Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Why August is maybe not the best time to have a baby in El Paso

Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:

Exhibit C:

5-Day Forecast for El Paso, TX

A few tstorms. Overcast.
87º / 67º

Isolated tstorms late. Cloudy.
91º / 70º

Thunderstorms. Overcast.
90º / 71º

Widely scattered tstorms. Overcast.
87º / 71º

Isolated tstorms late. Cloudy.
91º / 68º

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Programming Note

I just went through my woefully small blogroll and added a number of blogs that I've started reading in the last year or so since I last updated it. If you're looking for some great new blogs, poke around and check out some of these amazing ladies (and gentlemen) that I've listed. More will be added soon as I slowly sift through my enormous bookmarks folder.

And, just in case anyone is interested, there's still no news on the baby front. Even after a full day of walking around yesterday (and more planned for tomorrow when these storms let up) I didn't have a single contraction.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Seven Days

39 weeks down, one more to go. I'm alternating between feeling like this kid can't come quickly enough (J predicts his arrival daily) and telling him very sternly that August 2 is the absolute earliest date he's allowed to decide it's time to met Mom and Dad. For their parts, my extended family has started betting on due dates (I've got August 4) and every time I call my parents to chat or pass on some piece of information I hear a little note of disappointment in their voices when I have to say that no, nothing is happening on the baby front.

In short, everyone (except possibly me) thinks that it should be baby time!

On a related note, the nursery is done and I think it looks fantastic!

Here you can see the bookcase that J just finished making last weekend. Clearly, we are far from completing our picture book collection!

You can hardly see it, but on top of the bookcase is a wooden pull toy (a train of zoo animals) that holds a very special place in our hearts. J and I bought it at a craft fair back in Maryland during one of the darkest months of our infertility struggles. I saw it, fell in love, and proceeded to spend the next two hours agonizing over whether or not to buy it. J persuaded me that I'd regret it if I didn't, and that buying it wouldn't jinx anything, so I took a deep breath and pulled out my credit card. When we got home I put it (still in the bag) on the top shelf of our guest room closet. I didn't open the bag again until last weekend, when I put it on top of the bookcase. I can't even describe what that felt like--just the act of pulling it out, dusting it off, and throwing that old bag away was a victory.

One more vistory, and one more week to (officially) go until motherhood. Maybe I'm more ready for this than I think I am.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

One downside to being a speed reader

I gave in to the crazy last night and went to the midnight release of the final Harry Potter book. Thanks to some good company and a frappachino, I even managed to stay upbeat and excited while getting crushed by the million or so other people who simply had to have the book at the stroke of midnight.

Since I was smart and pre-ordered the book months ago, I only had to wait half an hour after the release to purchase my book and make my way home. I pulled in the driveway around 12:45, raced through my bedtime routine, and settled down to read. Which I did until around 2:30 am when I dozed off. I woke back up at 5:30, read for another hour, fell back asleep, and was up for good at 8:00.

I should mention that today has been Juan's only day off all week, so all he wanted to do was sleep and finish varnishing the baby's bookcase. Thus, no guilt trips from him about my plans to sit in my armchair and read all day long. And that's exactly what I did, taking only a couple of short breaks to eat and play with the pets.

I finished the book at 3:30 this afternoon. All 759 pages of it. Done. There are sooooooooo many things I want to discuss with someone else (anyone else!) who's also finished, but sadly it appears that once again my speed reading has worked against, rather than for me. None of my friends have finished it yet!

This is torture!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Practice Makes Perfect

Everyone keeps telling me that the wonders of late pregnancy (which, to date, include insomnia, pain, and an inability to just pack up and run away to the mountains when the heat here gets to be too much) are just preparing me for motherhood. And overall, I'm cool with that. I don't really need more than 4-5 hours of sleep a night and I can cope with quite a bit of discomfort--after all, I've already gone through an HSG, an endometrial biopsy, a hysteroscopy, and a laparoscopy for this baby, so what's a bit of pelvic pain and pressure every time I change positions? Even the mountain getaway doesn't bother me--it might be nice to hop in the car and drive 60 miles to cool New Mexico when the temperatures here hit the triple digits, but realistically we probably wouldn't have time/energy to go even if I wasn't pushing 38 weeks.

So overall, late pregnancy is agreeing with me almost as much as mid-pregnancy did. Early pregnancy can bite me, but that's a whole different post.

There's just one teeny tiny thing that's bugging me right now, though. Laundry. Oh, the laundry. Not just the insane first-time mom preparation laundry I'm doing for the baby, either. No, this is my personal laundry, which I'm doing at least twice a week now because I only have four tops and two pairs of pants left and I somehow manage to spill on at least one article of clothing every 7.5 hours. Ergo, LOTS of laundry is being done around here at the moment.

Again, this should simply serve to prepare me for motherhood. I'd be an idiot to think that baby doesn't equal lots and LOTS of laundry. Poopy laundry at that, which is at least one joy I'm not having to deal with just yet. Still, I would love to have a wardrobe large enough that would actually get me through an entire week without having to run a load or two. I'd love to be able to wear something other than my green tank with the beads or the red top with the little white flowers or the green t-shirt (that probably should be retired from the rotation due to bleached spots around the neckline, but that would leave me with only three shirts) or the white top with blue embroidery.

I swear, when I'm back down to my pre-pregnancy size I will never again look in my full-to-bursting closet and complain that I have nothing to wear.

I have 15 days left. It would be incredibly wasteful to spend money on more clothes at this point. I'd get to wear something new maybe 4-5 times before it wouldn't fit anymore thanks to the miracle of childbirth. And yet, I had to literally hold myself back from the maternity section at Target earlier today because the rack of $10 t-shirts was calling my name.

It's practice, C. It's just practice for the baby. The baby you've wanted so desperately for so long. What's a few loads of laundry when you think of that? Well, not much when you think about it that way, but boy it would be nice to actually get to wait until the hamper was full before having to face the washer and dryer.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Don't scratch!

Have I ever mentioned that I'm highly allergic to mosquito bites?

Exhibit A:

Yes, highly allergic. Putting aside the fact that my feet are horribly swollen at the moment and the fact that I obviously need to vacuum my stairs, LOOK AT THE SIZE OF THAT BITE! Do you have any idea how hard it is not to scratch something this itchy that also happens to be the size of a pad of Post-Its?

So. Very. Itchy...

Oh, and Jasper would like you all to know that he doesn't approve of anyone taking a picture unless he's included in the shot.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Seeing Red(book)

It's been awhile since I last talked at length about infertility or a fertility-related topic. The tone of my blog has changed dramatically since I got pregnant, and while not all of the changes have been intentional, I have periodically wondered if it's appropriate for me to continue blogging about infertility given my audience (almost exclusively family and friends) and my pregnancy. I confess to self-censoring to a degree because I didn't know myself what I wanted to be--a mommy-to-be blogger or a former infertile blogger. I can't say that I've completely answered that question, but I hope to start to address it in the next weeks/months.

That said, there have been certain...controversies lately in a rather prominent part of the IF blogging world that have really struck a chord with me. In brief, Redbook hired Julia, one of my favorite infertility bloggers to write about her experiences as part of a new "Trying to Get Pregnant: The Infertility Diaries" blog they launched on their website. Julia, already the mother of one son, got pregnant with twins shortly after starting the new blog, but due to many past miscarriages she is far being from "out of the woods". Also hired was a Redbook staffer named Lili who was absent from the blog for the first few months of its existence. Redbook offered no explanation for Lili's absence other than to say that she would be back "in a few weeks."

Then, last week Lili wrote her first post which, among other things, gave the reason why she had yet to contribute to the blog. After five years of fertility treatments, she was just returning from maternity leave after having twins. Immediately, comments flooded in from readers who took offense not only to the overall tone of her post (which, in my opinion, reflected her status as an inexperienced blogger who had not given enough thought to her intended audience not a genuine insensitivity to the feelings of infertile readers) but to the fact that both of Redbook's infertility bloggers were parents. A handful of nasty personal comments were made about Lili that were completely uncalled for, but most of the comments urged Redbook to re-think their panel of bloggers and, at a minimum, add a new blogger who is currently undergoing treatments for primary infertility.

Neither Redbook nor Lili responded for several days, leaving the impression that they either had no idea how to handle a reader revolt or that they simply didn't care about the pain they had caused to many of their readers. Either way, it's not exactly the kind of impression they probably wanted to leave. Finally, a Redbook editor addressed the comments in a post today that essentially dismissed what readers were saying and declared the subject closed permanently.

For what it's worth, I do not believe that blame for this situation should be laid solely at Lili's feet. She has simply been the scapegoat for Redbook's egregious lack of foresight and empathy. In fact, I feel quite a bit of sympathy for her since I'm also no longer considered a member of the IF club by many of the women I grew to know and care about during the roughly two years it took us to get pregnant. Those of us who have "turned the corner" as it were still deal with many of the emotional ramifications of infertility even though we have gotten pregnant, and it's not easy to suddenly feel excluded from IF's tight-knit support network when that happens.

The thing is, a positive pregnancy test (or even an almost full-term pregnancy) doesn't heal the wounds infertility causes. It doesn't erase the days and nights I spent hurting, doesn't repair the friendships I lost during those years, and it doesn't negate the experiences I had in getting to this point. The truth is, I still feel uncomfortable talking about my pregnancy with those who don't know our story. I don't like having to smile and nod when hearing stories about other women's "oops" pregnancies. It makes me angry to see Nicole Richie (who is, in my opinion, the last woman on earth who should probably be a parent) on the cover of US Weekly declaring "I'm Pregnant!". I am thankful for this pregnancy every day, and I know that my experiences in getting here will make me a more thoughtful and grateful parent than I probably would have been if we had been able to conceive easily. I'm still hurting, though. That pain might go away someday, but I won't be surprised if it doesn't. It's part of who I am now. I alluded to this in my post about my baby shower last month, but didn't write extensively on the topic since I was still trying to figure out my reaction for myself.

I suppose that in the end, nothing about infertility is fair or easy. What angers me most about the Redbook situation is that instead of directing anger at the editors who did not bother to consider the feelings of their readers or their bloggers, we have once again directed it at one of our own who is doubtless still dealing with the emotional toll infertility takes.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Some Assembly Required

My husband is either a saint or a crazy person. After spending a week working nights (a new experience for both of us, since he was only expected to work overnight call once a week while he was an intern) he started his weekend off not by immediately heading upstairs to take a much-needed nap when he got home, but by installing the carseat in both our cars and assembling two strollers. Something tells me that hearing my doctor say "We're just waiting on baby to decide when he wants to come" yesterday struck a chord with him because there was no stopping him until everything was assembled.

So, I now have an infant seat in my car and can even take it out for a spin in a stroller if I want to. Yikes!

Not that my thoughts about the baby coming early have changed at all. I'm still fairly confident that he's not going to be making an appearance too soon, though I don't think J would mind it much if he did.

In other news, my dad has taken off on another of his crazy bicycle trips. He and a friend are riding through Montana and North Dakota for the next couple of weeks, and we're all trying very hard to avoid thinking about what happened last year. Naturally, they're riding right through the massive heat wave that's hitting the West right now. It's been hotter up there than it has been here in El Paso!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Thirty Days

Well, this is it. My due date is 30 days from today, and as excited as I am to meet my son, I'm also feeling totally overwhelmed and unprepared. Certain pieces do seem to be falling into place rather nicely, though, and right now it looks like Juan will be able to take a week of vacation after his 4 days of paternity leave are up. My parents will be arriving just before he goes back to work, and that should leave me with constant help/support at home for the first two weeks or so of my life as a mom.

The good news for me is that the baby doesn't seem to be in a big hurry to come yet. I've only had (what I think was) one real contraction, my Braxton Hicks are still irregular and infrequent, and while I know I've dropped a bit, I'm still carrying fairly high. Our last doctor's appointment confirmed that he's head-down, which is good, and my doctor and I had a nice talk about what I do and don't want during labor and delivery. I see him again on Friday.

Hopefully my posts for the next 30 days will all be as dull as this one. STAY PUT, LITTLE BABY!!!