Today is the 14th anniversary of the day Brando agreed to spend his life following my ambitions around the country. Back then we had just moved to New York and were already on path to going broke as highly underpaid publishing drones. I'll bet he never thought that all these years later we'd be living with the moose and Sasquatch in Upper Michigan and just now getting ready for our first baby.
At any rate, here is what my sweetie said this morning, on seeing a flier on a table that reads "When preparing for your new baby, don't forget..."
So baby's been getting the hiccups. A lot. And they're not the cute little wee hiccups they were a few weeks ago. No, these are hiccups of the body-rending variety, and they have the unfortunate tendency to happen first thing in the morning, around 6 am when I'm really really not in the mood. We've even established a little pattern of late. So I have that to look forward to postpartum--early morning hiccups and late-night squirm sessions.
A few weeks ago I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes as well, not a big surprise given my pre-pregnancy weight problems, but I've been sticking my finger with a pin to get a drop of blood every day since then and have been on a somewhat strict diet. The good news: I've been managing to control the blood sugar with just a few changes in diet, so no need for insulin. The bad news: almost everything I was eating before is somewhat off-limits. No breakfast cereal (wah!) Very little milk, unless I've had some kind of protein first (wah!). Lots more meat and eggs and veggies and cheese and peanut butter (boo!). No more drinks with sugar in them--as*par*tame is safe for the baby, apparently, but sugar is not. So it's been back to Cry*stal Light for me, which actually I prefer, because I'm one of those freaks who hates full-sugar soft drinks.
The funny thing is, I hadn't gained that much weight with this pregnancy. About 11-12 pounds altogether just before the diagnosis. But since the diagnosis and diet change I've actually lost 3-4 pounds. So my total pregnancy weight gain is about 8 pounds as of this morning. People keep telling me I look thinner, despite the jutting belly, that my legs and face and rear end look thinner. I would be concerned except that my doc said if I didn't gain any weight at all during the pregnancy, it wouldn't matter. Who knew that getting pregnant would be the best diet I ever went on? My mom said much the same thing happened to her when she was pregnant with me.
I also attended the local breastfeeding class last night and was pleasantly surprised that the nurse who was teaching it insist that breastfeeding should not be painful, that the cracking and bleeding that so many people experience is the result of faulty latch technique and that if it hurts at all, I should pull the baby off and start again. Of course, in theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.
But it gave me hope that I might actually be able to do six months of breastfeeding. I've heard all the statistics about how it's supposed to be better for baby blah blah. But really I'm doing it because I'm cheap. And I hate doing lots of dishes.
On the book front, things started cooking this week just as I had a major bout of summer malaise and wanted to stay in bed all day. So I've been fighting those twin urges--write or sleep--all week.
Here's hoping everything gets back to our regular schedule when Brando gets home later today.
Sorry for the lack of posts lately. First I bogged down in end-of-semester grading hell (I swear sometimes I spend more time grading my students' papers than they do editing them), then went to my parents' place outside Chi-town for a few days so I could actually see grass growing and other green things, since spring in Marquette seemed to still be a month away.
But finally I'm back, and spring has actually sprung (I have yard tulips--who knew?) in time to work on some freelance editing projects and try, without a lot of success so far, to get the new novel off the ground before the baby comes (t-minus 6 weeks and counting!) and my mother-in-law comes for her first-ever stop at my house (t-minus 2 weeks and counting).
All I can say is: I am screwed.
Not because of the mother-in-law, who really doesn't hassle me about much of anything. But the novel, oh, the novel. I love it, I'm thrilled to be working on it, but man, I forgot how ugly they are to get off the ground, how bad the first few days can be. I kept my very earliest ugly nascent draft of Icebergs just to remind myself of this moment, but even that horrible remnant is not making things any easier. It's time to push, push, push ahead, even if I don't feel like it, because it sure ain't going to get any easier in July.
As for the baby, things are going swimmingly on that front. On Saturday we had our childbirth education class in one long go, which I thought would be easier than weeks of night classes, but I forgot how hard it is for a pregnant woman to spend eight hours sitting in a hard office-like chair with no footstool. Between that, the placenta pictures, and the video clip of a woman being given an episiotomy, I was feeling quite ill by the lunch break. Thankfully after lunch we got on the floor for breathing exercises and coach-sponsored massage. Now that's a class I can get behind.
The baby suddenly feels very large, stretching from my hipbones to my liver, and solid, with tough little punches and kicks and stretches that have mass behind them. Man, I hope this kid isn't a ten-pounder like the other babies in our family, my nieces and nephews. I'm having an epidural, of course, because I don't believe they've started giving out medals for natural childbirth yet, but a big baby would still be a problem if I want to keep all my parts where they are now.
The kid also has a tendency to stop moving right at the moment when Brando puts his hand on my belly. Just to be stubborn.
Which means the baby is exactly like me already. God help us.