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.'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/


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 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 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!


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!


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: " 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. life is perfect.