Life in the End Times

Shin's gift to Annie on their One Year Anniversary


Filed under: Dreams & Nightmares — Annie at 9:25 pm on Friday, November 28, 2008

I was in the water when a tsunami began. A wave came from one direction and another was coming from the opposite direction. I ducked under the waves and felt the powerful but relenting pull of the water against my hair and body. I felt less afraid and more peaceful there. When I came back up out of the water my parents house was on the shore. The tsunami happened in my childhood cul de sac.

I think this dream has multiple meanings but there was one meaning that recently stood out to me. I think it’s about childbirth. The waves are the actual labor contractions, They also signify powerful challenges I’ve been going through or will go through. But when I emerge I will become a mother, just as I made it through the elements and emerged from the water in front of my mom’s house.

The Perfect Stroller for Elijah

Filed under: Baby — Annie at 7:15 pm on Friday, November 28, 2008

I tend to get a little obsessive when I research products. Currently am looking for a stroller that fits Shin and my lifestyle and personality

What is our lifestyle?
-Not too flashy
-Kind of active
-form is important to Annie
-innovation is a plus for Shin
-reusable or long lasting

So Shin is really big on getting a travel system (a car seat that attaches to the stroller for infants). But I’m against it because it’s heavy individually, it’s heavy when they’re hooked together. I also don’t want to be stuck with a 35 lb stroller even after we’re done using the car seat, or purchase a separate light weight stroller later. It’s just a waste. I’d rather carry the baby for the first few months until he can use a regular toddler stroller for the next years of his life and the same for a second baby if we have one.

That stroller would also be nice if it had other features like, facilitating exercise- like a jogging stroller. But of course it’d still have to meet our other reqs.

We haven’t settled on a price range for this stroller yet but so far it’s climbing. Here are a few I’ve been reading on that have great stats and reviews online and paper but seeing them in person will make a big difference.

Bob Revolution $389
For walks/jogs, 23 lbs, 12″ wheels, swivel lock front wheel, Ages 6-8 weeks old until 70lbs (I must doublecheck infant details- w/wo carseat, etc) I saw this in person today and it definitely feels sturdy and has great suspension. It feels like a bicycle. I’ve heard it isn’t as easy to fold up. Didn’t give it the weight test when folded up. It’s definitely sporty and masculine. Not elegant like the next one. Maybe just because the logo and color reminds me of Home Depot

Bumbleride Indie $439 or $399 end of year sales
For walks/jogs, 20 lbs, 12″ wheels, swivel lock front wheel, Age: Infant-45 lbs (also must doublecheck infant details), upon inspection- not such a great canopy, and doesn’t have as great a weight capacity as the others. But I love the design and ability to jog/rollerblade with it.

Mall Strollers

Baby Jogger City Mini $229
Not for jogs, 16 lbs, 8″ wheels, swivel lock front wheel, Age: babies who can hold head up-75 lbs, great canopy, quick fold technology. I saw this in person today and was really impressed. It generally fits our lifestyle better than the other strollers- price wise, style wise. I just wish I could exercise with it. The wheels aren’t inflatable tires so it wouldn’t be safe to go faster than a walk.

Baby Jogger City Elite $449 or $389 end of year sales
Not for jogs, 25 lbs, 12″ wheels, swivel lock front wheel, the upgrade feature I like from the mini: adjustable footrest, quick fold technology

As impatient as I am to find that perfect stroller, at least for now there’s time, and after Elijah arrives we can try him out in some different strollers and maybe still hit some of the 2008 clearance models.

It’s funny how I’m drawn to all the same stroller models. I suppose it means I know what I like.

5 Centimeters Dilated

Filed under: Baby — Annie at 12:45 pm on Friday, November 28, 2008

Does my widget actually say I have 0 weeks 4 days to go?? Oh my gosh!

We got through Thanksgiving Dinner without any emergencies so that was nice. Shin and I were saying how appropriate and understandable it is that the Bible talks about the end of the world as labor pangs but nobody knows when the actual delivery will be- And yet there is an inevitable outcome that is promised.

This past Monday prior to Thanksgiving I was 5cm! My cervix has effaced a lot and the baby’s head position is at -1. I’m halfway there but still not having regular contractions… I wonder why that is?

Last Friday I attended a prenatal yoga workout which was really great for the body. I realized I missed formal exercise and I liked being in community with other pregnant women. But I’m just not sure I agree with yoga. I had this one song stuck in my head for a few days that sings, “I am the light of my soul” which I felt uncomfortable with. And yet, I really want to yoga again.

I feel so close to delivery and getting excited anxious. I still have a few things left to do, like finding a pediatrician (that’s an important one)

Labor Update

Filed under: Baby — Annie at 1:32 am on Sunday, November 23, 2008

This past Monday, 11/17/08 I had a regular ob/gyn exam to check if my cervix had dilated. I was in fact dilated 4cm already. My estimated due date is actually Dec 2 or 3 so it was quite early. And I had been having contractions on and off.

Well the Dr. stripped my membranes and said he was quite sure I wouldn’t make it to my next week’s appointment. He thought it likely I’d go into labor in 24-48 hours. That evening I had some blood tinged mucus, which I thought was synonymous with my mucous plug. Consequently I told a few people I thought I lost my plug which has put my mom and mother in law on the edge. But after looking into it I think I just had a “bloody show.” Either that or the bleeding was the result of the exam and not much else.

So in that first 24 hours I frantically finished odds and ends in the room, bought last minute stuff, got my bags packed and a rough birth plan finally printed out, and baby laundry all done, etc. And I’ve just been waiting.

But nothing has happened. Well… my contractions have increased in frequency and intensity. But not enough to go to the hospital.

A good thing that happened emotionally though was that I got to deal head first (haha) with the prospect of pain in labor because I had to prepare myself for the immediately inevitable. The disappointment diminished some of that unpreparedness.

Since then I’ve also viewed an artistic birth document called, “Birth as We Know it” lent by my doula.

Interestingly, my doula had 3 births to attend this week and so I got to meet her backup doula. I feel really fortunate to hear from the backup because she had another client with a similar situation as mine- her client was dilated, having contractions but not going into active labor.

It turned out that woman’s baby was posterior, or “sunny side up.” So when the baby was pushing against the cervix, it wasn’t effectively causing the mother to dilate because the baby was pushing with his forehead rather than the crown of his head. So they did a few moves to encourage the baby to move, and 24 hours later the woman delivered her child.

The backup doula said she had a nagging instinct that that’s what is happening with me. So she met with me and taught me a few positions to encourage him to rotate!

After that meeting Shin and I picked up a fitness ball (aka birth ball) and I’ve been practicing some labor-easing moves. I’m actually feeling a lot more prepared for birth now just in this past week alone. It’s all very close and real now.

Did I mention I cut my hair really short? Cute mommy hair.

Feeling extreme fatigue now. Well that’s the update. Perhaps I will make it to the family Thanksgiving gathering after all. Or not. No idea.

Last Minute Stuff

Filed under: Baby — Annie at 10:22 pm on Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Well the baby is expected to come out any day now. My estimated due date was Dec 2 or 3 but at my last appointment this past Monday it turned out I was 4cm dilated already. Then my doctor stripped my membranes and I went home. That evening I started to lose my mucous membrane, which continued until this morning little by little. And my contractions are, I think, noticeably more frequent now.

So… I’m doing last minute stuff today… I wiped down the car seat and harnesses with a warm cloth, finished Shin and my laundry, sorted and filed old bills that were still sitting out… It feels like I’m putting my house in order for something else. Like vacation, or moving away for a long time… to like- heaven or something.

Well… Shin is at seminary and my in-laws took a little mini vacation so I get to enjoy a quiet, contemplative evening. Really, tonight would be the perfect time to labor because I will feel the most at peace while they’re gone and the doula is working with me. When it comes down to it, I’m just a very private person (ironic because I blog). I guess it’s not that I’m private… I just like keeping some distance.

Well, what things go through the mind possibly the night before a baby delivery? Ironing Shin’s clothes for the week, pondering whether I should slip out in my father in law’s car and get a haircut. I hear there’s this place in Torrance that does live music and haircuts on Wednesday nights. Or, just style my hair now. I just think it’ll be a while before I’m going to look very rested or fresh or polished. But the worst would be to get a BAD haircut the day of delivery and feel ugly on top of being in pain so it’s a risk.

Oh yea, and I put my two sewing machines away tonight. That was kinda strange and sad in a way too. Maybe I’ll take it out again in 2 years? 3?

The other thing I wanted to do was blog about this past Saturday. I went to Garden Grove with my Mother in Law for a class on decorative fruit arrangements. It was held at a Korean newspaper place. It was pretty good. I took a bunch of photos which I wanted to print out for her as reference.

I also need to drink lots of water. Shin’s grandmother told my MIL to feed me a raw egg and/or pork when I go into labor. According to Korean culture, it helps the baby to come out easily instead of getting caught at the shoulders. I passed on the raw egg for nausea and safety issues. But the last two nights I’ve been eating Korean style pork among other things. I wonder if the egg doesn’t cause diarrhea and the pork doesn’t cause constipation- which eventually leads to diarrhea. It’s better to have empty intestines during labor I think.

What I’m feeling right now… I’m having tightness in my stomach for sure but maybe because I’m full. It’s not painful. And it’s hard to time my contractions. Shin may end up taking one of these wall clocks because neither of us has an analog watch. I’m starting to feel some discomfort radiating in my lower back.

Ok well anyways… I’m going to go iron now.

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