At Least We Have Pictures

We can’t hold the baby, but thanks to overeager medical professionals we do have pictures*.

Here we have Monkey at 38 weeks and 4 days.

And this is Yogi at 37 weeks and 2 days.

Look at these faces! I love how much they (seem to) look alike. What do you think?

*My wife measured small at our Thursday appointment and the OB sent us for an ultrasound. Although we got lots of great pictures and it was wonderful to see Monkey I was not thrilled to hear that the belly measurement was a bit smaller than all of the other measurements and so the OB wants to follow us more closely. To make sure Monkey is continuing to grow normally. What does it mean to follow someone less than 10 days from their due date more closely? Apparently it means that we’ll be back Monday AM for a stress test.

38 Weeks

and not a Monkey in sight.

I wish I had something more coherent to say, but that’s all I’ve got.

Life is a waiting game at the moment.

Happily, no one told Yogi. He is carrying on in his delightfully Yogi way and keeping us tethered to the moment. As Monkey preoccupied as we both are we are still managing to treasure these last days as a family of three. There have strolls to the neighborhood ice cream parlor (see picture below), dinner picnics in the backyard, naked baby revelry with the sprinkler, and lots of snuggling.

Love.This.Boy.

Today is the Day

That my wife went into labor with Yogi. Today we are 37 weeks and 2 days. Last time around I woke up to a concerned wife who was sure that she was feeling different, but wasn’t so sure what that meant. By the time I was closing in on my second cup of coffee it was becoming clear that a Yogi was in our not-at-all-distant future. 
This morning has been uneventful. Yogi helped cut his banana for cereal (when did my baby start eating cereal? – the kind that regular people eat!) and my wife appeared to be her very, very pregnant self. So far, Monkey isn’t making any noises but you can never be too sure.
Our next OB appointment is Thursday afternoon and Grandpa and Muzzie should be here in a matter of days. Life continues. Not even my obsessive Monkey fever has the power to change anything beyond my own weird anxiety symptoms. All I can hope is that this baby comes before my system collapses from my inability to eat anything that isn’t baked in an oven and featuring sugar as a primary ingredient.
Pray for me.
I kid.
But also, I’m serious.
This picture was taken at the batting cages in our neighborhood park. Throughout the week there are kids practicing and playing games and Yogi is fascinated by all of it. He starts chanting “Base. Ball. Base. Ball” when the fields first come into view. I broke out the camera phone for this shot when I looked at my watch and realized that he had been entranced for almost 10 minutes. The boy enjoys some baseball!

All Quiet on the Monkey Front

Our afternoon appointment with the OB was totally uneventful, just the way I like it. Her cervix is closed and showing no signs of thinning. Unlike last time (Yogi’s pregnancy) when I believed this actually meant something significant, something more than this is the state of affairs at this precise moment and means nothing about what may develop five minutes from now, I am well aware that everything might look entirely different in the morning. But, I’m feeling optimistic.
Optimistic at this point means that I’m no longer convinced that Monkey will get here before her grandparents do. I’m thinking that we’ll get this one to 37 weeks. As long as I can hold out this cup half full feeling for a few more days I’ll be in the clear. Muzzie and Grandpa will be in town next week and I will be free to labor with my wife when the time comes.
On the laboring with my wife front I wanted to thank you guys for sharing your thoughts about doulas when I was wavering awhile back. After lots of discussion we’ve made the doula decision and we’re excited about it. When we realized how unlike our ideal labor a VBAC was going to be (continuous monitoring and readiness to move to the OR if the ute shows signs of rupture – a minuscule risk, but one our OB isn’t comfortable dismissing) I wasn’t sure how a doula could really help us. So….. we asked the doula. A brilliant idea, no?
Our conversation with her was a good one and we now have a clearer picture of what our options are. The first goal is to labor at home as long as we can. Everyone on the Monkey team is pretty risk-averse so I can’t imagine we’ll go overboard with this. Once we get to the hospital the word is limit the intervention.  Everyone (OB, doula, us) is on board so hopefully all will be well.
Entirely unrelated to anything I’ve just talked about, I have to let you know that our Baker (AKA Bake, The Hungarian Supermodel, or just The Viszla) passed away on Monday.  Baker was my wife’s first baby and although he drove.us.crazy during much of what turned out to be the last weeks of his life, we loved him dearly. Yogi says his name about twenty times a day and it’s sad to realize that Monkey will never know him.

Monkey Jitters

First, you’ve got to check out the belly. I took this one this morning at 36 weeks. How cute is she?! Love, love, love it.

I spoke too soon about our sleep success. Saturday night was a B.A.D. night at my house. Lots and lots and lots of crying. The kind that breaks your heart and makes it hard to think straight. The kind that initiates an are we doing the right thing? conversation. An early hours conversation between someone who is practically incoherent in the middle of the night AND clinging to the hope that this sleep approach will save us all (me) and someone who is in the throes of late pregnancy hormones and sure that Yogi is going to feel abandoned when Monkey arrives (my wife) is something any sane person would do well to avoid.

I couldn’t avoid it, but we all did make it through the night. And the next day. And last night was way better, so there is that. But the jitters persist.

Yogi was born at 37 weeks, so Monkey feels days away. Unfortunately, Muzzie and Grandpa will not be in town until next week so this baby must.wait. until the grandparents are in town. We have arrangements for Yogi should they not get to town in time, but we would both feel so much more comfortable knowing he was with them.

At some point over the weekend the my cervix is falling chanting has begun. Long time readers may remember that around this time last round, my wife began talking about how she was feeling different so much (“things are changing babe”, “I just feel different today”, “I don’t know what’s happening, but something is happening”) that I started calling her Chicken Little.

It is also true that Yogi was born two days after I wrote that post.

Ok universe, if you’re listening we REALLY need another good week. Be patient little Monkey. We’ll meet you soon enough.

35 Weeks Pregnant in Las Vegas

I still can’t believe it myself.

Yesterday afternoon my wife (and Monkey) boarded a plane for Sin City. She had a conference presentation on the calendar months before we got pregnant with Monkey. When we did get pregnant and  realized this trip would fall so late in the pregnancy I was not thrilled. We agreed that she would see her OB a few days before the trip and if she felt anything odd at all, she would cancel the talk. Friday at the doctor her cervix was long and closed and so up on the airplane she went.
Happily, she made it safely and the altitude didn’t seem to have any kind of weird labor-inducing effect. As I type she’s delivering her talk and in the morning she’ll be back on the plane headed for home.
I don’t know what the deal with medical conferences and Las Vegas is, but somehow both of my children have visited in utero. How weird is that? At 34, I’ve never been. It’s not on my places to go short list (or long list for that matter), but it still seems wrong.

The Wake of the 32-Week Bomb

This is what happens when your Mama takes you to Easter Egg hunt with out an Easter basket.

Almost 35 weeks. This feels like two weeks until Monkey for us. TWO WEEKS!

There is no way to know whether Monkey will be a 37 weeker like her big brother, but it’s certainly possible. And if it’s possible then we should be ready for it, don’t you think?

Since the “OH SH*&T this baby is actually coming!“bomb that exploded in the center of this family (and the house actually) at around 32 weeks, we’ve snapped right into shape. Here’s what we’ve put in motion since then:

  • We hired a doula (although we’re currently going back and forth about whether we want or need this assistance*).
  • We prepared a birth plan.
  • We decided who our “Yikes the grandparents can’t get in town fast enough” Yogi back-up will be.
  • We’ve read helpful books – thanks to many of you for great suggestions! (Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, Simpkin’s The Birth Partner and Tracy Hogg’s Secrets of the Baby Whisperer for Toddlers – more on this later)
  • We’ve added an entire bedroom and painted it a color that no one actually liked once it had been put on the walls.  Oh well. Can’t win them all.
  • We’ve bought a comfy chair for that bedroom.
  • We’ve got a lovely, old-fashioned (but comfortable) looking cradle set up in our room.
  • We brought all of the newborn clothes and supplies down from the attic and stocked Monkey’s closet.
  • We’ve developed a Yogi Meets Monkey plan that feels right for everyone.
  • We’ve done a MAJOR Spring cleaning/purge/Goodwill and Habitat donations. Nothing like a nesting pregnant woman with more than a few OCD tendencies to whip your house right into shape.
Monkey, we’re ready to meet you!!!!
* I’d like to write about this in more detail, but the short version is that we hired a doula during the explosion when I was feeling entirely ill-prepared for the birth. I was concerned that I hadn’t really prepared myself (informationally or emotionally) to be a solid birth partner in light of what I thought was going to be another c-section and I desperately wanted back-up. Now that I’ve done my thing and worked it out in my head I am eager for this labor to get going. I’m feeling prepared (as much as you can really be) and even excited about the experience. I’m not sure where a doula fits in as we are both entirely comfortable with and confident about our OB (she delivered Yogi) and I’m feeling confident. If we decide not to use her we need to tell her ASAP (of course), so we’ve got to make this decision. Anyone have thoughts?

Thirteen Days with Chicken Little

In one moment it feels like an eternity and the next it feels suffocatingly soon.  I never expected that we would be able to plan this birth in the way that we have, but now that Bean will be joining us in the OR and not the labor and delivery room we’ve been able to have specific conversations with family about travel and hotel reservations and all of the things that make me crazy.  It feels good to have the crazy behind me.  At least for now.

But…. in the midst of my happy organization, my wife has turned into Chicken Little.  Every time I ask how she’s feeling she has the same response and it’s started to sound to me like “My cervix is falling, my cervix is falling”.  Having never been pregnant myself, I have no idea what she’s feeling but I would guess things start getting a little crazy in the last month.  Our latest OB appt seems to have calmed her nerves a bit as in spite of all of the odd sensations, her cervix was completely closed.  You never know though.  Bean could still come early.

It’s Looking Like Virgo

It’s once a week with the OB from here on out.  At this weeks visit, we got a plan.  Bean is still breech (not a surprise at this point) and we’re not a great candidate for a version.  This is actually something of a relief.  Neither of us were feeling good about that kind of intervention, so when the OB said that she would classify such a procedure as a heroic measure in our case, it took the possibility more surely off the table.  Apparently given that Bean’s head and the placenta are on the same side, the procedure would be done in the OR with a spinal.  And it might  not work.  So…. onwards and upwards.

We’ve decided to do a scheduled c-section at 39 weeks.  This means that unless Bean decides to make an early appearance, we will have a baby on Thursday, August 26.

Three weeks and a day.  Wowza.