Saturday, July 28, 2007

33 Weeks

I've never seen the movie "Alien", but I'm pretty sure I know what it feels like to have one come bursting out of your stomach. I was awakened at 4:30 AM by Sesame trying to rearrange my ribs, and possibly my liver. He's never kicked so hard! It was painful, but also exhilarating. I love feeling him move around. He's running out of space in there, so the movements are much more deliberate now.

I made some date nut bread before I went to sleep and I couldn't stop thinking about it, so I had to get up and have some. With some cream cheese. I'm still sort of hungry. Should I eat more? It's so foreign to me; waking up in the middle of the night and shoveling food in my face but what Sesame wants, Sesame gets. And now Sesame might have a little bowl of cereal.

Last week in birthing class, the women had to hold a large handful of ice for a little over a minute while our coaches rubbed our backs and did anything they could to distract us from the pain. It was supposed to simulate a contraction and I thought it was a really useful exercise. When I held the ice the first time, Russ was doing a great job massaging me and whispering encouragements but I was unable to stop the tremors in my right leg. Ice freaking hurts! The second time, (we switched hands to avoid frost bite), it was like I had been holding ice my whole life and Russ had always coached me through it. I think we're going to make a hell of a team. Especially if the sport is ice-holding.

This week we learned all about the medications they offer you or push on you in the delivery room. We saw two videos: one of a natural childbirth sans any medications, and one of a woman who received pitocin and an epidural. These lamaze coaches are definitely biased toward natural childbirth, so the natural video was much more appealing than the woman who was all hopped up. It made me want to wait as long as possible before I get an epidural. We'll see how I feel once I'm there, though. I might want THREE epidurals before I hit five centimeters.

Russ keeps looking at me, wondering how I'm "going to do this thing". He's either in awe or completely terrified of the fact that I'm going to make our child come out of my hoo-ha. I keep telling him that I'm pretty sure women have been doing this since the dawn of time and that it's going to be a piece of cake. Even if it's the worst pain I've ever felt in my life, (which I'm pretty sure it will be), I will get through it because all of that pain will result in our baby boy. The truth is, I have no choice but to make it the best possible experience. Sesame is coming out one way or another, so to be afraid of the delivery is a complete waste of time. That's why I spend all my time being afraid of being a parent!

It's a lot like marriage. Way too many people spend all their time focusing on what their wedding is going to be like, and very little time working on their relationship. I guess I'm a "bigger picture" kind of gal. I won't expect the delivery to be perfect, but I'll do my damndest to be the best parent I can be. But don't worry! I will also do my best to have a great time in the hospital. Obviously, I'd like it be an experience that Russ and I will always have fond memories of.

Wow! It's 5:16. I better have that cereal and get back to bed.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

31 Weeks, Thursday

6:00 AM. Not a time I'm too familiar with unless I'm working and three alarm clocks have gone off. It seems sleep is becoming less and less familiar to my changing body. I'm exhausted by 10:00, in bed by 11:00, and waking up earlier every day. For a while my eyes were popping open at 8:00, then 7:30 the last few days. Today? 6:00.

I could probably fall back to sleep but I inevitably have to pee for the fourth time, plus I have a back ache, sciatic pain, and what feels like a cramp starting in my right leg. Not to mention, I'm STARVING! So, I get up with the hopes that I'll pee, eat, then go back to bed. It's now 7:39. I might give it a shot, but I'm probably up for the day. It's not all bad... I've already done a load of laundry!

Tonight is our second birthing class. Last week as Russ and I were getting out of the car with our required blanket and two pillows, he laughed and said, "This is what our lives have become." I laughed too, dreading the room full of pregnant women and their birthing partners. It all started looking up when we noticed two boisterous, giggling blonds following us down the long hallway toward the "women's pavilion" area of the hospital. I turned around to see what was so funny and Male Blond said, "We sure hope you know where you're going because we're following you!" I said I thought we knew and we all sort of started walking together. The giggling did not stop.

"OK. What's so funny?", I finally inquired. "We just can't believe we're doing this. It seems so stupid", says Male Blond. "We feel the same way", says I. "It's all so silly." We finally made it to the room we were supposed to enter and they just kept laughing. "You guys can NOT sit near us," I said, "We'll get in way too much trouble."

We ended up sitting across from The Blonds which was perfect for eye rolling at each other every time an idiotic, time-wasting question was asked by the guy with the pony tail. The Blonds had a lot of questions of their own, but they were for every one's benefit. For the most part, the two-and-a-half-hour class was informative and helpful. I'm definitely happy we're going.

After class, we hooked up with The Blonds. He's a larger-than-life Texan and she's an adorable school teacher. We found out they lost a pregnancy three years ago in a devastating way, and now they are having their first child. I think we're due around the same time. They're slightly older than we are, and just as clueless about what's going to happen. I bet one of these weeks we'll grab a bite before class.

Tonight we'll be practicing breathing through pain. I think she said something about holding an ice cube. We'll also be watching another video. Last week's was a birth that highlighted the importance of the Birthing Partner. I hope Russ knows how much I'm looking forward to going through this with him. It makes it a whole lot less terrifying knowing he'll be there holding my hand, and possibly my hair while I puke into a bed pan.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

31 Weeks, Wednesday

If you know anything about me or my blog, you know that I rarely or never feel the need to justify something I've written. BUT! After re-reading my last entry I'm slightly afraid that I've misrepresented myself just a tad.

I just want to make it clear that by saying I'm not "excited" yet... I don't mean I'm not thrilled, happy, and filled with anticipation. I just mean that I get "excited" about things when I know what they are. Like, I was incredibly excited about my wedding because I knew it was just a big party and at the end of it Russ and I would still be living together, only there'd be a piece of paper saying we were Mr. and Mrs. Arch. I also knew we'd be going to Hawaii. So, I was excited.

My point about Sesame is that I have absolutely no idea what to expect, so I have a lot of other emotions to dig through before I get to "excited". I just wanted to clear that up. I didn't want anyone thinking I wasn't beyond joyous about what's about to happen.

That's the LAST time I clear something up with you people! Geez! Can't you just understand me??

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

31 Weeks

I'm about 155 pounds. 156 and 1/2 at the ob/gyn's office, fully clothed. In the afternoon. After eating a couple meals.

We had an ultrasound today and thank God everything looks great. He's about 4 and 1/2 pounds and seems to be right on track. We even got a 3-D picture of Sesame's face, and it looks like he might have Russ' nose. HALLELUJAH!!!!!!!!

Russ and I got back a few days ago from Oregon... Our last trip to see his whole family before he and I are a whole family. We drove up there with Bogie, stopping in Sacramento on the way up and on the way back. Doctor's orders were to get out and walk for at least 5 to 10 minutes every two hours of the road trip, so what would normally be a twelve to thirteen hour total trip time turned into about 15 and 1/2 hours split up between two days. But it was very enjoyable. We're good at road tripping.

We spent four days on Russ' folks' farm and had an incredible time. There was a lot of food, a lot of family time, and a lot of watching Bogie barking at cows and running full speed into open fields. We don't get to see him do that stuff very much in the San Fernando Valley. I even got a few minutes here and there to take in the fresh air, take in some deep breaths, and reflect. It was pretty great.

Last night Deena asked me if I'm excited. "About what?", I asked. "About the baby!!", she replied. I realized I hadn't really thought about it in those terms yet. I mean, here I am getting all ready for this baby, and the truth is I have no idea what to expect. A stranger is coming to live here. We have his room completely ready. We even have some toys and clothes for him. But we don't know who he is, what he's like... Heck, we don't even know his name!

I do have a connection to him, but so far it's just a connection to the form he's in now. I talk to him. When he kicks I say, "Good job, buddy!" When he kicks me in the ribs I say, "Take it easy, dude!" I rub my belly. I sing "Dream a Little Dream" to him in the shower. I pray about him, I dream about him... But I have no idea what to expect when he's actually here.

So, "excited" is not an emotion I'm completely in touch with right now. Expectant. Curious. Nervous. Hopeful. Scared. These are more in line with what I'm feeling. I think more than ever I'm taking things one day at a time. Right now I'm concentrating on the pregnancy, trying to stay as healthy as possible for me and for Sesame. And I'm readying my life as much as possible for what's to come. But it won't be until he's actually out of my uterus and in my arms that I can really, truly start thinking about what life will be like with him.

I'll tell you one thing, though. I'm getting more ready for him every day. Russ and I both are. I just don't want to have too many preconceived notions about what life will be like once he's here. That's the beauty of humans. You never know what they're going to give to you. I'm excited about the last couple months of this pregnancy. I'm looking forward to being awed by what comes after that.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

30 Weeks

Coming down to the wire now.

Everyone told me to look out for strangers touching my belly. Hasn't happened once. They talk to me. They ask me when I'm due and tell me my tummy's cute. They ask if it's a boy or a girl, and if we have any names picked out. I enjoy these exchanges immensely. But no one touches. Not strangers, at least.

I figured out it's because I have a natural look on my face that says, "Back off". Russ says a lot of the time that I walk around with a sort of scowl. I don't mean to do it. I try not to do it. But, you know what? If it keeps strangers from putting their hands all over me... I'm going to keep doing it! And hopefully it'll also keep them away from putting their grimy mitts all over my boy!

Don't get me wrong. I love it when ANYONE I know, or am at least very familiar with, touches my belly. I feel like it sends this amazing energy to Sesame. But even THEY ask first! I must be a real intimidating bitch. It's serving me well.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

29 Weeks

152.8 pounds this morning.

We can not think of a name for the life of us! I mean we've thought of plenty, but so far none of them are sticking. We'll keep trying, though. Or we'll name him Kid. Kid Arch. Has a nice ring, no?

Yesterday we went to a birthday party for our friends' one-year-old son and experienced generosity that we will certainly pay forward in the future. As we were getting ready to leave, they told us they had some stuff we might want to take a look at in the garage. We ended up leaving about 15 minutes later with a stroller, an amazing swing, a great baby rocker and an extra car seat base. These are all things we can now take off the registry because we already have them!! I can't tell you how cool that is. PLUS, it's sort of like recycling so it makes me feel really good in that way, too.

We were seriously blown away. Hopefully we'll keep it all very nice in case they want it back for a second kid. But we know we'll try to be as generous to someone else in a year with the stuff we're no longer using that's still in good condition.

What else can I tell you? I was sort of overwhelmed this morning, sitting on the couch with my dog, Bogie. He was leaning against me with all of his weight and his head was on my lap. It suddenly hit me that quiet moments alone with my dog would be few and far between soon. Things are really about to change. I know the changes are going to be amazing and wonderful, but there is a letting go of the familiar moments that is a tad scary, and even a little sad. Not sad, really. Just sentimental.

I'm trying to take in moments that will all be different soon. I know that once Sesame is here, I won't want to trade a moment with him for anything. But, until he is here, I've got to pay attention to what life is like with just me, Russ, Bogie, and the cats. There's just about 10 more weeks...