Earlier this spring, I found the Phil & Ted's Vibe double stroller on
major sale so I bought one. Many many people have this stroller and
LOVE it so I thought we would too.

And since it can be a single or a double we were likely to get years of
use out of the thing.

Only... it's so damn fancy and complicated that it scares me just a
bit. And in the end, I hate it. Sigh. It is Not For Us.

I can live with Not For Us when it costs $100 or less. But this thing?
Even with a very generous gift card from 2 friends, it still wasn't
exactly free.

The most annoying part is that I found the stroller that'll work best
for us with 2 kids. It's a shitload cheaper and a lot less fancy but oh
my, it's all things. Steers great, seats both kids in a seat that I
don't have to kill myself to put them into, trays for both kids and a
real seat for Val that converts to a bench if she wants to roll that
way. Because even at 3.5, Val adores riding in a stroller seat, much
moreso than when she was littler. She's about to have to share her room
and her life with this baby, I'm not going to make her give up her damn
stroller seat too.

So I think the fancypants stroller will soon find its way to craigslist
and the $100(ish) wonder (which, admittedly, is not of the same quality
as the fancypants Phil & Ted's) will find its way to our home.

Maybe you're thinking, but Val is 3.5, will you really need this for all
that long? I'm not sure but I'm not inclined to take away something she
really loves (and that keeps her contained in public places) before
she's ready. Plus, I do find myself out and about with Val many
afternoons, often in places where the stroller really comes in handy.

I just hate knowing that I really did pay too much for something that
just won't work for us. Sigh.


Well, That's A Relief

Here we are, in the final weeks (ever!) that I'll be pregnant. I'm only
up 22 lbs from my bloated, fertility-med-induced weight when we started
the IVF and unlike last time, I'm currently sporting a very round, yet
stealth baby belly.

it's kind of funny, because I don't totally look pregnant. Without
those extra pounds I had last time, I'm not swollen anywhere else except
the belly so I guess if you don't know or aren't looking for it, you
can't tell I'm knocked up.

Which is kind of okay with me because it's really limiting the number of
people touching my belly and asking me how I'm feeling. I'm also hiding
behind these giant non-maternity shirts, so that helps keep things under

I suppose this will lead to people who didn't know being all surprised
when we show up with a baby not too long from now.

This round belly has gotten even rounder the last week or so, pushing my
pants and shorts down so low that I'm questioning the ability of even my
giantest shirts to cover it.

But, the weather has been rather merciful to me. I've been able to wear
my beloved shorts almost every day I'm not working in the office. Let
us hope that the weather holds so I can keep sporting them until George


Val said to me, this is our last baby, right? You're done after this?
(I've been saying this all along so she's been hearing it for months.)

Yes, baby, that's right. We're only going to have two kids.

Val: no more surgeries? No more shots?

That's right sweetheart.

Val: mommy, that's good. I'm happy for you.

Me too, kiddo. Me too.


After all this time, I still can't quite grasp that our fertility
journey has ended. This is it. I never have to chart again, never have
to shove pro.gesterone (I say this like it rhymes with pepperoni) into
my lady bits, mix shots, take a cooler with a wide variety of fertility
meds on any trips, get a shot (or 7) in a hotel room or the firs.t aid
at disney.land, go for a wanding with the dildocam, get the results of
yet another negative beta, pay for yet more sperm that seemed to do
nothing but fail us, watch that stupid Rachel Ray on TV in the fertility
clinic waiting room, cry at yet another failed cycle or have to explain
to Val that once again, there's no baby in my tummy.


Reading the wise words of kate from http://www.sweetsalty.com/ on what giving birth really means, I'm thinking more and more about what happened with Val's birth. And of course, what I want for George's upcoming arrival.

Kate refers to this load of horseshit er, post. Essentially this self-righteous author claims that the only way to give birth correctly is her way. At home, with a midwife, all the while understanding that um, the most important moment of your life as a mother is the moment you give birth.

Wha? Surely you must be joking. Does this woman honestly think that motherhood spans only one day, only one series of rather painful moments? Seriously?

She insists that you "need a midwife" and with that sweeping statement makes it really clear than an OB is clearly some kind of shlub. Yeah, lady, the kind of shlub who used her skills and knowledge of modern medicine to do the c-section that saved Val's life and my own.

Were this lady correct, the only moment that defined us as mothers was the moment when I didn't fight my OB when she made that urgent suggestion. Or maybe it was when I asked for the epidural. In her eyes, those actions started me on the road to a Lesser Birth Experience.

Psst, there are no medals for labor. For any kind of labor. I hate to break it to you, and to the seriously self-righteous 'natural birth' community, but that's the truth.

She follows up by saying that if you MUST go to the hospital, you *need* a doula. Again, as if merely trusting the communication you have with your partner, trusting her ability to walk me through a painful experience isn't enough. As if everyone wants or needs to share this experience with a stranger.

Gee, no thanks. Maybe I'm just lucky and have a partner who knows me well enough to say yep, go ahead, when I asked for an epidural after 11 hours of nonstop contractions. Maybe I'm blessed enough to have a friend who cared enough to stay overnight with us and eventually, be the angel who brought our oh-so-wanted and loved daughter to my arms in the recovery room so I could meet her and hold her for the very first time.

Where, for the record, I beamed at Val and told her she could be a figure skater if she wanted to.

But all of those moments, they were part of a journey that will no doubt continue for the rest of my days. Because, um, being a mother, being a parent, is actually something you do for more than just the day the kid is born.

I guess this author just didn't get the memo on that. She's too busy feeling superior about the way she does things.

And what about other types of births? What about birthmothers who go into their child's birth knowing that they won't be parenting afterward? Do they really care about the fashion in which the child arrives, or are they thinking ahead to that heart-wrenching moment when they'll have to say goodbye?

And what of my own mother? She wasn't there for my birth, didn't know I'd been born and was making my way to her until the agency called to introduce us. By not experiencing the so-called miracle of childbirth, is her journey as a mother somehow less? That author seems to suggest so but I'd argue that it's not.

There's no one way to parent a child. And there are about a million variations on the ways to bring a child into the world. I don't understand why midwives and doulas like this author feel the need to preach one very narrow and hard-to-achieve truth about something that inherently has so damn many variables. Let alone where they get off, attempting to make women feel bad for having anything different.


Our big girl

Originally uploaded by gadgetgrrl
That's right, she tackled this ginormous climbing wall without fear. It took her a while and she got some help from the nice young man who worked there but eventually Val did make it to the top.

That's my girl!


Okay, so, since that seems to have worked, here's the real post.

Work: it's actually improved a lot. Which is weird because I'm still
not inclined to trust them. For now, I'm permitted to work from home
as much as I need to. This is a godsend because somehow, I have run
out of clothes that fit. I've resorted to something I'd normally
never do - bought pocketless sweatpants and started carrying a purse.

Look, we do what we have to do.

The first day I did this, I realized that I had no idea where my
meager collection of purses were. So I put my Critical Items into
Val's wee Tinkerbell purse and headed to Target to buy some
sub-quality pants for me.

'It's okay if you use my purse,' she told me. Thanks, kid. You are,
indeed, the best. She also insisted that the baby needed, had to have
a sleeper thing with snowmen on it. So we got that too. Because big
sisters are most certainly allowed to give little siblings a gift.
Especially when said big sister is about to have her world and her
room turned upside down.

In other clothing-related news, I actually wore out a bathing suit
with all my aquatic activities. Last week I broke down and shelled
out another $20 (even clicking buy 3 days before a 1-day coupon
would've been valid, thus missing out on an extra 30% off) for a new
suit that isn't so stretched out that it flaps up into my face during

Ahhh, the bliss. Add to that my glee of seeing the $86 original price
tag and I'm a happy girl in the pool right now. It's still cheaper to
have bought 2 plus-sized suits than one maternity suit. And I can use
this later, hopefully not for too terribly long, as I lose the weight/
regain my girlish figure.

That is a lot of text about a suit but consider this - water aerobics
is keeping me sane. It's also helping my weight gain stay at or close
to a reasonable amount.

The downside to this is that between the baby being bigger than Val
was at this point and me being smaller, I feel more pain when she
moves. Makes me suspect the kid will share my bony elbows as well.

This kid is head-down, something Val never did. The sensation of
hiccups directly over the working parts of my nether regions? Really
not that funny.

Another thing that's not so amusing was the sensation of a wee hand
poking my cervix. Fortunately, that was only once but man did I feel
like I was in the movie Alien

First off, the absence in posts is due to sk email being down. I
haven't logged into blogger in forever - not since my former employer
shut down the AIM client that was my lifeline during the day. Around
that same time, gmail magically added an in-browser AIM client so I
just stay logged in there all day.

How that connects to blogger is that I'm apparently too dumb/not
interested enough to figure out how to combine my blogger and gmail
accounts. So if I want to post from a browser, I'd have to log out of
gmail and well, by the time I go through all that, I've lost interest.

Which adds up to all of my posts coming to you via the sk, through
email. Which is down right now so I think I've got a workaround.

I think. In fact I'll try it now, then write my real post.