Preg Diary 1

May 28, 2008

Mum’s the word!
So it’s official, we’re having a baby! It’s all very scary and exciting at the same time. I’m in my 6th week, and it doesn’t seem possible that I’m halfway through my first trimester already. I’m feeling most of the typical symptoms of early pregnancy, but (knock on wood) not much queasiness yet. Let’s hope that continues.
We spent last night on the phone with our families telling them the big news. It’s killing me not to be able to say anything to my friends, but we thought it best to wait another six weeks. Longest six weeks ever! I’m starting on my prenatal vitamins tomorrow, and I guess I see the doc again in another month. I’m thinking I’m going to change docs — I’ve got a couple of recommendations I want to check out in the coming weeks. My biggest concern now is that James will get that job in DC he’s been wanting right in the middle of everything. But not much I can do about that now. Best we just wait, and handle what comes when it comes.

In the meantime, we’re both ecstatic I was surprised how elated James has been — in the months leading up to this, it was much more my idea than his. But now he wants to talk about it all the time. I think he’s the one who’s glowing, hee hee.

May 29, 2008

Spoke too soon
Ick, the nausea kicked in last night, and it has stubbornly stuck around for most of the day. My books says if you’re prone to motion sickness (I am), then you’ll more likely get morning sickness. It also says taking at least 10 MG of vitamin B6 can help, so I’m hoping that massive prenatal vitamin does the trick. Wish I’d known that sooner  — apparently it helps if you take extra B6 before pregnancy, too.

I’ve been good up until this week about riding my bike once a week to work. Not sure how that’s going to work out now — the ride is long and kind of smelly. Not exactly a good recipe for queasiness. I might have to switch to shorter weekend rides.

It’s been an especially hard week at work, and we decided to go out to lunch tomorrow. I about flipped when the girls suggested sushi, but thankfully one of my co-workers can’t stand the stuff, and I valiantly argued on his behalf to go somewhere else. Wonder if they’re suspicious — normally I jump at the chance for sushi.

May 31, 2008

Healthy Eating for Worried Mothers
Nothing like reading a couple of pregnancy books to make you a full-fledged hypochondriac. It doesn’t help that a good friend of mine had an eptopic pregnancy, and now each niggling cramp and dizzy spell has got me wondering. Fortunately, reason has prevailed so far. Just another five weeks or so until I’m over that first trimester hump — and then I’ll have a whole new bunch of things to worry about!

In the meantime, I’ve resolved to eat healthier and exercise more. I went to the farmer’s market today, and with the help of my new Green Bags, I’m hoping all this fresh produce will last until next Saturday. My nausea has almost totally disappeared, thankfully, so I should be able to stomach the healthy stuff. Another strike in my favor — the thought of fast food doesn’t sound appealing at all right now. Let’s hope that lasts.

Tomorrow I’m off to yoga class, and to break the news to my yoga teacher. They have a prenatal class there, but I’m not sure when I should start taking it. Probably in second and third trimesters when that belly of mine will start getting in the way.

God, I’m gonna get fat. So. Fat.

June 02, 2008

Prenatal Yoga is Awesome
Today I went back to my yoga studio and broke the news. Emily was ecstatic, and recommended I start prenatal yoga right away, which I could take in conjunction with basic and restorative. I decided no time like the present, so after my morning restorative class, I came back in the afternoon for the prenatal. The class was incredibly small, and of course everyone else was much further along than I was. But I loved the atmosphere — we all introduced ourselves, said how far along we were, and anything else we wanted to share. We did a mix of regular yoga, restorative, and special pregnancy and birthing yoga. She also gave us interesting tidbits of info. I really felt a connection with the teacher, Ashley, and because I’m starting this so early, I’m sure we’ll get to know each other very well by the end of all this. Assuming we stay in KC. I went ahead and checked out the programs offered at Willow Street, the yoga studio I was attending in Maryland when we lived there, and they had a ton of classes for expectant moms, moms and infants, moms and toddlers, and post-natal exercise. My only complaint about Willow Street is they make you buy sessions in blocks, and you have to attend weekly, rather than attending at your leisure. But as we can see, if left up to me, I’ll take several months off at a time!

June 03, 2008

James had news, and I had an emotional breakdown. welcome to motherhood.
Wasn’t feeling tip-top yesterday — the nausea has come back a little, now accompanied by persistent, after-meal heart-burn. I was so proud of myself picking up strawberries at the farmer’s market, but I’ve realized now that I don’t really like strawberries, and I think they contributed to the bad acid feelings.

I got home from work, and James tells me he’s got all this news. He said some jobs came open he wants to apply for — one at The Cave in Lee’s Summit (yes, yes, that’s fine), one in Winchester, VA, about an hour and a half outside of DC (ok, ummm, not really what I was hoping for), and one as a temporary instructor at their facility in Dallas, TX, which would last 90 days (WTF??!!). 90 days?! Is he kidding? Evidently he wasn’t, and that’s when I burst into tears.

Unfortunately, I’m not sure James quite comprehends what we’re doing here, and how much I need him right now. He back tracked a little, saying they might let him do 30 days, which is better, though I’m still not thrilled about. And he remembered there was another similar instructor job-exchange program that lasts 3-weeks, which I think I could handle. But it all depends on the timing — we both agreed that he couldn’t be away anytime after September. Surely he wouldn’t want to miss that 20-week sonogram! So I think we’ve diffused the situation.

June 05, 2008

Hangin’ in there
Not feeling tip top these days. Nausea is definitely increasing, and every night this week when I’ve gotten home from work, I’ve just wanted to take a nap. I had intended to make use of my yoga pass this week, but I haven’t felt up to it. I have been trying to at least take a 30 minute walk in the evenings when it’s not pouring (or tornado-ing!)

I bought a bunch of snacky, dry foods in preparation for all this unpleasantness, but I didn’t count on James munching on it all! Thankfully, he went to the store last night to replenish our stocks. Honeycomb really hit the spot, and quelled the queasy long enough for me to get to sleep last night.

I’m also trying a new method for fruit washing — I heard on NPR that the most effective way to get those nasty pesticides off of apples is to wash them in a mixture of vinegar and water. I was afraid that would make the apple skin taste funny, but so far it’s been fine.

Sad news — I found out last night my cousin, who was due at the same time as me, miscarried. These things happen, as I’m sure every mom-to-be tells herself. But I imagine the disappointment is immense. I’ve been paranoid the same thing is going to happen to me. I’m sure everyone goes through that. I do feel a little reassured by all of these strong pregnancy symptoms. As inconvenient as they are, I hope they keep up through the first trimester.

June 06, 2008

Learning to Listen to the Ol’ Bod
Yesterday I met my new doc, an obstetrician my friend Steph recommended. During our visit she went on a tirade about the greedy pharmaceutical industry, and I thought, “Yeah, right on!”. We got along like peas and carrots. She gave me a bag full of swag, including these funny vitamin B6 suckers for morning sickness (which seems to come and go. This morning I’m feeling just fine). She also advised me to listen to my body when it comes to eating. I’ll be going back for my first sonogram on July 3, where we’ll hear the baby’s heart beat. James is excited to attend.

Afterward I met my sis, who was taking Evie to the doctor for her 9-month checkup. I had fun entertaining a very wiggly infant while Jill got the 411 on new foods to try and methods for getting her to sleep through the night.

I met my friend Tiffany for dinner, to show her some Evie photos, and break the news. She’s been trying, too, so we’ve been keeping tabs on each other’s progress. She was delighted, but noticeably disappointed that she hadn’t been visited by the baby fairy yet. She’s set herself a deadline, which is coming up soon, but this will be her third kid, so I don’t think the pressure’s as great. Now here’s the part where I need to listen to my bod — fried food has not sounded very appealing to me, but it’s hard for me to resist TGI Friday’s chicken fingers. Big mistake. They didn’t make me sick, but I felt so fat and tired and icky after eating them. And I was even waking up during the night, burping fried chicken. Blech! Lesson learned.

June 08, 2008

Pregnancy discoveries
I decided last night I could really go for a hot bath. All the books say those should be avoided unless the water is under 100 F. That sounded pretty hot, so I ran the bath a bit cooler (pretty tepid, actually), popped in the thermometer, and watched anxiously as it rose, and rose, and rose to 102. Not quite sure what to do, I consulted James, who said, “Don’t boil my baby!” Not wanting to take a chance, and figuring a luke-warm bath was hardly worth the bother, I pulled the plug. Two degrees is probably no big deal, but my first trimester paranoia is not worth heightening.

Today I went to sushi with friends from work, taking care to avoid any raw fish. I decided to go ahead and tell them the big news — Lucy’s been wanting to go horseback riding, and I thought it best to fess up instead of inventing an excuse not to go. Between my back hurting and the nausea, don’t think I’d last long on a horse. They were both very excited for me, and it was a relief to tell them and stop worrying about hiding it at work. They’re the ones who would likely suspect, anyway — the two other guys on staff are clueless, I’m sure 🙂

So, in addition to persistent nausea in the mornings and evenings right before meals, I’m finding I’m also having a rather odd symptom: chills. My books mention goosebumps, which might be related. I’m also noticing that I’m getting a little, erm, thick in the middle. I had to buy a swimsuit — Jill wants to take Evie swimming at my pool in a couple weeks — and everything was thoroughly unflattering. I should probably get used to that.

June 09, 2008

Pleasant side effects
I had to buy a new bra this weekend because, as James kindly puts it, i got visited by the “Boob Fairy” LOL. Yoga’s been a little strange, feeling all sort of top heavy, but at least it draws attention away from my increasingly flabby midsection. And James seems pretty happy with the change, heh.

Another possible pleasant side effect — my IC symptoms have completely subsided. I’m not sure if it’s hormones, or if I’m just concentrating more on the other unpleasant feelings that come with pregnancy, but so far I’ve tried sour cream, mayo, and citric fruits with no ill effects. Hopefully this will last the whole nine months. It would be a relief not to have to worry about avoiding all those bothersome foods with all of the other dietary restrictions I’m trying to juggle. Course, I can’t say I’m exactly sleeping better — while I’m able to get to sleep just fine now, I keep waking up at 4:30 AM with the overwhelming desire to upchuck. I’ve kept a stash of Chex and oyster crackers near my bed, and so far I haven’t blown chunks.

June 10, 2008

Exercise = cure for nausea?
Last night I went to yoga class, and today I rode my bike to work. To my surprise, I got a reprieve from the waves of nausea I’ve been experiencing the last couple of weeks. My books say exercise can sometimes help, and I think it did the trick. However, not sure I can keep up the biking routine — while the morning commute worked out just fine, the afternoon ride just about killed me. Took me an hour and a half, in which I was lapped by several avid bike-riders, about half a dozen pre-teens, and, ashamedly, a runner. Mind you, he was sprinting. But still. The temp was in the low 80s, which usually isn’t problematic. But when I got home, my entire back ached, even worse than usual. And my arms were almost totally asleep, likely from my heavy back-pack. I think next time I’ll plan ahead and have James come pick me up in the Fit on his way home from work. I really like the morning rides, but the afternoons are killer!

June 12, 2008

Keeping Secrets
I am admittedly horrible at keeping secrets. Keeping my baby news from friends I see occasionally wasn’t going to be a problem, but I knew at work it was going to be a challenge. I was relieved to tell the girls last weekend, but now my boss is coming to town this week, and I’m going to have to work on keeping that foot out of my mouth. It wouldn’t be the end of the world if she knew, but I’m sure she’ll start pestering me about finding a maternity replacement and what I’m going to do when I get back, and I haven’t really planned that part out yet. She’s only here tonight and tomorrow, and she has quite a packed agenda, which will work to my advantage.

June 14, 2008

Foot in Mouth Averted
My boss had to cancel her trip at the last minute, and she won’t be coming back until late July, so no worries about spilling the beans inadvertently. I should be ready to share the big news by mid-July.

Today I’m off to babysit Evie all day, and to see first hand just what I’m getting myself into. We’re going to work on some baby sign language, watch a little baby einstein, eat some solid foods (which I haven’t gotten to feed her yet, yay!), and hopefully not struggle through our naps.

June 17, 2008

My Bad
Last night my friend Candi and I saw David Sedaris at Rainy Day Books. There were hundreds of people there, so it took us several hours to get an autograph. Of course, I couldn’t resist telling Candi my news — she kept bringing up these cool blogs on, and talking about mommy stuff in the hypothetical, and I had to get my news out! So we spent a majority of the night talking about that, which was uber fun, cuz she had lots of good advice.

It got to be about 10:30, and we were slowly making our way close to the signing table. My phone had died, and I thought about calling James using Candi’s phone, but usually when I do, he’s either annoyed I called and woke him up, or seems completely not worried. By the time I drove Candi home and got home myself, it was nearly midnight. And, d’oh, the lights were on, James’s car was gone (presumably out looking for me), and when I plugged my phone in, I retrieved a worried message from the hubby. I neglected to consider that, while husband James may not have worried so much, expectant father James was biting his nails wondering where I was and why my phone was off. I immediately called him, got him home, and apologized profusely for not calling. My bad, sweetie!

June 18, 2008

The Ever-Expanding Belly
I think I’ve found a new favorite mommy blog, Parental Discretion Advised. (Thanks for the link, Candi!) She perfectly captures my own dread of both gaining too much early weight and dropping the news at work in this amusing post. Thankfully most of my co-workers aren’t the belly-touching type, but that doesn’t mean that so-and-so I hardly know in “accounting” mightn’t go crazy in the lunchroom. And the new belly I’m sporting at my meager nine weeks now is surely much less baby and much more mid-meal snacking. I know I shouldn’t complain — so many people I know actually lose weight during that first trimester because they can’t keep anything down — but before this whole preggers thing hit, I was already heavier than I’d wanted to be. I had this whole plan, see, that I was going to lose all this weight and be fit, then get pregnant and maybe not get so unbelievably, jiggly-all-over chubby. But too late for that. And now my only cure for my on-again off-again nausea is to constantly graze. That can’t be good for my waist. Or my thighs. Or my chin. Ugh.

June 22, 2008

Food Aversions
So I guess it turns out I should be avoiding cold cuts. I could catch listeria, a bacteria found on cold meat and unwashed fruits and veggies, which can lead to bad stuff for baby. I been pretty good about the fruit wash, but I’m notorious for opening a package of deli meat and leaving it for a week before I make another sandwich. I must have a smart body, cuz I’ve had quite an aversion to turkey sandwiches, my lunchtime staple. I don’t seem to mind it as much when I eat at Goodcents or Subway, but as for store-bought lunch meats, I’m going to add them to the “avoid” list.

Another food aversion I was heart-broken to discover: garlic. For dinner on Friday I made a heaping bowl of filled pasta with sauteed mushrooms, zucchini, and chopped garlic. I took about three bites, and my gag reflex kicked in. Now the thought is just….revolting. And it’s usually one of my favorites! I’m hoping I can reintroduce it later when the nausea settles down. I have a feeling I’m making some assumptions here — in my mind, I’ll hit 12 weeks, and suddenly it’ll disappear. Let’s hope I’m not sadly mistaken.

June 25, 2008

Sick and Fat
Here I was thinking I was getting off easy. Yesterday morning I woke up in the wee hours and had to munch to stave off the nausea. But this time it didn’t really work. So I spent most of the morning heaving (thankfully with no results), and I went straight to bed until about 1 o’clock. I felt better in the afternoon, and so far this morning I’ve been relatively better (still feeling sick, but not THAT sick). Let’s hope yesterday was a fluke. Here I am between 9 and 10 weeks, and I thought this would be getting better!

And why, oh, why, do I already look so pregnant?! I went out with friends Candi, Maggie, and Ellen, and I’m sure they could totally tell. I had planned on telling them anyway, but still. This can’t be right. Candi brought me a tummy sleeve for when I outgrow my pants, and I might have to start using it next week! I see the doc in another week, so hopefully she can shed some light. Perhaps my math is wrong and I’m pregnanter than I thought. Or, here’s a possibility I refuse to entertain seriously, what if I’m carrying multiples? Highly doubtful — I think I’d be feeling sicker — but you never know.

June 26, 2008

Bad vitamins?
Feeling loads better today. Like, 180 degrees better. I’m thinking my vitamins are the culprit. My doc gave me a whole bag of swag at my last visit, including a metric ton of free vitamins, and I thought it wouldn’t hurt to sample them from time to time. This week I’d been taking a particular brand for a couple of days, and that’s when the awful heaving started. For the last couple of days I’ve switched back to my prescription, and here I am fully functional again. So functional, in fact, that I had a big, greasy, Long John Silver’s meal last night. I know. Bad mother.

I had this idea when all of this got started — my body is a vessel, and I should pack it full of nutrients. I went to the farmers market. I bought fresh produce, ate it raw and cooked it. Aaaaand that lasted about two weeks. Then the nausea and the incredible tiredness kicked in, and now it pains me to muster enough energy to even pour a bowl of cereal. Not that that should be an excuse — eating carrot sticks from the fridge would be even easier, but when I’m trying like mad not to lose my lunch, my body wants oyster crackers, dried fruit, and nuts instead. And sometimes, just sometime, a fish plank. With lots of tartar sauce. Mmmmmm….

Needless to say, if my upward trend in not feeling like I’m going to upchuck all the time continues, I’m going to buckle down and get back into my healthy eating routine. Knowing me, that will still include the occasional hamburger and french fries. But nobody’s perfect.

June 27, 2008

Pre-natal yoga + bad nutrition = 0 …. right?
In order to make my 6:00 yoga class last night, I had to dash by Panera Bread to grab a bagel and cream cheese dinner snack. I didn’t want to eat too much, but I knew if I saved dinner until 7:30, I was totally going to ralph all over my yoga mat. Hunger sated, I went to a surprisingly crowded class. I was also surprised to be the “youngest” by 8 months. Guess I’m the only one representin’ the 2009’s!

Back at home with James, I was on the couch, whining as usual:

Me: “I’m huuuuungry.”

James: “Want my bread bowl?” (He’s also gone to Panera Bread for dinner).

“Nooooo. I’ll find something.”

(a few minutes later)

“Popcorn and Oreos? Now there’s a healthy dinner.”

“Shut up. My doctor said if I’m sick, I shouldn’t worry about eating healthy, and just stick to stuff that doesn’t make my neaseated. Everything else we had sounded ick.”

“But popcorn and Oreos? I don’t think that’s what she had in mind.”

“I don’t know. She wasn’t specific.”

Ironically, after my Dinner of Champions, I felt so sick I ended up going to bed at quarter to nine, breathing deeply and thinking don’t throw up thought until I could actually sleep.

June 28, 2008

IC’s Back, Alright!
There were Signs, but I chose to ignore them. Instead I tested the limits with cream cheese, chocolate, mayo, peanut butter, barbecue sauce, sour cream, tomatoes — and last night I paid for it with a resounding “Owwwuuuuch.” I’d read on some of the IC message boards that some women experienced relief from their symptoms during pregnancy. I was hoping I’d be one of them. Apparently that was wishful thinking.

So now, Fun Time is over. On the bright side, a couple of Tylenol last night seemed take the edge off, enough for me to fall asleep, anyway. Between cravings and aversions, this is going to be challenging. But not impossible. There’s a lot I can still eat, and I can likely munch on some foods on the “bad list” as long as it’s in moderation and earlier in the day.

July 03, 2008

More friends in the loop
Yesterday I got to meet Mira, the newest edition to my friend Stephanie’s family. Very sweet, and so tiny! I’d forgotten how small and light they are at this age. Mira is only 2-weeks old, and looks just like her daddy. But I’m sure she’ll start to develop some Steph features as she gets older. I went ahead and shared my news with her and my friends who came with me — I figure at 11 weeks I’m probably safe. Today we’re going to the dr’s to hear the baby’s heartbeat. I can’t help thinking of that show Brothers and Sisters — one of the characters gets pregnant, tells all her family, gets all excited, and when she gets to the doc to hear the heartbeat, they find out the baby “isn’t viable.” I know that’s highly unlikely — plus, the character was almost 10 years older than me — but still, it’s in the back of my mind. I think after today, assuming everything goes well, this will all seem a bit more real. Right now I just feel kinda sick and fat.

I haven’t decided if I’m going to share the news with everyone starting next week. I had intended to wait until the end of 12 weeks, which would be the week of the 14th. But do I have that sort of self-control? Doubtful.

Oh, and too funny. So last night James tells me, because he’s coming to the doctor with me, if the doc has to do anything “down there”, he wants to leave the room. I was like, “Dear, you’re gonna have to get over that. It’s only going to get worse from here.” Poor guy doesn’t quite know what he signed up for, LOL.

July 07, 2008

Baby’s a-ok
Thursday’s doctors appointment went well — we heard baby’s heart beat, a whopping 172 beats per minute! And we confirmed there was only one in there, though sometimes it’s hard to tell this early. Amazingly, I only gained 4 pounds this month, even though it felt like a lot more.

The doctor said it was safe to share our news, but I’ve been a little reluctant to send out the mass email just yet. Work’s been really hectic, and I know I’ll be getting a lot of phone calls from friends. I’ve been telling a few people here and there as I see them, but I think I’m going to save the “big reveal” until the end of the week. Same goes for my boss — she just got back from a vacation, and she has a lot of work to catch up on. I’m sure this will warrant a 2-hour conversation with her, and I don’t think our deadline can handle that setback.

We spent July 4th weekend in Springfield with James’s family. Our little nephew Brady was so cute — we told him Uncle Collin and Aunt Amanda were going to have a baby, and he looked up at me, then down at my tummy, then back up at me and smiled coyly, hee hee. He’s almost 7. This will be the first little cousin Brady and Devin have, so that should be fun for them.

July 08, 2008

First trimester home stretch
So, yes, this is where fun time begins. I told everyone at work today about my, er, condition. Even told my boss, who I decided to inform because she was dashing off to a big meeting at the end of this week, and I thought my news might have some impact on things. She was very supportive, but kept the conversation blessedly short.

Next up, the mass email. It’s getting late tonight, so I’m thinking I’ll do a combo blog entry/big email tomorrow night. There’s still a lot of people I haven’t told, so this should be fun.

I’m officially at 12 weeks, and I’m ready to kiss this uncomfortable first trimester goodbye. All in all, it wasn’t that bad. Certainly not worthy of any horror stories. My nausea seems to be abating for the most part, and I’m feeling less and less tired every day. However, I do seem to be experiencing a new symptom: Round Ligament Pain. It’s very mild now — I only notice it when I cough or when I get up quickly out of my car. But it’s definitely there, and I’m glad I found some info on it before I got overly worried. I’m feeling less like a heffer and more like a pregnant lady these days. And that’s a good thing.

July 11, 2008

My friend Beck told me the other day that she has a friend who nicknames kids in utero by what their mothers are craving. In my case, my baby’s name is Queso. I can’t get enough of the stuff! When I just couldn’t manage to stomach a proper meal, queso and chips always did the trick. Anytime the staff wants to go out for Mexican food, I’m outwardly ecstatic about ordering Espinaca. Next time I go to the movies, guess what I’m getting at the concession stand?

Which left me pondering this scary thought…you know who loves nachos? Beavis and Butthead. That’s right, I could be carrying a little mindless, nose-picking cretin. Genetically unlikely, but you never know. *shudder*

oh well. My nausea has almost completely disappeared (finally!), so just keep on passin’ the dip!

July 14, 2008

Listeria Hysteria
I mentioned listeria before — it’s a bacteria that can grow on cold cuts and raw fruits and veggies. Bree over at parental discretion advised talks quite a bit about it, lamenting her daily cold cuts. I, too, had a habit of eating turkey sandwiches almost everyday, and have since decided to find alternatives. But last night James and I went to Goodcents, and the Penny Club really hit the spot. I figured, what are the chances? I was eating the rest of my sandwich again today at lunch, feeling a little nervous and guilty, and I thought, what really ARE the chances? So I did a little internet research.

According to the American Pregnancy Association, 2500 people contract listeria every year in the US, and 27% of those are pregnant women. So, that’s 675 cases per year. According to the same association, 6 million women get pregnant in the US every year. So doing my math….carry the one…that’s .01125% of pregnant women in the US actually get this infection. And of those women, some miscarry, but many catch it early, treat it with antibiotics, and go on to have healthy babies.

I also discovered that not only can this bacteria grow on cold cuts, but it can also grow on hotdogs and soft cheeses, including mexican cheeses like queso. So they recommend avoiding those, too. Say what? This is getting kinda ridiculous.

So, am I going to add turkey sandwiches back to my daily menu? Probably not. But should I feel guilty endulging in the occasional club sandwich, ballpark frank or tasty mexican cheese dip? Hardly.

July 18, 2008

Maternity for….men?
Jill gave me this Cuddle Pillow to help me sleep. It’s the kind you squash between your legs, and when the time is right, set your giant belly on top of. I’ve been using it off and on, but it’s not quite necessary for me yet. Last night I came into the bedroom to get ready for bed, and what do I see but James all cuddled up with my Cuddle Pillow. I think I laughed for about 5 whole minutes. Coupled with his propensity for munching on all my morning sickness food, I’m wondering now which of us is the pregnant one.

July 21, 2008

Four months now and….lighter?
So I was thumbing through The Book, and it said it’s a good idear to buy a scale to keep track of your weight. It’s not healthy to gain too much weight, and sometimes waiting for that monthly check-up and weigh in won’t catch it in time. So I got m’self some fancy digital scale at Walgreens (on sale, woo-hoo!), took it into the bathroom this morning, and stepped on up. I was expecting to be another 4 pounds heavier or so — according to the book, I should be averaging about a pound a week — and instead I was 4 pounds lighter! Granted, this scale may not be as accurate as the one at the doc’s. But could it be 8 pounds off? I’ve got another doc appointment next Monday, so I plan on weighing myself at home to see exactly how off this scale might be.

And, hey, if I am losing some poundage, or just keeping steady, who am I to complain? It’s certainly nothing I’m doing — I’m eating about the same as I used to now that nausea is completely gone, and only exercising moderately. My belly is definitely protruding, and I can feel it getting hard in places. Soooo weird. But no cute baby bump, unfortunately. When swimming with my sister last week, I sadly just looked rather thick in the middle.

As far as my other symptoms, nausea only persists if I don’t take my vitamin with enough food, I’ve got no more weird cramping (though that Round Ligament Pain is definitely getting worse), fiber is, well, incredibly essential right now if you know what I mean, I get a little dizzy from time to time, and today, I discovered I’m developing pregnancy memory problems. Hopefully my editors won’t get too annoyed with me.

July 24, 2008

Will we find out?
People often ask me, “Are you going to find out the sex of the baby?” To which I reply with a resounding, “Hell, yeah!” I’ve heard it said that there are so few true surprises left in this world, that it’s sometimes best not to know. But I beg to differ. And, thankfully, James wholeheartedly agrees. But what else could I expect from someone who can’t even stand to not know what he’s getting for Christmas? (He constantly badgers me until I tell him. It’s like I already have a child, lol.)

So, if all goes according to plan, we should know if this is a girl bump or a boy bump by the end of August. We will not be purchasing gender neutral onsies, decorating the baby’s, um, corner with gender neutral decor, nor leaving our baby names up in the air until the big day. We will know, and we will plan accordingly. If the first sonogram doesn’t produce results, we’ll spring for extra.

Probably the reason I’m so fervent is, unlike most couples at this stage in their lives, we have a lot of other surprises in store for us before baby gets here. Like, what job will James land this fall? Will we stay here or move to DC? Will we buy a house or keep on renting? With so much unknown out there, I’ll take what little I CAN know and run with it.

July 25, 2008

Medical records held hostage
I’ve never been terribly official with my medical records. Because we move so much, I found that practically every time I needed a doctor, I had to see a new one. I must have several years of medical records strewn across four states. But now that I’m in the “family way”, I thought it was best to start on the right foot. I went to my regular doc to confirm my pregnancy and get all of the standard bloodwork drawn, and when I decided to change doctors, I thought it best to get my medical records transferred.

And that’s where the trouble started.

Doc #1 wouldn’t just give me my records. I had to fill out a form and fax it in. Then call them to make sure they got the fax. Then I received a bill in the mail from a third party, who incidentally sent the bill to the wrong address, so it was waylaid. I called said third party, left a message. Called the next day, left a message. Called three more people who work for this third party, and finally on day four, I could pay my bill on the phone and they said they’d fax the stuff right over to Doc #2.

But the story didn’t end. Two weeks later I called Doc #2 to confirm they’d gotten my records and…no records. So, back to calling the third party and leaving multiple messages. The files were refaxed, finally received, and I did a little happy dance! Until I was told by Doc #2 that there was no bloodwork in the records they sent. That was the whole bloody point! Um, no pun intended.

Thankfully, Doc #2 sorted it all out, and they’ve got everything they need now. I’ll be going in for my checkup on Monday, where I think they’ll do baby’s heartbeat again, and do some more check uppy stuff. And I guess I’ll find out my blood type. Is that strange I never have known that?

July 27, 2008

A boy’s name chosen
We chose this name pretty early on, but it wasn’t until recently that we felt totally sure it was the right one for us. James suggested it, and I, umm, agreed. Below is an account of the conversation, for which I must preface that James’s favorite band is Oasis, and every time I hear Wonderwall played on the radio, I feel compelled to scratch out my eyeballs. Oh, and I’m an unabashed Star Wars geek. So, here goes:

James: “What about ‘Liam’ for a boy?”

Me: “Ick. Isn’t one of the brothers from Oasis named Liam? I hate those guys.”

James: “Yeah. But I was thinking more like Liam Neeson.”

Me: “Ohhhhh. Like Qui-Gon Jinn…..(gleam in eyes) A Jedi Master. Yeah, I like it. ”

When I went to look it up, it solidified our choice even more. Turns out Liam is an Irish nickname for William, a name we’ve liked for years now. I was on the fence about it because I didn’t like any of the typical nicknames, Will, Willy, Bill, Billy. So this is perfect. His name will be Liam James Fletcher. And he will love Star Wars, for sure (if I’ve got anything to say about it.)

We’re still deliberating on girls names, and we’ll see in a month if we even need them. I’m still hoping for a girl, and James, ever the waffler, has decided he’d rather have a boy now. Honestly, I’d love either one just as much.

Stay tuned for a girl’s name, if we can ever agree.

July 28, 2008

Houston, we have a problem…
James went to KU, I went to MU. James is an evil Rebuplican, and I am a gentle, earth-loving Democrat. So why should I be surprised that we have opposite blood types, as well?

Turns out my blood type is A-, and James’s is A+, which could complicate things for us. It’s called the Rh factor, and it only affects pregnancies where the mother is Rh negative (like me) and dad is Rh positive (James, ding ding). It’s definitely treatable, thankfully. I guess the concern is that if the baby ends up with James’s blood type, there’s a slight chance my body could create antibodies that would attack it. And there’s a better chance that I’ll create antibodies after the delivery that would affect a second baby. So, they’re going to give me a shot at 26 weeks, and if the baby turns out to have A+ blood, I’ll get another one right after the delivery.

Yes, shots suck, and they hurt, but I have a feeling that’ll be the least of my pain worries on the big day.

Other than that, everything at the doc’s checked out fine. Baby’s heartbeat was strong, 141 beats per minute. I thought I was at 15 weeks today, but it turns out I just hit 14 weeks yesterday. So instead of having my sonogram in late August, it’s going to be September 3rd. So long to wait! Hopefully with all of my work trips coming up, the month will go fast.

August 03, 2008

Yoga for two
Today I went to my weekly prenatal yoga class, and since Ashley was out of town, Emily, the owner of the studio, stepped in to sub. The class was very different, and I absolutely loved the change up. Ashley’s great, but I didn’t notice until now how routinely she conducts the class. It’s not bad my any means, but I miss the variety I was getting in my regular classes. I’m thinking once my work-time madness is over in late August, I’m going to start attending one of Emily’s restorative or yoga basic classes in addition to my Sunday prenatal. I’m feeling so good with this second trimester, and I think my body is craving the challenge. Plus, I love how Emily does individual extra stretches and adjustments with people in class. I was the only person in the prenatal class that Emily knew, so I was getting lots of attention. I forgot how much I miss that.

August 11, 2008

The time has come, that inevitable time, when my very fattest “fat” jeans squeeze in all the wrong places. Last time I went to Jill’s, she gave me a pair of maternity jeans, the kind with the elastic band sewn at the top instead of a proper waist. They were lowrise, meant to be worn under the belly, and Jill insisted that I would prefer that. Much more comfortable, she said.

So yesterday morning I decided to give them a try. Jill is a little smaller than me, so I wasn’t surprised that the jeans were a bit tight. But they were stretchy, and they seemed ok. Half an hour later, I was crying Uncle. I’d been lying on the couch, feeling the steady lower-belly squeeze, and when I stood up, I felt like I was sporting the biggest muffin top known to man. (For those not in the know, a “muffin top” is the result of pants worn too tight and too low on a flabby body, spilling said fat over the waistband). So, yeah, this clearly wasn’t working.

I grabbed my keys and headed straight to Old Navy. The selection was pretty piss poor — my choices were XL and XS — but I was delighted to discover that XS fit perfectly! The waistband was much longer, long enough to fit over the whole belly, which unlike my sis, I’m preferring right now. And if I change my mind, the band easily stretches down underneath, but more loosely so I don’t get that muffiny effect, heh. I also picked up a pair of black capris that should get me through the rest of the summer and early fall. And best of all, they were both on sale, half off!

August 20, 2008

Preggers aches
My crazy August is finally winding down — I spent one week in Washington DC working on a trade show daily, and another week in LA running around another trade show taking photos and working at our booth. I returned to work last Friday to a new computer, complete with all new versions of my design programs and Windows Vista. It’s taken me days to work out all of the kinks, but now I’m finally getting a little work done. And I’ve been spending every evening and some of last weekend working on one more freelance project that should be wrapping up by next Monday.

I think all of this work is taking it’s toll, specifically on my lower back. The pooch in the front is getting ever larger (though, surprisingly, my weight gain is still in check), and as a result, every time I bend at the waist even a little bit, I get twinges of pain in my lower back. It seems I must have had some precognition weeks ago when I scheduled a prenatal massage for tomorrow. Perfect timing.

August 24, 2008

Hey, wait, was that a kick?
For the last few days, mostly right before bed, but sometimes in the late afternoons, I’ve detected a little bit of weirdness going on in the belly region. Slightly bubbly, slightly butterfly-like, I suspect I’m feeling just a hint of kicking. According to all my books I’m a tad early (like about three weeks), but every pregnancy is different, and I have a feeling I’ve got a strong kicker on my hands. Or just gas. Hard to tell, lol.

August 27, 2008

Beeeg Changes
It’s week 18, and I’m noticing some sudden, balance-altering changes going on. For one, the tummy feels like it’s growing faster than ever, and all my weight has suddenly shifted forward. Feels like I’ve got a little paperweight dangling from my bellybutton. Getting up from couches and chairs is proving a bit more challenging, though I’m sure that’ll get worse. When I went to yoga on Monday night, I was instructed to look at my feet, and I had to lean over and crane my neck just to see my toes!

The second big change this week is the kicking. This kid is fluttering all over the place. I notice it more in yoga class and at night when I’m lying still, but it seems like it happens at all times of day. It’s a very strange sensation — in my books it says some women mistake it for gas, and I guess I can see how that might happen. But it’s definitely a distinct feeling. I can’t wait until the kicks are strong enough for James to feel. I keep calling him over to touch the belly, but he can’t feel anything yet.

Thirdly, and more annoyingly, I can definitely feel some pressure on my organs, mostly on my bladder. I have a feeling the next four months are going to be fraught with numerous trips to the bathroom, heh.

September 03, 2008

The second biggest day!
I could hardly call this the big day, but it still was exciting. James and I went in for our first (and probably last) ultrasound. We checked out baby’s heart, baby’s little hands and feet, baby’s face, and lo and behold, baby’s junk! Yep, we’re having a boy! Thankfully James restrained from doing his happy dance right there in the clinic. And now that I know, it all feels right. We love the name we chose several weeks ago: Liam James Fletcher. And my obsessions with Star Wars and dinosaurs fit nicely with a son.

All else was good, normal, and on track. Well, except for my weight. Technically, I’ve made up for not gaining any weight in my first trimester, but the doc would rather see me only gaining a pound a week. To my credit, my last appointment was actually five weeks ago, and due to the sudden drop in temperature, I was wearing way more clothes than last time. That’s gotta count for a few extra pounds, right? I’m also finding all of these little broken capillaries in my hands and on my chest, which the doc said was due to my increased blood volume. Interesting. And annoying. But allllll worth it 🙂

September 05, 2008

Mommy patrol
Last night I had dinner with friends Maggie, Candi and Ellen at Jose Peppers (mmmm, espinaca). Maggie has a one-year-old daughter, and Candi has an almost two-year-old son, so they were dishing out the advice. I had to plug my ears and pretend not to listen when they hinted at the uncomfortable post-labor things nobody ever tells you. (LA LA LA LA, fingers in ears) I don’t even want to think about the labor yet, much less all the stuff afterward. They were thankfully vague. Oh well, too late to back out now! Maggie brought me some maternity-wear — some of it very big, which I’ve earmarked for my later months, and some really cute brown pants that I’m already excited about wearing. Who knew maternity clothes could be so cute? Thanks, Maggie!

September 08, 2008

Kicking and punching and sumersaulting…
Liam has been on the move lately, and according to The Book, he’s been doing more than just kicking. Apparently things are rather roomy in there, and he’s about the size of a small cantelope, so he’s in there twisting, turning, and sumersaulting. At first this just felt like a little flutter, but this week, all of these little movements have become much more distinct. And uncomfortable. Mostly I feel him kicking in my lower belly (guess he can’t reach the ribs yet), but I swear he gets in a few good jabs right to my Girl Parts. Not. Pleasant. Guess that’s something they don’t feel necessary to mention in The Book, heh.

September 13, 2008

A Moment for Dad
Yesterday when I came home from work, I curled up in James’s lap to talk about our day, and Liam decided to be especially fiesty with the kicking. It didn’t take long for James to feel the kicks for himself, which marks the first time he’s felt them. All he said was, “Pretty neat!” but now every time I see him, he wants to feel the belly. He got to feel him once again today, and he came away all smiles. I have a feeling this is more than “pretty neat.”

In other news, the author of my favorite motherhood blog is also having a boy. She’s due just a couple weeks after me, so it should be fun to compare notes.

September 19, 2008

Shopping for Liam
Thursday night I headed to Jill’s after work, where I decided it was high time I start my baby registry. And who better to assist me than my sister, who has offered to give me so much stuff, I feel like I hardly have anything to register for. We decided to start online registries at Babies R Us and Target, and she helpfully pointed out the things she thought were the most useful, the stuff she thought I wouldn’t need or that she could give to me, and the stuff she wished she’d gotten herself. And now that I’m picking out high chairs and pack and plays, the fact that Liam will be here in four more months is truly sinking in. It’s really very exciting.

This morning I went to a half-off consignment sale with my friend Candi, who was shopping for her 2-year-old son. I picked up a couple of maternity shirts, an adorable dress for Evie, and a bunch of clothes for Liam. These are the first clothes I’ve actually bought for him, and again I felt that excitement that Liam will be here before I know it. I showed all the cute clothes I bought to James when I got home, and I think it was a bit of a wake-up-call for him, too. But in a good way — so far, he’s not freaking out. Yet.

September 23, 2008

Trading one ailment for another
First the good news. My IC symptoms have completely abated, even despite my thorough “testing” with numerous pudding cups, tomato slices, and carbonated beverages. I think the hormones finally kicked in, and I can expect some relief at least until little Liam arrives. I have no doubts my IC will return, but it’s nice to give the diet a break.

And now the bad news, I think I’m developing allergies. I’ve been sniffly and sneezy every night this week, and I’ve got to take benedryl (w/ doc’s approval) before bed so i can even breathe. Afrin is also on the approved list, so I’ve been giving myself a small dose in the morning after my benedryl wears off. I’m trying to limit my exposure to the medications as much as I can, only taking them at night when I need them to sleep. I’ve got a doc’s appointment next Monday, so I plan to ask her if there’s anything else I should be doing, or different medication I should be taking. I’m hoping once the weather turns colder the allergy symptoms will disappear.

So far I’m on track with my weight, though with our outing to Red Lobster tonight (endless shramps, yum!) and our anniversary dinner at Pierponts on Friday, I may find myself a tad over come next Monday. Oh well, I’m not going to sweat it. James’s job prospects are causing most of my worries these days, but even those aren’t stressing me out too much. I’m actually much mellower than I expected considering the raging hormones. Let’s hope I can keep the calmness up.

September 28, 2008

The Weight Game
I’m steeling myself up for another lecture tomorrow morning. I’ll be seeing the doctor again, and the inevitable weight issue will likely creep up. It’s hard to say exactly what the number will be — last night I was weighing a whopping 9 lbs more (I’m shooting for 4), and this morning it was down to 6 lbs. But with my IC symptoms held at bay, I’m like a kid in a candy store. Literally. James and I went to Red Lobster for Endless Shrimp on Tuesday. And on Thursday, I had dinner with Tiffany at Applebee’s, where I just had to order the Blondie for dessert. Friday was five expensive courses at Pierpont’s, including Creme Brulee, my very favorite. And last night we went to Five Guys for burgers and fries, which I can never resist. I was really on track until this week, lol.

I had a certain amount of pride my first trimester in not gaining any weight. But now I’ve sort of thrown that out the window now that my nausea is gone and my bladder can handle the sugar, soda, sour cream, eggs, and tomatoes. And with upcoming food-heavy holidays Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas between now and my due date, something tells me this is a lost cause. Plus, I really suck at healthy eating. It’s just not in me to diet — i go through phases at best. So I’ve decided not to stress. I’ll gain what I gain, I’ll make a point to go on more walks (which I’ve slacked on), and hope for the best.

September 30, 2008

Our perfect lil’ kicker
Doctor’s visit went a-ok yesterday. Looks like everything is progressing normally. And although I was 6 lbs heavier instead of 4, I didn’t get a lecture. So, yay! My next visit will be a more eventful one: I have to drink some sort of glucose concoction and get my blood drawn for my gestational diabetes test (which makes it sound like I’ve got a parasite rather than a pregnancy, no?), and I have to get a shot to guard against making harmful antibodies, having to do with my somewhat rare bloodtype (and the fact that James has polar opposite blood).

Today I’ve been terribly distracted at work. Everytime I hit save on a file and have to wait a moment, I look down to see the evidence of my son’s fierce kicking. You can really see it now — weird little bulges and bumps. And I can feel them even stronger now. I was cuddled up with James last night, and he could feel Liam’s kicks right up against his own tummy 🙂 It was highly amusing.

October 02, 2008

The Pregnancy Sweet Spot
Note to self: Week 23 = Pregnancy Sweet Spot. All of those symptoms I was complaining about before, the round ligament pain, the back ache, the leg cramps, even the allergies, has completely disappeared. Aside from this little basketball I’m carrying in the front, I’d wonder if I’m pregnant at all. Well, that, and all of the comments I’m getting from strangers, which for the most part have been nice. And even the well-intentioned-but-rude ones haven’t given me much distress. For the most part my emotions have been on even keel. I never thought I’d say this, but being pregnant is totally awesome! I’m eating all these foods I was depriving myself of before (mostly because of the bladder), my tummy can stick out and I don’t even care, and as cheesy as this sounds, when I’m walking around, I feel kinda special.

Yep. I could get used to this.

October 03, 2008

The baby registry
Last night I finished most of my baby registering, and I’m pooped! I was afraid the experience would be totally overwhelming, but I had three great resources that helped ease the pain.

First, I’d recently been to a baby shower where I was mentally taking notes on some of the gifts received. For instance, this Always Clean Pacifier, that snaps closed as it hits the ground.

Second, upon my friend Carli’s recommendation, I bought Baby Bargains, 7th Edition, which helped in choosing between the several features and brands on my bigger-ticket items. It prompted me to change my pack n’ play choice to the Graco. Since our plan is to have Liam sleep in that instead of a bassinet and crib for the first few months, we thought we should get the best.

Lastly, and best of all, I had my sister with me. Having just had Evie last year, she was an incredible resource of real-life mommyhood. I couldn’t have done this without you, Jill!

October 08, 2008

New Pet Peeve
Here’s something annoying that I bet all new parents face. And I’m guilty of it myself, of course. When someone asks me what we’re naming our son, and I tell them, the irksome, common response is, “Oh, yeah, I know so-and-so who named their kid that. I hear it’s getting popular.” I said this almost verbatim to one of my friends months ago, and I bet she was cringing. I know I certainly do. The last thing we as parents want to hear is that someone else has chosen our name, the one we agonized over, the one we thought was perfect, just for us. And it might just be me, but I hate the idea of naming my son something trendy. Unfortunately, that’s easy to do — it’s hard to know what’s going to be trendy until the year is over.

So, will there by three other Liam’s in Liam’s kindergarten class? Remains to be seen. In the meantime, I’m hoping I don’t have to hear that dreaded response anymore.

October 09, 2008

What is going on in there?
Liam’s just a kick, kick, kicking all day and night. The kicks are getting harder and definitely visible. But in addition to the jabs, I’m also experiencing this very disconcerting feeling, like I’m on a roller coaster. It happens mostly when I bend down and stand back up, but sometimes it just happens when I’m sitting here. I sort of imagine him shifting around upside down — that’s sort of what it feels like he’s doing. So weird.

October 12, 2008

Family Fun? Really?
So here I am at the Nickelodeon Resort in Orlando, where swarms of kids shake hands with their favorite characters, get slimed at the pool, and run around mostly unsupervised. It’s left me thinking — is this the kind of parent I’m going to be? I’ve never been to Disney World, and our family vacations mostly consisted of trips to see relatives. I don’t remember worshipping cartoon characters the way kids do today, and I’m certain my parents never bought all of the merchandising that goes with it (save for a few My Little Ponies and Care Bears). This whole place is just dripping in icky commercialism…and it makes me sad to think little Liam might buy into all this crap. I’m sure it’s inevitable — kids just love the Spongebob and Dora whoever, I’m told — but I’d like to think I’d encourage my son to use his own imagination instead of rehashing plotlines of obnoxious cartoons. Feels like I might be swimming against the current on this one.

October 15, 2008

Realizing my Limitations
Back in August I attended two tradeshows, and I felt fairly comfortable running around lugging a camera and being on my feet all day. But now at 24 weeks (or is it 25? I’m losing count), I’m starting to feel the hurt. On Monday I was doing pretty well with the walking, but then I was a little late to one of my sessions, and I had to sit on the floor. I was thinking, “Preggers ladies don’t usually like sitting on the floor, but I do yoga, I’ll be fine.” Ugh, not. My legs were in a constant state of numbness and crampiness, and my back totally seized up. I went right back to the hotel after the last session to recover. Tuesday I brought along my lumbar pillow (which was a life-saver on the flight), and it helped quite a bit. So did not sitting on the floor again. I’m sort of dreading my flight back today — I’ve got a layover in Atlanta, and I don’t make it into KC until 11 PM. Wish I could say this will be my last flight until Liam comes, but….well, more on that later.

October 21, 2008

Prenatal Massages = Good
I’ve been hard at work on my massage therapist’s brochures and business cards, so I went ahead and scheduled another prenatal massage with her last night. What a wonderful trade! I haven’t felt particularly achy, but it still feels great. I had to stifle a giggle when Michelle got to my abdomen — I swear, Liam was kicking her hand right back! He was quite mobile during the whole thing, but it was still relaxing. And it’s doing wonders for my stress levels. My yoga classes help with that, too. James and I are attending a special yoga birthing class in a few weeks, and I’m looking forward to learning some techniques to help calm me down on the big day.

October 26, 2008

Changing Doctors
The cat is now out of the bag. We’re moving to DC next month, which was the last thing I wanted to be doing. By my calculations I’ll be at 32 weeks, starting my eighth month. Yeah, not good. We could have moved earlier, but I insisted on spending one last holiday with my family.

Now I’m faced with the challenge of choosing a new doctor. At first glance, I found almost a dozen doctors that fit my criteria. But upon closer examination, I discovered that they all practiced in one of three different groups. I called all three, but only managed to secure one appointment when we’re in town next week. One said I had to have my medical records faxed over before they’d make an appointment (which given my previous experience, will likely go awry), and the other said I should fax my medical records, and the doc would call me if she wanted to take me on. Well, la -dee-dah! I couldn’t find any who, like my current doctor, had her own practice. Normally I’d be flipping out now, but my mantra of Don’t Panic seems to be doing the trick.

Delivering a baby is not brain surgery (or so I’ve been told, heh), and I’ve decided I’ve got enough to worry about without agonizing over this. The doc I’ve got the appointment with is the closest to where we’re looking to live, she was recommended by one of our potential landlords, and, honestly, how much am I really going to get to know her and the six other doctors in the practice before delivery day anyway? As long as they don’t have horns and fangs, I’ll probably just go with them. Pregnancy is just one step to a much larger part of our lives, and which doctor happens to be in the room at the time of delivery seems rather insignifant.

October 27, 2008

Pregnancy Retardation
Today I was supposed to take my glucose test — the one that determines whether or not I’ve got gestational diabetes. I even talked about it a lunch with my friends. But somehow it totally escaped me as I reached for some M&M’s as an after lunch snack. D’oh! It really sucks to fail this test — I would have go in for a second test that involves fasting, sitting at the doctor’s for three hours, and three blood tests. So instead I rescheduled for tomorrow morning. In addition to the three vials of blood they have to take to test for diabetes, anemia, and something else I can’t remember, I’ve also got to get my Rhogam shot because of my funny blood type. I went ahead and got my flu shot today, and on Thursday I’ve got a health insurance test for the new life insurance policy I signed up for. So another blood test. Yikes, lots of needles this week. Normally I would be freaking out, but after six weeks of fruitless acupuncture, when you’ve got needles sticking out of your ears, stomach, wrists, ankles, and face, you manage to get over the fear.

My doctor took my news of the move well. She even suggested I call the hosital late at night and ask the nurses who the best doctors are. Think I might try that this week.

October 31, 2008

Bad news from the docs…perfect timing
Not only am I iron-deficient (apparently, though I don’t feel the least bit tired), but I’ve also failed my first glucose test. Which means I’ve got to take extra iron supplements (ugh, and probably extra fiber), and I’ve got to go in for the monster 2nd glucose test. The one I was dreading. The one that takes 4 hours and 3 blood tests. Shazaam, I can’t wait.

Course, I can’t really deal with all of this stuff right now. Tomorrow morning James and I board a flight bright and early, off to DC for house-and-doctor hunting. We’re hoping both go well. We’ve got five or six house appointments, so surely we’ll find something livable. I’ve still only got one doctor’s appointment, but after doing some research, I discovered one of the OBs in the practice was named one of the best OBs in Washington, according to the Washingtonian. So that’s a good sign. I tried calling the hospital last night to talk to the night shift nurses, just as my current doc suggested, but I didn’t make it past the switchboard. Apparently they won’t let you just talk to these people, and she instead said I could use their physician referral service. I’m not sure how helpful that’ll be, but I guess I can give it a try. Stay tuned.

November 05, 2008

So many pills!
Just back from DC, where I settled on a doctor and a hospital in Silver Spring. The doc had nice bedside manner, and I decided to chance it that the other five OBs in her practice will be just fine, too. Two different people recommended this practice, which helped. I’ll start seeing the doc every two weeks starting in December, so I’ll probably get to meet them all at least once. I’m feeling much better now that this is all settled.

Last night I picked up my new meds, and damn, I’ve got a lot of pills to swallow! I’m trying this new iron supplement, plus a stool softener, then the prenatal and the valtrex for the cold sores. I’ve had some serious sinus probs as of late, so I’m also taking benedryl at night. I’m going to give Clariton a try today to see if it works better in the daytime. Ugh, glad this is only temporary. And I’m hoping I pass my glucose test on Monday — I have a feeling if not, I’ll be adding more pills to my list. And an annoying diet.

November 07, 2008

79 days until Liam’s due date.

73 days until Barack Obama, the first African-American US president, is inaugurated.

Interesting to think Liam might have such an historic birthday.

November 10, 2008

Shower, Shivasna, and Shots.
My baby shower on Saturday was a big hit! Thanks to Sandy, Jan and Jill for putting that all together. They made the cutest little bookmark invitations to go with my book baby shower theme. Everyone brought a little book for Liam along with their gift. We had a brunch, which was totally delicious. The shower combined my two favorite activities: eating and opening presents! Thanks to everyone who came and got me these great gifts. I’m starting to feel a little more prepared now.

Speaking of prepared, Sunday James and I attended our yoga birthing class at Darling. My prenatal yoga teacher, Ashley, taught the class, which we took with one other couple. It was really nice to be part of such a small class — we could ask lots of questions, and felt like we were getting the attention we needed. We came away with advice on how to use yoga poses, breathing techniques, and acupressure points to help induce or speed up labor, get baby in the right position, and help get me through my contractions. We’ve got a handy-dandy packet of information, which I’m sure we’ll be consulting closer to our due date. With all that’s going on with us, I’m sure we’ll need to refresh our memories. I’m glad James was attending yoga class with me last year — he has a good grasp of breathing, poses, and restorative back massages. He was so tender and sweet — I really picked a good guy to marry and have kids with. He’s been great through all of this, and I know he’ll be great in the delivery room when I need him most.

This morning I took the dreaded 2nd glucose test. The nurse at my doc’s office didn’t file my appointment, so I had to wait an extra hour and a half so the testing place could contact the doctor and get the approval. Then I had to drink the uber-sweet stuff, which was even sweeter than the last stuff, and made me feel pretty queasy throughout the whole test. Then I had to wait three hours, getting blood drawn each hour. They wouldn’t let me drink much water, so I was feeling horribly dehydrated, hungry and tired by the end. I wanted to go home and take a nap, but I knew I had a big project to finish for my boss, so I went on to work afterward. I felt worlds better after lunch, but still exhausted. Thankfully I was able to finish up early and head home. I should be getting the results of my test in the next few days. Here’s hoping I pass.

November 11, 2008

Good news on the health front!
My doctor called today, and I’m all clear on the gestational diabetes front. Yaaaaaay! And when I say “all clear,” what I mean to say is, “passed the test by the skin of my teeth.” As I understood it, there were two tests conducted, and if I had failed both, I would have had to start my annoying diet regimin. But I only failed one. The other I passed…by one point. Doc figured they set these limits for a reason, so she cut me a break. Thank you, Doctor Proverbs!

So, while I’m still being relatively mindful of my nutrition, my various going-away lunches and dinners, my birthday dinner at Bristol, the inevitable thanksgiving gorgefest, and christmas ham and fixings will remain blissfully restriction-free.

November 17, 2008

Sick and fat makes for an unmotivated mommy
I’ve been laid up with a cold the past week, and I have a feeling it’s worse than usual because of my pregnancy. I had to call my doc to make sure I was taking medication that was kosher, and I was a little surprised by the number of ok’d medications. I’ve mostly got draining sinuses and a nasty cough, so robitussin and sudafed are the two biggies I’ve been taking. I’m also trying out sinus irrigation, similar to the dreaded Neti Pot. It was pretty awful at first, sort of an emima for your nose, but I’m finding I’m getting used to it. It only seems to help for about 5 minutes, but I’m hoping once I’ve kicked the cold, it’ll work better. At the moment, unfortunately, Afrin is the only thing that seems to clear my nose for any length of time. I’ve been using it off and on for way longer than I should be, and I’m afraid I’m going to have to just go cold turkey soon.

My cough was really causing the most pain this weekend — literally. Normally a dry, wrenching cough would leave me with a bit of a sore belly, but because I’ve got 3 lbs of baby in there, I’ve got this terrible pain in my left side, and everytime I’m about to cough, my whole belly seizes up like a contraction. Thankfully the pain is more manageable today, and the cough is loosening. With any luck, I’ll be tip top just in time for the move. Here’s hoping.

November 25, 2008

An eventful week at the doctor’s
So I guess the doc was a little alarmed that my belly was measuring the proper size for 37 weeks….and I’m only at 31! Either the baby is too big, or I’ve got a lot of amniotic fluid sloshing around in there. She had me come in again this morning for another ultrasound, and it turns out I’ve got a little of both. Thankfully nothing to be alarmed about, but she is recommending I take my diabetes test again (bleh!). However, because I’m changing doctors, she’s going to leave it up to the new doc, so fingers crossed they decide this is no big deal.

So Liam is now 4 lbs 3 oz, and he’s sporting a mop of hair. Everything else checked out fine, and I got to take home another batch of ultrasound pics (that’s the head, right?). I’ll likely get another ultrasound in another month so they can check how things are progressing. It’s fun to get all of these sneak peeks!

December 05, 2008

The Big Move
I had resolved not to read ahead in my Book, only sticking to the chapters that pertained to the month or week of my pregnancy progress. Now I’m regretting that. Back in October when James proposed this move, I was feeling good. Great, even. But things have changed, and majorly. I hit that eighth month mark like a ton of bricks. You can read the details here.

Needless to say, things aren’t swell in third trimester land. I’m hobbling around the house like at 80-year-old, thanking the gods that my home office is finally up and running, and I don’t have to go anywhere for work. I was able to do a little yoga this morning, which definitely helped. I’d like to spend this weekend recovering, but there’s still so much to do to make this place livable. And so little of it I can really do, which is terribly frustrating. The only thing that gets me through is the thought that doing this with an infant would have been worse. Maybe not much worse, or only as worse, but that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

December 08, 2008

Feeling the ups and downs
After our shopping spree Saturday, James and I decided we really needed to get back to the unpacking. We emptied all of the wardrobe boxes and got all of our clothes hung up. James worked on clearing more of the living room while I found places for all of our bathroom stuff. Our old bathrooms had a ton of storage space in them, but these new ones have absolutely nothing. So we’re making good use of the linen closets.

By Sunday night, I was totally aching. I tried my best to sit down when I felt tired, which was often, but my back paid the ultimate price for all of the bending. Monday morning I gathered all of my yoga stuff, put on the CD Ashley made me (thanks, Ashley!), and did an hour of prenatal yoga. And what a difference that made! I ran errands at lunch today, and my back was just fine throughout.

Tomorrow I’m going to work on unpacking some of the boxes in my office — I’m in dire need of printer paper and my office phone — but otherwise we’ve decided to take it easy the rest of the week. We have the living room pretty much cleared out for the new furniture, and I’ve got help on the way for the kitchen tomorrow night.

December 10, 2008

I have hobbit feet!
Well, hairless hobbit feet, thankfully. Despite avoiding salt (eh, kinda), exercising (well, minimally) and doing certain yoga poses, my feet are becoming dreadfully swollen. I still managed to squeeze them into my Pumas today when I had to run errands, but it did not feel good to walk around on these giant sausages. My arches ache, and my ankles (or rather, cankles) are tender to the touch. I am putting my feet up when I’m working, but I think I’m just going to have to live with hobbit feet for the next couple months.

Speaking of bodily annoyances, I’ve diligently shmeared my belly with body butter and herbalife lotion since about week 6 in the hopes of avoiding the dreaded stretch marks. I’d check m’self out in the mirror, and it looked like i was doing a pretty good job. Or so I thought. James pointed out that I really couldn’t see what was going on under my belly. Upon further inspection, and with a gasp!, dammit, there are TONS of stretch marks all along the bottom left side of my tummy. That’s where Liam likes to situate his butt. Stupid baby butt.

December 11, 2008

The new Doctor
I saw the new doc today, and I actually really like her. She’s one in a six-person practice, so who knows if she’ll actually be delivering on the day I need. But that’s ok. I’m letting that go.

She looked over my records and suggested I have another sonogram next week before we decide if I should take my diabetes test again. My tummy was measuring just about spot on this time, so there’s a chance Liam just had himself a little growth spurt there. We’ll know more next Wednesday.

December 12, 2008

Eggs are Good
The doc, of course, told me I should be avoiding sugar, which I totally suck at. Ever since my IC symptoms have disappeared, i’ve been on a sort of sugar binge (which might explain the big baby, eh?). But I’ve resolved it’s time for me to do what’s best for my little one. That maternal instinct must be kicking in.

Every morning I eat instant oatmeal, which is just packed with sugar. It’s one of my favorite meals of the day, but I decided I have to let it go. I talked to Jill last night, and she suggested poached eggs over toast. And man, oh, man, I think we’ve got an usurper here for favorite meal of the day! It’s more of a pain to make, but it sure is tasty. Eggs were also on my IC “bad list”, so I’m happy to indulge.

December 15, 2008

Frustrated with my slowness
James and I both are, in fact. Things that would normally take me no time at all are taking me much longer, and I find I’m exhausted before I’m even finished.

Saturday I found a fabric store in Langley Park, a funny little shop run by this Asian lady that professed quite adamantly that my baby was definitely coming soon. Even after I told her the due date. She did guess immediately that Liam was a boy, so maybe she knows her stuff. I have a feeling Liam’s coming early, too, which makes it even harder for me to be so slow at everything right now. Every morning I wake up with a huge list of things I want to accomplish, and at the end of every night, I’m disappointed by how little I get done. It doesn’t help that James retreats to the basement every day, where he’s mostly watching TV. After my exhausting errands to the above-mentioned fabric store for curtain material and hem tape, to the CostCo for numerous items in bulk, to the Target for more house stuff, and to the Giants for much needed food, I was totally pooped. And my feet were the size of the dinner plates. I lectured James about pulling his weight, and he lectured me about taking it easy.

We met somewhere in the middle on Sunday — he made some noticable headway on the boxes in the basement, and I traded off making curtains and watching some shows I’d taped. James also hung drapes in the living room and bedroom, and as silly as it sounds, that made all the difference to me as far as getting things done. Now that the fishbowl effect is eradicated, this place is feeling more like home. There’s still a lot to unpack, but I feel like we’ve finally gotten over the halfway hump, and it feels more manageable now. Course, I’m ignoring the nursery for now — it’s completely full of boxes, and not even close to being put together. We’re saving that for Christmas.

December 18, 2008

We get another peek at Liam
I had another sonogram this morning. Liam is now 5 pounds 12 ounces, still in the 65%, but the doc thought that was ok. My fluid was measuring spot on, so she decided another diabetes test was unnecessary. Woo-hoo! I’m still limiting my sugar somewhat, just to make sure I don’t end up with a 10 pound baby. And i still have a feeling he’ll be early, but maybe only by a week. I see the doc again on January 2nd, this time someone else in the practice. In the meantime, James and I are going to settle on an insurance plan from his company and do some research on pediatricians. Ideally we’d like to have one chosen before Liam gets here, but we have enough to stress about right now, I’m not going to kill myself trying to make this goal.

Tuesday night I attended a breastfeeding class, and I feel much better about this. I’ve heard many horror stories from friends and family, but I now feel equipped to handle the challenges and I have the tips and tricks to get this to work. I had a Yoda moment when the instructor said that no one says they’re merely going to try bottlefeeding like they say they’re merely going to try breastfeeding. Do or Do Not, there is no Try, lol. I’m committed to doing this, and I’ve got lactation consultants and another class I can attend after Liam’s born that can help me out. I also found out there’s a mommy group through the hospital I can join, and they meet just up the street. We could totally walk when the weather warms up. And this will hopefully be a good resource for day care, which I haven’t even really thought about yet. In an ideal situation, I would be doing that now, but I’m so behind on getting the nursery done, finding a pediatrician, and just getting the lay of the land, I’m going to save this for later.

Sunday James and I are touring the hospital. This is all becoming very Real. Liam’s head was down in the sonogram, good sign. And apparently on my next visit they’ll be checking for dialation. Yowza.

December 22, 2008

Hospital Tour
Sunday James and I went on a tour of the maternity ward at Holy Cross Hospital. All the rooms are private, and it all looked fine to me. It was nice to go over the basic procedures, from where to check in to where I’ll be spending my 48 hours after Liam is born. It also got me nervous. This is happening, and soon. My sister labored incredibly fast, and while my mom was in labor with me for 10 hours, she was only in labor with my sister for a few. No telling how I’ll be, but I’m preparing myself for either a very short or dreadfully long, painful experience. I’ve got a yoga ball at home, and one at the hospital I can use, and I’m hoping all of this prenatal yoga I’m doing will help with all the prelabor stuff. I’m far from a martyr, so I plan on getting the epidural as soon as I can. Planning, heh. I’m sure I’ll look back at that word and laugh when this is all over.

In the meantime, we still have to get the nursery put together, order the rest of our stuff from our registry, get a loaner rocker until our actual rocker comes in, install the car seat, and put together the pack and play in the bedroom in preparation for the big day. I know I should be trying to enjoy this quiet time before the storm, but I’m so big an uncomfortable right now, I suspect I’ll just want to to get this over with starting at week 37. I might have to try some of the accupressure points I learned about in my yoga birthing class that help bring on labor. James and I can’t wait to meet this kid!

December 30, 2008

Liam is here!
Wow. I don’t believe it. We’re actually parents.

Friday we’d set aside time to put together the nursery, but my back hurt so bad, I had to camp out on the couch. James got the dressers from Ikea put together, but because I couldn’t help much, we left all of the boxes packed and crib unfinished. We figured we had plenty of time to get things in order. Boy, were we wrong!

Friday night my pain worsened, despite all of the yoga tricks I did. I was up all night doing cat-cow and child’s pose in the bed, as it became apparent to me that I was having back labor — usually a symptom of the baby’s head being flipped on his back instead of face down. I started timing things around 3 AM, and around 6 AM, contractions were about 5 minutes apart. I was only 35 weeks along, so I hadn’t even talked to my doctor about when to call her. I consulted “The Book”, and figured this was all probably false labor, but better safe than sorry. The doc on call said I should go in, but that they’d probably send me home.

But no, this was really happening. We never did have an official bag packed. Or a birth plan. Or any idea this would be happening this soon. But it all worked out just fine. We got there at about 7 AM, my water broke around 10, and I was ready to push around 2. They asked me if I wanted an epidural, and I answered a resounding hell yes! I pretty much got it as soon as I could, and so glad i did. By the time they were starting it, my contractions were really bad. Back labor totally sucks. But epidurals….ah yes, that was nice. The only downside I experienced was it was hard to figure out the pushing part without being able to feel anything. After about half an hour, they turned off the epidural and started me on Pitocin. It was still a challenge, and my back started hurting a lot, but the contractions were managable, and I still couldn’t feel a whole lot. Thank god, too — Liam was considered a premie, but at 7 lbs, he was the biggest one I’d ever seen.

James was amazing. He was nervous about all the “gross stuff”, but he stepped up admirably, and I’m sure got more than he bargained for in ickiness. But it was all worth it to go through this experience together. To see Liam cry his first cry, and know that, despite the doctor’s concern and the fact the NICU was on standby, he was perfectly healthy.

By 6 PM we were all settled in our postpardum room. Liam mostly slept, and when it came time to nurse, he was a pro. I had a feeling he’d be an eater. And he’s quite the kicker. As much as he kicked me in utero, I’m not surprised.

James stayed the night with me the first night, and we both jumped at every little grunt, hiccup, and noise Liam made. James kept running over to the basinet to make sure everything was ok. Hilarious. Sunday night I sent James home so he could set up the Pack N Play in our bedroom and get things in order enough for the first couple of days at home. I’m glad he was able to sleep some, but I wished he’d stayed Sunday night, too. Liam wouldn’t sleep in his hospital basinet, instead wanting to be held at every moment. By 6 AM, I was totally exhausted, so when the nurse came in to weigh him, she blessedly offered to take him for a couple of hours so I could sleep.

We met with several people before we left — a lactation consultant, someone from the Baby Steps program, and some other gal from Montomery County who offers a free service for new moms to help them with any problems they experience along the way. It’s nice to know we have all of this help, since family is so far for us now.

We had a lot to do when we got home — find a pediatrian, get our insurance worked out, contact my work about starting maternity leave. But that’s all done now, and today we’re just enjoying our little bundle. Check back often for updates. Everyday is new and exciting for us.


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