Friday, May 30, 2008

Watched Pot

Ok, so the study I cited about the effectiveness of acupuncture for labor induction was conducted with women who'd already hit 40 weeks. I am just hitting that today.

So, we can all have faith and just believe that Ramon will start my labor next Tuesday if it hasn't started already. He says he'll be even more aggressive, using some points in my lower back. At one point during yesterday's treatment, he twisted and prodded at a painful point in my right pinky toe.

"Are you feeling anything in there with this?" he asked.

"Um?" I said, "He's moving. I feel some tightness."

This was less than satisfying to Ramon. "This point should really get it going," he said, twisting harder despite my grimaces. "It might be that you're just not quite ready yet," he said, patting my tummy when the twisting was through.

Here's the truth: regardless of how much I'd like to be, I am just not in control of this situation.

After the treatment, I had seven hours of irregular and unproductive contractions, so that's... something? I saw my OB this morning, and I let her check to see if there'd been any progress.

"Maybe, if it's the same as last week, you could just change the phrasing a little bit?" I suggested.

I could tell she was trying to accommodate me, but basically the message was, Things are pretty much the same as last week.

Surprisingly, I have a pretty zen-like attitude about today's situation. Shef is very sick - he has strep throat with all kinds of nasty symptoms. Dan is incredibly busy at work. And frankly, I don't think I'll allow myself to go into labor until our front yard is taken care of. It looks hideous, but I have called for help. Please, Lawn Guy, give me a call back soon.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

God Bless the T-Ball Teacher

Crazy for T-Ball from Savvy Mom on Vimeo.

Mostly just testing this new video device Dan got me for Mother's Day. I think I like it.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Today, Three People Greeted Me By Shouting Out, "You're STILL Pregnant!"

It turns out getting acupuncture with the goal of inducing labor is not quite as relaxing as getting acupuncture with the goal of fortifying one’s kidney energy.

At today’s induction session, Ramon put five needles in points that are known for movement. They’re very active points, he told me. When he put the needles in (he taps them in with a little plastic sleeve attached to each one), he wiggled them around quite a lot, which was uncomfortable. I described the discomfort of each one – this one feels like a pin prick, that one feels like a muscle ache, that one radiates immediately down my leg – and he wiggled each needle until he was satisfied that the sensations I described would be conducive to inducing labor.

And then I sat there feeling the needles activate. Occasionally, I began to get comfortable and close my eyes, and just then Ramon approached with his little stool to twizzle each of the needles and listen to me describe the painful sensations.

“This might be enough to get the ball rolling,” he told me, ninety minutes after he’d started. “If not, be sure to come in again on Thursday and we’ll be more aggressive.”

Monday, May 26, 2008

I Also Made Some Whipped Cream. Delicious.

The nesting has continued. I have proceeded to organize the downstairs closet, the storage bench in which we keep extra kitchen equipment, and the recycling area. The recycling area was pretty disgusting, and it has been for a long time, so that was especially satisfying.

Today, I’m not really feeling like doing much; although the desk in the foyer and the filing cabinet are clearly next on the list.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Either I'm Nesting, Or I'm Trying to Convince Myself That If I Nest, Then I'll Labor

In the last two days, I’ve accomplished the following:
  • Cleaned out my front porch. Meaning, emptied it, washed all surfaces, washed the furniture and cushions that go in it, vacuumed the rugs, and reassembled it.
  • Organized and vacuumed Shef’s play room.
  • Taken four bags of books and a bag of clothes to the Good Will.
  • Washed every part of my refrigerator and thrown away all old and/or questionable items.
  • Cleaned out my lazy susan and thrown away all old and/or questionable items. Also, I vacuumed the shelves and wiped them down with a wet rag. Then, I organized the contents according to the following categories: breakfast, rarely-used recipe items, canned goods, and grains.
  • Cleaned out the over-the-stove shelves where I keep all the random cooking crap like oils and vinegars and baking needs. Then, I dug out from the deep storage the containers that are supposed to hold those very baking needs and used them for the purposes which God intended.
  • And then, finally, I made Jello. Because I found some deep in the lazy susan, and I’ve never made it before. I do know the stories about the horse hoofs, and I really don’t want to talk about it.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

David, You Are a Blue Star

Yesterday, my glamorous friend Emily came over to march up and down hills with me. This was a good workout, but it didn’t start labor, just FYI.

Em is training for her first triathlon, so it was fun to talk with her about her workouts, her progress, and the spandex outfit she’ll be wearing on the big day.

We also talked about our future fitness goals. I said I wanted to run a couple of marathons in the next couple of years, beginning with Twin Cities in ’09 and then turn to longer-distance tris. Em is sticking with triathlon, which is good since I’ll be able to leech some biking know-how off of her.

Of course, these plans are dependent on me birthing a child and then losing 35 pounds ASAP.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Two Signs This Pregnancy Has Probably Gone On Long Enough

Shef came into my room this morning while I was still dozing. Dozing for as many minutes as possible.

“Mom!” he exclaimed. “Your underwear is on backwards!”

“They’re not on backwards,” I said, reaching around to tug them down a bit.

Shef looked confused. “But, your butt is really sticking out,” he said.

And then three hours later, when I was up and dressed and ready to take Shef to school, I realized I had no idea where my car keys were. I thought about it for a minute, and then I started to have a sinking feeling that they might be on the front seat of Dan’s car, where I sat last night.

I called Dan, already sort of hyperventilating about how irritating it would be for him to have to lose a half-hour of work because I can't keep track of my personal belongings. “I think my car keys are in your car,” I blurted.

“No they’re not,” Dan said calmly. “I've seen them. They’re in the bathroom.”

“Oh,” I said. Of course they are.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Web With No Weaver

Ramon tells me my heart and stomach pulses get much stronger after acupuncture treatments designed to fortify my kidney energy.

Apparently, I’ve had the same reaction both times, which is remarkable. Ramon says he's building up all the reserves of strength I’ll need to birth the new kid.

I find myself wanting everyone I know to try acupuncture. I’m sure it can solve all of our problems.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

A Mighty Wind

My friend Lee advised me to stop teaching Sunday School, which is something I totally want to do.

The biggest problem with teaching Sunday School at our church is the “lesson plans.” Each one has “story” that one of the teachers is supposed to tell using props, usually some pieces of felt and some wooden figurines. Sometimes, there are also some laminated animals or pictures that go with the text. There's a script the teacher is supposed to follow, which includes directives to "be silent and gaze at the wondrous scene before you" or "allow the children to sit serenely and reflect on what they've just heard."

After the story, there are no more instructions for the volunteer teachers except reminders to do some songs and “to just be present” with the materials.

The deal with the stories is that they are completely incomprehensible to the three-and-four-year-old students, as well as to the teachers. I know basic biblical stuff fairly well from thirteen years of Catholic education and church-going, but most of the time, I can’t recognize the bible story or idea we’re trying to cover in Sunday School. This proves problematic because at the end of the “story,” there are some questions that everyone is supposed to “discuss.” Except, not only do we not know the answers to the questions, we don’t even know what the questions mean.

After a couple of disastrous attempts at making the story stretch for the an appropriate amount of time, Dan and I decided we just couldn’t do it anymore.

So, we started stealing lessons, art project ideas, and song lyrics from websites for evangelical Christian Sunday School teachers, and things have gone much better. All I do is spend about two hours looking for ideas, gathering materials, and crossing out all the stuff about “getting to heaven” or “going to hell,” and then away we go.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Ramon Has a Long Scraggly Beard

Ramon, my acupuncturist, seems highly competent. He and his wife practice a community model of acupuncture, which means all of us devotees recline comfortably in a large room on individual recliners while listening to therapeutic music and water sounds. Meanwhile, Ramon and Karin circulate quietly. This makes treatments more affordable and allows everyone to benefit from everyone else’s qi.

Don't snicker - I’m totally buying that.

On Tuesday, Ramon worked on fortifying my kidney energy, which is apparently critical to my reproductive functions. He said that the most important aspect of my treatment is being able to relax during the forty minutes when the needles are in my feet. Luckily, I am so generally exhausted that a recliner with soothing background noises was all the prompting I needed to fall asleep so deeply that I woke myself with my own snores at precisely the time Ramon wanted to un-pin me.

“How did it feel?” Ramon asked, his five dreadlocks ponytailed at the base of his neck.

“Well, I don’t really know what I’m supposed to feel like,” I said. “I did have some tingling in my hand.”

Ramon nodded. “Probably not a coincidence,” he said.

“And at one point, that needle kind of…” I wagged my finger at my left arch.

“Activated?” He asked. “Yeah, they do that.”

“Okay,” I said.

Ramon told me to come back within a week, which I’m totally doing.

I know it sounds crazy, but I’m pretty sure that the treatment will work, and that I’m going to have this new baby sometime pretty close to my due date.

Monday, May 5, 2008

My Last Day is Friday

I think I made a valiant effort with my sixth hour today. I wanted to review with them some important search tips when working with databases. I also tried to help them brainstorm important world issues for their zines. Finally, I wanted to teach them the new skill of compiling an annotated bibliography.

And I kept trying to accomplish these objectives despite repeated misbehaviors by several students, whom I corrected patiently when necessary.

Everything came to a screeching halt, however, when Dylan announced his plan to secretly videotape the impending birth of my child and subsequently show stills of my private parts to the class.

“Okay,” I said, resigned. “I guess I’m done.” I sat down at my desk mid-database demonstration and went back to the huge pile of papers I need to grade before Thursday.

Later, when Dylan came over and tried to make conversation by asking, “Didn’t a horse die or something?” I still wasn’t in the mood to interact.

“I have no interest in talking to you,” I told him.

He laughed a little.

“No, really,” I said, looking down again.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Two Turn Tables and a Microphone

Me [realizing the water's been running for awhile]: Okay, Shef! That's enough water.

Shef [running in to the baby's room with water streaming down his face grinning]: I'm all wet!

Me: Is there water all over the bathroom now?

Shef: Nope! I cleaned it up!

Me: With what?

Shef: With your pants! [maniacal giggling]


Good Times Never Seemed So Good

Ever since I wrote about Shef’s recent success at sleeping through the night, he’s only slept through one time.

Last night, he woke up claiming starvation at 2:30. I actually thought this was plausible, since he hadn’t eaten much lunch or dinner.

While he was wolfing down half a bagel, I had a talk with him about how it would be great if he would go back to his own bed after he ate.

“No,” he said flatly, “I’m coming to your bed.”

“Well, how will you ever get that Hot Wheels track?” I asked, trying to keep the desperation out of my voice.

“I’ll get a quarter the next night.”

“But that’s what you said last night [when you slept until 5:40, but still refused to stay put for the required twenty minutes to achieve pay day].”

He was unmoved.

I also threatened to call Dr. G. next week, who can play a pretty good Heavy, but this was ineffective. Then, I tried to explain that 90% of four-year-olds have already mastered the skill of sleeping alone, but this got no reaction whatsoever.

Friday, May 2, 2008

That Third Kind of Heat

Me: Is it allergy season? Are your allergies happening?

Sheila: Mine aren't, but yeah, I've heard the pollen count is really high right now.

Me: Okay, good. So I probably have allergies.

Sheila [nodding knowingly]: Mm hmm. Yeah.

Me: So I probably don't have Bird Flu then.

Sheila [still nodding]: Right. Probably not.