Thursday, December 24, 2009

It's a Girl!

We have a little baby girl!!!!

Aysia Jordana
(pronounced like Asia, the continent)

She is so precious and so cute. We are in such awe. She has a FULL head of hair, about 1.5 inches of black hair on her entire head (no wonder my indigestion was terrible!), slate blue eyes and perfect skin. She weighed 7lb 15 oz and measures 20.5. So amazing.

The C-section was a little scary at first - getting wheeled in and then having the spinal block done, with all of these people surrounding me, attaching things, prodding, etc. But then DH came in, and I started to feel numb, and I relaxed a bit. Couldn't feel a thing except a little tugging, and couldn't see anything as we were behind a curtain. But I'll never forget when Aysia let out her first little cry then stopped. DH and I were holding our breath.... then she let loose! What a great sound!

They quickly checked her out (9 out of 9 apgar, my little over-acheiver!) and then DH got to hold her her right next to me while they started sewing me up. She was still covered with all the white stuff (vernix?). He went with her to the nursery to get warmed up, bathed, etc. While they brought me to recovery to warm me off and be sure the block wore off.

Less than 2 hours later, the 3 of us were back together in the postpartum room and the 6 grandparents, who had only gotten to see her through the nursery wondow, piled in and got to meet their granddaughter. I felt so bad for my mom - she got a cold from my nephew earlier this week, so she had to keep her distance and wear a mask. Now she has pink eye, so she hasn't been able to come visit us here.

I was able to start nursing right away, and she took to it really well. Even the lactation consultant said she was latching on perfectly. I'm so glad that's working out. I really like being able to breastfeed.

Oh, and shortly after the surgery, the doctor told me that he took a look at the fibroid, and that it's really big and protruding into my uterus. He thinks it's very likely it would have caused a problem during labor resulting in a c-section anyway. So now I'm extra glad I went this route. Sadly, though, he thinks it may need to be removed if I want to get pregnant again. We'll have to see if it shrinks back down to the smaller size it was before.

So anyway, I'm feeling great, Aysia's doing really well, and DH is making an incredible dad, already changing diapers, burping her, singing to her. It's so endearing...

More to post later, going to sleep now!!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

It's official!

We are having our baby on Tuesday!

It's scheduled for 8am, which means we have to be at the hospital at 6am. Leave the house at 5:30. Wake up at 4:30. That's early! But I'm glad... we're probably the first, or one of the first procedures that doc will perform that day, and I know I always do my best work in the morning. Hopefully he does, too! The nurse also said this timing is good, she said we'll be in and out, no delays are likely, and we'll be able to order a nice breakfast. Sounds good to me. Although I'm sure I won't be thinking about food when I've just met my little one! But I do like the idea of having as much time in the hospital as possible, with the support of the nurses and lactation consultants as we figure everything out.

I go in on Monday morning to get pre-admin bloodwork / testing done, and they'll have all my instructions. I also happened to have an OB appointment scheduled with my regular doctor, and the time fits in well, so I'm going to see her, too (even though it's not necessary). I hope she's not offended that I'm having the other doc do the procedure! I don't think she will be. But it will give me a chance to ask a bunch of final questions I have.

My head is spinning now with the idea that we're having our baby in a few days! Of course, I'm running around organizing and cleaning everything, and feeling good about what I'm getting done. (And yes, the playroom was finished last night, so DH and I will be re-decorating it this afternoon!). I do kind of regret that we'll be missing that "oh my gosh - it's time!" moment when my water breaks or I go into labor, but DH and I discussed that, and first and foremost we want as smooth a delivery as possible without ending up with an emergency C. I'm definitely second-guessing myself with this decision, but I feel in my gut that I'm doing the right thing.

We're only telling our parents and siblings about this - everyone else we will call / txt / email as planned after the birth

I also love the idea of bringing baby home on xmas day! I went to BRU yesterday and bought an adorable santa outfit for the baby. So much for my other cute bring-home-baby outfits! But I can't ignore that it's xmas, right??? I can use the other outfit (the gender appropriate one!) after xmas.

Meanwhile, my good friend just had her baby on Thursday. She had a baby girl, and everything is going well. My other good friend had a boy at the beginning of Dec. So whatever our baby is, s/he will have playmates of both sexes from two of my good friends. Very cool.

I can't believe we're where we are right now. Quite amazing.

Friday, December 18, 2009


Well, I lot has happened since my last day of work, let's see....

My DH's bday was last Thursday, and I was making a nice dinner for him. Get a phone call - he was in a car accident! Luckily, just a minor fender-bender he was absolutely FINE, and also lucky he was still in his work van, not our car. Turned out a permit driver didn't stop at a stop sign. Quite a lousy bday for him, though, as it took about 2 hours for the cops, reports, etc., and we ended up eating reheated dinner at 10pm. He did love what I made, though! (just a simple meatloaf and potatoes, but I don't cook, so this was a big deal for me).

Well, the next day, he had to pull out the bumper of the van a little so he could drive it without rubbing against the tires, and he threw his back out! Now, I really am a wife with a lot of sympathy. Usually. But all I could think of is - BUT THE PLAYROOM ISN'T DONE AND BABY IS 2 WEEKS AWAY! I am neurotic about getting everything done in time, and at this point, the electric still needed to be finished, walls patched, carpets cleaned, and everything moved back in and re-decorated. It was supposed to get done last weekend, but of course now that wouldn't happen. Luckily for him (and my sanity), with a few days of rest and heating pads, he was back to normal. I should have my playroom back by tomorrow and then I'll be able to unpack all the other purchases I've made and move them in. (And I did remember to pamper him occasionally during his recovery, rather than moaning about how my honey-do list wasn't getting done!!)

My first week off I have been running around like crazy. I thought I would be the lady of leisure, but not a chance. My to-do list is a mile long, and it feels great to have the time to do it. (I'm still on the blackberry a lot, but it's not the same as being in the office.) Luckily I'm still feeling great, and I have a lot of energy most days so I'm knocking a lot off the list.

I'm also cooking dinner every night! Again - a big deal for me. It's been fun! I think the nesting has kicked in big time. A huge help, though, is finding these recipes where they give you one shopping list for 5 days of meals. You can check off what you already have in the house, then buy the rest (and I order my groceries online for delivery, so that's a piece of cake). Then each night you cook the meal, and sometimes they have you cook extra of certain parts that you then save for the next meal as one of the ingredients. Very efficient and convenient, and EASY. Day 3 into the 5-day plan and we've liked the meals a lot. I have about 12 of these 5-day plans, and look forward to trying them out during maternity leave.

But now the BIG news!! I'm 90% sure I'm having our baby on Dec 22! This TUESDAY!

At my last OB appt on Wed, I met a new doc in the practice, who I liked a lot. He had a wry sense of humor and I appreciated it. So rather than wait to talk to my main doc on Monday, I brought up the idea of elective C-section with him. He wanted to know why I wanted it. Basically, I don't REALLY want a C, but I want the following:
  • A 2009 baby (several financial reasons - tax deduction, medical deductible, FSA - likely several thousands in total)
  • The baby to not be too big (he said s/he was likely in the high 7 lb range, and I had 2 weeks to go
  • Me not to be too big (I was up 3 lbs at that visit, now 23 lbs in total, and the goal is 15-25 lbs)
  • Not having labor and THEN an emergency C. That is my worst nightmare. And 1 out of 3 women end up with a C. Not great odds.
  • Extra maternity time. Two extra weeks of disability, and 2-3 extra days in the hospital (my hospital is pretty cushy with private rooms/bathrooms, TV/DVD players, a nice menu you can order from any time, lactation consultants, etc.)
  • The easiest delivery for my baby. I think the maternal instinct is kicking in here. I'm willing to have the extra pain and recovery in order to give my baby less stress in delivery.

I think I'm paranoid - we were so lucky to get pg naturally and have a wonderful pg... I'm so scared that something will go wrong during labor. Some freak accident, or extra stress on the baby. Or that all of a sudden, the baby will stop moving inside of me. I feel like, hey - everything is good now, the baby is moving, the baby is full term and big enough, I'm feeling good, let's not give anything a chance to go wrong. Control-freak much?

So, anyway, the doc said he'd be fine with a scheduled C, go ahead and call the nurse to set it up. So I was thinking maybe the week after xmas, but the nurse said that the doc was scheduled in the hospital on Dec 22nd. Wow! That's less than a week away! I wanted to talk it over with DH, so we did and said - heck yeah, let's do it! We have nothing planned this weekend except getting things ready, and he knows I'll be a crazy lunatic about it, but he can deal. The extra nice thing is that means we'll be bringing home baby on xmas day. What could be a better gift than that????

So I'm just waiting for the nurse to call back and confirm the time and details, and then it will be official. Wow!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Last Day of Work

Today is my last day of work!! I'm excited!

I decided to take 2.5 weeks off before my due date to relax, finalize everything, and try to de-stress from my stressful job. I'm so glad I'm doing this, I have a lot of around the house things planned, including lots of working out and spicy food to hopefully bring on labor! Any other tricks to share on how to get things moving???

Meanwhile, my whole team decided to come to my office today to send me off (I run a team spread across the northeast region, so only a few of them are in my actual office). And even though there was a shower thrown and gifts given already, a few of my senior folks gave me even more baby gifts. So sweet of them. I'm really lucky to have such a good team, and it makes me confident that things will run well while I'm gone. I put a lot of thought and planning on how to structure the team and workflow in my absence and I'm hoping it all goes smoothly. Of course, I'll probably be one of those nuts be on the blackberry while in labor and delivery!!

It's funny - on the one hand, I can't wait to finally meet our little one. But on the other, I'm really looking forward to the next few weeks (or days?) before I go into labor. I think it will be one of the most peaceful times I'll have for the next 18 years!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Full Term!

Big milestone today - 37 weeks... full term. This means they are fine if I give birth at any time!

I also happened to have an OB appointment today. Met a new doc in the practice who was OK, but I didn't like him as much as the others I've met. He did give me clearance to get back on the treadmill and start exercising again, so I'm excited about that. I've missed it! So I will start tomorrow.

But while I'd love to give birth a little early, I am not quite ready yet! The playroom, which will also double as the downstairs nursery, is completely torn apart. It looks unrecognizable compared to the pictures I posted a while back. Why? Well, DH is putting up the track lighting and, um, well, that should have been done before painting the walls, furnishing and decorating the room! He has to cut throught the sheetrock to run the electric, move the furniture out of the way to make room for the ladders, and pull out all the decorations so they don't get dusty and stepped on.

Maybe my impatience to decorate and attend to all the details was just a little premature!

Anyway, I'm hoping all gets done this weekend and I can re-decorate and get everything back in its place before our little one arrives. Are you laughing at me yet? For two reasons - first, do I think everything will continue to be "in its place" when we have a real live baby/toddler/child in the house?? And second, am I delusional thinking I have any control whatsoever about when our little one decides to arrive, and how will I handle the complete lack of control about to take over my life???

I see the complete absurdity of my thinking, but hey, that's me! I will have a lot of adjusting to do, I'm sure. It should be interesting!

Speaking of interesting... I actually lost a half a pound this week. The doc says it's normal to lose a few pounds in the last month. I like the sound of that, since the pounds have seemed to pile on over the last few weeks or so. I also expeced him to check for effacement and dilation, but he said they don't do that, unless there's a specific reason. He said that it really doesn't give you any indication of how soon you will go into labor, it's just something women like to talk about. Well, yeah!!! My girlfriend who's 1.5 weeks ahead of me was 100% effaced and 2cm dilated on Monday. I wanted to see where I was, compare notes, speculate about who will go first!! Oh well, I guess I'll stay in the dark. Grudgingly. He's no fun.

On the bright side, blood pressure is good, Strep B culture was negative, last TSH was good, uterus measurements were good, and even the heartbeat, at 135, which I thought was low - he said was good. He said the heartbeat starts to decline towards the end, and continues to decline once the baby is born.

So he sent me off with instructions to call if:
  1. Water breaks
  2. Baby stops moving
  3. Contractions are 5 mins apart and painful
  4. Bleeding (more than just the mucus plus or light spotting)

And continue to come in every week for the regular appointment.

Let the waiting begin!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving, baby care class and OB appt.

Hope everyone had a great holiday!

Ours was nice, but a little bittersweet. My younger brother's wife passed away in March of this year during a routine hospital procedure, leaving my 30 year old brother and their 4 year old son. Her birthday was this past Saturday, so my brother planted a tree in the local park with a bench and a lovely plaque, right by the river, and held a dedication ceremony with close friends and family. He also had worked with her mom and other close friends to publish a beautiful memorial book with pictures of her throughout her life and letters, stories and memories contributed by friends and family. Including some incredibly heartbreaking and touching journal entries by their son. It was all very lovely, but incredibly sad. Made me and DH very thankful for what we have.

Afterwards, a bunch of their friends came over to my mom's and I think I met my match! This woman has a 16-month son, and she said she had all kinds of excel spreadsheets to help her prepare (um, not that there's any way they compare to mine, but still... :)), she had done a lot of research on c-sections and decided on an elective-c, and she continues to research, research, research. My mom listened to us talk back and forth in amazement - she thought I was the only one so neurotic!

Sunday was our caring for baby class, including a lot of safety information, which was great. The most surprising (depressing) tidbit I learned -- they do NOT recommend you put the "tot-finder" sticker from the fire department on the window of your child. Why? Because then pedophiles know which windows to break into. How horrible is that???? One of the expectant fathers in the class was a firefighter, and he said they now have stickers you can put on the inside hallway door to your child's room so that the firefighters know where to go once they are in the house.

The best part about the class is that my mom and MIL came, too! Since they will by watching our little one for 3 days a week between the two of them, they wanted a "refresher". I thought that was great that they wanted to spend the day learning the new techniques and were not at all stuck on how it was when they were moms.

And even though I had to pay to get them registered, it was money well spent as it got me completely out of a sticky situation. I love the in-laws, the whole family is great, but the one thing I can't stand is that they all smoke (except BIL and his wife). A lot. In their house, too. They completely respect not smoking in our house, but they frequently go outside for a smoke, and then come in reeking of it on their clothes. They also smoke in their cars, and sometimes when they enter our house for the first time, the smell almost knocks me out. I've read about studies about this "third-hand smoke" - smoke residue that is left on hair, skin, clothes, furniture, carpets, etc., and how bad it is for little babies, as their lungs are so much smaller than ours. The percentage of dangerous chemicals they will inhale when being held close by someone wearing a smoke filled shirt is very large compared to how it affects adults.

So, I've been concerned about this and have talked to DH about how to handle it. He agrees that we won't be going to their house to visit until the baby is much older, but he was not in agreement that they needed to change their shirts whenever they came to our house and whenever they went outside for a smoke. I think he might have understood in theory, but did not feel comfortable telling them this. I told him I would blame it on the pediatrician's instructions, but he was still not comfortable. I was letting it ride for a while, but getting to the point where I was going to talk to them myself and deal with any fallout from DH later.

Well, the instructor of the class addressed this directly and had the exact same advice - need to change your shirt after smoking (in addition to washing your hands, which everyone should be doing). MIL didn't know this and was glad to be told, even made the comment that she will need to bring a supply of shirts to our house. I said yeah - and FIL/SIL, too, and she absolutely agreed. Whew - sticky situation averted!

And that brings me to this morning's OB appointment. All continues to be good - measurements are right on track, and she even did a real quickie u/s and found that the baby's head is back down again. I think the baby is really flipping around a lot, because I am feeling the craziest movements. Last night, the head was definitely sticking out of the side - the bulge was crazy, my stomach was so lopsided it was bizarre. I think we will have an active baby! I still haven't decided on a c-section or regular birth, but I have to say I am leaning towards a C. I know it sounds crazy, but it's where I'm leaning now. I might end up scheduling a C at 39w, which would be Dec 23rd, but then if I go into labor before, trying for a regular birth. I have more research to do...

I have also been cleared, once I hit 37w (9 more days to go) to get back onto the treadmill! Yay! They had me stop since I'm having so many contractions, but I hate not exercising. And since I will stop working right around then, it will be good to get this back in my schedule.

All in all, things are going great. Still no swelling, wedding rings fit, still wearing heels to work, still able to put my shoes on, still wearing the same maternity clothes (mostly), still have a flat belly button, up 20 pounds even with Thanksgiving eating, and just feeling real good in general. On the down side, it is difficult to get comfy while sleeping, I pee all the time, and the heartburn is bad, even with the Zantac. Oh yeah, and the constipation... But these are all minor in comparison.

And it was really cool to login today and find that I am on the last month of my ticker. That made me smile!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Birthing class and other weekend fun

We had our birthing class this weekend, and we both really enjoyed it. It was a combo - what to expect during the birth process, what could go wrong, Lamaze, hospital info, hospital tour, birthing video class. Really a catch-all of valuable information. Most of which I had read about, but it was good to hear about this hospital's policies.

I was really impressed with the labor and deliver rooms and the recovery rooms. Both are private, with your own bathrooms, and very nicely decorated to look as little like a hospital room as possible (but with all the potential emergency equipment hidden behind doors and integrated in the design). Very well done.

The other thing that surprised me was the birthing video. I've heard that watching the birth video at these classes can be a little scary, but I have to say - it didn't freak me out at all. Sure, that's a big head coming out of a small hole, but I don't know... it really didn't seem too bad. Maybe that's because I know I'll be getting the epidural as the first order of business after checking in! Or maybe because of all that we've been through with procedures, wands, tests, etc., so "that area" has been exposed to a lot of "stuff" already. But it wasn't difficult to watch at all, in fact, I felt a tear coming to my eye just thinking about our little one being born.

We still don't know if the fibroid or the breech position of the baby will make a c-section necessary. I guess we'll find out at our next appointment. Maybe. I'm trying not to worry about it too much. After seeing the recovery rooms (and the menu we order our meals from - nicer than a lot of hotel room service!), I'm fine with being in the hospital for a few days longer!

After the class, we decided to go to Best Buy and splurge on electronics as early xmas gifts for each other. Last year we hooked up the family room with all the latest video and sound equipment, so this year we upgraded the bedroom. Plasma, HD Tivo, Blu Ray... and then, of course, I was way too impatient when we got home and convinced DH to mount the TV on the wall, while I did all the electronic hookups. We were done in 3 hours, not bad for a couple of amateurs! I justify this by saying that if I end up with a C, I might want to stay upstairs in bed as I recover, so I "need" this stuff, right? :)

We also got the SLR camera and the camcorder - kind of a staple for the first time parents, right? Now we just need to learn how the heck to use them!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Fun stuff!

So, the past week or so has been filled with a lot of fun stuff for us!

They threw a surprise shower at work for me yesterday. That was so sweet, especially since I've only been there for a little over 2 years. I had some really interesting conversations with some of the women who have kids - the joys of pumping in the office, bringing breast milk through airport security, that kind of thing! most of the women in my office have already had their kids, so I have a lot of good resources to draw upon!
I've also been getting so many guesses and predictions about the baby, that I setup an online baby pool. You guess the gender, birth date and time, length, weight, and then once the real stats are entered, it calculates a score based on how far away your guesses are. We're going to give little prizes to the top winners. Our friends and family are having so much fun with it, and we're having a blast when we check it and see new entries and the comments people make!
And then probably the most fun was last weekend, when we had our maternity photo shoot! The photographer came to the house and setup a studio - backgrounds, lighting, it was really nice. Then he spent about 3 hours taking all kinds of shots. Unfortunately, I don't think he had a lot of experience with maternity shots, as the poses he suggested did not come out that good. But I had printed a bunch of images I liked from the internet, so we still ended up with a lot of good poses. Here are two of them...

This weekend should be fun, too. My mom and stepfather are coming over for breakfast tomorrow to see the nursery and playroom. And then the balance of Saturday I will FORCE myself to finally get the car seats installed and my hospital bag packed. All the decorating must go on hold until we get the basics done! And then on Sunday, we have an all day birthing class, including a tour of the maternity area. I'm really looking forward to that, although all day might be a lot!
I'm really happy that I've been able to push aside my nervousness about this pregnancy and really enjoy it. DH and I were talking the other night about the contrast between me and my other good friend who is 2 weeks ahead of me. Unlike me, she was able to get pregnant very easily, but had two early miscarriages before this pg, where she's now at 36 weeks. She just hasn't been able to shake her negative feelings, and is really not enjoying her pregnancy at all. I almost feel bad talking to her about the fun things I'm doing, or to let my excitement for both of us show, because she is just not feeling the same at all.
She's always been very similar to me in her need to do research and understand everything, and she's doing that when it comes to things like baby gear and work benefits/disability, etc. But she's completely ignoring anything to do with the medical side of things, like the birth process, pain meds, even things happening in her pregnancy. It's almost like if she ignores it and doesn't question anything, then any potential issues will go away. It's very strange and very unlike her. I'm really hoping that her birth goes smoothly and the happier friend I know will be back in a few weeks!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Playroom

And here are some pictures of the playroom, which is about 90% done...

The playroom is really the formal living room, so this is the view from the entrance off the center hall. The back wall has a large cubby hole unit with half of the cubby's having colorful baskets, and the other half open for books, toys, etc. On the floor, we have the interlocking foam tiles for a play area that will be a little more sanitary than the carpet (let's hope!). And above the cubby's are inspirational posters that say things like Play, Explore, Share, etc.

This is the left side of the cubby's, I've hung the two "take-home" outfits that we'll bring to the hospital, and this is the girl option (obviously!). I have a nice wooden wall shelf with pegs that needs to be painted, and hung to replace the little stick on tab it's hanging on now! And then on the adjacent wall is a painted on chalkboard.

Here's a shot of the full wall with the chalkboard. We have a pack-n-play that we'll keep in here for naps and a changing table, along with all the diaper "stuff". I've also used the decorations (pic frames, clock, valence, bins, etc.) from the bedding set that I ended up not using in the nursery. And on the bottom left is the car seat, which clicks right into a swing frame, so you can bring the baby right from the car into a vibrating swing (there's also a stroller frame it clicks right into that's much lighter than the "travel systems").

And then this is the opposite corner of the back wall, with the boy take-home outfit on display, and a painted on dry-erase whiteboard. For both the chalk board and the whiteboard, we're going to cover the top half in cork board, so we can hang artwork and mementos (since the top part of both these boards are WAY too high for any child to reach!). And on the bottom right is the toybox that my SIL made for the shower:

And here's a shot of the full wall with the whiteboard. The french doors lead to the family room, but we're actually going to take them out and move them to the gym. I want the playroom open to the family room, and with the toys and the couch, the doors can't really open all the way. Not to mention that without the doors, I'll be able to see directly into the family room and the plasma TV that's hung above the fireplace... not that I won't have my full attention on our little one, mind you!! :)

We also have a growth chart that my SIL made, and that will be hung to the right of the doors:

And then finally here's the last wall with the couch. It's a nice looking pull-out couch, but we put a slipcover over it because I figure there might be a lot of spit up and what not occurring on the couch! Hopefully this will provide some protection... Draped over it is a blanket my SIL made, that matches the growth chart. And the pictures are also inspirational sayings with cute little animals.

And if you look real closely, you can see an orange bar with a light all the way to the right. That's our temporary, construction lighting as this room has no lights whatsoever. Just a light switch that controls an outlet. DH is going to install track lighting some time soon, so we can actually see in there!
I'm looking forward to spending time in here with our little one!!

The nursery

So, we are finally "done" with the nursery. Just some small things to finish up, but I've crossed it off my list. And I'm really happy with it! Although looking at it now, while I tried to go with a neutral decor, I'm thinking it looks a little more masculine than I had hoped. Anyway.... some pictures!

This is the view as you enter the nursery, taken from the doorway:

Turning to your left, this is the wall with the crib. I have a humidifier on a small stool to the right of the crib, and a cute little monkey nightlight to the left. Because of the thick top rails on the crib, the mobile won't attach as it's supposed to. DH says he can craft something to make it work. The shelf near the ceiling was already there, so I loaded it with pictures of friends and family. "We" (DH) installed the chair rail, and he came up with the idea of using the corner posts with the chair rail, which I had never seen before - it looks really good! Above the crib, we will put wooden letters of the baby's name. (Of course, I already have all the letters purchased for both names!). We'll probably paint them pink or blue, to give a little "gender-specificness" to the room!

Turning to your left again is the wall with the doorway and the closet. In the area next to the door, we went with a small bookcase instead of the armoire piece, which let me put up some decorations. The thing above the bookcase is a "toy bag" - it has 4 slots where you can put little toys. Useful? Not too sure. Cute? Definitely! We also took out the closet doors and installed closet organizers, as the sliding doors would block access to the shelves and the bin in the center of the closet. Aren't the tiny baby clothes adorable!!! I love just looking at the closet sometimes...

And then turning to your left again, the wall that's on the right when you first walk in, is the changing table / dresser combo. I had originally wanted the hutch piece that went above the dresser, but now I'm glad it was discontinued. I like the idea of having a mirror above the dresser (especially if we have a girl!). And you can't really see the 4 pictures too clearly, but they are colorful pics of little baby animals:

So that's our kind-of-gender-neutral nursery. Stay tuned for pictures of the playroom!

Oh... also had another OB appt yesterday. All went well, nothing much to report, except that this doc said they won't check for breech position again untl 36w. Every doc seems to have a different story. Oh well! But they do want me in every week just to keep an eye on things. Fine with me!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Welcome to Labor and Delivery

Yesterday did not go as planned... I thought I'd be dropping off my "sample" (pad from the night before), they'd test the discharge, find it negative for amniotic fluid, and I'd be on my way to work.

Not quite.

The doc tested and found another faint positive, so we moved on to the speculum and two swab tests, both negative. Then she took another sample and headed out to look under the microscope. After about 15 mins, she comes back in and says that it also looked slightly positive, so she convened a quick meeting with two other docs in the practice who were there at the time. They were all stumped as to why some tests are positive and some are negative, so they decided to send me over to Labor and Delivery to get completely checked out.

The nice thing about this OB practice is that it's not only right next to the perinatal group (for detailed ultrasounds, genetic counseling, etc.), but it's also connected to the hospital through tunnels that run over the streets. So no need to go back to the car and drive somewhere, find parking, etc. On my walk over to the hospital, I called my assistant and had her reschedule my calendar for the rest of the day, and then I arrived at L&D.

I haven't had the hospital tour yet, my birthing class isn't until the end of the month, so this was all new to me. The nurse at L&D was really, really nice. Very calm and reassuring, and continually checking to make sure I was comfy. It's basically a triage area with about 5 beds separated by curtains, with a chair, TV and some monitors in each. This is where you go when you first arrive to the hospital, and they check you out and confirm you're really in labor before they admit you and you get your real labor/delivery room.

So she hooked me up to the fetal monitor, and I could hear the heartbeat and all the kicking. They did an anti-stress test where they monitor you from the nurses station and look for the right changes in heartbeats, contractions, etc. Apparently I was having contractions every 2 minutes!! But I only felt one or two of them, they were definitely fake labor. Plus, the baby's heartbeat was perfect, she said. But they hooked me up to and IV to keep me hydrated, and that was probably the worse part of the whole experience. It's hard enough to move around in the 3rd trimester, but with an IV in your hand, it made it even harder to use the bathroom or my blackberry (very cool thing - they are fine with the cell phone and bberry, so I was able to keep in touch with people throughout).

Then after an hour or so, a doc came in and did the same tests for amniotic fluid (speculum #3 in 2 days!), and checked my cervix. No fluid, strong cervix. They did another ultrasound just in case - plenty of fluid. One very interesting thing they found - they baby has flipped! S/he's now heads up, when just yesterday, s/he was head down. So they want me to come back next week to check on the position. I think 34 weeks is the magic number where they want to have the baby head down. If not, they might do version (manually push around your belly to get the baby to turn), or you might end up with a c-section. I need to do more research on this whole topic - breech, version, etc.

So all was good and they released me. Probably about 3 hours altogether. And to tell you the truth, I wasn't really worried at all. It would have been very bad if I was leaking fluid, they probably would have delivered the baby, but I just didn't think that was the case. DH was miserable that he wasn't there - he has come to every single OB appointment, but since this one was last minute, and I thought it was just a drop off, he didn't come. And he has the kind of job where he has to plan his absences, otherwise, it's a big deal to get coverage. Obviously he'll have to get last minute coverage when it's the real thing, but I don't want him to use up a lot of "good will" for false alarms.

So that was my little adventure yesterday, and now I'm back to work, business as usual!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

31w6d OB visit

I had quite an eventful OB visit this morning....

Let's see... it started pretty normal. Fundal height measured 33cm, heartbeat mid-140's, all good.

She confirmed that the fibroid does not seem to be blocking the birth canal, so vaginal birth is back on. I'm happy, but also a little bummed as I was already counting on that extra 2 weeks of disability for the C, and the control I would have over the timing... but believe it or not, I'm warming up to the idea of letting whatever will happen just happen, and not trying to control it (who is this woman???).

We discussed the H1N1 vaccine. Their office still does not have it, and doesn't know when it will come in. I found out that I can get it through my county next week, so I signed up me and DH, but it contains thimerisal. I've done a lot of research on that in general, specifically for vaccinations. I'm not convinced that mercury / thimerisal causes autism, and I will do all the vaccinations for our baby, some of which do contain mercury. But if I can avoid it, I'd like to - why not, right? But my doc advises to get the vaccination next week, even with thimerisal, as she said a lot of people are getting the H1N1 flu, and that risk is higher, she'd prefer to see me vaccinated ASAP. So I think I will go, I'm just frustrated that there's a shortage in the vaccination, and that with pg women being at the top of the list, why they didn't produce the thimerisal free versions first???

Then we discussed my birth plan. I got all of my questions answered, so I will finalize it and submit it to them to have on file (since it's a group practice and I won't necessarily get my regular doc for delivery).

Now here's where the visit got a little scary. I told the doc about the continuing contractions I'm having, and she said she would do an internal to check the cervix to be sure the contractions weren't doing anything . It was hard and long she said - all good. She also told me that the baby's head is low, right by the cervix. She said that's fine.

I had also told her that (and I hope this isn't TMI...) my discharge had gone from mostly white to mostly watery over the past few weeks. So she did a swab to test if it was amniotic fluid. The swab changes colors right there, and she said it looked like a slight positive for amni fluid. If that is the case, and I'm leaking fluid, that would not be good - it could mean increase chance for infection, and other complications.

So she brought me right over to the ultrasound area, and had them scan me immediately to check my fluid level. The doc there said it was fine, in fact it was at the max it should be, which is normal for where I am right now in the pregnancy. So if I am leaking fluid, I'm replacing it as well. So the baby is fine right now, but if there is a leak, that would still be a problem. So the OB wants me to wear a pad tonight, then bring it in first thing tomorrow morning so they can further analyze it.

I'm definitely a little nervous, but I also feel somewhat confident that all is OK. I don't know why, but I just feel so good, and the pregnancy has been so strong all along, it just seems like this will be nothing. I hope I'm right!

Oh - and the u/s doc said the baby is measuring 8 DAYS ahead! I asked if this might indicate that I'll deliver early, and he said no, it indicates I'll likely have a big baby. Yikes! I'm not loving that idea, especially when they tell me a vaginal birth is back on the table. Ouch!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

31w update

Wow - 31w... only 2 months to go. It seems like time is flying, but also moving very slow.

A lot of great things are going on, and I have every reason to be ecstatic, but I have to admit, the dark side has been creeping up on me a bit. I'm scared that all of a sudden, there will be no heartbeat. I'm scared that something terrible will happen during the birth. Everything just seems too good to be true right now. I'm happy and positive 99% of the time, but sometimes that chilling worry sets in. I try to ignore it and rationalize that there's such a tiny chance of a problem at this stage, but I can't deny that the dark side still exists.

But now some good stuff!

We are making great progress on the nursery. DH (aka my night owl!)finished the painting at about 5am the morning the furniture was delivered. He still has to put up the chair rail, but he gave me the go ahead to decorate to my heart's content, and it will be easy for him to move things here and there to attach the chair rail, hopefully this weekend.

The furniture looks great, and I'm glad I did not overdo it. At first I was going to get the convertible crib, dresser/changing table with a hutch, and an armoire. Well, the armoire and the hutch pieces were discontinued, so I went with just the crib, dresser/changing, and I bought a smaller bookcase to replace the armoire, and a large mirror to go over the dresser, instead of the hutch attachment. Much better - I think the room would have looked too crowded with those other pieces, especially since the color is espresso, I think all that dark wood might have been overpowering.

But of course, nothing is simple.... first, the delivery guys put together the crib, and there was a bolt missing. Luckily DH was able to go to home depot and get a replacement. But worse, the changing table part of the dresser/changing table was also missing. There is a rectangular rail that attaches on top of the dresser where you put your changing pad, diaper supplies, etc. And once you outgrow diapers, you can take that off and have a regular, full sized dresser. I'm pretty sure what happened is that the delivery company took the dresser out of the box, loaded it to the truck, then threw out the box containing the rails. So now I have to work with BRU to get a replacement, and not surprisingly, it is becoming a big hassle, since this isn't an extra piece, it all comes together.

But, assuming I get that resolved in the next week or so, I'm really happy with how the nursery is coming along. The decorating is so much fun and it's looking really sharp so far. Once we get the closet organizers in, I'll be able to wash and put away all the clothes, and lots of other stuff from the shower. That will free up room in the playroom, which turned into the storage room the day after the shower! I love getting myself organized and putting everything in its place.

I've also written my birth plan, my hospital call list, and have finally taken the first step to officially change my last name to my DH's. With my position at work, and the recognition I have in my industry, I probably would have just kept my maiden name. However, my legal name now is not my maiden name, sadly, it's my ex-husband's name. I was married very briefly when I was 20, divorced at 21, and never went through the steps to change my name back. For no good reason except first, for embarrassment - starting a new job out of college and explaining why your last name was changing due to a divorce at such an early age; and, eventually, for laziness - it's a hassle to change everything!!

DH has been very patient - we've been married 2.5 years and while socially I've taken his name, legally and professionally, I'm still using my ex-husband's. I've had every intention of changing it, but life gets in the way, and things move down the priority list. Well, I went to the SS office yesterday, and will have my new card in 2 weeks. Then I can change my license and everything else after that. It might take a while to get every last thing changed (I have so much more "stuff" now than when I was 20), but at least I can sign the birth certificate with my husband's name, not my ex's! Needless to say, DH is very happy that I've finally done this...

That's about it for now. I'm looking forward to my OB appointment next week, and hopefully will get more information about c-section vs vaginal birth, and what the plan will be for me.

And hopefully, I can keep the dark side down!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Breastfeeding class

DH and I went to our breastfeeding class this week, and found it somewhat interesting...

First, the class was call "Breast, Bottle or Both", and was billed as providing information on all forms of feeding. Not quite. It was definitely a breastfeeding propaganda class. How beneficial it is, and basically how crazy you'd be not to use this method.

Now, I have already decided that I would like to breastfeed, but I also realize that I may have difficulties, and it simply may not work for me. I don't want to be made to feel guilty if that's the case. I am very educated and I try to inform myself on all sides of issues, so I get annoyed when something that is advertised as balanced ends up being completely biased, even if it supports my beliefs. I'm smarter than that, I want all the facts and then I want to make my own informed choice.

I wanted more information about the different types of bottles and nipples available. Whether you really need to sterilize or is the dishwasher fine? Do you really need to warm the bottles? And this, for me, is about bottles of BREAST MILK (hopefully). I think they don't want to go into bottles at all because they think women will take that as a sign that bottles are "OK". Which, in my opinion, they ARE, if that works best for that mother. How long can you freeze, refrigerate breast milk, what are the differences between formulas, powder vs liquid, when should you start pumping to get ready to go back to work... all of these questions were left unanswered, unfortunately.

She also trotted out all these stats about "exclusive" breastfeeding being the most effective, almost to the point of detriment if there was any supplementing with formula. I asked her point blank if one or two bottles of formula negates the benefits of breastmilk, and then she backtracked a bit and did say that any breast milk is better than none. There just seemed to be a lot of misleading implications like this that I kept having to clarify with her. Probably making me look like I was opposed to breastfeeding, which is not the case at all.

All that being said, I did learn more about breastfeeding techniques and tips, which I thought was helpful. I have started reading a few books on the subject, but the video clips they showed were definitely more helpful than words on a page, so I appreciated that. I guess if the class was called Breastfeeding (period), I would have known what to expect and would have been more satisfied overall.

And here's the best thing I learned, that I'm happy to share with all of you....

It's OK to drink (in moderation) while breastfeeding!

And this is coming from a breastfeeding fanatic, so I'm inclined to believe it. Someone asked about coffee, and she said you can absolutely have a cup or two of coffee, that it would take around 6 cups of coffee to affect the baby. So I piped in to ask about a glass of wine, and she said that's also OK. That the amount of alcohol from one glass of wine that goes into your bloodstream is very small, and it stays in your breastmilk from about 30 mins after you drink it to 60 mins after you drink it, then it leaves your breastmilk. So a well timed glass of wine in the evening (or afternoon depending on the day!), wouldn't even pass a minuscule drop of alcohol to the baby.

After almost a year of completely abstaining from alcohol (between IVF treatments and pregnancy), it's nice to know I'll be able to indulge a little!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Almost 30w - OB appt

I had an interesting OB apppointment today. Those contractions I thought were pretty cool that I've been having? Not so cool.

I go to an OB practice, which means I see different docs all the time. The one this morning was new to me, and I liked her a lot. She asked if I was feeling contractions, and I told her about what I think are Braxton Hicks contractions, and I mentioned that I get them a lot. She questioned me quite a bit about it, and wants me to start tracking them.

If it's pre-term labor, it's bad, if it's BH, it's OK. What's the difference? Hard to tell. But pre-term labor would be rhythmic, and stronger, longer over time, where BH are more random, no pattern. She said that if I were to go into pre-term labor now, that would not be good, the lungs are not developed enough. In another 2-4 weeks, pre-term labor would be "OK" - meaning very likely the baby would survive in the NICU, but now - not so clear cut.

The problem is that I know I feel these contractions all the time, but they don't hurt, so sometimes I don't even realize it. I've been trying to keep track, but I'm sure I'm missing some. Regardless, they do not seem rhythmic or in a pattern at all, which is good.

She told me that when I feel them, drink TONS of water, as the same chemical you release when you start to feel dehydrated is also what brings on labor. Seems strange! And she also said to take it easy on the treadmill, as that could cause dehydration. Now - I work up a small sweat, but nothing like what I used to do. It seems very counter-intuitive to reduce my exercising, as I've read so many great benefits of keeping in shape and how much it helps the labor process. I'm going to monitor myself real closely, drink lots of water, and see if I'm getting contractions when I'm working out before I turn into a couch potato.

She also looked up my last u/s report, and the fibroid has definitely not grown, and she doesn't think it will get in the way of a vaginal delivery. But, it might stall the labor, and then I'd need a C. My worst nightmare - hours of labor, then a C. I'm not sure we really worked out how to avoid this, but she did tell me something a little scary....

My fundal height (pubic bone to top of uterus) measured 31 cm today. I turn 30w on Wed. You want to be within 3cm of the number of weeks. So I'm right in the zone. My fibroid is 6cm. She said that based on how it's positioned, my body might think I have an extra 6cm in my uterus size, and it could cause preterm labor. So that's another reason she wants me to really monitor these contractions.

I'm a little nervous about all this. For some reason, I never contemplated that I would go more than a week or two early, or the complications that could arise. Not to mention - we're not ready! I still have a million things on my to-do list!!! This weekend was only mildly productive for me and DH, and mostly focused on regular, non-baby-related household things that needed to get done.

Surely the baby will wait until s/he has a nicely painted, furnished and decorated nursery to sleep in, right???

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

29w and lots to tell!

It's been a while since I've posted, and a lot has been going on, so be prepared for some serious rambling here!!! Let's see....


Yes, I've been having Braxton Hicks contractions!! And I've been having them for a while, at least several weeks but didn't realize it until I described it to my OB. Basically, my entire uterus gets really, really tight and stays that way for a few minutes. It doesn't hurt at all, just feels a little funny (and heightens the constant having to pee sensation). When it happens, my tummy is rock hard, and has no give whatsoever. Like a basketball. I think it's kind of neat that I'm having contractions!


We finished painting, furnishing, and decorating the playroom! (Well, ALMOST finished!) And it looks great, if I say so myself!! DH has been so awesome about getting things done. He's a night owl and will work on house projects until 3 or 4 in the morning - he gets on a roll!

Anyway - the back wall is mostly covered with cubby holes - some with colorful baskets to hold toys and clothes, some open to hold books, stuffed animals, etc. Above them are 6 large inspirational posters with words (Share, Explore, Dream, Respect, Care, etc.) and children doing those things. I've also hung my two take-home-from-hospital outfits on the wall (the boy and the girl outfit). DH says it looks like a children's boutique! The opposite wall has a couch with a pull out bed, two end tables, and some different inspirational pictures above it with animals.

The side wall has a painted on chalk board outlined in contrasting molding, and the opposite wall has the same sized painted on white dry-erase board. The blackboard wall is decorated with the accessories from the second bedding set (picture frames, clock, diaper stacker, valence) and will also have a pack-n-play for naps and diaper changing. The floor is carpeted, but I've ordered those colorful interlocking foam tiles, color coordinated with the cubby hole baskets to make a large "area rug", and DH still needs to install the track/pendant lighting.

When it's 100% done, I'll post some pictures!

(And to brag just a little, I put together the end tables and a lot of the cubby holes. For some reason, I like assembling furniture. Just like I enjoy hooking up TVs and stereo equipment. Strange!)

Mommy Car

Yup, I went out and leased a mommy car. Or a mommy SUV, to be accurate. I drive a Volvo convertible now, perhaps not a good idea for an infant???? I'll keep it for fun - alone or couples driving - but for bringing baby here and there, s/he will be in the back of a Toyota RAV-4. Cute little truck!

Maternity Photos

I'm doing it! That's right, I'm going for the "Demi Moore" naked-but-tasteful maternity photos!!!

If I back up a bit... as my wedding present for my DH, I had a professional photographer come in and shoot "boudoir" photos - in my wedding night lingerie, posed in corsets and other outfits, plus some nude shots where everything is covered. And then some fun shots in DH's shirts, boxing gloves and dumbbells, cowboy hats, guitars, etc. It was a blast, and DH loved it. I got the high-resolution images on CD, and made him a photo album, 3 framed photos we have in the bedroom, and a "pin-up" calendar!! My girlfriend was with me the whole time and I felt very very comfortable, and really liked the photographer.

So I just booked the same guy to come back to the house and shoot maternity pictures. Everyone says I'm glowing, and to tell you the truth, I love the way I look and feel now. I've gained 12 pounds so far, and it's mostly out in front. So what the heck - I'm going to have fun with it!!! I've been looking at pictures online, and some will include DH, some will be alone. I'm really looking forward to it - it will be in another month when I'm right around 8 months along. They say that's a good time to have them done.

Push Prize

Some people think the whole idea is tacky, but I've picked out my push prize (push out a baby, get a prize!). Ok, maybe it is a bit tacky, but with all we went through to get here, I think we both deserve a prize! Which is why, unknown to my DH, I'm also getting him a "push-partner" prize. Shhhhhh!

For me - I had never seen this before, but you can get lots of different types of "custom" mother's jewelry with your children's birthstones in it. Pendants, charms, rings, etc. I've decided to modify this slightly and go with a drop pendant that has all 3 of our birthstones - me, DH and our little one. "Family" jewelry, if you will. And the cool thing is that I'm ruby (July), and DH is blue topaz (Dec). If little one is born in December as expected, there is a new "modern" birthstone for Dec that was established within the past 10-20 years - Tanzanite, which is purple. So red and blue make purple! I like that symbolism...

For DH - he's very musically inclined. He has a lot of instruments - guitars, bongos, keyboards, etc., and we recently setup a really nice "man cave" for him in the basement. He loves to play drums, and has the Rock Band (xbox) drum/guitar/microphone setup, but would really love real drum set. Well, a real one would be very loud, so I'm going with an electronic drum set, which I know he will also love, and can be used with headphones! In fact, in my preliminary research, I found a real nice one that can replace the Rock Band flimsy one, and then can also be a "real" electronic drum set, by buying a separate attachment. I think he's going to love it!

Fibroid Situation

Still no update here. No call from the doc about the ultrasound report. And in a rare mood of non-control-freak, I haven't called to demand answers. I have another OB appointment on Monday, so I'll just wait and see what they say then. How unlike me!

Baby Shower

All I can say is WOW. My shower was this past Sat, and it was so amazing. My mom, MIL, SIL, and two aunts all threw it for me, and I'm still overwhelmed by how beautiful it was. They had it in a private room of a very nice restaurant with gorgeous fireplaces, high ceilings, table settings, a sit-down lunch, etc.

My SIL, who is just awesome, MADE all the decorations (which looked professional), plus homemade chocolate covered pretzels, and candies, plus the centerpieces. She also made a baby blanket and hanging growth chart (all quilted), she made / stained a wooden toy box and filled it with all kinds of toys and clothes, and she made a quilt for me made up of marathon and other race t-shirts I've accumulated over the years. Plus she bought an adorable diaper cake. I can't believe all she did!

And everyone else was so generous, too. The amount of gifts was overwhelming. In fact, during the last week before the shower, I had to throw so many additional things onto the registry, because hardly anything was left! And I thought I registered for a ridiculous amount of things to start with...

One of the best parts was that my mom, who was a librarian before she retired, had everyone bring their favorite children's book to start our little one's library. I've seen this before, but she also asked everyone to inscribe the book and tell why they liked it, or what it meant to them. Reading the inscriptions was so touching, and made it so personal. Then, she gave me my favorite childhood book - Jane's Blanket. Not a copy, but the ACTUAL book. It had belonged originally to my older cousin, and was passed along to me. The spine is completely worn out, and a few pages were ripped and written on. I had forgotten all about this book, and when I saw it, I burst into tears. It was so special that my mom saved this for me and that now I can give it to our child.

I really had a wonderful time at the shower, it was quite a special day for me, to say the least.

Monday, October 5, 2009

And I thought I'd be bored....

I had my ultrasound this morning to check on the fibroid.

Now, after having the 3d/4d ultrasound last week, I didn't really think this one would be all that interesting. Don't get me wrong, every time I get to see the baby, I'm amazed and think it's so cute, but seeing 2d after having seen 3d - well, I just thought it would be a little... flat.

Not so!

I had the same tech who was did my 20w u/s, and she was also teaching another resident. So I got to hear everything she said while she did her measuring with the screen turned away. It sounded like she was taking all kinds of measurements, using terminology I had never heard of. I like that. I like when they are doing more than what I know about - makes me feel reassured that the docs are on top of things, rather than me having to think of and question everything (a little of what I felt like going through IVF...). But the best part was that after she told the resident what she was measuring for or looking at, she always added, "so you see, this looks normal / fine / within range". Always good to hear!

And then all of a sudden, she turned the screen to me and said "ooo - look at this!" as she was giggling. It was the bottom of the baby's foot pressed firmly against my belly. You could see the 5 toes, and all the bones in the foot, and nothing else. She zoomed in and snapped a picture. I have my baby's first footprint! Then she went to the face, and snapped a nice profile (seemed like a smile), and a straight on picture (looked a little scary, I have to admit - kind of like a skeleton. The profiles are better). But then, the baby pressed his/her face against my belly, and she got a shot of the nose, lips, chin and the balls of the cheeks pressed up against the belly/camera. No eyes or rest of the face. It's so funny. It was fun getting these body part shots, instead of just the standard u/s profiles. I might try to scan these and post them tonight.

We told her right in the beginning we didn't want to know the sex (like I always do with an u/s), so she said she would refer to it as "the baby". She also looked through my file and said they had removed the gender indication so it's not even in there. But then... at one point when she was explaining what she was measuring to the resident, she said, "so you see, she looks fine".


Now, I find myself using he and she a lot in conversation, because it gets a little tedious always saying "the baby" or "he or she". So maybe it was just a meaningless pronoun. But.... maybe she saw the gender as she was doing all the other measurements, and this was a slip? Neither DH nor I said anything, and she didn't seem to stop or hesitate, or even look over at us, which makes me think it was just meaningless. Or... maybe she realized she slipped and was trying to play it cool? I'm not going to try to over-think it because I'm enjoying not knowing, but I can't help but wonder...

Meanwhile, as far as the fibroid goes (the whole point of this u/s), I don't have a definite answer yet about whether I'll need a c-section. The good news is that it doesn't seen to have grown since the last u/s, and it appears that the head is closer to the cervix than the fibroid. On the other hand, it is protruding into the uterus, and the tech couldn't tell me what the implications would be. And the doc never came in to look himself (I guess the tech's pics were good enough). I saw the OB next for a regular appointment, and she said that they will get the doc's report and then call me to discuss. So I'm still in limbo.

If I'm really, really honest... I've kind of come to like the idea of having a c-section. I like that I can plan it (or at least, the "no later than" date - baby can always decide to come out earlier...). I like that I can stay in the hospital longer. And I REALLY like that I'll get an extra two weeks of disability to stay home with the baby, since our maternity benefits are non-existent. So I guess I was kind of hoping for a conclusion that it would be necessary after today's visit.

We'll see what they doc says when she calls.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Tonight, we did a 3d/4d ultrasound for fun. And it was really fun!!

We invited our moms and my sis-in-law to join us at a place not too far from the house. When you walk in, it looks like a baby shop, with the cutest baby clothes, keepsakes, etc. I stayed away from all of that, otherwise, I might have purchased everything!!

When you go into the ultrasound room, there's the typical table with the computer, but then there's a lot of seating and a big screen TV hanging up in the corner. Perfect viewing angle while you're laying on the bed, so you don't have to strain your neck to see. Plus the guests can easily see, too. When the tech started, it looked the normal ultrasounds we've seen, but then she popped over to 3d, and wow! It was the coolest thing. This was the first time I was seeing our baby in 3d, and I have to say... so adorable! :)

The funny thing is - s/he had BOTH her feet up by the forehead most of the time. At one point, the feet were in the eyes! Quite the flexible baby!! There was a point where s/he was waving, then it looked like s/he was cuddling the knee (which was next to the head). It was really just amazing to see!

We ended up with a DVD set to music, a CD of about 25 pictures in color, and then some of those u/s pics in black and white printed out.

Meet our little one (hand is on the side of face, knee is up against the other cheek):


I'm in love!

Friday, September 25, 2009

I passed!

Woo whoo! My nurse just emailed me - I passed the glucose test and all the other bloodwork looks good. I'm sooooo relieved. I guess the working out and fasting before the test helped me out!

Heading home to eat a bag of M&M's!!! :)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

26w tomorrow!

Time seems to be flying, but also standing still.

I'm amazed that I'll hit 26 weeks tomorrow, only 14 more to go. Right around the corner from the third trimester. My ticker showed 100 days to go yesterday - that seems pretty wild! It seems like my to-do list is growing and growing, and I'm not crossing things off as quickly as I'd like. Will I get everything done???

But on the other hand, I can't wait to have our little baby in my arms, and it seems like it's taking FOREVER! I'm enjoying every moment, and really keeping a positive attitude, but there is a tiny part of me that still thinks what if.... There are still many things that can go wrong. I'm doing a pretty good job not dwelling on any of it, but I think I will only feel true relief when I hear my baby cry for the first time and we're told everything is "normal".

Meanwhile - some of the things going on....
  • Still haven't found a place to get the flu shot. I don't want to wait until my regular doc appt at the end of Oct, so my OB said to go to Walgreens. (OB will have the swine shot when that comes in). They do it from 10-4, so maybe one day this week during lunch...
  • I picked the cord bank we'll use, but need to sign up
  • I'm narrowing in on a photographer to do maternity and newborn photos in our home. Need to nail that down.
  • I created a Maternity Leave Plan for work - mapping out my time off, and activities I'll do before, during and after to make the leave as smooth as possible. I run a regional division and will not really be able to completely disconnect from work while I'm gone (even though legally, you're not supposed to work on disability). So I'm trying to set boundaries. Sent it to 3 bosses, yesterday, have heard nothing back... :(
  • DH and I (mostly him) is making great progress on the house. The gym has been mostly moved downstairs, freeing up the playroom. I'm amazed at how hard he's working and how much he's getting accomplished!
  • After all kinds of issues with my bedding (going out of stock, ordering somewhere else, that went out of stock, ordered somewhere else...), I ended up finding a pattern I loved even more! So I ordered it, plus all the accessories, then found out the third place was sending the original pattern!!! Oh well. I think I will use the accessories from the original pattern in the playroom, and try to sell the extra things I don't need on ebay!
  • I've hit the 10 pound mark - up 10 pounds total with the pregnancy (ok), 27 pounds since infertility treatments started (ugghh)
  • Still working out about 3-4 times per week, and generally feeling good, although I notice I am getting more tired
  • Took my 1-hour glucose challenge test this morning. Very anxious for the results.
  • REALLY looking forward to the 3d/4d ultrasound next week! Our moms will come along - so much fun...

And that's about it for now!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Had my OB appointment this morning.

At 24w6d, the heartbeat is in the mid-150's, the fundal height was 25, and I'm up 8.5 pounds. All right on track. I now have to go for a bunch of blood tests including the TSH check, and also my 1 hour glucose test to see if I have gestational diabetes. I really hope I don't - I love sugar too much!!

We spoke a lot about timing for c-section if that's needed, inducing if it's not. I have have a big work project that will wrap up at the end of December, and I know I will miss some key meetings, but the more I can plan my leave, the better. Obviously, I know the baby can always decide to make an early appearance, but I like having a definite "no later than" date. Then I can back in 2 weeks of pre-birth disability (the doc says 4 weeks is standard, but if I'm feeling OK, I'd rather just take 2), and have a reasonable estimate of which meetings I might be able to attend, and which I definitely won't.

We also discussed cord blood banking. I have been doing a lot of research on private vs. public. Private is very expensive, but it's reserved for you only, and public is free, but if you ever need any, you have to hope there's a match in the bank. The chances of ever needing it is very small, but I would hate to take that gamble and lose, knowing we have the money to do it (initial cost is about 1500-2000, and then 100-200 per year after). The deciding factor for us is that there is a lack of minority cord blood in the public banks. My husband is a combination of Black, Asian and Jewish, and I'm also half Jewish, so we have a unique mix of ancestry. It would be unlikely we could find a good match in the public bank if we ever needed it, so, with the doctor's recommendation (and usually they advocate public donation) we've decided to go with private banking.

But the best part of the visit was when she listened for the heartbeat. I think I've mentioned that I feel the baby kick all the time, and sure enough, s/he was kicking when the doc was listening. Well, it turns out those weren't kicks, they were hiccups!!! How funny!!! DH and I thought that was pretty cool. I'm not sure I can tell the difference, but the doc knew for sure. She said if they are more rhythmic, and it feels like the whole body is moving, instead of just one spot, then it's a hiccup. She also said that's good, hiccups indicate that things are developing well.

So a good visit all around!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Life is good! 24w2d

I have to say, things are continuing to going really well for me! (knock on wood)

They are absolutely right when they say that the second trimester is the best. Now for me, I didn't have any sickness in the first, so that was pretty good, too, but I was tired. Lately, I really haven't been tired at all, back to my usual self. I have no significant aches or pains, yet, and I'm not so big that it's hard to bend down or move around. It's a really good stage of pregnancy!

And I love that the bump is obvious now. No mistaking for weight gain, it's definitely a pregnancy. Over the past month or two, people are congratulating me when they see me, there's no wondering if they shouldn't say anything. And I continue to feel the kicks every day, as does DH. That part is so much fun!

I've also noticed that my skin is looking and feeling really good! I've even gotten comments from friends and family about this. No more little breakouts or bumps anywhere, which I had before pregnancy. Maybe it's because I rub moisturizer on every single day when I'm done showering (I was not so consistent before!), but I think the hormones have something to do with it, too.

My only complaint is that I am very sore after I exercise. Sometimes, it's hard to walk! It's all in my hips - the doctor says it's just the ligaments stretching and the muscles are very sensitive. I guess my hips are going through a lot of changes now! But I love to exercise, so I won't give that up. I've already given up running and heavy weightlifting, and I've never heard of walking being harmful, in fact, everyone says it's especially good for you while pregnant, and helps recovery after a c-section go smoother (if I need one).

Oh, I'm having a blast watching things get purchased from my registry (shower is now a month away), and I even went ahead and ordered all my bedding and matching accessories. I had put them on my registry, but then they became discontinued. Yikes! I freaked out for a minute, since all my decorating was coordinated with the bedding style, but then I found it somewhere else online for 20% less! So I just snatched it up, along with even more accessories (why waste that 20% savings!!), and it's on its way to me now. Everything else that hasn't been purchased yet are things that I'm OK with switching the model or style if it becomes discontinued.

Meanwhile, I've pre-registered at the hospital, made an appt for a regular physical so I can get the swine flu vaccination and signed up for the regular flu shot at work. We're gearing up for the all the inside renovation, organizing and decorating that we have planned, and picking out things like paint colors, furniture for the playroom, lighting, etc. My lists are ridiculous! Basically, things are rolling along really well. It seems like time is flying in some ways, as well as standing still in other ways.

My next OB appointment is on Tuesday. I can't believe it's been a full month since my last one, with no screenings or other appointments, and I've been 100% calm. It's definitely the kicking - feeling my baby every day is the best reassurance! After this OB appointment, I have my 3d/4d ultrasound, my doctor's ultrasound to check on the fibroid, and then the OB appointments go from monthly to bi-weekly.

So that's about it - no major updates, just continued happiness!


Sep 11 - always a day of sadness and reflection. I was in NY 8 years ago, right across the street in the World Financial Center, and saw horrible things that will always stay with me. My heart goes out to all those affected directly and indirectly by the events of that tragic day.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Doulas and doctors

Well, we chose a postpartum doula this week.

I had contacted 3 of them over the past few weeks and spent some time talking over the phone. They all sounded knowledgeable and experienced, so I setup and interview night on Tuesday - I had them each come visit for about 45 mins to an hour each. I didn't really have a lot of specific questions, but got them talking about their philosophies on breastfeeding, what a typical day would be like, what tips they had for me, etc.

One had the tendency to ramble, and her voice was a little loud and shrill. She would bug the heck out of me! Another was more grandmother-like, and a little too "granola" for me. She said she supported a mother's decision to breast or bottle feed, but you can tell she only REALLY supported breastfeeding. And I fully intend to breastfeed, and I very much hope it works for me, but I don't want to feel guilty or like I've failed if it doesn't. I also asked her if I would need to continue to restrict my diet when I breastfed. For example, I'm not eating deli meat now, but can I eat that once I deliver and am breastfeeding? Well, she said I really shouldn't be eating it anyway since it's so unhealthy. OK. Next!

The third was just right. She was confident but not aggressive, sort of a quiet calm about her. She seemed like an aunt, not a grandmother, and did not seem opinionated at all. Basically, she'll be making sure I'm eating and drinking, helping take care of the baby so I can sleep, do laundry and light cleaning, run errands, cook dinners, teach me how to bathe, burp and care for the baby, and a bunch of other helpful things. I know our parents will be around to help and support us a lot, but I like the idea of having someone objective and who's around babies all the time that can help us feel more comfortable with how to do things! We're going to start out with 3 days a week, then see how it goes from there.

Tonight I'm going to an open house meeting for expectant parents at a pediatrics group. It's only 1 block from my office, 1 block from the daycare, and 10 minutes from our house. Plus they are affiliated with the hospital I'll be delivering at. I hope I like them because then I'll look no further - it couldn't be more convenient! Luckily, I just happened to call them yesterday to setup a consult (finding a pediatrician was on my to-do list for Sep), and they told me they had this open house today. Great timing!

I feel like I'm keeping on top of everything I need to do, making good progress against my list. And so is DH. Poor guy - there is so much to do! He's almost finished with all his outdoor projects (pressure washing the house and deck, staining the deck, painting shutters, installing railings on the front porch...) and now he can focus on the indoor projects (finishing the basement, moving the gym down to the basement, and getting the playroom and nursery ready). This will be the fun part! I can't wait to start picking out paint colors and decorating. :)

But after today, we're taking a break from everything for 4 days!! We're heading to the shore house for a nice, 4-day weekend of beach time, golf, nice dinners with friends and hopefully a lot of relaxing! We have tenants coming on Monday who are renting from Sep through May, so we'll turn over the keys and head back to our massive to do list on Monday night. But meanwhile, I'm so happy the weather is great for the last weekend of summer!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Gender and names

As you might have noticed, we are not finding out the sex of our baby until he/she's born.

This is very unlike me, the ultimate control freak. But when my DH said that if I was dying to know, he'd be OK with it, but he'd prefer to wait, it all of a sudden sounded like a good idea to me. Publicly, I say it's because after all our high tech attempts to become pregnant, it ended up happening the old fashioned way, so we're sticking with old fashioned. Privately, though, I think it has a little something to do with the nursery, believe it or not.

I'm not a big fan of the pink/blue themes, or even the really "baby-looking" pastel themes in general. My decorating style tends to be more contemporary, with simple lines, dark woods, a little minimalistic. I like neutral colors, symmetry and balance. And the idea of having a pastel, cutesy nursery just doesn't appeal to me. Since we're not finding out the sex, I feel a little more justified in going with browns, tans, taupes and creams in the nursery. The walls are (will be!) 2 shades of light taupe with a chair rail, the furniture is espresso wood, with beige microfiber for the glider, and the bedding is 2-tone brown stripes and dots. Hardly sounds like a baby's room, right? Well, I'm at least doing an animal theme, so I have a bunch of pictures and wall hangings picked out to spruce it up a little.

But I want the nursery to be muted and quiet, not bright and stimulating. I want it to be a place for sleeping, not for playing. We're lucky enough to have a formal living room connected to the family room that will become the playroom (it's now our gym, but once DH finishes half of the basement, all our equipment is moving down there). The playroom will have bright colors, motivational posters, chalk boards, those rubber floor puzzle tiles, and all kinds of fun, stimulating stuff in it. Toys will go in the playroom, where bedtime books will go in the nursery.

So in a weird way, not knowing helps me feel good about a more "adult" neutral nursery style!

Plus, we're having fun picking out names for both sexes! We actually had both the boy and girl first names picked out before we even got pregnant. We both agreed completely on the boy name, and were tossing around a few girl names we both liked, and then a few months ago my DH came up with a really unique, awesome girl name that I just love. So we've been playing around with middle names, and I think we're all set (I even setup birth announcement templates in Shutterfly to see how it looks on paper!). There have been two deaths in our families, and we are able to honor both with the first and middle names we've chosen, which we both feel really good about.

Most everyone I know who has been pregnant recently has found out what they are having, and it's fun to be in the dark!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Like a kid at Christmastime...

OK, I'm just like a little kid. My husband even has to hide his gifts for me at holiday time because he knows I'll peek!!

Well, I'm peeking now. I was looking at my registry yesterday, and I saw that something had been purchased already!! The invites for the shower haven't even gone out yet, so it must be someone from my close family who's involved in planning the shower.

It was such a thrill seeing that a gift has been purchased. And it's our jogging stroller - whoo hoo!! I'm so excited. I won't be able to use it for a while since I'm due in December, but I can't wait until I can start running again, and now with my baby! When I'm at the shore I always see people jogging on the boardwalk with their jogging strollers, and I've always dreamed of being one of them.

I don't think I'm going to be able to hold back from peeking at the registry every day. I'll use the excuse that I want to check if anything has been discontinued, or that I need to add or remove some of the items, but the truth is, I can't stop myself! DH just shakes his head.

And we hit another milestone today, without even planning on it. We were out doing some errands and returns, and wandered over to the baby clothes section. The new fall/winter clothes are out, and we were checking out all the cute outfits. And we bought two of them! The first baby purchase we've made (excluding furniture). We found two adorable outfits for bringing baby home - one boy and one girl outfit. For the regular layette stuff I'm just picking neutral colors, but I wanted the cutest, gender specific homecoming outfit for all the pictures. So we bought one of each. There is no time limit on returns, so we'll just take back the one we don't need.

Now... how likely do you think it is that we'll end up buying 10 more homecoming outfits before the baby is born???

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Babymoon fun!

Well, we had our mini-babymoon this past weekend, and it was definitely the perfect getaway.

We arrived early on Sat morning so the guys could make their 10am tee time, while us gals headed to the "biosphere" pool. It's enclosed in a huge greenhouse, and they retracted the roof and sides when it wasn't raining. Nice way to enjoy an indoor pool, but still get the breeze as if you were outside. We did a lot of reading, chit-chatting and relaxing. Plus we took a bunch of pics of our baby bumps!

Then the guys returned, and we got couples / prenatal massages. Not as good as the one I had on my birthday, but still fun. And then dinner was fantastic.

The next day, we met up for brunch, spent a few hours at the outdoor pool, and then DH and I played golf at a different course called Black Bear. And wouldn't you know it, on the 9th hole, a black bear walked across the fairway!!! Couldn't have been more than 50 yards away from us... just strolling along. It was pretty wild (and definitely a little scary!). Then we had a nice dinner at the lodge, then headed home.

It was just enough of a getaway to feel nice and refreshed without breaking the bank! We might try to fit in another weekend golf trip to the winery where we had our wedding reception. They have a really nice golf course and hotel at the winery, and the food there is really good, too. Although it may be a little tough to be vacationing at a winery when we're not drinking!!

Meanwhile, I am closing in on the postpartum doula front. I have three of them coming over one night next week and will make my choice then. We are also making good progress on a bunch of home improvements for the nursery and playroom.

But the best is all the kicking! My little one is very active, and s/he kicks all the time. It's so reassuring to feel him/her every day, and makes me much more calm, especially as I have another 3 weeks before my next OB appointment! Plus, DH has been able to feel the kick on the outside a few times. Very, very cool. We are such typical first-time parents, eating up every little new experience, and feeling like it's an absolute miracle!