27 September 2010

Snail Mail Is So Retro Chic

Take ten minutes: brew a cup of tea and read Tessa's latest post on writing notes instead of emails.  It's iconic and classic and--as most of Tessa's ideas are--simplistically encouraging (this is the woman who, after all, makes raising thousands of dollars for African relief look and sound easy).  I also enjoy the fact that she encourages old fashioned, paper and pen correspondence on a blog without shaking a fist at the blogosphere and denouncing its usefulness.  

Basically, I think Tessa's wonderful and I'm so glad she's feeling well enough again to post!

26 September 2010

Today Is Official "Talk to An Overdue Pregnant Lady About Something Other than Being Overdue" Day, Didn't You Hear?

It's September 26th and it's official.  Any way you cut it, no matter which due date you take (the 20th or the 26th), I am due.  Or rather, Bean is due.  Okay:  any way you cut it, Bean is supposed to be here.   But just the fact that I'm still calling it "Bean" and not the wonderfully gender appropriate names we picked out months and months (and maybe at this point years) ago, means that it's not.  And I have completely mixed emotions about that.

On the one hand, I'm frustrated.  I'm tired of people seeing me on the street, jaws on the pavement, exclaiming, "Haven't you had that baby yet?" Well, do you see an infant in my arms?  Obviously we both know the answer to that question.   I'm tired of getting on the phone and hearing, "You should really tell that baby it's time to come out" from practically everyone who calls, as if I actually had a say in the process.  I have tried literally everything that people have told me to--different foods and exercises and walks and teas and herbs and assorted other ridiculous techniques that supposedly get labor going.  Except castor oil.  I don't think treating my digestive system like the clogged pipe in the bathroom is really the best solution here.  

I feel like overnight, my pregnant state went from "Blessed Miracle" to "Overdue Inconvenience" to the rest of the world.  

And they're not even the ones who have to deal with the swollen feet!  (Although they do have to deal with me dealing with swollen feet, which I acknowledge I've been a bit whiny about.)

And then, on the brutally honest other hand, I'm not frustrated and I'm kind of okay with being pregnant for a little bit longer.  I know, very VERY deep down, that Bean just isn't ready for one reason or another yet and that's why it hasn't sent out that "I'm ready to be born" hormone.  I also recognize that sleeping in until nine or ten (or, let's be honest, eleven) will be a distant memory in a week or so.  I know I'll miss feeling Bean kick from inside (although I won't miss the roundhouse kicks to the ribs on my right side), and the idea of having the two of us be in two separate rooms does freak me out a bit.  Kip and I made a decision last night that whenever someone gives me grief about still being pregnant, I will hear it as what they're really trying to say: 

"I care about you and I really want to see your beautiful child!  I'm getting impatient, but I know it's not your fault that it hasn't arrived yet.  Please ignore any further comments from me regarding your weight, the validity of the contractions you've been feeling, the rapidly approaching date of the baptism, the fact that Natalie is moving out of Juneau at the end of the week, and the gestational period of elephants."

In conclusion, and in completely unrelated news, our recent stretch of sunny weather has officially given way to regular crappy Juneau rain, but also to an unmistakably Fall-ish feeling.  I dug our Fall decorations out of the closet and I'm having a good time craving all things cinnamon and apple-y.  Last night's culinary victory:  homemade peach cobbler.  Oh my goodness, was it amazing!  Maybe today I'll make something with oatmeal.

21 September 2010

In the Past Seven Days, My Life Has Included:

-increasingly crisp fall weather 
-a kitten who just can't seem to cuddle enough
-lots of hanging out with Mom
-the most frantic cleaning I've ever done in my life (except maybe the day before college graduation, and that's because our apartment was a pit....oh gosh, was it disgusting)
-a baby who just is far too comfortable in utero to be bothered with being born
-a husband who I'm happy to say I'm still so completely in love with
-fall decorations around the house
-"John Adams"

Eventually I'll post about it, but for now I'm just trying to relax and enjoy it.

14 September 2010

Ten Things Tuesday

Ten Things That Made Me Smile This Past Week:
1.  The signs that it's truly Autumn in Southeast Alaska:  changing leaves, crisper feeling air, a sun that travels so low in the sky that it constantly looks like it's about 3:30 in the afternoon (I LOVE that warm sort of light!), and winter constellations hanging low in the longer-lasting night sky.  I realized the last of these signs around 4:45 this morning when I got up to pee (shocker, right?) and realized in a fit of goosebumps that I'd forgotten to close the window in the living room before bed.  I stood on the couch (necessary to close aforementioned window) and stared at Orion, the only winter constellation I know, hoping to see the Northern Lights since it was still pitch black outside, excepting the stars and the neighbor's porch light.  Two months ago, the sun would have been well up by that time.

2.  I know it was on last week's list, but it's still making me smile:  my mom is a genius who suggested tying Tillamook's harness to the clothesline so he can wander at will outside without running away.  It's diffused a lot of kitten-owner battles in our household.

3.  The cleaning fest we had on Friday.  The apartment looks incredible.

4.  The orange and red sunflowers Mom got for me after my last prenatal appointment showed I'm really not much further along in the dilation department than I was two weeks ago.  The sunflowers helped take me from totally bummed to only slightly dejected.

5.  My masseuse (don't judge, our insurance pays for massages if a doctor prescribes them and I'm taking full advantage of that!) gave me a hug after my last appointment while we were pointing out our favorite awkward baby photos on the bulletin board in the hallway of the Birth Center.  (The winner was the one where a woman, surrounded by her family, was at the crowning stage of birth.....crowning!  Do we really need photographic evidence of that?  In a public place? NO!)

6.  Father Thomas also decided last week that he needed to upgrade to an iPhone 4, which means that if I don't have Bean before he leaves this week, we can do a video call just like in the commercials!

7.  I made a trifle for dessert on Saturday and it was glorious--angel food cake, homemade whipped cream, organic peaches, nectarines, pluots and apples!  Yum!

8.  The thank you note we got from two-year-old Nolan Warnaca:  "Thank you so much for coming to my birthday and for the cool castle.  I can't wait to build it.  P.S.  I can't wait to be your son's friend, or date your daughter!  -Sir Nolan"

9.  Tillamook's new habit of sitting on the retaining wall by our back stairs.  It's cute.

10.  The amount of bonding we've been doing with our landlords ever since my mom started staying in their spare bedroom.  They're so great!

12 September 2010

Raging Maternal Hormones = YouTube Sob Fest 2010

Confession time: I rarely read through the sentimental emails that people send me about friendship or motherhood or whatever the warm fuzzy thought of the day is, but I decided that this video was worth watching when a friend sent me an email yesterday asking how Bean and I were doing.

I lost it at "She will have your eyes".

Can I PLEASE have this baby soon????

11 September 2010

How Samsung, Ryan and His Pointy Shoes Turned Me Into an iPhone Addict

Hello, my name is Cindy and I have a problem.
After years of fighting it, swearing I wouldn't, vowing to stay out of the trend and swim against the current, I did it.
I got an iPhone 4.
And I like it a little too much.
And, in true "person with a problem" form, I am blaming it on someone else:  Samsung.

It really is Samsung's fault for making crappy phones that stop working after ten months, conveniently losing all touch screen capabilities, messaging capabilities, the ability to receive most calls, and sounding like the caller is down a tunnel in the calls that do come through.  It just makes other phones (that actually work) seem so much cooler.  The problems with my (now former) phone had actually been happening off and on for a few months, but every time I went to bring it in to AT&T it was miraculously healed, like that sore throat that you finally present to the doctor on the day it decides to feel fantastic again.  This week, however, it was mission critical.  The phone stopped working and I sped off to the store, ready to throw it at them and (politely) request a new phone with some longevity.

I didn't want to get an iPhone 4.  I did want to get the regular old iPhone3G.  I didn't need anything fancy, just a phone that I knew would last more than a year (and the iPhone is the only one that I've seen last for awhile).  "Well," said Ryan, the kind clerk with shoes that were far too pointy in the toes for the mostly non-fashionable Juneau population, "we don't have any iPhone3s anymore; everyone wants the 4."
"How long would it take to order one?" I asked, absentmindedly stroking my still baby-filled belly.
"Five to ten business days," said the pointy-shoed fashionisto (it was really distracting me). 
"Well, I'm supposed to be having a baby in five to ten business days and I really need a phone that works."
"Hmm," he said, glancing down at my belly, "Let's see what we can do..."

A few keystrokes, one bequeathed upgrade from Kip, and a stranger who came over solely to ask "You're due any day now, aren't you?" and touch my belly (without asking) later, Ryan and his pointy shoes brought me a new phone (with a new purple cover too, because apparently it drops calls without one...I think this is a grand conspiracy between Apple and the phone-cover-maker-people).  It's beautiful and techie and has lots of great apps and is easy to use and all that worries me because I went home and played with it for hours.  
Too many hours.
And this is in complete contradiction to my "People who spend too much time on their smartphones care more about their little piece of technology than the living, breathing human sitting next to them" philosophy.

We'll see how this turns out.

07 September 2010

Ten Things Tuesday

Ten Things That Made Me Smile This Past Week (and I'm trying to make them non-baby-related):
1. MY DAD CAME TO VISIT AFTER THE FALSE ALARM WITH BEAN!!!! I walked out of my prenatal appointment on Friday only to see him in a rocking chair at the Birth Center. I was completely floored. He's never been to Alaska before, and he could only stay for the weekend, but it was so nice to have him there, even if I still didn't have Bean.
2. Not any less exciting or important, but Mom flew out to help us too! It's only not number one because I knew she was coming. So far, I think we've racked up about 15 miles of walking around Juneau in an attempt to start active labor (unsuccessfully), but I've enjoyed the walks and talks with her nonetheless.
3. Mom brought Panera bread and bagels with her, which I've been craving for about two months now.
4. In a stroke of genius, we realized that if we tie Tillamook's harness to the clothesline, he can roam around outside and I don't have to sit on the stairs and make sure he doesn't run away. I enjoy this newfound freedom almost as much as he does.
5. I'm probably 95% finished with reorganizing the library at the Cathedral. Yay!
6. The icon of Theotokos that Father Thomas brought back for me from the state fair in Anchorage. He had been up there for a conference during The Big Bean Scare last week and was given the icon by an Orthodox priest to give to me. It makes me smile (obviously, it's on this list).
7. The giant bag of basil that came in our produce box this week. Guess who's making pesto tonight?
8. 65-degree weather this week. This is what we didn't get all summer!
9. Getting up super early this morning to have breakfast with Kip. Who cares if we were both half asleep, it was nice to get some time together!
10. Dropping off more aprons at Homespun Mercantile, which I've been meaning to do for months now.

04 September 2010

An Update

I've been in early labor since early Monday morning, a ticking time bomb (I'm even all round and bomb-shaped), waiting for these interspersed contractions to turn into active labor.  "Let me at the pain of regular contractions!" I say, "I can take it, just let me try!"  But no dice.  The pain is ignoring the gauntlet I've thrown to the ground.  It has also ignored all the walking I've been doing, the bouncing up and down, the spicy food, and the red raspberry leaf tea I've downed in quantities sufficient enough to bring any other woman in the world into full-fledged labor long ago.  I've tried every myth I've ever heard of for inducing labor except castor oil--a girl needs to keep some semblance of dignity, you know.  I've tried getting everything super ready for going to the Birth Center so I'm not subconsciously putting off active labor because I don't feel ready.  The house is clean.  The nursery is stocked.  Kip's and my shoes are by the door.  But the contractions still come and go, despite all of my hard work at welcoming them.

Lorna, one of my midwives, told Kip on Friday that it'll probably be only a week--maybe two--until Bean is born, but despite her assurances, I think it's official:

I'm going to be pregnant forever.


02 September 2010

Bean's Birth Day, Take One

Well, first of all, Hoonah happened. Kip's phone rang at 12:17 Sunday morning, followed by the sound of a few grunted "uh huh"s and a flurry of activity. He was out of the house by 12:20, off to negotiate a man out of his barricaded house in Hoonah, a nearby village. It wasn't the average crisis negotiation/SWAT team call-out--before barricading himself, the man had ambushed and killed two police officers. I didn't hear much news until three the next afternoon, when police dispatch called to let me know that the standoff would take a few days and to pack a care package with Kip's personal effects to be boated out to the remote village.

How's that for a stressful situation to induce labor?

Contractions started at 3 am on Monday.
The suspect surrendered several hours later and Kip got back just in time for me to go to the Birth Center to have the contractions checked that night.
The next morning, my water broke (supposedly...keep reading).
We went to the Birth Center again, thinking we'd leave with a baby.

We were really excited for awhile.
Bean was coming!

Kip decided he had some labor pains, too.
(On a related note, he was the best birth partner ever and his support skills were amazing)
So we waited for a few hours.
And then a few turned into 12.
And then 18.
And then edged closer to 24, which is the cutoff for transport to the hospital after a broken water (something about risk of infection).
So we went up to the hospital.
And they said, "Um, well did your water really break?" and generally made me feel like an idiot who didn't know what she was doing.
And they did some tests.
And then they sent us home.
Without a baby.

Although I did get to eat some dinner after they determined they weren't inducing me.
I was really excited about that.

So there are three options as to what happened:
1. My water never broke to begin with and I was just a crazy pregnant lady who peed herself
2. The water broke only slightly and then resealed itself
3. It was what they call a "forebag" break (think about what would happen if you took a water balloon and twisted it into two sections, then broke just one of the sections)

Either way, no baby. The doctor did another ultrasound before we left to make sure that Bean is okay, and we decided that we'd ruin the surprise and see if Bean is a boy or a girl. It would be a sort of consolation prize for all the effort, you know? Well, it's a.......baby who has his or her legs crossed and folded over the goods!

So, in summary: No baby. No time frame for when said baby will really decide to arrive. No gender.

We're crushed and exhausted in every possible way, but there is a silver lining: now we still have a chance at having Bean at the Birth Center instead of the hospital, and my mom is flying up tomorrow, which is really great because after all of this frustration and disappointment, I really need my mommy.