Archive for April, 2011

Baby Shower

On Thursday evening my mother and sister came into town. On Saturday we had my baby shower. It was really fantastic and made both Darius and I feel loved and cherished by our friends, family, and community.

Cake pops The shower was dinosaur themed. So mom and I made dinosaur egg shaped cake pops by using a plastic Easter egg and dying melted white chocolate (and also using milk chocolate). Once they were dry, we set up the nest display made out of floral foam and fake moss. Then Darius did a great job artistically arraigning them. Darius’s mother surprised us with a lovely Edible Arrangement that showed up a few hours before the party. It was so thoughtful of her (and very delicious!).

The party itself went very well. We probably had about 15-20 people show up. We had social time for about an hour and then my sister broke out the games. It started with giving everyone a candle and asking them to inscribe a wish for us. The idea is that whenever they think about Darius, me, and the little one they light the candle and send us good wishes. We’re also asking that people light them as soon as they find out I’m in labor to send the good wishes our way. Yes, sometimes I’m a total hippie pagan. We went around and everyone introduced themselves and told us their wish for us, which was really sweet.

Then my sister had everyone put a note card on their head and draw what the baby would look like. Darius and I picked our two favorite and our two least favorite. Then we had a “name the baby” contest and a “guess these random facts about Darius and Athene’s childhoods” while people cut a length of yarn that they thought would be the size of my belly.

Baby Shower Baby Shower Top two drawings

Some of the names that I loved:

Wing Ding
Once and Future
I Dna (read the middle and first name backwards)
Norse Vi
Raymond (Ray)
Don’t Gender Identify Me Frederick (ok…this is from my sister and is a total family in-joke).

What’s really interesting is that Joseph made a few people’s lists. While we wouldn’t do Joseph as a first name for several reasons, the name actually runs in both families and we’ve been thinking about using it as a middle name.

As for the string around the belly, we played it with Price Is Right rules. I guess I must look bigger than I am because almost everyone totally overestimated. There were two people who got it dead on.

The lootThen it was time for cake pops (yum!) and presents, especially as it was already getting late and some people had to leave. We got lots and lots of great things, some from our registries and some not, but everything we got was definitely stuff that we need. One of the gifts that touched me the most were toys and books and things from a friend’s children because they didn’t need them anymore. I know how hard it can be to give up those sorts of things, so it was really sweet. We also got some presents from my mother’s group of “lady friends” who had thrown her a surprise shower the other week. Baby Jayne HatLots of great New Orleans stuff so the baby will know his roots. However, the absolute BEST.PRESENT.EVER. was the baby sized Jayne hat. You can see from our faces just how excited we were by it. Yes, we are nerds and Browncoats and we will have the world’s biggest nerd baby (until he grows up and becomes a jock or something).

Lots more pictures from our shower, some from our camera and some from my mother’s:

My sister also took pictures. Here are the ones from her camera:

Now to actually set up the baby’s room, organize all the stuff that we got, and figure out what we still need.

Had to happen sometime

This morning was the morning that I couldn’t get my rings on. I figured it would happen eventually and the moment seemed to be looming ever closer. I think that I made it pretty far before I hit that point, 35 weeks and 5 days. My fingers don’t even look that swollen, but I guess they are just puffy enough. The warmer, humid weather probably doesn’t help. Not being able to get my rings on was also the sign to take off my wedding ring (it had trouble coming off, but I got it) and put it on my necklace. So, for the first time since I was about 10 or so, I have no rings on my fingers. It’s weird. I even have ring tan lines.

In other news, I had a prenatal appointment at the Birthing Center yesterday. Blood pressure is good. Baby’s heart rate is good. Uterus was measuring at 32 weeks, which is strange since it was at 33 weeks when I was at 33 weeks. But the midwife felt for the baby and said that his head is down low, so that could account for it. She even said that if he’s really dropping, he could come a little early. I hope it’s not too early. Also, it seems like he’s turned around a bit as his butt and feet have switched places since the last appointment. Next week’s appointment (OMG, we’re at every week now!) will involve an ultrasound just to check on things. I’m really excited about it as it’ll be the first time that I’ve gotten to see him since 18.5 weeks. Darius wants to see if we can do one of those 3D ultrasounds, but truth be told they sort of freak me out.

Belly henna

Tonight my doula came over. We started off talking about labor positions, coaching, breathing, and stuff. It’s all good stuff to talk about. I feel so comfortable with her. She has this amazing upbeat positive energy that I’m really excited to have at my birth.

After our meeting, she hennaed my belly. It looks amazing! I’m so happy with it. I can’t wait to show it off to everyone.
Belly henna Belly henna Belly henna

The woods, the belly, and the moon

From Thursday night through this morning Darius and I were at a retreat at a local state park. As it has been every year we’ve gone, it was a mostly wonderful experience. I was smart this year and insisted that we sleep in the cabin close to the bathroom and also that we get a eggshell mattress topper for the bed that we were going to be constructing out of two mattresses on the floor. The latter helped me sleep and the former was great for when I had to get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom.

Most of the nights I actually slept through the night with almost no getting up. Last night was the exception. I went to bed “early” (around 11pm). Half woke up when Darius came into bed. Then around 1am I shot straight upright into a sitting position. I had a lot of gas in my chest and needed to burp like crazy. After getting a few burps out, I realized that of course I had to go to the bathroom. I pulled on my pj bottoms and my wrap sweater and went out into the night. After going to the bathroom I realized that I wasn’t ready to go back to bed yet. I still had the “I have to burp” feeling and so I hoped that walking around would help with that. Ambled a bit around the camp site and talked to a few people who were still up and about.

I ended up on the beginning of the ramp leading up to the cabin door, looking up at the one-night-away-from-full moon. I opened up my sweater at the bottoms so that the moonlight was hitting my belly (but it was hard to tell because of all the other light). Then I just started talking, first to the moon and then to my baby, all the while stroking or holding my belly. I asked him if he would wait until another cycle of the moon. I asked him if when the times comes for him to enter the world, if we could work together. I told him I loved him. I told him a great deal of other things, many of which I can’t remember now.

Before last night I was physically getting tired of being pregnant, as I am pretty sure I have Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction, however I was not mentally ready to have the baby. After last night, I know that I am ready (as ready as one can ever be) to have a child.

Unfortunately for the rest of the night I was somewhat restless and woke up in the morning in a great deal of pubic pain. :(

Before we left the state park, I got a friend of mine to take some pictures of me.
Belly at 35 weeks and 2 days Belly at 35 weeks and 2 days

The other thing I really valued this weekend was the sense of community, not just from my friends who were there but from other parents who were there with their children. The parents, even those I’d never met before, let me sit and talk with them and answered my questions and just generally made me feel welcome.

Decisions and reality

About a month ago, Darius and I met with R from Nurture My Child. She talked with us about different child care options and what we were looking for in terms of daycare. She then went out and did research, identified places that fit within our style and our budget and gave me a packet with information and pictures and things. I’m so fortunate that my work subsidizes this service because R has been great and it has been really been a load off of our mind to have someone look into things and ask questions that Darius and I would have no idea how to ask.

R identified 3 places for us to look at: an in-home, a Montessori, and a general play-based Day Care Center. Over the past week we looked at all of them.

We visited the in-home after all the children had left. It was nice and the director was nice and easy for us to get along with. I think both Darius and I wanted to like the place more than we did. It was also hard to really get a feel for it as there were no children there. I think I’d like to drop by unannounced sometime to see how the director and her assistant are with the children.

The Montessori school was amazing. It was clean and beautiful. The teachers were nice. We both really liked the lead teacher for the infants, whom we spent about 30 minutes talking to. It’s a 3-to-10 ratio teacher-to-student ratio for the infants.They split the infants into two different rooms by developmental age so the older more active ones aren’t in with the little ones. We were there early in the morning, so there was only one infant in the little baby room, but the slightly older baby room looked calm and everyone looked like they were having fun playing. Our only problems are that they don’t do sign language with the babies (but they’re thinking of implementing that based on parent request) and that all the children are in uniforms once they move into the two year old classroom or so. Neither one are total deal breakers and I think Darius and I like the place much more than we wanted to.

The generic Day Care Center was okay. It’s super close to our house, which is a plus. The ratio of teachers-to-students is higher than the Montessori (2-to-10). We visited in the afternoon and there were quite a few children crying…well, really there was one and that one was upsetting the others. The teachers already had their hands full with two other babies, so it was kind of stressful. The other infant classroom was quieter and we got a better vibe from it. Basically this place seems like a place we could leave our child, but it’s not our first choice. It seems like it’s a better place for older children.

All of that being said, we’ve decided to put in applications at all three places. That way if something happens and we can’t get into our top choice (the Montessori school), we still have two acceptable backups.

Yesterday we also interviewed two pediatricians that were recommended to us. The first one had a very neat waiting room with no visible toys for children to play with, which threw us as first, but we really really clicked with her. The second had a bright shiny office with tons of toys and exciting rooms, but we didn’t click with her at all. We have a few more recommendations, but we think that we’re just going to go with the doctor that we clicked so well with. If we end up not liking her, we can always switch to someone else later.

Yesterday evening we (finally) unpacked the travel system my father bought us a few months ago and the matching Pack and Play we got the other week. The Pack and Play took a little figuring out in terms of putting it all together, but we eventually got it. Then we took out the stroller & car seat. I was sitting on the floor fiddling with the car seat when I looked over at the stroller that Darius was setting up. The seat was up and ready for a child. All of a sudden I pictured a child sitting in the stroller and it hit me. We’re really having a baby. One day there’s going to be a child sitting in that seat and we’re going to be responsible for him. It was such an overwhelming moment, one that I really can’t describe. In just six weeks (give or take a few weeks on either side) we’re going to have a baby in our lives and he’s going to grow up to be a child. It’s insane and amazing and overwhelming and scary and so many other emotions I can’t put names to.

Lastly here are two pictures from the Renaissance Faire that Darius and I went to the other week:
Belly at 32 weeks 2 days Belly at 32 weeks 2 days

How old is Damien?
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