Hey. We’re in the hospital. Been here since 3am. No baby yet, but it’s coming. More later, but I thought you’d like to know.
D-Day +3. No change from my perspective, but I saw the doctor today, there’s some progress the details of which I will not go into because really, people, I’m sharing plenty already, and I have another appointment on Friday (assuming there’s no baby by Friday). If induction is in my future, the earliest would be Saturday, and we’ll make the decision at the appointment on Friday. There. Everyone’s up to date.
We saw my least favorite doctor, but thankfully I liked her much better today. I don’t know what’s different, but I’m glad something was.
It’s tired, and I’m rainy…and that’s my brain right now, so I should stop before I embarrass myself further.
D-Day + 2, no change, but I have more confirmation that we have pretty great neighbors. My next-door neighbor was coming home from the gym as I was coming back from my walk, and she, being a nurse, was pretty reassuring and offered (again) to help when/if we need it. I saw our other immediate neighbors around lunchtime (Kevin and one of the (grown-up) kids) when I stopped by to give them some of last night’s cookie batch, and they insisted on sending me away with apples they picked this past weekend and admonishments to wash my hands as soon as I get home because Kerry has a cold and they don’t want me to get sick.
We’re now at D-Day + 1, which is not a thing I thought would happen. I mean, I’m aware that only about 5% of babies are born on their due date, so I wasn’t expecting to actually give birth ON SATURDAY. Maybe I was, subconsciously. I guess I thought I’d be early, if anything, right up until we got to the last week and there were no signs of
impending doom imminent labor.
40 weeks of pregnancy is a long time, guys. I still feel good – I haven’t reached get-this-baby-out-of-me levels of irritation, but now I’m playing a waiting game, and it’s not my favorite. Clearly this baby is a procrastinator, just like us.
Being late has started a few conversations with strangers. We went for a walk on the beach Saturday night and this older guy stopped and asked when we’re due. “Today” is not the response people expect. “Yesterday” isn’t either, judging by the reactions I got from the women in the nail salon today. (I felt I was safe to take the car and leave John at home long enough to get a manicure and get some groceries.)
My back ached for a little bit this evening, but I’d just been bending over, putting groceries away and taking cookies out of the oven (I want to bring some to the neighbors as a thank you and I’m planning on bribing nurses. No, I’m not nesting.), so it could have been that. It wasn’t accompanied by contractions. We’ll see how tonight goes.
Wednesday’s thought: I feel like a whale. A whale who never wants to leave the house because it’s too hard. I walked to the mailbox and back and regretted it. It takes me an hour to get up the stairs. I think I’ll just sit down.
Thursday’s thought: I got six hours of sleep IN A ROW. I feel great! Let’s go for a walk! Oh, look, the sun is shining! Have a chat with the neighbor! What a cute dog!
Oh, that reminds me. I dreamed about the dogs last night for the first time in a while. I woke up actually still able to feel the sensation of scratching behind Roxy’s ear. It’s sad (I miss them SO much) and not sad because I kind of got to visit them.
Friday morning: Middle ground. Six hours of sleep probably happened, but NOT in a row. Moving around isn’t as easy today as yesterday, but it’s possible (and easier once I’m upright). I went for a walk and it’s a beautiful morning, but today lacks yesterday’s exclamation points.
Tomorrow is D-Day. Supposed to be. I’m not counting on it.
There’s no question that I’m pretty big now. At my last appointment, the ultrasound tech estimated that the baby is over 8 lbs. This is not making me feel better about labor. Also not making me feel better? I can’t reach things. Last night, my eyelashes were trying to stab me in the eye again, so I tried to get close to a mirror to tweeze the offending bastards out, and I COULDN’T LEAN FAR ENOUGH OVER THE SINK. I washed some dishes today, and I had to stretch to reach the faucet because there’s this ENORMOUS WATERMELON in my way. And I can’t put it down.
On the brighter side, the itching is mostly gone (still somewhat present at night, but so much better). I don’t feel like I’m on the verge of amputating my feet anymore. I’m still not sleeping all that well, but I’m going to chalk that up to having to pee every 1-2 hours and general discomfort. And hey, let’s call it practice, since I won’t be sleeping more than an hour or two at a stretch for the foreseeable future anyway.
Saturday is the big day, although being this close without any signs doesn’t give me a lot of hope. Feels to me like I’m going to be late. (She says, leaning on all her experience.) I asked about how late they’d let me go without inducing, and they said we’ll talk about it if I reach 41 weeks. Yeah, well, I have an appointment at 40 weeks, 3 days – I’ll be asking about it then for sure.
The other day I posted about how no one has touched me without permission (except family) through this entire pregnancy.
I spoke too soon. THE VERY NEXT DAY someone did exactly that. It wasn’t a stranger, thank goodness, but not yet a friend. An acquaintance, someone who could become a friend. She’ll have to learn some boundaries first, though.
And what am I learning? I’m learning that I should keep things to myself. Stop tempting fate!
Okay, everyone, take a deep breath. You know who you are (and there are plenty of you). I love that you’re so excited, really I do, but I’m trying to stay calm. A day or two or three without blogging does not mean I’m in the hospital screaming bloody murder and wishing I’d never met John. Although it could mean that. And since you won’t know for sure, why get all worked up? Let’s be good to ourselves and practice our centering exercises and be all zen and shit. It’ll be healthier for you and it’ll help me, too.
I’m both ready (I don’t want to drag this labor thing out too long, you know?) and very NOT ready (labor and the few weeks after sound AWFUL, physically, and I REALLY don’t want to go through it), so the less I stress about it, the better.
Know what else I’ve been lucky about? No one – I mean NO ONE – outside of immediate family (they’re allowed) has tried to touch me during this pregnancy. I haven’t had to fend off ANY unwanted belly-rubbing. I’d been led to believe this was a problem I’d have to fight constantly. Maybe I’m giving off a stay-away-from-me-I-bite vibe. Or maybe Rhode Islanders understand personal space. Whatever the reason, I am NOT complaining.
You know what I don’t want to talk about? Itching. Because I’m still itching. And it’s kind of all I can think about. Even though I think it might be getting a tiny bit better.
So that means…well. Um.
We finally finished the online childbirth class. It was…underwhelming. And repetitive. But I’m super glad we took it online, at home, so we could make fun of the videos on our own. Much more entertaining that way.
My hospital bag is packed (mostly), the baby laundry has been re-washed using not-Dreft (which is under suspicion for possibly causing my itching), and we’ll probably install the car seat tomorrow.
I don’t think there’s anything left to do…but I’m not in a rush.
Maybe I shouldn’t say this (because of the possibility of jinxing – again – I swear I’m not ACTUALLY superstitious), but I’ve been pretty lucky this pregnancy. All of the classic symptoms and irritations, if I’ve had them at all, have been pretty mild. My version of morning sickness in the first trimester was just a terrible taste in my mouth for weeks on end. And sure, I complained plenty (it was disgusting), but it didn’t keep me from doing anything and it was WAY better than constant nausea or vomiting. I’ve been dealing with pregnancy brain (John just referred to it as my inability to function) when I need to eat, but I haven’t had ANY food cravings or aversions, I haven’t been terribly uncomfortable physically (even now, at 38 weeks), I’ve barely had any hot flashes, I’m not super tired, and any swelling has largely confined itself to my feet and mostly only happens on really hot days. That has changed a bit in the last week – my feet are almost constantly swollen now – but if that’s the worst, I can hardly complain.
The worst thing that has happened during this pregnancy isn’t pregnancy-related at all. We (me, John, the doctor) think I had a brush with poison ivy about a week ago. It’s mostly on my feet, maybe a little bit on my ankles and my fingers, and IT’S AWFUL AND I HATE IT AND WHEN WILL IT GO AWAY?
It’s a constant burning/itching that gets worse at night and nothing seems to help except soaking in cold water, but I can’t live my life with my feet in a tub and my hands in a bowl and JESUS CHRIST IT’S DRIVING ME CRAZY. Also, I can’t sleep through it, and for the last week or so (since Saturday, maybe?) I haven’t slept more than an hour at a time until around 2am, when I get up to soak my feet for an hour or two, and then I’m able to sleep for 2-3 hours until I can’t anymore and I just get up. I have to fall asleep quickly, while my feet are still numb-ish, and if I accidentally rub them on something, it’s game over.
Weirdly, I’m not napping during the day and I don’t feel as exhausted as I should. Maybe I’m adapting early to the (lack of) sleep schedule I’m anticipating when the baby comes.
On the bright side, I’m getting a lot of reading done in those hours with my feet in the tub.
I have been really lucky in the mosquito bite department this summer. You all know how irresistible I am to those bastards, and from everything I’ve read, the increased blood flow from pregnancy is supposed to amp that up, but I’ve only been bitten two or three times the entire summer and that’s without using bug spray (mostly – I’ve used it here and there).
I realize it’s still summer and I’m totally jinxing myself, but I’ve been thinking it for months and how different is thinking it to myself versus writing it down when you get down to it? If I were going to be jinxed, it would have happened already is what I’m saying.
Although maybe my jinx has occurred, but in a sneakier form. More on that in a bit. Maybe tomorrow.
One of my tiny handful of mosquito bites was about six inches above my belly button. That bloodsucking jerk was trying to get at the delicious innocent goodness percolating in there! I found it one morning and also found that I took my revenge and killed the perpetrator by rolling over on it in my sleep. I don’t particularly like waking up to smushed mosquitoes in my bed level with my midsection, but at least it won’t strike again.
(Note the lengths to which I’m going to avoid saying “baby bump”. Not my favorite term. Too cutesy. But distended abdomen is a bit too clinical…)
- Routine doctor’s visit, met a new doctor from the practice. Everything is fine, normal, healthy, and she landed the doppler-thingy right on the baby’s heartbeat today, first try, no searching or smearing goop around. It was pretty impressive. I really liked her, and it looks like I’ll see her again during on my September appointments.
- We bought the stroller and carseat. We originally decided on the Baby Jogger Summit X3 (and the compatible infant carseat), but we dawdled on the actual purchase and the price for both of those went up kind of a lot. Brian has been talking up the BOB strollers (and they get very good reviews, too), so when we saw that the jogging stroller and the infant car seat were each about $70 less than the Baby Jogger equivalents, we snapped them up. I’m pretty sure that price difference was the opposite when we first started looking. Milestone complete! They’ll be delivered on Monday.
- We hired a plumber to fix the leak under the sink. Tuesday morning, no more leak and we should have a working garbage disposal.
- We finally got a schedule for getting the painting done (end of August, although they’ll move us sooner if they can).
- We hired a yard guy!
Those of you who have seen the house (or who read my post from Wednesday) know that the lawn is overgrown, the flowerbeds are full of weeds, there’s poison ivy in too many places, vines are threatening to take over the wooded areas, and every plant/tree/bush near the house is practically (in many cases, actually) attached to the house. And we have an acre, so it’s kind of overwhelming. We knew going into this that we would be hiring help for the yard, so paying for a bunch of yard-related stuff is in the budget. We just had to prioritize and pick someone.
The first place I called took down my notes about what we wanted and then sent someone out to look over the place WHILE WE WEREN’T THERE. We never met the guy, never talked to him, never clarified what we might want or not want to do, and we ended up with a quote that didn’t meet what we wanted at all. Surprise. I eventually talked to him on the phone, and he quoted us an hourly rate to just have some guys come in and trim or clean up where we point for a set number of hours. Still not really what we’re looking for. We want advice, too. Oh, yeah – this is the guy who basically told me I can’t pay him to remove the poison ivy. So they’re a no.
For the second place I called, we met with the guy Friday afternoon a week ago. Turns out his sister went to high school with John, and he (Anthony) was only three or so years behind. Rhode Island is small and no one leaves. We liked him, he helped us prioritize, understood what we’re after, WILL help kill and remove the poison ivy, and when his quote came in, it was about what we expected. Unfortunately, he doesn’t seem to be in any kind of hurry. It took him over a week to get us the quote, and he wants to do the work in October, and we just can’t wait that long to trim back the stuff that’s attacking the house. We’re happy to break up the work, but that part needs to be done soon.
John found the third guy (Dana) via a card and write-up on a bulletin board in a local coffee shop. His website sucks, but we called him Wednesday and he made the appointment to come out Thursday, and we liked him immediately. He seems very practical, practices organic gardening/landscaping (no pesticides or herbicides), and understood our need to simplify. He’s maybe a little odd – he’d wander off mid-sentence, get up really close to a tree branch, grab hold of it, and inspect it closely. With nearly every tree. He was happy to see that everything we have is native, and said it appears that our yard was designed by a professional, and he even thinks he knows which one (the timing matches up to that guy’s career in RI, although apparently he has moved on to landscaping in the Hamptons). It is crazy to me that a landscaper could look at our overgrown yard and, based on the layout and the type of plants, be able to name the landscaper. What was I saying about Rhode Island? Also, hopefully that means he knows his industry. Artists can do it – why can’t landscape architects?
After one circuit of the house, I left John and Dana to roaming the yard, and when John came in later, he said, “I hired him.” I’m glad I’m not the only one who liked him. Also, turns out his hourly rate is $30 less than the first group, AND he wants to come back in a week to get started. Works for me!
This weekend, we are moving everything from the townhouse to the new house. Well, everything that requires a truck. Last week, we moved a bunch of little things, stuff that didn’t need to go in moving boxes and was small enough to fit in the car. And we cleaned. Tomorrow, we pick up a truck and we’ll make a trip with all the boxes. I will do no more than supervise, I promise. Tom is coming on Sunday, so he and John will move all the furniture then. As long as the only things left by Sunday night fit in the car, we’ll be in good shape, but I have no doubt that we’ll have EVERYthing moved. Then we’ll just have to do a quick clean of the townhouse, and we’ll be done there.
DONE. Done with the ugly bathroom that never feels clean enough. Done with the super-loud creaky floors and stairs. Done with the nails popping out of the floor downstairs, hurting feet and ripping socks. Done with the windows that look directly into our neighbors’ house. Done with the stuffy, overly warm house that has forced us to flee to Starbucks to work for the last two days. (I’ve been super-productive, though, so maybe working in Starbucks isn’t a terrible thing.) We left one of the box fans at the new house, so the first level hasn’t had any way to move air for a week or so, and last night we were eating dinner and watching TV and I was SO HOT. I was dripping sweat doing absolutely nothing. John was not as uncomfortable as I was (and he’s usually more sensitive to the heat), so I can only assume baby Hugo was contributing to my issues. It was not fun. Also, my feet are swollen by the end of every day, and I HATE it. That is NOT what my feet are supposed to look like. Or feel like. It kind of gives me the creeps.
Anyway, we’re ready to move.
It wasn’t that long ago that I was rhapsodizing about them, but lately, the LAST thing I want is a hot shower. Our townhouse doesn’t have AC. (Our new house doesn’t either, but it’s much better insulated and it’s pretty shady there.) We have a portable unit we bought in Oregon that vents out the window, and the townhouse had one regular window unit when we moved in. It wasn’t TOO big of a deal last fall because we moved in September and we only had a couple of really hot days before the cooler weather started. Now, though, it’s HOT. We’ve had several days in a row of 90+ degree weather, and the house is pretty much unbearable.
We’re keeping the window unit running in our bedroom 24/7 (can’t wait for that electric bill), and it’s the only room that feels nice to sit in (with, of course, no place to sit other than the bed). We moved the kitchen table and the portable unit into my office, so John and I are working together in the only other air-conditioned room in the house. Fortunately, it’s been a quiet week for meetings so we’re not getting on each other’s nerves. Unfortunately, the portable unit can’t keep up, so we’re still dying.
Today, even though it’s our first sub-90 degree day in a week, it’s still too warm in the house, so we’re camped out at Starbucks.
That is not the point I was going to make when I started writing. My original point was that COLD SHOWERS ARE THE BEST. Truly, that is not something I ever thought I would say. It has become a necessity to take an actual cold shower before bedtime, both to clean off the sweat that’s accumulated all day long and to cool down before sleeping in the only cool room in the house. AND IT FEELS SO GOOD. It’s so hot in the rest of the house, bathroom included, that I find myself lingering under cold freakin’ water. Maybe this is related to the pregnancy thing, too, but except for one incident, John has been as hot and uncomfortable as I’ve been. We were watching TV, relatively cool, and all of a sudden I was like, “John, I need you to point the fan directly at me, I am so hot I can’t stand it please hurry up”.
Not to worry – I can find something to complain about in the only cool room in the house, too. The window unit can only go in the window at the foot of the bed (lack of outlets and appropriate extension cords), and the air (which cannot be directed) blows directly on the pillows in the middle of the bed. When I’m sleeping on my left side, like I am supposed to do, facing the middle of the bed, it blows directly on my face. Consequence? I wake up every morning congested with a drippy throat.
When will life be perfect, huh?
Yesterday was a cranky day. It was dark and rainy all day (we had thunder and lightning, which was cool, but not enough), I didn’t sleep well the night before, I had a headache, I was congested, I was achy, my left arm hurt a LOT from a vaccine, people at work were difficult, I was uncomfortable, and I just felt weird, and I couldn’t shake it ALL DAY LONG.
Today is much better, in every way. I slept okay, my back doesn’t hurt, my head doesn’t hurt, the sun is shining, and sure, my left arm still hurts a bit, but it’s better. It’s too early to tell if work people are going to be difficult again, but if that’s the only thing I have to deal with, I can manage.
Also, we’re going to Boston tonight to see Frank Turner, and the show is EARLY, as in supposed-to-be-over-by-9:30 early, and I know this makes me old, but I am so happy it won’t be a late night.
Dad says he likes to get my pregnancy-related updates, so here are the three latest:
- It is no longer comfortable for me to bend at the waist to pick things up off the floor. I have to bend at the knees, or get all the way down, or hold on to something, and it’s…awkward.
- Summer finally arrived, so the combination of swelling because of the heat plus whatever swelling happens during pregnancy means that I can’t wear my rings anymore. They live on a chain now.
- Hm. I thought there was a third thing, but I can’t think of it right now and I swear to god I’m not trying to be funny about pregnancy brain.
John doesn’t remember, either, but maybe I didn’t say it out loud?
Ways that I am stressed, in no particular order:
- We’re trying to find our forever home, extra stress (get it?) on the forever. We’re tired of moving, and we’re ready to settle here and never move again, but only if we find the right house. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but if it’s not already perfect (or very close), it needs to be cheap enough to be made perfect. And I REALLY want to do it in the next month, ESPECIALLY now that our landlord is being difficult. Next bullet.
- It’s time to leave this townhouse. Our lease is up August 31st. The landlord will let us extend, but every time we talk, he adds another month to the notice we have to give, which adds another month to the length of time we’d have to carry mortgage AND rent. We were about to agree to 90 days’ notice, but then he said it’s actually 90 days plus to the end of whatever month that is. So if we gave notice on Monday, June 4th, we’d owe rent through 9/30. THAT’S NOT 90 DAYS. So we’re super irritated and about to pull the plug. If we give notice now, like today or tomorrow, we can probably still get out August 31st, but talk about adding pressure. I’m due in the second half of September. If we do this, and we’re probably going to do this, we have to find our house in the next two to three weeks and then hope everything goes smoothly with the inspection and closing.
- Work is crazy busy right now and I’m trying to figure out the best way to handle it post-maternity leave because I’m not quitting my job and we’re not putting our infant in daycare. I probably won’t work full-time, but I haven’t had that conversation with work yet, so that’ll be interesting and isn’t at all stressful, nope.
- I am PREGNANT. I’m not sleeping well, I don’t look like myself (I’m still surprised every time I look in the mirror), and holy crap I’m about to have a baby I didn’t think I was going to have. I’m juggling pre-natal appointments with extra thyroid appointments (because oh, yeah, I’ve had a messed up thyroid for over 10 years, and pregnancy is known to mess up thyroids, so I have to have additional blood tests and more visits with an endocrinologist) and trying to see houses whenever possible, but don’t forget I still have to work full-time for now. And I also have to eat right and exercise regularly and make sure I gain some weight but not too much weight. And I’m TIRED.
- I’m in a book funk. I quit my last book, read a pretty good novella, and then started a really long book that’s okay enough that I’ll keep reading it, but I don’t love it. That’s hardly a big thing, but it’s a small nagging thing, and you know what I don’t need right now? Exactly. The baby will fit that description soon enough, so how about we just avoid all small nagging things until then? (That sounds negative – I don’t mean to imply I won’t LOVE that particular small nagging thing.)
Now pardon me while I go sit on the floor and cry. Some more.
- Right. I cry. A LOT. Over both stupid things and not-stupid things. Example of a stupid thing? I cried at the end of the pilot episode of Hart of Dixie last night. Guys, that is not a good show. It’s not terrible, but it’s not good. I cried anyway. AND THEN I WATCHED THE SECOND EPISODE. My judgment cannot be trusted.
We switched practices recently, and even after just one visit with a doctor (met with a nurse last week to get some initial stuff out of the way), I am SO MUCH HAPPIER. The nurse and the doctor both introduced themselves immediately, something not a SINGLE person in the previous practice did. It’s such a small thing (and that is certainly not the whole reason we left the other practice), but it’s so nice. I’ve seen that at other doctors’ offices, too – why do so many medical professionals skip the introduction? Am I supposed to just assume you’re the doctor or the nurse I made an appointment with? The nurse at the first practice never got my name right, either, so I was never entirely sure I was in the right place.
This practice is in a new building, and it’s nice, and it’s pretty, and everyone we’ve met has been nice and helpful and cheerful and WHAT A RELIEF!
Emily, Sean, and Graham visited this past weekend, and we spent most of two days driving past potential houses and exploring potential neighborhoods (and also eating our weight in seafood and ice cream and pie, which CERTAINLY showed when the doctor made me get on the scale today). They swore up and down that they were happy house-hunting with us, but I’m willing to bet there was some regret about spending so much of the weekend in the car when they hit the road for the long trip home Sunday afternoon. Let’s drive ALL the hours!
Graham is adorable and funny and I’m SO not ready for a toddler. It’s a good thing that happens gradually. I spent part of my morning trying to imagine the baby that’s going to fit into the super-cute onesies Emily and Sean bought us in Newport – our first baby things! It’s the first time I’ve tried to picture this baby as a real baby, and I’m failing miserably. I’m basically coming up with stock baby photos that don’t look anything like us. I realize I could probably look at my baby pictures and John’s and get close, but that’s no fun.
Am I showing? No. I mean, it kind of depends on the time of day, but I think that’s food. First thing in the morning is what I’m counting on to tell me the truth, and first thing in the morning, I’m still basically flat. The second I start eating (or even drinking just water), I start to look a little pregnant, and by the time I go to bed at night, I feel….not so svelte. That pattern has been going on for about a month, so I’m pretty sure that doesn’t count. It’s just food.
However. My clothes are a little tight and anything that doesn’t stretch is now hiding at the bottom of the drawer, so I figured it was time to order a few basic pieces of maternity wear AND THEY ARRIVED YAY!
How did no one tell me how comfortable maternity jeans are? I got the ones that have the stretchy front panel (as opposed to side only), and I don’t know why anyone would ever wear normal zip front pants EVER.
Once it gets warmer, I’ll need shorts like this, and I haven’t ordered any t-shirts or anything because spring is never going to get here and all my sweaters and hoodies have plenty of room in them, room I don’t really need yet.
I am a little tired of this in-between state, though. When I go to the gym (I can’t wear my skinny workout clothes, but I can still wear my mid-size workout clothes), I just look overweight, not pregnant. And, you know, I don’t CARE what anyone at the gym thinks of me. Everyone goes to the gym to get in shape or stay in shape – no judgment. But still, I care what I look like, and I definitely don’t look pregnant yet.
I WANT TO LOOK PREGNANT. I think? Yes?
In the meantime, for real, these jeans are GREAT. I’ve been hanging out in pajama pants for a couple of months now because all real pants are uncomfortable. It’s nice to be comfortable in clothes I can actually wear outside.