If you are not a person who wants to read a story about girl bits, gore, babies, birth, or my embarrassingly short (but intense) labor, please visit this fine source of sleek, fur-covered cuteness instead. I think my baby is cute, but I will not lie: otters are cuter.
Last night I evicted a baby! I am currently luxuriating at the hospital while Steve reads a Donald
Westlake novel and the baby in question sleeps peacefully, if
temporarily. This is a very nice hospital, it turns out, at least for
the purpose we are putting it to. Here are some exciting details:
1. Jane Cassandra.
2. 6 lbs, 5 oz.
3. March 2, 1:21 ack emma. This means her birthday is countdown day (when the date is written American style, anyway): 3/2/10.
4. 4 hours, which I promise never to mention again, because I like continuing to have friends.
We have been discussing what music I might bring with me to the hospital, to drown out the beeps and the Jerry Springer drifting down the hall and my water buffalo noises. Our friend J., for instance, said that she listened to a lot of Hem.
Today we were in the car, listening to an iPod mix I made a while ago for the purpose of playing on endless loop while I cranked out some deathless article or other. It includes things like School of Seven Bells and Tiger Trap and Iggy Pop doing "The Passenger" and Spoon. "How about this?" Steve suggested. "It's pretty!"
Then the New Pornographers' "Bleeding Heart Show" came on and to my surprise and dismay, I immediately burst into tears, because it reminded me of this high schooler-created music video and I am full of sappy sap sap sap.
Maybe we should stick to instrumental music instead. I eagerly await the full regrowth of my cynical protective shell, sometime around 2014.
I'm not sure why "vaguely put out" is my default expression in these photos. Maybe it's because I'm a sullen bitch! Possibly.
That's a little more human, though I feel it fails to convey the full rotundity of my person. The light cast upon my glowing visage is extra clear and white thanks to the snow swirling outside my office window. No watermelons out there.
Nice neck creases there, champ.
People passing me in the hall have taken to saying "How are you?" and giving my middle a Meaningful Look. I am not sure what they are going for, tone-wise. There is a general tendency for it to come out as a Groucho Marx kind of leer, which is surely not quite what anyone really has in mind. "If you know what I mean, and I think you DO, watermelon."
It is conspiratorial, but I am not sure who we are supposed to be conspiring against or what we are supposed to be conspiring towards. If someone would like to conspire to replace my class this evening with a grilled cheese sandwich and a nap, though, I would not object. In fact, feel free to conspire on my behalf all you like. What have you got to offer?
Groundhog day certainly is a poorly thought out holiday. Is there any
climate in the Northern Hemisphere in which it is not the case that
either (a) there isn't really a winter to speak of, or (b) winter is
guaranteed to drag on at least through the end of February, no matter
what? Oh, well, at least groundhogs are plump and cute.
Speaking of things either coming to an end soon or continuing as they are for weeks longer: On the one hand, I am ready to be rid of this comic novelty watermelon. On the other, I want to prolong indefinitely the period in which we do not yet have a screaming baby.
Our house is so nice and quiet. If anyone is shrieking, it is me. ("ArrrrrgggHHHH why are all the things I want so close to the ground?" and "FUCK I HAVE PULLED A MUSCLE JUST GETTING OUT OF THE BATH" are both favorite themes.) As long as I keep my mouth shut, though, I can enjoy the soothing susurrus of central heating, punctuated by nothing but the tap-tap-tap of laptop keyboards and the occasional schlurp of Steve's coffee.
And when I feel like it, I can just stand up and do what I like. I can bake a cake or read a novel or go pull a muscle in the bath. Or I can go to work. Damn.
Today I learned that you can search the 1911 census of England and Wales online. I am finding it fascinating. First I looked up my old relatives, then I found Virginia Woolf (which is to say Adeline Virginia Stephen), then I got into looking for misspelled names. Fans of Terry Pratchett will be happy to learn that there are eight Magrats listed, though no Note Spellings.
This comes up because we are currently stuck for a middle name. On the one hand we have an assortment of serious options, all about equally as appealing as the next, all carrying a distinct risk of being all too trendy, blah blah et cetera. On the other hand we have
Well, I am certainly feeling very chipper today. I surely love the opportunity to blither at people about my research, indeed I do. Blither blither blee! It combines the things I love best, yammering and myself.
So cheerful am I that I am going to post a picture of myself in which you can see both my 30-week-pregnant torso and my shining face.
Am I not radiantly replete with beatific enthusiasm? Does not my entire person proclaim, "I am an avatar of the miracle of life"? Is it any wonder that no one dares to touch my bump?
(I really am feeling cheerful, though, I promise.)
The last couple of days were meant to be a relaxing opportunity to get caught up on things around the house, in the happy lull after I turned in final grades for the semester. Instead I spent most of the time in a deranged tizzy. The more tizzied I became, the more each thing took longer than intended, the later I got started on the next, and so on, ad infinitum. (I'm better now. Everything is bought and filed and examined and scheduled and packed up and mailed off, and I'm sitting quietly in a chair and listening to the soothing hum of the dishwasher.)
My always tenuous ability to stay on top of things turns out to have been more tightly bound to a predictable weekly grid of responsibilities than I'd realized. Certainly during the semester there were loads of new things to attend to every week, but they were all permutations of the same sorts of things, and I could expect them to turn up on a reliable schedule.
Then the semester ended and everything became a fresh new one-off responsibility. Each task pitter-patters out of my head like rain through a sieve, leaving me with nothing but an acute but pervasive awareness that I am Not On Top. Then I have to go rushing to check what I'm not on top of. It pit-pats out again immediately, and I have to check again right away, like the poor canonical OCD sufferer dashing into her house again and again to make sure that the oven really is turned off.
As a result I snapped at Steve, wasted a lot of packing paper, had to reschedule an eye doctor appointment, covered the house with a fine layer of paper scraps, and generally did
everything in the most inefficient way possible, including racing to
campus just so I could be there for a student meeting that wound up taking all of ten minutes. It was probably more like nine minutes, strictly speaking. Then I went home, because all the things I still needed to get done depended on information or objects I'd carefully removed from the office and taken home with me the day before.
"You're going to be lots of fun when you're old," observes Steve.
"I'll just make sure no one expects me to take care of anything at all when that happens."
"Good idea. Me neither."
My grandmother did a pretty good job of this when she was old and demented. Her ability to keep track of conversations was much like that of an extremely stoned person, and she got similar enjoyment out of tasty snacks and Miss Marple videos. Everyone adored her, she was so pleasant and tidy, and she sailed through most of her days with a serene, potheaded demeanor that served her well. The only downside was that my grandfather died a few years before her, so she didn't get to take advantage of the experience with a full time drug buddy. With luck, Steve and I can go naturally hash-addled in tandem, gently abdicating all responsibility and giggling ourselves creakily to sleep in front of ultradigitally remastered 8-D XXHD recordings of The Core and Iron Man XIV.
In other news, my mother has convinced me that the burning, needling intramuscular pain just below my ribs is the result of sharp little prenatal heels puuuuushing cruelly against my tender parts. This information doesn't help anything, particularly, but it has given rise to a new fetal nickname: My Pal Foot Foot. ("Click on Foot Foot to hear Foot Foot"!)
1. In which my subconscious does a terrible job of dwelling on my anxieties, opting instead for a hearty dose of deranged wish fulfillment
It's time for me to have the baby! Labor takes about fifteen minutes; it is quick and tidy, like delivering a well-wrapped package. After a brief period of confusion in which she looks strikingly like the cat, she is as pink, plump, unblemished, and at least three months old as any 'newborn' on television, and has a full head of lovely black hair. We are surprised to discover that she can climb the stairs right away (also rather like the cat). For some reason, we have named her Danielle. I am feeling fit as a fiddle, and it occurs to me to check to see how squashy my postpartum middle has become. Oh, how funny, it's not squashy at all. Indeed it is positively toned. I certainly am feeling well. Perhaps I'll go do some grocery shopping.
2. A psychic experience
I dream that I have heartburn, AND THEN I WAKE UP AND REALLY DO. It is
just like one of those amazing spooky dreams in books where you get in
a fight with a terrible monster and have terrifying glorious adventures
and then are all 'oh wow, what a crazy dream.' Then you get out of bed and see that
your legs are all scratched up in reality from your supposedly dreamed escape
through the brambles and are like WHOA and then you discover that the key to the treasure is actually under your pillow. Yes, it is exactly like that, except with Tums.