Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Crib "Done"

The crib in situ

P surprised me by sneaking the crib upstairs to the nursery last night. It still needs the final finish, but the colors shouldn't change much and it'll be just a touch more glossy than now. We'll probably test some scrap cherry this weekend to see if we want to darken it outside a little.

Monday, September 27, 2010

31 Week Update

Saturday, we went to our "fast track" Childbirth Education class at the hospital. It was a whirlwind of information about the stages of childbirth, some of the medicines used, how to swaddle a baby, a few relaxation techniques, and a brief overview of what to expect if you have a c-section. We almost had a one-to-one student/teacher ratio, but the one other couple who signed up decided to come after all. I'm really hoping the third visit to hospital is just as personal.

Not sure what other peoples' experiences were like, but I've been pretty fortunate not to have a lot of random folks manhandling my belly. It helps that P threatens to tackle anyone who tries it in his presence. But, my naturally forbidding mien seems to do the trick when I'm on my own. Yesterday though, I dealt with something entirely different. I went to a tour of a new facility with my MiL and we were grouped with some folks we knew and a few we didn't.

One of the strangers was a woman of a certain age wearing a skirt suit and sporting helmet hair that defied the windy day and could have passed muster in any Texas county. However, she made me very uncomfortable by pointedly and repeatedly staring at my stomach. Almost like she was trying to make sure I noticed. I was really tempted to say something like, "it's a tumor and I only have 6 months to live." But, it really wasn't the time or place. Given her age, I'm sure she'd seen pregnant women before. At the time, I thought maybe she was just offended by my form-fitting t-shirt which didn't attempt to hide my bump. However, as I was putting on my rings this morning, it occurred to me that I'd left them off for the last several days because of that bout of edema. So now, I wonder if she was pointedly trying to make me feel uncomfortable because she thought I was an unwed mother. I didn't really think anyone was quite that close-minded these days, but apparently I give some people too much credit. I'm sure I'll never know, but it sure bugs me. As a little friend of mine would say, "rude, rude, RUDE!"

When we went to our pediatrician visit, one of the questions we asked was if he had any recommended reading. In turn, he asked how we preferred to learn. I replied that I like a general overview and then where to find more detailed info should I need it. What to Expect, for example, makes my head swim with all the information that I'm pretty sure I won't need. At the same time, I feel like it just grazes the surface of a lot of topics. At any rate, the two titles he suggested were:
Caring for your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5 - for the macro explanations
• The What to Expect Series - for more detailed information

And, when we were at the Childbirth class, it was recommended that I look into a breastfeeding book, so I chose, despite the off-putting title,
The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding - since it was put out by La Leche League and just released, so I figured it would be the most up to date.

Since I was on a roll, I purchased a couple others that we were going to get eventually anyway:
The Happiest Baby on the Block: The New Way to Calm Crying and Help Your Newborn Baby Sleep Longer - Because I know we won't be that lucky couple that gets a child that sleeps through the night from the beginning
Baby 411: Clear Answers and Smart Advice for Your Baby's First Year - Highly recommended by our friends with a 7 month old daughter

While I was searching for the first doctor recommended book, I ran across
Taking Care of Your Child: A Parent's Illustrated Guide to Complete Medical Care - which looked a lot like one that my mom referred to constantly when we were little

So, I may have gone a little overboard, but I think we have a pretty good library built up. Now, we just have to read through them.

Crib Progress Report

P has made a lot of progress on the furniture. The changing table/dresser is ready for finishing, but I'm not allowed to take a picture until the drawer pulls are installed, so you'll have to be patient. It looks nice though! Here is a photo of the front crib rail. P decided to insert a few cherry rails amidst the walnut. I dig the look.

In other news, I hit Old Navy over the weekend and believe I have enough clothes to get me through the remainder of the pregnancy. Cross your fingers that my feet don't decide to expand any more.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

30 Weeks

Today, we went to our 30 week checkup. Everything looks good. Potus was a little coy about getting his/her heart rate and the nurse made me laugh (admittedly, not hard to do), so we didn't hear a strong loud heartbeat. Mostly, it sounded like a winter storm with lots of wind. The doctor didn't do a fundal height measurement. I weighed in at 3 pounds over last appointment. I think I was going to get scolded, so I made a point to mention that a) I'd just eaten lunch b) I'd been drinking a lot of fluids to counteract the c) edema caused by overdoing the walking in the City yesterday. I have to say, the fluids really helped. My feet were very piggy looking at bedtime yesterday, and I almost didn't fit my flip flops this morning, which I found alarming since I'd basically had my feet up all night. But, by 1:30, the edema had gone to just barely noticeable and mostly focused on my feet. I did leave off my jewelry today though because my rings actually left marks yesterday. My engagement ring has always been a size or two big, so that was pretty extreme.

I'm beginning to dislike traveling by car. All car seats feel like bucket seats and it takes a while for me to get in and out. Once I'm in, I'm grand. I drive pushed back from the wheel, so I don't think I'll get to the point where that's a tight fit.

One of the other things we discussed with Dr. W2 was the symptoms of early labor and recognizing Braxton Hicks. P and I have noticed that sometimes my stomach is hard and sometimes softer and squishier. I read in What to Expect that when it's firm, that means the baby is facing me and its back is making my stomach feel rigid. However, Dr. W2 mentioned that sometimes, the tightness might actually be Braxton Hicks contractions and that I should learn to recognize them in the event that I experience early labor so we can get appropriate help before things get complicated. I mention this because I'm still a bit fuzzy on the difference between back firmness and contraction. So far, I haven't really noticed any sensations that I'd call contractions, but I wonder if they're similar enough that I wouldn't.

If any of you experienced mamas out there can clarify for me, please do.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Baby Doctor

We met with the potential pediatrician last night. The wait time wasn't very promising. Our appointment was for 4:45. When I called at 4 to see if he was running behind, I was told we should come at 5. There at 5, P and I proceeded to wait another half an hour to see the doctor. But, once we got him, he seemed to give us his whole attention. We asked him for a general overview of his practice methods and he seemed like someone we could work with. He said he does recommend antibiotics more than any other medicine, but attributed that to the fact that he doesn't prescribe medicine where it's not needed. He said he weighs decisions based on whether one is more likely to hurt or help the patient. I asked if he was willing to present options where reasonable and he gave the example of ADHD drugs. He would offer three different options and present the various side effects and trade offs. I wasn't so keen on the example because I'm sure I'm not alone in hoping my child won't have to worry about ADHD. And, if we do, I'd hope to find an option not involving drugs. But, we'll cross that bridge when and if we come to it.

Overall, I think Dr. L is someone we can respect and work with. He's got a bonus of being an internal medicine specialist, so like a doctor of osteopathy, he has a bit more thorough knowledge of anatomy and physiology. And, he seems to respect parents who take the trouble to interview him before the first visit. I know three families at work who see him also, and no one seemed to have anything bad to say about him. One of the mothers is a nurse too, so I figured she would be super particular. And, he visits the infant within about 12 hours of birth too. I expect we'll be seeing him in late November.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Family Traditions

Although a lot of my posts have been about health, symptoms, and baby gear, we are thinking about other things such as how we want to raise our child. Every set of parents has a different style, so we've been paying attention to those around us, keeping in mind that each child is different and so parenting techniques do vary from child to child.

But, until we meet Potus, we're focusing more on the kind of childhood experiences we'd like to create through family traditions. Some of the things we would like to do:
• Take annual family vacations, introduce the family to the National Park system and foster a love of the outdoors
• Make a point to eat dinner together
• Read lots and lots of books together
• Make TV a treat rather than a routine
• Lots of grandparent and aunt/uncle time
• Eat healthy home-cooked foods and keep fast and junk foods to a minimum
• Introduce everyone to music at an early age
• Try to limit extracurricular activities so that there is plenty of time for riding bikes and playing with the dogs and neighbor kids

This is just a start. Let us know if you have any additional suggestions.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Planning Ahead

I just came home from an estate planning workshop. I feel a bit overwhelmed. When we found out Potus was coming, we did get P signed up for a life insurance policy that should cover the house and any outstanding debts. With me quitting work and having significantly less earning power, I felt it was the smart thing to do. However, apparently that was just the tip of the iceberg. We need to organize our policies, review beneficiaries, make living wills, choose powers of attorney, health representatives, guardian(s), think about trusts, etc. My head is spinning.

With the news released today about the increase in Americans living in poverty, I realize we are extremely fortunate to have to worry about estate planning. I still find it incredible that 1 in 5 children in this country lives in poverty.

Which makes my next topic sound utterly vapid. I just found out today that my feet may get permanently bigger as a result of this and any subsequent pregnancies. I'm beginning to think I'm easing up to a 9 1/2 which is depressing. If I keep going though, I could adopt some of my Mother-in-law's cast off 10s. I've been contemplating shoe purchases because I can't seem to find any comfortable ones in my closet. Flip flops and cheap ballet flats have worked all summer, but it's starting to get a bit colder and that won't work for much longer. However, the shoes I'm looking at are not cheap (because I'm craving comfort) and I don't want to make the investment if they're not going to fit long enough for me to get sufficient wear from them. I've really cut down on maternity clothes purchases also as I've come to realize that much of what I've bought won't work for the duration. I only spent what I did because I thought it would last. Now, the clothes budget is pretty well shot. The forums just say to buy your pre-pregnancy size in clothes. Unfortunately, I took that misconception shopping. I'm glad a friend lent me so much maternity wear to start so I didn't invest in too many pairs of pants. Virtually none of them fit anymore. The shirts are faring better, but they're mostly sleeveless, so I've been layering with cardigans, some of which fit like shrugs now.

In closing, if anyone out there has extra size 8 maternity pants with a 34" inseam or some closed 9 1/2 shoes they're not wearing, drop me a line. I'm running low on presentable work clothes.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

29 Weeks and Counting

As Baby Center says, only 77 days left to go! A co-worker commented yesterday that I've gone from a sassy swagger to a slow shuffle. I'm holding steady at about a 27 pound weight gain, which is supposed to be healthy. However, people keep making the comment that I'm small for 7 months. Since it's becoming more difficult to find clothes that fit comfortably when I get dressed, I'm not sure I want to get too much bigger. Some of my shirts seem likely to expose my midriff. I jumped up a couple sizes in pants since my spreading hips are making my pre-pregnancy sized maternity pants shimmy down as I walk or sit. It's weird that the clothes go on, they just don't want to stay on. It's probably good that I plan to stop work about 3 weeks before I'm due, because by that time, I'll probably be rotating two sets of clothes.

Potus has become very active of late. Or, it's probably more accurate to say he/she is just getting stronger. The kicks are more noticeable as kicks and seem to pick up whenever I sit (which is most of the day at work).

We were able to "break-in" some of the baby gear this weekend when our friends from Indy came up with their 7 month old daughter, L. L was a super sweet smiley guest. She put up with Zeus although we tried to curb the worst of his overly generous kisses. Isis didn't seem too interested, but she wasn't agressive, just attentive. She has strong enforcer tendencies, so she'll probably do a lot of watching in the future. By the end of the weekend, Zeus seemed to get that we held L in high esteem and he was not to go near her unattended. Still, he showed a huge affinity for all plush toys associated with L. I have to give him props for delicately chewing the string off a stuffed insect attached to the floor gym. He eyed it all weekend and despite shooing him off it several times, he found it unattended sometime Sunday morning and "freed" it. However, he didn't damage the toy, just disengaged it. For such a slobber-puss, he can manage some precision chewing when needed. This, however, does not bode well for the future of plush toys in our house. I hope Potus and any future siblings can appreciate nice hard plastic toys....

On the health front, I took my glucose test last week and am doing just fine. No gestational diabetes, yeah! I also got my Rho-gam shot (since I'm Rh Negative and P is positive) which should hold me through delivery unless Potus runs late. I've started battling a little heartburn after meals, so I bought a bottle of Tums, which seems to do the trick. At first I attributed it to eating too fast or eating and then going to bed, but it's getting a bit more regular, so I think it's just eating, period.

I'm beginning to feel the need to fix up Potus' room. P has the changing table built. He just needs to complete the drawer pulls and finish it. However, he ran out of wood for the crib, so he's in a holding pattern until he can make it to South Bend for a bit more cherry. He wants to finish the pieces at the same time for efficiency. Once those pieces go in the room, it'll start to feel like a baby room. And, the second baby shower is coming up in less than a month now so we should find out what gear we still need soon. Right now, the list is pretty overwhelming. Especially considering the loss of my income.

Monday, September 6, 2010

7 Month Update

Tomorrow marks 28 weeks. We went for a tour of the hospital labor and delivery department on Saturday. Apparently the Purdue/Notre Dame game kept most of the couples who signed up away. Out of 16 couples who made reservations, only one other couple (a mother and daughter) showed up. So, the tour went very quickly. The Labor Delivery Recovery and Postpartum rooms look very similar to the actual patient rooms. Most of the rooms are private. Only three are shared, and it sounds as though they try not to bunk people together if they can help it. The one thing I was a little unsure about were the "Spa showers" in the hallways. Not in the rooms.

Today, I went in for the glucose test and Rho-gam shot. It was kind of boring. I don't think I've been stuck twice in the same arm ever before. The glucose drink wasn't too far from Kool-aid, but certainly not something I'm in a hurry to drink again soon.