BabyWatch2010 (no new news)

No baby yet.
I've been experiencing nearly constant meltdowns these last few days. I'll be okay, and then all of a sudden I'll start crying and saying, "I can't do this anymore. I can't take this anymore."

I keep thinking I'm going to go into labor any second now. And I keep not. The waiting is jangling my nerves. I make Brian have talks with our fetus. I say, "You tell him what for. You tell him he's got to leave."

And Brian leans over and talks to my protruding abdomen, trying to reason with the tiny, sloppy, human inside who can't see us and probably can't hear us either. Nothing. Then I chime in, and there is often profanity. Brian says, "Not you, Fetus. She's not talking about you."

Brian has expressed his concern that at this rate, we could be looking at a child who doesn't even consider leaving home until he's 30.

On Friday, I was waiting for an ultrasound appointment at my doctor in Chinatown. There weren't enough seats in the waiting room, so I sat outside in the hallway on the floor. I was sitting and feeling incredibly uncomfortable and pained and sorry for myself when a man walked up and pointed to me and said, "Two!"

I said, "What?"

He said, "You're having two."

"No, just one."

He said, "A ten pounder, then."

"No," I said, "He's not that big." But the man kept insisting that because I am huge, my baby is going to be massive. I started crying.

I was hoping I wouldn't have to go back there. I was hoping I would be in the hospital by now. But my next appointment is tomorrow afternoon, and so far, I don't have a good enough excuse not to go.

I made Brian take another picture of me in my massive state.



Baby still on the inside.
I am feeling increasingly both discouraged and terrified.

However, I do have some tee-shirt iron-ons and I am taking suggestions for ironic onesies. I've been thinking that my first attempt should be "I pooped?"

Any thoughts? I have several plain white newborn onesies with which to work.

The Weaker Sex and Old Drugs

There are no atheists in fox holes.
I keep thinking this as I pray that my body to evict this kid.

Anyone who thinks that women are the weaker sex has obviously never been pregnant. I would pay good money towards research that would allow men to experience this miracle. I don't care how many jars you've opened, how many trash bags you've taken out, how many suitcases full of our clothing you've lugged. All these years, men, you've been denied the ultimate challenge. Please, science, let's find a way to allow those men who feel they should be superior to women to feel truly comfortable in that superiority.

I would much prefer to sit on the couch eating bon-bons and gossiping.

Okay. Enough. It's just that I am supremely uncomfortable. I was having horrible acid reflux where all I could hold down without incurring searing heartburn and burbling vomit was Gatorade. But my doctor suggested Pepcid, and I am feeling much better.

I still have the stamina of a 95 year old. I walk a block and I'm huffing and puffing, and when I get home, I need to take a nap. And during that nap, I have crazy, exhausting, vivid dreams, which freak me out, so I am greatly relieved to finally wake up.

I do want to say that Brian has been really wonderful these past few weeks. He has put together and taken apart multiple baby-holding devices. He has administered my evil injectable medication. And he has even done some dishes. He never seems tire of putting his hand on my painfully distended stomach to feel our fetus kick me in the pancreas. I hope this means he will be excited about changing dirty diapers.

There were other things I wanted to say, but I can't remember them now. I've been too busy feeling swollen and uncomfortable.

I have managed to come by a wonderful reference guide. The Desk Reference on Drug Abuse, Second Edition. Commissioned by the Rockefeller Administration, it was published in 1970. I scanned in the title page, forward, and 26 index pages of drug terms. It's a real treat. Please enjoy!

I sincerely hope that the next time we chat, this baby will be on the outside.

Glow? No.

I am now convinced that when people tell me that I'm glowing, they are just responding to the placid, dopey look on my face that signifies I have no idea where I am or what I was just doing.

Though I haven't gotten much of that lately. I got an unsolicited, "You look sort of peaked," today. And a number of people have guessed correctly that I haven't been sleeping well or much.

Thursday night was rough, and on Friday I still felt horrible. Brian called the doctor, and we went right over. My blood pressure was up and I was dehydrated. They administered IV fluids. I was so uncomfortable and exhausted I couldn't stop crying. The doctor though labor might be imminent, and said if my blood pressure remained high, they would have to induce.

Later in the evening, I was still feeling horrible when a friend suggested Gatorade. After a container or two, I was feeling more like myself, which was nice. I even got some sleep. The next day, when we went back to the doctor, we took our "go" bag with us, just in case. We managed to run into both our upstairs and downstairs neighbors. We smiled sheepishly and told them our status. This might be it.

Our downstairs neighbor said, "Next time I see you guys, you'll have a baby."

I said, "Knowing us, we'll have our bag and no baby."

Brian said, "Knowing us, we'll have a baby and no bag."

The Gatorade had worked well. Too well. My blood pressure was entirely back to normal. I was re-hydrated. No induction. And the new prediction was that I would probably get all the way to my due date on the 28th. My doctor was radiant. I was crestfallen.

We skulked home hoping not to run into our neighbors.

It's Monday now, and still nothing. Except that I really can't eat solid food anymore, because everything seems to give me horrible indigestion. My big outings are jaunts to the living room to sit on the futon until I get bored. This is NO FUN.

Now I'm stuck thinking about all the things we still have left to do, but with no energy to do any of them.

If I am struggling with nesting instincts, Brian has become obsessed with the New Yorker caption contest — or, at least, the injustice of it. He composed the following list for the following caption:

New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest Submissions, with Alternate Venues for Cartoon
"You left the toilet seat up again, Donald." (Ladies' Home Journal)
"Really, Elmer? All this to avoid filling out your census
form?"(subway advertisement)
"Better finish up, hon. The men from the bank are here to take the
house." (Mother Jones)
"Why don't you just have that affair already?" (Psychology Today)
"Marmaduke'll have a field day with this." (Marmaduke)
"You've grown bitter and self-obsessed in middle age, Edward" (New Yorker)

Oh, and I got another rejection last week. This one from Hotel Amerika:

Four rejections down. Five left to go. Harumph.


I received another rejection in the mail yesterday.
I think I never mentioned the last one. Now I have three, one from Subtropics, and these two, from Prairie Schooner and now Missouri Review

Because I know you are curious, here they are:

I have yet to hear from the remaining six publications to which I submitted. I keep reminding myself that I only need one acceptance. In the past, for all I've sent out, it's the most I've ever received per submitted story. One. Out of nine this time. Now, out of six. It could still happen.

But I know the reading period is ending, so I fear it doesn't bode well for me.

I actually like this story. If no one wants it, I'll take it back and edit it some more and resubmit it elsewhere. Right? No biggy. Though I'll probably be doing so in between changing dirty diapers.

I am over 37 weeks along. I feel like we are quite close. I am getting sick of carrying around this fetus, and I think this fetus is getting sick of freeloading. I have declared my last day at work to be this Thursday. It's just getting too difficult to schlepp my ass (and this fetus's ass) around, up and down subway stairs, squeeze into crowded trains, back and forth to my numerous medical appointments, as well as sit for hours a day at a desk when this fellow's head is so low, I have recline awkwardly with my feet up on an overturned trash can to feel even remotely comfortable.

I am now waking up 4-5 times a night. But I am no longer able to sleep late. I am often up by 6:30, even on the weekend. And even though I'm exhausted, I can't fall back to sleep. Still, I dream of Friday, when I will be able to not get up for work, when I can lay in bed uncomfortably, cuddling my body pillow, playing solitaire on my blackberry, and trying to think of nothing much — until I have to get up and schlep my ass to my mid-afternoon sonogram appointment. Oh, what heaven! If only I could sip a frosty piña colada as well.

We had brunch with Brian's Aunt Bonnie last weekend. She took several pictures of Brian and me, all of which are pretty cute. Though I can't help feeling I look like a dopey, lumbering cow. Here is one of them:

I am pretty self-conscious about how I look right now, but maybe it's good to keep taking pictures. So I can look at them and feel comparably slim and trim once the baby is born.

Dream Baby

I had another dream about our baby.
I was at work, but it looked more like my parents house. I was looking for a bathroom, but the only one I could find was filthy (typical dream fare for me).

Then Brian and I were walking down the street. I had a swaddled baby in my arms. I told Brian how odd it was, that I didn't even remember giving birth. I said I was surprised they let me out of the hospital so soon. I didn't even know what I was supposed to do with the baby.

The baby looked more like a hairless cat, all wrinkled and pink with pointy ears and feline snout.

It also had very sharp teeth, and it kept trying to bite me. In fact, it was biting me, my hands, and drawing blood.

Brian suggested we take it to the pediatrician. We were walking down the Fulton Mall. There was a place with a dark, seedy bar on the first floor. The pediatrician was apparently upstairs. Brian was supposed to ask the bartender how to get to the pediatrician's office. Instead, he ordered a beer.

I pray our baby looks human.

I just got an email from Brian with the subject line: "did you see this week's caption contest?" Here is the cartoon:

He wrote: "I mean, come on! They're killing me!" Poor Brian.


I'm feeling more tired and more emotional lately.
I think it has to do with occasional hormone surges. I was complaining to a male coworkers about this. He said, "That must be awful. Are you like, 'AAARRRRRRR!!!!' all the time?" He balled up his hands into fists to simulate rage.

At first I was confused. I said, "Oh, no. that's male hormones. Surges of male hormones make you more aggressive. Surges of lady hormones make you feel weepy and crave chocolate.

Right then, I realized anew the difference between men and women.

I have also discovered that the larger I get, the more public my pregnancy becomes. People stop me on the street and say, "Boy?" I say yes, and they say, "I knew it!" In the elevator, at the Duane Reade, people say, "Any day now." Sometimes, they pay me the compliment, "You're all baby. You look fine from behind."

I find the public commentary on my appearance to be a bit strange.

And I don't get comments like these only every now and then. I get them any time I'm out and about. I went to a Starbucks the other day and ordered a small coffee. The young woman behind the counter said, "Is this for you?" I was confused, but said, "No, it's for my boss," (which was true). The young woman said, "Oh! Good. I was going to say you should be ordering decaf."

I hear it gets much worse once the child is on the outside of your body. My friend Karen gave birth a couple of weeks ago. Last week, she and her daughter went for a walk and stopped into a store. She wrote:

"One person told me 1. I shouldn't be dressed "like that" (tank top) right after having a baby. 2. I shouldn't take her out for two months and 3. I should not let her head tip to the side like that or it will stay that way and she will curse me when she's old."

Here are some photos of Karen and Rich with Lucy Frances.