Monday, August 27, 2007

Hellloooo 3rd Trimester!

Henry has me just where he wants me.... Barefoot and pregnant and in the kitchen!

Yeah, right!

Finally! The end is in sight. I am so happy, I can hardly express it. I still continue to feel better every day, but I still have a challenging day here and there. For instance I did find out that I am slightly anemic, so I really need to work on my iron intake, which is a challenge for me. But I'm sleeping better (hooray!) and throwing up less (yippee!) and able to exercise more (yeeha!). I've been busy negotiating a maternity leave plan, reading up on natural child birth, and generally getting ready. Henry has been clearing out lots of stuff from his various collections by selling it all on eBay or Amazon. He is researching video cameras. Baby showers are being planned. We showed up at home the other evening and were caught off guard by a stroller having been delivered! Whoa! We must be having a baby! I've had my medical care transferred to a midwifery clinic in a nearby Kaiser, hoping it will increase my odds of succeeding at a natural birth. We are starting our childbirth classes, and scheduling appointments with our doula to start preparing for the birth. Things are getting exciting. The baby moves nearly constantly, although I can't tell how it is positioned. We still don't know if it is a boy or girl, but all the predictions point to girl (although my dad likes to remind us that so called "tests" such as the wedding ring dangling over the pregnant woman are "a crock of shit", which admittedly they are... but it is fun to speculate... so it will probably be a boy). Things are basically pretty good right now, and I hope they stay that way.

A really big boat

I saw this coming down the street towards me on my way to my last prenatal appointment. It was pretty weird, and quite a spectacle! I have no idea what it was, other than a boat, obviously, or where it was headed, but there was quite a fuss being made about it as it came down the road.

A Bridal Bath For Beth

ha ha.... Well, she didn't want a technical "shower", so we gave her a bath instead! Last weekend my friend Dana and I rented a minivan and shuttled five other girlfriends up to Sonoma for a day of winetasting and picnicking. Even pregnant it was decadent. We all gathered at my apartment for a continental breakfast and some obligatory gift opening, and then we made the drive up to Sonoma. It was so pretty up there! But hot... (swoon!), and the tasting rooms are not such friendly places for pregnant ladies... (nowhere to sit!). Dana outdid herself, preparing a picnic that was fit for royalty. It was fitting that we enjoyed it at Chateau St. Jean. I was delighted that we ended our day at Wildwood, a tasting room on Sonoma Square that was actually a lounge with club chairs and air conditioning. The place was calling my name! Imagine our disappointment when we showed up and it was closed! Dana and most of the other girls went off to fetch the van, but I stayed behind -- I had a feeling that by the time they got back, the tasting room would be open... and hurrah! I was right! We must have killed two hours in that place. The proprietor was heavy handed on the pours and the ladies got tipsier and tipsier as the afternoon wore on. I was happy because I had a place to sit, and had a great time too.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

25 week, 4 day check in

I think it has been a while since I posted anything much. I've been feeling a lot better as of lately, although unfortunately this weekend I've come down with a cold, and I can't do any of the things I'd normally do to feel better. Henry has been a superstar, keeping me on the couch, making sure I have enough fluids, and even going out to get me this wacky thing for washing out my sinuses.

I'm happy this week because my acupuncturist decided that I can cut down to one visit a week instead of two, and we'll be focusing on getting my energy back up, following such a long bout of sickness. She needles my head, my wrists, my elbow, and points in my shins and feet that are all in relation my strength. And since I started to feel like I've had PMS for six months straight, she's working with that as well. And as usual, she's made me feel like a new woman. She invited me to come to a workshop this weekend where acupuncturists were learning palpation -- a technique for feeling the fetus through the abdomen and taking measurements. I was a "model" and several practitioners worked on me. It was really interesting. They were able to feel the edges of my uterus and even listen to my placenta. It never occurred to me that my placenta would have a sound! They also predicted gender based on my pulse -- they think 'girl'. Things really have been growing exponentially in the last several days. I'm feeling kicks higher and higher in my torso, and my rib cage is starting to expand. Time for a massage!

On Friday night while Henry was off at train club, I went out to my parents' house where my mom helped me put together the face of the quilt I've been working on for the baby. I cut the pieces out a couple of months ago, but haven't had the energy to get the squares put together. While I sewed, my mom pressed the seams flat, and in the end we had the whole thing put together. I am pretty proud of it and can't wait to get the whole thing together. I went out today and got some brushed cotton for the back -- it is really soft. I just need to get some batting now, and I'll be set. Of course, my own sewing machine remains on the fritz, and I still can't bring myself to get it repaired, because the repair will cost more than the machine cost me to begin with. I wish I'd just started out with a new machine to begin with!

Henry had to move all his websites to blogs this weekend. Check them out!,,, and

Sunday, August 5, 2007

24 weeks, 4 Days

Still getting bigger, and finding it hard to imagine how big I'll be by the end of all this! The baby is kicking almost nonstop these days, and that is only going to get stronger as the weeks keep going by, too. I'm still having some trouble with nausea, but acupnucture and yoga still seem to be very helpful in that department.

Lactation Station

My mom got us the comfiest chair and ottoman yesterday afternoon. We are beyond grateful! It hasn't arrived yet, but we've already nicknamed it the Lactation Station and I'm anticipating spending long bouts in it, feeding the stowaway, and probably sleeping too. I'm glad we were able to order it when we did, because it should arrive by the time I am 35 weeks and from what I understand by then I am going to be truly desperate for a comfortable place to sit. The Lactation Station is a glider, fully upholstered, swivels, and will be green. I liked it especially because the back is high enough that there's a place to lean my head.

Amtrak Date

We took a spontaneous ride up to Richmond on Wednesday night. Little did we know that when we got off the train to catch one back to Oakland, we would get stuck in an infamous Amtrak Train Delay. We had to wait for nearly one and a half hours for our train to come! It was cold, and dark, and there was no one else on the platform. We tried to catch a cab, but the driver wanted $40 to take us back to Jack London Square! Forget it, we'd rather wait! So wait, we did. It probably sounds like this was not a very fun evening, but in fact it totally, absolutely was.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

24 Weeks!

We are 24 weeks pregnant today! Things are cooking along really well. At our prenatal appointment last week we found that the baby is measuring about 10 days ahead of schedule, but the doctor didn't want to change the due date. Personally, I just think that the baby has its daddy's big head! We've already seen in the ultrasounds that it has its daddy's nose.

We were able to straighten out the doula situation, thank goodness. I don't feel that we ever really got a clear answer from the first one as to why she didn't want to work with us, but who cares. The doula we've got now is terrific, fantastic, and we love her. Now that we have her on our side, I feel like things are starting to line up for getting this baby out come November. We've got our doula, we'll be transferred to the midwifery clinic in Walnut Creek in a few more weeks, we've got to sign up for childbirth classes and figure out where exactly we are going to put the baby after it comes out, but today I am not feeling too worried about any of it. (I reserve my right to worry about it again in the future!).

As for me, I am still feeling so much better. Things are still touch and go a bit. My OB did give me an anti-nausea medication, but I'm only taking it when absolutely necessary. I am still seeing my acupuncturist who in my opinion is like a magic healer. She's promised to have me off the medication in another week and a half. That would be so super. I've had a lot of doctors throughout my life, but my acupuncturist is the first one I've had who I really believe is a healer. I remain blown away by what she has been able to do for me. We've continued to do the gua sha treatments at each visit, and each time it becomes more difficult to get the bruising, and much easier to bleed the area, both facts meaning there is less stagnant blood in my body and I am getting better daily.

In other news last night we met up with several of Henry's relatives -- the Catlins and Paganos were in town on their whirlwind tour of California. It was so nice to see them all (there were 14 of them travelling together!) for an evening. We had a casual dinner at Taylor's Refreshers in the Ferry Building. Debbie and her girlfriend talked to me at length about their labors -- they have had 5 kids between them -- and assured me that natural is both doable and the way to go. It was great to have people tell me to avoid the drugs for a change -- seems like everyone is pushing epidurals on me, and I am not interested!

And then, we are (ok, I am) a bit concerned that a neighbor may be trying to steal Riley! He's been staying out till six in the morning lately, and the other night Henry saw a cat that looked an awful lot like Riley going into a neighbor's apartment that we can see from one of our windows. He didn't get a really good look, and there is another cat on our block that looks a lot like Riley, so I guess we still need to give them the benefit of a doubt, but for now, Riley is staying in. Don't steal my cat! Cat stealing is mean! Our other cat, Munchie, won't leave me alone -- she flops across my belly at every opportunity and lets the baby kick her. I think the baby will recognize her when it comes out.

And my parents are finally home from their Romanian wanderings! It has been weeks since I have seen them, which is really weird for me. I am hoping that they will both be recovered from their colds by Saturday so we can have some family time.

A Nice Weekend

We had a really nice weekend trip up to Lake Tahoe. One of Henry's coworkers got married on a beach in South Lake Tahoe on Saturday evening. We took advantage of the event to make a little get away out of it. We drove up on Friday night and spent Saturday loving the lake -- found a big, sandy beach with warm water and swam and swam. The water up there is so clear and beautiful. I swam out as far as I could get, and only turned back because I realized I was getting pretty close to where the boats were zipping past, and I had a feeling they were not going to have swimmers on their radar. It was so relaxing to flop around in the waves, do handstands and sommersaults, and float. I think that the baby was having a good time of it too. It was a great way to spend the afternoon, and made me truly question why people bother going toTahoe in the winter at all -- you can't enjoy the lake in winter! People were enjoying the outdoors all over the place -- biking, swimming, rafting on the rivers, boating and kayaking on the lake, camping and picnicking. Really it was quite wonderful.

The wedding was nice that evening, very low key and heartfelt. I got my first "are you pregnant?" comment, which was really cool and made me feel terrific. Actually, what he said was "I hope I am not about to make an enormous faux pas, but are you pregnant?"

On Sunday we got an eary start and stopped in Sacramento at lunchtime to spend a couple of hours with my great Aunt Roxie. She is so funny! She always cries out "hey kids!" when we pull up. This time she took hold of me and looked me up and down and said "hey kid!" to my belly. We are going to have to make another trip with my mom too, because Aunt Roxie wants to make a grand excursion to a baby store she recently found. We were running a bit late, so called her from the road when we were getting close, and she cried out "I'd better go put the pilaf on!" When Henry heard that it was pedal to the metal -- he loves pilaf.