30 Weeks

Tweety Bird!

30 is 3/4 of the way there.

75%.

I feel like I should have something amazing to report from today’s doctor’s visit.

Well, the awesome thing is that we’re going to have a baby in about ten weeks. Can’t just brush that off.

From today’s visit itself? Let’s make a list:

Beepee: At every visit the nurse takes my blood pressure. Today it was 100/60. It’s been around this low the whole time so far. Baby and I are just chillin’ together. You know, smokin’ weed.

Eye urn: Since I’m at 30 weeks, the doctor wanted to know iron levels. The nurse pricked my finger and took a microslide of blood. She used my middle finger because it’s less sensitive than the other fingers. I leaned over to Reilly and said, “That finger is less sensitive!” The nurse laughed and said, “And also pretty mean!” The nurse came back after a few minutes to report that my iron is great. She even gave me a cool Tweety Bird band-aid.

Mo billadee: The doctor asked me to get up and sit on the cushy table-chair thingy covered in hospital paper. He observed from the way I stood that I still move pretty well.

Art beat: Reilly has become an expert at finding the baby’s heart beat. He put the gel on my tummy and the microphone where it’s supposed to go and voila! rhythmic swishing. The doctor said that Baby sounds awesome.

Maize your: The doctor stretched a measuring tape from one end of my bump to the other. He took about two seconds, and when he saw the length — whatever it was, and whatever it means — he said, “Perfect.”

Quest yons: The doctor answered our questions about taking a labor and delivery tour at the hospital we’ll be going to. He said the hospital will let us preregister so that we won’t have as much paperwork to sign on delivery day. He told us to ask the lactation specialist about breast pumps. He also said that if an emergency arises or something happens before 36 weeks, to report to Utah Valley hospital. All very useful things.

Phoo duh: We thanked the doctor, left the clinic, then went to a sandwich place to eat Philly cheesesteak sandwiches. All to mark a successful visit.

Ten weeks left, everyone.

The First Trimester

You guys.

I’m pregnant. There is a baby in my tummy.

As of today, I’m 14 weeks, one day along. That means about 26 weeks to go. Of course I’m counting weeks. And counting weeks is sort of like waiting for water to boil. Or watching grass grow. It sort of makes the weeks drag, but the days themselves pass quickly. How weird: being pregnant is being in a kind of time dichotomy.

Part of what makes time slow down is how excited we are to grow our little family! Sometime in the middle of March I got the chance to hold a baby who was born a month premature. She was so little, and as I held her, those urges emerged more strongly than usual. I went home that day and talked to Reilly and the conversation went like this:

Me, “I think it’s time for us to have a baby.”

Reilly, “Okay, let’s have a baby.”

And that was that.

As a part of having things to report to my doctor every month, I’ve been noting observations each week of my pregnancy. The following chronology includes a few highlights.

Week 1: My period happens.

Week 2: Magic.

Week 3: Continued magic. And then we make a zygote!

Week 4: I start to experience lower abdominal weirdness that I call “hot stomach.”

Week 5: I miss my period and suspect I’m pregnant. I also start waking up around midnight every night. One night after lying awake for about two hours, I decide to take a home pregnancy test, and this happened:

That IS a second line.

A faint line is STILL a line, right? I wake up Reilly. We talk and laugh and become giddy. I go back to sleep. Later that morning, we make an appointment for a blood draw the next week.

Week 6: I have a blood test to confirm pregnancy. During a lunch break at work, I call the doctor’s office two days later for the results. From my workspace, everyone in the room can hear everything I say, so I use vaguespeak such as:

  • “I had some blood drawn, and I’m calling about the results.”
  • “Hmm, I think it’s actually closer to 7.”
  • “So, do I need to schedule a follow-up?”

Week 7: Bloating plus my pants do not make a balanced or very comfortable equation.

Reilly smells my forehead and tells me it smells like a baby.

I have begun to pee my pants in very small trickles. This is the most wonderful experience of my pregnancy so far.

I must have orange juice! I go buy a carton and have a drink, and it is the most delicious thing I have ever tasted.

I want Thai food! Reilly takes me to a Thai place, and it’s the most delicious thing I have ever tasted.

Week 8: I want chocolate chip cookies! We pick up ingredients for cookies and bake them. They are the most delicious thing I have ever tasted.

Week 9: Oh, hello, nausea. You do realize I’m trying to sleep, right? It’s 1 and then 2 and then 3 and sometimes 4 in the morning. I grab a snack and sip of water and often fall asleep in time to wake up. This probably is the most wonderful pregnancy experience I’ve had so far.

And it really would be awesome if I could just stop peeing my pants.

Week 10: I haven’t vomited yet, even though nausea keeps nagging me. But I have started dry heaving, which I guess is better than kneeling at the toilet, blowing chunks.

Reilly is glad that someone is around who now farts more than he does.

I want a Taco Bell quesadilla! Reilly brings one home, and it is the most delicious thing I have ever tasted.

Reilly comes with me to my first official OB appointment. I pee in a cup, which is no problem whatsoever because I am now at least a sporadic trickle-fountain of pee. The doctor examines me; his nurse takes three vials of blood for testing from my arm. THREE! VIALS! That seems like a lot of red from someone who still doesn’t quite weigh 100 pounds. I imagine all that blood is for baby vampires. My contribution to society. The doctor gives me a book, which is super nice of him. When we get home, I flip through the book, and then I immediately hand the book over to Baby so that everyone’s prepared (FYI, the photo is actually from the next week where I have an official ultrasound, but i wanted to feature the book here):

Of COURSE Baby reads!

The day after the appointment, I Gchat to some friends the beginning lyrics of Whitney Houston’s “The Greatest Love of All.” I wonder how someone can make the enormous logical jump from me singing, “I believe the children are our future; teach them well, and let them lead the way” to thinking I’m pregnant. Someone who thinks laterally, most likely. If you happened to ask me directly the day after this appointment about my pregnancy, you would have caught me in an especially vulnerable and happy-truth accepting mood, and I would have told you the happy truth.

Week 11: The nausea starts to subside a little, but I’m still dry heaving. Chewing minty gum lessens the nausea, but chewing it too long triggers my gag reflex. It’s annoying.

You’ve figured it out: everything I crave is the most wonderful thing I’ve ever tasted.

One night, I lie in bed, trying to sleep, and Reilly is up doing his homework. He hears me dry heaving and brings me my water bottle full of cold water (which Baby loves), kisses me on the forehead, and asks if I’m okay. And that? Seriously, one of the best experiences of my pregnancy so far. My husband rocks.

We’re not yet ready to announce the pregnancy, so we outright lie to Reilly’s parents so that we can borrow a car for me to go to an ultrasound appointment. Since Reilly can’t be there, I get a little DVD made during the ultrasound so he can see what happened. Under Baby’s direction, I cut five minutes from the original DVD and added a few titles to show you how adorably Baby moves:

Week 12: We tell our families the news. Everyone is excited and congratulates us. I text the announcement and the due date to my brother, and he responds. You probably don’t need me to tell you that the word I smudged begins with an F:

Bro's response

Week 13: This week is the cusp of the first and second trimester.  Baby loves fresh foods like salad and homemade meals, but sometimes Wendy’s chicken sandwiches, and ice cream and cream puffs. From the way my stomach feels after I eat, I can tell that Baby does not like onions, broccoli, and olives.

We are grateful for the opportunity to bring life into this world. The prospect of being parents is quite exciting, but I also imagine it to be pretty overwhelming. I wonder once Baby is born, after looking around or even just breathing the air, if Baby’s first cries would sound like, “What the HELL, Mom and Dad?” And then Reilly and I would look at each other with simultaneous worry and assurance and explain that it’s all right, little one. We’re here. We’ll guide you through this mess and teach you to see beauty and goodness.  You’ll learn the power of kindness and sympathy and understanding, and you will find joy in this life as we find joy in you. We’ve been praying every night to be prepared to be good parents to you, and we’ve been blessed with tremendous support from the best family and friends in the world. Together, we’ve got this. We’ve got you. We’re so happy you’re here now, though it feels like we’ve already loved you for so long, and we know we can love you beyond forever. Our moments together will pass in a blur and through a slurry, often at the same time. Hang on tight.

26 weeks to go.

One of Those Situations Where I Absolutely Kill It

A nice young man leads me behind the checkout desk toward the director’s office. I see she’s on the phone, but she waves me in and motions for me to sit down.

I try to tune out her conversation, but I can’t help internalizing an offer to help the person on the other end of the line. At the same time I try to take in details of her office without looking nosy.

She has books, of course. She has big plants. I like that.

She wears an olive green dress. I wear an olive green skirt. I wear brown shoes. She wears brown shoes and brown stockings. Fun coincidence, but I think it’s one of those unspoken connections.

She introduces herself and describes the interview process. She explains what the questions entail and asks if I’m ready to begin. I rub my hands together and say let’s go.

I sort of don’t believe that I rubbed my hands together. But it happened.

She starts out with questions like what do I do for fun, what role do librarians play today, what are my passions.

She asks about my leadership and  teamwork experience. What qualities make a good leader? A good team member?

She asks why I want to pursue a master’s degree in library science.

I elaborate on all the answers to these questions.

My armpits give away my nervousness and adrenaline levels. Thanks a lot, armpits.

As I give examples in my answers and talk in paragraphs, which is something I generally don’t do in everyday conversation because most of the time I talk in sound bites and snide remarks, she nods and gives affirming feedback. This encourages me. I feel I could keep talking.

Throughout our conversation, I catch how her eyes agree with my answers and the momentum I gain carries me through to the end.

She makes me feel as if I’m already a librarian.

We make good time. She says I’m doing a terrific job. She wraps up the interview and asks if I have any questions for her. I listen to her describe the timeline for the different tracks within the program. She talks about getting me involved in networking and conferences and I wonder if I should have worn a darker shirt. A black one, because I can’t stop sweating. The anxiety about sweating makes more sweat. We know how it works.

She said that I seemed really in tune with what the program is about, and that she would strongly or highly recommend me. She says that I seem a perfect fit, and I say it feels pretty good. She’s pleased.

Then I ask her what her favorite part of her career has been.

This is a nice way to end an interview for me because I get to hear someone talk about a career she loves. In this particular situation, we both finish confidently.

Thanks to those who answered polls about whether I should pursue an MLS or an MFA (though the MFA may still be in the future) and about times where I have been a good team member. All of you were extremely helpful.

Thanks to those who have supported me in whatever decisions I make even though it takes me years to make up my mind.

Thanks also to Reilly for taking the day off to drive and give moral support, as well as setting off the alarm at the library where I interviewed by bringing a book from a different library. That was great.

Now, it’s just a matter of waiting to see if I get in. I don’t mind waiting.

On Voting

My very first federal election is coming up. After changing my name and residence for voter registration, I looked up my ballot. There are a lot of names I don’t know. The only political commercials that air on television don’t even apply to my congressional district, and presidential commercials don’t even air around here because not enough Obama voters live here, so I guess Romney’s using the money he saved from Utah to campaign like crazy in other states where Obama has a competing influence. Which I know is Mitt’s biggest concern. I just wonder where he gets and how he keeps his tan.

Anyway, here’s what my ballot looks like. I’m about halfway done researching the list, which sort of helps, but it’s mostly overwhelming. I recognize some of the names from billboards. My votes may just boil down to whether I like the spelling of names or if I can write poems from the anagrams of names or if my favorite letter of the alphabet that day is A. It is no coincidence that the initials of my new married name are the same as Mitt Romney. So, I could vote that way. Also, I like the Yes or No questions for the judges. Nothing about voting in Utah, America is confusing in the least little way.

A Little Closer

For those who care more about other parts of my life, you’ll have to keep waiting for a little while. I’m taking a short break only because I just received an email I’ve been waiting for for nearly two years.

Thanks for your continued patience.

In May 2010, I submitted a thing to a thing to be considered for publication. It was a final paper I’d written for my American Literature History class.

It is now almost February 2012. My thing has finally been reviewed by a reviewer and an executive editor, and it sounds encouraging:

Reviewer Comments to Author:
Consulting Editor: 1
Comments to the Author
This is a well-written and generally convincing reading. Several emendations might be made.

(a) Improve the opening paragraph by eliminating the first-person reference. There is no need for it here.

(b) On page 3, re-consider the first whole paragraph and its argument re: the color green. This paragraph is unconvincing. It makes too much of a single word and thus weakens the overall argument of the paper.

(c) Consider using the term ‘binaries’ alongside ‘pairs’ in order to vary word choice.

Overall this is a good close reading.

Executive Editor Comments:
Consulting Editor: 1
Comments to the Author
Very nice piece on a neglected story. I agree with the preliminary reader that the first person reference is unnecessary if not distracting. I didn’t have the same problem with the paragraph on green, however. While I see the point that too much emphasis is placed on the color, Ellison did put it there and it does connect to the earlier reference. I would recommend the author consider how he might rewrite that paragraph imagining how she might win over a resisting reader. Strengthen the argument for green as a symbol by insisting it’s not there by accident. A strong essay.

Time for a little revision. And a little (or a lot) more waiting. Being published in an academic, peer-reviewed journal would be a nice touch to my last semester.

Because I Can’t Get Enough Right Now

Patience

Patience is
wider than one
once envisioned,
with ribbons
of rivers
and distant
ranges and
tasks undertaken
and finished
with modest
relish by
natives in their
native dress.
Who would
have guessed
it possible
that waiting
is sustainable—
a place with
its own harvests.
Or that in
time’s fullness
the diamonds
of patience
couldn’t be
distinguished
from the genuine
in brilliance
or hardness.

— Kay Ryan

*****

One of these days I will again post my own thoughts, but Ms. Ryan says lots of great things.

If my mind is space, and time is time, the exact location of my mind cannot be determined at any point in time, not without that location occurring in the past. When I want desperately to be in the now.

This is my uncertainty principle. That’s what I’m feeling.

Rest assured, there’s lots to be said about school (SO. MUCH. SCHOOL) and boys and friends I don’t see nearly enough of. And meeting poets. And autographs. And food. And boys and church. And some boys that aren’t smart. And new friends. And the cooling weather. And swearing at school, though not by me. And running into former seminary students who are so very tall. And staying up until 4am or waking up at 3am and either way letting the silence soothe me. And seeing those people in my life that make me feel like all is right with the world.

Eventually, the past will catch up to now.

Thanks for your patience.

HAHAHAHAHAHA

Dr. Anderton,

I’m sorry for the delays on our part — and for not getting back to your queries yet. We simply have an atrocious backlog, but I know you’ve been waiting some time so I’ll make sure you get a review during our next round, which we’re doing now.

Almost all I ever wanted, all in the first two words of an email. It was a response to an inquiry about a manuscript I submitted to an academic journal. The managing editor and I have exchanged a few emails in the past eternity, and I understand the backlog situation, which certainly helps me not to be annoyed. Plus? Even if the manuscript ultimately gets rejected, the inadvertent title totally made my day.

Someday, as I prepare for world domination, all of you will call me “Dr. Anderton.” I imagine you’ll enjoy it. As long as I’m not mean.