Week 30

I went for a non-stress test (NST) this week, and it was (aside from traffic) extremely uneventful. The doctor we met (briefly) said as long as my AFI (amniotic fluid levels) stay in the normal range, we don’t need more NSTs. Which is nice, because traffic really was a total bear. I better not need to be rushed to the hospital during rush hour because that’s not gonna happen. Although, as Dan pointed out: “That’s what ambulances are for.”

The doctor asked an interesting question or two regarding my history to which Dan and I did not know the answers. (We have to birth in a different hospital this time around.) She wanted to know what kind of testing I had undergone given my history (fetal death — a term I hate — and low fluid levels). I honestly didn’t recall any kind of testing, aside from increased sonograms with Flora and Kate. After Gabriel died, we did have some testing done on him (not an autopsy) and I gave a few vials of blood. I think they were looking for genetic components or clotting factors, something that would tell us WHY Gabriel died. But nothing was found either in his tests or mine that was conclusive.

I have officially moved into the third trimester. Sleeping is difficult — I have to wake up to turn over, and I am HOT. I can barely sleep with a sheet over me, and for a woman who likes to burrow into covers (sheet, blanket, comforter) that feels weird. The heat we had a couple weeks ago was torturous. My feet swelled significantly for the first time in any of my pregnancies ever. (Makes me wonder how all the tweeps I know whose third trimester was comprised of the summer months did it. Without losing their minds.)

In terms of energy, mine has dropped from the second trimester. The second trimester is, simply, the best. I am usually seeking out my (hot, uncomfortable) bed by 9:30 at the latest. Nothing so far is as bad as the first trimester. Yes, I am achy and tired; I have seen a chiropractor, and I am doing some stretches to help my back. Some days I am voraciously hungry, but I can’t eat too much in one sitting. Most of my meals seems to be some kind of whole grain with cheese, fresh tomatoes (this baby LOVES fresh tomatoes), and dip (hummus, usually). Honestly, I think I have had hummus six times over the past two weeks. I am trying to get lots of water (helps with those AFIs) — or lemonade. I could drink lemonade four times a day (except for the sugar).

I haven’t gotten my results from my gestational diabetes test; I figure no news is good news. I see my midwife again next week.

If I had to sum up the way I feel physically most days right now, I would tell you my ass is numb and my feet hurt. But emotionally, I feel good. Eager to meet the baby. I have fleeting anxiety, and I do want to see a woman Dan & I went to before Flora was born. She specializes in traumatic birth experiences, and it would be nice to have a session with her again.


And speaking of tweeps (we were, a minute ago), we’ve been welcoming babies like crazy in the ‘Burgh-based Twitterverse (links go to their Twitter feeds; for birth stories, click on their blog links there):

@epsnider and her family welcomed Gideon.
@Onedamnthing and her family welcomed Colin Scott.
@Jayesel and her family welcomed Audrey Grace.
@Mindbling and her family welcomed Jones Dylan (formerly and still known as Mavbling).
@TehAmy and her family welcomed Xander.

Did I miss anyone? And please remind me of middle names. I couldn’t track every thingdown on Twitter; I kept getting a fail whale.

By all Twitter reports, moms, dads, and older siblings (where applicable) are all adjusting well and feeling good, and all pictures indicate that Le Bud had better be damn adorable because he’s gonna have quite some competition for cutest Twitter baby. If I weren’t already knocked up, my ovaries would be exploding from Teh Cute.

Twitter: The Lecture*

* To clarify, not from me to you. From my dad to me. To clarify further, the title is a bit of an inside joke, which I will explain in a different post.

My father tried to leave a comment on my blog regarding my Lenten Twitter fast. And my blog ate his comment. (Good blog.) (Just kidding, dad!)

As I got to drive him to the airport the other day, though, he was able to deliver his comment in person.

To paraphrase:

One of the reasons we Catholics give up something for Lent is so that we can shift our resources to a more worthy area. For example, if one gives up chocolate or the daily Starbucks concoction, one takes the money one used to spend on it, and gives it to charity.

In terms of giving up Twitter, what I am gaining (aside from perspective) is TIME.

My dad shared his ideas with me as far as what I could do with the time I have not being on Twitter.

1. Spending extra time in prayer. I wish I could say that of course of I am doing this. But instead of attending Mass more often or even reading my Bible, I’m probably dedicating more effort into getting and keeping my house clean. What’s that old cliche? “Cleanliness is next to Godliness”? So, uh, I’m in the ballpark.

2. Spending quality time with Dan. This is an effort that is being made both ways. Dan and I picked up the book Love Dare. And we are working our way through it over Lent.

I always thought Dan and I had a pretty good marriage — I still think that. But just because it’s “pretty good” doesn’t mean it couldn’t be better. We both have areas in which we need to improve. Giving up Twitter has certainly given me the time to reconnect with Dan, and the Love Dare has given us both a vehicle to use for that reconnection. We don’t spend every night having deep conversations or anything like that, but we are working together more, and talking more, and just spending more time together. It’s really nice.

3. Spending more time with my children — interactive time, not just sitting in the same room with them. This is a weakness of mine in general, I admit. The computer and Twitter have less to do with it than my own personality. It’s an area in which I needed to improve in any case, and since I’ve got all this time on my hands, I figure no time like the present.

Don’t get me wrong, I think I’m a good mom. I love my girls to pieces. But I have to give them more of myself instead of just caring for them — the bathing, the feeding, the clothing. I have to talk to them and listen to them and play with them more. I have to laugh with them more. They are growing up fast. Granted, it’s difficult (especially that laughing part) when I’m dealing with a controlling 3-year-old who doesn’t want to poop on the potty.

But that’s just the thing: Kate needs me so hard right now. I don’t know how else to put it. She creeps into our bed at 5 a.m. not because of ear aches or nightmares, but because that’s where I am. She fights us for control of everything not because she actually wants it, but because she needs to push to her boundaries to see where we push back. When I read this post over at Mom 101 recently, it made me think of Kate. Not because she’s so much like Sage (although I do see similarities) but because of the contrast of my two girls — yet another post for another day.

For now, I have to be available to respond to Kate’s needs (and Flora’s, too, of course, although at 5, she is quietly independent and more willing to explore her own space). Her need for control, her need for cuddles, her need for me. It’s hard to be available when I’m tweeting. I have to fight that urge to run to the computer and tell about the latest cute thing (or crazy-making thing) that my girls have done. I have to save it up for a blog post; I have to Twitter in the spaces between my girls’ time — after they go to bed, for example, or during “quiet time”.

And even then, I’ll have to limit Twitter. It’s easy for me to spend an hour on there and not get the laundry folded.

My dad had a fourth suggestion for this Twitter-free time, but it’s completely escaped me. Maybe he’ll try to leave it in the comments again.

What Twitter is Good For I

I had a question regarding punctuation, and, because I follow a lot of writers (as well as punctuation/grammar geeks) on Twitter (and some of them follow me back), I thought I would post it there.

Nothing doing.

So I emailed a couple of people and looked around online. I sent a query to the Chicago Manual of Style Online. (They were against what the publisher wanted to do, but acknowledged that it is common.) (Aprostrophes in years, if you want to know: 1950’s, 1800’s — not possessive, plural. CMoS says 1950s, 1880s. I concur.)

This is one of the ways I use Twitter, though. Informal polling (where should I eat downtown?), grammar/usage questions, even attempting to get some empathy/sympathy (regarding anything: my husband hogging the remote, potty training issues with my 3yo, snOMG). And it works for me that way, too.

Waiting for feedback from my blog or emails takes so long! /whine

Again, I am sensing a problem.

I’m only two days into this. I have a lot to think (and write) about.

All A-Twitter

The problem with Twitter, for me anyway, is that after using it for awhile, I tend to start to think in 140-character blocks. For example, if I had been able to Twitter this weekend, it would have gone something like this:

“Wow! the Sewickley Farmers Market is amazing. Why haven’t I come here before?”

“Going to the playground was a giant mistake. Hot slides + hot swings = no fun.”

“DearDR just offered to make dinner! OK, brinner. But still! Mama’s not cooking tonight.”

“Nothing is funnier than watching a 4yo trying to jump rope. Not funny? Convincing her that she doesn’t suck at everything.”

“Vantage Point is pretty badass, right until the end. And then it’s crap.”

“Matthew Fox speaking Spanish is hysterical.”

“Too hot to be outside again. We’re going to the Children’s Museum.”

“Went to the Children’s Museum for the waterplay room. Guess what room the kids didn’t want to go to?”

“We’ve been members of the Children’s Museum for more than two years. This is DearDR’s first visit. He sez, “I work a lot.” Boo!”

Admittedly, I am weird. The narrating voice in my head (what, doesn’t everyone have one of those?) tends to reflect the tone of whomever I am reading at the time, for example, Margaret Atwood or Stephen King or Neil Gaiman. So as a Twitter user, I am parsing my life into 140 characters in my head. Even without an iPhone or a laptop. It’s kind of odd.

Also, I think it’s affected my blogging, resulting in less. I’m trying to think up clever tweets instead of entire posts. I’ll sit down to post about something, and get caught up in the immediate gratification of Twitter. It’s like a drug! (No, really.)

Anyway, it was a nice, uneventful weekend. I got a good handle on the laundry, and the general cleanliness of my house. DearDR was around a lot, which was also nice. We ate as a family, twice. Almost everything we ate was from the Sewickley Farmers Market: green beans, corn on the cob, a fruit salad of blueberries and nectarines, even DearDR’s brinner of sourdough French toast — so delicious. So going back there.

The winning tweet this weekend would have been: “Monkey to DearDR: I love you. DearDR: I love you, too. Monkey: I’ll always care for you. Me: Dude, I think she just broke up with you.”