Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Monday, March 28, 2011
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Would you believe that this is now the third year in a row that Judy has been here during the Tempe Festival of the Arts? It's true! But this was the first year that she (and Fred for the past two years) didn't find some local art piece to buy.
That pineapple was juicy! Which led to a chocolately drip on my white dress. Michael leapt to my aid helped me clean up, but it was really a one-man job, so I just dove back in for more sweet treat.
Thanks to Judy for capturing this awesome moment on camera!
Thursday, March 24, 2011
So with my due date fast approaching (Sunday), should I try to come back to work on Monday? My boss has already said I don't have to and most people seem pretty surprised that I’m working still. My main reason for wanting to stop working now is because of how it feels. I don’t feel like I’m getting ready to birth when I’m at work all day. My day starts at 6am and I don’t get home until 5:30. What if my birthing time starts then, just in time for me not to get any sleep and I will be starting my marathon on an empty tank.
Are you supposed to have any idea when labor might start? Do you wake up in the morning thinking, “This will be the day!” Because today never feels like the day when I’m sitting at my desk all day, looking at a computer, shifting positions to stay comfortable, taking walking breaks to the bathroom. I have this weird thought in the back of my mind that even though it technically could come at any moment, it feels so very far off because today was just like every other day I’ve lived for the past 10 months. Nothing special. I can’t picture this boring day ending with excitement at the birthing center.
Work’s fine, really. I’m not on my feet all day. It’s stress-free and calm. It's distracting, which is actually nice. There are only two main problems. The first I describe above. Would being at home relaxing allow me to feel more prepared and rested?
The second problem is that I just don’t like being around people anymore. I hold my breath on the way to the bathroom hoping not to run into anyone. I dread my lunch break and have considered just eating at my desk instead of in the break room (but Millionaire is on!). The following is a small sampling of what I hear from coworkers and what I’d like to respond with.
“You’re still here, huh?” No. You’re speaking to a hologram version of me that we concocted over in Tech. Beepbeepbeep! Low power!
“Baby’s not here yet?” Oh no, she’s here. My belly just didn’t go down at all after the birth. Bummer! She’s out in the car. Don’t worry, I cracked a window.
“You know, X Coworker had her baby. Why haven’t you had yours yet?” Oh, that’s how birth works?! One person birthing means all others in her acquaintance birth at the same time. Simul-birth, it’s called.
“You should hold out ‘til April 8. That’s my birthday.” I’ll see what I can do.
“You’re not even close! You haven’t even dropped yet!” Thanks for the encouragement.
“Have you scheduled your induction yet?” *Throatpunch*
“You’ve got a ways to go still. You’ll get a lot bigger than that before you give birth.” *Chokeslam*
“You don't look so good…you’re starting to walk like a pregnant lady now.” *Back-handed slap*
Which do you think is more disrespectful – a back-handed slap or a straight palm-to-face slap? Just wondering.
Not that I don’t LOVE being reminded that the baby’s not here yet every time I see you in the hallway. (And by “every time” I mean multiple times in one day. Are you really this surprised to see me at 2:00 when you saw me at 11:00? “You’re still here!”) I'm not even overdue yet!
I love it when I know that I come across as very likable on my own blog. You don't have to like me right now!
Anyway, what do I do? Do I suck it up and come to work on Monday, and just cope with the fact that I might start my birthing time when I’ll already be exhausted? Do I stop working and just hope June comes soon so I won’t be wasting all my time off sitting around and twiddling my thumbs? Do I have a marathon of naturally-inducing techniques this weekend – belly dancing/walking/ankle rubs/castor oil/spicy food/sex/bumpy car rides/evening primrose oil/listening to birth hypno tracks/red raspberry leaf tea/visualization/jumping jacks?
The truth is that none of these work unless your baby’s ready to come out anyway.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
I get such feelings of whimsy when I step in here.
So here is our nursery tour. I hope you enjoy!
This is half of the closet (the other half is empty except for our baby bath tub). We wanted some more shelf space so we bought a closet organizer system. We got this Martha Stewart cubby version from Home Depot and Michael assembled it really quickly and easily.Our dresser and changing table. I don't know if that basket and Bartholomew Bear will have permanent residence on the shelf, but they're taking up space until I can get some great picture frames and maybe some interpretation of spelling June's name out.I really do adore that dark espresso wood furniture.
The crib! The main attraction! Plus the bedding! There is A.LOT. of controversy out there about cribs and bedding and bumpers and mobiles. I can't keep up with it all.
And now the progression of my cherry blossom tree 3-D wall mural!
First, Michael painted the room. The color looks so different in different lights (natural, artificial, the flash of the camera). It's light brown, but I don't think it's quite as yellow as it appears below.Then I put up a branch decal I found online. (Google is my BFF, but I had to look through so many combinations for the words "Cherry Blossom Branch wall decal vinyl" to get here.)
Then I hand-made little paper flowers and attached them to the wall.
You also get a little glimpse of the seat and swing a coworker gave us that her daughter no longer uses. I doubt this is their permanent location but we'll see. I'd love to get some kind of rocker for the room for those late-night feedings (after she moves out of our room, that is).
I curled up their edges to give it some dimension.
I hope she likes it!
Monday, March 21, 2011
It feels like I’ve signed up to run a marathon but I haven’t been told when it’s going to begin. That on any given day, at any given time, someone’s going to run up and shout, “Clock starts right NOW!” and the marathon will begin and I’ll start running. I don’t know where I’ll be when this happens. I don’t know what items I’ll have near me. I don’t know what shoes I’ll be wearing.
But I did know the marathon was coming – shoot, I signed up for it – so I’ve been getting ready. I’ve been training, I’m in shape, I’m physically capable of doing the run. I’m not afraid of it and I know I can finish. But it still just kind of looms ahead because the start gun could go off at any minute.
There are moments when you think, “I wish the marathon would start already!” or “Now would be a great time to start. I’m ready. I’m comfortable. I have my shoes tied on tight.” Then there are also times that you pray you’ve got more time and you eye every passerby with trepidation in case they make a move to blow the start whistle. Like when you’re in a big meeting. Or when you’re walking around the Renaissance Festival. Or when you're already exhausted and you don't think you'd have enough energy to only be starting your marathon right then.
And you look forward to it, truly you do. You can’t wait for the challenge, this race you’ve been training almost 10 months for! You’re ready to test your strength and set a PR and get that rush. And you picture the moments of triumph. Sometimes your legs twitch in anticipation because you just want to run. And you can’t wait until it’s over, because everyone promised you that right after the race you get a big old BBQ dinner.
Except in this case the role of BBQ Dinner will be played by my first born child, June. Who is, you know, slightly more important and satisfying.
Saturday, March 19, 2011
I don’t really want to go into what Group B Strep is in detail because of all the men that read this blog. Oh wait, there are only two of you. One who is responsible for giving me half of my genes and the other is responsible for giving me half of the genes of this baby inside me. Fine, I’ll go into GBS a little.
It’s a naturally-forming bacteria that is present in about 20-30% of all healthy, normal women out there. It comes and goes, meaning that you might have it at one point in your life (or in your pregnancy, even) and not have it at another point. It can be found in your area, if you catch my drift. And it poses a threat to babies born vaginally if the mother is positive with it at the time of birth. These days every pregnant woman gets tested for it around 37 weeks.
So I don’t want to get into the deets, but you have two options during your birthing time. You can just have the baby and take a 1 in 200 risk that your kid will end up seriously ill, or you can take some antibiotics during labor and reduce the risk to something like 1 in 4000. If you don’t take the antibiotics, the birthing center requires you to stay for 48 hours after birth so your baby can be observed to make sure she’s not exhibiting signs of the GBS disease. If you take the meds, you can go home whenever you want.
To me it’s a no-brainer. I’ll take the meds. Even my very naturalistic, homeopathic, granola midwife said we should take the meds.
Here’s where my disappointment kicks in: you have to take the meds by IV. Well, you only need it once every 4 hours, so you get a hep-lock which is basically just an IV connected to your body but only connected to meds for a certain amount of time. This means that I will be free to walk around, get in the tub, take a shower, sit on the birthing ball…whatever. And then for 20 minutes every 4 hours I’ll get a little bag of antibiotics hooked into my hep-lock, then I’ll go back to doing my thing.
As much as I loved my Hypnobabies classes, there’s one thing that I didn’t like so much – how much distrust they have in the whole medical community. For being about such wonderful positivity, they also plant in your head that you have to be strong, assertive, informed, confident, and like armed in order to fight off the advances of medical personnel who are really just out to get you in and out of the hospital as fast as possible. This may be very true for some places, and I’ve heard too many stories not to know that some hospital staff are not concerned with the mom’s best interests. But I also feel that it might be different at this birthing center. My Hypnobabies instructor actually told me about one mom who was given Pitocin after birth to help the uterus contract when she’d never given permission for it. The nurse just stuck her with a needle and gave it to her. This has me worried that someone’s going to try to sneak something into my hep-lock without me knowing about it, and it’ll be easier because I’ll already be set up to go, hep-lock exposed and vulnerable. I had a vision of me in my state of hypnosis and a nurse slipping something onto my hep-lock while my eyes were closed. Creeps me out.
Plus there’s the whole concept of cascading interventions. Giving in to one thing makes it that much easier to give into another. Will simply allowing them to put a needle in my arm make me more likely to give into something else? “Honey, it’ll be so easy to give you X medication…just to take the edge off. Your hep-lock’s already in, we don’t need to do anything except connect it to this pretty bag of liquid.”
Michael’s sweet. First he got mad that I had even considered that he would let someone give me something without my/his approval. He said he’d watch over my hep-lock like a hawk while I'm in my hypno zone. We can confirm with the nurses every 4 hours that, yes, it’s only the antibiotics you’re putting in. He’s also going to help regulate what people suggest to me. When you’re in hypnosis you can be very suggestible, and even though I think I’d be more angry and irritated with suggestions at that point, who knows what it’ll really be like during my birthing time? So if nurses try to suggest pain relief to me, Michael will pull them into the hall to have a chat (a la the two adorable scenes in Knocked Up).
So…that’s what’s up.
I wanted to write this blog for two reasons. One is that I’m trying to cope with my own feelings of shame of being GBS+. Even typing that out I feel like I’m admitting to a sexually transmitted disease or something (IT’S NOT). I know from my research that literally millions of normal and healthy women have it at this given moment, but I still feel weird about it. Also, because now I will have a little hep-lock in my arm during my birthing time and it’ll show up in all the pictures. Don’t want everyone accusing me of lying about having a natural birth when I obviously had some intervention.
Friday, March 18, 2011
I can’t take complete credit for the subject of this blog because a hilarious and accurate blogitorial review was written by one of my fave bloggers, The Sassy Curmudgeon. I just couldn’t help throwing my own two cents and nostalgia in as well.
I loved playing with troll dolls. Last Christmas my Grandma Mickie asked us what our favorite Christmas gift was over the years and we all had to go around the table and share. I told about the year my parents ended the Martin Family Scavenger Hunt with a ribbon tied around the back door handle that led out to a snow-covered trampoline…and one of the first Christmases I remembered when I came downstairs to find a Troll Treehouse sitting under the Christmas tree. I freaking loved that thing. So much that I wasn’t satisfied with just trolls living in it…in an odd example of peaceful cohabitation I also had my Barbies live there, all hunched over and uncomfortable.Note: This is the biggest/only picture I could find in 20+ pages of Google Image searching. I searched “Troll Treehouse” which resulted in some funny and some confusing images, including but not limited to images of Sarah Palin and monster movie villains.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Monday, March 14, 2011
Thursday, March 10, 2011
(Let me also note that I'm a sorta in-betweener when it comes to pregnancy caution, leaning on the conservative side. So within this post list, I'll create a sub-list of things other people avoid or do during pregnancy that I have not followed:
1. Abstain completely from deli meats. For the listeria purposes. I definitely cut back and chose something else if there was another option, but I haven't completely eliminated it. There was some prociutto on an asparagus sandwich at tea the other day. I had an awesome turkey cranberry sandwich at Sacks of Art Sandwichery. And I ate rather than starved at a work function when cheap little deli sandwiches were the only food option.
2. Avoid the microwave. I saw a post on a mommy forum saying, "If I have to use the microwave, I set it and then immediately run out of the room! Don't want baby getting nuked!" followed by more women congratulating her and saying how they don't use their microwave at all any more. Oh please. Now I'm not exactly rubbing my bare tummy up against the microwave door while it's running, but I have not altered my micro-use at all.
3. No preggies allowed at the haunted house. I went anyway.
4. I rode the big slide at the fair despite being unsure if this was recommended or not.
5. Ate sushi (that didn't have raw fish. The first OB I saw - for only one appointment - said not to eat sushi even if it was all cooked because the prep surfaces could have bacteria. I've eaten some delicious eel and shrimp rolls during my time and I and every pregnant woman in Japan seem to be doing just fine.)
6. I've tried to avoid but have come in contact with some: paint fumes, indirect bleach smells and second-hand smoke.
7. Caffeine. I was never a caffeine nut but I enjoyed myself an iced coffee here or a soda there. I did cut it out completely in the first trimester when it has the biggest potential for harm (some studies show increased risk of miscarriage). But nowadays I don't stop myself from two or three items with caffeine in them per week.
8. I've eaten steak that was cooked 'medium.' *Shrieks of horror*)
So after that list, I present to you:
Things I Miss/Look Forward to Enjoying Post-Pregnancy:
1. Sleeping on my stomach
2. Sleeping on my back for long periods of time
3. Raw sushi (I don't even like most sushi that features huge chunks of raw fish, I just wouldn't say no to a nice Philadephia roll or spicy tuna.)
4. A big runny egg. Sunny-Side-Up is calling my name.
5. Brownie batter, cake batter, raw cookie dough...I think you get the picture.
6. A cool glass of white wine (You thought this would be higher on the list, didn't you? Alkies!)
7. Not having to worry about caffeine intake.
8. My wardrobe. Not that I'm anything close to a fashionista, but I will enjoy being able to wear more than the 5 outfits that currently fit me.