happy new year’s eve

December 31, 2008

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In case it’s not obvious yet, I’m a big fan of The Writer’s Almanac, delivered to my inbox every morning. Today’s selections were perfect for a day like this.

Night Flight

I am doing laps at night, alone
In the indoor pool. Outside
It is snowing, but I am warm
And weightless, suspended and out
Of time like a fly in amber.

She is thousands of miles
From here, and miles above me,
Ghosting the stratosphere,
Heading from New York to London.
Though it is late, even
At that height, I know her light
Is on, her window a square
Of gold as she reads mysteries
Above the Atlantic. I watch

The line of black tile on the pool’s
Floor, leading me down the lane.
If she looks down by moonlight,
Under a clear sky, she will see
Black water. She will see me
Swimming distantly, moving far
From shore, suspended with her
In flight through the wide gulf
As we swim toward land together.

George Bilgere

Quietly

Lying here quietly beside you,
My cheek against your firm, quiet thighs,
The calm music of Boccherini
Washing over us in the quiet,
As the sun leaves the housetops and goes
Out over the Pacific, quiet—
So quiet the sun moves beyond us,
So quiet as the sun always goes,
So quiet, our bodies, worn with the
Times and penances of love, our
Brains curled, quiet in their shells, dormant,
Our hearts slow, quiet, reliable
In their interlocked rhythms, the pulse
In your thigh caressing my cheek. Quiet.

Kenneth Rexroth

(photo is stock.)

Merry Christmas!

knockedup

something about the wind

December 20, 2008

Something about the Wind

There’s something about the wind coming off
the ocean, the waves washing the rocks

that makes a person who is quickly annoyed
by cigarette smoke and men
putting nails into roofs

forgetful and unconcerned.

If you are easily disturbed
you need to get an ocean.

by Sidney Hall Jr.

I really do love all this snow, and I don’t have to face the cold often since I work at home, but lately I’ve been wanting a vacation in a warm place. Maybe with an ocean. I need to get an ocean.

This poem made me laugh because early on in our relationship Marshall found out that I get easily annoyed by the wind. It pushes against car doors you’re trying to open, blows my hair in my mouth, distracts my mind. He sees the wind as the Holy Spirit (or rather vice versa), and I see the wind as an annoyance. I don’t mind balmy breezes, though.

Just to clarify, my “full-term Friday” a couple weeks ago meant that if Baby B was born, he would not be considered premature. My due date isn’t technically until the 29th. There’s this funny three- or four-week window between when you’re full-term and when your actual due date is. This is something I didn’t know until I got pregnant, so sorry to those of you I confused. :) I am not two weeks overdue today. However since all my nephews and nieces were overdue, I’m betting on a January baby. Just to letcha know.

maternity shoot, nov. 25

December 14, 2008

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My sister is a fantastic photographer so I asked her to do a shoot before I’m no longer preggers. This is at 35 weeks, I think.

(Sorry if this page takes forever to download or whatever. I don’t have much patience today to figure out the most efficient way of getting so many photos on here. Also, I KNOW I could limit them but that was hard to do. I had 175 pics to choose from!)

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way to go, little guy!

December 9, 2008

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Great news! Baby B is right side down! We had the ultrasound yesterday and the tech confirmed his position right away. We are relieved. Of course, the hard part is yet to come, and I still want to keep a flexible attitude toward what may happen in a few weeks. In the meantime, we’re happy that he’s down there and seems to be staying down there. We gave him a loving pat on the rump as it pushed out from just under my right rib yesterday.

Thank you to everyone for thinking of us.

We celebrated by checking out the brand-new library by our place. Marshall discovered and showed me their lactation room. No kidding! Then he asked me if I wanted anything at the yummy ice cream shop adjoined to the library (just opened that day!). We have been trying to cut back on spontaneous purchases like that, but I said, “How COULD you ask me that when you know that I won’t say no to food?!” :) So I got a dish of Peppermint Stick and he got a vanilla malt. I clung to his arm as we slipped and slid our way back to our car. An elderly man jokingly asked if he could hang on to Marshall too. We made our way home and hibernated for the rest of the night as the Mother of All Snowstorms rolled in. Baby B, probably in celebration of adding a whole freakin’ ounce to his body weight for the day, kicked up his heels a few times, but otherwise hunkered down right along with us.

full-term Friday

December 5, 2008

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I am officially 37 weeks pregnant today!

(I’ve been counting my “turnover” day as Friday this entire pregnancy, although other things, like doctors, Lilypie ticker, and ultrasound technicians seem to differ by a couple days. No biggie. I’m stickin’ to my Fridays.)

Thanks again to my friend Alison who gave me this card (with some hand-knitted mittens and hat over Halloween weekend). It’s quite frame-able, don’t you think? I LOVE it.

a lil’ BCT and moxa

December 4, 2008

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At our previous doctor appointment, the week before Thanksgiving, the doppler found Baby’s heartbeat loud and clear—way above the bellybutton, almost near my mole. Our doctor leaned over and spoke to my belly: “Come on little guy, we don’t want to hear that up there! Please flip around for us, soon!”

Ever since, we’ve been thinking about the possibility of a Caesarean, which is scary, although there are several wonderful, strong woman in my life who have handled C-sections just fine. In the meantime, we are doing what we can to make Baby unbreech himself. We call it “Baby Coaxing Time,” or BCT.

My pelvic area has thus been receiving a lot of attention lately. We shine a soft flashlight on the target, we nestle little speakers playing Christmas at Luther against my pajama pants, Marshall reads board books and makes animal noises at my pubic line. (Which makes me belly-laugh like Santa Claus, which I’m not sure helps or harms the process.) All in the name of getting Baby to flip head-down. I admit, we’ve only had a couple official BCTs, but I try to play music down there as often as I can.

I also heard via my mom about acupuncture treatments for breech babies. I went to an acupuncturist a couple of days ago. She tapped two itty bitty needles in my pinky toes, and then performed moxabustion—holding an incense stick that reminded me of a smokeless cigar, which is actually burning mugwort, held an inch or two away from the needle (bladder point 67) in my toe. Baby started wiggling around almost immediately! According to my acupuncturist, Western medical research admits that moxa does affect fetal activity, but they don’t know why. Chinese medicine offers the reason that moxa stimulates blood-flow and energy to the uterus. Hearts are biologically warm organs, so that could be why breech babies prefer to nestle their heads up there. The idea is to warm up the uterus so that they don’t have to get so cozy under mama’s ribs.

Now, I am not a complete embracer of Chinese and alternative medicine, but neither am I completely trusting of Western medicine. Their approaches are so different—preventive and holistic versus prescriptive and diagnostic. As I learn more about my body in my 20s, I am coming to understand how both approaches are important and valid.

So, the next day, we had a doctor’s appointment, and the heartbeat was found a little under the bellybutton this time, and both the doctor and I felt less lumps under my ribs and more firmness below. She is a family practitioner, and didn’t want to claim that “this is the head, this is the butt,” so we’re going in for an ultrasound on Monday to see where this babe is. In the meantime I’m going to schedule another moxa appointment on Tuesday in case he hasn’t flipped. (It can take five to seven days for a baby to flip from treatment like that, and especially as I approach full-term, there’s less room for him to move. There’s no guarantee this will work, but I am willing to try anything, and there’s no harm in any of this. If he’s still breech, I might have to schedule an external version, where an OB literally pushes around on my belly to scoot the butt up and the head down. It doesn’t sound very comfortable, and has a wild, wide percentage rate of effectiveness!!)

Please send thoughts and prayers our way, as I know many of you are already doing. We are excited and hopeful no matter what delivery method we end up with.