Pregnancy advice funnies

June 13th, 2007

I try not to be a complainer but I’ve genuinely come to the conclusion that people put way too much pressure on pregnant women to constantly do the exact correct thing in every aspect of their lives–and particularly pregnant women put too much pressure on themselves. I actually saw one woman asking on a pregnancy message board asking if it was okay to sleep on her right side–she’d read that sleeping on your left side was best for the baby, and was worried sleeping on her other side might hurt it. I hate to think of some poor woman attempting to stay on one side only every night for nine months, particularly since something about my new body makes whichever side I’m lying on quite sore within half an hour or so.

That said, I am trying to play by the rules. But some of the rules are just a little funnier than others. First, two from the official pregnancy book given to be my my dr:

1. If you have a headache, it’s not worth the risk to take a pain reliever. For such minor pains, it’s much better to go out and take a walk.

First of all, I’d like to visit personally with the author of that sentence so I can give her some minor pain to think about. Second, telling someone with a headache to take a walk is like telling someone with pneumonia to watch a football game: it might or might not be a fun experience, but it has absolutely no effect on the underlying ailment.

Fortunately, my dr. said it was okay to take plain tylenol. And I have–one at a time–four or five times since getting pregnant.

2. Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after petting your cat or handling any of its belongings.

This might be hard since my cats consider everything in our apartment, including me, to be their belonging. I do wash my hands an awful lot, but I’ve had 12 years to catch anything the cats might have to pass on to me, so I’m not terribly concerned about this one.

3. I must preface this one by saying this has no personal application to me in any way whatsoever, it just inspired some general thoughts, so no need to feel freaked out when you read it. If you still feel like it might be tmi, go ahead and stop reading. Andy wrote a new blog post about H.P. Lovecraft yesterday, you can read that instead if you like.

This one comes from a book about pregnancy for dads. It goes into raptures about how awesome the second trimester is: the second-trimester pregnant woman is supposed to be over nausea and hormonal emotionalness, and is also supposed to have an increased sex drive, and “she might not even be showing that much yet!”.

This, to me, seems to put an awful lot of pressure on the second-trimester mom. I have nothing to say about other factors, but I have to say that while I was remarkably even-tempered during my first trimester, I suddenly got absolutely smacked with hormonal flare-ups starting promptly in the fourth month. It’s quite alarming, for me anyway, one minute nothing’s wrong, then for ten minutes the sky comes crashing in, then suddenly I’m fine and am wondering why the heck I’m crying.

Now, regarding matters which have no personal application to me in any way. First, although she might not be “showing” much to outsiders (although on the other hand, she might: an actual dr. friend was astounded to realize, upon seeing me the other day, that at my current size I still have 4 months to go–thanks man), she herself probably feels like somebody made a Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade balloon version of her and transported her brain into it. I know I’ve been feeling like that since eight weeks. It’s a little difficult just navigating this skiff (“but ‘skiff’ is appropriate, right?”) from room to room, so I’m hoping the expectant fathers who read that book aren’t expecting too much.

There were some other funny pieces of advice but my pregnant brain isn’t remembering what they were right now. Which is another funny thing about pregnancy advice: who can even remember it all?

She’s Got Dreams

June 10th, 2007

That was the tagline from one of the “school notebooks” which we bought in Turkey for archaeological notes of various kinds. It featured a picture of a young woman with a contemplative expression, whose “dreams” must have involved a boat in some way since there was a picture of that too. I personally have a School Notebook emblazoned with the phrase “Gooses in World” and pictures of some actual gooses, along with a lot of random, non-goose-related visual effects. Someday I’ll scan them and put them up here, but my goal today is to talk about some pregnancy-related phenomena I’ve been experiencing, including lots of dreams.

Apparently, pregnant women dream a lot. Because they don’t sleep as soundly? I don’t know, but in my week to week baby journal there’s a separate section for “dreams” each week. Not all that many of my dreams are baby-related, though I am pregnant in a lot of them.

The best one was early on, and it featured Andy and me visiting a tower by a river which had been built by some old eccentric. The tower was in too bad condition too climb up, so to visit it there were flying chairs–chairs you sat in and could fly around in! That was awesome.

The rest of my dreams aren’t all that interesting. The other morning I woke up feeling completely freaked out and not knowing why, until I remembered I’d just been dreaming I was staying at a farmhouse with a relative who was apparently slowly becoming schizophrenic. Disturbing.

I also dreamed I drank a Diet Coke one night, a treat I haven’t had since learning I was pregnant. It was incredibly delicious.

In other news, the other day I was trying to tie a sweater around my waist and found I no longer have one. A waist, that is–the pregnancy hasn’t affected my sweater collection. It also hasn’t affected the fact that I live in Michigan, which is why I needed to take a sweater with me in June.

summer begins with a splash

May 23rd, 2007

Today we were enjoying lunch at Qdoba with some friends when Andy got a call from our apartment complex. Apparently there had been a water leak in our living room. We returned to find something like this:


Long-time readers will recall that our apartment experienced multiple floods back in the Summer of ’03. It’s been fairly dry around here since then, but now it’s sprinkler season and apparently whoever installed the water pipes to the outdoor faucets did a pretty flimsy job, since that was the cause of one of our earlier floods too.
Happily, all of our stuff was already moved away from the flood area by the time we returned home, and it appears someone has been here to suck the water out of the carpet this afternoon too. We have a few sodden items and are worrying about how we’re going to be able to view the Lost season finale this evening, but other than that, things appear to be drying out once again.
update: a few minutes after posting, this big fan was brought in to help dissipate the remaining water from the carpet:


polling parental opinions

May 21st, 2007

Just wanted to ask if any of our parent friends have an opinion on a crib purchase we’re considering. It’s a floor model on clearance at a nearby store. Its two short ends are solid and the sides have slats. I was wondering about safety issues in buying a floor sample that might have been handled a lot, and about the solid-sided thing. If any parents see this and have an opinion, would you email me or comment and let me know?
I think it might be this: but am not sure, can’t find any pictures of it in crib form.
Thanks very much!

“No wonder people like capitalism so much”

April 25th, 2007

Indeed. I’m embarrassed to admit it and I don’t know why, but buying something new usually cheers me up. I’m not a big shopper, I can stand it about once every 6 months, but it’s usually a fun time.
I’m also finding that looking at baby stuff is quite the palliative for all the anxieties about becoming parents. Focusing on how we will provide for the physical needs of the baby–a place to sleep, a bathtub, etc.–works nicely to take away my concern about the fact that I have no idea how to take care of a baby. And since there is pretty much an infinite number of things you can buy for a baby (not to mention the amount of money you can spend), this should carry me through the next 6 months quite nicely.
If all this makes you worried about the well-being of our upcoming baby, I also signed us up for the big “how to have and care for a baby” class at the hospital. Wheeee!

operation mind crime

April 24th, 2007

Today I was heating up my Cinnamon Crunch Bagel and found myself singing the lyrics “Feeling like cinnamon toast, feeling like Cinnamon Toast Crunch,” a jingle for cereal from some 20-odd years ago.
I found myself resenting this intrusion upon my consciousness by a meaningless set of phrases about breakfast cereal. I don’t want to think about cereal. I don’t, in fact, feel like Cinnamon Toast Crunch. This cause me to wonder if, rather than being an annoying but harmless part of life, commercial jingles actually constitute a kind of brainwashing–just like backwards masking wasn’t in the 80s.
Perhaps jingles are designed to highjack the thought processes of the target away from the target’s control, even after only one or two hearings, and focus the target upon hitherto unwanted and unconsidered commercial products. Perhaps this is taking away from our nations intellectual and economic productivity–every time we try to think about work, we find ourselves instead thinking about breakfast foods, carpet cleaners, jiffy oil change operations, cat food, and the like.
Perhaps jingles have an even darker side: maybe if we heard enough jingles, our minds would become not our own at all, but the property of the American advertising industry.
Think about it! While you still can…
“one call gets it done”…”no bones, McRib”…”you just said the magic word, and look what you did”…”Meow, meow, meow, meow, Meow, meow, meow, meow, Meow, meow, meow, meow, MEOW, meow, meow, meow”…

food: the lurking horror

April 16th, 2007

Food has always been my friend, more or less, despite the many social, cultural and health pressures to keep it at arm’s length. You might think, now that I’m pregnant, that many of those old taboos would temporarily disappear since I’m “eating for two.”
You’d be wrong. Sure, I do get to eat more…a little bit more. And I can consume more fat and am being urged from all sides to consume vast quantities of milk and meat, which are usually on the “keep it to a minimum” list. But the vast array of things I’m not supposed to eat, am only supposed to eat in certain forms, and do not have the energy to cook turns these small freedoms into horrible mockeries of themselves.
First, things I am not supposed to eat. They are myriad. I am supposed to eat fish, but only certain kinds of fish, and only in certain quantities. Try to remember which is what and when while you’re wandering around the grocery store with a pregnancy addled brain. Also on the questionable list are soft cheeses (which are soft? I don’t know), sushi, tea (maybe), artificial sweetener (maybe), deli meat, caffeine (maybe), soft-serve ice cream, hot dogs, unpasteurized fruit juices (are they pasteurized? they never say), sprouts, anything served cold that doesn’t get reheated until steaming, and I’m discovering new ones all the time.
One of my recent discoveries was nitrates and nitrites. I had been dutifully microwaving all lunch meat until crispy to eliminate the listeria problem, only to find out it was no good: the nitrates in the lunch meat were still going to give my baby cancer. I’m starting to run out of things to eat for lunch: no lunch meat, no peanut butter, no tuna, all that’s left is cheese and egg salad, which violate the fat content rule.
(Actually, peanut butter is the only thing I haven’t been able to give up. “They” recommend you give it up to be on the “safe side” since it’s not an “essential food”: not for them, maybe, but if I eliminated it from my diet I’d have to go hungry or fill up on saltines.)
Finally, not having the energy to cook. For the first few weeks, not being able to stand the sight, smell, or presence of food was the problem; more recently it’s been colds and headaches. I just don’t have the will to cook as much as I used to, so I’m more reliant on pre-made foods which just aren’t as healthy as the stuff I make.
I foolishly purchased a copy of “What to Eat When You’re Expecting”–it was only a dollar, but I would pay more than that to have the whole thing erased from my memory. Apparently, I’m severely imperiling my baby’s future by not cooking or baking every scrap of food I eat from natural, organic ingredients–no sugar, no fat, no white flour, ever. Sadly, I have neither the time nor money for such an enterprise. I am supposed to eat about 4 bushels of (organic) vegetables per day, close to that much of fruits…anyone who has ever felt queasy knows what result that is likely to have. If you still have room after that, you are to eat whole grains, (organic) meat, and low-fat dairy products. That’s it.
Well, not entirely. You are allowed to eat up to two cookies, once a month. I am not joking.
There’s no middle ground. You either cook everything from scratch, at a time when you have less energy and inclination to do so than at any other time of your life, or you subject the baby to all the deadly additives that comes in pre-processed food.
Food, why have you turned on me after so many years of happy co-existence? I never knew you had it (or, apparently, a lot of other junk too) in you.


April 9th, 2007

Okay, it’s been in the 20s or 30s and snowing for almost a full week now. It’s April!!! For crying out loud. The daffodils are all leaned over, depressed, burying their faces in the ground and wondering “Why do I even bother?”. The snow isn’t those big, puffy flakes that tell you it’s really spring despite the white stuff, they’re regular little winter flakes. And the cold isn’t fooling around. Back in March when it was still chilly, I kept telling Andy, “But it doesn’t have that biting feeling that winter does. The air feels mellower.” Andy didn’t seem to buy it then, but even I can’t keep lying to myself now. It’s cold. I pulled hats, gloves, and so forth back out of the closet, but just keep putting them away after each usage (not my usual habit, those of you who hold an image of me in your hearts as a tidy housekeeper may be surprised to learn), thinking maybe tomorrow I won’t need them. I actually had to scrape ice off my windshield the other day. Ice! Off my windshield! In April! It’s an outrage!
Actually, I moved to GR during an ice storm just four years ago, but the occasional ice storm is one thing. Snow on the ground for days and days is quite another.
The furnace is burning up the bucks. Garage sales are being canceled. Winter storm warning advisories are being issued. Web sites are advising me to go skiing. This is just beyond the pale, even for midwestern weather fans like me. Boo!


April 2nd, 2007

You don’t say.

abolish college

March 19th, 2007

What do you think?