Monday, December 28, 2009

Chicklette pic

It's really hard to not just gobble her up completely:

Sunday, December 27, 2009

She's here!

Sorry for the radio's been a crazy few days! But she's here! The chicklette arrived on December 23rd at 11:15 a.m., weighing in a 6 pounds, 7 ounces. I'll post much more about her birth, but long story short -- it went much more smoothly than I ever could have anticipated. Of course, it was also aided by a very strong epidural administered by the most wonderful man on the planet (a.k.a. the anesthesiologist).

She's beautiful, we're smitten, but unfortunately are still in the hospital due to an unfortunate spit-up-swallowing-then-turning-blue episode that happened approximately 5 seconds after we got home from the hospital on Christmas Day. Everything looks to be fine, but we've been "under observation" for the past couple of days. Hopefully we'll be going home tomorrow.

Much more to come!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

And away we go!

Just got back from the doctor....I'm moderately effaced, 1 cm dilated, and HEADED TO THE HOSPITAL IN TWO HOURS. They're going to give me cytotec tonight to ripen my cervix (that just sounds gross to me for some reason), and if all goes well start the pitocin early in the morning.

All of the sudden I'm a leetle beet nervous about this birth that I supposedly haven't been nervous about. This is definitely the most exciting birthday I've ever had....

Monday, December 21, 2009

STILL no baby, so we shop (and celebrate a birthday)

After several hours of contractions and painful baby movement last night, I find myself once again this morning with no labor signs and of course no baby. Ugh. I keep telling myself every time I start contracting that it's probably nothing, but it's hard for us not to get our hopes up. The poor Mr. is walking around like a zombie this morning, having been awake and excited all night. I guess it's a preview, but still...kind of frustrating.

So, I guess things will either kick in today or tomorrow (which is my birthday). In the meantime, I think I'll head out today and do a little last minute Christmas shopping/puttering around. I'm sure it's going to be a madhouse out there, but being in my actual house is driving me mad. There are only so many episodes of House and Gossip Girl that I can watch -- which I didn't think possible.

And we will try to get back to our happy place -- after all, we'll be parents in a couple of days, which is pretty darn exciting.

I hope that everyone's enjoying their holiday prep!! I can't believe it's only 4 days until Christmas....

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Still no baby, so we eat!

Yeah, so, still no baby. Lots of contractions, many false alarms, and enough spicy-food induced heartburn to keep a Tums factory in business.

I swing between being totally zen (she'll get here when she gets here, this is our first taste of our plans not being our own, etc.) and completely despondent (she'll never come, something is wrong, I am a FAILURE because my body apparently DOESN'T KNOW WHAT TO DO, etc.). I'm also not thrilled about being induced, but not because I'm worried about the induction itself. I just don't want to wait until Wednesday!

Anyhoo, so we've been trying to take advantage of the quiet time, since I finished my Christmas shopping and nursery prep weeks ago. Movies, walks, sexy time (not that it's that sexy, but it's probably the best we're going to get for a while), dinners out and random puttering around the house. It's kind of nice in a way. We've also given up on calling anyone unless absolutely necessary, because we get the breathless "IS THERE A BABY YET??" from everyone -- including, oddly enough, the cat groomer, who apparently my mother has on high alert.

Tonight we decided to relish our little remaining adult time by having a modified version of the Christmas Eve dinner that, one way or another, I won't be in any shape to cook this year. I come from a large extended Italian family, so Christmas Eve is all about seafood. Normally, I make a dinner with a bunch of courses and appetizers, basically squeezing in as many kinds of fish as possible. Since there are lot of fish that I probably shouldn't be eating, and my stomach capacity is about the size of a walnut right now, we're just going to go with our favorite course -- Linguini with White Clam Sauce, served with hot crusty bread. Yum. Because I can't be bothered to deal with cleaning or prepping live clams (plus, no need to screw around with potential food poisoning right now), I'm doing the ultra-easy version. Recipe is below for anyone who's interested.

Of course, this probably means I'll go into labor tonight, puking clams and garlic all the way. But it would be SO WORTH IT.

Merry early Christmas Eve!

Linguini with White Clam Sauce (Serves 2 as a main course)

4 6.5 oz cans minced clams (I'm partial to Snow's brand)
4 cloves garlic, minced
Olive oil, enough to coat the bottom of a small saucepan
Small handful fresh Italian parsley, chopped (you could also use a couple of tablespoons of dried)
Juice of one lemon
Splash of white wine (I used Pinot Grigio, but whatever dry white you like to drink would work)
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil at medium high heat in bottom of small saucepan. Add garlic, saute until golden. Add clams (with all juice in can), lemon juice, wine, parsley and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Let simmer for 20 minutes or so, then add salt to taste. Sauce can be made early in the day, and reheated, or served immediately over linguini with warm crusty bread to sop up the juices.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Due date

Well, here we are. December 16th. It's your birthday, baby! Come on out!

We had our 40 week appointment yesterday. Long story short: my OB didn't check me, since she won't induce us any earlier than 41 weeks and if I'm not contracting it doesn't really matter at this point how dilated I am. So my next appointment is Tuesday the 22nd (my birthday), and we're talking induction on the 23rd if she hasn't arrived by then.

I've actually been feeling pretty normal, aside from another big nasty yet fascinating chunk of mucous plug on Monday. I'm skeptical that anything's going to happen on its own. But I'm still hopeful.

Off to the gym, to see if I can walk this baby out. Out out out!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Girl Who Cried "Baby"

On Friday I became that girl. The girl who cried "baby."

It started off as a normal day. I got up at 6:30, worked for a couple of hours, and headed to the gym. Of course I had to pee when I got there (that 5-minute drive sure is a killer), so I headed into the ladies room. I did my thing, followed by the customary toilet-paper analysis routine, and -- what's that? Could it be? Could that be part of a mucous plug? That smear of snot-like material? I wiped again and found more, and then more after that, and decided that yes, indeed, this was probably part of the plug.

Knowing that this didn't necessarily mean anything imminent is happening, I proceeded with my workout as usual (40 lame minutes at a lame pace on the lame lowest setting of the elliptical trainer).

And then things started to get weird. My regular 39-week lower back pain got noticeably more painful, and I started to feel some mild pressure on my pelvis. I had a prenatal massage scheduled, so I went to that, where the pelvic pain progressed to the point where I almost couldn't roll from one side to the other on the table, get off the table at the end of the massage, or get back into my clothes. The massage therapist was convinced I was in early labor.

On the way home, the pelvic pain got worse, and I started to shake and my teeth started to chatter. I called the Mr. and told him I thought maybe he should think about taking the afternoon off. I called my mom and asked her to come over for a bit. I even told my boss (it was my last official day of working from home before my leave) that I might not make it to an afternoon conference call. I sat on my yoga ball and rolled and breathed, and tried to wrap up some work stuff.

The pain and pressure got worse as the day wore on, but I never felt anything that seemed like a contraction, so decided to wait it out and not call my doctor. I spent the afternoon lying on the couch, watching old episodes of Grey's Anatomy, and having the Mr. help me up when I needed to pee. I ate a bland lunch Just In Case. I napped, exhausted, and went to bed early.

And woke up on Saturday.

Feeling great!

But kind of like an ass. I'm pretty sure that this baby is going to be crowning before I call anyone else to tell them I think I might be in labor.

Meanwhile, it's two days later and still no baby. No bloody show, no meaningful contractions, no more plug action. There's been yoga and walking and sex and spicy food and various pleas directed towards the belly, but no sign of baby.

Kid, you've got 3 more days before I am Officially Impatient. You hear me?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Can anyone say....nesting?

Since I've been "working from home" for the last week, I have been in a bit of a frenzy. Packing the hospital bag, tweaking the nursery, doing baby laundry, wrapping Christmas presents, assembling baby seats and swings and name it, I've done it. When coupled with all of the baby-eviction activities, it does seem to add up to quite a lot of busy days.

But what is the most scary is the cooking. I have an irrestible urge to cook and freeze. And cook and freeze some more. Here's what's been cooking so far:

Split Pea Soup
Butternut Squash Soup
Bolognese Sauce
Meatballs (triple batch)
Pesto Sauce
Chicken Soup
Quiche (actually, a friend made this, but it's in there)

Every day I evaluate the freezer to see what else I can fit in. The little stacks of Gladware containers are so pleasing to me -- it's got to be pathological somehow. But it is pleasing, right? RIGHT?

Tomorrow I'm thinking of trying one more recipe....

Or maybe two.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Eviction notice

I know it's still 9 days until my due date, but we served our first eviction notice on the chicklette last night.

One of our local pizza joints, Skipolini's, has this concoction called the "Prego Pizza." It's rumored to have some sort of legendary labor-inducing properties. I put down 3 slices of this legend, and needless to say I am still here, not in labor. Although I would now like to be evicted from my own body, as I deal with the aftermath of 6 different kinds of meat, plus extra garlic and onions. Ugh! (I have a couple of slices left over in the fridge, and am debating whether I can handle eating it for lunch. I'm thinking no, but we'll see. Pizza is pizza.)

Other things we've tried this weekend: walking, yoga, pressure point massage, and yes, sex. Well, sort of sex. There's not really room for any extra people in there right now, so we sort of improvised. Which was nice, except the baby seemed a little TOO into it, if you know what I mean. She shouldn't be thinking about these things for at LEAST 18 more years.

It's not that I don't love hosting our little nugget, or that I've had a particularly terrible time of it or anything. But I'm cranky and uncomfortable, and ready to have this childbirth thing over with so that I can start obsessing about other things. I'm sure I will look back and think I was crazy to ever want to give up this tranquil end-of-pregnancy waiting period, but I guess maybe I've had enough waiting at this point (a sentiment that I'm sure many readers can identify with).

So, anyway, here I wait. With a heart full of anticipation, and a tummy full of meat.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

38 weeks (gulp)

I've only got 2 weeks to go. Yikes.

I had my OB appointment yesterday, which I dreaded for about a week, thinking I'd be getting my first cervical check courtesy of the least gentle hands in the Bay Area. Turns out Dr. Miss Sunshine doesn't do internals until you're overdue or your water breaks, since they don't really tell you anything about when you might actually go into labor. So that was nice.

We did get to get another peek via ultrasound to make sure the Chicklette was still head down (which she is, and which I didn't doubt for a second, as the feeling of a skull grinding into your pelvis is a pretty singular sensation). We also confirmed that the appendage digging into my left ribs is indeed a foot (or maybe a hand -- all four limbs appear to be clustered over there), and that the hard area on my right side is a spine and baby booty. Pretty neat.

Anyway, I think I crossed the line yesterday and am now more physically uncomfortable with her inside of me than I am anxious about having her outside of me. I'm sure I'll be regaling you all with the various crazy things I will be doing over the next couple of weeks to try and encourage her arrival (Step 1: yoga tonight). Not only would I like my body back, but I also wouldn't mind not spending Christmas (or my birthday 3 days before) in the hospital.

Oh, and I guess I'd also like to meet my daughter. Almost forgot that minor detail!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Hand over the chocolate and no one gets hurt

Since my daily activities have pretty much been reduced to nesting, cooking, freezing said cooking, and eating said cooking along the way*, I thought I'd return to my early blog roots and do a good, old-fashioned food post.

(*Yeah, yeah, I'm also "working from home," but you can probably tell by the quotation marks how that is going.)

I have never understood the obsession with chocolate. Not the pre-period cravings that I've heard about, not the "death by chocolate" desserts, not the dark v. milk debate. I mean, chocolate's nice and all, and I won't turn away the occasional Snickers or scoop of ice cream, but it's never really done it for me. I've always been more of a second-helping-of-carbs-in-lieu-of-dessert type gal.

Until recently. I don't know what has come over me (well, I guess I do, but anyway), but I am all about the sweets. ESPECIALLY chocolate. There's a See's Candies right downstairs from my office, and every day for the last few weeks I've been nipping down there after lunch to buy a couple of milk chocolate caramels, plus of course the free sample(s) they give you along the way. I never pass up dessert when out to dinner. It's gotten a little disgusting. I feel like I'm always scrounging for chocolate like a pig snorting for truffles. It doesn't help that I'm starting to resemble a pig, either.

But, to continue the unfortunate pig metaphor, sometimes I choose to revel in my slop. As was the case this weekend, when I used the excuse of Thanksgiving + another chocolate-loving family member to create the most resplendent (yet simple) pure chocolate dessert masterpiece, courtesy of Smitten Kitchen. I command every chocolate lover out there to click through to the recipe and bake this cake IMMEDIATELY.

I wish I had taken a picture, but I was too distracted by the glossy, beautiful deep brown frosting cascading over the sides of the cake. Oh, and the moist, fluffy insides....I am drooling at the memory. And it really wasn't that hard to make....and trust me, I can count on one hand the number of things I know how to bake (including items that come from a Duncan Hines box and/or a premade cookie dough log).

The chocolate-loving family member loved the cake, and graciously agreed to take the leftovers so that I wouldn't put myself into a chocolate coma. Instead, I now must contemplate where the closest See's Candies is to my house. Or it's going to be a very long afternoon of "working from home."

Happy belated Thanksgiving, everyone!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Man candy

I finally went to go see the new Twilight movie yesterday. With my mom -- which I know is kind of weird, but we tend to have the same taste in fantasy men. Short review in a nutshell: while I've always been an Edward girl, I say yes to the chest. The werewolf chest. Some woman (I'm assuming, but I live in the SF Bay Area so I guess you never know) actually clapped when Jacob took his shirt off for the first time. Which were my sentiments exactly.

Ahem. So, just to demonstrate how riveted I was to the screen, I will let you know that I did not get up once in two hours, despite:

1) Having to pee desperately; and
2) Having somewhat painful and regular contractions during the second half of the movie.

The contraction thing is new -- I've been having them on and off for the last few days, and it's interesting. Last night the Mr. whipped out his stopwatch when I had a few more, but I'm pretty sure that was more of a "too much buttered popcorn" episode than anything else. I can see, though, how the last few weeks can drive a person a little crazy.

Chill out, chicklette. The doctor is out of town until next week.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Ready for launch

Well, technically speaking, anyway. At our 36 week appointment today, the doctor confirmed via ultrasound that the chicklette is head down. As soon as the wand hit my stomach, she proclaimed:

"Yup -- that's a head all right."

And indeed it was. A big round head pushing on my bladder 24/7.**

The good news is that now that her head is lodged in my pelvis, she's there for good. No worries about flipping, version, etc. etc. I like to think it's the 37 squats we did in yoga last week, but who knows.

In other news, I had my super-fun GBS swab. I have to say, it's a little alarming that a Q-tip in the nether regions can actually HURT (given what's going to be going down, so to speak, in the next few weeks), but then again, my doctor does not exactly have the gentlest hands.

So, one more week until I'm officially "full term." Exciting and so very scary.

**By the way (TMI alert), the books always say that if you are concerned about things leaking and what they might be, you can tell the difference between pee and amniotic fluid by the smell (pee smells like ammonia, amnio fluid smells a little sweet). I always thought that was BS. But I can now say with confidence -- pee DOES smell like ammonia. Yet another useful (and sexy) skill brought to you by late term pregnancy. See also: wiping your butt when you can't actually reach your butt.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Weighty issues

It's two days before my next OB appointment, also known as The Day I Officially Begin To Dread the Weigh In. For anyone who's ever been on Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem or the like (I've done all 3 at some point -- do I get a prize?), you know the feeling. Please God is there anything I can do to miraculously drop 5 pounds in 48 hours?!?

OK, so I'm not in full-on panic mode. I realize that porking up is part of this whole pregnancy thing, and I'm almost done so I know that hopefully things will be headed back in the other direction soon. But I am Hermione -- the annoying eager beaver who always wants the A+ from everyone -- so I desperately seek approval from my doctor on all fronts, including my weight.

But I haven't been getting it lately. I've gained a little too much -- not WAY to much -- but enough that I am not sporting the "cute pregnant chick" look. And it's totally my own fault. I love food and have given into the cravings.

And here's where the food dysfunction really sets in. As much as I can't wait to lose the shelf that is my belly (and the convenient receptacle for dropped food it has become), I am a leetle beet heartbroken to have to give up the lovely food habits I've adopted: McDonald's hamburgers (with extra ketchup), morning lattes (baby needs calcium!), sweets of all kinds (a new thing for me), nightly desserts (since I can't have wine....), morning AND afternoon snacks, and a complete lack of guilt about carbs.

All good things must come to an end, I suppose. But will I ever be able to get any sort of food discipline back?

Time will tell. Stay tuned!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Somebody please stop me....

I am officially in a shopping frenzy.

I held myself back for so long. What if something goes wrong? What if it's not really a girl? What if I get a ton of duplicate clothes at my shower?

But there is no holding back now. I just can't help it -- all of the little clothes are SO DAMN CUTE. And I've been buying them for other people for so long that I know JUST WHERE TO GO to get the very cutest things.

Making matters worse: I am as big as a house and fit into nothing, so I have only my unborn child upon whom to unleash my shopping urge.

Making matters even worse than that: Grandma thinks we are having a celebrity baby. Which must be why she purchased this:
Yes, that's right. It's a Burberry outfit. I have never owned a thread of Burberry clothing myself, but now my daughter will ooze pretentious London charm.

Somebody please help us stop the insanity!

Monday, November 9, 2009

To vax or not to vax

That is the question. For tomorrow. For the swine flu.

Each time I go to my OB's office, they promise that they'll have the thimerosal-free H1N1 vaccination in "any day now." Apparently "any day" really means "any day," but not any day SOON. I know it's not their fault, but I really want that shot!

So, on our hospital birthing center tour this weekend, we ran into my husband's general practitioner, who was also getting a tour with his pregnant wife. He pulled us aside and said "PSST. I've got some doses of swine flu vaccine. Come in on Tuesday and I'll set you up." They're the regular kind with the preservative, but he gave one to his pregnant wife and basically said that the risk of getting the flu while waiting for the shot was greater than anything the dose of preservative could do to me or the baby. The CDC website seems to agree -- they recommend the shot for all pregnant women, with or without thimerosal.

My doctor, however, does not seem to. I called today and the front desk person said that she "really wants" her patients to wait for the thim-free shot. I asked about the CDC recommendation, and the risk of waiting vs. the risk of getting the regular shot, and she said the doctor would have to call me back. Which she hasn't yet.

I'm heavily leaning towards getting the shot. Any advice/stories from out there in internet-land?

UPDATE: My doctor just called and said to get the injection. I'll leave the above hand-wringing up as a data point for anyone with a similar quandary!

UPDATE #2: We are now both vaxed and hope to stay oink-free! Thanks for all of the input.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

34 weeks!

I had my regular OB appointment today. I was sort of terrified, as I was prepared for the dreaded GBS (group B strep) swab -- you'd think at this point there wouldn't be much you could put in my hoo-hoo that would scare me, especially a Q-tip -- but that fun gets to wait until next time.

So, it was utterly uneventful, although I did get a bunch of questions answered as well as some food for thought. In a nutshell:
  • This baby will come before Christmas. My doctor doesn't want me to go past 41 weeks, which would be December 23rd. Which means that the baby might come on my birthday (December 22nd), but hey. I've been sort of over my birthday since I turned 21.
  • The doctor strongly suggested that I either stop working or at least cut back my schedule at 36 weeks, so that I can "contemplate impending motherhood." Since my company did its second round of layoffs today, I think I will opt for "contemplating how I can kiss as much ass as possible so as not to get fired" first.
  • She thinks the baby is head down, but we're going to do an ultrasound at 36 weeks just to be sure. Yay ultrasound! That will almost make up for the aforementioned Q-tip.
  • She will let me have an epidural as early as 3 cm if I want it, and maybe even earlier if I need it. And she will not do an episiotomy unless it looks like I'm going to have some sort of exploding tear. Which I guess is comforting.....that's really the only part of childbirth that I'm truly squicked out about at this point.
  • I need to stop gaining weight. I think that means I need to toss the leftover bag of Halloween candy.
Off to breastfeeding class now, which should be interesting. I couldn't possibly be more clueless!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

On Complaining

Edited to add: I realized in reading some of the comments that my post might have come across as a total indictment of infertiles complaining during pregnancy. I sincerely apologize if I offended anyone -- I mean heck, pregnancy IS hard, and so different from any other physical experience that it's hard to prepare. Upon reflection, I think my post was more about my particular relationship with this particular person, in which there are clearly other things going on. I probably should just have kept my thoughts to myself on this one. Apologies again.

Let me preface this post by saying that I know I can complain with the best of them -- this blog is certainly evidence of that (although I do try to keep it lighthearted -- the various indignities of pregnancy still seem more amusing to me than anything else). But I just need to get a little something off of my chest -- although of course NOTHING relating to my chest is little these days.

I have a friend -- actually more like an acquaintance -- who is pregnant with twins, and due around the same time as I am. She is one of those people that I don't know super-well, but we somehow discovered that we were both struggling with infertility, and bonded over that. She's done 7 IVF cycles, and had been trying for many, many years before that. Her last cycle was a sort of "Hail Mary" -- she knew it would be the last time, both for financial and emotional reasons, that she would try for a biological child. And it worked!

BUT. The complaining. Oh, the complaining. At first, it was because of the morning sickness. And to be fair, it was bad enough that she was on bedrest and fluids for a part of her first tri. But things have been going well since then -- the babies are healthy, she's mostly healthy (dealing with a mild case of gestational diabetes), and most importantly, she's having the babies she's waited so long for.

I want to be understanding. I want to be supportive. But sometimes I just want to throttle her. And the endless Facebook updates.....just for kicks this morning, I took a look at her news feed for the last few weeks, and she averages about 4 updates a day with NOTHING POSITIVE IN THEM. Nothing super-negative either, but just a lot of noise of the "oh, I'm so big and life's not fair" variety. I mean, really?

I guess I should simmer down and recognize that maybe she truly is having a hard time. Maybe she doesn't have a good support system and the complaints are her only outlet. I know her well enough to know that she's got a pretty solid network, so I don't really think this is the case, but I also don't really know her well enough to ask. I guess I'm just surprised after all she's been through to get to where she is, and the fact that she knew that a twin pregnancy was a possibility, that she's acting so completely surprised that there's some discomfort involved in this whole pregnancy thing. And that the joy isn't seeming to outweigh the discomfort.

So, bottom line -- I just don't know how to be there for her when I can't understand where she's coming from. And I'll probably just let it lie and try to ignore the negativity, because I'm all about avoiding the negativity in all aspects of my life right now.

And so concludes MY complaining for the day. ;)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Slowing down

Well, I've fought the good fight for 33 weeks, but I think it's over. It's official. I have become an annoying slow person. You know, the person you have to speed by on the sidewalk when you're trying to make the light. The person you pass on the right side of the escalator. The person you need to watch hoist herself up out of the train seat before you can get out at your stop.

I've tried to ignore this inevitable progression. I huff and puff with people down the hall at work, I do all the planks and downward dogs in yoga, I swim with the "real" swimmers in the lanes at the pool. But I don't think I'm fooling anyone.

And, more importantly, it's time to stop fooling myself. I fell up an escalator running for the train last week, and even though I didn't land on anything "important" and only ended up cutting/bruising my foot, it was stupid and unnecessary and a little bit scary. Yesterday morning I slipped a bit getting out of the shower -- again, no harm, no foul, but a good reminder to slow the hell down.

And you know what? It feels right. At 33 weeks, I should take more care to acknowledge what my body is doing, and preparing to do. And of course it's time to seriously adjust my thinking -- it's not just me I'm responsible for anymore.

Now if only I could remind myself of this the next time I'm at a crosswalk with the flashing red hand blinking and only 3 seconds left to cross, I'll be all set!

Monday, October 26, 2009

I guess now we have to have a baby.....

Because otherwise, what would we do with all the stuff?

This weekend, we went from empty nursery to packed baby warehouse in under 24 hours. Yesterday morning, I was getting ready to go to my baby shower (which was beautiful -- thanks Mom even though I really hope you're not reading this) when I got the call from the baby furniture store telling us our furniture was in and ready for delivery. Only a short 12 weeks after placing the order! So, about an hour after getting back from the shower and unloading the loot (which was plentiful and PINK), the delivery guy arrived and assembled everything.

(And about 8 seconds after that, one of our cats had already jumped onto the crib rail and started walking the perimeter, before jumping in and making herself a little fort amongst the bedding packages. Sigh.)

It's all starting to seem a bit more real. Which feels mostly great, but also a little....unsettling. I've had more than one friend tell me that at some point in my pregnancy, I will freak the heck out about having a baby. Could this be the time?

If so, I feel like the most ungrateful schmuck ever.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

In which Barefoot complains about public transportation

[Happy ICLW! For new visitors, here's the brief scoop -- I'm 32 weeks pregnant after 2.5 years of infertility and an IVF cycle. I talk about pregnancy a LOT -- it's kind of all I have going on right now -- so please beware if you're not into that. If you would like to read more about my cycle, you can find all kinds of blather on that in the archives between March and May of 2009.]

I know, it's like shooting fish in a barrel. (BTW, does anyone actually do this? I use this phrase all the time and the thought of actually taking a gun to a barrel of fish is simultaneously amusing and horrifying.) Public transportation, while often preferable to sitting in traffic for hours on end, generally sucks. Especially now that every time someone coughs on the train, you can feel a stiff breeze from all of the heads turning and eyes narrowing. It's easy to complain.

As public transportation goes, I'm pretty lucky. I live in the SF Bay Area and ride BART, which all in all is a pretty comfy ride. Padded seats, not too many bumps, etc. But let's face it: when you've got a watermelon strapped to your front, there is no "fun" in, um, public transportation.

Now that I'm visibly pregnant, people for the most part have been pretty great about the whole giving up the seat thing. Which is nice, because feel like such an a**hole asking that I'll just stand and bear it. Usually after a few minutes, I smack enough people with my belly that someone notices. Or, if I'm really desperate, I'll give the bump a couple of "absentminded" rubs. And honestly, it's less about having to stand (which is not such a big deal yet), and more about having a little extra space so that the chicklette's not getting an accidental elbow to the head.

But wouldn't you know it, the few times when I'm super-tired or having lower back pain or general crampiness are the times when no one will give it up. And you know what? It's always some 25-year old clean-cut guy in business gear, sitting in the "reserved for seniors or people with disabilities" seats, tapping away on his BlackBerry. Not that I have anything against corporate preppy guys -- heck, I married one -- but COME ON. Are you really going to avert your eyes and ignore me for a half-hour?!? Are you really going to make me ask? DO YOU REALLY ENJOY HAVING MY BELLY SIX INCHES AWAY FROM YOUR FACE? (And on a related note, Mr. Gap Man, did you really just cut me off to sneak into the LADIES room at the BART station?)

I know I probably just need to sack up and ask for a seat when I need one. Nothing less attractive than a passive-aggressive preggo.

But I don't liiiiiike to. Wah.

[New visitors, aren't you glad you stopped by this whine-a-thon?]

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Home sweet home

After seven weeks, 35 additional commute hours (per person), countless take-out meals, and I-don't-even-want-to-think-about how many dollars, our remodel is done and we're HOME. Hooray.

The big part of the project was the bathroom remodel. We live in a 3/1 ranch, but didn't want to expand too much and price ourselves out of the market when we do eventually (please God) sell the house. So we opted to redo our existing bathroom, making it luxurious enough for the grown-ups AND durable enough for the kid.

Here's the old bathroom. As you can see, we had only a stand-up shower (no bath), a pedestal sink, and some interesting storage.

Here are a couple of pictures of the bathroom post-demo. We opted to move one wall 18 inches into our third bedroom/office, so that we could have a little extra room for the new tub setup and linen closet. You can probably see the nasty dirty termites crawling around -- their discovery set us back another couple grand, but we'd always suspected we had them so it was sort of a relief to deal with it already.

And now for the big reveal! On the right side, you'll see a new vanity, toilet, medicine cabinet and overjohn. We also installed new light fixtures, hardware, paint -- well, everything. Another nice space-saving change was the installation of a sliding pocket door (not pictured) -- now we don't have to make room for a big door swinging into the bathroom.

On the left side, we have a whirlpool tub/shower combo (sorry for the fuzziness in the second picture, and our new built-in linen/laundry closet. I didn't get any good pictures of the tub, but I've already logged some serious time and I will tell you it is HEAVEN. I am a huge bath fan and I can't believe I managed to live in a house for almost 4 years without one.

The other parts of the project were the replacement of hardwood floors in the bedrooms/office/hallway, since we'd had some termite damage and pretty much hated the floors that were in there. Here's one of our cats approving of the change (or maybe disapproving, it's hard to tell sometimes):

We also painted the baby's room, the office and the hallway. I'll save the nursery for some time when we actually have furniture (don't get me started on how long we've been waiting for THAT). The color turned out a wee bit, um, radioactive, so we might make another change. But hey, if one paint color is the worst misstep we had, I'm not complaining.

So there you have it -- the great Barefoot remodel of 2009.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Transverse "lay"

OK, apparently it's actually a transverse "lie," but I swear my OB said "lay" yesterday, which perked my husband's ears right up as it sounded vaguely dirty.

But it's not. A transverse lie is what they call it when your baby feels like lying (laying? I can never get that straight) sideways, rather than head-down. In my case, it's not really a big deal yet because babies don't generally get into launching position until after 32 weeks. But it does explain why my stomach has been looking a little wide and OMG CAN YOU PLEASE GET YOUR FEET OUT FROM BETWEEN MY RIBS, BEBE?!?

Anyway, so I'm thinking lots of head-down thoughts and doing extra puppy poses, which the yoga instructor says is supposed to help such things. At least I think it's the puppy pose -- I've been a cat, cow, pigeon and camel in the last couple of weeks so it gets kind of confusing. But basically it means you get on all fours and put your head down on your crossed arms, which doesn't look like a puppy at all IMHO but does have the added benefit of moving the baby off of your bladder. If only I could work all day in puppy pose, I would be getting a lot more done.

Anyway, back to the doctor. Everything otherwise looks/sounds good (my weight gain seems to be plateauing, which was nice news), and I got a seasonal flu shot. Supposedly the swine flu shot will be arriving at my OB's office "any day now," so I have that to look forward to.

Oink! Have a great weekend, everyone.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Thinking of many, many of you today (which is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day). Wishing peace to anyone who has suffered a loss or losses.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Mr. Stinky Breath

The Mr. has become the most recent casualty of my super sniffer. About a week ago, I woke up in the middle of the night (as is my wont, or rather, my bladder's), inhaled deeply, and gagged.

The offender? My husband's breath.

I figured maybe it was the Taco Bell we had for dinner that night, tilted his head to the other side, and fell back asleep.

Every night since then, it's struck again. And it's not just in the middle of the night -- sometimes I catch a whiff when we're watching TV, or he's giving me a hug, or certainly during more, um, private times. I ask him to brush his teeth, and it doesn't help. And I know he's got good dental hygiene -- gets his teeth cleaned regularly, brushes and flosses and all that good stuff.

Certainly other things continue to offend my nose to a heightened degree (hello, public transportation and work refrigerator), but this particular case is ever so slightly more inconvenient. I mean, how are we supposed to take care of business during these last weeks of relative peace and quiet? It's not like the belly hurdle isn't already making things a bit challenging in that department.

Which shall likely be a topic for a whole 'nother post.....

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A series of boring updates

First of all, thanks to everyone who encouraged me to write the love letter to the Mr. I really enjoyed writing it and giving it to him on our anniversary on Sunday. He was thrilled and so moved, and read it 5 times.

Of course, then we ended up bickering about our remodel and baby to-do list all through our dinner, but at least we had a couple of good moments first!

In other news, I am starting to feel like a major wuss because I am starting to get uncomfortable. I mean, come on, it's only 31 weeks, right? But between the shortness of breath, the random stretchy pains, the expanding ribcage, the growing boobs (seriously? MORE???) and the fact that I needed the Mr. to help me try on shoes at the shoe store over the weekend, I'm starting to feel like a big pile of suck. And I know there's so much more to come.....

BUT, the fabulous news is that our remodel is DONE. All that's left to do is have the cleaners come for a deep clean, move a bunch of furniture back where it belongs, and move back in this weekend. I'll post some pics once we've gotten everything looking all pretty.

Now all that's left is to wait for the baby furniture.....

Friday, October 9, 2009

The New "Normal"

This morning I woke up, refreshed and ready at 6:15, and commented to my husband:

"Wow! What a great night's sleep. I only got up to pee 3 times!"

At which point he snorted, rolled his eyes, turned over, and went back to sleep.

Obviously, infertility, treatments and pregnancy have changed me in countless important and fundamental ways. But this morning's episode got me thinking about the countless, semi-trivial ways in which I've changed over the last 3 or so years (beyond the constant need to pee and the ability to fall asleep immediately afterwards -- and OK, sometimes during).

To wit:
  • I'd never gotten blood drawn before my first infertility workup, and was so grossed out/scared that I had to shut my eyes and do deep breathing. Now I avidly watch and discuss things like the color of my blood and needle technique with the lab tech.
  • Pelvic exams and other occasions where medical professionals insert things in my hoo-ha are no longer a big deal.
  • I've come to appreciate work as a distraction from disappointment.
  • I've come to realize that I can indeed live without red wine for extended periods of time.
  • I've learned how to ask for help lifting my suitcase into the overhead bin (sort of -- this is a work in progress).
  • I've always been sensitive about my weight, and people commenting on it. Now I find comments about the growing size of my belly reassuring, and actually enjoy when people touch my belly.
  • On a related note, I used to perish the thought of walking around in my bathing suit. Now being in the water feels SO GOOD, I let it all hang out and don't even really think about it (except when my giant boobs occasionally pop my suit open).
  • I crave sweets.
  • I have hair growing in odd places.
  • When my husband tells me I look beautiful, I don't fight it -- I just smile and appreciate the compliment.
  • Have I mentioned the size of my boobs?
What about you? Anyone care to share in what crazy ways this whole roller coaster ride has changed you?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Babymoon, take 2

It's Fleet Week here in San Francisco, and the Blue Angels are doing practice runs overhead, which must mean it's almost anniversary time! Six years ago this week I was an hour late to my own wedding because of traffic streaming out of the Presidio after the Blue Angels air show. Which resulted in my poor now-husband having to give a speech to the assembled guests letting them know that I was NOT leaving him at the altar, but just stuck in gridlock in the back of a limo. Thank goodness for cell phones!

To mark this momentous occasion, we have planned a second babymoon this weekend, to try and make up for the fact that our previous attempt didn't exactly have the glow of romance to it. So I used hotel points to book us a room downtown, where we will blissfully (hopefully) be tourists in our own city for a weekend. We have dinner reservations, and big plans to walk around aimlessly and maybe ride a cable car or two.

Given that we just spent a buttload of money remodeling and buying baby stuff, there will be no gifts exchanged this year. But, I'm thinking of totally cheesing out and writing a love letter to the Mr. He has always been more than I could have hoped for, but in this past year particularly. I feel like I don't tell him enough what an amazing partner he is, and so I think I'm going to take a crack at putting it in writing before my brain turns to baby mush.

Has anyone else ever done this? Any advice?

Monday, October 5, 2009

Baby Basics

We took our first prenatal class -- Baby Basics -- over the weekend. It was definitely basic, which was a good thing for this only child with very limited baby experience. Although I have to imagine that changing a dry diaper on a doll is going to be wee bit less complicated than changing a squirming baby with poop running down her leg with a cat on the changing table and the phone ringing on 2 hours of sleep. But I suppose those would be hard conditions to simulate.

Now, I'm always the eager beaver in class-type situations -- lots of questions, and notes, and probably annoying the crap out of everyone else -- but I couldn't help noticing that a lot of the couples in the room looked very unhappy. Or at least seriously disinterested. The classes aren't mandatory, so I don't really get it. But it made me kind of sad for them. I guess you never really know what people are going through. And honestly, maybe they were all just in food coma or something since the class was right after lunch.

But it did remind me, once again, that while infertility sucks the big one, it's certainly removed any ambivalence I thought I had about becoming a parent. I guess I'll have to wait and see if poop sucks worse than Lupron, but I'm pretty sure I'll be happy to go with the poop.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Why you should not read Twilight while pregnant

WARNING: Spoilers ahead for anyone reading or contemplating reading the Twilight series.

OK, I confess. I've now read the Twilight series not once, not twice, but THREE TIMES. Inside of a year. My excuse: I've found the complete escape into fantasy to be super-comforting during this crazy year of infertility diagnoses, Clomid, IVF and pregnancy.

For anyone else who's read the books, I'm sure we can all think of some very obvious reasons why reading the series -- particularly the final book -- might not be a wise choice for either an infertile OR a pregnant woman (or for someone like me, who's been both infertile and pregnant at different times while reading it). Whether it's Bella getting pregnant on her first cycle, a pregnancy that involves severe morning sickness, an unenthusiastic father, severe illness, blood-drinking and broken bones, or a childbirth that culminates in a c-section via vampire teeth, exsanguination, and death -- well, it's quite a buffet of horrors.

But, even knowing that, I've read the books THREE TIMES. What a loser.

It should have come as no surprise that at some point I'd have a very graphic dream with some Twilight-y goodness mixed in. When it finally happened last night, while I was mildly disappointed that it did not take the form of a sex dream about Edward, I was

also pleasantly surprised that it did not involved me getting my spine crushed by the chicklette.

But it was disturbing nonetheless. I dreamt that I brought my daughter home from the hospital, where she immediately began speaking (a la Renesmee). Not just speaking, but telling me all of the things I was doing wrong.

Mommy, you're not fastening the car seat right.

Mommy, I don't like this car seat.

Mommy, you're not holding my head right.

Mommy, your breast milk tastes yucky.*

The takeaway? As much as I'd like to escape into the world of Twilight from time to time, I'm super-glad that I won't have to worry about this kind of backtalking for at least a couple of years.

*And by the way, where did my subconscious come up with THAT?

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Infertility Urban Legends

OK, OK, enough about my bodily functions. I'm feeling much better this week and can now focus on much more interesting topics.

I got a call over the weekend from my childhood best friend ("S"), as we've been plotting over her plans to fly in for my baby shower at the end of the month. As a bit of background, S and her husband started trying to have a baby soon after they got married in 2003, went through 5 (or maybe 6?) rounds of IVF, suffered multiple miscarriages (including an ectopic pregancy that cost S one of her tubes), and were never able to get an explanation from any of their three specialists as to why she wasn't able to carry a pregnancy past 8 weeks. About two and a half years ago, they decided to find a surrogate, and last October they were blessed with two beautiful, healthy twin girls.

After the expense of going the surrogate route and the heartbreaks of the preceding years, S and her husband decided they were done. All three of their specialists agreed that since she was not able to get pregnant without IVF, there was no need to have her remaining tube tied or worry about birth control.

You know where I'm going with this, right?

S is pregnant. The old-fashioned way. No timed intercourse, no drugs, no nothing. She's not even sure how many weeks along she is, because her cycle's been so irregular with the one tube and the multiple IVFs -- a total change for those of us used to knowing and obsessing over every cycle day! They are totally in shock.

At the end of our conversation, S said: "You know what's the weirdest part? I hate that we're the infertility urban know, the couple who tried and tried and ended up using a surrogate and then just RELAXED and got pregnant. Because it was so devastating to hear that particular piece of advice from countless people during our struggles."

Personally, I'm thrilled for them, and am happy to be friends with an urban legend. It gives me hope that the next time around, maybe a good sperm will find its way to a good egg and we can make a baby just like "normal" people do. Maybe not, but maybe. What can I say, I'm a hope junkie.

What do you all think? Are you personally acquainted with an infertility urban legend? Does hearing their stories give you hope or drive you crazy?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Missing DayQuil

Having a cold and not being able to take anything for it kinda sucks. I think I've expressed about a gallon of snot in the last 72 hours.

I know that I'm guilty of this myself, but it's really funny the way people look at you these days when you're out in public and either sniffle, sneeze or cough. OMIGOD IT'S THE SWINE!

But it's not. Just a week of poop, followed by boogers. SEXY!

The good news is that the Great Remodel of 2009 will be done in a couple of weeks. Everything's looking great. I promise before and after pictures.

Now, back to the tissues.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Car rental hijinks

This afternoon, I sent the following text to my husband:

"Ur wife is officially a WIDE LOAD."

Wanna know why?

Today, I arrived at LAX for yet another fun business trip adventure. The big red Avis rental car shuttle dropped me off at the following vehicle, which Avis had so kindly preselected for me:

It's a Nissan 350 Z convertible, which normally would be quite a fun little car for jetting about LA. I actually think Avis was trying to be nice to me with a complimentary upgrade (since I've rented roughly 37 cars from them in the last 6 months), and hey, intially I was pretty fired up.

Until I climbed in. Or tried to climb in. And my tummy was smooshed against the steering wheel. Even when I pushed the seat all the way back. And then I tried to get out and had to basically roll out of the door and onto the parking lot to get out. You see, the Nissan 350 Z sits about 2 inches off the ground. Apparently I have a little more work to do in prenatal yoga on the whole squatting thing.

So, I waddled over to the Avis counter and explained my problem. "Thank you so much, but there's only room for one person behind that steering wheel, and I've got 1 2/3."

So I got this instead:

A Ford Expedition, baby. Which I think could run over a Nissan 350 Z with its front tire and not even alarm the driver. I'm pretty sure I guzzled $20 worth of gas to drive the 10 miles to my office, but it was certainly an improvement over the minivan "upgrade" they gave me last week.

And the guy behind me in line was REALLY excited to get the convertible.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The good, the bad, and the stinky

So, we're back from our chicklette-moon.

Let's start with the good, shall we? Late on Thursday afternoon, we checked in to the lovely Hotel Del Coronado on, you guessed it, Coronado Island. It's a lovely, historic, haunted hotel. I've always wanted to stay there. Nice, hunh?

As if that weren't enough, the Mr. in his charming charmingness managed to sweet talk his way into an upgrade to a suite. So we rang in the first night of our vacay looking out the window at this view:

Again, not bad. We watched the beach get invaded by Navy SEALS after dark (apparently they have the run of the island to train on as they wish), ate some totally carb-y Italian food, and went to sleep.

Things continued to look up the next day, as we got up early, hit Starbucks for a Pumpkin Spice Latte, and got to the San Diego Zoo nice and with PANDAS on the brain. No line, everything going well, pandas were cute, etc.

I should have known that furry panda butt was an Omen of Doom. About 10 yards outside of the panda exhibit, I started to feel funky. A little light-headed, a little hot (what else is new?), a little thirsty. I chalked it up to the fact that it was hot, I was pregnant, and, well, those two things seemed to be enough.

We made it to the nearest refreshment stand and I gulped down some water. And then immediately ran to the little pandas room to expel something looking strikingly similar to what that furry panda butt expelled right after I took that picture. It was not pretty -- in fact, the next person to enter the bathroom (while I was still moaning on the stall), exclaimed "UGH!"

Somehow we made it out of the Zoo (that place is FRICKIN' HILLY), and the Mr. drove us back to the hotel. I curled up in a fetal position and slept for two hours, thinking the worst was behind me (ha ha).

But no. I couldn't get to sleep that night, and had a vague feeling that something bad was going to happen. At about 4:00, it did. And then again at 5. And 6. I'm sure you get the picture. I DESTROYED the fancy bathroom. I woke up the poor Mr. (how he was still sleeping at this point was beyond me) and told him what was going on (although I'm pretty sure he got the picture as soon as he took his first conscious breath). He felt my forehead, determined that I was running a fever, got me dressed, and trucked me off to the ER.

Long story short, things are fine, baby is fine, my tummy is now fine, but I spent about 48 hours in lockdown with only Gatorade, bananas and dry toast (oh, and lots of expensive movies from the hotel TV) for company. I felt so bad for ruining the babymoon, and now owe the Mr. a very large (probably sexual) favor for the fact that he carried a specimen of my poop from the hotel back to the hospital for analysis. Is that love, or what?

So, the babymoon was not quite what we expected. But that's not even the worst part.

After ALL THAT POOPING, I was still up 4 pounds at my OB appointment this morning.

4 pounds. WHERE IS THE JUSTICE?!?!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

We're off to see the pandas.....

The wonderful pandas of.....San Diego??

That's right, the Barefoots are off for a long weekend babymoon tomorrow morning. I am so excited for a break from work, work travel, remodeling, and sleeping with a husband and two fluffy cats in a very small bed. Just the husband for a few days, thankyouverymuch.

The last time we were in San Diego, a couple of months ago for my sister-in-law's graduation, we went to the Zoo with a large group and no one wanted to wait in line to see the pandas. I was, in a word, crestfallen. So on this trip WE WILL SEE SOME EFFING PANDAS, even if it means I have to camp out at the gate. Baby needs pandas.

Other than the line, now all that is standing between me and my pandas is a workday in LA, a flight home, an unpack, a repack, a snap decision about bathroom paint color, a trip to the hardware store to purchase said paint, and a flight back down to San Diego.

That doesn't sound so bad, right? RIGHT?!?

Friday, September 11, 2009


Eight years ago this morning, my mom was in her car on her way to work in Lower Manhattan (about 2 blocks from the World Trade Center). The cat had upchucked on the carpet that morning, so she was running about 15 minutes behind schedule. She was about 10 blocks away from the WTC when the first plane hit. Close enough for debris to land on her car. She turned around, headed back up to her apartment to grab the cat, and called me in San Francisco to let me know that she was OK as she was heading off of the island. She was one of the last people to cross before they closed all of the bridges and tunnels.

This morning, as I watched the footage from that morning in my bed, I thanked God for the who-knows-how-many-eth time that she got out safely. (And that Persian cats puke a lot -- in this instance probably saving my mom from being in a nearby building.) As my little eggplant-sized daughter delivered some soft morning jabs to my belly, I talked to her about how excited I am that she's going to be able to know her Grandma, who, aside from being the bravest person I have ever known (for so many reasons), is also one of the most fun.

My heart goes out to each and every person who lost someone near and dear to them on September 11, 2001. I realize that in this, as in so many things, I am so very blessed.

And so very thankful.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Kickety kick kick kick

The last couple of days have brought a significant upsurge in kicking -- both in frequency and strength. It's cool but totally weird -- last night I was in the tub at my hotel (dreaming of my soon-to-be-tub in my house) and could see my tummy jumping around THROUGH THE BUBBLES. It probably didn't help that I had raided the minibar for M&M's right before bathtime. Minibars are dangerous.

I'm curious, for those of you who have been through this -- how do you keep a straight face in a meeting when your belly suddenly starts doing the Alien thing? Do you get used to it after a while and kind of forget it's happening?

Monday, September 7, 2009

Remodel hell

Apologies for being remiss in blogging. We've been trying to adjust to our first week out of the house, and every spare minute has been consumed with visiting virtually every Home Depot, Lowe's, flooring store and plumbing supply store in the area to get what we need on short notice.

My rant for the week:  Why on earth is every non-Home Depot-like home supply retailer CLOSED ON SUNDAY (and sometimes Saturday)??  And even when they're open on Saturday, their distributors are almost always closed, so if you need to order something that's not on premises, they can't tell you if they have it in stock?? Presumably, most people doing remodels have JOBS so that they can PAY for all of their faucets and tubs and tiles and high-efficiency flush toilets.

(And on a related note: why can't anybody ever tell you exactly when an order you place will arrive?? Or accept an extra fee for extradited shipping? If only carried whirlpool tubs.)

Consequently, we've ended up buying a lot of big items at Home Depot. Sure, we saved some money, but we would have much preferred dealing with a smaller shop on most things. But we didn't have that option, since, you know, work and stuff. Doesn't strike me as the best business model, but what do I know?

And finally, if I have to hear one more salesperson say something to my husband along the lines of "Oh, we should give you wife what she wants, and keep her happy (wink, wink)," I am going to blow a serious hormonal gasket. The reason why I am making most of the decisions here, buddy, is that I HAVE DONE MOST OF THE RESEARCH AND KNOW WHAT I WANT. I've almost walked out of a couple of places for this reason alone, but have not (because I am actually a rational BUSINESS PERSON in "real" life and not just a PREGNANT WIFE) in the cases where we had managed to negotiate a good deal. 

OK, end rant. Sorry for all of the caps -- they felt good. Things are going along on schedule, which is great. We're surviving at my mom's house -- she's been great, so no real complaints except we're sleeping in a very small bed and the location of her house adds 20 minutes on to anyplace we want to go.

The fun news is that the chicklette is kicking. A LOT.  And we think we have a name. And I'm having a prenatal massage today. And my shower date is set for October 24th. I'm sure there will be many posts on that, since apparently all of the various limbs of my family tree (most of whom don't speak to each other, at least not in a way that would be considered appropriate for a baby shower) will be flying to and converging upon the Bay Area. 

So, life is good, but life is crazy. Good practice, I guess!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Bye, bye, bathroom

The demolition started this morning.

I took my last shower in our shower.

The Mr. took his last poo in our toilet (and was very proud of it, thankyouverymuch).

The contractor found termites in our wall.

Tonight we move into my mom's house.

Tomorrow we pick tile, fixtures and a tub.

Does life get any more exciting than this????

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

S is for.....

Yeah, I know I'm getting a little carried away with this whole alphabet thing. I think mostly it's because I'm too tired/lazy/whatever to come up with real post titles.

Let's take a break from my hormonal outbursts, and focus on something positive. Something productive. Something satisfying. Yes, I am going there -- into TMI territory.

S is for.....


My new best friend.  How I have gotten through almost 24 weeks without you, I'll never ever know.

Monday, August 24, 2009

P is for psemi-psychotic preggo

Further evidence that I am no longer in control of my emotions:

Yesterday afternoon, I called my mom to update her on a couple of things and got her voicemail. Usually, she either picks up right away or calls me right back (she's almost as nervous about this pregnancy as I am). At 8:00, I still hadn't heard from her, so called her on both her cell phone and land line. No dice. So I tried again about 15 minutes after that. Still nothing. I know she's been working on painting a couple of rooms in her house, so cue visions of mom with a broken neck at the bottom of a ladder. 5 more minutes -- try again. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Finally, at about 9:00, I decided to drive the 25 minutes to her house to make sure that she was alive and OK. The whole way, my heart was pounding and I was thinking about all of the grisly ways I might find her when I arrived. I was TOTALLY CONVINCED that my so-called intuition was telling me something was NOT RIGHT.

Turns out she was painting the bathroom with the door closed and the fan on, and couldn't hear the phone(s).


This morning, I started crying while putting on my makeup because I heard on the local news that school was back in session and the traffic might be heavier than usual. Seriously, this is all it takes to set me off?

Goal for today: no more crying. I'll be happy to take bets from anyone who cares to wager.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

H is for Hormones

Whoa, boy. I don't know if it's the stress of the remodel, or just the natural order of things, but this weekend my hormones really came out to play.

I have to admit, I was a bit snappish yesterday. I didn't sleep well on Friday night, I was feeling breathless, and worst of all, CONSTIPATED.  So I know I had a few snippy comments for the Mr. during the day, which I know had to suck for him. But then, on the way home from a family party, he lost it back at me a little bit.  And the waterworks started. I tried not to let him see, but I had tears running down my face and snot pouring out my nose all the way home. And then I left him at home and went kersnuffling to the mall to be "alone," where I'm pretty sure I looked like a big fat red-faced freak. And then I got home and went to sleep at 7:30.

The whole time, I couldn't really figure out what was making me cry. I'm not a crier, especially not over something like a little mini-argument. And I'm not unhappy -- in fact, I kept thinking "I'm so happy, why am I crying?" 

I hope this isn't the new me for the next 3.5 months. Because I have to say, she isn't much fun.

Friday, August 21, 2009

23 weeks!

Lots of random updates and other incoherent thoughts on this lovely Friday:

  • I had my 23-week appointment today, and everything looks great. The chicklette's heart was banging away at 146 beats per minute, and just as my OB asked me if the baby had been active, she gave the Doppler a good kick. Cheeky little girl. And in quite possibly the best news of the week, my weight gain is "looking good" -- only 2 pounds this month. Wooohoo!
  • I've been doing a lot of driving to work this week, and have been really enjoying the Pregtastic Pregnancy Podcast. I've learned all sorts of things about epidurals, yoga, sex and traveling while pregnant. If anyone's got time to burn in the car and wants to listen to a bunch of preggos talk about their experiences at different weeks in their pregnancy, there's an hour episode each week that's free on iTunes.
  • We decided for sure to go ahead with the remodel. So now I have 48 hours to figure out what kind of tile we want. I've got no frickin' idea. Oh, and I think we move into my mom's house on Tuesday. Lovely.

Anyway, that's what's going on with the Barefoots. Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The tub of my dreams

We started baby shopping in earnest last week. We ordered the crib, made some nursery design decisions, and most importantly, got Grandma to splurge on the baby item I have been coveting for years -- the Sleep Sheep. (Is it wrong that I want one for myself now? He's just so soft and cuddly.)

In the midst of all this cuteness, though, the item that I am most excited about is a bathtub. Not a baby bathtub, but a mommy bathtub.

When we bought our house 3 years ago, we loved so many things about it -- the open floor plan, the back yard, the 11 skylights and the natural light they provided. But there was one thing missing -- a bathtub in an otherwise gorgeous Spanish-style tiled bathroom. Now, this wouldn't be a big deal for some people, but I love me a good bath. I used to take one almost every night when we lived in San soothing in the cold foggy weather, and such a nice way to kickstart the falling-to-sleep process.

We've known all along that at some point, we'd likely have to remodel our bathroom to add a tub and fix some plumbing issues. Well, we've decided that time is NOW. Which is creating all kinds of fun prospects -- spending $30K of our savings, living with Mom for 6 weeks, and having to somehow get our nursery together while not living in the house. But it's now or never. I don't want to be living elsewhere once the baby comes.

So, away we go. Construction could start next week. I'm just holding on to the image in my head of lounging in a tub during my third trimester, with some aromatherapy candles and a good book (and probably a curious kitteh sticking his paws over the side). I just hope this isn't one of those Money Pit situations where 6 weeks turns into 12. ("Two weeks!")

Calgon, take me away.....

Friday, August 14, 2009

Getting my a** kicked

Butt-kicking seems to be a theme this week. Let me count the ways:

1. Work. I am in my crazy time of the year at work, and have been struggling mightily to get everything done, keep my cool, and travel across time zones without the help of Tylenol PM. I think that last part has been the hardest.

2. Yoga. I went again on Wednesday, and did some more struggling trying to keep up with the other ladies, who are all 30+ weeks pregnant. How embarrassing is that?!? I keep hoping it will get easier.

3. The chicklette. [TMI alert!] As of yesterday, she has taken to kicking me in the ass -- from the inside. Little jabs all night long in my tailbone, and um, other places in the rear. I wish I could describe the sensation, as it's honestly the weirdest thing I've ever felt. Plus, it makes me feel like I have to poop ALL THE TIME, which, given my issues in that area, is like the biggest tease EVER.

Despite the multilateral ass-kicking, I am enjoying every minute of the journey. I may feel differently tomorrow, when I have to attend a wedding with my in-laws at which I cannot employ my usual in-laws coping mechanism (i.e., alcohol).

Hopefully there will be some good cake.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Yum....and yuck

I'm in Chicago this week for work (yay! love me some Chicago) and just capped off a 2.5-hour delay + 4-hour flight + rush hour traffic + 100 unanswered e-mails with two pieces (slices? slabs?) of deep-dish pizza. Mmmmmm, so good. The chicklette apparently thought so too, since she unleashed a giant kick right after I swallowed my first bite. (Or maybe she was saying "Maaaaa, stop clogging my arteries already" -- we'll never know.)

Except now I have what feels like a 10 pound cheese baby strapped to my front. Attractive, no?

Not going to lie....I'll proabably be back for more tomorrow night.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

The jury's still out

On prenatal yoga, that is. I went to my first class today, after two false starts where the instructor didn't show up. (You want to see angry? Try hanging out with a group of preggos who all peeled themselves out of bed at 8 on a Saturday morning only to get stood up. But anyway.)

So, the class. First of all, I've never gone to an actual yoga class, unless you count my electronic Wii Fit instructor. I was prepared to be totally humiliated, and actually wasn't, really. The instructor only had to "adjust" me twice, although maybe she just gave up.

It was surprisingly difficult, and I found myself sweating by the end, which was good. But some of the poses -- there was this one squatty thing (sorry, can't remember the name -- I sort of stopped paying attention after "cat and cow," "pigeon," and "camel" -- I'm sure it was an animal, though) that made me feel like the chicklette was going to shoot out of my hoo-hoo and splat on the yoga mat. Also, the pigeon pose? The only time I've ever seen a pigeon look like that was after an encounter with the front wheel of a car. And don't get me started on the music -- one more "hare krishna" and I was going to find a way to "accidentally" knock the instructor's iPod over with one of my sun salutations.

But. I felt pretty darn great afterwards. And it was nice to hang out and chat with a bunch of other women, especially since I don't have any IRL friends who are pregnant right now. So I'll keep going.

Just don't laugh at my downward facing dog.

Thursday, August 6, 2009


I was all set to write a horribly self-centered post about some anxiety I've been feeling about becoming a parent. But then I saw this terrible news. And spent some time catching up on the latest from these three women, who are all getting through each day with an amount of strength I can't even comprehend.

So I've decided to keep my trap shut, and instead focus my energy and prayers on the many women about whom, though I couldn't pick them out of lineup, I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Still a girl

We had another scan today, to follow up on our 18 week anatomy scan. Apparently the little chicklette was too small to see some of the finer points (like, say, her heart), so back we went. 

First of all, I want to say that my husband totally took one for the team today, and I probably owe him some sort of sexual favor as a result.  I had invited my mom to join us, since she hasn't seen the babe live and up close, but when we went to head back to the ultrasound room, the tech told us that they had a "strict policy" of no more than one guest in the room at a time, and no switching off. Bummer news that would have been good to know, like, yesterday. Now, the Mr. has been excited for DAYS to get another look, but he totally shrugged and sucked it up and told my mom that she could go in with me. I didn't think it was possible to love the guy more, but today I do.

Anyway, on to the scan. Don't tell the Mr., because he'll be upset, but it was so frickin' cool.  And my mom totally cried, which made the Mr.'s waiting room heroics even more, well, heroic. We could see so much more detail than during the 18 week scan, and they spent lots of time on the heart which was really neat. Four chambers, all pumping together. We got a measurement of her big melon, and saw all of her brain parts inside. We got to count fingers and toes again, and got a good look at her nose and little lips and chin. Totally cute.

The best part? The money shot. I had joked when the tech was lubing me up that I was anxious to see if she was still a she, before we go all in on the pink bedding. So we got towards the end of the scan, and my 12-oz. daughter just opened her bony legs right up and gave us a full-on view of her little girly bits.  The tech, who had a sense of humor for a change, drew a big arrow pointing to the goods, and labeled it: "STILL A GIRL."

Of the dozen or so photos we got today, which one do you think is hanging on the fridge right now? That's right. Poor baby girl.

She has no idea what she's in for.

Monday, August 3, 2009

What not to eat

Apologies for the lack of posting -- I've been on a hell week of work and business travel, and don't have much to report other than that the baby either loves or hates L.A., since she started kicking the crap out of me as soon as the plane landed and didn't let up for a few hours.

I do have one little tip, for those of you who might have reason to be at LAX in the morning with a craving for a breakfast burrito. You might want to avoid Baja Fresh. This is, apparently, what their breakfast burrito entails (wish I had been paying better attention when they were making it): one giant tortilla, a pile of eggs, potatoes with red peppers (agh!), cheese and 2 jumbo sausage patties (double-agh!!). Let's just say that I was burping peppers and sausage for the rest of the day, and I think the baby went into food coma because I didn't feel her move again until the next morning. Sorry, baby. Sorry, gastrointestinal tract.

I hope to have more exciting things to say this week. We go for another scan tomorrow, since the baby was too small at our 18 week anatomy scan to see all they wanted to see of her heart. Hopefully we can get some extra confirmation of the whole "girl" thing, too, before we start the serious baby gear spending this weekend.

Although really, what little boy wouldn't want to be scooted around town in a pink carseat?

Monday, July 27, 2009

Still a miracle, even if it makes me miserable

My co-worker, who is 41 weeks pregnant and scheduled to be induced tomorrow, gave me a copy of Pregnancy Sucks: When Your Miracle Makes You Miserable last week. Because it is my wont to semi-obsessively research every major purchase/event in my life, I tore into it over the weekend. Overall, it's pretty good -- similar in content to The Girlfriends' Guide to Pregnancy, but a bit more, I don't know, mature in tone. (I don't know if anyone else reacted similarly, but I found the Girlfriends' Guide to be a little, well, silly. And full of some bad advice, such as not worrying about exercising because you might hurt the baby and you're going to gain so much weight that you might as well give up. But anyway.)

Now, perhaps it is because I am in the "honeymoon" of my pregnancy (so they say), or maybe it's the whole infertility thing, but I'm having a hard time being truly miserable about anything this pregnancy has thrown my way. Even when I was bleeding during the first tri, and yes, even when we lost the twin (which was terrible), I have been so incredibly grateful. And usually hopeful. And endlessly fascinated by the things my body is doing.

Don't get me wrong -- I will continue to make fun of my giant knockers and the fact that my thighs are rubbing together and that I have sex dreams about Sacha Baron Cohen and that I am GROWING LONG, DARK HAIR ON MY BELLY. But I'm totally not miserable. So I think I'll keep to reading the book at home, lest anyone spotting me on the train think that I am a pregnancy ingrate.

Now watch me gain 37 pounds in my third trimester. Then I guess we'll have to revisit the topic of misery.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Waxing not-so-nostalgic

There are many traits I would love for my daughter to inherit from her parents. Athletic ability, musicality, acne-free skin and math smarts are all on the list. However, if there is one thing I hope she is spared, it's this:

My eyebrows.

My thick, unruly, "Oh, you waxed me? Let me sprout back forth in record time!" eyebrows.

I went to get an eyebrow wax today, and while I was having hot wax slathered and then ripped off my face, I reflected back on my long and illustrious eyebrow-waxing history. Some fun facts:

--I've been regularly waxing my brows since high school. If you figure I've averaged a wax a month since then (more frequently these days, less so in college when my very limited disposable income was more likely to go towards beer and *gasp* fake tanning), that's 192 delightful dates on the waxing table. So, I've probably spent somewhere around $3K getting hair ripped off my face.

--I play a little game of over/under each time I go in. How long will it take the waxer to say "My, what thick eyebrows you have!" or some variation thereof? It's not a question of if. It always happens. My favorite variation: "Your eyebrows are like tree trunks!" No shit!

--It is a big, giant, liar-liar-pants-on-fire myth that waxing hurts less the more you do it. If anything, it hurts MORE. Particularly when a cocktail of IVF drugs is running through your veins. (Hey, I may be infertile, but I wasn't about to add the indignity of a unibrow to my list of woes.)

I know, I know, I should be happy that I'll never have to use an eyebrow pencil to draw brows on. And the thick eyebrows come with nice things like thick hair (which, unfortunately, grows EVERYWHERE and creates a variety of other grooming dilemmas). But I hope that 16 years from now, I'm not giving my daughter the old "Oh, honey, it won't hurt at all after the first time" line. At least not about waxing!

The upside of the day is that I did get myself a fine pedicure, the results of which can be seen at right. So it wasn't all bad.

Now excuse me while I go put a bag of frozen peas on my throbbing forehead.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Melt my heart, why dontcha?

Earlier this week, I was in my favorite place -- the pool. More specifically, in the locker room after finishing my swim, when I probably feel physically better than any other time of the day/week.

I had just finished up a swim that was pretty special. For most of the time I was doing laps, I could feel the chicklette burbling around in there, kind of like we were swimming together. So I was already in wistful mode as I was heading towards my locker.

Right next to me were a mom and her 3-ish year old daugther, getting dressed. The mom was doing her hair and makeup, and the little girl was sitting on a bench, swinging her legs and quietly watching every move. Suddenly, she says:

"Mommy? I loooove you."

After a few days of trying to picture what having a daughter would look like for me, this scene totally brought it home, and gave me a little glimpse into the future.

Unless, of course, my daughter hates me. But I'm hoping that won't happen until she's at least 12.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Is it ICLW again?

Apparently it's ICLW once again! I'm not sure if it's arriving more quickly, or if my brain has just further deteriorated. I'm betting on the latter.

So, for newcomers, welcome to Barefootland. As you can probably glean from the title of my blog, I am pregnant. 19 weeks pregnant, in fact. It took 2.5 years, a bunch of Clomid, a bunch of tears and an IVF cycle to get here, but we're thrilled. And we're having a girl, which I hope to reflect more completely in my toenail color when I go for a pedi this weekend.

As a warning for those of you who might not want to read about pregnancy-type things, this blog is these days mostly about being pregnant. But I'm still an infertile, and that is touching this journey in more ways than I ever could have imagined.

For those of you thinking about or embarking on an IVF cycle, there are a slew of posts in March and April detailing that exciting rollercoaster ride.

Welcome to the blog, and happy ICLW!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Beware the overheated preggo

I learned something today:  102 degrees + 19 weeks pregnant = cranky.  Actually, beyond cranky. Maybe a little bit hostile.

Don't get me wrong, it could be much worse. I could be my friend S, who is due in two weeks and roughly the size of Danny DeVito (but in a very cute way).  But. It's hot. So very hot. And I am so very cranky.

I would like to apologize to the salesperson in Sephora, at whom I semi-yelled when they were out of my Medium Beige Bare Minerals foundation. I would also like to apologize to the salesperson in Pea in a Pod -- it is not your fault that I've grown from a 36DD to a 38E in the last three weeks. And finally, I would like to apologize to my dear husband, who gamely followed me from shop to shop all afternoon, and witnessed some pretty bad behavior.

I hope that everyone else in hot weather is staying cool -- physically as well as mentally!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Bring on the pink!

'Cause the Barefoot family is having a girl.

I'm shocked -- I totally thought I saw a pee-pee on the screen this morning, but I guess this is why we pay other people to read our ultrasounds.

Everything looked great, although they want us back in 3 weeks because they couldn't see all they wanted to see of the heart because it's early (18w).  I'm a little nervous about that, but if it means we get another peek in 3 weeks, I'm not going to complain.

Oh, and I already caved and bought two pink outfits. This little chicklet (chicklette?) is going to be spoiled rotten.

Monday, July 13, 2009

In case anyone's wondering.....

Adam (Lambert) was AMAZING last night.

And now with nothing other than work to distract me, I am sliding into a major case of the nerves for our big anatomy scan on Wednesday. I think I've been feeling some movement, but it's still pretty subtle -- kind of like heart palpitations in my lower abdomen. And then I worry that my belly's not getting big enough fast enough -- but what the heck do I have to compare it to? Oh, and I'm actually feeling good -- I've been exercising and eating better, and just generally feeling like a normal human being -- which OF COURSE is cause for concern. Sigh.

We made the mistake of telling the family that we're hopefully finding out the sex on Wednesday, so already the "so, what time exactly are you going to call me?" questions are coming in from the grandparents, the great-grandparents, the sisters, and pretty much everyone else. I'm getting a feeling that there is going to be an avalanche of pink or blue gear landing on our doorstep very soon. Not that I'm complaining.....

....but I sure hope we have good news to report.

Friday, July 10, 2009

FabFooFri: A Loaf in the Oven

Now that I seem to be past the "hangover without the cocktails" phase of this pregnancy, I'm actually getting kind of fired up about food again. And not just food that comes via a drive-thru, which counted for a much greater percentage of my first trimester intake than I care to fully disclose. But all sorts of healthy stuff -- protein, veggies, things with calcium in them -- that are supposed to be good for the kiddo now actually taste good.

Earlier today, I tried to replicate one of my favorite meals discovered on a recent business trip -- basically, a mixed green salad with meatloaf on it. I know it sounds gross, but this little takeout place near my LA office makes the most delicious mixed green salad with carrots, cukes, hearts of palm and strips of turkey meatloaf, tossed in a lemony vinagrette. And the meatloaf is WARM. Yum.

So, today I rustled up some meatloaf leftovers (recipe below), cut it into fat strips (kind of like the size of chicken strips on a chicken caesar salad), and tossed them in the microwave for a couple of minutes. Then I took a bag of mixed greens and shredded carrots (didn't have any hearts of palm on hand, sadly), tossed those with some balsamic, EVOO, salt, pepper and oregano, and then laid that nice warm meatloaf on top. And sprinkled a little parmesan on top for good measure.

Oh, it was so good. I'm totally making bigger meatloaves from now on.

Wishing everyone a weekend of good eats!

Barefoot's Meatloaf

1 lb ground beef or turkey (I usually go super-lean, but it obviously tastes better with more fat in it)
1 large egg
1 cup (or so) of breadcrumbs
1/2 cup (or so) grated parmesan or romano cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
1 T dried parsley
1 T dried oregano
1 pinch red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste (you don't need much salt with the cheese in there)

Preheat oven to 375. Mix all ingredients together, adding bread crumbs until mixture is just barely moist. Form into a loaf, place in loaf pan, and bake 35-45 minutes until cooked through. I usually leave beef meatloaf a little pink in the center, not so much with the turkey. (Of course, I cook everything until it's a briquette these days, under the watchful, nagging eye of the Mr.)

Sometimes, if I'm feeling like a juicier loaf, I'll add another egg and a bit more cheese and breadcrumb. Meatloaf is a very subjective thing! 

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Elle over at Baby Bunts wrote an amazing post earlier this week that pretty much sums up everything I've been feeling about this blog's transition from infertility to pregnancy blog. I've been thinking for a while now about how this blog has changed, and how I feel about that change. I mean, obviously I'm happy about the underlying reason, but there are other emotions there too -- sorrow (for those who are still fighting), discomfort (at not knowing what heck I'm talking about), suspicion (that I'm jinxing everything by talking about it), and guilt (that it only took me 2.5 years and 1 IVF cycle to get knocked up).

It's that last emotion -- guilt -- that makes me realize just how connected I still feel to the IF community. I mean (and I'm borrowing another thought from Elle here) who else but an infertile would think that 30-ish failed cycles, endless tests, needles, thousands of dollars of drugs and monitoring, and a miscarried twin would be getting off easy?!? But I do know how lucky I am, and that in the grand scheme of things, anxiety over change is a very very small problem to have. I would take every single step all over again in a heartbeat. And I probably will!

Anyway, sorry to deviate from my regularly scheduled programming of making fun of my boobs, drooling over Adam Lambert, and relating my journey from relatively in-shape woman to small sea vessel. Change has just been on my mind.

Now, back to scrounging through my desk drawers for a cookie.

Monday, July 6, 2009

In praise of the pool

I know I'm not exactly breaking ground with this proclamation, but swimming when you're pregnant ROCKS. My doctor told me as much, but she's kind of bossy so I don't listen to her all that much.

On Sunday I headed around the corner to our local Y, which has the most fabulous outdoor heated pool. I've been trying to swim a couple of times a week, but because of travel and whatnot it had been about 3 weeks since my last excursion. My back has been sore, my calves have been tight, and I tell ya, they both feel effing great right now. 

Swimming also has the added benefit of not making me feel like a giant cow (when I'm in the pool, anyway -- the thigh-jiggling trip from the locker room to the pool is another matter).  And most of the people who swim in my pool are, shall we say, of an older generation, so I feel like Michael Phelps. 

There was one hitch in the day. Because it's been a while since I talked about my giant knockers, and I know you're all just dying for an update, let me tell you that they seem to be on yet another growth spurt. My halter-style non-maternity bathing suit popped open mid-stroke not once, but TWICE.  And you know what? Cold-ish streaming water and hyper-sensitive nips do not mix. I hope at least the teenage lifeguard enjoyed the view.

I think it might be time for a new suit.