baby dropped!

Last night, I woke up at some late time (I don’t keep a clock in the bedroom) in the midst of a contraction. I dozed off after it was over, but woke up again a few minutes later. This continued for about an hour and a half, by my estimate, then I slept normally.

I woke up near dawn to use the bathroom and discovered the following: no heartburn (yay!) no huffing and puffing from a little bum shoved into my diaphragm (yay!) a bladder approximately the size of a teaspoon (boo!) and a little noggin shoved firmly into my pelvis like a cantaloupe!

Progress is my middle name.

birth and anticipation of pain

I’m not a fan of pain.

I mean, I know that’s a pretty common sentiment and should go without saying, but since I give birth at home* without the use of any drugs for pain relief I figured I should bring it up. I’m not a masochist nor am I one of those lucky women who have virtually pain-free labors. It hurts, a lot.

When I first found out I was pregnant again, after the initial heady rush of excitement had passed, I was overcome with a surge of adrenaline and nausea as I realized “I know exactly how bad this is going to hurt.” I tried to banish it from my mind, and tell myself things like “Sure it will hurt, but it’s not horrible,” and “It only hurts really bad at the end,” etc. but I wasn’t fooled. My fight-or-flight instinct knows better, and it remembers the truth, which is It Hurts Like Hell.

I spent the next 7 or so months trying not to think about it. I borrowed a friend’s Hypnobirthing book, and looked it over. My teeth were in terrible shape and I suffered through two excruciating days of unremitting pain until the problem teeth were yanked from my mouth, which helped put it in perspective, but I still had those twinges of fear. I avoided reading birth stories. I didn’t like to talk about it either.

Then, suddenly last week, it happened. I woke up and attempted to try on my anxieties… and they were gone! Not unlike the teeth, actually. I can feel a sort of gap in my mind where the fear of labor was. Where did it go? Who can say. Through the grace of God it’s happened every time I’ve given birth, and I’m very grateful. I know it’s gonna hurt, and That’s Okay.

So, come on baby! Can’t wait to meet you!

*once in the hospital, with Faith, but it was drug-free there too.

sucking my will to blog

Lately I’ve been using our laptop, or trying to. But every time I sit down with it I have Bede, Gilbert and Trixie all poking at it and pulling on the screen and I completely forget whatever the hell I was going to type.

It’s very frustrating.

So let’s try to sum up a bit, while I fend off Trixie who is trying to lick the USB ports to my left, and Bede who is poking ‘home’ and ‘pgup’ and Gil who is yanking the screen.

Oh forget it. I’m about to curse at them, it’s so not worth it. Maybe I’ll try again later.

the bottom dollar

Sean and I were talking about “It’s A Wonderful Life” (that’s my favorite synopsis, by the way) and the subject of life insurance came up. I told Sean that he needed to get a large (term) policy on me, since my death would be, um, inconvenient, to say the least. I suggested a million dollars.

He said “Yeah, I could buy me a nice new wife with that. Who’d turn down a million bucks?”

To which I said:

“I tell you what I’d do, man. Two chicks, at the same time, man.”

birth prep

I need to gather together my birth supplies and otherwise prep. I’d homebirth anytime after 36 weeks, which is like 2 and a half weeks away! Before 36 weeks I’d birth in the hospital.

I’m gonna make a list to gather up:

  • Chux pads
  • Cord tie
  • 2 painter’s dropcloths – much sturdier than the tablecloths I used last time.
  • Bath towels from thrift store, can always use more
  • Oooh! Almost forgot! Big disposable heating pads, the kind for back pain
  • All my post-birth voodoo rememdies for afterpains: herb teas and tinctures, heating pad, and of course Tylenol.
  • Clean sheets
  • Blankets

And to do:

  • Wash newborn dipes, covers and clothes
  • Knit a wee hat for postbirth photo op 🙂
  • Find my cloth postpartum pads… where did I put those…
  • Give birth!

Gotta be more than that… hmm.

Getting to know you, Christmas edition

Tagged via email by Melissa

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Both

2. Real tree or artificial? Artificial, and as glitzy as possible as the girls are the ones to decorate it.

3. When do you put up the tree? After Thanksgiving, early December.

4. When do you take the tree down? After Epiphany.

5. Do you like eggnog? Yes!

6. Favorite gift received as a child? Commodore 64

7. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes, but we don’t put it up. Later years.

8. Hardest person to buy for? I don’t have a real hard time with anyone.

9. Easiest person to buy for? See above.

10. Worst Christmas? Can’t think of a bad one.

11. Mail or email Holiday/Christmas cards? Mail, if I did.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? It’s A Wonderful Life.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? After Thanksgiving.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? I bet I have.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Cocktail shrimp and queso on Christmas Eve.

16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Colored

17. Favorite Christmas song? Probably God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen, but I also like Good King Wenceslas.

18. Travel for Christmas or stay at home? Home! And my extended family will be coming here, for the first time.

19. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer? Yes.

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Star.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Eve for extended family, morning for Gleesons.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? Icy roads and knife-like winds.

23. What I love most about Christmas? Family!

Tagging everyone who’s feeling Christmas-y!

lovely Thanksgiving day

Well, our Thanksgiving was wonderful. Our dear friend Kenny came down from Wichita and along with my parents were our guests for our first Gleeson House Thanksgiving.

We decided that it would be too stressful for everyone to go to my parents’ house, which is what we’ve always done in the past. First of all, there are seven Gleesons (at last count) and only two Harrises; simple math shows that it’s easier for them to get here than for us to get there (although “there” is only a 20 minute drive.) Secondly, one of the seven Gleesons is autistic, and two others are aged three and one, which are factors that make a sit-down semiformal meal in a non-childproofed house very daunting. Add in the fact that the autistic boy prefers nudity at all times and you have a recipe for a possibly resentful, tiring and unfun time.

All taken with all, it was much better for them to come here. So they did, with pleasure. Chef Sean made roast turkey, stuffing, potatoes, giblet gravy, Kenny brought chocolate cake, Fat Tire beer and wine, I managed cheese, veggies, fruit, green bean casserole, my mother brought pies and deviled eggs… probably more that I am forgetting. Everything was delicious and the company was superb.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

baby, it’s cold outside

We just got a cold snap. Yesterday it was in the 70s. Today it was in the 40s, lows in the 20s. That’s 5 degrees either side of zero Centigrade for those who prefer to think in that scale, by the way. It will continue to be that cold for the next week, at least, maybe colder, maybe longer.

Guess whose furnace broke?

Guess what part would not be available til Monday?


(It’s fixed now. Thanks to our heroic furnace repair guys and our noble landlord. Hear, hear!)

Random bits

You can download entire episodes of Super Why! from iTunes, for free. Search Super Why.

Gilbert is asleep on my foot, like a puppy. Aww.

I’m 31 weeks! Wow!

I’m off merino unless I know exactly where it came from – no NZ or Oz wool for me please. Mulesing is just too brutal the way it’s commonly done. I’ll leave you to google.

Hmm. Had some other stuff, but Trixie is crying. Ta!

knit in Danish is strik

I think. And purl is vrang. I think.

L and E came today, you see, and L (who is from Denmark) was trying to turn the heel on a sock, for the second time ever, and her mom had written the instructions in Danish. I was little help, beyond vague statements like “well, you know, you go past the halfway point, then back, then you keep doing that until you kind of, you know, run out.” So I wasn’t that helpful, but hey, I made her laugh really hard as I pronounced the Danish as Okie English. Snort.

Faith, Abby and E played upstairs together for hours without a discouraging word. E was so sweet to Gil too, and he really liked her. L and I were treated to a puppet show ostensibly put on by the three girls, but Gil crashed it (I told them it was improv. He was VERY funny.) Bede was his unusual self and had a good time drifting about on the fringes. ‘Drifting’ implies a certain lassitude which he didn’t have. Hmm. Anyway, he had fun too. And Trixie was completely unphased by our visitors, which was a welcome change from the Velcro baby she can be.

So, all in all, a very good day.

emotional day

I had such a day today. I cleaned up poop several times (see below) and was so sad. I’m happy to report that at no time did I feel resentful of Bede. I know he can’t do any differently than he’s doing right now, or he would be. I’ve had to work to get to that point of no resentment, and I’m not always there, but it’s a much better place to be.

I looked at my first RDI assignment and I just don’t know when I’ll be able to get to it. It’s a fifty minute Adobe presentation/slideshow thingy and I have to watch it on the computer I share with Bede. I wish I could either just read it like a regular web page or watch it on my TV. It’s very difficult to watch video on our computer because it really upsets him. I think I’ll just order the book Autism Aspergers: Solving the Relationship Puzzle which should do it. Gonna have to wait a bit cause I’s broke.

Then I was okay. After cleaning the poops I mean. He’s been so sweet today, even more affectionate than usual, which helps a lot!

Tomorrow our friends L and E are coming to see us. We’re excited about that! E is Faith’s age and just all around a great kid. She’s an only child so I know our vast noisy crowd must be a walk on the wild side. We’ve been looking forward to it for ages because we had to reschedule due to doctor appointments, then Halloween… now finally!

Huh. I think Bede, in his ever more complex ways to get me off our computer so he can steal it back, has emptied his clothes drawer and is now throwing the clothes down the stairs. (Seriously he has a whole schedule of diversions to get me to get up. It’s pretty funny – and pretty interactive. Goofy kid!)

Big with child

No, no pictures of me. Just trust me, I’m huge. And I have to make it to mid-January. Oof I say!

I have nightly heartburn (I always do) and the typical body stresses, but this time my pubic symphysis has completely separated. Yes, it’s just as painful as it sounds to have a 1cm gap in a part of your body you tend to think of as one solid bone. Here’s a great page about it: Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction. I’ve had it with every pregnancy and it’s gotten worse each time, finally making it into the ‘excruciating’ category. Sigh.

Other than that I have no complaints and am happy to report a completely uneventful pregnancy. Most of the Old Babies are very excited about the New Baby, each in their own way. Trixie seems clueless, but Bede sometimes says “Baby” when he hugs my tummy. It was real to him once the baby kicked him in the ear!

Let’s see, what else. I’m reading a book about hypnotic birth, which I’ll be using this time. Never done that before. For baby preparations we’ll need a new car (bit of a sticky wicket there) because we’ve outgrown the 7 seater. You know you have a big family when you think of the Plymouth Voyager as “small.” I’ve knit the new person several soakers and a blanket, which I will photograph soon. Tres cute.

Reckon that’s it for now.