No Baby Yet

No baby yet.  Just kind of lumping along.  I feel like a lumbering cow and must admit to being glad not to have gained any further weight since the last midwife appointment. Right now the baby is wiggling so much it is driving me nuts.  She has not been this wiggly all at once in a while.  I don’t know what is getting her going, but she sure is moving around.  Want to come out, maybe?

My daughter is planning a dog wedding between our dog and the neighbor dog.  She designed decorations, has picked out music, and sent out invitations.  She certainly has a mind of her own, that one.

Anyway, still no baby.  Too tired to write anything else, although I must say that I am ashamed of our country and the legislators who think it is okay to catcall the president during a speech.  I hated GW, but I still felt his position deserved the respect of the other branches of government.  We have turned into a nation of freaks and ignoramuses.  Sad indeed.

Pregnancy Insomnia

It does not matter when I go to bed, I wake up at 6:43 a.m. every day, usually to pee, then cannot go back to sleep.  By the time my body might consider going back to sleep, it has to pee again.  Pregnancy is so fun.  There is also often the problem of a numb hip or arm.  My middle is so much heavier than I’m used to, it seems to cut off circulation.  I noticed a reflection of myself yesterday while waiting in a line.  I look funny.  I have skinny legs and skinny arms and then this watermelon in the middle.

I am carrying differently than I did with Milla, but this does not surprise me.  Milla obliterated the flat and tiny stomach muscles I had enjoyed my entire life up to that point.  I think she also shifted my guts around.  This baby also seems to like to hang out up in my ribs more than Milla ever did.  My sister complained about her babies (she has 4!!) bruising her ribs.  I had no context.  Milla liked to lie on my pelvis.  That hurt.  I think wherever baby hangs out inside us eventually hurts.  Anyway, this baby moves all over, but she does hang out near my ribs and it is quite uncomfortable.  I push and shove and rub and move her back down.  Lately she has been lower in my pelvis (in fact she’s wiggling there now), but it’s getting closer to birth time.  In fact yesterday was 2 months to due date exactly, so there isn’t a lot of time left.

I do believe I have the sweetest child in the world.  As I sit here I see the little pile of jewelry she made me last night while I was working away on the computer.  She and I were talking yesterday about some girls she met in our building.  They told her they could not imagine having no television (we do not have one).  I reiterated to Milla that I think it’s better not having one, that I never even notice not having one.  The jewelry-making provides an example why.  When we are home in the evenings, or even during the day, Milla finds things to do with herself.  She knits.  She crochets.  She draws and draws and draws.  She makes me jewelry.  When she grows up, I will have all these mementos of a childhood spent doing things rather than staring at the idiot box.  That’s a good enough reason for me not to have one.

Baby One is growing up.

Baby One is growing up.

Baby Two sucks her thumb.

Baby Two sucks her thumb.

Pregnancy Brain

I heard someone say or I read somewhere that “pregnant women are stupid.” I have to agree. Having gone from a person with so many thoughts running through my head I had to start a blog to deal with them all so I could focus on the other stuff I wanted to write, to someone who can barely compose a coherent sentence, let alone an entire blog piece, all in the span of just under 8 months, I have to agree.

The end of the first trimester and beginning of the second were the worst.  I look back at my blog posts from that time.  The number of posts start to dwindle.  The topics become more inane.  In fact I wrote about the fact that my brain seemed not to be functioning as it had previously.   And I just wrote about the concern, but there seemed to be no real pressing urge to change it.  I was sitting there muddled in a fog.

Gradually over the last few weeks I have started feeling somewhat clearer, but by brain in no way compares to how it was when I was not pregnant.  My energy levels certainly don’t.  I have always been the sort of person who has a list of 20 things to do and gets all of them done with time left over.  Now?  Now it’s a feat if I remember, oh yeah, I have that appointment today, and manage to dress and get to it on time.  Then that’s it.  I’m done for the day.  I also used to clean the house once a week.  Now it seems it takes seeing pink around the drain in the tub to remind me to clean mildew, or the dog chewing up a roll of toilet paper to force me to drag out the vacuum cleaner.  About the only thing I’ve remained regular on in the housecleaning department is keeping the kitchen clean.  Of course, our kitchen is so tiny, if it isn’t kept clean it’s a disaster within 2 days so the “mildew ring” shows up sooner, so to speak.

Words also used to flit off my tongue.  I had a thought and a response to everything.  Often these thoughts had some intelligence behind them, and I would analyze and think around all the angles.  Not anymore.  Now I don’t even have the thoughts, let alone intelligent ones.

I have some great writing projects I’m working on.  They are like cars with broken batteries.  I give them a jump.  I get them going for a bit.  Then they stop again and languish, waiting for AAA to come and jump them again.  Only AAA takes its own sweet time.  I took months completing and revising a short story I’m pretty pleased with.  I was at the query phase, ready to send letters to the magazines I had chosen.  Incidentally, choosing the magazines took weeks.  Then I started to write the query letter, but it didn’t roll off the fingers as such letters had in the past.  I had to write something saying what the story was about.  Stuck, I stopped for the day, then took a trip to Portland, and I still haven’t finished.  It’s on the list.

The list.  I’ve started making these because I forget things.  I was never much of a list maker in my personal life.  As an attorney, I had lists.  I had calendars.  I am extremely organized.  But I never had to in my personal life.  Now I do.  If I don’t make a list, even the stories and non-fiction pieces I’m working on are forgotten.

I realize pregnancy has hijacked my brain.  I realize at some point the thoughts will return.  However, I also realize that soon there will be a little baby to take my attention and getting these things done will be a practicality nightmare.  This realization is somewhat overwhelming.  Will it be years before I get my brain back?  Will the stories I have been working on be dated by then?  I feel the urge to complete these projects, but can’t seem to get them done.  However, I have stopped just lying in bed in the morning when I can’t sleep after I had to get up for the tenth time to pee.  I have started coming here and writing a little bit now and then.  So maybe there is hope.  I guess it will be obvious by the number of posts I make here.  Or not.

Cottonhead

There is fuzz in my brain.  No, not the police, just cotton.  Thick lumps of it, blocking any attempt at coherent thought.  Do you know how many “drafts” I have saved in this blog?  Unpublished drafts of things I started and then never got around to finishing because I either could not figure out what I was going to say or because I was interrupted and when I went back I could not catch the train of thought?  Lots of them.  Lots and lots.  Sometimes what I was writing seemed like something I wanted to say, then when I went back I realized it was just stupid, so I deleted it.

We are looking for a new apartment.  I really want to move.  I really want to move before the baby comes.  But I also am not thrilled at the prospect of looking for apartments.  Yuck.  I hate the ads. So many of them are bogus crap.  Craigslist is wonderful in many ways, but the crap ads are annoying.  I flag them, but they still show up. I wish there were some way for Craigslist to improve that feature of its ads.

Well this is my mindless blurb for the day.  I really have nothing more to say.  So I’m going to work on the long list of things I need to complete.  Maybe my writing projects won’t go as slowly as usual, but I doubt it since my brain seems filled with pregnancy cotton this morning again.  Whee.

Beached Whale

I’m just stuck, energetically, physically, mentally.  I think it’s pregnancy, but I’m not totally sure.  There have been so many changes in the last six months that could be attributable to this logjam.  However, I have experienced major changes before and not felt so inept and unable.  It’s weird having been a person with a quick mind and quick body turning into someone who has difficulty thinking of words and can’t just leap out of bed or a chair.  I feel like a beached whale, stuck here on shore, lying in the salt surf, seeing what was all around me, yet unable to do anything about it.

We recently took a trip back to Portland. While there, we ran around hither and thither, visiting and seeing family and friends.  In the past such a visit would have been delightful to me.  If there had been a free moment, I would have wanted to fill it.  This time, I was exhausted a third of the way into the trip.  A couple of times I just ran into a physical wall in the middle of the day.  I had to say Enough is enough! and go lie on the bed and take a nap.  Pregnancy was definitely the culprit there.

The first trimester of this pregnancy was a nightmare.  I suffered severe perinatal depression without knowing such a thing existed.  My boyfriend thought I was an alien, and wasn’t very supportive as a result.  I still looked like my normal self, but I was not the same person.  I overreacted to the smallest things.  I would sob and sob and sob for hours.  My brain completely fogged up.  I finally realized I was experiencing something physical, so I decided to do some research.  In the process I found Brooke Sheilds’s book on her experience with postpartum depression and discovered that a pregnant woman or one who has just given birth who has gone through an enormous amount of stress prior to the pregnancy is much more likely to suffer from depression.  Considering the level of stress in the years leading up to being pregnant, coupled with the stress of moving across the country, moving in with my new boyfriend, getting pregnant, moving away from Milla for the first time ever in her life, and I was a perfect candidate for peri or post natal depression.

Based on this information, I did further research and discovered that the leading expert on peri and post natal depression was based in New York, not far from where we live.  Her name is Dr. Margaret Spinelli.  She was conducting a study to determine whether counseling a pregnant woman to improve her interpersonal relationships would improve her depression and reduce the likelihood of it occurring after pregnancy.  I had a consultation with Dr. Spinelli and she admitted me into the study.  Since going, my moods have improved dramatically.  It also seemed to help just to know that I wasn’t actually going nuts but suffering from a physical response to being pregnant under stress, and to understand that the troubles in my relationship were making things worse.

I’m still waiting for my boyfriend to understand that my emotional reactions to most things are normal for a pregnant woman, and especially a woman with perinatal depression, but I feel better understanding that how I feel comes from a diagnosable source, one that will go away when my hormones settle down, and if they don’t, there is medication available to assist me.  Considering the level of improvement I’ve experienced without drugs, I am genuinely hoping to avoid that route completely.  I also make sure to keep my sugar intake to a minimum and exercise, because I definitely feel worse when I eat sugar or don’t exercise.

Even without perinatal depression, the physical demands of pregnancy aren’t much fun.  I did not like being pregnant with Milla.  This pregnancy is no exception.  When I was pregnant with Milla I would hear about women who said they never felt better that when they were pregnant.  My response to that was they must have felt pretty crappy the rest of their life!  I like having a clear brain.  I like having a lithe body.  I can’t wait to have the little baby out here so I can get off this beach and back into the ocean.

Giving Birth to a Kitten

I dreamed I gave birth to a kitten. Giving birth to the kitten was normal. It was black and white.  As it tried to nurse I realized that it was not the human I had been expecting. I remembered registering for baby things on Amazon.  I realized I would have to tell everyone that I did not need those things because I did not have a baby, I had a cat.  I knew why the birth had happened months before it should have, because the kitten’s gestational period was shorter than a baby’s.  I missed the baby that was not human.  I loved the kitten but was so sad it was not a human with arms and legs.

Damn weird dream.