Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Like a rolling stone baby

Ooschie has this new thing where he likes to seize up into a hard little knot and just curl up inside my ribcage. I call him my stone baby when he does this, and sometimes if it's really feeling awkward I try to gently push him back down a bit. This never works.

Stone babies, or lithopedions, fascinate me. Like most prenatal horrors, I learned of their existence shortly after I became pregnant, watching some program on TLC (why are there so many shows about what can go morbidly wrong with a fetus on TLC?). This was when I first realized I had theretofore been completely blind to every single reference to pregnancy and babies that are apparently ubiquitous to pop culture (either that, or everything really is about babies, just all of a sudden). Even this season of Dexter begins with our hero, Dexter Morgan, sleep-deprived to the point of incompetence because of the new baby in his household. Last week's season premiere included a hilarious remix of his morning routine, after new fatherhood:

Note his former hipster kicks have been replaced with a sensible Hush Puppy.

Anyways, in case you're too lazy to read the wiki I linked above, stone babies are a rare phenomena wherein a miscarried fetus is calcified inside the mother's body rather than reabsorbed or aborted by the woman's body. This calcification prevents the dead fetus from becoming infectious to the mother - like some frightening pearl, only fetus-shaped. There's one somewhat famous case of a woman in her 90s delivering a lithopedion that she had carried for 60 years.

Less frightening (in fact, probably a comparative zero on the gross-out scale), Oosch, rapidly running out of stretching room, is now relinquished to sliding his knees, elbows and feet across my abdomen with such fervor that I swear I can see his footprint.

Not my (or any real) belly

Well not quite, but it is quite alien to see tiny appendages poking through my skin (sometimes a half inch out of my body).

What else is new? My linea nigra has started to develop, but so far it's really faint and only above the belly button. So far, my new hypnobirthing class does not seem to be too crystal-woowoo-hippie, which is something of which I had been sort of wary. My pragmatism allows me to keep a sense of humor about plenty of it, but I actually don't find myself rolling my eyes about everything. I guess sometimes keeping an open mind can be helpful.

My diabetes is being so easily controlled by diet that I am still suspicious of a misdiagnosis. So far, the only glucose spikes I'e experienced have resulted from white bread: a hot dog (and bun) on the train last week, and twice from Popeye's biscuits (I was able to deduct that it was the biscuit because I ate the same thing twice - once with and once without the biscuit, and only when I had the biscuit did my blood sugar jump). So no more white bread. Cherry Garcia cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory, however, seems to have no effect (I reckon the fat and protein helped slow the absorption of sugar into my bloodstream).

The nursery is seriously almost done - the furniture is being delivered this week and we have only to organize the closet and storage space to start arranging things. The Totoro mural needs only a few details to be complete. Will post photos when that happens.

Now I need to go fix dinner because this tiny golem in my belly is getting restless.

Monday, September 21, 2009

I Got the Diabeetus

I couldn't find the original video of when Wilford Brimley was "on" the Colbert Report, but this original PSA is still unintentionally hilarious. "I've slipped up. I've eaten ice cream and apple pie and I've done things I shouldn't do" sends the imagination racing, dunnit?

It's true. I had a score of 190 on my glucose screen (10 points from an instant gestational diabetes diagnosis), and although I scored a point or two below the cutoff on each blood test during my oral glucose tolerance test, my midwife wants to err on the side of caution and is calling it. I have my first meeting with a diabetes counselor and nutritionist tomorrow.

Meanwhile, I have been inundating myself with a dizzying array of information on GD from the American Diabetes Association, WebMD and Nutritiondata.com on eating a low-glycemic index/glycemic load (GI/GL) diet. I'm pissed that, after years of counting calories, grams of fat and fiber and logging minutes spent on a treadmill in an effort to manage my weight, that during my one chance to go all out, I have to start worrying about having a macrosomic baby.

I'm sorry, but that is just not cute. You might think this is an extreme example, but the grandson of one of my coworkers was 11 POUNDS (the mom had GD). All of the other complications that go with GD don't really scare me (except the injured shoulders, which I think only happens to giant babies). I know it's relatively common (4% of all pregnant women doesn't feel that common to me), and everything usually goes back to normal after the birth, but I don't give a shit. I'm being robbed of my archetypical pregnancy if I can't sit on the couch with a bowl of ice cream balanced on my tummy. No pregnant woman should have to count carbs and avoid desserts. It's cruel.

Getting enough calories when all I can eat is white meat, brown rice and veggies is hard - the first day or two when I started trying to manage my carbs I only got 1500 calories. Diet and exercise are the best ways to manage this, and I'm not kidding myself about that, but I still resent having to do this. To me, it's just one more big fat "No" that I have to hear.

And don't tell me "it's better for the baby! you'll feel great!" in that chipper, non-GD-having voice, because I'm not buying it. You get to eat cake. All I feel right now is desperate. I now spend my free time obsessing about the GL of foods (and trying to stay within 80-100/day), what I can and can't eat, and starting tomorrow I'll have to start test my blood four times a day to prove that I'm not cheating. Last week, on my way to the gym after work, I smelled cinnamon rolls and started crying.

I know I'm probably making this much worse for myself than necessary, and I should probably just wait to hear what the diabetic nutritionist says, but the "information" they sent me looks like it was written for a fucking fifth grader and suggests such snacks as "popcorn and meat". It's going to take all of my remaining strength to stop from rolling my eyes and saying "Don't talk to me like I'm a retard" to the diabetes counselor.

By the way, agave nectar is not as sweet as people say, even if it does have a GI of only 27.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Chair, Reupholstered

Take a $20 chair from Goodwill, add fabric from Mill End Store and pay the nice folks at Alamo Custom Upholstery to stitch it together, e voilà! A brand new(ish) chair that cost much less than those fancy ones from the upscale baby boutiques, without the guilt of additional resource consumption and the joy of rescuing furniture from the landfill. Best of all, my lovely mother-in-law Linda has a comfy chair for rocking her grandbaby when she comes to visit.

Delfina and Francisco completely stripped the ugly (yet sturdy) upholstered rocker down to its bones and fully restuffed it before giving it a new cover. Here's a detail of the gorgeous fabric that I am completely fucking in love with:

I have about a half yard left of this fabric, which will probably become a pillow for the living room. It matches my décor perfectly (the natural history theme in cool, soothing colors is fairly consistent throughout the house). Once Ooschie hits his destructive toddler years, this chair will be moved out of his room and either into the living room or to storage, depending on his propensity for either sticks or twelve-sided dice.

Friday, September 4, 2009