Zen on a warm November day

It’s awfully warm for November. I don’t completely mind it, since we’ve had mostly very hot or very chilly weather lately. Today is a nice inbetween kind of day. It’s about 78 and I’m sitting on the patio being all wireless and cool and shit.

My dad was in town today and we went out for pizza for lunch, and now Doc and I are making a list of things to do over the next few weeks, as well as baby things that we still need to get prior to kiddo’s arrival in the world. We have a pretty extensive list, but truthfully if we were to get none of it done before the baby arrived, it’d be just fine. I’m trying to be all zen and calm about everything now.

We have our bags mostly packed for the hospital; mostly we are bringing toiletries, jammies, clothes for ourselves and the baby, and snacks. It’s early still but I like to be prepared, so we can just grab our bags and go when it’s time, rather than worrying about whether we have everything together or not. One thing I’m not sure about bringing is valuables; things like my purse, wallet, wedding ring, phone. I suspect that especially during labor I’ll be in and out of my room a lot and so will Doc and Kathryn, and I sure wouldn’t want to leave my valuables unattended. Maybe I’ll ask my doctor’s advice on that.

I have my 36-week doctor’s appointment tomorrow. I expect it’ll be a slightly more comprehensive exam than the past five or six. I don’t really have any major complaints or worries; just the usual tiredness, back pain, and pelvic soreness (it feels like a giant severe bruise across the entire groin area). My doctor is so funny; every time I’m in he asks me if I’m having leg cramps. I say no. He asks me if I’m taking calcium supplements. I tell him yes, I take the little chocolate chewy kind. He says good, take them three times a day, it’ll help with leg cramps. I tell him I don’t really have leg cramps. He says that the calcium will help with them. I give up and say OK. Next appointment: same conversation. Ha! But actually lately, when I stretch out my legs late at night I can sense the beginnings of leg cramps. I have to be careful and quit mid-stretch lest they develop full-on.

I feel like I’m rapidly running out of room in my gut. I haven’t had much of an appetite for the past two weeks, and I’ve had more heartburn than I’ve ever had in my life. I can’t eat much at one sitting, and it’s really hard to take a deep breath. When I sit, I have to maintain good posture because slouching hurts. Sleeping is uncomfortable as well; I have to be on my side and have a pillow behind my back and a body pillow that I can hug from the front. If I need to roll over in the night (and apparently I often do), I actually have to wake up to do that, because it’s really hard to roll over without it hurting.

Doc has been helping me a lot with getting into and out of the car, standing up from a sitting position or from being on the floor, getting out of bed; things like that. My balance is off, my strength is down, and the pelvic soreness makes it painful to move in pretty much all ways. Every step I take, every move I make, my pelvic region protests. His extra strength and assistance is really helpful, but I am looking forward to a time when I can move normally on my own again.

Some of the pregnancy clothes that I was wearing even just a few weeks ago are too tight now. I might be wearing largely the same few things for the next few weeks!

I can’t believe I only have one month to go. Wow!

I’ve been seeing Kathryn every week for massage. She’s helping with the lower back pain a lot. A couple of days ago Doc came along to the session and the three of us talked about how we an all work together during labor. Doc and I learned positioning and breathing techniques in our childbirth class, and several of them, especially the super-comfy ones using the birthing ball, can provide Kathryn with good access to my lower back. I think that massage will be a good pain control technique for me. Plus, I’m grateful for the additional physical, emotional and moral support she’ll provide to both Doc and I while I’m going through labor. I hope things aren’t too gross or icky or overwhelming for her, but I would totally understand if they were. It really takes a true friend to go through labor and childbirth with you, I think. She’s pretty awesome for even agreeing to my crazy plan in the first place!!

I’m trying to prepare myself to stay calm and not panic at the lack of control I’ll have over what goes on while I’m in labor; I just hope I can keep my wits about me enough to not get angry or irritated or snap at anyone. More zen: learning to roll with the punches, ride the pain waves, accept and not tense up. My biggest fear is that something so intense (though normal) will happen that I’ll be convinced that something is going horribly wrong and that will bring on a panic attack.

Maybe not, though. I was pretty sure I was dying while I was having the miscarriage, and I think I managed to stay calm throughout that. I wonder how much of that was my inner willpower, and how much of it was Doc’s presence… probably 30/70.

I’m having more noticeable Braxton-Hicks contractions (practice contractions) lately. They’re usually not painful, but sometimes they are accompanied by what feels like mild menstrual cramps. It goes away within a minute or two, usually. Again, totally normal. My body’s just practicing its baby-squeezin’ techniques.

I feel like this pregnancy is all I talk and think about lately. I guess that’s to be expected; my life is changing — and about to change even more — in pretty much every way possible. Change can be strange and scary and exciting, and I guess thinking and talking and writing about it a lot is helping me process it. I promise that I am still the same Katy; I just now have this extra layer of things to think about on top of everything else! I suspect that in a few months, once we get into sort of a routine with the baby, I’ll be able to go back to participating in more of the sorts of things that I normally do.

And I will try my hardest to talk about things other than the baby in this blog. I just haven’t had the energy to regularly update lately; if I did I am sure that there would be a lot more talk about everyday, normal, mundane things here. As it is, though, I feel like I have to write long catch-up posts and of course, that’s taken up mostly by pregnancy issues.

So, non-baby related things:

  1. We early-voted last week, doing our part to help turn Texas blue! The lines were unbelievably long. Doc had a really interesting conversation with someone in line. I can’t wait for Tuesday night to watch the returns come in.
  2. I thought I had sold my G5 to a friend in Georgia, but it turns out that she wanted to upgrade it to an Intel processor and you can’t do that. So, no sale. I’m kinda bummed ’cause I thought it was all easy-breezy-taken-care-of, but I can probably sell it on eBay instead. Unless you want it? I’m prepared to make you a seriously good deal! E-mail me!
  3. Doc changed out the two broken motion-sensor light fixtures on the back porch. They were probably 25 years old, hard-wired to the wall, and the wiring and openings looked pretty much MacGyvered together in the first place,  so it wasn’t exactly an easy switch-out. I helped by holding the flashlight and being available to call 911 should it have turned out that the master switch in our breaker box did not, in fact, cut the power to the fixtures.
  4. Doc is trying to switch the cats to using corn-based litter instead of clay. Clay is so dusty and sweetly perfumed; that stuff gets everywhere. So far they still prefer the clay box to the corn litter box, but he’s got a gradual switchover plan in mind.
  5. We moved the catboxes and food out of the upstairs guest bathroom in time for the Halloween party last weekend, and we think that we’ll probably just leave that bathroom cat-free. It’s nice and clean now and since that’s going to be the kiddo’s bathroom, we’d have to eventually vacate the kitty stuff anyway. Why not start now? So, food and water goes in our master bathroom; litterboxes in our studio workroom. I really really wish we had just two more rooms in this house; a dedicated laundry room and a small bedroom or den area. Or, a basement.  But we don’t. So we’ll make it work.
  6. I had a meeting at the Richards Group yesterday, and while I was there I stopped by Joel’s office. He actually has one of my paintings hanging in his office! That’s just seriously cool. He’s got a really nice office, too, with low incandescent lighting and wooden furniture.
  7. Ohmygosh, did I even write about the baby shower?? I don’t think I did. BAD KATY!! Kathryn threw us a fantastic non-traditional baby shower; it was at her house and we invited both men and women. Brett made some awesome barbecue (the shower invites said “Meat the Fetus”). We laughed, talked, stuffed ourselves silly, ate cupcakes, and opened gifts. Everyone was soooo generous!! We were pretty overwhelmed and hopefully were able to communicate our thanks well enough. I was really tired afterwards because it’s hard for me to be the center of attention for that long (although luckily Doc was there to help take some of that off me). We had a blast and we’re really glad that we did not have to play any horrifying baby-shower games, like “guess what type of candy bar has been melted in this diaper” and “guess which kind of baby food puree this is” and “let’s all guess how big around Katy is and then measure her.”
  8. Ack. I guess that last entry IS baby-related. Oh well, I tried!


  1. Yvonne

    I think my fingers were swelling at the end, so I could no longer wear my wedding rings. You might not have that issue since you’re due in winter versus summer.

    But, as for other valuables, you can take them with you to the labor/delivery room, where you’ll all be together. Then you transition to your regular room and Doc or the nurses can take your things to your room. You’ll be there the rest of the time. I don’t think I left the room after I got there. Plus, I usually had Nate, my mom, or my sister with me so my purse, etc. were never out in the open or unmonitored.

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