After sending some ultrasound pics to the family….
After sending some ultrasound pics to the family….
(Part of the Ebola Mom series)
Yeah not to detract from her genius, but she’s 13 and I look like this:
Yesterday I got into the elevator and there was a young woman in there with her newborn baby girl.
Me: “Awww how old is she?”
Woman: “Almost a month.”
Me: “She’s adorable.”
Woman: “Thank you. How far along are you?”
Me: “A few weeks to go! I can’t WAIT to not be pregnant!”
And then the woman’s tired, weary eyes grew wide and essentially this is the scene that unfolded:
Eric decided to add a little friendly fun to this pregnancy experience (as his role has mainly consisted of fetching me things and being the human crane that lifts me from couch/bed/uber/toilet) by starting a family Baby Pool. The instructions were as follows:
Here’s what has happened so far:
1. Dad became instantly confused by the Venmo situation. He doesn’t know how to use it and asked that somebody show him. My uncle, trying to be helpful, suggested “download it. It’s pretty self explanatory from there.” I am certain he lost Dad at “download.”
2. Mom remained silent on the Venmo topic but I already know she’s confused, because the last time I was home the following conversation took place:
Mom: “I need you to show me how to buy Venmo.”
Me: “You mean download Venmo?”
Mom: “No, I know how to download things, thank you very much. But I need you to show me how to buy it.”
Me: “But you don’t buy it, you download it.”
Mom: “I know that.”
And then nothing happened.
3. My mother-in-law texted separately with her own Venmo questions, but I’m still not quite sure where we stand on me being allowed to make fun of her on my blog, so I’m just going to let that one marinate.
4. Zack sent in his due date guess for August 28th, despite Eric and I sending these follow-up emails beforehand:
So either Zack doesn’t read our emails, or he is banking on me being induced the 26th and laboring for 48+ hours. Either way– fuck you, man.
5. Jeremy hasn’t given even the slightest indication that he has read the emails or plans to participate (or is alive). This might be because Eric called him poor (in highlighted font), or it’s simply Jeremy being Jeremy. I’m banking on the latter. He’s pretty fucking aware that he’s poor.
6. In a shocking turn of events, nothing from Steph. We know she read the email and text conversations because Andrew has been actively responding while in her presence, but we imagine that she is this exact level of interested .
7. My 3-year-old nephew The Boog, however, was the first to submit his entry. He thinks the baby will be born on August 10, at 10pm, weighing 10 pounds and measuring 10 inches. He also insisted on paying $10. We tried to explain to him that the entry fee is $5 (and that numbers other than 10 exist), but he told us to keep the 10 and cover Uncle Jeremy’s entry, who he heard is poor.
8. As for our niece, we have been informed that she has some follow-up questions for me and Eric, as she would like to collect a bit more information before entering her submission. She is 3.
So bottom line we only have 2 submissions so far, as this whole fun baby pool idea has derailed into a bit of a shitshow and likely won’t actually come to fruition. To be clear, this post, which I will link to Facebook and tag every single family member in, is not at all a passive-aggressive attempt to spur everyone into action. Because I’m above that.
Yesterday Eric and I went to the hospital for our 36-week growth scan (a thorough, more in-depth ultrasound to track baby’s growth/health, generally performed every 4-6 weeks in pregnancy). After the hell parade that was Sunday, we* were pretty anxious about what this scan might reveal.
*we = I . Eric doesn’t scare easily. See “marrying me” as evidence.
The first thing the technician said before performing the scan was “So, now that you’re 36 weeks and 3 days along, baby should definitely be in the head-down position, preparing for delivery.”
“Funny you should say that,” I countered. “Because we ended up in the hospital on Sunday due to contractions, nausea, and shortness of breath, only to learn through a quick ultrasound that baby flipped to breech, even though she’s been head down since week 30.”
“Ugh,” said the technician. “What a little stinker.”
I immediately liked her, and wondered if she’d be interested in nannying my child as a side-gig.
“Yes,” I agreed. “We’ve been using the term ‘bozo,’ but stinker works too.”
“Alright, well let’s see what Stinker’s up to today.”
She placed the ultrasound wand on my belly and immediately determined that baby had, somewhere in the past 36 hours, flipped back to head-down (the correct position).
“Oh, thank god,” I sighed, followed quickly by, “Fucking…seriously, though?”
My initial interpretation of this behavior was that this baby is exactly like Eric– an energetic bunny hellbent on filling her day with activities, despite the person sharing space with her being in NO MOOD.
A true Lerman baby, by contrast, would have found a cozy spot at week 6 and not moved a muscle until she was tugged out with forceps, suction, and a blowhorn at week 43. But this kid has been kicking, jabbing, and playing my ribs like a xylophone for months now. Activities!!!!!!!!!!
But upon further contemplation I realized this late-in-the-game-flip-trick was maybe less a display of restless hyperactivity and more indicative of chronic indecisiveness. A sudden, crippling fear that she was doing everything horribly wrong, and attempting to change course when it made absolutely no rational sense to do so. Or perhaps it was just straight-up bitchery performed for her own amusement. All clearly traits of her mother.
Terrifying realization that my daughter might be exactly like me aside, I was relieved that our little gremlin found her way back home because no breech = no automatic c-section, which, sure, might still happen anyway, but at least now it’s not a set inevitable. (Side note: after listening to several women in the throes of excruciating labor on Sunday, a c-section did actually start to sound appealing. But in general I have a rule about avoiding knives to my body if/when possible. Nose job at age 15 aside, of course. That was obviously necessary, according to my mother.)
Then, suddenly, something dawned on me, and I quickly formed a medical hypothesis about Sunday’s trauma that no doctor had offered up, because apparently in this pregnancy it is up to me, with my BA in Sociology, to accurately diagnose all health conditions with no help from the people who attended 7+ years of medical school (see: Hypothyroidism section of this post for further evidence of how I am
smarter than all doctors everywhere my own best advocate.)
So I presented my hypothesis to the technician: “Wait, so– on Sunday they chalked my nausea, contractions and difficulty breathing up to dehydration or something I ate. But is it possible I got sick because of her breech position? Because honestly everything felt different and so uncomfortable for that one day, even the way I was able to move and lay, and I think maybe it was because she flipped to breech so quickly?”
“Oh, that’s absolutely possible,” replied the technician/my future nanny/new best friend. “At this stage in pregnancy all of your organs have shifted up, and there’s not much space left in there. So when baby flipped and pressed her head against all those organs, it definitely could have made you sick.”
What exactly did I know? That this was ALL HER FAULT– NOT MINE! The doctors kept trying to tell me I’m not drinking enough water (literally impossible– I’m blogging this from the porcelain whiz palace, because I live here now) or that I “shouldn’t have eaten that chicken salad” when in reality I drink 20 vats of water a day (as something had to replace the wine) and Gracie Mews Diner would NEVER hurt me.
No, Sunday’s disaster was the result of baby’s choice, not mine, and to be honest I am slightly resentful that I had to take the heat for HER poor decision.
Although I suppose, in the end, this is exactly what parenthood is– begrudgingly accepting responsiblity for your kid’s bonehead choices.
And fine. I accept that. I guess I was just kind of hoping the boneheadedness would hold off until toddlerhood. Or, at the very least, birth.
Anyway, she heard all this so here she is trying to give me the finger.
I’m sure she’ll have that down by the time I meet her.
Yesterday I woke up having contractions, shortness of breath, and nausea.
So, thinking there was a slight possibility I might be in labor, as I am thisclose to full term, we called the doctor and described my symptoms. She advised us to check into the hospital’s labor and delivery building.
Eric: “Ok, and where is that?”
Probably a pretty fucking good sign that we are not quite ready to have this baby.
So the doctor gave us the address and politely decided to not acknowledge the fact that we were basically the pregnancy version of Dumb and Dumber.
We got to the hospital and eventually someone came to give me an exam. The monitors showed that I was in fact having contractions, so they wanted to check if my cervix was at all open (a possible sign of impending labor). I thought maybe this was the kind of thing that could be easily detected on, say, a sonogram. But no. Turns out this “exam” involves the doctor sticking her entire arm up my hooha and apologizing profusely, while Eric hides in a corner.
After a minute of intensely uncomfortable digging she declared “Nope! You’re completely closed off!”, confirming that my cervix does indeed match my personality.
She then performed a sonogram to check on the baby. “She looks perfectly happy in there!” she declared in a sunshine tone. “But you know she’s breech, right?”
Ummmm NO, Dr. Hooha Hands, we did NOT know that.
“But she’s been head down since 30 weeks, including when I went to the doctor 5 days ago!”
“Oh. Yikes. Well, now she’s breech. Her head is up here (points just below my left boob). It’s unlikely she’ll flip again at this point, but you can discuss options with your regualr OB, such as a planned c-section….but anyway, that’s not why we’re here.”
No, it’s not. BUT NOW THAT’S ALL I CAN FOCUS ON SO THANKS FOR NOTHING.
“So let’s get back to the contractions and nausea,” she continued.
“Ok. Yeah. Why is this happening?”
She might as well have answered with this emoji
“Possibly dehydration? Or maybe something you ate?”
<— that’s me being impressed with the expertise and insight one gains after 7+ years of med school.
“Either way, we’re going to give you this anti-nausea pill so at least you can get some relief on that end, and then we’ll see.”
I swallowed the pill.
Ten minutes later, I vomited profusely, filling two bins so quickly that two nurses and Eric (poor, poor Eric) were not enough helping hands to prevent it from spilling everywhere.
After they changed my entire bedding, wiped down my plastic mattress and re-dressed me in yet another gown that did nothing to cover my pale, pregnant tush-sag, they hooked me up to an IV to rehydrate me and dripped some meds through it, which eventually put me to sleep for about an hour. This was nice because it allowed me to tune out the woman next door in the throes of what seemed to be extremely painful labor. Eric still got to listen, though, because everything about his life right now is roses.
When I woke, I felt much better.
The doctor came back and looked at the monitor. “You were contracting a lot while sleeping so I’d like to check your cervix again.”
So, one more painful round of arm-up-the-vajayjay and Dr. Hooha Hands officially confirmed that I am definitely closed, not in labor, and can go on my merry way. The nurses then came to check on me one last time, and Eric took this opportunity to clarify, “So, when we DO give birth, we come HERE?” They smiled, because nurses are angels, and cofirmed that yes, Lloyd and Harry, this is where you two will come to have your baby.
They then discharged me, advising me to drink lots of water (duh) and not eat chicken salad from diners (oh.)
There is no real wrap up or moral or point to this story other than in case you haven’t been listening for the past 8 months, (this) pregnancy sucks.
“Well, yeah. She’s a girl. You think they’re all ready to go and then at the last minute they’re like ‘OH WAIT, ONE MORE THING!’ and then EVERYONE IS SCREWED.”
— Eric, reacting to the news that despite being in the correct position all pregnancy, our baby has decided, in the home stretch, to flip to breech.
Eric: “You look really uncomfortable. Is there anything I can do?”
Me: “Get her out of me !!!”
Eric: “Well, I don’t think I can do that.”
Me: “BUT YOU’RE THE ONE WHO PUT HER IN THERE!!”
Eric: “You MADE me! I just wanted a corgi! But you were like ‘No, dogs in the city are too expensive and too much work so LET’S HAVE A KID!'”
Our kid will be born knowing exactly how to get her home cleaned (call 1-800-Steamer), book a car to the airport (666-6666) and who to call should she find herself needing to file a lawsuit (Cellino and Barnes, injury attorneys), as these are Eric’s go-to jingles when I tell him to sing to the baby.
And I gotta say, at first I rolled my eyes (particularly when he followed one of these “lullabies” with a lecture-warning about the gender pay gap), but then I was like you know what? That information is WAY more practical than knowing the detailed comings and goings of Mary’s lamb (and if I can avoid having to eventually break the news that nobody ACTUALLY has a lamb, and that if they do, they’re probably going to eat it with some mint jelly at some point– yes, even Mary– then great).
And why does baby need intricate knowledge of Miss Muffet’s breakfast ingredients? Particularly since they consist of curds and whey, two words our kid will use approximately zero times in her life. If Miss Muff wants to go ahead and slip some bacon and tots into that bowl and pair it with a bloody, then I’ll consider getting on board with a lesson on how to brunch like a boss. But until then, her sad little Amish meal is a waste of everyone’s time.
And don’t get me started on the old woman who lives in a shoe. It’s called homelessness and I’m not about to suggest to baby that there’s anything whimsical about not having her own apartment.
So this led me to rethink my daily singing of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” to my belly. Like, does she really need a song to inform her that stars twinkle? No. She’ll look up one night and get the point (and if not, at some point while in the Outer Banks, Uncle Zack will explain it to her in a weed-induced, hours-long oral disseration that she will understand approximately 2% of). So I’m keeping the melody but replacing the lyrics with directions on how to avoid subway rats, and a reminder to clean her toothpaste spit from the sink before leaving the bathroom, because no one wants to see that shit. I also threw in a stanza about how to get money from her maternal grandparents without actually asking for it, but making it seem like it was their idea to offer. The song ends with specific instructions for Facebook and Venmo privacy settings, because that shit gets confusing and BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING, BABY GIRL.
Bottom line, songs are great but let’s not waste baby’s time. If I had spent less hours getting intimately acquainted with every single fucking animal on Old McDonald’s farm (zebras, mom? No. Now you’re just tired and everyone is getting dumber) and more time learning how to embellish a résumé when the only “job expereince” you’ve had is camp counselor and SDT Pledge Master, I probably would have had less of a nervous breakdown at age 26.
From here on out, no more impractical ditties. If baby wants a soothing song, she’s going to learn a useful life skill in the process.
So twinkle, twinkle, baby girl. Tie your hair back before you hurl.
Forgive my blatant racism, but here’s a list of the most respectable group of men (from most to least respectable), by race, based solely on who has been standing up to give me their seat on the subway in this last trimester of pregnancy.
So that’s it. Those are my findings*. Did I really need to break this down by race, and was doing so kind of offensive? No, I did not. And yes, probably? But I notice what I notice and thought it was an interesting trend, and unlike people who claim “I don’t see race,” I’d like to counter with “Ok, but I have eyes.”
*Findings of this study** are based solely on MY experience and observations alone. They should not be generalized to apply negative stereotyping to any particular group of people, which shouldn’t really be an issue as all races above are presented in a complimentary manner. Except, as a reminder, white men. They are all dicks.
**calling this a study is an insult to the word study.