Monday, December 31, 2007

I've tried...

I really have tried to post before this but recovery is slow and with family around it was even harder. Plus the tingling in my hands has gotten worse and typing is pretty difficult.

I can't get into the whole story now but short version is the non-stress tests showed baby Jack to be stressed. After many of the contractions (which I couldn't even feel) his heart rate would plummet, a sure sign of distress. They didn't even want to induce me because they weren't sure he'd make it through labor.

When your choices are c-section now with an epidural, have your husband with you and see your baby right away or crash c-section later under general anaesthesia, no husband present and maybe see your baby 4 or 5 hours later after the drugs wear off, it became really easy to ask for that epidural.

And look what I got! He's gorgeous...

All photos copyright Cedar Bough Photography. To see more of her amazing travel photography, go to her website.

Sunday, December 23, 2007


After much thought and discussion, we've decided to go to the hospital to be induced. The Jack in my box seems to need a little help getting out and the midwives felt that even if I began labor spontaneously, they would have to monitor me closely and might likely end up transferring me to hospital anyway.

It sounds so calm when I write it, but I think I scared the hell out of my mom when I started screaming and crying. I really wanted some gloves and a heavy bag. I wanted to wail on something until everything was numb and I could collapse from exhaustion.

My poor dog got nervous, too. She really doesn't like to see me upset. But I know it'll be okay, because she laid down and put her head on my foot while I make this entry. And she's a magic dog. She knows the future.

If you want to visit, I'm at UW. Balloons are welcome, the brighter and goofier the better.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Routine freak out

I'm 41 weeks today. This morning I went to have a non-stress test at my midwife's office. This is when they strap a monitor to my belly that measures the baby's heart rate over 20 minutes or so. They look for a spike in heart rate of around 15 bpm for 15 beats. They want to see two like this over the course of 20 minutes.

Well, she didn't. She thought it could be because the baby is sleeping, so we tried waking him up - drinking ice water, moving him around - but didn't really get a response.

So, she sent me to see the OB triage at the local hospital. The idea is they would monitor as well, to get their own set and see if there was any change and also to perform an ultrasound (biophysical) which would look at fetal movement, breathing, fluid, etc.

At the hospital, the OB looked at the charts that came with me and recommended induction. Then they hooked me up to the monitor, and I got several good spikes and even had some contractions, too. However, I had one deceleration down to 91 bpm right around a contraction (that I didn't really feel) and they immediately go for the red flag. She wanted to induce.

The US looked good, lots of movement, plenty of fluid, breathe movement, etc. But even with all of that, they wanted to induce within a few days. The L&D nurse seemed uncomfortable with me even leaving tonight even though the OB said we could wait a few days.

My feelings are that most everything was fine, but that one deceleration in over 2 hours of monitoring that could have been any random thing. Although I'd be open to the idea of a little assistance to get labor started, once I agree to induction, it's hard to leave the hospital and I'd like to avoid that road.

It's not just that I have a "plan" or that my heart is set on doing this one way. It's that I want what is really best for me and my baby. Is it better to give myself up to the whims of ultra-conservative "experts" who don't think twice about directed pushing, constant monitoring and c-section?

I've read the studies and I don't come to the same conclusions they do. I don't trust hospitals. When I'm there, I feel talked down to and am fed mixed messages. Today it was all about, "everything looks really good!" and then "we want to induce."

I don't get it and I'm not ready to give up everything until it becomes much more clear that a change needs to happen. That does not seem obvious to me at this point.

My midwives are on the same page. Tomorrow I will go in to my midwife's office for another non-stress test. We will try to stimulate some contractions and see how the baby responds. If we get good accelerations, we'll be happy. If we get decelerations, it's time to rethink our plans.

If I go into labor spontaneously, it's clear they will want to monitor me more closely than normal, but nobody's particularly nervous and neither am I. I'll only become alarmed if I have decrease in fetal movement, which right now, due to the belly quake going on, seems unlikely.

Other than that, I'm just really glad to be out of the hospital. While we were in the OB triage area, most of the time it was quiet and I was fine. But as other's started coming in, I started to get really antsy and just wanted to hit something.

We came home, took the dogs for a walk and now I think I'll punch a pillow and lay on my birth ball for a while watching Angel.

That's the news that's fit to type.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Nope, not yet.

Some days it's not so bad. Waiting is natural. It's also a very special time with my boy - we'll never be this close again. I do want to treasure these moments.

It's also entirely possible that our dates are very much off kilter by several weeks. But if that's so, then he's always been ahead of the curve on growth and development as they say early Ultrasounds are very accurate.

Who knows - it's all still such a mystery. One of the most basic parts of human life is also the most complicated.

So the natural childbirth thing becomes funny. Not ha ha, but strange. I feel myself shifting a bit - sometimes with fearful questions, other times with just plain frustration. There are moments I imagine the white coats offering me a mask, saying, "Darling, go to sleep and when you wake, you'll have your sweet baby! Doesn't that sound delightful?" And it does!

And also absolutely horrific. I feel so weak that I could drop my values because I'm a little uncomfortable. Wait until labor starts - then I'll really get to learn discomfort!

So today was both terrible and just fine. I don't know what changed - maybe having a nice dinner, maybe laughing about doing jumping jacks and hearing the funny things my step dad said. I don't know - there was this awful tension and then it just wasn't there anymore.

I can't take any credit for it, but I'll give some to Ray, Mom and Jeff. Ray said, "no matter what, I'll be there with you."

Mom said, "Yes, I miss home, but I'm staying because this is more important."

Jeff said things that credited and encouraged my ability to trust myself. He has a such a rough persona but he understands the miracles of life and respects nature more than most anyone I have ever met.

I'm so glad I have the support I have. I really am a very lucky person. Which is so much better than I felt about 5 hours ago. I will also credit "Breakfast at Tiffany's" Buster Keaton and Angel, Season 1 for their roles as happy distractions.

Thank you, Academy.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


I miss my comfortable bed. There is a bed beneath me, but it somehow got switched while I was sleeping with some other bed not nearly so comfy.

I'm sure it has nothing to do with being so pregnant. Not at all.

I wake and feel restless, or hungry or have to pee or all three. I try to stay in bed as long as I can, try to get back to sleep or at least rest because horizontal is good for pregnancy. But after 1 hour of "resting" I get up for a snack and after another hour and listening to my self-hypnosis, I give up and catch up on all my podcasts I haven't heard the past week. 2 hours later, my comfortable bed still hasn't returned and now I'm utterly restless.

Even the peaceful buddhist talk can't put me to sleep.

So, welcome to 6:43 am PST, blogosphere.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

40 weeks and 3 days, but who's counting?

Today was one of those weird weather days - slightly warmer and raining in varying degrees of downpour. I felt so hot in my light down maternity coat and had it unzipped with a light cotton shirt on underneath that, I swear, covered my belly last week. Now my belly ring showed, which made quite a site as I bounced where ever I walked like I was singing a little Rick James to myself:

"This mama's lettin' it all hang out, cause she's a pregnant house..."

I have another entry for the "Some People" catalog...

In the grocery store, a woman asked when I am due.

"Last Saturday," I smiled.

"My daughter looked like you. She had a 12 1/2 pound baby."

Now, why in the hell would someone tell me that? I just said, "I don't want to hear that!" and walked away.


Saturday, December 15, 2007

In a spot

Outside my window, a squirrel is hanging on to our bird feeder for dear life. He's eaten all he can but can't seem to find his way off the feeder. He wrestles around, repositions while the feeder swings to and fro, but for some reason he can't go back the way he came.

I want to help him but don't know how. If I go out there, will he just freak out, possibly fall and hurt himself? Do squirrels have heart attacks?

I want to help him because at least someone should be able to get on with their life and not be stuck on an empty swinging bird feeder.

I feel so big now and I think he's still growing. I have that totally pregnant walk with my hands on my back and waddling like a penguin. When I sit in a chair I have to have my legs out to the side because there is no room for baby on my lap. The pressure on my pubic bones is intense and his head hasn't even descended nearly enough yet.

I don't like this waiting... I was never one to leave the presents under the tree uncounted, unshaken, sometimes even unopened - the anticipation is too much!

today I spoke to a friend. "I just want something to happen!" I said.

"Something is happening. This is happening."

But, but... damn.

So, after a full day of dog park walking, Indian food eating and Christmas shopping (in Macy's, no less!), I have been sufficiently distracted and even a little soothed by the small contractions I've experienced. Yes, something is happening.

This is happening. And I feel less of a need to define what this is. It is now.

I think I'll take a bath.

Updates - Cardio and Psycho

A friend reminded me that I need to update what happened with the cardiologist and the psychiatrist.

I did a stress echo test at the cardiologist's office. They hooked me up to 11 different leads to measure different parts of my heart, then did an ultrasound of my heart. What an amazing organ! Then they put me on a treadmill set to a speed way faster than my normal slow shuffle and increased speed and incline until I complained then they kept me there for a little longer to torture me into responding, I guess. Then I got another ultrasound to determine how my heart was reacting and good news! I'm just pregnant! I felt so relieved!!

I think that helped to alleviate my general anxiety a lot. Since then, I've felt like a normal person. I can respond emotionally to things without it being overwhelmingly frightening. Except for now that the pregnancy has progressed so far, I'm definitely feeling more emotional which is to be expected - it's just not any fun.

But it's okay. I'll manage. I have to.

Friday, December 14, 2007


The past three nights I've dreamt that I lived in an abandoned natural history museum. When the curators left, many of the specimens were left behind, some stuffed and even a few live animals. New discoveries were constantly being made by the new inhabitants. There were quite a few of us in residence there, though it was hard to tell who lived there and who was just hanging around. It had the feeling of a squat, only a little cleaner and more interesting for the exhibits.

An interior room had a few pools and some interesting shore birds were picking their way through the sand for bugs and such. Interesting how we all just left the animals to their devices and didn't really tread too much on their space. Someone must have been feeding them, too. It was a happy place, really.

But tonight's discovery was strange - how could we have missed this huge bee hive? At least, they looked like bees or like some kind of strange bee-wasp hybrid. They were quite yellow without any of the fuzz that most bees have, black pointy wings like a wasp, but a larger round abdomen, without any stinger at all.

Let's be clear - I love bees. The more I learn about them, the more I respect them. Do you know they vote by consensus? I highly value their place in our ecosystem and love their product. I'm concerned about the high numbers of mysterious bee deaths that have been recently found to be some kind of virus that could potentially kill out all bees, leaving farmers to figure out how to artificially pollinate over 75% of our food. (That figure might be wrong, but it's not far off.)

But when I saw this huge hive on the floor of the pool room, I became very concerned. My roommates felt it was fine for them to be there, but I thought, bees don't live inside - they belong outside where they can eat and pollinate and do their business. Also, these were strange looking bees and yes, I was concerned for my safety and the safety of the my housemates and the friendly, random drunks who hung out there. I didn't want anyone hurt.

I gently persuaded them to entertain the concept that I call someone who could remove the bees to an appropriate place - maybe even we could put the colony into hive boxes and harvest the honey? They started to like the idea. Then we walked over to a cabinet and found several specimens of what may have been the same variety of bee. They were in display boxes and one of the people with me said, do you want one of these so you can try to identify them? Yes, I thought that was a good idea. Except as I approached, some of the specimens started to move and one in particular looked like the hulk version of this bee. His exoskeleton was old looking and mottled - one might say battle-scarred. His head was black and shiny like a helmet and as I looked on I could swear he was armoring up. I turned and ran out of there as fast as I could, falling into the pool which seemed to get people's attention. The urgency I felt at getting out of there was so strong, I couldn't even say to anyone else, get out NOW. I just ran.

I woke in a sweat.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Updated belly pic!

Here I am! We took these photos at 38 weeks and 4 days.

Until now, my mother has been saying, "I carried you just the same way."

Now she admits, "I think you are bigger than me! I think he's going to be a big baby!"

Well, Mama, I'd be real appreciative of any acupressure, visualization or anything you can think of that will let this baby know he is needed on the outside.

I feel like he's ready and I'm ready, but I could be a little biased on the subject. So all of you out there: think birthing thoughts! Let's see if we can give him a loving nudge to come see us outside!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Panic Attack Update, or Better living through Chemisty

This may seem like a hypocritical post after the last one (Is knowledge always a good thing?) regarding my cardio visit. Bear with me. I'm a modern American with many options for joy and irritation.

I went to a psychiatrist, Dr Rex Gentry, who specializes in pregnancy and post partum mood disorders. We spent an hour going over my history and talking about natural physiological phenomenon of pregnancy. For instance, pregnant women commonly develop a heightened sense of awareness in order to protect their unborn, then newborn baby. However, in some people, this sense gets turned to "11," which can present in intense crying, gripping panic and deep depression. Because of my history, he felt that I was at a fairly high risk (40%) of continued episodes of depression into post partum.

I feel he is right about this. It's been a concern of mine since before I even got pregnant and particularly because of my situation, it makes sense to me to be on medication. It's safe for me and the baby - in studies, the drug has not been found in a breastfed infant's blood. There seem to be some very long term negative effects but this isn't a med that I would take for more than about 6 months.

I feel relieved that I'll be able to be with my baby and enjoy him as much as possible. I don't feel like I'm supposed to be some automaton who is happy all the time and blissfully ignorant, dancing through the streets as if they are fields of tulips. But a little balance is good.

I cried last night when I got up from the couch because my hips hurt so much and I'm tired of it. It felt good to cry a little. That was fine. But the gripping panic attacks were too much. Not livable. And if things like that happened when my baby was in my arms, ... I don't even want to think about it. That starts going down the Yellow Brick Road of Catastrophe and Psychosis and I ain't into that trip. I really don't feel I need to get attacked by flying monkeys only to have some big green head tell me to click my heels and say, "there's no place like home." I'm good here, no reason to go anywhere else. Thanks, man. I like it where I am.

Cardio Update/Moral Dilemna - Is knowledge always a good thing?

Went to the cardiologist on Friday. He said he thought, like me, that this could be normal for pregnancy. However, because the progression of symptoms matches the progression for real heart problems, we will do a stress echo to make sure.

On one hand, this is really cool. They will ultra-sound my heart while I walk on a treadmill at increasing speeds and inclines and check for normal patterns. I hope I get to see the ultrasound! And I like the idea of being thorough. I'm so grateful for full medical care and utilizing this great diagnostic technology to verify my safety.

On the other hand, I'm scared that I'll be forced into an episode. It's scary to feel my heart pounding so hard and not be able to bring it down just with my breath, like I'm used to doing. Then the dizziness and leg numbness. Inevitably, the dizziness makes me feel panicky. And the worst part - what if something is wrong? If they find something wrong, will that mean I can't birth in the birth center? Does it mean that for sure something bad will happen during the birth? If I do this, and something is wrong but not bad, will I be putting myself in danger? Would I be bringing a legal liability into the hands of my midwives?

Sometimes knowledge can be a dangerous thing. Birthing babies is such a common yet still mysterious physiological event and western medicine tends to err on the side of the known. It's easier to have a c-section than try a variety of other methods that might not work because the baby could die and we know (very well) how to perform a c-section without killing anyone. WE should - it's the most performed surgery in America. It's easier to birth in a hospital and have the mother on her back, feet in stirrups, constant fetal monitor because we can see best (despite she's pushing against gravity) and we can know if the baby's in distress. Of course, the baby's distressed! They are being pushed through a somewhat stretchy tube with a bunch of bones at the end and if they aren't in exactly the right position, it's much harder for everyone. Birth is a traumatic event, but so is climbing Everest or walking down the hallway of your new high school. You may have an idea of what will happen, but until you've done it, you haven't done it. And I'll bet your heart pounds a lot and maybe a little irregularly from excitement and exertion.

So, I guess my question is: Am I inviting a hospital birth by doing this stress echo and is that a good thing or not? Is it just a personal bias, a bad ju-ju that freaks me out? If it's best, can I safely put my feelings aside (guilt, trauma, anger) to make sure I'm safe? And what determines best? If I have a 10% chance of going into cardiac arrest during or post partum, is that enough to say I should be in a hospital? What is safe risk and what is just plain stupid?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Belly shot - 35 weeks

I'm 35 weeks pregnant...

... and my husband won't share his beer with me! I don't want a lot, just enough to fill my wee glass.

I made him give me some after threatening to post to all my pregnancy forums that he was neglecting my needs. After grudgingly pouring 2 oz into my tiny glass (note that it is not full), he happily offered the dog some beer. And gave her more than I got!

To be fair, watching her drink is a lot funnier than watching me drink. She snorts and snuffles and then lays down and sleeps with a smile on her face.

Blood tests normal...

Everything came back like they like it. I decided to go see a cardiologist anyway, because I'm kinda conservative that way. I still have these weird dreams occasionally of expiring after the birth, ostensibly from a heart defect.

My honeyman says I should write tear jerker novels with all the catastrophies I can summon. I'd probably get on the Oprah Book Club!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Thanks to the internet...

I think I'm just pregnant. That's it. It's being pregnant that causes these things.

I thought through the conversation yesterday and realized, she never said she thought I had CHF. She said she's missed things like that before, ie sent a patient to a cardio for one thing that proved to not be a big deal, but was concerned about said patient's early stage CHF.

All she was saying was she wanted to make sure I was okay. And I turned it into I might never be able to have another baby.

The way I came to this realization was, strangely enough, the Internet. I looked up symptoms of CHF and anemia and I don't have very many of them. Well, I might be anaemic but that's not really a big deal. My mom and sister were and they came through just fine.

Isn't it amazing how the brain works? I know I've always had a bit of the catastophist in me. It may be a Gothic Romantic that imagines my own death. Baby born, I gaze at him once, then quietly expire of exhaustion, like in one of those old westerns. Sweaty brow, eyes closed like I'm finally getting the best sleep in the world, the doctor's quiet head shake, like there is nothing to be done.

I laugh at it now, but you know when you see that scene in the movie, you are torn up. What will daddy do without the mama to raise his little baby? And they had such a fabulous love with much hardship before coming together and bringing this sweet child into the world... So many permutations of tragedy.

Do we have a human need to create tragedy in our lives? Is this a human condition or just my own mental illness? If it is just my own, am I too bored? Should I be more absorbed in creative activities or helping others so that I don't get bogged down in unnecessary drama? Somehow, this makes me think of soap operas. I don't watch soaps (we don't have regular tv) but I am reading a pile of trashy novels. Maybe that's bringing about this case of mental catastrophy. I guess that means it's time to pick up "Getting a Grip" by Francis Moore Lappe and see what she's got to say about Democracy in America. That ought to shake out the drama!

Oh, considering the news today, maybe not. Impeach Cheney? What good will it do?

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Feel Scared today...

I expected to be somewhat tired during the pregnancy and everyone says that's normal. But lately, my legs are numb when I wake up and anything faster than a slow shuffle makes my heart race, the leg numbness return and brings on dizzyness and shortness of breath. It gets scary really quick. Now when I go to the dog park every morning (since beastie needs to run) I go with a friend and I always have my cell phone with me.

Today talking with my nurse-midwife who did my early pre-natal care, she thinks it could be low iron. My vitals look good and she couldn't hear the heart murmur she heard before (which no one else has ever heard). This is good. However, if the blood work comes back negative, I get to go see a cardiologist.

I'm really trying to not freak out about this.

A cardiologist would be looking for late-term Congestive Heart Failure.

See why I'm trying?

I'm not winning. CHF is not curable though it is treatable. CHF means I can forget about my current plan to birth in the birth center and a home birth is not in my future. They would push for a C-section (which I really don't want.) In fact, I probably wouldn't be able to get pregnant again unless I was watched like a hawk by cardio and OB and everything. How very not fun. Multiples (which we want and run in our families) would be even more dangerous.

I couldn't help it - I started crying on the way home.

Of course, if this were true for me, I would buck up and deal and not do anything to endanger myself or my baby. But GAWD! It's just too frightening to imagine how I can go from healthy to High risk pregnancy in the time it takes to make a diagnosis.

So, we'll find out in a few days what the deal is, or at least what the next step is. Whatever it is, it is manageable. But I certainly have a hard time not getting worked up over it! Time for a warm glass of milk and some cuddle time with the beasties.

Monday, October 29, 2007

My fantasy for today... and a rant

What I wouldn't do for a spa day. I could kill for a mani-pedi and full body wax. Why must pregnancy require so much hair to grow every where but where I want? I would have thought I'd be able to grow my head hair all long and sumptuous but, alas, no. I finally got sick of it and chopped it off into a faux-hawk. Feels much better.

Instead, my eyebrows and leg hair make me look positively neanderthal and let's not even talk about the other part. I totally get why doctor's want to shave it - you can't see a thing down there! I'd go for a trim and a bikini wax at least to save my thighs the embarrassment they are currently suffering.

Of course, some more massage would be good. I had to fire my regular massage therapist for a few reasons. First, I felt she really didn't have the technical expertise to call herself a "pregnancy Massage therapist". Second, she routinely brought up difficult topics or gossiped during our sessions. Please keep your anti-muslim comments to yourself and no, I don't care about the "cute guy at church saga" Frankly, I'm not interested in your sagas - this is my time. Third, she clearly didn't respect my choice for a natural birth process and would make repeated comments about where I will get me epidural and that I'll change my mind. Thanks for your confidence and support.

While I understand epidurals are the right thing for some women and are appropriate for certain births, I'd like to have the option of going without. Millions of women before me have done so, why is it so hard to imagine?

Welcome to Rane's Soapbox.

Unless it is medically necessary, meaning someone is in danger, I plan on having a baby the way I was made to do so. The creator or evolution or whatever it is that made us this way, didn't imagine epidurals or narcotics into it. Besides, I enjoy physical and emotional challenges. If I can snowboard a double black diamond and live to laugh about it, I think I'll be fine. I think I have good coping mechanisms in place and have learned some more in my birth class. I also have an amazing husband with whom I've grown so much closer to during this process. His instincts and gentleness will get us through this as much as my will and determination. I've been working on not being attached to much to the outcome. As a friend recently told me, "it's just a day. The real work is being a mother every day." She also said, "there's no harm in trying." when considering a VBAC, which came through successfully.

Thank you. That concludes the soapbox portion of our broadcast day.

Baby updates: I feel huge. I feel as if he grows with every day. He moves a lot. Most of the day, in fact. I now can see his limbs as they make wide, sweeping movements from one side to the other. I am constantly in a state of amazement and feel tired from all the growth.

Feel free to send cheesy fictional novels in the genre of chick lit, romance, historical fiction, or humor. I'm devouring books like crazy. At least 2-3 books a week!

The dog is laying close and farting audibly to communicate her displeasure at not having been taken to the dog park yet. Olfactory senses overwhelmed, I must open a window and make my escape. Off to Marymoor!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Honey, can you spray my butt?

This Post Partum Recovery Kit seems like the right way to spell relief. The question is, do you want to know if it works?

Is my baby a burrito?

How will I get this little bundle of joy around? I can't imagine even wanting to let him go for a few months! (Yes, you can point and laugh later.)

The Moby Wrap

I wrap this long piece of stretchy fabric around me and put the little bug in all snug and close. I can wrap it a few million ways, including the "Discreet Nursing" style and baby's weight (up to 35 lbs) is evenly distributed evenly along both shoulders and my back. Now it's time to choose the color - Am I Sienna, Chocolate or Red?

Swaddling Blankets

Why are these things so expensive? And why do they think I need a special "patented design" to fold a blanket? I tried the Swaddle Me on a friend's baby - not a fan. Plus you have to buy the next size up when your baby grows. That's just annoying! Much easier to just use a normal receiving blanket, like this or these.

And for those not yet in the know, the Carter's sizes are better for swaddling than Gerber.

Nursing Cover

In case the Moby isn't on at the time and I don't have the extra receiving blanket, this nifty Nursing Cover is attractive and cool. Also sold under the name of "Hooter Hider," "Modest Mommy" or "Bebe Au Lait" with equally nice fabrics and almost the same design, the Joia Mommy cover is fully reversible! It's so hard to choose, but I think I love the Hot Dot Brown with Teal Dot/Brown and Teal Sassy Stripe best!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Baby Registry?

I'm having a hard time with this. What do I want and what do I really need? Plus I'm finicky when it comes to these things. I don't want things that scream "I'm a breeder! Love my cute baby!" I keep wondering, why can't I find baby things in fun, bright colors? It seems everything has to have cars and trains or bows and dolls and is relegated to the customary pale pink/blue/yellow/green. Boring! How about ROY G BIV? Remember the rainbow?

So, I'm attempting to compile a list here of things I'd really enjoy and can use because everything I like is on a different website. I'm totally set up on clothes until around 24 months, so if you are so kind to want to gift us, here are a few things you can do!

Diapers: We have decided to use a diaper service! Cloth diapers are healthier for baby and don't contribute to landfill to sit unchanged for 500 years. This service is a little less than buying disposable diapers and I don't have to launder them. Isn't that lovely?

Seattle Diaper

* (206) 634-BABY
* (800) 562-BABY

The nice ladies in the office will be happy to help you contribute to our account (ie, the Lederers). A month is about $67 - even helping us pay for a week will help tremendously!

And to cover up those cloth diapers:

Cotton Babies offers a mix pack in any size so I can try a variety and see what I like. Handy, eh?

Diaper Bag: The Ju-Ju-Be Small is just perfect. I have a large one for when I need it but this is just the right size to grab and go. It's hard to decide between the gorgeous prints they offer and it isn't covered in a heavy plastic - it's just nice fabric that's Teflon coated so I can wipe off spills and look good doing it. Citrus Sorbet is where this hot mama's at!

For extra fun and ease, stroller clips:

And Super Grab and Go: This little wristlet holds a few diapers and wipes for super quick trips. And it matches the diaper bag! Freakin' sweet!

Check back for more stuff later and look for postings tagged with "baby registry."

Thank you so much!


30 weeks now...

Here's the belly as of 10/5/07. I love our little digicams (courtesy Bobbo and Donna - thanks!) because they have this cool feature where you flip the lens around to take self portraits - very fun! I just wish I had slightly longer arms.

Everybody asks "how are you feeling?" And for the most part, I'm feeling great. I also feel huge, exhausted, and generally prefer to be horizontal watching old episodes of Macgyver, A-Team or Monk. But I walk the dogs everyday, or almost everyday if it isn't a total downpour and that helps.

I really miss being able to be active - going on long hikes in the rain is a wonderful thing to do here. I love the smell of the woods when it rains and everything perks up so nicely. Plus under the tree canopy, it isn't raining as hard - you can just enjoy it. But I find my heart races at the slightest exertion and I get paranoid that I'll rupture my aorta and bleed out before I can even call 911. I read it somewhere and it terrifies me.

But after a little www research, I feel better. Aortic ruptures are not very common during pregnancy and mostly have to do with women who have one of a few syndromes for which I am not at risk. Ah, much better now. But honeyman says he still doesn't want me hiking around carrying med kits at events with terrain that is anything other than flat and larger than a few blocks. (I volunteer doing first aid with the Red Cross at local events - mostly street fairs or running events.)

It's funny the things that scare me - aortic ruptures, losing my man - especially losing my man. How would I raise my son without him? Where would I live? How could I adjust the dreams of the life I'm building with my husband to surviving and raising a son? I would - I know I would, but I don't want to. I really don't.

So, raise your glass to the naming of the Fear. Here's to the belief that calling it out shrinks it to bits - diaspora on the wind, diluted and scattered far and away. Good - let's call it a day.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

She said "ooky" I say, "American Beauty"

Cedar took the photo for me. Not her usual subject matter. Check out her extensive travel shots and info on her recent trek to Lhasa. She's writing an armchair travel memoir about her trip and so far, from the sneak peaks I've had, it will be a fascinating and surprisingly in depth experience of living and traveling abroad.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

This turkey dies today...

This turkey and 8 chickens have grown well enough to slaughter. We'll see if I get the chance to help.

I will post the photo later when I have better connectivity.

We are on Lopez now (got here yesterday). It is raining but very beautiful and I think I have the junk D_ brought back from LV. Stop sharing your junk!

The room we are staying in is an insulated built out section of a barn with very steep stairs up to a landing with no banister to keep us from becoming a pile of broken bones 20+ feet below. The closest toilet is the outhouse, down the stairs and 200 feet away, and the running water is close to the outhouse.

So being sick, I'm trying to keep drinking fluids to get this stuff out of me which means, of course, I have to pee like every 20 minutes. Which means negotiating a dark, unfamiliar and small room cramped with too much stuff, grabbing a blanket to wrap around me because it's freaking cold outside, finding my shoes, not falling off the landing, crawling down the stairs and out of the barn into the rain.

I gave up by 5am and made coffee.

But it is very beautiful here. Rustic and sweet.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Bigger every day!

Ray took a few photos yesterday that came out really nice! This just gives somewhat of an idea of where my belly is - and I'm only 5 months! Oh my....
I receive an email once a week that says "You're (this many) weeks!" and has info about the baby and other things I might be noticing in my body. Here's what I got this week:

Your baby now weighs about three-quarters of a pound and is approximately 10 1/2 inches long. His eyebrows and eyelids are fully developed. And you can certainly feel him move. He's oblivious to your schedule, though, so don't be surprised if he starts working out just when you're settling down for the night.

Ok, #1: On 7/25, he weighed 1 lb 10 oz. That's twice the size they are talking about. I'm seriously considering restricting my diet! Keep up the calcium and protein and pre-natals, but - I don't know. Eat less somehow? Pushing a 10 lb baby through my stuff sounds, well, it makes me a little nauseated and scared.

#2: He's active all the time. He goes really crazy when I'm watching fight scenes in movies - like Pirates of the Carribean or the Bourne Ultimatum. If you've seen the latter, you know the scene I mean - the long mano y mano with the asset sent to kill him? Wow! What an awesome scene!!
Wee Jack was punchin' and kickin' and rollin' around. I started laughing a little and the people next to me seemed uncomfortable.

That's it on numbers. Almost every week, I'm amazed to learn the ways in which he is developing and this is just on the inside. It's going to be so much more fun when he's outside!!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

I'm back!!

Well, in my last post I said "maybe I'll get pregnant this month."

Apparently, I already was! Of course I didn't find out until after a very fun, very drunken birthday party for One Fabulous Tai. I don't remember where we went, but I do remember curling up on the floor and knitting in the dark while sipping one of the tastiest tasty drinks I've ever had. Yum yum! Blue walls and morrocan lanterns - I wanna live here! But I'd put in more comfy chairs.

2 days later, I'm hung over still and that's just not right. Yoga didn't take it away, walking in the dog park didn't take it away - Tylenol didn't take it away and forget drinking. Yes, "hair of the dog," my last ditch effort couldn't work. I couldn't drink. Called my nurse midwife - she says "come in today" and off we were.

I'm now 19 weeks, and still pretty tired. I tried working for a bit, but it just didn't work out. I'm admittedly pretty self-indulgent with a wonderful, loving husband who indulges me quite a bit, too. And although he was telling me to quit for several weeks, I really wanted to try and stick it out. You know, contribute to our financial goals and stuff.

Well, another day to get my dollar, I guess. I just felt really tired and depressed. I couldn't get anything done around the house and my animals ( the wonderfully spoiled attention-hogs) were suffering. Suffering, I tell you!

They love me again now that I can walk the dog everyday and take cat naps with them and watch movies together on the couch. All is right in their world. It will be change enough to have a baby here. And I'm having fun lavish love towards them right now. Especially my dogus.

She is mighty cute. Mighty!!

Tasha with her 2 favorite things. Note the intensity, the confusion - what first, what do I do? Chase or chew - chew or chase?

With children, you're not allowed to admit favorites with my pets, there's no contest. Tasha came into my life just as I needed her. She fulfilled something in me - she is my first child, really. She has been such a good friend to me through so much. I owe it to her to give her all I can and teach her to love the baby as much as she loves me.

Sing along with me now: Precious and few are the moments we two can share.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

I'm not Laura Bush

Ok, I didn't post right after getting my hair cut because, well, it was bad. Very bad.

I mean, it was a *nice* haircut, but I'm not a *nice* girl. I don't know what horrified me more, that I looked like Laura Bush or just any random Republican soccer mom that could turn on you in the grocery store parking lot.

So, I bought black dye on the way home and gave myself hacked up Betty bangs when I got home. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

I did find someone to save the wreck, though. A very talented, super cute, clever hairdresser names Ashley at Regis Salon in Redmond. Great service, great haircut, great tattoos. We were very similarly minded and I appreciate that because I don't often find people I can relate too here in Microsoftville.

Ashley saved the day and my marriage.

Of course, sometimes I can't figure out why I get so locked on something like this. Where do I go? The dogpark and out to dinner with an occasional friend. Who cares what I look like? No one but me. Are we tight on funds? Hell yes! So why am I spending my husband's hard earned money on haircuts that nobody cares about?

For me, it sets me apart from the dumpy people here. With the constant wet, cold weather, it's easy to let yourself go. Just not care how you look and get, well - dumpy. There are a lot of dumpy people here and I don't want to look like them, talk like them or otherwise.

So having a nice hairstyle that reflects my personality is more affordable than clothes and sets me apart enough that I feel I am retaining some small part of my soul in the land of the soulless.

And I like looking good for the honey.

pictures to come once my over-hormonal acne clears up some. Maybe I'll get pregnant this month!!

Friday, March 16, 2007

New hair do

Due to high demand, I am publishing an image of my tiny ponytails. Look at that scalp, whiter than white, whiter than Coleen! I am getting it cut Monday - just a trim, thank you! My darling husband, who has known me since I was 14, has never seen my hair long. It's time.

I'll post a picture Monday after the new do. Hopefully, she won't make me look a soccer mom like the last one...

Wish me luck!
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I want to know what idiot decided...

This is the beginning of what will likely be a series of "I want to know what idiot decided..." wherein I examine daily life and think about how someone could have decided to do one thing or another.

Today's example: Ralph Lauren Suede Textured Paint

Yes, it looks soft and supple, just like flat paint but with texture. Yes, texture - which is perfect for holding onto dust, cobwebs and random debris that collects in large swaying fronds from my bedroom walls and ceiling - yes, ceiling. Some idiot decided to paint the entire house in suede textured paint, including the smooth ceilings.

So, who decided this? Someone who gets someone else to vacuum their walls.

Please, as if I don't have other things to do than worry my husband over my near obsessive behaviour to vacuum our walls, because I can't sleep another night knowing I'll wake up with tendrils of dusty cobwebs in my hair and face. Those don't wash out so easy.

And it's jsut gross.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Kaylin kisses!

My beautiful god-daughter sends her kisses to all the little people. Next she'll be holding out her hand to be kissed. Enchante!

Monday, March 12, 2007

I feel a change

Sunday was a downpour. Almost all day long, the rain just fell in buckets. But Hubbie just got a new fork for his bike, so guess what we did. . .

Yes, I chose to go for a ride in the pouring rain.

This is vastly different from my attitude anywhere I've lived before. I would only go out if the weather was just right, like the painter that can only paint in a "perfect environment."

What a way to avoid discovery! There is no perfect environment any more perfect than it is right now! Plus, if you wait for a good weather day, you'll wait until summer and there will be too much to do on those perfect days. This way, keep enjoying regardless!

Friday, March 09, 2007

2 days of Sun and I'm positively manic

The sun came out for most of monday and tuesday this week - wow! Just phenomenal! The trees are in bloom, the grass is green, the ferns are lush - not that anemic brown they've been most of the winter. My new friend, E-, got me excited about making stuff again, which is very high on several of my lists: "Things I like Doing Instead of Watching TV," "Things I like Doing While Watching TV," and "Stuff that Makes Me Happy."

So off we went to the Bellevue Botanical Garden for a class in making flowers out of christmas tree lights. The process was easy once you picked it up, but there is a very specific way to do it and they have it down to a science. I'm a big picture-then-detail person, and was having a hard time grasping why precisely you had to do this or that thing. Everytime the slightly micro-managing "guide" would come correct my method, E- would giggle, which would make me laugh, blowing the scowl away and eventually the micro-manager to boot! Then, I got it and everything was fine. Our flowers were the most natural, beautiful flowers there!

The garden is so beautiful. If you are ever in the Seattle area, and like pretty things and beautiful places, this is a Must-Do! The garden is very well laid out and has a wonderful assortment of native and exotic plants.

On this day, the sun was out, and everything was shimmering like some great big tranny diva just showed up and dumped her entire glitter make up kit on everything, but in a classy way. The air even smelled sweet. I was running late and didn't want to make a bad impression on my new friend, so I just walked kinda fast and took really deep breaths instead of running. Poor E- made a wrong turn on the highway and by the time she could correct it, was way up by my house. I wish I'd known... She could've picked me up and we could have strolled in late together!

But I haven't even told you the best part of the day! Better than the massage I got after making flowers in a beautiful garden, better than calming the most nervous dog in the universe, better than hearing from a friend I hadn't talked to in months - The Very Best Part of My Day was when E- said we should start a creativity salon! So, stay tuned for the next post where in I will put forth at least 10 ideas for meeting themes. I've got 5 so far, so the last 5 may get a bit dodgy, but it's all for the fun, right?


it's been a long winter...

And they say it's a short one this year, but dang it feels long. Everyone I meet says it's hard to meet people here. People are friendly and I believe their polite interactions are genuine. They just aren't very embracing. I even meet people who say, "I know exactly what you mean!" We exchange numbers and nothing comes of it.