April 25, 2013

Weeks 31 & 32

With all that has gone on the last two weeks I have neglected to sit down and write for week 31, so in this long post I will attempt to touch on details but not inundate you with too much. 

Here we find ourselves at week 32 and as Robert and I enjoyed a late night sushi dinner after our second birthing class we realized how time has flied. November when we shared our good fortune with all of you seems ages ago and yet June is right around the corner. We are thoroughly enjoying our weekly classes as it is bringing light to the journey that is literally just around the bend. Healthy babies are born anywhere from about 37-42 weeks, and labor is not stopped if it begins at 36 weeks, which means in a month we could be undergoing a major life changing event, can you believe it? Sometimes I cannot. As I said before I am not afraid of giving birth, for some reason I know that I can handle it 100% and I am over joyed with the idea of bringing a little one home and all that it entails. In our birthing class this week we talked about fears, ironically the men seemed to have more than the women, and it made me realize how unprepared I feel in other aspects of this adventure. Most of my fears remain in what happens when the baby comes home rather than the hospital experience itself, which may be partly due to our hospital tour two weeks ago. I had prepared myself to come in with "guns a blazing" ready to defend myself and our birth plan, only to be confronted with a very comforting and calming approach to birth. Robert and I have chosen to have Baby Gerrans at Kaiser in San Francisco which is a teaching hospital and has a rather strict reputation. I, like Robert likes to point out, have a much for free-spirited approach to the whole birth thing (he would call it my Santa Cruz hippie-ness, which really shows how little he knows about actual hippies) so a teaching hospital is not necessarily my cup of tea. However, we both care more about the soil than the institution so it was a no brainer choice for us. SF Kaiser is not only a teaching hospital, but it also a high-risk hospital meaning that if there is a chance for complications you are birthing there rather than one of the bay area's many birthing centers. Because of this their rates of cesareans etc are much higher than one would like and they freely express that. However they provide and encourage many modern (and ancient) practices for coping which I was very happy to discover. After our tour I felt a wave a relief come over me, which for a pregnant woman is a VERY good thing.

In our birthing class we have met some very nice people and it has been comforting to chat with them about the things we are all going through. Out of the six couples in the class we are the only ones to not know the gender of our baby, which I love and they seem to enjoy too. After the baby shower game that Hayley put together it seems that the old wives would say that I am having a girl, pretty funny since I still feel like there is a little boy inside of me. I did have one day last week where I seriously doubted myself and began to think of Baby Gerrans as a little girl and felt guilty for calling her a he, but alas I still find myself saying he and deep down I still believe we are having a boy. Won't we be shocked when baby comes out as a girl :)

Many of your were able to attend the lovely shower that Shelly, Carolyn, and Lisa threw for me. It was absolutely perfect from the weather to the location, to the food and the details I loved every minute of it. I had never had a shower like that before and for it to be my only one I couldn't have asked for anything more. Hayley, you did an impeccable job with the games, especially the one that incorporated Robert's perspective. Whoever made sure that I made it home with the guests answer sheets, bless you, as we had a great time reading through all of them. I had to get his clarification on a few like the diapers. The question being "How many diapers does a baby need each day?" and his answer was "2 because we are using reusable diapers that's the hippie from Santa Cruz's idea". I believed he assumed that while the baby is wearing one we will be washing the other because in the next question he talks about having to do ten loads of laundry a day :). Low and behold we received some of the reusable diapers in the mail yesterday (thanks Mandi & Katie) and it seems like he might be right. We'll likely use two outer shells a day with about 10+ inserts so he was pretty close afterall :) Now the six dogs thing......over my dead body honey!
I have scanned and posted his answers below for those of you who didn't make it to the shower or would like to read them again.

So we have had the shower, we did the tour, started our preparation classes, and this week I have begun packing our hospital bags. Still haven't received our nursery furniture yet (of course I had to order the made-to-order kind) but they assure me it should be here in the next two weeks. Once this arrives we will be ready for you Baby Gerrans, but please stay in until you are ready for us. I am not to the point of feeling uncomfortable or wanting him out yet. I am still a very content pregnant lady with the occasional foot swelling usually due to the heat (86 degrees? we are still in April right??) or a lack of water (still working on that). People keep approaching me and asking when I am due as apparently I look like I am "ready to pop", even our birthing class instructor mentioned my size. You should see some of the looks of pity that I get from people when I say I am not due until June. Luckily I do not offend easily and I already know I am having big foot's baby, so I am preparing for a big one.

I haven't been nesting quite yet. I did some of this around the 5 month mark, cleaning out closets that is, but maybe that will come when the furniture is here. I have however been reading up a storm. Thanks to Amelia for your recommended reading list which has steam rolled into many other books. I get my love of reading from my grandma's especially my Grandma Donna who was a librarian for many years and gifted me wonderful books throughout my childhood :) It seems that Baby Gerrans is going to be a reader too. He loves to hear me read out loud to him which I did with all the books that I received as shower gifts. His in the womb favorites seem to be Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and Dr. Seuss'  ABC's (a theme there?). I am so excited about all the books especially the Dr. Seuss ones as that is what my mom read to us when we were little, and many of you know my life long affinity for The Lorax - that honey is where my environmentalist side comes from, NOT from growing up in SC! I am reading many parenting, birthing, sleeping, and eating books to get ready for Baby Gerrans and it has been so fun! I feel as if I am in college again without having to put all my research together in a term paper, woo whoo! I have made a list (to the right) of all the books I have tackled so far, but still have many piled up on the night stand and am always welcoming suggestions. Robert doesn't share my thirst of knowledge but I think many fathers-to-be are like this because most of the books have a synopsis in the back which he will happily read; 15 pages instead of 300 means we are both happy. I know there is so much bad parenting advice out there and many parents are great without reading a thing, but I like to be informed in every challenge I undergo of all sides so reading is absolutely for me. Yes its not for everyone.

(If you are reading this through your email you have to click on the title to be directed to the actual blog where you can see my reading list, vote for the baby gender and see my favorite resources. Quotes from the readings are coming soon.)

Lastly lets end this really long post, that could be longer :), with a Baby Gerrans story of the week. Baby is growing and growing and space is becoming tight. Pretty soon he will flip (fingers crossed) and get in his birthing position but for now he is enjoying what little space he has left. The other morning as he was giving me my 7 am wake up call he hit my ribs for the first time. Now I have had women describe this to me and state how uncomfortable it is and I have to admit it is such a weird feeling that it is actually really uncomfortable. Something pushing from within on such a concrete part of your structure is so backwards. It makes your whole rib cage shake, which ripples into other parts of your body, totally bizarre. But in typical Baby Gerrans fashion it did not end with just a few kicks. Baby Gerrans proceeded to trace along the entire base of my rib cage, back and forth three times gently. I must have a scientist inside of me as he seemed to be so interested in this new part of his ever shrinking world. It did not hurt by any means but was so fascinating, it was sort of like when he traced Robert's hand, but he traced my rib cage, so cool. These are the moments I truly love the most about being pregnant and why I love having this blog to catalog them.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and don't forget to cherish the ones you love.


Robert's answer's from shower game.

I will post more shower pics next week when more people have a chance to send them but thought  I would throw this action shot in so you could see how large the belly is these days.

Robert snapped this photo of me trying out our new stroller, I am sure I will be in this position quite a lot in the next year or so :)

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