Writing and editing

I’m still here.

Practice this week was short, sweet and mostly at home. I did standing, baddha konasana, my baby-prep squats, and then backbends. It is sort of strange for me to launch right into dropbacks, because I don’t have a particularly flexible back. But for some reason, cutting out primary series really leaves me with a ton of energy to do backbends. I’ve been enjoying that part of my practice immensely.

After spending the entire day weeping and staring at clouds in a melancholy manner yesterday, I decided I needed to change things up a bit and I went into the studio. I miss practicing there and seeing my friends. it was so lovely to be in all that great energy again, plus I got an assist in utthita hasta padangusthasana and backbends. It was great.

On the baby front, I have been getting ultrasounds every second day. The biggest drag is that I can’t book an appointment, so I have to wait hours to get a walk-in appointment. I have been to three appointments and so far the receptionist has been polite enough to pretend like I have never been there before. The Russian ultrasound technician, however, hasn’t. “What? You are still pregnant?” she said to me on appointment # 2. “You must speak to this baby.” What is it about a Russian accent that makes you feel like even the most outrageous request is somehow an absolute requirement? “Ok,” I muttered. Me and everyone I know is talking to the baby constantly asking it to come out. I held the phone up to my belly the other day so Monica could have some serious words with it. But that night, I thought to myself, maybe the baby hasn’t come because I haven’t spoken with it yet?

On appointment # 3, I had a different ultrasound technician. She took 30 minutes to take pictures, which is an unusually long time. At one point she told me she had to get somebody – and I got really frightened. Ultrasound technicians are notoriously cagey. There are signs up at eye level all over their offices that say they cannot discuss any findings. As I’m lying there, covered with blue gel and beginning to tear up – I start thinking about the phone tree that will take place before I hear the news: from the technician to the receptionist, from the receptionist to my midwife, from the midwife to me.

And in walks the Russian ultrasound technician. She takes the measurements in her usual brusk manner and then looks at me.

R. U. T.: Your baby is perfect. Just lazy. You can go.

I’m almost tempted to ask her if it is really mine, seeing as I am quite imperfect, and not at all lazy. But I stop myself,and instead spend the next five minutes wiping sticky blue gel off my clothes.

I found a picture of the baby and I the day we left Mysore. I thought I was soooo huge.

Sigh, I didn’t know how good I had it.

Here is a picture of me taken yesterday:

This one was taken the day before yesterday:

From my pictures, you might assume that I am always in the kitchen. That would be an accurate observation. You might also notice that the belly isn’t really round anymore, it is sort of lumpy and baby-shaped which is strange. In the first picture from Mysore, I had been eating gobi manchurian almost everyday. Sadly, I don’t anymore and the baby has used up all my gobi credit. Yesterday, I noticed that I can see my ribs before they disappear under the belly.

I finished reading The Anthologist by Nicholson Baker today. I loved The Fermata, but this one was much sweeter. I am an English Lit major, which means nothing, but I did spend a year of my life tapping out meter on worn out school desks. Even though every moment of that poetics class was like dragging my nose against the sidewalk,  with all that tapping I unwittingly became such a big snob about unmetered poetry, but an even worse snob about badly metered poetry – in particular iambic pentameter. What a life skill, I know – thanks McGill. But this book was all about iambic pentameter, and I felt my snobbery was somehow justified. Here is a little tidbit about sitcoms:

At some point you have to set aside snobbery and what you think is culture and recognize that any random episode of Friends is probably better, more uplifting for the human spirit, than ninety-nine percent of the poetry or drama or fiction or history ever published. Think of that. Of course yes, Tolstoy and of course yes Keats and blah blah and yes indeed of course yes. But we’re living in an age that has a tremendous richness of invention. And some of the most inventive people get no recognition at all. They get tons of money but no recognition as artists. Which is probably much healthier for them and better for their art.”

I wish I wrote that. It did make me feel sort of happy about my desire to write cheesy screenplays and articles about facials.

Critter Corner:

Baby Raccoons in our backyard! Big dum-dums!

I know that the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy for gay people in the US military is really regressive, but unfortunately I’m going to have to institute the same policy re: pregnancy over here in Miss Stan blog world. Happily, unlike gaydar – which can be hit or miss – you can tell I haven’t given birth because I’m still blogging. I promise to post pictures very soon after the policy gets revoked!

I switched last week to a home practice after a bout of contractions on Sunday kept me housebound. I cut out my closing inversions this week. The baby’s head is fixed and is too far into my pelvis to be moved or turned around, but I felt like I didn’t want to give the baby any funny ideas about staying in here longer. This Friday, David told me to do standing so I wasn’t pushing too much energy up with all the primary vinyasa. I did standing and then a whole round of backbends. Really, all I want to be doing is backbending, forward bends are getting uncomfortable – even with my legs really far apart. I’m still practicing everyday, and I still really need it. Practice lifts my mood and works out all the kinks and sore spots from the night before.

I made a terrarium this week, inspired by my sister’s link on my last blog post.

I got the bowl at the dollar store, the cacti from a local flower shop for $4, and the rocks, soil and toys I found around the house. Making terrariums is actually a lot of fun, and they are so low maintenance. This one is a little boreal forest, but a gorilla has escaped from the zoo and he is scaring the oversized birds (made from fimo).

Mercedes made one too, with more of a wild west theme.

I want to do more. They make great housewarming gifts.

I went out on a date last night to a fancy vegan restaurant. I curled my hair, wore a mini skirt (Ok not so different from the usual) and everything. It was fun to be out even if the food was just OK. David said the food was like going to a really amazing huge party but there are only 1 or 2 interesting people to talk to. I ordered (gasp!) a glass of wine. I think this was the very first glass of wine I have had all pregnancy. I could tell because I started going on about which soccer teams had the best looking players (ie. who I plan on rooting for in the World Cup).

In good news, David and I saw my tattoo artist on the street and he told me I look like a python. Later, David told me my bum looks better just a bit fatter like it is now. I know in normal non-pregnant lady world, being told your bum is fat and you look like a scary reptile digesting a large animal would be cause to shut yourself in your room and seek revenge on all your friends for letting you out in the world looking like that. But I was totally pleased. Anyone who doesn’t say you look “Huge!” or “Ready to give birth!” within five minutes might as well be telling you that you are the next Helen of Troy.

Digesting python with fat bum, so hot right now!

What is the point of due dates?

Babies so rarely arrive on time. But pregnancy and childbirth are so medicalized now, you would think coming up with an accurate due date wouldn’t be just an arbitrary shot in the dark. If you should be giving birth anywhere from 3 weeks before to two weeks after – I think a due month would be a better option. I was pretty comfortable up until Wednesday. Everyday that passes my due date, I feel more and more unsettled. Is the baby really going to come? I clean everyday, in case it comes during the night and I can’t clean again for a couple weeks. The mood fluctuates between excited and happy to irritable and filled with trepidation.

Reading about the oil spill, I feel the same arbitrary decision making as with due dates: with a strange focus on cause and a rather shot-in-the-dark approach to fixing the issue. I have watched my kindergarten students dig, scoop and redirect puddles with similar accuracy and problem solving skills. The puddle is leaking out – block it with mud! throw a large stick over it! funnel the water into a new puddle! These decisions are made quickly, three or four children clinging on to twigs and plastic shovels in seamless compromise. Deep sea oil drilling with vast amounts of money, science and engineering standing behind it, it seems funny that no one thought of what might happen when it breaks. And the solution to the problems seem about as complex as 5-year-old water table play. Instinct is so powerful, but such a small voice in my head. The louder voices, the ones that fixate on the actual problems and the fallout, “They are screwed, we are screwed, why do I drive a car?”. Really this cognitive loop would be more effectively replaced with, “Well, I’ve got an old pair of shoes lying around – maybe BP can throw them down the pipe too!”

I had a dream last night that several of my teeth were black and rotting. I pushed the back of one with my tongue and realized it was quite loose. I tried to go about my day, hoping it would stay in my mouth, but I kept tonguing it over and over. At one point the tooth fell right out and I started to scream. “I can’t give birth without a tooth!” David was trying to calm me down. Staring at the big gap in my mouth, I felt ugly and out of control. “But I don’t have time to call the dentist.”

The best I can do at this point is ride out the emotional tidal waves of those big voices and focus on the little quiet voice: get lots of sleep, trust the process, and redirect cold water to your feet.