Monday, June 29, 2009

Here we are now...entertain us

I finished another book on my homework list! Of course, this book wasn't originally on my list...I just put it there today. But it still counts! It was a little new agey (what do you expect from Deepak Chopra?), but I love that stuff and buy every bit of it so I liked it. Here's what I liked: fast to read, very positive, lots of good tips. The main one I pulled was a recipe for making some soothing frozen ice pads to ease post-birth discomfort. I'm not sure where to buy some of the herbs (German chamomile??) but intend to figure it out prior to August. He recommends making them ahead of time and keeping them in the freezer so they're there when you need them.

Now I have to get back to reading the La Leche League book on breastfeeding...sigh. That one is less interesting, but I've got a new plan to tackle it: skim. I don't need to read the chapter on breastfeeding fashion, especially since the version I have is from the 70's.

I'm craving a non-pregnancy book though...I wish all mine weren't packed away in various boxes.

In other entertainment news, we now have cable....baaaaaad news. I haven't had it since I moved here in April and I haven't missed it at all, but I gotta say, it was nice to have yesterday when I woke up with a sore throat and felt too tired and miserable to do anything else. The problem is that when I feel that tired and crappy, I get sucked into MTV. Terrible, I know. I found a show yesterday called 16 and Pregnant. This kind of falls in line with that addiction I had to The Secrete Life of the American Teenager. I don't know what my deal is! Time to see if there's a rerun of Friends or That 70s Show on...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

24 Hours

I'm only posting again so soon because it's been a pretty eventful 24 hours and I'd rather not have to catch up later. That and I'm tired from all the events so I can't summon the energy to do anything more productive than lay on the couch and stare at my computer.

5:51 p.m. (yesterday): I am seconds from pulling into the parking lot of my gym when I am rear ended and shoved into the car in front of me. (Fortunately the air bags did not deploy which I assume means the hit wasn't that hard, but I'm pretty sure it was that hard so I'm questioning their functionality.) I'm not injured, but the adrenaline that shot through my body made me feel woozy and sick so I had to stay seated for a bit. I was very out of it at that point so please don't judge me for the poor decisions that followed. I've been reprimanded enough by my hubby and mom. The reason? I didn't call the cops...We all exchanged information and the woman who hit me asked if we should call the police. I said I didn't know the process to follow because I'd never been in an accident (that involved more than one car) and the guy in the car in front of me said it was a waste of time. Apparently, it is important to always call the police because they will determine who is at fault which will make the insurance company's job a lot easier and also make the lives of the people who aren't at fault (in this case me) a lot easier. My second screw up was not writing the woman's information myself. When I got home I called my insurance company to file the claim I realized I couldn't read her handwriting and also, she'd given me her VIN instead of her policy number.... I contemplated going to the gym afterwards anyway but was still so shook up and drugged feeling that I thought it best to go home and relax. If I weren't pregnant, I'd have carried on as usual. Please note that this is probably the first time I've made a "physically-I-shouldn't-do-this-because-I'm-pregnant decision" I spent the rest of the night on the couch, completely exhausted. Anyway, I'm fine and my car isn't too bad off. It has to be fixed because the bumper is pulling away from the wheel well on the passenger side, the rear light is pulling away, and the trunk is now out of line, but it's still drivable.

8:06 a.m. (today): Hit the road for Hagerstown to visit my mom's asthma doctor because I didn't feel like trying to find someone in Baltimore. Arrived right on time at 9:30. Underwent full allergy both forearms were pricked 30 times. I showed minor irritation to maple and oak trees but nothing else. Then they injected the other 28 substances into my upper arms (just to be sure I suppose). This time I showed minor irritation to dust mites and weeds. He gave me a prescription, told me to test my breathing using my peak flow meter twice a day, and told me to come back in a week (gotta find a closer doctor!!).

11:43 a.m.: Pulled out of the doctor's office parking lot and hit 70 East toward Frederick.

12:03 p.m.: Pulled into The Clay Oven, an Indian restaurant on the Golden Mile, to meet mom for her first Indian meal. They had a buffet set up so we helped ourselves. For being in a strip mall, it was pretty darn good!

1:03 p.m: Back on 70 East toward Baltimore and panicking slightly because my midwife appointment is at 2:00...Crossed my fingers for no traffic.

2:02 p.m.: Parked in front of the building where my midwife leases her space. Waited in the waiting room until after 2:30...This is why there is never a good reason to rush. I explained the accident last night and she seemed to think everything was fine but instructed me to page the midwife on duty next time something like that happens. I also showed her the lump that's been in my arm pit since March, and she explained that it's breast tissue or fat or something and perfectly normal...good. She spent some time studying my paperwork from my old midwives in an attempt to figure out how they came up with my due date. I was scared for a minute when she said something about it should be July!! That's too soon! But she ended up figuring out their typo and agreeing that I should expect Hannah either the second or third week of August, give or take a week or two....gotta love that certainty! I did finally settle on a date to start maternity leave: August 10. But I'm taking vacation the week before so as of August 3, no more work for me! Wahoooo!!!! Hopefully Hannah doesn't come too early because I purposely took off at the beginning of the month in the hopes of having some QT with Eric before the madness of parenthood sets in.

I digress...lets's see...3:05 p.m.: Exit the midwife's office and head to east Baltimore to get my emissions That's boring stuff. Let's just end at the 23rd hour and return to the joy of me being off work in August! Can I get another wahoooo??!!!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Weekend Belly Pics (31 1/2 weeks)!

2 posts in 2 days! Clearly the internet famine has ended (no jinxing please!). With the family reunion and the wedding this past weekend, I ended up with a couple of belly shots to share.

This first one provides an interesting angle and an opportunity for me to brag about the context, which is that this is me kicking Eric's butt in ladder ball. (Apparently I appear to be chewing tobacco when I concentrate...) Unfortunately, there is no record of Eric going on to kick my butt in cornhole (bean bag toss). Shucks!!

If I had any vanity at all, I wouldn't post the next one, but since my face looks funny in all the reunion pics, I had to pick the least offensive. I figure this one shows how the pregger belly becomes a catch all for anything making its way to my mouth. Ah, who am I kidding? Anything orbitting within a 10 mile radius of the globe that has become my stomach gets sucked in and sticks. This one also illustrates my outward moving belly button.

One more! Eric and I rushed from the reunion to my mom's to hose off and then off to a wedding. I didn't have time for hair drying or make-up (as is obvious), but check out that cleavage!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Heads or Tails? Black or Red? Girl or Boy?

I am now of the size where random passerbys like to play the "guess what's in my belly" game. Here's how the game is played:

1. While browsing around a funky shop on The Avenue during Hon Fest last weekend, the sales associate asks if I'm having a boy. Nope, I tell her, guess again! I move on.

2. Friday while paying for goods at another store on The Avenue, the cashier says, "Are you having a boy?" My reply, "Not according to the sonogram, but you're the second person who guessed that. Why do you ask?" Her answer: because I seem to be carrying the weight just in my stomach rather than ballooning up all over...I assure her that I have trouble pulling pants up over my rump and hips and move on, slightly miffed that the option seems to be that if you're relatively fit, it's a boy, and if you're overweight it's a girl. Can I get some credit for continuing my exercise routine please??

3. On Saturday at a friend's wedding, the bride's mom (who I've known since high school) wanted to guess. Rather than blurting something out like the others, she carefully studied me from the front, then asked me to turn around. After a few seconds of deliberation, she guessed girl. Since she has three girls, I attribute a little bit of credo to her guessing game, though it could also be that one of her daughters told her what I was having a while back and she filed that in her subconcious memory. Either way, one guess for girl!! Whew!!

4. I stopped at Home Depot after work today to grab a bunch of paint swatches so I can start figuring out what colors to paint the nursery. While leaving the store, a gentleman in a fire department t-shirt dining on a hot dog at one of the picnic tables out front calls out "You're having a boy, right." (I omit the question mark because he really wasn't asking.). I say no and he asks if I'm basing this on a sonogram. I let him know that actually, in addition to the sonogram, I have a string connecting two aluminum cans running down my esophogus and that very early on, Hannah whispered into her can that she was a girl and since I happened to be holding my can up to my ear at the time, I got the message. He assured me that he has never been wrong and that just the other day a woman gave birth to a boy, which he called, despite the fact that the sonogram claimed it would be a girl. He then explained that as a chaplain in the Army he has had many opportunities to play this game so the fact that he's never been wrong is a pretty big deal. He told me his name and asked me to find him on MySpace after the baby is born and let him know.

I figure people just love an opportunity to gamble. Since their odds are 50/50, I can see how it's a pretty fun guessing game. I'm a big fan of any game that only gives you two options to choose from. But regardless of the fun they're having, all their boy guesses are freaking me out. I guess it's a good thing we're going with a gender neutral theme of jungle animals, just in case these randomers practicing their psychic abilities know more than the lady with 30 years experience reading the sonogram....

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Learning from Bradley

Eric and I had our first childbirth preparation class last night. We're doing The Bradley Method. It was recommended by the homebirthing midwife. After doing a little research (, I started trying to find a class in our area which turned out to be harder than you'd expect considering we live in a pretty big city. Of course, I shouldn't be surprised considering I also couldn't find a birthing center anywhere except Annapolis. Unfortunately, this is a 12 week course and by the time I started looking into it, I had barely 12 weeks and no classes were starting immediately. I found three teachers (only one in Baltimore City) and all had classes that had already started, and all started a new session about mid-way through July which is way too late for us. SO, we forked over an extra $100 for private lessons. I'm almost glad it worked like that because she comes to our house and we get individualized attention which means that we aren't being slowed down by any other couples who are below the learning curve or who just like to hear the sound of their own voices (every college class had that one student who just never shut up). Plus she works with our schedule with is really crucial considering Eric still lives in Virginia Beach for a couple more weeks.

There are a couple of reasons we opted for Bradley classes. The big one of course is that the focus is on preparing the parents for a natural childbirth (I am not interested in a course touting the benefits of an epidural). The other big thing is that in addition to helping the mama-to-be to get prepared for childbirth, the classes also focus on how the papa-to-be can be helpful. Our instructor used a fun term last night--she said Eric has to be the "houseband" (instead of husband, which I don't totally get, but Eric liked it) meaning that he really needed to be able to speak for me and make sure those crazy nurses don't start pumping me full of drugs before I can figure out what's going on. He likes the role of protector and appreciates being coached on how he can best protect me and Hannah.

Another thing we like about this class is that it's very comprehensive. It covers everything from nutrition to breast feeding to stress management to infant care. That last one (infant care) is another one that Eric really wanted. He's never changed a diaper or been around many wee ones so he wanted some formal instruction on that. On that note, we learned another odd tidbit last night. Apparently, some girl babies have a bit of a cycle that first week they're born. A lot of parents freak out when they find tinges of blood in the diaper (who wouldn't??), but apparently this is normal. Who knew???

We have a very comprehensive workbook and homework to do before our next class (which isn't for 2 weeks since we are out of town next weekend for my family reunion). And I have to start keeping a food chart, which I've been meaning to do anyway.

Alright, time to work on my registry!! I've gotta get that crossed off the "to do" list so I can move on to the next thing (looking for a pediatrician).

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Deep Breaths

I'm just coming down from another internet withdrawal....ugh. Those are terrible. This time we are blaming the router (last time it was the satellite). I can't complain too much since I've been sponging off my neighbor's internet since I moved back to bemore, but I can say that I'm looking forward to our moving truck on July 6 which will unload our internet gear and make it possible for us to get some good ol' non-satellite internet. There was a ton I wanted to update on this week, and I was hoping to do it tapas style with a variety of small tasty treats as opposed to the gorge that this will be.

The photo above is today's special appetizer. Amy was in town this past week (from Africa) for some amazingly important and impressive meetings in DC and despite being super swamped, exhausted, and a little sick, she made time to have dinner with me. I owe many of the thanks to her parents and sister who drove in one big triangle from Hagerstown to DC to pick her up, then to Baltimore to have dinner with me, then back to DC to drop her off, and finally back home in Hagerstown. The fact that they were willing share their QT with Amy in addition to driving all over creation was much appreciated! We commemorated the event with a photo. Of course, since we're both wearing black, my 30-week belly blends into her dress, but if you look close enough, you can still see the outline of my size. Don't look too close at the boob area though or it will be obvious that I am wearing a nude bra and not a black one...a huge fashion faux pas that I would have avoided had I thought about it.

Now for the main course: I spent the afternoon before that (Tuesday) in the hospital. (I'm starting the paragraph this way because I like the drama, but for those of you who are easily worried, rest assure that nothing is wrong.) My breathing has grown steadily worse since setting foot on Baltimore soil (or lack thereof). I noticed it worsening as the humidity increased...and then it never went back to normal. The past week or so has been bad enough to make me call me call my family doctor. When I have to spend 90% of my time focusing on trying to breath deeply, there's an issue. Unfortunately, my family doctor does not treat pregnant people--apparently that's typical of non-OBGYN docs to be afraid to treat a pregnant person--so she told me to call the midwife. Well, my midwife obviously doesn't deal with asthma so she suggested I go into the hospital and check in through labor and delivery....I asked if she couldn't just recommend a doctor for me to make an appointment with, but she wanted me to have more immediate assistance.

So I got a little dress rehearsal for what's going to go down when I go into labor. After taking the elevator to the 16th floor, I will check in through the computer system (hopefully all my information is saved so I don't have to go through it all again), then they'll take me to the triage rooms and hook me up to a monitor for 20 minutes to make sure the baby's heart rate, etc. is normal. They'll check my blood pressure and all that good stuff too. Then on to the delivery room I presume!

Of course, I didn't make it to the delivery room this time; I just sat in triage for 2 hours...After explaining why I was there to 3 different nurses, the midwife on duty, and a doctor, I was left alone long enough to pass out completely. I woke up about 45 minutes later feeling well rested, hungry, in need of a potty break, and concerned that I'd been forgotten so I unhooked the monitors, put on my clothes, made a pit stop, then headed to the nurse station to ask if I could go home. That made them get a move on. They were waiting on the pharmacy to send up an albuterol inhaler...Their plan was for me to blow into the flow meter thingy, take 2 puffs of albuterol, wait 20 minutes, then reblow. The goal was for my second blow to be much higher thus proving the benefit of the inhaler. In the meantime the head OBGYN doctor came in and with good humor (though a bit patronizing) explained the importance of me taking my medicine (I had expressed concern over these things crossing into the placenta and harming the baby). You know how docs are--medicine solves all problems! They don't take kindly to people who don't subscribe to that same belief.

So I did their little albuterol test and blew a 400 both before and after the albuterol....hmmmm...Despite seeing no improvement in my blow after the medicine, they seemed pleased and wrote me a prescription for a higher dose of Advair (my daily medication), signed my discharge papers, and sent me home. I walked out of the hospital into an insane thunderstorm and immediately found myself struggling to breathe again. Other than the nap, this was a colossal waste of my afternoon. I didn't fill the prescription, but I did call my mom's asthma doctor in Hagerstown and took the soonest appointment I could get which is on June 24 at 9:30 a.m. Yes, I'm driving all the way to Hagerstown on a Wednesday to see a doctor despite living within close proximity to a zillion hospitals and doctors in Baltimore.

In baby news, I'm 30 weeks now which is 3/4 of the way!! Only 10 more weeks to go. Hannah is about 3 pounds and is 10 3/4 inches from top to bottom (butt bottom, not feet bottom). According to the book, her toenails just might be visible, and it's likely that she's got a good of hair. The average mama weight gain is 25 to 35 pounds...I'm guessing I haven't gained 6 pounds in the last 2 weeks, but who knows. The scale that's been stashed under my bath tub doesn't seem to work so we'll have to wait until my next midwife appointment (also June 24) to figure that out.

I'm feeling pretty good aside from the breathing. My only other complaint is the aches and pains that have started developing in pelvic/netherlands area...Libby summed it up well when I asked if it was normal. She said something along the lines of, 'yeah, I used to think my whole body was falling apart starting with my vagina.' That's pretty much how I feel. It's a strange feeling...for a while I thought it was because I was going to spinning classes again and the bike seat maybe was bruising me, but it hasn't gone away, so it must be that I'm falling apart...

Alright! Time to head back down to Hon Fest for some more yummy festival food.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

How to Pee in a Cup

The thing that stood out about this most recent midwife appointment was my difficulty with the whole peeing in a cup process. Sometime in the last few weeks I have lost the ability to see my netherlands, and with that went the ability to aim while peeing in a cup (for those of you who don't know, you have to pee in a cup at every single visit to test your protein levels). I took a few minutes to think about the problem in an efffort to come up with a rational solution, but the only option I came up with was to hope for the best and wash up afterward. Ahhhh, the joys of pregnancy!! I'll have to add peeing on my hand to the Big Belly Blues list.

In less embarrassing news, my results from the glucose test came back normal despite my refusal to adhere to the basic rules while eating breakfast that morning (I was told to eat protein rather than carbs or sugar which could "throw" the test--I ate cereal with strawberries). So no gestational diabetes for me.

I weighed in at 159 pounds which is a total weight gain of 19 pounds (according to the book, average weight gain at 29 weeks is 19-25 pounds). My stomach measured 32 inches (last time I went it was 27).

Then the midwife and the student poked and prodded my belly to determine where Hannah's head, butt, and back were. At one point this very hard little knob surfaced and I asked what that was because it happens a lot. Apparently it's her butt. That is one hard little heiny.

I was also asked if I've felt any contractions which apparently I should start feeling around 20 weeks...hmmm...not that I know of but how would I know? She tried to explain what it would feel like...something about my placenta hardening (and she showed me how to tell where my placenta was at a given moment). She said it felt like I was having one at that moment. Well, I didn't feel anything. I'm supposed to call if I have more than five in a hour. I doubt my abilities to tell so I'm just going to keep assuming everything is fine.

According to the book, the baby at 29 weeks weighs about 2 3/4 pounds and is 10 1/2 inches from crown to rump. Her brain can detect rhythmic breathing and control her body temperature now. Also, her eyes are moving around in their sockets...I hope she's enjoying the scenery.

Fun fact of the week: breastfeeding burns between 500-650 calories a day!!! Whaaaaat! That would explain why my friends who breastfeed turn into skeletor.

Mom is coming down later today to help me register...the goal for this weekend is to get registered. I hate shopping so wish me luck.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Internet Deprived!!!

I just went an entire weekend without internet!!! It was terrible. I don't know why it's working today, or for how long it will work, so I'm going to make this quick in the hopes that it lasts long enough for me to push the "publish post" button.

Eric took this pic of me on Saturday after I got back from my Body Pump class. It's getting pretty obvious that there's a bun in this oven, eh??

Lots of people at work ask me how I'm feeling when they pass me in the hallway; the question caught me off guard at first but now I expect it as a typical pregnant person question, so, in case any of you are wondering how I'm feeling, the answer is groovy! I mean, I'm still tuckered out way more easily than before, but for the most part, I'm comfortable and functioning and no big problems. Little problems include puke burps...I believe the medical term is indigestion? Or maybe acid reflux?? No clue. I bought some chewable papaya tablets from the Whole Foods and they seem to help. Another thing that helps is not hanging upside down after eating. Note to self.

I'm also a bit achier in the hip/pelvic/netherlands region. And I wake up stiff and hunched over and feeling old...I shake it out though so it's cool.

Hannah is moving A LOT these days. It's pretty fun. On Sunday we were tired so Eric and I laid on the couch for a bit and watched my stomach move. So weird!

Another major accomplishment: we've got the date and location of the baby shower planned! Wahoooo! It was a little rough because I wanted something outdoors but all the stuff in Baltimore is super duper expensive (pavillions start at $200 and just keep going up!). So we decided on Cunningham Falls which is one of my favorite childhood spots! My dad used to take me and my brother there when we were young. We'd pull off the side of the road and park on the tree line then walk through the woods to sneak into the lake without having to pay. My dad is quite clever. I didn't even realize there was a main entrance (and entrance fee) until I was in high school and heading up there after school with friends.

Our second hangup was that our ideal date (Saturday, July 18) was booked...since Eric's mom already has her flight booked, I couldn't switch weekends so we opted for Friday, July 17. I realize that'll inconvenience a few, and I'm bummed about that, but there just wasn't a lot else we could do. I'm planning on taking the day off work and heading down early to hike around and relax by the water. I think my dad and mom and Laura are doing the same...Hopefully that's what lots of people will do because that will be so fun!! I can't wait!!!!

Gotta run! It's time for Body Pump! I have another appointment with the midwife on Thursday so if the internet is working, I'll provide a little update then.