Thursday, December 20, 2007

a punctual baby.

My daughter, aka Bumblebee for the purpose of this blog, was born on her due date - my brother's 26th birthday. I think it's pretty cool that, exactly 26 years after my mom was in labor for the first time, I was as well.

She was born on December 10 at 11:39 am, weighing 7 lbs 11 oz and measuring 20 inches long. Here is how she came into the world.

(Disclaimer: This is a birth story. It is not for the squeamish. It's not very graphic)

Many women have Braxton-Hicks contractions as their body prepares for birth. I'd had some in my 3rd trimester, but by 38 weeks they stopped entirely. At 39 weeks, I had no prelabor signs at all. I pretty much felt like I had just started my third trimester, and not at all like I was anywhere near giving birth. Most first-time moms go past 40 weeks, and I was anticipating to as well. I was hoping for the baby to be born at 41 weeks, so that my husband (Dude, for the purpose of this blog) could finish up his schoolwork and my mom (who planned to come up when i was 40w4d) would be around. It would be perfect.

On Sunday December 9, at 39w6d, I had some crampy contractions! Yay! My body was gearing up. I didn't think labor was imminent - plenty of women have prodromal labor for weeks! But I was happy to have signs of my body preparing. These contractions were a bit on the strong side, which was surprising, but not unusual. There was nothing regular going on at all, and it bore nearly all the marks of prelabor. (Prelabor is also known as "false" labor, but it really isn't "false" because it prepares the body to give birth.) I should point out that on Friday night I had 4 hours of sleep, and Saturday night I had 4 hours of sleep, and thus on Sunday I was exhausted.

My mother-in-law, father-in-law, and grandfather-in-law came to take us out to dinner at an Indian restaurant in town, and we returned to our place afterwards to eat potato latkes and light Chanukah candles. I was exhausted by 7 pm and wanted to get in bed. After they left, I went online for a bit, anticipating I'd go to bed early. Dude got a call from work asking if he could go in early and he said sure. As usual, I spent far more time online than I'd meant to, and decided to log off... when, at 9:30, I had a really strong contraction. At 9:40 I had another one, and DAMN! Both HURT, and radiated into my lower back. I checked a website an online due-date-club buddy had linked to a while back, explaining the difference between prodromal labor and early labor. This seemed like it COULD be the real thing, but I was so doubtful. Aren't women in early labor for hours, and don't they go to the hospital too early sure that this is "it" only to be sent home? I called my parents to ask my mom about it, since these were so painful, but she was asleep. I had a contraction while talking to my dad (at 9:50) and didn't mention it to him. Because, you know, if this wasn't "it," the last thing I needed was people bugging me even MORE about when the baby was coming. Another one came at 10, and then 10:15. I was extremely confused - why was I having strong contractions 10 minutes apart?? How many REAL first-time labors start like THAT? On TV, you might see births start with water breaking or someone suddenly going into labor, but that's TV. When you read birth stories, they feature women with pretty mellow contractions an hour apart, and then they pick up. Well, mine started off picked up, which confused the hell out of me. I didn't believe I was in labor, though. I knew of way too many moms who were in labor for days or assumed that this was "it" way too early. When you're in labor, you know. And I didn't know anything except for OW HOLY SHIT WHAT IS GOING ON. I did admit to myself that this COULD be it, but only 4% of women deliver on their due date, and this started pretty much out of nowhere. So I was great at convincing myself that I was probably wrong. i was very tense, and unable to use my relaxation techniques that had been working beautifully for weeks, because the pain was so much more intense than I expected. I told Dude to get as much work done on his paper as possible, just in case. He laughed. I don't even know if he took me seriously or not. I should ask him.

By 11:30, my contractions hadn't slowed down at all, and I was thinking that they might have picked up. We decided to start timing them and headed to We timed the first one at 11:39 pm. Little did we know that in 12 hours, we'd be welcoming our daughter into the world. Dude kept working on his paper as much as he could, and each time I had a contraction, I would moan and lean on my yoga ball and call for him. He'd come running, and I'd beg him to apply as much pressure as possible to my low back. He asked if I wanted to do a perineal massage to help my vaginal elasticity. (Seriously, my husband asked me that. This is why I consider him to be my soul mate.) We'd agreed to do this in early labor, since I have a very tight perineum and was concerned about it stretching enough. But I could NOT bear the thought of it with all those contractions. I said that right now was not the time*, leaned on my ball, kept moaning and begging for more sacral pressure.
*Actually it was more like "FUCK NO ARE YOU KIDDING ME I'LL DIE." (Labor, for me at least, was very caps-lock-y.)

By 12:30, my contractions were 5 minutes apart. I was shaky and cold and had so much pressure that I felt like I was about to SHIT myself. My pelvic floor felt like it was being ripped apart and I could barely breathe through the pain. Um, what? This sounded like ACTUAL LABOR. But it couldn't be. Could it?? I went to post to my online due date club and ask them what was going on, because how intense can Braxton-Hicks BE anyway? If this wasn't actual labor, I was going to DIE when that rolled around, because this was really painful. I never got the chance to read much of the follow-up thread until Bee was a few days old, but the posts I did read said that this sounded like it was "it." Somehow, I still didn't believe it. By 1:30, they went to 3 minutes apart. I was supposed to call my midwife when they had been 5 minutes apart and strong for 1-2 hours. Well, they had been, so I called, but I told her it started out of nowhere and I was really confused. She suggested I take a warm bath, and if it slowed things down, to get some rest. If things picked up, I should call back.

I called my doula, E, to tell her what was up and explained how hard and fast the contractions were. I asked her if I should call my mom - who had a 5-hour drive ahead of her and was supposed to be there for the birth - and tell her to come yet, or if I should wait a bit longer. I was concerned, because on the one hand, I knew that labors that began very fast and intense tended to be much shorter. But on the other hand, I didn't want her driving all the way up if this wasn't the real thing. (Let me also mention that she was just barely getting over the flu.) E said to call my mom, take a warm bath, and relax. I told her to go to sleep and that I'd update her in a bit. (She didn't. She got ready instead.) So, at 1:45, I accepted that yes, I was in labor, but it might still be a while. I didn't call my mom so that she could get some rest, too. I told Dude to get some sleep just in case, too. Hell, if I wasn't getting any rest, SOMEONE should, right? So I got in the tub. I couldn't stay in long. I didn't feel relaxed, and my contractions didn't slow down at all. And, to be honest, I kind of hate sitting in bathtubs. So I came out and woke Dude up. At 2:30 I called E and asked her to come over, and called my mom and told her to come on up because I was in labor. I guess I didn't sound very convincing, or tell her how intense it all was, so she thought I was still in early pre-labor and that she had several hours ahead of her. She rested for an hour and then left.

Contractions were still 3-5 minutes apart, and Dude scrambled around to finish packing the hospital bag with all the last-minute stuff. Everything had been packed except for toiletries, snacks, water, and stuff like that, but he did have some stuff he needed to get together - and of course, everything needed to actually be put in the car. But every couple minutes, I would scream out for him, hunch over the ball, and beg him to apply as much pressure as possible to my sacrum. By 3:30 E was there and helped me through contractions as Dude packed up the car. I am SO glad I had a doula, and that it was her. Words can't express.

The midwife said to come to the hospital whenever I felt comfortable. I was nervous about going too early and being sent home, but I was already past the point where the midwives' policy suggested I come in. We decided to stay home until I really felt like I would be more comfortable at the hospital. E and Dude continued to give me pressure on my sacrum during contractions. I tried some different stuff, but kneeling and hugging my yoga ball seemed best. I could not laiedown at all. At 5:30, the contractions were more intense, and my most coherent and constant thought was "I AM GOING TO SHIT MYSELF." I imagined the tub at the hospital and how much nicer it is than my own tub, and we decided to leave. Even walking to the car was torture. I was nervous about that 15 minute car ride, because I would have at least 3 contractions on the way, and they would probably be awful. Dude called out of work as we were on the way but couldn't reach anyone - uh oh! He was supposed to be going in early. Too bad for them!

We reached the hospital just before 6. We went in the wrong entrance (d'oh) and were stuck in the maternity waiting room. See, they said that after-hours, you can't enter through the front and so you go in through the ER. But the front was open, so I figured it wasn't "after-hours"! How am I supposed to know? So, Dude and E asked if I would be able to go back into the elevator and go to the ER entrance. I'm sorry, I'm an 80's child, and I have seen way too many sitcoms where women give birth in elevators. I told them that I'd rather give birth in the waiting room than anything else. I called my midwife (Kathleen) and had a contraction while we were on the phone. Within minutes, she showed up and brought us to the antenatal room so they could check out the baby's heart rate and stuff. I had a contraction on the way down the hall, doubled over, BROKE MY NEW SIGG WATER BOTTLE, and let myself be dragged to antenatal. This annoyed me, because did I really have to prove that I was in labor at this point? But I knew the 20-minute strip on the external fetal monitor was part of the process of birthing at my hospital, and at least they didn't make me lie down. The nurse was really accommodating and made sure that I was comfortable during each contraction, and that as long as the strip was decent, that would be fine - it didn't need to be perfectly 20 minutes or if I needed a break, that was okay. What a sweetheart.

Kathleen offered me a vaginal exam, which I had decided before that I didn't even WANT. When I said no, she explained that the reason she'd like to is so that she would have a better idea of what was going on throughout the labor, and of course it was up to me. Anyway, I changed my mind and decided to have one but not know my progress - because if I was 2 cm dilated and barely effaced, I would probably flip out. She checked me and said, "You really don't want to know? I mean, it's GOOD." Curious, I asked, and she said I was 80% effaced and 6 cm dilated. Well, shit! Since I was the only one in labor that night, Kathleen asked for the best room on the labor ward, and we went there. The tub was already being filled. I spent some time in there, and then moved to the bed and used the squat bar. Bear in mind that it was now nearly 7 am on Monday morning, and I had been awake for nearly 24 hours after 8 hours of sleep all weekend. Iwas exhausted. Exhaustion during labor isn't exactly a good thing - which is why they tell you to rest in early labor. Unfortunately for me, I pretty much skipped early labor and got right into it. We changed positions a lot, but using the birth ball seemed best with the sacral pressure. Changing positions felt like it was going to kill me because each first contraction in a new position was so intense.

Time was weird to me by this point. Dude, E, Kathleen, and the nurse (Barbara) were so awesome. I heard the nurses who came in and out of the room discussing my birth plan, telling each other not to offer me any pain meds and giving each other suggestions on how to help me relax and have the natural childbirth I wanted. Part of me was like "HA!" because so many people made me feel like I could NOT have a drug-free birth in a hospital, and that I'd be beating off the interventions - as if I'd be tied to my bed and forced with an epidural. This was absolutely not the case. I felt like I was the one in control of everything. So take that, bitches. I could not have labored in a better, more supportive environment. It was beautiful.

During each contraction, I tried to use my Hypnobabies (self-hypnosis) cues, and while I could not relax my body, I was able to envision my cervix dilating and opening more to let my baby out. This was an awesome thing to focus on during the contractions and Barbara really helped me with that. You could probably hear me from Timbuktu, intoning "OOOOPENNNN, OOOOOOPPPPPENNNNNN," in a low deep voice. Everyone helped me divert tension out of my face and body in order to just let my uterus do the work it needed to do. The constant conversation between me and everyone in earshot was: "I can't do this. I can't do this!" "You ARE doing it." "I am doing it. I am doing it. ... I can't do this!"

We called my mom intermittently, as I was anxious about her getting to me safely. Sometime in the 8 o'clock hour, she arrived as I was walking from the bathroom to the bed (with lots of support). I was so relieved to have her there, and she was an awesome addition to the birth team. Kathleen had brought a birth stool in, since I'd requested one on my birth plan, and so I got on that. In that position, the baby's head came waaaayyyyy down - and, as usual, I thought I was going to die. Kathleen checked me again and I was almost fully dilated at 8:40. She said we could have this baby any time now, and to push whenever I felt the urge (which I hadn't yet). When checking me, she said my bag of waters was right there. Some of it broke on its own, and some of it broke because she touched it by accident. She felt bad about that, I think. She guiltily said, "I accidentally broke part of your forewaters. It was right there when I checked." I kind of stared at her like a zombie and just said, "Okay." Some of the pressure was relieved, and the contractions and urge to push got extremely intense.

I didn't WANT to push. I was terrified. I was in so much pain, and so exhausted, that I couldn't do it. I literally could not do it. How could I do this? My body couldn't do this on its own. I was too tired. I couldn't handle the pain. I was going to die if i kept trying. My birth team was awesome at helping calm me down and kept reminding me that I was doing it, and giving me tips to make each contraction easier on me. We changed positions a lot, which was hard because I knew that first contraction in thew new position would be killer, but that the movement could help ease the baby out. Everyone kept telling me that the baby would be out "soon." I got pissed off about this, actually, because they wound up telling me this for 3 hours, and when you are in labor, 3 minutes can feel like an eternity.

I wanted to be on the squat bar again so badly, but I could not move off the bed sufficiently to let them set it up, nor could I move enough to even figure out how to get into a supported squat with Dude or E or Mom. I lay on my side for a while, with everyone holding my legs, and pushed. Each push felt like a train coming at top speed from my brain down my spinal cord out my sacrum, and made me think I was actually going to die. Kathleen, E, and Barbara helped cue me in terms of moaning. They said that I was too high and needed to moan deep and low, that the high-pitched moans would exhaust me further whereas the deep and low ones would move the baby out. This helped so much. My legs cramped up horribly and I switched positions again so that I was half-seated and half-reclined, holding my legs up, like a more upright version of the Bradley method semi-squat. I did not want to birth in this position. I wanted to be fully squatting. My body begged me to, but I couldn't do it, even with everyone trying to help me. They would try, and I would beg them to stop and leave me where I was. I was TOO TIRED. I couldn't give birth anyway. I was going to die. I had been pushing for hours already and was sick of all the "soon"s. It was after 11 am and there was no way I could do this. Kathleen told me I was resisting with each push, and I had to just let go and let my body do its work. She actually said this almost sternly, that I was holding back, and I had to be the one to let go. No one else could do it for me. I was really able to focus on her words (and everyone else's suggestions) and let them guide me. If everyone hadn't been supportive and awesome and known exactly what to say, I dunno what I would have done. I was so convinced I couldn't do it.

Kathleen tried using warm compresses on my perineum to relax it, but it was still really tight. She said there was one really tight band of muscles there and that she knew i didn't want to hear this, but we might need to do an episiotomy. I looked her right in the eye and said "NO. No. We can't. No." My midwife practice does 1-2 episiotomies a year - some places have a 75% or higher episiotomy rate. I did not want to be one of those 1-2. The whole practice is against it and feels they're unnecessary. Why should it be necessary for me? I was upset, but after I told her "no," she let it go and didn't push me and suggested other things to try.

The train sensations down my spinal cord suddenly got RIDICULOUSLY intense. I groaned deep and low as I pushed. Mom was grinning and telling me she could see the head and that the baby had hair (I guessed she'd be bald), but I felt her head going back up between pushes. This frustrated me. I said that I couldn't do it. Everyone kept reminding me I WAS doing it, and again I would echo "I AM doing it." Kathleen reminded me to LET GO during the pushing and not resist it. There was no more episiotomy talk.

(When E tells other people the story, she says, "During pushing, the perineum wouldn't open. The baby had been in the birth canal for a while, and there were some serious decels. So the midwife said 'let's do an episiotomy,' and this chick said 'NO! HNNNNNNGGGGHHHH!' And out came the baby!")

Somehow, at 11:39 am (12 hours after we started timing contractions), after several pushes, one ripped through me and she was coming out. I could see her head and it was not in my body anymore. Kathleen was doing something with her hands in my vagina - I don't even know what. I closed my eyes and I don't know how I did it, but she was out and on my belly all of a sudden. Kathleen told Dude he could cut the cord when it stopped pulsing. I was in a daze. I tried to move her close to me, but the cord was so short. I was so happy to see her, but I felt uncomfortable having her there on my belly, as it caused pressure on my short cord and rubbed against the tearing in my vagina. The cord stopped pulsing, the placenta came out, and I held my baby close. I was overwhelmed. I don't really remember how long we lay like that.

I do remember the nurse asked me about vitamin K - my birth plan specified that we didn't want erythromycin ointment or the Hepatitis B vaccine, but that we would decide about vitamin K depending on how the birth went. I asked Kathleen for her opinion, and she said that she would recommend it because Bee was in the birth canal so long and needed help coming out, and probably had internal bruising. I looked at E and asked her what she thought, since we were on the same page and I trusted her opinion immensely. She agreed with Kathleen, and Bee got the shot. She didn't really care. The same thing happened about administering Cytotec to me after birth. I could only remember from Bradley class that it was not a good idea before birth but that it wasn't as bad afterwards, without any clue what it was or what was bad about it. But since they both agreed I needed it due to bleeding, I went for it. It was really nice to have E there. I trusted whatever she said in terms of what would help me, and it was awesome to be able to ask her if something was a good decision when i was way too out of it to decide for myself. Knowing that she and Kathleen agreed set my mind at ease even more. I mean, if two women I trusted immensely to help me with decisions said the same thing, I felt very comfortable going along with them.

At some point, Dude took the baby and had skin-to-skin time with her. She was weighed at that point, and I don't really know what else was going on, because I'd had 2nd degree tears (but no episiotomy!) and needed stitches. I know that either my mom or Dude was with her the whole time, but I can't really remember what went on. I forget why or how or when she stopped being on my belly. But I do remember a grinning Dude pulling off his shirt and holding her close to him, and I remember being very out of it when I got stitches and woozy when we talked about my bleeding and Cytotec. Eventually E left and we got ready to head to our postpartum room. The birth was over, and I got to have the intervention-free labor I wanted. I felt empowered and amazed. My baby was out in the world, and now we were a family.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

important dates from my pregnancy.

This is a good thing to keep for my records!

Red-letter dates from this pregnancy, including how far along I was:

3/30 - 3w3d. I take an early pregnancy test, knowing it might be too early for a positive. It is negative. I decide to wait 2 days and test again, per the internet's suggestion.
3/31 - 3w4d. I realize I do not want to take a pregnancy test on april fool's day. So I test again. Sure enough... PREGNANT!
4/9 - 5w. first prenatal appointment. nothing exciting. They confirm my due date is December 10, which i knew - my brother's birthday!
4/10 - 5w1d. We tell the immediate family.
4/15 - 5w6d. We move. (We had planned to move before the pregnancy.) I do not recommend moving at 6 weeks pregnant, and hope not to ever do that again, as I felt sick and woozy and tired through the move as well as unpacking.
5/18 - 10w4d. Second prenatal appointment. Although the fetal heartbeat frequently cannot be detected by doppler till 14 weeks, the midwife tries anyway and cannot find it. I am not worried as I am a month away from 14 weeks. However, I let her scare me into rushing to the hospital for an emergency ultrasound. We confirm the heartbeat is fine and see our baby kicking around for the first time. Although it is several weeks too early to tell, I am convinced it is a girl. We start telling more family and friends about the pregnancy.
6/11 - 14w. I enter the second trimester and the risk of miscarriage drops dramatically. By this point, everyone knows we are expecting.
6/12 - 14w1d. Dude turns 24.
6/24 - 15w6d. I definitively feel the baby move for the first time. After some random flutters here and there for the past week, I jab my finger into my abdomen and wait. I feel a definite jab back.
6/25 - 16w. Dude, who has been a full-time grad student not intending to work, begins a full-time job at a preschool. We figure this is best since my back pain has been worsening, and hope he can manage full-time graduate work and full-time teaching in preschool.
6/28 - 16w3d. After work, I see my primary care physician due to complications with my bulged disc. She feels my job is aggravating it and puts me on disability leave for the remainder of my pregnancy. We are relieved that Dude found a job just in time.
6/29 - 16w4d. A stranger at the chiropractor's assumes I am pregnant, the first person in public to outwardly notice and comment on my bump.
7/3 - 17w1d. Dude and I go in for the ultrasound to check out the baby's biophysical profile (and hopefully find out the sex). I confirm beforehand that this is not too early, as I heard 18-20 weeks is a better time. I am scoffed at by my midwife practice and told it's fine, as it's just a one-week difference. We find out it's a girl! I am excited to be right. The ultrasound tech tells me I should have waited a couple weeks for the ultrasound as it's too early to see everything, and that I have to come back. Harumph! I am a bit annoyed, but whatever. we tour the hospital, and all looks fine.
7/23 - 20w. I go in for the follow-up ultrasound with my brother (Dude couldn't come along, and my brother was in town, so yay). I am irritated, as I had only wanted 1 ultrasound and certainly didn't count on 3, but at least it is nice to see my baby. Bro gets reprimanded for trying to discreetly video the ultrasound screen - but not before getting some bootleg fetal footage.
7/27 - 20w4d. Dude FINALLY feels the baby kick for the first time.
8/3 - 21w4d. I have a REALLY negative encounter at a prenatal appointment with a midwife. Aside from the ultrasound irritation, this is the second completely unsupportive and upsetting thing that has happened. I start looking into other options.
8/7 - 22w1d. I meet a new midwifery group and check out a new hospital. I am really impressed and realize that, even if the negative encounters hadn't happened, this new place is more convenient AND more what I am looking for. I happily switch my care.
8/26 - 24w6d. You can see the baby moving from the outside!
8/27 - 25w. I am put on partial bedrest and limited activity, due to my ever-worsening back. I am not pleased, but not surprised.
9/7 - 26w4d. Dude is the first person to see my belly moving from the outside.
9/9 - 26w6d. Our first Bradley method class. We realize that by the time the class series ends, I will be nearly 38 weeks pregnant. Holy cow!
9/18 - 28w. I am now officially in the third trimester.
10/2 - 30w1d. My 24th birthday... last one before I become a mom!
10/6 - 30w5d. We take our official hospital tour and are EXTREMELY impressed with the place. Many have ridiculed the notion that a woman can have a natural birth in a hospital (either because they are against drug-free birth or because they are against hospital birth), but i have heard such wonderful stories about our practice/hospital and see how supportive the environment is, and we feel confident that we have made the right choice. We also meet E, a potential doula. We have already decided that my mom will be present at the birth (if all goes to plan), but like the idea of having a doula as well.
10/10 - 31w2d. We decide that we'd definitely like to use E as our doula, and confirm it with her. Yay!
10/27 - 33w5d. My cousin throws me a baby shower.
10/31 - 34w1d. After some signs of pre-term labor, the midwife suggests an ultrasound to confirm the baby's position and amniotic fluid levels and other stuff. unlike my previous midwife practice, she makes sure I know that I can definitely decline this if it makes me uncomfortable, and wants to make sure that I feel okay with my decision if I agree, since she knows I didn't want to have more than one ultrasound. After some thoughts and discussion, I agree to my FOURTH ultrasound this pregnancy, but at least I really felt like this one was MY choice and nobody else's.
11/11 - 35w6d. Two of my friends from college throw me a baby shower.
11/19 - 37w. I am officially "full term," meaning that my baby could be born immediately and not be considered premature. Most women give birth between 37 and 42 weeks. The average time at which a first-time mom gives birth? 41w1d, which is 3 weeks away.
11/24 - 37w5d. My TOTALLY AWESOME parents, who came to spend Thanksgiving weekend with us, help us set up the apartment for the baby. Everything is totally ready to go!
11/25 - 37w6d. Our last Bradley class. We can't believe that it has been 12 weeks already and that this baby is coming rather soon! We feel as prepared for birth as we can, considering that since we have never been through it before we obviously can't be THAT prepared!
12/1 - 38w6d. Dude's sister, mom, cousin, and aunt throw me my third baby shower. The love, THE LOVE! Also - it is now officially December, the month in which I am going to have my baby.
12/4 - 39w1d. Dude's last day of class. WOOHOO! once he turns in all his work, he is officially done with school. (Side note: he finished on Christmas Day. There are lovely pictures of him wearing a sleeping Bumblebee in our Moby wrap as he types furiously on his laptop.)
12/9 - 39w6d. At 9:30 pm, I unexpectedly go into labor. Hard labor! Contractions start off intense, painful, and 10 minutes apart.
12/10 - 40w. I give birth to our daughter at 11:39 am. I am blessed to have the drug-free, intervention-free birth I dreamed of. She weighs in at 20 inches, 7 lbs 11 oz. My pregnancy is over, and now I am a mother.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

it's the final countdown.

(Paraphrased) exchange between me and my grandmother:

Grandma: So, did they tell you when the baby is coming?
Me: Sometime this month... probably in the next 2 weeks or less.*
Grandma: didn't they give you a specific day that they think she'll come?
Me: not exactly... if anyone could predict a specific date, they'd be very rich.
Grandma: (in a "duh" voice) well of course. only GOD can know things like that, not us.


*I've tried not to tell everyone my due date (December 10), because if people start calling me on the 10th saying "Is she here yet?" I might flip out.

It is widely agreed-upon that two of the most annoying questions you can ask a woman who is 9 months pregnant are "So when exactly is that baby coming" and "Did you have the baby yet." Unless you are having a scheduled C-section, you cannot predict exactly when the baby is coming. Even if you're being induced on a certain date, you don't know exactly how it's going to go or how long it's going to take. As for if I've had the baby yet, don't people think that I'd tell them? Or, at the very least, that if I'm answering the phone or IMs and I've had the baby, that I might mention it before they have the chance to ask? It makes me want to hide under a rock until the baby actually comes, but any time I even sign off AIM for more than 10 minutes, people assume it is because I am in labor. C'est la vie.

In baby news, she has basically taken up residence in the right half of my belly. This means that the right half of my belly protrudes out quite a few inches further than the left half. I am lopsided. Dude teases me because my belly enters the room before I do.

You can also see the outline of a butt at the top of my belly beneath my rib cage most of the time. Well, it looks more like a ball. But it's a butt. Trust me. Because of this, we've taken to calling the baby "Butt-Shelf." That's something for the baby book.

Friday, October 19, 2007

easy peasy pulao and saag channa.

Since my back has been so crappy, cooking has been really difficult. I'm not even supposed to stand for 10 minutes at a time, which makes sense because doing that is REALLY painful. Enormous, growing baby + herniated lumbar disc = ouch.

My mom's been filling up our freezer, so we're living off that. Occasionally I've been making super easy stuff like pasta and store-bought sauce with frozen veggies.

So, here's something easy I whipped up today. You can absolutely substitute frozenstuff with fresh - since I have limited mobility, I have been using frozen.

Pulao is an Indian rice dish, saag means spinach, and channa means chickpeas/garbanzo beans.

Stuff You Need
-3 rice-cups brown rice (by rice-cup, I mean the cup that came with our rice cooker, not 8 ounce cups)
-1 tbsp canola oil (can substitute with other oils)
-1/2 tsp cumin seeds
-16 oz thawed frozen veggies (cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, & zucchini)
-seasonings to taste: salt, garam masala, garlic powder, ginger powder, chilli powder, turmeric powder
-rice cooker
Saag Channa
-1 lb frozen spinach
-1 can garbanzo beans
-Maya Kaimal Tikka Masala, purchased at Costco - you could always substitute with a little bit of tomato puree, fresh ginger and garlic to taste, and then add a bit of cream or half-and-half once it's cooked)
-pressure pan or pressure cooker

I am putting these in steps for each one, but that's not the order I made things in. I started both at the same time, so while the spinach was thawing, I was washing rice. While the rice and spinach were cooking, I washed the beans. Stuff like that. I was never without something to do.
-Rinse rice
-Heat oil and cumin seeds in stovetop pan on medium heat
-Once oil is hot, add washed rice. Sautee on medium 5 min or until rice is nicely toasted. Add thawed veggies, cook for a few more minutes. Do not overcook. If using fresh veggies, sautee them first, then add rice.
-Add rice & veg mixture to rice cooker along w/6 rice-cups of water. Water:rice ratio is 2:1. Add spices.
-Set to cook. Ta da!
Saag Channa
-Add spinach to pressure pan, set stove to high.
-Rinse garbanzo beans. Add these, salt to taste, and tikka masala to pan. Turn stove to medium.
-Close pressure pan. Once steam starts coming from the spout, cover with weight.
-Go sit down. Pressure cookers/pans will let the steam build up and build up, and when they can't take it any more, a gust of steam comes hissing loudly out from under the weight.
-Once the loud hiss comes, turn off.

It may sound more complicated than it actually was, but it took no time. Basically: frozen spinach into pan, heated oil and cumin, washed rice, tossed rice into pan, washed beans, threw beans & tikka in with spinach, added frozen veggies to rice & covered, put rice & veggies into rice cooker, measured water, set to cook, covered pan, sat down, put on weight, sat down, turned off, the end.


Monday, July 16, 2007

still hot

On Saturday I was at the mall standing in the entrance of Motherhood Maternity looking at some really cute smocked tops. I felt AWFUL on Saturday - my eyes were swollen and puffy and red (I have conjunctivitis for the 9,000th time) and my hair was a mess and I was just so bleh. I was wearing a red shirt from Delia's that has a picture of a pig on it and it says "please hug me - don't eat me."

This total weirdo guy walks by the store and glances at me. Stops in his tracks. Backs up and comes right over to me. (How suave.)

And he says, "Hey! what does your shirt say?" so I tell him. He holds out his arms and comes closer to me. "Can I hug you?" (Also very suave.)

Oh God, I think, Am I being hit on in a maternity store? This poor fool. "No... the PIG'S the one asking for hugs!"

He shrugs and grins at me and enters the store as if he had planned to come in all along. Takes one look around and with a puzzled look says, "So what is this? A women's store?"

"Yup. It's a maternity store."

His face contorts. "Oh. Are you pregnant?"


He turns around and zooms out of the store like his ass is on fire, without so much as a goodbye. He didn't respond when I called after him to have a good day. Oh well. While he was clearly a dumbass, he made me feel better about how awful I look. I can still get hit on by weirdos.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

it's a girl!

Look out, Dude: IT'S A GIRL! I knew it I knew it I KNEW IT!

Since I got pregnant, I kept telling Dude that I was thinking "girl." I have no clue why. I mean, I had a 50-50 shot of being right, right? I asked him what he thought, and he said "You say GIRL GIRL GIRL all day, so what else CAN I think?"

While we were doing the ultrasound, she was playing with the umbilical cord. Cuteness.

Thursday, June 28, 2007


Aaaand, I'm on disability because of my back. No more working for the rest of my pregnancy. And I don't plan to go back to work afterwards, because I'd like to be a stay-at-home mom.

I'm relieved, to be honest. My back has been really bad, and I've been really concerned about fucking it up hardcore while pregnant. Because taking care of a baby with a broken back sounds, I dunno, like a bad idea.

I love the kids at work and I will miss them a lot. But my kid and my health are more important.

Monday, May 14, 2007

happy fetus day

I am 10 weeks pregnant. My baby is a fetus today.

8 weeks ago, it was just a cell. A united sperm and egg. Now it looks like a human (instead of an alien fishzoid) and has organs and eyelids and ears.

Also: I'm a quarter of the way there. How neat is that?

In other news, are Harry Potter spoilers coming out ALREADY? Great. I have to stay away from the media for like 2 months.

I totally called it a few years ago that I'd be pregnant when the last book came out. Actually, I was worried I'd have a new baby by the time it came out and not be able to devote myself to the book. BUT I CAN. Yay.

Good night.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

how to prepare your baby for daycare.

So. You've made the decision to put your infant in daycare. You've visited different places and picked the one that seems to work out the best for you and your family. Of course, you're still concerned about how your baby will adjust to childcare and hoping that everything will turn out fine. As an infant daycare worker myself, I have heard myself and my co-workers say many a time, "I wish parents knew X, Y, or Z before starting, because it would make life easier for them AND their baby." Well, rather than keep this information to myself, I'd like to share five things you can do to ensure a smoother transition.

1. Make sure baby will accept other caregivers.
I have had babies in some of my rooms whose parents have told me they refuse to take a bottle from anyone except Mom and Dad. A bad situation for everyone is a hungry baby who won't take a bottle at daycare - they need to eat! I've also had children who won't nap unless a parent puts them to sleep. While you'd think these babies would eventually just take a bottle or go to sleep, there are some stubborn children out there. I had one 10-month-old boy in my classroom who, for weeks, would refuse to have any more than one bottle and a jar of baby food, or sleep more than 10 minutes, during his 9-hour day with us. As you might imagine, this was not easy for him or his family, who felt horribly guilty. This generally is more of an issue for older infants. If your baby is under 6 months old, or you know she has no problem with other people taking care of her, don't worry. Also, you should expect an adjustment phase at first. But if your child refuses to go down for a nap at Grandma's or take a bottle from Uncle Joe, it may be the same at daycare. No fear, though - just try to make small changes where you can. Maybe a visiting friend or relative can give baby a bottle or lunch, or you can try feeding in a totally new place. Same idea for nap time. Easing her into the idea that new routines aren't all bad can definitely help her at daycare.

2. Have an idea of baby's schedule and cues.
Not all babies necessarily operate on a schedule. Many parents will just feed baby when he seems hungry and put him to sleep when he seems tired, and thus have no idea how often he eats or sleeps. For a week (or longer if you prefer) before daycare starts, you may want to record approximately when he wakes up each morning as well as the times of each feeding and nap. Some babies are like clockwork and you'll see that he eats about every 3 hours and sleeps every 2 hours. Maybe he always nurses or has a bottle at 11, eats lunch at 12, and a nap at 1. Or you may notice that he generally eats every 2-4 hours and naps every 1-3 hours, but that this varies. Either way, it's helpful to have some sort of idea so you can let the care providers know what to expect. They may anticipate that he'll eat every 3 hours, and so knowing that sometimes he gets hungry again within an hour and a half will make it easier for them to know what he needs, and thus better for him. Also, have an idea of what his cues are. Besides crying when he's hungry or yawning when he's sleepy, are there any other things he does when he needs something? Many younger babies start sucking on their fists or smacking their lips in the air when they are hungry, or older babies may have a specific fuss. Some children will pull on their ears when they are tired. This is all great information for your baby's caregiver. You don't need to write them a book or anything, but a general idea is really helpful.

3. Make sure baby can sleep through noise.
This one is REALLY important. You may be tempted to silence the household when your baby's asleep, but being able to sleep with background noise is a great skill to teach her. She will be one of quite a few children in the room, which can get loud (as you'd imagine!), and she'll nap far better if she can snooze through the occasional commotion. If the slightest noise keeps her up, it sure won't be easy on her. Other babies in the room who operate on a different schedule can keep her from sleeping well, which in turn can make life harder for you at home with an overtired, grumpy baby. You can help her out with this by continuing to talk with your family, use appliances like your vacuum cleaner, listen to music, or watch TV at normal volumes when she's asleep. Also, you could play a radio station near her crib while she's napping - the changing tones and volumes as the songs, DJs, and commercials change can be pretty good practice for sleeping through the noise associated with daycare.

4. Help baby entertain himself.
At home, you may be in the habit of constantly holding and playing with your baby. That's great! Your baby most certainly benefits from all this positive interaction with you. However, it's also great to help him realize that he can check things out on his own without you or another adult right there with him. Of course, at any reputable daycare, your child would never be left alone in the room. But bear in mind that the children will definitely outnumber the adults. There might be times where the caregivers are giving a bottle, changing a diaper, dealing with a boo-boo, or otherwise occupied. If your little guy needs to be held all the time, it will be difficult for him to deal with having to wait while other things get taken care of. On the other hand, if he feels comfortable chilling out and entertaining himself for some time, he won't feel stressed when his care provider is helping another child. Bonus? You can put him down to get some chores done around the house without worrying about him screaming. Ways to encourage this are singing while you hold him, putting him down with something interesting, and continuing to sing as you move away from him gradually. This way, he can hear that you're still around. Also, try putting him down with some cool toys to play with or look at when he's in a good mood and more likely to interact with them.

5. Plan a goodbye routine.
This is useful for older infants, especially as they approach the separation anxiety phase. Your child may cry as you put her down and walk away, which is completely normal - and can be completely heart-breaking! Running out the door before she notices may actually make her separation anxiety worse, and hovering around may make it that much harder for her when you do leave. If she knows there is a specific routine, it can make it easier because she'll know what to expect. Maybe you'll come in holding her and tell the caregivers any information they'll need to know - how she slept last night, when she last ate, any medicine she's on, etc. Give her a hug and a kiss before putting her down - maybe in front of a preferred toy or book - and then say your goodbyes. Of course, this is just one suggestion, and there are many things you might choose to do. I really recommend not leaving without saying goodbye, but also not sticking around once you do say goodbye. This way she knows that when you say goodbye, you leave. Hanging around because she's upset may actually make her more likely to cry, if she thinks that it will keep you there. Leaving as soon as she's distracted by something else without saying anything may make her separation anxiety worse, because she'll know you could just disappear at any moment. Try not to feel too bad if she bawls as you say bye and walk out the door - this is 100% normal, and your daycare providers will probably expect it. Most of the time, children calm down within minutes of their parents' departure, since this age group can be so easily distracted. You can always give a call later on to see how her day's going if you're worried about her drop-off.

While there's always going to be an adjustment period as your baby gets used to a new situation and a new caregiver, these tips can help make things easier on everyone!

Friday, April 6, 2007

pregnancy herniated disc

I have back issues. I've had herniated discs in my spine since the age of 12 and had surgery in 2001. I've had a relapse in the past year after feeling generally okay since surgery, and have had pretty bad pain again. Now that I'm pregnant, I'm concerned and want to make sure I don't totally throw my back out.

So I've been doing some Googling, and check out this RIDICULOUSLY worded site.

"Pregnancy Herniated Disc can keep you in constant pain during this important phase of life. Experience the difference with Thermophore natural heat therapy today!

Pregnancy Herniated Disc is especially painful during this important time. You want to speed healing and get soothing, relaxing treatment. Thermophore Moist Heat Packs provide effective, temporary relief from pain, ease stiffness, relax muscles, and improve circulation. Soothing, moist heat dilates the blood vessels, which creates blood flow. This removes wastes and toxins that may have settled in the affected area and brings new healing blood cells to the tissues. Experience the Thermophore solution for Pregnancy Herniated Disc today!

* Note: If you are pregnant, or you think you might be pregnant, please consult with a doctor before using this product."


My back kills. At least I found a WAY better site (not that one) about someone else who had my problem and had a successful pregnancy without being on bed rest. From the very few sites I've read, all these women with my problem wound up having a C-section. I'm not clear as to whether it's because of the disc issue or not. I do NOT want a C-section. I was a C-section, and my entire life that has bothered me. I don't know why. I was always grumpy, since childhood, that my mom did not go into labor with me (I was a planned c-section - my older brother was an emergency one and they weren't into VBAC those days especially in India), and that I was just cut away from her. If it happens, it happens, but I reeeeeally don't want that.

I'm scared of going to the doctor on Monday. It's not my doc. Just someone to take my blood and tell me not to use drugs or alcohol, probably. But what if she's mean? I want to ask her when I can tour the birth center and what else I can do for my back besides PT exercises & prenatal yoga and pilates. I also found a disc on Netflix for a pain-free pregnancy. I'm gonna check out all these DVDs and figure out which ones to buy. I'm really nervous about this whole back thing, I gotta tell ya.

I had a dream about what the baby looked like. It was brown, slightly lighter than me, and very squished and grumpy-looking. It was SO CUTE. Am I the only one that actually finds newborns adorable? I know they're slimy and squashed and weird-looking, but at the same time, there's just something so adorable about that first-entered-the-world grump look they all have. So squashed and battleworn from their huge trip out the birth canal into the world. I love that. I really do.

Monday, April 2, 2007

happy happy joy joy

I am feeling WAY awesomer today. All this stuff is just, I don't know, SO GOOD.

The best thing I learned today? Dude is a grad student working on his M.A. After this semester, he has two courses left, and he has to do 2 credits of thesis or internship (he's hoping internship because that's more up his alley but he's looking into finding a good place to intern). So, he was going to take one course and one internship (or thesis) credit in fall and the same in spring, because that's how they told him to structure it.

However, his adviser said that he can take those two courses this summer and the 2 credits in the fall and get his degree in December.

HOW SWEET IS THAT? So when the baby comes, he'll be about to be done w/grad school instead of a semester away! AND, if they can hook him up with a sweet internship, that will totally set him down the path he wants to be on.

Anyway. this makes me so happy.

Also, I set up my first prenatal appointment at my gyno's office for next monday. it won't be with my gyno (who's actually not a gyno but a midwife, which is awesome), but I'll be seeing her for my prenatals after. I think this is just to go over stuff.

Things are so good right now. My husband's going to get his degree sooner than expected, we're going to have a very well-loved adorable baby, and I'm healthy and happy.

Anyway, I'm gonna go watch the office with my love.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

holy crap i'm pregnant!

HOLY FUCKING SHIT!!!!!!!! I'M PREGNANT!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you, Walgreens Digital!!! My due date will be December 10 - my brother's birthday.

I've totally been thinking that I'm probably pregnant but then chalking it up to wishful thinking and deciding that I'm just crazy and my period will come. So now I hardly know how to react.

Dude and I are both sort of just stunned. Are we REALLY going to have a baby in December? How will it impact my back? (I have a bulged disc in my lower back.) I'm so glad we're moving, but not looking forward to the process. When do you tell people? Is every little twinge in my abdomen or cramp in my uterus going to send me into a panic now?

Sigh. I dunno. I wish I didn't have so much anxiety about everything in the world - maybe that would make this a little easier.

Ugh. What if it's a false positive and it isn't really real? And why am I feeling crampy? Is it psychosomatic? Am I losing my mind? When do I stop temping? What about my back? What if I carry the baby in my back or have back labor? When do i stop working? Our preschool year ends in August. I'd be 5 months pregnant. What would I do till December?

I wish I could have seen my own face when i saw the pregnancy test.

Last night as I drifted to sleep, two thoughts hit me. (Remember, this is when I was trying to convince myself that I'm not pregnant.) As I cuddled into Dude (we faced each other), I thought:

"Holy shit, I'm going to be someone's mommy.

And this is how we'll snuggle sometimes - me facing Dude with the baby in the middle. Just like this, only the baby will be out and a real live little person."

Dude is very happy and calm about the whole thing. I love him. Why is he the best guy ever? I'm worried. And kind of sad, because I've convinced myself it isn't real and that I got my hopes up for nothing.

It's times like these that I wish I wasn't crazy.

and, i'm late!

By hours, mind you, but I've never been late before - always early.

How peculiar. It's now into the zone of "latest it's been since charting." By the way, it's my one-year anniversary of charting tomorrow. Technically today. But yeah. Ya got me. I have no clue where it is. I don't feel at all like it's coming. I feel sleepy, scratchy-throated, headachey, pukey, and grumpy. All of which i feel on a pretty frequent basis. Anyway. Maybe it will come tomorrow. Maybe my luteal phase has lengthened. Or maybe I have a cyst.

Anyway. If I sit up anymore I'm going to vomit, so I'm going to go pass the fuck out. It's been a really tiring week.

Monday, March 26, 2007

7 dpo.

I feel just awful today. Totally out of it and spacey, grossed out by the thought of eating (nausea on and off which isn't necessarily related), simultaneously hungry and full, and not to mention just being a moody little bitch. Oh, and gassy and bloated.

I feel like whenever I think I could pregnant, and I mention to someone that I don't feel well, they always mention that it might not mean I'm pregnant. WELL I KNOW THAT. I'm only 7 dpo for crying out loud. I mean, I know I looked up all these early symptoms, but I also know that it's not the be all and end all of the world. I'm crazy, not stupid.

God. I'm so grouchy. I don't know why. And tired. Oh, and can I tell you? For the first time in my LIFE, I said no to cake and ice cream (literally it is the first time in my life) because the thought of it grossed me out. CHOCOLATE CAKE WITH VANILLA BUTTERCREAM ICING. With CHOCOLATE CHIPS in the fucking cake and chocolate chip ice cream. DO WE KNOW HOW MUCH I LOVE CHOCOLATE CHIPS? Because the thought of them makes me want to puke a ton. That's the ONLY thing that makes me think that maybe, just maybe, I might be growin' a baby, because usually I'm like give-me-chocolate-now-before-I-fucking-rip-your-arms-off, kthxbye.

Ew. Chocolate. Spew. Just thinking about it makes me want to vomit and die.

Bleh. I was gonna say that I'm gonna go have dinner, but the thought of that made me gag in my mouth, so I think instead I'm gonna cuddle the hubs and try not to fall asleep. I NEED to just cut this bitchy mood out, because I'm so annoyed by absolutely nothing, and honestly? That just fucking annoys me more.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

the waiting game.

6 dpo. I dunno, I somehow feel like it's not gonna happen this month. Which is okay. We'll have a baby at some point. It doesn't matter if it's now or in a year or in 2 years or what. But probably? Not in 2007. Which is fine by me.

I do feel weird, though. At work, we've got a stomach bug, ear infections, and a nasty cold & cough going around. I doubt I'd get the ear infection, and I've already got a mild mild mild version of the cold. But something is up with my stomach. I'm really gassy and almost-nauseous but not quite. I get gassy before my period, but not THIS bad. Dude thinks it's from dairy that I had on Friday but... why would it STILL be doing this to me? Who knows. Dairy hates me. And I have almost-nausea here and there, so. I don't think any of it's abnormal. Or necessarily preggo-related. But this is how I used to feel when I ate poorly and now I'm eating fantastically and have been feeling great all month, so I'm annoyed about the bout of tummy troubles.

I finally woke up AFTER 7 am today. At 9:30! Yay! After going to bed at, I dunno, 11:30 or midnight? I feel awake, but as if I've been run over by a truck. COMPLETELY listless. I did exercise a bunch yesterday. I feel soreness in my arms, and such fatigue, but lying down makes my stomach feel worse.

And finally, last on my list of weird? I HAVE A PIMPLE. I AM SO FREAKING PISSED. Now, you're probably telling me to shut the FUCK up, since I literally never get pimples. I used to get one a month at the most in my teen days, and then they stopped. I have dry skin. BUT MY FREAKING FACE IS OILY AND I HAVE A PIMPLE ON MY FOREHEAD. It looks like a bindi or a third eye. I haven't had a pimple in years. Dude pointed to me yesterday and said, "What's that on your forehead?" because he was that surprised at me having a pimple.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

and more.

Somehow, I'm STILL 5 dpo. Waking up at 7:30 in the morning every day sure doesn't help the time go by any faster. I mean, considering I don't have to be up for a while after that.

Things that don't help:
-Everyone's been asking me when we're gonna have a baby. Or bringing up babies and pregnancy. Since before we got married, everyone's like "DON'T RUSH INTO HAVING BABIES OMG." Now lately everyone's in the mood for a baby.
-My mom, who was in the habit of telling me several times a month that she isn't ready to be a grandma, announced today that she is, and that she can't wait to buy baby things again, and she's sorry for ever telling me she wasn't ready and she'll support whatever I do.
-My due date would be my brother's bday.
-I already know how i'd tell my parents, in-laws, our siblings, and other family members.
-Spring seems to bring out the baby fever in everyone so it's the topic of the moment wherever I go. I can't escape it.
-I have heard the word "pregnancy" more times in the past week than in the year before it. True, some of the references involved some really freaky shit, but still.
-Our new apartment would totally work if we had a baby.

It doesn't help that my most visited sites right now are, random cloth diaper sites,, (I LOVE ROBEEZ), and don't forget about Now, I've decided that this is okay, since I occasionally go on these sites even when I know there ain't no way and no how I could be knocked up. But still, it only feeds into it, and makes the waiting longer.

I also decided that a lot of the sites are okay because my babylustin' coworker admitted to going to check out the Robeez new spring collection and said she wanted to buy the pony ones in advance. Hey, at least I haven't picked out a pattern yet. So I looked at all the new Robeez stuff, noted the stuff that the kids in my classroom have, and then found vegan alternatives like Isabooties. Those are cute!

I am so ready to have a baby; you have no idea. And I think I come off as crazier than I am. Like, I'm not resting all my hopes up on it, and my mood doesn't depend on whether or not it will happen, and I am fully aware that it is far too early to know anything and that next weekend is when things will become clear. I also know that obsessing about it won't help. That's just where I am, and I'm okay with it, so there.

drive myself crazy.

I am only 5 dpo. I drive myself insane. Why do I do this to myself? I don't know.

Anyway, I Googled "two week wait" and found all this crap on earliest pregnancy symptoms starting from like, 4 and 5 dpo, which has made me overanalyze everything MORE. Like, one symptom that i saw listed several times was as early as 4 dpo, having your gums bleed a teeny bit while brushing your teeth - if it's uncommon for you. And all this other stuff. That could just be TOTALLY random. But anyway, my gums bled when I brushed my teeth just now. And, my temps are higher than they've ever been, which was another common early symptom I found. But these ladies are just as crazy and overanalytical as i am, so, that doesn't help me.

I'm also feeling tingly/crampy/pulling sensations in my uterus, and so you know I'm overanalyzing that too. Grawr. And the most frustrating thing is that I'll have to go through it again someday. Whether I get pregnant or not this cycle, the two week wait will be in my future once more, since I want to have two (possibly three) babies. And I'm not good at waiting.

Sighhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Next weekend, I'll know what's up. So why should I torture myself now?

Thursday, March 22, 2007

something brewing?

So, guess what I learned today?

Despite usually ovulating CD 26ish, I seem to have done so CD 22 (Monday). I know, I know, the whole point of FAM (in terms of trying to avoid) is that you can't predict in advance. But I did anyway, and apparently I was wrong.

Anyway. I'm fairly sure nothing will come of this. More than likely, my period will show up as expected. But, now it means I'll be waiting on the edge of my seat for the next week and a half. AUGH.