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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 placebo...to 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
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
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
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