Tuesday, October 29, 2013

reprieve

Well. For its next trick, my placenta is going to put on a top hat and sing "There's No Business Like Show Business."

The thing moved again! I mean, not enough for regular birth, but enough that the danger of a bleed is way less likely and I get to wait a couple more weeks before I go under the knife. I never would have guessed I'd be so ecstatic to hear someone tell me I can have a c-section at 39 weeks, but it was truly welcome news. 37 weeks just seemed so early, and would have required steroid shots. Now the kid gets another two weeks to bake in the belly and enjoy all the spicy food I've been eating while he kicks me in the vagina.

I'm guessing he's going to be sort of enormous? I already know his head is going to be large -- it's two weeks ahead of his gestational age. Which is pretty much what we expected, since my husband and I are both Big Heads and come from families of Big Headed People. He may be long/tall, too -- I'm 5'9", my husband's 6'1", his dad's 6'4". Still, the ultrasound technician guessed he weighs about six pounds right now.

We finished our childbirth education class and didn't make any lifelong friends. Maybe later after we have our babies and need other humans to make us feel normal we can reunite. We have each other's email addresses. And we finished our final class of all -- the Newborn Class -- last night. It mostly consisted of the instructor holding up photos of defective-looking infants and telling us it was all normal and not to worry if our kids come out with pointy heads and black spots on their butts. Good to know. I, of course, am already a swaddling and diapering whiz, having conquered many of my niece's blowout diapers and wrestled her into nearly unbeatable swaddles (somehow they always break out). My husband was looking quite proud of his diapering abilities when I informed him he'd put it on backwards.

One of the ladies in last night's class remarked how strangers seem to believe no question is too personal when it comes to our pregnancies, and I have found this to be more and more true as I get larger and larger. Most of what I encounter is people giving me those large eyeball looks like: Girl, I hope your water doesn't break right now. My funniest encounter yet was with a cashier at the grocery store last week who told me I looked like I was going to have a large baby (aka I look large??). Then she told me that with her last pregnancy she only gained 13 pounds and no one could even tell she was pregnant. HAHAHAHA. I said: Well I've definitely gained more than 13 pounds. My husband helpfully noticed that my face had turned bright red and I was like: Yes. That woman just told me she thinks I'm fat.

In other baby news, we've chosen our pediatrician. She seems very kind and crunchy-granola and she has a cool South African accent. She's OK with delayed vaccines, which I plan to enforce. Dang, vaccines are one of those touchy subjects -- when I briefly mentioned delaying vaccines in our childbirth class, everyone looked at me like I was insane. I bet if I'd been in a Bradley class they'd all have nodded sagely. I'm gonna vaccinate the kid for goodness sake, just not at the aggressive rate suggested by some dumb government agency I don't trust.

Top pregnancy gripes right now are the lack of sleep, still, and now a new one -- carpal tunnel. Thankfully it's not super painful, and it's mostly just in my right hand, which feels a bit numb and tingly. Heartburn and indigestion are pretty much 24-hour occurrences, as is being out of breath. I look like I just ran around the block when all I did was put on socks and shoes. I also have a wicked case of T.O.P. (tired of pregnancy, as our childbirth educator explained) and sometimes it makes me mighty ragey. Also, I think my nose is bigger? Good stuff. Really, really looking forward to not being an extra-large bag of body fluid in a few weeks.


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

the nursery

The nursery is done! The nursery is done!

And none too soon, I must say.

Putting together a nursery sounds fun before you actually do it, and then you start to do it and you're like: Wow, this sort of blows. Except it doesn't blow as much as it would if you were just putting together any old room, because you're always thinking about your kid spending time there.

Getting the room ready involved building a number of pieces of furniture, lots of horrible shopping at horrible places (IKEA and Target and Buy Buy Baby - I'm talking to you), lots of washing of things and putting away of things, and bickering and so on and so forth. The room is pretty much done now, except for the much-advised blackout curtains (I've read three books on how to make your baby sleep and the only thing they all agree on is blackout curtains), and a couple family photos I plan to put up.

So without further ado, I present the nursery!

 Peering in from the doorway, we've got the glider/recliner, a nightstand, and a couple cutesy details. Yes, that is a camera on the nightstand. We want our son to know we are always watching him. Heh. 


Still looking from the doorway, now we can see part of the crib, plus the dresser/changing area, and cloud and airplane decals on the wall. 
The decals kill me, you guys. Best and cheapest and cutest idea ever. I got them from Blik.
There is a wipe warmer on the dresser. I know, I know.


 Standing in the room, to the right of the chair, looking toward the nightstand/cute bird pics. 


 A closer view of the birds. 


The airplane and sheep parachuting ... I just die every time I see it. 
The kid's cradle is to the left of the crib -- we'll keep that in our room when he's first born.  
You may also have noticed the child gate. In our case it's a cat gate and seems to be keeping the cats out for the time being. 



The lavender sachets my sister made for my shower. So cute. You should commission her to make you some. 


The crib sheets. We want the kid to be stressed out about traffic immediately.


So that's pretty much it. I expect it will never look this tidy again. And you may have noticed it's really not gender neutral, but what can I say? Little boy stuff is just so adorable and different from everything I've ever known -- my family produces mainly girls, so this is a whole other experience. Anyway, he'll grow out of all of it and want to replace it with obnoxious crap from whatever tv show the kids are into in a few years, and that's just fine.

Monday, October 21, 2013

advanced maternal age

The big ol' clock hit the witching hour last week. You know the one. It's the fateful year that all women fear because their eggs suddenly wither and risks of various fertility ailments skyrocket.

THIRTY. FIVE.

35.

Thirty five years, livin' on the planet, tra-la-la-la! Troo-loo-loo-loo!

That's my birthday song.

I did lots of cool stuff before I turned 35; that's why I am now an old lady having a baby. Sometimes part of me thinks I should have settled down in my 20s and tried to start a family then, but then I remember what a crazy adventure my 20s were. I am who I am in part because I chose not to settle down. I'll be a better mom because of that. In my 20s I'd have been THE WORST.

I love calling stuff "the worst." Some stuff really is the worst, though. For reals. That show "Dads" is totally The Worst.

********

On my birthday, I had a doctor's appointment and a childbirth class. I had dinner at Panera. It was the universe prepping me for the remainder of my lifetime being SO NOT ABOUT ME anymore. Which is cool. Because it'll be about this human I frickin' grew in my uterus. I basically made him, so that still makes me pretty much a walking miracle.

********

Pregnancy at 35 has got to be crappier than it would be at 25. It's just a guess. If I had been obnoxiously healthy and in shape before getting pregnant, the whole experience would probably be a little easier. But I have never done things the easy way, and certainly wasn't about to start with this particular project.

I have all the symptoms I would have if I'd simply become elderly and obese overnight (ow, my knees, and whoa, I cannot stop snoring), plus the regular pregnancy stuff like everything being swollen and being exhausted all the time, and having crazy stretch marks and stabbing pains in places where no one should be stabbed. And oh my god the peeing. I thought I peed a lot before but it's at a whole other level now.

There are good things about pregnancy, depending on how you feel about strangers asking you questions about your vagina and stuff. I would gladly skip off into the sunset with a fellow pregnant woman I encounter at Whole Foods so we can discuss all the boring details of our symptoms and impending births. When other strangers get all up in my biz, it's a little different. My most hated question: "What's the name?"

Like, for starters, I don't even know why this question offends me so much. Maybe because I don't know "the name" yet. I sort of hope the child emerges, I look at his face, and say, yes, he looks like a ___ , and hopefully that name will be one of the several on our list and not, like, Sanjay or something. That would be awkward.

People are always saying how good I look, with their surprised faces. I am convinced everyone is blowing loooooottts of smoke up my butt because how I look is rotund and tired. But you can't tell an achey pregnant woman she looks rotund and tired or she will straight up murder your ass.

Anyway, it's not like I care how I look. I now emerge from the bathroom, post-shower, utterly nude. I am unapologetic about it all and sort of amused by my husband's "whoa" reaction. BEHOLD. I AM THE VESSEL OF LIFE. ALL SHALL TREMBLE IN FEAR AT MY FEET.

You know what I don't even care about anymore? I wouldn't have believed it, even though you said I wouldn't -- I don't give a flying fuck about my pubic hair. I can't see it, I can't reach it, and it is going to stay exactly where it is, in all its shaggy glory, until such a time has arrived that I can once again approach the area safely with a razor. I mean. I am the vessel of life and stuff, so that comes with certain disgusting facets.

************

Two weeks, two weeks, tra-la-lee, troo-la-lo, baby gonna be here, holy buttsmoke!

That's my c-section song.

My hospital is not as crunchy-granola as I would like. They don't allow for "gentle" cesareans, where the moms get to hold their babies right away. They only allow one person to accompany me to surgery. They don't allow photos of the surgery.

Man, when hospitals get ahold of your birth, it's not your birth any more. It's theirs! This is why people opt for home births and/or natural births. I absolutely get it. You lose all control when you give them an inch.

Who even knows what I'd do, given an actual choice. We find out this week if, for sure, the placenta is still blocking the cervix. Problem is, if the damn thing has moved, I am 100% unprepared for a regular birth. Everyone's been singing the c-section song for this entire pregnancy, and I'm only now mentally prepared for that. If that changes ... I am up a creek.

**************

Thirty-five, still alive, ain't no jive, wonder why, ain't got no pie ...

At 35 (or rapidly approaching), doctors switch your whole course of treatment during pregnancy because you are now "high risk." So the anatomy scan is at a specialized facility, and they want you to make sure the kid doesn't have any of the most common chromosomal defects and all that jazz.

It's onnnnnlllly toooooo much funnnnnnn to be of advanced ... maternal ... age!

That's my old-lady-having-a-baby song.

Thankfully, most of the women in my childbirth group are old, too! Yay for old ladies! We are mature and financially secure! We read books and stuff! We might be a little too prepared.

Really, ain't no thang to be 35 and having a baby. Age is ... well. What you make of it. Still. To be 35 (or older) and trying to have a baby is not a joke. I don't like to frighten people but just know that all of us old ladies in the childbirth class didn't come by our babies easily. We're talking decades of trying between the lot of us. Surgeries. IVFs. Medications. Miscarriages. Complications. We are so happy, and so, so, so happy all of that is behind us (hopefully).

I appreciate the articles I read by women who rail against doctors for frightening women of "advanced maternal age" about the ticking clocks in their vaginas, because really, you can have a baby. You can do it, and it might even be easy. Women are all so different, so you never know. And then, also, it might not be so easy. Which is ok, because there is help if it's not. But don't have any illusions about it.

****************

Thirty-five is the new twenty-five, right? Like, if I drink green juice every day and do yoga?

Going to get ... right ... on that.

*yawn*

Monday, October 14, 2013

good intentions

Back to our regularly scheduled programming this week -- all babies, all the time.

A lot and not a lot is happening at the same time. We went on a tour of the hospital with about fifteen other couples. At one point the tour leader asked if anyone in the group had a scheduled c-section, and I was the only one to raise my hand. We were asked to the front of the group so we could peer into the sterile hallway that leads to the operating rooms. Which is about when I started to feel like I wanted to vomit.

That moment was my greatest "I can't believe my body won't do this the old-fashioned way" moment. It's ok -- I don't need reassurance. I know that this is what it is and it's ok. I've even had moments when I was glad to be having a c-section. It'll be fast and predictable (hopefully) and then, bam, mommyhood.

Anyway, lots of those other bitches are gonna end up with c-sections, too; they just don't know it yet. Is that mean? Or just true? Both?

My husband asked me the other day: What if the placenta moves and you get to do it the other way? And I am thinking: That seems exactly like something that would happen, since I'm completely unprepared for a vaginal birth. There'd be a major last-minute cram-session is what would happen.

The nursery is nearly done. Some final details need to go up and then it will be ready for its photo shoot. I expect that moment to be the first and last time the nursery looks picture-ready.

My husband has been a weekend warrior, building furniture and other baby paraphernalia, cleaning, installing the car seat, embarking on trips to IKEA.... He's the one getting stuff done. And thank goodness, because I am almost useless. I've been reading books about getting your baby to sleep (which makes me soooo sleepy). I sometimes do the dishes and cook dinner. I tool around the nursery a bit until I find myself sitting in the glider, staring into space, and then wonder how long I've been doing that. During the week I manage to haul myself to the store or acupuncture or the doctor or whatever class I've signed us up for. That's about it.

There's this scene in The Big Lebowski when The Dude is being driven home by Maude's chauffeur, and the chauffeur is telling a joke: "So he says 'My wife's a pain in the ass. She's always busting my friggin' agates. My daughter's married to a real loser bastard. And I got a rash so bad on my ass, I can't even sit down. But you know me. I can't complain.'"

Which is sort of how I feel. Without discussing my ass, let's just say there are a number of aches and pains -- the greatest probably being my inability to sleep for more than an hour at a time -- but I can't complain. I know of many women who have had and do have it wayyy worse. I'll suck this up for another few weeks.

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

recipes you should try

(first, an update! My book is up to 661 downloads in the U.S. and 29 elsewhere in the world - mainly the UK. Sadly, I've dropped to #920 in the Kindle Store -- hopes of breaking the top 100 = dashed. The book is still free through Friday on Kindles and other devices with Kindle apps!)

So, it's been a long time since I did a food/recipe post! That's due in part to laziness -- photographing the process adds quite a bit of time and lately I'm 1) starving 2) running late. But I've certainly been trying new recipes, and loving lots of them! Thought I'd tell you about the recipes I'm loving lately ...

First, I made this pasta fagioli soup last night and absolutely loved it.

from shutterbean.com

It looks simple but what makes it fantastic is you start it with pancetta (or bacon. Maybe try turkey bacon if you don't eat pork), which gives it a rich flavor. Simmered with a pinch of red pepper flakes, it comes out just slightly spicy and pretty awesome on a cool fall evening. I used maybe a whole teaspoon of red pepper flakes because I like my soup with a little extra kick. I served it with a side of garlic bread and was in hog heaven. Shutterbean has lots of great recipes if you'd like to follow her.

I've made these Italian Drunken Noodles a couple times and I really like them, even though the peppers give me a little heartburn (pregnant people problems).

from easy-cookbook-recipes.com

My suggestion is to use spicy sausage (if you like your food spicy), and to get sausage that's already out of the casings if you can. My local Whole Foods sells italian sausage this way, thankfully. Don't forget to salt the recipe at some point, and if you can't find papardelle, egg noodles work really well. Muy delicioso.

And now, baked ziti. My husband LOVES this one. I've made it a couple times.

from amateurgourmet.com

I think I might have a pasta problem ...
Anyway, the first time I made this was for Christina, who doesn't eat red meat, so I just used ground turkey. Still really fabulous. I used beef the second time around -- still fabulous. It's cheesy and gooey but then also has these crispy edge parts that don't sound delicious but really are. I really like Amateur Gourmet -- he's the one who clued me in to the breakfast potatoes recipe I love so much, too.

Another big winner with the husband -- Crockpot Rootbeer Pulled Chicken.

from eatliverun.com

So simple, and so delicious. Chicken thighs, onion, barbecue sauce, rootbeer, a few splashes of Tobasco. I made sandwiches with them, and let me tell you my secret to really killer sandwiches. You take your buns, butter them generously on the inside, then toast under the broiler. Then I added mayo and a little red onion. Sounds so simple but it's pretty killer.

I've tried a couple other recipes that were flops so I won't bother sharing those. These ones are the real winners. What have you been eating lately? Got any recipes to share?









Tuesday, October 08, 2013

MaddAddam review

This is the week I'm pimping my FREE ebook, so it seemed appropriate to write a book review and stay topical.

Excuse me for a moment while I brag.

My book is the #2 selling book in women's fiction/humor on Amazon right now! And by selling, I mean hella fools are downloading it for free, of course. It's ranked #564 in the free Kindle store, which may not seem impressive to you, but ... I am impressed! I've also had 542 downloads since yesterday! Which is more than I've sold since the book was published, hahahahah.... But that's why this promotion exists.

Anyway, I will now get to the review.



You may recall this is the third in Atwood's apocalyptic trilogy. I think she must be extraordinarily creative and smart to have sculpted this futuristic world, destroyed it, and then shown us what the aftermath looks like. The details are amazing. I really, really enjoyed the final book in the series, and I gave it five stars on Goodreads, which is very unusual for me.

I'd been really impressed with the first novel -- Oryx and Crake, and less so with the second -- The Year of The Flood. Why are so many second novels in trilogies just piles of poo?

Anyway, the premise is everyone but a small group of people is dead. Among the non-dead are a group of naive bio-engineered humans, and the rest are a bunch of former vegan/hippie types. The final book gets into how they're surviving, some romantic entanglements, the adventures of one survivor named Zeb, and finally a showdown between them (and their pig friends) and a malevolent group of survivors. (There are always malevolent survivors!!)

So yeah. I loved it.

Now I'm reading The Vaccine Book and Secrets of the Baby Whisperer, and am completely disturbed by information in both.


Monday, October 07, 2013

Oh yes, that

In the midst of all this baby-mania, I nearly forgot I am trying to promote my book ... which is FREE today through Friday as a kindle download. Tell your ma, tell your pa, tell all your buddies who like chick-lit (I don't take offense to the term).

Actually, I totally did forget I was holding a big book promo this week, until around noon today. It's been pure madness as we've been ordering and shopping for the rest of the baby stuff we need, and I've been basically entirely focused on the probability that I will need a c-section in a month. I've accepted it wholeheartedly and am just glad I have a good doctor and everything's going to be OK. But, like whoa with being majorly distracted. I forgot an acupuncture appointment last week. I forget to lock doors, I forget to turn off the stove, I forget evvvverything.

It doesn't help that the last trimester is a huge energy suck. And then when I try to sleep it's like HAHA no sleep. I mean, I sleep, but I wake up every.single.hour because 1) gotta pee 2) everything hurts 3) I snore now, so now I snork myself awake, which: I am the sexiest.

But a couple weeks ago, I decided to take advantage of this promo thing Amazon does and allow my book to be downloaded for free for five days. They claim it helps boost sales ... I am skeptical but we will see. It's certainly worth a shot.

Anyway, if you haven't had a chance to check the book out, now is a great time to do it, since free stuff is basically the best. You've got until Friday to get your sexy download on. And you really should tell someone about it. People who like to talk about diets or go on diets or who like to talk about weight issues or relationship issues, or people who like donuts and wine, or people who work in San Francisco, or people who are going on vacation and need something light and fluffy to occupy their time.

Here is where you get the book. Go to it, my friends. 

Also, some links to places you can find me, should you so desire:

Goodreads

Twitter

"Bigger" has a Facebook page

Friday, October 04, 2013

tips for moms-to-be

I seriously just wrote that headline and gagged a little. I make even myself a little nauseated.

But I feel a need to impart the things I have learned so far. For some reason, there's no real good primer out there (that I've been able to find, anyway). Maybe everyone assumes we know what we're doing, that we instinctively know how to prepare for the arrival of a baby. But the fact for me, at least, is that I don't know, and I'm tired and suffering a myriad of physical discomforts, and I think this is how new parents end up overpaying for stuff. They're just tired and they don't care anymore.

And as everyone always says, children are expensive. But until you're prepping for one's arrival, you may not realize it can add up to thousands and thousands of dollars. If you let it.

So! Here are my tips. Regular readers may skip this or add their own tips or send it to their pregnant friends. Your choice!

1. Start with the latest issue of Baby Bargains. Maybe you think you don't need or want to find bargains, and that's fine -- the real value in this book is the reviews of the products and the sheer amount of information you would NEVER know if this book didn't tell you. You can go with the cheapest, the middle-priced, or the most expensive. They'll tell you how each performs and you can decide if it's worth another $500. Compile a list of all the things you want on a spreadsheet so when the time comes to register for baby crap you're not wandering Babies 'R' Us aimlessly for hours. Talk about a nightmare.

2. Fudge on the due date on all your registries. My advice is to move the due date up an entire month. The reason for this is that all retailers wait until 4-6 weeks before your due date to send you the completion coupon. Which is SO DUMB. I assume they do this in an attempt to thwart your efforts to successfully fulfill your registry at a discounted price. So fudge the date. Because you aren't going to want to go shopping for all that crap at 36 weeks pregnant. Not to mention, who knows? Maybe you'll end up like me and the doctor will be like: Surprise! You need to deliver three weeks early. (My own current experience with completion coupons -- I am 7 weeks from my original due date and have received only the coupon from Buy Buy Baby. I recently changed the due date on the Target registry but have yet to receive a coupon. Amazon waits until 30 days before your date, which is ridiculous.)

3. Target has lots of junk you will want/need, but word to the wise: They're notoriously unreliable when it comes to updating the registry. I received multiples of the same gifts from my Target registry. So once that happens of course you'll have to return it to the store for credit, and then use that credit toward completing your registry. Which is totally fine, but it's certainly one more thing to add to your to-do list.

4. Register for as much as you can on Amazon. It's got nearly everything you'll want, and it's extremely convenient for most people who want to buy you stuff. Now, I made the mistake of not registering for that much stuff on Amazon, but I corrected my mistake later by adding everything I didn't get from my other registries to the Amazon registry. Most (although not all) stuff on Amazon is cheaper than you can find it in the stores, and their completion discount is the same as the other stores -- 10%. UNLESS you sign up for Amazon Mom, which is FREE if you're a prime member. Then you get 15% off registry items (up to $5,000 in purchases). So you're paying less, and you don't even have to go to the store to pick all this crap up and bring it back. Bam. (BTW benefits of Amazon Mom are 20% off diapers and wipes and other household items, plus the regular prime benefits like 2-day delivery.)

5. You might be able to get your breast pump for free. Your insurance company won't advertise this, of course, but they very well may cover it. I had no idea this was a possibility until a friend told me about it, so I called my insurance company and they said they will cover one electric pump 100%. So I can buy any pump I want and they will reimburse me. Your insurance may not be this awesome -- my friend's only covered certain pumps from certain manufacturers. But it's worth looking into -- the pump I plan to buy is more than $250.

6. Diapers.com is probably going to be your cheapest source for diapers and wipes, even if you have Amazon Mom. I just checked and even with my discount at Amazon, the Diapers.com diapers were a couple bucks cheaper. PLUS they ship for free on orders over $35, and they'll get there THE NEXT DAY. I've already tested this out, and was duly impressed. They also sell a myriad of other baby items at deeply discounted prices.

7. This last tip is just a little advice that's certainly not something you need to follow, but that I think is wise and can save you lots of cash. Cheap out on the crib and nursery furniture. Just go to Ikea and get the $100 crib (yes, it's still a good crib -- they're all required to meet the same safety standards) and a dresser and whatnot. I don't think you need a changing table, but if you just want one, go for it. It's easy to just strap a changing pad to a dresser and call it a day. If you want to blow your wad on furniture, save it for the rocker or glider. Even then, wait for discount coupons in the mail and then go get it -- I will eternally be proud of myself for saving more than $300 on a kickass glider this way. Also, if you're going to order a chair, keep in mind that the manufacturer is going to take up to 8 weeks to get it to you (mine took 4). Order that shiz early.


All right, that's all I've got for now. What did I miss? I'm sure there are things I've not yet encountered.


Tuesday, October 01, 2013

the real deal

So there's something that's been on my mind, to say the least. I haven't shared it here because I was hoping the situation would resolve itself and it would no longer be an issue. But the time has come to just spit it out.

I've got placenta previa. Most people I've told this to are like: WTF is that? What it is is when the placenta covers the opening to the cervix. This presents a challenge during birth because ain't nothin' supposed to be blocking the baby's entrance to the outside world. There could be bleeding, everyone could die, blah blah blah. For the last 12 weeks I haven't been allowed to travel, lift heavy stuff, do anything strenuous, have sex -- you get the picture.

The solution is a cesarean.

For people who know what placenta previas are -- at 20 weeks mine was a complete previa, which is the most serious kind (OF COURSE). Most other types of previas resolve themselves by the end of the pregnancy and the lady can go ahead and push that kid out of her sore bits. I'd been told mine was unlikely to resolve, and yesterday we found out that was the case. It's moved enough to now be considered a partial previa, but it's still blocking the cervix. The doctor wants to schedule the c-section for 37 weeks, which OMG BABY IN 30 DAYS.

It has to be 37 weeks to avoid me going into labor or dilating at all, which can cause major bleeding, which equals emergency situation.

We'll check again at 36 weeks to see if that bitchy previa has moved -- it needs to be at least 2 centimeters away from the cervix -- and obviously if not we'll proceed with the c-section and if so, I'll do this shit vaginally.

You may wonder what causes placenta previa. No one knows for certain, but risk factors seem to be:

Being old - check!
Having a funny-shaped uterus - check!
Having miscarriages - check!

It's almost funny.

I have trouble pinpointing exactly how I feel about this whole thing. For starters, I never should have expected an uncomplicated pregnancy. Getting pregnant was anything but, so that should have been a clue. When I learned about the previa, I was really disappointed, and I have to admit I still kind of am. Women are supposed to labor and give birth to their babies, not schedule an appointment, get numbed up and have them sliced out in like 15 minutes. I feel cheated of the birth experience, and I really feel like I'm cheating. Like I didn't put in a full effort if I didn't feel all the pain.

I mean, either way birth is terrifying, but I just wanted to be a normal lady having a normal birth. I know. Boohoo, poor me, what about all the ladies who'd like to just have a baby and can't? I should suck it up.

And truly, when it comes down to it, all I want is this hard-won baby out of me and in my arms. I'd love the nightmares about hemorrhaging to end. I'd love for my vagina to someday not be a no-fly zone. And I'd love to stop worrying that something beyond my control is going to hurt my kid (although I certainly realize the worrying has only just begun).