Friday, June 29, 2007

Gratuitous baby pictures

Pequita's new love? Corn on the cob. She gnaws on the whole thing joyously, getting a fair amount in her mouth in the process. This is our best tool to keep her happy while we eat things she cannot share.
She's also finally taking more interest in books as well. She has always been excited to see the pictures, but is starting to notice pages and (I think) expect the words.

Here we are at Monito's 2 week wellness checkup. You can barely tell that I haven't showered in 3 days. Grandma and Pequita stayed in the waiting room playing and watching other kids play while I took Monito back for his exam. In one week, he has gained a whole pound and grown a quarter inch, making him 10 lbs 3.2 oz and 22.5 inches long. He is firmly in the 95th percentile in both categories. Yay for good fatty breast milk! I absolutely believe that comfort nursing Pequita in the months before Monito's birth primed my pump and helped my flow and quality.

And a comparison in size and alertness. Pequita at 8.3 months old is so beautifully plump. We call her the Hunk-a Hunk-a burning baby love. We'll see if Monito (2 weeks exactly in the photo below) stays lanky or if he follows in his sister's footsteps.


Sorry for being AWOL. We made it through the first 9 months of parenting with no real negative experiences. We have now, with the arrival of Monito and with Pequita entering into the most dreaded stage of all babyhood (the learning to crawl/walk/ talk no-sleep stage) become a little, um, snappish.

Warning: boring alert. Cataloging fatigue and snot production is never a good blog topic, but it is all I can process right now. I have become one of THOSE people. Ick.

Monito came home from the hospital to a loving family of diseased people. All of us had a cold. Pequita is still hacking away at night, but the rest of us are on the mend. Monito, though, has such a stuffy nose that he cannot breathe around the boob at night. He wheezes, snorts, snores, and stops breathing for long seconds at a time. This makes it difficult for me to sleep, as I worry. I just called the doc's office. We will continue our current repertoire of steam-showers, humidifier, and bulb-snot-sucker (which he loathes). To this we will add sleeping in the car seat to be upright (which might allow me to lay flat to sleep instead of holding him on my chest) and infant saline nasal spray. Fingers crossed.

Pequita. Oh, how proud we are. She is physically ahead of the game. In the last week she has learned:
to crawl
to climb a step
to walk while holding onto support (table, leg, dog, etc.)
to drink from a straw

She is now eating many fruits & veggies, as well as the occasional milkshake & ice cream. She loves best to drink from our cups, which she can do quite neatly. She has ongoing constipation, so we feed her prunes in every form which she loves, and all the juice, water & breastmilk she'll tolerate. Apparently it is common to have much sleep interruption when learning to be mobile, and she is resisting rest in all forms at all times of day & night. Last night, Homestead Mama was up for 2 hours walking and rocking Pequita, as every time we lay her in her crib or our bed she thrashed, cried and was very agitated, all while sleeping. When she is willing to lay down, she wants to be nursing at all times, which is causing H-mama some discomfort, since she's a little out of practice with that frequency. Pequita is also beginning to want autonomy that she is just too young for, which is resulting in temper tantrums. Who would have thought this would start at 8.5 months? Not me. Homestead Mama is very patient with her, and lets her have all her emotions and flip out, and remains remarkably calm and collected. She recovers fairly quickly, but Oy! while they go on, she is loud and screamy.

For the first time, when Homestead Mama and I have awake time together in the wee hours of the morning we aren't gushing about how adorable our kid is and professing our love. We are now finding new and creative curse words, getting a little snappy with each other and trying hard to keep each kid quiet enough so as not to wake the other one. Luckily, this can't go on forever. Sadly, it is unpleasant while it lasts and with all my hormones, I'm not so pleased feeling disconnected from Homestead Mama.

My mother is still here, and is dedicated to tending to Pequita so that I can bond with Monito and learn how to care for him, and get enough rest. God bless her - she is running herself ragged looking after Speed Racer, which is Pequita's new nickname. (At least in the daytime. At 3 am, we tend to call her Hellraiser under our breath.) Granted, she is revelling in her grandmotherhood, but Pequita is exhausting for anyone, let alone a woman of (ahem) advanced age who just had a knee replacement a couple months ago. She is also still keeping the house clean and making many meals. I am taking note of her system, as I'll be on my own with all this in a week and a half when she returns to her normal life of taking care of my dad, who is for the most part less taxing.

I'll post some pictures to make up for the boring post. At least, despite all else, the kids are still completely beautiful and loving.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

A Very Big Day

A quick post, while everyone naps on Sunday afternoon.

Saturday, Hottie Friend came and picked up Pequita around 8 am to pal around the Farmer's Market together so the rest of us could sleep in. She dropped off a tired and hungry baby around noon - I was in the shower so didn't get the play-by-play, but perhaps some pictures, HF?

I set off with Homestead Mama, my parents and the babes around 1 pm for a friends birthday party for her 3 sons, twins age 10 and the other 8 years old. We spent 3 hours at their house enjoying the cool summer day. There were screaming children running around all sugared up on cake and playing with new birthday toys, adults sipping beer and chatting on the lawn, and later on fishing in the pond and skeet shooting. (I told you we lived in a rural area.) Pequita spent the afternoon attached to Homestead Mama, and I spent my time with an 8-day-old barnacle stuck to my chest nursing. Just as H-Mama and I were ready for a nap, we all got in our car and headed off for a city about an hour away to go to the zoo - I slept the whole way there. The fertility clinic that we used to get our babies was having their 10th anniversary, and had rented out a local zoo for all its clients, past and present. I know there were over 2500 RSVPs, and when we arrived (about 20 minutes after the scheduled start) the place was already packed with children of all ages, hundreds of minivans in the parking lot and more strollers (single, double & triple) than I've ever seen in one place. The RE (reproductive endocrinologist) Doc who owns the practice is a whiz at marketing, and I'm sure the press was there and that it was a tax write-off. Regardless, it was quite an amazing time - the staff we had grown to know and appreciate over the past 4 years were there milling about, and the Doc spent the entire 4 hours that the zoo stayed open for the event at the end of a line that resembled the line to see Santa at Christmastime at the mall. We enjoyed the catered hot dogs and hamburgers, decided to stroll the zoo and come back to shake hands with the Doc later to avoid the line. He'd met Pequita, but we wanted to introduce him to Monito. So stroll the zoo we did. Pequita is old enough to really enjoy animals which are obvious to her - the petting zoo parts were her favorite. We patted an elephant and some goats, and saw tigers, penguins and many other animals. Grandma and Grandpa posed for a picture with the unhappiest penguin on the face of creation.

The highlight for Pequita was riding atop Grandpa for most of the trek around the zoo.

It was perhaps too much for me 8 days post-C-section, carrying the nursing baby the whole time. I was exhausted and sore by the end of the day, but we had a really great time. Upon returning to the zoo entrance, we found the good Doc still at the end of a huge line of grateful families all waiting to get their picture taken with him, and show off the kids he helped them have. We decided to skip it entirely and go visit the office in the next 2 weeks while Homestead Mama is still on parental leave. I have some expensive meds to donate to them anyway - they give them to patients with no insurance who need help affording the IVF process, and my account gets credited. This will help with storage costs for the embryos we still have in the cryo-tank; we'll be hanging on to them for a while longer until the dust settles with our family and we are certain we don't want more kids.

Needless to say, we all slept in on Sunday morning.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Catching up

Notice this post isn't titled 'caught up'. Sheesh. So much compelling activity to attend to. Much of the time I am sitting in bed covered with sticky breastmilk holding a baby who is getting a little uppity about how he is offered the breast. Harrumph. Mother knows best is my motto, but he really wants to poke his hands in the way and help. This is my view for what seems like 20 hours out of the day.
I miss Pequita - I feel like I see her from afar these days, as I am always holding Monito and always nursing him. She entered a phase of preferring Homestead Mama and the original boobs right before Monito was born, which was probably timely, as she is being primarily parented by H-Mama at this point. Grandma and Grandpa are, of course, dedicating huge amounts of time to tending the babes as well. I steal time with her when Monito is fed and sleepy, when a pinky to suck on is enough and I can pass him off to someone else. Pequita is blossoming - she learned to crawl on Father's day, and consequently Grandpa spent Father's Day installing baby gates in the stairwell and to contain the living room. If we follow her around the house, she leads us right to the babyproofing flaws, like the can of paint thinner sitting on the floor in the upstairs hall, the open box of drywall screws sitting on a chest, every single little tiny plastic price tag attacher that has fallen to the floor in the bonanza of baby gifts that has made up the last 8 months. She approaches them all with the attitude of "Yum!" and with a willingness to taste it all. Diligence is key here - I wish we had spent a bit more time before getting the babyproofing done. Friends of the family had a chair with her name painted on it made for her as a baby gift - she's finally big enough (and it is finally warm enough) for her to enjoy it out in the yard.
One thing we were ready with was car seats. Both our kids were born in the 90th percentile for height/weight, although Pequita has since dropped to 50th in height. Nonetheless, at 7 months old she outgrew the infant car seat system we had for her - some kids stay in them until 18 months! I researched the convertible seats until my eyes bled, and we bought a couple of the top of the line metal-framed seats that will work in airplanes and should be usable up to 80 lbs or so. (I'm not sure any self-respecting kid who weighs 80 lbs will be willing to ride in a car seat, but we'll have saved money if she will.) Since I still can't drive for another week due to the c-section, all road trips to the park or shopping are the same - Grandma drives, I ride in the front passenger seat, Pequita and Monito are strapped into their respective car seats in the back, and Homestead Mama squeezes herself in between the carseats in the back seat to tend to the babes in transit. If we had sprung for a minivan before the second kid, she'd be a lot more comfy. I took the pic below from the back end of my station wagon. Note Homestead Mama's skilled baby-tending handiwork. With her back there, most rides are peaceful.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

2:50 AM Reality Check

Awake to find son sleeping in arms with such a wet diaper it is leaking all over you. Stagger into nursery naked except for sexy hospital-issue mesh panties that hold in place maxi-pad (another post-birth necessity rarely mentioned to the soon-to-be mother) to encounter my Dad, from whom I inherited my insomnia, in the rocking chair reading a book about sailing. Wonder how less-sleeping son could possibly be spraying me with pee through his diaper. Realize that upon inspection, now fully awake and crying son isn't peeing, instead both breasts are leaking onto hungry son's onesie.

Carry on a conversation with dad about defrosting freezer while I change son's diaper, which is a little wet on the inside. Manage to get son latched on to both engorged breasts - not an easy feat - to eat enough to quell leaking and the crying. Head back to bedroom, decide to blog surreal life since already awake; do this standing in front of laptop on a shelf while holding nursing sleepy son with one hand and marvelling at own abilities in multitasking. Son begins grunting loudly and rhythmically, his pre-pooping ritual. Son poops with enough volume to wake up his older sister sleeping in her crib in our room. I shake silently with mirth while Homestead Mama curses and fetches Pequita into our bed to nurse her back down. I return to nursery to change young son's dirty diaper. Thank Dad for pretending to not notice (lack of) attire. Head back to bedroom and finish posting to blog.
Time elapsed: 45 minutes.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Saturday update

I am doing well, as is Monito. We are still ensconced in the hospital, where it is comfy, the bed is electric, people fetch me things that I need and there is 24 hour nursing and lactation consulting. I could have gone home yesterday, physically; I had passed all the recovery criteria for C-sections. However, Homestead Mama regrets having left the hospital early after delivering Pequita and encouraged me to stay the extra couple days. I have really enjoyed having some quiet time to get to know Monito all by ourselves. He is so tiny and so strong, and me being able figure out his cycles and how to soothe him before we go home will make all our lives easier. Also, my hormones are doing exactly what they are supposed to and rendering me a puddle of emotion. I am not really fit for the real world right now.

So much is going on and changing, both physically and emotionally, I want very much to blog it all. Soon as I can, I will.

Friday, June 15, 2007


Monito, day 1.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Monito has landed!

Sorry for the delay - I literally keep falling asleep on my keyboard. I gave birth to a baby boy via c-section at 4:21 am this morning, June 14th. Monito is 9 pounds and 5 ounces - a large baby! I had a wonderful labor according to the OB, ahead of the average schedule, good control of contractions, great progress, etc. This all ended at about 8 - 9 cm dilation around 11pm on Wednesday night. I wasn't dilating the final centimeter despite adding pitocin (and an intrathecal block to cope with it). After another few hours, I had regressed to 8 cm due to cervical swelling. I was exhausted, not having slept for more than 7 minutes straight in 28 hours, and in a huge amount of pain with each contraction. Also, the doc had ruptured my membranes a couple hours earlier and there had been a small amount of meconium present, not the greatest sign. The decision was made to deliver via c-section, and after that things happend pretty quickly. A good surgery, Homestead Mama was there with her camera & support. I spent an hour in recovery, and thenI was returned to my hospital room and had to wait almost 2 hours until I could see the baby because he aspirated some fluid during birth. Finally, my dad tracked down a wheelchair and escorted me down to the nursery to meet my son.

I'm working on a birth story, and will try to post that in the next day or two. In summation, Homestead Mama and I are blissed out, grateful as heck to have a second healthy baby, and so happy to have my parents here to help out. Pequita spent the past 30 hours with her grandma, who even slept in our bed next to Pequita to keep her feeding schedule on track. I would never have been able to relax into labor had my mother not been here caring for Pequita and the house.

Now all I have to do is master breastfeeding and get sprung from the hospital in less that the 3 required days after a c-section. Shouldn't be too hard, as I'm already up and moving about. This is far from the worst surgery I've endured.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

This is definitely it.

We are managing to doze a bit between contractions. Sitting up in a padded rocker is the only comfy way I can rest, and I have to pace slowly to make it through the contractions - absolutely NO leaning, laying, sitting on the yoga ball, etc. I am hoping to make it to 7am when Mom should arrive to care for Pequita - so far Homestead Mama has been able to nurse her back to sleep when she stirs. Thank goodness we have the baby we have. She should sleep til the troops get here.

This might be it.

contractions about 7 minutes apart and extremely, stop-me-in-my tracks painful. Mucus all day, and bloody show a half hour ago. Homestead Mama called my parents and told them to get on the road - I'd love to have them arrive just as Pequita awakes and we have to leave for the hospital (assuming I can wait that long.)

We're finishing the bag packing in between contractions (and blogging, clearly). Also, I did what anyone would do - I showered and blow dried my hair while I still can. Oy, this hurts.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


I was chatting with my mom this morning, catching up and commiserating about the discomfort I'm in and the heat wave that is here for the next week (ok, it is only mid-80s & muggy, but that is all it takes to elevate me to truly miserable.) We live about 6 hours apart, and I wish it was closer, especially now. The closer I get to delivery - and good christ, how much closer can I get? - the more I would like her around. It is harder and harder to handle Pequita these days - if I get a contraction while holding her it is scorching in my nether bits, and some good grandparent time would be lovely. Mom talked to Dad, and they decided to come tomorrow to stay for a while, through the deliver and a bit past it. I am a little worried that I'll go overdue by the max and they'll be bored, but I suppose that isn't entirely likely. My Dad will watch CNN and C-span at top volume and overhaul my computer system, as well as keeping me company with the ice cream consumption. Mom will play with Pequita and help with cooking - yum! Life will get better shortly. I can't wait. I'm already getting the guest room ready.

Monday, June 11, 2007

The Pinecone Incident

Pequita was happily sitting in the shade outside on Sunday morning as we readied for an outing.  We are still figuring out her abilities - she can't crawl yet, but she can launch herself towards a desired object that is the full extension of her legs away, grab it, then return to a sitting position with ease.  This is what she did, and the desired object was a pine cone.  She was happily gnawing on it when Homestead Mama noticed her and took it away.  As she was getting buckled into her car seat, she started to choke.  And she choked.  And her eyes flowed tears, her nose and mouth salivating and gunking up with mucus while she fought for breath, gasping and coughing.  And she kept at it while I unbuckled her, swept her mouth in an attempt to remove the object.  Neither of us knew exactly what to do for an infant.  I didn't know how to Heimlich a baby, but knew that it could only help to flip her over and whack her on the back.  At least flipping her meant that she wasn't also choking on all the fluids her body was producing.  Time stood still.  We tossed her in the car - front seat, on my lap, so we could continue to minister to her as needed, and sped off towards the nearby Convenient Care clinic 4 miles away.  Shortly after driving off she started to be able to breath much better.  We think she managed to swallow the pine cone scale, but I was still worried it had lodged in her esophagus or was going to shift again and we'd start all over.  By the time we arrived in front of the check in desk at the clinic, she was red-faced but breathing with ease.  I announced that she had been choking badly 5 minutes before and that the foreign body was still in her - to their credit, the clinic immediately called the nurse & doc to get ready in the exam room while we checked in.  45 minutes later, the doc had decided that she had swallowed it and was past danger, but gave us a bunch of info on obstructed bowels and what to watch for until she passed it in her diaper.  She was exhausted but fine, and we continued on our errands.  She slept for a couple hours of start and stop shopping, and when we got home she woke up happy and refreshed. 
This episode has brought on discussions between Homestead Mama and me.  We agree that we need to sign up for the infant & child CPR and first aid course immediately.  We disagree on exactly how we handled the situation.  She might not have gone so quickly to the clinic, since the baby was getting breath in, even though it was choking breaths.  For me, the threat that Pequita *could* have continued to worsen made it imperative that we get started to the clinic and so be it if we overreacted.  Historically, I choose the sure thing / safe route.  My brother could have died from an allergic reaction to a bee sting while we were camping in the early 1970s - my mom rushed him to the hospital on her intuition and according to family lore, saved his life.  This episode absolutely informs my decision process with events like Sunday's.  The other factor in my response is the certainty that you can lose a loved one in a spilt second.  My car accident in 1987 (goodness, 20 years ago this September!) should have killed me - my seat was burned down to the springs by the time the emergency help arrived on the scene, and the woman who pulled me out of the car was injured and easily could have failed to pull me out.  Then 6 years after that, my brother was killed while cycling by a speeding taxi.   My family has earned a well-honed sense of mortality, I believe.  I am a changed person for having survived these experiences, but either the PTSD affect of them or the wisdom that has been gleaned from surviving them has made me more cautious than I used to be. 
Pequita passed the pine cone debris this morning after much fruit & prune juice to help things along.  It was one scale that was a little over 1cm in diameter.  One of my questions for the CPR class instructor will be how big does an object have to be to cause bowel obstruction.  1 cm is small, but so is Pequita.  I considered including a photograph of the object, but frankly didn't feel like hosing poop off a piece of pine cone.  I hose so much poop off things as it is.
On the less stressful side, I had a friend who is an OB nurse come over tonight and strip my membranes - she was very kind to offer, and I accepted with no hesitation.  My regular OB doc did it on Friday, and I go back to the OB this coming Friday for another checkup.  The home version of the procedure was quick & my friend confirmed that I have softened up, and just need to keep being active and making the contractions happen.  Different than the eating lots of ice cream and resting that I would like to do, but I'm feeling good enough to keep being proactive and am happy to feel like I am helping things along.  Throughout the course of this evening, I have had some really strong contractions and have definitely lost some mucus plug, so all looks good.  Homestead Mama is a little concerned that all this WILL bring on labor, but I keep reminding her that one way or another, I'm having a baby in the next few weeks and she'd better get her mind right about it.  I think that we will both inevitably be shocked when it actually starts, despite already having had Pequita, and despite having 9 months to prepare for this one.  I wonder if that happens with everyone?

Friday, June 8, 2007


Pequita and I had a lovely 20 minutes outside in the 90+ degree weather. I got Pequita set up in the shade with a couple of toys. She tolerated being set down fairly well as long as I stayed in sight and loudly sang her favorite song, Oom Pah Pah from the musical Oliver. (All about alcoholism and whoring around, but with a catchy beat.) I imagine the people in cars driving by thought I was a nutcase, but it couldn't be helped. If the singing stopped, the crying began. I have already done more humiliating things since we brought Pequita home than ever before in my life - dignity is easy to sacrifice for a smile.

I weeded the lily of the valley bed - the weeds were so bad that we totally missed the blooming last month. Mostly useless weeds, but I also pulled enough spearamint to make enough iced tea to last the week. Keeping in mind that I'm 9 months pregnant and only had 20 minutes, here's the before:
and the after:

The dogs came out with me and after a short romp, decided that yes, it really was too hot to trot. We all retired back into the cool house when Pequita started to choke on a mint leaf. She really hates having her mouth swept out with a finger, and the screaming was angry and loud. I made it up to her by introducing her to mango - oh, the joy. Mango love:She cried for more when she sucked the first piece out of her little mesh bag. Then about 40 seconds of bottle before she crashed for a nap. I'm blogging fast so I can join her.
As of this morning's OB appointment: now I'm a whole 2 cm dilated, 60% effaced and softened.  That's a crap assessment.  I mean, I'm sure it is true, but it means that all the pain and discomfort I've been in is annoyingly unproductive.  I asked the doc to do whatever she could to get things going, so I think she did her best with short little fingers to strip the membranes.  We'll have another go next week with the other OB who is 6' tall with longer fingers.  TMI?  Tough.  Apparently, I've arrived at the 'irritable' phase of the 3rd trimester.  According to the OB I still have 3 or 4 stages to get through, including miserable, depressed, and resigned.  Probably a good thing that the car is off the road - I cannot suffer fools right now. 
Pequita is home with me today, since she's fighting a virus and is running a low - to middling temperature.  We're going to dose up with fever reducer and go sit on the newly mown lawn under a sun tent.  She'll hopefully amuse herself watching birds and eating grass and I'll pull weeds from our flowerbed.  Lots of bending, pulling and sweating.  I'll show them 2 cm, damn it.
For those of you following along, I've added toothbrushes & paste to the hospital bag, and packed the yoga ball, yoga bolster, camera equipment, and something to dress Monito in for the ride home.  We're cooking now!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Laborious, but not labor

Last week, I saw the wife of my husband/wife OB team. She said that I didn't look uncomfortable enough to be close to labor. Well, as Homestead Mama arrived home tonight to me in tears (again) I'm starting to think that maybe she was right but I'm now on the right track.

By the time morning came, Monita had settled down, as had my contractions. Shockingly, the car made it the short distance to daycare & I dropped Pequita off for the day. Hottie Friend came over and kept me company until noonish chatting, dishing and generally keeping my mind off my discomfort and my lack of labor. Homestead Mama came home early shortly after Hottie Friend left, and spent the afternoon doing the most valuable thing she could possibly do - fixing our riding lawn mower. I ordered her parts from the internet, and she made it run again. Despite the generous help w/ patch mowing and weed whacking from our dear neighbor, much of our ~1.5 acre lawn had fallen into disrepute due to lack of mowing. We have (and I'm being generous here) a kind of scruffy version of a wild garden - very lush, lots of perennial flowers, etc. If we keep the grass mowed, it looks charmingly overgrown even if we don't make time for much weeding/tending. However, when the grass is knee-high due to equipment failure, we look just plain scruffy. It now looks lovely. Sighs of relief all around. I awoke from a nap to the tidy newly cut lawn, and it was a treat.

We picked up Pequita from daycare and I tended her while Homestead Mama kept working outside. She had a fever of 102.6 when I got her home, so I dosed her with Tylenol and kept her quiet and hydrated. Homestead Mama had a double header softball night, so I was ready to hand the still awake Pequita over to her upon her arrival home. The contractions which eased greatly during the day had returned around 8pm, and I was really uncomfortable again. Pequita isn't so sick that she isn't in fairly good spirits but she doesn't want to be set down. It is impossible to comfortably carry around and care for a 21 lb eight-month old when I am actively contracting and being pummeled from the inside out by a fetus ready for the world. Bad, bad, bad. I was happy enough to see Homestead Mama appear at 10:15pm, but quite overjoyed to see her bearing hot Chinese food, something I mentioned that I'd been craving lately. I had a few sliced of Cheddar in my hand which was going to stand in for my dinner until I saw her. I burst into happy relieved tears and tossed the baby to her while I dove for a plate. She sweetly noted that since I am in end-stage pregnancy, I should get whatever I want to eat. See why I love her?

So Monito is roiling and punching and thrashing around inside me, causing me to feel as though my abdominal muscles are bruised (and well they might be.) I am back to contracting several painful, long times per hour. My lower back is quite sore, and I have waves of nausea. YOU tell ME - am I in labor? Who the fuck knows. I do know that I'll be less jovial and affable at the OB appointment tomorrow morning than I have in weeks past. I may even demand that he check me again to give me an idea of how much longer I have. A few days, fine. Another 3 weeks? I'll need a LOT more ice cream in the house to make it through. I plan to mow the lawn again tomorrow - it could use the mulching & lower cut, and I think the two hours on a vibrating tractor will only help everything along.

(And the bags are partially packed. I'm going to get them both ready to go tomorrow, and print up the birth plan for the OB appointment first thing in the morning.)

Here's hoping that I sleep a bit tonight. I'm not holding my breath.

So many contractions.

Maybe all we had to do to get me to go into labor was ruin a perfetly good car so I'll be stuck in the house alone, wait for Pequita to develop a a fever at 2:30am of 101.5, and wait for the previously clean house to slip back into its former state, with all the pet-hair tumbleweeds and nary a visible table surface in sight.
Or maybe I'm just CRAZY from anticipation and all these contractions are just constipation.  Could happen.  I've been a little excited and stressed in the last few days.  Bah.  I'm going back to bed.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Stick a fork in me, I'm done

With work, that is. I'm having ever increasing and sharper pains in my nether bits & abdomen, and this combined with averaging only about 3 hours of sleep per night have rendered me low-functioning at work. I cried "Uncle" with my OB. He was fine with me stopping work at this point in the pregnancy. I'll take it easy now, do a couple things each day and rest a lot. I have some sewing to do - we need another sling or two, Homestead Mama needs some pants hemmed, and I have a whole pile of fabric to turn into baby clothes. Maybe I'll be able to do this now. I also want to get the baby gates mounted at the top and bottom of the stairs so Pequita and her friends are better corralled, now that they are crawling.

This was hard decision, as I wanted to keep working as long as I can and it is hard to throw in the towel. To add insult to injury, I will be a bit housebound now as our 2001 Toyota needs a new engine (goodbye, $3000) due to a missed oil leak and a 100 mile per day commute by Homestead Mama. She's now driving my beloved 1991 Volvo wagon to and from work, and I'll be driving the Toyota (her car) as little as possible, mostly to get Pequita to and from daycare 2.5 miles away. The car makes a rather disturbing engine noise and according to my mechanic will die shortly. I can just see me at 9 months pregnant walking home with Pequita after the engine seizes. Harumph. I will leave the Best Stroller In the World in the trunk just in case.

Can't be labor-induced insomnia

This cannot be labor-induced insomnia, as I am still sitting here at the laptop reading blogs and Monita is kicking the bejesus out of me.  Everyone says that the baby stills right before delivery, although Pequita never did.  Then again, she never descended into the birth canal very far, causing Homestead Mama hours and hours of very exciting and intense labor but still coming out via c-section.

Monito's back is along my right side, head down, and it LOVES to stretch its legs, causing my right side to swell out and the feet to poke out in alarming little divots that sometimes do the flutter kick.  (Hey, what would you do after 9 months in the same pool?  Practicing your swim techniques seems like a good enough idea to me.) 

Monkey brain

Monkey brain is my description for my thought process when I'm scattered, overtired, overstimulated, or high on one too many lattes.  Or the ugly underbelly of how my posts come out when written in the middle of the night.  You may have to apply your own structure to my sentences in this post, as it is 2:10 am.

Homestead Mama had a softball game Tuesday (last) night, and as usual I brought Pequita, who is still pretty wowed & easy to entertain by the whole scene and all the fawning teammates.  I have been the team's scorekeeper for years, which I do now only as Pequita allows.  My friend Renaissance Mom has been coming to games this year, as her girlfriend is on our team.  She has 3 young boys, and is fantastic with Pequita - she held her during our last game until Pequita fell asleep, and last night entertained our tired fussy baby for an hour while I kept score until nothing would do but sitting on the saddle of my bump and playing with my necklace.  Renaissance Mom shared her fried fish sandwich with me which seemed the most delicious thing ever - my appetite is great, but my desire for food is nil until I am presented with it.  Yum.  I have had almost no fish in the past 18 months since I want to avoid the mercury in most seafood; Homestead Mom has joined me in the moratorium.  She thought I was crazy but went along it, and felt better about it all a few months ago when the news broke that pregnant women shouldn't eat canned tuna of any kind since it seems there is a high enough level of mercury in even the good stuff that it is inadvisable.  I told her that we can eat fish all we want once we are done breastfeeding. 

I went to bed at 10:30 pm, and have been up every hour or so. A contraction wakes me up with a vice grip on my bladder, I pee, I go back to bed & read for 15 minutes or so, fall back asleep and then am up again in an hour.  It feels just like I've been slipped a nice stiff espresso shot right before bed, which makes me restless like this.  I hate being up at night and having to go to work early.  Unless it is labor.  Which would be bad, since I ate that fried fish sandwich for dinner at the softball game and I vowed not to eat anything before/in labor that I wasn't willing to throw up.  Fried fish definitely isn't in that category!

I've been wanting to post pictures of Pequita standing, which she has begun doing in the last two days.  She will hoist herself up to her feet repeatedly, falling into a sit each time her feet aren't in an optimal position, until she's got them placed just right, then looks at us and flings her arms off whatever she's bracing against and grin at us while she hovers in mid-air, standing.  Her clear sense of mastery is delightful, and she doesn't tire of this game.  All the lovely toys we have for her and for weeks she has preferred empty liter water bottles, crinkly plastic bags and the 'human jungle gym' game where she crawls around on & around me on the bed or floor pulling up then sitting down, holding onto our fingers while she balances, and being rolled in somersaults and tossed around.  As I said, I'd *like* to post the pictures, but I can't find the camera.  The last time I remember having it was when we were having a nice brunch out in the yard on the picnic table on Saturday morning.  I'll have to go check if it is still out there on my way to my car in a few hours.  It has rained gale force thunderstorms repeatedly since Saturday, so if it is still out there, I'll be lucky to be able to salvage the memory card.  If I can't find it, I'll have to borrow one to have on hand for the labor until it shows up.  Maybe Homestead Mama can find it - just as I have an (annoying) knack for putting nothing down in the same place twice, she has a very useful knack of finding my lost or misplaced items.  We were clearly made for each other. 

Monday, June 4, 2007

Nothing to report

I figured that I'd try and post daily for those of you who get ansty when I don't check in.  Nothing to report yet in terms of labor.  Lots of pains, lots of kicking, much wiggling & poking at my sciatic nerve which causes exciting electrical zaps down my legs, but no baby yet.
People keep coming into my office and expressing surprise that I'm still here.  My due date isn't for another 10 days, but I guess I look ready to pop.  All I feel is ready for a nap.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Lady of leisure

I had my first half-day of work today. I was skipping around the office (figuratively, of course) all morning while I trained my fill-in. My manager wanted to meet with me this afternoon and I had to remind him of my new status. He is such a nice guy that he just grinned and made time to meet in the morning. I woke up feeling lots of cramping, pain, discomfort, and was having lots of contractions. I was wondering if this was It, and tidied up my desk a bit before leaving.

I met Canadian Friend for lunch at a nearby cafe, and we sat for a couple hours eating, chatting, and playing with her baby. It was peaceful (a la frisky 10-month old) lunch, and I drove home afterwards and took a two hour nap. The dogs were thrilled to get let out during the day, and I could hear their collars jingling from my bedroom as they frolicked in the hot sun chasing small animals and lounging with their tongues dangling on the ground. As for me, I dangled my tongue on the pillow with a fan directed right on me and slept soundly until my alarm woke me to go fetch Pequita from daycare. After the nap my belly discomfort had abated, so Homestead Mama, Pequita and I met the Canadians for dinner at the Hippie Cafe for dinner, then home to bed. All in all, a lovely day, and the weekend is still before us.


My town has a weekend-long festival each summer which is kicked off with a parade on the preceding Thursday evening. I've never been, since we always have had a softball game that conflicted. This year, our beloved Canadian friends are in town with their 10 month old daughter and Pequita and I went with them to the parade. Here I am one day short of 38 weeks pregnant with Pequita at the beginning of the parade:About half the town lines the parade route to watch and the other half seem to be in the parade - there are floats and groups representing the SPCA complete with well-behaved dogs on leash that are up for adoption, the unicycle club on their best wheel, and AIDSwalk volunteers. There are also some groups represented that get more attention - the belly dancers, for one, and also the Volvo ballet. The latter is a cluster of older Volvos with very large car-sized pink tutus around their middles that move in an orchestrated dance and honk their horns in unison, with some people in tutus and fishnet stockings flitting amongst the cars in accompaniment. This, for some reason, was Pequita favorite part, and she flapped her hands and laughed and wouldn't take her eyes off them. Sadly, a thunderstorm & deluge had us running for cover before the last group passed by, the Guys With Chainsaws. I have only heard about this, but a bunch of men bring up the rear proudly carrying their running chainsaws, gunning the engines proudly. I still don't quite believe it, so maybe we'll try to see it next year. The mind boggles at the liability and absurdity. The deluge soaked us all to the skin - Pequita and her 10 month old buddy were very game, blinking away the torrents of water dripping down their faces as we darted through the rain. Luckily it was pretty warm out to start, so we were all fairly comfortable even wet. We took cover in a group of shops until the rain eased.

I love my freaky town.