Saturday, September 15, 2012

Ben and Jerry's Day

September 15 is a very special day in our home. It is what we have dubbed Ben and Jerry's Day. Why have we made it an ode to that yummy ice cream concoction?

Sixteen years ago today, this guy and this girl who had a friendship blossom over the Internet and on the phone suddenly found themselves sitting on the Santa Monica Pier together, talking over two pints of Ben and Jerry's ice cream. It was sunset and the day that had gone before this moment could not have been more perfect. There was something special between these two. After nonstop talking and sharing, there was silence and he broke it with a sincere and lovely question.

"Can I kiss you?"

"Not yet."

Of course, he never would have ask if he thought the answer was no (and he told her so). But, she assured just didn't seem quite right yet. Fast forward to her garage after driving home. That is when she let him kiss her. And, she had never felt warmth and love like this. She felt like she had truly arrived at a place called home. He would share the same sentiment with her while serenading her one evening with the song, "Home" by Depeche Mode.

Since that day, my life has been blessed in amazing ways. I have shared so many adventures and special moments with the man who truly is my other half. Yes, we have had our share of rocky moments (who doesn't?) and incredible obstacles (my sweet has survived cancer three times), but what matters most is that we always come back to each other, we look to each other for strength, growing more in love with one another every time.

As we wait for our Baby Dragon to arrive, this year's celebration seems that much sweeter. Who could've imagined that those two from the pier would be expecting a child?

I know that Ryan is going to be an amazing father. He has been a wonderful partner, loving husband, incredible best friend and a support unlike any other during the pregnancy. This blog post is dedicated to the kindest, sweetest, smartest, funniest man I have ever known. We have so many more adventures to come and we will have someone new with whom to share them.

p.s. Yes, today would be a pretty perfect day to have the baby. We will see what the day holds. No matter what, the day will end with a guy and a girl sharing a pint of Ben and Jerry's ice cream. It's sitting in the freezer. And, I know you want to know the flavor - New York Super Fudge Chunk. It's the ice cream we were eating on the pier.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

I Surrender

For the last week, I have been working from home and waiting for the baby to start that chemical chain reaction that we commonly call, labor. With me being at 39 weeks, I have also learned to surrender a bit of my independence.

If you read the last couple of blogs, you will know the baby is sitting pretty low, in the head-down position. And, I have been dilated and effaced for the last two weeks. This Tuesday, I was told that my cervix had thinned even more and I had dilated another centimeter. I am now dilated to 4 centimeters, almost half of what is needed to deliver, without pain or strong contractions. I impressed the heck out of the doctor. But, these developments have meant a bit of surrender on my part (it's been difficult for this indepedent lady).

First thing to surrender - driving my manual shift car. With the baby so low, it is not comfortable to drive a stick shift car. Anyone who has a manual, put a small ball between your thighs and try driving. Yeah, it's like that. I have now become a bit dependent on others to give me a ride to get out of the house or run errands. Big thank you to my two awesome parents for shuttling me a couple of times in the last week.

Surrender number two - the ability to move freely. I have a small watermelon in my belly, and although I can still make it at my yoga class, it is near impossible to lean forward. Dropping something on the floor or even just putting lotion on my feet becomes a strange contortion routine. Thank goodness, yoga has made my legs and core strong enough I can squat all the way down to the floor with confidence (this is how I am able to pick up most things from the floor).

Surrender number three -- the ability to work in the office. As I mentioned, I have been working from home. The discomfort of the baby makes it difficult to work in the office (see the next surrender). The commute and the distance from work to home is also a concern when considering I could go into labor at any time. It was the doctor at work who told me...don't come into the office if you are dilated 3 centimeters. I also need the flexibility to rest when needed. Carrying around seven pounds of baby in my abdomen is exhausting at the end of the day. It also gives me peace of mind to know my husband is only 15 minutes away from the house and the hospital is only ten minutes away.

Surrender number four - sitting in a chair with a hard surface. Yes, a baby's head is lodged low in my pelvis, sitting in a chair is very uncomfortable. Thank goodness for the wonderful invention that we call a stability ball - a large ball to sit on for core exercises. This ball has been my friend throughout pregnancy, but never more so now than when I need to sit down for a while. It has become my new work chair.

Surrender number five - the freedom to just do whatever chore I desire to do around the house. Without the commute in the morning and afternoon, I am able to get a few more things done around the house before and after putting in a full day of work. However, what I am able to do is greatly limited. I have done a lot of laundry, vacuuming and dusting. But, I can't answer that itch that wants to pull the weeds in the front yard that have sprung up since it rained. I can't start moving heavy boxes around in my art room in order to do further organizing. I can't lug the carpet cleaner out. I am sticking to light activity chores and sucking it up on the other stuff.

I know that many dream of being a princess in a castle, being waited on. I was never one of those who had that dream; I am always on the go, keeping busy. I like the feeling of accomplishment when I have completed something. I like the ache that comes from doing a day's work around the house.

I have been humbled in the last week, keeping my pride and independence in check while I wait for the baby to make its way into the world. Baby Dragon, for you, I surrender.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Lady in Waiting (or, Ticking Time Bomb)

This morning was my weekly appointment with my OB/GYN. It was time to see how far I had progressed toward the baby's arrival. I was anxious to hear what she discovered, given the news last week.

Last week, I was 80% effaced and one centimeter dilated (the measurement of the cervix opening). What does this mean? My cervix had thinned out (the cervix is 100% effaced when a woman delivers a baby)and was preparing for the big moment.

This week, my cervix was still very soft and thinned out and I was dilated to nearly three centimeters. For those of you who have had a child, you know that three centimeters is generally to where a woman progresses during the first phase of labor. The doctor described me as a ticking time bomb...I could go into labor at anytime.

Her description certainly put it all into perspective for me. They always tell you that you go into labor when the baby is ready, but it really sank in for me today. This is not something I can plan around. This is not something I can put on my schedule. It brings to mind an image of me sitting in a plane, door open, waiting for my turn to skydive into the blue when I get the signal.

My contractions could become rythmic and strong, sending me into labor, within in a few minutes of posting this blog or two days from now.

This is one of those moments in my life when I realize, I have no control over nature. Kind of like being pulled under by a wave while swimming in the ocean. You can try and fight it all you want, but you need to wait until the wave passes to swim to the surface. Ride it out. And, that is what I am doing today.

I worked from home a bit to see what my body would tell me. It is telling me that the baby is certainly coming and my body is getting ready. It is also telling me that I am a lady in waiting and I need to deal with it.

I am excited and also filled with a bit of anxiety -- the little one we have been waiting for these nine months is going to be here very soon. Very soon! I cannot wait to see my son or daughter for the first time. Anxiety comes into play when I think of how I will deal with labor. I have gone to classes and prepared myself, but just like jumping out of a plane, you never know what to expect when you get out there. Thank goodness I have a wonderful partner to help me along.

We are almost to the next leg of our new journey. But, in the meantime, I am dealing with the fact that I am either a mild mannered lady in waiting, looking out to the future with anticipation and a smile, or a ticking time bomb that is about to jump into the next phase of my pregnancy.

I would like to think that perhaps I am a mixture of both -- a Jane Austen character ready for adventure and the unknown with zeal, but we will see when the time actually arrives.

I will be sure to keep everyone posted.

p.s. The mystery was solved and we now know the wonderful couple who gave us the high chair last week. The thank you card is already on the way.