Sunday, June 28, 2009

From fatigue to envy to consumerism saving the day?

Is it better to feel baby-stuff fatigue? Or baby-stuff envy?

Last week I was freaked out by the amount of stuff we supposedly need in order to bring a baby up (and out).

But my relationship to stuff has apparently changed.

I have visited a most excellent nursery (Kate and Jason's work for Ivy Cat). I was happy to see boxes and baskets tucked into shelves. Because we will be doing the same kind of creative storage for Ginger. As well, Kate had hung very very very old baby girl clothes on the wall. Whimsical and practical, all in one room.

I checked up on Kitty and Abel's progress with their nursery: BRIGHT colors (c'mon, better by, he's Brazilian!) and jungle theme (Tullulah Flora will spend half of her time in Bahia, Brazil, so she might was well get used to the topical goodness starting as soon as she comes out!). The crib and changing table (yes, I know what a changing table looks like on sight now.) are BRIGHT WHITE. The room is wonderful.

And I heard about Micheal and Lan's first and best find for their little man: a 1940s style bassinet. Wicker! Not lead paint! (Michael had it tested. We love our dads-to-be.)

We do not have a room to turn into a nursery. We just don't. I joked, perhaps defensively, that I'm just too damn selfish to give up all my clothes/junk/books/necklaces/trinkets. And Ross said, no.

"You need an office. You have to have somewhere to work."

"Oh, yeah! I bring home the money!"

In our mini-house, we just don't have room for a baby room. Which is 100 percent fine with me. Almost always. Except when I see the awesomeness (resources: time, money, creativity) that my lady friends and baby daddies have poured into their baby spaces and baby things. Envious? Maybe, yeah. A little concerned about finances? Um, I maybe should be, but I've got savings and investments all set up for this coming year. So I don't think that's what the funny feeling is from.

Straight up jealous in a consumer/feed-me-more-material-goods kinda way? Prob'ly, for sure, ues. Cause I feel the same way when I hear about a friend buying a nice house in San Francisco. Or when I play with someone's iPod.

Time to hit Craigslist for a bassinet/crib/play pen. And maybe, just maybe, time to buy an iPod. I'm due for an upgrade at the end of August...

(Photo: Me and Micheal's father, another Michael, soon to be Grandpa. His belly is bigger than mine.)

33 weeks, but who's counting? (I totally am, at this point!)

33 weeks

"How your baby's growing:
This week your baby weighs a little over 4 pounds (heft a pineapple) and has passed the 17-inch mark. She's rapidly losing that wrinkled, alien look and her skeleton is hardening. The bones in her skull aren't fused together, which allows them to move and slightly overlap, thus making it easier for him to fit through the birth canal. (The pressure on the head during birth is so intense that many babies are born with a conehead-like appearance.) These bones don't entirely fuse until early adulthood, so they can grow as his brain and other tissue expands during infancy and childhood."

I know that fellow pregnants Kate, Kitty and Lan are ready to go. Meaning:
For Kate, her due date is today! They've had their birthing pool up for weeks. She spent yesterday on the couch, in a bikini, eating fruit (it was hot in Oakland!)

For Kitty (due late July) "ready" means she and Abel finished the nursery this week, had a shower today, and got their final sono this week.

For Lan (due late July/early Aug) "ready" was yesterday, when she and Michael purchased the remaining birth goodies, ordered the birthing kit, and got all the necessities organized into bags, just like the midwives want it.

This week we'll get our goodies together, order the pool, ordered the birthing kit (yesterday!) and send out our final list of needs to friends/family who wanted to "get whatever is still needed."

"Ready?" Us? No. Not yet. But I plan to be good to go for week 36.

Back to the website's wisdom:

"How your life's changing:
As your baby fills out even more of your belly, lots of things might start to change: Whereas before you were sashaying, you may find yourself waddling. Finding an easy position to sit in — let alone sleep — is becoming more of a challenge. And bumping into chairs and counters is par for the course.

"You may be feeling some achiness and even numbness in your fingers, wrists, and hands. Like many other tissues in your body, those in your wrist can retain fluid, which can increase pressure in the carpal tunnel, a bony canal in your wrist. Nerves that run through this "tunnel" may end up pinched, creating numbness; tingling, shooting or burning pain; or a dull ache. Try wearing a splint to stabilize your wrist or propping your arm up with a pillow when you sleep. If your work requires repetitive hand movements (at a keyboard or on an assembly line, for instance), remember to stretch your hands when you take breaks — which should be frequently.

"Many women are still feeling sexy at this stage — and their partners often agree. You may need to make some adjustments, but for most women, sex during pregnancy is fine right up until their water breaks or their labor starts."

Achiness: Only after a hike or a long day out and about
Sex: Yes, please, thank you. Ross gave me a naughty book (The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty) for my birthday. I read a few pages. Bathed. Made Ross bathe and... let's just say that a while later Ross vowed to buy me the rest of the series.

Heat, fat arms and horse-like eating

(Cutey photo taken at my shower/bday/dadsday/bbq on the water. We are pregnant in that order. With my due date coming in at August 10 and Kate's June 28.)

It's time to gain a pound a week. That should be easy. Because I CAN NOT seem to eat enough. Several times a day, I have to admit, I grow tired of eating. But then I dig in again, and well, I really DIG IN. And swallow. And it is good.

Last night, when Ross called to check in before he headed home (in car, mine is in the shop so no shopping for me for a few days) he asked if I needed anything.

"Yes. I need you to go to Trader Joes."

"Um. Ok. Let me write this on my hand." See, usually, I say that I don't need anything. I do pretty much all the grocery shopping, and I can just fill up on whatever it is I think I might want. But this week, I've had a sore throat (snoring!) that turned into a couch and grossness to cough up. Which has meant my usual milk proteins are still in the fridge, awaiting my gaping maw.)

"I need hamburger meat. Chicken. Fish. Bacon. Avocados. Soy milk. Peanut Butter. And, um, a Corona."


"Hello? Can you go to the store? I'm hungry. Now."

I ate two burgers very soon after that.

So, it's been a bit hot. Less hiking and general exercising. Fatter arms. My knees seem to be disappearing. And yet, when I get dressed up (ie: put on something that shows off the boobs and belly but isn't stained and/or stretched beyond decency) I get lots of "you're gorgeous" "beautiful" "glowing" "hot" "sexy" comments. Even when I'm stuffing my face with one hand and clutching a beer in the other.

I guess it's a look that works on me.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

32 weeks! I plan to be 100 % ready (meaning birthing pool here, birthing kit here, stocked fridge, baby "necessities," etc. all in place!) for the little lady to come early. 36 weeks and I'll be thrilled to welcome here. Any time before that and I think I'll put my fee up, drink some wine, and tell her to hold her darn horses!

From the all-knowing website:

"How your baby's growing:
By now, your baby weighs 3.75 pounds (pick up a large jicama) and is about 16.7 inches long, taking up a lot of space in your uterus. You're gaining about a pound a week and roughly half of that goes right to your baby. In fact, she'll gain a third to half of her birth weight during the next 7 weeks as she fattens up for survival outside the womb. She now has toenails, fingernails, and real hair (or at least respectable peach fuzz). Her skin is becoming soft and smooth as she plumps up in preparation for birth."

Let's see:
Shortness of breath: Yup! The hikes are getting almost humorous.
Heartburn: Not so much, tho food does kinda come back up, sometimes. Yum!
Back pain: Not lower. Though an old stress knot is rebuilding itself in my top right back... time for a prenatal massage!
Pain during movement: Nope, but I make some funny noises when I bend over.

Still, it's all pretty fun/easy.

What the not so fortunate ladies are a'feelin'.

"How your life's changing:
To accommodate you and your baby's growing needs, your blood volume has increased 40 to 50 percent since you got pregnant. With your uterus pushing up near your diaphragm and crowding your stomach, the consequences may be shortness of breath and heartburn. To help relieve your discomfort, try sleeping propped up with pillows and eating smaller meals more often.

"You may have lower-back pain as your pregnancy advances. If you do, let your caregiver know right away, particularly if you haven't had back pain before, since it can be a sign of preterm labor.

"Assuming it's not preterm labor that's ailing you, you can probably blame your growing uterus and hormonal changes for your aching back. Your expanding uterus shifts your center of gravity and stretches out and weakens your abdominal muscles, changing your posture and putting a strain on your back. Hormonal changes in pregnancy loosen your joints and the ligaments that attach your pelvic bones to your spine. This can make you feel less stable and cause pain when you walk, stand, sit for long periods, roll over in bed, get out of a low chair or the tub, bend, or lift things."

So, yeah, I snore a lot lately.

It's something I read about early on in the "ohmigawd I'm pregnant!?" stages. Snoring. Lots of ladies do it, a lot more and more loudly during different stages of pregnancy. At first we are more snotty (in the first trimester I woke up in the middle of the night to blow my nose, fill up a handkerchief, drink some water to take the edge of the killer, three-month thirst, fall back asleep) and later, well, when I'm out, I'm out. And I snore.

Lately, I wake myself up snoring. As I regain consciousness, I can hear the tail end of one last monster gurgling, choked monster noise, I realize my mouth is drive and my throat is sore, and I begin to cough and gasp for breath. Because I have been mouth breathing/snoring so long and so hard that my throat is so dry I can no longer effectively breath.

Sleep. Snore. Cough. Drink water. Get up and pee. Do it all again.

I've asked Ross to wake me up to make me stop snoring. He says it doesn't really bother him (something about the pitch) and then admits that it's pretty useless. I just go right back to it.

Today it hurts to swallow. Heh.

And yes, I can still sleep on my back.

In cute, hey, the baby is coming, new, the above onesie is from one of Ross's clients.

And Ross has taken a bookshelf and transformed it into a piece of baby furniture (my idea! This is my contribution to creativity: I make suggestions/demands.)

AND: I received an entire wardrobe from two lovelies in my birthing class: giraffes! stripes! bibs! Soooo cute. Must take more photos. Our little lady is already pretty outfitted with 0 to 3 months. And tomorrow is the shower.

Time to clean the corners, the dish-drain swamp-thing and maybe hang up some art. The family will be here after 3pm. Eep!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

31 weeks

And the weeks just keep on tickin' by. We should be ready ready ready by 36 weeks. And though my EDD (estimated due date) is August 10, I've been telling folks that she's coming in late July.

Wishful thinking? My last ditch effort to exert some control on what is about to be a newly out-of-my-control and chaotic life? Who knows. It started as as joke, and now it seems like the right thing to tell people. We'll see. I was six or so weeks early, which would be, for Ginger, coming in 3 weeks -- OK, NO. That would be too early.

Now, let's see what the experts say. From that website:

"How your baby's growing:
This week, your baby measures over 16 inches long. She weighs about 3.3 pounds (try carrying four navel oranges) and is heading into a growth spurt. She can turn his head from side to side, and her arms, legs, and body are beginning to plump out as needed fat accumulates underneath her skin. She's probably moving a lot, too, so you may have trouble sleeping because your baby's kicks and somersaults keep you up. Take comfort: All this moving is a sign that your baby is active and healthy."

--kicking: check!
--somersaults: prob'ly!
--weight: who knows how much she weighs, but at Ross's doctor's office I tipped the scales at 37 (!!!) pounds. I've never seen anything over 117, so, yeah. No wonder none of my pants or skirts with zippers, including those that I bought in March for preggo me, fit. Right on target, actually.
--kid is def. more substantial. When I bend over a bit and squish the tummy, I can feel, that yes, there are limbs in there.
--turned head: yup, says the midwives/doulas.

And as for me:
--Braxton-Hicks: oh yeah, especially at night or after any handling of the belly
--premilk: yup, it's fun to squeeze out the tip of the nipple... and this sides, where I used to have the barbells piercings. --nursing bra: this sounds like my mom/grandma territory.
--discharge (vaginal): yeah, well, it's all kinda different down there. Nothing scary or icky, just new, and changing aromas and consistencies.

"How your life's changing:
Have you noticed the muscles in your uterus tightening now and then? Many women feel these random contractions — called Braxton Hicks contractions — in the second half of pregnancy. Often lasting about 30 seconds, they're irregular, and at this point, they should be infrequent and painless. Frequent contractions, on the other hand — even those that don't hurt — may be a sign of preterm labor. Call your practitioner immediately if you have more than four contractions in an hour or any other signs of preterm labor: an increase in vaginal discharge or a change in the type of discharge (if it becomes watery, mucus-like, or bloody — even if it's pink or just tinged with blood); abdominal pain or menstrual-like cramping; an increase in pressure in the pelvic area; or low back pain, especially if you didn't have it before.

"You may have noticed some leaking of colostrum, or "premilk," from your breasts lately. If so, try tucking some nursing pads into your bra to protect your clothes. (And if not, it's certainly nothing to worry about; your breasts are making colostrum all the same, even if you don't see any.) If your current bra is too snug, you might also want to pick up a nursing bra. Choose a nursing bra at least one cup size bigger than you need now. When your milk comes in you'll be grateful for that extra room!"


I'm a little overwhelmed with the amount of "stuff" that comes with/before baby.

I spent the afternoon at Lan and Michael's baby shower. Lovely day by the pool. Four preggos in all. Snacks and booze (I had half a beer) and kids and water noodles.

And presents. So many presents. They must have 50 onesies now. Really amazingly cute onesies and shirts for sure. But holy crap, there were a lot.

Ross and I made way for the piano (deal = I get pregnant, he gets a piano) by ditching old couch, coffee table, vinyl cave/stereo stand and bookshelves. We moved my couch/bed downstairs, bought a massive IKEA shelving system to hold all his records and all of "our" books. So there's a ton more room in the living room.

By removing the sofa from my room, we'll have room for the bookshelf we are converting to clothes/toy shelves and a cushy rocking chair thing that I can squirt milk on, study or sleep in.

We have a crib, but have not set it up and a stroller in the shed. (Thanks, Tracy and Goran!)

We have a chair/massage thing, that I think I can hang on a hook when we're not using. (Thanks Mike and Carly!)

We have a car seat in my car, that needs to be de-catified. (Thanks Kate and Jason!)

And I have a box of hand-me-downs, including at least a dozen adorable pink-ish things that have never been worn. (Thanks Nicole and Piper and Sander!)

And the shower/bbq festivities are this week. I LOVE getting gifts. I love the attention. I love seeing what people "gift," make, recycle, offer, etc. And I even had fun putting together the registry and list of goodies.

But watching Michael and Lan open all the baby stuff (bouncy chair, I want! play mat with oodles of toys, so cute! etc.) made me feel, yeah, overwhelmed. And I found myself wishing I could drink more than one drink, in a row, in quick succession, maybe even on a mostly empty stomach at the bbq/shower, to better handle the fact that all these gifts mean that baby being here, on the outside of my body and demanding all these things that I have been preparing for and in no way can ever prepare for, is right around the corner.

But, rather than get loaded while pregnant in order to deal, I'll make a list of who gives what so I can send out a thank you note that includes a print of her tiny foot. Or a placenta print. Sonogram? Photo of her sleeping on Ross's belly? Photo of me in mid labor, being all cave woman and stuff? Or more likely, I'll make the list, make plans to do some creative, sweet, original arty thank you note and not. quite. get. to it. For a while, anyway, after she is born, and is here, and is amazing and alive.

And none of the stuff, that we don't get, can't afford or can't find a place for, will really matter. At all.

Head down

This week we had a most excellent midwife visit.

At 31 weeks, we're getting close to the 36-week "ohmygawd we have to be ready at any moment" marker. At this week's meeting we walked around the house to consider how best to accommodate my desires and demands during labor.

As Ross and I have made tons of room in the house, it looks like there is enough room upstairs in my office/room/baby room for the birthing tub. Which is good, because I expect to labor on or near our bed (in Ross's room, also upstairs) and frequently use the bathroom (lots of laboring mammas spend time on the toilet -- yes, it's a great place to labor/push, feel the baby's head, etc -- and you have to try to pee every hour or hour and a half, so, yeah) putting to use the toilet and the hot water faucets. As our midwife of day pointed out, I won't likely want to march up and down the stairs from but to toilet to bed. So, yay on determining the location of the tub.

Now, must rent the tub, figure out how to fill the thing from one of our ancient faucets (we want to run hot water into the tub as it takes a long time to heat up cold water) and go get the tub. I have an email with info, contract etc.

This week: open email, and agree to tub rental at awesome discount.

Also, I cracked the "what we need to have on hand list" for the home birth. Lots of towels, wash clothes, oil in a squeeze bottle, crock pot to cook up a witchy mixture in which we put wash clothes after which we put on my tired, stretching skin, extra pillows and sheets and onesies and a leetle hat for her, and and and. I will put Ross in charge of getting the contents of the list into bags and ready for use.

This week I will order our birthing kit. And then I will take pictures of if. I think it comes with a net: think of going into a pet store and leaving with some gold fish. The net the attendant used to scoop out the gold fish, I think we will have one for, um, body stuff, that might find its way outta me and into the water of the birthing tub. Oh, reality...

And this week I'm all proud of the little lady, because during the actual exam part of the midwife appointment (they are here in the house for 90 minutes, we talk about the reading for that week, we ask and answer questions, we talk about how I/we feel, review baby movies we've seen, for 60 to 80 minutes. And during the exam part the ladies check my urine -- mostly for proteins = bad -- check my blood pressure -- always excellently low -- and feel up my belly to check on size, location of baby.

Baby is head down! Which they should be by 32 weeks. Go little Ginger. She did it all by herself. I was assigned cat and camel yoga postures and inversions to point her in the right direction (by opening up the space in my pelvis, she'd naturally wanna "head"in that direction) but I didn't do too many. I wanted to see if she would do it all by herself.

She did.

And now she kicks me near the ribs.

And feels like a bocce ball by the end of the day, I mean a bocce ball in between my legs. Which is just about right.

(As for the photos:
--Me: week 30 at Tennesee Trail/Beach.
--Adorable spring dress from Auntie Mary
--Ridiculously small hair brush, also from Auntie Mary (Ross wants to use it as a toothbrush. He does have a big mouth!)
--Freaking cute top from Erica, baby Piper's Dutch Grandma who is here for a month. The shirt blames the baby's birth on papa!)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Registry, feed us, make her something nice, etc.

Below, behold invite and list o gifts, as requested:

Birthday, Belly and Day of the Dad and Solstice Party

Pic Nic/BBQ/Potluck
Sunday June 21, 2pm til 6 or so or whenever we're sick of it.
Miller-Knox Regional Park, Richmond
(rest of invite at bottom)

In response to folks' demands (and also owing to the fact that I am a gemini and have demands of my own, but am practicing the mom thing and am swapping out my own list in order to better prepare for the incoming little lady) below is a list of things we'd love to have before the baby gets here.

Remember, we mostly want to see you and your smiling face (and that of your friend/dog/kid). Please don't feel obligated to bring a gift! That said, we're happy to accept gifts of all sorts! Below is a registry (Target), a list of practical stuff we gotta have, fun stuff we'd be happy to have, and suggestions for folks who'd rather buy green, used etc.

Yes! We'd love it used, whatever it is. New is great too! Got a green option, go for it. Want to make something? Please do. Feel free to sign up to bring us food after the kid comes (just email me,, donate to a local charity or non-profit in our names (see below), burn us a CD or gift a clipping from your yard/garden/mother's garden.

But please, don't feel obligated to purchase anything. Do come, celebrate, bring something to share and something to grill (you don't even have to share if you don't want to!)

- jen and ross
Jen: 510 290 8399
Ross: 510 847 0288

(there is a long list that follows here not on registry, items found both at national websites and local retailers)

they deliver diapers, wipes, lots of other stuff

Little Raspberries
(used baby/kid stuff, new at discounts, owned by a local mom)
10400 San Pablo Ave
El Cerrito, CA 94530
(510) 526-5437

Crackerjacks: A green boutique
4 Glen Ave, Oakland, CA‎
(510) 654-884
(they carry oaklandish!!!)

Issues: mags, art books, zines

Pegasus: indie bookstore extraordinaire. We can order baby books. Buy used Kids books, etc.

Target (see registry) (for delivery of cloth diapers)

Order me and Ross some cupcakes! for the shower, before the birth, after the birth!

Feed Us!
Don't want to spend money and not feeling craft. Feed the hungry mom and tired dad. Let me know if you want to sign up to deliver food (home made, canned goods, Zachary's pizza, nothing yummy and healthy turned away!). We'll have a food czar on the case for the two weeks after baby comes. If you bring food, you can see baby! Jenloy at earthlink dot net


Natures Babycare: size 1
or maybe a week or a month-worth of a diaper service
--80 diapers a week is suggested for a newborn: about $20

BumGenius 3.0 One-Size Cloth Diaper
Wd'd happily try these!

Organic Cotton Cloth Diapers
We'll use these for diapers, spit up rags, wipe down rags, towels, changing pads when on the go, so, the more the merrier! Available at Target, most kids/baby stores.

Diaper Genie and diaper genie refills. Used at Little Raspberres in El Cerrito or on Craigslist.

the more natural, the better

Changing Pad
used changing pad and a cover: Little Raspberries


Cute Shoes
Ridiculously cute, totally unnecessary, moccasin-like shoes that she'll wear in a few months.
Sold at Raspberries in El Cerrito (summer sale)

Onesies or Tiny Cute Tops
(name the number)-pack from Target would be great, but so would a stack of used ones or just one fantasticly cute onesie from say:
--Lanesplitters (yes, they have a onsie)
--Issues (mag store off Piedmont)
--Does Blankspace carry a onesie ? if not a tiny cute shirt!
--21Grand tshirt (she'll grow into it! they're black!!!)

The Camo Shop or...
Something in camo (Ross's special request)
Classic jungle green, please, none of that contemporary desert warfare yellow, says Ross.
(Your promotional code is: camoshop Just enter the code when you check out to receive $10.00 off your order of $25 or more)

Buy a onesie from your favorite, independent FILL IN THE BLANK. We'd love it if our little lady is a billboard for a cool, fun, independent businesses. Props for local printing or design work too!

Totally plain would be great too. We can screen print and think of you.

Hats/Caps for newborns
Do you knit, sew, staple things together? she'll need some cute things to wear on her noogin. maybe you will make one?

Baby blankets

Something nice to touch, or crazy colorful and good for "tummy time" (see, we're getting the vocab down!) Store bought, home made, the more the merrier.

Got cool, colorful, not toxic items that will hypnotize baby? We'd love to have mobiles that hang from the ceiling (ie above crib/napping area) or shorter ones that we can hang above her chair (mounted on a bar, affixed to chair)

A baby book
see one that is cute? have a cool book you can alter so we can use it as a baby book? we want! got an hold photo album that wants to be filled? we will hit print and have physical photos to fill those pages.

Ikea toys
um, there are some cute toys at Ikea. Really:

there are 3 rats: black, white and grey = $2.99 each (Ross says we need the whole set)

and a blue octopus $4.99 to $5.99 (kinda like a pillow)

a pink hippo too $5.99

any stuffed toys that are soft and don't have swallowable parts will make napping more comfortable and waking up more fun/safe.

Ikea storage
colorful boxes or baskets (to be put on shelves, to hold clothes so no lid is necessary)
in red or blue

or this one!


Ergo Baby
With an infant insert, though we like the green or retro lining better than the vanilla colored lining.

and we'll use a sling(s) until she can hold up her head. a long strip of fabric does wonders. or: moby sling (see target registry)

BANANAS is a non-profit child care referral and support agency serving the diverse families in Northern Alameda County, California

Medical Students for Choice
The United States and Canada face a dangerous shortage of trained abortion providers. In 2000, 87% of the counties in the United States had no provider (1). The “graying” of current providers (57% of whom are over the age of 50 (7), violence that targets physicians, and restrictive legislation threaten to drive these numbers even lower. In addition, medical schools are simply not addressing the topic; most physicians are graduating with little more than circumstantial knowledge of abortion.

Planned Parenthood
This fantastic organization kept me educated, safe, smart, sexy since about my 19th birthday. Thanks to their great services, I am an exuberantly pregnant lady at 35, and will be almost ready to be a mom by 36. I donate annually.

Birthday, Belly and Day of the Dad and Solstice Party
Pic Nic/BBQ/Potluck
Sunday June 21, 2pm til 6 or so or whenever we're sick of it.
Miller-Knox Regional Park, Richmond

Jen (that's me) is 36 years old this week in June. She and Ross will also be 33 weeks pregnant. So, Ross is kinda a dad and Jen is kinda mom. Come bbq on the bay, swim at Keller Beach, hike with your dog in the hills, hit the kids' playground (bring a kid if you have one), bike on the paved trails, and play some lawn games.

We're still not sure about her name (though Ginger Crash seems to be sticking!), and I plan to bribe her with promises of horsies and cupcakes if she makes her appearance the last week of July, rather than stick to her EDD of Aug 10. Come play with us!

Miller Knox
A beautifully landscaped shoreline picnic area, a secluded cove with swimming beach, a fishing pier at a historic site a hilltop with excellent panoramic views of the north Bay Area and a model railroad museum - all these attractions are part of 307-acre Miller/Knox Regional Shoreline in Richmond.

To Reach The Park
From I-580 West in Richmond, exit at Canal Boulevard. Turn left at the light onto Canal. Turn right at the light onto W. Cutting Bl., then left at the stop sign onto Garrard Bl. Proceed through the auto tunnel; Garrard becomes Dornan Drive on the south side of the auto tunnel. The park entrance will be on the right less than 1/2 mile south of the tunnel.
you can google map it (etc) Miller Knox Park, Richmond, CA

Saturday, June 6, 2009

30 weeks

"How your baby's growing:
Your baby's about 15.7 inches long now, and she weighs almost 3 pounds (like a head of cabbage). A pint and a half of amniotic fluid surrounds her, but that volume will decrease as she gets bigger and takes up more room in your uterus. Her eyesight continues to develop, though it's not very keen; even after she's born, she'll keep her eyes closed for a good part of the day. When she does open them, she'll respond to changes in light but will have 20/400 vision — which means she can only make out objects a few inches from her face. (Normal adult vision is 20/20.)"

Did you know that:
--most amniotic fluid is baby urine
--fetuses/babies swallow it and pee it right back out
--the placenta chugs away and makes more

Our nipples (all parts, from teat on out) usually get bigger and darker so that when our nearly-blind baby is born, our nips appear to be massive targets that even a nearly-blind baby can see.

How are my nipple you ask? Well, after we took out the barbells, they calmed down a bit, still on the pinker-than brown shade of things, but for sure, there is more erection, length and circumference than before I became a carrier.

And now, more from the experts who write for women with too much time on their hands and big ol' pocket books:

"How your life's changing:
You may be feeling a little tired these days, especially if you're having trouble sleeping. You might also feel clumsier than normal, which is perfectly understandable. Not only are you heavier, but the concentration of weight in your pregnant belly causes a shift in your center of gravity. Plus, thanks to hormonal changes, your ligaments are more lax, so your joints are looser, which may also contribute to your balance being a bit off. Also, this relaxation of your ligaments can actually cause your feet to spread permanently, so you may have to invest in some new shoes in a bigger size.

"Remember those mood swings you had earlier in pregnancy? The combination of uncomfortable symptoms and hormonal changes can result in a return of those emotional ups and downs. It's normal to worry about what your labor will be like or whether you'll be a good parent. But if you can't shake the blues or feel increasingly irritable or agitated, talk to your doctor or midwife. You may be among the 1 in 10 expectant women who battle depression during pregnancy. Also let your caregiver know if you're frequently nervous or anxious."

My experiences of late:
--Man, I'll be so pissed if I have to throw out all my shoes and start over. I'm really not much of a show shopper.
--I'm not so much clumsy as I am different. I have bumped into a few things/people with The Belly.
--I'm actually sleeping better than I think I ever have. Really not letting life stress me out. I wake up a lot and toss and turn, but feel rested if I've been in bed for 8 hours, not necessarily sleeping the whole time. Also, naps are good.
--Lots of action from the little lady passenger. We need to convince her to head head-down. Right now, we think her feet are down and by week 32, we want her pointed in the opposite direction. I've been assigned some inversions and cat/cow postures to open up my pelvis, kinda as a way to say, "hey, lady, look at all this room, doesn't it look comfy DOWN THERE?

And what, no comparisons to fruit or heirloom vegetables this week???

Birthing class: from bdsm to oming my way out of hell

Off-beat things I've learned in my awesome birthing class:

--A good midwife or doula won't tell you about the worse-case scenario, no matter how you ask for it.

--Sitting in a room with 7 other very pregnant couples and watching the unassisted birth of twins is better when you've seen the video before, cause you can watch the vid AND watch the parents-to-be. This is especially entertaining when the second baby's foot is sticking out of the mom and the the mom says:
"What is that? Oh, that's a foot."
And dad (holding the camera) says, "Ohmigod, what can I do?"
Mom, getting ready to deliver second twin says, "Just keep filming."

And all around the living room, pregnant couples are grimacing with teary eyes and open mouths.

--I talk too much, but not nearly as much as other people.

--Ross is going to be an amazingly calm birth partner, no matter how much panic or exhaustion he feels. I can't imagine doing this without him there to hold me and pet me and massage me and support me and love me.

--The results of a healthy BDSM session might teach expectant mothers a thing or two about release and how to better embrace loss of control, but the juices such sessions produce in the loser of control might not be good for baby (might, we don't know)

--I now fear the goddess position more than a 70-hour labor. (Sit on your knees, bend your feet under you, sit on toes, rest rump on heels. Hold for the length of a contraction. Suffer and nearly die). In a recent birthing class, we all, soon-to-be moms and dads, climbed and grunted down off sofas and up out of bean bags so we could all experience an "uncomfortable" position, sans the assistance of breathing or making noise.

This friggin sucked for me. I blame it on my 30 years of soccer, running, hiking, etc. and my very tight leg muscles. I couldn't even get my ass all the way down. And WOW did it hurt my feet. I panted and sweat and watched the iphone on the ground and helped count the seconds. It was VERY hard to keep quiet during the pose.

Round two: we were allowed and encouraged to "breath" deep tummy/yoga breaths, and exhale into OMS -- cause it's best to avoid the high-pitched screaming we might want to indulge in during, say, labor. High-pitched wailing/etc. tightens muscles, adds to the "oh my god it's time for flight/fight) and generally makes pain LESS-bearable.

Now, deep "oms," animal/mommy groaning and moaning, well, that opens us up from pelvis to throat, and can significantly reduce the, um, "discomfort" of labor pains. Or the shooting horror of the goddess position.

I OMed and did some better breathing. And would much prefer to go into labor that sit on my poor, unbendable feet ever again.

(Hell is that damned yoga pose. And the pic of of the pirate hooker waitress at a family (!!!) Mexican restaurant in Suison, up near Tracy and Goran's house.