August 25, 2005

Pouring Rain

It's been a figurative downpour these last couple weeks...

I'm having contractions on a pretty regular basis, but nothing that turns into anything substantial. After 5 hours of contractions one night, Baby's heart rate increased into the 170's (it should be in the 140's to 150's). It went down eventually, but I was told to go in to the hospital the next morning for a no stress test. They wanted to make sure Baby didn't have the cord wrapped around his/her neck or anything like that. Baby's fine, just enjoying the opportunity to play with parental expectations, I guess!

Friday of last week we got a call that my paternal grandmother was in a car accident with a Ford F350 pick-up towing a goose neck trailer of metal pipes. The accident was Grandma's fault; those in the truck had only minor injuries, but Grandma was killed. She was 83, and she'd had a stroke a little over a year ago; the family had been bracing ourselves for the last year that she probably wouldn't be here much longer.

All the same, bracing for something to happen and expecting it to happen on a given day are two different things. Within two days Grandma's five children, two remaining siblings, 16 grandchildren (6 of whom are married, 3 with kids of their own) and a bajillion family friends and extended relatives had been contacted and started making travel plans. We had people coming in from Monterrey, Mexico; New Zealand; San Francisco; Atlanta; driving from eastern Pennsylvania - the family group alone was 41 people. The family spent time together last Sunday night; family viewing was Monday morning, visitation Monday night, funeral #1 (in her current hometown) was Tuesday morning and funeral #2 (in the hometown where she and Grandpa lived for close to 40 years) was Wednesday morning.

One of my hopes headed into the weekend was that I wouldn't go into labor before it was all through. As the days progressed, I started leaning the other direction. Going through labor, yes, but in a private hospital room with nurses to run interference for me - and the added benefit of distant relatives getting to see Baby before they headed back home. Most visiting family members are now on their way home, though, and Baby's still doing dance routines on my ribs. Ah, well.

DH [Dear Husband] and I went out for supper last night at Subway. In the midst of my sandwich, slightly hunched over the table, I got an upward kick in my sternum that felt like a sucker punch to my chin. It was strong enough that I snapped into an upright sitting posture with a sort of dazed look on my face. If I can be charged with child abuse, can babies in utero be charged with parent abuse?

I'm REALLY ready for this little person to be born.

August 11, 2005

36 Weeks and Counting...

According to's weekly email, I should postpone any unnecessary travel plans - particularly anything to do with flying somewhere.

So much for wanting to see New Zealand before this baby's born.

Seriously, I'm just ready for this to be done. Other tasks have gotten difficult in the last few weeks: standing up, sitting down, walking, sleeping, shaving - even trying to stretch out my hamstrings at night before bed. I now have to face almost 45 degrees inside of my leg and stretch kind of sideways; my stomach size doesn't allow any closer interaction.

I have a box of chocolates from my favorite Swiss chocolatier, a paper chain with a link for each day from now until 2 weeks past my due date (I'm trying to set my expectations in advance for going past my due date and possibly being induced), all baby items organized, and just have to pack my bag for the hospital and assemble the list of names and phone numbers to call.

In 28 days or fewer I'll have a baby strapped around my middle in a sling instead of encased in my skin. -Hurry it up already, Baby!

August 05, 2005

Personal Space

Without my say-so, I have become more European in the matter of personal space: closer is better.

The last week has contained several conversations with Junior regarding the need for my rib cage and internal organs to occupy at least some space in my abdominal cavity. Husband thinks the kicks in the ribs are just practice flutter kicks.

I won't be surprised if this little person emerges from the womb and wants its little face two inches from mine for the first several months of its life - until Baby realizes he/she is American and can't handle being closer than three feet to anyone unless romance or family duty is involved.

August 02, 2005

Financial Nesting

Ack... Some expectant women nest by picking out paint samples. Since I currently lack a house (I don't think my parents would appreciate it if I suddenly repaint a random room to resemble a nursery), I have to substitute.

I spent a few hours this afternoon sorting through old financial records. Mortgage here, electric bills there, past insurance policy numbers over here, all health records for family members there, car info here, addresses there - oh, wait; looks like that should be split into current and prior folders... I need a bigger filing cabinet.

Don't I lead an exciting life? My afternoon session with paper (and no paper cuts, amazingly enough!) was only matched by watching our dog Sugar lie down in the wading pool and dunk her entire head under water. She's gotten in the habit of lying down (whether out of the pool or in it) to drink. She's either a natural blond or discovering some long-lost bond with her wild African forebears.