Archive for July, 2010


Seems there’s no end to the things I can do to make my place more ready for the kid… today vacuuming around the edges of my floors, washing the car seat cover, sorting through music, filling the fridge…

And as for myself – and the dream that suggested I could try to prioritize my own mental state of readiness (or risk coming onto stage out of costume, fumbling lines) –

Well, I’m getting there. Yesterday reviewed the stages of labor with Mom, who labored quickly in a hospital 35 years ago and so appreciated the refresher. She’ll be here in a week! Oh, and the book The Birth Partner is awesome for making those stages understandable, from the point of view of the mom and the caretaker. We’ll have a doula on call in case we need a little help…

Today I’m at 38 weeks, woke from the most vivid, euphorically engaging dream I’ve ever had. Not the topics so much as the overlay of memorable moments – somehow the gorgeous apexes of life wove together seamlessly like waves, one after another, all full color and texture and it hardly matters what it was about. I felt longing and commitment and flow. And there were rowers.

People keep asking me about music and candles. I’m making myself a mix for the ipod, not a big fan of candles, but here’s my secret weapon: I’ve hit upon a rowing power 10 as the best way to get myself into the groove and through the contractions. When I’m mired in a sense of physical depletion, and out of my mind, I can go into a power 10 and find the reserves. I know this from my years on the water, when I learned that I can feel more pain and push through more pain than my mind was ever interested in acknowledging. So I’ll be counting.

Meanwhile I’ve been steeping sitz bath herbs on the stove and dunking huge maxi pads in the “tea” to stick in the freezer for when my nether regions are all used up and sad. What will the midwives think of next! I’ll let you know if they’re a life saver. Honestly I’m amazed I’m getting to all this stuff – usually I’m the type to finish studying for a test a few minutes before it starts, and maybe I liked the punishment of staying up all night writing a paper but, since this babe didn’t come extra early, I’m actually getting all the work done. So, back to the glorious indulgence of Grey’s Anatomy season 3 re-runs…


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baby twister

The kid is alternately doing laps today and stretching diagonally from right rib (green) to left spleen (yellow). I was obsessed with Twister when I was little, was always trying to get people (adults) to play with me (which they didn’t, for reasons I now understand). Well, it seems I may have a suitable playmate soon…

A little spotting today, which could mean she’ll come a week or two early, midwife says. Or it means nothing, and my cervix is just acting out. We’re nearly safe though – 36 weeks and counting, and my midwife is certified to keep me at home from here on out. Apparently this correlates with having been trained in New Mexico, though I’m not sure why – most midwives can only deliver at home from 37 on.

Anyway, pregnancy is progressing, the kid is feeling more and more like a Real Person – not just disembodied limbs. Contrary to what I might have predicted, this transformation from amorphous fetal concept to real baby has made me more cavalier in these last few weeks. A sort of “good enough” attitude replacing the early paranoia that every bout of stress I experienced would ruin her brain Forever. I hope I can keep that feeling once she emerges, though I suspect we’ll be back at oh-my-god-don’t-break-her til the neck stops wobbling.

One of my colleagues told me she was extra careful with her first pregnancy – monitoring her heartbeat while running, getting about 20 steps in before she slowed to a walk to bring her heart back down again, eating all the right food, generally obsessing. And her son’s an incredibly healthy kid, vivid from the start. Then, for her second pregnancy, she ate what she felt like, went for the lunch meats, etc etc… and her daughter is a duplicate of the first child, incredibly healthy. So there you have it.

This weekend I went to bed with mild uterine twinges and wondered if it was early labor. I dealt with this by declaring “I’m not ready!” and then promptly fell asleep, apparently so that I could deal with it subconsciously. I was in a play, helping to set up the stage (we were tiling it with sheets of white office paper) an hour before the performance. This laying out of paper and preventing people from messing it up was a consuming project, though I had this voice in the back of my mind mustering mild alarm around the realization that I wasn’t in costume, no make-up, wasn’t sure I knew my lines, and had no idea where my script was. The metaphor is so obvious I’m almost embarrassed. Yes, the diapers are ready, there’s a sheet on the crib (even if it’s not yet the miracle crib sheet I intend to replace it with) and I spent the holiday washing baby clothes and writing letters. But as far as some sort of mental/physical/emotional gestalt clearly required for labor, well, I guess I’m not sure how well I know my lines.

Time will most certainly tell…

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