Tuesday, July 5, 2005

Loser Family Builds a Nest- Pregnancy Update (month 9)

An email I sent out to family and friends a month before Corinne was born. I got a lot of positive feedback on this one from all the fellow mom's, and I always did feel like it captured that irrational nesting frenzy of a very pregnant woman and her poor husband.

Hi everyone,

Since Pete and I collectively owe a lot of people emails and phone calls, I decided it would be easier to just send out another update to everyone, even though I feel like there's not much to tell.

Seems like this is the calm before the storm right now. We've both been furiously working to get long withstanding projects finished (or started and then finished, in some cases). We know that life as we know it is ending (yes yes, and a new chapter beginning, blah blah blah, insert "bringing baby into the world, yadda, yadda, best thing you'll ever do, yadda" here) and we won't have time to pick our noses, much less clean the bathroom, once the baby comes. It's amazing how strong the need is to tie up loose ends. My work has benefitted from it the most- I've been trying to organize all my files, documents, training programs, etc to the point of bordering on unhealthy obsession. Partially I want to leave everything in order so that they all realize what a huge mistake it was to let such a wonderfully organized person go (yeah right), and partially it's because I'm putting together a portfolio of all the work that I have done in the past 2 years for these ingrates so I can use it to get my next job.

At home I have organized and cleaned the garage, both cars, and the basement (because you know how much babies hate cluttered basements). I stare hungrily at the attic from time to time, too, but the heat has kept me away from tackling that one. As for the baby's room, I have sorted, folded, refolded and resorted all the cute little outfits, hung some up, sorted them by age, changed my mind and folded them in a drawer. I have rearranged the stuffed animals on the shelves by size, species and color. I have sorted supplies by use (bath, feeding, toys, small items) and placed then in baskets, which I have moved from one location to another, to different parts of the house and then back again. I have arranged and rearranged the curtains, the pillows and the bedding. This past weekend I assembled the swing, stroller, and a night table (which I decided yesterday that I absolutely could not live without). I am so ready for this baby that it is ridiculous. Mice do this quirky thing where they sometimes overgroom each other and themselves as a dominance thing. You can always tell who the dominant one is because he will be the one with all his hair while his cage mates are covered in bald spots. Every once in awhile you will see a mother mouse who has a litter of pups that have been groomed bald except for their scrawny little heads and feet. In this case I think it is more of an obsessive-compulsive thing than a dominance thing. All I can think of is the mother or grandmother who is forever spitting and dabbing at their children's filthy faces. I just hope I get over this frenzy once the baby is born so I don't clean and organize her to the point of baldness, or sort her into a basket by color and size.

Pete is no less guilty. This weekend he single-handedly painted the entire exterior of the house by himself, and then did the garage and shed too, for shits and giggles. Prior to that he rebuilt (and painted) our basement bulkhead and tore down and replaced several dozen shingles on the house. His real obsession, though, is weed whacking. He has waged war against unsightly grass growing in the cracks of the sidewalk and along the flower beds. He goes at them with his giant weed whacker with a vengeance, lest our home look like a "ghetto-house". We must look like a pair of freaks, the big fat preganant lady and the crazy man. Last summer we had a robin who was determined to build a nest in the tree in our front yard, even though she was convinced that her reflection in the window was another bird moving in on her territory. She spent about two weeks attacking the window and flying back and forth with loads of twigs and string that she never could seem to assemble into an actual working nest before she finally just gave up and moved on. We were so amused by her and her mindless behaviors, driven solely by instinct. I suspect that that same bird, who this year, incidentally, has successfully built her nest, laid and hatched her eggs, is now watching us running around cleaning and organizing and sweating and bumping into each other like clowns in a circus, is equally amused by us.

So that about sums up our lives the past few weeks. I don't know what we will do when we run out of projects. Relax while we still can? I doubt it. God forbid the baby comes past the due date, I think I'll go out of my mind. Maybe we'll start a new mural- haha. Or maybe I'll read a few dozen more books on childbirth and parenting. I'm almost up to college-age in terms of child development.

Pregnancy symptoms-wise, I am huge. I am like a giant orb. Soon I will have my own gravitational pull. My ankles resemble those of an elephant, they are so swollen with "fluids". My doctor said there's not much I can do, and to only be concerned if I get headaches and chest pains (like from a stroke???). I am a vision of sexiness. Other than that, though, I thought I'd be feeling much worse right about now. I have developed the pregnant lady shuffle, but I don't feel nearly as heavy and cumbersome as I thought I would. Only four weeks to go (theoretically). I'm convinced that she's going to come late, though. That's just the way my luck goes. As of this Friday I will be to term (37 weeks) and it could safely happen at any time. Ah, dare to dream. I just hope it doesn't happen before I have a chance to organize my photos and rearrange my bedroom. And get started on the handmade birth announcements... And start my baby scrapbook.......

I'll keep everyone posted. Pete will call immediate family once I go into labor, and will email everyone else once she is born, so in the meantime no word just means that there is no news. Assume all is well unless you hear otherwise. Or it could be that we're just too busy flying into windows and grooming each other bald.

A, P, 7 & (we're not telling!)