24 July 2009

Light rant. Very light.

Yup, another rant. This one's brief, I promise.

I think Baby Einstein stuff is ridiculous (esp. the videos!). Right up there with Baby Mozart... which is based off an unreproducible (even by the authors) study of college students doing spatial tasks. Anyone else getting the disconnect?

Also on the list of things to be laughed at: products such as this one. Sure, educate your kid in the womb. I have no beef with that idea... obviously fetuses are building lots of connections and developing their brains in ways we can only begin to understand.

But there are many easier ways to do this without forking over hard-earned dough to corporations whose products continue to remain unfounded at best. Normal, everyday noises are heard and processed... for example voices. This kid better be born knowing all the words to "Hot-Blooded" by Foreigner and be able to perfectly imitate Gwen meowing at the top of her lungs, that's all I'm going to say.

Exposing the kid to light also helps brain development. Here's an article (originally appearing in Scientific American) which mentions light being important in brain lateralization (last page).

Of course, exposing the kid to light has the added advantage of keeping him up during the day so he doesn't kick me so much at night. Minor detail.

21 July 2009

Omphaloskepsis.

Maybe it's just because I'm really tired (and trying to keep myself from napping), but I find myself waxing philosophic/contemplative about... my belly button.

I liked my belly button. A lot. It was cool - not cavernously deep, not irritatingly shallow. Nice star pattern, never collected lint like gangbusters... as some apparently do.

I feel more ambiguous about it now. As my belly started blowing up like a balloon, it became shallower and shallower... which was fine. Then came the day a corner of it poked out, so it looked a little lopsided. Fine, fine. I thought it looked like it had a lisp (because if it were a mouth, its mouth would be crooked... don't ask). The lisp became larger and larger...

Now, it's pretty much all hanging out. And because it's so much more forward than it was 7 months ago, it gets hit by things. A lot. You can only do that so many times without stopping and "appreciating" just how delicate/sensitive an area your belly button area really is.

I mean, think about it. This is the section of your torso that once had a split in the abdominal wall so that you could get all of your nutrients through the tube that connected you with your mom. Is it not now amusing in some sick way that as I'm returning the favor for the next generation, the remnant of my own gestation is getting abused - inside and out?

Time to toughen up, I guess.

15 July 2009

What To Expect ... when you're ranting!

I find it very frustrating that the #1 pregnancy book in America (referred to by some as the "pregnancy bible") is penned by someone whose sole authoring credential is having been pregnant herself. While I admire Heidi Murkoff for turning out a bookshelf's worth of books, and turning herself into a pregnancy guru (preguru?), "What To Expect When You're Expecting" is not a worthwhile read. Among my peeves:

* "Mood swings" are classified under "depression". I've had mood swings that are depressing, sure - but most are more like "rage" or "mania". Depress that. (Does this post count as a "rage" episode?? Hmm, maybe.)

* Any of this information can be found online. In multiple places. With multiple authors. Sound like common sense to anyone else? Use your brain (and your internet connection), and save yourself some $$.

* What the crap is up with laying on the guilt trips?
While not confined to this book (the "Skinny Bitch" book dealing with pregnancy is another notable offender - although interesting look into food standards), it's intensely irritating to have your actions questioned just because they deviate from mainstream advice.
-Yes, eat your vegetables. No sh*t. But what if the sight of something green on your plate makes you sick? I'm not hoping to star in a bulimia documentary here. I eat what I want, and what I eat I want to stay down. Any doctor will tell you a fetus is a very efficient parasite; any nutritional deficiency is going to be felt first & foremost by -your- body, not the kid's.
-Sleeping only on your left side? What fun. Yes, I'm mentally retarding my fetus by choosing not to get bed sores/a sore back/sore hips and sleeping on my right side when I feel like it. It's hard enough to get comfortable as it is, thanks.
-Exercise, or you'll have a rough, long labor and be completely unprepared for motherhood. How about listening to your body? When I don't feel like moving, I don't. When I feel like moving, get the heck out of my way or get run over. I'm enjoying doing nothing while I can.
-Alcohol is only for women who want autistic/underachieving/ADD/evil kids! If I want a sip of wine/beer, I'm going to have it. Eff off. Fetal alcohol syndrome should (rightly) concern binge drinkers. However, a taste of wine does not a binge drinker make. Kidney (read: urine) output increases so much during pregnancy, that kid isn't ever going to get near that mouthful of zinfandel.

* Again, not confined to this book: weight obsession. "You should gain...". Suck it, "experts". I really don't care (though I'd be pretty uncomfortable) if I gain 40+ lbs. Your body is going to gain what it should gain... unless you have a medical condition (celiac, thyroid, etc.) - stop worrying!

(Full disclosure: I do not own (and refuse to own) a copy of this book. My impressions are based on 10 minutes of skimming done at Barnes & Noble. I reserve the right to taunt anyone who thinks this book is ..."handy".)

14 July 2009

Top Ten.

Top Ten Things I Wish I Knew Before Getting Pregnant

1 - Sleep will never be the same. Just when you think you have your nightly pee breaks more or less planned out, things will change. Don't plan on sleeping for more than 4 hours at a stretch... EVER.

2 - Get abs. If only to help with the increased strain on your back.

3 - Invest in Q-tips and Puffs. Oodles of boogers is something you never get used to.

4 - Practice more yoga. Breathing and learning to support your organs while moving (& under pressure) is invaluable.

5 - Enjoy bending over without sounding like you're deflating or grunting like pig while you can. Unloading the dishwasher, putting on shoes, and feeding the cats become much more difficult with a basketball on top of your intestines.

6 - Don't plan any projects that require dragging your butt off the couch for the 1st four months. This includes packing. And cooking.

7 - Reconcile yourself with feeling useless. Enjoy other people helping you!

8 - Adult diapers can actually be useful... if only as motivators to do your Kegel exercises.

9 - All those pregnancy books really aren't kidding when they say "tender, swollen" boobs. CRAZY. OW. Don't buy too many bras of one size. Invest in bra extenders.

10 - Hide being pregnant as long as you can. Total strangers think it's their business to stop you and ask all about your pregnancy/fetus/what child-rearing techniques you'll use. Nunya, weirdos. Nunya. Did I mention the "total strangers" part??!

***
In other news, I went to CVS looking for a stethoscope today, so -I- could hear little man's heartbeat. Theoretically, other people can hear it without the aid of one, but putting an ear to my own belly is proving to be... difficult.

CVS only sells stethoscopes packaged with blood pressure cuffs. And because we're all idiots and can't follow instructions, they screw the chestpiece to the actual cuff. Luckily, this is easily freed & dealt with. Finding his heartbeat was a little more challenging, but not too bad.

There's a rave in my abdomen. Or a darn good impression of one.

07 July 2009

Assume the fetal position... and stay that way!

Yesterday was a bit rough.

Little man decided it would be fun to sit/stretch out/godknowswhat so that at least one foot was constantly behind my bellybutton. For HOURS. Headbutting of the ribs has also increased.

The small cool part to this was lying on the couch and being able to press & then feel his foot.

However, this was in no way comfortable - no laughing, no breathing, and no bending over without getting a sharp little poke behind the already stretched out & tender area. HahaOw. It was *all* the more fun when he moved... all the time.

Brett said he was trying to use the emergency escape hatch.

Um.... no.

02 July 2009

Pressure's building.

I wonder how long this is going to go on.

I go to bed at night, thinking "Holy crap, how do I get any bigger than this?! I'm HUGE!" In the morning I wake up and think, "You know, I'm really not all that big..."

Maybe I roll over in the middle of the night and squash him back in on himself. Forget CERN's hadron collider, people should really be worried about the end of the universe starting when my belly implodes.

I'm thinking one's about as likely to happen as the other.