Saturday, January 24, 2009

the most unrelaxing day ever...

Long story made somewhat short.....Here's the scoop on my "relaxing" Friday - aka the first day of my maternity leave. I wrote this out originally in an email to a few friends, and now I share if with you...

We had doctor and a 41 week sonogram at the hospital on Friday
I'm 2 cm dilated, 40% effaced.
We were at the hospital FOREVER....ok, 4 hours.
We went for the sonogram, which was fine - we have enough fluid and things look good. Before that I had a non-stress test, and the doctor wanted me on it for more time, so we did more time, then after the sonogram he came down and said he "wasn't happy" with it and sent me upstairs for more monitoring. It was the doctor at the hospital, not MY doctor, and he didn't give much of an explanation as to what he wasn't happy with.

We went upstairs, which is actually labor and delivery, and into big area with about 8 curtained off spaced full of women getting the same test. Some intern said things looked fine and tried to give me a vaginal exam, which i refused. I said "I just had one at 1:30" and she was fine with us skipping it. Phew! I've received some advise about interns and trying to avoid them giving you vaginal exams. I really don't need 2 in one day thank you very much. They let us go, saying things were good. Phew.

Earlier in the day, my normal doctor also wanted to strip my membranes, which I denied. Said we'd wait until next week for that! Our next visit to the doctor is on Monday, but hopefully I won't make it until then BECAUSE...on the monitor it looked like I was having somewhat regular contractions! I could barely feel them - like a mild cramp - but they continued last night, but now they are gone. Maybe Braxton-Hicks? Either way, things seem to be moving along.

We also walked from the doctor to the hospital, which was 30 blocks in Central Park! It was 44 degrees yesterday, so a lovely time....and I had hot thai food for dinner.
Fingers crossed for some action soon.

Friday, January 23, 2009

yay! maternity leave!

My maternity leave started today - yay! I am only missing one crucial thing - the baby! I am very thankful for my 3 months off though. It will be weird to adjust at first...not check work email, and not check in, but hopefully once the baby comes I won't care about any of that stuff! Today we go to the doctor AND the hospital. Doctor is a normal visit, hospital is for the 41 week sonogram so they can check the fluids, etc and make sure everything is still looking good.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Argh! I was due on Friday and now it's Wednesday and as of yesterday, I was still only 1cm dilated! 'doh! I am keeping sane and calm though. Due dates are so vague. This is not up to me! No amount of me being impatient will help. I DO want to meet this little person though, and the anticipation of labour is making me a little nutty! It's this giant fear for the unknown...not fear though, more like nervous excitement! When will I go into labour? Will I be sure that's what it is? What will it feel like? When will we call the doctor? When will we call the doula? When will I scream in pain? When will we go to the hospital? How long will it take? So many unanswered questions remain!

Anyway - I'm trying to walk as much as possible, but it's freeeeezing here in NYC, so that makes it tricky, plus there is still ice on many of the sidewalks, which makes my husband nervous. We had indian food last week, and I have some red raspberry leaf tea. If I haven't given birth on Monday I'm going to get some acupuncture. We have another doctor's visit on Friday plus a visit to the hospital for a sonogram to check the amniotic fluid level. I hope it's all ok and I hope I'll be more dilated by then! I'd even be ok with just 2cm! Tomorrow will be my last day at work for 3 months, and that will be a fine thing!

Sunday, January 18, 2009


It feels so surreal to me that I am sitting here on a Sunday morning, living my normal life, watching tv and reading the paper like any weekend morning - but then I get up and think to myself that at any moment, I could start having contractions and then my weekends will never be the same again. It's a sort of scary thought - one that I don't think about too often. It's not that I'm "scared" to become a mother - it's just weird that suddenly one day I will be going about my normal routine, and that will then likely be the last time that I have that routine since EVERTYHING is on the verge of changing! I'm excited, scared and nervous. You never know when the moment will come that suddenly I will have to go to the hospital for 2+ days , and it won't be because I've broken something or hurt myself - it will be because I am bringing new life into the world. And then, when we get home, nothing will ever be the same again, because my life won't revolve around ME anymore - it will involve around a little tiny person that I am responsible for - that WE as a team are responsible for....a little half me/half husband person. It's funny how focused we've been on the birthing process, that when I think about what happens when we get home with this little thing, I draw blanks because I don't think we've really thought about that. I think those days are going to be joyous and ideally NOT full of pain and therefore we just can just go with the flow. We shall see!

Friday, January 16, 2009

it's my due date and i'll cry if i want to!

Just kidding! No tears over here. I'm pretty peachy actually! The only thing slightly annoying is trying to explain the wonders of pregnancy to many people who think "due date" literally means that I am having my baby somehow my body is on a strict 40 week gestational calendar - which it's not! I keep throwing out the "well, only 3-5% of women give birth on their due date" statistic, which probably makes me sound like a bitchy know-it-all. Oops. But I guess I would be saying the same thing to someone in my shoes - at least prior to this experience. Now I am much more educated about the process, and know that the TV version of birth that we're all used to is WAY off! 

Anyway, we went to the doctor yesterday and I am 1cm dilated and 25% effaced, so things have progressed since last week when the only news was that my cervix was "soft", so I am pleased. Our next appt. is on Tuesday - if we make it until then! My only slight debate is if today will be my last day of work or not. I always told myself I wouldn't work past my due date, but now that it's here and I still feel good and I have no baby, I worry that it's going to be 2 weeks late, and I'll be sitting at home for those 2 weeks wasting my maternity leave when I could continue working and have that extra time at the end with my baby. But, I don't have much left to do here - my temporary replacement is here and working, so  I might be bored here too! At least Monday is a holiday, so I guess I will say my goodbyes today and then play it by ear, with the most likely scenario being that I won't be here on Tuesday.....or I could come in after the doctor's appt if she says I'm still only 1cm. Decisions decisions! 

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

"the farm" and the books

We hired our doula (yay!), and she recommended a couple of books by Ina May Gaskin, a super-legendary midwife who also has an operation in Tennessee called "The Farm". It's a commune of sorts...although that's really not the right word for it...really a community with a giant birthing center and a small town where people live and work. People go there to give birth and it sounds like an amazing place. The have some crazy impressive statistics...They say less than 2% of their births result in c-sections, and it's rare that things like forceps and vaccuums are used...see the link for more. And these I believe, are all natural births! She has 2 books, and I'm 1/3 of the way through "Ina May's Guide To Childbirth". The first part of the book is comprised of birth stories, which I LOVE and I am learning a lot from them. Mainly, that when I feel like things are starting to happen, I need to 1) sleep and 2) walk. I can't wait to read her other book, which is quite legendary - "Spiritual Midwifery". Some of the stuff in these books is a little, well, earthy and hippy dippy and a little odd, but it's nonetheless inspirational. I have been trying to go to bed earlier, but the book is so interesting that it's hard to put it down! I'm not saying I'm ready to go to TN to give birth, but it's nice to know that there are many people out there that believe in giving birth the natural way, which I hope to do!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

will this be the week?

My estimated due date is on FRIDAY! Yippee! I have been waiting to get here for 9 months, and although I know that only 3-5% of women actually give birth on their due dates, it feels good to almost be here. I still feel ok, which I am surprised at, but at night I feel like crap. I ate so much last night that I was so uncomfortable and I woke up at 5am and vurped (burp and a bit of vomit comes up). GROSS. I really feel like a whale. It's so hard to merely move from one side to the other, an ordeal if you will. I haven't considered kicking my husband out of bed yet, but it might come to that soon! I don't plan on taking any extreme measures and drinking castor oil, or trying any of the old wives tales quite yet, but I do plan on eating some Indian food on Friday night! I also have some red raspberry leaf tea, which is supposed to help, but I think I am a little scared to drink it. I want to let the baby choose it's own due date, but I want to meet it and be a mom soon too!

Monday, January 12, 2009

losing faith in humanity

Today's commute really took the cake. As usual I got on the last car of the L train and just my luck, it wasn't packed and a woman was getting up from one of the tiny seats at the end. I was psyched. I was then totally and completely cut off by a hasidic man. I mean c'mon! I was wearing a bright red jacket and SO obviously hugely pregnant. I was upset about this, but not so much because I really wanted to sit down, but really because every time this happens to me, I lose a little faith in humanity. Today was extra unsettling, but I was just sad that people can be so rude and inconsiderate. Thankfully a man on the bench seats offered his seat up for me, and I was grateful, but I spent the rest of my ride stewing and I REALLY wanted to say something to the man, but I just couldn't do it. Taking the subway is something I won't miss when I go on maternity leave!

Friday, January 9, 2009

the glider

Our glider finally arrived today after much online shopping and pricing and deciding and poll-taking and then waiting. It's HUGE. Our plan was to put it in our living room, since we don't really have a baby room. The baby will be in our bedroom for a while, and then MAYBE move into our spare room, which is now an office. I was envisioning a calm living room environment, maybe with some TV watching while feeding on the glider, but the thing feels like the giant chair at Universal studios! My husband spent the day building a "comfortable environment" in our spare room, which I mentioned this morning after I said I would be "ok" with it in the spare room if such a thing were to exist in there, and now it does! He rules. So....we've got it in here, it's a nice corner and everyone is happy! The only problem is that the crib, which is still in the box since we won't be using it for a few months is now wrapped in plastic outside, and of course I worry that the drastic temperature changes we've been having in NYC will cause it to bend and break....especially since we're to get a snowstorm tomorrow. We shall see...maybe it will be fine out there. Anyway - the glider is the second to last piece of this puzzle. What's the last piece, you ask? THE BABY! WHICH IS DUE IN 1 WEEK! YAY!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


After taking our classes at Real Birth, it became evident to us that our goal of achieving a natural birth might be more likely if we had an additional, experienced support person by our side during labor and delivery. AKA a DOULA. I mean in addition to the Ob/Gyn or nursing staff. I like to think of it as a hired friend actually. We're in the process of talking to a couple of them, and their prices range wildly, due to experience I think. The official D.O.N.A website has been useful too. We meet one more on Wednesday night and then will hopefully make a decision either way. I think having someone there to help relax me and use their bag of tricks to manage the pain would be smart. I like the idea of a doula too. It's a good way of thinking and our doctors seem to be ok with us using one also, which is good. They don't interact too much with the doctors - they are there to interact with us and to help us make knowledgeable decisions about our choices and care. I will keep you posted!

Monday, January 5, 2009


I think we're pretty much ready to have this kid! All supplies are in the house, and our brains are in parent mode. We've taken the classes, we've watched the videos, we've bought the stuff and we feel quite ready to go! I don't know what it feels like for my body to be ready, but the baby seems pretty cosy in there and is still kicking away and moving around and hasn't - to the best of my knowledge - "dropped" yet. Mucus plug is still intact and there haven't really been any signs that this will happen soon.'s just a waiting game! The due date is 11 days away still, but that date is so vague that I don't really take it to heart. Apparently only 5% of babies are actually born on their due dates. First babies are usually late, but all my friends have been early, so who knows! I'm ready for this to happen though and I am exercising great patience.