Tuesday, September 30, 2008

the happiest ending

At long last, baby Anderson Lee:

Our sweet baby boy was born as scheduled on September 17, weighing in at a very sturdy 8lb 15oz. We entered the OR at 11:00am, and shortly after, the room was filled with the sounds of the sweetest newborn screeches and the laughter and sobs of two very blissed out, thankful, amazed parents. Parents! Us! It was only when I heard Dr. S tell me he saw our baby's (huge) head and was about to take him out that I let go of my fears and really, truly let myself believe that our baby had made it, he was here, one journey ending as another very exciting one began. Life is so very, very good. We are happier than we had ever imagined we could be. From here....I think it's time to close this blog. It seems most fitting to let this post be the finale, and move on to a new place, a place I can fill with mundane mommy type ramblings and incessent pictures of little A that only our nearest and dearest will appreciate (or politely pretend to appreciate). I don't know. What I do know is that the little man snoozing in my lap, making sweet sleeping baby squeaks, has made us complete. At last!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Remember this guy?

It's Grimace. Grimace from McDonaldland. He hung with that nasty Hamburglar and the creepiest of all creeptastic pedophile clowns, Ronald.

This has what to do with my normally me-centric blog? Well, I went out walking the other day. As I'm standing there letting Griffin sniff a light pole (okay, and trying to catch my breath), I see something alarming. It's a shadow. A dumpy looking, Grimace shaped shadow. For a brief, very scary moment, I swore Grimace was standing behind me about to pounce. Then the moment got even scarier....that's MY shadow! My shadow, dear friends, looks like Grimace. A clear indication that it's time to have this baby and (as soon as the doctor greenlights hard core workouts) whip my formerly skinny ass into a shape that doesn't remotely conjure up an image of a big dumpy McDonalds character.

So vanity aside, now for the very exciting news.......BABY HAS A BIRTHDAY! Assuming all goes as planned and my body doesn't pull some crazy miraculous stunt (the odds of such event according to my doctor: 3%), our baby boy will be welcomed to the world a week from today. Wednesday, September 17. The doctor appointment yesterday went about how I had figured it would- baby is big and looks blessedly healthy, mom is not making any progress, GD is still a factor, doctor is not wanting to wait this out and see a 9+ pounder. All of that in mind, we agreed to schedule a c-section for next week. I still have a Tuesday appointment and one last (more painfully awkward than painful) internal exam, and if progress has been made, we may talk induction instead. But given the fact that my closest female relatives are prone to 42 week deliveries of 9+lb babies and my cervix appears to be as stubborn as its' owner, I'm thinking we know where this is headed. And I'm surprisingly calm about the idea of my abdomen being sliced- my doctor is known to be a great surgeon and truthfully, I don't care WHAT has to happen, as long as it ends with J and I holding our safe and healthy little guy 7 days from now. WOW. There was one brief moment of panic as we got into the car after the appointment when J, ever the poster child for "speak....then think" looked at me with something in his eyes that could have been fear or boyish elation and said 'THEY'RE GOING TO TAKE YOUR UTERUS OUT OF YOUR BODY AND LAY IT ON A TABLE". Gee, honey, thanks for that comforting little visual! I'll chalk it up to pre-baby jitters though, something he hasn't shown much of to this point. But something about having his baby's birth scheduled, KNOWING he is really, truly coming, is getting my normally so-laid-back-he's-comatose honey a little worked up, making him sweetly dumbfounded about all that is to come.

Needless to say, I'm beside myself with excitement about the impending birth date. I can't watch Baby Story without bawling my eyes out, even when the couple having a baby has the most obnoxious of Jersey accents and puffy bangs and the mom is wearing a scrunchie. Even then, I cry. I think about hearing his very first cry and the sight of J holding him for the very fist time, and I cry. I watch J move the video monitor around the nursery (for the 10th time) to get the very best picture of the crib, and I cry. I don't quite cry but I do get all excited when I glance into the backseat and see a baby seat, professionally installed and ready to hold our most valuable cargo. I also cry when I puke in my mouth during the night, but that's not very sentimental at all. I am so ready. We are so ready, even if only 1 of us realizes it. The pedi is chosen, the parents' flights booked, the hospital bag packed, the pet arrangements handled.....we're ready.

So now, I get through the next week. Tick tock. I thank the TV gods for new fall series, trashy as they may be, and my resulting bloated DVR list. I cuddle with our pets and tell them over and over that they're still our babies, to hang in there through the craziness. I pray that this ridiculous Hurricane Ike is being overblown and does NOT bring 73mph winds to Austin on Saturday night. As eager and anxious as I am, I try to enjoy these last 7 days as a two-some with a quiet and clean house.

Okay, and I also pray that I'll come out of the hospital skinny-jeans ready, pain free and well rested, and looking not one iota like Grimace. A girl can dream.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

he's full term!

Well, folks, I'm proud to report that Baby is FULL TERM! He could come out today and not be premature! I could call my doctor in labor and have that be a GOOD thing! I'm feeling a little in awe at the thought of it, and I'm hoping and praying that time continues to move at the speedy pace it has been going by as of late. Many a new mommy has warned me "the last month will drag". Week 1 of the last month (aka, week 36) went by in the blink of an eye. Probably because I was really busy. Busy doing what, you ask? Well......napping, watching crap TV, peeing every 3.5 minutes, walking my dog, watching my feet swell to epic proportions, reading literature (Tori Spelling's memoir, US Weekly, etc.), honing my Wheel of Fortune skills each weeknight at 6:30pm cdt, and refolding baby clothes for about the 10th time just for an excuse to hang out in the nursery. I really don't know how I fit it all in. Skills.

We saw Dr. S on Tuesday and were truly blown away by the ultrasound images. It's a BABY. He has lips, and they MOVE. He has little elbows! Not that I was ever expecting a lipless, elbowless child.....but still- wow! My body made LIPS AND ELBOWS. The sight of his little face really moved me, really made it feel possible that our baby boy, our child, is soon to come out and meet us. Wow (again). No progress as of Tuesday, but that's really okay. Really! I'm stubbornly refusing to cave to impatience just yet, and telling myself I'll go to at least 40 weeks is the best way to do that. Baby was measuring a little closer to normal again (just a week and a half or so ahead, as opposed to the 2+ weeks ahead we've seen in the past), which was a relief. Dr. S didn't seem entirely convinced (since so many ultrasounds have shown him measuring large), so we'll have another ultrasound on the 9th to check in.

Here's mama at 37 weeks and baby at 36 weeks!

Friday, August 15, 2008

is this your first?

Something about a pregnant woman invites conversation, observation, and curious questions that would be considered very nosy under normal circumstances. For the most part, I normally enjoy the chatter (or on a crabby day, tolerate it compliantly). While other pregnant women complain and vent annoyance at being smiled and stared at in line at the pharmacy or questioned for the 50th time about when baby is due/if it's a boy or girl/if the baby has a name, part of me screams (inside) "JUST BE HAPPY YOU'RE PREGNANT! THERE ARE WORSE PROBLEMS YOU COULD BE HAVING!" I refuse to allow irritation at the public's curiousity of something so miraculous, so full of joy. I feel so fortunate to BE pregnant that it seems wrong to wish the attention away. I'm still part of that "other" club. The one where nothing is taken for granted, the one where complaining and bitching and moaning about the minor inconveniences that come along with pregnancy feels somehow disingenuous- a betrayal of those who are still in the journey, still wanting and hurting.

One line of conversation, however, is a problem for me. It touches a nerve, as innocent as the question is, as simple and harmless as the answer may seem to most: "Is this your first baby?"

Literally, physically, in every way that matters to anyone of aquaintance status or less, to all those people just making conversation with a pregnant woman....yes. Yes, this is our first child. This is the first baby we've seen move through the skin on my belly, the first baby to have a full name and a nursery and showers, the first baby that (we hope and pray and believe) will live with us in our home and make us a family. I know there's one right answer to the question- one proper, socially acceptable, non-insane/disturbing answer. I know the topic of loss and death is just not appropriate in casual conversation. I know I don't want to cheapen our other babies' memories by flippantly discussing them with a stranger. TMI, right? But still....there's a pang in my heart every time I smile and answer "yes, our first". Because while he is well on his way to being our firstborn, he is not our first baby. There are two others. Two seperate, beloved souls out there that belong here, two babies who were alive, two children we won't have the joy of holding in the hospital, or kissing way boo-boos for, or seeing off on the school bus one emotional fall morning. Some would argue they never existed, a heartless and cruel thought bred of naivity or fortunate ignorance or a belief in a definition of "life" vastly different from my own that insults me, that takes something away from me. They DID exist. They were planned for, they were loved, the sight of each beating heart was cherished on an ultrasound screen. They were celebrated and acknowledged. A steak dinner out the night I told J about our first pregnancy, our first baby on the way. We alternated between disbelieving laughter, grinning at each other across the table, and asking ourselves what, exactly, we were supposed to do next, what we needed to buy, who we needed to tell. (So innocent, so new, so trusting in the process!) The second time, we laughed and hugged and held each other close in a hotel room far from home, a positive test clutched shakily in my hand, both scared to death and ecstatic at our 2nd chance, our 2nd baby....and later that night, J surreptitiously drank his own beer and the one I'd ordered to keep our happy secret under wraps from the friends that surrounded us at the bar. A secret between the two of us, an existance only we knew of...but an existance nonetheless. So nobody can tell me they weren't real. They affected our lives. Their presence, as brief as it may have been, changed our course, changed our lives.

I don't have a point here, but when this question came up again this afternoon as the mail woman made happy chit-chat and asked with a broad smile if this baby is our first, and I smiled and told the well meaning woman "yes, this is our first"....something inside of me just....cracked. I hoped that in that moment, those other babies weren't listening. I wondered if they heard, if they thought they were forgotten. Replaced. Fading. Behind my sunglasses, tears welled in my eyes, and I excused myself to get into the safety of my house and for just a while, mourn those losses once again. Make sure they understood they're not forgotten and not denied, my tears the only offering I had to make this known. As I sat on the staircase crying, this baby inside my belly, this to-be-firstborn kicked and wiggled and I felt torn. Torn between the sadness for what was to be, and the breathtaking, dizzying joyousness for what is to come in 5 short weeks or less. And I felt once more like I WILL be a better mommy to this little boy because I know how damn fortunate we will be to know him in a REAL way, a way we can touch and feel, a way the outside world understands and accepts. I'll thank him in my heart each and every day for coming to us at long last, and in times when we're stressed or tired or frustrated, I know we'll have the wisdom to understand how blessed we are for all of it. So for that, I thank our TurkeyBaby, our Grover....for all they taught me just for being, for the new depths of loving they've made me capable of.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

i. am. so. hot.

I just heard on the news that this, the summer of 2008, is the hottest on record in Austin for the past 83 years, the 3rd hottest in all of this city's history. We're on day 45 of 100+ degree temperatures. I've accepted the fact that any movement, even from the upstairs couch to the downstairs couch, will bring on a slick layer of sweat. My walks commence with me in a cold shower, clothes directly into the wash, glass after glass of icy water until my body temperature returns to the double digits. There's no relief in sight, so says the perky blonde weather woman and her annoyingly chipper "no end in sight, folks". My point is, I'm hot. Smoking hot. So hot that sometimes during my twice daily walk, I swear my feet might burst into flames. I sometimes sit in my closet, gaze at my mohair sweaters and Ugg boots and denim jeans, and wipe a tear from my eye as visions of snowflakes dance in my head. My at home wardrobe now consists of just a few bland, completely unfashionable staples formerly reserved for workouts....sports bra, tank top, cotton shorts. Anything else is just too hot. I give up, I cry uncle, I resign myself to being a definite fashion "no" during these dog days of summer. On those rare occasions where I'm required to be seen in public by people whose opinion of my appearance actually matters, I pull on a sundress. One strapless, black sundress. The last remaining frontier in wardrobe choices that still fit comfortably without encouraging extra sweat. Church, OB office, dinner with a friend....count on me turning up in that trusty frock.

And for the record, it's with great chagrin that I lament the weather. I'm notoriously anti-winter, and spent each and every negative wind chill day of my midwestern life cursing the frigid climate and whining to anyone within earshot about my contempt for winter. It was, in truth, equally MY idea to move to Texas, so tired I was of ice and snirt (snow + dirt) and Columbia coats as far as the eye could see. I remind myself each day how lovely fall and winter will be- the mild climate so perfectly suited for strolling with the wee one. Almost there. August is 1/3 complete.

34 weeks! 2 weeks until weekly OB appointments begin. 3 weeks until full term. No more than 6 weeks until I can finally, finally reconcile with my secret lover...the (94g carb, 72g sugar) Peanut Buster Parfait. Oh, gooey fatty goodness and former summer staple, how you're missed. The term "excited" doesn't do any justice in explaining my feelings about the impending due date. I'm so ready to meet this kid. So ready to finally, at long last, look down into that little face and say hello to motherhood.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

the home stretch

The end is near! 53 days/7-ish weeks until JumboBaby's eviction date, and I'm seeing signs all around that he really and truly will be here sooner than later. A sampling:

1) Craft stores have FALL things out. No, I don't (often) shop in craft stores. With the exception of that bitchin' wreath I concocted last year (see September 24, 2007) I leave the crafting to the trained professionals at Pottery Barn. But anyway...they have fall stuff out! I parked outside a craft store today en route to another shop, and through the window I spied grinning scarecrows, bundles of hay, and wreaths of burnt orange leaves. That can only mean it's almost FALL- when babies come! Along the same lines, WallyWorld is clearancing the swimming pools and lawn chairs, and filling in those vacancies with displays of notebooks and crayons- BACK TO SCHOOL- when babies come!

2) We have a STROLLER in our house! Okay, so we've actually got a ripped apart box with 15 stroller pieces strewn around the dining room...details, details. I thought I might assemble the stroller, which arrived today, but upon further inspection decided it's a man job. But the pieces sure are cute!

3) I've outgrown some of my maternity clothes. Yikes. The belly is simply too big to fit under some of the more stylish "2nd trimesterish" pieces of my limited maternity wardrobe. Even the stuff that still fits is fitting me...well, pregnantly. I'm pulling my tops down, my bottoms up, and the whole effect is a very Farley-ish "fat guy in a little coat". I'm suddenly seeing the appeal of muumuus (moo-moos seems more appropriate, no?) I mean, maybe with leggings....? Not so much? Okay. I also spent a few moments the other day wondering why all my underpants had shrunk, and asked J if his underpants shrunk, too. Unfortunately, no underpant shrinkage occured. My butt is pregnant, too.

4) I'm pretty sure that at this point, an air mattress on the bathroom floor might not be such a bad idea. I spend the witching hours in an unconscious march from bed to bathroom, bathroom to bed, bed to bathroom. I don't feel so bad about occasionally missing my daily walk (on account of the 300 degree heat) because I get my workout in doing the potty walk. The kitties no longer sleep with us, so inconvenient were my frequent stirrings.

5) Increasingly frequent moments of panic in the middle of the night, much like my horrific nightmares in the spring of 2004 where I showed up to our wedding in sweatpants or forgot to order bridesmaid dresses or was left abandoned at the alter....the baby panic dreams have started. No, I'm not sleep stressing over the biggies- labor, delivery, the very possible risk of a major operation to extract JumboBaby- it's the trite details that disrupt my sleep. Sometimes I jolt awake in bed after a nightmare where we simply forgot to buy diapers. Once I dreamt that we got home with the baby to discover the nursery had fallen off the house, chunks of the room were scattered around our front lawn. The most disturbing was when J went to pull the car around upon our hospital discharge...then peeled out of the parking lot, never to be seen again. I sat calmly in my wheelchair, watching him go. JumboBaby and I bussed it home.

I could go on and on, but I'm fatigued. Another wonderful mid-third-trimester symptom...the return of 1st trimester fatigue. I'm actually turning into an infant, it seems. Eat, sleep, pee, cry, repeat.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

a funny....or two

I'm too lazy to write much today, but this was just too damn funny to not share:
(Courtesy of the fantastic Dot.)

Okay....one more. Because it also made me laugh so hard I thought I might pee myself, and because I think I once sat next to this guy at Lambeau Field:

In baby news, we attended breastfeeding class last night. Yes, we. I'd heard the majority of husbands attend this with their wives, and decided J needed to have some idea how the whole thing works so that if (when) I decide it's too much work/too painful/too something or other to continue on, he may be able to keep my head (er...boobs) in the game. And for the record, well over half the hubbies were in attendance. That said, I don't know that we're much further ahead than we were pre-breastfeeding class. It was kind of like a junior high film strip (from which the instructor read verbatim) and just not quite as informative as I was expecting- basically a platform for the lactation consultant to pimp out her pump renting services. HOWEVER- we did sit next to McLovin. I shit you not. Had there been a tactful way to pull out my cell camera and capture this McLovin clone for proof....I would have. McLovin was hardcore about his breastfeeding. As his wife slumped in her chair looking bored as all get out in the row behind him (weird, right?) he took page after page of incredibly meticulous notes in his wirebound notebook. I caught him jotting down "cracked nipples...olive oil" as his wifey poo snored away behind us. I feel bad for our baby. While McLovin's baby will have parents with a notebook full of helpful tidbits to assist them in their feedings, JumboBaby will have parents who are still giggling about McLovin and his note takin' skills.