Sunday, March 29, 2009

Just a little appetizer...

Here's our little love. Lookin' at you!

This was minutes after being wrestled from mommy's tummy and the two-handed death grip of his umbilical cord (full story to follow one of these days). He doesn't look too worse for the wear.

Sometimes I'm pretty sure he knows what I'm thinking...

Thursday, March 26, 2009

It's a Boy!

We are pleased to announce the arrival of our baby boy!

Elliott Montgomery Strong
He was born at 3:12 p.m. on March 25th, 2009.
He weighs 8 lbs 4 oz and measures 20.5 inches long.

He is healthy and strong, and we are all doing well. We couldn't be happier or more excited to start the next phase of our life as a family of three.

We will post photos as soon as we get a chance.

Thank you all for your love and support!
Patrick, Natalie and Elliott.

Monday, March 23, 2009

T plus 2

No baby. Next appointment tomorrow.

"Role Models" is a funny movie.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

T plus 1

Two contractions in as many days does not a birth story make.

I can't wait to be bendy again. I miss twisting (not the dance). I miss being able to reach my feet. I miss being able to scratch the back of my own leg. I miss being able to eat over a plate without setting the plate on my decolletage. I miss NOT finding crumbs in my cleavage (seriously). I miss sleeping beside Senor instead of beside a body pillow.

We'll keep you posted. When there's something to post...

(I had to edit the title of this post... why did I think that I was two days overdue?)

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Things to do when not having a baby...

Sleep in
Drink Coffee
Listen to iTunes
Eat Grape Nuts
Cross Stitch
Watch 40 Year Old Virgin
Watch Godfather
Fold Laundry
Lie on your Right Side
Lie on your Left Side
Put your feet up to reduce swelling
Check e-mail
Write Blog Post...

Friday, March 20, 2009

Saturday, Shmaturday

I'm due tomorrow. As of today, not one teeny tiny sign that anything is happening any time soon. After my exam, the doctor even asked if I have ever "had anything done" to my cervix, I guess she meant something that would make it extra durable and resistant to dilation? I don't know what that would be, but the answer is no.

I guess the spicy lamb masala I had for dinner last night didn't work. At least it didn't give me heartburn.

It's gonna be a long weekend!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Alive Woman Walking

Life is full of potential surprises. The possibility of life-changing events always exists, and each may change your life for the better or for the worse. At any moment a plane could crash through my work window and obliterate me and everything I know. At any moment I could get a phone call delivering wonderful news of some kind. At any moment I could lose someone I love, or someone I love could be creating a brand new life and having fun doing it. Anything can happen, and if you think about it too much, it can truly mess with your mind. We are all walking along our paths toward good and bad and undeniably toward our own deaths, but along the way, we can invite opportunities for the good or the bad that may happen to us.

Senor and I sent out an invitation about 9 months ago, give or take an eternity, and today we walk our path toward our good thing. It will happen. Today, or in two days, or three to be a birthday gift to Auntie NaiveHelga, or in 6 days to be a 60th birthday gift to a new Grandpa, or in 9 to be a relief to a pair of weary dreamers.

Walking this walk is invigorating. Any moment my life could change, even before I reach the end of this sentence. Or the next sentence. Or the next one. Shoot, that's not working. Well anyway, the excitement is undeniable. When will it start? When will the first contraction be? When will I find myself unreasonably stoked to be wearing wet underpants? Which everyday mundane thing will be interrupted by the start of our good thing? When will we all have this baby? It does feel like we are all involved, doesn't it?

It's like walking a green mile toward the beginning of my life.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

3 more

Three more days... before I add 7 and start counting down to my induction. I think this baby is not going anywhere on it's own. And really, who could blame it? If you were getting all the ice cream you want, if you never had to be cold, if you didn't have anything to do all day but stretch and sleep and hiccup lazily, would you risk losing all of that and head out for parts unknown? I wouldn't. I'd stay right where I was, too. Smart baby.

The longer I wait, the more difficult it is to believe that this is really going to happen. I'm starting to get complacent with the status quo (you know, except for the mind-numbing impatience and the 40 trips to the potty a day). I'm starting to notice the things I'll be missing afterward... like it just being me and Senor. I will definitely miss that when our new friend arrives. Like just getting out of the car and walking into the apartment. That's out, for sure. Like going to work without tearing my heart out over the little buddy I have to leave behind. Like ONLY having to get up to go to the bathroom.

Life is good. Perhaps I should stop counting down and start enjoying these last few days...

Aahh, who am I kidding? Come out, come out, wherever you are!

Monday, March 16, 2009

I hope they are right!

Ultrasound today. 5 days to go. The estimated weight of the baby is 7 lbs. I hope they are right, or at least close. A reasonably petite baby that's neither so big nor so small that we need to worry-- sounds perfect! Which of course it will be.

Also, I have to report that, at least for now, Zuul appears to have my nose. It was going to have a "striking" nose either way, and it still could have both of our noses (bulb and bump), but for now, it appears to take after the Williams side (bulb). For better or worse.

Striking noses make for sturdy personalities, I think. So I can't complain. And if it's SO bad, it CAN be fixed later, should Zuul wish. ;)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

I got Nuthin.

Sorry I slacked.

There's no baby yet.

Anyone else going absolutely INSANE?!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Let's Play

You fill in the blanks regarding my state as a pregnant woman and our state as an expectant couple. You can either try to go for the real answer or go for comedic effect. There are no physical prizes, but I will give credit to the person with the most correct answers and the person that entertained me the most.

1. Senora says she produces more _____________ than ever before in her life.

2. Every day Senora apologizes to Senor for ___________________________.

3. She knows she shouldn't do it, but nearly every night, Senora spends at least a little bit of time ____________________.

4. Senora says she _______________s everything she touches.

5. Senora recently called her unborn child ____________ because it moves around so much.

6. Senora ______________s as a result of being pregnant. She's embarrassed, but Senor thinks it's cute.

7. Senora most closely relates this song with delivering her child:________________.

8. Senor sings the following song to the baby most often: ______________________.

9. Senora cried when she rearranged her _________________.

10. If the baby is a boy, he will be named _______________; if the baby is a girl, she will be named ___________________.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Softer Side of Senora

Okay. I admit it. I've been scary lately. It's only part of the story, of course. There is a soft underbelly (and overbelly, and everywherebelly) that I've been hiding away a bit mostly because I can't afford to cry every time I feel the urge. Which is pretty much all of the time. Crying in joy and disbelief are not, unfortunately, part of my job description here at the dental office, and I fear that if I cry at everything that touches me, I will scare Senor more than he already is.

"All my bags are packed, I'm ready to go..."
I did it. Last night I packed for the hospital. That made me cry. I packed little clothes for a person who is not going on this trip with us but who is coming home with us. I packed clothes for a woman that I haven't met as well, I packed for Mommy, and she will be me... or I will be her, whichever way you look at it. And in most senses, we'll be very similar, but then who knows what amazing things she will know that I don't? And I'm supposed to pack a snack for this Daddy guy, but I haven't met him yet either. What will he want to eat while living by Mommy's hospital bed? Packing was a difficult and mysterious job, which I guess is why I put it off so long... and why it made me cry.

Ooh, I need to pack Daddy a change of clothes, too.

I'm starting to wonder how bright Zuul is. He or she is digging around in there, working hard at what seems to be trying to getting out, but I can't seem to make him or her understand that DOWN is the way to dig, not UP! You'll never get to China that way, kid! I think I was participating in some wishful thinking the other day when I said I thought the baby had dropped. Or if it did drop, it climbed back up... a rather impressive feat if you consider that it climbed up ass first... but not all that productive. Come on, Zuul, help a Mommy out!

I cast on a Shetland Triangle yesterday for working on during labor. It's a theory I have that the Shetland Triangle is the perfect labor knitting-- just complicated enough to keep me focused and interested, but not so difficult that I'll eff it up and end up more stressed out than I would be if I were JUST pushing a kid out of myself. The difficult part about preparing this project was having to stop. I find this pattern incredibly addictive, but I wanted to leave off while the rows are still short enough to have some sense of momentum. I'm using Hand Maiden Casbah in Dandelion. So soft! I'll let you know how the plan works out.

I think that's it for now. Was I less scary? Don't be afraid of me, I'm just going through some stuff and trying to share genuinely, even when it's ugly. But I'm still me, soft side and all.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


I missed a day... did you think that day 12 had turned suddenly into day 1?

I wish.

The longer I wait, the more neurotic I am getting.

I am aware that non-pregnant people are unable to say anything right to us pregnant types. They say we're getting so big, we hear "fat". They say we're still so small, we think they're minimizing how huge we feel. They say, "You're still here?" We think, "Well, Jeez, I'm not due for another 11 days! I'm not an invalid!" They say, "All my kids were at least 2 weeks late, so yours probably will be too," we think, "You unholy bitch!"

I know that everyone is just trying to be a part of the magic of the circle of life, and pregnant women are notoriously hyper-sensitive. But people have to realize that we can't say anything right, either. There is no answer that is correct to any of the questions we get asked day in and day out. I say that I'm excited to give birth, I get, "Just you wait until it starts." I say that I'm looking forward to not being pregnant anymore, I get, "Once you've had the baby, you'll wish you were still pregnant."

There must have been a day when I was just the right size, when I had just the right number of weeks to go, when I was glowing without faking it, but I think I failed to notice. And everyone has said all of the wrong things ever since.

So let's get on with it... So that we can start saying all of the wrong things to each other about parenting! ;)

(I'm going to go trade in this half-empty cup for one that's half-full. Of beer.)

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Maternity Tour

Day 13. Today we took the maternity tour at the hospital. There are some places in there that I totally don't want to go. Come on, stretchy parts!!!

And I have to say that, having seen it all, this is definitely happening, it's happening soon, and there are little parts of me that wish I could somehow get out of it (see previously mentioned stretchy parts)...

It's just cold feet. I didn't get them before the wedding, so I guess I'm nearly 3 years overdue. ;)

Yay, babies!

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Building a Relationship from a One Night Stand

It happens in movies and on television all the time-- Hello, Grey's Anatomy has made an entire series based on a series one night stands. Monica and Chandler ended up married after a one night stand, though they did know each other for a while before hand. Julia Roberts and Richard Gere did it at the Reg. Bev. Wil. Even Seth Rogen and Katherine Heigl managed to make it work, against all odds.

Generally, though, I would say it's a "romantic" notion used in movies and t.v. to make us feel good about the foolish things we do. Most people I know who've done it when they shouldn't have don't end up in a white dress holding a delightful combination of in-season blooms. They end up frustrated that their McDreamy only calls them at 10pm to come over for some sex and uncomfortable chatter and wants nothing in the way of a relationship. Well, duh, have you heard of Pavlov and his dog? There's a reason my sister-in-law's dog knows how to ring a bell when it needs to go out and do it's business. It's not because it's a ninja, as originally suspected. It's because it's a dog, and it knows how to get what it wants and from whom-- Good dog, Wash.

(While it may seem like I am pinning the bad name on men here, I do realize that it goes the other way quite often. And I also acknowledge that the booty call phenomenon has A LOT to do with the fact that girls GO when called. If we didn't, they wouldn't.)

What I've never thought of until now, on day "14", is that motherhood is exactly this: Building a relationship from a one night stand. The kind of one night stand where no words are even exchanged before this stranger is all up in your business.

Women all over the world, every second of the day, even in the most modest of societies, are putting it all out there in the hope that a solid and loving relationship will develop from this incredibly shameless leap of faith. And the really challenging circumstance is this: It will be YEARS before we know whether it's going to work out or not. Will this baby grow up to be a good one or a bad seed? Will they love us and share their lives with us, or will they put us in a home as soon as we are old enough to collect Social Security? Will we put all of the right things into the relationship to make this stranger appreciate or at least put up with our music, our movies, our cooking, our stupid puns? Will they forgive our missteps and love us anyway, or will they run screaming from our presence as soon as they are old enough?

It's scary, isn't it?

I know I won't be thinking about this that first night when my son or daughter is looking up at me from my bosom, which I will have so willingly laid bare for him or her. I know I will be convinced that it's all going to work out... and most likely it will. I don't think I'll be the kind of mother that my children won't want at their weddings because I ruined their lives. I don't think Senor and I are carriers of the serial killer gene, though perhaps, in hindsight, a bit of extra genetic testing would have been good. And I'm pretty sure that Senor and I are demonstrative enough people to raise children who will know how much they are loved.

But it would be nice to be 100% sure of all of this before all the nudity and spread-eagling, wouldn't it?

Girls and boys, next time you're at a bar thinking, "I could go home with this hotty tonight," make a list of the things you are 100% sure of and think twice... 'cause a one night stand with an attractive stranger, whomever they may be, could result in another kind of one night stand 9 months later. And that stranger will be covered in goo, totally non-verbal, and completely clingy... and they won't go home after they shower.

And you'll love them anyway.

At least, that's the plan.

Just saying.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Nothing to Report

Day "15"

Just got back from my 38 week doctor's appointment, and after a rather uncomfortable exploration of Zuul's front porch (you can figure that out without my explanation, right?), there is no sign of his or her impending departure. The door is not cracked, it's not even unlocked. The porch light isn't on. Zuul is not yet even checking to make sure all of the essentials are on his/her person (keys, wallet, sunglasses, mail to drop off, check to deposit, knitting project in case there is waiting involved, you know the routine). Zuul is staying home for a few more days at least... most likely. Perhaps if it's a boy, we should name him Phil.*

That's why I've put the 15 in quotation marks. Because it's day 15 if there are 15, or it's day 1 if there is only 1, or it's day 22 if there are going to be up to 22. 22 is the maximum, though; one week past the due date, we induce. March 28th is the latest Zuul will be here. There will be a baby by the end of March. There will not be an April Fool's Day baby.

Still, it would be nice to know that Zuul is at least preparing to leave the house sometime soon. I'm ready to go. Purse on shoulder, shoes on, make-up on, hair done, tapping my foot on the sidewalk by the car, full tank of gas. Come on, Zuul, it's time to go!!

*You know, like the groundhog.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Why Natural Delivery?

Day 16- "Don't be a martyr."

Martyr: (noun)
1. a person who willingly suffers death rather than renounce his or her religion.
2. a person who is put to death or endures great suffering on behalf of any belief, principle, or cause: a martyr to the cause of social justice.
3. a person who undergoes severe or constant suffering: a martyr to severe headaches.
4. a person who seeks sympathy or attention by feigning or exaggerating pain, deprivation, etc.

There are many arguments for and against delivering a baby without drugs. I have heard them all, or I thought I had, until I finally heard the one last reason to get drugs that no one had yet brought up: to avoid martyrdom, the definition #4 type of martyrdom.

Um, what? I don't... what do you... um, what?

I will not be discussing any of the medical studies for or against epidurals. I will not be discussing any of the political or social issues relating to epidurals. You can read about them; they are everywhere. I am only going to discuss my reasons for wanting to try to go drug free and the one reason I never thought would enter into the equation-- and the one feeling toward a natural delivery that I never thought anyone could possibly have.

As stated, I would like to try going drug free for my delivery. Let me preface my reasons by stating the following: I have no moral objection to epidurals; I do not consider asking for an epidural a failure on any laboring mother's part; if I find that it no longer seems humane to continue my own labor without drugs, I will be asking for an epidural; there is a reason they were invented, and I do not judge those who choose to go that route.

With that said, here are my reasons to try to do without:
- It's a unique opportunity to challenge myself and see what I'm made of.
- It's a chance to use one of my favorite statements: "Look what I did!!!"
- Endorphins, they sound fun.
- Being able to move about during labor; pacing, rocking, walking, running for dear life? Preferable to laying in bed, if you ask me.
- Feeling like myself when I first meet my daughter or son.
- No catheter, nuff said.

When people ask me about it, I give them the above reasons, and they proceed to shoot them down with whichever corresponding counter-arguments they have prepared for me (I think that's why they ask, to tell me what they think, not to hear what I want). But yesterday I got this new interesting one: Don't be a martyr.

Now, I ask you, do you think there are actually women in the world who choose natural labor solely for the purpose of bitching about it later? If it hurts, I plan to say so, but only by way of explaining how proud I am of myself or how relieved I am that it's over, not to garner sympathy or place guilt on anyone. It would simply become part of my life story. "When I was 30, I accomplished this."

The weird thing is that I gave this woman the list of reasons that I listed for you above, I said it in a cheerful and enthusiastic manner, and I even prefaced it by saying that if I need an epidural I will ask for one... and she still warned me not to be a martyr. How did she get that impression of me and my intentions?

Drug free is not a cause for which I am sacrificing myself.

I don't ever plan to hold this temporary pain over my child's head in order to bend them to my will with their guilt. That's what the rest of the pregnancy was for-- Muah-hah-haaa...

I hope to revel in the experience, and I hope that I too will experience the "worst pain you'll ever forget" version of natural childbirth. Or I will learn my lesson. Or I will get an epidural. I won't be commissioning statues in my likeness or building shrines. This is just a part of life that I would like to experience.

I'd also like to experience punching that woman in the neck.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Sweet Dreams Are Made of This

Day 17

Is it my imagination, or did the baby drop last night? It could be no more than wishful observing, but the belly does seem a bit lower and more tear drop shaped than it did yesterday. And there does seem to be a bit more pressure on my hip joints than there was... Could this be it? The beginning of the end?

Now, don't start waiting for your phone to ring yet, 'cause sometimes the baby drops weeks before labor starts, sometimes days. Sometimes it drops during labor. There's no way to know which case this baby will be until something else starts happening.

So what's next? Here's a list of possible signs that labor might be on it's way:
1. Loss of the mucus plug
2. Nausea
3. Diarrhea
4. Water Breaking
5. Contractions
6. Dilation
7. Effacement
8. Baby on the floorboard of your car.

I'll let you know if I experience any of these (possibly with the exception of #3. That I should keep to myself, I think), but until then, we just keep waiting...


Knitters: Don't despair. There has been knitting. Unfortunately for the blog's purposes, it's secret gift knitting, which is why you have seen neither hide nor hair of it. I can tell you the following: It is a baby blanket. It involves five balls of yarn, and I have completed two of the five so far. It's recipient is not set to arrive on earth until August, so it may be a while before you see it. The reason I have started it now is to save myself time after Zuul gets here. I suspect I may be a bit distracted then. Plus my brother's wedding is in August, so the more work I can get done on said baby's gift now, the better.

In other craft news, I am also cross-stitching a birth announcement for Zuul's nursery. Yes, old-fashioned of me, but when I saw it at Michael's, I couldn't help myself. I knew that I would be remiss in my duties as the mother of this child if I did not make it one of these impossibly cute cross-stitches. I don't think every mother needs to make one at all, but me being me, it is my obligation or I will look back in anger at myself someday for not making one. This I CAN show you photos of, but first I must take some...

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

This Month

Holy Crap! This month I will become a parent (sweet Jeebus, I hope it's this month, otherwise I'll be 11 days past my sell-by date). Definitely there will be a baby in no more than 4 1/2 weeks... Can you get your brain around that? And if you can, can you explain it to me? 'Cause I just can't figure it all out!

I know what to do... in theory.

I have everything we'll need... almost.

I've done all the preparations... okay, not really, but the car seat is ready. We'll at least be able to get baby home. I figure that's a good starting point.

I can prevent choking and respiratory arrest... on dolls.

I can diaper and swaddle... a doll.

I can maintain serene relaxation through contractions... fake contractions.

I can achieve the correct latch for breastfeeding... with a doll.

I don't even like dolls, kids. I like them even less now that I had one staring up at me from my boob for two hours last night all plastic-eyed and polyester-lashed.

But what does all of this really mean? I suspect that in a few weeks I may tell you it all means this: Not much. But now I know, and knowing is half the battle, right G.I. Joe?

I bet G.I. Joe didn't have any kids. Not with that confusing smooth part he had in the front there. But he'd never let my kid spray paint a bike in a garage with all of the windows and doors closed, now would he? Perhaps that's all one really needs to be a good parent. Some good cartoons and common sense.

I'll go with that to get me through today, day 18.