So, the nursing has improved. Not as painful as before. I'm also feeling a lot more confident that he is getting enough, which encourages me to keep going. I'm a breastfeeding mama. Hurrah!

My hormones, and perhaps lack of sleep, are making me an emotional mess. For the first few days I woke up, showered, and put on a dab of eye makeup just like I always have. Now I'm skipping the makeup because it's all cried off by mid-morning anyway. I cry sometimes just looking at Theo and marveling at his beauty. Other times I watch Nate and Simon playing and I well up, first because it's so sweet to watch them play and then because I can't join in. I am feeling a little isolated, as my only two activities are nursing and sleeping. I miss my boys even though I see them all the time. Simon especially. I feel like I am seeing him from a distance. I can't get as close as I want to, and it's tearing up my hormone-ridden heart. Other things that make me cry: trying to decide between conflicting advice in parenting books, watching Simon give Theo sweet little kisses, and the last 10 minutes of Grey's Anatomy, even though I 've never seen the show before and had no previous attachment to the characters.

I am really thankful to have a handful of friends who have recently had babies and can give me advice and reassurance. I didn't really have that last time. Abbie, Angela, Janna, and even my sister are helping me out immensely. What they might think are a few quick typed words are becoming the bread of life to me. I know it's my second time and all, but I can't remember ever feeling so unsure of myself. So it helps to get encouragement/ideas from other mommies. Janna shed some light on my hormonal situation: "I cried and cried too. Maybe with Simon your hormones weren't in the same place that they got to this time. This time they got ramped up enough to orchestrate labor and that's pretty damn ramped up." That totally makes sense, but I never would've figured that out myself.

Today Simon gets to go to the aquarium with Grandma Debbie. I have to admit, I'm jealous. But I'm glad he's getting special attention. He's been through a lot too.


It's such a shame that the euphoric experience of giving birth in my own bathtub has to be followed by the toe-curling pain of learning to breastfeed. Pushing a seven pound mass out of a 10 cm orifice seems like a cakewalk compared to having a small creature chomp on my raw nipples for half an hour. For one thing, I knew that the pain of labor was going to end at some point. This new pain repeats itself every 3 hours.

I feel bad that my first post after the birth (other than those gorgeous pictures! can you believe how beautiful he is?! gasp!!) is so negative. What can I say? This nursing thing is really, really difficult for me right now. I keep telling myself it's only day 3, and that it will get better. This bring me some measure of comfort, but then I remember that the common time frame given to struggling nursing mothers is 2 weeks. "Give it two weeks," says every expert. And from this vantage point, 2 weeks seems like a loooooooooooonnnnnnnnnnnngggggggggggggg time. I will keep going, though, because after such an awesome birth, I refuse to succumb to the same failure to breastfeed that I experienced last time.

Let me also just say that you can expect the quality of writing in this here blog to go down for a while. Not that the writing was ever great, but any degree of clarity that once existed may be replaced by late-night or wee-morning ramblings such as this one. My brain is melting. It's true.

Finally, thanks, everyone, for your good thoughts and well wishes. I want to see you all soon, but I think it's best to hold off on accepting visitors until I have a little better handle on the nursing. It's for your own good. If you come now, you're at risk of seeing me walk around with my hands constantly on my tender breasts, looking forlorn and on the verge of tears. So, let's wait a bit, shall we? Can't wait for you all to see this guy. He is beautiful. Worth every bit of every complaint I'll be making here.


 Posted by Picasa
 Posted by Picasa
 Posted by Picasa
 Posted by Picasa
 Posted by Picasa


Laura gave birth this morning at 1 a.m.
labor was quick and everyone is healthy.
7.5 lbs.


testing, testing...

So I guess my body was just doing a little warm-up. Contractions pretty regularly for almost 4 hours, then they petered out and now I'm feeling next to nothing. A little disappointing, but who am I to question the natural progression of my labor? We'll just wait some more, that's all.

We still had a nice day, though. Nate and I took a walk while Beth stayed with Simon (thanks again!). He bought a new popcorn popper at Walgreen's. The cashier was strangely ecstatic to see him buying said airpopper because, as he informed us, the butter in microwave popcorn causes cancer. Little does he know that no popcorn will see the inside of that popper. Nate will use it to roast coffee. Did you all know that he roasts his own coffee now??? Crazy. You should all come over and try it sometime. I don't drink coffee, but I hear this stuff is mighty good.

Sorry for the false alarm, everyone, and thanks for your good wishes. Stay tuned....

39 Weeks Today.... Is this it???

Hello, all.

Started having some contractions while I swam at the YMCA this morning. They have continued for the past three hours. They are not very strong, but I think they are fairly regular. I'm cautiously optimistic that this could be it, but still not sure. It could be some kind of warm-up session.

I hope the next thing I post will be a picture of my baby. We'll see....


Due Date Countdown: Eight Days

Last night was a bit of a bust, in that the Summer Dance was cancelled due to rain. We still went downtown, though, and had dinner in the park. It was lovely. Simon was monumentally exhausted when we got home. We brushed his teeth and put on his pj's while he was sound asleep.

I wanted to show you one of the projects I've been working on to stay occupied and keep my mind off the slow march of time. Here is a chair I painted and decoupaged. The image on the seat was given to me by Paul. I plan to sell this chair at my church's bazaar this fall. Those peace-nics will eat this shit up. I have several more chairs in the basement waiting to be beautified. I hope I can find some time to work on them after the baby is born; selling these dudes at the bazaar is how I intend to fund my next tattoo.

So far both of the chairs I've painted (I finished another one last week but didn't take a picture before putting it in the basement) have shared the peace theme. I'm directly pandering to the crowd at my church. Is that a dirty trick? Maybe, but I really want my tattoo. And, I don't think exploiting a love of peace is the worst thing I could ever do. At least I'm not covering these little kids' chairs with guns and then hawking them at the Renegade Craft Fair. Because you can believe that the crowd there would fall for that as readily as my fellow church-goers will fall for the peace motif.

I'm not going to start another chair now. I'm telling myself that I wouldn't have time to finish it before I go into labor. I really hope I'm right.


Due Date Countdown: Nine Days

Not much to say, just felt like I should post something.

These days I sometimes find myself moaning with impatience, but for the most part I've been able to come to terms with the fact that this baby is NEVER COMING OUT. There is nothing going on down there. Not one twinge, not one squeeze, not one trickle of unusual fluid. Nate thoughtfully pointed out that if, nine months ago, someone had told me that I would carry this baby to my due date, I would have been thrilled. To which I could only say, you are right, and shut up.

Tonight we are heading over to Grant Park for the summer dance festival. I think it's supposed to be jazz and swing. Of course there will be no dancing done by me, but I'm looking forward to a little outing. I think Simon will have fun watching the action. Anyone want to join us? Give us a ring.

That's all for now.


I'm back by request. A specific request, which was to make a list of what I've been listening to lately. Here's a list of five w/a few notes:

1. Filastine

Filastine is beats, noise, and melody without borders. In this negative review from PopMatters the reviewer actually manages to get to the heart of what is good about Filastine's music:
Burn It is a humanist sort of protest album, one based in the sounds and experiences people live with. It also is a rather mellow one, too much so for an album that should get you riled up, make you want to tour the world and try to change it for the better.

Precisely the point. Filastine's music has a protest element to it, but it's not dripping with anger, beating you into submission so as to assimilate you into their own viewpoint. It's too smart for that. Their music is precisely because it breaks down all the normal borders that sit between experimental and popular styles.

2. Electronic "Getting Away With It"

Did you know Johnny Marr from The Smiths, Bernard Summer from New Order, and Neil Tennant from the Pet Shop Boys did a song together. I didn't. I know this was a big single, I definitely recognized it when I downloaded it the other day, but no wonder it's so damn good.

3. Spank Rock

People have been on this for a long time now, so I won't try to add too much. Spank Rock is a rapper and he's teamed up with some damn good producers, and they make hot shit. Booty/Baltimore Club/Bass music for people who dig cowbell and mildly abstract lyrics.

4. Jibbs "Chain Hang Low"

One of my favorite songs right now. Chorus is sung to the melody of "Do Your Ears Hang Low", sung by a bunch of kids, but the lyrics are different. They go like this:

Do your chain hang low
does it wobble to the floor
does it shine in the light
is it platinum, is it gold
can you throw it over your shoulder
if yr hot it makes you cold
do your chain... hang... low?

Not much to add to that.

5. Dubstep

Like grime but instrumental and pretty much not danceable at all. If the words/phrases breakcore, microhouse, IDM, and, well, grime for that matter... if those don't ring any bells I wouldn't fuck with this because this is on some electronic music geek shit, and really no one needs to be wasting their time listening to this flavor of the month shit other than us nerds. Believe me, you'll be a better person for it.


Waiting, just waiting.....

Jewel (the midwife, you'll remember) came over yesterday for a home visit. She scoped out our place, made sure we have all the supplies we need, and checked on my blood pressure and the baby's heartbeat. Everything looks good.

On Tuesday I will be 38 weeks. It feels amazing to have made it this far, but now I am ready. Ready to go. Any time now... Last time things happened so suddenly that I never got to this waiting stage. I'm trying to stay busy with small projects, things I wouldn't mind putting aside if necessary. Also this weekend we have several events, so that's good. Anything to keep me occupied is a helpful ally against my bubbling impatience.

I'll keep you all posted, of course.


A Little Mom-Approved Naughtiness

This might be terrible parenting, but I am always thrilled when Simon discovers something he thinks will be a naughty activity but really isn't. It gives him the opportunity to be a little ornery, thinking I will soon chase him and wag my finger, but in reality I don't give a shit.

For example, today he found a roll of contact paper that I was planning to throw away in the near future. He had a bang up time unrolling it and running around the apartment dragging it behind him. Poor kid was trying so hard to be bad, but actually it was just good clean fun.

Have a Little Faith

It's alarming to realize how quickly your spirits can be crushed, your hopes deflated and lying lifeless on the ground, just a pile of spit-filled rubber waiting for some child or duck to come along and choke to death. This weekend I experienced about 24 hours of despair, as I watched my feet and ankles swell and could not seem to stop myself from thinking, "This is it. It's over."

Last time, hugely swollen feet were the reason I first went into the hospital. Once there, I was diagnosed preeclamptic and things very quickly moved in a scary direction. So, this time, even though swollen feet are completely common at the end of pregnancy, I assumed that it meant my blood pressure was up, and that I would have to be induced soon.

It would have been okay, I know. Certainly it would have been better than last time, since I am much better prepared this time around. Still, I mourned the loss of my homebirth dream. I think I was also pissed that I had worked so hard to keep my bp under control, and it apparently hadn't made a difference.

When I went in for my 36 week appointment on Tuesday, I had resigned myself to the idea that the news would be bad. My blood pressure would be soaring, I would be put on bedrest, and then induced shortly thereafter.

But I was wrong. Everything was okay. My feet are swollen because I am a normal woman having a normal pregnancy. Midwife Jewel seemed very confident that I would be fine, and that a homebirth is in my future. I was completely bolstered by this news. On Tuesday I'll be 37 weeks, and if I go into labor any time after that, they'll deliver me at home. Yea!

I can't believe how much I'm looking forward to birthing this baby. A younger version of myself would've seen this as crazy. I was always terrified of childbirth. But now I can't wait! I can't wait to work through the pain, to see how strong I can be, to totally let myself go into a primal birthing trance. God, when did I turn into such a hippie?

I think maybe I owe my body or the universe an apology for having lost faith so quickly this weekend. Right now, my sausage-y swollen feet have never looked so beautiful.