Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday Night

This morning I went to the doctor who had talked to the perinatologist and determined that I will need to be induced by the end of the next week because Baby Lawns does not want to come out and my body is making no preparations to expel her whatsoever and I mean none. I thought I was having some crampy feelings that could be the start of something, but nope, this is due to pressure and nothing else. I am a little unclear on the whole induction process but it's going to start with some kind of tablet and I'll be in the hospital on Friday and if it doesn't work after a few hours I will have a C-section I guess. I had to sign a bunch of papers about it and then I had to sign a release allowing acupuncture, which I thought was weird. I mean really, don't they do way more dangerous and scary things in hospitals than acupuncture? For goodness sakes, the IVs are a hundred times worse than acupuncture needles. They ordered my freak blood type from the blood bank and I was sent on my way with orders to oil up my crotch and stimulate my nipples (a line I never thought I would ever type) which was accompanied by a disturbing hand gesture I haven't seen since at least sixth grade. Oh, and the doctor told me that based on my ultrasound from Tuesday where Baby Lawns refused to cooperate and show herself, she has a big head. My child has a big head.  

I finished packing my suitcase for the hospital today. I didn't bring much, but I tried to follow all the checklists in the baby books. Do you really need to bake something for the nurses? That seems a bit much to ask of a 9 month pregnant woman to me. I don't think I'm in any shape to bake right now. A friend suggested candy and for the past several days I've had it in my head that it was imperative that I purchase a lot of Halloween candy before the baby was born because I may not be able to get out to get any after I get home from the hospital. Now this is an irrational thought, but it's been bothering me all week and I don't want to be that house with no Halloween candy, so today I went to Target and got some for the nurses and the trick or treaters. I hope the nurses like Reeses Cups and Whoppers because I don't want them to be mean to me. 

So there's Halloween candy in my suitcase along with the going home outfits for both of us and Baby Lawns' pumpkin hat to cover up her gigantic head. I remembered the baby book for her foot stamps too because in addition to the neurosis about the Halloween candy, I had another freak out over the baby book.

Being an overachiever I have two baby books. One is a traditional baby book and the other is a detailed pregnancy journal which I liked even better. I have my own baby book too and over the years I've loved looking at it, but if you read between the lines, my own baby book tells a sad story. It isn't even halfway filled up and this is because I really only lived with my mother as a baby for about a year. It has the important things though - my teeny bracelet, my birth certificate from the hospital with my old name on it, hospital pictures and some notes my teenage mother wrote about what I was like and things that happened. She leaves out a lot though, like the fight over my name, how I got my name, the fact that she gave birth to me completely alone in a manner which my doctor described as utterly barbaric when I told him about it. She never mentions my idiot father either, which is also telling.

I am haunted by the incompleteness of my own baby book. It looks and feels interrupted. It was interrupted. My mother couldn't write about my first day of school because she wasn't there and she wasn't there because she wasn't allowed to be and no one else thought to record my milestones or write down my memories. Maybe that's part of the reason why I'm so obsessed with documenting my own life now. Maybe that incomplete baby book compelled me towards memoir in some way.

In any event, it compelled me to become absolutely zealous about filling out Baby Lawns' two baby books in painstaking detail, though I feel guilty about not pasting in any mementos or photos yet. I wasn't really into taking too many belly pictures as the book suggests, but then I felt inadequate that I didn't. Still, I think I did a really good at the writing and remembering parts. I wrote her notes too and tried to show her my personality and what it was really like to be pregnant with her all these months. I just really want her to have these things. Mostly, I want her books to feel complete.

I'm relieved that the books are up to date and that the candy is purchased, the suitcase packed. There's still so much to do on my house.

This weekend is going to be a barn-raising of sorts. Plagued by unreliable contractors, we were repeatedly delayed and now we're really down to the wire here. The house needs to get done. So many of our friends are devoting their weekends to helping us get the last stuff done and moved in. The problem is that I can't be there because the floor people are gluing down the last of the bamboo floors and I need to avoid the fumes for a few days. The house was painted two weeks ago, so those fumes are now gone. I'd been worried about them too because I'm very fume-phobic. There's also a ton of sawdust and drywall dust that needs to be swept away and I can't be around that either. Friends are working on that as I write, while another friend has pitched in to install all of our fans and ceiling lights tonight. They sent me back to my parents' house.

"Go write a story or something," everyone says, so I obeyed, even though it makes me feel lazy and useless.

We're going to be able to move some furniture in tomorrow and hopefully hang up the TV. There will be significant progress I hope.

There would have been more progress had we not had to deal with a bunch of lazy contractors. I have had it with these people. I really have. If it were just one contractor being late and making a million excuses as to why he can't work, I'd see it as an isolated incident, but it has happened consistently with the plumber, the counter-top guy, the kitchen cabinet people and the electrician. All of these people are licensed contractors and are from separate companies. Only the Steve Buscemi look alike carpenter worked consistently. His problem was that he was a whiny drama queen who called both me and my husband twenty-nine times a day for no reason.

Today, the granite guy and the plumber each bailed on us. The granite guy had promised counter installation finished by Wednesday and disappeared with our deposit. He had a million lame excuses, but none as lame as the plumber's. I hear better BS from my students. The plumber didn't show up because he said he had to  drive to the keys to prepare his house down there for the hurricane. THERE IS NO HURRICANE. Then he said he'd be back by 2:30 and never showed up to finish our bathroom. I was livid and this is coming from a guy who complained that he can't get any work because the illegals are stealing jobs from Americans. I can guarantee you that if I had hired some illegals the job would have been done last week and I intend to tell him this.

Both the granite guy and the plumber promise to be there tomorrow but they both really set us back and they all know we are expecting a baby next week. Next week people. This isn't something to be casual about. It's making me want to write in all caps. I AM HAVING A BABY NEXT WEEK!!! Jesus Christ.

Even writing it sends me into a cold sweat panic attack. This has not been the pregnancy that I planned, imagined or wanted it to be. Everything has gone wrong (a lot I haven't written about so don't think I'm just whining about my house because it goes way past that). I have endured a tremendous amount of stress and strain and I can't help but worry that it has affected the baby or that she can feel it too and has suffered with me. I hope it hasn't harmed her development in any way. I hope it hasn't cursed her with a sad disposition. I keep telling myself this: At least it isn't the Khmer Rouge. That's become my mantra. At least it isn't the Khmer Rouge.

It has occurred to me that maybe this is my book. I've blogged for exactly five years. I've told many stories and vented and talked crap and recorded my life on here for five years and I've always wanted to write a memoir, but when I sit down to do it, nothing really comes. There's never been that necessary framework that a memoir needs to work. I just have a lot of disconnected stories from my life without a lens of meaning to view them through. I think I may have happened upon that lens and really that happened in just the past week. It's about becoming a mother and my own complicated and unusual relationship with my mother and even back to her relationship with her mother. But this is no mommy blogger kind of story. This isn't poop and sleepless nights. This is about that incomplete baby book. Maybe this is about finally filling that book to the last yellowing page. We'll see what happens. We'll see if I have the fortitude to really do it because usually when I get too close I run screaming in the opposite direction and start trying desperately to be really cute and funny to distract myself.


Murphy said...

I love you Wide Lawns and I wish you the best. Baby Lawns is going to be a wonderful baby, can't wait to hear about her arrival.

You can do it. You are so strong, you will be fine.

(HillaryBuckLaw/BanksieU2 on twitter)
Manchester, CT

Dyanne said...

This entry moved me to tears--the interrupted baby book. By George, you have found your lens of meaning. I will be one of the first to buy your memoir.

Living in Muddy Waters said...

If you have never believed anything else I said, or trusted anything else, know this: when it is actually time to deliver She of the Large Head (no matter which way she is delivered) you will suddenly possess a deep inner strength you never knew you had.

I swear, as soon as your body knows it is time, you develop super human mommy powers and that power never leaves you.

I promise!

Libbi said...

On being induced.....
The tablet is possibly the stuff used to soften the cervix. You get the induction meds through an IV and it makes the contractions stronger than regular birth (I was induced with my 2nd daughter). Did the Dr tell you that sex can start labor? Just saying. lol
I also can't wait to hear about the birth. I LOVE your stories.

Melanie said...

Dear Wide Lawns, I can tell that you're under a lot of stress, so I want to make this comment to hopefully ease some of your apprehension: I had 2 c-sections, and although it sounds like an undesirable way to have a baby, it's really not so bad after all. I have never spent a moment of time regretting the method of birth for my two wonderful children (the 1st was an emergency c-section; the 2nd was a planned c-section.) If it happens to you, please don't fret; it will be all right.

I understand your compulsion to fill your baby's book, since your own baby book was left half-empty. But let me say this: Pace yourself. One thing you REALLY don't want to do is fill two books to the brim with memories of your 1st child, and then write less and less in each subsequent child's baby book. It's entirely too easy to let oneself fall into this trap. Trust me, this is the voice of experience speaking!

Green said...

Neither my brother nor I had a baby book and well, that's a good example of how the Yogurts are not sentimental people.

I will hope along with you from afar that Baby Lawns comes out perfectly happy and healthy, regardless of the stresses you've gone through and the bigness of her head.

alissa said...

i'm a nurse and we'll be nice to you regardless of whether or not you bring candy (although we never turn down chocolate!)!

Anonymous said...

Dear W.L.,
How exciting and sad and maddening and ultimately really great. The house will get done, and you're having a baby, Mazel Tov dear Wide Lawns, Mazel Tov.
Lil Skraps

Anonymous said...

Awww... I never had a baby book at all and the only stories I was told about my first month of life were that people thought me an oddity because in Holland babies are blond. I was very dark haired. Seems I started my life off the beaten path and continued that way much like you did. Hey, we're both happy anyway!

Of note - I spent 20 years of my life doing antenatal and new baby exams. We had one kid born with a head so big she was sent for tests to see if there was a lurking problem. She literally looked like a balloon attached to a newborn's body. I had the opportunity to see her about a month ago - 18 years old and the prettiest girl you could ever imagine. Her head looks perfectly normal. In fact, she is a beauty. Do not fret over head size.

You are going to be a wonderful Mom. There will be a sense of peace come over you the first time you hold that precious little girl and all will be well with the world.

And, I think I can speak for many here, that sweet little one has a shitload of 'aunties' that love her already. We are all here with you, sending love.


FreeDragon said...

I don't think ANYONE ever fills out the baby book so don't worry about it. What is important is your daughter knows you love her. I think you're going to be a great mom. Good luck with everything.

A said...

I specifically didn't get a baby book for my boy because I knew I would be too busy and get too distracted to fill it out to my satisfaction. Instead, I got a baby memory box, similar to this (but not Pooh Bear):

This was the best thing I could have done. I was able to keep special little things like his first handmade baby blanket, first lock of hair, the outfit we brought him home in, his favorite stuffed animal and I'm just about to put his first lost tooth in it (he's now 6 yrs). :)

Vic said...

Baby Lawns will be fine.
The house will be livable until done.
The book will come.
"All will be well and all will be well and all manner of things will be well."

Nunya Biznez said...

Oh, boy, you finally get to meet your baby. I am so excited for you!

Don't worry about the baby book, it will be OK not matter if you get to fill it out perfectly, or you hardly use it at all. Relax as well as you can, and enjoy every moment instead of worrying about documenting every moment.

I have a very selfish request; I am sure you and your husband will be very busy with a brand new baby, but I hope you or husband can post briefly to let all of us who know you in cyber space know when your daughter is here.

Miss Kitty said...

I [heart] you , WL. This post was just wonderful. And count me in with Dyanne as being among the first to buy your memoir.

Massive hugs to you, WL Husband, and the soon-to-arrive Baby Lawns! (By the way, can I send you a handmade baby quilt?)

JoeinVegas said...

Glad you have friends to help out - too bad some of them aren't big football players that could beat up the granite guy and plumber

Anonymous said...

Well, at least you know your body has been a comfortable place for Baby Lawns if she is settled in for the long haul.

Laurie said...

I was going to say exactly what Vic said, but then Vic said it. I know it's crazy to tell you not to worry, but honestly? Don't worry.

My son had a big head too, and I managed to push him out anyway. The pediatrician at the hospital told us to take him to a neurologist, who took one look at him, declared him fine and sent us on our way. He's 12 now, has grown into his head and all is well. Don't let other people make you crazy.

I had all the best intentions with each of my kids' baby books, but you know what? They're barely filled in and that's OK since it's more important to live those milestones with your children than to stress over recording every lost tooth. Don't stress, do the best you can and enjoy every last moment of this most special time in your life. All will be well. Baby Lawns will be perfect, loved and awesome. Just like her Mom. ♥

Anne said...

What's with the tears? I don't have PMS and I sure as hell remembered to take my Zoloft today. That right there is the opening to your memoir. Freaking beautiful, that was. And don't fret ANYMORE about this whole baby thing! With your beautiful heart you will be an amazing parent and find strengths within yourself that you never knew you had. Baby Lawns is a very lucky little peanut!

jmm said...

I'm wishing you all the best. I don't know you personally but am very excited for you. I hope you have a great birth experience, no matter what the method. Don't worry about "Mommyblogging", if you Mommyblog it won't be boring.

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