Ever since junior high school I’ve kept a journal to remember or sort out events. Of course, I wasn’t going to let something like pregnancy slip by un-noted.
Now that the Pumpkin is here, this is a great record of my pregnancy adventure. To keep sane I only updated it weekly. Towards the end, things were so exciting that I was writing more often. I’m so glad since one day I can share the experience with the Pumpkin. During the course of my pregnancy, I kept track week by week. It’s strange but my term was almost 40 weeks or nine months to the day, second week in March to the second week in December. Typically by the time you find out you’re pregnant, you’re already a month along so this journal starts at the third week.
Frank had a feeling the evening of March 11, 2003. I’ve learned to listen carefully to Frank’s feelings since they are usually right on target. Sure enough, our good news was confirmed on Wednesday, April 9. We’re optimistic about this pregnancy but also a little apprehensive since we had bad luck with the last time. I’m feeling great and hopefully all will go well.
iVillage has a wonderful page about the first trimester and what usually happens during that time. You can check it out at http://www.ivillage.com/
The reality that we will have a little one crawling about, this time next year, is setting in. We are actively getting the apartment ready for the baby and doing lots of baby proofing research.
Although nature takes its course, and this entire thing is quite natural and is going to progress no matter what I do, pregnancy still seems like a weird thing to have happen. I already have a more pronouced belly due to gastro-issues, a notably Dolly Parton-esk busom, and have added about 5 pounds. No cravings and no revulsions… yet. I am a little tired but not too much. All in all, I feel pretty good, considering.
Mentally, I am nervous as always but trying to enjoy this condition since it doesn’t happen every day. I am having a really hard time cutting out the sweets. Not having sweets is making me cranky. Poor Frank has been so patient, loving and extra supportive. I am lucky to have such a good husband!
Today, April 22nd is Earth Day and my cousin Amy’s birthday. Frank and I got our first sonogram. After being utterly covered in slimy conductive jelly, just me not Frank ;), we were elated to see a little regular movement on the monitor. That’s right, a heartbeat, going steady at 167 b.p.m. Our little baby bat has the same rhythm as a really fast industrial song and is about the same size as a lentil bean. We are overjoyed to pass this first milestone. We also got a tentative delivery window, sometime from December 8th through the 15th. But we all know it could be early or late since babies do not always stick to schedules. It is dawning on me that this baby will be one of the first and only events I have not been able to plan and control.
Late last week I began to suffer from random morning sickness-like naseua. Blech! Riding the subway is just torture. No one offers me a seat because I don’t look pregnant but boy do I feel it. Then I got a cold and can’t sleep at night since that’s when the congestion is it’s worse. I am so tired, I find myself dozing off mid-sentence.
On a petty note, I am also happy my clothing still fits. A few peices of “skinny” clothes, you know what I’m talking about ladies, no longer fit since I’m the size I usually get when I’m pre-menstral. But this week, I notice that things seem to be firming up a bit.
I am so tired, forgetful and nauseuos, but I couldn’t be happier. Today is another step as I move into my nineth week. I think that something like this should be monitored more frequently but the doctor says once a month is just fine. I’m anxious because I can’t see anything. Somewhere in my now quite obvious belly, is something with arms and legs about the size of a walnut. I wonder if it moves yet. I wonder lots of things. I assue that it’s healthy and growing since I feel horrible. No need to stress out over something I don’t know and can’t do anything about yet so I think about what color the hair and eyes will be, or if it will like the same music we do. It’s not like you get a choice. This little person will be their own individual. Frank and I are only there to answer questions and try to be good influences and keep it safe.
Pregnancy is really a helpless time. It’s growing no matter what I’m doing. I can’t slow it down or speed it up. What I can do is religiously take my vitamins and do my daily yoga excersizes so at least I feel like I’m doing something.
Frank and I go on long walks all over the place, sometimes covering two or more miles. During our recent travels, we tripped over a children’s boutique where I met another woman who is due in December as well, and found out that there is a wonderful pre-natal yoga class held there. I think in the next couple of weeks, I’ll be signing up. Beside the good exercize, I’ll get some invaluable support.
As I approach the end of the trimester life is good. About four days ago I magically started to feel a lot better. I’m still tired but not naseuos and I can stop eating all the time. Emotionally I am doing really well. Frank is an amazing support for me and is really attentive.
The one disturbing thing, and it’s petty and expected thing, is that I have grown out of 50% of my clothing, and all but two club outfits. This is mostly because all of my clothing is fitted for a size 6 person. Now I am a size 8 person which is by no means large, just bigger than what I’m used to and definitely too big for my clothes. I have a proactive way of dealing with it. I take the clothes and fold them up neatly in a box. Out of sight, out of mind.
I keep reminding myself that this will go very quickly and to enjoy the peace and quiet we have now. But Frank and I are active people so our self-imposed task at hand is to come up with a name. So far we have considered, Tabitha Lynn, Felix Hans, Alistair Hans, Emma Lynn, and Zoe Lynn. Frank and I are both convinced it is going to be a little girl.
I’m still feeling well and growing but this is a good thing. Frank and I are busy discussing names. So far we favor Alistair for a boy and Zoe for a girl. I don’t think any child of ours could merit a normal name like Jane or Michelle. We want something that allows the child to grow into it. Nothing timid, since neither Frank nor I are timid people. I try to visualize our little, and most likely energetic child, and it just looks like a Zoe or Alister.
The more time that passes, the more I feel that this is going to be a girl. I can’t wait to get confirmation but that won’t be for another couple of months.
Week 11 (early)
My belly is stretching! The process, although different, reminds me a great deal of having braces. I can feel, especially around 8 p.m., my stomach stretching to capacity. The feeling is not unlike having eaten so much food it hurts. I am applying vitamin E lotion twice daily trying to get the skin to stretch as much as possible without leaving too many marks. Everyone who knows me can now tell that there is a bun in the oven. Strangers, well the cashier at Au Bon Pain today – for example, are also begining to notice. In four weeks, it’ll be obvious. I have a pretty good feeling that I am going to get huge. I’m also happy that I am looking more pregnant that fat. I have stopped at a size 8 which not a bad thing at all.
Today, Thursday May 29th, I have a doctor’s appointment. I am looking forward to getting some reassurance that everything is ok as well as a refill on the pre-natal vitamins that make a huge difference in the amount of energy I have. We should be able to hear the baby’s heartbeat via an amplifier but I’m not sure if they’re going to do that or not.
I can’t wait to feel movement, although I have another eight to nine weeks before it’s likely I will.
I made the mistake of writing too early. We had a wonderful appointment with the doctor and heard our baby’s heartbeat. Even this small indication is amazing. I would be happy to hook up earphones to my stomach and listen all the time if it was possible. It’s very hard to go so long between appointments because I want constant reassurance that everything is ok.
Friday evening Frank and I went out to a club and I made the sad discovery that none of my club clothing fits. I managed to stuff myself in a dress I always joked about being my goth maternity gown. However, the kind words of our friends who are all very happy for us was enough to lift my spirits.
I split my time thinking about how amazing it is to become a mom and wondering how on earth something as big as a baby is going to pass from a rather small orafice. I get faint thinking about it.
This is a short entry because I was so swamped with work, I practically forgot I was pregnant. We are happily moving into the second trimester. This is a great goal to reach since every week we get closer to a successful full term. I try not to get nervous but I am and I try not to get hung up on my bizaar figure but I do. I am constantly growing but now definitely in the one area. My stomach seems to be hanging a little low, which Frank’s sister Kristen assures me is different from her two pregnancies when she carried high (she has two boys). Could this be another indication that our little bat is going to be of the female variety? We can’t wait to find out in a few weeks.
Another crazy week at work combined with extra client work and the stylesheets for this site having a little mutiny means again, a short entry. I miss my mom a lot while she is in Germany. I need her to remind me of her two hour labor.
I now officially look pregnant instead of fat which is wonderful. I can see the back wall of my closet which is alarming, but I visited the Old Navy website and they have wonderful things so I can’t wait to go shopping! I’ve decided to just get the maternity clothing instead of buying inbetween things since that would mean I’d need inbetween, maternity and then post-maternity since everything is happening in different seasons. I’ll skip the first stage and go right into the maternity stuff.
Increasingly, I am concerned about the logistical problems of childbirth. A baby is just too big for that exit. Is this the miracle of birth they’re talking about?
Whoa belly! It’s even bigger. But always a little at a time. I think the steady expansion is better than a big jump. I try to find everyday objects that are the same size as the baby. For example, the baby is about 4 inches long which is the size of an average salt shaker. Seems like just yesterday I was excited because the baby was the size of an egg.
I am combating the logistical worries by repeating to myself that being a mommy is an amazing thing and that yoga will make me really stretchy and that they will give me lots of drugs.
I’ve been hesitant to think about buying anything since I don’t want to be hasty but I think the time has come for serious maternity clothing shopping. I’m waiting for my mom to come home so we can go together. I’m still waiting on shopping for baby products since we’ll get a lot of hand-me-downs and I can re-asses our needs once we collect things from the family.
I think I can feel the baby moving once or twice a day. There really isn’t a lot of room in there and it isn’t tied down to anything, so if it moves, sometimes I feel a bump, sort of like a tap sensation. But it’s happened several times so I think it’s safe to assume it’s not my stomach growling.
Speaking of growling… I eat three times a day, especially at work when I don’t have time for a snack. And I’m not hungry. But once I start eating, I can’t stop. I ate bushels of fruit, salad, a hamburger and a hot dog and a large piece of cake at my sister in law’s bbq. I have never eaten that much in my entire life.
The growing pains are becoming a little more intense and with the recent heat wave, I’m just horribly uncomfortable. I am lucky, however, to have a pregnancy buddie at work. She is two weeks ahead of me and we’ve totally had different pregnancies. But it’s nice to have someone to talk to who understands.
I’ve come to the conclusion that I do not like being pregnant. It’s just unnatural for me to have something happening to my own body, that I can’t hope to control. Reminds me of the flu or another such virus. That aside, I do like shopping on the Target Lullaby Club registry and have picked out a kick arse baby jogger, an adaptable feeding chair, a boppy, and a compact diaper bag. I’m proud of my efforts to new-york-apartment-ize all our little one’s gear.
Tomorrow, Thursday June 26th, my mom is taking me shopping for maternity togs at Old Navy. I love Old Navy’s maternity clothing, much of which I’d wear even if I wasn’t pregnant. Considering, due to my now depleated wardrobe, I had more fashion choices when I was in catholic school and wearing a uniform, this is a very welcome discovery. I have also discovered that I do not have to wear ugly maternity brief underwear, a small but happy blessing.
Yea!! Another month passed!! Of course, the celebration was cut short when my doctor told me I had gained nine pounds this month. Although I want to eat nothing but sorbet in this heat, I have vowed to cut out all other sweets so hopefully things don’t get out of control.
Mom took me out and bought me my very first maternity clothes. Target didn’t have much but I managed to get some black capri cargo pants with cute little pockets, a white sleeveless blouse and a delft-blue sleeveless shirt that I really like.
I spent the weekend in Vermont hearing all about the births of all of my relatives. I don’t know if I am more afraid or relieved.
The heat is oppresive. Last night it rained and I swear the sidewalks were steaming. Brooklyn is like a suana which means I find myself taking it very slow just so I can breathe. I found it was easier to be active in Vermont where the air was lighter.
I’ve worked my new maternity clothes into my wardrobe and I am beginning to enjoy the simplicity of my new look. I would have never thought that having limits would make me happy but it’s sort of calming. I do miss two things, my platforms and my blonde hair.
Next week I have my next sonogram. I can’t wait to see the baby! I am so excited! I haven’t felt this much anticipation in a while. Of course, my neurotic self is worried that something will be wrong, like a tail or an extra limb or something. I’ll feel better when I see that everything is alright.
There are three things which have made it difficult for me to enjoy the miracle of pregnancy. One, the heat and humidity have been suffocating. Two, the emotionally exhausting ordeal of constantly having everything change all the time. And three, not feeling like I look remotely attractive. This week, thankfully, has brought a break to all of these problems leaving me open to start feeling a little more excited about things.
The temperatures have been milder this week. It’s comfortable enough to walk around which is the only comfortable form of exercise for me. The apartment is also cooler so I can catch up on some housekeeping. There is nothing like a clean apartment to life your spirits.
The ever-happening expansion of my abdomen has slowed a bit so I’m becoming acclimated with my new figure. My small but efficient wardrobe consistently fits so there is no fighting with my clothing in the morning. I get up early to make sure I have plenty of time to put on make-up and jewelry since it’s important to accentuate those areas where you still look like yourself. It’s bazaar, the amount of compliments I get from ransom people about my hair which, keep in mind, has five months of grow-out since I haven’t dyed it in ages.
I’m disappointed that our sonogram has been moved back until next Tuesday from this Thursday. It’s only five days later but it feels like it’s been postponed for much longer. Those few moments when I have contact with the baby, whether by sight or sound, are immeasurably important to me. Meanwhile, I am paying attention to anything that might signal the beginning of my ability to feel the baby’s movement which I should be able to feel any day now.
Frank and I did our first parenting thing this weekend. New friends, Chris and Yamila, told us about this baby stuff swap that they were organizing and invited us to help ourselves to some hand-me-downs. It’s funny, I used to loath the idea, which was probably because growing up I was subject to hand-me-downs of the worst seventies styled clothing. But now, when faced with the amount of things you need for a new baby, I am grateful for all the goodies we were able to get. At first we were overwhelmed by all the cute little outfits. Then the other parents, their little ones crawling nearby, started to give us pointers on what really comes in handy in those first months. We decided to stay with mostly gender neutral things since we’re not sure what we’re having yet and were fairly shy about taking things and then in a sudden flurry, socks and little leggings and hats flew at us as the other parents passed us more things. We ended up with three shopping bags of little one-sies, t-shirts,
sleep sacks and some necessities like waterproof changing pads and a snuggly-type carrier. We got contact information for more things like a bouncer and bassinet.
In the typical New York apartment, which we have, you hardly have room to store stuff you can’t use so this baby swap is a great idea. We’re looking forward to passing the things on when we’re finished with them. And I figure to buy all these things would have cost a couple hundred so we are very grateful.
The other very exciting thing to happen is movement! It’s not often but more than once daily, I feel something that feels like well, kind of like a goldfish in my gut. For now, since it’s a new thing, I always stop what I’m doing and concentrate on feeling the movement. It is unbelievable that there is a little person in there.
This week we have our long awaited for sonogram.
This has been an exciting week. First, early on, we got to find out what gender our little bat is going to be. As of this sonogram I am carrying an 11 ounce baby girl! Frank and I already had names picked out for either gender so now we can call the baby the Pumpkin instead of “It”.
Of course, the family is very excited to hear the news. In my family, the firstborn, with one exceptiong, has always been a girl so it’s nice to carry on this tradition. When she comes, we can take the traditional four generation picture with my grandmother, mom, myself and the Pumpkin
Saturday I was watching this baby delivery show, not the bad emergency one, but just normal births and there were two mommies who opted for no drugs. They seemed to have an alright time at it. Now is the time to think about what I want during the delivery so I’m beginning to wonder if I can brave it. I definitely don’t want the labor prolonged and some drugs desensitize you and cause the labor to take longer. Hopefully, the Pumpkin will be a good girl and arrive quickly.
Sunday, yesterday, there was more excitement as I felt regular movement for about an hour and also at several times during the night. She seems to favor late day, evening and night, already the little night child. The sensation is not unlike having your stomach drop in a fast elevator combined with pressure against your abdomen. Freaky, but at the same time really neat. I am really happy since I do much better emotionally if I feel something going on.
We are getting used to our little girl, while still remembering that it could be a boy since sonograms are not always perfect. the Pumpkin kicks a lot. Her movements are fairly regular, some morning, quiet noon and regaining frequency around 2:30. Last night, Frank got to feel some especially hard ones which was wonderful, since I want to share all this.
I’m getting antsy with the apartment being in disarray. We have many things which need to go out to a yard sale somewhere. Our apartment is too small to allow for things to pile up, which is what they’re doing.
With Frank’s continued success with his school, I am seriously entertaining the idea of becoming a full time mom. Well more like, stay at home mom, musician, writer and free-lance web designer. The benefits of being present during the most important time for our child ane being able to devote more creative energy to my projects far outweight the luxuries two incomes would allow.
I got bigger over the weekend. It’s funny how pants that fit last week, do not fit this week. It’s all to be expected. And things are going very well. At the end of this week, we reach the milestone that if I went into labor, she would have a 85% chance of survival. I can stop being nuerotic about something bad happening since we’re in the homestretch.
This weekend we played music for the Pumpkin for the first time with the earphones. The Bach Brandenburg concertos got a margional response while she really kicked up a storm for the Vivaldi guitar pieces. We’ll keep trying new things and see what moves her.
the Pumpkin had quite an adventure last Thursday. We walked from E77th to home. Fortunately, daddy was with us so it was a family altogether outting. Frank and I find emergencies usually adventurous providing we are togther, which we always seem to be.
This week has been really calm. the Pumpkin is moving with more regularity now and I’m slowly getting bigger. When she rolls forward I loose my balance. Otherwise we’re working out our birthing strategy amd arrangement for the needed furniture and supplies. It’s hard to believe I am half way through and yet still have quite a way to go.
I am fighting the good battle against desserts. I give myself about a 70% success rate, meaning that 70% of the time I can thwart my desire for ice cream, cheesecake or frozen caramel frappachinos by simply looking down at the strangly deformed limbs that once were my legs. If I ever return to my pre-pregnancy form, I will never complain about the little bulges that used to plague me. 30% of the time I give in. Can I tell you? Dessert never tasted so good! Last week I had a little slip up involving a very rich brownie and I made it last for an hour (small bites), figuring I should savor the badness for as long as possible.
I’m also getting really used to being kicked all the time. Even if it’s uncomfortable, I find that I’d much rather be kicked than not. It is amazing that the Pumpkin is almost a pound and a half now. Hopefully she’ll be about 7 at the birth, which is a nice average. You really want a big baby since they’re healthy. Unfortunately a big baby is, harder to get out.
I continue to think about the delivery plan. The more you have in place ahead of time, the better. For example, it’s good to tell the doctor that you favor a walking labor, which we’ve told him I do. It’s also good to decide whether you want an epidural or not, which we haven’t quite decided on yet. It’s not that I want natural childbirth but rather that I don’t want things slowed down because I can’t push as well. I watched a baby delivery show on Discovery this weekend and saw a woman who only had to push three times. I know every woman is different but I really would like one of those types of deliveries. Think of how much sooner we’ll get to see our little the Pumpkin!
We are preparing the nest! Mom bought us a wonderfully huge armoir that can hold everything for the Pumpkin in a neat place so that our bedroom will not look like a nursery. All we need now is a bassinet and we’re probably ready for the first month.
I had another wonderful check-up. Everything is fine. My blood pressure hasn’t even changed slightly this entire time. The doctor says things don’t get more normal than this. Of course, it means we don’t get another sonogram which is tough on Frank since he really gets a kick out of seeing the Pumpkin
To my recollection, I have never been around an infant before. I never thought I’d have children so I didn’t see much of a point to it. Now, I wish I could borrow someone’s baby for the weekend so I can get used to the everyday things that will become habitual in the near future. I really hope instinct kicks in.
I was thinking of when I have to go back to work and leave the Pumpkin with a nanny and I just got all upset. We are lucky. A nanny is not only an expert but also one who is bonded and insured. She is probably going to be a better mommy than me. Which made me think, what if the Pumpkin thinks she’s the mommy? The other thing is that I’m sort of a freak and I can’t even trust people to do my laundry let alone watch my child so I am having a little pre-natal separation anxiety too. It’s going to be so hard to go back to work, even if it is only for a few months. But at least the Pumpkin won’t be one of those mamma’s kids that screams when she is left with strangers. This could definitely have it’s bonus points. I’m not crazy about being pregnant but I’m liking that I know exactly where the Pumpkin is and that she is safe.
HUNGRY!! I am always hungry, which is a new thing this week. I am almost out-eating Frank. I have never in my life ever eaten so much or wanted to eat so much. Don’t even ask me about the full portion of steak and noodles and two ears of corn on the cob followed by the ample serving of flan. Did I forget to mention the froz-fruit bar? And on Friday there was a breakfast incident with 4 pieces of toast with peanut butter. In an effort to save my figure, I am spacing the food out in small doses to fend off the hunger. Otherwise, I can eat an entire meal and in an hour be ready for the same amount. I get the image of me wearing a feedbag like the kinds horses use. It’s embarrassing! The good news is that very soon the Pumpkin will be big enough to press down on my stomach making less room for food and therefore act as a little appitite supressant. Hurry the Pumpkin before mommy turns into an elephant!
In the beginning I was going to a website where they told you how much the baby weighed and how big it was at each week. I forget the website address and the American Baby site does not include this information every week which has been disappointing. I was very happy that this week they did indicate how big the Pumpkin is: 14 inches and about 2 1/2 pounds. Even though she is almost full length, she will continue to put on about a 1/2 pound every week. Hopefully she will be average size at about 18 inches and 7 1/2 pounds.
9/15 – Pregnancy is no longer fun. I seem to be getting bigger daily. On the up side, it’s just the Pumpkin and not the rest of me. Today, I am actually wearing a pre-pregnancy dress that doesn’t look half bad.
The new problem is my left leg. Apparently the Pumpkin can wedge an appendage, I’m not sure which one, in between my back and leg. This causes numbness, followed by burning, followed by acute pain. There is nothing I can do, other than jump around, to try to move her from the spot and changing positons doesn’t help. Fortunutely, after a week of this, I am starting to get used to it even if it does hurt a lot. I have some minor back pain and I’m really starting to move slower. But I’m in the home stretch so the end is in sight.
Tuesday morning I remembered, unfortunately too late to get more sleep, that I had a doctor’s appointment and didn’t have to leave until 9:30. The appointment featured the ever popular Glucose test for gestational diabetes that my other preganant buddies have all complained about. At first, the orange soda like substance seemed ok but by the time I got to the doctor I was feeling a little unwell. After the usual checking of the weight and blood pressure, the nurse took some blood. I do not like to have my blood taken for some reason. It’s not like it hurts much but it’s freaky. I have the same feeling of queazy faint-ness if any blood is involved, but not other people’s, just mine. The doctor came in, we listened to Zoë’s heartbeat and I was out of there. Very speedy.
I asked if I could have another sonogram since Frank really wants to see Zoë again but she said they don’t believe in giving them more than is necessary. The next time we see Zoë, she’ll be out. Meanwhile, she is kicking so much. I can actually see my stomach move, a la Aliens style which I thought would be more strange. I guess it’s different since I know there is a little girl in there instead of a slimey green monster and, unlike as with an alien, I am very likely to survive the encounter.
09/18 – Today I saw the Pumpkin kick for the first time. I’m wearing a fairly fitted tank top and every now and then a little pop happens. Her movements are also going beyond the lower part of the pod and now I feel some movement around my belly button as well. Poor thing, it is getting more and more crowded in there.
9/22 – Somehow I got a week ahead of myself since I am writing mid-week sometimes, so I am putting a date next to each entry. Things are happening faster now. One week, to write everything down is not enough.
Only twelve more weeks! It’s hard to believe that I am almost at the end of my pre-natal journey. Of course, some of the hardest times lay in front of me. Already I do not sleep through the entire night due to bathroom trips or leg cramps. The boost of energy I had for the second trimester has been spent and I find myself more tired. It sort of snuck up on me and I haven’t had the chance to change my bed time yet to accomodate some extra sleep. It is very unnatural for me to be slow since I am usually a force of energy. I feel like a wind-up toy that is winding down. I tell myself that this is natural no matter how unnatural it feels.
the Pumpkin is kicking a lot stronger now and for longer durations. Frank and I are amazed that a woman’s body can actually get this large without falling over. Strange thing, pregnancy. I still find this unnatural and have to remind myself as I look at the ever growing pod that I will indeed resemble myself once again. The women in our neighborhood who look quite normal after they have their babies are an inspiration.
Frank and I are registered for our Lamaze classes next month. Aside from at-home exersizes, I haven’t been able to really prepare for the birth so I am really looking forward to the classes. Plus, it’s really the first time Frank will take an active part in this pregnancy beyond carrying more things up the stairs.
09/29 – Obviously one cannot pig out on dessert items without having reprocusions. I knew it before the doctor even had me on the scale. The problem is that dessert is a comfort food and I am really uncomfortable, thus the sudden excess. The other thing is that I’ve come to rely on a sugar rush to get me through the day and without it, my desk looks more and more like a good place to nap.
After our anniversary dinner, with which I did not have dessert, Frank and I braved Burlington Coat Factory to check out their selection of baby gear. We discovered that one, multiple use stollers suck, and two, we will need four car seats in the next three years. Even though we don’t own a car, we need to have a car seat in order to bring the Pumpkin home. The good news is that I have found a light-weight frame on which a car seat can sit which solves both the car seat and new born stroller dilemma. I’ve added it to our registry. Mission accomplished! We walked out with a very cute furry winter jumpsuit, complete with ears, which will keep the Pumpkin nice and warm during our trip home from the hospital.
I was out with my mom on Friday and I picked up some diapers, rash ointment, baby all-in-one bath-wash, and some baby powder. I am beginning to accumulate the stash we’ll need in December. From there we went to a local concert. I always knew church pews were uncomfortable but sitting in one for the duration of a concert was purgatorial. Between all the pieces I stood up to stretch and thinking I was giving an ovation, others followed suit, which was somewhat amusing. Although the entire performance was good, the Pumpkin especially loved the sopranos.
I am starting to hate being pregnant. This, of course, coincides with my increaing limited range of movement and diminishing speed. I am no longer a ball of energy, bouncing along. I am now a lumbering, sloth-like, creature who waddles through the day occationally tripping over it’s feet. There is no grace or beauty to this. Thank God the Pumpkin kicks a lot. Knowing she is in there growing makes this all worthwhile.
10/09 – It’s been a quiet week. the Pumpkin is moving as normal. Frank and I have made more of an effort to play music on the belly and talk to her. Frank likes to rest his head on the belly and see if he can hear anything. What a surprise, the other morning, when she kicked him! I steadily getting bigger and grew out of my first maternity item, a shirt I got earlier this year.
Recently I’ve been thinking about the suddeness of labor and delivery. You have nine calendar months to grow and get used to your body. During a part of this, you have direct and intimate contact with your child, the likes of which you will never have again. Then within one day, you lose that close contact, suffer great physical pain and regain some of your old figure again. The entire process is quite abrupt. I do not handle abrupt very well but Frank is very supportive and we’ll get through it together.
The crochet blanket I’m working on while I wait for my yarm for the sweater sacque to come in, is coming along nicely. Soon I will be out of yarn and the project will be completed.
In preparation for “D” day I am compiled a list of things we need to remember to bring to the hospital. Frank and I are going to work on a plan for getting to the hospital in various circumstances.
10/15 – It’s been another quiet week. I’m getting fairly used to being pregnant. the Pumpkin moves around more delibrately. I can actually feel elbow and hands through my skin. Somehow this does not gross me out at all. I can’t look at that belly like’s it part of me. When I close my eyes, I feel like my old self again, even though in my dreams I’m pregnant as well. No, the belly is the Pumpkin. I am very glad we found out her gender when we did. It’s been very psychologically good for me.
I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow that I am dreading. I know the weight news won’t be good. I can feel that I’ve, once again, probably gained too much. It’s not fun nor easy but I am resisting dessert except in very small portions. I have re-discovered caramel rice cakes. I love them and they quality in both the low fat and low calorie catagory. I have also cut off cereal at home and instead, wait until I get to work to eat a nice mug-ful of raisin bran, which isn’t good enough to pig out on.
Saturday I went to Target with Mom to complete registering for the baby items. I love that there are things there that range in price. I don’t think anything we registered for is over $100. I find the idea that someone I know might get me something as bizaar as a breast pump to be highly humorous. I can just imagine what that must be like for someone to get. In any case, there are things there that are of a less personal nature.
10/23 – Frank and I took our first Lamaze class on Tuesday and loved it! The teacher is really lively and has two of her own and the rest of the class, although normal, seems really nice. I am surprised that Lamaze is such a holistic process. There is a lot of focus on teamwork with the mother and father and relaxation techniques. I feel pretty confident that Beth Israel is the kind of hospital that understands and respects a variety of birth plans. Also, a variety of drugs will be readily available for my consumption. I am really sure that I am going to
get a big fat epidural, even if the idea of a shot in the spine really unnerves me. All the mommies I see on TV seem euphoric after they get theirs.
We’re the only two freaks in the general area expecting at this moment so naturally we’re the only two in our class. No one seems phased by our presence. I love New York. No one cares. It’s also really nice to see a group of other pregnant ladies together and to realize that I am really normal sized for my time even if I feel so big.
What bothered me, or actually made me appreciate Frank more, was that two of the daddies were sidetracked by the Yankee game or playing games on their phone instead of paying attention. Another seemed annoyed to be there at all. This is the biggest moment of your life. This poor woman is going through hell for you and you can’t devote two hours to her and your child? Creeps! What kind of fathers are you going to be?
Frank, on the other hand, is really psyched and involved. He’s got the back-rubbing down pat. During the birth video he kept saying that he was sorry to have put me through this. Sweet, but this was something I agreed to well in advance. It’s not his fault birth is so tough. So instead of worrying about the pain, we’re hoping for something as
smooth and trouble-free as possible. And at the end we’ll have this little person. Aside from some of his distant relatives who complained greatly about their kids and labor, no one else has ever said that it’s not worth it.
Yesterday, we had a home day. I slept for most of it but we watched “Birth Day” on Discovery. They just happened to be covering the post-birth procedures involving the after-birth. I did not know until about two weeks ago that there was more that happened after the actual birth. I thought everything came out at once. We managed to survive the graphic imagery on the TV. Who knew a placenta was so nasty? At the same time, this is what enables your baby to survive and grow. Without
a little grossness, you would not be able to have a little Zoë. I’m happier knowing what to expect and the more I think about it, the less gross it gets. Frank is surviving and also getting a little desensitized. We want to be as prepared as possible, especially with the normal things.
We are really considering Cord Blood storage. If something should happen to Zoë down the road, like cancer, her cord blood could save her life as well as that of her sibling if we do this again. We have a lot of research to do before we decide one way or the other.
I’m so used to the kicking and being pregnant now that it seems like this is a permanent situation. My former self seems distance and removed. Going to Lamaze has really jolted me into the present and it’s becoming very real that the delivery is not something I can avoid in an alter reality. I don’t like pain in the slightest so it’s unpleasant to think about. Instead I am focusing on Zoë.
10/26 – We’re getting close! Only seven more weeks to go. I’m doing fine. Getting a little more tired and a little slower. I feel like a wind-up toy that is losing power. But I can still make it up to the fifth floor without stopping so I think I’m doing pretty well.
Thanks to our new camera, thank-you Omi!, we’re able to take a lot more belly pictures. Probably because it’s our first, we really want to capture all this for the Pumpkin when she gets older to see. If nothing else, hopefully it’ll humor her. It already humors us!
Frank and I are nervous. Being parents is no joke and sometimes we’re not sure we’re ready. But no baby ever came into the world with more love and more people supporting her. I’m sure every parent has to wonder if they’re crazy for doing this. I have these bizaar dreams where I leave the Pumpkin somewhere and forget where, like my keys and phone. It’s probably just hormones. I look forward to getting my brain back soon.
10/30 – A strange thing happened at my appointment today. It seems that I am actually into my 35th week now. Our new due-date is the 5th of December instead of the 15th. Early sonograms are not always accurate and now that she is bigger, Dr. Clapper can tell that she is 35 weeks old. I am not entirely surprised. the Pumpkin has always been rather active for her weeks and I’ve been a little bigger that I thought I should be. It’s a very good thing that I have gotten a good jump on my projects at work. It’s not such a good thing that they have yet to get me access at home. I am not impressed with the new system.
Ten days is a big jump. Fortunately I will have time to finish Lamaze before she arrives. And if she comes on time, we’ll both being feeling well and recuperated enough to enjoy Christmas and the holidays.
To prepare for the big “D” day, I am doing nothing but relaxing. I try several times during the day to just sit back and breathe and think about how amazing this entire process is. Seems like such a small thing, but if I can master it, then my labor will be much easier. I really like Lamaze. I’ve been thinking that this is no big deal, that women do this all the time, but the Lamaze idea stresses that it really it is a big deal. Something very woman and basic. To celebrate this, I am having a good friend, who happens to be a wonderful photographer, come over and take some nude belly pictures. I definitely want some traditional ones, but it’d be fun to do some tame, fetishy ones (spiked collar and fishnets) as well. After all, I am a goth-mama.
It was a short half week since we’ve lost some time. The baby is actually due on a Friday, which makes these Monday entries a little off in timing. The belly is getting bigger and bigger. the Pumpkin is more and more active and her movements are getting very strong. I’m relieved that there is only four weeks left at this point since I’m getting a little tired. I’m doing my relaxation excersizes, which are basically to think of a happy place, and working on a birth handbook, because I am geeky like that. Organizing things, even if we never use the handbook, is therapy for me. I can handle emergency but somehow I can’t relax unless I feel I’ve prepared somehow.
11/15 – Work is taking over all my time. With my regular job and tying things up before I leave and new client work, I’ve been swamped. Checkout next week for a full entry.
11/15 – We are really in the home stretch now! Frank and I went to the doctor on Thursday for our last sonogram. She’s far too big now to see in entirety but we got to see her heart beating, stomach, bladder, spine and femur. She’s dropped and is now in position to go any time she’d like. At 37 weeks, she is considered full term and will completely healthy.
I’m getting bigger by the day. I grew out of some more clothes so now it’s sweat pants, ironically ones from before pregnancy, and large shirts. Everyone at work is understanding and I’m a whole lot more comfortable, except around 3 p.m. when the heat blasts and it feels like a sauna.
Although my due date is the 5th, I feel she might decide to come for Thanksgiving. There is almost constant pressure as she stretches and moves around. Sometimes I feel like she wants out now and is trying to get out through my belly instead of the proper way. Of course, if she comes on time, that’s more time for me to get ready and get work done.
I finally got my labor and delivery handbook all done. I feel better that I no longer have to think about what I want for D day but rather can just refer to the book for the details. All I have to remember is when to go to the hospital and which door I am supposed to go into. Lamaze has been a tremendous help and I feel prepared and not nearly so nervous as I did before. Labor and delivery are not exactly something you’d want to sign up for every weekend, but I think I’ve come to terms with the process.
Frank and I are both anxious to see what she looks like. We feel like she’s already here but we can’t see her and the interactive belly is not quite doing it anymore so we’re really looking forward to the big day.
Up to about a week ago, I was a real trooper with my commute and doing daily things. Now, it’s harder and harder. I am going into work at 9:30 a.m. which is late for me but I need the extra sleep in the morning. The walk, which used to take about 10 minutes, now takes closer to 20. I am stubbornly refusing to take the closer train. I need that exercise. I’m also having to stop at the 4th floor for a break now. At the end of the day, I find I do a little better and have more energy. Not surprising since I was never much of a morning person.
Baby Shower! November 9, 2003
Mom threw us a wonderful baby shower on Sunday! I have to admit, I had an idea of what was going on so I did my hair and wore clothing I knew the baby’s movements would be easy to see through. I was pleasently surprised to see so many smiling people. And, the best surprise, my grandmother had flown up from Florida! Family is really important so it was awesome to have my sister and grandmother as well as Frank’s sister, dad, grandmother, aunt, uncle and cousin all there with us.
Many of our friends, some of whom we hadn’t seen in quite a while, also came out to College Point for the festivities. We took a lot of pictures so instead of trying to get to everything here, I’ll just add extra comments to the pictures.
Most of all, we were very touched that our friends and family had been so generous. We are in great shape for the first sixth months and instead of worrying, can spend out first few months together with the Pumpkin just enjoying each other.
11/23 – I have nothing to complain about. Yet, I feel the urge to complain. Shame on me! If pregnancy was great no one would want to deliver. Women would just stay pregnant until they burst. I used to be horribly afraid and nuerotic about labor and delivery but now, after two weeks of being huge and getting slower, I am ready to go. I’ve been crampy and I actually get excited, hoping maybe the moment has come. Of course nothing happens.
Considering how normal and textbook this pregnancy has been, I have a funny feeling the Pumpkin is going to be right on time. I, who am late for everything, just might have produced some one who is punctual.
I’ve packed my bag. I have an urge to clean out my closet and purge extra crap, a task I will certianly get to once I recover. I’ve been told this may be a nesting instinct that kicks in near labor. If I wasn’t normally crazy organized, I’d think it was a sign, but I always prepare for big events with a good cleaning and considering how much I’d like to get going, it might be wishful tidying. For now I’m resisting and trying to focus on any web work I need to get done.
Today, my mom brought over all our the Pumpkin supplies. We are over-run! I can’t believe how much a little person needs. Some of the things will wait until she is a little older and can stay at my mom’s place. But even the basics need an enourmous amount of storage. As the week passes, I’ll be able to get things organized.
11/16 – Our friend Megan came over and got some great belly shots.
Week39 and 40
01/05 – The last two weeks were pretty much a blur. I started to have problems with my blood pressure so my ob sent me to the hospital for a quick blood test. I was surprised to find out that I was two centimeters dialated already. When I started to feel contractions, I thought delivery would soon follow. I stayed home starting the first Monday in December. Due to the obsene swelling in my legs, it was difficult to get around and commuting to work was impossible so I stayed home, hoping not to waste too much of my maternity leave. My mom got all excited and told my sister to come down not realizing that I would have false labor for the next week.
On my due date, we went to the doctor for a check up. Without any progress in my dialation, being induced first came up. My doctor said we would wait another week, since everything else was ok, before scheduling the induction. By this time I was so tired and uncomfortable that to have to wait another week was really discouraging.
Meanwhile, having my family stay with us was nice although every day that passed during my sister’s visit that I didn’t go into labor was tough. After a while I just ignored the contractions.
The Big Day!!!
01/05 – Now, almost a month later, things are a lot better but my labor and delivery was not the easiest. Around 2 a.m. on December 10th, I started to feel strong contractions, where I couldn’t sleep through them. I woke Frank up to help me time them. We waited for the intensity to increase and the time between them to decrease to see if we should go to the hospital or not. After a few hours of steady contractions, but no progress, we decided to go back to sleep. When I got up, they had mellowed out a little bit. During the course of the day, they came and went so we went about our normal daily activities.
We went food shopping at around 6 p.m. and in the super market, I started to have really intense contractions and on the way home they seemed to keep up. After two hours, where they seemed to get more regular and painful, we called my mother to come over. By the time she got here, we decided that if by the end of the hour they were still going, we’d go to the hospital. At 11 p.m., we all piled in the car and drove to Beth Isreal. Contractions are strange. For a few minutes, you’re in horrible pain and then nothing. It is a strange sensation.
Walking to the labor and delivery ward became really tough. More and more, I had to lean on Frank for support during the contractions. It was a good thing I had gone to the Lamaze classes since knowing what to expect, sort of, helped me to relax. Also, having been at home and with my mom and Frank helped too. I don’t think I would have wanted to be anywhere else.
After we checked in, I got checked out in the triage room. Imagine how happy I was to be told that I was six centimeters and increasing by the minute. They moved me into a delivery room where we were joined by our friend Rob, who was such a trooper and stayed with us the entire time.
By the time I was settled into the delivery room, I was not a happy camper. The contractions where unbearable. Natural childbirth is noble but not for me. I was very happy to meet the anastesiologist who, very gently, administered the epidural. The initial shot was something like what you get at the dentist and then no pain at all. He, and the nurse, were very patient with me since I was very nervous about the procedure. I was also nervous since they made mom and Frank leave the room and I was on my own. Once the epidural set in, I felt much better. I wouldn’t even count the next several hours as labor since I was just hanging out waiting for the urge to push.
Unfortunately, by the time I started to push, I was very tired. the Pumpkin’s heartbeat was very fast and the doctor had already had to use internal monitors to see how she was doing. Concerned, he administered a blood test and found that her blood pH was a little low. He let me push for a while and kept close tabs on her condition, but once her pH dipped below an acceptable level and she was not progressing down the canal, he rushed me off to have a ceserian.
I had no idea that she wasn’t progressing since the nurses encourage your pushing with chants of “almost there.” I didn’t realize until later that I wasn’t almost there at all. Going into the operating room was terrifying. I was separated from Frank and surrounded by about 10 medical professionals. For someone who doesn’t like hospitals it was truly horrible. I cried the entire way to the operating room. In retrospect I wasn’t really aware of the situation and danger to Zoë or I wouldn’t have cared. I just thought I failed at pushing. My anastesiologist friend came back and numbed my lower areas.
What followed was the strangest thing ever.
01/17 – Of course, it’s hard to get a moment to finish with a little one. Anyway, seeing as I was still awake, I could actually feel the doctor pulling the Pumpkin out. It is a strange sensation and not one I am in any rush to repeat. Once the anastesiologist was done, Frank came in. It’s a good thing he was awake and doing well since by this time, I was really out of it. I heard a cry, but felt disconnected since I didn’t have the feeling of having had a baby and after over 24 hours, I was just exhausted. Frank brought her over for me to see but honestly, whatever they gave me for pain really got in the way of me seeing her.
I don’t remember much of the next day. They gave me morphene for the pain so I was too stoned to do anything. It really got in the way of me enjoying the Pumpkin. Then they weaned me from that and gave me percaset. Also not the greatest stuff. the Pumpkin slept most of the time, only waking for feedings. We were both really tired from the experience. Slowly they moved me onto solid foods and I became more focused. We tried breastfeeding without success. With my stomach sore, it was impossible to really hold her well and she couldn’t latch on to my breasts because they were hard from being engorged. Although the lactation consultant could force her on, I couldn’t see making her scream just to eat. It wasn’t the bonding experience I had hoped for and I didn’t agree with the consultants who said to let her starve until she latches. Frank and I refer to the consultants as nazi’s even though they were nice. I just didn’t agree with their meathods.
On my second day, I think, the staff forced me to get out of bed. It was excruciating and took two nurses to help me to the bathroom. From here on in, I was on my own to go to the bathroom, having had the pee tube removed. Until the day I left, I needed Frank’s help. Getting home was horrible. Every pothole caused a lot of pain. And my mantra was “no humor” since laughing was also painful.
Our first two weeks were difficult. Even though I was feeling better daily, the breastfeeding wasn’t going well. I was pumping and cleaning and feeding in such a cycle that I wasn’t getting much sleep at all. Frank and I were really starting to reach the end of our patience. I tearfully called my local La Leche League rep to get the information for a lactation consultant who would make a house call. The next day, the Pumpkin latched on and fed like a pro. Since then, feeding has gone great and she is starting to sleep for five hours during the night, giving Frank and I a night with basically one interruption. We’re very happy. Aside from a little fussy-ness from gas, she is wonderful. It’s amazing to watch her grow and develop.