July 28, 2010
There will be a baby blog here. As soon as I write one. It will be brief, as we’re already 26 weeks in, but here it will be. Seems wrong to start a new one before I even wrote a birth story to finish the old one. Stupid perfectionist tendencies. Maybe I’ll go back and do that. Big maybe.
To sum up the pregnancy so far: EASY. EeeeeeASY. Like superfluously EASY. Aside from the kicking and squirming and the big, round tummy, I wouldn’t know anything was happening.
Just-Picked Homegrown Tomatoes
* * *
August 3, 2010
Jonah (the almost-seven-year-old) is obsessed with my belly and the tiny brother or sister inside. If I sit still for any length of time, he’s on me like glue. He wants to talk to the tummy, growl at the tummy, sing to the tummy, bounce the tummy, poke the tummy, hug the tummy, and generally make the baby’s quiet pod into a carnival fun house until I force him to leave. He says he’s keeping the baby from getting bored. It’s an act of love, I know, but sometimes I’d like him to remember that there’s a mama connected to the uterus.
He’ll be a handy guy to have around after the baby is born. Jonah’s show was always Ella’s favorite when she first made her appearance. I imagine this one will like it too, if for no other reason than familiarity.
Blue Bell Light Vanilla Ice Cream with Locally Grown Pecans
* * *
August 13, 2010
Belly Shot: 28 Weeks
Coca-Cola (which is weird because I’m totally a Pepsi girl)
August 18, 2010
I was looking through my drafts from last February, and found this unpublished snippet:
The song that played as I read the result of the pregnancy test: “Big Empty” by Stone Temple Pilots. But I wasn’t.
And my belly is now officially big. I know this because I suddenly have to be careful not to bump into counters or knock over children, and this morning I whacked it with the refrigerator door. Poor baby.
So far this little one seems like a quiet one. He/she gets active at fairly regular intervals, but never really goes crazy and jumps around like Ella did. It reminds me a lot of Naiah. Just gentle kicking and stretching now and then. Nothing spastic or rhythmic. Hopefully that means another quiet baby for later too. I like those. But the spastic ones are exciting too.
Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich with Milk
August 24, 2010
I have a prenatal appointment with the midwives in Austin! It’s on Tuesday! They’ll show me around a really pretty birthing center and sit down with me to talk insurance and schedule the rest of my appointments.
True Mom Confession: This is my first prenatal appointment of this entire pregnancy. It will be 31 weeks.
It wasn’t impossible for me to see someone before now. BUT we didn’t have insurance until June 1st, at which time we thought we would be in Austin at any moment. AND I wasn’t interested in any of the (mostly male) test-happy OB’s in Lufkin. AND the prospects here in MS are even more medicalized and therefore even less enticing. To put it succinctly, I’m a spoiled brat.
However, maybe because of the lack of testing and false alarms and countdowns and measurements, this has been far and away the most worry-free, happy, quiet pregnancy I’ve ever had. I have loved keeping every increment of change and progress within the little circle of our family. It was the first time I felt like this was our own private family event and no one else’s, and that felt very right somehow. So I don’t regret it. But since I don’t plan to give birth unassisted, it’s about time I meet the ladies who will be with me at the end, and if they need to put me through some tests and ultrasounds to reassure themselves that it’s safe to take me as a client, that’s perfectly fine. They have jacuzzi tubs.
MILK, MILK, MIIIIIILK!!!
September 10th, 2010
Well, one ultrasound down and all we know of Baby Six is that it’s on schedule, healthy, and human. The tech did her level best to make those little legs move out of the way, to no avail. Unless we get a more revealing look before the birth, this will be our first surprise on the boy/girl question. I don’t mind. But I feel a little sorry for Jonah if he has to wait all that time only to find out he didn’t get a brother. Poor guy. Thankfully, boys seem to abound in Texas. So at least he’ll have guy friends.
I’m at that tricky stage of the pregnancy where I need to eat more to keep up my blood sugar levels and energy, while the baby is crowding my stomach and making it hard to eat much at a sitting. Snacking isn’t normally part of my day, so I forget frequently and end up crashing from low blood sugar sometimes. Then I feel dumb. Plus I’m weakened and spacey for the rest of the day after that.
Aside from the usual food problems though, things are still easy-breezy. I’m starting to feel big and my feet swell now and then, but overall I’m ridiculously comfortable for being 32 weeks pregnant and only a month and a half from full term. Still the OB (yes, OB and not midwife, which is a whole other story that I’m a little sad over, but that’s for another time) wants to run every test in existence, of course. Just for the heck of it. Of course. And of course, upon hearing my forlorn sigh, she gave the classic OB line, “You’re free to refuse any of these tests, BUT. . . “, which in itself is reason #326 to love your midwife and ditch the OB whenever possible. So I’ll be poked a lot next Wednesday. Probably for no purpose but to spend money uselessly. It won’t kill me. But it does kind of put a downer on an otherwise painless pregnancy.
Starbucks Java Chip Ice Cream
September 19, 2010
I am sad. My hopes of having a peaceful, unmolested birth are fading to nil rather quickly. The end of my second OB visit went something like this–
OB: So did you have any questions for me about the birth?
Me: Yeah, actually I was wondering if the hospital had any policies or time limits on using the shower or the tub during labor. That really helped me to relax and deal with the pain last time, but the hospital had a rule that you couldn’t be in the water more than twelve hours after your water breaks.
OB: Oh! Do you want a water birth?
Me: OH! Do you do that?!
OB: Well, probably not, but I’m new here. Was there any other weird stuff you wanted? Well, I shouldn’t say weird, but you know. . . unusual?
Me: Um. . . I guess I’m not sure what’s unusual here.
OB: You should take the hospital tour and ask the nurses. I don’t know anything about this hospital yet.
Me: Okay. . .
OB: Did you have any more questions for me?
Me: No, I guess not.
Fast forward to this evening at the Labor and Delivery tour–
Nurse: So this is one of our labor rooms. . . Each room has a full shower and bath attached. And these are the monitors you’ll be using once you’re admitted. They strap around your belly like this, one for heart rate and one for contractions, and we can watch your stats continuously from the nurses’ station and the OB on-call room. . . Any questions?
Me: So, you do continuous fetal monitoring?
Nurse: Yes, we do.
Me: Is that case-by-case or is that hospital policy for everybody?
Nurse: That’s the rule for everyone here.
Me: So no one uses the water for pain management during labor?
Nurse: No, not at all during labor, because we don’t have water-proof monitors, but we do have one mobile monitor that might be available if you really want to get out of bed.
Me: Okay. (trying really hard not to burst into tears at the thought of being strapped to a bed for twelve hours)
And later, once the other mommies-to-be had left–
Me: Um, I’m from out of state, so I don’t know anything about delivering here yet, and I was just wondering if that continuous monitoring policy was only here at this hospital or if it was everywhere.
Nurse: That’s everywhere in Austin. The only place that might not do that is the birthing center, with the midwives.
Me: Yeah. We weren’t able to go with the midwives this time because we came so late in the pregnancy. It makes me really nervous to think about being strapped in bed the whole time I’m in labor.
Nurse: Yeah, I know. It’s the OB’s. I’m from California, and I always had midwives and walked around and did whatever I felt like during labor.
Me: Yeah, seriously! It makes so much more sense to let women move and distract themselves instead of making them sit still and focus on the pain and use more drugs.
Nurse: I know. [sigh] Well, we’ll get you through it one way or another.
Me: Okay. Thanks. (walk out feeling super-dejected)
Oh, and on the subject of ridiculous tests–
OB: Hey, I noticed we don’t have a glucose test on file for you yet. We need to get that scheduled so we have it on file.
Me: Well, I tend to have minor blood sugar issues anyway, and the glucose solution always makes me throw up or pass out, which means I’d need somebody to come with me to drive me home, plus someone to stay home with the kids. So last time we just did a diabetic blood draw after a regular meal instead.
OB: Wow, that sounds tough. I wish we didn’t have to put you through all that. But let’s get it scheduled as soon as possible so we’ll have it on file.
In the end she forgot to schedule it. And I remembered to forget to schedule it, which is my strategy of choice for the time being. In the words of Bartleby the Scrivener, “I prefer not to.”
In any case, I am blessed with a baby who kicks and squirms and rolls, and who is slightly smaller than average, if you judge by fundal height, and who is most certainly a boy or a girl. I am also blessed with a body that tolerates pregnancy marvelously well and with a husband who enjoys the journey with me each step of the way and with children who are 100% in favor of adding to the team. And somehow the birth itself will be a blessing as well. SOMEhow. But it looks like that might require a good epidural. Or a boycott. I do have a shower down the hall.
Bean, Rice and Cheese Burrito with Sour Cream
September 24, 2010
Belly Shot: 34 Weeks
And 40 days to go!
September 24, 2010
I would like to note that I am not an overtly emotional person. I’d rather think rationally than trust my feelings. Most of the time I have no idea what my feelings are saying anyway. But by some brutal happenstance (I suspect a hormone surge now that we’re in the last legs of the pregnancy), I am now emotional to the 267th degree. And boy howdy, can I cry like anything! I mean, senseless, unaccountable hours of crying. I feel sorry for my people, who have to wonder what the heck is wrong with me.
I can’t recall this happening with any of the other pregnancies, except maybe with Jonah, but that was usually flare-ups of anger more than anything. So maybe it’s a sign, and maybe not. In the meantime, try not to take it personally if I cry at you.
Meat! All kinds. (Build those baby muscles!)
September 27, 2010
Oh, big baby. I know you’re not that big yet, but compared to my inner organs and tiny nerves, you are quite large. So take it easy on the stretching and pummeling, K? Mama would like that. One more month is all, I swear.
October 6, 2010
Okay, so I’m starting to feel nine months pregnant now. The baby has dropped, but isn’t totally engaged yet. That one vertebrae in my lower back that always acts up is acting up in earnest. And my belly muscles are no longer sufficient to hold me up for long, so I can’t be on my feet too much, or they get angry at me. Contractions are more frequent and annoying. And the heartburn, insomnia, and nighttime discomfort have arrived.
In a way it’s a relief to feel all these things. It’s making me realize that yes, I am actually pregnant, and will actually have an actual baby. And soon! I’m excited now for this to wrap up happily and have a new person in my arms, where he or she isn’t just speculation anymore.
And I forgot to mention it, but we do have names. It seems so useless to have them when we don’t know who’s in there. But a boy would be Judah James, after the biblical character/nation and Jason’s father James Gary. And a girl would be Marietta Pearl, after my favorite great-grandmother Etta and her sister Mary Elizabeth, and Jason’s mother Pearl. Judah James sounds like an old, Western outlaw name to me. I like it. And Marietta Pearl sounds very Southern belle-ish for some reason. Marietta used to be a fairly popular name in the early 1900′s, but it’s become dusty since then. At least she won’t have lots of other Marietta’s to contend with. She and Naiah can be weird together.
Current Favorite Craving
Starbucks Pumpkin Scone with Earl Grey and Milk
October 6, 2010
Belly Shot: 36 Weeks
And starting to look a little off-balance!
October 26, 2010
Well, it looks like things are moving right along. After three weeks of contractions with no changes, yesterday’s check-up was more promising. The contractions are lower and more bothersome now, and they’re actually accomplishing something, apparently. The OB is betting I won’t make it to the due date, which is one week from today.
I’m hoping for something to happen right before or at the start of the weekend, so Jason can have extra time off with us.
I feel more ready now. It’s only been a week and a couple of days since Pearl passed away, but it seems like we’ve rounded some kind of corner in our lives and are moving into a new season. Also, two ladies from church brought me a baby shower in a basket this morning. It happened to contain the exact necessities that we needed to be ready for Judah to come home with us in comfort and style. Anna, Sarah, and Naiah just about died from the cuteness. God is very good to us.
Banana Pudding with Nilla Wafers