birth, donor sperm, family, fertility, gratitude, homebirth, IUI, IVF, parenthood, pregnancy, single mom by choice, SMC, trying to conceive

once around the sun

I’m increasingly nostalgic as E’s birthday approaches. Today, May 4, was my due date. I watched it come and go and then spent another two weeks living in the surreal state of waiting and getting huger.

At this time of year, the sun travels more directly overhead. It rises in the morning, centered above the neighboring rooftop and shining straight onto my bed, where I lay like a whale last year. It sets in the evening, slanting through the kitchen window to the living room, where I sat on the couch and ordered omelets from my dad. Every day we waited, every day no sign. It was a happy time, yet, like so many things, not what I expected.

Now the sun rises, centered above the neighboring rooftop, and there’s a little person laying next to me going, “Gaba gaba gaba.” The sun sets, and he’s standing below me, raising his hands to be picked up, an expression on his face that says, “PICK ME UP” as emphatically as possible without words.

Tonight he correctly did two signs in context: he requested to nurse when he was feeling a bit distressed (I actually had him on my lap while I was peeing in an effort to avoid a big protest–he missed his afternoon nap today) and then during dinner he requested more blueberries. And when I suggest he find his blue car, he finds his blue car. When he wants to communicate in the affirmative, he says, “Yah.” When it’s negative, as demonstrated tonight when I offered tofu, bok choy, quinoa, and strawberries, he shakes his head vigorously. More blueberries.

One whole trip around the sun.

I decided to go see Dr. Tran. I know this seems out of the blue, but it’s not. I’ve been shy about telling you. There’s something about having a baby that made me immediately thing about #2, pretty much on a daily basis. Will this be the first and last time I experience all of these milestones? Will everyone think I’m completely off-my-rocker bananas for considering this much less going ahead with it? What if I never gave those frozen embryos, full siblings to E, a shot?

Let me first say that I’m 1000% sure that I want to try. And I hope that where there’s a will there’s a way. But there are a few hurdles to overcome here, namely the financials. And getting pregnant again. Which, let me remind you, dear readers, was not so easy the first time around.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves–I decided to go talk to Dr. Tran because when E was born I “gave myself a year” before thinking seriously about it. But what I most needed to find out was–with frozen embryos, is there any rush?

I met up with Dr. T. last Thursday in the shiny, sparkling brand-new Marc Benioff-funded facilities of UCSF that just opened in Mission Bay. I hadn’t seen Dr. T. in almost two years. It was like old times. As always, he looked handsome in scrubs.

I remember distinctly his last comment to me at my last appointment at 9 or 10 weeks pregnant: “You have embryos, you’ll be back.” It’s been ringing in my head ever since.

Upon greeting me in his office, he said, “Well, I didn’t think you’d be back THIS soon!” And I explained, bashfully, that this was purely informational, I wasn’t in any hurry. Just needed the information from him rather than trusting the internet or anecdotes from friends.

Essentially, he said that there’s no rush on the frozen embies. My relative chances will be the same next year, or the following year, or the year after that. Which felt like a relief… I realized that the decision was starting to weigh on me, as I paid a hefty annual storage fee for the embies plus five vials of sperm. And now I feel like I can give myself another year or more and just enjoy and really not worry about it either way.

I got choked up when I thanked him… He’s the closest thing to a babydaddy that I have–in so many words, I said thanks so much for knocking me up and helping bring this beautiful boy. It’s been a thrill and a joy! (Now take me out for dinner already!)

Beyond the FET (frozen embryo transfer) of my two remaining, PGS-tested embies (one good, one not-so-good quality), an IUI or IVF attempt would have low success rates at my fast-accelerating decline in fertility. So, I think I’m letting that go.

Dr. T asked why I would want another baby. Which is an intriguing question, and was the first time around as well. He asked if it’s just been so wonderful in all respects that I can’t wait to do it again? I think it’s not exactly that; even if it kind of is that. It’s sort of about going through it again and it’s about a sibling for E and becoming more of a clan than a pair. But, in a way, it’s not really those things… Like the first time, it’s just an intangible desire. I think everyone who chooses to become a parent knows what I’m talking about.

He kept encouraging me to enjoy my “sure thing” which is a totally Reproductive Endocrinologist way of saying that I already have a baby–a 100% guaranteed baby on the right side of all the odds. I’m still pinching myself that he arrived one year ago plus 15 days.

I just re-watched the birth video the other night with, as always, complete awe. My vagina blows up into the size and shape of a standard balloon as E’s head makes it’s way down the canal, and then they start yelling, “K, reach down and get your baby!” and someone is yelling, “Baby! Baby! Baby! Baby!” and there is chaos and the camera view flips around and then he’s there on my chest and I’m exclaiming, “Oh my god oh my god oh my god [hyperventilating]…”

In two weeks, we’ll celebrate his birthday in the park with the community who supports us every day and I will only moderately stress about the number of cupcakes and the placement of the balloons–my boy is turning ONE! It’s too awesome in the breathtaking sense. He is the one I love the most on the planet.

Even though I love you guys A LOT.

xoxo

11 point 5 months

I

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family, gratitude, homebirth, meditation, outdoors, parenthood, single mom by choice, SMC

a slight delay

So when I got up this morning I had two voicemails from UCSF letting me know that they needed to postpone my arrival because all the laboring rooms were full and I should call back at noon.

That felt great–I requested an omelet and sausages from my dad, drank a Recharge, did an hour or so of pumping (just in case), and went back to bed for a couple of hours.

When I called at noon, they told me to come in at 8pm tonight. Whoa!

So now we have the whole day, which honestly feels like another gift. It felt jarring to go from trying trying trying to get labor started yesterday to packing for the hospital. Now I’m catching up with myself. And, given that today is my last day for a legal midwife-attended homebirth (in CA it cuts off at 42 weeks, which is tomorrow), it’s nice that I won’t have to wonder what might have happened if I had just waited. The birth tub still stands at the ready in case something crazy happens.

This timing means that maybe we can get a decent night of sleep during the first phase. My mom will stay on the pull-out couch, and my doula and midwife will join whenever I need them, probably tomorrow morning.

This moving starting line is quite the mental trip! When I think about the road that got me here it just seems so surreal that the culmination of the whole experience, my baby’s birth day, just keeps getting pushed out–he is now bordering on the cusp of Taurus and I never considered that his birthday could or would be as late as 5/18 or even 19! Or that my parents would be here 2.5 weeks before his arrival, or that my blog would receive its all-time highest number of hits, or that he would not already be a weeks-old baby upsetting the quiet of my apartment by now. He seems perfectly happy in there although sometimes it feels like he’s rapping on my belly saying, “Hey, help me out!”

Today, we will eat, walk, do yoga, meditate, consider any last items to pick up. Have a nice dinner and enjoy the breezy, cool fresh air.

And then it will be time to have a baby, right universe? 🙂 (Meanwhile, OK to pause on lighting those candles!)

I forgot to tell you this yesterday: I’ve been pulling Goddess cards each night for both me and the baby. Two nights ago, I pulled the following cards, which are now added to the birth shrine:

For me: Aine–Leap of Faith. “Take a risk, and put your heart’s true desire into action!” Message from Aine: “Procrastinating about your dreams won’t make them go away. Neither will it make them happen. Indecision is the death of the soul’s burning passion to improve, grow, and learn. Don’t worry about making a wrong decision. Instead, worry about making no decision at all! Then take time to pray, meditate, investigate, research, go on nature walks…and make your decision. Once made, the universal energies will immediately support your decision, and doors will successively open as if by magic. The magic, you see, is that you’ve set your mind to accomplish something. And this intention is what sets you on your magical journey. Trust that the universe will support you in all ways. Trust that your intention is clear and right for you. And then take a leap of faith and jump fully and squarelyinto the midst of putting your dreams into action. Don’t hesitate or delay a moment longer!”

For the baby: Cordelia–Go Outside. “You have been indoors too long. Go outside and get some fresh air.” Message from Cordelia: “Being cooped up is not the natural way for inhabitants of this exciting planet to live. Believe me, there’s plenty to see and experience when you exit your four walls and roof. A daily venture outside will not only revive your spirit and soul, it will give you hope and faith in this planet’s very existence and future. You’ll see all of the goodness that’s in store within nature: the flowers ready to unfurl, the leaves that are sprouting, the birds that hop about, and even the wind that affectionately caresses you. Don’t let another day go by without stepping outdoors into this most entertaining and exciting of environments!”

All is as it should be. xo

family, gratitude, homebirth, meditation, Mother's Day, outdoors, pregnancy, single mom by choice, SMC

Happy Mother’s Day!

We started the day at UCSF for our first non-stress test to check on how the babe is doing. It was a little surreal to be in the Labor and Delivery unit of the hospital after all the expectation that I’ll be doing this at home–felt very busy like an episode of Grey’s Anatomy. Everyone was very nice. Every single nurse and doctor I saw was a woman. They put me in such a tiny room that my parents had to wait in a (tiny) waiting room and it was really hot and I thought for a moment I might be too claustrophobic to stay in there. They strapped on the big belts and I heard the baby’s heartbeat for 20 minutes, as well as big static when he was moving, which was often. They came back and said his heartbeat was ‘perfect.’ Measured the amniotic fluid and it was a 9 (they want higher than 6). The doctor said his head is “massively down.” So, everything checked out and we were sent home. It felt great to get a good report. I have another appointment on Wednesday.

In the afternoon, we took a nice urban hike in the warm sun with a cool wind. We got a picnic’s worth of food at Bi-Rite and headed up to Alamo Square to lay around and eat and people watch. It was so relaxing and lovely. I am so BIG. The cashier at Bi-Rite said it looks like I’m “about to explode.” It’s nearly impossible to put on my shoes and makes me out of breath. When it was time to go home, I almost pulled down my dad who was trying to help me get up off the ground!

I’m sleepy after getting a no-sleep nap this afternoon because the baby was kicking so much. My mom suggested a bath which is such a fantastic idea so that’s where I’m headed.

But, first, I at least wanted to say, in a sleepy and probably inarticulate way, how much I love and appreciate my mom. WOW has she (and my dad) taken the bull by the horns in this baby-prep-mode and embraced the whole process of this waiting period. I am so lucky that my parents are here! I basically didn’t even get a card together this Mother’s Day, but I know that more importantly we are spending this exciting time together. Thank you, Mom, for all the nourishing mama cooking, for running and organizing the kitchen, for scrubbing the floors like Cinderella, for being game for any length of walk, for watching episodes of Call the Midwife while I weep over the births. And soon: for being here for my baby’s birth and all the help I’ll need afterward. I am so grateful.

Meanwhile, I must also acknowledge the equally enormous contributions of my dad, who is responsible for installing many fixtures, ordering and assembling needed items, getting the washer and dryer up the stairs and functioning, all kinds of chauffeuring and parking, omelets, Waldorf salads, expertly filling and emptying the birth tub, and more. Thank you, Dad!

Finally, without trying to be comprehensive because I’m excited to take a bath and then probably go to sleep, I am sending love and gratitude to all the mamas in my life–the SMCs, the homebirthers, those pregnant and trying to get pregnant, the dog-mamas and cat-mamas, the aunties, and those who just plain love and nurture their loved ones in a way that makes the world go round. Actually, I think that is comprehensive. I wish for all of this wonderful nurturing energy to be acknowledged and appreciated today. Love to you all.

I’ll go out with my 41 week belly shot and I know enough not to jinx it by saying it’s the last one. (Check out my amazing shadow.) I’ll be over here meditating and sleeping and buttering this baby up. xo

Image

Buddhism, family, gratitude, homebirth, Mother's Day, parenthood, pregnancy, single mom by choice, SMC

ready

Dear Baby Boy,

We’re ready for your arrival. We’re so excited to meet you! Here’s what being ready looks like on the outside:

20140510-222407.jpg Here are your new clothes, laundered and folded.

20140510-222703.jpg Here’s where you will spend many hours with Mommy, nursing.

20140510-222901.jpg Here’s a little birth shrine with items that will keep me feeling strong and reminded of you.

20140510-223046.jpg This is how Mimi organized the food that will nourish you through me.

20140510-223207.jpg

20140510-223216.jpg This is the new apartment-sized washer and dryer funded by generous benefactors, to keep all your baby clothes clean!

20140510-223348.jpg And the birth tub, which keeps us reminded every day that you’ll be here soon.

I’m ready in my heart, too, to move you through me and into this outside world. I will miss this lovely not-quite-one, not-quite-two symbiosis, but I also feel that you are strong and ready to make your grand entrance. It’s going to be more hospitable for you out here, baby. I’m working with my body through yoga, walking, and resting to offer you safe passage and I believe you also have some mysterious work of your own to do to make it possible. We’re ready! So let’s do it. Mothers Day would be fine, or whatever day this week works for you.

With love and great anticipation,
Mom

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

due date

May the Fourth be with you!

I’ve had this date in my mind since the end of August–it seemed so far away!

I woke up feeling agitated and like I needed to finish the entire to-do list once and for all, today–clean, declutter, finish thank yous, test fill the birth tub (I heard several birth stories the day before that all featured some kind of drama around the birth tub and difficulties getting it full in time for the big event). I felt like the panicky feeling was mostly hormonal but probably due-date-related. We decided to walk to Off the Grid in the Presidio for lunch and the fresh semi-foggy air felt so good, really reset my mood. We got fancy food truck food, peoplewatched, looked out at the sailboats on the bay.

My family is so amazing. I can’t even believe how much everyone has already done to help–this is a full-on project and everyone has jobs. My parents have so much energy. This weekend, the pantry got organized, the kitchen counter is finally visible again, the bathroom got scrubbed, a beautiful new light fixture got installed in my bedroom, a new towel rack got installed in the bathroom, a new smoke alarm is up in the hall, the birth tub has been test filled and is in the process of having the water pumped out, meals got prepared and cleaned up, and I got rides here and there. The only thing I did myself was to finish my thank you cards. Big relief.

This weekend, I’ve been able to nap, walk, do yoga, attend a homebirth collective birth stories potluck, attend an SMC monthly meeting. It’s so luxurious after holding together the massive to do lists more or less on my own to this point

We were all sitting around last night talking about the whole journey, and my mom reminded me what I said to her when I called to say I was pregnant. “WE DID IT!”

This is truly a village effort and I’m so grateful. Thank you.

I’m tired after participating in a prenatal yoga video shoot today–need to get to bed. But I did want to mark my due date and share today’s belly shot. I’m so glad to have made it to my due date. I know baby boy is ready anytime and we’re ready for him. And, meanwhile, I’m glad for each peaceful day, getting readier and readier.

And smelling the roses along the way.

40 weeks

 

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

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.)  🙂

IMG_0366

 

breech, gratitude, homebirth, IVF, parenthood, pregnancy, single mom by choice, SMC

happy

Please watch this video of NYC people dancing to the song “Happy”–only if you want to feel happy, smile, and maybe (probably) dance. It gets me teary in the same way that the Virgin America safety video gets me teary–so life-affirming, somehow. That’s what it’s all about.

I’ve been feeling happy! Why? BABY FLIPPED! I went to the chiropractor on Wednesday and she said, “This baby is head down!” and Em confirmed it the next day. It was the hugest relief, just huge. I had done a lot of the techniques on my list, and some of them may have worked. Most effective seemed to be the moxa followed by a hot bath with frozen vegetables on the top of my belly. My belly was rippling with his dramatic movements.

But, most of all, it was a lesson in trusting my intuition–and also, crazily enough, his. I put my faith in the idea that this baby knows how he’d like to be born. I gazed at this poster to give him additional inspiration:

headdown

And he totally did his thing. To ensure that he stays in place, I’m still doing the moxa every other day, deep squats, walking, and listening with my new fetalscope to confirm that his heartbeat can be heard best just above my pelvis. Yay, baby, yay, baby!!!

Also, I’m just happy right now. My baby is on his way and I’m already 35 weeks. Two friends on a long road of infertility just let me know they’re pregnant–local SMC friend J and also a blogger friend in England who’s also an SMC (and while you’re on her site, don’t miss her video “Ice, Ice Babies”). Healthy new babies were recently born to longtime friend L and newer friend and prenatal yoga partner and fellow homebirther J–the first of our crew to give birth (I have yet to hear the story!!). I got about halfway through my thank you cards (phew). I ordered some stuff I needed online (including an overdue giant body pillow), picked up my laundry, cleaned the house (ps you don’t realize how much cleaning the house requires bending). Went to a dinner party last night with 3 pregnant friends and their husbands, all due within the next 6 weeks. I’m almost done with Book 6 of Harry Potter. Kabuki Springs is going to email me when they get more green sarongs in from Indonesia. I’ve started writing down names. These are good times!

I don’t write about work here but let’s just say that it feels less and less relevant as the approaching birth takes center stage. I’ll leave my projects in good shape, but man it takes a lot of energy to get through a work day. On weeknights I just want mindless viewing (just rewatched Desperately Seeking Susan) and to not do my dishes. I can totally understand taking off 4 weeks before the due date, although I’m definitely not wishing these days to go faster–they are sweet and precious and I need them all to get through the to do list. Maternity leave starts 4/25.

So what’s still on the list, let’s see…I need a space heater. Who told me they could give me one again? Please remind me. Need to put in the little washer and dryer. Need a sarong from Kabuki (I picture myself laboring in a sarong). By 37 weeks, I need the carseat installed, the tub set up and tested out, and…the house decluttered (getting there). I need to do my taxes and do a will. I need to give away a pile of baby stuff I don’t need from the hand-me-down pile. I need to find a pediatrician.

I had a dream that I started going into labor. I experienced a dream contraction which I breathed through with my mom by my side. I woke up and was glad I wasn’t really in labor yet and also kind of laughed at myself for inventing a sensation I can’t possibly imagine. Before I went to study abroad, I had recurring dreams of being in France, walking down cobblestone streets, thinking, “I can’t believe I’m really here!”–and I wasn’t. I had not yet been to France and my brain was cutely trying to invent what it might be like. I can sense it beginning to do that now.

Although I don’t have many details yet from J about her new Peanut, she did text me this today, “I feel like I was in a weight lifting competition and I won! Sore, tired, proud! I get emotional just thinking that people I love like you will go through it soon.”

Which of course gets me emotional too… She came with me to birth class as my partner two nights before giving birth!

Here’s my selfie for this week. I read today that the baby won’t get much longer at this point but will continue to fatten up by about half a pound a week, so there will be more growing to do. According to strangers with no internal editors, I have achieved “about to pop” status–with 5 weeks to go.

Have a great week, friends! xo

35weeks