Archive for the ‘ Pregnancy ’ Category

Let’s Chat on Facebook Today, OK?

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

Yesterday afternoon, contractions started. I ignored them at first, then they became strong enough that I decided to time them. They seemed a consistent 9 minutes apart, so naturally, I decided to go back to ignoring them.

I went to the salon with Clint and Roy, where they were both in for a trim. (Baby’s Second Haircut! Woot-woot!) I was relatively useless because the contractions were getting stronger. And closer together—like 6 minutes apart. I called my doula. I texted my stepmom, Roy’s official babytime caregiver, as a “just in case” heads up (she lives about 1.5 hours away). When the haircuts finished, we rushed home to start packing and getting things in order.

Then the contractions stopped. Thank god. As I mentioned on Tuesday, I’m not quite ready. Close. But not quite. My due date is January 29th, so I am not completely crazy in hoping for a little more time.

I am, however, ready chat with you on American Baby’s Facebook page today! Let’s do this! My fellow pregnant Parents.com blogger Jill Cordes, who is also due on January 29th (but having a scheduled C-section in the 25th), goes on at 1:30 EST. I’ll take over at 2:30 EST. Be there or be square. I’ll answer most anything, but here are a some pet topics of mine. Just to get you thinking:

I could go on. Really, ask me anything. I’m ready. For this, at least.

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Tummywatch Tuesday: 37 Weeks

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

Today when I was at the doctor’s office, he said that next time, if I want, he could sweep my membranes. Move things along. I immediately told him no, thanks. I’m in no hurry. I’m excited to meet her and all, but I’m in no rush. It’ll happen. We can just leave those poor membranes alone.

At 37 weeks, she’s as big as a bunch of Swiss chard (according to the babytracker), and she’s done. Meaning she’s likely big enough, strong enough and formed enough to survive just fine, whenever she decides to show up. Which is to say: Any day now. Any day.

It’s kind of a strange feeling, knowing that at some moment very soon I will go into labor and come out the other end with my little girl. It could start tonight, while I’m sleeping. Or tomorrow, after lunch. And then everything that’s at the forefront of my mind—that deadline, that dinner with friends, Roy’s upcoming birthday party, that closet clear-out project—it disappears, replaced solely with Have Baby.

Then again, it could happen three weeks from now. That would be completely reasonable as well. It’s hard to be prepared without being anxious; excited without being antsy. It’s hard to just act as though something huge and amazing isn’t about to happen. Because it is.

As you can see, I’m big enough now that my planetary presence communicates exactly that. Strangers regularly comment on the event, so clearly impending. This makes it difficult to go about life as usual, but I don’t mind. People seem genuinely excited for me, which is so incredibly sweet and keeps me psyched. My favorite recent bout of enthusiasm came from a young gas station clerk with inky hair and awesome Cleopatra eyeliner.

Her: When are you due?

Me: A couple of weeks.

Her: I’m so excited!

Me: Yeah, well, it’s exciting!

Her: I can’t wait to have one, too. But I’m going to wait. Probably at least until I get married.

Me: That right there is a good idea. A really, really good idea.

Related: I love doughnuts. Suddenly and passionately. I gained two pounds last week. And guess what? Don’t care.

Relatively unrelated: I’ll be doing a Q&A on American Baby’s Facebook page on this Thursday, January 12, at 2:30 EST. My fellow pregnant Parents blogger, Jill Cordes, goes on at 1:30—she and I have pretty differing mindsets regarding our upcoming births, so it could be fun to throw the same question at each of us.

On to week 38.

Swiss chard image credit: iStockphoto

 

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Husband, HypnoBirth Partner, Snorer

Thursday, January 5th, 2012

So we finished up our HypnoBirthing classes, and I’m feeling pretty good about things. Clint and I have a little hypno session most evenings, where I relax and he reads what’s called a script—a story designed to help me meditate through labor. One takes me on a lovely hot air balloon ride with Clint during which I eventually tossing a box full of extra weight overboard so we can fly higher. Another walks me through a beautiful, magical forest in which I follow a playful little fawn into the bright light of day. Relaxing and symbolic and whatnot.

I’m also practice breathing. Sitting on an exercise ball instead of a chair while working all day. Continuing with yoga and massage. Listening to birth affirmations and hypno scripts at night while I’m sleeping. Drinking raspberry leaf tea (to get the ol’ uterus in shape). I’m also sorting through things in my head; trying adapt the right mindset. The one that realizes this a new birth, hopefully one that’s shorter and less painful that my first.

I am about two-thirds of the way through HypnoBirthing: The Mongan Method. A few things that have jumped out at me:

“The belief in pain surrounding childbirth is so strong that, instead of questioning the validity of the concept, there have been many efforts to rationalize its importance and attach some reason and higher purpose to it.”

That’s exactly what I did. My first birth hurt so badly that I was swearing at the top of my lungs that I would never do this again. (Paraphrased to exclude curse words.) Then I met Roy and knew instantly that I’d do it a hundred times over in a heartbeat. I decided that such a great reward shouldn’t come easy, and that was why childbirth was inherently difficult. Was I wrong? We’ll see.

Also:

“It is said that a woman births pretty much the same way that she lives life. For that reason, it is imperative that you take the time to do an assessment of how you see yourself and whether this image is productive for you or counterproductive.”

Hmmm. That’s all.

As you can see, it’s a lot of mind work. Which is cool, because I’m an overthinker anyway. Might as well use this possible character flaw for good.

Clint’s totally on board with all this. Willing to do whatever I want. Even if he does think any of it is in the least bit crazy, he would never say, which is so incredibly sweet. I suppose it’s smart, too. Who in their right mind would tell an eight-months-pregnant woman she’s crazy? Certainly not someone who has lived with an eight-months-pregnant woman before.

Make no mistake: This is a team effort. Have I mentioned that the last time around, Clint dislocated a few rib bones from his spine while helping me push? In the end, of course, the bulk of the pre-prep necessarily falls on me. Too bad, too, because the hubby is clearly better at the hypnosis thing than I am. Both times in class when Doula Dawn had us close our eyes while she read a meditation script, I worked hard to stay focused and relaxed, while Clint promptly fell asleep. It’s quite difficult to stay focused and relaxed with someone snort-snoring next to you. Kind of like when someone gives you the giggles in church or farts in yoga class.

I trust this will not be a problem in the delivery room, where snoring would be significantly less hilarious. If anything’s worse than the wrath of an eight-months pregnant woman, it’s the wrath of a nine-months-pregnant woman. In labor.

 Image: A shot of a pregnant woman sitting on exercise ball, Shutterstock

 

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Tummywatch Tuesday: 36 Weeks

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

Hello, 36 weeks. Lovely to see you.

Just for reference, let’s revisit 26 weeks:

And, for good measure, 16:

Aw, sweet 16. So tiny. So mobile. So, so, so long ago. My, how things have changed.

Went to the doctor today. He did a quick check to see if the Braxton-Hicks have done anything whatsoever, and reported that there was dilation enough for a fingertip’s passage. A fingertip! He actually touched her head. This made me an eensy bit jealous—is that weird? Regardless, things are happening, no question about it. I go in weekly now. And the doctor felt the need to let me know he’s going out of town for a few days. “Not that I think anything will happen,” he said. “But just in case.” In case I go into labor, that is. Holy. Crap.

According to Parents.com’s week-by-week babytracker, she’s Crenshaw melon-sized. Apparently this is a Crenshaw melon:

I think they’re running out of fruits and vegetables. Perfect timing, as I’m running out of weeks.

 

Crenshaw melon image credit: iStockphoto

 

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Tummywatch Tuesday: 35 Weeks

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

We have arrived at 35 weeks. I tried to pose a little better this time, so you can get the full effect of The Tummy:

Yep. I’m pregnant.

So how was your holiday? Ours was lovely, thanks. For us, the season starts with a big bang on Thanksgiving, when we host 20-some, then is peppered with all sorts of out-of-town celebrations, then nearby celebrations, ending in a pretty quiet Christmas Day at home. We love it from top to bottom. Roy just adores all the action and seeing all his people, whether it’s an evening with a houseful of aunts and uncles and cousins or a quick run by the neighbors’ to drop off some holiday snacks. Talks about it for days before and after.

According to Parents.com’s week-by-week babytracker, little girl is the size of a honeydew. Even though I’m bigger by the day, and even with all the holiday action, I’m still feeling better than ever, physically. Mentally, though…. After things wound down and I looked at the calendar and saw that the 29th was this week, I went into a bit of a panic. I’m due the 29th of next month. Which means that we’re not having a baby “in January,” we’re having a baby this month. That’s a shockingly small amount of days in which to accomplish all the things I’d like before she comes. Thankfully, “like” and “need” are two very different things. I keep reminding myself of that.

On one hand, there’s that feeling of having so much to do, and the over-the-top excitement of finally getting to meet our little girl. On the other hand, there’s a mellow sort of sadness about losing what we already have: our little threesome. I want to prepare for what’s to come, but I also want to hang out with Roy as much as possible, to soak in all this focused time we have together before it doesn’t really work this way anymore. I’m sure I hug him too much. Request kisses too much. Gobble his bellybutton and tell him I love him and ask for a quick cuddle, please, too much. If there is such a thing as too much of any of those.

As Christmas night was winding down, we decided to sneak in a walk before bedtime. Boo to unseasonably warm temps for stealing our white Christmas, but long, ice-free strolls do make for a fine consolation prize. Roy begged to take the wagon. Pleeeease? Pleeeease? Clint complied; dug the wagon out of the garage and loaded it down with blankets and pillows and then tucked his tiny bods in, so all that showed was a little stocking hat-topped head. We wandered up the block in the dark, toward the neighborhood’s best light display, looking at the stars and moon above. After a couple of silent minutes, I glanced back at Roy and caught him grinning ear-to-ear under all those covers, beyond happy at the holidays, the sky, the wagon, his family. I wanted so badly to bottle that moment up and keep it forever—just the three of us in that perfect slice of time.

I can’t help but feel a little sad that there won’t be moments like that anymore.

I can’t help but hope that the foursome version we’re trading it for delivers similar ones that feel just as amazing. If not, doubly so.

Honeydew image credit: iStockphoto

 

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