Pairs of socks knitted in 2014

  • Roxanne's socks
  • Brian's Cascade socks
  • Shirley's lacy socks
  • striped Meredith socks
  • striped stranded #1

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The "Song of Roland" and other lullabies

I am not a "lullaby person." Frankly, I find them inane. (Go ponder the words to "Rock a Bye Baby." Think about what they actually mean, and then tell me that's something that's appropriate to fill small children's heads with.) I think singing them is insulting to the intelligence of the child you're trying to get to sleep. I didn't sing them when I watched other people's children, and I can't bring myself to sing them to Shirley.

But when she's fussy, Shirley likes to have someone talking to her. And as the sleep deprivation that life with a newborn entails makes me feel very brain-damaged, I have a hard time coming up with things to say to her that aren't as puerile as your average lullaby.

Enter the "Song of Roland." In a constant attempt to overcome my lingering insecurities about growing up redneck, I keep thinking I need to read more "great works of literature." So since I have a book with the complete text of several medieval epics, I've been reading it aloud to her.

I'm about halfway into it, and I've come to a conclusion: Roland is a punk. And even after reading this far, I'm still not sure why they named the song after him. Although you may not like your stepfather, it's just tacky to volunteer him as the French hostage to the Saracens. This being a medieval epic, I'm sure his stepfather Ganelon's treacherous plotting with the Saracens to have Roland and the rest of Charlemagne's rearguard killed off will result in a very messy death for Ganelon, but all the same, I'm still hoping that Roland bites it as well.

"Great literature" or not, I'm still not convinced that "Roland" is any more appropriate for small children than "Rock a Bye Baby." While less people die than in the Old Testament, their ends are recounted in far more graphic detail. Of the demise of one Saracen lord, who gets multiple spear wounds and keeps on fighting, the poet writes (John O'Haggan translation) "Were he Christian, what a baron he!"

Oh well, it'll still probably require less counseling to set her straight than if I start singing lullabies.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

labor fun

Because I spent pretty much all of February having contractions, the doc sent me in for a non stress test on March 3 (which was my due date) to see how Shirley was tolerating them. And the answer was "badly," so she decided to "augment" my labor. (I had to suppress a cheer when she told me she was inducing me.)

I also have a morbid fear of needles. (Boy did I ever pick the wrong profession, eh?) So I figured an epidural would be the last choice for pain relief. But by the time I got to 5cm dilation, I was so hung over from the other drugs for pain (which made me care less about the pain, but didn't seem to reduce it much) that when the nurse explained that I could be conscious and alert and reasonably pain-free with an epidural, my irrational fear of needles aimed at my spinal column seemed a lot smaller in comparison.

Then Shirley's heart rate started doing bad things, and (although I was still hung over at this point) I knew we were headed for C-sectionville as soon as the nurses started putting me in weird positions to relieve the compression on her umbilical cord. It wasn't how I would have chosen to have her enter the world, but she obviously needed to come out!

In other news, my beloved employer and the California Nurses Association are at loggerheads once more. After negotiations stalled out yet again, the union held a vote a couple of weeks ago on whether or not to authorize the bargaining team to call another strike.

Which meant that as I was getting admitted for the induction, as soon as the nurse knew that I worked at the hospital, she said "We're having a strike vote in the Sierra Room--if you hurry you can still make it!"

Thank God maternity leave is an iron-clad excuse to avoid picketing!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


As I'm currently on large amounts of prescription pain-killers and uncertain of my ability to be lucid, this will be a short post.

Here's a picture of me 39 and a half weeks pregnant. (I designed the sweater with the last pregnancy as a maternity sweater, but miscarried early. It was so wonderful to be able to wear it this time.)

Shirley arrived Tuesday morning at 0241 on the 4th of March. 5 pounds, 11 ounces, 19 and 1/4 inches long. (I'm sure there's a metric equivalent for those, but doing math is way beyond my capacity right now.) I'll save the gory details of labor for another post, but the emergency c-section wasn't really how I'd imagined her arriving in the world.