Friday, September 26, 2008

Scenes from New Motherhood

I love this little boy. Love, love, love.

My infant son inspires me sing silly songs like this:
He’s my baby
Bless my baby
Tastes good with gravy
Don’t mean maybe!

I could kiss those cheeks over and over again.

Cry. Cry, cry, cry. We are both crying.

This is hard. This is the hardest and best thing I’ve ever done.

I think of that scene from Juno in which Jennifer Garner is holding the baby in the hospital nursery and asks Allison Janney, “How do I look?” and Allison Janney replies kindly, “Like a new mom. Scared shitless.”

So tired. Sleep when the baby sleeps! Except that I want to unload the dishwasher and check my email and, I don’t know, maybe I should take a shower? I haven’t showered in three days. That’s disgusting, and yet I don’t want to waste my time that way.

Since when is personal hygiene a waste of time? Holy cats.

First outing alone in the car with the baby. I carefully obey the speed limit. I get to the grocery store and look around for other moms in the parking lot. There are none. I fumble with the car seat until I figure out how to secure it to the shopping cart. This feels like a major accomplishment.

I remember how Mike’s cousin was too scared to take her baby anywhere for several months. Suddenly, that doesn’t seem so odd.

Still, I don’t want to be her.

Shop. Shop quickly before the baby wakes up and wants to eat! I keep one hand on the cart at all times, lest someone try to steal my baby. How did my mom manage with three children under four and two shopping carts full of stuff?

Cashier asks if I would be willing to trade my baby for groceries. This makes me smile and I am grateful to her. I feel spunky enough to stop for coffee on the way home.

Back home in one piece. No one smashed into my car, no airplane parts fell from the sky, no noticeable earthquakes.

It’s been three weeks. Such a long time, and yet no time at all.

Scared shitless, but moving forward.


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Birth Story, Part Three

(Part One)
(Part Two)

I’m guessing it was only a couple of minutes that we waited for the nurse to take me to my room, but it seemed like much longer. We later found out that L&D was unusually busy that night at the small hospital. Over the course of my labor and birth, ten babies would be born.

Pausing once for a contraction, we made our way to my room. I took a quick look around and saw that the room looked exactly like the one we’d been shown on our tour a couple of months earlier. The next day I found out that it was the nicest, biggest room in L&D, the one usually reserved for the births of hospital employees. I got it because it was the only room available when we arrived. Impeccable timing! Too bad I was in too much pain to appreciate it. All I cared about was getting through the required 20 minutes of fetal monitoring so I could get in the shower.

They hooked me up to the monitor, and I sat on the edge of the bed while they checked the baby’s heart rate and confirmed my name and birth date and snapped hospital ID bracelets onto my wrist. I still couldn’t believe that I was going to have my baby, but it must be happening if they were giving me a bracelet, right?

The baby was doing fine. Margie the midwife came in to check me. I was glad she was on duty that night, since she's one of my favorite midwives.

“You’re six centimeters and 100% effaced!” she announced. “Great job.”

I was a little disappointed, as I was hoping to be further along. But I pushed the number out of my head and made my way to the bathroom so I could get in the shower. I felt like I was underwater, moving slowly. Margie came in with me and asked if I wanted any pain medication.

“No,” I told her. "No meds."

“She’s planning to go without,” Mike explained.

She and the nurses never offered it again.

I stripped down, Mike got into his bathing suit, and we got in the shower. Cathy the doula used the massaging shower head to move the hot water over my back and belly, which felt great.

“She’s done this before!” I remember saying to Mike.

I still wished for a tub, but the hot shower made things much better. I’m not sure how long we were in there- it might have been an hour or two. Cathy asked if I wanted to sit on the shower seat or the birth ball while the shower ran. I tried both, but standing and leaning on Mike made the pain more bearable. I took a deep breath as each contraction began, and breathed slowly and deeply through each one as I made low, guttural noises. My throat would be very sore the next day from doing this for so many hours. Cathy had plugged the aromatherapy machine in, and I smelled oranges. The ocean sounds & meditation music CD was playing in the background. The lights were dimmed and I was only aware of myself, Mike, and the doula.

At some point I got too hot, and we got out of the shower. I changed into a hospital gown. Cathy asked if I wanted her to call Margie so she could check me, but I said no. If I hadn’t progressed, I didn’t want to know. Every once in a while Margie or a nurse would come in and check the baby’s heartbeat with the portable Doppler.

I walked the room for a while, and when a contraction came I would hold onto Mike and sway while Cathy massaged my back. I vomited several times, though there was nothing left in my stomach. Since my mom was busy recording parts of the labor on our camcorder, Mike’s mom was in charge of keeping a supply of ice chips and fetching things we needed from the suitcase.

At some point, I stopped walking and switched to sitting on the end of the bed and clasping Mike’s hands in mine as he stood and pulled rhythmically on my arms, while Cathy massaged my lower back with firm, downward movements. For several hours that was the only way I could manage, focusing on just one contraction at a time. Mike and Cathy kept going and going. Any time I called for them, they were there in an instant.

Time had no meaning that night. It was as though Mike and I were in another world. There was no clock in the room and I was glad, because I didn’t want to break my concentration by focusing on how much time had or hadn’t passed. But every once in a while I would hear a nurse or one of the moms say, “It’s midnight.” “It’s 1 a.m.” and I would marvel at how the night seemed to be both standing still and passing at warp speed.

At some point I consented to have Margie check me and I was 8 centimeters dilated. I got back in the shower, and we stayed in for nearly an hour. After I got out, I walked the room again. I went to the bassinet that was ready and waiting for my baby, and touched the blanket inside. I saw a picture hanging on the wall, that Got Milk? ad with Mariska Hargitay and her baby. I remember thinking, Didn’t she have her baby, like, YEARS ago?

The room was still dimly lit, smelling of citrus and with the sound of the ocean in the background. I wasn't actively aware of the ocean sounds CD while it was playing, but any time it stopped, I noticed immediately and asked for someone to start it again. Cathy and my family later told me that Margie and the nurses were impressed with how serene the environment was. Apparently they were also impressed with how "polite" I was. I laughed when I heard that. I tend to be a fairly quiet, introverted person, so wouldn't it make sense that I would be the same way in labor?

From time to time I would hear a baby cry as it was born. That was really encouraging, but at some point I also heard a woman's screams coming from down the hall.

"Shut the door!" I called. Cathy took care of it.

The contractions were coming faster, and I was glad because I hoped that meant I would soon be at 10 centimeters. The pain enveloped me, and during the contractions I moaned softly, “Please help me. Please help me.”

“You have lots of people here to help you,” Mike would answer. “I will help you.”

Mike didn’t worry when I said this (although apparently it was ripping my mom's heart to shreds). We had a code word that I would use if I couldn’t take it any more and really needed medication. A code word allows the laboring woman to say anything she needs to, to beg for drugs or to say she can’t do it, all the while knowing that the secret word is there if she really needs it. I can honestly say that I never thought about using it.

Sometimes I asked Cathy, “How much longer?”, even though I knew she couldn’t really answer with any accuracy. But she would say, “It shouldn’t be too much longer.”

“An hour?” I would gasp. “Okay. I can do this for another hour.”

“Let’s go for another hour,” she would say.

Margie came back into the room and asked if I wanted her to check me. I said yes, certain that I must be at 10. My heart sank when I saw her shake her head. After nearly three hours, I was still at eight centimeters.

“Do you want me to break your bag of waters?” she asked. “It could make the contractions harder to handle, but it might speed things along, especially if you're getting tired.”

Another contraction passed, and I told her yes. Do it.

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Friday, September 19, 2008

Birth Story, Part Two

(Part One)

We sat down in Catherine the midwife's office. I fidgeted in my seat, as I was feeling crampy and uncomfortable from the membrane stripping.

“So…” Catherine began. She knew I wasn’t going to like this. “The physicians usually talk about scheduling an induction when you’re one week past your due date. For you, that would give us an induction date of Friday, September 5th.”

I nodded. “But my cycles tend to be longer than 28 days. I actually calculated my due date as being today, September 2. Couldn’t we add a few days to the deadline? Please?"

Catherine smiled wryly. “Don’t confuse the doctors with facts.” She looked down at her desk calendar. “Okay, here’s what we can do. If the doctor beats me up a little for not clearing this with her first, well… I can take it.”

She made some notes. “We’ll schedule another office visit for this Thursday, day after tomorrow. If you end up still being pregnant that day, we can strip your membranes again. Then we’ll schedule an ultrasound for Friday to check on the baby. If you make it to that appointment, they’ll check to make sure the baby has enough amniotic fluid and isn’t too stressed. If everything looks good, we’ll wait until Monday for the induction.”

“And if everything doesn’t look good?” I asked.

“Take your bag with you and be prepared to go straight to the hospital.”

I agreed, and Catherine called the hospital to schedule the induction for Monday morning, September 8th. Meanwhile, I silently begged the baby to come soon.

Mike and I stopped at a grocery store on the way home to buy some Kleenex. I threw a few other things in the cart, whatever struck my fancy- fresh pineapple, oatmeal cookies from the bakery, and a frozen Amy’s Organic Indian dinner to have for lunch. Every so often I had to stop and lean against Mike as contractions washed over me.

We didn’t get too excited, though. This had happened once before.

At home, I heated up my Indian food but only got halfway through. “Oh God,” I said. “This is disgusting. I can’t eat another bite.”

My mom made me some plain scrambled eggs and toast, saying that I should try to eat something in case this was real labor. I managed as much as I could, but suddenly my appetite was gone. The pineapple and cookies sat on the counter, untouched.

The contractions were still coming, but we weren’t timing them. Every time I felt one coming I went to the stairs and leaned on my knees and elbows, moaning, my face buried in the carpet. Mike called the doula, who told us to start timing them. They were coming three minutes apart, each one feeling like a mirror image of the last.

By now it was 2:00 in the afternoon, and Mike called the doula back and asked her to come to the house. We moved upstairs to our bedroom and I paced the room, stopping to lean on my dresser each time the contractions hit. Sometimes I sat on the exercise ball and leaned forward on the bed. The contractions felt like an intense squeezing around my lower abdomen and back. Alex sat near me on the bed, sniffing my head and licking my hand.

Mike called Catherine the midwife, who encouraged us to stay home for as long as possible. “I’ll call and tell them that you’ll be in eventually, but if you want a natural birth, try to stick it out at home for a while.” She wanted to speak with me, but I could only mumble at her.

"You're sounding like you're in pain," she said as we hung up. "This is good!"

Our doula, Cathy, arrived. She had brought all her tricks with her, including an aromatherapy machine. She knew I liked citrus and had bought some citrus oil for me. Soon the room was bathed in the fruity scent. Mike put our special CD of ocean sounds and meditation music on the CD player. My mom hovered nearby with ice chips and a trashcan, as I was gradually throwing up every bit of the Indian food I’d consumed earlier.

(a word of advice: if you even THINK you might be going into labor, don’t eat curry. You are welcome.)

Somehow, four and a half hours ran and blended together and soon it was after 6 p.m. The contractions were now less than two minutes apart. I was pretty much not speaking at all, so Cathy asked if I wanted to stay home or if I wanted to go to the hospital.

“I want to stay here,” I breathed. Suddenly, getting in a car and driving to the hospital seemed like the worst idea in the world. I couldn’t bear the thought of seatbelts and bumpy roads. I wanted only to climb into our giant bathtub and float in warm water. “I wish I was having a home birth!”

Everyone laughed. “I understand,” said Cathy. “But we’re not equipped for that.”

After some back and forth, I told Cathy that my biggest concern was getting to the hospital before I went into transition. I didn’t want to be in the car when that happened.

After a few more contractions, I decided that we should leave.

Mike called his mom and told her to meet us at the hospital, since I’d invited her to be there for the birth. There was a flurry of activity as the car was packed, the dog was taken out to go to the bathroom, and our next-door neighbor was called upon to care for him that night. Mike and I got into our car, my mom ran to hers, and Cathy followed behind us.

On the way to the hospital I remember gazing at the drivers and pedestrians around us. They were going about their business without realizing the huge thing that was happening to me. I wondered if anyone could tell that there was a woman in labor in the front seat.

We reached the hospital shortly after 7 p.m. I remember stopping in the parking lot and holding onto the trunk of a tree on the way in, moaning as another contraction squeezed my body. The thought of “Hey- I’m a tree hugger!” drifted somewhere in the recesses of my mind, but I couldn’t laugh. I was aware of my mom recording me on our camcorder, and Mike stroked my back.

On we moved, through the front entrance of the hospital. I was vaguely aware of people watching me as they passed. “This is it!” I told myself. “You are having a baby!”

Once inside, my group moved to the front desk. I heard the receptionist calling for a wheelchair.

“No!” I said feebly. “No wheelchair.” Standing was the only thing that felt bearable.

“What?” the woman asked, confused. “She doesn’t want a wheelchair?”

“No chair,” I gasped, pressing my forehead against the wall and rocking back and forth. “NO CHAIR!” Mike called to her. She backed off.

After that contraction passed we got on the elevator, but another one hit just as the doors opened on the labor & delivery floor. I stood with my face pressed into the cool metal wall as the door pinged and attempted to close over and over again. Finally I could move, and we got off. “Sorry,” I mumbled to the people who had been waiting to board.

We had to be buzzed into L&D by the nurses. One of them asked for my photo ID, and I tossed my purse to Mike’s mom as another contraction washed over me. She ran down the hall, waving my driver’s license. As the pain slowly ebbed, I realized that I was standing in the doorway of the waiting room with an audience.

Ow,” a little boy said sadly, looking at me.

Ow is right,” I told him, trying to smile.

It seemed to take an eternity, but finally a nurse came to take us to our room. We were off to the races!

(Part Three)

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Boob Wars: Liz Strikes Back

(alternate title: More Than You Ever Wanted to Know About My Boobs)

So after my tearful post on Monday, we saw a lactation consultant that our doula recommended on Tuesday morning. God, I was dreading it, as I was already in pain and I couldn't bear the thought of "practicing" over and over. But this woman was wonderful, just the right combination of authority and compassion, and she didn't mind when I snotted all over her shirt. We practiced on the least sore side, and though I wanted to shrivel up and die the first time, it did indeed get better and better. She recommended that I alternate breastfeeding on the left (less sore) side and giving the Lion expressed breastmilk from the right side.

We're using a bottle for that, and there is no nipple confusion in sight. I mean, I'd been using a nipple shield on both sides for two or three days, and what is that if not a bottle nipple that you attach to your body? My son is not easily confused, I guess.

The lactaction consultant confirmed that my supply is fabulous, as if I needed anyone else to confirm that. GOT MILK? Yes, gallons and gallons o' milk! Will end world hunger with my awesome milk supply! Come one, come all! Just PLEASE BE GENTLE.

Mike had to help me the first couple times after our appointment, as I was highly anxious about pain and all that. He'd recorded the session on our camcorder, so I watched it a few dozen times and then finally worked up the courage to do it. Now I can do it by myself, though I'm still clumsy enough that I can't imagine doing it in public anytime soon.

And I just have to say that Mike is just... the best thing ever. He's been so supportive and wonderful, and still tells me that I look beautiful when I'm sitting there hooked up like a cow to my breast pump with milk stains all down my pants. I totally don't believe him, but I appreciate it all the same.

SO, it looked like things were getting better, just like the LC said they would, when I developed an infection in my right breast. OF COURSE I DID. So now the Lion and I are on antibiotics and I'm still pumping that side until it looks less... scary.

Anyway, do you see why women truly need maternity leave? It's for shit like this. I'm finally feeling better down under and now I've got a new world of pain happening upstairs.

And here I thought I'd be sitting around getting pedicures and eating bon bons all day.

Good thing he's so beautiful. He is worth it, every single gnashing of my teeth.

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Monday, September 15, 2008

Love Hurts

We interrupt this birth story with news of cracked, bleeding nipples requiring use of a nipple shield. Tell me I am not a shitty mother already, because I know, I KNOW- if we were doing this right, it wouldn't hurt. It would be like taking a trip to Disney World or visiting my favorite spa multiple times a day, right?

At least, if that's what your experience with breastfeeding was, I don't want to know. I just can't understand how having a small person sucking on your breasts for hours a day wouldn't hurt after a while, since said breasts were previously used to a quiet, peaceful existence. Especially when the owner of said breasts has very pale, sensitive skin?

I soldier on, don't you worry- no one is starving in this house. Supply is fine, it's just the hose that's a bit busted. But I can't really bear the thought of seeing a lactation consultant and practicing latching on again, as I am doing everything that two lactation consultants told me to do in the hospital.

Insider tip- buy stock in Lansinoh lanolin. When you retire early you'll have me and my bloody nipples to thank.

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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Birth Story, Part One

My mom left early this morning to drive back to Florida, and the house is so quiet without her. My dad had also been here for a couple of days. He was up in New York during the birth, helping to care for my sister after her accident (she ended up needing surgery and is now enduring hours and hours of physical therapy to get full range of motion back in her arm). When she was finally able to get around on her own, Dad took a bus down from NYC to DC on Thursday and had been holding and kissing his grandson non-stop until last night.

We said goodbye last night, just in case we were still sleeping when they left this morning. But around 5:30 a.m. I heard them wheeling their luggage to the car and I scooped Leo up in my arms and ran outside barefoot so they could say goodbye one last time. We were all crying, except for Leo.
I am trying not to cry right now. I think back to when my mom offered to come help me for these three weeks, and how I briefly wondered if it would be better for Mike and I to muddle through without a witness. Not that I didn't want my mom here, but I thought I might need my space.
I couldn't have been more wrong. I honestly don't know how I would have survived those first days without her. Mike is home from work for one more week, and then I will be on my own.

I am sort of terrified.
Anyway, to distract myself from her absence, I am working on my birth story. Here is part one. And please don't worry about me- I really am feeling better every day. I just wish there was some way to hurry these hormones on their way.
In the meantime, this is making me smile:

Birth Story, Part One

We had scheduled our last midwife appointment for Thursday, August 28, 2008—the day before my estimated due date. At the appointment I was 90% effaced and still just one measly centimeter dilated. A little disappointing, but I tried to remind myself that it didn’t mean anything. I could go into labor right here, on this examination table! Like, RIGHT NOW! Or… now! Or… in thirty seconds! Or I could go into labor on my way to work and have to call for an ambulance and end up having a stranger deliver my baby on the side of the highway! I could be on the evening news!

(this is my version of positive thinking)

Back to reality. Catherine the midwife was checking for the baby’s heartbeat with the Doppler. The seconds ticked slowly by as she moved the Doppler over my belly, looking for that familiar whoosh whoosh whoosh. Back and forth, back and forth. I remained calm until her fourth attempt, during which my breath came quickly and my eyes filled with tears. Oh, god. WHERE ARE YOU, BABY? Here is was, the realization of my worst fears! My baby was dead, my precious baby, and I didn’t even get to meet him! And then suddenly Catherine moved the Doppler to the right and


I burst into tears and Mike rushed up to the examination table with a box of Kleenex.

“You scared the shit out of me!” I sobbed to Catherine.

“It’s okay,” she said. “Sometimes they like to hide. He’s very much alive and his heart is beating like crazy!”

Then it was time for Catherine to strip my membranes, after which she pulled out her gloved hand and announced gleefully, “Look, blood!” Mike paled slightly. “That’s good,” Catherine assured him.

I smiled gamely.

We made a follow-up appointment for the Tuesday after Labor Day weekend, just in case nothing happened before then. Before I left, Catherine remarked to Mike, “You both want a natural birth, and I think this one can do it.” She patted me on the shoulder and I felt my eyes well up again.

Have I mentioned that I love midwives?

I’d been planning to go to work after the appointment, but soon felt so crampy that I had to go home instead. My mom had been at our house since Monday evening, eagerly anticipating the beginning of my labor. And within a couple of hours, it seemed that all of us would get our wish. The general cramping had given way to contractions that lasted all day and had me hunching over the shopping cart as my mom and I wound through the aisles of Target and Wegman’s. The contractions were irregular, but painful. We called the doula, who agreed that the signs were good and encouraged me to sleep if possible. That evening I took a hot bath to help me relax, and then drifted off.

At some point I woke up in the blackness of my bedroom and realized that the contractions had stopped. No. NO! I got up and walked briskly around the room. I marched up and down the stairs. But my uterus was quiet once again.

Friday morning I woke up depressed and without even a stitch of pain. The long holiday weekend stretched ahead of me, and we had no plans besides, you know, HAVING A BABY. I knew I would not be pregnant forever, and yet I couldn’t help believing it. Ridiculously, assurances from my mother of “You WILL have this baby!” were enormously helpful.

“I WILL have this baby, I WILL have this baby!” I repeated to myself as needed. I wandered around the baby’s room, touching his clothes and crib and trying to picture myself in the rocking chair with a baby in my arms.

On Labor Day Monday, there was still no baby. My mom and I went to see Mama Mia! as a distraction. I normally despise musicals, so that tells you how desperate I was. The baby kicked crazily during each ABBA song. “My son likes disco!” I whispered to her, and we watched as the popcorn bucket hopped and bumped along my belly.

Finally, it was Tuesday morning and time for the “just-in-case” appointment. DAMMIT. I smiled grimly at the receptionist and told her that it was nothing personal, but I was really hoping that I wouldn't see her again for six more weeks. She nodded and said she would pray harder this time.

Mike and I mentally prepared to hear that there was no further progress, but to my surprise, Catherine announced that I was 100% effaced and 3 centimeters dilated. Seems my cervix had not just been playing around last Thursday! I was elated.

She stripped my membranes again (again showing me the bloody glove), and then handed me a pad and told us to meet her in her office. We had to talk about scheduling an induction.

(Part Two)

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008


I haven't had a tear-free day yet, but things are getting better and better. No one told me that the days following birth can make you feel like someone scraped all your skin off with a vegetable peeler.
What? You did tell me? I guess I didn't believe you. I don't know if it's possible to anticipate what such raw emotion will feel like.
We took the Lion to his first pediatrician appointment on Wednesday and he was already above his birth weight, which means that I am doing fine in the breastfeeding department (despite the hospital lactation consultant's prediction). More on breastfeeding later- o, the trials and tribulations! Let's just say that undersupply was NOT my problem, and that cabbage is good for more than just making eggrolls.
Lion is such an easygoing baby, sleeping well and rarely crying. A good disposition, the pediatrician said. Funny, I remember the vet saying the same thing about Alex.

Speaking of Alex, he is fascinated by the baby and wants to know his whereabouts at all times. He's very protective. Here he is in his "I'm the Big Brother!" shirt that my mom put on him for our homecoming:

Keeping watch, as usual:

More soon. Thanks so much for all the good wishes!

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Sunday, September 07, 2008

Meet Leo

A hare, upon meeting a lioness one day, said reproachfully, "I have always a great number of children while you have only one or two now and then." The lioness replied, "That is true, but my one child is a lion."

an Ethiopian fable written by Lokman (c. 1100 B.C.)

Leo arrived at 3:24 a.m. on Wednesday morning, September 3rd weighing 8 pounds, 3 ounces and measuring at 21 inches long. (can we say IN YOUR FACE to all the people who predicted I would have a tiny baby?) I labored at home with Mike, my mom, and our doula all Tuesday afternoon, then we left for the hospital that evening. I was able to have the natural birth I wanted, and it was beautiful.

I'll write more about that later, I promise. Right now I can't think about it without sobbing. (It's a good kind of sobbing, I promise)

We got home from the hospital on Friday afternoon. That evening and yesterday were really rough, hormonally-speaking, but today I'm starting to feel more normal.

So yes, the baby's name is Leo. His middle name is Sir Paul's last name. A neonatologist had to be present for the birth because there was meconium in the amniotic fluid, and when Leo came out he pronounced, "He came out like a lion!" Mike's mom and my mom were there and everyone was crying.

My little lion is beautiful.


Monday, September 01, 2008

Labor Day- it would be SO appropriate, don't you think?

Sorry, sorry! I thought you guys would be partying all Labor Day Weekend long and not even remember that I've got a ripe fetus in my belly over here.

I've been in false-start labor land, where the contractions start up and really start to hurt for a while and then disappear. Mike had to put the kibosh on people calling for updates, like, WE WILL LET YOU KNOW WHEN THERE'S ANYTHING WORTH KNOWING. I mean, would a good Italian boy lie to his own grandmother?

I think not.

We thought Thursday night was going to be the night. A couple hours after the midwife swept my membranes the contractions started coming, owwww, and we called the doula and said maybe this is it, as they lasted all day and evening, and I even got the point where I had to take a hot bath because I was so uncomfortable. We even re-packed the suitcase and watered all the plants and my mom barely slept a wink, she was so excited. But sometime during the night they went away.

My uterus just really, really likes to practice. If practice makes perfect, I now have the most perfect uterus in all the land.

Anyway, my own calculations (months ago) put my due date a bit later than the 29th, so I was mentally prepared to go "late". But so many people vowed he would come early that I guess I had come to expect an early birth, too, which may explain why I turned into a sobbing snot-face on Saturday night after another stretch of phantom labor.

Mike: He'll come... we just have to wait.

Liz: Phhhwaaaaaaaaah!

Grandma: Is Liz in labor yet?


That was my low point. I've since stopped cussing out innocent elderly people.

(you'd never guess that I studied gerontological social work in college, right?)

We're excited, I'm patient and in good spirits (for now), and if nothing happens by tomorrow morning, we have another midwife appointment, during which I expect her to get aggressive with my cervix again.

Keep your fingers crossed.

(LABOR DAY, baby! Go toward the light!)

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