Every second of the night

I’ve been dreaming of the baby. Well, not quite every second; there needs to be room for the alien invasions and the escapes from boarding school cafeterias.

I don’t normally describe dreams to the whole world like this, but I think these are less dreams and more psychological preparation.

Usually the dreams are set immediately after the baby has been born, in some crazy scenario. The baby is, of course, advanced and capable beyond all possibilities. Last night, I’d given birth at home, and while the baby was indeed able to sit up and perform non-crying communication, I attempted to explain this by pointing out that newborns have freakish reserves of strength, like the reserves of energy a new seedling has that allow it to sprout and make real leaves. The main concern of this dream was that the baby had been born early, as well as at home, and we didn’t have everything we needed to take care of a baby. Only a few clothes, a sample package of diapers. No carseat. Other than the strange baby and the strange circumstances, it was really a very long, detailed and prosaic dream, in which I sent people out for a carseat/stroller system, and tried to contact a pediatrician for an initial examination, and went out myself with the baby (walking) to acquire other necessities, and soothed the baby, and did a lot of diaper changing. We couldn’t feed the baby yet but I knew that was okay because babies don’t need food the first day or so, apparently. The baby was also very calm and alert, and I knew this would change as soon as the newborn energy reserves had cleared out and we had to start fueling the system.

Generally, the weirdness of the dreams is progressing closer to reality; my previous dream involved going to a party the day after I gave birth, with the infant, and trying to stop the baby from wandering around getting beer. Or somesuch. This last one, despite having all the hallmarks of an anxiety dream, was actually very pleasant.

Eat it

I feel yucky, headachy and nauseous. I really wish I had more appetite on a regular basis. The RNP assured me that not gaining weight is fine for a woman of my size, and I’m not really worried about the baby that much, but I have to think that not getting enough to eat is contributing to how I feel most days.

Anyhow, today I am apparently twenty weeks pregnant. It’s still too cold for our garden to grow most days; the tomato plants are outside but untransplanted and kind of static, and the pumpkin and squash are still inside but growing slowly unless I provide extra heat. I’m still not feeling Zod move on a regular basis– the best I usually get is a kind of super-awareness of my belly and I think that comes more from shifting positions.

We went for a long walk Sunday evening and took a wrong turn. It was a beautiful evening and I really didn’t mind it, until we had to climb some hills to retrace our steps. That made my abdomen give some funny twinges, and Kevin told me, Raymond and the dogs to stay put and then he struck out on his own and returned with the car. It inspired some interesting thoughts inside about guilt and responsibility but the end result was mostly overwhelmed by how cool Kevin is. And it was a great walk until the end.

I finished the Sabriel books and reread Going Postal and Bridge of Birds. An old friend of Kevin’s is in town this week and I think we’re supposed to see him tonight. I hope I feel better.

Happy Birthday To Me!

I’m busy making egg and flower-shaped cupcakes for a decorating party tomorrow. I slept all day, quite by accident. I slept on the couch last night.

When I just sat down to take a break, I could feel, um, my uterus, I guess.  At the bendy point. It was disturbing. Then I ended up looking at pregnancy photos on the web and now I’m a little more freaked out. “Oh my God is that going to happen to ME?” Some pictures were less terrifying than others. But… man. I’m going ‘uh-oh’ now. What the heck have I gotten myself into?

it might not be that bad

In the beginning, I was careful to not let myself get too attached to an embryo. It was important to me to not be too attached. Not all seeds sprout, after all. And I’d rather live in uncertainty than fear.

I have this anxiety problem, see. When it flares up, I can’t help but pair positive and negative emotions. Wild happiness is always tainted by the dread that it’s too good to be true. Deep love is twinned with a horrific and inescapable fear of loss. I don’t mean passively; I mean anytime I feel a good and strong emotion, I immediately start getting the butterflies of a dramatic anxiety attack. So I encouraged the uncertainty of early pregnancy to blockade the progress of a greater and more debilitating fear. It made sense to me. If I’d gotten attached to anything, it would have only been the idea of being pregnant, of being a mom in eight months. I didn’t want to get attached to that.

But that couldn’t go on forever. Some seeds sprout.

Or rather, it could go on forever, if I kept pushing the ideas away. It’s something I’m very good at. The core emotional center of me is well shielded from big impacts (though the little ones can leach through–song-sized sentimentality). A baby’s a pretty big impact, and an absolute magnet for anxiety. But letting an avoidant fear of a crippling fear control me would be as much of a tragedy as anything more biological.

I’ve talked about this with Kevin. And I’m getting closer accepting a baby person in my life. I can see the looming iceberg* of the most crippling fear I’ve ever felt on the horizon. But today, feeling little whooshes inside, I will not let it sink me. ‘Cause suddenly I really know that a baby person is cooler than fear is frightening.

*The iceberg of fear is an illusion. It’s not there if we can’t see it. Most of the time, disaster is a submarine, not an iceberg. I’ve been telling myself that for eight years or so, and I don’t know that it’s worked much when push comes to shove, but I didn’t have medication then.

Flip a switch

I wonder what it is I do to signal to my body “hey I’m done eating so now is the time to evacuate the system and undo all that work”.

Edited to add: Ooh, ooh! Remember how I said I didn’t think I felt nausea before the daily adventures? Well, now I can confirm that because I am back to feeling nausea. I really hope it’s a swiftly-passing event.

Everybody, pay attention…

It’s nice to know that when I use my ‘freak my shit out’ voice, the dogs pay attention.

I wasn’t actually freaking my shit out, but I was close, after a long day running errands and feeling more pregnant than usual. Full of anxiety about the state of the house and the money situation. Overall, the people who live with me should be very glad that they were not present or I almost certainly would have given them one of my painful little lectures on how we need to Get Stuff Done.

It was a nice day, so I left the front window open a bit when I left for errands. When I came home, Dante was so excited to see me, he knocked the screen out. Luckily the window was just high enough that he resisted the impulse to leap out and race around. Which surprised me, honestly; when he was younger (much younger, back in Kirkland), he leapt down from at least that high once.

This was not the trigger of the almost-freaking-my-shit-out. No, it was muddy feet again and the dogs racing inside past me later without the usual pause to have their feet wiped. I shrieked and they both turned and returned to me like boomerangs, all licky and eager to show me I was boss.

I’m ready for some positive aspect of pregnancy now.

Given that I’m well past my first trimester, I think that I don’t have much hope of the ‘vomiting all over myself’ part ending anytime soon. I’m really ready for a constant indicator that there’s a new human life growing inside of me and that I don’t just have a disease. It’s hard to have any affection for a disease.

I don’t even remember what feeling nauseous feels like, right now. Maybe it’s hormones, like the ones that let you forget the pain of labor. Maybe I don’t even get nausea anymore– just the sensation of my gorge suddenly rising, and wondering if I can hold it back long enough to position myself in front of something with a basin and a drain.

You know what’s tragically funny? I was just reading about high fructose corn syrup and all the ways it’s bad for you. And yet I’m pretty sure the only stuff I can keep down reliably is just full of it. Sweet stuff. I love the sweet stuff and so does my stomach.

Sometimes sudden sweet flavor rushes can avert it, or make a purging bout shorter and less painful. Lollipops help. There’s a sugared bubble gum with liquid centers that’s almost perfect. I hate chewing sugared gum but I hate studying the meal I ate a second time even more.

I’m also reaching a point where it’s getting a touch uncomfortable to sleep on my stomach, but it’s nearly impossible to sleep on my side. I try to prop myself up everywhere but the point where the pressure bothers me. But my clothes still fit (for which I’m actually grateful) and there’s nothing really to feel with my fingers.

And I’m getting really tired of this fucking rain. We’re now an inch and a half over the March average. We get a flood warning every week or so. I’m just so tired of it. I keep watching the 10 day forecasts and there are half-day respites sometimes, when the ground dries out a bit and the sun tries to come out but I feel like it’s all a gambit by the weather to avoid making any more long-streak-of-rain records. February was also 2 inches over the average. Stop trying to drown me!

I continue to be really glad I’m not working at Microsoft, even though that makes money tight. I started to see a little forward motion on positive projects this week but I don’t want to jinx it so you don’t get to know.

EtA: One of the reasons I want the rain to end is that our backyard is flooding and rotting in places. This means whenever the dogs come in, they smell really really really bad. We have to clean their feet off most of the time, and we do, but the smell of disgusting mud lingers. And encourages heaves! I can’t really manage taking them for walks simultaneously anymore, even if it weren’t wet wet wet wet all the damn fucking time. I feel that wrangling two dogs who average out to a bit over 100 lbs and are prone to sudden spurts of racing ahead would definitely violate the ‘heavy lifting’ ban, in spirit if not in actuality. So they HAVE to go into the backyard. I bought them booties for such occasions as this but they cause Hannah to have a nervous breakdown while Dante tries to take everybody’s shoes off.

Update on General Zod

The sad news is, I didn’t get to hear a heartbeat today.

The good news is, Kevin, Michelle and the doctor all saw General Zod squirming on the portable ultrasound machine the doctor dug out when she decided General Zod was hiding too well to show up on a doppler. She said she thought everything looked good, and that my very minor cramps were just the uterus stretching (which is basically what I’d hoped).

I think the next step is to call my aunts. This weekend, though, since my long distance is so crummy.

Hm, do I have more to say? I was definitely ready for more concrete evidence of General Zod’s continued growth; a tiny bit of spotting on Friday (after heavy lifting on Thursday) plus the stretchy cramps made me, well, happy for evidence. When she couldn’t find the heartbeat I thought ‘I knew it!’ but without any panic or worry. I think that was because the doctor was so calm about it.

The doctor ordered the quad screen blood test, which is a blood analysis that looks for four different substances in the blood. The levels of those substances combined with other risk factors lets the doctor decide if they should order additional screening for stuff like neural tube defects and Down Syndrome. The phlebotomist couldn’t get blood from the first arm so she had to stick me a second time, which I’d never personally experienced before.

Kevin said he wanted a portable ultrasound machine of his own, but if he had one, he wouldn’t leave me alone.

The IntarWeb says that the baby’s probably around 4 inches long now. My God. No wonder I feel sore and crowded inside. Presumably it’s kicking organs out of the way to make room, since it isn’t rising up or sticking out any. Stop it! Stop, Zod! Stop kicking me! Come to the front, there’s PLENTY of room up top. Nothing there but cushion.

The most annoying little change to ME as a result of General Zod is that I make tiny little noises now sometimes when falling asleep. When I’m exhaling, my voicebox will randomly engage, causing a tiny little ‘mmm’ noise– just loud enough to wake me up. That’s really a general theme, though– all my various output systems have become linked and looser. V. irritating.