Saturday, January 23, 2010

The End is Near - week 37

What a week it has been! The excitement of my first internal check on Tuesday where my doctor even said he was impressed that I was already dilated to a 3 was immediately followed by the unpleasantness of the Strep B culture. Then there was Wednesday when (I think) I lost my mucus plug. (Who can really be sure about something called a mucus plug and when it comes out, right?) Wednesday night I was almost certain - and scared - that the time had come and that labor had started since I had contractions most of the afternoon and all evening that for a while were steady at every 10 minutes. Considering my birthday was Thursday and I had book club I was looking forward to, it was THE worst time to go into labor. I was very worried and kept saying "just hold out one more day" while I sat with my feet up and rested. Well, she listened as the contractions eventually stopped and Thursday was very uneventful with only a contraction here and there all day. Friday was equally uneventful except for the fact I made it to my 37-week mark which is what my doctor said he really wanted to see happen. From here on out, I am considered full term and baby can come anytime. Poor big sister must have heard me saying my mantra "just one more day" because she told everyone on Thursday that mommy was having a baby tomorrow. She was very disappointed when it didn't happen and I had to explain to her that it happens when the baby is ready and we don't get to decide. We both agree the waiting game is not very fun.

The stroller and car seat have both been assembled and ready for use and I even started packing a bag for the hospital - something I didn't do until I was in labor and needed to head to the hospital with big sister. Baby has dropped and I can eat more, breath easier and walk a bit faster although the waddling factor increased with the drop and my heartburn did not go away. I also have much more pelvic pain now and it is very difficult to get up after sitting or lying down. Not only can I no longer tie my shoes, I can no longer put my own socks on. Luckily big sister is good at putting them on for me and likes to help out. I also got all my paperwork completed this week for my FMLA leave of absence at work and I have one remaining big project to finish that I want under my belt before I go on maternity leave. Nesting is in full swing - I cleaned out the fridge today and I'm doing major laundry so I can pack big sister's bags and get all the new baby stuff washed and put away from the shower. There are still visitor restrictions at the hospital so big sister won't get to come - something I think is major bullshit since the health department has lifted their recommendation for the restrictions and it appears that only MY hospital and one other in the entire city still have them in place. Reality kind of kicked in for hubby who is very concerned I'll go into labor while he's at work in the middle of the night. We have made contingency plans if that happens and I'm SO glad I have family close who are also willing to help out if the situation is necessary. I have anxiety about my water breaking and ruining furniture which is something I never stressed about the first time around. My doctor broke my water shortly before I started pushing last time so it isn't like I'm worried about something repeating either. I have setup a calling tree with my family and friends so there will be minimal phone calls necessary when the time actually comes. Big sister, the dancer, commented the other day on my "banana back" which I guess is a dance term for bad posture when you arch your back. What a lovely visual of how I feel with my enormous baby belly and why my back hurts all the time.

I am huge and cumbersome and ready for the day of birth to arrive. Not that I'm looking forward to the horror show of labor and delivery with anticipation, I'm just ready to be done with the pregnant part and get on with the new baby part. Weekly doctor appointment is on Tuesday and we'll see how things go from there. Regardless, I will be asking him to schedule an induction date for a week early since there is no possible way I'm going to 40 weeks! Although part of me hopes she can hold out 5 more days so I can actually get and enjoy my massage I have scheduled and then implement my plans for inducing my own labor as scheduled. BabyWatch 2010 is officially in full swing!

Book List Archive 2009

Call it year-end maintenance. Call it OCD. You could even call it 'nesting'. But time once again to archive for safe keeping the list of books I read - this time for 2009. It is strange to see the list so short with very few outside of book club - I was definitely off my reading game this year - but then I remember I've been doing much more writing than reading for most of the year and I feel better.

The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins (book club)
The Angel Maker , Stephan Brijs (book club)
On Writing, Stephen King
Devil May Cry, Sherrilyn Kenyon
The Covenant, Beverly Lewis (book club)
A Girl of the Limberlost, Gene Stratton Porter (book club)
Skin Trade (An Anita Blake Vampire Hunter novel), Laurell K. Hamilton
The Leap, Jonathan Stroud (book club)
The Art of Racing in the Rain, Garth Stein (book club)
Dreamers of the Day, Mary Doria Russel (my pick for book club)
Rogue, Rachel Vincent
Charms for the Easy Life, Kaye Gibbons (book club)
Black Like Me, John Howard Griffin (book club)
magic Kingdom for Sale - SOLD, Terry Brooks (book club)
The Pagan Stone, Nora Roberts
The Alliance, Gerald Lund (book club)

Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult

Time once again for a book review from the neighborhood book club. This month the pick was "Change of Heart" by Jodi Picoult. I had to drag myself away from my writing in order to read this book in preparation for the group discussion. After I was done I wholeheartedly regretted the loss of what could possibly be the last good week of writing before I have this baby. Initially, I was looking forward to reading it because I've heard so much about this author (and because I heard there were some 'F' words included which is a rarity from the book club). From the very beginning I found more reasons to put it down than to stick with it and had to force myself to finish it before the group discussion.

The one character - the mother who lost a husband and child to the death-row inmate who now wants to donate his heart to her remaining child - was only a minor character we never got to really see much of. The entire premise of the inmate being some flavor of messiah was a complete rip off of Stephen King's Green Mile (who did it better, too!) and the rest of the book was completely unbelievable. Several characters that we had to spend agonizing chapters reading about were gratuitous at best and did nothing to further the plot. The main character - who was the one I would have thought interesting to read from his point of view - was the only person we didn't get to hear from directly. The ONE redeeming quality of this book, and why it got 2 stars from me instead of just one, was the religious aspect and how she was able to discuss and give interesting information without preaching to the reader.

All in all, the conclusion left you with as many questions as there were when it began. There were twists that were thrown in long after I had stopped caring about any of the characters which detracted from the tempo of the book. And the characters were not written well enough for me to ever really care about any of them. If you've read Stephen King's "The Green Mile", skip this one for sure as it will only piss you off. I'm on the fence about picking up any more from this author because of the lack of quality writing I just witnessed.

The topics touched on in the book - the death penalty, organ donation, and religion - were ones that sparked a good discussion with the ladies from book club but since the book itself never made any real statements one way or the other about any of these topics, even the discussion was not very polarized.

Now, to get back on track with my own writing after such a wasted detour...

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Houston, we have lift off!

Well, I can't wait until the end of the week to report... Today's doctor appointment showed I am dialated to 3 centimeters and 70% effaced!!! (HOLY SHIT!) Doctor wants me to take it easy so I can actually make it to the 37 week mark this weekend but things are definitely happening. (Please, don't let me have this baby on my birthday on Thursday!!!) Of course, Doc also says that I could "stall" here and still go another couple of weeks, there's just no guarantee. What a rollercoaster ride it is, but welcome to the beginning of the end!

An emotional rollercoaster - week 36

This post is dedicated to one of my closest friends who "almost died" this week and her amazing baby girl who was born Tuesday at 28 weeks. There is nothing more sobering than watching someone you love go through something shocking and life-threatening. I was always supposed to be the first to go through labor and delivery and we were having a blast going through pregnancy together. (Of course, she missed out on all the yuck of late pregnancy... maybe she's really the lucky one?) Both girls are doing good and baby is a fighter and will join her Mom and Dad at home in a few short months... when she was supposed to be born. Most of my week was spent worrying about them and visiting them at the hospital. Can I say that the NICU is an amazing place? People who choose that as a vocation are amazing people! After the shock wore off and both of them were out of the woods, I stopped talking about how ready I am. I just want a healthy baby and a labor and delivery without any complications for me or for baby. (I did get pre-registered at the hospital while we were visiting... but that's just being practical since I was there anyway!)

Saturday was my baby shower given by my amazing cousins and cousins-in-law. It was a great afternoon and I got most of the remaining necessities to welcome baby when she arrives. Even more, I got fun and cute stuff that makes me excited and I got to spend time with friends and family. Sunday Daddy and I went on a major cleaning jag and deep cleaned the entire house together. Something I wasn't really feeling up to but when Daddy wants to help and cleaning is the activity, you just don't say NO! It was nice to get my spring cleaning done in the dead of winter and then we enjoyed a fun dinner with extended family we haven't seen in a long time that night.

Nothing new to report... still the same complaints of late pregnancy. But my much-anticipated doctor appointment where we get hard data on whether things are progressing looms ever closer and I can't wait! I have plans with backup plans on moving things along at my own pace (like pre-natal massage and herbal remedies, etc.) but I'm really just hoping for nature to be taking it's course already! We shall see! Regardless, the end game is near! I'm freaked out about labor and delivery but want to be at the finish line probably more...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I'm ready!! Week 35

I am so done being pregnant. I not only feel like a beached whale attempting to get up from chairs and couches, I kind of resemble a turtle stuck on its back. You know, poor pathetic legs kicking and just can't get up. Yep, that's me! I've been reduced to ONE pair of shoes because they are the only pair I can slip on and even my maternity clothes are getting tight. Heartburn is now my almost constant companion, coming and going all day whether I ate a big meal or not. Eating is an exercise in futility because my stomach is so scrunched that it can hold about 7 bites before I feel like I'm stuffed to the gills. Of course then I am hungry again in an hour which is super duper fun! Let's not mention how often I have to visit the bathroom to relieve my equally-squished bladder. And, I can barely walk at a snail pace. It literally took me 15 minutes to walk into work from my car the other day. A trip that used to take me 5. Yep, this is me, ready to be done. So, any day now, Baby. Come on out!! As things get squished in there for her, my body feels less like my own than ever. You can see my belly twisting into oddly pointy shapes where limbs are stretching and baby is rolling around. Pretty much stuff right out of Aliens - you know, with Sigorney Weaver? Just as long as she comes out the 'normal' way and not ripping through my abdomen like it feels like sometimes we'll be good.

This week was marked with a doctor's appointment. One in which I THOUGHT I would get 'checked' to determine if things were happening in the dilation and thinning department. I happily bounced in only to find out that, once again, I have got it all wrong and had jumped the gun. That doesn't happen until the NEXT visit scheduled for the 19th. Are ya kidding me? Everything is going smoothly with five weeks to go (three if I have my way and get a repeat performance from my first go-round!). I'm supposed to start taking things easy and slowing down but I'm still writing and trying to keep up with all the things going on in my life including a full time job. Hey, I get to bed before 11:45 these days which is better than it used to be with my 'normal' 1 AM target so no one can say I'm not following doctor's orders, right?

I did some major nesting this week. I got all the blankets, sheets and burp clothes I kept from big sister and all the new clothes and blankets washed and put away in baby's room. We have a box of diapers and a big can of formula all ready to go in case she shows up earlier than even I expect. We got a membership to Sam's Club to keep us in said diapers and formula more affordably. And, I ordered the car seat/stroller travel system online which should arrive in the next 2-3 days. I pampered myself, too, this week with a trip to the spa for some ear candling (my new favorite thing!), a new cut and color with my new fabulous stylist, and a girl's night out for sushi with my girls from the book club/writing group. All in all it was a productive and fun week. If the next three go by this fast, I will have nothing at all to complain about! Well... haha. The big milestone I learned for the week is that most doctors consider 35 weeks full term and even if she was born now there would be very few complications. Such a great milestone to pass!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Happy New Year - week 34

New Year's was very very different for me this year. On New Year's Eve, instead of appropriate libations, I drank sparkling cider (an entire bottle my myself I might add) and was the designated driver. It isn't like I have been able to indulge for months and it shouldn't have been a big deal but this was the first New Year's Eve since turning legal age that I didn't ring in the new with a toast and it kind of sucked. The party wasn't as fun without alcohol (what party is, right?) and I got tired early but I spent it with friends from work who had kids for big sister to play with and still had a good time. Different, but still fun. New Year's Day was our annual family sledding trip with my siblings and cousins and their families and that wasn't as fun either. It is much colder when you are just standing or sitting around and not actually sledding and hiking back up the hill. I thought seriously about just riding one of the tubes down nice and gently just once but knowing my luck that would be the time someone came down the cross hill and crashed into me or something else as equally as weird. Besides, while I thought there was a good chance I could get DOWN onto the tube, I knew there was little chance I could get back up once at the bottom of the hill. I resemble a beached whale just trying to get off the couch these days so I didn't press my luck. It was still fun to spend the day with loved ones. Different, but still fun.

This week marked the first of what turns out will be three baby showers planned on my behalf. My girls from the old job at the bank all came over on Saturday to shower me with gifts and hang out. Seeing new things ready for the new addition was fun and they totally spoiled me with things from my registry. Turns out they are planning one at the current job for the next couple of weeks and a couple of my cousins are planning an open house for family and friends later in the month. Both of which just came to light in the last week.

Over the long weekend we also packed away all the Christmas decorations and brought up all the baby boxes from the basement storage so I can start sorting and washing and storing away in preparation for baby. Before we know it, she'll be here ready to change our lives. I seriously do NOT want to be pregnant in February so hopefully it will only be about another 4 weeks to go! We'll know more at next week's doctor's appointment where the fun of getting checked commences.