Friday, December 18, 2009

Sawing and Sucking

You may recall that our beloved birch tree in the front yard is afflicted with the bronze birch borer. We are in year two of a three-year effort to save it, and the arborist feels that we have a good chance. He wanted to charge us hundreds of dollars to cut off a large limb that had completely died, but Stanley, understandably, wanted to save the money and do it himself if possible. Thus ensued a long-term disagreement between us about how best to go about this. I wanted all manner of safety measures, such as cones in the street, but Stanley just wanted to put his pregnant wife in the icy street to block traffic at the moment the branch came down. The solution for Stanley turned out to be to wait until his pregnant wife took her daily nap on the sofa, put some recycle bins in the road so that cars have to go away from the tree to get around them, then whip out the chainsaw that his pregnant wife bought him for Christmas last year, and carefully cut the limb down at the proper angle and distance from the trunk.

This is what I saw when I woke up.

The limb didn't even go near the street. But it could have!! If there had been a strong gust of wind or something.

Fun stuff I accomplished this week:
  • Put pictures on the nursery walls
  • Began stenciling a poem on one wall of the nursery
  • Packed the hospital bag
  • Burned my tongue on hot cocoa, on two separate days. It's just so tasty, I can't wait for it to cool down.
  • Slept through the noise of a chainsaw outside the window
  • Heard Blueberry's heartbeat again; 130 bpm, which is healthy, as always. Or I assume so: the doctor said "Yay!" Almost as if she didn't hear healthy fetal heartrates all the time. And maybe she doesn't. I continually feel grateful for Blueberry's health and my health throughout this pregnancy.
One of the items in my hospital bag is a focal point. I've often read that it's good to have a focal point during labor, something on which to focus your attention so that you aren't as focused on the pain. I don't know if it will work, but what's the harm in trying? Some of the suggested items to use were a pretty item from your home, a photo of yourself and your significant other, or an item of the baby's clothing. I'm going to use this:

In full disclosure, this is not a photo of the actual thing, it's an image I found on the Internets that looks pretty much exactly like it. It's a strawberry-vanilla lollipop, about 4 inches across. I like the idea of using a huge lollipop because it's easy (for me) to see the relationship between labor/birth/baby and a huge lollipop. Both require a lot of patient waiting (I've waited my whole life to get a lollipop this big), and are worth it in the end. And both are beautiful and have an element of magic. I was planning to buy one right after Christmas, but I had told our friends Nate* and Krissy* about my plan, and they gifted me with this one yesterday. So sweet of them! Literally!

Apparently I need to practice with the lollipop beforehand. One suggested method is to place my hand in ice water, while practicing a breathing technique and looking at the lollipop. I will let you know whether the ice water experience is comparable to actual labor. Somehow I think not. But at least it's painful.

Yes, I plan to eat the lollipop after Blueberry is born. Maybe not immediately after. I imagine it is frowned upon to reach for anything other than your newborn baby once he/she is born.

Here is my to-do list for today, for your extreme pleasure, and to help me gather my thoughts:
  • Finish stenciling poem in nursery
  • Start nursery mural (last step in baby preparations! woo hoo!)
  • Practice breathing/focusing
  • Do some reading for work
  • Put window film on windows in main floor bedroom (mudroom) and bathroom
  • Analyze some data
  • Bake cookies for a going-away party. Our friends, Bob* and Tori* (Tori hosted my baby shower) are moving from Minnesota to California. What could be a better scenario in which to use my Minnesota and California cookie cutters!? Let's face it: if I don't use them for a situation like this, I don't think I ever will.
  • Attend going-away party and try not to be overly negative about them leaving. That would be a downer.
Hope you have a wonderful day!

*Names changed.

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