Fours days over and counting...

Today I am home for my first babyless day of maternity time. I took a little cat nap after Steve left for work and then had some breakfast. The cat is not offering any love, affection, or consolation as she has taken up residence in the window sunning herself and clearly cannot be bothered that there is someone else here in the house today.

Brett sent me a text yesterday afternoon that read "Where's the kid?" Doesn't that just sum it up =)

So home today - mani/pedi at 1 to relax and because well I couldn't reach my toes now to care for them even if I wanted to - maybe a CVS run for more Tums...


Enough of the pity party already!!!

SHEESH~ wah wah - oh whoa is me - ENOUGH already =)

I did not spend 9 months loving nearly everything about my pregnancy, right down to the 30 pounds I put on, to lose that feeling now!

We are still in limbo - but I am realizing more and more that I need to just turn myself over to fate here and know that it will actually happen (it has to! Baby can't just hang out in there indefinitely), I just have no control over it and that it is OK for me to NOT have control over this. Someone very wise shared with me today that my inability to give myself over to this and just let it happen is an excellent metaphor for what is to come, because there is NOTHING about labor and delivery that I will be able to control, that's for sure. So to get to that next step I need to just relax. This is also true of labor - when the pains are coming fast and furious is when you most need to relax and let your body do its thing to move you through the process. Clearly I cannot dictate how labor will go, how long it will last, how much pain I will feel... so why not just give myself over now and make this whole process easier???

Today is my last day of work. I had discussed making Wednesday my last day, but my supervisor is not assigning me new cases at this point and she senses an overall "doneness." This is both a blessing and a curse because while I will be able to relax and put my feet up and rest, I will be bored to tears at home. I am impressed that I made it this long still working, but again this goes back to control - I want to be able to do what I want to do and that includes keep busy, keep working, and it doesn't hurt that I keep making money. =) So today will be my last day here, which feels very strange to me and anticlimactic in some ways because I had always pictured that I would not know when my last day would be and would call in to tell them that we were in labor. More evidence of not being able to perfectly plan everything out - seeing a theme here?

I also want to share that we have been so overwhelmed with the kind supportive messages and emails that people have been sending to us and it definitely helps to know that others are thinking of us.

Frustration has given way to acceptance... but we still hope to have news soon.


Two days over with no end in sight.

We had our appointment this morning for our non-stress test and exam. They hooked us up to the heart monitor for about 30 minutes and I kid you not as SOON as the babe was strapped into the monitor it began kicking like crazy, which made us laugh, which made fun lines on the print out, which we later had to explain. I have been having strengthening Braxton Hicks contractions much more frequently, but of course, not today during those 30 minutes. ("Sure you are having those, umm hmmm")

The Dr. took my blood pressure immediately after discussing how they would induce at about 41.5 weeks (middle of NEXT week) and that was just NOT a good idea because it was like 110 over 90. After my exam he had me lie down for a bit (read 30 minutes in which my entire left side fell asleep) and took it again which resulted in a pretty normal reading. I was also feeling pretty icky this morning - afterall I have been up since 4am.

Exam findings (read at your own risk)

My exam revealed that I am still not dilated, BUT that I am 50% effaced. A lesson on effacement and what that is all about for those interested can be found here:


The baby's head is also about a half a centimenter from engaging in the pelvis.

So how do we feel about all this?

I was hoping that there would have been a little more (read - a LOT more) action detected at this appointment today. Between our daily walks to nowhere, the increase in discomfort, my inability (and therefore Steve's inability) to sleep, the pressure, the bloat... Well I have just about had it mentally, emotionally, and physically. AND we are ONLY 2 days over. Remember when the Dr changed my due date from February 3rd to January 27th - he clearly shouldn't have done that - because here I am... I get to see that Dr. on Thursday and I will literally have to dig my nails into my own hand to prevent myself from being rude on that note. =)

Dr. predicts that it will be 50-50 that I will go on my own and not need an induction next week. Can we talk about how I cannot imagine making it to next week, but that I know it is a possibility, a good one at this point, and how sad it makes me?

Steve continues to be an incredible support. I was feeling so icky and nauseated all morning and he was SO there for me. It was like looking into a window to the future because if he was that supportive of my phantom pukedom, he is going to a champ during labor. I am so lucky! I know he is just as frustrated as I am at this point.

I have also I think FINALLY coming to the realization that I am completely 100% NOT in control of this situation, that there is NOTHING I can do to move it along, to make it happen, to will it to happen in anyway and for a Type A girl like me - that is just plain old UNACCEPTBLE. Seems that this is a very valuable lesson for me to learn now before Cash comes and I really have no control. This also reveals that this kid is definitely like us, we are both SO incredibly stubborn, and clearly Cash is too. "What's the weather out there today? threat of snow???, ummmm... I'll pass."

So we wait - I am sure I will force yet another evening walk on Steve tonight to try to encourage the progression to continue. If nothing else the walks have at least become a bit routine, which is somehow comforting when we feel so out of control and so without direction right now.


This morning I received my baby.com weekly newsletter. I have been using that and my books to provide the updates about what is happening in the life of Cash. I typically receive this newsletter on Saturday - but never got one yesterday - instead it came this morning. The header usually reads "Your baby.com newsletter - xyz weeks" Today it read - "Your baby.com newsletter - newborn".

Luckily for them they added a short paragraph about how many women have not delivered at this point and that I am sure to meet my baby soon enough.

So today we are +1, with no real signs of anything happening imminently. Yesterday we slept in which was MUCH needed after my terrible night of sleep the previous day. I was actually able to sleep through most of the night. We headed up to Milford to the mall for some Panera lunch and surprise surprise more walking. While at Borders looking over home improvement books, I began to have really strong lower back pain that over a few short minutes began migrating around to my lower abdomen. It was intense and I could not concentrate on anything but the pain. We got a little excited - but I was determined to keep walking so we did a lap of Target before we left. I was trance-like, a very strange feeling, focused on one thing; getting to the door and out to the car. The pain started to subside as we got to the car and was completely gone halfway home. About an hour later I started pacing the living room and poof there it was again, just as strong. So I lay down on the couch because with real labor pain will continue with change of position or activity and the pain went away. That was Steve's suggestion and knowledge by the way- what a smartie. So our theory is that I walked myself into those pains.

We have no plans today, although I am sure at some point I will have Steve out somewhere walking with me.

We have our non-stress test tomorrow at the doctor's office at 8:00AM and I guess we will just go from there.

So things are status quo, we were hoping to have had some news, but for now are just supporting one another through what we have discovered is a very strange time. It is almost dreamlike and we feel like we have one foot in reality and the other in this strange unknown place.


The long awaited day... I cannot even imagine how many times I have spoken this day outloud or to myself in anticipation of little Cash's arrival...

...and yet here we are...

I did some thinking this morning in shower about "zero day" and thought about how when I worked at Children's Hospital with the renal program that Zero Day was a long awaited event - transplant day - and everyday after that was a gift that meant that the transplant was working that the kidney had taken... so instead of wallowng in my self-pity that today may not be Cash's birthday and that we may have to wait +1 +2 or even more, I am going to try to focus instead on the blessings of having made it to the due date, knowing that our little bundle could arrive at anytime and that +1 and +2 don't really matter in the long run...


Typing "one" made me instantly burst into song in my head - "One, singular sensation, every little move she makes." I suppose silly things like that are bound to happen when you are one day from being due and you got exactly 4.5 hours of sleep the previous evening. Yup. I slept SOLID from 10ish to 2:30, when I woke up and realized out of NOWHERE that I had provided the grandfolks with directions from 95 North and NOT 95 South - OY!!!! Then I realized that I had mistakenly gone the other way off the exit once and had encountered a man being chased by a pit bull in the street. Double OY! Perhaps I was dreaming about the ride to the hospital - wishful thinking. I made a mental note to send corrected directions today and attempted to fall back asleep, but no dice.

So I got up and sent the email (after discovering sleeping kitty in THE BABY'S ROOM!) with corrected directions thinking that surely with this task off my plate I could fall back into peaceful slumber. NOPE. At about 3:30 I gave up and went into the living room to read for a bit. I read about 50 pages of Glass Castle and would have just kept on reading (as it was not making me tired in the least) if it had not been for senor or senorita Cash Money who decided it was playtime. THEN I began to have Braxton Hicks contractions about every 15 minutes and they were really uncomfortable, but not painful. For a moment I thought, is this it? Is it changing? But I was able to talk through them and they didn't actually hurt all that much so I figured this wasn't the time afterall, but I would be more comfortable in bed. So at a quarter to 5 I piled back under the sheets and attempted to find a comfy way to lay and kept timing those Braxton Hicks just to pass the time. The last time I opened my eyes the clock read 5:34. The alarm went off at 6:40 and here I am, though I was a MAJOR grumpus this morning, which I am very sorry for since Steve has been so supportive and attentive this week.

Steve wakes up everytime I move, everytime I voice my discontent, everytime I breathe loudly next to him. He even sits up in bed momentarily wide awake when I exit our bed to once again race to the loo. It is a race that I have been winning thus far, but by god my bladder is catching up to my legs and it is getting VERY close! I know how lucky I am to have such a supportive and caring person watching over me, even when he is sleeping!

The first thing I saw when I logged onto my computer this morning was a reminder I set up in Outlook MONTHS ago -

"Cashew! Due in 18 hours"

I don't even recall setting the reminder. I mean c'mon who is going to just forget that they are due tomorrow?

"Oh is that tomorrow? I had completely forgotten?"
"Steve, I just got a reminder - did you realize that we are due tomorrow??"
"Holy crap I'm having a kid on Saturday?"

Clearly there was no reason to have the reminder, but I now have it reminding me every two hours because I am somehow hoping that the reminders will get me through today.

So what has been happening -
...lots of Braxton Hicks - though less now that I am at work of course
...baby pretty active again overnight and this morning
...pressure is more constant, almost like "hey are my pants too tight?" (which by the way they are) but no it is just this constant pressure feeling in my lower abdomen
...almost wore one of Steve's sweaters that is about 8 sizes too big for me today as it is subartic out there today and I own exactly ZERO maternity sweaters

So - we are still waiting - and hopefully Monday won't come around again without Cash making his or her debut - but stranger things have happened and we are going to get through it --- one way or another this baby will be with us soon and THAT is enough to get me through for now

As a matter of public opinion is it BAD that I nearly threw my water bottle at an elderly volunteer who comes in to help out with office tasks when she arrived this morning and said

"Oh Kerri, you're still here?" followed by peals of glass shattering l-a-u-g-h-t-e-r?????

I really think it would have been justifiable - and exactly HOW does one appropriately and professionally respond to such a statement when inside you are SEETHING!!!

Two posts in one day??

SURE! Why not!!!

Had to share this little moment...

Steve and I have been emailing back and forth all day (nothing new there), but our converstaion is more focused than usual. How are you feeling? Any changes? When do you think it will be?


-----Original Message-----Sent: Thursday, January 25, 2007 1:43
From Kerri to Steve

Feeling ok, more pressure, baby is much lower today - I am a waddler it seems from now until the end

-----Original Message----- Sent: Thursday, January 25, 2007 2:08 PM
From Steve to Kerri

Hopefully the end is tonight

-----Original Message-----Sent: Thursday, January 25, 2007 2:32
From Kerri to Steve

The end - babe it is only the beginning =)


Still here... with just two days to go. =)

I am sitting at work, trying to look busy, but as you can imagine, very little work has been tossed my way these past few days because it would be irresponsible for me to start cases that I cannot commit to completing. So as nice as it is to sort of take it easy - I am pretty BORED... though that is better than being bored at home I suppose =)

We actually went to the gym last night and I walked on a treadmill at a reasonable speed for almost 30 minutes, keeping my heart rate as close to 100 as possible. Not sure if Cash enjoyed the treadmill or not? It was a bit of a strain on my hips, but nothing I can't handle.

I am officially doing the preggo waddle. Baby still feels very low. Braxton Hicks continue in increased strength and frequency. I had thought that Cash's movement had slowed WAY down, but apparently today s/he is a bundle of energy? I don't get it.

Hopefully we'll get to meet the little one soon enough!!

I spent almost an hour and half in the car to get here today - joy - the wonders of a dusting of snow in Southern CT! I literally went about 3 mph the ENTIRE 7 miles to my office today. If the frustration from that drive is not enough to push me into labor, then I don't know what is?!?! Is it five yet?


And then there were three... (ironically, what we will soon be!)

We had our 39 week appointment today - as you can see from the ticker above we are 39 weeks and 4 days today... The doctor checked me and there is no dilation happening yet, but my cervix is softening and the baby's head is "very low." She verified that the symtoms I have been feeling are indeed prelabor and good indications that my body is doing what it needs to do to get ready and get this thing going.

We made appointments for a non stress test next Monday and an ultrasound on Thursday to check the amniotic fluid and sizing again. We are both hoping not to make it to the appointment on Thursday as we would much prefer to see the baby in person by then rather than on the screen again.

Did more walking last night (this time at BJs) and went to Pepe's for a pizza feast. It was delish.

Please don't make it to next Thursday.
Please don't make it to next Thursday.
Please don't make it to next Thursday.
Please don't make it to next Thursday.
Please don't make it to next Thursday.
Please don't make it to next Thursday.


Last night after work we did go to Home Depot for a bit. We admired shiny Kenmore appliances, gazed up at shiny light fixtures, found our existing cabinets so that we can now remodel the kitchen without replacing ALL the cabinetry (YAY!), debated the merits of faucets both with and without attached spray nozzles, and just as we were on our way to flooring my father called. Simultaneously I began to feel pressure and I mean PRESSURE in my lower abdomen. I was barely able to talk to him, let alone look at the tile that Steve was checking out. It was not painful - but man the pressure...
We were about to leave the store when we realized that one of our smoke detectors needs a new battery. Now normally we wouldn't stress about it - especially since there are THREE in our condo - but since we want to be responsible parents (blah blah blah) we picked up the 9V and were on our way. Look at Cash already making an impact. =)
I am still feeling some pressure today, though thankfully not as strong as Home Depot, just more like a dull achy feeling that never quite goes away. Strong Braxton Hicks contractions continue as well lasting between 1 -3 minutes. Cash hasn't been as active today either and I actually stayed in bed on my left side AFTER my breakfast just to make sure s/he was still moving. (Paranoid, who me?) It took some gentle pushes and prods to get a kick out of the little one, but there they were! S/he is likely just squished in there and not able to move. This makes me wonder about me phobia of being confined - I hate the idea of having a blanket over my head, or not being able to move.
So we are planning on walking again tonight - not sure where - but somewhere warm and open that we can just sort of get lost in for awhile.
In light of that last photo from the horrible angle of my photographer husband lounging on couch, I asked that he take another photo for week 39 yesterday afternoon. Let this be a lesson to women everywhere - photos taken from below are NOT flattering. I look much less hippo-like in this photo. I am not quite turned as much to the side (which I am sure makes me look a bit more svelte) but the belly is definitely dropping. =)

Seven...Six... Five

...and then there were FIVE!

Five days to go until Saturday... I can't quite figure if we will stop the count early, if we will go in on time, or if I will begrudgedly be posting "+3 days" posts complete with snarky photos of one really annoyed post due date mom to be. By the way, can you believe how far along the little ticker up above the baby is!?!? UNREAL!!! =)

Weekend Wrap-up

Friday... Went to dinner and then WALKED around a local mall with Steve for a bit. We had a whole mall, full of shops and the only things we were interested in looking at were Mini DV cassettes at Target and appliances at Sears. You should have seen how excited we were to dive into the realm of fridges and dishwashers. =) We are officially old and married AND it was GREAT!

Saturday... I SLEPT ALL NIGHT ON FRIDAY STRAIGHT THROUGH TO 7AM!!! The baby must have been feeling guilty about getting me up so much all night long and took a break from putting pressure on my bladder. =) Colleen drove down from Boston and stopped briefly en route to NYC for a friend's birthday celebration. My parents arrived at precisely the same moment. We drove the rents down by the Sound in Westport to look at the McMansions and estates, then up 95 a few exits TO OUR NEW HOUSE (complete with sale pending sign and all). Then it was off to another local mall for some more walking, where I began to feel more intense pressure, but for some reason never alerted anyone. I guess I don't want to cry wolf and I am quite certain that if my mother heard something MIGHT be happening that she would have literally walked me around that mall until I went into labor. =) She has the best of intentions and as you will read later, perhaps the walking was a big help afterall? So for that I say THANK YOU MOM!

Sunday... Slept most of the night again! Realizing that this could be our last weekend lounging and sleeping in, we once again had breakfast in bed and watched silly TV until almost noon! Colleen stopped en route from the city to Boston. Hearing her fun stories about her evening made us a bit nostalgic for the good ol' days - especially when we realized that her level of fun was akin to our Kenmore fridge evening on Friday. =) Literally the only thing we did on Sunday was grocery shop and watch football. I had NO ENERGY at all, probably because I had done so much walking Friday and Saturday? I think the only thing worse than seeing the Pats lose is watching Steve go from "We're going to the Superbowl" to "I think I am going to be sick" in less than 20 minutes.


MAYBE?? I think we MAY have some action happening at this point, probably due to the walking we did over the weekend. (Again, thank you Mom!) I seem to be experiencing some "prelabor symptoms," not all that frequent, but sort of lingering just under the surface if that makes any sense? Also - the break in the frequent trips to the loo was just a break - I was up at least three times again last night.

Without getting into ALL the details - I have some signs - some cramping, but only low and in the front, shortness of breath (baby moves down and create more space for lungs to expand), extreme fatigue (change in energy level one way or another) being the most pleasant ones I can list here. =)

I guess what throws me (and many first time moms) is that I wonder how we will know when REAL labor is starting and what to do when that happens. Clearly I will know right? Will I know because I am unable to stand and find myself pounding on a wall in agony or will I be uncomfortable begging for a tennis ball back rub? So for that I am relying on the grandmothers to be. I spoke to my mother this morning and she seems to think that things are getting underway, but that the changes I am noticing don't necessary mean anything quite yet. So perhaps this evening after work Steve and I will take a little trip to Home Depot or something to walk some more before dinner. I could go to the gym, you know that place we pay money each month to keep ourselves active, but the thought of getting on an elliptical now just isn't all that appealing to me.

So it looks like there will be a "Four" post --- for now at least...


We had our 2-minute OB appointment yesterday afternoon, which left me feeling, well, quite edgy actually. I know that it is a GOOD thing that the appointment was quick, that is means that everything is going well, and that there aren't any concerns, but at this point I guess I just expected more than blood pressure, weight, urine check, and the doppler. When you are NEARLY 39 weeks pregnant you almost want someone to take your hand and say "you have done well, this baby is coming soon, you are ready, and I promise this will end."

I can't really complain. After all wasn't it just a few weeks ago that I was typing away about how much I love being pregnant. Don't get me wrong! I do love it. I love the secret little world that Cash and I share, I love feeling those reassuring kicks, I love putting my hand on my belly and knowing that just beneath the surface of that stretched out skin is an adorable little hybrid of Steve and I. What I can do without is the back pain, the lack of sleep, the painful kicks to the ribs, the general sense of uncomfortableness, my inability to eat a full meal, and the fatigue that makes me want a nap as soon as I come home from work. So I have turned the corner here and there is no going back. I am READY - Please Cash be ready too?!?!?

Remember that little convo I had with Cash about needing to stay in there just a bit longer to get stronger. I had the same discussion again last night, only this time it was more like "Cash, you done good kiddo, you are strong enough, I know this is a scary place out here, but we want to show you all of it--- soooo anytime you're ready!"

My feeble and pathetic attempt to engage the doctor in discussion about when he thinks this might happen failed miserably.

Me: So will I see you next week?
Doc: Maybe, oh no wait, I am not on next week, but maybe on the weekend

He either missed my point - I don't care if I will see you! I want to know if you think I will make it back here next week for the next appointment! - OR he heard me loud and clear, but refused to make a judgement on my progression.

The heartbeat sounded wonderful and strong and his estimate for those involved in the pool is that Cash will enter this world weighing 7 lbs 11oz. (holy god!) Cash's head is according to the Doc "getting down there."

Other goings on..
...Woke up at 5 this morning... alternated staring at crack above closet door and watching Steve's blue tooth blink until almost 7
... Reese, having been properly outfitted with claw protectors, is now banned from our bedroom at night in preparation for Cash's arrival and makes no attempt to enter our room, scratch at the door, or cry... we are greeted each morning with all her little toy mice and even a milk bottle cap which she gathers throughout the night and brings to our door
... it snowed here last night - first snow we have had since living here - the commute was FANTASTIC =(
... we are signing the purchase and sale for the house at lunchtime today (YAY!!!!!)


That's right - that counter above this post REALLY reads 9 days to go!!!

Not to be too Dick Clark about this - but I do feel like screaming the countdown from the roof...

So here I go... NINE

single digits - with a baby due NEXT WEEKEND?!?!

I have a doctor's appointment later this afternoon. There is nothing special planned for this visit I don't think, just a weight check, a urine sample, and some discussion about how perfect little Cash is doing I hope.

I think the feet have migrated more towards the north as I am feeling kicks to my ribs which were previously felt in my side. Sometimes it looks like the baby has dropped and other times it doesn't. It seems to depend on the time of day (after a long day I can singlehandedly prove that gravity exists!) and what I am wearing. The top I have on today actually makes me look a lot smaller than the pink number I have on in the post below. So maybe some more pictures are in order =)

I continue to feel more pressure and yesterday had a short period of time (before Steve got home from work) that I had a pretty strong and lengthy contraction. I didn't panic though - which afterwards was reassuringly shocking - I just lay down on my side like "the book" says to and it went away not long thereafter. Clearly this was not labor, but I think it is safe to say that my body is getting ready =)

OH and my dream last night - I had this WILD dream that we had the baby (I don't know if it was a boy or girl though because it was wearing white!) and I was repositioning the baby in my arms which resulted in me SOMEHOW hitting its head against something. This of course caused it to BLEED profusely from the scalp. Steve matter-of-factly stated that the baby's skin was probably very sensitive because the baby had been in fluid for 9 months. So what's a new Mom to do with a baby bleeding badly from the head? Ask for a PAPER TOWEL of course - yes, you read right - head wounds clearly require "the quicker picker upper." Dear lord... I am sure this is just my subconcious reminding me that as ready as I feel, deep down I am pretty nervous about caring for this new baby, but a PAPER TOWEL???

Is that a hippo?

Let us first take a moment to remember what used to be...

July 26, 2006 - end of first trimester

And 20 weeks... me saying look there is a bump - really there is!!!

An undated photo - 30ish? getting a bit more real

35 weeks - the Pats have been replaced by beautiful Humarock photos lovingly hung by Dad-to-be - if that isn't love -----

38 weeks - yesterday...

A New Cousin!!!

Though we have no news to report on Cash, Steve's cousin who was due on January 6th had her baby, a girl, on Saturday morning! Welcome baby Abigail~

We had a pretty relaxing weekend at home, with lots and lots of football and the 4-hour premiere of 24 of course... I was off yesterday and spent much of the day lounging and napping, but poor Steve had to work.

I don't want to jinx myself, but I have been sleeping better the last few nights than I was at the end of last week. I have only been getting up a few times each night and not on the hour as had been the case for a few nights in a row--- miserable I tell you. Perhaps it is my new pillow configuration?

Baby is feeling a bit lower making walking somewhat challenging, but I won't take that as a sign of anything crazy happening anytime in the NEAR future. This low feeling seems to come and go. Hiccups continue and I feel them in my lower right abdomen, near my pelvis. This puts Cash's head still over in that direction too. I am also beginning to think that the earliest we will meet Cash is February... just a hunch...

So last night while talking to Cash who had the hiccups AGAIN while I was trying to fall asleep and calling him/her "Cashy" (as in "oh Cashy, not now! Mommy is tired!") Steve asked what we were going to do about naming this baby because he/she really is Cash to us (or some variation of Cash).

Cash, Cashy, Cashola, Cashina, Cash Money, his or her royal Cashness

Sure Cash will have a REAL name, but will we use it????

I love you smushy face!

Yesterday afternoon was our ultrasound and it was nothing short of amazing!

I cannot think of another thing on Earth that gives me butterflies, makes me feel so proud, or that inspires such awe as seeing Cash on a screen... I am sure I will feel that way times 100 when we get to meet him or her in a few weeks. I am just thrilled by the sight of feet and hands flashing by on a screen now, but I feel confident they will have nothing on the real thing. =)

So what did we learn?

Cash is still head down (yay!), with the head just to the right of my pelvis. His or her back is facing the left, so it is kind of like Cash is laying on his or her left side. No surprises here, baby's feet are lodged way over to the right under my ribs.

Baby is very "reactive." I was corrected after saying baby was interactive, which clearly implied that the baby was responding specifically to us and our touch, which the sonographer must have found hysterical.

We watched Cash open and close his or her eyes and look left and right without moving his or her head (anyone else getting as sick of reading his or her as I am of typing it!) =) This eye movement is evidence of "excellent muscle development and control."

Baby has HAIR and what appears to be LOTS of it =) She had Steve touch my belly to move the amniotic fluid around and you could see it move in the liquid - which I have to admit KIND OF reminded me of some biology book where they show you the paramecium's cilia. just saying.

It was nothing short of a miracle on screen - how dramatic of me - but really, there are almost no words. Thinking back to being in that SAME room and seeing that first tiny little blip of Cash's heart beating on the screen and now seeing a fully developed heart pumping away in a fully formed rib cage of "appropriately dense bones," seeing its eyes opening and closing, its fully formed fist behind its head, its perfect little humerus (upper arm bone)... Nature has done its job. There is a "ready to come out and breathe on its own baby" in my belly.

Cash's estimated weight from this scan is 6 lbs 9 ounces and according to the doctor we met with everything looks WONDERFUL. Is there another phrase someone can say that has the ability to make your heart soar like that?

As we are about 38 weeks - here is what Cash is up to during this 38th week...

... weighs between 6.5 to 7 pounds (we are on target!)
... between 19 and 21 inches long
... has a firm grasp
... organs are fully developed and in place EXCEPT the brain and lungs which will continue to mature throughout CHILDHOOD

Without further ado... the latest photos of Cash, with some helpful photo descriptors below...

1st photo - labeled "kiss" - Cash's face is right up against the wall of the uterus and when she moved the wand across its face it gave this squishy appearance almost as if he/she is pressing their face up against a window - you can make out the eyes, nose and mouth which look clownlike because they are being squished =)

2nd photo - labeled "hair" - This is Cash's head - the white around the head is HAIR!!!!

3rd photo - unlabeled - Cash's gorgeous delicious foot! Look at that bone structure =) I think that is the cord in the background

4th photo - labeled "Knees" - Cash's knees are all bent up in there - actually located near his/her elbows - baby is resting one knee and one elbow on each other =)

What a long strange dream...

and you were there, and you were there, and you were there... I felt like Dorothy when I woke up this morning. (Note: the phrase when I woke up refers to the period of time between my frequent trips in the middle of the night to the loo - 3 last night - 1am, 4am, and 6am - the last resulting in a bit of a tantrum as I found myself lying on my back -GASP! - my preggo "comfort and to-keep-you-on-your-side " pillow tucked neatly between the legs of the softly snoring giant beside me.)

I don't often remember my dreams, but throughout this pregnancy I have had some whoppers. They leave me scratching my head in the morning wondering about the real ingredients in that pre natal vitamin I take after dinner. (I checked they don't say "Eat Me" on them, so I shouldn't be slipping down any rabbit holes any time soon - not that I could FIT anyway at this point) So last night what I was left with in the morning were some brief little snippets - which made no logical sense at all. So here are just a couple of my little dream sequences...

Dream sequence 1 -
- My grandfather seated at a table playing cards (of course), his hair parted perfectly in the way he always wore it, glasses framing his smiling eyes, attempting to work a cellphone my uncle had just given him. We laughed and he laughed that big hearty laugh of his...
Interpretation -
- The phone - reaching out to us? us reaching out to him? me wanting to reach out to him or wishing I could? I don't know - it was good to see him though...

Dream sequence 2 -
- My father and I standing in my aunt's backyard - me begging him for one more horsey ride - him finally giving in and galloping around the yard like a pony with me shrieking the whole time. Cut to our backyard years prior, being thrown straight up into the air and caught flawlessly over and over, absolutely terrified each time, but reassured with each catch...
Interpretation -
These were more like memories - I did beg him relentlessly when I was about 11 for that last pony ride because I realized I was growing up and I couldn't have them anymore and what did that mean?? - he really did give in and take that last gallop... Just like he really used to stand for long periods of time in the backyard, right off the patio near where the big tree used to be, tossing us up into the air over and over - he even tossed the neighbors! This must have to do with me realizing that though I was long ago too old for tossing and pony rides, I am reaching another milestone in my relationship with my pops... and soon he might gallop with Cash and toss a shrieking little one up over his head in that same backyard...

Car seat inspection tonight!
Doctor appointment and Ultrasound Thursday!

Under 20 days?!?

According to the little countdown we have 19 days until our due date!

As we approach the big day - I will try to update this more regularly... I seem to have a lot to say about all this baby whoo haa lately =)

Car Seat

So I posted a bit ago that we installed the car seat base into my car after our little scare. While watcthing an episode of that show "Bringing Home Baby," we were shocked to see a new father unable to get the seat to work properly for over THIRTY minutes!? (sidebar - he was an ENGINEER! Sorry Greg, but this guy did nothing to elevate your profession...) The nurse wouldn't let the couple take their new little bundle home until it was correct (and rightly so!) and they had to leave the baby at the hospital until they figured out how to work the seat properly! Steve made a good point, why did Mom have to leave the baby - she could have stayed while the husband went to fix the seat? That didn't make sense to us. Regardless, I digress.

Within minutes of the show ending we were out in the parking lot snapping our seat in and releasing it from the base just to be sure we won't be "those parents." =) It was SO easy and even the little bubble that tells you if it is level and placed properly was perfectly centered without any fiddling. I am sure that the officer at the police department checking our seat on Wednesday night will be tres impressed with our handiwork.

(Cue cheesy music - emotional mother-to-be commentary follows)

So I drove around yesterday with an infant seat in my car, which was a very strange feeling. I kept looking back while stopped at lights and in my rear view (not that I could see anything!), half expecting to hear a whimper or an adorable little baby gurgle. At first I thought - "I need to get this seat out of the car when I get home, there is no reason for it to be in here already." Then I started thinking about how "right" it felt to have it in the car with me, how normal it seemed, and this made me realize that I am ready to be a Mom. I know that I should be pretty ready at this point, but there are moments when I feel distinctly ready and this was one of those moments.

Notable Ready-to-be-a-Mom moments

...Entering Marshalls and going directly to the baby section (in search of Red Sox apparel for young Cashola - which I found, much to Dad-to-be's delight!) without even thinking about what cute things I might be able to wear soon
...Evenings lounging on the couch spent rubbing my belly not because my belly needs rubbing, but because I want to be as close to Cash as I can be
...The care I take to choose special songs to play Cash through the IPOD - songs like Billy's Lullaby
...Stirring soup wondering if Cash will like the minestrone better than last week's chicken chowder
...Pouring over the first few chapters of "What to Expect the First Year" and not feeling overwhelmed, but elated
... Gazing into the "empty for now" crib and having panic be replaced by absolute contentment

So now we are in the business of being ready - physically, mentally, and emotionally - and we are... and it is a wonderful feeling...

Your Weekly Cash Flash

Saturday marked 36 weeks for Cash. At the conclusion of this week that means that the baby will be considered FULL TERM! Check out the chubby little cheeks in that artistic rendering of a 36 week-old fetus! =)

Happy 2007!
Steve and I enjoyed a quiet night at home on NYE. We cooked up lobsters, clam chowder, and chocolate fondue. It was different to be at home and just us, but it was actually very peaceful and special. Cash even tasted a sip of champagne or two as midnight approached. As we sat and watched the coverage of Times Square we were struck by two things...

1. What a year 2006 was, with so much change and excitement...
2. There doesn't seem to be ANYTHING appealing about being in Times Square on NYE

Some highlights of our holiday weekend~ (besides lots of much needed zzzzzzz)

Friday night
...The Good Shepherd (excellent but very long)

...watched the BC bowl game, went to IKEA, got all the must have baby stuff for the nursery (just in case items like bottles and such), and oh yeah - put an offer on a house

... continued negotiations on the house, LOTS of football, installed the car seat base, watched The Last Kiss (we liked it)

... lazy rainy day, got word that we got the house - the inspection is this Friday! (wish us luck!)

Hope this doesn't jinx things, but here is our family's potential new home as of May 2007!

Today was my weekly Cash check-up. Baby's heartbeat sounded good and Mom-to-be's blood pressure was normal too. (I will never tire of listening to that little gallop on the doppler!) She palpated my belly and explained the baby's position; head down and face up. (Please stay that way!) She started showing me where various parts were and I could only think of Joe Pesce in Goodfellas, "look a wing!" She also estimates that the baby is about 6 pounds! This is right on target with my books and certainly within the normal range. I only gained a pound this week, which was terrific given the scary number I saw at my appointment last week - yikes - all that holiday eating really took a toll!!! I have my next appointment on the 11th and they will do an ultrasound for sizing at that appointment - so we get another little preview of Cash - yay!!!

Here is what Cash is up to this week...

... about 6 pounds

... almost 19 inches long
... gaining about an ounce a day!
... shedding the lanugo (downy hair that covered the body) and vernix (creamy mixture that protected the skin in the amniotic fluid)