Monday, July 31, 2006

Seven months

Duck suit
Originally uploaded by Spamily.
The nesting instinct has kicked in and we are trying to (a) excavate space in my study and (b) consolidate the contents of Mr. K's so that we can turn his into the nursery and move his stuff in with mine. There is a large, slowly disintegrating pine dresser (from IKEA, hence the disintegration) in my study that is full of yarn and unfinished knitting projects. There are also a half dozen large shopping bags around the house full of same. The knitting muse, once so much with me that I could hardly put my needles down, has been mostly absent for the past few years. She'd gone on holiday before, but never for this long.

I had at least half a dozen projects so close to completion that all they needed were a few hours' work. To wit: this duck suit needed some ends darned in, and the eyes and buttons sewn on. The nesting instinct is so powerful that it yanked the knitting muse back from vacation and forced her to sit with me as I went ahead and finished this damn thing. Hooray! One project out of a shopping bag and into... um... I guess, another shopping bag that will eventually fill up with things for the baby. We'll keep that new bag in the bedroom so I can at least feel like I've accomplished something in the study.

I also finished a child's sweater (but can't yet figure out how to blog more than one picture at a time, so you'll have to check my Flickr stream to see it). That one is going into the mail, so at least that's something out of the house.

Then there was the sock that just needed the toe stitches grafted together. I'm working on the mate for that one right now. Should have it done in a couple of days, and then I can make a baby blanket. I'm thinking a much shorter version of Alice Starmore's "Little Rivers" wrap, in bright red superwash sock yarn.

Knitting in sock weight yarn is not going to make much of a dent in the stash. Sigh. But at least the return of the muse seems to mean that I can stop with the compulsive Sudoku-ing.

The pregnancy continues and the baby is moving a lot. I am still coughing (after twelve weeks), with no sign of infection; the new theory is that the cough is somehow connected with the unbelievable heartburn. Thursday night and again last night, the cough woke me up in the wee hours and got so bad that it sent me flying to the washroom to puke. I guess the baby doesn't like Betty's black bean burritos. Alas.

At least coughing this much is making my abdominal muscles stronger for the birth. I really am feeling mostly positive about all this, even if my navel is disappearing.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Backup midwife

Met the backup midwife today, and really liked her. She said that my glucose tolerance test came back fine (yay!) and that the baby's head is already down. She also pointed out that the baby had a foot up under my ribcage on the right. Yes, thank you (oof), I had figured out that (oof) a pretty powerful limb was there (oof). So far, all seems to continue to go well. Thursday is the 29-week mark.

We will meet the spare emergency auxiliary backup midwife in two weeks.

Still having trouble grokking the idea that there's going to be an actual baby. People keep asking whether we've bought anything or registered anywhere. We have bought one thing: a dark blue onesie with the name of my alma mater on it. My fitness instructor says you really need only two things when the baby arrives: diapers and nipple cream. I'm down with that. (Although a good friend also recommends lots of soft washcloths plus ass cream. Makes sense.)

The post about home birth may have to wait for a couple of weeks. I accidentally left the sheaf of photocopies from the student midwife at the in-laws' house, and today I finally returned the copy of Ina May Gaskin's Spiritual Midwifery to the midwives' library. I'm waiting for my own copy to arrive from Amazon (haven't been able to find one in a bookstore). It's worth quoting. So far it's my favourite book about pregnancy and childbirth by a long shot. It was published in 1977, so all the pictures are of hardcore hippies and lots of the birth stories are full of words like "psychedelic" and "tantric" and "heavy." The mellow vibe is bringing me great joy. Ina May and her colleagues at the Farm Midwifery Center attended 186 births before anyone had to have a Caesarean; between 1970 and 2000, the Farm's Caesarean rate was 1.4%. (The US average in 2001 was 24.4%.) These women know what they're doing.

Outside babyland: Spent the weekend with the in-laws. Slept in their RV, and took the cat in with us. He spent most of the night on my pillow, crammed up next to my face. He is large and orange. I approve of him.

Also, a new student started in my TOEFL class this morning. He's from Russia, and he looks about 15. His mother brought him in this morning and warned the staff that he was shy. Well, yeah, I'd be shy too if my mother were shepherding me everywhere. Poor kid.

Time for the bed. I love the bed.

Sunday, July 23, 2006


I'm working on a post about the safety of home birth as compared with hospital birth for low-risk pregnancies, but my attention span is so short this morning that I'm going to have to come back to it later. In the meantime, I thought I'd post a little bit of filler. Here are some links to my favourite websites these days.
  • Cute Overload, which manages to be insanely cute and yet not cutesy. I know everyone already knows about it, but I link it anyway because it makes me so happy.
  • Waiter Rant, written by a forty-something former seminarian who manages to be both deeply compassionate and bone-wearily cynical. Compelling snapshots of everyday drama plus trenchant little character studies: it's a great read.
  • Working America's Bad Boss contest, with thousands of entries submitted by people who have had to endure incompetent, criminal, and even psychotic managers. (Why, yes. I do still have some unresolved anger toward my old boss, who made it impossible for me to continue in the best job I've ever had. Somehow it's comforting to read about people who are even worse.)
  • Mimi Smartypants. I still love Mimi Smartypants.
  • Ask Moxie, sensible and sensitive advice about raising kids.
There. That oughta hold the little bastards.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Insert amusing title here

My belly continues to get bigger. The placenta's in the front, so most of the sensations from the baby are somewhat dulled, but Mr. K finally did feel the kicking for the first time two weeks ago today, a few hours after it had awakened me at 3am. So far that's the only time that the baby's movement has interfered with my sleep.

Oh: sing ho for the comically large body pillow. I'm sleeping so much better with it between my knees and under my belly.

Today I put my hand on my belly at lunchtime, and felt something that resembled kicking, except that it came at very regular intervals. Hiccups!

In (somewhat) non-pregnancy-related news, last week I had (halal) pizza with two former students, one from Sudan and one from Iraq. F., the former, is a force of nature, big and beautiful and outspoken and funny. "How is your baby girl?" she asked. I asked her what made her think it's a girl. She said, "I already told you this one would be a girl." Oh. Heh. Okay, then.

S., a very smart woman of humour, dignity, and good will, was telling me about her brother's being kidnapped in Iraq and brutally beaten for four days. Amazingly, when the four kidnappers -- who took him at gunpoint in broad daylight as he went to buy stock for his grocery store -- realized that his family couldn't afford ransom, they let him go, just dropped him off on the side of a highway in the middle of nowhere. He was so badly hurt he could barely walk, but somehow got himself to a police station. After his family came to get him and bring him back to their town, word went out on a PA system that he was home safely. Fifteen hundred people showed up to the impromptu lunchtime celebration. S. said that out of forty-one people kidnapped that day, he was the only one to come home. For a few months afterwards he tried to readjust, but finally realized that he couldn't stay there and get over the trauma. Late last week he left Iraq for good, to move to Syria.

Ayup, destroying the country's infrastructure and leaving it open for mercenaries to abduct and beat civilians at will sure was the morally correct thing to do.

Can't think about it too much. It makes me too angry. Saddam Hussein was a despicable tyrant, but what's happening in his country in the name of the United States of America is far, far worse. Americans were supposed to be the good guys.

I hope we're doing the right thing by bringing a child into this fucked-up world.