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Posts Tagged ‘Sammy Davis Junior Junior’

{Parts One, Two, Three}

Believe it or not, even though I knew I needed an epidural I wasn’t ready to admit defeat. Thankfully after a 10 minute period of one continuous contraction, my midwife brought it up so I wouldn’t have to, and she did it gentle enough so I wouldn’t feel pressure but we all knew my body was wearing out and I hadn’t even begun to progress. At this rate, even if my body figured it out and began progressing at the normal rate of 1cm per hour, there was absolutely no way I would have any energy left to get the baby out. She suggested I get an IV put in so they could administer fluids because I was running on beyond empty and then if I decided on an epidural I’d be ready.

My midwife left the room to order the fluids and I asked Bill what he thought. To his credit, his eyes said Get the freaking epidural already but his mouth said We’ll do whatever you want. If you don’t want it you don’t have to. It took me roughly 4 minutes into the next continuous contraction sent directly from Satan with love, for me to say, fine go tell them to order the epidural NOW, NOW, I WANT IT NOW, WHAT IS EVERYONE WAITING FOR?

My nurse came back in to start the line. In her defense I’m never an easy stick, especially when pregnant, but she spent WAY to long attempting to jab me; the inside of my forearm was bruised from my wrist to almost my elbow for two weeks after the birth. After 20 minutes of being assaulted by contractions and a giant needle digging for a vein, she finally went out and got another nurse who did not look happy to be helping out. You could tell she was their vein ringer and even she had trouble getting the line in, eventually having to settle on a stick that didn’t get the best flow but was finally in.

I was more than ready for the anesthesiologist at this point but they had to drain at least one bag of fluids into me beforehand so during this time I was lost in a haze of pain so great I didn’t even remember what is was like to feel normal. Listen. I know labor isn’t supposed to be easy but from others I’ve talked to and videos I’ve watched, I find it a little unfair the way my body handles getting a baby out. I could see it if I had fast labors, so I had a tremendous amount of pain with progression and had a baby in my arms within 5-7 hours but the way my body does it? FOR THE BIRDS. Seriously. If anyone’s asking, I do not recommend you do it my way.

Sometime around 6:00, the anesthesiologist entered to start the epidural process. I’ve had two epidurals before so my hesitation and concern for the giant needle that would have to go in my back went something like this SHOVE THAT MOTHERFUCKER IN THERE, THE END. It was pretty tricky because you have to sit very still, meaning they like to insert the needle between contractions so he kept asking over and over, “Are you having a contraction right now?” And since the answer was always YES, DUMMY he just had to bite it and administer it and I had to concentrate very hard on NOT DYING FOR ALL THE PAIN. {Good Lord. I’m sorry about all the caps lock but YOU try writing a birth story without it. NOT POSSIBLE.}

The good news: It began to work!

The bad news: It began to work only on the right side of my body jesusshitasswhatthefuck?!

I had heard horror stories about this so I was admittedly very nervous when I realized I was only going numb on one half of my body. The Dr. was very calm and said as long as I was feeling numbness, the medication had made it to the epidural cavity and just needed a little help spreading out. It ended up needing a lot of help and time~ I had to lay on my left side and he kept pumping more and more drugs into me, so much so that I was completely numb from the waist down for 7 hours afterward. I think he was a little nervous that it wouldn’t kick in after 45 minutes, but finally it spread out and my body was able to relax and oooooohhhh boy did I need it.

Roughly 20 minutes after the pain meds started working, my midwife asked if I wanted to be checked. I was pretty pissed at my body at this point but wanted to know where we stood from here on out so I consented. As she was checking me her eyes got wide and she asked how many centimeters I thought I was.

“Five?”

“No.”

“Six?”

“Nope.”

“Seven?”

“NINE AND THREE QUARTERS.”

This is where I tell you that, despite how much I absolutely love to swear, I have never done so in labor. I KNOW! I’ll wait for you to get up off your fainting couch……. For whatever reason, something that comes so automatic to me in everyday life, completely disappears during labor~ I don’t get it either. So it was actually a pretty big deal for me to shout, “HOLY SHIT!” when she told me how far I dilated and even though something similar happened with both Rowan and Keaton after I got the epidural, it hadn’t happened that fast. I was beginning to think this baby wasn’t going to come for three more days so to know I was nearly complete meant that he would be in my arms soon. Or so I thought…

To be continued…

 

JUST KIDDING! Let’s finish this bad boy.

My midwife gave me a foot message to relax me before pushing. This will very seriously go down as one of the best feelings I’ve ever experienced. To be laying in relative comfort, laughing and talking while getting a message after enduring so much pain was surreal. At 7:15pm I was complete and my midwife guessed, based on my experience with Keaton who came out with two and a half pushes after my epidural, that by 7:32pm I would be holding my baby in my arms. I was completely over-joyed at this notion! Also? Delusional! I won’t build suspense here and just flat-out tell you that this guess was off by almost exactly three hours.

At this point, after contracting continually for 7 hours and being relaxed by the epidural, my uterus had thrown in the towel, so I was given Pitocin to kick-start contractions again. I began pushing and immediately knew it wasn’t going to go that fast. With Keaton I was fully numb but I still felt how to push and did so very effectively. In order to get the epidural to take effect the doc had to over-administer so I had no idea what was going on below my belly button. Through this whole first session of pushing, which lasted a little over an hour, I thought this was the problem so I just kept straining and struggling harder. True to form, though, Ezra was still not ready to make his appearance and was not engaging properly. The ultrasound I had that morning showed that he was head down and face down~ just how babies are supposed to be born. Unfortunately, the real reason he wasn’t progressing wasn’t because I wasn’t pushing effectively but because sometime during labor he had flipped sunny side up. AWESOME! When my midwife attempted to turn him, his heart rate plummeted so no dice. Meanwhile, I was still exhausted but working so hard and after an hour of this my own heart rate was dropping and the oxygen they were administering between contractions wasn’t cutting it so my midwife told me I needed a breather which would let the baby labor down, hopefully delivering him to the front door so he’d come much easier when I resumed pushing.

I was disappointed but so tired, I knew she was right. Ezra also was being a stinker and no one could keep him on the monitor for more than a minute so my midwife and nurse took turns holding the monitor in place and chasing him around my uterus. At 9pm I started feeling pressure and really felt this was it. I resumed pushing and sure enough, his head was right there- they could see his hair with each push, but he was not making it around that last bend because he was face up. After an hour more of hard pushing, he began showing signs of distress so my  midwife asked me how I felt about an episiotomy. Uh…generally not great, I said. He had to get out soon though, so she made the first cut, and I pushed… then she made the second cut, and I pushed… then she made the OH SWEET HELL third cut, completing what I now lovingly refer to as my franken-crotch and I’m sorry I told you that, Internet, but I plan on using this post to outline to teenagers across America why unprotected sex is STOOOOOOOPID AND OUCH so it had to be said in all its horrifying glory. And even with being sliced from you-know-where to you-know-where, it still took a half an hour for Ezra to make his grand entrance into the world at 10:29pm.

And when he did? THE RELIEF. I had honestly begun to think that he was never ever coming out and when they all cheered when his head came out I seriously could not believe he was here and I had to be prompted to push the rest of him out because are you sure? Really? I looked at Bill in disbelief, He’s here? I asked. Yes. He’s here. And then in one flash he was lifted up, in the next I heard his sweet {loud!} cries and then he was on my chest and I finally got to wrap my arms around him and touch his perfect cheeks and fingers and nose and elbows and thighs and lips and I just wanted to take all of him in because, Internet? I waited a really long time for this moment and he was here and he was perfect and he was mine and what is with all this blond hair? I am way too impatient to ever wait to find out the sex until birth but I got a little piece of the surprise when I realized he had a full head of blond hair because what? I don’t make babies like that~ at birth my babies have thick, nearly black hair just like both Bill and I had. We’d briefly discussed how weird it would be to have a bald baby but I never pictured a little blondie so it was sort of neat to be surprised.

It took Ezra a little while to calm down~ I imagine being stuck in someone else’s pelvis for three hours sort of sucks~ but once we did skin-to-skin and I breastfed him for the first time, he settled into the world. Then they cleaned him up, weighed and measured him and they wrapped him in swaddles and laid him next to me and we got  to properly snuggle for the first time and Internet? It was everything I’d hoped for. Everything we’d worked and waited for. Times infinity and always.

:::Jazzhand:::THE END:::Jazzhand:::

Also just kidding! Of course we need old man newborn pictures!

First photo! {Get used to it, kid.}

Holding hands.

Together.

Snuggled up.

Brannie New Budders

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{Parts One, Two}

Before I pick up where I left off, I should explain the whole wanting to go drug free thing. While still pregnant, I had a whole series of posts planned out about Rowan and Keaton’s births and why this time it was important to me to try something different and I even typed up a massive post on Rowan’s labor and delivery, with one for Keaton in the works but then I was so miserable and tired and busy that the posts never saw the light of day.

Without going into either of those experiences it’s hard to explain why it was important for me to at least attempt a drug-free birth but what you need to know is that with both Rowan and Keaton I had labor dystocia {abnormally slow progress, specifically dilation in my case}. This basically means that I had very close together, very violent, ferocious contractions but my cervix would not dilate past a 3.5 on its own, sorta making that whole “getting the baby out” thing difficult. Both times I needed an epidural to relieve the pain so my body could relax and dilate and both times I dilated to near complete within an hour of receiving the epidural. Had this not worked I would have needed a c-section but thankfully it did and I’m grateful for it.

Only this time I really wanted to try to relax my body on my own. When I experienced a contraction I would clench my body up as a way to deal with the pain, tightening and pulling in on myself. Instead of viewing the contractions as tools that are opening things up to make way for baby’s arrival, I was really trying to turn my body into stone so I couldn’t feel the pain. I was so sure that if I could focus my mind in the right direction I would be able to dilate on my own and so I ordered the Hypnobabies home study program and began the meditations around 26 weeks into my pregnancy. I should say that I probably didn’t use the program as they intended. I had no desire to “hypnotize” myself, only to use the CDs as a meditation guide to get my mindset in the right place and I will say I learned a lot of great relaxation/meditation tools through listening to them but I wasn’t drinking the kool-aid. I did not buy that these would allow me to have a magical, completely pain-free birth. I did, however hope that they would help me to go as long as I could without pain medication so I could be as involved in the birth process as possible.

To give you an idea of the time frame, I had gotten the prostaglandin gel at around 12:15pm and was admitted to the hospital at about 12:25pm. After an hour or so of being monitored, and my contractions already coming 30 seconds to one minute apart and lasting more than a minute, it was time to start trying some pain management techniques to get my body to relax naturally. At around 1:45 I was offered the choice between a hot shower or bath. I did not feel like I could sit down at this point so I chose the shower, where I just let the water pour over me as I gripped the bar on the wall with each contraction. The nurse, Bill and my mid-wife took turns standing guard as I labored in there for almost an hour. The contractions were intense but I definitely feel like the shower helped me cope. My mantra the whole time was “open, open, open, open”. I kept repeating it in my head, and sometimes under my breath through the entire shower and I felt like it helped my body relax.

Unfortunately, because of the bleeding at the start of labor, the nurse needed to monitor me at least 20 minutes for every hour. My first nurse was very lax about this as she had found Ezra’s heartbeat right away and could see I didn’t want to be strapped down so she let me stay in the shower without interruption but I needed to be put back on the monitors when I got out. She set it up so I could rock in the rocking chair while hooked up and after 10 solid minutes she let me off, offering me a birthing ball which I accepted.

Bill set up my hypnobabies tracks on the i-Pod and so I rocked on the ball while listening to the meditations. I was still in an incredible amount of pain, but I found myself drifting off into the meditations, thinking about what my son would look like, when he would get here and how perfect he would feel in the crook of my arm. It’s hard to explain… I was certainly working hard, certainly feeling pain, but I was also at peace, very calm, and I truly felt excited that I was going to get the un-medicated birth I wished for.

Then? Shift change. And it was all over.

Bill had stepped out to make a few calls and while he did my new nurse came in. My eyes had been shut but I had that feeling that I wasn’t alone so I opened them and the new nurse was in my face, looking expectantly and when I paused my meditation she immediately began bossing me around, saying they needed to get me on the monitor right away and I had no choice in the matter. I was confused because I had just been hooked up not even 45 minutes ago and now that my concentration was broken the pain really, really intensified. All the literature on birth told me I could refuse monitoring but she was so matter-of-fact and dead-set on it that I didn’t feel like I was being given any choice in the matter so I did as I was told. She tried to hook me up while I was on the birthing ball but she kept fumbling around and couldn’t find the heartbeat so I moved to the rocking chair where she found his heartbeat but could not keep it on the monitor for more than a minute or so. After struggling with this for over a half hour she told me I needed to lie flat.

When she asked me to get into the bed I knew it was over. The whole time I felt that if I got back into the bed I wouldn’t be able to get out again and I was right. The pain was near constant and so very intense that I could NOT get back into my mindset of staying open. I found myself falling back to how I spent my labors with Keaton and Rowan which was gripping the bar of the bed, pulling into myself as hard as I could and praying that the pain would just be over. I was completely lost in the agony of contractions that would not let me catch my breath.

At 4:45pm the nurse checked me. At this point I was so lost in the pain but I rallied at the thought of knowing how much progress I had to have made over the last almost 5 hours of constant contractions. I had to at least be dilated to a six but I was hoping for a seven or an eight and WHAT WAS THAT?

Three.

THREE.

I had not progressed at all since being checked at my appointment. If I hadn’t been so exhausted I would have broken down sobbing, but as it was, I had no energy left to cry. But I was completely devastated because after all that work I knew what had happened and I knew what had to be done.

And………. yes, I’m totally going to make this four parts. I know. I totally suck.

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So! Back at my mid-wife appointment

Right before she inserted the gel, my midwife decided to strip my membranes one last time. I had heard this was a painful procedure but the first two times I had it done I didn’t even flinch. This time however, OUCH. As she went to insert the gel she asked the nurse to get a towel as there was quite a bit of spotting. I was actually excited to hear this as I had none of the promised spotting or {gross alert!} mucus the other times. As she finished up inserting the gel I began to cramp really bad and I saw the nurse reach for two more pads to soak up the blood. Then she asked me to cough and I could feel that this was way more than spotting.

I was already in the room with the monitor so they had me sit up and when they moved me to the chair…THE HORROR {Read: blood everywhere}. At this point I could tell my midwife was moving fast but she was very calm and reassuring so I wasn’t panicking. She grabbed the monitor to check the baby’s heart rate and kept moving it around in different places, then she had me flip from side to side, as she attempted to find the heartbeat that was so strong and clear 20 minutes before.

Nothing.

At the same time the weird cramping that happened immediately after my membranes were stripped turned into full-blown contractions that hit me every 2 minutes. After frantically trying to find the heartbeat my midwife disappeared and returned with a wheelchair, very quickly but calmly explaining we had to go over to the adjoining hospital NOW.

Of Course this was the one appointment Bill couldn’t be at in the last few weeks so i grabbed my phone and texted him to meet me at the hospital, which he did not respond to. Luckily as I was rushed out to the elevator, he and Keaton were already in the waiting room so they ran along side me, Keaton thinking it was a fun race, Bill probably wondering what the fuck was going on- when he left me an hour before the baby was happy and snug inside of me and now we were in full-blown emergency mode. No one ever said “we can’t find the heartbeat” which I think kept us all calm, but we all knew something was very wrong.

Thankfully within a minute of getting hooked up to the monitor, Ezra’s heartbeat came across loud and clear and it wasn’t until I saw the look of sheer relief on my midwife’s face that I realized how scary the experience actually was. It happened so fast and the contractions were already hitting so close together that I didn’t have time to process what the hell just happened and by the time I did it didn’t matter because there he was, thump-thump-thumping away on the monitor.

After all the excitement, my contractions were a strong and regular 2 minutes apart {so yeah, gradual gel MY ASS}. The L&D nurse, who was so sweet and reassuring, checked me and I was almost a three. My midwife cancelled her appointments to stay with me and said that they would need to monitor me for an hour or so now that the bleeding had stopped but I should be able to go and pack things up if I wanted to try to labor at home for a while, as I didn’t seem to be dilating quickly. Poor Keaton had been sitting through all this, and while we reassured him that mama was just fine and that this is how having a baby starts, I could tell he was a little wigged out. We were waiting for my mom to come and get him but I thought if we could just go home so I could throw together a bag for me and get the kids stuff set, it would be so much easier.

Only by the time the hour was up my contractions were coming 30 seconds to one minute apart, just one on top of the other on top of another, with barely time to catch my breath. The midwife said, nope, no going home for you, so I kissed Keaton goodbye and my mom threw together a few items and brought them when she picked him up. After he was gone I felt like I could finally commit myself to the fact that sometime in the coming hours we would welcome our third child. Now it was time to get down to the business of getting this baby born.

Next up? I get to the actual birth part of this never-ending birth story. Probably…

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When I last left you {chronologically speaking}, I was 1{000,000,000} day over-due. I know this doesn’t seem like a terrible amount of time but when you take into account that I was expecting this baby to come in roughly the same time frame as his siblings, I already felt somewhere between one and a half and two weeks overdue. Complicating this was a.) I am slightly OHMYGODGIVEMEMYBABY impatient and b.) Although I had lists ready, I couldn’t pack anything but the baby’s bag ahead of time. So every night I made sure that things were ready to be put together quickly and every morning I completed what felt like a walk of shame to put away or use the items we needed for everyday life. And it wasn’t just the preparing of the ‘stuff’. It was emotionally exhausting to have to constantly prepare the kids, who asked every morning why they didn’t get a midnight wake-up call to go to grandma’s. I was trying so hard to make the last few weeks of our family of four-ness special that by the end I was so tired of constantly having to be “on” for the kids~ by the end of each day I just felt like collapsing in a giant heap of my pregnant self but felt way to guilty to do it. In short, I was so incredibly tired and ready to meet this baby.

Every week from 36 weeks on I went to my midwife and every week she cheerfully announced that I was softening and dilated to about a 2. By 39 weeks I was downright smooshy but Ezra’s head was not engaging. Or wasn’t staying engaged rather, as he’d be way down low where he should have been but as soon as she checked me or applied any pressure he’d swim back upstream. Very infuriating. At 39 weeks she stripped my membranes which produced zero of the promised side effects of cramping, spotting and/or contractions. At my 40 week appointment she was a little more aggressive about the whole thing and while I did cramp up a little afterward, that was it. His head was still playing the same whack-a-mole game and would continue to do so until the moment of his birth.

At 41 weeks? I had had it. Every pregnancy has its issues but that I had to go through so much before we even got pregnant and then the first 5-6 months were so unbearable, well, {self-pity alert!} it just felt so UNFAIR. I was now PERSONALLY INSULTED by my unborn child. Did he not know we went through months of grueling sex? Did he not know I suffered an extremely painful miscarriage? Did he not know I threw up and up and up for months on end? Did he not know that all I wanted was to hold his squishy self against my chest and lay my cheek against his small, soft head? WHAT DID HE HAVE AGAINST MY CHEST, GODDAMN IT. The answer to all these was of course NO but had you tried to tell my pregnant self that you probably would have made me cry {minus the probably}.

With no signs of labor coming at all we scheduled an ultrasound for the 26th in hopes that we would already have a baby in our arms, which of course wasn’t the case. The ultrasound was to check to make sure the placenta was still viable and my fluid levels and the baby all looked good. Since we were charting and using ovulation kits we knew that his due date was 100% accurate so he was definitely cooking too long at this point. I’m a little ashamed to admit that I was hoping for some calcification of the placenta or lowish fluid levels so we’d have a viable reason to take some action but the US showed a more than healthy placenta, great fluid levels, and a baby in perfect head down, face down position. He was “practice breathing” but not engaged, completely happy with womb-life.

Bill had come with me to the US but had to run to pick Keaton up from preschool while I headed to my following midwife appointment. When my midwife came in she went over the US results with me and asked what I wanted to do should things not start up naturally in the next week or so. I had been hoping to have a drug-free birth this time and had been using the hypnobabies curriculum so I really, really didn’t want an induction as most of the time they lead to much more painful contractions which almost inevitably leads to an epidural and the c-section rate goes way up as well. We decided that on the following Monday she would give me prostoglandin gel, as it usually brings on labor very gradually. She said the first dose usually doesn’t do anything but if your body is ready, the second dose should kick-start mild contractions which would hopefully lead to full-blown labor by sometime Tuesday or Wednesday. She assured me it was nothing like pitocin, which is known for bringing on very frequent and extremely painful contractions almost immediately. Fine, I thought, I can make it through one more weekend. Maybe.

As she was checking me for progress I told her the ridiculous list of things I had done at home over the last few weeks to help kick-start labor so I knew I just HAD to have progressed more this week. After seeing my hopeful face she was less cheerful as she reported that I was softening and about a two and that the little bugger’s head would not stay engaged and ALL OF THAT WORK AND NO CHANGE HOW DARE YOU, BABY and… Internet, she took pity me. I was 90% certain that the gel would have no effect on me and that waiting until Monday to try it when we may need to start something more aggressive should my fluid levels drop, would maybe not be the best idea. I know my midwife does NOT like to induce so that she was offering it made me think it was probably for the best.

“Do you want to try the gel now?”

“Now? Like right now?” Funny how I went from LET’S DO THIS to um…wait, there’s still a bunch of shit I have to do, once the option for action was actually before me.

“We can try the gel today, but it is a gradual process so you’ll have plenty of time. Or we can wait until Monday. Your call.”

“Okay. Today. Let’s do it.”

And Holy Shit, did we ever do it…

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Yes. I’m still pregnant.

He is officially one day over-due.

Have I ever mentioned how much I like things well-done?

Or how patient I am?

Or how much I wanted to stab a small, rectangular piece of paper?

And before I am asked, these are the things we’ve tried (So Much TMI Alert):

Membranes stripped? HA.

Spicy food? Double HA.

Raspberry leaf tea? RIGHT.

Castor oil? DO NOT RECOMMEND.

Sex with accompanied attention paid to nippular area? That was… magical…

Rocking in rocking chair and bouncing on yoga ball? I’m seriously sea-sick.

Calming meditation: FUCK YOU, CALMING MEDITATION.

Long walks? I’ve probably logged over 20 miles in over the last two weeks and I’m not even exaggerating. For once.

At least by the time he comes we’ll probably have skipped that pesky newborn period and moved right on to learning his ABC’s or possibly Calculus at the rate I seem to be progressing.

Now if you’ll excuse me, instead of quietly accepting the things I cannot change I’m going to go ahead and practice my hip-rolls with Keaton to Psy’s Gangnam Style.

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I’m still pregnant. Thanks EVERYONE I’VE EVER MET for asking me this as if my roundness and general look of “seriously, fuck off” didn’t already tell you.

In truth, I’m actually not too worked up about still carrying around this extra human, as I’m a little terrified of having to be so mobile with a newborn and then there’s that whole Labor and Delivery Thing, which if I remember correctly, is a little messy and sort of painful. I’ve actually never been thirty-nine weeks pregnant before as Rowan and Keaton both made their appearances in the 38th week, so from here on out this is all new territory.

What is sort of obnoxious is that every night I feel like I have to have everything prepped in case I go into labor that night. With both Rowan and Keaton I awoke in the very small hours of the morning with contractions and while it was no big deal with Rowan because my labor with her was so gradual, plus we didn’t have another child to think about, the second time things became very intense very fast and it was sort of a process to get a sound asleep two-year-old roused, packed up and delivered to Grammy’s at 3am, all while the baby was trying to grab a hold of and squeeze every internal organ in my mid-section.

Also, this time the kids have just so much… stuff. And everyday their schedules are a little bit different, which, yeah, I know it’s not the end of the world if things get a little mixed up but it’s going to be a lot of work running around so much with the baby and I’d feel like I could give myself permission to slack off if things go smoothly while we’re in the hospital. If not, then I know I’ll feel like I need to make up for the time by not missing things and okay, maybe that sounds ridiculous to you but it’s how my Be A Good Girl And Do All Of The Things Right brain works, so… yeah.

I’m trying to be patient but it’s been sort of a lonely time of waiting. Up until the last few days Bill has had a ridiculously full workload so we’ve spent about 5 minutes together in the last month. Fall has everybody engrossed and busy with their own busy schedules so I don’t see or talk to hardly anyone outside of those I come in contact with on our daily adventures of school/dance/home. I will say, I am getting an overabundance of support from Fawkes, Monkey and Luna, who follow me around from room to room to room, barely leaving my side all day. From the minute I open the bedroom door in the morning to the time Bill unceremoniously chucks the last stow-away cat out the bedroom door at night, these animals are EVERYWHERE ALL THE TIME. I sit down to eat? Immediately I have a cat in my lap, the other on the table and a dog at my feet. I go to the bathroom… uh, really you guys? If I don’t let them in they paw at the door for the duration. All three sit outside the shower while I’m in there and my animals DO NOT even like each other. The worst is when I’m trying to make beds as Luna follows me from one side to the other and back again and seriously, I can make the bed with out you micromanaging me, Dog.

Now, many of you probably think this is because animals have a special sense for their beloved owner and instinctively “know” I am pregnant and feel a sense of love, duty and protection over me. I, however, know my animals better than that and they are no dummies, and super selfish… they’ve seen all this before. They know that any day now they are going to be shunted down the priority list, getting little to no attention while we focus our efforts on the tiny, adorable over-lord that will be usurping all the love in the household for the foreseeable future so I understand this is a purely selfish act of pet me! love me! meMeME! before the ax comes down.

Other than that, the other big question I get is “How are you feeling?” and up until the last few days or so I was feeling really pretty good. When you spend months on end puking your guts out, the uncomfortableness of the last few weeks pales in comparison. After making it out of the first 20 weeks, which were just as bad or worse than the first two pregnancies, I’ve felt the best this time around. The anemia and other secondary symptoms, while still present, were better controlled and I’ve just been more patient overall when it comes to the actual due date. Or was until I entered this, the thirty-ninth week, and now I’m all very, Baby, you have all of your fingers and kidneys and toenails and intestines and eyelashes so YOU’RE WELCOME for that and maybe it’s time to come out and snuggle. Also, you are getting awfully sharp and pointy with your jabs in there and I swear if you shift to one side of my uterus or the other I’m going to go flying across the room with the force of what must be an impressive number of pounds you’ve put on the last week and a half. P.S. OMG Please don’t have a giant head.

So. Will I have to write a 40 week update? It’s looking pretty plausible at this point as I’m getting no indication that labor is imminent. This is definitely not a race, we really just want a healthy, happy boy no matter when he chooses to make his appearance. All I’m saying is that he could kick things up a notch. Is that too much to ask, Son? After all, I grew your eyeballs and knee caps so I’m thinking you maybe owe me one.

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Look what I got for you, Internet! A non-ghetto, non-cell phone pregnancy picture! I KNOW! Just what you’ve aaaaaaalways wanted.

You’re super welcome.

Out of the bathroom and everything! I know. You didn’t think I had it in me.

The kids have already been great big siblings, always asking to give the baby hugs and kisses in the morning and before bed.

Of course before Keaton gives him a kiss he always asks where the baby’s bottom is positioned and when I show him he promptly kisses it and then breaks out in a fit of giggles, “Haha I kissed your butt, Baby!” I’m not gonna lie… this sort of makes me wonder what the hell I’m going to do with another potty-humored boy in the house. {Probably work on perfecting my serious face after I’ve turned around and laughed myself, because, well, he did just kiss his butt and sometimes that shit’s just funny.}

Hopefully sometime in the next two and a half weeks we’ll be able to meet this little guy. Both Rowan and Keaton came during the 38th week {38 weeks 6 days, and 38 weeks 2 days respectively} but that’s obviously no guarantee. As my mother likes to remind me, she had five kids and all of them came early except one. Can you guess which one was not just a few days, but almost two full weeks late? Yeah. So maybe I sort of deserve a late one but with the number of birthdays that reside at the end of this month and early November between our two families, I really hope he takes pity on me and comes earlyish to mid-October.

At my 37 week check last week SDjrjr’s heart-rate was pretty low and I had previously mentioned that his movements had slowed considerably so the doctor I saw {who is not my midwife because my midwife is out of town for the next week and a half HAHA ISN’T THAT FUNNY? {No. No it is not}.} hooked me up to the monitor to make sure he was doing OK in there. He remained quiet for the first 20 minutes or so but then kicked it up a few notches so that the doctor was satisfied enough to proclaim him too sleepy/lazy/out of room to get really worked up for a higher heart rate and I was thankfully cleared to go home.

They also monitored me for contractions which I was indeed having but since I was not feeling them at all, they didn’t even check me for dilation/effacement. That night I woke up at 1:37am mid-contraction, and not the wussy Braxton-Hicks ones I’ve been having every time I over-do it, a full-blown UM, OUCH contraction. I had one every 10-12 minutes for the next hour and a half, during which I took the time to have a heart to heart with my unborn son about how I did not order a SEPTEMBER baby, I ordered an OCTOBER baby so he could just SIMMER THE FUCK DOWN in there. And he did. Because he is already a better listener than his siblings and he’s not even born yet. I fell back to sleep around 3:30am and have not had a “real” contraction since, so all’s well.

Other than that, I’ve packed the baby’s bag for the hospital and washed/prepped all the hippie diapers and clothes that he’ll need for the first few weeks. The crib and bassinet are assembled and the car seat is ready to be installed. I also spent 4.5 years composing a schedule and instruction manual for the care of my two giant children. With the nutty dance schedule we have this was no small feat but 17 pages later, I hope someone besides me can figure it out.

In other news…

“I have a hole in my face!”

This is the third year Rowan has had to watch the tooth chart in her classrooms fill up, the majority of the kids having lost multiple teeth. The insult was even greater felt this year as she knows she is one of the oldest in her class and had yet to lose even one. At her last dental check the dentist assured us that her bottom two front teeth were on their way to becoming loose and he predicted they would be out by late fall. I have no idea how he could tell because this was back in July and they weren’t the slightest bit wobbly but lo! and behold! and etc.!

A little boy at school had lost his bottom two at school earlier in the week and had swallowed one of them which caused Rowan to stress out about swallowing her own very loose tooth. She spent all of last Thursday night wiggling and wiggling the thing, in hopes it would come out easily but no such luck. It was way past bedtime and even though we tried to assure her she wouldn’t swallow it, she proceeded to have a mental breakdown over a teeny-tiny piece of enamel. Which… ugh. There was nothing we could say or do. After multiple refusals to have Bill attempt to gently tug at it to get it out, we gave up, put Keaton down for the night and left her alone in the bathroom with her tears and her wiggly tooth. Three minutes later she waltzed out with the reddest, puffiest eyes you have ever seen and a big smile with a small hole in it. “I got it out! I didn’t swallow it!” She was so proud, all the drama of the previous hour or so completely forgotten, for she held the promise of a fairy visit in her palm.

She requested we wait to put the tooth under her pillow until the following night as she wanted to hold onto her hard-won prize for a day or so. So the next night we placed the tooth in the small tooth-box I purchased earlier that day and set it on her dresser. {She asked to put the tooth on her dresser instead of under her pillow, “What if it falls down behind the bunk-beds?!” which, let me tell you, suited the tooth fairy juuuust fine.} That night the fairy did not disappoint and in the morning she was rewarded with a small Polly Pocket, a book and three dollars, with the stipulation that the first tooth is special and after this she would just be given a handful of coins. {Which will probably, sadly, be filched from her own piggy bank because I am never prepared for this sort of thing. Oh I’m kidding! I’ll steal them from Keaton’s piggy bank, he’ll never notice.}

Other than that bit of big news? We’re just trying to savor our last couple of weeks as a family of four…

Which is doing a nice job of distracting us from the anticipation of becoming a family of five..

Because we’re so excited to meet this little guy. {Belly close-up courtesy of Keaton, photographer esq.}

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