twenty days

With less than three weeks until the Wee Dictator is due, we’re in a bit of a state of turmoil at our house. A dozen unexplained bug bites over a few nights in the last couple weeks turned into a panicked call to the exterminator and one freaked out mama-to-be.

You cannot bring a baby home to a house with bugs! Those people end up on the news! And not in one of those feel good stories they run after bits about gang violence and terrorism, either.

My first inclination was that we had fleas. Our feral cats have become indoor/outdoor cats over the course of the winter (they’re not dumb) and they love to sleep on our bed (see: not dumb). Although they’re flea-treated, I thought fine, maybe I miscalculated their last dosage. Maybe they could *possibly* have brought something inside. Seemed logical.

My ultimate fear was bed bugs. Horror of horrors! Neither of us travels, though, and there’s nothing new in the house that could have transported them. I mean, that doesn’t necessarily rule out the possibility, but the pest control man seemed utterly befuddled, having found zero evidence of any kind of biting pest, flea, bedbug or otherwise. Our stark white mattress is, well, stark white. Same with the bedding. An in-depth investigation yielded only more nothing. Nothing but frustration. The exterminator left without having exterminated anything or rescuing me in any sort of way, except for providing a set of instructions for some proactive measures we could take. And boy, did we take ‘em. I’m having none of this risk taking. I’ve washed every bit of everything in hot water, the Dork Lord has sprayed the room, the mattress has been covered, bug boards laid and blah blah blah.

It’s ultimately a lot of stress that I didn’t need. I think the worst part for me is that I’ve worked so stinking hard to make everything as perfect as possible for Charlie’s arrival and then…this. This thing I cannot control. And if you know me at all, you know that I’m not so good with things I cannot control. They are my nemeses. My Khaaaaaan!

I haven’t cried yet, but let’s not rule it out.

Also, now I just itch all the time. Out of pure suggestion. Meanwhile, the only thing our sticky bug traps have caught is an unfortunate dust bunny. And Midge once. But that was funny.

By way of a Hal update: He’s doing remarkably well. He still seems completely unaware that there is anything wrong with him. His appetite is up and his weight has returned to normal. He sleeps a lot, but, you know, he’s a cat. And that’s sorta their modus operandi. Having grown accustomed to his daily medication routines, Hal even voluntarily jumps up on the counter while I glove up (being pregnant, I’m not allowed to touch any of his meds). I’m guessing that his willingness has little something to do with the treat he gets after. Like his mama, he’s compelled by food. Outside of his daily meds, it’s very easy to pretend there’s nothing wrong with him. So I do.

And a word or several on Charlie: Kid’s head down, ready to go. I’ve asked him to be born a few days early on the 16th (it’s a full moon, after all, and babies love to be born on full moons), and I’ve decided that whether or not he complies will tell me everything I need to know his personality. Come on, Charlie. Do this for mommy. She wants to roll over in bed without her whole skeleton hurting. I’ve also asked him to have a reasonably sized head. Please, oh, please.


Thank you most sincerely for all your good thoughts and well wishes with regard to Hal and Charlie. So far, so good! And uh, if you’d like to direct some of that positivity at the bug situation, well, I would not object.

Scratch, scratch.

16 comments to twenty days

  • Sharon

    So glad to read your new post…not about the bugs, but that everything else is going well and that Hal is holding his own. Obliviousness is much underated! Charlie’s room looks perfect and I know I speak for many when I say I wish you that New Moon delivery and an easy one, too! Looking forward to baby Charlie pics soon! Best Wishes, Heather!

  • Karen

    Hope the bug thing is resolved before Charlie arrives. As a mom of 2, i had to giggle when you said that things you cannot control are your “nemesis.” I know you’ve been around children, so it won’t come as a complete surprise, but I think the *definition* of a kid is “thing you can’t control.” Ha! Good luck with that one ;)

    • thisfish

      I think I was more referring to problematic situations. I have actually encountered other humans (including children) and not felt *too* compelled to control them.

  • Barbara E.

    So glad Hal’s Haling along so well. Have the bites been confirmed as bites and not some sort of bizarro rash? Be well, and make sure Chris updates the blog when Charlie arrives!

  • melissa

    Your skeleton might not hurt, but you won’t be in the bed much thanks to the wee dictator. :)

  • Karen

    This is an uber freaky thought, but if you have tracks of itch running from your fingers up your arms or are just intensely itchy all over and beginning to think you are mental and/or truly think it is not contact dermatits… I suggest having a skin scraping done at a dermatologist’s to test for scabies… and redone if it is negative and you continue to itch.
    During the three years I worked for a dermatologist we saw several people with pervasive itch treated with all manner of allergy testing and topical creams without effect when a skin scraping and a slide sample revealed scabies mites. I really hope not, though!

    • thisfish

      No, nothing like that. I have well defined welts that itch. And I went to urgent care at first and the doctor there identified them as bites, but not bedbug and not spider. She was all set to say I had hives from being pregnant and sensitive to everything but then she actually took a look and nope, those are bug bites.

      • Karen

        Phew! While scabies are different than bed bugs.. they do not leave well-defined hive-like bite marks. Phew.

  • Gretchen

    I had a similar situation happen in college. My roommate had recently got a cat, and I started to get itchy bug bites shortly there after (got to be over 50 at one point, felt similar to mosquito bites). This cat was kept completely indoors and treated for fleas, so everyone thought I was crazy that I believed the cat was the source. I finally convinced my roommate to take her cat to the vet. It took some thorough examining, but they did end up finding the cat had mites (not easily visible to the naked eye, but very easy to treat). Just thought I’d share since I’d been through a similar experience.

  • CaliGal

    17 days and counting.
    Squeeeeee! So excited for you!

    Yes, please have Chris update as soon as he can.
    Still so happy to hear about Sir Hal. He rocks!

    Feel good, kiddo. You’re all in my thoughts and prayers. And with each thought of you and your boys, my smile grows ever wider.

    Can’t wait to know all is well and to see Charlies beautiful face. :) Peace.

  • Melanie

    I’m sorry for the bug bites–those are not fun when you aren’t pregnant, so I cannot imagine what it’s like when you can barely reach most of yourself to scratch or apply lotion.

    And, I happy Hal is doing as well as could be imagined.

    I am looking forward to the Wee Dictator’s arrival! The nursery looks wonderful!

  • Melissa

    There is a chance your bites could be Erythema Nodosum, which is just a scary name for inflammation of fat cells directly under the skin. It can be triggered by pregnancy, among other random things. If the welts are mostly on your shins, get bigger and become tender, and if the Dork Lord does not have any bites, it may be worth a visit to a dermatologist. I went through something similar to what you describe and turned my house upside down looking for fleas, bed bugs, spiders. Nothing. The MD I saw said they were bites but he couldn’t say what kind. Then they got bigger and started bruising so I went to a dermatologist who finally diagnosed it as Erythema Nodosum. It is not a very serious condition and it will go away after a few weeks. Just thought I’d put that out there. Good luck!

  • Heather

    Hi Heather, out of pure nosiness, whats your maternity leave entitlement in the good old US of A?
    I’ve heard that it is generally not that great. Over here in the UK we are really lucky to get a statutory 9 months paid leave (equates to about $200 per week) with an optional additional 3 months unpaid. Plus most employers give additional financial allowances in the early months. It certainly helps out a lot, although cost of living is so high that many women are forced to return before the 9months in order to make ends meet.

    Best of luck with the final weeks weeks of the pregnancy and I wish you a safe and healthy delivery


    • thisfish

      12 weeks, unpaid. The government really only guarantees that they hold your job for you for 3 months. But you take it 100% unpaid.

  • Could it be ants? They DO bite. Hope it gets resoled soon!!!!

  • Nilou

    You’ve been in my thoughts. Wishing you a happy and healthy delivery! And, here’s hoping the bug situation has been resolved.