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Week 38

Started: 2009-03-25 20:59:34

Submitted: 2009-03-25 22:23:29

Visibility: World-readable

Kiesa's pregnancy entered its 38th week on Thursday, 12 March without any sign of labor. In a normal first pregnancy, we wouldn't seriously expect anything until at least the due date (earlier research indicated there was less than a 50% chance a first baby would be born before his due date), but after stopping pre-term labor we weren't sure what to expect. I amused myself by figuring out what auspicious events happened each day that might become Calvin's birthday. Friday was Friday the 13th and L. Ron Hubbard's birthday. Saturday was Pi Day. Sunday was the Ides of March.

Thursday

I attended BLUG in the evening, half-expecting to be called away at any minute with the news that Kiesa was in labor. I set up my camera and tripod and videoed the talk, despite the fact that I have a backlog of tapes in my basement waiting to be captured, edited, and posted. Kiesa avoided going into labor, despite the apparent inconvenience to me if she did.

Friday

Kiesa woke me up around 0400 by running a bath. By this point, on week 38 of her pregnancy, I was used to all sorts of strange behavior, but taking a bath in the middle of the night was not yet on my list. I dropped by to see how she was doing but first checked my Twitter feed and saw that she had tweeted with her status. She found it amusing that I checked Twitter first and then went to see her in the next room. She assured me all was fine and I went back to bed.

Having spent most of the last eight years fascinated by the idea of Bluetooth but with no practical application, I finally decided to take the plunge now that I had a cell phone that supported Bluetooth. I ordered a Bluetooth headset (the Plantronics Voyager 855) that featured a clever gimmick: It functioned both as a mono phone headset and as stereo A2DP earbuds with an AVRC remote control. This let me remote-control the mobile media player on my phone, after I figured out how to transfer some of my media from iTunes to my phone. (The integration proved less fruitful than I hoped; I could copy podcast episodes over but not playlists of podcasts and I couldn't get metadata on which podcasts I had listened to fed back into iTunes. Still, it was much better than nothing.) I began to wonder exactly how I had survived all this time without Bluetooth and contemplated how I would expand my Bluetooth empire.

Saturday

On Saturday, I undertook a major bike ride from home to Boulder Valley Ranch and Boulder Reservoir, north of Boulder itself. I wore my new Bluetooth headset while biking so I could hear any call (presumably from Kiesa) immediately, though I planned to pull off if I actually got a call while riding.

(I traced the route in Google Earth, then concatenated the segments together and used gpsbabel to cut the route into waypoints that were no more than 100 meters off from the original route to avoid overwhelming my GPS (and me) with too many intermediate waypoints. Here's a bigger version of the map, the raw track (kml), and the GPS route, rounded off to the nearest 100 feet (gpx).

I'm not a fan of my bike route across Longmont and down the Diagonal into Boulder, but once I turned off the highway onto Niwot Road the ride improved. I wasn't sure how my bike would handle dirt trails and dirt roads, being an entry-level road bike, but when I turned off the road at the Lefthand Trailhead onto the Lefthand Trail, my bike behaved well on the flat, well-graded dirt trail. The trail climbed and descended gentle hills on the plains north of Boulder and passed through a region visibly burned by January's Old Stage fire. The trail crossed a bridge over a wash that had been one of the fire's few structural casualties.

Footbridge burned by January's Old Stage fire

I enjoyed riding over the gently-rolling hills but having to stop every half-kilometer to open a gate got old quickly. I reached the trailhead at Boulder Valley Ranch and looped around the Sage and Eagle trails to the Eagle Trailhead off 55th, then turned south to enter the main gate at Boulder Reservoir. The washboard road was one of the few truly uncomfortable parts of my ride. The reservoir facilities were officially closed for the season but there was a small crowd enjoying the sun anyway. I biked across the dam on the east side of the reservoir and looped back around the north side of the reservoir. I took the road and returned to the Eagle Trailhead, then looped toward the north on the Sage Trail before turning north on the North Rim Trail. In sharp contrast to the rest of the trails I had encountered, The North Rim Trail was poorly graded and proved no small challenge to ride in my road bike. I stopped for lunch on the northern section of the trail before returning to Niwot Road and heading home. I traveled 68.5 kilometers in 3.5 hours.

Sunday

I camped out on the dining room table after a leisurely breakfast and did our taxes for 2008. Two of my three jobs in 2008 sent me W2s on the last day of January, which happened to be the day Kiesa went into preterm labor. I had planned on doing taxes and being done with them before Calvin hit full term at the beginning of March, but the details of preterm labor conspired to keep me otherwise occupied. I feared 2008's taxes due to my trio of full-time jobs and the complications of estimated tax payments, but filing proved less trouble than I feared. (It helped that I had Kiesa handy to help me hunt down things like mortgage interest payments -- we paid off our home equity loan last year and paid just under the $600 reporting limit, where the lender is required to give us a 1098-INT, in interest.) My charitable contributions were a bit less scattered than last year. I finished in a few hours, with only a few nagging questions about some charitable contributions remaining.

During supper, I headed outside into the common area behind my house at 19:51, about fifty minutes after sunset, to watch ISS fly overhead. Some stars were out; Venus was a blinding magnitude -2.5 in the western sky. I could make our Orion and the constellation I keep having to remind myself is Canis Major. There were a few scattered clouds, and a lot of streetlights, but I positioned myself where I could see the point, eleven degrees above the horizon at SSW, that the station was supposed to appear. Right on time a moving light appeared, moving diagonally across the sky. It started out fairly dim (maybe magnitude 0) but brightened as it passed overhead. It was as bright as Sirius (the second-brightest natural object in the sky, at magnitude -1.45) when it passed the star and continued to brighten as it continued east. It finally faded out in the eastern sky on its way to Nebraska. I couldn't resist twittering the event, and I thought it would be a great thing to do with Calvin when he's old enough to look up at night and wonder what's out there.

Monday

We visited Kiesa's obstetrician in the morning. Now that Kiesa was no longer on bedrest and was capable of driving herself around, I didn't have to show up, but I wanted to remain involved in her prenatal care. (It finally occurred to me that one of the things that really bugged me about her hospital stay in Denver was that I was almost entirely cut off from her rotating doctors. I don't think my being able to talk to them would have helped her medical care but it would have helped me to understand what was going on and what the likely outcomes were. Even though we ended up with one of the least likely outcomes possible.) We talked about the induction tentatively scheduled for next Thursday, on Kiesa's due date; I wanted to understand the risks (both of having the induction and not having the induction). Ultimately I felt that an induction was an imperfect solution but we were far past the possibility of anything resembling a perfect solution.

Tuesday

I borrowed Kiesa and set up the last round of prenatal photos.

Kiesa at 38 weeks
Kiesa at 38 weeks
There are a few acceptable redhead jokes. There's nothing wrong with
inspiring fear and trembling in the hearts of men.
- Gem Stone-Logan, 15 October 2002