Tuesday, May 31, 2005


I'm not sure how this can go on for 3-6 more weeks. Every night I have Braxton-Hicks contractions for an hour or so and then I get massive heart burn. This morning, I started having contractions on my way to work...with the funnest part of that being that I'm having "back labor". For those of you not familiar with this fun term, it basically means that with every contraction, a bloom of pain spreads through the lower back. I can literally feel it start at a central point and then radiate outward (imagine putting a drop of food coloring into a clear glass of water. That's a little of what it feels like).

Every says that I'm probably due any day now, but I'm getting sucked into the mindset of "I don't think I can do this for much longer." The "take one day at a time" mentality is being drowned out by the "I feel like I want to curl up in a ball and die" feeling.

Yes, I'm being dramatic. Yes, I will even say that I'm being ridiculous. Bite me. You go to work every day with a huge kid, have everyone that you run into, from casual acquaintances to perfect strangers tell you how big you are, deal with back pain every twenty minutes or so, and then tell me how you are feeling. I for one, want to go home.

Monday, May 23, 2005


It is the number's fault. I never should have looked down at the stupid electronic scale and looked at the number. I've gone eight months without knowing my weight and then, suddenly, out of the blue, I was drawn to the blinking red light like a deer to a salt lick. I had to know. Maybe it was the fact that the nurses in the hospital were less than thrilled because I didn't know my weight. They kept asking me things like: "You really don't know? You don't even have a clue how much you weigh?" "Nope," I replied, "everyone else seems so concerned about it that I figured enough people were worried about it." I swear to you that my labor and delivery nurse rolled her eyes and then tightened the staps on the fetal heart monitor until my uterus felt like it was going to explode. That was what she thought about personal "Don't ask - don't tell" policy.

My OB-GYN just recently looked at my weight and laughed. While holding my chart and laughing she said, "You must have had a good month. You gained ten pounds." In my stupidity I asked, "Is that a lot?" How did I know if that was a lot? She looked at me, not laughing anymore, and said, "Yeah. That's a lot."

Maybe that is why I wanted to know my weight. Whatever the reasons, I now blame the number for my decrease in self-esteem. I feel huge. I never in my life thought that I would be this weight. None of my maternity clothes fit me and every night I lay in bed praying that my back will stop hurting. My feet have been turning purple from excessive swelling and this morning at work someone looked at me and said, "You sure have a big ol' baby in there." Thanks. Maybe you would just like to comment on my stretch marks and three chins while you're at it. Maybe I could show you my ass that looks like it's been hit by buckshot from a shotgun. Or maybe, just maybe, you could let me be miserable in peace.

As I said, it's all the number's fault. Ignorance is bliss.

Friday, May 20, 2005


Wow, it has been almost a month since my baby shower, and I haven't posted any pictures or blogged about it. My sincere apologies for those of you that were holding your breath waiting for me to post about the event. On the positive side, you can't die by refusing to breathe...you pass out and start breathing again. Interesting fact, no?

So, the group picture that I've posted on the bottom of this post is all of the Smith women at the shower. I'll keep their names annonymous (sorry if I spelled that wrong Pam!), but I must say that they are some of the most amazing women that I've ever been privileged enough to know. These women have been my friends, confidants, and supports for over four years. That may not seem like an extremely long time, but for me, it is everything. My friend V., one of the hosts of the party and looking lovely in this picture, was my only visitor when Peace Corps hospitalized me in D.C. It was easily one of the most challenging times in my life and she just came. She didn't question or judge. She brought me interesting books and a journal to record my thoughts. I just e-mailed M., the other hostess of the party and beautiful New Yorker extraordinaire, and said that clearly I should run all of my relationship choices by her from now on because she has always given me brutally honest advice about love and sex. Even when I still believed that the FOB could be a man that I could respect and love, she knew that while the fantasy was important to my heart, it would never be a reality.

Ahh...and that leads us to the FOB. I invited him to his son's baby shower, but he didn't attend. Actually, he got the dates confused and then didn't attend. Either way, he missed out on having twelve intelligent women and one pissed off Mother-of the-Grandbaby jump on him. One week after the baby shower, he was fired from his restaurant job for insubordination and I don't think that I've ever been angrier at him. How could he yell at his boss about something as stupid as serving five people instead of ten people at a table (it was a ten-person reservation) when he has a son on the way? Doesn't he realize that he has a family? The most surprising thing about him losing his job is how little it has affected me. He never gave me money before and he doesn't now. Thankfully, because I no longer live with him, I don't have to pay his share of the rent or buy his groceries because he's jobless. I'm free. It reminds me of the Destiny's Child's song: "I'm a survivor. I never give up. I'm a survivor. Keep on surviving."

All of you in the blog-o-sphere will also be proud to hear that when the FOB asked me for $20 for cigarettes and soda, I thought about it. I'm not going to lie. It's a small amount and I thought about giving it to him. I even wrote out the check and wrote a mean letter accompanying the money, stamped the envelope and then let the letter sit in my car for five days. I never sent it. I couldn't. And, you know what? It feels good.

Thursday, May 19, 2005


me at 30 weeks and looking huge Posted by Hello


Baby shower in Brooklyn, NY, 4/30/05 Posted by Hello

Monday, May 16, 2005


Miss me? I've had to seriously cut back on my blogging time, mostly because it takes so much energy for me take care of myself. Honestly, I come home from work, make dinner if I have enough energy, lay on the couch for a while bemoaning my swollen feet, then go to bed. Trying to take care of my Mom has been a little bit of a challenge, too. There just doesn't seem to be enough energy in our house (did I mention that my Dad hurt his back?) to take care of the basic needs of all of us.

I started to feel sorry for myself on Sunday when I was sent to Lowe's for more planting soil. It's not that I don't like going to Lowe's: home improvement stores are one of my favorite places, it's that I'm starting to think about buildings in terms of size. Never before in my life have I calculated how far it was from the entrance, to the bathrooms, to the checkout, and the exit. These massive concrete stores wear me out to even think about going into them. On Sunday, I was in the lumber section of the store and made the mistake of asking for wood glue. The nice man that cut my wood for me told me that it was in aisle 9. I looked up at the sign above my aisle. It read "Aisle 54". I was 45 aisles away from the wood glue.

At that moment, as I stood in my maternity tank top, shorts and flip flops, I started contemplating finding a partner....immediately. There were a bunch of single guys roaming around the lumber section. Certainly one of them would be willing to exchange vows with me (maybe around aisle 39 or so?) and then walk the extra distance for me to retrieve the wood glue. This is what my life has become.

My Mom lucked out this weekend in the Super Target with a motorized cart. If they had had two of them we could of drag raced around the vegetable section. As it was, I was left lumbering behind her, reminding her not to run over small children or knock over giant displays with sharp 180 degree turns.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005


So….just in case you were wondering why I haven’t updated lately…..let me tell you. I just started my new job this week, which has been challenging and rewarding. Unfortunately, they asked me to work six days the past week so Peanut and I have been dragging our tails. The real reason I didn’t update on Mother’s Day has a slightly more sinister twist.

My Mom woke me up on Sunday with the announcement that my cat was gone. It was 8:30am. Not a time that I wanted to me up on my one day off work. I got dressed and went out to the backyard, called Honey, and he came running to me. Why I was needed for this task, I’m not sure, but nevertheless, I performed admirably. I found a comfy place on the couch, ate a breakfast of frozen waffles, maple syrup and orange juice, and started watching a DVD. About half-way through the movie, Honey wanted to be let out, this time with a leash and a proper harness. I tied him out and then went back to the movie. A little while later, my Mom went to go untie him. Honey likes to wrap himself around the bushes and shrubs and then stand there looking confused as to why he can’t chase after the birds anymore.

My Mom slips her feet into her tennis shoes, with the toes in, but her heels hanging out, and goes outside. A minute later, I here her screaming on the grass, holding her ankle. I’ve never heard any sound like that before in my life. It is one of those heart-wrenching sounds that will wake you up at night if you think about it too hard. I ran outside, kneeled down beside her, and realized that we needed to call 911. In my rush to stand up, I didn’t quite back it fully vertical and I began sprinting for the door, more hunched over than a notorious French hunchback. Apparently, I haven’t sprinted for a while, especially in the “just out the blocks” position. I went face down. On concrete. There were no knees involved. My top heavy body just went down. My left hand reached out to stop my fall and my right hand went around belly to protect Peanut. At least I think that is what happened. I started screaming for my Dad and he came out, in classic Dad fashion and yelled, “What the hell is going on out here?” His very pregnant daughter is laid-out on her stomach and his wife was still screaming on the grass. I told him to go to Mom and I picked myself up.

I think the shock stopped me from really being concerned for myself. Of course the thought, “I just fell on my stomach,” kept running through my head. I went out to the front yard to wait for the ambulance and started crying when I looked down and saw blood on my hands and felt a scratch on my breast. I lifted up my shirt and I could already see the bruises forming on my stomach. I went out to the backyard, where my Dad kept screaming at me: “Are you alright? Sit down!” Our family tends to yell at each other during times of stress. I showed him what happened and my Mom overheard us, now convinced that somehow she was responsible for hurting her first grandchild. The word “hysteria” comes to mind.

The nice folks at Emergency Response took my Mom and me, in the same ambulance, to the hospital. She gets out on a stretcher and I get rolled up to Labor and Delivery on a wheelchair. I get strapped into a continuous fetal monitor, which monitors Peanut’s heart rate and my contractions. A funny thing happens when a pregnant woman has trauma to her abdomen: the uterus starts contracting to protect itself. They tested for fetal blood in my system and I had no less than three ultrasounds in two days. I had to stay in the hospital overnight for monitoring and my Dad kept running up and down the floors of the hospital between my Mom in ER and me in L&D. He said that we were really annoying because as soon as he got into one of our rooms, we started grilling him for information about the other one. He got this look on his face like, “I need to buy the two of you walkie-talkies and you can leave me out of this.”

My Mom, with a fractured fibia bone in her ankle, got to leave two hours later with an air boot on her foot. I was in for the long haul. In a beautifully ironic twist of fate, a huge thunderstorm struck the Houston area last night, causing power outages to entire chunks of the city. The hospital power went out just around the time that I was digging into my disgusting steak and potato. I sat in the dark hoping that the babies on my floor were ok and almost cried a little out of pity. Don’t fear, however, the power came back on in time for me to watch “Desperate Housewives” and “Grey’s Anatomy”.

The low-level contractions that were consistently working their way through my body caused me to get violently sick around 1am. The last time that I have thrown-up and pooped at the same time was when my friend Brian convinced all of us in his training group that we should have an “authentic” first Mongolian meal at the black market. Note to all: never eat food at a place called the black market. It’s unsanctioned for a reason. The nurses gave me an anti-nausea shot in my butt that caused me to fall instantly asleep until I was woken up at 4am by the same nurse telling me to empty my bladder. Apparently a full bladder can strengthen contractions.

I do have good news out of all of this. My contractions stopped sometime this morning and from the ultrasounds, we know Peanut is down head down, with the crown of his head getting ready to go through the birth canal of life. He has hair, is around 5.5 pounds (give or take a pound), and based on his current measurements they estimate that he might come to see us, (baring any further trauma) around June 26th or so. My Mom should start walking without the aid of crutches right around the time of Peanut’s birth and my Dad might calm down hopefully a little before that. Right now, he is still running between doctors and trying to keep the two women in his life either completely vertical or completely horizontal. God help us all if we have two wheelchairs (again!!!) pushing us to the curb of the hospital after the Peanut’s delivery.