Monday, July 30, 2007

If you thought my blood pressure was high before...


It was gently pointed out tonight by a certain (husbandly) someone that discussing the inner workings of my labia is perhaps not the best use of my time and talent. While I strongly disagree (MY READERS DESERVE THE TRUTH!) from here on out there will be no more twat talk.

Unless something really crazy happens. I can't be expected to keep that to myself.

Had the 20 week sonogram today. Everything looks keen. (I'm so gunning for that word to make a comeback...) Possum weighs about a pound, the heartbeat is great and (whew) there's definite penis/gonad action happening. (It was still a tad sketchy last time.) Unfortunately my blood pressure was wonky so the doc sent me to a cardiologist to have what the professionals call "a little look-see". Let me tell you, having your OB check your blood pressure six - yes, six - times before packing you off to a cardiologist ("Just a precaution! TRY TO GET IN TODAY!") definitely jump-starts your week. Luckily Cardiodude gave me a clean bill of health.

Now if only he could do something about my... never mind.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Crazy ass

Week 20. It feels good. Solid. More secure then those "teen" weeks. And of course there are some interesting new developments on the physical front. And by "interesting" I mean "really, really gross".


Ladies: Weird things are happening to my Down There. Specifically veins. Big, crazy veins. But Ali, you ask, what's the problem with a few pesky veins? Surely they're not giant, worm-like varicose veins that make it difficult to sit for longer than a half an hour at a time, rendering writing and important TV watching impossible!

Oh no? (So much for book writing and long car rides...)

Not only do I have this bizarre vein thing overtaking my tush, but there is swelling. Swelling of things that do not normally swell. The doctor says it's due to weight gain and my uterus and that there's nothing to be done but I can't help but wonder: if this sort of insanity is happening at five months, what the hell's gonna happen at nine! Could my Down There explode? I THINK MY DOWN THERE MIGHT EXPLODE!

Boys, a word of advice: The next time you proclaim that you'd gladly trade places with your pregnant wife, THINK AGAIN.

Saturday, July 21, 2007


I've been having nightly leg cramps for the last three or four months, probably due to the fact that I'm now required to spend roughly seven hours a night sleeping on my side. (For those non-pregnant types, the Cliff's Notes version: there's a vein the runs along your spine that gives oxygen to the baby. When you lay on your back, the weight of your uterus settles on it causing oxygen restriction to the kid. Needless to say, that's a no-no.) Seeing as how I've spent the last 35 years on my back (you know what I mean) my body is resistant to the change. After a few nights of waking up in my normal flat-back position (JESUS GOD I'VE SUFFOCATED THE BABY!) I've had to get creative. Which basically means wedging myself into place with the help of four (count 'em) FOUR strategically placed pillows:

- One under my head
- One smooshed against my back so I can't roll
- One against the back of my legs
- One between my knees to help with my ever-increasing spider veins

I don't know where Matt's going to sleep. Between the pillows and the cats, he's seriously SOL.

Anyway, spending the night locked into a stationary position has lead to some annoying nightly leg cramps. Unfortunately the "experts" aren't exactly sure what causes them. Leading theories:

- Too much calcium
- Too little calcium
- Too much potassium
- Too little potassium

Helpful, that.

Still they've all been relatively mild so no cause for concern. (One time I got a Charlie horse so bad I literally couldn't speak. Matt kept asking me what was wrong and I couldn't say a word - all I could do was pant. The pain was so intense I went primal. Unfortunately I suspect labor will be similar.) But last night I had something a little different. Instead of my usual leg cramps, I got hit with a Charlie horse. In my belly.

Now to be clear, it was mild - and it was high, like on the belly rise under my boobs, not near where I think the kid is. It didn't feel like menstrual cramps or anything; it was clearly a Charlie horse (it's a pretty distinct sensation) but still, any discomfort remotely near Possum gets me concerned. After some gentle stretching (not to mention much spooked, big-eyed staring from the cats) it quickly eased up. But here's the thing: I have no interest in this becoming a new nightly routine. Is this supposed to happen? I'm pretty sure it wasn't a Braxton-Hicks contraction (those aren't supposed to be painful, right?) but it was definitely unusual and I would very much like to avoid it happening again.

To be safe, I'm eating a banana and milk. Which I should probably... not be eating. (Experts-schmexperts...)

Friday, July 20, 2007

FYI: People loooove the bacon chocolate bar. Seriously, Google it on Chowhound.

Clearly the bacon-chocolate fiasco wasn't that gut-wrenching because I found myself back at Vosges again yesterday. (What can I say? Free samples.) Usually sample time at Vosges consists of a broken up chocolate bar (fine by me!) but yesterday they were pulling out all the stops: TRUFFLES. As if that weren't awesome enough, they were featuring one of my faves: the Chef Pascal (kirsh and dried cherries in dark chocolate. Hella good). Along with mashed potatoes and toaster waffles, dried cherries are my downfall. Mix those dried cherries with dark chocolate... people, please. As I was reaching my pregnant paw toward the plate, I detected a whiff of disapproval coming from my left. I turned in time to see a Madonna-esque "I do yoga - and Botox" type shaking her head in my direction. At first I couldn't figure out why, but then I realized:

The truffle was made with liquor.


I am aware, gentle readers, that drinking and procreating do not mix. (Am I past procreating? Drinking and post-creating?) No matter how much I want a margarita - and I so, so want a margarita - I would never do anything to intentionally harm Possum. That said, IT WAS A FUCKING TRUFFLE. And I'm not talking about one of those liquor filled jobbies, the kind you used to sneak as a kid at Christmas. This was a fancy, $3 jobbie, scented with liquor! In no way was this thing alcoholic! Still, I got a little panicky. I mean, who knows, right? If a person isn't supposed to eat peanut butter while pregnant, god knows what liquor flavoring could do.

Figuring I might as well go right to the source, I turned to Madonna, truffle in hand. "Um, there isn't enough alcohol in here to actually hurt a baby, right?"

To my surprise, she started chuckling. "No, you'll be fine," she said, as I lifted the ball of deliciousness to my mouth. "It's the caffeine that will do the damage."

Um, WTF?

Really, has it come to this? I mean, sure, about to stick a crack pipe in my mouth? A gentle reminder might be due. Chasing a Hershey's 1/2 pounder with a Frappuccino? Fine - berate away. But come on, have we seriously come to the point where a pregnant woman can't eat a bite - a bite! - of chocolate without the Caffeine Police getting all huffy? Don't get me wrong, I am one seriously paranoid Pregger but when it comes to the danger scale, as far as I'm concerned caffeine rings in at a -3. Yes, women who consume caffeine can go into premature labor and can have smaller babies... But I am a motherfucking menace if I don't have my cup of tea each morning. In fact, sometimes I even have a brownie. On the SAME DAY!

People, please.

Thursday, July 19, 2007


19 weeks and things are well. Got a call from the geneticist yesterday about the results from my screenings; the kid is 1 in 10,000 for Down's Syndrome (is it "Down" or "Down's"?) and 1 in 5,400 for Spina Bifida. I'm not sure what all this means but the doctor said the results were great so I'm taking her at her word. In a few weeks I go in for a full-blown anatomy scan which excites me to no end. I love me some sonograms and this, friends, is the ELVIS of sonogram sessions. They scan everything - the innards, the spine... It's so thorough they can even detect chromosomal abnormalities. Basically if it's broke, they'll fix it.

As cool as that is, I just want to see the critter. The sonogram at the doctor's office just doesn't do the job (all I see is ghosts floating in a blob. Seriously, how do they detect anything?) but the one at the hospital is primo. They have a flat screen TV at the foot of the table which means we get to watch everything in hi-def. Just thinking about it makes me want to vomit with happiness.

Oh by they way, Possum is a fella. Or as my friend Kristopher put it, "You're growing a little dude in your belly!"

Can't. Wait.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Do I really need a baby moniter in an 800 sq foot apartment?

I only went to TJ Maxx for a bathmat, I swear.

But then I saw the baby stuff. Did you know TJ Maxx had baby stuff?

I didn't buy much (a little cushioned thing for the car seat that's supposed to support the baby's head and neck which seems vaguely important, even though I can't get over the fact that we're required to have a car seat even though we don't own a car, and a super cute terrycloth thing that I think is a portable changing pad, but truth be told I bought it mostly because it's fun and I'm a fan of the brand - Icky Baby - so I'm a little sketchy on the details) but after several calls to mom (Does the kid really need a baby blanket?) and confabs with strangers ("Get a Boppy if you're planning on nursing. Trust me, it'll save your life." What the hell is a Boppy?) I came to the conclusion that I really have no idea what I'm doing.

So I thought I'd put it out to you, gentle readers: Which baby items could you not live without?And (more importantly, I think) which turned out to be the most useless?

A morning thought

Apparently I'm at the belly touching stage. You know the one I mean - the stage where complete strangers feel compelled to rub their hands all over your stomach like you're a lifesized, sweaty Buddha. I totally understand the impulse - I get the same desire around anyone with a buzz cut - but stomachs are different. Intimate. Granted, even in flatter times my stomach was always a bit of a touchy (bwa!) subject, but the way I see it, unless you're a close personal friend or family member, HANDS OFF. Maybe when I get bigger and the baby's closer to the surface it'll feel less invasive. Anybody else bothered by this?

Friday, July 13, 2007

Do I even need to mention mashed potatoes?


That is how many toaster waffles I have consumed today. Six. How can one person (okay, one- and-a-half persons) consume six waffles?!

Quickly and with glee, that's how.

Speaking of toaster waffles, now seems like the perfect time for THINGS ALISHA LOVES: PREGNANCY EDITION! Hold on to your hats! (Otherwise I might eat them.)

- Kathy Griffin: My Life On The D-List
While this has nothing to do with pregnancy per se, have you watched this? Hi-larious.

- Bringing Home Baby
I find this show tremendously comforting. It's shot documentary style so there's no annoying voiceover or sappy instrumental music getting in the way of my voyerism. The show deals with the each new family's fears and triumphs with surprisingly little interference which makes it feel surprisingly "real" considering it's, you know, "reality television". Refreshing and interesting.

- Bella Band
Here's my problem with maternity pants: while my belly is ready for more space, my ass isn't. This wonderful contraption holds up pre-pregnancy pants without pinching or chafing which means a) no more underwear-eating maternity jeans, and b) a few more months before succumbing to those hideous khaki mom-pris you see every pregnant lady wearing.

- Udderly sMOOth Udder Cream
A cashier at TJ's turned me on to this and I have to say, this is one fine mother of a moisturizer. While I have a sneaking suspicion this is just some sort of bizarro marketing ploy and not actual udder cream (it smells way too nice for cows) I can't help laughing every time I smear this stuff on my titties. It moisturizes the hell out of my bod without leaving the usual sticky, greasy residue and costs a whopping $2.99 at Trader Joe's.
* UPDATE: Did a little research on the ingredients. Unfortunately this lovely cream contains propylene glycol ("an industrial antifreeze"). I will now be removing it from my medicine cabinet, dammit.

- Liz Lange Maternity for Target
Two words: Surprisingly. Cute.

- H&M
God bless whoever decided that Maternity Chic was the look for Summer '07. You cannot beat this place for normal (read: non-maternity) clothes. Great, stretchy, fashion forward stuff at kick-ass prices.

- Nordic Naturals Fish Oil
Big on the fish oil but don't want that pesky mercury contamination bogging up your innerds? Nordic Naturals uses only small, low-mercury fish in their oil which renders it significantly safer than most other brands. Find it at your local health food store. (Be sure to refridgerate it or it'll go rancid. Trust me on this.)

- Craigslist
I WILL find a gently used stroller and glider/ottoman set here, I can just feel it.

- Sleep
Which is what I need right. now.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Like I said here I promise to get back to this soon. Between the heat and the heat, I'm feeling a little deflated. (But the belly, ah, she is a zepplin!)

Thursday, July 5, 2007

It's a...

It's official - we know the sex of the baby! While I'm not going to announce it here (I'm such a tease!) it was pretty damn exciting to find out. It took awhile - Possum's umbilical cord was right between the legs - but a little "Wake up, kid" jiggling of the sonogram wand got the legs a'moving. The visit was good - baby's looking swell. Although my stomach is the size of a small state, apparently Possum's size is ideal (heartbeat's strong, two arms, two legs...) Called the husband at 6 am California time to share the news. Alas, he was a little too groggy to do much more than "uh-huh" me but still, an altogether fabulous way to start the day.

Speaking of groggy, I'll be hauling my heiner out of bed at 5 am tomorrow to catch a flight to "sunny" Florida. Although it's supposed to rain all weekend, I refuse to let a little precipitation dampen (ba-da-chi!) my spirits. We're going to be right across the street from the ocean, I've got myself a pregnant lady bathing suit, alls I need is to locate me a place sells virgin daiquiris and I'll be all set. (And don't worry, I know to get up a lot during the flight. Trust me, with my bladder, that won't be an issue.)

Monday, July 2, 2007

Damn you, contaminated shrimp!

Man, I've been gone a long time! Sorry, been busy being busy. All those people who say writing chick lit is easy have clearly never tried to write chick lit. (And to you people who've done that whole Novel In A Month thing, my hat's off. I can barely do a decent chapter in that amount of time.)

Anyway, baby shit.

I'll be hitting the big fifth month mark on Wednesday (or Saturday, if you ask my doc). For some reason we seem to have differing due dates. Not sure how that happened since I know exactly when I conceived (let's hear it for ovulation tracking!) but since it's only a three day difference I'm not too concerned. Babies never come on their exact due date anyway, right? So I shouldn't be worried that my doc has a different date in mind, right?


Month 4 3/4 updates:

- My new shelf-like breasts are highly effective crumb catchers.
- Possum is kicking up a storm. "Kicking" doesn't seem quite right exactly. Neither do any other the other terms used to describe this sensation. ("Fluttering" and "like little butterflies" come to mind.) This feels more like being headbutted from the inside. It doesn't hurt exactly, but it's definitely surprising. Sort of like when someone knocks into you, only littler and internal.
- My profile is still a bit of a shock. For the most part it's pretty easy to forget that I'm knocked up - aside from uber-sensitive titties, I feel exactly the same as I did 4 3/4 months ago. But twice this weekend I was walking past a reflective surface and had to ask myself who the pregnant lady was. It's still that weird.
- I can't get over the fact that I'm almost five months along. Didn't I just find out I was pregnant, like, last week? Does this feeling ever fade?
- I keep reading that I'm supposed to be full of energy during this part of the pregnancy but man, all I want to do is sleep. Maybe it was the anxiety keeping me wired during the first trimester but these days I'm hella tired. And thirsty. I drink a four liters of water a day, easy. (We won't discuss the ramifications of that.)
- Apparently this is also the time I feel my sexiest. I feel a lot of things (excited, nervous, constipated) but "sexy"? Not so much. I've read interviews with women who claim they've never felt sexier but personally, I find it hard to muster up the randy. (Not that there's anyone around for me to be randy with.) Still, I can't help wishing for a little of that mojo.
- Went to my first prenatal yoga class. I was by far the least pregnant woman there. The chick next to me was due the next day. That, my friends, is dedication. (Actually, she said she was there because the baby hadn't yet "engaged". I'm not sure what that means, but I take it yoga helps.)

By the way, for those who care about such things, Veggie Booty has been recalled for salmonella. Although I was never a fan of the Veggie, it's probably not a bad move to steer clear of the Pirate and Fruity Booties as well. Also, is everybody throwing out any food imported from China? (That'd be pretty much anything with shrimp in it, since 80% of all shrimp is imported from there.) I just went through the freezer and chucked a ton of stuff from Trader Joe's (including my beloved organic broccoli). If you haven't been following the stories, do a quick search. It's pretty shocking to think what we've been eating.