Scattered Thoughts

My ankles are disappearing.
The other day, after I took off my socks and shoes, I noticed I had nearly no ankles. And my feet were puffy like dinner rolls. It was awful!

I have been engaging in de-swelling activities, such as drinking parsley water and eating acorn squash. If someone told me to dance around some chicken bones, I would probably try that too.

I think my hormones are on an upswing. I've been pretty anxious lately. It's so unpleasant. I find myself saying things like: "This baby better be worth it."

I'm guessing that this is not a great outlook to have. How can a baby be worth it? They don't do much at first besides sleep, cry, and poop. I fear I'm in for disappointment.

Then again, I don't have trouble getting attached to things. I've been sleeping with a blanky for 33 years. I don't throw old shoes away because I'm afraid they might be offended. And I love Brian a whole lot. Even though he often drives me crazy.

Recently, when we were walking down the street, we passed a heavy-set fellow wearing a Superman shirt. Brian barely waited until he was out of earshot to say, "Maybe a Supermam t-shirt isn't for you if the "S" on the shirt undulates around your man-boobs. There's something a little too ironic about that."

We saw something advertising vampires of some kind or another (a poster for a book or a movie). Brian said, "Weren't we going to try to anticipate the next big supernatural craze. We've had vampires and werewolves. Have we had angels yet?"

"Maybe," I said. "I think Angels never get old. But we've had magicians."


"No. Not magicians. They're not supernatural, right? They just have wands. I mean ... what are they called ... wizards! We've had wizards and witches."

"What about the abominable snowman?" Brian said. And then he thought for a moment. "'I'm not like other snowmen. We could never be together.'"

Today we had a growth scan, and it was reconfirmed yet again that we are having a boy.

We had the same woman conducting the scan who told us we were having a tiger boy. Here's Brian's take on what happened:

She proceeded to point out the baby's goods on the screen, and explained as follows:

"See? There it is. We call it the turtle. Do you see what I mean? Turtle head (points to the penis). Turtle shell (points to the scrotum). Turtle head. Turtle shell. When you see the turtle, it's 100 percent sure."

I complained to the doctor afterwards that people kept thinking I'm about to drop the baby any minute. I asked why I looked so big.

He said, "Most women with their first child, their abdominal muscles are still pretty tight, which holds the baby in. With their second child, their muscles are looser."

"But this is my first child."


"And everyone says I'm carrying very low. A woman asked me if the baby had dropped yet. But he hasn't, right? Why am I carrying so low?"

"Well, every woman's uterus is a different shape and position. Your uterus is probably just more flopped out than others."

He made a motion with his hands like a uterus had fallen out of his pants and onto the floor.

"My uterus is flopped out?"


"I have a flopped out uterus and no abdominal muscles? Great." I don't know what I wanted to hear, but I guess that wasn't it.


Brian and I attended our first birthing class.
We were forced to watch videos of babies being born.

Despite being told repeatedly that childbirth was beautiful and natural, the videos made me feel sick to my stomach. I looked over at Brian, and he was watching the TV through his fingers, which were mostly covering his eyes.

"It was like I was watching I horror movie," he said later. "I've never seen something that was so hokey, and yet so terrifying."

Speaking of videos, I can't get enough of John Mulaney and Nick Kroll as two Upper West Side divorcees. Oh Hello. Brian and I had seen them perform years ago at Rififi (which is now closed) and Mo Pitkins (which is also closed). Brian stumbled upon this most-recent video of theirs. It makes me so happy.

Oh Hello: Visiting Gil's Ex-Wife from OH HELLO SHOW.

Also, Brian's brother, Eddie, is now appearing in three commercials (all from "the man"):

Eddie is the fellow with the dirty-blond jew-fro. He's wearing the burgundy sweater vest in the third commercial.

Lastly, because you asked (or maybe it was somebody else), I am posting a new picture of my ever-largening self. Ugh. I am so uncomfortable. Here I am, with my self-cut bangs, posing with my new favorite candy: Tums.

Old Tapes

Brian discovered a friend of his had a car with a tape deck.
He immediately began rifling through an old "Peaches" container looking for cassette tapes.

"Can I give this away?" he asked me.

"No!" I said. "That's mine. Give your friend one of your own tapes."

"But all these tapes are yours. I don't have any left."

"And why is that?"

"Because I threw them all away."

"Right. And you keep trying to throw mine away too. Only I won't let you."

"But we don't even have a cassette player anymore. They're just taking up space."

"You leave my cassette tapes alone."

My old collection of tapes is off limits. This includes a recording of my friend Erin and I singing "Twist and Shout" to what we now call Karaoke, but what in 1988 was called "The Fabulous Singing Machine." Brian was forced to look elsewhere for a gift for his friend.

Here is Brian's account of his trip to the weird, dirty, hole-in-wall place near our house (I refused to go inside for fear of possible contaminants):

This afternoon, I stopped in the Park Slope Record & Tape Center, which is cramped and dusty and carries nothing you would ever want. While in line, I witnessed the following conversation between the store's 70-something owner and a prospective customer, a stocky, ponytailed man wearing a jacket indicating his membership in a transit union of some sort.

Customer: "do you have John Mayer?"

Owner: "Who?"

"John Mayer."

"Never heard of him. When's he from?"

"He's a modern artist. I'm looking for an album called Heavier Things."

"Modern guy, OK....You want it on LP?"

"CD...Called Heavier (pause) Things."

"Well, I never heard of him. We've got John Mayo[?]. Not John Mayor, though. But let me check..."

(Owner opens catalogue that looks at least 25 years old. Pages are yellowed and ripped. Cover is missing. John Mayer is not going to be found in this catalogue).

"Mayer Mayer Mayer.... Hmm.... Not finding it." (Owner keeps searching catalogue. With each paged turned, a small but not insignificant quantity of dust is released into the air.)

"Nah. Sorry. We gotta governor here, but no Mayer." (Catalogue is closed).

"Governor — Real funny. See you later."


Brian wound up purchasing two cassette tapes: The soundtrack from the 1987 Fat Boys vehicle, Disorderlies, and Handel's Messiah. I gave Brian a strange look when I saw the latter. We're Jewish and his friend is Muslim. But Brian said, "It's good music. Have you ever even listened to it?"


Here are a couple of signs.

The first one a friend sent me from Gainesville, Florida:

The second I saw on Bleecker Street on my way to meet my friend Bob for dinner

This weekend, I went to a baby shower on Long Island for my friend Karen. One of her family members asked when I was due. When I said late May, she said, "Wow. You look like you're about to EXPLODE!"

I'm guessing I'm on the bigger side, because I've gotten this kind of comment before. I never know what to say, so I just say "Thank you," and give a face like I was just slapped.

But the woman went on, "Are you having twins?"


"Are you sure?"

"Yes. I'm sure."

I was a little hurt, but today, when no one gave me a seat on the subway, I felt like saying, "Hey, look at this! Some people think I look like I'm about to explode. Give me your seat!"

A while ago, my haiku-ing friend Molly wrote me a pregnancy subway haiku. It went like this:

If my water breaks
Because you won't let me sit
Woe betide your shoes

Pretty swell.

Everyone's Opinion

On Wednesday we went for a growth scan.
It appears that the fetus is in fact growing, which is good, because I certainly am. I'm almost twice the weight I was when I was there last.

During the scan, we asked if the woman could reconfirm the baby's sex. She struggled for a little, then resigned, saying that the umbilical cord was between the legs, and so she couldn't see its special parts.

I met with the OB on Friday. During the exam, she grabbed my hands, and then looked at my ankles. She confirmed that I was getting swollen. This concerned her, as I am apparently a candidate for preeclampsia. My sister, who has the same condition me, developed it and had to be induced at 36 weeks.

The doctor suggested some naturally diuretic foods and that I get more exercise, then sighed and said, "Well, we'll try to keep the baby in as long as possible."

Now I felt thoroughly depressed. Bloated and swollen and thoroughly depressed.

Since, like an old person, my life has been reduced to a series of doctors appointments, On Monday I went for blood work at a local lab in Chinatown. The woman, who had drawn my blood before, asked if I knew what I was having. I said, "A boy, I think."

I told her about the anatomy scan, and about my last scan, when the technician couldn't tell.

The phlebotomist said, "It's probably a girl. What she thought were genitals last time was probably just the baby's hand. It happens all the time. I bet your having a girl."

I broke out in a sweat. Oh no. I had just grown used to the idea that we were having a boy. But what does this woman know. She hasn't even seen the scans. She's a phlebotomist! But what if we have to switch gears and start thinking about girls' names again. Oh no!

When you first become pregnant, people are happy and concerned for you. But as you become embiggened, you become a non-person. Everyone has an opinion on what you are doing wrong. I get a lot of comments about what I'm eating or drinking or doing, or what I should be eating or drinking or doing. More protein, more water, less starch, more milk, more exercise, less lifting, no caffeine, no booze, no aspirin, ibuprofen, Benadryl, Pepto, and for godsakes, please do not curse — the baby can hear you!

I very much look forward to the moment when I can hand this fellow over to Brian and leave the room. For at least a moment, it can be someone else's problem. What a dream.