Expecting our Little Brother in November!

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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Little James' Halloween Costume

I guess I should have posted this on Halloween, but oh well! Maybe I will experiment with post-dating it since I didn't make a post on Halloween . . .

So I didn't really dress up, but I dressed up Little James! Big James was a pumpkin Farmer and Lil James was a pumpkin and I was the Pumpkin's Mom--LOL--Mother Earth?

Here we are on Saturday night at our friend Ya-ling's party:

Friday, October 29, 2010

Bedroom as Birth Room

So as I had written about earlier, one of the things we accomplished while my Mom was visiting me was to finish getting our bedroom ready for the birth and fully convert it to a "birth room".

Here's our birthing room!
We cleared off our dressers and moved them into the far end of the room so that there would be room for the labor/birth tub and for all of us to walk around it comfortably.

And here's our bed and cradle:
And a close-up of our cradle:

James' sister gave it to us, it was hand-made in the 80's. The mattress and sheets were custom ordered since the dimensions are 12 inches by 31 inches . . . ;-)

And here's a close up of some of our birth supplies:

As you can see, there are two sets of sheets--in between them is a plastic mattress cover and two plastic pillow covers. The plan for when I go into labor is to make the bed and pillows with the white and gray sheets, then to cover the mattress and pillows with the plastic covers, and then to make the bed again (over these things) with the red sheets that I will labor and birth on. After the birth is over, the red sheets will be taken off to be washed, the plastic cover will be taken off, and wahlah, our bed will be freshly made for us to lay down on. :-)

In the laundry tub there, you can see some towels--since I'll be laboring and possibly giving birth in the tub, I'll want the towels for if I want to get out of the water.

In the bottom of the laundry tub, which you can't see, are things like: tissues, paper towels, hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol, ziplock bags (for the placenta, fun times), pads, etc.

Here's the other half of our birth supplies:
Here you see the hose which will attach to our shower and run into the birth tub when it is time to fill it. Then we have bleach for cleaning/sanitizing. In one of the paper bags there are 8-10 receiving blankets, and in the other paper bag is baby James' first outfit (white T-shirt, white hats, white socks, cloth diaper, and receiving blanket to be swaddled in). These two paper bags will be placed in the oven to warm when the birth is imminent, so that when he is born, he can get wrapped right away in warm blankets and then dressed in warm clothes.

Last but not least is our birth kit on the right there in the cardboard box. We just ordered this in the mail from a birth supplies distributor at the direction of our midwives. It has a variety of fun things in it--gauze pads, absorbent "chucks" pads, our birth certificate and footprinting kit, rubber gloves, etc. On top of the birth kit is the plastic birth tub liner.

So basically we are ready to go!

We probably have about five minor things we are still supposed to pick up (an unopened bottle of olive oil for perineal massage, a butterfly net for cleaning out the tub in the event of a water birth, etc), which we may end up doing on Halloween, for lack of a better day, LOL!

But yeah we are pretty much totally set. :-)

And now that we are totally set, I'm starting to get a bit antsy. Like how will I ever pass the next 2.5 weeks waiting for him to arrive?? (Probably by blogging a lot, LOL.)

0 is the number of days until I can go into labor and still have my home-birth (36 weeks)
0 is the number of days until I am full term (37 weeks)
18 is the number of days until my meaningless due date (40 weeks)
32 is the absolute maximum number of days that I could be pregnant (42 weeks)

Wow 18 days until my due date, I can't believe it!!!

Plus this whole time I've been saying 40 weeks +/- 2 weeks but that means my birth window will be here in just 4 days! Wow!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Our Fourth Anniversary

I nearly forgot to post about this, but today is mine and James' fourth anniversary! Four years ago today we promised to spend the rest of our lives together.

I love him even more now than I did then.

The other day I watched this episode of Nip/Tuck where this girlfriend of Sean's commits suicide because she has fatal cancer and like, wants to die on her own terms. He is there with her holding her hand when she does it (takes a bunch of pills and then puts a bag over her head). It's pretty painful to watch--as Sean watches this woman he loves die, and then has to go to her funeral and say goodbye to her.

After watching this I started thinking about what if something ever happened to James, and it sent me into an hour long crying fit. Luckily James was there to talk me through it and comfort me. I don't think it would ever get any easier--no matter how old we got--whether we were 50 or 90 or 150, I can't imagine it would ever get easier to live a single day without him by my side.

I can't express how much I love him. When I think of my fears--the number one of which is now something happening to our child, before, after, or during birth--the one thing I know is that I could get through it only because James would be by my side. He is the absolute best husband ever--I could give a million examples. Mostly, when I am too tired and sore and spoiled to deal with something, he will take care of it--take care of me--even if he is just as tired and sore.

He has been there for me through a year-long depression, through infertility, through cycles of dependence and mistakes. He never once questioned his love for me, even when I was miserable and didn't love myself at all--even when he had to do everything--take care of everything in our lives--hold us both up.

When I look at him, at his face, into his eyes, he is the most beautiful person I have ever seen. I used to say he had an angel face. He still has an angel face, too.

Over the last four years, my love for him has grown and deepened and turned into something I didn't even predict or expect--and yet something inside me always knew I would find it. When other people worried about finding the perfect person for them, somehow I always knew that I would meet my soul-mate. And I have.

When I think of one of us dying--passing from this world into that space beyond--I can only hope that we'll come back to a new life where we can meet again. How fun it would be to fall in love again in a new life. I'm sure, somehow, that this isn't the first time--sometimes I picture us together in a time before, a different place. It is comforting to know that we have found each other again, and that we'll always have that chance, no matter how many lives and cycles we pass through--we will know and find each other again and again.

I love you, James. I'm excited to spend the rest of my life with you. And the next and the next and the next . . .

Farting and Nerve Pain

And I thought it was high time for a new Symptoms post about the joys of pregnancy, even though there are at least two other meaningful blogs I have in mind, they both take a lot more energy and thought and I'm just plain not up for it tonight!

So, fun thing one: I am farting a lot. Not like, I ate beans and am super gassy. More like, multiple times a day for no particular reason I do little farts. It's like a punctuation mark on my daily activities.

Fun thing two: Since James has dropped I now get occasional stabbing pains down the inside of my right thigh. Not to be confused with sciatic pain (down my butt and the back of my leg), which also visits occasionally. My grandmother apparently described this sensation as the baby thinks your nerve is a guitar string and gives it the occasional: "TWANG!" Grandma, that is exactly what it feels like.

In other news, I had a midwife appointment today and they think James is a nice average size baby. He was even described as "petite", but they assured me that that was because they had had a lot of 9 and 10 pounders recently. They are guessing him to be a little under 7 pounds now. But considering he probably has at least two more weeks to grow, he could still add a bit of weight before his birth. But I am NOT COMPLAINING!! A 6-7 pound baby sounds GREAT to me!!

And I'm still not feeling at ALL like he will be here any time soon. I maintain that I will make it to at least 39 weeks. If not 41 or 42.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

My Mom's Visit

My Mom came to visit for a few days to help me clean, cook, and generally prepare for the birth. I feel like we got a ton done which is super exciting.

She arrived on Sunday at nearly 4pm while James, Marilyn, and I were carving our pumpkins. Then as soon as we finished our pumpkins we had to run out to my friend Amy's birthday dinner. I asked Amy if I could bring my Mom along to her dinner and she said I totally could! As it turned out, her parents were there, too, so it was nice to give them a chance to meet and chat. We had a great dinner and basically turned in early when we got home.

Then on Monday we sort of had a lot going on! We had a plumber coming to our house at 9 am--he fixed our water pressure and now my washing machine that used to take nearly an hour to fill now only takes like 10 mins. I can't even believe the difference, but since we plan on cloth diapering this was a necessity before Lil James arrived!

Next we had to bring Monty to the Vet because he had a funny growth on his face that I wanted them to remove. That also went very smoothly.

Then the plan for the day was to make tomato sauce. This was a good pre-baby meal plan because pasta is easy and fast to make, and if we had some jars of canned sauce, it would be really easy for James (or other helpers) to make pasta and then just heat up some of the pre-made sauce. So before making the sauce we went to the Willi Coop to buy all the veggies we needed.

When we got home, we had lunch and then started making our sauce. At the same time we were cleaning up the kitchen, washing and putting away laundry, etc. We cut up all the veggies, stirfried them a bit and threw them in a huge stock pan to which we added many jars of diced tomatoes and crushed tomatoes and several other secret ingredients. Finally around 2 or 3 we were completely done and the sauce just needed to sit and cook a bit more.

At this point we got even more into the laundry (which desperately needed to be done) and worked on that until around 5 when I had to leave for my Bradley Class.

Then, the next day (Tuesday), we got three main things accomplished. We canned all the sauce we'd made the day before, and ended up with 13 quart size mason jars full of sauce! That will end up being more than two weeks of meals! Woohoo.

The next thing we did is FINALLY switch out our winter and summer clothes--I know I had previously blogged about attempting to do this multiple times but I think I just needed some support since the maternity aspect of it made everything that much more complicated. But we DID IT, and reorganized my clothes shelf and James' clothes drawer at the same time. Wooohooo.

Finally, we finished cleaning my bedroom (my Mom was awesome with vacuuming), and we rearranged the furniture to fit the birth tub, and then we brought all the birthing supplies into our bedroom so it is totally ready to go now!!

Last but not least we cleaned up the library, which has a guest bed in it, made the bed, and moved a bunch of the plants which had recently come inside around the room and other rooms in the house.

We got SO SO much done! Now I feel super ready for Lil James to be born! :-D


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Maternity Support Belt

So I got this Maternity Support Belt at Babies R Us last week, and I am loving it!

I feel like it has REALLY been helping my back--I can totally feel that my stomach is better supported when I am wearing it and not PULLING on my back. Or not as much or not in the same way. Before getting acupuncture (and a few days later, this belt), I had been taking Tylenol every evening for probably a week, so I could fall asleep without being in pain. Since getting acupuncture and then getting the belt, I think I have only taken Tylenol once in the past ten days. So it is a serious improvement!

In other news, I'm supposed to leave right now and go to this La Leche League Meeting. Going to a meeting is part of the "homework" of my Bradley Class (which, by the way, is still going well though I have neglected to write about it for awhile), but I am SO unmotivated to go tonight. My Mom visited me from Sunday until today, and we did a ton of cleaning, cooking, and general pre-baby prep. I am TIRED and do NOT feel like leaving my house tonight.

And honestly, I really do know a TON about breastfeeding (I mean, for someone who has never done it). Sigh. Sorry Dr. Bradley, it is not happening.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Most Blog Posts in a Single Month!

October is now winning as the month in which I have made the most blog posts since beginning my blog! I guess I'm getting pretty darn excited for Little James to show up, so I can't help writing about him all the time, hehe.

When will he come?

0 is the number of days until I can go into labor and still have my home-birth (36 weeks)
2 is the number of days until I am full term (37 weeks)
23 is the number of days until my meaningless due date (40 weeks)
37 is the absolute maximum number of days that I could be pregnant (42 weeks)

We are getting VERY CLOSE NOW!!

And our to-do list gets whittled away and then added to, but we have gotten a lot done this weekend.

- I picked up the hose we need to fill the birth tub
- We got the attachments we need so that we can hook it up to our shower
- We raked a section of the lawn
- We moved a pile of wood from our shed to our porch
- We refilled our kindling box
- We finished a 1000-piece puzzle we were working on (uhhh, yeah, it doesn't really count but it felt like a big accomplishment, LOL!)
- Washed the sheets and mattress cover for the cradle
- Washed my new robe that I get to wear in labor
- Washed the comforter and duvet for the guest bed

Still to do today:
- Make the bed in the guest room for my Mom.
- Set up the bed frame for the guest bed (right now the mattress is on the floor)
- Carve pumpkins with my sister! :-D

37 Weeks!

On Tuesday I'll be full-term! Here's my 37 week pics!

Friday, October 22, 2010


I have my first acne outbreak (only a few zits, thankfully) since missing my period. I don't think I have gotten one other zit while being pregnant.

Before getting pregnant, I pretty much exclusively got a zit or two while I was PMSing.

Could this be a sign of my hormones changing? Is Little James ripening up in there?


I'll be full term (37 weeks) on Tuesday! :-D And I GUESS I would prefer to stay pregnant until after Halloween, since I have the perfect outfit (I will share later), and we are going to a Halloween party at Yaling's house.

But once November hits, I think I will be pretty officially ready! I will be one day shy of 38 weeks on November 1st.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

The (Other) Babies

So while I don't talk about them TOO often in my blog, my other obsession (besides Lil James) is my cats. They have only been featured in one other blog--my second blog ever. Since then, my cat Thea had been hit by a car and we've acquired four new cats, so I thought it was time for an updated post about them.

First, two falls ago, we got the brothers. There's Loki:

And there's Odin:

We got them and a third brother when they were only 5 weeks old. And more adorable little kittens you've never seen. The third brother got adopted by my friend Jessie, and now is named Daniel Day Lewis.

Loki is secretly my favorite because he is a sweet human-loving baby. He follows me around and just has this way of throwing himself down in front of (or next to) you, wanting his belly to be rubbed.
I just can't resist.

But don't feel sorry for Odin. He has a secret lover.
Monty and Odin are in love.

They are obsessed with each other. They are cat's cats--they wrestle and snuggle and lick each other like it's their job. James and I call it their eunich man-love.

So for awhile, we had Monty and Thea and Odin and Loki. But then Thea got hit by a car, and we just had our three boys for awhile.

But I missed having a girl cat, and I begged James to let us adopt a pair of little girl kittens. But we couldn't seem to find just the right ones for us.

And then, our friend Anna sent out an Email, needing a long-term (but temporary) home for her two cats because her and her husband and son needed to move into an apartment that did not allow cats.

So James and I got Tonio . . . . . . and Sofia!

They moved in with us this summer, but it took a WHILE for everyone to relax and learn to get along. But now, as you can see, they are quite comfortable . . .

So now, while other people think we are crazy--we are a comfortable five-cat home. I LOVE THEM ALL. Sometimes I even want more but maybe a baby will be enough. Hehe. And those are our (other) babies.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


So I had my midwife appointment today and their conclusion?

Apparently I'm far too perky to be going into labor any time soon.

They said I need to be far more miserable before I can expect to go into labor. I need to stop being able to sleep and feel tired and cranky all the time, and my stomach needs to get a lot, lot, bigger. In fact, since Lil James settled into my pelvis, I went from measuring 2 cms ahead to measuring 2 behind. So today I was only measuring 34 cms. :-/

I'm not sure what to think about this. After my false labor scare of last week, I definitely had a few days where I thought for sure this baby was coming early. But then, that feeling faded and I was left thinking to myself that I had at least a month left. Honestly I know it is better for him to cook for a few more weeks, and right now I'm content with that.

Perhaps this content-ness is the perkiness they refer to? The midwives are betting on a Thanksgiving baby--they are hoping for double desserts. ;-)

Alyssa had her baby!!

OMG! I just found out that my friend Alyssa--who I have oft mentioned because she was due a week behind me--had her baby yesterday!

I am in total shock. Of course I am thrilled for her as he is doing well, the delivery was fast and meds free, and since we had often chatted about being ready to be done and wishing we could bend over again, I'm happy for her that she had a bit of a shorter time of it . . .

But she was like my rock! Every time something was going on with me, it was usually going on with her--I could count on her to understand all my pains and complaints and stresses and excitements--and now I've been left behind in the dust! I have another month of pregnancy to do and she has her baby!

I'm not REALLY jealous because I'm not REALLY ready yet, but I do feel odd. She has been there with me on this journey since a week after I found out I was pregnant, and now her journey has come to an end (well, a new beginning, really), and mine is still going.

I'm slightly suspicious that one of the reasons that this is hitting me so hard is that it is such serious evidence that I, too, might be delivering my own baby shortly. Is my shock not perhaps due to this, more than anything else?

I'm not sure. But CONGRATS Alyssa! Despite all of this, I am very happy for you. Evan is gorgeous!!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Thank You Acupuncture!!

As I've mentioned, I go to get weekly adjustments from a chiropractor, who also happens to be my good friend. Her partner, who is an acupuncturist, is also my good friend. Though I don't get acupuncture nearly as often, it is definitely useful for some things.

For instance, a few weeks ago when James David was still head up, I made an appointment for yesterday to get him to flip over. Craig (my friend) said that it was pointless trying to flip them sooner because they would just flip back. So I made the appointment just in case I got here and he was still head up.

Luckily, as we know, he is head down and engaged. The shooting pains down my inner thighs and my 2X per hour bathroom trips are evidence of that. (And, on happier notes, less heartburn and more ability to put on my own socks).

So when Craig walked into the room yesterday and said: "So what are we treating you for today?" at first I was like: "Uuuuhhh, I don't know! He's head down and engaged, so that's good, and it's not time for him to come out yet, so I don't need acupuncture for that yet . . . " Finally I ended up explaining about the back pain I have been having.

So he did his thing and I sat there with needles in one arm and one leg, wiggling my back from time to time, per his instruction, and I could actually feel things happening in there--a heat flowing through . . . afterwards, I went merrily on my way.

And you know? It helped SO MUCH!!! It isn't completely and totally gone, but last night was the first night in maybe a week that I didn't take Tylenol just so I could fall asleep. Over the last week or so, I've been asking James to rub it so hard and so often in this one spot that I think I have bruises now. Well last night I was able to let them heal because I needed minimal back rubbing as I fell asleep.

I am just SOOOO grateful. Especially since in the past, when I've had acupuncture, it usually takes a couple days before the treatment reaches its full effectiveness, so I'm hoping it will continue to be really manageable!!

I don't know why I sound so surprised. Acupuncture has done miraculous things for my back pain in the past. But usually back pain is supposed to be caused from blocked qi that is caught in your stiff muscles (according to chinese medicine), and I guess I figured since mine is caused from carrying a baby around in my uterus that he might be less able to help me. But I was so wrong. I could feel that qi getting unblocked as I sat there, hehehe!!

I am just so so happy, it's been pretty miserable the last couple of days.

I made another appointment for 3 weeks from yesterday (the day before I am 39 weeks), so I can get acupuncture to make the baby come on time. Craig has great success with inducing labor and said none of his patients have EVER gone more than 1 day past their due date. So I made that "Let's kick the baby out now" appointment.

But honestly if my back pain comes back I might just try to get acupuncture every week for that, because it helped SO much!!


(Incidentally, Craig is the brother of my friend Steph who I just learned is pregnant . . . so he'll be an uncle in May!)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Thanksgiving Prep: Round One

So, if James David is born on his 40 week due date, he'll be 8 days old on Thanksgiving.

If he is born on the ACTUAL average "due date" (41 weeks and 1 day), he will be born ON Thanksgiving. :-/

Actually, not :-/ <--this face! That would be fairly convenient for everyone except my midwife. Everyone would be here already and there would be plenty of food for the long haul of labor, why complain?

We decided a while ago that our only shot at a Thanksgiving celebration was having one here at the house. I am NOT going anywhere with a tiny baby, and I am NOT traveling while 41 weeks and 1 day pregnant, so we either had Thanksgiving here or we missed out. The guests will be my immediate family (Mom, Dad, and my three sisters--Lauren, Marilyn, and Kate), James' parents (Mom and step-Dad), James' brother and sister in law, and my two Grandmothers. So, it's not THAT many people. Including James and myself, it is fifteen people.

The plan right now is that my Mom will come stay with us for a week in the days before, during, and after Thanksgiving, and will help prepare the house and food that we need (and clean up afterward) so that the work that James and I actually have to do is minimal. James' Step-Dad and my Grandma are amazing cooks and I think they'll probably handle most of the food (turkey, stuffing, desserts, etc). I usually make a Tofurkey, which I would like to do this year, as well, if at all possible. My Mom can make the mashed potatoes . . . we'll be golden. I'm really looking forward to surrounding little James with love and gratitude in his first week of life--I think it will be really special.

However, I'm also realistic enough to realize that as much as we can get done ahead of time, the better off we will be. Therefore, I started today. Hahah. I made really wonderful strong soup stock (get the recipe here!) yesterday and James and I canned it tonight. This is round one of the Thanksgiving Prep because I can use this soup stock to make gravy, stuffing, and for extra flavoring in mashed potatoes, tofurkey, etc. It is a treasure trove of flavor and nutrients!

So that is one thing done. My Mom is coming to stay with us for a couple nights next week--making the (veggie) gravy is on our to-do list! We will can the gravy and then that will be ready ahead of time as well. :-)

So I'm hoping when it comes time to make the Tofurkey (which, unfortunately, I can't do ahead of time), I will be all ready to go with it! That is the ONLY thing that I am really hoping I will be able to make for the dinner. I'm also hoping I can show one of my sisters how to do it so that one of them COULD do it in the future (if I'm ever incapacitated with a tiny baby again on Thanksgiving).

So that's that!

P.S. There are feet in my ribs. Oooowwww.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

36 Weeks!

I don't know why my hair and face have been so awful in the belly pics the last few weeks! Akk! I hope I don't look awful all the time!

Anyway, here's the 36 week pictures!

I seriously look drunk.

At least the belly is cute. If you ignore all the itchy spots and huge blue veins (which I do ;-).

One Month to Go: Back Pain and Nesting

My ticker is in the last box and tells me I only have 30 days until my due date! Shall we crunch the numbers?

2 is the number of days until I can go into labor and still have my home-birth (36 weeks)
9 is the number of days until I am full term (37 weeks)
30 is the number of days until my meaningless due date (40 weeks)
44 is the absolute maximum number of days that I could be pregnant (42 weeks)

12 is the number of things on our "to do before the baby comes" list (which is actually going to be updated now, and get a lot longer again, but we definitely making progress).

Anyway, needless to say, we are in the home stretch! As I enter the ninth and final month of pregnancy, I am forced to conclude that this might be the worst month of all for me.

I was very lucky to have little to no morning sickness, to find my emotions and health stabilized by pregnancy, rather than disrupted, and generally to be a pretty happy and care-free pregnant lady. In retrospect the second trimester was such a godsend! Even my issues of heartburn and being uncomfortable tend to go in waves, where it will be bad for a few days, and then I'll feel better again.

But now, for over a week (maybe even two), I have had persistent and killer back pain. Whenever I have to sit or lay down, I have to arrange a million pillows around me so that I'm not horribly uncomfortable, and even then, it is pretty bad. I am still getting regular adjustments from the chiropractor, but it seems to make no difference. Basically, I have a 20 pound uterus (baby, uterus, placenta, and fluid) pulling on my weak back muscles. The fact that the same area is always in pain seems a testament to this theory. I can practically feel it happening as I type.

Several times a day I beg James to rub it--I get down on my hands and knees to relieve the pressure--I bounce on my birth ball hoping for a miracle. But it only seems to get worse. The only time I feel relatively okay is for a few hours in the morning. :-/

A few days ago I remembered with a cry of joy that I am able to take tylenol. Now I'm struggling not to take it around the clock. I take some and then a few hours later I start wondering when I can take more again. It is fairly miserable.

And yet despite my complaining, I'm still grateful for the fact that this is the worst part of the pregnancy for me so far. At least there is an end in sight!

Okay, moving on.

We had/are having another productive weekend. As I reported earlier, we finished installing our changing area and I LOVE LOVE LOVE it! James loves it, too, and keeps saying how nice it is and how glad he is that I envisioned it. :-)

Today we also gathered up the blankets, pillows, and couch cushions from the living room and are doing a flea "fogger" in one of the upstairs rooms. We don't have a serious flea problem at this point, but I have had several itchy episodes and I think there were/are a few living in our couch area. So the fogger is supposed to work for seven months, and I love that I won't have to worry about fleas for all that time. So that is happening today.

We also moved the rug in the living room back a bit, which is part of getting the woodstove ready for inspection. As part of this, we got into dusting and vacuuming some of the surfaces in the living room--the old-fashioned radio and the lamps. I was recalled back to this post as I watched James vacuum off the lampshades, but they WERE super dusty so I'm glad he thought to do it!

Hopefully the rest of the day will be equally productive. We have to wash all the blankets and pillows that just got "fogged", and I need to switch out the summer and winter clothes. (You may be thinking that you are SURE this has been on my "to-do today" list before. You would be right, readers, and yet it is still undone.) :-/

James is studying for his big exam right now, so it would be an ideal time for me to start dealing with the clothes. Will she do it, folks? WILL SHE DO IT?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Changing Area!

One of the things on our to-do list today was to install a shelf and light in the bathroom closet which is to be the changing area. And we're done! Look at how awesome it looks!

I'm pretty sure I'm more excited about this than it is logical to be about anything.

Let me point out some of the features:
-A top shelf for diapers, snappis, inserts, and covers. My cloth diapers are there all ready to go--prefolds on the right, pockets in the middle.
-An LED light under the shelf to brighten up the area--it works great!
-My Cooshee changing pad on the bottom--just wipe clean!
-And finally, my cloth wipes, behind the cooshee.

The only thing there is left to get is the wipes warmer, which will plug into the last outlet there and go right next to the wipes. I am just waiting on my coupons to come of age so I can go buy it!

Then we need a diaper pail, but that will not be in this little area but will sit somewhere in the bathroom near it. I'll get that a little later as well, maybe with my BRU completion discount. I DID get my pail liners in the mail today--two waterproof bags so I can bring the diapers right down to the laundry room and then put the bag right in with the diapers.

Anyway, I'm so so thrilled that this is done! I've been envisioning this for years and it feels awesome to see it come to life! :-D

Steph is Pregnant!

One of the things that was the most sad for me at the beginning of this pregnancy was how few of my sisters/cousins/close friends HAD babies or were even PLANNING to have babies any time soon. I pictured our baby (and I still do, honestly), being a kid (not unlike myself), who had obviously spent far too much time with adults and being the sole focus of the world of many.

"He needs cousins and baby friends!" I thought to myself.

Well, I'm happy to announce that my close friends Steph and Will are expecting their first baby in May!! I am so thrilled for them.

I love their story--Steph had been married in her early twenties, and it didn't really work out, and she was divorced a few years later. After that, she dated a bunch of guys but none of them were really that awesome, and as she got into her thirties and then her mid-thirties, she started to really think that the family thing was not going to happen to her, and in fact, she didn't even know if she wanted it to.

Then she joined E-Harmony, and a month or so into it she went on a date with Will. She texted her brother in the middle of the date and said: "I'm going to marry this guy."

Six months later they were engaged, six months after that, they were married, and here it is, nearly their one year anniversary, and she is pregnant. Will is an amazing person, they are perfect for each other, and I know they will make unbelievable parents. I am so so thrilled for them.

Of course I am also selfishly thrilled for myself that my baby's little friends are on the rise, now! One cousin 5 months younger than him, and now a little friend 6 months younger than him! (And in all fairness, he does have another little cousin--technically his . . . 2nd cousin once removed . . . or something--who will be 7 months older than him, and we DO actually see them a lot, so that is awesome).

Now, I have a SIL and several cousins who could use any extra baby-making dust that anyone is giving out. Or babies. So send them your fertile/adoption vibes and let's get a few more cousins in the works!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Labor Month

I will be 9 months (36 weeks) on Tuesday, meaning I have one more month left of pregnancy. I read a good article recently that talked about how the ninth and final month of pregnancy should be considered the "Labor Month", because even though there is a clear change when you ACTUALLY go into labor, in the month and/or weeks before this, your body is already starting to prepare for the event.

I really liked this article because it captured my recent feelings about what has been going on for me. I've been having all these contractions, starting to feel like I'm dilating, losing my mucous plug, having a lot of back pain, and most recently, felt the baby drop down and settle into my pelvis a lot more. So in some ways, as a first-time Mom, this all seems like signs that labor is imminent. Buuuuuut, they're really not.

The truth is that it takes your body time to warm up to the big event, sometimes a whole month. So even though all these signs look like they are pointing to me going into labor before 40 weeks, I'm trying not to hold my breath. Thinking of this month as my labor month seems like a good approach to help me accept that changes are happening, but that they are happening slowly.

With this being said, though, I'm also feeling a lot of pressure to get everything totally ready just in case. And we're getting pretty close. Last weekend we got a lot accomplished, so I'm hoping that this weekend will be another productive one, and we'll be all set to welcome James David whenever he decides to show up. Honestly, I've been feeling a lot of anxiety about the things we have yet to do--some more important than others--and I think that the more "ready" we are, the more relaxed I will be, which will serve for a much better birth experience in the event of his arrival, whenever that might be. So I'd rather be ready ahead of time and just have to wait for him rather than be scrambling around while I'm in labor wishing I wasn't!

So that's that--one month to go!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

TMI: Losing my Mucous Plug?

If you are the squeamish sort, you can stop reading right now!

So for all you non-pregnant people, there is a wad of mucous that grows in your cervix during early pregnancy. It helps to protect the baby by sealing off the uterus from the "outside world", therefore preventing infection, water, etc, from getting inside the uterus while the baby calls it home.

Obviously this needs to come out sometime before the baby is born, and I think mine has started to. I have been having increased "discharge" for a WHILE now, but for the most part it has been very watery and clear. But since this "false labor" incident, I have increasingly had (mostly small) pieces of white/yellowish much thicker mucous resembling something nearly the consistency of undercooked egg whites. This morning I had kind of a LOT of it, but there is no blood in it at all yet, so I wouldn't call it "bloody show" (another awesome word for the fun aspects of pregnancy), and I have a feeling that this is actually a rather small amount of the mucous plug that I am seeing, even though it seems like a lot.

For people that have been pregnant before: does this sound like the mucous plug to you?

Traditionally, losing the mucous plug is supposed to somewhat correlate with the onset of labor. Meaning some people go into labor that day, others might go another week or two before they go into labor . . . but apparently if you lose the plug too early, your body will just regenerate a new one, so honestly it doesn't mean much.

My suspicion is that the more "productive" feeling contractions I was having the other morning did succeed in beginning to dilate and/or efface my cervix. I could almost feel this happening (and can still kind of feel interesting things happening down there) and that the mucous plug, therefore, is starting to come out. But I could still very well go right up to my due date--I'm not going to get too excited/worried yet because while it does mean something, it also doesn't really mean much.

But that is the fun things happening in my world right now! LOL.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

35 Weeks!

These belly pics are from Saturday, which is technically a little before 35 weeks but I have always taken the pics on Sunday morning, so yeah.

Very awesomely, Mariclare is coming over today to do our pregnancy photo session! I can't wait to post those pictures, too!

A new place to complain

I have already complained about this on Facebook at least once, so I didn't want to "go there" again, but I needed to complain somewhere!

I-Village (my message board site) has been SO SO SLOW the past few days. I feel like I am picking and choosing which threads to read because it's like an hour long investment. I am the CL (community leader) of two boards and I totally feel neglectful because I haven't been able to post much at all.

Additionally, when I DO post something, it publishes it without paragraph spaces. Meaning I have to go back and edit it and put in the spaces manually using HTML. Meaning it takes EVEN LONGER.

I want to post belly pictures on my board(s) but I can't even be bothered with how long that would probably take.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Contractions Update

So I continued to have regular contractions throughout the whole morning. Around 6, I felt like they were just starting to being more "building" and significant, and I was having more pressure/sensation in my cervix. At 6:30, I finally admitted to a half-asleep James that I was having regular contractions (he definitely woke up quick)!

At 7/7:30 or so, he went down to get the computer and we started timing them again. They were generally coming every 2-4 mins and lasting 60-90 seconds. I was also having a lot of sciatica pain during this time (but not necessarily at the same time as a contraction). It was funny to be sitting there with James facing the possibility of being in labor. All I could think about was that my birth tub liner and my birth kit hadn't come yet.

"If this is labor," I said, "I just wish we were a LITTLE readier." James laughed at me.

However, as much as these contractions seemed by the book, I was a bit suspicious because while they had changed and become a bit more intense, they hadn't changed very much over the 4-5 hours I was observing them, and they still weren't painful. I was thinking of the marker of not being able to talk through a contraction--it wasn't anything like that for me. In fact, talking with James distracted me and made them seem even less intense and sometimes nearly unnoticeable.

We called our midwife soon after this and left her a message--then around 8:30 we texted her to ask if she'd gotten our message and told her I was having contractions (she called us right back after that)! James told her what was going on and she said that she was with another Mom in labor (out of town) and that false labor is really common for first time Moms. She advised us to stop paying attention to the contractions, don't time them, and do something distracting like watch a movie.

So James went to work and I started watching Notting Hill (I LOVE THAT MOVIE!!!). At 10:00 or so (in the middle of the movie), my exhaustion finally caught up to me and I fell asleep.

I awoke at nearly noon to James calling me. I was pretty pissed off at having been awakened.

"Are you having a contraction?" he asked.
"I don't know, I just woke up!" I complained.
"Okay, well, good, I'll talk to you later."

But then I was awake. So today has been . . . unproductive in any sense. The contractions haven't gotten any stronger, longer, or closer together. I was too tired to accomplish anything. I watched a lot of TV and attempted to post on I-Village but was mostly foiled by slow pages. Now it's 5:00 and I haven't made anything for dinner. ::sigh::

Hopefully tonight I won't have any issue sleeping. Tomorrow we have our home visit midwife appointment where we'll talk about the plan for the birth, I'll meet the backup midwife, and show everyone the house, bathroom, etc. I think I also have the Group B Strep test tomorrow (send me "testing negative" vibes!). Marilyn and Mariclare will be here since they are part of my birth team--Mariclare will be taking pictures and Marilyn will be videotaping and generally helping.

I think Mariclare will also be coming over earlier to take pregnancy pictures with me and James! I will have to post some of them on here.

Anyway, so maybe tomorrow I will get to see if I am dilated at all and we'll see what position the baby is in. I have a feeling he is once again transverse so I want to know for sure how he is laying so I can encourage him to go head down and engage and stick there.

So that's that. It's nearly time. Oh, and funnily enough, my birth kit arrived in the mail today! And my changing pad. So I'm a little "readier" now. ;-)

(False?) Labor

I woke up maybe an hour ago to go pee, but then I couldn't fall back asleep. I was having horrible biley indigestion (tofu pup) burps (ewwwwww), and I could NOT get comfortable in bed and was having some sciatic pain, and also a lot of feeling tightness in my chest and unable to breathe . . . and Lil James had the hiccups and I was also having a lot of Braxton Hicks contractions . . . since I couldn't fall asleep for more than a half hour, I ended up looking at the clock and realized that I was having contractions kind of regularly . . .

So I decided to get up since the indigestion is awful and I thought I could sit up, drink some water, and at least not be uncomfortable in bed.

So I opened up the contraction master website and started timing contractions, and they are coming every 3 1/2 mins on the dot and about a minute long! Ahhh!!!

I really don't feel like this is really it but I also don't know what to think. I wish I knew that he was still head down and I would feel way better about this whole situation. Siiiiiigh. I'm 35 weeks exactly today and we're not supposed to do the home-birth unless I am at least 36 weeks. Based on my last period I would be 35 weeks plus 2 days, and based on my 18 week ultrasound, I would be more than 36 weeks (I was measuring 9 days ahead), so my midwife might let me go at home if he IS actually head down and everything else seems normal.

But really honestly this doesn't feel like it is it to me! I was just telling James a few days ago that I don't feel like he is getting close at all, and I am sure we'll go to our due date or nearly . . . ak!!

I guess for now I will continue timing and see if they get stronger/longer/closer together, and then call my midwife if they do. I can't believe this!!

Monday, October 11, 2010


8 is the number of days until I can go into labor and still have my home-birth (36 weeks)
15 is the number of days until I am full term (37 weeks)
36 is the number of days until my meaningless due date (40 weeks)
50 is the absolute maximum number of days that I could be pregnant (42 weeks)

15 is the number of things on our "to do before the baby comes" list

I'd say we are making good progress!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sunday Accomplishments!

Well, we got quite a few more things done off of our to-do before baby list!

Stuff we got done today:
-Pay bills
-Get waterproof bed cover for the bed
-All Christmas shopping for Whitney's family (Whitney, 4 nieces and a nephew) done!
-Buy photo album for ultrasound pictures and birth/labor pictures
-Buy birth ball
-Exchange birthing sheets
-Some art hung up
-Get an air mattress insert for the guest bed

Still on the to-do list:
-Get shelf installed over changing area
-Get a deep-freeze freezer for storing breastmilk and other things
-Order bio-bricks for the woodstove
-Clean/modify woodstove so it burns more efficiently
-Get woodstove inspected
-More Christmas shopping
-Get a space heater
-Get a plumber to fix our washing machine so it fills more quickly
-Clean and rearrange bedroom to fit birth tub
-Get final baby stuff at Babies R Us with coupons (need to make 2 trips to use the coupons)
-Get out winter clothes/put away summer clothes
-Find pillbox
-Write Email to Ophelie
-Hang up the rest of the art/mirrors which was rearranged
-Make freezer/canned meals (spaghetti sauce, soup stock, lentil veggie stew, pancakes, gravy for thanksgiving)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

To-Do Before Baby Comes List

We've actually gotten quite a few things off of our baby list done in the last few days!

We did the following on Friday (or before):
-Buy birthing sheets (though now we need to exchange them because James got king instead of queen, but at least he made an effort!)
-Gather home birth supplies (this is a list in itself but we have almost everything now)
-Review finances through the end of the year (this is James' prep for being off of work for an entire month with only 1 week paid vacation time and the rest unpaid)
-Pick up birthing tub (borrowed from Shandra, a friend from the Willi Coop, :-)
-Get journal for baby (to record his antics)
-Use gift card at Best Buy to get digital camcorder (also to record baby antic and the birth)
-Got (some) Christmas shopping done

And then today we:
-Installed both car seats in our cars
-Ordered the liner for the birth tub

Still on the to-do list:
-Get shelf installed over changing area (this is in the works though, I have a call in to my friendly neighborhood carpenter/friend)
-Get waterproof bed cover for the bed
-Get a deep-freeze freezer for storing breastmilk and other things
-Order bio-bricks for the woodstove
-Clean/modify woodstove so it burns more efficiently
-Get woodstove inspected
-More Christmas shopping (trying to get as much done as possible before James is born)
-Find someone to lend us a space heater for the birth
-Get a air mattress insert for the guest bed
-Get a plumber to fix our washing machine so it fills more quickly
-Clean and rearrange bedroom to fit birth tub
-Get final baby stuff at Babies R Us with coupons (need to make 2 trips to use the coupons)
-Get out winter clothes/put away summer clothes
-Buy photo album for ultrasound pictures and birth/labor pictures
-Find pillbox
-Write Email to Ophelie (my good friend who I want to check in with pre-birth)
-Hang up art/mirrors which was rearranged
-Pay bills
-Make freezer/canned meals (spaghetti sauce, soup stock, lentil veggie stew, pancakes, gravy for thanksgiving)--my mom and/or sister is coming to visit me and helping me with this cooking in a couple of weeks, though . . .
-Buy birth ball
-Exchange birthing sheets

So even though there is still a lot of stuff on the to-do list, I feel like we are making good progress, and some of these things are definitely things that would be nice to do before the birth as oppose to absolutely necessary to do before the birth.

We also got a lot of raking done today, which could also have been on this list though we never actually put it on there. ;-)

Thursday, October 7, 2010


12 is the number of days until I can go into labor and still have my home-birth (36 weeks)
19 is the number of days until I am full term (37 weeks)
40 is the number of days until my meaningless due date (40 weeks)
54 is the absolute maximum number of days that I could be pregnant (42 weeks)

26 is the number of things on our "to do before the baby comes" list
0 is the number of things on the list that I did today. :-/

First Fire

So last night our friend Eliot came to visit us. He moved to Hawaii about 2.5 years ago, so our chances to visit with him haven't been very great since then. But he came last night, and we went out to dinner at Willimantic Brewery, and then came home to our house to eat leftover pineapple cake, listen to music, and generally chat about life and Yan Xin Qigong (the meditation practice we all do).

The house felt so cold when we got home from the restaurant that I suggested that James make a fire (which then I took over making, LOL). We got it roaring in no time since the wood we have is from last year and very dry. It was so nice to be snuggly and warm in our living room, and later on, in our bedroom.

This is probably the first of many fires--we got the woodstove installed last fall and used it as supplementary heating--meaning we kept the electric thermostats quite low and used the fire to heat the main living areas to a more comfortable level. We would make a fire each morning and keep it going all day and all night.

I grew up with a woodstove and it sets the whole tone of fall and winter to me--I love the happy warmth and crackling. I'm pretty excited that it's once again "that time". :-)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

New Blog Features

I put in a blog labels cloud today. I have sort of wanted one for awhile so there it is! As part of this I just went through and reread pretty much the whole blog, updating labels where appropriate. It is funny to read it through like that. I want to do a better job of including pictures in my blog, but I guess my camera being broken isn't a good jumping off place.

I also finally deleted the poll on whether James was a boy or a girl. I wanted to somehow save and transfer it into a blog post but I wasn't sure how to do that, so I just recorded the results on the post where I originally asked people to vote.

I'm serious considering having my friend Alison design my blog for me, because I have zero HTML skills and she does amazing work, but I'm thinking that I want to wait until James is born so I can get some pics of him and our new family in the design.

Sleep is my Friend/Weigh In/Baby Belly

So my brief few days of insomnia have thankfully abated in direct relation to my success at washing, sorting, putting together, and putting away all of the baby things. Our living room is now nearly back to normal and I'm thinking it will be totally back to normal by tonight.

Now, delightfully, I am once again sleeping like (ha) a baby. However I am sleeping even longer and more contentedly than is normal (for me). I'm guessing, if left to my own devises, I am sleeping nearly 12 hours each night. I wake up feeling good, but I will sleep right up until 10:30 or 11 if I stay up late the night before.

In my opinion, this is awesome. The number one warning/piece of advice I get from people is: "Sleep now while you still can", and apparently my body has taken this to heart. I only hope that I continue to sleep this well right up until the birth and my body turns the stored energy into labor stamina. ;-)


And my other update is my weight. After a month of holding steady (which I knew would NOT last), I am back to putting on weight. I am now up to 158 lbs from a starting weight of 131, meaning I've gained 27 lbs now. I'm fully prepared to go up to 30-35 lbs in the 6 weeks I have left.

Interestingly enough, my Mom weighed 131 lbs when she got pregnant with me, and went on to gain about 35 lbs during her pregnancy. Since she is still beautiful and in great shape at over 50, I am not at all abashed to be following in her footsteps. (She would totally deny being in great shape but compared to the average American she totally is.)

However, I would also be quite fine with staying closer to 30, though I really think I will continue to gain at least a pound a week, so I guess it depends on if he is late, early, or what.

Either way I'm not very concerned. I feel very lucky in that most of my pregnancy weight appears to be in my belly, which hopefully means it will be nearly gone between the birth and the week or two after. I guess my butt has gotten a little bigger, too, but I could have used some extra "junk in ma trunk" before. Hahahaha.

Anyway, I feel pretty lucky not to be one of those pregnant ladies that just gets generally fatter all over--legs, arms, hands, feet, face, etc. I actually always thought I WOULD be one of those ladies, so it has been a pleasant surprise to discover that that isn't the case.


Along similar lines . . .

I have noticed for the last week or two that my stomach (ie, James David) seems to be growing by leaps and bounds. Suddenly it just seems SO much bigger than it had been, and (lil) James is starting to feel REALLY big and heavy in there. My belly button is still in, but it is seriously shallow. I guess it was pretty freaking deep before . . .

I keep trying to tell myself that it is still probably going to get like twice as big, especially if I go to full term. I'm at 34 weeks (yesterday), and he's supposedly 5 pounds in there now (according to the baby books). So obviously if he is born early at 37 weeks (3 weeks from now) he'll be quite a bit smaller than if he's born late, like 42 weeks (8 weeks from now). Then again I suppose how "done" he is probably has to do with his size anyway, so hopefully if he's a nice big baby he'll come a bit early and if he's a little baby he'll be more likely to need additional "cooking time".

Okay enough updates for right now, LOL.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Fingers Crossed for Cortney and Missy!

I wanted to collect some prayers and positive thoughts for a couple of friends of mine today--I mentioned them both here.

My friend Cortney, in her first cycle of IVF, has had a great response from her embryos and has her transfer tomorrow (babies back in Mommy). PLEASE PLEASE send her your prayers, hopes and crossed fingers that these are some sticky embryos!!

My friend Missy has just had her second IUI. Please send HER your prayers, hopes, and crossed fingers that a healthy sperm meets a healthy egg, and she also ends up with a nice sticky embryo.

These ladies would make amazing mothers. I am hoping with all my heart that a beautiful baby makes its way into each of their wombs (and then stays put!).


My good head-down baby

So as I predicted, James flipped over. He actually was already diagonally head down when we went last Wednesday for our 3D u/s. In the day or two after that, he settled down even more into my pelvis, which made me significantly more comfortable. Suddenly I find myself able to breathe and having a few more inches of bending over room. My sides aren't bursting to split and his head isn't constantly digging into my ribs. Wooohooo.

This new development caused everyone at my shower to say that "he dropped" and "he'll come early", etc. I don't think so, people. Just because he was awkwardly high and breech before and now he is vertex, and so, lower in my pelvis does NOT mean that he is actually engaged and "dropped". I do NOT have the "bowling ball between the legs" feeling. Furthermore, I think despite being head down that he is still in somewhat of an awkward position, sort of facing sideways. Now that he is head down, we will work next on being anterior since he is still somewhat posterior.

He and I will have some mental chats about presentation in the weeks to come, and there are some exercises to encourage him to go anterior. So even though he is now head down, we aren't quite "ready to go".

I'm 34 weeks today which means 2 more weeks until we are set for our home birth. (If he came before 36 weeks we would have to go to the hospital.) So I am not listening to all you naysayers telling me he is going to come early . . . most guesses have been between Nov 6th and Nov 12th. (Big) James, my much more realistic husband, is guessing the 22nd, on the other hand.

The average pregnancy time for a first time Mom is 41 weeks and 1 day, which would be November 24th . . . so I'm not getting too excited either way. I'm guessing he will come in November sometime. I would be more than happy to meet him on the earlier side, but then again, the Harry Potter 7 movie comes out on the 19th, so if I'm still pregnant then, we could go to that. :-)

It's definitely getting there, though. Six (or four or eight) weeks seems like SO long but also no time at all! I hope it feels short, as I'm excited to meet him. Yet we have a long list of things to get done before he gets here as well. :-)

Surprise Shower (and aftermath!)

So on Saturday I headed off to what I thought was a dinner for my Dad's birthday at my Grandma's house. I had made a version of a pineapple upside down cake where I put the pineapple in the middle of two layers and frosted the top (it ended up amazing, OMG!). Pineapple Upside Down Cake is my Dad's favorite. :-D

James and I arrived with presents in hand for my Dad for his birthday and my Mom for her birthday which we'd neglected to give her months ago. :-/

My Mom and Grandma said that we should go down to the community room to find my Dad who was apparently down there for some reason, and to see a new painting she had done that was hanging there.

I walked in to a roomful of my nearest and dearest friends and family members shouting "surprise", and was shocked and pretty immediately overwhelmed--see it here--I wasn't even sure where to start and what to do!! But I recovered, hugged everyone, and got down to present opening.

I got SO many amazing and beautiful things! I will right now thank my family for getting me SO much useful stuff off of my registry--I have heard from (online) friends in other regions of the U.S. that no one EVER buys off of the registry where they are from, and they always get just clothes and cute things from their shower but not any of the big useful things. I'm SO glad we don't live in any of those areas!

I still got a TON of adorable clothes, blankets, toys and homemade things that were not on my registry (which I also adore), but it is definitely amazing that I got so many of the practical things (car seats for both our cars, cradle/swing, high chair, boppy, thermometer, moby wrap, activity bouncer, cloth diapers, etc). These things make us so much more prepared to welcome little James into our life!

Now there are relatively few things that James and I need to get to be totally ready for Lil James and it makes it a lot easier. (Especially since we also got some gift cards and coupons!).

People have asked me repeatedly if I was really surprised. Well, I was definitely shocked and surprised. However, of course I had some thought that this could be my shower because I only have 6 weeks left until my due date now--so any situation in which I was asked to be somewhere at some time I would have had the thought that this *could be* it. So of course I sort of thought it could be it, especially when I actually got to Grandma's house--something just seemed funny and being asked to walk down to the community center of course I thought it could be it.

But Mom and my sisters (and James) did a really good job of throwing me off and making me unsure or think that I guess it wasn't going to be the shower--like telling me that Mare wasn't going to be there because she made plans with a friend, or asking me to make a cake, or talking about how Gram M. was really excited to have us over for a vegan dinner, etc.

So while I was suspicious, I think I was the least suspicious I could have been at that point. I was also suspicious at the last 4 family gatherings, so I was definitely still surprised.

It was amazing to see everyone--especially those people who had to come from far away/busy life situations--Heather, Jessie, Yaling, Clare and Beth . . . I LOVE that people were able to meet some of my loved ones that they might not have met before. :-)


So we brought all the stuff home, luckily Marilyn lives in the same town as us and was able to bring stuff in her car.

When we got home, Mare (and James, since he hadn't seen it all in the first place) insisted on going through everything again--which was good because it gave us a chance to organize a bit.

James set up the cradle/swing right away, and then the high chair. We took the car seats out and played with them, went through all the clothes again, took off tags and labels from toys and some of the things. I put the waterproof cover and slipcover on the boppy pillow . . .

And then we were still surrounded by mountains of baby stuff--some set up and in place and others still piled. James said it looked like our house with baby things superimposed into it.

I think for both of us, things have seemed a lot more "real" since we came home with all these things and started integrating them into our lives. I washed the receiving blankets and put them away, I washed the adorable hooded towels and baby washcloths and put them with our towels, I sorted the larger sized clothes from the smaller sized, and washed the first load of white T shirts, little socks, cloth diapers, bibs, and burp pads . . .

I am still surrounded by mountains of baby stuff but every day I do a little bit and things get a bit more under control . . .

And yet last night was the first night since the shower that I didn't have baby-anxiety insomnia . . . plenty of friends of mine have had this throughout the whole pregnancy, but I am a champion sleeper and have lost little to no sleep throughout the entire pregnancy experience. Until now. It is suddenly real in a whole new way--it's like there is no going back from here (not that that hasn't been true for awhile, but my mind just got it)--I'm not nervous about the birth or having a baby, but I guess our life is about to change drastically--it's a lot to take in.

But the excitement now is also palpable. I can't wait to meet my squishy baby.

Thanks for the amazing shower, everyone! I love you!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

New Cousin!

I was surprised with my baby shower yesterday, which I will later write about in more detail . . .

But one of the best presents I got was that I just found out that my cousin Dave's girlfriend is pregnant, and due in April!! My baby will have a cousin only 5 months younger than him!!

I am so thrilled for them--I had just met her for the first time last month (they live in Florida), and she was so shiny and beautiful, and my cousin looked so happy and in love--now I guess I know why! Not that she wasn't beautiful and he wasn't in love with her before, but when a girl is carrying his baby (and he's happy about it) the guy has this special way of looking at her like there is nothing more beautiful in the world--and that's how they were last month when I saw them. They were both glowing.

Maybe next summer we'll have to plan a little trip to Florida so we can see their place and our babies can bond. :-)

Yay for babies!

Friday, October 1, 2010


I'm not sure what to title this post . . .

For 2.5 years, James and I tried to get pregnant. We did it in our slow, stilted, and much inspired by natural cures and interventions sort of way. When we did start working with an RE (reproductive endocrinologist)--he was our kind of guy. He didn't start any intervention without being sure that it was really what we needed. So most of our time with him was testing, testing, testing. But I can't complain, because his approach forced me to learn more about what was really going on with my body, and to be proactive in getting exactly the interventions we needed and no more.

So even though it took us awhile, we never did a single Clomid cycle, let alone IUI or IVF. In the end, all it took for me was Metformin, a gluten-free/reduced diet, and progesterone supplements once pregnancy was confirmed . . .

And now I feel so blessed to be less than two months away from having an "outside baby" . . .

But in that 2.5 years, I "met" people. Both online and in person, and I began to realize that the infertility struggle is one that is both common and often undertaken in relative silence. People don't necessarily tell their friends, family, or coworkers why it hasn't happened yet, and they often choke down (with a forced giggle) the pain that comes along with people asking when they plan on having a baby. If only it was so simple, right?

Today my heart is with my friend in the middle of her first cycle of IVF--she struggled to even get mentally to the place where this was an option for her, and yet nothing else worked. I hope and pray that this is what works for her, and that a month from now, she will have a secret miracle of her own.

My heart is with another friend on her second cycle of IUI with injectibles, designed to overstimulate the ovaries, to give her a better chance than just regular IUI--I'm hoping that the good response she is getting so far means that this is it for her, too.

My heart is with another friend who has done several cycles of IUI with no success. I'm hoping whatever she tries next is what does it for her . . .

My heart is with a sister in law who is trying . . .

With a cousin who is trying . . .

And with another cousin who tried everything, everything, and now has opened her heart to adoption. I know her child is out there and I hope they will be together soon.

My heart is with a friend who tried everything except IVF--she can't feel that that is Nature's Way, and now works to accept a life without children. I hope she finds peace or a new solution.

Mostly, as my own belly grows heavy and my child is complete, just know that I am aware of all of you. You shine like points of light when I close my eyes. You each would make amazing mothers. I'm not sure what God or the Universe means by putting us through these tests, these struggles . . . but I hope that your children find you, bless you, and embrace you.

To everyone else out there--be aware. Be sensitive. You may not know the silent suffering of a friend or coworker. You may not know that your happiness, your blessings, your children, can bring pain because of the reminder of what is missing . . . be loving and grateful. Excuse things that you don't understand . . . be aware.

Much love to all today.
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