Category Archives: Pregnancy

Trying for Labor on Labor Day (or Natural Induction is Still Induction)

Wouldn’t it be cool to go into labor on labor day?  Well, I tried.  And the next day, I’m left 39 weeks pregnant, with unpatterned contractions, and a sense of clarity over the fact that “natural” induction is still induction.

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These two humans are riding a 4-wheeler ATV across a bumpy field to try and jiggle their baby out. Commence judgment and criticism now.

After a sweet 3-day weekend of cuddling with my family and doing 3 placenta encapsulations, yesterday we loaded up & headed out for some yummy lunch.  On the way, Husbo informed me that we would be eating spicy, spicy, spicy Chinese food.  But I don’t eat spicy food, so why…oh, labor!  We want to meet our baby, so ok, sure.  So at about 1pm I chowed down some spicy sesame chicken, and the lady across the aisle from us laughed when I couldn’t get the momentum to get my body out of the booth after our meal.

We headed home for our final weekend project of preserving 16 dozen ears of corn with 4 generations of my family.  When I went to pee at about 3pm, I found brown-tinged mucus where none had previously been.  I was audibly psyched.  After explaining why I was so excited about my toilet paper to the 4 year old who accompanies many of my bathroom visits, wee Ramona ran right out and shared with everyone that she just “saw brown mucus come out of Mommy’s jayjay.”  So much for pretending labor doesn’t exist until transition.

The excitement over the mucus led me to finally consent to the ATV ride my partner had been half joking about all day.  People do that, right?  Go for a ride on a bumpy road, do some cartwheels, horse back ride until the baby jiggles loose?

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This is a pregnant lady and her partner on an ATV, trying to knock the baby loose. In case you’re tempted, I don’t recommend it. I’m still pregnant.

He drove the ATV across the corrugated rows of the pasture at my family’s homestead, over and over again, at about 5:30pm.  I tried unsuccessfully to find a balance between not sitting so close to him that my belly would smash against his back, and not sitting so far back that my ass hit the back end.  It was a few minutes of sweet, ridiculous fun, as I held onto him tight and my hips moved in directions they never have before.

After the ATV ride, I became immediately paralyzed with fear that at best, the baby had hated it, and at worst, he’d become tangled up or injured and wasn’t going to be ok.  After two straight glasses of water and zero fetal movements, I looked to my doula (I finally hired a doula at 38 weeks!) for support.  As a straight-up, full-fledged cowgirl, she reassured me that she had done exactly the same thing and taken an ATV ride to bring the baby on.  Phew.

Time to head to the park for a playdate with other rad mamas & kiddos.  By 7:30pm, within an hour at the park, I’d had 7 contractions and 3 fetal movements.  Woohoo!  Of course, that meant it was time to walk laps of the park behind my daughter who’s riding her bike with training wheels for the very first time.  The walking intensified things, bringing on contractions that required funny faces and deep breaths to cope.

These rad mamas totally just yelled “MUCUS PLUG” through the airwaves of the crowded park, to encourage my day-o-possible-early-labor to keep on comin’.

We walked, we went home, and we hoped.  It seemed entirely reasonable that this sequence of events was the beginning of new baby Emmett’s birth in this world.  The contractions were obvious, with my uterus rising up high and being hard as a rock.   Even when I wasn’t contracting, there was cramping low-down in my uterus, and jerky little painful twinges in my hooha.  Husbo curled up beside me to sleep while I watched TV, because he needed his sleep in case it was time to support me through labor and birth soon.  Now and then he’d reach over and do some not-so-subtle nipple stimulation, which was so adorable of him.  And who doesn’t want a hot guy rubbing their nipples in the middle of the night?

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Ramona’s first serious biking experience, while I followed behind doing the Early Labor Walk. Yes, she’s all blurry because she’s going *that fast.*

But as I eventually let myself sink down into rest, the wheels of my brain finally kicked back in.  What were we doing?  And why?  This was exactly the opposite of our plan, to allow my body and our baby to be in charge of the process.  Sure I was contracting, but it certainly wasn’t spontaneous.  It was induced by an intentional series of events–which inherently meant that it wasn’t likely to take.  Why exhaust myself?  Why drain my patience?  Why get my hopes up when I absolutely know better?

I will go into labor.  My baby will be born.  And the entire experience will be much more positive if I treasure the end of my pregnancy right now, rather than beg my body to do something it’s not ready for.

It’s coming, and I can wait for it.

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FetusBeat: The Sounds of 32 Weeks

This video clip shows my round belly, my midwife’s hands, my mother, my daughter, a prenatal exam room, and a doppler.  It also shows how I spend 40 minutes every other week, revelling in the thumpity noises that come out of that machine.

I thought about having everybody be quiet and sit still so I could get a “good” clip of *just* the baby’s heartbeat.  But the sounds of 32 weeks are much more than just the heartbeat – they’re the sounds of my 3 3/4 year old daughter chattering away, my mom and my midwife getting to know each other, and me pining away for my partner, who missed the appointment. 

At another visit coming up, I’ll record the sounds of the heartbeat plus the placenta and umbilical cord (did you know the placenta and cord make their very own sounds??).  But for now, this is what 32 weeks sounds like for my belly.  It’s noisy & hectic & fun & vibrant & exactly what a family should be.

It worked! It really was that easy! I’m pregnant :)

Not much to say here, because the jubilation has taken over my brain and I’m feeling a little happy-drunk.

On New Year’s Eve, I peed on a stick and saw two pink lines.  I then jumped up and down, squeeled a bit, and showed my partner.

His first reaction?  Sex.  I love that man.

His second reaction?  Text messaging the above photo to all of our relatives, calling lots of people, and then posting the photo to Facebook (more on why that’s a bad idea later).

I’ve very literally been emotionally and physiologically high for days since finding out.  I seriously feel a bit intoxicated, and as I’m not drinking these days, I can only imagine that’s from the crazy joyful hormones I’m pumping around.

Emotionally I’m just overwhelmed with a sense of things being right.  And not just in comparison to the other times I’ve found out I was pregnant, which were much less graceful.  I mean ‘a sense of things being right’ in a broader sense.

I can honestly say that finding out about this pregnancy was one of the genuine happiest moments of my life.  And I’m talking happiest moments–akin to the moments I married my partner and birthed our daughter.

Sounds dramatic, I know.  But so much of life involves making concessions, navigating around obstacles, and cutting things close–not this pregnancy.  Everything about it is right, and that’s a rare feeling.

You were a crappy pregnancy test, anyway.

Dear pink and white plastic stick,

I know I’m supposed to wait until 6 stays before my period before asking you to do your job.  And I know today is 8 days before my period.  But would it really be that hard for you to just step up and give me some good news?

I should shut up and stop telling the whole Internet what I peed on today. But you pissed me off.

You and your lonely single pink line suck.

You were a crappy pregnancy test, anyway.

Sincerely,

Mrs. Not-Pregnant-Yet-According-To-You

There’s something romantic about trying to conceive.

Maybe it’s obvious to some folks, but I’ve been surprised by how sweet, loving, romantic, and sexy my relationship with my partner has been in the last week.

And it’s not the conception sex–in reality, that’s only been a couple times.

It’s getting home from work to find a gorgeous dinner on the table, with 3 kinds of greens included in the spread.  Why’d he make Brussels sprouts, asparagus AND spinach salad?  Because “greens are supposed to be good for getting pregnant,” according to my incredible partner.

It’s him casually poking my stomach in a prodding kind of way anytime someone mentions baby-having.

I think we’ve done so much griping about how tough parenthood is, that seeing my partner anxious to make a baby is really strange.  And really (really really really really really) awesome.

We never did this part before–the planning a pregnancy, the anticipation of when we’d get pregnant and when the baby would be due.  We did more of the ‘Oh shit!’ routine last time around.  And the ‘Oh shit!’ routine was fine and worked out beautifully, but this time is turning out to be more fun than I expected.

Aside from all of the giddiness that comes along with the idea of a new baby, this experience is also bringing a reminder that we’re great parents and that we make a great couple.

A reminder that parenting is a crazy fun adventure, a ride that we deserve to go on again.

A reminder that our daughter will make one fly big sister.

And reminder that the monotonous grind hasn’t actually devoured our souls (or our relationship) yet.

Making a Baby – Maybe?

I really thought one of us would chicken out.  We’ve been talking about conceiving a second child this month – December 2011 – for at least a year.  This month is here, and neither of us has chickened out.

We're ready for #2! Is #2 ready for us?

I know it’s enormously presumptuous, and a huge privilege, to have the health to just decide to make another baby.  And I can’t help but keep thinking we might be jinxing ourselves by expecting it to be so easy.

After all, the conception of our first wee one came only 4 months into our relationship, and after several doses of Plan B along the way.  That was years ago, and the contrast between our lives then and now couldn’t be any starker.  We’re a happy, healthy, crazy-fun family who’s ready to grow by one.

But to think that we could just “conceive a baby in December” discounts the monumental struggle that many families face around fertility and conception.  My sister fought to conceive for 13 years, doing round after round of IVF and hormone treatments, and finally giving up. I watched from the outside how difficult that was for her and her husband, and I’d never want to experience that, or neglect to honor the value of their struggle.

So amidst what appears to be a calm/cool/collected and intentional decision to conceive, I can’t ignore the sense of concern that’s creeping up on me.  Concern about how realistic it is to expect to conceive right away, and concern about sounding pompous with all this “we’re going to conceive this month” business.

Maybe we’ll really have to work for this one, like so many people do.  Or maybe it really will be that easy again.

The Most Intense Pregnant Belly I’ve Ever Seen

I came across this belly on Flickr earlier this month, and I’m enamored.  I have no idea who this person is, how many babies are inside that tight skin, or what her birth experience was like.  But I know that I love her stretch marks, her veins, her belly button, and her little one’s foot…or elbow, or knee, or whatever that is.  I don’t have any humor, analysis, or commentary here–just an intense, beautiful belly to enjoy & appreciate.