mama's pregnant blog

of bellies and belly-achin'

From BabyCenter:Congratulations! Your pregnancy is now considered full term meaning your baby is developmentally ready to handle life outside the womb. (Babies born before 37 weeks are pre-term and those born after 42 weeks are post-term.) Your baby probably weighs a little over 6 pounds at this point and measures between 19 and 20 inches, head to heel.

Many babies have a full head of hair at birth, with locks from 1/2 inch to 1 1/2 inches long. But don't be surprised if your baby's hair isn't the same color as yours. Dark-haired couples are sometimes thrown for a loop when their children are born blonds or redheads, and fair-haired couples have been surprised by Elvis look-alikes. And then, of course, some babies sport only peach fuzz.

2005.04.24. what i'm working on today

meditations...

It was a day of waves and crests and periods of calm. During our post-church vestry meeting, a wave of contractions begun in church crested into 15 minutes of 4-minute-interval contractions. They then faded into seven minutes, nine minutes, 20 minutes.

As today was very near our anniversary, we went up for a prayer, and Father Stephen also prayed for the impending birth. It seemed to be the right time.

During our monster blogging mama playdate, I took up my blankie knitting again and felt the contractions rising once more. My face became more and more flushed, my head was hot with intensity. At the top of the wave the bottom of my uterus felt as if it was swirling, like a washing machine. It lasted for several moments and then the wave crashed, scattered, flowed into calmness.

Soon after my strange swirling contraction, Everett and Carter and Bunny got into the most fever-pitched conflict over the train set. There were waves of angry tears and Everett's little body was overflowing with frustration and sadness. He was shaking and crying and snot was going everywhere. And my contractions went away entirely.

I'm reading a lot about the mind/body connection and I'm feeling as if my whole labor process is hinging on the current - minute-by-minute - state of my mind. The more zen I am, the more regular my contractions become. The more peace, the more frequent and intense the pain.

As I was getting deep into my meditation writing, the contractions went from every 20 or 30 minutes to every five or six. Then as I wrote about my day, they settled down, slowed, faded into nothingness.

Returning to thinking about meditation, they rose again. Nausea crests, and my back becomes sore. And the cycle begins again.

I think if I just had several hours of complete relaxation, without any nagging worries or distractions or noises other than rain, and traffic, and the thoughts in my head; with candles and calmness and spacy meditation music; I could bring labor on mentally.

Of course, I'm not quite ready. Hmmm. Maybe I'll try Tuesday evening.

2005.04.25. more meditation, fatigue

I worked more on my meditation today before track practice and then headed toward the bathtub. Somehow I imagined this would send me into labor. No such ... umm ... luck?

I think perhaps I'm still in the carb-loading mode. I ate cereal for breakfast and oatmeal (with raspberries and raisins) for lunch. For dinner? I craved pasta, garlicky pesto bucatini, to be specific. Instead I had amazing ceasar salad with roast chicken AND steak (and tomatoes). Oh what a lovely husband I have.

Fortunately, the nausea I've been having is soon quelled with a big draught of pear white tea or a dozen ounces of water. And then I'm back to eating, loading for the sure-to-come-soon birth.

Truman's been getting way more painful, pushing against his small home as if he would break free. I've also developed a tweaky muscle in my upper left inner thigh. It twangs at me suddenly, sharply, and is the most painful (but fortunately, very short-lived) thing about me right now. I've heard the muscles in your inner thigh and cervix are connected to your round ligaments - it must be a simple pregnancy complaint thanks to my gigantic belly.

My contractions, too, are getting more painful tonight, pushing down in a fatiguey-way. I think it has to do with too much strain from Truman's pushing, from picking up Everett. I think my body's just getting fatigued. I need some sleep. I need some peace.

2005.04.26. the f-word

Oh, the pain. My belly is just squashing all my other parts until they can't handle their juices. And immediately upon finishing my lovely anniversary meal (yes! it's my anniversary today! happy anniversary to me and my hubby...), complete with overly perfectly decadent cake and coffee ice cream, the farting began.

I took my fish oil supplement faithfully, and had TWO papaya enzyme pills, one with each meal. Still I fart painfully all night long.

We've decided that we either have to go into labor (a) tonight, or tomorrow early or (b) not until Thursday night. Jonathan has a very big day of class on Thursday and I don't want to mess with it. What would make labor more of a likelihood? A nice romp in our connubial bed. But then there's the f-word to deal with. And I'm talking the one involved with my intestines, mind you.

Other-news-ly, I took a lovely nap while my sweet hubby cleaned the kitchen and the in-laws cleaned up my poopy son. I awoke when my hips became too painful - only two hours this time. Nothing's fitting in its package any more. I need this child birthed, and quick.

I worked a bit more on my baby book today. For a few of the pages, I've been going through my old blog posts to pull out special quotes. And it's amazing, after only 35 weeks, to go back through. I thought of it as a special memory, the start of a literary journey, a one-woman support group for my pregnant readers, a keepsake for my son-to-be. But really it's a gift for myself - a treasure to review and unpack my thoughts, hopes, fears and whining from months past. One that I'll always have. That's a pretty great thing, to get for your anniversary. In addition to gateau chocolat, even.

2005.04.26.later. bursts

I had a burst of writing energy, and after doing "day job" work, I made a birth plan. I think you'll like it.

It comes from this place: reading, and generally believing, that birth plans are rarely followed (Birthing from Within, for example). I made my own divine sort of plan.