Lessons from Nemo

This baby's been moving nearly non-stop for over an hour and a half.

Memo to Baby:




This baby is good and cooked. Apparently, I’m the only one who thinks so, since I’ve essentially made no progress cervix-wise since last week. Nope. All my doc’s other patients went into labor the night before my appointment, “and not one of them was due yet”. (Why does he torture me with such tales?) Me? Still under 1cm dilated and still working on the softening part. I think M is secretly praying I hold out until next Wednesday, which is when he’ll be eligible for FMLA and will be able to take a nice two or three week break with me and the baby.

The doc asked me about fetal movement, which I had been a little freaked about on the way to his office. I hadn’t felt this baby move ever since I was up in the wee hours of the morning (not sleeping well at all). He hadn’t moved all throughout my morning routine and I had all sorts of scary imaginings of “fetal demise” (stupid baby shows) on the way in to the office, but figured that maybe the baby was tired from being up with me all night. Sure enough, I felt him while in the waiting room and brushed it off. My doc did no such thing. He hooked me up to the electronic fetal monitor and did a non-stress test. When all looked OK, I was released and told to do kick counts everyday from here on out, and to call if I notice anything out of the ordinary.

In the meantime, every one is waiting with baited breath. I can’t miss work without being asked if I’ve begun mat leave, and every time I call someone, they wonder if it’ll be me announcing “I’m in labor”. I’m not complaining. It’s just that I’m just watching and waiting along with the rest of you. Kind of like when everyone is watching and waiting for a person to appear and that person walks up behind them and says “whatcha lookin’ at?” Yup. That’s how it feels.

In the meantime, I ordered and received my Moby wrap! Last night I practiced tying it onto M (while he pretended to be a bible character because of all the drapey fabric must have made him feel like Moses or something) and gave him a tour of how the baby goes in, then later I practiced tying it onto myself – which doesn’t work so well with a big, pregnant belly. Still, it’s the piece of baby “equipment” that I’m the most excited to use. I can’t exactly explain why. I think it’s because I can “wear” the baby and be hands-free. It intrigues me. Inexplicably so.

Now if I can just get him here. . .




Remember last Christmas? When I made a Christmas wish and asked Heavenly Father for a baby by this Christmas? No?

I thought I wrote about that. . . .

Anyway. It was Christmas Eve. We went to the temple to see the program and look at the lights. I stood there listening to the music and, with tears in my eyes and hope in my heart, I prayed silently and asked Heavenly Father for a baby by next Christmas. I promised that if I could have that wish, I would bring that baby to the temple lights next year.

Fast forward (almost) a year.

Remember how I waited until I was good & pregnant (like 2 months ago) to confess that plot to M? We laugh about it now, and it’s been adding fuel to our growing bonfire of anticipation.

With the holidays approaching, we’re getting all sorts of excited about having this baby and taking him to chop down a tree and going to the temple lights again – basically reliving last year, but this time we’ll be parents!



The Waiting

As I pointed out, I’m in the middle of another – albeit on the entirely opposite end of the spectrum – two week wait. They’re kind of parallel, though, if you think about it – the wait to find out if you’re body has received all the data and messages and has succeeded in getting pregnant and the wait to see if your body will get all the messages and signals and do what it needs to bring this child forth.

In the meantime, I put together the pack n play/bassinet last night. I also called the pediatrician to see about how I go about officially selecting her as the baby's doctor. I also called the childcare provider we're most interested in - and she doesn't have any current or future openings for an infant. (Looks like I'll be holding off and checking back often. And if that doesn't work, we'll resort to begging. . . ) Oh, and my health insurance doesn't cover the purchase or rental of breast pumps - had to at least give it a shot. Still need to get the car seat installed. You know - among other things.



Fast Track or Slow Coach (Another Two Week Wait)

The official post-week-38-visit report is this: cervix is dilated but not much past 1 cm, is still not very soft and baby's still a little high. In short, I've "got a ways to go". Doc also thinks that baby will be at least 8 and a half pounds.

Neither of us is running headlong towards induction. Doc won't even talk with me about induction until I'm past due (phew!) and says birthing a baby the size of mine may go much easier if my body goes into labor on its own. (Right now, for instance, my induction failure rate would be like 70% - meaning a c-section. Not cool.)

2 more weeks will give me plenty of time to get things done at work, help M finish up at school, and finish all the other prep stuff yet to do. Plus, by then M will be eligible for FMLA and can take a little more time off than 1 week, which will be nice for all of us.

I'm excited but not in much of a hurry, so we'll see what happens.



Full Up and Worn Out

Yesterday we saw our boy, kind of mushed and squished into his tight quarters, too much body to fit on a single ultrasound screen anymore. We have another picture of his foot (I’m starting to wonder what is it with u/s techs and baby feet) and a couple of his profile: head, eyes, nose, lips. I’m full to the brim with baby. They guesstimate that he’s about 7.5 pounds by now, with a 1 pound margin of error. And he’s definitely a boy. I made them check. (No more surprises!) My due date was moved up 2 days to November 3 – 2 weeks from today.

And then. . .

This morning I woke up around 4:15 needing to use the bathroom. I lay there too long, waking all the way up (which I usually try to avoid unless I’m in a sleepy, stubborn stupor and try to convince myself I can go back to sleep without peeing – it never works, I tell you) because I was remembering the dream I had just awoken from. Lately, I’ve had the sense that my dreams have been incredibly vivid, but the images flit and flee from before my consciousness and I can never remember them. Until this morning. . .

I dreamed that I was in someone’s bathroom – all green, glossy tile with retro-ish circular patterns – and I stood up from the toilet and felt something weird. I wiped down there and saw lots of pink. Then. . . my water broke. So I climbed into the bathtub, took off my socks and shoes (you know I’ve taken to wearing flip flops exclusively, right?) and my khaki shorts (?) and piled them up next to the tub. I ran some hot water and turned on the jets (jetted tub – fabulous) figuring that what my doc doesn’t know (i.e. water broken and sitting in what amounts to a hot tub) won’t hurt me.

Then I woke up. And couldn’t go back to sleep for several hours. My back was aching, and occasionally my abdomen too. Period-like cramping sensations, coming and going. I thought to myself how I should really pack up a “just in case my water breaks” bag – with garbage bags, a towel, a change of underwear and pants, a pad or two – and stick it in my car . . . Then . . .finally . . . back to sleep.

I was so tempted to stay in bed today. Instead, I’m wondering how imminent labor might be at this point. I mean, besides the obvious that it’s going to happen eventually. So, I looked up some of the “signs” I’m having and came across this:

Possible Signs Labor May Begin Soon:

·Backache: a persistent dull ache that makes you restless and irritable. (Check!)
·Cramps. abdominal cramping that is mild to moderate in discomfort. (Check!)
·PMS symptoms: crabby, irritable. (and wanting to cry. . . Check!)
·Nesting Urge. (in the form of cooking – who knew? – and helping with homework. . . Check!)
·Frequent, soft bowel movements. (tmi, but Check!)
·Flu-like symptoms. (feeling totally rundown. . . Check!)

Only time will tell, I guess. In the meantime, I can’t wait to take a nap. . .



Carriers, Wraps, Slings, Packs. . .

M’s daddy shower yielded the coolest gift he could ever have received – a slightly used Kelty Kids frame backpack. The giver/co-worker must have known M’s been talking about taking this kid hiking since before he was conceived.

Then, while doing our huge baby shopping last weekend, we made a surprise decision: we opted not to buy the BabyBjorn that had graced our registry list for the previous 25 or so weeks. Our collective thought had been that we’d use it “all the time, especially when he’s small and we want to keep him away from germy people in the height of flu season”.

The clincher that broke the proverbial daddy’s back was the sheer amount of effort it took to get him strapped into that thing, and that there didn’t seem to be any easy exit strategy for either a sleeping baby or a tall daddy. Well, that and the guy who said he has one and helped us figure it out and told us that with 2 kids he’s only used it about 20 times total. So, BabyBjorn stayed at Babies R Us and we saved 80 bucks.

Two of my new mommy friends both have slings they swear by, but I remain largely unconvinced, though I still want something to keep baby near me so that unwashed/unsanitized wandering hands will be less inclined to venture near his face (I’m counting on the proximity of his head to my breasts and body to help me out there). For one, slings tend to put tremendous pressure/strain on one side of the body. Second, I don’t need any additional tightness in either of my shoulders, thanksverymuch.

So – what we’ve kind of-almost-maybe decided on is a Moby Wrap. It looks easy and versatile enough to be just what we’re looking for. Plus, it will fit both a tall daddy and a short mommy. Plus, it just looks warm and cozy. I kind of wish someone would carry me around in a Moby for a day. (Danielle, I know you totally have one – so you have to dish on whether or not you like it. . . )

I’ll let you know what we decide. . .



37 Weeks and Mending

We’re getting better from this dumb cold. Sort of. It’s a slow, circular process. Added to the don’t-dare-make-me-move fatigue I’m already feeling, this sickness has totally sapped the better of my superhero tendencies – what was left of them, anyway.

I try to push through nonetheless. Sort of. I mean, I climbed up stairs last night just to spite those who said I should take the elevator. And I felt particularly tired the other night while helping M with his paper, so I took a break and snapped our stroller frame together. Then, I went back to the paper and added another page or two. I’m kind of defiant that way, I guess. I refuse to slow down. (If this kid’s anything like me, I’ll never sleep again – I swear.)

But even in my refusal, Things are not getting done. Things like doing the dishes, cooking freezer meals, dusting and vacuuming my house, bathing the dogs, packing a hospital bag (!), top-stitching the last seam on both of my nursing covers and sewing peepee teepees. These are the Things I fantasize I’ll get done should I decide to take leave from work before I go into labor. (The hot question of the week: “so are you going to work through your due date?” Seriously – what does that even mean?) Quitting early is not likely to happen, though (see above about refusing to slow down – plus I’m SO afraid of being bored out of my mind), so I’m given to squeezing these things in at other times. You know, around helping with homework and cooking a half-hearted dinner once a week and the utter fatigue. Which is why Things aren’t getting done.

Meanwhile, at 37 weeks, the clock is officially ticking down. Doc said yesterday – after a good chuckle over a Freudian slip from my tired brain (something about shots and his nurse “doing me in the bottom” on several occasions) – that I’m “softening, but not really opening. Which is good because it’ll give the (H1N1) flu shot time to take effect” before I deliver. It makes sense that I’m not dilating yet, because other than occasional period-like crampyness in my low back, I’m not having much of anything happen. No Braxton-Hicks. Nada. (And we all remember when I was all freaked out about my cervix opening too early? UmmmHmmmmm…..)

On Monday, we’ll get to see this boy one more time – and make sure he’s a boy – before he’s born. They’re supposed to let us know how big he is (or isn’t) and whether my due date is still correct.

We’re getting more excited. At this point, M is more effusive with his excitement than I. He’s always like “I can’t wait to hold him. I can’t wait to see him. I can’t wait to kiss him. . . ” (which makes me can’t wait to see them together). . . and I’m starting to “can’t wait” all those things too – it’s just that when I’m not exhausted, I’m trying not to think about the elephant in the room (ahem: labor?) and when I do think about it, I try to talk myself through it. So, I’m always like “Yes, it’s going to be hard. That’s why they call it labor. Yes, you’re going to hit a wall. But, it’s just one day of your life. You can do this. . .”



Sick and Sicker

We managed to have a huge baby prep weekend before collapsing into illness today. M's worse than me. . . thank goodness for frozen homemade chicken noodle soup that we unthawed with the hopes of feeling better.

Saturday we went shopping and bought the stroller frame, changing pad, diaper pail, sleep sack, crib sheets, waterproof pads, sheets for the pack n play, etc. etc. With all the gift cards we received, we paid only $1.58 out of pocket at Babies R Us. (Woo hoo! Thanks friends and family!

I used Target gift cards online to get the second car seat base (for which I paid 40 cents out of pocket). Then, since I was off thanks to Columbus, I visited Target again yesterday. I exchanged a nursing bra I had ordered online, and bought some stuff for the hospital bag and pads for postpartum. . . but they didn't have the Bumbo seat color I wanted, so I'll have to go back. Plus, their selection of baby socks is just sad, so I picked some up at Waldemart.

Other than that, I think we're pretty darn prepared. Except I have to use the mass groceries I purchased yesterday to make several freezer meals and desserts.

But first we have to kick this sickness!



Pregnant Love

Twice this week I have heard women say “I loved being pregnant!” To which I responded “Really!??” before I could stop myself. I have never understood this. Ever. And being pregnant with an uncomplicated pregnancy that has been pretty good to me and relatively uneventful, I can’t say I understand it any better.

For me, it’s always been a means to an end: “I want a baby, so I have to get and stay pregnant to get that. . . OK, let’s do this.”

I love only (exactly) two things about being pregnant: feeling the baby move and wiggle, and that M has exceeded my expectations as an expecting daddy and has been so good at it. Oh, and I love the wonderful benefits to my hair, nails and skin. . .

But also, I don’t have much to complain about. When people ask how I’m doing, with a hint of concern in their voice, I’m able to answer genuinely “I’m doing good!”. And I honestly am – my minor complaints of heartburn, sleeplessness, swollenness and heaviness aside.



Month 9 To Do List

36 weeks makes it officially 9 months. . . . Here's the to do list this month:

Finish Month 8 List
Talk turkey (i.e. L&D specifics) with the doc
Assemble nursing stool
Finish all baby-related sewing projects in progress (i.e. nursing covers) and don't start any new ones
Train my replacements at work
Install car seat in car
Wash 1 or 2 outfits and a blanket or two
Pack hospital bag

to be continued . . .



Churnin’ & Burnin’, Poppin’ & Droppin’ – Times They Are A-Changin’

The heartburn that felt like a radiator bubbling over in my chest, which even Tums could not assuage, leading to much sabotaged sleep, has finally, thankfully, eased up. Every night for a couple of weeks, anything I put into my body would churn and burn and keep me up. It was awful. Thank goodness that’s no longer an issue.

About a month or so ago, all of the sudden people were coming up to me saying “wow! You’ve really popped!” For the last week, I’ve been getting “wow! You’ve really dropped.” Hence the relief from heartburn symptoms. Now I really feel like my bladder is teeny tiny, but at least he’s dropping like a good baby should during the last few weeks.

My feet on the other hand? SWOLLEN. To the point of pain. Last week I had to tape my left foot and put ice on it at work because it was so swollen it felt like a strain in the top of my foot. This morning I woke up and could not walk on my right foot because it felt strained across the bottom. For whatever reason, soaking in warm water relieves the strained feeling and helps me be able to, um, actually walk. Which is kind of essential.

The massage therapist two weeks ago said I’m in good shape – a little tightness in my left knee and in both of my hips – but doing good for being so pregnant. Today, however, I’m feeling the weight. My knee hurts, my feet are tender, swollen and sore. I want the 40 pounds I’ve gained to be OFF – like, yesterday. Given that I still have 4 more weeks, I’m trying really hard not to think about it.

I’m 36 weeks today and saw the doc today. He said my cervix is closed, cultures from last week came back negative (good thing), and even though my feet are swollen, my blood pressure is normal and urine is normal. He gave me the short list of things to call him or go to the hospital about: any bleeding, decreased fetal movement, water breaks, or contractions at 5 minutes apart for an hour.

We talked very briefly about L&D – specifically about whether I’ll need a full IV when I’m admitted to the hospital or if I can just get a hep-lock. He strongly recommends letting them give me IV fluids (to combat dehydration), but unless I know I’m getting pain meds, I only really need a hep-lock. He warned that any epidural has to be preceded by saline being pumped into my system (to combat fetal distress after administration of the drugs).

He wants me to have an ultrasound in 2 weeks to check the baby’s size. I felt less like a ticking time bomb when I left his office today – less like “it could happen any moment” and more like “I still have some time to prepare”.

Which is a good thing. We got the infant seat via UPS last night (I love shopping online!) and I’m so glad we switched from black and green to brown and green. I like it so much better. I also received the nursing bras and pajamas I ordered from Target (with free shipping. . . I SO love online shopping!) After my work shower this past Monday, M’s work shower today, and doing some shopping and exchanges on Saturday, I think we’ll be pretty darn set. Pretty soon, we’ll have nothing to do but wait for him to come. (sha right!)



See That?

See that? Up there at the top? It says I have less DAYS than I am WEEKS along.

Way to freak me out, calendar thingy.

Way to freak me out.



Maternity Motifs

The Great Outdoors - I've tried to remain as active as possible and continue activities I love to do, like hiking and kayaking. This means I've also found myself in the position of peeing outside more often than anytime since I was about 12 years old.

Aye Carumba - Starting from the very beginning, I've eaten more Mexican food than anything else (especially if Taco Hell can be classified as "Mexican food"). Just in the last week, we've had Mexican food 4 times!

There's Always Paradise - When Mexican food isn't the food of choice, Paradise Bakery usually is. It's been a close runner up, for sure.

Ice Ice Baby - I've taken to drinking large glasses of water with lots of ice. I really just add the water to soften the ice. Crunching ice has become a bad pregnancy habit that I'm really hoping (for the sake of some baby teeth still hanging out in my mouth) I can break. Recently M said "I'm really worried about what all that ice might be doing to your teeth. . . ."

Name Game - The "boy" thing really threw us for a loop. We've spent the last 17 or so weeks trying to come up with a first and middle name for this boy and still. . . no dice.


"May you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world." -Ray Bradbury