Bionic Mamas

you're not losing a vagina, you're gaining a son

17.5 Weeks/2.5 Years


Hi, again — I say again because the blasted device ate the version of this I started in the afternoon. For the record.

Thank you all for your kind, wise, compassionate comments on that bloody post of mine. I am sorry I have not responded to you; I need a moment more, it turns out. I said to Sugar around the time that I wrote that post that I did not know what to do with the apparent fact that my mind can’t begin to process this information, both the new information and the memories. She suggested that perhaps I should consider that I am processing it, and it just takes more time than I’ve given it. There is a bit of a deadline (see ticker) for some of that work, but still, I find her take on it more useful than mine. I hope she’s onto something.

Once and future birth/postpartum angst aside, the pregnancy business is going very well. I have my tired and sore days, true, and there is the slight inconvenience of a kind of emotional inertia such that if I do cry, I can’t stop for the rest of the day. But it is inertia, not depression, and objects in a good mood tend to remain in a good mood. So that’s nice. I sure wish I could get these particular hormones in pill form. They’d be nice all the time, but especially as an antidote to the breastfeeding ones, which are not so kind to my little brain.

Particularly surprising to me is the realization that I’m actually feeling quite happy about my body, to the point that I don’t find myself hating or otherwise disdaining even what it looks like. This is profoundly uncharacteristic; I can’t remember its ever happening before. I just feel so pleased with it for being pregnant, and whether I look as I “should” or not seems picayune. I’ve gained a moderate amount of weight, and so far, my determination to obsess less this round doesn’t even feel like determination. I’m sure it helps that, as is often the case with pregnancies after the first one, I have come to look far more pregnant far more quickly. (Awkward, decapitated belly-selfie here, for the curious.). Regardless, I hope this will help me keep my resolution to give a lot fewer fucks about losing weight on any particular schedule, postpartum.

We went last week for the first of two — times have changed already since the Bean’s gestation — anatomy scans. I’ll save you some skipping ahead: I did not peek during the Down There portion of the ultrasonic interview, and if Sugar did, she’s keeping her own counsel. (As with last time around, she would like to know and I would like to wait; more on that another time, maybe.) Everything is reported to be fine: the usual count of limbs, kidneys, heart chambers. We will have another one of these at the fancy place in a few weeks, and perhaps Critter/Axolotl/Jackalope (poor creature needs a better name) will let them see the cord insertion that time. The cervices are likewise behaving, much to everyone’s relief. The only potential problem is a marginal case of placenta previa. While this does nothing to alleviate my “am I going to bleed to death” concerns, I am trying to take the advice of the lovely southern doctor, who says it’s almost silly to diagnose such a thing at 16 weeks, since the placenta takes up a proportionally larger amount of uterine space at that point. Apparently the lower portion the uterus sort of unfolds later on, and a marginal previa may well be not at all close to the cervix/ces by delivery time. I’m glad he explained it that way; when I was told the Bean’s placenta was low-lying at a similar stage, they said it might move, which, given villi and all seemed unlikely and led me to envision the placenta as a kind of huge, blind slug.

Tomorrow is my first OB appointment in some time, as I was waiting to be on the better insurance. Or rather, it was supposed to be an OB appointment, but will actually be back with the nice midwife from last time, because of scheduling infelicities. I should be diving into meeting the people who might actually be at the delivery, but I’m glad enough for a respite from the “are you incompetent/emotionally unstable” interview questions I now feel compelled to ask them all. (I thought I didn’t need to ask those questions last time, and if you’re new here, click “Dr. Russian” to find out how well that went.) I do plan to make clear that the postpartum anemia I described when she took my history was definitely not a case of anemia in pregnancy (except maybe the last four hours). And I expect we will get to have a probably unpleasant chat about how I do not plan to do that awful glucose test this time, given an absence of significant risk factors and a skepticism about the existence of gestational diabetes — or rather, bad outcomes from same — in patients without previous insulin resistance. I am willing to monitor my own glucose at home for a week or two, which is a better source of data anyway, but I am not willing to make myself sick for three days again for such shoddy science. I have a small person to take care of, for one thing. I’m not looking forward to the monitoring, but what’s a few more stab wounds in pursuit of this baby, am I right?

So. I will report back.

Meanwhile! The Bean had his half-birthday last weekend. I made a tiny cake and everything. It was popular. Picture and recipe to follow; I am quite pleased with the results of my attempt to make a mini-loaf-pan chocolate cake. It’s a useful size for a small household.

Like most two-year-olds, at least in their mothers’ eyes, the Bean is an absolute delight except when he’s a holy terror. Sometimes he is both. Today, for instance, he contrived to discover Sugar’s oil paint box, complete with uncleaned palettes, in its hiding place under the chaise. He very independently figured out how to work the clasps and spread the contents all over his room. NB, for those unfamiliar with the medium, a good sized glop of oil paint, such as one might leave on a palette for later use, essentially never all the way dries. He was so pleased with himself. And surprisingly neat, considering.

Eating and sleeping are still…challenges. At least two of those lacrimae perpetuae days were set off by my frustrations with his diet and the sanctimonious attitudes of many parents on the topic, in particular in our area. Wait, three. There’s half a rant in my draft folder, and maybe I will finish it one of these days. Meanwhile, one of us is in his room until at least 10 every night, waiting for him to fall asleep. Unless he skips his nap, in which case…well, it’s not an acceptable trade-off. He does not often sleep through the night.

But. He does paint and ride his scooter and give the most wonderful hugs. He sings and cooks and wears underpants for increasing stretches of time, despite my refusal to engage in any form of potty training more vigorous than offering chocolate chip bribes. His trucks are grouped in two-mom families. He is obsessed with street sweepers and the alphabet. I know it sounds crazy, but he is desperately trying to learn to read. And who am I not to enable the heck out of that?

So here, to counteract the sleeping and eating complaints, is some unadulterated bragging. Shield your eyes.

I was at the big computer a week or so ago, trying to find some non-ugly maternity clothes, when the Bean came up behind me. “What’s e-da?” he asked. He likes to ask for definitions of nonsense words these days. (It’s fun when he hits on a real word by accident. “What’s a ne-ne?” “It’s a goose, the state bird of Hawaii, and a very useful scrabble word.” Hysterical laughter.) I assumed this was more of the same, and said I did not know. “What’s e-da? What’s e-da?” He kept asking, which is not the usual for nonsense. Finally he walked up to the computer and pointed at the corner of the screen. “What’s e-da?”

I looked. In the corner was the eBay logo, which is all lowercase, ebay.

“Is this what you’re asking about?” He said yes. “What letters do you see?”

“E D A Y. What’s e-da?”

So. He got the b/d thing wrong and missed the diphthong, but hell, I’m pretty damn proud, all the same.

My kid. I think I’ll keep him.

Underwear Model

15 thoughts on “17.5 Weeks/2.5 Years

  1. ‘Your comment could not be posted’
    GRRRRRR! *wordpress hate*

  2. Try again:
    I thoroughly recommend you keep him! A keeper if ever there was one.
    ‘…envision the placenta as a kind of huge, blind slug…’ ERRRKK! *shudders* Now THERE’S a vision that’ll stay with me for… ever, aktually!

  3. Love the belly shot. You look good, mama!

    The Bean is always impressive, the child a writing teacher SHOULD have unlike my little skinny puppy who uses a made-up word “inna” to express all his life desires (apparently something children with delayed speech do) and spends his days yelling at me “mama coocoo tee” (mama choochoo tv aka thomas) and “caboo caboo caboo” (caillou caillou caillou).

    • But couldn’t the child of someone who mostly writes about food manage to eat something, once in a great while?

      I am very sorry to hear about the Caillou love, though. I kind of can’t stand that whiny little twerp. Thomas, I have my issues with but can tolerate, though I am glad we’ve been doing more Fireman Sam lately.

      • the meaning of life is to be useful? what issues might you have with that?

        at least cailliou learns to not be whiny or selfish. admittedly, the same lesson every episode, but far less annoying to me than dora. i can’t stand the pseudo-educational ADHD shows on nickelodian that M lets him watch when I’m not home.

  4. That bean! By the way, love the undies, izzy has the same pair. Her teachers at school are always a bit weirded out when she is wearing boys cut undies but I try to explain that she picked them (and they are better made) but I worry they think we wear boys undies too 😉

  5. You look beautiful!! I’m glad everything is going so well 🙂

  6. That belly picture is absolutely delightful.
    And so is your boy. Which I thoroughly recommend to keep. 🙂

  7. So good to hear from you. You look wonderful and it sounds like you are feeling very well too. And the Bean is a darling. Do keep him. 🙂

  8. Reading AND underpants? Impressive! And handsome, to boot! Also, I like Jackalope, and I’m glad to hear about the placenta previa thing (well, not that you have it, but how it works) because I could never figure out how it moved, either. Now I’m going to go and move all of my carefully hidden sewing stuff to higher shelves, because although it makes less of a mess, I bet it hurts a lot more…

  9. Both the Bean and you look adorable. I agree with Isa about Jackalope being a promising name. I’d go with it. As for the Bean’s brilliance, I don’t think it’s bragging if the story is true and interesting and you’re just telling it. Plus, who cares? Brag away! He’s amazing.

  10. You should feel good about your body, ’cause that is one fine ass meat sack you got there! I am one of those saps that thinks pregnant women are miraculous and beautiful, plus you are beautiful in general, so DOUBLE WIN. The bean is super fab, too! He looks like an oldey timey bathing beauty! I am not surprised to see him reading early, but it’s still pretty fucking amazing. Bun Bun is a million miles from it. I mean, not a million, she’s in the “I know a lotta letters and I like to memorize and recite books” phase, but it’s really hard for me to imagine her jumping that gap. ANYHOW, enjoy having an early reader–that could come in awfully happy with a baby in the picture. And it’s one of those things you’re not going to be able to avoid bragging about, because it is really cool, and it COMES UP. I’ll feel like a crappy mother, but I’ll take comfort in my illiterate child who leaves me alone from 7am to 7 pm.

    (By the way, I am SO SORRY he’s still fucking with you on those so terribly important eating and sleeping scores. I am in a happy place of not really giving a shit whether my toddler eats, but she’s fine weight-wise, and reliably eats a big breakfast. As for the sleeping…I don’t know how you do it. I would be dead. We would all be dead. You guys are heroic.)

    Where do you come down on seeing a therapist? I only recall that you still burn with a firey rage over having to see one at your clinic, but professional help with the PTSD could be a good investment. Just had to put it out there.

    PLEASE call the fetus Jackalope.

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