24 02 2011

Plan A was to use a hippie (lay) midwife and have our baby at a birthing center.  Jason and I are lazy to the point that we didn’t even interview midwives and doctors – our friend Karen having recently given birth, we figured that what worked for her would work for us.

Then I had some pain, which turned out to be pretty much meaningless, and I met Dr. Murphy.  Whom I adore.

Although I was very convinced that hospitals are BAD, and that giving birth is NOT a medical emergency, Dr. Murphy convinced me in about 5 minutes that I should consider the alternative to a lay midwife.

Hence, Plan B.

How did I flip so fast?  Well, Dr. Murphy addressed my concerns regarding standards of care in our local hospital and how it aligns with the WHO recommendations.  Then he most kindly did not scoff at my mention of The Business of Being Born.  And then he managed to slip in the little tidbit that, oh, yeah, HE HAS DELIVERED SOME OF INA MAY GASKIN’S BABIES.  Ina May is only the natural-healthy-baby-delivery-GURU-of-a-midwife-whom-I-worship.  You know, no one special.

I know that many, many of my friends and acquaintances will be satisfied with this choice, as plenty of them tried to sway me toward the American style of (medically-induced, Pitocin-assisted, on-your-back-legs-spread, EFM, ending-in-a-C-section) giving birth.  I know that at least a few will be disappointed.

It is a hard choice for me to make.  I still firmly believe that as a country, there is something very, very wrong with our treatment of pregnancy and birth as a medical condition that must be treated.  I feel guilty for opting out of what I really believe is a safe, viable option for many pregnant women.  I wish that in my area we had a birthing center with medical staff that was not attached to a hospital, a sort of middle ground of birthing options.  I wish that I had strong enough faith in my ability to have a normal delivery and in my midwife’s ability to see it through.

But most of all?  I wish for a healthy baby.

Any way I can get it.



If you want to share your own opinion…


More Gas

24 02 2011


You might not want to see this, but…

Snow Baby

24 02 2011

Honestly, I’m not much of a skier.  But I married a skier.  And now I am apparently growing a skier.



Jason scoffed at the general wisdom that pregnant women have no business skiing.

But he skied behind me for three and half hours, just to be sure nobody ran into me.  Or our future ski team member.

Or Maybe It’s Just Gas

11 02 2011

When I found out I was pregnant this time, I didn’t want to tell many people – or any, really.  Jason told plenty, but I only told a few – including a couple of people at work who would need to know if anything went wrong.

On hearing the news, one of my coworkers said, triumphantly, “I thought so!”

I must have looked puzzled, because she elaborated: “Well, a couple of weeks ago, I thought you were getting, you know, a belly.”

“Linda!” I gasped.  “I’m only, like, six weeks along.  I think you’re just calling me fat!”



Today, I announced to several people that my pants are getting tight.  Universal cheers to this.

Until I explained: “They are getting tight on my thighs.”

I paused.  Then: “Do you think I’m gestating this baby in my thighs?”

I was almost hoping for it, really.



I haven’t been doing belly shots during this pregnancy.  I’m trying not to be superstitious about anything this time around, but it’s nearly impossible.  Today, I placed an order for a few cloth diapers, and as soon as I hit the “Place Order” button, I immediately ran to the bathroom to check for spotting and began overanalyzing every twinge in my uterus.  In addition to my fear of causing spontaneous abortion by doing something reckless, like, um, I don’t know, actually acting like I’m expecting a baby in seven months, I am still recovering from this disappointment during my previous pregnancy: I spent two days absolutely fat with pregnancy – I mean, unquestionably so – and then, just like that, a good, long fart and I was deflated.



However, yesterday a coworker told me I was showing.  And I wanted to believe her.




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Here’s 9.5 weeks… Or maybe I just really, really need to fart.

The Real Deal

8 02 2011


Yeah, I totally see how the picture above could be entirely meaningless, and it’s my kid, for heaven’s sake.  But I do know this much: in that curve of dark space (which looks sort of phallic to me, a sure sign I’m not ready to parent), there is a light colored sort of blob that looks a little like a Cinnamon Bear but much more like a very tiny E.T. reclining in there.

And I am the proud creator of… that thing.  And by “thing” I do mean “miracle of life, etc., etc.”

That’s not to say I don’t smile and go teary-eyed every time I see it, and that’s not to say I haven’t looked at the image a hundred thousand times today.

It’s just to acknowledge that if my photo-of-the-day looks like a weird, phallic, extraterrestrial abstract painting to you, I totally get it.  I really do.

But it was love at first sight for me.

My Longest Post Ever, With Lots of Words In ALL CAPS

8 02 2011

So… My post-miscarriage mood was admittedly rather depressed and not very blog-worthy.  Added to this, I lost the charger for my camera around the same time.  With my creativity dampened and new photos difficult to obtain, I was rather uninspired to work on daily (or weekly or monthly) posts.

Then this happened:

New Year’s Eve morning, I got up to pee on a stick.  I’m getting awfully good at peeing on sticks, and this was a particularly good one, since it actually spelled out the results for me.  I kept the secret for nearly 18 hours and told Jason at midnight.  Awwww…

And the next 5 weeks were absolute hell.  It was a time of pure, unmitigated anxiety.  My thoughts, when looking at the little digital word, were “Hooray!” but quickly turned to “What if something goes wrong again?  What if I start spotting again?  Should I call the doctor?  Go to the ER?  Do I have to wait a year if I have another miscarriage?  Should I… OH MY GOD DID I JUST FEEL A CRAMP IN MY UTERUS?  WHY IS THIS HAPPENING… Oh, it went away… What if…”

We decided to go back to our hippie midwives.  Having just recently gone through early pregnancy with them, I held off on scheduling an appointment until 10 weeks, when we would have a good chance of hearing a heartbeat.  That 10 weeks would actually be this coming Monday (“Well, at least you’ll finally have a date for Valentine’s Day,” Jason pointed out, typically romantic).

Nothing ever does go according to plan.

Last week, I got a pain in one side.  It wasn’t unbearable, nor was it constant.  But it was consistent, and worrisome.  So I thought I’d just make a quick call to the doctor, maybe see her for an appointment, maybe, maybe qualify for one of those elusive early ultrasounds.  SEVENTEEN CALLS to the doctor later, as well as TWO BLOOD TESTS and FIVE DAYS LATER, I finally got an appointment – but only after my first true I’m-Pregnant-and-I’m-Psycho-Mad-Fit-of-Rage.  Really, the receptionist didn’t know what to do with me except have me come in.

Luckily, the receptionist didn’t have time to warn the doctor, or else the doctor is just very used to women pumped full of hormones, because he was very polite.  He said the word I most wanted to hear at the moment (ultrasound), which made me happy even though it was preceded by two words I’d really rather not hear ever (pelvic exam).  Jason earned the right to watch the ultrasound by first being present while another man prodded my hoo-ha.

Here is what we saw:

Well, maybe I’m pregnant or maybe I swallowed a Cinnamon Bear whole.  The doctor wasn’t entirely sure.  Okay, that was supposed to be our ultrasound picture, but I couldn’t get the scanner to work, so the CB is standing in until Jason has time to help me.  Jason was relieved, probably happy too, but his first comment on it was “I didn’t know what I was going to do if they told us you had squished another one.”  (Just so there’s no confusion, I didn’t really squish the first one, either.  I assume Jason knows that, but it’s hard to tell, really.)

Here’s the thing: I have been SO READY to be a mother.  I have spent so much of my life waiting to fulfill this calling.  And practicing.  Oh, lord, how I practiced.  Mother’s helper, babysitter, nanny, camp counselor-in-training… Years and years of experience, of chasing little kids and changing diapers and endless crying and I loved it all.  I even had eleven weeks of practice pregnancy, and only, like, 25% of women get to do that.  SO READY.

Here’s another thing: I’ve seen a lot of ultrasound pictures.  Thank you, facebook, I’ve seen dozens now, but I’d seen quite a few even before everyone posted theirs as their profile picture.  And it seemed sweet, a little snapshot of a baby growing in some woman’s womb.  Awww… But nothing more than that.

But let me tell you this: nothing, NOTHING prepared me for seeing my own baby’s heartbeat on that ultrasound machine.  NOTHING.  First, I felt relief as the shape of my little Cinnamon Bear showed up, and then I saw the flutter of the heart beating twice a second and I felt further relief because I knew my little Gummi Bear was alive and well, and then OH MY GOD THAT’S A WHOLE FUCKING PERSON RIGHT THERE.  HOLY SHIT, THAT’S SOME NEW PERSON.  And then more relief.  And then, OH MY GOD, WHAT HAVE I DONE?!?  And then joy.  And then, I’M NOT READY!!!  Et cetera, et cetera, for several hours.

So I’m humble now.  And no longer any more or less prepared to be a mother than any other mortal, whether she planned the pregnancy for twenty years or got knocked up her first time.


Here is a picture of my cat, because posts with lots of pictures are more interesting:


Also humbling: I never understood women who said they couldn’t help gaining too much weight during pregnancy.  Then, three weeks ago, my sweet little Cinnamon Bear took over my mind and made me want to vomit when I tried to eat broccoli.  Or any source of lean protein.  But the Cinnamon Bear was perfectly fine with me eating TWELVE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES A DAY… FOR A WEEK.  In case that doesn’t sound so extreme, let me point out that A) chocolate chip cookies are about 150 calories each, and B) oh, I did manage to eat some pizza each day, too.

Anyway, with all this on my mind, plus the reappearance of my lopsidedly-enlarging breasts (last heard of here), it was hard for me to blog about anything else.  And while I have no regrets about blogging through my previous pregnancy and my miscarriage, I wasn’t willing to announce this newest adventure until we had that fierce, fast, independent little heartbeat.  Which was going to be next week.  But is today instead.

Happy Heartbeat, Little Cinnamon Bear.




Oh, and here’s picture of the dog, so he doesn’t feel left out:

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