Thursday, October 30, 2008

a joke, while we're waiting

I don't know if you've heard, but there's a little thing going on in the States next week... my friend Dana sent me this joke that I thought was worthy of posting here (and is actually non-partisan so no one can get their panties in a twist!).

While walking down the street one day a US senator is tragically hit by a truck and dies. His soul arrives in heaven and is met by St. Peter at the entrance.

'Welcome to heaven,' says St. Peter. 'Before you settle in, it seems there is a problem. We seldom see a high official around these parts, you see, so we're not sure what to do with you.'

'No problem, just let me in,' says the man.

'Well, I'd like to, but I have orders from higher up. What we'll do is have you spend one day in hell and one in heaven. Then you can choose where to spend eternity.'

'Really, I've made up my mind. I want to be in heaven,' says the senator.

'I'm sorry, but we have our rules.'

And with that, St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell. The doors open and he finds himself in the middle of a green golf course. In the distance is a clubhouse and standing in front of it are all his friends and other politicians who had worked with him.

Everyone is very happy and in evening dress. They run to greet him, shake his hand, and reminisce about the good times they had while getting rich at the expense of the people. They play a friendly game of golf and then dine on lobster, caviar and champagne.

Also present is the devil, who really is a very friendly guy who has a good time dancing and telling jokes. They are having such a good time that before he realizes it, it is time to go. Everyone gives him a hearty farewell and waves while the elevator rises...

The elevator goes up, up, up and the door reopens in heaven where St. Peter is waiting for him. 'Now it's time to visit heaven.'

So, 24 hours pass with the senator joining a group of contented souls moving from cloud to cloud, playing the harp and singing. They have a good time and, before he realizes it, the 24 hours have gone by and St. Peter returns.

'Well, then, you've spent a day in hell and another in heaven. Now choose your eternity.'

The senator reflects for a minute, then he answers: 'Well, I would never have said it before, I mean heaven has been delightful, but I think I would be better off in hell.'

So St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell. Now the doors of the elevator open and he's in the middle of a barren land covered with waste and garbage.

He sees all his friends, dressed in rags, picking up the trash and putting it in black bags as more trash falls from above.

The devil comes over to him and puts his arm around his shoulder. 'I don't understand,' stammers the senator. 'Yesterday I was here and there was a golf course and clubhouse, and we ate lobster and caviar, drank champagne, and danced and had a great time. Now there's just a wasteland full of garbage and my friends look miserable. What happened?'

The devil looks at him, smiles and says,

'Yesterday we were campaigning.. . Today you voted.'

Friday, October 24, 2008

no news is.... really annoying

No, no baby yet, sorry. French Fry has definitely dropped, though whether he's actually turned around is anyone's guess (personally I'm guessing no). I am officially tired of being pregnant and would like nothing more than to have this baby out of me. Since he could show up any moment, I'm trying not to get caught in the trap of putting things off, so this weekend I'm still planning on doing a little baking and trying this method of making chicken stock (I bought a rotisserie chicken today at the marché for lunch that still has plenty of meat on). Stéph started his fall break (called Toussaint for the All Saint's Day holiday on the 1st) tonight so we're really hoping The Fry shows up while he's still on vacation!

We got the cutest package today from our friends Dana and Brian which included a copy of Goodnight Moon and this really fun book called Let's Dance, Little Pookie. Dana also has mad cross stitchin' skillz so we have some gorgeous embroidered burp cloths and bibs as well. Thanks, sistafriend!

Also, we had our second to last pre-natal class this week, in which we tried out different laboring positions and practiced breathing. It sounds like the clinic we're going to is pretty open about listening to our wishes about positions and interventions, at least in comparison to the hospital, but it seems it also depends on the midwives and OB/GYNs that are on staff when you arrive. So we'll see! The last class was scheduled for Thursday but was bumped back to Monday evening.

I'm pretty sleepy this evening so I'll end here. Don't worry if I don't post - I'm having trouble getting motivated to get online but when French Fry does decide to show up, my sister will put up a post (though not with his real name; he will still be called Fry here!). Thanks for all the good wishes we've received this week, they are much appreciated!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

we have a very stubborn French Fry on our hands...

I guess I was a little nervous about what we would learn in today's checkup because I woke up at 4:00 this morning and never fell back asleep. By 7:00 I was bouncing off the walls so I gave in and took my shower and started my day. Stéph forgot that he had a conference this morning in Troyes so he wasn't able to see the doctor with me, and that also meant that I had some extra time on my hands to run a couple of small errands before and after the appointment. By the time I picked him back up at noon I was starving so we had a guilty pleasure lunch before coming back home. I've just woken up from a two hour nap, which I knew I'd need ever since I realized I wasn't going back to sleep this morning!

All that's well and good but you want to hear about French Fry, don't you? Well, I picked up the scan results just before heading to the appointment so we were able to see what's what. First, the bad news - and it's not that bad, really. French Fry is still very much breech. He's sitting straight up, facing my left, with his feet tucked up in front of him. According to the doctor, if he's going to be breech, this is the best position to be in. However, breech is never as good as head down, so the doctor tried to turn him.

I don't know if you've ever had someone try to turn a baby upside down in your uterus from the outside, but it's not the most pleasant feeling in the world. He told me to stop him if I was in too much pain, but I figured labor wouldn't be a picnic either so I dealt with it while he tried three or four times. Once we both thought we got him turned (we, like I had something to do with it), but a quick peek on the ultrasound found him right where we saw him last. Probably sticking his tongue out at us, too.

Now, here's the good news. It seems I do have birthin' hips after all! The doctor believes that French Fry is not as large as previously believed, as he is way super high and this can skew the measurements a bit. He thinks that we have a strong chance for a breech natural birth with no complications, so we are not scheduling a C section. So, my next appointment is for three weeks from today, the 40th week, if I don't go into labor before then.

So that's it! It's waiting game time and we could literally go at any time. I'm thrilled that we're waiting for things to take their course, even though he's breech. There's always a chance he'll get his act together and turn around, too. Of course, there's not much we can do now but wait. And I hate waiting...

Monday, October 13, 2008

photos, finally!

I finally took some photos of everything that's changed upstairs! I've also linked "before" photos and placed notes on the pictures on their pages on flickr, so if you're interested you can click through to check those out.


The first big change heading upstairs is the hallway. We had originally planned on putting my small armoire in FF's room, but when we realized it wouldn't fit, we used the small dresser that used to be here in the hallway instead. This turned out perfect as we ended up with these pieces of furniture that we couldn't find a home for downstairs. Now we have a great place to put family photos and souvenirs and it looks great.


We desperately needed storage space! Whether it was my yarn stash or just things that made their way over after my parents died, we had a lot of boxes just lying around, especially in our bedroom, which didn't make it a nice place to hang out. The new armoire doesn't hold clothes, but all those things that needed a home. Moving the bookcase from the office to our room worked perfectly as well, though you can see we can use another one. We have even more books, not to mention tons of photo albums, lurking in hiding places around the house!

And of course, what you've all been waiting for...

French Fry's room

Here's FF's room as you walk in the door, and as you pan to the right...

French Fry's room

When I showed Stéph the finished product, he said, "Oh, there's no toys!!" It's true; we've been so concerned about having everything that we need that toys just haven't come into the equation yet. I'm sure they will, eventually.

Oh, and see the two suitcases? Yep, that's for the maternity. Here's the list of what I'm supposed to bring:

2 or 3 PJs
1 bathrobe
1 pair of slippers
towels, washcloths, toiletries
1 package disposable undies
1 aerosol water bottle (which I haven't found and am not that worried about)
feminine hygiene products
2 breastfeeding bras
breastfeeding pads (yep, we're breastfeeding!)

And for the baby...

6 onesies
2 wool sweaters
4 PJs
4 bibs
4 pairs of socks or booties
1 baby hat
1 baby cover/sleep sack
3 baby towels
1 hair brush
1 rectal thermometer
body gel/shampoo
1 warm outfit for leaving the maternity

And this doesn't include day wear for me (I want to bring some tshirts and such) and I want to bring one knitting project (if I don't bring it, I'll wish I had it, and if I do bring it, I'll probably never touch it, so I know I can't win either way!).

If this seems like a lot, that's because in France you usually stay about four days for a natural birth and up to a week for a C section.

Speaking of which, I hit 37 weeks today! In America I'd be considered full term but I think here that doesn't happen until next week. This afternoon I have my pelvic scan and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I really do have "birthin' hips". More news as it happens!

Monday, October 06, 2008

getting ready

Last week absolutely flew by so fast I barely saw it go. It pretty much left me gasping for air on the couch all weekend, thanks to Stéph who pretty much pointed to the couch and said, "lay down and stay there." Honestly some days I would push myself into the ground if he weren't there to stop me.

Tuesday was my second pre-natal class. We were down to two moms (apparently mom #3 has some physical challenges that tend to keep her close to home, which may explain why she didn't call or anything... we'll find out if she shows up for tomorrow's class). We basically just talked about biology - placenta, cervix, etc. Pretty basic stuff but I still learned a few things. Next class is about epidurals (yay!) and episiotomies (boo).

Wednesday was my doctor's appointment. He's not totally convinced that the baby is as big as the ultrasound says and I thought he was trying to scratch my nose from the inside while looking for French Fry's head (Pro Tip: if you're having breech issues, why not try the ultrasound first?) but other than that all is well. In fact my blood pressure was even a little low, which is a first for me. He is sending me off for a scan of baby vs. pelvis measurements, which will happen next week.

Thursday I had my appointment at the anesthesiologist's. At one point I tripped over my tongue, which I often do when I'm tired (it's worse in French, obviously) and she said, "That's ok, I totally understand, I'm German!" We had a good laugh about the fact that foreigners tend to understand each other better when speaking a common but not native language (well, that's my experience, anyway). She also told me that of the five anesthesiologists on staff at the clinic, only one is French-born. Anyway, we just went over the procedure for an epidural, what happens in worst case scenarios, what to expect, etc.

Before I went home I met my MIL at one of the baby outlet shops to pick up a few last minute things for French Fry's room: a crib bumper that I got at a ridiculously good price, some crib sheets, a changing pad, and I finally got a diaper bag (which wasn't my first choice, but meh, it's just a diaper bag fer crissakes). Nearly everything has been washed and put away so hopefully I'll actually have some pictures to share here in the next couple of days.

This week I have a pre-natal class tomorrow afternoon and another on Saturday morning (the first one Stéph will attend) and tomorrow I have to go to the lab and other than that I'm going to try actually resting and not running around like a madwoman for a change. I know we're getting down to the end now and I think I would like to follow everyone's advice and finally rest while I still can!