Tuesday, December 22, 2009

33 week Birth Center Appt!

Autumn is rockin and rollin! Met with "S" today. She was the last midwife I had yet to meet. She's not timid. She's got this attitude that's somewhat unpleasant and doesn't make me feel all "happy and cheerful" around, but it doesn't put me off. She REALLY reminded me of a few friends that are really cool people, but have "tough" attitudes and sometimes I just can't stand to be around, but most of the time I don't care. She's definitely no nonesense and I'd be cool with her being my midwife if that's the way things worked out.

I lost 2 lbs. ::GASP!:: Lol! Just another reason I LOVE the birth center...they didn't really care. I know some doctors would probably freak the heck out if a preggo woman lost 2 lbs at 33 weeks. But, hoenstly? There's simple explanations. 1 - my last visit was in the morning so I was bundled in jeans and a huge, heavy sweatshirt when most of the time my visits have been in light clothing, 2 - b/c the last visit was in the morning i was likely still retaining all my morning water weight and what not compared to everything that's already been flushed out by 230pm and 3 - it was RIGHT AFTER THANKSGIVING! I mean sheesh - 8 lbs in 3 weeks? The turkey, stuffing, and PIE had something to do with all that weight! Obviously I have not been eating like that consistently since my last visit and I've been more active since then. SO, a 2 lb weight loss? Not a big deal!

Also, Autumn has been active enough for me not to worry. AND she's measuring TWO WEEKS ahead! That's right. Belly measurement is at 35cm. Two weeks ago it was 31cm. She's gone 4 cm in 2 weeks...what could cause this? Oh, let's be the nice midwife who says, "It could just be her positioning today." Yea...I doubt that. Considering everyone who has seen me in the past week says my belly has gotten HUGE, I'm thinking this isn't a positioning thing...this is...I'm having a big baby. Or she is coming early. Or both. FUN!

They're not worried about me going away for the holidays. I've been given a copy of my records just in case something happen while we're up there, but we should be fine. I have to get out of the car every 2 hours to walk and stretch.

Next appt is in two weeks! And that's about that. Here are the overal quick stats:

Belly Measurement: 35cms
Weight: 158lbs
Heartbeat: 140s bpm
Position: still HEAD DOWN!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

And from Autumn...


BEARY CHRISTMAS!


i LOVE this onesie. It came in one of the tons of bags of clothes I got from a friend. Her daughter just turned one in early Dec, so Autumn will fit a lot of the same clothing. Unfortunately, Autumn won't be here in time for Christmas (which is a good thing!), but she'll definitely be too big for this next year. SO...I decided to dress Autumn while still in-the-womb. I think she looks awesome, don't you?! She's made this year so special for us and our friends and family and we're so lucky to have such a wonderful blessing in our lives!


32 weeks 3 days pic:o)

My arms look fat. They're not...bad shadows;oP

Friday, December 18, 2009

32 weeks...getting interesting!

Things have changed so much in the past week!

Physically, things are getting harder. As of last night I suffered the most severe heartburn at 3am and it was trying its best to make me sick. Also, from 7pm until I went to bed I had consistent Braxton Hicks. I've had them almost my entire pregnancy, but these didn't go away last night - constant pressure in my abdomen. They aren't painful, but they take a lot out of me physically. The only way to relieve some of the pressure was to squat in front of the couch and bend over the cushions. At one point, since this was all new to me, I thought...am I going into early labor? Do I need to make a phone call? But I figured if that was true it would only get worse, I'd know soon enough, so I might as well just wait out. And there's MORE...after the 3am issues with heartburn that I had me gettin gout of bed every 5 minutes, I woke up a few hours later with chest pain. The baby is low AND kicking the crap out of me, but apparently that's also affecting my lungs and chest, so I feel this constant pressure in my chest like someone is sitting on me. It's fabulous. Really. I'm having a great time:oP

Emotionally, I'm up and down. I'm thrilled school is done. However, other non-baby things have been going on that stress me out. Baby-related though, I'm GREAT! I keep seeing these beautiful babies (especially girls) and I'm so ready to meet Autumn. I saw this little baby girl today who was SO cute and SO quiet being carried around by her grandpa and I thought "I can't wait to see my Daddy holding my little girl!" It was so beautiful that I'm so ready to see it for my own eyes. I'm ready to give birth - I know that sounds crazy. But I'm ready for this special moment for me and Shawn, together! I'm just SO excited for this little girl and I'm so in love with her that I wish it was February 10!

So today is my last day of work until Jan. My next dr's appt is next Tuesday. Wednesday night we'll be leaving for NJ. Christmas will be all sorts of fun & craziness. Giants game (gosh, I'm going to FREEZE!) is Sunday. And then I'll have a whole week of relaxation before returning to work. And then it's just chilling out for a month until Autumn decides to arrive. It's crazy how fast it went, but I wouldn't change anything...except the heartburn, lol!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

PPD article from my Bradley class

Can I just say how awesome my Bradley instructor is? I mean, she goes beyond teaching the basics and takes time to send out e-mails on interesting articles she has read and deems relevant. Totally cool!

So, here's a copy from what she sent in regards to post-partum depression & fathers.


From the New York Times, 12/07/09
Postpartum Depression Strikes Fathers, Too
By RICHARD A. FRIEDMAN, M.D.
The pregnancy was easy, the delivery a breeze. This was the couple’s first baby, and they were thrilled. But within two months, the bliss of new parenthood was shattered by postpartum depression.
A sad, familiar story. But this one had a twist: The patient who came to me for treatment was not the mother but her husband.
A few weeks after the baby arrived, he had become uncharacteristically anxious, sad and withdrawn. He had trouble sleeping, even though his wife was the one up at night breast-feeding their new son. What scared her enough to bring him to my office was that he had become suicidal.
Up to 80 percent of women experience minor sadness — the so-called baby blues — after giving birth, and about 10 percent plummet into severe postpartum depression. But it turns out that men can also have postpartum depression, and its effects can be every bit as disruptive — not just on the father but on mother and child.
We don’t know the exact prevalence of male postpartum depression; studies have used different methods and diagnostic criteria. Dr. Paul G. Ramchandani, a psychiatrist at the University of Oxford in England who did a study based on 26,000 parents, reported in The Lancet in 2005 that 4 percent of fathers had clinically significant depressive symptoms within eight weeks of the birth of their children. But one thing is clear: It isn’t something most people, including physicians, have ever heard of.
At first, my patient insisted that everything was just fine. He and his wife had been trying to conceive for more than a year. He was ecstatic at the prospect of fatherhood, and he did not acknowledge feeling depressed or suicidal.
Suspicious of his rosy appraisal, I pushed a little.
It turned out that he had just taken a new high-pressure job in finance six months before the birth of his son. Though he was reluctant to admit it, he clearly had more than a little concern about his family’s financial future.
And he was anxious about his marriage and his new life. “We go out a lot with friends to dinner and theater,” he said wistfully, as I recall. “Now I guess that’s all going to end.”
He had spent the nine months of pregnancy in a state of excitement about being a father without really registering what a life-transforming event it was going to be.
Unlike women, men are not generally brought up to express their emotions or ask for help. This can be especially problematic for new fathers, since the prospect of parenthood carries all kinds of insecurities: What kind of father will I be? Can I support my family? Is this the end of my freedom?
And there is probably more to male postpartum depression than just social or psychological stress; like motherhood, fatherhood has its own biology, and it may actually change the brain.
A 2006 study on marmoset monkeys, published in the journal Nature Reviews Neuroscience, reported that new fathers experienced a rapid increase in receptors for the hormone vasopressin in the brain’s prefrontal cortex. Along with other hormones, vasopressin is involved in parental behavior in animals, and it is known that the same brain area in humans is activated when parents are shown pictures of their children.
There is also some evidence that testosterone levels tend to drop in men during their partner’s pregnancy, perhaps to make expectant fathers less aggressive and more likely to bond with their newborns. Given the known association between depression and low testosterone in middle-aged men, it is possible that this might also put some men at risk of postpartum depression.
By far the strongest predictor of paternal postpartum depression is having a depressed partner. In one study, fathers whose partners were also depressed were at nearly two and a half times the normal risk for depression. That was a critical finding, for clinicians tend to assume that men can easily step up to the plate and help fill in for a depressed mother. In fact, they too may be stressed and vulnerable to depression.
And there is the child to think about. Research has clearly shown that maternal postpartum depression can impair the emotional and cognitive development of infants. A father could well buffer the infant from some of the adverse effects of maternal depression — but that is a tall order if he too is depressed.
Dr. Ramchandani, who also followed children for three and a half years after birth, reported that they were affected differently depending on which parent was depressed. Maternal postpartum depression was associated with adverse emotional and behavioral effects in children regardless of sex; depression in fathers was linked only with behavioral problems in boys. (The study did not report on possible effects when both parents were depressed.)
As for my patient, he recovered within two months with the help of psychotherapy and an antidepressant. Afterward, he summed up the situation in just 10 words: “And I thought only women get this kind of thing.”
All too many doctors think so too.


Richard A. Friedman is a professor of psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

GOOD GIRL!!!!

What an awesome checkup! I loved having my sister-in-law with me. It was so awesome to show someone in the family what Shawn and I have been doing the past 31 weeks. After the visit we re-toured the birthing rooms, so I have a fresh idea of which room(s) I prefer and it makes me look forward to the birthing process that much more. We also went into the boutique, which is always fun with female family member - just ooohing and aaahing over the cute baby stuff.

The visit was with "J." Shawn & I briefly met her our first visit, but the majority of our checkup was with a student midwife, so "J" wasn't with us very long. My initial impression of her was...unpleasant. Kinda bitchy. This time around she had a more pleasant attitude, but she's took quiet for my liking. And her handshake was the WEAKEST EVER...and I'm just not a weak-handshake kinda girl. Sorry, but weak handshake = you are NOT strong enough to be helping me deliver a baby. This isn't some pansy thing we're going through - I need a strong, tough attitude, "let's get this baby out" kinda person and she's just not it. Seriously...if she's our midwife when the time comes she won't be in our room very much because I just don't feel confident with her. She was far from unpleasant...very sweet, VERY quiet, and answered all my questions...just not "man enough" for my labor, IMO!

Stats: 31 cms = RIGHT ON TIME! HEAD DOWN!!!!! (awesome news...although she can go back and turn again, once they're really head down the chances for them moving out of place is unlikely and she seems pretty comfy, so I'm hoping she stays this way). HB in the 150s.

And then there's weight.....I was 152 lbs (total of 19lb gain) last visit on Nov 19. I'm supposed to be going every 2 weeks, BUT due to scheduling issues this visit was 19 days later...almost 3 weeks. With Thanksgiving in between, need I remind you! And I gained 8 lbs!!!! LOL!

So, I'm 160 lbs. With a big bulky sweater and jeans at 930 in the morning after a bowl of cereal and coffee. Normally I have barely had lunch or it's later in the morning and I wear more loose clothing...so this 160 number...not final in my book:oP

Either way I'm not unhappy. 160lbs means 27 lbs total gain in 31 weeks. I'm okay with that, I'm still on target...and I don't look fat, so who's complaining?! Baby's happy. I'm happy. And yes...I will probably eat just as much pie come Christmas time:o)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Taking a Break

I'm calling a "time-out" so I can pay attention to my blog. I haven't updated in a few weeks with anything substantial. This week we'll be 31 weeks pregnany...which means...6-9 weeks left! I'm actually really calm over this realization, which makes me worried. In no way am I prepared, but I also look at it as "hey, who ever is 100% prepared for a child being brought home into their life?! You're about as well off as anyone else, so suck it up buttercup and let the good times roll!"

Classes are out, but I still have 1/4 of a paper to write and 2 final exams to take in the next week and a half. I'm completely slacking on the studying effort...and I really don't care. I had the most relaxing weekend in awhile. No homework to stress over. I spent Friday night with my wonderful hubby who made an awesome dinner and then we went out til 12:45 AM! WOW! I spent Saturday cleaning and cooking. And yesterday I chilled out, took a nap, and hung out at the in-laws to watch football.

Besides some tidying here and there, there isn't a whole lot more I can do to prepare for Autumn's arrival until after my shower. Money is tight and Christmas is upon us, so spending money on stuff for her will just have to wait:o( We'll see what we get from our friends & family for the shower and from there we'll pick up the essentials. The house is a disaster, despite my efforts to tidy, because the Christmas stuff came in and has exploded all over the living room. Fab.u.lous.

Tomorrow is another check up, but since Daddy has to work Autumn's awesome Aunt Tara is tagging along for the ride. I'm hoping they'll let me give her a tour of the birth rooms, since I'd also like another review before we go into labor. Childbirth classes start up again, which we haven't had in two weeks due to one absence and the holiday week.

OH! I've already started to go into paranoid/proactive mommy mode. I'm contemplating having testing done on our water, since I'm 99% sure we have lead/copper pipes. Friends of ours had this same issue about a year ago before they moved to FL - they only found out because they recognized their son having developmental problems at a young age and it was due to his exposure (bathtime & tap water for drinking/cooking) to lead. They had no idea their house had lead soldering used on the pipes and so I need to talk to the hubby and figure out how to test and what to do if testing shows anything. A part of me thinks I'm being paranoid. And another part of me says it will be a serious issue IF the testing results come back too high. If they're moderate I'll be okay, but I'm worried about high test results.

I'm making lists of stuff that needs to get done or that we still need to buy. And then I throw the list out. Because 1) it will never all get done and I'll start getting frustrated with it all or 2) I'll never be able to list every little thing I need....I just need to realize that if it's important it will get done and if it doesn't get done, then it obviously wasn't that important!

And that's about it. Looking forward to tomorrow's appointment - hoping we have a head down little girl!!! Stats to come tomorrow afternoon!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

While I slumber...

I woke up this morning around 4am, 5am, and then 6am when the alarm went off. Each time, I rolled over, snuggled into the pillow and felt Autumn happily moving around in there. It made me smile. She has no idea it's nighttime. I really shouldn't have been surprised - her favorite time to be active is when I'm resting. But it just hit me - as I'm sleeping and catching up on my rest, she just swims around and continues to do her growing thing. That's so cool! When I wake up in the morning and feel like my belly is just a little bit bigger, it's because it is! Because while I slumber, God is working a miracle inside my belly that we'll never fully comprehend the "hows" and "whys" of.

Some people only get to sleep and dream at night. Preggos are making dreams come true!

Monday, November 23, 2009

When a man ain't around...

Things can still be accomplished. Are they installed correctly? No. Will they ever tumble out and bonk Autumn on the head? Unlikely. Do they look nicer than a closet full of crap? YES! Therefore, it's awesomeness all around!!!

As of last week they weren't even completely painted. One still only has one coat, but I'm lazy, I can't tell the difference, and it's good enough to make me smile - so we'll call it "done." I need a nail gun to install the handles and I don't know where hubby's is, so it'll have to wait til he gets home. I know there will probably be some criticism because it isn't perfect, but it's the first time this closet has had doors since we moved in - 3 years ago! So...I don't care what anyone says. I'm happy!!!!!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Car safety

Link to story HERE

1 - yes, I'm bias. I have a Toyota & I love it. It's an older model, so I admit I know nothing about 2010 models, but I've had Toyotas for most of my driving life and love them.

2 - I do believe Toyota should have paid attention and gone ahead and "flagged" which cars they wanted tested if they were told ahead of time that not every car would get tested

BUT I do have some issues with this system:

1 - if ever car is NOT tested, then there very well could be cars out there that are safer than the ones listed, but no one would know otherwise because they didn't have the "time" to test them

2 - the reason they have a time constraint this year was because of the ONE new safety test (roof strength) that they added. If ONE test is going to put you on a time constraint, either don't add it until you have enough time to make sure all models can be tested OR hire more people (it'll be good for the economy) to get the job done on time and test all the vehicles

3 - the new test is for roof strength and surprisingly a boat-load of SUVs made the list. I'm not saying regular cars don't flip over and shouldn't have decent roof strength, BUT SUVs have more of a tendency to flip over - their center of balance is way different than a regular mid-size or compact car - so I would expect them to be made differently in regards to roof strength. I think the test is a little biased towards SUVs.

But that's just my opinion. For now, Autumn and I are sticking with our Toyota.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

28 week update!!!

Like I said yesterday, we're going to stick with the Birth Center's scale. It's not digital, it's the "old fashioned" slider scales that the midwives say is actually more accurate - digital scales can change everytime you get on one! So, here's the updated info on Autumn & Mommy!

Weight - 152 lbs; up 4 lbs from the last visit - up total 19 lbs!
HB - 150s - healthy & strong
Position - she's working her way to being head down or may be there already. We'll find out at our u/s on Saturday.
Movement - constant, which is a wonderful thing!
Belly Measurement - exactly on time! 28 cms = 28 weeks!!!

We met "M" today. Oh yea, Shawn didn't have work, so he was able to come with me, which was great since he had to miss the last two appointments. So..."M"...we've heard a TON of good things about her and sure enough, she's awesome. Our favorite thus far!!! She's actually from the same area as we are - she's NY, we're NJ - so there's a bond there. She got along with Shawn GREAT! She's funny, easy going, and you can tell she just has a passion for her job.

Oh, iron levels are a little low, as suspected. I'll have to work on the diet. And that's about it!!!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Nutritionist Visit

Today we met with a nutritionist. Fabulous. Boring, really. They pricked my finger to check my iron. It was 10.8. As far along as I am I should be at least 11. I've always had low iron - thanks to mom's genes - so I'm sure the birth center will have something to say about that if my levels are low tomorrow, too. Weight, according to their scale, was 154 lbs. That puts me up 6 lbs from my last visit at the birth center. 21 lbs total. Although I'm still on target and doing VERY well, I think they're scale is a little wrong. I'm not updating the "weight gain" status until after tomorrow's birth center visit. Maybe even my iron levels were low because I forgot to eat this morning. Tomorrow I will remember to have breakfast. A good iron-filled breakfast.

Tomorrow is my GD test. Again, fabulous. I'll leave class early to make it to the appointment on time. They were nice enough to give me the drink ahead of time, so I'll drink it before I leave & have my blood drawn exactly 1 hr later at the center. I'm really not worried about the test, but I'm making thoughtful decisions on my eating today. I had sugar & milk in my coffee today (a no-no tomorrow), but I won't have milk or juice for the rest of the day. I'll drink water - which I haven't been doing lately & this has resulted in some very uncomfortable leg cramps at night. Also, no candy bars today, which has been a habit since Halloween with the kids trick or treat bags have just been hanging around. No super sugary cereal.

I'll probably have eggs and toast for dinner (good for iron too) & maybe some venison stew.

And meanwhile I'm search Craigslist & Etsy for CD deals, thinking about how Autumn's window treatments will be & trying to work on school stuff. Fun fun. Always fun.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Do I have permission to faint?

We have hit the single digit mark in the "countdown to full term" timeline. I'll be 28 weeks tomorrow, meaning I have 9 weeks until I am full term & come hell or high water, if the baby decides it's time, no one is going to stop her. Crap.

My list of to-dos is so extensive and in the meantime I'm still finishing up the last few weeks of school. I may very well lose my mind. What do I have to do?

~Strip all the used CDs (cloth diapers) I have so I'm starting "fresh"
~Finish buying more CDs & accessories to make sure I can CD
~Paint one more coat on the nursery closet doors & get Shawn to install them
~Start making frozen meals...WHERE I will put them with no room in a freezer full of venison I haven't figured out yet
~Get on the ball with the shower, invites, etc...which I wish was sooner than planned because I WANT STUFF so I can actually do something in Autumn's room rather than just look at white untouched furniture & walls

What have I done? Not enough. I've organized & put away some clothes that I received from a friend. And I found a few bins from Walmart that I will use at the changing table. I have yet to find red curtains that I like:o(

And that's about it:o/ There just isn't enough time...ugh!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Pregnancy Lesson

NEVER (let's emphasize the NEVER) attempt to measure your belly like they do at the doctor's office/birth center...with dental floss...and then measure it with an inch-ruler...and then go to the computer to do the conversion. Only two things can happen. Both are not good.

1 - the conversion could estimate that "x" amount of centimeters is WAY less than how many weeks you are along. this might then put you into a panic as to why your baby isn't growing. and the only thing you can do is WAIT until your next appointment...wait and freak out the entire time you're waiting.

2 - the conversion could estimate that "x" amount of centimeteres is WAY MORE than how many weeks you are along. Ya know....like...you're approximately 12-13inches which measures anywhere from 30-33 centimeters...which is 30-33 WEEKS and you're ONLY 27weeks & 4 days. And now you're wondering just how freakin big the baby is, could the due date be completely off, and how freakin early is this baby going to be?!?!

Can you tell which issue I have? LOL! Now, the logical part of my brain that rarely exists these days, is telling me that obviously AT-HOME BELLY MEASURING IS NOT A GOOD IDEA! I obviously did not do something right because MAYBE I might measure 2 weeks ahead (approx 30) but no way can I can be measuring at 33 weeks. That's just freaking crazy. Impossible. Ain't happening, got it? Luckily, our next appointment is on Thursday, so I don't have to wait long before I get a better idea of how far along I am.

Genius pregnant woman idea. Let's measure ourselves at home. Freakin genius.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Venison!

Autumn - today you had your "first" taste of venison. Daddy & I are hoping that you enjoy venison because, like it or not, it will be a staple food in our household as long as you live. However, I am REALLY hoping you like it prior to you eating it first-hand...because if you dont...Mommy's tummy is not going to be happy!

Just FYI, if you've never had venison, or you're curious as to it's nutritional value, I found this: venison has LOTS of protein, which is important for when you're growing a baby inside of you & also lots of Vitamin B & iron.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Lookin cute!

I love NC! Why? Because it's November 8, officially fall season, and it's 70+ degrees outside, a beautiful day, and I can rock a spring dress! How awesome is that?! This was a dress a friend, Heather, brought over to me from her employer. It's VERY comfortable and I figure I should go ahead and wear it today because next spring I won't be preggo anymore! Hey - if the weather is nice enough - who says you can't wear a sundress in November, right?! The back is actually a little big for me because, despite some chest growth, it's still not enough to hold up a dress properly. I think this will be an eternal flaw (not even cured by pregnancy...so sad) :o(


In other news, I had a great time at a friend's baby shower yesterday and now I'm so excited for mine. I know it's months away, but I'm just ready for it. I want to be done with school. I want to be in mommy & baby mood and thoroughly enjoy it all before Autumn arrives.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Fender Bender:o(

Autumn~

Mommy has such a scare today! But you hung in there and didn't waste any time letting mommy know that the "roller coaster" ride was nothing but another exciting adventure in our lives together! I love you, I love you, I love you! Thank you for being such a good little girl!!!

~ Love your blessed Mommy

I'm kinda glad the blog is back to being "private" where only those who venture to the link will actually read. I'm sure I'd get a bunch of posts (though sweet and caring) would only make me reel back in time to my emotional state this morning and I'd eventually have a breakdown of tears. Approximately 11:15 am we got into a fender bender. Looking at the car you would think I barely tapped a shopping cart! However, at 30-40mph, someone pulling out in front of you from a side street, you slamming on your brakes and skidding a good 20+ feet and then "thump" - as a first time parent, I would hope you might panic, too. I wouldn't say I panicked. I was VERY shaky as I yelled at the poor girl "What the hell is wrong with you?" and then "I'm freakin 26 weeks pregnant!" Like SHE was supposed to know that. I think my subconscious just wanted to make her feel more lousy. Though I did not curse or yell frantically or start to cry. Shaking from head to toe I sat in the car and called my hubby. A police officer just driving by stopped immediately, so there was NO wait on the part of the police. I called the birth center and was advised to either be seen by them or by a hospital, just for reassurance, though they were 99% I was fine. The air bag did not deploy and I didn't remember hitting my belly on the steering wheel. Seatbelt was firmly on! The girl apologized - as did I for my rude behavior - and like I said hardly any damage! She has insurance - they'll take care of it.

Paperwork took forever b/c the cop was actully a task-force dude who was on his way back to the office and didn't have his laptop, so everything was being done the old fashioned way - by HAND! I was able to drive home after having plenty of time to calm down, Shawn was home today from work so he drove us to WakeMed. I was immediately sent up to L&D. We monitored Autumn's heartbeat, which was steady and wonderful and just made sure I wasn't having contractions. All was well and since it wasn't high impact & the belly didn't get hit they didn't need to monitor me for 4 hours. We were out of there by 3, just about a 2 hr visit. I went to work and hung out with my kiddos and made some homemade pizza. Shopped for a baby shower tomorrow (gifts for her, news shoes & a shirt to match a skirt I have for me). Now I'm home.

I will shower. I will relax. I might finally shed a few tears just b/c I've kept myself calm for this entire time and my hormones need some kind of outlet. But I'm fine. I'm so fine now that I know my baby girl is ok. I have such an awesome husband who kept me cool and reassured me that she would be ok. I have great friends who I can turn to for help when I need it. I'm so blessed in life and today reminded me of all of it.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

At my wit's end

I've had an awesome pregnancy. Not to rub it in anyone's face, but I've barely suffered any major discomforts that are usually pregnancy related. However, I still have not had a good night's sleep since...I can't even remember...abnd it has NOTHING to do with pregnancy.

It has to do with this dog. Spaz. The stray from Sept 19. If this is the way good human beings get treated for making sure dogs don't get hit by cars on a highway, more dogs are likely to become roadkill from now on. That sounds so harsh, but NEVER will I EVER bring home a stray dog again. We've had her since Spet 19. No owner came forth. Anyone who contacted me for the first few weeks via craigslist ever followed through. None of Shawn's friends came through. And my brother, the ONE person who I think actually would love to take the dog, can't because it's just not a good time for them to take on another dog - which I completely understand. BUT, I cannot deal with her anymore! She has gotten VERY good about behaving in the house - she's even calmed down a little bit. But she is up my ass when I'm home and I can't concentrate on the research or papers I need to get done for my classes. And at night, I just can't figure out a way to get her to sleep! She was up the WHOLE night whining for no reason I could figure out. I cried this morning. I JUST WANT SLEEP!

No, this isn't funny. No, this isn't "preparing" me for Mommyhood. This dog isn't OURS. I didn't ask for her, I didn't decide to take on a new responsibility, I did a good deed figuring she'd be gone in a week. This isn't what I planned for and it's NOT what I need right now. I mean, really, if pregnancy isn't causing me to wake up at the ass crack of dawn, I have the right to maintain sleeping through the night!!! It's not fair. I'm on a new mission to seriously get this dog out of here to a good home to someone who can take the time and have the patience to deal with her. I don't! And it's not like Shawn has been seriously affected by her since he's such a sound sleeper. but I think he FINALLY got it this morning that I just CANNOT deal with it anymore when I broke down crying because I've been up since 1am. I don't want suggestions on how to fix it. I want her GONE! I don't want to train her or figure out what she needs at night...I want her GONE. Since day one I've wanted her GONE!

Is that seriously too much to ask when I'm already handling (quite nicely, I might add) pregnancy, work and school?!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

First real cry

I bawled tonight. It was a short bawl, but I don't think I'm done yet. Tonight kinda turned upside down when I found out the H1N1 vaccine was being offered at my college on Friday to high risk groups. Not like this is a "now or never" decision, but knowing that the vaccines go so fast and it may take til Nov or Dec before I get another chance at a clinic...I figured we should just make a final decision this time around.

What's so upsetting, and what finally got to me tonight, was having this first BIG decision to make and not having my mom to talk to. I can talk to other people who I love dearly, but it's not the same. And I'm not saying my mom would necessarily influence my decision - knowing my mom she would just listen to my thoughts and then tell me "you have to figure it out for yourself - welcome to motherhood!" A part of that would be amusing to her, but she ALWAYS told me that she would never tell me how to do something. I have to figure it out on my own. So, it's not like she would be helping me make the decision, but talking to her would be a lot more comforting. And so right now - with this decision of injecting something into my system without knowing how it can affect myself or Autumn - and NOT having the ability to really talk to her - I'm slightly upset.

With all that being said, I also made the decision to stop importing my blog to Facebook. Not saying that all the blogs before weren't personal, but I think we're getting into the home stretch and big decisions are being made and some serious personal feelings don't need to be read by people I rarely talk to on the internet. The link will still be up, but only the people who really take a serious interest, like close family and friends, will likely click on the link to follow along.

So...here's to being a big girl and making decision for myself and my child. It sucks ass.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Mama's New Haircut:o/

Before
















After...shorter than I asked. She couldn't layer it like it was supposed to be b/c it was already cut short enough and I would have had the tiniest of layers. And I showed the girl a freakin picture! I'm not really excited about, can you tell?!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Welcome back exhaustion!

Well HELLO third-trimester exhaustion. I didn't miss you.

We're back to 8-9 hours of sleep a night and waking up feeling like I could sleep a whole entire day. I yawn through all of my classes...even the not boring ones. 4pm is my lowest point of the day because for some reason sitting in a carpool lane doing absolutely nothing makes me feel completely drained. And when I get home I barely make it past 10pm. Getting housework ceases to exist in my house.

But I will conquer. I refuse to give in to such exhaustion - papers will get done, reading will get done, and my to-do lists will be carried out. I just might be taking some naps along the way;o)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Vaccine Overload

Seriously, the more this is brought up the more it makes me want to lose my mind. Flu vs. H1N1 vaccine. Flu AND H1N1 vaccine. I'm pregnant. It's "recommended" that I get both; therefore, I should just do it, right?

What ever happened to following gut instinct? I'm sorry, but even before studies came out, before official recommendations, before it was even officially available, my instinct said NO WAY to the H1N1. I'm sorry if anyone out there think that's wrong or stupid, but that's my feeling on it. This pandemic just hit last year and there's already a vaccine out for it? That can be good - we have a REALLY impressive vaccine health system working OR That can be bad - little time to do serious testing and run the numbers. I know...I know...one of the reasons it came out so fast was because it was made the same way, with a lot of the same ingredients as the regular flu vaccine. I guess it helps when a new pandemic is related to vaccines you already have out there. But still - it's not EXACTLY the same, which means more testing should really be done. And I also know that every year the regular flu vaccine is actually "new" too because they pick and choose which strain they think will be most likely to show up. Even my midwife said yesterday, "Last year the did a great job on picking the strain, but the year before the did a really sucky job." And she was actually trying to encourage me to get the vaccines. What, exactly, about that is encouraging? Taking a 50/50 chance to begin with the the "smart health people" picked the right vaccine in the first place? Fabulous.

I have yet to pick this book up, but I've heard lots of wonderful things about Dr. Sears Vaccine Book. It's unbiased and basically just gives you the facts, letting each person decide what is right for his or her own child. Here's an article from Sept about Dr. Sears opinion on the H1N1. (Note: If someone knows of a more recent article, I'd be very happy to read and update any conclusions I've come to). Overall, I think IF I ALREADY HAD A CHILD I would feel better about getting the vaccines. But I'm pregnant. And there is NOTHING in the article that makes me feel better about getting the vaccine while I'm carrying a child.

Here's what I am up against: I'm pregnant, so I'm more likely to get sick with a weakened immune system AND if I do get sick there's a bigger chance of it becoming serious. I work with two young children who attend school facilities. And I attend classes five days a week. Basically - I'm out and about in germ-infested areas.

I've never had the flu. I've never gotten the shot. I worry that getting the shot to begin with will actually end up getting me sick (which I've heard happens in many cases) and although this wouldn't be the contagious flu because it's only a result of the vaccine, I would still most likely be out of work, be out of school, and God only knows how bad it would hit me and what it would do to my pregnancy.

The last part is the most serious. That's why everyone encourages me to get both shots - because I'm pregnant. I'm sorry, but during pregnancy aren't women constantly told NOT to put things into their system? Don't drink alcohol, don't do drugs, don't smoke, don't have too much coffee or soda, don't take anything but tylenol, don't eat hot dogs. And WHY are we told not to take in all these things? Because TESTING has proved that too much of any of this could be a risk to the baby. So, instead you're telling me to put something into my system that MIGHT keep me healthy (there is NO GUARANTEE...need I really remind people of this?), but it also has had little testing done in pregnant women, so you have very little clue as to what it might do to my child. Something here seems back-asswards here!

This is what it comes down to....do I (and only I) feel comfortable putting something into my system that I will have NO idea how it affects my baby until I give birth in another 14-17 weeks? Can I live another 3-4 months, after a vaccine, wondering if I've picked the right choice? This isn't about me, this is about my baby. For the first time, I'm making a decision that my baby has no say in and I don't know what the right answer is. WELCOME TO PARENTHOOD, NANCY! I can feel my mother chuckling over this.

I do not know what I'm going to do. And everyday this battle in my head goes back and forth, back and forth. At the LEAST, I'm waiting it out a few weeks to see how people, especially other preggos, are affected by the vaccines before I even go looking to have it done.

Shawn and I both believe that asking questions and thinking about things thoroughly before making a decision is a good thing. And that's what we intend to do. Question & research. And no decision will be made before the two of us are satisfied.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Birth Center Appt @ 23 weeks

This morning I had another visit at the Birth Center. I met with "L" and I REALLY liked her. She was a little pushy about both the flu vaccines - we're still debating the regular flu vaccine, but I'm pretty adament about NOT getting the H1N1 Vaccine. Overall though, she seemed really chill and fun and I wouldn't mind her being my labor midwife at all. My next visit will be on Nov 19 and I will have the gestational diabetes test then - very. exciting. indeed. I'm not too worried about passing it though.

Stat updates:

Weight - 147lbs, which is up 4 lbs from my last visit. This is good. I started out at 133, so I'm up a total of only 14 lbs and she says that's right on target. My weight in the beginning was normal, so I'm looking to only gain 25-35 lbs total. That means I have 14-17 weeks to gain another 11- 21 lbs. Bring it on Thanksgiving & Christmas Feasts!!!!

Belly growth - I've "graduated" from them just pressing on my belly to check my uterus growth to actually using a tape measure. Basically, they measure from the very bottom of my belly to the top of where they feel the uterus. Growth in centimeters should equal the amount of weeks I am, so I should have AT LEAST been at 23 cms and I'm at 24, which is awesome!

Heartbeat - Autumn's heartbeat was at 160bpm today! The highest it's ever been! She said that's because she's a pretty active child and sure enough, Autumn was definitely kicking around while I was at my appointment.

Diet seems fine. Blood pressure was normal. Everything seems terrific!!!!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Natural Birth Video

Definitely more graphic than the last one!

VIDEO

Water Birth Video

We're hoping to do this at the birth center if all goes well:o)

VIDEO (note: somewhat graphic...what do you expect?)

23rd week (with belly pics!)

So we're ALMOST to the "6 month" mark. I'm 23 weeks along, which means I have at MOST 17 weeks more to go. Possibly only 14, since at 37 weeks they consider it full-term and I could go into labor and they wouldn't try to stop it. What's funny is that my mom's birthday, January 27th, is exactly at week 38 and that was the first due date ever officially given to me (pre-ultrasound & pre-appointment checking my menstrual cycle). How cool would that be to have my little girl's birthday the same as my mom's?!

School is continuing to keep my busy, which I'm thankful for. Really, I am. It makes the pregnancy go by fast. I've got research to do and papers to write. The only part I'm disliking more and more is that there is less time to do housework and although he helps out when he can, Shawn is working as much as he can as well, so he has little time to help around the house. I guess I can always catch up on homework after the semester end in mid-December and before the baby arrives - I should have a good 3-4 weeks to work on it.

I'm also starting to hit the third tri-mester phase of exhasution a little early. I don't know if it's just been the weather in the past week and the busy schedule I have, but I'm exhausted by mid-afternoon around 3-4pm, just like I as during first tri-mester. By the time I get back home my energy level is back up, but I am seriously feel dead for an hour or two in the afternoon and it's hard to stay focused. Luckily, I take care of 2 great kids who are well behaved and we manage to find activities that suit everyone's needs.

Autumn is a mover and a shaker. She kicks me quite often, usually when I'm having downttime. It has yet to get uncomfortable ::knock on wood:: However, I think my punishment for not being so big (yet!) is that she does not have a lot of room to move around, so she just sits on my bladder. All.The.Time. It's awful.

We haven't registered yet, but I hope to soon. I think we're doing a red, white & black theme, but that has yet to be finalized. I have some really great ideas and Shawn can't wait to add his own personal touch to it. I'll be doing her name in painted letters - a fun project to distract me during the final weeks of pregnancy. Also, I'm starting to think about all the freezer food I want to make before she arrives, so I'll have less cooking to do when she gets here.

Tomorrow is my next appointment - a short update will show up tomorrow, I'm sure. As for belly pics - HERE YA GO!


















And since clothing, especially banded pants and tight shirts actually tend to make my belly look smaller, I gave youa full-on naked belly shot to prove that yes, it's a belly and it's much bigger than when it started!

SEE HERE!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Anniversary Trip/Babymoon

***Pictures will come in another post when I get the chance to upload them***

We had a wonderful trip in the mountains of NC & TN! It was much needed vacation for the both of us...I didn't do a single page of reading for homework for 4 days!!! This was our 3rd annual trip - the first being 2007, right after our engagement and during my birthday weekend; the second was our "honeymoon" for about 4 days after our wedding and this was our "1 year engagement/babymooon" trip to celebrate the wonderful year we've had together. We also were glad to have a mini getaway before the baby arrives and turns out whole life upside down.

I guess it's just easier if I go day by day to let you know what happened...

Wednesday Night - we left Raleigh and drove to Linville, NC where we stayed at the Linville Cottages B&B. It was an adorable little cottage, very private, and very quiet. We didn't get in until 130am (I had done a good 90% of the driving) and we were utterly exhausted, so we crashed and slept in until the sun woke us up around 8am.

Thursday - after coffee & some breakfast we headed out toward Grandfather Mountain. It's a very cool place, though I must say the construction they're doing at the top for the new visitor center is very distracting. The museum was a cool place to visit and they had animal habitats with deer, bears, eagles, and otters. There are some hiking trails, but none that interested us much. We drove to the top parking lot at the peak of the mountain andwalked across the Swining Mile High Bridge - at this point Shawn thought it would be funny to jump on the bridge and make comments about "loose bolts" and such. Very funny guy he is, right? I swear, my mother would have NEVER gone across such a bridge. From there we climbed around on the rocks and there are some pictures of this. It was very beautiful and very relaxing. After leaving the peak we stopped at "Split Rock" which is basically what it says - it's a giant rock that looks split in two vertically. They're the kind of big rocks you are NOT SUPPOSED TO CLIMB. So, what did we do? We climbed them. Actually, I only climbed the one next to it, but it was still a completely, 100% NOT SAFE thing to do. And I did it. That's right boys and girls - I'm a rock climbing preggo. Hands and knees all the way to the top:o) It was fun. Shawn decided to climb "Split Rock" via a tree, but there was no way I could manage my way up there. And how did he get down? Through the SPLIT OF COURSE! I couldn't find him for a minute and when I did, I wasn't sure he would make it out. Honestly, he wasn't sure he would either. At one point I asked, "Honey, are you stuck?" and his response was, "If I was, I wouldn't tell you!" I got a great shot of him just barely making it out. If he had gotten stuck that would have been quite a story to tell.

After Grandfather Mt. we drove over to downtown Blowing Rock. We parked, walked around the shops and ate at a very nice pub that had delicious sandwiches. Nothing was of great interest to us in the stores, but the park had an awesome playground for kids and there were benches lined up along the parkside facing the street that were jus filled with old people. It was a really cute sight to see and we enjoyed ourselves.

We got back around 5-6ish, took a nap and then headed out for some "Progressive Alternative Dining" at Zuzda's. Seriously...totally awesome place. It's a huge two page menu and the portions are tiny, so you order like 3 or 4 or 5 things if you want. I think I had BBQ Shrimp wrapped in bacon, a spinach salad, and tiramisu. We weren't terribly hungry, so we didn't eat a lot, but it all looked REALLY good. And the people we met were...special! There was a super drunk dude just talking to everyone and then a very ecclectic couple next to us...odd people, but very sweet and fun to talk to. It was fabulous.

Friday - We drove out to Linville Falls and hiked the .8 moderate trail. It was a gorgeous waterfall and a relatively difficult trail. The viewpoints were far lower than the actual trail, so we had to walk down steep steps at each of the viewpoints in order to see the falls and then walk back up the steep steps to continue on the trail. But it was totally worth it. Afterwards we went to Emerald Village Gem Mine and did some gem mining. This place is no joke - it's not a crummy tourist attraction where they throw rocks on the ground before you show up. We paid $35 and got a 2.5 gallon bucket of dirt and found BEAUTIFUL rocks. Garnets were my favorite (mom's birthstone), emeralds, amethysts, some rubies, topaz, etc. They're all rough and uncut, obviously, but we might borrow a tumbler and polish them up and do something with them. Or try to see if someone who does homemade jewelry is interested in purchasing them.

Afterwards we took a 2-3 hours trip into Gatlinburg, TN to stay at our usual hotel. For the third year in a row we had the same hotel room - a king size bed with a separate room for a huge jacuzzi tub and a balcony overlooking the mountains and the city. PERFECT! We went to the Hard Rock Cafe for dinner and had some yummy steaks and then headed home for some much needed rest.

Saturday - cold and rainy, but still a lot of fun! When you're in the mountains nothing can ruin the trip! We bundled up and spent the entire day walking around Gatlinburg. We made a few, small purchases, but nothing major. We weren't searching for anything in particular. We ate lunch on a upper balcony of a pub - crummy waitress pissed me off, but that hardly ruined my day. We also purchased yummy truffles and peanut clusters at a candy shop:o) And then headed back to the hotel. It was definitely the MOST walking we had done during the whole trip. Normally Gatlinburg is our "easy" walk because we do such strenuous hiking in the mountains, but this year we toned it down so our legs were feeling some pain. For dinner, just because it's become tradition, we did Subway and ate in the hotel.

Sunday - Out of the hotel by 11. Hit 40E and drove into Asheville. The game was at 1pm, so we needed to find a place to stop and watch the game and Shawn had the brilliant idea of stopping at the TGI Friday attached to the Doubletree Biltmore, where our wedding reception was. That's right - EXACTLY ONE YEAR after our wedding we were in the same hotel hanging out! The wedding event coordinator was no longer working there, but one of the other people who took care of us walked into the bar and recognized us and she was SO happy to see us. I think the staff still talks about our wedding as much as we do - it seemed to really stick in people's minds just because of all the funny shit that happened. We had a great time watching the game (GIANTS 5-0) and talking with the staff. Around 4ish we hit the road and got home around 8ish. We both came home with colds, probably from walking around in damp weather the day before, but we had a wonderful trip.

I think my favorite line of the weekend was:

Me: "...yea...next year that'll make more sense since we'll have a baby..."
Shawn: (repeating my words in such a solemn manner) "Next year we'll have a baby. Wow."

Yes dear. Next year we'll have a baby with us...CRAZY, I KNOW!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

I've been given permission...

to share the name we've picked for our baby girl. I wasn't sure Shawn wanted everyone to know, but he says it's not a secret, so I can blog away!

Autumn Dawn!!!!

Yep, Mommy's name was definitely always going to be her middle name if it was a girl, but it took us a long time to come up with Autumn.

***DISCLAIMER*** Shawn reserves the right to change her name up until the day she's born, and perhaps even after that, until her name is written on the birth certificate....because you just never know when some other name will "strike" you as more fitting.

Mommy's Birthday!

Yesterday was my birthday and it was FANTASTIC! I got tons and tons of birthday wishes, which made me feel extra loved. Honestly, it was a mostly uneventful day, which is why I think I enjoyed it so much.

I skipped classes. After all, this is my last birthday with "peace, quiet and tranquility" (stolen from my mom) before a baby comes along. I wanted to sleep in. I wanted to be lazy. And I accomplished both of those goals, to a degree. I did wake up a little after 9 and got some laundry done, took a nice long shower, and prepared a stew for the evening. We had made no big plans for dinner and since the meat needed to get cooked I figure we'd either stay in for the evening and chow down or save it for another night. I went to work, but was surprised to have my day cut short due to a family weekend trip. I got beautiful flowers and cards from the kids and Ann & Rob, along with a precious pink, super soft blanket for the baby, and a gift card to go maternity clothes shopping! They will spoil me rotten.

At home I did nothing until Shawn got home (late) from work. I did talk to my Daddy! That was wonderful. Shawn had had a long day, so we decided to stay in and chow down. Also, since it was a Friday night we stopped by Volume 11 for him to drop something off for a friend and the place was packed - we did NOT stay! Nope, not on my birthday!!! Instead we drove around with no specific destination in mind when we drove by The Cheesecake Factory. We sat outside on the patio for about an hour in the beautiful evening weather and I had one glass of wine, a plate of 4 mini-corn dogs, and some tiramisu! Honestly, we should have taken a picture - is that not the ultimate snack for pregnany women?! Awesome combination!

Then we came home. I was exhausted. So I received a loving backrub from my wonderful husband - and GOD was my back messed up. It felt so much better afterwards and then I drifted off to sleep and slept in til about 10am.

Today we spent the early afternoon at his niece's soccer game and then headed to his sister's house for lunch, opening some gifts (CLOTHES!!!!) and cake. I've spent the rest of the afternoon taking a short nap and working on a paper due this week. Tomorrow is the Giants game at 1pm, another paper to write, and then back to the regular work week - although this week is a short one thanks to my AWESOME bosses letting me take Thursday & Friday off for our annual trip to the mountains for our anniversary.

Ahhh..........my life is perfect.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Just because...random pics

I'm feeling good today - the baby's moving and I look cute while rockin my "bump" so I thought I'd post a "I'm feeling good picture" today:o) Enjoy!








A Mover & A Shaker!

At 20 weeks and 5 days our baby girl finally put her mommy's mind at ease by KICKING! YAY! While I was sitting down studying miserably for an exam I have Wednesday morning I felt this "bubble" in my belly. I though, "hm...that was weird." Now I've been very conscious of my belly since I've been dying to feel movement, so I am well aware of what constitutes as gas or digestion, etc. After another minute or two of constant little "budges" on my hand I realized that was ACTUAL KICKING. I was SO happy! Shawn tried to feel, but I think my re-positioning made her go away. I felt a little more after going back to studying and then, right after he feel sleep with his hand on my belly, she came back to let her daddy know that "yes, I'm here...Mommy's not losing her mind."

Today I think I spent most of my class time in la-la land trying to feel her, but she was unresponsive to my poking:o( But, after finishing my exam review sheet, she has come alive!!! Ladies and gentlemen - my baby is a mover and a shaker. None of that "here today, but gone for the next 3 weeks movement" - she is here to stay! Her favorite spots thus far are right at my belly button and my right side.

Can I just emphasize how funny and awesome this feels? Sometimes she catches me by surprise and I giggle because it doesn't tickle, but it does feel weird and funny. And then, today, she was actually kicking hard enough on my right side for me to see my belly move, which made me teary eyed!!!

I'm having a baby - I've known this for awhile. But now I don't have to wait until mid-October to check on her. I can feel her and I can see her activity just by pulling up my shirt a wee-bit and I know she's saying "Hey, Mommy & Daddy! I'm just partying away down here!" God...this is total awesomeness!!!!

Friday, September 25, 2009

20 week update & belly pic!!!!

Baby girl...we are half way there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I cannot believe how fast half this pregnancy has gone. I remember every single moment of the day that we found out we were pregnant. A part of me is glad that I have been so busy that it has made the time just fly by. But I am also disappointed - this is just the first thing of many things to come that will fly by. Time will go by so fast and before I know it our little girl will no longer be a baby, but all grown up. No matter how often we are told by our parents, we truly do not understand the meaning of "Time flies, enjoy it while you can" until we become parents.

So, how am I feeling? Overall, pretty awesome. No, I cannot feel baby's movement. Turns out I have an anterior placenta, meaning that the placenta is in the front. Basically, the baby's kicking a "pillow" that's prohibiting me from feeling her movement - as I grow the placenta will move into a better position and soon enough I'll be feeling the loving jabs and kicks from our daughter. The middle of my back gets more sore during times when I'm busy with housework or typing on the computer (yes, it's bothering me this very moment), but I think that has to do with overall poor posture and now my body's letting me know it's something I should be working on. I have a bump, not a huge one, but it's there and something no one ever told me about - the MOST uncomfortable thing in the world is this "fat roll" between the under side of my boobs and the top of my baby bump. It kinda gets squished and somewhat digs into my ribs. It's hard to describe, but very uncomfortable, trust me!

No swelling. Anywhere. Feet, ankles, calves, fingers, etc...all doing fine. My face more often than I'd like looks like a 13 yr old going through puberty. Some days I come to terms with it...sometimes it's very disheartening. I'm still between regular clothes and maternity clothes. I'm sticking with non-maternity pants for the most part, but I'm starting to move towards maternity shirts now, too. I cannot wait for the Fall weather to arrive because Ann gave me some great clothes that I'm dying to wear when the cool weather starts.

What else...what else...school is busy, but not making me overstressed. I've decided to take the spring semester off and start back in the summer or the fall. Work is going really well - the kids are are excited about the baby, but it has yet to prohibit me from any of our usual activities.

So...that's that. I THINK we've come up with a name, but not sure if Shawn wants me to share it with the whole world yet. Oh, the baby furniture is in the room - YAY! I love it - I'm so happy! I must be e-mailing my former employer's for their generous offer to us many years ago to give us the furniture for free. It's a beautiful white set and now we're just in the debate of how to decorate the room.


Enough blabbing...here are the pics. I'm rockin Ann's "NC State" maternity shirt - VERY comfy. My ass really hasn't grown, if it looks huge it's because I'm wearing big comfy pants. I swear!


Monday, September 14, 2009

18-19wk update @ Birth Center

Everything is great!

Weight ~ 143 lbs, meaning I've gained a total of 10 pounds in almost 19 weeks of pregnancy

Heartbeat ~ in the 140s

Misc ~ around 20 weeks my uterus growth should be reaching my belly button and it's just about there, so that's a good thing; the twinges of pain I've been feeling is just my body stretching - the pain can be eased by making sure I stretch more often, tylenol, and cold/hot compresses; all bloodwork came back normal, but I need to make sure my iron levels stay up, so I'll be working on my diet in order to prevent the need for supplements

I forgot who I met with today - isn't that awful? It was 830 in the morning and I just couldn't remember her name:o/ So I called the Birth Center & asked. We shall call her "K." Original, right? She was more "doctorly" than the other midwives I've met. Young - maybe mid-30s, very sweet, but had a more serious side. I have no good or bad feeling about her. I feel confident that I wouldn't mind her being our midwife when I go into labor, but I think "A" is still my favorite thus far. Shawn couldn't make this visit, but I think he'd prefer "A" too since he seemed to have good conversation with her and "K" is more cut & dry.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Pre-Nesting & Feeling Blessed

As OCD as I am, this pre-nesting was NOT my idea! Actually, Shawn decided since he was home this week to start cleaning out the porch closet that was intensely packed full of stuff. The result thus far: just about everything is out of the closet, several garbage bags have been filled, some new storage crates have emerged and the porch is "organized" into areas that only he can possibly decipher. I am so glad he's taken the initiative to get it done, especially because his reasoning behind it all is to make more room for all of the stuff we will acquire when our baby girl comes along. What a thoughtful Daddy! Along with the porch we also tackled some of the kitchen today. The fridge & freezer have been cleaned inside and out, old stuff have been tossed and room has been made for all the venison he is hoping to add this hunting season!!! I cleaned the outside of the dishwasher and most of the bottom cabinets. I also finally got around to hitting the "self clean" button on the oven. You would think since it's just a button and I haven't used the stove in a week anyway that it wouldn't require that much effort to get it done, BUT my brain has been elsewhere when I'm home and I only think of it when I'm out of the house. So...it's finally getting done.

As for feeling blessed...our house is being FILLED with baby stuff. Already the office has an entire corner that is slowly creeping toward the center of the room with baby stuff. And now the living room is home to a Graco swing, from neighbor's and good friends down the street, and a practically brand new Evenflo Aura stroller, from the same friends' mother. And she doesn't even KNOW us that well (yea, I know, thank you card MUST be written!). Seriously, we have such giving friends and family. We've acquired or have been offered so much stuff that I feel so blessed to know so many wonderful people. Thank you to everyone who has offered to help us in so many ways! We appreciate everything you do for us and we are so grateful!!!!

Friday, September 11, 2009

U/S PICS!









<------------- Spine







Facing us:o)











HI MOMMY & DADDY! ----->














Little feet!!! (heels are up in the air, one set of toes are down right)




Cute butt! Looking up at her butt...and her two legs...and NOTHING in the middle...it's a GIRL!

18 weeks & a belly pic!



So, how are things going? REALLY WELL!!! School, work, bowling and a household of chores sounds entirely overwhelming...and it is...but I wouldn't have it any other way. This pregnancy is just rolling along so fast - in less than 2 weeks I'll be halfway done! I got batshitcrazy when I don't have anything to do and keeping busy keeps me sane...really:o) Ok, maybe not sane, but less insane. I keep active and I swear that it's my brain's awesome ability to work at turbo speed that keeps the rest of me looking in shape!






My belly continues to grow. I think I might be pushing 140-142 nowadays, which would be around the 7-9lb gain in total, but I'm not sure. I have a dr's appt next Monday morning, so we'll find out then. We have been eating out a lot the past few weeks and I certainly do love my ice cream, so I'm sure I've packed on some pounds.






For those who are curious, NO, I have not felt the baby move. At least not concrete movement. Once in awhile I get a gas pain, which could be baby, but it's not definite enough for it to count. I DO still get sharp paisn occasionally in the very low abdomen, especially when I sneeze. This still worried me for a long time, but it makes total sense now. I know the baby is perfectly well and good and my whole uterus looked awesome on the ultrasound, but the baby was SO LOW that if she's in a position when I sneeze or move a certian way I think it's her kicking me or moving in that area that causes me the few seconds of pain. It's really no longer a big concern since I know all is well - now it's just an annoyance that I think she enjoys!






No names, either. Her middle name will be Dawn, after my mother. We have a few "maybes" but I don't think we're sharing them with the entire world until we settle on something.






What else...oh, tonight we went to Babies R Us (BRU) just to look around and get some ideas. It was fun - not overly exciting, but it was good for us to just have a nice calm look around and talk out some thoughts before we go buying things or registering for things.






Here are some belly pics - they're actully from last week (17weeks) but they'll have to do for now. I really wish I had taken a picture of last weekend when we went out - it was teh first time I'd gone out on a weekend and dressed up all pretty. Ah...I guess there will be other moments.






Seriously, this is a bad picture. I look huge. In reality, some people still don't know I'm pregnant or tell me I don't look pregnant. I think I had just eaten dinner...maybe...I dunno.









Somewhat more normal looking, lol!



Wednesday, September 9, 2009

TEAM PINK!

We're having a baby GIRL! Holy cow! I was completely in shock - my brain has convinced me otherwise. Nonetheless, I did cry tears of joy just to know that I have a little girl hanging out in my belly. Shawn's response was unsurprising, "Oh shit." Sarcastic (somewhat), but he says that deep down he knew it was going to be a girl.

Rest assured - there are NO signs of a boy; when I get the u/s pictures scanned I will put them up and you can see for yourself.

Overall, the baby is weighing 9oz. Measuring 5 days ahead of schedule (18wks5days). Placenta, umbilical cord, blood flow, fluids, growth measurements, etc all look AWESOME. Heart rate was 151bpm.

My intuition was wrong. Turns out the Chinese Gender Chart and the heart rate old wive's tale were correct!!!! Pics to come, soon!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

What we want...

Since we're finding out the gender next week the only question we hear is, " What do you want?" The proper answer, of course, is "As long as we have a healthy baby that is all that matters." And this is absolutely true. But gender wise, we can both admit we want a boy first. This comes for many reasons - some of which are easier understood than others.

For the most part, Shawn, we believe, is the last male on his side left to carry on his last name. This would just be a natural and wonderful thing to happen for his family.

For me, I've taken care of both boys and girls in my many years of children and while each child is different and while each gender is fantastic in their own way - I have always found boys to be easier than girls. This could come from the fact that I've actually taken care of (one-on-one) more boys than girls (and lord knows I LOVE my munchkin girl now!!!!), but it's just something that has always come more natural for me and I think it would be easier first time around.

But there's another reason that I haven't spoken aloud because it would probably just be too hard to explain - emotionally. I think there is a special bond in every parent-child relationship. But I also believe there are special bonds between father-son relationships and mother-daughter relationships. They are circles that go around and around - from parent to child and then the child becomes the parent, etc. Shawn & I have both had these special circles broken. Him with his father quite some time ago and me with my mother just recently. Part of me really wants to have a boy so that I can put him back into that "circle." He deserves to enjoy Father's Day again - which he most certianly will given whatever gender we have. But I think he deserves to feel that special father-son connection that he hasn't physically had in quite some time. Along those same lines...it's why I don't want a girl first. I don't want to get thrown back into that circle just yet. It sounds mean and might not make any sense, but I am just not ready to be a mom and raise a little girl without my mom being here. Shawn has dealt with loss longer than I have and by no means do I think it makes it easier to deal with, but I know he's stronger than I am.

Does this mean I'm going to get what I want? I guess we'll find out. God knows how I feel. It's up to Him to really decide what we're having. I know whatever gender child he gives us will be what we are supposed to have and, as I already do now....as we already do now, we will love our little baby immensely:o)

Dear Baby....

Mommy's bladder is NOT a trampoline. I think it's bad that I was having dreams about having to pee only to wake up at 4am and realize that I REALLY needed to pee. Not cool baby, not cool.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Pregnancy Weight

So I've been doing research on this because I do think it's important. It's on the mind of every preggo woman out there - am I gaining too much weight? Not enough? Am I gaining it too fast, in which case I need to slow down? Am I not gaining it fast enough? ETC.

According to this site: http://www.webmd.com/baby/news/20090528/pregnancy-weight-gain-new-guidelines and my BMI pre-pregnancy (http://www.webmd.com/diet/calc-bmi-plus): I am a woman of normal weight and I should gain anywhere between 25-35 lbs.

I also read someone where during the first trimester (up to 13 weeks) a normal weight person should gain anywhere from 3-5lbs and then approx 1lb/week...making that range 30-32lbs.

At 15 1/2 weeks I had gained approx 5.5 lbs. I have no idea what my weight is at right now because we don't keep a scale at home, but I feel like I'm going to be able to stay in my healthy zone. My guilty pleasure is fast food, which I must avoid, or at least try to eat more salads and less burgers from those places. And I need to remember to incorporate more fruits & veggies ( I do love my carbs!!!)

Overall, I think it's important that EVERYONE (not just us preggos) realize that everyone's body starts out different and that will completely determine how you will gain weight and how much you will gain overall. I despise people who suggest that pregnant women have gained too much or too little weight and DONT take into consideration their natural body, metabolism, etc. As long as your doctor/midwife says that you're doing well and you seem to be within the recommended guidelines, everyone else should just shush:o)

Maternity Shopping = Tears

I spent 2 hours last night, at 4 stores - Kohls, Target, Old Navy, Ross - shopping for maternity pants and by the end of the night I was in tears.

Confession: I'm almost 25 and pre-pregnancy I shopped in Juniors. I wore a jean size of 9. My size 11s were when I was going thru my "big" phase and now they fit me wonderfully. I don't go wearing skirts up to my ass or short shorts that show practically everything, but Junior Jeans fit my butt, my hips, my thighs and everything else on my lower half just right. I can't shop in the misses/womens dept because their pants just don't look right on me!

So, anyway, despite the fact that I have two pairs of size 11 (jr) jeans that fit me ok, their both skinny jeans and I want some boot cut jeans and other pants are just a necessity. And, of course, I know I shouldn't just go and buy pants "bigger" - I SHOULD be buying maternity.

Problem: Apparently, when your belly grows...your butt, your thighs, and your hips are supposed to grow too. And mine are not. So maternity jeans and pants fit me around the belly, but look baggy everywhere else. It was HORRIBLE. You would think I would be thankful. NO ONE understood last night when I told them what happened...I mean, it's supposed to be GREAT that nothing else is getting big on me except my belly. But WHAT THE HELL am I supposed to wear?!

If maternity clothes don't fit me the right way...or at least not for right now....do I just shop for bigger regular size clothes? Or is that stupid? But I HATE the way maternity pants fit on me. And I REFUSE to be a t-shirt wearing, yoga-pants wearing throughout my entire pregnancy...oh no, sir, I will look cute and feel happy and I will figure out a way to win this clothing battle.

So, yea. I was in tears last ngiht by 8pm when I left the last store because maternity pants don't fit me right and I felt like my body wasn't doing the "pregnancy" thing right. It was awful and I felt so annoyed and sad.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Cloth Diapers INDEED!

Just an update on how the CD diaper stock-up is going. We have 20 Kissaluvs size 0 for the newborn stage. Only 2 of which I bought brand spankin' new...the rest came from either Craigslist or women from The Bump. AND I have two one-size diapers. Oh, and a few cloth wipes that someone threw in for free:o)

I LOVE SAVING $$$$

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Super Excited!

UNC Hospital called me today to set up our BIG ultrasound appointment (ie: finding out the sex!!!). Sept 9 - 2 weeks from tomorrow!!!! OMG! ALREADY?! It seemed like forever until I'd get to our baby again and find out if it's a boy or a girl. And now, in 2 weeks, I'll be 18 weeks preggo. And two weeks after that I'll be 20 weeks...HALF WAY THERE!

It's crazy!

Meanwhile...the past two days I've felt weird, low pressure. Probably just gas? Oh and I think I got heartburn for the first time in my LIFE last night. Shawn made an awesome dinner last night that gave me heartburn, which I've never had in my life before, and sheesh it was uncomfortable! It's amazing all these new and weird feelings I'm going through. Thank you pregnancy for introducing such awesome things in my life:oP

Friday, August 21, 2009

Gender Predictions (Take 2)

With some new updates - some new opinions. Let's check it out

So, let's take a look at all the old wives tales and see what gender our baby is going to be:

Chinese Gender Chart (http://www.babygenderprediction.com/chinese-gender-chart.html)
- Conception Month - May, Conception Age - 24 = GIRL

Carrying High vs Low
- It's hard to tell now, but when the midwife was checking me on my last visit she said she could feel my uterus popping "here" and "here" was pretty low = BOY
- Update 8/21 - I still feel like I'm carrying low when my belly is all puffed out = BOY

Heartbeat 140+ is girl, 140- is boy
- on June 25 hb = 156bpm = GIRL
- on July 28 hb = 140bpm = neutral?
- Update 8/21 hp = 150sbpm = GIRL

Cravings: sweet is girl, sour is boy
- neither, i actually crave crunchy stuff
- Update 8/21 - I've actually been craving things like ice cream, milkshakes and chocolate cake = GIRL

Husband putting on weight with you?
- highly doubtful = BOY

I STILL refuse to do the Drano/Urine test...gross. I STILL haven't done the ring/pendant motion test. And I'm STILL not telling which boob is bigger:oP

People Opinions:

Aunt Becky - Boy
Aunt Jessi - Boy
Aunt Tara - Girl
Me - Boy
Mom & Grandma's intution from beyond - Girl (lol!)
Lana - Girl

So it seems really up in the air right now. Your thoughts?!

Baby...STAY!

Today was our second appointment at the birth center. We saw a different midwife, we'll call her "A" and she was AWESOME! She's older, so I was a little worried she wouldn't be "cool" and I was totally wrong. She commented on my diet - I need more fruits and veggies - knew that was coming! She asked if I could feel any movement, which I can't yet. My files from the hospital visit in NJ had been transferred, so we went over that in some detail, but she wasn't concerned since I haven't had any dizzy spells or spotting since. She also enjoyed Shawn's humor and seemed very receptive to his questions and thoughts on certain things, which makes us both feel like he's really being a part of this and not just an outsider. She's not worried about me traveling for Thanksgiving AND Christmas (more to come on this later).

And then we got down to the fun stuff - the dopplar! When I laid down she was on my left side and she put the dopplar across from her on my right side and at first I heard nothing. I had about 3 seconds of panic! I know sometimes it can take a few seconds, but last time it was RIGHT ON, so there was no wait. She moved the dopplar closer to her on my left side and there it was! BUT, when she tried to time it, it got quieter and all of a sudden we heard a "whoosh" and she said "well, there's some movement!" And then she traced the dopplar ALL THE WAY back over to my right side where we found a very strong heartbeat she was able to time.

Apparently our baby wanted to kick at the dopplar and run away...all the way across to the other side! Heartbeat was in the 150s, which is awesome! So much movement made me happy - and "A" said that she finds the babies that move away from the dopplar are often boys - which made Shawn very happy.

Our next appt is Sept 14. And the UNC hospital should be calling us soon to set up our big u/s in a few weeks! YAY!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Pregnancy & School

Today I started classes again. This semester is full - 4 history courses!!! Meanwhile I'm also taking on a full bowling league, work as usual, and of course I'll only be getting more preggo as time goes on. But as my best friend says, I'm a tough cookie.

Anywho, while sitting in class today I got the grumblies in my belly and before class started I grabbed a Twix bar from the vending machine. But it got me thinking about things (funny, I think) that I should be concerned about while being preggo and attending school:

1 - the sudden NEED food NOW! Luckily, there is a vending machine in the building where 3/4 of my classes are, but what if I don't think to grab something before class? Will I be disrupting my class with my loud belly roars?! Hehe.

2 - the sudden need to pee during class. How disruptive will I be if I need to get up? I hate that - it draws attention to yourself. Right now I usually have enough common sense to go before class, but I'm sure that the urge will come more often when I'm not expecting it as time goes on.

3 - by December will my belly still fit into these tiny chair/desks? Seriosuly - they're okay now. But how big will my belly get? What if it gets too big? That would present quite the problem.

I'm sure more of these fun thoughts will appear in the coming months. For now...I'm off to do more homework.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Maternity Clothing Vent

Oh yea...I'm venting this early. I was walking through Sears and saw this really cute short sleeved maternity shirt for only $4.99. Size SMALL. And it looked like I could swim in it. Meanwhile, more and more of my shirts that used to hang loose have a little belly poking through.

Also, I used to be a Juniors size 9 in pants/jeans. No longer. My 11s, which used to be HUGE, are now growing to fit just right. My awesome boss gave me some of her women's size 10 jeans, which obviously fit different than juniors clothing, but even those are getting...snug. They won't last more than a few more weeks, I'm sure. But I look at maternity pants, size SMALL, and they look huge!

Am I supposed to wait until I have this huge belly to go out and get maternity clothes? What am I supposed to do in the meantime - go out and get a whole new wardrobe to fit the "not quite maternity size" yet?! It's ridiculous.

There should be maternity clothes in time specified ranges, like "early pregnancy, when you're only showing a little" "middle pregnancy - when you've got that belly" and "almost to the end pregnancy - so your belly isn't hanging out under your shirt" like i see SO many 8 or 9 month women having to deal with!

Pardon me, while I go through my clothes today and realize that my belly will be poking through the rest of my shirts until I have a bump big enough to fit a SMALL maternity shirt.

Friday, August 14, 2009

The MUCH awaited blob pics! 14wks and counting...

I'm just doing this to test out my new webcam that is a part of my new laptop:o/

The usual side view....hot, right?! My ass is getting huge, too. BUT, I will remind you all that I have gained ONLY a pound or two:oP










And an awesome front view, too! Consider yourself spoiled! I know you're diggin on the shirt, right?!



Why, HELLO there energy!

So, in the middle of the day yesterday I realized that, "Hey, I don't feel like I need a nap!" It was a weird moment of realization. And last night I was BUSY! When I got home I: made dinner, actually took the time to send out an important e-mail, worked on setting up the bowling spreadsheet for a league that doesn't start for another 4 or 5 weeks, went to the store to pick up some items, took a nice hot long shower, and did laundry.

I didn't go to bed until 11pm!!! And it wasn't even like I was exhausted. So, apparently, while it's not a burst of energy, I DEFINITELY have more stamina - despite not sleeping well. This makes me happy:o)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Baby Brain

It's absolutely true. Some women just get freakin stupid when they become pregnant - and I'm one of those women!



Up until now, I think the dumbest thing I've done is turn the kitchen faucet on to soak a pan, walk into the bedroom, get caught up in a tv show and have Shawn ask me, "Why is the faucet running?" like 5 minutes later. It's actually happened twice.

Today TOTALLY tops that! About 10-20 minutes after I got home from work our neighbor comes by the fence and is giving us a funny look. So I go out to talk to him and he asks, "Why is your car running?"

GENIUS!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Breastfeeding & Cancer

Good news!

http://www.newsobserver.com/news/health_science/story/1642292.html

Officially Second Trimester!

Today I am 14 weeks along, officially out of that first trimester ickiness! And ::poof:: the magic abundance of energy comes back...right? Tomorrow? Maybe? No? We'll see:o(

I am feeling ok and trying to eat healthy and stay fit, but let's face it - I'm a lazy woman. I have been in the pool twice this week and while watching mucnhkins be crazy I've sat in the shallow end and did some stretching...now if only I can remember to do it during the day!

My best friend is totally awesome - in a manner of days she's introduced me to two awesome websites. Buybuybaby.com, which is an affiliate of Bedbathandbeyond...which means I get to use the hundreds of coupons I've been savingup. And the other website is theburthsurvey.com. Basically a site where you can review your birth center, hospital, doctor, midwife, etc. My birth center has awesome ratings, for the most part, AND when I looked up midwives in my area (I don't know all the midwives names at my center), ANY midwife that had the same address as my birth center came up with 4 stars or more on a 5 star-rating system. That's GREAT news!

What else? Paperwork for baby finances is completely taken care of, which is a huge relief. I'm in the process of cutting some deals with women from my local Bump board and Craigslist on cloth diapers - I'm trying to stock up by the end of this month to get that taken care of.

Oh, and I feel fat. Yea, sure, I'll post a pic this week to show you. I feel blobby. No real belly action going on - just blob.

And NEXT Friday is our next appt at the birth center - YAY!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Weird Dream - short

Two nights ago I had a really weird/bad dream. I was playing with a baby - at least a few months old, I'd say between 3-6mos. (Note: what's funny is that I can't remember if it was a boy or girl, lol!) Anyway, I'm happy and we're playing and perfectly fine. And this baby is mine, as far as I'm concerned. And there were other people in the room - Shawn, for sure, but who else I can't recall. All of a sudden...I realize that I CANNOT remember labor. I can't remember HAVING this baby. I FREAKED OUT!!!!!!!! I knew I had been pregnant, but I couldn't remember having teh HUGE belly at the end of a pregnancy, I couldn't remember my water breaking, or having contractions, or going to the birth center or a hospital...I couldn't remember the child coming out of my vagina! NOTHING. I was like, WTF is going on?! I couldn't even remember watching the child grow up the past few months - I remember nothing from before the time I was just sitting there playing with this baby.

I started questioning - did I have this baby? Is it really mine? What happened to my belly and my labor? Did I lose my baby? Whose baby is this?

Then I woke up. Freaky.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Produce Health

Article from Baby Guide 2009 that I received from the Birth Center.

Produce Highest in pesticide residue:
- Peaches
- Apples
- Sweet Bell Peppers
- Celery
- Nectarines
- Strawberries
- Cherries
- Lettuce
- Grapes (imported)
- Pears
- Spinach
- Potatoes

So...that's just about everything I really enjoy eating when it comes to produce. Awesome.

Produce Lowest in pesticide residue:
- Onions
- Avocados
- Sweet corn (frozen)
- Pineapples
- Mangoes
- Sweet peas (frozen)
- Asparagus
- Kiwi
- Bananas
- Cabbage
- Broccoli
- Eggplant

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Gender Predictions

So, let's take a look at all the old wives tales and see what gender our baby is going to be:

Chinese Gender Chart (http://www.babygenderprediction.com/chinese-gender-chart.html)
- Conception Month - May, Conception Age - 24 = GIRL

Carrying High vs Low
- It's hard to tell now, but when the midwife was checking me on my last visit she said she could feel my uterus popping "here" and "here" was pretty low = BOY

Heartbeat 140+ is girl, 140- is boy
- on June 25 hb = 156bpm = GIRL
- on July 28 hb = 140bpm = neutral?

Cravings: sweet is girl, sour is boy
- neither, i actually crave crunchy stuff

Husband putting on weight with you?
- highly doubtful = BOY

I refuse to do the Drano/Urine test...gross. I haven't done the ring/pendant motion test. And I'm not telling which boob is bigger:oP

So it seems really up in the air right now. Your thoughts?!