will think low BP thoughts for you! Now it's time for my perineal massage, ah joy.

l. said...

every time i check the blog i think finn's probably out by now and no one has shouted it to the internets. so, whether or not that's true . . . um, yay!

Anonymous said...

Fuck preeclampsia. Just fuck it. I sort of maybe had it and spent two months lying on my side as well, mentally flipping the bird to my kidneys.
What is this membrane stripping thing? It sounds horrific. Does it hurt?
So glad a mom is there with you. Isn't it magic having a mom with you?

Eve said...

I'm wringing my hands, dying of excitement and anticipation to hear what's going on with you!!!!!!!

Boliath said...

ooh ooh how are you doing? Any more pains? yikes!

don't envy you the last weeks of pregnancy, all worth it in the end and the other cliches too :c)

good luck!

pete. said...

Yahoo! Congratulations! Welcome, Finn! Lots of love to you guys!

l. said...

you have a baby! a baby has you!

WILD JOY. i just had a cookie in yours and finn's honor(s).

Anonymous said...

Baby FINN are you out yet??

the beige one said...

Yay, Baby Finn is out!!!

Boliath said...

Is he? Is he? Wow! How was it? How is he? How are you?

Hope everything is just fabulous!