Sunday, June 28, 2009

Another Shower!

We had a busy day today. I'm pleased to report that my back is doing a lot better. I saw the chiropractor yesterday and the treatment really helped.... I'm sure the rest I managed to get, too, helped repair whatever was going on. The chiropractor explained what might be going on, but I don't think I can remember quite what he said... but, anyway, I am definitely feeling some relief. The dull backache - which is likely a passage of pregnancy - is still there, but it's really manageable.

So that's good.. and yesterday we got a lot of chores done - including the bathroom, which I will take pics off tomorrow. We're very happy with it, and it was well worth the wait. Today, though, we took a quite trip to the gym followed by a quick stop to see Jen, David, and Sage - who are about to depart on their much deserved holiday. This could be the last time they see me pregnant... at least pregnant with the Poppet. And then we scooted to another baby shower!! Yes, some of Rich's friends kindly hosted another shower for us. It was a small gathering - mostly comprised of people Rich has met through MAC (Maine Animal Coalition)... Not surprisingly, we got to enjoy a lot of delicious vegan menu - and discovered that Angela - the host - is the most fabulous cook! Vegan quiche, homemade vegan ice-cream, and Sarah, another guest, had an exceedingly delicious vegan cake made...

And then there were champagne cocktails :)

We received some beautiful gifts, too! Rich and I are just overwhelmed by people's generosity. The G-diapers were fab, but we also received some sweet, sweet clothes, a book, toys, and more... What a wonderful afternoon.

Finally we came home and I finished sorting out the nursery. It is all but ready.. and if I do say so myself, it looks really lovely. Pics of that tomorrow, too...

Champagne and Rafi...

Not a flattering shot of either of us... but we have so few together!


Today, Rich and I were treated to another baby shower! I have to say that I am a huge fan of this most American tradition! I'll write a proper post about it later (hopefully with some pics... Rich and I left the camera in the car). But I just wanted to rave about some diapers we received (as we all know what a fan I am of all things diaper related).

When I was researching diapers a while ago, I happened upon G-Diapers, which are a hybrid disposable/cloth diaper. They're extremely handy and convenient, and a lot of people (including Fia and Matthew) raved about how wonderful they are. I was going to invest in some for those times when we were out and about, and probably for night times, too - but our diaper budget was running dry and so I put off trying them out.... Imagine my delight when I received a huge G-diaper start-up stash, which will no doubt get us through a long period.

I then saw on their website that they've introduced a new cloth insert, making them a complete, easy-to-use cloth diapering system....

So much more to rave about, too! And my back is feeling quite a bit better.. Hurray!

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Thanks so much for all your suggestions re: play list. I will have to check al the songs mentioned (Rich had already pointed to a few Cat Powers songs!)...

But just a quick whine post.

I HURT! I have been quite crampy for a while now, but on Monday I experienced some really severe pain in my left side. This then radiated into my back and left me feeling so nauseous that I threw up in Kohls! I saw also experiencing some strong braxton hicks, which weren't without note! it seemed to settle down a bit by the evening, though my back ached and the BHs were still coming. Tuesday wasn't too bad... but yesterday the stabbing backache returned - along with the pressure waves (i.e. contractions). The pressure waves weren't intense enough to do much, I don't think, but the back stabbing pain - which radiates up my back - has left me feeling pretty miserable. I threw up during my ultrasound (though luckily for everyone I made it to the bathroom in time), and while I had a nice reprieve during a wonderful Reiki session with my friend, Maggie (a lovely shower gift!) when I returned home the pain was intense... and the pressure waves were coming almost continually (again... not very strong waves so wasn't worried about this being 'it'). We went for a walk, hoping that might help, but it just made everything worse, and I had a very fitful night's sleep, waking up either with the back pain or a contraction.

I could cope with a lot more intensity (i.e. birthing).. that's not what is worrying me (at least, not yet). It's just that I don't know what this pain is, and it doesn't feel good or productive. And it's leaving me completely useless. It's hard to stand without the pain shooting off, radiating elsewhere, and thus it's difficult to walk around.. and driving is it's own nightmare. I swam this morning, which was quite nice, but I'm back home, feeling a bit miserable about it all. It's hard, even, to sit at the computer... and as I type I have a hot water bottle strapped to my back in the hope that this will help.

I'm wondering if it's a trapped nerve... I have had sciatica before, and this is too high, I think, for it to be that, but, boy, this is really bloody awful!

This is going to be a long couple of weeks... .

Monday, June 22, 2009

Play List Help

Although I plan to listen to my hypnobabies CDs quite a bit during the birthing, we're also trying to put together a play list to listen to - perhaps whilst the little one is making his big appearance. At prenatal yoga the other day, the instructor played this... it's one of my favorites. It's happy and lovely and very sentimental. If I think about it playing when the Poppet arrives I almost start to sob!!!

So, in this sort of vein... any suggestions?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Birth Plan

Hi everyone, we've been working on a birth plan.. We're very much aware that things may not go to plan, but it really helps us (well, me!) to have a sense of an ideal so that I can approach the experience more positively and without too much anxiety. For various reasons we're hoping for a birth that has minimal interventions. Deb is such a wonderful practitioner and I absolutely trust her to advise us well... so I'm not worried about being forced into anything - but having some preferences is, I think, going to be helpful. Of course it could all go out the window when I curse and scream for the epidural... when I'm in the early stages of labor :)

Would love your suggestions for additions, etc. I've written up a c-section plan, too, just in case....

The Oliver-Campbell Family Birth Preferences

Thank you for helping us with the process of bringing our little one into the world! As first time parents we’re full of excitement and anticipation. We of course have a birthing ‘ideal’, but we are very much aware that the best-laid plans are just that, plans. That said, we’re hoping for a straightforward birthing experience and have jotted down some of our preferences…
We’ve been preparing for the birth using Hypnobabies. Some of it is a little hokey(!), but we’ve been finding it really helpful. We’re hoping that you will be willing to use some of the language, techniques, suggestions, scripts, etc. We’ve attached a few examples to this plan...
In the event of an emergency – or some complication – we will of course yield to any request for life saving interventions, or a course of intervention which might avoid, for example, a cesarean section. We are extremely fortunate to have Dr. Deb Rothenberg attend the birth, and trust her judgment implicitly. And we are very grateful that we have the opportunity to birth here, and we thank you for your support in advance.

Hydration and Nutrition: We prefer that Alex be allowed to eat freely and to hydrate with water and juice. We’d also prefer to have a Heparin Lock, in case an IV is needed.

Monitoring: It’s our preference for the baby to be monitored intermittently rather than constantly.

Room Environment: Since we’re using a self-hypnosis technique we’d prefer to have a very quiet and low key environment. We would like the choice to play some soft music, to dim the lights (Alex is also a little self-conscious and is very modest!), and for folks in the room to use low voices. We also would very much appreciate if people in the room could refer to ‘contractions’ as birthing waves and to ‘labor’ as birthing, as this will help the hypnobabies techniques.

Comfort Measures: it is our strong desire to have an un-medicated birthing experience. In addition to hypnobabies, Alex would very much appreciate help and encouragement with other natural strategies: using the rub, chair, shower, birthing ball, different positions, and so forth.
Please do not offer Alex any pain medications. Should the need arise, however, and the baby is at risk, then of course we will yield to any need. To communicate how she is feeling, Alex may ask for medications from time to time. Please encourage her to use alternative measures. Should Alex decide to request medications sincerely, she will have a way of communicating that with Richard, and he will confirm the request.

Episiotomy: It is our strong preference to avoid this procedure. We’d appreciate your help to avoid this and possible tearing using hot compresses, oil, different positions, etc.

After the baby is born:

We would prefer to allow the umbilical cord to stop pulsating before clamping it. Richard may or may not wish to cut the umbilical cord…!

If there are no seeming problems, we wish to delay routine procedures to allow for skin-to-skin time.

It is our strong desire to exclusively breastfeed and we’d appreciate your help, instruction and encouragement.

We will not be circumcising our son.



If a C-Section is not an emergency, please give us time to think about it before asking for our written consent.

We would prefer that Richard be present at all times during the c-section.

Ideally, I would like to remain conscious during the procedure.

I would like the baby to be shown to me immediately after he’s born, and I would like to have contact with the baby as soon as it is possible in the delivery room.

If my baby is healthy, I would like to hold my baby and nurse him immediately in recovery… and I’d very much appreciate help with this.

Thank you!

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Book Baby

Rich and I live on a road nearby to a sweet, sweet neighborhood. It's a two mile loop littered with houses, and over the 7 years we've been here we've gotten to know some of these people really well. I used to walk the loop when Rich was in Boston working. This was pre-Kiltie and Sammy. I would walk up the hill a few miles, then down again, turning into the neighborhood for the final part of the walk.

Then, I used to have this talent for 'reading whilst walking'. It was something I started doing in graduate school. I would walk very quickly with a book in hand! It got me through many a text, and, frankly, I would take the opportunity to read some good fiction as I walked from place to place. I continued the 'reading whilst walking' here, and I soon built a reputation. Complete strangers would approach me with some regularity in the local store, asking how I managed it. I think they thought I was a bit eccentric as I would wear these big sun hats, too.

Anyway, fast forward a few years and now I walk with the dogs and Rich...

As we walked on Tuesday evening, a car stopped and a woman who I recognize as a neighbor I haven't spoken with before - said she had something funny to tell us.

She said "oh, I see you're having a baby. You know we often talk about you in our family. For years now we've referred to you as the 'book lady' and my kids (all now in college) have imagined an entire life for you! When they saw you walking with a man (that would be Rich!) they were very excited and exclaimed 'aw, mom, the book lady has a boyfriend'! And then they saw you walking with the dogs and they exclaimed 'aw, the book lady and her new boyfriend now have puppies'... "

It was very sweet! And then she said...

"I'm going to have to call them all when I get home to say the book lady is having a baby..."

It was very touching. Of course I had to shatter the illusion and pointed out that Rich and I had been together for almost 15 years :) But the lovely woman offered us lots of baby stuff...

I never could have imagined that we'd be the subject of so much speculation! What a romantic baby story.. albeit an imagined one!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

6 pounds 8oz

Yes, he's a very big boy! Before we went in to our 36 week scan, Rich and I had a go at guessing his weight. I guessed 6 pounds 3oz, and Rich an ounce less. We were a bit surprised, then, when he weighed quite a bit more! But all looks excellent. He'd head down, as he has been for a long while, and his bottom (as I thought) is pushing itself up above my belly button. The odd looking 'bump' that appears on my side is his knee, and somehow he still manages to have a spare foot lodged into my rib.

We're getting so close! I've been having a few cramps, which aren't especially comfortable, though certainly not painful. I've also been experiencing some braxton hicks, which is quite exciting as I can't help but feel that this is a sign that things are getting close!

I had my check up with Deb on Monday. All looks good - measuring right on track again, and gained a pound in two weeks for a total of 16. I really felt as though I had gained at least 10 in those weeks!

I finished packing the poppet's bag and now I have to do mine. It seems both so close, yet so far away.... But I am feeling more than ready to meet this little chico - although a finished bathroom would be lovely before he comes home...

Saturday, June 13, 2009

35 weeks 3 day...

I haven't posted any belly shots for a while... What a progression!
Almost 16 weeks

19 weeks

23 weeks

And here's me at 27 weeks - almost SEVEN months - pregnant.
I am carrying HIGH! I feel like a big egg!

32 weeks 4 days

35 weeks 3 days Yikes. I am expanding at an alarming rate! Not long to go, thankfully! I'm waiting for the stretch marks to appear...

Friday, June 12, 2009

35 weeks!

Here's a pic from the scan last week. It was a biophysical, which he passed with flying colours! Next week they'll measure him to see how much he's grown. From the size of my stomach I think it's going to be considerable!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

What to pack?

As I head into my 36th week, I'm thinking that I should pack a bag or two for the hospital. I'm sure I could throw things into a carrier bag at the last minute, if needed, but it's quite fun to plan and pack (this used to be my favourite part of going on holiday... the anticipation fueled by lists and shopping and packing :) )

Today I realized I had no newborn outfits of the little poppet. Thinking he'd outgrow everything so quickly, I thought I might get away with clothing 0-3 months. But I was reading today on one of the pregnancy boards I frequent, that it's a good idea to have a few things he's not swimming about in. So this evening, en route to prenatal yoga, I popped into Babies R Us and bought a few newborn outfits... picking out some sweet little things for when we bring him home.

And so I have at least an outfit to pack in the Poppet's bag.

What else should I pack in his bag? I know the hospital will have a lot, but I was thinking:

Receiving blankets
A few burp cloths
A few diapers (we're using disposable for the first week)

As for my bag... would love your thoughts. I know I need to buy some nursing bras asap, a couple of nursing tops, some PJs (hoping to get away with maybe wearing a nursing T/vest with non-maternity bottoms).

What else?

And there are final buys for the Poppet... I have spent days wondering what to do about wipes! We're planning on reusable wipes, but what about moistening them? I don't want the little fella to endure cold wipes in the middle of the night. In the day I can make up a warm solution every time I change him, but the night time changes pose a different problem. A sprayer would be cold... thus I'm considering a wipe warmer. Is this a huge extravagance?

Yikes, things are moving fast! I have my 35 week scan tomorrow. Just a biophysical so I won't get to see how big he is.. that's for next week. I always feel slightly nervous the night before the ultrasound... though I'm sure everything will be just fine :)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

A spot of tennis

We had a busy weekend... Yesterday we spent much of the day buying stuff for the Poppet (more for another post, I think), and today we began the day with a game of tennis. We haven't played since Thanksgiving - when we first found out we were expecting. We were hoping to play in Florida but my foot injury kept us from having a game. I've been desperate to play, though, so this morning we thought we'd go for it! At the most I thought we'd gently hit the ball in an effort to get a rally going, but, to my surprise, we had a great game! I was feeling really good, and only noticed that I was 8.5+ months pregnant when trying to run down a drop-shot. Of course he took full of advantage of that!

I took a quick 4-0 lead, but then I checked in with Poppet to see how he was doing and he of course was not moving!! He was sound asleep and I couldn't rouse him at all. Despite 'knowing' that he was fine (as movement really seems to lull him.. and he'd been very active in the wee hours of the night) I became extremely worried. Had my serve done something to upset him? I lay on he ground, even, trying to get him to make himself known, but nothing... I of course lost concentration and Rich came back to win 6-4.

As soon as I got home and made myself a cold smoothie he was back to his dancing self. I must remember this when I'm enduring my next panic... when I'm on the elliptical he is always quiet...

Anyway, in spite of that we had a lovely game! Here are some photos of my inelegant self :) Afterward, in order to shower (the bathroom is a saga) we went to the gym and lifted some weights. I'm so grateful that I'm still so active.. even though I end up feeling quite exhausted by the afternoon. It doesn't seem to matter what I do in the morning, though... active or not, the same fatigue kicks in.

About to take RIchie on for a game of tennis...

Pregnancy has taken quite a toll on my serving technique :)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

34 weeks...

I have been a very slack blogger lately. For some reason - despite not being at work - I am more busy than ever. It doesn't help that we still don't have a bathroom (though Home Depot DID eventually deliver the right tub so hopefully it won't be long now). But, for the past few weeks, it's meant that I have had to get up to go to the gym to both workout and shower before very early appointments. Somehow I managed to schedule lots of 8am appointments this week which means I have to get to the gym for 5:30am.. so lots of early mornings and appointments. In fact I had three appointments today!

It was our 34 week scan today. Everything looked excellent, though he was asleep and we had to wake him up to complete the biophysical exam - to make sure he was moving enough and that he was doing his practice breathing. It was also a growth scan, so we got to see how big he's guesstimated to be. He is a whopping 5 pounds 6 oz, which is in the 55th percentile - and, on average, he's measuring a week ahead.. but, yep, that head is still big... measuring around 36 weeks. When you see his growth plotted out on a graph it's just perfect :)

I then saw Craig, an integrative MD. He's been helping me with my hypnobabies stuff. I've been feeling pretty agitated lately because of some of the discomfort and my odd hyper-sensitivity, and the scripts we worked on today were very helpful. I then saw Deb for my 34 week OB appointment. B/P was great - 102/68, no protein or sugar in urine, total weight gain of 15 pounds.. so all on track. Oddly my fundal height was measuring short, though he is very scrunched up in there (he likes to have this legs up near his face) and the scan showed very reassuring growth. It was a very helpful appointment. We talked a bit about our birth plan, a plan B, and vaccinations. Since Deb is a family Dr. we're going to forego the pediatrician and have poppet see Deb.. I really like the family doctor set-up.

Here are some pics of the boy :)