Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I have been knitting lately. Joel wants to spend every waking moment outside, and as I'm not up to running around doing much, I sit on a chair and watch him and knit. Right now I'm making a reusable shopping bag. Kind of a fun pattern.

I think the baby may have dropped a bit. I'm feeling comfortable and uncomfortable in all new ways today, and that's my best explanation of it. I'm really hoping to make it to next weekend. (Watch me now make it to three weekends from now... ew...)

I'm working on my giant to-do list for pre-babyness. Now that Mothers Day has past (and with it, the presents I made and purchased and packaged and gave), a fair few things are off the list. Now it's stuff like stock the changing tables and get bottles that won't infect my child with some crazy thing from BPA. I did learn that the Avent Magic Cups don't contain BPA and Avent nipples fit onto them! Hurrah! That means I can actually use some part from Joel and just replace a portion of them. Plus, they're usable for both Joel and the new baby, since the cups are sippy cups. (Which we only use outside sometimes... but we do use them!) I got four of the magic cups yesterday, since neither child will use them terribly often. (Joel uses regular cups 99% of the time, and the baby will mostly drink from the tap.)

I am meeting with an organist tomorrow - we're playing in a wedding together. But not just any wedding - the wedding of my very first ever flute student! She started in 6th grade, when I was in 10th grade... and she took lessons all the way through high school. I am so thrilled to be a part of this! The wedding is two weeks after my due date... so I'll look pretty lousy, but it'll be really fun. It's the first post-baby thing on my calendar. :)

You know what Joel loves? Those little capsules that you put into water and they turn into animal sponges. The ones we have are dinosaurs. It's kind of funny. He also loves cutting and gluing. I'll have to take some pictures. I love watching him learn how to glue. When he gets some on his fingers he giggles and says, "Ew! Mama, glue on my fingers! Get it off!" He's been cutting pieces of construction paper to glue, along with cotton balls and feathers. Ah, my little artist. I'll try to get some pictures up from our art adventures.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Happy full-term to me!

Today I am 37 weeks. My baby doesn't think it's full-term yet, but whenever it decides to come from this point on is safe and happy.

Plus my Moby Wrap came in the mail today. I tried it on as soon as it came, and it's marvelous! I do think it will be a little better looking once the bulge in it is the baby as opposed to my belly, though...

In my mind I'm coming to terms with names. If it's a boy, I'm golden. A girl, well... I'm just not in love with the same names Neil is. I guess we'll let you know sometime in the next 4 weeks or so what ends up happening.

Joel learned how to properly carry scissors today. How happy! I immediately had to call "Safety Papa" (my dad) to let him know of this milestone. :) (He taught me, and reminded me everytime I ever forgot...) We have some Mothers Day presents to wrap after his nap (I made most of them, and I'm pretty proud of them!), and then we're done. I think I have most presents at least thought out all the way through September or so.

I have saved most of the more fun baby-prep tasks for next week. I can't wait to get doing them! Last night I filed all the bills lying around (my LEAST favorite job) and went through the cabinet where we keep way too many tupperware-ish things. Not fun things to do, but it sure feels great that they're done. I put away all the shiny clean parts of the breast pump this afternoon, and went through baby toys this morning (Joel loved discovering them again - "hey! here's my *thing I lost interest in a year ago but suddenly can't believe I've lived without*!") But this coming week I get to figure out what bottles we're going to get, bring the pack and play up, stock the changing tables, take Joel to find a present for the baby (I found some super hip things at Ten Thousand Villages to give to him "from the baby"), and go through some closets. Nesty, nesty! I love it!

Friday, May 02, 2008

Stop whatever you're doing right now and watch this movie. "Business of Being Born" is now online and free to watch. It's a little less than and hour and a half long, and it is so, so, so informative. Now, keep in mind that I am 36 weeks pregnant as of today (yay!), but I was actually in tears for most of the movie. Some tears were because of the beauty and utter joy of normal birth, and some tears were incredulous angry tears over the way women and babies are treated/have been treated and the completely illogical and disrespectful way birth is treated in this country.

I had a wonderful birth with Joel. He was born in a hospital with no medical interventions (except I needed some oxygen during the second half of pushing - I'm a flute player who is trained to use every ounce of air in my lungs, what can I say?). It was perfect and wonderful. He was born 5 days after his due date (there is a reason they call it an "estimated due date"), which was perfect and lovely. I was attended by midwives. I labored how I wanted to, with no monitoring, not lying on my back, moving and walking as I chose to. Had I been with an OB/GYN, I would have been offered to be induced either early or on my "due date", everything could've gone upside down and followed the checklist of interventions, and I could be writing this birth story as, "thank goodness for modern medicine, or I wouldn't be alive today" while meaning, "if they hadn't messed with me in the first place, I wouldn't have had such a screwy birth".

I appreciate and applaud the OB/GYN community for the intervention they provide when it is necessary. For 90% of pregnancies and births (not sure on the percentage, just a number I hear kicked around a lot in this case) that are completely normal and wonderful, however, please, please, please go with a midwife.

"You're going to birth in a hospital, right?"
"What if something goes wrong?"
"But then you won't be allowed to have any pain medicine!"
"Honey, the first thing you'll say when you get there is, 'get me my epidural!'"
"Have they changed your due date? Are you measuring bigger?"
"You don't have to be a hero/martyr."
"I had it, and everything was fine for me."
"Oh, okay, so you're going to be one of those 'good moms'."
"What if you go overdue?"
"When will you be induced?"
"I'm going to X hospital, everything is fine now, but what is something happens?"
"How dilated are you? Are you effaced? You're 37 weeks, what do you mean you don't know?"

These are all things that have been said to me since we first made the choice to go with midwives for my pregnancy and birth with Joel. And they haven't stopped. Ugh. Seriously. Labor is no picnic. But it is not scary, it is not dangerous, it is not an illness. Well, I take that back. It is scary and can be incredibly dangerous for parents-to-be who do not take the time to educate themselves on what birth really is. Expectant parents probably on average spend more time researching the type of stroller they will register for more than the birth process.

One of my closest friends had a miscarriage very early on in one of her pregnancies(I think 5 or 6 weeks). She had made an appointment with a group of midwives to begin her care at the normal 10 or 12 weeks. When she miscarried, educated and intelligent people were telling her that this is what you get when you choose to birth alternatively with a midwife instead of a doctor. Oh. My. Goodness.

For the record:
-some midwives attend births at hospitals, some at birthing centers, some at home; all are completely legitimate choices
-if something goes wrong and you are birthing at home or in a birth center, you get to a hospital and have an OB/GYN, who is a highly trained surgeon, attend to the situation at hand
-most likely, however, this simply will not happen
-you are "allowed" to have pain medication whenever you wish; but it is your complete responsibility to understand the effects of your various options - anytime you start intervening with a natural process in a regular birth, you are going to have side effects
-I did not, nor did many others I know, ever have the words, "get me my epidural" ever spring from my lips
-due dates should not change for people who know approximately when they conceived; gestation is usually around 280 days - of course, you may be wrong about when you conceived, and there are ways of figuring that out
-no one is being a martyr, no one is being heroic by giving birth - it is simply based on the type of reality you want to experience when undergoing such a life-altering experience
-induction is not a pretty or good thing for normally developing babies; my midwives would begin talking about induction at 42 weeks, no sooner, if there is no medical reason attached to it
-with Joel, I was checked at about 39 weeks for dilation/effacement, and that was only because I requested it; this time, I don't plan on requesting it; I walked around at 1 cm for a week and a half before he was actually born, and it was a really uncomfortable procedure for that late in pregnancy; one of my midwives said, "it's only done so that doctors can say, 'hey, you're starting to dilate, do you want to induce next Tuesday?'", and I believe her

So, there's my birth PSA. Thank you for your time. Now GO WATCH THE MOVIE! And get educated about what birth really is.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Joel and I got back from the zoo about a half hour ago. I took Joel right up for a nap, and I am still exhausted! I was waddling out of there. Seriously. As awkward as it would look to walk around there holding up my belly, I think that would make me feel more comfortable! There is so much that is easier with an internal baby vs. external, but walking around the zoo is not one of them.

I think I'm going to make a homemade wrap carrier, similar to the Moby Wrap. It looks fairly simple, but if fabric is just as much as buying one, I'll probably just order one. I'll have to check it out. It looks like it will be logistically simpler than in one of my slings.

Yesterday I went out to the midwives' office. Everything is great, nice heartbeat in the 130's, measuring 36 weeks (which I will be tomorrow), head down (WAY down, may I add... makes for interesting and frequent trips to the restroom...), all set. I was due for my Group B Strep test. (Group B Strep is a vaginal infection that women get off and on all throughout our lives. We never notice it, there are no symptoms or anything, but it can cause a yucky infection in a baby if it's mom has the infection while it passes through the birth canal. So, important to know about.) The test for the procedure involves a long, double Q-tip thingy that you put... well, where do you think you'd put that? So, I'm in the bathroom with Joel, we talk while I'm weighing myself, while I'm taking a urine sample (which he thinks is really funny), and then I get out the Q-tip thingy for the GBS test. As I'm "collecting the sample" I look over at him and he looks completely confused and borderline horrified. Poor kiddo. I hope this isn't his earliest memory or anything. Luckily he found a copy of "The Little Engine That Could" halfway through the test and seemed to promptly forget everything else. He hasn't mentioned it since, and that usually means it wasn't a big deal for him. :)

I got lots of pictures printed yesterday. I'm off to start Joel's 2nd year scrapbook, hoping to finish it before he graduates from high school.

Happy May to everyone!