What does it mean?

Any Spanish used in blog posts is hyperlinked to its English translation.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

sleep training and self-medication fail

We're trying to convince the guajolotita to sleep in her own bed. It's about 3 months now that she has slept primarily with us. In our bed. Besides affecting everyone's sleep - there are certain adult activities that she hinders. Like putting away the laundry. Seriously. All my stuff is in laundry baskets. I suppose getting a dresser would help too. But anyway - it all started when we went to visit my grandparents. We stayed over ONE night and all shared a king-size bed. Before that, she would start out in her crib and sometime between 2-5am I would bring her into our bed. But on this trip, it was the whole night together. (It was also her first bath in a real bathtub. I got in with her. It was super fun!) And ever since then. Sometimes she'll stay in her crib for a little while - between 20 min - 2hrs. Sometimes that means going and putting her back down several times in that short timeframe! Anyway, at 8 months old, and almost half her life in bed with us - it's getting ridiculous. She's either in the stroller or being held for naps. Otherwise, she naps for 30 minutes at most. (That's EXACTLY 30 minutes. You could set a timer by her.) Also, a babysitting episode with grandpa that may have involved an attempt by him to "cry it out" is prompting me to find a humane solution. And finally - she tolerates the crib less and less. And it's interfering with our sex life. Can't have that. So, with the long weekend here, we thought - let's try it. But here's the thing: I have a persistent cough. It's worse at night when the heat comes on. If I cough from the other room - she hears it and wakes up. Now she's getting it, so she's coughing too (only a very little bit, so far). Between the coughing and the expected amount of don't-wanna-be-in-the-crib waking, I slept less last night than any time since I was home on maternity leave. And then the stupid alarms went off because it was Thursday. Even though it's Thanksgiving. I have a mind to put it off. Again. But it's winter. She was sick for 5 weeks with one cold after another already. And then there was the constipation crisis (and it WAS a crisis. Awful.) and now this. Then we go on vacation to visit family and meet Abuelito. During which 3 weeks we will... all share a bed again. Argh. Fun, but then back to the real world and work in the morning. And learning to sleep in the crib again. Oh, the self-medication fail: I figured that due to breastfeeding I couldn't take anything for this cough, so I just grabbed some cough drops we already had and used those to try and get through the night. Then the next day I look it up on KellyMom and... menthol may cause a reduction in supply! And I ate 2 bags of coughdrops in 36 hrs! Argh!! So I send The Hottest Computer Scientist in the Universe to the store with a list of acceptable ingredients, take my dose after feeding her, and then notice... wait! This has menthol too! Argh!! We had a very nice Thanksgiving, so I will post this dated the day before to not sound like a holiday grouch.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Oh man this is it!

2 teeth poking through. Crawling as much as possible ("long" distances, like to the other side of the room still via army crawl instead). And now, this baby girl just pulled up to standing. Using the bottom rack of the dishwasher as I was loading it. Which is of course on wheels. I was watching closely and no mishaps... this time.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Guess who's getting teeth!

I think they've been on the way for a while, but I didn't realize till Sunday. Since I figured they've got to come in sometime, I stopped letting Baby Girl chew on my fingers for fun. But Sunday, even though she seems healthier (5 weeks of colds coming and going) she was so whiny and didn't want to be left alone for a second. So I gave her a knuckle to 'see' what mght be going on in there and sure enough it wasn't perfectly smooth anymore! I was able to peek during some laughing and you can just see some clearish looking slits below the surface.

The Hottest Computer Scientist in the Universe was away each day this weekend at a conference, so I texted him right away. I felt proud of my sweet girl - which is ridiculous because she's not actively doind anything, it's just happening to her.

Now writing about it I feel a little sad - she's getting to be a big girl!

P.S. she isn't drooling AT ALL. But she makes this face, where she scrunches up her face and mashes her fist or back of the wrist into her gums and sort of groans. She's been doing it for the last week or so, but really a lot over the weekend. I guess that's her teething indicator. No fever really - she's a touch warmer than her usual, like just-woke-up warm baby temperature but no actual fever.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

On speaking and moving

Big girl only seems to work on one of those skills at a time. She stopped the pseudo-army crawl, but for a while there, I guess late July to mid-August, she was getting pretty chatty. If things were quiet, and she was just lying around, like for instance during a diaper change, she'd start talking at anyone or thing in the room. Not babbling, exactly - more like long groan-y noises with a conversational cadence. I'd ask her, "Yeah? What happened next?" and she'd reply with more of the same. We thought it was great.

Then she went silent. After a couple of days we checked with each other, and none of us, parents or caregivers, had heard a peep. Lots of giggles and laughs and occasional shrieks (and PLENTY of screams and cries) - but no more "conversation." However she was working hard at rolling over. At this point she rolled over about once a day, usually on accident, and she usually found it upsetting. Now in this new silence she became the rolling-over-est thing you ever saw. As soon as she was put on her tummy, she flipped onto her back. A few times, she even rolled from her back to her tummy. One time, with my sister, she did a whole 360 roll.

Then, the day before our housewarming party (yes, it'd been six months since we moved, but it took us that long to get a couch and dining table so guests could sit someplace), she started again. We were both home and instantly checked with each other. "Did you hear that! She talked! It's been so long!" We were pretty excited. The noises were a little bit different. However she made them less, and quit pretty soon.

Next, she began to sit reliably on her own, and then added back in a new kind of talking - she makes these funny whispery under-her-breath noises, sometimes while inhaling instead of exhaling.

Now, 3 weeks later, she can do all of these things:
- sit up
- get onto her belly without smacking her face on the floor
- "speak" under her breath
- cry when someone takes away the non-toy she is playing with (chewing on camera, etc.)
- I swear she's learning to pass a soccer ball with her hands.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Army crawl!!

Baby girl grabs tight to the play mat, braces against her elbows, and pulls her knees up her sides, then scoots her forearms out and does it again. She can make it two feet no problem, but usually she reaches the edge of the mat and doesn't go too much farther.

Tonight we are trying again with the non-boob sleeping. I've given her a bad habit of falling asleep at the nipple. She slept through the night 6-8 hours regularly at 3 months old, but now she never gets more than 4 hours without waking up for some nipple action - and usually it's more like just 2 hours. Poor thing looks like a zombie all the time (mama does too, but that's been true since before she was born). However she's not thrilled about her chupon (even though these Nuk ones she likes wayyyy more than the Gumdrop ones we originally got her).

I convinced Papi (The Hottest Computer Scientist in the Universe) to participate in the tiny sleep training - but baby girl knows he doesn't have boobs and is pretty mad when he picks her up at night! One night she cried in his arms for 30-40 min and sniffled for another 20 before falling asleep. Since then we have gone back to the boob - but right now he's giving it another go. She didn't completely lose it with anger, at least, and I think they will be asleep together in the glider in a few minutes.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Early signs of mobility

Baby girl's new favorite trick are mini-crunches. She reaches her arms and strains her head up off of whatever surface she's on, to the point that from lying flat she gets both shoulders up off the bad/changing pad/floor. If she's reclined, leaned against someone or a pillow, she can faceplant in under a second. Bathtimes are newly challenging/terrifying.

This combined with attempts to roll over starting 5 days ago serve as a reminder that we need to get our act together over here. Lead paint hazards, coins on the floor, who knows - we haven't worried about it too much because you can put her on her playmat and though she'll scream she can't move more than a foot or so.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Saturday morning, 6 am

It's beautiful to be awake early in the morning with this cuddly little monkey sleeping on my chest. She's in sort of a bowling pin shape, with her legs curled under her but her head and arms thrown up, sprawling to my neck. She twists and gives a dramatic stretch every few minutes.

I slept from midnight till 3am, alone in our bed, while The Hottest Computer Scientist in the Universe slept with her in the la-z-boy. He brought her in when she was hungry, and I sleepily set her in the vicinity of a nipple and fell asleep. I don't think she ate much. All three of us slept another two hours. This is a huge amount of sleep for me! Double what I got the night before. From 4:45, I watched her sleeping until she started to stir, and took the opportunity to sneak in a diaper change. The idea was to change and feed without her really waking up, so we could both sleep another couple of hours. This works, sometimes.

Not today. Poor girl started screaming the instant her diaper came off. As she ramped heself up, those little legs started the bicycle kick which only prolongs the process. THCSITU, upstairs neighbors surely woke up. Even once it was over, she was still hollering, though she closed her mouth into the most adorable sad frown during the breaths between screams. (this is a step down from frantic mouth-open yelling and inhaling)

But after she started eating ravenously she slowly calmed down. And when finished, her eyes instantly drooped.

And, for me at least, she was SO cute... every point along the way.

Friday, April 29, 2011

We did it!! (Yes, that "it")

Post-birth pooping is a scary prospect. Fortunately for me it wasn't so bad. I did drink a lot of prune juice and eat lots of carrots and things came out just fine. Heh heh.

Post-birth sex is a whole nother scary prospect. Besides the possibility for discomfort or maybe pain - I know that part of me is permanently different. My vagina stretched to accommodate 35.5 cm of a cute baby's head, then got split open by her shoulder. I can feel that is is different. So what'll that mean for our sex life? Will I be any fun any more? etc.

One day shy of 6 weeks after birth, probably 8 weeks since we last had vaginal intercourse, the good news is that yes, it still works.

The hard (heh heh) reality is that it sort of felt a little pinchy - but not actually painful. Definitely looser. :(

It was tough for me to really be mentally participating because I was so preoccupied with reconciling what it might be like vs what I was feeling physically.

I'm relieved we got over the "first time" hurdle and we both had a good time. I am looking forward to all the next times!

Friday, March 25, 2011

My body

It's not back, exactly. But some major milestones accomplished.
  • I tied my shoes from a standing position. I bent over at the waist, tied my shoes, and stood upright again. No leaning on anything, no sitting. It's the first time since... Christmas? Thanksgiving?
  • I washed my feet in the shower without being short of breath, nearly falling over, or just pretending that my feet didn't need to be scrubbed like the rest of me.
It's pretty liberating. I didn't mind being pregnant at all, and it was doubtless an easy pregnancy. Honestly until I started this post I haven't even thought about the lack of movements inside of me.

Newborns keep you busy. The only thing you accomplish is keeping them fed and changing diapers. Somehow there is no time for anything else.

Monday, March 21, 2011

So I don't forget

When baby girl was born, each nostril was heart-shaped. Within the first couple of weeks they had changed shape but in the beginning... we didn't find the camera for a couple of weeks so we only have phone pictures of those early days, and I never got a shot of them. The Hottest Computer Scientist in the Universe never believed it but it was so true. Beautiful little hearts.

I'm writing this now when she is already nearly 5 months but I am afraid I will forget. So I'll back date it to when she was just a few days old. :)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Birth Story, Episode IV: IN WHICH baby girl is born

I am awoken by a contraction. It takes a while, and I wake up just before it peaks. I know instantly that this is for real, no more "warm up" anymore. So I lie there and wait for the next one. For a brief second, I panic. The boxes are as tall as me or taller in the next room. We do not have kitchen appliances, a countertop, or running water in the kitchen. The baby's room is not painted so we can't put anything in there. The kitchen is still being put together so we can't put anything in there either. There is plaster and all sorts of construction dust covering the floor of the basement so that's off limits too. My suegra, bless her heart, packed our house so I have no clue which things are where (and already know that things that having nothing to do with each other are packed together in the same box).

But just as quickly I am calm again. Zen-like. I am NOT a "Zen" sort of person. But I am so relaxed. It feels oddly like I know that I have to do THIS now. And I have to do this NOW. Things are how they are. Nothing will change, and I cannot change them now. That is fine. (I am really astounded how I let it all go like that.)

The next one hits. It is interesting. I can feel the build, peak, ebb. I skootch slightly away from The Hottest Computer Scientist in the Universe soas not to wake him up. I reach for the phone to check the time (but I don't think I timed the duration or frequency). It is about 2:35.

For what feels like a long time, I stay in bed. At first (when labor begins) I think there is a rush of adrenaline. I am awake, waiting for the next one to come.

Bit by bit, so slowly I don't even realize, I start coping in a more physically responsive way - moving somehow. (I don't know now if I was bunching up or bending over or what I was doing.) At some point it is too much, and I get out of bed to work through the contractions - but by now the initial adrenaline has waned, and I am SO tired (see Parts I II and III). I climb up into our ridiculously high bed and sometimes even fall asleep between contractions. They are much closer together than 10 minutes, because I spent all day yesterday with contractions 10 minutes apart, but I don't time them. I am trying to just deal with things as they come, and not risk feeling discouraged. I know from birth class that this could be another 15 or 20 hours like this, so I just try to deal one contraction at a time and not worry about how many more there might be.

I go from leaning on the bed to sort of squatting and hanging off the side. I am definitely vocalizing - some sort of low moaning I think. I end up going out to the rooms full of boxes, wrapped in a blanket, and sort of half squatting and swaying back and forth while moaning. Sometimes I pace back to the bed but climbing in and out is so much goddamn effort.

Finally I realize I need my labor support. I wake up Guillermo, who, also utterly exhausted and a very sound sleeper always, has slept through... TWO HOURS of labor. Woohoo! I did two hours! Well, 1:40. I am glad!

Anyway THCSITU immediately starts timing using the free "Contraction Timer" app he'd already added to his phone. I woke him up to ask him to blow up the exercise ball I got for this purpose, so he does that. He hops to and says he wants to make the warming thingy we saw in the videos in class. By some miracle, I know exactly where the rice is - since it's kept in a huge glass jar thing with a pointy lid, it was right on top of a stack. I fish out a heavy duty knee-high sock and he puts it together for me, using all of our remaining rice which was just exactly enough. The microwave is propped on some boxes in the entryway and OH it was nice. I was skeptical for a bit but it really was nice as the contractions got stronger in the next few minutes.

Then he asks about the hospital bag. I tell him where it is and what I need to add to it. I show him where to find the papers I'd collected with the various suggested hospital lists. He inventories the contents and realizes I am in no way prepared to leave for the hospital, so he repacks into an actual piece of luggage instead of a ripped up old backpack, and with a little bit of help finding things packs up the bag except for toiletries.

At the same time he is faithfully timing my contractions. I am using the exercise ball mostly to sit on and rest between contractions at this point, with my arms and head lying on the bed. For the contractions themselves I get to my feet and brace against the bed. I know I am getting louder. I realize that, since we can hear the drawers of the dresser in the room above us open and close, they've got to be able to hear me as well. D'oh. Not much I can do about it, though. I hadn't thought about that aspect of laboring at home. (Again, I am surprised and sort of impressed that I didn't really feel embarrassed.)


At some point I ditch the blanket. I take of my socks. I tell THCSITU, "I feel hot. This can't be right. It's too fast." But I feel good. Not like there is something wrong, just that the steps we learned about are coming closer together than we were supposed to expect. I halfway think that I am mistaking my body's signs, that the "cold" I felt when I used the blanket and the "hot" I feel now are not THE "cold" and "hot" that we were supposed to watch for as mileposts along the labor path.

I start to badger THCSITU after each contraction: how long was it? How about that one? How long were they when you started timing? How far apart now or before? I get kind of irritated that I don't get the answer I am hoping for. Despite the varying (not consistently increasing) length and to some extent frequency, they are without a doubt getting stronger and stronger.

Between contractions I complain: "Who CHOOSES to do this a SECOND TIME? Are people stupid?!?" (I'm pretty sure I cut myself off with "ooooh here iiiis anoooother ooooooonnnnnne...")

I ask about the time, and decide to wait until it's closer to an "appropriate" hour to call the nurses. (It was maybe around 6am or so?). The contractions come and go and come and go, I'm moaning pretty good, no longer thinking about the folks upstairs or really anything else except how long and how far apart the contractions are. I am looking for that 3-minutes-apart benchmark that for some reason is stuck in my head. THCSITU insists that the contractions are still nearly 5 min apart. But at about 7:30am I insist right back that he needs to call the midwives NOW. The message he leaves goes something like this:
Hi, my wife is having contractions, they are five minutes apart so please call us back.

Good lord! As soon as he hung up I grabbed a scrap of paper and started writing down info. THIS duration of contractions, yes, but for THIS many hours and I am feeling THIS and THIS. I have to stop while writing to let a contraction pass. "Call back!" I bark, throwing the envelope at him. (Looking back, I realize that I could feel transition coming.) He dutifully does, then we agree it's a good idea for him to shower because we don't know how long it might be before the baby is born. Better he can be showered and refreshed to help me through whatever else we will deal with!

While he's in the shower the midwife calls back. I answer the phone but a contraction comes so I can't talk, mid-word I stick the phone across the shower curtain and go back to hang on to the end of the bed. I'm sort of grabbing the corner and leaning back, my enormous pregnant butt swaying back and down like a pendulum. "We have to go. We have to go." I am sort of rhythmically pleading. I feel almost like pushing. (I couldn't tell quite what the feeling was yet, but in a few minutes I knew.) The contraction passes and THCSITU says the midwife wants to talk to me. She calmly asks, "Do you feel like there's pressure in your butt?" "Yes, Yes!!" I exclaim. "You had better come in now. See you there." She sounds calm but very serious.

(I suppose I tell THCSITU and he gets out of the shower. All I remember now is this:) I try to get in the shower myself. We saw on birth videos how the shower is nice to help you cope with contractions. IT IS NOT NICE. A contraction comes and I am pounding on the wall. "WE HAVE TO GO. WE HAVE TO GO." For a second I feel unsure how I will get out of the shower and to the hospital. Still wet, without a towel, I pick up shampoo, face soap, etc. and throw them from where I am standing in the tub into the hallway. THCSITU hears and scoops them up while he is trying to dress himself.

I have no idea how I get dressed. I remember THCSITU sprints out the back door to bring the car around. Waiting for that car to come around and attempting to walk to the car were the longest moments of my life to date. I had at least one contraction outside on the way to the car. My coat was open, shoes untied and possibly not even all the way on. I bent over and bellowed. It was 9am on a Friday.

During the 6 minute drive to the hospital I sort of hollered "I want to PUUUUUUUUUSSSSHHHHHHH" during contractions.

THCSITU dropped me off at Emergency and I went in. "Oh YOU're the one," the reception lady said, in not such a bad way. Then came the WORST PART of labor. Where they tried to make me sit in a wheelchair. I waited at the elevator for FIFTEEN MINUTES. I did not sit. There were two little boys with their mom in a room facing the elevator. The nurse with them did not appreciate the production I was making. I didn't do or say anything except when I contraction hit, and I tried to keep quiet, but seriously? There was a baby about to come out. WHY ARE YOU MAKING ME WAIT YOU IDIOTS, I thought. Finally the nurse to escort me showed up. She was ancient. WRinkly and hunched over, and she wanted to sit me in the chair and push me. I thought that would take FOREVER and she was going to make me sit. I wanted her to push the chair and I would walk with her, but she got an attitude and decided if I wouldn't sit, she wouldn't take the chair. "Fine, please, let's go!" I begged. So we get in the elevator and start to walk. When the contractions hit I have to stop and let them pass. This is clearly a huge inconvenience for her. We walk and walk and it seems like an eternity but finally we are at the triage labor rooms. I holler that I ahve to push again as a contraction hits and...

She hands me a cup. I am supposed to pee in a cup. I look at her and cannot believe it. I am upset but she is in charge. I am afraid I'll never get out of there if I don't. I start to wonder how THCSITU will find me. I go into the bathroom to try and am almost in tears because I know there is no way I am going to be able to pee in the cup.

Just then he shows up with an actual L&D nurse who is WONDERFUL. She tries to check me in but the computer is all wonky. She is sweetly begging me NOT TO PUSH. And I tell her "I know I know but I feel like it! I won't do it but I feel like I have to!!" She gets me to sit in the wheelchair and takes us to a delivery room. It is just a regular room because the "nice" natural birthing rooms (regular bed, birthing tub, etc.) are both full - and my midwife is helping someone else in one of them!

I get on the hospital bed - somehow my clothes are off, maybe? I don't remember - and crouch on my haunches, facing the back of the bed. Between contractions I lean forward on the bed and plaintively whine for the midwife. "Where is Cynthia?" I beg. Finally she comes and she is everything wonderful.

I'm going to post this now even though it is too long and we are not at the end.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Birth Story, Part III

Following terminology discussed: bloody show, diarrhea.

Thursday morning I had to be up early: we were getting the INTERNET. Cable guy due to come sometime 7:30am or later. Also, the electricians were coming at 8am to correct some things on the new electrical panels (and sadly move a light in the nearly-done kitchen), and the guy doing our kitchen was coming to finish painting and everything else in preparation for the appliances to come the next day. Phew.

I got The Hottest Computer Scientist in the Universe up and into the shower just as the doorbell rang. Cable guy first. We start trooping around, trying to reach a wall (any wall!) I am shoving boxes as he says, "No let me help you!" We negotiate, wander outside, discuss. Agreeing upon an entry point, the electricians arrive. They want to be paid in advance for the day - mind you they are here mostly to correct work they didn't quite get right the first time. But following up and negotiating afterwards is just beyond me at that point. I keep having to stop and lean against things as the contractions are coming and going. Fine. Here's a check, issued with admonishments as I grip my belly. "This baby is coming any day. I NEED THIS WORK DONE."

The kitchen guy shows up, impatient with the electricians. Patient and friendly with me. The cable guy is finishing his work - he drilled a hole in our 13" brick exterior wall! WTF! and I have to get to the office. My office is A MESS. I cannot leave it like that. I think I have a mug with yesterday's yogurt dregs on my desk. Our house is in terrible shape too, the stacks of boxes are literally no LESS than 5' high, sometimes 7' or 8', and there is but a narrow path from the front door to the bedroom, on to the bathroom, on to the kitchen. My huge self can barely get through without brushing against the stacks. I can't touch any walls due to the boxes obstructing them. But there's pretty much nothing I can do about it. My office I can at least make some headway on.

THCSITU leaves for work, "Are you sure you are OK?" Yes, yes I assure him. I'll let you know if anything.

OK, everything's as squared away as I can make it. I go to get dressed and leave for work. When it hits: bloody show. Diarrhea.

Oh. Crap. Ohcrap. Ohcrap.

Leaving the bathroom I feel a little lightheaded. Not dangerously so, just the kind when you are in a little bit of shock. "Um, guys?" I call, leaning into the kitchen. "This baby might be here *very* soon. FYI." They respond cheerfully, toothily. Yeah, yeah we are gonna finish this right up today! they say. Aha. They say that every time. Here's hoping that lit a fire under them. Sigh.

I start tracking the contractions. They are 10 min apart on the dot. I think. I am nervous and confused. I get dressed, purse ready, coat on, and call the midwives. Report back. The nurse responds pleasantly, "Sounds like things are moving!" My question is, can I please go to work? Our class provided strict instructions that you should spend early labour RESTING - but I could still have a few days of early labor ahead of me, right? She says, "If you feel like going to work, go to work."

So I set out. I text THCSITU simply "Contractions marked with X" and text him an X every time they hit. Easy way to see the times - and as they get more painful I don't have the hassle of composing a message, just the "X". They are ten minutes apart on the dot, all the way into the city and back around out to work. I think it took 30 min to walk the 3 blocks from the train to the office. THCSITU gets a little worried, I text some reassurance and wait to confer with my suegra. After she and I talked, I let my dad and sister know what was going on.

I sent my boss an email, "I might not be here tomorrow. We should perhaps meet today." It turns out a new HR lady had just started that day. So she got email too: "I might not be in tomorrow, if there's paperwork to be done I gotta do it today."

My boss and I met for an hour around 2 or 3 pm. The contractions were so strong by that point I couldn't talk through them - I had to stop and regain focus again after they passed.

But by the end of the day, they were way more mild! I felt like such an idiot. Responding to email about maternity leave paperwork, I said, "Well, maybe I was wrong." As my boss wished me all sorts of good luck on her way out, I sheepishly said, "I don't know what's going on, I might be here tomorrow after all!"

My dad called, worried that if he didn't pick me up right now we'd be stuck in rush hour traffic. I reassured him that I could take the train just fine.

I had my regularly scheduled weekly midwife visit that night. They'd said if I didn't go into labor, show up to the appointment. So we went. THCSITU was running late, I think. By the time we got there, the contractions were totally gone. The apprentice midwife wrapped up the appointment with the following statement: "If you went into labor tonight, I'd have to write about you in a book. You aren't having a baby today."

THCSITU thought I was blowing the day out of proportion. Of course, he hadn't seen me have any of that day's contractions.

It was St. Patrick's Day. We went to my dad's to say Hi before he and some friends went on a (tame) bar crawl. Sitting there, kvetching about how these teaser contractions are coming and going - they start again. 3 guys in their 50s, very "Are you OK? Are you sure??" I laugh it off - the midwife said I'm not having a baby today. How long are these things going to keep doing this?!? I get up and get my own tea. We'll be fine.

We went to bed sometime after 11, probably before 1:30am.

Which is good because I woke up at 2:30 am. This was it.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Birth Story, Part 2

Following terminology discussed further down: mucous plug, bloody show
You've been warned.

In the morning of Week 38, after being up till 1am, then waking up at 3:30 with false labor, staying awake freaking out about being unprepared, I finally slept around 5 or so. Then a bunch of alarms went off at 7 - about half an hour before they should have. Turns out an old cellphone, intended to be recycled, had gotten turned on during the moving process. It took forever to find it and shut it off - and I burst into tears. "I'm so tired," I cried. I was tired, but also terrified. The Hottest Computer Scientist in the Universe didn't know that part, of course.

Anyhow it was our first morning in our new house, and our first night in our new bed. It was a happy exciting morning anyway. We each commuted to work from our new house for the first time. THCSITU left before I did, and that gave me opportunity to call the midwives. They recommended what I expected: I could walk around "like this" for days or even weeks. Business as usual, but if there were any change I was supposed to call in right away. "Things are moving!" the nurse said cheerily. Ulp, I thought.

After all the moving, I took the lazy way: a longer trip both in time and distance traveled, but less walking. I was hoping not to exacerbate the contractions or send myself further into labor. The contractions came and went all day. My suegra called a couple of times to see how I was feeling, or really whether things were progressing. The thought of impending labor really lit a fire under me to wrap things up at work.

That night, we had a breastfeeding class. Most of the content was review from the breastfeeding session in our great birth class, but there was a "hands on" component with waterballoon nipples and teddy bears that we hadn't had before. Once we got out, we went for dinner. One of two options available in our new neighborhood at that hour: IHOP.

We go in and start talking about first priorities for our new house: which things to arrange, what to do with all the boxes, what we have to buy first, when to paint the baby's room. After we order, I tell The Hottest Computer Scientist in the Universe that I have to tell him something.

I explain that I lost the mucous plug the night before and had been having Braxton-Hicks or false labor contractions or something all day. He first got a little peeved that his mom and I had conspired to not tell him right away. "I'm gonna come home from work one day and the baby's just going to already be there or what?" He was mostly joking though. I figured that if I'd told him, it would've just kept him up and there was no point in that. Since there was no bloody show, I knew it wasn't really labor yet anyhow. He acknowledged that to be true, and got kinda quiet. I think it sorta hit him as it had me in the night that this thing was really going to happen for real. I told him that I felt that way in the early morning when the contractions has started. "Holy shit, I am actually going to have to do this. For real. Go through labor, and be someone's mom. Holy crap."

So that bit of news got some quick re-prioritizing done: get stuff for baby's room and buy the damn carseat!

The next nights after work we were never home before 10pm. And then we would do a bit of unloading the car and rearranging/unpacking in the house. Tuesday I think we got the paint for the baby's room, blue and yellow. Tuesday in the daytime Guillermo ordered the carseat and stroller combo. It was due to arrive the next Tuesday. I teased him, "You feel like gambling, huh?"

Thursday lots of stuff was supposed to happen in our house: the electricians were coming for the last time to fix things in the kitchen and basement. The cable guy would bring us internet access. The guy installing the kitchen would finish painting to be ready for the appliances to come Friday. Huzzah!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Birth Story, Part 1

So we moved. We moved on Saturday & Sunday, March 12&13. The only reason this came to pass is because of my amazing suegra. After working a full shift herself each day, she came and stayed till midnight packing our apartment. Her husband and The Hottest Computer Scientist in the Universe ran their butts off carrying boxes and our 3 pieces of furniture down to the cars, then drove out to our house to meet my dad and brother and unload. Repeat.

Saturday THCSITU spent most of the day at the new house, waiting for our bed to be delivered and finishing the painting in our room. Sunday I left him packing the computer equipment/desk and went to buy sheets for our grown-up sized bed so we could have someplace to sleep that night. Our twin bed (yes, you read that right) was going back that night to the mother-in-law's house from whence it came.

At the end of Sunday, the guys left to start the unloading and left me and THCSITU's mom to finish the cleanup of the apt and drive the last carload of stuff away. She did all the real work, I just participated in a few of the activities. Right before leaving, I stopped to use the bathroom. The 15 minute drive to our new house would otherwise be too much for a 9-months-pregnant person's bladder.

"Creo que este bebe va a venir en unos dias," I told her.
"No me digas," she groaned.
"Bueno, hoy no pero... puedes ver que me salió si quieres."

*explicit content warning* if you are prone to being grossed out, quit reading now.

So with my pants around my knees I showed her. I knew it was the mucous plug that had started disintegrating. Yep, she agreed, but maybe I still had a week to go. Since there was no blood, it was certainly early in the process.
*end of explicit content*

We agreed there was no need to worry THCSITU about it yet - it had been a very long couple of days and no baby was showing up that night anyhow.

When we got to the new house... my god. The boxes were piled between 5 and 7 feet high. I arranged the bedroom as best I could as everyone else unloaded that car. My purse, the backpack of vital electronics, clothes, etc. One thing was missing: the backpack I'd started as the "hospital bag." I hunted around and asked about it. No one could tell me if they'd unloaded it or where they'd put it.

As everyone was leaving, around 11 or midnight, I asked THCSITU again.
"We gotta find that bag," I said sort of teasingly (I hoped).
"We will," he replied. "I mean, you're not having a baby tonight."

His mom and I tried not to look at each other as we laughed it off. Right, not tonight...

Around 3 or 4, the contractions started. I was at 38 weeks that day. I remember the first one, realizing what it must be. But even in the moment I knew it was false labor. I hadn't felt any up till that point. I sort of monitored them for a while and then tried not to panic: we didn't even have a frigerator or kitchen sink. We could NOT have this baby yet!!

Sunday, March 6, 2011


This baby's a-droppin'

Lightening during pregnancy

I realized yesterday that this kid has dropped somewhat. I don't know if there's more to go (before making the Final Exit, that is) since I haven't experienced this before. In the past week or so I have been kicked in the ribs far less and haven't experienced any heartburn, despite a few incautious late night food choices.

But yesterday I realized the whole baby/belly just feels like it's hanging down. When I sit, I can sort of lift it up, which I couldn't before. When I go up the stairs, my thighs smack into the bottom of my belly.

And, surest sign of all - I can eat. A week ago I would fill up after half a normal-for-me serving and go back and eat more an hour later. But today I ate 6 pieces of French Toast no problem. (Hey, that had 2 eggs in it and nearly a cup of milk! Those are sanctioned foods!)

Other, even-less-sexy sign of new baby location: I feel like I have to pee essentially all the time. But when I go sit, very little or nothing comes out.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Sex dreams

No, not that kind.

I had a vivid dream that the baby was a girl. Actually, her girl parts weren't on display in the dream, but she was born already and known to be a girl.

In the beginning of the dream she was brand new, still slimed up and lying on top of me. I couldn't see her face, just the top of her head and her tiny naked body. Then somehow we were at my dad's house in the de facto "guest room" which had two twin beds. The Hottest Computer Scientist in the Universe got up and went to another room, and I picked the baby up and tried to feed her - but she wasn't biting (metaphorically). I started thinking about what I've read about breastfeeding and considering what to do to convince her, but then a bunch of people showed up to visit "the baby" and I felt really frustrated that we were interrupted and worried that she was hungry. :(

When I told my dad the next day, he said "Sorry to disappoint you, but it's a boy." Everyone is totally sure this baby is a boy, so much so that we sort of tend to believe them. Cuz we hear it every day.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Long time, no see.

How's it going. This belly has only gotten wilder as the month went by. Due to some connectivity problems and being outrageously busy, posting went way down. But I feel there is some stuff I should write down that I might forget.

The guajolote smuggled a knife in there, or what? There is an occasional sharp pain, sometimes bad enough that it stops me in my tracks. The midwife said that could be due to slight separation of my pelvis, and a nerve getting pinched in there. One night I asked The Hottest Computer Scientist in the Universe to get the car to pick me up from work because it was taking so long to walk due to my stopping every 3rd step. Lesson learned: don't climb up and down off of tables in the 3rd trimester.

Crazy undulations of the belly
THCSITU has finally felt some of the weird stuff from the outside that I've been feeling for months on the inside. It freaks him out sometimes. He asked the midwife at our most recent visit if that was "normal." She was pretty impressed with the show she saw when trying to pin the baby with the doppler - Guajolote was having none of it! A close cousin who is a high-risk OB says that fetal activity correspond to post-birth activity levels and recommended that I "have my running shoes on" Ulp!

Sleep vs pee
There is no more sleep. I realized I was lying awake in the middle of the night - I had to pee so badly that I couldn't really tell anymore, but then I couldn't sleep. Also then I can't really let it out, only a tiny bit and then 5 min later I have to go again. In the course of six hours, I either get up 3 times to pee (every time I realize I have woken up) or I only get up twice and lay there awake thereafter. I am sure it is adversely affecting THCSITU's sleep as well, since he has 165 lbs of monster crawling over him every 90-120 min.

Maternity clothes are also too small
At the beginning of February, all the maternity clothes fit my perfectly. Now I have an inch and a half of belly peeking out the bottom, and still a month to go (and, presumably, grow). Ew.

Size impresses
THCSITU, coworkers, and random people now stop to comment on belly size. I don't mind it.

Pregnancy clumsiness: it's the belly, stupid
Several have asked if I am more clumsy. I think my hand-eye coordination is unchanged: THCSITU tossed a pen at me from across several cafeteria tables this weekend and I caught it just fine. However I do knock things off of tables/counters with my belly, or slightly impale myself on frying pan handles, etc. By now I've mostly figured out that I can't squeeze past anyone or anything. Either I get a wide path, or I just stand there and wait for things to clear out before lumbering along.

Other confessions
  • I quit cooking months ago. This now extends to weekend breakfasts (my favorite to cook). We are too busy. At least half the week we are getting home at 11pm, we volunteer all day Saturday, all the other days/nights we are at Home Depot for this neverending house project, or Babies R Us to look at equipment to later order online, or someplace. I have to try for at least 6 hours of sleep and if I make dishes there is no WAY they are getting washed because we are never here.
  • Sex is one day a week. And that is it. This is, I think, mostly for the same reasons I quit cooking. We are problem-solving through the time we brush our teeth and then it's 12:30 already and usually I have to get up by 7, THCSITU is asleep by the time I finish flossing, etc.
  • I SHAVED MY LEGS oh joy that was nice. Well it wasn't nice but it was nice to have that done. We have a shower stall and it is not possible to shave in there any more. But we spent a night at my dad's and he's got tubs so hallelujia soap lather still works same as it did when I was in high school. It was the first time in at least a month, and possibly the first time since Christmas. Not kidding.

I'm sure I'm leaving stuff out but there you have it. 3 weeks and 6 days to go...

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Alien attempts escape!!

Guys, this is what I mean. He/she is seriously trying to get out!

You can scroll through, I added titles before and after the most move-y parts so you don't have to sit and stare at my striped belly for the whole video length.

15 minutes later I rolled onto my right side and he/she started with the dancing again.

This sort of thing is constant - if I am still for a bit or eat, the belly-twitching begins. I silently hope that whoever I am talking to at work at that time doesn't notice.

Every night I am hollering "Come check this out!" at The Hottest Computer Scientist in the Universe but of course it's only a few seconds or maybe a couple of minutes at a time. By the time he comes over, or finishes his paragraph and looks up, the Guajolote is still again. A friend with a blog said she posted video, and it finally dawned on me to do the same thing. THCSITU can see it, and might's well share here too.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

7th prenatal visit

Heartbeat (Guajolote's): 150s (I think?)
Weight (mine): 160

Darn babies!

This appointment was supposed to be a week ago, but about an hour and a half beforehand, the office called and canceled because the midwife on duty was at a delivery. Today, they called in the early afternoon: same problem! The earliest they could get me in at a time I could make it was a full week later. I'm supposed to see them every 2 weeks, this would have put me at a whole month between appointments! Then they called back an hour before my rescheduled appointment today and said the woman had delivered so the midwife would come back and see me.

This rescheduled appointment was too early for The Hottest Computer Scientist in the Universe to make, so it was the first one he's missed. There is a CNM-in-training in the office now, so I got two ladies attending to me.

My only question was: why have I felt kicks, motion, etc. EXCLUSIVELY on one side of my body (the right side) for the last 3 weeks? Sometimes by the end of the day I am really sore on that side, other days it is just noticeable but not so "bad". The midwife said the guajolote must just be comfortable how he/she is positioned and doesn't see need to change spots. So I guess it's OK.

She offered us a 34-week ultrasound, but I said no. No sense in peering in there again - we know there's something in there for sure!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Quiet panic...

30 weeks today.

People ask us about names. I just pray they don't ask if we have considered car seats, cribs, breast pumps, swings, bassinets, or anything else. The physical reality of this baby is limited to its current living space. Zero, ZERO planning has gone into its environs "on the outside." This is because my mind is occupied all of the time with the larger environment i.e. the house in which we thought we would bring this baby home to...

It can't all possibly get done.

  • gas lines replaced
  • last details of kitchen plumbing installed
  • buy gravity damper for stove vent
  • get it installed somehow... masons won't be back for 2 weeks...
  • Have bathroom vent installed BEFORE any inspections are made
  • Check w municipality for approval on casement window instead of double hung
  • order kitchen window
  • order cabinets

  • rough inspection of plumbing
  • have kitchen electric finished
  • buy the can lights?
  • order bathroom window
  • get water line replaced (don't they have that permit yet?)
  • find some tile for kitchen floor so that can be started once electricians are done in the kitchen
  • who is going to build and tile the tub walls?
  • Who is going to install the bathroom window? masons, or the guy who does the tile?
After that:
  • rough inspection of kitchen electrical so the kitchen can progress.
  • rough inspection of kitchen window too
  • hopefully framing is complete for inspection
  • buy stove and microwave
  • buy ceiling fans for bedrooms so electrician can install them
  • who is going to patch the holes the electrician makes?
So, hopefully all of this happens in the next two weeks. Time's a-wastin'...

After that, the question that wakes me up at night,
How will the plaster dust and lead paint dust get removed from the premises, since I probably shouldn't be the one cleaning it up?

Friday, January 14, 2011

It doesn't usually rain in January

Baby Shower for second baby... Yes or No?

This is our first baby, but I gotta agree with the general points in this post. Except in my case, I have declined invitations to showers that I didn't feel right attending because I didn't feel I knew the mom well enough - but I have genuinely enjoyed the various showers I have gone to. It's fun to give baby presents. :)

Also, props to The Hottest Computer Scientist in the Universe's best friend for having showers for each of their kids that were actually fun for all who attended.

But for me, I agree with the blogger. I just cannot envision myself having a party whose sole purpose is to demand that everyone who receives an invitation must spend money to bring me things, which, by the way, I will have laid out in advance via a registry so please just get what I tell you. I have never felt wrong about participating for someone else, and I see the value. But it feels freakin' weird to contemplate orchestrating such a thing for my own benefit.

Maybe the problem is YOU, gentle reader. The people I am closest to are so damn generous already. Ridiculously generous. I have to ban them from giving us things. So having a shower on top of that? Sick.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


Some of this baby crap is so cutesy I want to vomit.

There's a sale on baby gear, so I click over to check it out - it's in blue with cars and clouds, or in pink with ruffles, and things like "Sweet Dreams!" on flags or prints for the walls. It seems ready-made to mock a parent holding a crying baby at 3am.

I think as a sleep-deprived mother of a newborn I would rip that stupid thing off the wall, and hopefully not go strangle anyone with it.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

OB visit

Weight (mine): 159
Also, a tiny ultrasound on one of those portable monitors.

Our midwife practice has an associated OB, more or less in the event something goes "wrong" and surgery is needed there's a person appointed to do that. We were required to schedule (and pay upfront for) an appointment to meet her.

She strikes me as a total hippie. Which is perfect. I think The Hottest Computer Scientist in the Universe liked her, too.

During our 15 minute (or less) meeting, she asked for basic info: EDD, LMP, physical complaints if any, etc. and then she came out with this:
"Anything interesting about this pregnancy?"
She didn't say it in an unfriendly way, but what a funny question to ask a first-time pregnant person!

I laughed, because I knew what she meant, and said, "No, nothing that's interesting to anyone else." The sheet she gave us after specified: "Uncomplicated pregnancy."

She also took a small jab at the midwives, it seemed to me. While adjusting clothing so she could take the ultrasound, I said that I hadn't expected that because the midwives just feel for position and take the heartbeat. She replied, "I like to look, they like to feel. I don't like surprises. They don't mind a few surprises, because they have me there [...]" I don't remember how she ended that sentence, "if something goes wrong" or "if they need me" or what. But she quickly followed up to say that this group of midwives has a very low incidence of needing her assistance.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

6th Prenatal Visit

Heartbeat (baby): 128-131 bpm
Weight (me): 158

Good news: the Guajolote has flipped! The midwife did this craaaazy thing where she manipulated my uterus - she pushed back and forth and sort of passed the baby to herself to identify which part she was feeling. That was pretty far out, I had her show me and that was nuts. I made The Hottest Computer Scientist in the Universe get up and she showed him too - it sort of gave him the willies. Like we shouldn't be disturbing the little guy* in there. I see his point but man this kid is disturbing me PLENTY now. :-P

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Midnight (ok, 4am) snack

Sigh. We had fun sex again tonight, but I fell asleep afterwards. The Hottest Computer Scientist in the Universe had to work at midnight (logging in from home) and came to bed at 3:30. But the readjusting in bed woke me up enough I noticed I was hungry and here I am catching up on this blog instead of sleeping. I polished off the Cheerios though so now I will head back for a couple more hours.


10 Facts About Your Pelvic Floor

What you should know before giving birth

Argh I better get on that. Don't want to be peeing myself from the age of 30 - I was hoping to save that till my 80s.

3rd Ultrasound

We went in and had the same ultrasound tech at the ultrasound place. It's in a swank building where the elevators are coded - the same elevator doesn't always go to the same floor! You have to check a console and then it tells you which next elevator will take you to the floor you want - there are no buttons inside (probably Emergency, but that's it).

Anyhow this was much shorter, she took some basic measurements of the femur and skull and then got to trying to get a shot of the major arteries. In the end, she ended up calling another ultrasound lady to take the image instead. That woman took the ultrasound wand and stuck it clear on my left side, outside the uterus, and dug in. Not comfortable! But effective I guess: they were both satisfied with that picture.

We felt a little better afterwards because it seemed the lady just had a hard time getting the image right - so perhaps there's no actual problem with the aorta & whatever else is a major artery. We'll find out next week at our next midwife appointment.

It was mostly fun. This kid is still breech (head up, not down) and was in fact "frank breech" which means butt down. He* was folded right in half: his feet were in front of his little face! The Hottest Computer Scientist in the Universe thought that it couldn't be a comfortable position - I'd seen it illustrated in books so I wasn't surprised but when he pointed that out I started to sympathize. We don't fold babies in half after they come out so why would it be good a couple months earlier? On the other hand, you aren't supposed to fully submerge them in fluid after they exit, either...

Guajolote, 27 weeks 1 day:
To the left is the head, the two ovals at the top center are feet, and I think the squiggly line trailing off to the right is the umbilical chord.
Don't be alarmed by the bullet holes - those are internal organs.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Missing being pregnant?

I first read about this on some forums. I thought that those women were surely insane. This pregnancy has been easy, and I think I am dealing with the body issues OK and our relationship is pretty good - but given my druthers I'd be 130 and look good in a bikini than be shaped like a beach ball.

Here's a slightly ridiculous list with possible rationale:
I skipped to the middle for the link because #11 is the only one I can relate to.

Some people are super earthy and in-tune with themselves and all that sort of thing. I'm not very much that way. But it occurred to me a few weeks ago that I am feeling this motion in my cavernous self constantly. When I sleep it's still happening (and doesn't yet wake me up, thank god). There are brief pauses but more or less the motions inside never stop.

I think I will feel... I don't know, boring? Or static? Or something. Well, I'll feel the lack of motions I guess and I am not sure how that will affect me.

I guess it's pretty common.

Reviewing that list (which I just read now as I searched for a relevant link), there are a couple other things that could make the transition hard:
  • The Hottest Computer Scientist is really sweet, understanding, and attentive. Moreso than usual. I keep telling him that I need the mollycoddling AFTER this baby is all the way here and I am halfway to insane on sleep deprivation.
  • People in stores and restaurants are really attentive and nice to me. I am not sure if it is my imagination, I usually get great service because I am polite and friendly to people and try to always smile at someone who is helping me. But we got a free dessert last week, a guy at Home Depot went across the store to bring me something, and the plumber working on our building teased me that "they got you working too!" when I brought in a 2x4 myself.
My dad pointed out today that once the wiggly baby is on the outside, screaming, I will have fewer friends in public places. I am sure he is right.