Friday, January 29, 2010

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A baby story

The brachiopod is nine days old today, as impossible as that is for me to believe. I know birth stories aren't everyone's cup of tea, but mine doesn't have any scary bits and I wanted to have it written out before I started to forget things. In a way, I also hope it might provide some comfort to anyone else who ends up in the position of needing a Cesarean after planning for a natural birth.

Our appointment was at noon and we were supposed to arrive at 10:00 to begin prep. I couldn't eat anything after 4:00 AM, and the last thing I dreamed about before waking up around 8:00 was going to a wedding reception with an all-you-can-eat pancake bar. We finished packing our last-minute things, I took a long hot shower, and we took Indy over to my parents' house. I woke up calm but grew increasingly nervous as we approached the hospital, and was downright jittery by the time we got there. After checking in, they took us to what would be our recovery room, did an ultrasound to confirm that the baby was still transverse, got an IV started, and hooked me up to monitors for contractions and the baby's heartbeat. Once all the prep procedures started, I actually felt better. I guess because everything was fully out of my hands and I was at that point involved in an organized process that was pretty much routine for everyone else involved? Or something? Our labor & delivery nurse gave me some kind of horribly sour lemon-flavored antacid to drink and they put two other anti-nausea drugs into my IV which made me sleepy. She described what would happen during the surgery, which was nice even though I'd read about it.

Around 11:30, my OB stopped in and told us there was another patient who would be needing an emergency C-section, so we'd be pushed back just a little bit. I didn't really mind since obviously the other patient's situation was much more pressing, but the hunger and the nerves did start to get to me after that, and I started to get cold. The anesthesiologist popped in and explained the spinal block to me, then popped back out, our nurse had MB change into his scrubs, and I decided I'd try to get a few minutes of sleep. It seemed like as soon as I settled in to rest, it was time to go. They wheeled my bed down to the operating room, and we had to leave MB at the door until after the prep was done. He later told me he was waiting in the hall for fifteen minutes, but to me the prep seemed to go by in just a few minutes.

My nurse had me get up and walk from the inner corridor into the OR, which I thought was kind of funny. When we went in there was only one other person inside, but before long there were at least half a dozen, maybe more. The anesthesiologist arrived and I sat on the bed and hunched my back the way the nurse had explained while he gave me a numbing shot and put in the block. It was crazy cold in the OR and either because of that or the nerves or the meds, I was shivering. I remember trying to hold really still while keeping my spine curved over and my head tucked down. At this point I discovered I would have a use for all that deep yoga breathing I'd practiced for months, and it really did help. The nurse stood right in front of me with her hands on my shoulders, and though I usually don't like strangers in my personal space, it was very comforting. They'd told me that once the spinal was in, my toes would go numb right away, but I didn't realize they meant instantaneously, and before they even got me all the way onto my back, I felt like I'd been Novocained from my toes to my hips. It was a slightly disconcerting experience -- I could still feel my toes and legs, I just couldn't feel any pain or move them at all.

They put the drapes up and the anesthesiologist explained that I wouldn't feel any pain, just pressure, especially during one part of the procedure, and that he'd warn me when that part was about to happen. At some point he put an oxygen mask on my face, and told me it was more for the baby than for me. I don't know if that was true or not, but it did help to take deep slow breaths through the mask. I was still freezing, but after they had my arms positioned on the arm rests sticking straight out from my sides, they draped a warmed blanket across my arms and chest, and it felt wonderful. My OB came in and joked that she'd taken it easy at the gym the night before because she knew she had a transverse baby to lift out the next day. I remember the anesthesiologist saying "Let's have a baby!" and hearing one of the nurses ask "Should I get the husband?" The anesthesiologist told me cheerily, "They've actually already started," and I remember simultaneously knowing they wouldn't get to any of the good parts before MB got in there and wanting to ask them to wait for him.

They told us before we went in that the delivery itself would probably take five to seven minutes, and I'd be surprised if it was any longer than that. MB sat on a stool near my head, so I could turn to the side and see him, and I'm pretty sure he held my hand. My OB said, "Your water broke!" and I said, "Hooray! We've been waiting for that for how long now?" I heard the OB say, "We've got boy parts!" and then "Oh, look! Strawberry blond hair!" and then I heard the baby cry. Oh, he was angry. We had asked to have the drape lowered as the baby emerged but that didn't happen. I wasn't upset about it, but it was a strange experience lying there seeing only blue paper and hearing my baby squalling in the corner off near my feet out of my sight. MB was called away and I could hear the nurses telling him to take photos of the baby and the numbers on the scale. Later I found out he got to trim the cord and put on the baby's first diaper. At some point he came to me and held the digital camera up so that I could see this photo of the baby:

I remember thinking that he looked like a total stranger to me, not familiar at all. MB left again, but before I knew it he was back, and the nurses were slipping the baby inside his scrub shirt to lie against his skin, and then I saw him for myself.

He was squirming and rooting around and making nursing motions with his mouth, and I remember being relieved because I'd read that some C-section babies have trouble with their nursing instincts. After a few moments, his breathing started to sound funny, sort of snorty and fast. It worried me but I also realized that if I was noticing, the medical staff was surely noticing, and right about then our L&D nurse came back and mentioned his breathing. A few moments later, they had MB take the baby back to the invisible corner again. I heard them say he had some mucus in his lungs, then the crying stopped, there was a suctioning noise, and then the crying came back, but way more pissed off than before. MB would tell me later that they'd put "like three freaking feet of tube" into the baby's lungs to suck the gunk out, so it's probably for the best that I couldn't see that part. Then the baby and MB were back, and before I knew it, the whole thing was done. The most surreal part was near the end, when I could hear one of the surgical assistants counting, and I knew they were counting clamps and scalpels to make sure nothing had been left behind.The anesthesiologist unfastened my arms and had me lay them on my chest. They rolled me onto my side, which felt REALLY weird. I felt like a mummy or something, all heavy and stiff. Once they'd moved me to the gurney again, someone asked "Do you want to hold your baby?" and I said, "Yes, please!" and they put him on my chest under my hospital gown and tucked a baby blanket across us both. I couldn't really see him, but I could feel him there.

Physically, the worst moment of the whole thing was when they wheeled me out and down the corridor toward the recovery room. It felt like they were sprinting, and I got extremely nauseated. I don't know if I said it out loud, but I recall promising the baby that I wouldn't throw up on him. More yoga breathing, which saved me from puking, and then we were in the recovery room and done. The baby was checked again and swaddled and brought back to me and I got to nurse him, and it felt like the most right thing in the world. All of a sudden, I was his mother.

Now that it's all over and done, I don't feel any lingering resentment or deep sadness over the way our birth turned out. Of course I'll always wonder what I missed and be a bit disappointed, but under the circumstances it's hard to be upset. The facts are that our baby couldn't be delivered naturally, and I feel lucky to live in an era and a country where the medical staff was fully equipped to deliver him safely and competently. Our hospital experience was overwhelmingly positive, and even the birth itself was really not as scary as I feared it would be. Best of all, now I get to hang out with this guy all the time:

Friday, January 22, 2010

One Week

I cannot believe it's been a week since this little guy was born:

I'm also completely behind and haven't written out his birth story. I wanted to have it up today for symbolic power and all that, but...uh...yeah.

"Mama, I'm shocked!"

Photo Friday

View the entire Photo Friday collection on Flickr.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

the brachiopod, again

Still haven't had a chance to be on the computer much, but we're home and have survived first at-home feeding. Next one in one hour only, oh mah gah. But, for anyone who might be in need of more baby pictures, here's my kiddo:

This one slays me -- totally unimpressed with all his going-home gear:

Sunday, January 17, 2010

the brachiopod

I need to start working on the birth story before I forget things, but for now you'll have to make do with some photos. A sacrifice, I know ;) He was born at 12:44 PM on Friday weighing 8 lbs 9 1/2 oz and measuring 20.5 inches long.

My favorite photo! Before I got to see the baby for myself, MB brought the camera over and showed me this shot. Check out his red hair!

All wrapped up in the recovery room:

The child has giant feet. None of the socks we brought actually fit!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The gift of time

Today was an easier day. I only had one spell where I almost cried, after doing some reading online and realizing just how difficult the recovery is going to be compared to what I could've expected from an uncomplicated natural birth. I knew I'd have to take it easy longer, but it hadn't occurred to me that I would be expected to avoid the stairs as much as possible. Since our bedroom and the baby's nursery are upstairs, this complicates things. I think, oddly, the moment that almost broke me down was the one when I realized that in addition to not being able to go to yoga class, walk my dog, or lift my baby in his carseat carrier, I won't be able to do laundry by myself. So in addition to working a job and a half and waiting on me hand and foot, MB will also have to do the wash for weeks. It's a small, stupid thing, but for a little while it felt like a symbol of what we will be giving up. I like my independence, I like doing things by and for myself, and honestly I'm more than a little bit Type A. It will be a hard and humbling experience to have to rely on other people to do the tasks that I am used to just doing myself, my way. But I didn't cry. And I will learn to ask for help, and I am sure in the long run it'll be good for me to do so.

While we're keeping the news off facebook for the time being, I've emailed and chatted with quite a few people about the situation since yesterday. I always find myself starting the conversation the same way:  this wasn't how we hoped to go out, or this wasn't the plan. Having a little distance from the news has definitely helped, though. While it would have perhaps been nicer if the baby had turned breech earlier, so that we had a few weeks to deal with the possibility of this outcome, finding out the way we did was vastly preferable to finding out after hours of labor or even after going in for an induction and then being surprised. A day and a half is certainly short notice for a change this dramatic, but there are definite benefits. Less time to fret, for one. And enough time to do a bit of preparation, for another.

MB was able to take the day off from his full time job, which gave him the morning to prepare all the materials for the subs who will be covering the classes he usually teaches on Saturday morning and Monday night. He had time to carry the Christmas decorations up to the attic and clean out the coffee maker. I had the opportunity to email a few friends who have had C-sections and ask for tips and advice. We went out to our favorite Szechwan restaurant and hit Target for a few things, including some really scary granny panties. And okay, I'm not excited about fugly granny panties, but it was nice to be able to pick them myself instead of sending MB to find some after an emergency delivery. We stopped for ice cream on the way back and had a chance to make a few changes to the setup here at the house that will hopefully make our first few weeks at home a lot easier. We moved the baby's changing table from his room to the dining room and put most of his 0-3 month clothes into a little plastic cart beside it so that if he blows out a diaper when I'm home alone with him, I won't have to decide between a naked baby or breaking the rules to carry him up the stairs.

I had time to write a recommendation letter for one of my volunteers at work, wash the clothes we'll need this weekend at the hospital, move the cheesecake I made last weekend into plastic containers so it won't mold by the time we get back, wash the dishes, sweep up the dog hair on the floor. All small and mundane things, but I think that sometimes humble and routine things are the most humanizing. I may not be able to control every aspect of my baby's birth, but I had a chance to leave the house in the state I wanted, to do a few last chores my way before I have to hand over the helm for a while. It was sad to unpack my naively assembled hospital bag, to take out the tennis balls I scrounged from the dog's supply and the back massager, the colorful washcloths and sour candies that we won't need now that we're not going to be coping with labor. But I'm grateful that I had a chance to repack the suitcase with things that we'll actually need, instead of having to make do with supplies packed for a very different experience.

This wasn't how I hoped we'd go out and it wasn't the plan we formulated, but really, the plan and the hope was always a healthy baby. God willing, that's exactly what we're going to get, and I suspect as soon as we see him, the details of how he got here won't seem all that important after all.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

This is not how things were supposed to go.

So, yeah. Those tests. We did the non-stress test first, which involved having two monitors attached, one to record the baby's heartbeat and one to mark contractions. I'd been advised by friends to drink something sugary ahead of time, since a sleeping baby would not provide the desired 3 moves per 15 minutes that they usually like to see on an NST. I needn't have worried. First the nurse had to chase the baby around to get the monitor placed properly, and then he proceeded to boogie down for the next 20 minutes. I lost count of how many times I pressed the button on the electronic clicker thing they gave me. I only had one contraction the whole time, even though from 36 weeks until this past week I'd been having Braxton Hicks contractions that increased in frequency and intensity. I'd started to worry that the dropoff in contractions meant something wasn't quite right, but I decided to believe maybe my uterus was just resting up, even though the baby's activity levels hadn't slowed, like people say they tend to just before labor starts.

After the NST, we went to have an ultrasound, and it turns out I should've listened to my instincts. As soon as the image popped up onto the screen, the tech said, "Oh, girl." Our baby, who was absolutely head-down and properly engaged a week ago, had somewhere in the intervening seven days flipped himself transverse breech. Our OB told us we could try an external version to turn him, but that she definitely would not recommend it at his date and size, and said he may have had a reason for turning after being in the proper position for several weeks. I think I handled it pretty well, considering. We found out he was breech around 2:00 and I didn't break down and have a big ugly cry over it until about 6:00.

I never really talked about it here, but we'd been planning to try for a natural birth. I read books and articles and visualized and practiced breathing and relaxation techniques, the whole bit. I guess the best way to amuse the universe is to make plans, right? Anyway, I didn't talk about it because I didn't want to jinx myself (HA. Real fucking funny now, right?). Also, as Jonniker so aptly put it, we are all unique birthing snowflakes. I certainly don't care if someone else wants an epidural or an elective C-section or wants to have their baby beamed out via alien technology or desires a homebirth surrounded by their commune and attended by their parakeet. Really, your business. But dammit, *I* wanted to try an unmedicated birth. I truly did. And we had a picture-perfect pregnancy and a baby who by all measures is still perfectly healthy at 41 weeks, and yet, it's not enough. I'm still going to have to have a c-section to bring him into the world.

Of course, intellectually I know this is not a big deal. I know a healthy baby at the end is the most important thing. I know that I'm lucky to have the doctor I do and that c-sections exist because of situations like this. And omg, you ungrateful bitch, some people don't even have babies. Or their babies have, like, three heads and a tail. I know. But I'd be lying if I said I wasn't pretty disappointed. I'm bummed that we did all that planning for nothing, I feel stupid for all the practicing and visualizing, I feel like a jackass for the hours I spent putting together a birth playlist, I worry that this isn't the best start I could've given this baby, I'm nervous about the surgery, and frankly I'm slightly offended that after waiting so long to be able to roll over in bed and go for long walks and get quickly back into yoga, I'm now going to be in worse pain after the baby's born than I am now, and for longer than anticipated. To put on my petulant pants for a minute, it just fucking sucks. I'm not heartbroken or devastated or hysterical, but I'm hugely disgruntled at the moment.

Worse, there's no way for me to know 200% that this wasn't just a freak thing and not something that happened for a reason. I wish I could know for certain that he wouldn't flip back around, given time (not that we have much time left.) There's no crystal ball for me to look into and find out if he'd turn himself back around if we waited two or four or six more days. I hope I don't always worry that we didn't give him a fair chance, that if we'd waited until Monday or Wednesday, he would've been able to be born on his own. The uncertainty is the hardest part, the not knowing if I'm making the best choice for him.

I'm sure I'll feel better tomorrow. I tend to bounce back pretty fast, and I don't really have time to wallow since the c-section is scheduled for 12:00 on Friday. We'll have to spend tomorrow re-packing our bag for a longer stay and returning all those natural birth books to the library and getting last-minute stuff done.

And I'm sure Friday will still be one of the best days of my life, even if it does start with me probably half-sick with nerves and then filleted like a fish, because Friday will be the day that I get to meet my baby. My allegedly 8 lb 4 oz baby (the ultrasound tech likes to make a guess to see how close she can get), a baby with a fat little fist and small round toes, who still didn't want to show his face, who is most definitively a boy, and who apparently has hair. On Friday, I will become his mother, for real and forever, no matter how he comes out.

Here's a picture of my kid with his foot
tucked up beside his hairy head. I have no idea.

Trial run

We're off soon to the hospital for our 41-week non-stress test and ultrasound. I'm fully expecting to be back home in time for dinner, still pregnant and slightly grumpy. However, on the Cheesefairy's wise advice, we're putting our hospital bag in the car and taking the dog to my parents' house, just in case. If nothing else, at least we'll have had a chance to practice the whole thing once.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Resistance is futile

I didn't sleep so well last night, suffering from a long and involved dream about labor in which I actually felt like I was having contractions. One would think, "AHA! And then you woke up and you were having contractions!" And one would be overly optimistic because no, I just woke up tired and out-of-sorts. I went back to sleep on the couch for about an hour after MB left for work, which helped a lot, and then I spent quite a long time poking around on the internet. At some point near lunch time, I realized it had started to snow in the most perfect way -- with big fat fluffy flakes tumbling almost a little too slowly through the air. I made a sandwich and opened the dining room curtains so I could watch the snow while I ate.

Once I got done eating, this is the face the dog kept giving me:

He really, really wanted to go for a walk. I checked the weather, and it was a near-balmy 28 degrees outside, so I figured what the hell. I got dressed in my super sexy dog walking outfit -- maternity layering tank top tucked into the worst ever pair of frumpy maternity jeans that I only wear to walk the dog because they make my ass look so awful, giant yoga T-shirt over that, then the only hoodie that I can still zip, followed by a huge red coat that doesn't actually fasten anymore. I guess the baby has really dropped in the last week or so, because when I go walking I can't take my usual long-leggedy strides due to all the bones in area being sort of pissed off and creaky right now.

But Indy and I made do, me shuffling along with these ridiculous penguin steps, him stopping to sniff every dog, cat, and rabbit track we passed in the fresh snow. We must've been a bit of a spectacle, my giant belly sticking out from my red coat, Indy's black fur sleek against the white backdrop, his perpetually question-mark-shaped tail poking up into the chilly air. And wouldn't you know, that walk in the snow cleared up the last of my lingering malaise from the weird dreams and the poor sleeping. I was a bit tired when we got back, but so refreshed. Dogs are pretty wise after all, I guess.

Once we got home, I took the new camera out to take a few winter pictures. Obviously I still need more practice, but I'm pretty excited about what this thing will be able to do once I'm a bit more used to it.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Nothing to report

It occurred to me that any significant absence from this blog might be misconstrued as a sign that I've gone and had a baby, rather than an indication that I'm just puttering around doing boring non-blog-post-worthy things. So I thought I'd pop in long enough to say nope, I'm still pregnant.

I was originally planning to return to work this past Monday (the 4th) if the baby wasn't born yet, but at the end of the week prior, MB told me he'd feel more comfortable if I continued staying home until the blessed event finally occurs. I have a bit of guilt over taking an entire extra week off since it's not like I'm suffering over here, but I also feel sort of privileged and spoiled. It has been nice to putter around the house and take naps and not have to worry about getting out in the cold if I don't feel like it.

Tomorrow morning will mark the beginning of my fourth-ish week off from work, since my last day at the office was December 16th. I'm simultaneously sheepish about the things that keep getting bumped from one day's to-do list to the next and feeling like I'm getting pretty good at this housewife gig. It's definitely easier to find the energy to keep up with the dishes and laundry and such when I'm not trying to do so after working a full day.

I think the dog is enjoying the extra company, though unfortunately he has not been enjoying extra exercise. I hope this cold weather breaks soon, because he's definitely bored on the days we don't go for a walk (and of course EVERYONE keeps telling me I should take LOTS OF WALKS so I'll go into labor). The snow isn't really a problem since we only got about 2 inches, and I'll gladly take Indy out on days when it's 20 degrees or so, but when the windchills get down into single digits, that's a bit much. Also, it's a bit alarming how quickly I get tired at this point in the pregnancy. Up until my vacation started, I was still walking Indy about a mile each workday with no problems. Yesterday I walked him maybe eight measly blocks and my ass was dragging by the time we got home. I do still feel pretty good, but I think my body might finally be getting fed up with the extra weight and the creaky pelvis. Don't worry, body...people keep reassuring me that no one has ever been pregnant forever! (Though, you know, there's a first time for everything.)

Anyhow, that's all that's going on. I'm sitting around, watching lots of nerdy television shows, sleeping for sometimes embarrassing stretches of the day, and trying to enjoy this last bit of time to myself. I'm still hoping at some point I'll go into labor on my own, so send good baby-having juju this way if you've got some. I'd also take crossed fingers for good results on our NST and ultrasound this Wednesday. Surely someday soon this kid will decide he's ready to emerge. Until then, I shall remain round and mostly boring.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Thursday, January 07, 2010

{W}: The Resolution

I wasn't going to make resolutions this year, having more or less forgotten all about my list of 9 Goals for 2009 when I got pregnant. I actually did pretty well with them, more or less by accident, though. If I'm flexible, I can check off #1 (better eating habits), #2 (regular exercise), #3 (enter a photo in a show), #4 (reduce clutter), and #9 (waste less food), and if redoing the baby's room counts, we also accomplished #6. But then I read a fantastic entry by Jen at Quarter Life Crisis, looking back at the past ten years and writing down some stream-of-consciousness goals for the next ten, and I started to think about my past ten and next ten years.

Ten years ago, I was an 18-year-old college freshman, and that girl feels so far away from the girl I am today, even though the last ten years have gone by in what seems like a flash, looking back. It would be eight more months before I met MB, though about two months after that happened, I was pretty sure I would marry him one day. Four and a half years later I finally graduated from college and we did get married, and about four and half years after that we decided we were ready to have a baby. And nine (ten, actually) months later, here I am. In ten years, I will have a ten-year-old son. Oh my God, how is that even possible? Ten years ago I was barely grown and largely clueless, and ten years from now, I will have a half-grown child of my own. With luck, we'll have another child by then, too, so our boy won't be the only one. So I guess resolution #1 for this decade is to be the best wife I can be to MB, the best thing that ever happened to me. Resolution #2 will be to get a good start on raising one or two happy, healthy, well-adjusted kids.

In the past ten years, I have been fortunate enough to travel to some pretty incredible places. I went on a two-week road trip down to the Gulf of Mexico and then through the West. I visited Yellowstone National Park, South Dakota, Maine, and went to Ontario twice, once for geology and once for Shakespeare. I spent six and a half weeks at a geologic field camp in Montana. I made several trips to beloved Chicago. I saw the Smokies, got my ass kicked by a mountain in North Carolina, traveled to San Francisco and Alaska for work, and spent the best vacation of my life with MB in Washington State. Resolution #2 for my third decade on the planet is to travel whenever possible. Short trips, medium ones, I'll take what I can get. I want us to visit state parks and take hikes, to go to quirky little museums and tourist attractions. I want to finally take MB on his first trip to Chicago. And I want to take at least one big, kickass vacation with MB and the child(ren), Maybe to Maine, maybe back to Tennessee, maybe somewhere long as we go somewhere and make the most of it.

We've had some periods of lean times these past ten years, some leaner than others, and while we're lucky to have our educations and a house of our own, I hope to have most of our lean-times debt solidly behind us by the time the next ten years is up. I would say all, but man...those student loans are killer. We'll probably be paying on those from the afterlife. We've made a lot of progress chipping away at it, especially at the credit card balances, and resolution #3 is to just keep on chipping. We may be like that allegorical sparrow who carries away one sand grain each year from the mountaintop, but we're going to keep going back for more sand grains.

I can't say for sure where I'll be in ten years, career-wise, but resolution #4 is to keep striving for success in the job I have now for as long as I have it, and to always work hard. I hope I'll be fortunate enough to always have a job I love, whether it's the one I have now or one I can't yet foresee.

And resolution #5, short and sweet: keep writing. I may never publish a novel or even a short story, but I want to keep writing, here or elsewhere. I also want to stay committed to writing things for the brachiopod on the baby-book-replacing blog I created when we started trying for a baby last year. I may never create luxurious handcrafted scrapbooks for my kids, but I want to write, for them and for me.

The last ten years have been the best ten years of my life. Here's hoping I'm back here saying the same thing ten years from now.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Happy due date to me!

Nope, no baby yet. We had our 40-week appointment today, and nothing much is happening. The little dude still seems comfy, though, so we're just going to hang in there and wait it out unless something changes. At my last appointment we had tentatively discussed booking an induction for the 13th, but the more I thought about it in the week since then, the less comfortable I felt. I just really don't feel right yanking the kid before he's ready unless there's a medical indication that we should. Our OB -- love her -- was totally on board. When I told her I was nervous and uncomfortable about booking an induction, she immediately said we didn't have to rush into anything. She scheduled us for a non-stress test and an ultrasound next Wednesday. If everything looks good and the baby is still happy, we're allowed to wait another week -- with two additional tests in between -- before we have to be induced. I'm hopeful that he'll get a move on by himself before then. Perhaps I'll even end up with a January 13th baby after all...which would be kind of cool since my birthday is March 13th and MB's is December 13th. Ask me again in a few days if I'm still cool with that idea, but for now I feel fine. As long as he stays healthy, fantastic. Okay, and it would also be nice if he didn't spend the next week getting gigantic. That would be REALLY NICE.

It's probably against some Pregnant Lady Code to say so, and I know I've been damn lucky to have such a positive experience, but I have absolutely loved pregnancy. I have felt great through 99% of the last forty weeks. Even though I'm feeling a bit ungainly now, I really have enjoyed seeing my belly grow and never felt whale-like (though I'm sure I look it these days). I had to wait a long time to feel the baby move -- I didn't feel him for the first time until my 22nd week -- and I adore it. From his early kicks and jabs to the more languid stretches he's doing now, I can't get enough. As excited as I'll be to meet him, I know for certain I will miss feeling him bopping around in my belly. My favorite baby thing has to be the hiccups. For several weeks, he got them almost every evening, and it never stopped being funny. They've tapered off lately, but last night he got them while I was finishing up in the shower. I stood in the warm water, hands on my belly, and just felt ridiculously content.

He's such a mystery to me right now. I know he'll have his own personality and his own temperament, and I can't even begin to imagine what he'll be like. Will he be bald, dark-haired, blond? Will he have MB's eyes, like I'm hoping? For now, I'm really trying to treasure every day I have left of him being my constant sidekick. As people like to point out, he'll never again be as portable and easy to care for as he is now, and it'll never again be this easy to hold him close and safe. I definitely have moments where the bigness of this really hits me and it's terrifying, but mostly I'm just so very happy and so very grateful. I'm absolutely stunned that this first stage of our journey together is almost over. The time has gone so fast, and it's hard to wrap my head around the reality that he could truly arrive at any point.

I don't really know how MB is feeling, but we seem to agree on a few points -- we don't really feel fully ready for this, but at the same time we're as ready as we'll ever be and excited. This has definitely been our craziest adventure yet, and it's really just getting started.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Nesting or temporary insanity, it's so hard to differentiate

Holy crap, y'all, what a day. MB and I slept late, but we made up for it big time by the end. We got up around 10:30 and finished painting the brachiopod's room, then took showers and met rabidmonkey and norahs1213 for lunch. After that, we did our grocery shopping for the week. MB decided to fix the janky dryer exhaust hose that constantly detaches itself from the vent, so he went to Lowe's for parts. While he was gone, I ended up reorganizing the breakfast nook (which is basically our mudroom / storage area) so that we can bring up a cabinet from the basement for more pantry space. This entailed moving shelves, consolidating bins of stuff, and carrying crap out to the shed and the trash bin. Indy was somewhat worried about all this activity, since his crate is in the breakfast nook, which basically makes it his room. I think he's pretty happy with the results, though he could've just been excited about that ancient goldfish cracker he found behind the trash can. It's so hard to tell with dogs.

I ended up cleaning out and reorganizing the actual pantry, too, before MB got home. Then he and I spent at least an hour hooking up the new dryer hose to the dryer and vent. That goddamn hose has got to be the most poorly designed piece of equipment I have ever, ever seen. Getting it attached to the dryer with the grippy ring thingy required an angle of hand and screwdriver that was basically physically impossible. Then the stupid hose ripped no less than FOUR TIMES while we were trying to attach it and expand it. It's a miracle we didn't light the whole thing on fire and walk away, to be honest. I swear, at one point it was giving me contractions. Too bad they went away, I guess. When that was finally, finally done, we ate dinner and started to relax, but then I decided to try to get a little bit more work done in the baby's room.

MB and BoMB helped move the furniture in, and then I brought the bpod's books and toys and other gear over from the guest room and put everything in its place. If this is nesting, I'm going to be very glad it's done when he's born very soon. If it's not, well...I guess I'll still be glad, but I'll also be really tired tomorrow. I should probably wait until I have better pictures, since these turned out sort of overexposed and crappy, but I'm too exhausted to go back upstairs and take more. My mom is making curtains for the windows, we need new outlet covers, and I've got to have my dad bring over the glider chair mom is passing on to us, but other than that it's basically done:

Diapers will eventually go on the middle shelf of the changing table, but
the shelf is loose and needs to be glued or braced before it will bear weight.

It was kind of an accident that he ended up with so many stuffed animals.

I found this cool folding puppet theater at Goodwill last week for five bucks!

I'll have to get a better shot of the thing under the window.
It's a doll crib that was mine when I was little, now full of puppets.

Here's the crib, which is set up in our room.

My two boys, soon to be three. I'm simultaneously impatient to meet our baby and yet terrified that I'm not ready to be his mother, which I suppose is normal. I feel pulled in two directions now, part of me wanting to get on with things already and part of me wanting to wait just a bit longer, just a few days more. But if there's one thing this pregnancy has taught me, it's that things are well out of my hands now. All I can do is my best, and then hope it's enough. I suppose that's all we ever do, really.