July 15th, 2005

37 weeks and counting

This is great. Thursday was my last class in the current German course. The instructor and three fellow students sound okay with the idea of me bringing the wee one into class should I return not for the next round but some later round. We'll see about that when I know more about the character and habits of our wee one. RHI evenings are Not Good for fresh babies.

The baby is no longer technically preterm from here on in, which is lovely. If it holds off a few more days, I should be able to get enough cooking done so we can eat off the results for a couple of weeks or longer. If it holds off a weekish, I'll get through the current tentative social commitments (a wedding, a play and a couple parties). I have been clear that no one should count on this happening. No particular news other than, of course, the sciatica, slow moving and contractions. The contractions are getting profoundly interesting. Over and above the monkey labor (regular contractions basically every night starting at dusk and continuing for at least a couple hours, each lasting a minuteish and about five or six minutes apart) every day, and the ones dispersed throughout the day, some of them are really noticeably stronger (as in, R. can tell the difference by touching my belly). Plus an assortment of interesting other pains that if I have to guess I'd say were in the general vicinity of my cervix. Anyone wondering how many centimeters I might already be dilated should just know that asking that question will not be getting an answer any time soon. I figure if I can get through pregnancy without an ultrasound (not counting doppler stethoscope), I may be able to sneak through the birth without anyone digitally examining my cervix (thank you very much).

Blood pressure continues to be low normal. I'm still eating. Cranberry juice (diluted in other juice and in water) has helped with the swollen feet a lot. The child has gotten so strong that it can now push my arm up when I rest it on my belly, when it feels so inclined. This morning, R. came up with a way to lightly tap rhythmically in a way that gets the wee one to quit stretching and curl back up again. Whew. And as of last night I'm starting to have dreams of having the baby. Kinda weird. Not bad weird. Just weird. The theme so far is that I never make it to the birth center. And they have such a nice big tub. I hope I make it there. I really do.

I'm currently reading _Medical Nemesis_ by Ivan Illich. I love Illich, altho sometimes reading him frightens me, because he can pretty much take any bit of received wisdom I believe in (public schools are good, say) and cause me to not only change my mind about it, but push me so far off the deep end I find the resulting political stance extremely absurd (which, of course, does nothing to convince me he's wrong). I was startled to discover he was suckered by five-year survival rate improvements. He should have caught that one. The good news is, I'm pretty sure this particular analysis will inoculate me against the risk of inadvertently becoming a Christian Scientist. Whew.