Thursday, August 28, 2014

My Angel

Sometimes when I look at this boy

I am overwhelmed by his innocence.

He has his daddy's "ski-jump nose"

In the Boba wrap (which I still don't know how to use.)

"Hear no evil."

In his "frat boy" shirt, which *sniff sniff* he's already growing out of.

"We're not gonna take it!"

Selfie with mom

Thursday, July 24, 2014

A Ramble in Limbo

I've been sitting at home today just sort of waiting and panicking a little bit because of all the things I SHOULD be doing but am NOT doing to prepare for this baby. For one, my lower back hurts so much that it is actually rather painful to do anything that requires bending. That eliminates 98% of what I can comfortably do. It's not a good excuse, but there it is. I haven't finished packing a hospital back. I haven't finished cleaning the house in preparation for my mother's arrival on Saturday. Hell, it took me two days just to fold two baskets of laundry!

Other things I haven't done? Haven't read a book about raising a baby. Haven't finished that book on breastfeeding. Haven't been practicing my pain-management techniques like I should be. Haven't even picked up the novel I'm reading in two days. Know why? Every time I pick up a book I just fall asleep. Believe it or not, I'm not sleeping all that well at night anymore, so I have to take naps. I hate napping. It feels like a huge waste of time, but at some point I just have to give in.

Odd as it sounds, I miss work. I miss feeling useful. I miss helping people. I miss the social interaction I have with my coworkers. I know I'm looking at it through rose-colored glasses just because I am so damn bored at home, and because everyone--coworkers and patrons alike--has been so amazingly kind to me during this pregnancy, but man. I already miss it and I've been gone less than a week.

Things I've been good at doing? I've been VERY good at ordering a lot of things last minute on Amazon. Nursing bras, baby nail clippers, a diaper pail, a baby bath... oh, and a couple new toys for the dogs. Online shopping is easy. That's something I can do from my home office: The couch.

I'm trying to get out and about. I really am. I was good about getting out of the house earlier this week. But it is over 110* every day, and I just don't feel like facing that. I have walked the dogs three times this week in 90* heat at 7:45 am. It's about all I can handle. I managed to work more on the Hobbes toy I am making while listening to NPR podcasts, so today wasn't a total loss.

I feel like I'm going crazy. I'm mentally not quite ready for this baby, but I'm also tired of waiting.


Gestation: 39weeks, 4 days
Due: Sunday
Size: Big enough
Gender: Boy
Signs of labor: Negative. Well there is's a little TMI. Let's just say that I am not constipated.
Other Symptoms: lower back pain. Fetal punches and kicks to various organs.

Monday, July 7, 2014

The Home Stretch

I hit 37 weeks yesterday, and the reality of childbirth and impending motherhood is starting to sink in. I grabbed a book on breastfeeding off the shelf at the library and then--what the heck--grabbed two more. Intellectually, I know the basics, but it dawned on me that i could stand to study up a little more. I'm also worried I haven't been practicing my breathing/ relaxation techniques enough. I have been doing stretches religiously, so there is that at least. I can still cut my own toenails even though my belly has suddenly gotten huge, and my pelvis aches a bit when I walk. I find myself taking at least one or two naps a day on my days off, and I have to fight the urge every day at work. At my appointment with my midwife today they gave me my records to take over to the nurses when I go to labor and delivery. My midwife talked about when it was time to go to the hospital, and to not worry about timing contractions until it was difficult to do anything through them. I tested negative for Group B Strep (so no antibiotics during labor, yay!) and my blood pressure is still nice and low, so everything is looking up for a good, old-fashioned delivery.

Basically, I could have this baby in a month, or I could have him tomorrow. I have to be prepared for either scenario. I'm not. I'm prepared to have him when he is due and not too much earlier or later than that.

I get tired very quickly these days. I've accepted that and just ask T to do what I cannot. He is a rock.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014


I used to be one of those people who sort of denied that as the body got older it experienced physical limitations. I'd see older people taking the elevator instead of the stairs, or struggling to get out of a car, or grumbling about bending over to pick something up, and I'd quietly tsk to myself and think, "Use it or lose it, grandma," before taking the stairs two at a time, as usual.

As someone who has been in anywhere from decent to amazing shape her whole life, the third trimester of pregnancy has been extremely humbling so far. I can barely bend down to pick something up, and mostly just end up squatting. I cannot get in and out of a car in one fluid motion anymore. My hips hurt sometimes because I am carrying 1/5 again my total body weight. I get winded climbing even a few stairs, and yeah, I'll take the elevator 60-90% of the time now. I cannot sit straight up in bed because my upper abdominal muscles are so stretched. They literally tear (more than they already have) if I try, so I don't try. I roll over like a sea lion until my feet make contact with the floor and then I push myself to standing with mostly the strength of my arms. Putting on shoes has become a balancing act. Putting on pants, even more so.

I know. I'm making pregnancy sound like a horror movie. It's not. I am still strong. I am still fit. Sometimes I amaze myself with the things I can still do even as I experience more limitations. For crap's sake I'M GROWING ANOTHER HUMAN BEING.

A month ago, I was really unhappy about some of my limitations. I couldn't understand why my body wouldn't move the way I wanted it to, and why there was always something that sort of hurt or was tight. But we humans are amazing and resilient and can learn to carry on. Have things gotten less uncomfortable? No, if anything they've gotten more so. Right now, for example, the baby has been moving almost constantly for the last twelve hours. (Yes, throughout the night. And yes, it disturbed my sleep. A lot.) He has not only completely changed position but he is exploring all the possible ways he can stretch out his small, watery home. Does it hurt sometimes? Hell. Yes. Does it hurt all the time. No. The movement is never what I would call "comfortable," but I've learned to just live with it most of the time, and to be grateful for what it means: Baby is alive.

Anyway, what I'm trying to say is I respect people's limitations now. And while I do think you "lose it if you don't use it," I understand now that things happen to our bodies, whether it be Time or pregnancy or what have you, that create limitations we have no control over. I will be much more sympathetic of those limitations from now on.

Coconut Stats:

Gestation: 32 weeks (7ish months for the lazy)
Estimated due date: July 27
Baby's weight: just under 4 lbs.
Total weight gain: 21 lbs
Cravings: WATER. So thirsty...
What I feel: LOT'S of pressure for a day or so interspersed by a day or two of reprieve. (Baby is growing fast.) More interrupted sleep. Same old rib/top-of-belly pain. Return of some of the gagginess I felt in the first tri, probably because my stomach is being pushed on. Desperate need to pee every time I stand up. Sciatica. Braxton Hicks several times a day. Baby hiccups 2-3 times a day.

Here you go, Jill. :)

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Food baby. Nope...real baby

Let me start out by saying that I have no good reason to complain about this pregnancy. I haven't thrown up once; I don't have gestational diabetes; my blood pressure is normal; I have no swelling of hands or feet, or any carpal tunnel; my energy is mostly good and I've been able to remain active; my midwife has given me no reason to believe my baby is anything but perfectly healthy.

That being said...

For about four or five weeks now, I have really started to experience the discomforts of pregnancy. I know it's not, you know, "acceptable" for healthy women to complain about pregnancy, but just... indulge me for a moment. Imagine being the most full of food you've ever been. So full, it's pressing on your lungs and your rib cage. So full, you belly skin is tight like a ball and your abdominal muscle begin to tear a little bit. THAT is how I feel all the time, for over a month now. The fullness is so constant that I (miraculously) don't notice it sometimes anymore. I notice it when I can't breathe properly, or when the constant pain in my ribs peaks--particularly after a meal when I am full of food on top of being full of baby.

And the movement, ohhhh... What started out as adorably, microscopic flicks three months ago have turned into full on kicks, punches and flips. It doesn't hurt, per se, unless one of these kicks or punches makes contact with a rib. And while we're on the subject of ribs (again), I don't seem to be big enough to accomodate this baby, so let's just get rid of the ribs altogether. A rib-ectomy. That would solve so much.

Gestation: Approx. 30 weeks, or 6.5 months
Weight gain: 18 lbs. I'm now the heaviest I've ever been!
Baby weight: 2.5 lbs.
Aversions: Still not crazy about chicken, but I can eat it.
Cravings: Nothing out of the ordinary.
Symptoms: RIB PAIN. Leg cramps from hell, but not since taking a potassium supplement. Borderline anemia for which I am taking supplemental iron.

Monday, April 21, 2014

New Job

Big news around here: I went full-time at work! The transition has not been as difficult as I thought. I just had to change my expectations about how much I was going to work. Also, that first paycheck was sooooo nice. I can't help but see the perfection in the timing of this job. We would have made it with a baby--somehow--on my other income, and with student loans, but we both now feel much more financially secure. We can now begin to extract ourselves from our other, smaller debt obligations (credit card, my student loans, cars, etc.) and begin to save again. We, of course, still have T's massive student loan, but that can't be helped right now. We'll deal with that when we have to.

Also...I did not know how much I would value working at the professional level for the thing I went to school to do. While my duties have not changed too much, there is an intangible change of "authority," I guess you could call it. I have professional license to make decisions I was not totally entitled to make before. It is so empowering. Even something as simple as exchanging my limited set of keys for one key that basically gives me the run of the building. I don't have to run and get someone higher up every time I want to open a door now. I can do it myself. I love it.

T and I have all but settled on a name for the baby, but we aren't sharing until he is born. In the meantime, we affectionately refer to him as "Coconut."

Coconut Stats:

Gestation: 26 weeks (5.5 months)
Size: approx. 1 2/3 pounds, 14 inches long.
Total weight gain: 15 lbs. (Between one dr.'s visit to the next, I gained six!)
Movement: Continual. Sometimes he is very quiet. Sometimes he delights in kicking me in awkward places. So much weird.
Sleep: It's happening with the aid of a Snoogle Mini pillow.
Cravings: Food.
Aversions: Hunger. Also, really high sodium foods--not because I don't want to eat them but because they make me feel bloated.
Pregnancy "symptoms": Lower back ache that comes and goes, but I know how to manage it. Increased appetite. Round ligament pain on the top of the bump. All that stretching hurts sometimes. Very occasional heartburn.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Another Tiny Boy: Canine Edition

Meet Wheatley. We've been talking about getting a second dog for a little while now. For a long time, we shuddered even considering it. Blackbeard was enough work. Then, it started to occur to us that a huge part of the work of taking care of Blackbeard was just...paying attention to him. Then we started to talk to people with more than one dog and 100% of them said it was worth it. Why? Because, believe it or not, they pay attention to each other. The clincher was when we set up a camera to see what Blackbeard did when we left him alone. Poor little guy didn't get into any mischief--he is the prince of polite house dogs--but he just howled and howled, like he was calling us back. 

That was it. We had to look into getting a buddy for him. So we went to the shelter and found Wheatley. He was tiny and shy, but you could tell he liked us right away and had a spark of playfulness to him.

It's taken a couple weeks for everyone to adjust, but the two dogs have really started playing together now. Wheatley, who is still a puppy at 9 months, is always the instigator.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Dat nose

Immediately after I posted my last post, everything started happening. First of all, I started feeling the baby. Let me go on record here and just say weird. But in a "thank heaven my baby is alive," way. Of course.

Objectively, it is strange. But subjectively, it is beautiful. I love feeling the little flutters and bumps. And I will certainly not forget the smile of T's face when he felt the baby for the first time. I think it was the point at which the pregnancy really hit home for him.

So that happened. (And it's happening right now.) And then this happened.

This is our son. And he already looks like T. I know ultrasound pictures are ghostly and abstract, but I confess I am completely bewitched by this tiny, adorable profile. This is at 18 weeks 2 days.

What else happened... Went to Disneyland. Went on several "forbidden" rides with no dire consequences whatsoever. Baby enjoyed the new cars land ride, the Hollywood Tower of Terror and Grizzly River Rapids without so much as a squeak, so you can suck it, Disneyland!*


Gestation: 19 weeks (Whaaa...?)
Gender: Confirmed male.
Baby size: My pregnancy app says he is the size of an heirloom tomato and weighs about 9 oz.
Weight gain: 8-9 lbs.
Aversions: Nothing
Cravings: Shrug. Unhealthy stuff, mostly.
Maternity clothes: Tomorrow. I am SOOOOO uncomfortable in pants. Just... ouch.
Symptoms: Occasional heartburn. Nighttime restlessness. Round ligament pain (I had to consult Dr. Google to make sure the brief, stabbing pains in my side were completely normal. They are. Ligaments gotta stretch. Unfortunately, the first time I felt this pain was right after going on a "forbidden ride." I spent the next several hours fretting I had done my child irreparable harm. I didn't.) There are other symptoms I will refrain from reporting here, as this is a "family friendly" blog, but I will just say that I often think of that line from Jaws where Brody says, "We're going to need a bigger boat."**

*I wisely abstained from such bumpy rides as Indiana Jones, Space Mountain, etc. I'm not completely irresponsible.
**I substitute the word "boat" with "bra."

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Hello, is anyone in there?

Yes, I'm still waiting to actually look pregnant. I am told this will not be a problem in the very near future. Indeed, I may be begging to get back to this relatively symptomless, small-bellied second trimester. In the meantime, I am almost halfway done baking this little boy and what've I got to show for it? Not a whole lot.


Gestation: 16 weeks
Weight gain: 3-4 lbs.
Aversions: Nothing, really. Anything with unpredictable texture.
Cravings: Macaroni and cheese. Sugary things.
Maternity clothes: Soon... I may not be showing, per se, but i'm definitely thicker. When I try to point this out to people they just laugh at me. *frowny face*
Symptoms: Intermittent, gnawing hunger. Fatigue. (Can go on a walk and feel fine, but usually have to take a nap afterward.)

This is the boring/nice part of pregnancy. I'll update this again when I have something interesting to report.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

"Turn and face the strange. Ch-ch-changes!"

Yes, I'm pregnant. It is still strange to say it out loud. Pregnancy so far has been an intensely private, personal thing. Even between me and my husband. He probably doesn't understand that I think about it almost all day. Every day. How could I not? Every time my stretching abdominal muscles protest, or my sciatic nerve twinges, or I heave at the sight of a perfectly fine piece of pizza... it's just another reminder. I'm not complaining about these things. They are uncomfortable at times... but context is everything.

All of this is for Life.

Last week I went in for what is called a Nuchal Translucency Screening, which is an ultrasound done between 10-13 weeks to look for signs of heart defects or genetic disorder, and I saw my baby for the second time. Once, at 8 weeks, I saw a gray smudge with a strong heartbeat. This last time, at 12 weeks, I saw something that looked distinctly more human.

And... male! The sonographer surprised me by asking if I wanted to know the gender. I hesitated because I was alone and I thought maybe T should be there... "Can you tell this early?" I asked, incredulous. "Sometimes," she said. "Yes," I said. "Yes, I want to know." I felt we were having a girl. I was so sure we were having a girl.

But there was our boy. You can't see, but I'm smiling as I type this.

I felt melancholy a little while later as I thought about the girl I was sure was there. I felt the idea of her slip away, and it was oddly sad. But as I thought about the boy, as I let the consciousness of a HIM sink in, I began to want him as much as I had wanted her.

Now for the vital stats:

Gestation: 13 weeks
Gender: Male (80% certainty)
Weight gain: maybe 1 lb. (I'm actually trying not to weigh myself too much, so I'll only update this when I am weighed at the doctor's office.)
Maternity clothes: No, but I can wear all of my pants without a belt now.
Food aversions: Chicken. Meat in general. (It's a texture thing.) Peanut butter crackers. Sometimes cheese.
"Cravings": Peaches, yogurt. Pasta, ramen noodles. Sushi (always)
Milestones: Beginning of 2nd trimester. Chance of miscarriage drops dramatically.
Symptoms: Lots of gagging. Lots and lots of gagging. Occasional, mild back pain. And intense hunger. It sneaks up on me and then I feel gross. I have to catch it at the right time or it is hard to eat.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Resolution 2.014

Gain at least 28 pounds. And then lose most of it by mid-summer.