Sunday, January 31, 2010

Baby Bath

Today we had a large spitting up incident and decided the best way to recover was to give baby girl a bath.  Her umbilical cord hasn't quite come off, so we gave her more of a spit bath like we learned about in our baby care class.  Aaron was paparazzi and got some good shots.  I think she mostly enjoyed the experience.  She smells so good now! 

Missing Being Pregnant

Since I have been home I have missed being pregnant.  I love having her in my arms, but I miss that feeling of having her inside me.  I liked my big belly and feeling her squirm and kick in there.  For the first few days after she was born I felt like I could still feel her moving inside. 
There are some good things about not being big pregnant anymore like sleeping on my back again and being able to easily get out of bed without feeling like a turtle on its back.  Plus, now I can kiss on those sweet cheeks!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Daddy's Gift

I have been meaning to get this posted and am finally getting around to it.  When Sarah Graves was born Aaron had a gift for the two of us.  It's a heart shaped locket with her initials on it.  He said that I can wear it with her picture inside until she is old enough to wear it herself.  What a sweet thing!

Little Squirt

I have noticed a trend and I am sure that every parent of an infant has figured this out too, whenever I am about to move the dirty diaper away to put the clean one on, she decides to go.  It's like something about exposing her bottom signals her to feel the urge to go! 
This morning it was rather lovely when it was poop that came squirting out!  Good thing we got the washable paint for the nursery walls!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Mothering the Mother

I have been very fortunate to be so well taken care of after Sarah Graves' birth.  Both my Mom and my mother in law have been such a help. 
My Mom of course was there for me during the birth and after.  After we came home from the hospital she brought me some really comfy things to wear to lounge in at home.  I didn't know what my body might be like or what might be comfortable for nursing, but she picked out some things that have been really helpful. 
Then, my mother in law came on Friday and once we came home from the hospital she would take Sarah Graves during the night after I nursed her and let me go back to bed.  Those first couple of nights home were not easy and I know she didn't get much sleep herself.  I am so grateful to have had the chance to rest a bit and still be up to feed the baby.  She also helped around the house and and made us her special chocolate pie.  What a treat!  She had to go back to Shreveport yesterday and we were all sad to see her go. 
Last night was the first night that I was on my own with Sarah Graves.  She was an angel for me.  She nursed well and slept right next to me in the bed.  I can't believe just how sweet she is.  Here's the little face that I looked into all night.

Pediatrician Visit

Yesterday we went for our first visit with the pediatrician, Dr. Fleming.  It was a momentous event as this was the first time we had gotten out of the house since coming home. 
The appointment went well.  She checked Sarah Graves out and said that she appeared to be doing well.  When we left the hospital she weighed 7 pounds 14 ounces and at our appointment she had gained an ounce back.  Dr. Fleming would like to see her get back to her birth weight soon, so we are trying to make sure that she nurses well.  This is no easy task as Sarah Graves has started falling asleep very quickly after nursing just a few minutes now that there is milk.  Dr. Fleming told us to rub her feet like they have bubble gum stuck on them to get her to wake up.  She's pretty stubborn and sometimes even this won't really get her going! 

Belly Shot!

Here is one last belly shot to mark the end of the pregnancy. 

Monday, January 25, 2010

Super Pooper

We were a little anxious when Sarah Graves did not have a poopy diaper in the hospital.  Then yesterday, I was a little surprised when I opened a diaper and found it had poop.  Today, she has become a super pooper and had 4 of them!  I think we are all systems go now.

Meeting Sister

One of the things that we were anxious to do when we arrived home was introduce Lucy to Sarah Graves.  We knew that Lucy would not be aggressive toward her, but we weren't quite sure what else to expect.  She was super excited by the baby and seems to be much more empathetic to Sarah Graves than she ever has been to us!  She will come bolting into the nursery if she hears her in there crying.  It is quite sweet.
Here are some pictures from when we came home.

Coming Home

We were given the all clear to come home from the hospital on Saturday.  Sarah Graves was given a clean bill of health from the pediatrician and was proclaimed a very pretty baby.  As if we hadn't figured that one out already!  I brought a special dress for her to wear home and she had booties and a hat that were given to her for the special event.  She looked just like an angel in her special going home outfit.  Because it was quite cold, Mom and Pops got her the softest little baby coat to wear.   

Here are some pictures from the hospital that day.

Pictures from the Hospital

We could just eat her up we are so in love with her!  Here are a few pictures that we took while we were in the hospital.
The beautiful flowers were a pleasant surprise from our friends Jen and Louis.

Sarah Graves' Grancy flew in on Friday to spend some time getting to know her.

The Birth

I wanted to write the story of the birth before the details fade for me.  If you don't want to read about the actual birth, just scroll past this part to the pictures. 
It's hard to believe that the birth happened 4 days ago.  In some ways it feels like a lifetime ago and in others like it was yesterday.  Wednesday night my contractions started up a little before 9 and once they got going they were organized and it was feeling like this had to be labor.  Aaron went on to bed planning to go to work the next day not wanting to use up another day of leave before she made her arrival.  Mom and I started timing them after a couple of hours and realized they were coming consistently and lasting about a minute.  I would move throughout the house leaning on the counter, sitting on the ball, and rocking on my hands and knees.  I tried taking a bath as that had made the false labor contractions stop the night before, but these just kept coming.
About 1 AM Mom and I decided we should get Aaron up becase this seemed like the real thing with contractions lasting about a minute and a half and coming about every two and a half minutes.  We made phone calls to our doula, Pam, and Anjli, the midwife on call. Then, we loaded up the car and made our way to the hospital downtown.  I had been dreading having to get through contractions in the car, but somehow it wasn't so bad and we got there quickly. 
We arrived around 2:30 and were brought to a triage area and when the nuse checked she told me that I was dilated 4 - 5 and 90% effaced.  What a satisfying feeling to know that we were well into active labor and making progress.  Jeanne' arrived quickly and so did Anjli and Pam.  While in triage they want to see that the baby's heart rate is reactive so they monitor you for at least 20 minutes.  Our girl's heart rate was hanging out at 150 and not changing much.  Dad arrived at the hospital and gave me a "Live Strong" bracelet to wear.  I needed all the strength that I had for the work I was doing.  Anjli suggested that I eat something to get my blood sugar up and her heart rate reactive, but that only made me sick and turning on my side helped some, but not exactly what they wanted.  Finally, they announced that we could go to the labor and delivery room.
At this point I was well into laborland, that place where your thinking mind has turned off and you have a focus that is just on each contraction.  I found breathing and making a deep noise in my throat helped as I swayed back and forth through each contraction.  No one offered me an epidural and I never thought to ask for one.  Somehow the pain just seemed manageable.  Anjli would hold the monitor against my belly so that I could be out of bed and Pam gave me encouragement as Aaron kept the icewater coming to keep me hydrated.  They were setting up the tub for me to labor in the water when a nurse noticed that I was leaking fluid and it had meconnium in it.  I was a little disappointed that I couldn't get in the tub, but it somehow didn't really matter.  I just kept breathing through each contraction.  Anjli checked again after we were there a while and let me know that I was 8-9 and I think she said it would be okay if I gave into my urge and made little pushes. 
I started getting really tired at one point and someone suggested that I kneel on the bed with the bed sitting up so that I could rest my head on the top.  I was able to doze during contractions this way and found it very helpful.  About 5:30 Anjli said it was time to push.  My memory gets a lot more fuzzy, but at some point I was aware that baby was having heart decelerations and they were putting oxygen on me.  Aaron was there by my side still offering water in between pushes. Anjli and Pam suggested different ways to try pushing to bring the baby down.  I was feeling so tired, but so excited that we were finally to that phase of labor.  Mom and Pam held my legs while I pushed.  It took what felt like forever for anyone to be able to see her head coming down.  With each push Mom would let me know that she could see dark hair like Aaron and to keep pushing hard.  I was getting more and more tired, but everyone was very encouraging.  Her heart rate kept dropping, so there was some urgency to get her out as the team of peadiatrician and nurses began to assemble to check her out the moment she made her appearance.  Anjli suggested that she make a very small cut to allow her head to come through more quickly and I agreed.  Once her head was out, I expected that the rest of her would be easy, but not so much.  It took a while to get her shoulders and body out.  Then, at 7:21 Anjli layed her on my chest and I felt her warm body against me.  She was quickly taken to the pediatrician to start making sure she was okay.  What a relief! 
I had read that the last phase of labor was delivering the after birth, but everyone made this part sound simple after getting the baby out.  It wasn't simple for me.  The placenta would not come out on its own and Anjli worked a long time to try and deliver it.  While she worked, I could see them checking out my sweet baby and could hear her strong cries.  They brought her over to nurse while they continued to work to get the placenta out. She took to nursing instinctively and I was so proud and happy. Anjli called her partner, Margaret, and she came to go in and get the placenta out.  Getting the placenta out was very painful, so they started an IV and gave me some pain meds to make me sleep while they worked to get it out.  Once it was out, I was able to wake up quickly.  Because it was so hard and long to get it out, I lost a lot of blood.  It took a while for us to be able to leave labor and delivery because I was so light headed, but we had our beautiful, healthy baby girl there with us and didn't care. 
I am so grateful for the people that were there with me.  Aaron stayed by my side and kept giving me encouragement.  Pam was a huge support not just to me, but to my Mom and Aaron as well.  Mom was right there with me the whole time and stayed strong for me even when she was scared.  Anjli was there the whole time I labored and I felt so safe knowing that she was keeping an eye on everything and was supporting me in the kind of birth that I wanted.  I don't think I could have had the empowering and fulfilling birth experience that I did with the other medical practice or at Northside.  The people with me that morning got it and knew just the type of birth that I wanted and didn't give up on it easily. 

Here are Pam's notes from the birth:
January 21, 2010

1:40 am - After a couple of days of prodromal back labor and little rest for Natalie, Aaron calls to say contractions are two minutes apart and intense. Anjli, Natalie’s midwife, says it’s time to meet her at Atlanta Medical Center. Natalie and Aaron are headed that way and I leave too. Yay!

3:00 am – I arrive at triage to find Natalie in bed, being monitored. Her support team is all there, Tricia, Jeanne', Flip, and, of course, Aaron. Her nurse examines Natalie and finds her 4-5 cm dilated and 90% effaced, with a bulging bag of fluids. She described the baby’s station with, “I can feel baby’s head”. Natalie has been on the monitor for a while, but is still waiting for Sarah Graves to be reactive. Anjli arrives soon after I did.

3:25 am – We are moving to L&D room 9! Flip and Jeanne’ move to the waiting area. Melanie is Natalie’s new nurse. Natalie is working hard, with Aaron right by her side. Jeanne’ is in the room a bit and Tricia lends her support the rest of the time.

4:05 am – Anjli’s exam finds Natalie now dilated 8-9 cm! All her hard work is producing change.

4:20 am - Natalie has been on the ball, standing by the bed, slow dancing with Aaron and just keeps doing whatever is needed to birth her sweet baby. As the tub is being filled, her water breaks. It has meconium in it - so, there’ll be no getting in the tub. Everyone is disappointed, but none of us more than Natalie. She was so looking forward to the comfort of the water. She’s feeling “pushy” and just keeps going. She’s doing amazing work. Aaron, Tricia, and I support her through every choice.

4:35 am – Anjli checks Natalie again, hoping to find her complete and ready to push, but instead, finds a “lip of cervix” and a bulging bag. She suspects that the first fluid we saw was from a forebag of waters. The baby is at -1 to 0 station. Natalie is frustrated that she can’t push yet, but begins candle breathing through each contraction. Having that urge to push and not being able to is really tough.

5:09 am – This time, Anjli’s exam reveals great news! Natalie is completely dilated, with Sarah Graves at +2 station. Natalie still has a bulging bag, which she chooses to let Anjli break. The pushing begins.

7:21 am – After just more than two hours of powerful pushing and an episiotomy to allow her shoulders to pass through, Sarah Graves Caldwell is born! She is beautiful and healthy (with apgars of 8 and then 9), weighing in at 8 pounds, 6 ounces and measuring 21 inches tall. Everyone is relieved and so excited to meet her.

8:35 am – Margaret, Natalie’s other midwife, is doing a prudental block so she can remove Natalie’s placenta manually. This has been an arduous journey for Natalie and for her loving family. It takes a real warrior to face the challenges she met and Natalie stepped right into those shoes. It is an honor to share her remarkable journey and a joy to meet her precious daughter. What a dear family! Sarah Graves chose wisely.

Pam Roe

Labor of Love Doula and Childbirth Services

Friday, January 22, 2010

She has arrived!

Sarah Graves arrived on January 21 at 7:21 AM. She weighed 8 lbs.8 oz. and was 21 inches long. We are completely in love. We will most likely be coming home tomorrow. I will try to post pictures soon.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Still at Home

As Aaron posted earlier, labor sort of slowed down late last night.  I have been having contractions all day, but they aren't organized and seem to stop and start.  I was able to lay down for a couple of hours and Mom and Aaron rested for a while, too. 
This afternoon, I went to Mom's accupuncturist to see if she could help with getting things going again.  We just came back from walking several miles, which always makes the contractions start.  It's just getting them organized so that they are productive. 
Aaron and Mom have both done some reading and this is not uncommon.  I am just feeling a little frustrated because I was all ready for labor to get going and meet this baby.  We'll stay home though until labor is organized. 

Labor Night

It's almost 6 am, and we're still at the house. We all fell "asleep" at about 1 am. Somehow Nat and Mrs. Trisha made it upstairs. I woke up on the couch in the basement at 4:30 am and went upstairs and snoozed in the glider in the baby's room until 5:30 am. I don't know how well Nat is sleeping, earlier she wasn't having much luck. I'm still very hopeful that Sarah Graves will be born today, but we'll have to assess the situation once Nat wakes up.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Beginning Labor

My concerns about not going into labor seem to be unfounded.  This morning I started noticing some contractions and they have continued on throughout the day.  They are still sort of erratic, so we are staying home for now.  We went for a walk and that seemed to make them intensify, but they still aren't lasting as long as they need to for us to go to the hospital. 
Aaron and Mom are here with me and we have been passing the time taking care of little things and talking.  Aaron made some yummy pasta and much to my surprise I was quite hungry. 
I will try to remember to update before we head to the hospital.  I don't think the hospital has wi-fi, so we probably won't be able to update for a bit after we're there. 

Belly Shot!

Here's the update on sweet pea this week:
At 40 weeks pregnant, this is the moment your baby (and you) has been waiting for! Now officially full-term, a baby born this week will weigh in the neighborhood of seven and a half pounds and measure anywhere from 19 to 22 inches. But many babies check in smaller or bigger than this and are both perfect and perfectly healthy.
The first thing you're likely to look for when baby makes his or her dramatic (and possibly fashionably late) entrance: proof positive that he is actually a he, or she is actually a she. That major mystery solved once and for all, you'll also notice that baby (besides being cute as can be — and yours!) is wearing a little leftover travel dust, consisting of blood, vernix, lanugo, and amniotic fluid. From your baby's perspective, you'll look a bit blurry (babies at birth can focus only about an inch away), but that's okay. With all the tears of joy you'll probably be shedding, your baby will look a little blurry to you too.

You'll notice your little one is still curled into the fetal position (though his or her arms and legs may flail a bit). That's because after nine months in such cramped quarters, it'll take a while before your baby realizes that he or she has room to spread out. And because it's the only position he or she has really known, it's a comforting one to be in. (That's also why so many newborns like to be swaddled, it reminds them of your uterus.)

Be sure to say hello to your new arrival. Your baby is very likely to recognize the sound of your voice — and that of your partner.

Monday, January 18, 2010


Since Sarah Grves did not listen to our request and come over the weekend, we had our scheduled check-up this morning.  All looks good.  My blood pressure and measurements continue to be fine.  We heard her heartbeat and it always makes me smile to hear that sweet sound. 
We also talked about my growing anxiety about not going into labor on my own.  Anjili is very reassuring that 90% of women do go into labor by 42 weeks and we have every reason to believe that I will too.  We also talked a bit about how even if we do have to use pitocin to induce labor it doesn't have to be as bad as I feared.  She said that she will try to make it possible to be able to move around even though you are hooked up to the monitor and the IV.  Hopefully, we will go into labor on our own!
One of the things that she cautioned us about is that even though family and friends are well meaning and excited to meet the new baby, the constant focus on whether labor has begun can cause more anxiety and hold things up.  I have definitely been feeling this as everyone has begun to ask and anticipate whether the baby has arrived.  We have made a list of all the people to alert when something happens and Aaron has it so that he can just go down the list and make contact without having to worry about missing someone in the excitement of the moment. 
I guess now we just have to sit tight and wait for her to be ready.


We finally were able to get a childbirth class in!  We did a private session with our doula and she packed in tons of information and mental preparation for childbirth and after Sarah Graves is here.  Mom and Aaron were with me so that we all have similar ideas and they have an idea of their role during labor and birth. 
We practiced some of the pain coping techniques described in Birthing from Within.  You practice them while holding a handful of ice to simulate the discomfort of a contraction.  You would be surprised how uncomfortable holding a handful of ice can be!  I am sort of impressed by how some of the techniques using mental focus seemed to work.  I am not good at visualizing or meditating, so I wasn't sure I would be able to use them well, but they actually seemed to help. 
I'm sure there is tons more that we could practice and learn about childbirth, but I think we have some good ideas of what to expect and some ways to cope with it.  Plus, we'll have Pam there with us in labor to remind us of the parts that we are forgetting!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Passing the Time

Aaron and I both suggested to sweet pea that today should be her Birthday and she should definitely try to come today.  Well, I think she is already showing us that she will do as she pleases.  Instead I passed the afternoon having lunch and getting a pedicure with my Mom and Jeanne'.  Not a bad way to pass an afternoon! 
Maybe we'll see some action soon...

Friday, January 15, 2010


I woke up about 3 o'clock this morning and could not fall back to sleep.  As I was laying there trying to go back to sleep I noticed that I wasn't feeling sweet pea moving around.  Well once I started thinking about it, I became more concerned and soon got up.  I drank something and did a few things, but still didn't feel her moving.  I took a shower and still didn't feel much movement.  I decided to drink some sugary juice and lay down for a bit hoping that would bring some movement.  That got a little movement out of her, at least enough to reassure me she was fine, but it didn't bring any big kicks or rapid movements.  Once I got to the office, she hasn't stopped moving!  All my worrying and fretting that made me later than usual getting to work and work is where she wanted to be! 
Have I mentioned that I am ready for her to get here?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Childbirth Classes

Although I have read a lot about childbirth, we have not taken any childbirth classes.  It has actually become somewhat of a joke because we have scheduled them numerous times and it just doesn't seem to work out.  The first one was scheduled with our other medical caregivers and they had to cancel due to some maintenance work being done.  Then we scheduled them at Northside hospital, but canceled once we were not going to deliver there.  We tried to schedule group classes with one of the doulas and another couple, but the times just wouldn't work out.  Then, we scheduled private classes with our doula and first she got sick, so we postponed and then she had to go out of town.  I am happy to say that she is back in town and we have rescheduled a class for Sunday. 
Sarah Graves, you should not feel compelled to wait for us to have childbirth classes before you come.  Should you want to come before Sunday, we will wing it and it will be fine!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Belly Shot!

Here's the update on sweet pea:
Your baby's weight and height have probably increased only a little from last week (and your overstretched skin at 39 weeks pregnant is probably grateful for that). But his or her brain is still developing rapidly (a pace that continues during the first three years of life), with changes you'll be able to recognize firsthand as your baby's skill-packed bag of tricks expands almost daily.

Heard that babies cry a lot? There's definitely truth to that rumor — as you'll find out soon enough (and usually during the middle of the night). But what you may not have heard is that tiny babies don't produce tiny tears when they cry, since their tear ducts aren't open for business yet. While you'll be consoling your crying baby right from the get-go, it won't be until sometime after the first month that you'll be wiping tears off those chubby cheeks.
Your baby's skin has now finally changed from pink to white (no matter how dark-skinned he or she will be eventually; pigmentation will occur soon following birth). That's because a thicker fat layer has been deposited over the blood vessels (making your baby's cheeks — both kinds — pinchably and kissably round).

Monday, January 11, 2010


We saw Anjili this morning for our check-up.  Overall, baby and I are doing fine.  My blood pressure is still good, I am measuring right on track, and Sarah Graves' heartbeat sounded beautiful.  I am dilated 1 cm., but her head is still very high, which means we have a ways to go before they expect me to be in labor.  Her guess is that we won't be having a baby this week. 
I started with a cold on Friday, so she suggested Robitussin for the cough and taking several packets of Emergen C each day to help me get over it quick.  Between the cold and the Braxton Hicks, I haven't been sleeping well at night.  She suggested I try this calcium and magnesium supplement called Momma Calms (sp ?) that you can get at Whole Foods.  I guess it helps to calm the Braxton Hicks as well as having a multitude of other positive effects and uses. She feels like me getting good sleep is most important right now, so hopefully these will help that. 

Sunday, January 10, 2010


One other thing on our to do list was to decide on a pediatrician.  We went for a consultation with one more practice and we liked what we found.  Their office is not too far from our house, it is done in bright colors, we liked the pediatrician we met with, and they have some nice features like doing lab work and stitches in their office.  They don't have a sick waiting area, but they do sign you in at the desk and take you to an exam room where you wait.  I know that the rooms aren't sanitized after each kid, but I think mentally I will feel better if my new baby isn't sitting next to a kid who is coughing up a lung.  They have one area where they do all the vaccines and needle sticks so that the kids don't associate being in the exam room with something that hurts.  I like the idea of that as a way to make it less traumatic to go for a check-up. 
The two down sides are that they strictly adhere to the CDC's vaccine schedule and you have to park in a parking garage and walk a ways to their office.  The vaccine thing makes me nervous, but I haven't found any proof that spreading the vaccines out really does anything and we haven't found many offices that will work with us on this. 
All in all, this was the first pediatrician we met with that we both walked out and said that we liked it.  It's good when we both have a positive feeling!

Nearing the End

I know that some of you were concerned that no posts since Thursday may have meant that we were in labor.  No labor yet.  I have been quite tired and definitely feeling the need to nest. 
At Christmas we were 37 weeks and everyone was asking if I was ready, but I really wasn't ready for her to come yet.  I was still enjoying being pregnant and just wasn't quite ready for it to be over.  Well, in the last week I have started to feel ready for this baby girl to get here.  I have grown to a size that makes it uncomfortable to do many things, one of which is sleeping.  It just seems hard to get comfortable and the urge to use the restroom and the practice contractions seem to keep me moving all night.  In her book Ina May says that you have to reach this point when you are uncomfortable being pregnant so that you have the desire and the will to go through the hard work of labor.  Bring on the hard work!
I have been doing a lot of nesting and Aaron has been a trooper.  Finishing the nursery was a big one to get done.  I was also concerned that we needed to get all the Christmas decorations put away and cleaned up before the baby got here.  Even though I was super tired, we managed to finish that one on Friday night.  I had some other things that I wanted to do before labor like make a playlist for my ipod to help me during labor and I managed to get that done too. 
Now I am feeling ready.  I just need my sister and Pam to get back and we can have this baby.  I have been telling her that her birthday is Saturday and that she should be getting ready to come then.  We'll see if she has been listening to me! 

Nursery is Finished!

I was getting worried that she might get here before we had the pictures hung in the nursery, but we put the last one up today.  My nesting anxieties have been relieved!  I didn't really start with a definite vision of what I wanted her nursery to be like, but I am really pleased with what we put together!  I think it's sweet and still fun.

The canvas with her name was a gift from her aunt Arden and Uncle Joe.  I ordered the picture frames to match her bedding and I found the saying for the wall on Etsy.  I love the pink and green with the crisp white. 

We were searching for a lamp to go by the glider and Aaron spotted this sweet one that tied in the little birdie.  He has become quite the shopper!

Aaron hung these curtains to finish off the windows.

I found these cute birdie prints on Etsy.  They picked up the colors in the room and I like that they are cute for a little girl, but still something that she can continue to use after she outgrows the nursery.  Picking out the frames took some time, but I am glad that we chose the white.  I really like how it goes with the green.

The nursery clock was a gift from my Uncle Ronnie and his wife Chris and the growth chart was a gift from Jeanne'.  I can't wait to start marking off her height on it!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Emergency Plans 2

Aaron has been somewhat concerned about his task in getting me to the hospital and that job has just become potentially more complicated.  We are expecting a little snow and some freezing rain tonight.  Aaron had not factored that in to getting to the hospital.  I think it won't be a problem because I don't think she is coming today or tomorrow.  Jeanne' is on vacation and my doula has been called away to be with her mother.  We have a back up doula, but I haven't met her and would rather wait for ours to come back next week.  I don't have a back up sister, so we will just have to wait for her to come back next week!  All in all, next week is looking like the better time for this baby and we discussed it and she seems content to wait a while.  At least I think that's what she meant by the kick, kick, squirm. 

Emergency Plans

Yesterday some co-workers began expressing concern about the potential for me to go into labor while at work.  I explained that I didn't think that would be a problem because I could just wrap things up, call Aaron, and head home.  I tried to explain that early labor usually takes a while and there would be plenty of time.  They thought I was nuts. 
Once they described how it would be, I realized that they were envisioning more of what you would see on a sit-com.  The first contraction starts, the woman goes crazy, they get stuck in the elevator, and the baby is delivered dramatically.  Some of these women have given birth themselves, so you would think they would understand, but the amnesia part must set in rather quickly.  I was told that I would not be able to drive while in labor (it's less than 2 miles to my house) and that we definitely needed an emergency plan.  I resisted for a while as their view of labor is not at all consistent with what I have been researching and envisioning, but finally I relented.  I figured it would just be easier to let them make the emergency plan and feel prepared rather than try to convert them to my way of viewing birth. 
We now have a plan posted in my cube that shows phone numbers for important people like Aaron, Mom, and the midwife, and it includes a map to the hospital.  They also emailed a copy to manager so that he could be prepared. 
At least I can say that I work with people who care about me!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Belly Shot!

Here is the update on sweet pea:
Only two more weeks (or plus two more, max) before your baby makes his or her appearance. And what an adorable appearance that will be! Your little one isn't so little anymore — weighing in at close to seven pounds and hitting the height charts at the 21-inch mark (or less).
As you prepare (best you can) for baby's ETA, he or she is also getting ready, big time. Vernix and lanugo continue to shed from your baby's body into the amniotic fluid. Your baby swallows that amniotic fluid (yum yum?) and some of it winds up in his or her intestines where it — along with other shed cells, bile, and other waste products (triple yum) — will turn into your baby's first bowel movement (meconium) and perhaps your first diaper change.
Your baby's lungs continue to mature as more and more surfactant is secreted (remember — it helps prevent the lungs from sticking to each other when your baby begins to breathe…definitely a good thing). At 38 weeks pregnant, all systems, almost go!
I can't believe we are getting close to the end of the belly shots!  Maybe I will have to do them after to show my progress with decreasing the size of my belly.  Probably not as fun as watching it grow each week.

Monday, January 4, 2010


We had another check-up today and all is going well.  My blood pressure and growth are looking good.  My Beta strep test came back negative, which means we don't have to hassle with a round of antibiotics when we get to the hospital.  We heard baby girl's heartbeat and she sounds good.  She is moving frequently, which is the best sign that all is well in there. 
She has come down a little lower in my pelvis, but has not actually dropped all the way.  She still has time!  Next week I will be 39 weeks and she will check to see if I have started to dilate or thin out.  I have been having lots of Braxton-Hicks contractions, so hopefully those are helping. 
This week I will start taking evening primrose oil, which helps your body start getting ready for labor.  It's not like castor oil that will actually try to start labor.  This just helps make the conditions more favorable for labor once you are ready. 
I can't believe that we are down to 2 weeks! 

Friday, January 1, 2010

Belly Painting

One of the things that I really wanted to do while pregnant was paint my belly.  I thought about doing it around Halloween, but we were just too busy to get to it.  Well, today finally seemed like a good day to do it.  I was so grateful that Jeanne' was up for the task of painting my belly.  We thought of several ideas, but finally decided that the fish bowl was the thing to try. 
We mixed up the body paint using a recipe that I found online and Jeanne' sketched out the idea on my tummy.  This was a more difficult painting job than most because the canvas was often wiggling!  I am so excited by how it turned out!  I will always remember my big pregnant belly and my sister painting these cute fish on it!  I am truly enjoying this time and hope to hold onto every fond memory of it.