Category Archives: Egghead

a rebel in maternity wear

I am feeling more than a little defeated. We just got back from today’s midwife appointment. We saw a different midwife–one we met and liked a couple of months ago. She’s a lovely person, but we’re learning she’s much more mainstream obstetrics than midwife.

Because we hadn’t seen her in awhile, she scanned my chart and quickly found the note the OB had written about suggesting induction at 38 weeks. She saw that it was likely because of the baby’s size, and she also saw the note from the other midwife stating that we wanted to wait. I told her that I wanted to avoid the downward spiral that is so often a pitocin-induced labor, and her response was that while she felt the same way when she had children, as a professional, she sees things differently. Ugh. Here we go again, I thought.

After measuring me and listening to Egghead’s heart, she concluded that we’re both still in great health. Then there was this throwaway comment–that since we’re both in good health, there is no medical reason for induction. It’s just that he’s big. Yes, he’s big. She made sure we knew that in another week he could grow half a pound or pound, and then when I asked when, in her opinion, we should really consider induction, she said, “Now.”

What. the. fuck?

At that point, she was ready to leave. No internal exam, just “Unless you have any other questions, we’ll see you in a week.” I asked if she had planned to do an internal exam–hell, they had already made me undress for it–so she did, and her news was even less encouraging. She thinks I might be one centimeter dilated, but the baby’s head isn’t far down at all, and she left me with the impression that no progress has been made whatsoever and that the only way this baby is coming out is through induction.

I would like to reintroduce one small piece of information: My due date is still eight days away. Eight days. They’re acting like I”m a month overdue with a fifteen pound child, and while Egghead is no waif, he’s likely at this point just barely nine pounds, and that is if we are to trust the ultrasounds, and of course, we’ve all heard the multitudes of stories of ultrasound weight predictions being more than a little off.

I’m livid and defeated, and I have only been able to stop crying for moments at a time since we left. I’m still not scheduling an induction, but I did schedule an appointment with the OB for next  Tuesday morning. I’m sick of so many mixed messages. The midwife we’ve been seeing most recently has been so positive and encouraging, and that is what we need right now. Instead, today, we have this midwife who seems just as fearful and controlling and by the book as any OB would be. It feels like they’ve got these sets of equations, and they’re just plugging my pregnancy into them without looking at me. Somehow, I’m not part of the equation. I don’t matter. All that matters is getting the baby out as simply as possible. I hate being treated like this; it’s so far from what I ever wanted, and I’m so tired of fighting.

To top things off, I’ve been fighting a cold for a couple of days. Why? Why?

I guess I respond best to things like this through action, so my next action is to try to get Egghead to do some dropping. As painful as it is on my pubic bone to do much walking, we’ll be walking as much as I can. I’m going to sit and bounce on the damn yoga ball throughout each day, and I’m starting a regimen of evening primrose oil. I just can’t sit around feeling defeated, feeling like yet another victim of our country’s broken obstetric system. I can’t do it. I want our son to come, but I want him to come naturally. I want to be allowed to trust my own body. Why is that such a crime? Why does this make me some kind of rebel?

I’ve also just got to escape some of the pressure to have this baby as soon as possible. I’m not a fast person. I don’t do things on other people’s timetables, and I don’t deal well with external pressure. The calls from my family, while sweet, are not helping any more than the pressure from the OB. I need to find my center, my power, my strength again. I need to remember that this is something I can do.

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Filed under Egghead, midwife, OB, the P word

10 days

Today marks ten days until our due date. It is also one day until my birthday, and 244 days since we learned I was pregnant. Here we are, our lives on the verge of the hugest change we’ve ever encountered, and J and I are becoming impatient.

We thought the majority or our baby preparations were complete, but we keep finding more.  The following are the projects we have found to busy ourselves just in the last two days:

  • Yesterday, for example, after finding some lovely new drapes, we decided our bedroom needed a mini makeover. This also involved closet organization, cleaning, and more. It was great, and the end result is lovely. I’m sure Egghead will be delighted.
  • I have also finally finished my cloth diaper wipe project. We cut out a bunch of wipes from some great old flannel fabric a few months ago, but I have been putting off finishing the edges. Yesterday was the day to do it, and now we have dozens of flannel baby wipes. This is something I began to worry I wouldn’t ever finish, so it feels good to see the stack of cute little wipes.
  • We organized the clothes in Egghead’s closet, using different colored hangers to signal different clothing sizes.
  • We had the carseat inspected at our local AAA office (I highly recommend this! They’re wonderful!).
  • We have gathered documents to take with us to the hospital (marriage certificate, birth plan, and more).

Yesterday, we also spent an hour counting contractions. I was having them every twenty minutes or so, but then they stopped. I haven’t had any regular bouts of them today–yet, anyway–but it’s fun to practice nevertheless. I feel like the baby’s head may be dropping down a little now, which would be some nice progress. I won’t know anything official, however, until Wednesday’s midwife appointment.

Any time he’s ready, so are we. He’s just getting too big to stay in there much longer. Do you hear that Egghead? We’re ready for you (we even have nice, soft, flannel diaper wipes for you!). Any time now…

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Filed under Egghead, the P word

37 weeks

We’re at thirty-seven weeks. Egghead is officially full term. While we are still three weeks from our due date, the boy can come at any time, and that’s what we’re telling him today. We’re ready–or nearly so–and it’s simply unbelievable that he’s nearly here.

I’m feeling so much better about dumping the class. I have had time to spend with my wife, time to go on little errands, and time to just sit and read. I’ve done frivolous things! I read The Time Traveler’s Wife (a fantastic novel), and then we went to see it (a terrible movie). We caught up with the new show The Colony, and we’ve even done a little shopping. It feels so good, and while I’m still working at my other job, I don’t have an English 1A-shaped cloud hanging over my head. When I go into labor, my current job goes on hold until I’m ready to come back–and coming back simply means logging onto the computer for a few hours a day whenever I feel like it for as long as I feel like it. Yes, things are getting better.

Today, we’re going to install the carseat into the vehicle we have now affectionately deemed “The Baby Bucket.” The car needs to be retired, but as it’s our only four-door, it’s going to have to do until the car fairy grants us with a new one. We have at least made it safe to drive, and that is what’s important.

Today, we finished writing a one-page birth plan, and I’m going to work on packing my hospital bag. My wife has gotten me some lovely comfort items for birth–some cute little socks, some essential oils for aromatherapeutic purposes, and even some new lipbalm. After the weekend, we’ll chat with the singing doula finally and determine whether she’s going to be a good fit (please, please, please). We also have to talk with our potential pediatrician, get me a hair appointment so our son won’t be terrified upon seeing me for the first time (and because my mom insisted on paying for cut and color for me as an early birthday gift), get the carseat installation inspected, and spend some time with friends. These things are so doable, and I’m enjoying checking them off of our list.

So we’re getting things in order, and it feels good, and I don’t feel so panicked now that 37 weeks has arrived.

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dropout

I received an email this morning from the chair of the online teaching committee informing me that I was going to have to type out every last lecture for the class I was possibly to teach spring semester, and I broke down. Last week, the department chair informed me that there was a strong possibility that the class would not be offered in the spring due to budget constraints, but that I could still plan it, just in case. Mind you, there was no pay that was going to be offered for these hours of planning. With no assurance that I’ll get to teach the class, and with dozens of hours more work than I anticipated (not to mention the 30-hour work weeks I’m still putting in at my other job), I gave up. I couldn’t do it. I wrote to the online chair, and I officially backed out of the class. Part of me–the professional side, the academic, the intellectual that doesn’t give up no matter how hard or tedious a job or how underpaid I may be–is very disappointed in myself. I’ve been crying for nearly two hours about this. I feel like a professional failure.

And then there’s this other side of me–the emotional side, the pregnant woman, the soon-to-be mom of this little boy who is jostling about inside my belly as I type–who knows this is the right decision. You see, people keep asking me if I’m excited, and when asked that, I automatically respond, “Oh, yes!” But the truth is, I have been filled with stress and fear and anxiety about all of the things that have to get done before I can even entertain the prospect of being excited about our son’s arrival. I keep telling myself, “Just meet this next deadline, and then you can get excited.” My heart has been breaking over this. I have wanted this baby for so very long, so to not feel excited–well, that was about the worst thing I could imagine.

So I’m taking this as a lesson in prioritizing, and for me, right now, my family has to come first. There will be other classes to teach in the future–maybe even in the spring. There will be other professional endeavors. But what I won’t have is a second chance at these last few weeks (or days) before our baby arrives. I won’t get back these last few sacred moments with my wife where we’re just a couple. I won’t get another chance at the building excitement, the final preparations, or even the hours just sitting and staring at my belly wondering who this little boy is and will be.

In my heart, I know I have made the right choice. I just need to get my head to follow.

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Filed under Egghead, family, teaching writing, the P word

Midwife Appointment

Well, today’s appointment was a little more eventful than I had anticipated. The midwife we had not yet met had discussed last week’s ultrasound with our OB, so when she came in, she told us she had some good news, some pretty good news, and some not-so-good news. I think I knew immediately what that not-so-good news was going to be. She told us that everything looked great with the baby, that I looked healthy, and that my fibroids haven’t grown at all, which meant that were posing less of a risk of interfering with delivery. But then came the not-so-good. The doctor wants us to start thinking about induction because Egghead is so large.

Honestly, I almost laughed.

J and I have been waiting for the OB to throw down her first intervention, and I had a strong sense after finding out how big Egghead is that this would be it. I was honest with the midwife, however, and I told her that I thought we would be fine. I talked about my mom’s history of having big babies and that I just don’t think my body will have an issue with it. Since we had to do the lovely Group B Strep swab today anyway, she told me she’d examine me, check on the fibroid position, Egghead’s position, etc. so that we could approach this with more information.

So we commenced with the exam (the swab was easy), my first internal since my first appointment. She could feel Egghead’s big head, and it has moved down some into my pelvis (she didn’t tell us which station, and I forgot to ask). What she didn’t feel were any fibroids (I knew they were out of the way!), nor did she find a lack of space. In fact, I have been informed that I have a “beautiful pelvis” with plenty of room to pass a big baby. Not only that, but I have a “beautiful cervix.” It apparently is softening nicely, and it’s about 60% effaced. It isn’t yet dilated, but she says it is starting to dilate on the outside. In other words, my body is getting ready. I told her about yesterday’s increased contractions, and she was thrilled (she may have almost clapped) to hear that they included some cramping. Overall, once the exam was complete, she seemed pretty confident that I wouldn’t need to really think about induction unless I go more than a couple of days past my due date. Phew!

So this is where we stand. I don’t think Egghead is coming this week, and I’m going to encourage him to stay put for one week longer so that we can finish up our preparations. After he reaches his 37 week mark, I’ll begin welcoming him, letting him know that it’s okay for him to come when he is ready. We’ll wait a bit longer to proceed with any of our own induction measures, but we’ll be welcoming suggestions as we get closer. The reality that we are soon going to have a baby is finally starting to sink in.

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Filed under Egghead, interventions, midwife, OB, the P word

a reluctant juggler

I’m getting a good taste this week of some serious multi-tasking. There is a class that I have been offered for next January, one that I will get to teach online for the community college with which I am currently affiliated. This is something I have wanted to do for a long time, and it’s an exciting endeavor. It may mean that I’ll have the teensiest bit of job stability at this college (in that I might get one of these online classes each semester), and it will mean that I can teach from home on my own schedule when Egghead is here. It’s a good deal.

What isn’t such a great deal is that I have put off planning this thing until now. My due date to submit the course for approval is August 31st, and I am in panic mode. So what do I do to get the ball rolling? I sit down to blog. Yes, that’s me: the ultimate procrastinator. Honestly, I’ve planned this very class for in-person classes dozens of times. I’ve taught many sections of this class, and I have used online components, so I really just have to make that final leap, but I can’t get my head there. I don’t want to be an academic right now. I want to be the flighty, forgetful, full-of-excitement mom-to-be that I am, and this task keeps pulling me away from all that. Egghead’s giant knee poking out of the upper portion of my belly doesn’t help me stay focused. It just doesn’t. I guess I’m learning the earliest and most gentle of lessons about what life is going to be like as an academic mom.

Can I tell you a secret? I don’t really like it.

I’m far more interested in Egghead’s newest diaper covers than I am in helping young college students find their academic voices. I would far rather read about breastfeeding and swaddling than the latest best practices on teaching grammar. Is this how I’m going to be from now on? Am I really losing sight of my career already? I don’t know–I think I’m just caught up in the excitement of being a new parent, and I’m honestly burnt out on teaching the same thing year after year. But that is nothing new. I’ve been burnt out on this for awhile.

So today I’m juggling. I’m still working at another online educational support job, and that has picked up this month to six hours a day. On top of that, I’ve got to get this class finished (and familiarize myself enough with the technology I’m to use in order to make it work), and on top of that, we’ve got birth class to attend, a hospital to tour, a car to get in working order, and my wife’s birthday this week–and my sister is coming for a quick visit this weekend. Need I even say that I’m a smidge overwhelmed? Is it really a surprise that all I want to do is float around in the pool and then sit in the shade with a good novel or go for a picnic with my lovely wife?

Alas, it’s back to the juggling I go.

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Filed under blogtherapy, Egghead, teaching

Big Boy

Eight years ago today, my wife and I recited vows to one another and jumped over a broom in front of our dearest friends and family at our commitment ceremony (this is now one of three anniversaries we have). Today, we celebrated by taking a peak at our son.

This afternoon was our ultrasound to check on Egghead’s growth. Now, remember that the OB was worried that since I haven’t yet gained any weight that Egghead may not be growing enough. I believe that Egghead has been having a big laugh since the ultrasound order was written because he is, in fact, a very big boy.

Egghead’s estimated weight at this time is 7 pounds 1 ounce. He is measuring full term and in the 85th percentile. His feet are over seven centimeters long.

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I don’t think we need to worry about my lack of weight gain, for Egghead has clearly found what he needs to be a very, very big boy. The ultrasound tech renamed him Bruiser.

Honestly, this was a great experience. We had a recently graduated high school student with dreams of becoming an x-ray or ultrasound tech observing, so our tech narrated everything from the measurements of Egghead’s cerebellum to her discussion of the cord, the amniotic fluid levels (which are very good), and more. It was so educational, and it didn’t hurt that the u/s tech was sassy as can be.

Along with measuring Egghead, she took a look at my fibroids, and I got to see the things that have caused me so much angst. One is way up at the top of my uterus, and another is closer to the bottom but off to one side. That one is the big one, the one that was measuring 7cm. Since then it has shrunk to 6.5cm, and it is nowhere near my cervix or the baby’s head. She showed me the nice clear area all around the cervix, and our son’s head nearby. She didn’t see anything blocking his exit, and nor did we.

I can hardly begin to relate just how relieved I am.

I have been preparing myself for the worst since we learned of these fibroids. I have had so much anxiety that somehow any dreams I ever had of anything resembling the birth I wanted were shot. Now, I feel the weight of all of that fear lifted, and I feel free to prepare myself for the hard work of labor and delivery. I’m firmly aware that things can still go wrong, but I’ve got hope that they won’t, hope that I may get a little slice of that birth I wanted after all. I think I’m going to be delivering a nearly ten pound baby boy vaginally, and I couldn’t be happier.

She gave us a couple of additional photos. In one, she wanted to show the student Egghead’s penis, but he was only willing to show his scrotum (complete with two testicles). I had asked J what she would do if we suddenly found out our boy was a girl, so after relating that story to the tech, she printed us this:

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And, finally, she did get Egghead to cooperate and show us a profile. J and I noticed he appears to be pursing his lips–that or the child has a giant overbite. Either way, he’s our beautiful Egghead:

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And last, so that you can get the big picture, here’s my 34w5d belly shot:

34w5d

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Filed under anniversary, anxiety, belly, Egghead

34 week update and OB appointment

Amidst all of yesterday’s madness, we had an OB appointment. Originally, we were going to meet the last of the three midwives in the practice, but I had to reschedule, so we decided to see our OB. Honestly, I’m glad we did. We wanted to check in with her at least once before Egghead’s arrival, so it worked out well.

It was one of those days when the entire practice was running late, so we had to wait an eternity in the waiting room and then another eternity in the exam room, and if you’d like to know a little secret about my wife, she’s not so good at waiting. Still, we were able to amuse ourselves with photos of babies on the wall.

When the doc did finally arrive, she asked how I felt about my weight gain (or lack thereof). I told here I felt okay about it, that it seemed the baby was taking it all since everything but my belly appears to be shrinking. She thought that was likely as well. When she checked my fundal height, it was right on track at 34 weeks. This is the first time it has been on track for a couple of months though–he’s been measuring two weeks ahead. In my estimation, there are a couple of things that may have caused this: a slight difference in how the two practitioners measure or a difference in Egghead’s position (last appointment, he was bulging out of my upper abdomen, and this time he was settled in down low). There is, of course, the more obvious possibility that his growth is evening out. Whatever it is, the doc decided it would be a good time to order a new ultrasound–not there in the office, but at the big ultrasound place where they make me drink lots of water.

So, we’ll get to see our Egghead again this next Tuesday. They’ll take measurements and take a look at the fibroids too. The doctor is being very positive about the fibroids at this point, stating that she doesn’t think they’ll be a problem. I told her that’s what I felt too and that it was helpful to me to think positively about it. We’ve come a long way since the big fibroid reveal a few months ago, and I’m glad for that.

So this is where we stand. Both my health and that of Mr. Egghead seem to be great, and we’ll find out a little more on Tuesday. We’re both honestly quite excited to see him again. It’s been fourteen weeks!

This weekend, we’re making our last trek out of town to go to my parents’ house. My sister and mom are throwing us a family shower, and we’ll get to relax and soak in some quiet while we’re there. Once we come back, though, we’re staying. No more trips. It’s time to settle in, get our nest on, and wait for this baby to come.

Today marks 34 weeks. I can’t believe we’re just six weeks away from our due date. Generally, I’m feeling pretty good. I am still getting several swims in each week, and I feel best when I’m in the water. In fact, I feel almost normal–it’s a strange sensation. Normally, though, I feel heavy and big, and every once in awhile, I waddle a little. My hips hurt most of the time, and my pubic bone pain now causes me to have to sit down to put my pants on because otherwise, it hurts too bad. All of this, we’re told, is normal, that my body is just stretching and stretching for the big day. Luckily, I still sleep rather well. The body pillow has returned, and most nights I wrestle with it until it ends up on the floor. For the most part, though, 34 weeks is not so bad. Yes, I’m ready to have the agility, speed, and comfort of my prepregnant body (I realize this is a naive dream), but I’m also trying to soak up every last moment of this pregnancy, making the most of even the less comfortable situations. I can already tell I’m going to miss it.

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Filed under Egghead, OB, showers, the P word

a room of his own

…well, not until we move into a place with office space, but the boy does officially have a room in our apartment.

We have been building on this space for awhile, but we never had any sort of concrete plan in place other than the layout. Whenever we have themes for rooms, they tend to be fairly eclectic, and Egghead’s room is no exception. We did know that we wanted plenty of color, plenty of animals, real art, and a space that both moms and baby could enjoy. Without further ado, allow me to take you on a tour.

Outside of the door, we have posted what is to be Egghead’s initial.  Come on in!

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Just to the left of the door is where his changing table will be. Egghead’s grandpa is building a custom changing table to fit our needs and to fit our space. We designed it so that these little drawer units will fit underneath, and once we’re finished using it as a changing table, it will simply be a nice table with storage for the boy’s room. For now, imagine it there to the left of the crib.

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The crib seems to be one that nearly everyone has, but we love that it converts to so many different beds. Two of our dearest friends got this for us at our last shower. Attached to it, you can see frogs with magnetic hands, and draped over it is the blanket I made (note: all hazardous items will be removed before a baby is placed within the crib). The photo above it is of a little boy standing in the water. A friend of ours purchased this for us after we saw it in a gallery a few years ago and loved it. Now we know precisely where it was meant to go all this time. Now to zoom out a bit:

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We have a lot of things hanging from the ceiling in this room. The blue dot chandelier is something J and I bought on a trip up the Oregon coast several years ago, and we had no idea what it was for. We only knew that we needed it. Once again, now we know. The other hangy item displayed here is the beautiful bird mobile that Olive made for us. Note the extra storage space we found under the crib. Hooray for storage space!

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Covered in some of his new blankets and his stuffed animal collection is another piece of furniture that Egghead’s grandpa made. It’s a cedar chest that he made for me when I was about sixteen. Now it holds the baby’s blankets, bedding, and even some toddler clothes.

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Of course, with two English teachers for moms, our boy is going to have a great library. So far, it’s still small, but there are some gems here.

The last item on the tour of Egghead’s room is his half of a closet. He’s even got some cute little clothes hanging in it and a fabulous new stroller he plans to go for walks in just as soon as his moms are up to it:

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That, so far, is his space. While he’s still very small, however, Egghead will sleep in our room in a moses basket.

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He won’t remain at the end of the bed, but that’s where the basket rests for now. We’ll move him to my side of the bed once he’s here.

It’s amazing to have spaces chiseled out for this baby who is about to enter our lives. We both love to just sit in the nursery and soak it in. It feels so different–more peaceful–with baby things everywhere. Of course, it’s still an office too. The remnants of that can be seen here:

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(Note the diplomas–as if this child will care a speck about his moms’ advanced degrees when he wants to be fed or changed.)

And here:

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But as you can see, even these items are flanked in baby gear–and we rather like it that way. Now all we need is a sweet little boy to make it complete. Just a little under eight weeks until his due date. We really are that close now.

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Filed under Egghead, home, nesting

31 weeks

I can’t believe that we’re really in the last ten weeks (or so) of this pregnancy. Where on earth has the time gone? What happened to the days of J and I staring at pictures of little embryos that looked more like seahorses than humans? I’m in quite a bit of shock.

The last couple of weeks have begun to show me my physical limitations, and I’m feeling a little whiny. I apologize ahead of time.

 Yesterday, working to take a desk apart and straining a bit too much to loosen screws resulted in a day of more braxton hicks contractions than I would like to have. It didn’t help that Egghead was also particularly curious and active. My belly was already so tight most of the day, and he would stick his head or a knee or his butt out–so uncomfortable. It was admittedly a little amusing to see my belly change shape so much, but I was utterly exhausted by the end of the day. A bath finally relaxed my abdominal muscles, but it was a little frightening to be thrown into such a state of exhaustion by a task that normally I would think nothing of.

Walking, too, has become more of a chore. I have had bad hips for a long time, but pregnancy has shown me a new degree of hip pain, and when I walk for long periods of time, they kill me. When I sleep in a bed that is not my own, they are even worse. On top of it all, I’ve now got this lovely pubic bone pain, and I feel about eighty-years-old half the time. Yes, I’m starting to be a mess.

Unfortunately, my exhaustion takes its toll on both of us. I’m a lot less pleasant to my wife, and she has to pick up a lot more slack around the house (The woman deserves a weekend at some fabulous beach resort where she’ll be pampered day and night. If only I could give that to her.) By 10:00 most nights, we’re in bed, reading one or two pages before we both pass out. I knew I’d get here eventually, but I’m now sad to say, I miss my pre-pregnancy body–or at least the body that wasn’t in pain 75% of the day. I’m definitely beginning to feel the third trimester, and it scares me that on some days, it’s already kicking my ass.

Luckily, we do have the pool, and I take advantage of the weightlessness of that space as often as I can. It’s wonderful to step into that water and to feel like I can move normally again. I swim a few laps and generally try to keep moving for a good amount of time, and it’s dreamy. Of course, as soon as I get out, I’m gravity’s victim once again, but it’s lovely while it lasts.

We have a few big events coming up soon. Next week, I’ll be officiating the wedding of some dear friends. Originally, we were to stay at their house one night and at a hotel another, but I think we’ve decided on the hotel for both nights. This means I’ll get to sleep when I need to, take as many middle-of-the-night bathroom trips as I need (I think six is my record thus far), and just generally feel a little more comfortable. Two weeks after that is our last trip of the pregnancy. We’re going to my mom’s for a shower she and my sister are throwing. We’ll be there for a couple of nights and then back home to our comfy bed and easy-to-access restroom.

Tomorrow is also a big day. My mom and step-dad are coming to help us convert our office/guest room into our office/nursery (hence the need to take apart the desk–so that we can move it). They will help us assemble the crib, move furniture, and generally keep me from harming myself. We’re beyond excited to finally get to do this. And, yes, pictures will follow.

And so I leave you with a long overdue belly shot. Here I am at 31 weeks. J says my belly does not look as big as it does in person, but I think you can get the idea.

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Filed under Egghead, nesting, the P word