Things that happened

Well, this last week has been full of happening things.

First off, we had our last Bradley Birth Class on Sunday.  I certainly feel confident in my decision to go natural/med free.  I think Rob and I both learned a lot from this class.  Rob even told me how proud he was of me for choosing to go natural/med free.  That made me feel pretty damn good.

Tuesday was Mardi Gras.  Even though I don’t live in New Orleans anymore I still like to celebrate Mardi Gras and share what it’s about with my friends.  I made a King Cake this year instead of having one shipped here (I can’t justify spending $50 on having a cake shipped here).  It didn’t come out great.  It was dry and a lot more dense than what kind of King Cake I’m used to.  The frosting came out pretty good though.  I even made a cream cheese filling, that also came out well.  I’d like to master a King Cake recipe one of these days, so I guess I’ll just keep on practicing.

For Mardi Gras dinner Rob, myself, Mike and Devo went to EaT: An Oyster Bar.  It was packed!  We got a a table right in front of the live musician, Curtis Salgado.  Aside from not being able to speak to each other over dinner, it was great.  I had Shrimp Étouffée, Rob had the jambalaya, Mike had the debris po boy, Gator bites & pickle chips, and Devo had the fried oyster po boy.  I also got my fix of sweet tea.  Although, if I weren’t pregnant I would’ve indulged in a hurricane and/or an Abita Turbo Dog, a Louisiana micro brew.  There was a lady there dressed to the nines in Mardi Gras gear.  It really made me miss going to parades and seeing everyone dressed up and dancing in the streets and yelling “Hey mister, throw me somthin’!”  at the floats passing by.

If you look over Rob’s left shoulder you can see the Mardi Gras lady.  She looks eerily like a statue.

I told Rob I can’t wait to bring the kid to Mardi Gras and let him experience the awesome fun I had as a kid.

Last week marked 37 weeks of having a growing fetus inside me.

And this last Wednesday marked 38 weeks:

All I’ll say about pregnancy this post is that we’re ready and waiting.  Please come soon, baby.  I’m getting impatient.

Thursday was an interesting day.  I picked up Katrina from the airport, who came in town just in time to see my brother in the hospital after having his appendix removed!  My mom called me Thursday morning and said she took him into the E.R. the night before with severe abdominal pain and vomiting.  After some tests and a Cat Scan, they determined he had to have his appendix removed.  Luckily they caught it early and it hadn’t ruptured.

Poor kid.  I felt so bad for him, being in all that pain.  When they got him settled into his room after surgery, he looked pretty comfortable.  Probably the dilaudid he was hopped up on.  He was talking about taking me to the Waffle Window this weekend.  Yeah, that’s happening.  He’s at home now, doing well thankfully.  We talked about how after I give birth, we can compare pain stories.

Hang in there little bro!

Also, today is Katrina’s birthday.  Happy birthday to my favorite Dairy Queen buddy, fellow bitchy bitch and all around crazy girl.

Until next time children…

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February Wrap Up

For Valentine’s Day Rob and I decided that we had a $5 budget on any sort of gifting we wanted to do, aside from our traditional dinner at our favorite Italian restaurant La Buca and dessert at Stoccato Gelato.  I decided to make a nice breakfast for us.  I found this recipe for red velvet pancakes.  Red velvet cake is my favorite, and Rob likes most things food related so I thought I couldn’t go wrong.  Since he worked the night before at the bar I had all morning to prepare our feast.  I had to go to the grocery to get buttermilk, the only ingredient I didn’t have on hand, so I stayed within our $5 budget.  I made the batter and got the pan ready, and plopped the first to be pancake on it.  Problem: The batter is incredibly thick.  The first few were inedible.  Eventually I got it down to a science and made some decent pancakes.

A little powdered sugar and a heart shaped cookie cutter made them more valentines-y.

Rob’s gift broke the rules.  After dinner we went to see comedienne Tig Notaro at Helium.  It was a great surprise and a great show.  Another little surprise were the awesome contractions I was having.  All.  Night.  Long.  When we were walking from the car to wherever we were going I had grab on to Rob for support because they were taking my breath away.  Despite that, we had a lovely evening and I couldn’t help but keep thinking about how this was probably going to be one of our last date nights before becoming parents.

This last weekend Rob and Cinema Queso completed their movie for the 48 Hour Go Green contest.  While we were watching birthing videos in our class Sunday night, Rob is anxiously waiting to hear from his teammates to see if their film got turned in on time.  Watching women birth babies and seeing what kind of life changing things he’ll be going through soon really put him on edge.  Rob’s usually a pretty laid back guy, but when he’s anxious you can feel it emanating from his body.  It  was turned in on time, and we went to the screening on Thursday where they won nothing-which was expected.  They made a silly movie that was competing against a lot of dramatic and more serious films.  This is where I would include a link to their movie, but they haven’t put it online yet.  Slackers.  Check YouTube and Vimeo in a few days and search for Cinema Queso’s “Treason”.

What else is happening?  If you’re not in Portland then you may not be aware of our brush with death and the adventures in PDX BLIZZARD 2011.  Anytime the meteorologists mention snow the entire city ends up in a tizzy.  Ever since Snomageddon ’08 I have sworn off snow.  Didn’t know you could do that, huh?  Well I did.  It was fun for a day, then it was just a problem.  Back to present day: They had been talking snow all week and I chose to ignore it, because nothing usually comes of it.  Well, Thursday morning I got up at 8 and looked outside and low and behold it was snowing.  The neighbor kids were out playing already, because of course school had been canceled.  It didn’t last long though.  It had stopped snowing and was completely melted away by noon.  Rob and I were able to run errands and take care of some things.  By 3:00 it had started snowing again, and dumped a full inch.  While it was pretty, and I really had no real reason to hate it, I still did.  I did make myself go out and take pictures, and while doing so I took a snowball to the face from one of the neighbor girls.  Now normally I would’ve flown off the handle and would’ve wanted to throttle her neck, but I reacted quite the opposite.  You know why?  Because pregnancy has made me a nicer person.  One of the older kids scolded her and said “Don’t throw snowballs at the neighbor!  She’s pregnant and it’s not very nice!”.  I don’t know where he learned those manners, certainly not from his parents, but I appreciated his efforts.  I went on about my business of photographing the crocus’s in my front yard.  And that was my snow day.  It had, again, melted away pretty quickly.  So much for our end of days snow storm.

Yesterday, Friday, I had my 36 week check up with the midwife.  We finally got to see our favorite midwife again.  She seemed pretty excited to see us too.  Of course I had a few things to discuss with her off the bat.  We talked about all the lovely Braxton Hicks contractions I’ve been having, including the painful ones I experienced on Tuesday evening.  I ended up calling Labor & Delivery at the hospital.  I knew it wasn’t it. I was having regular contractions ranging from 2 to 4 minutes apart, not painful at first but eventually came back pain and a little cramping.  I called in just to make sure I shouldn’t go in.  The nurse advised me to take a bath, which totally helped.  They were back to a few an hour like normal, with no pain.  All of that lasted about 7 hours.  And in that 7 hours I did all the relaxation exercises we’ve learned in class.  It was good practice for when it is the real thing.

If you don’t care to know about the inner workings of my pregnant bod, then leave now.  There’s your TMI warning.

Ok, back to the midwife.  At this appointment I had to be tested for Group B Strep, which can be pretty dangerous to the baby if I did have it and he picked it up on the way out.  I haven’t gotten the results back yet, hopefully it’s negative, cause if it’s positive I’ll have to have an i.v. during labor with antibiotics which I don’t want (the i.v., not the antibiotics).  The test is done by swabbing a q tip in the vagina and anus.  It sounds a lot worse than it is.  I didn’t even notice she had done it.  I did inform her that I thought I had a hemorrhoid, which I’ve never had before so I wasn’t exactly sure.  She said she couldn’t see anything, but that they can go in and out with bowel movements.  Lovely!  Update from today: I’m pretty sure it’s a hemorrhoid.  I also had her do a cervical check.  I was curious to see if there was any progress at all, especially after all these contractions.  This was the most uncomfortable part.  She said I was not dilated, but my cervix is 30-40% effaced and it’s soft and short and she could feel the baby’s head.  She also said he’s not engaged, which means she could push his head away.  That explains all the insane movement I’m feeling.  I did pretty good through the cervical check.  She even commented on how well I did!  After that we got to see the bebe on ultrasound.  We saw his little mouth sucking on nothing, and we even got a little wave out of him.  I think he’s going to have Rob’s lips.  It was pretty nice to see him one last time on the inside.  Next time we see him, he’ll be an outside baby.  We wrapped up our visit with the midwife, and she said that I need to make sure to have him on a Wednesday so she can be the one to deliver him.  I hope she is.

After our appointment we went to the Nurse Treatment Center and got flu shots.  Rob and I both were feeling pretty crummy by the end of the night, but unfortunately Rob had to work.  My whole body ached, my nose was stuffy (after having a crazy bloody nose), and my injection arm was so sore.  I woke up with a sore throat and I’m still feeling kind of groggy.  Booooo.  But it’s all for the baby, so it’s OK.

At this point we’ve got 25 days left until the due date.  I’m still feeling like he’ll be early, even by a day.  We’re both pretty ready.  Now it’s just what feels like a very long waiting game.

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.

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!

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!