The Baby Bean Blog

Monday, May 23, 2005

Um, I Believe That's My Clit

I haven't written about my last two prenatal visits. Not much exciting happening on that front, I guess. I was thinking about whether or not I should devote a post to my prenatal visit last week, and as I was thinking that nothing much happened, I realized that something had, indeed, happened.

The birth center recently got a student midwife. I guess she's sort of doing a rotation as part of the last six months of her training. As far as I can tell, if you want to be a midwife (the certified kind, anyway), first you get your 4 year RN, then you do what amounts to a master's degree: a 20 month program where you specialize in gynecological and obstetrical stuff. Anyway, I was asked if it would be okay for her to observe my appointment. Sure, why not?

The first part of any appointment is when the midwife asks me some standard questions, then covers anything new I need to know, then asks if I have questions. Mostly during this time, the student midwife just sat there, although she did jump in here and there, and she also made supportive noises. For instance, I mentioned that the baby's movements felt more distinct, and the student midwife nodded and said, "Hmmm." At first, I found it a little strange. Then I thought, Heck, I'll take validation wherever I can get it.

After this portion of the visit, we move on to the fun part where the midwife uses a doppler and I get to hear the baby's heartbeat. So I lie on the examination table and reveal my stomach. The midwife also usually feels around my stomach to figure out how high up my uterus is. The midwife asked if I would mind of the student midwife did this so she could have some hands on practice. Sure, why not?

So she felt around. Then she brought out a measuring tape. I've heard much about the measuring of the height of the uterus, but I'm pretty sure they haven't done that to me before. The student midwife said to me (I find it funny that doctor-types always warn you about things like this), "I'm going to feel your pubic bone so that I can measure you from that point to the top of your uterus." Okay, go for it.

So she presses the top of my pubic bone. I assume that the guys reading this (and by guys, I mean you, Fyse) also have pubic bones, but as I've never spent time feeling around down there on a guy, I'm not sure. Anyway, the ladies know what I'm talking about. Feeling the top of one's pubic bone is not a big deal. At least, not to me. And that's where she felt.

Then she took her hand away and got the measuring tape all ready to go. Then she went back to feel my pubic bone and place the measuring tape there. Only this time, she pressed, shall we say, about an inch or so lower than she had the first time. As her fingers pressed my clit (through my clothes), my head pulled back and cocked to the side. I was startled. Usually there's dinner--or coffee at least--before I feel any fingers in that particular spot. Even my fingers.

I didn't say anything at the time. This was all just so completely unexpected. I've thought of many, many clever things I could have said. For intance, the title of this post, "Excuse me, but I believe that's my clit." Or practically any other line from this post, like, "I usually get dinner before someone touches my clit." Now that I've had the experience and I've got a few lines ready, I almost hope it happens again so that I can actually use one of them.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Advice Rant: Do I Look Like an Idiot?

Just thought I'd start complaining about advice givers. From all I've read, I've gotten it rather light in the advice department, although it could jump up a great deal now that I'm obviously showing. But I thought I'd complain about something that recently happened to me.

I was participating on a message board. The original poster wanted to know what various women had planned for giving birth. You know, in a hospital, at home, at a birth center. Medicated, un-medicated, planned c-section. Stuff like that. So I responded and said that our plan was to give birth at a birth center, unmedicated all the way. I was the only one to respond with this answer. The other women where all giving birth in a hospital and planned on taking advantage of an epidural. Then this woman posted saying something along the lines of, "I just wanted to say that women need to be flexible with their birth plans because it might not work out the way you had planned it. For instance, we were planning on giving birth at a birth center and going unmedicated. Then [something bad] happened (I can't remember what) and I was rushed to the hospital at 33.5 weeks where I had a c-section. So use my story as evidence that you have to consider other options."

Now, I couldn't help but take this story a little personally, being that I was the only one who responded who was planning an unmedicated, birth center birth. I felt like responding to this women with one simple question: DO I LOOK LIKE AN IDIOT? I mean, of course if something should go horribly wrong (knock on wood) which would mandate emergency action in a hospital, I would be on board with that 100%. Baby in distress? Needs to come out now via c-section? Slice me open ASAP! I mean, what am I going to say? NO??????!!!! Let the baby die! Give me a frigging break!

Which reminds me of a conversation I had with my brother-in-law two or three weeks ago. I was saying that I intended to breast-feed. And then he says that I should be prepared to abandon breast-feeding if I hit a bump in the road with it. I said, "Well, I'm firmly committed to breast-feeding, and I'll do everything I can to be successful at it." Then he said something like, "But some women have a lot of trouble with it, and their babies suffer, so you have to be ready to go to a bottle if it's not working out."

I ask again, DO I LOOK LIKE AN IDIOT? What I actually said to him was, "We won't let the baby die, okay? If it's not working and it's putting the baby in danger, we'll go to a bottle."


Friday, May 13, 2005

Maternity Pants and the Hands Free Travel Pack

Here's what I have to say about maternity pants. They suck. Let me elaborate. I guess most women, being women, who wear maternity pants also carry purses. I'm not one of those women. I like to carry my wallet in my back pocket, my keys in my front pocket, and my cell phone in another front pocket. In other words, I've got stuff in my pockets. This has never been an issue until now, when I don't have a waist, and on top of that, maternity pants are very stretchy. I guess that's a good thing, being that you don't want anything tight around your "waist" (I use that term lightly) when you're pregnant. However, the consequences of this is that putting anything in your pockets means that your pants make a beeline for your ankles. Just the other day, I had to carry groceries with both of my arms no more than about half a block to the car, and very quickly I became terrified that the world was going to see more of my ass than any of us wanted. Before pregnancy, my ass was not something to get particularly excited about. Since I've been pregnant, I've put at least as much weight on my ass as I have my stomach, and now no one, and I mean NO ONE wants to see it. It terrifies me when I catch a glimpse of it myself.

So what is a girl to do who refuses to carry a purse? In the cooler weather, it wasn't such a big deal because I could put things in the pockets of my jackets. But jacket time is pretty much over. So I could carry a backpack with me, but that is too balky and too much of an annoyance. I could carry a "messenger bag" type thing, but it's still to balky. I don't want something swinging around me. Then one night as I was watching Family Business, I noticed Adam's fanny pack.

Okay, that last statement wasn't completely accurate. Of course I've noticed Adam's fanny pack before. How could one not notice a person, any person, still using a fanny pack? That was so 1980s. I didn't even know that fanny packs still existed. Personally, I think Adam looks ridiculous wearing it, and I've thought many diparaging remarks about him because of his dedication to his fanny pack.

But as a pregnant woman who does not want to carry a purse and also cannot put things in her pockets, I suddenly had to consider: Could what I needed be....horror of horrors....a fanny pack?

After the above mentioned grocery carrying debacle, I decided that the time had come to bite the bullet and get myself (gulp) a fanny pack.

But where? Who sold fanny packs anymore? And could I actually go into a store and ask someone, with a straight face, for a fanny pack? I had no choice.

I decided to start at a sporting goods store. Perhaps hikers and such might carry fanny packs (or as an internet search had revealed, "waist packs"). I did find one at Dick's Sporting Goods, designed for those who love to fish. But it was huge. Next stop, Target. I found one for people who were into camping/hiking. But it was also huge and came equipped with two bottles of water. Far more than I wanted to carry around with me.

I wandered through Target, stopping everywhere that might possibly have a fanny pack (I was too ashamed to ask a salesperson), and then, in the luggage department, I saw it, a fanny pack before my eyes. Only, they weren't calling it a fanny pack. Nor weren't they even calling it a "waist pack." No. This was none other than a Hands Free Travel Pack. For $11.99, I bought it.

When I picked up my partner from the train station later, I said, "You'll never guess what I bought today." Upon her inquiry, I told her. "Why, a hands free travel pack."

At her blank stare, I took it out and showed it to her. "All this time," I said, "I've been looking for a fanny pack, when what I really wanted was a hands free travel pack. Who knew?"

She sighed deeply, never having been completely on board with my buying--and actually wearing--a fanny pack. I mean, a hands free travel pack. I put it on to model it for her, and it fit on the underside of my expanding belly. She grabbed it and moved it off to the side. "Couldn't you wear it this way?" she asked.

I looked down at it. "Does that make it better? On the side?"


Well, I guess if she's willing to be seen with me while I wear a hands free travel pack, I can wear it to the side.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

There's a Two Pound Person in My Stomach

I'm 26 weeks pregnant today. I started feeling the baby move seven weeks ago at 19 weeks. As I described back then, the movement felt like little bubbles in my stomach. Not anymore. It's very distinct little hits or kicks. And they're strong enough that I can even see my stomach move from the outside. The other day, my partner put her ear against my stomach to see if she could hear the heartbeat that way (one of my books says it's possible around now), and the baby kicked her twice. It was quite cute, in the way only a baby kicking you in the face can be.

This baby keeps getting more and more real. Now the little bean is so authoritative with its actions. I mean, there's a baby in there. Two pounds of baby. That's something substantial. Something understandable, as opposed to when the baby was 13 mm in length and weighed something that didn't mean anything to me. I remember when the baby finally weighed an ounce. I thought, Wow, an ounce! Now we're up to two pounds. And we've got another five pounds to go, more or less, in the next three months.

I'm not sure where I'm going with this post, so I don't know how to end it. I guess I'm just trying to document my sense of wonder. And my confusion at what's happening to me and inside of me. There's a living being in my stomach. That's weird. And very cool.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

The Finished Product

Here you have it, the modified cross stitch I wrote about in my previous post. It turned out to be a lot smaller than I had thought, and I'm not that crazy about the colors. Doesn't look the same as the original to my eyes. Maybe the big problem is that the linen is not as yellow? I don't know. Anyway, I'm still happy with it. I think that a black frame, like the frame in the original, might help it.

But it's done. It's cute. And it only took me a day. It looks a little bit wrinkley right now because I haven't ironed it yet. I'm still contemplating stitching in the little bean's name and birthdate along the bottom. We shall see....

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Yes, I've Been Known to Cross Stitch

Cross stitching isn't something that fits in particularly well with my cool, hipster image, but nonetheless, I do it anyway. Not relentlessly, like many, many fanatical women do, but from time to time the urge to use a needle and basic math drives me to cross stitch.

I don't think I've cross stitched anything for about two years, but with the baby coming, and me feeling all domestic lately, I took myself to the cross stitch store to pick out a pattern for the nursery. I was looking for something with some sort of cute picture and then room in the design to insert a name and a date of birth. I know these things exist. I did a cross stitch for my mother-in-law when she got married five years ago that was the sort of thing: little flowers and then room underneath for her name, her husband's name, and the date of their marriage. Anyway, that's what I was shooting for. But I didn't see anything like that from my favorite cross stitch designer, Bent Creek. (Okay, their website is horrible, but what can you expect? They have cross stitching people running the show.)

I did find a couple of cute samplers. But I didn't particularly want to do a sampler.
    Sampler Tangent: For those who don't know, a "sampler" is a pattern that features the alphabet and sometimes the numbers. Sort of like an old version of a font sheet. They were to provide, obviously, samples of the types of letters you could choose from (back in the old days) if you wanted something monogramed or embroidered with letters and numbers. To make them more attractive, sewing shops started putting little designs around the alphabet/numbers. This somehow caught on, and I'd say at least 50% of cross stitch designs today are samplers. Why on earth people are obsessed with cross stitching the alphabet again and again and again and again, I have no idea. Myself, I've done a couple of samplers. Now I feel like, Okay, I've stitched the alphabet. Let's move on.
I finally made it to the part of the store that had the things I was looking for--baby's name and date of birth--but the designs themselves were unattractive to me. It seems like Bent Creek does not make such a pattern. Then I saw a very plain cross stitch that just said, "Welcome, Little One." And I thought, That's sweet. So I decided to embark on something I haven't done before.

I went back to one of the cute samplers I had seen before. This one, to be exact. (Not the pillow, but the thing in the frame.)

And I thought to myself, Why not replace the letters of the alphabet with the words, "Welcome, Little One"? That involves altering the design. I've never really done that before, but I was willing to try.

So I bought the pattern, the linen, and the threads I didn't have. At home, I busted out my graph paper and modified the design. And it looks pretty good--on paper, at least. Not only did I replace the alphabet with "welcome, little one," but I also took out the words "twinkle twinkle" that are in the bottom right hand side and put another star in that spot. Perhaps when I'm done, I'll try to scan it and put it up so you can see the finished product. I know you are all dying to.

I'm off to Wisconsin tomorrow to visit some of the in-laws, and this will be a great project to occupy some of my time until I return on Sunday. Sunday, by the way, is Mother's Day. The last Mother's Day that I won't be a mother. And we know what that means. Next year, PRESENTS!