Wednesday, December 30, 2009

35 weeks

Lots of excitement this week!

First, I have passed the 35 week mark, so I can officially deliver at my rinky dink hospital instead of fretting about a back up plan with unknown drs at other hospitals.

Second, the baby dropped! About Sunday I started having a lot more back pain and having to pee like crazy (seriously, I finish going to the bathroom, stand up and have to sit right back down again), anyhow, I got my weekly pregnancy update email and it said that it's normal for babies to start dropping at this point in a first pregnancy and the signs were exactly what I had been feeling. So yay!

Third, Contractions! I'm having more of them and they aren't scary so I think it's ok to celebrate them at this point. I've had them before, but they are getting to be more "classical" braxton hicks. In fact, I had three "little" ones on the NST monitor this morning. I looked over and my jaw dropped when I saw my toco percentage as high as it was cause I wasn't really feeling it. DH took me since the weather was bad and I said to him, "Holy crap, it's actually doing something!" And then it did it again, and again. My MFM confirmed them when he came over and wrote a little note on the front of my chart. This is by far the most interesting thing that has happened to me in that office.

So, I'm optimistic that maybe signs are pointing to him coming a little before 40 weeks. Which also freaks me out a little, because I feel so unprepared. However, I am the perpetual procrastinator. I do my best work at the wire. (*Whispers* And maybe I won't worry as much about being induced.)

BPP and NST were perfect today, even with my 3 little contractions. AFI=14.

And it looks like I've FINALLY found a doula. I'm meeting with her this weekend.

And we signed up for day care last night. It was more money than we wanted to spend, but it was almost impossible to find infant openings around here. It looks like a really nice center and it's probably less than a mile from my office. I brought my diapers to show them and they were really receptive to them and even somewhat excited (I don't think they've cloth diapered there before).

So now that I feel like the pregnancy is making progress and I've got a couple of other things off my to do list, I'm feeling much more relaxed all of a sudden. I had been just a touch stressed out, so this is good.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Super Long Cloth Diaper Post

I've mentioned cloth diapering a couple of times. I don't know when the idea crept into my head, but I have some how managed to convince husband and myself to brave the waters of cloth diapering. My husband is a really easy going guy and almost never challenges me on household things (unless a hole in the wall is involved) but this he was against, big time. I was surprised his feeling were so strong but eventually I won him over. And as I started getting more into this stuff it eventually took me over. Be warned, cloth diapering is addictive.

There are a lot of 'top ten' lists out there for reasons to cloth diaper. Here's mine:

1. I haven't done the calculations, but it just seems like it has to be better for the environment. I know their are counter arguments, but still, the other option seems to be throwing thousands of plastic, poopy diapers in a landfill and I just don't see how that could be better.

2. It also seems like it would be better for baby... I mean I would prefer cloth underwear to a plastic maxi pad, so I'm just saying.

3. And how about skin to skin time? I'd rather have a baby in a soft cloth diaper against me rather than a crinkly plastic diaper.

4. Smells. We only have 1 trash pick up per week here and I cannot tell you how bad the cat trash smells, and OMG, during the summer when it's warm, it could melt eyeballs. I cannot imagine how horrid a week of diapers would smell. However, washing a couple of loads per week ought to really minimize the smell factor (I think this was a big selling point for DH). Plus, I have volunteered to handle the human poo as long as he continues to handle the cat poo.

5. Cute. Cloth diapers are so cute! Way cuter than any disposable. I have to hold myself back from spending a ton on the cute stuff and have put together a plainer stash, but it's still pretty cute. (But seriously, if I were having a girl, I would have a diaper to match every dress and some ruffly butt diapers!)

That's my list... I ain't got 10 reasons, 5 is enough for me. Not on the list is saving $, because although I know you can do it for less than disposables, I'm not sure that I will, and one can easily spend WAY more on cloth than disposables.

There is a huge learning curve for all the terminology with IF, but somehow it's just as bad for the super complicated world of cloth diapers. How could poop catchers be so complicated? So, forgive me if I don't explain something fully.

So I have a bit of a show and tell here and I will try to explain the stash I have acquired.

When I bought some of my stash I was optimistic that the baby won't be huge. Unless he comes early, he isn't going to be a little 7.5 pounder, so I may not get a ton of use out of some of the smaller sized items.

All in Ones (AIOs) - Everything is together and using one is pretty much like using a disposable. They are easy to use but because the diaper doesn't come apart they can be harder to get clean and take longer to dry.

I have 2 Sposoeasy AIOs. They are cotton on the inside with a PUL (polyurethane laminate) waterproof outer (PUL is soft on the outside and not plasticy in case you were wondering). First, I think these are adorable and they look like could win over any disposable user. The downside, I probably won't get a lot of use out of them because they are newborn sized and for the general weight range of 4-10 lbs). Their design allows to accommodate a larger waist but the rise is pretty short and that's probably what my baby will outgrow quickly. These diapers were an indulgence, I just hope I get a couple weeks out of them.

Pockets - Pocket diapers are usually a PUL outer with a inner (usually a "stay dry" fabric) layer that is left open in the back to form a pocket opening that an insert can be stuffed into. Once the diaper is stuffed it's like an AIO. The can be stuffed with different inserts (mircofiber, hemp, prefolds) for the needed level of absorbency.

There are lots and lots of pocket diapers out there. Two of the most popular are BumGenius and Fuzzibunz. Everyone seems to have their own opinion about which one is best so I decided to buy some of each and figure it out for myself. I bought 6 of each in their "One Size" model. One size diapers are designed to fit children from about 8lbs to 35lbs by adjusting the diapers. So I plan to get a lot of use out of these diapers. I will probably invest in several more of these after I figure out what works best for us.

The BumGenius 3.0 pockets have rise snaps in the front that can be snapped down to adjust the rise of the diaper. The waist is adjusted by fastening the velcro tighter. People say the fit of these diapers is great and the velcro is easy to use. The down side is that the velcro tends to get worn quickly and not work so well and eventually children learn how to pull the velcro off and ditch their diapers. The diapers can be converted to snaps fairly easily with not too much work, so if I end up really getting a lot of use out of these I may end up doing that at some point.

Fuzzibunz diapers are quite different from the BGs. There is adjustable elastic in the leg gussets that can be tightened or loosened. This feature makes them very adjustable and they seem a little more trim to me than the BGs because of this. The elastic in the back at the waist can also be adjusted. And Fuzzibunz will provide replacement elastic for the lifetime of the diaper. Another big difference is the snaps on the front. The snaps allow to help adjust of the waist and leg fit. These diapers seem like they could be adjusted to fit as well if not better than the BGs and the snaps should be harder for an older child to pull off... but that also means they may be harder to put on.

Prefolds (PFs) - PFs are pretty much what most of the world thinks of when they think of cloth diapers. They are old school, but most people that cloth diaper and give PFs a chance swear by them. They don't have any water proof covering so you have to put a cover over them. Their are lots of different folds that can be used and either snappi'ed or pinned on. And another option is to just trifold them and lay them in the cover your using (no snappis or pins required, but I hear the poo is more likely to leak). You can also have a lot of fun with PFs by embellishing them with decorative fabrics or dying them (some people dye PFs, socks and t-shirts and then they have a perfect match).

There are lots of PF makers out there but the important thing is to get a diaper service quality PF. If you are diapering, DON'T buy the Gerber PFs (they are fine for burp cloths, but they aren't very absorbent). I went with the Green Mountain Diaper Cloth-eez PFs. They sell several different sizes of PF so that you don't have to fold down the diaper (which makes them less bulky).

So, in an optimistic mood I bought 2 dozen "orange edge" PF, which are basically the newborn size. Probably a dumb move. It would have been smarter to limit myself to only 1 dozen if I just had to have the newborn size so bad, but I was thinking positively (and newborns poop a lot). I think I'll be lucky if I get an month out of these. However, PFs are very utilitarian. I will still be able to stuff pockets and use them as doublers and spit up rags and baby boy pee shields. And there is an aftermarket for diapers so I could sell them when I get done with them. PFs retain their value pretty well and GMD PFs are like Hondas.

But I was also a realist and got 2 dozen "yellow edge" infant sized PFs too. These should get me a bit further. After he outgrows these I might get some larger PFs, or I might decide that pockets are the way to go, or maybe try flats at that point. I haven't figured that out just yet.


Fitteds - Fitteds are a cloth diaper shaped to fit the baby but have no water proof layer and still need a cover. I was mentioning the cute factor, and the $$ factor earlier... these diapers can end up being the epitome of overpriced, cute poop catchers so I have tried to stay away. But the other day, they got me.

There are a lot of makers of fitteds, especially work at home moms. You can get some of the WAHMs to make custom fitteds for you, or if you are crafty you can make them yourself pretty easily too (especially if you have a serger), hence lots of variety out there. Two more popular fitteds are Muttaqin Baby and Goodmamas. Although the Goodmamas are adorable, they are easier to resist with their $29-40 price tags (and remember, you still need to put a cover over them, or risk your furniture).

I truly had no intention of buying any fitteds, but I couldn't help but window shop the Mutts site (addiction?) and they had one called "Neverland". Now, you all don't know this about me, but I LOVE Peter Pan. I just think it's probably the best children's story ever... although I'm not much into the Disney animated version. So when I saw the Neverland diaper, I knew it must be mine. This is a 3SR (3 Size Rise) which is made to fit babies over a variety of sizes like the One Size pockets.

And since I was getting one of their 3SR diapers I figured that I had to get a newborn Mutt too, because people are crazy about NB Mutts. Unlike my other newborn purchases that the kid will probably either be too big for at birth or grow out of in less than a month, NB Mutts are made to fit up to 15lbs so it should last a while. So since I had a pirate-ish (Neverland) print, I decided to get a Ninja print in the NB. Yes, it's Pirates vs. Ninjas! Cause what's the fun in having a boy if you can't put pirate and ninja diapers on him? That is perfectly logical.

And then I thought I was done with fitteds, but the uber-expensive Goodmama decided to run a 40% off sale around Thanksgiving, so I bought 2. These are "one size", but really bulky on a small baby, so I probably won't try these until he's gets a bit larger. Plus, I'm not super happy with the quaility, the green one was missing a snap so I need to send it back to be fixed (this is apparently a common problem). There customer service seems to be good, but you expect a diaper that retails for this much to arrive in perfect condition.

And my last diapers don't really fit into any of the normal diaper categories: Tie Nappies. I got a 3 pack of Disana tie nappies. They are a cotton knit that can be folded to fit all sizes of babies. I hear they are great for night time diapering and they are really cute too. They needed a doubler of some sort and a cover, but they just look so comfy I had to try them. Some people find the ties too difficult, I think their is an advantage of learning on a newborn before they get too squirmy.


Doublers and Inserts - A doubler or insert is used to add absorbancy to a diaper. The difference (as I understand it) is that a doubler can go against baby's skin, but inserts should have a layer over them (microfiber should never go directly against baby). I have a bunch of inserts for my pocket diapers. The Fuzzibunz come with 2 microfiber inserts each (a small and long). I got adjustable microfiber inserts for my BGs (since they were seconds I had to buy the inserts separately). I also have some hemp inserts and some fleece stay dry liners. I hoping to get a little more hemp (it's trim and very absorbent). A lot of people have trouble with microfiber getting smelly, so we will see how that goes. And of course, a PF can be used as an doubler too.

So there are my diapers for now. I'm hoping that I'm well covered for a couple of months, but I will probably have to get some more pockets or AIOs if I want a day care to cloth diaper him.

All the diapers I listed need covers except for AIOs and Pockets, so I have my cover choices listed below.

Prowraps - I got 2 newborn Prowraps (6-10lbs) because they are cheap and have a notch that's good for avoiding the umbilical stump. I wasn't being optimistic with this purchase but I was more worried about that umbilical stump than anything. Even if I don't get a ton of use out of these I won't be upset because they are really economical.


Thirsties - I got 4 XS Thirsties wraps (6-12 lbs). They are supposedly generously sized so hopefully I get a little use out of these. They have a double gusset around the legs for keeping blowouts contained and are a more popular choice out there. And they have lots of colors to choose from!

Bummis Super Brite Wraps (BSBW) - I got 2 S of these and the are designed for 8-16lbs so I should get some good use here too. They have a double gusset around the legs and look pretty good for conatining the poo. I don't like how scratchy the velcro/aplix is on these, it's the scratchiest of any of the covers or diapers I have.


Bummis Super Whisper Wrap (BSWW) - I only got 1 these (size S, 8.5-15lbs). Some people love them and some people don't. One draw back is that the legs don't have the double gussets, so leaks may be an issue, and the other problem is that the wrap is fabric-like on the inside and doesn't wipe clean like other other PUL wraps. You can usually get several wears out of a wrap before washing (unless poo gets on them) but the fabric inner has given these wraps a reputation for getting stinky quickly. However, you might have noticed how CUTE it is. Yes, victim of the cute here.

Disana Wool Soakers - I got 2 NB (6-13lbs) and 1 S (11-18lbs). I have fallen head over heals for wool. Wool soakers make almost bullet proof covers and, unless they get poopy, they only have to be washed every couple weeks because the lanolin in them actually neutralizes and cleans the cover when it gets wet. It's a natural fiber and totally breathable. And Cute! And wonderfully soft too, no scratchy wool for my baby. They do need to be handwashed and relanolinized every couple of weeks.


Rainbow Waters Wool Longies - These might be my biggest regret. They are really cute, but the waist seems so tiny I wonder if they will fit him at all. I really wanted a pair of longies since I'm due in February and figured if the only lasted through March I wouldn't care but I'm not sure these will work at all. I'd get another pair, but the are pretty expensive and I don't want to sink money into a pair that is too big and won't get any cold weather wear.


So that's my stash. Of course I have lots of accessories too. I have lots of cloth wipes (it took a while to convince me to do those, but I'm there finally), diaper pins, snappis, wet bags, diaper pail and liners, wool wash, lanolin, special laundry detergent, special cloth diaper safe rash creams, flushable liners.... The diapers are overwhelming enough, I'm not even getting into the accessories. And reading about diaper laundering about makes my head explode. But I think the best thing to do is to just decide on a system and stick with and tweak as needed (God bless the internet and quick shipping). And there are websites out there like Diaper Swappers with lots of experienced moms out there to help.

My advice if you want to get into this is to ask someone if you know someone that has done it recently (cause it's a lot different than it was for our moms and grandmas)... but if you are like me and all alone the internet is helpful (perhaps overly so). Start by reading about products at Green Mountain Diapers and you will have the hang of the basics of diapers. Find a cloth diaper blog to subscribe to like All About Cloth Diapers or The Cloth Diaper Whisper. Decide what you want and then price shop. Look for deals and free shipping. Kelly's Closet offers regular discounts and has a rewards system that can save you a little money. For the adventerous, FSOT (For Sale or Trade) on Diaper Swappers is a great place to save money, but buyer beware, you get what you pay for. Hyenacart is the place to go for WAHM and custom stuff. You can buy kits or sampler packs to take some of the work out of building a stash. But the most important thing is to realize what works great for someone won't work for everyone so it is a trial and error process so a little determination is necessary. And there is a time and place for disposables, so if you have to give in every once in a while don't feel guilty, a happy baby and sane mom are more important than cute diapers.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas with the Family

So me and my mom haven't been getting along so well (for the last 26 years)...

We got into an argument before Thanksgiving. I told her I was through playing her games and was willing to admit that I haven't been perfect in our relationship if she was willing to also. In stead she decided to keep up the BS and scream and cry and tell me what I bully I am. So DH and I decided that our presence was not required at Thanksgiving.

My dad started up the conversations with me again a few weeks later and eventually pushed me into talking with my mom because she went out and bought tons of baby stuff... which was very nice, but this is part of the game too. She tries to control us with things and money and knew she could get back in. And I let her and accepted her gifts. I thought things might be different, at least for awhile.

But Christmas...

DH and I decided that we would go to Christmas with my family on Saturday. I called early in the day because I wanted to make sure what time we were eating and what time they served lunch at my Grandma's nursing home because we were going to stop and visit her on our way there. Well, that annoyed the hell out of her. Don't ask me why, she's just in a bad mood to begin with 97% of the time, so it doesn't take much.

Then, my poor sister called to ask about dinner too and my mom ripped off her head, so she decided not to come at all. I talked to her later and her feelings were if my mom can't be happy about anything and 100% negative, she didn't want to be around her. I don't blame her, she was better off staying home.

So as soon as we arrived at the house, we were all in hot water... for being alive. It was just horrible behavior ontop of more horrible behavior from her.

I asked if there was something I could do to help get dinner ready and she replied, "Cut me some slack in life." (Um, I had just got there FYI).

She yelled at everyone and had unprovoked breakdown after unprovoked breakdown. She proceeded to chastise my two SILs for spending holidays with their own families (even though they always make it for my family's celebrations too).

My poor nephew even took a verbal beating from her after he tried to say something nice.

After the evening was over and everyone had headed home, I called my sister and SILs. One of my SILs was in tears after being chastised for spending time with her family... my mom was acting in particularly bad taste since her grandma had just died (and my mom knew this), and my SIL really does do a good job of making it to family events and letting my parents see the grandchild frequently. My other SIL is so used to being put down by my mom it doesn't even phase her anymore.

I found out from my sister that my mom has been telling everyone that I don't want to talk about the pregnancy and that the subject is 100% off limits. That explains a lot. I found out from one of my SILs that my mom told her I hated her and my nephew. My mom is effing nuts.

I am really, REALLY done with this crap. She needs professional help and you can't get her to get any, and I can't do it for her. Their is coming a day, soon, when I lay it out for her, Get help or else. My child doesn't need to be exposed to this.

Oh, at least I've got some cuddly kitties.

(even blurry, they are still adorable)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

34 weeks

DH took off this week and next (cause gets tons of vacation). Since he was home, I decided to reinstate his drs office visit privileges (they were revoked after my last visit with my former OB). And I thought it would be good for him to meet McSoothy since we are getting closer to the end.

You know, I love McSoothy, but I'm not wild about her clinic. McSoothy is located in an interesting town. I know not to be surprised by the clientèle that comes into the clinic, but DH hasn't really been exposed to it all yet.

So at our visit the other day the nurses all had to go out to the parking lot because someone was sleeping in their car while rolling backwards through the parking lot.

Then some little punk teen cusses and throws a fit on his way out of the clinic only to return later and sit next to us accompanied by his mom and sister (I'm guessing). He was wearing flip flops and I won't even go into the rest of his ensemble... let's just put it this way, the cussing was way over powered by his clothing.

We got back to see McSoothy and she apologized for the trashy teenager. We exchanged some conversation and she said in wonderfully sarcastic tone, "And he's going to be a daddy!" I remarked back how heart warming it was that a douche bag* like that can parent and me and so many others have to go through infertility. (From what I picked up in the waiting room his girlfriend was being examined by McSoothy and he must have gotten tossed out). Let's just hope he puts real shoes on his kid next December. But, I love McSoothy, and her comment and the tone she used endears her more to me. And DH ended up really liking her too. It would be hard not to. That was the most exciting part of the appointment.

We asked about perineal massaging. She isn't really concerned about us doing it and says she still has a really good track record with couples that never do it. She does a lot of massaging herself and emphasizes controlled pushing, so hopefully I'll come out ok, but we will probably still do some home massaging when we get closer (not looking forward to that).

She is also going to try to help me find a doula. She knows a couple other people she can call, so we shall see, but she did not think the zero experience doula was a good idea.

And I can look forward to getting my group b screening next appointment (ick)... McSoothy will finally get to go where a whole bunch of other people have been in the last year.

And this morning was MFM Wednesday, of course. The baby got measured again today and is at 6lb 1oz and the 85%ile. He's been pretty consistent. I think if I go to 40 I can expect a 9lb baby. AFI=11 and perfect BPP again.

He was completely asleep for the NST. They kept telling me to drink water and I was all, "I AM! People I've drank 1L in the last 15 minutes and if I do more, I'll puke!" But he woke up at the end and did enough to satisfy.

Well, Merry Christmas to whoever made it this far. I hope you get what you want for Christmas, and I hope those TTCing can find some joy in the holiday season and have merrier things to look forward to next year!

*I cannot wait until my child can say douche bag.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Coming out

Thanks for the advice on the doula situation. I'm still working on it, but this task has been extremely frustrating and I have been working on it for several months now, so it's getting old too.

You all know I'm a bit of a freak when it comes to revealing my pregnancy to people. You'd think at 33 weeks I would be over it, but alas, I am not. I still haven't told most of my college and high school friends that I am pregnant yet.

Weird right? Well, I don't live around many any of them. And I'm a terrible communicator. And I just didn't like mentioning it to anyone.

Anyhow, I had DH take a belly shot of me in front of the tree the other day and put it up as my FB profile pic.

I know, not cool, BUT, as far as the friends that I care about goes, they all either already have kids or aren't married yet (remember I'm only 26). So, I'm not really worried about causing an infertile to break down somewhere from seeing it. And at least I didn't put up some cheesy status update like, "Being Pregnant is the BEST THING EVER!"

I really doubt that anyone will even notice. Or if they do, they might be wondering if I'm pregnant or just really proud of my fat.

But there are a few people that have noticed that I'm pregnant. We we walking out of church and someone yelled at me across the parking lot asking when the baby was due and saying they were wondering when I was going to show up with one. It was weird because (a) I didn't know her, (b) we were at a different mass than we normally go to, so I'm really surprised that anyone even realized that we were regular parishioners there.

But then we did the weekly grocery shopping and ran into a couple that we don't know but do normally sit by during mass and she said something to me about how they were all wondering if I had the baby since we didn't come to mass last night (we were at Christmas with DH's family).

So I wonder if they are taking bets.

I have created a general policy that if some random person asks me when I'm due, I say a shorter time period than it actually is because some lady asked me if I was sure it wasn't twins the other day when I said I still had 8 weeks left. I quickly turned around and mumbled "Rude Bitch" loudly as I walked away. I'd rather not have to do that again, so I just lie.

But these church people see me every week, so I can't lie. And they apparently all think that I'm due any day now.

Ok, whatever, he'll come when he comes and they can all stop their guessing then.

Anyhow, please enjoy some holiday kitty tor.ture!


Friday, December 18, 2009

I need advice!

I don't have time to do a long post on this but I am having a lot of trouble finding a doula.

Right now I'm talking to a brand new doula and I'm worried that she's the only person I will find with availability.

She has never given birth herself and has only attended one labor during her doula training... but has read EVERY BOOK! (note the thick sarcasm at the end there)

We got disconnected last night and we never got to her fee or anything. I imagine she will ask ~$300.

The whole point of getting a doula for me was to have someone there that knew what they were doing, and had experience, and could provide reassurance. I worry that hiring her will be not helpful, or a waste, or maybe even annoying. The labor process is scary to me, I was hoping this would help to take some of the fear out of it.

But it may come down to her or nothing! Is it better to have a potentially useless doula over nothing?

And I'm really down a creek without a paddle here. I have no female relatives or friends that I would want or trust to fill this role for me. I feel really alone.

Anyone got an opinion? What would you do?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

33 weeks

Is it 33 weeks already? That doesn't seem right.

Work is crazy right now... so busy and I've got a lot of client meetings lined up for some reason. Um, you all know I'm pregnant right? Do you really want me traveling 3 hours at 37 weeks?! This isn't going to work out.

But the baby is just awesome lately. He just moves so much, it's just incredible. I pull up my blanket at night and see it popping around on me. And he's just an ace at BPP's. He's always practice breathing so it seems and movement has been great. We got another look at his hair today and it's longer and the tech was laughing because it was standing straight up (or really down, since he's head down). The AFI was at 17 today, which is high compared to what we've been measuring, but it's completely normal.

Oh, and I met with the lactation consultant. I felt really pushed to get out of there from myself... I needed to get back to work and she didn't have a clock on the wall so I was worried about how long I'd been there. I really wish I'd felt like I had more time, because there were a couple of things I wanted to do, like get a nursing bra... I am still in boob induced back pain hell over here. I got some granny bras the other day and one was bothering me so much Tuesday I had to put on a sweater and ditch the bra by midday... braless at work, how embarrassing, but it was that bad. I have given up at this point and am wearing my sleep bras during the day. She also had a Moby wrap. I'd like to try one but I'm worried that it won't fit, which seems ridiculous because they are 5 or 6 yards long or something, but the vidoes on the internet show slim women tying them without a lot of excess and I'm afraid I wouldn't have enough.

So I didn't get to try a bra or Moby wrap be we did talk a lot about the important stuff. I learned a few things but it seems like the take home message is 'Call me ASAP if it hurts and keep some fenugreek on hand, but otherwise we won't worry about supply issues until we know you have one'. She gave me a big packet of information and a pair of free reusable nursing pads. And I learned she is contracted with the hospital I'm delivering at, so if I need help then, she will come. I was really surprised that we didn't really talk about positioning or practice the holds or anything. I guess she's not worried.

The surprising thing I've been finding out about breast feeding lately is how many women I know that did it with no problem. You always hear from the people that have issues and just assume that nearly everyone that does it must just be toughing it out, but lately I've been hearing the good stories. Those women really need to share more. And get this, I was breastfed. I didn't know that at all. My mom could barely stop smoking and drinking (just a little) when she was pregnant with me, I just assumed that she gave me formula. Nope. And she didn't have any problems until she had to pump for work and the pumps didn't work for her, so she had to quit. Well that makes me feel better, but I wish she would have shared that earlier.

Our 4th anniversary is tomorrow. We are going to eat a quick dinner out (because no one should have to do dishes on their anniversary) and then go home and do Christmas preparations. We got our tree over the weekend, but haven't even gotten out the ornaments for it yet and it's the same with the rest of the decorations. And I need to make some cookies and candy for Christmas with the in-laws this weekend. So we are planning on just enjoying the season tomorrow night, which sounds pretty nice right now.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Status unchanged

I took my 32 week GTT on Thursday and got a voicemail from my nurse late Friday. I still do not have GD, but I am still a little anemic.

It's kinda funny, because I completely forgot that I was a little anemic the first go around. The other funny thing is I don't feel anemic at all (which makes me think the times that I have felt anemic I was REALLY low). I've actually had more energy to stay up later the last month or so and I don't get too tired during the day... just a bit after lunch.

The only thing is she didn't tell me anything to do about it. I looked at the iron supplements at the store the other day and decided against it. I don't want to over do it and end up feeling icky and constipated. I guess I've been anemic this long, a few more days won't hurt. If they don't return my call I will ask my MFM on Wednesday.

But I was thinking back to my learning the vegetarian food pyramid and molasses was always on it and partially for the iron in it. I never eat molasses, but today I made some (frozen) biscuits for breakfast and put some molasses on one. ICK! NASTY! NOT WORTH IT. It tasted like soy sauce and malt. I'll skip that and pour myself some fortified cereal thank you very much.

In other news, we got our Christmas tree yesterday. We go out to this really cool farm that hauls you over the river and through the woods while hanging on the side of a trailer to tree fields to cut down your tree... but seeing how that isn't the most practical thing when preggo, we cheated and picked one of the imported trees at the lodge. We agreed that it was the the best thing to do, but not nearly as fun.

And we thought the cats might go nuts seeing how they've never even touched a tree before but they have been very reserved and well behaved so far. But my money is on it that Ambrosia will climb the tree before this is all done. But I'm not worried, we got this awesome tree stand (there is a little video that plays lower right corner) 3 years ago after several downed trees and two other failed stands. Ain't no cat bringing down this tree. If you have trouble keeping your tree upright, trust me, this is your stand.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

32 weeks

Although I'm still rather snotty, I feel like I'm getting over this cold faster than I have ever gotten over a cold. That's weird, right?

I had my appointment with McSoothy yesterday. Things are good except I kinda ballooned... my weight went up quite a bit (some of it from swelling issues) and my blood pressure was a bit higher than normal. Those can be concerning signs, but nothing was so bad that McSoothy was terribly worried.

My MFM appointment almost did not happen because of the crappy weather today. I called at 7:30 to cancel my 7:30 (they don't answer the phone until 7:30, so I couldn't have called earlier) because the roads were partly covered and the wind was terrible. Last year I risked even worse conditions trying to get pregnant, but it's not worth it now. I got the appointment rescheduled for couple hours later after the roads were in better shape. (But the kitties got to go out into the snow on the back deck for the first time! Bliss didn't like it but Ambrosia is too much of a nature girl and actually stayed outside for awhile.)

BPP and NST were great. AFI=11. He is doing lots of practice breathing these days which is great. And he's moving a ton, and he's so big that he really makes my whole belly shake and pop when he moves. It's really entertaining to me and the best parts of my day.

I reported the swelling and blood pressure to my MFM today. Even though my blood pressure is high for me, it's nothing like what he's used to seeing and wasn't concerned a bit. And he showed me how reflexes differ with preecclamptic women and popped my knee and I wasn't doing any of the stuff he was talking about. He did recommend to me to put up my feet more and take luke warm baths when possible to help the fluid drain.

And the whine... my upper back REALLY hurts. I think it's my boobs. They really haven't grown that much larger, but they are different and my bras are not doing the trick. I just need to hold out for one more week when I meet the lactation consultant. They sell nursing bras at her pharmacy and she said she could help me. I'm getting desperate here.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Sick and stuff

Remember awhile ago when I was complaining about how I didn't want to go visit DH's family because someone is always sick. Well, we were with them for Thanksgiving and the baptism and DH's aunt sounded terrible. But she insisted that is wasn't anything and she wouldn't be around anyone if it was. It was just some sinuses and wasn't a sinus infection and was just in her head. Except for the fact that she was coughing like crazy and couldn't even talk at times it was so bad.

Do you know what that is called? A HEAD COLD. Know what I got now? A HEAD COLD. I knew this would happen.

Yeah, and I'm pissed off about it. I'm blaming her 100% for it (even though I suppose it could have come from someone else, but not likely). I haven't had any infections in the last year and wash my hands like crazy and follow up with hand sanitizer. I'm a little OCD, but starting late Monday my throat starts to get a little scratchy. Then by late Tuesday I'm sneezing and by Wednesday I can't breathe.

It was so bad Thursday night I had to call last minute and cancel for one of my client's Christmas parties, but I was miserable. And I was so desperate that I sent DH out at 8pm to get me some benadryl.

Every trash can in the house is filled with my nasty used tissues and the end of my nose is all rough and scratchy for constant blowing. It's gross.

But, I am doing better, I think. I have an appointment with McSoothy on Tuesday and will see what she thinks.

I really hate getting colds because it feels like I hang on to them forever... at least a month and sometimes 2 months. I'm really trying to baby it with the benadryl so that it hopefully goes away quickly.

Oh well, it could be worse, last Thanksgiving the whole family got food poisoning (luckily we weren't there and with my family instead).

In other news, PETCO was running a special to get 20% off single items the other day and we got the brilliant idea to get another scratch post. We have one for up stairs and one for down. The upstairs one is made of 1ft sections that screw together and I was thinking if we bought another one of those posts we could put all the sections together and make a 3ft post into a 6ft post!!!

Safe, probably not.

Practical, definitely not.

Fun, YES!



The cats love it, we will probably break them apart eventually, but it's just too much fun for now.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

31 weeks

He has hair! Add hair to the list of things I didn't know they could see on a u/s. I had quite a bit of hair when I was born... I don't think DH did, but he was a month early too. However, I haven't really had any heartburn and research has shown that the old wive's tale about heart burn actually does correlate to more hair, but I haven't had any... so I guess we shall see what comes out.

BBP and NST were perfect. AFI was 13 (perfect, and consistent).

He went down in percentile for size. He's only at the 80th now and measures to be 4.5lbs. No complaints here.

His activity levels really do change a lot. Seems like he has a really active couple of days and then he has to rest up for the next several days.

This morning he woke up after I went to the bathroom and drank some water at 3am (it's the water that does it every time) and started going to town just like last week. I was worried I'd have a sleeping baby for the BPP and NST again, so I tried to soothe him back to sleep. I put down the foot of my recliner and rocked and rubbed my belly until he quit and it seemed to work. I had an active baby for my tests today. (The shower also seems to put him to sleep, but I wasn't about to take a shower at 3am.)

I need to figure out my FSA contribution. I'm switching insurance* and my costs for delivery should only be $500 and my maternity care is completely covered so that is easy and a lot cheaper than it would have been with my old plan. I have no idea what meds will cost and particularly if I need start BCPs again. Breast pumps are covered as long as they are medically necessary and I think I can probably get McSoothy to help me out there. I don't think I can submit doula costs... doulas are covered, but they have to be "licensed health care professional who renders medical care" or something (and DONA certification doesn't seem to count) and I'm worried that one might not come back in my favor. Add in a couple hundred for drs. office copayments.

I also called a lactation consultant today to see what her services would cost for FSA planning. This is pretty awesome: she's free for in office appointments. She works for a local pharmacy and you pay nothing as long as you visit her in office. McSoothy has recommended her says if there's a way, she'll find it. And if I want her to come to my home, it's only $50. Still a pretty good deal. She says new moms will normally have one in home and then follow up in office if necessary. So I don't really need to add much to my FSA for that. And I have a prenatal appointment set up for the 16th. I'm pretty anxious about breastfeeding (since my body sucks at everything else it's suppose to do) so I'm hoping that this will help to ease some of my anxiety.

So I don't really have a good feel for how much I will spend on medical bills next year, but I'm thinking an even $1000 ought to cover it and I can stock pile advil or go get some acupuncture for fun at the end of the year if I don't use it all.

I can deduct child care expenses too, but I'm going to wait until he's born to start taking those and file for a change (which should be allowed) because I still don't know what we are doing for child care.

*You all are going to LOVE this. I have been harassing DH to look at his insurance plan (with the kid coming I figure we should all get on the same plan since adding the kid will raise premiums anyhow). He finally looks and discovers he has other options than just the FepBlue Basic and Standard (DH is a Fed employee). One option is pretty good, and get this, IT COVERS INFERTILITY!!! Infact, it has really good infertility coverage! Drugs, IUI's, u/s, and 3 IVF cycles and more if you have a live birth... about the only thing it doesn't cover is a surrogate, but it will pay for the egg retrieval and transfer if you use one. We didn't spend that much on IF, but it could have saved me a couple thousand! Not to mention the hours and hours worrying about how we would pay for IVF if it came to that (that's probably the part that gets to me the most). So we are switching to this plan (not just for the IF coverage, it's also just a really good plan and the cheapest option we have). I'm not angry at DH for not learning about this earlier, but somewhere in the back of my mind it's eats at me just a little.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Surprise!

My bunco group threw me a surprise shower tonight! It was very nice of them. They have apparently been planning it behind my back since the last gathering.

Funny thing is I almost didn't go tonight. Wouldn't that have been disastrous! Luckily I decided to ditch work and go hang with the gals.

We have intentionally not bought clothes, toys, blankets, and small stuff like that because even though we are not having showers I figured I might get a few gifts of that nature. And it worked out because that's mostly the kind of stuff I got, and I'm very appreciative.

And I was telling the story about my MIL calling me fat the other day and everyone kept telling me that I was looking so good and had only gained in the belly and not in the face or legs at all. I don't know if they were lying or not, but I'll take it. That was a pretty nice gift too.

So even though I didn't want a shower, I appreciate my neighbors caring enough to throw one for me. It was really nice of them. I need to go get some thank you cards now and get going on them.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Weekend Recap

Thursday

I rolled out my "vodka" pie crusts early that morning and didn't even cuss! Normally it's a battle to get anything resembling a round crust, but I nearly got perfection! And they turned out crispy and great. I'm keeping that recipe.

Visit DH's aunt's for his family's Thanksgiving. MIL immediately says to me, "You're getting fat!" Ok, I get it, well intentioned, but did she have to say it like that? I just about cried... seriously folks, a little tact would be nice.

Two seconds later I walk in to the other room and one of the cousins I haven't seen since getting pregnant jokingly says, "Putting on some weight?" That didn't bother me. He delivered it the right way, it was nice actually. Seriously people, I'm not that sensitive, just don't call me fat.

My nephew is really cute these days, and he's a really happy baby and was pretty delightful. In fact, all of my nephews have been that way. What are the odds that I get that lucky too?

I was pretty upset the other week that B&A hadn't offered any hand-me-downs but I didn't really expect my other SIL to offer any since her baby was only born in late July, but while we are eating dinner she just asks me and offers me all kinds of stuff. All of her 0-3month clothes and some of the 3-6month that are summery. She also offered her Chicco travel system! I was shocked. I kept asking her if she was sure that she would be done with it by then and she kept insisting that by Feb she was sure she would. I just really wasn't expecting that since her baby is still so little. That was really nice of her and completely unexpected which made it even better.

Friday

Lazy morning in before going out to see if any deals were left. We are looking for a rocker recliner for the nursery and were hoping to find something on sale. No dice. I don't think the furniture stores around here understand the concept of a sale. The only chairs we found that were on sale were U.G.L.Y. We finally found one that wasn't on sale but was comfortable and reasonably priced. We didn't buy it, but probably will later this week or something.

Went to the ATT store and got pissed off. I don't want to go into it, but it's D.U.M.B. The manager was totally useless and kept telling me things that I'm pretty sure he could take care of, he just wouldn't. I really need a new phone, mine "works" but isn't right anymore and it's killing batteries.

Went to Wal-Mart where the cell phones are cheaper and the sales guy was tons more helpful than the clowns at the ATT store. I'm not going to get the phone I want, but at this point I don't really care... I just need something that works and I'd rather not pay a ton.

Our biggest purchase of the day was lunch.

Went home and made a satin sleeve for nephew's baptismal candle. No body gave me anything to put my candle in, so it just rolls around in a box. It turned out ok... made me wish I had a serger.



Saturday

Had to get up early to travel to BIL and SIL's for nephew's baptism. DH is the godfather. I didn't care for the deacon. He made a big statement about how you they don't normally baptize during Advent or Lent because those are solemn times. I really get tired of these renegade parishes making up their own rules. We have already talked to our priest about that issue since we probably won't have an opportunity to baptize our kid until Lent starts (Feb 17th FYI, I am due Feb 3rd). It's perfectly fine to do it, just not during the mass. I like our Priest because he says, "If the Church hasn't put a restriction on it than who am I to create my own restrictions." I love telling Catholics that we were married during Advent too, lots of parishes won't allow that either, it's perfectly fine as long as you get approval from the Bishop.

The deacon did stop and say to me, "Still early." What? He was referring to the pregnancy (I think), so I said, "How do you mean?" He said something about having a lot of time left. A couple of people have said this to me lately. I really don't feel I have that much time left and with the majority of it being over the holidays I think what time I do have left will go pretty quickly.

After the baptism we went back to BIL and SIL's house... there were lots of people there. I'm honestly freaked about our kid's baptism now b/c we don't have that much room and it will be cold so their won't be any outside over flow available.

SIL went ahead and gave me the baby clothes and their bouncer and the bunting they got but won't use for the infant carrier.

And, oh yeah, KU sucks! That was a nice early Christmas present. Not that we've had that great of a year, but only one game matters and we won.

Sunday

Lazy morning. Slept in. Watched annual viewing of Sweet November. I love that movie. DH kept asking questions and claims he hasn't seen it before it. I don't know how that happened but he's seen it now.

Sorted through baby clothes. Let the cats sniff the bouncer... I figure it's better that they get it out of their system while their isn't a baby in it.



Finally worked up the energy to go to Walmart for groceries. Decide to go ahead and get phone seen on Friday. I waited behind some guy for 20 minutes before anyone asks me if I need help (and there were several people on duty, the guy being helped even asked them why no one was helping me). I finally get to tell them which phone I want. Out of stock! Dude, you think you could have checked on that for me 20 minutes ago! I let him know that I was upset that he made me wait (while rubbing my belly for emphasis... gotta get some use out of this thing). I really need a phone so DH and I decide to drive to the other Walmart across town to get the phone there.

Get to other Walmart and they have the phone and IT'S ON HOLD FOR SOMEONE ELSE! Excuse me, Walmart will hold things for people?! No. I demand to talk to a store manager if they aren't going to sell me the phone. Turns out that someone had just called and reserved it from the other store! Me and DH are immediately shouting "WE WERE JUST THERE! THEY MADE US WAIT FOREVER AND DIDN'T OFFER TO CALL YOU AND HOLD A PHONE FOR US AND IF THIS WAS JUST A FEW MINUTES AGO, WE SHOULD BE INLINE IN FRONT OF THESE PEOPLE!" We did buy cat litter and mouth wash from the first store so I pulled out my receipt from 15minutes earlier to prove my story. Finally the guy gets done talking to the Great Oz store manager and they decide to sell us the phone. From first confrontation to purchase, it probably took 40 minutes, if someone else really was coming to get that phone, they should have been there by then. I'm pretty happy with the phone overall, I hope it was worth the trouble.

You know it's been a long weekend when you are looking forward to work on Monday.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

30 weeks

You know what's funny? Despite the fact that I am 30 weeks pregnant, there are still plenty of times when I don't feel pregnant at all. Weird right?

I think I associate "feeling" pregnant with physical discomforts and baby kicks and when those aren't happening, and I'm not trying to pick something off the floor, I don't really notice it. Other than some swelling and breathing issues (ok, that one kinda really sucks), this has been an easy pregnancy. Sometimes I think something is starting up but then the problem never really substantiates. Like constipation or heartburn or avoiding spicy foods. I don't normally even get up more than once per night. Trust me, I'm very glad that even at 30 weeks I can still eat massive amounts of salsa.

But, I still have moments of insecurity. I will wake up at night to go to the bathroom and my stomach won't seem different from "normal" and I will think, "Oh, it was all a dream," or sometimes that I somehow delivered already but we didn't come home with the baby. I seriously go just a little nuts in the night and when I sit back down in the recliner, usually, the baby starts kicking and I feel much better and go back to sleep. It's not a nightmare, I'm awake, and it keeps happening. Not the best feeling in the world... but the baby kicking is.

Speaking of waking up the baby... I woke up about 4:30 this morning and could feel a slight headache coming on. Usually when this happens it means I'm a little dehydrated and I grabbed my water bottle next to the recliner and drank a little and tried to get back to sleep. But this woke up the baby. Normally I wouldn't care but I was upset b/c my BPP and NST were scheduled for this morning and I figured if he was awake now he would be asleep for those. And I was right. He moved maybe twice during the NST... I wasn't worried because I knew why he wasn't moving (cause he was kicking up a storm this moring) and my MFM wasn't concerned, but after last weeks performance it was too bad I couldn't show off my kicker again. But everything was still good, perfect BPP and NST, amniotic fluid was a 12.

Tonight I made pumpkin bread and my pie crusts*. Tomorrow morning I will make a pumpkin pie to take to DH's family. We are also suppose to bring a side this year, so I'm making a potato leek gratin that I haven't made in years, I hope it tastes as good as I remember (it's a little different... it's got sour cream and dijon mustard in it and is topped with swiss cheese).

I'm glad that tomorrow when someone asks me what I am most thankful for, I can answer without hesitation that it's the life growing inside of me. What a wonderful gift.

*Fun thing to try when pregnant: Buying vodka and explaining it's for pie crust.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Short Term Disability

Yes, STD.

I've not been impressed with how my company handles maternity leave. "Extremely Disappointed" probably understates my feelings but it's the nicest phrasing for it. Well I thought I was getting a lucky break the other week when they announced a voluntary STD plan being offered this year at open enrollment. However at least 70 people have to sign up for the program to get it going, which I thought would be the killer.

I squelched my hope and waited for the paperwork to arrive. It would start 2 weeks after onset of the disability and pay 60% of my normal compensation. And it was reasonably priced. Actually after seeing the pricing I was hopeful that maybe 70 people would go for it (my company employees ~300).

And I want to sign up, but the kicker is that I CAN'T USE IT for my maternity leave because it's a preexisting condition! Are you F*CKING KIDDING ME? The girl that's been asking for something like this for years can't get in on it! I told our ins person that I would have very much liked to sign up before this became a preexisting condition, but as it was never offered until NOW that wasn't a possibility! I mean come on, there has to be some kind of allowance at a first offering?

But our ever helpful ins person let me know that I should go ahead and sign up so that they can't deny me coverage later and I can use it in the future. Again, are you F*CKING KIDDING ME? What is the friggin point of paying for something that I would hopefully only ever use for maternity leave when I may not be able to have future children and can't use for the current one?

So I don't want to sign up out of spite for the fact that I won't get to use it, BUT my participation might be needed to help it get off the ground so that in case I actually do this pregnancy thing again it would be there for me. BUT I seriously can't get my head around what a crapper of a situation this is for me. Cause to me the situation is literally: You're screwed either way now and if you sign up you might not be screwed in the future if PCOS and IF don't screw you again and you shall pay for it all in the meanwhile.

I won't go into the thoughts about TTC#2 right now, but it is understandably a complex issue for me and one I'd rather not think about for a couple of years (or at least until after this one is born).

It's just so typical that I got what I want, pregnancy and STD, but can't enjoy it. I guess I should adjust my attitude but I need a bit longer to cool off.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

29 weeks

The BPP was fast today, he was already doing the practice breathing when she put the probe on me. So 10 out of 10 again. It turns out that they will only be doing measurements every 3 weeks, so no updates on the Hulk's hulk.

The reason I haven't gotten any u/s pics up lately is that I'm lazy, AND, all the MFM pics I keep getting aren't nice high contrast thermals like I used to get. They are kinda grey and blah and you really do have to know what you're looking at to see it on these. It's kinda disappointing.

I had a real squirmy one for the NST. Lots of movement.

Everything was great, save one disaster... I didn't close my water bottle up good before I put it in my purse and it leaked! Not such a big deal except my cell phone was the primary victim.

It's dismantled and drying out. We will attempt to bring it back to life tomorrow morning. If not, it's not a huge loss... we were planning on getting new ones soon but we wanted to wait until closer to Christmas and hopefully get some better deals. I hope it lives but I will get over it quickly if it doesn't.

Oh, and in the last week I've had my first few noticeable braxton-hicks. The first couple almost felt like movement except I was walking and they made me stop in my tracks. I had one last night that caught me so off guard that I gasped loudly.

In other news, I'm pissed off at every thing and one. Seriously, do not cross me right now, I will bite off your head. I don't think it has so much to do with the hormones, it's more that I am just sick of dumb crap and not willing to put up with it right now... that and a cascade of sucky to bad news lately doesn't help either. So, Paper Delivery Guy, if I see you anytime soon, prepare for an ass chewing.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I am a *Rockstar*

Did you ever have a problem you couldn't fix and then one day, you fix it? And you feel like the SMARTEST PERSON ALIVE, EVER!

Finally overcame one of those.

We work with this really, really dumb software at work. Actually, we just upgraded this year from a previous version and NO ONE could figure out how to get it to stop doing this one really, teeny, tiny, annoying, drive you nutZ thing.

Today I did!

Victory is mine!

I just had to share.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

BPP & NST

The BPP (biophysical profile) was first. I won't go into the details of the scoring of it (although, I'm sure Dr. Google can fill you in if you're interested) but he got a 10 out of 10. I was a little nervous about the practice breathing that we needed to see him do. The tech said it is usually the hardest thing to catch them doing. We'd look at his head a couple of times and he'd be opening and closing his mouth but it's the diaphragm muscle movement that counts. But finally he did it (and for the required 30 seconds) and we were finished in less than 30 mins (it all has to happen in 30mins or less).

He was head down again at this u/s. I think he turned around the other week but was glad to see him back down again. She calculated the Amniotic Fluid Index and we got a 12 (anywhere between 8 and 23 is good apparently). Also, I am still growing a GIANT. His measurements put him at 3.56lb. The average at this gestation (according to this chart) is about 2.22lb. He's in the 85th percentile.

And we got a really good look at his face today. Usually you just see a creepy skeleton face with 2D u/s, but today I could really see it well and not so creepy looking. He looks like his dad! Really! His cheeks and his nose are dead ringers. Very cool to see that. (Good to know that my clinic didn't screw up the sperm samples.)

Then it was time for the NST (non stress test). I got propped up in a nice recliner and the monitors put on me. I had to hold the heart rate monitor on me the whole time so that it picked up the rate properly so my fingers got a bit tired from the pressing. It was very relaxing to lay in the recliner with the morning sunlight coming in the window and Enya playing softly in the background with my baby's heartbeat coming through the monitor's speakers. I could have easily dozed off, but I worked to stay awake since you're supposed to click a button when you feel the baby move.

After the test was over my MFM doc came and let me know that everything looked great. He was concerned about the size of the baby. I let him know that I passed my first GTT just fine. He wants me to repeat at 32 weeks. He said in his experience that babies in the 85%ile at this point usually go over the 90% before the end which can cause problems. He said sometimes they come out fine and sometimes they don't and need a C-section. I know he said that to me on purpose, as in, put this on your horizon, because it's looking like you might need one.

I had really, really hoped for a non-induced, natural birth, but when your doc starts talking about a seriously large kid coming out of your vagina, and not in a hypothetical way, it's scary. I don't want to overly freak about this yet, but I will definitely be asking about the cold-hard reality at my next appointment with McSoothy. In the meanwhile, I find it very comforting that I will be having these weekly tests and watching the baby grow. At least I can see this coming and I don't just have to sit around wondering if I'm growing a linebacker or not.

And since my monitoring appts are on Wednesdays I will be changing my weekly pregnancy updates from Tuesdays to Wednesdays from now on.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

28 weeks

Third Trimester! Win!

I have to do my post earlier than I would like today because I have a client meeting pretty far away and won't get home until near midnight. A part of me really hates the travel and late night. And a part of me feels ever greatful for this client because I had to visit them on the day of my successful IUI. I'm sure that fertilization occurred on that trip (their wasn't any homework because of the trip that month). So every time I'm back there I think it's a lucky place.

But tomorrow I might not be so cheerful because I have my first non-stress test and biophysical profile at 7:30 am and I will have to be out of the house before 7am to make it on time. I will definitely be dragging tomorrow afternoon.

The good news has been that I haven't had swelling since wearing my compression socks! Score for me! I considered Hillary's request to take a picture of them, but my feet are just not photogenic enough for the internet. The non-swelling isn't very exciting anyhow.

The trouble breathing deeply is extremely annoying and frustrating. I find myself focusing on it and getting upset when I can't manage it which kinda makes it worse. But as high up as I can feel the baby kicking these days it doesn't surprise me.

And I'd like to report my first real "pregnancy craving". Since becoming pregnant, I have used it as an excuse to justify chocolate or ice cream or pickles, but I like those foods and would eat them at times regardless of what's in my womb. But over the last couple of weeks I have been growing a desire to eat... RAISINS (duh duh DUH). I'm not a raisin fan (except for the California Raisins of course... maybe their Christmas special will be on this year!)... I can stand them, but wouldn't choose to eat them normally. But I walked by a bag of trail mix the other day and couldn't resist it for the raisins, and they are definitely my favorite part of the mix. I've since stocked up on those nasty little black things (and golden ones too).

Alright, time to work.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

I hate my mother

I have started a handful of posts about something my mother has done to piss me off or hurt my feelings but I try to leave it off of here because I don't want to write things I wouldn't want the kid to see someday. I hate how my mother constantly talks terribly about her mother (deserved or not) and I'd like to avoid doing that to my kid. But today, I just have to get it out.

Yesterday we went to my Brother and SIL's for my nephew's first birthday (they shall be referred to as B&A). My family was there along with A's whole family.

My mom was being my mom, which annoys me enough, but I was really ticked off at her yesterday and it took me until this morning to put my finger on why. It mostly had to do with the fact that she kept acting like she cared about me and my pregnancy in front of everyone, when she does not.

She never said anything nice to me while we were going through treatment. She never called to ask how things were going or try to offer support. When she did call I called her she would go on forever about how cute my nephew is. At one point I told her it hurt my feelings for her to go on like that and to stop... which did not go over well, of course I was being unreasonable and a bad guy with this request.

Since getting pregnant she hasn't bothered to ask me anything or try to help in anyway or act like she cares in general. We told her when the gender scan would be and I talked (ok actually, she talks for about 2 hours straight while I just say "ok" over and over again and then she says goodbye and hangs up, often with out ever asking me a question about myself) to her on the phone after but she never asked about the scan and I decided not to remind her about it. After all, she wanted a girl so badly, I knew telling her it was a boy would probably only disappoint her. My dad called a few weeks later and asked.

I hadn't even talked to her since that phone call (about 7 weeks now). So she really shouldn't act like she has had any involvement with this pregnancy.

She doesn't even know I switched doctors and hospitals. She doesn't know I was sent to a high risk OB and was put on a high risk schedule. She hasn't even ever asked if we had a nursery theme picked out.

I just want to scream at her that you have to EARN the "Grandma" title, cause right now I don't see any reason for her to be a significant part of our lives.

If weren't for my Dad, I probably would have walked away years ago and not looked back.

So basically I felt like it was convenient for her to pretend that she cares about me and the baby yesterday in front of all of A's family and I don't appreciate being used like that.

I have tried to resolve some of my issues with my mother many, many times in the past, but she always immediately launches in to her defensive position to act like she is being bullied and miss treated and starts screaming and crying and making me the bad guy (really, it's quite a spectacle). Everyone in my family knows her game, but you can't call her out on it because she will deny it until she dies. It's just not worth it anymore.

---

Another thing that irked my about yesterday (and actually isn't my mom's fault) is that I was kinda hoping that we might get some hand me downs from B&A that Barrett has outgrown. So far nothing has been mentioned or offered and I would feel rude to bring it up myself. My other brother and SIL passed all of my older nephew's baby things on to my parents for whoever needed it... well I didn't get to it first (obviously, no matter how hard I tried), so B&A took everything. So I kinda feel like it would be nice for them pass some stuff on too but I don't think they have any intention of doing that. And I'd be willing to give it back if they wanted it for future children, because IT'S THE RIGHT THING TO DO. And my older nephew's mom even made the comment to me during the party about how, "We can just keep passing everything on!" Yeah, except that chain seem to have broken. It kinda hurts my feelings.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Compressed

The swelling has become an issue... to me at least (McSoothy is not concerned). Yesterday my feet looked like dough that needed to be punched down. A day before I woke up in the morning already swollen and as I walked around the house I could feel the tops of my feet jiggle. Not pleasant. And just for fun, my right foot gets it much worse than the left. No idea why that is.

So I bought some compression stockings. Yes, like the ones grandma wears.

I went to this one pharmacy in town that advertises their selection of stockings and when I walked in an associate asked me if I needed any help. Normally I say no, but staring at wall-o-stockings I decided I needed the help. And I was really glad the lady working there was knowledgeable.

She asks me a few questions and then starts pointing out hosiery choices. "These are $64 and these are $115." $64 and $115! Holy shit these are expensive! I asked why a pair of stockings costs $115? Those were full panty hose with the maternity panel. I wear jeans every day so that is not an issue.

And picking a pair is kinda complicated. You have to measure around the ankle and calve, and know what level of compression you need. Yeah, I was glad for the help.

Finally we got down to a reasonable pair of knee highs for my swollen ankles that was only $30. I have done some preliminary checking on the internet and apparently they are priced competitively.

Today's test run of my new stockings went well. It looks like I have staved off the swelling pretty decently. I probably need to get another pair or two so that I don't have to wash them every night.

And in other restrictive garment news, I received a BellaBand today. I never got one before because I did not see their function, and mostly still don't. I have no idea how they would help to keep unbuttoned jeans on. And my appropriately sized band, that I was at the upper edge of the size, really isn't that snug. I guess it will be later, but I don't see how they serve any purpose at all in early pregnancy. I also think it probably makes going to the bathroom more difficult.

The reason I got it was that nearly ALL of my shirts are too short to cover the maternity panel on my pants and I ordered the lace edge band to try to cover up for that. It's very distracting to be pulling my shirt down and pants up every couple minutes. It has been really difficult for me to find shirts that are long enough. I've scored a couple of undershirts, but I need something to help out when undershirts are not appropriate.

Well, time to decompress and remove the stockings and go to bed.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

27 weeks

Not much to report this week other than really tired and a lot of trips to the bathroom. I love to feel that kid kick, but the bladder capacity is suffering for it these days.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Spending $$$

We have dived into the baby purchases, big time. Since we don't live around any major baby retailers, we finally had a chance this weekend to travel to the big city and do some shopping.

First we went to the Cotton Babies brick and mortar store. I was shocked that I actually live within a reasonable distance to the only real store they have. We are doing the cloth diaper thing and after much research and deliberation I finally decided on how I want to do it (because there are SO many options out there). I'll have to show off my stash which is nearly complete in another post.

But Cotton Babies makes the BumGenius diapers which are pretty cool. I planned to buy 6 BG's one size diapers and 6 Fuzzibunzs (and I have lots of prefolds and more, I've thought this out pretty well) and then see which pocket diaper worked better for us before investing in a couple dozen of each. (Plus, I hear these diapers don't always fit newborns too well anyhow so I should have some time to decide.)

I was happy to find the bins of 'seconds' that apparently didn't meet the quality standards for BG diapers and the One Size 3.0's were only $11 apiece, but without the insert (Normally $17.95). But the inserts were $3 apiece when you bought a six pack and that's how many I needed. So I got my diapers for about $4 apiece off the retail price and the defects were marked with tape so that you could easily see them and they were extremely minor and nothing I'm worried about them compromising the diapers.

I got some other stuff too, including some more covers, snappis, liners, doublers, wet bags, and Sophie. Yes, I spent $20 on a baby chew toy. I almost can't believe that I did it, but she's sooo cute and has gotten so many good reviews. And she's officially my baby's first toy so perhaps that makes her more special.

It was a lot of fun to see and touch the things in the store. So much better than staring at them on the computer. I was surprised to see Sustainablebabyish karate pants there. They are a lot thicker and heavier than I would have guessed. I would not invest that kind of money in a pair of them now, but maybe next year when it gets cool and I know how big he will be they would be a nice piece to have. Despite the hefty tab, it was a really fun store.

Next, for the first time in my life, I stepped into a Babies R Us. We actually didn't get that much. I kept saying to DH, "They got all this stuff, it must be useful somehow... or not."

We spent a long time in the carseat section and tried a few out in our backseat to make sure that they would fit. We found a pack n play and some sheets for it, this was our biggest purchase. They didn't have the baby monitors in that we wanted. We already ordered our furniture so that's done, but we need to get one of our relatives with a Costco membership to order the mattress we want. We still need a swing and a bouncer seat, but those we can get around home (Target) so we are putting them off.

We really didn't get a whole lot. I feel like we are down to more of the little stuff at this point (bottles, blankets, toys, clothes). Although we aren't having a shower, I am hoping that for Christmas we get some baby stuff that we could actually use (as opposed to the stuff people would normally get us) or money/gift cards to pick up some of that stuff at the end.

We had a delicious Italian lunch... I had really wanted to go to this hummus place the other week, but the crazy hummus cravings have disappeared but being right next door to an Italian restaurant made the Italian cravings appear.

We didn't really go anywhere else because that was enough. We were tired and wanted to get home in time for church.

And when I got home it turned out that the baby sling I ordered arrived. Ambrosia was happy to let me demo it with her, Bliss, not so much.

Well, I have a bunch more fluff (aka diaper stuff) to prep and that should keep me happy and busy for awhile. Now just to find the time to finish painting the room and I'll be in great shape.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Hallelujah

I got the freakin H1N1 vaccine FINALLY!

I was in all out melt down mode this morning. I'm reading comments by dumbasses about the evils of the "new" and "untested" vaccine who think that prevention is enough. You can try to prevent it all day, but at the end of the day, some people will get sick! And I don't want to be one of those people. (And by the way, studies have shown that this virus is being transmitted through the air and not by contact, so washing hands won't offer you a lot of prevention, but a SCUBA mask and oxygen tank might if you are going to rely on prevention.)

That plus being very tired from this week's work stuff and having trouble breathing, I just could not handle it this morning. I felt completely worn down and started calling numbers trying to get a flu shot (again). Pretty much all the counties have their asses on backwards about this shot and either don't have any or give it out to ANYONE meaning none left for me.

Finally, it turns out one county is giving it out to ONLY PREGNANT WOMEN! I called and they told me that they had a bunch left and if I came at the end of the day it would be fine. I had a staff meeting this morning but planned to leave after it was over.

BUT FIRST, my coworkers brought their kids into trick or treat. One of the kids had a persistent cough. It sounded phlegmy, so hopefully it isn't anything serious. Regardless, I was not happy about it. Guess who's porch light will be off this year.

I got there and about had another panic attack because their was a big sign in the entry that said only children 2-4 were getting vaccines now (which was completely opposite what they told me on the phone).

I got to the clinic and the sign must have been wrong (I think it just needed to be updated because according to their website on Wednesday that was the case, but then they got the shipment in for preggos on Thursday). I lied and used my old address from when I did live in the county (which is still the address on my driver's licenses... I don't think I will lose any sleep over that one).

I sat down in the chair and the tech let me know that I got the next to the last thimersol free vaccine! I'm SO glad that I didn't wait until the end of the day to come! I felt like I'd won the lottery or something after that.

That's a lot of drama for a little shot, but I'm so glad I got it. It will still be vulnerable for another week or so assuming that I respond appropriately. I'm just relieved that I can cross this one off my worry list.

Here's a new article for those still on the fence.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

26 weeks

Is it Tuesday already?

Dinner last night went pretty well. I saw the clients I was worried about bringing it up before most people got there and sat at a table away from them to avoid further conversation. Now to just get through the rest of the week.

Had another appointment with McSoothy this morning. She had a trainee physician's assistant that saw me first. He was so light with the doppler it was merely gliding on the u/s gel. I told him he could press down and he said he didn't want to. Consequently, he never really found the heart, just blood flow and that was pretty pathetic and quite. McSoothy comes in later and puts down a single blob of gel, applies appropriate pressure, and immediately get the heart loud and strong. He has a lot to learn still.

McSoothy gave me a list of doulas she's worked with and recommends. One sounded really stellar but I think she is in high demand so I will just have to see.

And I feel really pessimistic about my odds of having a non-induced, non-surgical birth these days to begin with. Who can blame me? Seems like everyone I know gets induced or schedules a c/s or gets induced and winds up with a c/s. Seems like non-induced vaginal births are the exception these days (and I'm not even getting into the drug issue). We shall see.

I asked about H1N1 vaccines again too. They don't have any and don't know when they'll get them in. And I guess my state must have actually had a law that pregnant women and children 3 and under not get thimersol containing vaccines because I just saw that that has been waived. I guess if I wanted a vaccine at all costs that would be good, but I really would rather not have the thimersol. So, it sounds like, if I go get in one of those obscenely long lines full of people that are not one of the priority groups (preggos, children 2-4, people caring for children <6 months, and people under 18 with underlying medical conditions) and wait in the cold for either (A) nothing or (B) a shot with mercury because they don't have to offer me the mercury free one anymore! Of course, one of these lines isn't even scheduled to form in my area until Nov 7th. (Seriously, have you seen these things on TV, what's with the middle aged folks that obviously aren't getting them for their asthmatic children? Get out of the freakin line! Let the priority groups go first!)

So in the meanwhile I will proceed with plan A: Giving EVERYONE around me that so much clears their throat too many times the evil eye while holding my breath and running the other way.

Oh yeah, cause seriously, I find myself short of breath for no reason a lot already. And it's even a little hard to take a deep breath. If I get a respiratory infection I do not think I will do well.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Client Relations

Sorry if this is confusing, bear with me.

I have a big client event coming up this week starting with dinner with a bunch of clients tomorrow night. Last year, I was freaking out over looking like a pimple faced teen cause I was all broke out. This year I look like I'm smuggling something but it's not completely clear whether it's a baby or too many desserts yet.

I would have preferred to not say anything about it and let people just think that I am getting fatter (which I am), but that will not be possible.

You see, the other week one of my coworkers outed me to one of my clients at their board meeting! I was kinda livid when he told me this the next day. How did the status of my uterus become conversation? It didn't, he just blabbed.

This created a problem for me since I have projects and on going work for them. They sent me a congratulatory email that morning and all of a sudden I'm having to reply that I will be on leave for about 2 months and who will be covering my work while I'm out. It was going to happen, I just wasn't planning on having to do it that morning. I don't think the coworker that outed me knows that he kinda made a mess for me.

Compounding this issue, many of my clients talk to each other. Particularly at big trade events like the one next week, but they also have regular working relationships and chat then too.

So when another client was visiting the office other day I felt I had to tell them too because I know they talk. And then I answer the phone by chance later in the day and another client (who I don't directly work with) said he heard that I was carrying one! Frickin A, word travels fast.

Anyhow, back to dinner tomorrow. I WAS NOT planning on bringing it up (I don't see my clients in person very often, so I figured I could get away with it until the end of the year), but the secretaries from the original client that I was outed to will be there. And these ladies were always asking me about kids and such and now I know that they will want to talk at dinner. And then all the other clients I have will be right there. And then some will start wondering who will do their work, and... well I'm probably imagining it worse than it actually will be, but it's still going to be a little messy.

And my boss doesn't seem to be concerned with lining up my project transitions while I'm on leave which makes me a little antsy. It might be nice to know that before people start asking me over dessert.

And then I get a little jealous that my male coworkers don't have to go through this. Having a kid is barely a disruption in their schedules... many of them come back to work later in the day after their wives have babies (yes, there is SOOOO much wrong with that). But client relation issues (and vagina ripping) aside, I still think carrying another life inside you is pretty cool and worth it. I'm glad to be dealing with that this year and not a bunch of prometrium induced zits.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Pregnant Veggie

I have intentionally shied away from directly addressing this topic because I (a) don't want to attract the trolls, and (b) don't really have it all figured out. But Becky asked in her comment the other day and I figure maybe I should do a post about it.

First, getting some chips off my shoulder, it really pisses me off when someone IRL, a meat eater, asks me about my diet, because it's always in a way that insinuates that it must be inadequate for growing a baby. To them I say, ABSOLUTELY NOT. Anyone that has been a vegetarian for very long knows that most people think you need more protein than you actually do. This is a hard concept for people used to eating a meat main dish at 2+ meals per day.

I would also say to these people that in at least one way I think my diet is superior (than the average meat eater) because I think about intake of protein all day long. Meaning that hopefully my baby is getting what it needs throughout the day instead of a big portion at dinner.

I also believe that plant protein is really important in any diet and that as a vegetarian I probably do a much better job of incorporating it than most meat eaters do.

And I'd say it's working. My baby consistently measures ahead (usually by 2 weeks) and mostly in the legs. I have read that measuring shorter in the legs can be a sign of poor nutrition and that definitely isn't happening here.

For those that have been reading for a while, you probably recall that I discussed this topic with my nutritional counselor and she wasn't concerned one bit. Her reasoning was that I have been doing this for a long time (since I was 8) and I'm tall and (mostly) healthy. If I hadn't been eating an adequate diet, I probably would be shorter and possibly show other signs of malnutrition.

And on the tall thing, I am about 2" taller than my mother and nearly as tall as my father. My brothers are both taller than me (as expected) but I am about 4" taller than my meat eating half-sister. (Since she is my half sister obviously the genetics are a bit different, but my half brother, her full brother, is the tallest of us kids and is ~6'4" so it's not like they are both shorter).

I also have to acknowledge that dairy has been my friend during this pregnancy. Dairy is a really easy way for me to get complete protein and calcium and I eat a lot of it. I would have to completely rethink my diet without it.

So I don't have a magic number of grams of protein I shoot for everyday. Mostly I try to just make sure I get a certain amount with each meal and have several good snacks. I know if I'm going to be light on the protein for lunch that I should plan better for dinner or vice versa or an extra snack.

On the dairy thing, it's handy to remember that a single cup of milk has 8g of protein. If I'm feeling like I didn't do so well one day an extra glass of milk or two can really add on.

For breakfast I have switched to the dreaded microwave oatmeal! Yes, my dirty little secret. I found I couldn't eat as much oatmeal as I cooked on the stove and switched to the bags. I eat the Quaker Weight Control oatmeal which has 7g of protein. Mix that with nearly a cup of milk and some flax and I'm at ~15g.

Every day I have a snacks of cheese, nuts, and/or fruit. The cheese and nuts obviously help add in some protein.

For lunch I like to make a sandwich, normally with hummus and some cheese slices and veggies. I usually bring veggies for a side too and dip in extra hummus. And the (whole wheat) sandwich bread has some protein too. I probably average ~20g of protein for lunch.

Dinner could be anything as long as I feel that I'm getting sufficient protein. If we eat pasta, I use the Barilla Plus because it's got a lot of protein. We eat a lot of beans which provide decent protein. Vegetarian chili is a favorite this time of year. I got this cookbook and I really like it. The recipes are easy and good and have definitely helped us incorporate some new meals.

Then I have a big glass of milk to swallow my pills every night and stir in a packet of Carnation Breakfast Essential (no sugar added) chocolate flavoring which adds an extra 5g of protein to the milk.

I don't eat tofu. I'm not against tofu, but I'm not a big fan either and all the recipes I like are loaded with sodium (I'm already a little puffy, I don't need more) and the phytoestrogens freak me out a little. I am a former avid consumer of soy products and will probably go back after pregnancy, but I avoided soy during my follicular phase while TTC and just felt like I don't need it in my diet the way things are. I think the occasional soy is fine, but I try to keep it to a minimum and prefer minimally processed forms. I can't really explain myself fully on the topic and I don't necessarily think there is anything thing wrong with it, but it's just something I keep to a minimum right now.

I figure on an average day I'm getting around 80g of protein, and on some days I'm probably closer to 100g.

I discussed this topic with my new OB and she had my urine checked for protein. If you are defiecient in protein your body will start metabolizing itself, and I guess the kidneys are a preferred source of protein and it would show up in my urine if that was the case (this happens with preeclampsia too). I've not had an issue so I guess there is some more proof that things are going alright.

But I continue to be diligent.

If their are any vegetarians (or vegans) reading this that have tricks for getting more protein into their diets please leave a comment, I'd love to hear them.