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Week 36

Started: 2009-03-10 19:46:46

Submitted: 2009-03-10 21:04:00

Visibility: World-readable

After nearly four weeks on bedrest to ward off pre-term labor, Kiesa began slowly scaling her activities back up when her pregnancy hit 36 weeks. She went off the oral calcium channel blockers she had been taking since the third day in the hospital; we didn't know for sure whether we expected anything to happen immediately but I figured there was a pretty good chance it would. We were pretty much packed and ready to go, but no contractions arrived.

I spent most of the work day Thursday (26 February) banging out code for my current epic project. After spending weeks in various levels of design hell (the objectives kept changing, but by the time we had the final plan it actually looked like the final version might be a good idea), I had all the pieces in place to break out my favorite text editor and implement everything. I put together something resembling a schedule three weeks earlier and ended up under-estimating the time we'd take to finalize the design and over-estimating the time it'd actually take to bang out the code.


On Saturday (28 February), I headed to Boulder for an ascent of Bear Peak and South Boulder Peak. I wanted to get outside and hike, but we were still paranoid about Calvin's arrival, so I arranged my expedition to provide as much cell coverage as possible.

I started at Shanahan Ridge in south Boulder and ascended Bear Peak via Fern Canyon and the north ridge. Despite being the end of February, the weather was relatively warm and sunny, and I didn't see any snow until cresting Fern Canyon and beginning to climb the north ridge; after a few early storms we had a dry winter. I Twittered my progress, though when I reached South Boulder Peak I couldn't get a good signal, probably because of my direct line of sight to entirely too many cell towers between Longmont, Boulder, and Denver. I had to descend to the crest of Shadow Canyon to limit the number of cells I could see to get my Tweet out. (Now that I work for Qualcomm, I'll never be able to see phones the same way again.)

I descended Shadow Canyon, looped north to join the Mesa Trail, and returned to my car at the outskirts of Boulder, past the water tank I visited while training for cross country eleven years ago as a student at Fairview.

That night I got bored and decided to set up the crib in Calvin's room. We're planning on using a bassinet for the first few months (or however long one normally uses a bassinet for), but the unassembled crib was calling my name. I managed to get it put together without trouble, though it did generate a fair amount of trash and recycling.


Sunday morning came without any further signs of labor, so we stood down one notch on our baby-watch threat awareness system. For the first time in four weeks, after Kiesa's early-morning helicopter flight to Denver, I stopped worrying that Calvin might arrive too early and started wondering when he'll actually arrive. We were in the eye of the hurricane, knowing the storm would return but not when. The panic was gone, replaced with a strange sort of boredom.


Monday morning I took Kiesa to her weekly prenatal visit, which has settled into a comfortable routine: Doppler ultrasound, cervical dilation check, and a quick chat about where we might go from here. The doctor talked about scheduling an induction at 39 weeks, which seemed a bit early to us. (We later learned that Kiesa's OB will be out of town for the week of her due date, suggesting a possible reason to try for an induction a week earlier.) Absent a compelling medical reason to induce, we didn't think it would be a good idea to plan for an induction before Calvin's due date -- especially since, in an ordinary pregnancy, it'd be more likely than not that he'd arrive after his due date anyway.

UPS brought the last piece of my go bag for labor: an Altec Lansing iM11 portable iPod speaker system. It was a bit tinnier than I hoped, but its small size should make up for the audio quality. Our hospital does claim to have CD players in the rooms, but not having to change CDs every hour seems like a good idea -- and I can fit my iPod and speaker system in the space of about six jewel cases anyway.


In early January, Kiesa looked at the classes she thought we needed to take in the last three months of her pregnancy and decided that Avista had the best spread of classes and schedules. They make up for their well-scheduled classes by having a less-than-stellar class registration system. In an era when anyone can set up an e-commerce website almost by accident, Avista requires mailing registration forms and hoping one provides enough flexibility to register for the right classes if the first choices are full. With enough advance warning this was fine, but when Kiesa went into the hospital we thought it best to cancel the early-March breastfeeding class. It turned out that calling them wasn't enough, so I dug around home and found the cancellation form. Kiesa filled it out and I mailed it back. Early in the week I realized we'd never received the cancellation acknowledgement, so Kiesa called and learned that it apparently never reached its destination. We were still in the eye of the hurricane, so we decided to go after all. The class gave a high-level view of breastfeeding and some of the things to watch out for, but there seemed to be very little substitute for hands-on lactation consultation after delivery. (Avista's classes are targeted at those delivering at Avista, so not all of the information was useful since every hospital is a bit different.)