Wednesday, December 31, 2008

add one more burrito

We went in to the maternity clinic today thinking we'd find out the sex of the baby but it turns out that the ultrasound is not actually done at the clinic. They are scheduled by referral to an ultrasound lab place, which someone forgot to do. Arg, are you kidding me? I already didn't sleep last night; the added delay is almost unbearable. With my best urgent voice I managed to get an appointment for Friday morning. I was hoping to roll into 2009 with a pronoun for It, the little unit kicking me in the bladder who burps like a sailor.


It is New Years Eve! How crazy is that? At midnight tonight I will open the front door for 2009 and rush to the back door to let 2008 go out. 2008 was not a bad year, but it was a hard working, no-frills year.

I had no speeding or parking tickets, and only one bicycle flat on a downward trend for two years now.

Got a pup and cleaned up poop from all over the house.

Dreamed about bears. A lot.

Rode the Worst Day, ran the Shamrock, the Pear Blossom, rode Reach The Beach, and ran the Marathon, all together covering 1026 foot miles and pathetically few bike miles.

I went camping only 4 nights, canoed 43 miles, did not fly by plane, and stayed in a hotel room only once. My candidate won, I killed only one frog, attended one wedding and no funerals, rode not one roller coaster, and not one Ferris wheel, lost zero hubcaps, coffee consumption, as well as burrito consumption was low.

We painted the trim on the house and paid down thousands of dollars in debt.

Like I said, 2008 was a working stiff of a year but 2008 got me knocked up and I spent the last five months of the year pregnant drowning myself in lemonade. Grow lemons, grow!

Happy New Year! Much love and appreciation to everyone who reads and comments here. I hope 2009 is full of tall tales and heart swells and much needed improvements.

Monday, December 29, 2008


17 bazillion inches of snow fell over Portland for 12 straight days before Christmas, the most snow since ever. Honestly, snow has never fallen on earth like it did here, in my yard.

My car broke through one chain, then the other and after several days of grinding the motor over icy ridges and ooofing through snowdrifts, I parked and left the car at home. I still have about 40,000 more miles to the moon, depending, of course, where she is in her elliptical orbit when I touch down, and I can't burn up all the ju-ju left in that car during one plucky commute.

The day after Christmas I tromped through the filthy slush and rode the filthy bus downtown in the company of all mankind for my first appointment with a therapist. On the 9th floor overlooking downtown and east, she asked my why I'd come. WELL, I WAS STARTING TO FEEL REALLY ANXIOUS AND IT WORRIES ME THAT I AM A HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT FOR MY BABY. I THINK I'VE GOT A PAYLOAD OF STRESS.

I have been through a cluster of major life events in the last two years. Generally, my response to astronomical levels of stress is to sort of evaporate and drift into the ether. But this time, before the eupepsia and renascent fettle of the second trimester, I felt dreadfully rooted, and dull like my brain had swollen in my skull. Being speechless and short of breath are two things that absolutely will kill me.

But that was then and I am here now, even though I am quite not unhappy. I came still because life cannot be trusted, because I am a god damned Ouroboros, because what threads one day to the next is an eternal recurrence. Wherever I think I am going, I will never fucking get there. It trips me up, again and again and again.

She asked me a million questions:
Do you hear or see things that are not there?

Do you have thoughts of suicide?

Do you ever experience periods of days or weeks where you can function with little or no sleep, build rocket ships and cure cancer?


Two days later. I totally forgot where I was going with this, something about how she is really short and wants me to come back to talk about my mother. Who doesn't? It is a very entertaining story.

Now the snow is gone, there were no long filthy goodbyes. Tonight I ran down the Springwater Trail with Owen, in the dark and rain alongside Johnson Creek. The water is high, and light malty, rushing with the melted snow.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Can I just feel bad enough to feel good?

I couldn't sleep for a gap last night because I kept floating to the surface with a love poem about lasagna. This is how I live, breaking the surface. I have emerged from the first trimester, fully human. I feel so damn good in fact that I spent the last week fearing for my pregnancy - after all, for three months I wanted little more then a parapet from which to fling myself.

During that fog, in the darkest night, what I concluded about pregnancy was that pregnant women fall down stairs and are frequently menaced by bears. Stairs, my stairs, the ones I follow down and up in the dead of night again and again (and again) to the bathroom are almost magnetic in their head-long pull. It is all I can do with hand-rails and foresight to steady my descent. And the bears! They lumber magnificently toward me with an air of inevitability. What is inevitable? How is one to know. If they reach me, will I not wake up?

Feeling so unaccountably normal leads me to suspect that perhaps something is terribly wrong. How can I walk around glowing if I am only NOT a graveyard because I JUST DON'T KNOW IT YET. I lay around on the couch with my hands on my belly feeling for a kick. Quicken baby, quicken!

17 weeks

We spoke to a genetic counselor two days ago about the results of a quad screen blood test, which were overwhelmingly in our favor. The odds, as I average them (inaccurately) for convenience, are about 1 in 7646 for any one of the four chromosome abnormalities that the test screens for.


And if something goes wrong it wont be a mere one/seven-thousandth wrong, it will be 100 percent wrong and it will be me upon whom the probabilities have collapsed. Being that I suddenly feel so fully human in a condition that all my four months of experience have unerringly proven, thus far, to be inhumane... under those circumstances, symptomatically feeling well, I might think there was more to be known then that there is an (average) .007646 percent chance that one of four over infinity things could go wrong. Is there any test, an equation or a drop of my blood that can be divined for more gestalt results?

Is there any promise that could be made to me that would not be spurious, or illusive? I mean, after all whatever is wrong is already wrong, right? Wont this baby someday lie to my face? Will this baby never, even for a moment, consider suicide? Will this baby crash on a bicycle, get food poisoning, then someday die? I imagine PROBABILITY swirling, gossamer, around me like the individual strains of the instruments in a symphony. Infinite!

There is no security! I KNOW! RIGHT! How many times has this been said since people started saying things? I should have started cultivating an OKAYNESS about it a long time ago... I mean, with mixed results, I have. But this is the first time I have been personally responsible for inflicting a literal world full of hurt on someone else and I just want, more then anything, for them to stick around for it. In the best of health.

It is a simple wish, really.

Saturday, December 13, 2008



All my cowlicks are acting up. I have so many cowlicks on my head it is supernatural. You can divine fortunes by the vagaries of my scalp. When I was a kid, and unselfconscious, it was no big deal that I ran around with a lock of hair jutting vertically from my forehead. In sixth grade I made an ill-advised hair management decision and chopped one particularly offending sproing of hair right off my head, at the base. THAT WILL TEACH YOU TO DEFY ME.

The result was a patch of hair about an inch square, just above my left eyebrow that grew in like a crew cut, surrounded by longer flowing locks. Awesome. The follicles seemed invigorated by the weightlessness and as the hair grew back it grew more resiliently vertical. I battled this particular cowlick with scissors, a comb-over and hairspray for over a year before I finally let it grow in. I am not sure it ever occurred to me, till now, that punishing a cowlick was so futile it bordered on asinine.

These days my cowlicks are acting up all over again. For most of my life my hair has been long enough to weight them down, but lately the crown of my head looks like a bed knot ALL THE TIME. No matter that I know how to use a comb, that I try to look professional, that I bother to put on clean clothes because my hair leaves the impression that I woke up in the yard after an all-night, keg-stand and beer-bong bacchanalia. At least I take the time to pull the leaves and twigs out of my fancy do, right?

You can understand why I was so taken the first time I saw Owen, when Clark handed me this writhing, squiggly puppy with a huge cowlick right between his eyes. Like me, it isn't just the obvious deviance of one major cowlick. Like mine on the crown of my head, he has zig-zags running up one side of his body where the hair grows as it wants. On first sight we were kindred and were obviously meant to become family.

Almost every superstition I can find about cowlicks concurs that one cowlick is fine but two cowlicks mean you will be a headstrong rascal, a stubborn, mischievous, but comely troublemaker who is variably lucky and unlucky and is prone to early death.... not a terribly divergent fate then that of left-handedness, from which I also suffer.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Oh baby!


We heard the baby's heartbeat this week! It sounded like koosha-koohsa-koosha-koosha at 160 beats per minute and I have it stuck in my head like my favorite song.

The sonogram is from our first prenatal visit about a month ago. As twins are a not-isolated occurrence on Clark's side of the family (I have twin mother-in-laws), my first question was if there might be another one somewhere in there, but the midwife assured me there is nowhere to hide.

I am feeling much better lately, but still, by 4pm most days you can knock me over with a feather. The exhaustion is stultifying. I try to take care to not over use myself but whatever that means, it is a moving target. Some days picking up my socks is enough... or maybe the exhaustion is from acting the part so Clark will pick them up for me.



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