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My usual scattershot update

Is it normal to feel sedated toward the end of pregnancy? In my life "before," I thought I would be a basket case by this time. But I'm quite calm - sleepy, even. Could be relief along with resignation: now that I'm past the 37-week mark, the birth could happen at any time and not be considered premature. He's firmly positioned head-down (that thing constantly flexing and stretching against my ribs would be a baby leg), so C-section is likely ruled out too. I even tested negative for Strep B, which means I won't automatically have to get an IV with antibiotics during labor. Always a good start.

Other reasons I've ended up calm:
My shoes still fit - some women told me my feet would go up a size during pregnancy. They haven't.
Iron pills have not made me feel sick at all.
I can usually sleep through the night, even now, without getting up for the bathroom.
I have not yet sent Steve to the store to fetch me some bizarre food I was craving. I haven't craved anything bizarre, for that matter.
Steve is awesome. He is happy and delighted and loves to feel the young'un kick, and helps me find my sense of humor when I misplace it. He will be a great dad.

Speaking of the sense of humor: he came up with the idea the other night that someone should start a band called Belle & Sebastian Bach. (If you don't get it, never mind.) We both agree this would be hilarious, but are not so clear on what such a band would sound like.

I finished reading The Mill on the Floss yesterday, in my continued George Eliot kick. Not so thrilled with the ending of this one, so Middlemarch and Daniel Deronda hold their tie at #1 for my favorite Eliot book. But I still enjoyed reading it, and am now thinking I need to read an Eliot biography since this one was supposedly "the most autobiographical" of her novels. Which makes me wonder about a few things. I know she lived for decades with a man who was not her husband, because he was already married and his distant cheatin' wife refused to grant a divorce, but that sounds more like the main cruel twist of Middlemarch. I assume the Mill on the Floss similarities come in with the judgemental reaction from "society" and the shutting out by one's closest family members. I'm not big on infidelity, but see, the vast difference between her and, say, Thomas Hardy, who also lived a life of extramarital temptations and wrote novels about the cruelty suffered because of them, is that Eliot can actually make such characters likable. They're good, if confused; they're flawed, but not thoroughly irritating. In fact, Eliot's characters usually redeem themselves completely, or at least most of the way. Jes' my opinion, o' course.

Another thread of thought, spinning off the latest: I'd be interested to read a book sometime about Victorian theories of, and terminology for, medicine. I've already worked out that "consumption" was tuberculosis, and "ague" was some kind of fever; and "dropsy," I recently learned, was edema, often due to heart failure. And I think "apoplexy" seems to have often referred to a stroke. But the treatments were so baffling! There was mention in The Mill on the Floss of the possibility of an invalid needing jelly. Did they mean medicine was to be put into jelly? Or was jelly considered really good for invalids? And are Eliot and I talking about the same thing - gelatinous sweetened fruit preserves - when we say "jelly"? Furthermore, I've always liked how a shot of brandy cured most cases of chills, vapors, or what have you; and how dabbing your temples with eau de cologne tended to alleviate all kinds of weaknesses; but I have to wonder whether anyone can prove scientific results for such treatments, or if this was just a widespread placebo effect. We already know how useful it was to "bleed" people... *shudder* Anyway, I expect at least rachel2205, my resident LJ British History grad student, to have a word or two of answer on that one. ;)

That'll do for now. One more week of work (where I get no LJ access) - five more days of getting up early to put on nice clothes and commute downtown - and then I cease, and enter a new phase of existence. (Firstly, lazing around the house. Secondly, labor. Thirdly, motherhood. But we can call it all motherhood, to simplify things.) I am more than willing to make the exchange. And despite the supposed ultra-feminist, my-career-uber-alles attitude of "the world" these days, I have been getting practically nothing but support when I tell people I plan to take a few years off and be with the kid, even from people who aren't doing it that way themselves. So, thank you, world - either you're more tactful, or more practical, than I had thought; and either option is good news to me.

Comments

(Anonymous)
Jan. 9th, 2006 09:49 pm (UTC)
Mill on the Floss is strongly autobiographical also in the portrayal of an intense bond between brother and sister, such as Marian Evans shared with her brother, Isaac. (And thus his rejection of her relationship with Lewes was especially painful; it's heartbreaking stuff.)

Her "Brother and Sister" sonnets are also about the intensity of that bond.
mollyringle
Jan. 10th, 2006 01:55 am (UTC)
Ah...poor Mary Anne. I suspected such might be the case. Very sad indeed. I hope they reconciled at some point, but sort of doubt it from the tone of the narrative...