Tuesday, February 28, 2006

yowling won't help

Listen, my friends, I have to ask you guys to keep little Sam in your thoughts again. He’s in surgery this morning, starting at 7:30EST, and they say the surgery will last 5-6 hours. So, rock it out there, doctors, and go, little Sammy. May it all go so well.


Dave and Morgan and I saw Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story yesterday. It’s...go. Go. Go see it. There’s a part – no. No, I’m not going to say. I’ll just say that there are a couple of parts where Dave and I were laughing so hard and so long, long after everyone else in the audience had stopped laughing, so hard it seemed like we both might give birth on the spot. Weeping, hitting each other. I want to tell you so badly what the funny part was but I don’t want to ruin it for you. And really, the funny part...the whole damn movie is the funny part.

I’ll just tell you that this guy

was responsible for the part where Dave and I were hitting each other.

He played Doctor Slop.



In other fabulous news, I LIKE COFFEE AGAIN!! For seven fucked-up, perplexing months, pregnancy has rendered coffee foul in my nose and mouth. But today I brought Dave a cup of coffee in the bathtub, and I had a sip of it since it smelled good, and it was yummy! So we were at Larry's Market today and went to the Peet's coffee stand and I got a cup of delicious decaf coffee and my favorite coffee girl was there whom I adore and haven't seen since this post. So not only did I get a cup of sweet and creamy coffee, the sweetie-pie girl was there for the big moment and celebrated with me in that charming, groovy way she has. I for sure have a crush on her and I have a crush on goddamned coffee, too.

See you in the morning, my prodigal beverage.


So we have our…which one?…our fourth childbirth class tonight.

In our second class, everyone who sucked in the first class stopped sucking and became pleasant. Also, we supplied the snacks and won everyone over with German chocolate cake and potato salad. Also in the second class, we did this exercise where we pick a number between 0 and 100, representing a pain scale where 0 is none and 100 is the amount of pain you feel right before you pass out. The women were supposed to guess for ourselves what the number would be at the most difficult part of our labor, and the men were guessing for their partners. I guessed 75, Dave guessed 80 for me. Then the teacher led us through this thing where we would imagine that we were in labor, and 50% of the way to that number we’d chosen, and we were supposed to imagine what we’d be doing for ourselves to cope at that point. Then the number went up to 75% of the number we’d picked, same question, and then 96%, and then 110%. At 50% I ventured that I’d be trying to go limp and relax every part of my body. At 75% I thought that I’d be doing the same thing as at 50%, but also seriously praying. At 96% I thought I’d be looking to the midwives for ideas. At 110% I drew a blank, and the idea started getting funny to me. Like, stop it! 100% was all I was considering! Anyway, the point of all this was for us to know that even though none of us had done this before, we have ideas and resources available to us. It was good.

And then she was talking about how during transition (which - if you haven’t given birth or aren’t a crazy pregnant person who’s boning up on the info like her life depended on it - is the point where the cervix is finishing dilating all the way, and the contractions are super strong and right on top of each other) a lot of women think they’re dying.

Yeah, the word “dying” came into it. And I was like SHUTUPDON’TSAYIT. Because that’s been the fear that I haven’t wanted to look at – the fear that I’d die, or be in such a horrible place that I’d think that was what was happening. But then once she hung it out there and we got to sit with it a minute, I was glad it came up. That’s a good fear to look in the face. That’s not something I would want to be surprised with while in the big moment. But it really called that fear right out into the open, and for the next few days I was really sitting in it, and I started losing confidence in my ability to do this.

Which was good! Because then I could deal with that. I got a copy of the book Birthing from Within, which is what her class is based on, and devoured it quickly. Great book! Among other things, it has these art exercises you can do to find out what sort of ideas you’re harboring around pregnancy and birth and parenthood. Art exercises and I are friends. We get along well. I find them fruity-fruity-fruitful*, always. So I drew some pictures about pregnancy, and then drew a picture of my biggest fear for childbirth.

*Oh, no, I'm Ned Flanders.

I’d put it out here for you, but it’s huge and I don’t have a scanner, and if I did, I wouldn’t have that big a scanner. So, I’ll just describe it to you. In the drawing, I’m kneeling on the floor with blood gushing out everywhere, and my sides are jaggedy instead of round, with big scary bands of red circling them. I have a red sort of seeing-stars-Saturn-orbit-I’ve-gone-mad-pain-crown around my head. My body’s surrounded by this black membrane that prevents me from being able to see or hear what anyone in the room is saying to me, and my little pale green soul is leaving my body through my head. I’m dying. The people in the room are drawn vaguely, but they’re crying and calling 911 and rummaging through emergency equipment.

Oof. It was sad, scary and a big release to draw this. Then the next task was to draw this fear being transformed in some way – either how I’d cope if it came to pass, or what could happen to prevent it. I drew myself with the red pain bands, but with no big black membrane. I drew my eyes and ears enormously large, so I’d still be in contact with all the reassuring people in the room, and I drew my hands very large and emphasized, with Dave holding them.

Felt better. And then we had a good visit with one of our midwives, and I talked about my fears with her, and she was fabulous. She said we should bring the drawings in and we can talk about them. (I can’t help but imagine what our old suckball OB/GYN* would have done if I’d brought these fears in or, heavens forfend, mentioned a large crayon drawing I’d done to cope. She would have laughed us out of the room.) She talked about what’s happening for her when the ladies are in transition, and how she could help, and what emergencies could be and how we’d deal with them. She was a fairy fucking princess!

Then last Tuesday we had our third birth class, where we learned that the uterus is a blue striped knit bag with an end like a turtleneck. There was a rag doll baby and a skeleton pelvis, and the rag doll baby came right out of the turtleneck and worked himself through the skeleton pelvis with no problem, just like Finn will do. The whole thing will take like ten minutes. I’m totally not scared anymore. No, though, we learned a lot about what exactly is going down during birth, and what the chemical processes are in the body, and the whole thing was pretty reassuring, actually.

And then at the end of class, the teacher said she’d been thinking about something I’d asked during the first couple of classes. I’d asked how athletic a person needs to be to have a natural childbirth, and I’d alluded to some worry about having enough physical strength for this. So she said that the body is built for this, and you don’t have to be good enough, or an athlete, that women through the ages have given birth naturally and they didn’t eat tofu and do yoga. Even a couch potato can do this. (And lords and ladies, I am all kinds of potato.) I was really touched that she said this, and that she’d been thinking about it, and it made me cry. Something inside really let go and understood that I have it in me to do this. I have a lot going for me to make me a good candidate for natural childbirth. I was very grateful to her.

*If you do see Tristram Shandy, imagine that Dr. Slop is the young, white, 18th century, wasted male version of our old OB/GYN. And don’t for the love of Pete let there be an “if” about you going to see it. Just go. Go.

Wow, who put a goddamn nickel in me?! Such a long post. If you’re still reading, and you’re a woman, I think that you’re a good candidate for natural childbirth. You got endurance.

edit: And if you're a man*, I think that you could easily pass a golf ball through your penis. You're strong!

*Thanks, Adam, for alerting me to the hole in my post.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

update and some hot hot jokes

Well, it looks like the little man I told you about was born, and his surgery will be next week.

Here's a link to Snazzykat's blog entry telling about it.

In other linkiness, please visit John Moe's blog and read the hilarious jokes his son Charlie has made. Charlie is a genius. Charlie is a GENIUS.

I tell you now that I will tell you more about childbirth class, I promise, I promise that I will. But today I am going to stay in bed and read novels, eat mini-croissants and watch my son's butt travel back and forth across my enormous belly.

Monday, February 20, 2006

send the good wishes to this family

Hey, everyone.

Laura at KoVixen posted about this family's situation, and I just want to invite anybody out there to send the best vibes and prayers to this family between now and later this week.

Snazzykat is the mama's blog, and their little boy Sam is going to be brought into the world on Wednesday or Thursday, only to be sent right the hell into open heart surgery. I can't imagine everything they must be feeling, but I'm going to be willing them




Please join me, friends of the Monkey, yes?

More about childbirth class later, complete with no complaining.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

baby school, part one

We’re taking a childbirth class. We’ve had two sessions as of now. Here are my thoughts so far:

Session One

*When you walk into a room full of new people, who are all equally unfamiliar to each other, do you not smile at the other people? Don’t you make a little contact, like, hey, I see you, person…? It looks like we’ll be in this class together. See, I do. And most people give you a little something back, a little smile or a hello. But one lady didn’t. She left me hanging, a couple of times. And when that happens I get all sniffy inside, like, are we going to have a problem?

*We all go around and say our names and when our baby’s coming and where we’re having it and who’s our caregiver, and also we’re supposed to mention a non-baby-related passion of ours. Except for me and Dave, this is a room full of snowboarding gardeners. Like, to a one.

*….Oh, yeah. It looks like we are going to have a problem. When we went around and talked about ourselves, I said that we were going to have the baby at home. What I did NOT say was anything remotely to the effect of, “And anyone who doesn’t is a fucking SUCKER. Home births are for champions, hospitals are for PUSSIES, pussies!” A little later, Miss No-Smile-For-You is talking about what she wants for her birth, and she looks right at me with this dirty look and says, “…Home birth is right for SOME PEOPLE but not EVERYONE is going to want to do it that way.” Aw, snap. She told me!

*Break time is awkward! I can’t seem to smoothly get into a conversation with anybody except Dave. I alternate between hiding my face in the baby photos on the wall, and tentatively trying to open out my body language so as to welcome conversation. Nothing happens. First day of school sucks!

*The teacher, though, is great. More about her later.

*Towards the end of class, she leads us in a relaxation exercise and guided visualization. The thing is, as I’m one of the two farthest-along women in the class, getting into a comfortable position isn’t something that I can pull off very quickly. So by the time the relaxation part has started, I’m in this totally awkward whackjobber position that I just end up going with:

In the red circle it says, "My shoulder is above my ear."

I figure I’m going to miss the whole thing if I keep trying to get comfortable. The visualization part is great. I always thought the womb was this pitch-dark scene! Apparently not! Depending on how bright the room/the day is, there’s quite a rosy glow going on in there! Finn can see the shadow of our hands on my belly and whatnot! This detail makes me unaccountably delighted.

I’ll tell you about the second class later. The second class rocked it, and was also terrifying!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

tepid whale spa

Tonight, I took a bath for the first time since the beginning of my pregnancy. Our house was all clean and shiny, and I'd just scrubbed the tub, and I thought that I would take advantage of the rare cuteness of the bathroom scene.

I got the candles all going, I dimmed the dimmer, I was psyched.

I like to sit in the tub while it fills. That's how I roll at bathtime, homey. So I sat there, heavy and wiiiiide, while it filled up.

I didn't make the water too warm, since I've heard that an overly hot bath can bring on labor. But that was going to be allright! Warm would be good enough! I was just so ready for my belly to get floating. That water was going to sing to me about my leaden boobs and belly, they ain't heavy.....they're my brother.....

Floating. Mmm-hmmm.

I think my belly could have floated if my bathtub were three or four feet deep. Instead, my belly loomed over the tub like the Matterhorn, like a big fleshy Baked Alaska. Boobs, belly, nothing. Low tide, motherfuckers. Low tide.

And night was going to be falling any minute on that big, flesh beach, night and cold.

Plus also, the bath water just never got all that warm to begin with. It just wasn't in the mood. It was like, this is all I got. The warmth is away warming something else. Don't ask me what. It ain't here, is all you need to know.

I started scooping the lukewarm water frantically with my hands across the giant flesh foothills, up the mountain. Not relaxing, and also futile. Dave brought me a mug so I could pour the water a little more efficiently. No, no, not enough. He brought me a big hand towel to drape across myself, to spread the "warm" water across the whole scene. I dropped mugfuls of water on to my big soaking terrycloth landscape, to keep the "warmth" in. But wherever the water hit, it just called attention to how cold the towel had already gotten in that particular place.

I stuck it out in my wilted spa experience for many more minutes past the point where all hope had been lost already, because I knew I would need airlifting out of there. But then eventually I called the chopper I married, and he hoisted me free.

Suckball bathball whale belly spa time.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

she love to wear a dress with the same grace as of an cocktail dress (SEXY).

A lady got an email from a man, looking for a woman who wasn't afraid to seat alone with him in an car, and I read about this email (FUNNY) while trolling about on the internet. Hence the pulled quote which is the title of this post, which doesn't have any reason to exist other than giving me the chance to have the phrase

the same grace as of an cocktail dress

on my blog repeatedly.

Then, elsewhere in what I thought was funny from the internet was the exhortation from a longer list of listy things to have a person page themselves on an office intercom, not bothering to disguise their voice.

Tina, please report to your blog.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

the superblow...

...superblew. All of the Sleestaks in town are feeling grim.

In other news, Finn is getting long. He stuck his foot somewhere up near my neck during the game.

Now I'm going to go watch more Sopranos and eat ice cream with no pants on.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


Poor, poor Dave.

4 out of 5 nights I make a racket when I’m getting settled into bed. I’m unwieldy and uncomfortable, and I’m not taking it like Gary Cooper.

I get into bed.


I pull my pregnancy pillow up between my legs.


I go to lie on my side.

“Ow. OW. Oh.

I organize the pillows under my head.

“Ow. Mmm! Mmmm. Ow.”

I settle in.

“Oh my god.”

I mean, thank God I’m not both pregnant and an old lady, because it would be intolerable. I’d be like, OH LORD JESUS! JESUS, LET A WOMAN SLEEP. OH DEAR GOD. OH MY BONES. OH HONEY.

So two nights ago, I have my regular “oof” routine going, but this time it is bookended by

Full-on fussiness.

Dave had gone to bed hours before I did, and was sound asleep. When I came in, I stepped in some water that had spilled. And I was like, “I just stepped in something WET! God!” Dave murmured, “Wha?” And I said, “Some water spilled on the floor! What is that?” I stomped off to get a towel and then I stepped on something sharp, and I was like, “FUCK!” And Dave, slightly more awake now, was like “Wha? What?” And I said, “Now I stepped on something SHARP! Goddamnit!” and I reached down to pick it up, oof, and it was just a little piece of plastic, nothing dangerous, but I was like, “It’s this sharp little THING! I’m just…I’ve stepped in enough tonight!”

I wasn’t done.

I got into bed and did the oof oof ugh thing but extra-petulantly, and then my neck and back started hurting, and I started crying, “My neck! My neck hurts! Ow!” and then I realized that the top sheet had been put on sideways, and I was like “GOD, this SHEET is SIDEWAYS!!” Dave was totally awake now, and was like, “What? What? Do you want me to fix it?” and I was like “NO, it’s FINE!”

I want you to know that I realized that I was being a ginormous baby lady. I just couldn’t stop. I tried. I lay there, muffling my weeping under a pillow. And then it hit.


It was like, my neck, my back, my belly, my foot, this sheet….in 10-14 weeks a tiny baby will be out here needing me to take care of it. The dam, already in a bad state of repair, burst. Burst. Buh-urst! Giant-mouthed, Peanuts-style weeping and howling. Poor Dave was trying to ask me what was wrong and I couldn’t tell him. I eventually squeaked out, “I’m afraid,” and went right back to wailing.

Dave sat up and rubbed my back while I howled, and eventually I calmed down enough to sleep.

I hope I’m getting this out of my system.

Dave is a hero.