Odds and Ends #2

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Other than sharing baby news with people I don't speak with every day, the main reason I started this blog was to record all the little things that I knew I was likely to forget.  Here are a few of the latest ...

1.  The baby has a new morning routine in response to my morning routine.  I always wake up to some serious kicking (maybe she will be a morning person, unlike her mother?), she falls asleep in the shower (I figure it must be a calming feeling or sound for her), and then when I brush my teeth after my shower, she wakes right up and kicks like a maniac while I brush my teeth.  The funny thing is, she is usually very quiet for the rest of the time I get ready (and doesn't start kicking again until I get started with whatever I am doing that day) but she is WIDE awake and kicking for teeth brushing time and then goes back to sleep.  I don't know why, but this cracks me up.

2.  Ever since I was first able to feel her hiccup, she has had the hiccups almost every single day, and sometimes more than once a day.  The other night she had hiccups three times between 9 PM and 1 AM, and yesterday when I was teaching (the first day of the Summer quarter ... bets on whether or not I will make it to the last day of class on August 26th??) she had the hiccups three times during my four-hour class.

3.  One of my students in the class I am teaching on Tuesday nights was also one my students last year.  He came up to my desk to hand something in last night and said, "I predict you will go two weeks past your due date."  Luckily he is someone I know very well and have a good rapport with, because I decided to go with my first instinct, and said, "You can shut your mouth right now, mister.  If you ever say that again, I might punch you.  In the face."  He died laughing.  I, however, got a little hot just thinking about it.

4.  I posted a few days ago that I had been having some spotting and the doctors examined me and also ran some tests (which all came back saying I had no signs of premature labor!  Yay!) and the spotting went away after a few days.  Well, the spotting came back this afternoon, and it was a little closer to the color that they told me to watch out for.  Naturally, I freaked out, but I decided to assess the situation before calling anyone.  I felt no pain or cramping, but I also wasn't feeling the baby move, so I went and laid down on my left side in bed and put my hand on my belly.  Immediately, she started kicking harder and faster than she ever has before, and she then proceeded to move all around my belly and kick every single inch, as if she were saying, "Hey!  I'm alive and fine!!  Feel how strong and energetic I am!  No worries, mom!"

I can't remember if I already posted this or not, but she seems to do this a lot.  Because she is so active, whenever I notice with a shock that she isn't moving and hasn't been for at least a half an hour, all I have to do is think When did I last feel the baby move?!?!? and she will kick on cue.  I know it sounds ridiculous, but it is very reassuring, like she can feel when I am worried and just need to check in on her, and she obliges.  Such a sweet girl! :)

P.S.  Wanna vote for when you think the baby will be born?  Please do so!  I have a new poll at the top right of the page!!

Hey! We finally did some stuff! And then I got a massage!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

We have been slowly (very slowly) working on the nursery, and now that we had the shower and have wonderful things like a crib and a glider, we finally got cracking.

(Slight backtrack -- yes, I know I still have not written about the shower, and I plan to, but a little side note: Jeremy's mom and grandma bought us a crib and crib mattress and then his mom and dad were nice enough to bring both, along with a dresser I had at my parents' house that I wanted to refinish, all the way to our house last night and then stayed for dinner.  We are lucky to have people like them in our lives!)

SOO, since we had some new big things to assemble, today we did THIS!

(Reminder:  We are still renting, so the paint and carpet is out of our control, but I think we got pretty lucky that it looks like a nursery anyway and doesn't have Big Bird yellow paint on the walls like the office does)

Here is the wall the crib is on

Close-up of the awesome crib, the quilt Jeremy's mom made for the baby (!!) and coordinating sheets

This is the window that faces the foot of the crib.  I can't wait to fill the bookshelf with more books, and Jeremy can't wait to play music for the baby!

The glider!  SOOO comfortable!  (Jeremy put this together immediately for me when we got home from the shower!)  Decorated with the beautiful afghan my mom made for the baby.  Bobby hiding out behind the glider.  Baby's First Year calendar hanging on the wall.  This is on the wall opposite the crib, and to the right of the door when you walk in.

To the left of the doorway.  The wall the dresser/changing table will be on when we finish stripping it and refinishing it to match the crib.

We also had to take a big step today ... we had to move MoJo's scratching post out of this room and into the office.  When we first moved in, we really had no use for this room since we didn't have a bed for a guest room and we already had an office, so we put MoJo's scratching post under the window so he could watch birds in the tree right outside the window and just started calling it MoJo's bedroom.  

In the past year, he would really only go in there sporadically.  He would sharpen his claws, make noises at the birds for a half an hour, and then he was on to other places.  However, in the past two months, (after we started moving some baby things in) he has been in this room literally 23 hours a day.  He has made it very clear that he wants to remind us that it is HIS room.  But today was the day to move out.

This is the window that MoJo's scratching post used to be under

Now, his little perch is under this window in the office (notice the Big Bird yellow walls -- they're worse in real life; trust me), which is one of only TWO places in the house where sun actually shines in and animals can lay in sunbeams.  After we took him over to show him his new place, he stayed there for six straight hours! :)  I think MoJo will be okay after all!

After we put stuff together and hauled stuff out and stuffed things in the "closet" (which is really the stairs leading to the attic) that we will later put in the dresser, my sister Tracy came over and gave me a truly blissful massage (she is the BEST!) while Jeremy and her husband and kids went bowling and picked up pizza for dinner.  Then we had a nice evening of watching the kids climb the trees on our backyard while we sat around and talked.  It was an amazing day!

31 Weeks

31 Weeks!  We are getting closer and closer to D-day, and I simply cannot wait.  Not only because this pregnancy is kind of killing me, but because I have been DYING to meet our baby ever since the day we discovered we were pregnant, on December 22nd.  It seems like a million years ago to me, but to Jeremy, the time has flown by (lucky him).

This week, the baby weighs somewhere around three and a half pounds and is probably 18 inches from head to toe.  This means that she is getting pretty close to her birth length, but she needs to pack on a few more pounds before she comes tumbling into the world.  Jeremy is actually more worried about premature birth than I am.  Whenever he gets up close to my belly to talk to the baby these days, he tells her over and over to "Stay inside!" Luckily, she has a huge growth spurt coming up.  Just when I thought my abs could not feel any more stretched and painful! :)

The baby is also developing brain cells at an amazing rate, and can perceive signals from all five senses at this point.  I was happy to read that she is now putting in longer stretches of sleep, because I was wondering why she went from having a 24/7 dance party in my belly to taking long breaks in between what must be kickboxing classes.

I am still getting lots of comments like, "The doctor must be wrong! You're due ANY DAY!" and "Are you SURE there aren't two or three in there?"  I don't think most people realize how insecure these comments make me, so I try not to get mad at them; instead, I just laugh and smile and say "I am measuring right on track and she is a healthy weight."  If people keep asking questions and pestering me (which a lot of people do), I usually say something like, "Well, I was big BEFORE I got pregnant, so what did you expect?" (with a smile on my face of course).  That usually makes them laugh but also ends the conversation.  I just don't think most people realize that telling someone who has a terrible body image and was overweight BEFORE getting pregnant that she looks huge is maybe not the brightest point in my day.  I know they are probably just caught up in baby excitement, but it still stings.

This morning the baby had her head shoved WAY up toward my ribs, and there was a bulge you could not only feel, but see.  I called Jeremy in to feel it, and he couldn't believe it.  He kept feeling it, and then leaned in exactly where her head was, and repeated, "DON'T COME OUT YET."  I love that guy! :)

Doctor Appointment

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Sorry I couldn't come up with a more interesting and original title, but ... just another of the bazillion doctor's visits in my near future.  I am getting close to once-a-week visits.  Yikes!

Everything was fine today.  Her heartbeat was great, I was measuring exactly on, and, if you can believe it -- I didn't gain a SINGLE pound in the last two weeks!  Amazing!  Especially since I may or may not have eaten six pieces of of this amazing baby shower cake in the past week:

(Yes, I know I haven't blogged about the shower yet, but it seems like a big overwhelming thing.  But I promise I will!!)

My blood pressure was 112/78, which is still great, but I got a little nervous because for almost my entire pregnancy I have been very low, like 100/60.  So, of course I asked my doctor if I should be worried that it is rising, and he said no, that my blood pressure is amazing.  However, I think that means I should probably worry.  

I also told the doctor that I had a tiny (TINY) bit of spotting two days in this past week that were not associated with heavy lifting or strenuous activity.  So, the doctor said, "Let's take a good look!"  Great.  I kind of like to be mentally prepared for that, but she's the doctor.  

She was not kidding about getting a good look -- when she came back she had a nurse and two other doctors with her.  I figured this is a good preview of the circus attraction I will be when I give birth, so I went with it.  At one point, she actually said, "What is that?  Is that a cyst or a pollup?"  and I wanted to shriek "WHAT THE EFF????" but the nurse grabbed my hand and said it was no big deal, they just wanted to see if anything was irritating me to cause the bleeding.  So, both of the other doctors leaned in for a good look (and it was not a pollup, which I gathered would have been bad).  Three heads, VERY close to my lady parts.  Frankly, I didn't care for it.  

So, one of the other doctors (actually, my favorite) took a closer look.  In the end, they all concluded that things looked good and my cervix was closed and I should keep an eye on things but not get worried.  Yeah, right.  If I am worried about my blood pressure being below normal, I am going to worry about this little adventure.

I had also mentioned to the doctor earlier that she seemed MUCH lower in the past two weeks and was kicking SUPER low and I had an irrational fear that she was preparing for delivery or trying to kick her way out.  After the exam she also assured me that the baby was not, in fact, trying to kick her way out.  So that was comforting. :) 

They sent me off saying everything was great and I was doing a great job, but this appointment was certainly a mixed bag.  I'll take the bad with the good, though.  It's all worth it!

30 Weeks

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Today the baby is probably about 16 inches long and weighs a little over over three pounds (and she’ll be packing on the weight at a rate of half a pound per week for the next seven weeks!).  Also growing daily is her brain, which is actually starting to look like the real thing with the characteristic grooves and wrinkles.  And now that she can regulate her own body temperature, she'll begin shedding her lanugo (the downy body hair that's been keeping her warm up until now).  Her eyes are also continuing to develop, even though she keeps them closed most of the day.  When she does open her eyes, her vision is 20/400, meaning she can only see a few inches in front of her face, but she will respond to changes in light.

I have been feeling okay -- just the normal "uncomfortableness" of being huge and waddle-y.  I have had some nausea return and am also having a little bit of heartburn off and on, but nothing too drastic.  The swelling in my ankles and feet have been MUCH better over the last few weeks, and I even found a new pillow arrangement that allows me three hours of uninterrupted sleep at a time before I have to wake up and roll over to my other side to give the current hip a break.  Before, I was waking up EVERY twenty minutes to flip over.  Not ideal.  I did have to steal one of Jeremy's pillows to create this new arrangement, but he seemed more than happy to have the constant flip-flopping stop!

And I just got home from my shower and got a belly picture, but I am much too exhausted to say anything about it.  That will have to be a post for tomorrow.  

Playing Catch-up

Friday, June 18, 2010

There are a couple of fun things to report.  

First of all, last night, Jeremy got to feel the baby hiccuping!  At first I was scared that he wouldn't be able to feel them at all, because I put his hand right where she was, and he said he didn't feel anything. After I gave him a little more explanation as to what he was feeling for and telling him exactly on his hand where he should feel it, he did!  

THEN, as she was wrapping up her hiccups, she got super feisty and was kicking and thrashing around quite a bit, right where Jeremy's hand was resting.  Normally, whenever I rest my hand on my belly, she will kick right where my hand is, but until very recently, she would not do that for anyone else.  Any time I put Jeremy's hand where she was kicking, she would stop immediately.  It's nice that she will now perform for her father.

Today my mom and younger sister and I went to visit my friend/my brother's girlfriend at the Detroit Institute of Arts, where she is interning. We had a lot of fun walking around the galleries.  I'm pretty sure the baby really liked the Contemporary Art, because in those galleries she would kick me so hard that it almost brought me to my knees, and I had to sit a few times.  She probably just wanted me to have more time to appreciate the art.  Our baby is such a genius.

Finally, since my shower is tomorrow (!!!), I thought I should finally post pictures of some of the things we have already received.  

First, we got our awesome travel system (stroller and car seat combo) from Kevin and Ashley (Jeremy's cousin and his wife).  

Jeremy keeps asking if he can try it out by putting the cat in and pushing him around.  For some reason, I don't think MoJo would appreciate that.

Next, we got our high-tech bathtub that gives you a temperature read out and has a reservoir that holds the water until it is the correct temperature.  We received that from Jeremy's older brother Christopher and his wife Molly.  They also sent along a hilarious personalized card.

Yup, that's Jeremy's head on a baby in the tub they got us.  I laughed so hard when I opened this card!!

We also got our pack and play from two of my mom's friends, Sue and Sue (cute, right?).

We were awfully proud that Jeremy got this thing together!  Well done!

We are really looking forward to seeing lots of friends and family at the shower tomorrow.  Any bets on whether or not I will cry while opening presents?

Finally Feeling Hiccups!

Monday, June 14, 2010

It's 12:30 AM, and I am feeling the baby hiccuping for the very first time!  People kept asking me if I'd felt them yet, and I was always like, "Ummm ... I guess not.  I would know if I had, right?"  I was also starting to think that maybe I just wasn't very in tune with the baby and I was missing obvious things.

A few minutes ago, I started feeling this weird thumping throughout my whole belly and back.  At first I was confused.  It felt like a huge heart beat radiating throughout a large portion of my body.  Then, because I felt it near the bottom of the baby hatch, I started freaking out, thinking the baby was kicking her way out!  (No, seriously, this thought actually crossed my mind.)  THEN, I looked down at my belly and saw little rhythmic pops and realized my baby girl has the hiccups.  

It took a LOT of self-control for me not to reach over and wake up Jeremy.  He only has five hours until his alarm goes off, and I kept him up a half an hour after he wanted to go to bed because I wanted him to feel the baby kicking around.

I feel much better now that I felt hiccups.  It somehow symbolizes me knowing what's going on in there with her.  Since I still have NO concept whatsoever as to what position she might be in at any given time, I like that I can figure out SOMETHING she is doing!

29 weeks

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Yesterday was 29 weeks.  I am really moving along here.  This week the baby is nearly three pounds and measures about 17 inches from head to toe.  Though she's getting pretty close to her birth length, she still has to chub out a bit.  In fact, over the next 11 weeks, she'll more than double -- or even come close to tripling -- her weight.  As she grows and the room gets tighter, supposedly I'll be less likely to feel those big kicks she has been dishing out.  However, I'll also be more likely to get poked by an elbow or jabbed by a knee.

Her muscles and lungs are continuing to mature, and her head is growing bigger to make room for her developing brain.  This trimester, about 250 milligrams of calcium are deposited in her hardening skeleton each day.

Don't mind how disheveled I look in this picture -- I had just gotten home at 11:30 PM and Jeremy didn't get home until almost 1 AM.  Don't worry, it was just a normal Saturday for him -- probably hookers and whatnot.  Okay, he was at a graduation Open House with his family.  Whatever.

I, on the other hand, was seeing Kathy Griffin (!!!) one of my favorite comedians EVER!  Here's me and the baby all excited to go in:

We went with my good friend Jess, and the baby seemed to enjoy herself.  She danced along to the music playing before the show, and she kicked in between jokes, but every time I laughed really hard, she must have enjoyed the rocking and was totally calm.  I also managed to avoid all elbows to my belly, which has become very hard in crowds.  

It has been a good week, especially with all the good news at the doctor's office.  Next week is 30 weeks -- which seems HUGE to me -- and my BABY SHOWER!  I am so excited!!

Doctor's Visit

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

I had another doctor's visit today, and there was a lot of good news.  

I have only gained one pound in the last month, which is awesome, and my blood pressure was still below normal -- but it was a little higher than it has been.  It has been consistently 102 over 66, but today it was 118 over 70.  HOWEVER, I had just been sitting in construction for 10 minutes, less than ONE MILE away from the doctor's office and was freaking out about being late.  So that is pretty good for freaking-out blood pressure!

I also learned the results of my glucose tolerance test (finally!) and they were great.  My glucose level was 104, and a result of 180 (an hour after drinking glucoma) would have required a second test to rule out gestational diabetes.

My stomach was measuring right on and the heart beat was loud and strong -- 148 beats a minute.

The receptionist also scheduled ALL of the rest of my appointments until my due date.   I got a little dizzy! :)  I was like, is this necessary? and then I realized that I wasn't writing down THAT many appointments.  She is coming!!!

It was a great visit, and I was out in 15 minutes so I could go home and get everything ready for Jeremy's birthday!

28 Weeks

Saturday, June 5, 2010

I missed last week's update and belly shot because we were up on Mackinac Island for four days.  I even forgot to get a good profile shot of my belly.  I had just mentioned to Jeremy that we couldn't forget to take one when we got to a pretty spot, but then I walked up 304 stairs, so my only thoughts were death and I forgot all about it.  But I did get some shots that give you a pretty good idea of how big I was.  These were all taken on Friday, when I was one day away from 27 weeks:

The baby makes her first visit to Arch Rock

Beautiful weather for our 8-mile bike ride around the Island!
I felt the need to pose for Tommy's camera.  One of my friends said the caption for this picture is "I'm too sexy for my belly!"
I am wearing HEELS in this picture!  So stupid!

We all had loads of fun, but unfortunately, I was a big buzzkill.  The day before we left, I was working and packing and cleaning and preparing directions for the dog/cat/housesitter from 7 AM until 2 AM ... and then I looked at my feet.  They were bigger than I had ever seen them, and my body told me there was no way it would allow me to sleep with my feet elevated while I laid on my side (per doctor's orders), so I went to bed and hoped for the best.  I woke up four hours later to leave and, surprise, surprise -- they looked about the same.  Then we spent 3 hours in the car, half an hour on the ferry and then started a vacation that included a lot of walking, standing, and socializing.  So, basically, my feet never had a chance to return to normal, and I walked around getting shocked looks from people when they saw that my ankles were bigger than my knees and my swollen feet were jammed into dress shoes like ten pounds of sausage in five pounds of casing.

So, I was pretty lame, complained about it, and put my feet up on people's laps whenever I got five minutes to do so.  At one point, I went into my mom and dad's suite and she had some friends I had never met hanging out in the sitting room.  I plopped my feet on her lap and they both gasped.  The husband said "Is there anything we can do for you??" and the wife immediately ran back to her room and got a tube a cooling lotion to use on my feet.  She even insisted that I keep it because I needed it more than she did!  

Also, I don't know why, but the beds killed me this year.  I have stayed in this hotel for years and years, and usually I wake up feeling rested and ready to take on the day.  They are very nice mattresses.  This year, the same bed I slept in last year felt like a torture device and I woke up every morning exhausted and with every muscle in my body aching.  On the last night, my arms were actually going numb because of the knots in my back, and instead of letting Jeremy drink and party with everyone else, I insisted on an hour-long back rub because I was certain I was about to die.  So ... sorry fellow travelers!!  And especially Jeremy. :(

Well, that was a big re-cap, but now here we are at TWENTY EIGHT WEEKS!!!  I am offically seven months pregnant and in my (drumroll) ... THIRD TRIMESTER!!!  

Look how big she is!!

This week our amazing baby has probably reached two and a half pounds and could be as long as 16 inches!  Along with being able to cough, hiccup, suck, and take practice breaths, she can now blink and experiences Rapid Eye Movement when she sleeps!  Thankfully, her lungs are fully mature at this point, which is the milestone I was waiting for with bated breath.  Although she would still need a LOT of help if she were born at this point, she is out of the "danger zone."

It hit me in the shower this morning that it was my third trimester and I frantically started listing all the things we have yet to do (because we had SO MUCH time) like finding a pediatrician, pre-registering at the hospital, and taking a childbirth class.  Of course, when I freaked out, Jeremy just patted my hand and told me we couldn't do ALL of those things today, so we will sit down tomorrow and make a schedule of when to get those things accomplished in the next month.  What a guy.

Tonight I am off to a Girls Night with some old friends from high school.  We'll see how the baby likes the car trip from Rochester Hills and back.  She has been giving me some trouble to and from work lately.  I often have to lean really far to the right so the pain in my left side will go away. Oh well, I have a lot of working left to do and that means a lot more driving, so we will both just have to get used to it.

My ligament pain has also returned with a vengeance, at exactly the same time when I am having a hard time hauling myself in and out of certain positions.  At night, I usually wake up about ten times, whimpering because the hip I'm laying on hurts so bad.  When I have heaved myself halfway to the other side, my ligaments stretch and I feel like someone is stabbing me under my belly, so I flop back down.  It can take a few tries to roll over now, and all the while I am grunting.  Of course, Jeremy sleeps right through this.  I am going to need a system of pulleys and levers soon! :)

I guess I never appreciated being able to just get up off the couch or go from sitting on the floor to standing or roll over in bed without effort and embarrassment.  I will cherish when I am able to again! :)

A few big achievements also took place this week.  The baby has been SO ACTIVE and sometimes I feel like she is beating me up in there, but every time I put someone else's hand where she was moving, she would instantly freeze, then the second they gave up and moved their hand and I put mine back, she would go bonkers again.  Sigh.  She also moves so much now that I see my belly moving like an alien movie all the time.  I even freaked a student out in the Writing Center because she was doing it, but Jeremy couldn't see it.  But THIS week, Jeremy felt TONS of hard kicks AND saw my belly moving around!  AND I finally found the baby's heartbeat and put Jeremy's hand on it ... and he FELT IT!!!  It has been a good week! :)