You know, you leave an empty chair around here, and before you know it, there are babies sprouting up all over the place.
Hello, all! I’ve (clearly) been not-blogging for a bit here, but am mucking about in World of Julie as apparently some nasty hacker-type people figured out a way to use WoJ as their shell site for cheating people out of their credit card numbers. Ack! So I upgraded my WordPress, which is something I’ve always been afraid of doing. But which seemed to work just fine.
Today I can tell you that a sweet little four-week-old baby is asleep at my feet. Was she ever really not here? She has completely woven herself into our lives, and pretty much spends her days being kissed by everyone in the family. She’s Ramona Greta, and was born on May 25 at 1:23 (5/25/10, 1:23, there’s some kind of numerology thing going on there). She’s just a peach, really. I’ll tell you all about her birth when I get around to it. I felt like I was in labor for weeks.
There’s a week and a half before the official baby due date, but things are definitely Happening down there. The baby’s head is incredibly low, which is apparently unusual for a not-first baby (which makes no sense to me). Her head is so low that when I got checked yesterday, the midwife couldn’t get around the head to reach my cervix to see if I’m dilated at all. I’ll leave you to contemplate whether Unreachable Cervix is a better name for an all-girl punk rock band or as the title of a short story about a woman who travels the globe looking for love in all the wrong places. Or as the name of a particularly grueling hiking trail (“the Unreachable Cervix Trail is the straightest way to the summit, but the Western Boulder Trail is a lot more manageable”).
Every one of the midwives I’ve talked to in the last few days has gotten a serious and slightly alarmed look in her eye, and emphasized that, if I think I’m in labor, I need to go to the hospital Right Away, because things are going to be quick (not one has said “are likely to be quick” — they’ve all spoken pretty definitely). One even said, “If you have to wait around at all for childcare, don’t. Just bring the kids with you. Otherwise you won’t make it.” So I’ve kind of been preparing mentally to have the baby on the front steps/in the car/in the hospital lobby/while standing at the nurse’s station checking in.
In only semi-related news, I’ve been knitting a lot. Turning off the computer plus not being able to bend over to clean the house (well, not bend over and breathe at the same time) has given me a lot of time to sit and knit. I finished a vest that I started for Henry months ago. You can kind of see it in this photo. He wanted a golden vest. I used some local wool from Romney Ridge Farm, which is very soft and springy and cozy and has some really nice variegation. I made my own pattern using The Knitter’s Book of Handy Patterns. He wore it almost every day until it started to get too warm. I also knit a tomato hat for the baby (I had the yarn from making a strawberry hat in the past, but couldn’t find my pattern, and plus am maybe feeling too tired to deal with putting in the strawberry seeds). I forgot to take a photo before Eli happily stuck the tomato hat in the hospital bag (because we like to add at least one thing a day, thus ensuring the bag will weigh 400 pounds when I go into labor, and also because we’re all deluded about how tiny newborn heads are). And I knit one more thing that’s a present so you’ll hear about it later.
Children’s Book of the Week coming back soon, I promise. The next one I want to write up requires Henry to sing a song, so I just haven’t gotten around to recording him yet. (Plus I still have three more things — two small, one large-ish — to do for school, and those take priority over children’s book reviews, I’m afraid.)
So, in the meantime, you can all continue to think of good baby names for us. It has to be as awesomely cool as Zuzanna, remember. I don’t want this one to think, “How come I got the dud name?”
Two more weeks left in this class, and then regular blogging will resume.
Random thought of the day: if we name the baby something that starts with an A, then I can arrange the kids’ first initials to spell out HAZE. Not that there’s any need for that, ever.
GIRL! (Eli’s name suggestions so far: Bacon, Ice Cream, Poopy, and something along the lines of Gzhijyw. Really. He spelled it.)
Ok, everyone! So what I’ve been calling (in my head) GFO Day (Gender Find-Out Day) is next Tuesday, December 29. Let’s see if the wisdom of the masses is right. Answer the poll!
Which, you know, means this:
(Couldn’t resist throwing in another image from the Charley Harper biology book.)
Which, you know, means, um, WHAT!? Or, at least, that was my first reaction. Which was quickly followed by, “Oh you have got to be kidding me.” Then my reaction was to fall to the ground for a while. Then Dave and I burst out laughing, and said the word “Crazy!” about 700 times. Because, I mean, COME ON. I swear all Dave did was sneeze in the same room where I was. People, this is the second time we’ve nailed it before I got my period after having a baby. What are the odds of that? Well, fairly high, apparently, at least for us. We joke that I’m like one of those baboons whose butt gets all red and she does a little dance waving her posterior around when she ovulates. I have no other explanation. But I haven’t had my period since April of 2005, which makes for some amusing conversations when I call the midwives and they ask when my last period was, to try to determine how far along I am, and then are flummoxed when the little Wheel O’ Birth Dates says I’m 220 weeks pregnant. But at least I’m funding my kids’ college educations with money saved from not buying tampons.
So my first 80 thoughts were “Crazy!” and my next 80 thoughts were “Oh, crap!” and my 150th thought was “Well, at least I’ll get to give birth in that fancy new birthing center.” And there was also the overwhelming thought that I’ve never believed more in some kind of divine force that has a plan for my life, or at least in the idea that Jeffrey Eugenides puts forth in Middlesex that the children are these sort of floaty beings out in the ether, and when it’s time for them to be born, they wave goodbye to the others and say, “See you later!” and go floating down the chute into consciousness. Because I feel like the kids were there at our wedding in some ways, you know? So I guess there was one more little floaty being up there waiting to be born.
And then after I found out, I had to mourn for about a week, because, as you know, I was just getting my life in order here! Ugh. (Although this is a very good explanation for why all those crunches weren’t doing a blessed thing.) And then, finally, I started to get excited about it. I think four is actually going to be even better than three. With four kids, no one is left out. And there’s a nice balance. And we already have the minivan, and we’re finishing off the attic to be a giant kids’ room anyway, so why not add one more? Though I do have to say that, as an only child, this is taking a lot of deep breathing to get my mind around. I do love the big pile of kids though, and four is a better pile than three. Plus they can, I don’t know, have their own bridge tournament or something. Or play two-on-two basketball.
Right now I am 11 weeks pregnant. Right after that pregnancy test turned positive, I suddenly had the feeling that there was a giant piano dangling over my head, ready to drop. “Dave!” I said, with urgency, “We’ve got like two weeks before I’m so sick that I’m completely useless!” I ran around buying snacks and food and anything I could think of before that piano dropped. And let me just say that this time, it’s been like six pianos. Brutal. I am a mess. I seriously feel decent for maybe ten minutes a day. The rest of the time I’m either throwing up or feeling like I’m about to. And while throwing up is bad enough, it’s a whole other nightmare scenario when you have kids outside the door yelling, “I’m telling!” or “MOMMY! WHERE ARE YOU?” or Zuzu is insisting on crawling into my lap, and then, when I refuse that, she starts throwing things into the toilet. Can you think of anything worse than your toddler throwing tubes of toothpaste into the toilet when you’re throwing up? Isn’t that Dante’s Sixth Level of Hell?
Also I am so tired that I’ve had to take three naps while trying to write this post.
And so you’ll have to forgive me if World of Julie doesn’t get updated quite as frequently as it has been.
P.S. At our first midwife appointment last week, I got to learn the hilarious technical jargon they wrote in my (now one-inch-thick) file to describe Zuzu’s birth: “Precipitous spontaneous birth in shower. Mother carried baby to bed to birth placenta.”
P.P.S. Also, does anyone have any spare maternity clothes?