39 weeks

Oh man, I will have to take a picture later. I am not really in an acceptable state right now to journal this and actually want to remember it. But I can talk about what’s going on this week in pregnancy:

– Baby Ray has flipped from a posterior position to a normal one and is ready to come! He is head down and in perfect position. That’s the big news this week. I knew he had gotten in the right position one morning last week. I was getting ready to jump in the shower and I looked at my belly in the mirror and thought, “my belly looks lower … noticeably lower”, then in the shower I felt big, round, rolling movements under my navel instead of the little, sharp kicks and moves I’d been feeling all week and I thought, “I think he flipped back”. I had a midwife appointment that day and surprisingly, I was right.

– I am still very hot. I have remedied the situation by just making sure a fan is always pointing at me. So far, this is working.

– I hate to move. I was putting on my makeup on Sunday and Daniel was on the bed talking to me while I did this. He watched as I accidently dropped my eyelash curler. Instinctively I let out a little moan and looked pitifully at the eyelash curler on the floor in front of me. Daniel burst out laughing and came over and picked it up for me. Yes, I hate moving THAT much these days.

– I was not totally aware of this new phenomenom, but Daniel is: I am meaner. He says I snap at him and the boys more often these days. I didn’t believe him, because I felt no malice or anger toward them and wondered what he was talking about. He told me it was probably just because I was uncomfortable and maybe taking it out on them. I told him he was wrong … then he gave me examples (specific examples) of when I had snapped. I was wrong, I guess I am a bit short with everyone. I told him to stop coming up with examples and that I got the picture. So … I guess I am not very patient these days. Which brings me to the next point:

– I am very uncomfortable. Let me repeat that, I am VERY uncomfortable. And I’ll tell you why: my feet and hands swell up every day, I am the largest body mass I’ve been in 4 years (weighing in at 199 lbs, which is a total gain of 54 lbs), I am feeling regular braxton hicks contractions and a few actual contractions too, I have a hard time breathing and turning around because of my large baby belly, I’m tired all the time, I have to take 9 pills a day – all at different intervals during the day to prep my cervix for labor and I pee constantly. I don’t know if constantly is a frequent enough word for how many times I go pee … it’ll have to do though. Consequently, I go through toilet paper like nothing else.

– I have a hard time wiping. I actually stretched a ligament while trying to wipe this past week. It hurt.

– Baby Ray moves around a lot still. His favorite stretch is a diagonal one from under the right side of my rib cage to my lower left hip.

– In preparation for the baby, here’s what we’ve done this week: gotten a twin bed frame and box spring from my friend Leslie for my mom when she comes, practiced having Liam sleep on the floor (because he’ll be giving up his mattress for Grandma when she comes … by the way, he LOVED it. It was like a campout on the floor in his room), we bought an office chair (because over the course of my pregnancy, I have broken two chairs with my massive body), bought more diapers, sterilized some new pacifiers, packed my bag for the hospital, bought hospital snacks, bought humungeous sized “overnight” pads for after I have the baby, bought breast pads and lanolin for breastfeeding fun afterwards, and I finally found substitutes for my church class I teach. phew! Big week.

– I have had a lot of contractions since Saturday. But mostly they are just braxton hicks ones. This is how I know the difference between real contractions and braxton hicks ones: braxton hicks ones don’t really hurt – they feel like flexing my belly muscles (really its my uterus) and my belly gets tight, really tight. But actual contractions start in my lower back and radiate forward toward my lower abdomen and they hurt. They feel like menstrual cramps. Having all these contractions recently makes me think I am sort of close to having this baby, but my midwife doesn’t think so. She says it’s pretty normal to have more “practice contractions” with subsequent babies. She also said that Liam stretched out my muscle fibers a lot and I have more to contract to get this little guy out. She says he’s not as big as Liam was. Liam was 9 lbs. 7 oz.

– I am worried the baby and my mom will not coincide. My mom comes on June 8th and my due date is June 1st (but I always go late) and then mom is staying until June 18th. I don’t know, it seems like a safe bet and mom says it always works out, miraculously she has been at all 13 grandbabies’ labors and delivery, but I still worry. I asked Daniel last night how he’d feel if my mom didn’t make it to the labor and delivery. He said he thought he’d be fine, but that I might not. I asked why and he said I tend to listen to my mom while in labor more than I listen to him. It makes sense. It’s hard to trust what a man is saying during labor when he has no idea what I’m going through, but a mommy who has had 5 babies naturally, some of those babies (me) being 10 lbs. 6 oz …. yeah, mom does have more clout.

All in all, things are good. I am uncomfortable, but healthy and so is Baby Ray as far as we know. I am really technically prepared, but I never feel that way. I wonder if any pregnant  woman feels ready for labor. I know I sometimes feel fed up with pregnancy and want labor to start, but that’s not the same as being ready for labor. I still have lots of things on my to do list and it keeps growing. That’s good. If I ever clear my to do list, it means I will just be sitting around waiting for the baby to come and that is AWEFUL. So, I will keep putting stuff on my list and try not to be so impatient with all the men in my house.



I like to garden. I am not a particularly good gardner, I just like to see things grow. IT’s exciting. It’s especially exciting when it blooms and grows like you imagined and even better … which is happening right now with my salvias, viburnum and the rose bush from next door.

My next door neighbor, Bill, died last year. He and his wife, Florence lived in that house for about 50 years and they both died within 4 months of each other. Bitter sweet. But the best thing they left behind was their rose bush and their Roses of Sharon shrub … oh wait, and the vintage Radio Flyer wagon they gave Liam and Noah. Bill and Florence were awesome.

I was kind of hoping the roses and salvias wouldn’t seriously bloom until my mom came, but they are in full swing right now and had to document it with pictures. I love it. I find myself outside in my tiny backyard just staring at the gorgeous blooms filling the yard with vibrant color … I sound like my mom. She gets pumped about flowers too. I used to think it was girly and dumb, but I like it now that it’s my own yard. Here are the pictures of mostly the side yard where the salvias and roses are blooming.

Bill and Florence’s rose bush.

The purple flowers are my salvias. I got them for myself for Mother’s Day last year I think.

The side yard. We just have a chainlink fence that has been there for about 65 years and it’s hideous. So, I got some white lattice and strapped it to the chainlink fence to cover it up. I love the bright white against the purple and red … mmmmm. The non flowering small tree on the left is a roses of sharon shrub. It will have huge white flowers on it in a month or so.

My viburnum. This was here when we got here. Someone before us planted it to cover the air conditioning unit next to the house, but when we first got here the plant was only about 2 feet tall. Now it’s taller than me. This viburnum inspired me to plant a burkwood viburnum in the front yard that smells like heaven in the spring. I actually just bought another viburnum for the other side of the back yard. They are hearty, grow fast and bloom. Perfect.

Well, mom, I hope you see and enjoy this now, cuz it’ll probably be done blooming by the time you get here. rats. But pretty right now, huh?

The settee

Wha? I don’t have enough to do?? OK, I guess I’ll get on another project or two …. and then I did.

I recently reupholstered my settee. It was plaid before, with very worn edges. My mom gave it to me about 5 years ago and before that, mom had it for about 5 years, so it had gotten some love over time and needed a boost. So I gave it one by making a slipcover in white. yes. white. I did it. I’m crazy. I have 2 crazy boys with one on the way and I am purposely putting white furniture in my home. In my defense, it is a slicover, so that means I can take it off anytime and wash the whole thing. It’s actually pretty durable material. It’s white denim and I really like how it turned out, so see for yourself … oh yeah, and I recovered my entryway bench in a blue and white geometric pattern – it used to be this tired, blue denim cover. The front room really feels brand new now. I like it.

This is to show the back, where I put the velcro – can you see it?? I hope not. I made it velcro along the edge, right around the corner. It’s the bottom third of the back, so you see it now? I just un-velcro that part and pull the whole thing off for washing.

My welting job (that’s the piping). I was proud of it, especially since I had to basically do the seat cushion twice, but I am happy with how it turned out.

 The new covered bench … it makes it more awesome to know that I scored this little bench off the side of the road in NJ, painted it white, added the IKEA baskets and then just recovered the top … I love free stuff.

Our new front room. ahhhhhhh. Do you like the red, white and blue theme we’ve got going now?? We’re so patriotic, I guess. I wasn’t really meaning for the front room to scream “happy 4th of July”, but maybe it does now … hmmmmm.


38 weeks

OK, I know the above picture is a little blurry and I am in my PJ’s, but whatevs. I am documenting at least.

Here’s where we are this week:

– I have gained 51 lbs, ringing me in at 196lbs … and counting, remember, we have a few more weeks to go still.

– This week’s big news, is that the baby flipped around and is now in a posterior position, which is “sunny side up”, as my mom refers to it. This is bad. He has been in a perfect position, head down and everything, all pregnancy, and here we are, looking down the long stretch to the finish line and he flips around. sheesh. Evidently posteroir labor and delivery is very painful and loooooong and being that I do this naturally, I am extremely motivated to get this little guy to turn around. So I have been doing pelvic rocks, inversion positioning on my couch (basically leaning on my elbpws from the edge of my couch with my bum in the air … really cute move at this size and weight) and tonight I will be trying a “rebozo” jiggling thingy that I read online at “spinningbabies.com” …. seriously. My midwife suggested it and I am all in.

– I am now oscillating between two new feelings:

1. Do I pretend that nothing is happening and not wait around for labor to begin and just go about my normal life? Just keep on doing what I’m doing and make plans and ignore the upcoming event of labor by trying not to think about it?

2. Or do I prepare and fill my head with Bradley book info and read up about the stages of labor again and pack my bags for the hospital?

I don’t know if I should obsess about the major thing about to come out of me, or if I just try not to stress about it and not think about it? … I probably should pack my bags though …. but when you do that, it’s like you set the clock in your head and it’s just a waiting game … and you start wondering if you should wash those favorite stretchy pants every other day because you might go into labor and you want them at the hospital …. agh.

– I have started shaving my bikini line everyday … just in case.

– I bought wet wipes.

– I had Daniel move the pack-n-play into our closet, then I washed the sheets for it and set it all up.

– I bought a few more baby clothes at the consignment store … hee hee. I only spent $5 and I got another newborn onesie (sooooo cute – it’s Carters and dark blue with the tiiest little shirt pocket on it you’ve ever seen), a blue and white striped romper (also Carters), a tie and a 3 month onesie that has a giraffe on it that says “I [heart] long hugs”. Oh man, gimme this. I gotta soak up some happiness now.

– I am hot. all. the. time.

– I have dreadful dreams and remember them.

– Now that he is in a posterior position, it means all of his limbs are on my front, right under my belly button. So I am getting some crazy movement that is very noticeable. Little feet and elbows and knees keep pushing out the front of me and it’s kind of exciting to see little parts of him … except when it hurts … then it just hurts.

And that’s where we are right now. I am officially only 12 days away from my due date. But my mom is (wisely) not coming in until June8th, even though my due date is June 1st. So I should really think of it in terms of more like 19 more days, which is almost 3 solid weeks away still. Either way, we’re focusing on the goal line now.