November 2011

I’ve had multiple friends (all female) ask me for my birthing story. I used to be all queasy about birthing stories, but ever since we decided to get pregnant, I had been very interested. It may have been from an educational standpoint. Anyway, here is mine, written in pieces over the course of the past few days (I didn’t have much time available in productive blocks). A timeline:
* Wednesday, 11/23, contractions started (~3am), entered hospital (~8:30 a.m.) and had baby (4:57 p.m.) (I was pretty happy I started in the wee hours of the morning, labored through the day with sunlight streaming through the windows and we weren’t feeling like we were up when we weren’t supposed to be, and I was done by the end of a regular workhour day. It was perfect. Oh! And I didn’t cuss, didn’t fly into verbal or physical attacks on Mr. W. I pretty much felt in rational control the entire time. [I just asked Mr. W if he was glad I didn’t cuss him out or scratch him to death and he said, “Mm-hmm! You were very pleasant to be with, as aggravating as it may have been to have me keep telling you to do stuff like breathe and count…”])
* Thursday, 11/24, stayed in hospital (we opted to stay overnight Thursday night cuz the nurses and staff were so helpful; otherwise they would’ve discharged us after 24 hours, since everyone checked out as healthy)
* Friday, 11/25, discharged early afternoon (~2pm) and came home for the first time with Allie

WARNING: This is long AND graphic; if you’re one of those queasy-about-birthing-story people, don’t click “more.” Otherwise, welcome to my last Wednesday.

Did you guys notice I was gone for awhile? No? Well, it’s my fault; I haven’t been blogging consistently. Only this time, I have an excuse! I’d like you to meet Allie Cat:

Friday 11/25, our first day back at home!

Born the day before Thanksgiving, 11/23, at 4:57 p.m.
8 lbs, 2 oz (I know! not my genes)
21 inches (again, not my genes)

Birthing dream scenario goals met:
* no epidural
* no episiotomy
* no IV pain relief (or any pain relief)
* mom healthy, baby healthy
* dad stayed by mom’s head the entire time coaching, and took no photo or video of objectionable stuff. 🙂
* no drama; only dad and medical team in birthing room with me through labor. 🙂 🙂

My cousin Jennifer texted me today to ask how my appointment went. “Any progress?”
“Negligible,” I told her.

Since last week’s checkup, I’ve been having cramps and back pain and sensations that the doctor AND experienced friends have told me are mild contractions, so I was hoping I’d be much farther along now. Turned out, I’m now 90% effaced (I thought I was almost completely effaced last time, so after a week I’m only at 90%?), and my dilation has gone from 1cm last week to…*drumroll*…1.5 cm. AUGH! All those cramps for HALF a centimeter? That means I’m STILL too small for him to sweep the membranes. Also, the baby’s head lowered MAYBE half a station, from 0 to “between 0 and +1.” ALLIE! You little procrastinator! This is a day PAST your due date!

The OB did say, tho, that once I’m fully effaced, the dilation will happen more quickly. “You’re really paper-thin right now already,” he said. “And didn’t you have a LEEP?” I sure did. “You might have a little bit of scar tissue from the LEEP that keeps you from dilating quickly right now, but that’s not going to stop labor. Once it gets going that scar tissue isn’t going to be a factor.” Interesting. “You’re definitely in the count-down now,” he said, trying to be reassuring. “I still think you’re going to be in labor sometime this week, but just in case, I’ve reserved a spot for you for induction next week at the hospital.” So the plan is, I go in to get looked at one last time next Monday if I haven’t given birth, cuz that would be my 41st week of pregnancy. If I’ve progressed enough for Pitocin to be effective (3 cm or so), then I go to the doctor’s appointment at the main hospital that I’d be birthing at for the induction. I asked about possibly waiting till Monday’s appointment to decide whether to do an induction, cuz I don’t want to spend my ENTIRE labor strapped to a bed in the hospital. I’d still like to be as natural as possible. He said the issue is that if he didn’t reserve me a spot already, it may be hard to get a spot in time, and by “in time,” he’s talking about within the 42nd week of labor because the placenta starts becoming less able to do its job to provide enough oxygen and nutrients to a baby that needs more. By that time it becomes a “balancing game” between timing an induction and letting it go naturally if possible.

Something else progressed VERY slowly, too, but this one I’m happy about. I was afraid she’d put on a pound a week at this point (from stuff I’d read) and that I’d have to birth a 12-pounder or something. But between the last appointment and this one, I’d only put on 0.2 lbs. “You’re doing really good on that,” my OB praised. (What a change from 2nd trimester!) He still thinks her weight will be fine (in the 7s) and said that I don’t have a small pelvis so there shouldn’t be a problem getting her out naturally. People with flatter pelvic openings and heart-shaped pelvic cavities have a harder time. I asked how I could tell what my pelvis is like, and he said he could feel it when he checked my cervix, and I have an oval/round pelvic opening and will be fine. Whew.

Dear Allison,

Rather than continuously hip-checking me from the inside, if you’re squirmy because you want more space, you know where the exit is.


Your mom

I never thought I’d be one of those women who would be delivering AFTER her baby’s due date, altho statistically, it’s not surprising. It might be surprising how surprised I am.

The OB did one of those uncomfortable/painful cervical checks again, and said there’s definitely progress. Allie’s head is straight on against my bladder, and engaged at 0 station. I’m dilated to 1 cm. Effacement is almost complete. (I think the LEEP helped.) He updated her expected arrival date from “due date” to “the week after her due date,” which is what gave me the clue that I didn’t progress as far as he’d expected me to by now. He later confirmed that (without knowing) by telling me he can’t do a membrane sweep this week because 1cm is too small for him to fit his finger in, but that by my appointment next week (the day AFTER my due date, wah!), he could do it if I want. He said there’s no reason to induce at this point, Allie’s measuring a perfectly normal size and doing well, but if she doesn’t come at 41 weeks, then we can schedule something. He noted that recently, he’d scheduled 4 patients for induction after they passed 41 weeks, and by the 42nd week, 3 of them naturally went into labor before the scheduled induction date. I guess the threats helped the kids decide to come on their own. =P

I explained that my concern would be that I wanted to deliver a smaller baby to avoid complications, and I’m afraid that the longer I wait, the more there is a chance that Allie pops out a 8.5 lb baby. He was very unconcerned about that. “Her size is already pre-determined. Remember how in the 2nd trimester, we had talked a lot about your weight gain and nutrition?” OH yeah. “That’s to prevent the baby from being oversized. Women who birth a very large baby were already making their babies large early on. There’s nothing you can do at this point that would suddenly make your baby gain 3 pounds before you deliver, while it’s true that babies do gain weight toward the end.” I felt just a teeny bit better about the odds and ends of Halloween candy I’d had a couple of weeks ago. Darned lazy neighborhood kids didn’t feel like ringing our bell much this year. “Do you have any other questions or concerns?”

We certainly did. Mr. W brought out his FMLA forms for the second time to this doctor, and explained all the stress this was causing us and showed him the rejection letter from the Kaiser Disability Department. The OB already had his pen out before Mr. W even finished talking. We explained that all Mr. W’s work needed was a signature from my doctor certifying that yes, I really am pregnant. My OB had originally thought we needed to start the FMLA process with him, which meant that he had to do write-ups and diagnoses which he didn’t have time to do, but when he realized it was only a signature on Mr. W’s work form (which Mr. W had already filled out except for the physician signature section) and he didn’t have to do a separate FMLA packet, he readily wrote “wife is pregnant, EDC 11/21/11” and signed off on it. And then he apologized for all the stress we’d been undergoing while we were running in circles and hitting walls on this requirement in order for Mr. W to get FMLA. On the way to the appointment, I was visualizing the OB taking the paperwork and signing it, no conflict, and he did. 🙂 One huge hurdle…uh…hurdled. Good thing, too, cuz when Mr. W emailed his superior the rejection letter from Disability, the response he got back was to the effect of “Yeah, that sucks, but we still need our form signed to give you FMLA; what you’d turned in before from her doctor still isn’t good enough.”

I had lower abdominal cramps on and off all day and night after my appointment. The doctor had asked me about symptoms, and I told him periodic cramps that felt like menstrual cramps, with lower back soreness. He thought those may have been mild contractions. So hopefully, I’ll have gradual, relatively painless contractions until I hit the transition part of labor, and then I’ll deliver.

I’ve had pretty heavy munchies for the past few weeks. I’ve been trying to get myself to reach for healthier alternatives to chocolate, cookies, etc., so when I stood in front of the open refrigerator, I’d reach for an apple daily. Mr. W has been buying Fujis and recently, a new crop called “Honeycrisps” from Costco, so I’ve been eating those. It wasn’t until the other day when I was crunching into one and looked down to see the mostly-green skin that I had a small start. At a private reading at least 6 months ago, Rebecca had asked me if I liked “green apples.” I think Granny Smith apples when I think “green apples,” so I said no. She said she could see me eating green apples late in my pregnancy. I thought that was unlikely. I don’t like sour stuff or hard chewy stuff and Granny Smiths were both. But these Fujis and Honeycrisps are 2/3 to 3/4 green-colored, and depending how I’m holding them, they look as she described: green apples. Mr. W noted how she’d been wrong about every delivery date she’d foreseen for Allie. I said that the doctor said over and over again that we now know the baby decides when it’s going to come out by releasing labor hormones when its ready, and that Rebecca can’t see clearly things that haven’t been decided yet. It’s possible that her “as early as the 7th to as late as the 23rd” is the range of days that Allie would be fine coming out, but Allie had decided she wasn’t quite ready, yet, when those dates came and went. Nevertheless, Rebecca saw this as my delivery scenario:

Rebecca: Cindy, I think Allie will make you think nothing is happening. Then, bingo, everything will be hard and fast and it will be over before you know it.
Me: uh-oh…that sounds like Pitocin usage. =/
Rebecca: Nope, I don’t think so. I think you may be one of those lucky women whose contractions aren’t that painful until you are in transition. And transition goes pretty quickly.
Me: I would be SO grateful if that happened! Louise has been sending early prayers and putting me in bubbles of pain-free light.
Rebecca: And Louise does good work with those bubbles 🙂
Louise: Sweet prayers to you with all the warmth and comfort the Universe has to offer. You’re so strong. Just breathe and focus. 🙂

So I was SO comfortable…that yesterday, Mr. W and I went to see the newest release of the Twilight Series, “Breaking Dawn, Part I.” It was the most well-done of all the Twilight movies so far, and very well adapted from the book, but I still wish that Kristen Stewart had the acting capacity to truly capture Bella’s character. Bella has a very cute, quirky and funny side, and Stewart plays her one-dimensionally. All angst, kinda annoying. As usual, Taylor Lautner did awesomely. He was just like the character of Jacob at this point in the books, and created the same feelings of irritation (for his constant running-off tantrums) and grudging compassion (cuz I’ve been thru that unrequited love frustration) from me that I had for Jacob in reading the book. And after the movie, I was tricked/dragged to going for a walk and early dinner at Dana Point harbor. Hubby is so restless.

Okay, so I’m still pregnant. I get occasional lower abdominal cramps and occasional lower back pain, but that’s about it. The discomfort level is mild at its worst, and I’m still having the finger joint pains upon waking in the morning or after long periods of inactivity with my hands. My feet will bloat a little when I’m on them all day, but the bloating goes away once I elevate the feet for a few minutes. Generally, I’d still classify my pregnancy condition as comfortable. TOO comfortable. Yesterday morning I took a side-belly pic of me on the cell phone and sent it to neonatal nurse Jordan (who’d been asking me for such a pic) along with the text message “Why is she still in here?!”
Jordan texted back, “Because it’s comfy and warm and she loves you!” Then I felt all bad.
I knew I shouldn’t have had those cookies. Now Allie’s like, “Hmm, yummy cookies…or just milk if I come out? I think I’ll stay in longer.”

I’m calling today Strip Thursday. My OB had offered last week to strip my membranes at today’s appointment (4pm!) if I haven’t delivered. I’m leaning toward taking him up on that. I honestly had never expected to keep this appointment. I’m as surprised as anybody that Allie’s still contentedly bopping around inside right now.

It’s been a learning experience with the Family Leave Act…we’ve learned that bureaucracy practically nullifies the law. Work basically says, “Sure, you can take time off under FMLA, but you’ll have to jump through THESE hoops we’ve designed first! Muahahaha!” and the hoops are impossible. I’m pretty sure on my end, things have been figured out, and I just have to call our human resources dept to let someone know the actual date of birth so they know how to account for my time off. Apparently I’m not allowed to be on FMLA until the birth, because they calculate how many days I get (6 weeks if vaginal, 8 weeks if Caesarian) commencing from the date of delivery. So I’m not sure what kind of time I’m using now, sitting around waiting for Her Majesty to decide when to grace us with her presence. Hopefully plain ol’ “sick” days, because I’ve got plenty of those. Mr. W is a different story. His work wants him to fill out THEIR special form and have the treating physician sign off on THEIR form to prove I’m pregnant and they refused to accept a standard work status note that our OB printed and gave us (which my work accepted without question). Due to Kaiser’s own bureaucracy, my OB won’t sign off on Mr. W’s work form (foreign form, and Mr. W is not his patient) and could only forward it to Kaiser’s Disability Department to process. So Mr. W and I drove down to Kaiser’s Disability Dept near Disneyland to speed the process up. After 2 weeks, we just got the forms back in the mail with a letter of rejection saying they can’t process Mr. W’s forms without a written order from my doctor saying it is necessary to my care to have Mr. W care for me. Well, if we could GET a written anything from my OB for Mr. W, we wouldn’t BE in this run-around. I’ve never heard such a long stream of dollar-value profanity from Mr. W as the other day when he opened this rejection letter, even when he banged his head on cabinets and stuff. So right now, he’s off work (he already was under the presumption that the hoops would be jumped thru during his leave), but without FMLA granted now. He’s gonna try to just join all his available vacation and sick personal days together to stick around home with me (his work won’t let him use regular “sick” days even on FMLA, which he has plenty of, because he’s not the one pregnant). So since he’s burning an already-limited number of days for nothing right now, he’s very eager for Allie to debut.

Yesterday morning, Mr. W patted my distended stomach and said, “Nothing, huh?” Nope, nothing. He pouted, putting his ear against my stomach to hear what Allie’s up to. Allie’s response was to immediately smack him on his face. “Don’t RUSH me, dad!”

On the mom front, my mom’s still calling and/or emailing every day to accuse me of having given birth behind her back, even tho I keep telling her Allie’s due date is next Monday. Yesterday’s email, with the subject line of “Well?,” was “How’s going? Feel cramps? Water broke?”
Irritably, I wrote back to her, “It’s safe to say that if you didn’t get a phone call, it’s because nothing happened.”
She responded by emailing me a YouTube clip of babies making faces while eating lemons.

Hooray! I made it through all my scheduled days of work without incident, and am starting maternity leave after today! With a due date of 11/21 (11 days away) and a clairvoyantly-predicted delivery date of 11/13ish (3 days away, eek!), I know I really pushed it. But I had wanted as many days home as I could after Allie comes out, not sitting around watching TV while she incubates in here. I figured early on in my pregnancy, since I wasn’t very affected by all the pregnancy symptoms people complain about (my hair texture/thickness didn’t even change, altho I think my skin actually got clearer thanks to a lack of PMS the past 10 months), that I could work until as close to the end of my pregnancy as I dared. Looking back, the worst of it all was just the nausea that my occasional not eating well induced in the first trimester (not that I ever threw up), and the current finger joint pain and upper abdominal pain (caused by Allie’s recent favorite places to lodge her foot while I was sleeping) I’d wake up with.

Until last nite. I’d been having random minor lower abdominal cramps, feeling like menstrual cramps. I would give it a 2 on the pain scale — annoying and distracting but not rising to any caliber where I’d even be concerned with it. But last nite as I tried to sleep, these cramps were persistent, strong, and joined by lower back pain. Half-awake, I thought to myself that if this continued, I wasn’t sure if I could make it to my last scheduled day of work in the morning. At some point, everything subsided and I fell easily into sleep until the morning. I did dream that I had these awful sensations at work and had to leave early. (I still think that if I have to deal with the stresses of work in my dreams, I oughta get overtime.) I remember saying to Mr. W in the midst of these cramps, “I think she’s coming this weekend, if not tomorrow.”

Yesterday at work, I was in the restroom and studied my engorged-looking tummy in the mirror. That old Ambrosia song popped into my head and I thought, looking at the giant bump, “…she IS the ‘Biggest Part of Me.’ ” I googled the lyrics, and yup, looks appropriate when you think about it being applied to my baby girl. I think this’ll be our song.


Sunrise, there’s a new sun arisin’
In your eyes, I can see a new horizon
Realize, that will keep me realizin’
You’re the biggest part of me

Stay the night, Need your lovin’ here beside me
Shine the light, Need you close enough to guide me
For all my life, I’ve been hopin’ you would find me
You’re the biggest part of me

Well, make a wish, baby
Well and I will make it come true
Make a list, baby
Of the things I’ll do for you
Ain’t no risk now
In lettin’ my love rain down on you
So we could wash away the past
So that we may start anew

Rainbow, risin’ over my shoulder
Love flows, gettin’ better as we’re older
All I know, all I want to do is hold her
She’s the life that breathes in me
Forever, got a feelin’ that forever
Together, we are gonna stay together
For better, for me there’s nothin’ better
You’re the biggest part of me


More than an easy feelin’
She brings joy to me
How can I tell you what it means to me
Flow like a lazy river
For an eternity
I’ve finally found someone who believes in me
And I’ll never leave

Oh, not to doubt now
Mmmm, make life grand


Beside me, need your lovin’ here beside me
To guide me, keep it close enough to guide me
Inside of me, from the fears that are inside of me
You’re the biggest part of me

Forever, got a feelin’ that forever
Together, we are gonna stay together
Forever, from now until forever
You’re the biggest part of me
You’re the life that breathes in me
You’re the biggest part of me

You changed my life
You made it right
And I’ll be a servant to you
For the rest of my life
You’re the biggest part of me

(she IS the life that breathes and hiccups in me, and I’m sure she’ll make me her servant for long to come. 🙂 )

A judge from my building, running into Mr. W: “Hey, I just saw your wife this morning. She’s looking pretty big. What is this, she gets married and lets herself go?” I work with goofballs.

I had my 38-week checkup with the OB Tuesday afternoon. Ultrasound revealed that Allie is still in the proper position — head down, laying on her side. Size looks good, the doctor still expects her to be within 7 lbs at due date. Good amount of amniotic fluid around her. Heartrate at approximately 130 bpm. My blood pressure looks good (105/70), and I’ve been steadily gaining about a pound a week so now I’m still right about at a 30-lb gain. Allie’s been active, altho now that there’s less room, there’s less nudging and more squirming. Often a foot will slide from my left upper ab to my right upper ab, and I’d get a hip check right under that. “Would you like me to check if you’re dilated?” he asked. Sure! I’m curious.

That manual check wasn’t comfortable. I involuntarily sputtered, “Ow!” He told me to take a deep breath and let it out slowly, and I did. It didn’t take long. So I’m 65%-70% effaced, but not dilated (normal to have only effacement first with a later dilation in first time pregnancies, he said). I asked him how he could tell the effacement by feel, and he said he could push up against the cervix and feel Allie’s head, and that her head is at -1 station. He said I’ve lost most of my mucus plug already, and that most women don’t lose it like a one-time plug falling out; they’d merely get thick discharge mixing into their already more frequent discharge. I’d expected to see some traces of blood when I lost my plug (which word, btw, is totally misleading), so I was a little surprised. He said some minor spotting is normal after a cervical check, but if I get blood-blood like a menstrual period, to call labor & delivery.
“You’re ahead of other women on a first pregnancy, but I’d still say to expect a due-date delivery. You can always have her early and prove me wrong,” he said with a smile. He offered to “sweep [my] membranes” at my next checkup (Nov 17) to encourage labor starting if I’d like. I actually don’t even expect to make that appointment, given what Rebecca has always said.

Rebecca, as of the evening after the appointment, still saw Allie arriving “around or by the 13th.”

I fell asleep early quite accidentally, but awoke around 9:30 p.m. thanks to a smack on the cheek delivered by Mr. W in his sleep. I felt some discharge leakage, which has become rather commonplace in my 3rd trimester. I wobbled to the restroom, which has also become very commonplace lately, especially after Allie made her 2nd drop this weekend. It looks like the rest of the mucus plug came out in that leakage. Nothing too exciting or different from what I had been discharging, except for the color being like that of old blood. I called out to Mr. W that the mucus plug came out, and he said groggily, “So what does that mean?”
“Nothing. Just that there’s some progress. And that Rebecca is more right than the doctor.” I soon heard snoring from the bedroom again. Meanwhile, I took a nice hot shower. I kept seeing the 10th in my head in my shower, so I thought I’d figure out what day that is. Thursday. My last day of work before scheduled maternity leave. I don’t expect any action anytime soon, so I hope to have an uneventful next few days at least until I’m off on maternity leave.

Cindy, age 6 or 7: Mom, is giving birth like pooping?
Cindy’s mom: What do you think?

I never got an answer from her. She proceeded to ignore me and my further inquiries, so I filed the question away in my “Things you’ll find out when you’re a grownup” mental drawer. (There was a lot of stuff in that drawer.) And now, the answer will come any day.

I did get two interesting birth perspectives from women who had given birth both with and without epidurals, though. My cousin Olivia had her first one naturally, and her second with an epidural. She was adamant in talking with me that I should hold off on the epidural. She said the first birth, albeit painful, wasn’t beyond unendurable. She was expecting the worst given what everyone told her about childbirth, but everything went fine and it wasn’t that bad. Her second birth, she felt pressured by the doctor or staff present to get the epidural, so before she knew it, she was getting it. It prolonged her labor so much compared to the first birth, and she had such difficulty feeling anything to push, and it so slowed her recovery time, that she’s now convinced that the epidural is a big medical scam exploiting the fear of women so that insurance companies can collect money for the use of extra meds and an anesthesiologist, when it’s completely unbeneficial to the labor process.

The second story came from Mr. W’s coworker. She had her first with an epidural, had always planned on getting another epidural for the second child’s birth but missed the window. She went into labor on New Year’s Eve, there were people over at her house so there was a delay in getting ready to leave for the hospital. Also, her husband was out in a loooong In-N-Out Burger drive-thru line when she finally called him to ask him to come back as she thinks the contractions were such that she ought to go into the hospital. But he was stuck with cars all around him, he couldn’t back out and couldn’t pull forward, so he waited thru the line. By the time he got home, the contractions were so close together that they decided they didn’t have time to get to the hospital they’d planned to birth at, they would go to a closer hospital. But they got lost going to the closer hospital, fought in the car the entire way arguing over where to exit on the freeway and where to turn, and by the time she was admitted, she had the baby half an hour later. She was stunned at how smooth the second childbirth was, how much shorter the recovery time was (days compared to weeks), she loved that she was able to get up and walk around shortly after giving birth, and was happy to not have the week-long back pain at the epidural site that she had with the first birth.

It’s gonna be interesting.

Today marks the first day that Rebecca said the baby might come. Hubby tried to get me to be more proactive in getting her out this weekend, trying to drag me on walks, getting me to sit on the birthing ball, etc. I’m more of the mind that I’m not totally ready for her to come yet, because my maternity leave doesn’t start until after 11/10, and there are still a few things pending in the courtroom I’d rather not leave for some random person to come in and mess up.

This weekend, we laundered all her washcloths, hooded towels, crib sheets, socks and 0-3 month clothes and I organized them and put them away (I organized and put away the larger clothes, too, but didn’t take the tags off in case exchanges would be needed in the future). Hopefully then I won’t have to do laundry the first few weeks we’re home from the hospital. I semi-packed for myself (and for her) for the hospital, Mr. W and I went out after work last week and bought all the essentials on our registry that we didn’t get as gifts from the showers (some coworker friends threw me a work shower on Halloween, photos forthcoming), and this weekend, those things were all set up and ready to go. The portable playard we got is a 6-in-one; what we need it for most immediately is the changer and cosleeper, so that was set up this weekend and placed next to my side of the bed. The cosleeper is at the perfect height for the bed, and we packed the pockets next to the changer with diapers, burp cloths, receiving blankets, etc. The changers, bassinet and cribs are now lined with waterproof liners under clean sheets. Her room’s been long-since done. I felt great about everything.

And then my parents came by to visit on Saturday and my mom had an endless stream of criticisms about how our house is not big enough for all the stuff we have and that we should return a ton of Allie’s clothes (received as gifts) and furniture (she thinks the crib, too big to fit in our room, is unnecessarily redundant with the playard/cosleeper currently in our room) and complained that we finally got the living room cleared up (we put the ottoman upstairs at the foot of our bed, mounted our flatscreen TV onto the wall, which cleared up a corner for the xmas tree) but then immediately cluttered it again with a tree that’s too big (our high ceilings provided for the 8′ tree Mr. W wanted for Allie’s first Christmas, and he had wanted to go taller, too, but the diameter of the base would be too big), she didn’t like the tree in the corner of the living room where the cutout for the windows are, she thought a giant tree should be in the center of the room, and I said that’d be a giant obstruction, and she said hence our living room is not big enough for a tree of that size, etc. I overheard the stepkidlet ask her if she’s excited about her first grandchild coming, and heard my mom respond, as she did at the baby shower that Ann threw a couple months ago, “Not really. It’s not MY baby.” (The stepkidlet responded, “Well, I’M excited.”) Then when Mr. W excitedly showed them our new soda making machine (so we can have carbonated water without drinking soda or buying flavored Perrier), my mom took a sip and said it tasted bad, not sweet like soda (that’s the point), and then Mr. W showed them the new Keurig coffee maker he got that uses those single-cup pods that are available everywhere, my mom said we buy too much unnecessary stuff. I think hubby’s “toys” (new acquisitions these couple of weeks include the xmas tree, Allie’s stuff, soda maker, pod coffee maker [but it cost $5 as a refurbished item he got thru a coworker’s connection] and an ultra-fancy coffee machine costing in the thousands retail being delivered today [which he paid half-price for]) are a little excessive, too, but we aren’t going broke, and they make him happy, cuz let’s face it, we aren’t gonna be splurging on much once Allie gets here. And I wouldn’t go around someone’s home where they’ve already purchased these things and rant about how everything isn’t worth the money or the space and should be returned. It wasn’t like I was trying to decide whether to get something and I asked for her opinion. Basically, the evening was once again an exercise in holding my tongue.

I didn’t intend to go off on a rant like this when I started this post, and the evening did get better. We treated my parents to French food for dinner and they really enjoyed the savory crepes and French onion soup (both of which they’d never had), and they had even agreed to try escargot, but for the first time that we were aware of, the restaurant ran out of escargot. 🙁

I keep having paranoia about, what if Allie’s relationship with me ends up being like my relationship with my mother? 🙁 🙁