Pregnancy Journal: January 2008

Cross-Reference: Colorado Visit

January 3, 2008 (6 weeks, 3 days):

While visiting Robert's mother and step-father in Colorado, we descend into utter chaos with Robert's step-sister Jennifer and her two children (John and Emily) and his step-brother Brian and two of his children (Evan and Brandon). The children are running all over and the parents are harried, there are crazy child jokes getting told nonstop at the dinner table, and things really are pretty nuts. Brian or someone observes that our visiting the whole family like this is great birth control, and as long as they get us out here every couple years, we'll never have kids. This conversation keeps going throughout the evening, despite our attempts to change the subject.

An hour later, as the family keeps harping on this thread, Robert pokes me and says, "Wanna tell them?" and we decide to go ahead. "So, uh, too bad you didn't tell us this a few months ago. . ." Robert begins.

Jennifer leaps up and hugs us both immediately, crying with happiness, and calls her husband back in Chicago to tell him. Brian does the manly shake and even manlier hug thing with Robert, and gets pretty emotional himself. Jennifer tells her children, both of whom seem very excited; Emily pats my stomach at various points over the next week and says, "You know, I think I feel the baby here." Robert's mother reminisces about what a big baby Robert was, and Jennifer takes the opportunity to give Robert lots more parenting advice over the next week as well.

Meanwhile, not being either a skiing or a hot-tub fan, I enjoy the excuse of pregnancy not to be forced to participate in either favorite Colorado activity. I use some downtime over this week to start scheduling appointments with midwives, and I set up consultations with several different midwives for the last two weeks in January. I do extensive research on all sorts of aspects of pregnancy and birth and read both summaries of medical articles and some actual medical articles (thank you, BU libraries!).

January 11, 2008 (7 weeks, 4 days):

Now back home in Boston, I tell my parents, cousins, and Aunt Mary about the baby on the phone. My mother is thrilled of course (and my father says delightedly, "I'm going to be a grandfather!"), and we talk for a long time. They are very excited about and supportive of our homebirth, and of course offer to be present and to help out in any way.

Aunt Mary has to be restrained from immediately broadcasting the news to the entire congregation--it just feels a little overly public, somehow, but I know it'll get out eventually. (The inevitable flow of gossip--er, news--is complicated by the fact that Steve is the minister, so Aunt Mary and by extension my parents are officially part of the First Family.) Aunt Mary promises to promptly begin crocheting or embroidering, and as long as we don't end up with another Santa-faced latchhook rug, I figure it can only be for the good.

About five minutes after hanging up the phone with my mother, she calls back, breathless: "Two things, I just thought of two things," she says. "One, we need to buy a crib and two, how are you feeling?"

To answer that last one: I'm feeling basically fine. Some odd sensations (mainly ligaments pulling inside my torso) as my body changes a little, and a little mild nausea that comes and goes a few days a week, but overall really, really well.

January 12, 2008 (7 weeks, 5 days):

We go out to dinner at Jin on Route 1 in Saugus (newly converted to a hot-pot buffet) with Robert's father and Grandma Helena to belatedly celebrate Robert's 35th birthday. Robert is planning to tell his father tonight, but he can't seem to find the perfect moment. We're back at Helena's house and Robert's father is intently watching the Pats game, anxiously staring at the TV even during commercials.

Finally Robert (who'd kept control of the remote) just turns off the TV, and his father is, to say the least, startled. "Dad, we're having a baby," he blurts out, and his father is stunned. Eventually he recovers himself to congratuate us and to say (presumably jokingly--it's a very tense game!) that we almost made him uninterested in the game. Grandma Helena grabs his arm at various points during the rest of the game and crows, "Isn't it wonderful? I knew for two weeks! I knew for two weeks already!"

January 15, 2008 (8 weeks, 1 day):

I go to the Certified Nurse Midwife (my primary caregiver for the past four years) at BU for my first prenatal appointment. She does standard bloodwork (I am Rh-, which since Robert is bloodtype A+ is mildly annoying but can be worked around) and a physical exam, agreeing that I feel like I'm eight to ten weeks along. I refuse a sonogram solely for the purposes of dating the pregnancy; if there's any medical reason for sonograms or other tests as I proceed, then of course I'll have them done, but typically more tests are done on pregnant women than are either necessary, useful, or adviseable. I explain that I want a copy of my bloodwork mailed to me to take to my homebirth midwife, and my CNM gets very excited. She declares homebirth "the gold standard" of birth; she explains she had her daughter at a homebirth thirty years ago; she mentions that she attends homebirths for close friends and family but doesn't do them currently because of liability reasons; and she fantasizes aloud that when she retires she may start a small homebirth practice.

January 28, 2008 (10 weeks):

In the past two weeks I interviewed five different homebirth midwife teams and decided on one for prenatal care and labor support. It was really interesting talking with the different midwives--Robert, master of the peculiarly-worded hypothetical question, came to some of the appointments with me, and managed to give one midwife the impression that I both am infected with herpes and eat a raw diet (for the record, I'm not and I don't). We decide to go with Kelley Faulkner, of New Life Midwifery. Kelley has a partner midwife, Joyce, and an apprentice, and has a history both of nursing studies and of doula experience. She typically attends five homebirths a month all across the state. I liked her immediately, and we're really happy to have her attend our birth.

Back: December 2007 | Continue: February 2008

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Created: 2/25/08. Last Modified: 4/8/08.