Tuesday, June 30, 2009

WHAT'S UP, MA BITCHES?!?!

We had a routine check-in at the doctor's office this morning, which means we had the conversation. Again. The one that starts with the doctor/nurse making a meaning-to-be-kind joke about when is this baby going to get with the program?, all happy-funny-like. The one that goes from happy-funny to oh-crap the moment they ask me the questions they have to ask me. Have you felt any... Did you see any... Has the baby...

No. Nope. Not even a little.

Quite frankly, I'm rather calm about this. She's not going to stay in forever. She'll come when she wants to, and who am I to tell her different? So far I feel fine, IF A BIT ANXIOUS, YOU KNOW, and so whatever, I wait and make jokes at the doctor's office.

So today -- perhaps out of hope, perhaps out of disbelief that a woman 5 days overdue could have a sense of humor about it -- my nurse took a long time to find the heartbeat with her baby stethoscope thing while I tried not to panic.

(I don't care who you are or how many times you've done this, I think every time you don't hear your baby's heartbeat, your own heart stops.)

"I think she's riding high," I offered, because that was the case last week.

But even still, even after checking and seeing the image on the screen, the nurse seemed determined not to place the stethoscope above my belly button until she got desperate. Because that's not where a baby who is getting ready to be born should be.

But that's where she was.

After our check-up, the nurse said we should head to the hospital for another round of non-stress tests (NSTs) like we did last week. Guess it's SOP for when you're overdue. So we scheduled another appointment with a delivery doctor for Monday -- if we haven't had the baby by then, we should be prepared to make "a plan" then.

We then went to the hospital and listened to the baby for a half-hour. Everything looks perfect, and my blood pressure is back to normal. We scheduled our next NST for Friday. But the nurse at the hospital said we should pack our stuff for Friday's appointment "just in case."

So hmmmm.

At this point, I'd be shocked if she arrived before Friday. I'd also be surprised if they felt the need to induce me Friday if I haven't made any progress. Which is all to say that if she doesn't come in the next 24-48 hours, they might induce on Friday. Unless they don't. And then if she doesn't come after that, they'll check me again on Monday and induce me then. Unless they don't.

It's quite scientific, you see.

* * * * *

As I was walking down the hospital corridor on my way to the maternity ward for the third time in a week despite non-imminent labor, I honestly wanted to throw open the door and yell, WHAT IS UP, MA BITCHES!?!?! But I'm not totally insane and didn't. Instead, I Tweeted as much. No one seemed to think it was funny, but I think it's hilarious.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Long Overdue

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UPDATED:

Oh, Anonymous.

I'm not sure, but I don't think my job here is to entertain you.

Posts about my relationship with Ish -- especially the ones where I'm happy -- never garner much response. I understand this. I mean, what are you supposed to say? How great for you?

At the same time, it's important to me to at least mention our relationship every now and again. It's not action-packed or self-deprecating, but my marriage currently makes up most of my life. After a bad divorce, relationships that didn't work, dating "challenges" and plenty of general misery, I really enjoy having a husband I like to write about.

No, perhaps following this meme structure wasn't riveting, but I thought the questions were good. I like reading other people's answers to them, anyway.

So you know? I don't blame you if you don't find the day-to-day aspects of my life interesting. Please feel free to read someone else's drama instead.
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ORIGINAL POST

I have nothing to complain about. Today will be the third day that I -- or rather, our daughter -- is overdue. I'm not comfortable in any bodily way, but you know? If I manage to give birth to a healthy child, it will have been worth it. Plus, seriously. I have air conditioning, ice cream, wifi, and a doting husband who does more housework than I do when I'm not pregnant.

I've been thinking a lot about that last part. That "doting husband" thing. I never write about it, and I'm not sure why. Maybe I'm reluctant to write mushy posts about how fabulous Ish is because I'm reluctant to write mushy posts at all.

But I do realize there is good, meaty stuff to write about him, and us, and how we went from dating to living together to getting married to where we are now. We're in the best place I could ever imagine being. We're beyond happy and googly-eyed about this kid, and sometimes I feel I almost need to pinch myself. Hey, I got to marry Ish!

And yes. "Got to" is exactly how I feel about it.

So last night when I was busy lying (laying? gah, I will never get it right) in bed NOT going into labor, I remembered that meme that Dooce did a while back, and thought it might be fun to try myself. It's not about Ish alone, but touches on many aspects of our relationship. (And I thought that following a structured Q&A would be nicer than rambling aimlessly.)


Insert Some Facebook Meme Title Here, Like "All About Your Marriage"

What are your middle names?

I'm always leery of these types of questions. Does anyone really care, or is this just phishing for personal information? Well, whatever. My middle name is Jane, after my mom's sister. Pete's middle name is Randolph, after his grandfather.


What is your social security number?
Ha ha, just kidding. They didn't ask that.


How long have you been together?
Our first date was Saturday, August 6, 2005. So almost four years.


How long did you know each other before you started dating?
That really depends on how you define "know." Pete answered my Craigslist personal ad on the afternoon of Friday, August 5th. The answer is therefore either "24 hours" or "we didn't."


Who asked whom out?
I thought my Craigslist ad had expired, so I was surprised to get his email. But it was cute and funny and he totally got what I was trying to get across. We had a brief but amusing email exchange, culminating in his saying he wanted to buy me a drink and our exchanging phone numbers. So he asked me out, but I made it easy for him.


How old are each of you?
My birthday is in July, his in August. I'm currently 33, and Pete is 40.


Whose siblings do you see the most?
Hmm. My sisters live in the Northeast, and we see them about twice a year: once for Christmas, once for some inevitable other event in spring/summer (weddings and births, for example). When we're visiting, we live together, so we spend ALL of our time together.

Pete has one sister who lives in Arizona. We get out to AZ more than twice a year (it's closer and easier than getting to New England), but our trips are much shorter, and we stay with Pete's parents -- so we don't see Whitney or her family 24/7. Altogether, it probably comes out pretty evenly.


Which situation is the hardest on you as a couple?
I don't know how to answer this. Pete and I don't really argue, so we don't have any topic that comes up time and again. I think what's hardest on us as a couple is what's hardest on us as individuals.

He had a really rough end to his first marriage. I am NOT the same person I'd be if my parents were alive and well. That's our baggage.

On a day-to-day basis -- and when we look at our future -- we're in very similar boats. We are frustrated that we don't do more with our creative passions; at best, I'm a part-time writer, he is a part-time comedian. We berate ourselves for this, but when push has come to shove, we've both ended up following a safer (corporate/suburban) life path. We both wonder if this will always be the case, and both hope that it won't.


Did you go to the same school?
No, not even a little bit. I grew up in CT, then had one totally false-start semester in Delaware, but ultimately went to and graduated from UCONN in 1997.

Pete grew up in CO and AZ and had much fancier college-ing than I. He went to Middlebury for a year, then transferred to UPENN (class of '90) and got his MBA from Stanford in '96.


Are you from the same home town?
Oops, I accidentally answered this above. But you know what's interesting? Or, okay, you know what's interesting to me? Pete's parents and grandparents grew up in the Midwest. My mom grew up in Minnesota, and both her parents AND my dad's parents were from Minnesota. I think that there are likely many ways that Pete's mom's upbringing was similar to my mom's, and his dad's was similar to my dad's, and that there's some kind of familiarity/understanding/way we connect that has something to do with that.


Who is smarter?
This is a tough question. If you were to ask, say, "Who has a greater capacity for learning and retaining information?" I would say that we're about evenly matched. But there is no question: Pete knows more than I do about almost everything...from trivia, to history, music, geography, politics, art, architecture, all things financial and mathematical, and even fucking vocabulary.

It's annoying, but I love him for it.

Pete also has an almost idiot-savant-like ability to remember faces and names (first and last).

Despite this, I do not feel intellectually inferior. I can go one-for-one with him in the clever department (or at least, we amuse each other). I know a subset of pop-culture, literature, and history that he doesn't.

I daresay my "emotional intelligence" quotient is higher, but not by a lot.

I can, however, out-focus him any day.


Who is the most sensitive?
I don't even know. If I had to pick one of us, I'd lean toward saying Pete.


Where do you eat out most as a couple?
We haven't found a regular spot in Napa yet, because the places are either really low-end or really expensive for what they are (e.g., $20 burger places). This isn't to say there aren't plenty of restaurants that aren't worth the expense, we just can't eat there all the time.

I'd say Taylor's Automatic Refresher is our current go-to. It's designed -- in looks and menu -- like an old-fashioned burger joint, but the food is updated, fantastic, and affordable. And in addition to offering root-beer floats (OM NOM), they have a decent wine list (including sparkling).

If we were gonna step it up, I'd say Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc would be our desired regular destination.


Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple?
Our trip to Paris and London. I never finished blogging about it, did I? Note to self.


Who has the craziest exes?
While this might depend on a very, very nuanced definition of "crazy," I'm pretty sure any way you slice it, I do. This is probably why I'm still friends with so many of them.


Who has the worst temper?
Definitely Pete. He gets very angry at the cats ("It's like negotiating with terrorists!") and at bad drivers. Surely I get annoyed with these things, too, and lots of things will make my blood boil, but I don't have the kinds of outbursts he does.

Ask me again after we've had a child.


Who does the cooking?
We both do. I probably cook more often, but that's because I'm home more. We both enjoy it, and Pete's got some great recipes. My stuff tends to taste better, but that's because Pete errs on the side of "healthy" where I err on the side of "needs more butter."

Regardless, we still get take-out a LOT.


Who is the neat-freak?
HAHAHAHA. It is a struggle for me to keep anything clean. I WANT things clean and organized, I MAKE things clean and organized, but it is a constant internal struggle for me to do so. And there are plenty of days where I just let things go.

Pete, on the other hand, can't sleep if the dishes aren't done. Who am I to stop him?


Who is more stubborn?
Me? Maybe? To be honest, stubbornness has never been an issue in our relationship. We're more likely to have issues over who's being more sensitive about something. It's a sappy mess when one of us hurts the other's feelings. Not because of the person whose feelings got hurt, but because of how bad the hurter feels.


Who hogs the bed?
The cats.


Who wakes up earlier?
Pete does because he has to for work, but I hear that this baby will change things a bit.

But if you must know, we're both morning people. Don't hate.


Where was your first date?
We agreed to meet at the Nob Hill Tavern on California St., near where I used to live. From there, we wandered down to the Crepe House on Polk for a bite to eat, then walked around some more, chatting. We dropped into The Bell Tower (where we had our first kiss), then back up to a dive bar that used to be called Hanuma Bay (it's changed owners and names twice since then), and ultimately to my apartment.

Despite what it might sound like, I barely drank at all that night. Pete left before dawn, though barely. And we saw each other again the next day.


Who is more jealous?
After four years and much empirical data, I would say that neither of us is the jealous type. At least, not of/about each other. Of other people? And their stupid blogging/writing/comedic success? We're both on the same page, there.


How long did it take to get serious?
The fact that Pete was married-and-separated (3,000 miles separated, mind you) when we met posed certain obstacles to our being too serious. My relationship with him was something totally outside of his relationship with his wife -- totally outside his relatioship with everyone and everything in his "regular" life, actually -- and never the twain shall have met. Or something like that.

We had fun and were good for each other and that was it for a long, long time. Six months after we started dating, he decided to go ahead with a divorce. The divorce wasn't final until a year-and-a-half after that. All the while, he kept me at arm's length.

For example, Pete was good and kind and supportive enough to travel back east with me for my father's funeral. (We'd been dating for under two years at that time.) That seems like something someone in a serious relationship would do, right? But then after the funeral, I flew back to San Francisco alone, while he went to visit his not-yet-ex wife.

Ouch. But also, totally understandable.

I guess in the end I would say that we were always a little serious; otherwise, what would have been the point? Why would I have bothered? Why would he? But it wasn't until we moved in together that we were officially "serious," and I don't think my full-on, THIS IS IT kicked in until he proposed.


Who eats more?
Pete.


Who does the laundry?
We both do, but this is new. Until we lived here, Pete did all the laundry. Now I do it, unless I'm 8+ months pregnant, in which case I do one load and then it's three days later and Pete decides he may as well just finish it.


Who's better with the computer?
I'm pretty sure that I know more about computers and the Internet than Pete does. I certainly have been playing around with them longer and in more ways than he has.

That said, I think there are many men about Pete's age (who don't work in the tech industry), who learned a lot more than they'd care to admit by having an interest in online porn.


Who drives when you are together?
Pete does. For a long time this was because he had a car and I didn't. Once we both had cars, it was because if we were going somewhere together, and it was somewhere social, he'd be willing to be the designated driver a lot more readily than I was.

Now that it's easy for either of us to drive, usually he does. This is because he often confuses my not knowing where things are with an inability to drive. I can drive, I just don't know how to get there! He likes to remind me to do things like "signal" and "get in the left lane if you're going to turn left." And then I have to reply, with as much indignity as I can muster, "I KNOW HOW TO FUCKING SIGNAL. WAIT, WE'RE GOING LEFT???"


* * * * * * * *

Saturday, June 27, 2009

BlogHer And My Life's Parallel Universe

It is totally weird and surreal that the huge annual mega-amazing BlogHer Conference is going to happen and I'm not going to be there for it.

It's best this way, I'm pretty sure. I knew I couldn't personally handle being the Conference Manager while a) being this pregnant and then b) with a newborn. The job is far too demanding (mentally, physically, emotionally).

That's why it's a great job.

But I took it a step further. I also decided I couldn't really even GO to the event, "just" as an attendee, with a newborn. Oh, women do it. It's baby-friendly for sure, and seriously -- when are you going to be around a more supportive group of strangers in your life?

I also know, though, that BlogHer is an immersive experience...and I have no idea what kind of post-partum person I'll be. Maybe I'd be totally fine, but maybe I wouldn't, and I decided to just not worry about it this summer.

(Of course, part of me can't help but think that it's impossible that the event can even exist if I'm not there. You know? Sort of like how I am always shocked on Facebook to discover that people I haven't seen since high school ALSO grew up and got older and didn't just freeze in time. Weird!)

In the meantime...I am incredibly touched and honored that last week, BlogHer selected me as their "BlogHer of the Week."



I encourage you all to vote for your favorite blogger as well, because it's really a nice program, and I love that they do it.

Oh, and if you're new here because of BlogHer, hi! I, um, don't know what to tell you. Thanks for perusing, and thank you for supporting what BlogHer does.

And if you didn't think that my post below about the Incredible Journey that wearing pantyhose at 8.5 months pregnant is...well, might I direct your attention to my post about how I'm TOTES THE CONSUMMATE PROFESSIONAL when it comes to wearing pantyhose as a conference manager?

The post was called: My Job, My Ass, And Mysterious Nylon-Eating Ebola and featured this image, among others:




So I mean it when I say I can't believe I won't be at BlogHer in Chicago. The blog posts practically write themselves...

Enjoy!


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Where Were You When You Heard Michael Jackson Had Died?

Because I? Was in the hospital hooked up to a bunch of wires and monitors listening to my baby dive-bomb my bladder with a blood pressure thingy on my right arm and my iPhone in my left hand going "Wait, WHAT?"

So, no. I guess I CAN'T go around saying today was a no-news day just because I didn't happen to go into labor.

I mean, whoa. Huh?

We did go back to the hospital this afternoon for the aforementioned follow-up tests, but they were (thankfully) rather boring. Everything seems fine, and/but/despite that there remain zero signs that this baby has any interest in being born.

I'm really okay with this, though. Not just because I have long suspected she'd be late, but because -- as a friend of mine pointed out -- there seems to be an extra lot of celebrity souls floating around out there lately, and I'd like to avoid any run-ins. You know.

Today was an absolutely insane day online. Twitter basically exploded this afternoon. As fellow blogger Anissa tweeted: Farrah and Michael just broke Twitter, which might be the most socially relevant things either one of them has done in a long time.

Aww, too soon? Well, it got worse, fast, and I participated as much as anyone. Because inappropriate laughter is my solution to everything.

It's all just very strange and sad and notable. I have no deep thoughts on the subject (well, none that I feel the need to share: you don't really care what I thought about MJ's "issues"), but I DO think the only way to properly honor the deaths of pop icons is to join in the pop discussion using pop tech tools. And then make fun of it all.

I mean, the stuff almost writes itself. Michael Jackson became a trending topic on Twitter instantly -- faster than I've seen anything trend -- but for the first hour, the name Michael was SPELLED WRONG.

What do you even do with that?

In fact, the first couple hours after MJ arrived at the hospital spurred a flurry of weird online activity. Do you remember those first hours of 9-11? When there were unconfirmed "reports" of DOZENS of planes that were off the grid and supposedly flying into buildings in every major US city? Today was like the Celebrity 9-11 version, where suddenly everyone was squealing about other dead celebs who aren't, actually, dead.

Note: Jeff Goldblum is NOT dead. He did NOT fall off a cliff in New Zealand. I swear. And I know this because Kevin Spacey told me so.

(That's true. But also? Weird.)

I think my bottom line here is that I'm glad I didn't give birth in the middle of today's media circus, even if it did have its moments of redeeming funny. And, because it's late and I'm tired and hormonal and totally unfocused, I'm just going to share with you some of my favorite Tweets from the day.

@Ish: Mark Sanford is SO wishing he'd come back a day later.

@kristysf:
Is there a "feathered hair" avatar overlay?*

@jimmywee: Farrah Fawcett is the Mother Theresa of this situation.

@kristysf: Apparently death is the new spray-on tan. #celebritytrends

@btemps: Easiest job ever: Michael Jackson's mortician.

@missycorbett: Ed McMahon. Michael Jackson. Farrah Fawcett. I bet Patrick Swayze is breathing a sigh of relief.

@Ish: So now when the baby comes, I practically *have* to dangle her over a ledge, right? As a tribute?

Pretty good, huh? And while there were faaaaaaar more tasteless Tweets floating about that I won't republish here, you gotta love TheOnion.

@TheOnion: BREAKING: Last Piece Of Michael Jackson Dies

Although this one was pretty good, even if it did take me a few minutes to get:

@giromide: BRUCE WILLIS HAS BEEN DEAD THE WHOLE TIME!

* * * * * * * *

I'm not sure how this post went from being about major celebrity deaths to my non-labor to my simply posting tweets from earlier in the day, but oh well. I thought I should post SOMETHING today.

It's probably time for another popsicle.



*For those of you who do not use Twitter, one of the things that has happened recently is that people have changed their profile pictures ("avatars") to have a green colored overlay. This is to indicate support of a free Iran.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Just In Case

Yesterday afternoon I had my regular weekly check-up. There was a slight rise in my uterine protein (words I'd never uttered before yesterday, mind you) but more notably, my blood pressure had risen enough to warrant concern.

For those of you with even a passing familiarity with Bad Things That Can Happen During Pregnancy, you have heard of preeclampsia. It is most commonly detected -- and characterized -- by high blood pressure. So though my blood pressure hadn't exactly "spiked" into the OMG range, I think we can all agree that it's best to err on the side of caution, given I'm due, like, now.

Thus, my doctor sent me to the hospital to have lots of labwork and monitoring done.

Just in case. And just in case my blood pressure stayed up, or got higher, and just in case my labs weren't great, and just in case anything else could be un-good, my doctor said it was possible that this trip to the hospital might result in an induced labor.

So Ish and I (and PinkJaime, who was here visiting for the day) returned home to gather our things for our first official We Might Be Having A Baby Now trip to the hospital.

I would like to point out that my hospital bag was, in fact, packed. (I shall not mention that it had been packed for less than 24 hours. Whatever.)

But so off we went. To the hospital to maybe give birth. Or not.

We arrived and they took more urine --

Ladies, as an aside, if you have not been pregnant before but will be someday, here is something NO ONE told me: you will pee in a cup at every doctor-related office you go, every single time. So much so that I instinctively looked for a cup at our lawyer's office's bathroom a couple weeks ago out of habit. HA!

-- and several vials of blood. I got set up to the fetal monitor again. And a blood-pressure reader that took my levels every 15 minutes.

It was really quiet. The maternity ward up in St. Helena is really small, and very private. It was relaxing, actually, and will no doubt be great when I'm actually in labor. However. Yesterday's visit, with its "you might be here to give birth or you might just go home again" waiting, really kind of sucked.

Thank heaven for Facebook and Twitter.

But sure enough, after a couple hours, I was free to go. The baby's movements are great, there's enough amniotic fluid, my proteins and platelets and whatever else are, I guess, fine. My blood pressure hasn't gone back down, but isn't so scarily elevated as to warrant staying.

So I'm home again. And under what the nurse called "House Arrest."

I should note that prior to being sent to the hospital, my OB determined that my cervic has not budged, and not only has the baby not dropped, she's actually repositioned herself far higher than she's been in weeks.

I go back Thursday for some follow-up testing. In the meantime, I'm watching a lot of Law and Order (Criminal Intent and SVU) and trying to take deap, cleansing breaths...in between stuffing my face with Ish's homemade chocolate-chip cookies.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

An Incredible Journey

Did I fool you? Did you think this post was going to be about my labor? Or about how amazing pregnancy has been? That perhaps I'd finally speak fondly -- or at least humbly -- about the power and natural beauty of the human body and spirit, as it magically reveals itself through nine months of gestation?

Ha ha, no.

(Especially not at 39 weeks when my mini-watermelon spends her days head-butting my bladder and the act of inhaling and exhaling is like performing an ab workout.)

No. Labor is not imminent. In fact, there are zero signs so far. I've always thought she would be at least a little late, so I really don't expect her to arrive before her due date of Thursday.

Anyway. This post is about, well...

Do you know what I did last weekend? I went to a wedding wearing pantyhose.

Wait, hold on. Let me write that again in case you didn't fully appreciate the gravity of my words: WEARING PANTYHOSE. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

You wanna marvel at the human condition circa ready-to-pop pregnant? Watch an otherwise already uncoordinated pregnant lady attempt to shower, shave her legs, and get herself into pantyhose. Because THAT is an incredible journey if ever there was one.

I don't want to get too graphic (I think my photo below is graphic enough to last us the rest of my pregnancy, yeah?), but let's just say that currently, my access to areas of my body below my knees is rather limited. Putting pants on requires a lot of blind stepping, mashing, grabbing, wobbling, and -- ultimately -- LOLing at myself. Because I miss the holes a lot.

So, since about the 6-month pregnancy mark, I haven't been too concerned with shaving my legs. (Pregnant ladies, I'm not alone in that, right?)

But last weekend I had to go to a wedding, and the only dress I have that I fit into is knee-length, and I realized that presented quite a problem. I can't very well show up at a wedding with leg hair so long it flaps in the wind.

And leg hair was only half my problem. I know that it's not necessary to look tan all the time anymore, that milky-white skin is perfectly attractive, that bare legs in June are totally acceptable. But, let's be honest here. My legs are so pale they're practically blue. And rather splotchy. (Why? From what? I have no idea. Bad skin has plagued me all my life. In the last five years, my legs -- one of my only body parts I never felt self-conscious about -- have developed random red spots and pronounced veins. I keep telling them I'm 34 not 84, but my legs don't listen.)

So I couldn't do it. I couldn't show up at this wedding with camouflaged-by-Sherwood-Forest legs, and I couldn't show up with blinded-by-the-glare-pale(-except-where-totally-discolored) legs, either. I had to shave them, and I had to cover them.

Sometimes being a woman is really stupid.

The fact that I didn't kill myself during the shaving process is testament NOT to my coordination, but to my knowing myself really well. First of all, I had Ish on stand-by, keeping watch to make sure if I fell over or maimed myself with my Venus razor, he'd spring into action immediately.

I started off by trying to use the built-in ledge in our stand-up shower. I mean, that's what it's there for, right? But it turns out that having all this baby stuff in the way not only makes it difficult to reach your ankles, but also REALLY messes with your center of gravity.

Eventually, I gave up and decided To hell with it and sat my ass down. In the stand-up shower.

I sat Indian-style. And sideways. And both knees up, and one up/one down, and quite possibly developed a few new poses that either Tyra or a Pilates instructor would be impressed with. It took a LONG time.

Now, I won't lie to you. I was damn PROUD of myself for having done it. I even felt a bit sexy when I dried off and moisturized. (Well, sure, I only moisturized where I could reach, but still; every little bit helps).

So after the shaving ordeal -- which I should also mention involved having to figure out how to stand back up again in the shower, an event which took great patience and humility -- I got dressed. I did my makeup and hair and packed for the drive to the city and prepped what I needed and made sure everything was done before conceding that it was time to try and fit myself into the largest sized pantyhose I could find at the store.

I realize I should have searched for maternity pantyhose online and purchased them well in advance, but I didn't think that far ahead.

Anyway. The process began as it always does. Getting my feet into them wasn't SO so bad. I'd scrunched up the hose (as you do) so they could unfurl as I stretched them over my legs. The only difference between this unfurling process and all others is that I didn't so much do it from a sitting position as from a rolled-onto-my-back-on-the-bed position.

Oh, it didn't start out that way. I tried to sit on the bed and bring my hands and feet together, but I nearly fell head-first onto the carpet. So then I kind of had to let my body do what it needed to do in order to allow hand-feet contact. Turns out, when you sit on the bed and bend your knees and let your body go, you roll over backwards. (Or at least, I roll over backwards.)

Forgive me for not having the energy to draw this, but please just picture:

Me, in full makeup and curled and tousled hair, rolled onto my back on the bed, my dress hiked up to expose my rear-end, my giant belly impeding my every move, my legs flailing in the air -- knees bent and OPEN, the only comfortable position I could manage -- while I try not ONLY to "catch" my feet in the bottom of the hose, but to not snag them in any way.

When I managed, somehow, to get the hose as far as my knees, I sat up again. Exhausted.

At that point, I felt like I needed to set up base camp, like I was halfway up a mountain climb. I adjusted each leg, so that the nylons weren't twisted or bunched. I smoothed my dress and hair. I caught my breath.

I stood up.

I then commenced with the shimmying.

At first, it was the usual pantyhose dance. Up a little on the left, up a little on the right, left, right, left, right, till the waistband gets to just under the butt. (Did I mention how being a woman is sometimes stupid?)

Then we got to a critical juncture. I decided I'd hike the (reinforced, I'm no fool) "waist panel" over my ass first, before trying to get it over my frontal mass. Because, I reasoned, my backside is currently smaller than my front side (for like, the first time EVER) and I figured that getting the waistband up and over my ass would help keep it in place as I tried for the front.

Whereas if I tried to get the front up first, the whole thing would certainly just snap back down again before I'd have time to reach around and pull the waistband up over my butt.

So with my butt covered and the waistband in place, albeit precariously positioned, I pulled the front of the waist panel up.

And realized that no amount of modern engineering could have made this work.

I don't think they make a pantyhose waist panel large enough to stretch comfortably all the way up and out to where my belly button is currently located. Perhaps it's physically impossible to create such a thing, or perhaps the pantyhose engineers of the world think that pregnant women -- especially chubby ones -- would never be stupid enough to try and fit themselves into such antiquated funnels of misogyny. Who's to say.

But since not wearing pantyhose was not an option, I soon realized I had, basically, two choices.

Choice A: I could try to convince the pantyhose to stay as far up my front baby bump as possible. This might require constant vigilance and adjustment, but the upshot is that I could convince myself that the pantyhose actually sort of "fit." Downside: any lack of vigilance on my part would result in the waistline rolling down again. Possibly as far as my thighs if I tried anything tricky, like dancing.

Choice B: Understand that there is no physical way for hose to stay up, so just keep them under the baby bump in front. Upshot: would not require constant adjusting. Downside: uncomfortable, because the waistline of the hose in front would be buried under my flap of tummy/pouch - possibly irretrievably so. Also, since the hose are up past the butt on the back end, they're effectively sitting at a 45-degree slope. That can't be good for the longevity of the hose.

I opted for A. Maybe if I gave them time to "stretch" they would give up and hold me in?

I hoped so. I hoped the long car ride would be just the ticket. I carefully positioned myself in the car, and we headed for the event.

An hour later we arrived at the wedding. The drive hadn't required too much movement and the hose felt like they'd basically stayed in place, so I was thinking that maybe they had stretched enough to stay put.

Of course, the moment I stood up out of the car, I immediately felt my pantyhose roooooolllllllllling all the way down in front and in back. I rushed myself to the ladies' room as elegantly as possible, which is to say "not elegantly at all," seeing as I basically had to waddle like a penguin to avoid having the hose roll any further down, like, say, past my hemline.

In the ladies' room, I took great pains to adjust myself from toe to waistband and, still set on Option A (more out of stubborn determination than rational thinking), spent the rest of the event with my arms firmly planted on my sides to try and keep the pantyhose waistband up.

I was not successful.

The battle raged until it was time for us to leave. I can't tell you how many times I lost track of what conversation was happening because I was focused so intently on trying to catch my waistband and re-roll it upwards in a breezy fashion.

But you better believe that when we got into the car to go home, I pulled those suckers off as quickly as I could. It was dark, and we were on the highway, and I don't know how completely batshit crazy I must have looked, contorting myself and shimmying this way and that, pregnant and seatbelted in, but it was totally worth it.

And now I'm not sure how to end this entry. There isn't really a lesson to be learned, because most people wouldn't have been as stupid as I was in the first place. I guess next time I'm in the position of having to expose my legs while pregnant, I will either rethink dress pants, or invest in professional spray-on tanning.

One incredible journey is enough.



p.s. I know I'm not posting that often, but I am rather active on Twitter, and relatively active on Facebook. In case you're looking for labor updates, that is.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Baby Week!

I don't mean in real life, though it sort of feels that way. (Is it me or is EVERYONE having babies?) (Oh, and no - "Marlo" was not one of our names for consideration, but I do like it.)

Anyway.

It's BABY WEEK on the Discovery Health Channel. It's like they knew that suddenly everyone on the interwebs was gonna be popping out kids and decided to show us stuff they thought would be relevant. (I don't actually know how television programming decisions get made, but I wouldn't be surprised if they planned Baby Week around Dooce's due date.)

And...since I'm not awash in hormonally induced bouts of melancholia ALL the time (see dramatic post below, whoa), I have a new project!

Tonight I will be live-Chattering the Discovery Health episode of "Births Beyond Belief."

Did that sentence make any sense to you?

First of all, you have to be familiar with "Chatter." Chatter is BlogHer's very own version of Twitter. You just go to BlogHer.com and click on the "Chatter" tab and do what it says. (See that tab in green next to where it says "Groups"? Yeah, down on the page a bit. Click there.)

Chatter is fun because it's full of nice people who aren't bots or dumb celebrities. Fun!

So I'll be there Chattering tonight's episode at 8 p.m. Pacific time. I will ALSO be there tomorrow night (also at 8 p.m. Pacific) when they air the show called...

...you ready for this?...

OBESE AND PREGNANT.

Duuuuunh duuuuunh duuuuuuuuuuuuhn!

I have not done any homework so I do not know what the show is about, other than what its title suggests. I HOPE that the show will be helpful and informative and great and wonderful and delicate and inspiring. I WANT it to be those things. But I am super skeptical. Interested, but skeptical.

I bought a book all about being overweight and pregnant, and all it did was terrify me into thinking I'd have a far more complicated and dangerous pregnancy than a "normal" woman. And while I understand that there is science supporting such theories, that's just not been my experience.

So I'm left wondering: Is it me? Are there really great (and even grave) differences between the the obese moms and the non-obese? Or is this just a niche that hasn't been explored and, therefore, exploited to death?

Guess we'll see tomorrow.

IN THE MEANTIME, tonight's episode of "Births Beyond Belief," which could also be entitled, "Births That I Will Think Seem Crazy," should be fun. Because when else would I have an opportunity to blog the word yurt?

Hope to see you there!

Nothing At All Like That Last Time

When my husband left me, I was alone all day, everyday. No more husband, no more dogs. Just me in a big lonely house with my cats, the TV and the internet. I had work to do, but it was only part time and not especially demanding or engaging. My closest family and friends lived hours and miles away.

We were waiting for the house to sell, and there was nothing left to do but wait. There was nothing to pack because the house had already been de-cluttered. We needed the rest of our stuff stage the place. And so while knew I was going to go, to move to San Francisco, I didn't know when. Until we had a buyer and a sell date, everything was on hold.

This was almost exactly eight years ago.

It was so weird. Sitting in that house, going for walks or drives, doing stupid routine things while waiting for my entire life to change forever. I remember that time so vividly because it was so abnormal. I had so much time to myself, so much serenity. All I could do was wallow in the quiet and sad, waiting for it to be different.

Any second now. Really soon. But not today.

My life now looks nothing like it used to. I'm happy and the changes that are coming are changes we -- a different "we," a good "we," a healthy, wonderful "we" -- planned. We chose this move, this house, to have a baby. We chose growing, more, positive.

Before, it had been about sickness and death and divorce and ending and failure and closure.

But as different as it was years ago...well, here I am. I am home alone all day, every day. And I am waiting for my life to be forever changed. There's nothing left for me to do except wait and wonder and worry. It's too quiet and I have too much time.

I am not complaining. At least, I don't mean to sound like I am. I am grateful that I am not having to work right now. I am exceptionally aware of my good fortune and am grateful that I have a home and a partner and the physical, emotional and financial means to take care of a child I want and thought I might not be able to have.

Oh, but this waiting. The silence. It's not good.

I have plenty of things I could be doing, but I seem to be in this strange sort of stupor. I figure it's at least somewhat hormonal. Still, I feel the gravity of it all. I can't help it. I'm aware of this huge thing coming, and I feel heavy with the weight of it. With the wait of it.

Physically I'm fine. Whatever. I'm uncomfortable but it's not killing me, so I feel no need to whine and complain about how physically hard this is.

But as I said earlier, I feel kind of done emotionally. It's hard to wait for my entire life to change in ways I can't anticipate. Yes, it's fear of the unknown. It's also worry that something will go wrong, and wanting to feel relief and joy that nothing did.

I'm tired of this weird, emotional echo-chamber and want to get on with things. By which I guess I mean everything.

What's another couple weeks?

Any second now. Really soon. But not today.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Am I Naked Or Wearing Pants? Even *I* Don't Know!

I refuse to post photos of me where I'm sporting more than one chin, which explains the dearth of photos of me from the last couple years few years four years ever.

But that is not to suggest I'm not otherwise brave stupid. Last night, I took a bath to relieve some of the pressure I'm feeling in my hip joints, as my pelvix slowly releases itself from the rest of me. The awkward task of getting out of the tub -- UGH -- and toweling off -- double UGH! -- left me exhausted, however, and so I had to wobble (like a Weeble) over to the bed and collapse. As I lay there, I looked down at my increasingly ginormous belly and marveled that I could see my toes at all.

And I thought, You know what? To hell with it. I'm going to take a picture of this.

And I did.

You're welcome.

Also, I took a picture of Ish last Friday from the hospital waiting room as we went for our final ultrasound.


I'm sure whatever he's reading will come in very handy once the baby arrives.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Just Your Average Update

Tomorrow I will be officially 38 weeks.

Last week, my doctor decided I needed to get the baby weighed (via ultrasound) because my measurements were a little conflicted. The external measurement -- which, btw, seems very un-scientific to me, seeing as it's just a tape measure on the belly -- suggested I/the baby was a bit big or could be early. The previous ultrasound, however, suggested she was perhaps behind schedule.

I love so much how there's a four week window.

What we learned as a result of last week's ultrasound is that, as of last Friday, she weighed about six-and-a-half pounds. Which would put her on track to be exactly average sized at her due date: about seven-and-a-half pounds on June 25.

But there was a but.

Oh, she's in a great position and has good fluid and the placenta is where it should be and all that stuff is fine.

My cervix, however, shows absolutely no signs of wanting to be birth-ready. It's a great cervix for keeping a baby in, apparently. Not so much for letting baby out.

Will this be an issue? Who's to say? The doctor gave us tips for how to help the cervix along, and to be honest with you, I don't know which of the three suggestions sounds most uncomfortable. I guess in the meantime, I will try and will my cervix to chill out.

In the grand scheme of things, I don't care when or how the baby is born as long as she's healthy. That's the official story.

The unofficial story is that I am really, really tired. Not just physically -- although I am, and my body's new "let's wake mommy up in the middle of the night and not let her back to sleep just to prepare her for having a newborn" thing is SO FUN -- but emotionally. I feel like I've been doing nothing but preparing myself, my head, my heart, my home for this child. I can't get more ready without crossing over into Crazy.

Crazy. Like, practicing how to wrap the baby sling properly and then actively considering using a cat as a substitute baby. (I came dangerously close to trying this.) Like, having a total meltdown at the idea of mis-organizing the onesies and burp cloths, resulting in a tear-soaked email to my friends asking BUT WHERE DO THEY ALL GOOOOOO? Like, ordering JUST ONE MORE THING that we probably don't even need and won't remember getting from some online store, just to feel like I'm doing something productive.

Like, having every single thing that comes out of my mouth (or blog) be about how pregnant I am.

I need to stop this madness, before I say TO HELL WITH IT and crack open the bottle of Hendrick's in the freezer and help myself to a martini or seven. Let it be noted: it is really a flaw in nature that ingesting gin is not one of the preferred methods for ripening one's cervix.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Making It Work For Me And My Pelvix

Last Tuesday, Ish and I took our first "childbirth preparation" class at the local hospital. We decided it might be more helpful to take such a class prior to the baby being born, because we're totally on top of things that way. (She is due around June 25, btw.) (Also, we're going to Part Two of Two tonight, stay tuned!)

So the first part of class...was...um...interesting? Terrifying? Enlightening? Informative? Stupid?

Yes. It was.

For starters, the couples in attendance represented a fantastic cross-section of Who Lives in Napa. There were the folks who'd clearly just come from office jobs, and folks who have possibly never set foot in an office building in their lives. Sitting on one side of us, we had a couple who each ran their own home businesses, and on the other side was a couple whose male half was wearing a RAIDER NATION t-shirt and who, as Ish said, "probably owns some kind of watercraft that's taking up most of his credit card balance."

White collar, blue collar, no collar, ankle collar...

Just to complete the visual, there was also one very young couple -- they were maaaaybe 18? -- who just seemed out of their depth and like perhaps the class was court-ordered? We wondered this because the young man seemed about half-interested at best. Like he'd rather be just about anywhere else. During the video segments, he didn't so much "watch" the movies as "check his cell phone." Meanwhile the girl, who wore a permanent scowl, was also sporting a fashionable ankle monitor. But despite their seeming disinterest in the class, both the boy and the girl had this fun little habit of shouting out answers to the instructor's rhetorical questions. Incorrectly!

When the class ended, I noticed the couple outside, calling for someone to come pick them up. That's when I also noticed that their "small blanket" (recommended for class) was actually a Spiderman towel. While they waited for their ride, the girl swung the towel around and fashioned it into a cape.

I make no judgments on their parenting abilities. For all I know, they could raise a perfectly amazing child. I just don't think the ankle-monitor/Spiderman towel bode especially well.

Anyway!

Overall the class was good and I'm glad we went. I know more than I did before. I look forward to Part Two. But best of all, I feel reassured. I feel reassured because I have chosen to view this class as a metaphor for parenting in general.

By which I mean: Wow. A lot of people are going to tell you a lot of things. And some of these people are going to claim to be "experts" but that doesn't mean they are 100% correct about everything. In the end, it's going to be up to YOU to distill the good advice from the bad. Trust yourself to know what will work.


Doesn't that seem all rational and good? Aren't you proud of me? Well, wait till we get to the part about the cocktail party.

The instructor began the class by leading intros and then telling us about herself. Turns out, she's been teaching childbirth prep for fifteen years. She's seen a lot of stuff. She knows her stuff. She came across as sweet and nice and caring and as someone whose heart is really in it. Expert!

But then as soon as we got going, despite the three minute discussion on how "there are no wrong questions," she refused to answer any. She clearly hated to be derailed from her spiel. Most of her answers were, therefore, either We haven't gotten to that yet or We don't talk about that until next week. Except for the time the woman asked, "So, do contractions ever last longer than one minute?" and the instructor smiled, gave a slight shake of her head, and laughed a bit, in a "haha, you have no idea what you're in for" kind of way. AND THAT WAS IT.

So no, not especially helpful. Mostly the instructor reeled off hospital-approved information. And I figured I couldn't really do anything but believe everything she says, because even if she doesn't answer questions well, she's got a whole helluva lot more experience than I do.

Until she pronounced "pelvis" as "pelvix."

Not one time. All the times. In diagrams, during the slide show, in discussions, and using the visual aid. Pelvix, pelvix, pelvix. Every time she said it, I'd look around the room just to see if anyone else noticed or cared. Every time, only Ish had a look for me that said, "What can you do?"

And just when I thought I was going to burst from wanting to scream something along the lines of "LADY, IT IS THE PELVIS. ISSSSSS. IT IS ONE OF ABOUT 4 BODY PARTS WE'RE DISCUSSING TONIGHT, AND YOU HAVE BEEN DOING THIS FOR 15 YEARS AND I WANT TO HAVE FAITH THAT YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT!" she started referring to the cervic.

So okay. I know in my heart-of-hearts that probably none of her points were less valid because she has difficulty with some words. Truth be told, English was not likely her first language, and who am I to judge?

Still, this whole childbirth thing is kind of scary and stressful, but there IS a way to answer questions from couples regardless of when that information comes up in the presentation, and also there is no such thing as a pelvix. Or a cervic. And while I want to believe that there is a black-and-white science to the whole thing, I think it just goes to show that even experts aren't maybe expert on everything.

* * * * * * * *
But here's where we get to the point, really.

I'm not what anyone on the planet would call "spiritual." Nor am I "meditative." I do not discount these things, I recognize their virtues, I simply have never engaged in them successfully. At least not in a way that would be widely recognized.

When I go to get massages, for example, I am fine with the fact that they play "relaxing" music and sounds of tinkling brooks and whales and nature. However, this does not do anything to quiet my mind. If I wanted my mind quieted, I'd listen to music that I knew -- perhaps ABBA? -- so that at least part of my brain could be actively engaged in something. "Listening" to streams and windchimes is boring and so my mind goes into overdrive and I spend massages internally dictating my next blog entry or singing songs or hatching book plots or, most commonly, chatting with the massage therapist.

Hey, it's just how I'm wired.

But ho-ho! I should have thought about this sooner!

Because all of a sudden I realized it. Of COURSE the "relaxation" and "breathing techniques" part of this prep class were allllll about tinkling music and centering one's mind. DUH. One second it's all business: lights on, pay attention to this next slide; the next second it's lights off, calming tones, pseudo-hypnotic "imagine you are somewhere peaceful..." routine while soothing music plays in the background.

I wasn't ready for it. I sat there, straddling the chair with my closed eyes and Ish massaging my back, and all I could think about was the episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent I'd just seen. And also maybe the burrito that was waiting for me post-class.

Meaning just like massage, this kind of setting doesn't help me do anything except think about the exact things I shouldn't be thinking about. I'm not distracted. I'm not relaxed. I'm searching desperately for something, anything, to pay attention to and focus on.

Oh, I tried to listen to the instructor. I tried to picture a peaceful place and think about the baby, but those thoughts take about 3 seconds to leap from the miracle of childbirth to wondering when Ish and I should put together the Pack 'n' Play and whether I'd order extra salsa later.

And honestly, this didn't bother me at first. I was sitting in the darkened room, content to be thinking about baby furniture and burritos and Law & Order...until it hit me like a ton of bricks: Uh, if I can't focus on something distracting when I'm in no pain whatsoever, what do I think I'm going to focus on when I'm experiencing labor pains?

My guess? LABOR PAINS.

Asking me to quiet my mind and experience silence and focus on peaceful settings and nature and beaches and tinkling brooks is all well and good, but I am positive that if that's all I've got, each contraction is going to feel like friggin' King Kong just stomped through my mind's pathetic little woodland area.

I realized that if the point is to ensure that I focus on nothing but exactly how much pain I'm in, this kind of meditative, "picture a quiet place" stuff is the way to go. If, however, I want to be distracted, if I want to focus on ANYTHING other than the worst pain I'll ever experience, we're gonna have to do better than windchimes.

I had to recalibrate. I had to be honest with myself.

How am I going to do this? I wondered.

You know what I've heard? I've heard that, for as peaceful and centered as anyone may (actually) want to be, hospital rooms end up feeling like Grand Central Station anyway. Nurses, doctors, husbands, well-wishers, and all kinds of other, gloved professionals will be in and out of the room constantly. I think, for me, trying to pretend otherwise is probably an exercise in futility.

But then, you know what my happy place really is? A hopping martini lounge. Somewhere all my friends are gathered. Like, say, a loft in San Francisco full of drunk, happy people I adore, wearing dresses and boas and singing their lungs out while someone tries to keep up on the piano.

And while I understand that for many reasons, I don't probably want a piano and a dozen people singing in my room while I'm in labor, I feel like I'm making progress towards figuring out what will work for me.

I kind of liken my sentiments to why some people love New York City. When you're in the middle of the hustle and bustle, you can feel free to get your crazy on and no one will notice or care. Over time, you don't even notice or care. So that's what I'm envisioning. Hustle and bustle -- music, something engaging on the tv, people chattering and doing stuff, Ish massaging anything he can get his hands on, energy, DISTRACTIONS -- going on all around me, so I can feel free to get my crazy screaming in-labor self ON.

The videos we saw of couples walking down the hospital corridors, holding hands, breathing, quietly meditating, helping mom picture mountainsides as she slowly rocks her body during another painful contraction...this just seems utterly horrifying to me.

I mean, I'm not crazy. I want touch and massage and probably a shower or 17. I want to be told I'm doing a good job. I want encouragement and help and deep breaths and rolls on the birthing ball and all that good stuff.

But if we're being really honest about what's going to make me feel better, I don't want to be told to picture the ocean, I want to picture a giant, ice-cold martini. I don't want to have calm lighting and whale sounds, I want Sex and the City on repeat and a tap-dancer Shuffling Off to Buffalo.

Hmm. Maybe I should pack a mirror ball in my hospital bag. What do you think?

Sunday, June 07, 2009

A Traumatic Sunday Afternoon. But First: Stick A Cracker In My Eye

Once when I was in middle school, I was eating a pretzel at lunch. As part of my pretzel-eating process, I was removing some of the outer salt, because I don't like anything overly salted. By mistake, one of the huge flecks of salt shot directly into my eye. I spent the remainder of the lunch period flushing out my eye in the girls' bathroom (eww) and had to tell my embarrassing tale when I returned, late, to my class.

You know why I remember this?

Because last night ALL I DID was take a bite of a tortilla chip and a giant chip-crumb shot right into my eye. It hurt like hell, but unlike middle school, I didn't have to go far to get to a bathroom. And unlike the pretzel salt, which (it turns out) dissolves pretty quickly in eye fluid, chips aren't as swift to break down. So I was able to fish the piece of chip out of my eye in one piece.

Not that this is riveting blog material, but honestly. Have you ever had food fly into your eye TWICE in your life? It's not like I go around asking for it. It's not like I'm doing something totally out of the ordinary or unusual by removing salt or, you know, simply BITING a chip. But here I am, a grown adult, having to excuse myself in front of guests to go get tortilla chip out of my eye.

It's times like those I don't exactly feel evolutionarily advanced, you know?

Speaking of which:

I have a long blog post coming about the first "childbirth preparation" class that Ish and I took last week, but it's taking me forever to write for no reason, but IN THE MEANTIME, I'm sort of experiencing a crisis at this very moment and didn't know what to do about it so I decided to blog it because maybe that will at least calm me down a bit.

About 45 minutes ago, I noticed Eddie (the cat) coming into the house with what seemed like a leaf stuck to his face. I asked Ish to please check it out and if it was not something...er...leafy...to please hurry and get rid of it.

"It's not a leaf," Ish said as he brought Eddie to me. "Here, hang on to him. I need to get it out of the house" Ish said and I got all squeamish.

"What is it?"

"A lizard. Still looks alive."

Now, we did not have many lizards growing up in Connecticut. Oddly enough, I never had a lizard run-in while living in San Francisco, either. So this is new to me. And why a cat would want anything to do with a lizard is beyond me, but what do I know?

So next thing I know, Ish walks by on his way to put the lizard outside. I watch him bend down and return to the house rather quickly. To which I say, "Did you just put it outside?"

"Yes."

"Like, in our yard, right outside the door?"

"Yes. Where else should I put it?"

"Well, I was thinking maybe NOT in our yard? Like OUT of our yard, where the cats won't get it again?"

"I can't lizard-proof our yard!"

Well, and so that was the end of the conversation. If I'm not ballsy enough to remove the lizard myself, I don't really have a right to complain about Ish's lizard-removal techniques. And I figured if the lizard had any sort of lizard-sense -- and it must, right? Haven't they been around since prehistoric times? -- he'd not want to stick around a yard that had so many fanged creatures. To do so would make no evolutionary sense.

But again, what do I know?

Because Ish left to go on a bike ride and won't be home for another hour. And naturally, about 5 minutes after he left, Monster came through the room making a yowling sound and having something sticking out from his mouth.

He got as far as the dining room and stopped. I was too afraid to go look. But then, I also felt bad for the lizard -- assuming it even WAS the lizard -- and didn't want to abandon it to my darling but potentially blood-thirsty carnivorous cats. So I eventually crept SORT OF near to the dining room and saw the lizard, just sitting on the carpet, with Monster, just sitting on the carpet also, staring at it. Then Sherlock rushed to the scene.

So there I was, standing about 7 feet from the terrifying-to-me tiny lizard, watching my two cats also staring at the tiny lizard, realizing that none of the four of us had any idea what to do.

(Speaking as the representative human being in this equation, I apologize. Darwin would be so disappointed in me.)

But I knew, deep down, that I had to do something, even if it IS a scary (tiny) lizard.

So eventually I DID do something. I grabbed a decorative wire bowl and inched toward the three of them (da da daaa dah! evolution! opposable thumbs! wire bowls!) and then put the bowl over the lizard. Brilliance! The lizard was safe, I was safe, my unborn baby was safe from whatever completely harmless thing the lizard wouldn't have done to her anyway, the cats couldn't get into the bowl, and I believed the situation was pretty well contained. At least until Ish could come home and fix it.

I sat back on the sofa. Eventually Sherlock got bored and left, and then so did Monster. Victory!

But I was still (am still) a little nervous, so I decided to blog so I thought, hey I should take a picture.

Want to see a picture of the lizard under the bowl?


What's that you say?

You say, "Huh? I can't see the lizard?"

Oh, well, turns out, NEITHER CAN I.

It has escaped. Meaning that, at this very moment, there is a lizard with a death wish scampering through my house. Part of me hopes the cats don't know it's free and roaming our halls -- I do not want harm to befall the lizard. But part of me really hopes the cats HAVE discovered the thing, so that I don't have to go to bed tonight wondering if I'm going to wake up with a big, fat, suicidal lizard crawling on my face.

And, Darwin be damned, I understand that I am no longer rational. As I write this, I keep looking at my feet hoping the lizard doesn't suddenly jump out at me from under the sofa. Yes, my evolved brain knows that I am bigger than the cats AND the lizard and that I should be able to intervene and not have this be traumatic. The icky-creepy-crawly part of my brain, however, cannot deal with hunting for a lizard that may or may not be in one piece any longer.

And that icky-creepy-crawly part of my brain IS WINNING.

UPDATE: Shit. Monster is outside lounging and Sherlock is asleep on our bed. Score one for the missing lizard.

UPDATE UPDATE: Ish is home. The situation has been explained. Also, he is far less concerned about the lizard situation than he is proud of his 20 mile bike ride that I should be paying attention to. Instead, he is now in hot pursuit of a lizard in our dining room for the second time today.

UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE: Ish just walked by me and out the door as I was writing my last update. "Did you find it???" I asked. "Most of it," he replied. UGH.

UPDATE THE LAST: Turns out, the cats had abandoned the lizard and it was just chilling behind the dining room curtain, but with only about 80% of its tail. Ish claimed the lizard was otherwise okay. He has been safely removed to outside the fenced area of our yard. NEVER TO RETURN. (DO YOU HEAR ME, LIZARD?? NEVER! TO! RETURN!)

Thank you for hanging in there with me.