39-weeks

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i went to see my obstetrician yesterday (this will hopefully be the last visit). my cervix is now dilated “a good 2 cm” and 90% effaced. the baby is very very low — she said this is favorable for delivery. she thought that i would already have given birth last week. luckily, poko-chan was cooperative enough to stay inside quietly during our move to our new house last week. great work, poko-chan.

i’ve been having false labour pains since last sunday. usually they start around 4 or 5 am, an uncomfortable pain that wakes me up. at first, i was just having dull pain in my lower back. but on tuesday morning, i felt acute lower abdominal pain, as if someone stabbed me with an ice pick. i’d never had this type of pain before, so i grabbed my watch and started counting. the pain came and went a few times at an interval of 7 – 15 minutes. some were one minute long and others were two minutes long. they were irregular and stopped in an hour, so it was just false labour. poko-chan is practicing very well.

i tried not to fight against the pain because it just gets worse if you do so. i tried to accept it and observe how painful it’d get, then it was much easier to go through. i used to do this all the time in japan when i’d go see the dentist (japanese dentists don’t use much pain relief). if i think “aha~! this is how it feels like when you dig a big hole into your tooth”, the pain seems to be apart from my body, away from me somehow. after all, the body is just a box, you can take the mind out of it. i’m not sure if i can use this trick during my labour (i’m assuming i might not be able to…), but it would be nice.

my sister-in-law, mayumi, suggested that i should keep active during pregnancy in order to have a quick and healthy labour. i should probably listen to her, because her labour was really quick – only three hours or so even for her first baby. i took aqua-exercise classes until 36 weeks and since then, my exercise has been mainly cleaning and organizing stuff around the house. moving was slightly stressful, but it worked out okay since my nesting instinct covers all the cleaning.

paul and i set up our baby’s room — finally. we bought a second-hand cradle and a second-hand rocking chair. the cradle didn’t come with bedding, so i made it myself — another last minute project. i always end up wanting to make something right before a big event. i finished making my wedding dress the day before the wedding, for example…

it looks like my pregnant life is almost over (for now). i enjoyed it very much. i love watching my body transformation and imagining how poko-chan is growing. pregnancy seems to make people happy too. many people gave me a kind smile and helped me a lot (thank you those who sent me kind emails). some people (even some men) would touch my belly even without asking. i didn’t mind at all. it seems to me that pregnancy goes beyond social barriers and sexuality. i would probably be deeply offended if someone touched my breasts or bum saying, “they’ve got bigger!” , i’d give them a punch or two… and a kick. but around my belly, it was an oasis spot.

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the title of this drawing is “poko de ippai”, which is japanese for “full of poko”. maybe you don’t know if you don’t usually read this blog, but poko is my nickname for my unborn baby. i named it “poko-chan” (as if it was a name, Poko) because it was making “poko-poko” bubbling movements inside of me when i first felt it moving. now i’m in my 39th week of pregnancy and i can’t think of anything else but poko-chan. my head is full of many many poko-chans. but i don’t know what poko-chan’s face looks like, so i can’t draw the details of it yet.

i went to see my obstetrician yesterday. she said that my cervix is mostly effaced and dilated 1 to 2 cm. my baby is very low, she could feel the head. i’ve been experiencing some braxton hicks contractions. for some of them, my lower back feels really heavy and dull pain like menstrual cramps and my belly gets hard like a rock. they last for about 20 minutes each. it looks like my body is getting ready for labour. poko-chan, hang in there! let mama finish moving before you come into the world…

i’m taking part in broadway art encounter again this year, starting tomorrow. i’ll be showing this drawing as well as this and this at al’s broadway shoe repair shop. i showed my works at his shop last year as well. he kindly offered to have me show at his shop again.

broadway art encounter is an event where shops on broadway avenue generously open their shops as galleries. there is expected to be a bigger crowd than usual this year because the university of saskatchewan is hosting the 2007 congress of the humanities and social sciences this week. i hope you can come out and see the exhibits! i’m going to be walking around saturday afternoon, as long as i’m not in labor.

Broadway Art Encounter
June 1 ~ 2 (Fri & Sat)

Al’s Broadway Shoe Repair
638 Broadway Avenue,
Saskatoon
(306)652-4399

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