Thursday, February 24, 2005

I cannot decide if I did this because
a.) pregnant women are deluded
b.) I felt like insulting my husband
c.) I had nothing better to do.

We joined a gym. Yes, in my 8th month of pregnancy, I went out and signed us up for a family membership at the Y, ostensibly so I can go swimming and Conor can take swimming lessons. I really wanted to swim my last pregnancy, because I thought it would be fun and relaxing, but never got around to it. Now if I combine that desire and an effort to stave off future guilt (for not spending enough time with him, for not taking him to classes/lessons, etc), I've signed Conor up for swim lessons. We start by getting into the pool together, and then he has his lesson.

There are three huge benefits to being pregnant in a bathing suit. First, it is absolutely useless to hold in your stomach. In fact, you get more mileage sticking it out. Second, you can't see your bikini line. Third, no one is looking at anything else aside from your stomach.

The downside is that you scare children and cause a ruckus getting in and out of the pool. One of the first days there, a little girl about 8 stopped me as I was walking to the pool and asked (in horror), "Are you going to have a baby?!" Yes, I am the poster-child for safe sex. The lifeguards hold their breath when they see me headed for the ladder and ask me when I'm going to pop. The locker room attendants at this YMCA are deaf, and I have learned the sign language for pregnant.

I can't blame anyone--I remember taking a swimming class in college, and a fellow student was pregnant. It was the first time I'd seen a real, live pregnant woman. Naked. I mean, I went to school before Demi Moore posed for Vanity Fair. (Hell, I was in college when St. Elmo's fire came out.) Anyway, I could not help but stare at her, especially as the semester progressed. By the end of the course, she was 8 months pregnant and she and I were excused from the final exam, which was swimming a mile. (I had conveniently broken my hand the night before.) I wasn't the only one, even the firemen stared. Oh, haven't you heard that story? One day, halfway through the semester, we show up for class and the locker rooms are empty. But we all dutifully change and go into the pool area, where there's a weird smoky smell. The swim team, who usually practice at the other end of the pool when we're having our class, aren't there. Neither is the diving team, who are usually hanging around the diving pool. But we see our workout written on the board, so we all get in the water and go to it. We finish (mostly) and it seems smokier, but who can tell? We get out and head for the locker rooms and while we're showing the firemen show up BECAUSE THE ROOF IS ON FIRE. (It had been smoldering for hours, hence the smoke, but no one told us.) They come bursting into the shower room in full regalia, including masks and oxygen tanks, and we are all standing there naked. Chaos reigns. They are trying to explain why we must leave immediately, but we are all too damn pissed off to exit immediately and most of us finish our showers and dry off before we leave.

But I digress.

How big am I? Check it out.

I have a 42" waist. I am big enough for the grocery store clerks to ask if I need help out to my car with the gallon of milk and bag of cheese puffs. I am big enough to need sustenance while grocery shopping (the other day I was eating an apple I brought from home while buying more food).

Thursday, February 17, 2005

I went to the oncologist yesterday for a checkup--it's probably the only place, other than an abortion clinic, where people whisper when they ask, "Are you pregnant?" But my doctor is quite positive, and when I asked (again) about anything to worry about during labor and delivery she assured me that I would be fine, that my cancer and treatment didn't put me in a high risk group. She then went on to explain what horror stories could happen if I had had radiation to the pelvis, and I am trying very hard to forget what she said.

I also had a trip to the OB, where I also got "advice" that I am trying hard to forget, mainly because it pisses me off. One of the three doctors in the practice was flipping through my chart, and asked why I was going for a VBAC. I explained that I was one of these women who's labor progresses slowly, and that with enough time I think I could deliver vaginally. She then suggested I watch my diet. I immediately got pissed, because watching my diet means seeing all the candy/crap that I eat become even more of a bad idea. She noted that my current weight gain is right on track, and my weight gain with Conor was also well within guidelines, but STILL SUGGESTED I EAT LESS SO I MIGHT HAVE A SMALLER BABY.

I still cannot believe she suggested that. I really, really, really hope she's not on duty when I deliver.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Light Reading

Two fun articles in the news. First, the obvious, and second, well, something has to be first!

"The federal government for the first time has placed X-rays...on its list of cancer-causing agents.... X-rays and gamma radiation -- used in medicine, the nuclear power industry and by the military -- were listed because they can cause leukemia and thyroid, breast and lung cancers, federal scientists said. "

Okay, who in this day and age thinks X-rays DON'T cause cancer? It's hard to believe they weren't there before. But there's more!

"X-rays to women in their reproductive years increase the risk of breast cancer, while childhood exposure is linked to an increased risk for leukemia and thyroid cancer, the report said. "

Great. Now I know how I got Hodgkin's--I was X-rayed in utero (I was breech, and much like they used to use fluoroscopes to determine shoe size, they used X-rays to see if babies would fit out.)

But it gets even better--someone has to disagree!

The American College of Radiology, which accredits radiologists, took umbrage at the addition of radiation to the list. James Borgstede, chairman of the board of chancellors, issued a statement saying that X-rays and gamma rays "do not belong on a list of substances that pose a risk to people in the course of their normal, daily lives. This report could lead patients to mistakenly believe that they are being placed at undue risk by undergoing a radiological procedure and cause many who may desperately need care to avoid seeking appropriate medical attention.''

Criminy jim-jims, how do these people sleep at night? Where, exactly, do X-rays and gamma rays fall in the "course of their normal, daily lives". I'd have to say nowhere, personally. Especially the daily part.

But enough fear mongering. No? Well, then you'll like how it ends. While noting that "Cancer is one of the most feared diseases in the United States", it states that "Among U.S. residents, 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women will develop cancer at some point in their lifetimes''

Another article points out that cancer is #1! And that's not new; it's just new to us because no one bothered to count. (See Jane Brody's explanation.) Check out the rest of the list.

"Cancer is the leading cause of death among women 40 through 79 and among men 60 through 79. The cancer society predicts that almost 1.4 million Americans will be diagnosed with some type of cancer other than common skin cancers and that more than 570,000 cancer patients will die this year. " And in case you wanted to know what cancers are killers, here they are! (I love the graphic--what, exactly, are the dots to represent?

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

I just received an offer to have pictures taken as I progress through my pregnancy. Now, I don't have many pregnancy photos from my first pregnancy--this one is a Polaroid of me a two days before Conor was born.

If I was to have a series taken, the pregnacy photos I'd like would be similar to this:

Now, I would be attempting to put on shoes or socks, not doing what this cat was doing because if I could do that, I wouldn't be pregnant now, would I? (I'd probably never leave the house.) But as I almost fell over today trying to get my socks on, it struck me that I either need to sit down to do it, or just stop wearing them.

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