Sunday, February 28, 2010
They say March comes in like a lion out like a lamb, so it's kind of fitting: in with the Beast?
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
As for a reward, in a matter of days, I hope to present you with a baby, so stick with me!
Thursday, February 25, 2010
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.
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!
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
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.
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.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Monday, February 22, 2010
Sunday, February 21, 2010
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
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.
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!
-walking or exercise
-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
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!
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.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
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!!
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Monday, February 15, 2010
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.
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.
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Friday, February 12, 2010
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Monday, February 8, 2010
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?
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!
Sunday, February 7, 2010
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.
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
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 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?
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Then again, I don't want the Beast to stay in here forever...
Monday, February 1, 2010
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...
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.
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.