Sunday, May 29, 2011

36 weeks

I googled 36 weeks pregnant and was SHOCKED at how big the bellies were. Then I took pictures of myself and realized I am not as small as I think.

Exhausted, Confuzzled, etc

I am so tired. I've spent the last five days visiting friends in a town I used to live in. I've not been doing all that much, but it's exhausting. Tomorrow morning, I'm babysitting for a friend who is working on finishing her dissertation. Her children are so high energy. I don't know how she does it! Hats off to A and J, parents of U and O. :)

I have two CLEP exams scheduled. One is on the 17th (developmental psychology) and the other is on the 21st (US History I). The baby is due the 26th. I'm hoping the baby does not come early. Then July is a free month! Most of August, too. August 25, I take the TEAS test and in September I pass in my application to nursing school, and start school again. Then in the spring I should start the nursing curriculum, and then it'll be time for a lovely summer break all over again. I will appreciate summer break much more next year, I'm sure of it.

When should I tell my friends about my blog? I am writing to no one right now. Just me and the keyboard and the whole world. I haven't decided that friends should read it yet. Perhaps it will never be known that I have a blog here. This is my third blog so far in about seven years.

Saturday, May 21, 2011


I got my grades for the past semester. Somehow there were another five As, sitting all in a row there on the page. I have worried about grades in the past. I've worried that an A- (or God forbid, a B!) would mar the record. I would not feel this way if the first two college classes I took resulted in an A and an A+. Chalk it up to easy classes, but it was the beginning of a little obsession. Sometimes I tell myself I really don't care, and I just want to make it through. But then when I think about the reality of the 3-point-something rather than the big 4.0, I just don't want to think about it.

This is a testament to my parent's homeschooling, for one. It was not particularly demanding, as far as book-work goes. But we did get all kinds of education that cannot be taught out of books. I often think to myself - I know that word because Dad used it or I know about that phenomenon because we were exposed to it casually on family outings or work adventures. I finished 12th grade at 16, failing miserably at math and just wanting to finish the official school work. The reason finishing early was possible was because everything but math was well above average. Though my parents didn't have a lot of money when I was growing up, they somehow bought a library from a private school that was closing. We had a whole room, plus more, full of books, and the purchase also included a nice microscope. We also had lots and lots of tools at our disposal. My oldest (younger) brother was welding by the time he was 12 or so, and he rebuilt a bus engine under my dad's supervision when he was 14. We had access to handtools, sanders, saws, airtools, welders, etc.

What a good education I've gotten. Thanks Mom and Dad :)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The baby is startling me. Sometimes the kicks are pretty vigorous, and they are never accompanied by a warning!

Another thing that has startled me is the scale. At the beginning of pregnancy, I guess I thought that I would gain 30 pounds, maybe I’d even be on the lower end, at 25 or so. Then I lost about 9 pounds from morning sickness and I figured I’d gain about 40 from that low point. But now I am at 34 weeks and I have already gained a total of 53 pounds. I guess it can’t climb much further, as I only have about 6 weeks left. But 53 pounds is a lot. I’ve never weighed this much in my entire life, and it did not occur to me once that I’d possibly gain this much during pregnancy or at any other point in my life.

So I figure I’ll lose about 20 pounds when the baby comes, because my hands are pretty swollen and I’m guessing I’ll have a lot of water retention that goes away. But that’s 33 pounds left to lose. I’ve never lost that much weight in my life, either. There’s a first for everything, I guess.

I Could Do Without You, CT

I had no idea carpal tunnel could be so painful. I knew there was some degree of numbness involved, and I had heard a little here and there about pain. On the last night of our recent trip to California, I woke up in the hotel bed nearly writhing in pain. I knew I didn’t have anything along to take for pain (and I’ve been staying away from medications in general, anyway) and I was too sleepy to be able to think of what to do or think about it. I just whimpered and rolled over, again and again. In the morning my hand was so stiff I could barely bend my fingers. Then later in the day I had been grasping something for a few minutes (pulling myself up on the handle on the ceiling of the car, to be precise) and then it felt like I had arthritis. It was painful to bend my fingers.

I might be exaggerating a bit, because I can’t judge very well how bad something hurt in the middle of the night, just woken from sleep, but I can say I’ll be so glad when it subsides and doesn’t make nightly visits anymore.

Oh, How Short Pregnancy Is

I went on a walk to the grocery today, to get milk (ours went sour on the week-long trip we took) and as I was walking I passed a gym. A serious gym, with kettlebells and big ropes and such. Then a runner passed on the other side of the street. I thought about how comfortable I would be after delivery, and how I’d love to just be able to go out and run, or work out again. But then I felt the baby move, and I realized I would miss the baby being right there, so close. Some days will involve walking with the baby on my body, or in a stroller, or hand in hand, but right now I get to have the baby the closest it will ever get, and I will miss that when it’s over. I think the last 6 weeks should last as long as possible, now.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


A friend passed from this life to the next. Someone refered me to my sisters facebook wall to get information on what happened, but I couldn't access the link because she is not friends with me.

Why must my family be so splintered? It's been two years since I've talked with my 12 year old sister, due to my parents' ideas about keeping their family "clean" from "bad influences" (me). One brother is friends with me on facebook. I happened upon his pictures of my grandmother's funeral/memorial gathering. I was not invited.

It doesn't make sense to me. And what about the extended family? Some of them sided with my parents, and most of the others I have not been in touch with for various reasons - the shock, the distance, the "I knew you through my parents' circle," etc.

Sometimes I think it will just get better. And sure, it will, eventually. But wrong doesn't just go away. I'll never get back these two years (and more to come) of silence.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Two of My Favorite Labor Videos

Youtube is a great resource for birthing videos. Some of them are just pictures, which I feel is a little disappointing. Most of the time the pictures are not phenomenal, and while they're fine as a memory (or to study at leisure, not put to music and sped through), I prefer videos to get a feeling for what the labor was like. So here are two videos that are really videos, and good ones too.

Our Easy Homebirth - birth in a tropical, relaxing setting with lots of women attendants
Unassisted Birth - partner and sister present. This was the first I watched, I think.


Decaf is apparently not in style. I went to this rally on the steps of the Oregon Capitol Building. It was great, featuring Jennifer Block, author of Pushed, as well as a number of midwives, homebirth fathers/mothers and even a 13 year old who gave a speech on the homebirth of her two younger siblings.

But anyway! Silly me, I forgot to bring quarters for city parking (blame that on my small-town living arrangements) and had to park four or five blocks away. When I returned to my car, I discovered I was in front of a coffee shop. It was the one I had visited when I was stranded one evening in Salem (the bus station was closed, and the train station was closed and I didn't know there was another train coming that I could have hopped on and paid my fare onboard.) There was a helpful boy there who used his smart phone to find a nearby hotel. I went in and asked for a decaf coffee. They were out of brewed decaf, and as I was thinking "Oh, that's ok, I'll just have a decaf espresso drink then" they told me they were actually out of decaf GRINDS as well, so no luck. I left and went to McDonald's. She said it would be 2 minutes and then I saw her brew the decaf. Funny :)

The last two times I visited the local McDonalds for decaf I've run into funny little issues. The first time, I was with my husband and ordered two small coffees, one decaf (but forgot to ask for cream in the decaf). When we got the coffee, they weren't marked! I really didn't want to drink caffeinated so I asked the girl at the counter if there was a way to tell, and she said "Oh! One of them is decaf." And then she realized there was really no way to tell and made another two coffees for us. The second time, I asked for decaf and the girl said it'd be a minute and I said that would be fine. So I waited, and waited, and waited. She even walked by the table once and I thought I caught her eye. So I went up after about 15 minutes (I was online, anyway) and asked about the coffee and a light went on in her head - "Oh, the coffee! I'm so sorry, I forgot!" And then I got my coffee. It wasn't so bad, though, because I was there to get online mainly, and the coffee was just my "tipping fee" for using the internet.

Seven Weeks (+/-) to Go

Who knows when the baby will come?! Probably around seven weeks from now, though. Tomorrow marks 33 weeks. It's pretty exciting.

You've probably already gathered from previous posts that we are having a homebirth. The midwife is coming in a few weeks, and thereafter will come every two weeks, and then every week. She was talking about setting up the pool at week 36. That's only 3 weeks away! Pretty incredible. I don't know if I can believe it.

The baby had a quiet spell the other day that was concerning. The baby moved very little all day. I called Margy (the midwife) and we talked about checking heart rate and things like that, and since I have a fetoscope I did it myself. The heart beat was good and strong at about 130 and went up when I moved around/ate/massaged my belly, which was a good sign. And the next day the baby moved around like normal, with plenty of side foot-kicks and bottom wiggles (I think it's the bottom). It's nice :)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Current State

The current state is flabby. It's beautiful, because of my belly, but the rest of me is needlessly flabby. Three years ago, this is what my arms looked like.


Then came some moves across the country (2), upsets in routines, and biggest of all, school. Let it suffice to say that they no longer look like that. (And they were never orange, as the photo appears). And ignore the funny looking scar. A story for a different time.

So my goals for post pregnancy are to keep doing well in school, get into the nursing program, and get re-muscled and strong. The school has a gym and I have access to a pool that's within walking distance. I have no excuses. I used to work out in parking lots with sound equipment. (Another story for another time). I can do this!

Why This Blog

I've written various blogs in the past, all of them basically about me and my opinions. This one is about the same but on different topics than I have written about in the past.

This blog is about my current life; married, nursing student, pregnant. I am planning on using this blog as a place in which to complain about school, celebrate victories, talk about pregnancy, childbirth, recovery from childbirth, and weight lifting and other exercise.