Sunday, May 27, 2012

Meet Toby!

Snugglin' with daddy 

We welcomed baby Tobias on May 16 at 1:07 a.m.! He weighed 8 lbs. 7 oz. and was 20.5 inches long at birth. He's absolutely darling :). 

After a very stressful birthing experience (docs thought mommy had a rare infection and did an emergency c-section), baby was breathing fast and spent 3 days being monitored in the nursery, but thankfully he had no infection and is doing great. Now mommy, baby, and daddy are home and plugging away! 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Today's (probably not) the BIG Day!

That's right, our little babe is due today! Which doesn't mean a whole lot, I guess - since babies tend to do what they want to do when they want to do it - beyond the fact that he obviously wasn't early. (And knowing my husband and me, I could've predicted that.) But May 14, 2012 sure would be a nice birthday. And, hey, there are still 18 hours left in the day! 

Anyway, as for him being on time: unlikely since only 3% of women deliver on their due date and he's a first baby, but even more unlikely given that at my last OB appt. on Tuesday I was absolutely nowhere near going into labor. A 12-hr day spent at the hospital Wednesday getting a procedure done (Cervidil, sort of like a slower-acting Pitocin) to hopefully move me in the direction of "ready" was a big (painful) whopping failure. As in, still not dilated. At all. Grrrrr. 

When's this guy flying into town?! 
Of course, there's always a chance that things will have changed by my 12:45 p.m. appt. today . . . .

The upside to a baby-who's-in-no-hurry-to-get-here is that it gives Brad and me more much needed time to get things in order around here. We've been busting our humps unbelievably these past few weeks, and I haven't had the luxury of slacking off and relaxing despite the whole 9-months-pregnant thing. Starting Wednesday, he'll be off for the summer, so if we're still waiting, we can really get some stuff accomplished. 

The downside to a baby-who's-in-no-hurry-to-get-here is that I get increasingly swollen, achy, miserable, and fat as every hour progresses. At this point, I'm retaining like 7 lbs of fluid . . . everything hurts! In other words I can't wait to be not pregnant! Now if only I didn't have to do all the work to get to that point . . . ;).

So, we're just waitin' on baby. Oh, and on the OB, who will decide (probably today) when to induce. If things go as usual at my doctor's office, these arms of mine should be holding a sweet baby sometime within the next 7 or 8 days. And I guess Brad can hold him a little, too :).

Monday, May 7, 2012

Countdown to the Babe: 7 Days

Oh yes, that's right - our little sweet-face is due in one week! Next Monday, May 14th. Not that he's likely to be on time (his parents rarely are . . . ), but the countdown is on. Well, it's been on for a while, but now it's really on :). 

I'm alternately insanely antsy ("get this baby out of me!") and insanely stressed ("oh my gosh we have so much to do before he gets here!"). Sometimes I'm even like, "Well, when it happens, it'll happen." But that sort of calm reasonableness is pretty rare. Brad's feeling the same way - except for the whole "get this baby out of me" thing. Which would be weird. On a bunch of levels. And would almost definitely motivate a story from The Enquirer.

But anyway. 

First babies are notoriously late arrivers (and, boy, do people love to remind you of that), but one happy fact is that my OB's office only lets mamas-to-be go till they're 41 weeks along. At lots of doctors' offices, that wait is stretched out by a looooooong 7 days - 42 weeks is pretty much the longest anyone (at least in the U.S.) is allowed to go before being induced.

At any rate, we'll see if this little dude makes his grand debut sooner rather than later. Brad's last day of work for the summer is, as usual, May 15, meaning we had rather impeccable timing though we certainly weren't planning it that way. He's got the next two days off so we can continue to bust our humps on the (still-not-done) nursery; clean and organize the house (which, as usual, went to heck during the last month of the semester); buy some last-minute nursery and baby stuff; and get some food cooked and frozen for those first few chaotic weeks. (Let's be honest though: he's doing all the cooking. And he'll be tagging along to my hopefully last-of-this-pregnancy OB appt. Tuesday a.m. 

We're nervous. We're excited. We're exhausted. We're about to be . . . parents?!?! Eeks, that's big!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

What does that even mean?

Today's puzzle: the side of the can of Orange Crush (oh so delish and on sale at Target this week for $3.00 for a 12-pack) reads, "orange soda naturally flavored with other natural flavors." 

I don't even know what that means. Since "orange soda" is not, itself, a naturally occurring flavor - at least not to my knowledge? - the "other natural flavors" doesn't quite seem to make sense . . . . 

It's almost definite that I'm being dense, but if there's one area of my life where I feel justified in demanding simplicity and clarity, it's with my sugary beverages. 

On Chronic Pain

This is a disheartening post to write, and even more disheartening to write at 2:27 in the morning when I am exhausted yet unable to sleep - but were I not exhausted yet unable to sleep at 2:27 in the morning, I likely wouldn't be reflecting on chronic pain. 

Nine years and one month ago to the day (you remember things like this, believe me), I tripped, while jogging, on an extra-wide crack in a sidewalk in North Oakland. My body went uuuuup into the air and, instinctively, to avoid breaking the MP3 player I was carrying, I twisted to the side and came down not on my hands/wrists, but on my left hip. 115 pounds off the ground, then down on that hip with a splat

The rest is history. Except it's not. B/c every day for the past 9 years and 1 month (that's 109 months for anyone doing the math) I have endured hip and/or back pain as a result of this fall. 

Some days it's not so bad. I can go entire weeks without thinking much about it, not b/c I don't hurt but b/c after years and years a person learns to tolerate quite a bit. 

But sometimes, like these days, it's tremendous pain; pain that keeps me from sleeping even though I am so far beyond tired I feel nauseated; pain that makes it difficult or impossible to work out, to ride in the car for long periods, to sit in the same position for more than 5 minutes at a time; pain that has me pacing the floors at 3:00 a.m., stretching 2, 3, 4 times a day to get a bit of relief; pain that has me waking Brad up in the wee hours so he can rub my hip again.  

Yeah, it ain't fun. And it's only gotten worse with the pressure of a little human who's getting bigger day by day and weighing me down in the most off-kilter sort of way. Not to mention the only thing that offers relief when things are really bad is sleeping on my belly . . . obviously not at option here at 38 weeks and 2 days pregnant. 

And b/c I did the medical whole circuit years ago - 3 orthopedists, a rheumatologist, physical therapists, chiropractors, two UPMC sports medicine specialists - I know that this pain isn't going away. Ever. Misdiagnosis, failed diagnosis, an almost major surgery - the list of what I've gone through with this hip just goes on and on. 

A beloved former professor of mine died recently, a man who suffered from a painful illness for years and years. I remember him telling me, as a sophomore in college, what it was like: how the meds he needed for the pain dulled his ability to work, to be sharp, put him in a fog, but how the pain he felt without the meds made life just as awful. 

It was a sh*t situation anyway you cut it, and I've never forgotten my conversation with this wonderful man and teacher outside of our class building on a sunny afternoon long ago. I was only, what, 19? and had no personal concept of the kind of pain that can plague a person for way too long, the kind that weighs not only on your body but on your mind. It wears you out, takes a big-time toll. Even when it's not 2:52 a.m. 

Unfortunately, it would only be another year or so until my blissful ignorance went splat on the sidewalk. I'm sorry, but Bob Seger's all too appropriate here: wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then. 

Saturday, April 28, 2012

My husband, the proselytizer

Recently, my in-laws moved from the Dark Ages to 2012 with the purchase of their very first computer, an apparently snazzy 17" Toshiba laptop, and today, when Brad visited his 'rents while I slaved ever so slowly away on my final paper, he served as computer tutor for his mother.

He downloaded iTunes, Open Office, protection software, etc., helped her personalize her Windows experienced, instructed her in Gmail sending, and, apparently, got in a bit of proselytizing. 

"I tried to push the Bible on my parents a little," he said. When I inquired about what, precisely, this meant, my beloved provided the following explanation:

"I said, There's this really great site where you can read the Bible, and it has really great reading plans where you can read the Bible in a year or the New Testament in a year - and the New Testament in a year would only be like 10 or 15 minutes a day." 

Let it be noted that although Brad was raised in the Presbyterian church, it was more of the he-went-to-services-with-his-grandma or his-parents-dropped-him-off-at-and-picked-him-up-from-Sunday-school as opposed to the whole-family-went-to-church-together kind of thing. In 11 years I've never known either of his parents to talk about God, religion, or faith, go to church, read the Bible, or anything along those lines. Brad, on the other hand, reads the Bible daily (and has for several years) and though we don't attend church to the extent either of us wish we did (we've got plenty of excuses, none particularly compelling), he very much has an active faith. 

So I guess I shouldn't have been surprised that he added a bookmark for a Bible website on his parents' computer - you know, just in case ;). 

(A cute aside: Brad sent his parents a few e-mails last week after learning about the computer and when he asked them today why they didn't respond, they said, "We didn't know how!")

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Big Day Tomorrow: the Big 3-0

It's almost like the Huffington Post reprinted Glamour's 1997 list of "30 Things Every Woman Should Have and Should Know by the Time She's 30" (by Pamela Redmond Satran) today in honor of my turning thirty tomorrow . . . .

The whole list is awesome and on the money - and here are some faves.

Things you should have by the time you're 30

7.  The realization that you are actually going to have an old age - and some money set aside to help fund it. 

9.  A resume that is not even the slightest bit padded.

11.  A set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black lace bra. 

15.  A solid start on a satisfying career, a satisfying relationship, and all those other facets of life that do get better [after 30]. 

Things you should know by the time you're 30

10.  That your childhood may not have been perfect, but it's over. 

11.  What you would and wouldn't do for money or love. 

12.  That nobody gets away with smoking, drinking, doing drugs, or not flossing for very long.  

14.  Not to apologize for something that isn't your fault.

Here's hoping for a heck of a birthday and a heck of a decade - and many more - to come!