month 10

I can't believe our daughter is now full-term and could (technically) be born any day.

Evan, Eva and Brandy were here for the weekend. Evan and I spent the day running errands and going to the Pedersen Auto Museum on Saturday, which was a blast. Then Eva & Brandy arrived on Saturday night late and we had some adventures. A crazy guy tried to run Eva over and then smashed in her van window about 5 minutes after they got here over a parking space. The next day Brandy chatted up Mary-Louise Parker while she was walking her dogs across the street from my house (she lives on my block I think.) Then Brandy & Mark were extras on set for some filming of a TV show. My favorite was "An actuary, an accountant, and a attorney were sitting at a table..." jokes at lunch. Rarely does life provide so much laughter. I think it put me into labor a little bit. I had Tuesday off. Eva and Brandy came to my doctors' appointment and got to meet the other Mark in my life. He showed them the baby on ultrasound - we could only make out parts since she is so big... and listened to her strong heartbeat. He also checked me. Last week I was not really doing much, but this week he said that I am as ripe as a Trader Joe's Avocado and that my body does not have much laboring to do. My bishop's score was an 8 and I was 80% effaced (2 days ago.) I had been having a contraction every other day, sometimes every day. But the last few days it has gradually increased to several per day. Yesterday they got up to once per hour before subsiding overnight.

I made the difficult decision to opt out of my exam sitting. Yesterday was the last day for a refund and with all the contraction activity and my doctor saying he'd probably see me in a few days, I decided not to keep pushing so hard. So, I forfeighted the remaining study time and started my maternity leave today instead of waiting until after my exam/due date. It was too much to do and I need to take some time to rest. I came home today a few hours early and found myself exhaustedly out of breath just laying down on the couch. I think I did the right thing.

Especially since this morning I woke up with a powerful urge to move furniture around.
We got our delivery of cloth diapers from the service. They are so soft and cute all folded up. We are just going to do a 3-month trial to see how it goes because Mark is a little skeptical of how well they will work. I expect it to be just as convenient as disposibles (or more so) since they drop them off clean at your door and pick up the dirty each week and you just set out the pail on the day - no rinsing, no buying (they are rentals), and no losing your parking spot to run to the store. The technology has come a long way from rubber pants & pins.
Happy birthday Saturday to my Mom and yesterday to Brittany and Jennifer - who all celebrated milestone years (75, 16 and 29, respectively.) Just think, you were all conceived around Valentines Day. (Guess how I figured that out.)
Just think: next time I blog it will be to post pictures of my sweet little baby and give you the details of her birthday story. Incredible.


month 9

It looks like I am arching my back to stick the tummy out, but I'm not. I PROMISE! That's just the screwy posture that I have to have to stay upright. I have now at 128% of my starting body weight and most of it is right out there in front.

My coworkers threw me a surprise baby shower disguised as a "cookie baking contest." I really love cookies -- and baking -- so this was a perfect way to trick me into attending (and catering my own event!) I got to judge the treats (sugar rush for Zoe) and award a winner. There were lots of generous gifts and everyone was there. It was really nice and almost intimidating to see how many people took the time from their workday to come down and congratulate me.

I still have a lot of things to do to prepare. I have my birth preferences written up, and I am in the process of putting together the hospital bag. I am putting together a phone list of who to call. Right now, we are only planning to call parents. We will post updates to facebook. But if you want more, maybe ask me and we will set up a phone tree.

Mark took a day off and we went off on a baby-moon this past weekend. You know, one final sweet adventure as a couple before we become three. We drove to Santa Barbara and Ojai and did the old-lady circuit of antique shops, craft tourism, and hotel chilling. We made some startlingly good food finds and enjoyed each other's company. It put a reboot on all the stress that has been building lately.

I have been having a few contractions every other day, nothing big. She has moved head down and has dropped about 2 inches. I feel there is still a few weeks to go, but definitely I can see the end of the road ahead. Her movements are no longer subtle bumps, but huge visible rolls across my tummy that anyone within 15 feet can see.
She is "full term." I have had a few interactions with her that make her feel less like an alien parasite and more like my little daughter. We played a conditional kicking game, and I was able to feel her little toes. She got her first case of the hiccups last weekend. She is really active in the car (Los Angeles roads are very bumpy.) And she kicks me almost everytime I rest my arms on her bump.

Physically, I still have a lot of prep to do, but mentally I am getting more and more ready for her to arrive every day. People have been so nice. I am surprised at how much gear, clothes, diapers, and blankets we have received. Thank you everyone!