Preparing your Boss For Labor

It will probably merit little surprise, but in an attempt to be on top of things I decided to compose an e-mail on Friday to my boss. Basically it just said “here are the links to the files/projects I have been working on, this is the status of each of those projects, and here is a list of what I was planning to get done next week”. He was in a meeting at the time, thus the e-mail, so I ended the e-mail with “don’t panic! I am pretty positive I will be here all next week and probably the week after. I am writing this out just in case”. Well as soon as his meeting ended, he tore over to my desk yelling “what do you mean?!!!!” (veins popping out on his forehead….okay maybe an exaggeration). I calmly explained that everything was fine, but there was no telling when this little guy will kick off the main event, so I wanted him to know what I have been doing in case I don’t come back. Considering how on top of things he is, I am kind of surprised it came as a shock that it could happen at any time….what with this giant “in yo face” reminder residing on my front side. But I thought his reaction was kind of hilarious. I am resigned to the idea that now that I have given everyone fair warning….and done basically everything else I can think of to get ready for this baby…that Nugget will definitely be late. It’s cool with me though, you know my plan.
This past weekend was pretty relaxing. Katie came up on Friday to go with me to my midwife appointment. She is going to be my birth companion (aka doula) so my midwife suggested she tag along so they could all meet and ask questions. Afterward we stopped at Dairy Queen, you know… for some broccoli, and then came back to our house to hang out. 
On Saturday Andy and I went out for brunch and then went to the grocery store. After that whirlwind of activity we just hung out at the house. Sunday was much of the same, except that we went to our Step-Sister-in-Law’s birthday dinner in the evening. So pretty wild and out of control :). I guess it is nice to start slowing down my pace to get ready for this little guy, but I think I get a little more mentally prepared everyday.

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The "Plan"

Why would I even consider coming up with any semblance of a “plan”? Because I am crazy like that. But as details about visitor’s travel arrangements have started to materialize, I can’t help the fact that my brain starts laying out the calendar and analyzing how the next few months could play out. The date I really have my eye on is Monday May 9th; that is the first official day of Andy’s summer break. So as you can imagine it would be ideal if I didn’t have to come back to work until then because we could basically do a baby hand-off and not have to worry about finding a few days of daycare.
It shouldn’t come as a shock that I have my maternity leave intricately planned. I know exactly how many hours I have saved up between my Sick Bank, Personal Leave and Vacation Time and I have laid out a few different scenarios as to what I can do. At the end of the day, I decided the smartest thing would be to only take 8 weeks of maternity leave. If this were an ideal world and we were made of money I would take the full 12 weeks and spend the extra month rolling around in my piles of money….wait I guess if I am dreaming big I might never come back to work and spend an hour everyday rolling around in my piles of money. But this is real life and I have to think ahead. So if I take 8 weeks that will leave 2 weeks of vacation time for the rest of the year. Sounds like a lot of time, but when you realize that has to last 9 months and babies can be volatile little people, it could be a crunch.
Plus we have exotic travel plans. In June we’re taking the Nugget to visit his g-parents in Philadelphia and in November we have my family reunion in Louisiana….which if you are a fan of food wrapped in bacon, is a “must attend”….in fact I am pretty sure Andy would divorce me if we were unable to go this year. What can I say? The boy likes his bacon and he also likes agitating gators. I used my strategerie to arrange these trips so it would only use a day and a half of vacation for each one. Depart Thursday afternoon, come back Sunday. You get the idea. But basically that means if Nugget is sick more than 7 days out of the next year I am in big trouble! Oh and I forgot there is always the possibility that I could get sick….shit, I forgot to factor myself in.
Anyway, this post isn’t meant to come off whiney. In reality the fact that I have the opportunity to be home with Nugget for even a couple weeks is such a freakin’ priviledge. I keep thinking of women who work out in the fields, squat and have their babies and then go right back to work. Makes me sound like quite an a-hole.
So to make a long story short, it all boils down to March 14th. March 14th is the day that I could start my maternity leave and then Andy would be out of school when I go back to work. Now I am seriously trying to be one of those “go with the flow” people. I know how asinine it is to even think that I can control any aspect of Nugget’s arrival. This boy is going to rock my control-freak world! And I realize that I am potentially the only pregnant woman in the history of the world who is actually hoping to stay pregnant into her 41st week. But I can’t stop that part of my brain that looks at March 14th and thinks ‘everything would work out perfect if I could just make it to that day’.
It isn’t unfeasible to think that Nugget could be at least 7 days late. Technically I am only asking him to make it to Friday March 11th….at noon. If we’re getting specific…..not that I ever get specific about anything. Dang I am such a dork. Now that I have put this information out there in the universe I bet this little guys is going to show up tomorrow, just so he can be like ‘better get used to me not listening to you now….you’re in for it’. I am pretty sure he is in there snickering right now and rubbing his hands together as he plots the distruction of my ability to control things.

Henna Belly Pictures

Okay since the last post was a tid-bit wordy, here is a minimal word post. 
This was the photo she took on Wednesday after finishing the Henna

Here I am in all my hippie-dom. No make-up, no hair alteration (thank you semi-good-hair day).

Sneaky double chin trying to get in there. 
I think they turned out awesome! This was such a good alternative to the nekid belly pictures. Since I was obviously not that confident in my body “configuration”, I think this was the way to go. 

38 Weeks

Still not boiling, in case you were wondering. 8 1/2 months as of yesterday. That is freakin’ crazy talk. I was writing a little note to the nugget Sunday night in the journal I bought like 42 seconds after finding out I was pregnant (I’d like to go ahead and appolgize to baby number 2. I love you very much but you might not see that since Nugget has a journal and like two baby books and a belly picture from every week. But you are loved). Don’t worry I keep it mostly clean in there. No need to scar him with talk of giant brown nipples and farts and things. Anyway, as I was writing out the date I realized that there are only 6 more days in February (technically 8 more days because again I was realizing this Sunday night….I like to be accurate in my reporting). Then I realized that by March 20th I would more than likely have this little nugget in my arms. I think I just had a heart attack ya’ll; that is seriously like not enough time and shit. I mean technically I am running out of things to do, so in reality he needs to show up before I start repainting the exterior of the house or something silly like that….hmmm I think I could get that done in the next couple of weeks…..just kidding, but seriously technically there is time and we do have that home depot gift card…hmmm. The way I keep myself from seriously thinking about Vajayjay Destruction 2011 (which is what I have dubbed the impending birth of the Nugget, FYI) is by making lists. No seriously, when I say list I don’t just mean tiny sticky notes. I have graduated past the sticky note phase and am making full-on lined paper to do lists. What’s worse? Now there are multiple lists. I have my list at work (give co-worker money for girl scout cookies just in case you go into labor tomorrow) and my home list. But to top it off, there are things that I am forgetting to put on the official lists. For example, I know full well that “blow up fishie pool” is not on the list and it should be. So that means I have a mental list too. I am pretty sure my brain is going to explode. So even though it seems crazy talk to think that in a month I will physically have a itty bitty human following me around, it might be best for my brain for him to show up before I drive myself insane with the lists.
My weekend was pretty kick-ass though and I was able to get a lot of rest. So just because I sound all crazy busy with my lists, I am taking it easy and being sure to enjoy life. Friday was my midwife appointment and all was well. She checked my glucose level again (with the pokey diabetes thing, if you are curious) and that was good. Plus we did the routine protein urine test and weight. For record’s sake I have gained 28lbs since 12 weeks. Which is pretty awesome. For all you ladies out there who might be feeling bad about your weight gains, keep in mind, I was like 30lbs over where I would have liked to have been (whoa did that make sense?). Even though my total weight gain is looking good, my goal after this little Nugget is to lose at least 50lbs if not more. Again, I want to be a hot mom….and a healthy mom. Technically that is more important….but hot too! Anyway after that she conducted pelvimetry on me. I have no idea how to conjugate that. She pelvimetrized me? Whatevs basically she examined my pelvis so she’d have a mental picture of what it looks like and how the baby will come out. Yes…basically that means I got a lady parts examination. FYI I have kind of pointy ischial spines, but there is lots of room at my pelvic bridge. What all that fancy talk that I don’t really understand means is that she thinks he’ll come out just fine, but there might be a few techniques we’ll try to get his head through my ischial spines. I don’t know about ya’ll but I thought it was really fascinating….I mean awkward for shizzle, but fascinating all the same.
She checked for my cervix and was only able to barely reach it, meaning….it will be a while probably. The Nugget is head down with his back on the left side of my belly. I was told to talk to him over the next few weeks and tell him “put your chin to your chest and cross your hands by your heart”. Andy was like ‘that would be good if he knew what his chin was’. But whatevs. I have been giving him a little back rub every day and telling him ‘tuck your chin buddy’.
After my appointment I went over to Emmicake’s house. She was home because she had to go to the cadiologist on Friday. She’s 15 weeks and having heart palpatations. Scary shit. Well technically not the scariest shit that could be going on. I guess it is pretty common and the baby is fine. But they did want to monitor how often they were happening. So she was all franken-preggo when I went over there because she had wires coming out of her. They record her heart for 24 hours and then she takes the monitor off. I think they are looking at it today, so who knows how long it will take to hear back about what’s going on. We chilled for a bit and then I came home. Andy and I just spent the rest of the night hanging out and relaxing.
Saturday I happily slept in and then got ready for my Henna pictures. She already sent them to me, so I will try to remember to post them soon. Andy was obviously rebelling against the hippie-ness because he put on his “Taliban it’s what’s for dinner” shirt. The pictures only took 20 minutes or so and then we met one of Andy’s friends for lunch.
After a couple of hours of chatting and munching we headed to REI. The jogging stroller I have been eyeing was on clearance there, so I wanted to look at it in person and decide if it was what I wanted. I ended up having to order one into the store anyway because the colors left on the floor were not my favs. But I at least got to play around with it and stuff. That was officially the last baby item we need…..or at least I think. I am sure that two days after he gets here I am going to be like ‘shit! I didn’t think of that one thing’. But the major stuff is outta the way.
After REI we actually saw my dad. I am as shocked as you are. Did I mention how he said he would come see me a few weekends ago and then never called? Or maybe I mentioned how his wife e-mailed me to tell me that he has been too worn out to call? Now I am not sure what you consider strenuous, but considering my dad is someone who basically swims, runs, skiis and cycles every week,  I am pretty sure scrolling through his contacts and hitting ‘send’ is one of the least strenuous things he can do is. But I am a moody pregnant girl. Maybe under normal circumstances I would have been more understanding of that statement…..yeah probably not.
Anyway so Shelly and Dad were down in Denver for the Mid-winter bluegrass festival, so we met them for dinner. The dinner basically consisted of Shelly peppering me with questions about homebirth and her telling me how scared she is. Considering she is a nurse, it scares me way more to go to a hospital. But the most important thing is that I was able to catch up with my dad. He seems to be doing well with his treatment. It appears he is embracing the hormones because he showed us his green painted toenails. He and Shelly went to get pedicures for valentine’s day and he decided to get his painted lime green. I have to admit, it was a little weird, but whatevs. I guess I should embrace the fact that my dad is weird.
Everytime Andy and I spend time with them we recall our Cocaine Christmas. Interacting with them still feels somewhat schizophrenic. I can’t pinpoint why. Maybe it feels a little like a Cirque de Soliel show where there is so much going on you don’t know where to look. But they did offer to bring us some frozen meals and said they would like to bring us a hot meal and could hold the baby while we ate……hmmm I am going to let other people hold my baby right? I was reading in “The Baby Book” that mothers sometimes have a really hard time letting anyone else touch their babies. Am I going to be like that? Right now it feels like I will be like ‘here, hold him, I am going to take a nap’. But I could be in for a big surprise.  
Whoa just realized this post is getting out of hand. Better start wrapping it up. Sunday was pretty chill day. I went to the store to get a bunch of food, my midwife said that childless couples usually need to make an extra effort to start keeping more food around since we’re so used to waiting a week when we run out of milk. You should have seen my shopping cart. It was hilarious. I also steam cleaned the carpets and put the downstairs couch back together for what I hope is the last time. I have been blocking Coby off completely, but I can tell she is constantly thinking about getting back down there and getting to work.
So yeah, that was basically my weekend. This week I am going to make a few large meals so we can freeze what we don’t eat. On the list is Chicken Pot Pie, Beef and Lentil Soup, Stuffed Shells and Cinnamon Rolls…..okay I realize that last one is not an actual meal. I was just thinking how yummy it would be to be able to wake up and microwave a cinnamon roll for breakfast while I am home on leave. Plus I have kind of always wanted to make homemade cinnamon rolls. I’ll let you know if any of them make it to the freezer. Anyway, yep still pregnant and still feeling really good. I get a few aches in my ribs and my pelvis, but they aren’t constant and I’ve been trying to adjust how I lay in bed and sit to try to lessen them. That seems to help. The heartburn still shows up several times a day, but any kind of dairy product has been helping that….especially ice cream….not that I would know about that. ahem. Gotta go, I have some leafy green vegetables to eat…..yeah.

Move Yer Ass!….ahem I mean "Bee-hind"

Dude’s you like owe me a million dollars and stuff because I am going to tell you about my gurl Biscuit’s most awesome and amazing giveaway (even though I really don’t want to because I want to keep it all to myself). She is all talented at making the most awesome headbands that you yourself can purchase at her Etsy Shop (And I know if one of you wins because I sent you over there, you will for sure thank me by buying me something from her shop….right?)
So yeah, go! Get over to her blog, become a follower of her and check out her creative outpourings of awesomeness….and I guess enter to win her giveaway. But you better not tell me if you win!

Watched Pot

I feel like puff painting myself a t-shirt this weekend that says “A Watched Pot Never Boils”. OMG remember puff paints? They still make that shit. I am not sure if anyone buys it anymore, for all I know the paint on the store shelves could be left over from my elementary school days when I distinctly remember ironing a bear onto a sweatshirt and adding puff paint for more “flare”. Man was I stylish! I just can’t understand why I didn’t have my first boyfriend until the age of 15….nope the reason is still not coming to me.
I received 15 e-mails today and although some were junk mail, more than half were people checking up on me. E-mails combined with people at work asking “how are you?” with a little more emphasis than normal, and text messages and phone calls, I am starting to feel like a little pot. Okay technically a big pot. I could hold a whole lot of chili…..wait why does that gross me the f out?
Andy’s step-mom is the worst. As you know….or as you would know if you talked to her because she mentions it every… single…. time…her daughter went into labor 3 weeks early (just a couple days past 37 weeks). So despite the fact that I have told her how great I am feeling and that there are no signs that things are getting close and that I am thinking I will most likely be late, she says ‘you never know, look at Brittany, almost a whole month early! You could have a baby by next weekend’. I am like ‘seriously?’. I get it, everyone is anxious…..or it seems everyone but me is anxious. It isn’t that I am unanxious? Is that a word? Going to check this one out. Hey whatdoyaknow, it is a word. Score one for Natalie. So yes, it isn’t that I am unanxious, I just figured it would be a while still. I don’t want to sit here and concentrate on every teeny tiny second of the next 3-5 weeks because it will definitely make me batty. 
Let’s look at the facts that lead me to believe it will be a while yet. Fact one: several days before Brittany went into labor she started leaking from the boobies. Natalie’s boobs: normal. OMG but they are huge, did I tell you that when I went to get fitted for nursing bras they put me in a 40E…..an E! Crazy! Before this pregnancy I was wearing a 36C if that gives you any perspective of where these monsters are headed. Apparently they are headed to infinity and beyond. Anyway, so no boob leakage.
Fact two: no increased downstairs fluids. From what I have read and heard that can be a sign that your cervix is preparing itself. Fact three: Brittany and pretty much everyone else I have talked to who was nearing the “end” was miserable. Couldn’t breath, couldn’t sleep, couldn’t walk, couldn’t poo. All that fun stuff. I am still feeling really good. My only real complaint is heartburn. And let me tell you, if that old wives tale about heartburn meaning your baby will be born with hair is true, Nugget is going to look like a monkey. A long-haired monkey. But I have been told by more than one person who had a bald baby and tons of heartburn that there is no correlation. Whew! I definitely can’t bring myself to explain why I gave birth to a chimp.
Point is, I am still sleeping pretty well. It is definitely harder to physically get out of bed to go to the bathroom and sometimes I find my brain working on overdrive when I settle back in to go to sleep. But that is mostly because I sit there wondering what Nugget is going to look like….whether he’ll have excessive hair, just kidding! Whether he is going to get up at 2:30am every morning because that is usually the time I wake up to go pee. That kind of stuff. So it is brain induced sleep issues. Breathing, walking and pooing are all going well. For those of you having issues with the latter, let me tell you a secret: Blue Bonnet liquid Cal/Mag. The blueberry flavor is all I have tried, but there are other options too. It is kind of amazing. My midwife had me start taking it in addition to my prenatals just as a blood pressure preventative thing and man does that stuff have other benefits. One of which has to do with your number two pipes and the other, it actually does help with heartburn….most of the time. Sometimes that heartburn is determined to be an a-hole and no amount of tums or cal/mag can make a difference.
Fact four: no contractions. When I walk around, which I try to do a lot of, I can feel everything tightening, but sort of like you are doing a crunch. It isn’t painful and I barely notice it is happening. I keep looking out for signs of “period-like cramping” and more noticeable warm-up contractions, but so far nothing noticeable.
Basically, I think we’re a long way away. I mean we are at most 6 weeks away, if he’s not out by then, I am pretty sure they will force him out, but I definitely think I am going to go well into March. Which is actually totally fine with me. Like I said I am still comfortable and happy. But I realize people are still going to be keeping a close eye on me….watching my every move. Asking how I am with added concern. My mischievious side wants to play some pranks, but then I remember that whole ‘boy who cried wolf’ thing and put the kibosh on that idea.

Keep in Mind This Was Hard to Do.

Taking up close pictures of your belly is kind of difficult. I think I ended up taking about 30 to get a handful that were decent. Hahaha. In case you were curious the internet guy didn’t come during the Henna painting. Woohoo! But I was still painted and smelling like a hippie when he did arrive. My shirt was down over it, but it was drying, so I was dropping little pieces of what looked a lot like mice poop as I walked around with him. I told myself he didn’t notice. Denial-land.

And now you can see my teenage hip stretch marks.

A little blurry sorry, I was seeing if the mirror technique worked better. Fail.
So now the henna darkens and I go in on Saturday for her to take pictures of it for her book. I am not sure how long it will take to get those back from her? But when I do I will post them too.