Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Pants Update

They are tighter today. The same pair that have been tighter and tighter each week. No wonder. My upper stomach feels like a drum. It's all hard and stuff. Like I should knock on it. Also, last night I had a dream that Mark Wahlberg and I were in love. He had driven across the country with my dad, Elly, and Cameron in a van to see me. He had herpes though, so I couldn't commit. I told Peter about this dream this morning and he seemed uninterested. Perhaps because I referred to him as Marky Mark.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Our Totally Boring, Awesome Weekend

When you spend one weekend backpacking in the wilderness, the next weekend is a necessary compromise of extreme domesticity. We did a four-mile hike on Sunday morning with the pups (where my heart rate is consistently 50 bpm above Peter's on hills, yay baby and smaller lung capacity); had brunch with a Virgin Mary at T-Rex; watched a matinee of Julia and Julie or whatever it's called, and had some good couple time. Oh, and I also participated in some sweet Battlestar Galactica board game party time at Karen and Thaddeus's. I was a CYLON!! A SECRET CYLON. So was Elly. Sisters stick together.

Here are some other exciting weekend updates.

1. The moon Saturday night was unbelievably beautiful and big and moody red. This picture doesn't begin to do it justice.

2. The shower is leaking again and will now require a massive plumbing job to repair it. Neither of us is excited about this, though the amount of water the leaky shower is wasting is making me anxious. There are three different crews of plumbers coming over on Thursday and Friday to offer estimates. Fun times!

3. I went to Thrift Town and couldn't resist buying teeny tiny onesies. And overalls. Oy. I am really not sure why anyone buys new baby clothes. The advantage of buying used is that a) they're cheap; and b) any sort of nasty chemicals that were used in the process of making the cotton or dying it have long been washed away. Yes, organic is probably better, but when you're confronted with 50 cent onesies that are perfectly serviceable, I will always choose thrifted over spendy orgo stuff. Cuz you can't keep a good thrifter down.

4. I rearranged the mantel. See? I told you. BORING.

5. Wait!! It gets MORE BORING. I totally spent two hours cleaning this horrible closet out. Perhaps now its contents will not collapse on poor Ashley the dog walker when she opens the door to retrieve leashes.

6. To complete his super Gay Pride rainbow hearts collar, Haiko coordinated with a matching heart ID tag.

7. Ozzie got a haircut. Because it was easier than trying to brush out all the burrs after the Sunday morning hike. She has chubbed out after the near-death incident, and is now on a diet.

8. I received a care package from Luci and Lydia, which included a horse head hair brush (disturbing and awesome), a post-partum Party Pants pad for recovering from pooping out baby in five months, and a garter-style homemade insulin pump sleeve that fits on my thigh. It is pretty bad ass, and Luci, who is so damn smart, drew little markered hearts on the TOP of the inside of the sleeve, so I know which direction to slip it on. Thanks ladies!

Don't say I didn't warn you. BORING. But really, this weekend was pretty damn fun, too. Even Peter will agree. I mean, hell, it was no weekend in the wilderness, but it was okay for being stuck at gross old home, right P Dids?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wearing Pants Sucks, and Other Random Thoughts From Today

I am 4 months pregnant and wearing pants already sucks.

I think I'm going to make some of these out of the left over doilies from the wedding.

I really want a glass of vino verde. I miss it like the dickens. I miss drinking it with Phyllis at Kitty's in Oakland.

I'm wondering if I should just pack up all my normal clothes in boxes for now.

Peter and I watched the first episode of the first season of The Wire and he reluctantly agreed it was awesome. He doesn't like proving me right sometimes.

I think we met our doula last night. Her name is Leila and she is awesome, exactly what I need in a doula. She won me over last night when she said, "I think in their heart of hearts, a lot of doulas are committed to only doing home births and wanting to be midwives. And that's great. But that's just not me." Peter likes her because she's cheaper than other doulas. But I like her because I just felt absolutely confident and reassured in her presence. And she's good with dealing with hospitals and medical interventions. Which is what I need in my doula.

I took on an extra freelance job and didn't feel like it killed me to do it; so maybe I should do a few more.

I finally paid off my back state taxes yesterday. Damnable freelancing income and taxable income. Maybe I shouldn't do freelancing anymore.

I had my first prenatal massage yesterday at home. It was heavenly. The lady who did it was brilliant with her hands. I actually fell asleep for part of it.

I feel so bloated today from wearing pants that I want to go lay on the floor in the office. Which would not go over well.

There was some flutter in my stomach last night that wasn't like a regular stretchy pain. Can that be the baby kicking? I think it might.

I want to go backpacking again soon.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Backpacking at 4 months Pregnant

. . . Is still fun, but it's a little more tiring than usual! We went on a "mild" overnighter, only 4 1/2 miles each way, and 700 feet of elevation. Still at 8000 feet of elevation, it was pretty darn hard to breathe in the first place. "I have more blood in my body to oxygenate, and not enough oxygen!" I complained to Peter at one point. But in general there was little complaining. It was beautiful up there in the Sierras, and Emigrant Lake, our destination, was nearly empty of people. We met a sweet couple and their yellow lab, and that was it for fellow campers.

It got down to about 40 degrees at night, with winds around 45 to 50 mph whipping across the granite shelf where we were camped out. Poor little Haiko shivered until Peter put a fleece vest on him. I woke up twice in the night to drink about 40 ounces of water. It was so dry, and I wasn't the only one feeling it: the pups drank an entire pot of water as well at about 3 a.m.

I have another naked picture of Peter diving into Emigrant Lake, but I am restraining myself from using it, to save my mother from further eyeball anguish. I think it's probably hard to see so many pictures of a son-in-law naked in nature.

In general, my diabetes behaved itself. I ended up dialing my basal rate down to 12% while backpacking. Dr. Maier had advised me to limit my pack's weight to 30 pounds at the most, so I enjoyed a relatively light pack.
Still, I was dang tired. Also, it's getting harder to figure out where to situate my waist strap, given my belly and the infusion set for my insulin pump on said belly.

I would definitely recommend a "mild" backpacking trip for fellow pregnant ladies, at least at this point in my second trimester. There's some talk about some hut-to-hut snowshoeing or skiing, but we may have to see how I feel at that point in December . . . .

Friday, September 18, 2009

Another Day, Another Doctor's Appointment

Yesterday I had another doctor’s appointment with Dr. Maier and Sharon Palmer, my pump specialist/baby nurse. They were displeased with my morning bloodsugar levels (which are usually in the 150s, which is a vast improvement over my pre-pump morning bloodsugars, but still too high). They wanted to up my basal rate again, and I balked at this. I eat too many carbs at night. That’s the issue. I got them to reluctantly agree to let me try my new less-carby night-time routine, email in bloodsugars, and then see what happens. Victory!

This is Dr. Maier. It’s a good thing that I like him, because I don’t have a lot of choice when it comes to perinatologists at Kaiser Walnut Creek. As I’ve noted here before, he has a very calming, confident, been-there, done-that presence which I find essential in a medical professional who is responsible for overseeing my own and my baby’s health. I made a joke yesterday about keeping the baby in a dog crate once it was born, since the puppy would’ve outgrown it by then, which I think he found humorous, but who knows, maybe I will soon be reported, prenatally, to Child Protective Services.

There’s some major stress happening in our life right now surrounding something minor that may turn into something major, legally, and it’s making me a little crazy. This, combined with constant money issues and the general hectic nature of life, combined with the constant monitoring of my diabetes, the doctor’s appointments, etc., is making my life a little damn hard.

The doctor’s appointments themselves take up a hell of a lot of time; it takes about 35 minutes to get there, then often it is an hour wait for Dr. Maier, and then it is about an hour to get into work in San Francisco, which means that there is about 3 hours, at a minimum of my day taken up, every couple weeks, with doctors appointments. It’s affecting work somewhat (I have to work at night now), and also my ability to feel, well, refreshed, rested, centered. I guess I just need a little more help right now, but you can only ask for help so many times before you start to feel like a nag and a bitch.

Last night Marlene and Lyne (grandcousin-in-law and step-mom-in-law) stayed over on their road trip down to LA. We went out to Fonda, a Mexican tapas restaurant, and enjoyed the warm evening on the patio, eating plantains and black beans and duck tacos and a beet grapefruit salad.

My bloodsugar, when I went to bed, was 97, and I had a feeling (as I did the night prior) that it was going to drop more, so I reduced my basal rate to 80%. Still, I woke up with a bloodsugar of 48 this morning. So this proves my point to the doctors: my basal rate is fine (perhaps a little too high) as long as I don’t overdo the carbs at night.

Oh, and this was my bloodsugar with a night-time snack of grapes, too. I guess that my dietician would say that I should’ve eaten some raw cashews, too, with my grape snack. So I’m not perfect, by any means. But I’m trying to get a little better.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

We Painted.

We used no-VOC Kelly Moore paint and Home Depot no-VOC primer. The color is Green Apple Peel. Peter hates painting but was a sport. This will be the baby's room, if s/he gets here safe and sound and healthy and everything goes a-okay. I have a really exciting/fun baby art project I'm going to do involving tiny metal whale statues and big black wooden frames and painting of scenery. You may see it on here sooner than later!

We listened to a bunch of podcasts: To the Best of Our Knowledge (2 1/2 episodes); Savage Love (1 episode, our tenants came in the door right when a rather embarrassing question was asked on the podcast involving prosthetic wieners); Wait Wait Don't Tell Me! (1 episode); This American Life (1 episode). So, that means we painted for about 5 hours start to finish both days. Not bad at all!

Not much else was accomplished this weekend. We told the nice brothers who own 900 Grayson that I was pregnant, because at almost 15 weeks it's now safe to spill the beans, I think. And they said, excitedly, "We thought so! We just didn't want to jinx anything." They are so cute. I adore their place.

We also met with Ozzie and Haiko's new dog walker. Her name is Ashley and she's super nice. Her puppy just died this week after eating something and getting really sick. Her puppy was at the ER vet, got blood plasma transfusions, and had brain issues (swelling, I think), and finally died. Poor Ashley. Poor puppy. She seemed really bummed. I think that they will all have a good time together, though, and I like that she goes to a variety of spots for the pups' enjoyment.

Speaking of enjoyment, here is Haiko not enjoying his banishment to the deck after getting a bath.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Some Things I've Been Obsessing About

As Peter can attest, I've mostly been obsessing over cloth diapers. Diaper service vs. buying and washing your own, if our washing machine will deal with all of the diapers, inserts vs. normal diapers, gdiapers for travel, etc.

So here's a list. I guess partially it's easier to think about diapering and whatnot instead of being freaked out about amnio tests and results. We'll know everything in a month, and hopefully all fears will be assauged. In the meantime, here are some things that have been keeping my mind distracted and happy.

1. Wool soaker pads, like this one on Etsy for $8.

2. Woodworker Laura Rittenhouse's beautiful Silver Moon Crib.

3. Baby sign language! My cousin Hilde taught her son Graham how to sign and it was amazing to see him talk in full sentences this Summer, thanks to a combination of words and signs.

4. Gorgeous, design-forward, comforting, comfortable nurseries, like this room put together by Texas Hill Country mama Jade.

5. gDiapers, great for traveling, and now there's a cloth, instead of disposable (compostable, biodegradable), insert.

The Body

I have a few observations about body changes for your reading pleasure. For your viewing pleasure, I have Peter's booty. My husband is so intent on capturing his nakedness in the wilderness that he has even ventured into video form (a pleasure you can experience upon reading this post in its entirety, lucky, lucky you).

1. My friend Chris asked me to talk more about my boobs on the blog, so here is some super sexy boob information. My nipples are so dry right now. Like I have nipple dandruff. They are flaky and white even with maximum lotion coverage.
2. Also, I am incredibly itchy on my breastbone and ribcage. I have to restrain myself from itching at night.
3. In addition to this fun stuff, I also seem to be developing more skin tags. They run on the Karl side of the family, so it's not like it's unexpected. I wonder if the pregnancy hormones are exacerbating their development.
4. I already have bleeding gums. Yay! Many pregnant women get bleeding gums, due to the increase in blood. Let's just say flossing sucks, and I am not looking forward to the needed dental cleaning coming up soon.
5. I spotted a stretch mark on my belly. Time to make more salve, or to bring in the big guns and get some of the organic mommy belly oil. My sister said that her friends used this other stuff, and when I looked it up it was so full of carcinogenic crap I couldn't believe any mom-to-be in her right mind would rub that shit right over where her baby was resting.
6. I don't get so desperately hungry as I did earlier, though I did eat two helpings of delicious taco salad last night. I am a beast when it comes to delicious taco salad! A beast I tell you!
7. I need to do a lot more hip openers. I'm doing more in pilates with Kristin, and I did some this morning while getting my face attacked by the puppy. It's only going to help in the future.
8. Peter needs to rub my feet and back more. This is imperative.
9. Trying to wear my favorite pair of jeans (well, the favorite pair that still fits me) is depressing and uncomfortable, and becoming increasingly difficult with each week. Also, they're really long as is, so when they fall down below my pokey-outy belly, they kind of drag on the ground.
10. I am kind of blissfully happy right now, in a very even keel way. I still have anxiety and worries and still sometimes blow up, but in general I'm all kind of barfingly chill and happy.

Peter would want you to know that this picture was taken before he lost his full 30 pounds. He thinks it is fat assy looking, but that didn't prevent him from refusing to pull it off the internets, so I say, fair game.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Hello friends! Check out my belly! Get in mah belly! That is what Cameron and I said to each other when I went to prenatal pilates this morning. Then I did some pilates. This is my pilates outfit. It really shows how belly-licious I am right now. Of course, my belly's going to get much, much bigger. You can see my infusion set on the left side of the picture, on my belly. I used to think it was so gross, but now, I don't care. I really don't care about as much silly stuff anymore. I guess this is a side benefit of being knocked up and super high risk?

I had a genetics counseling session on Tuesday. Peter was still in Seattle and I was the only pregnant lady sans partner at the session, which depressed me and annoyed me. It's really not fun to sit there and listen to an hour-long PowerPoint presentation on chromosomal abnormalities and how messed up your little baby can be, especially when you are by yourself. I'm getting an amnio on my sister's birthday, October 1st, and Dr. Maier is doing it, which makes me feel much more comfortable than some rando doing it. Still, it is not something I look forward to. I look forward to (God willing) getting normal, healthy results back 10 days later, and not miscarrying. I know lots of my friends have done this test and it's been fine, but I still worry. Diabetics have more neural tube defects, as I've mentioned before, so it is really good to do this test. I think my test results put me outside of the statistical rates for more careless diabetics, but I still will feel better once I know that babe is a-okay.

We went to see Ginger Crash Kennedy Loy last night. She is two weeks old and cute as a button. She held my pinky finger as she slept and Jen and Ross horrified Peter with vibrant stories about placentas. Fun! Has anyone else out there done placenta encapsulation? Maybe I only think that it's weird because I've only recently learned about it? I mean, it's not as weird as eating placentas, which I *do* think is way too hippie and weird for me and would not eat it. An old hippie friend of mine ate it with her grody sperm giver, and I haven't been able to separate their grodiness from this practice.

In other news, we are interviewing doulas next week! I'm really excited about meeting doulas! Yay!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Girls Just Keep Getting Bigger

Thank god for Jenny, who saved my boobies from wearing stretched out, ugly bras. We had lunch today, and afterwards she took me back to her house to fit me for several really nice bras that were now too big for her. I've already gone up a cup size, which is not very exciting to me at all. I know that Jen was excited about this aspect of pregnancy, but not me! I guess that if I were an A or B cup I'd likely be happy to go up a bit, but as it is I'm starting as a D cup. So I am more concerned about turning into some sort of circus side show freak lady.

Step right up! See the woman with the massive boobies! Bigger than her head!

Please, please boobies, stay kind of normal sized. I know I can't ask for small. But please.

So, Jenny works part-time at A La Folie, a lingerie shop where I once spent $400 when trying to impress P Ta Mon. This means that Jenny has lots of very nice bras, Wachaols and Prima Donnas, to share with her chest-expanding pal. Jenny recently lost a bunch of weight, which explains her bra loss. She seemed equally parts excited and sad when her bras fit me. She's glad they're going to a new home, but you can tell she was sad to say goodbye to her awesome bra friends. Dear Jenny, I hope you get some solace from knowing that I, and P Ta Mon, thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

In other non-boob-related news, I really like the new Dwell shower curtain.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I really like this tattoo.

I've been wanting to get my first tattoo, on my upper arm, did (as in, get my hair did, but this time, get my tattoo did), for some time. And Ross would be my go-to guy (he's the tattooed daddy of Ginger Crash Kennedy Loy), since he did my awesome back tattoos, and I trust him. I guess I'm not that into sailing the high seas, so maybe this tattoo isn't quite appropriate, though I do like the idea of steering my own life. And I've been wanting a good cover-up, and this seems like a good compromise. Perhaps, when baby is all out and healthy, this will be my gift to myself? A new, bigger tattoo?

Peter did say no more tattoos, please, but I think that covering one up doesn't count as a new one.

(Image by James Merrell)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Yesterday's Doctor Appointment

Yesterday was my first post-12-weeks doctor's appointment. I am officially in my second trimester. Yay! Dr. Maier has his diabetes clinics on Monday mornings, which basically means that he runs crazy late and is super busy and there were some obese, unhealthy-looking pregnant women running around. Not to generalize about diabetics. Seriously though, it makes me happy that I am in pilates, and take so many power walks with the pups, to know that I'm doing good things for my baby and my body, too. After this pregnancy I am going to work really hard to get in super good shape, even with two dogs and a baby in tow. There was one very pretty, in-shape, 11-weeks-along lady in the waiting room who I chatted with. She's been a Type 1 for a year, and her carb grams-to-insulin ratio is already crazy low, half of what mine is. I can't imagine how sucky it will get if my carb grams go down more. Eating is hard enough right now as it is.

After waiting for an hour, reading some excellent New Yorker articles, I saw Kim, who downloaded all of my pump results. My bloodsugars have been a little wonky thanks to the Wisconsin trip and my recent craving for watermelon. Again, it's just getting increasingly difficult to tell when my bloodsugars go low. The other day while walking the pups my bloodsugar went down to 36(!!). I had 1 cookie in the car, but it was hella hard to make it back home. By the time I got home I was so low that I ate three more cookies and a glass of milk, and then was so exhausted I fell asleep, which did nothing to help me stabilize, and instead spiked my sugars.

So, in general things went well. I brought Kim, Sharon, and Dr. Maier plum jam that I canned from our Italian prune plum tree. Not that I'm trying to bribe them. In general they probably just think that I gorge myself on home canned sugary goods. Which isn't quite true. I do like Dad's maple syrup, but compared to most people, I hardly use any.

Ugh, this is getting off track. My appointment! No ultrasound, but I got to listen to the baby's heartbeat again. Dr. Maier poked me on my increasingly rounding and firm belly and said, "Yep, you're pregnant." I fond this rather endearing, but I can't really explain why. I hate it when people touch my stomach, likely because for so long it had bruises on it from needles, and now it has an infusion set stuck on it. But I'm getting used to people touching it now, and even kind of liking it, if it's one of my pals who's doing it.

The good news is that my test results still seem good, and that I've only gained four pounds in the first trimester, which is right on track. All of my weight seems to have gone to my boobs and my belly, which I guess makes sense, but doesn't make me feel very attractive. Just wait! Ha ha. Oy.

I need to make an appointment to talk to the genetic counselor about an amnio, something that I'm only feeling more anxious about thanks to an obsessive hour-long reading of amnio threads on Berkeley Parents' Network. Stupid, stupid move. I think reading pregnancy-related threads online is an absolutely bad idea. Still, I got sucked in. I guess that given my feelings about wanting a healthy baby, I really should absolutely have an amnio. Still, I don't like the idea of a needle disturbing my little babe's nest. I know it's a very quick procedure, miscarriage rates are incredibly low, and that it will in all likelihood be fine. And many of my friends have been very happy with their amnios. Still, it's something that is rustling around in my brain, perhaps too much.

In other news, before graduating from puppy class last night the puppy pooped on the middle of the classroom floor. Also, he dragged this log in through the back door. Which helps with stress relief.