Week 37

November 29, 2008

sono-36-weeks

We are now 9 months and Jericho is considered a full term baby. Which means he is good to come out any day now! (Yeepee!) So to prepare for his arrival, JJ and I attended a weekend birthing class.

We woke up Saturday morning and like usual realized we overslept.(Yikes!) We panicked, brushed our teeth, got dressed, grabbed two pillows and headed to our class. We arrived to the waiting room of our obgyn, where the class was taking place. As we tried to sneak in, the instructor spotted us and kindly welcomed us to take a seat.

Looking around the room we could see everyone arranged in a half circle facing the instructor. The instructor or doula had an array of props, displays and videos. She introduced herself to us and the other five couples in the room. She then asked each couple to introduce themselves, mention their due date, if their expecting a boy or girl and what they have enjoyed most about their pregnancy. I got a bit nervous about what I would say as each couple shared their information with the class.

It was now our turn. I blankly stared at JJ and he quickly began to speak. I was relieved. He shared with them our due date(December 2), introduced me and Jericho, and finally shared his biggest joy of our pregnancy. He mentioned two of his joys: 1. The happiness and relief he felt when he found out we were pregnant, since there was many doubts if that could happen and 2. becoming a father to our baby boy. (It may be all the pregnancy hormones but I had tears in my eyes.)

After everyone finished introducing themselves the doula went on to explain the course. The first day consisted of breathing and relaxation techniques, pain management, birth exercises, and signs of labor and the stages. I enjoyed the relaxation techniques… and most of all practicing them. It involved no work from me, and a lot from JJ. He massaged my back, foot, and hands while coaching my breathing or combining it with some birth exercises. It was really relaxing. Too soon it was over and we moved on to pain management.

The doula introduced pain management by handing us ice, asked us to hold it tightly, and for a minute distract ourselves and not focus on the pain. At first this was somewhat difficult but after a few seconds I was able to ignore the feeling and remove myself from the pain sensation in my hand. I actually think this is a skill I have perfected since I was young. Many times as a child, I would daze into my own world with no sense of reality or time.(who am I kidding… I still do that) This skill was also very useful at the end of the class when we studied the signs of labor and the stages. Which I will not discuss. (Just imagine me sitting with eyes and legs tightly closed… I’m in my happy place.)

Day 2 – It was Sunday morning and once again we panicked, brushed our teeth, got dressed, grabbed two pillows and arrived to day two of our birthing class. Just as we stepped in we got ready for our tour of the facilities. It was great to see the place in which Jericho will be born. The rooms are for one patient only and are fairly large, so we can have the medical staff and up to three family members during labor. Each room has its own bathroom with shower, birthing ball and bar, a nice view, and a crazy adjustable bed. The bed completely transforms for whatever position a mother may want to give birth in.(which I just found out are several) It really helped in visualizing Jericho’s birth and how that day may go.

We soon returned to the classroom were we discussed pain medications, birth procedures, breast feeding and finally some “going into labor” role playing. Role playing was very humorous. Just imagine me pretending to give birth and yelling out to JJ… “You did this to me…”… “I hate you”… “You try squeezing a watermelon out your….” Just kidding!

At the end of the class JJ and I received certificates of completion and the confidence we needed to deliver Jericho. Though the class was very educational for the two of us, I feel that JJ really came out of there knowing better what to expect and how he may need to deal with my mood swings and pain. I know he is going to be a great coach. He has already been a great daddy-to-be and husband!

This week Jericho is now a little over six pounds in weight and should measure slightly more than 20 inches in length. He sleeps a lot to store up all the energy needed for delivery and is getting ready for life on the outside.

Week 36

November 16, 2008

sono-35-weeks

This week the big focus was the elections, though I don’t want to dwell on it too much, it’s hard not to explore the significances of it for Jericho and the generations to come.

The suspense of our country’s future grew as we awaited to see history in the first woman vice-president or the first African-American president. I know this election was more than that to many, but for this brief blog, one should look past the politics. Look now at this milestone in history and its impact on our children and future generations.

This election inspired a new generation to take action. Our efforts created a place where it is no longer hard to image a woman, African-American, or… Czech-xican (my Mexican-Czech son) as a respected leader. We have opened doors for our generation, and our children’s generation. Lets find comfort in knowing that our children will have equal opportunities to follow their dreams. I know it puts a smile on my face to know that Jericho will have the same chance to shine as any other person out there.

But don’t worry, Jericho is not even out of the womb and he is already shining… Though the average baby this week would weigh around five and a half pounds, this week he was measured to be 6 pounds and one ounce. (He’s a fatty!) He has five more weeks to grow and most of of his growth over the next month or so will be in weight. Which means his once skinny face now has chubby, plump, and irresistibly squeezable cheeks.

His cheeks are not the only thing that’s plump. (get your mind out of the gutter… I’m talking about his big’ol lips) In this weeks ultra sound –

Photo 1 – Jericho’s profile sticking out his plumpy lips.

Photo 2 – Turn to its side you can see his little cheeky face. (he looks a bit grumpy)

Week 34

November 10, 2008

shower1After returning from Cancun, Jericho and I had one day to recuperate before getting ready for his baby shower.

The shower, hosted by my mom, took place in her backyard which was decorated beautifully with “Its a boy” decor. Placed in the yard was one small table and three long tables with baby blue table cloths and lil’candles. A table on the side had appetizers of mixed nuts, fresh fruit and a fountain filled with chamoy. (delicious!)

The guest started to arrive at 4pm. I spent most of the evening greeting people, relaxing, talking and catching up with old friends. As the afternoon darkened we began the games.

First game was “Guess What This Un-labled Baby Food Jar Is!” (I may have made up that name) I was happy not to be taking part in the games, seeing that I’m still not familiar with many of the baby food flavors out there. To me all the orange jars looked like carrots, green… maybe green beans, and the brownish jars… well… I don’t want to say.

Game 2 consisted of baby items placed in a paper bag in which you would feel around and guess what that item could be. Unfortunately, everyone was very good at this game. Imagine a bunch of women frantically waving there winning answers, getting up and wanting to claim their prize. (…it was a scary scene!) So as a tie breaker we had everyone guess how many starburst and m&ms in a jumbo baby bottle. Luckily this narrowed it down to two winners.

Game 3 involved me and my big lil’belly! Everyone took a piece of string and guessed the diameter of my belly. Most guesses were a lil’long (I guess I looked fat!), others a lil’short (I guess I didn’t look fat enough!) and just one that had it spot on! All the games were a lot of fun.

For dinner my mom made an amazing chicken salad which was placed in a bread nest, brought especially for the event from Mexico, and centered in a raspberry salad. There were two beautiful cakes; one non-edible diaper cake and another delicious strawberry cake from Village Bake House. It was amazing.

By the end of the night there was about 40 or more people there. Many of them were friends and family that will be in Jericho’s life and who have already been a big part in mine. All the gifts for Jericho were amazing. He is a blessed boy. Thank you everyone who was able to join us and those who helped out. It was a special event.

Most of all – thank you to my mom. I know that she always wants the best for JJ, Jericho and I, and we appreciate all she has done for us. She puts so much care and detail into everything and truly makes every event more enjoyable. The shower and her efforts means more to us then we can express. We hold some precious memories from it all.

At the shower Jericho was about 5 pounds and could be as tall as 20 inches. His fingernails are now visible.