Growing a Critter

We’re growing him on the outside now

welcome to the world, little one! August 27, 2007

Filed under: birth — crittermama @ 7:12 pm

At one minute after midnight on Monday, 20 August 2007, the Critter made his entrance into the world. He was 7 pounds, 12 ounces, and was 20 inches long. He’s perfect (actually, the pediatrician said he was “absolutely perfect”) and delights us to no end. He made his entrance by c-section, so my recovery is a bit different/longer than we anticipated, but we’re all doing very well. MUCH more to follow – I’m working on a big narrative that will take me a while.


Many more pictures (including Critter Papa in scrubs!) to follow.


the news from my cervix August 16, 2007

Filed under: birth,development,knitting — crittermama @ 10:56 am

OK, time for the weekly cervical update! I just got back from my regular doctor’s appointment, and was told that I’m 50% effaced and about 1 cm dilated. I’m 39 weeks along today, but it could still be a while. Standard procedure is to schedule an induction at 39 weeks, but to hope that we don’t have to do that. I *really* want to avoid an induction, so I think we’ll schedule it for right at 42 weeks. I’ll be pretty uncomfortable, but I want to trust the millions of years of evolution and billions of women who have come before me in letting my body take the lead on this.

In related news, here’s how I look these days

38 weeks

There’s also some excitement on the knitting front!

Critter Papa gave me a ball winder and swift for my birthday last week – whoo! I would never have gotten them for myself, but MAN did he do a great job on the gift giving front. Here’s a picture of me enjoying my new toys.

And here’s the new baby blanket that I cast on for last week – much improved!

new blankie


Status update and work shower! August 12, 2007

Filed under: development,friends,profession — crittermama @ 1:28 pm

I’m 38+ weeks now, and I think I’m starting to finally get ready. I could still use more time, but then again, it IS getting harder to sleep at night and to move my bulk around. I bought a balance ball at the Target the other day, and it is WONDERFUL. It’s more comfortable than regular chairs and helps to support good posture. Yay.

I’m sure you’re all (all three of you) very bored with the balance ball, and just want to get to information about my cervix. Well, the doctor I saw on Thursday (new, young) said that I was maybe 1 centimeter dilated, but there’s no real effacement to speak of. So there you go. Could be tomorrow, could be three weeks. As I’m writing this, Critter Papa is out on an 18-mile run from one Metro station to another. I took him to the start and I’ll pick him up from the finish; he has a Metro card and some money for a cab, and he has his cell phone so I can get him if need be. I just don’t want to bring our child into the world the way I entered it – with Daddy barely making it home from the golf course in time for a frenetic drive to the hospital. “Thank goodness I only played 9 holes,” he loves to say. Sheesh!

Critter Papa and I have truly been showered with blessings lately. About ten days ago, my boss orchestrated a surprise shower at another office. I had NO idea that this was coming and had actually prepared for the meeting that I thought we were having! I even brought my lunch, since I hadn’t had the opportunity to eat ahead of time. Whoops! It was wonderful, and so nice of everyone to come and celebrate with us.

Here’s the primary culprit, me and my friend Shelly

Heather, me, Shelly

Some of the friends at the shower…

Heather planned the whole thing

And a wonderful cake!

baby cake! yum!

Of course the cake was decorated with African wildlife. Heather says that she uses the characters from her baby shower cake to decorate her daughter’s birthday cake every year – what a great idea!

Everyone was so generous, and I had a terrific time. The one gift that I couldn’t bring myself to peruse during the shower was a collection of well wishes and advice from friends and colleagues that I’ve worked with over the years. I know myself, and I can be a sentimental person, but I don’t always like to do it in front of other people. Once we got home, Critter Papa and I read through the book. Yeah, I made the right choice to wait until we got home! It was WONDERFUL and so thoughtful of so many people to send in happy, warm, funny thoughts for us. I do have to call out Souza for his encouragement of our parenting, and his assurance that no child of ours will be loitering in the Roosevelt Center!

The next update will be on the wonderful shower my friends threw for me last Sunday, and some knitting!


pretty good day! August 8, 2007

Filed under: family,friends,knitting,profession — crittermama @ 9:01 pm

Today’s been really nice. It’s my birthday, and a lot of nice things have happened. Critter Papa woke me up this morning with a terrific gift: a ballwinder and swift, which will be delivered on Tuesday. I’m so excited! They are two things that I would probably never get for myself, but that I’ve really, REALLY wanted! And they’ll save him from having to hold large skeins of yarn while I manually wind them into balls. Win-win-win.

At the office, we had a conference call with our Executive Committee, and they approved purchase of a laptop for me. Hooray! My desktop is 3 years old and kept crashing on me, so this is good news for that problem AND it’ll make working from home a lot easier in the very near future.

I’ve gotten lots of calls, emails and cards, and it’s so nice that so many people have been so nice. Thanks!

We had a lovely dinner tonight at the Blue Duck Tavern in DC. Nibbly salads, striped sea bass with heirloom tomatoes, roast duck and fingerling potatoes (and thick slabs of bacon), and to finish – a flaming bourbon/chocolate cake. Very tasty!

For those wondering if I’ve given birth yet, nope. I’m doing alright, though feeling BIG and HOT, especially on the hottest day of the year thus far. My next doctor’s appointment is tomorrow morning, and I’ll post an update of how that went.

Also, I had a FANTASTIC time at the shower that Lisa, Lynne and Elaine hosted on Sunday, and a terrific weekend catching up with friends from near and far. Pictures to come as soon as I manage to shake them loose from the camera.


I’ve never been so grateful for cat barf August 7, 2007

Filed under: birth,home training — crittermama @ 4:25 pm

This morning, as I was getting dressed for work, Critter Papa came dashing upstairs in hot pursuit of our cat, Madison. He shouted, “She’s eating something” as he ran by, and I followed them into the nursery, where Mads was hiding under the crib (of course). I could see a length of ribbon coming out of her mouth, and she was chewing on it, and it was disappearing. A rapid, mad few moments later, she had vaulted over Critter Papa and was headed downstairs. Of course, had I closed the nursery door, we might have had a chance at catching her.

As it was, she ended up under the couch, still chewing away, and we couldn’t get her. We finally got her cornered back upstairs in our bedroom, but by that time, she had already swallowed the ribbon. This is bad. A linear foreign body, such as string, tinsel or ribbon, can be very harmful or fatal if swallowed and if it moves into the intestines. We called the vet right away, and got an emergency appointment for this morning. Critter Papa was going to take her, while I went into the office.

Now, Madison is our cat that barfs a lot. There’s no great explanation for it, so we’re told, she just upchucks from time to time. All the way in to the office, and until the phone rang about an hour before her scheduled appointment, I prayed for cat barf. And finally, Critter Papa called to let me know that she had barfed up about 9 inches of ribbon. With that information, the vet told us that everything should be ok.

It’s my fault, is the thing. I left the ribbon where she could get to it, after I thought I was being sooooo great to remove the ribbon from presents we brought home after Sunday’s baby shower. But no, I didn’t put them in a safe place, and she got one. So, it turns out that I can’t sufficiently take care a of a fairly self-sufficient housepet. I’m supposed to be someone’s mother in the next couple of weeks? Good luck, kid. Hope you’re born under a lucky star!


Doula article August 6, 2007

Filed under: birth,family — crittermama @ 1:58 pm

Critter Papa and I have decided to hire a doula to help us during labor and delivery. She’s not a nurse, a midwife or a doctor – she’s not there for medical assistance or to actually deliver the baby. She’s there as someone who has been to many births and has a big toolbox of labor coping strategies to help laboring women with whatever they need.

They are not there to replace the mother’s partner. Rather, they can provide support to the partner (who is probably uncomfortable with the amount of discomfort that the mother is experiencing) and give them reassurance as well. During the doula orientation we went to, we learned something that has really stuck with us: couples that hire a doula for birth have better relationships with each other six months after the baby is born than those that don’t have a doula. That’s all I need!

CNN has a story today on what a doula is and does. Check it out.


Bushmeat in the U.S. August 3, 2007

Filed under: profession — crittermama @ 3:53 pm

Here’s a video from Current TV that gives some background information on one of my big projects for the coming year (no, not Sir Critter).

Bushmeat Smuggling