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Archive for July, 2012

37 Weeks Pregnant

Well, this is it. I’m 37 weeks pregnant so pretty much any time Charlie wants to come out will be just fine from here on out. The night before last my uncle Norman had a heart attack and we were struggling to get ahold of my mom to let her know (he’s now in stable condition, thank goodness.) She was on vacation with her boyfriend on Orcas Island, where there is patchy reception, but luckily I had the name of the B&B she was staying at. I called them and had them wake her up around midnight, all the while knowing “she probably thinks I’m in labor, haha.” It was a good practice run for what it will be like if I DO go into labor before she makes it down here on the 25th. I’ll be calling, she’ll probably not be answering, my sisters and I will play phone tag trying to come up with unique ideas of how to reach her, and maybe a baby will pop out sometime during.

Our current birthing “plan” is all pretty last minute. I’m currently on day 1/4 of my last work week, after which I will have two days to sell my bed and move out of my shared apartment. After that, my good friends Meena and Evan were nice enough to offer me a place to stay for the 5 days before my mom arrives at her rental house in Oakland. The day after that, we go into Walnut Creek Kaiser to complete the transfer paperwork from the SF Campus to the Walnut Creek Campus, and a couple days after that WE FINALLY TAKE OUR BIRTHING CLASS.

Of course, every day I imagine what any one of those days would look like if I suddenly went into labor. Which, in my head, looks something like, “OH NO, MEENA AND EVAN’S COUCH!!! THEY WILL NEVER LET ME COME OVER AGAIN!” or “SORRY MOM, I KNOW YOU’RE IN THE MIDDLE OF JUDGING THE GOATALYMPICS BUT THESE CONTRACTIONS WIN THE MEDAL FOR ‘MOST PERSISTENT.'”

I don’t know, I guess I have a million ideas of how things could play out, all swirling around in my head. I’m just glad it looks like I’ll be out of my apartment before I go into labor, because I really did not want to have to be there for that. Mom can always hop on a plane and be down to SF in a few hours. My lovely friend Buffy Goodman, who has volunteered her superb photogrphy skills for my birth, will also be attempting to fly down once I go into labor, and since she lives in Canada, that voyage may take a bit more time/elbow grease.  Things may all come together, NOTHING may come together, but as long as we finally get to meet Charlie, I am stoked for what’s to come.

No real signs of pre-labor yet. I’m getting some very, very mild cramping but nothing that makes me think I have entered into the imminent labor zone. I am craving McDonald’s which is weird. I’ve only eaten there 3 times during my pregnancy, which is about 3 times more than I have eaten at McDonald’s in the last 5 years. It’s weird that completely horrific and shitty food can sound so good to me right now. Not sure what to do about it… I really don’t want to give any money to McDonald’s. It may be that I am craving the sentimental comforts McDonald’s gave to me when I was growing up. I used to LOVE eating there, and I’m finding that pregnancy makes me WILDLY nostalgic for all the comforts of my youth. I’ve been listening to so much grunge, eating a ton of cereal and catching up with old friends… so I guess there are a lot of pros and cons of the sensory explorations of yore.

I am now so humungous I can barely move. I give a lot of exasperated sighs and self-deprecating laughs when trying to: put shoes on, plug anything into low outlets, get out of bed, and yanno, just manuver myself into every day situations. Everything is awkwardly ridiculous and I am the brunt of all my own jokes. I am glad I don’t often picture how terrible I must look, or I might feel a lot more self conscious about it than I already do. My brain has decided to assume I look just like everybody else, even when I’m moving at half-speed and all my tops are creeping up my torso, attempting to gather right under my boobs in some sort of trailer-park-tankini look. I pull my skirt up and my shirt down SO often I fear they may eventually fuse into a cumberbund. Ah well, UNPREGNANCY IS IMMINENT, YOU GUYS. I’ll keep you posted.

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Holy shit I’m 35 weeks pregnant today. How did a pregnancy that seemed to go by so slow end up so close to being over? I guess that’s how they get ya! I vacillate between moments of feeling like a normal, functional personal and moments of wondering how I will possibly survive these last few weeks. Throughout all this I have maintained what I can only describe as a low-level refrigerator-like buzzing undertone of zen, knowing that everything is a Fonzy-type-cool and will all just happen how it’s supposed to happen and we can all have a beer and watch a movie afterwards. Even when I’m super irritated with the world (and it really does seem like the entire world transforms into a mass of infuriating morons just to spite me some days) that weird buzzing zen is still there, waiting for rational thinking to return to me. It’s the strangest thing to feel both at once, but it definitely feels like my survival installed them both, knowingly.

My birthing plan has changed a lot in the past few weeks, just due to family circumstances. The basics are the same: try to achieve as natural a birth as possible (ix-nay on the pidural-eay, itocin-pay and ee-section say,) labor at home as long as possible and retain my sanity and energy as much as possible. The Dream Team I had originally assembled is being reinvented due to more realistic scheduling as my due date approaches. I had originally wanted two of my aunts to fly down (Sandra & Shelly) and my grandmother had planned to drive down with my mother at the end of June to stay in a rental house in Oakland before my August 5th due date arrived. She’s been dealing with ovarian and lymph node cancer this year, had just finished chemotherapy but now her doctors are recommending she do radiation so she has to stay to do that before she can travel. My aunts are bound to their own employment and financial restraints in Seattle, and I think the general feeling is that we don’t want too many cooks in the kitchen for this thing, so they may end up staying put. Who does that leave? Well, my mom will for sure be there. She seems to be almost as excited as I am at this point, verging on more so. She’s driving down on the 24th to be here on the 25th of July with her two pugs (doulas!) My sister Conny, who lives in Seattle, will probably pass on the birthing part but fly down afterwards… and my other sister, Aurora, who lives in SF, maaaay come to the birth, but she says she doesn’t want to look at my vagina. I told her that is not mandatory.

So, I may potentially only have my mother to help me through the birth, but that may be a good way to avoid an uncomfortable power struggle and make decisions more quickly. I’ve scheduled our birthing class pretty much at the latest possible date (7/28), because she won’t be here until 10 days before my due date anyway and I don’t want to go without her. So who knows if we’ll even complete the class before I go into labor, or if my water will break during the class and we can give the students a live demo.

Until then, I continue to be monsterously huge and waddling about hither and there, mostly to work, MUNI, Rara’s house, Whole Foods and home again. Did you know Whole Foods carries “healthy” cocoa pebbles? (Real COCOA!) Well they do, and I will probably eat all of them before you can buy any, so forget I said anything. I still go through a half gallon of milk every few days, that’s been a pretty consistent craving throughout the whole pregnancy… and now that my due date and moving date are within reach, I’m really trying to eat as many Mission-style burritos as I possibly can before I go back to Seattle. I wish I could take them all with me, they may just be what I miss most about San Francisco.

So yeah, I’m huge, I just keep eating and sleeping and rewatching IT Crowd and really growing to appreciate Al Pacino and Meryl Streep’s 80’s performances. The two positions I can sleep “comfortably” in (left-side or RIGHT side!) are now barely comfortable at all, and I have to switch sides about every ten minutes or so or I start to ache and my arm loses feeling. These are the things that make you THINK you MUST almost be done. “My body wouldn’t do this to itself for much longer!” “I surely can’t grow any larger than this!” “Is that how birth is triggered? When your body is just completely fed-up with its own discomforts?” It seems to make sense to me!

So I’m selling my furniture, packing up my clothes and knick-knacks and it feels really good to know I’m getting closer and closer to leaving SF. Sorry San Fran, you’re beautiful, but I can’t fucking imagine raising a kid in you. I’d be so broke, short-handed and stressed, I may hold it against you for life. Seattle just FEELS like an awesome place to raise kids in (I may be biased since I had a great time growing up there) and I think I just need that slower, more laid-back pace (and lower rent!) to really thrive as a mom. Picnics in the park seem much less stressful (yet more moist) to pull off there, and I can’t wait to visit Alki Beach, the Children’s Science Center, New Moon Goat Rescue and all the local library storytelling hours. Life just seems a lot more simple and serene back home. It’s everything I would want it to be, just wish I could bring the sunshine with me.

So, if all goes according to plan, I should have a baby here in the next 5 weeks or so. Both of my cousins were just a couple days off from their due date so I’m hoping to have the same luck! We’ll see how it goes, and I will try and write more if there’s anything interesting to write about!

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