Photos and a Shower

We had these photos taken a few weeks ago by our wedding photographer, Andy Orenstein.  This is just a small taste of what we did, and I am so happy with the photos.

Aside from these awesome pics we’ve been fairly busy.  Last weekend my mom threw us a shower.  My cousin Kristin flew in town for the weekend, and Rob’s brother Chris, his wife Kristin and their little boy Asher came down from Everett to celebrate with us.

The shower was amazing.  My mom used all my old baby toys, blankets and clothes as decorations, which I thought was a great idea.

My mom even made those blankets for me when I was a bebe.

That’s the sock monkey my mom made me, I chewed on his tail as a child.  And yes, that is the Snuggle bear.  My mom had the piano music open to Vince Guaraldi’s Linus and Lucy.  It was my favorite song that my dad played on the piano.  There were baby photos of Rob and I everywhere.

For favors, my mom made gummy candy kabobs-In case you didn’t know, gummy candies are an important part of mine and Rob’s diet.  We played a game where we had to guess the price of the baby product.  Rob and I lost that one.  We also played a game where one person had to be blindfolded and diaper a leaking water balloon.  Rob almost won that one.  He did pretty well, considering almost everyone else’s balloons popped.

Mom also had a deeeelicious, and very cute cake made for us.

We received a ton of gifts.  I’m not kidding, an actual ton.  We got a lot of stuff we needed including our stroller and car seat (baby now has a way to get home from the hospital), bassinet, high chair, sling, and of course lots of adorable clothes.  We also got some really cool handmade gifts including hats made by Darcy, my friend Katie’s mom, a crocheted bear from Katrina (who very sadly could not be there because apparently grad school is more important.  Kidding!), a crocheted blanket from my mom, a Muppet quilt made by my sister in law’s mom, Sherene, I’m pretty sure there’s more.

I also got some gifts for me!  Joy made me a heat pack for my back, which I haven’t used yet because I need to clean my microwave.  My Aunt Karen gave me nice some nursing pajamas.  Sister in law Kristin gave me a care package with slippers, and a heat pack.  My mom surprised me with one of my favorite gifts, and by far the most sentimental.  She scrapbooked me a new baby book.  It was awesome.  Of course it made me cry like a baby.  It had a lot of pictures I haven’t seen in a long time, and a lot of me and my dad.  It was perfect.

Thank you mom for a fabulous shower.

I wish my cousin could have stayed longer, but I’m so glad she was able to come at all.  She’s been a pillar in my life since I was born.  She was my maid of honor in our wedding and has always been there when I needed her, and vice versa.  In fact, while she was here she found a mark on Diego’s eye (she’s a veterinarian) and we had to take him in to the vet.  I can’t wait to have her here again to meet the kid.  I miss you already, Kristin!

Wednesday marked 35/35.  35 weeks, with 35 days left.  More and more I feel like I’m not going to make it to my due date.  I guess it’s just a hunch.  This last week I’ve been having more frequent Braxton Hicks contractions, not that that’s a sign of coming labor or anything, and they’re not painful but they sure do take my breath away.  I have been starting to have that “I’m done being pregnant” feeling.  I really do love being pregnant, but there is not one minute in the day where I can say I’m comfortable.  I haven’t been sleeping well for months now, but it seems to be getting harder and harder to get good rest.  Every time the baby wiggles now it’s like having tiny fists grinding against innards (cause that’s actually what’s happening), and the best feeling is when he moves in such a way that I get what it referred to as “lightning crotch”.  That’s when the baby jerks around and I feel a ton of pressure and a twinge of pain shooting through my cervix.  Sometimes when that happens I think oh shit, this is it.  That’s how much pressure I feel.  I like knowing he’s there, but he’s so big now it’s becoming pretty uncomfortable.  What’s worse is that he’s most active late at night and into the wee hours of the morning.  I’ve been punched/kicked out of my sleep on multiple occasions.  My back hurts all the time.  All.  The.  Time.  I know I’ve bitched about all this many, many times, blah blah blah, but it’s rough.  There’s so much I want to get done around the house before this baby comes, and I have the drive but just no energy.  I’ve also been feeling pretty anxious, and at times very emotional.  Out of the blue I’ll cry, and it’s not just any regular cry it’s pure uncontrollable sobbing.  It’s like nothing I’ve experienced before.  I guess the hormones have hit.  As for the anxiety, I don’t know.  I guess I can be an anxious person, and I suppose something pretty huge is about to happen in my life, but it’s one of the worst feelings.  I’m afraid one of these days I’m going to send myself into a panic attack.  But I will do my best to not do that.  Okay, I’m done complaining for now.

I found this article on Jezebel and found it to be pretty true to what I’ve felt all along.  Why does no one talk about this stuff?  You don’t hear your pregnant friends talking about their leaky nipples (Well, unless you’re my girlfriends, you hear it from me).  Why do women feel like they can’t say anything about this stuff?  When someone asks me how I’m feeling I’m honest and I tell them how everything hurts, and how I can’t sleep and if they want me to further describe what exactly is happening with my body I’d be more than happy to.  I’m an open book people!

I’m now taking bets on when baby boy will make his appearance.

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Nesting, nesting, nesting!

As the end draws near, I find myself doing more and more work to get this house ready for the baby.  Rob has been also been working really hard on the furniture, stripping and sanding it.  It’s taken three different types of paint stripper to get the stuff off because of the beveled spindles on the changing table and rocking chair.  After he strips the paint, I repaint which has been killing my back.  But that’s my own fault.  We still need to finish the rocking chair, but it’s too cold outside for the paint stripper to work properly and using that stuff indoors is a death sentence.

We bought the dresser probably a year ago at an estate sale, without a real use in mind.  We just liked it and the price was right.  It’s an antique, and a little beaten up but it looks pretty nice repainted.

The second drawer down is missing the bottom right corner.  Oh well.  We’d like to put something on that plaque on the second drawer, but can’t think of what.  Any ideas?  I would say his initials, but we don’t know what those are yet.

*Side note: I think the calibration on my computer is screwed up, because the walls are not as bright yellow as they appear on here to me, and the images look a lot better on my camera.

We bought the changing table and rocking chair from a family on Craigslist for $40.

I’m pretty pleased with the way it came out, and I’m eager to finish the rocking chair.

I also received the cloth diapers I ordered a few weeks back.

I bought a dozen of the bumGenius Elemental One-Size.  I did a lot of research into cloth diapering to see what was available and these seemed to make the most sense for a lot of reasons.  1) These can be used from birth until he’s out of diapers.  They have snaps on them that change the size of the diaper as the baby grows. 2) There are no inserts or plastic covers needed.  It’s all in one piece.  3) They had rave reviews from families who’ve used them.  I’ve actually used them on the kids I’ve babysat for-very easy.  I even got a sprayer that attaches to the toilet to remove the poop properly.  I also got a wet/dry zip bag to attach to the side of the changing table to put them in after being used.  I anticipate us using a mix of disposable and cloth, but if we can get into a cloth groove that’d be great!

In addition to repainting the furniture I’ve been putting things in their respective places.  I’ve gone through all the clothes we have, sorted them by size and put them away.  This kid has a lot of clothes already, especially newborn through 6 months.  He’s also got quite the shoe collection.  Not sure where I’m going to put those yet.  Still need to figure out the closet organization.  With doing all of this, I guess you could say I’m nesting.

Here’s last weeks obligatory belly shot:

It’s not until I look at the photos do I realize how big I am.  Looking down all the time, I underestimate just how large my belly is.

I’ve been feeling pretty OK the last couple of weeks.  Except my back is just killing me.  I want to high five any pregnant woman who has to work or take care of kids while feeling this pain.  The worst part is, there’s very little relief.  I get temporary relief when I do the stretches I’ve learned in our birth class, and acupuncture does help, but if I’ve done too much work in a day I suffer that night.  And let me tell you that taking Tylenol is so not the same as popping 4 Aleve.  It barely helps.  It will be nice to not be carrying around all the extra weight.  Speaking of extra weight, I weigh more than I ever have in my life, and rightfully so.  I think a part of me thought I would be worried about my weight while being pregnant, but I was excited when I hit 200.  It was a number I’ve never reached, so it was kind of like a milestone of sorts.  I’m not worried about getting back to pre-pregnancy weight after he’s born.  It’ll happen, or it won’t.  Whatevs.

This weekend we’ve got our second baby shower at my mom’s house.  We’re very eager for it because there will be a lot of people we don’t see often there including my cousin Kristin who lives in Las Vegas now, and Rob’s brother Chris and his wife Kristin and our nephew Asher.  I’m excited to see what my mom put together for us, and I know she is too.  I’ll be sure to fill you in with all the deets soon!

D-I-E-G-O

D-I-E-G-O!  Sing that to the tune of Bingo.

Today while Rob was working on stripping the paint on some baby furniture outside, I caught Diego and Rita sitting next to each other watching him at the back door.  The second I got up to grab my camera Rita was distracted and followed me to get it, while Diego sat there waiting patiently for Rob to come back in.

I have never witnessed one of those “man’s best friend” relationships in real life.  Until now.  Diego loves Rob more than I love cheese.  Hell, maybe even more than I love Rob (But that’s not possible.  Lovey, dovey!)  It’s adorable.  It’s precious.  It’s even a little annoying sometimes how much this dog loves this man.  I say annoying only because at the sheer sight of Rob’s truck pulling up to the house when he gets home from work, Diego loses his mind.  His tail whips back and forth at such a speed that if you’re sitting near him you’ll get stung.  When Rob walks through the door it’s like watching a crack fiend get a long needed fix.  Diego stumbles and trips over himself to get to Rob’s bearded face to lick the life out of him.  All the while, little Rita waits patiently for her turn with Rob.

I took these photos today while Diego was longingly waiting for Rob to come back inside.

His ears perk up as Rob starts walking towards the door to come in.

And this is classic Diego.  His wide eyed “Don’t you love me?” stare.

I love Diego, even though he loves Rob more.  I love watching them interact and be best friends.  Rob read a comic book, I don’t remember the name of it, that was about the last man alive and his monkey pal.  At the end of the comic the monkey ends up dying.  Rob said that the relationship the man had with his monkey pal reminded him of his and Diego’s relationship and he cried.

8 Weeks/55 days

Only 8 more weeks of you having to listen to me talk about being pregnant.  Then the real fun begins.

So I’ve been keeping busy around the house, nesting I suppose.  Last time I wrote the crib we got was not going to work.  We returned it, and got a new and blue one!

The other one was waaay too green (it actually showed up yellow in photos).  This blue is perfect.  After getting the crib set up, I managed to knock out some curtains.  I found two sets of vintage Sesame Street sheets on Ebay and snagged them for this purpose.  I bought some plain white panel curtains from Ikea and sewed the sheets to them.  I replaced the blinds as well, and both the new blinds and curtains are making the room considerably warmer.  I love how our original windows look, but they really offer no insulation.  This last weekend my mom took me to Babies R Us and bought the crib mattress (thanks mom!).  He officially will not be sleeping in a dresser drawer.

Rob dug out this sweet piece of awesomeness: the Disc-O-Kid.  The kid’s got his own record player as well as a few albums Rob has picked up at thrift stores and the bins.  I gave it a good clean up, it was pretty dingy, and looks as good as new.  The needle needs a little extra weight, but we can work with that.  When it plays, there’s a light that flashes on the reflective background like at a disco!  We’re gonna have a disco kid!

Rob’s also been picking up children’s books and even comic books for the boy.  It’s pretty sweet, and I can’t wait to see him read to the bebe.

I hit 31 weeks last Wednesday.  I also discovered that I had stretch marks.  I thought I was going to be in the clear, but noooooo.  They’re fairly small and are only on my lower belly.

Yesterday made 32 weeks.

I had my 32 week appointment today.  It was supposed to be on Tuesday, but my midwife was sick, and out for the week.  So today I met with another midwife.  She was older, and very attentive, which is a big reason why I chose to use midwives in general.  She did do an internal exam, yay!  (that is to be read sarcastically)  I went in with my list of things I’ve been experiencing, and questions I had and some of the aches and pains lead her to do an exam just for safety.  When she checked me all was fine, no dilation, and she said everything looked as it should.  Thankfully Rob was there to hold my hand because I get really anxious about vaginal exams.  The exam itself wasn’t too bad.  Really it’s just the medieval torture devices they use to perform the exam.  Hopefully, if you’re still reading this you don’t care knowing about my dilating cervix.  Just know that from now til I give birth I will not spare you any detail.  I don’t mind sharing if you don’t mind reading:)

The last 2-3 weeks I’ve been feeling a lot of pressure when I stand up and walk, and the urge to pee is constant.  For a while I had been feeling him up in my ribs, which is not pleasant, and suddenly all his movement is really low and on the sides.  I came to the conclusion that he had “dropped”, settled into the birthing position lower in my pelvis.  I got my confirmation today when she felt around the outside of my belly that he is in fact head down and she said she “can feel little appendages”, hands, in my lower abdomen on the left and she felt his backside along my right side.  His heart rate was good, and my belly is measuring right on track*.  Before we left we scheduled the 3 remaining appointments up until my due date.  At the next appointment the run a test for Group B Strep, wherein a large Q-Tip swabs the inside of the vagina and another in the anus.  Don’t you guys feel like our relationship has gone to the next level?  I’m reeeeeally looking forward to that.  To make up for that, we do get to see the baby again on ultrasound at the next appointment to make sure he’s still head down, and if he’s not, they drug me up and somehow turn him.

Our Bradley class is going well.  This week we went over the labor process and discussed different options and obstacles we may encounter during it.

*A quick note on my belly: When people remark on how “small” they think I’m measuring, I want to tell them to fuck off.  Excuse the language, please.  I’ve had a handful of people say this to me, people who’ve had kids and people who haven’t.  I know that sounds harsh, but it is very difficult to want to be nice to people who like to give unsolicited advice on my pregnancy.  You are not my doctor.  Every woman is different, carries her pregnancy differently and has a different experience all together.  If I want your advice or opinion on how big or small I’m measuring, I’ll ask.

Besides all this pregnancy stuff I really don’t have much going on in my life.  Oh wait, I am going to see comedian Marc Maron tonight!  That’s exciting and not baby or pregnancy related.  I’ve been watching Rob attempt to beat the very last level in Super Mario Galaxy 2, The Perfect Run in the Grandmaster Galaxy.  I gave up on that game when I couldn’t for the life of me get past a level.  I forget how far I got.  But watching Rob play this level is just as intense as playing it.  I just watched season 4 of 30 Rock on dvd, that was nice.  I’m on season 2 of Roseanne and that’s going great.  I’ve also been enjoying watching my pals play dodgeball.  I miss playing dodgeball, but I’ll return to the team one day!  I think that’s all I’ve got for now.  Until next time!

Let the countdown begin…

Rob and I just returned from our 2nd birthing class.  We are taking classes on the Bradley Method, husband coached childbirth.  Last week we kind of went over what the class was about, learned some relaxation techniques and discussed things that some of us our experiencing or will experience.  I am the 2nd farthest along in the class, everyone else is due April, May or even June.

Anytime the teacher asked if anyone had experienced what she was talking about or new answers to questions I chimed in.  I was the girl that I hate.  The know it all.  I told Rob after we left that I felt like the teacher’s pet cause I knew everything.  I like to think I’ve educated myself pretty well on pregnancy and childbirth.  I don’t understand really how one couldn’t.  We received handouts on diet, which should be high in protein according to the Bradley Method.  Score!  My diet is full of protein.  We also received handouts on things like perennial massage to help prevent tearing (Wooooo!) and a workbook with all the lessons we’ll be going over each week.  We also signed up to bring a snack for the 2nd class (tonight).  The teacher created a snack sign up list and gave a theme for each week, and the first weeks theme was eggs.  Naturally, we signed up for that one.  We met and chatted with the other couples, there are 5 more, and of course had a little ice breaking activity to get to know each other.  After last weeks class I felt really confident in our decision to take it.  I think Rob is going to be an amazing coach.

Last Wednesday I hit the 30 week mark.

My face looks ridiculous in this picture.

I’m starting to feel more “pregnant”.  I’m huffing and puffing with every step I take, especially going up and down stairs.  I’m peeing like crazy.  Putting on socks and shoes, and hell even my pants, is becoming a chore.  I’ve never been good at sleeping, as Rob puts it, but now my sleep schedule is so off I can’t remember the last time I got a real full night’s sleep.  Which is ok because I feel like this is just preparing me for the lack of sleep that is to come.  It would be nice, though, to have one night where I can sleep for 3-4 hours straight without having to wake up  to roll over.  My back is almost always hurting, and there is frequently a fist or foot (I can’t tell) scraping my ribs from the inside.  Aaaand y feet are swelling.  Only a little but thankfully my mom got me compression socks which are helping (thanks mom!)  I know it sounds like I’m complaining a whole lot, and I am, but I certainly wouldn’t change a thing.  I know in a couple of months these physical aches and pains will be replaced by new ones and I’ll have an outside baby!  I just can’t believe how much I’ve slowed down in the last couple of weeks.  I am that slow walking girl I hate getting stuck behind at the store, but that’s how goes.

Yesterday my mom took me to Ikea where she bought our crib (yay!).  My mom is a very aggressive walker, as am I normally.  I must get it from her.  But she definitely had to take it down a couple notches yesterday so I could keep up.  And Ikea was so incredibly crowded we couldn’t walk at a normal pace even if we wanted to.

So mom got us our crib, which we are so thankful for (thanks mom!).  Rob and I began to assemble it last night and pretty much within 5 minutes we realized that we had a dud of crib.  You know how Ikea furniture is pretty foolproof and comes with all the holes drilled for you?  Well, one of those holes, on just one on one of the rails, was about two centimeters too high.  We tried flipping it upside down, attaching it to the other side and whatever else we could think of.  It wasn’t going to happen.  So now we have to bring it back.  Boooooo!  This next one better be right dammit.  I’m in major nesting mode and I want to get some shit done.  We’ll take it back and hopefully get one with no issues.

Tonight was our 2nd class.  Rob and I brought this weeks snack based on eggs.  We made a breakfast quiche with bacon, sausage and cheese, and Rob made his deviled eggs.  Of course we used our chicken’s eggs for both.  Both were a big hit and we brought home no left overs!  This class we had three couples and there new babies from the last class come and tell their natural birth stories.  It was nice to hear each couple’s experience and how the pain was different for each woman and each woman had her own relaxation technique.  It definitely made me realize even more how this whole entire process, pregnancy and birth, really is different for each woman.

One or two of the women had music playing during labor and delivery, which is something I think I’d like to have.  At least right now I think I might like it, in the middle of labor it could very well be the last thing I want.  the other day I compiled a playlist of songs to play during L&D.  At first I was thinking maybe I should have a relaxing playlist.  That thought lasted for all of two seconds.  I don’t listen to relaxing music.  I couldn’t find one album in my iTunes library that could be considered “relaxing”.  So, I just put all my favorite songs on this list.  It’s over 8 hours long, which is good because first timers usually go for that or longer, and it has everything from The Rolling Stones and She & Him to David Bowie and Sleater-Kinney to Elvis and Styx.  The playlist is called Delivery Room Rockout.  And that’s what I’ll be doing, rocking my baby out.  Now I’m really curious to see what song is playing when he’s born.  Will it be something sentimental like David Bowie’s Heroes, or Rufus Wainwright’s cover of Across the Universe?  Or will it be something awesome like Salt n Pepa’s Push It or Sympathy for the Devil by The Rolling Stones?  Oh the suspense!  Rob wants me to include Chumbawumba’s Tubthumping, but I don’t think so.  It’s one of those little inside jokes that we have, I think he even mentioned it in his vows.  Maybe I should.  I’m just not sure I want that to be the first song my son hears.

So now here I am 30 weeks and 4 days pregnant.  That’s only 9 weeks and 3 days until my due date.  I’m going to go and let that sink in for a bit.