Monday, February 11, 2008

Birthday gifts

I have to post today, if only to see "February 11" at the top of my blog. It feels like my day, even if I share it with roughly one in 365 people -- including a coworker, DH's cousin, two sorority sisters, Lisa's brand new son Zach, Jennifer Anniston, Cheryl Crow, Leslie Nielson, and my personal favorite, Burt Reynolds. Happy birthday, Mr. Reynolds and everyone else luckily enough to be born on 2-11!

After having some birthday duds for the past few years, I am feeling enthusiastic about this one. Contributing factors include: my annual birthday dinner at The Melting Pot on Saturday, the limited-time-only apple-sized Hershey's Kiss that I got to gnaw on all day (a benefit of being born near Valentine's Day), and the chocolate-covered Donettes I had for breakfast. But I am especially grateful for three gifts this year, none of which have to do with gorging myself on yummy food.

Full term. My weekly pregnancy email informed me that today at exactly 37 weeks I am officially full term. Bean's lungs are developed, and we expect no problems if he joins the world now. I realize we still have many hurdles before we can pronounce Bean a healthy newborn, but it certainly feels good to have gotten this far. Happy birthday to me!

Milestones. For those of us who struggle with TTC (trying to conceive), milestones are particularly cruel. Most of us are unaware of our future IF diagnosis, and we naively begin TTC with the same blind hope as our fertile counterparts. As soon as we pull the goalie, our female minds rush ahead with enthusiasm, checking the calendar for upcoming occassions when we'll proudly be able to display our burgeoning bellies: the holiday, the birthday party, the graduation, the vacation, the wedding, the birth of our pregnant friend's baby, etc. We're not sure exactly when we'll get pregnant, we know it may take a few months, but we giddily imagine the adorable dress we'll purchase at the maternity botique downtown. Then, either with the sudden force of a PCOS or endometriosis or MFI diagnosis, or the irritatingly slow passage of fruitless months/years inherent in an "unexplained" diagnosis, our world begins to change. That wedding? If we need a new dress, it's because the fertility meds we are on cause us to bloat up like a Macy's parade float. That friend's baby? It seems like he'll be learning to drive before we need to purchase a nursing bra. Each milestone that we once eagerly anticipated becomes a painful reminder of dreams (and wombs) unfulfilled. I had a particular distaste for birthdays while awaiting my double lines, but today I can finally celebrate. So what if I'm too huge to fit into that cute maternity dress -- I'll take my victories where I can.

DH. Maybe it's my hormones continuing to rage dangerously out of control (I feel them building up more as my due date approaches), but I have been feeling especially sentimental toward DH lately. As we were holding hands driving to The Melting Pot on Saturday, I had a flashback of my 17th birthday. DH bought me a Mr. Big CD because I was obsessed with the song "To Be With You" -- although looking back I can't fathom why, good song as it may be. Anyway, I remember us sitting in the backseat of my parents' car, holding hands and grinning happily while they drove us all to Macaroni Grill. Back then, I could not have forseen what the future would hold for us, but I did know that I had quite a catch in the seat next to me, and I loved him with all the capability of my 17-year-old heart. Now 11 years later, he has proven to be even more incredible than I could have imagined. I am monumentally blessed and lucky that he is still here to hold my hand, and even when there is a toddler swinging his arms and giggling in between us, I'll love him with all the capability of my heart.

What's on the agenda this week, other than sappy tributes to my DH?

Hopefully a trip to Bellevue Square, which is my new favorite mall. I can hardly afford anything there, but DH got me a gift card for my birthday. The Gates family lives nearby, and I wonder which came first: Melinda, or the really expensive fabulous mall? It's the affluent chicken and the golden egg. All I know is that if I had as much money as they have, I would definitely live near the most fabulous mall ever, even if I had to have it physically relocated.

We are still awaiting the arrival of Bean's crib and dresser. The mountain passes into the city have been closed due to avalanches, so the truck has been delayed. I'm not sure which bothers me more, the fact that our furniture is late or the fact that we live in a place where there are avalanches on the highway. Adding to my misgivings, when we drove to the accountant's office on Saturday to drop off tax info, we passed two signs that said: "Volcano Evacuation Route" with arrows pointing to apparent safety. If I ever need to use those signs, I will be VERY pissed.

Tomorrow DH and I will each attend a class at the birthing center: Breastfeeding and Conscious Fathering. I would prefer to attend the fathering class myself, but I'm guessing DH will insist on taking that one, so I'll be stuck learning how to get in touch with my inner cow. This childbirth thing is so unfair. At least he won't be able to claim ignorance on proper diaper changing procedures. Me, on the other hand...

As a side note, you may have noticed that my profile at the top right has been replaced by "Contributors." I granted blog access to my friend Mary so that she can post an update when I go into labor and Bean is born. There is no Internet connection available at the birthing center and we are too cheap (and out-of-touch, let's admit it) to add text messaging to our phone plan, so Mary has graciously offered to be my connection to the blogosphere until I am happily reunited with my computer a few days later. I know you miss the adorable thumbnail pic of Evey Louise, and so do I. But in the meantime, you can link to pics of Mary's twins for your cuteness fix.


Jen said...

I bet you are also grateful for not having gestational diabetes given the number of times you've mentioned chocolate lately, LOL!

Anonymous said...

Happy, Happy Birthday Christine! I hope your day was special. :)

xavier2001 said...

Happy Birthday girlie!!

Why is you can make me laugh and cry all at the same time. I was moved by your 3 things to be grateful for and laughing out loud picturing you getting in touch with your inner cow!

And I'm honored to be the one to keep everyone updated, now you just need to go into labor!!!! Well I guess you better wait on the furniture first!

Kathy V said...

Happy Birthday! I am sorry that the delivery of the furniture has been delayed because of an avalanche. THat volcano thing could be kind of scary too. Glad that your birthday is going well. Have fun shopping.

By the way, I haven't forgot about the promised picture of the incredible pants. I have to go to my parents house and snoop around in a big box of pictures.

John Holly Levi & Faith said...

This was so great. You explained infertility perfectly. And your tribute to your husband was so sweet.

Happy Late birthday! I feel horrible for not mentioning it sooner! I'm sort of behind in my computer world and staying up late tonight trying to catch up! Faith has been sort of tricky lately and always wanting her mommy.