Monday, August 31, 2009

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Birth Story - Expanded Edition

Our daughter was born 8/26 at 3pm, at home, after 13 hours of labor.

I thought my water broke on Tuesday at 9am (turns out it was just a high leak). We took castor oil, black and blue cohosh, and walked for ever. Had some good, regular contractions, but they fizzled out pretty quickly. Went in to visit my midwives that night, and we decided that since I WOULD be in labor no matter what the next day, I should just rest for the night. I'd been having regular contractions throughout the night for a couple of nights, so I thought maybe I just needed to be relaxed to start labor. Also, labor is like any other bodily function, and is best performed when you're not trying to. You have to turn off the thinking part of your brain and let a more primitive part take over. "Let your monkey do it." - Ina Mae Gaskin

Went home and watched some TV show reruns (doesn't get much more mindless than that!) and relaxed with my hubby. Went to bed, and woke up around 2 with regular contractions. I timed them at 1 min long every 3-4 minutes, which is exactly what the midwives wanted to know about. So we called, and they said to call back when we wanted them to come over.

Around 7, my amazing midwives came over and found me at 7 cm and fully effaced. Sweet! At this point, I wasn't having to vocalize much during the contractions as long as I remembered to breathe (important!). So we kept laboring.

We labored on the bathroom floor a lot, and I loved it. I think it had something to do with being sort of closed in a nice cozy space where I could focus. Plus, I was near the toilet in case I had to throw up, which I only did a few times.

We ended up spending about an hour in the tub, and I slept. Laboring in water was so relaxing that I was almost able to sleep through the contractions (that was really unexpected). Unfortunately, that super relaxing time didn't help me progress at all. At 11, I was only at 8. Oddly enough, one side of my cervix was complete and the other side wasn't.

So we labored some more. My husband is pretty much the most amazing man I've ever met. He sat with me on the floor, and helped me into and out of the tub, and basically carried me through most of labor (literally - it felt so good to go limp during a contraction). At one point, I felt the contractions change and I knew I was close. That was terrifying.

So I got in the tub to calm things down and collect myself. When I got out, I started pushing. I did not want to start pushing, I did not feel an urge or desire to push, and I was not interested in rushing it, but I was outvoted. My uterus pushed. My abdominals pushed, I whimpered. We tried a few different positions, and found the best (for us, for that birth) to be on the birth stool with my husband holding me up from behind. Both midwives sat in front of me and encouraged me that I was doing a great job (although all I was doing was whining about being scared) and that I was just fine. After a few contractions I started to believe them, and tried giving a little push myself.

I could really feel a difference when I pushed. She moved faster and everything felt more like it 'should'. I was still scared, and crying when I pushed (no tears, just the face and the whimpers), but I was pushing.

I don't know how long I pushed, but it was quick. Once she crowned, we figured it would be about 6-10 more contractions and good pushes (not that she needed to be out then, but I liked having some sort of progress to monitor). The next contraction, she came out all at once!

At 3pm on August 26th, I pushed a baby out of me. It hurt, and it hurt a lot, but it wasn't anywhere near what I expected. Her coming out of me didn't hurt at all, it sort of felt good and complete or something. And anyway once I could see her I wasn't aware of any pain or any anything; for a few minutes, she was all that existed.

The cord was around her neck, so one of the midwives unwrapped it, and it seemed nice and loose so it wasn't any danger, but still she was SO BLUE! And she was not at all interested in crying, so we ended up putting oxygen on her to help her get pink. She wasn't fussing or stressed, and she would let out a cry or two when we rubbed her and patted her and sat her up, but she was too busy looking around to keep crying. I lost a bit of blood and my blood pressure dropped so the midwives got me on the bed, baby on my chest, had hubby hold the oxygen for her, and they went in for the placenta. It had partially detached with the birth, and that was causing the bleeding, so it needed to come out. I got a shot of pitocin and with a little cord traction (um, WEIRD!), and a lot of uncomfortable manipulation and a push, the placenta came out. I was still bleeding so they gave me some methergin, and everything seemed pretty fantastic after that. Neither of us were in any real danger, both of us just needed a little attention. Baby was breathing really well and taking nice deep breaths, so we weren't very worried about her not crying, we just wanted her to pink up a bit quicker than she was on her own. My bleeding wasn't excessive, just enough to let us know we needed to get the placenta out.

I was a bit woozy, so I stayed on the bed until much later that night. We're both fantastic now and recovering well. As long as I remember to get up slowly (I did just have a baby after all!) then I'm fine. When I try to stand up too quickly, I have to sit down and try again. She still doesn't cry much; she's incredibly mellow. She has no problem letting us know when she isn't getting what she wants, but it's just a quick shout and that's all.

My daughter is perfect. She's beautiful and just flawless.

Monday, August 24, 2009

I'm fidgety and restless and my stomach is vaguely upset tonight.

I suppose I'd feel better if I'd gotten more done today, or if I'd gotten out of the house, or gone for a walk and gotten some exercise, but I really wanted to finish the cocoon I was working on. It's done, and it looks fantastic.

Actually that's a lie, I still need to buy 3 wooden buttons and put them on. Still, that's pretty impressive for one day's work.

Even chocolate ice cream doesn't sound good. With or without bananas.

Finishing up the slipcovers for the rocker seems like such a chore. It'll probably take less than an hour but I just don't want to re-thread the sewing machine or measure and cut the last two pieces. I love my yarn projects, but fabric projects are a real sort of pain.

I can't even think about politics, religion, or anything else worth discussing. It's all a strange blur right now. Usually things are so much clearer after dark but not tonight. All I can say is this: we've been going through The Love Dare study with a group at church and it's just like any other couples Bible study we've done. I start off all kinds of suspicious knowing that I love my marriage and don't want it to change AT ALL and invariably end up encouraged to hear about all the things we're doing right. We really have an amazing relationship and sometimes it's nice to hear it. "Today try doing some household chores that your mate usually does." Um, already done. "Today, find a way to greet your mate in an unusual, special way." Done. Day after day.

I've got a few new hints that something might be coming soon. Family drama MUST precede a joyous event, and there's some weird stuff going on. I don't have any way of measuring whether or not I've accumulated enough drama to move on to the exciting, joyous event. I suppose we'll have to wait and see. Nothing too specific is happening, just weird little things that crop up just enough to preoccupy my thoughts while I try to figure them out.

There's a good contraction. They never seem to intensify or come more frequently, I just have little squeezes. It's probably the Red Raspberry Leaf. It makes you more aware of uterine contractions because it tones smooth muscle tissue. Apparently, that makes real labor contractions more efficient and will cut down the time it takes to dilate. The downside is that now I'm paying attention to lots of contractions that I otherwise wouldn't be able to feel. Ah well.

I'm watching late night stand up while I type this, and the commercials that come on for all the adult videos actually have me looking forward to having my shape back. I do not feel bad about my body (why should I?) when I see these women, I'm excited to exercise and regain some control over my physical existence. Not inspiration exactly, but something close. Very weird.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Commercial FAIL

There's a BMW commercial that starts with a guy in a dark room holding a light bulb. He says that American's have always been finding ways to be more responsible. Then about a thousand light bulbs light up one by one above his head.

Lighting all those light bulbs are unnecessary. Are you trying to prove that you are not like us? Apparently not, because the next thing he says is that BMW is trying to find ways to be responsible too.

Good luck.

Two things to remember today:
longer gestation=bigger baby=healthier baby=good
The longer a baby stays in there, the more content he or she tends to be. And content babies are more fun to cuddle with.

I can do this. I can calmly and contently wiat for her to be born. No matter how painful my joints are, no matter how little sleep I get, no matter how tight my skin stretches, no matter how much my big belly pulls on my lower back, no mater how many nerves are pinched or how many times she punches my bladder and makes me almost wet myself, I am going to wait for her.

She's worth it.

Friday, August 21, 2009


no more Oregano or Basil. like ever.

Today: deep yogi squats, spices, and serious relaxation. Sounds like an Audrey Hepburn night with some comfort food all wrapped up with hubby on either the couch or the porch.

Co-sleeping and breastfeeding

Right now, Nanook is completely within my care. She has been for every beat of her heart, every movement she's made, every everything. Completely within my protection and embrace and warmth. Once she's born, that connection will be broken. I'll still be able to put her on my chest and let her hear my heartbeat and breath (which she has never existed without hearing), but the possibility remains that she will one day need to be in a different room than I am. This is mildly terrifying.

I understand that we'll grow into it, and I understand that it's necessary for both of us to do this growing. I am in no hurry.

For starters, the idea that she would sleep in another room is out of the question. Completely. That increases the risk of SIDS, lowers the amount of REM sleep in both mama and baby, lowers the frequency of feeding, and produces babies with less secure attachments to their parents. Out of the question.

But I'm not sure I can even put her in her crib on the other side of the room. I don't even want her in a bassinet next to the bed. At this stage of our relationship, she is a part of me. She's more than just a part of me, but my breath is her breath, my emotions (made up of hormones and endorphins) are her emotions, and my motions, my consumptions, everything is shared. This level of connection is completely unbroken and completely unprecedented in my life. She has developed entirely within me, and so is a part of me for now. Asking me to put her 2 feet away while we sleep is like asking me to let you take her to the moon. Utterly inconceivable. I actually lack the capacity to understand what that would be like.

At some point, I will have to go to the bathroom. I'm pretty sure this is how our separation will start. I'll leave her with Mirus and I'll go to the bathroom and have so much distance between us. That will be baffling. But we will both be ok, and after a few days we'll have mastered being apart for however long it takes to go to the bathroom.

Then, I'll want a shower. Strange, but personal hygiene seems to be the main thing separating me from my daughter in these predictions.

Eventually, it will be ok for her to be in another room or not actually touching me. I have no idea how long it will take us to reach this point. I do know that I'm not interested in sleeping apart. That's too long, and it already feels like a vulnerable time because I'm not able to be as vigilant.

"Do you have the nursery all decorated?"
"No, you cannot take my baby to the moon."

This makes sense to me.

Moving on:
I know some people who are incredibly discreet about breastfeeding. They do not want anyone to see or suspect their child nursing. I know other people at the opposite end of the spectrum. Whip-out-the-boob-and-then-go-find-the-child types. I don't know where I'll fall. I'm not interested in perpetuating the idea that breastfeeding needs to be covered or hidden, I'm also not interested in using my body to initiate conversations about breastfeeding on a regular basis. I just want to feed my kid, and have that be allright. I'll probably cover in some situations (professional settings, during church, etc.) and let it all hang out in other settings (pediatrician's office, parks, private homes). I suppose there is a good reason to push the envelope and initiate conversations about the importance of normalizing breastfeeding, but I highly doubt I'll want to have that conversation on a regular basis.

I don't know where exactly I'll fall on this spectrum.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

So far: nothing.

Tried the pump (stimulation causes the release of oxytocin, which causes contractions) for aoong time today, and now I'm on an interval schedule. I have been feeling some mild contractions, but nothing serious.

Still waiting. We may be waiting for a long time, and that's ok. If I see the midwives again next week we'll do another membrane sweep, but I'm not going to worry one way or another. We just have to wait. Like everyone else who's ever had a baby, there's some waiting involved.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Either I've lost my mucous plug or someone with a sinus problem just blew their nose in my pants. One of the two.

Unfortunately, this also means nothing. It means that labor is coming at some point in the future days or weeks. These uber vague omens are losing their oomph. They no longer have the power to get me all twitterpated. They did get me to finally wash the sheets on our bed. That's good.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

38 week appointment

Well, I'm 38+5, pretty well effaced, and 1-2 cm. So, almost nowhere. My midwife was able to strip my membranes a bit, and I had a few contractions, but they fizzled out. We went walking and tried some more bumpy roads, but nothing happened.

Still, she said I'd likely have a baby within a week or so. No guarantees, but it's likely, and unlikely that I'd go past my due date. No September baby for me! (hopefully)

I had a bunch of projects schedule to work on this afternoon, and I did start on a few, but without completing any I just feel defeated. Oh well, I should have two baby hats done tomorrow, then I only have 1 or 2 more till I can send them out. Then, I need to finish the wipes, hem the sheet, fix Granny's quilt, make a changing pad for the diaper bag, and finish a hat for Nanook. All of these projects are relatively quick. Oh, I have to recover the cushions on the rocking chair.

I love nesting!!!!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

So, no baby. For a while there, I thought she would be born today, but the cramps and contractions all went away. I thought maybe a nice long walk around the grocery store would give me a chance to get some post partum meals ready and maybe get things started again but all I got was a ton of food I now have to cook and a back ache. Hm. Not exactly what I was going for.

I suppose I could still get a baby for/by my birthday. I hope we can meet her soon. I know some women experience this pre-labor stuff for days or even weeks before they actually have a baby. I'm hoping not to be one of those women. So, maybe tomorrow.

She's sticking her little bum into my ribs pretty solidly right now. I hope she's not trying to move away from my cervix.

We still need to come up with a name. Maybe her name will be obvious once she's born.

Things that make you go hmmm.

This is the first time I've ever noticed a contraction starting, getting stronger, then ending.

And then there are this cramps. I couldn't be getting my period could I? ; )
My back aches in much the same way it does before I get my period.

I'm jus' saying.

Tattered Cover Book Store is looking forward to a BIG fall line-up of authors LIVE! Ken Burns, Al Gore, Margaret Atwood, John Irving, Ralph Nader, Sherman Alexie, Jonathan Lethem, Michael Chabon, Jon Krakauer, Diana Gabaldon...and many more

This is what happens at the bookstore a few blocks from our place after we leave. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Al Gore, Margaret Atwood, Ralph Nader, Sherman Alexie, Jon Krakauer - any one of those would be utterly fascinating. It's just incredible to think that all these people will be a few blocks from my old place. I suppose they could be downtown, but that's only a few miles away, and the Highlands Ranch store isn't much farther.

Tattered Cover is the shiz-nit!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Well lets see. I'm trading some hats for a pocket sling, I already have a moby wrap, plus we have a snugli type carrier. I don't think I need a mei tei. And since it would be a little more sewing and thinking than my other projects, I think it's out. Instead, I'm working on my cloth wipes and crocheted hats. I have a few bear hats to make to trade for the sling, then a cute little green hat for Nanook when she comes out. I have a little green polka dot outfit that I might put her in for her first pictures. But the crocheted hat might look silly with a summer jumper.

I love thinking about this stuff. When the time comes I'll be so astounded looking at her that I doubt I'll remember any of this. She'll be dressed in whatever is nearby I'm sure.

For a while I was SURE she was coming out this week or next week at the very latest. I was just sure of it. Then for the last few days I've been wondering if she might stick around until our due date. Today I have no clue. I could be pregnant for another month. After September 11th I'll have to be referred to ab OB/GYN, but the midwives say that pretty much never happens. Apparently they have a castor oil regimine that works without fail.

Lately I've started being more aware of my selfishness. Anything that is happening outside of my uterus is completely uninteresting. All I care about is Nanook. I suppose focusing on her is a good thing, but I'll be glad when I can start re-adjusting my perspective a bit.
My first post from my fancy new birthday present. What joy!

Well, the fair was amazing. Just wonderful. I even got strawberries AND cream cheese on my elephant ear so the caloric indulgence was complete. Then we watched the 4-H horse show for a while, and either the State Fair in Alaska is not NEARLY as competitive as our County Fair in MI or we were not the riders we thought we were. I'm aware that I never really worked my horse into much of a frame, and I remember trying to explain to several people that the fight it would take to get her into that frame simply wasn't worth it. But I still feel that we were working at a whole other level than the kids I saw yesterday. Interesting.

Mirus wouldn't let me ride any of the rides. Not even the Ferris Wheel. I really wanted to ride the super cool giant bungee jump thing because I've NEVER been on one before. I tried explaining to my husband that if he let me, we would almost certainly have a baby within 24 hours! He did not feel that scaring the baby out of the womb was a good way to start her earthly experience. Prude. But not even the Ferris Wheel? I felt so cheated.

Someone at church brought a whole bag of baby clothes in for us. And someone else bought us books for the bible study we're doing. People seem so excited to do generous, wonderful things. It's kinda fun to be a part of this, and not just to be on the receiving end. I really am excited about this church.

Yesterday's prenatal went well. Nanook is back in the right position, ready to be borned. I think I'll be doing some serious walking today trying to encourage things along. It's probably too early for that to do any good, but a girl can dream.

I forgot that I'm supposed to be doling out the workload at the office this week. Oops. Boss is in California, but since that exists outside of my uterus, I'm a bit oblivious to it. Ah well. There seem to be no crises yet. She worked Monday and Tuesday so all I really missed was setting up my coworkers this morning, and they're certainly capable and willing to do that themselves. No biggie.

My tea is ready, and I'm off to read in my rocking chair.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Well today should be a fun day. We have our home visit with our midwives, then we'll head off to the fair. I'm really excited to buy Mirus his very first elephant ear. I suppose it will be Nanook's too. Maybe a ride on the Ferris Wheel will start labor.

The voles are back. Disgusting. We've caught 3 so far. We hadn't seen any for more than a week so we thought maybe we had just let in a couple while we were moving in and had the door propped open, but no. There's more. Nasty.

I'm pretty sure there's almost no difference between mice and voles. I suppose I could just look it up, but I really don't care that much.

A bird just flew into our window. That's the 4th one this morning, just since I've been sitting here. That's so strange.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

A names

Adelaida: Polish variation of Adelaide. "noble kind"
Adeline: "noble"
Audrey: "noble strength"
Adele: variant of Adelaide. "noble kind"
Annamae: Very pretty, until you consider it's pronounced the same as Anime.
Annetta: "favored grace"

Friday, August 7, 2009

You know those commercials that tell parents to talk to their kids about drugs and sex and whatever? Um, those now apply to me. Or will very shortly. I am about to be a parent. A serious, talk to your kids about stuff parent.


My hubby has discovered Tom Waits. This is the song that is currently playing in our house at least 2-3 (or more) times per day:

Well, ring the bell backwards and bury the axe
Fall down on your knees in the dirt
I'm tied to the mast between water and wind
Believe me, you'll never get hurt
Our ring's in the pawnshop, the rain's in the hole
Down at the Five Points(1) I stand
I'll lose everything
But I won't let go of your hand

Well, Peter denied and Judas betrayed
I'll bail with the roll of the drum
And the wind will tell the turn from the wheel
And the watchman is making his rounds
Well, you'll leave me hanging by the skin of my teeth
I've only got one leg to stand
You can send me to hell
But I'll never let go of your hand

Swing from a rope on a cross-legged dream(?)
Signed with One Eyed Jack's blood
From Temple to Union, to LA and Grand
Walking back home in the mud(2)

Now I must make my best of the only way home
Molly deals only in stone
I'm lost on the midway, I'm reckless in your eyes
Just give me a couple more throws
I'll dare you to dine with the cross-legged knight
Dare me to jump and I will
I'll fall from your grace
But I'll never let go of your hand
I'll never let go of your hand
I really do love my life.

I'm very thankful to be aware of how precious this time is. I will never again be pregnant with this child. Not ever. Not even for a minute. I have only now, only today, to enjoy it. And so I am. I love feeling her move and kick and roll, and I love that she responds to my movements and voice, and to her father. I even love being a giant, bulbous shape, and I love the social liberties I have as a result.

Sometimes I get lost daydreaming about her. Mirus does too, I've seen him. It's so incredible to imagine her little head resting on my chest and the way she'll feel pressed close to me. Every morning when I sit down to write, I think about how wonderful it will be to sit down to work with her. To be breathing her in and getting paid for it.

I'm also grateful that we'll have time to get to know each other as a family before we see anyone. I was hurt earlier this week thinking that no one was excited for her, but that's just emotional rambling really. I'm very thankful that my Mirus, Nanook, and I will have time to learn about each other as a family and be just to ourselves for a while.

We practiced diapering on a teddy bear last night. Granted, cloth diapering does take a bit more skill than disposables, but I still think that we must have lost it. We are both so absurdly excited to meet her. I want to hit up the garage sale on base this weekend for a handful of things but really we're ready. We need to decide if we want to side-car the crib or get a co-sleeper, but I think that will come down to how much $$ we're willing to shell out. If we get a good deal on a co-sleeper I'd love one, if not she has a crib that we can make work just fine.

We still need to move the desk upstairs and build up our study. It just feels silly since all of our books are in Denver.

I'll try to remember to post a picture of our diapered teddy bear later. It's pretty cute.

Thursday, August 6, 2009


This is a picture of Fairbanks. It's smoky enough that I've been advised not to spend unnecessary time outside. I believe air quality was rated 'unhealthy' to 'very unhealthy' this morning. So I didn't leave the house at all today, and only left for my prenatal appt. yesterday. Lame.

On the upside, earlier this week when we hit up the thrift stores we found what may be one of the coolest, weirdest chairs ever. And it's super comfortable on my difficult to work with body.


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

So, so pregnant.

We took some pictures. It was fun. For the record, these are my pre-preggo jeans. They're tighter, but they're on. Not anywhere near buttoned or zippered, but whatever.

36 weeks + 5 days pregnant. Holy cow, I'm huge. For comparison:
Look, my stomach fits beHIND the bowl instead of beLOW it!

I should put on these clothes again and take another picture for reference. I also kinda wish I had a measurement of my stomach before I got pregnant.

Nanook is really moving around a lot tonight. She's just rolling and tossing and doing all kinds of crazy stuff in there. Apparently, she likes all beef hot dogs with BBQ sauce. Whatever. Her heart rate was just perfect again today, and the midwife said that if Mirus put his hear over her back, he should be able to hear the heartbeat. Isn't that incredible?

She's incredible. I'm in love.


Lipton's decaf tea + Celestial Seasonings Lemon Zinger tea + Red Raspberry Leaf tea + ice = how I will hydrate for the rest of this pregnancy and possibly forever.

Really, really, seriously yummy. And I'm close enough to full term that I'm not worried about jumpstarting labor. So bring on the tea!

I also picked up Evening Primrose Oil and 5w herbs today. Between these two, the RRL tea, and a few other pushes, I'm going to try to get things going. Even if labor doesn't start as soon as I think it will, all these things will make labor easier. Plus, it'll be fun.

Instinct/wishful thinking tells me she'll be out within 2 weeks. Today she's facing the wrong way, so I'll have to do some maneuvering and see if I can flip her around.

Our home visit is next week. That sort of makes this feel more real. Everything is making this feel more real.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Yesterday I was an emotional wreck, today life is good. Ah hormones.

We went and bought diapers today. All a baby really needs is diapers, a car seat, and breasts. We're now covered. I'm a little resistant to washing them all because I want to put them away and see them all ready for the baby. Nanook is going to have such a cute, fun space to come out to.

This weekend is the garage sale on base so we'll go and try to track down a co-sleeper and rocking chair. Then we can move her crib into her room and get that all set up.

Foam was surprisingly expensive to buy at the craft store. It might actually be cheaper to just buy a changing pad. Or, I'm going to have to be more creative.

Projects for today:
*Wash all diapers, new fabric, towels, etc.
*Write grocery list
*Either go or send hubby grocery shopping
*Make changing pad cover
*Make flannel wipes
*Organize and put away towels, diapers, wipes, etc.

Plus, we're going to take some belly pictures today. Proof of the belly dropping is on the way!

Monday, August 3, 2009

I know that Fairbanks is cost prohibitive. Visiting here is extremely expensive. I'm aware, I understand. But it's hard not to be sad that, more than likely, no one's coming. My family certainly isn't coming, hubby's family doesn't think they're going to make it, and most of my friends can't afford it. The person who was planning on being here is now covering my maternity leave in Denver. Which I appreciate. I just want to know that people are excited for her. And I want people to love her and cherish her. I know no one will ever love her as much as we do, but she is so amazing.

I'm going to stop crying now and get back to work.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Is it my turn yet?

I really don't think this pregnancy is going to last much longer. Theoretically I could be pregnant for 6 more weeks, and statistically I'm very likely to go that long, but I don't think it's going to happen. I'm just trying to keep her in there until Friday. One week. If I can hold on to this kid for one more week, I will officially be full term and we can start coaxing her out.

RRL - My red raspberry leaf tea has been strengthening my BH contractions. Starting Friday, I'll be making an almost soup of the stuff. Strong, strong tea, and I'll sip it all day. When we make it iced I tend to chug it so maybe I'll make a big, big batch of strong iced tea.

EPO - Evening primrose oil. This can be taken orally or vaginally. It helps ready the cervix. And since sex and other old wives' tales only work once the cervix has started to soften, I'm going to have to get my cervix on board to make this happen. Maybe we'll take it orally in the morning and use it vaginally at night.

5w herbs - Sounds like a magic potion to me. I always forget what's in there, but this too helps tone and strengthen smooth muscle tissue (like RRL).

Walking - We have trails that are supposed to be pretty beautiful and begin right at the edge of family housing. We'll be getting to know them well over the next few weeks.

Sex - Sex works two ways. Orgasm initiates uterine contractions, and prostglandins in semen do something or other to the cervix. I've heard that sex really only gets things going after the cervix is already playing along, but this can't hurt to get all players on board. Besides, women who have sex more frequently are more likely to have the baby before 40 weeks.

I think that's the whole list and plan so far. If it doesn't seem to be getting us going, we can always add spicy food and see what else is out there.

One more week.