It’s March 23rd

And I have not had a baby yet.  Today is the expected due date.  Did I actually think that he would be here by now?  Part of me did, yes.  Did I think he would be overdue?  Again, part of me did.  I’m trying to remain patient.  Well, remain is a stretch because I have been losing patience for a while.

Yesterday I saw the midwife where we had the induction discussion, only because she has to say these things as part of her job.  They will let me go 10 days past my due date before inducing.  I had to schedule what they call a None Stress Test for next Tuesday.  The NST is a test where they hook me up to monitors to watch the baby while I have contractions for a half hour.  She said she didn’t think I’d make it til next Tuesday though, so that made me happy.

I’m gonna get personal here, TMI warning.

She checked my cervix, which I wasn’t sure I wanted her to do because I really didn’t want to get down on myself again.  But, this time I was 1 whole centimeter dilated.  She said she could get a whole finger in there (lovely visual, right?) and I was almost completely thinned out.  She also said his head is “right there”, and I believe her because I could feel him move as she pushed him.  Such a bizarre feeling.  I will say that getting a PAP smear is still more painful, but this is a whole new kind of uncomfortable.  She swept the membranes and said I might see some bloody show soon. That means she stirred up the mucous plug (another lovely visual) which is the seal in the cervix that can fall out close to the end of pregnancy, and can be a sign of impending labor.   She said she wouldn’t be surprised if I went into labor in the next few days.

We left the appointment excited.  I also left with some awesome menstrual like cramps that lasted throughout the night along with fairly regular contractions.  Those contractions never amounted to anything.

I woke up this morning feeling hopeful that today could be it, and my boy would arrive right on time.  But as the day progressed I realized that was not going to be the case.  It’s OK though.  When the time is right, he’ll be here.  I just need to get a grip.

So, here we are taking it day by day.  I’ve got our hospital bags packed, the car seat is strapped in and my nails are coated with Spirit of Truth Wonder Woman nail polish.  I am ready.  The clouds will part and the birds will sing when our guy arrives.  Until then I will practice being patient.

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Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

I’ve come to the realization that things are going to change.  Yes, I’ve known this for 9+ months but it’s hitting me like a ton of bricks.  Monday night it dawned on me that the days are numbered for Rob and I being alone.  I’m so excited for what’s to come, but I’m going to miss it just being us.  I know our relationship will change and become something more fantastic than we could imagine, but it’s a little bittersweet.

Vintage Rob and Erin, summer 2006.

Rob spent the evening with me last night watching the Blazer game and went into work late because I had a bit of a pregnant lady emotional breakdown.  There are so many mixed emotions I’m feeling right now, and when it all comes up at once it’s pretty ugly.  I have fears of not having the same friendships after the baby comes, and losing touch with people and myself for that matter.  Rob and I talk at great length about how we need to make sure we have time alone-together, and with our friends.  I’ve watched myself slowly drop off the social radar, due to being uncomfortably pregnant, and I don’t want to become a complete shut in.  I know there’s a learning curve to all of this, and we’ll figure it out at some point.

While I have fears, more than anything I’m excited.  The anticipation of going into labor and giving birth and meeting our baby is sucking the life out of me.  I’ve cleaned the house thoroughly, and I don’t know how to distract myself anymore.  I’m actually excited to go into labor and give birth.  But I’m more excited to meet this little creature that’s been squirming around in my belly for the last 39 weeks.  I can’t wait to hold him and see what he looks like, and who he looks like.  I am so excited to see Rob with him.  He is going to be such an amazing dad.

I am so lucky to have Rob.  Even in the midst of my nonsense crying fits he keeps his cool and always makes my feelings justified.  He has been nothing short of amazing throughout this pregnancy.  He does everything from getting me milkshakes at any time I want, making sure I’m comfortable wherever I am, carrying my purse (he insists on doing this), keeping me fed, to driving me to his parent’s house at 11:00 at night to use their deep claw foot tub for a soak while they’re on vacation (only to find out that they’ve had the water shut off for the duration of their trip).  He’s come to every single prenatal appointment with me and held my hand through the uncomfortable things.  He took the Bradley Method classes with me, voluntarily read baby books, and refinished the furniture for the baby’s room.  He’s the most selfless, caring, genuine man I’ve ever known and I feel like the luckiest girl in the world for having married him.

Look at this guy.  How awesome of a dad is he going to be?  GAH!  I can’t wait!

This rush of hormonal craziness was brought about after we got back from seeing the midwife for the 39 week appointment.  Everything is looking fine, no real progress as far dilation.  Baby is settled nicely into my pelvis, which I can definitely feel.  Since Sunday I’ve felt like I’m getting my period.  Really cramp-y, and having somewhat regular contractions.  His heart rate was good, and we even got to see him on ultrasound again.  He’s flipped sides since last appointment.  Usually his back is along my right side, now it’s on the left.  I was worried about getting a cervical check this time around because I didn’t want to be discouraged about how little progress I’ve made.  And I wasn’t upset.  I felt pretty good leaving the appointment, it wasn’t until I got home did I find myself sinking into a downward spiral of boredom and gloominess.

I don’t know how to entertain myself while waiting anymore.  I wish I had a timeline for his arrival.  I mean, something more than knowing he’ll be here within two weeks.  I want him to come on his own time, but it’s really hard to be patient.  Especially when everyone around me is constantly asking “When’s the baby coming?”, “Are you going to have a baby today?”, or telling me when I should be having the baby.  I know you all mean well and want this to happen, but believe me when I say I want this to happen more than you do:)  We’re on his time, and I can only hope that he’ll be here within the next week.

I can’t help but play this song over and over in my head.  David Bowie always makes me feel better.

Things that happened

Well, this last week has been full of happening things.

First off, we had our last Bradley Birth Class on Sunday.  I certainly feel confident in my decision to go natural/med free.  I think Rob and I both learned a lot from this class.  Rob even told me how proud he was of me for choosing to go natural/med free.  That made me feel pretty damn good.

Tuesday was Mardi Gras.  Even though I don’t live in New Orleans anymore I still like to celebrate Mardi Gras and share what it’s about with my friends.  I made a King Cake this year instead of having one shipped here (I can’t justify spending $50 on having a cake shipped here).  It didn’t come out great.  It was dry and a lot more dense than what kind of King Cake I’m used to.  The frosting came out pretty good though.  I even made a cream cheese filling, that also came out well.  I’d like to master a King Cake recipe one of these days, so I guess I’ll just keep on practicing.

For Mardi Gras dinner Rob, myself, Mike and Devo went to EaT: An Oyster Bar.  It was packed!  We got a a table right in front of the live musician, Curtis Salgado.  Aside from not being able to speak to each other over dinner, it was great.  I had Shrimp Étouffée, Rob had the jambalaya, Mike had the debris po boy, Gator bites & pickle chips, and Devo had the fried oyster po boy.  I also got my fix of sweet tea.  Although, if I weren’t pregnant I would’ve indulged in a hurricane and/or an Abita Turbo Dog, a Louisiana micro brew.  There was a lady there dressed to the nines in Mardi Gras gear.  It really made me miss going to parades and seeing everyone dressed up and dancing in the streets and yelling “Hey mister, throw me somthin’!”  at the floats passing by.

If you look over Rob’s left shoulder you can see the Mardi Gras lady.  She looks eerily like a statue.

I told Rob I can’t wait to bring the kid to Mardi Gras and let him experience the awesome fun I had as a kid.

Last week marked 37 weeks of having a growing fetus inside me.

And this last Wednesday marked 38 weeks:

All I’ll say about pregnancy this post is that we’re ready and waiting.  Please come soon, baby.  I’m getting impatient.

Thursday was an interesting day.  I picked up Katrina from the airport, who came in town just in time to see my brother in the hospital after having his appendix removed!  My mom called me Thursday morning and said she took him into the E.R. the night before with severe abdominal pain and vomiting.  After some tests and a Cat Scan, they determined he had to have his appendix removed.  Luckily they caught it early and it hadn’t ruptured.

Poor kid.  I felt so bad for him, being in all that pain.  When they got him settled into his room after surgery, he looked pretty comfortable.  Probably the dilaudid he was hopped up on.  He was talking about taking me to the Waffle Window this weekend.  Yeah, that’s happening.  He’s at home now, doing well thankfully.  We talked about how after I give birth, we can compare pain stories.

Hang in there little bro!

Also, today is Katrina’s birthday.  Happy birthday to my favorite Dairy Queen buddy, fellow bitchy bitch and all around crazy girl.

Until next time children…

February Wrap Up

For Valentine’s Day Rob and I decided that we had a $5 budget on any sort of gifting we wanted to do, aside from our traditional dinner at our favorite Italian restaurant La Buca and dessert at Stoccato Gelato.  I decided to make a nice breakfast for us.  I found this recipe for red velvet pancakes.  Red velvet cake is my favorite, and Rob likes most things food related so I thought I couldn’t go wrong.  Since he worked the night before at the bar I had all morning to prepare our feast.  I had to go to the grocery to get buttermilk, the only ingredient I didn’t have on hand, so I stayed within our $5 budget.  I made the batter and got the pan ready, and plopped the first to be pancake on it.  Problem: The batter is incredibly thick.  The first few were inedible.  Eventually I got it down to a science and made some decent pancakes.

A little powdered sugar and a heart shaped cookie cutter made them more valentines-y.

Rob’s gift broke the rules.  After dinner we went to see comedienne Tig Notaro at Helium.  It was a great surprise and a great show.  Another little surprise were the awesome contractions I was having.  All.  Night.  Long.  When we were walking from the car to wherever we were going I had grab on to Rob for support because they were taking my breath away.  Despite that, we had a lovely evening and I couldn’t help but keep thinking about how this was probably going to be one of our last date nights before becoming parents.

This last weekend Rob and Cinema Queso completed their movie for the 48 Hour Go Green contest.  While we were watching birthing videos in our class Sunday night, Rob is anxiously waiting to hear from his teammates to see if their film got turned in on time.  Watching women birth babies and seeing what kind of life changing things he’ll be going through soon really put him on edge.  Rob’s usually a pretty laid back guy, but when he’s anxious you can feel it emanating from his body.  It  was turned in on time, and we went to the screening on Thursday where they won nothing-which was expected.  They made a silly movie that was competing against a lot of dramatic and more serious films.  This is where I would include a link to their movie, but they haven’t put it online yet.  Slackers.  Check YouTube and Vimeo in a few days and search for Cinema Queso’s “Treason”.

What else is happening?  If you’re not in Portland then you may not be aware of our brush with death and the adventures in PDX BLIZZARD 2011.  Anytime the meteorologists mention snow the entire city ends up in a tizzy.  Ever since Snomageddon ’08 I have sworn off snow.  Didn’t know you could do that, huh?  Well I did.  It was fun for a day, then it was just a problem.  Back to present day: They had been talking snow all week and I chose to ignore it, because nothing usually comes of it.  Well, Thursday morning I got up at 8 and looked outside and low and behold it was snowing.  The neighbor kids were out playing already, because of course school had been canceled.  It didn’t last long though.  It had stopped snowing and was completely melted away by noon.  Rob and I were able to run errands and take care of some things.  By 3:00 it had started snowing again, and dumped a full inch.  While it was pretty, and I really had no real reason to hate it, I still did.  I did make myself go out and take pictures, and while doing so I took a snowball to the face from one of the neighbor girls.  Now normally I would’ve flown off the handle and would’ve wanted to throttle her neck, but I reacted quite the opposite.  You know why?  Because pregnancy has made me a nicer person.  One of the older kids scolded her and said “Don’t throw snowballs at the neighbor!  She’s pregnant and it’s not very nice!”.  I don’t know where he learned those manners, certainly not from his parents, but I appreciated his efforts.  I went on about my business of photographing the crocus’s in my front yard.  And that was my snow day.  It had, again, melted away pretty quickly.  So much for our end of days snow storm.

Yesterday, Friday, I had my 36 week check up with the midwife.  We finally got to see our favorite midwife again.  She seemed pretty excited to see us too.  Of course I had a few things to discuss with her off the bat.  We talked about all the lovely Braxton Hicks contractions I’ve been having, including the painful ones I experienced on Tuesday evening.  I ended up calling Labor & Delivery at the hospital.  I knew it wasn’t it. I was having regular contractions ranging from 2 to 4 minutes apart, not painful at first but eventually came back pain and a little cramping.  I called in just to make sure I shouldn’t go in.  The nurse advised me to take a bath, which totally helped.  They were back to a few an hour like normal, with no pain.  All of that lasted about 7 hours.  And in that 7 hours I did all the relaxation exercises we’ve learned in class.  It was good practice for when it is the real thing.

If you don’t care to know about the inner workings of my pregnant bod, then leave now.  There’s your TMI warning.

Ok, back to the midwife.  At this appointment I had to be tested for Group B Strep, which can be pretty dangerous to the baby if I did have it and he picked it up on the way out.  I haven’t gotten the results back yet, hopefully it’s negative, cause if it’s positive I’ll have to have an i.v. during labor with antibiotics which I don’t want (the i.v., not the antibiotics).  The test is done by swabbing a q tip in the vagina and anus.  It sounds a lot worse than it is.  I didn’t even notice she had done it.  I did inform her that I thought I had a hemorrhoid, which I’ve never had before so I wasn’t exactly sure.  She said she couldn’t see anything, but that they can go in and out with bowel movements.  Lovely!  Update from today: I’m pretty sure it’s a hemorrhoid.  I also had her do a cervical check.  I was curious to see if there was any progress at all, especially after all these contractions.  This was the most uncomfortable part.  She said I was not dilated, but my cervix is 30-40% effaced and it’s soft and short and she could feel the baby’s head.  She also said he’s not engaged, which means she could push his head away.  That explains all the insane movement I’m feeling.  I did pretty good through the cervical check.  She even commented on how well I did!  After that we got to see the bebe on ultrasound.  We saw his little mouth sucking on nothing, and we even got a little wave out of him.  I think he’s going to have Rob’s lips.  It was pretty nice to see him one last time on the inside.  Next time we see him, he’ll be an outside baby.  We wrapped up our visit with the midwife, and she said that I need to make sure to have him on a Wednesday so she can be the one to deliver him.  I hope she is.

After our appointment we went to the Nurse Treatment Center and got flu shots.  Rob and I both were feeling pretty crummy by the end of the night, but unfortunately Rob had to work.  My whole body ached, my nose was stuffy (after having a crazy bloody nose), and my injection arm was so sore.  I woke up with a sore throat and I’m still feeling kind of groggy.  Booooo.  But it’s all for the baby, so it’s OK.

At this point we’ve got 25 days left until the due date.  I’m still feeling like he’ll be early, even by a day.  We’re both pretty ready.  Now it’s just what feels like a very long waiting game.

Photos and a Shower

We had these photos taken a few weeks ago by our wedding photographer, Andy Orenstein.  This is just a small taste of what we did, and I am so happy with the photos.

Aside from these awesome pics we’ve been fairly busy.  Last weekend my mom threw us a shower.  My cousin Kristin flew in town for the weekend, and Rob’s brother Chris, his wife Kristin and their little boy Asher came down from Everett to celebrate with us.

The shower was amazing.  My mom used all my old baby toys, blankets and clothes as decorations, which I thought was a great idea.

My mom even made those blankets for me when I was a bebe.

That’s the sock monkey my mom made me, I chewed on his tail as a child.  And yes, that is the Snuggle bear.  My mom had the piano music open to Vince Guaraldi’s Linus and Lucy.  It was my favorite song that my dad played on the piano.  There were baby photos of Rob and I everywhere.

For favors, my mom made gummy candy kabobs-In case you didn’t know, gummy candies are an important part of mine and Rob’s diet.  We played a game where we had to guess the price of the baby product.  Rob and I lost that one.  We also played a game where one person had to be blindfolded and diaper a leaking water balloon.  Rob almost won that one.  He did pretty well, considering almost everyone else’s balloons popped.

Mom also had a deeeelicious, and very cute cake made for us.

We received a ton of gifts.  I’m not kidding, an actual ton.  We got a lot of stuff we needed including our stroller and car seat (baby now has a way to get home from the hospital), bassinet, high chair, sling, and of course lots of adorable clothes.  We also got some really cool handmade gifts including hats made by Darcy, my friend Katie’s mom, a crocheted bear from Katrina (who very sadly could not be there because apparently grad school is more important.  Kidding!), a crocheted blanket from my mom, a Muppet quilt made by my sister in law’s mom, Sherene, I’m pretty sure there’s more.

I also got some gifts for me!  Joy made me a heat pack for my back, which I haven’t used yet because I need to clean my microwave.  My Aunt Karen gave me nice some nursing pajamas.  Sister in law Kristin gave me a care package with slippers, and a heat pack.  My mom surprised me with one of my favorite gifts, and by far the most sentimental.  She scrapbooked me a new baby book.  It was awesome.  Of course it made me cry like a baby.  It had a lot of pictures I haven’t seen in a long time, and a lot of me and my dad.  It was perfect.

Thank you mom for a fabulous shower.

I wish my cousin could have stayed longer, but I’m so glad she was able to come at all.  She’s been a pillar in my life since I was born.  She was my maid of honor in our wedding and has always been there when I needed her, and vice versa.  In fact, while she was here she found a mark on Diego’s eye (she’s a veterinarian) and we had to take him in to the vet.  I can’t wait to have her here again to meet the kid.  I miss you already, Kristin!

Wednesday marked 35/35.  35 weeks, with 35 days left.  More and more I feel like I’m not going to make it to my due date.  I guess it’s just a hunch.  This last week I’ve been having more frequent Braxton Hicks contractions, not that that’s a sign of coming labor or anything, and they’re not painful but they sure do take my breath away.  I have been starting to have that “I’m done being pregnant” feeling.  I really do love being pregnant, but there is not one minute in the day where I can say I’m comfortable.  I haven’t been sleeping well for months now, but it seems to be getting harder and harder to get good rest.  Every time the baby wiggles now it’s like having tiny fists grinding against innards (cause that’s actually what’s happening), and the best feeling is when he moves in such a way that I get what it referred to as “lightning crotch”.  That’s when the baby jerks around and I feel a ton of pressure and a twinge of pain shooting through my cervix.  Sometimes when that happens I think oh shit, this is it.  That’s how much pressure I feel.  I like knowing he’s there, but he’s so big now it’s becoming pretty uncomfortable.  What’s worse is that he’s most active late at night and into the wee hours of the morning.  I’ve been punched/kicked out of my sleep on multiple occasions.  My back hurts all the time.  All.  The.  Time.  I know I’ve bitched about all this many, many times, blah blah blah, but it’s rough.  There’s so much I want to get done around the house before this baby comes, and I have the drive but just no energy.  I’ve also been feeling pretty anxious, and at times very emotional.  Out of the blue I’ll cry, and it’s not just any regular cry it’s pure uncontrollable sobbing.  It’s like nothing I’ve experienced before.  I guess the hormones have hit.  As for the anxiety, I don’t know.  I guess I can be an anxious person, and I suppose something pretty huge is about to happen in my life, but it’s one of the worst feelings.  I’m afraid one of these days I’m going to send myself into a panic attack.  But I will do my best to not do that.  Okay, I’m done complaining for now.

I found this article on Jezebel and found it to be pretty true to what I’ve felt all along.  Why does no one talk about this stuff?  You don’t hear your pregnant friends talking about their leaky nipples (Well, unless you’re my girlfriends, you hear it from me).  Why do women feel like they can’t say anything about this stuff?  When someone asks me how I’m feeling I’m honest and I tell them how everything hurts, and how I can’t sleep and if they want me to further describe what exactly is happening with my body I’d be more than happy to.  I’m an open book people!

I’m now taking bets on when baby boy will make his appearance.