Monthly Archives: August 2013

I Was Going to Write This Yesterday, But I Opted for Laziness Instead

Really. I had full intentions to write this yesterday. Actually, I was going to write on Saturday. But I didn’t. And for not reason other than I simply didn’t feel like it. So if you’ve been waiting with baited breath for the next post, I apologize. A little. ‘Cause I’m from the Midwest, and we’re polite like that.

The original title of this post, had it been written yesterday or Saturday, was to have been something along the lines of “A Very Busy Week”. It was very busy. Mostly with good, but good busy and bad busy both mean busy. Just like good stress is still stress. And that’s why I really didn’t feel like doing much of anything yesterday. Or Saturday.

Monday – Work, followed by Breastfeeding Class from 6:30 to 9… in Portage. Way south in Portage. (Again, I’m a Midwesterner, so I apologize to my friends from Portage. But only a little. Because those of us from the northern side of Kalamazoo think Portage is really far away. I mean, it’s a 20 minute drive! I could get to Plainwell Ice Cream that fast. And, no offense, I’d much rather spend 20 minutes driving to get to Plainwell Ice Cream. And to my friends in Chicago or Rome, yeah, when I’m there, I totally think of 20 minutes as being close. But not when I’m in Kalamazoo.) Fortunately, my mom wanted to go, so she picked me up. It was not, however, the best of morning sickness days. Dinner decided not to sit well and the Unisom was taking its sweet ol’ time kicking in. I’m now down to three Zofran. We’ll see if I need to get the prescription refilled again while I’m still pregnant…

Tuesday – Work, followed by Centering from 3 to 5, followed by Meet the Midwife from 5 to 6. At Centering, my blood pressure was a little high. It was a little high in exactly the same manner it was a little high four years ago. What was I doing four years ago? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? If you guessed “accreditation”, you are correct! Only time in my life I ever had high blood pressure was four years ago. Only four years ago, I wasn’t pregnant. And remember how Lydia said everything on my ultrasound looked good? Well, Lori couldn’t see it at my last Centering appointment because her laptop had died. And Lori? Well, she said that my amniotic fluid level was acceptable, but it was at the low end of the range, so she thought we should check it again. And the size of the baby was okay, but it was small (hello! look at the baby’s mother!), so she thought we should check its growth. So I needed to schedule another ultrasound. Ideally before the appointment I had scheduled with her for Thursday. All I have to say is that it’s a good thing I’d already filled out the mental health check sheet. Are you feeling stressed? Well, NOW I am! My parents both came to Meet the Midwife so that they could, well, meet the midwives who might be attending while I’m in labor. They’re a pretty good group, and it was a surprisingly fast hour. It was nice to at least have faces to go with some of the names I’ve heard. They weren’t all available, so I still might not have met the person who will be there when I finally deliver, but at least I know more of them now than I did before.

Wednesday – Work. That’s right, I had nothing other than work on Wednesday. And it was lovely. And I thought about writing about Monday and Tuesday, but I opted to go and stick my feet in the pool instead. And it was lovely. Just me and a book and a pool.

Thursday – Work, followed ultrasound, followed by midwife appointment, followed by some offsite work, followed by family/Lizzie dinner. The Borgess Women’s Health ultrasound tech was off on Thursday, so I had to go to radiology. (Okay, it was either that or an 8am appointment at the Portage office, which was not an option as it required driving to Portage. And I really needed to go to the office for at least a few hours.) But the tech I had at radiology was amazing. She asked how I was doing, and I honestly answered that I was nervous. I explained that it wasn’t the procedure itself, but the fact that this was a follow-up to a follow-up that had initially been deemed to be fine. She talked about everything she was measuring and why. She told me that she couldn’t tell me if my fluid level would be considered fine by the midwife, but that it was within the normal range. So by the time I got up to my midwife appointment, I already knew that the ultrasound should be pretty acceptable. (The bump weighed in at 6lbs-1oz, plus or minus a pound.) While waiting for the midwife appointment, my mom and I met a woman who took one look at me and announced that I’m having a girl. And the midwife appointment itself went great. My blood pressure was nice and normal, and Lori was so pleased by the ultrasound that she didn’t even do a pelvic exam. She said she didn’t see any point in aggravating things if I wasn’t having an cramping or spotting. In fact, she was so pleased, she said not to bother scheduling an appointment for this week, and that she’d see me at our next Centering appointment on September 4. Work will be busy enough this week that I’m not complaining. Since it was Thursday and I was already going to my parents’ for dinner, we decided not to have a family dinner on Friday. It was great to see Lizzie, whom I haven’t seen in ages. Like before I was pregnant. She said I looked much better than the last time I saw her. I told her that I wasn’t going through the stress of fertility treatments anymore, which helps a lot. And since I haven’t seen Lizzie in ages, I stayed way longer than I intended to. It was good, but it did keep me up later than normal. But that was nothing compared to how late I stayed up on Friday…

Friday – Work, followed by a meeting of my corps d’accouchement. I thought about writing in between work and Heather and Nicki coming over, but I decided that, at this stage, I might as well wait until after I had Friday’s story to tell to bother writing a post. We met around 8. And we talked about the birth plan. And who to call when. And a lot of other random things while we were at it. We foresee the potential for my labor and delivery room to be quite amusing. And they finally got ready to leave around 11. And around then, Brad, Nicki’s husband, texted to find out what was taking so long. Naturally, she texted back that I was in labor. And then we were talking, so she wasn’t texting fast enough to tell him that she was joking and was getting ready to leave, so he, at least briefly, thought that she was serious. Which gives you an idea of how the three of us are together. I feel really comfortable that they will help me keep my sanity. And I trust Nicki to be able to cajole me in just the right way to do things like get out of the tub when I need to even if the hot water feels soooo good. And it was at least 11:30 by the time I got to bed.

So you can understand why I didn’t really feel like writing on Saturday or Sunday. It was a very busy week. Again, it was full of good things. But I was glad to just be home this weekend. And tomorrow? Tomorrow I’ll be 38 weeks along. Accreditation is shaping up. Here’s hoping the bump keeps cooking long enough for Dr Z and I to be comfortable with where we are before I go on leave.

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One, One Pregnant Belly!

Our Director of Nursing caught me on my way out of work today. She’d only just realized that I’m pregnant. How did she figure it out?

“I saw this belly coming out of your office, and it was followed by you,” she told me.

Now, I think I’ve looked pregnant for a while now. Admittedly, I don’t always have on tops that cling to the bump, but more often than not I do. At the same time, her office, while on the same floor, is on a different hallway, so we don’t see each other that often. But I love that it was my belly preceding me out of my office that made her notice.

And it definitely is a pregnant belly. Friday evening, my dad went into photographer mode (at my request) and took a variety of naked belly pictures. I haven’t seen the results yet, but I’m sure he got several good shots. The bump may still be only somewhat noticeable to some people while clothed, but naked it looks like exactly what it is.

P.S. I would just like to add that I’m now as pregnant as I “was” when I played Edith in The Women a few years ago. Except, of course, I can’t take this pregnant belly off whenever I feel like it. But it is good to know that if, for some reason, I needed an evening gown, there’s one made out of a beautiful iridescent peach… assuming I can stand the ginormous bow over the bump and matching ginormous bow over the girls.

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More Fun with Ballet Terminology

I really did want to put more of the “useful” French I learned in ballet in my last post, but the writer in me insisted on making the post more readable. Silly inner writer. Anyway, if you think I have a lot of stories about Rome, you should remember that my time at the Rome Center was only 9 months. My time studying ballet? Yeah, that was almost 9 years. (Okay, it was really more like 8, but again, that silly inner writer insisted it would sound better if I used the same number in both sentences.) My point is that if you think I have a lot of stories about Rome, the number pales in comparison to the how many stories I have about ballet.

So here are some of the terms I thought about sharing in my previous post as well as what I was taught they mean:

Battement – beat

Plié – bend

En croix – in the shape of a cross, which is to say that the step is performed to the front, side, back, and then side again

Croisé – standing on an angle so that legs are crossed as seen by the audience; not to be confused with en croix

En de dans – inside, because we dance (dans looks like dance) inside

En de hors – outside, because we ride our horses (hors, horse, get it?) outside

Jêté – kick

Petit jêté – little kick

Grand jêté – a leap that can be performed straight or stag, which is to say the leading leg is either straight the entire time or begins bent and straightens as one leaps; yes, apparently the meaning of jêté changes once grand is put in front of it

Tour jêté – a turning leap, traditionally done while standing between the mirror and one’s teacher and cursed be the dancer whose leg swings to the side for she will inevitably kick one of them although slightly less cursed be the dancer who kicks the mirror and not her teacher

Saut de Basque – jump of the Basque, three words, not two even though it’s pronounced like “soda Basque”

Attitude – the position the god Mercury holds in the FTD logo

Arabesque – a position with arms held at shoulder level, one to the side and one to the front, the one to the front very carefully positioned so as not too look like a Heil Hitler; did I not mention that my teacher survived the London Biltz?*

*Yes, my teacher did live through the London Blitz. You now may understand why I have lots of stories about ballet. Several of them aren’t so much about ballet as about the things we learned due to the fact that our teacher grew up in World War II London.

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Pardon My French

My first French lessons were ballet terminology. This taught me such useful phrases as “step of the cat” (pas de chat), “circle of the leg” (rond de jambe), and “step of the horse” (pas de cheval). I also learned that sissonne means scissors and fondu means melt. And I learned all of this terminology from a woman who had trained with the Royal Ballet Company in London. Yes, she had a classic Received Pronunciation accent. The words may have been French, but they came out with an English accent. And while knowing ballet terminology is useful when one is doing ballet, it is not terribly useful when it comes to having a conversation.

Naturally, I decided to take French in high school. But when my French really started to improve was when I simultaneously took independent study Spanish from a teacher who happened to speak French fluently. Even though I was supposedly learning Spanish from her, we communicated in written French. (I even answered at least one oral quiz question in French without realizing it until she looked at me and said, “Now do you want to say it in Spanish?”) My Spanish was never great, but it sure helped my French!

And then I went to college. And not just any college. A college with the opportunity to study in Italy. The rules said that you either had to take at least one semester of Italian before you went or one while you were there. It seemed silly to me to wait, so freshman year, I took Italian 101 first semester and Italian 102 second semester. And I lost any ability I’d had to speak Spanish. But French still came in handy. My professor was from the north of Italy and had this habit of comparing Italian grammar to French grammar. My notes were written in three languages: English, Italian, and French.

And then I actually went to Rome. And I used my Italian. Occasionally I found cause to use my French while I was traveling in other countries, but I wasn’t as immersed in the sound as I was with Italian. Needless to say, my French started to atrophy.

This is a long way of saying that astute readers may have noted that my replacement for the word “team” regarding the roles Heather and Nicki will play in the delivery room was in both French and Italian. As I was writing up my birth plan, I thought I should double-check my phrasing.

So here is their official title. They are my corps d’accouchement. A phrase entirely in French.

P.S. I start having individual appointments with the midwife next Thursday. Hard to believe I’m far enough along that I’ll be seeing someone weekly!

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Daddy-Daughter Day

Before we get too far, I want to start by saying that it’s 5am as I start writing this. On a Sunday morning. I’m awake way too early. Wide awake. How wide awake? I put laundry in the wash ten minutes ago. And that entails putting on clothes because the laundry, while in my building, is not in my specific unit. It’s downstairs. Of course, this does mean my laundry will be done before 7. I foresee at least one nap today.

Yesterday, my daddy and I spent the morning (okay, into the afternoon since it took us past noon) decorating the nursery. There was a valance to be hung. My folding table needed to be moved to the storage unit since I definitely won’t be using that room as an office. (Since I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to get pregnant when I moved in, the room had the potential to become either my office/library/craft room or the baby’s room. Baby for the win!) There was one framed drawing for that room, not to mention some artwork to be hung in other rooms while we were at it. And there were wall decals to be hung. Oh, were there wall decals to be hung!

I really wanted to avoid dealing with nail holes in this apartment, so I’ve been hanging my art using those Velcro-like removable sticky things. I would like to disclose that I am in no way affiliated with 3M who makes this “Command Strips”. They are awesome. Some of the coolest ones they make are effectively nails, so if you have pictures in frames with hanging wires, you can hang them on nails without actually putting nails in your walls. I just wish I’d thought to look for something like this at my old apartment. And since they also make decorative hooks, we could hang the curtain rod for the valance without mounting any hardware in the wall. And it works. It really doesn’t seem like it should. The fact that you can cleanly remove them from the wall but they are rated to hold three pounds (or more depending on the exact item)… It just doesn’t seem possible. Now I just need to get frames for my souvenir watercolors so that I can hang them, too!

But really, the fun came when we were hanging the decals. If you haven’t seen these as a decorating option yet, you should check them out. They’re vinyl decals that are easily positioned and repositioned, and the finished product makes it look like you spent hours fancily painting the room. I found a whimsical set consisting of branches, leaves, flowers, butterflies, a plump bird, a squirrel, and the decal that sealed the deal, a hedgehog. I already had an idea of where I wanted some of them to go. The hedgehog, for example, is “standing” on the dresser. The longest branch swoops over the crib. Another branch curls beside the door. But pretty much everything else we made up as we went along. Yes, we might have had a little too much fun deciding how to place all of the decals. And the best part is that they can be changed. I decide I don’t like where we put that flower? I can move it. The furniture gets rearranged? No problem. The decals can be moved, too.

So while there are still a few things to be dealt with before the bump’s room is really the bump’s and not still holding some of momma’s things, it’s coming together. It’s looking like a nursery.

And none of this feels real. I’m 35 weeks pregnant, but I still can’t believe this is really happening. I can sit and watch my belly move as the bump twists and stretches, but it still doesn’t seem possible that in a little over a month, a brand new person will take up residence with me. I know I’ll get over that. I know that I’ll be ready to stop being pregnant. But not yet.

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It’s My Doula and Me

I had dinner with Nicki on Monday so that we could talk birth plans (amongst lots of other things – we haven’t had a chance to sit and chat in quite a while). Lori has teased me about my age because apparently we “old” first-time moms have a tendency to have grand and glorious visions about how we imagine childbirth will go, so we tend to show up with these intricate birth plans. Me? Not so much. No drugs, unless I need them. Position? Whatever is comfortable for me and working for the bump. Bath? Ball? Sure!

I do know who is on my team, though. That would be Nicki and Heather, obviously. But I’m not so sure I really want to call them my “team”. I mean, I’m not really a sports girl (World Cup and Olympics excepted). I’m a dancer. And I’m not just a dancer. I’m a bunhead. I’m thinking I should call them my corps de natale. But maybe I should run that by them first…

But dinner with Nicki was good and reassuring. We’re pretty much on the same page about childbirth and nursing and childrearing. We’ve both read the same information about kangaroo care and delayed cord cutting. I still have some decisions to make, but I think the final line of my birth plan will really and truly be que sera sera. Because it is true. Whatever will be will be. It doesn’t matter how grand and glorious (or not) my birth plan is. It will alter and change as needed while I’m in labor.

Now we just need to find a time for my entire corps de natale to get together. You know. For rehearsal.

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Gee, But It’s Great to Be Back Home

At some point on Friday, I finally figured out why the week felt so disjointed. I only went into the office one day, and it was a Tuesday. No wonder I had a hard time remembering exactly which day of the week it was. (Seriously, at the conference, I had to keep checking the agenda to know whether it was Thursday or Friday.)

Wednesday morning, my mom picked me up and drove us to Chicago for my conference. The problem advantage of making hotel arrangements so close to the conference date is that the cheapest rooms are all full. (The hotel has a 72-hour cancellation policy. If I’d booked the room while the group rate was still available and then had been told by the midwife that I couldn’t travel, I would have had to pay for the room out of pocket.) We weren’t expecting our room to be ready, but we were able to get in as soon as we got there. This particular Westin is rather discreetly branded. We drove by it at least once before I was able to identify the correct building. Anyway, we were told that there was only one of the type of room we reserved ready for check-in. She was very apologetic that it was on a low floor, but to make up for that fact, it was a corner room. Turned out to be not quite ready for check-in. We were sitting, people-watching the pedestrians crossing the river when there was a tap on the door. It was the person whose job it is to check the mini-fridge between guests. He was very apologetic for disturbing us. Not that we really cared. We also suspect he could tell it was obvious we weren’t the sort of people to indulge in the exorbitantly priced goodies. Yes, we packed our own lunch.

The pre-conference was pretty good. It was your basic review of the accreditation process with useful tidbits on which criteria are most likely to be found non-compliant. I was able to snag a seat right by the door. I took more than the one break that was scheduled. A lot more breaks. And I got a lot of knitting done, too. And I wasn’t the only person with a really small department. That is one of the annoying things about these national conferences. They are frequently populated by these departments of ten or fifteen full-time staff members. There were several of us who run the whole show all by ourselves. (Okay, I do have half an admin, but when it comes to compliance…)

Since Wednesday was an early day – we were done at 3:30 – my mom and I decided it was a good day to go out for dinner. We wandered in the general direction of the Giordano’s on Rush, knew we’d wandered too far, and eventually found our way back so that I could get my spinach stuffed pizza fix. And then we wandered back to the hotel to watch some HGTV before crashing.

Still being on Michigan time, I was awake very early, which made Thursday an even longer day. The conference started around 8 and ran all the way until 5. Around 6, my mom and I went down to the bar in the lobby for dinner.

Friday was only a half-day. I would have skipped out of the last plenary session since it was basically a condensed version of the pre-conference from Wednesday, but my attendance certificate had been sent to the wrong break-out room. I didn’t think it would look good to just hang out near registration while waiting for my certificate to show up and then leave. Instead, I snagged a seat in the back row, stayed for about half an hour, and then gathered up my things before going to the bathroom. And then I went back to registration to get my attendance certificate and leave. My mom called for the car, I checked us out, and we were on the road back to Kalamazoo.

I am so glad my mom was willing and able to drive. I was pretty beat. (My mom describes the way I currently sleep thus: I take two hour naps between bathroom breaks.)

And yesterday was the “friend” baby shower, hosted by Meredith and Jenny. I now have several onesies, decorated by the guests. In addition to the variety of things for the bump, there were some things for me. I know I will enjoy the pedicure! I’m sure I’m not the only expectant mother to feel this way, but I have the most amazingly generous friends. I feel incredibly loved.

And, yes, I was happy to put my feet up when I got home.

There was just one little thing that had to be dealt with today. I really needed to go grocery shopping. I am pretty much out of yogurt. You’ll note that last sentence is still in the present tense. If I weren’t a total yogurt snob (which I am and freely confess to being), I would have left Meijer’s with yogurt. But I am a total yogurt snob, and the one yogurt that Meijer’s was out of is the one that I was looking for. And, yes, they were out of it. I asked if there was any in the back and was told that it had just been restocked so if there was none there, there was none to be had. So I still need yogurt. Clearly, a trip to Sawall’s will be had after work tomorrow.

But Meijer’s was dealt with early, so I have been home. A little Hulu. A little knitting. A little napping. And no more going places. It’s good to be home.

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