29w2d – 10w5d to go!

I’ve been having some minor braxton-hicks contractions for the past few weeks. They mainly come if I’ve been moving around a lot, but go away when I slow down/rest.

Last night, though, Scott and I were relaxing on the couch, watching Don’t Forget the Lyrics, and Angelica decided she was going to be super active. Scott was resting his head against my belly, and she kicked him several times. (Angelica is not a super active baby, but during the brief periods she gets kicking, she REALLY gets kicking…even her kicks are painful when she really gets going!)

Well, I guess all her activity got the BH contractions really going – I only had two or three of them, but wow, they were intense. Enough to the point where I was in so much pain that I was questioning whether or not I would be able to handle the natural birth process!

I definitely do not plan to go back on my wishes for a natural birth…in spite of the pain (which I’m sure gets MUCH worse during true labor!) I still feel so strongly about avoiding medication. But wow. If that was any taste of what I am getting into, I am so not looking forward to labor and delivery!

Dear Angelica,
You’ve made this pregnancy SO incredibly easy, and for that, I am so grateful. Could you please do the same for the labor and delivery? The pain is okay, but can you make it quick? Thanks, and remember that mom and dad love you and we can’t wait to meet you!

29w – 11w to go!

I just got good news from the other pregnant lady in my life!

Scott and I are getting a niece! My sister’s having a girl – Anna Elizabeth will be her name (aww, Annabeth…how incredibly cute AND classic at the same time!) Our little girl’s best friend will be born about six weeks after she comes!

And they’ll both have big brother/cousin Willy to beat up any evil boyfriends!

Other than that, life in prego-land is going well. I haven’t blogged in awhile because it’s been a busy few weeks at work, and this last trimester is already kicking my ass. I am SO exhausted all the time now.

In good news, though, my blood pressure has almost stabilized. Over the weekend it was right around 120/70 both days, and it’s gone back up slightly since Monday (stress related, I’m sure)…today’s was 130/80…but when I was getting numbers like 150/89 three weeks ago, I can definitely say I’ve made progress!

Now that the 3rd trimester is officially here – I should write another list of things I learned like I did after the 1st trimester. I’ll have to do that later on.

This part of this blog post will be called “Just call me Homer Simpson”:

The past two weeks I’ve had what I consider to be my first true pregnancy craving. It seems that I can’t walk past a doughnut without eating it. If I see them in the store, I have to buy one. If I think about one, I have to stop and get one. (Like right now! I really want a doughnut because I’m thinking about it!) I stopped at the gas station by our apartment on Monday evening (at 6 p.m.!) to buy a doughnut because I just couldn’t get it off of my mind. It’s sick. I don’t even really LIKE doughnuts!

I also contemplated getting rid of all my clothes for the rest of this pregnancy and just wearing a mu-mu (like Homer, in the episode of the Simpsons where he gets really fat in order to be allowed to work from home). For real. Either the baby had a huge growth spurt in the past few weeks, or all of my clothes mysteriously shrank in the wash. I have enough that still fit to get me through the work week, thankfully…but I find myself having to do a load of laundry mid-week for pants and other necessities. And I refuse to buy more maternity clothes at this point. I’ll only get to wear them for two months, and never again…totally not worth the expense.

On that note, I’m off to buy a doughnut. (Just kidding! Or am I…?)

26w4d – 13w2d to go!

Good news…I PASSED the gestational diabetes test! Glucose level needed to be under 145, mine was 125, she said I passed with an A+!

The blood pressure tests have been going okay…I started working out over the weekend and my blood pressure dropped…it went back up after that first post I made saying that it was normal. I was averaging around 140/85. But, after starting my new “plan”, it was very close to healthy both yesterday and today…yesterday was 124/72, today was 131/74, and that was with me sitting and suffering with a migraine. So, this no caffeine, lower sodium, more exercising thing has been working.

I also registered today for the childbirth and breastfeeding classes. Ooh boy. The childbirth classes run 3 weeks, starting April 2nd. The breastfeeding class is April 15th. Ooh, fun fun.

Today I filled out the pre-admission paperwork for the hospital. I just need to drop that off sometime soon, so we’ll be all set to deliver.

We also made excellent progress on the nursery last week. Scott thinks it will be done to the point where we can start unpacking and building furniture in a few weeks. I think it will be sooner than that (since my nesting urges have gone into overdrive!)

I also began researching pediatricians today, since we need to pick one for the hospital. I have one in mind, I just want to sit down and talk it over with Scott before we make an appointment to visit with them.

Wow – just a few more days until I’m officially in the 3rd trimester…we’re on the home stretch!

25w6d – 14w1d to go – part 2

I just took my blood pressure with the home monitor we got and it was normal. 120/70.

So, either I did it wrong, the doctor does it wrong, or something about the doctor’s office REALLY freaks me out.

Or driving freaks me out, which is entirely true.

I’m going to take it again in the morning, though, to see if maybe the fact that I just took a nice long walk had anything to do with my BP being lower.

Also, I forgot to add earlier – the glucose drink that they had me drink for the diabetes test was actually not bad at all. I really kind of liked it. I was imagining it would be way too sweet and would make me gag, but it really just tasted like a mild orange soda. No complaints there!

Scott also bought an adorable shirt for the baby at the mall, which says, “My daddy says I’m beautiful.” Awww…

25w6d – 14w1d to go!

99 days left! HOORAY!

It’s been a rough couple of days, that’s for sure.

I went to see Dr. Wilson on Tuesday for the gestational diabetes test…I still don’t have the results back yet (they typically don’t call unless there’s a problem, so that makes me happy – but they may still have not received the results yet, too). But, my blood pressure was high again, and Dr. Wilson was concerned about it. He checked it again with another machine, with another cuff, several times and it was still pushing 140/85-ish (It started at 159/85). So he re-classified me as high risk, and referred me to Dr. Fuentes, who I saw at 13 weeks for the NT scan. He’s a maternal-fetal (high risk) doctor.

So I scheduled the appointment for this morning, and had the appointment at 9:30 this morning, and left feeling much more relieved than I did when I went in.

First, they did another ultrasound (yay!) to make sure that the blood pressure wasn’t affecting Angelica. Sure enough, she measured perfectly with her due date, and weighed 1 pound, 13 ounces, which is right on where she should be weight-wise as well. And her heart rate was 135, which is also perfectly normal. In fact, everything measured right where it should, the organs measured right where they should – she is a perfect baby (and I’m a proud mommy!)

She’s also laying in what looks to be an uncomfortable position – she’s up above my belly button, stretched out horizontally with her back up.

I also got confirmation that the placenta IS located in the perfect place and there’s no need to be worried about the need for a c-section.

So, Dr. Fuentes said that where the blood pressure is at now, he’s not worried. He said that as long as the bottom number is under 90, he’s happy because that’s what they worry about. The top number can be elevated due to just being pregnant, or by your heart rate being increased (stress, nerves, movement, etc) but the bottom number is your blood pressure at rest, which should always be under 90. So he said he’s not worried, and told me not to worry unless he’s worried. He said it’s definitely not high enough to be worth prescribing medication, which was a relief.

He did advise me to buy a home blood pressure monitor and take my BP once a day to make sure that bottom number doesn’t go consistently over 90. I’ll be picking one of those up after work today.

I also now have to go see the doctor more often, though – I have another appointment with Diane at Dr. Wilson’s office on 4th of March, and then another appointment with Dr. Fuentes on March 19.

That was my fun adventure over the past 2 days. I’m much more relieved now, knowing that the baby is fine, and I will be taking steps to reduce my BP naturally through diet and exercise so that this doesn’t continue to be an issue!

99 days until you’re here little one! We can’t wait to meet you!

25w5d – 14w1d to go (Part 2)

I just came across this article, which really struck a chord with me. So much focus is placed on motherhood, that we forget that fathers are parents too, sometimes – so much so that when we see fathers being attentive, we call them “babysitters”.

I Am Not A Baby Sitter
J. Scott Wilson , Staff Writer

POSTED: 11:30 am EST February 17, 2008
UPDATED: 11:11 pm EST February 18, 2008
First off, a big thanks to all of you who so kindly shared music recommendations with me after last week’s column. Thanks to all of you, I’ve now blown nearly $100 on iTunes and have notified all my friends that gift cards to the service are the present of choice for my birthday next month.

And now, to this week’s entry …

From Webster’s: baby-sit: To care for a child, usually during a short absence of the parents

Last week, we had one of those rare February days here in western North Carolina. The sky was an azure blue so deep you felt you could dive into it, and the temperature hit 60 by noon and coasted comfortably to 67 by 3 p.m. I very quickly finished up my housework and lit out for day care as if my tail was on fire to fetch my sons.

Having secured them in my Explorer, we headed for the playground. Cooper, being only 4 months old, stayed in his car seat and batted at his jingly toys while parked on a bench while his big brother Alex mounted an assault on the swings, ladders and slides. I orbited back and forth between the boys, pushing Alex on the swings and making faces and singing songs to Cooper. I was lost in a sort of happy dad world.

A suburban matron with a couple of kids of her own walked up and sat on a bench, telling her children to “Go play and let Mommy sit here and rest.” I recognized the kids as ones who were in the same day care as my boys, and greeted the mother. She smiled at me and said, “So, you’re baby-sitting today?”

“Nope, these are my kids,” I replied.

“But you’re baby-sitting while their mother is working, aren’t you?”

“No, I’m playing with my sons at the playground,” I replied, starting to feel a bit annoyed.

“Well, that’s sweet to see you spending time with them. It’s good that you give their mother a break.”

And therein, friends, lies the issue that brings us together today. My better half is a fantastic mother. She has boundless compassion, a wealth of knowledge and a sixth sense for when one of the boys is starting to get ill that is nearly frightening in its accuracy.

She works full time, as I do. However, my job affords me the ability to work from home, and thus I am the one who more often than not picks the boys up from day care when they’re sick, makes dinner and performs the daily house chores like cleaning the kitchen, bathrooms, etc. that keep the house running. We take turns doing baths and bedtime/storytime, and generally work to our strengths to keep ourselves and our boys happy and healthy.

I relish spending time with my sons. I actually look forward to the occasional weekend day when their mom works and I get to have them solo all day. These are those critical bonding years when their minds are sponges and their emotional structures are still being built, and I want to be a big part of that.

And, yes, I’ve done the 2 a.m. feedings, changed massively soiled diapers that required federal help to dispose of and bounced colicky babies for hours at a time.

And yet I still run across people, predominantly women like the one at the playground, whose attitude is that I am “baby-sitting,” just taking care of my boys until their mother can come and tend to them properly. The implication that I am somehow either inadequate or incompetent as a full-time caregiver is just about the most insulting I’ve ever encountered. How dare you, Ms. Matron, assume that because I didn’t give birth to these boys that I am somehow unable to care for them properly?

I understand, of course, that there are a lot of fathers out there who aren’t as involved as they should be in their kids’ lives. But the same is true for a lot of mothers, as well. Fathers are the only ones who get hit with the blanket assumption that they are somehow inadequate or unable to properly care for their children, however, simply because of their gender.

Did anyone ever ask Britney Spears if she was “baby-sitting” her kids when she had them rattling around in her car unsecured? I think the state of North Carolina would have something to say were my parenting skills not at least as good as hers.

There, I’ve gone and broken one of my own ironclad rules. I’ve mentioned Britney in one of my columns. I need to calm down a bit, I think. Maybe Alex wants to play a game of Candy Land.

So there’s my rant. What’s yours? Let me know!

From Wesh.com

So, next time you see a dad playing with his kids, remember, he’s not just a babysitter – he’s invested in those kids, too.

25w5d – 14w1d to go

It happened. AGAIN.

And this time I wasn’t quite as amused as the first time.

I was sitting at my desk, and the cleaning crew was going around collecting the trash, and the cleaning lady, who is normally very sweet, asked me if I was 8 or 9 months pregnant. So I told her six months.

So she says “Only one??” to which I reply, yes, only one.

“Are you sure??” she asks, again.

“Yes, just the one!”

“Wow! So big!” she says.

I think what made this one even worse was that the woman doesn’t speak English very well so I know she had to hunt for the words to ask me if I was having twins.

I know I am carrying very high and VERY out front, and I was no skinny mini to begin with, but really?? Twice now??

And it’s not like I’ve gained a lot of weight. As of last Monday, I am only up 12 pounds. This huge shape of mine is ALL baby, and she’s average size too so it’s not like she’s a big baby, either.

I don’t know what to think…the first time it was funny because it was the first time someone really noticed I was pregnant. This time it wasn’t so funny. And I know she was just trying to be polite and ask about the baby but I would never think to walk up to someone that I don’t know and say “Wow, you’re huge!” whether they’re pregnant or not.

This, I can probably chalk up to the fact that the hormones have killed my normally pleasant demeanor, as well as my usual thick skin.

Anyway…on to better things.

Yesterday I made a trip out to Babies R Us and (hopefully) finished adding stuff to our registry, and cleaning out as much unnecessary stuff as I could. I need to call them and see if I can’t get the dresser/changing table that matches our crib added to the registry, because it was gone from the store yesterday and I couldn’t find it online. If not, I found one that at least almost matches.

I also swapped out our Pack & Play that Scott’s grandma Fran had bought for us…I LOVED the one she bought (it was on the registry after all), but it was navy blue (Graco’s Jungle Jubilation pattern) and as much as Scott & I both loved the design, we decided to swap it out for another one that we loved that was in pink. (The Graco Cherry Blossom pattern.) I actually procrastinated on that one for awhile because I loved the one she bought us. But, Scott (who has the worst case of baby fever I have ever seen a man get!) put it together last night, and it’s adorable. It actually made me sad to see it put together – I just want the baby to BE here so I can put her in it!

In other not so great news, I have the yucky gestational diabetes test tomorrow morning. I have to wake up at 8, down a bottle of liquid glucose, and go sit in an office for an hour. Let’s hope it comes back negative, though! I’m fairly high risk for gestational diabetes (between my dad being type 2, my great-aunt being type 2, and the fact that I’m overweight)…but I’m still hoping for the best.

Until then, I’m going to go enjoy another Girl Scout cookie. ๐Ÿ™‚

24w3d – 15w4d to go!

I had a very vivid baby dream this weekend that I just had to share.

I dreamed that I had made it to full term, and went into labor. I yelled for Scott to get the bag for the hospital, and I went in the bedroom (which, oddly enough was my bedroom from when I was a teenager), only to immediately give birth – no pain involved, the baby just kind of fell out. I then looked at the clock and realized that I had been in labor for 15 minutes. Wow.

The baby came out wet, but clean looking, and instead of crying, she was laughing and smiling at me. I called down the hallway to Scott, and told him to never mind the bags, the baby was here!

I threw some clothes on her, and suddenly realized that I had forgotten to check and make sure she was a girl. So I peeked. Sure enough, it was a baby girl. So, I dressed her back up, laid her down on her back on the bed, and then she flipped herself over and crawled to me. What can I say, I gave birth to a six month old.

So then we invited everyone over (all of our families/friends) and Scott and Stefanie were putting together a barbecue on the pool deck. I sat out on the patio and relaxed while everyone passed the baby around. Then I looked at the grill and thought I saw a baby on it, and ran outside screaming. The grill suddenly became engulfed in flames, and Stefanie ran out and threw water on it. It turned out to just be chicken on the grill and not a baby, but the grill needed to be put out anyway.

That last part was just plain weird.

But the most vivid part of the dream was how clear I could see the baby’s face. She was absolutely adorable, with big blue eyes (like all babies have) and Scott’s little nose and a cute little baby mouth.

When I woke up, I was actually sad because I had to “give her back”. Now I just really want these last 15 weeks to hurry up and go by so she’s here!

24w0d – 16w to go!

So today was the first public confirmation I have had that I actually look pregnant.

Let me preface this by saying that last weekend, Scott and I made a trip through Gymboree and the ladies working there knew I was pregnant, but seriously, a “larger-looking” woman in a store that sells baby clothes – that’s a rather big giveaway that she’s pregnant.

But today’s experience was both hilarious and sad at the same time.

McDonalds is doing a promotion today where they are giving away free iced coffee. So, working ten steps from the front door of McD’s, and being exhausted from a couple of long weeks, I walked over today to redeem my coupon.

This is how the dialogue went:

McD’s manager: “When are you gonna drop that thing?!?!”
Me: (somewhat confused, pointing to belly) “This thing?”
McD’s manager: “Yeah!”
Me: “Not until the end of May!”
McD’s manager: “OH my God! And you’re only having one?!?!”
Me: (chuckling uncomfortably) “Yeah…just one!”
McD’s manager: “Ooh, you must be having a girl, you can tell!”
Me: “Yep, it’s a girl!”
McD’s manager: “She’s gonna be a big girl! You better bring her by!”

After that, the cashier gave me my coffee and I left. So, not only was it my first public confirmation of looking pregnant, it was also my first confirmation that I look huge enough to be having multiples!

Ahh. And only four more months to go! *eyeroll*

I found it quite funny, actually, but I’m not so sure I should really be laughing…

23w1d – 16w5d to go!

Finally got to go to the orthopedist today.http://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gif It was an ordeal for sure – I have been SWAMPED at work, and they had emergencies. I waited almost an hour and a half for my appointment (with Dr. Deren – must remember that name because he was worth the wait!).

At least I finally got an answer.

I have DeQuervains Tenosynovitis. (Read more here.)

Dr. Deren checked my range of motion and I had the typical sign. He had me made a fist, moved my hand up and down and it hurt like hell (called the Finkelstein test – in fact, it made the pain come back worse than it had been – it had actually been getting better!) He also described the symptoms – pain moving the thumb, pain rotating the wrist, pain picking stuff up. It was all there.

After he checked my range of motion, he asked me if I had a young child at home, to which I said “No, not for a few more months!” Apparently this is a common orthopedic problem for new mothers and is caused by the repetitive motion of picking up and putting down the baby.

My first thought — So you mean this is going to get worse when I have the kid just by virtue of picking her up??? She’s not even here, and already I’m having new mom issues?

I think the doctor read that in my expression and told me that it’s actually quite common among all women, especially pregnant women.

He gave me some options –
-Wait, and it normally goes away by three months post-partum…he discouraged this one because that’d be seven more months for this to bother me and potentially get worse.

-Have surgery. (He discouraged this also because the recovery from surgery is worse than having the pain itself!)

-Get a cortisone shot – in 95% of cases, cures the problem within a week, and is safe for the baby.

I’m sure you can guess which one I opted for. (Cortisone shot)

We’ll know in a few days if it worked.

Other than that, the baby is alive and kickin’ (a lot!) and Scott actually got to feel it the other day, I can’t remember if I mentioned that! It was exciting!

And with that, I’m out – I’ve been at the office late every day this week and it has been a STRESSFUL week.

Enjoy the Super Bowl, everyone!