Sunday, March 19, 2006

I getta kick out of you

One of the newer sensations in my pregnancy (now at 23-24 weeks - I have no idea how you're supposed to count) is feeling the baby move. The book described it as "a miraculous sensation", but I feel more like there's a gremlin inside me.

Actually, the movement is not such a new thing, I've been feeling the baby move for a few weeks now, but when I thought I was a month less pregnant, I discredited the feeling as digestion or gas or something else, because people told me there was no way I could be feeling the movements.

At first it felt like soda fizz or little bubbles popping, but more recently I have begun to feel firm hard kicks. A few weeks ago Bryan and I were arguing over baby names, and the baby, either agreeing or disagreeing, let out such a hard kick even Bryan could feel it.

Now, the kicking is so common that when I wake Bryan up in the middle of the night to feel it, he doesn't even bother to roll over.

Previously, I thought of this baby as a boy. I'm not sure why, perhaps because (I'll admit it) that's what I really wanted, or perhaps because I just imagine myself with a boy baby. However, with this new kicking situation, I've changed my mind. This baby has to be a girl, because no boy would treat his mother this way.

The kicking has gotten so strong I almost fell over in the shower the other day, because the kick sort of surprised me and altered my center of gravity for a moment, and it was wet and slippery, and I'm a little clumsier these days anyway.

For the past 3 weeks or so, I would only feel the movements in the evenings, and it was usually more of a swishing around feeling, with the occasional kick. Since Purim, however, the kid has not slowed down ever (when does it sleep???) and kicks me constantly, more in certain positions than others.

Unfortunately the positions that elicit the most kicks are sitting (I guess the belly gets a bit bunched up) and lying on my back (I know you're not supposed to, but sometimes it happens). So sometimes I find myself standing during a lecture, or in shul, when I really could be sitting. The kicks have actually woken me up in the middle of the night, particularly a well-placed kicked to my bladder.

I know I should just be happy that my baby is healthy, moves well, and could easily be a striker for anyone's soccer team, but the kicking is getting so you can almost see a little bulge pop out of my belly, and I know someday soon, others will be able to see my kicks.

Yesterday I even felt what I assume were kicks and little fists simultaneously. Harder kicks to my lower right belly, lighter jabs to my upper left belly all at the same time. When you think that the baby feet are like the size of grapes, and it has like no muscles and sort of soft bones, its amazing how hard it can kick.

I understand now why a mom's relationship with her newborn is far more complex than a new daddy's. Daddy just gets this cute little bundle of love, while Mommy finally gets to lay eyes on the creep that's been kicking her for 4-5 months, for whom she may have lost her figure, suffered indigestion, gone brain-dead (though thankfully, I've started eating more and that seems to have gone away somewhat) and whatever other pregnancy fun a woman may enjoy. Its not that the exhange doesn't seem worth it, it just seems to come at a slightly higher cost to the women.

So far, I think I've been (pupupupu) really lucky. I know its early days, but no varicose veins, no dark line down my belly, no stretch marks yet (a matter of time, I know) no facial discolorations. And I've gained very little weight (a good thing or a bad, I don't know) - so hopefully there won't be as much to lose later. Even Bryan admitted the other day that he fully expected me to become really fat the second I got pregnant (I have a pretty hearty appetite in general), and so far, I've got one of the situations where you can only tell I'm pregnant from the side.

I'm thinking of doing a posting on what really happens to your body when you're pregnant, the stuff no book tells you, but I'll title it TMI to keep regular readers away. So if you see a posting coming up like that, and don't want to know that much about a pregnant woman's body, steer clear.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Another one of those days

Yesterday was one of those Murphy's law days. Anything and everything that could go wrong did, and more or less simultaneously.

First, as I tried to exit the apartment during the late morning I discovered that the lock was broken, and I was locked in the house. The lock has been sticky since the day we moved into the place, but in light of the lack of hot water and mold growing up the walls, this seemed like too trivial a matter with which to piss off the landlord.

However, as Sharona had not yet peed or pooed for the day, and she was doing her little prancing bathroom dance at my feet, the situation was suddenly urgent. I called the landlord, who first had to send her son over to verify that it was actually broken, and not that I was an idiot. So I had to wait for the son to cut school (he's in high school) and come over. I threw the keys out the window to him, and he tried from the outside, but of course it was really stuck. Sharona was still looking at me with these hateful "How long do I make you hold it in when you gotta go?" eyes.

The landlord then allowed me to call a locksmith, but only after I called several to find who the cheapest one was. By the time I found the cheapest, called him and he arrived it was almost 1 pm. By this point I had laid down newspapers near the door to encourage Sharona to pee on them, but she refused. I held her over the toilet and um, demonstrated, what is done there, but she wan't buying it. As soon as the locksmith busted us out of there, I took Sharona down to pee, but as it was brewing up a storm, she quickly peed and ran back inside.

Not 3 minutes later I hear a scream from the hallway. The lady across the hall, whom I've never met, but whose teenage sons have kept me up many a night, had apparently fallen down the stairs, pretty much most of them. A good 2/3 of a flight, about 10 stairs or so. And she wasn't doing too well. I helped get her into her apartment, and was assessing her to try and figure whether she should go to the emergency room or wait to see her doctor. As I was checking her legs, I look over and see Sharona in the crouching position, taking a dump on her carpet!

All morning long I've been trying to convince Sharona to poo indoors, but now, she waits until she's in someone else's place, and then picks the one spot in the whole flat that's carpeted and poos on it! I cleaned it up and got the hell out of there.

Then I get back home, and start my day's tasks - it's already like 2 pm. I use some caustic soda to clean the drain in the bathroom which has been somewhat clogged lately, and as soon as I'm done I find water coming out the bottom of the sink. The toilet, meanwhile has been clogged and not functioning at its finest since Shabbat.

Whenever I have a large amount of liquid leftovers (chulent, soup) rather than pour it into the trash can I flush it down the toilet. It may sound gross, but it is way less messy than contending with a hole in the weak Israeli garbage bags (I miss my Hefty (r) sacks). Bryan has always thought this was ridiculous, and Saturday night, while "helping" me clean up, he was showing off this method to his friend Jeremy (the always late guy) with great amusement. Unfortunately, while busy being asinine, he didn't bother to check the chulent as he poured it into the toilet, and sent a few very large meat bones into the toilet as well and flushed!!!

I made him fish out the one particularly large bone that hadn't even made it into the flush, but I knew there was at least one or 2 smaller bones that had made it down and were sure to cause problems. Sure enough, the toilet, while flushing, has been overflowing and taking way too long to drain.

Yesterday, while all the other stuff was happening, I noticed that instead of overflowing, water was now coming out the back pipe of the toilet and onto the floor. I tried calling the plumber but he never called back - I wonder why? "Hi, Brandon, can you fish last week's chulent bone out of my toilet, plus a weeks' worth of shit that is probably backed up with it....Hello? Hello???"

Anyway, a different plumber came this morning, as the landlord noticed last night (when she came to reimburse me for the locksmith) the leaking and assumed it was not from a chulent bone, and paid for him to come. As luck would have it, the chulent bone was never found, but everything else that was backed up behind it was fished out and the leak was apparently unrelated to the chulent bone, so the landlord footed the bill.

A few of you commented a couple weeks ago that it seemed early that my belly button was beginning to pop. I've discovered the reason why. When I went to my regular OB-GYN, he checked the size of my uterus and said, "Hmmm, you feel rather large for 17 weeks, maybe you're farther along than we thought." Now, this is something I have been trying to tell him for months now. For technical reasons I won't get into here, there was a bit of a doubt as to when my last period was. Ladies who have been through this will understand. Anyway, since the day I started with my doctor, I have told him I was unsure, but he let the ultrasound decide the first time and left it at that.

Meanwhile, I have always looked big, had symptoms that were somewhat advanced, I felt the baby move way too early, etc. The doctor simply shrugged it all off. And now, when he was telling me that I felt big, he was perfectly happy leaving my due date as "we don't exactly know - babies come and go as they please anyway".

I decided it was time to find a new doctor. So today, I cheated on my doctor and went to someone else. And guess what? My baby is not coming in August, its coming in July! And I'm not 18 weeks pregnant, I'm 22! I sort of feel like I have been robbed of a whole month of pregnancy, but vindicated that I'm not a huge cow, I'm actually almost 6 months pregnant.

This obviously sort of changes a whole bunch of plans, but at least my mother-in-law can start going baby carriage shopping earlier. My final exams are supposed to go through the end of July, yet my baby is due July 19th (my anniversary!) Let's hope my baby is about as on-time as his father usually is. On the other hand, I now get an even longer vacation before school starts, and I won't have to be 10 months pregnant in August, just July.

I'm planning on having a quiet, relaxing Shabbat at home with Bryan and the dog and no one else - at this point, I deserve it.