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Definitely not work-safe, these unicorns.


WARNING: do not pet because of mud.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Last week JB and I did a birth tour in the hospital where our child will make his grand entrance into the world (unless it's a freakishly short labor and we're stuck in traffic on the 520 bridge, in which case I sincerely hope we have some paper towels handy). I don't know if this is standard practice with most hospitals, but it certainly should be - it's nice to be somewhat familiar with the place where you will spend hours recanting Jesus and embracing Satan as your lord and master for life (or, you know, whatever goes on during a delivery). I was particularly glad to see that the labor and recovery rooms are about as comfy as it's possible for a hospital room to be, and include birthing balls and squat bars.

"Birthing balls"? "Squat bars"? Listen, we don't need to get into the details of what those things are used for, but let's just say it's reassuring to see that the hospital doesn't discourage a little variety in the labor process. Stirrups are for horses, dammit.

As if that wasn't enough excitement for one week, on Friday I got to visit Labor & Delivery again, under an entirely different set of circumstances. We were about to walk out the door to see Batman Begins, when this sudden and unwelcome amount of blood just sort of showed up and said howdy. I reported my state of affairs to an on call doctor, who I naively hoped might say something soothing like "You're 28 weeks pregnant and experiencing a significant amount of bleeding? Why, that's perfectly normal. I prescribe 'New York Strawberry Cheesecake' flavor ice cream for you, young lady!", but instead told me to do not pass go, do not collect $200, etc, go straight to the hospital.

So we drove there at what you might call a "brisk" pace and were ushered into a room where I had a fetal monitor strapped on my belly and I answered about a bazillion questions and eventually a doctor showed up with an ultrasound machine and everything was just fine, YAY.

Don't try and tell me I don't know how to party on a Friday night. Everybody say CRUNK!

I was hoping to see something cool on the ultrasound but all I got was a brief, tantalizing glimpse of a ribcage and then an extreme close-up of the doctor's arm hairs while he pointed out the placenta (hanging out where it should be) and cervix (sealed up tight with a granny knot). The monitors showed a nice strong heartbeat on the baby, and no contractions, so...the bleeding? No one was sure what that was all about, it was vaguely blamed on "activity" and I am now forbidden from exercise or nooky for 2 weeks.

Personally, I blame housecleaning. I always knew that shit wasn't good for you, and now I have PROOF.

One randomly pleasant outcome from our festive evening: I felt the baby hiccup for the first time. You could hear these steady little sounds coming across the heartbeat monitor, and at the same time I felt a rhythmic tapping on my belly underneath the strap. A nurse commented on it - "sounds like the baby's hiccuping!"- and my head exploded with relief and happiness, because not only was he okay, but he was in there hiccuping like he'd been guzzling too much Diet Amniotic Fluid With Lime. Go on with your bad self, Riley.


We finally did go see Batman on Sunday. Here's what I recommend: rent The Machinist and watch that first. Then go see Batman and remind yourself that it's the same freaking actor. If you haven't heard of The Machinist, Christian Bale lost a seriously unbelievable amount of weight for the role. I mean, he's absolutely emaciated in that movie, it's hard to believe his life wasn't in danger from being so thin. And in Batman? Total opposite - he's all buffed up and robust. The man goes the extra mile for the role, that's for sure; too bad he's not getting even half the attention Renee "I ate donuts for a month which somehow made people pay to go see my horrible craptastic Bridget Jones movies" Zellweger got.


JB seems to be experiencing some nesting instincts, and while they constantly threaten to balloon into kitchen remodels and new garage additions, in the last couple weeks they have been fence-focused. He added on to our existing backyard fence for privacy, and this past week he built a structure around our vegetable garden to keep Dog from devouring each and every plant that produces anything edible this summer.

I feel spectacularly useless in comparison, especially since my recent contributions to our living environment sent me to the damn hospital (notice how I steadfastly refuse to acknowledge any possible cause other than vacuuming). On the other hand, I was absolved from helping and instead got to laze around reading Star magazine and laughing at the awesome photo of Britney Spears with her fly undone. Everybody wins!

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