Thursday, February 28, 2008

dear sick coworker,

GO HOME! quit hacking up your lung in my healthy (for now) vicinity. i'm serious. get your shit out of the office before you give all of us the plague. have mercy on my weak pregnant immune system. thanks!


Tuesday, February 26, 2008

finally, a finished object!

eyelet baby blanket, FO

eyelet baby blanket, detail
at long last, i have finished knitting a baby blanket for my own baby. after countless fluffy basket weave blankets (which i still love, by the way), i decided to knit something different for myself. this is a simple eyelet blanket from a pattern written by the owner of my LYS. the pattern has two versions, for worsted or chunky yarn, but the designer knitted it at a gauge that was just way too loose for me. i sort of combined the two, and knitted the worsted pattern with chunky yarn on needles that were kind of in the middle. this is 7 (i think) skeins of encore chunky on US size 10.5 lantern moon destiny needles. (love these needles, by the way, mainly for the way the cable swivels at the join. i bought them just to try them, but they are truly awesome, and now, i am afraid i may be hooked.) i am really happy with how this came out. i haven't washed it yet, but that's the next step. of course, it took about 30 seconds for fergus to claim it for himself.

Monday, February 25, 2008


1. i am with my sister. i am holding an ill-fitting oxygen mask just off her face to keep it from cutting her skin and watching her contraction progress on the machine as the fetal monitor plays for us the sound of her baby's ever-lowering heart rate. the contraction passes, and the heart rate stabilizes. nurses whisper in the corner. when my sister holds her breath, so do i. she won't let go of my hand--she is too alone and utterly afraid. they are getting ready to wheel her into the delivery room, which is separate from the labor room--a bad design. she won't let go, and her doctor throws a gown on me and i am dragged along. i watch her and touch her and talk to her as she labors, as she sqeezes the handles on the birthing table so tightly that the IV needle creeps out of her hand. the staff is worried. the get out a vacuum extractor and literally pull the baby out of my sister's body. the baby girl is bright blue--so blue she seems made of plastic and not flesh. they take her limp body away to the corner, under hot, bright lights, and she is surrounded by people. my sister and i are alone. my sister is almost unconscious but is weeping, tears sliding down her face as she begs me to tell her the baby is ok. long silent minutes pass, and i wonder what i will say to my sister if her baby dies. finally, a little weak cry fills the room and i am crying too--i can see the baby kicking and screaming out her anger at all the strangers touching her. she is ok. i can breathe, and my sister can breathe, because so can she.

2. i am with my friend, pushing back on her hand as she leans hard into me, trying with all her might NOT to push her baby out of her body. it's not quite time. she is focussed on breathing, looking past me into her husband's eyes for the strength he can give her. her face is a miracle. her sister has her other hand and both of us are doing whatever we can to help her. she is loved and supported literally from all sides. she is so focussed that her mind is not with us anymore--afterwards she will say that she hypnotized herself. the baby starts to appear--she has a perfect curl on the top of her head. the nurse runs for the doctor, who comes in just in time as the serious business of birth gets underway. the pushing is tremendous and powerful--more strength than i knew she had in her. the baby slides out in a great gush, and she is perfect. she cries for just a moment, and then is calm as they measure her. her father cries. the nurse does, too. it is a moment of wonder. my friend says that it was fun--she has endorphins going through her that would bring a million dollars if you could bottle them. the baby girl is serious and beautiful and sleeps on her mother as we leave the new little family alone to bask in each other.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

a note on the kitties


many people have complimented samson's gorgeousness after the earlier post about him bring me presents when he was worried about my coughing. thanks, y'all--i think my kitties are pretty beautiful myself. their mother was a pure-bred show cat, a birman, and their father was God Knows What (aka, Something Grey). whatever he was, it worked out pretty well. the boys are littermates, and both were rescued from a scary man who was about to throw the whole litter (of seven!) into a river. it's a long story, but suffice it to say that someone i know was just in the right place at the right time to stop this madness and bring those little 5-week-old kittens home with her. i took two of them, and have never regretted it--they are beautiful and sweet tempered and soft, but they are just bad enough to be amusing. perfect pets (except when they break stuff or try to walk on my belly while i am sleeping or snag my yarn or steal my knitting needles or cough up hairballs on my couch). i try not to talk about them TOO much lest i become a crazy cat lady, but i sure do love them. glad y'all like them as much as i do. :)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

too much to say

the past couple of weeks have been a whirlwind. we've traveled, had house guests, re-organized two rooms of our house, moved furniture and put new stuff together, cleaned and cleaned. is this nesting? the doula teaching our birth classes says it's not really nesting until the last couple of weeks, but it sure FEELS like nesting. over the course of this week, i will be writing some catch up posts, but right now, i just have some things on my mind i want to get down before they slip away. you guys understand...

friday was something of a mental milestone to me--30 weeks. 10 weeks to go. the baby is suddenly bigger and heavier and a stronger presense in my mind (and my lower back). maybe it's the birthing and baby care classes we have started, but i am thinking more and more about the birth that's coming--trying to prepare. maybe it's just because he's growing so quickly right now that i can see a time when he will no longer fit in his snug little hobbit hole. he's going to have to get out, and i am trying to figure out how that's all going to work. i was always like this: birth plan? i don't need no stinkin' birth plan! but after learning more about it, i think maybe i do. not something set in stone, but some list of what i hope for. i hope to have him naturally. i hope i don't need an epidural. i hope i can do it without drugs. i hope it goes well and that he gets from the inside to the outside without much intervention. i hope when he is born, they will lay him on my chest instead of taking him away. i hope i can breastfeed. i have learned that all these things are actually possible--if all goes well. but i have seen birth--i have seen it from two different sides, and i know many mnay stories of many other births as well. i know--i KNOW--that some flexibility is required. i know i can't get wedded to these ideas of what i hope for. i know they are just that--hopes--and that everything can change on the turn of a dime. and in the end, i just want a healthy baby and a healthy me. no amount of preparation is going to make it not scary. thank god for the hippie. thank god for his support and his love through this.

the sweet junipers have had their baby, and he is beautiful. and jim's writing about it is so poignant and beautiful that i can't read it without crying. i went today and i read the whole story of juniper's birth, their beautiful little daughter, and it was just amazing. her birth was natural and not easy, but it was also awesome and overwhelming. i am so grateful to them both for writing it out in such detail and leaving so little out. it's comforting to me on a level i can't explain. it's worth reading and as educational as any book i have seen. i hope i am able to record our story in this kind of detail. i feel like i am mentally retreating a little bit--maybe gearing up in some way. i am trying not to do that. it's hard for me right now to think or write about much else. i am keeping a paper journal now for the first time in years. i am keeping it as much for the baby as for myself, something i wish my mother had done.

i hope i am a good mother. i hope we are good parents. i hope we are a good family. the fear is almost overwhelming. so is the anticipation. i can't wait to meet him.

Friday, February 08, 2008

showin' me the love

prey animal
every weekend the hippie sweeps and vacuums the floor. in order to do this, he picks up all the cat toys and puts them on the bottom shelf of our living room bookshelves. the cats know where they are, and retrieve them at will. we know from this what toys are the favorites and who likes what the best. the three most loved (or maybe hated?) slowly make their way from the living room to our bedroom. like good outdoor cats--they bring us their kills. this past week, samson has been freaked out by me being so sick--he comes and checks in on me all the time. am i ok? is that coughing thing still happening? where's the hairball? can he help? i guess putting his favorite catnip filled squirrel/ferret/chipmunk thing on the bed for me was the best he could do. i am still giggling about it. just look at how ferocious he is. are you not trembling in fear?

Thursday, February 07, 2008

notes on the belly

i am a little in love with the belly. i admit it. i catch glimpses of myself in the mirror, and i see this body that's not altogether my own, and it's oddly thrilling. it's not somehting i ever expected, and certainly not something i expected from the hippie either. but it's true--he's a little in love with the belly, too. we've hit the land shark phase. the baby is moving around in there all the time, and i can see it as well as feel it. little jabs and hops and flutters that are just amazing to watch. it's bizarre, of course, and i feel a little like a character in alien, but it's awesome, too. my little guy is in there, rolling and kicking and turning, and letting me know he's ok. the hippie hugs me, and he hugs the belly. he asked me what he was going to do when the belly was gone. he lays his hand on me and he says, come on baby--kick your daddy. and the baby does.

on many levels, pregnancy sucks--i am so tired, and my back aches, and i have the immune system of a newborn kitten, so i keep getting sick and staying sick. but on another level, it doesn't suck at all. there is a joy in it, this growing of a life in my body. it's amazing and humbling, and i think some part of me will be sad and miss it when it's over and the baby is on the outside. it's still hard for me to believe it's happening at all, this surprise baby that's come to us when i am 38 years old and had pretty well given up on the whole thing. i am terrified of it on so many levels. but i am happy, too. finally, at this later stage in the pregnancy, i am starting to be less worried and more happy.