Monday, April 30, 2007

One Week

I thought I would post a one week old picture. Physically I am feeling much better. My abdominal pain is gone and the swelling and pain of the stitches is minimal as long as I'm careful when I walk around. I'm in that in-between state where I feel like I could be doing things but I know it would set me back if I do too much. For now I am hanging out mostly upstairs and doing easy things like putting away a few pieces of laundry every now and then.

Emotionally, the depression is settling in much sooner than it did with G. Maybe because I'm just more aware of it this time around. J totally does not understand that you can't just smile your way out of depression and his being unable to understand what's going on with me makes him back off and keep his distance. One of the items on my to-do list is to start researching treatments for depression and their impact on nursing. I am definitely going to seek treatment this time around, sooner rather than later, but first I need to know what the options are and be informed.

Katherine is doing great. Breastfeeding still has me a little worried but she seems to be doing fine and my milk supply seems to be coming in okay. Nights are challenging because she just wants to be held all night. Days are easier because she is content in the swing or on the floor. I've figured out a technique of sleeping in the recliner with her at night that keeps her content and me reasonably well rested.

Things with G are much harder. I can tell that she is stressed and she acts up because of it, stressing me and causing me to sometimes take my frustrations out on her, creating a vicious cycle. Hopefully now that I am feeling a little better I will be able to spend more quality time with her. She did sleep much better last night so I'm holding out hope that we've hit the low point and it gets all better from here. She loves Katherine though and is always quick to give her a kiss or pay attention to her when she cries. J had something to do today so he took her to the sitter's. It's nice to have a bit of a break with just me and the baby!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

The Aftermath

Despite the quick timing, I'd have to say that, overall, my birthing experience was pretty good. The aftermath was not so good.

As soon as Katherine was born I put her to the breast and she sucked like a champ. I don't know how much time passed (maybe 15-20 minutes?) but at some point the midwife asked me to work on pushing out the placenta. Something about her tone of voice made me aware that things were, once again, not going exactly to plan. After a while of trying (there again, I don't know how long) the cord detached from the placenta. Not good. What happens next is not for the squeamish or faint of heart. Basically she had to reach up into the uterus and try a "manual extraction": she reached up in there and tried to detach it from the uterine lining and pull it out. Mine happened to be attached at the very top of the uterus. I am not exaggerating the following: she was in almost up to her elbow. Did I mention I got a second degree tear from the birth? This was not fun. In fact, it was much, much worse than any of the labor and delivery. After a while she said she was going to call in the OB on call because it was looking very much like I would require a D&C to get it out. Of course, in an effort to spare me surgery, the OB also tried a manual extraction. My doula didn't get to help out with labor but she was a huge help getting me through this.

In the end it was decided to do surgery. The midwife sat down with me and explained that there was a good chance I would end up requiring a hysterectomy. I guess when a placenta is stuck and they finally detach it, there is a very high risk of uncontrolled bleeding, in which case the only thing to do is remove the uterus. I told her I was fine with whatever they needed to do so long as I was around to raise my kids. In the recovery room the first thing they told me was that I did not need a hysterectomy and that everything was fine.

I'll spare you a blow by blow of the next few days. Suffice to say that everything was not really fine. Here's the OB's theory on what happened to me: In order to repair my septum they basically scraped tissue from the top of the uterus. I remember the fertility doc saying that it "thinned out" on the top right side quite a bit but shouldn't be a problem. When I got pregnant, the placenta attached to the scar tissue (which I understand is quite common). The placenta probably grew into the uterine wall a little too much, embedding itself in the scar tissue. When it finally detached, it left behind a small tear in the uterus and that tear allowed blood and air to escape up into my abdomen. It also left me severely anemic. A normal person has a hemoglobin level of 12-14. Within 12 hours after my delivery my hemoglobin was hovering around 7 and the next day it had dropped to 6. I agreed to a blood transfusion and within a day I was feeling like I might make it through the experience. Throughout my days in the hospital I had some pretty intense belly pain and was on some strong IV pain meds. I'm still pretty sore.

The thing I worried most about through all this is my ability to breastfeed. My milk is just now starting to come in but we have been lucky so far in that Katherine has not lost too much weight, nor is she showing anything but very, very mild signs of jaundice. My SIL (aka pediatrician) is not concerned at all and is not even suggesting I supplement her. I think it's going to work but that is still my biggest fear right now.

My second biggest fear is this hole in my uterus. The OB thinks that as the uterus shrinks down in size, the hole will seal itself off. As long as the uterus never stretches to pregnancy proportions again, the hole and corresponding weak area of scar tissue should never pose a problem. Theoretically. I am supposed to have a follow up appointment with him in about 3 weeks. I've been doing some serious thinking about whether or not I should just go ahead and have a hysterectomy once I'm all healed up from this ordeal. The whole situation makes preventing another pregnancy that much more vital and a hysterectomy would certainly solve that problem. Strange how this blog started with me wanting so desperately to get pregnant and now I'm worried about that very thing happening again.

Thanks for everyone's comments and well-wishes. I am still following all your blogs and will continue to follow the stories, hoping for a BFP for everyone.

Friday, April 27, 2007

The Birth Story

This is going to be pretty short!

To recap a bit, at my 36w3d appt, I was already 3cm but not effaced. At my 37w3d appt, I was almost 4cm and 50% effaced. After that appointment I stopped having any contractions but I did start to lose my mucous plug. I felt great Thursday through Saturday. Sunday (37w6d) I woke up feeling just "off" and not so good. Around 10pm Sunday night I was sitting around talking to J and I realized that I was having mild back pain. I called my good friend Janet (a L&D nurse at the hospital) and warned her that things might be going to happen. I went ahead and went to bed, hoping to get a bit of sleep. At around 2:30am, after dozing off and on, I finally got up as the back pain was getting more intense and less bearable. At that point I was still not having any contractions.
I went in to my bathroom and got down on my hands and knees which immediately relieved the back pain. I stayed that way about half and hour when all of a sudden I realized that I was having contractions. I tried unsuccessfully to time them. In retrospect, it was impossible because they were coming right on top of each other, lasting probably a couple of minutes with maybe 30 seconds in between. Finally about 3:30 I called Janet again and she insisted I call the midwife. I know it sounds stupid but I was hesitant because I couldn't say how far apart my contractions were! So I paged her and called out for J to get up and get dressed. The details are a bit sketchy in my mind but between 3:30ish and about 4:15, I continued to labor and in between I got stuff together and J got ready too. He called some friends who live close by to come and stay with G. I also called my doula and said we were heading out to the hospital. I had to page my midwife several times before she actually got the page and it finally clicked in my head that we needed to head to the hospital sooner rather than later! We were in the car sometime around 4:15 and my midwife called on our way to the hospital. We got there several minutes later and pulled up at the ER entrance. I got in a wheelchair and my friend Janet met us on the way back to L&D. They got me in a bed and checked me and I was already 9cm. My midwife showed up and quickly got a gown on and checked me. She said I was almost 10cm with a little lip of cervix. I told her I had to push and she said to go for it. Within about 5 minutes of her arriving and with only 2 or 3 contractions, Katherine was born. My doula arrived just as I was crowning! J was on one side of me and Janet was on the other and that was about the only thing in my ideal birth plan that came to pass!

Did I mention that it was a very fast labor?! In retrospect, my labor with G was very similar. It started with my water breaking so I did all my laboring in the hospital, but once the contractions really started with her, she was born about 3 hours later.

If the story just ended there it would be perhaps a wonderful labor and delivery story. Unfortunately for me, it did not end there. Later on I'll post the drama of the aftermath.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

We're Back!

The Good: Katherine Hope made her appearance at 4:47am on Monday the 23rd of April. Birth story to follow. Katherine did great from the very beginning.

The Bad: A retained placenta meant an emergency D&C for me.

The Ugly: I passed out Monday evening and was having severe abdominal pain. A CT scan showed air and blood in my abdomen. It was finally determined that there was a small tear in my uterus. A blood transfusion Tuesday evening finally had me feeling like a human on Wednesday. We were able to come home today (Thursday).

Obviously there are lots of stories to be had from this week! I am healing but am severely anemic. We were oh so lucky that my uterus did not rupture and that I didn't have to have a hysterectomy for the retained placenta. But we are so much more lucky that all the drama happened to me and that my little Hope is perfect in every way. Here's a picture to tide you over until I can get all the details posted. Oh, she weighed 7 lb 9 oz and was 20" long.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

37w6d Going and Going and Going

I must have the energi.zer bunny of mucous plugs: ever since early yesterday morning it just keeps on coming out. I have read some women describe theirs as up to softball size when it comes out intact. I truly understand now how that can be. I'm beginning to wonder if mine was more basketball sized!

The last 3 days I have felt really good and yesterday I felt almost normal - like I wasn't pregnant at all. Today I have not been feeling well at all. My nether regions are very swollen and painful which I suppose is the varicose veins protesting all the walking and exercise ball sitting I've done over the last few days. I also took a nap today.... for 4 hours! Right now I am just counting the minutes till I can put G in bed and go back to bed myself. I have also been feeling somewhat nauseas and the back plumbing department is pretty loose (sorry - TMI!). Off and on today I've been having the very mild contractions again and a few Braxton Hicks. I can only hope that all this together adds up to an imminent labor. On the one hand I want to run around and get my house cleaned up but on the other I want to just sit and save up my energy. I will probably do some of both. I will try to update when there's something to update with!

Saturday, April 21, 2007


At my midwife appointment week before last, when she checked me for the first time, it seemed to get things going. For the next 7 days I had mild contractions and lots of Braxton Hicks. Ever since I was checked this past week, nothing, nada, zip is going on! Every now and then I have a mild contraction but it's more like once or twice a day rather than an hour. The only positive thing that's happened since then is that I definitely lost part or all of my mucous plug this morning. Some women report it coming out in one big blob. That wasn't my experience; it was more like tons and tons and tons of fertile CM that just kept coming and coming and coming.... That was several hours ago and it's still coming. I still find it incredible that the cervix can be open and have all this stuff still lodged up there. I'm thinking maybe losing the plug is more related to cervical effacement than dilation: as the cervix basically goes away, this stuff has nowhere to lodge.

So, no real news to report. I have been doing as much walking as I can stand the last few days. Fortunately we are having beautiful spring weather here in central Ohio so G and I can go to the park. Usually my trips to the park are spent on the bench reading. Now I've been walking around in circles while G plays and she really doesn't know what to make of it! J is due home tonight and I'm really hoping that psychologically my body will feel ready to get off its break and "let go"! I'll try to keep posting here every few days with my status.

Thursday, April 19, 2007


I woke up this morning to see a small spot of blood on my pad and a little more when I wiped. I never thought the red stuff could be so exciting! When I told the midwife about it plus the fact that I have been having mild contractions all week, she said she wanted to check me again. Last week I was 3cm but not at all effaced. This week I'm almost 4cm and 50% effaced. She said she didn't feel my waters bulging so she doesn't think they'll break anytime soon but the Group B Strep makes it much more likely that the water will break before real labor sets in. She said she wouldn't be surprised if I delivered this weekend but it could be just as likely that it might be a week or two. But the good news is that I'm almost through the "latent" phase of labor. The active phase is 4-10cm. So I'm supposed to call her when the contractions are 5-6 minutes apart and are strong enough for me to have to stop what I'm doing. Or if my water breaks. She said if my water breaks at this point it would not be a big deal - it would probably be the thing to jump start real labor. So after all this time of hoping labor didn't start that way, I now find myself hoping that's what happens! J is off on a trip today and then plans to spend several days in Memphis working on some stuff. He assures me he's just a phone call and airplane ride away but I am so stressed that he might not make it in time.

So even with all this I find myself still waiting. But I am at least a little more hopeful that the wait might not be much longer.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


I am so done being pregnant! I continue to have very mild contractions throughout the day. It's not that they hurt. Rather, they keep me on edge, wondering if/when they're going to turn into something more. To add to that, J was supposed to be off until Tuesday of next week but he accepted an assignment and leaves tonight and comes home tomorrow. I know it's an assignment he needs to take but I just have this niggling feeling that he's not going to be around for the birth.

As the baby gets bigger I find that her movements are much more uncomfortable. This morning she seems to have gotten a foot caught in my rib cage. Sounds cute until you're actually trying to get unstuck from that position.

Okay, enough wining! I spent a fair amount of time yesterday walking around. I find that my vulvular varicose veins don't bother me nearly as much since I stopped exercising regularly, so walking is actually an option now. I'm going to do more of it today.

Monday, April 16, 2007

37 Weeks: Home Stretch

Wow! 37 weeks. It was a mere 7 weeks ago that I made a trip to L&D with mild contractions and all the angst of possible pre-term labor. Where has the time gone?! Someone told me the other day that my pregnancy has passed very quickly for them but it probably didn't seem that way to me. Looking at the day to day perspective, it seems to creep by. But if I think about where I've been, it seems so quick! It's been almost a year since May 1 of last year when I had my HSG that diagnosed my septum. May 26 of last year was when I had surgery to correct it. And now here I am, about to have the baby that resulted from all that. Wow!

My BH and contractions have really tapered off but this morning I'm having a lot more discharge. Every little sign and symptom gets paid a lot of attention! But, I've been informed by both my hubby and SIL that I'm not allowed to have the baby this week. SIL is off at a medical conference for the week. J wants to get a bunch of stuff done this week and out of the way. So I guess I'm supposed to just hold my breath and hope for the best! I promised them both that I wouldn't do anything to try and bring on labor this week.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

36w6d Breastfeeding

One day to go to that magic 37 week mark! Yesterday my BH/contractions dropped off considerably. I'm starting to get more in the mindset that this baby is coming closer to her due date, despite walking around with a partially opened cervix.

The past several mornings I've woken up to quite firm breasts that feel really full of milk. If you've breastfed before, it's that feeling you get just before you're baby is ready to nurse: not quite painful but reminding you there's milk in there. It's rather exciting for me because breastfeeding is one of the things I'm really looking forward to with this baby. My experience breastfeeding G was absolutely wonderful but abruptly cut off by an illness (mine) when she was 11 months old.

Previously I had thought that I wouldn't try to pump and freeze. I pumped a little with G but it was such a hassle. This time I signed up with the formula makers to get free samples and I figured I would just use those the few times someone else kept the new baby. Now that I have the deep freezer, though, I decided to think more about freezing. If you have breastfeeding questions, I've always found the Kelly Mom website to be really good. In particular, this page has information about how long you can freeze breast milk. In a deep freeze at 0 degrees, it will freeze 6-12 months. Wow! This means that I can freeze along the way in the early months and have plenty of supplies when she gets to the point where I will leave her with someone else. So, I might pull out my pumping supplies after all.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

36w5d Counting the "Symptoms"

Ever since the internal on Thursday, I feel like I am right on the brink of going into labor. Right there but not quite! Both evenings/nights since then I've had lots of Braxton-Hicks, interspersed with very mild contractions. Nothing to count or time or anything. But they're definitely there. Yesterday and today I have had a definite increase in cervical mucous. It's much thicker than before and almost brown-tinged. I assume this is my mucus plug breaking up, although it seems to me that at 3cm, whatever was in there surely would have come out by now. But what do I know? Last night a number of times I would feel her kicking at the top of my uterus and I could actually feel the corresponding pressure of her head on my cervix. A few times it was actually quite painful. Today I've been feeling more mild contractions than the BH but still nothing that makes me stop and want to time them.

So, lots of symptoms to obsess over but nothing definite. J is on a trip until Monday. One of his flights on Monday is a special exam that he really doesn't want to miss as it is the last step in him getting sort of a promotion (and corresponding raise!). While I'd like for him to get that out of the way before the baby comes, on the other hand I'm having a hard time imagining these BH/contractions going on for days on end. Time will tell......

Thursday, April 12, 2007

36w3d: 3cm!

Yep, the midwife checked me this morning and I'm already 3cm! I have been debating whether or not I would ask her to go ahead and check but she beat me to it and said she'd like to as she likes to have a "baseline" around 36-37 weeks. She asked if I was feeling lower pressure and I said definitely, and I even feel like sometimes she's going to fall out when I stand up. She said my cervix is still pretty long so there is no effacement yet; but she said it's quite common on subsequent babies for the cervix to efface while it dilates. So the bottom line is that I still don't really know anything yet. I could walk around like this for a few more weeks or labor could be imminent. We'll just have to wait and see. The last few days I've been feeling an increase in crampiness which I take to be Braxton Hicks but are obviously doing something down there. Let the waiting continue!

Monday, April 09, 2007

36 Weeks

Can't believe I'm finally here at 36 weeks! I thought I was in waiting mode before but I realized this morning that I'm in a whole new waiting mode now. It's funny to me (from this vantage point) how closely parallel is waiting to conceive the baby and then waiting to birth the baby. I find myself scrutinizing cervical fluid wondering not if it's fertile but if it's actually part of the mucous plug. I've seen a marked increase in fluid the last few days but nothing I can definitively call part of the plug. I also have cramps to pay attention to and scrutinize now. They have no regularity and aren't anywhere near what I would call contractions but I do wonder if they are mild ones that might perhaps be doing something.

So, lots to obsess over! I've noticed that people have stopped asking me how far along I am. The question now is "How much longer?"!!

This weekend, in a supreme burst of energy, I cleaned my upstairs. The vacuum cleaner has been sitting in my upstairs hall for 2 weeks waiting for that burst. My house right now is in a state such that I'm not ashamed for anyone to see it. Actually, it hasn't been this neat and clean in some time!

My other project was to design birth announcements. This was one thing I didn't do for G; I sent an email to most of the people we knew and the few who didn't have email, I mailed a picture with a note. The emails were actually nice because almost everyone responded and I saved all those for G's baby book. But I decided to do something a little different this time around so I'm sending out some simple announcements. With all the energy, I also managed to address all the envelopes!

That's all for now. Just waiting....

Saturday, April 07, 2007


All my bags are packed
I'm ready to go.

Yup, the hospital bags are packed and ready to go. It feels so surreal to look at the corner of my room and see them sitting there. So, here's what I packed in case anyone is looking for a packing list:

For Baby
I basically just packed the diaper bag with:

  • a few diapers (the hospital provides diapers but it is a diaper bag after all!)
  • wipes (for some reason most hospitals don't provide these and changing a yucky meconium diaper with a wet paper towel is not fun)
  • hat
  • "coming home" outfit (basically the smallest footed pajamas I have)
  • a couple of newborn size onsies (probably won't be needed but they are something I will keep in the diaper bag anyway)
  • socks
  • mittens
  • a couple of blankets
  • the car seat. I know - you're supposed to install this beforehand but for some strange reason I'm just really not ready to drive around with it empty right now.

My Bag

    2 nursing nightgowns
    a robe
    a nursing shirt to wear home
    nursing bra
    several pairs of socks
    Lansinoh (with G I didn't start using this for several days. This time I plan to start using it right off the bat. It helps immensely but I think the trick is stopping the chapping before it starts)
    breast pads
    stuff to keep my hair out of my face
    some pairs of old underwear
    shirt to wear in the jacuzzi
    birth plan (the midwife has one in her files but this one I will hand to the nurses when I come in so everyone can be on board with what I want up front)
    nitelight (the hospital where I had G had a nightlight type lamp but some places don't, making middle of the night feedings challenging. I have a rechargeable flashlight that has a nightlight setting that I plan to take just in case)
    my ipod and speaker set (I changed my mind about taking music. The doula convinced me that it couldn't hurt to bring it)
    shower shoes
    walking the halls shoes that I don't mind getting dirty
    phone charger

That's it. I left out the bottle of wine. Since we only live about 5 minutes from the hospital, I decided I can always send someone home to get it if I decide I need it. Of course, there are some last minute things that I can't pack yet (like my hairbrush and my cameras). I have a very detailed list about these items and exactly where they are in case I'm not the one grabbing them.

The only other thing I'm thinking about is a gift for G when she comes to visit. I'm thinking about getting her something like a cabbage patch doll and having my friend who is a delivery room nurse there bring it in in a bassinet just like the real baby. I think it will help her to have her "own" baby to do stuff on when she can't actually do it on the real baby. She is really into that stage where she wants to help me on everything and gets very frustrated when she's not capable of doing something.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

35w3d Appointment

Midwife appointment went great today. No sugar in my urine which was a nice change. I didn't gain any weight in the last two weeks but she didn't comment on it so I didn't ask! I asked her about what to take when Tums didn't handle the heartburn and she suggested liquid Mylanta. So I got some of that to try. We went over my birth plan and she said it was a great one because there is nothing on there that is outside of standard procedure for her. My next appointment starts the weekly visits. I didn't ask her about when or if she does internals. I go round and round about that. On the one hand I don't want to take the higher risk of infection. On the other hand, I'd love to know what's going on in there. We didn't specifically talk about it at this visit but I get the distinct impression that my midwife thinks this baby is going to be early. I suppose if I get to 38 or 39 weeks I can decide about asking for an internal exam.

I started packing the baby's bag last night which meant that I had to get on the ball to wash all the clothes. It actually took 2 loads in my front loading washer but that included the myriad of blankets and crib linens. I did open the package of newborn size diapers - I can't believe how small they look! It's so easy to forget how small babies are. With G I never used a special detergent - I just washed her stuff separately and did a second rinse on them. Even then, I only did that for maybe 6 weeks and then I just started washing her stuff with ours. Fortunately she didn't inherit my sensitive skin! My front loader washer has a "skin care rinse" that does about 3 separate rinses I think. Hopefully this one won't require anything more special than that.

Tick, tock. Just a few more days till I can start thinking labor thoughts! Actually, right now, I'm thinking 37 weeks would be a perfect time frame. We'll see what happens.

Here's my birth plan if anyone is interested:

I would like the following observed when at all possible:

- no drugs offered or administered unless firmly requested

- freedom to move about

- I would like to have the option of laboring in water

- I am aware of the need for IV penicillin for Group B Strep, but I would like to have a Heplock when the antibiotics are not being administered.

- vaginal exams only when necessary. I would prefer the midwife to do most of the exams, although it is okay for someone else to do an initial one.

- no artificial rupture of membranes unless necessary

- staff in the room should be limited to only those necessary

- eating and drinking allowed

- fetal monitoring via stethoscope or Doppler only except for the initial monitoring upon admission.

- no episiotomy unless absolutely necessary

- no medical interventions without first having discussed the benefits and risks with both of us

- immediate breastfeeding

- cord cutting delayed until pulsing stops if possible (G's cord was very short so it was cut more quickly so we could hold her)

- spontaneous placental delivery if possible

- no separation of mother and baby unless absolutely medically necessary

- in case a separation is necessary, J, M, or J should be allowed to be with the baby at all times

- no bottles or pacifiers

- anticipate 24 hour rooming in with breastfeeding on demand

- eye drops delayed until at least an hour after birth

- If a cesarean becomes absolutely necessary:

o I would prefer an epidural over general anesthesia

o J should hold baby as soon as possible so that K can see and touch

o attempt at breastfeeding as soon as is medically possible.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

35w1d Doula

We met with the doula again today for the second and last time. This session was all about comfort measures. She brought her "doula bag of tricks" (basically a rolling suitcase bag). She said she likes to acquaint people with what she's got in there before the heat of labor. Which was good because the first thing she pulled out of her bag was this. It looks like some sort of medieval torture device but it felt absolutely wonderful on my head! I was all prepared to say don't touch my head at all - I had a massage therapist that tried scalp massage on me once and I hated it. But I let her try it and decided I really like it. Whether I'll let her do it during labor or not remains to be seen. There other stuff was pretty basic: massage oils, things to massage with, etc. She also brought her birth ball. The only time I've used a birth ball was when I was in labor with G and it just wasn't something that worked for me at that moment. But sitting on this one was very comfortable and I could feel it stretching let muscles that are obviously out of use but ones I need to strengthen up before I try to push out a baby. So on her recommendation I plan to get one and start using it regularly. To finish up she massaged both my hands and feet. It was blissful!

J actually told me today that he needs to pack his hospital bag! Then he started listing all the stuff he wants to be sure and bring. I hadn't mentioned a hospital bag at all to him so it was neat for me to know that he is actually thinking about and looking forward to doing this all over again.

I think G is dealing with a virus or something. She has been "off" the last day or two and she woke up from her nap today with a bit of a fever. I can only hope it's nothing contagious.

Monday, April 02, 2007

35 Weeks

Now that April is here I'm feeling more a sense of urgency to get things prepared. I spent a while yesterday scouring the net for ideas on what to pack in the "hospital bag". I don't remember what all I took with G but I do remember that most of it stayed in the bag! I think the doula will have us covered for most of the labor stuff, so I don't plan to bring stuff like massage oil or music or anything like that. I brought some CDs with G but don't remember listening to them. Sometime this week I will actually pack the bags and when I get that done I'll post the list of what I actually decided to pack. I also need to talk to my friend who is a L&D nurse and get her input.

Last week I bought a chest freezer. I have a bottom freezer fridge and space there has always been at a premium. Last summer I got tons of fresh vegetables from a friend who has a garden and, being the frugal person that I am, couldn't let it go to waste, so I froze a bunch of it. No regrets on doing that except for maybe the time ice cream was on sale and I couldn't buy any because there was just no space. I've also had my ice maker turned off so I can use the space taken up by the ice bucket. I was talking to my friend last week who is coming after the birth and she offered to make stuff for me to freeze while she's here. That's when I decided it was time to invest! I got the smallest one available which still has tons of space and I'll be curious to see what it does to the electric bill.

Another thing I did yesterday was to make a calendar for the month of May that I can hang up in the kitchen so that anyone coming over can see what's going on, namely to show who's bringing us food when. I was pleased to see that basically we're covered for meals from May 10th on. Depending on when this kid actually shows up, we'll hopefully have some help until then. Plus I am making extras of all our meals right now to freeze. Between that and frozen pizzas I think we'll survive. J is actually a pretty good cook if he puts his mind to it but I'd rather have him worry more about things like entertaining G and changing diapers!

Pregnancy-wise I'm feeling about the same. I started getting some crampiness again Saturday night and it continued off and on through Sunday. Saturday I actually considered taking some of the terbutaline pills but I knew I'd be up all night if I did so I decided against it. The cramps were somewhat regular, coming about every 10 minutes. But they seem to be gone now so maybe they were just Braxton Hicks. My next appointment is this coming Thursday so I'll check it out with the midwife then. I suspect that since I'll be so close to the 36 weeks mark by then that she won't be too concerned.

Time is ticking by. It's entirely possible that sometime this very month I'll actually have this baby! So another project this week will be to actually wash the baby clothes and finish getting the nursery ready. Doing that, combined with packing my bags and a session with the doula on comfort measures during labor will, I think, really serve to bring home to me that this is actually going to happen. Yes, I still check the toilet paper every single time I pee. Yes, I still wonder about every twinge. Yes, I still hold my breath somewhat when I think the baby hasn't been moving enough. Yes, I know that things can still go terribly wrong. But right now I'm allowing myself to be optimistic and look forward to meeting my new daughter.