Friday, October 03, 2008

Ten Weeks

Hello lovelies,
I don't have time for a real post, because we're nearing the end of Maude's mid-morning nap, so I've got to be brief. Life with a newborn/infant is both really hard and really boring. It's really hard because it's a relentless cycle: feed, change, comfort, rock to sleep, work on tenure dossier like a madwoman in hour increments while she sleeps, feed, change, comfort . . . And it's really boring because she's only awake and cheerful briefly, so it's like a long hike with no payoff at the top because you only get to barely glimpse the view before you have to start back down the mountain, which you then climb again the next day. Does that make sense? But I hear that three months is a magical time and that she'll become more and more of a little person and less of a suffering little creature. Which is not to say that I don't adore her, because I do--she's a peppery little elven thing.

What I'm really here for is to post some pictures.

Here she is as an intense two week old:

Smiling big at exactly one month:

Grinning at exactly one month:
(I love this one!)

Staring at the love of her life, her Tiny Love mobile:

Rocking what is my very favorite Maude outfit right now:

Here's what she looks like when we start out on our walks:

This is what we look like three minutes later, after she starts screaming, because she hates her stroller and prefers to be worn in a sling (better work out for me, as a bonus):

Sleeping. (When she wears her sleep sack she looks like a civilian extra on Star Trek. You know how they always wear romper-type outfits?):

Goofing off with Sfrajett:

And finally, what she looked like last week. Happy, chubby, sweet little girl:
(photobucket is being stupid, and not letting me paste this in this smaller and turned around. By the time you see it, maybe the changes will be in effect.)

Monday, August 04, 2008

As promised

If you're not already a reader, my GF, Sfrajett, has a thoughtful, detailed account of the birth. I love her writing and am so happy to have her account on hand, since all I really remember is the darkness of the room, the interminable ticking of the clock, and how sick I was of Brothers and Sisters after I had finished an entire dvd's worth of shows. Stupid pretty people.

Also, my link to Luches didn't work in the last post. Try this.

Here's a little bit o' Maude:

Thursday, July 31, 2008

And then there's Maude

(I'm sorry; I couldn't resist)

(Sfrajett has all the pictures on her computer; I just have this one from my phone. What you can't see is all her dark, dark hair. More soon.)

So that was much harder than I expected . . .

Birth story in a sec, but first, much thanks to my friend Luches for updating the blog while Sfrajett and I were in the hospital.

We just brought our precious little firecracker home from the hospital yesterday, after 96 long, long hours in the postpartum ward, surrounded by well-meaning, but bossy, nurses, each of which knew exactly how to turn little Miss Maude into the latched on baby of my dreams. Funny how forcing a screaming baby's head onto your nipple doesn't make for a calm, productive nursing experience. But more on that in another post. So we were there for four days post-delivery because, after having maybe the easiest pregnancy ever, I had:
  • 24 hours of labor,
  • 2 1/2 hours of (hard!) pushing (Sfrajett's theory is that our ob/gyn played sports at some point, and approaches the delivery room with the affect of the coach. Me, I'm a pleaser, so I do well with coaching, and when I doctor I already hugely admire encourages me to push harder than anyone's ever pushed before, all I want to do is please her. So really, please believe me when I say I was in the last six miles of the marathon for these entire 2 1/2 hours)
  • an emergency c-section.
Turns out little Miss Maude was way too big for me. Well, really, it was her gigantic 14 inch head that was too big. After all that pushing--I heard the doctor telling the nurse they were "productive" pushes--baby's head still wasn't quite in the birth canal, only the elongated cone my productive pushes had been making out of the back of her head. The only way I was going to deliver her vaginally was via forceps and I knew that that would mean a lot more tearing, possibly a broken collar bone for baby, maybe a broken tailbone for me--a lot of distress for both of us. So the decision to go with the c-section was an easy one. Twenty minutes later I celebrated my baby's birth by throwing up some vile, bubbling green anti-acid medicine they'd made me gulp down on the way to surgery. As the doctor pulled baby's gigantic self out of little me I could hear her saying something like "wow, that was the right decision."

Sfrajett will write a more thoughtful post about the birth experience, if she ever puts the baby down, because she experienced it much more than I did. I just wanted to check in and thank you all for your beautiful messages of congratulations, and let you know that we're all doing fine here. I'm just glad it's over, glad I have Maude safely here in my arms, glad I have a partner who's a fiercely protective, tender, passionately devoted parent, who can make me laugh in the middle of a sleepless night with her sweet and goofy lullabies, and whose arms never seem to get tired.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

For There She Was: Mrs. Dalloway is Here

Announcing Maude Elizabeth.
July 26th, 8 lbs., 9 oz. 21 inches.
Birth story coming soon.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Sun in Leo

Edited to change title from Moon in Leo to Sun in Leo. Blame Joni Mitchell. The entire month of July I had the opening lines to "Little Green" in my head: "Born with the moon in Cancer . . ."

You didn't think I could get bigger, did you? This is me last week. I'm now 39 weeks, two days, or six days from my due date. Based on my doctor's appointment yesterday, where I was told that things have progressed very nicely in the past week, and based on signals my body is giving me, I feel like this could happen really soon. But what do I know? It could be another week.

The thing is, I've decided I don't know how to wrap my mind around the idea that I'm going to have a baby. I really like my life. Sfrajett and I have a really cute apartment, we have lots of friends, we read a lot, we adore each other. Everything is peaceful and nice and perfect.

What are you supposed to do with your head when you know that any day now your life will change forever? But since it hasn't changed, and you can't understand that change unless you've experienced that change, and I'm still me, a totally happy, healthy, childless adult, only without the ability to bend at the waist, what do I do with today? I know, enjoy the quiet, sleep as much as I can, get last minute errands done. Okay: check, check, check. But apparently my list also contains: piss off friends for no very good reason, cry for no very good reason, pace the house, be scared shitless about the coming changes, read The Woman in White (why did it take me so long to get to this book?). Cry some more.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

What needs to be done

As of my 38 week appointment on Monday, baby is super comfy and not interested in coming two blessed weeks early. Oh well. I walked, I drank red rasberry leaf tea, I bounced on my exercise ball, I ate spicy food, and yes, I had lots of orgasms. Nothing. Sorry What Now and Perverse Adult, I think Adjunct Whore wins: this baby wants to be a Leo, not a Cancer.

Sitting on my desk is a dissertation prospectus from a grad student at a distant school who is writing on my author. I'm excited she's writing about my person, and I have stuff to say about her proposal, but I just keep putting off writing her. I've had her prospectus for way. too. long. Now, however, I think the universe is punishing me for not being more prompt. This baby won't come until I write up my thoughts about her project. She also won't come until I fold up the newly washed sheets from the house guests we had last week, but I don't want to do that either.

What I want to do:
  • Sleep
  • Eat soft serve ice cream (what I really want is frozen custard, but there's none in Chicago, as far as I can tell.)
  • watch "Brothers and Sisters," which I netfl.ixed (two episodes in, I'm reasonably compelled. enough to keep watching)
  • Swim in a swimming pool. I want this so badly I could die. But there's no pool, except at the school gym and that's for working out. I want to loll around in the sun and feel the cool water supporting my seriously unbelievably big belly. So. Much. Bigger. than in the picture I last posted. Why do I live in the Midwest where people don't have pools?
  • Be in Jo(e)'s blog. She always posts beautiful pictures, but this week she's killing me. It's so peaceful and cool and calm in her blog. I wish I could do what Gumby does with books and walk right into her world. Usually we'd be in New Hampshire right now, kayaking on Squam Lake, where Sfrajett grew up. We're both filled with longing for the lake. I tried to find a picture to show you, but they all made it seem too big and impersonal, and in my head it's quiet and smooth and peaceful. It's what I focus on when I'm practicing my Lamaze breathing. Lake Michigan, while lovely and festive, just isn't the same.
What I will do:
  • get a pedicure. (Yeah, I'm charging it, because I accidentally ran my bank account down and don't get paid until Friday. You wanna make something of it?)
  • Not write that doctoral student back.
  • Not fold the sheets.

Thursday, July 03, 2008


So this is it, folks. This is the month that baby is supposed to be born. At my 36 week check up on Monday the doctor said she was taking the word premature off the table and that when the baby was ready to come, she was comfortable having her come. GF and I spent the rest of the afternoon plotting how to get labor started--walking, drinking rasberry leaf tea, sitting on the exercise ball (which is suddenly the birth ball, according to all the childbirth books we're reading. Whatever. It's not like it was getting a lot of use as an exercise ball, that's for sure), which is supposed to open up my pelvis and help the baby drop, etc.

Then that night we looked at each other and said WHOA!!!! Why do we want this baby to come a month early? I mean, I'm tired of being pregnant, and my stomach, which was flawless up until a few weeks ago is suddenly covered in angry stretch marks and itches like crazy, and I'm tired of sleeping on my side and not being able to tie my shoes or rub lotion on my legs. But as One of His Moms put it, there are many, many reasons to not wish this baby out early, and to enjoy the quiet and peace of these last few weeks.

But here's the thing: my beloved ob/gyn is going to be out of town precisely during the end of my 38th/the beginning of my 39th week, which is also a full moon, which is when all. the. babies. are. born. DUH!!!!!!! So I either need to get her out of here early, or try to keep her in late.

So I'm walking, and drinking my rasberry leaf tea (which I really like, so no sacrifice there), and trying to keep the house clean, and buying last minute things for baby, (like that thing that pulls snot out of their noses) but I'm also finishing up my book: methodically tightening up chapters, rewriting intros and conclusions, deleting overly-emphatic italics, and adding in juicy bits (read incredibly catty, bitchy excerpts from letters--my research subject was a TERROR) from my archival research last summer. Today I'm going to try to fold in an amazing, anonymous tell-all from one of my person's personal secretaries. It makes Madonna look like a fun person to work for.

You want to know a secret? The real highlight of my day is waiting for UPS to deliver our hers and slightly-more-masculine hers diaper bags. Seriously. I can't wait. Mine is made from 10 recycled water bottles, so I'm feeling pretty smug about it. Hers has flames on it.

The biggest news of today is that we're finally sending in our second parent adoption papers. Unlike many other states, Illinois doesn't require me to surrender my parental rights so that my partner can adopt. They handle it like a step-parent adoption. And as of two years ago, they got rid of the mandatory (and expensive) series of home visits from a social worker. We had to wait, first, until we had enough money to cover the lawyer's check, and then for me to dig up my DIVORCE papers (when will my former life as a married Mormon housewife stop haunting me?), but I've got 'em, and we've got the check, and so that puppy goes in the mail today.

Here's a picture of me two weeks ago, before the attack of the stretch marks. Some of the many, wonderful lesbian mothers-to-be that I read have been dutifully posting belly shots, but I've been too lazy. So here goes:

Margo at 34 weeks preg.