Monday, March 31, 2008

my little boy really knows how to take care of Mommy

So, I also managed to hurt my shoulder. My left shoulder, surprise, surprise! I don't know if it happened when I fell but it hurts like a MOFO when I tighten Brandon's carseat straps.


Today I had an appointment at 3pm for a pedicure. I had told my friends that I had never had one, ever in my life, so they got me a gift card to get one as a baby gift. (I have awesome friends.) So I was on my way out the door today to go get my pedicure, and I went to get the gift card from the envelope, which was clipped to the fridge, and the card was GONE. The envelope was there, but it was empty. Luckily it's a Navy Exchange gift card so we can use it to buy pretty much anything, once we find it, but I just about freaked out. I sat down on the stairs and started crying.

Now here's the cool part of this story: Brandon walked up to me, asked what was wrong (I think - he was speaking toddler-ese), gave me a hug, and encouraged me to come into the living room to watch the Wyclef concert that Brian was watching. ("Dah-see? Mommy, dah-see!" - all music is "dah-see" [dancing] to him.) I must be doing something right. He is so empathetic, it really warms my heart.

I went to the appointment anyway, by the way, and I'm SO GLAD I did. Not only did it feel great, but now no matter how primal and un-ladylike I get during my birthing time, I will have pretty pink toenails.

the hits just keep on coming!

Yesterday I tripped in my driveway, scraping the hell out of my knee and bruising up my wrist/forearm pretty badly, seeminly where it banged into the carseat I was carrying out to the car. The funny thing is that ALL of these injuries - burnt wrist, sliced finger, scraped and bruised knee, two lovely parallel purple lines on my forearm - all of them are on my left side. I theorize that the baby having his back to the left side of my body is throwing off my center of gravity in such a way as to make it impossible for me to perform simple daily tasks without injuring myself. I mean, I'm used to being clumsy, but geez.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

It's the same hand as the wrist I burned, too

I almost had another super-nesting day yesterday. Almost. I dove right in to organizing the closet in the nursery and throwing blankets and burp cloths and cloth diapers in the wash. I found the newborn hats and socks. (There are still some sleepers and diaper covers that are MIA.) I brought Brandon to get a haircut.

Then I had to take him back after lunch to get the haircut fixed, because seriously, it looked horrible. It was practically a bowl cut. I realized, though, that it was my fault. She asked how short I wanted it and, in typical full-term pregnant lady fashion, I just kind of went blank and said..."" It wasn't until I got home and realized how bad it looked that I remembered that I usually tell her to taper the sides. Whoops. So I had to take him back. They were awesome about it and fixed him up while they were giving another kid a break (this poor kid, he just did NOT want to be held in the chair!), and Brandon behaved really, really well, especially considering that it was his second haircut in one day, but it totally wiped me out for the rest of the day.

I couldn't get Brandon to take a nap, so I didn't get to take a real one, either. I managed to fit in a 20-minute catnap while he had quiet time, but that wasn't really enough.

Later in the evening, I had an unfortunate santoku incident while cutting scallions into thin strips for Ray Ray's Spicy Shrimp and Bok Choy Noodle Bowl. Oh, beloved santoku, it was not your fault. My knife skills suck. (Skip to the next paragraph if you're easily grossed out!) Right before it happened, I was thinking how I really should try to learn how to guide the food with my knuckles like Alton says, although I don't really know how you could do that while cutting something long and thin into even thinner strips. And just then, I took off a chunk of my fingernail, and a couple of layers of skin underneath it. It isn't all that bad, there wasn't even any blood on the skin that got cut off (yeah, I had to dig through the scallions to find it so it wouldn't end up in our food), but it hurts like a mofo.

Now I have to go out and find some good waterproof fingertip bandaids because I will be damned if I can't get into the shower and/or tub during my birthing time because I was stupid enough to chop a piece of my finger off. Brian said, "hey, we can put a plastic baggie over your hand. That would be awesome!" Yeah, like that wouldn't be distracting. At least I know my hypno-anesthesia works; every time I'd wake up to pee last night my finger would start throbbing, but then I'd get back into bed, switch off (go into hypnosis) and fall right back to sleep because the pain was gone. Suh-weet.

I have to stop typing now. My finger hurts.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

a couple of bad eggs make us all look bad

Today I feel the urge to talk about judgment and assumptions.

I've spent time on a few Natural Childbirth-oriented message boards, and there is a lot of talk about judgmental people. Apparently most people who are planning a natural birth get a lot negative comments from naysayers. Things like, "just you wait, you'll be screaming for the epidural" and "you don't get a medal, you know" and "why be a martyr?" And there's confusion - why do people think that NCB'ers are judgmental when we're the ones who are always getting judged?

I can honestly say that nobody has ever said anything like this to me. Maybe because I don't go around telling strangers at the supermarket, "I'm planning a drug-free birth using hypnosis!" I get weird enough looks when I say that my due date is almost four weeks away, and that's something that's not exactly open to debate or influenced by opinion. (Well, to some doctors it might be, but that's another rant that's best taken up by others.)

However, I have had people say harsh, judgmental things to me regarding birthing...people on the NCB boards. It's happened twice, once towards the beginning of my pregnancy and once a couple of weeks ago. Both times I asked a question about fetal positioning, briefly explaining that I was concerned about having a posterior baby due to my having had a very long posterior labor with my first baby. I didn't tell the whole damn story of my first birthing because it's crazy long and, well, it didn't seem necessary. (Although the first time I did mention that he was anterior before I started labor and turned around when the contractions started, because it was pertinent to the question I was asking.)

Both times I got a beautifully condescending response from someone along the lines of, "your baby was posterior because you labored on your back in a hospital bed." If it wasn't so presumptuous and rude it would have made me laugh because that is the OPPOSITE of what happened! I'd been having regular contractions - and yes, back labor - for over 24 hours before the hospital would even admit me. And at NO TIME, even after I got the epidural, was I laying on my back! (Until the pushing phase, which I was not happy about, but I was too focused on pushing to argue.)

We are told so often, and so emphatically, that one intervention leads to another, that laboring upright and actively are so important, that common hospital practice A often leads to complication B, that people seem to think that if something - anything - went wrong, it HAD to have been because of something you let the doctor do to you. And some women not only make this assumption, they also take it upon themselves to judge and criticize you for doing what they assume you must have done. The thought that the complication might not have been caused by what they assume caused it never seems to cross their mind. That a malpositioned baby could be caused by psychological issues, or a retroverted uterus, or tightness in the pelvic ligaments caused by the way a woman usually sits...these reasons are not considered. Because laboring on one's back in a hospital bed can sometimes cause a posterior presentation...well then, if your baby was posterior, it must be because you were on your back. How dare I ask a question about any of those other possible reasons? They are far-fetched and stupid, I know nothing about my own body or my own birthing - I had back labor because I was on my back in a hospital bed! Of course. That hour of pushing on my back at the very end caused my baby to turn to posterior 36+ hours prior. Why didn't I see it before?

So here's an idea: how about we don't make assumptions, and even better, let's not make judgments based on those assumptions. How about getting all of the facts before we criticize? And how about, if somebody asks a question, we answer the question they actually asked? Like if somebody says, "does anyone know how to do a sacral release?", don't answer with "your baby was probably posterior because you were on your back." Sound logical, reasonable, like the decent thing to do? Okay, let's all try it for a while and see if maybe, just maybe, people stop thinking of NCB'ers as judgmental and didactic.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

it must be nesting

The first thing I had to deal with today when I woke up was a diaper disaster. And when I say disaster, I really mean disaster: a blowout the likes of which I haven't seen since the days of breastmilk poop. Something about starting off my day by changing sheets and doing laundry put me in "getting stuff done around the house" mode. I didn't get everything done that I intended to, but I did get a LOT more done today than I do on an average day...especially lately.

(When I was pregnant with Brandon, around this time [36 weeks] I had exactly ONE day of really hardcore nesting. We had just moved in to this house about 3 months before so there wasn't all THAT much to do, but I woke up one day and decided to scrub the floors and the tub...and then I was done. I was just too tired to do ANYTHING else for the rest of the pregnancy [except cook Thanksgiving dinner, of course]. I really hope that I still have this burst of energy [well, not really energy so much as motivation] for a few more days, because I have a LOT left to do. A lot.)

Today, I:
  • did the dishes
  • did some laundry
  • made two batches of laundry soap (2 grated bars of Ivory soap, 1 cup of borax and 1 cup of washing soda)
  • folded new baby clothes (I don't have anywhere to put them away, though, since the new dresser is on order)
  • folded a bunch of other stuff, packing some of it in my hospital bag along the way
  • washed two carseat covers (the one for Brandon's Marathon - it was really dirty - and the one for the baby's new Snugride) and hung them outside to dry
  • put the extra cover on the Marathon and reinstalled it in the car - on the "big boy side of the car" (behind the driver's seat)
  • found the universal carseat attachment bar for our single stroller
  • read books, played with blocks and puzzles and trains, and played catch
  • straightened up Brandon's coloring books about 12 times
  • (I was going to vacuum the car and bake a batch of brownies, but Brian came home early and wanted to go to the store)
  • went to the store, bought some Easter candy and chocolate soymilk
  • realized that I now officially drink more milk than Brandon does
  • cooked dinner
  • finished knitting a hat for the baby's coming home outfit
  • re-blocked the union suit I knitted for the baby's coming home outfit - it came out too short and wide but I was able to fix it through the magic process of spraying it with water and stretching it out.
  • emptied, rinsed and peeled the label off of a travel-sized bottle of Vick's Early Defense foaming hand sanitizer (I literally bought it purely because I needed a travel-sized foamer bottle - the Vick's bottle works MUCH better than the off-brand one I bought first); peeled the label off of an empty bottle of Oyin Black Soap & Honey Gentle Cleansing Foam, cut the Oyin label in half and stuck it on the Vick's bottle. Now all I need is my new bottle of face wash from Oyin and I can fill the little bottle and my toiletry kit will be all ready for my hospital bag. Hopefully it gets here in time.
  • finally put away my empty suitcase from our trip to Waikiki in December
  • cut elastic for, folded, pinned and sewed the leg gussets for 2 dozen Tiny Poo Pockets diapers. That's 48 zig-zag seams through 48 4.25" pieces of elastic folded inside of 48 little crescent shaped pieces of fleece.
  • got hit in the chin by the tip of a sewing machine needle as it broke off
  • got almost all the way through The Fellowship of the Ring - it was on in the background as I sewed. I have been trying to watch The Lord of the Rings since my birthday in September...of 2006.
And now it is after 11 and I am going to bed.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

...although I did gain a bit too much weight this month...

I had a good midwife appointment today.

Baby boy is still LOT (Left Occiput Transverse - head down, back to my left, facing my right side). I can never tell if he's LOP (Left Occiput Posterior - his back to my back, but slightly off to the left - which would be bad) or LOT (which is pretty good) but apparently he's still LOT - exactly where he was four weeks ago at my last appointment...and four weeks before that as well. So I'm thinking that's probably where he's going to stay. Which is a good thing. (Except for the internal bruising I'm sure I must have where his knee keeps on poking out.)

Even though I am only 35 weeks, I asked to be checked for dilation, purely out of curiosity. I've been feeling like stuff has been going on and I was right. Cervix is still posterior, but softening, thinning and at 1cm. This made me very happy, because with Brandon I got sent home from the hospital at 1cm after about 12 hours of labor. So it feels good to know that I'm not starting at zero like I obviously did last time. It also feels good to know that I'm not crazy and I am, in fact, in tune with my body and what it's doing.

Then I pulled out my Birth Preferences (what Hypno-mamas call our "Birth Plans" - because let's face it, you can't exactly plan a birthing) to go over it and before I even got started, the midwife rattled off a list of all of the things they typically do and don't do - she could very well have been reading my Birth Preferences to me. She literally said everything I was going to say (except for the things relating to the hypnosis), right down to the midwife team's policy of doing intermittent listening as opposed to intermittent monitoring - they listen to the baby's heartbeat every once in a while rather than hooking you up to a contraction monitor. (I was almost afraid to ask about that one because I was SURE they'd say no.) And they don't cut the cord until it stops pulsing - I don't mean that they're open to doing it that way if you ask; that's just how they do it. (Are we sure this is a hospital???)

I asked about sterile water injections for back pain and she said that she used to do them at her old hospital but she doesn't think they do them here. However, she also said there's no reason why they shouldn't do them and she will look into it and talk to anesthesiology about it. Suh-weet. So not only is it possible that I'll have this option open to me should I have back labor again, but I may have just paved the way for other women to have that option, who may not have known to even ask about it. That makes me feel good. It's always nice to be able to do a little bit of activism in a non-preachy way. :D

The only thing that was a bit of a bummer was when she told me that they would, in fact, make me get out of the tub if things went faster than I was expecting and all of a sudden the baby was crowning (wink wink; accidentally-on-purpose is the only way to have a water birth at my hospital). The reasoning for this is fairly sound, though - the tubs are designed for laboring, not for birthing, and it's difficult for the midwives to have enough access in case something should go wrong. Disappointing, but acceptable.

Overall, a very good appointment. And they even took me back early, rather than the usual making me sit in the waiting room for 20 minutes past my appointment time. I literally didn't even get to knit a single stitch.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Saturday, March 15, 2008

I'm a mean old pregnant lady

It's happening. I am losing my patience...completely.

I just went to check my mail. Remember the time my order from Oyin was stuck in my mailbox? It's happened at least two or three more times since then - basically every time I've ordered from Oyin - but it wasn't THAT big a deal because here's the thing: Oyin, for some reason, doesn't put any tape on their packages. At all. So it's really very easy to open the box, take the stuff out, and then squash the box enough to get it out of the mailbox. Really I'm not very comfortable with the idea of my packages being shipped to me with no packing tape AT ALL on them (and frankly I'm surprised that the Post Office will accept them like that), but at least it makes it possible to get them out of my damn mailbox.

Well today, the same thing happened AGAIN, but this time, with a box from Target. Target actually puts tape on their packages. It is literally impossible to get out of my mailbox. (For the record, if you do not have and have never had a mailbox of this kind, one big door opens up in the BACK, revealing all of the mailboxes, which is where the mail carrier puts in all of the mail. Due to the frames of the individual doors in front, the front openings are smaller than the back openings. And my mail carrier does not seem to realize this.)

So after trying for a minute or two to pry the package out using my keys, I stormed back across the street and started writing a note to the mail carrier in BIG BLACK SHARPIE LETTERS. Something to the effect of "Dear Mail Carrier, Packages of this size DO NOT FIT through the front door of the mailbox unless they are cut open, emptied, and squashed down while still inside the mailbox. I am tired of doing this and I SHOULDN'T HAVE TO. Stop putting these boxes in the mailbox!!"

When I was almost done writing this note, my doorbell rang. I went to the door - obviously already not in the best mood - and there was a teenager standing there with a small stack of newspapers and a clipboard. "Did you get your free..." he started.

"What are you selling?"

"It's the Honolulu Advertiser. It's free."

"Yes, but what are you selling?"


"You're not supposed to be going door to door in military housing, you know that, right?" (You're not. It's considered trespassing on government property.)

"Um..." He obviously didn't know that.

"My two year old is trying to fall asleep and you probably just woke him up. Thanks."

"...I'm sorry, ma'am..."

"Bye." And I closed the door and locked it. Even though I was about to go back across the street again in, like, a minute and a half.

Now normally I am WAY TOO NICE to these kids. Hell, one time I even ended up with a three-year subscription to Bon Appetit - which I had never read before. (Luckily I ended up liking it.) But the more pregnant I get, the less patience I have. I speak up when the clerk at Walmart is ignoring the long line of customers, I complain to the company when I have to pay return shipping because of THEIR mistake, and I definitely have no patience for teenagers ringing my doorbell at 8 minutes to 8PM. I put Brandon to sleep early tonight, but normally I would have still been upstairs, lying in bed with him, at 7:52. Brian is not home tonight to answer the door so that kid is damn lucky that he didn't take me away from my son's bedtime routine for whatever the hell he was selling.

I do feel bad for being as nasty as I was. Really, I do. But honestly, I just have absolutely. No. Patience.

Anyway, I finished the note, walked back across the street to the mailboxes, and did my best to shove the note behind the package, where the mail carrier will hopefully see it the next time (s)he is delivering our mail. I just hope we get some mail tomorrow and don't have to wait until Monday. Because, dammit, I want my package.

"A month to go? REALLY?"

Just about every single day, somebody somewhere says one of the following to me: "Any day now?" or "You look like you're about to pop!" I can honestly say that it doesn't actually bother me - I guess it's just bouncing off of my Bubble of Peace (yay Hypnobabies!) - but I'm baffled by it. I will be 35 weeks tomorrow; as of yesterday I was exactly 3 weeks from the point where I was when I had Brandon. And I know that I got much bigger by the time he came out - and I really feel like this one will stay in a little longer than 37 weeks, 5 days. I do feel big, because let's face it, I am. (I am 35 weeks pregnant after all.) But I don't in any way feel "ready to pop".

The really weird thing is that it's mostly women who have children of their own who are making the comments. I guess everybody just kind of forgets what those last few weeks of pregnancy are really like, and just how huge you really do get. For instance, I don't know if I'll still be able to do this three weeks from now:

...but then again, you never know. I specifically remember sitting in bed in the Mom & Baby ward the day after Brandon was born, looking at the clock and being annoyed that I was missing yoga class.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

discontinued, out of stock, under recall

So far we have made three major purchases for this baby. None of them have been easy.

First was the new carseat. Brandon wasn't particularly fond of his Combi baby bucket so I wanted to get a Graco this time around. I knew which one I wanted to get: it was a good price ($89), it wasn't ugly (actually it looked quite nice), and they had it at Sears (available exclusively at Sears, as a matter of fact) - so I wouldn't have to pay for shipping on it. I stopped by a Sears in January to show it to Brian and...lo and behold, they didn't have it. It was under recall.

Now I remember this recall. It was in November. It had to do with the foam in the seat pad disintegrating after washing it and posing a choking hazard. They still weren't back on store shelves two months later? I contacted Graco and they told me they'd be available in 4-6 weeks. They were right; about five weeks later I went to Sears and they had it...for $109. The recall made the price jump up $20. (And yes, it's $10 more in the store than it is on the website.) Great. So now it's no longer possible to get a non-ugly Snugride for under $100 (at least not in Hawaii)...but whatever. Close enough. I bought it.

Next up was the dresser. When we had Brandon we bought a dresser at an unfinished furniture store, which doubles as a changing table. (It's a bit of a pain to sand and lacquer it yourself but the quality you get for the price is really WAY better than anything you could get ready-made.) We wanted to get another one exactly like it for baby #2, so we went to the same store on Saturday.

It's been discontinued. $#^&*@&#^$

We ended up getting the chest from the same collection. The whole collection has been discontinued, but while the dresser is completely sold out and unavailable, apparently there are still some lingerie chests available. (Just don't tell my boys that the piece of furniture in their room is technically called a lingerie chest.) It is due to come in on April 12. Which is one week before my due date. This thing is probably not going to be sanded and lacquered until Christmas. But that's okay. As long as we got one before they go away completely, I don't care. I picked out this furniture for the long-term, and let's face it, baby clothes rarely make it out of the laundry basket anyway.

So after we left our deposit on the chest yesterday, we decided that we might as well go buy the stroller, too. There are two different strollers I want: a sit 'n stand, and a double. The double I am planning on getting in a few months (until then we will go for our long neighborhood walks with Brandon in the single stroller and Baby in the Ergo), but the sit n' stand we'll need right away, so we can snap the carseat into it, and Brandon will have someplace on the back to either stand or sit when we need to keep him in check.

Way back in the very beginning of the pregnancy, I had gone to USA Baby to buy a new Britax carseat for Brandon (since I had crashed my car and the one we had needed to be replaced). While I was there I test-drove the Joovy Ultralight and absolutely fell in love with it. I remember it being around $230-240. I eventually put it on my Amazon baby registry; I seem to remember it being available for $225 with free super saver shipping - but I planned on getting it at USA Baby.

So anyway on Sunday we drove down to USA Baby, and I didn't see it on display, so I asked. Guess what? Out of stock. In all colors, at both locations. And it won't be back in stock for about THREE MONTHS. Jeezum! So I checked Amazon. All of a sudden, it's no longer available from Amazon with super saver shipping, but it is still available from affiliate is $270 plus shipping and orange (which is the one we were going to get) was FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS. Are you freaking kidding me?

After a couple of hours of poking around on the internet, I found that it's out of stock EVERYWHERE. Really, everywhere. Except for the places that would charge $100 to ship it to Hawaii. (For the record, I don't think that one place is charging $500 because they're the only ones who have it...I think they're the only ones who have any left because who in their right mind would pay $500 for a stroller with a list price of $300? This same vendor charges $75 for a $30 Eddie Bauer step stool, and $30 for a single Cars figurine.)

Well anyway, I printed out a list of all Joovy vendors in Hawaii and called them all one by one. (Yes, I, with the phobia of making phone calls, called a whole list of stores.) All of them said the same thing: "Yes, we carry it, no it's not in stock. We expect it in in a week or two. It's $279." Except for Baby Emporium, the little place in an industrial neighborhood downtown with practically nonexistent parking. They had it in stock. In all four colors. For $269. It's not $225 but it's close enough. Much better than $ shipping.

So we went downtown, parked across the street (luckily I had 30 cents change in my diaper bag, so I was able to get 24 minutes at the parking meter), Brandon tried out the stroller, and when given the choice between green and orange, he picked orange. (Which I knew he would.)

So now I have the carseat and the stroller (for only $70 more than I thought I was going to be spending altogether!) and the chest is on order. I'm just hoping that the other things I need aren't out of stock, discontinued, or under recall. Because I would freakin' lose my mind. One of each is more than enough for me.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

feelin' pretty good

I feel like I should give an update about my back pain, since my entries about it have elicited some concern. (I mean, my brother actually called me to make sure I was okay. My brother!)

I am doing much, much better. I still have some muscle soreness and stiffness but the shooting pain is (knock on wood) gone. The baby dropped last week and it seems that his head had been pressing into a nerve; and now it isn't. *phew*.

And, yes, it is awfully early for him to be dropping, but I was carrying insanely high (as I did for most of my pregnancy with Brandon) and I think that maybe when the chiropractor popped that one vertebra in my mid-back back into place, it allowed him to drop to a somewhat more normal level. That's my theory, anyway. I know he still has plenty farther to drop because he's still pressing into my diaphragm (breathing is hard sometimes) and my stomach (twice in the past week I've been suddenly awakened by vomit making its way up - fantastic!).

And just to out-gross that last sentence, I'll also let you know that the burn on my wrist scabbed over and is now flaking off.

So, all things considered, I'm doing pretty well.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

I think I'm going to be sick


And can we have some respect for Spiderman, too, while we're at it?

Saturday, March 1, 2008

random time waster!

Tara posted this as a bulletin on MySpace. It was so much fun that I had to share.

1. YOUR SPY NAME: (middle name and current street name)
Veronica Tomich

2. YOUR MOVIE STAR NAME: (grandfather/grandmother on your dad's side, your favorite candy
Gertrude Caramel (um, ick)

3. YOUR RAP NAME (first initial of first name, first two or three letters of your last name)
K Nef

4. YOUR GAMER TAG: (a favorite color, a favorite animal)
Indigo Gecko

5. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, city where you were born)
Veronica Queens

6. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (first 3 letters of your last name, last 3 letters of mother's maiden name, first 3 letters of your pet's name)
Nef Ski Har (I'm using the name of the last pet I had who had one. My current fish don't have names.)

7. JEDI NAME: (middle name spelled backwards, your mom's maiden name spelled backwards)
Acinorev Iksuokavon

8. PORN STAR NAME: (first pet's name, the street you grew up on)
Jesse Grant

9. SUPERHERO NAME: ("The", your favorite color, the type of automobile your dad drives)
The Indigo Ion

10. YOUR ACTION HERO NAME: (first name of the main character in the last movie you watched, last food you ate).
Remy Pizzagna

11. Your ALTER EGO name: (your favorite cartoon character and the last place you went on vacation)
Stewie Waikiki

12. Your SIR/Lady name: ("Sir/Lady" plus your first name, your favorite alcoholic drink, then the word "OF" and the last medication you took)
Lady Kerry Bailey of Prilosec