Sunday, May 28, 2006

Scariest Moment of my Life (to date)

I'm sick and it sucks. I first noticed a tickle in my throat on Friday. I just felt like I constantly needed to clear my throat. And then Saturday, when I was supposed to get up early to go with Faith & Cory to an estate sale up in the valley, I felt like crap. Mostly I thought I felt tired because the cats were being especially obnoxious at 3 a.m. (pulling down the kitchen and bathroom garbage cans and chewing on plastic).

I had also lost my voice, but I just chalked that up to yelling at the cats too much. I managed to have a lovely time at the estate sale (bought 3 vintage dress patterns from the mid-60s) and then we had lunch and headed over to A Mano Yarns. We got to see Shannita & Peggy, both of whom were working and Faith & Cory bought some great yarn, but I really started to feel lightheaded and exhausted. I went home & vegged for a few hours before deciding that I was too tired to head out to Cinespia (a first for me this season). We watched march of the Penguins and I started to notice a sore throat. I took some cough drops and felt ok. But at about 11 p.m. I started to feel really crappy. My head was pounding, my throat was killing me and I had sinus pressure building in my ears. I took a Chloraseptic throat strip but it didn't seem to help enough.

This is when I lost it. I cam into the living room crying because I felt so icky. I knew I was acting like a 6 year old, but I couldn't help it. Rich was awesome, getting me water and tissues and storking my back to make me feel better. He told me to take a hot shower because the steam would help with the sinus pressure and I'd be able to sleep easier. So I did, and it actually seemed to help. Until I started feeling nauseous.

Being pregnant, nausea is just something that comes with the territory. So while it definitely sucks, you almost get used to it. So I started throwing up in the shower, just mucus, which I knew was from the draining of my sinuses.

And then I saw red. Throwing up blood is definitely a no-no at any time, but especially when you're pregnant. And so when I saw red mucus coming up, I freaked. I called out to Rich that I was throwing up blood, and he immediately said we needed to go to the hospital. I got out of the shower, calmly dried off and asked Rich for some clothes. I felt strangely calm, sort of like "I know that I need to get from point A to point B and if I think about what is actually happening, I won't be able to function." I was trying not to think about what was really going on, but the thought of losing Figgy was too much to bear. I know people who have lost pregnancies in their 5th month, so I know it can happen, but I couldn't fathom it happening to me.

As I looked for a shirt to put on, I saw the cough drops I'd been taking -- bright orange. And that's when the calm part of me said, "hey, could that red just have been coloring from the cough drops?" But Rich was the one who realized that the Chloraseptic strips I'd taken were bright red, the same red that I saw in the shower. Waves and waves of relief spread over me. I wasn't going to lose Figgy. I didn't have to go to the hospital. I apologized to Rich for scaring the beejeezus out of him, and sat on the edge of the bed, breathing deeply.

My friend Allison, mom to Baby Maggie, wrote me something in an email in response to my happiness that I'd passed my AFP test. "It is a huge weight off the mind but remember, worrying will now be a perpetual state of being for the rest of your life." I guess it already is.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Proud to be a Californian

It's nice to be first.

California Leads in Prevention of Unintended Pregnancies

Ok, so the public education system here may not be so hot, but at least students here attending sex ed classes "learn medically accurate lessons about both abstinence and contraception." Because as we know, abstinence-only sex ed is worthless. So way to go CA!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Good day, (no) sunshine!

What a lovely weekend I've had. No, seriously. I know I was down on Friday, but a little downtime really helped pick the spirits back up. Saturday morning, I went to Heather (former co-owner of A Mano)'s garage sale, as she & husband, and impossibly cute baby are moving back to Portland. Sad to see her go, but I did get to buy some insanely inexpensive yarn from her (7 balls of Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino in light grey and 10 skeins of Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece in ivory) and an adorable sweatsuit for Figgy: black with a baby-size skeleton in white on the front. Since Figgy is due on Oct. 15, it's Figgy's first Halloween costume!

After the sale, Faith & I had a lovely breakfast at Cafe 50's, and then I came home. Rich & I have finally reached our breaking point with boxes (as in, we've lived in this place now for 2 1/2 months, and half of my clothes were still in boxes in our bedroom). So we went through (most of) the boxes and were able to move in the very stylish small dressers that we bought from Faiths sister, Shannon. And now our room looks like a real bedroom. Our living room is now overrun with a multitude of empty boxes, but we're going to take them all to the recycing center on Saturday.

We wound down with the organizing in time for Cinespia, which was showing the classic film-noir, Detour. This 1945 gem was obviously done on the cheap (shots are fliplopped so cars are driving on the left side of the road), but it was really interesting. And the crowd was relatively small and not annoying (ie, unlike last week's showing of The Birds), so it was very enjoyable.

Today, I decided not to take the usual Sunday walk to the Farmers market (Rich was nursing some nasty sinus issues that kept him from sleeping well, so he needed to sleep in), and instead, I headed out to the Melrose Trading Post at Faifax High. I love this flea market. It's the perfect mix of vintage and new, classics and crap. And it's large enough to be worthwhile, but small enough to see everything and still have the rest of your day to yourself. I lucked upon a stash of vintage knitting/craft magazines, inlcuding multiple copies of McCalls Needlework & Crafts, my favorite vintage mag ever. Last year, Ellen directed Faith & I to the motherload estate sale of vintage mags: the Fern Smith sale. While I didn't score anything near as big as the Fern Smith sale today, I did pick up 1 Vogue Knitting magazine (Spring/Summer 1963), 2 Spinnerin knitting pattern magazines (1961 & 1967), and 5 McN&C (1968-1972). Spinnerin magazines are known for their beautiful color photography and fully styled photo shoots (the 1967 mag seems to be shot in a ski lodge). And McN&C is just chock full of every craft you can think of: needlepoint, knitting, crochet, macrame, sewing, string art, latch-hook, embroidery, etc. My Fern Smith collection of McN&C wxtends from 1950-1968/69, with a couple of 70s mags thrown in, but now I'm good through to early 1973. There are some really fascinating items in here, the best being a needlepoint lunar landing, complete with a mini-Earth against an American flag instead of the night sky! I love this stuff.

When i got back, we headed out to our kickball end-of-season "pool" party at the Loews Beverly Hills. Despite the facts that a) it was cloudy and windy and even sprinkling (definitely not swimming weather), and b) I can't drink, it was still a lot of fun.

And on the baby front: it's week 19 and all's well! Annika had her baby (Congratulations, and welcome Samuel William Klein!). Allison has given me permission to out her, as it were, as a fellow October-mama-to-be! I have my next doctor's appointment on Wednesday to get my results of the AFP test (it's all going to be fine, and even if the tests come back positive, something like 80% of those babies are born with nothing wrong). And I get my ultrasound on May 31 to find out Figgy's gender (along with a bunch of medical stuff). With all the male babies around here (Annika's Samuel, Allison's baby-boy-to-be), my conviction that Figgy is male is starting to wane. I guess we'll know in a week and a half.

For now, I'll leave you with a update for week 19: Your baby weighs about 8 1/2 ounces, and he measures 6 inches, head to bottom — about the length of a small zucchini. His arms and legs are in the right proportions to each other and the rest of his body now. His kidneys continue to make urine, and the hair on his scalp is sprouting. This is a crucial time for sensory development: Your baby's brain is designating specialized areas for smell, taste, hearing, vision, and touch. If your baby is a girl, she has an astonishing six million eggs in her ovaries. They'll dwindle to fewer than two million by the time she's born.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

The Baby Blahs

I feel icky.

I've been feeling icky for a good portion of the day, actually. I helped my intern organize a HUGE stash of work videos (b-roll betas, VHS copies, some 3/4" tapes, etc.), and I lifted some big boxes, which didn't feel too heavy at the time, but that, plus standing for 1 hour+ in not the most supportive shoes, and a stuffy office made me feel dizzy. I sat down for a bit, had some yogurt and water, and felt better, but not 100%. I finished with the videos (no more lifting, though. That's what interns are for, even if they're cute little Asian girls), and sat at my desk to play some solitaire for the rest of the afternoon.

I felt good enough to go to SnB, and was ravenous, so I went to the Brazilian place, which is fabulous, but also really, really filling. I didn't realize how stuffed + bloated I was until I got up to leave and touched my stomach (which felt really tight) and almost puked in the parking lot at the Farmer's Market.

What have I learned from this experience?
1. Take it easy. If people want to act concerned, let them. Take advantage of the next few months, because after that, most people will not care if you feel icky.
2. Eat more frequently. And eat smaller meals. I was doing well with that during the first 14 weeks when my morning sickness was pervasive. I had to eat small things all the time just so I didn't puke. But now that the nausea is mostly gone (except for the mornings), I've fallen back on my habit of 2-3 large meals, which certainly is not good, given that I have heartburn and gas anyways, and large meals only make it worse.
3. Wear more supportive shoes. It's only going to get worse from here, so be prepared.

Speaking of be prepared, Annika is in labor right now! And a good friend who is also pregnant just found out she's having a boy! So much pregnancy activity right now. You'd think I'd be feeling more excited about my own, but right now, I'm feeling very blah. I've made 1 baby booty (which was supposed to be for 3-6 months, but my gauge was off, so it's more for a 1-2 year old), and I've done about 2-3 inches on a knit baby hat. That's it.

And I have no motivation to do any more. Maybe it will change when I find out if it's a boy or girl, but maybe not. So I'm moving my crafty mojo back to me. I've always been happier crafting things for me than for gifts for other people, maybe just because I know I'll appreciate it. So for whatever reason, I'm happy making another crocheted shrug from my favorite vintage pattern. I have a few months left to get excited about crafting for Figgy. And I only have a few months left to be selfish. So I'm going to take advantage of the time I have.

Friday, May 12, 2006

The times, they are a changin'

Figgy gets more real to me every day. And not just because I'm still puking (wasn't this supposed to go away by now?). On Wednesday, before Pizza Club, my lovely friend Lynn brought over a bunch of baby stuffy for us.

Including a crib.

One that looks very much like this:

And now it's in our spare room, which now that it has a crib in it, I guess is officially the nursery. It's so bizarre. We've been accumulating stuff (mostly from Lynn) for a while now, a car seat here, an activity mat there, but a) most of those things are in the garage, and b) none of them are quite as big as this crib. It's huge. Lynn's husband, Marty, actually had to take it apart just to fit it through our hallway. It's really kind of freaking me out. It all goes to my friend Allison (mom to Baby Maggie)'s point that babies take 9 months to get here for a reason: you need that long to wrap your head around the fact that everything is about to change.

On the up side, we had a mini preview of how the cats may react to Figgy's arrival. Lynn brought her 2 very well-behaved boys (Jack, age 4 and Ryan, 18 months) with her to drop off the crib. They were both very excited to see Deano, Doyle & Nigella. But's let's just say that Doyle was not so glad to see them. He took one look at those kids and ran into the bedroom, where he cowered around the side of our bed. But Deano was so friendly and gentle! He rubbed against them, flopped for them so they could pet his stomach and even played with toys with them. I was so impressed with him. Doyle's reaction was a bit surprising, as he is normally super friendly and in your face about how happy he is so see you (when our insurance agent came in to show us all our paperwork, he jumped in her lap and wouldn't leave her alone). But I guess kids are different.

On Saturday, I'll be 18 weeks along. Only 2 more weeks and I'll be 20 weeks, which is the official half-way point through the pregnancy (of course, if you want to get into semantics, the first two weeks are technically pre-conception, but blah, blah blah). I know there is so much ahead of me, but it's scary because I feel like the first half has just flown by. There is so much to do and get ready for, and it's a long time and not very much time at all at the same time.

Kendra had the ingenius idea of giving Figgy (if Figgy is a boy) the middle name "Newton," as a little in-joke. Is it terrible that we're actually considering it?

Monday, May 08, 2006

New to me!

It's been a whirlwind last couple of weeks, let me tell you. I've been bad with the not updating, but there is a lot going on.

#1 Baby update. I'm getting big. Probably not so big that other people notice it much, but I totally notice. My waistline is slowly disappearing. It's strange to see it positively melting away before my eyes. I've been getting weird, almost stitch-like pains in my lower right abdomen. I don't think they're major, but they've been around for the last few days. So I'm officially at 17 weeks. And what size is Figgy? Well, last week (despite my nonposting), he/she was the size of a small avocado. Now:
Your baby weighs about 5 ounces now, and he's around 5 inches long — about the size of a large onion. He can move his joints, and his skeleton — until now rubbery cartilage — is starting to harden to bone. His sense of hearing is also developing. The umbilical cord, his lifeline to the placenta, is growing stronger and thicker. An onion! 5 inches is pretty big. And that's actually not counting the length of the legs (until 20 weeks, they don't count since they are curled up so tightly).

#2 Car Update. We bought a new car! Well, new to us, anyway. A 2001 PT Cruiser, with only 22,000 miles, for less than $10,000! The car has automatic everything, leather interior, and it's just awesome. It will be a good family car, which is what we really needed.

#3 Knitting Update. The mohair Tie One On is coming along, altough I didn't pick it up all weekend, which is bad, because I've got to mail it off by Wed/Thursday, and I haven't even gotten to the ties yet! But darn it, it's going to be finished.

#4 Social Update. Cinespia started this weekend! The screenings at Hollywood Forever Cemetary are awesome, and just a fun, communal experience. They started the season on Saturday with The Maltese Falcon, and next week they screen The Birds. I encourage everyone to come out, bring a picnic, some blankets and pillows and enjoy clasic movies under the stars.

That's it for now. I promise pictures of Tie One On once it's finished.