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Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, Gregory Maguire


Hello! We are from Japan. We are here to frighten the child.


Wednesday, April 20, 2005

On the flight to Japan, I was able to use one of JB's system-wide upgrades to get seated in business class. Man, they treat you nice up there - you get the hot towels, the good food, the slippers, and best of all, a seat that actually reclines more than 3 degrees AND a foot rest. The blankets seem less scabies-ridden, too.

When we flew back, business class was full and so I was shuffled back to coach, where you get, well, a frightening meal made of pressed meat byproducts, and not much else.

I was sitting in the center section, one seat away from the aisle. I should probably just be glad I wasn't right in the middle where you're flanked by two people on either side, but unless you're on the aisle you are trapped - once the person next to you falls asleep with their legs sticking out, and the person in front of them cranks back their seat as far back as they can, forget it.

Ironically, United has a helpful message scrolling on each little movie display unit that suggests "Get up and walk around at least every 2 hours!" and "Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated!". Well, excuse me UNITED, but to follow either of those suggestions in "economy class" where the seats are built for anorexic midgets means I either have to continually wake my seatmate to get up and let me by, or sling a leg over his prone snoring body and ride him like a lusty cowgirl as I scramble my way to the restroom.

So, I pretty much sat in one place for about eight hours on the flight home, trying to unkink my legs every now and then. I watched Finding Neverland, which I liked, and I read Eleanor Rigby and Little Earthquakes and I stared morosely off into space and wondered what they were eating in business class. It was during this purgatorial state that I first noticed some weird movement in my belly. It happened off and on throughout the flight, and each time I actively paid attention to the sensation it would stop, leaving me wondering gas? Was that gas? I bet it was gas. But? Maybe? Duh?

The rest of the weekend I still wasn't sure, but by Monday either I had become more savvy or the baby grew some stronger leg muscles, because there's really no mistaking it now. Last night even JB could feel the taps when he left his hand on my belly for a few minutes. My kid! Is kicking me! God, it's just the most bizarre thing I've ever experienced, and you're talking to someone who's had Lasik surgery and so has firsthand knowledge of what having a layer of eyeball peeled back feels like.

Which is not to say feeling the baby is a peeled-eyeball kind of thing, it's wonderful and exciting but also maybe just a little, no - a LOT - strange. I mean, feeling something in your body that is alive and also not you? At first you think of tapeworms and chestburster aliens, you know? But as far as reassuring feedback goes, the baby going all Pele on my uterine wall beats the heartbeat doppler, hands down.

On May 9, right after we get back from Hawaii (one more trip on the United veal pen) we have the halfway-point ultrasound, the one where we find out if I'm toting around baby girl M or baby boy R. (Yes, we have names picked out, and no, I'm not telling what they are until I have a baby picture to share as well and hopefully everyone will be too stunned by cuteness to tell me some horrible story about their serial killer uncle R or how they were named M and got teased until they were in grad school, or whatever.) I can't wait - must... indulge desire...to begin gender stereotyping!

I feel like this is such an exciting stage of the pregnancy, first movements and The Great Reveal coming up. The only sucktacular thing lately is that I've been having some serious headaches, the lay-in-the-dark-and-pray-for-death type, and Tylenol can EAT MY FARTS because it does no good whatsoever. What I wouldn't give for a nice jolt of Vicodin, injected directly into my forehead if possible. Also, I should have known this, but in case you are trying to search the internet for headache stuff, let me save you some time now: you have a BRAIN TUMOR, and also PREECLAMPSIA and possibly PHANTOM PAIN because you are DELUSIONAL. Here, have a COLD COMPRESS, I'm sure that will help a lot more than some actual DRUGS.

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