Sick and tired.
October 16th 2013
34 weeks pregnant.
One of my prayers has been answered, as I am now working back downtown in the office on Poydras Street. Farewell awful commute to the West bank, at least for the time being. I had forgotten how little time it takes to get to and from work downtown. Although there are some drawbacks to being in the office there, such as paying for parking, it is really wonderful to not have to sit in traffic on the bridge. I am also very happy to be working on this side of the river because very soon I will be seeing the midwives every week. I can’t believe how close I am to the end of my pregnancy. It truly is surreal. I now get to see my cousin and my close friend Amanda at work every day. Nearly every morning Amanda exclaims, “I can’t believe you are actually going to have a baby.” My sentiments exactly.
Unfortunately on my second day back to work in the downtown office, I started feeling sick. I jokingly attributed this to having withdrawals from the chemical plants located near our West bank location. Turns out I was developing a cold and by this past Thursday night, I was feeling pretty bad. I hate being sick. I know not many people enjoy being sick, but I truly hate it. I have been so stressed out about finances that I have refused to allow myself to take any days off. I can’t enjoy the luxury of staying home all day for some R&R. And I must admit that even if I were able to stay home, sleep has become very elusive. Being a person who has been fortunate enough to very rarely experience sleep disturbances in my life, the entire late-pregnancy lack of sleep thing is really fucking with me. So couple restless sleep with extreme congestion/ sore throat and that has been my past week. I’ve been practically making out with a humidifier every night. It gets me all hot and bothered.
Of course I would become ill on Thursday because last Friday was an extremely busy day. I made it to work and left an hour early after suffering through a day of congestion and fatigue. I was able to fit in a quick nap before Andy and I headed off to our first doggy obedience class with Zac George. I had decided a few months ago that it would be best for Kara to attend an obedience class since she is the youngest of our dogs by about 4 years. Zac George is a trainer who has been on Animal Planet and has a bunch of free videos on YouTube. Apparently his girlfriend is attending college in New Orleans so he has been offering classes here recently. He’s a young guy who seems to have a compassionate view of dog training. The first class was people only and it gave us an opportunity to meet him and our other classmates. Andy and I were both impressed with his teaching style and his approachability. Next week should be very interesting when we bring Kara for her first class.
The New Orleans Film Fest also began this past week and I had bought us tickets to see a film titled Delivery late Friday night. We had enough time to grab a bite to eat at the Blue Tomato (hadn’t been there in years) before heading to the show. I was excited about the film because it was a horror film about a pregnant woman. Now I know that I have become more sensitive since becoming pregnant, but I couldn’t resist this opportunity. The movie lived up to my expectations. Without giving away much, I will say that it was easily a cross between Paranormal Activity and Rosemary’s Baby. The ending was disturbingly superb. I was frustrated with my level of exhaustion and the pain in my throat because that caused us to leave immediately following the film. If we had stayed we’d have been able to see the director and a few of the actors, who were in attendance and were doing a Q&A session. The next day I was even more pissed at myself for having to head home so soon, as I began thinking more about the film and had a few questions of my own. I tried not to think too much about the movie that night though, as it had definitely given me the creeps. I would surely recommend it to horror movie fans.
On Saturday morning Andy and I attended the memorial service for Herman Wallace. It was held at the Treme Center and hundreds of people showed up to pay their respects. Jackie spoke about Herman, and it was touching to hear her honor the memory of her dear friend and mentor. There were several other speakers including Herman’s family, his legal team and members of the Black Panther party. I was glad that we were able to be a part of the celebration of his life. Lee Kyle had sewed the casket flag which featured a huge black panther, and it was gorgeously displayed for all to see. Considering the circumstances, everyone appeared to be in good spirits, as it was widely acknowledged and celebrated that Herman had died as a free man.
That evening Andy and I visited Huggy’s art show. Huggy, who works at Flanagans, recently began making art out of paper cuts. His works are completely beautiful and amazingly delicate. I always appreciate when people discover a new talent that they were unaware existed within them. The show was very well attended and it gave Andy and me a chance to chat with a few of our mutual friends. Because Andy bartends at Flanagans a few nights a week, he has a somewhat built in social life. I, on the other hand, work in an office and am typically too exhausted to make it out in the evenings. Needless to say, I sometimes miss the social aspect of my lifestyle that came so easily before pregnancy. I know it isn’t as if I am locked away in a cave, but sometimes it feels like I might as well be. There were a few minutes before heading to Huggy’s show that I considered letting Andy go alone so I could continue reading on the couch, but I rallied. I am thankful for Andy and my other friends that motivate me to leave my house on the weekends. I am also thankful for my friends who take the time to come over and relax with me.
Sunday was a lazy day that involved housework and a visit from my friend Jessica. She and I went through my costumes and picked out a few things for her to wear for Halloween this year. As I was going through the options, I couldn’t help but sigh when coming across my plethora of corsets. It will be a while until I can squeeze into them again. Sometimes I look at myself naked and can hardly believe the size of my belly. Then as a private joke, I’ll hold up one of my old t-shirts and make myself giggle as I think about how easily I used to be able to slip it on. I’ve even squeezed myself into a few pre-pregnancy items of clothing and admired how I could easily be featured on “People of Wal-Mart.” No shit, the other day I was cleaning the house and had slipped on a pair of old short-shorts and when Andy came home he asked, “Is that a bathing suit bottom?” I had to laugh. Becoming Fatty McFatterson requires that I adopt a jolly demeanor. In all seriousness though, I am looking forward to gaining back my strength, flexibility and smaller waist size after the delivery.
Monday was a stressful day. I barely slept at all on Sunday night due to the normal restlessness and a case of extreme congestion and coughing. I had even broken down on Sunday and purchased some Robitussin DM (after making sure it was safe for Wilder) in an attempt to soothe some of my cold symptoms. I was exhausted and miserable heading to work Monday and noticed that Wilder wasn’t moving around as much as normal. When I got to work, I tried to relax and see if I could feel his movements, but didn’t feel much at all. I walked down the hallways and even manually jostled my belly, but still nothing significant. I called the midwives’ office and got the answering service so I left a message for them to call me back. Within the hour, I received a call back and was instructed to drink something cold and sweet (a soda or orange juice) and then lie down and count movements. I was supposed to feel at least 10 movements in two hours after drinking the chosen elixir and if I didn’t they instructed me to go to the ER. Now the idea of going to the ER while sick and pregnant sounded like complete hell to me, so I was determined to get Wilder moving. Amanda went and purchased me both a Coca-Cola and some orange juice. I then drank the whole coke and lied down on the floor in my office and felt my belly. Wilder was being really lazy and even though we had all hoped the movements would come on rapidly he took his sweet ass time. I even played him his favorite song, “Roar” by Katy Perry (don’t ask me why but every time we are anywhere and this song plays – he kicks up a storm), but he was not feeling it. I began to feel pretty anxious so I called Ellen, who calmed me down and made me laugh as she was trying to navigate a craft store with her two daughters. After hour 1, I drank the orange juice as well and sat in my desk chair. I ended up counting nearly 8 movements and figured that was reason enough not to go to the ER. Later that afternoon, after I was no longer as stressed, he started moving as he normally does. Still in utero and he is already scaring the shit out of me.
After work I convinced Andy that we needed to go see our friend Lou Lou at Hurwitz Mintz to check out their selection of recliners. The previous few nights’ lack of sleep had sealed the deal for me that I needed a new comfort option. It was Lou Lou’s day off, but the store was having a huge sale that ended that evening, so she graciously offered to meet us there. We beat her to the store and began trying out the selection. They had so many recliners! I felt like a fat Goldilocks. After nearly 45 minutes of sitting in different chairs, I found one that I like the best. She checked and it was on sale and in stock. It took no time at all to wrap up the purchase and load up the new chair. Luckily Amanda was kind enough to meet us at the house and she and Andy moved the monstrosity all the way up to my bedroom. I have been sleeping in it every night since. I couldn’t be more pleased with our selection. If you need furniture I highly recommend seeing Lou Lou at Hurwitz Mintz. She’s a life saver.
We had another visit with the midwives this Wednesday and it was very reassuring to hear Wilder’s heart beating nice and strong. Although his movements had quickly returned to a regular pattern, we were both anxious to be reassured by the Doppler. I brought a copy of my birth plan to give to the midwives for review. It is nearly two pages, and no surprise, very thorough. I know that many women say the whole birth plan thing is a joke because you can’t truly plan what’s going to happen, but at least it will make it easier for the nurses and staff to identify who’s who at the delivery. Also writing it all down made me reflect on the things I would like to happen and those I would like to avoid. I considered doing something in jest like this: http://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/jamie-and-jeffs-birth-plan because I think it is completely hilarious. But in the end I was an adult about it. Growing up isn’t easy. If any of my pregnant lady friends would like to see my plan, just email me. I can’t wait for the post-birth blog where I can tell you all if it was helpful.