Monday, March 25, 2013

Belly Cast Bust

What my results should have looked like!
I'll be the first to admit I've been a bit preoccupied over the last few weeks.  My main thoughts and actions have all been based on trying to get all things "new baby" ready for Piper's arrival.  Which, by the way, could be pretty much at any given moment, but I'll get back to that in a minute.  I've been finishing up last minute touches on the nursery, trying to get my own self in gear (such as packing a bag for my time in the hospital during delivery), and tying up all loose ends at work in preparation for my maternity leave.  Let me tell you, that last part is a bit of a bitch because it is also our busy season due to people getting their tax refunds...I work in the family furniture, electronics, and appliances business.  We have eight locations plus our corporate offices and warehouse facility.  I'm the buyer of all things furniture, among the many other roles I play.  So right now I'm not only trying to juggle trying to keep all of our locations fully stocked during the tax season rush, but I am also trying to make sure the main inventory needs of the company will be fulfilled while I am on leave.  I will be working from home as needed during my time away from the office, but that's a whole other can of worms.

I hate to admit that the hectic pace of the business right now is one thing that has kept me from posting as often as I would like.  Yes, during those slow days I tend to use my free time at the office to work on the blog.  That is just one of the perks of the family business, I suppose.  But as of the last month or so, that free time has been down to just about zilch! I'm spending most of my days running around like a crazy person.  Most of that crazy coming from the overload in hormones.  All the running around does take its tole, too.  I find myself needing to sit down and catch my breath quite often as I'm pretty much a whale right now when it comes to my size.  And I like my whalishness, it's cute in its own special way.

Aw, it's so cute!
As of this past week, I have begun cutting my working hours back.  I'm pretty much coming in about thirty minutes late in the morning, as it takes me a bit longer to get myself together in the mornings.  Then, depending on how I feel and the amount of time spent on my feet during the day, I'm heading out around 3 o'clock.  By the time I get home, I am completely exhausted and just want to chillax.  This means I do not pull out my laptop and write about my life on a regular basis.  It is a bit selfish, as I know there are readers who are wanting me to post more, and I apologize for my selfish laziness.  But in the end, I really don't feel like I can help it...this whaling around is more tiring that I expected.  Plus my mind has been all over the place.  Trying to focus on a single train of thought has been pretty much impossible.  That and I tend to be more forgetful lately.  Speaking of scattered brain function, I do believe I began this post with the intention of parlaying a story about me trying to make a belly cast last weekend.  Well, now that I've smoothly segued into that topic...

Right after I became pregnant I was invited to a friend's baby shower.  On her registry was a pregnancy belly molding kit.  I immediately thought "how cool is that?"  My mind went to instant work imagining the fun things I could do with a belly cast.  My final thought on the matter was that I would make one of my own belly towards the end of my pregnancy and then have my nieces and nephew paint it for me and Piper.  We have a family museum in my parents' house, and wouldn't that just be perfect to add to our collections one day?  Anyway, that was my goal.  So, I also registered for one when the time came, and when no one purchased one for me, I went out and got one for myself.

Since my purchase, I have been waiting for the perfect moment to use it.  I wanted to be good and round-bellied as I figured that would make the best cast.  Last Sunday was just perfect.  I was having one of those days where my belly was perfectly round and poking way out.  I seized the opportunity and broke out the casting kit.  The kit of choice was the one made by Pearhead.

Looks easy enough, right?
It's not like I had another choice in kits as this was the only one at Babies 'R' Us, but oh well.  It looks really simple, and in overall concept it is.  It comes with five rolls of plaster which you cut into small, medium, and long strips.  It doesn't tell you what they mean by these sizes, so you just have to wing it based on your own judgement.  It also comes with a giant tarp to put down on the floor to keep from making a mess (back to this in a second), and a jar of petroleum jelly to lube up with before applying the plaster strips.  Oh, and gloves for the stripping part.

The basic instructions, and believe me they were BASIC, were to cut the strips into the three sizes (do this before you begin, although it doesn't tell you that), lube up, wet each strip individually and place across the body in overlapping layers, let dry for about 10 minutes, remove the cast and set it somewhere to finish drying.  See, easy-peasy right?  WRONG!

First off, the tarp is not nearly effective enough when it comes to not making a mess.  Every strip you get wet drips and wet plaster flies everywhere as you are trying to put the strips on your body.  By the time I had finished applying all the strips there was plaster on every surface of the bathroom!  Hell, I'm not at all sure how it managed to get on the walls, the mirrors, both the vanities and everything item sitting upon them, the floor area the tarp didn't cover, the rugs, the drawers, the bathtub, shall I go on?  Seriously, this shit was a messy as it gets!

Speaking of the plaster strips, once they're wet, beware.  These bad boys want to fold up once wet and if they do, well just be prepared to either toss those particular strips or use them as the wadded up mess they have become because there is no unfolding them.  This is one reason the damn things got so messy.  Since it was necessary to drag them through the water and then onto the body as quickly as possible before they had a chance to attack themselves, that is why the plaster soaked water ended up all over the damned place.  I tried at first to remove a bit of the excess water from the strips after wetting them, but that is when they went all crazy on me.  So I changed my method and just went for the wetter method.  It kept them from wadding up, for the most part, but it made a much larger mess in the end.

I should backtrack here and talk about that oh-so-much-fun petroleum jelly that came with the kit!  Lube used to be a good thing in my head.  I haven't had any sexy time with lube involved in an embarrassingly long time, but I digress.  This little trip down lube lane, however, might just have ruined me from ever wanting to touch the stuff again.  Now I will admit this wouldn't be the lube of choice for sexy time, but that's besides the point.  What it was was a big ole jar of very dense generic Vaseline which had to be rubbed over the entire body surface area being used for the cast.  You know, I really didn't realize just how big I was until I had to grease myself up for this adventure.  It literally took the entire jar, and it was literally the most disgusting concoction of goo I had ever run across. It was very thick, and very slick, and very much not coming off once on.  It took three showers in two days before it was finally all off, and don't even think about washing it off your hands after the lathering process is complete.  I had to soil a perfectly good towel to remove enough off my hands to continue with strip-laying process.  I really think there is probably a much better, yet similar, product our there that would work better.  However, this goo was just cheap like a two-dollar crack whore down on the street corner working for half price cause she needs a fix.  Yeah, that cheap!

After I finished lubing myself, which made me giggle quite a bit, and then began the strip-layering process, I thought for sure all was going to be a cake walk.  Sure I screwed up a few initial strips due to them folding up on themselves, but for the most part it seemed like I was doing a pretty good job.  No matter what I thought of my plastering skill level. nothing could have prevented the disaster that was to come.

I began the plastering process with the boob area.  Once the area was sufficiently covered, I began working down the belly.  Well let me tell you, once the strips start to dry, they begin to detach from your body.  So here I am with plastered boobs, one belly strip in the works, and wouldn't you know my tits fall off!  What the hell?  So I try and place the boobage back on, sort of holding it to myself with one elbow as I'm trying to wet the next strip thinking if I can just get a few belly strips attached to the boob mold that all will be saved.  WRONG!  No matter how hard I tried, those boobs were just not staying on.  So I said fine, and removed the boob mold and moved on to the belly.  My thought at this point was that maybe I could make two separate casts and join them later or just have a belly cast, perhaps.

The belly casting was smooth going at first, just as the boob mold had been.  However it also, once the drying process began, started coming detached from my body.  Well as you probably know, the boob area of the body is not quite as large as the pregnant belly area of the body.  Therefore, when the strips began to dry, I was only about halfway through the plastering process.  Once again I tried holding the upper belly area mold onto my skin with an elbow as I quickly and desperately tried applying strips to my lower belly area.  And once again, no such luck salvaging the belly cast.  It just ended up caving in the middle, which made it look like a pair of fat, plastered lips.  The belly cast was so big and round that the partially dry section couldn't hold up the partially wet section and vice versa.  It ended up a deformed heap of semi-soggy-yet-semi-dried plastered mess more similar to a Jabba the Hut belly mold than that of my own belly.

Kinda creepy...
Uncanny resemblance, huh?
In the end, this kit was a piece of shit!  Maybe if I wasn't a single gal and I had a partner to help out with the cast it would have worked, but I doubt it.  I could only imagine it working if perhaps someone else plastered me while I was laying down and perfectly still.  But when you lay down as a pregnant woman, your belly doesn't stick out like it does while standing up, so this doesn't seem like a brilliant method either.  I think it sucks it didn't work because the concept is so dang cool.  I would have loved for it to have worked and then I could show off my amazing belly-cast masterpiece.  I would then forever have a part of my pregnant self to admire.  I guess I'll just have to settle for having Piper to remind me of my once pregnant self, and that isn't too shabby of a trade-off.  She'll do in a pinch, for sure.

Speaking of Piper, one quick update before I get this published.  I'm now 38 weeks along and I'm thinking she will be here any day now.  I awoke with unrelenting pelvic pressure and a bit of pain this morning, and it's been going strong all day.  I'm also now experiencing a dull ache in my back, so that may also be a sign of her pending appearance.  I wasn't dilated or anything at my prenatal last Friday, but my doc said that could change in a matter of hours.  My mom never dilated with any of us until she actually went into labor, so I'm not placing too much weight on the dilation thing.  I've been having Braxton-Hicks for some weeks now and piercing cervical pains for many weeks, also.  Those suckers can stop you in your tracks!  No one ever told me about those and they are not necessarily pleasant.  But then again, each one makes me smile afterward because I know they are a sign that I'm getting closer to meeting my baby girl.

She definitely is out of room in there (which is why she needs to go ahead and just be born already) and watching her trying to move around is entertainment in itself.  It is so cool to watch my belly do waves and little body parts try to poke out.  It's like an alien trying to bust out.  I could literally sit and watch her squirm around for hours!  As a matter of fact, she's going into action right now!  You know what that means?  I gotta bounc, pop some popcorn, and get ready for the show!  I'll keep you all posted if any new developments occur.  I know everyone will be anxious to hear when I go into labor, and I will let everyone know the moment it begins.

But for now, go ahead and drop a vote my way on Top Baby Blogs by clicking the button below.  Also come follow Piper and I on Facebook and/or Twitter.

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