Wednesday, December 29, 2010

baby's first christmas

My surgery went well last Wednesday. It took me a while to wake up and I heard the recovery team joke that I was a new mom and must be catching up on sleep. (I also woke up briefly in the OR to hear them say 'she's 33? she doesn't look 33.') Once I really woke up I puked a lot, and steadily felt better from then on. By the next day I felt pretty alright, just sore. So we went on an 8-hour road trip to New Jersey. I really wanted Annabel to meet her family while she was little and new.

We were there for a few days (an extra day due to snowstorm) and in that brief time she changed so much! She really started smiling and even laughing. When Gabe came home last night she looked at him, brightened up and gave him a bunch of grins. I'm pretty sure that made his day. It's hard to catch on camera, but here's a snapshot of a laugh:

She also is holding her head up like a champ, and now turning her head while holding it up. We found she really enjoys being around people - she didn't seem to get too overwhelmed. The pictures we took are here, and looking back I'm sad I didn't get more pictures of her with different family members. I'm going to blame this laziness on the pain meds.

We came back home to find 3-4" of snow on the ground - NC had a surprise white Christmas. Now it's getting up into the 60's this weekend. That is much nicer weather for a stroller walk.

I had another gall bladder attack two days ago, which is quite surprising seeing as how I no longer have a gall bladder. Hopefully it's just some post-surgery pain that does not recur. I'm trying to rest again and not try to do so much, which is hard. Today Annabel was Miss Fussypants all day long so rest was not had. Perhaps it was her unique way of celebrating being 5 weeks old. 5 weeks old! I really need to take more pictures before she grows up!
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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

What gall I have!

Or don't have, after tomorrow. I had another bout of gallstone attack last night, with a grand total of 4 attacks in December. That means in the last month I had 46 hours of labor along with 28 hours of the most excrutiating pain I can possibly imagine. NO FUN. Thankfully I have surgery tomorrow and I can't wait to get this gall bladder out of me. I had been researching options, and worried about side effects but now I don't care - just get.this.out.now!

Last night I felt the stab under the ribcage at 8 p.m. and decided on a different strategy, now that I finally know what these pains are. I immediately got Annabel situated with Gabe, and had a bubble bath with candles. I visualized my gall bladder relaxed and my back relaxed and focused on a peaceful image. I also noticed this time that I could see and feel the spasms in my abdomen - weird. I managed better than before, but by midnight it was unbearable again. I gave in and took an oxycodone pill that I was prescribed at the ER after my last attack. I took it, settled back into bed and waited for some woozy, pain-free state to envelop me. But no, it didn't help one bit!!  Isn't that the drug bad teenagers covet? It can't be that good! I think I should have taken nyquil instead because that puts me into a near coma usually. 

I counted minutes until 3 a.m. amidst an inconsolable baby girl and racking pain in my body. Because 3 a.m. meant it would be 7 hours and that is how long it always lasted. I held back tears at 3:15, utterly convinced this time it would just never ever end. But it did, at 3:30 a.m.

Anyway, sorry to post about pain. Hopefully this mess will be over with soon. Surgery is tomorrow at 2:15 - think good thoughts!  I'm being really optimistic about a speedy recover and hoping to head to NJ for the holidays. 

Saturday, December 18, 2010

looking back

It's Saturday night and I am showered and pajamaed and cozy under a warm quilt that was handmade for us as an engagement present (thanks Nina!). My husband is dozing on the couch with our little girl sleeping on his chest. We have a Christmas tree casting soft light, and a new t.v. which both make the living room cozier, for better and worse, respectively.


She is not even a month old and it's hard to remember the rhythm of my days before her. Now it's defined by feedings every couple hours, the regular diaper changes, the bounces and sways of soothing her. I realized sitting here that I find it really difficult to imagine being pregnant. It wasn't that long ago. And when pregnant I remember it was so hard to imagine being anything but pregnant. I thought I'd feel those kicks forever. I thought it would always be hard to get out of bed, that I would always pee myself when I coughed too much, that I would always wear my husband's shirts.

It is sad to have that memory fade, and I am glad I wrote here all the details. And of course a bigger gift is in its place. She is just the sweetest little creature I could have ever imagined.

And I could adopt Gabe's outlook when I told him I couldn't remember what having that big belly felt like: he shrugged his shoulders and said 'I guess we'll just have to do it again'.

p.s. No, there will be no Irish twins.

p.p.s. Below is the last picture of me pregnant. It was taken about 8 hours into labor on November 22nd.


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one day this onesie will be tiny..


Annabel is now trailblazing through 7 pound territory! She still is tiny, though, and her clothes are still pretty big as you can see. She has been a bit fussy the past couple days and very hungry so I think she's going through a growth spurt. But I don't really know these things.


Other things I don't know:

How often do you bathe a baby?

Is it ok if spit up comes out of their nose?

In general I feel a lot less anxious about taking care of her than I expected. I suppose it's because she's a pretty simple creature - if she cries she either needs cuddles, burps, warmth, a diaper change or food. Usually it's food. I do want Gabe & I to take an infant cpr/first aid class so that we would feel more prepared in an emergency.

Annabel cooperated with a mini photo shoot yesterday- you can check out the pictures here. Today I'm going to see if I can stuff her in a Christmas stocking and get her to smile :)
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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

checking in with our bananabell

Our little lady is a superstar weight gainer!  Last Monday she was 6 pounds even, and as of this morning (Wednesday) she was 6 pounds, 12.4 ounces. 


She is getting exponentially cuter each day. Here is proof:


And she is turning into an awesome sleeper. She knows when nighttime is, and for the past several nights she has slept 5-6 hours! That also means she misses a feeding, but the lactation consultant assured me with her weight gain that it's ok to let her go that long. No complaints from her sleepy mama!  

Her head control is getting much better - she's so strong.  She likes to practice holding her head up when we burp her. She is smiling and grinning now, but I think at this point it's still random or just from gas. Every time it happens I inspect her for dimples - still not sure. 

I'm working on a little video of her early weeks. Things are taking much longer to accomplish nowadays though :) 

Happy 3 week birthday to our beautiful baby girl! We love you so much!

fatty things are yummy

Since last post I had another back/stomachache which lasted seven hours again and sent me to the ER. They did labs and today I got an ultrasound and it's official: I have many a gallstone in my gall bladder. At least enough to cause the ultrasound tech to immediately say 'oh my god' when the screen popped up.  So it wasn't the backache from hell after all.  Just a belated gift of pregnancy :)  I'm actually very relieved to know there's a solution now, though unfortunately the solution is surgery within the next couple weeks.  I go to the surgeon on Monday to set a date. It's bad timing with the holidays, but both doctors and myself say this needs to be done asap. 

In the meantime I need to eat a very low-fat, bland diet. In the 24 hours since I've been told this I've had a revelation about how many spicy, fatty things I love to eat.  Cut out cheese, nuts, milk, coconut, apples, red meat? And if I want to be extra cautious cut out sugar, white flour, etc.? It's an obvious ideal but it's another story when I know these things can cause massive pain. But still, I'm grieving my lack of baking in the near future, and chilis and curries, and nachos and lattes. 

Send good thoughts that I can make it to the surgery without another gall bladder attack!  Also good thoughts that Annabel didn't catch any nasty germs while hanging out with me at the hospital. 

Saturday, December 11, 2010

a hurtin' mama and her growing girl

Annabel is a champion weight gainer this week - I think we're even starting to see signs of chubby cheeks. Hooray! I need to take lots of pictures today since she is changing so much day to day, I can't even believe it. 

I don't think I mentioned on here but last week I had the most awful back spasms. Could not get my body comfortable sitting, standing or lying down and had to take several steaming hot baths, massage from husband, icy hot cream and heating pad before it was remotely bearable. It also made my stomach contract and I couldn't breathe well, which was scary. I am not a wimp with pain, but I was in tears whimpering that I just wanted to die. It was so bad I was about to go to the ER for them to put me on IV sedation - except that I have a little one who needs to be nursed (and incidentally, was screaming throughout the whole ordeal, while Gabe tried to meet both our needs). Ugh, anyway - it was pure awful.  So imagine my disdain when it happens again last night :(  From 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. I was writhing on the floor again, taking multiple steaming baths - which was gross, because our town's water was shut off a couple days ago and it's come back on but it's brown. Tried icy hot again, heating pad and no relief. At least this time I had pumped milk for Annabel because there was no way I could hold her and nurse her. The stomach pain was worse this time and I spent a lot of the night puking, which was a horrible feeling that I welcomed because it took away the other pain briefly.

Anyway, all this is to say (1) wtf is wrong with me? I had assumed it's from nursing and holding her and having weak ab muscles, but I don't see how the stomach contractions fit in. And (2) just to have a momentary pity party...seriously?? I have issues all pregnancy, a painful 46 hour labor, and I still can't catch a break after? Sheesh. 

So I am going to the chiropractor/massage place on Monday and hopefully get back on track.  There is no way I can go through that again. If anyone has any insight on my broken body please let me know!

p.s. Pity party is over. Following posts will consist of cute photos of Annabel only :) 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

newborn pictures


Miss Annabel got her pictures taken by LunahZon yesterday. She was an absolute angel all day before and after the photo session :) During the shoot she was mostly fussy, but I hope they got some good shots anyway.


This photo was taken (by me) at the end of the shoot when she was pooped out from crying. Isn't she so beautiful? I love her rosy cheeks.
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Monday, December 6, 2010

Operation Chubby Legs


As you can see from the picture Annabel is tiny and precious. The only problem is she is a bit too tiny. We had another weight check and little miss has lost weight - she is about 6 pounds. Not good! I've met with the midwife and lactation consultant to try to figure out why she isn't eating enough, since my supply seems okay. Today I've started pumping as well as nursing so that I can build up a milk stash (ha, it sounds like moustache..anyway) and also monitor exactly how much she is eating.


Think good thoughts... I can't wait to see some chubby knees and cheeks on her!
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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

stroller walk

Annabel took her first stroller walk on Saturday. Here is a picture of her all cute and cozy. We just went across the street to the co-op market so I could get some vitamins. Gabe, Annabel and I got to the door and I said, "ok, you want to stay with her while I run in?".

Now why would I say that? Because I thought temporarily she was a dog, poor girl. Whenever we've both gone to the co-op it's usually with the dog and one of us has to stay outside with him. I quickly realized my error and in we went, as a little family :)
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Saturday, November 27, 2010

photo album link

Here is a photo album link. We'll be adding to it lots in the coming days:
http://picasaweb.google.com/GabeAndAlysa/AnnabelEden#

Some little things we're learning about Annabel:
She loves being swaddled. She is sleepy during the day and up all night. She likes to nurse pretty much continuously all night. All of her newborn clothes are too big - she's 6 lbs. 2 oz. at the moment. She makes the most adorable noises when we burp her - little coos and purrs and squawks.

What I've learned about Gabe:
He might be a soothsayer or the baby whisperer or something. He can calm her so quickly. He is taking such wonderful care of me and our baby and it's making me fall in love with him all over again.

What I've learned about myself:
A one hour nap from 8-9 a.m. can leave me feeling totally refreshed. I'm doing just fine on two hours of sleep a day (so far), though I'm hoping this increases soon. I'm learning that breast milk can be prolific - no one told me I'd get a shirt wringing-wet within minutes. And, most importantly, I'm learning that I absolutely love being a mama to this sweet precious girl.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Annabel Eden: A birth story

I went to sleep Sunday night thinking the full moon brought no due date magic. I woke up in the middle of the night feeling restless and crampy, which is strange since I'd been sleeping so well. I laid awake for an hour and around 3 a.m. realized these achy cramps were coming in waves. Oh! In a rare embrace of technology I bought an iphone app to time them and they were anywhere from 7 to 10 minutes apart. I tried to nap in between and around 7 a.m. got out of bed - it was our baby's birthday! (Well, maybe.) I called the birth center to give them a heads up and they advised lots of rest. They said most first time moms have 24 hour labors so I would probably be pushing her out that night. 

I kept my chiropractor and massage appt. and was able to relax during contractions. I sent Gabe off to finish up some work for the afternoon, and I just took it easy and listened to lots of Hypnobabies. By the time he got back things were getting more intense and I wasn't sure if I should keep resting or start to walk and bounce and try to move her into a good position and get the show on the road. Gabe got home around 5:30, I think, and helped me get through contractions. The night is sort of a blur, though I do remember clearly puking violently into our trashcan and nearly passing out when Gabe tried to help me do a belly lift during a contraction. I knew, though, that some women throw up at transition, so I held out some hope that when we arrived at the birth center at 5 a.m. that I would be checked and they would say 'oh wow, get ready to push!'. I had three contractions getting from the car door to the birth center door.  They checked and said I was still in early labor and needed to rest in order to prepare for active labor. So far I'd been feeling very active. Apparently the baby was still posterior so they thought most of the work of the contractions were trying to rotate her. Ugh.

I took something to sleep in between contractions and during each one I'd come out of sleep and punch Gabe awake so that he could rub my back (I was having back labor too). He'd fall asleep halfway through and I'd tell him to wake up and help me. I felt bad waking him up but really I was having trouble going it alone by this point. Eventually I got into the tub and tried to get her to rotate by sort of squatting and leaning forward. More blurs. I know I was checked twice and made very little progress. I was about 36 hours into labor and seemingly stalled at 5 cm. Exhaustion was a real worry at this point as I had had very little food and not enough water and some of my contractions were right on top of each other without a break. (Turns out after seeing hospital monitors I was having up to three contractions in a row - they guess it's because my body was trying everything it had to get her into a good position.) I decided at this point to transfer to the hospital to get pitocin and an epidural for some relief. I cried and felt disappointed but I also was happy that there was to be some change.

I arrived at the hospital around 4:30 or 5 and got tied up to a bizillion things and into a hospital gown. The epidural part was hard since I had to curl my back and relax despite contractions which was next to impossible but somehow I managed. I will say here that even though Hypnobabies didn't make me have a pain-free labor, there were some tools I used that allowed me not to lose control or calm at any point, so I'm really glad I did it. The pain of contraction + epidural needle while keeping muscles relaxed was one of those times. So anyway, not much changed with the epidural, so they upped the medication. I mentioned I was feeling kind of hot and nauseous and could I get a washrag, and next thing I know there are people in my face, and then an oxygen mask. The medication had made my blood pressure plummet, and the baby's heart dropped in response. Everything was good within 30 seconds but that was pretty frickin scary. It was also the point where I got frustrated at myself for being in the hospital and subjecting the baby to all this, but honestly I didn't dwell on it. I had made an informed decision and had to go with it. 

The next couple hours I was able to rest up. It wasn't some lovely epi heaven that I have heard but it made things so much better. I started having to breathe through contractions again but didn't want any changes.. I wanted to be able to feel as much as possible in order to push. I had a minimal dose of pitocin (less than a teaspoon total and things were progressing great). Around 11 I let them know I was feeling a bit pushy. I asked my midwife how long it would take and she said it really depends. She said a woman could push a baby out in 45 minutes but that is rare with first time moms and with epidurals.  I tried to relax and rest up for the energy needed soon.  Then all of a sudden I sent Gabe out for help because I knew I was pushing involuntarily. They came in and baby was descending. This next part was so amazing. The contractions spaced out and I could talk in between. It was go time!  I pushed a few times and wasn't sure I was doing it right. The midwife then had me feel her head for motivation. What?! Crazy amazing. After all the nine months, and after the couple days of labor we were actually going to have a baby! The unavoidable reality that said baby was about to arrive out of my vagina was a bit daunting, too. But really at that point what can you do? I pushed with everything I had, mainly because it was really tough work and I knew I wasn't going to want to be doing it a few hours from then. My memory of her being born is not very visual because I had my eyes closed and was very focused. But I remember Gabe watching everything and giving me the play by play, punctuated by many 'oh my god's and 'that's amazing'.  Apparently baby girl came out spinning with her arm by her head, a pause where the midwife told me to just breathe, and then she came slipping out with one last push. She had a short cord so I couldn't really pull her up and see her face. But I heard her cry and saw her shiny body and when she looked up she had a gorgeous tiny face and beautiful open eyes. I couldn't even believe this creature had been inside me this whole time. She arrived just after midnight, after 45 minutes of pushing. 

Annabel Eden is named after our mothers (Anne & Edie) and we love how feminine and slightly southern the name sounds. There are so many nickname possibilities too. While pregnant we called her Bananabel or Bananabelly. We left the hospital the next day and she is doing great. She is super beautiful, and it's not just our new parents' bias... 

I'm recovering well, though I have to admit that was a pretty intense 46 hour ride.  Nothing like what I had expected or hoped for, but perfect in its own way. The birth center staff told me it looks like the long labor was due to her position and that if I have a second I really should not delay getting to the birth center because that baby will probably come quickly. In my book anything under 30 hours would feel quick :)

The best part of having Annabel so far is watching Gabe be a daddy. He changes her and dresses her and sings her made up songs. He is a champion burper, great at swaddling and the way she looks at him is amazing.  He has told her he loves her a thousand times already and is absolutely smitten.  We both are so in love with her - swooning over each little noise and expression and cute little body part. (How could a fingernail be so tiny?)

We're taking lots of pictures and I think I'll share the Picasa link on here rather than post on the blog all the time. I need to find the link but will post it by tomorrow. Here are a few early moments...




Thursday, November 25, 2010

Introducing our little girl!

Miss Annabel Eden Cantor has arrived!  She was born just after midnight on November 24, 2010. She is 6 pounds, 10 oz. and 19 inches long. I'll post my birth story as soon as I get a bit of time. It was an interesting adventure. 

For now, here's a picture of the little lady about 11 hours old after her first bath. She is so alert and beautiful and we are so in love with her!

.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Due date!

No sign of little girl. I am not surprised a bit. My little Sagittarian now. I'm feeling really good lately, sleeping well, and nesting like nobody's business.

Oh, and expanding, check it out:


I lifted up my shirt and my husband said 'holy crap, watch where you point that thing'.  I do feel a lot bigger in the middle area. And she still moves like crazy in there. 

My sister stopped by today on her way to SC. Here I am exactly 40 weeks pregnant and she's exactly 20 weeks. Won't this be a great picture to show them later?  


Nothing too much to report... I can't wait to post my birth story & pics of our baby girl!

puppies falling asleep...

I know this may be the equivalent of watching paint dry for some, but in case you have a minute and a half and want to watch a puppy falling asleep, I've got just the video for you.

p.s. Obviously no baby yet or I'd be taking videos of her :)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

checking in...

I'm going to try to update a bit more often, as I can see it's about that time when people are wondering about baby girl's earthly debut. I had my check up on Tuesday and everything looks great. They estimate by feel that she's about 6 lbs. with plenty of fluid. I'm 131.5 pounds with lots of extra fluid :)

She has finally rotated a bit; however, she is now completely and directly posterior. They say this isn't bad, that perhaps she needs to spin that way first to get in good position. Plus, she could wait to rotate until labor so I have decided to keep doing my exercises, visualization and just let it go. No sense worrying about anything.

This morning I completely finished all my work, so now I just get to nest and play. I've felt much more relaxed the past couple days. I think it is because of the job, but also I have had NO back pain. I think this is a first since  way back in the first trimester. I've also been sleeping remarkably well. I still get up lots of times to pee, but I fall right back asleep. And it occurred to me that I used to always have problems falling asleep - it would take me about an hour. Now, no lie, I push play on my hypnobabies track and then just pass out.  I'm not quite sure if it's general exhaustion by the end of the day, or I'm just so conditioned to relax when I hear the hypnobabies stuff. In either case it is really nice to wake up feeling rested.

Baby girl has been busy kicking the crap out of her mama. I've been talking to her a lot more - she seems more of a person now that I can see her through my skin and since I know I'll be meeting her shortly.  Mainly I talk to her about how she can feel safe to come out whenever she's ready. That we're ready. That she has two loving parents who can't wait to hold her and meet her and take care of her. I wonder out loud to her about what she looks like. I logically think she'll have a bit of blond hair (both Gabe and I were blonds when young believe it or not) but I usually picture her with dark hair. I talk to her about the weather in November in North Carolina. I'll tell you about it too - it's awesome!  I wore sandals today, and not just because my feet are swollen a bit. The mornings are crisp and cool, and in the evenings the leaves are crunchy and outside smells like campfires. I'm excited to be able to have nice stroller walks with her on the sunny, warmer days throughout winter, but also have that cozy, cold and dark winter feeling when we're snuggled in at night.

As far as labor signs, I don't know what to say. I've had crampiness and contractions and pressure for weeks now so I think that's the norm. No big changes. The full moon is on Sunday, my due date, and my prenatal vitamins run out that day, too. In general, though, I don't feel anything is very imminent. Given family history I've come to expect babies that take their time getting here...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

39 weeks

She's almost here!  I'm starting to dream about her at night. After such a productive weekend I'm also becoming more relaxed instead of being so frantic-nesty.  We finished the nursery last night, with pictures to come. Lots of house projects are done or near completion. I finished work last Friday. I have a couple more days of pretty important errands to run, and then after that she can come any time. (Yes, I totally realize I have not much control over this.)  

She is definitely getting bigger. After a few weeks of no weight gain or belly changes, I think I'm noticing a difference the past couple days. She's pushing out more. I freaked out a little in the car today. I felt her normal pushes and wiggles and looked down to see this (keep in mind my back is flat - I'm not turned at all): 



Gabe turned from driving to see and also was in a bit of shock. I think she's trying to bust out of there sometimes. I'm taking evening primrose oil, red leaf raspberry tea, doing inversions, pelvic tilts and exercises on the birthing ball. Also practicing Hypnobabies diligently. Hopefully will have birthing bag ready within a couple days. Wondering if I'll ever feel ready, but at this point it's probably ready or not here she comes pretty soon.

Gabe and I are trying to consciously enjoy the quiet mornings, the ability to go out whenever we'd like with little preparation and full nights of sleep.  Today we went to our favorite NC restaurant Cypress on the Hill  for their first Sunday brunch. It was so good we ordered 3 entrees between us. So. Good. Easily the best eggs benedict I've ever had (I've had that a lot, too). 

Here's this week's belly picture. I've just taken a belly wrap off I usually wear so I'm not sure if any belly droppage is adequately represented. All I know is I pee about 3 times an hour so I'm pretty sure her head is now resting fully on my bladder. 




Friday, November 12, 2010

Monday, November 8, 2010

38 weeks!

Home stretch. The average baby is about 6.8 pounds and 19.5 inches. Baby girl is getting squished because her movements are so different. I feel limbs and sometimes see them. One morning before I got up I felt her whole body move in there. I will find out for sure at my check-up tomorrow, but I think she's still in that same position. She needs to rotate a bit for an ideal birth position.

I'm feeling pretty huge and awkward. I've had contractions and crampiness all week, though it's let up the past couple days. So today I cleaned all day. Cleaned-toilets-twice sort of clean. I am currently trying to avoid a meltdown because my sour cream apple streusel cake did not turn out like I wanted, just like my molasses spiced cookies did not turn out how I wanted. I don't know why but this seems really important. The combination of hormones & darkness at 5 p.m. has done me in.

Here is my belly pic for 38 weeks:

These are the clothes I slept in, then cleaned in all day. I almost threw up on them twice (but threw up in my mouth instead). Then I sneezed in the kitchen and peed myself a bit. But since the cake wasn't quite done I curled up in front of the warm oven and dozed until the timer went off.  Ah, the beauty of pregnancy  :)  

It's definitely time for a shower and sleep....


Maternity Pictures

I know I'm overdue a day for my 38 week update. Ignore that momentarily while I tell you that our maternity pictures are back and they are fabulous!

If you want to check them out, here's the info:

Please visit http://www.collages.net, and fill in the following information:
Username: Alysa Maternity Pictures
Password: 22183

Our wonderful friends at LunahZon are responsible for capturing this moment in time in the most beautiful way. I CANNOT wait until they take our newborn photos :)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

37 weeks!

Today I am breathing a sigh of relief. No preemie for me, and the window to have the baby at the birth center vs. the hospital has opened up. Yay for baking well, little girl!

The average baby is about 6 1/3 pounds right now and 19-20 inches long. At my last appointment they said she is on the small side, and they expect I should have an average sized baby (7.5 pounds) or a bit smaller. This past week my largeness has gone up another level. Or perhaps it's the loosening pelvis, I don't know, but I understand the beached whale comparisons ladies in late pregnancy make. Before it was uncomfortable to switch sides in bed, or get out of one. Now it's a project involving grunts and ouches and rests in between efforts. Three nights ago I was so uncomfortable at night. Couldn't sleep at all. Sounds and smells bothered me, my body felt off, and I had really bad cramps that wouldn't go away. So I gave up trying to sleep and took an hour long bubble bath at 3:45 a.m. The next night leg cramps kept waking me up, and when I woke up in the morning I heard myself screaming. Holy hell, my leg muscles still haven't recovered from how tightened they were...so now I have an attractive limp to go along with my waddle.

Despite all this we had a very busy weekend. It was our first year anniversary Friday (!!!!) and I had a meltdown about potentially leaving for a little vacation - the house isn't ready, I'm uncomfortable, we didn't plan ahead, there are so many projects, we can't board our puppy, etc. So we decided to go out around here and went for a nice dinner and a comedy show. We saw the Last Comic Standing tour, and they were much funnier when not on network television. I had to get up four times during the show to pee.

Yesterday and today we went to yard sales, flea markets, estate sales and regular stores in an attempt to get everything we need for house projects and the baby. I walked around A LOT. It was hard, and frequent contractions now don't make it any easier, but I keep telling myself that this preparation will make it that much easier during labor :) I've been listening to my Hypnobabies tracks each night and inevitably fall asleep. But every day I feel more excited and more calm about birthing so I think it's still working. After today I feel a bit more ready with the house, so that is good.

We got an awesome deal at the estate sale today. A wide dresser with mirror, chest of drawers and night table for $125! It's solid wood and dovetailed and in really good shape. Now that we have this, it opens up a big set of shelves for the rest of the baby's things. This weekend I got two baby monitors for free, a new Bumbo seat for $3, a playpen thing for $3, nursery lamp for $5, and a pretty white wicker piece with two shelves and a cabinet to organize diaper stuff. We also got a styrofoam head (like the ones you put wigs on) - I don't know what we're doing with it yet but it seemed like it will make a fun/creepy art project.

The main thing we're still missing is a co-sleeper or bassinet. We waited too long and now there are too many options and we're overthinking it. Then we watched 'Babies' (beautiful movie) last night and Gabe is convinced all we need to raise a baby is a bed, rug and leash. I countered with co-sleeper and he is trying to compromise with dresser drawer.

In this week's belly picture you probably can't tell, but I'm wearing my husband's sweatpants that are too small around the waist. I've gained 30 lbs. so far and the midwives say my weight gain is good and I should just eat whatever I want and it's fine if I get up to 140 lbs. Holy moly. I can't imagine carrying around another 10 lbs.

I'm no good at telling these things but I woke up this morning with a very weird pelvic pressure thing going on, and I think I may see some belly droppage happening. But I thought she did that before and turned out she was just shifting around.

Bake just as long as you need to, little one, but we can't wait to meet you someday pretty soon!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

the view from below...

I can't tell if this picture is funny or terrifying.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

undulating belly

Often when I look down this is what I see. I couldn't get my whole belly in the shot, so what you're missing is her feet pressing out of the left side of my belly. What you're seeing is her tushie/back pressing out of the right side.

Monday, October 25, 2010

36 weeks, 1 day

Check out what a difference one week makes:

The average baby right now is about 6 pounds. She's gotten so big that I see her body parts sticking out of my tummy. I spend a lot of time navel gazing and screaming. It's very freaky. But at the same time totally amazing. I can't imagine not being pregnant right now, but that day is going to come soon enough!

She needs to bake one more week at the very least to be considered at term, and then I can deliver at the birth center. I don't think she's going anywhere before then, though my body is definitely practicing. Lots of Braxton Hicks (or round ligament pain? dunno) and my pelvis has loosened enough that I've got the full on pregnancy waddle.

The chiropractor is definitely helping, though I can only do so much before I need to rest. The massage was really good too, up until I got really dizzy and nauseous part way through. I think I was 5 seconds from puking and passing out before I leaped up (ok, I can't leap up) and said I needed water and needed to cool off.

I'm still in mega-nesting mode. Lots of cooking and cleaning and giving my husband ultimatums about finishing projects soon. I try to be respectful and give him hours-long warning before my emotional breakdowns about us not having a homey enough home for our daughter. But we're slowly getting there - curtains are mostly up, picture frames are on the wall (pictureless), little girl's clothes and blankets are washed and summer sundresses are packed away.

We are so excited to meet our baby girl. I've been wondering for so long what she'll look like and how she'll be - it's going to be so surreal when there's an actual person in our lives instead of squirmy wiggles and hiccups in my tummy.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Casserole

That word makes me gloomy. Who ever gets excited by a casserole? I don't even much like the word, much less the reheated leftovers of rectangular mush.

But today I find myself with 10 lbs of potatoes. I also find myself with one month(!) left til my due date, and some frozen meals tucked away in the freezer will probably be appreciated later. But I need your help. I refuse to make any casserole with cream of anything canned soup, a prepackaged mix of any sort, or Velveeta (I'm not sure exactly what Velveeta even is, but a quick google search reveals it is in many a casserole.) I don't like 'baked' pasta, unless someone has done it without goopy noodles and bland cheese on top. (Ok, mac and cheese may be an exception in this category.) I'm not sure how rice freezes, or how reheated meat will still be good.

So something healthy, and when reheated will seem somewhat fresh and not mush. Any ideas for someone who is inherently biased against leftovers? I did think of shepherd's pie, but not sure how well that freezes.

Thanks!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

35 weeks, 2 days

Baby is about 5 1/4 pounds and over 18 inches long. The biggest change this week is the amount of contractions. I went from occasionally wondering 'are these Braxton Hicks?' to them being a near-constant presence through the weekend. They were definitely not pleasant, either. I think the hardest part for me is knowing they will stop if I just sit and rest, but there's just so much to do. It's incompatible with nesting :)

The good thing is my back has hit that higher level of sub-standard that allows me to do a little bit more. Yesterday I went to the state fair and walked around a few hours. I crashed at the end, but I definitely would not have been able to do that just a week ago. Tomorrow I get both a massage and an adjustment - woo hoo!

Gabe & I got our maternity photos done on Sunday from the great folks at LunahZon Photography. Can't wait to see how they turned out! They will also be taking newborn photos within the first couple weeks of the baby's arrival.

Here's this week's decapitated belly pic, because I was blurry from a nap, allergies and poor focus on the camera.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Prenatal check-up

I am 127 lbs! My belly has a 40 inch circumference!

Everything looks good. There is a small question of whether that I'm-dying pain has been gallstones. And I described this other pain I've been having more and more frequently and those have been identified as Braxton-Hicks contractions. Aha! I seem to have them a lot lately so I'm going to be mindful of staying hydrated and timing them once in a while.

Speaking of hydration this peeing at night thing is out of control. I've always had a small bladder it seemed, so I didn't think much of getting up a couple times a night to pee. But last night I counted, and it was six times! That's an average night. But I assume in a couple months I would feel really lucky to get up at 3 a.m. just to pee, so I'll try to be grateful.

I asked about traveling around the holidays, since we're hoping to have the little lady meet some family in NJ. They strongly advised against air travel, because her immune system will not be fully developed and it's flu & RSV season. Airports and planes are a breeding ground for the germs, and that could make her very very sick. We may go up by car but it's hard to plan - we'll just have to see. It will make a big difference if she's born November 10th vs. December 5th, for instance. If she's a relatively calm baby or a fussy one. If she wails in the car or falls asleep. If she's in somewhat of a routine, and feeds well. If her mama is up for the long trip. It's about an 8 hours drive usually, plus there will be holiday traffic and frequent feedings and diaper changes. Times two. So no promises, but we'd love to plop her under a NJ Christmas tree for a meet and greet and photo ops :)

p.s. I have my first appointment with the chiropractor tomorrow morning. I'm already in love with her!

Holy hormones, batman - example 1 of ??

So far I've survived this pregnancy with little of the mood swings, random crying and horrible feelings of victimization that I've heard others have. (Gabriel, you are not allowed to think or comment, otherwise ;-)

But lately I've felt twinges of irrationality. I can totally identify it as loony, but it still feels real. It's like when I had a dream that Gabe did something really devastating and I woke up with a grudge.

Yesterday we went back and forth about buying an iPod Touch. We want something to record video of our little one and after researching it he thought this was the best option. I asked a few questions to know the cost, make sure he's comparison shopped, to know what it's capable of, etc. and gave the all clear for the late-night online purchase.

So today I am nearby while he watches a review of the iThingy. It mentions there is no auto-focus. Alarmed, I ask what are the implications of that. He says it's fine, it's just not so clear up close, like 3 feet or less. He says this nonchalantly, as I almost burst into tears. Distraught, I thought and said, I think in this order:

- What?? How could you buy something without auto-focus?
- You don't even want to take close-up pictures of our baby?!!!
- You don't even care about taking video of our baby.
- You don't even want to see our baby close up, what's wrong with you?
- You're probably just selfish and bought the thing for the stupid apps, I knew it.

Then I laughed, because I KNOW all that is ridiculous. I KNOW that but I also equally knew that our baby was slighted because of lack of autofocus. As a weird steam-coming-out-of-ears compromise between irrationality and logic, I carefully tried to explain that the baby can't sit up on her own right away so we'd have to be close to her to hold her up and film her, thus rendering autofocus essential.

Then I laughed again, because my brain is obviously broken. (And I'm sure the iPod Touch will suit our needs just fine.)

In other news of brain dysfunction, I went to client's home for probably the 35th time today. I could drive there in my sleep. But not awake and pregnant, apparently. I went miles past my turn before I realized things were unfamiliar. I finally got myself turned around and then drove right past their house. I was 20 minutes late, and they were a 20 minute drive away. When leaving I also turned the wrong way twice. Perhaps I need more sleep.

Monday, October 11, 2010

34 weeks

Baby girl is 4 3/4 lbs. now and just about 18 inches long. I thought you don't feel babies move quite as much by this point, but she's still a kicker. I'm pretty sure I saw an actual foot today. Gabe feels her kick sometimes just being near me. She also really likes to stick her tush out of my belly as she stretches her legs.

My cold is getting better today and I'm not a zombie like yesterday. (I took Benadryl, and then a 6 hour nap.) My puppy is also behaving now, though we're still going to get a dog trainer. He is snoring on the futon as I write. (The puppy, not the trainer.)

34 weeks is feeling like the beginning of the home stretch. When getting things ready is not totally premature. The idea of putting the carseats in the cars is no longer ridiculous. We should order all the essentials we don't yet have. It's such a welcome change to plan for her homecoming rather than dwell on pregnancy symptoms. It's also overwhelming because I'm not feeling very easygoing about preparing. I want everything CLEAN, and everything fixed that needs fixing, and meals frozen in the fridge, and all the laundry washed and sorted, and her name strung up above her crib, and all my birth planning stuff filed in order, and bags packed and everything bought, a budget done, work plans sorted, etc. But I'm like a type A personality stuck in a body that procrastinates and is tired halfway through the day and hates cleaning and planning. One day I'll learn not to set myself up for failure :)

These belly pictures are the worst. I left my camera in NJ so these are care of my phone. They're blurry and we have no full length mirror in the house. At first I stood on the edge of the tub and took a pic in the bathroom mirror. After realizing how utterly stupid and dangerous that looked with me hanging on to the shower curtain bar, I took a mirror and just propped it on the couch. I included the second pic because my puppy wandered over and tried to figure out who that other dog was in the mirror. So cute.






Saturday, October 9, 2010

a ranty rant

Caution: This is really complainy. If you, like most people, do not enjoy people complaining just skip this post. It's ok, I'm not offended.

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So far I've really appreciated being pregnant. Even though I have had a long list of 'side effects' it's all overshadowed by the completely amazing thing my body is doing.

But a couple days ago I hit a wall and have become a broken, whining mess. My belly popped, which you'll see in tomorrow's picture. For the first time I feel like my belly is an 'other' - it's a squirming belly inhabited by a real person. It's hers, not mine. It's big and heavy with stretched skin. It's itchy and I'm at the point when I roll over at night I feel like I squish her, and the amount of effort it takes wakes up my husband. I wouldn't hesitate to use the word heave to describe what I need to do to get up the four or so times a night I have to pee.

This has also affected my back, which decided to totally crap out on me Wednesday as I left NJ. As soon as I started pulling my suitcase through the airport I knew I was in trouble. My left lower back was pure raw nerve. I made my way to the security line with tears in my eyes. The lady took pity on me and let me totally cut in line. I would normally object to the preferential treatment but not then. By the time I made it to the gate (which was the furthest away in the terminal) there were tears. I have a chiropractor appt. next Friday which can't come soon enough.

I was so happy to see my puppy when I got home - it had been just about a week. I took him outside to play on Thursday and he got too overexcited and basically kept jumping up and biting without stopping. He ripped a hole in my shirt and got my elbow repeatedly - which I couldn't use for a day. It's still bruised. He did it Friday too, and I got really scared. Shaking and crying scared. It wasn't aggressive but it still is really unacceptable. So I called a couple dog trainers to visit the house. It also has me nervous about the baby. On Thursday Conan also nearly broke my nose. That was definitely not his fault, though - I said release when I was bent over him taking off his leash and he hopped up over a step to leave. He is a dense doggie and his back bashed the bridge of my nose. I really thought it was broken and I had visions of being in labor while also recovering from nose surgery.

So what happens after a really bruised nose? I get a bad cold yesterday. The kind of cold that had me up til 7 a.m. I only had Nyquil, and I was desperately googling for anything that wouldn't tell me that's an awful thing to take during pregnancy. No luck. So I took two steamy showers throughout the night and also tried a neti pot. At one point both nostrils were so blocked I couldn't get in any air at all and I had a mini panic attack, who knows why.

The night before that, before the cold set in I laid down to bed and got this horrible uncomfortable feeling. Like someone punched me where my belly meets my ribcage. It got worse and worse and I couldn't do anything to make it better. I felt like I was dying. So I start rocking back and forth and bawling to my husband about how it hurts.

You'll notice a pattern of crying above, which is very strange for me. Not a big crier. But I feel like my body got run over by a truck. Pregnancy discomfort, severe back pain, dog bites, bruises, debilitating pain of unknown origin, and a bad cold with a growing fever, all in two or three days.

I want to just curl up with tea but the house is so messy and cluttered I can't relax in it. And there is a gnawing sense of needing to nest that I'm trying hard to ignore so I can get some rest. I don't need to add mental distress on top of all the physical. But there may be a freak-out on the horizon, we'll see.

Ok, that's my pity party. I'm sure this will all become a blur later on, much like the first trimester. I've heard that seeing your baby's face for the first time can bring on a lovely pregnancy and labor amnesia.

Monday, October 4, 2010

33 weeks!

Baby girl is somewhere over 4 pounds and probably a bit over 17 inches long. I googled it and this is what one site said:

Your baby weighs about 4½ pounds, as much as a grownup duck.

So if you are bad at guesstimating weight, but know a lot about ducks, there you have it. She is strong and active and gaining something like half a pound a week from here on out. I had a prenatal appt. on Thursday and everything looks good and I've gained 25 pounds. At the appt. I was a little concerned about lack of belly growth but something happened right after that (see blog pic below taken 3 days later).

On Friday we drove up to NJ and Saturday had a lovely shower on a lovely sunny fall day (hard to believe now, as it's 54 and rainy). Thank you to everyone who came & shared in loving our little girl :) She is going to be the best dressed baby ever. I think I may need a new wardrobe just so I can be seen with such a fashionista. Gabe is back at home now and I'll be back on Wednesday. Then we have a month or two to put the final touches in place and get ready for her arrival. (Who am I kidding, final touches?)

My sister is visiting from CA with her son Niko who is 17 months old and freaking adorable. I've been spending most of my time with a camera in his face. I'm sure some of those pictures will make their way onto the blog soon. For now, here is my 33-week big belly:

Sunday, September 26, 2010

32 weeks

Things are going well! Just when I thought her movements couldn't get any stronger she now throws the equivalent of a fireworks finale - usually whenever I'm trying to sleep. Gabe has felt it and says it's like she's doing jumping jacks in there with limbs every which way. I haven't slept through the night this past week, but I am getting some rest throughout the day so it's okay.

Baby girl is just about 4 pounds and somewhere around 17 inches long. She's going to put on about 1/2 a pound a week for the rest of the pregnancy. I don't feel like my belly has gotten significantly bigger the past few weeks but I feel like she is a lot bigger. This means my belly is really hard and I can feel (and usually see) all her movements. My uterus is about 5 inches above my belly button! I slouch way less now because if I do the baby gets up under my rib cage and I can't breathe. I also think I've felt a couple Braxton Hicks contractions the past few days.

An odd fact: baby girl can now sweat. Also, her digestive system is up and running. Her transparent skin has turned opaque. Everything is proportionate now. She's just like a small newborn - her main tasks now are to put on fat and develop that brain of hers.

I went to a yard sale this weekend and found a couple selling super cute infant girl clothes - all looked like they were brand new. I told myself I wasn't going to buy any clothes, but I couldn't resist. And really, if you can buy 20 items for $5 why should you even try to use restraint? We also found Conan a backpack (he can carry his own water in it) and a lifejacket. He looks so cute in them and doesn't seem to mind wearing them. (Yes, pictures will follow.)

In this week's belly pic Gabe was telling me to try to stick my belly button out further :)


Monday, September 20, 2010

31 weeks!

and counting... always counting.  My goodness, it takes a long time to count to 40 when you can only do one number per week! I told Gabe for the next one there will be no counting, but by then I figure we'll be too busy with a toddler creature to micromanage a pregnancy anyway.

Baby girl is around 3.3 pounds and a bit over 16 inches long. She is definitely making her larger presence known. I can feel her way down low and under my ribcage at the same time. And sometimes you can see protrusions from either side of my belly.  I had my prenatal check-up last week and everything looked good, and I had gained 21 lbs.  That night I felt a shift and Gabe and I both thought the baby had dropped. My belly button was further away, I peed more urgently and often and I could suddenly take deep breaths again. This was confirmed the next morning by my client who took one look at me and said 'wow, she dropped. she's coming early.' Yes, I did the typical first time mom thing and called the birth center to make sure there was no concern if she had dropped. (Everything's fine.) And I think she may have un-dropped. Or just got bigger. I don't know. 

The last few clients (and a random lady at the grocery store today) have asked how far along I am and when I tell them they say 'that's it?!' and recount their girth at their own pregnancies. I am learning now the self-defensive maneuver of just being confident that everything is at it should be for me & baby. 

Tomorrow will mark two more months until her maybe-arrival. Yesterday we finished our childbirth classes and did a 'birth rehearsal'.  I'm feeling pretty ready emotionally, fairly ready logistically, and feeling excited about the birth part.  Gabe is jumping-out-of-his-seat excited to meet his little girl.  I'm tired of writing it each week, so just assume I am physically uncomfortable unless I notify you otherwise. 

Week 31 belly pic:



 








Conan is learning 'kiss the belly' command here. He picked it up quickly!  (p.s. don't I look like Kim a bit here?)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Nursery

Here's her crib all set up:























The bedding is gorgeous and cozy.  Wouldn't you love to curl up in here?




This is a dresser I got for $10 at a yard sale. Gabe I went over the pink with white to make it look shabby chic. We definitely succeeded with the shabby part.

The couple that sold me the dresser were super nice and offered to deliver the dresser about 20-25 minutes right to my house. When they dropped it off their 6 year old daughter came along and I thanked her for letting my baby have her old dresser. She got very shy and antsy and finally her mother told me she'd like to show me something. The little girl opened a dresser drawer and a pink rattle blanket was tucked inside - she said it was her favorite when she was a baby and now it could be for my baby. (I managed not to cry right then.)  The mom explained that the girl's grandmother had started a tradition of putting gifts in new furniture, and the little girl had the idea of putting it in there for me. So precious!




Sunday, September 12, 2010

30 weeks!

Little miss squirmy is now 30 weeks old! Or negative 10-12 weeks, depending on your viewpoint. She is about 3 pounds heavy and 16 inches long. She flutters near my hipbone and tickles me, kicks at night, and often drags what I think is her fist along my side. Every day is a day closer to meeting her and we just can't wait!  

I am feeling ok and will be better once I get around to going to the chiropractor.  Childbirth classes are great- only one left! Today we were the misfits of the class though. It was an exercise at the end of class when we practiced different birthing positions with our husbands while we were in 'eyes-open' hypnosis. I tried sitting on the floor with Gabe supporting me and it just was so uncomfortable. He kept leaning back thinking it's better for me, but really it killed my back and made me feel like I was falling, or hurting him. I whispered that to him and he leaned close to say 'what' and his 2 day old beard tickled. We shuffled quietly over to a real chair to practice and he said 'relax, peace, release' too quick and was staring at me. I told him very quietly to stop staring (meanwhile in the darkened room three other couples were breathing deeply and guiding each other peacefully). He explained he liked staring at me, and I started giggling at his earnestness and it was all over. Gabe then started messing up the cues "re-peace.... pe-lax..." and I just couldn't laugh silently any longer.  Oops. Our instructor was nice and said laughter can be a great thing during the birthing process. She did point out to the husbands, however, that there will be a point in the birthing time where even the funniest joke won't be appreciated.  Remember that Gabe!

Our class was 3 hours long and I peed 4 times and stopped on the way home to pee again. I'm not sure it can get much worse than that. 

I am swelling up because I guess I've hit blimp phase, and though I've toughed it out for weeks it is now officially time to take off the wedding rings. Underneath is nearly permanently imprinted, as well as raw and red. I'm going to try just taking them off at night and see if that is good enough. 

Nesting update: We received our crib, mattress and bedding and it's all officially set up in the baby's room!  It looks so cozy. Gabe and I also refinished a dresser and put away some of her clothes. I'll post pics of those this week. Our epic quest for a mom-mobile has also ended!  We trekked two hours west for the elusive vehicle and purchased it Thursday. Gabe has since been obsessed with learning every detail of a 2000 Saab 9-5. I'm pretty sure he could take it apart and fix it back together at this point. Pics of that to come this week as well. 

For now here is this week's belly picture:






Sunday, September 5, 2010

29 weeks!

Baby girl is 2 1/2 pounds and just over 15 inches. I've gained 20 pounds. I'm feeling heavy and achy and I think I'm going to give in and go to the chiropractor. I'd like to make sure everything is aligned before a newborn tries to exit my pelvis. I'm thinking that if I can't bend over or walk around the block without nerve pain, I should probably not expect childbirth to flow along as easily as it could. I also found out I am anemic, and so I'm not sure if my weakness / tiredness / shortness of breath is due to anemia or just normal pregnancy symptoms. In any case, I'm taking iron supplements and eating more meat. I've got roughly 11 weeks to get some energy and get my body running in proper order.

They measured my fundal height (top of uterus) at my last appointment and I'm pretty sure it's up to my sternum or so.  I don't see how it can get much higher. Last night I was drifting to sleep and suddenly felt two jabs to the ribs, simultaneously, one on the left and one on the right. It was the weirdest feeling - I would have bolted upright in bed if that was physically possible. THOSE WERE LITTLE FEET!  It was like she was swimming and pushing off the end of the pool. She's been doing all sorts of gymnastics this past week.  Sometimes it's like a hummingbird in there - all these frantic sharp flutters for thirty seconds or so. Sometimes it's thumps. Sometimes it's big dragging movements where I'm surprised I don't see her limbs outlined on my tummy. Her movements are much stronger than I ever realized baby movements were going to get. And I can't prove it, but I get the distinct impression she is content in there. 

My mom got our crib & bedding and that will be arriving in a week. This did set off a domino effect of feeling not ready, and all other sorts of hormonal craziness. The weather shifted this past week here and the nights got cooler. There are Halloween decorations in the stores. The kids are in school. People say oh, you must be due soon.  Suddenly things sped up and it's going to be the shower, and then maternity photos, then baby. I'm so excited we're entering the season in which she'll be born... but we seriously have some work ahead to make sure our little nest is ready. 

This week's belly pic. Look, no mullet!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

my hooptie

Gabe & I are looking for a second car. Since we moved his commute has gone from one block to a twenty minute drive and I have to drop him off in the morning, pick him up at night - that's getting old. We're looking for a wagon so that our puppy is not sitting right next to the carseat. It's become an epic quest.

This morning on our drive to his workplace, we passed some big old car that must have had an 8 track inside. I pointed, laughed and said 'We could get that hooptie.'  My husband says 'hoop-what?' and looked bewildered even after I repeated it a few times. Perhaps it's the age difference, or that he spent some formative years in Brazil where there is probably no el hooptie. Or perhaps it's that his wife is just way more gangster than him. (Umm... or not. I confess I was just reminded of the word when Ice T was on NPR's Wait Wait Don't Tell Me this past weekend.)

Nevertheless, I took it as an obligation to educate him about what a hooptie is.  I found a song by Sir Mix-A-Lot that gives a detailed account, along with visuals.  Gabe has many times sung Sir Mix-A-Lot's 'Baby Got Back' at karaoke, but alas he must not be too familiar with his oeuvre.  I'll fix that now:

Sunday, August 29, 2010

28 weeks

28 weeks and things are going well. Here are some random changes brought on by pregnancy:

* My eye prescription changed (for the better, after a steady decline for 22 years)
* My shoe size has gone up 1/2 size (I'm now a 6, which means more shoe selection; however this also means none of my shoes fit, and my puppy has now officially eaten ALL of my sandals)
* I now like rye bread. A lot.
* It's hard to get off a couch.
* When I do get off a couch it feels like I've been kicked in the crotch.

But the biggest change of all (besides having a person inside me) is that I'm no longer a night owl. After sundown is when I always had the most energy, and mornings were a continuous battle to feel alive and productive. But now, for the first time I ever remember, I feel more awake in the mornings than at night. Once I open my eyes it's usually hard to fall  back asleep. And though I'm still not going to bed until 11 or 12 or a bit later I notice that I start getting really tired and grumpy around 9ish, and much more achy and complainy. (I'm guessing my husband has noticed this too.)  I think I might have to push up my bedtime even earlier!  And I think I'll actually be able to fall asleep - weird!
I'm taking advantage of earlier mornings on the weekends and going to a few yard sales. This weekend I got a nice reclining glider/ottoman, a pink dresser, diaper genie, bouncer and lots of assorted clothes/towels/blankets for so cheap!  And now I feel like I can start getting the nursery area together which is fun & making me realize how soon our household is going to go from two to three people. I can't wait!

We had our third Hypnobabies class today and I can honestly say I'm feeling really confident and excited about birth. I feel like we're getting some great tools to use, and I feel really informed about my options and expectations. So happy we made this choice!

Here's this week's belly pic. I'm feeling about the same as last week, but my belly has been super itchy the past couple days so I think it's another growth spurt.  It's starting to get impossible to bend over without the awkward pregnancy squat - she just gets too smooshed and it hurts and physics gets all up in my way. She is a good 2 1/4 lbs. or so and just about 15 inches. She is still really active off and on throughout the day. Lots of times she kicks the computer or book when it's on top of me. I'm starting to feel different parts of her - what I think is her back curled up against my side, or a knee/elbow being dragged. I haven't seen distinguishable body parts through my tummy - still waiting for that craziness!  

Again excuse the tiredness, fake smile, and developing mullet. One day I'll pull it together!

Friday, August 27, 2010

two favorite things...

toddlers & billy collins' poetry!

it sounds to me from his delivery that he didn't just memorize random words, he understands meaning and phrases. i think this is the most adorable video...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Monday, August 23, 2010

27 weeks - third trimester!

Baby girl is 14 1/2 inches long and just over 2 pounds. This past weekend she was the most active I've felt yet. Gabe's parents were in town and we saw some bluegrass & watched a musical puppet show and she moved around for both of those. She also is quite busy during our childbirth classes, and in the morning, and night, and after I eat or drink water. Or when I sit or lie down. It's a frequent reminder that there is a real person in there, and one who is due to arrive in just a few months!

We did a 3-d ultrasound on Friday which was another huge reminder that here is a person. We saw her smiling face! We could count her toes! All this before she's even here. I had reservations about the whole thing, because it wasn't medically necessary. But it was just 15 minutes and was an incredible experience. Right from the start she was smiling and making faces, and then she curled up with the cord and hid for a bit. Later she scratched her little face and stretched out her legs. The tech commented that she has long legs (that's definitely not from me) and she looked pensive (that sounds more like me).  Everyone says she looks like her mama, but I haven't seen Gabe's baby pictures so it's hard for me to tell. 

I'm feeling definitely large at this point. I understand why they say carrying a baby. I get tired and achy more easily. I've  given up my stubborn refusal to put on my underwear or pants any way but standing up. I don't just pop out of bed, it is a process. You can see the outline of my bellybutton through my shirts.

My attention has shifted from a focus on pregnancy to preparing for her arrival. This means lots of cleaning, buying things, spending some quality time with my husband just-us, reading some books about babies and having some mild freak-outs about how unprepared we might just be. 

We went for a walk yesterday and bumped into our neighbor two doors down. Turns out she has a 2 yr old and is now pregnant, due in January. The neighbor across from her is due the same day as her (and has a baby as well I think). Across the street is a tiny little baby I haven't met yet. There are only seven houses on our street so I feel really lucky that there are two other pregnant ladies and a few babies around.

We had our second childbirth class yesterday and it went really well. We had to be in hypnosis while still being active (opening eyes, talking). During this time you are given the suggestion that you direct your own 'anesthesia' in the mid-part of your body, including arms. Whatever sensations happen will only be interpreted as pressure, not discomfort. At some point Gabe rubbed my arm a few times and I just felt light pressure. After everything was over in the car I asked him what he did and he gave me a nasty pinch and turned my skin - OW! (It felt like what we called indian burn back in school.)  I had felt nothing before! How exciting that this stuff works!

I must have felt pretty good about it because I had a dream about birthing last night. For some reason I was by myself. I wasn't worried because I felt her moving down but there was no pain at all. I just kept going with the flow and at some point remembered to call the midwife. By the time she had gotten there I had labored too long and the baby had ended up in my thigh somehow, and she had to push the baby back into my uterus so I could push her out :)   Bizarre!

27 weeks, early a.m. picture. Seriously glad we're gonna end up taking maternity photos because I look just awful in every one of these pictures.


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