Archive for December, 2007

our christmas was quiet this year. other than a brief visit to tiny texas on saturday, we stayed put, and had a lovely christmas lunch at home with our friend t. i was only mildly nauseated by eating that day. a gift. i slept a lot over my long weekend, and hoped for enough energy to put in 3 days of work this week.

alas, not to be. a switch went off in me on christmas evening, and the blues settled in. i can’t pinpoint a reason, but i know it has a lot to do with missing my family, hating the awkwardness that comes with talking to the family members who don’t approve of my life choices, and being so tired of feeling like shit all the time.

i am bipolar (II) and off all my meds right now. i’ve done remarkably well throughout my pregnancy thus far, and the mission given to me by my therapist is to keep aware of the difference between pregnancy hormonal moodiness/depression/etc, and the bipolar depression/anxiety/etc. what i am experiencing now is definitely hormonal. i know that there are shifts as sparky is beginning to make her own hormones. and i know that holidays bring on the blues, even for the stablest of brain chemistry. however, i am basically undone by this wall of sadness and anxiety. my workday yesterday was hell. i deal with angry people on a regular basis, and i usually have enough energy to deflect the anger and fake compassion. yesterday, i cried between calls all day. i’ve never hated my job so much.

today, i am spent. h is out of town for the day. anything having to do with pet bodily fluids has been delegated to her until further notice, as any and all of it makes me literally gag. this morning, of course, one of the pets vomited in the livingroom. i had to clean it up. and afterward, i heaved and heaved until my belly and jaw ached. and then came the tears. i can’t stop with the crying. i took a day off. fmla approved, thankfully, but i feel guilty. what the fuck is wrong with me?

ANYWAY. lest this post turn into a colossal wah-fest, let me share moments of pure joy.

my mother sent a christmas card addressed to ‘anne, h, and baby’ last week. she also sent a wrapped package addressed to ‘baby’. though we’d decided to wait until christmas to open it, my mother told me over the phone that she couldn’t wait that long, and we had to open it. she gave us a beautiful fleecy blanket with little baby feets on it. it’s a wonder to know she is excited about sparky’s arrival.

on christmas night, the coach stopped by with presents from his parents. one gift was for sparky. a beautiful book of nursery rhymes with the inscription, “never has a child been so loved before arrival. with love, granma and granpa t”.

wow. sparky’s first book. sparky’s first blanket.

as for the sparkster, she continues to grow and i can feel tiny movements at night sometimes. i’m looking forward to hearing the heartbeat in a week, and hopefully have the bits-identifying ultrasound soon after…

here is a belly shot taken last night at 15w3d:

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so i think i may actually be surfacing from the hell of trimester one. sparky is growing up so quickly–14 weeks 3 days–and finally, i’ve been given a little relief from the nausea. it still comes and goes, but i’m regaining something like energy, which pretty much means that i don’t spend every waking moment wishing for bed. i’m remembering what it is like to be human again, and oh i like it.

my formerly retroverted uterus has abandoned my pelvis, and is now standing upright, on top of my bladder. awesome. my belly feels hard and thick, like i swallowed a hot water bottle. i poke it repeatedly and think, there’s a baby just underneath my finger. and then i get dizzy. still does.not.compute sometimes.

last night was a scare, as there was some definite, though not too dramatic spotting. i calmly left a message for my midwife, and waited. (at work.) when she called back, we went through the checklist of Things that Cause Bleeding in Second Trimester ™. after ruling out the possibility of sex, which i sadly have not had this week, we figured that the spotting was probably due to my ongoing battle with constipation. let’s just say i have to work a little harder for the money these days.

i haven’t had any more blood since last night, and i really am not too concerned about it, but for a brief moment, i was thrown back to the terror of that bloody mess i experienced at 5 weeks. and my body thrummed with the intimate understanding of how precarious life is. always. i thanked sparky for wanting to stay here with us.

i’ve been having trouble falling asleep every night recently, and as i was poking my belly in bed last night, i felt little bubbles tapping morse code from the inside.

everyone has been asking about whether or not we’ll find out if sparky is (in the immortal words of anne lamott) an internal or external american, and the answer is yes. in january. we’ll talk ultrasounds at my next midwife appointment on 3 january. i am so excited to be done with pronoun overcompensation.

i must go do some actual work now, but i leave you with a racy, scandalous, hairy photograph of my 14 week pregnant belly. i’ve seriously not been this thin in a long time. but that bump is solid sparky. and i’m so veiny! i had no idea. [disclaimer: i am not responsible for temporary blindness induced by viewing the bright whiteness of my person.]

14w3d sans shirt!

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so it’s 8 am and i’ve been up since about 6:30.  can’t sleep.  need sleep.  have only had 5 hours of it.  feeling weak and hungry.  dry heaves.  i have some applesauce.  more dry heaving.  i’m so tired.  oh sleep, why won’t you find me?

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i wanted to post a small entry about nausea.  on friday, i had a very long and busy day, and i actually had enough energy to make it through…with no nausea.

this weekend was restful and the only nausea came after i got cocky and thought i could easily digest chicken fried steak…after living on salads for two weeks.  oy.  badness.

and so, now it is monday night, and my nausea seems to really have lifted.  maybe it’s overwith?  possibly?  could it be done at 13 weeks?  oh how wonderful that would be…

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13 weeks.

lots and lots to say, as i’ve been feeling a little better over the past few days. i’ve actually had enough energy to ponder the fact that i really have a human being growing inside me. like, for real. one that is my child. that i will birth in six months. i remember exactly what i was doing six months ago–it doesn’t feel like all that much time has passed.

and to think i’ve never slept with a man. i wonder if my mom thinks about that…

anyway. there is so much to say. but it is midnight. and in order to have the requisite 10 hours of sleep to ensure a zombie-free day, i must close my eyes now. so i leave you with my 13 week belly shot, which was actually taken last night, so it counts for 12 weeks too:


if you’re obsessive like me, you’ll notice that my belly hasn’t grown per se; it’s just that my despised under-appreciated top and bottom rolls have morphed into one entity. i have felt lot of stretching just under my ribcage, and my stomach muscles have been rock hard. h told me last night that i’m ripped. i like her.

for those following along at home, my belly shot gallery is here.

buenas noches.

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i just received this email from my dear friend james. i’d sent him a clip of what a baby’s heartbeat sounds like via doppler.

god, just listening to this over and over again, dear… you know what else it reminds me of?? unlike most normal people who didn’t want to be astronauts or voluntary lifelong deep-space explorers when they were kids (or even still), i can’t help but hearing the stars. i listen to them a lot actually. nasa keeps all kinds of recordings…
anyway, i could send you some of the star sounds i’m thinking of; methinks you’d be struck by the strangeness of similarity. i know i am! and especially as i’ve never heard or thought of or noticed the connection before. it’s just beautiful, and amazing. really, this whole thing. and like i said the other night, i’ve never been more interested or concerned or felt my own heart beat so much about a baby before. usually i really don’t care and have some very smarmy inside-thought about, “big deal, you made a baby. who hasn’t?”

needless to say, it isn’t like that with sparky at all. i don’t know _why_ exactly, but it is what it is and i’m all gratitude and color bars.

all of it, especially hearing this sample of what sparky’s heart must very much sound like, looking into the dark abyss of an ultrasound… can you see it? the galaxy? the mystery? all the open vastness of emptiness inconspicuously meshing with possibility?

yes, jamesy. yes.

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when i arrived at michele’s this morning, the first thing she told me was that my records had not been sent. i offered a rumbly grrrrr, and she was all, “what’s the doc’s number?” she called, chose the physician’s line option from the menu, and demanded my records sounding all official-like. apparently, ms no social skills receptionist who clearly does not like me since i’m leaving the fold was all apologies, and michele was like, “i don’t care, my patient is HERE NOW, and i need the records.” five minutes later, we had them in hand.

*wipes hands together*
that chapter is done.

i learned a few things today.

1. my blood type is A+, the same as the coach. and so, i know sparky’s blood type.
2. my uterus is measuring 13 cm, right on target.
3. sparky has a heartbeat!!!

kristen the intern was the one with the doppler today, as michele gave instruction. she moved around my lower uterus for awhile, but only picked up my heartbeat. michele grew impatient (she is a quintessential chatty, impatient, energetic gemini–just like sparky will be, i’m sure) and put her hand on top of kristen’s. together they moved to the top of my uterus and pushed down hard. and then there it was. chugchugchug like a fast approaching locomotive. so strong. so constant. so very alive.

i couldn’t see h because of the midwives surrounding me, but i could hear her sharp inhale, and my eyes welled up. “it’s okay to cry,” michele said. “i cried every time i heard it with all 3 of my kids”. her eyes were welled up too. we listened for a long time, even recording it as a voicemail on h’s cell phone.

sparky is alive and growing, with A+ blood flowing through her veins. wow.

[note: h and i are both feeling lots of femininity emanating from my uterus vicinity. all the mystics in our lives predict a girl. and so we’ve defaulted to the feminine pronoun until we find out for sure in january…]

oh and pee ess: i’ve lost 6 lbs since my last appt. i was surprised. first trimester pregnancy: a great way to lose weight!

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it’s the end of another nauseated day here in austin, texass. i worked a full day yesterday, and was consequently nothing but a useless lump all day today.  and so i spent another day in bed.  it’s hard not to feel defeated. luckily, i’m too exhausted to feel defeated. so i win. i guess.

tomorrow is our next appointment with midwife michele. yesterday, i went to dr c’s office to sign the medical records release form, and ms no social skills receptionist who clearly does not like me since i’m leaving the fold told me they’d “probably” be able to fax them before my appt. are you kidding me? my bets are on no records being in michele’s hands tomorrow. what say you?

we get to hear the heartbeat tomorrow. i can’t articulate how excited i am to hear sparky for the first time. and i don’t think i can articulate just how scared i am that we won’t hear a heartbeat, that something will have gone wrong. even though i’m growing. even though i’m so effing sick. i’ve tried to temper my fear with a whole lot of hope, but i’m so afraid.

maybe, after hearing that strong, fast heartbeat, i will feel relief, and more confidence that i will actually be giving birth in six months. i could use a little relief.

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trimesters and me.

for those of you unfamiliar with how trimesters are measured, there are three (3!) models:


This uses actual developmental stages to divide up a pregnancy. From LMP to 12 weeks the embryo develops all the major organs and becomes a fetus. From 12 weeks to 27 weeks the fetus continues developing and reaches viability. From 27 weeks on the fetus finishes development and prepares for delivery. Here the second trimester begins at 12w 0d and the third at 27w 0d.


With this method you take the 40 weeks of gestation and divide by three. Here the second trimester begins at 13w 3d and the third at 26w 6d.


This method is where you take the 38 weeks of post conception development, divide by three, and add two weeks. Here the second trimester begins at 14w 5d and the third at 27w 3d.

(info courtesy of baby2see.)

today i have arrived 12 weeks. h and i have agreed to abide by the development model of trimester calculations. therefore: i am now in my 2nd trimester. i am hoping that this milestone will trick my body into giving up the first trimester nausea drama, and move on to a blissful break.

so far? not so much. but it’s only been a few hours. fingers still crossed.
meanwhile, sparky is growing growing. my belly is sore and stretchy feeling, and now lies next to me when i’m on my side in bed.

that’s all i gots for today. must find food that will stay in belly and then sleeeeeeep.

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