Monthly Archives: October 2003

28 weeks 1 day

It’s official.

My belly button is gone.

In just a few days time, my belly has popped out. I wore a non-maternity sweater on Monday and no fewer than three people at work came up to me and put their hands on my stomach. (Which is a total invasion of personal space and makes me uncomfortable, but I try to let it go, for the most part, since it’s not a big deal.) It tells me that I no longer look fat, but pregnant (which is fine by me).

I ordered a Lands’ End diaper bag yesterday, in black (per George’s request) and am pretty excited about it. I also found some nifty side-snap t-shirts at a baby resale shop last Saturday for $.50 each, along with several fleece sleepers and a couple of gowns with gathered bottoms. I only spent about $5 total, so I’m pretty happy with my haul.

I’m overwhelmed by cloth diapering options, and it seems the more research I do, the more overwhelmed I get. I need to call my one sister-in-law and get some info from her on what worked best on her kids. I know every kid is different, but I need to start somewhere.

George called me today and said, “If you were having a hypothetical baby shower, who would you hypothetically want to invite from work?… Hypothetically, of course.” (He’s got such a sense of humor.)

I was not anticipating a shower; as a matter of fact, the very idea makes me uncomfortable. I don’t know if it’s all the years of being raised to think that celebrating birthdays is equivalent to idolatry or what, but I have this serious dread of being the center of attention. All I can think about is all of times I’ve heard people say, “Oh, brother, I have a (baby/bridal) shower to go to this weekend, and I am NOT looking forward to it.” I hate the feeling that I’m imposing on people who probably could find much better things to do with a Sunday afternoon. I’d rather have lunch with my sisters-in-law and leave it at that. Besides… it feels so grabby to have a shower! I mean, if we couldn’t afford to have this baby, then we shouldn’t be having one. We shouldn’t be depending on others to provide for us. (I’ve seen this happen, and I feel it’s tacky-tacky-tacky.)

George has told me to get over it, and be appreciative… but I can’t help feeling this way. To be honest, I’m not really close to anyone at work… there are a few people I talk to, but I can’t get over that “gift-digging” feeling, and I’d hate them to say, “Why is she inviting me to her shower, I hardly know her?” The few work-people that I am close to are spread around the country. There’s one other woman in my department that I get on with very well, and I’ll invite her, but I feel guilty because she’s probably the only one from work and she’ll be stuck by herself! I do have friends from e-mail lists that I would love to invite, but again, they’re spread around the country, and I can’t imagine imposing upon them to come to Cleveland for a stinking baby shower.

Aaahh, guilt! This is craziness!

This doesn’t even take into consideration the family factor — I only speak with one sister, and she would barely know anyone there. I’ve lost touch with most of the rest of the (non-JW) family, including my Dad’s sister and my Father & step-mother, and I don’t want to be thought of as a gift-digger (“Hey! I know I haven’t talked to you in several years, but would you like to come to my baby shower?”) Nah, I don’t think so. I’d rather send them baby announcements after-the-fact.

At the same time… I don’t want to leave anyone out and have hurt feelings. No wonder one of my fellow-PG-workmates said that her upcoming shower is already promising to be very stressful on her.

I would probably fare better if George was there with me… I just might see if I can make that happen. Maybe I can claim hormonal-ness and dependency. He probably won’t buy it, since I’ve been so even-keeled. It’s worth a shot. Besides, I want to see him open the little packages. It would make it worthwhile.

Thanking God that I’ve had such an uneventful, low-risk pregnancy. I pray it continues in this vein and the worst I have to worry about is shower stuff.

26 weeks 4 days

I had the second round of blood tests on Friday (Strep-B) and decided to skip the gestational diabetes test. I have experienced no sudden weight gain, dizziness after meals, sugar cravings or continual thirst. If any of those things show up, I’ll start using a glucometer to check my sugar levels after breakfast. I’m low-risk and intend to stay that way, since I truly believe that the more interventions used when not required, the less the chance the pregnancy has of being successful. I have my next midwife appointment tomorrow afternoon, I’ll discuss it with her then.

I just found a great deal on jersey knit crib sheets for $5.99 each from The Company Store. And, believe it or not, they have white! Thank God. I bought 5!

Bubs is really starting to plant some good kicks. S/he’s already given me a couple of good shots to the bladder and the ribs; I’ve been on the phone at work and said “Ow!” in surprise and a little pain… it’s pretty funny how s/he reacts to touch and sound. George says good morning to the baby every morning, and s/he starts rolling around in there, poking me in the belly button. It’s funny how s/he already recognizes George’s voice.

25 weeks

A few weeks ago my sister called me, which was a huge surprise, since (a.) I am estranged from her and my parents, and (b.) phone calls have always been spotty at best.

To make a long, difficult, painful story short, my parents are Jehovah’s Witnesses. I was raised as a Witness, baptized at 14, disfellowshipped at 19 and reinstated at 20, then promptly drifted away. While I have come to disagree with their beliefs, I respect my parents’ decision to be Witnesses, and do not speak disparagingly of it to them, my siblings, or to anyone else, for that matter. I’ve come to realize that religion is a highly personal thing. My mother wrote me a letter in August 2002, cutting off all association, and would contact me in case of family emergency.

Back to the phone call from my sister.

She informed me that our uncle has been diagnosed with small cell carcinoma, a type of lung cancer. A recent CAT scan has shown that the cancer has spread to his brain. His prognosis is very poor. He is way too young for this, only being in his 40s. After waiting for two weeks for my sister to call back with his new address and phone number, I finally took it upon myself to search around and finally managed to find his phone number. Fortunately, it hasn’t changed since he moved, and I was able to talk to him yesterday.

He sounds better than he feels; he just finished his first round of chemotherapy and is feeling nauseous. He tries to get out of the house as much as possible, and is doing his best to keep active. I told him I’d like to bring him dinner and visit for a while; he said he’d like that.

Of all my aunts & uncles, he has always been my favorite. The black sheep of the family, but with his heart in the right place. He’s the only sibling of my mother’s that I’ve kept in contact with… he’s been trying for years to get enough money to buy out the relatives who own parcels of my great grandmother’s farm in West Virginia. It’s been slow going but he’s done a lot of work, and from the pictures it looks like a beautiful place.

He drove cross-country from California to Ohio with his dog Sasha to move home.

At 19, he dialed the phone for me when I was too gutless to call my bio-father.

He introduced me to the Steve Miller Band.

He knew that I was going out with my friends when I lived with my grandmother, but he never said anything or got involved.

Bob Seger stole “Like A Rock” from him after smoking a joint with him in his truck in the parking lot of a bar in California.

He plays acoustic guitar and sings pretty well.

He has a severe aversion to strawberries.

During our chat, I told him he will be a Great Uncle in January, that I’m already six months along. He looks forward to seeing the baby. I told him I think it’s a boy.

I know we’re all going to die, but to be face-to-face with such a short time left has to be devastating. I can’t imagine that this is happening so quickly, and to someone so young. Maybe I feel it more poignantly because I’m nurturing a life within me, and it’s so fragile right now… and nothing really changes, even after we are born and grow and become independent and live our own lives.

After all we struggle to achieve, we’re still so fragile.