I opted for first pacing, then pacing and moaning, then settling into the main level where I slept for two hours, occasionally waking to find Hal's nose inches from mine. Around the time the sun started shining in the east-facing window, the cats decided to throw a rave and I was forced, tearfully, to warmer climes with secure, cat deterring doors and a scratchy mattress I now realize was not suitable for our recent house guest.
Eventually, when I knew I could behave myself, not squirm and moan and constantly, invasively reshuffle, I went back to the bedroom and caught some real, quality Zs.
I stayed in bed most of Saturday, saving my Tylenol consumption for an hour before I was scheduled for a relaxation massage. That way I'd be able to get there, get it done, and come home without losing my mind. Because that is as a fear: Losing my mind. Headaches hurt, friends. And they get in the way of, like, everything. Reading, writing Thank You notes, going to see your favorite band perform. At least twice I thought: What if I just let myself go. Just went a little crazy. Not too crazy. Just a little catatonic and pajama pants crazy. Would that be so wrong?
The massage, meanwhile, was a comedy sketch about massages. 1. I double checked to make sure they knew I was pregnant and that I was getting a massager with a preggo touch, but when I got there, they hadn't prepared by putting down a preg-belly friendly cushion. "I didn't realize you were going to be pregnant," said the girl, whose most noteworthy characteristic was a lack of confidence. "Have you ever given a massage to a pregnant woman?" I asked. "Yes," she said. "But in school we had special tables with cutouts for the belly."
She left and returned to the room with the proper preg cushions, but showed a lack of familiarity with using it. I tried it like this, I tried it like that. I stuffed my boobs into weird divots, then restuffed them into different divots. All while teetering on my belly, which was way too large for the cutouts. Just once it occurred to me that the rookie as being exposed to some terrifying preggo nipples. More like sandwich meat than anything that ever enjoyed even the most modest of feminine successes. "Ah, well," I thought. "She's a professional." Except in my mind I put quotation marks around the word "professional."
"You know what?" I said. "Let's just turn that 45 minute massage into a 20 minute chair massage and call it a day."
2. She seemed to think that I was going to go get a chair massage in the salon's lobby like some sort of animal. If I wanted a very public massage, I'd go to the mall like the rest of the human beings who crave human touch badly enough to have their shoulder blades kneaded in the corridor outside of Victoria Secret. My face must have telegraphed my thoughts because she quickly regrouped and told me she would bring the chair back to the massage-specific room.
Fun fact: The average chair massage chair does not accommodate a pregnant belly. But I readjusted this and that and it was game almost-comfortably on.
Still, this was no fix. I went into the experience expecting the well-oiled soothing touch of a professional who would wipe away my head pain. It worked, well, worked-ish, during my first trimester. What I got on Saturday was the dry-handed pinches of an uncertain newbie. She did something funky to my head that was a step in the right direction, but mostly I felt like I was part of a circle of virgin cheerleaders -- not those sassafrass, award-winning cheerleaders, but the default kind whose skirts look too long and Keds a size too big -- engaging half-assedly, not to be mistaken for homoerotically, in pre-game prep. I spent the entire walk to the checkout trying to reassure her and memorizing the layout of the salon because I believe this was our swan song. I'm breaking up with this place for good. It's not me; It's you. I gave you eight good years and now you've given me a ridiculous massage and no one will color my hair the color I want it.
Back at home, still with a headache, I decided my only option was to wrap Havarti Cheese in Lefse over and over and over again and to watch "Law & Order: SVU," which I didn't realize was the rapiest of rape shows until Chuck called uncle on the series and asked me to please find another brand of "Law & Order" to pair with my lefse.
In the wee hours of Sunday morning, Chuck jumped ship early for the Atomic Lounge knowing that my moans were going to keep him awake. I did some more pacing. I sat on the porch glider at 4 a.m. and once again considered going a little crazy, growing emaciated, carving poetry into my arm.
Later on Sunday I watched more "Law & Order: SVU" and ate more lefse and cried twice in pain before calling the Nurse Helpline, where they advised me to come in to the birthing unit.
They extracted blood and pee; they took my blood pressure and asked tens of questions. They found protein in my urine and decided I should stay overnight in case I have preeclampsia. Every three hours I pushed a call button and said "HELP MY HEAD HURTS SO BAD!" and they brought me drugs, which I washed down with glasses of water chilled with the tiny ice chips that are my current favorite food. They monitored the baby's heart beat and my contractions and checked the crypt, which remains crypt-like. I slept a grand total of about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, they've been collecting my urine in something the size of a gas can. My goal is to fill four of them, which HAS to be a record. Sometime after late night TV tonight they'll decide whether they should rip the baby from my body, or send me home.
A real screamer was born in the middle of the night. This baby just wailed and wailed and wailed and I thought about how cruel it is to take this poor defenseless human being, currently happily treading luke warm amniotic fluid, and squeeze it into the big chilly and cruel world. I had no idea babies could be that loud, that angry. At least not until they were denied car keys after the high school football game. ("BUT EVERYONE IS GOING TO SA-A-MMY'S FOR PEEE-EEE-EET-SA.")
Now my headache has dulled, my breakfast was kickass and MTV is showing a "Laguna Beach" marathon. My prediction is that I'll be released from here at about 11:30 p.m. with a prescription that barely works and sometime around July 24 I'll co-star in a C-section.
The "It's (Insert Day of Week) and I'm Boring" is a series that Jodi and I do to pay homage to the beauty of old-school blogging.