acupuncture, family, gratitude, homebirth, parenthood, pregnancy, single mom by choice, SMC

on leave

I finished up work–sent out my ‘bye for now’ email to my team and set my out of office reply at 11:30pm on Friday night, my last work day before maternity leave. I finished everything on my to do list and cleaned out my inbox completely. I changed the settings on my phone so I won’t get notifications of new emails. It’s an amazing feeling to put work aside for more than two weeks, something I’ve maybe never done since I started working.

I’m decompressing now. I’m so exhausted, like all the years of working just caught up with me and now I don’t have to keep up appearances anymore and I can just be super-preggers and slow and tired. Today I walked 3 blocks to the bookstore and was staggering with round ligament pain on the way back. Hopefully one of my belly belts will help with this so I can keep walking but man those ligaments are struggling to hold up the weight. I kind of want a little cart to wheel in front of me.

It hasn’t completely sunk in yet that I’m done working, to be honest. It still feels impossible and surreal that they will send me paychecks as I adapt to my new job of motherhood. I think it will begin to feel real tomorrow morning, which is Monday. My brain is already letting the details of my projects go…

Crossing work off the to do list is huge and allows me to fully focus on taking care of myself and putting the finishing touches on preparations. And did I mention rest? My schedule this week: midwife, catch up with dear C, massage, therapist, acupuncture, haircut, pedicure. Parents arrive Wednesday to take up residence in the guest room!

Right now, babes is flicking at my pubic bone and sticking out his booty, awaiting his big day.

Last night, I had to get up twice to eat and then was ravenous again in the morning, which has contributed to my tired state. Which is why I think I should wrap this sleepy post and put my prego ass in bed with the giant magical pregnancy pillow (which I am calling Nagini. Did I mention I finished the Harry Potter series?i). I’m reading the Sears book about vaccines, which is 7 years old but interesting and accessible. I’ll get the updates online. I’m definitely vaccinating, just good to read a voice of reason and understand the details of it when there’s so much ignorance out there fueling the controversy.

So, anyway, I’m feeling fine and happy and sleepy. Enjoying these last sweet, peaceful days of my old life. (My apartment is so noticeably quiet.)

Today’s burgeoning belly @ 39 weeks!

39wks

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family, homebirth, outdoors, parenthood, pregnancy, single mom by choice, SMC

in the window

It was a great weekend–birth tub is set up and is vaguely heart-shaped due to a missing clip. I took 2-hour naps each day, did yoga, got outside for a walk. The drum kit has been moved out of my apartment. My sister and I did a prego photo shoot that turned out really well. And I just did a big grocery shop to prepare to feed the birth team: snacks and a big pot of chili so far. For me, I also got a palette of coconut water and a bunch of Recharges. Also herbs for post-partum and lactation tea.

I spent Saturday evening and much of Sunday morning working on the baby’s name. Now I’ll embark on one of my favorite conversation topics recently: talking about names in general without mentioning specifics! I’m not sharing the names because I don’t want opinions yet and feel like it’s a special luxury to be able to do this completely by myself. It’s also a big job, a super-important job, and not as straightforward as back in the day when you had like ten acceptable names to choose from. (Eventually I’ll run the finalists by someone in order to prevent any snafus like Justin Case or Ann Job.)

I was just reading a blog post on “Baby Name Wizard” called “Why Your Baby Name Choice is Making You Miserable.” Basically–too many options. These days, anything goes–any made-up name or crazy spelling seems to be fair game. And that amount of choice creates paralysis and, sometimes, remorse.

I’ve been working on the name for months in my mind, and this weekend I finally created a spreadsheet. There are so many good, solid names that I have to rule out due to their association with ex-boyfriends–a hazard of having a baby at 40. I’ve decided on a first name, which has been the front runner for a long time. So, with a first and last name, it should be simple to pick a middle, right?  But while I have one middle name that I love, it has no family connection and I’m looking at adding a second middle name (because, why not? I polled my friends who have two middle names or have given their kids two middle names, and they seem to love it), but now I’ve spent enough time on the analysis that I’m getting overly hung up on trying to summarize our entire family heritage and pull together the perfect meaning–it’s like writing a poem and trying to explain absolutely everything in four words.

So, I’m going to let it simmer and evolve again for a bit. How’s that for a discussion of names without divulging any particulars? By the time you hear it, it will be as perfect as it gets.

Em came over on Friday for my home visit. I always think this must start to feel old hat to her after 1100 births, but no–she was super excited for me. We’re here, we’re in the window: 37-42 weeks. After all the work and preparation I’ve done, the baby could now easily come at any time. When she checked me, though, he hadn’t dropped yet, so we probably have some time. Even once he drops it can be weeks… there’s just no way to know.

He’ll come when he’s ready, or whenever my body mysteriously triggers labor–no one knows why it happens when it does (and if they did, they would make a lot of money). So, I proceed with my last work week (going in every other day), aware that it could be anytime and it will likely be another 2-3 weeks (and could even be 4). And please note! I will not be liveblogging the birth! But I’m sure I’ll get an announcement posted before too too long. (Who knows how long though? Hard to imagine life on the other side.)

On a walk in the Presidio yesterday with my sister Aunt B, she snapped this photo. Babies and flowers in bloom! xo

38 weeks

 

 

 

 

gratitude, homebirth, pregnancy, single mom by choice, SMC

ready-ish-er

Me sitting on a yoga ball at 37 weeks with a not-yet-assembled birth tub in the background, and, if you look really closely at what’s on the piano, a tiny pair of newborn cowboy boots:

37 weeks

You guys, I have to go to bed. I have had a mad burst of productivity in the last 24 hours, including doing my taxes last night until midnight and assembling the last of the supplies for the home birth (including buying and laundering birth sheets (clearance) and after-birth sheets (800 thread count with Target gift cards)). My midwife comes by tomorrow afternoon for a home visit to check out my level of preparation and I believe I will get a gold star.

I just took a video of my belly because the baby is exploring the limits of his current home and it’s pretty entertaining. He’s been working out for about an hour and it’s a bellyquake. I wish I could get that video on here. Hold on, let me try something…

There, I think I did it, hopefully. I’m running out of steam! Yes–my belly looks like the surface of the moon. Immense. But it’s mostly the angle 🙂

Feels good to be ready-ish. More to do, sure, but it’s things like–buy Recharge and coconut water and snacks. Write last thank you notes. Do comprehensive name search (I guess I won’t feel technically done with that until I have a spreadsheet). Nap, do yoga, walk, meditate, take fetal love breaks. Take daily prenatal, fish oil, probiotics, iron, black currant oil, and Mother’s Blend. Eat protein and fat. Declutter. It’s doable.

I’m going to the office every other day to conserve energy. Tomorrow working from home. Starting to compile the status reports to hand off my projects–I’m done at the end of next week!

Not wishing it to go faster. I might be singing a different tune in 4 weeks or so, but this is time is pretty incredible.

And as long as he’s happy doing a jig in there, we’ll just keep doing what we’re doing.

good night! xo

 

 

family, gratitude, homebirth, parenthood, pregnancy, single mom by choice, SMC

prep and presence

I just got a Happy Anniversary message from WordPress and it took me a second to realize that this blog is two years old yesterday! Imagine that. Two years ago was my first attempt to get pregnant, and now I’m weeks from welcoming the bambino. I wish you could see my belly dramatically wiggling in front of the keyboard right now as he does his training regimen for life on the outside.

I went back and read the inaugural post and a few of the early ones… My friend L told me last night, “I’m so happy you took the bull by the horns.” Seriously.

I’ve rounded the corner into the final weeks of pregnancy and I feel it. I got up to pee in the night and it seemed like my belly was even bigger than it was when I went to bed. A man begging for money on the street this morning wished me a smooth delivery and added, “It doesn’t look like you have much time…” And that’s one of the wildest things about this–you don’t know if you have 6 weeks left or a matter of days. How to plan?

Well, if he came tonight, which he won’t, it would be a total chaos but I can live with that because it’s not going to happen since he’ll most likely be late. It would also have to be in the hospital since I’m only 36 weeks. There’s no hospital bag, no family on call. It would be a wild and improvised event and would probably go fine. But he’ll be late so I’m not worrying about this.

Starting this Sunday I’ll be 37 weeks, and that’s the first day a home birth is possible. Which means that I need the tub set up, all the supplies ready, and many laundered hats, towels, and receiving blankets. I need the car seat installed by then. And I need to file an extension on my taxes. And do a photo shoot of my prego bod thanks to my sister and her fancy camera. So there’s a bit to do before Sunday.

Tomorrow I’ll verify his position on an ultrasound, Thursday I’ll drop off my Group B Strep sample (pray for negative) and visit the chiropractor (the numbness on my left thigh has turned to sunburn-like pain), and Friday AAA will install the carseat.

So many lists of things to do when all they need on Call the Midwife is a clean sheet, a few towels, and a basin! So many labor techniques from hypnobirthing to Bradley Method to Birthing From Within to mindfulness–CDs, podcasts, books… I crave simplicity and putting faith in my intuition, gauging the right amount of prep that leaves me calm and not overwhelmed. Ready-ish is the goal. My friend J who gave birth two weeks ago said, “K, you will just know what to do.” Inchallah. It is my deep wish.

These last days are precious, not just for planning, but to appreciate my freedom. To sleep at long stretches, to laze around, to do whatever I want at all moments. To waddle around downtown with people’s eyes covertly on my disproportional belly. Today looked so much like the day I sat in Justin Herman Plaza last August and listened to Olga’s voicemail triumphantly announcing my pregnancy test results–“I have great, great, great news!” And now that tiny cluster of cells is a rumbling 6-pound baby with only one thing left on his to-do list in utero: to fatten up.

On Sunday, I skyped with my sister B and our nieces–here they are checking out the belly. (After this, they showed me their bellies, obv.)  🙂

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