big ole baseball head


There's a lot of talk in natural childbirth circles about being prepared (read up! study! know your options!) At the same time, you can't expect anything bad to happen, because of the fear-tension-pain cycle. So if you think bad thoughts, bad things will happen. It's something of a fine line to walk. I've been having trouble trying to follow both edicts. For example, should I expect an "average" labor of 11 - 15 hours because I have studied and know that to be the case or should I anticipate a much quicker labor because of the whole mind over matter business?

This had all been rather abstract and academic until this morning. So far, my pregnancy has been anything but typical and any expectations I had have never come true, so I figured that this would also hold true of labor. This morning, as I was watching TV from 2 am until about 4:30*, I felt something like a baseball in my stomach. I thought that I had felt Owen's head yesterday morning, but I wasn't sure if it was real or if I was asleep. It must have been real, because he was sitting head up inside me this morning! His head is the exact size, shape and hardness as a baseball. I calmly explained to him that I'd rather not know the exact dimensions of his head, as it kind of freaks me out to think of squeezing a baseball out my girl parts (fear! tension! pain!). I went on to explain that he needs to get serious about being head down, and if he wants to go ahead and engage and drop, well, that would be more than ok with me. I'd much rather get this party started now, before he gets any bigger.

I think the pep talk worked. That or his skull dissolved, because whatever rounded object is sticking up now is a lot softer. And it seems to have legs sticking out of it. So I'm good for now, but what sort of mischief will he find in the wee hours of tomorrow morning? I had no ide athat the parenting difficulties started so early.


I toured the mosque last night. They have pictures online (although they aren't terribly current). I've been in a lot of mosques in my life, but most of them were government funded (in North Africa) so it was pretty interesting to see a privately funded American one. There wasn't much of a difference, its just that the builder was far more concious of cost than the government funded ones. For exaple, in the mosque at Kairouan, Tunisia, the floors are covered with very expensive and beautiful wool carpets, donated by the Saud family. That's great, but the prayer hall is open and the building is in the middle of the Sahara, so the carpets were covered in bird crap and sand (and considering that Muslims end up with their faces really close to the ground during prayers, its all the worse). That's just not the kind of thing that would happen in a building whose construction is overseen by committee, answerable to a congregation.

The building's total capacity is 4000 people. Square footage wise, it is the largest mosque in the country. I find that amazing. The prayer hall itself isn't that big, but they have a huge meeting hall that they plan to use on holy days (Shannon - your mother and I talked of you converting to use that for your wedding reception. Its really nice. Just a thought). And there's a "community center" and museum. And, someday, maybe there will be a historical plaque outside, commemorating the spot where I used to play soccer when it was a YMCA.

The inside is not yet finished, but the outside is pretty well done. They are planning a dedication in May, I can't wait to see what the end product looks like.


* I have been having some really intense hot flashes recently. So thats why I've been waking up at 2 am, because it feels like I am on fire. Its horrible. And then I'll be freezing 20 minutes later. At least it only happens at night, when I can rip off all my clothes, because that sort of behaviour just wouldn't fly at the office.

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