Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Men of Science

There has been a lot going on around here (both in the physical world and in the internet world) that has nothing to do with preparing for a baby. Er, I guess in a way, it's the preparation of the birth of a different sort of baby. The first full-length album of Science Heroes was released today. 2.27.10 Transmission Zero Hour.

album design by PUNCH

If you're a friend of mine of FB or twitter, then you've no doubt already heard the lead up announcments to the release and tonight's big show. But in case you've missed's what's what.

The Register-Guard article appeared in this Friday's paper (shown below), the same article from the paper was posted online here, and with a full-length piece online here

On a side note, no one is credited for taking the photo, but in case you're was me, I was pregnant and stood on a ladder to get it. I'm proud.

If you're not already a follower of M.Christine Weber, check out her blog about the new album first and then peruse her previous posts for some much needed bookworm literary discussion and comic relief.

I highly recommend becoming a follower of Science Heroes on twitter, if you're in to that sort of thing, to stay up to date with all the interesting things they have planned for release throughout the upcoming months.

Otherwise, become a follower of their blog and find out everything you've ever wanted to know on their website:

Name your price and immediately download the album:

The show, with headliners The Slants, and opening band Archeology starts at 8:00P tonight, Saturday February 27th 2010 at The Muse Lounge in Eugene 21 W. Sixth Ave. No Cover. 21 and over.

Friday, February 26, 2010

These are definetly not the blues

I've become accustomed to replying that I feel great and this pregnancy has been super easy with not much for me to complain about whenever asked. And it's the truth. I know so many women that have experienced such discomfort and their bodies betraying them during pregnancy that I feel like the little things that I've endured have been nothing to talk about, much less whoa is me about.

But I want to make a list, mostly for posterity not to bring out my complaint list for whiny purposes, of the discomforts or difficulties I have experienced (even though in my book they are reasonable and quite few and far between).

1. The first time I threw up and blamed being pregnant - thinking 'oh no, if it's starting this early there's no telling how bad it's going to be' - I wasn't even pregnant.

2. The second time I threw up, I was on an airplane. That in and of itself was a story for the books, but I couldn't really blame pregnancy since the timing of our flights had made eating lunch impossible, and I drank a bubbly ginger on an empty stomach then experienced some hefty turbulence. My poor body didn't have a chance!

3. The third time (there were only 3, well technically 2, but you get the idea) I haphazardly opened the kitchen garbage with my face way too close and some rotting meat bones hit me square in the nose. I ran to the bathroom. Yes, there was an open trash can a foot in front of my face, and I still ran to the bathroom, that's how bad the smell was, I couldn't even throw up on top of it.

4. During my second trimester, as my baby grew and my hips spread, my sacrum would scream in pain. Sometimes it would hurt if I was sitting, sometimes if I was walking, sometimes if I was standing for too hurt whenever it darn well wanted to. But...with a little time spent on the yoga mat with the best dvd for pregnant women everywhere, the pain would disappear and I would feel good as new. (See my point? Nothing really to complain about when there's a solution for a fix.)

5. There were some spurts here and there, most notably the week of February 10th, when I was starving every 2 hours and felt like I was either making something to eat or eating something 24 hours a day. The most recent baby growth spurt was accompanied with crazy headaches. If there wasn't something in my stomach at the 2 hour mark, I would freak out because of the pain. But again, as long as I anticipated and had a counter attack in mind (namely food at the ready) then I was fine.

6. Lack of brain power. How could I forget this life altering one? Oh right, I don't have a quick memory like I used to. The first trimester was tough for one reason. My brain felt like mush. The worst symptom was short term memory loss. It wasn't that I sat there thinking, "I'm forgetting
something, what is it, what is it, what is it?!?" No. It was worse than that. I had NO idea I had forgotten anything NO IDEA. It was terrible. I would have a conversation, commit to doing something, and then completely forget and never do it. Bless the people in my life for not throwing me off a cliff. I wasn't the me that was awesome...but I adapted. When I figured it out I just began carrying a big stack of paper with me. I would write everything down with little boxes for checking things off next to each to do, or different color pens or highlighters making me aware of important names or phone numbers and I would read over my papers over and over again all day to make sure nothing was lost.

The first day about 3 months ago that I remembered our business EIN number off the top of my head the second after someone asked for it was like a dream come true. I spouted it off (then looked on my phone to double check that it was correct) and was so relieved that my memory was coming back. It's not 100%. But I'm working on it.

7. Sleep. I've never been a very good sleeper, as you all must know, until I began taking nightly doses of melatonin. Then I read that because melatonin isn't a drug it isn't approved or even tested for use during pregnancy and side affects are unknown to the developing fetus. So, naturally, I stopped taking it. Surprisingly, I've slept quite well without it and have developed better habits for sleep all around. Sure I had a few stretches where I would wake up three times during the night to pee. But three times isn't that bad. Sure I fought sleeping on my side cause I loved to sleep on my tummy - and did for as long as possible. Sure, I've been woken up by a very active baby in the wee hours of the morning, or because I am starving and need a snack. But so what? I don't think it's all that bad, but maybe that's just the insomniac in me talking.

8. The car. Car rides are becoming more difficult. And driving is the worst, there's this darn steering wheel in the way of me and getting out of the door. But, it's not that bad. Just a little uncomfortable and sometimes embarrassing when trying to exit the vehicle.

9. The hardest thing for me though has been the physical change in me - and the idea of your body betraying you. It's not that I'm super uncomfortable or that I can't do anything, I actually don't mind the very late state of pregnancy that I'm's actually pretty easy.

But I'm unable to accomplish the things I once could. I spent a day on set in December and by 8 hours in I couldn't get up from my chair because all my muscles were seizing from being over worked. I have to clean the house or organize things in little spurts, I can't just work for 3 hours straight and get it all done. If I exert myself for more than an hour, I'll most likely pay for it later with sore muscles. I am binding my tummy to help alleviate pressure on my uterine muscles and it's kind of obnoxious to have to do it. But I adapt, and then I can't complain, but I still can't wait for the day when the reason I can't get things done is cause I have a baby and not cause my body screams 'no'.

10. My relationships. I already miss that my friendships revolve more around my child then they do around the friendship, or shared interests. It's alright that Christmas brought gifts for me that were really gifts for the baby, I love that he is so loved.

But I talk so much about the baby, or baby things, or how I'm feeling because I'm pregnant, or if I'm prepared, or how I feel about the impending labor, that sometimes I just want to scream and talk about something else. I fear that all my conversations in the future will consist of stories about my child, or how my marriage is because of the addition, or about diapers or such things. I know there is a part of my past life that will never come back and I'm good with that, I think I just need to learn how to adapt to this in a way that doesn't mean I loose myself. I know I can. It will just take practice, and for me to have an ugly and dull kid so no one wants to talk about him...kidding.

Here's a get you ready preview of what we'll almost look like in less than a month (this is baby Atticus, born February 15th to our friends Tucker and Maricel).

Don't forget to place your bets on the last post...there could be a prize to win!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

It's time for some betting

Here are the facts:

Our original due date - March 22nd.
I've gained 15 lbs to date
Braxton-Hicks are in full swing, painful and doing 'something' down there
Our last ultrasound moved the due date up to March 14th

We're at 36's me

What's your guess, when will we meet the boy?

Bonus points for time, height and/or weight guesses.

I'd love to say the winner gets a prize, but I don't know what the prize will be yet or when you'd get it so don't play along for the prize, cause you may never get it.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Am I a mother?
part 3

I'd like to begin with a comment posted on Part 1 Stancie:

"Women who are pregnant with and responsible for the little life they carry - yet will not keep their baby are indeed mothers, though biological ones; but they will not be mothering the child after birth. And the woman who adopts a baby/child will become their mother when they begin mothering them and are responsible for caring for them after birth.
While I think both types are technically "mothers" with different roles and purposes - the one who raises, nurtures, teaches and loves a child is "the mother" of that child.

For someone who plays both roles (most women), I think the role and definition of "mother" takes on different meaning and responsibility once pregnancy ends and raising the child begins (mothering). So, while I think that a pregnant woman is "technically" a mother as soon as she conceives, I believe she "officially" becomes a (mothering) mother after she delivers and cares for and loves the child."

This is so right on with my attempt to explain my thoughts on becoming a mother. Whereas I distinguish between being a life source and being a mother, Stancie's distinguishing of being a mother verses the mothering that takes place when you become a parent speaks at the core to the same issue. So perhaps we can distinguish the role of a mother in two different ways: one mother as a life source, and one mother as a parent.

Where does that bring us? Can I get some feedback based on this assertion?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Am I a mother?
part 2

I received an email, I believe in response to this previous post
1) What is your definition of a mother
2) What do you believe a mother should or should not do?
3) What is the differences between your eating habits now vs when you were not pregnant? (other than your consumption of alcoholic beverages)
4) What does it look like to be a responsible pregnant woman (incubator)?

Well, since these are all things I'm working out in my conversations and blog posts, I figured posting my response here would help to clarify my thoughts to everyone out in internet land.

So, to answer somewhat simply, which I think may not do the questions or answers full goes

1. "What is your definition of a mother?"

I don't think the crux of my argument is determined by my definition of a mother as much as what my thoughts are on the role of a mother. I believe parents are the first people that define relationships to a child and I don't think this relationship begins at conception (this is not an abortion argument as my argument here is not about when life begins, rather it is about when the relationship begins.) I believe this relationship will begin upon my son's first breath, when he is cognitive and responsive to his surroundings, when he begins to equate his experiences with the world around him. Thus our relationship, and my role as his mother, begins at the same moment.

2. "What do you believe a mother should or should not do?"
This is a much weightier question. But I think in a nutshell...
I believe a mother's role in their child's life is to be a guide. To teach them morality, to seek knowledge and truth, and to protect them until they grow old enough to protect themselves.

I also believe it is not a mother's role to define their child, to live through their child, to give up their life and pursuits in the vein that their child's life is more important or of greater value than their own. With this in mind, I can not define my role right now as one of a mother. If I defined my role right now as a mother, than I would be creating expectations or ideas about our son before he has had an opportunity to show us who he is himself.

BUT, due to modern medicine, I felt for the first time a couple of weeks ago that I knew something about our son, a possible characteristic of his that will be shown to us after he is born. He slept during our ultrasound, with his fist up against his temple. It was the first moment that I felt I perhaps knew something about HIM. Not something I wanted from him, or something I conjured up about him from his reflexes, but something about him. Something that is unique to him, a habit perhaps, time will tell.

3. "What is the differences between your eating habits now vs when you were not pregnant?"

As far as I can tell this is in reference to my thoughts that I should not change my eating habits because I am someone's mother or incubator, I should change them for me, to be a healthier me, but also to provide an environment as an incubator that is healthier for the growing life inside me (since I feel that is the responsible thing to do given my current role).
My eating habits have changed dramatically over the past two years, not just since I became pregnant or began thinking of becoming pregnant. Some of the highlights:
Raw Milk
Organic fruit and veggies
no corn syrup
whole grains only - no refined flour, pasta or white rice
switching from being a vegetarian to eating seafood, chicken, turkey and beef
Eggs and meat with no hormones, antibiotics etc, not corn feed, if I can

Specifically in response to trying to get pregnant though, the differences include taking additional vitamins, including prenatal vitamins, a most notably a stricter adherence to no alcohol, no sugar, no refined flours, or second hand smoke.

p.s. I've officially gained negative 1.5 pounds since learning I was pregnant.

4. "What does it look like to be a responsible pregnant woman (incubator)?"

I think this is a personal decision made by each woman. My decisions were sparked much earlier than when I discovered I was pregnant, because I was planning and preparing to become pregnant, but that doesn't make it right or 'more' responsible. For some women this doesn't happen until after they learn they are pregnant, and for some this knowledge doesn't sway them to change anything about their lifestyle. Does this lead society to argue that if a woman does or doesn't make changes she is being a good or bad mother? Wait, that's a whole new can of worms isn't it?

So, that lead me to the idea of adoption or surrogacy. In these circumstances, who is the mother? Are both women the child's mother? Is one just a genetic donor and/or an incubator? Is the adopting mother more of a mother in some way? What makes one or both the child's mother? Are some mothers only mothers for 9 months?

I take the role of life source very, very seriously. The difficulty I find in defining this as the start of me being a 'mother' is because, as I stated previously, the concept I'm attempting to distinguish is more about my relationship with my son, the
roleI will play in his life as his mother verses the role I am playing now as his life source.

I don't want the idea that I'm cultivating to come across as me stating that I do not care for my child, when in reality I think this is the best way I can care for my child (meaning that our relationship will be defined by his birth not his conception).

I also don't think of being a mother as sacrificing a part of me. I think of it as a change in my life that I will learn to adapt to, without losing parts of me, which I believe is a healthier way to be a parent. Because if we all just lived to be parents and nothing else, then we would stop living and growing the moment we conceived...and then, I think, we would have a difficult time defining ourselves as anything different than a parent when our children grew up and moved on (which is a devastating time for a lot of parents, and perhaps topic for a different discussion on this subject).

This concept of distinguishing roles began long before I became pregnant, it began when we wrestled with the ideas behind
why we did or didn't want to become parents.
Some of the things I'm distinguishing are to me, not typically distinguished because they are societal norms, and I am perhaps just challenging us to look past what we're taught and seek a deeper understanding of what our role in our child's life could be.

I hope it's clear that I'm writing these things because I'm interested in working them out in preparation for the birth of our son. I'm not trying to challenge the role you may have in your child's life, I'm just seeking to be an active participant in the way I interact with my son, not just a reactive participant.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A simple request

If you know me at all, in any fashion in the real world, could you do me a favor? Could you help me out with a little confidence boost?

Let me explain.

As the months wind down into weeks, and soon days, I think of the birth and labor ahead of us with mixed feelings. I know it will be tough and painful, an endurance marathon, not a quick sprint, but I am confident that we can do it. More confident than I can express.

In preparing for that day, I think of the many strong women in my life that have labored ahead of me and birthed their children, whether it was natural, through c-section, or any combination of the way birth happens and of the husbands that have supported these women through hours and hours of labor, and they all inspire me. But as much as hearing other people's experiences and advice can assist in bringing confidence one way, hearing from people that know us and love us that we can do this, is a whole other confidence boost.

So I'm asking for your help. What do you know about us that will give us strength to labor and birth? What stories do you have to remind us that we are strong? What character traits do we exhibit that will carry us through the pain and long hours?

If you would take a moment to write down your thoughts or just make a list of things you see in us that will remind us we are strong and prepared and email them to me, I would be forever grateful.

eggandmandy [at] gmail [dot] com

Monday, February 8, 2010

Our last visit to California before two becomes three

34 weeks - in California

At the start of our 33rd week we were busy packing the cooler with frozen raw milk and snacks, loading up our bags and pillows, checking the oil and filling up the gas tank for our trip South to San Luis Obispo, thus, there is no 33 week photo.

The highlights of our trip:

1. all the time we were able to spend with both sides of the family
2. the fact that we only added 1.5 hours to our drive time on the way down, and only 1 hour on the way back - due to pee breaks and walking about
3. the blessing of a baby shower for our little Ant, complete with delish food and plenty of amazing women, and gifts, did I mention the gifts!
4. watching Andy hang out with our 5 year-old nephew and play G.I. Joes, which completely distracted me from taking a nap

It was during this time when Bridge loaded up a couple of GI Joe's into a spaceship (the Mario Cart Wii Wheel), flew by me as I lay on the couch, stopped for a moment, looked at me intently and said, "I like your hair Aunt Meg"

The low-lights of the trip:

1. the cold that hit me like a flu - without the fever - that took me out of commission for 3 days
2. the cancelled plans with family and friends, due to #1
3. the things I didn't get to check off my list of fun things to do, again, blame #1
4. cutting the trip a day short so I could get home and have an extra day to recoup before returning to real life

our other adventures:
1. Tess' water polo game
2. A visit with Cash
3. Sword fighting
4. Wrestling
5. Fabric shopping for the baby's quilt
6. lunch with Gramps 2 times
7. a visit from Yosemite with my brother and SIL
8. breakfast the morning we left with my mom, and inlaws

This is one of the kids that made me wonder what our boy will grow to be. He loves his Uncle Andy and his
Grandpa, it was so rad for me to see all week.

this is Cash - my brother's dog

After a week of much rest and a long drive, we left California behind and returned happily home to our little house to find our neighbor across the street still sporting her Christmas lights.
It's good to be back.