The birth experience with John could not have been more different than with Bridget. With her, I was induced and the whole process took 18 hours. And on top of that, all the billing issues we had to deal with. I was anxious this time around because I did not want to have to even think about another induction.

We were a few days past my estimated due date and I was starting to feel like I was going to be pregnant forever. On that day, Brendan’s mom came down, just in case, and because I was starting to go a little bit insane staying at home by myself. Things seemed to be moving in the right direction, but nothing — no Old Bay, eggplant, pineapple, and various other methods that are supposed to bring on labor — worked.

That evening, we went to the grocery store to grab something for dinner and on the way out we saw the OB who delivered Bridget. We haven’t seen her since my last checkup after Bridget was born. As soon as I walked in the door to the house, my water broke, so I called the midwives and my birth assistant to let them know. I was told to call back in a few hours to check in or earlier if things change. And change they did. What started out as contractions 10 minutes apart became contractions 6 minutes apart. So Bren and I finished up eating, quickly took showers and decided to call the midwife who’d be taking care of us well before the agreed upon check-in time. Next thing you know, we were on the way to the Birth Center. Another 30 minutes passed while we were on the road, and by the time we arrived, things were well on their way — just 3 minutes apart.

For me, contractions weren’t so bad for the most part. It took some concentration to work through them, but all in all, it wasn’t intolerable. And then things took a turn. There was one contraction that definitely felt different. Lisa, our midwife, and Heidi, our birth assistant, thought about checking to see how far I’d progressed, but no one really thought that it was time.

And then, all of a sudden a minute or two later, it was time. Thankfully Heidi was with me and stopped Bren from running to the car for a few CDs. It was game on.

I’m not going to lie, at a certain point it hurt, and I screamed — and I did not expect to be a screamer — but it was only a few and then it was over. I think I said “That wasn’t so bad” just after he was born. (Then, I saw his tooth! My newborn totally has a tooth.)

Since we gave birth at the Birth Center and we were going home about 4 hours after birth, we thought it’d be a good idea to wake Bridget up at 10pm and have grandma bring her to come meet the baby. (Thought it’d be weird for her to wake up in the morning and have the baby just be there in our room.) She did beautifully. She still is (for the most part).

All told, it was about 6pm when my water broke, about 8:15pm when we got to the Birth Center, and 9:51pm when he was born. We got home at about 3am. I wouldn’t change a single thing about the whole experience. It was just so completely different from Bridget’s birth and just everything that I had wanted it to be. Relaxed, unencumbered, and 100% natural.


Oh poor blog. You have been so neglected.

Our short trip to the cottage this year was fun. Bridget had so much fun. She’s proven to be completely fearless when it comes to swimming and she is definitely not afraid to get dirty. All good things. We made sand castles, skipped rocks, ate when we were hungry and generally had a relaxing time. It stunk not being able to stay longer, but we needed to save our leave.

The nursery is pretty complete. I still have to nail up some photos. And I’m waiting until the baby is born to finish an emboridery project since we will not know what his first initial is going to be until we see him. Bren and I came to an agreement: He will be named X (Brendan and Bridget’s choice) if he has brown eyes and he will be named Y (my choice) if he has blue eyes. We both like both names, and were very analytical in our approach. We made a big list, then independently said yes or no to them. Then took the cross-section of the yes-yes names and then went from there. It was pretty clear early on what the front-runners were going to be.
Right now, I’m one day past my due date. I feel like I’m going to be pregnant forever. Rationally, I know that it’s just not possible, but that doesn’t help get over that feeling too much. I’m working at home 100% of the time and usually it’s OK, but some days I just feel like I’m going to go totally INSANE. So today I’m keeping myself as busy as possible between work emails and tasks. Laundry, dishes and now, this.
Lastly, Bridget has started wanting to take pictures all the time. Some attempts are better than others.  We’re definitely getting her her own camera for Christmas (if not before then).


There’s an interesting conversation going on on a message board affiliated with my midwives. One woman started a thread wondering if someone should start some sort of group meant to talk younger pregnant women out of scheduled c-sections. It seems like the original poster is talking down to 30 somethings (she’s said she finds younger women "lacking"), but most people are keeping it reasonable. Thankfully. 

For me, the key is information. Giving birth in a hospital with an OB/GYN is what is normal for most people. It’s just how things are done. Are women aware that they have other options? For the most part, I really don’t think so. I’m not one to go around talking a lot about my choices and what sort of birth we’re having. But when my friends who know we’re using a midwife ask me questions about why and what is different, I tell them. 

I really think that it’s just got to be easier for women to find and use a midwife and they have to be accessible to everyone, not just people with great insurance, or money to go around insurance if it doesn’t cover a midwife/birth center/home birth. It has to become a more mainstream, normal, and popular choice. 


My boss sent me this link the other day and I have to say, I’m impressed with the belly painting highlighted. I’m particularly impressed with the artfulness of the entire scene and the draping on the model.


I know that I’m driving Brendan insane with all my baby talk.

I’ve been feeling like we need to get Bridget’s new room ready NOW so that we can then get the nursery re-painted. I know that — at first at least — Bren wasn’t convinced that it has to be done right this second. Once I explained all the things we have going on in May and that we need to have it well done before Bridget’s birthday at the end of May he started to understand. That doesn’t mean that either of us is particularly enthusiastic about doing the work ourselves. I’ll do it, but it requires priming, ceiling paint and trim and door painting. It’s going to be a few days of solid work. The nursery is much easier, three walls of paint and a change out of closet knobs. It might even only take one coat. We’ve got a guy coming out (who we’ve used for some work before) to give us an estimate tonight. I’m crossing my fingers. 

And then there’s the whole naming conversation.  I know that I was pushing pretty hard a little too early for my husband to be ready to discuss things. Plus, he’s right, we did have a boy’s name all picked out last time and "what’s wrong with that one?" The thing is, I’m not sure that I’m 100% confident it’s the one I want to go with this time. Boy’s names are hard. I checked out the 2004 version of Beyond Jennifer & Jason, Madison & Montana: What to Name Your Baby Now because the books with just lists of names are a little bit too hard to go through over and over. There’s a chapter on popularity and the lede is this:

Prospective parents are increasingly concerned — you might even say obsessed — with issues of popularity. Some, particularly those with names like Jennifer and Jessica, who suffered the fate of sharing their name with four others in their class when they were growing up, will go to any lengths to avoid similarly common names for their kids.

That is definitely the case with this Jessica. It was easy to accomplish with a girl. There are plenty of normal sounding, normally spelled names to pick from for girls that aren’t in the top 20. Boys, not so much. At least apparently, nothing that my husband particularly likes. I’m beginning to come around on the one that we had decided on the last time, but I’m still not 100% and Brendan at least is humoring me and considered thinking about some other choices for a little while yesterday. But both of us can only look at the list and think about names for so long. So we’re still undecided. But making progress.




Since I asked for suggestions, here is a sampling of rejected names:

  • Alex
  • Chester
  • Craig
  • Robert
  • Richard
  • Daniel
  • Finbarr
  • Ewan
  • Evan
  • Christopher
  • Jack
  • Brian
  • Byron
  • Hugh
  • Everett
  • Neil

That’s not all of them, but just an idea of what has been thrown out there and will not be the name of our son.


So now the search goes on in earnest for a boy’s name.

We sort of have one, but I just want to be sure we’ve covered absolutely everything. I am not satisfied yet. However, someone is in a bit of a box. He’s pretty much just saying "No" to everything. 

What we have is a secret because no one ever says, "That’s a terrible name!" after the baby is born. But suggestions are welcome.

this time around

We found out on Friday that we are having a boy this time around.  I had been having dreams that it was going to go that way. Bridget had only wanted to talk about having a sister and was very insistent that it was going to be a girl baby. She was with us at the ultrasound and was interested for a while, but it went on for what seemed like forever and she just got bored (so did I a little). She sort of didn’t believe it when we told her she was going to have a brother, but I think she’s starting to get excited. She has lots of friends and cousins who are boys and she certainly likes playing with them.

We picked out some new paint colors for the nursery (Celery Sprig — green) and Bridget’s new room (Pooh’s Favorite Things — a blue) . It unexpectedly made me a little bit sad to paint the green over the lavender in Bridget’s current room. I’ll miss having a purple room (perhaps I’ll have to paint the office purple). 


Sometimes, things just work out. This afternoon we sold the box spring and old bed frame to a guy via craigslist (in preparation for Bridget’s new bed in a new bedroom) and then later we ended up buying a bassinet from someone else on craigslist.

It’s early still to be buying baby things, but honestly, we don’t really need much of anything else (except maybe clothes).  I am glad to have it checked off my mental list because it’s pretty full at the moment: three work projects in various states of development, remembering to get to book and/or Mom’s club, planning the TU ReU, planning Bridget’s new room and the nursery, planning Bridget’s birthday part, plus whatever else comes up!

some statistics

I am almost officially a good luck charm at Heinz field. I’m two for two. It was awesome. I could have done without some of the people around us in the crowd at times. Extra-drunk 40-something women with cow bells are not a good combination. The loudest and most annoying disappeared for a while and came back much mellower. The best moment was clearly Troy’s interception and run back. The whole stadium just went totally insane. Hugs all around. The snow just made it all very festive — like confetti. 

And I was extra-careful not to dislocate my shoulder this time. No picking up anything from under my seat, and my towel was frequently in my left hand. It was hard to swing anyway because of my arm warmer/hand warmer/thick glove combo.  Last time I learned that pregnancy will make my loose joints even looser. Yes, that’s right dear internet:  I’m pregnant. My magic uterus in Pittsburgh = Steelers victory. 


Brendan joined the party on January 2, 2004. He's cool now.

Jessica has never been cool. She is OK with that.

And just so everyone is clear, what we say here is not endorsed by either of our employers.