The day before.

I am sitting here. The house is quiet. There is a peace to it but the buzz of the excitement overwhelms it.

Tomorrow morning at 5:30am I will be induced and sometime between then and Thursday Noah will be here.

The next 72 hours will be a whirl wind of everything I have been preparing for and more.

A lot of people have been asking me if being induced bothers me, not at all. The day we found out I was pregnant I had my birth plan set in place. Bring Noah into this world healthy and safely – whatever it takes. This is just a part of that plan.

I will miss being pregnant. I still have not gotten to the point where I am desperate for all of this to be over. Everyone keeps asking if I just want him out and the truth is I could do this forever. I could do this 10 more times. It has been the most amazing experience of my life. I was a little relieved when all that spicy food and walking didn’t work. I am glad that I got a couple of days to just enjoy being pregnant. Although I am pretty excited that after such an amazing experience I get to have an even more amazing one, having a baby.

There is a void in our home and we are ready for it to be filled, we are ready to mom and dad. Our lives have revolved around getting to this point for the past nine months.

I remember meeting Kevin in middle school, when we were just kids. It still takes my breath away thinking that, that boy I feel in love with all those years ago is still my best friend, my husband and now the father of our little boy.

I am ready for whatever tomorrow brings. I am ready to meet this little one I already am so in love with, I am ready to fall even more in love with him when they put him in my arms. I can’t wait for Kevin to meet his son. I can’t wait to see what he looks like, what color hair he has or look into his beautiful eyes.

I am ready for the dirty diapers and sleepless nights because with all of that comes the best gift in the world, our baby boy.

Inducing heartburn.

So with the looming induction, Kevin and I were given the green light to try to naturally induce at our doctors appointment. No sooner had we hit the car did I have google up and running on my phone with “how to induce labor naturally”.

I am not sure my mind was ready for all of the methods that some mom to be‘s were willing to try. I narrowed down our choices by sticking to more reputable sites.

After reading about 20 list it looked like we had a few good contenders. Walking, spicy food, Chinese food and pineapple.

That day Kevin and I went to lunch at PF Chang’s. We ordered their spiciest menu options. I figured spicy Chinese food, we are taking out two birds with one stone! I nervously bit into each item expecting horrifying heat. I don’t know if I have some sort of super human spicy tolerance but it wasn’t doing it. So out of desperation I took my bowl of chili rice and added straight chili paste and oil to it and ate it. Kevin wanting to do his part and at least attempt to be able to empathize with me took a big bite of it. With tears in his eyes he said, “I am glad you are carrying Noah, I couldn’t eat another bite of that if my life depended on it.” I ate the entire bowl of rice and downed about 5 glasses of water and followed it by 4 tums and hoped that would do the trick but no such luck.

That night still hoping to give Noah a nudge we went to BW3’s and ordered a variety of their hottest wings. I think I ate more ranch and sour cream than chicken with that meal. I would quickly eat three wings and then eat a potato wedge with about 3 tablespoons of sour cream on it to attempt to sooth my mouth.

We waited to see if it would kick start my contractions but still no dice. Just a very upset mouth and stomach.

The next day I ate an entire pineapple. This might not seem like a big deal but after the first bite I knew I was in trouble. My body was pretty angry with me from the day before still. My lips burned, my mouth stung and my stomach felt like it was on fire and I just ate a bite of the most acidic fruit in the world.

But I ate it all. It did take two rounds but I finished the entire pineapple.

Still no luck.

So we are still trying walking. At 39 weeks walking is a form of torture. Walking right now feels like I have just drank 3 big gulps, have to pee like nobodies business and am forced to bounce on a trampoline. Every step bounces Noah’s head on my bladder. The walk consist of Kevin holding my hand while I crush his and me saying ,“oh my God I have to pee, I have to pee right now and we are (insert how many blocks) away from home, I am going to die!” Then I get home and oh wait, false alarm I didn’t have to pee. Hilarious.

Last night after our walk, I was making dinner. Plain white rice and chicken, about as non offensive as you can get and Kevin saw the hot sauce on the counter. His eyes darted to the rice and chicken and in a panic asked “why is the hot sauce down?” I told him I ate it on the pineapple that morning (don‘t worry I am not that crazy, I didn‘t). He said that was fine with him as long as it didn’t touch dinner.

The only thing Kevin and I have successfully induced is heartburn and a slight phobia of hot sauce.

All in all I am pretty sure inducing labor outside of going to the hospital and being induced is impossible. So instead of trying to force Noah out between now and Wednesday I am going to relax, eat food that doesn’t fight back and attempt to enjoy these next couple of days if he doesn’t decide to show up until Wednesday (or Thursday because I said I was going to have a Cinco De Mayo baby!).

(I am pretty sure that I just said I was planning on relaxing….if that doesn’t jinx me into labor I don’t know what will!)

The final count down.

Three weeks ago when they told me I was at 1.5 centimeters, I wasn’t sure what to think. Dilated? Me? Already?

My braxton hicks had gotten a lot worse and more frequent but nothing that left me thinking I was dilated. I was pretty excited. 1.5 down only 8.5 to go!

My next appointment we found out I was at 3 centimeters. I made the doctor repeat herself after telling us the first time. She laughed and repeated herself. She also calmed my fears that I was meer seconds away from going into full on active labor after reading my deer in head lights face…well, sort of. She explained I could be at 3 centimeters for 3 seconds or 3 weeks. She said normally, especially with your first you don’t stay at 3 for long. I made extra care in hopping off the table to make sure I did not, you know drop Noah out right then and there. At that point we were still a little too early to deliver and I was having obviously productive contractions. Noah was ready to go but we had to put on the brakes so my doctor recommended that I start my leave and try to rest as much as possible to carry him for another week.

On the chart they showed us in birthing class there were 4 different faces to explain labor and the levels of pain, 0 -1 is the happy face, 2 to 3 centimeters is the sort of uncomfortable but still happy face. The next face 4-5 is the oh my God-get him out of me-angry face… the go time face.

Over the next couple of days I eventually stopped walking around on egg shells that at any moment I was going to go from pregnancy bliss to go time.

Then yesterday I had my 39 week appointment. The exam went as usual and then after telling me I was still at 3 centimeters my doctor asked, so would you like to be induced tomorrow at 5am?

Um, say what?

My mind went blank. I knew I should have a million questions but I couldn’t get a single one out. Luckily Kevin (super husband/dad) swooped in. Kevin asked the doctor if it was her or her daughter pregnant what would she recommend. She paused and smiled and said she would wait a week until next Wednesday, his due date and induce if he had not come by then. I felt a lot better after he ran down his list of what was best for Noah, me, what inducing meant, if we were favorable to be induced, etc…he really did read the baby books.

After the appointment I talked with both of our moms and they put me even more at ease. Both of them have gone through pregnancies that have been induced and explained it is nothing to be afraid of but what is the harm in seeing if he pops out in the next couple of days?

In order for Noah to get a move on – I have gotten my move on. I have been waddling around trying to get gravity on my side or jump start my contractions. Kevin and one of his managers at work have a running joke on who wants to walk Dominique, that maybe while he is at work he should hire someone to walk me. Luckily Kevin and my mom have been on board with the whole brisk waddle that leaves me panting while they slowly stroll beside me. If I could do high knees around the block or jog I would. I am pretty sure that just waddling around right now is the equivalent to running a marathon at a sprints pace.

So now I am off to eat a trough of spicy food, do some jumping jacks and waddle around some more.

So that is where we are at. Maybe baby any day, definitely baby on May 4th. Either way this week I will be a mommy and our little guy will be here!

Expecting.

If I’ve learned anything throughout this pregnancy, it’s not to listen to other women’s horror stories or read too much into pregnancy books. Sure, both can be a source of useful information, but they are more often a source of unnecessary stress and worry.

So to break it down, at least from my experience here is what I should have expected as opposed to what I was told to expect or expecting to expect.

What I expected but didn’t happen:

- Constipation: Some books made it sound like my colon would forget how to function for nine months. Maybe it’s all of the fruit and fiber-filled cereal I eat, but this hasn’t been an issue for me. Even with prenatal vitamins chock full of bowel-binding iron supplements.

- Bloody gums and teeth problems: Again, maybe it’s because I drink a half gallon of milk every day and from the amount of Tums I eat they could be considered one of my daily meals, I am pretty sure my calcium intake is at it’s max. But I would like to flashy my pearly whites at the dentist that told me that pregnancy can make: A) your teeth fall out B) your gums will bleed like a faucet and that C) having a baby will pretty much destroy your teeth. Milk and Colgate on my side this didn’t ever effect me.

- Mood Swings: I half way expected to turn into Linda Blair at the drop of a dime once I saw those two pink lines. Based on every thing I had ever read, watched or heard about pregnancy I pictured every second of pregnancy to be a hormone free for all . Luckily for me (and Kevin) pregnancy has put me in a perma bubble of pregnant bliss.

What I expected and won’t miss:

- Maternity clothes: At the beginning, they seemed so awesome in all of their comfy elastic goodness. Then the elastic started digging into my flesh and as I grew bigger so did the struggle to get in and out of these elastic death traps. It is pretty much like a cirque de soleil act getting into maternity wear and as much fun as changing out of a wet bathing suite getting out of them.

- Prenatal vitamins: Burping up that herbal garbage is enough to make me want to vomit my entire stomach. Not just its contents. My entire stomach.

- Heartburn: I rarely indulged in the chalky goodness that is Tums before pregnancy. Now I need one after ingesting something as inoffensive as a banana. Add the newest pregnancy symptom, while sleeping, actual acidic liquid travels into my throat and then down the wrong pipe. Not even an entire container of Tums could tackle that bullshit.

- Shortness of breath: Walking up a flight of stairs shouldn’t feel like the equivalent of climbing Mount Everest.

- Worrying: Worry is my middle name – add to that pregnancy already comes with a boat load of worry it is a wonder I can sleep at night. Not knowing what my body is doing at any one moment is enough to keep me up at night. Not to mention whether Noah is developing properly. And I’ll be more than happy to put fears about labor and delivery behind
me.

- Urine, blood samples and invasive lady appointments: Ugh, I still haven’t completely mastered peeing in a cup. And my veins do NOT cooperate. I’d make a horrible drug addict. And who wants to have the already dreaded “once a year lady check up” once a week – not this lady.

- Feeling huge: Some days I just want to be able to bend over without grunting.

- Swelling: This one caught me off guard. Apparently working 9 hour days on your feet causes your feet to grow 9 sizes and become nearly unrecognizable. I was pretty much mortified when I touched my foot and the finger indent stayed there for 15 minutes. Thank god it is just my feet, cankles might pop my pleasant pregnant bubble.

What I expect to miss most of all:

- Kicks, punches, hiccups and flip flops: Feeling Noah move is by far my favorite part of pregnancy. I am so in love with every stretch and kick that I can’t help but break into a smile when he moves. I feel so connected to him. And sharing that experience with Kevin or friends and family never gets old.

- Feeling beautiful: Sometimes, when I look at my profile in a mirror, I know this is the most gorgeous I’ve ever felt in my entire life. Even more than on my wedding day.

- Voluminous hair, flawless skin, perfect nails: Apparently having a crapload of estrogen in my system agrees with me.

- Indulging in a craving: Finally getting that particular random food that you have been pining for is such an intensely satisfying feeling, especially knowing once this guy is out those days of indulging in cravings that end in me consuming over half an economy sized bag of peanut butter m&m’s for lunch will be over.

- Ultrasounds: There is nothing more amazing than seeing Noah in utero. It always takes my breath away.

- Strangers’ reactions: Some people just smile. Some ask whether it’s a boy or girl. Some just wonder when I’m due. Either way, people I don’t even know show me they care and want to share in my excitement.

- Wondering, wishing, waiting: It is like the feeling of being a kid on Christmas Eve times a million – that and you never know when “Christmas” is actually coming! A new baby is the ultimate gift to look forward to.

Must love pugs.

Between nesting and cleaning something else has been on my mind – nurturing.

Kevin and I are already proud pug parents, as everyone knows, hence the blog title love, life and PUGS.
Our pugs are our little fury soul mates. Their little brown eyes steal our hearts everyday and make it easy to get past all the pug fur that covers our lives.

This past month they have been acting a little funny. Needless to say they know something is up. Besides the growing belly I am sure they are perplexed by mom and dad’s crazy cleaning, nesting, home project madness – if anything they have been irritated by it (we are interrupting their pug naps). Not only that but the once bare second bedroom is now filled with bright colors, a crib, a rug (aka the pug play mat), and lots and lots of toys that squeak, rattle and roll that they aren’t allowed to play with.

Humphrey, my little BFF has been especially attentive. He is fascinated with my new belly button and would spend the day licking my swollen legs and feet if I let him. Our vet says it is a reaction to my swelling and his attempt to take care of me. He wakes up with me and puts his chin on my belly when heartburn or now contractions keep me up at night. The only way he could be a better dog is if some how he could figure out how to rub my feet!

Maggie has been super attached to Kevin and running to him for everything. Within two seconds of Kevin walking into the house and Maggie is on Kevin with her head tucked under his chin with her little tail thumping away. She sleeps on him, follows him around and waits for him all day by the window when he is at work.

We have never been away from our dogs for more than 2 nights, which was almost three years ago when we went on a vacation sans pugs. Kevin and I have not been away from them for a single night since….I don’t know what they are doing to do the three days I will be in the hospital…better yet I don’t know what I am going to do! Is it possible to include your dogs as part of your birthing plan?

In order to ease the separation anxiety for our fur babies (and me) I have been spending a little extra pug one on one time with each of them. I cuddle each of them a little longer. Throw the ball a couple more times than I normally would and sneak them cheese out of the fridge more than I should.

Hopefully all this extra TLC will help when not only do mom and dad go away for three days but we bring back their brother, Noah.

Hopefully they will forgive us one day.

Dear Noah

Noah,

I don’t even know how to put my thoughts and feelings to words. You are weeks, days or hours away from announcing your on your way, I’ve been given the any day now warning from the doctor and I couldn’t be any more excited to meet you.

I have wanted and dreamed of you since I was a little girl. I dreamed of meeting my prince charming, falling in love and having you and your brothers and sisters to come. Never did I imagine that you and my prince would be so amazing.

I am so lucky to have been your home these past 9 months. Each day you have made me smile, lifted my spirits and filled me with so much love.

I can’t believe there was a time when you were just the size of a poppy seed, it is hard to remember since right about now it feels like you are the size of a toddler. From the time you were the size of a poppy seed to watermelon I have loved you.

I held my breath for months waiting to feel you kick and now you kick the breath straight out of me. Now I can’t wait to hear you cry, for you to wrap your little fingers around mine and to see you.

Your room is ready, all it needs is you. Every time your dad and I walk past it we are taken back that soon it wont be just us. That soon, very soon we will be a little family.

Ever since I was little I wanted to be a mom. I can’t wait to show you the world, to love you, hold you and help you figure out life. I want to give you the world. I want to make you as happy as you have made me.

I am in awe of how I created you. I don’t know how I could do something so perfect. I must have done something right along the way to deserve you.

You and I are in this together. Labor is going to be tough for both of us. I am sure as scary as it seems to me it is even worse for you. I can’t imagine what you will think or feel during that time. Just know as soon as you arrive you will be safe and so very loved.

The most important thing I can tell you right now is that you will always be loved. I will always be in your corner. I will be there when you need me and give you space when you need it too. I will be there for the ups and downs. I will be there when you take your very first steps and for all the other big steps in your life. Even though I won’t be perfect, I will always try to be my best for you.

Noah, you are the best thing your dad and I have ever done.

I can’t wait to meet you.

Love,

Mom

Laboring through labor class.

Kevin and I have finished our series of birthing classes. We figured that the classes would help us prepare for the end of pregnancy, labor and the moment we stop being Kevin and Dominique and become mommy and daddy. What we didn’t figure is that the classes are like a middle school sex ed class gone horribly wrong.

Gone are the days where you and your spouse go to lamaze class and learn the HEE HEE’s and WHO WHO’s of how to get through labor. No, now labor entails birthing balls, dulas, jacuzzi and a professional photo shoot after you pop the little one out. Labor isn’t just the vehicle to the miracle of life, it is a production (at least according to this class).

I know a lot of you can’t imagine a better way to spend your afternoon then stuck in the basement of a hospital watching a live birth with your husband. I would normally say think something like this was touching but nothing is touching about watching a woman “crown” during birth with your husband. In fact it was a little scaring. Don’t even mention the word placenta, I won’t even go there.

During the video, we watched 4 different women give birth. Sitting in a room with 12 other people watching the miracle of life unfold isn’t exactly the most comfortable situation to be in already – add in the fact that our “Birth and you” video shot sometime when scrunchies and flash dance were all the rage and all the women they followed had a major lack of modesty and it takes it to a whole new level. This wasn’t an episode of “A Labor Story” on TLC. No, it was a labor free for all. It followed four women who opted to not use drugs and then followed the craziness it drove them to. Apparently labor makes you want to shed all clothing and get all national geographic, at least according to this video. Three out of the four women apparently found taking all of their clothes off and being “free” helped them through labor. All I know is you can count me out of the nudist birthing club.

Then after the video we were up for the tips and advice round of the class. All I remember about this portion is A) I am allowed to do whatever I want when in labor. I can pretty much get away with murder. B) TACO.

TACO it is the niffty acronym used when your water breaks. TACO stands for Time Amount Color and Odor. Why they had to pair this information with Mexican food I have no idea. All I do know is all the men got a kick out of Kevin announcing that he was going to scream Taco! when my water breaks. I informed him that probably wouldn’t be the best route to take.

We then learned about birthing positions and techniques. I don’t know what they did before labor balls, ice packs, meditation, aromatherepy, heating pads, etc. Call me old fashion, but seriously? I really think if someone tries to get me on an exercise ball or tries to “bring me to my safe place” through mediation readings I will use my labor get out of jail free card and go pregnant crazy on their ass.

We were then given a sheet that had drawings of different laboring positions. Kevin and I named each of them. My favorite, the “I didn’t know I was Pregnant” position. It goes without saying the woman in the picture was laboring on the toilet. For those of you who have not had the treat of watching the ridiculous tv show, these women some how go 9 months without knowing they are with child and are not prompted to call 911 when they go in to full on active labor. Nine times out ten they end up having their baby on the toilet. Horrible, yes. Addicting, (sadly) yes.

The instructor then “guided” us through a meditative reading. We all sat in the dark holding an ice pack in our hands to simulate a contraction while she read a three minute long excerpt from a book by someone who drank the meditation kool-aide. Maybe I would have been more open to this technique had I been able to find my “zone”. Instead I had to elbow my birthing partner who was laughing during my attempted journey to peace.

All in all this is the list Kevin and I came up with of the things we took away from the birthing classes:

- Taco, what’s not for dinner.

- The placenta is not a part of the beautiful part of the birth experience.

- Crowning is the part where I may try to kill Kevin, so he shouldn’t make any sudden movements.

- Srunchies are not flattering, especially during labor.

- Apparently all pregnancy educational videos were shot in the 90′s.

- When they tell you to eat healthy when you break for lunch they mean don’t eat at the hospital.

- Kevin cannot help me find my safe place, at least without laughing.

The classes were so useless to us we skipped the last class. I know, I know bad soon to be parents. Instead of waking up at the crack of dawn and sitting in the hospital all day we slept in, had breakfast in bed and finished the nursery.

In all I guess child birth classes just weren’t for us. We are pretty confident in the fact that women have been having babies since the beginning of time and some of those instincts might kick in seeing as how I am a woman. I am pretty sure I am going to a hospital with doctors, nurses, Kevin and our families and some how, some way even without the last class Noah will be brought into this world just fine.

Basketball & babies.

It looks like I am good at growing a baby. I am at 37 weeks and little big Noah has grown to measure at 40 weeks (full term).

(I feel like this would be an appropriate time to insert a general warning to anyone that didn’t fare well in health class, gets the ebbie jeebies hearing about anything lady part related or doesn’t want to ever know what a mucus plug is – aka men, this is your warning you may want to stop reading my blog from this point on until Noah arrives.)

Kevin and I went to my 37 week appointment yesterday. Gone are the days where we joyfully made our way every two weeks to the doctor for a quick listen to the heart beat and a run down of my questions.

No. Now it is Kevin dragging me like a wild dog on a leash into the doctor’s office and blocking any and all escapes. Now my visits entail a full exam…the embaressing, you already feel like a whale but here get undressed and use this piece of tissue paper to attempt to cover yourself and the doctor will be right in to violate you exam. Everytime. Kevin told me (the shyest most modest human on Earth) it isn’t any thing to get worked up about it is just her job. I then asked him to remember that statement when he hits the age where he needs a prostate exam. Point made.

At this visit not only did we learn our incredible hulk child was big enough to be considered 40 weeks, we learned that I am 1.5 centimeters dilated and 75% effaced. For those of you who don’t know what that means, it means it is go time (or soon will be).

I will not lie, I was sort of (a lot) freaked out by this. I am already for go time, but I still need to nest! This isn’t Cinco De Mayo, my oh so hopeful “labor day”! I still need twigs for my nest!

I couldn’t understand why Kevin was so calm after hearing all of this and he responded, “well, that is about 6 days away from the 21st (his guess), so according to that you are right on schedule.” My response, “are you crazy, this isn’t a basket ball pool!”

After hearing the news I have been going through waves of nesting. There is the clean the baseboards with a q-tip nesting level and then there is the sit in my nest level. I have only been in gather, clean and organize mode (aka crazy pregnant lady mode). I didn’t know there was another level of nesting. I have had this odd instinct that is the exact opposite of every other instinct I have had. To sit, relax and quietly prepare myself for Noah. I have coined it the “sit on my egg” part of nesting.

Monday we will have an ultrasound to see just how big Noah is getting and where we will go from there. I guess I should have listened to Kevin when he told me “labor day” would be the 21st. He did after all win his college basketball bracket.

37 weeks

The day we found out he was measuring 40 weeks, not surprised. It looks like I am having a toddler!

Pug & baby love.

The pugs have accepted the bump, with roughly a month left in this pregnancy. I figure that this will put them right on pace to accepting Noah right around when mommy and daddy decide to create another bump.

Goal Cinco De Mayo.

For the past eight months, I’ve been viewing May 4th as the day. A goal. A final destination. The finish line. Labor day.
It is hard not to. Everyday I am asked a million times, at doctors appointments and from strangers, when is the big day?

But yesterday, perhaps for the first time ever, it occurred to me that May 4th isn’t exactly set in stone. I mean, sure, doctors can approximate a baby’s gestation with almost 100 percent accuracy these days, but in all reality, it really doesn’t mean anything.

Due dates aren’t like appointments. I guess I imagined in my head getting up on May 4th and waking Kevin to tell him “it’s time” and we would happily make our way with family and friends to the hospital to celebrate Noah’s big day. You can look forward to your child’s expected birthday all you want, but that doesn’t mean it’ll happen. In fact, the likelihood is about 10 percent. Maybe less.

I am going to miss being Noah’s home, it is bittersweet. I want to meet him but I also want to be able to breathe again and put my own shoes on with out Kevin’s help. At the same time I am going to miss every kick, hiccup and toss and turn. I am going to miss every little thing about being pregnant. Luckily, I have a sneaking suspicion that I am going to love being a mom even more than I love being pregnant.

Nonetheless, I have started counting down the days. 34 days until Noah’s hopeful arrival, actually 35 if you count how many days I would like between now and Noah’s birthday. I think 9 months and 1 day is a perfect goal. Give him an extra day to hang out and me an extra day to get all my ducks in a row! So Noah listen when you hear me tell people I want a Cinco De Mayo baby, really I am in no rush!

As much as I love being pregnant, I am not going to lie or sugar coat it. It has gotten tough. I actually plan little pro and con list in my head for any task I have to complete. Anything from going to the grocery store to going to the bathroom. For the past two weeks every day that I have gotten up to go to work I have actually asked myself, how am I going to get through today? That question doesn’t stop going through my head until my work day is over and somehow managed the energy to drive home. Even though it is taking its toll on me I plan on working right up until I have this baby. I only have so much time off for maternity leave, and I’m hoping to spend every single one of those days with Noah. Sure, I could start my leave now, but that’s less time on the other end. But don’t think I don’t dream about it.

This week I had to fill out my maternity leave papers and it got me thinking about that two week period before and after your due date that is considered completely normal to deliver. Why don’t they just give a “due date window” instead of a due date? Using the “window” method that means that Noah could come as early as April 20th or as late as May 18th. Even looking at the date April 20th makes my stomach flip, May 18th isn’t any better either. I am pretty sure if Noah is still hanging out by May 18th my views on pregnancy might sour a little. By then I don’t think I’ll be able to get out of bed, form complete sentences or function as a normal human being. Clothes will be a thing of the past. I’ll have to tie bed sheets together around what use to resemble my body and hope that Kevin understands my grunts enough to get me a glass of water and a sheet pizza. You know, for a pre-lunch snack.

So let’s all hope Noah is feeling comfortable and at home until May 5th when hopefully he will feel all festive and ready to join the party. And God forbid if not by May 18th I will take that as a hint that he wants to be an only child.