Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Finally! Progress is being made! Yesterday at my appointment (slightly squeamish readers, simply go make yourself a sandwich and come back to the next paragraph) I was 3+ cm dilated, and 50-60% effaced. This after being 1+ and 0% for two or three appointments in a row. My midwife stripped my membranes, and I was contracting regularly from about 2p.m. yesterday until 9:00p.m.

Then I contracted all through my sleep, surprisingly getting the deepest, best sleep I've had in months. And now I'm sort of stalling again, which is okay. I'm just so happy progress is being made. The contractions I've been having are awesome--awesome because they are strong enough and hurty enough that I know things are really happening, but also not so bad that I can't talk through them, and sometimes walk through them. I'm taking my midwife's advice and taking it easy, just resting on the couch and drinking water and eating good food. (Not so hard.) I'm excited to think that in a short time--whether it's hours or a couple of days--I'll be holding my daughter. Last night, Phill was like a little boy. He said, "I'm too excited! I don't know if I'll be able to sleep!"

We had a barbecue on Monday to celebrate the holiday, and invited several friends over. One neighbor (refer to previous post with story about Anonymous), whose boyfriend is in jail, is 6 months pregnant with her second. She's 19. She's very vulnerable and friendly, and I have to say I've grown very fond of her. I feel sort of like a mother hen saying that, as if I've taken her under my wing. But the truth is, I have very tender feelings for those mothers who don't have the husband/loved one's presence they need, whatever the reason. Deployment, jail, matter the reason, I feel very particular empathy. Anyway! So my neighbor was at our barbecue. Six months pregnant, and as her nearly-three-year-old reached around her mother's neck to hug her, the chair said mother was sitting on broke, taking baby and mother to the floor with baby's knee digging into mother's side....she was in a huge amount of pain, probably having pulled a muscle or stretched a ligament in trying to catch herself and her daughter. But then her baby--the one in utero, a boy--wasn't moving for an entire hour afterwards. I took her to the hospital. (Neighbor's boyfriend wrecked their car in a drunken stupor long ago--they've been without a car for months. His mother is usually their means of transportation. She was enjoying Memorial Day weekend in Vegas.) After an hour and a half, during which the nurse was trying to find a Doppler that worked and tending to a pregnant woman kicked in the stomach by a horse, we finally were able to find the baby's heartbeat. And he finally moved. It was definitely a strange night, especially after such a fun day. But all is well, mother and babies are doing well. It was funny to walk into Labor & Delivery with my 39-weeks-plus belly and reassure the nurses that I was not the one needing the tending. And it was a little funny to be in there and not be in labor. I felt almost like I was a robber casing the joint. I did, however, have a huge highlight to that little incident. Wheeled past me was a peacefully sleeping, perfectly tiny, bundled baby boy. I smiled at his father, who was at the helm of the plastic bassinet. The smile on his face could have lit up a dark house.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

more quotables

We went on a family walk this morning and went to see some sheep in a little enclosure. The boys were really excited, but Reed just about hyperventilated when he saw that there was a little white goat in with the sheep. He's really fascinated with goats lately because he's learned that they'll eat really weird stuff, along with regular feed. Anyway, the sheep were bleating, and the boys were bleating back. Then the goat bleated, and it sounded a lot like the sheep. Reed said, "That goat speaks lamb."

We were swimming, and it was only me, Phill, Jax and Reed at our apartment complex pool. I guess that the time before last, there were lots more people and the water was moving a bit more, because Reed asked this time, "Why is the water so flat today?"

We walked past a man holding a little dog on our walk this morning. Reed called back as we passed, "I like your dog! It's clean!" :)
I think that maybe I ought to wear a shirt that has at a glance all the answers to all the questions pregnant women get asked:

1. June 4th. No, I'm not feeling good. I'm feeling like a beached whale.

2. A girl. I have two other boys, ages 4 and 1/2 and 21 months. Yes, these last two are somewhat close apart! Good for you for noticing. Hey, while I'm at it, should I tell you how I got pregnant with them? I mean, that seems to be of interest to you.

3. Yes, I have been having contractions. Yes, sometimes they are regular. In fact, sometimes they are so regular and so nice and strong that I think it's the real thing!! Am I excited? Hm. A little past that. I'd say....impatient. And a little bit crazy. So don't ask me again if I've had contractions. I might just be mean.

*Just a note to my loving family and friends who read this blog: This list of answers is more directed (quite passive-aggressively) at abjectly curious strangers and those acquaintances who, in their excitement to see me have a third child (?) ask me these questions every week at church with no retainment of my answer. It honestly hardly bothers me at all when I get these questions from any of you, because I know your wondering is usually coming from a different place altogether. This is simply my Vent of the Day. :)

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Anyone for tea?

A friend and I went to a place where you can paint ceramics that are later fired so they're all pretty and shiny. I chose two tiny teacups for Savanna, in colors I thought were girly, but still spunky. One in a bright red, and one in a pale lime. I took several pictures of them, but our stupid version of Photoshop was taking so unbelievably long. So I had to shut it down. So just one picture--Phill was playing around, but it's actually perfect to show the scale of the cups. I'll post more pictures of them later, along with some pictures of the details on her blessing gown. Hopefully soon there will be an actual baby in the gown!

status of belly

Savanna Status
A little effaced
Everything can change
And nothing can change
in the space of a few days

A puzzle for you:
What's orange, plastic, round
and when flushed down the toilet
can take one and a half hours to remove??

The pretend orange Jaxon threw in the toilet
before flushing quickly while saying, "Fusshhh...."

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Boys' Bath

I was bathing the boys this morning, and Jax poured some water down Reed's back. The water was a tad too warm, and Reed said, "Ow! Jax, would you please not do that?" And Jax said, "Okay," and actually stopped doing it! Reed, surprised as I was, said, "Mom, he stopped. That was nice of him!" I said, "Yeah! And you asked him so nicely, too." Reed said, "He's my brother. How would I not say it nicely?" :) Then, as I was drying him off, he gave me a warm, damp hug and said, "I love you. You're the best." I said, "You're the best." He said, "We both are." I said, "Okay." Then he said, "You're my mom. And you're not crazy."

For all the five times I sneezed this morning, Jaxon said, "Bess you." Then when I was filling up a bath, intending only to put Reed in it, he said, "Need baff??" in this plaintive little voice.

Monday, May 21, 2007


My craving for Bajio has been satisfied! And, due to the unbelievable portions they serve, my craving will be satisfied again tomorrow for lunch.
Savanna has dropped lower than ever, completely changing the shape of my belly and allowing me to breathe better than I have in months. I'm 38 weeks today. Tomorrow I find out where I am on the scale of labor and such things....dilation, effacement, all those fun things. I've had contractions--real and Braxton-Hicks--off and on in increasing amounts for days. Hopefully they're doing something tangible for me. I don't feel frantic to have her out of me, but I'm certainly impatient and excited.
Saturday we went to the zoo, and had I had the patience (and stamina), I would have stood in the line to see the white alligator. The walking was good for me, stirring up several contractions and making me use muscles that were apparently asleep for the last nine (ten?) months. There was an uncomfortable-looking pregnant woman everywhere we looked, as well as one nervous-yet-physically-comfortable-looking new mother everywhere we looked.
Anyway....Phill's golf lesson is over, so I'm on my way to get him. More later, I suppose.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Postpartum Reminder

I'm sure this might seem strange, but as I am finding myself beset by self-doubt, I'm posting this as a reminder to myself--and maybe all women!--for after I birth Savanna.

You have a strong and healthy body, which will serve you well if you treat it well.

You don't have to be Supermom. You don't have to be Superwife. If you want, you can have greasy hair and a zitty face and a flabby stomach and a little too much in the thighs and a messy house. That's normal. Just take your time and be kind to yourself.

You're responsible for the emotional and physical nourishment of your children. If you aren't nourished, they can't be.

You have completed a monumental task. Give yourself a break! Celebrate what you've accomplished, and address the aftermath when you've had time to adjust to the present.

Be kind to yourself, be gentle with yourself, and at the end of the day, take the sum of the good. Throw the rest out the window, and do your best.

You don't have to be some out-of-this-world creature who looks heavenly only days after giving birth. It took nine months for you to nourish and maintain the baby you just birthed. Give yourself time to return to some semblance of your body's best. At the same time, go ahead and marvel at the body's ability to bounce back after huge physical change.

Enjoy your husband. Enjoy your children. Enjoy the little accomplishments. Be proud of yourself.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


I don't recommend vomiting Raisin Bran. Believe me, it wasn't fun this morning. And I don't think it will be fun any morning thereafter....good thing it was just a fluke, hm?

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Matters of the Heart

Last night I was unable to sleep from 2-4, due to some crazy heartburn that wouldn't go away unless I sat up. I even drove to a gas station and got Tums, four of which I swallowed quickly. But they didn't do much. So I fell asleep in a semi-reclining (and only semi-comfortable) position. Phill gave me a most wonderful Mother's Day gift, though, in keeping the boys entertained this morning while I slept deeply until 11. Nevertheless, I was still feeling quite frustrated by being pregnant, and prone to complaining.

Then I checked my email. Less than three months ago, one of my cousins died in a motorcycle crash, leaving behind his wife and seven children. Well, yesterday morning, one of his sons died of a brain aneurysm. So his wife has lost her husband and one son in less than three months.

I need to say that I am grateful for my husband and my children, including the one in utero, and I am grateful for the ability to carry a child, even when the pregnancy can prompt one to complain....I'm blessed, and I have very little that justifies complaint. I don't want to take things for granted when they should be seen as blessings--pregnancy, loved ones, whatever it may be....I'm sure that because I'm human, I'll be back to my old complaining self in no time. But I'll be very much remiss if I don't make a note of how grateful I am to have what I have.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Cute Quotables From the Boys

I really ought to do this more often. The boys say so many cute things, and I try my best to write them all down for later journal entries. But I also love to email them to friends and family, so I think a blog is a perfect place for it!


There was a man stocking shelves at the grocery store. He had a duster in his back pocket. Reed saw him and shouted, "Dad, that man has a chicken tail!"

In trying to convince me to let him have some more outside time one afternoon: "The kids might need me. They always need my help scooping sand."

Using logic to convince me to let him play at a playground near a huge gaping hole complete with a ten-feet mound of dirt (though fenced off with flimsy plastic): "Well, I know you don't want us to get muddy, but it gots a gate."


When I said, "I love you" while putting him to bed: "I too."

When Reed accidentally bumped him and didn't notice: "Sorry. Okay? Yes."

After seeing how much my belly button pokes out when I took off my shirt: "Baby! Baby! Baby!" (while poking my belly button)

And every time we drive to Lily's house, he can't help but say her name in gleeful tones the entire way there: "Yee-yee! Yee-yee!"

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Nervous Neonatal Nellie

I woke up at 3:30a.m. for no apparent reason with a stomachache and unshakable worries about upcoming labor and delivery. I didn't finally fall asleep again until 5:30. I knew I should've brushed up on my HypnoBirthing....guess I'll be going to sleep with the CD playing in my ears tonight. I'm not sure what spurred my sudden early-morning wake-up worry. I think it might be that I am 36 weeks now, so officially "allowed" to deliver. I don't think she's going to come until around 38 or 39 weeks. But it was like yesterday the whole thing was much closer than I realized. And Phill's not here, which makes my nerves worse. My stomach is still hurting today. (And no, they're not contractions....)

Friday, May 4, 2007

What is it with gallbladders?

Supposedly, we're born with at least two body parts we don't need--maybe three. The tonsils and appendix are two, and the gallbladder, while it does serve a purpose, seems to be more of a hassle than anything. Why? Let me elaborate.

My next-door neighbor, whom we'll call Anonymous, is five months pregnant with her second child. Tuesday afternoon, her boyfriend had been missing for several hours. Having gone three months sober, Anonymous was worried that he had begun drinking again. Alas....she was right. I returned home from errands and saw a suitcase outside her door, with a note on top addressed to boyfriend in big, dark letters (with an exclamation point at the end). Well, Anonymous has gallstones. She told me about it a few days ago, told me she's only supposed to eat bland foods until it's safer to do surgery--i.e., until baby arrives. Eat bland food for four months?! Anyway....I suppose the stress of the breakup was too great, and Anonymous went into the hospital that night. Apparently pregnancy hormones make gallstones grow out of control, and if they pass through something called the common bioduct, the baby would die. So the day after she broke up with boyfriend, Anonymous was in surgery, having her gallbladder removed and hoping that baby would be alright. Don't worry! Happy ending (so far). Baby is well. Anonymous is mending. Hopefully the unseen wounds will heal quickly, too.

But that's not all!! Oddly enough, yesterday one of my best friends--who, for the sake of privacy and consistency in this odd entry, we'll call Unknown--called me from the hospital. Guess why? To tell me that she was to have her gallbladder removed.

Oh, and it turns out I was WAAAAYYYYY wrong in grouping the gallbladder with the purpose-unknown appendix and tonsils. It just so happens the gallbladder is pretty darn useful, at least, I guess, until stones turn it to something of an enemy to the body.

For your reading pleasure and information:

Causes and Symptoms of Gallstones

The gallbladder is a small pear-shaped organ located beneath the liver on the right side of the abdomen. The gallbladder's primary functions are to store and concentrate bile, and to secrete bile through small ducts into the small intestine to help digest food. Bile, a fluid produced by the liver, contains water, cholesterol, lipids (fats), bile salts (natural detergents that break up fat), and the bile pigment bilirubin.

What are Gallstones?

Gallstones are hard crystal-like particles that form in the gallbladder from substances in bile. Cholesterol stones are usually white or yellow and account for about 80% of gallstones. The other 20% of gallstones are small dark pigment stones made of bilirubin and calcium salts. Risk factors for pigment stones include cirrhosis, biliary tract infections, and hereditary blood cell disorders like sickle cell anemia.

Gallstones may be as small as a grain of sand or as large as a golf ball. The gallbladder may develop a single large stone or many smaller ones, even several thousand.