Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Tadpole Diaries #5

September 1

Our German friends had their baby six days ago. Yesterday we went to see them. We went in the afternoon after they were back from shopping for several hours at the mall. When we got to their house, all was in order and they were calm and relaxed looking. Rachel had the baby in one arm and was sipping a cup of tea. They had a 'home birth' with a private midwife present and all went just fine. 9 hours of labor. No problems. They said the kid was easy...sleeping 7 hours a night already. Rachel was back to normal size and wearing her regular jeans. She looked great. The breast feeding was easy. She told me all about the things I would need and wondered why I hadn't gotten a pump yet, and why I didn't have certain things. She was going to take a business trip back to the states with her kid in just 2 1/2 weeks time.

When I was ill and vomiting during the early months of pregnancy, Rachel was out sea kayaking. I'm far bigger than she ever got and so much more uncomfortable. To have her tell me she had a natural, somewhat pain free home birth without problems and subsequent quiet, sleeping through the night baby is just too much.

Enormous feelings of inadequacy welled within me. Was Eric expecting me to be in my regular jeans in 6 days? Should I already have the bottles/breast pump thing figured out. I don't even know how to assemble a bottle. And what do you mean the bottles have different flow rates? ugh.

An hour later, we were back in our car and driving away. I said something to Eric about how great they looked. Eric just sighed and stated that clearly, they had faked the pregnancy and just adopted this child. He assured me that he was pretty sure their situation was unusual. I told him that I just knew I wouldn't be in that much control and would probably need a great deal of support. I think we were both relieved that neither of us expected things to be this easy.
Sigh. Germans.

September 3
Went to the OB this AM. All is fine. The due date remains 24th of September and the baby is ready to go. Head down and dropped even though I can't tell. He says that I am having practice contractions but I can't tell that either. I'm hoping I don't notice the real contractions either.
My BP is a little bit above what is normal for me , but what is normal for me is barely a sign of life, so all is well. It figures that it would be a bit elevated as I worked until 9pm last night doing cases. My ankles were not recognizable by the end of the night. On the way home I called Eric and he began to feel sorry for me. I have a nasty cold, hack all night, pee every hour, have almost no voice, and then get stuck at work until really late. I told him not to be so nice because I was desperately trying to hold it together and if he was too nice, I was likely to get weepy.

Every day I want something different from Eric. Poor man
He has strict instructions to be sympathetic without being patronizing. I'm not even sure what that means myself.

September 4
Since Eric has become unemployed, he goes to the gym every day and/or goes for a run. He looks fantastic and I am in the worst shape of my life. Mismatched couple.

Also since he isn't working a regular job, Eric returned to his acting roots and has joined a talent agency in town. He's been appearing as an extra on a couple of really bad Australian TV shows lately and he's been an oil rig worker in a construction commercial. Yesterday when I came home from work, there was a post it note on our kitchen table that read, "2 changes of clothing, Satisfaction, near Southbank, 11:15AM, Brothel."

Ummmm...Did that say brothel?

Apparently that was Eric's next gig. He's an extra is some show called "Satisfaction" and it just happens to be in a brothel.

Can I say that I looked like the most understanding wife on the planet? Here I am at 9 months pregnant, dropping my husband off at a house of ladies.

September 5
As the date gets closer I try to tell myself to get excited, but I just keep getting more and more frightened of the labor and delivery part of things. Too many people have told me too many stories for too many years. And suddenly, I can remember each of these stories in full detail.
Yes, terrified.
People see that I'm pregnant, start telling stories, somewhere along the line say something like, "oh, I shouldn't say this...", and continue on anyway.

I'm quite certain that I won't die. I am certain however, that after 4 days of hard labor I will rip in half and never be the same again.

I'm also scared of something called 'forceps'. I'm frightened that they will do something to my baby, that they will hurt him or her, that they will let it go on to long, that they will leave me in a room and forget about me, that the pain meds won't take, that I will ask for an epidural and become paralyzed by it permanently.

I'm particularly emotional and sensitive about this right now. And I wonder why there has to be pain with childbirth. why why why?

September 6
Other than the fear of what's coming, I'm having a good pregnancy.

When I was sick those first few weeks and getting depressed...well...that was bad. Since that time, I'm larger, but my spirits are really good, I'm mobile, I still take walks, go to the gym, eat what I want...all good.

Sure there are discomforts. Straight back chairs are the enemy. I would like to have the ribs on my right side temporarily removed and getting up 8 times a night to use the toilet leaves me tired and understanding of all my patients that complain of prostrate problems. I also am so tired when I get up that I usually run into doors and end up with a few bruises on the arms. But, generally, I'm good.

When I think about all those people who need to be on bed rest, or those who go into labor really early, or those who lose a baby somewhere along the way, I know I am a very lucky woman.

I have a cold right now...a really bad cold. The kind that makes your nose all red, and ruins your voice for days. I've had it for a week now and I can't take anything for it. I can honestly say that is worse than the discomforts of being pregnant.
Pregnancy isn't so bad. Still scared of the delivery part...but pregnancy is OK.

September 7
Father's Day here - again. We celebrated US Fathers Day but now it's Australian Father's Day. Are we going to keep celebrating both each year? Eric and I walked about a mile to our favorite breakfast spot, had a good meal, nice conversation, and pleasant very slow walk home (it's uphill). Eric read all about his beloved Minnesota Vikings online, did a skype call with a friend of his and then took a long nap while I went to the grocery store and picked up some food and beer for him. That was father’s day #2 celebrated here. Waiting under Eric’s pillow is the Dr. Seuss book “Hop on pop” and a book of Sudoku for when we are in the hospital. He has yet to discover it.


I have one more week of work before I take leave!!!!! ONE MORE!!!!YEA YEA YEA. The joy this brings me is indescribable.

I have 'nested' at work for two weeks now. My file cabinet is organized and clean for whomever needs to access it. I have completed about a 12 page document outlining the process for getting things done in my accounts when I am away, and my email in box is actually able to be viewed on just one screen. Miracle of miracles.
I have given all my accounts the information that I am leaving and whom they should contact.
My car product stock has been counted and is all present and ready to return to our offices sometime this week. I'm ready.

However, it's now time to get things done at home.

We have the kid stuff we need as Eric has been doing the "nesting" on the home front.
However, there are several things I would like to complete before the baby arrives.
I have one week to do here is my plan:

Monday: Answer about 75 emails in my personal account. Reply with fun, long, and witty responses to all whom have written. Additionally, send all written correspondence via snail mail and purchase creative and worthy gifts for the three friends whom I never got wedding gifts for during the last decade.

Tuesday: Make all doctors appointments for the year, including dentist, dermatologist, general practitioner, pediatrician, scheduled immunizations, etc. After this, take long walk, work out at gym, sit leisurely in cafe while reading paper, stock up at grocery store and then cook gourmet dinner complete with candlelight and music.

Wednesday: Write my first novel. Begin work on screenplay. Learn to use photo shop and print photos for albums, including a wedding book which has yet to be assembled and should probably be done before the baby's album. Take photos of cool and interesting things around Melbourne and post on blog for all to see.

Thursday: Get call from publisher. Contemplate offer while cleaning entire apartment. Cleaning should include washing all carpet and rugs, doing all laundry, washing windows and blinds, organizing all drawers in kitchen and bathroom, organizing bookshelf, organizing files, cleaning out refrigerator shelves, cooking 5-6 meals to be frozen for later consumption, scrubbing kitchen floor and doing gardening on patio.

Friday: Wash, dry, press, fold, and store all maternity work clothing since I won't be needing it anymore. Go through wardrobe and pull out all "possible" clothing that may work for whatever my new shape becomes???
Complete all documentation for Australian taxes since they are due in October.
Prepare all paperwork needed for US consulate offices to obtain baby passport and for Australian consulate for obtaining babies visa.

Attend OB appointment in AM, then go to breakfast, spend time with Eric and find cute outfit to attend evening surprise birthday bash in city for friend from work.

Collapse on couch and eat ice cream bars all day. Later that evening, have baby.

September 8
Eric and I tried to call our friends Amy and Troy the other day, but they didn't answer so we just left a message. Then...I received this email from Amy...

"Thanks for the phone call. Sorry we missed it! We were having family movie night which is generally loud enough for us not to hear the phone. Last night was Karate Dog with the main character voiced by Chevy Chase. Jon Voigt starred. I think he needed some money. We've already seen all of the Air Bud series. Did you know there are 5?"

I looked up "Karate Dog" on the Rotten Tomatoes Movie Web site and this is the synopsis...

Rated: PG
[See Full Rating] Martial Arts Action/Violence and Some Suggestive Content
Runtime: 84 mins
Synopsis: After looking into the death of an elderly man in Chinatown, LAPD computer expert Peter Fowler (Simon Rex) can only find one witness, and it's a dog named Cho Cho. At first this doesn't seem much help, until it is revealed that Cho Cho possesses the power to speak with people. The surprises keep coming, when it turns out that the super dog is also a martial arts master, intent on hunting down his master's killer and making him pay.

Is this what people actually watch with children? I copied her on the review and she sent me an email in return with photos from the movie.

Oh, by the way, besides the original "Air Bud" here are the other titles:

Air Bud: Seventh Inning Fetch
Air Bud: World Pup
Air Bud: Golden Receiver
Air Bud Spikes Back

That is just plain disturbing.

September 8
For years, I enjoyed taking my dog Tofte to the dog park. This is an activity that can ONLY be enjoyed by dog owners. It would be very boring unless you have one to keep your eye on. I would watch some dogs share with Tofte and it would make me happy. I would watch her get snubbed and I would feel bad. Some dogs were faster, others better mannered, others ill tempered. I loved it when I felt proud of her.

Is this a minor version of what a trip to the playground with kids will become?

September 9
I'm like a kid awaiting summer vacation. Four more days of work until I'm off. The air smells like spring and things are in bloom. C'mon summer! I keep calling it my summer holiday...then I have to correct myself and say, I mean maternity leave. Oops. Quite different, right?

September 10 (night)
2 more days!

September 15
Monday...I'm free from work. free free free.

September 16
Since becoming pregnant I have been craving sweets like a mad woman. I was never much into sweets...I preferred a good dinner and simple dessert. Now all I care about is the dessert portion. I've really tried to keep things in check, but right now I have visions of consuming an entire cake, or eating a pie from the center out. One could describe my incredible cravings as more of a fetish...I like to see cakes and pies in shop windows...I gaze longingly at the pictures on the cake and muffin boxes at the supermarket...if someone tells me they made a dessert, I want to hear all about it. I like to make bakery items as well, I've made about 10 dozen cookies, a pie, and 2 cakes in the last few months. I don't eat them, I give them away. Even that gives me great joy. Just the smell of cookies baking in the oven and watching Eric enjoying them is enough. What is this! Will it continue?
I can't take much more of it.
I've now started the bargaining portion of this craving. Well, if I WALK to the store, then I can get the ice cream bar. If I have the ice cream bar for breakfast, I'm more likely to burn off the calories through the day...

Tonight I really wanted mint chocolate chip ice I made Eric walk with me to the store. When we got there I decided it would melt on the way home and we should make a different selection. Then we had to do the neighborhood cake shop tour. Three stores. We went to three stores before I finally settled on a piece of flourless chocolate cake. Then, when we brought the thing home, it was all I could do to get through dinner in order to get to the cake. I liked it, didn't love it, and I didn't even eat my 1/2 piece. I think it was more about looking at it in the shop window. Bizarre.

Cursed Sweets Craving!

18 September
One of my co-workers who is on maternity leave gave me a bunch of her preggy clothing. She has no plans to have more children and gave me a pile of clothes with the words, "Take what you want, I don't need anything back, and even though most are summer may find some things are useful to you throughout this winter." Yes, most things were for summer but I found a few suit pants and tops to be quite useful and kept them. The other items I gave away to the Thrift store. That was about 2 months ago. And yesterday, I took a bunch more items to the thrift store that I thought I might wear but didn't.
So..what happens today? Yes, I get a call from my colleague who says, "Oh, by the way, hold on to those clothes that I gave you because I have another pregnant friend and she could definitely use the summer items."
I can't lie about this one because it's not like I can "make up" the clothing. I had to tell her I only had about half the clothing anymore. Truth is, I probably only have about 1/5 of the items. But tomorrow I will head to the thrift store and see what items I can buy back. Painful.

20 September
Had an early Saturday morning doctors appointment that lead to me sitting in the care center with fetal monitoring equipment strapped to my belly. I expressed that the baby was moving less these days and so my OB sent me for monitoring just to be on the safe side. It was supposed to take just 30 minutes but we were there over an hour. The nurse kept coming in, looking at the printout, shaking her head and saying, "Oh, we'll let it go a bit longer.." Why do they do that! Everybody walking around and saying things in these soothing voices. It makes me think something is wrong when it isn't. We listened to the fast little heartbeat all that time - loved that as we had only heard the heartbeat once before. What was most interesting is that my "fake" contractions appeared on the monitor at regular intervals of every 10 minutes. Maybe that means something?

Finally, the nurse gave us the OK and we were off for the day. That was it, all was fine. No explanation of the extra time needed for the test...but reassurance that we could go about our weekend. Next appointment is the actual due date. I'm hoping I will see my OB in the labor ward sooner than that.

21 September
There is a strange power in being so close to the due date. Every time I call someone, they answer immediately and assume I am calling because I had the baby. My mother checks her email and the blog daily to see if we have posted anything. Really, Mom, you won't be notified via email. You WILL get a phone call and it will be the very first one I make. I promise!

The support from friends and family and the "checking in" has been GREAT. I love it. Just the number of emails increasing has been terrific. And please, everyone, stick around. Because I will definately need support once the baby is out and I am really confused about what to do.

I called Eric multiple times from the grocery store because I left the list at home by accident. When he noticed that he had missed multiple calls, the breathless phone call I got in return was really cute.

Like I said, I have never known this power.

22 September
Old wives tales for inducing labor include eating tropical fruits, drinking castor oil, taking long walks, having acupuncture, drinking brown sugar water, drinking rose leaf tea, eating chocolate, eating spicey food, going on a bumpy drive, meditating, taking a long warm bath, talking to the baby, and massage.
I have now eaten so much pineapple, I don't want to see another one. I'm avoiding the castor oil method but enjoying the nightly warm baths. I've had a steady diet of spicy food and taken several long walks but there has been no noticeable anything. This child apparently has it's own agenda and cannot be coaxed.

23 September
Not exactly what I envisioned for the morning...Eric and I doubled over the sink retching and calling the poison control center.

Both of us, in a freak accident that would eventually make us laugh, had ingested household bleach.

At some point yesterday Eric had realized that one of our water jugs needed a bit of cleaning and had poured bleach into the container. Later, the woman who comes in to clean our place, noticed the container, filled it with water and set it on the counter. Then, last night, I set the jug in the refrigerator to cool (or marinate as I would later learn).

Normally in the mornings, I sleep in a bit and Eric heads off to the gym. This morning we both slept in and so I got up and made us breakfast. As we sat at the table with our oatmeal, Eric pulled out the water jug and poured two large glasses.

The weird part is, we both took a big gulp of the stuff at the same time. It's not as if one of us could have been the guinea pig and then warned the other one. Nope, it was simultaneous poisoning.

Later, when I got my head out of the sink, I called my OB and on his advice then called poison control.. As he said, "I don't know what to tell you because no one in all my years of practice has ever called me with this question." He seemed more concerned that I not be 'cross' at Eric. I wasn't..hadn't even thought to be angry at Eric...but have now confirmed that my OB is rather protective of the male side of pregnancy.

It turns out that of all the household products we could have consumed, bleach is the least harmful. So, at least we have that going for us. Not that one should go around taste testing household products, mind you.

I still smell bleach, I still taste bleach, I'm still burping bleach, and apparently I will for a few more hours. Yuck!

Eric just called me from work and asked how I was.

Then he coyly stated, "So....what's for breakfast tomorrow?"

I'm sleeping in.

September 24, 2008!!!!!!
Today was supposed to be the day. It is 9:14 PM. I don't think the baby will be here before midnight. Now we know it is taking after me (usually late) more than Eric (always early).

Last night we decided to have a "last night out as a couple without children" and went for a movie. Now, sitting in a movie seat has been uncomfortable for me for quite some time. But there is a solution here and it comes in the form of something called "Gold Class Cinema." The theater has about 30 seats and they are all fully reclining lazy boys! There is a button in the middle consol that you press if you would like a beverage, popcorn, ice cream, mixed drink, or a roasted lamb dinner (seriously!). Let me just say it is heaven in a movie theater. I now don't want to see a movie in any other way. Check it out....


We went to the OB this afternoon and after being chastized for being a bit late (again, my fault), he smiled and asked, "So, how are my bleach drinkers?"

We took a look at the baby through his ultrasound and all appears fine and dandy, and cleaner (just kidding). He is encouraging me to wait. ugh. waiting. The pressure in my abdomen is unbelievable at this point. The difference in what I felt at week 37 and now at week 40 is HUGE!!!! When my belly moves now, I feel like it's going to take me with it. At week 37, my belly was heavy, now it feels like the kid is destined to be a 15 pounder. I've taken to calling it "Eric's massive offspring."

The only thing my OB did ask was that I don't deliver on Saturday since he has tickets to the Footy Grand Final. That would be the equivalent of letting one's superbowl tickets go unused. oops.

Now I have this feeling that the baby is destined to come on Saturday.

Eric and I spent the rest of the day wandering about the city, taking fun photographs, and enjoying a long walk on the beach. It was sunny, slightly cool and beautiful. It's strange not knowing if perhaps tonight will be the night, or if we will have yet another week to wander about exploring Melbourne and enjoying 'couples last night without baby.'

I do believe we are both ready for "couples first night with baby!"

Come on kiddo...we want to meet you.


otrey3 said...

Fantastic reading! Harry is mad, though, because he wants the computer. So early? You sound great, ready to meet your baboo, and totally, totally cool. I am dying for the info and so glad your baby looked good on the ultrasound. Hooray, hooray, hooray!

Love, LOBS

Susanica said...

Hi Beth (and Eric)! Beth, you slay me! So funny. Bleach? You accidently drank watered down bleach? That will be a story for the ages. And you guys will never make that mistake again which is good for little one.

Well, I had to laugh at your comment about your German friends. Su is German (although she's spent most of her life in the US) and that stoic, relaxed thing is so spot on.

So...we are traveling to MN soon and we'll have dinner at Amy B.'s on Sat. Oct. 4. Beth, I don't think you guys will be able to make it, but hey Laura if you read this, maybe we'll see you? Gotta talk to Amy and Matt again.

Alright Beth. You're gonna have an amazing birth experience and an even more amazing baby. Soon. Can't wait. And I know I'm not the only one ;-) -Pep

Susanica said...

OK—I have to comment too—no offense to your friends, but if our baby had slept 7 hours at 6 days old, I’d have taken him to the emergency room! And I’m not the worrywart at our house—I’m the stoic German! –Susanne

Val and Steve said...

I love these entries. They're such a great way to blog away. Your weekly schedule was HILARIOUS! You're a talented story-teller.

I, too, can't believe you drank bleach; however, I completely understand how it could happen.

These are such great stories. Thanks for sharing.

ASinykin said...

Yep, you're SO going to have that baby on Saturday! 2 more days!!! So glad you, Eric and Jean-Luc are clean now. Our latest movie? Cats and Dogs starring Jeff Goldblum. I can't ever tell if I should feel sorry for the actors or happy that they have a job. And, it wasn't much better than Karate dog. Keep the stories. I have a fear you won't want to blog for awhile so I'm eating these up!

AKS said...

Loved the picture and the tadpole diaries! I read this one very slowly as it will probably the last one! Do we get "Mommy Diaries" once the baby arrives? I also check my e-mail and the blog every day hoping that there will be some good news... It's all very exciting.
I cannot believe your bleach story... What a series of unfortunate events. Glad everyone is OK and that I don't have to smell the bleach burps.
It's unfortunate that you are now so far away when you have FINALLY joined the sweet cravings train. Just this week I made homemade flourless chocolate torte with raspberry coulee and homemade whip cream and chocolate mousse. I would be baking for you everyday!
Miss you, love you and am thinking about you every day.

Bugaloo said...

Oh, goodness! The weekly schedule made me laugh so hard! Classic. I love it.

Sounds like you are doing really well, and you guys will do a great job. I know those dang Germans. Does anything phase them? I'm with Eric. It was all faked.


Richard M. Nixon said...

I found the picture of Beth against the pole quite interesting. We have the exact same graffiti tag in my 'hood. Dang, that kid must get around, that’s for sure. Best wishes for the next few days!