The “Due Date”
Ahh, the due date. That one little day that seems like it’s never going to come. Months and months of anticipation, planning, reading, studying, “exercising” (a.k.a. walking whenever I’m well enough), dreaming, praying…
And then the day finally comes…. and goes. 🙂
Fortunately, I was more than ready for this scinario. In all my “birthing preperation” (which at times feels more like cramming for a final than preparing for baby), source after source of information reminded me that first time mamas give birth, on average, between their 41st and 42nd week and not right at week 40 when the due date is set. In fact, studies show that there are more complications with births that are induced before week 42 than those that are allowed to happen naturally. So, sure, I wasn’t exactly expecting Bowen to show up right on schedule (though at times it seemed the rest of the world was 😉 haha), but that doesn’t mean the big 40 couldn’t be something special.
One of my midwives had strongly suggested acupuncture for the relief of my chronic stomach pain, as well as a little nudge for baby to make his way into the world. We were referred to Michael Coppola, a Chiropractor and LAc with a background in “getting things going” when babies get too comfy in their mama’s womb. Since he was located in San Clemente and our appointment was on Bowen’s due date, we decided to make a day of it. We used to love taking trips down to San Clemente for a fun walk around town, a snack at StellaLucy’s, and some dinner at Avila’s. We hadn’t been in quite a while, and it was an absolute perfect day to take advantage of the sweet little town and its beautiful stretch of ocean.
But first, the acupuncture. Michael Coppola made my first experience with a Chiropractor/LAc the best I could have hoped for. He was super relaxed, easy going, and made you feel comfortable, but it was clear that he really knew his stuff. After a very brief examination, he was able to explain why my stomach may be producing too much acid and why my stomach lining was damaged so easily. After a quick adjustment (which felt soooo good) and some acupuncture (yeah… that was weird) we were on our way with a few supplements to help heal my stomach and help me survive until baby is born. He made sure to let me know the purpose of each acupuncture point: some for the stomach issues, some to help baby get going. I really wasn’t sure how stimulating the tips of my pinky toes was going to encourage Baby Bowen to emerge any sooner, but by the end of the day he had totally dropped! My high protruding belly had lowered and was finally starting to look like a belly getting ready to deliver. It really is amazing what the body responds to.
As for the rest of the day, it was absolutely beautiful. Karl and I took a nice stroll along the beach, gathered some pretty stones, popped our heads into StellaLucy’s for old time’s sake, and even found a great little cafe! I can’t tell you how rare it is to just find a place on the street and actually be able to eat there! It was like we were normal people for the afternoon. 🙂 Active Culture is right across the street from StellaLucy’s and even offers in-house self-serve frozen yogurt (some of which I have heard is dairy-free, but I was too hungry to stop and investigate). The menu had a decent selection of dishes and treats that were both gluten-free and vegan, as well as some amazing smoothies and shakes! I ordered the Lentil Goodness Bowl (delicious and filling!) while Karl had one of their raw green smoothies which was also delicious… especially considering the interesting combination of ingredients. During our meal we were offered a generous 8oz sample of one of their coconut-based shakes. It seriously tasted like an ice cream shake. Bowen danced with delight.
The staff was friendly enough, but the girl taking our order just gave an annoyed blank stare when I asked “The Lentil Goodness Bowl is gluten-free, right?”. She looked back at the menu on the wall which had the “gluten-free” label on my item and gave a reassuring “Uh… yeah.” So maybe the hipster teens working here aren’t super into explaining their gluten-free status, the conditions of their kitchen, the ingredients used, or the accuracy of their menu… but hey, I didn’t get sick and it tasted delicious. You can’t always have it all. 😉
So, all-in-all, no baby yet… but we sure had a lot of fun on what the rest of the world deemed would be his birthday. He is slowly but surely making his way into the world. In the mean time, I’m just enjoying every little movement in my tummy, every hour of sleep, and every uninterrupted cuddle with my husband, because soon everything is going to be very, very different. Absolutely wonderful… but different. 🙂