Off to the hospital.
Contractions four minutes apart and hurting like proper motherfuckers. My cervix BETTER BE COOPERATING, IS ALL I'M SAYING.
Jason will update soon.
So everybody probably thought my next post would be something like this:
Labor! Motherfuckingcontractionsowowow! Going to hospital now. Where is bag? Shoes? Lip gloss? CrapcontractionrightNOW Jason will update ASAP but I'm guessing it will be a boy baby of some kind who will look something like this, only less orange.
Well, I thought maybe so too. But no. After hours of completely pointless, annoying and painful Braxton-Hicks contractions and another spurt of crazy nesting energy, I have determined that I am still most definitely not in labor.
However, I have gotten all of the following things done today:
1) Packed hospital bag for (hopefully) the last time. Contains paper for documenting all the hilarious curse words I invent during contractions and hopefully funny anecdotes about the L&D nurses, unless the L&D nurses are all, "Hey! You're that girl from The Washingtonian!" Which means I can't say anything mean about them, because I'm a chickenshit like that. Bag also contains the Bethiclaus blanket AND my new Lucky Labor Socks that Stinkerbell knitted and sent all the way from FRANCE, which WOW, how did women give birth before the Internet was around to send them pretty things?
Also realized that the elusive [something crucial] was my book of Su Do Ku puzzles.
2) Washed every last item of baby clothing and other fabric that may potentially come within five feet of my son's precious skin, except for the changing pad cover, which I have washed five times because Max keeps taking naps on it and frankly, I'm done caring about it.
3) Organized the kitchen.
Oh yes, the kitchen. That room which I no longer ever wish to speak of.
A lot of progress has been made since the last time I ranted about it:
Yes, that is Kraft Macaroni & Cheese simmering on the stove. Shut up.
We have cabinets! We have Silestone countertops! We have tile floors! We have a snazzy new over-the-range microwave with a fan and a surface light that makes me so happy I could weep!
We also have: Crumbling grout that needs to be redone, missing shelves on backorder, mutilated drywall, a cracked doorway threshold and a sink that won't drain properly. Oh, and everytime we run the garbage disposal it completely floods the cabinet underneath.
And one. More. Bloody. Missing. Cabinet. Because. God. Hates. Me.
Babalah: See? Am so not budging until you get that kitchen DONE and learn how to cook something besides Kraft Macaroni & Cheese.
Hello, due date!
Goodbye, due date!
I had a nonstress test and a biophysical profile this morning and passed both with flying fucking colors. The baby is reactive and happy and has enough amniotic fluid to see him through winter. (I'd be annoyed with him for being so cozy in there if the ultrasound hadn't shown us his adorable and brilliant fetal breathing, which awwwwww, what cute little lungs!)
Cervix? Not dilated. IN THE SLIGHTEST. MY GOD.
So we wait.
My doctor doesn't want to rush things and is imploring me to be patient. Which in theory, I completely agree with. If the baby isn't ready, he isn't ready.
Then I get home and huff and puff my way up the stairs, moan as I plop down on the couch and stare at my swollen feet and massive stretch-marked belly while Jason gazes longingly into our gorgeous nursery and then sadly heads off to work and suddenly I am rethinking this whole low-intervention bullshit because HELLO, I SIGNED UP FOR A BABY AND WOULD LIKE TO REDEEM MY COUPON NOW PLEASE.
I go back on Monday to repeat both tests. Unless I, you know, go into labor, which could happen because:
1) As of this morning, we have kitchen countertops and a sparkly new sink. I secretly think the baby has been waiting for them.
2) My doctor is away this weekend and Dr. Cold Dead Fish will be on call for deliveries.
3) Ceiba is freaking the fuck out at anybody who dares approach me, which she's never done before. (Unless you offer her a Greenie. Then she's all, "Take her!" and runs happily away.)
Aaaaannnddd...that's all I have for today. The Wednesday Advice Smackdown is still on hiatus because thinking is hard for pregnant ladies.
Especially for pregnant ladies who, while walking the dog this morning, threw their house key into the garbage can meant for the baggie of dog poop that they held in their other hand and then had to reach in and fish their house key out of the garbage can that was totally full of other people's baggies of dog poop.*
*Hypothetically speaking, of course.**
**Except totally not, of course.
Because I need a break in talking about HOW I AM NOT IN LABOR YET, I decided to scan some photos from this kind of hilarious cookbook I found in my office last week. And then say semi-funny things about the photos, like I'm James Lileks and the Gallery of Regrettable Food or something.*
*I am so not James Lileks and the Gallery of Regrettable Food or something. I'm just bored and again, NOT IN LABOR YET.
(EDITED TO ADD: Before everybody thinks I'm taking easy potshots at the gentle Midwesterners and their love of the Hotdish and Cream of Mushroom soup, let me state for the record that this company is located in Florida. Which makes zero sense, I know, but yes, Florida.)
(And it's always okay to make fun of Florida, right?)
Yesterday's total number of page views had an extra zero on it. Y'all are going to get some major carpal tunnel syndrome if you don't quit with the mad refreshing.
So this entry is simply today's Good Morning Calm Down No Labor Yet Placeholder Entry.
Perhaps I shall write something clever later today, but if I wait to update until something clever actually occurs to me, I might cause the Internet some permanent harm.
So here. These are the only babies currently present in the Storch household. This situation is not expected to change for several more days, or possibly months, because I have one damn comfy womb.
PLACES I COULD HAVE GONE INTO LABOR AT THIS WEEKEND:
3) Home Depot
Now I ask you, how awesome would it have been if my water had broken at IKEA? Or Coach! Right there among the Soho collection? Very awesome, is how awesome that would have been.
This kid is not cooperating with my need for narrative cohesiveness on my website.
Hello 40 weeks! Hello stretch marks! Hello gaping, fearful stares from people on the street!
Obviously, I am not in labor yet.
Although we thought I was in labor for 20 glorious minutes on Saturday night, at an Indian restaurant, where I proceeded to have THREE WHOLE CONTRACTIONS at exactly six minutes apart. Let's go get the bag! Lock up the pets! We're having a baby!
And then the contractions went all wonky (that's the technical term) and irregular and ta-da! False alarm. It was very sad, but at least I got to stay and have my rice pudding.
PLACES MY BELLY GOT FELT UP BY TOTAL STRANGERS THIS WEEKEND:
3) Whole Foods
5) The flipping carwash
I went virtually unmolested throughout my entire pregnancy. Now I have little old ladies in the grocery store muttering blessings to me in Slavic languages while poking my child's protruding little behind.
Oh, and asking if I'm having twins. Which: I GET IT, OKAY? AM HUGE AND READY TO BURST AND IF THERE IS A GOD, I WOULD BURST ALL OVER YOUR SHOES.
In other news, I can't shake this weird feeling that everybody everywhere is staring at me.
(And of course, I was wearing the SAME DAMN SHIRT FROM THE PHOTO almost all weekend.)
So much has happened. Absolutely nothing has happened.
Tuesday was my last day at work. I'm working from home from now on, because Seriously.
It was hard to leave...I mean, I'm going back, and I'm pretty sure everybody believes me when I say I'm going back, but to leave an office knowing that it will be over three months until I return? And leaving my work in the hands of other people? Other people who seem SO CALM AND COLLECTED AND COMPETANT?
I wanted the editors who will be filling in for me to panic, just a bit. To ask me millions of questions and root through my filing cabinets and basically act the way I feel. Maybe some tears. But no, they just kept trying to reassure me that everything was under control and that they could handle it all just fine.
I like to think that they are lying, just so I can feel needed.
Oh, and in the last five minutes of the workday, I had some kind of mini-nostalgia meltdown and started grabbing picture frames and pens (but those are my FAVORITES!) and God-knows-what-else from my office to take home with me because I might miss them.
Jason came home to find me surrounded by office supplies and double prints of photos we already have around the house while freaking out because I forgot to find someone to babysit my plants.
Yesterday's OB appointment revealed that my streak of No Fucking Progress Whatsoever is continuing in smashing form. Baby isn't budging and neither is my cervix. Doctor is hopeful that I'll still go into labor on my own this week, but if not? Another appointment next Wednesday, complete with a nonstress test and perhaps me throwing myself at his feet and begging him to get this baby out through whatever means possible, because LORDY, am I ever done.
I spent most of yesterday being inconsolably cranky. And swollen, because it is still practically 90 degrees here every damn day.
However, I was slightly cheered up by the receipt of a Very Special Issue of The Washingtonian magazine. The Photo is acceptable, and the article is very short and does not give me the opportunity to sound like a raving stupid moron.
Amy Storch on blogging: "Um, it's cool! And stuff! Hee!"
Seriously. I was at the interview. The reporter soooo could have gone in that direction.
The magazine will be hitting DC-area newstands very soon. Pick up a copy or five of your very own and turn to page 41 for a full-length photo of me wearing very blah shoes and sporting chipped toenail polish. (It was supposed to be three-quarters length! I thought I didn't have to worry about my feet!)
But hell, I look way better than Britney, and that's all that matters in life.
(I'll scan the actual thing in a few weeks. In the meantime, go spend $3.95 or whatever on your very own copy, which also contains a huge section called "Creating a Terrific Kitchen." Coincidence? I THINK NOT.)
Nursery photos! Now with new-and-improved visibility!
So see? It's a big...tree of some sort.
My mother-in-law handpainted the trunk and branches, then stenciled the 500 million leaves. And then handpainted veins and stems on those 500 million leaves.
I wandered around and whined that I wished I could help, and so she handed me a paintbrush and told me to stencil some falling leaves.
My bluff, she was called. But I sucked it up and stenciled three whole leaves and I think they look rather smashing.
I can't wait to show my son exactly which leaves I painted just for him. "That one! And that one! Oh, that one actually resembles a leaf, so no, not that one."
The whole thing is varathaned, by the way, so if the little one decides to explore his own artistic talents (that he will no doubt have gotten from me, with the mad-leaf-stenciling skills and all) all over the walls, we can recreate our favorite tableau from Mommie Dearest and scrub it off.
She also painted some adorable woodland creatures -- some on the walls and some on canvases. This raccoon will be hung in the tree as soon as we find some nails.
His name is Rocky, and he will be the star of a charming bedtime story involving the local saloon, a rival named Dan and of course, Gideon's Bible.
And because this is a little boy's room, we had to have some bugs. (Hi Ceiba!)
And a bunny. This one may have been more for my benefit.
And a seekrit hidden chipmunk on the windowsill. Which, no lie, she painted in 20 minutes flat.
Meanwhile, it took us about 45 minutes to hang a new chandelier in our dining room.
See the shades? And see how there are only five of them? Yes. We apparently cannot count.
(And guess where we got those shades from? No, just guess!)
(They are from IKEA. Pray for me.)
Actually, I lied. I did not help install the new chandelier. I claimed that I really, REALLY had to do my thank-you notes and hid upstairs while all sorts of home improvement projects were completed by other people. Trim and windowsills, painted! New paint for bathroom, selected! Caulking! Dusting! Organizing! Lightbulbs in ceiling lamps that burned out last winter, replaced!
I started to paint the bathroom door, but got light-headed and handed the paintbrush to Jason after like, five minutes. Then I took a nap.
THINGS LEFT TO DO:
1) Buy wrong-sized curtains for nursery, exchange said curtains for correct-sized curtains.
2) Buy a rug of some sort before our downstairs neighbor reports us for improper rug-to-bare-floor ratio.
3) Paint the bathroom, because ew.
4) Dilate and efface.
5) Kitchen cabinets.
6) Kitchen floor.
7) Kitchen countertops.
8) Buy groceries.
9) Order refills of all my favorite essential cosmetics because while I'm not so delusional to think that I'll actually make it to Sephora in the next few months, I'm still delusional enough to think that I will apply foundation occasionally.
10) Buy stamps and actually mail thank-you notes.
11) Remove baby registry link before anyone else buys us any gifts so there will be no more thank-you notes to write again, ever.
12) Assemble stroller.
13) Install carseat.
14) Repack hospital bag seven hundred more times because I know I am forgetting something crucial and I'm having dreams about how I've forgotten [something crucial] and they won't let me take the baby home because I don't have [something crucial] but no one will tell me what [something crucial] is.
15) GO INTO LABOR ALREADY. JESUS.
Oh Internet, I had such grand ideas for today's post -- we have artwork and a-fancy paintin' type things in the nursery now, and lo, it is gorgeous and very ready for the Prince of Everything's debut. My mother-in-law? Scary, scary talented. And patient. And not asking me to help at all, which is the best part.
I took pictures this morning but...well, I am an idiot who forgot to turn on the flash. So I have pictures of shadows and things which are not at all interesting.
Here's a preview, courtesy of the one photo that actually came out, kind of.
So instead of nursery photos and some hilarious commentary about me stenciling leaves (yes), repainting our bathroom (no), and pouring spoiled milk into everyone's morning coffee because I JUST DIDN'T NOTICE THE CURDLES (yes), I will post some belly pictures, because THOSE came out just fine.
Jason took these last night, when my belly looked especially pointy and lopsided.
There really isn't any way to describe the feeling of having a full-sized, actual infant inside you. Except impatience, because clearly, this kid is just freeloading at this point.
Then I took these this morning, just to give you the full, uncensored horror.
(Yes, there are stretch marks. Many, many stretch marks. But because I am a lousy photographer whose photos are never properly lit, you can't really see them here. But I won't deny their existence. Am so sexy I can hardly stand it.)
Completely unrelated addendum: Thursday's post turned out to be quite the barn-burner. Hundreds of emails. Hundreds! I tried to reply to everybody, but I failed miserably, as I think I burned out around email number...twelve, or something.
And the great thing? Out of those hundreds of emails? I got exactly two telling me where to stick my "ridiculously rude" or "completely unrealistic" opinions regarding reader advice. Oh, and one person who went back through my entries to find one with open comments just so she could slam me there, because she was determined like that. Heh.
So three people hate me now and will never read the site again. And hundreds (hundreds!) of you love me and all but ordered me to stop defending myself all the time.
(Which means I'm going to defend myself one last time.)
FRANTIC SELF-DEFENSE BACK-PEDALING #1: I got some emails from people apologizing for their comments when they did not need to apologize for their comments. And I felt mean and bad, because I didn't stress enough that there is a HUGE difference between saying "Hey, this was my experience" and saying "Hey, this was my experience and thus, the only way it should be done."
Sharing experiences is Good. We like sharing experiences. We are like Oprah, only with more cursing.
Not Good: judgement, scare tactics and a lack of respect for people who make different choices than you.
FRANTIC SELF-DEFENSE BACK-PEDALING #2: The worst offenders of my zero-assvice-tolerance policy did not leave comments. They emailed me directly. Emails that, when forwarded to other friends, ellicited the same toe-curling reaction of "who the fuck is this person and how can she possibly think this is helpful?" So while you may think that all of the comments left last Wednesday were fine and dandy, rest assured they were the tip of the "unless you do things this way, horrible, horrible things will happen" iceberg.
And while I can handle a few of those, once I start getting dozens and dozens of scary stories that make me feel completely trapped in at every angle and I don't even KNOW THESE PEOPLE and now my head is full of botched forceps deliveries and maternal hemorrhaging and GAH, anxiety attack, I simply have to draw the line and plead with the Internet to Make. It. Stop.
FRANTIC SELF-DEFENSE...wait, fuck that for this one. I am sick and tired of hearing the blah-blah-talkyspeak about how because I write things on the Internet and have a comments section, I should totally be okay with whatever people choose to say to me.
Maybe I should totally be okay with it. But guess what! I'm not. I'm sorry I'm not as big of a person as you think I should be, but maybe you'd rethink your position if you had to live a week with my email inbox and actually saw some of the stuff people say to me day after day.
Okay, I'm done now. I heart the Internet once again and will maybe think about not closing comments permanently after all.
Let's all talk about something else. Is anybody wearing any particularly cute shoes today?