Thursday, December 31, 2009

our bundle of joy - 1 month already!

in 5 days, luna will be 1 month old.

fastest month of my life. the days all blur together into one really long one....and the beauty of all the moments shared with the man i love and the baby we created fill me up. it's still hard to believe i'm a mama..and yet, as i sit here typing this with luna fast asleep on my chest, it's hard to imagine life any other way.

she has already changed so much in the 26 days of her little life. physically, luna's hair is turning lighter (and more plentiful), as her skin turns darker. she is putting on weight like a champ, she has already outgrown some of her newborn clothes! i feel so good about our relationship to has come quite naturally to us (and i know that's not always the case). and, i'm relieved that the once daunting task of cutting tiny little fingernails is a breeze, because they grow SO FAST!

we've also seen loads of developmental growth:

luna tracks objects with her eyes.
she has started to coo..... so cute!
she responds to voices by turning her head in that direction
she's making lots of new expressions - which makes us laugh!
and, luna definitely shows a preference for music - she really loves it!

we had a little battle with what we were afraid was colic for about a week - but it seems to have gone away completely...thank goodness! and, for the last two days, luna has decided she likes to sleep at night, and stay awake more during the day!! we can only hope this trend continues...

oh, she is so beautiful, our little moon child. it's hard to believe that luna can get any cuter, or make us any happier...yet, every day she does just that.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

beautiful luna

well...she didn't come with the rain, but she did come with a cold wind (brrrr...20 degrees is cold for portland). it carried her right into our waiting arms, and we feel so blessed!

december 5, 2009 we welcomed our baby GIRL into our world. there were many beautiful experiences and discoveries that day, and in the days following, and having a daughter (and not a son, like we expected) was just one of them. and it feels wonderful and true. we have a daughter..we are mama and papa....we can't stop looking at her and holding her and kissing her...and feeling like the luckiest people on the planet....totally blissed out.

and that wind that accompanied her...well, we've been able to avoid it and the cold (and the predicted ice storm today)....and snuggle inside, in bed, the three of way it should be. so blessed.

we named her on the third day after her birth. her name is luna. it is so fitting, she embodies that energy that i feel with the moon...she is a special being...i feel that. we are so proud. we are so happy. we are so in love. and, yes, so blessed.

today she is 1 week old...the time has flown by - but the stillness remains...and we are taking it in and enjoying it. soon i will share our birth story...for today i will simply share our happiness and our luna.

Friday, December 4, 2009

the wait continues.....or does it?

so, i think i can safely say things are interesting....maybe this is a sign of impending labor?? ah, one can only hope.

last night i got a headache. i don't get headaches...ever. but, last night i got one while laying in bed. it was uncomfortable..but i was exhausted - and i fell asleep...i did wake to painful contractions a few times - but i fell right back asleep after each one. now it's 4:30pm....guess what? i have a headache again. what is this, if not related to the pregnancy? perhaps my blood pressure is up? i know many women experience a rise in BP when labor is starting... then again, more probable, and what i'm more inclined to believe, is that it's just a headache.. nothing more.

i'm waiting for a friend to come over now. she is going to give me my first official induction via acupuncture. i would do it myself, but the points are hard to reach - and the treatment is not really effective unless i use those points. so, we'll see what happens. i have to say, i'm really torn over this. i give induction treatments to women in my clinic all the time - always telling them (and i fully believe this) that it won't work unless the baby is ready to come - although, i must say, my success rate is enormously high. with that said, when it comes to myself, i hesitate in inducing. i feel i am somehow gypping my baby out of his right to precious time in my womb...even though i believe the treatment will not have any effect on me or the babe unless the time is right for both of us. still....
another part of me is ready to get this show on the road. it's getting more difficult to cope in this undefined space...not quite a mother...not quite my old self...just waiting for the next chapter. if this little one is ready, and just needs a nudge, i think it's time to give him one. we may all be better for it. then again, if this nudge fails to progress labor, my babe will be free to bake in my womb a bit longer..and, i'll leave his delivery date up to him (within reason, of course).

the house we are renting was recently put on the market. tomorrow the landlords are coming by to show the place - so febri, myself and our pooch are heading out for a morning walk and most likely a cup of coffee. originally we thought we may be moving out of the country before the house sells...however, those plans have been put on hold. then, we thought it would be months before any real interest in the house was shown...last week..that's when it went on the market - 1 week, and already someone interested enough to view the basement apartment (which we rent). we are becoming more aware that we may be forced to move in less than two months...with a newborn...ayeeeee! also, we have the added difficulty of finding a rental that accepts large dogs, and that will provide us with a short-term lease (which permits us to leave the country should our plans change). whew.... i keep telling myself to focus on one thing at a time...and, first thing's first - let's have this baby!

Thursday, December 3, 2009


here are photos of the belly cast - for those of you interested. we are still going to gesso (to make it a little stronger), and put a finish on it. not sure what yet...
anyway, we think it makes a lovely fruit bowl...

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

still waiting...

so, the big "due date" is tomorrow. throughout this entire pregnancy, i've been content to only use that date as an estimate...give or take a couple weeks....however, now that we're so close, it's hard to not give it more credit. and, as the days go by, it gets harder and harder to patiently wait. my mom had both my brother and i on our due dates. maybe its genetic... :)
however - it's now 9:30pm, and it's been a while since i've felt a, it doesn't look promising...but, you never know what could happen overnight....

over the last week, we've had 3 false alarms..each one growing in intensity. the latest was 2 nights ago when contractions - actual painful contractions - woke me from sleep and continued as i tossed and turned - unable to get comfortable as each one jolted me... i considered this time it might actually be the start of labor - and, if so, i should at least try to sleep a bit (it was only 2am). so, i eventually fell asleep - only to awake later to mere mild tightenings...
we saw the midwife yesterday - she informed us that "there are usually about 3 false labors before the real thing in first time moms"... so, the next one must be it! :)
the good in these false alarms is that they've allowed us to become more prepared for the real deal. for example - we discovered we are unable to adjust the water heater...bummer! we had planned to turn the heat all the way up to make filling the birthing pool more effective. however, now we've changed plans and we've been gathering large pots in order to boil water on the stove. this may be a little more spotty when the big day comes, least we're prepared!

last week we were at the market picking up a few things. a lady kept popping up in the isle beside me smiling. hmmm....ok.......
finally she commented on how great i look.
"really", she insisted, "you look great"...
i thanked her again and proceeded with my shopping....
she continued: "you'll do wonderful"..."don't worry, when you think you can't, just remember the long line of women you're following, and you'll pull through".... "it will be so beautiful, this your first?"
yes, i say.
she went on to inform me that she *used* to be a homebirth midwife...and then told me a few more times how great i am, and how great it will be....
both appreciative of her kind words and wanting to run and hide, i searched the store for febri - he always misses these things!

it's funny what people say to pregnant women. i've had quite a few interesting conversations with people who would probably have never spoken to me had my belly not been protruding so far from the rest of me. luckily, my interactions with the public have not included those who like to handle the bump... that would NOT be ok. i feel for all the women who go through those unfortunate experiences.
a little while ago, i was downtown sitting on a park bench, waiting for febri. an old mexican woman came and sat beside me. after a little bit, she commented on the fact that i was pregnant. yes.... she went on the tell me that i would deliver the baby "tomorrow"... she knew this because she had mothered 7 children, and apparently, that had given her the gift of predicting birth-dates. after sharing this pearl of wisdom, she excused herself, and continued on her way.... hmmm...

so here i sit, with tomorrow looming over me....anxious... what will the next 24 hours bring??

Friday, November 27, 2009

come rain, come baby

rain has become a regular guest, as seems to be the norm here in the pacific northwest this time of the year. the other day, as i was walking with namaali (our 100lb malamute mix), the wind blew fallen leaves and the rain fell lightly...and it was so beautiful...and i thought to myself "what a perfect day to welcome our little one". of course, our 'little one' didn't feel the same, as he still sits in my womb as i type this...and, that's ok. what's nice though, is that i thought about having a baby during this season, and about how right that feels... to be locked away in our warm, dry little nest getting to know each other as a new family....ahh..the thought of that is so wonderful. baked food and warm candles, blankets, snuggling, staying close...and having the *best* reason to not go out into the cold rain. and, i feel lucky that we found this home (we just moved here in august)...a great home to welcome our babe.. tucked away in the corner of a quiet neighborhood...secluded, yet still in the city... landlords who support our choices - just this morning they stopped over with a gift for the baby - an organic sleeper set ... so sweet....
we feel blessed

today i am only 6 days from my due date. i have been sending my thoughts and words to my babe, telling him we are ready for him - whenever he is ready to come. so far, it seems he is more than happy to chill where he is. i'm not feeling pushy - in fact, i'm enjoying these last few days feeling this amazing closeness to my baby. taking in each moment...the little kicks and movements, my own embrace of my belly like it's never been before, the anticipation of labor...of seizing this new, extraordinary experience...and then, becoming a mother. i'm relishing these last days - as 'jennifer' - before adorning myself with the title 'mama' - of alone time, of quiet time with febri..just us, ....looking forward to the coming experience, but resisting the feeling of want to kick start the inevitable process.

we will wait, and breathe, and give thanks. and one day, very soon...maybe with the rain...will come our special gift - and we will rejoice...and love..and a new journey will begin.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

the waiting game

38 weeks today. Woohoo!

For the last 3 weeks, we have been preparing for the arrival of this baby "any day now" (as we've been telling people when asked). At this point, officially 9 1/2 months into pregnancy, I'm finally feeling ready to meet this little person we're bringing into the world. I have to say, Mother Nature planned human gestation just couples months to accept and fully acknowledge the "pregnancy" part of things..and become comfortable with the idea...only to then realize that it's just a few weeks (what!?) before a baby - an actual live baby - is here. Any longer though, and the amazing woman - in all her capacity of carrying this growing child - would be completely burnt out on the whole "pregnancy" thing. And, once you've accepted the "baby is coming any day now", it really does become like christmas eve as a child...feeling you just can't wait to open the gifts...stealing peaks, or shaking the presents when no one is watching.
And that's what it's like...not for us, per say - but I do think of all the mama's and papa's to be who get one more ultrasound (taking a peek), and mama's who repeatedly have their cervix checked (shaking the box perhaps??)... The persistent wonder of how far along we are...are we making progress...the big question, and it's million dollar answer - "when will this baby be here?"... Who can blame parents to be - what bigger gift in life than the arrival of your baby?

I'm happy that Febri and I have chosen such a natural journey through pregnancy. I feel it's made things easier along the way - it's certainly narrowed down choices and expenses, and I think it's kept our focus on the baby and our trust in the process. And it's been a really beautiful experience..and the best part is yet to come!

Over the last 3 weeks, we've prepared the house for birth..making many so called "last" runs to the store before baby - to pick up supplies we forgot on the previous "last" trip. We're feeling set now - with birthing pool, receiving blankets, mood lighting, and birth blanket - among other countless supplies. We sewed some beautiful fabric to wrap the placenta in in the days following the birth, until the baby and placenta naturally separate from each other. We even made a play-list for the labor..and walked through a labor "fire-drill" - so Febri could feel more comfortable when the real thing happens. We completed the belly cast - which is still drying, but has so far turned out beautifully. And we, thank goodness, adore our maternity photos - including the one above...

We're ready little one...and now, we've begun to play the waiting game.

Friday, October 30, 2009

hold on, here we go!

so...i'm pregnant. and, i feel very pregnant. i guess i am very least according to some people. i'm now 35 weeks - that's only 2 weeks from full term - 13 days actually, but who's counting? i wouldn't mind all the very pregnant symptoms if only we were already past the 37 week point. i don't want to have this little bambino in a hospital...and week 37 is the earliest my midwives will perform a home-birth. so, here we are...counting the days...and i'm trying to stay off my feet as much as possible while we do.

this week my friends are going to help me make a belly cast. this is something i wasn't initially interested in doing..i mean - what do you do with it once you've finished?? i know some people hang it on the wall...that's cool - whatever...but we're not really at a point in our lives where collecting irregularly shaped art is possible. have i mentioned we're moving to indonesia sometime in the next year? maybe as early as 3 months? anyway... the more i thought about it, the more i thought making a bowl from the belly cast would be cool. at least, in my mind it's VERY cool - we'll see when it's actually finished. i saw this website online where people cast their bellies, then send them to a company that bronzes them...the bowls all come out with their very own tones...pretty neat. pretty expensive too - and i'd be happy with just a large fruit bowl..well, again, in my mind...we will see.

Friday, October 23, 2009

the chaos of maternity photography

Well, tomorrow we're going to have maternity photos taken. In theory, this seems like a great idea - I mean, I want to remember what my belly looks like...and unfortunately we haven't been great with documenting...
But, in actuality, maternity photography is crap. I don't know why everything baby (even remotely baby) has to be so cheesy. Photographers should be able to capture this fleeting moment...which is the most amazing life experience....without playing on society's pastel inclinations. Luckily, with the help of craigslist, we were able to find a photographer fresh out of school whose portfolio exhibits her amazing use of natural light in edgy imagery. We're thrilled she's interested in stepping into this peaches-and-cream world with us...and we look forward to beautiful photos that illustrate the reality of our current lives with this little one inside.

Lately, I've been feeling more pregnant. Now almost 35 weeks through this adventure, it's getting harder to get up and down, out of bed, off the couch, off the bus, up the name it. Considering though that I am still able to do these things...just a little slower than normal....I think I can safely say this has been an easy pregnancy. Fingers crossed, I hope the last few weeks prenatal continue to be good to me and the little babe. I'm waiting for that day when I wake up proclaiming "ok, enough! get this baby out of me!!" So far though, so good....pregnancy has been, for the most part, enjoyable. So for now, we shall sit back and watch the next few days and weeks unfold....we can't wait to meet -face to face- this little life we've created.

Friday, October 16, 2009

the chaos begins....

So this is a new first post. I've blogged before, but thought it would be nice to vent about life in a new I am.

Here I am...33 weeks pregnant. Whoa! When did that happen? That's how I feel. The pregnancy, as a whole, has been the most amazing experience..nothing compares. But, wow - it can really throw a woman for a loop! My head is spinning as I think about the last 8 months...and the next 10 weeks! Hard to imagine too much beyond that. For now.. that is enough.

Today is one of those days (there haven't been many) where I feel sad...out of control everything makes me cry sad...what is this? I have never had emotions like this outside of being pregnant. But they've slammed me in the face now a few times.
We're having our baby shower/blessing tomorrow. I'm feeling 100% unprepared! So much to do still...and here I am....sad..not really functioning on the level I need to be to actually be productive. And, why are we having this celebration? To honor the little babe celebrate this amazing thing that's happening....bringing a life into the world...gosh..what's worth celebrating, if not that?? And I really want to pull it together for this little one...and yet, because I'm pregnant, I can't.....I'm sad.....oh, life.

Last night we inflated the birthing pool. It was delivered day before yesterday with a big neon sticker instructing us to "OPEN IMMEDIATELY" but to not use anything sharp...duh. We arrived home around 9:30 - I was exhausted.. to find the package with instructions to be carried out within 48hrs.... what? Really? Is any pregnant woman really in a place where she has the time within a 48hr window to lug a heavy box inside....peel off tape (graciously applied, mind you) with fingernails (as not to use anything sharp)... and proceed to inflate this enormous pool? .....Last night, we undertook this task - our 48hr window dwindling ...even though we had more pressing things (preparing for baby blessing)... and finished in a little over an hour...everything checked need to return...whew. I realized as I climbed inside the pool how the birth...the actual birth...still doesn't seem like a reality. The pregnancy certainly is, and the baby being here in our arms is fathomable...but the labor and birth is farther from reality than I knew. Sitting in that pool I said out loud.."this will be us in a couple weeks"....and I thought about that...and it seemed like a dream...easy to dismiss with the pool itself, as we folded it up and put it in the closet. Hmm.... Febri is certainly focused on the birth...he seems to have thought things through much more than myself. He even wanted me to act out labor...and lean on the pool sides holding onto the handles as he rubbed my back....he's already there...ready for anything it seems. That gives me relief as I ponder what my disassociation with my labor is. Hmmm...

Well, for now my focus is on motivating myself to actually get off the couch...dry my eyes, and prepare for the big day tomorrow. I will be happy...this too, shall pass.