Friday, December 15, 2006

Violet Beauregarde

I have only one recurring nightmare, and it's about chewing gum. In the dream, there's gum in my mouth, and it keeps expanding. I'm pulling handfuls of it out, but it sticks on my teeth, and just keeps expanding. The more I pull, the more there is. It's horrible.

I'm not the only one who has this dream. I've met a couple of other people now who also have the gum dream. Needless to say, most of us have had a lifelong aversion to gum.

When I was about six, I saw the film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory for the first time. I was entranced, but also a bit unsettled by the misadventures of Augustus Gloop, and by the time Violet Beauregarde turned blue ("you're turning violet, Violet!") I was outta there. I've often wondered if seeing her blow up like a balloon from Willy's gum a formative age had a role creating my nightmare.

These days, Violet and I have a few things in common beyond our winning personalities. I'm still my normal color (think Elmer's glue, and you'll get the idea), but my abdomen has started expanding at an alarming rate. I'm starting to look around nervously whenever I hear music, thinking that it's the Oompa-Loompas coming to roll me off to the juicing room.

I look about 3 months pregnant right now. The look is quite fetching, I think, (pregnant is in this year--it's the new black) but it's also remarkably uncomfortable. Last night, I had trouble sleeping because I couldn't figure out where to put my newly enormous belly.

So what's going on? A little math, if you don't mind...

A mature follicle should be about 20 mm in diameter, or 1 cm in radius. A mature follicle should also be approximately spherical (although I suspect that mine look more like this).

The volume of a sphere is 4/3π times the radius cubed, or in this case around 4.2 cubic centimeters, or 4.2 milliliters. So, if I have 5-10 follicles that are close to mature, their total volume should be between 21 and 42 ml. That's less than half of a juice box, whereas I look and feel like I swallowed a chihuahua.

I can't wait for my next ultrasound tomorrow morning to see what on earth is in there.

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