Wednesday, February 22, 2012


This is the post where I explain that I have no idea what my posting schedule is going to be like for the next couple of days. I go to the hospital tonight where they'll prep me to be induced, and then at an ungodly hour tomorrow morning they wake me up to start the pitocin drip.

Then it's Labor City until the baby comes out. Then I will probably pass out from exhaustion. I will update the blog when I can, just to let you guys know how things went and to show off my new bundle of joy, but I am not exactly sure when that's going to happen. We have WiFi at the hospital, and someone is bringing a laptop, but yeah. No idea.

Right now I am tired from sleeping fitfully last night, and my brain is going a mile a minute. It feels like I found out I was pregnant yesterday. It also feels like it's taken forever. I've got my bag packed, and have double checked the contents twice as though I am going to Siberia and not ten miles away from my house. 

I am not so good with waiting. When it's a long ways off, I can just sort of forget about it and concentrate on the here and now. When something gets closer, however, I start to get jittery. Especially since this is the first baby and I have no idea what to expect, I just know that my life is going to change forever, the waiting is extra hard. I am finding things to occupy myself, but nothing is really getting done. It feels like I just woke up, but it's also the afternoon, and I know it's going to be time to leave before I know it. 

I think it's really important to live your life, rather than sitting and wishing things would happen already. I know it sounds cheesy, but it's easy to just wish your life away. There's a part in the movie Click that frightens me. Adam Sandler's character is sick and impatient to get a promotion, so he fast forwards until he gets the promotion.

But it turns out it took him a year to get there, and in the meantime he missed the death of his dog and he and his wife are in counseling. A whole year, just gone.

So I am going to be patiently waiting, enjoying the last day of being pregnant with my son, and embracing the moment.

I hope you guys have a great couple of days while I am off giving birth. I expect you to keep it down to a dull roar and not throw too many keggers while I am gone.  

Monday, February 20, 2012

No Flying Cars to be Found

This post is going to be scattered, since there's lots of little things I want to say. So I am going to put it in one post. If you get confused, just pretend a squirrel on coffee wrote the post while having an epileptic fit, m'kay?

*Yes, I am still pregnant. I am scheduled to be induced on Thursday. So either the baby decides to come before, or I'll have to evict him then. I am mostly trying to ignore the contractions I am having, since wondering every few hours "AM I IN LABOR?" will drive me insane. My parents and in laws however, are not relaxing as well, and thus I have had to tell them to not ask me every time I call if I am in labor.

*You need to check out this post by my friend Joe. You need to. Then, you really need to read the Brian Brushwood/Teller correspondence he linked to. It's amazing and insightful, and yeah. If I could force words into your brain, it would be this correspondence.

*My husband found this last night: 9 Essential Skills Kids Should Learn. I teased him that he was already Googling child-rearing techniques, but his story is he found the site through another essay this guy wrote. Even if you're not gearing it towards raising kids, I think considering these skills is a good idea. Because there's a surprising corollary to 9 Essential Skills--- How "The Karate Kid" Ruined the Modern World.

*I am editing my ghost book, and beta reading another book, and I am enjoying this back and forth between the two. It's been very enjoyable. Have I mentioned I'm enjoying it?

*Back to the pregnancy thing: it really really irritates me just how poorly it's shown in movies and television. I know, I know. Elizabeth, it's not real. Even reality TV isn't real. Why expect realism? But it's something about HOW wrong they get it that bothers me. You see a woman touch her belly and say "It's time" and then they go to the hospital where she screams at her husband and then, POOF, baby. There's nothing about the broad spectrum of in between. I don't think it would kill producers to just be a little more realistic, if only so women don't suffer from these shattered illusions when they actually experience it for themselves (like, I don't know, having labor pains on and off for a WEEK). It would be like, I don't know, every movie showing flying cars. And then when you go buy a car for yourself, NONE of them fly. Not a single one. Do your research people. Not sure I am making sense anymore, but yeah. I had to get that off my chest. 

In summation: pregnancy/labor as shown on TV and movies? Nothing like a flying car.

*I am pretty sure there was something else, but of course I've forgotten it. It will come to me while I am in the middle of showering or driving or doing something that prevents me from jotting it down. I can only apologize. 

UPDATE: Oh yeah, I remember. I was going to complain about how the magical power of eggplant has failed me. But that's pretty obvious isn't it? And you'd probably just scoff at me for putting my faith in the magical powers of a vegetable. Because really, if eggplant induced labor for reals, they'd tell us not to eat it until the end of the pregnancy. I've also tried all of the other old wives tales, minus the castor oil. Because yeah, just look up what castor oil actually DOES. No thank you.

Friday, February 17, 2012


Oh, I've had a fun week. How about you?

At two o'clock in the morning on Tuesday I woke up with regular contractions. They lasted for over an hour, so I called the doctor. They said to wait until they get stronger and closer together. I laid down on the couch to do just that, but instead the contractions slowly went away. I dozed for a few hours and then got up for the day, zombie like. I was still having some contractions, but they were nothing like what woke me up.

One trip to the doctor's office later, and they said there was no way to know for sure if it was was false labor, or pre labor. To be clear, false labor is exactly like labor, only it never progresses to full on labor. Pre labor is like active labor, but it can calm down or take a while (several days) to progress into full labor. I still don't know what to classify it as, since I am still having contractions pretty regularly. And yet somehow, still pregnant.

Yesterday I went to the OB's office for a check up and an ultrasound. Apparently I have lots of amniotic fluid, so that's...uhh...good. They hooked me up to the fetal monitoring unit where it measures my contractions and the baby's heartbeat. But when the midwife came in, she didn't like the numbers for the baby's heartbeat.

See, here's the thing.

My baby is ACTIVE. He's a belly ninja crossed with a Jack Russell. He has distinct periods of being asleep, but other than that he's kicking my ribs, pushing against my uterus, and generally rolling around in there. Again, it's like gestating a pissed off house cat. He also doesn't like anything on his belly. He always wiggles around during ultrasounds, when they use a little fetal heartbeat monitor (a much smaller machine than the one they hooked me up to yesterday), or even if someone is just touching my stomach. 

When they hooked me up to the fancy fetal heartbeat monitor it has a plastic disc they place over where the baby is. It then stays there for 20 minutes while they get a reading of his heartbeat. There's also a second plastic disc for my contractions. I think you can see where this is going. He kept moving off the monitor at first, and then even when he stayed put, he still wasn't in the best position for it. At the end, the heartbeat reading had all sorts of weird stuff going on. Stuff where the baby's heartbeat kept dropping to scary-low numbers.

They sent me over to the hospital as a result, so the hospital could monitor the baby more closely. They gave him an ultrasound and monitored both of us for what seemed like eternity, but everything came out fine. I am still having pretty regular contractions, so the nurse was hopeful that it would progress into labor over the weekend. You and me both, sister.

If not, I am scheduled to be induced next Thursday, which actually means staying overnight at the hospital on Wednesday. I would really rather not be induced, so I am praying the baby decides to come before then.

For my part, I am trying those old wives' tales to induce labor. Reflexology on my feet and Eggplant Parmesan so far. I am leery of spicy food because a) I hate it. It upsets my stomach something fierce and I am a big fat wimp. About the only "spicy" food I can really tolerate is mild curry b) when you're having contractions, you're also super nauseous. At least, I was on Tuesday. So I think nausea + spicy food is probably a bad combination. 

Also, I am so not doing castor oil. The OB said it doesn't really work, and besides....ewwwwww.

So I am going to start the sure fire way to get the baby to come: start a big project. Babies have a devastating sense of irony, and if I start a huge project--and I mean, really start it--I'll go into labor. I've been editing, but not really the down and dirty making scene cards, print out the ms and tearing it apart. I didn't want to get too involved only to have to set it aside for a few weeks while I adjusted to being awake every 2-3 hours.

But forget it. It's time, I am sick of waiting, and the gloves are coming off.

How was your week?

Monday, February 13, 2012

Eggplant Plans

This is me, yesterday, tired, sore, and huge.
So today I am due to have my baby.

Apparently, he's decided that he's got a good thing going because I am still pregnant. I am very thankful I don't have the gestation time of a Frilled Shark, but I'm also ready to have the baby now. But that's okay he's appears to be late. I have eggplant plans.

There's a restaurant north of Atlanta that has a reputation, you see. Local legend says that pregnant women who eat their eggplant Parmigiana going into labor within two days. As a matter of fact, they have a wall of over three hundred baby pictures who were born after their mothers ate their eggplant Parmigiana. Women send in pictures and testimonials.

You could say if you wanted to spoil my fun that the women just think the eggplant had something to do with it because of the legend. They went into labor afterwards, and figured the eggplant was the cause when nature was just taking it's course. But it's not just women who are late, and therefore expecting to go into labor any minute (or second) now. Women have gone into labor a week early. Also, if you eat there on or after your due date and haven't gone into labor within two days, they comp your meal for you. 

So I figure what the heck. I like eggplant Parmigiana. Let's test out the magical properties. We're planning to go on Wednesday if the baby hasn't shown up yet. I know that he's not really late-late if he hasn't arrived yet, so I wanted to give him some time.

Thursday I have a doctor's visit scheduled where they will ultrasound me to make sure that everything is still kosher for the baby. Hopefully I will be in labor by then, but it's good to have a back up plan.

So as far as plans this week, I'm having a baby. How about you?

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Hoarders: The Crazy Person Edition

Guys, I think I might have a problem.

Today while searching for a lamp base, I found another baby blanket. It's adorable. Thing is, I already have a ton of baby blankets. But there can never be enough. I have two small fleece blankets, seven small cotton blankets, three receiving blankets, and six larger fleece blankets already. In my defense I did not buy most of them. Most were presents from the baby shower or my parents and In Laws buying baby stuff because they are out of their minds with excitement (first grandchild on both sides of the family. No, he's not going to be spoiled or anything).

But that still didn't stop me from buying some when I finished out my registry, or this new blanket today. I can rationalize anything. The blanket today is necessary because it's much larger than the ones I already have, and it's warm but thin so it will be a great middle ground between the super thin blankets and the warm fleece ones. I can throw it over the stroller if I need to, and still use it when the baby gets bigger. 

At least, that's what I tell myself.

It's not just baby blankets though. I hoard other random things. Books are a gimme, because what writer doesn't? But I also have a gigantic stash of office supplies. I have no less that five unopened packs of white index cards, two packs of neon colored index cards, a 24 pack of fine point Sharpies, a 24 pack of highlighters, a 24 pack of markers, a metric crapton of pens, and that's just off the top of my head. Don't even ask how many legal pads and notebooks I have.

I am not sure what exactly drives me to collect these things, other than this never ending need to have them and the ability to lie to myself and justify the necessity of the item in question. I suppose it could be worse. I could be like that cockroach house on Hoarders (Caution: do not click that link if you dislike cockroaches, have a weak stomach, or want to retain the last vestiges of your sanity). I could collect less useful things like bottle caps (no offense to those of you out there who collect bottle caps. I am sure your collection is stunning).

Surely I'm not the only person out there that has a hard time letting go of things? Or an insane need to stockpile very specific stuff? Is there anything you guys collect a ton of?

Now if you'll excuse me, while I was searching for the link to my new baby blanket, I saw some other ones on sale. 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Where Have All the Big Moments Gone?

Okay, maybe it's just me, but lately I've noticed there's not a lot of big moments in movies and books. 

At least, not in the last few published novels I've read or movies I watched on Netflix. I know this is subjective, and I can still think of a bunch of movies and books that are exempt from this observation, so they are excused from class.

Perhaps I should explain what I mean by "big moment" so the rest of you at home can decipher my meaning.

Simply put, it's a turning point. It can be a major change of direction for the plot, or when some of what character is working towards pays off, or a major set back. The most obvious example is the climax of the plot, but there should be other, smaller climaxes. 

And yeah, there were turning points in the offending books and movies, but they felt really small. Little Timmy made a B on his math test. Rhonda found her lucky penny. Events that progressed the plot, but they didn't feel like much. It was "meh" instead of "Wow, I can't wait to find out what happens next!"

Think about big moments. Harry Potter discovers he's a wizard. Po finds inner peace. A coach gives an inspiring speech in innumerable sports movies. John McClane walks across broken glass shoeless. Johnny gets Baby out of a corner. Frodo is entrusted with the One Ring.

There's a cathartic effect from these turning points, whether things are better or worse for the main character. Something important has changed, and life can never be the same again. 

Not every moment in the movie or book needs to feel like this of course, but turning points should make you feel something. They should stir you, throw you towards the remaining turning points until the inevitable climax occurs and you feel the biggest release of all: the resolution (or conversely, you feel the most pissed off you spend X number of hours of your life on this piece of crap and can never get them back).

I'm not saying every turning point should be POW POW EXPLOSION OMG THE KILLER BEES ARE IN MY RACCOON WOUNDS!!!!!!!!!! but unless they are more dramatic than the events around them, they don't feel like anything at all. 

I really believe that a movie that keeps you on the edge of your seat or a book that is physically impossible to put down has among other things, a dynamic plot. There's twists and turns and high and lows and you're always emotionally engaged. 

But that's just me. My attention span is currently that of a coked up squirrel, so I am harder to entertain at the moment. It might be why I've noticed it more, but it's still something to keep in mind. 

What say you? How you do feel about turning points and how they relate to your own work?

Monday, February 6, 2012

1 Week and Counting

So I have exactly one week until my baby is due to grace us with his presence. I'd like to think I am staying calm and collected, but it's really hard not to wonder whenever my body does something weird whether or not I am going into labor.

"I woke up with an upset stomach."

*Googles "nausea as a sign of labor"*

"Holy crap, that's a symptom! But I'm not having any contractions or anything else. I guess I'll wait and see."

(It turns out it is in fact, not labor.)

"Wow, I am feeling really crampy and sort of like crap. I wonder if that's back labor."

(It turns out it is in fact, not back labor.)

"The baby hasn't stopped moving or kicking. My goodness, he's having a party in there. I wonder if that's a sign of labor."

(It turns out it is in fact, not a sign of labor at all.)

And don't think the crazy is just me. 

My husband called me on his break. I was in the bathroom, where I seem to spend half my day, so I didn't pick up. He then calls our friend/neighbor and asks her to check on me if he doesn't reach me on his next break, in case I had fallen or something. 

My mom calls me every other day. I should start answering the phone "Still not in labor."

In the mean time I am making a plan of attack for revisions and working on the novels I am critiquing.

So what's up with you guys? How are your projects going? I have to go Google more signs of labor...