Wednesday, September 30, 2009

+ 4 Days (5 Days)

Well, maybe the list yesterday helped, but I am feeling better today. Either that, or it's because I slept until 9:45 this morning (10+ hours of sleep...mmmmmmm :-).

I've sort of resigned myself to the idea that this baby isn't coming until modern medicine intervenes on Sunday. This has freed me up to run errands, work on curtains (2nd panel done; two to go), knit (the Ribby Cardi is one sleeve, front bands, and a collar from being done) and generally ignore the fact that I am pregnant, as much as I can. Everyone keeps telling me not to wander too far from home, just in case, but I figure if the baby's not coming 'til Sunday, I have nothing to worry about.

Yesterday was cold--and I discovered that I cannot zip my jacket any more. This was a shock to me, as I believe as little as two weeks ago I managed to zip it, and now it is too small by a lot--at least two inches. This kid is going to be huge. My maternity clothes are starting to be too short to cover my belly. I told him that if he doesn't come out soon, we are both going to freeze to death, because I am NOT buying a new coat!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

+ 3 Days (6 Days)

You know, I'm kind of amazed that we don't regularly hear stories on the news of very pregnant women going on killing sprees or stabbing themselves in the stomach with butcher knives just to have it over with. I'm not there, but I can kind of see how you could get there, if you were just a leeeeeettle more psychotic. Out of the millions of women pregnant on any given day, I'm amazed it doesn't happen.

I'm not joking.

So, I decided I better make a list of good things about this pregnancy, just as a reminder. In no particular order, consider this my List of Reasons Not to Be Mad at the Baby:

  • I threw up only once in the entire nine months, and I believe that was actually food-related, not pregnancy-related.
  • I have had various aches and pains, but no excruciating constant back, hip or leg pain.
  • I have not been confined to bed rest for any period of time.
  • My hands and feet have swollen, but not to the point where I can't wear my shoes or have debilitating carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Though I get up during the night four or five times, generally I do not have trouble getting back to sleep.
  • I don't have gestational diabetes, despite having eaten (and continuing to eat) way more sweets than is good for me.
  • Despite being really old (39), I had no trouble getting pregnant, and the pregnancy has been pretty complication-free (one trip to the emergency room notwithstanding).
  • I do not have any stretch marks (knock wood).
  • My belly button is still an innie.
  • The baby has been really good: he moves around, he looks healthy, he grows predictably, and he has generally never given me reason to worry. Even the trip to emergency room was about me; once we got a look at him, it was clear he continued to be happy as a clam. So happy, I guess, that he sees no reason to change things.
There, see? Maternal serenity achieved, even if only for about ten minutes.

Monday, September 28, 2009

+ 2 Days (7 Days)

So, in an effort to keep from being angry with my son before he is even born, today I spent a few hours making a curtain for his room. The baby's room has some plain curtains in it, but we've been wanting to have some cute curtains instead. Cute curtains are hard to find--if you look for kids' curtains, mostly what you'll find is either licensed character stuff (Disney et al.) or just valances. I think valances are dumb.

So, I thought I would make some, but cute fabric is also tough to find, as much of it is pastel or flannel or just way too cutesy (which is not the same as cute!). But today, armed with a single item 50% off coupon, I went into Jo-Ann's and found some stuff I liked, and which I think my sweetie will like (we have, in this as in everything, very different tastes).

I also bought some blackout lining fabric so that the curtains will keep the room nice and dark. My sweetie thinks this will help the baby sleep; I have my doubts.

The baby's room has two windows, and therefore will need four panels. I managed to make one panel today before my needle broke; now I need to go back to Jo-Ann's and buy a needle. I was kind of amazed that the one panel took several hours to construct, but I was being unusually meticulous, as I wanted the blackout liner to hang well. It looks pretty nice, if I do say so myself.

My sweetie has accused me of nesting. I am not so sure. If I have the baby tonight or tomorrow, I will concede that maybe I was nesting. Otherwise, I was just really bored.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

+ 1 Day (8 Days)

In "The Story of Rowsby Woof and the Fairy Wogdog," a tale-within-a-tale in one of my favorite books, Watership Down, Rowsby Woof says to El-ahrairah and Rabscuttle, "Dirty little beasts!...Get out--out! Out--out!"

That's how I'm feeling right now.

Every time the kid kicks me, I think, "Stop kicking me and get the hell out!" Every time I get a pain or a cramp or a gas bubble, I think, "If it isn't a contraction, then don't bother me!"

I realize he is technically only one day (OK, 30 minutes) late, and I realize (hope!) that once he gets here, it won't matter a whit that he was late, but right now, this minute, I am feeling really angry and resentful.

I'm tired of being nothing but an incubator. No one is interested in me for any other reason, and that includes myself. Various people check in every few days to find out if the baby has come, as if we would somehow forget to mention it. My mother arrived on Friday, and as I feared, we have spent the last day and a half sitting around staring at each other, bored out of our skulls, waiting. People make jokes about giant babies and tell me stories about women they know who were weeks late, and I grin and say it could be worse, and inside I think, "I am going to the f--king hospital and having this thing cut out of me if it's the last thing I f--king do." I've heard all kinds of theories on what might bring on labor, none of which have any real proof behind them, and I am wondering if simple seething rage will have sufficient psychosomatic effect to get it moving.

Maybe that's the secret: labor is really just a giant temper tantrum where you are finally fed up enough that you eject the baby out of pure fury. I suspect I am going to be one of those women who spends the entire experience cursing.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

2 Days (11 Days)

Well, I did try some spicy Indian food last night, but all it did was make the baby jump around a lot. SIGH.

Saw the doctor this morning. She says I am further along than last week, but still not about to pop. She said she cannot strip my membranes because my cervix is still too far back. But the baby does appear to be in the correct position for birth (his back to my front).

But the basic upshot is, I can't have the baby without contractions, so until I have them, we're just waiting around. Going nuts.

On the bright side, she's put me on the schedule to be induced. She can't induce me until I am one week past my due date, which will be October 3. So on Sunday, October 4, if I still haven't had the baby, she'll give me a ripening agent (softens the cervix) which, given where I am now, she thinks will be enough to bring on labor. If not, then on Monday, October 5, she'll induce me.

So, either way, this will be over in 11 days. Maybe I should change my count, 'cause there is no way this baby is coming without encouragement. Just what we need in this family, another procrastinator.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Rituals to make the baby come

Since jumping up and down for several hours a day does not seem to be working, I am trying other methods for moving this baby along:

I've packed a hospital bag, and put it next to the door. Yeah, I don't think this is going to be very effective, so I've also done this:

This is Chic Knits' Ribby Cardi, and I am already 12 inches into the body (started Sunday night). I have calmly informed the kid that I fully intend to finish the sweater before he shows up.

I am knitting it for myself, which I acknowledge is a bad idea, since I have no idea what size I am going to be, but there you are. It also calls for putting in a zipper, which intimidates me. Plus, I am using yarn from a neighbor's destash (ie, she was getting rid of yarn; I acquired sufficient yarn from this that I had to buy a whole new bin to house it), and am not positive I have enough. With all these roadblocks, finishing the sweater before the baby comes is going to be a challenge, but I am going to do it. Unless he himself decides to thwart me, of course (hint, hint!).

My sweetie has done me one better: he's bought a kayak (read: he's invested a lot of money in making the baby come), and we're supposed to pick it up tonight. If this doesn't make the baby come today, he is just hopelessly stubborn.

Finally, on a totally unrelated note, a picture for my friend Shirley:

The neighbor's kid put up a homemade bird feeder made from a milk carton. This was about fifteen minutes later.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

4 Days

It's 5:00 am, and I've been awake since 3:30. This is because when I got up at 3:30 to go pee, it was the fourth time I had gotten up tonight, and I couldn't go back to sleep. My shoulder hurt from sleeping on my side for who knows how many months (I am naturally a stomach sleeper. You side sleepers--what the hell do you do with your shoulders when sleeping on your sides? My shoulder always curls under, which makes it hurt), so I couldn't get comfortable, and in 20 minutes I needed to pee again, so I just gave up.

Not to get all political, but as I've gone through this pregnancy, I've really wondered how anyone could experience the process and still believe in intelligent design. Design, OK, maybe, but intelligent design? No freaking way.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

9 Days

Went to the doctor this morning, and had the following conversation:

Me: I was going to tell you I haven't felt him very much in the last day or so, but then on the way here I felt him, so I am less worried.
Dr: You won't feel him as much now, but you should still feel him every day.

Later, while she's using the doppler (a sort of sonar device she uses to listen to the baby's heartbeat):

Dr: He has a nice acceleration when he moves.
Me: What does that mean?
Dr: I'm watching him move, and when the baby moves, he should have a slight acceleration in the heartbeat.
Me: (Extremely puzzled expression--we're not using an ultrasound)
Dr: Oh, I can see him moving around [note: from the outside]. Do you not feel that?
Me: No, I don't.
Dr: Well, that's pretty common. At this point your belly is so stretched out that your nerves just kind of give up. You might have to actually use your hands and press down from the outside to feel him move.

So, it's official: my nerves have given up. Did I mention that I call the baby "The Parasite"?

Anyway, I am 2-3 cm dilated, but still have a ways to go on the "thinning" front (which I take to mean effacement). She doesn't give me a number for that, and I haven't asked for one--why torture myself? The baby has still not dropped. He's too busy working a number on my nerves (I think this is only the beginning of that....). She said next week we can start discussing my options if he still looks like he's not going anywhere.

In other news, I actually lost weight this week. I may just manage to stay under 200 lbs. It'll be only a smidge under, but hey, every triumph must be celebrated.

This week is my first week off of work. I've been knitting like a fiend, and not doing much else. I feel a little guilty, because there's still a lot to do around the house, and I've just been sitting around twiddling my thumbs. On the bright side, this baby's going to be late, so I still have time.

Yesterday, instead of cleaning the basement or doing laundry, I baked these, for a neighbor who helped us with a little toilet leak issue we were having:

They are green tea shortbread, and black sesame shortbread. These are the extras I saved for us :-). The ones we gave the neighbor were a little fancier: I spread the bottoms of some of them with white chocolate, and some with dark chocolate, and left others plain. I really, really like the black sesame ones: not too sweet and very sesame-y (if you like sesame). The green tea ones are OK--I think the problem is that I used sweetened matcha (which is what I could find) and so the cookies are a little sweeter than I'd like and you can't really taste the bitterness of the matcha. Next time I will reduce the amount of sugar.

I've also done some knitting for other people's babies:

My third Baby Surprise Jacket. I love this pattern, have I mentioned? Fun, fast, cute. This is for a baby who's about ten months old, but I used Debbie Mumm Traditions yarn, which has a gauge of 4.5 stitches per inch, so the finished jacket is a good size, I think. I used Jemima Puddle-Duck buttons :-).

I hated the yarn, by the way. It's mostly acrylic, and I hate acrylic, but I talked myself into it because the colors, especially this yellow, were beautiful. It's a loosely spun yarn that looks a lot like Noro, but a lot softer. But as soon as I got it on my needles, it had that nasty squeakiness that acrylic yarns have. Hate that. Plus, as I've mentioned before, it threw up a knot in the last row, which just pissed me off. I know, I got through two skeins without a knot, but the inconvenience of that one knot just soured me on the whole thing.

This is a Topaz, for a neighbor who is expecting a daughter one month after me. Knit in a skein of Blue Sky Dyed Cotton (red) I had leftover in my stash, and a bit of Manos del Uruguay Stria (blue) I bought for the purpose. The Stria was not a good match for the Blue Sky--it's a lot thinner, for one thing, which is why I decided to skip the accent on the shoulders--I thought the gauge in Stria would be too far off. I also don't really like the bumpy texture of the Stria, which makes your stitches look kind of uneven. And the fair-isle style border was a pain in the butt. This was my first real try at stranded knitting, and boy, I wasn't very happy with it. It was really hard to get the tension right, and I hated the way the yarns got all tangled up. My dreams of someday making a full-on fair isle sweater have suffered a setback!

Fortunately, since Topaz is knit at gauge of 4 stitches per inch, this little dress took just one day to do. And I think it turned out nicely, despite my frustrations with it.

OK, that's enough updates, at least on knitting, for now. I was thinking this morning, you know how on police procedurals the cops seize the suspect's computer and go through all the files to find evidence? It occurred to me that anyone who did that to my computer would be profoundly bored.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009


So after all the baby knitting, I decided to knit something else:

These are Sunday Swing socks from I knit them out of Pagewood Farm's Denali sock yarn in "Fabulous Fall," on size 2 needles. They were a quick knit, about nine days, on and off, which is what I love about socks. I knit them for my sister-in-law for Christmas, so I am feeling quite proud of myself for getting a jump on Christmas presents in September :-).

Th only mods I made were to make the socks symmetrical instead of identical, because I like them that way. I simply twisted the rib on the cuff for the second sock the other way, then mirror-imaged the stitch pattern. It worked out really nicely, and I think the pattern does indeed show off the handpainted yarn very well. Of course, my sister-in-law lives in Florida, so I don't know that she'll have much use for wool socks, but there you are :-).

I'm thinking of tackling a scarf for another sister-in-law next. Hey, I've got time on my hands right now--I feel sort of restless, like all I am doing is waiting for this baby to arrive, and I can't do much while I am waiting. So.....knitting. I'm also in the middle of a pair of socks for me, but am stalled because I think I need to frog what I've done (about 2/3 of the first sock--I'm past the heel turn) and make a bigger size. I am hesitating only because I know my feet and ankles are swollen, but I don't think they're swollen that much. The decision may have to wait until after the baby's born, drat it. How long does it take your feet to de-swell?

17 Days

Thanks for all the encouragement, guys! I am avoiding the scale and my sweetie and I are getting ready for the baby. Over the long weekend, we did a lot!

Among the many, many things we put together, the bouncer:

We made more progress on setting up the room:

I am particularly fond of this:

We had had the crib and changing table previously, but we still had piles of things that had nowhere to go, and so were scattered around the room in boxes and bags. With this lovely little bookcase from IKEA, we've got it all off the floor. I have no idea how long it will last once the baby is here, but hey, for now it's a marvel of organization.

We were on our feet a lot over the weekend, and my hips, legs and feet were killing me. It was really good to get some things done, though--we also did a lot around the house that wasn't directly related to the baby. We've never really fully unpacked/organized/set up house in the year we've lived here, so we're trying to get some of it done (finally!) before relatives descend.

Friday is my last day of work--whee!!! We'll see what I can get done once I am home all day. I suspect that I will feel pretty happy if I manage to get out of bed each day (not because I am so sleepy, but because it's literally difficult to heave myself out! :-)