Thursday, August 30, 2007

I'm not naming him that.

I was walking to the chiropractor yesterday (I've pinched a nerve in my back, hence the lack of postings since my return) when I felt a tap, tap, tap on my bulging belly. I turned to see a small, Leprechaun-like fellow grinning up at me.

"It's a boy," he said, pointing at my stomach.

"Yes he is," I replied, scootching away. I get prickly when strangers walk right next me. It feels weird, like my shadow has come to life.

"Have you picked a name yet?" he asked, his fingers poised to poke.

"Not really," I lied. While I was fairly certain that this tiny, tap-happy stranger was harmless, I've been in this city long enough to know that there's a fine line between friendly and freaky. Strangers, even sweet ones, don't need to know my business.

Suddenly the man leaned in, tugging at my elbow. "Patrick," he whispered, his voice filled with joy. "You should name him Patrick."

Seriously, being pregnant in this city just gets weirder and weirder.

Friday, August 24, 2007

5:30 a.m. That's when Possum woke me up this morning. 5:30 a.m. We're going on Day 2 of I Am Baby, Hear Me Roar... This kid is definitely making his presence known. It feels like I swallowed a puppy that's chasing a kitten that's attacking a monkey. I don't know if he's hungry or bored or what, but man. I don't know about you, but I always assumed that kicking felt sort of cute. Whenever I'd see pregnant women putting their husband's hands on their bellies they were always smiling. It made it seem relaxing, like getting a little massage.

Yeah, fuck that.

Don't get me wrong. Feeling the baby? Way better than not feeling the baby. But for such a "natural" thing, it sure does feel... "scary" might be too strong. It's definitely startling and uncomfortable. Imagine your organs flipping. Seriously, I don't know how people with twins (or, gah!, octuplets) handle it. And those pioneer women? MAN. Butchering hogs and stuffing mattresses with straw and lugging water from the creek while juggling god knows how many young'uns... I've said it before and I'll say it again, I would have made a crappy pioneer wife.

I hope they bitched too.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Who knew?

Apparently pregnant women often develop allergies to things that they never had problems with pre-baby. Things will be fine and then all of a sudden - WHAM! - knocked on your ass by a previously benign allergen. I guess it makes some sort of evolutionary, protect-the-species sense - "shield the fetus from toxins" and whatnot. Except that it isn't how it works at all. Instead of becoming violently allergic to alcohol or people who ask inappropriate questions, your body freaks over random things like pineapple or cheese. Or in my case, Vitamin E oil.

Because I'm a crazy paraben avoiding, vaguely hippie-dippie type (except when it comes to buying sunscreen. I defy you to find sunscreen without parabens!) I avoid most mass-marketed moisturizers. I'd read that Vitamin E oil was great for your skin so I decided to pick up a bottle and give it a go. Lo and behold, it worked great! Sure my face looked like I'd bobbed for apples in an oil slick but who cared? My skin lurved it. For months, me and Vitamin E were like that. Tight.

Then I got knocked up. Which is when the itching started. And the redness. And the hives.

At first the reaction was mild - a little pinkness, nothing major. I stopped using it for a few days, figuring I just needed to give my skin a rest. Than I tried it again. And woke up the next day looking like I'd been attacked by leeches.

It's been three days now and I still have scabs. I've switched to Dove's night cream which seems to have helped but I still can't figure out what happened. Being allergic to Vitamin E is like being allergic to magazines or lamps. It's just not normal.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Not the conversation you want to have with the elevator operator

"So you're - what - seven, eight months now?"

"Actually, only about five-and-a-half."

"You're kidding! Man, I thought you were a lot further along than that! I think my wife was about as big as you are when she was full-term! You are gonna be huuuuuuuge."

Why? Just, why?

It feels really weird too.

Okay, Best Game Ever:

Get pregnant.
Wait until the baby starts kicking.
Poke your stomach.
Watch as he pokes back.


But, you know, in a good way.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Remind me to tell you what the elevator operator said to me

Clearly by "I SWEAR I'll write an entry tonight" I mean "Unless I watch Top Chef instead". Sorry folks.

I think it's safe to say that the weirdness in the belly area is officially caused by the kid. I hadn't felt Possum move for a few days and was starting to freak, but a friend told me her baby-dance secret: candy bars. (Her doc recommended it. For reals.) Since I'm not one to turn down sugar in the name of medical science, I decided to make a batch of brownies to see what would happen.

Here's what happened: No sleep, that's what happened.

Imagine the sound of an over-caffeinated three-year-old racing back and forth across a hardwood floor. That's what it was like. Only in my stomach.

This was not gas. This was someone very small preparing for the Olympics. Imsomnia and I have been dancing the no-sleep tango for weeks now and last night almost sent me over the edge. While it's comforting to know that the kid is strong like bull, at some point mama wants some freaking shut-eye. For days now I've been waking up nearly every hour on the hour to either A) pee, B) kick one of the cats off the bed, or C) bitch to my poor, sleepy husband about the increasing numbness under my boobs. I figure I'm sleeping about 20 minutes out of every hour right now. No wonder I need so many naps.

So yeah, the numbness. This is a new, fun development. Whenever I sleep on my left side, I get this tingly, pins-and-needles sensation underneath my boobs, in the crease where my stomach begins to swell. My chiropractor thinks it's due to my spine getting all out of whack and putting pressure on a nerve. While I'm inclined to believe her, I suspect that going in for an adjustment every other day will prove budget-busting. Instead, I'm forced to sleep on my right side which is MADDENING, mostly because it forces Matt to sleep on his right side since I can't stand people breathing on my face. Occasionally I'm able to sleep on my left side around 4 am - the tingling seems less pronounced around that time - but it has made for for some rough nights.

On an altogether unrelated note, I've been searching for yoga pants for the gym. They are not easy to find. My increasing girth requires something stronger than simple elastic, but apparently drawstrings are so 2006. I've exhausted the possibilites at GapBody as well as Old Navy and I'm beginning to feel a little desperate. I've been forced to squeeze into my pre-pregnancy workout pants and frankly, it's starting to look a little obscene. Anybody got the 411 on where to go for stretchy pants, let a girl know.

Speaking of shopping, I think it's time for a few Things Alisha Loves:

- Ruby and Dash: Firstly, the husband-and-wife team behind this line of uber-cute handmade baby tees are (is?) fantastic. I met them at the Union Square greenmarket a few months back and whenever I'm there I feel compelled to hunt them down. Not only are they both ridiculously attractive, they're so, so nice. Actually, nice isn't the right word: loveable. They are two of the most loveable... quasi-strangers I know. Even though I've only bought one thing from them they always remember me, which doesn't seem like a big deal until you think about how many people they meet on a day-to-day basis. The designs are also supremely cute and (thankfully) well-priced. Their one-of-a-kind originals are awesome (unfortunately you can't order them online) but I'm particularly partial to the Coney Island silkscreen series. (I already bought the Wonder Wheel but I'm gunning for the other three.) Bonus: if you buy in-person it's $2 cheaper than the web AND they only use American Apparel, non-sweatshop produced onesies. A total win-win.

- The spa at Fresh: Okay, here's the thing - from what I understand, this spa is basically just a ruse to get you to buy more products at Fresh. According to their brocure (and a few comments I've read), part of your treatment time is spent for "consultation" - meaning your 60 minute facial might actually end up being only be 40 minutes. So why am I recommending this place? The cost of your treatment is redeemable in product. In other words, if you spend $125 on a facial, you get $125 in product. While I doubt I'll ever actually take Fresh up on their offer (facials are lost on me, truth be told), getting to load up on "free" products after the fact seems like a pretty good deal to me.

- City Bakery: (I swear, I just went in to look!) This place is the devil in chocolate coating. The chocolate chip cookies? Incredible. Croissants? Hot from the oven. (Do I want butter and homemade jam with that? Hells to the Y-E-S!) Carmelized French toast? Haven't tried it yet but the servers say they fight over whatever's left. I cannot, cannot, cannot walk out of this place without something. Except today, when I walked out of the place without something, but only because I was up all night with a sugared-up pre-baby. Trust me, it was an anomaly.

- The Baby Mod line at WAL-MART: Here's why I'm a total hyprocrite - I preach and preach about organic baby food and non-gassing plastics and sustaining the environment and yet here I am, seriously considering a changing table from Wal-Mart. But isn't it awesome?!

Okay, enough of this nonsense. I need to get my ass to the gym.

Friday, August 17, 2007


I swear, I SWEAR I'll write a real entry tonight (laundry night. I'll need a distraction) but a quick question for those who would know: How can you tell the difference between kicking and gas? I thought I'd been feeling the kid for weeks now but I've suddenly started having a new sensation. The "kicking" used to feel like someone pushing at my innerds - a definite stretchy, slightly ouchy feeling. But these new ones feel more like earthquake-sized tummy rumblings (like I'm really, REALLY hungry) or like large, rolling gas bubbles. They're low - like right above my pubic area - which is why I've been assuming they're gas. (That, along with the fact that I'm officially Stinky McGee. Seriously, stay down-wind folks.) The baby was breech when I went for the electrocardiogram on Monday so it seems like the kicking would be higher, toward my belly button, but he strikes me as a flipper so who knows which way he's facing. Anybody know what I'm describing?

Hi-ho, hi-ho, it's out the door I go...

Thursday, August 9, 2007

I'm really gassy too.

At 5 1/2 months pregnant, my life is about three things:

- Eating
- Battling insurance
- Sleeping

Here's the thing, according to those in the know (i.e. the internet) the first trimester is about barfing, the last is about surviving, but the second trimester? All about ENERGY. This is the good part - "I am pregnant, hear me roar" and all that. So why can I can no longer make it through the day without a siesta?

And by "siesta" I mean "two hour nap".

All I do is sleep. I sleep eight hours a night (well, the "sleep" part of sleep is debatable since for the past few months I haven't gone longer than an hour without waking up to reposition pillows or pee), followed by a mid-afternoon nap, and yet I'm still exhausted by the time I drag myself home. (The only reason I'm awake now is because I just demolished half a tub of tapioca pudding.) As a person who thrives on GTD (Getting Things Done) this lack of accomplishment is leaving me a touch panicky. (Not panicky enough to turn off Last Comic Standing mind you, just enough to feel really, really bad about it.) It's like every ounce of motivation has up and left the building. Normal, hard-working people - even hard-working pregnant people - do not give up everything in their life to nap. I keep telling myself that if I think I'm tired now, just wait till the kid gets here and that I should be using every spare minute to GTD, GTD, GTD but maybe deep-down I'm just plain lazy.

The book? The one I swore I'd have done by December?


The article I pitched to Dramatics?


Birth announcements? Baby books? Pregnancy essays?!


I'm not anemic. I'm (clearly) not sleep deprived. Tsetse fly? Ancient gypsy curse? Or is it really just the kid?

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Cute as a whole button factory

While I realize that all sonogram pictures look alike (blobby, vaguely alien) I can't help but be several kinds of charmed by this little guy. The nose! The nose! (I also have a lovely picture of his teensy weensy peensy, compliments of our sonogram technician. She even included a helpful little arrow in case we missed it, which should be good for all kinds of blackmail come the teen years.)
Tests came back great. All the vitals are vital. I do have to go in for an electrocardiogram but it's just a precaution. They couldn't get the kid to turn enough to get a good look at his heart and since I had some troubles when I was a wee lass, they want to make sure everything's A-OK with Possum. I was supposed to go in for it today but unfortunately all hell broke loose.
Because it rained.
Seriously, the city shuts down for this kind of shit? We are D-O-O-M-E-D.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

You break it, you buy it.

Pregnant bellies - to touch or not to touch? That is the early morning question. Having been caressed by more strangers than a puppy at the pound, I can say with absolute certainty that I loathe it. Yes it's practically irresistible (so round!) but it's still my stomach. (If someone went around stroking the bellies of non-pregnant strangers, the cops would be called.) Yet I can't quite bring myself to tell people to stop. It seems rude somehow, like I'm shunning a hug. (Which, coming from a stranger, I would.) I'm sure there's a way of handling this politely but for the life of me I can't think how. Slapping peoples' hands away seems a touch reactive. Anyone else get weirded out by this? Or did you enjoy the attention?

(Friends and family, you are welcome to touch. Just let me know it's coming first.)

Thursday, August 2, 2007

If you've got kids...

I'm telling you, this China thing is getting out of control...

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Things like this make it so hard...

I have a goal: to buy as few new baby things as possible. There are several reasons for this -rapidly expanding landfills, the off-gassing of new plastic (that nasty, chemical smell that new mattresses have? That's "off-gassing" and it's not, not, not good), the obvious financial incentives - but mostly, buying tons of new stuff for a kid who's going to outgrow it in days feels like a waste. And while my plan is to scour Craigslist and Urbanbaby for gently used big-ticket items (stroller, glider), I can't help wishing for some nice, suburban garage sales. I mean New York has many wonders - great shopping, fantastic theater, seven different thai restaurants within a block of my house - they do not have the one thing I need: a children's resale shop. This city has a squillion rich folks running around and what do they all have in common? Offspring. Every day I watch well-coiffed munchkins trolling around the 96th Street playground in their Prada baby jeans (excuse me, "baby denim") and D&G sneaks. Those miniature Burberry raincoats can't fit forever, right? What do they do with all of it? I mean, that stuff has to end up somewhere...

(Psst, Prada-toting toddlers. Hand 'em over.)

And while you're handing 'em over, would'ya hand me this too?

Not that there's anything wrong with it...

Nicole Richie has confirmed that she's pregnant.

While this comes as a surprise to absolutely nobody who has eyes, am I the only one who feels a little funny about this? Not "funny" like when I saw that video of an about-to-pop Anna Nicole Smith in clown makeup but still - funny.
Almost as funny as I feel about this story...