Sunday, March 30, 2008

welcome to the world

Auden Pascal Danely

born Saturday, March 29th, 2008, at 5:14am, after 27 hours of labor
weighs 7lbs 12oz, measures 20in...

He's gorgeous; we are humbled.


Thursday, March 27, 2008

at last!

Halleluia, it's time!

It's 8am and I've been up since 2:30 with contractions coming about five minutes apart. J and my mom are taking turns keeping me fed, hydrated, and comfortable. We'll head to the birth center when things speed up a little, but for now we're home and this pace is manageable and everything feels fine.

I'm so relieved that this is it at last, the waiting is over. (Has it only been a week we've waited?)

Now the real work begins...


ha ha

If you want to make god laugh, tell him your plans.

All the magic spells we've been casting have not enticed this baby to enter the world on anything other than his own time. I am still pregnant.

Today we went to the birth center for a non-stress test and a measurement of the amniotic fluid. All is well, baby is active and in plenty of fluid. He just must be really really comfortable. The good news is that I am dilated 1cm and baby is fully engaged. I walk every day, which seems to bring on lots of Braxton-Hicks, and when I'm not walking I'm squirreling around on the yoga ball which also seems to bring them on.

I've exhausted almost all my "labor projects" -- you know, those time-consuming projects that are supposed to occupy a distracted but not totally miserable laboring lady -- including baking, cleaning, and archiving three years worth of letters from J's grandpa to his grandma during his stint as a merchant marine during WWII. He wrote to her every day. Sometimes twice a day.

Still on my list of things to do: iron all of J's shirts. No kidding. I'll probably get to that tomorrow.

I've been on a roller coaster of fretting and then letting go, ad infinitum. My mind is a hallway of mirrors of mental chatter, ranging from the merely obsessive to the curiously morbid -- why didn't anyone warn me of this trickery? My main objective is to come up with things to do every day, so that I'm not mired in the incredulity of not yet having a baby.

But letting go of expectations is much easier said than done. Or at least, it seems to require being done again and again, as I discover expectations hidden within layers of what I thought was letting go (as in: maybe if I fully let go of my desire to have the baby today, that will trigger my labor to start). I've been trying to bargain with god.

Yesterday my mom and I walked out by the Gliderport near Torrey Pines. We watched people coasting their big U-shaped gliders on updrafts from the ocean, some solo and some with passengers, all agile and graceful. Man imitates bird. We sat and watched a while, because we both wanted to see how they take off and land. We saw a couple of aborted attempts, and then finally one guy just walked to the edge of the bluff and stepped off, his vessel immediately lifted on gusts from below. It caught my breath -- how terrifying and exhilerating it must be to fly, to trust your wings and the air beneath them. How simple it looked.

Later on, I imagined that my letting go has to look like that: stepping away from what I think has to happen, and into the current of what is already there. This is faith.


Saturday, March 22, 2008

40 weeks, 3 days: still here

We're still pregnant.

I have been telling myself for weeks that I shouldn't expect to have this baby on my due date, but nevertheless, that date stuck in my brain like a glittery promise.

It's like Christmas in Japan. We were living in Kyoto during the holidays a couple years ago, and since they don't bother with Thanksgiving, the Christmas cheer started building right after Halloween. There were all the familiar trappings -- piped-in jingles over loudspeakers, tinsel decorations, Santa in all his cheeky glory -- it was infectious enough that I couldn't help but get a little giddy about it. And then Christmas Day itself was a total letdown. Nothing happened at all. I think there was a marathon in our neighborhood.

So it is with due dates that come and go. Except this holiday is gonna come, dammit.

Last night the full moon rose like a tangerine over the San Diego skyline, and I willed the baby to be pulled like the tide, down and out of me... It would have been so poetic and fitting, as we're sure he was conceived on a full moon, too. I felt a distinctly painful contraction around 7pm, but then just more Braxton-Hicks. I'm told that these are not without their function, and I should not be discouraged. I keep saying, I'm ready! J keeps saying: It's not up to you.

I know he's right. I'm not even technically late. But it doesn't stop me from wishing and scheming and hoping...



Sunday, March 9, 2008

also coming along...


That's almost 39 weeks of baby, folks.

We met with the "backup" doctor last week -- the OB we'd be transfered to in the event of any emergencies -- and got a surprise ultrasound at his office. We got no pics to take home, but another happy peek at baby's most baby-like hands and knees and nose and chin. A measure of baby's head and femur puts his weight at 7lbs. I'm at 140.

Perhaps that explains the back pain, the swelling, the having to pick up my belly and take it with me when I walk from the couch to the kitchen.

A woman at the grocery store the other day asked if I was ready to pop any day now. Yeah, like a pinata, I thought. An explosion of baby. Must we use words like "pop"?

"Well you'd never know from behind," she said cheerfully.

And, yes, I realize I've been wearing this black shirt through the entire pregnancy. It is stretched to its limit. The countdown is in full swing, as I can think of almost nothing aside from meeting this glorious creature who has been wriggling and squirming in odd corners of my insides...


Monday, March 3, 2008

coming along

The four-panel peony piece is coming along, here's the latest step:

So far it looks like a cloudy day in flower-land... I'm thinking the background needs to be changed to a lighter, creamier color.

This is a difficult point to be at in a painting for me: I want to add more paint and detail to the flowers without making them too literal, too constrained. The puzzle is always how to keep working, how to focus the piece without losing the movement and spontaneity?

Sometimes I think the real work of painting happens on the palette -- it took me an hour to mix six colors the other day -- but then I find myself at the canvas like I'm on the high dive above the pool... don't think too much, just dive in!