If you read my previous post,Losing Sleep”, you may recall that sleep has gotten to be an increasingly tragic disaster around here.  If Mama doesn’t sleep well, nobody does, it seems, even if I’m not actively trying to share my misery.

In stepped my papa!  Because he has done such a great job losing all kinds of weight since his surgery last year, he doesn’t have sleep apnea anymore, but he still has his CPAP equipment.  He called me to let me try it out, and I got to use it last night for the first time.  There were a couple of different types of masks to try out before bed, so B and I took advantage of the trials to introduce the dogs to the sounds and the really strange look that the masks give me.  Click-treat for coming close to me.  Click-treat for coming closer.  Click-treat for touching me.  Click-treat for nosing the hose.  Click-treat for letting my face get close to theirs, and suddenly, it’s no big deal.

The “whoa” look on Callie’s face when she first encountered me in a full mask (and it covers my entire face, so it does look very strange), and the “I’m not sure if that’s you or if I should alert to the alien that’s taken over your body” wide berth she gave me pretty much sums up the whole thing.  It looks strange.  It feels strange.  It sounds strange when I don’t get it on just right and my breathing turns into a wheezy whistle.  Strange as it all is, I slept better than I have in weeks.   The best part is that by the time we went to bed, both the dogs were fine with the mask I chose and the machine, even though they still thought it was evidence of an alien invasion.  Callie still hopped up for some snuggles and to sleep close to my face- though she did “probe” it a couple of times to be sure it was really me that she smelled, because I sure didn’t LOOK like me.  She was rewarded with a couple of gentle strokes from my very-familiar-smelling hand, and she curled up in a tight ball next to my belly like she always does.  Bandit also hopped up and snuggled in for awhile before getting off the bed- just like he always does.

I’m still in the process of getting through to the doctor’s office, but SO grateful to have a “trial” that is helping so quickly and significantly.  It’s truly lovely to go back to the normal pregnancy complaints of “my hips hurt” from lying on one side for too long (it added even more pressure to them when I had to sleep upright) and actually being able to change positions enough to find a way to relieve that discomfort.

Now that Pud’s mama is feeling a little better about the world, Pud assuredly does, also.  He’s been relatively unaffected by all of my drama; enough to keep growing.  He’s carrying low, so he’s not really in my ribcage much, except when I am sitting in certain kinds of chairs or attempting to bend over.  “Why are you bending, Mama?” is usually his first question, with a nice swoosh and a hard jab.  I can tell that he’s head-down now, because his hiccups are coming from lower in my abdomen.  He’s also still moving around, but not like the acrobat he was a couple of weeks ago.  Instead of kicks and jabs, I mostly feel pushes and nudges.  At the size of a honeydew, approximately 19 inches long and 4.5 pounds, it’s not surprising that he’s running out of space.  According to What to Expect’s app, he’s also hit a major milestone: he’s developing his own immune system that will be able to protect him from some mild infections.  He’ll still need my antibodies, as well, of course, but it’s nice to know that just being born isn’t going to instantly cause him to explode from infections.

This week, I’ve done a lot of things around the house, trying to get organized and cleaned out and to burn off some restless energy from waiting on news from the bank about our new house.  Let me just say that it will be a LONG time before I engage in the process of buying another house.  The “hurry up and wait” is about to drive me absolutely bonkers.   

Callie and Bandit had haircuts this week, and they are SO much cooler.  They’re pretty cute, too.  I love the low-maintenance aspect of their summer cuts, but I also love the way their winter coats feel, especially Bandit’s, as his gets very long and thick.  I think I could put little braids in all over his mane if I really wanted to pursue them.  B said this morning that he needed a haircut, so that really put haircut-lust into my heart, and he agreed to let me come along to his barber with him.  Alas, she’s on vacation, and we are still the shaggy duo with two fabulously neatly-clipped pups. 

B and I have also been talking birth plan: the document that we are writing to let the medical staff know about our preferences in terms of how we want our birth to go.  It is easy to get into a 20 page document, I think, but we need to be sure it’s as short and sweet as possible.  Therein lies the challenge and the reason that we’re still working on it.  We know we don’t want a lot of interventions, but “interventions” is a very broad term that actually has to be broken down and thought about carefully.  Time-consuming, but important.

Last but not least: we’ve been contemplating the placenta.  A friend of ours kept hers to plant trees.  We thought about doing that, but another friend of mine threw a different idea our way: donate it to a Search and Rescue group to help train their SAR dogs.  I verified with our trainer that there are local groups who would probably love to have access to a fresh placenta for this purpose, so I think that’s the route we’re going to take.  Seems like a terrible thing to waste a placenta, but I am not a fan of eating it, making placenta art, making it into pills, or turning it into a teddy bear.  Donating it to train dogs seems like such a perfect fit for a family that loves what dogs can do to help people!