Sunday, January 30, 2005

Warning: Complaining

It's 11am Sunday morning, I am 38 weeks pregnant and at work. Working. I am uncomfortable, not particularly happy and my ankles are now cankles. And I am working. On a Sunday morning. Hrmph.

This stupid project. My boss keeps asking me if it's going to be out to overseas before I have the baby. I have worked my big pregnant ASS off for the past month and a half, getting more frantic and uncomfortable by the day. I haven't had any time to "nest" at home because of this damn work project. After working all weekend, I decided NO MORE. I will do my overtime today, but after this, I am not wasting any non-scheduled work time thinking about it. And if he asks, I already have my answer prepared: "I have done all I can. I am about to pop. Deal with it."

Besides, I really don't think it's going to be much longer. "Stuff" is happening. (IF YOU DON'T WANT TO HEAR ABOUT FEMALE STUFF, STOP READING NOW.) I lost my mucus plug last Thursday, and since then, it's been a pantie parade of all sorts of goo. Is a bloody show the same thing as losing your mucus plug? Because I had something happen on Friday that "bloody show" would probably describe accurately. I'm calling it the Bloody Horror Picture Show. ("It's just a drip to the left, and then a gush to the ri-i-i-i-i-ight. Put your hands on your hips, and pull your panties up tight! Let's lose the mucus plug again!!!")

The only person truly interested in my bodily fluids is my sister. And I haven't the faintest idea why. She's been reading "What To Expect When You Are Expecting" so she asks me to describe the consistency and color and volume of my goo, then tries to determine when Anna will make her appearance. She thinks my labor will start tonight; my brother-in-law thinks Monday night. I am actually thinking maybe Tuesday night. Jason doesn't really care. He's done his "job"-- he installed the car seat. As long as he doesn't have to hear any more Goo Stories, he is fine whenever she decides to make her entrance.

I'll keep everyone posted.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Party Down South

Went into the doc today and I am dilated to 2. I told Jason afterwards and he said, "Is that a lot?" and I said, "Well, I push her out at 10." So the doctor said my cervix is looking very favorable.

He also did an ultrasound and he said it appeared that she was around 6 1/2 pounds. I said, "As long as she isn't 17 pounds like that baby from Brazil." Or Columbia. Well, it was someplace in South America recently.

And the internal exam was not half as bad as I had prepared myself for. No bed of roses, but not the agony that it apparently was for my friend.

Well, I'm not sure I'm totally prepared, but things are happening.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Boob Talk

A confession to make... I am not a fan of the pregnancy boobs. I thought I was a fan at first, probably because they were such a novelty. Two weeks after the double lines appeared, I marched myself into Wal-Mart and bought some "C" bras. Wow! Me! In a "C"! Whoo hoo! But now those same bras are way too tight, I've got the ugly blue veins going on and the boobs just keep getting in the way. I keep spilling beverages on them. And the top of my tummy touches the bottom of my boobs. I've decided that I don't like that.

I know, I know...just get thee back to Wal-Mart (I'm not going Vickie's Secret on bras that I will only wear for nine months) and get some good supportive "D"s. No. No no no. I already bought the ugly "D" nursing bras, I am NOT spending any more extra money on my poofy boobs.

I miss my wee "B"s.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

The Scolder

I work with a Scolder. She’s only a few years older than me, but in the five years that I’ve known her, she’s always struck me as an old woman. She only recently, in the past few months, began working in my department. In those months, I’ve been “scolded,” like a child, more times than I can count.

She scolded me a few months ago for saying that I was coming back to work after the baby was born. (“After you have that baby in your arms, you’ll feel differently.”) She scolded me for not showing enough (“You know, Ellen, you are supposed to GAIN weight while pregnant. Ha ha.”) She scolded me the other day for saying that I was planning on being here for three more weeks, to try to finish my enormous work project (“That’s silly. You don’t know that. You might only be here two weeks.”)

It drives me nuts and it makes me want to tweak her on her nose. But I realized that almost all of her “scolding” has had to do with my pregnancy. And she used to be that way about marriage, before she got married last summer. For four years, she scolded my married friends left and right about their marriages. (“You wouldn’t feel that way if you were single.” “If you only knew how hard it is to still be looking for a good man…” “Well, some of us WISH we had that problem. You don’t know how happy you should be.”) Anyway, I realized that her marriage scolding has turned to baby scolding.

Maybe it has to do with having an idealized view of how life is supposed to be. Maybe it’s just obsessing over that next goal in life. Maybe it’s not being able to see life from another’s point of view. But it made me think about the times that I do the same thing. I spent so long focusing on getting pregnant and having a baby that I hope that, even through the tough sleepless nights and cracked nipples, I can still savor and enjoy it. And not go obsessing on the next big life step.

Monday, January 17, 2005


The morning sickness has definitely returned. Bleh. This morning, I am trying very hard not to run to the bathroom to puke. I guess it's just a new late pregnancy surge of hormones or something.

(Thank you guys for all the great advice, by the way.)

Friday, January 14, 2005

Friday Ruminations

Yesterday I decided screw it. I left work at 5pm on the dot. I decided that I was 36 weeks pregnant and 10 hours of overtime in one week was quite enough for me, thank you very much. It helped to take the evening off and watch a fairly gruesome "C.S.I." I'm feeling a bit more creative today.

I had a doctor's appointment yesterday. He asked me if I wanted to be "checked." I said, "Do I have to?" He said, "No. Some women are just curious to see their cervix's progress." I told him that my cervix was welcome to it's own life, and I didn't really want to pry. I just hear such mixed things about the internal exams. One friend said that it was on par with a yearly. Another said it was as bad as labor. I guess next week, I'll suck it up and have him check it out. I'm having some Braxton Hicks every night, but nothing else has been going down, pain or mucus-wise, so I wasn't even a bit curious this week.

Last night, I also demanded to be taken out on a date Saturday night. We are usually deadbeats on the weekends, watching DVDs and shuffling off to Wal-Mart periodically. But by golly, I'm going to be a human cow in less than four weeks, so I want to be pampered this weekend. I want dinner and I want a movie.

So, all you moms out there, do you have any motherly advice for me? Anything that you wish someone had warned you about...any product that saved your butt...anything that took you by surprise. Any advice is most welcome.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Thoughts from "Garden State"

So we also watched the movie "Garden State" this past weekend. I swear, I must've had like 6 people tell me that I, of all people, HAD to watch this movie. Some of them repeatedly. One coworker mentioned it every time I saw him.

I finally watched it, and yes, it was a good movie and I liked it. But my question is, what must people think of me if this movie reminds them so much of me? For instance, take the first scene. It's a dream sequence of a crashing plane. As the passengers scream and panic, the main character calmly reaches up and adjusts his air vent.

But I guess I can kind of see it. It's a sort of meloncholy movie with sparks of random humorous oddness. Which is a bit like me. Or so I've been told. A college friend once told me, "You're like Tim Burton, with a happy childhood." I see humor in the darkness of life... but then some things aren't to be laughed at. Like this one scene in "Garden State," where they go to bury Natalie Portman's gerbil. Zach Braff begins to make a funny eulogy, but Natalie stops him. "That's not funny," she says, and quietly apologizes to the gerbil for leaving his wheel in his cage, when it was widely known that the said gerbil was not good with the wheel.

The only thing that I didn't like about the movie was that Zach Braff (you know, I never remember character's names, just the actor's) decides to go off his anti-depressants so he can "feel" again, and this is viewed as a liberating good thing. My therapist husband and I both raised our eyebrows and looked at each other. Alarm bells immediately went off in our heads. Ding ding ding! First of all, I hope this movie doesn't inspire bipolars to suddenly stop taking their much-needed lithium. Jason has admitted way too many patients to the psych hospital for this very reason. Second of all, if he was so numb, perhaps he's just on the wrong medication. Although, I will admit that the circumstances of his original medicating were suspect from the onset, AND I have no idea why a psychiatrist would prescribe Zoloft, Paxil, Prozac and Lithium all at the same time. (BUT it's the first time in a movie that I've ever seen referance to the "electric dizzies"-- those weird shock-like sensations-- that you get when stopping anti-depressants.)

Finally, one thing that Zach Braff's character says, that I really liked, was when he finally confronts his father about their estrangement. He says, "You want things to be back to 'happy' again...but I don't remember our family ever being happy. We aren't going to be perfect. Let's just be what we are and imperfect. I think that's better anyway." AMEN to that. Maybe as a survivor/recoverer of codependency this just hit me particularly hard, but I've found it to be so true. Life is so much better when you aren't trying to be something you aren't. When you aren't desperately trying to hold on to a false dream and ideal picture-perfect life. Sometimes it's better to just start over and be where you are and WHAT you are. Then good things can start to happen. God can't use us when we are pretending and clutching to emptiness. We've got to get back down to the dirty ole' us, and then He can start sculpting our lives.

Quite a lot of thoughts from one movie.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Fear and Zombies

I came to a realization this weekend. Not really a profound one, but a realization, none the less. And it is this: Zombie movies are freakin' scary. It doesn't even matter if it is a parody of a zombie movie; if there is a zombie, it's scary.

We watched "Shaun of the Dead," a humorous British zombie flick, and I swear, I had bad zombie dreams for two nights. I just don't like the "we're trapped in this building, there are thousands of inhuman flesh-eaters stratching to get in, they may be slow-moving, but eventually there will too many to escape from, so we can keep pounding their brains in with cricket bats, but there's no real hope and oh yes, someone in our group might be turning into one" concept. It gives me the heebie jeebies.

A REALLY freakin' scary one is "28 Days Later." That one adds a new dimension to the zombie genre-- what if the zombies were fast-moving rage-filled maniacs? And you were in a coma when the whole thing went down, so when you woke up, the streets of London were deserted ? (except, of course, for the lightening speed zombies.) Bwa-hoo-hoo (that's the sound of a shiver running up my spine.)

Besides the heebie jeebies, not much else to report. Anna is still a wiggle worm in the evenings. On Saturday, I think that I actually saw a foot protruding from my stomach. Five weeks, people, five weeks. Yee-ark (that's the sound of excitement mixed with mind-numbing fear.)

I told my friend, Shelley, yesterday that I think every pregnant woman has a fear fixation on some part of the labor and delivery experience. For some, it's the pain. For some, it's the possibility of a c-section. One girl in my Childbirth class seemed fixated on not having an episiotomoy. She kept bringing it up over and over in class. The instructor finally told her that it was better than tearing, and she might welcome it when the time came. The girl did not look so sure. And I read this Jenny McCarthy pregnancy book a month or two ago (very funny, thank you, Jenny McCarthy) and her fear fixation was on accidentally pooping on the delivery table.

I think my fear fixation is the pushing element. ...but more than that, even. It's that I am going to be the only person in that room pushing a baby out. That sounds kind of dumb, but it's sort of like going up to solve a math problem on the school board (one of my worst childhood fears). I'm going to be the only person in that room sweating, pushing, grunting, tearing, crying, dripping, swearing, what have you. And there will be a small audience gathered around to watch/help. It will like solving the biggest fattest slimiest algebra equation of my life.


Friday, January 07, 2005

Just Say No To Crank

Well, I was a world class crank yesterday. Our car is still in the shop, work is swamping me, and everything was rubbing me the wrong way. I even called the mechanic and griped him out (which I am now mortified about and am going to call and apologize). Yesterday afternoon, I announced that I was NOT going to the waste-of-time meeting about gift catalogs. So there. My boss saw the look in my eye, took a step back and said I was welcome to skip it.

When everyone got back, it turned out that it had been a party to say thanks for working so hard. I was quite humbled. My boss brought me back a hot cocoa and a light-up pen, and my friend Melissa brought me a pair of pink glitter wings and a fairy wand (it was a bit of a goofy party, me thinks.) And apparently some others had asked where I was and my other co-worker friend announced that I was being a big ole' cranky preggo. But here's the nice part. Apparently several people stuck up for me and said to lay off, I was allowed to be cranky at this point. Yes, I was quite humbled.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005


I realized that we have never told anyone our child's name. It is Anna Marie. It was funny, because before we found out that she was a girl, I had about ten boy's names picked out and no girl's names. We went through about three baby books but nada. But a few days before we found out, "Anna" appeared out of the blue and bingo. That's the name.

My friend (who just had her baby) asked me a few weeks ago if I was positive that we'd picked the right name. She was having second thoughts about their daughter's chosen name. But truthfully, we haven't thought twice about it. Not only do we only have "good" Annas from our past (no evil ex-girlfriends or bullies from the playground), the name "Anna" means "God's Grace." And that's what I believe that she is-- God showed His grace by giving her to me. I don't deserve her; she is a gift.

So anyway, my husband created a little Anna Marie website awhile back. I hope you like it. [A few notes: a) I DID NOT buy all those little baby clothes hanging in her closet. That was my mother's doing. b) In that first picture, I am holding a jar of Christmas ornaments, not a glass of whiskey. c) I hope everyone has a good laugh when they see the "Watch Ellen Grow" page. Every month I said "I bet this month I'll be huge!" Well, ha ha.]

Monday, January 03, 2005

Hittin' the Wall

I believe that I have hit That Point in pregnancy. I have been very fortunate to have had a really good pregnancy (with the exception riding the Vomit Comet the first 20 weeks, but I was so happy to be pregnant, I didn't care.) But I think that over the holidays, I hit That Point. You can tell the women who have hit it. They are the uncomfortable women who are waddling around Wal-Mart with a glazed-over look in their eye, holding a bag of flour and a pack of Sharpies because they can't remember what they came in for.

Here are the signs that I've hit That Point:

1) Heartburn. I never have really had heartburn much. Once, after eating White Castle for the first time. It was after my future sister-in-law's wedding, and my future father-in-law decided that if I wanted to be accepted into the brood, I needed to digest about ten sliders before we headed back to the hotel. I laid in my hotel bed that night, feeling as though my chest was a volcano of acid. I would say that pregnancy heartburn might be in the same realm as White Castle heartburn.

2) Insomnia. Between worrying about work, worrying about labor, peeing every two hours and general uncomfortability, I am not sleeping well. On the whole, I've slept great for the past eight months, so I'm counting my blessings.

3) Crabbiness. My husband got new speakers for the TV this weekend. Since he is a gadget addict, he was giddy with excitement for two days straight. Speakers do nothing for me (I couldn't even tell sound quality difference with the switch from tapes to CDs), but it usually makes me smile to see him happy. But not this weekend. I hate loud noise of any kind (another reason why I don't vaccuum) and every time he fired up a movie or turned on the stereo, it wore on my last nerve. I probably said, "TURN IT DOWN" about twenty times this weekend. Then we'd get in the car and he'd have this sad sack alternative sensitive man music on. Damien Rice or Travis or whatever. "...I can't take my eyyyyyyyyyyes off of yooooooou..." I wanted to puke and it weren't no morning sickness.

4) On that note, Morning Sickness. Yep, it's back. I don't know why or how, but it is. And it sucks.

5) Pointy stomach. My stomach is no longer just round. It has waves and points and little baby parts poking out. Sometimes my tummy will go all lopsided and hard, and suddenly a wee baby butt will be protuding out. It's very odd.

6) Braxton Hicks. I've been having these sporadically for months now, but definitely more lately. Sometimes my stomach will tighten up so much, I can't quite stand up straight. Not from pain, really. I'm just sort of a human accordion.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

The Start of a New Year

The holidays are officially over. Kinda hard to believe, but a bit of a relief. Family wore me out this past week. I love my family. I really do. But two days worth of worrywarting mothers, opinionated fathers, touchy sisters and crabby relatives is enough for me.

I am swamped. My mind is swamped. Some people thrive under stress, but I do not believe that I am one of them. Jason even declared me a grump this week. To my OB, no less. ("And how are we doing this week?" "She's a grump." Scowl from Ellen, but no rebuttal.) When my coworker buddy ended up on maternity leave two weeks before planned, a very large (and overdue) project ended up as my responsibility (and to be completed before my baby makes her appearance within the next four to seven weeks.) The task is enormous, and I've been working non-stop on it, even at home. Even on New Year's Eve. And I am stressed. I am having dreams about the project at night, and having slight nausea whenever thinking about it (although that might be the return of my morning sickness. BLEH.) I keep thinking that maybe God placed this project in my lap to keep me from fretting and worrying about childbirth.

I did take a break last night and watched "The Manchurian Candidate" and "Super Size Me." We also tried to watch "Fahrenheit 911" but we both got so pissed off, we turned it off an hour in. I found "The Manchurian Candidate" very disturbing. Good movie, but disturbing. One of those stories that is so bleak, there really isn't a plausible positive outcome.

But I loved "Super Size Me." We want to buy it and watch it once a month to keep ourselves away from fast food. I know that I eat fast food way way too much. I don't even like the crap, honestly. But the main problem is that I hate cooking. Er...not even that I hate it, but it just requires so much thought and time. I'm just not a big eater. Not a food lover. I've always, since I can remember, wished that there was a daily magic pill that took care of all my dietary, nutrition and hunger needs. I'd be all over that. Eating is such... a waste of time to me. There's so many other things I could be doing. And don't even get me started on food preparation and clean-up. There's half your evening right there.

And I guess I learned all the food pyramid and nutrition stuff in school. But when it comes to making a grocery list every week, my mind goes blank. I end up coming home with milk, bread, peanut butter, soup, coffee and apples. There's never the makings for a gourmet meal in my kitchen.

That's why I end up eating out half the week. It's easier on my brain. But terrible on my body. After watching "Super Size Me," I was so convicted. So today, we went to Subway instead of McDonald's. It's a start.