Thursday, March 31, 2005


Any day that starts off with a call from a government agency is never a good day. I've "worked" for the government before and I was hesitant to "work" for the government again. My problem is is that I'm not really employed by the government, I some how get into these "programs". Life in "programs" is different than life as we currently know it in the working world. Agencies get to make up there own rules. In a perfect utopia, these agencies that run the "programs" would be bound to the same laws as every other corporation or small company, but there not. It's kind of like how the Boy Scouts can discriminate against gay leaders and scouts, even though they get government grants and use federal camping grounds for free. It's government funded, yet clearly the "program" breaks government discrimination laws.

I feel like Tiger Woods, standing outside the white-only country club, beating my head against the door, possibly throwing my golf clubs. "I'm qualified!!!" I want to yell. I want to scream at the top of my lungs, "My pregnancy doesn't make me a bad person. It doesn't erase my qualifications. I can be a mother and a community development worker."

My "program" called me today because they were concerned about my pregnancy. Concerned because I would have to use my 10 sick days and 10 personal days to give birth to my child. Any other sick time or recovery time that I needed would disqualify me from the "program". After those twenty days, I could not take another single sick day or go on vacation. There is no maternity leave. There are no personal days.

Unfortunately for me, I believe in responsibilities and honor. I believe that once you commit to something, you shouldn't back out unless you absolutely have to. I still believe in the goals of the "program" and the power of grass-roots activism. God help me, I still want to do follow through with what I signed up to do. I must be insane, but I feel so desperate for someone, anyone to give me a chance to work. There must be a group of people out there that is willing to look beyond my gargantan belly and see something more than a prelactating, bare-foot, knocked-up woman.

I promise if you hire me I'll wear shoes to work. Promise.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005


I need a sponsor.

If there are some kind-hearted people out there that would like to sponsor my love of arts-and-crafts, cooking and cleaning (don't ask, I'm nesting), then please send me $19 a month to share in the joy and beauty of staying at home. Only $19 a month could be the difference between insanity and ultimate laziness. Your contribution could make a vital difference. That, and as my sponsor, I promise to send you a picture every month with a paragraph on my progress and a shot of my ever increasing belly.

You see? I've really enjoyed not working these past four days. I was purusing through Better Homes and Gardens yesterday and I realized that I would be an excellent housewife. I'm not a wife and I don't own a house, but let's not squash my dreams here, people. I was looking at the lovingly stenciled linen hand towels and exotic fruit sorbet and thought: "I would love to stay home and do that." I saw beautiful gardens and momentarily forgot that I can't bend over to my knees, let alone reach into the ground to plant foilage and perennials. Think of all the good I could do!! I could hand knit Christmas stockings for the children at Saint Jude's Hospital. I could hand stencil my cards for every season and even make up my own holidays. I could volunteer to walk all the dogs in my neighborhood and groom cats in my spare time. I could reach iconic status in my community and still watch Trading Spaces every day.

This is truly an amazing turn of events. I went to a liberal, all-women's college that didn't necessarily embrace women staying at home. I'm a hard-core leftist-liberal who at one point in my life, probably equated staying at home and not contributing to society equal to death (I was a melodramatic teenager). I couldn't understand why women would choose to not work until now. All joking aside, I'm not going to become a homemaker anytime soon, but it's been interesting for me to track the urges and impulses of my body as my not-so-little breech boy develops. Being on this side of the reproduction fence as changed my view of the societal landscape.

I once read a great article about a Smith alum that lived as a "lesbian homemaker". She said that she got to enjoy all the great parts of staying at home (like going grocery shopping at 11am and making her own rugs) while rejecting the patriarchial dynamics of a traditional male-female relationship because she lived with a woman. Interesting thought. I, however, don't even need to live with anyone. That is the beauty of being a single Mom-to-be. I just need sponsor. Anyone?


Monday, March 28, 2005


Pregnancy fun keeps going, and going, and going....Doc's office called me today to tell me that the baby is still big and breech. Peanut is so big in fact that after my ultrasound at 36 weeks, they might induce labor. What could be more fun than that? Oh, yeah, a C-section. I actually have no problem with them inducing me earlier. The sooner this child gets out of me, healthy, the better. The fact that it will be early summer instead of late July is just a perk. Beautiful.

In other baby news, my Mom and I made our weekly pilgrimage to Babies R Us and purchased an infant car seat and stroller. The car seat detaches from the base and snaps into the stroller, which is truly a great invention. I'm left wondering, however, how does my child have a bigger car than I do? This thing looks like the Cadillac of strollers, but it was actually cheaper to buy the combo unit than to buy each piece separately.

We also assembled the crib this weekend. It is currently sitting in our living room because I need to vacuum and steam clean the carpet in the nursery (a lot of paint + pregnant woman that is having a hard time bending over + Dad that spilled some paint while trying to stand on a ladder = the need to steam clean). We may have to get one of those cute, over-priced throw rugs that match the crib bedding just to hide all the yellow spots on the carpet. Either that or we can just wait until the baby makes his own yellow spots.

Friday, March 25, 2005


The first thing the FOB did when I told him I was pregnant was to take me to the grocery store where I could buy one of those home pregnancy tests. He wanted to know for sure, dammit, and he believed that a $9 test sold out of the pharamacy next to the condoms and lube was the best way. We brought it back to his apartment, I peed on it, and waited. The packaging told me that I would have to wait up to three minutes to see anything, but that positive results sometimes come faster. Ten seconds later, I was staring at a positive result. TEN SECONDS! The thing changed colors in my hand and I dutifully tromped into the FOB's bedroom with my pee covered stick to show him what can happen after a night in Brooklyn.

I was in denial for a long time after that. "These things could be wrong. I could have ovarian cancer (which can cause false positive results)." At the time, it made more sense for me to believe that I had ovarian cancer rather than a baby growing inside me. It wasn't until 8 or 9 weeks that I actually believed that the whole "baby thing" was real and I breathed a huge sigh of relief after 12 weeks, when my risk of miscarriage dropped significantly. Given my family history of difficult pregnancies, I was never sure that I could carry this baby to term. Each passing month has been a surprise and every morning I wake up, rub my belly, and think, "Good. You're still there. How did you sleep? I slept like shit."

Yesterday, though, at 24 weeks I looked at my precious baby on the ultrasound monitor and realized how much bigger he was than at 20 weeks. I could watch him kick out his legs and feel the kick simultaneously in my uterus. It was surreal. He turned over for us and the technician measured his spine and spinal cord (everything looks good). She measured his head (6 cms!!! That is huge. How is that going to come out of my vagina? I can only dialate to 10cm!) and she measured his legs and arms. She had a hard time getting him to lay still enough to measure his legs, they kept pounding into my bladder. Yup, he's still upright and his feet are doing some serious kicking into my nether regions. The not-so-little breech boy remains breech.

I have to have another ultrasound at 36 weeks to see if he has turned over. If he hasn't, then I have to schedule a C-section. Keep your fingers and toes crossed that that doesn't happen.

Thursday, March 24, 2005


Today is the third big ultrasound day. I would be lying if I said that I wasn't excited to see Peanut in all of his naked, soon-to-be-born in three months, glory. I can't help but worry that there is something wrong with him, though. Besides being huge and breech, I mean.

I am a perpetual worrier, thinly disguised with a laid-back veneer. Motherhood has only exaggerated this trait in me. I worry about everything now. I worry that there is something wrong with his spine and that's why he wouldn't turn over in the last ultrasound. I worry that he will have life-long genetic problems because the FOB and I were drinking on the night he was conceived and I continued to drink until I found out that I was pregnant. I worry that everytime I see a beer commercial I think, "Oh, sweet beer. How I miss your cold goodness," and that now everyone on the internet thinks that I'm a raging alchie (Good news: I'm not. Although I think that pregnancy might be a little easier if we could all have a couple of beers now and then).

I worry about taking care of Peanut. So far I've put a lot of stock into the "naturalness" of motherhood, as in: "I won't worry that I don't know how or how often to breastfeed. I'm sure the kid will figure it out when he gets close to the nipple. It's natural, right?" This is what I tell myself at 3am, at least. I've been reading books and articles on-line, yet my Dad turned to me last night and asked: "At what age can a baby hold its head up on its own?" Ummmm....The theme music to Jeopardy was playing in the background, mocking my ignorance. "What is, 'Whenever it wants to? Alex." Why is my father, the man that raised two girls into women, asking me this? Is he testing me to see if I've read "What to Expect in the First Year" because I haven't? I haven't even finished "What to Expect When You're Expecting" let alone moved on to the first year of childhood.

So, Peanut, this is what you should expect at birth: a neurotic, loving mother, a fantastic Aunt that can help you install your computer or answer any question that you might have from car brakes to genetic research (in fact, we will be keeping Aunt Jen's number on speed dial for a while. At least during your formative years because, let's be honest, I don't know where electricity comes from), two doting and unbelievably excited grandparents that promise to teach you how to pee standing up and later become a honest, good man, and a whole, wacky group of Mommy's friends that can't wait to meet you. Daddy might be around for a little bit, too and hopefully, you will get to meet Daddy's parents, your other grandparents. All and all, kid, that's not too bad. I can't wait to see you today. Make sure you wave so Grandma can see you and try not use Mommy's bladder as a trampoline.

a.k.a. Pregnant in Texas
24 weeks pregnant

Wednesday, March 23, 2005


I'm getting more and more excited to see all of my friends and family at the party in honor of Peanut (otherwise known as a baby shower). The party will be in NYC hosted by the beautiful and wonderful M. and V. (applauding in cyber-space to them for doing this for the baby and I *hugs* *kisses* *ok, maybe a couple of more kisses* blushing...ah, shucks.... GO SMITH CREW!). Every time I think about going to a party in NYC I suddenly get Nelly in running through my head and an odd smile on my face. I'm told that invitations should be sent out soon via e-mail.

You might notice that I've included a link to my baby registries at Babies R Us and Target. Please don't do anything to my registries or try and find my family and I. Basically, I'm trusting you, the blog reader, to not suck. The links are just there if you would like to buy something for me or the baby to help us celebrate the coming of Peanut. Right now the nursery is painted yellow with big white bubbles on the wall. His crib is white (and still not assembled) and his changing table is black. Peanut's Grandma has bought him a couple of stuffed animals and his Grandpa and I went out clothes shopping at the used kids store. Other than that, I've got nothing. Zip. Zero. Unless I buy some more stuff soon, the kid is going to have to be potty trained from birth and I'm going to squirt my breast milk into a Dixie cup throughout the day. Yummm....
" I'm gettin pages out of New Jersey, from Brittany B, tellin me about a party up in NYC. And can I make it? (Damn Right). I be on the (next flight) payin cash, (first class) sittin next to Vanna White" by Nelly "Ride Wit Me"


It is 10:30am, Houston time, and I have not started crying yet, folks. It WILL be a good day. Yesterday just got rougher and rougher after I posted. The FOB and I have hit a new all-time low. He refuses to call me so I call him about once a week, just to see if he's still breathing, going to work, and if his blood alcohol content places him in the "fairly sober" category. He said that I just call him to make sure that he feels like shit- to constantly rub it in his face that he's a bad person. Hmmmm.....anyone have any comments for that? I'm not blameless, however. I turn into this crazy, hormonal, pregnant person when I talk to him that has no relation to the sweet, rational individual that I think I actually (well, occasionally) am. I made the mistake of telling him that I still cared about him and he told me: "there is no way in hell that we are ever getting back together." I started crying. He started yelling at me for crying because, clearly in his mind, I'm just trying to make him feel guilty.

My friends keep telling me to not call him. To tell him to go take a giant leap off of a tall building and raise this child by myself. My brother-in-law recommended that I not claim him as the FOB and get a restraining order against him for harassing me. My father is considering castration and I don't even want to think about what my mother would do if they were in the same room. My sister just went to the restaurant that the FOB works at for dinner, with the before-mentioned B-I-L, and they refused to acknowledge each other. The father of my son and my only sister, refused to even say hello to each other. That's how bad it is. But, I can't cut him out. I just can't. I never thought that I would need him emotionally or that he would be so important to me during this process. I've always been an independent woman, but I didn't create Peanut all by myself and it's hard to claim that I did; that he's "my baby". He's not, folks.

To all of the supportive people in my life, please try and understand that I'm doing the best that I can. I know that you get tired of hearing about Leigh and tired of listening to me cry. One day, I hope to not cry. I hope that I can look at my son and feel proud at how big, strong, loving, and intelligent he is. I hope that the second love of my life (after my cat, Honey) will walk into my life and love Peanut and I as much as all of you do. Please, I know that you mean the best, but I need to go through this incredibly painful part if I can ever accept Leigh as the "father" rather than the "lover" or the "friend".

In baby news, I went to see my favorite OBGYN yesterday for my monthly fifteen minute visit. I peed in a cup, was weighed, had my blood pressure checked, was measured from pubic bone to belly button and pronounced the best heifer at this year's county fair. I'm fattening up nicely, according to the Doc. She told me that at my last ultrasound the baby weighed 12 ounces and was in the 84% for his size and weight. Yup, I've got a monster baby inside me. He's big, he's bad and he knows it. I knew my uterus was hurting for a reason! Ligaments, my ass, this kid is stretching out places that have never been stretched before. I'm going to get another ultrasound tomorrow to check his spine and see what position he's in. If his head is pointing downwards, we're all good. If he's still looking up into my rib cage, well, Houston, we've got a problem.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005


There is a part of pregnancy that no one told me about. Well, two parts really if you include the whole pooping during labor part. I'm talking about constantly spilling things on myself. I don't think that I'm anymore clumsy than I've always been, but somehow I go to work every morning with at least a couple drops of milk or glob of toothpaste on my belly. My BELLY, folks! When is the last time you spilled something and it landed on your stomach? Yeah, I think I was three the last time it happened to me, too. With my stomach sticking out a good four inches past my breasts, liquids and solids that would just normally sail down the front of my body and land on my toes now stop squarely between my boobs and my belly button. It's embarassing. In restaurants I want to explain: "Oh, no. It's completely normal during pregnancy to have food all over the front of you. You know, I am eating for two. He likes to get some of his food subdermally."

I have officially stoppped being able to see my private parts. I went looking the other day, but I couldn't crane my neck far enough out to actually see where the baby would come out. (Hi, Dad! Sorry I'm talking about my vagina on the internet! I'm looking forward to Sex in the City tonight.) I've tried to stay true to the nature of pregnancy: it involves vaginas, periniums, placentas, enemas, foreceps and sometimes even speculums. Having both of my parents, my sister, and several exes read this blog makes me a little shy, however. Fortunately for all of you that I don't know in "real life", or for those that do know me in "real life" and have heard me talk about such matters, I've decided to not censor myself. While I'm not about to call my vagina a "cooter" (sorry SJ) I will not deny its vital existence in this pregnancy and motherhood process. Yesterday, I stopped being able to see it. I will miss you, old friend. The good news is is that in about 16 weeks more people will look at my vagina than I've ever imagined. Ahhh....motherhood. Guess I should make sure that my Mom brings the digital camera.

Monday, March 21, 2005


I know that I'm not the funniest person, either in real life or on the internet. Sure, I can make some people laugh through my witty comments and unique view of the world, but I can also make people very uncomfortable with my straight-forward questions and observations. When one of B's friends asked me what was the hardest part of living in Mongolia, I deadpaned: "The lack of food and water when I was quarantined for the bubonic plague." (True story). She was a little taken aback. This is, of course, something that I find funny. Not many other people do.

So last night I was laying in bed, trying to get Honey to lay down and stop pouncing on my toes, watching "The Roast of Jeff Foxworthy". Was that supposed to be comedy? Dennis Leary was featured on a video clip holding up pictures of comedians at the roast, dismissing each one by saying, "Queer," "Dyke", "Fag". The audience was going crazy. Obviously it was hillarious to call known straight performers deragatory gay names. The mainstream media considers calling a straight man a fag the most potent criticism of his masculinity and threat to his legitimacy. As in, "Don't worry Jeff. This guy might be giving you a hard time, but he's a flaming homo." Oh. OK. I get it. It should only hurt your feelings when heterosexuals (i.e. people that you respect) make fun of you. Glad I got that cleared up before my son gets here.

The issue of multiculturalism and "respect for all" came up again this weekend. My Mom and I went shopping on Sunday for arts, crafts, and lullabies. I know, I'm the biggest wuss this side of the Mississippi. I'm only one step away from making my own paper and cloth. Anyways, at the world's largest bookstore, we picked out a cd that celebrates "the universal tradition of lullabies and soothing songs from around the world." I've been listening to it non-stop, wondering if my baby is learning Spanish while I'm writing this blog. "A La Nanita Nana" is playing right now, which is one of my favorites. Unfortunately, most of the songs on the cd sound like they came directly from the Titanic sound track, but that doesn't keep me from exposing my fetus to "mulicultural music". I'm as guilty as every other politically correct liberal. At least I'm not going to call Judy Collins a "dyke" or a "bitch" just because I don't like her music. She would have to do something much worse for me to do that. Like kill my cat. Or turn off my cable.

Friday, March 18, 2005


I've decided to take the position at the second non-profit (I know anonymity is getting hard to understand here, but bear with me). I signed the paperwork and faxed everything back. I even went on line and "officially" accepted the assignment after they had "officially" accepted me. It's so nice to be wanted. I feel...accepted. Crazy, I know. But you have to think about what my life would be like if I didn't have a job. Being a stay at home mom (SAHM) is one thing, but being a stay at home pregnant woman (SAHPM) = a woman with too much time on her hands. Even women on bed rest have said that they eventually go completely insane and want to kill their husbands/partners. Can you imagine the kind of harassing phone calls that the FOB would get if I didn't work? Or, even worse, can you imagine how much of my day I would spend trying to not call the FOB? It boggles my mind.

I broke down today after reading this woman's baby journal. If you've never known a pregnant woman, or if you aren't pregnant yourself, you might not understand. You might think that I'm crazy and you might be right. I feel guilty because I can't imagine wrapping my imiginary arms around my unborn baby. I feel like the women I read about love their babies more. My baby is still unknown to me. I don't know what he likes me to eat (except that I know pesto makes me want to vomit. This may or may not be baby related), what position he likes me to sleep in, or what music calms him. I sometimes put my hands on my belly, spreading my fingers wide, and shake; just to see what happens. Nothing ever happens. I tried to move my belly to the beat of rap songs, to see if he likes them, but I don't get anything. At 23 weeks, my child is essentially an idea: a physical reality only manifested by my huge belly and swollen breasts.

While sitting in front of my computer screen crying, I called the FOB, but he fortunately had gone to work. It was probably for the best that we didn't talk. He wouldn't have understood.


Ahhh....suki, suki, now. Time for more cute baby pictures, but only if someone tells me where the week went. It's actually a blessing to have time go by quickly. Trust me. I've lived in a place where every hour stretched to infinity and contemplating the hours stacked upon hours was enough to make me go out of my mind. Literally.

Here is Jayiden Shannon Marie. Apparently someone in her family couldn't decide what her middle name should be so they gave her two. Jaiyden gets extra snaps for having a daddy, in general, but specifically having a daddy that wears his baseball hat backwards in a hospital and rests his little one on his big belly. I don't know what's funnier about that picture: where the baby is laying or the look on her daddy's face. He's kind of like, "What the f**k have I gotten myself into?"

By now you all know that I'm a complete sucker for pictures with Dads and babies. I'll probably end up being one of those freaky women that go to malls and cry when they watch Dads playing with their kids. Nevertheless, this is Logan Alex, born on March 12th at 34 weeks. He is not a happy pumpkin in this shot. I probably wouldn't be happy if I had to leave my womb six weeks early, either. I'm not even happy when I have to get out of bed thirty minutes early.

Connor and Candance, some March twins, look like they could be frontrunners in the next "Look Who's Talking" casting call. Welcome to the world, Candace and Connor.

Thursday, March 17, 2005


At the beginning of this post, I would like to say hi to Paul, who is struggling with job matters as well. Paul *raising my imaginary tom Cass in salute* if we keep our heads out of our assses we'll eventually find jobs. At least that is what I keep telling myself.

This morning I woke up with a case of severe second guessing. The interview went well yesterday, although they didn't ask me any questions, other than: "What are your experiences working with a diverse, low-income population?" Hmmmm.....anyone that has lived in a third-world country should get to be exempt from that question. The real question should have been: "Tell me about the time when your director tried to borrow $200 from you, even though $200 U.S. dollars is a small fortune in Mongolia. How did you handle that?" So, either the folks at the non-profit felt they already knew enough about me to offer me the job, or they knew enough that they didn't really care. Either way, they apparently knew enough. I'm taking lessons from "Sex in the City" now. My Dad and I watched it on Tuesday and we both agreed that more people should take the phrase, "Maybe he's just not that into you," to heart. Maybe the non-profit was just not that into me.

So, this morning I realize that I'm not sure I want to work 60 hours a week with no overtime or dental insurance. Part of the non-profit job would be to work for 8 hours and then teach classes at night, for another 3 hours. I realized that after my four weeks of maternity leave in July, my five-week old son would have to go more than 11 hours without sucking from the breast of life. That's a long time. Even if he wasn't breast feeding, 11 hours is a long time for any child to go without seeing a parent and this kid has only got one parent, me. Now, my Mom and Dad would love nothing more than three uninterrupted hours with their grandson after they pick him up from day care. I even realize that breast pumps were invented for situations like this, but is that what I want? Working is an economic reality for Peanut and I. Exploitation is not.

I have a couple of days to ruminate about this. I'm not supposed to hear back from the non-profit until Monday. Until then, I'm going to call back a couple of the banks that have contacted me and see where that goes. Job searching would be so much better if I could drink....

Wednesday, March 16, 2005


Man, I thought that I was the first one of the M-13, Peace Corps crew to have a baby. Apparently, I'm behind the times. This is Deb's baby, Marjorie Siemhong Junkoon, and her husband, Pao. She was born on February 19, 2005 at 11:14am, Thailand Time. The baby was born via C-section 9 weeks early and weighed only 3 pounds. Deb, if you are out there. I'm wishing you and little Margee the best right now. Take care of yourself. God bless and enjoy having some sex for me.Posted by Hello Many thanks to Elana, who sent me that e-mail.

So, speaking of sex.....I've got a half-hour to kill before my interview and some folks, namely a certain Fullbright scholar in Kazakstan, would like me to explain "how I got pregnant". OK- here it goes P....I got pregnant, well, as near as we can tell, in Brooklyn, NY at M.'s wedding. I blame a large quantity of champagne, the wonderful sight of my good friends and some really kick ass wedding cake. The FOB and I were staying in Anne's apartment, and for those of you that know Anne, you will know why that is such a twist to the story. The FOB and I couldn't afford a hotel room......yada, yada, yada, the rest is history.

Now the important parts of the story are these: I have been on birth control, off and on, since I was fourteen for menstrual problems. I was on birth control in college, in Mongolia and certainly in New Hampshire. Two things occured simultaneously that fateful night in October. 1) There was a national shortage of my regular birth control brand (as in not even WalMart could get it in) and I had switched to another dosage and brand of the Pill. 2) I had an abscess tooth that was killing me. I went to my dentist and he gave me intense antibiotics for the infection. By the time that I was diagnosed, the infection was starting to go down my throat, into my ears and causing me discomfort in my chest. Neither the doctor nor the pharmacist told me that taking this particular kind of antibiotic could negate the effects of birth control. I don't really blame these folks for not telling me, although it certainly would have been nice. Most likely the information was in that little white, folded piece of paper that you get stapled to your prescription. The warnings about birth control were probably hidden among my increased risk of high blood pressure and stroke.

By the time that I had the root canal, a month later, the doctor looked at what medications I was taking and told me that I should be using another form of birth control to stop unwanted pregnancies. Hmmm....good information. Can anyone guess what had ALREADY happened by that point? Yup. I was pregnant.

About a week after my root canal, I went to my friendly Planned Parenthood location for a yearly checkup. I peed in a cup and thought they were testing for a urinary tract infection. Turns out, while they had the urine, they tested it for everything. I had a UTI and a fetus. I sat there in stunned silence and asked the question that everyone asks upon hearing this news: "Are you sure?". Yes, she was sure. The downside about finding out that you're pregnant in a Planned Parenthood is that my nurse started whipping out brochure after brochure. I could have a medical abortion, a surgical abortion, a third-party adoption, advanced pre-natal care, and, my personal favorite, "Signs that you might be pregnant". Could have used that brochure before. She just kept handing me things and my mind kept numbly repeating, "I'm pregnant. How could I get pregnant? I was on the pill. Is she sure that I'm pregnant?" It was like falling down a deep well....every question led to another question. I left the office with a wad of used Kleenex and no less than eight brochures.

I drove to the FOB's restaurant and found him. He was wondering why I would be crying after going to the doctor (which is never a good sign) and I told him the news. He said that after he heard the words, "I'm pregnant," everything just went blank. He's pretty sure that I kept talking, but all he heard was the rushing roar of blood surging into his head as he tried to comprehend what I had said. That was November 15th. I quit smoking, drinking and taking birth control pills that day. For a while, I had stopped taking the anti-depressants, but my therapist said something like, "For the love of God, woman, go back on them." Well, those weren't her exact words. OK, maybe it was more like, "I think that you have a lot to handle right now and abruptly stopping your medication may not be the best way to cope with everything." So I went back on. Woo-hoo! Meds + Early pregnancy hormones = One chipper mom-to-be.

That's the story. Gotta go and dance for the organ grinder. Dance - monkey - DANCE!


Deb's baby Posted by Hello

Tuesday, March 15, 2005


It's not just that on Friday I had a job offer and by Monday they had decided not to hire's not just the fact that everytime I go and interview or meet new people, I'm more pregnant and more self-conscious about my's not just that Leigh told me that he slept with another woman after I left New Hampshire, but that I shouldn't feel bad because "it was only a one-night stand"'s not just the fact that my nipples have started leaking colustrum (pre-lactation. Yumm....low in fat, high in carbohydrates and protein. Beat that, Atkins dieters!) even before the start of my third trimester.....It's none of these individual facts. It's all of them.

I really don't want to be a depressed mother. Peanut deserves more than that. I've battled with depression ever since Mongolia and, for the most part, I've climbed uphill, but have managed to see the horizon. I feel like I'm slipping back under. The cummulative effect of being single, pregnant, and jobless weighs heavy on me. I'm sleeping a lot more and it's getting harder and harder to wake up in the morning because I don't want to face another day. I'm not sure what to do. Peanut and I are already on anti-depressants (I'm sorry, baby! The doctors keep telling me that it's safe and that you'll grow up to be strong and happy, but I worry. Is it going to be like DDT in the 1970s, where everyone thought it was safe? Or like when they found out that taking estrogen suppliments during menopause can increase your risk of breast and cervical cancer?). I don't have a therapist yet in Texas. I need to get one.

*Update* I called some therapists this afternoon and hopefully one of them will call me back. I also have a second interview set up for tomorrow at 11am at another non-profit. Wish me luck. This time, if I get a job offer, I'm asking for it in writing. Maybe blood. I'm definately heading into the private sector if these folks don't want to hire me.

Monday, March 14, 2005


Ignore everything that I wrote in the last post. I received a call from the agency this morning telling me that they had changed their mind and, infact, were not planning on hiring me. They decided that since I did not speak fluent Spanish and I was overqualified for the position, they would not hire me. Can someone please explain to me how I can be simultaneously over and underqualified? Please. They decided that someone in the office would handle the Lending and the Government position would only handle post-purchase counseling. What a difference a weekend can make...

What do I have to do to get a break?


Hard to believe that it is almost half-way through March already. Where did February go? Spring and Fall are my two favorite times of year because although you want to hold on to every ounce of every beautiful day, you can't. They slip out of your fingers, only to be replaced by a never-ending winter (in NH) or an unbelievably hot summer (in TX). Their fleeting beauty is what makes them the most memorable of the seasons.

You know, for a single pregnant woman, I write about the weather a lot. I wonder what that means.....Well, the fax machine has been ringing off the hook here at the office. The head boss posted an ad in the paper for an administrative assistant and the poor folks of Houston have been jumping at the chance. There must easily be 100 applicants already.

Fortunately, I don't have to do that anymore. My job search has come to an exciting end. Late on Friday I e-mailed the woman I will eventually be working with and she called my cell phone soon after. She told me that one of the reasons that the agency took so long to get back to me with their decision was because they needed to get approval to rewrite their AmeriCorps grant. Based on my previous grant-writing experience in Mongolia and my finance work, they wanted to include those skills in the grant. So, I will now be working as a housing counselor for low-income, first-time home buyers and researching the opening of the agency's Lending Department. Cool, huh? I was pretty stoked......although I'm such a sucker for substantive work with no pay. Since this is considered a "volunteer" position, you might be thinking that I'm crazy for accepting it, but let's compare it to my current job:

Current Pay: $1,100 a month after taxes
New gig: $800 a month

Current health benefits: $0
New gig: Doesn't include any prenatal or delivery costs for Peanut, but will include him and I once he is born and he is no longer classified as a "preexisiting condition".

Current child care support: $0
New gig: $300 a month

Current education reimbursement: $0
New gig: $5,000 after one year of service.

All and all, not bad. As I told one of my interviewers on the phone: "It's hard to live at the poverty level, whether you're choosing to or whether you're trying to get out of it. Either way, it's hard." The educational reimbursement will cut my student loans almost in half and the experience that I'll gain from doing lending and credit analysis will help me work in the international micro-lending field (for an explanation of micro-lending check out this agency or even these folks). Well, that is the plan at least.

I'm more amazed that an agency is willing to take a risk to hire a six-month pregnant woman. By the time I go to the preservice orientation, I'll be closer to seven months a long and I'll feel sorry for anyone that they put in a hotel room with me in Austin, TX. I go pee at least five times a night. At least in Austin I won't have to put up a mosquito net and go renegade on the blood-sucking bastards with old copies of Newsweek, like I had to in Darkhan, Mongolia, just to get a decent night's sleep. Domestic non-profit work does have its benefits.

Friday, March 11, 2005


What time is it? Oh, yeah. You all know the's CUTE BABY FRIDAY!!!!

Here is Keegan James, born July 1, 2004. Quite a handsome little man with a shirt on his head, if I do say so myself.

This is Molly Rose, born September 24, 2004. She definately wins the award for "best hair of a newborn" in the cutie category.

Abby Brynn's parents did a good job making her look cute in this bath shot, but just to show you how cute she can look all on her own, I've included this shot. She was born on July 28, 2004.

Just so you all don't think that I'm deglecting the March 2005 newborns, check out these cute arrivals to the world:

Samantha Reese, Jacinta Gabrielle, and Isabella Elizabeth

In the land of Daddy's that care, this Dad wrote a heart-breakingly beautiful piece to his unborn son, Ayden Brody, who came on March 2nd:

"I am Brad, I am the daddy of this new life. My excitement level for the birth of my first child is overwhelming. I feel great anticipation for my baby boys life to enter mine. I am proud to be having my baby with a woman that loves children as much as I do. It has been very hard for me to process everything that is going on, but overall, I can only think about this miracle and what I come up with is, no matter what happens, that child has my blood and I am a father. The only thing better than that thought would be if I could go through the whole experience myself (but I dont have a womb). I'm jealous of Jen, she has the connection I can never have. That connection being the pregnancy, and she deserves it. It brings light to her very trying life and my equally trying life. Thats why I feel this is perfect for us. With all that said, I love Jen and that baby sooo much that I would die protecting both of them. Cant wait!See you soon Ayden! I love you."

Does anyone want to guess how much that made me cry? Anyone? Yes, the back row. Yup, I cried my hormonal eyes out when I read this. I want to print out every post that this guy has written and mail it to the FOB. I want to call this man and encourage him to start a support group for "Men With Babies" and somehow force the FOB to go to it. I wish that there were "Daddy surrogates"; men and women that would come and protect single pregnant women on a rotating basis, rub their backs and read the baby stories through Mom's swollen belly.

P.S.- No news on the non-profit front. I have a telephone interview today at 11am with another agency in the non-profit sector and two phone calls to follow up with in the private sector.

Thursday, March 10, 2005


Me to Head Boss as I walked in the office door: "Dude, I, like, totally woke up late this morning. I was going to call, but I didn't think you would be here."

Me: kicking myself in the ass for actually saying that aloud. Watch head boss raise his eyebrows.

Head Boss: "I was getting worried about you. I almost called the temporary agency."

Me: "Whoa, dude, that would have been, like, totally unnecessary. I'm here. I'll call next time."

Head Boss: "*grumble, grumble* OK"

I'm in the headachy, no-shower fog that accompanies a late morning. My hair is greasy, the baby doesn't like that I stopped for McDonalds on the way in to work, and I feel like I couldn't think a coherent thought if someone paid me. Wait, someone is paying me. Crap. If this is the start of the day, I don't want to see the end.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005


Early mornings are so beautiful in my part of Houston that it makes me wake up cranky. Does anyone really need to hear birds chirping and have the sunlight hit them full in the face to have a good morning? Is that necessary? Growing up in Seattle, the weather was consistent: rainy, cloudy, or a rainy and cloudy mix. I'm not sure I can handle a suburbia where the kids wait in their driveways to get on the bus every morning with the sun glinting off of their designer backpacks. Every school day at 8:20am there is a line of pubescent kids waiting in driveway after driveway for the bus. They don't congregate together and belittle each other, like I remember so vividly from my childhood. They don't even walk to the next driveway over to make fun of what the kid next door is wearing. It's creepy if you ask me. Kids should wait for the bus together and every morning the weather should mirror my dread of going to work.

While at work I at least have a lot of time to blog and respond to e-mails. Several people have been e-mailing me asking me if I've thought of any boy names. I have. I would say that I've narrowed it down to a top five:

1. Zachary
2. Gabriel
3. Nathan
4. William (after the FOB's Dad, who I actually like)
5. Michael (the FOB's choice)

The middle name will be Russell, which is a family name. Just to make this a more interactive decision, you can vote for which name you like best in the comment section. Happy voting and wake me up when you've come to a decision!

Tuesday, March 08, 2005


Sorry for the delay in posting Peanut's ultrasound pictures. I found some time to scan in his pictures this morning so I can share them all with you. The pictures make sense to me, but it's probably the same way that a mother of sextuplets can tell the difference between all of them. Don't worry if all you see are a couple of gray and black blobs. Trust me, there is a baby there.

Speaking of babies, I've either had some gas to end all gas or the little one has been remodeling my uterus. I feel a lot of little.....hmmm....this is hard to explain, little "somethings" from deep down inside. It's kind of like the feeling you get when you have diarrhea (I'm a former Peace Corps Volunteer. I can talk about diarrhea until I'm blue in the face and until you are throughly disgusted.) and your intenstines keep rumbling until you feel like you are going to explode. It's a little like that. Maybe he's kicking. Maybe he's setting up a wet bar and a basketball hoop. Maybe I'm eating too much corn. Who knows?

I should hear back from the non-profit by Thursday. I found out some disturbing news about government programs for pregnant women. Here is my letter in response to the news:

"Dear Uncle Sam:
I'm tired of hearing you wax on and on about 'family values' when you make it almost impossible to raise a family. Your government insurance plans consider pregnancy a pre-existing condition and refuse to cover prenatal and delivery costs. Come on, now. You can do better than that! If I didn't have private health care right now, I would have to learn off of the Internet how to deliver a baby at home and hope for the best. Our infant mortality rates continue to climb as you consistently undercut female health care. How about some subsidized child care? How about some paternal or family maternity leave? Just some things for you to think about.

Pregnant in Texas


It's definately a boy. The large black hole on the right hand side of the picture is actually Einstein's theory of relativity in action. Just kidding. It's his bladder, surrounded by hip bones. Those are his legs on the left hand side of the picture and the arrow is pointing down to Peanut's peanut. Posted by Hello


This is the 20-week ultrasound. You can see his head, eyes, nose, mouth, and ribs. That is his arm sticking up there in the middle of the screen. He was a little miffed that the technician kept shaking my belly to get him to roll over. He didn't want to roll over, dammit, and no one was going to make him. Posted by Hello

Monday, March 07, 2005


It is raining again in Houston....75 degrees and raining, in March. I would be lying if I said that I didn't love it. What is not to love? I can run out to my car in my bare feet without getting hypothermia or frostbite. I can play with Honey outside while sitting on a folding camping chair and reading People magazine in the sunshine. If I were inclined to ride a bicycle or jog a couple of blocks, I could do that. That is part of the beauty of living in a sub-tropical climate. The downside of Houston weather is that I've got four more months to go before my son makes his appearance in the world and it's only getting hotter from here. I'm already sleeping in nothing but a t-shirt, and waking up drenched in sweat. Between the sweating, the peeing and the crying once the baby is born, it's not likely that I'm going to get a full night's sleep until sometime in the next decade or so....right around junior's fifth birthday.

That's life, right? At least life for a pregnant woman living in a town that one of my friends christened, "Hell on Earth". But regardless of where you live, what is the difference between a "pregnant woman" and a "knocked up" woman? I can tell you that my Dad abhors the latter phrase, especially when I'm standing in the kitchen, muttering into a pot of spaghetti, "What do I know? I'm just knocked up 24 year-old living with my parents." To me, though, being knocked up is more a state of being rather than an actual socio-economic classification. A 'pregnant woman' probably had someone hand her a towel and rub her back after she puked up cranberry juice and an Egg McMuffin during her first trimester. A 'knocked up woman' had to go to her midwife alone when she was sick because the baby's Daddy was too hung over to go with her. I imagine a 'pregnant woman' going with her partner to lovingly hand-select each item on her baby registery, while a 'knocked up' woman wonders if she should even bother putting the father's name on the birth certificate. 'Pregnant women' get to share in the excitement of other 'pregnant women' while a 'knocked up woman' lives a life punctuated by people that would be happy for her if they didn't see her headed for financial and emotional disaster.

Any age, race, sexuality or class of woman can be 'knocked up'. It really is non-discriminatory, marked only by the opposing characteristics of strength and dispair. I don't even view it as a deragatory phrase. It just is. By proclaiming my 'knocked up' status, I'm saying that my baby is joining a long line of other babies that were born out of love in the worst circumstances. That's all, Dad. I'm not saying that I'm completely alone or that I don't appreciate all the love from my friends and family. Trust me, I do. Most of all, though, I will always be grateful for you and Mom: for the love, support and kindness that you have given to me and your grandson, no matter what words are tainted by my sarcasm.

Friday, March 04, 2005


I can remember when once upon a time I defended the FOB against people that called him a "drunken-deadbeat-asshole-without-two-cents-to-rub-together-to-know-what-he-will-miss-if-you-and-the-baby-leave". Yeah, once upon a time I used to protest: "Well, he's actually a really nice guy and he makes me laugh." He hasn't made me laugh in a very, very long time. Almost everytime I think about him I burst into tears of anger or sorrow. I just got off the phone with him where he told me that he had five minutes to talk because he needed to get into the shower. Hmmmm....he couldn't postpone that, huh? I tried to wrap up what the lawyer and doctor told me yesterday in under five minutes. This is what the FOB gives me: five minutes.

In those five minutes he once again repeated his lame-ass reasons why he can't be a part of his son's life. In no particular order, those reasons are: his friends, his job, his house (which he is currently renting from me), his family and his dog. His dog ranks higher than his son. When things in NH reached the un-safe barrier, I packed up and hightailed it to TX where I could raise my child in peace without the constant smell of marijuana and Jack Daniels. I didn't want to move to TX. I can easily think of five other cities that I would rather be in than Houston, but I moved because having my Mom and Dad's support was the best thing for me and the baby. Yes, I put the needs of the baby OVER my pathetic desire to have a social life and friends that I can drink Earl Grey tea with. I moved because in my heart I knew that he'd never move for our child. He will never be the father I hoped that he would be because he is not the man that I thought he was. His selfish desires and the ability for him to get "drunk and laid" easily are more important than the child he created.

Well, I am now declaring it open season on deadbeat fathers. If anyone would like to call the FOB and tell him what you think about him, e-mail me or leave a comment in this post and I'll send you his home and work phone number (I'd give you his e-mail address, but he doesn't use the Internet). I'm tired of defending him. He is now dealing with one pissed off pregnant woman.

Thursday, March 03, 2005


The interview at the non-profit agency did not go well yesterday. I had this feeling that the director I was meeting with would be tougher than the woman I had my first interview with (who loved me, I might add). They scheduled the two interviews over a week-and-a-half apart, which was ridiculous because I actually only needed one interview with the director herself. I got my hopes up in the interim. Plain and simple.

Without divulging too much information, I applied for a government program that places volunteers in non-profit organizations and schools. You have to take a preservice orientation class before you can start working and the next pso isn't until May. This fun government program also has rules like: "No xxxxx can take a leave of absence within the first three months of their assignment. Taking a leave of absence without preauthorization results in immediate termination." Let's do the math: If I start on May 1st and the baby is due on July 15th.....oh, it looks like I just missed that cutoff. If only I could keep the baby inside until August! But wait, that sounds like hell. I don't want to do that. So, the non-profit folks are e-mailing my Texas representatives of the Government Program to see if either I could start earlier or get the magic preauthorization to have my baby on time.

Once again I am at the mercy of a government program that doesn't know me, doesn't care about me, but gets to make decisions regarding my life. The other fun implication of this "to preauthorize or not preauthorize" dilemma is that if they choose to not allow me to take this job, if the non-profit offers it to me, and go on maternity leave, I will be barred from every other program that starts at the same time. Apparently the birth of my child interrupts their government schedule.


I don't usually post twice in the same day, but I thought I should explain why I have hidden some of the comments and made changes to my template. I would say that it is all because of this woman Her blog, "The Sarcastic Journalist," is one of the funniest things I've ever read. She believed that her blog was protected under Freedom of Speech. Well, unfortunately, her employers didn't feel that way and fired her for "bad mouthing the company." She thought that she was letting off steam. They thought that she was a detriment to public relations. Guess who won? Yup, they fired her at 28 weeks pregnant.

This is a cautionary tale for bloggers, including myself. Since I would like to keep my job and enjoy the thought of possibly being hired in the future, I changed the blog a little to make it more annonymous. Sure, I'm paranoid. I'll admit it, but I bet the Delta flight attendant that was just fired for posting pictures of a Delta airplane thought that no one read her blog either.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005


Last night my Dad and I were sitting down to night of unmitigated television watching; interrupted only by talking about pizza, eating pizza, then feeling sick from eating too much pizza. The television viewing started with American Idol then segued nicely into Sex and the City on TBS (not just one episode mind you, two of them). But since Sex and the City was orginally an hour show, the shows on TBS are editted down to 35 minutes, which really messes up our television viewing. At 9:05 my Dad says, "You should probably turn it to channel 69," Occassionally I forget that channel 69 is actually the Bravo channel. I stop and wonder if I'm turning onto some secret porn channel. Then I wonder why my Dad is telling me to watch it. Then my curiousity gets the better of me and turn the channel anyways.

It was Queer Eye for the Straight Guy!!! My all-time favorite show. I love my Dad for remembering to tell me to watch it. I love him even more for watching it with me and laughing at the gay jokes, like Carson saying: "It's ok if you want to make out with me. We could go into the dressing room and just get it on." Beautiful. Well, last night they had this straight actor/banker that was trying to break into full-time acting. The weird part is, the guy kept crying, on camera. I don't mean choking up, eyes slightly watering. I mean, full out weeping. He did it no less than four times. My Dad and I looked at each other, each of us thinking: "What kind of pansy-ass is this guy?" In the backstory, it came out that the guy was raised by his Greek Mom and Aunt. Yup. Now it is starting to make sense. Clearly there was no masculine figure around in his formative years to teach him to bottle those emotions up and stop acting like a sissy cry-baby. I was born without a penis, but even I got that message.

Now, don't get me wrong. Crying is a wonderful human emotion that should be expressed when needed. Males, females, transgenders, or gender-less people should all cry.... to a point. Many single Moms have reported that their sons are the most empathetic in their elementary school classes and that their little boys will still hug and kiss them well into puberty. Fabulous. I can't wait to have that kind of relationship with my son. I love hugging and kissing. I just need to find some volunteers that will teach him: that occasionally punching on the shoulder and saying, "All right, buddy, I'll see you around," is just as acceptable as hugging. There is beauty in a well thrown fast ball. It is never ok to fight to defend your own ego, you should instead only fight to defend the honor or safety of your friend/date. Finally, if you are going to fight (at a last resort), you should make sure that you kick the crap out of the person so they can't run after you. That's all I'm asking for. After all, I'm going to teach him that his Mom is the greatest woman on Earth; followed shortly by his Grandma and Aunt Jen. All women deserve kindness and that most of the time when you cry, it will be because someone has broken your heart or dissapointed you.

PS - The interview at the non-profit agency is today at 3pm. I'll blog about it tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005


Yesterday at work my cell phone rang, which is unusual because I don't get that many calls at work. It was the OB-GYN's office calling to tell me that the results of my pap smear and ultrasound had come back. All of the really bad stuff was negative (HIV, gonorrhea, the clap, yeast infection) and all of the pretty good stuff tested positive (healthy cervix and baby that likes to move around). Then she told me that during my ultrasound, the baby was in the breech position. You are probably thinking: "Babies move all the time. Just wait fifteen minutes, take a picture and then it won't be in that position anymore." But, it's not that. I was on that ultrasound table for almost an hour and a half. The procedure took so long because the baby wouldn't turn over onto its stomach. The technician wanted to count his vertebrae so she kept shaking my belly, having me roll over onto my sides and finally just waiting. She said that the baby was having a hard time switching positions.

I now have to go back for another ultrasound in four weeks (24 weeks) to see what position the baby is in. If he is still facing the world butt first then I'll have another ultrasound at 36 weeks. If we are still looking breech, then they will talk about scheduling a C-section. According to some of the research I've read, midwives and doctors have gotten out of the practice of vaginally delivering breech babies because of the complications involved. The rates of C-sections are soaring. If the baby comes out butt or feet first, the cervix might not be dilated or stretched far enough to allow the head to come out. Once the umblical cord is exposed to air, it starts to congeal and stops providing oxygen to the baby. The baby suffocates while trapped inside the woman.

There are a lot of reasons why a baby could be breech at 20 weeks: birth defects, a sign of premature birth, misshapen uterus, too much amniotic fluid, too strong of abdominal muscles, placeta prevaria or the baby could just like facing that way. No one really knows. I'm scared right now and trying to convince myself that everything is going to be ok. When I got home from work I laid down in my bed and cried. I felt so alone and so terrified that something might be wrong with the baby. At my most upset I realized that I wasn't feeling my heartbeat in my stomach anymore, I was feeling something else. It felt like a fluttering of fingers or butterfly wings, but it came from the inside. It was my son.