Category Archives: Pregnancy

Could you imagine?

So Baby Sister is eleven months old.  And here’s the shocker of the week – in this month’s newsletter I get from some baby website with tips on development and “what to feed your baby at this stage” kind of content they started talking about having another one.  Are you kidding me?!? 

Another baby?  NOW?

I can barely keep my wits coping with my current baby who is becoming mobile!  We still have a hard time going out because of babysitting options not to mention that I just BARELY feel like my body is back to mine again.  Who in their right mind would dream about starting over and going back to being exhausted day and night, transitioning into being big as a whale and completely incapable of keeping up with a toddler, ending with bringing another one home to add to the chaos?


Add that I am weeks away from turning thirty-nine (yes, that’s knocking on forty’s door thank you very much) to the fact I don’t think I have the energy or desire to add another child to our little family right now and you’ve got the worst combination.  The hardest part is that Hubby really longs for a boy.  A son to coach football and take fishing; another shot of testosterone to balance out the estrogen fest we currently have going on, not to mention carrying on his family name.  And while in some random moments of insanity I think it might be nice to have a son I quickly start thinking of all the realistic things that scream NO FUCKING WAY!  Perhaps if we hadn’t waited so long to decide we wanted more than one kid we might have time and the energy to do this dance all over again.  But that’s not how we did it.  There’s way too much pressure to make a crazy snap judgment about another kid just because I’m getting older.  Lots of women have kids later in life, right?

My mind still boggles at the thought of people with kids two years apart (OR LESS!) – of which there are plenty around.  I have total respect for them but know there is no way I could do that myself.  Who knows, maybe when I’m 45 if we still think we want another one I’ll hop on the “advanced maternal age” bandwagon again in a moment of insanity… but I seriously doubt it.

Foiled again

There’s good and bad news this week which was full of doctor visits… First I got good news from the OB at my six-week check-up.  I’m all healed up and with my new IUD in place I’m ready to go and get on with my life after baby.  I don’t know what I’m more excited about – the fact that I can have sex again or that I can go running again.  It is seriously a toss up at this point. Two days later, I got the bad news at my post-op check up with the surgeon.  While I’m healing up nicely, I cannot run for another THREE WEEKS while I continue to heal from the incisions in my abdominal wall. 

Okay, I know what you’re thinking.  You’ve waited this long, what’s another three weeks, right?  Well, that’s just it – I will only have a 3 day window to run before I’m back on HCG for a 40-day round I’ve been waiting to do my entire pregnancy and the timing of which cannot be altered or I’ll still be on the restrictive diet phase for my busy vacation schedule this summer. 

Three days… I get three days then that’s it until Memorial Day. You can bet your ass I’ll be running all three of those days and loving every minute. 

I guess in the grand scheme of things I have my entire life to run and it will be much easier when I remove most of my excess weight with this last round of HCG.  But when all I have been thinking about is running since I was told I had to stop back in early pregnancy it is hard to look at the grand scheme past the disappointment and frustration.  April 7th can’t come fast enough for me!

Two weeks later… skinny jeans!

It was May, 2009…  I had just finished a 23-day round of HCG, lost 30 pounds and was ready to start another 40-day round.  I had become addicted to running.  Me, a runner – something I’ve never been in my entire life.  And then I got pregnant and it all had to be put on hold – including the running.  So, I walked instead.  And I did it consistently the entire time I was pregnant wishing I was able to run but taking what I could get.  And you know what?  It paid off big time!  My daughter was born exactly 15 days ago and yesterday I WORE MY SKINNY JEANS to the movies.  I’m not talking my skinny jeans from before I did HCG.  No, I’m talking about the jeans I had to buy after I lost 30 pounds because none of my jeans fit me anymore jeans. 

I thought for a minute it was a fluke – maybe they were just stretchy jeans and I hadn’t actually paid attention when I bought them.  So, I stepped on the scale this morning… something I was kind of avoiding since I had just had a baby (that and mirrors!).  HOLY SHIT – I weigh less than I did after HCG!  (by a pound… but still!)  I haven’t even been out for a walk since she was born and yet the weight has disappeared effortlessly.  This must be what they say about if you are active during pregnancy you have a much faster recovery.  With my first pregnancy eight years ago it took me eight weeks – eight! – and some major exercise just to get back into the jeans I was wearing when I got knocked up.  I was a different person then.  I ate like crap and didn’t exercise and hadn’t been smart enough to be frightened by a family history of high cholesterol, coronary artery disease and diabetes.

I’m glad I grew up and started taking life seriously!

I love knowing I can run again in a month after my 6-week checkup.  I love knowing I can wear anything I want in my closet without having to be limited to the small selection of maternity clothes I’ve been enduring for months.  But most of all, I love knowing that I took control of my health and changed my lifestyle for the better not even letting a silly thing like pregnancy detour me from my new life.  And I’ll be around and healthy to enjoy the lives of my daughters because of it!

The Big Show – week 38

My magical number is 38.  I officially gave birth to daughter number two exactly 38 weeks after she was conceived and the exact same gestational age as daughter number one.  It is not lost on me how lucky this makes me in the realm of pregnant women.  I had a phone call today from the research study I’m participating in checking up on me  in the “final weeks” of my pregnancy.  It totally hit me that if things had not gone how they did I theoretically could STILL be pregnant with almost an entire week looming ahead of me before my due date.  UGH!  But, I’m skipping ahead…

The final week of pregnancy was the worst in terms of up’s and down’s for me.  You see, I am a control freak.  Yes, me, the most impatient woman on the planet, is also a control freak.  (You probably already know this, right?)  Well, knowing that the first time around I had my baby at 38 weeks, I was pretty convinced I was going to have a repeat with this pregnancy if not by sheer will alone.  I had a doctor appointment on Tuesday – my second check – and I was really anticipating him telling me that things had progressed way further and that delivery was impending.  Like any minute.  After all, I’d had that really big scare when I thought I was going to have her on MY birthday and all those contractions were sure to have done something, right?  Well, I was about 1/2 a centimeter further dilated and about 5% more effaced.  What?  That’s IT?  Are ya kidding me?  I had a panicked flash of the possibility of going past my anticipated 38 week mark and asked if I could schedule a date to be induced at 39 weeks.  Luckily, because this wasn’t my first baby, that was totally do-able.  So, the ultimate drop-dead, I’ll never have to wait a day longer, induction date was set – for Feb 9th.  It wasn’t ideal, but at least it was something I could control and count on… After the doctor I headed out for a girl’s night with some old friends which was a blast but even after the internal check I had zero contractions going on and I kept obsessing about it.  See, this is not how things were supposed to be going!

Wednesday was totally uneventful other than the discomfort and overall miserable existence that all women at 37 1/2 weeks of pregnancy feel.  And if I’m being honest – judging from friends sharing this journey with me – I know it could have been much worse in comparison.  But, I was uncomfortable and I didn’t want to endure another day.  Not one single day.

Thursday was the day I had pinned all my hopes on – the day of my prenatal massage with a doula who was advertised as being able to induce labor at will.  I should have known it would be too good to be true but I was a fool and placed it as my Plan A – hanging all my hopes on getting a fabulous massage and then having a baby that night or the next day.  I walked into the spa and my girl came out to greet me and – just my luck – she was 32 weeks pregnant herself and thus could not use the aromatherapy needed for what I wanted without putting both of us into labor.  So, yes, I got a great massage – on my side instead of on my stomach with a special massage table which I had also anticipated – and was sent home with some aromatherapy and two pressure points identified so I could try to induce labor – do it yourself style.  Really?!  I know me and the hubby are big DIY’ers but this took the cake.  I had this little vial of not-so-pleasant smelling oil that I carried to the movie with me since it worked out that big sister was hanging with her BFF so me and the hubby took full advantage of what could be our last night out for a while.  I kept taking whiffs of the concoction and then did the accupressure – or what I hoped was the accupressure – when I got home.  I went to bed with smelly oil rubbed on my big belly and the beginnings of bruises on my shins and my feet from my accupressure attempt.  Knowing that plan A might just be a bust, I implemented Plan B early – herbs to induce contractions – and took my first dose before bed.  Did I wake up in the night in full blow labor ready to head to the hospital?  No.  And let me tell you, I was so pissed when I woke up and actually had to go into work on Friday.  See, this was not in the plan.  Thursday night I was supposed to go into labor and there would never be any way I would be at work on Friday.  Instead, I took three more doses of my herbs and worked all day on Friday with MAYBE a random contraction here or there but nothing significant to report.  I was pissed.  I hate it when I cannot control a situation – any situation, this one included!  We went for Mexican food and I ate spicy – at this point I was desperate!

Saturday morning I woke up with still nothing happening.  I got big sister off to tumbling and was hanging out on Facebook and trying not to scream in frustration about the fact that I was now officially 38 weeks pregnant with no delivery in sight.  Plans A and B were a bust and I was trying to figure out a way to lift my girth into hubby’s jacked up truck – that I haven’t ridden in for many months because it was impossible to get into with my condition – so we could go four-wheeling hoping that would work as a pathetic Plan C.  At about 10:30 AM, sitting at my kitchen table I had a contraction.  Nothing major, just a contraction that felt like any other I’d been having for weeks.  Nothing painful, no intake of breath, nothing.  I was pissed, yet again.  But then, about ten minutes later, I had another one.  I told myself not to get my hopes up but I did anyway.  I sat there, playing on Facebook when I should have been writing my novel, and waited for another one knowing full well that it might not come.  But you know what?  Another one came… and for the next hour I had contraction after contraction about every 10 minutes.  I calmly told hubby about an hour into it that I thought I might be in labor – since of course I didn’t want to jinx it by getting all excited about it.  An hour later, they were more like seven minutes apart and I started to let myself get a little excited and thought “maybe I better figure out where big sister is going if this is really it” and called my brother to launch the plans in case it was really the big show.  Of course my bags and big sister’s bags were all packed – had been for days. 

At 12:30, they got closer together – like four minutes now – and I told hubby it was time to go.  He was a little disconcerted because apparently he thought there should have been more fanfare than me sitting on the couch making little notes on a post-it note pad every few minutes and knitting to keep my mind distracted from what was happening and hoping like hell it was the real deal.  He started panicking and grabbing bags and freaking out and I calmly coordinated everything that needed to happen to get us all swiftly out the door and on the way to the hospital after dropping big sister off to spend the rest of the day and night with her cousins.  I remember on the drive thinking “what if this isn’t it?” and started thinking how horrid it would be if this was in fact a false alarm.  Yes, I was having contractions every four minutes but I wasn’t in any pain and shouldn’t I be in pain at this point?  I voiced my concern and how mad I would be if this wasn’t it to hubby who of course said all the right things and calmed me – whether they were true or not, it still worked.

We arrived at the hospital and we must both have been thinking that there was a chance they would send us home because we both decided not to take anything in with us except my purse.  Since I was pre-registered there wasn’t much to do to check in and minutes later I was in a room getting hooked up to monitors as an observation patient.  Now remember, I’ve been in labor now for two full hours and then some with the drive.  So when the nurse finally checked me – after I politely let her know that I had already been dilated to a 4 1/2 on Tuesday – I was dismayed to hear that I had pretty much done nothing as far as dilating any further.  Still a 4+ and about 80% effaced.  My hopes of staying were dying a slow painful death but I tried to stay positive while fielding calls from my sister who was in charge of when and who to notify in the event we were staying. Who knows how long we’d been there when finally I asked whether we were staying.  The nurse said it looked like we were but she had to verify it with the doctor.

At this point, it all seemed so surreal still.  I’m not in any real pain – yes, a contraction is something you can feel and it is a bit uncomfortable but still nothing I would term as painful.  I got my IV started – the nurse did a piss-poor job and I had blood all over the sheets and couldn’t use my hand afterwards until I complained and got a half-assed re-do on the tape job.  And my parents had arrived to wait things out with us after getting word that we were officially staying.  I’m a private person and I had made it well known that no one would be allowed to witness the actual birth or anything remotely related to it (not to mention the still very strict visitor restrictions in place at the hospital) so my siblings and others in the family continued to go about their business of a typical Saturday (and watched Facebook for hubby’s postings to keep them updated I’m sure!) But, Mom was bound and determined that she and my Dad would be there, so they were and had to leave the room about every 20 minutes when the nurses came in and had to do things.

Next up – the epidural…  I’ll be honest.  I had been toying with the thoughts of seeing how long it would take before I had actual pain before asking for drugs.  (I blame a blog I read where the woman decided to have a natural child birth the second time around and touted it as an awesome experience.)  At this point, I was already dilated to a 5+ which is more than halfway there and still nothing actually painful.  But then, I had a doosey of a contraction that went off the charts according to my Mom who could actually see the monitor.  (Don’t get me started on how annoying this control freak thought it was that she COULDN’T SEE THE MONITOR from my position on the bed!)  That one I felt and it hurt.  So, when the nurse came in with some kind of bag of fluid to hang on my IV pole I promptly asked how long before I could get my epidural.  She informed me that all I needed was to have this entire bag of IV fluids in me before they could do it.  At that moment, I had another painful contraction and I made her be very, very specific on how long that would take.  To which she responded, “not long”.  I asked for further clarification – I need quality answers to appease my control freak nature after all.  “Does that mean 10 minutes or 30 minutes?”  She assured me it would only be about 10 minutes and left the room before I could mutter under my breath things I really hoped she couldn’t hear because they were mean and implied I’d kick her ass if she was lying.  (What was I thinking – I’m a super wuss and I needed my drugs!)

Ten minutes later, my favorite guy walked in with a cart full of horrors – or so hubby told me later – to give me my epidural.  I vaguely remember him being good looking but that could have just been the endorphins kicking in that promised I wouldn’t have to feel any more pain in a few minutes because of THAT GUY that just walked in the door.  My parents shuffled out as he walked in and blissful numbness followed about a half hour later – about the time that hubby related to my parents the details of how long the needle was that I’d just had inserted into my spinal column.  Probably could have lived the rest of my life not knowing those details but oh well.

After that, things calmed down and I just kind of laid there on the bed with heavy legs and numb toes.  At one point I had a bit of clausterphobia because I couldn’t feel or move my feet – another control freak issue I’m guessing – but Mom (who did I mention is a nurse who takes care of antepartum moms and babies at a different hospital?) assured me that was normal.  She was a better nurse than my own labor and delivery nurse was.  Luckily, that was quickly remedied with a shift change at 3:00 when I got an awesome nurse who catered to my need for specific answers and knowledge without having to be prompted and who I was very happy with.  Good ridance to the piss-poor IV insterter with the vague answers!

I found out my doctor was not on call and thus one of his partners was going to be taking care of my delivery.  On the one hand, I now had to immediately feel comfortable with a total stranger who would be seeing me in a light only my husband really ever did and be okay with it.  But, I had heard nothing but great things about this doctor from several close friends who were patients and I wasn’t disappointed.  He breezed in, introduced himself and then checked me to see how things were progressing.  Only about a 6 still but he assured me it would only be a couple of hours and inserted an internal heart monitor to monitor the baby which broke my water.  Cool – at least I was past the potential of ruining furniture with that happening!

Next up – a catheter to drain my bladder since I now cannot walk to the restroom on my own legs.  And, no biggie since I’m numb from the waist down.  Except I wasn’t completely numb it turns out when she started to prep and I could feel it and it was painful.  I could tell it caught my nurse off guard when I said “OUCH” and she had to clarify that I could feel that.  Um, yeah, I felt that!  So, I got to see the semi-attractive anethesiologist for another dose of epidural with instructions from my nurse to keep pinching my lower belly and call her when I could no longer feel it.  I should have seen this as the omen it was…  I finally was numb enough for the catheter which went in without a hitch.  Second time’s the charm I guess.

This is the point in the process where there’s really not much to do but wait.  And it was about then that hubby and dad decided they were hungry and were just going to ‘run to the cafeteria’ – on the other side of the very large hospital – and grab a bite to eat.  Never mind that I had been reduced to HFCS-flavored ice chips having failed to eat a proper meal myself before arriving at the hospital, I did not want him to miss the birth and control freak came blasting to the surface insisting he not go.  Luckily, the doctor appeared and after a check assured him they had plenty of time.  Things had started to go much slower and while he thought we’d “be there” by now, we weren’t.  So, the guys left and Mom and I hung out.  Yes, they made it back in time which kind of pissed me off because then I couldn’t be justified in not wanting him to leave and left me only feeling jealous that they’d actually gotten to eat a meal.  The rest of the waiting game was spent entertaining family visitors who had come from a couple of hours drive away to visit me assuming I still had a couple of weeks left before delivery and had to go home.  After they left, having dispensed gifts from that branch of the family tree, things got a little exciting.

All of a sudden, I could feel a contraction – and it hurt like hell.  WTF? I have an epidural so I don’t have to feel those, right?!?  I panicked and remembered I had a little magic button that I could push to get extra dose of epidural which I promptly scrambled to find and push – with the hand that only halfway worked because of the half-assed tape job on my IV.  Next contraction hit and I COULD STILL FEEL IT and IT STILL HURT!  I pressed the call light for the nurse who came rushing in and checked me and said I was complete.  Wait, what does that mean?  Oh God, you’re kidding, time to push?  I’m so not ready for that!!  And why can I feel my contractions now?  I don’t remember being able to feel it last time!  My parents had been ushered out when the nurse arrived and it was just me and hubby and all sorts of bustling around.  My nurse called the anesthesiologist to bring me another dose of extra kick for my epidural and then there was a moment of just me and hubby and the stuffed animal big sister sent in her stead and made me promise to have with me when her little sister was born because she couldn’t be there and then I was crying because big sister wasn’t there and I was scared and hadn’t really prepared for this part.  Hubby helped me pull myself together and then the bustling was underway again with the doctor arriving and the nurse preping the sterile table and lights coming out of the ceiling like something out of Star Trek while the comfortable bed I’d been lying in magically transformed into some contraption with stirrups that now looked more like a mideval torture device.  And now I have to push because it hurts and I can’t help it and can I push?  I remember the doctor telling me to wait and me looking up like “are you kidding me?” and seeing him and the nurse scrambling to get him into scrubs with his hands up in the familiar pose from TV indicating he was sterile and ready to go so I cut him some slack but it REALLY HURT not to push!  Then a new guy walked in and he was the new anesthesiologist and the nurse said I don’t think we need you and I said, YES WE DO because I don’t want to feel when she is born like I can feel this now!  So, he stepped up to the bed on my left side and reached across my body to insert a large syringe of liquid into my epidural port at my right shoulder while hubby held my right hand and the doctor said “OK, on the next one push.”

And the contraction hit and I pushed and I could feel everything and I screamed – at the top of my lungs.  The only coherent words I remember were “I DON’T WANT TO FEEL THIS!!” and then just screaming and crying and then I needed a breath and I heard the doctor say “the head is out – one more good push” and I was still in the throws of the contraction – and the pain – and my lungs were full again and I was pushing and screaming and then it was over and the baby was out and the anesthesiologist pulled his arm away…

Yes, one contraction.  Two pushes.  And then a baby.  And about 5 minutes later – just in time for the doctor to stitch me up – I was numb from the additional dose of epidural.  And couldn’t walk for several hours.

Little sister was born at 6:41pm on January 30th weighing 6 pounds 14 onces and measuring 21 inches long.  She is amazing and tiny (or ginormous compared to my friend’s baby who is still in the NICU) and beautiful.  And I don’t even blame her for all the pain because it slowly faded and I am recovering even better than I remember from the first time around.  What an amazing thing – to bring another living creature into the world who now will grow and become an individual who will probably make me crazy as her mother and will amaze me every day like her big sister does. 

We’ve been home for a week now and adjusting to sleepless nights and feeding every 3-4 hours and diapers and all the other things that come with a newborn.  Big sister got to meet her about 15 hours after she was born at the hospital because she waited just long enough to be born for them to lift the visitor restrictions allowing siblings under 14 to visist just as we were transfered to a room from labor and delivery.  I guess that alone made the wait worth it, in retrospect anyway.  Little sister and I are both Aquarius and thus both stubborn…  what a ride it will be!

The End is Near – week 37

What a week it has been! The excitement of my first internal check on Tuesday where my doctor even said he was impressed that I was already dilated to a 3 was immediately followed by the unpleasantness of the Strep B culture. Then there was Wednesday when (I think) I lost my mucus plug. (Who can really be sure about something called a mucus plug and when it comes out, right?) Wednesday night I was almost certain – and scared – that the time had come and that labor had started since I had contractions most of the afternoon and all evening that for a while were steady at every 10 minutes. Considering my birthday was Thursday and I had book club I was looking forward to, it was THE worst time to go into labor. I was very worried and kept saying “just hold out one more day” while I sat with my feet up and rested. Well, she listened as the contractions eventually stopped and Thursday was very uneventful with only a contraction here and there all day. Friday was equally uneventful except for the fact I made it to my 37-week mark which is what my doctor said he really wanted to see happen. From here on out, I am considered full term and baby can come anytime. Poor big sister must have heard me saying my mantra “just one more day” because she told everyone on Thursday that mommy was having a baby tomorrow. She was very disappointed when it didn’t happen and I had to explain to her that it happens when the baby is ready and we don’t get to decide. We both agree the waiting game is not very fun.

The stroller and car seat have both been assembled and ready for use and I even started packing a bag for the hospital – something I didn’t do until I was in labor and needed to head to the hospital with big sister. Baby has dropped and I can eat more, breath easier and walk a bit faster although the waddling factor increased with the drop and my heartburn did not go away. I also have much more pelvic pain now and it is very difficult to get up after sitting or lying down. Not only can I no longer tie my shoes, I can no longer put my own socks on. Luckily big sister is good at putting them on for me and likes to help out. I also got all my paperwork completed this week for my FMLA leave of absence at work and I have one remaining big project to finish that I want under my belt before I go on maternity leave. Nesting is in full swing – I cleaned out the fridge today and I’m doing major laundry so I can pack big sister’s bags and get all the new baby stuff washed and put away from the shower. There are still visitor restrictions at the hospital so big sister won’t get to come – something I think is major bullshit since the health department has lifted their recommendation for the restrictions and it appears that only MY hospital and one other in the entire city still have them in place. Reality kind of kicked in for hubby who is very concerned I’ll go into labor while he’s at work in the middle of the night. We have made contingency plans if that happens and I’m SO glad I have family close who are also willing to help out if the situation is necessary. I have anxiety about my water breaking and ruining furniture which is something I never stressed about the first time around. My doctor broke my water shortly before I started pushing last time so it isn’t like I’m worried about something repeating either. I have setup a calling tree with my family and friends so there will be minimal phone calls necessary when the time actually comes. Big sister, the dancer, commented the other day on my “banana back” which I guess is a dance term for bad posture when you arch your back. What a lovely visual of how I feel with my enormous baby belly and why my back hurts all the time.

I am huge and cumbersome and ready for the day of birth to arrive. Not that I’m looking forward to the horror show of labor and delivery with anticipation, I’m just ready to be done with the pregnant part and get on with the new baby part. Weekly doctor appointment is on Tuesday and we’ll see how things go from there. Regardless, I will be asking him to schedule an induction date for a week early since there is no possible way I’m going to 40 weeks! Although part of me hopes she can hold out 5 more days so I can actually get and enjoy my massage I have scheduled and then implement my plans for inducing my own labor as scheduled. BabyWatch 2010 is officially in full swing!

Houston, we have lift off!

Well, I can’t wait until the end of the week to report… Today’s doctor appointment showed I am dialated to 3 centimeters and 70% effaced!!! (HOLY SHIT!) Doctor wants me to take it easy so I can actually make it to the 37 week mark this weekend but things are definitely happening. (Please, don’t let me have this baby on my birthday on Thursday!!!) Of course, Doc also says that I could “stall” here and still go another couple of weeks, there’s just no guarantee. What a rollercoaster ride it is, but welcome to the beginning of the end!

An emotional rollercoaster – week 36

This post is dedicated to one of my closest friends who “almost died” this week and her amazing baby girl who was born Tuesday at 28 weeks. There is nothing more sobering than watching someone you love go through something shocking and life-threatening. I was always supposed to be the first to go through labor and delivery and we were having a blast going through pregnancy together. (Of course, she missed out on all the yuck of late pregnancy… maybe she’s really the lucky one?) Both girls are doing good and baby is a fighter and will join her Mom and Dad at home in a few short months… when she was supposed to be born. Most of my week was spent worrying about them and visiting them at the hospital. Can I say that the NICU is an amazing place? People who choose that as a vocation are amazing people! After the shock wore off and both of them were out of the woods, I stopped talking about how ready I am. I just want a healthy baby and a labor and delivery without any complications for me or for baby. (I did get pre-registered at the hospital while we were visiting… but that’s just being practical since I was there anyway!)

Saturday was my baby shower given by my amazing cousins and cousins-in-law. It was a great afternoon and I got most of the remaining necessities to welcome baby when she arrives. Even more, I got fun and cute stuff that makes me excited and I got to spend time with friends and family. Sunday Daddy and I went on a major cleaning jag and deep cleaned the entire house together. Something I wasn’t really feeling up to but when Daddy wants to help and cleaning is the activity, you just don’t say NO! It was nice to get my spring cleaning done in the dead of winter and then we enjoyed a fun dinner with extended family we haven’t seen in a long time that night.

Nothing new to report… still the same complaints of late pregnancy. But my much-anticipated doctor appointment where we get hard data on whether things are progressing looms ever closer and I can’t wait! I have plans with backup plans on moving things along at my own pace (like pre-natal massage and herbal remedies, etc.) but I’m really just hoping for nature to be taking it’s course already! We shall see! Regardless, the end game is near! I’m freaked out about labor and delivery but want to be at the finish line probably more…

I’m ready!! Week 35

I am so done being pregnant. I not only feel like a beached whale attempting to get up from chairs and couches, I kind of resemble a turtle stuck on its back. You know, poor pathetic legs kicking and just can’t get up. Yep, that’s me! I’ve been reduced to ONE pair of shoes because they are the only pair I can slip on and even my maternity clothes are getting tight. Heartburn is now my almost constant companion, coming and going all day whether I ate a big meal or not. Eating is an exercise in futility because my stomach is so scrunched that it can hold about 7 bites before I feel like I’m stuffed to the gills. Of course then I am hungry again in an hour which is super duper fun! Let’s not mention how often I have to visit the bathroom to relieve my equally-squished bladder. And, I can barely walk at a snail pace. It literally took me 15 minutes to walk into work from my car the other day. A trip that used to take me 5. Yep, this is me, ready to be done. So, any day now, Baby. Come on out!! As things get squished in there for her, my body feels less like my own than ever. You can see my belly twisting into oddly pointy shapes where limbs are stretching and baby is rolling around. Pretty much stuff right out of Aliens – you know, with Sigorney Weaver? Just as long as she comes out the ‘normal’ way and not ripping through my abdomen like it feels like sometimes we’ll be good.

This week was marked with a doctor’s appointment. One in which I THOUGHT I would get ‘checked’ to determine if things were happening in the dilation and thinning department. I happily bounced in only to find out that, once again, I have got it all wrong and had jumped the gun. That doesn’t happen until the NEXT visit scheduled for the 19th. Are ya kidding me? Everything is going smoothly with five weeks to go (three if I have my way and get a repeat performance from my first go-round!). I’m supposed to start taking things easy and slowing down but I’m still writing and trying to keep up with all the things going on in my life including a full time job. Hey, I get to bed before 11:45 these days which is better than it used to be with my ‘normal’ 1 AM target so no one can say I’m not following doctor’s orders, right?

I did some major nesting this week. I got all the blankets, sheets and burp clothes I kept from big sister and all the new clothes and blankets washed and put away in baby’s room. We have a box of diapers and a big can of formula all ready to go in case she shows up earlier than even I expect. We got a membership to Sam’s Club to keep us in said diapers and formula more affordably. And, I ordered the car seat/stroller travel system online which should arrive in the next 2-3 days. I pampered myself, too, this week with a trip to the spa for some ear candling (my new favorite thing!), a new cut and color with my new fabulous stylist, and a girl’s night out for sushi with my girls from the book club/writing group. All in all it was a productive and fun week. If the next three go by this fast, I will have nothing at all to complain about! Well… haha. The big milestone I learned for the week is that most doctors consider 35 weeks full term and even if she was born now there would be very few complications. Such a great milestone to pass!

Happy New Year – week 34

New Year’s was very very different for me this year. On New Year’s Eve, instead of appropriate libations, I drank sparkling cider (an entire bottle my myself I might add) and was the designated driver. It isn’t like I have been able to indulge for months and it shouldn’t have been a big deal but this was the first New Year’s Eve since turning legal age that I didn’t ring in the new with a toast and it kind of sucked. The party wasn’t as fun without alcohol (what party is, right?) and I got tired early but I spent it with friends from work who had kids for big sister to play with and still had a good time. Different, but still fun. New Year’s Day was our annual family sledding trip with my siblings and cousins and their families and that wasn’t as fun either. It is much colder when you are just standing or sitting around and not actually sledding and hiking back up the hill. I thought seriously about just riding one of the tubes down nice and gently just once but knowing my luck that would be the time someone came down the cross hill and crashed into me or something else as equally as weird. Besides, while I thought there was a good chance I could get DOWN onto the tube, I knew there was little chance I could get back up once at the bottom of the hill. I resemble a beached whale just trying to get off the couch these days so I didn’t press my luck. It was still fun to spend the day with loved ones. Different, but still fun.

This week marked the first of what turns out will be three baby showers planned on my behalf. My girls from the old job at the bank all came over on Saturday to shower me with gifts and hang out. Seeing new things ready for the new addition was fun and they totally spoiled me with things from my registry. Turns out they are planning one at the current job for the next couple of weeks and a couple of my cousins are planning an open house for family and friends later in the month. Both of which just came to light in the last week.

Over the long weekend we also packed away all the Christmas decorations and brought up all the baby boxes from the basement storage so I can start sorting and washing and storing away in preparation for baby. Before we know it, she’ll be here ready to change our lives. I seriously do NOT want to be pregnant in February so hopefully it will only be about another 4 weeks to go! We’ll know more at next week’s doctor’s appointment where the fun of getting checked commences.

Merry Christmas – week 33

I can’t believe Christmas has come and gone already. Hubby’s birthday is the 23rd of December and this year was marked with a doctor’s appointment. All is well with nothing new to report. I was wrong, thinking we would now be starting on the weekly appointments but I guess I remember how things go much differently than the reality. I still have every-two-week appointments until mid January. My doctor tried to prepare me with the fact that just because I went into labor all on my own with big sister two weeks before my due date doesn’t necessary mean I will do that again. I’ve been thinking all this time that even though I’m due on Feb 13th that I most likely won’t even be pregnant in February. I am trying to prepare myself for the possibility but we all know how much I am NOT a patient person, right?

This week marked a very huge milestone for us – we have a baby room! First the art supplies were removed and the dresser put in place. Today, the desk and computer were removed and there’s only baby stuff in there now. I got all the new clothes put into the dresser drawers and breathed a sigh of relief that now I really am ready. Who cares if there aren’t cute matching curtains – or even a curtain rod – hanging at the windows, and that there isn’t anything on the walls or even the crib set up. At least we have a place to house all the baby items, a place to change the baby and thanks to ‘Santa’, a new glider rocker to rock the baby in. This week’s agenda has me focused on getting all the baby items I saved out of storage so I can wash and put them away. I know I have 5 boxes but what exactly I kept is still a mystery.

I feel like I grow several inches in girth every day and I am starting to waddle – as much as I hate to admit it even to myself. I know most of this is all in my head because I still have only gained 16 lbs total for the entire pregnancy. Having practically no room for my stomach to hold a ‘normal’ size meal helped me to not overeat for the holiday. I’m hoping I didn’t gain more than a pound or so between doctor appointments when I go back in a week and a half. I still am sleeping well minus the multiple trips to the bathroom during the night. At least I can sleep well between visits and I know that makes me one of the lucky ones. I’ve been fairly sleep deprived the week leading up to Christmas with last minute family gatherings and wrapping activities after big sister finally would go to bed. I’m looking forward to the quiet week between Christmas and New Year’s to get caught up on my sleep. I’m starting to feel like it really is the home stretch and wonder where all the time has gone.

Progress is made… week 32

Not much to report for this week.  Baby continues to grow and I find myself out of breath with very little effort and I get heartburn if I eat a normal-sized meal since there’s not much room for my stomach to share with my uterus.  So, I’m eating more often and much less at a time and keeping it at bay.  I have all but abandoned thoughts of wearing shoes that tie unless someone else is around to tie them for me and pretty soon I’ll have to have help getting my own socks on at this rate!  Movement from the baby is no longer an interesting or even awe-inspired time for me, now it is bordering on the painful most often.  I swear she’s in there trying to stretch out instead of just remaining confined to her little space.  Sometimes she kicks me so hard it takes my breath away!  She’s still a fiesty one, my little bun in the oven!

I took time this week among all the Christmas shopping and wrapping to update and pretty much finalize my baby registry online.  It is weird for me to even go through the motions of registering and talking with friends and family about baby showers since I always thought it was tasteless for people who have already had a baby to have a second baby shower.  It’s like having another wedding shower 40 years later just because you renewed your vows, or so I thought until it had been eight years and I have very little to welcome this new baby with.  All the people willing to give me gifts are now much appreciated!  I took a trip to my parent’s house to pick up the bassinet and make sure the crib was still in functional shape after lending it to my brother to use when one of my nieces was born.  I found a treasure trove of things I thought I’d gotten rid of years ago just hanging out in storage which made me pretty overjoyed.  I spent this week cleaning up the bassinet – luckily they come apart and are washable!  And it is now setup in the master bedroom ready for baby to arrive.  The hubby is still moving at a snail’s pace in clearing out the art supplies from baby’s room but I think seeing the bassinet all ready and waiting gave him a dose of reality check.  Or at least I hope so! 

Christmas and New Year’s are around the corner and then it really will be the end game.  I am in my 33rd week which means that about three weeks from now I could be having this baby and she’d have all sorts of chances of having zero issues.  Hell, in four weeks she’d be the same gestational age big sister was when she was born.  I probably should think about packing a hospital bag but somehow it seems too early.  Murphy’s Law pretty much guarantees I will go into labor before I’m packed regardless of when I do it so I’m just going to wait until after the holidays.  I have the first of my weekly doctor appointments later this week which really makes things real for me! 

Back on track for the end game – week 31

This was a great week for good news in the pregnancy department!  First, I am not as bad off as I thought in the eating department and my blood sugar levels have been maintained with very little effort.  (If only my poor Mom could say the same thing!)  This week was my first of the every-two-week variety of doctor’s appointments and included a follow-up ultrasound to check on some of the questionable issues from the first one.  I am happy to report that the placenta is high enough for baby to get past for a normal exit strategy and unless there are complications on the day of her birth there is not a c-section in sight for me.  Also, my cervix is still normal so no bed rest or even significant slowing down required.  Even Daddy got to go with me this time and get a glimpse of baby on the ultrasound.  We took yet another opportunity to verify that we are still having a girl and what a difference 11 weeks makes since the last glimpse of the “girl parts”.  Before it was like decyphering cryptograms to figure out what the gender is, now she is developed enough it looks like porn and I feel like I’m breaking all sorts of rules just lookin’! 

After a couple of sleepless nights with nightmares about early delivery before the baby has an actual place to sleep or put her things (added to the multiple bathroom breaks already going on!) I stepped up the nagging about getting furniture moved with Daddy.  We’ll see if I have to call in the cavalry in the form of my brothers and my Dad in the next week or so…  Daddy wouldn’t be happy with other people touching his stuff which is why we are such a perfectly matched pair of folks who don’t share well.  I officially gave up my graveyard on-call shifts for the January schedule and had a severe reality check when I realized my last Saturday shift for the month might be the time I am having this baby.  So crazy to think it is that close!  Maybe that is really the explanation for all the furious nesting I am compelled to do?

Happy Thanksgiving! Two more down, 10 (or 8) to go – weeks 28 & 29

The last two weeks have been very crazy! Big Sister danced at an NBA game for halftime last week and between rehearsals and the performance we were barely home. I found it very difficult to walk from the arena to dinner and was super grateful for an understanding sister-in-law who offered to pack around half of my crap and eat somewhere based on location rather than offerings. It is, indeed, the little things that count and I wonder if she even knew how much it touched me…

Last weekend saw the first big step complete on the way to baby having a room of her own. Big Sister got her room re-done and re-organized with her new dresser. She is super happy and now the baby’s dresser is actually in what will be her room. This weekend is scheduled for furniture moving to move the computer desk and art supplies downstairs. I think the hubby had a huge dose of reality on how quickly this pregnancy is flying by when I informed him I was now at the stage where I go to see the doctor every two weeks instead of every four.

This week was Thanksgiving and we ended up doing something completely different this year – we went OUT. Meaning I didn’t stress about menu planning for weeks ahead of time or food assignments based on an ever-changing guest list from the extended family. I didn’t obsessively coordinate with my sister (who is worse than me when it comes to OCD and entertaining) about who was coming, where we were all going to sit, etc. I didn’t rearrange the furniture in my home to accommodate seating for 25+ people or have to set a table with china and all the trimmings the day before. I didn’t get up at the crack of dawn to slave over the oven and stove in order to have everything ready by the time guests arrived with enough time left over to at least pull a brush through my hair and hope I looked presentable. In other words, it was blissfully relaxing! Someone else cooked, someone else cleaned up, someone else did dishes. And, we still got to spend the day with family and ended up with the entire extended family for pie in the evening. It was exactly what I needed to keep myself rested and in the best health I can be for my little one. Hopefully it will become a new tradition because I could sure get used to being pampered on Thanksgiving and focusing only on spending time with loved ones.

I have been spending all of my free time working on my writing and I have 40,000 words and about 107 pages of my first draft to show for it. I’m entering the final stretch of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) which ends at midnight Monday with a manageable 10,000 words left to write in order to “win”. It is amazing how much fun I am having participating this year and even have a little friendly competition going with one of my writing group buddies which helps keep both of us motivated. (Today I am finally winning!)

Last week was my regular doctor visit and the dreaded blood glucose screening. This is a dreadful ritual where you must drink a syrupy sweet orange flavored concoction, wait an hour and then have your blood drawn to see how well you tolerate glucose. Well, mine came back slightly higher than the normal range. Oh, and on top of that, I’m a touch anemic (probably because even pregnant I have an aversion to meat and rarely touch the stuff). So, this week came with more blood tests and now we wait for the results. I’ll most likely be put on a restricted diet similar to those of a diabetic for the remaining weeks until she is born which means no more donuts for her or HFCS. (Poor baby who makes her mommy crave these things!) I’m scheduled for a follow-up ultrasound at the next appointment to evaluate my low-lying placenta and “on the shortest side of normal” cervix. Findings from this new ultrasound will tell me if I will be on any form of modified activity or bed-rest due to my cervix and whether I can expect a c-section delivery or not based on the location of the placenta. I’m hoping all will show normal with both and I can continue with no changes. I am really looking forward to getting another glimpse of baby now that she is all developed and just filling out waiting for the big day of her arrival.

Almost overnight, I can no longer bend over to pick things up off the ground, can barely tie my own shoes or put pants on, and have a hard time getting into the car AND reaching over to pull the door shut. It doesn’t seem like I’m almost 8 months pregnant but that’s what I will be next week. Hopefully I will be done in eight more weeks since I only went to 38 weeks with my first but 10 at the most isn’t too bad of a booby prize either. Seems like just yesterday I was counting the weeks until I was out of the dreaded first trimester at 12 weeks but here we are officially heading into the final stretches. With the holidays upon us, I know these last two months will fly by even faster! Baby is active all the time, kicking and squirming and flipping somersaults – enough activity that people can see it on the outside and more and more get to actually feel her. I can’t wait to see if she is as feisty outside of the womb as she is on the inside.