Monday, December 31, 2007

The last day of the year

And still no Petunia. K.'s been remarkably gracious about watching his cherished dream of a tax deduction fade away; I've been less so. Man, am I bad at waiting.

The only things to keep me sane are walking and work. And so yesterday we drove out to Enid Lake, trekked across lake bed with some very dirty dogs for nearly two hours; we came home and I ended up turning over the garden. That's right, shoveling at 40+ weeks pregnant while K. cleaned the truck and the car.

The upside of all this is that we're doing projects we might never have had time for.

Exhibit A, our new (from K's building) kitchen door, which revolutionizes our kitchen experience with its large pane of glass:

And the new curtains in the guest room (we've got them in our room too), which lets light in and keeps prying eyes out:

The first box cushion for the soon-to-be-slipcovered old blue couch:

And a very snoozy husband, who has slept late every day and shows no signs of tiring of the luxury:

Friday, December 28, 2007

in which I am overly competitive with my unborn child

So, they tell you that it's common to run 8-10 days over. Or, Heaven forbid, as much as three weeks.

But no, I didn't think it was going to happen to me. Not me. I like to arrive on time; they gave me a due date of December 28th, darn it all, and I have full intentions of sticking to it. I LIKE my due date: it's got an 8 in it, falls right between Christmas and New Year's, and nets that all-important tax deduction.

However, seeing as it's past seven and I've nary a contraction, no water has broken, and I spent the day making curtains, cleaning house, walking dogs, and generally feeling pretty much FINE,
apparently this child of mine has other ideas.

I'm now making plans for the coming week out of self-defense. Because the thought of sitting around the house waiting to go into labor is no longer as deliciously sweet after a full week of vacation. NPR's back on, K's down at the building, and I've got big plans for novel revisions tomorrow. Because my life is FULL, baby girl; stand me up all you like and see if I care.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Twas the day before Due Date

No L.P. yet. Despite the fact that I am now officially "ready." So, I am NOT thinking about it, since I will exhaust myself if given any mental freedom. K. will handle all phone calls. Do not call and ask me if I'm excited, how I'm doing, etc... I am doing my best to forget the fact that I could be having a baby any MINUTE and yet I am not.

Being on vacation at home with K. is LOVELY. We've watched three old Cary Grant movies and taken a bunch of long walks during the daylight-- when do I ever get to see my husband in the afternoon?!?!.

We think these are cypresses, as spotted in the nature preserve where we tromped for a good few miles on Monday, but we're not sure. But they sure are pretty.

As well as walking, K. has cooked and cooked and cooked. The beef French stew was fab; the homemade cake doughnuts (my mom gave him an antique doughnut puncher for Christmas) are delicious:

But the true Christmas miracle is the cauliflower casserole he made with these:

I went out to cut off the last of the broccoli and lo and behold, I found white gold. We'd given up on the cauliflower plants, so it truly is a miracle-- and on Christmas itself!

Today, we head up to Memphis to see the midwives. We're also going to stock up on library books, hormone-free meat, and organic milk; then we'll be here.

Not waiting, not waiting at all.

*Addendum: the pills in the background are for Shadow; the vino for the beef stew. Just in case you were secretly judging me.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Hold Yer Horses

Baby Protocol:

K. has a call and email list. So you will ALL know after she gets here. Mkay?

Merry Christmas, everyone! I'm off to take a nap.

More belly pics (taken on Thursday, one day shy of 39 weeks):

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The geese are getting fat

The midwives are coming for a house visit today. It's kind of fun to say that; the midwives are coming, the midwives are coming!

We have a holiday party tonight, K's last day of work for a bit is tomorrow, and I decided we're having savory beef bourginoun or however you spell that for Christmas day. The dogs are sulking, because I can't make it stop raining and they don't LIKE the rain, why would I punish them so?

In my last stock-up at the library, I checked out "PLENTY" a book by these crazy Canadians who spent a year eating food from within a 100-mi radius of their home. The guy was talking about why he felt compelled to take on this experiment. Unlike a lot of treehuggers, he says that he didn't think it mattered in the scheme of things; that his reduction of fossil fuels, etc., doesn't make an overall difference-- and so then, why do it?

The answer he had came from another person: how, then, shall I live?

That resonated with me. It's the answer as to why I am having this baby at home, as to why we pay off our credit card every month, as to why I try to clean the baseboards every six months or so and iron the pretty pillowcases with lavender water. I only get one life, as far as I can tell-- and how shall I live?

This is one of the Christmas photos we didn't use, mostly because of K's expression, but it tickles me nonetheless:

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

you know most first-timers run 8-10 days over their due date, right?

Alright, I take back the acid reflux thing. Yeck.

I got my first panicked "are you in labor?" call from my mother this morning.

"No, I'm running to the Post Office," I said.

Pause. "Well that's anti-climatic."

And so it begins.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Christmas, Baby

Well, K. stole my post thunder. Seeing as our visitors were his siblings and he was long overdue for a post anyhow, I direct you to his blog.
I've been waiting for the baby to drop for weeks now. Since my big fear about all this is not that I won't be able to make it through labor, but rather that I will never EVER go into labor and will remain pregnant until they hook me up to an IV and jumpstart the baby-expelling thing with the aid of Pitocin, a drug I've heard too many bad things about, the fact that I have not woken and found a feeling of "lightness in the chest and bowling ball in the pelvis" has been alarming.

Nonetheless, the baby apparently dropped. I just didn't notice. My Literary Club ladies did; "you're lower," they all said when I saw them on Friday. And then someone asked how my acid reflux was doing; "much better," I said, and she nodded knowingly. When the baby drops, your stomach gets a little breathing room and the reflux chills out.

On the other hand, the bladder gets even LESS room. And that's definitely been the case. So, add all these things together, and I'm forced to conclude that my baby DROPPED and I missed it. I always expect these things to be more dramatic then they actually are.

My focus for the coming weeks is getting reduced to Christmas and baby. I turned in my last batch of proofing last week, and I'll write my last weekly article tomorrow; the novel's going to sit for awhile sans daily requirements. It's a definite perk of being self-employed/not making much money: flexibility! I'll be back doing my regular stuff mid-late-January, but for now, I get to putter around the house, take long walks, do the list of things my midwives have told me (raspberry leaf tea, evening primrose oil, perineal "massage" (don't ask), squats, and Kegel after Kegel after Kegel. Not to mention eating well, taking walks, and regular napping. I can think of worse things :) )

K's going on vacay next Friday, so hopefully we'll have some time to catch up, hang out, and dream before the little princess gets here.

I know this child is going to hate being born around the holidays, but for us-- it's been really sweet and nice, what with the general air of festivity and the get-everything-done-before-the-24th mentality.

I imagine I'll be posting a lot these coming days. Prepare for rambling. And Christmas!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

the weather outside is frightful

But on the other hand, beer became legal to possess and drink in our county last night in a special election.

Friends of ours fought very hard to get this issue put to vote, and it's so good to see something change for the better here. Why the better? Well, the county was already wet (liquor and wine was legal), enforcement was discriminate and unfair, and dollars were going into other county's coffers. So we're very, very glad-- and maybe our building will benefit! (As in-- a steakhouse will want to rent the first floor.)

The Coughlin siblings are competing in board games. I went to sleep last night to the sound of their trash-talking. Not sure who won :)

Lastly, a view of the food K. and I made for our solo Thanksgiving:

sans the 5 pies.

Monday, December 10, 2007

My sisters-in-law and Jim are here, all the way from snowy Vermont, for a visit. We've got three laptops on the kitchen table and K's little sister on the Imac, a Christmas tree with wrapped presents under it, and unseasonably warm weather to keep us company.

But as promised, pics:
My beautiful and disbelieving Mama, last Tuesday:

Our living room on Sunday, as we awaited the arrival of the Northeners:

A hint of our ginormous Christmas tree, which has filled the house with the smell of cedar:

And a complete view of the baby's room, now that my darling K. fixed the window I shattered, and I made the curtains myself!

And a close-up of the basket and crib. Rumor is, there's going to be a baby in them sometime soon.

*the color of the baby's room changes in every picture-- and none of them are right!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Christmas, novel, midwives, and yet another burned hand

So I didn't use the gloves my sweetie got me and I burned my hand. AGAIN. And they're giving me a baby?

Novel #2 (working title: Alice and Sam) is DRAFTED and emailed to my husband, aka the deadline dictator, and I am officially on novel vacation. Which will last until I get antsy or February 1st, whichever comes first, at which point I will revise, revise, revise, because notice I use the word "drafted" as opposed to "done."

Midwife info: There will be at least 2 and possibly 3. I will call the on-call midwife when I think I'm in labor; when they think I'm in labor, they will drive from Memphis to my house (about 1 hour 20 minutes) and stay until the bebe is born, cleaned, ministered to with Vitamin K and eyedrops and whatnot, and we've had a breastfeeding session. Then the post-partum stuff begins.

The questions below have all been asked:

Q: What if something goes wrong?
A: They bring oxygen IVs, and medication; if it is a true grade-a emergency, we call the paramedics and head to Oxford, letting the ER know on the way so they get things prepped and call in the on-call OB. If it's something lame like I'm tired, we go to Memphis and I deliver under the care of the OB that steps in for the midwives if need be.

Q: What is the baby comes really fast, before they get there?
A: K. has an Emergency CHildbirth Manual, and at least I'll be at home versus in a car on my way to Tupelo (which was where I was going to deliver-- it's an hour away).

Q: You don't get like any pain medication? Like not even an epidural?
A: Epidurals are kind of the Cadillac of pain medication, so I'm not sure what the "even" is about. And no, I don't.

Q: Where in the house are you going to deliver?
A: I don't know. I plan on moving around a lot. But since K's getting all weird about me having the baby in our bed (though they bring waterproof stuff and whatnot), I've said that if the bed is made up with clean new flannel sheets that happen to be on my Amazon wish list, I might consider doing the messy bit in the guest room.

In other non-baby news-- it's Christmas! People in our town take decorating seriously, and K and I are far behind. We're planning to hijack an Xmas tree tonight and hang up some of the decorations me and my mum made last week. Plus he's fixing the window in the baby's room! So tune in on Monday for lots and lots of pictures.

Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

So it is Thursday, sunny, and chilly; I wore a hat, scarf, and 2 sweaters on my walk this morning with the dogs. I've got my nanook boots on now and the electric heater parked next to the desk.

and tomorrow, it's supposed to be mid-70s.

Winter is MESSING with me, y'all.


my mom came and went during a really nice visit during my midwife-freakout week. She can't talk about me having a homebirth because it makes her sick to her stomach, but she did help me make Christmas ornaments and bought me a barbeque sandwich. She'll be back mid-January-- woo!

and on Sunday (?), K's sisters and brother-in-law arrive for a week of HELPING ME PREPARE. It's going to be so much fun; I haven't thought about repainting or anything. Because if I do, C. will do this:

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


Last Tuesday, K. and I met with a pediatrician, did a hospital tour, and met with the OB to go over the birth plan.

It did not go well.

After some angsty nights, crazy amounts of research, and talking with local friends, we've decided to hire midwives out of Memphis for a home birth (do you know how many hours are summed up in that sentence??!?) Last night, after meeting with the second "firm" of midwives, we made our decision and now I can formally transfer my prenatal care to the very competent-- and very kind-- nurse-midwives.

The rest of my pregnancy goes like this: once a week visits (same as the OB) with the difference of not having to have a pelvic every time, since the midwives say it wouldn't affect their "course of care." I like that phrase.

The prenatal vists are pretty much just talking, as we've got a lot of catching up to do, since they usually see people beginning at the start of pregnancy, as well as determining the position of the baby through lots of bellyrubbing.

They'll come to our home for at least one visit as well as a prenatal visit, to save K. and me the trip and to case the joint.

If I go over my due date, they'll begin monitoring things to make sure everything stays stable (just like an OB).

And when I go into labor, they come here, stick around to clean up and help with breastfeeding, etc.

This is the part that I didn't expect: afterwards, they come back. A day or two after the baby is born; a week after the baby is born; and then I have 3 prepaid post-partum visits to their office at 2 weeks, 4 weeks, and 6 weeks. They deal with the birth certificate paperwork, the baby medicine stuff, and any breastfeeding issues (just like the hospital).

Pretty nifty, eh? The kind of supportive care they offer feels almost too decadent. I'm like "so we get an HOUR? A whole HOUR and I can talk about my feelings? And you come to my house afterwards?" It's like therapy or something. Medicine is about waiting in offices, having lists of questions to check off in the three minutes you see the doctor, and feeling stupid about your belief that maybe lots of people give birth all the time without problems, and you might be one of them.

The crazy part is, their fee, which we're paying straight up, is about what we would have paid the obstetrician and the hospital-- even with insurance. Birthing at the hospital, even if I didn't use any drugs or have any surgery, was going to cost about $10,000-- and with two deductibles to consider (both mine and the baby's) plus copays, it's really the same exact amount.

So now we're on a course of action, and once more, I know who will be taking care of me and the LP. But man, transferring when you're days away from being full-term (full-term on Friday, people) is not a stress-free thing to do.

Luckily, I have a really great husband. He did an incredible amount of legwork, research, handles all the money stuff, and even though he's swamped at work, will be at every prenatal visit I have left.

And-- here's the kicker-- he bought me roses:

*yes, we have emergency contingencies in place. And yes, the midwives are nurse-midwives (which means they went to nursing school) who come with IVs and oxygen and emergency meds, are certified in all sorts of things, and will transport me to a hospital at any indication of a problem with me or the baby. We're not cra-ZY.

Friday, November 30, 2007

It has been an unsettling and strange week here in Mississippi, hence the blogger silence... more when I stop feeling like this guy:

(Taken from my friend D'nelle's iphone)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


It is a clear, sunny fall morning in Mississippi. I've had one cup of very good tea, I slept well, the dogs are walked, and the bebe in the belly is good. K got off to work on time with a packed lunch, looking all cute since he's decded to grow his annual scruff-beard. I've got a big goal today for the novel, and time to complete it in.

I've had this sense of having to put everything in order, to line all my ducks up, in these (less than 5!) weeks before Christmas.

Because after all, a baby is coming, whether I'm ready or not; no matter if my doctor supports natural child birth, or the house is clean, or the room is ready, or the novel is finished... a baby is coming, and I'm very conscious that I've got work to do to make sure she arrives into a happy and peaceful world.

So enough whining from me about Northern Mississippi's backward birthing model (I deleted my old rant, but let's just say that man, they make it hard to just have a baby down here). Enough complaining about the doctor I don't really like very much. Enough anxiety over whether I'm prepared for labor. Because when it comes down to it, the baby is coming, and I can choose to help her get here in a peaceful manner despite the ridiculousness of an external fetal monitor, or I can freak out and accuse everyone of not helping me enough.

Either way, the baby girl is arriving.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thanks for bearing with me

For about five minutes of every day, I think about things not related to the baby.

Sometimes I even discuss politics with K.. It's kind of pointless, since we usually end up agreeing that anyone in the running had to sell their soul to get there, but nonetheless, it makes me feel like a very smart person who discusses important issues.

As opposed to the woman in pajamas who shouts out info like this as he makes me spaghetti at eleven o'clock at night: "The book was discussing the 3 methods of diapering..." (disposable, cloth diapers delivered via delivery, and home laundered cloth diapers, obviously) "and it said that home-laundered cloth diapers are the CLEAR LOSER!"

indignant hand waves.

Husband: "really?"

Me: "Yeah! It said that studies showed they don't get adequately sanitized and cause diaper rash! But what I want to know--" fingers waving, voice rising-- "who paid for those studies? No one's making money off of people doing their own work!" Triumphant finger jab.

We're not in Kansas anymore.

Monday, November 19, 2007

a scant six or so weeks...

Until Petunia, aka the L.P., arrives.

K. and I have no real idea how to deal with this, and so in true American fashion, we've bought stuff:

Yesterday, we went to Costco, Wild Oats, Michal's, and Target, in our first-ever shopping spree in Memphis. We now have an IMMENSE amount of food, canned goods, bottled juices, and dog food; we also bought more diapers, creams for various body parts (lanolin for me, Boudreau's Butt paste for the bebe), as well as things I have never ever in my whole life thought about. Like nipple pads.

"What kind of bottles do we need?" K. asked, staring at the 9000 different kinds in the baby section of Target.

I know nothing about babies. I did not babysit them, have a scarcity of cousins, and recall only that my sister was small and red.

"How would I know?" And so K. picked one that has won a gold medal. Onto thermometers and tiny nail scissors and crib sheets.

She moves a lot now, all the time in fact, and I've started having what I assume are Braxton-Hicks contractions and not very pleasant. I'm sporting only my wedding ring now, as my fingers and feet are a bit plumper than usual, and honestly? It's kind of nice when K. pulls me from a sitting position or laces up my Nanook boots:

If the man looks strained, it's because I weigh roughly what a third-rate linebacker might. When you start out as a solid-boned 5-ft-10+ girl, there's not a whole lot of room before the scale starts getting scary.

On the upside, I love walking. It feels awesome, and so the dogs are getting treated to a half-hour loop every am and sometimes in the afternoon too, depending on the work schedule.

We ate our own broccoli for dinner Saturday night:

Which might explain the belly bloat here:

Or it could be the whole baby thing. Who knows?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Wednesday morning

Holy kersnook, Thansgiving is next week. Which means my current novel crisis needs to get resolved-- fast.

In other news, K. left on Monday for yet another Vegas trip and is due back in time for dinner tonight.

I'd like to say that the dogs have kept me good company while he was gone, but considering that I've woken to "accidents" (I'm trying very hard to believe they're accidents) in the living room for the last TWO mornings and Shadow ran away last night, not to mention the development of wanting to go out 2-3x a night, even though I'm taking them on long lovely morning and evening walks...well, not so much.

I fixed them with an eagle eye this morning and said, I don't know who messed the living room this morning, but if it happens again, you're both getting beaten.

On the upside, baby poop is SO not going to phase me. I know poop, ladies and gentlemen. Indeed I do.

On a more pleasant topic, I was out on the front porch last night and saw our little buddy, a green tree frog. We've got a long history with this frog; he likes to hang out on the porch and eat bugs attracted by our lights.

But it was when I moved my fern inside away from the fall evenings that I snapped this:

He wouldn't let us catch him for a day or two, but finally he realized that he's less likely to starve on the outside.

It was nice to see him last night, hanging out on the wall. Apparently, frogs don't hold grudges.

I should look into that.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Baby room

Despite the fact that K. and I did not want to decorate a baby's room, and swore off giraffes and all cutesy nursery stuff, the small 9 by 12 foot room adjoining ours ended up being redecorated.

But it wasn't our fault, I swear; the dogs had ruined the carpet, so that had to be replaced. And a friend offered to paint the room any color of my choosing while I was in VA, so I picked out a shade online and returned home to find it done; talk about the coolest baby present ever!

Throw in my old crib, clean out the top drawer of the dresser for tiny onesies and clothe diapers, and hang a print of a faerie princess that was my grandmother's, and:

Note the uber-cool child gate. We are not concerned about the child. We bought these so our dogs will never EVER enter the baby's room and wreak havoc on the carpet. It's exhilerating; you step on this pedal with your foot, nudge the swinging gate open with your knee, and let it click shut behind you without ever using your hands. So awesome.

We've still got some stuff to do. The lamp behind the rocking chair lacks a shade (and so I'm not posting a pic of that corner of the room, so there!), K's going to hang shelves over the dresser for changing supplies, and we need to buy more diapers, crib sheets, and the like. But for the most part, L.P. has a place to come home to-- and a basket to be ferried in:

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

33 weeks and other updates

In my ongoing travels across the southern states, I drove to Tupelo yesterday for a check-up on the baby girl.

She's good. I'm good. It's time to make a birth plan and meet with a pediatrician, so that we're allowed to have the baby sleep in our room at the hospital (incredibly progressive for Mississippi, and requiring a doctor's approval).

I washed my first load of onesies and cloth diapers last night, with seventh generation baby detergent; no doubt completely unnecessary, but hey, it's exciting. 7 weeks doesn't seem very long at all.


In other news, John and Christy came for a visit! There was much eating, walking, and free shows on NBC-viewing, not to mention the boys' incessant plotting TO.BUILD.A.GLOBAL.EMPIRE.

In between, we walked around Rowan Oak (Faulkner's house, and a neat place to have around).

I had a mighty good time posing for K.

He had a lot of fun too.

Note the lollipop. The man bought 4x the amount of Halloween candy we needed, and then refused to give the children more than "two pieces, and one small". He also tried to bribe me into shutting our lights off and refusing to open the door, so he could have it ALL.

I refused, as it was my first time living in a place where there are trick-or-treaters, and I subsequently angsted over whther or not they'd come to our door and if we had the "right" candy". When the first tricker-treaters arrived, I began waving maniacally at them.

As always, it's a toss-up on who's crazier.

Friday, November 02, 2007

more pics

John and Christy come tonight, and I have a feeling my VA pics will get lost in the sands of time. SO:

I was the first child of Wall Street finance people, and thus I was spoiled in my first 3 years of life-- that was before them "Appalachian" days. So, my parents asked a 2-yr-old me to design a sweather they would then have knitten, and I said I wanted to look like a taxi cab.


Eliza got me the belly cream that "all the stars use" because she is the cutest sister ever (and indeed, it's really refreshing. I'll keep you posted on stretch marks):

My great-grandmother was the only crafty person in my family lineage. She made this quilt for my mother-- isn't it neat?:

I went out for cider Saturday morning and came home to find family and friends-- a surprise mini-shower!

Me looking like a knocked-up 12yrold, just for fun:

A shot OF Lexington-- I love how if you took out the cars, it'd look like an antique photograph-- putting the powerlines underground in the '60s paid off for them:

And finally, quintessential Virginia:

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Hitting it hard in Mississippi

I made it home Sunday night.

And then everything began... interviews, deadlines, proofing, novel, CRAZY amounts of unpacking, plus trying to squeeze some pampering in for my sweetie since he took such excellent care of both the house and the girls while I was gone, going as far as to mop the house so my brain wouldn't explode out of my ears when I got home... he did neglect taking care of HIMSELF, though, and worked like crazy while I was gone, meaning that I've been trying to stuff vegetables into him and send him off with good lunches and generally resuscitate him from 9 days of work/work/lots of cheese and deli meats/and, of course, work.

Not to mention that the Little Princess grows ever bigger. K. saw my belly jiggle like a bowlful of jelly last night, which was satisfying for me (since I'd been telling him about this new phenomenon) and frightening for him. I'm at 32 weeks! 8 more and we should/could have a baby in this house!

But the girls need to be walked, the novel needs to be written, and I've got to convince a couple toughies to let me interview them.

Happy Thursday, and welcome to November.

Some pics from VA:

Calico, the mentally retarded but very happy cat:
Eliza and Mum:

Soco, the crazy dog:
And the three of us (taking this shot meant my camrea was perched on a fence post, I was sprinting through a corral, and the horses got out, so enjoy):

Friday, October 26, 2007

Still in Virginia


I begin the slow trek southernwards tomorrow. But for now-- off to eat some of Mum's stew, a friend's venison, and await the arrival of my little sister.
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