Monday, February 27, 2006

It's my party...

It seems some people think I should play the role of the (need I point out, stereotypical?) strong super-woman, or the stoic survivor. Since it's still technically February, I'ma go 'head and play my bonus race card: can't a sister (or half-sister) show some emotion without being perceived as angry? In the past year, anger has had its turn as my most prominent feeling, right there along with fear, anxiety, resentment, sadness, isolation, guilt, and despair. However, I wouldn't say it's been as dominant lately. Not that there would be anything wrong with me if it were.

I know Gwyneth, Gwen, Katie, and Brooke would all be, among other things, pissed if any of their babies didn't make it, causing their friends to disappear, their families to distance themselves, their colleagues to avoid them, and their lives to practically fall apart before them. And I know they'd be just a tad miffed if Angelina, Christy, Jennifer, and Ashley didn't bother to do so much as send a card, or speak their baby's name, or treat them as though they were still mothers.

...and I'll cry (or feel whatever) if I want to.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Only 160 days left to go!

Firstly, I just have to say that anyone who knows me well will know that the baby countdown ticker I have added to my blog is meant to be just a tad ironic. In fact, I have some issues with the whole concept, as I know too well that a slightly distasteful graphical countdown doesn't guarantee that I will end up with a perfect and perfectly healthy mixed race baby in my arms at the end of 40 weeks like the image would suggest. But something happened to me this weekend. For the first time in a long time, I felt impossibly giddy about having another baby. I want the baby here NOW!

That being said, I still don't feel like telling anyone at work, which is starting to become difficult since I think I started showing last week, and I am already starting to walk funny. I wasn't anticipating this as I didn't start to show until much later with Julian, as I recall. Someone at work who I told about my pregnancy in confidence told someone else, who actually had the nerve to congratulate me, even though I hadn't told her personally. I gave her a look of death that asked why on earth she would dare approach me about something so personal without my mentioning it first. She backed off, but it made me realize that there are probably a lot of other people who know or have guessed as well. If so, at least they have the sense to keep their mouths shut.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

The wonders of technology

Listen to baby N's* heartbeat at 16 weeks, made possible by my BabyBeat Doppler and EarlySounds Recorder.

*Yes, the baby has a name, which will be officially released in 2 weeks when we will hopefully learn that things are progressing normally and get to take a peak at the baby's girl or boy parts!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Frivolous post about frivolous baby things

I am pleased to report that I may have reached a point where I can be excited about frivolous baby things. At least where my brand new Tumi Baby Messenger Bag in Yam (pictured above) is concerned. I never got around to buying a diaper bag when I was pregnant with Julian because I couldn't make up my mind. You could say that I've been researching and testing various baby bags, ranging from your basic $30 Do-It-All Diaper Bag from Lands' End to the ridiculously priced $450 Burberry Novacheck diaper tote, for the past two years. Although it may seem like a minor issue to some, I do feel like a diaper bag is the one personal accessory that mothers of babies and small children can use to express their pre-baby style when budget allows.

I find Coach bags too heavy, and Kate Spade bags too fussy (plus, I can't stand the velcro). I have also considered the trendy celebrity favorites, such as OiOi, Reese Li, Petunia Pickle Bottom, Timi & Leslie, and Fleurville, but have been disappointed with certain features, such as non-adjustable straps, fabric that stains or snags easily, lack of organization, cutesy design, etc.

My new Tumi bag is amazing and perfect for the following reasons:
  • It has a magical no-fuss magnetic closure (no velcro!).
  • It's lightweight and easy to clean.
  • The adjustable strap is long enough that I can wear the bag across my body, leaving my hands free.
  • It is in proportion to my figure (i.e., big and bold enough that it doesn't make me look like a hippo).
  • It's roomy with lots of organizational features, and comes with a changing pad and "dirties" bag.
  • It has a very professional appearance, consistent with Tumi's other collections, making it perfect for a working mom.
  • I got it for half off the retail price of $195 at the Tumi outlet (which explains why I got it in orange instead of black, in case you were wondering. I am trying to convince myself that it's much more stylish than the black version).

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Breathe in, breathe out

I got my blood pressure machine the other day and let me tell you, it is the best thing ever. First of all, I am so relieved to see that my blood pressure is totally fine when taken in the comfort and safety of my own home. Secondly, aside from it being a monitoring device, it is also an educational tool. I have been using it to help myself understand what I can do to help bring it down by observing when it tends to be higher than usual.

I feel so much better just knowing that there isn't a physical problem with me (or the baby, as my trusty BabyBeat Doppler suggests) and that my blood pressure can be controlled by managing my stress. If it is high in the doctor's office again, I can point to "white coat syndrome," armed with my home measurements taken over time.

In case you think this might useful for you, too, after extensive research, I ordered the Omron HEM-780N2 Auto Inflate Blood Pressure Monitor with ComFit Cuff (fits up to 17" arms!) from for $66.52.

While I was at it, I also ordered the following meditation CDs, which got good reviews:

The gift that keeps on giving

Check out this story on NPR. Apparently there may be more good reasons to reproduce. Researchers can't prove it yet, but I like the idea that Julian may have left behind some of his cells to protect me.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Is it July yet?

What a week. I don't know if it's hormones or what, but I have been so agitated and irritable that I can hardly stand the sound of DH's voice, and that's not like me at all. Especially considering the emotionally turbulent week that DH has had himself, due to a miserable cold, and a luncheon with the author, Julian Barnes on Tuesday. I won't go into it too much, because it's DH's deal, but being at an event where the guest of honor shared a name with our dearly departed infant son turned out to be a bit more than he could cope with, hearing people speak his name over and over and so forth. Plus, being in the book business, he had always planned on having new books signed "To Julian," so it's understandable why he nearly broke down when Julian Barnes asked who he'd like his copy of Arthur and George made out to. It broke my heart when he called me at work to tell me what had happened. Needless to say, it was a very tough night.

The good news is that the doppler has definitely helped calm some of our anxieties about the baby--it works like a charm, and the sound of the baby's heartbeat makes us smile even on the worst of days. The bad news is that I think I've replaced anxiety about the baby with anxiety about my own health and well-being. My blood pressure has been higher than usual, and that worries me since I had pre-eclampsia at the end of my pregnancy with Julian. So, I ordered a blood pressure monitor. Pretty soon, I'll have my own medical supplies center.