Tuesday, March 31, 2009

One cool idea

Diaper Cake, but more!
Hi friends! I didn't take pictures at my baby shower, but my friends and family did. As I await those photos, I thought I'd show you this cool gift before I take it apart. My amazing friend Sue (who threw me the shower with my Mom) made it. It's a cake of diapers, but has more than that in it. In addition to diapers, it's made of onesies, washcloths, and the like all rolled up! It also holds sets of those little baby mitts to protect their face from getting scratched. There are loads of baby hair bow clips, puppets, car seat toys, teething toys, soft books...the list goes on and on! It's been so fun to look at and discover new things. My husband and I will both be sad to take it apart! So, I wanted to make sure to document it here with a photo. She placed the "cake" on a tin platter and all the elements are tied to a wooden rod that goes up the middle. There are decorative ribbons wrapped around each layer that hide the little ties. She added the toys as the "frosting" last and voila! A shower cake! Thanks Sue! We LOVE it!

Monday, March 30, 2009

35 weeks

35 Weeks
Hi friends!
Here's a picture of me taken on Sunday, March 29th just before my baby shower. Check out that belly! It's definitely starting to take over, and that's just fine by me. I'll be sure to tell you more about the amazing shower given to me soon, I want to make sure I have a few photos to be able to show you of a few details. I can say, I'm so lucky to have such great family and friends to come all the way out on a crappy rainy day...many driving a few hours...just to be there to celebrate. It really meant the world to me. Words can't express how thankful and touched I am. Everyone was too generous and Little P. now has everything she needs to take the world be storm (or by poop) when she gets here. She's a lucky lady!
I had an ultrasound and Group B strep test on Friday. I'm negative for Group B so far, so that's good! That means I won't have to take antibiotics before Little P. comes along. The ultrasound showed her moving all around looking good! They estimated that she's just over 5.5 lbs. and her fluid levels are in the perfect range. I could see her little face and her mouth yawning and moving. We watched her tongue flick around as she stuffed her fist in her mouth...Nom Nom Nom!!!! Her measurements were great and she's still bigger for her dates, so we are very grateful for that. 5 more weeks until her due-date! 35 days to be exact, and the reality is becoming more and more vivid each day. We're happy all is well for now and it won't be long...I make sure to send my thanks out into the universe every day. My measly thanks just won't ever be enough though.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Missing in action

My ankles disappeared yesterday. I think they went to Aruba for a nice vacation and I'm extremely jealous. I don't blame them, what with all the cold weather. I hope they come back soon, though. It's awfully awkward around here without them. Maybe they'll send me a postcard?

Monday, March 23, 2009

34 Weeks

34 Weeks
Hi friends!
Phew! I'm relieved and excited to hit 34 weeks! It's been a longtime milestone in my head and it's finally here. In my new observations: I'm noticing my weight gain a lot more now. Not just during my breathless waddles from room to room, but I can see it in the progression of photos here. My face is now showing the traditional widening that pregnancy can give. It's so unfamiliar to see yourself looking so different from one day to the next. It's new territory...it's not that I'm upset about my weight gain per se, especially since it's so worth it and for a wonderful reason, I guess it's just more of a symbol of another thing I can't be in control of. I like to have control and a plan. And nothing about anything that has to do with pregnancy in general involves control OR a plan (at least in my case!). On one hand (the biggest hand) I feel proud of my body...it's worked so hard to bring this gift to life. On the other, smaller, hand I feel a bit insecure of my new shell as I get to know it. I'm also scientifically fascinated by all that has taken place with it, but that's something else entirely. I know that my body will forever be different after Little P makes her appearance, so I suppose it is the end of one version of me and the beginning of another. I think back to my collegiate days of drinking, flirting, studying and having fun...a different (much tinier) body and time...and I realize that time goes by so quickly while priorities change just as fast. Now, there are so many other things that I enjoy that take up my days and I'm reminded that I need to focus on the fruits of each day because tomorrow it will be gone and in the past. Tomorrow will find me in a newer version of myself, and whether my body is the same or not does not matter to me as much as whether or not I will KNOW myself and like myself just as much. Will I be a better person tomorrow? I would love to always try and be able to say "yes." There is a lot to learn as I move forward and Little P. is certainly ready to teach me a thing or two.

Friday, March 20, 2009

It's Getting Interesting

kitchen towel
Hi friends!
First, I wanted to show you this cool kitchen towel I found at Anthropologie, here. It's all embroidered and I would never actually use it in the kitchen for fear of getting it dirty. I loved the colors and the design, so it is now draped over the back of the rocking chair in the nursery so it can be enjoyed. I love finding random little things I like and trying to find an alternate use for them if I don't want them to get dirty or ruined. :)
Onto my story. Let me first say this: Everything is fine and great. Little P is just fine as am I and all is ducky.
So, on Wednesday night I awoke at around 2:00 am (as per usual) with Braxton Hicks contractions here and there. No biggie since it's almost every night that this happens. I was in a sleepy fog and just ignored them. Well, by 3:00 I kept waking up and noticed that there seemed to be a pattern happening...and...hey!...OUCH!...they started to hurt. Like a gripping menstrual cramp. That's when my eyes popped open and I owlishly started staring at my watch. When I realized there seemed to be 10 minute intervals in between I woke my husband up to tell him about it and I tiptoed out of the room with my pillow. I wanted to go lay on the couch where there was plenty of light so I could focus on the task at hand without bothering Chris. Of course, I knew he'd be concerned and likely unable to get back to sleep...but I also knew better than to NOT tell him. I had 2 more painful contractions that lasted 1 minute each and were 10 minutes apart. I got lost in a show I'd recorded by then and realized I hadn't had any more for a half an hour. They disappeared completely soon after that. Phew! I had my non-stress test later that day, so I knew to mention the episode then.
Later in the day, at the hospital for my NST, I told the nurse of my ordeal as she strapped me up to the monitors. The baby seemed to be doing just fine and she asked me a few routine questions and all went great. She came back in about 40 minutes later and said "you know, the contractions could also be from a bladder infection or kidney infection...some blood and protein were found in your urine." What? I hadn't felt any symptoms of those things, so I was confused. I got really nervous and told her about my genetic disorder, Nail Patella Syndrome, and how there's a risk of renal complications for someone like me especially during pregnancy. She left the room and came back with a vial and drew some blood as they'd decided to check my kidney function thoroughly. She told me that they wouldn't let me leave until the lab came back with the results. I also had to give another urine sample. In the end, the results came back normal, but with trace amounts of blood in the urine and no protein. The doctor looked concerned but said it could have come from the contractions the night before and he told me to try and not worry. But they'd keep an eye on it going forward. He also recommended I see a Nephrologist after my pregnancy (a kidney specialist). So, it's on the list of doctors to see once this is all over. (I need to see an Orthopedist for my horrible hip tendonitis issues as well). And I won't even go into detail about the root canal I'm supposed to have as soon as possible after delivery. *SIGH*
Anyhoo, I'm now chugging water and keeping my feet up. The doctor said he would consider letting the contractions go and let things happen if I was 34 weeks or past but it's still a little too soon. This surprised me. And he said ideally he'd like me to hold on for another 4 weeks at least. I want to get Little P as fully grown in there as possible so I'm doing what I can to stay relaxed and am taking it as easy as possible. But this is certainly starting to get interesting!!! It's notable that my Mom gave birth to my older brother during her 34th week. (her water had broken) That is next week for me. That makes everything seem all the more real and imminent! I should note my brother had a nice birth weight and was jaundiced but otherwise was ok. He went home after a few days in the incubator. This helps me with my worry as I hope to not have a baby born sick and struggling. So, that's the latest story...The End. All is well and now I am sucking down a chocolate milkshake with wild abandon as my after-lunch treat. Every good story needs a happy little ending, right?

Monday, March 16, 2009

33 Weeks

33 Weeks
Hi friends!
Well, I'm headed off soon for my next NST (non-stress test). I'm sure all will be well since Little P has been rockin' and rollin'. No more little pokes and prods...she's into fully moving around in there with every little body part. It feels like she alternates between boxing and gymnastics. All inside a balloon. It's fun to watch my stomach make odd shapes as it conforms to her newest stretch. Some new observations this week include: 1. my wedding ring sadly will not fit all the way on my finger. But my engagement ring still works. I'd wondered when this would happen and now I have my answer. 2. My toes are starting to swell by the end of the day. I'd also wondered when this would start. The other day my feet looked purplish, so I just put them up and that did the trick. No purple feet since. But little sausage toes are appearing much more often. 3. I'm officially waddling and groaning with every move. I groan when I get out of a chair, out of bed, out of the car...pretty much whenever I have to disembark something. I also follow that up with a heaving sigh of relief when I sit anywhere and settle down. (IN a chair, IN bed, IN a car, etc.) The same goes for conquering a flight of stairs; sweat beading on my brow...it's as if I'd climbed the Matterhorn and must be rewarded. Instead, I let out a heaving sigh and waddle on my way. I guess it makes sense when you are basically carrying a cinder-block strapped to the front of you. A cute and snuggly cinder block that loves her Dad's voice. She's going to continue to get heavier and I will gratefully heave a million or trillion sighs of relief and groans of pain if it means she will get here safely.

Monday, March 9, 2009

32 Weeks

Hi friends!
Today marks 32 weeks for us, and I celebrated by having my first non-stress test today. The procedure seems pretty simple where I go into Labor & Delivery and they put me in a room. They use these belts to strap on my belly and we listen to the baby's heartbeat and match it against any movement or contractions. I guess the time to do this goes anywhere from 20 minutes to one hour. I had some apple juice while I lounged on the bed and watched TV that I didn't pay much attention to because I liked hearing Little P's heartbeat for so long. But it's scary when it starts to slow down (normal) and then speed way up. It took some getting used to. After some time, they sent me on my way (after peeing in a cup for them per usual!) Sidenote: I've gotten so good at peeing in cups. I guess practice makes perfect. Maybe by next winter I'll be able write my name in the snow.
The interesting tidbit from today: I go in for this test twice per week EVERY week. Not every 2 weeks. I go every week now until she's born, and this replaces most all future doctor appointments since I'll be so closely monitored. So, I'm pretty much done with the visits to my OB's office and all will take place at Labor & Delivery (luckily all my doctors are on call there at some point or another so it doesn't really make a difference). The other tidbit is that the doctor I spoke with today said they were "worried for now" but are being proactive and feel good about things. He said they currently look great. He said they will be less worried when I get to 34-35 weeks or so. So that's only 2-3 more weeks. The impression I got is they are mostly worried about the 2 vessel cord but also have some worry about my going into preterm labor because of the T-shaped uterus issue. Once I hit 34 weeks I'm in a much better position to have a healthy baby if preterm labor happens. But, they deal with this sort of thing all the time. It's unsettling, yes, but I also know there is nothing I can really do except rest and take it easy. Things will be just fine. Right?

Friday, March 6, 2009

59 Days

Hi friends! I officially have less than 60 days until my due date. 59 today to be exact. Holy crap! Time is now starting to fly away from me at lightning speed and there's nothing to be done about it. We went to our childbirth class on Wednesday night and were blessed to get to view a video about the stages of labor and got to watch 3 different ladies push their babies out. Needless to say I felt the need for a Whiskey and a Vicodin after seeing that shit. Don't worry, I didn't partake in either. I actually never have. But I had a nice dream about it later and that made all the difference. In other bits, I've now got the "organ crowding" happening in full force, so after I eat a small meal my lung capacity shrinks to the size of a chestnut. In class the other night we were learning about a few different breathing techniques for labor...we had to practice along with the teacher during fake contractions. Well, I about passed out thanks to the dinner I had before arriving. Which would have been handy if it'd happened since we watched the video of terror right after that. Poor Chris seemed most disturbed by the placenta delivery...they didn't show it, but they DID show a nurse bring the woman her placenta via a tray. So she could get a good look at it. This didn't bother me, but Chris thought the scene was eerily close to a waiter in a restaurant showing you the meat selection before it is cooked and he was quite put out. I have to agree, it DID look like she was offering to cook it up... but I was still too busy hallucinating from the terrors I'd just seen to worry much about a little slab of placenta. All in all, a good class and learning was had by all. Of course, I saw movies of childbirth in 7th-grade health class...movies that were much more graphic and detailed. But I think I'd blocked them out...my own Silence of the Lambs issue. To see it all again...well...I was able to handle it better this time and that's not saying much. And it's not that I'm worried about going through that. It's the least of my worries after what we've gone through to get where we are. It's seeing OTHERS go through it that horrified me. So, as long as I stay away from delivery rooms and other pregnant women's dilated cervixes I should be good to go.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Updated T-Shape Bits

Hi friends, just wanted to quickly note that I've added an update to my "T-shaped uterus" post from earlier in this blog with information my OB has told me along the journey of this pregnancy. It brought me a lot of comfort early on and I thought I would share what he told me here. If you are interested, you can find the post here.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Rug

Shag in Nursery

Hi friends!

Well, we finally got an area rug in the nursery. I'd mentioned a while ago while we were planning the room that we were going to use this rug.

Well, after being back-ordered for several months it finally came in. (You can get it here.)
It was gorgeous in person, but it was very thin. I wouldn't call it a rug. I'd call it a mat. Or a tapestry. I'd pictured it to be more thick like a carpet-type of thing. So, I was concerned about the constant slipping and sliding that would happen on it even with a rug pad. I don't want to trip on it while holding Little P, that's for sure! My other issue: it had too much going on. The colors in the rug are all used in the nursery, so it matched. But it was just TOO MUCH. Once in the room my eye had no idea where to look because there were patterns all over the place. I'm a believer that a room should have one major focal point (and maybe 2 if they work together) but no more than that. If the room were simpler in color and pattern, it would have allowed for the rug to be a hero and it would have worked. Anyway, we sadly returned it to the store and we picked up THIS 3 x 5 foot shag rug at Crate and Barrel. It was my original plan to use a white shag rug way back when I started the whole process of planning, so I didn't have to get used to the idea. I'm thrilled with how it looks in the space and how it feels on the feet! Even with a rug pad below it was cheaper than the other rug. I now feel the room is as ready as it will ever be for Little P. Even Maren the Wonder Dog is a fan...she sinks in so deep when she's walking on it...right up to her belly. My feet disappear into it. I'd never do a rug bigger than the 3 x 5 foot in a shag; it's a lot of lint and it's such a particular look. So there ends the thrilling tale of the rug saga. I have to find some other small silly thing to obsess over now. Happy Tuesday!

A shag rug
Nursery with Shag

Sunday, March 1, 2009

31 weeks

31 weeks
Hi friends!
Happy Monday! We are in the midst of a fun snowstorm here and are due for up to 16 inches of snow. Wee! That's sarcasm there folks. But, it's ok; I expect snow. It's still winter after all. I always assume there will be snow until April...that way, if it melts and stays gone I can be pleasantly surprised. We're now at 31 weeks and feeling good! Chris took these photos of me over the weekend before we went out to run errands. I couldn't resist making cheesy faces in some of them like the one below where I'm talking to Little P. like she can see me. You never know, she COULD have x-ray vision. She IS our little super-hero miracle after all. I used to joke with my former co-worker Anna that if I ever had a kid I'd name him/her "Greatest American Hero" (joking about the over-the-top weird names some people give their kids.) Do you remember that show? It was an American tv show that aired from 1981-1983 and has re-runs all the time. It showcased the theme song "Believe it or Not"...which I sing to the baby frequently, but Chris does not know this. I'll be showering and belting out "Believe it or Not IIIII'm walkin' on aiiiirr, I never thought I could feel so freeeeeeeeee! Flying away on a wing and a prayer!!!! Whoooooo could it beeeeee? Believe it or not...it's just meeeeee!"
Anyway, the idea of naming my kid Greatest American Hero always cracked me up. I dreamed of yelling the name on the playground or in the home in scolding, like "Greatest American Hero...Eat Your Peas!!!!! or when their name would be announced at graduation. People would say: That must be some great kid!
I'm joking of course, and yes, you had to be there to get the comedic effect. Please don't mock the pregnant lady.

31 Weeks kitch
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