Milk bath for BB

37 weeks pregnant! I’m stocking the freezer with my favorite meals. But before I could do that, I had to clear it out. That meant dealing with my 3-year-old stash of breastmilk.

A long, long time ago, when BB was a few months old, I had the idea that I’d pump on a regular basis, BB would drink the occasional bottle and I’d hit the town or at least be away from her for more than 2 hours at a time.

The first part worked out great, I pumped every morning and the freezer filled up. The rest of my dream did not come true. BB drank maybe one bottle and we never tried that hard to make it work.

When she was 10 months old, we moved to the burbs. I contemplated the milk. Take it? Toss it? Too old to donate. I packed it just to delay having to make a decision. And so it sat in the freezer.

I feel very nostalgic about it. I can’t remember where, but I read an article about a woman who saved a bag of breastmilk for many more years than me until her freezer died and the milk leaked everywhere, so that was validating.

But I need the room in my freezer. What to do? I lined it all up on the counter. Took a picture. Saved my four favorite bags and dumped the rest in the bathtub for BB to have an epic milk bath.

She loved it and needed another bath the next day. Imagine what a head of hair looks like after being doused in liquid lard.

That left me with only one more breastmilk-nostalgia item to deal with. I have a very snuggy maternity hoodie that I wore while bed-sharing with BB. Then we moved. She went from waking to nurse every couple hours to sleeping through the night. She night weaned herself and my boobs exploded all over that snuggy hoody. I hung it up in my closet and forgot about it. It never made it in the wash.

The next time I thought about washing it, we had weaned completely. I noticed the milk stains on the front. I was consumed with nostalgia. I said to myself,

“I’m washing this to put it away. I’m not wearing it anymore. Do I really need to wash it?”

And so it hung in my closet. Now it’s getting chilly. Now I could really use a snuggy maternity sweatshirt. I take it out. I wear it around the house a few times without washing it.

I wear it out in public. Now I’m ready to wash it. I take a photo and into the laundry it goes.

BB tells me,

“If my baby sister doesn’t want to drink her milk, I can have another milk bath!”

Maybe. Although if I don’t need the room in the freezer, BB could be waiting a very long time.

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Crotch belt bringing it home

35 weeks pregnant! I’m eating my last Cadbury cream egg. Yes it’s September and they never should’ve lasted this long, but it’s been a roller coaster of gestational diabetes tests. I passed my third and final one a few weeks ago.

Not only do I not have gestational diabetes, but there was some concern that the baby might be small. As of a month ago that doesn’t seem to be a concern anymore, but I still ate a pint of Haagen Daz for dinner just to be on the safe side.

This feels like the home stretch. I wouldn’t mind a few more weeks to check things off my to-do list, but I’m also dying to get my hands on this baby. And hoping, praying, pleading with my circulation system to please please please not be painful after I give birth.

My midwife warned me that my veins would continue to get worse over the course of my pregnancy. She didn’t say might. She was correct.

In the last week, the intense pressure of the veins in my crotch has turned into a relentless throbbing pain. I’ve been eyeballing a vulvar compression belt for a couple months now, but at $80 and no points for style, I was planning to manage without.

The other day I was standing at the counter for my millionth snack of the day. I love standing and eating at the counter, even when I’m not pregnant, but I couldn’t bear it. I had to sit down. I read the reviews of the compression belt for the millionth time.

It looks like a glorified jock strap. Everyone agrees it works. The main complaint seems to be that it creates 4 butt cheeks.

Four butt cheeks be damned. I’m taking my pregnancy sexiness to the next level. Between bulging out of the top of my compression tights and my 35 week belly bump, what’s a few more bulges out of my backside?

I like it and it’s super obnoxious. In addition to a tiny person doing a head stand on my bladder, I now have 4 pieces of straps, velcro and spandex between me and the toilet.

I’ve been refraining from asking anyone what’s the worst thing that could happen to the veins when I give birth. It’s a little bit like not wanting to hear other people’s labor horror stories. But thinking my imagination may be worse than reality, I ask the nurse who runs my support group. She tells me,

“During labor one woman had to have emergency surgery on her veins before she could give birth.”

Huh. Maybe I was better off not knowing that.

Five weeks or less to go. I have no intention of going much past my due date. I have an induction massage booked for a week before and acupuncture and walking and drinking a bottle of wine and whatever else might work.

I am so appreciative of all the help and services we’re able to afford. So every morning as it gets harder and harder to reach my feet and put on my compression tights I think there must be someone I can pay to do this for me.

The other day my acupuncturist watches me struggle to get them on. She offers,

“Can I help?”

“I wish!”

I really don’t know how anyone else could help me put them on.

A stranger finally said something about my pregnancy that made me feel better. I was in the locker room at the Y and she asked,

“Are those compression tights?”

“Yeah.”

“Oh you poor thing.”

Thank you!

I am beyond grateful to be pregnant and almost to my due date and to be complaining about a problem that has zero implications for the health of my baby, but I really appreciate the condolences for my vagina.

As sexy as the white one is, I went with the black one.

Home Alone! Please don’t send anyone

I’m home alone for two nights! Just me. I’d like to thank everyone who has made this possible: Captain and my in-laws.

Last night was the best night’s sleep I’ve had in 3.5 years. I really think that’s true. I slept for 10 hours straight. Nobody waking me up. No bathroom. Nothing but calm silence.

I’ve had my fair share of nights away from BB, so that’s not the only contributing factor. I think the magic sleeping pixie dust was being alone in my house in my own bed and having zero agenda.

A walk, a coffee, a soda-water mimosa, writing my blog, working on photo albums, that’s what I’ve got planned. And the timeline for it is anyone’s guess.

People asked if I’m getting together with friends. No way! I can do that when Captain is around. I’m hoarding my home-alone time. After all, this is it, the home stretch. I’m almost 30 weeks pregnant.

The varicose veins in my legs and crotch continue to get worse. They burn and tingle and bulge, BUT with BB I was nauseous until the end so if I’m going to have only one physical issue, I’ll take the veins.

I’ve reached the point where my body announces itself whether I want it to or not. I’m pregnant and on display for general public questioning.

I’m used to and very bored by the standard fare:

  • “When are you due?”
  • “How far along are you?”
  • “Is it a boy or a girl?”

When I mention my due date a woman says,

“Oh October is a very popular birthday!”

I haven’t heard this before. I ask,

“Because of the school year cut off?”

“No, because of the New Year!”

“The Jewish New Year?” This seems very unlikely, but what else could she mean?

“No! Conception date! New Year’s Eve.”

“Ah. That’s not really our story.”

“Oh but I guess it is!”

Thanks lady, but no. First of all I had my period New Year’s Eve. Second we thought we were going to be 7 months pregnant at that point, but instead we were on our 3rd try for our 3rd pregnancy. It’s October because that’s what we got.

And of course just when I think my belly speaks for itself, it doesn’t and I still end up struggling to get what I want.

I was craving a large meatball sub. Especially the large part. The place I want to go to is closed. I drive down the road unwilling to give up on my dream. I see another Italian joint. I order my sub. I’m the only customer in there. No one else. I step back from the counter to wait. The person who made it, a different person from the cashier, steps up and hollers,

“Meatball sub!”

I lunge for it. She pulls back and asks,

“Large meatball sub?”

Are you kidding me? There’s no one else here. Does she doubt my ability to eat a large meatball sub? Because I’m about to INHALE it and her arm along with it.

Last but not least I took BB for her 3-year-old photo session. The photographer is a lovely woman I met last year for BB’s 2-year-old photos. I haven’t seen or talked to her since.

She notices my belly and seems oblivious to any social constraints on what the “standard” stranger questions seem to be. She dives right in and I find myself feeling more surprised than put off and I answer honestly,

“Was this a planned pregnancy?”

“Yes.”

“Oh that’s good. Are you done?”

“I sure hope so.”

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Motorcycle = 95 decibels. Baby’s cry = 115 decibels

38 weeks and 4 days pregnant. Baby Bop seems very comfortable hanging out with my intestines. I told her there’s better scenery to be had, but so far no interest.

The number of activities I’m interested in doing is declining. Will there be a bathroom? A place to sit where I can man-spread? A place to stand? A place to lie down? Food? Air conditioning? Did I mention a bathroom? If I can check most of these off, I may go.

At my Little Sister’s junior high graduation the other day a mom of her friend tells me,

“You’re brave.”

“Brave?”

“To be out and about when you’re due so soon.”

I’m in Somerville. The hospital is almost as close as if I were in Boston. The only brave thing about me being here is I don’t know where the bathroom is. Yet.

Captain mentions the monthly neighborhood meeting coming up: Free food, free drinks, which are irrelevant, but still sound great, and on the roof top of a neighboring condo building. Did I mention I have a weakness for roof-top decks? I’m on board for the meeting.

My expectations are low. The massive Indie car race that was coming to our neighborhood was canceled. Captain may be the only resident who is disappointed. Without the race to complain about, people are going to have to stretch for things. I shouldn’t have doubted them.

The police always open the monthly meeting with a recital of the recent criminal activity in the area. This time there are 4 officers, including the police chief. I have a hard time because these guys are from the district that arrested my dog 3 years ago. His record has been cleared.

One officer tells us,

“I really had to search for something this time, but someone broke into a locker at a gym and stole an iPhone.”

That was not worth however much tax money is paying 4 police officers to tell us this. The officer adds,

“Any questions?”

A woman almost jumps off her seat,

“I’ve noticed an increase in deafening motorcycles.”

The officers stare at her and adopt their impression of a sympathetic expression. She continues,

“Have you noticed that?”

Is this the same lady who complained about the increase in airplanes? She should be counting her blessings that hundreds of race cars aren’t descending upon her. An officer asks her,

“Is it more than usual?”

“Oh yes, they’re deafening and especially at night.”

I’m baffled by the noise complaints from people who have chosen to live downtown in a major city. Never mind that there’s a proposal for a public helipad to go in a few streets away. Sound-wise that should drown out the motorcycles.

And while we’re complaining, I’d like to report an increase in obnoxious comments to very pregnant women.* One guy yelled across the street at me, it was loud.

*I cannot take credit for that joke. Thank you to a recently pregnant friend.

So if anyone hears a screaming pregnant lady, followed by the deafening roar of a Toyota Highlander, we’ll soon be back with a screaming baby. You’re welcome.

Version 2

I have no reasonable explanation for this photo. I wanted photos to document my belly. After numerous generic poses, I asked Captain, “Are there any poses you’d like me to do?” He gets a big smile on his face and declares, “A Captain pose!” Then he demonstrates. So here it is.

 

 

At any moment I may no longer be pregnant

37 weeks and 3 days pregnant. At this point, the additional days feel important. In theory Baby Bop could decide to emerge anytime in the next four weeks. I can’t think of any other momentous life event that requires such a wide window of availability.

I head to the grocery store to stock up for the end of the world. I understand that we can order groceries online, but that’s expensive and I find descriptions like 6 ounces of blueberries versus 18 ounces of blueberries unhelpful. Both photos look the same, but then my blueberries arrive and I realize I just paid four dollars for the tiniest package of blueberries I’ve ever seen.

I go to Market Basket. I check out twice. First I buy enough dry goods for the rest of the summer. I take those to the car. I head back in and start on the food. The only good thing about shopping for Armageddon is that no one else is. I’m the only crazy person with 12 chicken breasts sliding off of my stack of 6 boxes of Cheerios, stacked on 8 cans of baked beans.

Yes I live in a tiny living space and yes I’m not sure where all this is going to go, but for whatever reason my pregnant brain needs to do this. A random stranger remarks,

“Looks like you’re pregnant.”

Is he referring to my belly or my cart?

I push on. The store is crowded, but there’s a general give and take between people as we get in each other’s way, except for people pushing carts while talking on cell phones. They’re dangerous. One young guy is chatting away on his phone and on a collision course for my Jenga game of groceries.

An older guy runs up behind him shouting,

“Hey! Hey! Hey!”

The guy on the phone turns with an eye roll. The older guy says,

“That’s my cart!”

The young guy glances down, acknowledges that yes the cart he’s pushing with 3 items in it is not his and walks 10 feet away to a cart that’s half full. He offers,

“I thought the cart felt light.”

Hours later I’m finished. Checkout turns my grocery cart into two grocery carts. I make a valiant effort to push both. An employee rushes to help me. He even insists on loading my car. The pregnant belly has its pros and cons.

I get home much later than I anticipated, with only enough time to make our condo look like a grocery store before Captain and I have to leave for our birth class. We return at 10pm. I look at the food everywhere. I go to bed. I’m feeling concerned. I tell Captain,

“I’m having a lot of feelings.”

“Like what?”

“Baby Bop could come at anytime. She could come tomorrow before I have a chance to put all the groceries away.”

Captain reassures me,

“I can put groceries away.”

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Someday I can just sit in the cart.

 

What’s Baby Bop’s favorite color? Who knows, but mine is pink

36 weeks pregnant. The finish line is in sight. I can almost see it just beyond my giant belly.

People keep exclaiming,

“You’re even bigger!”

I know. And I was guilty of saying this to my very pregnant friends 20 weeks ago.

With another wonderful baby shower checked off the list, I’m very close to filling every square inch of the condo with baby accessories.

Since I moved in a year and a half ago, Captain has been donating his clothes or taking them to his parents’. First to make room for me and now to make room for Baby Bop’s very impressive wardrobe for someone who doesn’t wear clothes yet.

If everything goes well and there’s another kid and it’s a boy, he’s out of luck. Unless he loves dresses.

I understand that Baby Bop may hate the color pink and never want to wear a dress for the rest of her life, but until she can articulate those feelings, or take her clothes off, she’s out of luck. And if she’s in the market for a security blanket that’s not pink, she’s also out of luck. Although after 34 years, my pink security blanket is not so pink anymore. Yes I wash it. Every other year.

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Blankety circa 2008, after traveling around the world for 2 years.

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Washed!

 

I am one hot pregnant lady

35 weeks pregnant. Things are getting real. The foot and butt in my ribs won’t be there much longer. And I’m looking forward to having full bladder capacity again, which wasn’t that impressive to begin with.

Captain used to be the hot, sweaty one in our relationship, but I’ve taken over. Pre-pregnancy I could walk the mile to the grocery store no problem. Now I need two frozen smoothie stops along the way. Yes I’m hot AND hungry.

I haven’t been hot like this since before puberty. I spent the first 5 years of my life mostly or completely naked. There’s a great home video of 3-year-old, half-naked Jessica telling my 3-year-old friend’s mom that he’s hot and needs to take his jacket off. He wasn’t and didn’t.

My mom threw me a wonderful baby shower last weekend, thank you mom and thank you friends! The present opening portion got intense. Maybe I was moving too fast, but the next thing I know, I’m dripping sweat.

My dear friend tells me,

“No rush, take your time.”

I have no sense of time when I’m opening presents in front of a group of people. Am I going too slow? Is it entertaining? Is it boring? Do people need a drink? Am I expressing enough gratitude and saying the right things? I’m a sweaty mess and not sure if I’m going to make it.

I did make it and all presents were opened. I pull up to the condo and call Captain to unload. He exclaims,

“Quite the haul!”

“Yes!” Although half the car is taken up by balloons. There’s one really big balloon that may still be floating when Baby Bop is on the other side.

I recount the party. Captain tells me,

“I’m really enjoying you being hot and sweaty.”

At least someone is.

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188 pounds and counting, pass the ice cream

34 weeks pregnant! And I’ve gained 38 pounds. I have days when I feel fine about that and then other days when I wonder if I’ll ever wear my favorite jeans again. Even if I do have to grunt to get them on.

Captain and I head to the doctor. Usually we see a midwife. She’s been lovely, reassuring and telling me that my weight gain is right on track. The other day the doctor looks at my weight gain and tells me,

“There was a jump in your weight.”

Yes. I saw that. I’m growing a baby. The doctor asks,

“How are you eating?”

“I’m eating well.” Is that what she’s asking? She’s going to need to be more direct if she wants to know about my daily ice cream habit.

The doctor looks me up and down and declares,

“Well you look great.”

“Thanks.” Is her medical assessment that I’ve gained too much weight, but I look good so it may be ok? Also I’m 6 feet tall and maybe my weight gain is going to be more than a 5 foot tall woman.

I’m feeling annoyed, hormonal, hot and sweaty. She better finish this up soon. She measures my belly.

“You’re measuring right on track. Not too big.”

That’s what I thought. Then for the third time this appointment, she reminds me,

“Remember we’re aiming for you to gain 1/2 pound to a pound a week.”

Listen lady, I’m eating when I’m hungry and I’m not eating when I’m not hungry. It’s not my fault that my butt is in competition with my belly and is set on serving as counterweight.

I leave in a huff. Captain reassures me,

“You’re growing a baby, it’s your job to gain weight. You’re doing great.”

Thank you. I need an ice cream.

pregnant ice cream

Giant belly = engage me on any level you’d like

33 weeks pregnant. Seven weeks to go. Ish. Nothing like being pregnant in the Spring/Summer to showcase my pregnancy.

Temperature wise, I’m a hot sweaty pregnant lady. The other night I heave my belly toward Captain for snuggles. He’s been running hot since he was born. He reminisces,

“Do you remember when your feet used to be freezing?”

As soon as he would get into bed, I’d put both of my feet between his legs. Best part of my night.

“Yeah. They’ll be back.”

But for now we both roll apart from each other a sweaty mess.

So I’ve been walking around in public in a tank top and there’s no doubt I’m pregnant. The public has several different reactions to this.

Many people don’t notice. This is Boston and eye contact or looking anywhere except straight in front of you is seen as odd, questionable behavior.

Then there are those people wearing the vests, flagging down strangers, asking for money, for any number of good causes. I’ve yet to determine the best way to respond to them if I’m not stopping to talk. If you make eye contact, they think they have a chance. If you ignore them, they still might try to talk to you.

Never mind that these days I’m not going anywhere very quickly. My walk is not a full blown waddle yet, but it does have some elements of a sideways sway and a loss of forward motion. One random guy shouts at me,

“Hey lady, you’re going too fast, slow down.” He chuckles to himself.

Really? Making fun of a pregnant lady is risky business. I am a giant raging hormone and feel capable of ripping your head off. Plus I’m not worried about breaking a nail because they’re growing really fast.

I waddle-walk toward several fundraisers in vests. A vested woman shouts at me,

“I’d like to talk to the two of you.”

Would you? I can tell you from 8 months of experience, that the only response I’ve been getting from one of us is random kicks and the occasional case of hiccups.

I push on.

I head to a friend’s birthday party. It’s all 20-somethings I don’t know. I try to slip past the food table. The bathroom is my first priority. I do not manage to get by without bumping my belly into a few people. I apologize to one guy who looks totally unfazed, then he glances down, sees my belly and looks at me in absolute horror.

That’s a first. I’m tempted to reassure him that the baby is not his.

As I walk towards home, two guys in their late 20’s stop near me on their skateboards. One shouts at me,

“HOW MANY MONTHS?”

I assume you’re accosting me because you want to make sure to send me a baby present. I’ll take it anytime.

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Pregnancy hair growth and constipation status update

32 weeks pregnant and another post about my hair. I’m not complaining. I’m observing.

For 20 years I’ve been familiar with all my hairy bits: my facial bits, my armpit bits, my lady bits, my butt bits, my leg bits and my toe bits. That’s right, I used to have some hair on my toes. Haven’t seen them lately, so I can’t tell you for sure.

Good news first. My leg hair has almost stopped growing. So in July, when I’m 10 months pregnant, and/or just gave birth, I don’t have to be an advocate for leg hair. My arm hair has chilled out too. My stomach hair may have stopped growing or it may be that the follicles are getting stretched so far apart from each other that it looks like less hair. Perks of a giant belly.

Neutral news. Facial hair seems to be holding the course. I’ll take it.

And then there’s the hair on my head. When people ask me how I’m feeling and how the pregnancy is going, I could start with the status of my constipation, but hair is more small-talk friendly. I tell them,

“Crazy thing is my hair is growing in straight.”

They look at the curls that go down to my boobs and declare,

“Looks just as curly to me.”

I understand they’re trying to make me feel better, but instead I feel like I need to explain how hair growth works.

The hair by my boobs was sprouting out of my head when I met Captain 3.5 years ago. Almost all of my hair is still curly. I’m talking about the 3 inches that has grown in the last 8 months. It’s straight. And I’m ok with that. Or so I’ve been saying.

People continue to try to reassure me,

“I bet it’ll grow in curly again after you have the baby.”

I hope not. I’m already struggling as it is. If it sticks to its straight agenda then at some point I’ll be able to snip off the last of the curls and move on with my life. If I also have to go through 10 more months of waiting for the straight part to grow out and the curly to come back in, I’ll be very close to shaving my head.

Overall I feel very grateful for Baby Bop, Captain and my nonexistent leg hair.

And I’m not constipated, thanks squatty potty.

monkey hair

 

 

 

You need CPR chest compressions? I just gave you 15, you get the idea

31, almost 32 weeks pregnant. You know we’re getting close to D-Day because we have another class checked off the list: baby CPR.

The instructor starts the class,

“This will get very repetitive, but that’s how you’ll be able to remember what to do.”

We watch a video. The instructor starts fast forwarding parts of it. She tells us,

“That’s just a repeat of the same thing we did before. You know how to do that now.”

Do we? At any given moment at least one pregnant woman is in the bathroom.

Practicing CPR for 2 hours on a weeknight after a long workday seems not so effective. I glance around the room. Some babies are being given chest compressions, others are getting stomach compressions, and others are barely being compressed at all.

I can’t help but compare this to multiple full days of lifeguard CPR training. If I needed CPR, I would rather not have to count on any of the people who were in our class. Although if I do need CPR, I’ll be happy to take whatever I can get. And if Baby Bop ever needs help, I’m counting on my lifeguarding skills. Her baby bath tub is no match for me.

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Sexy is hard, approachable is attainable

30 weeks pregnant. Ten more weeks until MY birthday.

I can’t help feeling like one big giant belly. I know I have some sexy bits somewhere. Will I see my waist again? I hope so, but I hear there’s no guarantee. My boobs, which looked so big 20 weeks ago and definitely haven’t gotten smaller, are being eclipsed by my belly. Although they’re enjoying having a shelf to rest on.

Captain comes home. I’m wearing pink velour pants, one of the three pairs of pants that  fit and an oversized sweatshirt. He tells me,

“You look beautiful.”

I tease him,

“Oh yeah?”

“Yeah. Very… approachable.”

velour

 

Almost ready to practice on a live baby

Baby Bop is counting on Captain and me knowing what the heck we’re doing. What the heck are we doing? Captain and I sign up for a smorgasbord of baby classes.

We’re on the list for baby CPR. I remember this from lifeguarding, but it can’t hurt to practice again on a plastic baby torso. We’re signed up for a birth class. I assume Captain will need to practice his labor massage techniques for the next 10 weeks. Then there’s a breastfeeding class, even though I’m already pretty good at pulling my boobs out.

This week we took Baby Care 101. The basics. This is a diaper. This is a baby. This is where poop will come out of and may or may not stay in the diaper.

Captain and I walk into the conference room where the baby care class is. There’s an infant baby doll every other seat. I ask Captain,

“Which one is ours?”

We pick a quiet one with a clean diaper. Here’s hoping. We practice swaddling. This is hard when your baby’s rubber elbows and knees are stuck straight. Next we work on diapering. Captain remarks,

“Diapering? I didn’t know it was a verb.”

So it is. Baby Care 101 is helping us get our vocabulary straight. This way, in the middle of the night, we won’t have any confusion over grammar.

Example, it’s 2am:

“Will you please diaper the baby?”

“Can you use diaper as a verb?”

“I think so. Do you want to Google it?”

That’s five minutes of sleep we won’t be losing.

Finally we practice handing the baby back and forth. And through all of this she never made a peep. Which I assume means we’re pros.

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See look I’ve had lots of practice. 30 years ago.

 

Bringing back baby fashions from the 80’s

29 weeks pregnant. Third trimester baby! Home stretch. I passed the gestational diabetes test. Which is good news, because I’m not sure how I would cut back on sugar. What’s pregnancy without chocolate?

Aside from eating a lot, my nesting is in full swing. Someday Baby Bop will have a say in how she’d like to dress. But for a little while, there’s not much she can do about my fashion choices for her besides spit up or poop on whatever item she would no longer like to be wearing.

My mom saved all of my clothes. I head to Worcester for Passover and to see if I can collect some baby clothes from 1982. I’m wondering how 80’s baby fashion is going to hold up to 2016.

It holds up. There are some classic baby trends that seem to be a staple of any baby who wears clothes. Bibs. Babies in 2016 are still drooling. Bloomers. Babies still use diaper covers with ruffles on them. Can’t go wrong with butt ruffles. And last but not least, clothing with snaps in the crotch. Snaps in the crotch are timeless.

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This is me. Everyone needs a snowsuit that’s going to fit for a while.

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Pregnant in Las Vegas

27 weeks pregnant, almost 28! Captain and I just got back from our modified babymoon. Before we were trying to make a baby we had a trip planned to Puerto Rico. Then Baby Bop appeared and the trip seemed even more well timed.

That’s right, we’re calling Blurry Blob ‘Baby Bop’ now. My nickname in college was Bopple because I bop around when I walk. When Captain heard this, he pointed at my belly and told me,

“That’s Baby Bop!”

So she is. I tell some friends. One offers,

You know Baby Bop is a character on Barney.”

Huh. I offer this information to Captain, along with a Baby Bop Barney dance video that a friend was kind enough to send along. I figure that’s the end of this name. Captain watches the video and declares,

“Perfect!”

So Bop she still is.

Then along came the Zika virus. I’m not sure about the current state of Baby Bop’s brain, but the virus is not nice to fetuses. We cancel our trip to Puerto Rico. I really want to go somewhere. I’ll go visit my friend in San Diego. This is a brilliant idea.

Then it turns out that there’s a person in San Diego who once met a mosquito with Zika. Captain and my mom veto San Diego. I want to go somewhere warm and Captain prefers to be near a major city with a hospital, even though I’m pretty sure Baby Bop has no intention of coming early and is trying to steal my July birthday.

We head to Vegas. I can enjoy Cirque du Soleil, Captain can enjoy operating an excavator and we can both enjoy a king size bed.

This is a photo of Captain in the excavator in case you’re wondering what the heck I’m talking about:

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This is a photo of a king size bed and hopefully not my future. Although I would love a king size bed:

How to get a better nights sleep

Captain and I get in line to board the plane to Vegas. As we near the ticket counter, they announce,

“The overhead compartments are full. All carry-on bags that do not fit under the seat will be checked to your final destination.”

Shoot. I really dislike checking my bag. It’s gone missing more than once. I drop to the floor to remove essentials. I grab my rolled up security blanket. Everything else is replaceable.

The lady behind me commends my move. She tells me,

“Good job rescuing that wine. I wouldn’t trust it in my checked bag, plus you don’t want to lose it.”

I smile at her. I have no idea what she’s talking about. She continues,

“You know they make special bubble wrap bags for wine bottles? That’s what I use when I travel with wine.”

Ah. She thinks my security blanket is padding a bottle of wine and that I’ve got quite the wine gut to go with it. She keeps talking,

“Now you’ll be able to drink it on the plane.”

Am I going to have to reveal Blankety’s true identity?

All our bags, Blankety, Baby Bop, Captain and I arrive in Vegas. Half-dressed women are everywhere. I’m ready for this. Four years ago, while observing a friend shop for maternity clothes, I tried on a 6-month, strap-on belly.

I was going to say I was helping my friend, but I was not helpful. I learned then that I have zero idea how nursing bras work. I was encouraging her to pull her boob out the side. WRONG.

So four years ago, I tried on the strap-on belly and I was so impressed with how well my dress still fit, that I swore someday I will wear this leopard print dress when I’m pregnant. And so I did.

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The truth about strap-on bellies is that they don’t also come with strap-on: thighs, butt and back bitts.

 

My brain cells are dying or on vacation

26 weeks pregnant and I have pregnancy brain. Or at least that’s what I’m going to blame last weekend on.

People say that during pregnancy your brain turns to mush. I’m not sure what’s happening to mine, but my brain cells are abandoning me.

Captain and I load up a U-Haul truck full of baby/kid stuff to move it from his brother’s house to his parents’. It’s really nice to know people with houses. Captain is in charge of driving the truck, I’m in charge of driving our grocery assault vehicle. That’s right, I have a car, it smells great.

Before we leave, I ask Captain,

“Should we follow each other?”

“Do you want to put my parents’ address in the GPS and we’ll go on our own?”

“Sure.”

With the talking car, heated seat and so many buttons, I have enough to think about without worrying about following.

The GPS takes me on a very strange route. I know it’s not the way we normally drive, but I also couldn’t tell you the way we normally drive, so I’m stuck with my new GPS friend. I glance behind me. Captain and the U-Haul truck are following me on this weird route.

Finally we’re on the highway and the mom mobile takes off leaving the truck in the dust. I’m cruising along enjoying myself and my warm butt, next thing I know the U-Haul truck goes zipping by me on the left. Hey! Wait for me buddy!

I get behind the truck and follow along for 10 minutes. The GPS tells me to take the exit on the left. The U-Haul heads right. Since the GPS led me a really weird way before, I figure Captain must want me to follow him and he knows the way to go.

I follow the U-Haul. Captain is a more cautious driver than me. He gives cars the right away who don’t deserve it. Now all of sudden it’s like the U-Haul truck has gone to his head. It’s zipping through yellow lights at the last second, which means I’m going through red lights trying to keep up. Why is he doing this when he knows I’m following him?

I trail the U-Haul truck through all the back roads of Fall River. This is very odd. We’ve never gone this way before. I can’t imagine what he’s doing. I glance at my GPS it’s rerouting for the fifteenth time and may give up on me soon. We stop at another light. I catch a glimpse of the driver in the side view mirror. Doesn’t look like Captain. I need to call him.

“Are you at a stoplight in Fall River?”

“No, I’m crossing over the bridge in Rhode Island.”

“Huh. Well I’m behind a U-Haul truck in Fall River.”

“What?”

“I may have been following a random truck.”

U-Haul---Billboard

My belly is itchy

I head outside yesterday to enjoy the beautiful weather. I’m starting on a positive note because I’ve been giving my dear friend in California the impression that I’m struggling with this pregnancy.

The thing is a lot of my blogging used to come from interactions with ridiculous people and since I’ve cut back on my time in bars, I’m left with blogging about a wonderful, healthy pregnancy that is producing a lot of normal, horrifying symptoms.

So I head out for a walk. I’m far away from waddling, but it sure feels like my belly is leading the way. My belly is like,

‘I want to go over there.’

And the rest of my body is like,

‘Ok, wait for us, we’re coming.’

I’m strolling, belly first, through Boston Common. I stop to sit on a bench and eat a snack. Being in a park is almost as good for material as being in a bar. A guy sits down next to me and asks,

“Are you from here?”

I think about how far away Worcester, MA is. I tell him,

“No.”

“But you’re familiar with the area?”

Wow buddy. Your intro line didn’t work and instead of trying a different one, you’re going to double down. I offer,

“A little.”

“I’m looking for the bench from Good Will Hunting.”

“I have absolutely no idea. Check with Google.”

“I’ll wander around until I find it.”

Or that.

I snack, read, scratch my belly and walk back through the park. There’s a cheerful, old guy, sitting at a sidewalk intersection, singing as he begs for change. I’ve seen him many times in the same spot. He always chants about the people who are walking by him. I hear him sing,

“Can I get some change? Can I get a guy in a Red Sox hat? Can I get a woman with blonde hair?”

I start to walk by him, along with many other people. I’m not expecting to get singled out. He chants,

“Can I get a lady with long legs, scratching her belly, cause her belly is sticking out, it’s sticking way out, it’s bigger than mine.”

kangaroo

 

Getting Bigger – means I need bigger…

25 weeks pregnant. I’m getting bigger. Theoretically I understand that I will continue to get bigger until I don’t have an extra person inside of me. Realistically, every few days I’m shocked to see that every part of my body is sticking out more.

This lack of control over my body reminds me of puberty, especially as I discuss it with my Little Sister. She tells me,

“My stomach hurts.”

“Mine too.”

“I like candy.”

“Me too.”

“None of my clothes fit anymore.”

“Mine neither.”

I just had to buy a bunch of new underwear. This hurts me because I love underwear. In the past 15 years I have collected over 200 pairs. Some wear out, but for the most part all of my favorites are still around. I occasionally add a few more pairs. Nothing major, but I can’t resist a cute thong with penguins, hot dogs or ice cream cones.

Now faced with needing a bigger size and somewhat concerned about how ice cream cone thongs hold up to pregnancy and postpartum, I’ve made a smart, boring investment in a bunch of plain black underwears.

It does save time. In the morning I’m not wavering between snowflake, seahorse or superman undies. The sooner I pick out my underwear, the sooner I’m sitting on my couch blogging about my underwear.

And for the record, I do own all the underwear variations I’ve named.

I mention my new larger size to Captain. He exclaims,

“Did you get granny panties?”

I hold them up.

“Oh those are cute boy shorts.”

The amount of coverage between the two seems very similar.

I tell my Little Sister,

“I’ve gained 18 pounds. Not all in the bump.”

“Your butt?”

“Yes! I just had to buy bigger underwear.”

“Whoa, that’s drastic.”

Jessica versus Jessica’s hair – the saga continues

24 weeks pregnant. I take back EVERY pregnancy complaint I have ever made. Every single one. At least for now. I am having an identity crisis.

For the first 10 years of my life I had straight hair:

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Tell me you love these shorts.

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Then this happened:

curly hair.jpg

Now I have had curly hair for 24 years. TWENTY-FOUR YEARS of perfecting my curly hair. The first five years I spent in a whirlwind of what-the-heck-is-happening-to-my-body: hips, period, boobs, hairy legs, hairy armpits AND CURLY hair.

The next five years I spent realizing that brushing dry curly hair may not be the best way to go and that layers are my friend. I was making progress but it was still Jessica versus Jessica’s hair.

Ten years ago I began to feel like curly hair might be my jam. Then 6 years ago I started getting special curly-hair haircuts and using all curly-hair hair products. I’m owning it. Curly hair is me and it fits my personality: energetic, bouncy and a little all over the place.

Now I’m pregnant. I may be crazy, but my hair appears to be growing in straight. GAH! Who am I?!

An entire head of straight hair would be one thing, but it seems like the front edges didn’t get the hormonal memo. The front is sticking to it’s curly agenda, while the rest of my head gives up and straightens out.

I’m concerned about how this will end, but maybe my hair will be so coated in baby spit-up, drool and poop that I won’t notice.

mom hair

 

Fried chicken and chocolate balanced by 3 carrots I ate yesterday

23 weeks pregnant. The pregnancy books say to stay active and eat well. I’m walking 3 to 5 miles a day and I’m friends with carrots again. I’m also able to read about food.

For the past four months I’ve stayed away from photos of food on Facebook, the prepared foods section of the grocery store and all nutrition chapters in pregnancy books. The other day when it was just my squatty potty and me, a pregnancy food chapter sucked me in. It compared how the same food can be good for you or not depending on how it’s prepared.

I didn’t need a book to tell me this. Plain bread is ok. Bread with a lot of butter or mayonnaise is better.

The book recommends a boneless, skinless chicken breast as opposed to fried chicken. I describe to Captain what I read and sigh,

“Now all I want is some fried chicken.”

“I don’t think that was the purpose of the book.”

It’s not my fault they’re throwing around tasty words like ‘fried’ and ‘chocolate’ in front of a pregnant woman.

I download a prenatal yoga video. For 20 minutes I laze on the couch and stuff M&Ms in my face while a woman in downward dog tells me to breath. This may not be the most effective use of this video.

Portrait of a pretty pregnant woman eating vegetable salad, looking upwards.

I could do this, minus the tomatoes.

Pregnant-woman-eating-chocolate

But this is what I’m talking about.