Monthly Archives: September 2003

24 weeks 4 days

Believe it or not, I finally decided on a car seat. After kicking it around with George, we’ve decided to get an infant seat with detachable base, and buy an extra base for his car. That way we can get the infant seat in and out of the cars without waking the kid. We’ll have to upgrade to either a convertible or toddler seat when the baby gets bigger, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.

I’ve been reading primers on cloth diapering. When I was a kid, all that was available were the Gerber rectangular prefold cloth diapers, which required pins and plastic pants. I remember changing my siblings’ diapers and sticking my finger with the diaper pins. Nowadays there are cloth diaper covers and all-in-one diapers with snaps or Velcro — no pins needed! They’re certainly more expensive, but since they’re reusable, they’re worth it.

I saw an estimate of how many diapers I can anticipate changing: 10-12 per day for a newborn/infant, and 8-10 per day for a toddler. If I plan to do laundry every 2-3 days, then I’ll need to have 30-35 diapers on-hand. Sheesh! That’s a serious investment! Yet, if you figure it out over the long run, even with the cost of electricity, gas and hot water (for washing the diapers) it’s still cheaper than using disposables.

Oh, and now George tells me that he isn’t so sure that we should make the nursery the first-floor bedroom. Sure, it isn’t going to matter for the first few months, since Bubs will most likely be sleeping in the Pack & Play in our room (kind of a semi-co-sleeping plan, I guess). But I really do want to at least have the room done by the time the kid shows up. I don’t even care if we have furniture… all I care about having on-hand are some diapers, a few sleepers and somewhere for the kid to sleep. I just know I’m going to be too tired to work on anything project-oriented and really think we need to carpe diem (or, “carpe carpet” as I’ve been saying recently) and get this house stuff done. George has quit taking so many extra jobs, which will hopefully give him more time to work on the house. I’m going to do as much as I can, before I get to be as big as a house.

We’ve decided on the bug theme, but we’re leaning towards a light green or yellow on the walls and accessorizing with bug-themed stuff. Providing, of course, that we have walls by the time the kid arrives.

Stay in there, Baby… even though the tax deduction would be nice, I’m hoping s/he stays put until at least mid-January. We need all the time we can get.

24 weeks

I am six months pregnant today. I simply can’t believe it.

16 weeks to go. I’ll be full-term (37 weeks) on Christmas Day and can deliver any time after that. My mother always seemed to deliver about 2-3 weeks early, but I don’t know if her dates of were accurate.

Although we’ve picked out some clothes, a few cloth diapers and some receiving blankets (a little over $100 worth), I haven’t bought anything that I really need. (I did find a bunch of cute sleepers and onesies from the Salvation Army Thrift Store, and only spent about $15. Good deal.)

At George’s request, I’ve started a registry at Babies R Us in order to keep track of the products I’ve decided on. He said he thinks it’s a good idea to be able to tell people that we’re registered if they ask. I guess I can’t argue with that, since it isn’t as if I’m actively soliciting gifts (I HATE that feeling, and it’s why I never registered when we got married. It feels so “grabby.”)

I really need to make a decision on a car seat, but have only done a cursory search and need to compare the models. That, and the crib are my big worrisome items.

This is to say nothing about the room that will be the nursery. We still haven’t moved upstairs completely, and some furniture is still in the downstairs bedroom. We have to finish drywalling, then paint and lay the flooring (carpeting? wood floor? We can’t decide). I read an article on babyproofing your house, and laughed out loud — they’re chiding parents-to-be for not covering up the outlets in the nursery; we have exposed wiring and studs along one wall. As one of the guys I work with said, “Why don’t you just give the kid a plastic bag to play with?”

At the very least, we know that we want to do a bug theme. I’ve been tossing around the idea of using a projector to superimpose bugs onto the walls, then trace and paint them, or just do a nice, gender-neutral color and put up some bug prints and accessories. (The more I think of how extremely limited I am in the artistic talent department, the more I think we’ll go with Curtain Number 2).

Hmmm… maybe I’ll start looking for bug stuff. And spackle.

23 weeks 5 days

I had another terrible dream last night.

I dreamed that George and I went to a festival. We were sitting at these round tables, chatting with various people, and I noticed George talking to a cute, petite, 30-something blonde woman. I didn’t know her, but figured she was someone that he worked with, or a friend’s wife. He was drinking heavily, and stumbled a bit when he got up from the table… and he was holding her hand. Shocked, I asked him where he was going; he said he was taking her home. I asked him why, and he said it was none of my business. I woke up crying and couldn’t fall back asleep.

I know that these dreams are projections of my subconscious feelings about my changing body, as well as fear of abandonment. Up until now I’ve been proud of my growing belly, wearing tuck-in t-shirts and maternity pants with waistbands. Recently I’m noticing that I don’t just have this protruding belly — my legs are starting to get bigger, too. I’ve worried fleetingly that weight gain and body changes might trigger old eating disorder habits… but I’m too smart to let that happen. This baby is too important for me to be worrying about image issues.

The other part is the abandonment issue. This baby alters the makeup of our relationship… we’re not boyfriend and girlfriend, or husband and wife… we’re Mama and Papa now. Every single person I depended on for the first 20 years of my life is gone – I’m estranged from my parents and childhood friends; I’ve lost my grandparents and other loved ones in death. Everyone has left me. The constant, through the ugly and the beautiful, has been my George. His family and friends have welcomed me with open arms. I know that I can’t depend on someone else for my personal happiness, and I don’t. But I do feel slightly off-kilter right now, even if my logical mind knows it’s hormonal, my emotional mind is freaking out slightly.

In addition to all of the emotional stuff, I’m having some pain. It feels like I’ve been squeezing a grapefruit between my thighs for the past 36 hours. Yesterday it was painful to walk, and the stairs were excruciating. I called my midwife and she suggested doing some pelvic rocks and stretching and said to come in today if I’m not feeling any better. After lots of stretching, a hot bath and sleeping with a hot water bottle, I feel much better today. I think it’s probably just ligament pains from things starting to stretch. As long as they aren’t contraction-type pains and the baby is moving around, I’m not really worried.

23 weeks 1 day

Oh my God… people really do eat the placenta!

And as if that isn’t bad enough, there are recipes!

Studies show that most mother mammals actually do eat their placentas; it replaces vitamins and minerals lost during the labor process. Humans are one of the only mammals that do not routinely consume the afterbirth.

As George said yesterday when I told him this, “Yeah, and we used to swing naked from trees, scratch our asses and pick bugs off of each other, but we don’t do that anymore, either!”

Point taken. I doubt we’ll be serving Placenta Spaghetti Bolognese at our house. Ewww.

22 weeks 6 days

I had my 23-week midwife appointment last night, and everything appears to be going just fine. Bubs was really active while the m/w was trying to find the heartbeat, and kept kicking the Doppler when she pressed it on my abdomen. When she was finally able to get a reading, the h/b was about 150 bpm, which is in a nice, safe range.

I did get some good news… originally, I was under the impression that I was Rh-, which would require a shot after Bubs is born (if George is Rh+). Come to find out, it’s actually a problem with Rubella — it seems I don’t have immunity, so I’ll need to get a vax after the birth. I seem to recall my mother saying once that she had German measles while she was pregnant with me. Don’t know what that has to do with the price of tea in China, but it seems notable.

Bubs kicks if s/he can feel the seatbelt, the waistline on my jeans, even my bathrobe tie has elicited some serious pops when s/he feels infringed upon in there. Last night I tried sleeping on my side, and turned onto my stomach just a little… and the kid freaked out! It felt like s/he was using my uterus as a trampoline, bumping his head into my abdomen over and over again… I finally rolled over, and he settled down.

I’m supposed to have a glucose tolerance test (GTT) at 28 weeks. Supposedly the test will tell whether or not I have symptoms of gestational diabetes. I’ve read that these tests have a lot of false-positive results, leading to increased stress on the mother, as well as unnecessary interventions. I’m going to do some research and call my midwife again before I decide whether or not to take the test.

I thought I was having Braxton-Hicks contractions, but my midwife says that she thinks it’s just the baby laying across the front of my uterus. It’s a bit early to be experiencing BHs, usually around 30-32 weeks.

I must admit, I’m feeling much better about the idea of a hospital birth. I’m confident that my midwife is going to respect our wishes for a natural, unmedicated birth, with as minimal intervention from hospital staff as possible. I mentioned that when people ask who my OB is, I always say, “I don’t have an OB, I have a midwife,” which elicits a variety of interesting responses… everything from, “Oh! So you can’t have any drugs?” to “But then you can’t have your baby at the hospital!” to “Don’t let them talk you into eating the afterbirth” and various other comments. It’s a great opportunity to set people straight, and offer some insight… like, for example, that midwives have been delivering babies for thousands of years, whereas doctors have been doing it for about a hundred or so. Men never used to be allowed to witness births; I believe that a man once dressed in women’s clothing in order to to watch a birth, was discovered and subsequently burned at the stake. (From Sheila Kitzinger’s book, “Rediscovering Birth”)

21 weeks 4 days

My 28th birthday was yesterday. George brought me flowers on Friday, but was very wise and steered clear of the issue on Sunday, not wishing me “Happy Birthday” until today… which happens to be our 3-year wedding anniversary.

I’m still trying to find an alternative birthing center since I do not want to have a hospital birth. I made the mistake of watching “Maternity Ward” on TLC on Saturday, and spent the entire half hour yelling at the television; “Why are you laying on your back to labor? Why aren’t you sitting up? Why aren’t you walking to bring the baby down? Why won’t they let you have water?” My personal favorite was a 17-year-old girl who was crying and screaming, “I want to go home! I can’t do this!” Yeah, maybe you shouldn’t have gotten pregnant then.

Ugh, I have no sympathy for uneducated people who believe that a medicalized birth is the only route… as if the OB/GYN is God and there aren’t choices and alternatives available.

George threatened me; if I watch that show again, he’s having TLC removed from our cable. I know he won’t do it, but it’s nice to know he’s more concerned about my mental state than he is about Bob Vila or Forensic Science.