9.29.2009

Evolution of Excitement

Sometimes excitement can be like a meandering roller coaster, with a big drop at the end.

Witness:

9/10-9/13/09 - L has her baby. I'm all wonder and awe. People say knowingly "you're next" (because I can't stay pregnant forever, duh) and all I can muster to say about my own rapidly approaching D-day is "I hope he has hair". . . . Whaaaa?

9/14/09 - Normal life resumes and I get busy helping with homework and planning an anniversary trip and working and being tired.

9/24/09 - A total stranger approaches me from the rear, gets to my front, and exclaims in surprise "Wow! You're ready to pop any time now!" very loudly in the middle of the Bashas in Sedona. I've never had anyone say that to me ever. On the one hand, it means I don't look pregnant from behind. On the other, I seethe in silence until I get to the car and tell M about it.

9/27/09 - I'm 34 weeks along and decide to look in What to Expect to see if pelvic pain/pressure is normal, since I've been having it for a number of weeks now. I end up reading about labor, delivery, and postpartum. There is a disturbing amount written about lochia and other fluids. In the style of Carol from the show Friends, every fiber of my being shouts "I am NOT doing that!!"

9/28/09 - A coworker comments that it's "not long now" and although, technically, she's right, I've got too much going on to thing about it (to wit: helping M finish this semester AND trying to get a temporary replacement at work before the Big Deadline). She asks if I'm excited. I tell her "not really" which makes her do this big guffaw and stare at me open-mouthed while I try to explain myself in terms of something like "I'm having a hard time accepting that a baby is actually going to come out of all this and I'm going to have to take care of it." My explanation doesn't help matters one bit. (And I imagine that she secretly wonders if they're making a mistake throwing me a shower next week, since I'm destined to become a bad mom because I'm not excited enough.)

9/29/09 - Wake up feeling like a truck hit me, despite having gone to bed early and getting pretty decent sleep. In addition to feeling uber-tired, also feel uber-heavy and cumbersome in my own skin. For the first time in 8.75 months, I feel like I want my own body back. In true "I'll show you" fashion, decide that this is at least a reason to be excited, should my coworker from yesterday need to be alerted to such a development. Stress overlong about my replacement at work and try in vain to convince my boss Iamreallycomingback! Have lunch with new mommies C and L and their 4 month old and 3 week old babies. Again with the "it's not long now" and "it's your turn next" - but this time it's coming from friends who've recently been there and it's so nice to be able to talk about all the ins and outs of the experience with them. My feet swell horribly while grocery shopping. Like, really really badly. I watch Deliver Me on the DVR and something about seeing those new babies stirs up a deeply hidden ember of excitement somewhere inside of me and I finally begin to wonder what this little boy will look like when he joins us.

~Nichole

9.28.2009

D-Day Denial

We're fresh off our weekend getaway. That doesn't mean I was more rested. In fact, I left church after the first meeting on Sunday and came home and crashed for 2 hours. Then I took a 3 hour nap later that afternoon, and slept for a full night. I'm tired all over again.

If ever I'm rich, I'm going to hire a personal chef and a private massage therapist. Our breakfasts by the private chef at the place we stayed were amazing! And after my prenatal massage, my feet and ankles looked more normal than I've seen them look in months and months:

But I'll settle for a husband offering to "split the list" and get some of the groceries on his lunch hour so that I don't have to be on my feet as much and can rest more. . .

I'll also settle for take out as much as possible. . .

Yep. I'm feeling it. All 35 pounds and 8.5 months of it. Even so, we hiked up to "The Arch" and busted hump back down because we thought we were late for our massage appointments. At the very moment my entire lower belly was cramped and I thought I was going to fall over on the trail trying to get back to the car, I realized what a dummy I am to think I am so invincible and strong. . . when the reality is I could really put myself into early labor.

Thankfully, the cramps were muscular, not uterine - but still.

Someone at work today asked if I'm getting excited. I was kind of. . .ambivalent in my answer, which apparently is not the PC thing to be at this stage. Sorry, but reading about labor and delivery and postpartum in What to Expect last night, along with how much I still have to do at work and at home to prepare, and how fast it's all happening - all of it together has me a little gun shy.

I might be in a little bit of denial.

Maybe.

Just a little.

But I'm also anxious to have it all done with.

Is that bad?

No, don't answer that.

~Nichole

9.23.2009

Pre-show Jitters

More often than not, I find myself a little anxious about the approaching Due Date. I’m excited, sure. Somewhere deep down there, yeah. But mostly, I think to myself, “Omg! We’re going to have a baby! An actual baby! What are we going to do with a baby!?”

Then, I put my head between my knees and take a few deep, cleansing breaths until the lightheaded sensation passes. OK, not really. But you get the idea, no?

In the meantime, we’re putting off panicking and heading northward to spend a few days in the red rocks to celebrate our 10th anniversary and enjoy each other’s undivided attentions and company. And I’ll be getting a prenatal massage to boot! I see much sleeping in my immediate future (especially since I’m operating on only 5 hours at the moment).

~Nichole

Planning the Birth - Mad Lib Style

Thanks to a linky I found at finslippy, I now have a birth plan format I can work with.

Click to enlarge and try not to pee your pants. . .

P.S. Why, yes, in case you were wondering. . . I am posting at quarter past one in the morning - because my stupid legs decided to be itchy and my exhausted body decided to not be sleepy. So I'm up.

~Nichole

9.21.2009

Upside Down, Round and Round

I’m antagonizing my baby. And laughing about it. See? Already a bad mom!

I got curious as to whether this baby is head down or butt down. So, doing what I always do when I’m curious, I Googled it. I read that if you can feel hiccups down low (check!), the baby’s probably head down. I also read somewhere in those Googled results that if you feel a firm rounded part of your baby at the top of the belly, push on it to see whether the whole baby moves or not. Apparently, if the baby is head up (butt down), nothing will move. If the baby is butt up (head down), the whole body will move.

So, I’m sitting here feeling some rounded body part hit the top of my belly and decided to try it out. I think his whole body moved. Either way, it made him mad and he flailed a bit (either his arms or his legs struck out toward my innards).

I’ve come to the conclusion that he’s both head down and face down. Both good for a perfect vaginal delivery. Of course, we’ll see if my hunch is right at my next appointment. In the meantime, I’m totally messing with him. Just kidding. I’ll stop now.


~Nichole

9.18.2009

Circumcision Decision

We've come to the decision that this boy baby will be circumcised.

Here's how we came to that decision:

I said to M, "You decide. You have one, so you decide."

He said, "We're getting it done. It's more sanitary and he'll look like everyone else in the locker room."

And that, my friends, is just how easy some decisions are.

A rarity for us, for sure, but yea for one less thing to have to decide!

~Nichole

9.17.2009

Pregnant Insomniac

I went to the doc today. He checked the heartbeat, which sounds good. I think the baby’s finally head down now, which is good, but they’ll check his position when I go again in 2 weeks just to make sure. They’ll also check my cervix and have me pee in a cup. And just when I thought it was a run of the mill appointment, they had me schedule all my remaining visits. I go in 2 weeks, then every week thereafter. I can’t believe it’s so close already!

The “end” is coming soon and it’s very weird. After L had her baby a week ago, it hit me that an actual baby is going to come from all this, which snapped be out of my pregnant reverie a little bit. I think I had settled into the rhythm of being pregnant (finally!) and now I’m hit with the realization that I won’t be pregnant forever and soon enough life as I know it will change forever.

I’m still not sleeping well at night, but doc said there’s not much to be done about it and it’ll probably get worse before it gets better. He said I can take 1 mg of sublingual (under the tongue) melatonin. Apart from that, I can take the occasional Tylenol PM or Unisom, but I pretty much have to grin & bear it. Today’s the first day I’ve been in to work before 10 a.m. and that’s only because I came directly from my doc appt.

In order to try and get to sleep a little sooner last night – so I could be up for the appointment – I relegated myself to the other bedroom instead of trying to tough it out in our bed. It nearly killed me to do that. I’m not used to going to bed at separate times than M, much less in separate places. It worked only in the sense that I got to sleep sooner, probably because I didn’t have to worry about keeping M up with all my thrashing. But I still itched and was restless, which negates my theory that it’s our bed or something in our bedroom (ahem - high speed fan) causing the problem when I try to get to sleep. It seems I’ll have problems no matter where I try to sleep. Of course, watching Destination Truth about possessed baby dolls on some island in Mexico probably didn’t help matters much.

I’ve taken to laying down at lunch, which, in a way strangely reminiscent of the first trimester, thwarts most of my Super Woman powers. I’m used to getting a lot done during my lunch hours. Now all I do is eat and sleep.

While I could “technically” only have to endure this get to enjoy the more difficult side effects of pregnancy for another 4 weeks, I could also “technically” go for another 9 weeks with nary a contraction in sight. All I’ve got to say about that is – what’s with the 5 week window?!? Doesn’t medical science give any better guesstimate than that?

~Nichole

9.16.2009

Wiggle Wiggle Heartburn Giggle

I have a wiggly fetus. Whom I believe is now be either head or butt down, on account of his newfound wigglyness and my newfound crazy wicked heartburn.

Before pregnancy, I had never taken Tums or anything like it.

But during the acid episodes that were the first and second trimesters, I was forced to experiment occasionally. One would usually do the job.

But now - during the height of my third trimester glory (and especially yesterday) - Tums aren't cutting it, even though I'm tempted to pop them like Pez. Heartburn is radiating my chest like a winter fire.

Which is probably why I don't eat much.

Which is probably why I haven't gained a pound in nearly 3 weeks.

In which case: Go Heartburn!

~Nichole

Midnight Picture Show

I'm having trouble sleeping for the 3rd night in a row.

Lucky you.

It means you get to see pictures.

Like this one from the Human Reproduction exhibit at the Museum of Man in Balboa Park:


And this one of M, me, and the belly:
And just in case that belly shot doesn't do it for you, here's a great one (not!):

The sheer girth of that belly probably explains both why I'm up right now with heartburn (more on that later) and why my bladder feels the size of:
And if right about now you're thinking I look chubby (I am), just know that I climbed down and back up this canyon
TWICE while 7 months pregnant.

So there.

Seacrest out.

~Nichole

9.14.2009

Wish I May, Wish I Might. . .

. . . have the wish I wish in the middle of the freakin' early morning hours when I can't sleep!

(I'm wishing for sleep, in case you didn't guess.)

I think a full bladder, my long afternoon nap, and stupid itchy legs are combining against me. It's 2:30 a.m. and I should SO be sleeping right now!

Monday morning should be a fun one. . . my poor boss has to deal with a sleepless 3rd trimester trainwreck of an employee on a weekly basis. . . But I generally get better by Friday . . .

~Nichole

9.11.2009

Wild and Precious Life

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" - Mary Oliver

L had baby S yesterday. She is beautiful, with a perfect little face and lips and lots of dark hair. It was quite the ordeal from what I understand, but once L got going (at around 1:00 yesterday afternoon), there was no stopping her. S was born at 5:30 and she’s really quite amazing! I couldn’t stop staring at her and she’s not even mine! The reality of her arrival has made our impending arrival seem more real and more imminent. In fact, that’s the first thing M said to baby S: “I’m so excited to have one of you!” I’m also getting more and more excited as the days pass.

Today, I find myself laughing at my baby. He’s kicking and jabbing his way to a new position and it’s hilarious to feel. OK, sometimes not so hilarious – like yesterday when I was on the phone and involuntarily exclaimed “Ouch!” when one of his jabs caught me by surprise.

I’ve changed up my morning routine (more resting between tasks, less for breakfast, more water earlier) to try and avoid feeling faint and/or passing out and it seems to be working today. I’m just perpetually tired (in fact I woke up to pee around 5:45 this morning and was on my back, which rarely happens, even when non-pregnant. Apparently, that’s how tired I was). I think that may just be the way of things this last trimester, though.

Yea for Friday! Where last weekend was filled with a few last pre-baby hurrahs with Baby S’s parents, this weekend will be filled with picking up the house, tending to the dogs, and maybe working on a few sewing projects. . . Then, I’ll be looking forward to going kayaking next weekend (before it gets too cold on the rim lakes), and to our 10th anniversary getaway the weekend after that. Today it occurred to me that there aren’t too many more weekends to go before we’re officially parents, so we’re trying to make good and do as much as possible.

~Nichole

9.09.2009

Tumble Dry; Remove Promptly.

This kid is tumbling around my belly, exploring areas I've never felt him in before. Last week we were at a restaurant and as I stood up to leave, I gasped and leaned over my belly as I had the worst pain in my groin. I think he was bouncing up and down on my cervix. Hopefully all the movement means he’s trying to find a new locale that puts him head down. That would be nice.

I’m at 33 pounds of gain and holding. I’d like to hold that number indefinitely. Or at least until my next appointment. The walking has been not so regular. I’ve been getting it in here and there, but I’m trying to pay attention to my body – which has been painful in the groin area.

After a bout of restless leggies (and feet and arms) on Monday night, followed by only about 4 hours of sleep, and despite a full night’s sleep last night (which only happened after a hot shower, the start of twitchy legs, a teary cry of “I just want to sleep!”, and stretching of the legs) I am utterly exhausted. My arms feel limp and heavy, my head feels ready to drop at any time, my spine no longer wants to hold my body up. I need some serious sleep.

Which is probably why I passed out at work today. It was awful - with the sweating, and the dizziness, and the nausea, and the losing your vision and hearing and thinking you are surely going to die. . . Once I recovered, I asked a co-worker to drive me home. I slept until mid afternoon and got up and ate some protein and drank some water. M stopped on the way home and bought some steak, since I read somewhere that red meat has more iron. Protein, iron and water. I hope that's recipe enough to not pass out again. . .

Meanwhile, L is getting induced at the hospital. I haven't heard from her since this morning, so I'm thinking she's in full-on labor. I think it would be so cool to have her baby be born on 9/9/09!

~Nichole

9.08.2009

Month 8: Pre-Baby To Do List

Register for childbirth class
Pre-register with the hospital
Call insurance to make sure they know I have no other insurance and stop denying all my claims
Get a flu shot (and lots of hand sanitizer)
Upload photos from our recent trip (and post some so you can see the belly)
Plan a 10th anniversary getaway
Print 2007 and 2008 photos (and 8x10s of our Europe trip)
Organize photo albums
Assemble pack n play (or supervise assembly by M)
Go to childbirth classes (and remember all the pillows)
Attend shower thrown by my co-workers
Attend "new daddy party" thrown by M's co-workers
Get any other "stuff" we need (i.e. car seat)
Help M finish this blasted last semester before he takes time off "for the baby"
Interview pediatricians (or outsource this to someone else, because. . . ugh!)
Interview childcare providers (no getting around this one)
CHOOSE A NAME
Talk to doc about labor/delivery
Fill out FMLA paperwork at work
Convince my boss I'm really coming back from FMLA
Try and fenagle information about how large this baby is really going to be (and whether any newborn clothes/diapers will actually fit him)
Get my flexible spending account at work to pay for everything
Sleep, because this list alone is enough to make me tired

~Nichole

9.07.2009

New Not-so-Fave Thing(s)

1. Wicked bad heartburn that wakes me up almost as much as my full bladder does.

2. Swollen feet and sausage toes

3. Strange pelvic pain

~Nichole

9.06.2009

New Fave Thing

I don’t know exactly how it happened, but the other day I came across this book on the internet:

The Rookie Mom's Handbook: 250 Activities to Do with (and Without!) Your Baby

Intrigued, I added it to my Amazon book list.

Then, in a moment of trying to help L find something to do besides drive herself nuts while being freshly on mat leave and anxiously awaiting signs of the impending arrival of Baby S, I googled “rookie moms” and found their website/blog.

It’s my new favorite thing.

Enjoy.


~Nichole

9.04.2009

The Bestest Ever

I have the bestest husband/baby-daddy ever!

Witness:
~Exhibit 1: loves my pregnant belly/body and tells me how good I look and how he thinks I'm doing a good job providing a place for our baby to develop.
~Exhibit 2: brags to people how I'm still hiking canyons and kayaking at 7 1/2 months pregnant (making me sound like some sort of pregnant rock star despite my not feeling much like one).
~Exhibit 3: is consistently concerned with how the baby is doing/moving.
~Exhibit 4: is very in tune with the pregnancy, how I'm feeling, etc. (and is very much the anti-"checked out" husband).
~Exhibit 5: talks to (and kisses) my belly and says prayers of thanks for the baby.
~Exhibit 6: reads daddy-to-be books dutifully.
~Exhibit 7: lets me lament about my weight but doesn't bring it up when I eat ice cream.
~Exhibit 8: is excited about childbirth classes so he can support me during labor.
~Exhibit 9: goes for walks with me, even though we don’t go far or fast.
~Exhibit 10: when I tell him doc says our baby is chubby, he sends me an email saying “Thanks for the great news that you shared earlier. All that I think of is the word “Chunky”. That’s awesome!!!”

See?

The bestest EVER!

~Nichole

9.03.2009

Chunky Monkey

Today: 31 weeks and a doctor’s visit.

I did not have a sit-down with my doc about labor and delivery today. It’s early days yet and I don’t want to do a do-over if something changes. He delivers at my hospital of choice and I’m comfortable enough that the hospital’s philosophy and my doc’s philosophy will mesh well together.

Besides, this boy continues to lie transverse across the bottom of my belly like he’s chillin’ in a hammock or something. Doc says he should turn head or butt down by my next visit, but if he doesn’t, we’ll wait until about 36 weeks before trying to evict him from his comfy position. Basically, I told my doc that I’d like to do things “as naturally as possible” but that I know this baby’s been transverse since the beginning, so I’m leaving it up to the baby and whether or not he can/will need to be turned.

My glucose test was normal (phew!) and my placenta is not low-lying (double phew!), but apparently I’m carrying a “chubby baby”, which makes me feel only slightly better about hitting the 33 pound mark already and a lot better about not gaining anything this past week or so. They’ll recheck his weight at around 38 weeks and see what’s what. Not that I know what that really means – I suspect something about induction and delivering early – but there it is.

I see the doc every 2 weeks from now until 36 weeks, when I’ll see him every week and “we’ll talk about labor and delivery and options, etc.” at every visit.

I did have the shock of learning I owe about $400 for my 10% portion of the bill, plus my deductible. Then, toward the end of my visit I remembered this is exactly why I got a medical savings plan at work. . . yea!

A small victory, for sure! Another: went on a walk last night and did squats this morning. Woo hoo!

~Nichole

9.02.2009

Tradition!

(I hope that the title of this blog post has made an image of Tevye from Fiddler on the Roof pop into your head - and if not that the mention of it here has done the job!)

Out of respect for time-honored pregnancy traditions in my family (or just because of the inevitability of it all):

- I am apparently starting to look more and more like my mother.

- Our firstborn will be a boy, just like all of my siblings' firstborns.

- My feet are swollen, making my legs look pretty much like "cankles". (Why is it that the left is worse than the right today?)

- This baby will likely have a family name worked in somehow, just like all my siblings' kids.

- I can't think of any others right now because I need a nap!

~Nichole

9.01.2009

Big Bigger Biggest

I’m back from a week-long vacation in sunny (and hot and humid) San Diego. We went there expecting the mild temps of high 70s/low 80s we’ve become accustomed to, but unfortunately the infamous Heat Wave of the southwest did not pass over our beloved vacation city and we dealt with high 80s/low 90s and sticky humidity.

No matter, though. We didn’t let it bother us (too much) and stayed characteristically active. In fact, at one point I proclaimed myself winner of the Pregnant Woman of the Year award for having hiked down and back up a canyon to get to/from Black Beach. Then, we turned around and did it all over again, with gear this time, a couple of days later. I played in the ocean and wondered if the crashing waves sounded loud to the baby. We also walked A LOT. Like all over Balboa Park and all over downtown Oceanside and down the OB Pier. . . It felt good to walk. And since my hips (prone to bouts of stiffness whenever I sit too long) and legs (looking ever more chunky as I lose my ankles) are taking a beating, I figure walking should be my best friend right about now. Not to mention I’m hoping that keeping up with walking will help me transition to a walking program and eventually another C25k program pretty quickly post-partum. (Hey, a girl can hope!)

I slept so much better on vacation, and have been able to keep that up (for the most part) since we got back. I am increasingly tired and am just trying to go with it. Yesterday at lunch I lay down for a few minutes and took a nap. I’m already tired this morning and am thinking I might do the same thing today.

All week I’ve had what I’ve come to call the “post-breakfast blahs”. I’m carrying this kid so high that there doesn’t seem to be room for both my stomach and the food I put in it, so every day for a few hours after eating breakfast I basically feel like I can’t get enough air and like I’m going to fall over and/or pass out. All I want to do is sit and moan, but walking seems to help, as does water – both of which seem, according to the belching that ensues, to redistribute the food so that my lungs can keep functioning. Except this morning, when I felt blah and dizzy and lightheaded and like I just wanted to lie down and go to sleep. In fact, I have my fan on at work (a new staple) and had to put my head down for a few minutes. I also tried to remind myself to sit as straight as I comfortably can, since slouching just compresses all my major organs. Mornings like this are not my favorite, despite the fact that I felt good about trying to battle the chunk gathering on my hips with some squats as I put on my makeup.

Yesterday I read that this baby is about 16 inches long and weighs about 3 pounds. No wonder I can feel him all the time now! My belly sometimes seems normal size to me (when clothed) and sometimes seems huge (when bare). I can no longer see my feet over it and it’s tight all over and my skin is starting to feel stretched. So far, I’ve had no stretch marks (thanks to good genes and Aveeno moisturizing lotion, I think) and no linea negra – just a bare, white and kind of pretty pregnant belly. I’m trying to enjoy it while I can, because I know pretty soon it’ll protrude beyond what I would wish. And before long we’ll be playing “Guess that Body Part” and this baby’s bits and pieces will make disappearing trails under my taut skin. . . .

In the meantime, I’m keeping my fingers crossed for my poor friend L. They really shouldn’t tell you at 37 weeks that “you could go any time now”. . . Especially when you’re pregnant and ready to pop during record high temps that fall just before your due date! She’s trying to wait patiently, but she’s been physically and mentally done for 3 weeks now and her due date isn’t until this Saturday. She’s got a light at the end of the tunnel (or a ticking time bomb, depending on how you look at it) since they’ve given her an induction date of only 4 days (!) after her due date. We’re all hoping her baby girl decides to make her grand entrance on her own before then.

And I’m secretly hoping that I don’t become as uncomfortable as I’m fearing I might as I approach these last few weeks! (Cooler temps, hurry up and come already, wouldya?)

~Nichole

"May you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world." -Ray Bradbury