Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Take a gamble

So, we do NOT have a trisomy baby. In fact, our baby is awesome. Although, I should probably rephrase that because if we did have a trisomy baby, I would still think it was awesome because it would be MY trisomy baby.

Either way, our baby IS certifiably great. The echocardiogram doctor and technician both agreed that the health is excellent and they were a bit mystified regarding why we were sent to them in the first place. I could have told them that the doctor who did the last ultrasound was a big douche, but they seemed to come to that conclusion on their own.

The child is not only in good physical condition, but also clearly in high spirits as throughout the scan s/he waged a cute little war, pushing back at the tech’s probe whenever she pushed it firmly into my belly. I was helpless during this funny little struggle which was honestly none-too-comfortable for me.

Currently my belly is so weirdly bulbous and is generally rocking and rolling with baby’s giant movements. This kid wants out.

BUT NOT YET! Daddy’s on another continent, or will be as of early tomorrow morning!

That’s right. Oliver’s visa interview takes place this Thursday in London, so he leaves at 6:00 tonight for the UK. With luck, by the end of the day Thursday he will have a fiancĂ© visa stamped in his passport and can proceed to purchase a ticket to get the hell back here before I pop!!!!!

Meanwhile, I have nightly talks with baby about how excited I am to meet him/her but reiterate that it will be best for everyone if s/he stays in for a couple more weeks. Oliver would, you know, like to witness the birth of his first born child. Not until February 15 – my due date and coincidentally the 6-month mark of my employment - am I eligible to receive two extra weeks of paid maternity leave and if I can stay at the office until that date, I will not have to pay for my benefits during any of my off time. Plus, isn’t it best to stay in the womb and cook all the way until that due date???

Root for us, people. Or at least start some kind of wager on this thing.

Will Oli make it back in time?
Will I be able to work until my due date?
Will the child come before or after the 15th?

Tune in next week. Same baby channel. Same baby time.

The story of two people who got married, met, and then fell in love.

I'm off to England today to interview with the bastard bureaucrats down at US Embassy head office, with their BS, double-talk and smoke-filled coffee-house crap. They want my visa application on their desk by 9am tomorrow morning because chief is breathing down their neck. They say I'm reckless - a renegade maverick, but I say I get results and consistently go above and beyond the call of duty. I’m just trying to do my job, dammit!

If I’m successful I will return soon with my fiancĂ© visa, but if not, I may be estranged from my soon-to-be-wife and child, forever!

Friday, January 27, 2006

Too tired to fight the law

Last night I waited three hours to see my OB/GYN. I was the last appointment at 8:30 and I saw the doctor at 11:30. This was ok since I know Dr. Flosi was just running behind because he cares and takes lots of time with each patient. So I was patient (Haha, a play on words). It was also nice to hear him say that the baby's development is excellent and that he thought we had little to be concerned about the baby's heart, as the ultrasound doctor had suggested, since the second trimester ultrasound showed everything to be fine and offers a much clearer picture than a third trimester ultrasound, when the baby is big and obscured. He figured this other doctor was just playing it safe since he couldn't get a good view of our big baby's heart. We still have to go for the echocardiogram (heart ultrasound) on Monday, but still, I breathed a sigh.

Just before midnight I began the 40-minute journey home. I was road hypnotized and kept catching myself speeding a lot. I kept slowing down only to find my pedal once again to the medal. At one point I looked up from noticing how fast I was going and noticed something else: a cop car sitting along the road just ahead....who pulled out behind me as I desperately tried to slow down.

No luck. He flashed and I pulled over, as did another cop car....who really had no part in all this but was probably bored? I was too tired to even haggle with the officer, which in my mind would have gone something like, "Um, I'm pregnant. Feel like not giving me a ticket?" ***Big doe eyes*** Nope. I had no will to even try. He was nice enough, I mean, nice enough for a cop giving a ticket to a pregnant chick about to pop. He took my license, wrote up my ticket, and that was that. I couldn't even care.

As I drove on aferward I then realized all the lame unecessary hassles this ticket would cause: Traffic school in order to keep the ticket off my record and prevent my insurance rates from increasing (when will I do this if I have a new baby and a crazy wedding to plan!?). A fine to be paid with money that could so go to better use. Having no picture ID which is necessary for everything hospital related. Sucksville.

I went home more tired after this delay, overtired and self-pitying in fact. I took a long shower and thought about how a week ago I was scared out of my mind that our baby might be a trisomy baby and how I had thought then that I would give anything, even have the rest of my pregnancy and delivery be excruciating, for this kid to be ok. Now here I was with the knowledge that the baby was probably ok but I was pouting about a stupid ticket.

It was now after 1am. I was about to fall asleep when Oli came home from being out at a bar/concert with some friends. He was cute and semi-drunk, which made me laugh. We celebrated the fact that our baby is probably normal and healthy. He cuddled my bum while I lamented about my long evening. He told me about his fun night out during which my friends evidently told him I used to write emails from Barcelona about him all the time before we were even dating (lies). He asked what I wanted for dinner the next day (he's already such a dad). We laughed and even kissed a little (scandalous!).

Thus, the moral of this somewhat drab story is, you know, have fun and stuff. Thinkin' 'bout healthy babies and bum cuddlers is way more fun than dwelling on traffic citations.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Squirly McGee

A few weeks ago Angela and I met a squirrel outside our apartment. It responded to that noise people make when they want to attract cats, with the same hand gesture. After getting some nuts from the apartment we started feeding Squirly, as we named him, and we had him climbing on our legs eating the nuts that we had placed on them.

The other day I saw him running on top of the fence outside my bedroom window and I called out to him, like before, and he came and sat down in the path looking up at me. I threw down some nuts and he sat eating them with a small bird that had joined him. I had the idea of using the plastic lid of a jar to make a small basket to lower some nuts down on some string.

He wasn't really interested in the basket, or he had vanished, but anyway I left all my nuts on the window sill and left the room to have a shower. When I came back I found him sitting on the sill inside the apartment eating those nuts. He let me come close and I took some photos of him. He had pissed on the window sill and he scurried off once all the nuts were gone.

He has come back since and now I regularly leave nuts for him to come and collect.


Monday, January 23, 2006

Does amniotic fluid smell like onions?

We used to have pregnancy scares. Now we’ve graduated to labor scares.

Saturday was our first of what will hopefully not be many.

At 11:10 p.m. Oliver and I were in bed doing whatever couples do in bed when a sudden gush of fluid came forth from me and irrevocably changed the evening, not to mention messed up the round bed. Stopped in our tracks by the sudden appearance of this puddle, we put our heads together to figure out what had just happened. We looked at it, touched it, smelled it.

“Smells like onion,” Oli commented.

It seemed to be made of about 2-3 shots of a liquid that was quite clear, watery and (at least to me) odorless. Basically, it was water.

Lacking in any contractions and feeling just fine, I couldn’t believe that this could possibly have been the onset of labor. No way. Projecting ahead, it seemed impossible that this could mean I’d be contracting and breathing and pushing within hours.

“I’m not ready to have this baby,” I said. Not because I was afraid, just because this just didn’t seem like the time.

Oli pointed out that my water had clearly just broken and therefore, it was the time.

He called Dr. Doah and expressed that we thought my water might have just broken. He asked, “And what does amniotic fluid smell like? Does it smell like onion?” I heard Dr. Doah laugh. I laughed and proceeded to put items in my hospital bag, which has been 2/3 packed for a week or so. We rather calmly strolled around the apartment making sure we had everything.

Just as we were about to leave, we realized we didn’t have an outfit for the baby to come home in. We quickly rifled through the bags of clothes the child already owns and grabbed the first outfit it ever received: a soft yellow number that the Seeleys picked up in France. We were depending on the next day’s baby shower to provide the now much needed crib and car seat, but at least our kid would have clothes.

Out the door, in the car and on the phone. We called my mom who repeated 20 times that we should breathe and be calm. She called the Seeleys. I called my sister and got my brother-in-law who groggily asked if we needed anything and then hung up without letting my sister speak to me. I called my friend Colin who called everyone else. My mom called back….several times. Oli remembered he had had onions on his burger at dinner.

At the hospital we parked in the regular parking garage by the main entrance. As we approached the entrance Oli asked, “Didn’t they say something in our prenatal class about going in a different entrance if you arrive late at night?”

“No,” I said as we read the sign on the front door saying all patients should enter in the ER on the other side of the hospital. We trekked around the entire hospital through ice and snow. We laughed at the idea that some poor sucker had us as parents.

Inside the ER the security guard called up to Maternity and said, “I have a mom here who needs to come up.” Haha, she called me a mom. They put me in a wheel chair (just like the movies!) and up we went, Oli bashing me into walls the entire way, much to the nurse’s amusement.

Over the next couple hours the doctor and nurse on duty ran a couple swabs and did an ultrasound eventually deciding that what had come out of me was not amniotic fluid and that my bag had not ruptured. They asked if it could have been urine as many many pregnant ladies in their 9th month experience incontinence in a big way. I expressed that we had smelled the liquid and were certain it wasn’t pee. Oli thought since I drink so much water it was possible my urine didn’t smell, but I countered by saying that it had come out in a big gush, not a trickle. The doctor pointed out that the cervix can sometimes make a watery discharge that is like amniotic fluid. I thought this a sketchy answer but accepted it, a little disappointed that this meant the baby wasn’t coming tonight.

We went home and slept.

This morning I peed on myself in bed.

Oh mother.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Domestic Domicile Bliss

The round bed is the way, my friends. Happening upon one in IKEA the other day, I doubted my sanity when after pouncing on the lovely cornerless thing I felt little pangs of love. When Oliver professed that he felt the same pangs, I wondered if this was confirmation that a) I was right to love the bed or b) we were both huge losers. In the end, the answer to this question did not matter and we bought it. We now sleep blissfully in our little piece of heaven. Come over and try it out, kids.

High fives to people who have eaten dinner with us at the new apartment over the last few nights: Colin, Kevin, Brian, Kate, Nick, Megan, Janice, my parents…..We have learned that a good kitchen is extremely important in a home and you have helped test the worth of our current model. With a good sturdy table for gathering ‘round, a bowl of almonds and fruits for pre-meal nibbling, a hanging fern for natural influence, and a giant wall world map for conversation, education and reference, well, I think our little kitch measures up. The family room is pretty cozy too and lends itself nicely to the drinking of post-meal tea and/or lager, not to mention the playing of various card and board games. Alas, we have a home.

For the English, be aware that Oliver can cook and continues to astound me daily by looking up and trying new recipes. If you want to try out some of this new-found culinary delight, you’ll have to come out to Chicago for a certain event taking place in April.

By the bye, wedding accommodation info will soon be available for the British. It looks like we can line up a few week-long rentals of apartments in the city with about 6 people to a flat at $120-150 each for the week (about £90 each). Check your email in days to come!

~ Angela