Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Pressure, Scraps, Deedee and Friends

Slow day… Thankfully. Waking up in the mornings is becoming quite a heavy burden… literally. The weight of the baby is evident each time I move sideways. Sleeping on the right side leaves me with a dormant leg for almost half an hour. Sleeping on the left side although is the recommended position, is quite uncomfortable for me. Sleeping on my back leaves me with no air as the baby pushes herself upwards. Lately the viable solution is to go seat on the couch, which has been previously filled with pillows… And then the neck gets strained. Neverending story… Going upstairs is becoming more than a nuisance… I get to the first step and look up, and all I can do is sight and go step by step, one by one, slowly, so I make certain I don’t slip if it is wet. Reaching the upper floor deserves a standing ovation… The mage (and everyone else, as a matter of fact) is enjoying watching my “penguin walk”… yes, it looks funny… Feeling the pressure of the head in the lower abdomen is not a funny matter, though… Mostly it is that pressure that makes me completely uncomfortable and grouchy. I need to walk around and stand in order to do things, and now I’m forced to stay seated or laying back… Everything is a mess and how can I put things together without balance and strength? Yes, everything is VERY frustrating.

Got some scrapbooking papers and stuff so I know I’ll be very entertained at home for those 3 months I should stay confined. I received the bundle of wedding pictures, which also have the honeymoon pics and some other pics of the travels around the isle. I should put most pregnancy pics together so I send them to the photo place as soon as possible, so I can do the beginning of the baby scrapbook beginning with the ultrasounds. Been collecting ideas, gotta do some journaling so I don’t forget some details and so I know exactly what should go where… It will be fun keeping track of all the firsts after Deirdre is born… the arrival home, first Halloween (VERY important!), first Thanksgiving, first Xmas… and all the other firsts that are corny but cute.

Deirdre is moving a lot, side to side. On the last visit to the doctor I was quite blah and sad thanks to everything that has been going on… but the doctor has a nice empathy and says things that fits the picture to perfection even if he has no idea of what the problems are. Yes, only God keeps promises and is always there unconditionally. He mentioned he expects the birthing to be without complications… hopefully a Cesarean will be avoided, if things keep normal. Deirdre is in the right position, and I have turned out quite stable. If there are no hidden surprises, piece of cake… sort of… My diabetes has me nervous, but I know everything is under control. I’ve followed the rules… and strayed only occasionally. From 218 I went down to 213 when I began the nutritionist diet, and then have gained weight appropriately until now, that I am at 228. Fifteen pounds so far… Not bad at all. Now I should try to take care and not let it go any further, so things keep on in control… It’s just that and moving is such a hassle! I don’t get how women let themselves blow up 30-40 pounds!

Started grouping all the things we’ll need at the hospital. Baby stuff is ready, and mommy’s stuff is almost ready. I’m so minimalistic, but I don’t envision an expedition. I trust it will be two days at the hospital, to say the most. Will keep the pillow and the warm and cozy comforter close at hand in the car… I cannot be without a comforter. Need to figure out how the breast pump works so it won’t be another on-the-spot nuisance.

I’m very happy with all the stuff that was gathered for Deirdre one way or the other. I was worried about not having been able to buy her anything, but between the baby showers and what the failed committee got, it all is more than enough. Yes, it is all very pink (and I hope that in the end it is not a boy or he’ll have some mild pinkish trauma! LOL), but both the used clothing and the new items are perfect. I see most things as commodities, I only expected being able to cover the basics. People have been very generous, to my surprise. The only things that are left to be found are a cradle and a changing table, but that is not disturbing me. Right now, I have very little space and I know Deirdre will be staying in our room until Xmas. If the cradle doesn’t appear, I’ll just get a twin bed and fence it up. I think that in the long run it is the best decision so money is spent wisely. I hope that the windows-A/C-bath are done soon enough, to at least do something to the designated growing up room… Feng-shui should be followed… And the kitties shall be free one month from now. I’ll figure out what to do with the room’s décor… May give some wooden planks to Groundel so he draws the cartoons I may need for that endeavour… I like murals, but should keep things changeable simply because I like so many different things… StrawberryShortcake, HK, Skelanimals, CareBears, RaggedyAnn… Wooden planks will make decorating easier. Gotta put up the closet, another project for the mage.

Things will never be perfect, but they can always become bearable. For me it is the people who works that magic, not the possessions. Somehow that small thing gets lost in translation whenever people try pleasing me in any way. I don’t care about expensive gifts, I don’t care about the razzle-dazzle. I care about warmth and feelings and presence and creating special memories. I care about traditions and values. For someone who is such an anti-social loner, I like being around some special people just because. I don’t understand why if I can make the time to do so, most simply won’t do the same. I understand the haste of today’s living, but… there must always be time to roast marshmallows… there must always be time to watch a sunset… Throughout the years, I’ve watched how things have changed so much all around me. I recall friends meeting friends in a weekly basis, to share joys and woes… and it didn’t matter if there was pizza or just bread and water. Distance should not be an excuse... this is an island. We are close no matter where we are. Family should not be an excuse… Friends are the family you choose through your lifetime, for better or for worst. I don’t understand why small things destroy such special bonds… small stupid things that could be fixed with such ease…

I have always had an alien view of reality… The more years that people know me, the less they pay attention to who I am, to what matters the most for me. The surface seems so unstable… so rippled… But I am as I have always been. My dreams have not changed that much. My belief in my friends have not changed that much. I understand many things about all the people that I care for, and most of the times it seems I’m the only one who sees all that they are capable of achieving. I’ve always been the silent watcher. From the shadows I see everything… and I may even make some miracles happen, just because… getting no credit for them, but plenty of joy simply because I made things happen… Always the human guardian angel of those I love the most. And even if disappointment breaks me, I know more than just to take things lightly or as an absolute. How can I go through life being heartbroken? The phoenix brings strength and hope simply by existing. It is immortal simply by letting its passion consume it... so it’s reborn. And as such, I am. Maybe someday those around me will see me as I really am, instead of assuming or judging based on what they perceive as the truth about the witch… Maybe someday they will learn to read the truth from the blood, from the depths… from the reins zenith… As it should be. In the meanwhile… I’ll just keep the wishful thoughts of dreaming of knights and courage and loyalty and faith. Hopefully some of it will stick in Deirdre's subcontious...


Monday, July 30, 2007

WEEK 36... and two days...

Here's the penguin showing off the belly... Enjoy!

(info from www.whattoexpect.com)

BODY: Pregnant Walk or Waddle
Welcome to your last month of pregnancy! By now, you're definitely looking the part of a nearly full-term pregnant women (wide load, coming through), but are you walking the part? Do you have that telltale stride, the penguin waddle that many third-trimester moms-to-be seem to affect? The pregnant waddle is not in your imagination, it's in your connective tissue. Those persistent pregnancy hormones (when will they leave you alone?) cause the connective tissue in your body to soften and loosen. And that's particularly important now that you're nearing D-day (delivery day). Your baby — who's grown quite large by this point — needs to squeeze through your pelvic bones, so it's a good thing that they're more flexible now. The downside to all this joint flexibility (besides the resemblance you now bear to your feathered friends up north) is discomfort in your pelvis and hip. Add the pressure from your baby's head (burrowing deeper and deeper into your pelvis now) and your heavier uterus weighing you down, and it's no wonder it's a pain to walk around these days. To relieve the pain, relax with your hips elevated, do some pelvic exercises, take warm baths, apply warm compresses, get a massage, or try some complementary and alternative therapies. A belly sling may be helpful, too. There is a happy upshot to all this pelvic discomfort, believe it or not. As your baby drops into your pelvic cavity (and keep in mind that not all babies drop before labor begins), the upward pressure of the uterus on your diaphragm is relieved. Once this "lightening" (as it's known in the pregnancy business) strikes, you'll be able to take bigger and deeper breaths. Your stomach also won't be so squished anymore, making eating a full meal more comfortable.

BABY: Skulls and Bones
Your baby's skull isn't the only soft structure in his or her little body. Most of your baby's bones and cartilage are quite soft as well (they'll harden over the first few years of life) — allowing for an easier journey as your baby squeezes through the birth canal at delivery (and less prodding and poking for Mom along the way). The skull bones are also not fused together yet so that the head can easily (well, relatively easily) maneuver through the birth canal. So your little bruiser (who you've now learned won't be bruising you all that much with those soft bones) is now about six pounds in weight and measures slightly more than 20 inches in length. Growth will experience a slowdown now, both so your baby will be able to fit the narrow passageway to the outside and also so he or she can store up all the energy needed for delivery. By now, many of your baby's systems are pretty mature, at least in baby terms — and just about ready for life on the outside. Blood circulation, for instance, has been perfected and your baby's immune system has matured enough to protect him or her from infections outside the womb. Other systems, however, still need a few finishing touches. Once such notable example: digestion — which actually won't be fully mature until sometime after birth. Why's that? Inside his or her little gestational cocoon, your baby has relied on the umbilical cord for nutrition, meaning that the digestive system — though developed — hasn't been operational. So your baby will take the first year or two to bring that system up to speed.

EXTRA: Ten Ways to Banish the Heartburn
It's that last stretch of pregnancy, when you can almost see the finish line — and it seems like your heartburn wants to stay with you every step of the way. Nearly half of your expectant running mates have also been feeling your pain — probably for most of their pregnancies — and with good reason. Among the smooth muscles that are loosening and relaxing under the strict orders of your hormonal regime is that ring of muscle that separates the esophagus from the stomach. When this muscle loosens, the harsh digestive juices from your tummy back up into your esophagus. The stomach acids irritate the sensitive esophageal lining (right around where your heart is, though it has nothing to do with your heart), creating that searing pain. Luckily, there are some steps you can take to put the fire out:
1. Sit up and take notice. Make sure to sit upright while eating — and stay that way for a couple of hours after you eat. Lying down, slouching, slumping, and stooping will do you in. And when you have to bend, do it with your knees instead of at your waist (or you'll send all that acid for a repeat ride up your esophagus).
2. Chew it over. Do your body a favor and eat slowly. Chewing is the first step in the digestive process, but the one that's most often neglected when eating's done on the run. The more you chew, the less work your stomach has to do. Another chew that's good for you: Chewing sugarless gum will increase saliva, which can help neutralize acid in the esophagus. And while you're at it, leave stress off the menu — anxious eating compounds digestive distresses of all kinds, including heartburn.
3. Catch the early bird special. Not to save money — but to save yourself heartburn. Whether you're eating at home or out, take your last big meal at least two hours before bedtime so your stomach can get started on digestion before you lie down for the night. (A before-bed snack is fine, so long as it's light and easy to digest.)
4. Break it up. Better still, skip those big meals altogether — six small meals are the pregnancy solution to just about whatever ails you, from heartburn to bloating to lagging energy level, you name it.
5. Think loose and flowing. No matter how voluptuous your upper curves make you feel, if you have heartburn, now is not the time to wear anything that Pamela Anderson might favor — tight clothes just fuel the burn.
6. Don't play with matches. Some things are sure to light your heartburn fire. Just say no to highly seasoned spicy food, caffeine (this also relaxes the esophageal valve), alcohol (which is off the menu anyway), greasy foods of all kinds, and too much citrus. (If OJ gives you trouble, water it down a bit — or buy a low acid variety.) Peppermint turns up the burn in some women, but not all.
7. Hold your head up. Sleeping with your head elevated about six inches can keep the burn from waking you up.
8. Keep it down. Extra pounds can make heartburn extra worse. Try to stay within the 25-to-35-pound recommended weight gain.
9. Raise your hand. Ask your practitioner whether he or she has a preference for an over-the-counter antacid or whether you need prescription strength. As you've probably already figured out, taking Tums or Rolaids is a great way to ban the burn while boosting your calcium intake.
10. Feel like a natural woman. If you want to avoid over-the-counter antacids, you can try the following popular folk remedies: Papaya (fresh or dried, you can also ask your practitioner about the safety of using chewable papaya enzymes. You can find these in health-food stores.) Almonds (Good for calcium as well as being a stomach settler) A tablespoon of honey in warm milk (Yummy and relaxing. Some say all dairy helps, and others say the opposite. At the very least you'll get in your calcium.)

LOOKING GOOD: Hair's the Truth
Has pregnancy weight found its way to your face? Of course it has. A great way to achieve that elusive illusion of slimness is to start with your hair. Up-dos create a slimming effect by giving you instant height, so pull your hair into a high ponytail or simply twist your locks into a high knot and fasten with a barrette. Another way to add height to your look — while subtracting width from your face: Use a volumizing gel at the roots of your hair and then blowdry, lifting the roots with a brush as you go. Avoid middle parts, which round your face even more, opt for a side part instead — and steer clear of blunt bangs (have them cut into wispy lengths or angled for a slimmer look).

EXTRA: Breathe Easy
Chances are you'll never have to use this skill, but knowing how to perform CPR on your newborn — and later as he or she grows into a risk-taking toddler — is just plain smart. There are plenty of classes out there, including low- or no-cost options at your YMCA, hospital, community center, or local chapters of the American Red Cross or American Heart Association. (Your childbirth education class might even include baby CPR in its curriculum.) Another option — and a potentially fun one at that: Throw a CPR party at home, which allows you to share childcare resources (and appetizers) with other new parents. Whichever class you choose, make sure you find a certified instructor (ask your practitioner for a referral) who comes equipped with her own "bogus babies."

DAD: Stay In Touch
Keep your cell phone and/or pager charged up and turned on at all times. At the gym, keep it nearby on a towel or on top of your kit bag — you might not hear it ring if it's buried under your sweat socks. Alert your buddies and co-workers to the fact that you need to know if your phone rings when you're in the john. Start thinking ahead to D-day, and plan your work schedule with it in mind. Let your boss know that you'll need to stick close to home during this last month — just in case. And speaking of planning your work schedule — if you haven't put in for some post-delivery time off yet, now's the time. down on all fours to practice those first-aid breaths with your belly in the way!)

DAD: Location, Location, Location
By now it's crossed your mind that your baby's birth could be one of those dramatic roadside deliveries in the backseat, attended by a traffic cop, covered by the 11 o'clock news. Prepare for that possibility (as remote as it is), but also prepare so that it doesn't happen. Make sure there's gas in the car and that you're familiar with the best, easiest routes to the hospital or birthing center, given the vagaries of traffic flow at different times of day. Have some alternatives in mind. And just in case, it wouldn't be a bad idea to keep a blanket in the backseat, a gallon of bottled water, and some towels.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

RoseRed: A Place for a Baby Shower Flop

Friday. What an awful day… The electrician did not appear and the two people who were supposed to help me clean the house did not show up their noses, or call to let me know they wouldn’t/couldn’t go. How surprising… I was too sad and edgy and frustrated to do anything… So, I ended up having an unreasonable heated argument with the mage, then shutting off completely only to wake up at 2am realizing I recalled nothing on the past hours and I had not even changed or taken a bath… Too exhausted. Too depressed… And feeling that things were to crumble anyway… Boy, and I knew nothing…

Saturday morning... The beginning of very… interesting (to say the least and keep this PG) day… The morning began with me flipping about everything… Second heavy argument with the mage. So much stress and pressure from so many things have been too bottled up within me... The lack of communication and shadyness about the baby shower did not help either. It is now that I realize that no one really takes into consideration how/what I may be feeling about things... Just because I am strong it doesn't mean I have no emotions... My best friends take that for granted all the time. After all, I am such a bitch...

Anyway... Considering the odds, I still kept part of my mind focused on simply cleaning what I could, and try to make things bearable. The infamous Baby Shower would happen in my so called home, dear RoseRed, and at the last minute no one showed up to help (contrary to what was scheduled or promised… para variar). But, fine… I’m Aries, I push throug anything closing my eyes and ramming with my horny head…

Morning passed away, and no one from the Baby Shower Crew called. In the afternoon, the sound of woes echoed at my door as LightShadow and Groundel arrived… That meant that whatever was to happen, would happen in a few minutes since the Baby Shower had been scheduled to begin at 2pm… They brought in a small set of small pirate bags, the lovely party favors. Well, eight bags full of goodies… Things looked up, they expected eight people to arrive. Cool. I can deal with a simply friendly gathering...

Groundel was quite pissed at his not being able to finish the drawings/posters he had been working on during the week due to lack of paint. He put them in the table, and well… Ot was a shame he couldn’t complete them. They were perfect. I loved the Pirate Chococat. And Keroppi would have been cute… Hope he finishes later on… I do have paint with the colors he needed… (But since it all was to be such a big surprise, I was not bothered/asked about that… no comments).

So… LightShadow went to show me the invitation that was done for the big event. Very cute, very professionally done. Damn, it looked as if it had been bought! She once again had showed off her graphic arts skills… A shame the effort ended up as a big waste. I don’t know if they actually changed the address in the ones they gave to people… or what happened about the place at all.

As a matter of fact, the place could have been funded by the mage and me IF we had been informed/asked about it. The price was $125, and that was quite bearable… And the priest of the church nearby knows the person in charge (not to mention that the guy lives nearby too…) So I don’t get why the place blew out as no attainable or no affordable…

But as someone stated somewhere, shit happens. And the crew decided to follow the original idea of doing things in my lovely RoseRed… And went on with ideas and plans that were not to be mentioned to me… More than two months of accurate, top secret planning… So secret that they hid information from themselves it seems… Beware when a ship has 3 captains… Egos may collide and cause it to flunk.

So, I kept cleaning a bit more, decided to take a bath and then sat in the so-called living room pondering why in blazes Coriolis and Raven had not arrived by 3:00pm. I knew in the back of my head the bird of doom kept flying in circles, ready to eat the carrion. The mage took a bath, and as I mentioned a “how strange that Coriolis has not arrived”, LightShadow looked at me with big eyes as she said “You mean you don’t know?”. Oh… I was trying to keep my cool but really… when reality slaps you in an unpolite way you either slap back or just go away. My hopes for at least a small thing went down the drain (yes, until that moment I had the hope that perhaps this time a miracle will happen and I would actually be able to have an activity even if small and cozy… My 15 years celebration was crap, my 2 graduations were not acknowledged… my marriage could not have a reception… So I expected something as simple as a baby shower to go well… What a fool I am!).

I asked if they had called the people to let them know that there would be no gathering… They began but didn’t finish. When I say people it basically meant my co-workers as within the last week I was struck by lightning and the fact that my family & acquaintances as well as the mages family and acquaintances had not been informed of the activity. Only the list of co-workers had received invitations…

Is it me, or is there no common sense involved in this fact? Because for all I know, it is family and the close ones who get the expensive stuff that you need… not co-workers. Plus, if a gathering is about celebrating an addition to the family… there should be family in the gathering… Well… Maybe I’m wrong. Total strangers should be the first in line to be contacted and to visit your house…

As the mage took a bath and Groundel & LightShadow played "briscas" on the stairway, one of the mage’s friends appeared. He stayed for a bit, the mage told him what was not going on and so he left (he had to, anyway, the guy had been working during the morning and was quite exhausted). As I approached the stairs I announced the elf and the half-org that we would leave. I just wanted to get out of the house. I was too pissed and sad and disappointed to stay there any longer. I had heard Groundel talking on the cel but didn’t mind it much as he used an even tone…

So, the mage and I closed the house and as I was looking for my keys, Raven appeared. It was after 4pm… She came in with something, didn’t even say hello, put something in the fridge… Her hubby went after her, carrying gift baskets that he placed on the counter… Then they turned to leave… No words, just a plain smile that did much to enrage me. My first thought was WTF? Now you appear? The party started at 2pm, and you were the one in charge of organizing… even if nothing was to happen, the least you could have done was arrive on time or at least call.

I tried breathing in and out, and simply asked “what happened?”. She just answered something with 3 to 4 words and kept going… to the car and off the place. As simple and as fast as that… I guess that it was all part of following the secrecy of the plans…

As the mage closed the house, a car arrived. Cook had come with her kids to deliver a present. She mentioned that she just called Lulu and had just been informed the shower’s date had been changed. But she wanted to deliver the present anyway… So she did, and then left. As I was to get in the car LightShadow asked what I was going to do… Well… Eat something as I have had no lunch, and see a movie. So she followed to the chicken place, Groundel being her co-pilot. As we finished eating, she had to go, as well as the half-orc, so the party was divided. I tried reaching Coriolis 3 times, no answer. I figured he must have been pissed and so he had disconnected his cel… Wouldn’t be the first time he does so…

So… In the end it is just the mage and me… As it all started… We saw Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix, then went to see auntie to tell her that no, there was no party and that it was pretty stupid of her to think she is a nuisance to me… And then we went home. RoseRed looked quite pleased… She had the chaos of the month in just 24 hours, and she loved it. At least someone was happy about it all… Yeah, a house…

As we got there, I went to the counter that had the basket and bags of baby clothing… and the 8 bags of party favors. I took one of the favor bags to open the small scroll of games, and to take the coins out. I just thought “Well, following my tradition of celebrations that cannot or must not be… Welcome home, Deirdre. This is my life. And that‘s why I named you after the Lady of Sorrows’ legend… Welcome to my world”.

I cried for a long while. I guess no one understood anything of how important this was for me… I let go of directing the ship knowing that it would all go to hell… but did so because I believed in my close friends… because I trusted they could do amazing things together… I even trusted the one who arrived 1 ½ hours late for my wedding… Well… in a life filled with only big disappointments, it is all right. I knew what would happen. I got what I deserved.


Friday, July 20, 2007

From the witch's workden

This is what my co-workers nailed. I tried to put things together at home so the mage would have a taste of what he missed. :) I was surprised with the pirate HK theme, especially the cooky Keroppi.

The last two days have been a rollercoaster of emotions and rage and happyness. Maybe it's the hormones, maybe is the people, maybe it's me... My trying to make a home out of Rosered is a bit uphill... Contacts keep failing me. I want to put everything together so when Deirdre come in the only setup I will have to do is hers. Aint got dwarves to help me in that quest... just people that sometimes may show up if time is available (and more often than not they have too many things going on in their lives to actually help anyway). Very frustrating, discouraging and lonely. The mage helps, but since we have cross-starred schedules, most things just don't get done in a reasonable amount of time. And the handypersons we are to use have a knack for not showing up when they scheduled they would... in a repetitive basis... Not even being paid is reason enough to make people responsible. i get beyond mad and depressed because at 8 months pregnant there ain't much I can do if I want to keep Deirdre safe... I have been pushing myself to get the basics done and it drains me completely. I hope this madness ends next week, if the people actually follow through...

Besides RoseRed not finding a good tailor, the private shower thing has been a hair raising thing to witness. What a snowball... and in the middle of summer... Things look pretty bad in that matter. So I expect nothing but a friendly gathering that will be short-lived. Who knows, maybe I can get REALLY surprised in the end... Whatever. Everything has been covered thanks to bystander who have helped... Deirdre will be just fine.

Now, just stop being feisty,girl, and lemme climb upstairs, damnit.


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Showers, showers, and more showers!!!

Last Thursday the mage surprised me at night, as his arrival from work was heralded by a lovely portable cradle “moisés” filled with many goodies for Deirdre. Yup, his co-workers had surprised him with a nice baby-shower. I was surprised at all the stuff they gave us. So half of it all was pink, somehow I didn’t really mind. With all that a big weight was lift off my shoulders… at least Deirdre will have a nice place to sleep at our bed’s side for the next months after her birth. That had me going insane.

We decided to leave the kitties in the room for now… I have been thinking that perhaps it would be best to give Deirdre our room since the kitties are used NOT to go in there. What I will do is either take the kitties room or close up the upstairs “kitchen” area so it becomes a room. Anyway, that will be decided by December. For now, it is not so important. I’m focusing on making downstairs nice and pretty so it looks and feels like home. Upstairs is a matter of redoing the bathroom (which I envision will look perfect) and keep everything else clean. That should make me happy.

Yesterday during the morning had to do the first NST at the Metro Hospital. In human terms, fetus monitoring. What was supposed to take half an hour took almost two due to the nurse noticing that there was no flatline where it should be, but small rises that are a bit sequential… So I’m having contractions and I don’t know about it. I found that funny, but I know it’s not. Next week should make the second test on Tuesday, and got the doctor’s appointment on Friday… Anyway I was warned that if anything out of the ordinary happens I should fly away to The Concepción Hospital because there is a high chance of the baby due way before the expected date. Ok, so I want a Leo, but gee, gimme a break!!! I know, I should have a packed bag ready in the car, just in case, so wherever I am I just have to worry about getting to the hospital… I should try getting what I need between today and tomorrow. Luckily, not much to buy for Deirdre. People have been extra nice to her… and THAT has been quite a surprise!

In the afternoon they did a Baby Shower at work. I already knew it was gonna happen due to some infiltrated info from the mage, plus I’ve already seen the yellow bath and I had caught Cook infraganti while she did something on the shower’s schedule papers… LOL What I did not expect was to see in the wall a cardboard drawing of Pirate Kitty and even the less, a Pirate Keroppi! I love Kitty, but Keroppi has been my all-time favorite and no one really knows about this detail, so it was pretty fun that out of all characters they did Keroppi. I was also surprised at the gifts… Been here for more than 6 years and I know the standard for baby showers is one big basket made of the baby’s bath filled with stuff, and maybe two bags each from the closest people around… I got Three baskets filled with baby stuff, and ten bags, each from certain specific people. I also got a group gift from RUM and from Yauco. Yes, it was quite overwhelming. I guess that’s just how the mage felt when he had his baby shower at his work… LOL Well, another custom at the office is the program with some entertainment tailored to the girl having the baby. They knew I wouldn’t like the pink games they always do (although I was too happy to really mind anything), so… the theater lady of the office did a small performance based on a pregnant lady from Quintuples. From that inspiration came Doña Luz, who would give a small emergency conference about what to do in case of an emergency… That was hilarious. She got a pregnant belly, and even threw an inflatable lounge chair in the floor to show some techniques… Got three people reading poems and then the gift opening and the eating session. So, all in all, it was not the bad experience I expected… I guess people like me more than I thought… in some strange twist of fate…

Later in the night while I was reminiscing on it all, I realized that even Willo was there in the front row, third seat. What about it? Willo is the office rebel and loner that NEVER goes to activities and NEVER participates on anything. There was a gift from him, and he was actually present in there, smiling. I went to his office today as I got to work, asking him if he had a terminal illness or something. He laughed his ass off… and added that of all the people in the office it was something made for me, and he wouldn’t miss it. Damn, that should brighten anyone’s day!

So… Now all is left is the Private Baby Shower, which has been the drama of the month… Witnessing the insanity has been fun, even if sometimes one just wanna strangle the people involved. But I know in their own way the do have the best of wishes and desires involved… Sometimes the less you plan something and the more on the spot you get, the better. Just follow the simple lines: Have lots of food and drinks, kill your enemy, and enjoy the laments of your enemy’s women. Ah, Conan knew the good life!



From www.whattoexpect.com

BODY: Vision Quest
Your eyes do not deceive you: Your uterus is still growing (and you thought there was no more room!) and is around five inches above your navel now. But wait…are your eyes actually deceiving you…or at least, playing tricks on you? Many women discover that their vision seems less sharp during pregnancy, or that their contact lenses are less comfortable than they used to be. Pregnancy hormones do more to your body than meets the eye, yet they also do plenty to your eyes. They affect not only your digestive tract and your ligaments (not to mention your reproductive organs), but also cause a decrease in tear production, leading to eye dryness, irritation, and discomfort. What's more, the same fluid buildup that causes your ankles to swell can also cause the curvature of your eye to change. You may find wearing glasses rather than contact lenses to be more comfortable during your pregnancy. These eye changes are temporary conditions, and vision usually returns to normal after delivery (so no need to get a new prescription). Do keep in mind that certain more serious vision problems can be a sign of gestational diabetes or high blood pressure, so be sure to mention any vision changes to your practitioner.

BABY: A Rising Doughboy (or Girl)
Your baby could be as tall as 20 inches right now and about five pounds. Need a visual? Hold a five-pound bag of flour in your arms and imagine it's your soon-to-be-born baby (cradle it, and you'll only get strange looks in the baking aisle). Then stack three such bags one on top of the other (and get ready for some more strange looks, maybe from the same clerks who saw you grinning and holding that one-pound box of sugar a few weeks ago). That's how tall your baby is now. (Now go bake some oatmeal raisin cookies with all that flour!) If your little doughboy is, well, a boy, then you'll be pleased to know that this week his testicles are making their way down from his abdomen to his scrotum. (Some baby boys — three to four percent — are born with undescended testicles, but they usually make the trip down sometime before the first birthday.). Your baby's fingernails now reach the end of the fingertips and may even curl over the tip, making a manicure one of the first things you'll need to do for your little bundle.

EXTRA: A Cheeky Trick
Look in the mirror — is that you or Alvin the Chipmunk? If your cheeks are looking as round as your belly these days, you're in good company — most expectant women start sporting that gathering-nuts-for-the-winter look in their third trimester. Though you may not really rediscover your cheekbones until after delivery, you can pretend that you have with these makeup tricks: Dot some concealer along the sides of your nose and brush a light shade of blush or bronzer along the center length of your nose. (That slims your nose to take the attention off it.) Next, apply a light shade of blush onto the apples of your cheeks; then, following the line of your cheekbones, apply a sheer sweep of a slightly deeper shade. Blend the two and smile — you're gorgeous.

EXTRA: Dear Baby…
You've got so many hopes and dreams about your baby, and each one is worth remembering and sharing. Record them (before you forget) by writing a letter — or a series of letters — to your baby. Feel a little funny writing to a fetus — and one you've never met? Don't, just speak from the heart. Start by visualizing your baby, and writing down what you see in your mind's eye. (Gorgeous, of course! Brilliant, duh !) Talk about what this pregnancy means to you, and how it's changing your body and your world. Recount the foods you craved (the cheese, grape jelly, and pickle sandwiches) and the lengths you went to satisfy those cravings (driving six miles out of the way to the one deli that would make it). Relay how you chose your baby's name (you have chosen it by now, haven't you?) or the colors for the nursery. Share your reaction when you first found out you were pregnant; when you felt those first kicks; when you found out your baby's sex (if you have). Imagine what your future will be like together (do you see yourself pushing a swing in the park, tossing a football on the front lawn, baking muffins in the kitchen), and what your baby's future might be like. (A movie star? A scientist? The president — dream big!) Open up your heart, put the contents on paper — and seal it with a kiss. Your letter to your baby is certain to become one of your most treasured possessions — and eventually, your child's.

DAD: Get Packing
It's time: Pack the overnight bag for the hospital together. She no doubt knows what she needs, but she's likely to forget something in her excitement and anxiety. Print out the Packing for the Hospital Checklist, talk about what personal items she wants included, and double-check that everything is in the suitcase. Don't forget a few CDs of her favorite music — and maybe a deck of cards in case her labor takes a long, long time.


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Sunshine of the spotless hope...

Been quite hysterical about everything lately. Finances down, making everything too difficult. Worried about what I should have by now, what I don’t and what needs to be fixed in the friggin house so at least basics are done. Not easy… Very stressful… Didn’t stop to think that letting it all out would pass the stress to the mage in a negative way. Wasn’t my intention to make him more stressed than he already must be…

Yesterday was about surprising me… I guess it’s Heaven’s way of letting me know that I should have more faith, that things are not so grim as I think… The co-worker that lend me the breastfeeding book had a small surprise. She brought the infant car seat she’s no longer using, along with the breastfeeding donut, a baby carrying sling, car shades and the microwaveable bottle sterilizer. That was really nice of her. When strangers do unexpected things for you… But she can relate to me in many ways. It was her hubby and her, not much family sharing anything and lots of financial gambling.

Another co-worker, the one with the son-in-law that works in the hospital putting anesthesia, also told me she had something to give me. She got the crib bumpers and some clothing (her daughter went on a buying spree since she’s having a baby too and got carried away and in the end didn’t like/want/need some items she got).

There was a morning presentation on retirement plans... Got convinced with an insurance that works like a savings account but without gov tributation and without risk and with a fair interest rate... Decided to enroll on that, so there will be some sort of funding from here to 20 years either to finish off debts or to help Deirdre's education or to keep for my own retirement... Was thinking of that anyway, but I know a savings account wouldn't work for me, it's too accessible.

By the end of the day got a call from one of the loan places, and upon explaining the situation they worked on approving a renovation that may be of help to actually do the basic stuff, leave a small reserve just in case and breathe a bit.

I guess the ups and downs in everything has also been affecting the way I process insulin, getting high ranges of 157 to 200 by midday without straying far from the diet… Don’t know what more I can do about that. Had to limit tests because the needles are expensive and couldn’t get them. Tomorrow I have a gyn appointment, we’ll see what he has to say about that.

Moody, sad... Trying to find a positive side on things (which I don't really see...) Oh, well... Just got the address of a pulguero nearby that has affordable ovejos. Yup, gotta get me a pair of sheep so they take care of the riscos from Anthill... LOL I'm not kidding... Easy to maintain (they eat anything with leaves) and seems they are better than cabritos because they get to the root of grass and stuff, cabritos are more stubborn and fickle. Or so says the Cock expert... Perhaps this would help me get over the idea of selling the house...

In the meanwhile, Deirdre has been kicking to the music of the Sims… I think she likes the game… Who knew…



from www.whattoexpect.com

BODY: Insomnia
How unfair — that when you need it the most, you can't get it. You keep on telling yourself it's the last opportunity for a long, long time (at least until your baby's sleeping through the night). But you still can't get any. No, not sex, woman — sleep! Third-trimester insomnia strikes more than 75 percent of expectant moms — very tired expectant moms. All the hormonal changes, the midnight treks to the bathroom, the leg cramps, the heartburn that won't quit, the fact that you can't get comfortable when you're in bed with a watermelon where your tummy used to be, and the anxiety you're likely feeling about the impending birth of your baby (and the fact that you still haven't decided on a name for your baby) all contribute to your inability to catch some satisfying z's. Looking for ways to summon the sandman? Worrying about it won't help, and neither will staring at the clock watching the minutes tick by. Instead try a warm bath and perhaps a warm cup of milk before turning in, avoid exercising, eating, or drinking too close to bedtime, and solicit your partner for a massage (you deserve it!). If sleep still eludes you, read a book or listen to soothing music until drowsiness sets in. If nothing works, at least you can be comforted knowing that this may just be Mother Nature's way of getting you ready for the sleepless nights ahead.

BABY: Water Weight
This week your baby may be anywhere between 17 to 19 inches in length and weigh more than four and a half pounds. Your baby could grow a full inch more this week alone — especially if he or she has been on the shorter side. Weight gain can range from a third more growth to a full doubling before the big debut. The level of amniotic fluid in your uterus has reached its maximum, making it likely that you have more baby than fluid now. That's one reason why you're probably feeling lots of nudges and pushes — there's less liquid to cushion the blows. (Of course that means you're even closer to your baby now!). If your uterine walls had eyes, here's what you'd see: your fetus acting more and more like a baby, with his or her eyes closing during sleep and opening while awake. And because those uterine walls are becoming thinner, more light penetrates the womb, helping your baby differentiate between day and night (now if only baby can remember that difference on the outside!). And good news! Your baby has reached an important milestone about now: The development of his or her own immune system that (along with antibodies from you) will be able to provide protection from mild infections.

LOOKS: How Dry I Am
Feeling kinda crocodilian? Another side effect of your expanding body (and that belly that just keeps on going…and going…) is dry, itchy skin. Here are some soothing strategies: Moisturize early and often — look for moisturizers that have no dyes or perfumes (your skin is still extra-sensitive these days) and apply them when your skin is still damp to trap moisture in; wear lightweight cotton clothes that allow skin to breathe (especially helpful if you're feeling hot all over); switch to a dye-and-perfume-free detergent (probably a good idea anyway now that baby's almost here); and soak in an oatmeal bath.

EXTRA: Building a Better Brain
Studies suggest that infants born to mothers whose diets contain plenty of omega-3 fatty acids (DHA) have an edge in terms of early development. So if you eat your wild salmon, will your kid go to Harvard? Maybe, maybe not. But fish is a great source of DHA, which is critical to brain and vision development. (Almost all of baby's accumulation of DHA occurs during the last trimester.) DHA may also help prevent preterm labor and protect against postpartum depression. But haven't you heard that fish is unsafe for pregnant women? Actually, the FDA says you can eat up to 12 ounces (two average meals) a week of a variety of fish and shellfish that are low in mercury, such as shrimp, tilapia, red snapper, salmon (wild is best, organic farmed next best), pollock, and catfish. Steer clear of swordfish, shark, and fresh tuna, which are more likely to contain toxins. Hate fish? Other DHA sources include algae-derived supplements (check your health food store and with your practitioner) and DHA eggs, available in most supermarkets.

DAD: Thinking for Two
She's always been the one who remembered everything (your parents' anniversary, the plans you had for next weekend, the meeting with the accountant you spaced on) and kept track of everything — wasn't she the one with car key radar? But suddenly, you may have noticed, she's the one forgetting meetings and appointments; she's the one who can't find her blue suit (because she didn't remember to pick it up at the cleaners); and she's the one who's turning the house upside down to locate her car keys. Welcome to Pregnancy Brain Fog — another seemingly random symptom triggered by pregnancy hormones. Instead of ragging on her for her forgetfulness, help her cope with it. Help her search for her keys (or better still, put a key collecting bowl at the front door), remember to pick up the dry cleaning so she doesn't have to, and casually mention at breakfast that important meeting she has this afternoon (before it slips her mind).


Thursday, July 5, 2007

Between advices and heatstroke...

Ok, another experience on childbirth session… A coworker asked about how was everything doing… And ended up telling her two experiences. How nice… The first one that was a chaotic natural birth and the second that was almost natural ending up in cesarean thanks to the baby placing its fingers before the head and wiggling them to the doctor… Good thing was the description of the hospital and how it treated her. So it seems that La Concepción is really in good standing with the ones who have given birth there. This one told me to arrive early so I am certain to get a room… and that its either a solo or a dual room (in Perea is everyone in the same place). She also told me to bring music, focus on something I like, and ask not to have the clock in front of me so I wouldn’t get desperate.

Yesterday it was all a conspirancy to have me dizzy and nauseous and vomiting and with acute headache… Midday heat lead to heatstroke, and then when I expected things to get a bit better there was a mosquito plague control poison thrown early in the morning that made me nauseous and dizzy and with acute headache again… Ugh! Neverending story. Deirdre seems to be dancing the Egyptian dance, moving her arms side to side… sometimes it bothers when she does it below the bellybutton, but most of the time it’s really amusing… Looks like an alien ready to poke out!

The BabyShower crew held a small meeting at home to cleanup the patio. I have not checked myself, but the mage told me most is done so the surroundings are bearable. I hope the gov people shows up soon so they take care of the debris. Anyway, thanks for the effort. Three spiders gave their lives for the cause, and that is priceless! ;P


Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Quietly... Lovingly...

Deirdre has been quiet for almost a day and a half, occasional knocks to let me know that yes she’s there just feeling lazy or something… Lazy, and getting heavier. I’m breathless and going up and down the stairs at home is quite a task… I managed to paint a lot in the weekend, although at nights I definitively felt the burden of the heavy weight that lays inside of me. Mainly I get soreness around the belly, and very tired legs… Nothing that sleep wouldn’t cure IF only I could sleep at least 4 hours straight without having to wake up… The 2-3 hour routine may be normal and is definitively normally taxing. For someone like me, who needs to sleep 9 hours at least this is a killer. If the girl turns out to be a heavy crier, I may shoot myself… By default I cannot stand continuous noises… So that should prove interesting… But no, don’t worry… I have handled helpless babies in distress and in need of being fed and attended (ok, so they have been kitties at the time, but baby kitties do count! They are as annoying as human counterparts!). And the small furry bundles of joy are now big furry bundles of mayhem, so I must have done something good… Ermm… I think…

The mage has been taking care of everything related to trying making me feel happy, or to ease life up. I know that he sometimes feel too helpless, but hey… I also know that he takes care of me in every detail, and I know I can count on him to do what must be done if I simply can’t. Of all things, he is a wonderful loving husband, and he is a loving father… Love is a fountain without end in his heart, he has much to give and life had denied that privilege to him for so long… I hope I can make him as happy as he makes me, as well as I hope that we will have a close family raised within the boundaries of virtue, truth, honesty and true love.

The baby shower is just around the corner… Things sound a bit chaotic, but well… I expected that… it happens when people with very different points of view work together… And it is what makes things interesting. LOL I would be so simple… Just bring a BBQ, ask people to bring burguers and hot dogs and soda, and just sit in the floor. And don’t forget the RUM, Matey!!! But… oh so much planning… and the drama of it… Thank God it is not in my hands. The stress would make me shed too much and I would grow bold… But all in all it’s fun. See, Deirdre, you aint born yet, and you are already The Source of All Chaos! Oh, the minion of Kali! The bringer of destruction and death, and rebirth and life! Ok… I’ll get a grip. It’s a wrap…


Monday, July 2, 2007


from www.WhatToExpect.com

MOM: Braxton Hicks Contractions
How do you get to delivery? Practice, practice, practice. You might not be ready for the baby (still haven't picked out that nursery color yet), but your body is certainly gearing up for the big day. And you're reminded of this each time you feel your uterus tightening up. Those are Braxton Hicks contractions — irregular practice contractions that can be first felt around mid-pregnancy and increase in frequency and strength as your pregnancy progresses. Many novice moms-to-be don't notice them as much (or feel them as intensely) as those who are pregnant for the second time, but even first timers are aware of them occasionally. As you get closer to term, they'll become stronger (beginning at the top of your uterus and spreading downward), longer (lasting 15 to 30 seconds or as long as two minutes), and even a little painful. Braxton Hicks contractions are part of prelabor; in effect a warm-up for the real thing. And though they are not true labor and do not dilate or efface the cervix, they may be difficult to distinguish from real labor as they become more intense. To help with the discomfort of Braxton Hicks contractions, change positions (lie down if you're walking around, get up if you're in bed) or take a warm bath. If the contractions do not go away with a change in activity, and become progressively stronger and more regular, you may be in real labor, so be sure to put in a call to your practitioner.

BABY: Squirming, Pushing, Growing
This week your baby weighs almost four pounds and could be up to 19 inches long. And though that's a head-to-toe length, your baby is actually back to a curled-up position (you try standing up in those cramped quarters!). You're likely feeling tapping and squirming instead of your baby's signature rocking and rolling. That's because, while comfy, your baby is a bit tight for exercise space right now. Your baby has also probably settled into the head-down, bottoms-up position in your pelvis. That's because the fetus's head fits better at the bottom of your inverted, pear-shaped uterus. It also makes it easier during childbirth if your baby comes out head first. Fewer than five percent of babies prefer the bottom-down (or breech) position by full-term. Don't worry if your baby hasn't assumed the head-down position yet. There's still a good chance he or she will flip head-side-down before birth — even in the tight confines of your uterus. While your baby is still getting nourishment through the umbilical cord, it won't be long before you'll be bringing on the breast milk or formula (and soon after, the mashed carrots and peas). In anticipation of that momentous transition to mouth feeding, your baby's digestive system is all set and ready to go. And because your baby is accumulating more fat, his or her skin is finally turning opaque (like yours), which means those see-through days are over. Though weeks away from D-day, your baby's looking more and more like a newborn. And speaking of that big day, hope you're resting up for it — because your bambino certainly is. In preparation for that big first date with you, your baby is sleeping like a baby — with sleep cycles of 20 to 40 minutes long (which would also account for the decrease in movement you're likely feeling these days).

LOOKING GOOD: Insane Veins
Yes, you hate them (what's not to hate?), but varicose veins, or swollen blood vessels, are actually more hideous than harmful. The reason why they develop or get worse during pregnancy is because you've got more blood pumping through your body, and your growing uterus is pressing against veins in the pelvic region, allowing all that extra blood to pool in your legs. Hormones only add to the problem (duh! ) by causing blood vessels to relax. What's a mom-to-be to do? Exercise daily to improve circulation (and take frequent breaks from sitting or standing), don't gain too much weight, elevate your legs as often as possible, and sleep on your left side to relieve pressure on your main blood vessels. One more thing to try: Put on support hose before you get out of bed in the morning to prevent the blood from pooling. (The sexiness never ends, does it?)

EXTRA: Neck Know-How
If you're like most women, you carry a lot of tension in your neck, especially during pregnancy, when your posture is off-kilter. The result can be — a pain in the neck. One way to loosen your muscles and relax your mind at the same time is with simple stretches you can do anytime, anywhere. Start by tilting your head to one side, without raising your shoulders (try to melt them down the back instead). Hold for three seconds and exhale. Repeat on the other side. Do this several times a day — at your desk, while you're waiting at your practitioner's office, or on line at the post office.

EXTRA: Baby's First Mall Portrait?

Ultrasound is a tried-and-true prenatal tool (and a window into the wonderful world of your womb), but lately this procedure has taken a giant leap from the confines of a doctor's office to a storefront at the mall. Is it safe to take a peek inside your tummy on the way to Sears? While the FDA has yet to establish rules on these prenatal photography studios, they do warn against having ultrasounds for fun (as opposed to for medical reasons), since such three-dimensional imaging machines use much higher power than the typical ultrasound machines at your doctor's office. And many medical professionals fear that nervous moms-to-be will come away wrongly convinced there's something wrong with their babies, or, worse, that the untrained wand wavers will miss real problems that would be detected by a pro. If you do choose elective sonography, do so wisely (and after you check with your practitioner for the go-ahead). While there's nothing more precious than seeing your baby in three dimensions (except, of course, seeing your baby for real once it's born), limit your visits to one or two, each no more than 15 minutes in length. And bring your wallet! Some studios charge up to $300 for a photo, CD-ROM, and a video of the fetus.

WELLNESS: Feed a Fever, Starve a Cold? Not!
Sure, you probably knew you were signing on for morning sickness, indigestion, constipation, and even gas when you signed up for pregnancy. But what you might not have realized (that's what you get for skipping the fine print!) is that pregnant women aren't just susceptible to pregnancy symptoms. They're also susceptible to every bug in the book, from colds to stomach viruses to flu. In fact, it may not seem fair (but c'mon — since when is anything about pregnancy fair), but as an expectant mom you can expect to succumb more easily to these nonpregnancy related illnesses than members of the nonpregnant population. That's because your immune system is suppressed during pregnancy in order to protect your fetus (an outsider) from being rejected by your body. Good for your pregnancy and your baby, not so good for your chances of staying healthy. A pound of prevention's always your best investment when it comes to illness — but if you don't manage to duck those germs before they hit, your priority will be getting better fast — and keeping your baby well fed while you do. Whether you've got a fever or a cold, starving is definitely not the way to go — though eating may be more challenging than ever. If your appetite has flown with the flu, or with a nasty cold, or a troublemaking tummy bug, you'll need to try a kinder, gentler approach to eating well. 1. Comfort yourself: Go ahead and soothe those aches and pains the old-fashioned way: Chicken soup for the soul, sinuses, and throat, as well as any foods that make you feel better inside and out. Scrambled eggs, applesauce, hot oatmeal, English muffins, plain pasta, rice, or mashed potatoes are all comforting to you and good for your baby. If it's a stomach bug that's bugging you, start out slowly and think bland, bland, bland (this is the one time when white — as in bread, pasta, and rice — beats whole grain). Stay away from fat in all its forms (have that toast dry, that pasta unbuttered), as well as sugar (which can prolong diarrhea). And don't forget to revisit your old morning sickness pal, ginger, which works just as well when your nausea's triggered by a virus. 2.Drink up: In the short term, liquids are more important than solids — especially if you're losing them through a fever, a runny nose, vomiting, or diarrhea. Aim for at least one cup an hour, and though any liquid you can get down is better than no liquid, opt for nutritious fluids when possible (chicken broth pureed with well-cooked vegetables, juices, smoothies). Hot beverages will definitely soothe a sore throat, so keep a thermos filed with broth, hot decaffeinated tea, or diluted warm juice near your bedside. If your tummy's tumbling, consider sucking on ice chips, Popsicles, or rehydration fluid (such as Pedialyte). 3.See C: Vitamin C is nature's most potent healer, so lay it on yourself in the form of C-rich fruits, vegetables, and juices (but not supplements, unless your practitioner has recommended them). If your tummy's too tender to visit the citrus family, turn to less acidic choices (a mango or papaya, cantaloupe or honeydew, white grape juice that's C fortified). And speaking of vitamins — try to keep up with your one-a-day prenatal habit, but if you can't keep it down, don't worry. You can play nutrient catch-up once you're feeling better. 4.Go easy: If acidic foods are doing a number on your sore throat or tender tummy, stick to foods that won't cause more irritation. Puree the soup, thin out your hot cereals, and dilute juices for maximum comfort. 5.Get milk: Don't shelve milk during your cold just because you've heard it's a mucus maker — research has yet to back up that myth. If it seems to make your symptoms (whatever they are) worse, find other sources of calcium to tide you over. But if it doesn't bother you, go ahead and drink up.

DAD: Paging Dr. Right
Chances are you and your partner have spent more time in medical offices (namely, the ob-gyn or midwife's offices) over the last eight months or so than you ever have in your lives. It's almost time to move on to another set of offices (where you'll also spend an awful lot of time in the years to come), and find yourself another kind of doctor: a pediatrician. Proximity is important (as you'll find out when baby's got a fever and a snowstorm's raging outside), but so is personality. Shop around — ask neighbors and friends with kids how they like their pediatricians. Most important, don't sign up without personally checking out your candidate. Set up a consultation to ask your questions and gauge your comfort level. And don't forget to make sure that Dr. Right is listed in your company insurance plan — otherwise he or she could be Dr. Unaffordable.