Sunday, January 31, 2010

A Day of Sunshine and a Day of Shopping

The sun was shining Saturday. It was the first sunshine we've had in what feels like weeks. It's been nonstop rain or fog until Saturday. And I apologize to those who are buried in snow and/or ice and have no sympathy for me!

My DH and I spent about 4 hours in the yard on Saturday, cleaning up leaves and tree litter from the most recent storms, raking, sweeping, clearing away storm was heaven. He even got on a ladder and cleared out the gutters. I LOVE the way the yard looks now. Of course my DH did most of the work, and he usually hates yard work. But he was insistent that I not overdo it, that I rest frequently and that I leave any and all lifting (a rake?) to him. I did prune the roses and sweep a bit.

Mostly I was just glad to feel warm sunshine on my face. Ahhhh.

Today, Sunday, we took a list and went shopping. My DH, as is his tendency to become anxious about things, really wants us to get our hospital bag packed...just in case. Plus, he wants to be sure we have the things we'll need at home, just in case the baby comes early.

I bought myself a pair of pajamas and a nightgown, both with tops that unbutton for ease of breast feeding. I also bought 2 nursing bras, but had to guess at what the right size might be. We got a cute pair of baby shoes that happened to be on sale. And finally, we bought a play yard that doubles as a bassinet.

As we walked through the BRU parking lot, heading into the store, I told my DH that part of me felt scared buying these things. Who did we think we were, buying baby things? I mean, the baby is not here yet. There's a chance....maybe he never will be here. Maybe he'll never come home. I mumbled something about keeping all the receipts.

My DH tried to smooth over what I'd just said by saying that everyone goes through this kind of anxiety. But I told him assuredly - no - it's not the same for everyone. There are people in the world who get pregnant without difficulty, who immediately run out to buy a crib and clothes and blankets, and all while they are announcing the news to everyone they know.

They have no fear. They have no anxiety. The thought simply doesn't enter their minds that something could go wrong.

What lucky people they are.

And chances are, they never have to give their pregnancy a second thought because all goes well.

But that's not me. That's not us. Until this baby is safely in my arms, all in one piece, breathing and squawking and wiggling and looking me in the eye, I won't - I can't - be sure.

We set up the play yard in the baby's room. I put a teddy bear and a blanket in it. Three little toys dangle from the toy bar that arches over top. It's strange to walk by that room and see the play yard, waiting for a baby to occupy it.

Strange, but also beautiful.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Goings On

The case of the Grumpies I had earlier this week have gone away.

Whew. I feel better, although it's been a rough week, and I have a few things on my mind.

Here's a peek:

- One of our dogs contracted kennel cough at the doggie daycare. Poor little boo. Her symptoms (dry, hacking cough and foamy, gooey junk from her mouth) appeared Tuesday. She actually seems better already, but she has to be home at least 10 days.

- Our other dog, out of the blue, decided that peeing in the baby's room would be a good idea. Huh? Anxiety? Jealousy? How can she know when there's nothing in there but a rocking chair?

- My DH emailed me at work today saying the sewer clean-out cap in the yard popped off and there is some "lint" around it. I told him it isn't lint but TP (sorry, gross, I know). Plumber comes tomorrow morning. Hopefully it won't need anything more than a cleanout. My DH is worried that all the rain has caused the soil to become saturated and heavy - and the old orangeburg pipes collapsed. That could be expensive.

- The horrible opposing counsel (Mr. Meanie) in the complex litigation case I'm working on is pushing my buttons. The only good thing is that, apparently, I'm pushing his, too. He sent me several "nastygrams" recently - demeaning, demanding, arrogant letters. It's been awful. Now, pursuant to a judge's order, I have to have a telephone conference 2 weeks from now with Mr. Meanie, which is likely to last the better part of a day, if not more. Ug. I'm already anticipating his loud, rude, bullying, interrupting, arrogant demeanor. It won't be fun.

- I spoke this week with the OB doc who sent me to the hospital last week for monitoring. I basically demanded to have U/S's at my appointments from now on to check the position of the baby. She was a bit hesitant at first, saying they normally wouldn't bother to check until 37 weeks, and if the baby was still breach then they would consider the external, manual version (is that the right term?). But I was insistent, and she finally relented. I'll be getting quick u/s's.

But here's the kicker: I also expressed concern about the baby possibly turning into the cord. As in, getting the cord wrapped around his neck - whether as a result of turning on his own or as a result of manual version. She said that they do not check the cord position and that approximately 30% of babies are born with the cord around their necks.

What?! Is this true?

She said they are only concerned about the cord if the baby is breech because the cord could slip through ahead of the baby's bottom.

Yup. Not liking this a bit. Well, I will say this (at the risk of being flogged by nazi natural birth women): if the baby is breech and doesn't turn on his own, there is no way I will put him at any risk whatsoever by having doctors manually mash my belly, shoving the baby, cord and placenta around, in an effort to turn him just so that I can push him out my vagina. Hell no. I'll order up a C-section (yeah, yeah, I know that C-sections are not without risks of their own) and deal with it.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Whine Fest

I'm cranky. Cranky and crabby.

What's up with that? Do pregnancy hormones kick in differently at this point? I was pretty even keeled most of the past 32 weeks. At least I think I was.

Over the weekend I got emotional over silly little things. I knew they were silly as I stood in the bathroom, looking at myself in the mirror, sobbing. I just felt like I needed to cry.

Then I felt really crabby Sunday evening when, after having 2 beers with lunch, my DH decided to keep drinking for the rest of the afternoon/evening. He wasn't bombed - he paced himself - but I could tell he had a nice buzz going for the rest of the day, and his stupid buzzed comments/questions/behavior made me feel angry. I left the room in silence and went to find something to do alone.

I was cranky all day today. I got every red light on the way to the office, I gave myself a nice paper cut, and I felt irritable when a meeting lasted, for what I felt was, way too long. My patience felt short with my co-workers.

Physically, I am becoming a bit more uncomfortable. Of course this is to be expected. I'm getting less sleep, I'm becoming more short of breath, and I can feel and hear my heart beat (from the increased blood volume, I presume), which is a bit unnerving sometimes. And, it goes without saying, that my back aches and my belly feels stretched.

Looking for the silver lining, baby boy is moving with great vigor today. I feel good about him, even if he is breech. I've been open to the possibility of a C-section all along, and although it's not what I want, the thought doesn't upset me. Safety...all I want is his safety and well being.

So the bottom line is this: nothing is horrible, things are normal, but I feel like I want to lie down and take a nap and not have anyone bug me about anything...for, oh, the next 7 weeks or so.

Is this the result of hormones? I don't like feeling this way, and rationally, I know that I have nothing to feel crabby about.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Talk to the Hand

After our bit of excitement at the hospital on Thursday, I was looking forward to our 3D/4D ultrasound scheduled for Friday. We drifted into the office of this place with great anticipation and excitement.

The waiting room was rather busy. We signed in, paid the fee and waited our turn. Finally my DH and I were led back to the dimly lit room. I was ushered onto a bed, got set up and the tech came in. I turned to look at the monitor as he gelled my belly and began the u/s.

Well, Baby Boy BWUB was having none of it. Hand in front of his face, fingers splayed, he hid from us like a celebrity from the paparazzi.

The tech flipped the 3D switch so we could see, and all that was visible of the baby's face was the hairline, the forehead and a big hand.

Talk to the hand, mama.

The tech had me turn on my side (no change) and then had us go walk around for 10 minutes, I ate some crackers, I even climbed some stairs, all in an effort to get Baby BWUB to move. We returned to the office and tried again.


The tech said that with a breech baby, very often the hands are up by the face. He asked when my next OB appointment was, and said that if the baby turns head-down, we should call them and they'll get us in right away to try again.

They refunded our money and we left without pictures or DVD.


In other news, my DH really wanted me to invite his mom and Wacky P to one of my baby showers. Well, I understand and agreed to do so, particularly since I got to pick which shower to invite them to (planning for the least amount of inter-activity). I needed their email addresses as this shower was by e-vite, and asked my DH to call his mom and sister to get their email addresses.

He called his mom, but he suggested I call Wacky P, saying that she'd really appreciate it if I called to invite her to my shower. I basically told him no way. I said, "You just don't want to have to call her either, but I'm not calling her." So he did it. :)

I heard him in the other room while he was on the phone with her - trying to answer her questions, defending some of our decisions, explaining others, and saying repeatedly, "Oh, I don't know, I'll have to ask BWUB about that."

Thank God it wasn't me. Nonstop questions and assvice.

Today we are going out to buy some baby supplies. Just a few essentials to have on hand "just in case." I'm making a list of things to pack for the big trip to the hospital. And, with loads of help from StillHopeful, I am putting together lists of what we need and what's left to do.

Mostly, I'm just trying to make it from day to day, while hoping and praying constantly that when the day comes, the baby arrives safely.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

How to Win an Impromptu Trip to the Hospital

I had a regularly scheduled OB appointment today. I didn't even mention it in my last post because typically these days, the OB appointments last all of 5 minutes. If I have nothing to report and the baby's heartbeat is fine, it's an in-and-out kind of visit.

Today was different.

Today I told the doctor that the baby has been super active the past 2 weeks, like nearly non-stop wiggles, rolls, kicks, etc, but yesterday and today I've noticed much less frequent movement. One kick and then nothing for several hours.

She turned to me and said, "That just earned you a trip to the hospital." I was a bit stunned. She was very kind and reassuring and said it's probably nothing, but when there is a noticeable change, they like to double check things to be sure.

Well, whatever is best for the baby is what I will do. So, okay.

She was not concerned about my shortness of breath (normal), occasional belly-gripping sensations that occur once or twice a day and which stop me in my tracks for a few seconds (likely a contraction, but the irregularity makes them non-worrisome) or the tender spot on one side of my belly.

She measured my uterus and said it was measuring a bit small for the baby's gestational age, so while I was at the hospital, I would also get an ultrasound to measure the baby. She remarked that my uterus and blood vessels are 43 years old, regardless of how old the egg donor was (bravo to this doctor, who is the only one to have looked at my chart, realizing that this was a donor embryo before I had to speak up and tell them). Anyway, "old" blood vessels and uterus may be somewhat compromised in delivering blood and nutrients to the baby - so it was worth having a look.

Hey, you don't have to hard sell me on getting an ultrasound or any testing to be sure the baby is fine.

She was very patient and kind and took her time with me, which I appreciated. She told me to go straight to the hospital and she would call them to let them know I was coming. Of course I called my DH so he could meet me there.

I wasn't panicked, but, you know, there was that familiar twinge of worry rising in my throat.

At the hospital they hooked me up to two belly monitors - one to measure contractions and one to measure the baby's movements and heart beat.

Well that little tyke! He's apparently a show off, and must have been insulted that I tattled on him for not moving so much yesterday and today. Once on the monitors, he began his gymnastics routine with a double back handspring! He went on to wiggle and kick nearly the whole time.

Once I was hooked up and the nurse took my medical history, she pulled the curtain and left the room. Laying there, I realized I had my camera in my purse! Hey, what the heck, it's a record of my pregnancy journey.

I was monitored for 20 or 30 minutes, and just as my DH arrived, the nurse was ready to take me off the monitors and send me for the ultrasound. DH of course came in quite worried. But so far, the news was all good.

I did not get to see the monitor during most of the ultrasound. But what I could see on the screen was the little window where the measurement numbers popped up. So as the tech measured the head circumference, belly circumference, femur length, etc, I could at least see the translation of those measurements into gestational age.

She measured everything twice.

Then she gave us a little report. She said, "Huh. Well, I don't know why they think he's measuring small, because each of his measurements - which I did twice - are actually ahead of your 32 weeks by about 2 weeks." She said that there is a 2-week margin of error, but that means that at worst, the baby is right on target.

The amniotic fluid measurement was 13.8 (they want to see 10 or higher) and she estimated his weight at 5 pounds, 8 ounces (with a 13 ounce margin of error)! Wow!

The only thing that surprised me (and that I did not like so much) is that the baby is breach. Head up, butt down. What? I could have sworn he was head down the past few weeks. I mentioned that to the nurse and she said that it's possible the baby turned in the past few days from head down to head up, and perhaps that's why I have noticed less movement. Not that you wouldn't feel movement with the baby head up, but just that it's a change for me, and perhaps the new orientation of his body causes less sensation when he moves. Hm.

I had to be put back on the belly monitors for 10 minutes more or so, but no contractions registered and his heart beat was great.

With that, they let us go home.

Whew! hank goodness everything turned out to be okay. Good baby. Good, good baby!

Although, if he'd like to do another somersault and return to the head-down position sometime in the next couple of weeks, that would be great.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Once Upon a Time...

"...then, suddenly, she found herself face to face with the final 8 weeks of her pregnancy."

At the moment, my life feels like the last chapter of a novel where suddenly everything seems to happen very quickly: loose ends are tied up, outstanding issues are finally explained, mysteries are at last revealed, are surprised to find yourself reading the final page of the book.

Which would be incredibly wonderful...if I had more things done, in place, and ready to go.


Baby is definitely doing his part.

I take these belly photos, download them, and I swear, they make me look half-as-big and I look in real life. At least to me! For the last week or so, it has felt like baby boy has been trying to expand his physical boundaries. Push, push, push! Stretch, stretch, stretch! Ow. And he has been exceedingly active.

The result is that I am now moving into the "uncomfortable phase" of my pregnancy. Sleep is a commodity I get little of. Back aches are common. It hurts to bend over or sit up straight for any length of time. And for goodness sakes, he's not even crushing my lungs or karate kicking my ribs! I realize that I probably have it a lot better than many.

Last night after work I attended a breastfeeding class. I learned some things that were quite useful and/or interesting. For example, the foods you eat will flavor the milk. As a result, breastfed babies tend to be less picky eaters as toddlers because they have already experienced varying flavors. Formula-fed babes are used to a single flavor, so may be more picky when they switch to solids. Makes sense, eh?!

So now my DH wants to take more classes. A safety class and a CPR class. Honestly, I'm tired of classes. I particularly don't like night classes after work. I'm tired and uncomfortable and just want to be home, relaxing. I told him I will teach him infant CPR, and he seemed satisfied with that.

What else? Oh, we finally got around to ordering the crib and dresser/changing station only to find that delivery will take a minimum of 6 weeks. Yep. It's my own fault for not taking care of this sooner. But I feel like these pieces are the starting point for the room. Until they are in place I can't really set up much else in there. So....the room is now on hold. Waaah (that was me, whining).

No, I have not yet drafted my maternity leave plan (did any of you mommies write one?), nor have I told my boss that I'd like to take 6 months of leave. Um, I think I'd better get to this soon.

No, we haven't visited daycare facilities either. I know, I know. Waiting lists. There's a day care about a block from my office, so I need to get on the stick and call them. Hopefully my mom will have moved here and will be settled in and ready to take over day care for a while by the time I am ready to go back to work, so it will buy me some time to get a commercial daycare plan in place. Maybe (fingers crossed) we won't need day care until 2011.

No, we don't have a car seat yet. Wacky P wanted to buy us one. Well, okay, thank you very much, but I'd like have it no later than 4 weeks from now. I've got to have the car seat!

No, we don't have a co-sleeper or bassinet. I think we could pick one up over the weekend.

My three baby showers are scheduled for February 3rd, 20th and 21st. I have this fear that everyone is going to buy clothes (as though the 20-pound box of clothes my mom sent isn't already too much) and my registry lists will be untouched. Which is fine - I mean, nobody owes me a gift in the first place and I am grateful for each person's thoughtfulness....but I'm anxious to go buy everything so that I am sure we have the basics - just in case people would rather spend $20 on clothes than on, say, butt balm.

So...I've got a lot on my mind these days. No wonder I can't sleep! All this swirling in my thoughts before I even get to work. Work?! You mean I'm expected to produce work too?

Well, one fun thing is that this Friday we've schedule a 3D/4D ultrasound. Of course I want to see my little sweet pea - it will have been 2 months since we had a peek in there! - but I also want to see what position he is in.

So, friends, it's a busy time, and there are precious few pages remaining in the pregnancy story of my life. I am so incredibly excited though, to pick up and begin the next story: parenthood!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Climb On Board, Honey

Thank you all for the registry advice and suggestions! Based on your thoughts and recommendations, I finally feel like I have a bit of a handle on the issue and have begun the click-and-register process. I must admit, the thought of having those items in our house, and imagining using them, is pretty exciting stuff.

Yesterday my DH and I attended an all-day prenatal class. It addressed the pregnancy, labor, and delivery process and touched briefly on breast feeding, anesthesia and post partum. Overall it was a really good class with a great group of expectant parents and an engaging instructor.

Know what's kind of funny though? hee hee hee.

Several weeks ago when I told my DH that I registered for these classes, he made the off-handed comment that he'd go with me if I wanted, but suggested that he didn't think he'd really be involved in anything (or have to learn anything) until after the baby arrived.

Yesterday's class gave him quite a reality jolt. Goodbye 1950, hello 2010.

The class included a ton of information about the partner's role during labor, delivery and post partum. I honestly think my DH was in shock.

Ohhhhhhh.....the partner can be timing contractions during early labor, can assist mom in focusing, remaining comfortable, providing massage, offering cool (or warm) compresses, and giving lots and lots of verbal support and encouragement. The partner can give guidance in breathing, and of course, help mom in her birthing position (grab that leg, honey).

What? Not just stand by and watch? (hee hee hee....I had lots of silent, to-myself giggles yesterday).

We came home and my DH wanted to get his hands on that reading material and go through it again. There's a lot he has to know, after all (hee hee hee). And he is serious about this.

But really, he was very attentive during the class, I saw him nodding a lot to himself as he took in the information, and I know he wants to do everything he can to help me get through this and to help bring our baby safely into the world.

Everything except pull the baby from my womb, that is.

One of the videos we saw showed the father helping "catch" the baby as it was born, and as the baby was finally free of the mom's body, the father, with a slippery baby in his hands quickly said to the doctor or nurse something like, "Oh, here, get him, I don't want to drop him." My DH was horrified at the thought (remember that initially his hands trembled like a patient with Parkinson's when he had to give me the Delestrogen shots). I assured him he did NOT have to pull the baby from my body. He is so relieved.

Anyway, the bottom line is that the light has finally dawned on him that he has a huge role in all of this. And he wants to be prepared and do his best. Which makes me very happy. He even said something like he realized he will have to help me through most of labor until it's actually time to push.

Oh - one funny thing. He asked me whether I might want to have his sister, Wacky P, there for the birth - to help give comfort and support. I looked at him and said, "Hell no, I can't handle her when I'm half tanked, you think I want her there when I'm giving birth?" He just mumbled an "Oh" and let it go.

Yeah, right, let's all envision this: How about having my mother (giving advice but usually thinking of herself first), Wacky P (with her know-it-all superiority complex) and my MIL (asking me a million questions an hour) in the room while I give birth?

Ha! Heck no. I'd rather give birth by myself in a cornfield. (Yay for 2010 when a woman gets to make choices about what's best for herself during birth!)

So, there is still a lot to do, a lot to prepare for and a lot to think about. But at least I've finally got my DH on board the baby train! Wooo Wooo!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Time to Register and Shop...But for What?

Thank you all, for the shoulder to whine on and the pats on the back. My outlook is better today and I'm just moving on and doing what needs to be done.

So the online registry process has begun. I am overwhelmed.

The simplistic me says, hey, all you really, truly need is a baby, a breast, a few diapers, some clothing and a safe place for him to sleep...everything after that is fluff.

But when you go through page after page of stuff, two questions keep coming up:
(1) what DO we really need? and
(2) of those items, which are best/safest?

Any suggestions/recommendations would be most appreciated.

I will share the one fact my research revealed that I found to be crucial. Do NOT use common crib bumpers. A baby old enough to turn over (but not old enough to realize he/she ought to turn back) can land face-first into those soft, plush, fabric-covered bumpers and suffocate. You can buy breathable, mesh bumpers that will keep tiny limbs from falling between crib slats but that will allow your baby to breathe.

I have added to my registry some of my favorite story books, baby music, some infant toys, receiving blankets and bedding. But I am stymied about bottles (glass, plastic, sterilizers, breast milk freezer bags, bottle warmers and so many brands!). When I was a pediatric nurse, this was never an issue. We used the one type of plastic bottle the hospital provided, and there might have been 2 nipple choices. Everything was disposable.

And after the bottle question, my questions, confusion and indecision mushroomed. Is an infant tub a necessity? A baby sling/carrier? There seem to be 8,000 strollers out there with all kinds of bells and whistles.

Wow. Help?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Not Holding My Breath

Re: my previous post:

Yes, that's grass in the back yard. Not very pretty in winter - brown spots, soggy, etc. We've had bleak weather lately to boot. But having grown up in upstate NY, I just say, "At least you don't have to shovel bleak."

Thanks for the suggestions about skin tags. And I've decided to forgo the wall mural. I liked that "moon outside the open windows" thing, but I realized it's too big for the room.

More recent news:

I looked at my blog ticker and it seems I barely have 2 months to go! Or, as Lorraine, at Elderly Ovary pointed out (after a very scary episode and trip to the hospital), sometimes things happen before you intend.

So, life is getting busy.

I signed up for some prenatal classes and last weekend my DH and I took the maternity ward tour. It didn't amount to much more than walking from L&D to the post partum ward and listening to the super-cheerful guide tell us how the beds worked, where to park and where to enter the hospital when we arrive in labor.

I have spent a ton of time painting. The baby's room walls, the closet, the chair rail, the touch-ups. I have breathed enough paint fumes to last me a long while.

I researched cribs (thanks, An Offering of Love!) and we went shopping to look at a few. I then researched the particular cribs we liked for recalls, safety issues and reviews. We are actually ready to make a purchase!

My co-workers announced that my office baby shower will be February 3rd. I need to go online Friday and get registered for baby things! I need to do a little research and make a list first, since I really have no idea what the important items are (other than the obvious big items - car seat, swing, bouncer, etc).

I have the name of a daycare facility located a few blocks from my office. I have yet to call them, but it's on the list of things to do.

I signed up for a breastfeeding class that I will go to next week.

I spoke with the folks at doggy daycare to let them know my due date and made sure they'll take the dogs when I get admitted to the hospital.

Do you see a pattern here?

Yes, the pattern would be that I am doing everything and my husband has not lifted a finger to help.

Oh, he went with me to the materinty tour and baby furniture store. And he sat next to me while I went online to get a furniture price quote. He emptied the dishwasher the other day and he rolled the garbage can to the curb.

But I feel like this baby is, and has been, my project, start to finish. And I have to admit, it's a little disappointing. I haven't asked him to do much, but one doesn't always want to have to ask.

One wants their partner to notice them swooning from toxic paint fumes and rush in to offer to finish the final two square feet of wall.

One wants to ask their partner if he wouldn't mind spending 5 minutes spray lacquering 4 little pieces of wood trim and get a "Sure, honey" response, instead of "Well, I'm going to be pretty busy today."

One would like if their partner noticed the fact that they spent 5 hours online after work researching baby safety issues, and ask if there are any other issues that he could help research.

One would really like if their partner noticed the gray film attaching itself to the bathtub and offer to scrub it with bleach so that his pregnant wife doesn't have to choose between breathing more fumes and showering amid gray film.

One would faint from shock if their partner actually purchased a baby item on his own. Any item. A single diaper even.

One would be grateful if their partner would, just once, have dinner ready when she got home from work.

You know? One just would hope.

Yeah, I'm a little frustrated tonight. There's a lot to get done and I can see who will have to do it all, plus work full time (and, BTW, the big litigation case did not settle. It's back on.).

Now you know I LOVE the idea of shopping and nesting and preparing for my baby boy's arrival. I even loved the painting although it eventually ceased to be fun and ultimately became tedious. And I know there are women out there who would give their pinky fingers to be in my position. I am eternally grateful for this pregnancy and wouldn't change it for anything in the world.

I just would like to see a smidgen of interest and involvement from my spouse. In the work that it takes to get things ready. I'd like to feel like I was truly half of a partnership preparing to bring a baby into the world. Not a single mom with a roommate in the back of the house, doing whatever it is he does, which inevitably amounts to addressing his own needs.

I'd like, just once, for him to ask me if there is anything he can do to help.

Just once. You know?

Friday, January 8, 2010

30 Weeks [with update at bottom about wall art]

Welcome newest followers!

I am now 30 weeks pregnant. The time seems to be going by in the wink of an eye.

Today I had an OB appointment. My OB group has 7 docs. Today's visit was with the doctor who first referred my DH and me to an IF clinic 3 years ago (the dreaded OMC, of all places!). It was the first time I'd seen this doc since then. I had a wonderful visit with her.

Baby boy is measuring right on target. My weight gain is currently at 22 pounds. The doc was happy with that. I've been having some low cramping that feels like good ole AF-is-about-to-arrive cramps, but no bleeding. The doctor said this is fairly normal when the baby has turned head down. So she wasn't worried a bit. I often feel like baby boy is huddling low in my pelvis.

I also showed her the "nipple that grew a nipple" which she said is just a skin tag and can be removed after I have the baby (I actually suggested that I might tie a thread around the tag to cut off the blood supply and she said that would be fine - but I should wait till after the baby is born because it'll bleed like crazy during pregnancy).

I met with someone from my office's HR department yesterday to talk about maternity leave. Turns out, I'll be able to receive 50% of my pay for 6 weeks post partum (or 8 weeks in case of C-section). Hey, it's something. My DH and I would like for me to be able to take 6 months off, and I think we'll be able to manage it.

I'm still working on the baby's room. I'm leaning toward staying with the current color scheme. I found a really sweet wall decal. I have not decided on it 100% (good grief - nearly $90!) but I think it is adorable. The first picture is the decal itself and the second is part of the advertisement showing how it would look.

Physically, I feel good for the most part. I often wake up in the morning with a sore back, but it generally feels much better once I am up and about. Although two morning ago I woke up thinking baby boy was trying to kick out my left kidney.

I am a little short of breath with minimal exertion.

I am having to use my left hand (non-dominant) to shave my left leg because I cannot reach the left side of my left leg with my right hand (I have a shaving obsession and cannot go more than 1 day without shaving my legs).

My belly button has become quite tiny.

We are signed up for prenatal classes (at last!) that will take place over the next few weeks.

All in all, it's a really beautiful time in my pregnancy.

I was so excited about the wall decal I didn't read the description very well. It is not a decal at all. It appears to be more like a wallpaper mural - that has to be pasted to the wall. Hm. I wish it was a decal. The company/website is called "Decorating Heaven" and the page for this particular mural is here

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Door Number 1, Door Number 2 or Door Number 3?

I have this memory of my Dad taking my two sisters and I to a toy store once. I would guess that I was between 8 and 10 years old. He surprised us by turning into the toy store parking lot, and said each of us could choose a toy (I'm sure he imposed a dollar limit, but I recall it being fairly generous).

My sister M went and found the doll she wanted in no time. Holding the box in her hands she peered at the doll's smiling face through the clear cellophane. My younger sister, T, chose one of those toy sets that included plastic high heels, a bracelet, a necklace and maybe even a ring.

Me? I wandered from aisle to aisle, shelf to shelf. Maybe this? Maybe that? Maybe a game? Maybe a doll? Maybe a stuffed animal? Maybe a card game? I couldn't decide!

There were a thousand choices, and I realized that once I committed to one of them, the remaining options would no longer be available to me. How could I give up on all those possibilities?

So, as long as I did not choose, I could have anything. But once I made a selection, that would be it.

I was stuck in this crazy dilemma. I mean, I was a kid being offered the chance to choose a toy! C'mon! This is what childhood dreams are made of. And yet, as I looked at and considered item after item, possibility after possibility, I began to loathe the idea of sacrificing everything else by choosing one.

My sisters were becoming impatient.

"C'mon BWUB, just pick something!" M whined.

"How about this nice stuffed doggie?" little T suggested, pointing to a very cute stuffed animal.

My eyes grew wider. I was being pressured to choose. They urged me more and more (although my sweet Dad, the most patient man on earth, just waited, following me from aisle to aisle as I tried to decide).

Ultimately, I made the only decision I could.

I turned to my Dad and said quietly, "I don't think I want to choose anything."

"Nothing?" he asked, a bit incredulous.

"No. I don't see anything I want." I replied. Now that wasn't entirely true. I did see things I wanted, I just couldn't bring myself to choose one above the others.

He paid for my sisters' items and we left the store. I remember thinking about it all the way home - the fact that I couldn't bring myself to decide. I swear this is a true story, and I was honestly relieved that I didn't have to choose.

// And so......... //

I'm not sure I like the colors I painted the baby's room. Blue and yellow. I'm not sure they are the colors I want to choose. I'm having a hard time deciding.

Yes, even after I taped and painted.

Today I was googling nursery murals, and now I'm thinking, hm, a mural might be kind of cool. I mean, check these out:

Okay, I can't do anything too fancy or intricate, but even if I did something a little simpler, most of them have backgrounds that are pale - like oatmeal color. Which means I'd have to re-paint, or find some way to incorporate a one-wall mural into the colors I have.

Or maybe I should just finish what I have, put things on the walls, get the furniture into place and say "What a nice room I made."

Oh, choices, choices. How to decide?

Sunday, January 3, 2010


Nearly two years ago when my cousin had a baby girl (her second child), my mother groaned and complained to me that she (my mom) did not like the baby's name. I remember thinking (and I even posted about it), who cares what the name is....she has a baby!

Well, that's how I felt. But now, you see, I do care. I care about my baby's name, and about other things. I look at it like this: I am getting ONE chance in this life to have a baby (I hope and God willing). I want his name to be something I like. I want him to wear baby clothes that I like. I want to pick the color of his room. You know?

Imagine you've just gotten engaged, and it's time to plan your wedding. You begin to think about all the fun things....trying on wedding gowns, picking the colors for your wedding, choosing the food for your reception, tasting cakes and picking the design, flavors and frosting for your cake, will you have a live band or DJ? Where will the wedding be? The reception? What sort of fun favors will you give your guests? Yeah, these things are costly...but they're fun. It's your one wedding, and even if you don't have a big budget, you can't wait to start the planning.

Now imagine your mother, ever-so-well-intentioned, says to you, "Don't bother trying on wedding gowns, because - HERE - I'm giving you this gown." And when you start dreaming of your colors, and you mention to her that you are thinking of "blue," she nearly bites her tongue off saying, "Blue?! What shade of blue?!" Because, you must realize, that your color choice will have to meet with her approval, and she is suddenly gripped with fear that you are thinking of some gaudy, too-bright, horrible shade of blue that she will be compelled to tell you makes your skin tone look like death. And when you tell her that you've chosen XYZ as the location for the reception, she can't seem to stop suggesting that you consider ABC, then DEF, or perhaps GHI.

Welcome to my life with my mom.

I told her I was going to look at paint colors for the baby's room. "Oh, what color are you thinking of?" she asked, ever-so-casually (but I knew what was coming).

"Blue" I said.

"Blue?!" (you'd have thought I'd said neon pink). "What shade of blue?!"

"Oh, something really horrible and dark and gruesome" I said flatly.

"I"m just asking" she replied, hurt.

Well, yeah, maybe she was just asking. And maybe (more likely) she wanted to be sure she approved and that I wasn't about to make an irreversible mistake in painting the baby's room Midnight Cobalt.


We've chosen a first name (to be revealed upon his birth). I mean, we've chosen. My DH and I refer to him by his first name now. My mom? She's still tossing names out there for us to consider.

"Did you know Joshua is one of the top ten names? I like Joshua. How about Jake? I always liked the name Jake. I also like Taylor. What about Andrew?"

I mean, she knows the name. Apparently she does not entirely approve of it.

Remember my analogy of the wedding gown given to the bride, with instructions not to bother trying on gowns? Yeah. My mom actually told me not to buy baby clothes. She told me to save our money to buy diapers and bottles. She sent me a 20 pound box full of newborn clothes. Do you have any idea how many outfits it takes to make 20 pounds?

This will be my one newborn baby. Might it occur to my mom that I - the baby's mother - might want to buy my baby a few outfits? That it's fun to shop for baby clothes in the way it is fun for a bride to go try on wedding gowns? Apparently not. Let me tell you, there are more baby clothes in the box my mom sent than could possibly fit in a closet and dresser combined. More than the baby could possibly wear before he outgrows them.

I cried when the box arrived. My DH, bless his heart, told me that we could store the box out in the garage and I can go buy whatever baby clothes I want. I haven't opened the box again since.

It's not that I'm ungrateful. And my DH pointed out that it's good that my mom wants to be involved (despite the fact that the baby is not the precious granddaughter she wanted). But he also told me not to let her hijack this experience from me. Hijack. That's just the word he used. I know she's trying to be helpful, but it was beginning to feel like I was being hijacked.

So today, I painted the baby's room. I wanted a soft, pale, blue/gray/violet color. Not yet dry, it looks a little too violet and not enough blue. And if I don't like it, my DH said "Paint's cheap" and I'll go buy another gallon that is more blue.

Although my quads are already aching, my back is sore and my hand is cramped from rolling/painting, I enjoyed every minute working on his room today. After all, this is my one chance.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year

Happy New Year!

As I write this post, my DH and I are watching the Tw/ilight Z/ one Marathon. We've done it twice a year since we met. It runs for a couple of days during the July 4 holiday and again at the New Year.

It's a bit nostalgic for us this time because the last time we watched the marathon, in July, we were in the hotel room where I was on strict bed rest immediately after my FET. Waiting and wondering if the transfer would work. Watching the episodes we again watch now.

The difference is that now, 6 months later, I have a baby boy wiggling in my belly.

This weekend I am making homemade scones. We'll go look at paint colors today for the baby's room. Maybe even look at some furniture. If I find paint I like, my DH might start painting. Otherwise, it will be a low-key start to 2010 for us.

I hope that this new year brings joyous change to your life. I hope that in December 2010, you will reflect back and smile with a full heart, remembering the wondrous blessings you experienced and the dreams fulfilled.

Have a wonderful first day of the year.