msLaura: Modern Mama Laura Hamilton + Dan Baker = Julian Hamilton Baker & Adrian Hamilton Baker "When a woman tells the truth she is creating the possibility for more truth around her."
- Adrienne Rich



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the portable baby


recent posts

First time turning, not the baby

Julian is here!

Waving in the amniotic breeze

Don't be breech!

Due date

Fat Drunken Godzilla

Nesting frenzy and BBQ dreams

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February 26, 2004


Baby Mystery of the Day...

I eat green spinach, make white milk, and baby then makes green poop out of it. How does that happen? It totally *looks* as though he has eaten spinach, too. Fascinating...

Julian is getting chubby baby cheeks all of a sudden, he has really started to fill out. Not like he was ever scrawny by any means, but now he is getting that plump baby look.

It's true, babies really do change every single day. His umbilical cord fell off this morning. I was cleaning around it with alcohol (which you are supposed to do with every diaper change) when I noticed it was wiggly, like a loose tooth. I poked around at it, which didn't seem to bother him any more than usual, then turned it and turned it and it just came off in my hand. A milestone! This baby will be able to take a bath before *I* will! He just had to wait for his cord to fall off, but I have to wait another 2 weeks before my incision is considered healed enough for me to do anything but shower. Grrrr. Honestly, why on earth anyone would *choose* to have a C-section is just beyond me. It's absolutely horrible.

More clues as to how to get this baby to sleep at night...last night he was fussing and fussing and wouldn't sleep when it was time to go to bed. Dan jiggled him for a while while I passed out for an hour, then I woke up, sent Dan to bed and took over from there. Fussing, fussing...finally I put him down on his stomach and he quieted right down and went to sleep. Wouldn't you know...the one position that babies are NOT supposed to sleep in is the one position that knocks our baby out at night when nothing else works? I waited until he was out cold and then put him on his back again. This may be a very valuable strategy indeed.

I lost another 5 pounds in two days, it's like a miracle or something. I'm eating fine and haven't even gone for walk in two days (damn this rain!), but the weight is just melting off. Turning into chubby baby cheeks, methinks. Gotta love breastfeeding.

February 24, 2004

First time turning, not the baby

I am feeling better, still sore but able to turn over in bed without whimpering in pain. My back still hurts, but is also improving. I didn't take any Motrin today, and I still feel OK. Everyone warns me about the dangers of overdoing it midwife came by to check me over today and told me some horrific stories about C-section incisions opening up, guts falling out, bad scarring, nasty horrible stuff like that. Way scary. Apparently I am supposed to totally avoid stairs and bending over to pick things up...ooops. Impossible around here, unless I had a little trained monkey to pick up all the things that I drop. I drop EVERYTHING lately. And I can't just live in the bottom part of the house. The shower is upstairs, for one thing. The doctor who did my C-section said to just let pain be my guide. If it hurts, don't do it. So I'm following his advice, I guess. So far I am healing up decently. My guts haven't spilled out of my incision yet or anything. That seems to be a good sign.

Angel Baby got devilish two nights in a row. I ate some sausage and pepperoni pizza and then a friend came over and made German sausage with cabbage. Not friendly foods for a breastfeeding mom. My stomach was upset, so you can only imagine how Julian reacted. The first night he would be fine for a few minutes and then all of a sudden it was like someone just kicked him in the stomach. Broke my heart watching him...I tried to comfort him as best I could, but nothing realy worked. Then yesterday he slept too much during the day and was awake and fussy all night long. Arrgh. Very challenging. Totaly exhausted, shifting him from position to position, patting and kissing him and saying, "There there, it's OK my sweet baby..." like a mechanical robot after a while. Constant diaper changes. The kid poops at least ten times a day. No worries about malnourishment here. I got the famed Water Weenie treatment today while I was changing him, and nearly got blasted with an explosive poo as well while his diaper was off. It was more funny than anything. His poo is just like grainy mustard and doesn't smell bad at all...maybe a little yeasty if I would have to name a smell.

My stomach is still shrinking down on a daily basis, thank goodness. From that big ole belly that I had in the hospital, I just have what looks like a beer belly now, ten days later. Another few weeks and it will supposedly be gone completely. I have already lost 25 pounds, mostly water I think. All my puffiness is gone. Now another 35 to go...ugh. But it shouldn't be too hard. May insatiable hunger is gone, along with those sweets cravings.

Yesterday Dan and I were out walking, Dan with Bugs on his leash and me shuffling along behind with the stroller. We passed our neighbor Pat coming towards us on the other side of the street and she called out to me, "Trying to lose that baby fat, eh?"

Yeah Pat, thanks for reminding me. Uh, lately I'm really just focusing on feeding the baby and changing his diaper 24/7, then getting some sleep, relaxing my painful back, not having my stitches pop open and spill my guts into the street at any point, and getting in at least 5 minutes of conversation with my husband a day, but yeah, I'll work on losing that baby fat too. For cryin' out loud!

Totally funny clothing situation. No one, including me, bought any 0-3 month clothing for Julian. I think we were all planning on him being huge. I have some kimono T-shirts that I bought for him to wear at the last minute, and a wonderful baby gown that I wish I had ten of, because it's soft and comfy, keeps him warm without being too hot (which happens often, he gets all sweaty, that thing about having to bundle babies in a zillion layers is definitely not true), and is a piece of cake to change his diaper in. He has a few onesies too, but only about three of them. I'm not a fan, because the snaps are industrial-strength for some reason and it takes brute strength to unsnap them. It's like they're childproof or something! And while I am at the changing table furiously yanking on his crotch trying to unsnap the onesie it gives him extra time to get fussy. Contrast that with the gown, where I just slip it up and down and it keeps him warm and stays put and is fuss-free and you see why I'm a fan. Plus he looks really cute in the gown, like a little baby worm.

I just ordered more of the fabulous gowns, because they are really the most perfect clothing for him and definitely the easiest for me. So if his one gown is dirty then he wears a T-shirt, a diaper and is wrapped up in a receiving blanket to keep warm enough. Which is fine, it's just funny, because he has such a limited wardrobe right now, but when he finally fits into his 3-6 month wardrobe we're going to have to change his clothes every hour just so he can wear everything. He has TONS of clothes for 3-6 months. A whole drawer full, and then some. And plenty of clothes for 6-12 months even. But for right now, he's the Baby With One Gown. Good thing he's just a newborn and can't hold it against me. Well, this is Silicon Valley. Plenty of smart successful people wear the same T-shirt every day around here. At least I give him a *clean* T-shirt every day. He smells good, too.

He does have one glamorous item of clothing, which is the miraculous SwaddleMe wrap that my friend Mimi O'Connell (a new mom herself) sent me. That is the blue fleece wrap that you see him wearng in the Snapfish photos, the ones where he is making the funny expressions and propped up next to a pillow. That wrap is the bomb. He loves it, he looks cute in it, and it's easy to put on him. Dan and I were asking nurses in the hospital, "Wait, HOW do you do that swaddling thing again?" and sort of doing a half-assed job of it. When a hospital nurse hands you your baby, he's wrapped up as tight as a FedEx package. You can toss him around like a football. He's this bullet-shaped package that you can bounce quarters off, with a baby head on top. But even that is encompassed somewhat by the swaddle, so you barely even have to support his neck. He's a baby mummy. It's kind of creepy and kind of convenient. I always unwrapped him a little so that his hands were free to touch and pat things, and then the nurses would come in and sigh like I had undone all their fine work. They would put his hat on and then I would take it off so that I could pet his soft Woodstock-like fuzzy head. My little bird.

Dan and I were both attempting to swaddle Julian in several blankets at home when Mimi's SwaddleMe package arrived, just in the nick of time. Thanks Mimi! Not like he is always swaddled up or anything, he likes to use his hands and move around way too much, but sometimes you just want a newborn to be chilled out and semi-immobile at the same time, and swaddling is definitely good for that. In fact, I think I am going to swaddle him up tight tonight so we can both get some sleep. They are tightly constrained in the womb for a long time, then they get used to it and can feel all disorganized and freaked out by having their limbs able to move around so freely. So the swaddle mummy wrap is comforting.

Time for dinner...and there's a new episode of Keen Eddie on Bravo tonight. I am totally not a TV-watcher, and consider watching TV in general to be a waste of time, but this show is SO great. I just adore it. It's funny and original and hip and stylish and modern and smart and has good plotlines. Sort of a detective/cop show, but with a twist. The lead guy is a New York cop working for Scotland Yard in London, where the show is set. I really like the characters. Since my main excitement consists of hanging out with Dan in the evenings keeping the baby awake, I am happy to have something good that we can watch on Tuesday nights. And thank god for Netflix too! Keep those movies coming in...

February 20, 2004

Julian is here!

Our sweet baby is finally here! He was born Friday. Feb. 13th at 4:07am, weighed 8lbs. 3ozs. and measured 20 inches long.

It was a rough ride the whole way. We got back from the hospital late Monday afternoon after a stay of three days. I was in labor at home for over two days, starting light contractions Tuesday night, Feb. 10th (my last night of full sleep!) going on through Wednesday and then keeping me awake on Wednesday night. Not too unbearable that night though. I squirmed around with each one and kept track of how far apart they were (with the Contraction Timer software on my Palm Pilot, naturally) but I was still able to sleep for a few minutes in between. However, the next day was a full day of hard BACK labor, which was absolutely excruciating and only got worse as the day went on.

I finally got to about 8.5cm dilated towards evening, but then started to reverse, my cervix started swelling tighter! Walking around and squatting had put too much pressure on my cervix from the baby's head. I had to lie on my left side on the couch for three hours without standing up, having the worst pain of my entire life. I thought those contractions were literally going to drive me mad. We tried the pool, but unfortunately and surprisingly, it made the pain much *worse*. I left the cover off it that morning in my contraction confusion, so the temperature cooled off and it felt cold while I was in there.

Several hours later my midwife checked again and my cervix had opened up to 9.5 cm. I tried to push a little, but the opening was too small for his head, we needed the full 10 cm of dilation. I was sent back to the hell of back labor on my left side, trying to relax as much as possible while trying not to scream my head off! Well, OK, I screamed a few times. ;-) Dan was a champion, he pressed on my lower back for about six hours straight with one hand, and held my other hand while I tried as hard as I could to crush it to a pulp with each contraction. Occasionally the doula would press on my back so Dan could have both hands free to be crushed to a pulp. Holding his hand and having someone push on my back as the only thing that kept me from going completely insane. It was just that bad. I can't even describe it. I couldn't even begin to imagine it without having gone through it.

An hour later, instead of being completely dilated, I was back at 7.5-8cm! At that point I said I just couldn't do this anymore, I was literally crazed with pain, at the very end of my rope, exhausted, and I couldn't just lie around having these horrible contractions hoping to make some progress but not knowing. We tried pushing again, but my midwife couldn't slip the cervix over the baby's head. I was shaking uncontrollably as well, which made it impossible to relax.

So we all went to Good Samaritan hospital at about 2:00am, it's about 3 minutes from our house. My midwife knew the OB-GYN on call and said he was a really good doctor. They whisked me upstairs and I got an epidural, which was a blessed relief at that point. We were going to wait and see if some pain relief and rest could help my cervix dilate that last little bit. Well, it did finally dilate, but by then my contractions had become farther apart and weaker, and pitocin didn't help . My uterus was just too exhausted to keep going as hard as it needed to to get the baby out now that my cervix was ready.

I was laying there enjoying the relief from pain when all of a sudden an alarm went off and the doctor and nurse rushed back into the room. The baby's heartbeat had dipped down way too low on the last contraction. Normally it makes a V pattern during a contraction, goes down and then comes right back up afterwards, but he stayed down a while this time, in more of a U. This meant that he was getting dangerously tired too.

That decided it, we had to get him out. So they prepared me for a C-section. I was fairly terrified, and still shaking uncontrollably from hormones and the epidural. Dan held my hand and tried to hold my arm down to keep it from shaking off the platform, my midwife stroked my arm, and the anesthesiologist gave me an IV stand to grip onto with my other hand. My epidural got boosted up to full-strength-toes-to-chest, although it ended up going all the way up to my chin. I couldn't see anything that was going on, as there was a sort of surgical tent over me.

It didn't take long at all. Julian cried as soon as he came out, which was a great sign. Dan stood up to see him and he cried too. They both went off to do weighing and testing, and Julian checked out to be wonderfully healthy.

Veronica stayed with me and held my hand, told me how healthy the baby was, how incredibly strong I had been, how we had done all we could to avoid this, but it was the only solution and it was fine, I shouldn't feel bad at all. I cried a bit, but I agreed with her. We delivered a healthy baby, and that was the most important thing. The only trouble was...I was paralyzed! The epidural went too high up, I felt like I couldn't swallow or breathe. And my mouth was as dry as sand, which didn't help. I felt like I was choking to death. I told the anesthesiologist, but he said I was fine. They wheeled me to the recovery room, where I watched Dan hold the baby and waited for the terrible paralysis to wear off. I could see my foot poking out of the blankets at the end of the bed, but not move or feel it at all. For some reason my foot was at a weird angle, almost parallel to the bed, and it totaly freaked me out to have my leg at such a weird bent angle and not even be able to feel it. Luckily I had a wonderful nurse (named Laura) who took good care of me and snuck me a few ice chips to relieve my dry-mouth suffering.

After about an hour, the epidural wore off down to my arms (it wears off from head down to toes in that direction) I was able to hold Julian and breastfeed him. He latched on perfectly right away. I couldn't feel my breasts at first, then they came back while I was breastfeeding, which was kind of funny. The nurse and I were laughing about it. Dan went home to get some sleep and feed the dog.

I was lucky enough to have a really good doctor and fantastic nurses, so my stay in the hospital was really as pleasant as it could be. They were all great breastfeeding advocates, and took wonderful care of me and Julian as I recovered. The food was even decent. The first day and a half were kind of blurry. I was taking Percocet for the pain and was so tired and hungry and out of it. I hadn't eaten much for the previous two days and then I was on clear fluids at the hospital for another day. I just focused on Julian and let the nurses do everything else. We cocooned in my hospital room bonding skin-to-skin for most of the three days, breastfeeding like crazy...I think I set a record for getting a baby back to his birth weight! ;-) I napped with him on my chest and gazed into his eyes about 18 hours a day. I am MADLY in love with this beautiful baby!

One of the nurses tried to take him to the nursery so that I could get uninterrupted sleep, but no WAY was I about to let anyone take him away. Other than that, the nurses were all absolutely fantastic. I actually enjoyed my time in the hospital, it gave me a chance to just focus on my baby without distraction.

I was surprised that my stomach was still so HUGE, and I was terribly swollen all over. You can see both in the photo where I am sitting in bed talking on the phone to my friend Angela. The doctor explained that my belly was mostly trapped air, retained water, and uterus, plus my internal organs had to slide back to where they were before the baby pushed them out of the way. The swelling was from being on the had a lot of sodium in it and would take about a week to go away.

Dan came to visit us for most of every day, when he wasn't home cleaning up and taking care of the dog. My friends John, Lisa, and Ray came by, Dan's family came by, we had quite a party at one point!

I was a little scared to go home on the third day. I still felt so crappy and could barely walk back and forth to the bathroom. Getting in and out of bed was a task, and that was a nice hospital bed that moved up and down to provide assistance! But I wanted to be with Dan and Bugs, and they were eager to have us home as well, so I asked to be discharged. The first night was a challenge. It was so hard to move around, and we have stairs, and getting into bed was almost beyond me, much less getting out. Plus now I had no nurses, and my hormones were going crazy. My fantastic friend Lisa brought over a full-on ravioli dinner with salad and bread and prepared everything for us, what an angel! Thank God she did, I was not up for anythng besides eating and going to bed. Totally wiped out, and I had forgotten to take any Motrin since coming home, so every movement was incredibly painful.

I cried about fifty times the first two days at home. I cried because the baby was so beautiful, I cried because my incision hurt like hell, I cried because I kept DROPPING everything and couldn't bend down to pick it up, I cried thinking about that terrible labor and delivery experience. Plus my back was killing me. Bending over a baby held in your arms is a real back-killer. My back is still killing me, but I am starting to feel a lot better in all other regards.

My breasts were like wooden bowling balls on my chest for about three days too, which hurt like hell. Total engorgement to the point where I was totally numb and couldn't even feel them. Julian was having trouble latching on, but still getting the job done. I went to the Parenting and Breatfeeding Center at the hospital the day after I got home (with Julian in his sling, which he LOVES) and they told me to put cabbage leaves inside my bra for 24 hours. Surprisingly it worked really well...there is some chemical in cabbage that slows milk production. It was too funny to walk around the house with big green leaves sticking up out of my shirt though.

That same day we went to the pediatrician and he had his first well-baby checkup. Babies *lose* weight their first week after being born, and Julian had gotten down to about 7 lbs. 12 ozs. two days later, but now five days old he was already up to 8 lbs. 8 ozs. So I felt great about that...I may be incapacitated, but my baby was eating like a champ!

Dan's mom Ida has been taking excellent care of us. Each day she drops by with a delicious meal all packaged up for us, does dishes, whatever we need. We are so grateful, it makes life so much easier knowing that we have something good to eat already prepared. Between nursing and diaper changes and trying to nap when Julian naps, I don't have much time to do anything else, and my back pain and the incision make standing up and cooking very difficult. During the day Dan is walking the dog, cleaning the house, running errands, and picking up all the things that I have dropped ;-). In the evening we play "pass the baby" where I stuff him full of milk and then pass him over to Dan for playtime to keep him awake. We do that from late afternoon post-nap until about 10:30pm, otherwise Julian tends to sleep all day and then wants to play all night and gaze into our eyes when I am dropping dead from exhaustion. If we can keep it to nursing and diaper changes every three hours at night, I'm OK, but if each one is a nighttime play session on top of that, then I fall apart.

I always thought newborns were kind of boring...what do they do besides eat and sleep and poop? Well, they do a lot of that, it's true, but this baby is so incredibly funny and cute. He has the craziest expressions. We took pictures of some of them, you can see them in the photo section. Plus he makes hysterical little noises...chirps and hoots and all kinds of sounds. He barely ever cries. He smiles a lot. He likes having his hands free to wave around and pat you. He LOVES to snuggle. He loves his Baby Bjorn bouncy seat. He loves being worn in slings. He's really very happy. The only thing that makes him cry very hard is being hungry, and we never let him get too hungry, so therefore he never really cries too much. He sleeps with me, so I can tell by his little noises when he's hungry, I don't wait for a full-on cry. I know what he's saying, I don't make him spell it out!

Watching him breastfeed is a laugh riot. He has this whole relationship with the nipple. He plays with it, he coos to it, he lunges for it like a crazy starving madman, he pops off it all of a sudden and slaps himself around the face with it, then leaps back onto it with fierce gusto. Then he snuggles up to it and practically smokes a cigarette afterwards. It's too, too funny. After he eats he gets the Drunk Crazy Baby expression, with a big sloppy wet smile and half-closed eyes. Then he throws himself around all dramatically. I'm telling you, these newborns are fascinating! Who knew? And I hear they just get more interesting as time goes on. ;-)

February 10, 2004

Waving in the amniotic breeze

Just got back from the ultrasound and *whew*....everything is OK. I am SO relieved. I'm absolutely exhausted from being stressed out all day long wondering if Baby J flipped to breech.

But he is NOT breech, he is head down, facing to one side (ideal is to have him facing towards my back, but that's OK, he can still move around a bit). He checks out perfect on all counts...nice and big and sturdy (but not too big), still has lots of fluid around him, placenta is in great condition, he's all coiled up like a spring, practicing breathing, good heartbeat, relaxed and happy. He's definitely a boy...we saw his scrotum and penis waving around in the amniotic "breeze". We tried to tickle his foot, but he was sleeping.

So whew, whew, whew. What a sigh of relief. Everything is fine. I called Veronica afterwards to tell her the good news and she says that she think I will probably deliver this week sometime. Of course, no one really knows for sure, that's just the best guess.

Off to make Baked Sesame Chicken with mashed Yukon Gold potatoes and a nice Maché salad for dinner.

Don't be breech!

I finally had some cramping in the middle of the night. The very first sign I've had so far
that this baby is even close to arriving!

I went to my weekly midwife appointment this morning, but no midwife...she was at a birth. Her assistant Rebecca checked me over instead (she's also an R.N.).
Julian shifted position and we were having a tough time figuring out what
was where. Rebecca did an exam and there was a little bit of bloody
show, plus she said I was a bit softer inside, so looks like things are
progressing, but it could still easily be another week or so. The troublesome part was that Rebecca couldn't seem to confim that he is
still head down. She thinks so, but wants Veronica's expert
confirmation. I may have to go get an ultrasound just to be sure that he is not
breech...noooo!!! That would be terrible after he has been head down for so

So the reason that Veronica was out this morning is that she had an emergency
transfer from another midwife. A woman was expecting her first baby at 39
weeks along, had her mom in town for two weeks, and wanted to speed things
up a little so that she could deliver while her mom was here. So she dosed
herself with castor oil without consulting with anyone.

Well, it was a disaster. She started dilating from the castor oil, but
aparently castor oil just dilates your cervix without thinning it out
(effacing), so unless you have accompanying hormonal action and your body is
already ready to go, the baby can't come out! Really bad thing to take when
your body is not really ready to deliver. So she has been having a terrible
time. She has horrible diarrhea on top of everything else (it's a very powerful laxative) and they are
worried about her dehydrating too much.

Veronica is over there right now treating her with Pitocin in an attempt to
get her cervix thinned out enough to finish the job. She's sort of stuck
halfway, and hopefully her uterus doesn't get exhausted or else she will
have to be transferred to the hospital for a c-section.

Going to have lunch with a girlfriend today. Got my car totally washed and
vacuumed from top to bottom yesterday and stocked up with even MORE
groceries, installed the car seat. My pantry is *packed*! I'm definitely
ready for this baby. It's weird knowing that he might be another week or
even TWO away! Oh well. He'll come when he's good and ready.

Oh no...Veronica just called me up and said that she just got in and heard
about the baby having moved around, and that from what Rebecca told her
about where the strongest heartbeat is, she suspects he might now be breech.
She said she was concerned about this last week, since he was so active and
his head was not fully engaged in my pelvis yet to "lock" him in.

So now I have to get an ultrasound ASAP this afternoon, to see where the
baby is. If he is breech, she cannot deliver me. I have to go to the
hospital and have a C-section. How awful. He *does* feel like he is in a
weird position since yesterday when he was moving around like crazy, but I
just thought maybe he had dropped down more or engaged.

I am doing pelvic tilts like crazy right now, moving between rolling around
on my birthing ball and laying on the floor with my hips up on pillows until
it's time for my ultrasound....which, to make matters worse, is $240!

Come on baby, PLEASE don't be breech. Just do this one thing for me and I'll
take care of the rest.

I know I am supposed to be prepared for any kind of delivery, and you
don't always get what you want, but I will be just SO sad and devastated if
I have to go to the hospital and have a C-section. I suppose I should just
start thinking about a healthy living baby being the only thing that
matters, but still...the prospect of going to the hospital and being sliced open under anesthesia, then having to recover from major surgery afterwards, yikes.

February 08, 2004

Due date

It's my due date today and not even a hint of baby. My Gentle Birth tub is here though (though for me it's going to be a laboring tub, not necessarily a birth tub), so I've been taking full advantage of having a hot tub in the living room. It's so great. Everyone should have a hot tub in their living room! Well, I guess with traditional hot tubs that would make your living room steamy and stink like chlorine, but since this is just clean tap water and it's only 95-100 degrees, it's neither stinky nor steamy.

I climb in in the morning when the sun is streaming in, read a book and float around for an hour or two in perfect cozy weightlessness. Bugs works on his tan just outside on the patio. A happy domestic scene ;-) I climb in again after dinner, watch a movie, chat with Dan. Gets me all relaxed and warm and ready for bed. Veeeery nice.

I have officially finished all the baby tasks now. Everything is ready to go, we just need the kid. I even did my taxes for 2003. OK Baby J, anytime you're ready...

February 03, 2004

Fat Drunken Godzilla

I had my weekly midwife appointment yesterday. Veronica did a pelvic exam and my cervix is still closed tight as a drum and tissue is firm/fleshy, so looks like no baby anytime soon. She said her best guess is that I have two more weeks to go. I don't know how much more nesting fever I can take, I am running out of things to organize and clean...LOL!

She commented that I have very little fat on me, which seems crazy since I feel so HUGE. I clomp around like a drunken Godzilla and my pre-pregnancy pants don't even fit halfway up my thighs anymore. I have gained 56 pounds so far and I was not underweight to begin with, though not overweight either. Plus I am eating like a madwoman...all the time. I'd like to say that it is *all* healthy food, most of it is, but I eat plenty of chocolate and ice cream too, uh, just to supplement and not get malnourished or anything ;-) Baby needs ice cream! I am retaining a lot of water now though, my legs and ankles look pretty puffy, and my hands look all puffy as well. I read that this is a good thing, that you *should* be moderately puffy at this late date, because that means you have a lot of water stored up so you don't get dehydrated during labor. It's not fun having cankles though. But right after delivery the extra water all goes away, so I hear.

Hey, if Veronica says that I don't have any fat on me, I'm not going to argue with good news. Hopefully this means I will get back to my original weight pretty easily after delivery. I am still astonished that I weigh almost 200 pounds. I weigh 25 pounds more than Dan now, and outeat him at every meal! Crazy. I still look OK from the back though, I even still have a waist from that angle. But I have pretty much lost all frame of reference as to what I am supposed to look like anymore. I thought my ankles looked relatively OK yesterday before I went out for a walk, but then I tried to zip up my boots and it just wasn't happening. And my Birkenstocks were tight. You know you're poofy when your Birkenstocks feel tight, for cryin' out loud. I gave myself a pedicure yesterday though. Not without some serious effort, but at least my swollen feet are well-groomed.

Baby Julian has dropped, but his head has not yet engaged to lock him into place. Veronica said since I have a long torso and little fat around him to hold him in place *and* he is VERY active, she is a bit worried that he might move out of his perfect head down, facing inward position. She is going to do a pelvic on me every week to check him. Yikes! My breech fears are suddenly back! Don't you dare move out of that position baby! Squirm all you want, but STAY head down, please! I would be heartbroken if I had to go to the hospital after all this. I can't WAIT to have a home birth! Just got a report from one of the women on the home birth mailing list that I'm on. She delivered her baby boy at home with two midwives and had a wonderful, easy time of it. It was a great experience. I'm so excited...but looks like I am in for a bit of a wait. Dang. Oh well, more time to putz around and do little projects and keep getting paid my Yahoo! salary all the while, so as long I'm not too uncomfortable it's OK. I started doing my taxes yesterday. Gee, maybe I can even get some jewelry made. Also gives me time to sew a baby carrier that I have been coveting. It will come in handy when Julian gets to be a little bit older and we want to go on hikes and longer walks. The other slings I have are great, but for hiking I need more weight distribution. I have the pattern and some beautiful silk fabric, looks like I'll have the time now.

I am really enjoying my quality time with Bugs. He loves having me home all day, although I'm sure he wishes I could still take him on long hikes like we did all summer. But the weather has been crappy, and I can only manage an hour walk on flat ground. Still, we nap together and he goes with me wherever I can take him. A good dog is just priceless. I would *love* to spend more quality time with Dan, but he is under massive pressure from his company to close deals, meet his quota for the quarter, and write a zillion sales reports in the meantime. He is being micromanaged to death right now, poor thing, so he is all stressed out and preoccupied and not his usual fun silly self. It pretty much sucks, but what can you do? He's dying for the baby to come so he can take two weeks of paternity leave and forget about work for a while.

Oh, I got a letter from my former OB-GYN yesterday, she is quitting her practice as of February 19th! I am SO glad that I switched to my midwife. Imagine if I had stayed with the OB-GYN and done a hospital birth...I wouldn't even know if she were going to be around or not! If I go two weeks over my due date (which could happen), I would have a total stranger delivering my baby. Everything happens for a reason, doesn't it? I feel like this whole pregnancy has been so lucky and so fateful. Hopefully it continues on that track.

February 01, 2004

Nesting frenzy and BBQ dreams

Man, I am in a nesting *frenzy* lately! If I had to guess this baby's arrival date based on how strong my nesting instinct is, I would say he should have arrived about two days ago! :-)

I have cleaned out all the closets now, all the bathroom cabinets, kitchen cabinets, and most of the garage. I filled our trash can up, packed up huge bags of clothes to take to Goodwill, sold a bunch of things on eBay, and gave away a ton of stuff free to people on my Freecycle mailing list.

Freecycle is really, really great. One of the best uses of the internet. Just today I had people come by to pick up an Iomega zip drive, an extra breastmilk cooler bag that I got from my insurance provider, and 10 assorted silk ties that Dan doesn't wear anymore. It's a great way to give away and get stuff. Way better than just leaving stuff out on the curb, which is what I used to do before. People give away some interesting stuff too, like Wurlitzer organs, motorcycles, you name it. I was going to get some free lily bulbs yesterday from a lady in Saratoga, but then I thought that bending over planting bulbs is probably the last thing I need to be doing right now, especially when I have about a zillion daffodils coming up outside already.

Whew! It feels great to have reduced the clutter we don't really need or aren't using, and get a little extra space around here in return.

Honestly though, I feel like I am going a little nutty with nesting. I have been having really weird sleep lately. It's like the kind of sleep you have when you are sick or have a fever...lots of very strange lucid intense dreams, interrupted by lots of waking up intervals in between. The dreams are so nonsensical for the most part. So many of them lately are about cleaning/organizing. I do all these organization projects in my dreams. I cleaned out my closet all night long about a week ago. I woke up feeling like, "OK! OK! I'll clean out the closet today! Geez!" Once I get all this cleaning/organizing done, I don't know what I'll be dreaming about. First it was organizing the nursery and baby stuff, then it was closets and cabinets. Now that I'm done with that, what's next on my dreamscape?

The night before last I was dreaming about barbecued chicken and ribs all night long. Boring repetitive dreams about what's the best way to make ribs, going over recipes and preparation methods, how I really needed to have some BBQ chicken on hand for the birth (!) and crazy stuff like that. I woke up and laughed out loud at dreaming about such a crazy thing. Barbecue! I have never in my life made ribs of any sort, and I've only eaten them about 3 times. I like them OK I guess. Usually they have been too greasy or fatty for me, so I'm not sure why I would dream about them so much. Rib symbolism? If any of you have ideas on this, feel free to send an email and enlighten me. My best guess is that I am worried that I will starve to death after the baby comes, since I probably won't be cooking and Dan is almost useless in the kitchen. He can certainly go get takeout though. And he can dial Waiters on Wheels. So I'm not too worried.

I ended up making broiled chicken smothered in BBQ sauce for dinner that night due to my dream. Middle of winter and Dan and I had BBQ chicken, corn on the cob and a carrot/cucumber salad. Total mid-summer meal. But it tasted great. I'm getting so tired of my own cooking, eating it 3X day. Tonight we're back to winter...split pea soup with hot Italian sausages. I'm so hungry all the time and yet so bored with all the food in the house. I can't think of what I want to eat.

Oh wow, am I turning into a boring mom/housewife already? I think about babies, food, and whether my closets are clean or not. Ugh. Well, I also think about the politics and current events a lot, and I seem to be writing a lot of faxes and emails to people on behalf of environmental causes and reproductive rights. OK, I guess I'm not a total Stepford Wife or anything.

Time to walk the dog and get some grocery shopping done. I don't feel so great by the end of my hour walk, but I can't NOT walk, because then my ankles swell up. Plus, the more I exercise, the better I sleep. I swam *and* walked yesterday and I was able to take an hour and a half nap before dinner PLUS eight hours of regular shuteye. Ahhhh, sleep. Bugs passes out cold when we get back too. We're totally in sync. Go out, walk for an hour, come back, eat something, pass out together on the couch. It's a dog's life.

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