From the category archives:

Week 39

Pre-labor signs. Check!

by Milton on Fri, May 7th, 2010

in Week 39

We used to get really excited to confirm an early labor sign.  But I think we’ve already collected them all.

  1. Nesting instinct. Check! Our house has never been cleaner or better organized.
  2. Braxton Hicks contractions. Check! She’s actually been having them for months, but they seem to be coming in bigger and bigger clumps the last week or two.
  3. Dropping/lightening. Check! Esther can breathe and eat again.  And walk a little faster than a snail.  It’s the small things.
  4. Changes in cervix. Check!
  5. Discharge and mucus plug. Check! Actually, we thought Esther had passed the plug a couple weeks ago, but then it seems like it passed for real last night.  You’re so cool you got to have two mucus plugs.
  6. Water breaking. Nope… not yet, but that only happens to 10% of women before the beginning of labor, so I’m not sure we’ll get to check that one off before the real deal.
  7. Labor contractions. Not real ones, of course.  A couple false labors… contractions 5-8 minutes apart lasting for a couple hours at a time only to subside.  Still waiting for the real ones that progress and get stronger and get the serious work done.

Now, the only thing of any interest to us anymore is actual labor.  Well, I’m actually really enjoying the anticipation too.  Yesterday was one of my favorite days in recent memory.

We walked up to Capitol Hill, had an ice cream cone, walked to Cal Anderson Park and watched tons of babies congregating with parents of different parenting styles, then had an early dinner and a movie with some friends who are due to have a baby a week after us. And then we walked all the way back, Esther stopping to pee in at least half a dozen establishments along the way.

Life is pretty awesome right now. And is only going to get better. Anyone who wants to try to bring me down with a comment about how difficult it is going to be has misunderstood our take on this… doing difficult things with Esther is one of the most fulfilling things of life.


Ready to the max

by Milton on Fri, May 7th, 2010

in Letters to baby,Week 39

Dear Axelrod,

Tomorrow is your due date.  That’s pretty crazy.  And awesome.  Every night, we go to sleep with a little thought in the back of our minds that maybe you’ll decide to enter the world during that night while we sleep.  Why do babies tend to start their entrances into the world at night?  Can you even tell what time it is in there? Sounds like another fishy myth to me.

Yesterday, when Esther and I were walking around, we started talking about things that we wish we had learned when we were kids.  As people who have recently grown up in the same world that you’re about to enter, we’ve often noted that there are certain things that we feel slipped through the cracks in our education.  Things that we all do sort of end up learning in a Lord of the Flies kind of way, but never had formal or even intentional training in.  A few of the things we mentioned were:

  1. How to imagine ourselves in other peoples’ shoes (empathy)
  2. How to have confidence without being overconfident
  3. How to enjoy delayed gratification, work and have long term goals
  4. How to balance being independent with accepting and appreciating help from teachers, mentors and parents
  5. How to handle ambiguity, how to make it up and make it happen
  6. How to be curious about things, try new things, explore the unknown
  7. How to determine your own likes and dislikes, tastes, and preferences
  8. How to trust people
  9. How to make decisions, how to balance risks, how to plan for consequences
  10. How to manage money
  11. How to be healthy

The shocking thing to us is that these are things that we, as your parents, are still learning after all this time.  It’s amazing to me that we’ve even made it this far with having learned so little about the things that we want to teach you before your 10th birthday.

Still, we’ll do whatever we can to make sure that we give your the right environment to learn about these things, and may even put together our own little supplementary educational system to go along with your formal education.  And of course, that’s the charge of every parent, and I’m surprised that we weren’t all given more training ourselves on how to guide our children in their early lives.

So much learning in life is left to our own devices, and while we’re still devising our own learning we’re excited to also help give you the devices to help you learn about stuff as well.  Onward and upward with each new generation, right?

In the meantime, just keep your head down and just go in the direction that gravity pulls you.  That’s all you need to know for now.

I’m really looking forward to seeing you take your first breath.



Hobo Haircut!

Well, I can cross giving my hobo husband a haircut off the list!  Tomorrow: Leg Waxing appointment.  I had a slew of awesome pre-labor symptoms last night, but once again, they have subsided.  I walked for hours today once the sun finally came out to let us know that it still exists behind all of those Seattle-y clouds!  It was lovely.  I bought support girdles for my imminent future (that figure is coming back if I have to corset it into shape), extra pillow cases to use for our bassinet linens, lots of wine (since I am drinking for 2) (just kidding, you crazies), and a LOVELY papaya since I dreamed about eating papaya all last night (what was that all about, anyway?).  It was a good day to ramble around alone, shopping.  I savored the ramble, for certain, since it will be among my last for an extended period of time.

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The house has really been ready for quite some time now.  Food is frozen.  Fridge is stocked.  Pantry is stocked.  Hair is freshly colored.  Toe nails are painted.  Eyelashes are tinted.  Brows are waxed.  Baby console is set up.  Cabinets are reorganized.  Midwife table is filled with supplies.  House is clean.  Cat is happy.

My husband does need a haircut.  I do need my legs waxed.  Both of these things are on my agenda for the immediate future, but really… I kind of dig a husband who looks like a fatherly hobo and don’t mind some peach fuzz for a little while.  Mostly I’m making things to do up as I go along.

Today we visited the midwife!  After a check and a sweeping, she said that I am 2cms dilated with a very ripe cervix.  Now I need to do is get the baby’s head to come down a little and press against that nice ripe cervix for showtime.   She asked if I had been slouching and I felt instantly as if I were being busted for spending so much time in bed yesterday!  I thought to myself all day as I lay on my back and watched Friday Night Lights, I should really be doing yoga, going for a walk, or at the very least – bouncing on the ball, and yet I continued to laze about like a big pregnant bum.  Oops.

So, after I had a nice round of  post-cervical sweep acupuncture (sitting in a chair with pillows behind my back to keep me in the proper position), I went home, prepared some lunch, put some laundry into action, and watched a movie while eating and folding clothes on the birthing ball.  I am proud to say I have now logged several hours on the ball today.  Frankly, I still don’t feel any more as if I’m going to deliver.  But that’s ok!  Unlike all the comments I read on the baby boards, I am not feeling impatient with pregnancy.  I am comfortable, sleeping well, only minimally swollen, and feeling as if I’m in excellent overall health.  Frankly, I find it a little disheartening to read all of these troubled comments on the Motherhood and Baby Center boards.  I’m not sure what’s up with our culture that we are encouraging women to end their pregnancies as quickly as possible!  The US has the leading prematurity rate out of EVERY industrialized country, which is very alarming.  I am thankful to have been able to take this pregnancy to full term and figure that the longer my little lucky crane cooks, the happier and healthier he’ll be when he gets here.  Of course, I also figure that I should stop eating croissants at our neighborhood coffee shop… because, should he choose to stay in there for another week or so, our bodies are going to have a whole lot of extra work getting his baby chub to the outside world.

39 weeks, 3 days!

We are SO excited to see his little face, but of course I’m feeling precious about these last days of watching my belly move as the crane does his yogi moves!  He loves stretching his legs around midnight and creating hilarious shapes out of my belly.  He loves hearing his papa sing his name!  He loves to press his feet into my hands when I catch him in a stretch, which is fascinating and adorable.  He tends to move about when there is lots of laughter between his father and me.  I’ve let him know that 5-5-10 is a fine birthday to have… but I think he’s going to wait a while longer than that.  Which is fine and good.  These are magical belly times.

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I had the hardest time sleeping last night because of a relentless windstorm… and a bit of a storm in my mind that I’ll keep to myself as far as this blog is concerned.

I woke up today at noon, after a few hours of rest, and am still exhausted. I’m so low energy today that I’m boring myself. Finally just drug myself to the mirror to put on some lipstick a minute ago, and am looking forward to a walk with my husband, and then a movie with friends.

I just thought to myself, “If I’m really right about having this baby right around my due date, I’m going to be a full on mom by this time next week, for certain.”

That’s just crazy. And awesome. And hilarious!

boredpants. waiting and anticipating.



by Milton on Sun, May 2nd, 2010

in Studies and rumors,Week 39

6 days til the due date!  What does this mean though?

Only 5% of babies are born on their due date.  Which leads one to the assumption that due dates are silly.  But, then again, 80% of babies are born within 2 weeks of their due date, so a 5% change on any given day is probably the highest percentage any day will get.  Then I heard on the Internet that 7 out of 10 (70%) babies are born AFTER their due date. Which is most likely a lie, because that doesn’t make sense.  Maybe 70% of babies born within 2 weeks of their due date are born after their due date?

The more I look into these statistics, the more I realize that people are just throwing numbers around.  Most likely, all of these numbers need to be qualified with “of all full-term babies”, which of course skews the numbers to be late since by definition it leaves out a good percentage of the early one.  And given that the US has the highest percentage of pre-term babies, I also highly doubt that these are entirely US numbers, or even from the last 3 decades.

Maybe we should raise Axelrod to be a statistician, because I’m 90% certain that 80% of people could really use a little help with 100% of these numbers.

Our doula is busy today with another client, and the midwife we’ve been working with is not on call for the next two days, so we’re hoping the numbers skew us for a Wednesday baby.  A Cinqo de Mayo baby.  He does seem to like it when Esther eats tacos… Anyone want to make a bet?