Saturday, January 30, 2010


So tomorrow is the due date, depending on who you talk to. We have actually been given two due dates Jan. 31st and Feb 2nd. At this point the baby is trending toward the February date. That could change of course but as of the moment it seems she has no intention of arriving by tomorrow.

The last few days have been spent doing much walking and bike riding. Mostly it feels good to walk as long as I have someone's arm to hang onto. All the prelabor symptoms I was feeling have faded and I've only had two noticeable contractions in the last week. This whole time I've assumed I would go into labor slowly with lots of notice and now I'm beginning to wonder if it's gonna come out of nowhere like a runaway train.

All that said I'm feeling surprisingly calm and content. I have yet to reach that point where I feel done and just want to have the baby. I've been lucky to have a pretty comfortable pregnancy and while it will be nice to touch my toes again I do love being pregnant. So every day I wake up wondering if this will be the day that I am over being pregnant. I'm pretty sure that is a necessary point to arrive at in order to mentally prepare for labor. Hmmmm....

The great amassing of resources continues here as we are focusing on covering our needs so we will be set when the baby arrives. A few days ago we took a trip to Costco and stocked up on our pantry provisions, chicken broth, canned beans, etc. I now have everything I need to make a soup on the fly which is a good feeling. Scott stopped by Trader Joe's and stocked up on dried nuts and mineral water. I feel like squirrels stashing our booty for the winter.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

39 Weeks!!!!!

We have been slacking in the taking photos department so snapped a few quickly on our way out the door to grocery shop. It is still hard for me to believe we've made it to this point. Going for an ultrasound tomorrow morning to check a nagging pain I've been having in my abdomen. Probably just a cyst but it's always good to be safe, and we get another look at her!!!!!

How we get around

The Buick lives to ride another day. Not sure what was going on but it starts like a dream again. So for now we keep both. However, yesterday was a great exercise in thinking about how we structure our time. I've decided to commit myself to bicycle transportation as much as possible and only use the car for backup. I am really excited about this the more I think about it and am looking forward to putting together a nice bike/trailer combo.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Changing Family Size, Changing Transportation

So we have some transportation issues to decide ASAP. We currently have 2 cars which happened almost by accident. We love our Buick that was given to us by G&G. That car has seen us across the country and back and on numerous adventures for the last five years. We also have our much loved 88 Volvo wagon which drives like a tank and shows no signs of slowing down.

For the first few years living in Portland we were a one car family, the Buick met all of our needs. We used the bus and train all of the time and whoever had the furthest to drive that day got the car. Of course those were simpler times without car seats and strollers. Since then I've become really, really used to having my own car. I drive more often then I should, driving to the grocery store or my office which are both only a few blocks away.

All of these thoughts are fresh in my mind because unfortunately the Buick is not faring well. In the last few weeks the blower fans have stopped working, the turn signals have stopped working, it's developed a gas leak and then last night the starter went out. We were ready to take it into the shop until the starter went out. Now I'm not so sure it is worth the cost of all those repairs.

So here we are with a baby due any day wondering what we should do. We are still about a year away from being able to purchase a new car so that leaves us with the option of taking a chance on a used car. We don't want to finance anything because that would require taking out full coverage insurance which would be a huge monthly strain to pay. We are also not excited about the idea of hitting our savings to pay for a used car with the hope that it holds up mechanically.

After all these options I am warming more and more to the idea of just being a one car family again. This would have many benefits including less money spent on gas and insurance and of course a lower impact on the environment. However, the day to day reality of being car less would inevitable fall upon baby and me as Scott has to drive across the city to get to work every day. I am now trying to imagine what it would look like to have the babe and no car. In theory it wouldn't be too painful as I have purposefully constructed a lifestyle that is all within close range to our house. The grocery store and my office are all within walking/biking distance. I have done a bit of research and found two possible day cares very close to my office. I am beginning to believe this could be a good thing.

The change to a one car household would require investing in a nice/comfortable/functional bike for me and a baby trailer for baby and groceries to ride in. A quick Craigslist search shows a plethora of nice trailers of for reasonable prices. I called a local bike shop today that specializes in family transportation and they have both of these beauties on markdown because the new models are arriving soon:

Decisions, decisions, decisions.......
What do you think? I would love to hear from anyone who uses alternatives to get around with a kiddo.

The other question I have to ask myself is what if there is an emergency and I need a car asap? For that I have checked out Flexcar which some of my friends use and really like. This is a program where you sign up and use one of their cars for an hourly rate whenever you need it. There is a Subaru Flexcar that is permanently located just a few blocks from our house. So in theory if I needed a car I could always walk down to that one and for under $10 an hour use it to run errands or go to doctors appointments. Gas is included and you have access to a car without paying insurance or any mechanical upkeep. Hmmmmm.......

There will be lots of discussion around here tonight and mainly me pondering if I can do it. Can I make a big change in our transportation situation while simultaneously welcoming a new baby into the mix and saving us a ton of money in vehicle maintenance? Time will tell and I need to decide soon while the nice bicycles are half off their normal price.

Oh yes, and no baby yet. And Olive's obsession knows no bounds. This is me typing this post:

Sunday, January 24, 2010

No Baby Yet

But I made it out to a show last night. My fear of swine flu and other illnesses kept me at home for much of this pregnancy. One thing I've been missing horribly is live music. When I saw that one of my favorite bands (The Akron Family) was playing a free show last night it seemed overdue.

I wasn't sure how it would feel going to a music venue to stand in a sweaty horde of fans while almost 10months pregnant. Luckily I secured a great spot standing on a riser next to the mixer. It offered a great view over the crowd and a protected shelter so I wasn't bumped too much. Kate was with me and we had a great time listening to the show. The Akron Family played last at which point I had been standing for 2 1/2 hours and was beginning to feel really stiff and achy in my hips. I made it through most of their set before Kate and I both were wilting from the heat. I tripped out of the club dizzy with happiness and the sounds of great music trailing behind me. And I was home by 10:30! A perfect night and much needed. Since it was an all ages show there were many parents there with their kiddos which reminded me of how exciting it will be to take our daughter out to see music, that will be a great day.

RJ (my youngest brother) is in town for the weekend and Scott is in the kitchen cooking up an exciting biscuits & gravy brunch for all of us. So far it's been a brilliant weekend! I have slept really well the last few nights and my spirits are high. The baby room is coming along really well and I'm getting ready to organize all the baby clothes. We were in desperate need of a new vacuum cleaner to keep up with all the pet hair and Scott found a great one at thrift store for $20. It works fantastic and just in time for my nesting to kick in:)

I am officially done working for the remainder of the pregnancy which is a relief. I am proud of how long I was able to continue to massage during this pregnancy. I have such a physically demanding line of work and my approach was to stay focused on listening to my body and receiving lots of massage & chiropractic and occasional acupuncture which helped me to stay pain free. There was even a bout of pretty serious carpal tunnel that I was able to work through thanks to the help I received. Now here I am at the end of that journey and I never would have guessed that I would work up until 2 weeks before the due date. Feeling pretty good about that :)

Thanks for all the great phone calls/emails/comments. We are feeling the love big time and excited to share the news with everyone when she finally decides to arrive.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Ahhhhh Prelabor

Here's a term that should never be used: False Labor

Use in it's place: Prelabor because all these early contractions are our bodies moving us closer to having a baby. False labor has such a derogatory bent to it. A term that contributes to a woman feeling "foolish" when she arrives at the hospital or calls her doctor thinking that her baby is arriving soon. What she is experiencing isn't "false" it is the early stages of labor which can in some instances last for weeks...and it's hard necessary work.

I have arrived in Prelabor land. Scott has been concerned for weeks that I have continued to work as much as I have. I keep telling him that I am listening to my body and it will tell me when enough is enough. Well last Saturday an invisible switch was turned on inside my body. I went from feeling perfectly normal to my entire being morphing into birth mode. Suddenly I have zero urge to leave the house and I spend most of my time stretching and sitting on the yoga ball. I have contractions painful enough to wake me at least once a night and my pelvis is working on shifting to the point where it is becoming difficult to stand up quickly and nearly impossible to walk without waddling and stopping when I feel sharp pains. I can feel all my energy shifting inward and I've developed an intense need to have Scott around as much as possible. If he has to leave the house on the weekends I at least want to be with him, but I prefer if we just stay in. All my instincts are preparing to have this baby.

We had another doctor appointment today and things continue to look good. My midwife/doctor told me that the baby feels like a good size, perhaps 7lbs some odd ounces. This is a relief as the frightening side effect of gestational diabetes is over sized babies. Even though I've controlled my condition carefully I still fear a 10 Lb baby (who wouldn't?). Baby's heart beat is good and strong and she continues to hang out in the preferred head down position. Last night I was able to feel her feet and she kicked back in response to my poking and prodding. It is so amazing to imagine this fully formed person in there who will be in our arms soon.

Going to try to summon the strength in the next few days to finish the nursery. We need to make a trip to buy the last of our shelving then I can begin putting away her clothes and books and blankets, etc. I haven't felt any of the intense "nesting" urge but being a virgo I've always been prone to obsessing about organizing the house.

Scott and I are still trying to figure out the best way to announce the birth and keep everyone in the loop. I'm sure there will be some texting but right now the plan is to use this blog to make important updates. So, check back if you are curious:)

Last week we had some pregnancy photos taken to preserve this moment in time. We don't see the finished product until next week but I'm excited we did this. It's been a long road to get here and these last few weeks before a first baby are so sacred, full of excitement and anxiety. It will be nice to look back on this moment and reflect on all the emotion we were sharing.

The entire third trimester Olive (our youngest cat) has been obsessed with me. We have shared many, many cuddles and she has taken to sleeping right next to my face, nose to nose. She watches me waddle around the house and waits for me to sit still so she can swoop in and sleep on me. The only time she takes a break is when she curls up on the changing table pad. I snapped this photo of her watching me write on the computer, no doubt waiting for me to move it off my lap so she can settle in.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Midwives First Home Visit

As the due date rapidly approaches we had our first home visit from the midwives. They arrived to familiarize themselves with the surroundings figuring out how to get here so when they get "the call" there is no fumbling to find our house. We are picking up the inflatable birthing tub next week and will have that here and ready to go. We are scrambling around amassing all the supplies that are recommended to have on hand for a home birth. Very exciting times! It's hard to believe we are only a few weeks (17 days) away from the due date.

Here's my doctor/midwife Sarah measuring the baby. I am so happy she will be delivering our daughter. Sara was the doctor who finally put the last piece of the puzzle in place that helped solve our fertility struggle. I trust her deeply and am comforted to know she will be here with us. In fact the next time she will be in our house we will be having the baby!!!

Monday, January 4, 2010

The New Year

The holidays are past and now it is time to sink into quiet. To lovingly pack up the ornaments, sweep up the pine needles and unpack the baby supplies. Quiet sounds delicious after the wonderful chaos of our friend and family filled Christmas. It's been such a blessing to have our house full and buzzing for weeks now. Equally blessed is the instant quiet that has surrounded us as we are getting ready to welcome this baby into the world.

We took a birth class last Sunday which was helpful. I wouldn't say I learned anything I didn't already know, however, it was good to be in a room with Scott and other expecting couples listening to the wisdom of my midwife. I could feel my anxiety sink and a sense of isolation which I wasn't aware of until that moment began to shrink back. Looking across the other bellies was a great reminder that women's bodies are designed to do this and we possess a wisdom older then old. I am beginning to feel deep excitement to meet this new person and am eager to finish "nesting" and getting the house ready for her arrival. I have had two dreams now that she arrived a few days before her due date. Who knows, and most first babies are overdue so time will tell.

Also fighting a threatening head cold. It's swirling around ready to pounce full force and pull me under. Lots of sleep, lots of herbs and home made soup and my head is still above water. I am hoping to make it through this without fully succumbing to it. If I were to get fully sick right now I believe that would be it for working until after my maternity leave. Fingers crossed that I will feel better and get a few more weeks in with my practice.

All in all it's been a great year, lots of good things coming our way. Burgeoning careers and a new member of the family any time now. I can't think of a better way to say hello to a new year and count our blessings.

And now it's time for our holiday photo montage:

I surprised Scott with a Wii which definitely surprised him! This thing has been hidden in Jeff's closet for the last month!

And a coveted Kitchen Aid mixer for me!!! Who knew Costco had the best deal in town?

Learning how to play the Wii

Our friend's Mike and Lucy visiting from Missoula

Mike and Lucy's new addition Ooshka. She is 4 1/2 months old here...she is huge!

Ooshka and Jelly...which one is the puppy? Note Jelly's sweet Christmas sweater.

RJ in front of our fantastic Charlie Brown tree

Jelly exhausted from opening presents and loving her new sweater

Scott doing what Scott does best, picking out music for us to listen to

Why does Jeff look so nervous about opening presents?

Jeff and Kate

The all male carhart review.

Happy New Year!!!!