Monday, July 30, 2007

The Baby-Industrial Complex

My dear friends and family, I am proud to present what may be my first NPP (Normal Pregnant Person) post:

What a racket.

First, you blow a nice chunk of change on fertility treatments. Then, once you've finally got the coveted bun in the proverbial oven, the marketing really begins.

Now, I have no problem with much of the baby gear on the market. A lot of it might actually be useful, if not strictly necessary. And I am, I totally admit, having fun compiling lists and surfing various baby sites. I'm reveling in it, in fact. Soft, cute baby things make me positively oogy, and I can't wait to decorate Flipper's room and buy her eensy beensy hats and shirts and things with monkeys and dinosaurs on them.

Today, however, I got a little reminder not to take things too far.

I was passing by a verrrrrry high end baby store. The kind of place with maybe a hundred items total in the whole store, all magnificently displayed, and, judging from the price, woven from pure gossamer by highly paid, well educated, unionized elves.

I couldn't resist. I went in.

The adorable onesie with the embroidered pig on the front? Forty-eight dollars. I think my eyes might actually have made a "sproing!" noise as they popped out at that price tag. Forty-eight smackeroos for a onesie with a friggin' pig on it.

I casually sauntered toward the exit, passing on the way the two ladies with the cherub-faced toddler in a stroller. They'd been merrily cooing over dresses for the child, holding them up to her face to see if they went well with her skin tone (?!), apparently unfazed by the hefty prices. As I passed, one of the ladies said, "Honey, stop picking your nose."

Ah, yes. You can dress her up in fancy dresses, but in the end, a baby is still a baby. And spit-up on a forty-eight dollar onesie is just as gross as spit-up on a five dollar onesie.

I'm sure I will succumb to the temptation now and again and spend way too much on stuff for my daughter. But in that, as in anything, balance and perspective are very good things.

Friday, July 27, 2007

These Are The Days

It's been very circle-of-life around here lately. Friends getting good news. Other friends mourning losses.

Births, deaths. Little bits of pure joy bobbing around in sadness.

It seems like lots of people around me are suddenly dealing with illness and death. I've also been saddened, heartbroken, over a friend's miscarriage, wishing I could make it not have happened. Other people I care about deeply are slogging through the marsh of infertility, poking themselves with needles, sometimes hopeful, sometimes despairing, often just frustrated as hell that the plumbing just ain't workin'.

I spent a lot of time over the past two years asking, "why me?" Why did I get stuck with the lousy eggs, the dismal odds, the pregnancies that didn't stick? And now I ask myself, "why me?" Why do I have such a wonderful family, such loving friends, a good career, a loving husband, a great life . . . and a baby on the way? It's dizzying, really. What a reminder of the impermanence of everything.

Right now, I rejoice in knowing that there is a genetically normal baby girl flipping and flopping around in there, at the same time I grieve with my friends over their losses, and at the same time I fear another loss in the future. It's a lot to keep in your heart all at once. I'm doing my best to let it all be, to let go of needing things to be a certain way.

Today I am happy and sad and fearful and hopeful.

So be it.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Our Little Alien

Yeah, that's my daughter. She looks like an alien. A super cute alien, to be sure, but gee whiz, kiddo. At one point during the ultrasound, I thought she was sucking her thumb. Nope, said the u/s tech, "She just poked herself in the eye."

That's my girl! Coordinated, like your mama. Now, wave hello to all your friends in the internets:

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


No, wiseasses, that's not my new dress size. That's our baby's karyotype.

Normalville shall soon have a new resident. Our daughter.

Yup, you read that right. Daughter. As in, little girl.

Apparently my maternal instinct is not worth shit. I'll have to work on that. In the meanwhile, I'm floating ten feet above the ground. Our baby is healthy. She has the right number of chromosomes in all the right places with bright shiny faces. And the nurse called about five minutes after my last post. Bless you, Kaiser Permanente.

Flipper, my sweet little girl, I'm so sorry I got your gender pronoun wrong for a while there. I hope you won't be psychologically damaged by my thinking you were a boy. Although you should feel free to include this in your list of grievances when you're an angsty teen. I'm just so glad you're healthy. Your dad and I are over the moon, and all your friends in the internets and elsewhere are doing happy little dances right now.

Breast Cancer Awareness Week

. . . is not for another two months. I meant to post about this, oh, a while ago when I first saw it, but I've been busy doing whatever it is that takes up my time these days. So I decided to compromise and post it apropos of absolutely nothing. It's just funny.

I just want you all to read Julie's hilarious and educational take on mammograms on her blog, A Little Pregnant. Now, don't you feel much, much better about mammograms?


Now go make an appointment to get one, and don't forget your little plastic cow.

@(*#$ing Snorkelwacker!


I was hoping Kaiser would have called by now. Yes, they told me it would take two weeks to get the amnio results, but the nurse said that sometimes they come back a couple of days early. So now I've got myself tied up in knots, hoping that there's nothing wrong, hoping that they aren't just taking extra time to confirm bad news before they tell me.

Please, please, little baby. Please be ok. Please have all your chromosomes, and not too many, and all the DNA bits in the right places with bright shiny faces. We want you SO badly. Your grandmas and grandpas are beside themselves with anticipation. Your mom and dad think about you every minute. You have scores of fairy godmothers, both in and out of the computer, who are pulling for you and want you to be healthy.

Please be ok.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Out Of The Closet

It occurs to me that perhaps one reason the Snorkelwacker seemed so fearsome is that I was in the closet with him.

Moi, in the closet about anything?

Yes, odd as it may seem, although I have revealed the intimate details of my reproductive health here on the interweb for all the world to see, I've been a bit shy about sharing certain, ahem, information with the people I see face to face every day. Which means that now that my belly is bulging, I'm getting a lot of strange and inquisitive looks. Eyebrows-meeting-hairlines types of looks.

A couple of days ago, I was getting ready to appear at an administrative hearing. The court reporter, whom I see at these things every couple of weeks, leaned over the table and asked,
"Are you expecting?"

What I heard was "Were you expecting . . . .?" And so I waited her to finish her sentence: "Are you expecting . . . . this hearing to take a long time?" Or, "Are you expecting . . . . to call a lot of witnesses?"

But no. She was asking whether I am expecting. As in, is that a fetus under your dress or are you just happy to see me?

I blushed. I stammered. I smiled and said, "Why, yes!"

"Congratulations!" she said.

And then I felt compelled to pour one for my homies. "It was a long road getting here," I said. "We lost a couple along the way."

Sympathetic and slightly confused look.

I'm not sure why, but I feel the need to say something like that every time someone congratulates me on this pregnancy. I think it's because the infertility part still hurts, and I want it to be more visible both for myself and for those still going through it, and because however delighted I am about this miraculous little one, it will not erase the pain of what it took to get here, or the fear that settles permanently in the heart of an infertile woman.

Healing is definitely possible. But not forgetting.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Snorkelwacker Returned To Closet

Thank you, dear friends, for helping me beat the Snorkelwacker back into the closet.

I had the amnio today. I was, much to my surprise, calm and centered going in. Okay, I'll be honest. I wasn't the spastic nervous wreck I expected to be, so I considered myself calm and centered in comparison.

Kaiser treated me so well. A nurse came out, went through the forms with me, then led us back to the amnio room. The doctor was awesome, friendly, reassuring, and explained everything she did before she did it. The ultrasound tech was sweet and oohed and aawed at our "perfect" baby. And the nurse held my feet and rubbed my ankles during the amnio, which, while not exactly a day at the spa, did not suck nearly as much as I thought. It was really not bad at ALL, and whatever discomfort there was paled in comparison to our joy at seeing our gorgeous baby.

All of Flipper's measurements look good. He was as wiggly as ever, and had the good sense to scoot out of the way of the needle. (Watch out: here's where I start bragging about how smart my child is).

And look at the punim on this kid!

Monday, July 2, 2007

Cleaning Out My Anxiety Closet

Despite all the happiness and tra la la, this is going to be a rough couple of weeks. My amnio is on Thursday, and we'll get the results two weeks after that.

I was fine, fine I tell ya, until last night when, out of nowhere, the Giant Purple Snorkelwacker emerged from my anxiety closet and started gnawing on my leg. The Snorkelwacker, despite his great size, has amazing stealth capability, so he was able to sneak up on me without my seeing him. And once he has his fangs sunk in, he's really hard to shake.

However bizarre it may seem for me to be discussing characters from a long-defunct comic strip in connection with my psychological state, it really helps me to manage my anxieties by turning them into outrageous characters. Otherwise, I start to believe the things they tell me. Horrible, horrible things.

Another thing that would help is for all of my friends and family to grab sticks and rolled up newspapers and give the Snorkelwacker a big smack across the snout, thereby sending him safely back to my anxiety closet, where he can frolic with the dust bunnies and the I'm-Not-Good-Enough monsters to his heart's content.

Will you do that for me, please?