week 40
Ultrasound pic: The baby at 18 weeks. It's looking over its shoulder. (We've decided to keep the gender a surprise.)

Heartbeat mp3 (21 weeks)

belly dimensions
11/4/03 44 inches
09/23/03: 39 inches
09/06/03: 38 inches
08/30/03: 37.5 inches

November 2003

October 2003

September 2003

email Jennifer


TUESDAY, December 23 10:13 p.m.

Introducing our baby. He was born after 12 hours of labor, and weighed 7 lbs. 13 oz. We are . . . how do you convey this joy?

MONDAY, December 22

Total disaster. At 10:30 a.m. Judy (our midwife) called and said the lab blew it. Apparently, my protein level was 1100 -- not 6. ??? I have a few hours to collect my things and then Aaron and I have to meet Judy and Melissa at UC hospital to be induced.

SUNDAY, December 21

More Christmas shopping. This time we checked out the Ferry Building Market where Aaron and I bought a box of local cheese for his boss. Dirk and Carola bought some free-range organic brisket and considered an olive tree; we all got plenty of free samples of cheese, chocolate, and japanese salads.

SATURDAY, December 20

Aaron and I focused on making his family's Christmas presents, which necessitated a trip to the Richmond district (Green Apple Books, a Russian deli, and a couple of Asian markets -- what could they be?). During dinner, the power went out all across the city, which made for an interesting ride home. Halfway back we pulled over and called to get the results from the lab -- I'm in great shape! Any protein levels under "100" is considered healthy -- and I'm a 6! I think that's officially considered "SUPER-healthy."

THURSDAY, December 18

Black Thursday.

I went in for my regular appointment and they discovered a "trace" of protein in my urine (sorry if that grosses anyone out), a possible sign of pre-eclampsia. They ran some tests on me to find out for sure -- I get the results back on Saturday.

WEDNESDAY, December 17

I've decided to opt out of the whole "labor" portion of pregnancy.

TUESDAY, December 16

My ankles are now officially gargantuan. They look like weird hybrids.

MONDAY, December 15

Well, it was an interesting weekend. Saturday was our last pregnancy class -- "Care of Mom and Baby" -- and it was a REAL bummer. I thought it was going to be all about how the mom (that's me) should rest and relax with the baby while the dad brings her her favorite treats, watches her favorite movies with her, maybe brings her a cute post-pregnancy outfit from Anthropologie. Instead it was all pain, tearing, ice packs, temperature taking, babies in danger, fainting all over the place, and other weird side effects. I mean, I knew there would be a recovery period, but I thought it would last maybe 72 hours max. Six weeks!@!@#@! And I was all excited about labor because I thought it meant I would finally have my body (and face, and ankles) back. The naivete . . . so pathetic.

Sunday, however, was our "Oh my god, the baby's coming in two weeks!" winter cocktail party. And it turned out to be super-fun. Emi, Abby and Carola did an amazing job of organizing everything (Thanks, guys!) and Carola and Dirk were wonderful hosts. We asked for everybody to bring their favorite childhood story instead of a gift, and received lots of excellent books. We also played the old pin-the-genitals-on-the-baby (looks like we're having a girl) and had lots of excellent snacks and beverages.

FRIDAY, December 12

Like many of my finest ideas, the "gift parade" somehow didn't work out. Shockingly, Aaron wasn't that thrilled with the idea. He also reminded me that we had to stop by Kragen Auto Parts, and what was I going to pick out there? But it was still a nice day. We went Christmas shopping in Berkeley, had lunch at Picante, and ended up with two new Christmas ornaments, a rug for the baby's room, and a pair of pants for Aaron.

However, I did go to Mitchell's and, as suspected, got a Mexican Chocolate cone. Delicious.

THURSDAY, December 11

Well, it's been a great birthday week so far. I just got back from an appointment with our midwife, and it was our best so far! She seemed v. pleased that I was taking all the vitamins she gave me last week (I had to lie about that; they're way too disgusting) and that we had contacted our pediatrician, Dr. Quock (I didn't mention that we had left a message with him from the parking lot of Sage Femme). The baby's in great shape, has dropped a centimeter, and is smaller than she thought last week -- around 6.5 lbs. Aaron's mom Chris called later to tell me she had a dream that we had a little girl and named her Perry! (Perry . . . Barry.)

In birthday news, Aaron's dad sent me a gorgeous bouquet of flowers (Thanks, Dave, they are beautiful!), and I'm changing back to my original birthday plan -- Berkeley. (I forgot that on Saturday we have a class.) And I have a great idea: it's called "Jennifer's Gift Parade." Whatever store we go into, I will pick out one gift -- and that can even include stores like Mitchell's Ice Cream (where I suspect I will pick out a single cone of Mexican chocolate) or Happy Donuts (where I suspect I will pick out a crueller for breakfast tomorrow). I will run this idea by Aaron.

The best gift, of course, is Aaron taking the day off to go Christmas shopping with me.

WEDNESDAY, December 10

Am I crazy? I'm changing my whole birthday plan around. I can't believe I almost missed my last chance to see the Steinhardt Aquarium before it shuts down for four years! Also, I forgot I have yoga Friday mornings. So now it's yoga, off to the Steinhardt, followed by a visit to the new Conservatory of Flowers (as long as we're in G. G. Park), then spending the rest of the afternoon in the Richmond (Green Apple, vietnamese food).

Then on Saturday I'll do my whole Berkeley plan.

Also, I broke down and am doing something I swore I would never do: today I am wearing chenille. At least it's black, but I'm still pretty sure you can tell it's chenille. I'm also not feeling very labor-y. Maybe it comes on you all quick-like. More on this later.

TUESDAY, December 9

These last few weeks of waiting are a killer. However, it's my birthday week, which should break things up nicely. Yes, on Friday, I turn the big 2-9. Luckily for Aaron, I like to plan my own birthday. (He, on the other hand, likes to be surprised, which never makes sense to me -- only you can know your most favorite things to do. Plus, it puts all this agonizing pressure on the one who has to do the planning.) So far for Friday I'm thinking breakfast at Cafe Fanny in Berkeley, shopping for ornaments at my favorite Christmas store (Juniper Tree, also in Berkeley), and perhaps a matinee of "The Last Samurai." That's as far as I've gotten.

And the bad news is: I finally ran out of belly oil. With only three weeks to go -- I can't believe it! I had to switch to a German product -- hopefully this "Dr." Haushka knows what he's doing.

MONDAY, December 8

And then there was one . . . ME. I'm the only one left from our pregnancy class who hasn't gone into labor yet. (Not surprising, since our due date is at least three weeks after everybody else's. Still, I'm feeling some pressure.) Deborah just gave birth to a 6-lb. baby boy this morning at 6:40 this morning, after five hours of labor. I'm so happy for her! She was getting pretty anxious about not being able to deliver at the birth center (after 42 weeks you have to transfer to the hospital), and all week had been trying different methods of natural induction: blue/black cohosh, cottonroot, oil of evening primrose, pregnancy tea, castor oil ("not bad if chased with a lot of OJ"), meditation, visualization, acupuncture ("four stupid needles that didn't hurt but are far from my idea of say the least"), lots of long walks and a massage. But something worked! And five hours of labor -- CHA-Ching! (Oh, please, oh, please. . .)

Since I'm no good at meditation or visualization, and not that into homeopathy, maybe tonight I will ask Aaron to squeeze my ankle. According to our couple pre-natal yoga class, that's a potent accupressure point. Sorry to anyone who bet I was going to have the baby after our due date -- squeezing my ankle is sure to work.

THURSDAY, December 4

Well, this is it -- we're officially full-term. (That's 37 weeks, different than our due date, which is still Christmas Day.) Theoretically, I could go into labor AT ANY MOMENT! According to our midwife, the baby is in a good position (way to go baby) and her/his head is "engaged" (sounds kind of Star Trek). And I'm feeling pretty ready for it -- a little scared, but ready. Aaron's cell phone is on and charged. Thanks to the shower, we have lots of little blankets, little clothes and a car seat (not installed). We do not have a camera or any of the stuff we're supposed to bring to the birth center -- hopefully I will go into labor during business hours.

TUESDAY, December 2

And then there were TWO. I just got an email from Paul (Josie's husband) and Josie went into labor at 3:30 this morning. All the midwives came over, and little Beet was born at 7:20 a.m. That's one fast labor! (Oh please, oh please . . .) Paul already sent pictures, and she is really perfect looking. Plus, how cute a name is Beet?! First Duncan, now Beet -- the people in our class are setting the cool name-bar really high.

I heard Val delivered her baby, too, but no word on the details yet. Deborah and I are meeting for chai + a walk up to Glen Park later this afternoon, so I think I will know more then. This is so exciting!

LATER: So it turns out that Val delivered a little boy just one hour after Josie (and after 40 hours of labor). His name is Jonah Elan Tate, and he weighed almost 9 pounds! Also it turns out that Lindsay gave birth to a girl after a super-short, intense labor: Nitara Laughlin, who weighed 7 lbs. and was 20 inches long.

This is what Ann Marie had to say about labor: "I'll be honest with you. It sucks, but it is the best thing ever ever ever."

MONDAY, December 1

LABOR ALERT! Nope, not mine. Val from our pregnancy class is officially in labor and the contractions are six minutes apart as of 1:00 this afternoon. Congratulations, Val and Clark!

And then there were three: only Josie, me and Deborah are left.