Forgotten wood

I forgot to mention that when the nice lady doctor at the clinic was viewing with ultrasound a couple weeks ago, the baby let loose with a spontaneous boner. He didn’t seem overly concerned to have observers, either. For some strange reason, I felt very proud about this magnificent display.
Heh.

Intestinal Flora, The Importance of

Clive Thompson (the Giant Squid Overlord) has just put up a very interesting post: Why C-section births might cause eczema in babies
Now, in the midst of making some very important choices about how our boya is going to be born, this type of information is key in confirming our choice in a natural birth, if at all possible. We know that the C-section is a valuable tool, indeed a life-saving one as proven time and time again, but the reasons we have heard for having one out of want instead of need recently really cause some concern.
Some women who have had them (numerous times in some cases) claim that it’s the only way to go, because it’s relatively painless and easy. Holy crap, does that reasoning worry me. Some women have advised Nam to have one because of vaginally expansive reasons, which I will not get into in detail, but suffice to say that said women are afraid I will leave my wife if she has a natural childbirth… And some have just been brainwashed by a booming medical business that states that Caesarians are safer and less stressful on the infant and mother – never mind that that stress might be the entire point of natural childbirth.
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On a flip note, if you read the article linked from Clive’s post you probably came across the reference to Lund University in Sweden. I’ve been there, and it’s the only place in the world where my eczema acted up besides Japan, for the exact same reason it acted up in Japan – the extremely dry winter conditions.

Baby Update – There’s something moving in there!

I first felt the baby moving a few weeks ago. Nam first felt it a month or two ago; it’s apparently hard for a first-time mother to tell movements of the fetus apart from digestive and other normal movements. Now, though, there is no mistaking it; he wakes his mom sometimes by moving around so much.

  • Sometimes if you tap or pat lightly, he taps back from the inside.
  • He grooves to a good beat and seems pretty chill when something soft is on.
  • Sometimes when I sing him a song, he pounds the walls for an encore. (So far one little, two little, three little Indians is his favorite even though I tell him the PC version should be counting Native Americans. He replied “I likes me a good curry.” What the hell does that mean? How the hell does he know a good curry from a bad one?)
  • His favorite TV show so far is The Shield, he likes to watch Vick Mackie kick ass.
  • He pretty much hates that Baby Einstein stuff – dancing dolls and teddy bears are for girls, he says.

Slow Emergence

So I have a big confession to make: I quit smoking on New Years Day.
It’s been a week, a busy week to be sure.
Getting up the nerve to quit was a very difficult thing to do, because I enjoyed smoking so much. I was addicted to the act of smoking more than I was to the nicotine. I pretty much proved this by quitting cold turkey with a pack of nicotine gum in my pocket – I never used it, but it was there in case the nicotine withdrawals got in my way at work or something. The physiological effects that nicotine withdrawal had on me were extreme exhaustion and lethargy. It was like coming down from a 20-year stimulant high, or emerging from a pool of slow-setting epoxy. So of course, I chose this time to move into the new house – in between fugue bouts of narcolepsy, that is.
I figured I could distract myself by keeping busy packing and moving boxes, and it worked very well for the most part. I explained to Nam ahead of time that I might be irritable or go kind of crazy about little things (more so than usual, that is, so we were prepared when that stuff inevitably happened. I experienced an out-of-body rage when I found that a stone lantern I had stored at my housing developer’s office had been broken. I used to experience this level of rage all the time: When it happens, I can actually see myself going berserk and feel regret for what’s about to happen, but usually do not bother trying to stop myself. So anyway, I completely lost it when I saw a stone leg had been broken off and proceeded to smash the lantern into little tiny bits on the concrete outside the office as the secretaries inside looked on in horror. Rage issues, man. I proceeded back home where I sat down on a new couch and immediately fell asleep.
But, you know, other than that, it’s been easier than I thought it would be. I guess it all comes down to having a good reason to quit. I mean, you would figure that decreasing your chances of DYING EARLY would be a really stupendous reason to quit, but it just is not for most smokers. There usually has to be a more immediate motivation. For me, it is the baby. I knew this was coming from five months ago. I knew the baby was coming, I knew we were moving to a new house. I promised Nam I would quit before we moved, and New Years came up at around just the same time, so…
It’s kind of strange. I thought I would have to swear off coffee and alcohol for a while, but I’ve had both this week and they didn’t affect my cravings that much… I think everything’s OK as long as I’m within proximity of Nam and the baby. As long as I avoid solo trips to pool halls, strip clubs, and crack dens for a while, I think everything may turn out just fine.