Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Weigh-in and Diapers

Little Monch is now what Theo weighed at his lightest the first week home from the hospital: 7 lbs., 10 oz, which from 6 lbs, 1 oz. at his 4-day ped. visit is pretty good, I would say! He still feels like a teeny weeny peanut, but he's a growing one. Yay boobs.

His little behind is finally (sort of) fitting into our cloth diapers. We are loving using our Kissaluv terry snap-ons with a wool cover. We decided to delve into the world of wool with this one. We've got the one-size down pat with Theo, and Max will definitely use Theo's bumGeniuses when he's big enough, but S. did a heck of a job boosting our stash through DiaperSwappers, mainly, getting some awesome wool covers. And S.'s mom actually crocheted us two wool diaper covers that are ridiculously cute. I can't wait until he fits into the longies we scored-those of you who use them know how damn cute they are. I must admit I was skeptical about the wool and mostly freaked out about the care involved in them, but so far it's really been no big deal. I am still not a fan of prefolds, however---he seems to pee through them in about 5 seconds. Any advice? Maybe I'm a bad folder.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Little Monch

We all think Max looks like a Monchhichi. What do you think? And yes, we have started calling him that.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Story

My "real" story, which I typed out into a Word document, is 4 pages long. I'll spare you that version and cut to the chase as best as I can - I am notoriously bad at editing myself, so if I sound longwinded, I apologize now.

December 2nd, I got up and went to work. All week long, I had been experiencing lower and more-intense B-H contractions, and had some bloody mucous, so I knew things were definitely shifting. That day, things felt different, though. Stronger, longer, more uncomfortable cramping was happening. It continued all day, all evening, and I finally thought, hmm...maybe we ought to be timing these? By 11:00 that night, we realized this was it. We called the midwife and our doula B. Midwife G. was on-call - our most favorite, wonderful, awesome midwife - so we were keeping our fingers crossed that she'd still be on by the time we made it to the hospital. She advised us to stay in bed and rest as long as possible, but it soon became evident that this was not going to happen. The waves started coming on more regularly, strongly, and frequently. I mostly laid on the bed, or bent over the bed rocking back and forth - never did it feel unmanageable, but perhaps inconveniently uncomfortable to do anything with but breathe, breathe, breathe, and rock back and forth. I had been using the Hypnobabies homestudy course, so I put on my headphones and let the relaxation exercises guide me through each wave. It kept me focused, calm, and easygoing. I was very, very quiet during this time, still able to talk to S., but we decided that sooner than later, with my waves increasing in frequency, it was time to get this show on the road. We called our doula and midwife back around 3:30 a.m., and by 4:00 started moving downstairs to get ready to leave for the hospital. We stopped into Theo's room to give him one last kiss as a family of 3, and I remember thinking how different everything would be the next time we saw him.

S.'s mom came over for Theo, helped us pack the car with our bags, and then we were on our way. I kept the headphones on throughout the ride, but it was becoming more and more uncomfortable to bear each wave sitting down. We met our doula B., and made our way down the hallway, to the elevators, up to the birthing center. We were lead to the same room that Theo was born in---we thought surely this was an excellent sign! It was 5:00 a.m.

My intake appointment went well--I remember being very chatty and upbeat with the nurse while the waves continued. I was hooked up to the EFM for just 20 minutes. Midwife G. came in to check my progress and -- holy cow -- I was already 8-9 cm dilated. This was beyond awesome news, but at the same time, I knew in the back of my head that meant the hardest work was yet to come. I was unhooked and left to move freely. I chose to spend the majority of the time bent over the hospital bed on pillows, rocking. Eventually the rocking got paired with moaning as B. massaged my lower back, gave me washcloths scented with ginger for my nausea (I hadn't been able to keep anything down for hours), and S. held my hands.

As the waves grew stronger, I felt myself spinning out of control. B.'s touch and S.'s "om"ing in my ear reminded me to stay focused, to turn inward, to keep my tones low. This, coupled with cool cloths and ice chips, got me through what I knew was transition. I wondered how long it would go on before I would feel like pushing. Eventually, I was moved into the bathroom to sit on the toilet, but I hated the feeling. I know now that G. was trying to use gravity to get my urge to push stimulated, but all I wanted to do was get off. I even remember saying, "I don't want my baby to be born on a toilet!" We walked back over to the bed, where I finally got on, side-lying, my legs supported by S. and G. I waited and waited for each wave to help bring my urge to bear down on, but it never happened with the force I expected. Suddenly I was being instructed to push, to focus my pushing in one place, and sure enough it started to work. I can honestly say I never felt that "urge to push" most women get, but I knew it was time for that baby to come out.

Soon, G. said, "reach down and feel this - your baby is still in his sack." I reached down and said, "That's so weird!" My water had never broken - I had in the back of my mind been waiting and waiting, but it never did. The baby was born in his caul, with his bag of waters intact, a very rare thing indeed. Of course I never felt it, but G. broke the bag as he was coming out to help him breath, and before I knew it or even felt him come out, my screaming little peanut was resting on my chest, healthy, hairy, and loud. It was 7:29 a.m., 2 1/2 hours after we arrived at the hospital, and less than 10 hours after labor started in earnest.

I feel positive that using Hypnobabies allowed me to stay at home for as long as I did and labor in comfort for as long as I did. I had the exact birth that I wanted, was supported by wonderful and amazing people, and now have the little family of 4 S. and I had been dreaming off since this process began last year. I have no other words other than to say that I am so lucky to have been able to do what I did, to have who I have in my life, and to have a healthy little baby to show for it all.

Thursday, December 09, 2010


I'm tired and still don't have my entire birth story written down--so until I feel slightly more motivated, a post of photos for your viewing pleasure. I know I'm enjoying the view, anyway.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Turns out it was much more than a cranky uterus.

Maxwell Joseph
12/3/10 after less than 10 hours of (when I finally figure out I was in labor) labor
6.4 lbs, 19.5 inches

A teeny peanut with lots of hair to explain the heartburn of the last 9 months.

Details to follow!

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Still In

Went back to work today, after being up on and off for a few hours with crampy rumblings. Decided it would be better to be somewhere with distracting people and where I could walk around. Ever since I've been home, it's been on-and-off cramping. Haven't called doula or midwife and still trying to decide if this is it and sloooowly starting, or whether it's just gear-up, tuning up, checking the oil type stuff. Very little bloody mucous today. No plug.

Baby's still in there!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Warning: too much TMI

Yes, I realize the redundancy of this post title.

This post will gross many people out, so please feel free to click off of this page if you are feeling squeamish.

I'm 39w4d. Contractions have been happening pretty regularly (just B-H ones, I figure), but have now moved into the low, low region of my pelvis. This morning and a few times today, I had (TMI PART COMING UP NOW!!!) bloody mucous. Was it bloody show? Just mucous? Is labor imminent? There are a lot of rumblings going on down there. I'd sure hate to go on like this for another week or more and am wondering if I should keep going to work. I guess it's just time to wake up every morning and evaluate the day. My sub is working with me full time right now, so she's ready to jump in whenever.

I may also mention that I suddenly feel incredibly energetic. You'd think I'd do something useful, like vacuum or wash the kitchen floor, but instead I just get up and go to work. I'm trying to save as many of my sick days as I possibly can so I can take the majority of my leave paid.

Wow, this is a rambling post. I think I'm slightly in shock that my actual due date is a mere 4 days away. Here we are, ready and waiting. Let's hope we're not ready and waiting, and waiting, and waiting...

Monday, November 22, 2010

Not Yet

Nothing to post yet--I just know where minds wander to when a gal gets to about this stage of the game. We've just been--busy. The theme of this pregnancy. I called in sick today to actually sleep (and I been sick for a week, so it's legit), relax, be alone for an afternoon - though I'm out soon to run some errands before my 38-week midwife appointment this afternoon. So, since Halloween, let's see what's been going on:

  • 3 surprise baby showers, one thrown by my mom for us at my aunt's house (which surprised the ever-living hell out of me - seriously) and 2 others by 2 of my classes. Very cute and very sweet when a 14-year-old can pull something like that off.
  • The tile backsplash is almost done in our kitchen. It looks killer.
  • Theo is testing his limits, big time. Perhaps he senses a big change is on the horizon? Every night, bedtime is a challenge and a production. Any advice? Or is he just 2?
  • 2 more weeks of work (probably) and we've just now hired a sub. Here's hoping I actually have enough time left to sit down with her before it's time.
  • House is all in order - we got our co-sleeper back from our friends, all baby clothes are washed, bags are packet, new car is purchased, snowblower is being serviced, camera batteries are charged. Phew.

I don't think I could possibly have forgotten anything. Thanksgiving is this week and it is nearly my favorite national holiday. No religious affiliations, wonderful food, no pressure to exchange gifts, and a great message - be grateful. And, though we haven't stopped to genuflect on it, we truly, truly are.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Beginning of the end

Well--they never said it would be easy to carry a baby to full term, right? Right. Now that I am feeling seriously huge, every day seems a little more challenging. For instance, if I forget to put my socks on before breakfast, it is nearly impossible to bend over to put my socks on. If I bend over for something instead of squatting down to reach it, my belly gets smooshed in the most uncomfortable way. While my heartburn seems to have subsided a wee amount for the time being, the possible lowering of the baby means more head whamming against the cervix, which is just ooooooh-so-pleasant. Actually, it's not terrible, and I welcome the feeling---but when I'm trying to stand up in front of a class and teach, it's a little distracting.

Below, scenes from the beginning of the end of fall. Halloween was fun this year. Theo only went trick-or-treating across the street to our neighbor's house, but he got his own special basket of candy from her and---gasp---we let him eat a lollypop. For the first time. Ever. And he loved it. Until he dropped it in the leaves.

Large and in charge at 35 weeks.

We woke up Halloween morning to find our entire street toilet papered and our pumpkins stolen off the front porch.

Practicing his moves with the pitchfork

Our little devil (pre-sugar high from lollypop)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Things that are kind of kicking my butt right now in the last 6 weeks:

  • Fatigue--back with a vengeance. Is it possible I feel MORE tired now than in the first trimester? Seriously. I could sleep in every day and go to bed by 7:30 every night.
  • Heartburn. Blah.
  • Sleep, ironically. Tossing and turning all night on the Sno*gle does not a good night's sleep make. Add to that the occasional toddler in the bed, and it all makes for a not-so-restful nor peaceful night despite my pure exhaustion.
  • Papers. Okay, that has nothing to do with being pregnant, but I have so many papers to grade. Why am I giving so much work? I must be a mean teacher!
  • Finding a new car---why do car salespeople suck so badly?
Things I love:

  • Being extremely, visibly pregnant. I love the way my belly looks, I must say.
  • Feeling so close to the baby, who moves and grooves and twists and turns in there all the time. I love it (except when I get an unexpected swift kick to the ribs--ouch).
  • My family. Theo. Wife. Imagining us as a foursome very soon.
  • Halloween and fall. Seriously---who wants to spend fall anywhere else but New England? My heart aches happily just thinking about it. It's especially grand this year since I don't have to blow or rake leaves (at least not for too long). And---I also love Halloween candy. Yum.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Purple Day

Our GSA gave out purple ribbons today -- it's Ally Week, plus purple day today to honor the 7 young men who took their own lives over the past month due to anti-gay bullying and harassment. We had a ton of students sign pledge forms and take ribbons during the lunch waves, so obviously I'm ecstatic about that.

Here is what I am very un-ecstatic about---an annoying, homophobic, unprofessional teacher who totally ruined the day. She basically accosted my student who was working at the GSA table to explain (not in my presence - the student was totally by herself and defenseless) how she doesn't believe that "all this" (GSAs, ribbons, allies, anything having to do with supporting gay anything) belongs in a school. May I mention we are a PUBLIC school, so nevermind that the GSA has about a gazillion legal rights to exist and disseminate information, but we also have a student-lead prayer group, which is also totally legal (if it's student-initiated and student lead, as is our GSA and many other clubs at school). So this is basically the equivalent of me marching into the bible study and telling them that I believe everything in the bible is a lie and that this group shouldn't exist.

But I would never do that. Do you know why? I am a professional who cares about students.

And we wonder why teenagers feel the need to kill themselves.

Can you just imagine if a person like this said something like this to your own child? It makes me not just angry for my children, but also scared. I hope-hope-hope we can do a good job strengthening our kids' confidence enough to never listen to this kind of bullshit nor take it seriously. But it still scares me.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Cautionary Tale List

Things not to do when you're 32 weeks pregnant: A List

1. Collide with a student in the hallway and then land on all-fours, hard, only to suffer excruciating back pain for the next two days

2. Somehow pick up a lingering massive head cold and sore throat

3. Drive through Chinatown in New York on a Saturday looking for a parking space

4. Smack the steering wheel and yell "F*CK!" while crying hysterically in said Chinatown traffic drive

5. Inadvertently teach your two-year-old how to say "F*CK", which really sounds like "PUT!" followed by hysterical laughter

6. Continue to say the word mentioned in 4 and 5 without realizing it, again eliciting peals of ecstatic laughter from your two-year-old

7. Try to get a two-year-old boy to say "nice words" instead of "put" or "puttin" - because they'll just end up saying "POOP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" or "PEE PEE!!!!!"

And that was my week in a nutshell. Take it as a cautionary tale, all ye pregnant ladies with no center of balance, a penchant for spontaneous emotional breakdowns, and an easily-influenced little bugger listening to your every word.

32 weeks down, 8 to go!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Another Rushing Week

No time for real posts - just pics. Theo is currently hurling himself off of the couch at an alarming angle, I have to pick up a pizza for dinner, and S. is painting our new cabinet to stash all the office crap we had to move out of our, well, office, to make Theo's new room. And...I am 31 weeks and starting to finally slow down. Thank god for my birth ball and some wisely selected yoga-ish exercises and deep relaxation CDs - otherwise my back pain would be tailspinning out of control. Whew. Needless to say, I could use a day off to just sleep and relax, but I'm trying to hold out as long as I can. With a long weekend coming up, I'm channeling the little engine that could...I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...

30 Weeks self-portrait (very hard when one is only 5 feet tall and one's profile barely clears the mirror!)

31 Weeks

Blondie cousin love with typical poses - cousin J. with his big smile, Theo with his little coy smirk

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Hitting milestones

We've hit 30 weeks! At m/w appointment today I:

-found out that I DO NOT have gestational diabetes. Yay yay yay!
-found out that I am borderline anemic. Boo boo boo. Luckily, our midwives try to correct this with diet before prescribing giant constipation pills.
-gained about another 1/2 lb. in two weeks. I'm liking my pace, but know it will likely start accelerating in the next few weeks. That's okay, too.
-discovered the baby has been head down since the last midwife appointment - or at least he was today. Good baby!

I decided that I will take at least a picture a week of the belly for your viewing pleasure until the end. (I took a self-portrait Monday morning but haven't dumped it off of my camera yet.) A decided lack of belly shots - and pictures of me pregnant in general - suddenly made me feel very sad since I know I will not be getting pregnant again and want PROOF when this boy comes out that I was the one who grew him.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I am finally here sitting on my bottom after what feels like a very, extremely long day. Strangely enough, I feel great all day long (mostly), but as soon as I sit down, I am suddenly overwhelmed with tiredness. Not exhaustion - just extreme tiredness. The weather growing cooler and fallish does not help the urge to crawl into a pile of blankets when I come home. But alas, there are things to do, pick up, pack up (we're going away again this weekend out to my parents' house), so, yeah---I come home and go some more. But, I'm thinking as long as I can move, I should move. Yes? Makes sense to me.

An update on baby kidneys. We had an u/s last Wed., and surprise! The kidneys actually resolved. We are relieved, but were never panicked in the first place. Still--it is good news that we now do not have to subject a squirming newborn to an ultrasound or an appointment with our dull-as-dirt pediatric urologist. At my m/w appointment yesterday, I only gained about 1/4 lb, a much welcome relief from the 6 I had gained at my last visit. Measuring spot on at 28 1/2 weeks, heartbeat strong, and baby seemed head-down during my appointment, although I'm sure that has since changed.

Hey--I think I'm going to have a baby. It feels more real than ever all of a sudden.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Busy Bees

Clearly the start of school was a bit much to allow me to have any semblance of free time with which to blog. We relished our last days of summer but, as always, were ready to go back to school by the time the end of August rolled around. Theo is happily back with his beloved babysitter. Seriously---he cries for her and whines, "I want Kaaaate! I want my Kaaaate!" I'm pretty sure he's never sung such a song for his mamas, but it's okay. I love that he loves where he is during the day when we can't be with him.

My first week back as a large pregnant lady was...exhausting. But I made it through. I have an exhausting schedule this year (5 classes in a row with a lunch break after 3). At least I'll be missing for three months of the year when son 2.0 comes.

We spent the Labor Day weekend in Baltimore with S.'s brother, our sis-in-law, my in-laws, and our nephew. We hit Sesame Place on Saturday. Oh.My.Goodness. You only need to witness the long embrace between Theo and Elmo to see that the trip was totally worth it. The kids did great. We ended up springing for the character luncheon - way expensive for really crappy food, but so worth it. Again, I point to the Elmo hug.

Oh yeah, and I'm in my third trimester now. Gulp.

Their grandmother insisted on the matching cousin outfits. I had to admit, it's pretty cute.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The weight gain game

Ugh. I do not like stressing out about this, but in the past 5 weeks of pregnancy I have gained....6 pounds. Ugh ugh ugh. The midwife was totally unconcerned - I'd been gaining about 2 pounds every month. I had to go 5 weeks before seeing the m/w because of our beach vacation, where, apparently, it was not wise to eat ice cream She chalked it up to being on vacation, sitting on a beach, and just generally not moving as much in the heat. And the ice cream.

Yep. Looking for a healthier way to indulge my sweet tooth. I go in for the 3rd (!) trimester screening tests in 3 weeks or so, and need to have another ultrasound before that for a kidney check. Sleeping officially kills my hips, even with the giant maternity pillow which I find only marginally comfortable. Still, I feel blessed to have had my pregnancy go this way so far, and still being able run after and catch up with this kid:

P.S. - just had a cup of vanilla ice cream with hot fudge. Baby: 1 Willpower: 0

Sunday, August 15, 2010

An Open List

Terrified that we are going to be scrambling around too late and last-minute to get everything we need, S. and I realized that, at 24 weeks, some stuff needs to start getting done and happening. So far we've:

-compiled a pretty good list of boys names
-read through a few birthing books
-been to all of our regularly scheduled midwife appointments and had an ultrasound (with a follow-up to occur in a month or so for a kidneys check)

Yeah. So, what should probably be done or in the process of being done by now is:
-setting up Theo's new bedroom
-interviewing (at least, if not hiring) doulas
-finding a birthing class/instructor to work with that suits our needs (no first-time mamas birth classes - it would be way too boring)
-exercising regularly, or getting into some mini-yoga/stretching routine so I continue to feel physically comfortable since I will be working up until my due date
-declaring to my job how long I plan on taking for maternity leave (which is still a question mark)

What else should be on this list? We are list people. Maybe we are over-reacting and we've done just the right amount of stuff. We don't need the hubub of registering or decorating a nursery (although we'll need a few new things - new bumpers and new blankets since the ones we have are definitely T's). So that leaves us with..what else? An open question I pose to you, readers.

Friday, August 13, 2010

(Almost) back

Where have we been? Take a guess! (Hint: it's sandy and has no freaking internet access - not even one single network we can suck off of for 10 minutes! ) We're actually still away, but finally coming home tomorrow after two weeks. I realize how ridiculously lucky we are, to be able to get away for a two-week vacation. I hope we'll be able to continue this with two kids so they both get to experience life at the beach, a place we both grew up loving to go.

Safe behind a sand fortress from the crashing waves

New best friend, cousin (twice removed? three times?) Leah

New hobby - banging on anything with sticks and calling it a drum

Soaking up the sunshine

Happy babies frolicking on the shore

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Wow, he's really big for his age!

We hear that all the time. And now we know why: our kid is 90% larger than your kid.

Two-year stats:

Weight: 32.2 pounds - 90th percentile

Height: 35 inches - 70-80th percentile

Head: don't remember, but in a normal size range - 50-60th percentile

Big boy. So much to love, sometimes his cloth diapers come flying off his substantial buttocks. I am not joking. That velcro wears out fast.

Also, My Pregnancy Boobs: A Limerick

My chest size is a'creeping
Even though they aren't yet leaking.
My boobs are a'growing;
Sometimes it's the only pregnant part showing.
Bra shopping it is as their size is leaping.

I know my meter is off, but at least I have the rhyme scheme. Seriously though, are these things going to KEEP GETTING BIGGER?!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Theo is a two-year-old, as evidenced by videos and pictures and other proofs that yes, he-is-two. We had a party on Saturday and try as we might to make it a simple affair, it never turns out this way. Behold the enormous bounce house we decided to rent for the occasion:

The house of bounce

Oh yes. Despite the incredible downpour (and I am by no means exaggerating here about this downpour), the kids loved it, all the slippery wet fun of it. You can imagine I did not partake, but did go in when there were no kids by my own to jump and chase after.

A choo-choo themed birthday yielded a choo-choo train cake made by S.'s mother (it was rocking awesome), and a million Thoma.s the Tank Engine toys and..the piece de resistance...a gorgeous handmade train table created by S.'s parents. It's gorgeous and Theo basically hasn't left its side since Saturday.

Cake eating

Cooling off in the drink bucket full of ice cold water (after most of the guests left!)

Train table

From above

We leave for vacation on Saturday and don't know what internet access will be like, so this may be it for us for a while. Oh yes, and I forgot to mention that I am OVER half-way through this pregnancy and starting to look and feel pregnant always. My hands and arms fall asleep all over the place when I sleep---did this happen to anyone else? Do I just deal? It's really annoying. Other than that, can't complain except for the occasional cranky uterus growing, growing, growing.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Approaching Two

Two years ago at this moment, S. was in labor - but the nurse and midwife had just caught on to that. Her pizza was long-gone, and labor was in full-swing. After that, things start to be blurry. In 7 hours, we would have our baby. In 7 hours, we will have our two-year-old. Whoa.



Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Pool Belly

This is me at 19 weeks exactly, in S.'s aunt's pool, feeling much relieved from the heat and humidity. I think this is the first belly shot I've posted? So you really have no comparison, but I can assure you--I am bigger than when I started! (Try not to stare at my white-ass legs - you may be temporarily blinded. Though I am Italian in temperament, I am not in pigmentation.)

Cooling off

Swimming fool - you cannot keep this kid out of a pool

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Well, that was a surprise...

So not expecting this, but this baby of mine? The one in my belly? A boy. A BOY! ANOTHER BOY! I say that like I don't want that, but I'm thrilled. We wanted another boy. But my gut instinct was screaming to me, girl, girl, girl. I'm glad we decided to find out at our ultrasound today, because I would have continued to insist I was having a girl and then be shaken to my core when he came out a he and not a she.

A little brother for Theo.

The irony in all of this? I now own the two and only male heirs to my family's last name. Sure, the boys' (ohmygod that sounds so weird) names are hyphenated with my last name and S.'s, but still. There is one, single boy cousin I have and guess what? He has three daughters. Oh me oh my. The lesbian saves the family legacy. Got to love it.

On to the medical part, the ultrasound was good. Everything looks normal except...kidneys. Jeez, this sounds familiar...if I took time and wasn't sweating my arse off as I sat here with the laptop on my lap, I'd go back and link you to some of the posts we wrote in the last two and a half years about Theo's ongoing kidney issues. Fortunately, they mostly resolved within his first year and a half of life, and this (where one kidney is larger than the other) is not so rare and 50% of the time clears up before birth. Theo fell into the other 50%, obviously, but at least we already have a pediatric urologist and a pediatrician who knows the deal. So, not great but not the worst news, and everything else is measuring perfectly and looking normal. Big sigh of relief all around.

And now to retreat into the air conditioning.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Meditating on Birth

Now that our ultrasound is mere hours away, I've started to read pregnancy books and think about birth. It's time, people---do you see that ticker? 18 weeks. That's almost half-way through. Oh wow!, as Theo would say.

I daresay we have a unique situation over here in babymaker town. On one hand, I have experienced birth in a first-hand way, but not in this first-hand way, and obviously vice-versa for S. What she likes and expects out of this pregnancy is a lot different from what she liked and expected from her own. And...vice-versa. So what may happen differently here? I am reading different books. I'm starting to investigate (and suggestions are wildly welcome here) more meditative-centering-hypnobirthing kind of methods of birth to help me attain it naturally. S. knew from the get-go she wanted a natural birth and, through her sheer tenacity (ahem, stubbornness), she would do it. I cave in much more easily and need a lot more resources and tools at my disposal to use to sustain myself through birth, and am in general not the kind of person who heavily depends on others, so I want to be able to withdraw into myself.

This sounds really weirdo, I know. But I know myself, and am trying to learn more and more about myself and what might work for me. I'm not a meditative person by nature, but I can sort of already anticipate me experiencing birth in this way. But, as I've also learned through Theo's birth and reading all of your wonderful birth stories, the unexpected needs to be, you know, expected.

Thus ends my pregnancy rant of the day.

How do you anticipate yourself birthing?

Thursday, July 01, 2010

5-second Post

Oh lookie! I have like, 5 seconds to sit down and write something! But just 5 seconds, as we're getting reading to leave for a long weekend for the 4th.

To recap:

The wedding we so busily prepared for the last week and a half went off without a hitch. Everything looked beautiful, everyone had a great time, and the food was ridiculously yummy.

I am 17 1/2 weeks pregnant and in less than a week, we get our big ultrasound to, if we're doing it, find out the sex and see what's going on in there. I still haven't decided but am kind of leaning toward finding out to make life easier. Any bets?

Oh, and I think I finally look pregnant. Honestly, I've just looked kind of chubby for the past 17 weeks. S. has been bemoaning my lack of baby belly-ness. I have been incredibly negligent and un-insistent on having belly shots taken every week--honestly, I don't think I've taken a pic for like, 5 weeks. Bad, I know. I'll try to start being better and maybe actually post something.

Did I mention Theo isn't two but may as well be? Yeah. Any good suggestions for toddler books?

And some pictures, because though he grows more independent every day, he also grows cuter.

Theo helping his Auntie Stacey with pancake making

Dirty boy in the garden (he did this to himself, I swear)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I'm here but busy.busy.busy as a bee, which, incidentally, stung Theo for the first time last week. Now, whenever he sees a picture of a bee he goes, "Bee! Boo boo!" and points to his arm with great distress in his overly-expressive face. He is a laugh-riot when he's not making us pull our hair out with extreme exasperation. Those terrible twos? They have squarely moved in although we have a month to go.

We're helping our bestests plan and execute their wedding picnic that's on Sunday, hence the buzzing about and lack of posts. Previous excuse was end of school year which, thankfully, is here. Big sigh of relief.

Happy Summertime and we'll be back soon.

(Incidentally, I've still been reading all of your posts. It's so much more relaxing than writing!)

Friday, June 11, 2010

Things that made my cry recently:

My hormones
Watching images of the BP oil spill
Listening to something on NPR (probably StoryCorp or something)
My wife (hey, it's the end of the year--we are super-stressed teachers right now and set each other off easily these days.)

Things that are getting cooler:

Maternity pants - no more zippers for a while
Feeling the baby - and S.'s super-sensitive hands feeling her/him, too
Deciding whether to find out sex - what do you guys think? We didn't with Theo, and S. is dying to find out. Every day I flip-flop between it being a boy or a girl. I'll be surprised either way.
The end of the year - one-half day of classes left, 4 days of final, 2 days of "professional development", then freedom to breath easy for a while.


Wednesday, June 02, 2010


A check-ish list of accomplishments during our long weekend:

  • 2 gardens planted
  • 3 grilled meals consumed
  • 1 birthday party attended
  • 1 13-week pregnant lady swatting away bugs that would not go away
  • 3 days of perfect weather
  • 1 lawn mowed
  • 2 friends that came to sleep over
  • 1 parade watched
  • 1 flag waved, and waved, and waved

Monday, May 24, 2010

I'm no anchorwoman..

I'm starting to show. I guess it's time to break the news to work. I already told my department head and principal, and both seemed genuinely thrilled for us, but I haven't told any co-workers besides my pregnant buddy, but I really think that it's time. I mean--I have no pants left to wear, people. Time to go shopping.

I really don't like telling people "news". I know, I'm weird. What's the most tactful, least-embarrassing way to break the news?

Friday, May 21, 2010

Blow Up

Apropos of nothing, I turned comment moderation OFF because I found it so annoying, but I'm still getting possibly more annoying blog comments, so will likely be turning it back on, just to warn you.

So, where have we been? We've been..exhausted. The only reason I am able to type this right now is because I happen to be home with Theo for the day since our babysitter's daughter caught the nasty puke-your-brains-out bug going around S.'s school. NOT fun--so we really hope Theo does not get infected with that nastiness. Last week, his whole body BLEW UP with a red, red rash, accompanied by a running nose. Our doc called it some kind of coxsackie virus, but S. suspects it was fifth's disease, so today I went to the hospital lab to get some blood drawn just to check.

However, I am going to go with everything being all well and good on the pregnancy front. My intense hunger has subsided-for now-and we heard the heartbeat on Monday at our first midwife appointment. Yes! I'll be 12 weeks Sunday. That is rather mind blowing. S. is concerned that I haven't "popped" yet--only my ass and boobs seem to be doing the popping--but since I really don't have any summery maternity clothes yet, this is fine by me. Although, I don't know how much longer I can squeeze into my work pants, and I only fit into one pair of jeans. I will also add that my t-shirts look ridiculous on me and all need a size upgrade.

Another thing that BLEW UP in our face this week was some shocking news. Our donor--as in the one we used for Theo--became available again. And the bank DID NOT let us know, like they had said they would. We only found out via a message someone sent S. through the DSR. I didn't quite know what to do with this information. We agonized over what to do once our embryo transfers failed, and we were faced with having to choose a new donor if I wanted to become pregnant next. It took us a really long time to choose, and it's worth pointing out that we made a LOT of phone calls to our original bank inquiring about when our donor would become available again. I know that I was meant to be pregnant with the donor we used, since it worked---and it really will be fine. But there is just this little bug somewhere in the back of my head like--there are going to be half-siblings of Theo out there now-and they won't be mine.

Anyway, onwards we go. We're going to Boston this weekend with my sister (well, she lives there, so we're going to her apt.) then all visiting the Children's Museum. I have so many fond memories of visiting the Museum with my mother as a kid, so it's exciting to get to take Theo for the first time. Enjoy the lovely weather all!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Did you know that.... is our FOUR YEAR bloggiversary? I really didn't imagine we would be still blogging, after blogging through the painfully long conception of Theo, S. being pregnant, Theo's birth and babyhood, and now my nascent pregnancy. Crazy, no? There are some blogs I've been following from the beginning, and some I've just found, and others who have sadly just disappeared from the blog world after enduring too much pain. I ache for those friends we started with whose journey did not end up the way they wanted or expected.

On Saturday, we attended a huge picnic to celebrate our hospital's 20-year IVF program. There were nearly 300 IVF-conceived kids there. We got to see our doctors and nurses again, get a free lunch, and free admission to the city museums. It was really wonderful and--amazing--to see how many people's journeys happily ended in family. What was surprising, though, was that there were hardly any other lesbian couples there--we only saw a few. But I know many of them use our doctor for IUIs and are lucky enough to stop there. It made us a little teary-eyed and oh-so grateful for our little lovey.

Friday, April 30, 2010


Updates, updates, updates...

We got our last scan at the RE's office yesterday. We got marvelous pictures and the babe is measuring ahead of schedule at 8w6d (I was 8w3-4d yesterday). Heartbeat is nice and fast and we can see the beginnings of the umbilical cord. The little gummy bear looks so different from just two weeks ago--it is flabbergasting, really. I guess this finally feels, well...real.

I guess I should have known--I haven't felt too swell lately. Behold my dinner last night. I prepared a marvelous lemon-parmesan asparagus pasta, only to turn my nose up at it at serving time. Instead I indulged in ginger ale, a sleeve of Saltines, and half a bag of Sour Patch Kids. It is literally the only thing I wanted to eat. At least I'm eating. And often. One of my friends whom I work with (also a lesbian, also an English teacher, also pregnant, also already has a son--weird or what?) told me she gets so sick of eating and I thought she was exaggerating.

And now I'm off to eat more crackers.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Wonders of the Sea

We always knew Theo loved the water, but we didn't know how he'd react to seeing water animals. Turns out it was almost as good a reception as a train or truck, and that is pretty darn good. Imagine screaming accompanying the surprised, happy face, and you've pretty much got our day.

Peeping into the beluga tank

Giant indoor tropical fish tank (fuzzy picture thanks to camera shake and no flash, but it looks pretty cool anyway!)

All hands (8 of them!) in the sting ray, sans stingers, tank with cousins T and twins M and F

Friday, April 23, 2010

What's next? Or, am I seriously fat already?

We had our intake appointment yesterday at the m/w office where 7 (!) vials of blood were taken for my prenatal workup. I have no idea what they are testing me for, but okay. The nurse already had to ask if I feel like I am gaining weight. Uh-oh. Let's just say that since I've, um, neglected myself over the past year or so, I've put on a couple extra pounds. So whether I've already gained weight or not, I don't know--I only know that I started off looking like I was already 8-10 weeks pregnant. I am just hoping my body is resting and waiting to catch up instead of the weight taking off like a rocket. Jeesh.

But, I am always.hungry. Always.hungry. Or, I am vaguely nauseated. To ward of nausea, I eat. It's worked the past couple of days, except yesterday I went past the point of hunger and catapulted down into severe nausea, so I learned my lesson. I traveled today with (literally) a bag full of snacks. Good times. Yes, this will really help keep my weight gain to a minimum, I'm sure.

Vacation is pretty much over---here's the last of our vacation pics from NYC. We went to Mystic Aquarium today with 3 other children. It was chaotic but a blast. Pics to follow. For now, Brooklyn Botanical Gardens (with the cherry blossoms at their PEAK!):

from below, looking up into the heavy boughs

Monday, April 19, 2010

I DO NOT KNOW how people in New York City do it--two mammas, one 30+ pound baby boy, a 16 lb. stroller, and probably miles of walking later...we are tre pooped and DONE with walking around the city for the day. We checked out Times Square yesterday just to show Theo the Times Square Toys R'Us (it was a love/hate relationship, as you'll see in the pictures below). Today we walked up and down the High Line, down through the West Village, through Washington Square Park, down Broadway to Chinatown, ate lunch there and then hopped on the train up to Tiffany's and then walked down to Herald Square where the H&M has, apparently, the best maternity tank tops ever (NYC women take note!). Whew. Back home tomorrow night or Wed. afternoon to veg out, deal with garden and yard stuff, and grade a stack of papers that seems half a foot tall. Fun.

Real fun:

Friday, April 16, 2010

Am I just paranoid...??


Just wanted to get that out of the way.

I continue to have weird symptoms - simultaneous nausea and hunger - so it's not that I'm worried that anything bad happened, but two nights ago I happened to have a very diluted cup of sassafras tea. What is this, you may ask? Only the most delicious natural-root beer flavored stuff ever. Only, after I drank it, it dawned on me that maybe I should check whether it's contraindicated in pregnancy....oh boy. If you're curious, just go and Google "sassafras in pregnancy" and see what horrifyingly scary things come up, including uterine stimulation and birth defects. Uh-huh. No joke.

So then I see, on these other herbal websites, all the OTHER herbs I should avoid in pregnancy. Jeesh. No camomile? Lavender? Seriously? WTF am I supposed to drink? I gave up coffee and now even decaf is kind of not that good anymore, and tea's all I've got left. I like me a hot beverage, and love iced tea in the summer. What, tell me, what can I drink? Any past/present preggos care to chime in? Or, am I just being overly paranoid?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

So, here's how our morning went:

We got to the RE's office and my vitals were taken. Then, one of the lovely nurses there came in to chat because, honestly, I don't think they knew what to do with us. It was like--okay, you're here for a pre-op, but you're pregnant? What? How did that happen? Sooo..what are you doing here exactly?! It's not like they said that, but everyone was kind of in awe. So our doc came in, congratulated us, did the scan, and...voila!! An egg sac with a beating heart inside, measuring just what it's supposed to with it's heart beating at precisely the right rate. Ahhhh....relief doesn't even cover it.

At one point though, there were six people in the room including me: our doc, the nurse, the student doctor who is working with our doc, S., and then the regular u/s tech whom we love. Mind you this room is like, smaller than the bathrooms. But--I didn't really care. We got a pic of the little blob, are actually going back in two weeks for a follow-up scan, and....this is the best news...I can stop taking the darn progesterone because doc thinks everything is doing what it's supposed to. YES! Bye-bye, constipation! (Well, you know, until real pregnancy constipation sets in.)

It was a good day. Except for the mechanic who didn't do what he was supposed to (not even going to go into that), everything was lovely.

Monday, April 12, 2010

It's a date!

Good news! I called the office, talked to one of the wonderful IVF nurses who we've had a great relationship with in the past three years, and she actually encouraged me to come in. She's e-mailing my doc to tell her, and she doesn't think it's weird (or immoral) at all. She was even like, "the first ultrasound is just so fun." So, yeah. Guess I have nothing to worry about. Except for worrying about all the other things.

Wednesday it is. It's a date!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Moral Dilemma

Wow, when I actually feel like eating, food is really good. I should have known, 1 week into the tww, that I was pregnant when I ate 5 Chips Ahoy cookies in a row and it was the most euphoric, delicious thing I had ever tasted.

Anyway, on to my moral dilemma. I am scheduled for a surgery to get my cyst removed in two weeks. Obviously, I'm not having the surgery. So here is the dilemma. My pre-op appointment is this Wednesday. Should I go anyway and just say, hey, I'm newly pregnant but just want to make sure the pregnancy is viable before canceling my surgery. Is that ethical? Because I'm sure that an ultrasound is part of my pre-op just to check out the location and size of the cyst.

Is that bad? The thing is, I'm not going to get an ultrasound for a while because we did our IUIs with the midwives instead of our RE. It's pure selfishness, really, me wanting to get an ultrasound to see if things are going well, if there's a real thing with a heart beating, growing inside of me. But am I wasting someone's time and money by going about it this way? I feel really bad, actually. I suppose I could call the office first and check.

What do you think, oh upright moral readers?

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

The Bubs

Promised pics from the bubba at Easter. From top to bottom, his first car washing experience, opening presents on Easter morning, dressed up, then, no so much during an Easter egg hunt.