why was I not informed?

Helen DeWitt has a blog, I find, and I'm ashamed to admit I didn't know about it before now. Since she has only one book published properly in paper another source for her writing is of course very welcome, although it is also another thing that makes me feel like I should not even attempt. Anyways, since we're too busy with rib injuries and baby showers and talent shows (and gardening when I can fit it in) to write much, go read hers instead.

cold comfort

I like the cold. I'm not good for much in the heat—when the temperature gets above, say, 80°F—but given the right outfit I'm happy down well below zero. Not just in winter, either: I'll take all the cold I can get for sleeping, and I open my car windows as soon as I can in the spring (or on sunny days in the winter). The only problem is, I usually have to accommodate other folks who prefer things a tad more balmy.

Well, for the first time ever in my life, I am not the most cold-tolerant person I know, nor even the most cold-tolerant person in my household. Yes, with the heat of pregnancy burning inside her, Leah now throws off the covers when the windows are open and it's 40°F and raining outside, so yeah. Life is great!

By the way, the autocomplete informs me that I have used this title before; googling "'cold comfort' site:squibix.net" tells me it was this post. Just in case you were keeping track.


Yup, still pregnant

Despite the frequent inquiries from friends and complete strangers the likes of "When's the baby due? Tomorrow?" "That baby's due any day now, right?" "Are you STILL pregnant????" I'm happy to report that the baby is still not due for another month, and yes, I may get fatter between now and then. Which is okay with me; I'd rather gain another five pounds than have the baby come tomorrow into a mess of un-folded onesies. THE ONESIES! THEY'RE SO SMALL BUT SO NUMEROUS! Also, I think we need an industrial engineer to set up our co-sleeper. Suffice it to say I'M NOT READY! STAY IN THERE BABY!

Actually, I'm totally thrilled that the baby's coming soon, but I've just now gotten used to being pregnant and (if you can believe it) I don't really mind being pregnant anymore. Now that my ribs are healed, the discomfort isn't so bad, and I've had enough months of short slow work-outs to re-evaluate my athletic persona, so mostly I feel pretty good about lying around and ordering Dan to get stuff for me. Also, when the baby comes out I actually have to start dieting, so these are all reasons to be happy being pregnant!



I've been having practice contractions since the weekend, which is a very normal thing that happens at the end of pregnancy and shouldn't be met with over-zealous responses such as HOLY SHIT WERE HAVING A BABY TOMORROW QUICK EVERYBODY PANIC! The baby is moving into position and getting it's head engaged, which is kind of like the part of riding a roller-coaster where you're going up... and up..... and uuuuuup the ramp..... and you're thinking "Was this thing really built to safety specifications?" The baby could come as early as this weekend, but it could also wait another three weeks, and we really have no way to predict when exactly it'll be, although we're fairly sure that it won't be later than the due date. Sooo, looks like we're having a baby this month. Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

are we all spoiled?

Spring smells good this year. I understand why folks have always wanted to bottle the scent of various flowers, because I wouldn't mind smelling lilacs, say, in October. The same thing is true for colors, I think, though of course now we can make any color we want any time of year. It doesn't make us appreciate spring flowers any less, I don't think, but maybe it changes the nature of the appeal. I thought of it a few weeks ago when I saw an orange plastic bit among some not-yet-blooming daffodils: imagine what life was like when you couldn't see yellow from November to April! Well, not really; there were always egg yolks.

I wouldn't mind if I were reduced to using only natural dyes, which are (as I understand it) necessarily more muted than the substances from which they're derived. But even as it is the pink azalea that started blooming yesterday is pretty exciting, and so is just the green of the leaves closing in. I'm easily amused, I suppose.


problems with late-stage pregnancy

Leah: How does this look on me?
Dan: [laughs]
Leah: Help, I can't get it off!

heal thyself

I had my first meeting with a perspective pediatrician today... a phone meeting which went unequivocally badly. As someone who's naturally wary of doctors, the medical profession isn't doing anything to assuage my fears of them being smug non-evidence-based assholes. Here's the way the good doctor 'addressed my questions' about joining her practice:
1) Home birth? Wow, that's really risky... They always call me in when something goes wrong with that! In that case, please make sure you bring in the baby THE NEXT DAY IF NOT THE SAME DAY to make sure, you know, everything came out okay, and all the right stuff is still attached.
2) Splitting up vaccinations? That's overzealous. There's no real risk to aluminum since it flushes out of the system in 24 hours. We stick to the CDC schedule here.
3) Circumcision? Well, they usually do that in the hospital, so if you're CHOOSING not to DELIVER in the hospital, then I guess you'll need to take your baby to the hospital for that.

And then she's all: Look forward to seeing you when the baby comes!

As Dan pointed out to me after the call, it's like doctor's today are Catholic priests of the middle ages.... they're all like: "Why are you attempting to reason for yourself? We already have all the answers right here for you!"

Unfortunately, the doctor's responses reveal not only blatant anti-hippy prejudice, but a basic failing in the area of statistics:
1) Of course you only see the times when home birth goes terribly wrong... that's the only time folks come into the hospital! That's called sampling bias. In other words, she's seeing the 5% of home birth cases that end in large medical complications, and making a judgement on the safety of home birth as if that 5% were 100%. However, this judgement disregards the risks in the opposite direction, like 30% of the hospital births which end in c-section.
2) Wow, you mention vaccinations and doctor's crazy flags sure do go up. As someone who 100% supports complete vaccination, I have to worry about a doctor who won't even entertain parental concern about toxic levels of aluminum (regardless of whether they occur for longer than 24 hours... aluminum is a neurotoxin... how long do you feel comfortable exposing your brain to a level 20 times higher than EPA recommendations for toxicity? Or do you just trust the politicians at the CDC more than the politicians at the EPA?) Doctors shot kids up with mercury for 15 years before they were all, oops! just kidding, that shit causes autism. But NOW we've got it all figure out; trust us NOW!

Double unfortunately, we still need a doctor for our kid, and precious time is running out. It took me a week to get this one on the phone, and she came highly recommended (admittedly, by people who don't share our anti-interventionist values and actual grasp of mathematics, but then again I don't know anyone else who does.) Dan has agreed to help research and call doctors this week. I don't know what else to do... In my desperation I even called my Mom to ask for help, and she very helpfully told me to get recommendations and call more doctors. (Why do I have to get a project manager for a mother and not, like, say, a mother? Remind me to call her again when I want to get super bossed around about shit I already know!) The good news is that the stress from this situation made it so I couldn't sleep all night, so I just got like four hours of work done between midnight and 4am! Guess who just freed up the morning to call doctors!


It would be funnier if it weren't true...

It is 9:30am, and I am sitting on the couch eating ice cream covered in melted chocolate chips. Also? not wearing any pants.

This baby better come soon.

never mind the reason why

I rode my bike to work today, because I care about sustainability and things just that much. Also because my car is broken and in the shop, but still! It was a perfect day to bike, because the weather was great and at least this morning the traffic was terrible. It makes the desperate wheezing and aching muscles more bearable when you pass more cars than pass you, I think.

Of course, it doesn't matter why you choose to represent, hippie-style, because it's the actions that count. Just like this afternoon, when I (finally, says Leah) tried to call and cancel the tv service, the nice woman at Verizon wanted to know why we didn't want it any more.

"Well," I said, "we don't really watch it very much, and we're trying to simplify our life, and we have a baby coming and..."

"So you're interested in reducing your bill? Ok."

I suppose there isn't a box on her customer service ap for "customers trying to maintain integrity and not be slaves to popular culture," so "reducing our bill" it is. It's a factor, to be sure.


Pregnancy update: Day 271

Still no baby.

For all those who keep calling and asking when the baby's coming, we would very much like to know ourselves! I think the correct answer is: whenever he or she is good and ready. Until then.... a lot of board games to play i guess.