Wednesday, June 21, 2017

My Cervix is named Hodor

WARNING: The post below contains a Game of Thrones spoiler alert! 

Did I ever tell you guys how my cervix is nicknamed Hodor? 

I know. I basically have no shame. For those of you who have never seen Game of Thrones, let me explain. Hodor is the name of a brave and incredibly sweet giant, who only says "Hodor" and dies valiantly "holding the door" against the evil forces of ice zombies who are trying to murder his companions.

Hodor.
Similarly, when we first got the news that I was pregnant, one of the biggest risks factors was preterm birth.  It was up to my cervix to "hold the door" and prevent this from happening, and for the past 4 months, Sean has been feeding my Hodor liquid courage in the form of weekly progesterone shots that would help my cervix stay closed. 

Recently, the progesterone shots have stopped, and Hodor's herculean strength is finally running out.  This bring us to our current state.  I'm now 38 weeks pregnant and officially miserable.  According to my doctor, that's because I've been walking around 3 centimeters dilated.

*Side note: I'm not exactly a secretive person, and basically everyone in town knows about my dilation. Last Friday, I went to a party where multiple city council members approached me to discuss my recent cervical measurements, proving once again that city council is the last remaining unit of government that is still responsive to the concerns of their constituents.

Anyways, I'm officially done being pregnant.  This baby is strong, and healthy and I'm ready for him to be born already.  That's why today I was in my office looking up exercises to induce labor on pinterest, and I found this picture.


Look at this lady.

My first reaction to this photo is to hate on this woman for wearing white spandex. (What if her water breaks? What if she falls down in that field? Speaking of that field, isn't is probably full of ticks?) But, to be honest, I would never confident enough to wear white spandex even when NOT PREGNANT, so I think in this case I'm probably just unworthy to be in the presence of her Lycra wrapped suavity.

When I look at this lady, I'm consumed by jealousy. She definitely looks a lot more comfortable than I feel right now, and she gets to frolic around in a field, hopefully with the foresight to bug-spray her ankles first. Meanwhile, I'm in my living room, doing lunges and other pinterest exercises in the hopes of inducing labor.  The only consolation for my envy? I guess I still have something she doesn't: Hodor.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Pregnant Ladies Have to Pee, and Other Truths

Lately, I've been walking around enormously pregnant.  Honestly "walking" is a generous term here, it's probably more like waddling.  And the world- faced with the enormity of my equatorial expansion is completely losing its shit.  So- in this blog post, I'm going to lay down some truths about pregnant ladies, and tips for how you can interact with us.
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1. We all have to pee.  This is a universal truth.  If you are talking to a pregnant lady, you can rest assured that she has to pee at this very moment. If we, the pregnant ladies, seem in a hurry to get somewhere, then please sweet Jesus LET US GO. We are on our way to the bathroom, where we are either going to pee, or cry because someone just told us how huge we are, but probably both.

Every time I go to my OB appointments, they have me pee in a cup.  Each time, the receptionist asks me politely "Are you able to provide a urine sample today?" Then we both laugh, because she knows damn well I'm able to provide a urine sample, even though I literally just peed downstairs in the lobby. My OB receptionist is awesome.

2. Remove the word HUGE from your vocabulary.   This is pretty standard stuff really. In our house, Sean has wisely avoided saying the word "huge" for the last 6 months at least.  When we watched the NCAA men's basketball tournament this year, he would say "Hey baby-- come watch this replay-- the Tarheels just came up with a glowing and voluptuous rebound against Gonzaga!"

Here's some solid advice: Before you open your mouth to comment on a pregnant woman's body, ask yourself-- Would it be socially acceptable for me to say this about a non-pregnant person's body?  The answer is probably no.

The truth is, the pregnant ladies of the world do not need your reminders.  We know our bodies are changing. We already receive reminders of this every morning when we are dressing ourselves with clothes the size of industrial table cloths.  Each time we have to pee (which--as we've covered--is quite frequently,) we are also reminded by our belly buttons, which have become fleshy, swirling nebulons of pain.

So, as a public service, I've created a few substitute clauses you can use when interacting with the pregnant ladies in your life!

  • Oh my god! You're Huge! (substitute: Oh my God! You're a dead ringer for Kate Hudson!)
  • Whoa-- look at that enormous belly! (Substitute: Whoa-- look at that detailed transition plan you've left for your colleagues during your maternity leave!)
  • You look like you're about to pop! (Substitute: You look like you're about to propagate another human life using only your uterus and a steady supply of salt-and-vinegar potato chips, like a boss!)

3. We haven't shaved our legs. Not really.  I mean-- we've tried, but we're basically flying blind.  Personally, I haven't seen my thighs in two months. So, I want to apologize to anyone else who may be seeing them, namely Sean.

4. We are all Bad-asses.  Growing up, I sort of considered myself to be well supplied in the bad-assery department.  I was a small town karate star who--in my prime--could flip across my dojo like Simone Biles, and jump-front kick someone twice my size in the teeth.  It wasn't until after Millie was born that I realized the hard truth.  I was not special.  ALL WOMEN, everywhere, even ones who work at perfume counters at department stores,* ** are incredible bad-asses. After experiencing labor, I looked around the pews at the elderly ladies in my church, and was shaken to the core by the pantsuited empresses of Badasserwald that surrounded me, and overflowed out into the Narthex.

*Women who work at perfume counters are actually my biggest fear.
**One time, I tried to buy a summer fragrance in the autumn season, and was rightfully shamed for my ignorance.  I've never recovered.

So remember friends, pregnancy is bonkers. Basically all the moms you know are formidable and deserve your respect.
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I hope this list gave you some convenient insight into the psyche of pregnant ladies-- or at least of this one. As for me, I think it's time that I waddled to the bathroom again.  Maybe while I'm there I'll try and shave my legs, like a bad-ass.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Poopie the Pill Bug, A Mother's Betrayal

Millie has a new friend.  He is a pill bug who lives in our garden, and she named him Poopie. This is the story of how I murdered Poopie. I guess I'm writing this post because I need to clear my conscience. But, also I'm writing this story because I think Poopie the pill bug is hilarious and I hope you will too.



In remembrance, "Poopie" the Pill Bug
May 10th, 2017- May 26th, 2017

It all started several weeks ago, when Millie and I transplanted the seedlings we had lovingly started indoors during the cold, terrible Ohio winter outside into our vegetable garden. We had big plans for these seedlings.  With our help, they would grow into tall sunflowers, rich aromatic basil, and cherry tomatoes by the fistful for our summertime snacking. We had tiny burgundy kale seedlings, and personal sized sweet melons.  We planted them carefully in our richest soil, along the soaker hose so they would get maximum irrigation opportunities.

As we planted, Millie ran around the garden, holding a plastic trowel, and capturing various small crawly things that were too slow to elude her. She took a liking to several earthworms, but became especially enamored with the roly-poly bugs she found throughout our straw mulch. One of these unfortunate invertebrates she named Poopie, and carried him throughout the garden, telling him of all the plants we are growing.

"This is a baby Zinnia," she told him.  "It will grow into a beautiful pink flower that I can wear in my hair. Isn't that exciting, Poopie!?"
Poopie showed no enthusiasm.
"These are baby Dill plants, Poopie." Continued Millie, botanist and tour guide.
Poopie remained curled in a ball and unresponsive.
"Millie! It's time to put Poopie down!" I called, as we finished planting.
Millie placed Poopie lovingly down beside the Echinacea patch and said "Bye Poopie!  I love you-- see you tomorrow!"

For the next several days, Millie would immediately capture Poopie (or one of his brethren) as soon as we reached the garden. "Hi Poopie!! She would yell into her cupped hands. "It's me! Millie-- did you miss me?"

Poopie seemed to be thriving, but unfortunately, my seedlings were not.  The dill was the first to go. Then, the sunflowers, and even my heirloom cherry tomatoes.  I thought we had a rabbit getting into the garden. Then, one overcast and drizzly evening, Millie and I went down to the garden to check on our plants.

The first thing we noticed were the slugs.  They were everywhere. Disgustingly, Millie and I picked 17 of them off of a single young zucchini plant. It was during this surgical slug removal that I noticed the slugs were not working alone.  One of the seedlings was bent to the ground with no less than 15 pill bugs, devouring it.  Millie noticed it too.  "POOPIE! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!" She called out in alarm.

I didn't say anything to Millie at the time, but that's when I decided that POOPIE MUST DIE. We came back into the house and researched the best ways to lay siege on our newly stationed slug garrison. Secretly though, I was also reading about pill bugs.  It seems these innocent looking beasts mostly eat decomposing matter, but have been known to assassinate young garden seedlings as well.

Many readers recommended an organic solution called Sluggo Plus. This slug bait also kills pill bugs, by luring them into eating a certain type of delicious mineral, which then blocks up their stomachs and makes them die a slow, painful death beneath the soil.  I ordered it with zest, and applied it last Friday when Millie was at school.  I asked Sean if he thought I should wait for Millie to put the Sluggo on the garden, to which he replied "You're asking me if we should wait for our 4 year old daughter in order to handle and apply pesticides?"  I realized he was right. Besides, she's still too young-- I don't want her to have blood on her hands.

As I'm typing this, Millie is currently singing an epic song about Poopie the pill bug. She does not yet know that he is gone, but I still prefer to think of this song as a funeral dirge.  Here are the lyrics:

Poopie was a pill bug, 
He lived inside the dirt,
Poopie pooped on a slug,
And then ate him.

I think it's how he would have wanted to be remembered.  Rest in peace, sweet Poopie. May the gardens of your isopod heaven be filled with dill seedlings, and completely free of 4 year old girls.


Sunday, May 21, 2017

The Six Needs of A Laboring Woman


I have some very, very, good news.  I'M PREGNANT.  I know! You're probably thinking HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?  For those of you following what Sean and I have been through, you know that after the events of the last two years---my uterus was left as uninhabitable as the frozen ice-planet of Hoth.* Then, last August, a fancy doctor in Cleveland did an experimental surgery on me to repair "The Ole Gal." When he described the procedure to us, only 9 other women had gone through with it, and of those, 3 of them had gone on to have babies. ** Sean and I knew the odds were against us, but we decided to give it a try anyways. We were frankly shocked when I became pregnant almost immediately.


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*If you are reading this blog to seek actual medical information and not Star Wars references, the medical term for what was wrong with me was Asherman's syndrome, caused by multiple D&C's following a placenta accreta. The hospital I went to was University Hospital- MacDonald Women's Hospital.
** Pro-tip-  If you nearly die 3 times from pregnancy complications and then conceive a baby who is an ACTUAL medical miracle,  the hospital will feature you in their annual development campaign and you can get some free family photography out of it! Woot Woot!
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I won't lie to y'all-- this pregnancy has been hard.  If I had to pick one word to describe it, it would be "vulnerability," although a close second would be "Cramps," then followed by "salt-and-vinegar-potato-chips." I found myself jealously thinking of my relaxed mental state with my previous two pregnancies.  Remember when the biggest concerns I had were axe-body spray and cabbage related office smells? This time around, I've been scared basically the whole time.  That's probably why I waited until I was 33 weeks along to type this blog post.

The good news is, Millie's sense of optimism is unhindered, and she recently made me this drawing, which is my new all-time favorite work of art:



Lately, I've been letting the exciting reality sink in: Oh my god! I'm really going to have this baby! But unfortunately, the other reality has started to sink in too: OH MY GOD, I'M REALLY GOING TO HAVE THIS BABY.

Shit. Shit. Double Shit.  Childbirth is not the funnest thing I've ever done. So, I broke out my trusty book on "The Bradley Method," to brush up on my skills. For those of you unfamiliar, the Bradley method is a tried and tested natural childbirth technique, which for nearly 30 years has helped expectant mothers see graphic pictures of other women's vaginas.



Now that I'm reading it with the trained eye, I can see that parts of this book are total bullshit.

For example, it contains these reassurances:
"Natural Childbirth can be painless."
(Throws head back and laughs.) Please. 


"Partners-- don't let your wife sit on a comfortable couch while she is pregnant. She will secretly appreciate that you make her sit on the hard floor! Even if you overhear her complaining to her friends about you, she's actually just low key bragging that you're such a good birth coach!"
Partners-- don't be fooled by this lying book. I know it seems medically legit because there are so many pictures of vaginas in it, but this is BAD ADVICE.  

"Many women actually have orgasms when giving birth."
Yeah, so I'm not buying this one.  I get that every labor and delivery is different. Some women like aroma therapy--I preferred for my hospital room NOT to smell like a cheap head shop where teenagers buy bongs. Some women are meaner than snakes-- the meanest thing I told Sean during labor was "don't sing," as he tried to comfort me by crooning along with the playlist. 

When I had Millie I actually BROKE MY TAILBONE, and was so preoccupied that I DIDN'T EVEN NOTICE. So, all I'm saying is that if some women get to have ORGASMS-- that's not fair, and I hope all of those women have colicky babies, or, at the least-- really out of tune xylophones. 

So, as a public service announcement, I've decided to improve on the Bradley Method's "Six needs of a laboring woman."  


The Bradley Method's List:
  1. Deep, complete relaxation
  2. Abdominal breathing
  3. Darkness and solitude
  4. Physical comfort
  5. Closed eyes
  6. The appearance of sleep

Katie's List:
  1. Deep, warm Hot tub
  2. Husband, Stop Singing 
  3. Die Aroma Therapy, Die
  4. Delivery Room Ban on Axe body spray
  5. Open bag of Salt and Vinegar Chips 
  6. Silence from woman one room over, who's painless childbirth is climaxing in a loud orgasm. 
If you're a first time mom, the Bradley Method book CAN actually be immensely helpful. However, for those of us who are doing this for a second time, I'd like to recommend Dave Barry's Book, Babies and other Hazards of Sex,  as alternate reading.  This book, which is subtitled, How to make a tiny person in just 9 months with tools you probably have around the house, will not prepare you in any way for childbirth, but it contains far fewer graphic pictures of vaginas and makes for much more pleasant reading while you are sitting on your coach, enjoying your salt and vinegar potato chips. 

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Top Secret Memo, For President Trump's Eyes only!

Dear President Trump,

If we met, we probably wouldn't like each other much (I'm the sort of person who believes in Michael Pollan, government assistance programs, and the Diane Rehm show.) But even so, I'm here to help you man.

And I think I know what you want. You want to be the most LARGER THAN LIFE PRESIDENT EVER. Right? You want to be so inspirational that Kid Rock will write a bad-ass rock ballad about you-- a ballad that will be played at minor league baseball stadiums while fireworks explode---and everybody will spill nacho cheese sauce on their laps, cause they'll be so moved by the patriotism you've evoked, and even Gloria Steinem will sing along, because the song is THAT GOOD.

I get it.  AND I AM HERE TO GIVE THOSE THINGS TO YOU.  Follow my instructions, and I promise these things will come to pass. If you play your cards right, you could even get a Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream Flavor, which I think we could all agree is basically America's most prestigious honor.
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The following section is for Trump's eyes only.  If you are not President Trump, please stop reading. 

Ok fine, Pence you can read too... 

Not you, KellyAnne. 

Part 1-
So, Trump, level with me.  It seems like you hate it when jobs leave America.  Is that right? Every time a jobs tries to leave America you get so pissed off you basically have an aneurysm, and you get on the phone, or on Twitter, and throw a tantrum, and threaten to kick all of their analytics officers in the balls, until that job decides to stay in America. 

And I think that's cool man-- I really do. But you can't just bully companies a few jobs at a time. You need a plan. You need to help industries that provide good paying jobs here in the US.


Part 2-
Now, I don't want to put words in your mouth, but it seems like you also kind of hate immigration. Again-- I don't want to presume here, but I seem to remember a small point of your campaign--- you may have touched on it once or twice--- about a wall or something like that. I think.  I can't remember.

So, if you were you, I'd probably be thinking about how to avoid future scenarios that are going to create shit-loads of displaced people because--- let's face it-- walls are expensive, and we aren't always ever going to be able to make Mexico pay for them.

Part 3-

The last thing I've noticed about you is that you love regular, working class Americans. Of course you do.   Afterall, growing up as a New York millionaire, you have a lot in common with us regular folks. It's like, when I came of age, and my father gave me an old Ford Bronco and a driving lesson that involved spinning donuts in a horse pasture, and when you came of age, your father gave you, a million dollar start up loan for your real-estate business.  THEY'RE BASICALLY THE SAME THING.

Joking aside though, I think you're probably the president who would be most likely to be wearing a beer helmet at a tailgate outside a Jimmy Buffet concert, and coming from me, that is an honest compliment.  So I'm going to take you at your word and assume that you are genuine when you say that you are interested in jobs for regular working class Americans.


SCROLL DOWN FOR PICTURES OF KATE MIDDLETON'S BOOBS!

Sorry, I tricked you there.  I know it was mean, but I was afraid your attention might be waning, and I need you to focus on this. Here is a recap of what you need:

  • Support industries that create jobs which can't be shipped overseas
  • Avoid scenarios that create mass immigration
  • Create jobs for, regular, working class Americans. 
  • See Kate Middleton's boobs. 

What if I told you I could give you a solution that could deliver on 3 out of 4 of those items:

RENEWABLE ENERGY. 

No! Wait! Don't go. Hear me out, ok.  Did you know that there are already more jobs in the solar industry than in the oil and gas industry? It's true.  Did you know that the wind industry already employs more people than the coal industry?  These are not hippie statistics.  They are not #AlternativeFacts. They are REAL, ACTUAL FACTS! Isn't that awesome?

The best part is, you can't export these jobs overseas. Renewable energy is made on-site. Now, I know what you're probably thinking, "I don't want to create jobs for a bunch of bleeding heart fancy liberals."  Don't worry man, I know you don't.  I'm talking about jobs for actual, working class people, who wear carharts, and know how to use power tools, and operate equipment larger than a vitamix. We'll need manufacturing too. Lots of it, cause we're going to be making big ass wind turbines, and solar panels, and all sort of other cool high tech shit that China is going to be totally jealous of!

Finally, and this is important-- climate change is real.  I know it sucks to think about, but climate change isn't like Tinkerbell.  It won't just die if nobody believes in it.  We are already starting to see the effects, and it's going to create domestic and international refugees.  And, do you know who everyone is going to blame for it?  YOU, Donald. You.

So get on board man.  If you care about your legacy (and I know you do,) stop putting oil company lackeys in charge of all of our nice things.  Unfreeze the EPA and USDA grant programs, and for god's sake release your social media gag order on all the park rangers (btw genius, way to piss off the literally the ONLY section of the liberal base who own any guns.)

For my part, I'll be writing some lryics for your song, and maybe contacting Ben and Jerry's with some suggested ice cream flavors.  (Make America Grape Again? Coconut Comb-over?) I'll work on it, Don.  Now you get to work on your stuff.