Archive for March, 2011

Mar 26 2011

short weekend links

Published by under follow the link chain,Writing

Only a couple this week… but hey, I wrote a thingy this week! rough first draft, but still. willpower for the win.

Tobias Buckell is smart about book piracy.

I’ve been reading this series and enjoying it: Key Conditions for Suspense, part 14, plot and story cycle

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Mar 20 2011

on-time weekend links

Published by under Life

mostly very bad pain week but enough breaks that I wrote a couple of blog posts. Hey words yay! Also, collected some links:

I’ve thought about doing a stint as a slush reader, after this whole reproduction thing is past. Here are some Confessions of a Slush Reader, useful for writers especially.

Having just been gifted with some classic Dr. Seuss for the new family arrival impending, I was delighted to see this link about fantastical taxidermy sculptures created by the talented Mr. Geisel.

Stephen King is a more honest rich man than expected

Funny comic that many artists will find amusing…

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Mar 18 2011

Pregnancy’s little scams: the hidden tenth month

Published by under symbiotic alien

Really, I’m good enough at math I should have spotted the discrepancy long ago. “Everyone knows” that gestation takes 9 months for humans. Everywhere you look you see that number quoted. You’ll also often see it phrased in terms of weeks, in which case it’s 38-40 weeks. Huh. 40 weeks doesn’t equal 9 months, 36 does. Again, should have seen it earlier…

But I didn’t until I got my little childbirth book from the OB. Inside it has chapters for all the pregnancy months, 1-9. I read through them, then turned the page to see the next chapter: Weeks 36-40, “Term” Month. What bloody scam to fool pregnant ladies is this?

But no, the hidden “term” or tenth month is one they tack onto the end when you’re already more than ready to be done, having housed your uterine lifeform for nine ridiculous months. Nine months, woohoo, get out of there already…wait, another 2-4 weeks? Until it’s really truly done? That’s just not nice.

In case it isn’t obvious, next week I start my “term” month. Grumble grumble… at this point it’s all fat deposits and lung development for my soon-to-be-evicted alien.

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Mar 16 2011

Missing my dog — evil squirrels

Published by under Tirma

Haven’t talked about my dog’s death at Thanksgiving much, but am hoping to get some posts written here and there about it. We’ll see!

During my many trips to the hot tub (one of the few partially effective pain treatments currently (sometimes) working, along with the Physical Therapy appointments and the pain meds), I’ve noticed over the past several days an increasing amount of small divots in the mulch covering the back yard. These freshly-turned shallow holes spawned the following two thoughts:

1) Obviously they are from squirrels burying their nut stash. I’ve seen similar divots before, though not usually in my yard;

and 2) There’s a reason we’ve never had squirrel deposits in our yard before — Tirma’s unceasing vigilance against the Squirrels Her Enemy ensured that.

I’ve reached the point where that’s an amusing and bittersweet thought rather than a totally sad one.

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Mar 15 2011

random fetal (and host mother) update

Would have been more logical to be doing these along the way, but that’s massive pain and no sleep for you — enemy of logic.

Last ultrasound was today. The baby is still a girl, and still growing normally, in the 64th percentile at 5 pounds 5 ounces and 34 weeks (6 weeks to go, due date still on or around 4/28/11). Her head has dropped low enough in the pelvis the OB couldn’t get an accurate measurement of that part, but the rest is normal, including amniotic fluid and placenta positioning. Otherwise she’s already filling up the available space and is much more chubby-baby round than the last ultrasound. She’s also just as active as she’s been since the 4th month — if fetal activity is any indication of later energy levels, we’ll have a dancer or other athlete for sure.

This was worth double-checking on because I as the host have lost 8 pounds in 4 weeks. (Due to the massive stress from the pain and loss of sleep.) I don’t think I’ve ever lost weight that quickly when non-pregnant (though it’s true I’ve never been one for dieting either). I’m now on a high-everything diet — high fat, high carbs, high protein. Basically as much food as we can cram into me, which is complicated by the fact that excessive pain makes me not want to eat. The OB remarked with amusement that it’s the opposite of the advice he normally has to give expectant mothers at this stage who are usually gaining more weight than necessary.

The hip pain looked as if it might improve as of a couple of weeks ago, but this past week has brought a fresh hell as one of the nerves went from agitated to actually pinched. I’ve never not had a reflex response before (none in the right ankle 7 days ago, none in both ankles as of 2 days ago). It’s rather disconcerting to watch/not-feel. My sleep duration had been holding steadily at 1.5 to 2 hours at a time, up until this past week where it dropped back down to 30 minutes-1.25 hours at a time. I also stopped being able to sleep on either side, so spent a frantic few nights getting no real sleep at all.

I have to go back in for an extended glucose test including fasting because my original reading was off. I can’t imagine why — you mean a diet of no sleep and excruciating constant pain throws off other body systems too? Go figure. This is complicated by the fact that the aforementioned issues make it so if I go longer than 4 hours without eating SOMEthing, I throw up. I’m just going to have to wait for a relatively low-pain day and do my best, but an 11-hour fast sounds really daunting.

My blood pressure is fine. So that’s good, anyway. And really, if the hip issue wasn’t happening, I’d barely notice the pregnancy. She’s a good alien parasite, all around.

A fresh session this week with the PT took the edge off the hammering agony, and I tried out an experiment last night sleeping semi-propped up with pillows immobilizing my legs and hips in as aligned a position as possible. This resulted in 4 sleep sessions of an hour or longer each, which is a vast improvement and why you’re getting a blog entry today! Hopefully this will continue to work, I don’t like sleeping in that position but I do like sleeping, so that’s what I get for now.

After discussing options with the OB we are trying a referral to one more pain specialist who might be more willing to work with pregnant women, and keeping me on the pain meds for now since that’s the only way I get to fall asleep (or to do much of anything else except sit around and cry). We discussed how to manage the baby’s needs if I have to stay on pain meds through to birthing, though obviously if we find something else that works I’ll go off them ahead of time. We also discussed trying melatonin instead of a prescribed sleep medication to see if that will help sleep duration at all. Since there’s no guarantee that the scrip-meds will improve sleep duration significantly so I decided it wasn’t worth the risk at this time. This OB doesn’t do water births which is the most recommended method for this hip/pelvic condition, so we’ll be researching to see if we have affordable options along these lines elsewhere.

Still no name picked out, Nathan is working through the long-list to categorize his preferences, and then we’ll winnow down from there. I suspect by this weekend we’ll have at least a short-list to work from. We’ve had several votes to keep her fetal name (“Wednesday”) as a middle name so that’s under strong consideration, hehe. We want to do something similar to the Nielsen Haydens for the last name and give her both of ours (non-hyphenated). Order of last names will be determined by what sounds best with the rest of the name, of course.

Got a very nice compliment from a friend, that in her opinion of all the friends she had that were or had recently bred, we were the only couple she was sure wouldn’t totally screw up our child. Yay vote of confidence!

So that’s the State of the Impending Baby. Most of my day is spent in pain management, but on good days like today I can get two or even three things done! Today’s chores include breakfast-making, OB appt (and other errands), and grocery shopping. Right now I’m having to be chauffeured around since the pinched nerve makes it fairly unsafe for me to drive. This is no more fun a limitation than it was last year when I was sick. Oh, and 9 more days until my not-dead anniversary!

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Mar 12 2011

hobbled weekend links

A rather scientific look at current facets of the publishing industry.

Interesting Supreme Court decision on the same-sex marriage argument.

Cyborg brains!

Amanda Hocking’s own words on her recent rise to e-fame — nicely balanced

Interesting feminism interview

New tech helps reduce pain for certain cancer treatments

And one on analyzing aspects of polyamory — long but reasonably sane-sounding

Abstract art? No, a map of the history of science fiction

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Mar 11 2011

Pregnancy Public Service Announcement

Published by under symbiotic alien

For all of my friends and readers sane enough to have not yet reproduced:

If you are more flexible than the average human, you are at a greatly increased risk of moderate to severe hip pain for some or all of the later half of your pregnancy. This seems to be the main underlying cause of the relaxin loosening up the joints too much during gestation.

This should be taken under strong consideration when deciding whether to reproduce. Trust me on this one. While I’ve been assured (and why would this be reassuring??) that I’m a special medical snowflake (again??) on the end of the bell curve in this situation, even a step or two down from this level of pain would be no picnic for someone to get through, not to mention the destabilizing dislocation of the hip affecting mobility in the extreme. So dancers, gymnasts, yogis, and other flexible gals, ‘ware your joints when deciding to spawn!

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