Friday, December 28, 2007

Measuring large

I just got back from the midwives office (driving in blinding snow, no less). The wee babe is measuring large, topping the 90th percentile for his head size. My uterus is measuring 24 weeks, and according to the original due date of May 5th that's way too big. However, last Thursday during the ultrasound they moved my due date up to either April 27th or April 29th. 

So, according to those dates I think that makes me 23 weeks along.  I have no idea. Math is hard, Barbie! 

He had the hiccups this morning, at least I think that's what was going on. The movement was very rhythmic and lasted about five minutes before it stopped. 

We spent the holiday weekend at Patrick's parents' ranch in a teensy little town of about three hundred people about an hour outside of Dallas. This is a picture he took of me with Geoffrey, one of his parents' four donkeys. 


My mom lives in between Dallas and Ft. Worth and my dad and stepmom live about 45 minutes south of Ft. Worth, so we did a lot of driving around. A lot. It's odd, I haven't lived in Texas since 2000, Patrick hasn't since I think 1995. Part of it feels like "home" still, but a lot of it is amazingly foreign to us both. 

Our families were all delighted about our surprise wedding. We're heading back to DFW in a month for our baby shower. We had a wonderful Christmas together, I got a new laptop (which I desperately needed) and a few other things from him. So I suppose I'm technically a mac convert now. It's taking some getting used to - but I like it. 

We're both coming down with a cold/the flu or something, so I'm sorry this is so utterly boring. 

Thursday, December 20, 2007

And the bride wore black.

Today, at sometime between 3 and 4 p.m., I'm getting married. In a black dress, no less. We're keeping it quiet, not even telling our parents. Instead we'll be surprising them over Christmas. 

You would think that I would be petrified. As I'm divorced. Twice over. 

The first time, was just a month after I turned 19. We'd been dating since I was 16 - and I was in love with the idea of being in love. We were having the big princess wedding. My dress weighed close to thirty pounds as it was so heavy with crystal beading. Incidentally, I hated it. His mother picked it out, and bought it for me. I never had the chance to find my own wedding dress.  We got married where his family was from, and I stayed up the night before crying because I didn't want to go through with it.  But there were 500 people coming the next day, and I was afraid of embarrassing my parents. I was afraid of disappointing everyone. Halfway down the aisle, I had to swallow the bile rising in my throat and fight my instinct to turn and bolt.  Looking back, I should have gone with it, and ran into the mid August Texas heat.  We were married only 13 months. We lived together for about half of those. I decided I couldn't live with a man who hit me, who called me a whore almost daily - and yet oddly wouldn't sleep with me. A man who would leave the most vile, violent - bloody pornography on my computer to shock me. I left him in the middle of the night, when he was out of town. I truly believed that he would follow through on his promise and kill me. He's now remarried, and the father of a son and a daughter (I know this because he has an annoying habit of tracking me down to tell me how sorry he is that we didn't work out). 

The second time, I was 22. He was 38. I thought I was "grown up" and knew what love was. We started dating in May and were married by August. We eloped, getting married at sunset on a beach in the Virgin Islands, just the two of us.  My father was so angry he didn't speak to me for almost four months. There were times when we were happy. We were poor and still in school. Then the lies started coming unravelled. He refused to tell his best friend (incidentally his ex-girlfriend, and oddly now, one of my closest friends who no longer speaks to him) that we were married for over three months even though he spoke to her daily.  I found out the truth about why he left his last job as a professor, after he swore to me for three years that what I feared the most hadn't happened. Instead, I read the truth in a copy of a court transcript when I was looking for a computer cord in his laptop bag. And yet, I stayed with him. But his perennial depression made me feel so unloved I honestly felt as if I was dying. He wouldn't work and I was struggling to support us both. I made mistakes too - huge ones, that were simply unforgivable. Ones that I regret with every ounce of my being. I wanted children, desperately. He didn't. We tried for four years (he said later he did so to placate me), infertility treatment for about half of that. Nothing ever worked. I now am so thankful that it never did. 

Today, I'm a different person. I'm 28. I'm a bit jaded. I've lived in four states in two years. I want a partner who is financially responsible, who works hard. I want a man who I can trust, who will love me for being myself. I want a partner who makes me laugh, who will be a good father, who has the deep seated desire for starting a family and making our own traditions. I want a man who is equally comfortable in a five star restaurant and just sitting around talking to my very poor family.  I want to spend my life with someone who is honest, who's laugh makes my heart warm. I want someone who isn't afraid to admit when he's wrong, and by the same token has the heart to forgive me when I am.  I don't want a savior, but a partner. Someone to hold my hand and face what life throws our way together. I want someone who has some of the same referents, who understands my quirks, who enjoys long drives to no particular destination on a whim. I want Patrick, by my side, forever.  And I mean forever. I want to grow old with him. I want to believe in our future. And for the first time in my life, I do. 

I can see him holding our son, hear his voice singing lullabies. I respect him.  For the first time in my life, I can't honestly picture myself intimate with any other person. 

And I love him with every fiber of my being. I see his flaws, and I am brave enough to show him mine. And we love each other in spite of - or perhaps because of - them. 

And so today, we will make our bond permanent - from a legal perspective. As honestly, our lives are so inextricably entwined, that regardless of what status we have on paper - he is my only.

I'm wearing a black dress (a long story - but I tried to find something more appropriate, but this was the first dress that made me feel beautiful since I got pregnant).  And I will be amazingly happy. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

And now begins the psychotic dreams...

For the last week I've woken up at least once every night in a sheer panic. First there was the dream about someone kidnapping me and cutting Julian out of me. So horrifically gory and real. Then there was the dream that I gave birth to him, only he was see-through - like this phone I had when I was a freshman in high school - and I could see each vein, artery, organ, etc.

Last night was a doozy. I had a dream that he was huge when he was born, and he was possessed. He could talk and crawl immediately and was saying the most vile things. Then I had a minorly weird one that everyone in my dad's family sent shower gifts, but they were each personalized, and none were his name - as they didn't like it, so they each named him something different. The last one, he developed sharp cat-like teeth in utero and chewed himself out through my belly a la alien style rather than be born.

Yeah. I don't sleep so well at night anymore.

Since travel has been such an important part of our relationship, we decided to go with a travel theme for the nursery. Patrick found an adorable screen-print painting at Land of Nod of the ABCs where each letter is a different world city. We're going to paint the ceiling blue with white clouds (and glow in the dark stars) and the walls will be green with a mural of a city and train tracks. We found an old 1950s biplane that's about 2 feet wide and bright red in the basement of the house, and we're going to clean it up and suspend it from the ceiling. Patrick bought a huge lot of Dr. Seuss books and Richard Scarry books off ebay. So, Julian's library now includes over 70 total - which means the world to me as we both love to read.

I've made a few compulsive purchases - some onesies and a few all-in-one cloth diapers and some vintage diaper pins. We're likely going to do a combination of cloth and disposable diapers.

We've started the internal debate on circumcision, and I have to say it's a lot harder decision than I expected. (I want to forego it as I'm afraid they'll mangle his wee little penis - Patrick wants him to have it done).

I've got to start being better about my weight. After all my bragging that I haven't put on hardly any weight (3.5 lbs at 18 weeks) I somehow have put on over 7 in the last week and a half. And I'm having huge issues with swelling. I've always managed to have very slender ankles, but now - at night, I can barely take my shoes off because my feet are so swollen. My ankles literally disappear into the vast rolls of flesh that used to house my slender ankles. The same thing is happening with my hands, though to a lesser degree. I'm having to take my ring off during the day at work because it's starting to cut into my finger.

Patrick saw my ankles last night after I had them propped up for a few minutes and was really concerned. But the swelling isn't pitting - (i.e. if you poke it with your finger the dent doesn't stay) and I'm not having headaches (any more than normal, anyway) or other symptoms of preeclampsia. I guess I'm just one of the lucky ones for whom edema seems to happen early in the pregnancy and when it's less than thirty freaking degrees outside. I shudder to think what would happen if I was pregnant in the summer.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

More Ovaltine please.

I'm addicted to Ovaltine at the moment. Though I sometimes cheat on it with a big glass of carrot juice. The carrot juice sends Patrick into convulsions as he thinks there's nothing nastier on the planet.

We're supposed to fly out this Friday to go to Astoria, Oregon for the weekend. Unfortunately, those plans are on hiatus as the poor people there have been deluged (quite literally) with horrible weather. We were expecting a potential weather snag in our travel plans when we went to Key West in late July, but I can't say that I saw this coming. I guess now we'll land in Portland and travel east a bit instead. Who knows.

It snowed over 7 inches last night, and has been snowing all morning (though lightly). It's gorgeous. I'm working from home - trying to pretend that I'm being productive, but mostly looking outside and wishing I had the energy to get up and make a snowman. Or I don't know - wash dishes or do laundry or something similarly exciting. I do feel better than I did at first, but the energy reserves are still running very low. The midwife said my iron is too low, which is what's causing it. I'm trying to fix it via diet rather than pills, and I'm not sure how well it's going.

This last week I started leaking colostrum rather badly. It startled me, as I sprung a full fledged leak while wearing a silk shirt. I thought it was a bit early for this to happen. Meh.

We got our first baby gift in the mail today - a Christmas ornament from a friend of mine in KC. I was very touched, and had big heaping sobs when I opened it and saw what it was. It's still so surreal to me that this is happening.

And with this boring post concluded, I'm heading to make more Ovaltine.