Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Halloween 2012

So. Happy Halloween! We consider ourselves pretty lucky since in the northeast they're still reeling from Sandy and likely festivities are the last thing on anyone's mind. Mila barfed up her ghost pancake breakfast this morning, I don't think I'll ever look at those skellyjams the same way again. But after taking it easy this morning she was still up for trick-or-treating. I think. Steve tends to get all stage parent-y on days like Halloween and speaks in exaggerations, like She'll be absolutely devastated if we don't go trick-or-treating tonight. Um, hon? She's two. I think she'd be thrilled with a lollipop and call it a day. But since her tummy held onto a bland lunch and snack we forged ahead with our plans. And really, can you blame my husband? Just look at our sheriff. 

I think this is the last year I get to decide Wugs' costume. With her constant decisive, no-nonsense narration of e-ver-y-thing, attempts to tell Mama and Papa what to do (we've had many a soulful talk about the bossiness factor), Wugs has earned the new moniker of Sheriff. Steve came up with it and so far it has stuck. A SHAH-WIFF! Wugs would say when you'd ask her what she was going to be for Halloween. We were her jailbirds, handcuffed and all, and as usual I have to give all credit to Steve for taking care of the majority of costume decisions while I've been wallowing in very late pregnancy exhaustion. It's an actual condition, I swear! He took the reins when late October rolled around and all I had gotten were those fabulous pink boots. Which ended up being Mila's favorite thing about her costume and just between you and me, I think that's what got us out the door this afternoon. We had barely gotten outside when she looked up and asked, "How me supposed to walk in dese boots?" You just do your thing, Wugs. Note the victory lolly she held onto for dear life as we got back into the car.

There will be many Halloweens, but I won't ever forget this one. Our last as a family of three, the one where I waddled along behind the beaming papa and his shah-wiff who was soon too tired to walk, the one where Mila said to everyone proudly, Twick oh tweat! and then, Kan-Koo! which is the best phonetic interpretation I can manage for Mila's version of thank you. Although in person it's just so much more lovely, with her voice rising and falling in those two kan-koo beats as though it's a song.

Happy Halloween!

A labor prayer.

I saw this print and it reminded me very much of my first pregnancy, when Mila (though I did not know Mila was a Mila) was big in my belly and Steve and I thought we would take a very romantic trip to St. John. We snorkeled and were lazy on the beach and kissed in the water in the middle of surprise downpours. Trust. Such a powerful image and an even more powerful memory of mine. I have no idea if the deliberate steps I've taken to lead me to a successful VBAC will indeed result in one. I hope it does and every day I can picture it, and Steve always ends his relaxation talks with me telling me that it's going to happen. Ultimately though, I have to surrender to the path that this baby and this birth is going to take. Mila taught me a lot about surrendering even before she took her first breath --as I was being wheeled to the OR and Steve was being prepped to witness the birth of our daughter via C-section. But we're never done learning, right? I'm sure this baby has a few lessons to teach me. In fact, I want him or her to.

Take the past few days. Group B strep. Check. Starting hypoglycemic medication. Check--unable to avoid this any longer. Already hearing the dreaded induction word. Twice a week non-stress tests now. Check and check. Mila laying so sweetly in my arms after a nap and suddenly throwing up everywhere...okay, so that has nothing to do with our impending birth but it was still humbling. And did I mention Steve and I are both sick and hack our way through the night with coughing fits? 


It's not how I envisioned my pregnancy to be winding down, but it's still my miracle.

So with that, here's a labor prayer. I had read it while pregnant with Mila ever since it came in my home birth kit and thought it was beautifully perfect. I'm reading it now but have omitted the words 'at home' on one part since that's not in the cards this time. And that's okay. I know it will be. 

Dear Father, 
thank You for this new baby. 
Would you protect and nurture this baby
and bring this pregnancy to full term. 
In labor, 
would you remove all fear
and replace it with faith and expectation. 
Please give those attending the birth
wisdom to take the best care of mother and baby.
Please let this child be born normal and whole,
healthy and strong, 
with no complications with baby or mother. 
Father, thank You for hearing my prayer,
for I pray in the name of Him who is called
The Mighty God, 
The Everlasting Father, 
The Prince of Peace. 
                by Donna Wilson

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

35 Weeks.

Tomorrow brings another doctor appointment--they're weekly now--an ultrasound. Me see baby in Mama beyee! Mila said as I was tucking her in tonight. Usually we just hear the heartbeat on the doppler, and Wugs is very wide-eyed, eager, and helpful by handing the ultrasound gel over to our doctor at exactly the right time. She's been to all our appointments, and some have gone great while others have left us gritting our teeth and clawing at the walls to get out of there. I can't help but compare the difference in prenatal care between having a midwife and having an OB practice following you. We didn't know how good we had it; our midwife would come to us 90% of the time, in which I was typically barefoot in yoga pants and a tank top, I didn't have to outsource labwork since she would just do her own blood draws, and we'd listen to the whooshwhooshwhoosh of baby Mila's heartbeat while lying on our comfy bed. But this is a different pregnancy and going the more medical route was a decision we both agreed would be best this time (although I'll still be the crazy lady in room 5 questioning everything and refusing most. Ha!). 

There's lots more that I want to say but as it's 2 am I think it would quickly turn into a ramble. My fears about leaving behind this warm little cocoon we've built just us three by giving Mila a sibling. Some amazing advice I've gotten these last couple weeks that I would love to share. A labor prayer. But since my eyelids are getting  heavy I'll just say that it's an exciting time, no less exciting than when I did this a couple years ago. I know what's coming so the stakes are that much higher. Baby time is almost here.

Friday, 19 October 2012

More pictures from the punkin patch.

These are the kind of moments for which you don't get a second chance. Yesterday, we savored them. 


We set off in search of punkins today. Me with my skinny vanilla latte (which say, aren't half bad!), Steve in his wool socks, and Wugs, well Wugs miraculously agreed to leave her purple rubber frog and the remote control to a toy car in our actual car.

Wugs found two punkins right off the bat. The girl knows what she wants! A green curvy gourd and a unique orange and green stripey one. Then once we had loaded them onto our wagon, those two punkins had to come out at each and every stop. At the teepee, at the spot where Steve found the granddaddy punkin, tossed onto a random couch (couches in teepees! Yes! Did I mention this was the hottest day of the year for northern California?), onto haystacks where we stopped to again rest. Punkin picking is intense, guys.

Did I mention it was hot out? And why was my husband wearing wool socks?

In the end, though, we wagoned out of there with a good loot of nine. And only one of us got sunburned--not the little person wearing moccasins, thankfully. 

How I love our punkin patch tradition.

 (Here's Mila's first and second visit.  And after seeing those, my heart has had all it can take right now.)

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Antelope Canyon

I'm looking for a photograph to frame in baby's corner (a corner! Sorry kiddo. It's hard on me too, not being able to properly nest without a nursery to pretty up.) and came across our weekend trip to Antelope Canyon over five years ago now. I've been thinking about Antelope Canyon ever since Joanna linked up to this post in her weekend links. 

It's hard to forget a place like Antelope Canyon. In self-hypnosis you're supposed to visualize meaningful places that represent peace and beauty to you, and even though I've always envisioned a couple special spots in my mind, I'm suddenly drawn to our visit here. In the middle of the Arizona desert, it's a marvelous slot canyon that gets filled with warm afternoon light and shadows playing off the red rock walls. Not just red. Pink, orange, rust, and every shade in between. Then someone will throw sand up into the air and if you're lucky, your camera's viewfinder will reflect back these beams of light that look like God's presence and nothing else. At least to me. It's pretty great. 

And even though it looks like it belongs nowhere but on Awkward Family Photos I had to include that last one of us two crazy kids. Who knew. Livin' the dream.