Lists, logistics, and cross-tabulations

Week 32: 8/20/07


Eight weeks left to go, the baby weighing in at a suspected (and right-on-target) 4 pounds, and a combination of more-things-to-do-than-I-ever-could in the remaining time and a deeply-felt shrug of the shoulders about this fact.

Don't tell any of the people I work with, but I'm starting not to care very much about my deadlines. It's strange, because I'm actually meeting the deadlines. But my increased bloodflow or hormone levels or sheer girth must be blunting the effect of my usual anxiety levels about work, because I'm taking the verrrrry long, philosophical view about such matters. "Will the world really suffer if it has to wait until Monday to receive this file?" "I really should get on the stick with that story--but ooh! Look! The crossword." "What do they want me to do--stay up all night to finish?!" It's like I'm a cross between the Buddha and Ted from Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure. (Or is it Bill?) The money? It will come. The business contacts? I will somehow salvage them. Meanwhile, it's time to stare into space for 15 minutes.

The idea of Aron's business trip to Ghana and Sierra Leone is still percolating, but not any closer to reality than it was last week. This is cautiously good news, because every second that goes by when the phone doesn't ring is a second closer to the end of August, at which point he's no longer available. I am trying not to hope too much, or think about it at all, really, since my superstitious self believes that as soon as I think it's not happening, it just might. And I also am trying to stay supportive of his going, in case that does come about.

That the trip is a possibility has made me more aware than ever of just how much Aron does around here, and what I'd have to do--or at least keep track of, so he can do it when he's home--if he were to go away for two weeks. And with this "c'est la vie" attitude of mine, who knows what I'd let fall by the wayside.

My daily list

With a bunch of competing projects going on at once, I've had to get serious about writing down what I need to do each day. There were a couple of days when I missed one of my iron supplements, so now that goes on the list, too. Because this is so fascinating to me in my reduced mental state, I will treat you to a daily log of all of the various pills and things I'm taking, along with their requirements:

  • Two fish oil caplets, for baby's omega-3s (which apparently this baby is not getting very much of, since Sylvia depleted my store in my last pregnancy) and for overall skin health.
  • A heaping spoonful of cold coconut oil, also for skin elasticity, if you hear what I'm saying. (Note: avoid eating a spoonful of cold coconut oil right before you lie down, especially if preceded by a big glass of orange juice. Yuck.)
  • Two iron supplements, not to be taken when calcium has been consumed an hour before of after; recommended with orange juice (note: not calcium-fortified orange juice) and a little something to eat (note: nothing with calcium in it).
  • Prenatal vitamin containing extra iron (and calcium).
  • Homeopathic iron remedy, to be taken 3 - 4 times a day with a "clean mouth"--i.e., nothing but water 15 minutes before or after.

I think that's it. I have to admit here that the homeopathic remedy doesn't always make the final cut--maybe once or twice a day, if I'm lucky. Coconut oil is number two to go. And as my midwife said, "If you aren't taking the iron supplements because you had a yogurt a half an hour ago, forget it. Take the iron."

I'm not complaining about the various vitamins and things I'm taking. I just don't always feel up to the task of coordinating them all. I need one of those daily vitamin dispensers, or better yet, a personal assistant to come deliver them to me at the appropriate moments with a glass of water.

Coordinating the future

While my head is mostly in the day-to-day, I'm also forcing myself to think about what our days will be like once the baby is here. (Or "comes out," which is the way Sylvia refers to it. "Did the baby come out today?" she'll ask when I pick her up at daycare, my huge belly notwithstanding.) This has meant trolling our local Craig's List for babysitters--all college students who are starting to look for steady gigs once school starts up again; making sense of their class schedules and how they line up with whatever mine might be; and calling their references.

Hearing from potential sitters about when they could watch the baby has forced me to figure out when I'd want the baby to be watched. What I've come up with, for now, is that when he or she is about 6 weeks old, I'd like someone to sit about nine hours a week--three hours per day Sylvia's at daycare. What will I do with those three hours? Hopefully not work; hopefully I'll stay true to my self-imposed promised three month maternity leave. I'm thinking I'll go to the gym; sleep; read; and if I really feel the need to be productive, write fiction.

I can't think any further down the line, about what I'll want or need after my maternity leave is up. I won't be going back to my current full-time-ish schedule, I'm sure, but some sort of hybrid that allows for me to nurse without losing my mind and nipple flesh with pumping, spend time with the children alone and together, make money, and feel like a member of society. You know, every modern mom's dream and purgatory-like reality of "having it all."

Whew. That was a concentrated bit of work. I'd better get back to my contemplation of the uneven line of paint around the molding.

Join writer Emily Bloch each week as she chronicles her pregnancy.