Wednesday, July 30, 2008
I had another ultrasound yesterday. The ultrasound confirmed something that we had been watching since the last ultrasound, but that I didn't ever post here. It's nothing really major, but I have a condition known as placenta previa. Briefly, what's happened is that the placenta for our baby is lying low in the womb, covering the cervix. If it doesn't move (and at this point, the chances of it moving are somewhat low), then when it comes time for our little girl to be delivered, her exit hatch will be blocked. This condition is fairly rare (about 1 in 200 pregnancies result in placenta previa), but more common in women who are carrying twins (which I'm not), and women over the age of 35 (which I am).
Anyway, because of some other possible complications that I won't go into here (because I don't think they'll happen to us, and I don't want to get myself all worked up about those remote possibilities, and you can do a google search on placenta previa if you want to know more about it anyway), My doctors (I have two now, not counting my unofficial Dr. Dad) have determined that the best course of action is to plan to do a C-Section when I'm around 36 weeks along. I'll have another ultrasound 4 weeks from now, and if they find that the placenta has moved, then we'll scrap the C-Section plan and go back to plan A. They've told me though that it would probably be wise for me to plan on having this baby around the middle of September, rather than the middle of October.
The GREAT news is that at this point, the little princess is measuring 2 weeks larger than is "normal", for her "age". So, if she's going to appear 4 weeks early, I like to think that her body will only be 2 weeks less developed than if she was born full-term. I feel fabulous about that.
On a practical level what this all means is that I've now got six weeks to get everything done that yesterday I had thought I had ten weeks to do. Last night as I was thinking through it all, I got a little bit panicked. I need to hire and train someone to cover my responsibilities at work while I'm on maternity leave, I need to get things in order at work so that it's not a mass of confusion for anyone who doesn't live inside of my brain and know all the little tricks and exceptions that I know. I need to get the nursery more set up, and buy a few more items that we'll need to take care of the little miss. I need to pack a hospital bag. Eric and I haven't even started our childbirth education class, and if we stick with the one we're registered for, we'll get done about 1 week before the main event.
But mostly, I just need to make the switch from thinking that we'll have a little baby sometime in October to thinking that we'll have her in September, and from thinking that I'll deliver the way that most people do to thinking that I'll have her via this surgical procedure.
And there you have it. The latest news for enquiring minds. I'm feeling pretty good about it all now. That's generally the way I work for the most part. Changes are thrust upon me, and for the first 12 hours or so I fight them and struggle against them and am put out of my happy place by them. Then I accept them and pretty quickly the benefits of the situation find their way into my mind, and I feel good about it all again.
In this case, I'm grateful that I'm probably going to miss out on the last month of pregnancy--the month where you feel like an elephant and you have to endure person after person saying, "Haven't you had that baby yet?". I'm also quite pleased at the prospect of knowing the day of our babies arrival, rather than wondering day after day if this is the day (or night) when she's going to make an appearance and what if Eric forgets to carry his cell phone and he's out somewhere and unreachable and I have to figure out a way to get myself to the hospital when I'm in agonizing pain and I can't get in touch with Eric's parents or any of my other relatives or friends and it turns into this big traumatic ordeal. Avoiding that scenario is a huge benefit if you ask me. (Well worth a scar that a non-bikini wearer like me probably won't really mind acquiring all that much.)
And then, of course, we have Halloween. I imagine that the Chewbacca costume will probably look better on the seven-week old than it would have looked on the three-week old. Don't you?
And that's all I have from here. At the moment I'm trying to decide whether or not this information is too personal to be posting on a blog. Right now I feel okay about it, but I may change my mind and take it down at some point. I guess we'll see.
Happy Wednesday to you all,
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Scene: The kitchen. Charlotte is at the table in the breakfast nook, eating her Lucky Charms. Eric is at the sink, wolfing down his granola bar and chocolate milk. (I can hear you now . . . "Lucky Charms and Chocolate Milk? You've got to be kidding me!" Nope, I'm not kidding you. I've loved Lucky Charms ever since I was six years old, and so every 2-3 months, I buy a box and live large for about two weeks . As to chocolate milk, that's an Eric thing. You'll have to ask him about it yourself.)
Charlotte (addressing herself to Eric's back): Hey, Eric?
Eric (Hasn't woken up all the way quite yet. It generally takes Eric an hour or so in the morning before he's fully alert and ready for the adventures of the day): Hmmm?
Charlotte (tentatively): Do you personally know anyone who has kids and wishes that they didn't?
pause while Eric reflects on this question.
Eric (reflectively): Actually . . . no, I don't.
Charlotte: Huh. Me either.
Charlotte (still tentatively, but less so than before): And we know a lot of people with kids, don't we?
Eric: Heck, yes!
Charlotte: So, we'll probably be just fine, huh?
Eric (walks over to Charlotte and gives her a nice, comforting hug): What? You're nervous about it? We're going to be fine.
Charlotte (rushing her words together a bit): Well, yeah, I am a little nervous about it. It's a big change you know? I mean, I just don't know that we're ready, but I don't think we'll ever be ready until it happens, and anyway, it's like, ready or not, here she comes. You know?
Eric: Yeah, I know what you mean. But, we'll be fine. Shoot, even ______,* my friend, loves having kids. He says parenting is easy.
Charlotte (wondering what _______'s wife would say about the ease of parenting, but feels better all the same): Right. Okay. We'll be fine. It will all work out, and it will be great. Right?
Having finished breakfast, Charlotte walks Eric to the door and he leaves for work. Charlotte will leave for work about 10 minutes later.
So, maybe it's pregnancy hormones, but I've been a little roller coaster-y about this whole parenthood business lately. Some days I wake up really nervous and concerned about Eric's and my ability to care for and raise a baby/child/tween/teenager/etc. Other days I feel our little girl moving around in there and I think about having a baby to sing to, a little girl to tell bedtime stories to, a grade school-er to help with homework, a teenager to console by telling her the stories of the many times I ran the car into the mailbox when I was a teenager, and even more thoughts than I can really take the time to write here. I get really excited at those times, and I can hardly wait for it all to start.
But most days, I'm somewhere in the middle there. I'm mostly trying to enjoy the days that I have, as I have them. I learned (I hope) during the 14-16 years that I was "of marriageable age" (read: ages 20-22 through age 36) and still unmarried, that it doesn't really work for me to fix my happiness on a set point in the future. Rather, I do best when I rejoice in my life as it passes, day by day. So, that's what I'm doing. I'm striving to ignore the leg cramps and the heartburn, and especially the nagging fears that my life is about to change forever and I may never get a good night's sleep again until I die, and what if I go crazy because of all of it.
Instead, I'm striving to rejoice in the feeling of that squirmy little girl inside me, and how kind and understanding (most) people have been to me ever since my belly started to poke out in that unmistakable pregnant way, and to remember how surprised I was at how much I loved becoming (and continuing to be) an aunt, and so I'll probably be surprised at how much I will love being a mother.
And it goes well. Some days though, I get a case of the worries. That's when I ask my Eric to reassure me. He must get tired of it at times. So far though, he's always come through with the exactly right answer at that exactly right time.
That in and of itself gives me hope and reassurance in buckets and bushels.
*Don't even bother trying to guess who this friend is. He's actually really more of an acquaintance than a friend. Anyway, I'm quite certain that no one who reads this blog or ever will read this blog has ever or will ever meet this guy. I haven't even met him myself.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
When I was a little girl, my father would take turns taking each one of us children out on a weekly date. There were six of us, and so my turn would come around every month and a half or so. I loved these dates. The child got to choose (within reason) what was done for the date, and it was just a great time to spend with my dad. I remember my choices being pretty varied. We would often go up the mountain for a drive or to play on ATV's, but one time I chose to attended the grand opening of the new Skaggs Alpha Beta (kind of like a Super Wal-Mart or Super Target now). Another time we went to a local drugstore, where we discovered an old fashioned soda/ice cream fountain. That soon became a favorite place, as well.
My favorite scene from one of my favorite movies
On another (quick) note, a few months ago, Eric was trying to keep our 5-year old nephew Spencer entertained and occupied. As it turned out, he did so by helping Spencer write out a menu for a very special restaurant for a very special date (Spencer's choice, not Eric's). Eric thought it was kind of odd that a five year old boy would be so keen on the dating scene, but I explained to him (Eric) about our daddy-date tradition, and told him that it was this practice that Spencer was probably referring to. As it turned out, I was wrong. My brother later informed me that Spencer had recently seen the DVD of the movie Enchanted, and ever since then (you remember how Giselle is so intrigued by the concept of a date?) he'd been kind of fixated on the whole date idea.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Today is the birthday of my close personal friend, Phil Kesler.
And here is his birthday limerick:
I met him while checking out his house,
(well, okay, it was his apartment, not his house. We were looking to move, and we liked the complex he lived in. We eventually moved two doors down, where we stayed for seven (I think) glorious years.)
With my friend who would (later) become his spouse.
He's kind and quite smart,
He's funny and knows art*
And he sings even better than Strauss.
(Did Strauss sing? Or was he just a composer?)
*I wanted to write, "and pretty funny to boot" here, but the only thing I could think of to rhyme with boot was suit, and I didn't think it would be all that great for me, another man's wife, to be commenting on any kind of a suit belonging to the husband of one of my best friends. Phil does know quite a bit about art though. So, the rhyme isn't all that witty, but it's truthful and not inappropriate. Sometimes that's the best we can do.
Friday, July 18, 2008
Scene: Charlotte's office at the opera company. A woman who would like to sing for the opera company next summer has found Charlotte and has roped her into to helping her get in touch with those who will be making casting decisions about the 2009 Season. Charlotte helps her leave notes and messages with the appropriate people, and as we join the scene they are doing a little bit of getting-to-know-you-chatting:
HOPEFUL SINGER: Yeah, I met [name withheld for privacy reasons] a couple of years ago. I think he's got me confused with someone else though. He always calls me Sarah (not her name), and asks me how my little girl is doing.
CHARLOTTE (motioning toward Hopeful's rounded belly): Oh, and you don't have children yet?
HOPEFUL SINGER: No, this will be my first. She is a girl though.
CHARLOTTE: Well how exciting! Congratulations.
HOPEFUL SINGER: Thanks. Congratulations to you as well. I take it this isn't your first?
CHARLOTTE (wondering how Hopeful came to this conclusion, mentally imagining the crows feet she has around her eyes and resolving to (again) start using that night moisturizing creme that she bought over a year ago): Actually, it is.
HOPEFUL SINGER: Oh--well that's great!
CHARLOTTE: Yeah. So, when are you due?
HOPEFUL SINGER: At the end of October.
CHARLOTTE (as enthusiastic as she gets with people she has just met within the last 15 minutes): Really? I'm due at the beginning of October.
HOPEFUL (ALSO TACTLESS, HEARTLESS, AND CRUEL) SINGER (wide-eyed): Oh really? You mean I'm going to look like that soon?
CHARLOTTE (crestfallen, but trying to hang on to her dignity)(laughs feebly): Oh, yeah, I guess so . . .
The conversation goes on for a bit, but mercifully, it soon ends. Hopeful leaves. Charlotte briefly contemplates ripping up and setting fire to the note she helped Hopeful create before it gets to the proper people, but decides that she's a better (and bigger!) woman than that. Instead, she contents herself with imagining Hopeful at 9-months pregnant, bloated from head to toe and covered in varicose veins, kneeling at Charlotte's feet and begging forgiveness, all while Charlotte (who has lost every ounce of pregnancy weight she ever gained) holds her beautiful, angelically behaved 3-week old baby and maintains a maddeningly patronizing air toward Hopeful.
And life goes on as normal from there.
Oh-and just in case you're wondering, at my doctor's appointment on Wednesday morning, Dr. F. told me that my weight was just right for this point in my pregnancy.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
As far as news, Eric has come up with a new name for our own little munchkin. It's Athena. I haven't rejected it outright (I can handle it much better than Arwen or Kitara), but I'm not all that enthusiastic about it at this point. As usual, time will tell.
I'll leave you (for a few days) with one more pictorial comparison:
Still got the mouth open, still a pretty darn cute kid, if you ask me.
*Special note to Amanda: Don't lose hope. Poll or no poll, we still may end up with an Amanda. Two days ago as we were brushing our teeth, Eric asked me, "What if she comes out and she looks like an Amanda?"
I replied that if that happened, we'd definitely name her Amanda. I continued however, by saying that there was no way that she was going to come out looking like an Arwen or a Kitara, so he could just forget about that.
Monday, July 14, 2008
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
Those are orphaned bobbers from fishing lines, hung up on telephone/electrical wires.
Chubby Charlotte on the River Trail*
*None of you need to worry about me or leave comments telling me that I'm not chubby and that being pregnant is beautiful and all of that stuff. Really. (although I wouldn't turn my nose up on a comment or two on some other aspect of this post) The fact is that I feel fine about my extra girth right about now. I'm just poking a bit of fun. You can do that when the one you're (playfully) poking fun at is yourself.
Sunday, July 06, 2008
Although I don't have any memories of my Grandma Florence, I do have some definite thoughts and feelings and experiences that have to do with her. Over the weekend I spent some time reading the personal history of my Grandma Iris (my grandfather's second wife), and last night I started on some papers I was given containing memories of my Grandma Florence, written by her children, my aunts and uncles. That's probably why it's on my mind just now.
Now, as you might imagine, it's been hard for me to get an unbiased picture of my Grandmother Florence. I've never heard anyone say a bad word about her, to be honest. Surely some of that is because she died at such a young age, and we have a tendency to remember the good in people, particularly if there is a lot of good to remember. I'm sure she had her faults, like we all do. For me though, I admit that I would rather think of her strengths and virtues, those that I have read about, and heard about, than try to imagine or deduce some fault or weakness by reading between the lines.
Perhaps the most objective viewpoint I've ever received on my Grandmother Florence was given to me about 15 years ago or so (as you will soon see, this viewpoint isn't exactly objective, but it is from a person who wasn't related to me, and so it's about as close to objectivity as I've ever gotten). I was teaching a lesson in Relief Society, and as part of the lesson, I showed an old picture of my grandmother. I think I made the point that although she had died before I was able to meet her, the legacy and the example that she left behind her was an inspiration to me, and that even after her death, she was helping me to strive to be a better person. After the lesson was over, an older woman (Anne) who had been in the congregation approached me. She told me that she had known my grandmother very well. Anne had been a teenager, and my grandmother had been her teacher (much like the role my mother filled in a post I wrote here). She told me that Florence had been full of love for all the girls, and that she (Anne) had wanted to grow up to be like her.
I think about that sometimes, and I think about the things I've read about her, and I try to see traits that she might have passed down to me. She was a little bit of a jokester, and used to be very playful with her children, laughing with them and playing little (harmless) pranks on them. As I look at my sister and brothers, I see much of that in the way they are raising their kids as well.
Another thing that I can see is that in her life, her family was probably her first priority. She seemed to revel in being a mother and being there for her children to talk with and confide in. When there were misunderstandings, or a child wasn't behaving as they should, she would "talk turkey" with them, explaining why she needed them to do (or not to do) this or that, and most of the time, her children would get back in line, if only out of respect for her. She had absolute respect for her husband and her children, and didn't talk down to them or belittle them in any way.
I don't know how much like that I'll be with my own family. I do have the utmost respect and love for my Eric, and I revel in the laughing and teasing that we do one with another. As you can probably tell from the address of this blog, I absolutely adore the feeling I get when I'm laughing, and I tend to find reasons to do it quite often. I try to have unconditional love for others, (although I do far far better at having conditional love, you know?) As far as family and priorities go, I really hope that I will make the sacrifice and effort to put my own family at the top of my own personal list as well. I guess time will tell how I do at that.
Along with thinking about all of this, I sometimes (when I'm trying to go to sleep at night and need to get my mind focused on other things besides the worries and/or stresses of the day) will imagine what it will be like when I am able to meet my Grandma Florence up in Heaven. I think she'll be glad to see me, and I think I'll recognize her and be glad to see her. Especially, I like to think that when we meet, we'll each give each other a big old family-size hug. And, as we're hugging, I think that maybe, just maybe, I'll be able to sense that she's been watching out for me, and loving me all along the way, even though I couldn't see her.
Or, maybe I can sense that already.
I still can hardly wait for the hug though.
Thursday, July 03, 2008
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
Of course, you probably won't do as well on the "just a little bit of quirky-ness" final exam that we'll be having in a month, but you know, it's your choice. I trust you and know that you will make the right decision.
(I'm practicing up for my "guilt trip mom" days. What do you think? Have I got it down yet?)
A is for age: 37 and almost a 1/2
B is for burger of choice: I'm not a big restaurant burger fan, but I do like them homemade and home grilled in the backyard. Adding a slice of cheese and toasting the bun makes it even better. Oh, and I discovered the joy of grilled onions this summer as well. Mmmm-mmmm.
C is for what kind of car you drive: A 2000 RAV4. I love it. C is also for your favorite past vehicle: a Dodge Colt. I loved it so much that I've already blogged about it. You can read about it here.
D is for your dog's name: We had a dog briefly when I was about seven. His name was Chumper, which, oddly enough was the name of a kid we had met the year before while living in Columbus Georgia. I don't remember the kid very well (except that I think he had blond hair), but I sure loved that dog.
E is for essential item you use everyday: CD Player/radio
F is for favorite TV show at the moment: (Don't laugh) Avatar: The Last Airbender. Eric got me hooked on this. We get the DVDs from Netflix and watch them. Then we lend them to one of the neighbor boys in Eric's Priest's Quorum and he watches them too. We've seen everything they've put out, and are anxiously waiting for more.
G is for favorite game: Card game- Sixes. To watch? Hockey-but only in person. To play? Volleyball, but only if no one cares who wins.
H is for Home State: Utah
I is for instruments you play: Depending on how you define "play", Piano and Clarinet
J is for favorite juice: Agua de Melon (Fresh Cantaloupe juice), the kind you can get at hole-in-the-wall-taco-restaurants.
K is for whose butt you'd like to kick: Organizations that make obscene amounts of money selling diabetes management supplies, while behind the scenes impeding efforts to find a cure. (Not all diabetic supply companies do this, but there are those who do)
L is for last restaurant at which you ate? Blackstone Restaurant
M is for your favorite Muppet: Snuffleupagus
N is for Number of Piercing: One hole in each ear. (I had to wait until the end of my eighth grade year to get them, and then only because I made a deal with my parents that if I stayed on the Honor Society for all three Middle School Years that they would allow it.)
O is for overnight hospital stays: None so far.
P is for people you were with today: Opera people (at work), Eric (at home), a fellow freecycler who offered me an umbrella stroller.
Q is for what you do with your quiet time: Sleep, crochet, read, blog
R is for biggest regret: That I didn't stand up for the girl that rode the school bus with me to middle school. Many of the kids teased her cruelly and relentlessly, and I was too cowardly to do a single thing about it. I was more shy and insecure back then than I am now, and they probably would have been cruel to me too. Still, I think I could have withstood it, and we both would have been better off.
S is for status: When do you stop being a newlywed? I've been googly-eyed married for just a little over a year.
T is for time you woke up today: Seven o'clock.
U is for what you consider unique about yourself: I have an interesting eye color. My eyes are a brownish amberish color around my pupils, and then they turn green as you move outward. That doesn't really fit on a drivers license though, so I just say "Hazel". They were a beautiful shade of brown when I was little, and I'm kind of bummed that they didn't stay that way.
V is for vegetable you love: Summer (Crookneck) Squash
W is for worst habit: Worrying/stewing/obsessing about things over which I have no control.
X is for x-rays you've had: Dental, Ankle, Femur, Skull (that one was technically an MRI)
Y is for yummy food you ate today: Fresh strawberries (not chocolate-dipped, thank you very much).
Z is for zodiac: Pisces.
I tag Heidi, Amanda, and Eric. There's no way Eric will do it, but I get a kick out of thinking about something like this on his manly robot blog.