That's One Way to Say It

We had our last birth class on Monday. 5 weeks have never flown by so fast, I'm telling you. The final class the teacher was finishing up a few loose ends, one of which was a big chart with pictorial descriptions of "Causes for C-Sections". The teacher is going one by one, explaining each, and she pointed to the one with the small pelvis and asked "Who can tell me what's happening here?". My husband, in quite a loud declamatory voice piped up with "THE HEAD'S TOO BIG FOR THE HOLE." Well done sir. I suppose that is a bit easier to say than "cephalopelvic disproportion"

Also, my shower is this Saturday! Yay! And Joy just got into town today to go to it!!! DOUBLE YAY!! I can't wait for some hangin' w/ my sister time. Plus, Ash comes this weekend, and a bunch of my friends are able to make it out to Fres-yes for the festivities. I feel blessed, folks. Blessed, and hungry for a nice Reuben sandwich with xtra kraut. Mmmmm....Reuben...


Don't mess with the bees. They will sting you in the face.

Jeez, what a day, and it's barely begun yet. As I mentioned in my last blog, we had some bees inside the eves of the house that overhangs our backyard. . As seen here:

The guy came yesterday while I was at work and removed the honeycomb(!) and killed (relocated?) what bees remained. The weird thing is, we thought he'd already been there. You see, when we left the house at 4 on Monday, things looked like they do in that picture above. And when we returned at 5:30, there were about 30 bees crawling on the ground in a sort of beemageddon (beepocalypse?) and just a couple in the eves. We assumed someone had sprayed, but no. Some mysterious event culled the bees. I think it was that lady from Britain's Got Talent. She's everywhere these days.

Anywho, those bees must have wanted revenge. Emmy had been stung a couple of times in previous days, but I was always there to give her Benadryl and pull out stingers. Well, apparently she must have found a straggler last night, because this morning I awoke (after evil dog next door had been howling to himself for a full hour) to find her covered in hives and with a face like this:

Granted, her eyes are closed, not swollen shut in this picture, so it's not as bad as it looks. But still!! And when I went to the bathroom to get her Benadryl, someone (I'm looking at you, Gavin) had neglected to correctly cap both the Day and Night-quills, and then knocked them over, so a big syrupy sludge-puddle of orange and blue-green was making its way down the bathroom shelves. Argh. I shoulda had a V8. Or something.


34 Weeks, now with more bees!

We skipped our birthing class this week. First, my back had gone to the really bad place that day, which made sitting in a chair for another two-plus hours in addition to my 8hr work day not appealing. And second, it was the class about "What could go wrong". My hubster was NOT INTERESTED. I am an info junkie, so I had no problem with it (not like it's anything i haven't already read in my 10+ pregnancy books), but I understand where Gav is coming from. So instead of class, we made pasta bolognese and then I built myself a giant circle of pillows so I had a hollow for my belly and I could lie face down for the first time in 8 months. It was WONDERFUL- I now build pillow-nest every evening after work, and get a nice back rub. Good man, that Gav.
We had our bi-weekly doc apt last night, and while everything was good, they did find a little protein in my pee. If hearing about pee offends you, read no further, btw. Protein in urine can be indicative of a UTI, or even preeclampsia, something we DO NOT want to have. Luckily, my blood pressure is awesome, so they don't think it's that. I have to give another sample in two weeks, and hope its less 'Atkins Approved'. The bad part is my doc thinks it may just be I was a little dehydrated, and she unfortunately said so in front of Gavin. He is now following me around with glasses of water, like that little girl in 'Signs', forcing me to drink. Thanks doc. Peeing 464 times a day due to baby's head on bladder wasn't enough....
Oh! And we have bees! Like hundreds of them, living in the eves of the house next door. It's been so hot that to cool themselves off they formed massive clusters hanging off the house. I'll put a pic up tonite. At first I wanted to just let them alone, since bees are so scarce these days. But Emmy has now been stung 3 times due to her need to attempt to ingest said bees, and I can't imagine being stung is great for me right now, so they must go. Besides, pulling bee stingers out of a pugs silky little face with a pair of tweezers is easier said than done. Landlord is sending someone out today to de-bee us. I kind of want to believe they will catch them and release them in some bee-meadow somewhere, like where my mom sent Angie, our German Shepherd, when I was five...
SO that's all the news thats fit to print for now. I am due for more belly pics- I'll take some soon.


The Moment of Real

Not much to report here at the ole baby farm. I can't bend over anymore without feeling like I'm laying on top of a boulder, which I guess I sort of am. My back sings Ave Maria at around 2:30 pm every day, so I take little jaunts around the office to see how my co-workers are doing. I got Gwen's clothes (we've accumulated quite a bit already, and my shower is still to come!) mostly sorted out last weekend- I lined her dresser drawers in uber-cute hot pink Fleur De Lis paper and started separating her clothes into age groups.

OK, I must say, Oh Mighty Baby Industry, your sizing standards suck right out loud. Some are 'Newborn', some are '0-3', some are just '3', and some are '3-6'. And none of them seem to conform to any standards within any of these groups. And how is "Newborn" different than "0"?? Stupid. I say they should just go by weight. Cause like if my newborn is ginormous, she's still a newborn, but she sure as heck aint fittin in newborn clothes for more than a week. Ah well, I think it will all just end up a giant tangle of onesies by the end of the first month anyway.

Class last night- all about the coaches. Gavin got all sorts of cheat sheets for his little "Binder O' Birth", and we did 2 new breathing techniques for when the poop hits the proverbial fan. And then, as usual, we ended with a video.

In most of these, the women are very crunchy, birth pooling, rocking-on-a-ball-while-moaning in-a-"visceral and guttural way" types- I mean, this is largely a class of natural pain coping techniques, so it makes sense. But in every video, there is what I think of as "The Moment of Real". This is when the smoke of the incense clears, and the rain forest sounds fade away, and the woman in question loses her everloving mind for a brief moment. The first night, it was when this chick was told to feel between her legs for her babies head, and her reaction upon touching it was "You've got to be kidding me! He's still THAT FAR up there???!!!". Another was when this woman who had been born in Guatemala was in so much pain that she literally could no longer understand English and had to have her husband translate the doc's instructions. Last night's was another winner: "Why don't you people HELP ME??? JESUS!!!!!". Then their coach or doula or whoever talks them back off the ledge, and usually the baby comes in the next 20 minutes. But I think it's that moment, the Moment Of Real, that truly unites us all as women for a brief span of time. I can't say I'm looking forward to it, as it seems to come during the deepest, most painful trough of child bearing, but I hope I recognize it for what it was after the fact. And I mostly hope I don't harm my husband physically or emotionally as a result of it...

Does it seem that all I write about is the baby? There are other things in my life- the usual little triumphs and disappointments, etc. I'm obviously not doing any auditioning right now (though I'm tempted to show up to a few just to see the expression on the casting directors faces) but Gavin and I are working on a really fun project together (outside of the project of Gwendy making, I mean)- I'll disclose more once it's fleshed out a bit, but it's letting me write and him draw, so we both are having a blast. I don't know, I don't want it to seem that I've misplaced my identity outside of motherhood or something- but the reality of this new person, who reminds me of her existence every chance she gets with her rolls and kicks- is truly pretty all-consuming and blows my mind on a daily basis, so it's what ends up on this blog. So there.


I pinch...plus, 32 weeks pictures!

We had our Prepared Birthing class again last night. I like the title of it. Because, really, I'm gonna get the epidural. Even if I decide before the big day that I wont get it (and to be honest, there have been times recently when I want to see what I'm made of and tough thru it sans drugs), I know that when I'm in that hospital, with my lady bits all aflame, and there is the option of sweet sweet relief available as soon as I say "ok!", I will cry uncle. I know myself. I have come to grips with it, and you should too. If I believed there was a chance the epi would hurt my kid, that'd be a different animal, but whatever, I don't want to start some debate over natural vs medicated labor, because it's one of those topics people get WAY too passionate about and start talking out of their asses, etc. Ok, the most rambling paragraph ever ends with this: I like it being called "Prepared Birthing" because I want to have all the info and then make my own choices. And that's what I'm doing.
So last night's class was about breath and using it to manage labor. Ya see, beyond the pain part of child birth, there is also the fact that one will feel the need to push before one should actually do so, potentially resulting in massive sadness for aforementioned lady bits if one succumbs to said urge. To put it simply, you SHOULD NOT push until the doc says, "Go for it!". But how does one overcome what is basically a visceral and unavoidable need? Well, it will gratify my acting teachers to know its all about breath. This was a cool thing about the class last night- it all tied into stuff I've learned in voice and movement training. Releasing breath is a release of tension, and also an expulsion of energy. So instead of bearing down, we were instructed to puff out our air ( i wont go into the details of all the techniques involved- go get pregnant and learn for yourself if you wanna). But it's impossible to clench down while releasing all your air- you are already expelling your energy on the breath. Cool.
And then for pain, we used another kind of breathing- this sort of hard pant (there were like 3 options for types of pants, again, go get a book). This connected breath to the tension in your body, and distracted your mind from the pain. Here's where Gavin had to pinch me on the leg. I thought this would be a mild/moderate pinch, but as our fake contractions "peaked", the guys (and gal) were supposed to "Give em all ya got!".
Wow! Poor Gavin didn't know whether to scratch his watch or wind his butt. I mean,here's his wife, all pregnant with his kid, and he's supposed to hurt her on purpose. And it's me we're talking about. Lord knows I'd be scared to pinch me and then go home with me. I actually had to hit his arm to make him pinch hard enough. The cool thing was, it worked- I really was distracted from focusing on the pain. To prove this, the guys gave us a quick little pinch afterwards and we all jumped- a reaction none of us had while breathing. Now, I am not going to tell you I didn't feel anything, but my mind was not solely focused on the pain, which lessened it.
We then watched a video/had a talk about the stages of labor, and when to go to the hospital, etc. I proudly inform you that my husband was the only man who didn't squirm when the placenta was delivered, and actually said out loud how amazed he was at how that thing keeps a baby alive for 9 + months. Ladies and gentleman, he is ready.
Next week is coaches night- where Gavin gets his marching orders. He is stoked about this. I think men in general feel better when they have a job to do.
Oh! And I had my 2 week doc appointment before the class. Fetal heartbeat strong as a horse, I am measuring right on track, my weight gain is perfect, and the baby is already upside down and ready to rock and roll! Yay uncomplicated pregnancy!
Here are some pics of me from last night post-class/pre-bed. 32 weeks, kids! Only 2 months to go....maybe even less....Squeeeee!!!
I look like that crazy Suleman chick in these last two...


Birthing Class- it's not just for hippies anymore.

We had our first birthing class on Monday night (we were told it was not to be called Lamaze class, as that implies we will only learn Lamaze, and not the smorgy of other techniques on the roster) and it was really cool. I was apprehensive about it a bit- some of my friends and fellow preggos have dug their classes, while some thought they were crappy and irrelevant. But ours so far is pretty damn awesome.
For starters, the nurse who teaches it has been doing so for 28 years. Holy crap. The only thing I've been doing consistently for 28 years is being a smartass. Wow. Also, she is the lactation specialist for our hospital, so it's nice to get to know her now. Second, it was good to be in a room with a bunch of other couples from all walks of life who are kind of on the same page as us. Everyone was a first timer, and it was like a cool club we were all members of. A club that involves videos of gooshy baby births.
We learned some massage techniques that our Partners (so un PC-to call the men who got us in this predicament "dads" or, heaven help us, "husbands") are supposed to practice nightly to help our low backs (yay!). The best part is the nurse demonstrated these massages on an unsuspecting volunteer mom (who's partner was actually another chick, and her spouse, so forget my un-PC complaint, and vive la difference!:) . Nursey had her straddle this chair and next thing we know, she is totally squishing this ladies ass and tail bone in a rhythmic motion. We all became 7 years old and got the giggles, especially the chick's partner and a few of the younger dads. And Gavin. Of course.
Then we watched the aforementioned moist-ish baby birth videos, and boy, has my man made progress. The first time we saw one of these, like back in October, he was so totally skeeved out that I wondered if him fainting/and or puking should be written into our "Birth Plan" (not doing one of those, BTW.) But now that our gal Gwen is a reality, he was so fascinated and awed by the whole process, the inherent grossness didn't phase him at all. Right on, my modern Hubster. You are gonna be such a good dad.
So all in all, it was a really good night, and we both came away feeling like the whole thing will be a nice bonding experience before the birth. I'll give you updates- next sesssion is "Pinch Your Wife While she Attempts to Breath Thru the Pain" week. I kid you not. Oughta be a comedic goldmine, is what I'm thinkin'. Especially when I punch Gavin in the man-area and see if he can breathe thru it.