Archive for April, 2008

friday night.

h is asleep next to me. every pet is curled up near or on the bed, as a severe thunderstorm with fantastic lightning just passed. sparky is wide awake and stretching out the right side of my abdomen. i sit back and watch the show. for the first time, i see a definite foot travel across my belly, left to right. and i feel the fingers of my daughter splay below my belly button. surreal does not begin to explain it. we are teaching each other how to find our happy place. i have a story to tell about that, too. i am just too tired to write anymore.

here’s a thousand words more:

friday night.

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back on top.

it’s a gorgeous day here in austin, texass. everything is in full bloom and smells like honeysuckle. i’m sitting at mother’s cafe, enjoying a garden patch salad with homemade cashew tamari dressing and 16 oz of fresh squeezed orange juice. mmmmmm.

the cafe is conveniently located down the street from my midwife, so guess where i just was?

i’ve been nervous about this appointment, about whether or not my blood pressure had improved since going on maternity leave and taking on the hawthorn, garlic, and epsom salt baths. well, the moment of truth has come and gone, and my blood pressure today was 106/68. this is compared to the 146/9something from a few weeks ago. my heart rate is between 84-90 bpm, down from 120. and we did a random glucose screening, which turned out perfect. team sparky wins!

sparky herself is once again measuring ahead, as my uterus is 34-35 cm at 32 weeks. she weighs about 4-4 1/2 lbs, michele estimates. she’s a big girl. and me? i’ve gained 2 lbs this month. it may not be much, but i’d been holding steady since about 24 weeks. total pregnancy weight gain as of now? -1 pound. i’m eating plenty and well. everything is just going to sparky, i guess.

so that is the news from mothers cafe: everyone at this table is healthy!

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a proper entry is forthcoming, hopefully within the next 24 hours, but for now, i was able to capture the loch ness monster, aka, the bum of sparky. see the oddly shaped bump within my bump, just below my hand? behold, the bum.

my lovely baby bump.

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send your love, your hope, your prayers to sara and erin and a. today.

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family portrait.

Friday evening. Nearly 7 o’clock. We are in bed already. H is asleep next to me, a lump under the blankets, breathing slow and constant. She will be pleased to know that she is not snoring. Charleydog is curled snugly in a ball, sleeping between us. And Salcat stretches out between my legs, green eyes closed tight; he is drunk on the evening sun shining on his face. he smiles. And lucy is on the floor, snoring on her back, legs straight up in the air.

And here I am, wide awake with Annie Dillard’s recent novel. The baby is rolling back and forth in my belly, just under my ribs. If I touch my fingers to my flat belly button, she wriggles, ticklish. This is how I communicate with my daughter. Palms and fingers pressing and poking until she replies. I tell her not to be afraid to be born, that we’ll find our way through the process. I tell myself the same thing. Over and over.

Our whole lives are happening on this sleepy Friday evening. Everything is silence and sunshine and breathing. Our bedroom is big and in transition. Backpacks full of unpacked clothing. An empty dresser. Bare beige walls. I often refuse to let myself fully be where I am when there are details left undone. When the walls are painted, laundry sorted, nausea departed, then I will savor the perfection of now.

I miss a lot of perfect moments.

But not this one. This is us in our home. Resting. Nesting. Sal is purring in his sleep now. And the baby is quiet, sleeping and growing and silently preparing for the descent soon. Everything is in its right place.

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send your love and excitement and easy delivery thoughts over to it’s taking a village! here comes the tot!

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as i took this picture, i was being punched in the belly button by a ferocious fetus.


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day one.

maternity leave ticker is removed.  this is it, baby.  the promised land.  so far, i’ve slept.  most of the day thus far.  curled up with pets.  and now i’m off to pick up h from school.

so it goes…

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31 weeks.

today, i am 31 weeks pregnant. i just got off the phone with my midwife (who, incidentally, has 2 broken wrists from falling down stairs. yikes.). i am beginning a new regimen of kyolic garlic, hawthorne tincture, daily epsom salts baths, and more consistent 20 minute daily walks. why? over the past 2 weeks, my blood pressure and heart rate have shot up. for instance, right now, as i lie in bed, my heart rate is 120 bpm. my blood pressure was 146/9something last week at the doctor. it was 139/86 a few days later. i’m usually about 115-120/70. not. good. michele still thinks that stress is the biggest culprit, alongside my ever-increasing blood supply.

the biggest change michele requires is that i begin maternity leave now. as she pointed out: i sit in a chair all day and get stressed out. bad combination for a pregnant woman with an elevated heart rate and blood pressure. and so, i need to tie up a few loose ends tomorrow and begin my leave…two months before my due date.

i confess that i’m really wrestling with this new reality. on one hand, i’m really grateful that i will have an upwards of two months to transition from working not-mother to not-working mother. i’ll have time to savor my last days on my own. i’ll have time to properly nest. it’s a gift.

however. i’m really good at the self-guilt, and already (all along) i’ve struggled against the voice of “if you were stronger/more disciplined/a better mother, you’d be able to work until your due date”. silly, right? i automatically compare myself to other pregnant women who work harder jobs than me and stay longer. but, as h constantly reminds me, every pregnancy is different. and i have gotten through my pregnancy without bipolar medication. i have worked as much as i could. i bought a house. i’ve done my best to keep sparky alive and well in my womb. there is no part of my pregnancy that has been a failure. and i’m not leaving work now as an excuse to be lazy. i’m doing it to protect my pregnancy, my baby.

so why do i feel like i’m playing the pregnancy card to get out of working? probably because i mostly feel okay (aside from the heart beating out of chest thing). i always imagined an early maternity leave to look like premature labor and bedrest and preeclampsia etc etc etc. for me, it’s iffy blood pressure and heart rate. we’re keeping it from getting worse. over and over, i remind myself of this. preventative leave is just as valid as an emergency leave.

and so, yeah, i’m leaving work now.
oh heart of mine, slow down, please.

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neti neti neti yes!

so yesterday, as i languished while watching the pregnant man episode of oprah–with lots of eyerolling while simultaneously glad that thomas got to tell his own story–a commercial came on for the sinu.cleanse neti pot.  i giggled at the unlikely spokesperson of obscure country star suzy bogguss*, but thought that i should add a neti pot to my arsenal of illness-fighting.  so far, i’ve been shoveling enough benadryl to choke a small horse, just to dry my sinuses out enough to do some semblance of nose-breathing while i sleep.  and the zpack for the bronchitis.  and the vicks humidifier. and tons o menthalatum on the chest and in the nostrils.

nothing. helps.

i returned to work today, after four days missed, and was miserable.  my second customer conversation of the day made me cry.  i couldn’t keep my eyes open for the burning.  i had no business being there.  so i came home at lunch, and picked up a sinu.cleanse on the way.  [purchased at our local co-op, and actually pretty cheap.  plastic = good, as i’m already thinking in terms of what sparky will be able to break one day.]

so it’s been about 2 hours, and wow.  i’m still stuffy-ish, and definitely ill, but that heavy, burning, achy pressure under my eyes and the bridge of my nose is so much better.  and when i ate some applesauce, i very nearly tasted it.  wow.  i am a happy chicken.

and now to nap.  don’t let me forget to write about our first birthing class.

*i once met ms bogguss at a random party with lots of good mojitos.  it was a nashville party, lots of music peoples, but i remember thinking it very random that she was there.  also random was the fact that i had my father’s guitar with me.  she fell in love with it immediately and wanted to buy it.  i refused.  heh.

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