altarflame: (Default)
5 am this morning - I woke up because contractions were too intense to sleep through. Chatted with Babyslime on AIM, had a snack, drank some water. Went back to bed around 7 something, but it hurt too much laying down even though resting in between contractions was nice. Isaac got up and started acting like a maniac, in a cute way, I woke up my mother.

10 or so - we left for the birth center because they were still coming every 3 minutes, give or take, and were really hurting. Ended up walking around strip malls with me stopping to breathe and talk through contractions that sort of immobilized me, every couple of minutes, until about noon. Then Angela checked me, I was at a little over 1 cm. She hooked me up to a non-stress (after asking if that was ok) just because I was there and baby is technically over 41 weeks now. He did great, and my contractions were every 2 1/2 minutes on the monitor. We left, went to lunch, I got super nauseus after nothing but soup and started having hot flashes...this and that. All this time contractions were 30-45 seconds long.

4-ish - we got home. Got extremely pissed when things still hurt just as badly in the shower as out (honestly, what is that about?) I layed around on the couch dozing, waking to yell profanity or just grip the couch every couple of minutes for contractions. Mom and Laura took the kids to the park and Grant made me eggplant parmesean, red raspberry leaf tea, and was just nice to me in general. Kids got back, he bathed everyone, got them fed, got Isaac in bed. All this time my contractions keep on every few minutes, but gradually they're lengthening and coming slightly less frequently. Like, every 4-5 minutes (unless I'm standing up, then it's less) and lasting at least a minute. Getting harder to keep quiet through.

11:15 - Muccous plug and bloody show in the bathroom! I am INSANELY excited about this, it's like concrete evidence that this pain is accomplishing something.

That's where we're at. Thank you everyone, for all of your comments and concerns, and prayers :)
altarflame: (belly pic)
And it made me happy.

Two days ago when I did the "stop in to get checked deal, she (Colleen, a random midwife who was there at the time) said my cervix was still pretty hard, posterior, high, hard to find, and that the baby's head was still kinda high, too. Today I'm 60-70% effaced, with a deeply engaged head, and my cervix was super easy to find and right there close :) So, that is something.

Also something: I had a sudden, one week jump in weight (6 pounds!!) and fundal height (from 39 to 42+). The baby is huge, and thus I am as well.

Anyhow. There is still hope for labor on the 7th, then, as Shari predicted a couple of weeks back. The 7th, btw, is Grant's birthday. So he's 24 today, and you should all go congratulate him :)

For now, I'm going to bed.
altarflame: (belly pic)
I got a few different emails and comments inquiring where the hell I dissapeared to, all full term and due.

Well...I started having contractions Sunday night (1 day past my "due date"). Intense ones waking me up and making me make noise. They lasted all night long. I got up fully expecting them to go away, and they didn't. I called my mother and told her, "This is probably not it. But I can't be responsible if it IS it, and you miss it." I also called my sister, and told her "It's possible that nothing is going on, I just want you to be where I can reach you if I do need you." They kept on all morning, all afternoon. I went for a looooooooooooong walk with my sister. My mother was timing them for the hell of it, late that evening, and they were coming 4-6 minutes apart and lasting 1+ minutes each time, for the whole two hours she kept track. And my back was killing me.

So then I went to bed and they petered out and by the next morning I was back to sporatic Braxton Hicks. The only change is, now I've gotten this ball of childcare and out of town relatives and such rolling, and my house is full of extra people and their luggage. I feel like hibernating. They're being very good; extensively telling me I'm under no pressure, they don't mind, etc. Even though my mother only has 6 paid days off of work, and even though things are crowded. They know better than to ask me how I'm feeling, or if anything new is going on, even when I'm clutching my back and stopping to breathe (like I have been tonight).

Grant had an appointment with a chef up in Miami yesterday, who is right down the street from the birth center. Since it's right there, he was like, why not come along and they can check you out. I said, Great idea, we even have babysitters here, it'll be nice to be out with just you. And it WAS nice, we stopped at Olive Garden on the way back, just he and I. But damnitt did I really need to go and ask someone to tell me what my cervix was doing, only to find out the answer is NOTHING? No, I didn't.

So yeah. Trying to just relax and chill. Went with mother, sister and kids to Wild Oats today and had lunch, hung out, shopped. And shopped at Winn Dixie with my mother this evening. Weeded the garden and gave sister many many harvested herbs to take home, and a rose off of my bush. Baked oatmeal raisin cookies and pumpkin bread tonight. Nursing my gorgeous toddler, trying not to neglect Ananda and Aaron (it's really easy when they're totally content to sit and watch my brother play video games or my mom play computer games or follow my sister around the house or jump on the trampoline, and I'm tired of everything and everyone).

Grant is being wonderful to me. Working a lot, but also doing anything I ask, and giving my foot rubs and back rubs and compliments, and just being great.

Anyway, there you all have it. It took a really unecessarily LARGE effort to force myself to come and update...I'm really tired of updating people. My father called today, my mom called my new stepdad, my sister in law and mother in law came by or called, and I dodged my nana on the phone. The cashiers at Winn Dixie all have something to say about my still being pregnant, and my across the street neighbors are convinced it MUST BE TWINS.

:::NOT tearing my hair out...really:::
altarflame: (belly pic)
And I'm never exactly freaking out to begin with, I am a fairly calm person - but I develop this building tension in between them that just sort of melts away after the appointments.

First I got adjusted so my hips will stop failing me and my ever expanding pelvis won't be killing me each morning. Then, today I got Joy, Shari's daughter. Joy is certified in herbal medicine and setting up a whole holistic store, as well as hosting a new "Homeopathy Hour" at the birth center, each Sunday. This turned out to be perfect - we reviewed my platelet count from last week, and I was SHOCKED - they're up to 127,000! I don't expect that to mean a lot to any readers here, but dang, I was hoping they would maybe stay at 108,000, or at least not be down below 100 (the big "danger point"). I haven't been at 127 since I was like 5 months pregnant! So yeah, the yellowdock is working :p And my hemoglobin is staying higher than normal, too - I've went from anemic to barely normal to low normal. Anyway, she suggested I pick up white sesame seeds to chew into a paste, daily, because they help with hemoglobin so much, and some liquid chlorophyll to drink 2 tablespoons a day of, as well as increasing my yellowdock to the max dose (I've been taking the median suggested dosage). The chlorophyll has the added benefit of cleaning out your GI tract, which will help with my Group B Strep stuff. I was very "Huh?", just thrilled to see such an improvement - but she totally has this idea that I could get up around 200,000 like a normal person, thusly drastically decreasing any chance of regular or internal hemmorage.

All this left me totally amazed. Like...real options that work? My DOCTOR's answer to low platelets was major surgery that necessitates twice as much blood loss as natural birth does! He never had any sort of ideas on how to RAISE them, it was just some kind of kamikaze, drastic immediate measure nonsense. He referred me to a "specialist" once who came in, looked at my chart, shook his head and went away (he also certainly never had a way to make my hips feel better). Joy also took down my number because she wants to do research on what causes low platelets in pregnancy and get back to me, as she believes that things that show up in pregnancy are just amplifications of issues we already had in our bodies - like how I have always had blood sugar issues, but get gestational diabetes if I eat sugar while pregnant. Signals we should pay attention to, for our long term health.

And she pronounced my cervix really, really soft and felt the baby's head - and then pushed on it a little a couple of times, and I could feel him bouncing in there! How amazing is that?! I have never had anyone reach into my vagina and feel a baby's head. Ever. At least not that they shared. Still no more dilation, but I really don't care. It's so awesome that my blood is thickening up and my cervix is soft and the head is right there. It makes it all seem REAL in a way that irregular contractions and vague hunches do not. And that keeps me from feeling impatient, and makes me feel like "Oh, wow. It's really going to happen in the next week or two sometime".

Talked with Grant on the highway about how OBs are paid by the birth, not by the hour, AND they get $10,000 for a half hour c-section, vs $2-3000 for a who knows how long vaginal, and there's no way to say that's not going to sway how things go down. They have to sleep, they're overbooked with patients waiting at the office...Especially when you add in legal liabilities that come in whenever anyone says they SHOULD have done a c/s, in their grief...(when a baby dies during/after c/s, it's more like "They did all they could").

Came home with a borrowed tape of the first two episodes of The Show. Watched half a dozen women give birth with no drugs or fetal monitors or IVs or troubles, in water, and pull their squalling newborn up onto their chests themselves. These are the randomly pre-selected couples the Discovery Channel chose to follow and interview starting weeks in advance, not "the lucky ones".

I am so done with western medicine. Unless bones are broken or cancer is diagnosed or something like that.

Did I mention that tomorrow is my due date, and I weigh what I weigh when Isaac was CONCEIVED?!

I took the kids up to Wild Oats tonight to get my sesame seeds and chlorophyll (which only ended up being $12 total! I was afraid, you never know what it'll come to once you head into the supplements...) and they were awesome. I held Isaac's hand, and he held Aaron's, and he held Annie's, to cross the street and go in, and I kept hold of Isaac's hand the whole time we walked through the store (rather than holding him or sticking him in a cart). They are just all so great. I got the requisite horrified looks from young people, for being SO pregnant and having all these little kids with me, but two older people came up and told me how beautiful my family is with joy on their faces :) And the employee who helped me find things cracked me up when, as she guessed ages, she suddenly stopped aghast, pointing at Isaac, and exclaimed "That one looks nothing like you at all! ...Or the other two! *blink blink*"

He stands at the end of the hallway now, and yells "Two...two...two - TWO!!" and then runs, turbo speed, to knock into whoever is in the living room :D


Sep. 29th, 2005 08:34 pm
altarflame: (belly pic)
I've been having irregular contractions pretty regularly (haha) for almost 24 hours straight now. Every second or third one is intense enough to throw off my train of thought/what I'm trying to say/distract me completely from my novel. There will be nothing for 30 minutes, and then 3 in ten minutes, and then they come every 10 minutes for an hour...etc. It seems like the more mild ones are lasting a minute or more, and the short ones are the painful ones. Throughout the entire period, I've been running to the bathroom constantly and it sure does SEEM like my body is trying to "clean itself out".

He has also moved lower again - 2 nights ago, that was. So as I walk around the house I get these sudden sharp pains that make me stumble, in my vagina, and/or just feel like I am about to pee my pants and like something's going to fall out of me.

Throughout all of this, I've been very cynical towards my body. Like, "Uh-huh, suuuuuuuure. I am SO not falling for this again! I wasn't born yesterday!"


I suppose if nothing else, tomorrow is ALREADY time for my next prenatal again.

Aside: Isaac has been great. He can now point out and tell you "yarn" and "yellow" in his object books, by himself (he points out lots of things if you call them off, but this is different because he's telling us what the things are). He's been sweet to me. Aaron's been really, really helpful and Aaron and Isaac are even actually getting along. Ananda came and asked me for an old magazine last night, and went off to do something artistic in the dining room. I somehow assumed it would be a collage, but she actually shredded a page, stuffed it in a rolled up notecard, taped it up all over, and presented it to me as an egg roll :) And it isn't as if anyone around here has even mentioned egg rolls in the past week.
altarflame: (belly pic)
Due to lack of time, or disctraction, mostly. I've been doing well, though. Kind of got my head straight about continuing to be pregnant, and Isaac has been more calm, too. My due date is in 4 or 5 days, btw - does anyone know what happens to my ticker once it's passed, assuming I haven't had the baby yet?

I had/have a huge update I would like to type up, about how I love all of my children, Grant and I can easily imagine wanting/having more in the future, and I'm damn tired of total strangers in the grocery store asking if I'm getting my tubes tied and neighbors yelling "No more! No more!" across the street at me (that really happens!). I feel like only children are missing out bigtime and like closely spaced siblings have much cooler relationships...but I'm sure as heck not lambasting random women at the park for not feeling the same way within their own choices! It just boggles my mind that people see kids - new life, the ultimate blessing, etc - as this huge burdensome chore and interpret many of them as some sort of insane excess. I still do look forward to one day going back to school, being a chaplain, writing things that get published...but on another level, it really seems like anything else I do will be so empty, compared to raising children right. I'm so *fulfilled* by holidays and traditions within a big family...and absurdly satisfied by the look of the kids' room, with Aaron's play rug and the fabric'd out bunk beds all done and the drum set and doll house. It makes me so happy to do science experiments and go to Girl Scouting events and pray with them before they go to sleep at night - I think the best is how we figure out new things and get better at it every time. Like, I didn't know about slings or cloth diapers before I had Isaac. I never took control of my health and prenatal care before this pregnancy. We've consistently been more stable, more educated and more financially capable with each that respect, it just doesn't make any SENSE to make some sort of definitive decision that we are "done" forever now - NOW that we have everything we need for a baby in the house already and don't even have to buy anything new, now that we already have a vehicle with extra seating, etc. I DO want a break - I wouldn't want to get pregnant in the next 2-3 years, because I want to be out on our own or have this place to ourselves with Grant Sr moved out, due to space constraints, I want to continue to be able to provide one on one time to each of them daily, and my body could use a break. But it's easy for me to imagine wanting another "pair" (like A and A are and Isaac and Jake will be) after that. It's easy for me to imagine Grant and I being 35 and most of them being basically grown and deciding to start all over, because we just can't stand not having a baby or toddler around anymore. /end tons of kids stuff

We spent the whole day out yesterday; Grant had to fix some internet issues for a customer up in Miami, and I had to get more yellowdock from Wild Oats, where we ended up having late lunch, and then he also ended up stopping to look at someone's computer in Pinecrest, on the way home. We brought homeschool supplies so that A and A could do workbook pages or get read to in the van, while Isaac nursed/got changed/ran amock as we waited for G. It ended up feeling really productive to me - he made $150, I was out of the house for hours, we ate well and Ananda learned new phonics rules. When I got home, my mother, mother in law, father and sister had all called while I was out...and I have to admit I was glad to dodge the labor questions for at least one day. From the top of a parking garage Aaron thinks that north Miami looks like "a city with lots of brocoli growing all over it".

The birth center show started yesterday :) I have a sweet lady tivo'ing and recording it for me, but it's still driving me batty that she's SEEN it already, and I have to wait!

Today's agenda includes lots and lots of fall-type cooking. I have peaches that will be muffins, pumpkins that will be pies, and apples that will be sauce. I think we'll do chicken and yellow rice for dinner, it's been a long time. I'm finding I actually feel a lot BETTER, when I'm on my feet most of the day moving, then I do when I try to relax. That just makes me get all stiff and sore and then it feels too hard when I DO move. When I am sitting I'll be working on orders - I did a bit of that yesterday, too, and the day before, and am starting to see some new stuff near completion for mailing out.
altarflame: (belly pic)
I had a prenatal today, and it made me feel so much better. I think that because I've been having so much start-and-stop contraction action, I've had a sort of unarticulated fear in the back of my mind that maybe my body DOESN'T work. Like, everytime a few hours of regular, painful contractions come and then stop again, I try not to think that maybe it's not just that I'm not going into labor NOW...maybe it's that I'm never going to. That my uterus has never done what it's supposed to do, that my body thinks the baby is going to be automatically removed by outside forces, that I've been ruined or broken by interventions. That I've been kidding myself all along to think otherwise.

I can consciously think and say all these things now because they don't feel true anymore.

Anyway, nothing overly crazy or significant happened at the appointment. Shari is just awesome, and I got her, and somehow even though I know that I shouldn't need anyone's sure is nice.

Basically, I was right and the baby has dropped/engaged and is down low now. When I talked up the prodromal labor stuff to her, she said "Good! That means your uterus is doing something" cheerily, and then went on to feel my still-tight cervix and say that she thinks that based on my due date, history and current cervical state, plus the phases of the moon, she thinks it'll probably be around October 7. Which would be Grant's birthday. His heartrate is great, she would guess 7 3/4 pounds right now, and I've lost a pound.

Somehow I seriously came out of all this glowingly pleased, like "Everything IS going fine! I am a textbook case of natural 3rd trimester goodness!"

Also, I got a postcard from them in the mail yesterday, because the reality series that Discovery has been filming there starts on the 26th. For anyone who gets Discovery Health, it is going to be airing at 8 am, 12 pm, and 3 pm. You can go to and see the episode summaries or your own viewing times - the show is called "House of Babies". I'm insanely excited about this. For the record, I don't know if I'm on it or not, so far. They're still there filming and will be until January, so far they've filmed one of the childbirth classes Grant and I were at, and one of my sessions with the chiro, but I have no way of knowing if I'll be edited out or whatever. I'm still up in the air about them filming The Birth. I'm torn between a tremendous urge towards advocacy, and "Leave me the heck alone for this". There is a vbac episode in the first few that are ready for airing already, but I don't think I'm included in that anywhere. Everyone who can has to watch!!
altarflame: (uh-puh-GAH!)
We got some rain and some gusts of wind and that's it. Thankfully.

And I'm still pregnant.

I should note that I am extremely disgruntled with still being pregnant. He is engaged and vertex and anterior and it is just incredible tail bone pressure, all the time, along with this very anticipatory feeling in my lower abdomen and thighs, all the time. I can only fight the very insistant urge to rush off to the bathroom for about 30 minutes at a time, even though I *never* really have to go to the bathroom, once I'm in there. It's like I'm going crazy. He FEELS ready, and my body feels ready, in this whole new way, for the past day and a half or so... There are all these times when I suddenly feel so restless and frustrated that I want to just jump up and scream and run around like a madwoman.

Anyway. I'm steadily cramping for about 36 hours straight now, with occassional contractions. I go through periods where Grant and I are laughing and everything is fine, but there are about a dozen points during each day where I just really have to fight to not start crying. For no damn reason at all. I just feel totally emotionally overwhelmed. It's also really hard to sleep for any length of time, so I'm grateful that Grant is letting me take afternoon and/or evening naps most of the time. I was woke up from my nap today by a contraction. Blah.

I have a RAVENOUS appetite.

And now for something completely different...some art of Ananda's that I keep meaning to share.

+2 )

I want to let you all know that your comments to/in my last entry really touched me, and I'm very thankful to you all. I'm glad I have this place to come to and share, and ask, and vent.
altarflame: (Default)
I woke up this morning sure this little guy is engaged in a way I wasn't before. LOTS of tailbone pressure and just a new "something between my thighs" feeling. I've been having some major period-like cramping all day, which is a new development, and now it's kicking up into some contractions.

We're under a Hurricane Watch. They've already closed the highways that lead to my birth center, and once the wind starts blowing there's just no way in hell I'll be able to get my sister over here to watch the kids. I know if I set one foot in my local hospital (which I wouldn't even want to drive all the way to in the weather), they'll open my file and immediately attempt to rush me into surgery. It will be a screaming fight where they try to ward me against my will, etc etc. It will also be packed because of the weather. Likewise 911 would likely be busy if I try to call, and/or they won't be dispatching paramedics while the wind is still gusting over 50 or some crap like that. And it's a well known thing around here that lots of women go into labor during hurricanes because of something to do with the drop in barometric pressure...

So. Um. Right.

Just in case...What do I need to know? I don't have any kind of birth kit or birth pool, the power is likely as not to be off, we may or may not have phones or water available. We do have some bottled water here, but you know...

:::look of panic:::

The good news is Grant is being super calm and rational and talking about trusting God and asking people for links and saying if anyone is qualified for a homebirth, it's me...Disaster-induced involuntary homebirth is not what I think of, though, when I imagine homebirth...
altarflame: (Default)
Last night was the second time I was really, really close to saying "This is it." The other time is when the contractions were waking me up all night long and then continued for awhile after I got up in the morning. Everything petered out soon after I updated my journal, though (figures). Blah. I keep wanting to say that I'll just start fresh, get the whole idea of labor out of my mind, relax and act like I'm just 38 weeks pregnant, not like I've been in prodromal labor for 5 days. But I just can't. Between the sudden onset of contractions that last hours at a time, randomly coming daily, and my mother and mother in law calling constantly to check in....:::sigh::: I don't WANT to be a watched pot. I've avoided looking at clocks when the pains are coming, and haven't rushed off to the center prematurely or anything. But I don't know how to not feel as if I'm *expecting* something anytime...and that gets very twiddling-my-thumbs-irritably, on occassion. I have to remind myself that Isaac was misdated by two weeks and would only be 36 weeks, in there, right now, and that my due date still isn't even until October 1, and try to somehow deal with the horrifying idea that I could still go "late", particularly if this pregnancy has consistent misdating.

I would be really tired and tense by then.

Things that help:
-Thinking of all this as strengthening my muscles and getting them ready
-The theory I was reading, that when a baby is "ready", it or the placenta sends a signal to glands in the mother's body which then start serious labor through hormonal secretions.
-Remembering how miserable I was previous pregnancies, and how at least I don't feel miserable and ugly or sick, this time. Just impatient and periodically tired of contracting.

I suppose it also gives me more time to get last minute stuff ready. Maybe I'll fight it out with the sewing machine again, today.

ETA: I don't know what's the matter with me, but I am SO TIRED. Like, to the bone, world-weary tired. I feel like I did in the first trimester, which in and of itself is super draining, while Isaac still didn't sleep at head is just bobbing on my neck no matter what I do, even though I got plenty of sleep o_O
altarflame: (Harry and Hermione)
Really there are a couple of other things to talk about. One of Grant's pictures won a ribbon and a $100 cash prize, for one thing :D He was really happy about it, and I was super proud. Ananda's also been making some really incredible art that I'm very eager to get posted - there are a couple of her things sitting in the office next to the scanner right now.

I took the kids out for the afternoon to distract myself (Grant ended up getting a ride to his places with Shaun). We drove up to Pinecrest and had lunch and light shopping at Wild Oats. This evening Grant was eager to go to a movie but not wanting to leave me and could tell I was losing my mind, still, a little, and so we ended up trading off - I went out with my sister to talk and hang out at Starbucks for a couple of hours, and then he went with Shaun to the movies. He got Isaac in bed and played with A and A on a couple of air mattresses while I was out. It was nice, too. Since I've been back I did a big space puzzle on the floor with A and A and got them a huge plate of fruit.

It's funny to see how people flip out about a gigantically pregnant woman with 3 small kids, maneuvering high chairs and carts and stuff and sitting down for lunch, with no other adult. I actually had people coming over telling me how good they all are and saying I was amazing. And of course asking when I'm due and if it's twins and if I'm SURE it isn't twins and if I'm sure about the dates and if I was this big with the others and and and and so forth.

Since being about to leave Starbucks with Laura, I've been having contractions again. 3 so far, about 15 minutes apart, long and strong. And I keep running to the bathroom again. Maybe it's just nighttime.

I don't normally post song lyrics, but this verse has been resonating with me a lot for the past few days )
altarflame: (uh-puh-GAH!)
Yesterday I had really strong, hard, over-a-minute long contractions that had very defined peaks, and I had to breathe through...6 of them o_O One in the morning, laying in bed, 3 in a row about 10 minutes apart, on the drive home from the birth center, and then two late at night on the computer. What the hell is that even about?

After the two at the computer, I went pacing the block with Grant, outside. I had to get away from the stupid internet where, apparently, there is a world-wide conspiracy to undermine my confidence. I clicked on someone's userinfo at random to see what they were about only to see her holding pictures of her full-term, stillborn infant, just minutes after seeing my very first "My uterus ruptured and my baby died, even though I did everything 'right'" story on Mothering. And THAT came 30 minutes after getting an email about how the mama who took over Cloth Diapers N More just lost her newborn and that's why the store's been closed for two weeks. The word "c-section" has been splattered all over my friends' page for 3 days now because of stupid ass Britney Spears, and people keep asking if I've went to "Baby Kelly's" website (she was born with a chromosonal defect that killed her early on). That's seriously more anti-birth, dead baby type stuff than I've encountered all at once in the space of a day, like, ever before in my whole life.

Anyway, yeah. I had very closely spaced and regular, but minor, contractions for the whole 45 minutes that Isaac layed with me and nursed, this morning. And a few upon laying down to go to sleep last night. Bah. I feel so restless I could go crazy. Not even labor crazy, watched pot restless, just like I wish there was more to distract me. Grant is going to be at the Homestead Art Club, where they're announcing the winners of the photography contest he entered a month ago, from 3-5, and then he'll be at some Chamber of Commerce thing from 5-7. So it's kind of like "countdown to no transportation or adult company all afternoon" - on the weekend, so that Grant Sr and Robby are afoot - and in the meantime, he's got a LOT of work to do and is in the office with the door shut. I can't even complain, really, he walked with me last night, let me take a nap yesterday all evening. He let me sleep in this morning after Isaac wanted breakfast. He's being totally awesome, feeding the kids - he cleaned the kitchen and their bedroom last night. I just want something to DO, somewhere to GO, someone to hang out with, outside of the freakin house. I wish my mom was already here, today, so we could go out places with the children. Shaun is going to the Art Club with Grant, I wish I could freaking go. I'm dying to see if he won, I really liked the shots he entered...

I'm way too irritable with the kids. I think *they* would be better off, if I had a babysitter for a bit.

A contraction just started, and it felt like it was going to be really big, but then it tapered off and ended up only being about 10 seconds long, instead of continuing to move towards a peak. That seems to happen a lot.

Same thing happened again, as I was proofreading just now. A third time is starting. Blah.

I need to do some knitting, even though it's tedious and leaves me to think. I need to do some sewing, even though it's mind-bogglingly frustrating and makes me tense up all over because my machine keeps jamming again no matter how I adjust it. I'm hungry as heck but don't know what I want to eat.


Good Things:
-The baby's moving a lot.
-He's still head-down
-I found this and am feeling out of sorts enough to post it in the hopes that someone related or real life to me will buy it.
altarflame: (belly pic)
Had my prenatal today, at the center. I'm 1 cm dilated and 25% effaced - which was just a smug confirmation for me as I had already established that myself ;) You were right Babs, I was reaching right past it, and Sara, yeah, that foot on the sink thing made it happen.

Anyhow, he is also head down like I thought again, and they want me to do deep squats to bring him lower, and think that him being up so high is why my labor isn't really doing much yet. But it's not like any kind of pressured situation at all. They were very "See you next week, unless we see you before then." Even though I'm MEASURING 42" fundal height now!

My platelets rose slightly from 103,000 to 109,000 with my first week on the yellow dock, and are probably even higher now that it's been another week. I was kind of surprised that it even stopped them from continuing to decline - the increase is a bonus :) I'm also no longer borderline anemic, as it raises hemoglobin, too.

We're currently grappling with the issue of Group B Strep. I tested positive for it, which really makes me wish I had just not taken the test. For anyone who knows, we all have GBS bacteria in us, but it can get out of control - just like yeast or cancer cells or whatever else. It's harmless to you. Women can sometimes test positive for GBS on Monday, negative on Wednesday and positive again on Friday. Anyway, in women who are positive when they give birth, about 1 in 10,000 of their babies will contract it coming through the birth canal. If the mother receives antibiotics during labor, that baby will spend some time in the NICU. If they don't, the baby dies.

Antibiotics in utero right before birth undermine a newborn's whole baseline immune system, and they greatly increase the chances of a mother and child developing thrush while breastfeeding.

So do you get them anyway, even though the risk is so miniscule? Really, my midwife has delivered over 11,000 babies and has seen one case of a newborn with GBS in all that time. At least my center is pretty cool about it, if you get the antibiotics they just do it in like 2 10-15 minute butterfly clip drips, you don't have to be like hooked to an IV pole for your whole labor or something. Grant really thinks it's something to just leave in God's hands, with tiny odds like that, especially since it's so random and naturally occuring and antibiotics have SURE bad side effects and are an intervention...But the miniscule risk is CERTAIN DEATH o_O Further complicating the matter is that if you do test positive and by some freak occurance your baby is the one that dies, you can be held accountable for endangering the baby, legally, by social services! I wish I had just refused the test. They're willing to retest me next time I come in to see if I get negative, but I'm liable to have the baby before then.

AAAaaaaanyway. I had the most major, breathe through it contraction so far this morning, and a burst of 4 more this afternoon. That's it so far today, though, aside from BH. :::shrug::: I think this full moon is going to have an effect.
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Night before last I had lots of lower back pain accompanying my normal braxton hicks contractions. Then yesterday in the late afternoon to early evening, I had *different* contractions - the kind I sort of forgot about, from the beginning of the late miscarriage I had and bad period cramps, where the tightness and pressure radiate into your thighs and your lower back. I had them every few minutes for hours, and around 8-ish they were actually hurting. I called my sister to put her on "Possible Alert", and they continued on from there. They only let up at all when I started doing slantboard and pelvic tilt excercises for a long time, to get this breechling to turn. Apparently there is something about being inverted almost to the point of a handstand for 20 minutes that stalls contractions. After that, for the rest of the night, they were BH again.

And BH when I woke up. I don't normally get them in the morning. And then more real, back pain-inducing ones as it became afternoon. And now I'm just trying not to pay too much attention, and wishing the baby would flip.

As I maniacally cover the Moses basket in fabric and get the changing table together and clean the dust out of the fan in our room and make lists of things to pack in my bag, and wash all of Isaac's diapers, just in case.
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Labor, that sneaky, elusive something or other )

I've had a really hard day for no particular reason. Isaac has just been especially messy and injury-prone and demanding, all at the same time, and I got very little sleep last night. I feel hormonal and overwhelmed and tired of everything, and like I want to pick a fight with Grant just because I can't really be mad at tiredness or children or financial situations.

The power just flickered (we have this computer on a back-up...) and then there was a really weird noise outside, like a boom from far away. o_O I think I'm going to stop updating now and go look out the windows, make my tea with tincture, and go to bed.

There are three different people I have wanted to respond to, in emails, today. You probably know who you are, and I promise to do it tomorrow when I'm back from my appt (it's ALREADY been another week since my last one!). One email in particular has been on my mind all day, but this is the first chance I've had to sit down here for a few minutes. I'm sorry to make you wait :/ I don't know what my problem is today, but I'm glad I finally got your message, and am always happy to be your ear :)
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Well, I've been kind of trying to figure out what IS the perfect blanket, ever since then, for my new not-born-in-a-hospital baby. I don't feel that I have time anymore to knit or crochet something before "it happens", and I don't really know how to sew or quilt well at all. I went around perusing ebay and saw some organic cotton receiving blankets that look ok, most of it seems very overpriced for a little thin cotton blanky.

Then I found this.

I'm giving my extra order money to the hurricane victims, I'm giving my extra order money to the hurricane victims, I'm giving my extra order money to the hurricane victims...


Aside from coveting, I've had a better day today. I feel good about having spent lots of one on one time with each child. Aaron and I weeded the garden and staked up our seedlings plants, for half an hour, in addition to little hugs and talking throughout the day that we've snuck in all over. That kid loves pulling grass out of the dirt by it's roots. And loves working with all the little accessories for the microscope. Ananda and I curled up in my room on the bed and read a couple of stories from What Your First Grader Needs to Know, and then she helped me make dinner, up on a chair. Also, after the boys were asleep she and I watched Emeril together and then made her a cup of homemade hot cocoa, which she remembered from last winter and suddenly wanted. And started some celery soaking in red water. Her hypothesis is that the red will go all the way to the tops, but we won't see it going up until 4 days from now. She also told me that she wants to join the Homestead Art Club like Daddy, and when I jokingly inquired about an age limit, he said no but that she might have some trouble doing the 4 hour a month volunteering to keep the gallery open ;)
Isaac and I keep having these WONDERFUL nursing sessions, where he drapes himself over me with his arms around me and I stroke his back and talk to him and we're just all together and sweet. He stops periodically and cracks me up by puckering up his lips and saying "MMMmmmm" to ask for a kiss, or making big exagerrated slurping noises. We also had a short coloring session together today, took turns playing the xylophone, and at one point he suggested bubbles and all three kids jumped around in them for a long time while I blew.
Downsides: the place is a mess, and I am perpetually projecting irritation and annoyance with me onto Grant. Also I'm having a problem I call "extreme inertia" - if I'm weeding the garden or doing childbirth excercises, it feels UNBEARABLE to me to have to just go back to sitting around afterwards, and I go stir crazy and the unhospitable weather and Grant's being busy with business and gas prices all conspire to drive me insane. I end up bugging the heck out of him or trying to come up with reasons to leave the house, to go for a walk to somewhere, anything. Even in the miserable heat or the impending storm. On the other hand, if I'm sitting here at the computer, or lounging on the couch with Isaac nursing, I really, really, really don't want to get up for anything. It seems like hell, when the kids ask for a drink or I realize I need to transfer the laundry or that the dishes aren't done, and I'll sit around drowsy and depressed and let way too long pass and lust after a nap that isn't going to happen. You can see why I would be projecting irritation onto Grant, I KNOW I'm being irritating. He swears he isn't irritated, but I still just feel like...o_O Right. Sure you aren't.
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We've lost the dang battery charger. So our rechargeable batteries are sitting dead, which means I can't take pictures! There are SO MANY PICTURES I WANT TO TAKE.

-Aaron in Harry Potter glasses
-the mermaids Ananda and I painted on the fabric at the foot and head of her bunk
-My big ol belly, with it's protruding and herniated belly button - and how CRAZILY LOOSE these size L maternity jeans are on me everywhere else (I had to have XL or XXL everything, when I was pregnant with Isaac, and couldn't believe it when these fit at all, in the beginning of this pregnancy. L is a size 12-14! I was wearing a *22* when I started losing weight last fall!!)

And other things. We HAVE TO FIND IT before I go into labor or I will be extremely upset.

Anyway. Today is a birthy sort of day, for me. I had an appointment this morning. We were able to make our second $75 payment, of 3 that we owe, to the center, so that made me feel good (they've not harrassed me, but I've been SO aware of being late...), and we bought an Ultimate Baby Wrap while we were there, that I figured out how to use when we got home. I feel so much better having a good sling here before labor. I filled out the VBAC consent forms up there, and elected not to be tested for Group B strep until next week, when I've done the pre-testing cleaning stuff (swimming in a chlorinated pool, the ocean, or rinsing in extremely diluted bleach water each night, so that I would only test positive if I really have some crazy persistent nastiness). I'm measuring 37 weeks. I had BH 4 minutes apart the whole way up there, just sitting in my passenger seat. And I've been reading the rest of Birthing From Within and all of us but Isaac - who was in bed - watched the "Stages of Labor" video again tonight.

I brought home one of their birth plans to fill out, and was looking over it tonight...and man, one of the questions is what level of participation the father wants. Options listed are things like cutting the cord, giving the newborn bath, catching, etc and I was like - catching? Catching?! It made me cry, thinking how insanely intensely wonderful that would be, for Grant to catch this baby. Born into his hands. Just. Wow.

Ananda spent quite a while this evening talking to the baby through my skin, and "hugging" him, and watching my belly roll around. She has an idea for a new letter to her penpal, about him.

My poor chiropractor, who I saw while at the center, has family homeless and family missing, in New Orleans :/ I could tell he's totally preoccupied with it. And I talked to my dad tonight, and he's doing really badly because nobody is vacationing in Florida and needing a cab right now, and even if they were, he's a contractor kind of deal and has to pay the $3.80 a gallon out of pocket for gas for the cab...

A Rant That Will Probably Only Bother the Wrong People )
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I had 6 old, gifted receiving blankets I was never going to use. I now have 9 finished flannel postpartum pads, each 4 layers throughout with 8 layers down the center, and huge, and 7 flannel breastpads (3 layers each). I know that's an odd number, I don't care, I always remember one getting soaked while nursing on the other side, anyway. I have one more pp pad to finish, but the sewing machine is starting to jam and it's getting frustrating seeings how it is 3 am. All these items are ugly because I can not stitch straight or evenly to save my life, but I still feel incredibly resourceful and industrious. Plus they feel all cushy and quilted soft, and it's not as if anyone else will ever see them.

I also crocheted a set of wool breast pads today (they work just like wool diaper covers), and used up all the yarn I had left on [ profile] boxcarbecca's things (I'll be dyeing more yarn tomorrow...the rise is about 7 inches on each leg right now, Becca, and I'm going to *try* to get the color as exact as possible for the bottom of the legs...gulp). Any my handsewn, homemade Boppy is almost ready to stuff. Woo.

I am so aware of impending labor. It crosses my mind dozens of times a day that I have to get the Moses basket covered in fabric, I have to get the infant seat in the van. I just have these Braxton Hicks contractions CONSTANTLY, and the pressure is intense. I have a midwife appt tomorrow, my 36 week dealy. I'm getting my platelets tested again - hopefully they're up or at least the same from my 28 week blood test. If not Shari has an herbal supplement deal that is supposed to really raise them (like to where she wouldn't suggest it unless I was really low because we could make them go too high).

I have to get to bed. Everything else I have to say feels random and stupid so I know it's time to sleep. Like, we had tacos for dinner, and went grocery shopping earlier, and Annie was a nutcase tonight while Aaron slept the evening away on the couch, and everytime I turn on the faucet and drown all the ants swarming our kitchen sink, I think of New Orleans... Time for bed.
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I Need An IV )

Oh, my God, my God... )

Package! )

Ananda )

Other than that stuff, you know...Isaac is cute as heck. He is also increasingly communicative, like I can trust him to back up and stay out of the way when I open the oven, or expect him to clean up something I ask him to (most of the time). He understands so much now, he doesn't just ask for milk, he asks for milk on the couch, or milk in the chair, and says Please and Thank You spontaneously, and runs to give my sister hugs and kisses when she walks in the door. Aaron has been spending a lot of time in his superhero cape and/or his Harry Potter glasses, for the past couple of days. He ASKED for a haircut, for the first time, and was completely good for it. We sat there talking as it happened. Wonders never cease. They are all doing loads of pretend cooking. I stayed up until 4 am last night cleaning this house with them in bed, so that I could actually do it without interruptions, and I can still see some of the results! Though I'm pretty sure it made me feel sicker today. My sister spent the afternoon over here, I hooked her up with a great dress for Frank's graduation from the Fire Academy and some makeup on loan and a tank top she can have, all from the great Closet of the Big Sister. We ate fish and cajun rice, too.



Aug. 29th, 2005 02:58 am
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That's what I'm giving you all lately, too much information. I'm just having a rough week, I guess. Tonight I'm having a rough night.

I layed down in bed and even though it was after 2 o'clock in the morning I just couldn't get sleepy. Then I got increasingly nauseus, and got up. I ate a (blasted, cursed, can't bear to down one more but have to keep trying...) banana, and went to the bathroom, and I'm still just feeling like I would be better off if I would just throw up.

There's so much on my mind.

Those poor people, in Louisiana, are about to get flattened. I've been in a category 5 hurricane - I was 10 years old and remember it like it was yesterday. I remember thinking I was going to die, and building's missing their upper stories, and semi trucks turned upside down and laying on top of storage companies. I remember all the trailers ripped to shreds. They showed some fool, some insane woman, tonight on the news live from New Orleans, who is going to STAY ON A SHRIMP BOAT WITH HER 3 YEAR OLD. Even though there are buses to evacuate people to shelters, and feed them, for free. I honestly feel it's wrong that she's being given that choice.

Ananda is afraid everynight, now. Because of fires, like at Wannado City, but also of hurricanes, now that she's spent a night with no power, listening to the wind shriek and seeing water come inside the house and a tree down outside. She fell asleep in my lap tonight, after getting out of bed timidly. She was in my bed last night, and on the floor of our room the night before. It's very uncharacteristic of her, and I desperately don't want to make her feel I'm pushing her away, even when she's out of bed AGAIN or I'm very uncomfortable with no room to sleep, or whatever. We have to watch what we say, because she'll come to me hours after I've said something to someone else, on the phone, inquiring about WHAT bridge collapsed, and what do I mean 7 people died, and why is it wrong for the lady to stay on the boat with her daughter?

I'm afraid, tonight, too. Of uterine rupture. And I know there are people on my list who will scoff at me and smack their foreheads, but I can't help it. vbac ramblings )

Lastly I just wanna discuss birth symbols. In Birthing From Within the author talks about how a symbol is something so prominent and familiar that it's invaded your subconscious - as such, when you see it (even very briefly), you immediately assume myriad different things, without even realizing that you are. For instance, you see a picture of a stop sign, you don't stop to consider it, but you know what it is, what it's about, how it applies to you and others, etc etc. She talks about how all cultures have birth symbols, and here in America they tend to be things like a hospital gown, pink and blue cigars, a woman hooked up to an IV with an oxygen line to her nose holding a newborn and crying, or maybe she's sweating a river and screaming "You did this to me!!" at some poor man. So, she examines what sorts of things a hospital gown say to us on that subconscious level. Illness, belonging to the hospital, lack of individual identity, being "in-patient", meaning you're eating their food and sleeping on the little rolling bed, etc. You get where this is going. She mentions how we have to pick apart the things we subconsciously assume on a conscious level, to really be aware of them and have the power to counteract them.

So, this got me thinking about those awful, nasty, detested white blankets with the pink and blue stripes that they have at all the hospitals. The ones every freaking newborn in the world seems to be wrapped up in for their first pictures. I mentioned off handedly to Grant one time how I loathe them, and he seemed to think that was odd. I examined this, and now it's really obvious to me that as long as any baby of mine is wrapped in that blanket, they are not yet mine. Someone else is changing their diapers, someone else may or may not be slipping them bottles, putting the pacifier back in their mouth or back in their rolling bassinet. As long as those blankets are around, we're told we "aren't allowed" to take our baby until we've shown them a carseat and checked in with our ID bracelets. That is what Isaac is swaddled in when Isaac is hooked up to tubes and wires and wisked away before I can even touch him, to a place where I have to wash my hands before I go in and then leave him to a team of strangers wearing latex gloves. That is what Annie is swaddled in when they tell me she may not be able to come home, if they can't get her billirubin count down. It's Aaron behind the glass getting stabbed in the foot over and over again because he "just won't cry" and they need him to cry.

I don't know if I can accurately convey the depth to which I want to wrap this baby up in a blanket I've made myself, before any other fabric touches him. I don't ever want him to see one of those hideous things, much less by swaddled up to his neck in one by some nurse.

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