August 4, 2008 (37 weeks):
I am officially full term at this point--little Marcus or Grace wouldn't be premature by anyone's accounting even if he/she decided to arrive tonight (uh, I'm not planning on that happening--but who knows?). I still can't wrap my mind around the idea that sometime this month we'll be holding our baby and moving onto a completely new set of decisions, anxieties, routines, and--oh yeah--joys. I told Robert I feel like in addition to the hundreds of things I've checked off of actual to-do lists, I've also checked off, mentally, things from the "What to Worry About" list--phew! There just keep being more of them, even though they're different as the weeks go by.
Kelley came by yesterday morning for our now-weekly appointments--all was normal and the baby looked good. She said my belly had really rounded out in, even in the last week, and then pronounced the baby good-sized, but "not huge at the moment," and Robert of course looked mildly disappointed.
Yesterday was also Grandma Helena's 96th birthday, and we went out to a nice Sunday dinner with her at Finz in Salem. Afterward we sat with her for awhile at her house and she got to feel the baby move (and have hiccups--those are lots of fun) through my stomach. I pulled up my shirt so she could see my dark line and my rapidly flattening belly button, and she seemed really happy to sit there and think and talk about the baby. Maybe next year we'll have a big combined August birthday celebration--her, me, and the baby.
Today was my birthday (33), so Robert made soft-boiled eggs with toast soldiers for breakfast, and then at night we went out for sushi with Jef and Jin Yoon. It's her birthday later this week, so we celebrated both. I wore my "The Baby Wants Sushi" tee-shirt--it was the first piece of maternity clothing (and the first baby-related item) I bought, back in January, when none of this felt real (wait, that's still the case. . .), and I remember trying it on and thinking, "Gosh, why is this shirt so long?" Um, now it's just kind of regular-length on me, and there certainly isn't a lot of room to spare. I feel quite huge--as you can see. At right, I'm giving Robert a skeptical "You're going to make me look extra huge in this picture, aren't you?" look. But, regardless, I feel good--a little bit more tired than I'd been in the past, and sometimes the three-ring circus going on inside of me makes it hard to sleep, but I'm still kind of proud to have the baby to myself a few weeks longer.
August 7, 2008 (37 weeks, 3 days):
Today was a beautiful, glorious day weather-wise: 65, breezy, and a very very light misting of rain almost all morning long. It was too light to even be called a drizzle, and too light to really make marks on the sidewalk, but it was there--I walked to and from the supermarket in bliss. Robert laughed at me, of course, but even his internal thermostat (though not particularly his weight) has been changing as a result of this baby--I think he's gotten stronger, hardier, so that at night when I blast the air conditioner, he moans and complains much less nowadays.
On Tuesday Robert actually took the day off to continue my birthday celebrations. We got a Zipcar in the middle of the day for the trek to JP to pick up our CSA fruits and vegetables (I only have to do it once more alone before my parents will be here; while I love our produce hauls, I'm getting less fond of hassling with busses and heavy bags), but before JP we stopped over at Newmarket Square to look for Speedy's, supposedly some of the best hot dogs in Boston. We'd looked for Speedy's before and never quite found him, but here, at 11:30 on a Tuesday, was the truck, right in the middle of a big industrial parking lot, complete with seagulls, a great view of the Boston skyline, truckers, and off-duty police and fire-fighters. I got a dog with onions, and Robert--after hemming and hawing and trying to decide between "special" sauce and "chili" sauce--got one with everything. All the dogs are butterflied and either glazed or braised in a nice, sweet-savory sauce as it is, and boy, they are huge. I liked my hot dog, but I'm something of a hot dog minimalist--onions and ketchup are about as much as I ever want on mine--and Robert really loved his. We sat at one of the two tiny tables and ate, before going to see "our" farmers and stopping at JP Lick's. I don't have a "The Baby Wants a Hot Dog" tee shirt, but he/she seemed very happy with the meal as well.
August 11, 2008 (38 weeks):
It's been pleasantly cool all weekend, albeit with lots of rain. Kelley and Zion came by on Saturday, and we had a leisurely, chatty appointment. Everything's normal, and the baby's still in his/her favorite position (LOP--back on my left side, head down, facing forward at an angle, with feet kicking up under my right ribs). I've gained about 40 pounds total so far, which the midwives think is fine, though I had just the tiniest amount of swelling this week on my calves. I hadn't even noticed it, but it was the end of a long day of errands and library books and food shopping, so no one seemed to think it was really a problem. I've been having lots of those pre-labor contractions--more in general in the middle of the day and in the evenings--but nothing regular and nothing super-strong. I also found my first (only?) stretch marks this week--they're incredibly symmetrical and not in a very obvious position. Basically, if I were to stand with my hands on my hips as though I were yelling at someone, they are right on the spots my fists would cover--three small, light-purple finger-length lines on each side. Robert peered at them and said, "Those aren't stretch marks!" I said that, yes, in fact they are, and he was very confused. I don't know what he was expecting, really.
Things are moving right along--we had hoped to have Aurora come out and visit us for a little bit of her summer vacation before the baby was born, because Aurora's always been really special to us: she's our oldest niece; she was the first baby that Robert and I ever really had any exposure to at all (admittedly she's always been halfway across the country from us, but still!); and she's the first person we ever, as adults, got to watch grow up--from baby to child to smart teenager. The visit didn't quite work out, though, logistically, so we contented ourselves with mailing off a few notes and treats to her instead.
Meanwhile, my parents are coming up this Friday, to stay from then (officially ten days before my due date) until a few weeks after the baby is born. My mother has a long list of cleaning chores and other things she wants to do before the baby is born, and she's given me strict instructions about how I'm not supposed to wait on her or my father while they're here. Kelley, Sarah, and Meg, upon hearing this, all separately said, "Wow, can I rent out your mother for a little while?"
One other fun thing we did this week on the baby-planning front was to order some non-toxic ink pads, one in bright red and one in royal blue, and some good acid-free cardstock to make nice newborn footprints in the week or so after the birth. I found ink that washes off with water and a little soap, so it doesn't require alcohol or anything too harsh to clean off the baby's feet. Some places online do sell kits to make footprints, but all the kits I saw had either black ink (boring) or pale pink or baby blue (ugh). We figure since the baby's room is the red, white, and blue room anyway, this will be perfect. Hopefully one of our artistic friends can calligraphically write out the baby's name, size, and birthdate over the footprints, and then we can frame the whole thing and hang it up.
On Sunday I had a not-baby-shower lunch out (dim sum at Empire Garden) with just a few friends. I'm really quite against baby and bridal showers (all those traditional gender roles get to me), but I have very good friends, who wanted to do something special for me. Dim sum was a compromise, and it was actually a really nice day. It was great to just get to hang out with people in a laid-back way. Ren, Miriam, Meg, Debbie, Sarah, and Liwen (with Buddah-like baby Madeline, who really looked like she wanted some lo ba ko, or perhaps a rice noodle, shoved in her mouth or her fist--sadly, Liwen said no, she's too young) were there, and everyone had a good time.
Thanks to Miriam and her snazzy little camera, I'm including a couple pictures from the not-shower here: there's baby Madeline trying to eat as much of Debbie's hand and arm as she can (I'm telling you, that child wants real food!)--Debbie had a truly horrified look on her face, by the way--a beautifully-wrapped gift basket from Sarah, and me opening two of the gifts (a Superbaby onesie from Laurie and a nicely bloody children's book from John).
August 14, 2008 (38 weeks, 3 days):
Robert and I have been enjoying some nights out this week as a childless couple. First we went to Tremont 647, which is just a couple blocks away from us and which we like very much, on Monday when they had a special lobster-heavy menu (lobster enchiladas, lobster crostini with gazpacho, lobster macaroni and cheese, and lobster and shrimp salad with flank steak). It was a beautiful night out, and we really enjoyed the walk home. Then on Tuesday we went to the Coldstone at the Prudential and used my free ice cream coupon from my birthday; we sat on the bench by the Christian Science fountain and ate it during another of these crazy sunshowers Boston has been having this summer, and then came home for dinner.
In addition, this week I've come to a few realizations, listed here in no particular order:
Above right, by the way, there's a not-super-flattering picture of me in the new chair (a replacement for a seven-year-old super-cheap-but-awkward Ikea chair that no one really liked to sit in because it was only 11" off the ground. This is actually a "real" chair, which I told Robert we needed to get so my parents would have somewhere else to sit when they're staying with us). It's green leather, and the ottoman is a blue vegan leather-alternative. Ah, the nesting instinct!
August 18, 2008 (39 weeks):
Nothing too new here at the moment--my parents have been here since Friday, Kelley and Zion came again on Saturday, and everything's fine. We're getting lots of "Have you had the baby yet?" calls and emails (note: never, never be the person who does that to someone else! It's very aggravating, though I know that people mean well). I'm big but still fairly comfortable, as long as I'm either walking around (albeit slowly) or else sitting with my feet up. My parents are trying to do everything for me, from unloading the dishwasher on up, which is really very nice. Robert's at work, we're at home, and we're just kind of taking it easy this week.
Back: July 2008 | Continue: Birth Story
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