Monday, December 11, 2006

He's here!!

My little Lancelot arrived on Tuesday, November 28th at 6:21 p.m. He was 7 pounds and 14 ounces, and was 21 inches long.

Late Monday night, contractions started. The REAL ones. I decided to go to bed and get as much rest as I could, since I knew I had an ordeal ahead of me! Sleep never came, but I sat in my bathtub, listening to my "slow and sweet" mix on my mp3 player. I also went to the recliner, sat on my birth ball, all sorts of things. I called my doula at 1 am, and she talked me through some of the rougher contractions. I was able to calm myself down and get through a couple more hours.

6 am Tuesday morning, the water breaks. It's not running clear. Lancelot decided to pass meconium in utero, so we rush to the hospital. I was planning on having a water birth, but because of this particular complication, they have to keep me on a fetal heart monitor, so no tub for Guinevere!

7 am Tuesday morning, I'm settled into my room at the hospital. I'm pretty relaxed, considering I've already been in labor for quite some time. I have my husband, my mother, and my doula with me the whole time, and between the three of them, they keep me calm enough so that I don't ask for pain medication until 4 pm.

5 pm Tuesday evening, I've been pushing for 3 hours and little Lancelot is stuck tight. He's not moving down the birth canal. They decide to do a C-Section. While this is quite far from my original plan, I was totally relieved to know that in a matter of an hour or so, I would have my baby!

6 pm Tuesday evening, they take me to the O.R. They give me a spinal, and the pain of the past 18 hours MELTS away. (Had I known how good this was going to be, I SO would have asked for it earlier!! Natural birth, my a**. Ha!)

6:21, my little boy is born! Because of the meconium in the amniotic fluid, the neonatalogist has to see him right away, so I don't see my little baby immediately. Hubby does; he gets to cut the cord. He has our digital camera, so he snaps a picture of the little guy and brings it over to me while they start closing me up. Can you imagine? I see a photograph of my baby before I see the baby!!

About an hour later, they're done sewing me up and the spinal is wearing off. I go back to the recovery room where I get to hold my baby at last. He is the most beautiful thing I have ever looked at in my whole life. Until this moment, I had no idea what love was.

Tomorrow, Lancelot will be 2 weeks old! He is a very good baby, not terribly fussy, and sleeps like the dead. Yes, he wakes up every 2-3 hours for food and a poop, but other than that, nothing in the world will wake up this child unless he WANTS to be awake! This causes some problems, but I have to admit it's making the adjustment home much easier.

We're off to a doctor appointment now- a pediatric cardiologist- his pediatrician heard a heart murmur at his first well-baby checkup, and wants us to have it checked out. She assures us that it's quite normal in newborns to have this, but I'm still a little nervous!

Have a great day, everyone!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Random Acts of Kindness

While I often moan and groan about how rude people can be to pregnant women, I have often experienced random acts of kindness from strangers.

For example, I was walking across my college campus last week for the one class I'm taking this semester, and a young college-guy actually held open a door for me. Wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles! Usually when I trek across Acadamia, I seem to disappear-- which is odd, considering my increased size. Generally, the college campus is the one place I could count on NOT receiving rude comments, because the general population of a college tends to be frightened by the sight of a pregnant woman, as if I would somehow contaminate them. Anyhoo. For the first time all semester, a young man of which I have no acquaintance saw me and was kind enough to hold open not one but two doors for me! I was simply astounded.

Additionally, I have experienced increased empathy from the baggers at the local supermarket. I shop at Publix, which boasts that "Carryout is a Publix service." How nice. Before I became pregnant, rarely was there a time in which the bagger actually offered to assist me to my car. Now, however, even if I only have three bags, they are always so eager to carry them out for me! So of course I take advantage of it! (I only wish they could help me all the way to my apartment and up the flight of stairs, into my kitchen, and put them away too! lol!)

Another time, (again at the college campus,) I had to park a LOOOOONG way from the building entrance. A young woman saw me, smiled, and said, "They should have parking for expectant mothers up front!" That made me laugh. I thought of the store Babies R Us, which actually DOES-- next the handicapped parking spaces, there are two or three spaces with a sign designating them "Stork Parking: Expectant Mothers Only." I LOVE that! Every parking lot should offer such spaces.

*Smile* I am now 8 days away from my due date!! I'm trying my best to look back at my pregnancy and call up the happiest memories. I would much rather remember the kindnesses I have been shown than the rude comments and unpleasant physical aspects of pregnancy! If anyone wants to share their "happy pregnancy" stories, I'd love to hear them!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

When I can't think of a good post title, I'll just call it "Bob."

Pregnancy is just one amazing discovery after another of bizarre and wonderful things one's body is capable of doing.

For as long as I can remember, I have had oily skin. I suffered from wretched acne in high school, which calmed down as I grew up but never completely went away. Then, I became pregnant, and BAM! I looked like a 13-year old again. Gah.

Then came the second trimester. My skin cleared up beautifully, I had never had such a clear complexion. I was loving it!

Now, in the final weeks, my face has dried up and is cracking and peeling like the desert floor. If I squint when I look in the mirror, I can see tumbleweeds traveling across my face, and I hear the theme from Rawhide in my head. Also, my back is now covered in pimples. What on earth??!! Pimples on my BACK?

It seems to me that my body just can't decide which parts of it want to be oily and which parts want to be dry. Although I suppose if I'm going to have zits, I would much rather have them on my back where no one can see them.

Thankfully, I find myself amused by my body's antics. I only have a couple more weeks of weirdness, and then my body should return to its previous state. Hopefully!

In other news, my friend is coming over today to decorate our nursery. She is a professional interior decorator, and her baby gift to us is for her to come make a beautiful room for our little baby! I'm so excited. I'm going to go take a "before" picture, and when she's done I'll take an "after" picture and show the miracles she has wrought.

I hope everyone has a lovely day!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Dilation, Effacement, and The Waiting Game

It seems like I'm always hearing the Jeopardy! theme song in my head these days. I feel like I'm watching the grass grow, or the paint dry.

It's the Waiting Game. I am now just past 37 weeks, and according to my doctor, my cervix is beginning to open up and thin out (in other words, "dilation" and "effacement" have begun!) so things could get exciting any day now! Every time I have a Braxton-Hicks contraction, I'm willing it to be productive, to open things up a little bit more. (Or, to "dilate" and "efface" a little bit more! Don't you just love all the big medical words??!!) The Doc says the more work gets done through Braxton Hicks, the less I have to do while in labor-- and that sure sounds good to me!

Today, I haven't had many Braxton-Hicks. Pooie. Nothing getting accomplished down there today. (In other words, no dilation or effacement for me today!) I guess my cervix is taking a day off. How nice for my cervix. I suppose it's saving its strength for the next session of grueling dilation and effacement. It is resting up, preparing for its next feat of athletic endurance and prowess, as it completely changes from its current physical state.

Imagine what it must be like for the poor dear. For nine months, there it has been, closing off the uterus, protecting dear little Lancelot. Now, it is being asked to stretch far beyond its current shape and size, and on TOP of all that, to thin out a whole bunch, too! (How many of us can expand and thin out simultaneously??!! I sure can't! Kudos to cervixes everywhere! By the way- what IS the proper way to pluralize the word "cervix?")

Well, dear readers, I'm off to enjoy a lovely Italian dinner with some friends. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

ps- for any of you readers who are ALSO playing the waiting game, I'm sending wide-open, thinned-out cervix-y thoughts your way!!

Sunday, November 5, 2006

Things to Smile About

Today I thought I would compose a list of things that have caused me to smile in these last few weeks. These are things that would not normally be spectacularly wonderful, but being 36 weeks pregnant, these things have become nearly miraculous. Enjoy!

1. Last night, I slept 4 1/2 hours straight without waking up to go to the bathroom.

2. I actually got through an evening at church without anyone commenting on the size of my belly.

3. Feeling giddy and excited from ordering a car seat base, as though I was actually ordering, say, a high definition television , or hundreds of dollars worth of my favorite candles.

4. Sugar-free ice cream

5. Laying in bed reading all afternoon while DH built shelves for the nursery.

6. Setting up a diaper-changing station in my bedroom. Again, it made me giddy. Why? Why should the equivalent of a toilet sitting out in my bedroom be a happy thing? Well, it was.

7. At my last doctor visit, I hadn't gained any weight from the previous visit. Yippee! (Although the previous visit was only a week before. In normal life, one generally wouldn't gain a lot of weight in only a week! lol!)

Thursday, November 2, 2006

Heaven...I'm in Heaven...

Do y'all remember a little while ago when I was talking about my middle-of-the-night emotional breakdown? I begged my husband to have "a day off from being pregnant" remember? Well, today I got to do that.

I went for a pre-natal massage today.

'Nuff said.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Baby Shower !!!

Yesterday afternoon, my very most dearest friends in the whole wide world, Damselfly and Roo, threw me the most fantabulous, spectacular, incredible, marvelous baby shower that the world has ever seen. At this most fantastic event, there was no sniffing of baby food jars to determine what flavor of baby food was contained therein, nor was there measuring of my stomach with toilet paper. (Hallelujah!) Instead, my friends decorated onesies using fabric paint and markers, and we played "The Price is Right" with a number of baby items. (I LOVED "The Price is Right" when I was younger! I watched it all the time! lol!) Additionally, Roo made her famous Oatmeal Carmelitas (which are little pieces of heaven, I must say,) and Damselfly invented a brand-new ice cream flavor just for me with her ice cream maker. She created "Raspberry Mocha Latte Teddy Bear Ice Cream" and it was delish.

Here is a stunning photograph of the lovely Roo, Guinevere, and Damselfly. (Would you believe that Damselfly had a baby just 7 weeks ago??!! I hope I lose my baby weight as quickly as she has...)

I received many, many wonderful gifts at the shower, but more importantly than that, I was able to celebrate the coming of my little one with the women who are closest to me.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

I Love You a Latte

(Photo from

Confessional time.

I. Love. Starbucks. (By the way, who was the first person to put periods after individual words as a means of emphasis? It's SO grammatically incorrect, yet for some reason quite effective at putting a "tone of voice" into the written word.) Fabulous.

Anyway, back to my story. Starbucks, the mecca of caffeine-induced stupors of wonderfulness. Delectable beverages which require multiple words to order: "Grande Raspberry No Whip Mocha." Or, "Venti nonfat decaf cappucino."

Did you see the movie "You've Got Mail?" I love the scene where Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan are discussing the way that ordering coffee gives one a "defining sense of self" due to the incredible number of decisions involved in ordering such a beverage. (One of my favorite movies, by the way. I think I'll curl up on the couch and watch it tonight while hubby has to take care of some work stuff this evening! Anyone want to join me?)

However, I am 35 weeks pregnant. When I walk into establishments such as Starbucks, people take one look at my belly and then gasp in horror. "She's going to kill that poor child!" Good gracious. While I understand that certain substances are in fact dangerous to the unborn child, really, how dangerous is one latte a week? I've heard that pregnant women can safely consume the equivalent of 2 cups of coffee per day without any bad effects. I am only consuming two cups of coffee a week at the most!

But really, when a woman is 35 weeks pregnant, waddling around and bumping into things with her belly, can barely get out of a chair without assistance, doesn't she deserve some pampering now and then? For me, a Grande Raspberry Mocha with no whipped cream is the perfect "comfort food." (I know, I know, it's not food, but it has the same effect!) At least it will be until the Christmas holidays come around and they bring back the Gingerbread Latte. (Yum-O.)

Plus, I think my little Lancelot likes a bit of coffee every now and then. The bouncing and jumping becomes quite pronounced as I approach my temple of caffeine. While consuming the divine beverage, things are still as the little one savors every sip. Then afterwards, he does a little jig in appreciation.

On the few occassions in which I indulge myself in caffeine, I can't help but look down at my protruding belly and say to the little one, "I love you a latte."

Saturday, October 21, 2006

A Strange Sight

I was taking a walk this afternoon along my canal. (I say "my canal" as if it belongs to!) As I strolled along the sidewalk, taking in the scent of the water and the sound of the birdsongs, I looked up and saw something strange.

Someone had hung a bird cage up in a palm tree. With a parakeet in it.

Isn't the purpose of a bird cage so that one can keep a bird in their home? This cage was hanging up very high, so whomever owned the cage would have to climb up on a ladder to put food and water in there.

I called my friend Damselfly, who is well versed in all things wildlife. She informed me that in our region, we have non-native birds that have made it into the local ecology, and that the powers that be have decided that if people can catch these birds, then it is perfectly legal for them to keep them as pets. I guess these birds are a threat to native plants and animals since they have no natural predators in the area or something. (I can't remember. Damselfly can tell you more about it!) Anyway, she put forth the suggestion that maybe someone hung up the cage there to lure one of these birds in an effort to catch it. And if that is the case, the cage ought to be gone tomorrow, since there was clearly a bird in there today. Or, she said, maybe they left the cage door open and the bird is free to come and go as he/she pleases. I would hope that one of her theories is correct, because how sad would it be for a bird to be trapped in a cage while it can see and hear all of its birdie relatives flying freely? That just seems downright cruel to me. Also, if someone is keeping their pet bird in a cage hanging from a tree outdoors, then the bird is at risk to predators-- racoons could come and get it, a snake could crawl up the tree and into the cage, all sorts of things. So I have made it my mission to check on this bird cage every day and see what's going on.

If something seems to be amiss after a few days, Damselfly knows someone I can call who will come rescue the bird. Hopefully, I can find out who the owner of this cage is and find out what's going on for myself.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

My Silent Symphony

To all of you pregnant women out there, or those of you who were recently pregnant, or EVER pregnant for that matter, did you ever have an emotional breakdown in the middle of the night? I did. Last night, 1 am. My little Lancelot was kicking me hard on the bladder, I couldn't maneuver my gargantuan body pillow to properly support all this extra weight, and hubby started snoring loudly. I started sobbing, right there in bed, and scared hubby to death. I started begging to "just have a day off from being pregnant."

Fortunately, I have the sweetest, most loving husband in the world. He held me, rocked me back and forth, and told me how much he loved me and how it was all going to be okay, and how sorry he was that I'm having such a hard time. After I calmed down, he also suggested that I go to get a prenatal massage from my doula, saying that it would be a way for me to at least have an afternoon off from being pregnant! Isn't he wonderful? (I'm going to call and schedule that today!)

Anyway, I eventually fell asleep, but awoke early this morning before the sun was up. I decided I would go ahead and get out of bed, make myself a cup of tea, and go sit on my balcony and watch the sun come up. I couldn't have done anything better for myself after the middle-of-the-night freakout.

I live at the back of an apartment complex, and am so fortunate to have a lovely view of the canal running behind the complex. It's very private and quiet, and this morning it was just me, the water, the sky, and the birds as they awoke. Sipping my tea, I watched a spider spin an elaborate web and pondered its motives. There it was, working so hard to create something that I couldn't even see yet. Many people would have rushed over to break the web, but I didn't. I wanted to watch the spider create its work of art.

Without really noticing, I witnessed the sky turn from a dark blue to lavendar to pink, and finally to the lovely color of morning. I heard the song of the birds as they woke up and greeted each other. Ducks flew in and landed silently on the water, and meandered peacefully up and down the waterway, which they had to themselves for a few moments, for in a few short hours the waterway will be crowded with all kinds of wildlife.

It was the most peaceful I have felt in about 8 months. As though God Himself orchestrated this beautiful silent symphony for me, to comfort me in my distress of the dark of night. It was all for me. No one else was around. I saw the houses on the other side of the canal, some with lights on, some were still dark. But as for the sunrise, it was mine and mine alone and I will cherish it always.

My own silent symphony.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Of Doctors and Test Results

I find it amazing how two doctors can look at the same test results and come up with two different ideas.

Awhile back I posted about the possibility of me having gestational diabetes. Well, the results came back and Doctor #1 said that I was free and clear, but just to be safe, I should "watch my carbs."

I went back today for my next appointment, and this time I saw Doctor #2 (who will most likely be on call in the event Doctor #1 is unable to attend my child's birth.) She reviewed the same test results, and had a little freak-out on me!! Apparantly, the way the 3-hour glucose works is they take your blood three times, and if you have "elevated levels" two of the three times, then you are diabetic. I had elevated levels on the first draw, but the second and third were fine. HOWEVER, the second draw I was only 3 points below "elevated," and I apparantly had sugar in the urine sample I left just before going in to the exam room. So Doctor #1 doesn't seem terribly worried, but Doctor #2 wants me to completely eliminate sugar from my diet.

My question is this: where does the truth lie? Is Doctor #1 right, or is Doctor #2? Or is it somewhere in the middle? After my appointment with Doctor #1 when she said I was not diabetic, I went home relieved, and drank sodas to my little heart's content. Now I'm being told to radically change my diet, based on the same test results!! Why so much confusion? What's a preggo to do?


I'm off to drink a diet coke. Blech.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Let the Nesting Begin!

It's official. I've hit the milestone. The countdown to The Big Day has begun.

I have begun nesting. There's only so much I can do in the nursery itself, as the baby showers have yet to happen, but little by little, piece by piece, things are coming together. I've sorted through all the things I've been given from friends with older children and bits and pieces I've picked up at yard sales. I've washed the fabric covers for the bouncy seat and swing, and also washed the bassinet sheets.

I've been scouring eBay for products I still need. I received my first order of Bumkins cloth diapers, and I giggled like a little girl opening a Christmas present. Over diapers. Something that is going to be filled with human feces, and I was thrilled by the very idea!

I look around the house and see all these projects that need to be done before young Lancelot arrives: we need to replace the drawer pulls on the dresser and fix the drawer that doesn't want to slide out, we need to build some shelves in the laundry room to double as a pantry so I can use the hall closet for all the stuff that's currently filling up the nursery, (thanks to the geniuses who designed this apartment complex-- there's plenty of closet space, but unfortunately none are convenient to the kitchen to serve as a pantry. Right now, one set of cabinets and a section of countertop is being used for the pantry, as are two shelves in the hall closet, which is nowhere near the kitchen. Argh.) all the empty boxes from our recent move need to be taken to the dumpster instead of staying piled up in the corner, and we need to figure out where on earth to display DH's collection of lego stuff- he's got a pirate ship, a ferrari, and tons of Star Wars stuff that he's built, and it's all sitting in cardboard the nursery.

The baby clothes that I do have need to be washed and folded and placed in the dresser which is in the garage, waiting for new drawer pulls and a repaired drawer, which we can't bring upstairs until we clear out all the stuff that's currently in the nursery, which can't be moved until I make space in the hall closet because it's doubling as a pantry, which can't be emptied until the new shelves are built in the laundry room (which IS close to the kitchen). Oy. I'm getting tired just thinking about it.

I'm envious of these moms who have everything together. They have their nursery ready by the beginning of the third trimester, their freezers are full of casseroles and other delectable goodies that can be re-heated so mom doesn't have to cook right away after the baby arrives, everything the baby needs has been purchased, cleaned, put away, and is ready for use.

On second thought, does anyone ACTUALLY do that? If any of you meet the above criteria, please teach me your secrets!!

Thursday, October 5, 2006


(photo from Ads of the World.)

I think I understand now why women in days of yore went into seclusion when they found out they were pregnant.

It was so they would not have to answer stupid questions, and endure the ridiculous comments of the blissfully ignorant.

I say "blissfully ignorant" because to the one who is ignorant, it is blissful to be so. However, to the person upon which the blissfully ignorant chooses to bestow his or her blissful ignorance, it is not so blissful.

I really hope you understand that last sentence because I can't think of any other way to explain it.

These blissfully ignorant souls really have no idea how much damage they are inflicting upon the mother-to-be. Bless their little hearts, they don't mean to be insulting and/or aggravating. They just can't help it because they haven't been there yet. Or they HAVE been there, but it's been such a long time, that they have forgotten.

Here is an example of a recent (ACTUAL) conversation with someone of the blissfully-ignorant persuasion. This is a person I had never previously met, but found myself working with in a volunteer effort at my church.

Blissfully Ignorant: "Wow, you look REALLY pregnant! How pregnant are you?"

Guinevere Meadow: "I'm 31 weeks pregnant."

B.I. "What does that mean?"

G.M. (thinking to herself, it means I've been pregnant for 31 weeks, you twit.) "It means I have 9 weeks to go because 40 weeks is considered full-term."

B.I. "So when are you due?"

G.M. (Duhhh...if I have 9 weeks to go, then it must be sometime near the end of November. I guess B.I. just really can't do math.) November 29th.

B.I. "Are you SURE?"

G.M. (No, I'm not sure, as it goes. You see, my doctor is a complete quack and doesn't know how to calculate due dates. I've had three sonograms and about 15 bajillion office visits, and STILL she can't tell when the baby's coming.) Yes, I'm sure.

B.I. "Wow, it looks like you're having twins. Are you?"

G.M. (I don't think I'll EVER get tired of that question.) No, there's just one baby in there!

B.I. "Are you SURE?"

G.M. (Again, my doctor's a total quack. Three sonograms and 15 bajillion office visits have not yet confirmed how many people are currently residing in my uterus.) Yes, I'm sure. By the way, that's really a rude question.

G.M. leaves the room so as not to perpetuate any further sarcasm and to prevent B.I. from further embarassment.

End scene.

This is a conversation I have had with multiple people, most of which are people who do not know me well. (These are the same people who feel obligated to come up and rub my tummy. Why? I just don't get it. When did it become socially acceptable to put your hands on a person that you don't REALLY know all that well? Sigh.) I came home that day disgruntled with people in general, and decided I wanted to go somewhere where there were no people.

So I went to a scrapbooking workshop with some people I didn't know, and went to watch my husband's softball game afterward, among lots of people, some of whom I knew and some of whom I didn't. Thankfully, everyone I encountered that evening was very respectful of boundaries. The women I met at the scrapbooking workshop were all women who had given birth, so they knew better than to ask me if I was having twins. I was able to tell them about the conversation with B.I. and laugh about it with them.

It was balm to my soul.

I guess I don't totally want to be away from people. I just want to be away from the blissfully ignorant.

Wednesday, October 4, 2006


I had a moment this morning.

There I was, standing in my closet, gazing upon my wardrobe choices for the day.

To my consternation, my eyes wandered off to the far left, which is where my non-maternity clothes are lying in waiting. Today they started taunting me.

"You can't wear me today!!" "There's NO WAY I'll fit over that huge belly of yours!" "You only WISH I still fit you! HA!" "It'll be MONTHS after you have the baby before you'll ever wear ME again!"

My eyes brimmed over with tears. How could my old friends tease me like this? Because that's how I think of them. They're my old friends. I miss them terribly. I look at them with longing, promising them that it won't be long before we're sharing our days together again, and now they turn on me like this! It's horrible. Such betrayal.

I think I'll burn all of them and start over. That'll teach 'em.

Monday, October 2, 2006

Need a laugh?

This post has nothing to do with my pregnancy. I received this e-mail from a friend, and it made me laugh, so I thought I'd share it with you. Enjoy!



Dear Vincenzo,

I am feeling pretty bad because it looks like I won't be able to plant
my tomato garden this year. I am getting too old to be digging up a
garden plot. If you were here, my troubles would be over. I know you
would dig the garden for me.

Love, Papa

A few days later he received a letter from his son.

Dear Papa,

I'd do anything for you Papa, except dig up that garden. That's where I
buried the bodies.

Love, Vinnie

At 4 AM the next morning, the FBI and local police arrived and dug up the
entire area without finding any bodies. They apologized to the old man
and left. The same day the old man received another letter from his

Dear Papa,

Go ahead and plant the tomatoes now. That's the best I could do under
the circumstances.

Love, Vinnie

Friday, September 29, 2006

You're getting sleeeepy.....very, very sleeeeepy

I'm trying something that may be considered "radical." Others may say it's satanic, New Agey, sacreligious, blah blah blah.

I'm going to use self-hypnosis when I go into labor with my little Lancelot.

Yes, that's right. I'm a Christian, and I'm going to try hypnosis.

Not the kind where someone waves a stopwatch in your face and tells you how sleepy you are becoming. It's more like a series of relaxation techniques. From what I have learned (and I will post URLs of the websites where I found such information,) when the body is scared, it releases a hormone called "catecholamines." This is the fight-or-flight hormone, and many women experience this in large doses when they go into labor because of societal expectations of what birthing a baby means. However, a woman who is relaxed will produce endorphins, the "pleasure hormone." Apparantly catecholamines and endorphins cannot co-exist, so if a woman is able to relax herself, while she is in labor the endorphins will take over. Not that she won't feel any pain, but she won't have the fear and anxiety which can amplify the feeling of pain and lead to a host of what would otherwise be medically unnecessary interventions, which is what I am hoping to avoid.

I have found a wonderful program called "HypBirth" which has a series of 4 CDs that women listen to in preparation for labor and birth. (Thanks, Damselfly!) Each CD has a "deepening" section, in which the hypnosis provides visualizations to help you relax. The next section teaches you techniques for use in labor, also usually visualizations to help the time pass, or to release fear that you HAVE developed, or to "drain away" the discomfort that has built up. Finally, each CD has a final section of "good birth words" that the woman listens to, in which the hypnotist tells the woman how natural childbirth is, how her body naturally knows what to do, etc etc etc.

I have known people who have tried programs like these, and in some cases they work and in some cases they don't. So I don't have unrealistic expectations that I will arrive at the hospital calm, cool, and collected. I could very well freak out totally and forget everything I have learned. But even if that happens, I have been able to call upon the relaxtion techniques I have learned so far in countless other situations, from helping myself fall asleep on a restless night to being able to relax when I'm having blood drawn (which used to cause me to lose consciousness. Now I barely flinch.) Therefore, this has not been a waste if I find the techniques not helpful during labor. On the other hand, it may work like a charm! I'll just have to wait and see.

I haven't told my family about this yet. I'm afraid they'll think I've turned into some kind of heathen. They wouldn't understand. I had a hard time explaining to them why I needed a doula, and when I mentioned I wanted waterbirth, they just stared at me like I was crazy. They're being supportive of me, because they love me, but I can tell they're not totally thrilled with my decisions. I just don't want to deal with having to explain why I'm going to bring in CDs listening to a woman tell me to "imagine a pitcher of warm, liquid light flowing in through your toes, up and around your knees, into your thighs, relaxing, releasing..." and they'd REALLY lose it if they heard the part about imagining a circle of powerful women, and as my cervix opens, another woman comes into the circle making it larger and more powerful. Gack. I'd just rather avoid that conversation altogether. And if they were to SEE me in labor, doing my "finger drop" technique in which I first look at my finger, then drop my hand and my whole body goes loose and limp, heavens above, Lawd-Almighty, Guinevere's going STRAIGHT TO HELL! (Not that they would actually SAY that. I'm sure I'm exaggerating a little bit, but I'm sure I would get some little snippet of the "You're giving Satan a foothold into your life" bit. Before you know it, Guin, you'll be watching Harry Potter movies!)

Don't get me wrong. I adore my family. I am quite fortunate to have the family that I have. I've never met more loving, caring, considerate people in all my life-- however, some of my ideas are a little more radical than theirs-- not completely off the charts, and they wouldn't disown me or make me feel bad or anything, they just simply wouldn't understand and in their love for me would try to convince me to do something else. They've never stopped me from doing anything, but they always make their opinion known. I understand this is a very parental thing to do, and I'm sure I'll do the same with my little Lancelot when he grows up and begins attacking the world for himself.

But for now, there are just some things that are better left unsaid.

As promised, here are the websites about hypnobirthing for anyone who is interested, or wants to check my information.

Natural Childbirth: Hypnobirthing

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Yipes!! 9 weeks to go!!!!

I am now 31 weeks pregnant. That means I have 9 weeks to go. A little over two months, unless the baby comes early.

10 weeks. There's something scary about that, and exciting at the same time. On the one hand, I feel like I've been pregnant forever and I can't WAIT to get this child out of my body and hold him in my arms. On the other hand, 9 weeks??!!! In 9 short weeks I'll be holding a baby in my arms?? How is that possible? I often still feel like a kid myself!

My best friend Damselfly recently gave birth to her own little flybaby, and I remember her telling me what I have just written here when SHE had 10 weeks to go. Now she's had her baby for almost a month!! Amazing. Time is a strange thing.

As each day passes, the reality of what is about to happen hits me harder and harder. On the weekend, DH put our crib together. My baby shower invitations were sent out by friends Damselfly and Roo. Friends at my church are starting up a pool to determine when I'll actually give birth. As my belly gets bigger, walking becomes more of a challenge. As I walk to my classes on my college campus, I see these little college kids zip by me like they're running from a fire or something. (Was there really a time I could walk that quickly??) I also see them scrutinizing my belly and scowling, as if they've never seen a pregnant woman before, or that because I'm pregnant I don't belong on a college campus. These kids have so much to learn. Being pregnant has made me feel so much older and wiser than my academic counterparts. Poor kids. They'll find out soon enough!

I've also started growing a backbone! Yay! Among my circle of friends (the same circle that's starting the pool and choosing a name of the week for this child, ) is a well-meaning gentleman who likes to pat my stomach every time he sees me. Only his version of "patting" is more like grabbing my stomach and shaking it like a maraca. Normally, I don't mind when my friends pat my tummy, as long as they do it gently. This guy just has no clue. So finally, I just came out and said "Please don't do that. I don't like it when people touch my stomach." I wanted to cheer for myself!! Prior to this, I had just kept quiet about it, although it grated at me every time.

I will be thrilled when this little one arrives in 9 weeks. It will be nice to have my hormones somewhat under control (I know that'll take awhile,) but much more importantly because I'll be able to see, hold, and talk to my baby! I can't wait for him to arrive.

Friday, September 15, 2006

A teeny-tiny wrinkle in my plans

Gestational. Diabetes.

That's the possible prognosis. I failed the one-hour glucose test, so now I get to go do the three-hour test. Yippee. Hooray. Joyful. (By the way, I'm anemic, too. Why couldn't they have found this out sooner, like when they took 5 gallons of blood from me at my very first visit??!! No wonder I've been so d*** exhausted for the past 6 months! Arghhh!)

My grandparents are diabetic. My mom had gestational diabetes when she was pregnant with my sister, and every so often I can just tell when my blood sugar is low or out-of-whack. Never bad enough to require a doctor visit, but folks, this tells me that there's a pretty darn-good-tootin' chance that I indeed have gestational diabetes.

I know that of all pregnancy complications, that GD is fairly common and the most easily treated and really isn't a big deal. But I'm still freaking out a little bit! See, I have all these hopes for a nice, natural childbirth free of monitors and IV lines, and I'm afraid that if I have this complication, that will be immediately taken away from me. I'm such a wuss. I realize that if there is a problem, it's in my best interest to be hooked up to all of that techno-stuff. I'm also afraid I won't be able to have a waterbirth, because again, if I'm hooked up to monitors and computers, the last place they'll want me will be in a tub full of water!

My doctor's office just told me that I should avoid sugars and carbs until gestational diabetes is ruled out. It doesn't help that I just finished drinking a chocolate milk shake right before I got the phone call!!

I know I just need to chill out. I can't do anything at all until Monday, anyway, so for now I'll just watch what I eat and take some extra iron.

I guess my husband will have to finish off my Starbucks Latte-flavored ice cream.


Thursday, September 14, 2006

2 down, 1 to go!

Have I ever told you that my husband and I play in a band together? We do. We play in a contemporary Christian band that provides music for the Saturday night church service at our local church. We have so much fun. He plays guitar and I'm one of three vocalists. I am also one of three pregnant women in the band!! Well, actually, I'm the last one! Our drummer's wife was pregnant and had her baby in July, one of the other vocalists had her baby last week, and I'm the last one!It was fun for awhile, the three of us would get together and compare bellies.

All three of us are having/have had boys! I was sure that one of us would have a girl, but we've got a bunch of boys! People at our church make jokes that if you want to become pregnant, just join the Saturday night band! When they make comments like that, I reply with, "Well, we needed more musicians, so we decided to make some of our own!"

Our pastors like to joke too. The name of our band is "Renanah," which is the Hebrew word that basically means "singing with praise." Our pastors have decided to change the meaning of "Renanah" to "Great with child." LOL!

So I'm the last of our happy little trio! It's kind of sad. It was fun sharing the joys of pregnancy with my good friends, but soon enough I shall be sharing the joys of motherhood with them.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Pickles and Ice Cream

I want to know who the first person was to suggest that pregnant women often crave pickles and ice cream. Early in my pregnancy when I would talk to friends, the first question they always asked me was, "Have you craved anything weird yet, like pickles and ice cream?" For some reason, every single person came up with that particular combination. What's more, they did it independently of each other!! No one suggested pickles and key lime pie, or ice cream with salad dressing. Every single person thought that the ideal pregnancy food was pickles and ice cream. Why??

I wonder, was there some famous movie where a pregnant woman came up with pickles and ice cream? Is there something intrinsic about our culture in which the combination of pickles and ice cream becomes a logical cuisine choice for the pregnant woman? In Italy, for example, would they put marinara sauce over tiramasu? Do pregnant French woman desire to drizzle onion soup over their chocolate mousse? Or is there something universal about pickles and ice cream?

This is a mystery that I intend to get to the bottom of. If anyone has any clues, please let me know.

p.s. The weirdest thing I have craved was ice cream and potato chips. For the briefest, and I mean briefest of moments, I contemplated crushing the potato chips and using them as a topping for the ice cream, but then my common sense took over. So I ate a handful of potato chips, and then had a dish of ice cream.

It was delicious.

Unfortunatley, I was out of pickles.

***Note: out of curiosity, I googled the phrase "pickles and ice cream" and here is what I came up with. Enjoy.

1. Pickles and Ice Cream: Maternity Clothes

2.Baby Shower Invitation

3.Pickles and Ice Cream: a Father's Guide to Pregnancy

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Dreams and Wishes

Dreams are nothing more than wishes
And a wish is just a dream
You wish to come true....

That's from a song I like off the "You've Got Mail" soundtrack. I thought I would share some of my dreams and wishes with you in these wee hours of the morning, when my bonnie wee son is making his presence so very plainly known to me, keeping me from a sound sleep and preventing any kind of possible "dreams." (For some reason, this kid doesn't want me lying down right now. Sitting up is the only way to go! After I write this, I'm going to try to fall asleep in hubby's recliner. We'll see how that goes.)

On nights when I have slept soundly, I have had some interesting dreams indeed. Once, I dreamt that I was giving birth, and as the doctor held the baby up for me to see for the first time, the baby had my husband's face! His 33-year old face, with glasses and goatee. It was this infant's body with an adult's head. Then he grinned at me with the same grin my husband has and waved at me with one finger, the way my husband does. It was kind of cute, but weird at the same time.

Another time I had a dream that I was conversing intelligently with my infant son. There we were, changing his diaper, having a perfectly grown-up conversation about something serious and complicated, like politics and recycling.

I've had a number of baby dreams, and in only one of them did the baby behave like a normal baby. He was always talking, or walking, or doing something far more advanced than he should have been doing. Is this wishful thinking on my part to have a child who is highly skilled, or am I in denial that I will be parenting a child? Am I going to expect him to grow up too fast? Or am I just worrying too much about a silly dream?

Speaking of wishful thinking, as I lay in bed unable to sleep on nights such as these, I find myself imagining what life will be like with a child. I often feel that I am still a child myself, and I am overcome with this dreadful fear that I'm not ready. Other times, I am so excited and thrilled to be welcoming a child into the world. I find myself imagining my son at different ages. I see his first day of school, I see him playing catch with his daddy in the front yard, I see him learning to swim. Then he's an awkard teenager with pimples and greasy hair and is trying to get the cute girl across the street to go out with him, then he's the star football player at his high school. Before I know it, my unborn son is grown up and has a wife and child of his own, and I am a grandmother with lots of grandbabies running around the house at Christmastime. I love these little flights of fancy. My life as I know it is about to end, but a beautiful new season is about to begin. And as it is with the changing of seasons, we often mourn the passing of the wonderful time we have just had, but simultaneously welcome the incredible change that is about to take place.

Dreams and wishes. Wishes and dreams.

Thursday, September 7, 2006

The Best of Times and the Worst of Times

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...

If ever I write a book about my pregnancy, that is the sentence I will use to open the first chapter. What a roller-coaster this has been, and I'm only 6 months into it!

Yesterday I had my last monthly doctor's visit, and now I begin my twice-monthly (bi-monthly? bi-weekly? What is the correct term for "every other week"? Every fortnight? hehe...) visits. At one time in my recent past, having my arm poked with a needle for the purpose of removing my blood caused me to faint. (Literally. Smelling salts have been required on more than one occasion!) Now I don't so much as flinch. I just sit there, look up at the ceiling, make small talk with the nurse, and it's over.

So it's great that I've gotten over this fear....not so great that the REASON I've gotten over this fear is that half of my blood supply now resides in a lab somewhere!

As my stomach grows bigger, I discover that my center of gravity has changed and simple tasks like walking up stairs or trying to get around a dining room table are difficult tasks. I forget that my abdomen has enlarged, so when I try to walk past people in a narrow hallway, I bump into every single one of them. "I'm sorry, please excuse me, pardon me....OUT OF MY WAY! LADY WITH A BABY!!" The good thing about this change in my physiology is that in many other instances, I get out of doing certain things. For example, when recently painting in my new apartment (with pregnancy-friendly paint, of course,) my friend who travelled all the way from Tampa to help me refused to let me climb the ladder to paint at the top of the walls. This was very sweet of her. Not only because she was concerned for the well-being of me and my baby, but because she is afraid of heights and hates ladders.

So it's great that I have friends who are willing to put themselves into uncomfortable situations to protect me. Not so great that I need my friends to do that!

My husband has never been sweeter! He is so understanding and patient with me, God bless him! Although I must admit, he's had it fairly easy compared to some! (Says me...he might have a different opinion on that one!) The other day I was so exhausted I pretty much put myself on bed rest. I didn't do anything. He came home and was so sweet and gentle, and went and got dinner for us, and when he came home there was a beautiful rainbow outside and a spectacular sunset. Since we live on the second floor of our building, he got my camera and took a picture of it, so that I could see it without having to get out of bed and walk down the stairs! What a sweetheart!!

So it was not so great that I couldn't walk down the stairs to see a rainbow and a sunset, but it was fabulous that my husband was so wonderful to think of taking a digital picture of it so I wouldn't miss out.

I've got the best husband in the world.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The "Birth Buffet"

With pregnancy comes a complicated mess of decisions that must be made. When faced with all the options and choices involved in every possible decision related to her baby, a woman often feels as though she is standing at the end of an endless buffet, filled with yummy, delectable things she wants to eat BUT she is limited to a single plate. This is not an "all you can eat" buffet, but rather, a "pay per pound" sort of thing. She has one shot to fill up her one plate with all the things she needs to begin life with her new baby. If she forgets something, or mistakes iceberg lettuce for romaine, then that's just too bad.

Among the plethora of decisions to be made concerns methods of birth. Will she have a natural birth, or will she have drugs? Will she be on her back with her feet up in the air, or will she be walking around and using all the nifty gadgets like birth balls and the birthing stool? Will she be attended by a doctor, a midwife, a doula, none of the above, all of the above? Will she give birth in the hospital, at a birthing center, or at home? How soon after giving birth will she try to breastfeed? WILL she try to breastfeed? Will the baby room with her, or will he/she be taken to the nursery at nighttime?

While I understand that advancements in medical technology have saved many a mother's and baby's life, I often think that our techno-society tends to just complicate things!! Back in the day, there were no choices such as the ones I mentioned above. The woman knew she was going into labor, and she had the baby. That's it. Easy. Simple. However, should I experience some medical problem during my birth/delivery, you bet I'll want all of those "techno-complications" !!

I guess the question is, where does one draw the line? At what point do we utilize the technology because we truly need it, as opposed to using it simply because it's there? This is something I have been grappling with. I have friends on either side of the debate, all of whom insist that their way is the best way. Well, I'm not them, and my baby isn't their baby. So what's a girl to do? No one else can make these decisions for her, because no one else is experiencing what she is experiencing. No one else knows her body the way she does.

(Then of course, there's the issue of medical insurance and its intrusions, I mean influences, on decision-making...but I shall save THAT discussion for another post!)

It can just all be overwhelming. Then, there are decisions about how to decorate the nursery, what brand of car seat to purchase, whether or not to buy the "travel system" or separate stroller and infant carrier, does the baby need long sleeved or short sleeved onesies, and how many in what sizes? Will the baby like all the things that have been purchased for him/her, or will he/she even be aware of them? Will the crib bedding that I so carefully selected and agonized over even matter to this little person? Just thinking about all these decisions makes my head spin.

Yet it is exciting, when one embarks upon this mission of decisions. Because with every choice I make, I influence the development of my little child in some way. Some are big ways, others are more subtle. It is a totally new experience, knowing that my decisions will profoundly affect another person's life for years to come.

Welcome to the Birth Buffet.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

A rose by any other name...

We have decided to keep the name of our baby a secret until he is born. This has disturbed many people. Our reasons are multiple:

1. Ever since I became pregnant, people seem to think they have a right to all sorts of personal information, such as: the status of my bladder at all times; gee, I'm so big, don't I think I'm having twins ? (NO I'm not-- 'are you SURE???') ARGHHH! ; whether or not I have vomited today; how sore my feet must be because they're so swollen etc. etc. etc. ; THEREFORE I am choosing to keep this little interesting tidbit private just to get back at them. Ha.

2. Someone is bound to have a story about a horrible person with the name that we chose, which will cause me not to like the name anymore, and then it's back to the beginning starting all over again, vainly searching for a name that hasn't been "tainted" by any human being on the face of the earth. Ever.

3. I'm just obnoxious that way!

So, because of this, some friends of ours have decided to have a "name of the week" for the baby until he arrives. Here are the names so far:

Ivan Douglas
Zeke Douglas
Sebastian Douglas

(One of the group members is named "Douglas," and he said that it would make a nice middle name, so the consensus of the group was that the middle name would always be Douglas. lol!)

This poor child. When he is born, all of his aunts and uncles who gave him these names are probably still going to call him by the name they chose- Auntie Y will call him "Ivan," Auntie J will call him "Sebastian" and Auntie C will call him "Zeke." I have no idea what Doug will call him.
***as I type this, the maintenance team at our apartment complex are testing the fire alarm system...they have go to each apartment and open the front door to make sure every individual fire alarm can be heard....which means that there are something like 20 apartments in this building, and they have to test it in each one, which means I still get to hear it...I thought I was done when they came and checked mine! But no. Here they go again...I think I'm going deaf...I think Sebastian Douglas might be going deaf, too. Actually, no. He kicks me each time the blasted thing goes off. Clearly he doesn't like it. Can I pull the "pregnancy card" to get them to stop????******

Anyway. Rest assured that Bob and I chosen a lovely, meaningful name for our son. And when he is born, I will be happy to tell you what his name is!

Monday, August 28, 2006

6 months down, 3 to go...

Hi there! Welcome! My name is Guinevere Meadow. Well, not really, but it's quite a nice nom de plume, don't you think? :) I am nearly 6 months pregnant. Friends and family have been after me to keep a journal of my adventures in pregnancy, and I have not heeded their advice...until now. My good friend Damselfly has been keeping her own pregnancy blog which I have followed religiously, so once again I have decided to copy her. (She and I are great friends. Such great friends that I have to do everything she does. She got pregnant, so I got pregnant. She had her foot injured and ended up in the hospital, so I fell down and scraped up my knee. I didn't make it to the hospital though. She writes a pregnancy blog, so now I'm writing one, too. A few months ago, she got a nice new red car, and I'm hoping to trade in my car for a nice red one, too, although I wanted a red car long before I ever met her! lol!)

So here I am, in my final trimester of pregnancy. What an experience it has been! The one thing I've learned about listening to the advice of other people is....don't listen to it! My pregnancy has not matched a single pregnancy story I have heard, and I have heard a lot of them.

So we're having a little boy! We're very excited. My hubby (we'll call him Bob) likes to brag that he "got a son on the first try!" Yes, this is our first. I'm thrilled, and Bob is just excited to have someone to build legos with. lol!

So what's the worst thing about pregnancy? For me, it's the constant peeing. I think I was up 7 times last night. Each time it felt like I was about to burst, so I get out of bed, cautiously make my way across the bedroom to the bathroom, feel around for the light switch, trip over the dirty clothes on the floor before finally making it to the toilet, sitting down, and then it's like, a trickle. Come on, now. I woke up for that??!! For what it felt like, I was expecting the floodgates to burst! So then of course the next time I feel this incredible urge, I try to ignore it. But does it work? No. I start dreaming that I'm peeing. Argh. So it's a vicious cycle, not to be ended until I finally wake up in the morning, dying of thirst, and hoping against hope that tonight my little bundle of joy will refrain from using my bladder as a recliner.

And the best thing about pregnancy? Knowing that in a matter of months, there will be a brand-new person in the world, entrusted by God into the care of Bob and me. When I think about that, I don't mind the 84,000 trips to the bathroom. (Although I think my water bill has gone up, and my usage of toilet paper has increased dramatically....sigh.)