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Yes, home now, and happy to be here. Apparently the terbutaline ( a smooth muscle relaxer) worked instantaneously and knocked out all my contractions within five minutes. They're edging back now, but I'm told that since my cervix is still closed on the interior (only the exterior dilated) that I'm not to worry unless there is a very significant change in intensity. And I'll likely be checking in with my midwife weekly now.

It was honestly scarier at home than it was going to the hospital. With all my anxiety issues, sometimes it's hard for me to tell when to worry and when not to. But as soon as I got on the monitor and was able to actually see evidence of the contractions, I knew I was right to be concerned and had done the right thing, which was actually quite a relief. Does that make any sense?

Zelda, I would not feel guilty for one second about getting help with the household stuff. Any time you have should be spent bonding with little Elliot (or sleeping, heh heh), not worrying about the state of the bathtub. You have a monumental job ahead of you that's much more important than housekeeping.

I'm sure I'll be back later . . . . . I'm going to be one bored bustie this week . . . . Hope all are well . . . .
Aphelendra, thanks for the reassurance on the cleaning lady...

And YES, I know exactly what you mean about the anxiety issues and when you should or should not worry. I'm always so worried (heh heh) that I will be perceived as the boy (girl?) who cried wolf, and I try so hard not to let my worries get the best of me that I, too, question whether or not I should call, make a fuss, go in to the doc, etc.

My doctor actually told me I was "low-maintenance" which made me feel like I'm not as neurotic as I think I am sometimes. ;-) She also told me to call ANYTIME. That's her job.

Like someone said to me once...if OBs didn't want to deal with nervous pregnant ladies, they would have become dermatologists!

Glad you're home, and I'm so sorry you'll be bored! A gal can only take so much Law & Order, right? HANG IN THERE!
Ooooh.....pelvic pressure. This baby is pushing down on my cervix!!! Oof! Forget these so called "painless" Braxton Hicks...these are straight up uncomfortable! But also exciting. :-)

I wonder if I will be dilated or effaced at all when I go in on Thursday at 38 weeks...can't wait to find out!
Hi everyone,

I've been insanely busy (from childless to blurry-eyed-but-thrilled mom in 10 days!) but I have been checking in on everyone via this board. Finnley is sleeping now, so I've got a few seconds to actually comment and update.

Zelda, I CANNOT believe that you're at 38 weeks. Does it feel like time has flown for you? You'll be meeting your little one so soooooooon! So exciting!

Aphelendra, I'm so glad you're home and doing ok. That must have been such a scare. How many weeks are you at now? You don't have that much longer to wait either, do you? So exciting! And setting up the crib and the diapers ... I can't believe it was only three weeks ago that we were doing the same thing (in a complete mad panic, of course).

Everyone else ... how are things? How far along is everyone? Have you bought your first baby-anything yet?

We are settling into our instant-family life very well. Slowly figuring out sleeping, and eating in shifts. Finnley is stunning, smart, and sooooo funny. His goofy little smile kills me! He was having some digestive difficulties, which seem to be on track now (he's been with us for 10 days now) after changing him to a formula recommended by our naturopath about eight days ago. He had had intense pain when farting smile.gif before the change and about an hour or so of pain-related fussiness in the evenings. The naturopath also has us adding some DHA (via organic flax seed oil) to his formula to help "lubricate his insides" among other things, and also some probiotic powder to help his digestive system mature. Oh, she's also having us add vitamin d drops to it. all stuff we never would have known about without her. i'm amazed at all the stuff we've learned in 10 days.

Our house is almost unrecognizable for all the baby stuff everywhere. Our friends have been incredibly helpful and generous with baby clothes and gifts. Got a few great things on Kijiji (awesome playmat, for one) that we're finding to be really useful. My boss gave us this really good vibrating chair thing that later transforms into a rocking chair. I think it's by fisher price, and of every non-essential we've been given, this is the MOST ESSENTIAL and we're not even really using the vibrate feature that much. He just seems to really like the position he's laying/seated-ish. We cart it all over the house.

The most suprising thing ... I never KNEW babies made so many deranged/hilarious noises. The first few days we were convinced we needed an exorcist ... I swear I would not have been surprised if his head had spun a full 360 with the noises he was making. Our friends assure us this is completely normal (and it is FASCINATING entertainment).

We have been cocooning iwth him for two weeks to assist in bonding (for him and for us!) and this weekend is his big reveal to Mr. F's family. THey'll finally get to hold him. Next week end we'll take a road trip to introduce him to part of my family, including my 95 year old grams.

We took Finn for his two-month shots last week, and he was great. Slept a little more for two days after, but overall it was more traumatic for us than for him smile.gif OK this is getting long. Thinking about you all lots.

Finnley! our good friends have a baby named Finley (one n, and she's a beautiful girl celebrating her 1st birthday soon). sounds like you're all having the best time. i'm glad to hear all is going relatively well. enjoy your visits and keep us updated!

***going off to research a naturopath in my 'hood****

FOOOOOOOOKKKKKIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEE!!!!!!! I was hoping we hadn't heard from you because you were now a bleary eyed new mama wink.gif

What a lucky little boy, to go from foster care to a loving concerned mama who went so far as to consult a naturopath to help with his gas! You sound like you have fallen right into motherhood, despite the mad dash before little Finnley arrived. I hope you really enjoy introducing him to the fam . . . . you deserve to really relish every moment of new mama-ness. And cocooning sounds just lovely . . . . mmmmm baby snuggles . . . .

I'm at 30 weeks as of sunday, so we're still pretty early to be dealing with contractions, but even if she was born tomorrow, she would have a very good chance. Still, we would like her to stay put for at least another eight weeks . . . .

Wishin' you and the new insta-fam the very very best . . . . update us when you find the time!

This is, like, the best post I have ever read on this thread in the almost two years that I have been reading this thread. I was literally grinning ear to ear as I read it. I AM SO HAPPY FOR YOU!!!!!!

Girl, I cannot even put it into words. How you have hoped and dreamed for this moment and here it is, a dream come true. I know I am so hormonal right now, but dude the waterworks are coming.


A friend of ours gave us a vibrating infant chair and we are looking forward to using it.

WOO HOO FOOKIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Aphelendra, so glad you're home safe...hang in there!!

Fookie, your life sounds like a happy dream!! I hope my first experiences are as fun as yours! Congrats again!

Zelda...thinking of you lots and hoping you are doing well in the final countdown!!!

Sorry...I know my posts have been super boring and generic...but life is insanely busy and not because of the pregnancy, more because of job and money stuff and family stuff and just STUFF in general!! Maybe at some point soon I'll have time a pacifier? Find maternity clothes? Yeesh! Can't wait for the school year to be over (don't get jealous, I'm working two jobs this summer but at least won't have the end-of-year middle schooler craziness to contend with!)

Now to tidy up my dirt-encrusted house and wash a mountain of clothes. wheee!

(((((teeny bebeh hugs))))
Luleey, I teach middle school, too, and I know JUST how you feel. Oh well, at least it has taught me how to be more patient...can't hurt as a new mom!
Fookie!!!! Congratulations! I am very, very happy for you. I echo Zelda's comment that this is about the best news I've read on here. Your description of him made me teary. You are all lucky to have each other.
Saw my doc today...38 weeks, cervix hard, firm, and closed! She thinks I will go the full 40. She will induce at 41 weeks if need be.

Also...I lost a pound! I've read this happens sometimes at the end and it's normal and okay...and nice!!!

I love my doctor...she is the sweetest, most relaxed lady ever and always makes me feel so safe.

Hope all is well with all!
Saw my midwife today . . . . interior cervix is still closed, though I am very effaced (cervix only about a centimeter long, eek!). And not only is bugs head down, she is already at the negative two station.

Buuuuuttttt . . . . I am free to have some light activity in the morning! Still no walking, but swimming (though not for as long as before) and light cleaning are okay. I actually can't wait to vacuum . . . . My midwife says she has had plenty of women go full term in my position and to just keep an eye on things, rest more often, fluids, etc. So while I will be couch potatoing it for a good portion of each day, I at least can break it up a little.

Zelda, wanna trade cervixes? I can give you a head start, and you can give me some peace of mind . . . .

Aphelendra, if I could, I would trade cervixes with you in a heartbeat! Why do I have this sneaking feeling like I am going to have to be induced? My mother had to be induced with me (her first)...well, not induced, but...they had to give her Pitocin because her labor just would not progress.

Oh well...what can you way or another the baby is getting here. :-)

I'm glad you have the okay for some light movement. And you are getting so close to the safe zone of 32 weeks +....but like your midwife said, you will probably make it full term. I know you are following her instructions. Just take it easy and all will be well.

Are you working right now?

I'm a teacher and the last day of school is next Friday THANK GOD. I've taken off a day here and there trying to break things up a bit so I can make it till the last day.
So's I almost made it to the pool today . . . . then got walloped by a contraction on my way to the car. Oh poo.

No Zelda, I'm not working right now, thank bejesus or whomever. I help Mr. with paperwork/phone calls and things of that nature but it doesn't require too much time, and can all be accomplished from the couch. And school is done with for the semester, and I won't be taking any summer courses (finals week for summer term starts July 22, due date July 25, didn't seem like a good idea . . . .). So it's just me and the poor neglected doggies, who haven't been on a decent walk in almost a week. They are currently terrorizing the cat, who is swatting at their noses, sadly to no avail. Poor kitty.

I can't believe you're so close! It must be quite a trip to think he could be here any day . . . . I can't even imagine . . . . And good timing with the summer babe, I'm sure that must be every teacher's dream. Are you planning on taking any maternity leave now or at the beginning of next year, or just going to enjoy the summer and head back in the fall?

Quiet board this week . . . . hope everyone is well and not too busy . . . .

Aphelendra, sorry you couldn't make it to the pool! It's getting so hot here, I can't take my walks unless I go way early or way late... :-(

Glad you do not have to deal with work issues. I am really, really looking forward to the school year ending. Teaching is an awesome job and I love it, but it is physically and mentally demanding and very hard when you are 9 months pregnant. Everyone kept telling me to take the last two weeks of the year off, but I really want to save my days.

I plan on going back into the classroom in mid September so I can be home with Elliott for three full months.

I am also switching to 8th grade English which has no state writing exam (unlike the grade I currently teach), so it will be a little less stressful with a new baby.

My sleeping has been really odd...I have no trouble falling asleep, but I've been waking up wide awake around 4 or 5 am. I wake up starving, so I eat, and then I am usually able to go back to bed for another 40 minutes to an hour or so...really weird.

Just a few more weeks at most!!! I really hope I don't have to be induced, but I am trying to take it all in stride.
Zelda, you are lucky you are finished teaching so soon! We are in school til June 9th. I hope everything works to where you don't have to be induced- but either way, how cool that you'll get to meet Baby soon!!

Alephendra, hope you are doing well! I have a feeling everything will end up working out great for you no matter what!

Anyone know any pregnancy safe allergy meds? I am MISERABLE right now! I couldn't sleep well because of drainage down my throat, stuffed nose (which made me breathe thru my mouth, which in turn made my mouth all dry). Ugh. I usually do not take meds for anything but in the Spring, for about 3 weeks, I get really annoying allergies. Any ideas?

Hope everyone else is well!
Kitty, I suffered through mine, but mine aren't so OB says plain Sudafed, Ornex, Coricidin, and Dimetapp are okay for cold/ is Robitussin for a cough.

My OB said I could take Claritin but she didn't tell me this until I was well into my 2nd trimester...not sure what meds are okay in the first trimester (or are you in the 2nd tri already?)
I've lurked in this thread for over a year now and while I don't Bust anymore beyond stopping in here for updates, I've got a question that I'm hoping you can help me with. My husband and I are on the verge of trying to conceive and I'm wondering what pearls of wisdom you new moms or soon-to-be new moms might have for me. What things do you wish you had done or known before?

Thanks, Busties!
Zelda- Well, I did it again. My dr. called back today and said that Clariten or Zyrtec were ok. But then I Googled and found scary things. So now I have Saline spray, a Netti Pot, and Breathe Right Strips. Also a space man looking mask for working outdoors. Hopefully those help! I called off work today because my nose was so stuffed last night I only slept about 2 hours! At least my yearly allergies only last about 3 weeks.

Catsoup- my cycles were a little irregular so what really helped us was the Clear Blue Easy fertility monitor. IT is expensive but worth it if your cycles are a little off. Also, I know this is hypocritical, but DON'T over google anything. Google has the most negative things on just about any topic. Also, patience. It took us 9 months to conceive and I was worried the whole time that we had fertility problems but then one month it just worked for us! Good luck to you smile.gif
Catsoup - because I know how exhausting "trying" can be, I'm almost tempted to say . . . . have unprotected sex often, and see what happens! Maybe try charting/predicting ovulation further down the road if things don't happen quickly? The rule of thumb, I believe, is to have sex every other day between days 10-16 of your cycle if your cycles are average length . . . . don't quote me on that one though.

But I'm sure that for many women, that just sounds maddening as well, so my best advice would be to figure out ovulation, if you can. 'Taking Charge of Your Fertility' seems to be the bible on the subject (affectionately nicknamed TCOYF), but I admit I never read it. Seems I was able to get the same basic info from the Google-monster, though I agree that can be dangerous. Things to research include basal body temp, cervical mucus, cervical position, and lutenizing hormone (which is what those fancy predictor kits detect).

Speaking of those, I never used one, just the standard pee on a stick and puzzle over the results for the next ten minutes variety . . . . my fertility clinic was not a fan of spending lots o' dough on the expensive clear blue digital machiney contraption, but some (hi kitty!) find it very helpful.

Ton of info right? Unfortunately, that's the tip of the iceberg. Which is why I urge you . . . . have fun, have sex, and see what happens . . . .

Catsoup...I second everyone's advice.

A word on lubricant...avoid KY or Astroglide or even saliva as it is not sperm friendly. Preseed is available online, is cheap, and works just as well as any other lube. And it's sperm friendly.

We aimed for doing it on days 12, 14, and 16 or 11, 13, 15 or some variation therein - basically aimed for three times during my fertile period. I used Answer OPK strips...I was blessed with a regular cycle which made counting days easy for me. Do NOT assume you have a 28 day cycle...I found TCOYF (the book Aphelendra talked about) as being very valuable...just general knowledge about women's health.

My biggest piece of advice though is not to tell everyone you are trying. That was my mistake. I was so excited about trying to conceive I told everyone - family, coworkers, friends...pretty soon I felt like a ticking time bomb - everyone staring at me (whether imagined or not) at every party...wondering what it meant if I didn't take a drink. I had one "friend" who constantly asked me, "Are you pregnant yet?" irritating...and since it took us 9 months of trying, it really did hurt toward the end.

So I would keep the "trying" news to yourselves or a few close friends.

Part of me wants to tell you just relax, have fun, and have sex...that didn't work as well for us...we really did have to aim for my fertile times and really "try" to do it a lot during those times - we're a couple that had sex once a week and we were okay with that...we definitely had to up the booty factor when we were trying for I guess part of it depends on what your sex life is like anyway.

Good luck and feel free to ask any questions.

PS Depending on your age...if you are over 35 and haven't conceived after 6 months, you might as well go for a check up and your mister could get a semen analysis - not a big deal...easy to do preliminary tests...
It is finally below eighty five degrees here. OMFG. Pregnancy + summer = sadness, sweatiness, anger.

Catsoup - What I meant to say, before I got very carried away, is welcome. We love a new face around here . . . .
zelda is so hot here, too...that's what I get for living in Texas. Well, that and George W. Bush, but anyway... sad.gif

Saw my doc today for my 39 week check up. No dilation, but I am 50% effaced. Of course this doesn't mean anything could still be days and days away. Found out today I myself was a week late...I asked my mom and she told me. All this time I thought I had been early!

Well...still hanging in. Tomorrow is the last day of school, Friday I have to go turn in my classroom keys...and then the days of riding the couch until Elliott arrives are mine! Woo hoo! :-)
Oh, and she thinks he's about 8 and a half pounds! :-)
Oh, zelda, so excited for you! Beware, though...I figured I would go late (I had tortured my poor mother by arriving nearly 3 weeks late - they don't let you go that long nowadays) and was worried about sitting around with nothing to do during my maternity leave. Cut to my water breaking the morning after I finished work, and Henry arriving later that night. So you never know. Enjoy your pre-baby maternity leave as long as you have it.

catsoup, welcome, and I would echo what a lot of other folks say here about trying to conceive. I'm a fan of Taking Charge of Your Fertility just for the getting to know your body aspect of things. One thing I've mentioned before that I don't like about it is that the tone of the book kind of implies that it's magic (e.g. "I couldn't conceive for months and months until I read this book and started charting, then BAM! I was pregnant!"). Everyone's experience is so different - some people get pregnant right away without exerting much effort, some are on the scheduled sex train for many while knowing your body and your fertility signs is great, it's not a magic bullet. That said, if you chart I recommend doing it on Fertility Friend ( which figures out your ovulation day based on the data you give it...I was never one for making my own charts.

Other advice:
1) as in all things, step away from the Google, as you will drive yourself mad. It's good practice for when you're pregnant and then when you're a new mom.
2) Begin taking a prenatal vitamin (with lots of folic acid) now. That way when you're ready to try, you're in the habit and you've already begun building up your stores of folic acid, which is crucial to early brain development.
3) Some things that have been shown to increase your chances: one serving of full-fat dairy per day (don't know why, but there was a study....), cutting back on caffeine and alcohol (I don't personally recommend giving them up me, you're gonna need that drink), green tea (is supposed to help more fertile-quality cervical fluid), omega-3 fatty acids.
4) This is nearly impossible, but try to avoid paying too much attention to potential pregnancy symptoms once you are trying to conceive. I can't tell you how many months I had convinced myself this was it, only to have my hopes dashed. And the month I did conceive, my symptoms were much less noticable than the "symptoms" I had other months.
5) Keep dropping by here when you can! Everyone has been so supportive and I have learned so much from all the Busties here. That's why I'm still dropping by even though my little guy is already 6 months old now. (Although I have to say, I can't tell you how many people have asked if I'm going to have another baby after they admire Henry. My answer: "Yes, but not right this minute.")
Woo hoo indeed Ms. Zelda! Congrats on making it to 39 weeks preggo and still on the job. Hoping you don't go too far overdue, but also hoping you get some much deserved couch surfing in before little Elliot arrives.

Not much doin' around these parts (other than some nasty nast foot swelling). . . .

Julie, I also found fertility friend to be awesome, I highly recommend.
Julie, so good to hear from you! It would be hilarious if I gave birth on Saturday - right after finishing work. Like little Elliott would be kind enough to wait just long enough for me to finish the school year. ;-)

Did you start dilating a little/at all prior to going into labor? For some reason I'm convinced this must happen before I go into active labor but I know that's not the case at all...and of course there are women who walk around 1 or 2 cm dilated for weeks so clearly it doesn't mean anything. I think I'm psyching myself out when I go to the doc and she says I haven't dilated yet...yesterday when I left her office she told me she has had patients in my state walk out to their cars and their water breaks, so you truly never know!
My first was a week and a half early, aren't first babies supposed to be late? Aries, what can I say? He didn't want to miss his own party so there he was, 5 days old at the shower being passed around by 50 people blink.gif
My daughter was born on her due date, how often does that happen?

I was the first for my mom and late. My gran had mom scrub the floor with a brush on her hands and knees to get things going and sure enough, I came the very next day. Those grannies know their stuff.
My sister was late, really late by today's standards but mom just figured she needed more time in the oven to get fully baked. She was born with a full head of thick black hair and weighed a bit more than us but not an unmanagable amount (she had us all naturally, no drugs, cutting or tearing).
My brother was mom's 3rd, her water broke and she was in labour for 3 days before she felt like it was strong enough to be really happening. When she finally meandered into the hospital she had literally minutes to get into the room to deliver him, she says the nurse kept asking her questions for her forms and mom was like "Lady, I'm PUSHING HERE!" Funny. What isn't funny is that if she'd gone in as soon as her labour started or even on the second day they would have induced her or cut her instead of letting her go for as long as was needed. Labour is a funny thing, we think we understand it but we really don't know much. My best advice is to really, really listen to your body and trust what it's telling you. The baby knows how to get out, really, barring any complications of course but those are rare. They are. Trust yourself, relax relax relax and have faith that it will turn out just perfect.

Oh, one thing. flouride interfers with good placental development so avoid it in water and toothcare products if you are at any sort of risk. You must take very good care of your teeth! But you can do it without flouride if you're conscientious about it.
Pepper, I think only 5% of babies are born on their due dates!

I hope to labor at home for as long as doula will come to my house and be with us before we head to the hospital.

Of course this morning I saw a story on CNN about a woman who delivered while driving to the hospital. Her husband has a seizure disorder and can't drive, so she was driving and out he came! 8 pound healthy baby boy!! ;-)
i hope to hold out to my due date - halloween! fun costume birthday parties! or 11/1. baby would be one on 11/1/11. me and hubby have a thing with ones. our previous street address was 11 and now it's 111. we got a call from our real estate agent that we got this house at 1:11 in the afternoon.

zelda, one more day of work!

aphelendra, i hear ya about the heat. the humidity was killer the last couple of days and i was one cranky momma. and zitty. my other baby bumps...

welcome catsoup! i can offer no advice. luckily we tried for one month. i was supplementing omega-3 (for high triglycerides), as per julie's suggestion. best of luck!
Nick, at least if babe comes early, you might be able to get in on that adorable baby costume scene . . . . Mr. and I have already picked out a scrumptious (and soft and comfy looking) goat costume for the little lady. Baby goat! ha!

Here here on the laboring at home. Pepper, your brother's birth story is a perfect example of why one should wait to go to the hospital . . . . Our birth instructor was very big on that. As long as baby is moving, GBS is negative, and you're not high risk, it was her advice to wait until about 7 cm to get there (or what she referred to as the "primal" point, ha ha).

Meanwhile, over in aphel-land, we are having lots of contractions again. Just got checked late yesterday afternmoon and still no change in the cervix other than the existing dialtion/effacement, so all is well, but I am once again couch-bound until my uterus decides to stop misbehavin'.

Crampy cramp cramp . . . .

And yes, I am watching Bridezillas. And I'm not ashamed to admit it.
zelda, I was all psyched at my 36 week appointment because I was "a tight 1 cm" dilated and 50% effaced. Somewhat less enthused when I got to my 39 week appointment and I was 1 3/4 cm dilated and about 60% effaced. That was what convinced me that they were right when they talked about how being partially dilated before the fun begins isn't really an indicator of when you'll deliver.

Re: quick birth stories, my brother (who was my mom's second child): My mom says she woke up about 5:30 a.m. with "a funny feeling" but not really contractions, so she and my dad decided to go to the hospital. They got to the hospital about 6 a.m., my dad left and dropped me off at the babysitter's, came back and my brother was born by 7 a.m. Back then they did the shaving and the enema and stuff when you deliver and my mom said she thought she was going to have him on the toilet.

aphelendra, as someone who had giant sausage feet for the last month or two of pregnancy (and for the first month or so postpartum, though progressively better), I feel your pain on that front. Sorry to hear about the contractions...hang in there baby A! Sending good vibes your way.

Okay, back to work since Henry has graced us with a nap!
Woah! Made it through the last official day of work. My principal announced my due date at the faculty breakfast and everyone applauded me for making it to the last day. So funny.

I was home by noon and passed out on the couch until 3:30! Now I am doing nothing but riding the couch as I have hardly any energy.

OR...should I be walking? Eating Mexican food? Cleaning the house? I just feel like doing.....absolutely nothing!! Maybe my body is trying to rest up for the big show.

My doula says since my cervix has started to efface a bit she can do a labor induction massage if my due date comes and goes with no action.

Julie, your story made me SO happy they don't shave and enema anymore. Gross!!!!

Aphelendra, so sorry about your contractions, but good to know you haven't started dilating any more than you already have. How far along are you now? Are the contractions very painful? Feel no shame in Bridezillas, my dear. I have Law & Order on a 24-hour IV drip.
Woah! Made it through the last official day of work. My principal announced my due date at the faculty breakfast and everyone applauded me for making it to the last day. So funny.

I was home by noon and passed out on the couch until 3:30! Now I am doing nothing but riding the couch as I have hardly any energy.

OR...should I be walking? Eating Mexican food? Cleaning the house? I just feel like doing.....absolutely nothing!! Maybe my body is trying to rest up for the big show.

My doula says since my cervix has started to efface a bit she can do a labor induction massage if my due date comes and goes with no action.

Julie, your story made me SO happy they don't shave and enema anymore. Gross!!!!

Aphelendra, so sorry about your contractions, but good to know you haven't started dilating any more than you already have. How far along are you now? Are the contractions very painful? Feel no shame in Bridezillas, my dear. I have Law & Order on a 24-hour IV drip.
Woops...sorry for the double post.
Yay zelda! congrats on making it that far with work! I hope I can do the same thing...just stay stong and as active as possible up until the end. Enjoy your couch time to the max.

Aphelendra, do not feel shame for Bridezillas. It is the height of entertainment and hilarity in my world and for goodness' sake do whatever you need to relax! Sorry about cramptown. Fingers crossed for you.

Nick, I almost hope my little one is a little late so he or she can be born on Halloween like yours...that was also our wedding day and my mom had given a speech about us having little trick-or-treaters...that would be too funny! But whenever it decides to come, I will be happy, obviously. It's just fun to think about.

Since my former doctor's office did not give me the option of the nuchal fold test I decided to get the other bloodwork test done as well as the thyroid one...and eveything is normal! smile.gif I am definitely popping out of all my clothes though and need to find some maternity pants stat. Basically I am a size bigger all around too, which does not thrill me, but I think if I keep exercising regularly the rest of me will stay pretty regular. I have this annoying fear that I'll blow up like a balloon and stay that way FOREVER, which is kind of shallow but I can't help enjoying being at a certain size!

Alright, time to take my FIFTIETH pee break of the day. And then drink some more water. Happy Memorial Day weekend and enjoy!
I am the weirdest combination of bored and restless...I am glad I worked until the end because all I've been doing today is analyzing every twinge and cramp... "Is this it??"

I am definitely having some Braxton-Hicks today for sure, but nothing too painful.

Got lots of good food stocked in the house, did some laundry, Mr. Z and I put the car seat in the car, and I made an appointment with my doula for a labor induction massage on June 1. She said the last woman she worked on went into labor a day later after her massage... :-)

Doop doop doop....boooooored....and....excited! And a little scared of the pain...but trying not to focus on that.
Write letters to catch up w people you've been out of touch with. Get out the markers and draw cute little pictures in the margins and on the envelops and highschool crap like that. This will be some of the precious little time you've got left to do something totally frivolous like that. Yoga, warm bath, pluck your eyebrows, make a bottle of salad dressing, burn some music for a friend or for yourself for later on. Do something random and fun!
I'm reading the Artist's Way right now, you might like it if you haven't read it already. It's got some interesting journalling stuff in it, daily pages that help you focus on your real, deep, true feelings underneath all that surface bullshit. Restlessness sometimes = unidentified somethingness.
Or just flake out to TV, what the heck. This is your time, read a good book or something and just bake out mama.

You might be like me and have no real pain. It was more like an incredibly heavy work out than stubbing a toe or bashing a shin kind of pain for me. Like my muscles were screaming at me like when I ride my bike hard but not a hopping around yelling Ow Ow Ow I smashed my finger type thing that you hate every second you're feeling it. It had a purpose, I kept telling myself about how my body was massaging the baby to get those little lungs ready to breathe and how I would do and endure anything to make that babe as healthy and ready as possible. It was interesting, totally managable, and nearly forgotten the moment the baby came. Just remember to breathe and keep your mouth and jaw loose and relaxed. Tight jaw/mouth means tight os so a bit of facial relaxation exercise might be good. And distracting wink.gif . I have a feeling you'll be completely fine, wonderful even.

Oh, one thing. When you really are feeling it and you're thinking to yourself "Oh Maude, this is just too much, I can't take it!" That's right before the baby is going to come out. Trust me, both times this happened to me and my midwife friends tell me it's the same for nearly every woman. My theory is that at the moment of birth when you are opening to let another life through into this world it is very easy for one or both of you to dislodge your spirit and float off into the realm of spirits, there is a yearning for home right then. It's our job to be as rooted into our physical body as possible in that moment, we are the anchor, we are the strength that pulls us both through, the big physical sensations are to hold your awarness tight and undistracted to your body. Embrace it if you can. It's freaking HUGE how massive your energy is at that time, it really is, it's the single most empowering things I've ever felt.
pepper, I totally agree about the labor experience. Of course, both of us can only speak to our own experiences, as everyone experiences pain differently and different labors progress differently, so take all of this with a massive chunk of salt. ;-)

I was worried about the pain too, especially since I haven't had to deal with a lot of physical pain in my life and I wasn't sure how I would react to it. But I really wanted to try to go drug-free, so I really tried to focus on the end result and that helped a lot. In my case the pain build-up was gradual over several hours, from nothing to mild cramps to stronger cramps to holy moly! But by the time I got to holy moly I had a good rhythm going. For me it helped to think about opening and during contractions to think about riding the wave. mr julie had brought all kinds of movies and stuff to watch while we waited but after I got into the stronger contractions I really couldn't focus on watching anything. What was helpful a/v wise was him playing the iPod in the background...I could focus on whatever song was playing during the contraction. Pushing was frustrating at first (but still easier than those last few contractions where I was feeling the urge but not pushing yet) because I had no sense of whether I was making any progress at all. But after I kind of went for broke I started making more progress and it was AMAZING to feel Henry in the birth canal. The crowning part hurt (I knew instantly what they meant about that whole "ring of fire" business) but it didn't last for long and right after that you get a baby, which is just awesome and surreal all at the same time.

Oh, and I was wired for hours afterwards. I was like, shouldn't I be exhausted after pushing for two hours?

My advice in passing the time before Elliot makes his appearance is to sleep, sleep, sleep. Also, if there is some activity you really enjoy doing either alone or as a couple (like seeing a movie in the theater, going out to a nice restaurant, etc) go do it now. It's not that you can't do it with a baby, but the first few weeks are such a blur of joy, fear, and sleep deprivation that you probably *won't* do most of these things for quite awhile. And I personally found that my views on hiring a babysitter changed drastically after the baby was here. (I'm still in favor of doing it once in awhile - Mommy and Daddy need a life too - but I found that I was much pickier on who would watch my kid once he actually arrived and it was no longer a hypothetical.)
Thanks for ALL the advice, pepper and julie. I read every word of your posts...twice!

Mr. Z and I are going to go out to a nice brunch today at one of our favorite restaurants! Can't wait for that.

Julie, I've been TRYING to sleep, but it's been so difficult. My back is killing me and so are my hips. And I'm waking at random hours, wide awake! I wonder if it's my body trying to prepare me for the erratic sleeping baby will bring.

Pepper...I am going to pluck my eyebrows now. It's been forever since I did that! :-)
Ah, that's so nice! Hope you enjoy yourselves at brunch. As for sleeping I don't know what to tell you. It will very likely be in short supply for the next few years of your life. Sorry about that. Amazingly, you totally adjust. This little sleep would have been the death of me before having children but for some reason you just survive it once they come. Did you ever babysit a small child? An hour or two with one of them used to Knock me Out! I'd need to go home and take a nap, seriously, and that was as a fully rested human being. But after having my own I can just go and go and go on what sometimes seems like zero rest and I'm (mostly) just fine. I think it has aged me and taken a bit of a toll on my health but I eat well and take supplements and try to love life as much as possible (and ignore how my skin looks, I don't need to be beautiful anymore, I'm too busy) and that seems to help. My priorities are different now, what used to be important to me, so important, just isn't and the things that really matter, well, that's all I care about these days. I feel good about it, it's less frivalous and self indulgent if you KWIM. I'm way more grounded AND whenever something special does happen, I appreciate the heck out of it like I never did before!

Re: the "ring of fire", it helped me SO much to be in the tub. Soaking in warm water kept everything relaxed and stretchy.

I didn't sleep for hours after either one of the were born, riding that endorphin high I guess. Another thing about endorphins is that they are natural pain killers and in some strange way work to erase the memory of the "pain" as soon as it's over with too. Nature is a Mother, that's for sure!
Thanks for sharing your experiences Pepper and Julie. I am beginning to have my own little freak out over here, about labor pain and birth and such, and you guys have managed to be so reassuring . . . . So glad there are experienced mama busties hangin' abouts.

On that note, and to any pregnant busties who are ahead of me when it comes to research in this department . . . .I was wondering if anyone had stumbled across some good vaccine related info. Unbiased, straight to the point stuff, with good resources. I am not a fan of forgoing all vaccinations (my Dad has his master's in Public Health, I think he'd probably disown me, heh), but I am (possibly) interested in using a delayed schedule or in forgoing some entirely, like flu and such. I know Dr. Sears has a delayed schedule, but I'm not sure where exactly to get info on it . . . the man has about a million books and I don't remember seeing it in the standard Baby Book.

There's just such an insane amount of info out there, a lot of it with questionable references and very murky science . . . . I don't know where to start.

I spent so much time reading/researching about pregnancy and childbirth. All of the sudden I'm 32 weeks and just realizing, 'hey, now there's a baby coming that I have to feed and raise and defend and care for . . . .' Ooooops.
Time to start makin' some decisions about little lady's life on the outside . . . .

Hope everyone is enjoying their weekends . . . .
Hey, Aphelendra...others may disagree, and I certainly respect their views, but I am strongly in favor of vaccinating on a regular schedule as advised by the American Academy of Pediatrics. I trust them enough that I got the H1N1 vaccine while pregnant.

My cousin is a pediatrician, and I've had long talks with her about this. I've also read a TON on this topic, and I've actually done some freelance work for a medical journal, so I'm pretty comfortable with PubMed and how to read medical research. I, personally, just do not find there to be enough credible, long-term research to support the idea of delaying or forgoing vaccines.

I completely agree that autism *is* on the rise, but I'm more prone to believe there must be something in our food, our pesticides, exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals during pregnancy, *something*, that is causing this. But I don't think it has anything to do with vaccines.

If anything, vaccines are actually safer with fewer antigens than in years past.

Here's some reading if you are interested...

Just my two cents!
zelda did ask for unbiased articles...well, the ones I linked to are obviously biased in favor of vaccinating...however, I think they do a good job of addressing the concerns of those who are worried about vaccines without being too aggressive about it.

I think everything Harvey Karp, MD says about the issue is very reassuring, and he really gets where parents are coming from in terms of concerns.
I have darn good reasons for not vaxing that I won't terrorize you with here. In my case my pro vax MD friend agrees with my decision not to. It's not right for everyone, it's good to examine this issue on an individual basis and not just go along with the routine. As we all know, the routine is not always what's best for every person so question things to your satisfaction and make a decision that you're comfortable with, whatever it may be.

I have a great book full of wonderful information about vax ingredients, side effects, natural alternatives, the diseases themselves, how they affect you if you get them, stats over the years, etc. I did find this book very fact based and mostly unbiased. There is a slight leaning towards the more natural approach but it's not the least bit leading or pushy or any of that. It's called The Vaccine Guide by Neustaedter. It may be a bit out of date regarding some ingredient reforms but most of the info is solid. The ingredient info is scary, be forewarned. I don't know what genius thought up injecting tiny babies with mercury and formaldehyde but someone should smack him.

Mothering magazine has some good info, they have an online forum too.
the janet
Anyone here develop hives??

I just started getting them a few days ago. After doing some preliminary research, seems like I'm not the only pregnant woman with this problem. I'm going to call the birth center on Tuesday and let them know but I don't really want to go on any meds. I'm even wary of using creams. Just wondering if anyone has more natural solutions. It sucks having blotchy legs during shorts season.


Janet, I'm sorry, no hives, but I do think anything is possible in pregnancy. I, too, would avoid any steroid creams or anything like that (especially if you are early on) until you call...maybe a warm bath or aloe vera might help?

I keep forgetting to mention my weirdest pregnancy symptom on this thread...tinnitus (ringing in the ears). I Googled it recently and found that increased blood flow and hormones may have something to do with it, and apparently an increase in tinnitus is not uncommon in pregnancy. I always had it (too many punk rock shows in my younger days), but I have ringing in my ears on and off every other day now, it seems! Doesn't last too long so I try to take it in stride, but you name a weird symptom, and I'm willing to be some pregnant woman has had to deal with it.

I hope your hives go away soon, and yeah, I would call to find out what you could try to reduce the itching.
Hi Janet, I did break out in something itchy like hives and they were worried it was a liver issue, cholestasis. But the tests didn't reveal it and it seems to be a later-in-preg issue, so, for me, it was just stress. I changed my situation and things got better.

As for vaccinations, I looked at it the same way as childbirth--you make a choice and try to make peace with the potential outcome. I chose a different vaccinations schedule and my daughter was hospitalized for dehydration related to rotavirus, what I had perceived as not terribly threatening (and thus less important in terms of vaccination). After she was sick I decided I could not handle not having her vaccinated, so I got her all caught up.

Pepper, I'm glad you mentioned that you don't really remember the pain because I cannot capture those 43 hrs and remember some moaning and not feeling like pushing and then really pushing and a "pop" of tearing. That's about it. And then not sleeping for about 3 days straight because I was so keyed up. forgetting the pain definitely seems like an evolutionary virtue. Good luck ladies!

I vaccinated my son over four years. I suppose I was worried about links to autism, but mostly I wanted to get to know him and see whether he generally had allergic or extreme responses to other things like food etc...with the logic that it would give me some idea whether he would have a bad reaction to vaccines. I worry that I have a cavelier attitude toward vaccinations because of my own history. I have had a flu shot a handful of times in my life, but I haven't had Flu (influenza) for twenty years! Probably not the best litmus test.

I have not had the "forgot the pain" experience that some of you have had and it's my major issue with this pregnancy. I've been reading "Birthing From Within" and I was struck by the description of the woman who had sort of disconnected from her current pregnancy because of a past traumatic (medicated) birth. That was the jolt I needed to try to become more bonded to this experience. I'm doing better there, but I still can't think about my last (unmedicated) experience without becoming extremely upset, and even angry, that I have to do it again.

I don't want to go into my experience because I don't think it's helpful to those who haven't given birth to give them more pain anxiety but I guess my message would be that each birth is so different that you have to almost give up on your expectations about what birthing/pain will be like and give yourself permission to deal with it in the moment. Try not to idealize any experience in advance. I think my problem was that I had in mind that the unmedicated birth would be empowering and bonding and almost transcendental and it wasn't for me. YET here I am doing it AGAIN! Because I still believe it's the least invasive, most natural, healthiest option for me and the baby. Still, where's my selective amnesia, mother nature?! I've been thinking about hypnosis and maybe even a TENS unit.

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