Sunday, September 30, 2007

Due Date Update

Well, our due date has officially come and nearly gone. Unless there is a flurry of activity in the next few hours, we will become officially overdue. Those who voted for September 27-30 in the poll (including myself) are about to experience their defeat. Alas.

We had a lovely due date. And we tried our best to convince the little guy that today was the day to come out. When I woke at nearly 10 this morning feeling well rested for the first time in weeks, I decided that we needed to have this baby today. So we went for a three mile walk and ate a spicy lunch, but he was not inspired. He still seems pretty content in there.

After lunch we ran a few errands and then returned home where we have spent the day in decadent relaxation. I have been watching season 1 of Grey's Anatomy on our portable dvd player in bed for the last four hours, and am about to return to that activity.

Sorry to those who have lost in the polls. Good luck to those still in the running (especially those in the Oct. 1 - 3 category). We'll keep you posted on any changes.

Posted by Jessa, not Eric.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Baby Blizzard

This obviously is not the cause of our little one--we were still in NC when Denver's famous blizzard(s) happened last year. But this could still make for interesting times on the maternity ward, as it could be pretty crowded.

Blizzard of Babies Reported in Denver (CNN)

Thursday, September 27, 2007

3 days to go!

Those of you who chose September 24-26th in the poll (see the post below) have lost out. Several people told me that they were basing their prediction on a full moon, which has come and gone, so there's a hole poked in that theory. The other big predictor is supposed to be low pressure systems, but Colorado's weather is supposed to stay nearly exactly the same--75 and sunny with a 10% chance of rain--for another 10 days. So that probably won't be the trigger either.

The contractions are picking up in intensity and frequency, but they're still not regular, and they're still not to the point where Jessa can't walk or talk through them, which is supposed to be the clue that they're the real thing.

So those of you who haven't voted yet, be sure to register your guess in the poll below.

Only 3 more days until the due date!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Baby Birthday Pool!

We've been getting lots of phone calls lately asking us when the baby will be born. Since we aren't sure ourselves, we thought we'd give you, our loyal and inquisitive readership, a chance to weigh in on the matter. Here's your chance to let us know when YOU think he'll be born. Keep in mind that our due date is September 30th!

List your pick in the comments if you want credit for getting it right!

Friday, September 21, 2007

What's Going On?

There's not much to report on the baby front. As of today we're 9 days away from the due date, and while there are lots of signs that labor is impending (contractions, sleeplessness, nesting), none of them suggest that we should cancel dinner plans, or anything like that. Jessa's taking the opportunity to try to get one more order made before he comes--mostly she spends her days making mugs at this point.

I (Eric) am 2 weeks into school, and loving it. We're on the quarter system, so I'm only taking two classes. One is one of the core courses required for all PhD students, Theories and Methods in the Study of Religion. That one's a very theory-heavy course--we're reading all the heavyweights, and class is basically a 3 1/2 hour discussion with a ten minute break. After that class, my brain feels a lot like what my body feels like after a half marathon. It's sheer exhaustion, and you know that you were definitely not in control most of the time, but somehow it feels good. Each of us has to choose a book from a list titled "books you should have read by now but probably have not" (I have read 0 of 34). I chose one from the list based on the fact that it has an interesting title; it turned out to be well over 400 pages. Brilliant.

My other class is called Women in Early Christian History, and it's sort of a look at canonical, apocryphal, and pseudepigraphal early Christian writings and their depiction of women (and how those depictions might or might not correspond to reality). Even though Biblical Studies isn't really my field, it fits my interests in the first couple of centuries of Christianity. It's a very big class, which isn't great, but I'm excited about writing the paper for it.

The major drawback to starting classes is that I now only have one day off a week--Saturday. I'm working Fridays now (if you can call blogging "working").

Be sure to stay tuned...only 9 days until the due date!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Babies for Obama

That's right, folks. He might not be born yet, but our baby is making the bold move of endorsing Barack Obama for president. He has no doubt been influenced by his parents in this matter.

Not to worry, friends and family of the Republican persuasion. Our baby is a uniter, not a divider. He is an equal-opportunity spitter-upper, and he will dirty diapers across party lines.

Thanks to his auntie Priscilla for the gift!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

For Those Cold Colorado Winters

There are few things greater than getting a package in the mail from my Grandma Lou (Eric's maternal grandmother). She's handy and crafty in a number of ways, so you know it's something good. Yesterday a package arrived, and inside was a handmade quilt for the baby.

This was not unexpected, as Grandma Lou is a consummate quilt-maker. In fact, she made one for me when I was born, and I slept under it off and on through the end of the college, and still have it. So no doubt our little one will get decades of use out of this one.

The WORST thing about opening the package was that it smelled like Grandma Lou's house, which made everyone homesick. Thanks Grandma Lou! The quilt now hangs on the rocking chair in the baby's room.

Friday, September 14, 2007


Just an update:

--Jessa's having pretty frequent (but not regular) contractions. This is apparently normal--something about the uterus practicing. It's especially bad when she's on her feet for long periods of time or walking. She's currently glazing and firing several loads of pots, but she swears that once that's done, it's nothing but rest from then on.

--The baby is still head-down. This causes all manner of uncomfortableness for Jessa, whose muscles and ligaments had adjusted to a head-up weight distribution.

--Eric started school yesterday. He's already overwhelmed with reading.

--Fall is slowly coming to Colorado. We have days of 70 degrees followed by days of 88. The average first snowfall comes in 2-4 more weeks.

Monday, September 10, 2007

To everything, turn turn turn, there is a season, turn turn turn.

And the season for turning is now! Our boy has successfully, if not gracefully, flipped!

So my week of hanging upside down on the plank was for naught. We tried our best, but that didn't budge him. We went in today and looked at him on ultrasound and he was exactly in the same spot. So a verting we went. The doc decided to have us move over to the hospital for the procedure since she had two c-sections in the works, so we walked across the street and were admitted. It was an eerie dry run for what's coming. I was admitted, put in a labor room, gowned, i.v.'d, and monitored.

The procedure was quite dramatic and fascinating. Just before they were to start they gave me trebuteline through my i.v. to relax my uterus. It, as warned, made me shake and made my heart race. It took effect within a minute and then my midwife and doc went to work. They basically surrounded his head with their hands and manuevered it from the top of my belly to the bottom. I could feel exactly where he was moving and though it was quite uncomfortable, I found it absolutely fascinating to experience. There was a third person in there watching his hear beat on ultrasound to make sure he was doing ok. And Eric was rubbing my feet while they tugged. The whole thing lasted about 3 minutes, and the whole time they were celebrating how well it was going. The nurse described it as the "silkiest" version she'd ever seen. It didn't feel too silky on my end, but I could tell it was working and I was elated. Eric said it was horrifying to watch, and I was glad I couldn't see what was happening, because it felt like something out of a science fiction movie.

After it was completed, they kept monitoring us both for another half hour and then discharged us with a perfectly placed, head down baby.

Thank all of you for all your happy flipping wishes! Now, change gears and think non-flippy thoughts, because after all this he could still flip back to where he was. I can't see how that would be possible, considering the amount of force it took to turn him this way, but I'm told it can happen.

So, now we wait on him to tell us it's time to come out. How exciting!


It's a cool, rainy day in Denver. Fall is definitely on the move here. The high today is supposed to be 58.

Since about February, I've gotten weekly emails from a baby website, detailing what's going on in that week. Today I got the 37 week one (we're 37 weeks, 1 day today). According to that particular site, the baby is now considered full term, and is gaining weight at the rate of a half an ounce a day. He's currently in the 6.5 to 7 pound range, and is probably about 21 inches.

This afternoon is our version (Latin nerd alert: from the Latin "vertere," which means "to turn"). So either he'll successfully flip, and we'll proceed the normal way and wait for labor to begin, or he won't, and we'll schedule a c-section. Either way, at the end of the day, we know something. That's exciting.

There are definite rumblings that things are changing in babyland. Jessa is having pretty consistent backaches, hormone surges (she felt one in the car the other day, she says, that's how strong they are), a stuffy head (oddly enough, this is apparently a sign), and random, crampy-type pains in her abdomen (not as dramatic as it sounds, but when you're reading tea leaves, you're reading tea leaves). And she's nesting like crazy. All of these point to what's coming. As Jessa said, "it feels like my body is getting ready to tack up the eviction notice."

Of course, statistically speaking first-time moms deliver 1-2 weeks late, so we could have another 4-5 weeks to go.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Flip Attempts

Okay, so here's the word from
"Get a broad plank of wood, like an ironing board. Prop it at an angle against the couch or a chair. A few pillows stuffed around the base will help prevent tipping. Another pillow goes under your neck. The funny thing is next. Lie on the board with your head down and feet resting on either side of the board on the couch. Try it a couple times to get it right. Then remain on the board for up to 20 minutes, 3 times a day."

That is called the Breech Tilt, and it's supposed to coax the baby toward my upper body, so that when I get out of the position, he's loose and free to flip upside down. I think it might work, because when I'm in the tilt, he definitely moves toward my chest, and when I get up, I can feel him shifting and resettling. I don't think he's resettled into a head down position yet, but maybe one of these times he will.

I'm really trying to talk him into it, because being on the plank it quite unpleasant. It hurts in lotsa ways, and it's given me permanent reflux - but if it works it'll all be worth it. I've made a little chart to check off the times I need to do this between now and Monday. It will need to be done a total of 15 times, and I've done 4 (one last night and 3 today) - so I've colored in 4 little hearts on my chart. I know it's lame - but I'm all about the small rewards.

At the very least, Eric and I have found it quite comical and have gotten some laughs out of it. Here, now you can too:

Eric and I have been intentional of late about having lots of date nights. Tonight we enjoyed dinner and a movie. We saw Death at a Funeral, a quite entertaining British comedy. We got home about 10pm, both exhausted. But then I got a hankering for milk of all things. So Eric is off at the grocery store - bless his heart! I promised I would stay awake until he got back with my milk, so I'm blogging to keep me up.

Eric has orientation at school tomorrow, and he officially begins work on his PhD next week! He's so excited and nervous - it's really cute.

Thanks everybody for all the happy flipping wishes. We feel hopeful that he will flip, but if he doesn't, we will be blessed with a little backward baby!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

I had a feeling...

Here is a picture of our beautiful boy's beautiful head. Unfortunately, as beautiful as it is, we found out today that it is ill placed. That is - it's in the top of my uterus, because he's breech.

Today, at 36 1/2 weeks, we had the first of our now weekly appointments. The main item on the agenda was a quick head shot via ultrasound just to make sure he was head down - the appropriate position to continue on the road to a natural labor and delivery. What we found was a precious little breech baby. Our little guy is upside down.

Not to worry - he's upside down, but he's healthy and happy there. He's still perfectly safe and in no distress. But now we have to change our plans a bit. It is now standard practice not to allow breech babies to be delivered vaginally - so if he remains in the breech position, it means a c-section for us.

But before we decide that there are some techniques we're going to attempt to get him to flip. First, between now and next Monday I, with Eric's assistance, will be trying some at home techniques found on (at our midwife's suggestion), namely inversion and the breech tilt. These are body positions I can try that have proven helpful in getting breech babies to turn.

If that doesn't work, next Monday we're scheduled for a version. This is a procedure where they will attempt to manually turn the baby from outside the uterus. Basically they give me medicine to relax my uterus and then wrestle him, via my belly, to try to turn him. They'll give that a try, and it'll either work or it won't - in other words, they won't keep trying for hours if it doesn't seem to be working. And they'll be monitoring the baby and watching him on ultrasound the whole time. So, it should be perfectly safe.

If one of those things works, we sit tight and wait for labor to begin on its own. If not, we schedule a c-section. The idea of having a scheduled c-section does make me sad. I'm really looking forward to attempting natural labor and delivery (says the 1st time mom). I also greive the fact that in a c-section, I won't be able to hold him and begin bonding right away. But, we'll have a healthy baby, and that is what matters.

So, we'll keep you posted on any baby flips. Think flippy thoughts!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Weekend Warriors

The MVP of the weekend goes to Eric's dad, who drove up from Abilene TX to help with home improvement. Over the weekend, we:

--power washed and stained the deck, including replacing several rotten boards,
--power washed the house,
--installed air conditioning in Jessa's studio,
--installed two fluorescent lights in the ceiling of Jessa's studio,
--hung a door to the baby's room,
--installed the elusive bathroom light/exhaust fan combo
--some other stuff I can't even remember now.

Although we hesitate to speak in such terms, the house is getting....close to done. Not done done, but done enough to bring a baby home to.

Previous MVPs of home improvement are Eric's mom, Selena, and Tommy.