Sunday, February 28, 2010

March Baby, Here We Come

It's 10:35 CST and we're about to go to bed. I'm going to go ahead and say, miracles aside, we are NOT having a February baby. Rob's family had too many February babies anyway, but man I can't believe we're going into March. I think this means that Melissa Vogan is going to win the baby drop, since she chose the latest date. I remember at the time thinking, "How mean! Thinking I'll still be pregnant March 1st. Ugh! No way!" And now we're an hour and a half away.

They say March comes in like a lion out like a lamb, so it's kind of fitting: in with the Beast?

How NOT to Eat a Cantaloupe

Lost: Mucous Plug. If Found: Please Do Not Return.

If you don't know much about mucous plugs, you probably don't want to. You can google it if you want. (Beware that pictures will pop up, even if you don't want them to.) But in any case, I lost mine today. Last time, I lost mine after labor started, but for now, I'm having the same kinds of contractions I've been having for the last five weeks, so not sure that it's the beginning of labor. You KNOW that I'll let you know. It's a step, though, right? :)

A Due Date Ain't Nothing But a Number

Here I sit, exactly a week past my estimated due date, about to go do a photo shoot with my roller derby team, thinking about due dates. I'm still very peaceful waiting and mostly feel fine, other than just my general aversion to getting dressed and going in public places. I like to hibernate (hide?) in my late (and early) pregnancy. At this point, people are beginning to look kind of horrified when I say that I was due a week ago, and they are all asking why we're waiting and when we're going to induce.

Here's the thing: did you know that a doctor made up due dates? I'm too lazy right now to go look up his name, but look it up and you'll see that a doctor basically averaged out the length of typical pregnancies and 40 weeks is what he got. Through history, how long a woman could stay pregnant without going into labor has fluctuated. At one point, I think that women actually went a full month over, but there were cases where the placenta starts breaking down, so 42 weeks is generally the kind of max point these days.

Think about this for a moment--if you don't know for sure the exact date you conceived, you are estimating from your last period. Every woman's periods are different lengths, and sometimes that length varies month to month. So, you're taking an estimate from the lmp, and then plugging that into the 40 week estimated average. And yet, we get so caught up in this date! I tend to give general answers like, "I'm due at the end of February," because, as is happening now, we're about to move into March. And as far as my ultrasound projected due date, that was almost five days after the date the little chart gave me based on my lmp. So, according to that, I'm only three days past due.

This is not a post trying to make myself feel better about being "late," because I really am fine right now with the wait. I think that I tend to have long cycles, which means that my lmp edd (last monthly period estimated due date) will probably always be early for me. Both times my ultrasound date has been 5-7 days after that date.

The Beast WILL be making an appearance. I don't know when that will be, but it's not looking like February. (Unless we have a really speedy next 12 hours...) And as long as things are still looking good as far as blood pressure and health and heart rates of baby, we're not worried about being "late." Now, as we move into next week and beyond, I think we'll start to think about doing something to help get things moving, like having my membranes stripped, just as Cathy doesn't tend to deliver past 42 weeks (I think for liability reasons). We'll just have to wait and see--not like we can do much else! But it's kind of comforting to know, when I feel impatient or people start getting nervous about my "lateness," that a due date is nothing but an estimate.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Peeping Mom

When I got home from a baby shower today, Mom was giving Saw a bath in the sink, and I got to peek in and say hi through the window, something he loves. Usually I'm the one on the inside, so it was fun to get to be the peeping mom on the outside looking in.

A Little Love for My Blog Stalkers

I've always been aware that an unknown number of people read my blog but don't comment. But in recent weeks, I feel like I'm daily running into someone or hearing from someone who identifies themselves as a "blog stalker." I love this, and just wanted to dedicate a post to all of you out there who are silent followers. You are appreciated! And you don't need to feel like you're stalking me--I am, after all, the one choosing to post about 90% of my life online. (Now, if you were snooping around my house and finding out the other 10%, we might have to talk.) I should say that I am grateful for ALL my readers, who somehow feel like our life is interesting enough to read about. I definitely am! I wouldn't keep writing daily if not for knowing I had readers and stalkers. So, thanks everyone!

As for a reward, in a matter of days, I hope to present you with a baby, so stick with me!

Five Weeks of Labor

No, I'm not in labor right now. I don't think. It's hard, because this pregnancy, my Braxton-Hicks contractions are very, very strong. Painful sometimes. Many times they start up and keep going every five or ten minutes for an hour, maybe two. With Sawyer, I never thought I was in labor until I actually was. This time, I've thought I was in labor about ten different times. After the first few, I stopped calling my midwife and close friends to say this might be it, because it never seems to be. And even though right now it really is the time to be having a baby, I still keep thinking I'm in labor only to be disappointed. I don't feel impatient waiting--I'm honestly okay with the timing right now. But it is horribly frustrating to keep thinking, Is THIS labor? No, well, what about THIS? I can do the waiting. The not being sure is hard.

Really? Tree Trimming Right NOW?

I love my husband. And his ability to do crazy things around the house like make a jacked-up garage room look amazing and install child-proofing locks on a Saturday night. But when I came home today to find him like this, 30+ feet up in a tree by himself, a ladder leaning against it with no support, sawing off dead branches with a saw on a pole, I just shook my head. I mean, it's not like we're about to have a baby any minute now. I kind of NEED a husband right now. One with all his limbs intact, preferably. Still, I love his heart and hard work! Life is never boring around here.

No, THIS Is the Photo of the Day

This is what Sawyer did this morning when I said, "Mommy said NO." Thankfully, he just made the face but actually obeyed me. But I do think we will be seeing this face a lot more in the future.

In Honor of the Olympics

The Canadians Say, originally uploaded by Kiki Mojo.

Sawyer is pretty good with his animal noises, but he does a few people noises too. This one is for all my Canadian friends, in anticipation of their hockey loss on Sunday. :)

Photo of the Day

Snuggles, originally uploaded by Kiki Mojo.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

You Know It's Time to Have a Baby When...

You can't walk into your closet anymore.

Your underwear no longer covers all (or much) of your bottom.

Maternity shirts are too short to cover your belly.

People cry out in fear or disbelief when they see you.

Walking more than twenty feet results in intense contractions.

The motorized carts at the grocery store start looking really good.

You have five chins.

You have no ankles.

Getting out of bed takes more than thirty seconds.

You walk like you're 90, and actually might do it better with a walker.

When you fall, you can't get up.

Your husband's shoes fit better than your own.

You no longer fit into restaurant booths.

You Lookin at Me?

Ice Cream Face, originally uploaded by Kiki Mojo.

The doctor said that the ear infection might transfer pain to his throat and affect his eating. That was an understatement. It was so sad to watch him try to eat and then start crying and clutching his mouth when he swallowed. For the most part, he survived on juice and popsicles. But when he saw Gammy last night with an ice cream sandwich, it was like true love!


The Inevitability of Having a Baby

As I am at the very, very, VERY end of this pregnancy, I am coming to realize what every woman must: that baby is coming out, one way or another. There are really only two ways this can happen, and either one can be kind of freaky when you sit down and think about this. I don't know when, or how it will go, but there is going to be a process of labor that will end with the Beast in our arms. That's insane!! It feels kind of like a big clock ticking down, but I can't see the numbers, so just don't know when that bell is going to ding and say, "it's time!"

It's such a crazy thing. There's no turning back now. Not that I want to, but when I think about labor sometimes and the reality of pushing a baby out of my body and then having two kids, there's just a little part of me that's like, um...maybe we can think about this for a few more minutes? I asked Rob a few weeks ago, "What if I change my mind?" Being the voice of reason, he told me that it's a little too late for that. And again, I'm not regretting anything about the Beast, and I'm not really feeling fearful, but there's just something about waiting for something HUGE that you know will happen and you have absolutely no control over. Am I a control freak? Or is it this weird and hard for every woman facing down the final days? It just kind of blows my mind that THERE IS A BABY COMING OUT OF ME in a matter of hours, days, or weeks. (Please not weeks. Please?)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Awkward Sleeper

Ear infections make sleeping flat on one's back difficult, so Sawyer has been practicing his weird sleeping positions. Cute, no?

Co-Sleeping Nowadays: Fail

If you've been reading for a while, you'll know that I'm no champion of co-sleeping. It was simply the one thing that saved my sanity the first eight or so months when Sawyer ate every two hours. I never thought about it before having him, it just happened. With Beast, we're prepared for whatever works. That's my parenting philosophy, kind of--do what works for your fam and your kids.

In any case, when Sawyer is sick, he does sometimes return to our bed, partly for his comfort and partly for my sanity. He wakes up a lot more when he's sick, and when he wakes up alone, he freaks out and needs comfort and doesn't fall back asleep easily, which means one or both of us getting up multiple times during the night. When he's really sick, he sleeps well beside us, and when he wakes, it's brief because the comfort is already right next to him.

Last night, Saw turned a corner and is really starting to recover (thank you, Jesus, because I was about to lose it over here) and I realized this because of his sleeping. Rob put him down in the crib and, like the night before, he'd woken up every hour. So I brought him into our bed around 11:30. He slept fully until 3:30--miraculous! (Well, it is when the night before it was every half-hour.) Then he was wide, wide awake and trying to climb out of bed, so I took him to his room, rocked him into a deep sleep in the glider, and he slept in the crib until almost 8am!!

But I have to make a few notes about how my kid sleeps, and about why it's good he's in his own bed most of the time:
1. The Movement. I've mentioned this before, but Sawyer seems to have inherited this crazy gene from Rob that induces thrashing. I kid you not, once during his "good" sleep period with us last night, Sawyer stood up in bed (still asleep) and literally just dove backwards (still asleep) onto his back (still asleep). He spent most of the night with his feet on my pillows, or burrowing his head sideways into the Beast while kicking Rob. He also tends to head butt (I have an almost fat-lip) and crawls up over the pillows, bangs his head into the wall and says, "Ow." This is something he does when awake, too, and I haven't figured out the intrigue.
2. The Talking. Just before I transferred him when he started to wake up, he began talking. All of his favorite words and some of his favorite people came up: bus, truck, bottle, piggies (from Milo and Otis), doggy, owl, Turkey, Boppy, AND, not to be forgotten, Bob. As in Bob Costas, the Olympics announcer. Who is, right now, hands down, Sawyer's favorite person. Or maybe just his favorite name to say. It made me laugh that Bob made it into the sleep-talking mode--that's a big step!

I was very amused by the crazy sleep, mostly because I was sleeping enough to be amused. Even though I don't sleep well while being head-butted and having Sawyer free-fall and babble on about Bob Costas, I can sleep. The night before was waking every 30 minutes to cry for 20-30 minutes. So I will take the vast improvement, and even laugh at the wild sleep. This is how you know it's time to stop sleeping with your kid.

More Fun with Gammy

The other good thing about waiting around for Beast is that Sawyer gets lots of great Gammy time! This was a photo taken before his ear infection took hold. Happy boy!

Bryce's Bday!

I forgot to post these photos from a birthday party we went to for Bryce, one of Sawyer's cousins. Bryce is actually the only cousin whose name Saw will say. If you show him a picture of any of the others, or he sees them in real life, they are all Cousins. The theme was Lego Star Wars, and though we didn't have a costume, there were some pretty fun ones.

Here's Lynn with Yoda Braden. Love this face--very fitting.
Sawyer with the birthday boy! Who I think was a Jedi knight, maybe Luke Skywalker.

Midwife Visit: 40 Freaking Weeks

Yes, ladies and gentlemen. We are still cooking the Beast, who I think is clinging to my womb with all the strength s/he inherited from Rob, and my own stubbornness. How beastly of him/her. Honestly, though, this has been such a horrible week that it would have been hard to have a baby. I will say that the joy that comes with a new little one may have helped take some of the edge off, but man, I need a good night of sleep before I have another baby. Please?

Everything is really good and normal. Beast has flipped again, and is on the left side. I have acrobatic babies. Heart rate good, my blood pressure good. I had Cathy check me, but nothing has really changed. She is predicting another few days to one week. At this point, whatever. I'm going to have a baby sometime, and there's not much I can do other than what I've been doing to get this show on the road. Funny how I feel more patient now than I did a few weeks ago, even. One thing I'm not so excited about: having to be THIS pregnant in my roller derby team photo this weekend. Will this make our team look more intimidating?? I can't quite say.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Well, I thought Sawyer was over his mini fever and sickness yesterday since he was running around most of the day cheering and wanting to ride his bicycle. He was a bit cranky, but I chalked it up to sleeping only six hours the night before and taking a thirty minute nap. Then we hit last night.

After he'd woken up three times in three hours just after being put to bed, Rob and I brought him in our room, as being near us seems to comfort him and keep him sleeping when he's sick, rather than him waking up in his crib, crying, and then one of us having to go in and comfort. But last night he woke up every half-hour to forty-five minutes crying pitifully and for at least 10-20 minutes. He kept crying for mommydaddy, even though we were right there, snuggling with him. It was very sad. He even tried to rally around 5:30, doing a touchdown! that was so cute and pitiful.

This morning, Mom and I took him first thing to the doctor, and it turns out he has an ear infection. I suspected that last week and had been giving him a homeopathic remedy, but either it didn't work, or I didn't give it long enough. In any case, we now have antibiotics and he's on tylenol for his fever and discomfort. Here's what I learned from the doctor: Motrin is not good to use if your kiddo is not eating enough, because it can cause tummy upsets. Which may have been why he was so upset last night--he hadn't eaten much and I tried Motrin instead of Tylenol. Now I know! And hopefully we'll be on the mend soon because we ALL need some sleep!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Too Tired to Have a Baby; Too Tired NOT to Have a Baby

I'm at a strange place right now. 40 weeks and 1 day, so I'm officially late. Or, the Beast is. I'm dying to not be pregnant any more--to be able to get in and out of bed in five seconds rather than five minutes; to not have my pubic bone and my joints out of whack just three days after an adjustment; to get rid of the fluid in my legs, feet, and belly; and, oh yeah, to meet this new baby! But at the same time, I am so utterly exhausted that I feel like the idea of going through labor and then having another baby to take care of makes me a little shaky with worry.

There have been a whole lot of emotional issues going on around me that have had an effect on my mental and emotional health pretty much this whole pregnancy, most of them really culminating in the last two weeks. Then, I got a stomach flu. And after that was over, abdominal pains. After that, some kind of nasty head and throat cold, which my mom also got. Sawyer decided to start waking up every few hours at night, then became needy during the day, then got sick, resulting in lots of crying, throwing up in various places around the house, and keeping me up all night.

Overall, I feel physically and emotionally exhausted. Not spiritually, which is a good thing, but I'm just so dang TIRED. Like, down to my bones. I feel like I need a month-long vacation. Is that possible right now?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Filled with Fluids!

I drink tons of water during pregnancy and just in life ever since my first pregnancy. However, the fluids that I'm dealing with right now are not the kind I'm drinking, but the kind I'm retaining. My feet still don't look horrible, but are definitely swollen. I have no ankles, and my ankle bones are hidden under big, puffy mounds. I can also tell my legs are just filled with puffiness. And now...I have something I'd forgotten about from the last pregnancy: a weird little fluid pouch at the bottom of my belly. I'm going to call it my udder, because that's what it reminds me of. You don't always feel beautiful when you're pregnant, and this is definitely to be filed under GROSS. No one wants a pooch, and definitely not one that's squishy and pitty and fluidy. It wasn't there last night, so I don't know where it came from, but I can categorically say that I am yucky.

Call Him Mr. Pitiful

Mom and I have had colds all week, and now Sawyer has a fever. Sad little man! When he gets sick, it's really pitiful. All his energy is just gone and he kind of deflates. He's watching a second movie now (from Milo and Otis to Babe) and I can hear his breathing from across the room. It's not a bad fever (I haven't taken a temp, but am going by feel) and I don't think he feels horrible, but he's definitely not himself, and not well. Get better, buddy!

Post Traumatic Stress from Birth

Here is a really sad but powerful article on by a mother giving the sort of worst-case-scenario for hospital birth. The result from her experience was post traumatic stress disorder--something often associated with soldiers coming home from war, or people who have survived horrific life events. But according to studies, 15% of women come through on the other side of birth suffering not from post-partum depression, which we've basically all heard of now, but post-traumatic stress.

When you read her story, you'll understand more of why this can happen to women. I read a book during this pregnancy that dealt with this whole topic, and actually stopped reading it and will not recommend it here because it was SO negative and filled with birth horror stories causing ptsd that I just couldn't handle it and don't want anyone else to either. I think that the recognition of this disorder as related to birth is fairly new, and usually occurs when women have a hospital birth that goes awry. Sawyer's birth definitely took me some recovery time, both because it was not what I expected, and because it was so intensely difficult. I told Rob (and meant it) that I never wanted to have another child again--we'd be adopting any more. And though I didn't believe people that told me in time, I would heal, I did, and here we are days (hours? weeks?) away from the whole thing again.

Check out the article if you're interested, and then I'd love to hear thoughts. Is it surprising to you that women are coming out of birth with post traumatic stress disorder??

Saturday, February 20, 2010

While Waiting...

We've all been fairly productive recently while waiting for the Beast. As you can see from the photos, Rob and his Dad did a smashing job finishing what will now and forever be called The Man Room. I am so pleased, not just to have it finished, but just with the hard work my husband put in and what a great job he and Buck did. I know it's got to be nice to accomplish something that great and get to rest from your work knowing you did something fantastic. Now we're ready for football season. I mean, baseball season. Wait--who watches baseball besides Sarah D and MaryBeth?? Not us, so Rob will have to find something else manly to watch with his friends.

I can't say that I've finished something (unless you count cooking the Beast, which I technically haven't finished either, I guess, until s/he emerges), but I have gotten a lot done. I've organized several rooms in our house and have just a few paintings and things to hang. Maybe I'll do that tomorrow, so I can actually feel like I've completed ONE task, instead of just mostly doing 50. I have been hard at work this week on the other beast, my second novel, because my agent will be back from maternity leave soon, and I need to have something to give her so that she and the publishers who liked (but didn't buy) my first book will still remember me. (Thanks, btw, Jenna for your help with that!) I had a plot breakthrough after reading through the first rough draft and have now edited about 50 of what will probably be 300 pages or so. Still a long way to go, but if I think of it in 50 page chunks, that's a sixth of the way. (I can still do division!!) So one chunk down, five more to go. And having the breakthrough has really given me a focus and energy to get it done.

Erin asked a while ago about how I was doing with my list of things to do before baby, and I don't even remember that list, so I guess I'll have to search through my blog archives. I honestly think that, other than hanging up the wall things, I've done my inside to-do list. And there's simply no way I'll finish editing the novel before Beast (unless s/he hangs tight for a few more months, which would also result in my death), so I think I've done pretty okay. It's nice to be productive while being reproductive.

40 Weeks of Baby Body

I am so loathe to post a picture of myself right now. I am, for lack of a better term, VERY PREGNANT. And no, it's not twins. Come on, Beast. Let's get this show on the road! Mommy wants her abs back.

It's Finished! Time to Have a Baby.

New Room!, originally uploaded by Kiki Mojo.

The goal was to finish the outdoor room before baby, and here we go! I am so proud of all the hard work that Robbie did with his dad to transform this garage work-room into a beautiful new space. I knew that he would do a great job, and am totally not disappointed! Now, he says, we can have that baby.

Just a reminder--here is the before picture. Amazing!

Photo of the Day

Sweet Face, originally uploaded by Kiki Mojo.

If only we could have a week without some kind of facial injury... Sawyer will never make it as a male model.

Forcing Labor

I did a post like this almost two years ago when I was waiting not very patiently for Sawyer to arrive. This is the time in pregnancy when people start telling you things to do to get labor going. My feeling about the natural ways of kick-starting labor is that if you're ready, they'll work. If not, they won't. But when you start fooling with things like castor oil and induction with drugs, you may end up actually starting labor, but maybe with results you didn't want. So here are some things that you can do that may help if you're ready. Some are definitely old wives tales. Let's just say we've done our fair share:

-walking or exercise
-spicy food
-chiropractic adjustment
-diving quickly over bumpy roads

So far, still not in labor. The Beast is just not quite ready, I guess. One day to go until due date...

Friday, February 19, 2010

Sawyer's Latest Escapades

I haven't done a lot of updating as far as what Sawyer's like these days, so here are a few fun facts from the last month or so.

Average Hours of Sleep: 11
Average Number of Wake-ups a Night: 2 :(
Normal Bedtime: Between 7-8pm
Normal Wake-up Time: 6:30
Favorite Foods: Pineapple, avocado, egg rolls, quiche, green peppers (but only at Kelly's house)
Favorite Activity: Riding his runner bike
Favorite Movie: We moved from any of the Shrek movies to Milo and Otis
Favorite Phrases: Touchdown, bicycle, bus! and bye bye
Favorite Toys: Cars and trains
Favorite Book: Monkey Tumbles or Go, Dog, Go
New Words: Bob, Bone, Triangle, Basketball Goal (this one sounds hilarious), Gammy
Morning Routine: Wakes up, climbs out of crib and into our bedroom, slams our door, then drags me out of bed by the hand saying, "bottle? bottle?"
Places He Likes to Go: church, on bicycle rides, Mimi and Boppy's house, his cousins' house, school
Most Likely Source of Trouble: touching the dvd player, jumping off of furniture, or climbing out of the crib at night
Favorite Friends: his cousins and Noah
Bedtime Routine: Reading books in his chair then being read the Bible or sung to in his crib
Sweetest Thing: Giving kisses and hugs while making the "aw" noise (which apparently we started doing because it was so sweet that he was giving hugs)
What Makes Him Laugh: Hiding in the pantry, tickling, playing with Tex
Favorite Drink: Milk
Mommy's Biggest Challenge: Getting him to eat
Big Recent Changes: Being able to climb out of the crib, graduating to walking from the car to places while holding someone's hand rather than being carried
Favorite Form of Motion: Running, jumping, or skipping
What Makes Him Cry: Not getting to go out when he wants to

There's a nice little overview of our little man and what he's up to these days. Always changing, always growing, always keeping us on our toes!

A High Maintenance Day

Everyone has bad days now and again. But it really stinks when your kid has a bad day. I don't know what was up with the Sauce today, but it was just needy, needy, needy all day long. From not being able to play independently without "help! help!" every two minutes to having crying fits for no real reason to just being kind of naughty, it was a long day. There were some sweet times as well, like when we cuddled on the couch together watching Milo and Otis after he took a super short nap that kept mommy from having her nap. I liked the snuggling. He also had a fun time taking a bath tonight and sharing our chinese take-out: the boy likes egg rolls. Go figure.

All in all, days like this are definitely the kind where I feel like I barely made it through, and need some kind of serious vacation to recover from. I won't get a vacation, but I think I'll go to sleep.

I Love What Pregnant People Can Do!

Here's an article about Kristie Moore, a Canadian curler competing in the Olympics...while five and a half months pregnant. I will say that curling is not my favorite sport, and honestly, I'm not sure what it exactly IS, but I'm super excited to see a pregnant woman representing and demonstrating that you can be pregnant and athletic and together and productive. There are probably better and longer articles out there, but here's a short one from Parentdish about Moore.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

I'm Still Here

Hi! It's me, the still-pregnant. Life is pretty boring right now. I get up early with the Sauce, hang out with him and mom and Rob and wait for the Beast to decide s/he's ready. I'm doing lots of writing, leaving the house very little, swelling up like a blowfish, and enjoying the Olympics and American Idol. Life is simple, but is about to get more complicated. Tomorrow I see the chiropractor, who will hopefully fix my mangled body. (Thanks, Mom and Dad!) Sorry to be boring, but waiting for baby sure can be boring sometimes!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Weirdest Pregnancy Dream EVER

So, I dreamed that I was going steady with a purple frog stuffed animal, who was somehow very much alive. He was my boyfriend. He was six inches high. And a stuffed animal. Please, someone try and beat that with your pregnancy dream. Go on. I dare you.

Midwife Visit: 39 Weeks

Seriously? Am I still pregnant?? I guess so, since I don't remember labor, don't have a wee one in my arms, and am still enormous. I never thought I'd make it this far in pregnancy, but here we are! Not much has changed, really--my blood pressure is still good, baby's heart rate is good, all my tests are normal. Today baby was actually anterior, with a big ol' butt right in the font, but I won't get too excited as I think now we have feet in front again. This is a wiggly one. Because of the butt, my measurement was 40cm, which is funny since last week, I was 36.5. It's all about where baby is, and baby is higher now, and then the flip to being anterior changed it.

She offered to check my dilation and everything, but honestly, I just don't want to have good or bad news. I just know baby is going to come at some point, and I don't want to think that it's going to be sooner because of dilation and then have it not be, or hear that I'm not progressing and get disheartened. The Beast will come when s/he is ready. I wish that was NOW, but apparently it's not going to be. So...we wait. And wait. And WAIT. Come on, Beastie!!

Cloth Diaper Class

I forgot to post that Nurtured Family is having a cloth diaper class on February 20th (this Saturday) at 10:30am. The classes are held at their store and children are welcome! The address is 8525-B Jackrabbit Road Houston, TX 77095, and you can click here for their class info!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Great Breastfeeding Idea

I found an ad in the back of Pregnancy magazine for Milkies, a really innovative product. Basically, it's a little bag (for lack of a better term) that you can attach to your non-nursing breast to collect any leaks so that no breast milk goes to waste! I haven't tried it, but definitely think it's a great idea, especially if you tend to really have a lot of leakage while nursing. You can check out their site here.

Restaurant of Choice: Sushi Hana!

I can't figure out how to get this picture larger because it's from Rob's iphone, but just look at all that sushi. Look at it! I think you're looking at a Dragon Roll, a Philly Maki Roll, a Crunchy Roll, a Rock n' Roll and a Spider Roll. How much, you ask? $25.99. And delicious! Rob and I went out to Katy and ate Sushi Hana for our belated Valentines Dinner, and as always, had a great time. Great enough that I felt like I needed to write about it so that if you like sushi and live on the west side, you'll know where to go.

Tuesday Confession: Times Two

Today's confession will be two-fold, so get excited!

Confession #1: I didn't confess last week because I just didn't feel like it. I'm breaking my own rules!

Confession #2: Sawyer is 21 months and still drinks from a bottle.

Gasp! I know--doctors say to get rid of bottles at age one. What the heck am I doing? Bad parent! Bad parent!! Here's the thing. Sawyer didn't really start on bottles til after one, since he was nursing primarily and drank no milk until he was like 15 months. He could definitely drink out of a sippy cup by then, but the reason we chose to put his milk in bottles at that point was because for him, the sucking reflex was still strong, but he isn't into his thumb or pacifiers or anything else. So besides being the vessel for those great milk calories, the bottle is his comfort. But unlike a pacifier, which some kids keep in almost all the time, it's more his sleepy-time comfort. And yeah, I know they also say not to put kids to bed with bottles. (Now you're getting three confessions!!!) I plan for us to cut out the bottle in the coming months as Sawyer is just looking silly as a big boy with a bottle, but the reality is that he likes the comfort, he has no problem drinking from a sippy cup, and we are extremely avid tooth-brushers so I'm not concerned about bottle mouth.

This is one of those things that I feel like I've read up on, understand the concerns, and feel okay about violating the norm. If you're a parent and people tell you that kids should or shouldn't be doing things by certain ages (not like development, more things like drinking from a bottle), I think it's a good idea to look at why, look at your kid and parenting style, and make that decision for yourself. So take that, bottle beaters!

Sawyer: First Blood

We had what I assume will be our first bloody face incident this morning. While he was still tired, Saw tripped over something and smashed into the molding around a door. It bled a lot, but isn't too bad, and is in the eyebrow, so won't leave a big scar on his face. Although, I have to say, I find the scars on Rob's face pretty sexy. I guess he's got plenty of time to acquire more visible facial wounds...

Monday, February 15, 2010

Future Olympian Starts Training

Olympic Jumping, originally uploaded by Kiki Mojo.

Okay, maybe not, but Sawyer really loves the Olympics. Ice skating and skiing are his favorite. He cheers everyone on, and then tries to imitate the jumps and spins (especially ice skating). It's maybe a little more entertaining than the sports themselves. Then again, I am his mother.

Doing What the Big Boys Do

The Big Boys, originally uploaded by Kiki Mojo.

Here's a cute shot of Sawyer hanging out with his cousin Cole. Having bigger cousins really helps you pick up early on the big boy games (wii) and the big boy slouch, as demonstrated here.

Visit from Gammy!

Just as I'm getting exhausted and tired and cranky, my Mom flew in to the rescue and is helping with the house stuff and the Sawyer stuff and the me stuff. Yay! We're having a good time, despite the waiting and all that. Three cheers for moms and all their help!

Happy Valentines Day!

It's a day late. That's how we're rolling these days. :)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

You See, You Don't Want THESE Kinds of Posts

I'm not writing or posting many pictures because frankly, this has been a difficult few days. Mom is here helping, which is great, but Sawyer has been sleeping worse every night, which is making everyone cranky and tired. And frustrated, because waking up 4-5 times a night just isn't like him, and it's not going to be okay when we're also getting up 5+ times a night with a new baby. Plus I am feeling basically pretty horrible. I really do hope that the painful contractions and just general abdominal pain I'm feeling are working labor along so that when it's actually time, things will have been moving. Because otherwise, this is just a painful period for nothing. I don't want to feel like I'm in labor for a week, then actually go into labor and also have a really long, awful labor on top of this.

See? Lots of complaints. No one really wants to read about that. So you may just have to hang tight until we have some good baby news, because right now I feel like poo and my attitude stinks so I'm keeping it to myself, mostly.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A Pretty Big Whoops

Ever hit "send" instead of "save"? How about when you're creating an email that will go out and let people know your in labor? Not really the best idea, even when you follow it with an email 1 minute later that says you sent it by mistake. But hey, at least I got everyone all prepared for the real thing, right?

Really, Sawyer? Four Wake-Up Calls in One Night?

I think Sawyer is trying to prepare us for how much we'll be up with baby by refusing to sleep through the night. I thought I'd maybe figured it out by deducing he had an ear infection. The night before last at Buck and Lynn's, he did sleep all night, other than being awoken by several middle-of-the-night phone calls. So I was excited for him to come home last night, hoping that the mix of weird-smelling organic ear stuff and tylenol would give us some rest.

Oh, how naive. Instead, he was up at 11pm, 1am, 5am, 6am....and now we're fully up before 7am. AAAAHHHH! Seriously, this is going to make me nuts. The hard thing also is that he can get out of bed now and out of his room, so we have to figure out how to handle it when he comes in our room at 5am (or, like the several nights before, 3am). So if we want to let him cry, he cries and then comes in our room and then we have to get up anyway to return him. I was REALLY hoping that the ear infection was the thing keeping him up, but it's apparent that he's either in a phase, has some other unknown thing going on, or we need to just figure out how to teach him to sleep all night in HIS bed.

Meanwhile, Mommy and Daddy are tired.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Upcoming Nurtured Family Classes

If you're in Houston and want a great resource for all things baby, try Nurtured Family! It's a great store, but they also offer neat FREE classes on cloth diapers, baby-wearing, essential oils, and more. Here are two classes coming up in March, so mark your calendars! All classes are at the Nurtured Family store off 290 near Jackrabbit, and there is a nice room for children to play, so they are welcome! You can click through the links for them on my site to get directions.

Ask a Midwife
March 1, 6:30pm
My midwife, Cathy Rude, will be on hand to talk about what midwives do, some of the different options and choices women have in birth, and what is right for YOU.

March 11, 6:30pm
Learn about the benefits of baby-wearing and get to see and try some of the various slings on the market. I bet more women would use slings if they knew it can reduce crying by up to 50%...

Doctor's Epiphany: Pregnancy Can Be Uncomfortable

Well, that was a lot of worry for nothing. (I may have lied when I said I wasn't worried.) The doctor seems to think that the pains I've been feeling are just normal pregnancy discomforts. He checked me, thinking I'd be super dilated because this was probably just my body doing work. I'm still effaced about the same, but I'm now dilated to a 2. So...that's all good.

I had a really hard time believing him though, since I just feel like this is a different kind of pain than just the "normal" labor pains. He actually looked at me and said, "You don't believe me, do you?" and I said, "Nope." But I really am trying to believe him, because that is good news, and I am happy to have some progress. The baby has moved up instead of down though, which may be the reason for some of the changes. S/he was at station 0, and is now at -3. (That means that instead of dropping, Beast went back up. Which may have caused some of the weird, new pains.)

I spoke with Cathy also, and there are some crazy things going on not with me, but around me right now, and she said that emotional things can really have an effect, as well as spiritual, so to be praying for God to help me let go of things that I might be holding onto, or that might be lurking around under there. Can I say, yet again, that I'm just kind of ready to have this baby? Thanks for the prayers, comments, calls, and emails. Hopefully no more weirdness and we'll just pop out a healthy baby sometime soon.

My Silence

I'm sure those of you that check this every hour (are there any of you?) think I've probably been either A. very busy, or B. sucked into a black hole. The reality is neither. I hadn't been posting as much the last day or so because I'd really been thinking I was going into labor, but didn't want to put anything premature on here. It was hard to hold back, so I just stayed away to keep the temptation away from my fingertips.

Now I'm sitting here at almost 6am on Friday morning waiting for a doctor's office to open in a few hours so that I can go see one of my midwife's backup doctors. What had accompanied the contractions I've been having is a kind of crampy abdominal feeling that, now after 36 hours, is revealing itself more and more as an abnormal pain and discomfort. Since nothing has progressed on the labor front, I've been realizing that there are two separate things going on, and this one is NOT a good one.

That doesn't mean it's something bad happening, only that something is not normal or right about what I'm feeling and we need to check it out. I'm sad because I really thought this feeling of something different was just telling me I was beginning labor, but as time passed and no other labor signs came with this feeling, I've now moved to concern. I'm not scared or worried necessarily, but at the same time, I've definitely had visions of going in to see the doctor and coming out with a C-section. Which is fine if there IS something wrong and the Beast needs to get out so they can fix whatever's happening. There's still lots of Beastly movement, so I know s/he's okay in there, which is a good thing.

Hopefully in a few hours I'll know something a little more, and sorry for those of you I'm close with that might be reading this here rather than getting a phone call. It is, after all, still not 6am. And I don't KNOW anything, so there's not much to update you on. Other than the fact that probably around 9am I'll be going in to see if the doctor can prod around and see what's going on here.

Sigh. I was really just kind of hoping I was in labor.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Midwife Visit: 38 Weeks

I still have a hard time believing that I'm still pregnant at 38 weeks, since I was SO sure I was going to give birth a few weeks ago. But in any case, thing are still good and going. The Beast has dropped more--last week I was 37.5 cm and today down to 36.5. The heart rate was still greatly variable and baby was super responsive. My blood pressure was higher than last week, which is good since it was almost too low last time she checked. I have a little swelling and pitting, but in my ankles and legs, not my feet. (Thank goodness, because that means I can walk, and also hopefully explains why my legs look suddenly enormous.) Overall, not too much has changed, other than baby dropping and things still looking good.

Cathy also reassured me about the Group B Strep. She has seen lots of women with this, but few to no complications in babies. She has me on a regimen of a nightly antimicrobial flush, which she said will most likely kill the bacteria, and this is something we can continue in labor. She also has antibiotics if we feel they are necessary, but because my Strep wasn't highly colonized (as in, it didn't show up in my urine as well), she feels pretty good. We'll just be watching baby for any signs of sickness in the early days so we can receive fast treatment just in case. That definitely made me feel better! Hopefully by the time I'm in labor, the nightly wash will have eradicated the infection anyway.

So, week 38 down...we'll see how many more weeks I have to go!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Overheard in the Gym Bathroom

Woman on cell phone in bathroom stall: "Yeah, so he called and said he was breaking up with me because I sleep too much. "

38 Weeks and Riding a Bike

It's hard to believe that I'm almost at 39 weeks. Just a few weeks ago, I never thought I'd make it to the safety zone and felt on the verge of labor any second. These days, it seems like the Beast is happy to hunker down for the long haul. Despite the fact that I feel huge and am tired of people telling me that I look huge, I feel pretty good. Yesterday I had a particularly active day, and realized in the midst of it how impossible that would have been to imagine when I was 38 weeks with Sawyer.

In case you never saw or forgot the horror of my feet, click here for a reminder. For whatever reason, I had enormous and unusual amounts of swelling during my pregnancy with him. While this can be a bad indication, everything with me was normal, so it was just lots of yucky swelling that nothing seemed to calm down. This time I have swelling that comes and goes, and some that I'm convinced just stays around my ankles, but nothing like that.

I'm taking full advantage, and yesterday we went to the zoo for an hour and a half, which is about as much as I can take at this point chasing my little guy around. After Saw's nap, he really wanted to go for a ride on the adult bike that Rob attached a child seat to. I have never attempted to ride that with Sawyer, and it probably wasn't the best time to start, but I figured, what the heck. I barely got my leg over the bar of the bike, but once on, we had a pretty nice ride. Of course, I probably really amused people driving by, especially since I had to really ride with my knees poking out rather than straight up and down to avoid my belly. But I did not cause any accidents, and that's a plus! We later went to the gym, where I ran on the elliptical and rode a bike while reading. At the end of the day, I was tired, but thankful that I can still move around like a semi-normal human! I'm glad to still have feet.

Tex and Sawyer Have a Breakthrough Moment

This may seem very small if you haven't been around our house to see how Sawyer loves Tex and Tex simply tolerates Sawyer. But. The other afternoon, Tex actually brought a toy over to Sawyer and initiated play time. Sawyer, of course, LOVED it, and I did too, other than worrying Tex would accidentally slice open Sawyer with his talons. It was definitely a first, and a really sweet moment--hopefully the first of many more!

Don't Waste Your Calories...Eat a Girl Scout Cookie

Usually I'm writing positive reviews of things here, but I have to warn you away from something today. The other day, the store was having a sale on Dreyers (in VA, this is--or used to be--Edys) and I noticed that they had Slow Churned Girl Scout Cookie flavors. I thought this was a great combo. I love Slow Churned--I mean, HELLO French Silk. But both the Samoa and Thin Mint flavors left me wanting something like Magic Shell. And if you're ice cream needs Magic Shell to be enjoyable, then I think you're eating the wrong flavor. Stay away and buy a real box of Girl Scout Cookies! Or just some good old French Silk.

Monday, February 8, 2010

More Bragging about My Hubby

I'll let the photos do the talking.
This morning, after Rob and his Dad cleaned the garage room out. Buck laying the bottom stuff. I forget what this is called. The glue part. (This is why I don't do much other than paint.)
Rob laying the tiles. He is a very exact man.
At the end of today. Is this not amazing?? I guess I should also say I'm super impressed with and thankful for Rob's Dad. This room is going to be amazing! And Rob totally deserves to claim it as the Man Room, though he says that this was my idea. I guess I'm a really nice wife, eh?


Don't forget to tune into the Food Network at 10est, 9cst for Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives to see Houston Roller Derby (and maybe me) at the Red Lion Pub in Houston! I can't watch it tonight, so let me know if you see me. :)

Last Zoo Trip before Beast

Since today will be the last nice day for a while, and I'm still somewhat mobile, we headed to the zoo. Mostly I let Sawyer walk around and push the stroller himself, since he's not a big fan of riding in it. He didn't really stop to look at the animals that way, but hey--he enjoyed it. We did get to see the giraffes and elephants, a few leopards, lions, and bears. In the reptile house, the albino alligator was right next to the glass and opened a lazy eye to look at Saw, who said, "hi!" and then "bye bye!" The best part was the sea lion show, which we've seen pretty much every time we've gone, but had a few more tricks today. The sea lions danced, which made Sawyer laugh. All in all, it was a nice morning!

Here's the Sauce checking out some little chipmunk things. (I don't usually have time to read the signs because I'm chasing him.) Up close and personal with a stingray. You can't tell me that the little monkey creature doesn't look like he's ready to leap up and eat Sawyer's face. They're such horrible creatures, all of them. Someone conked out on the way home. Thankfully it wasn't me, since I was driving and all.

Before Wii, Before Game Cube, Before You Were Born...

Man's Best Friend, originally uploaded by Kiki Mojo.

Another exciting activity before the Superbowl--Nintendo 64. We're already getting Saw started on the vintage gaming systems.

I'm Ready...I Think

Last night, after I put Saw to bed, I was wandering around the house picking things up and passed the bassinet that we have set up in our room for the Beast. And I started thinking about my friend Molly, who just had her first baby last week, imagining how she and her hubby Chris are adjusting and falling in love with their little Sam, just as we did with Sawyer those first few days and weeks. I pictured holding a tiny baby again, and suddenly, I was REALLY EXCITED about having the Beast on this side.

Not that I haven't been excited, or ready to give birth. I've been ready to NOT be pregnant for quite some time, and definitely excited about meeting this new little one. But I've also been kind of reluctant in some ways for all the new changes and to lose what we have with Sawyer. I've been scared of doing the new baby thing again, and wondered if I was really ready to do it all again. And suddenly, last night, I really felt READY. Bring on the Beast!

Little Drummer Boy

Drum n Bass, originally uploaded by Kiki Mojo.

Sawyer had some fun with the djembe during the youth superbowl pre-game.

My Latest Kitchen Casualty

What happens when you're pregnant and cook. (You leave dish towels touching the burner and don't notice.)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

You Selfish Home-Birthers!

No one I know personally has ever said that having a home birth is selfish, but often I do get the sense that people think of my choice as something that I want as an experience for ME. Which isn't entirely wrong--I'm definitely excited about having the birth of my dreams, which happens to be at home. But this really misses out on a lot of why I've made the choices I have made. On the extreme side, I have heard the argument that home birth is selfish because the woman is putting her own desires for birth first. (Not from people I know personally--more online in articles and comments on articles.) That argument implies that home birth must be more dangerous for baby, so by choosing this type of birth, the mother is focusing on her wishes rather than what's best for baby.

I've re-written this post several times this afternoon, because there are so many things I wanted to say in response to this. I've decided to focus not on why I'm choosing home birth (which you can read about here), but about the positive aspects of home birth for baby. For me, the decision to have a home birth with a certified midwife was about both me AND the baby. (***Some of these options may also be possible at a hospital. The difference is that at home, these are the norm, while at a hospital you may have to ask or insist. If you are planning a birth at a hospital and are interested in some of these options, definitely ask your care provider!)

Home Birth and Baby
A Calm, Gentle Environment. Moving from the womb to the world is disconcerting and strange for baby. At home, you have more control over the amount of light, the noise level, and the people who are present. Seems like kind of a small thing, but I'm putting this first because it sets the tone for birth.

Natural Bonding. While every woman's wishes and every midwife may be different in the exact way they handle those first few moments, typically in those moments immediately following birth, baby is placed on mom's chest or stomach. There is skin to skin contact which helps warm and comfort baby, and baby is oriented immediately with the person whose voice is already familiar from time in the womb. There is no rush to separate baby for testing of any kind, most of which a midwife can perform while baby is right there with mom. Baby doesn't need to go to a nursery, be taken away for cleaning or anything else. That is precious, precious time.

Encouragement of Breastfeeding. Because of the immediate bonding with skin to skin contact, breastfeeding often occurs faster and more naturally at home. Baby is already on mom's chest or tummy, and at the first signs of rooting, mom can begin breastfeeding, whether that's two minutes or an hour after birth. It's not forced too quickly, nor delayed, but allowed to happen as baby is ready.

More Blood. Rather than cutting the cord right away, unless there is a pressing reason, the umbilical cord is cut only after it stops pulsing, which means that baby gets the maximum amount of blood from mom. Bonus!

While these are great benefits to a home birth, the real question or criticism people have is whether or not it's safe for baby. In the interest of keeping this post brief (and this is super brief compared to the post I wrote and deleted earlier today), I'm going to simply say that studies have shown again and again that home birth is as safe as hospital birth if the mother is low-risk, the birth is a planned one (not a baby born at home unintentionally or in the back of a car on the way to the hospital), and there is a certified trained professional attending, such as a Certified Professional Midwife. If you want to read more about home birth and safety, here is an article by Henci Goer, author of The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth and Obstetric Myths verses Research Realities.

To sum up, I am excited for personal reasons about having a home birth experience. But I also feel that a home birth is ideal for baby as well. The good thing is that I know even at the worst case scenario like Sawyer had (being whisked away from me immediately by strangers in harsh lights, stuck in a box in a NICU on IV with other babies and strange nurses, without being held by mom or dad for almost 24 hours), baby can still be okay. I'm pretty sure he's well adjusted and recovered from the traumatic parts of his birth. That doesn't mean I still don't want the BEST-case scenario for me AND for the Beast, and that's what I'm hoping for our home birth.

Superbowl > Church?

Here's a conversation between our family this morning, which shows where my priorities are. Or aren't.

Me: Sawyer, guess what today is? Superbowl Sunday!!
Rob: It's actually CHURCH Sunday.
Sawyer: (doing the touchdown sign) CHURCH!
Me: Oh, yeah...I mean, it's church Sunday. And the Superbowl is on, too.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

NOT in Labor

Quick update after Cathy came to visit. I am dilated to a 1 but not in labor. Yay! Not that I am not ready, but it's not the best idea to piggyback labor onto a stomach flu where you can't eat or drink and are exhuasted. My parents are also stuck in the snowstorm on the east coast, so I think they're relieved. I guess I can continue to wait for Beast...

Stomach Flu Begone

Well, wouldn't you know it, I caught another stomach bug. Whenever there is some kind of stomach thing within 50 miles, I catch it. I don't even know anyone who's had this bug recently, but whatever. I'm starting to feel a little better now, but starting at 3am, I've been having severe stomach pains with, of course, the diarhea and vomitting. The worst part, honestly was the abdominal pain. I knew it wasn't labor, as labor pains are not sharp, shooting pains. And yet it's been coming in waves like contractions. It's finally starting to slow down a bit, and I've been able to drink a glass of ginger ale, so we've made progress! Cathy is coming over to check me just so we can know whether this has pushed me closer to labor.

The thing with stomach bugs when you're pregnant is that you can become dehydrated, which can kick-start labor, or the irritation itself of the intestines starts irritating the uterus, having the same effect. Though I'm at a point where I could go into labor, it's never a great idea to go into labor when you're exhausted and coming off of 12 or more hours without real food or drink.

One good thing has come out of this fo me, which is that it's served as a sort of practice for labor. During the night when I was trying to sleep and waking every five or ten minutes with pains, I kept reminding myself not to tense up but to relax. I slowed my breathing and conciously tried to unclench all my muscles, which had tensed at the start of pain. The pain really did subside and was a lot easier to bear this way, and it reassured me that I can do this in labor too.

I've also been reminded of how different labor pain is from other pains. Yes, it's painful. Yes, it brought me to my knees last time. But, I knew with almost complete certainty that I wasn't in labor last night because the pains were sharp and shooting. I can't really say that I remember labor pains enough to describe them well, but the kind of pain that you have if you cut or burn yourself or even stub your toe is sending a differnet kind of signal, if that makes sense. The signals I've been getting today are that something is wrong, not that something is working as it should. That's actually one of the benefits of natural childbirth: if something does go wrong, you will feel a different sensation, a different kind of pain. The sensations you feel and experience can be a great indicator for your caregivers of what is going on with your body and especially if there is an indication of something going awry.

Overall, I'm just glad to feel like I'm coming through the other side of this thing and, it seems so far, without being shoved into labor. Yet. I'll give an update after Cathy checks me, and we'll see how things go. And while I've felt like poo, it's in some ways prepared me for labor, like a dry run. Still maybe not something I'm looking forward to, but I feel just a little bit more ready to take it on.

Friday, February 5, 2010

I Want to Eat THIS

I just saw this recipe for Greek Salsa at YumSugar and want to make it ASAP. You know I would if I had everything I needed right now. This would be a great alternative to queso on Superbowl day!

Mr. Right

During this pregnancy and the last few weeks particularly, I have been so thankful for Rob. He has been doing tons of stuff around the house, from finishing up the outdoor room and things in our house to hanging out with Sawyer, tiring Tex out with the frisbee, and just generally pampering me. Yesterday, when I started a strike against our vacuum cleaner (which picked nothing up and simply pushed dirt around the room and ticked me off), he went out and bought the vacuum I've been talking about since I caught an informercial: The Shark Navigator. (And yes, I love it!) Here you can see the boys doing some vacuuming together, Saw with the old one, and Rob with the new. Other than the help with things at home, he's been such a great support and friend, and I know that he's going to be there for me during labor. I just feel so thankful for having such a great husband who is not only great with the helpful home things and hard work, but the great, tender, loving moments with me and Sawyer (and even Tex). Thank you, Rob, for everything!

Good Idea/Bad Idea: Pajama Jeans

I heard about these last night at derby and then saw this commercial online. For me, I think I'd rather wear jeans when I want jeans, and pajamas when I want to be comfy. What do you think--are pajama jeans a good idea or some serious crazy?

I Never Liked B Pluses

I found out this week that I tested positive for Group B strep. I had never really read much about this, as I tested negative in the last pregnancy, and because we were doing the home visit, I didn't get to ask Cathy as many questions as I'd like to and have a list for next week's visit. For now, I've been reading in the books I have and also online. Cathy did not seem worried, and has me doing a pre-birth regimen of an over-the-counter anti-microbial, and knows what to do during birth.

Apparently, this is common to about a third of women, and only .5% of babies are affected by this, but some of the effects can be very serious, so I'm trying not to freak out. I don't really freak out much about things in general or worry, but there are so many possibilities in labor and birth that I don't like having just one more thing to think about. For now I'm reading as much as possible, following Cathy's suggestions, and will be asking her more when I see her next. Ugh. I hate B's.

Pantry Fun

Pantry Fun, originally uploaded by Kiki Mojo.

Today while Kelly and Noah and Hudson were over, Rob was the star of the show, playing with the boys in the pantry. Kelly and I decided that moms just aren't quite as fun.

Photo of the Day

Daddy and Burrito, originally uploaded by Kiki Mojo.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

What Is This Burning in My Chest?

I am very aware that I'm lucky to not have most of the pregnancy woes that other women seem to commonly have. The only thing that really happens is the whole weight gain and stupid pelvic bone thing. My headaches this time were so minor I hardly remember them. So, I hate to complain at all, but the last week or so I've had heartburn. Pregnant or no, I've NEVER had heartburn. I only know what it is because the name makes it pretty obvious. The thing is, because I've never had this, I don't know what to do! I now have to go google heartburn and figure out what makes it worse, what makes it better, what you can do in pregnancy, if anything. I don't understand why I'm having it now, for example, since I ate lunch hours ago. Just one more reason to hope for baby soon...

Midwife Home Visit, 37 Weeks

We're still pregnant over here! I'm sure you've guessed since there have been no big announcement posts. Yet. I'm still holding out that any day could be the day. And I would be happy.

In any case, Cathy came over today with Natalie, another midwife who will be here assisting for the Beast's big arrival. The home visit is always fun because it's kind of that last check to make sure things are in place and in order and to talk through the birth plan and what Rob and I are thinking as far as the birth and what we want.

This time around, I'm even more flexible than last time--and my plan last time was super flexible, so that's saying a lot. I'm not going to make a guess as to how I'll want to labor--in what room, clothes, position, anything. Last time labor was totally not what I anticipated, and not by the book at all (though what labor really is?) and so I'm trying to have no expectations. I'm all about low or no expectations--always better than having high or specific ones and getting disappointed.

Cathy also measured me (and I don't remember what it was!) and listened to the heartbeat, which had great variability. The baby switched from last week's great position and is now posterior again, the little stinker. But even while she was listening, s/he switched and got in a better position, so there is still hope! My pubic bone, while not hurting as much when I walk or sit, is super painful to the touch, as I realized when Cathy was doing the measuring.

She suggested getting in one more chiropractor appointment at the very least before baby, just to get things in the right order, and to be doing lots of pelvic rocking to help the baby's position. (If you don't know about pelvic rocking, think the cat's pose from yoga, where on all fours your move from arching to curving your back.) I got my birth kit yesterday, so we are really all set whenever the Beast is...and whenever my parents get here!

Sawyer pretty much was wondering what the heck was going on the whole time, and kept trying to take my hand and lead me away, especially when Cathy was doing the measuring/listening. Oh, boy is he in for a whole new world.

Potty Training Cats

Yes, that is, in fact a photo of a cat on the toilet. What's crazier is the fact that the cat is actually USING the toilet. My friend Laurie sent this to me via text this morning and I had to call and find out if she had just caught her cat sitting there or if her cats have actually been potty-trained. For those of us trying to potty train children, I don't know if this will be encouraging or discouraging, but over the course of a month or so, Laurie's two cats have now transitioned to using the toilet instead of a litter box.

I know. If she weren't a good friend, I wouldn't believe her either! But it's true, and here's a link where you can buy the toilet transition kit if you'd like to train your cats. I'm still kind of in awe and also totally amused by this, and feel like if cats can do it, then surely it should be okay with our kids. Surely. In any case, way to go, Laurie!!!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Bosnia = California

Here is a really sad post in response to a report that found California's maternal mortality rate to be at the same level as that of Bosnia. Shocking, no? What's sad to me is that the reasons for the mortality rates are probably exactly opposite. If Bosnia had access to some of the medical technology we have, then their rates might decline. And yet, we have them and our rates are as high? There are a number of factors, but one factor cited in the study is the overuse of elective induction and unnecessary C-section. Technology in birth can save lives when applied correctly, but as this study shows, the overuse of technology in normal, healthy labors and deliveries can adversely affect the outcome.

Reminder: Coupon Class

There are still a few spots open in the Coupon Class this weekend! I will be there, barring baby. Here is the post with the info, linking you in to the site where you can sign up!

Back to Normal, Mostly

I wondered a few days ago if Sawyer would ever start sleeping all night again, or sleeping past 6am. It happened! I thought we might have to work with him again to remind him what it's like to sleep through the night, but thankfully, a few days ago, he rediscovered his old ways and began sleeping all night (most nights) and sleeping in until his normal 7-8am. He's also waking up in a better mood--this morning I heard him in there playing for a few minutes before he knocked on his door to come out. First word of the morning: "Cars!" Rob and I are definitely glad that he has found his way back to his normal. I guess the lesson learned is that the very smallest things can really set his sleeping off, but he will eventually go back. Yay for sleep!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Tuesday Confessions: I Like the Status Quo

Lately, as the impending arrival of the Beast ticks ever closer, I've realized that I am really freaked out. Not by labor, though that's it's own post, but by the changes I know will come. I am really, really happy with our family as it is. I know that people make this transition all the time, but I am so freaked out and saddened by the fact that the great thing we have going will change. I'm sure afterward, I'll think that it's for the better and will love this little guy or girl and the addition s/he makes to our family, but because I can't imagine that now, I'm just feeling a little sad.

Then again, I don't want the Beast to stay in here forever...


Sawyer's latest thing has been playing with his cars and trains. He likes to move them from place to place--the train table to the coffee table to the fireplace hearth to his upside-down chair. He drives them around, lines them up, makes them talk to each other (typical conversation: "Hi. Bicycle. Bye bye.") As you can see, he also still likes to make The Face whenever a camera is around. And he continues to have an open sore on his forehead that he picks until it bleeds. We cannot figure out a solution to this and I'm pretty sure he's going to end up with a giant crater there. Rob blames me, since I am always picking at things, but I'm not sure I was ever this bad. We're going on three weeks or more now with this forehead thing. Ack!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Room Progress

While I'm doing all my nesting on the inside, Rob and his Dad have continued taking their days off working in our garage room. It's really taking shape! Today they painted and textured the ceilings and also painted the walls. Oh, and there was a lot of sanding first, which explains this picture.
I can't wait to see the finished product, which is only a new floor, some cleaning, and a ceiling fan away! As you can see, Rob is pretty excited too...

Our First Big Scare

Sawyer is all boy. This means that he perpetually has bruises and bumps and cuts and scrapes. Sometimes, we can identify where they came from. Other times, like the giant bruise on his cheek and eye, they just appear. (That one after being in the nursery at church, but they don't know where it came from either.) Today, for the first time, we had an actual scare. I'd call it a mini crisis.

I was leaving MOPS and walking downstairs with Lynn and Saw. We decided to take the elevator. He got a kick out of pushing the button. When the door dinged, I had the sudden thought of--what if the door opens and there's no elevator??? So I put a hand in front of Saw, just in case, to keep him from careening down the elevator shaft. But I never once though about keeping his hands off the door as it opened, and so it was that he had one hand flat on the door when it started to slide open. Only problem: his hand slid with it into the space between the door and the wall and got jammed there.

This also jammed the door stuck halfway open, and there was screaming and panic as Lynn jumped in the elevator, pushing buttons like mad to try and get the door to shut again. I was holding Saw and trying unsuccessfully to pull his hand out without further injury, and he was shrieking. It seemed like hours, but probably was like a minute. A looong minute. Long enough for me to imagine the horrors of totally crushed fingers or firemen having to chop off his fingers (I'm sure this comes from watching 24 lately...).

Something Lynn pushed inside finally got the door to shut again, which meant it pulled back, pulling Saw's hand with it. For a moment, I swear all his fingers looked flat. It was horrifying. Still screaming. (Him, not me. Though I might have also screamed--I don't remember. I'm surprised I didn't pop the Beast out on the spot, just from sheer panic.) We rushed him down to the kitchen and got him ice, at which point he stopped crying and started pointing to bananas. Whew.

His fingers are still a little swollen, but he's been using his hand all day and doesn't seem to feel any pain, so I just feel very thankful for a real crisis averted. It was one of those moments too strange and weird to even think about, and for sure a scenario I never thought to fear. I mean, you might imagine a lot could happen on an elevator, but this wasn't one of those things. And it took our rather ordinary morning to a whole scary level. I'm sure it's just the first of many scares we'll have with our family and children, and man--I do not look forward to any more.

What I'm Reading Now

Though I'm very aware (okay, maybe just mostly) of the things going on with regards to home birth and midwifery, I am often the last one in line to actually participate. Example: I looked forward to the Business of Being Born coming out for like a year, then saw it a full year or so AFTER it came out. Now I am just getting to read Your Best Birth, the book Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein co-wrote as a result of that project.

I'm not even close to done, but I will already put a hearty stamp of approval on this book for ANY woman who is pregnant or plans to have a baby. One of the problematic things for me about a lot of home birth literature is the tone. I think that some tend to demonize the medical industry and come across as self-righteous. So if you happen to be a woman planning a hospital birth, reading might make you feel at the least fearful and panic, and at most, judged for your decisions.

This book, like Creating Your Birth Plan (another favorite of mine), sets out to present women with information so that you can choose the best birth based on your body, your baby, and your anxieties. For some women, the fears and anxieties that would come from being anywhere other than a hospital would make a birth anywhere other than a hospital a bad idea for that simple reason. Fear and birth, though often naturally found together in this day and age, are a bad combination. That being said, Lake and Epstein are very honest about some of the attitudes that the medical industry has about birth and some of the downfalls of completely trusting in that system of care. They don't shy away from facts and truths, but manage to discuss birth choices in a way that empowers, rather than instilling fear or pressuring you for a specific outcome.

In short, if you are a woman who is thinking about ever having a baby, please go check out this book! I do believe that women should be empowered in the choices they make regarding birth, and the best way to do this is through education. This book will present you with information in a way that's not overwhelming and that allows you the freedom to choose the best birth for YOU.



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