Archive for May, 2008

it’s a sweltering saturday afternoon, pushing 100 degrees, and i am nauseated and lounging in bed and tempted to get all nekked. we’ll see.

sparky is very active today, after being eerily quiet yesterday. i even had some contraband iced tea to see if that would stir her. it didn’t. she only came around as i floated on my side in the bathtub last night.

my charleydog–the alphabitch, as well as mama to 2 litters before being rescued and spayed and adopted by me–has been by my side more than usual, with a worried look on her face. h is convinced this means sparky will be coming soon. i just shrug. i have no idea. reading into signs get so exhausting.

and so i’ve resorted to taunting my fetus. at 3:00 today, i announced that if she wanted to be a may baby, she had 9 hours to get herself out of my womb. this was followed by some poking on my belly and “i’ll bet you don’t have it in you…” “i dare you to try…” “nah nah nah nah nah…” comments. she simply kicked me and ground her head into my pelvis until my cervix ached. i apologized.


in other news, i think we have found our pediatrician. he is a jolly guy, nathan lane’s straight brother, who was a (“responsible, because [he] was in medical school”) hippie with midwife michele in the 60s, as well as the pediatrician for her kids.

reasons why we dig him:

  • he accepts our insurance
  • if we should ever find ourselves without insurance, he generously works with self-pay patients
  • he is completely supportive of “families like ours”, and actually got rid of a pediatrician in his practice who had issues with same sex parents
  • there is a lab at his practice
  • he is not antibiotic happy.
  • he is very flexible with vaccine choices and schedules. he trusts parents to do their homework and make informed decisions about their children’s health.

i didn’t know how relieved i would be to have found a pediatrician. we’d interviewed one previously, who was very honest about not having much experience with “families like ours” but had nothing against us either. she was pretty rigid about sticking to the vaccine schedules, and had nothing but horror stories when we asked her thoughts about, oh say, co-sleeping? (she herself slept with her mother as a child, interestingly enough.) i just didn’t feel comfortable with her overall. dr hippie was so nice, and had the answers to our questions ready before we asked them.

also, i had an appointment with h’s psychiatrist yesterday. i’ve met him a few times when i’ve accompanied her to her appointments, and he’s a quirky ADD OCD kind of guy. boxes of files are strewn about his office, and he never wears shoes. he has a fantastic potty mouth, and tells the most bizarre stories. all of his appointments notoriously run late by an hour at least. and he’s fabulous. he actually assesses more than the symptoms he has the power to medicate. he asks for your whole story (hence the lateness of all appointments). yesterday was a baseline assessment of how i’m doing without meds for depression and anxiety. i am officially doing “enviably well”. after sparky comes, i will check in with him once a month to make sure i am maintaining my mental health.

i can’t tell you how good it felt to walk out of a psychiatrist’s office without a prescription.

ok, i’m out of steam. but before i go, i must recommend you go buy the new record, shotgun singer, by my dear friend, kris delmhorst. she’s good people, and such a fabulous artist. AND she is due with her first bebe one day after sparky is estimated to arrive. privately, i am competing with her. my baby will come first. i will win.

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happy wednesday, friends. mrs bluemont stopped by to request an update, so i thought i’d oblige, especially since i want to encourage calm pregnancy thoughts for her, instead of worrying about poor little ol me.

so. as of today (37w3d) sparky has not quite decided to join us yet. saturday’s false start inspired midwife michele to have a good feel of sparky’s size, and she is now highly recommending that sparky try to make her arrival before 40 weeks. and so, i am now working hard to bring on and keep the contractions going. lots more walking during the day, coupled with squatting and yoga ball writhing about. at night, i’m trying to take it easy, longer baths, etc, so that i sleep well. the other night, i slept terribly, and woke up with my jaw clenched; i think i was contracting in my sleep. last night, however, i was so tired that i slept nearly 11 hours straight. (and i feel a nap coming on.)

today, i’m not having rhythmic contractions (yet), but i am the crampiest i’ve been so far. i feel like i am having the worst period ever, that if i stand up, surely i’ll feel that awful gush of blood. my back aches. my hips are groaning. my pubic bone throbs. when sparky swivels her butt from side to side, i want to thump her and ask her not nicely to pick a position and stay with it. i’m pretty confident she is finding her way lower into my pelvis. i have a midwife appointment tomorrow evening–at home, yes!–and i am hoping that it brings news of progress.

one of the women from my birthing class had her baby late last week. the story from my midwives goes like this: night #1, she thought her waters were leaking, but they weren’t. she was having mild contractions and was so excited that she couldn’t sleep. night #2, real contractions woke her up and she couldn’t sleep. night #3, she was finally fully dilated, but was so exhausted from 2 nights of no sleep that her contractions petered out and she had no strength to push. after 4 hours of the midwives trying everything in the midwife book to get the baby out, she was finally transferred to the hospital. pitocin, epidural, and suctioning ensued, and a healthy 9lb baby boy finally, finally emerged.

michele told me this story for 2 reasons:

1. to get me to make myself rest as much as possible at night.
2. to remind me that, statistically, i now have a better chance of having a quick, easy birth.


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turns out i didn’t leak amniotic fluid. i guess it was copious watery discharge. mmmm. still contracting a bit but i get to take the pump off my nips. i’m about 75% effaced and -2 station, so a lot of progress has happened today. i’m 1.5 cm dilated. i got kissed and patted on the head by the midwives, and they still think she’ll be an early bird.

for now, i’m having 1/2 a beer and going to bed.

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hmm [updated]

having contractions pretty close together for the past hour. h checked me, and estimated i’m 2-3 cm dilated. wonder if this is the real thing or if they will fizzle out again?

i mopped the house today. hands and knees bathroom scrubbed. contractions began when i took a bath afterward.


7:30 pm looks like this is early labor. h’s internal check seems to have caused my waters to start leaking and the contractions to feel stronger. midwife michele is on her way over.

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nothing new to report from here. sparky is still holed up in the womb, crampiness and sporadic contractions remain the same. we’re making nachos for dinner tonight. and here are some belly shots.

frontal, and missing half my head, appropriately:
36w5d frontal.

the usual pose

as always, the full belly gallery can be viewed at your leisure here.

thank you and have a nice day.

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as it turns out, i am still 1 cm dilated. (h even got the official tutorial on how to check my cervix in the comfort of our own home. it was a bit weird to have her all up in my biz in front of midwives.) i am also 50% effaced. the news about my constant menstrual-like crampiness was met with squeals and thoughts that sparky will likely not hang out until her due date.

if she is still a fetus next thursday, i have my first home visit, where the midwives make sure they can find our house, give me my exam at home, and likely stay for dinner. (h will make a curry.) how exciting!

my blood pressure is still fabulous at 105/56, i think. heart rate was elevated, at between 90 and 120. they took my pulse several times to make sure i don’t have a heart murmur. i don’t. oh, and my iron. ugh. i was pricked twice today. in order to be clear for homebirth, my iron levels have to be at least 10. the first test showed me at a 9.something. the second was 10.2. and so i’m now having to monumentally increase my iron intake. on top of the ultramins and easy iron, i’m now taking floradix, which tastes nasty! i’m also doubling my vitamin c. and eating steak cooked in an iron skillet. fun.

so there you have it. remind me to tell you the story of our post-appointment visit to ikea today. mayhem ensued. but that’s a story for tomorrow.

edit: OH! and i almost forgot: i now have to sit on a washcloth full o castor oil three times a week after baths. the things i do for my perineum.

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as i write this, h is finishing up the painting of our bedroom. next is sparky’s nursery. we are hoping to get everything done before she makes her arrival, but in the meantime, we’ve got a rough setup to keep some semblance of sanity should she come say, this weekend.

here are some pics from her nursery-in-progress:

soon to fit little arms.
swing, dresser/changing station, pack n play
almost ready...
sparky’s-eye view of her swing mobile
spark's-eye view.

shortly, the beige walls will disappear. [note: the crappiest part about moving into a brand new house in our hood is the overwhelming beigeness of every wall, door, and ceiling.] sparky’s room will be a lovely lavender.

in other news, we’ve got a midwife appt in a couple hours. i wonder if i’ve made any progress in the past 2 weeks? last night, i actually had rhythmic, timeable contractions for a couple hours. they were an average of 15-20 minutes apart, lasting 30 seconds to a minute. and i also had constant lower back cramping, like i was about to get a really bad period. the contractions came whether i was standing or sitting, which is a new development, but fizzled out once i soaked in the tub and went to bed. today, i’m still crampy, but no noticeable contractions.

i DID go on a cleaning spree yesterday afternoon, however. hands and knees, vacuuming the steps kind of cleaning. i am guessing the activity was the culprit… that and the increased dosage of evening primrose oil and dr christopher’s blend. shrug. as my midwife says, false labor is a misnomer; even the tiniest contraction is readying my body for birth. everything is progress.

onward onward.

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peace to them.

so i just read this story on the cnn front page. most of you will probably not be familiar with this man and his family, but i spent a long time working for his record company. he is a good man, who has dedicated his life to really living jesus’ message of loving and serving those in need. please send lots of love to his whole family. i cannot even comprehend this kind of grief.

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of note.

i’m sitting crosslegged at a coffeeshop downtown, as h is having her first teacher interview. we’ve just come from our lawyer’s office, where we signed our wills, and thus are as married as we can be in the great state of texass. we made out in the elevator to celebrate.

sparky is still hanging out in the womb, and she’s got a lot of energy today. she seems to be restless in her cramped quarters. soon, little one. soon. you tell me when. (it would be nice if you let h finish painting our bedroom first, however…just a suggestion.)

meanwhile, i really have no idea how my belly can continue to grow and stretch. my skin feels like it is at capacity, and my ribs are all, “hey uterus. seriously? where exactly do you want us to move now? maybe we should think this through a little more.”

i promised myself i wouldn’t whine about my hips today. so i’ll just say, i hate them right now.

h should be back shortly, so i will quickly close with this: i posted some photos from the very pink shower my sister threw us last week. enjoy!

mmm favors....

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good girl.

my sweet little spark has stayed put. whew. we are now clear to give birth at home.

i have no idea when she will arrive, really. but i can tell you that i have constant crampiness in my lower back, most of my braxton hicks contractions are in my lower abdomen, my suzy aches, the cervical bites keep coming, i am feeling ridiculously pms-y, and i swing from excessively tired to obsessively trying to get rid of all hair in our hair-full household.

make of all that what you will. for now, i shrug.

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