Archive for March, 2012

30 Weeks

I had my 30 week OB appointment today, so I figured now would be a good time to catch up on all things pregnancy-related:

Total weight gain: Close to 30 lbs by my estimations, though my OB says only 24.

How big is baby?: 15.7 inches and about 3lbs. About the size of a head of cabbage.

Maternity clothes:  Yes. Thankfully the weather has been nice enough for me to wear a few more dresses and skirts. I don’t have that many pants that fit comfortably anymore and I really don’t want to buy more. I like the dresses and skirts because I know I can wear some of them post-baby since not all of them are technically maternity.

Stretch marks?: Not yet. I check almost every day, and I’m sure I’ll get them eventually, but so far so good.

Sleep: Pretty good, most days. I got a prenatal massage last week after work, and I guess the massage therapist must’ve really worked some fluid out of me because I got up to pee about 5 times that night. Most nights I get up maybe twice. Which is still a lot for me considering I rarely got up in the middle of the night to pee pre-pregnancy.

I will say that getting in and out of bed and rolling over is starting to become a bit challenging. If I twist the wrong way, I feel my ab muscles ripping. It’s just as pleasant feeling as it sounds. So I try to be careful but sometimes it’s just inevitable.

Best moment this week: We had two really great moments this week – the first was seeing the baby during our 3D ultrasound. Getting to see facial features and watch him move around on something other than a 2D black and white screen was really cool. It’s so surreal to think of him as a little human and not just some little alien creature growing and squirming in there. He has hands! And toes! And a cute little baby nose! And of course, I already think he’s adorable.

The second awesome thing this week was my first baby shower. I’m waiting a few more weeks to sort and wash everything, so right now I just have a big pile of baby stuff in the nursery, but I just love looking in there and seeing all his new things.

Movement: Yes! Lots of it. He gets hiccups a couple of times a day and I can feel him moving around, pushing lightly on the sides of my stomach. The kicks and jabs happen occasionally, but I’d like to think he’s being kind to his momma by not kicking me in the ribs. At least not yet. We still have about 10 weeks to go, after all.

Food cravings: Still devouring the milk. I’ve also moved on to fruit-flavored popsicles. No other major cravings, though I can think of two times when I really had a hankering for ice cream (I blame the summer-like temps) and could not be satisfied until I got my hands on some.

Food aversions: Microwave meals, grilled chicken or fish, and salads, but only because dressings give me heartburn. Random things give me heartburn too. The other day I had a Marie Calendar’s tortellini bowl for lunch which gave me massive heartburn (hence my aversion to them now), but then I had nachos with jalapenos for dinner and I was perfectly fine.

Labor signs: No, but I think I’ve started feeling a few Braxton Hicks contractions. I can’t be sure though.

Belly button in or out: Definitely in. A little stretched, but no real changes there.

What I miss: Beer and wine. The ability to see my lady parts. And as horrible as it sounds, tanning. I’m not a pleasant-looking pale person.

What I’m looking forward to: Our next baby shower, hosted by my sisters-in-law. And then our babymoon to Florida. I’m also ready to start working on the nursery again, but the next couple of weeks have us going out-of-town for aforementioned baby shower and babymoon, so the nursery will have to wait until mid-April.

Milestone: Having just 10 weeks left in this pregnancy. The big day is getting closer and fortunately, for now, I’m more excited for it than I am nervous/scared. I can’t wait to spend all summer taking care of our new little man!

Other random thoughts: Other than a mild panic attack during our hospital tour, I’ve been feeling pretty zen about this whole pregnancy thing. Especially now that my showers are happening, all the tests have indicated a healthy baby boy, and things are just naturally seeming to come together.

The baby is due a day before my 30th birthday. Thirty. Wow. Obviously, having a baby overshadows any sort of feelings I have about diving head-first into the next decade of my life, but if I force myself to think about it, I think “Wow. 30 just seems so…old.” I know there are so many moms out there that had their first child in their late 30s, but I also know so many women that had their first in their early to mid 20’s and I can’t help but wonder, “did we wait too long? Will I be an old mom?”

I waver back and forth on this question of “Did we wait too long?” but I know that for me personally, I just wasn’t ready.  I was too selfish. Too focused on enjoying a child-free adulthood. Working in a fast-paced career and owning a house and a dog was plenty of responsibility for me in my 20s. We wanted to travel. We wanted to go out. We wanted to sleep. Basically, we wanted to do whatever we wanted to do. And so we did, for several years. And I enjoyed every minute of it. We had a lot of fun.

But what I didn’t realize for a very long time is that becoming parents is going to be a lot of fun too. It’s just a different kind of fun.

In my 20s, I really only saw the negatives of parenting. The constant crying, the sleepless nights, the inability to go anywhere, the expensiveness of it all… I would think, “Man, that sucks to not be able to just go see a movie whenever you want without having to line up – and pay for – a babysitter.” And yeah, I still think that part sucks a little, but not enough to keep me from ever experiencing parenthood. Because one day, that baby phase will be over and I’ll be taking a small person to see his first movie on the big screen, watching his eyes light up at the massiveness of some big cartoon character singing some silly song. And I’ll think “this is so much fun!”

Maybe not laying-on-a-beach-in-Hawaii-sipping-a-beer-fun, but then again, Disney just opened a new resort in Oahu so now we all have something to look forward to.

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Sunday, March 18 was a pretty exciting day for me as it was my first baby shower! Thrown by one of my bestest buddies, and on a completely gorgeous day, it was one of the best baby showers I’d ever attended. Sure, I was the guest of honor so I’m biased, but it was just so much fun to have so many friends and family there. Oh and did I mention that we hosted it at my friend’s chocolate shop and instead of games we did a chocolate tasting? Yeah, best baby shower ever. But enough talk, let me show you.

Me and the hostess:

Some of the yummy food:

Aren’t those cupcakes adorable? The white ones were funfetti and the chocolate ones had some sort of cream cheese filling in the bottoms. So delicious! I was sort of really glad that there were a few leftovers for me to take home since so many people were on sugar over-load thanks to the chocolate tasting.

Speaking of the chocolate tasting, here’s everyone getting a brief history lesson on the origins of chocolate from my friend and shop owner, Brian.

And here we have cacao in the raw:

Another group shot:

All of the “samples”:

Here’s what they look like when they’re for sale in the shop:

In lieu of traditional games, we only played baby shower BINGO. If you’re not familiar with this game, everyone is given a little BINGO card and you fill out each square with the name of a baby item you think the mom-to-be will receive as a gift. Then, as she’s opening her gifts, you cross out the items that she gets if  they match what’s on your card until someone – or five someones – reach BINGO. Pretty simple and it keeps the guests from being super bored while watching someone else open presents.

The other thing my shower hostess did was have everyone fill out a cute little “wishes for baby” card. It looked like this:

Super cute!

There are a ton of awkward photos of me opening presents, but I’ll just show you some of the least awkward among them.

The first gift I opened was an adorable playmat.

Instead of regular greeting cards, all the invitations asked guests to bring a book for the baby. I got SO MANY cute books! Which is great, because I had almost zero before yesterday. This one was one of my favorites:

And the hubs especially loved these little onesies:

I can’t get over just how thoughtful everyone was! We got SO MUCH STUFF and I feel 100 times better about having a baby now that we actually have some baby supplies – diapers, wipes, lotion, shampoo, a monitor, a pack ‘n play, high chair, blankets, clothes, books, bottles, bibs, and so much more. It was the perfect day for a perfect shower with perfect friends and family and I am so thankful to my bestie for all the work she did to host it, thankful for my mom for paying for everyone’s chocolate tastings, and thankful to Brian at Kakao for providing the perfect setting.

If you live in St. Louis and you’re in need of some of the best chocolate you’ll ever put in your mouth, check him out here: Kakao Chocolate

And if you’re looking for a cool place to host a bridal shower, baby shower, birthday party, engagement party, etc. then ask him about his events schedule. He does chocolate and wine pairing events after hours which sound super fun, you know, if you’re not growing a baby and all.

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The last two weeks have been a non-stop whirlwind around here. Just after my last post, I came down with a nasty cold, which I figured was going to happen since the husband was sick all weekend long. He rarely gets sick so I knew it was only a matter of time before whatever supervirus had taken him down would find its way to me. Sure enough, its timing could not have been worse as I was scheduled to leave on a work trip for Austin for SXSW on Friday.

The Thursday before, I made it in to see my primary doc, initially for this rash I’ve had for a month, but now more importantly for this cold that I was worried would turn into a sinus infection, as most of my colds do. She wasn’t able to help me with my rash. Apparently it’s not fungal/bacterial, and really is just one of those annoying pregnancy things that can pop up. Something about the combination of hormones, plus stretching skin, plus dryness. So my best bet is to hydrate my skin as much as possible and hope it goes away. Sigh. But! She gave me a Z-pack for my cold/possible sinus infection and sent me on my merry way.

Friday morning I left for Austin. The problem with flying to Austin from St. Louis is that there are no direct flights AT ALL. And the problem with me flying to Austin without any direct flights is that I get motion sickness if I have to go up and down in a plane more than once. And the problem with that is that I wasn’t sure if I could take my trusty Dramamine to help with the nauseousness so I didn’t take it. And I probably would’ve been fine – if it weren’t for the crazy turbulence the entire state of Texas was experiencing that day. I nearly dry heaved a few times, and continued to feel sick as a dog for the next 36 hours.

Note to any other pregnant women with motion sickness problems: Dramamine is safe. I checked. Take it.

Add to that the crummy weather in Austin (50 degrees and torrential downpours for 48 hours), 45 min in the back of a cab in creepy-crawly traffic, and the fact that my hotel room was transferred to another hotel SIX MILES away from my used-to-be-walking-distance spot near the convention center and…well, let’s just say Austin isn’t my favorite. Things eventually got better, meaning that the weather became nice by Sunday, but it was still a struggle to make it down to the convention center every day when Austin’s cab system is not equipped to handle that much activity. So it would take me anywhere from 1-2 hours to find transportation and get down to the convention center. Not a happy camper, was I.

Everyone raves about SXSW, especially all the food, drinking and parties. But when you’re 7 mos pregnant with a cold and leftover motion sickness and just spent the entire day working the event, the only thing I wanted to do was grab a bite to eat and go to bed. So that’s pretty much what I did. I was tons of fun.

After FIVE fun-filled days of that, I finally got home Tuesday night and immediately grabbed the hubs and headed to one of our favorite restaurants. It was late, but that only meant we didn’t have to wait for a table (and a long wait is typical at this place). I was desperate for some decent pasta and in no way did I even want to see a piece of BBQ pork, or a taco, on the menu. The food in Austin was okay, but the food in St. Louis is definitely underrated. As someone who has always been sort of “meh” about St. Louis, let me just say that I have never been so happy to get home.

The next day I went into the office – now on day 10 of a work day streak – and spent that day and the rest of the week just playing catch up. Thursday night I treated myself to a prenatal massage. (Note: make sure your massage therapist hasn’t just finished doing a deep tissue massage, otherwise she may still be “in the zone” and you’ll have to tell her to “go lighter” more than once. Ouch.) And last night we just ordered a pizza and hung out at home.

But now the hell that was the last two weeks is over! It’s Saturday, the sun is shining, and I officially hit the 30 week mark today. It’s also St. Patty’s Day so I’ll be visiting my grandparents (and my parents who happen to be in town) and enjoying some corned beef and cabbage tonight. Then tomorrow is my first baby shower, thrown by one of my bestest friends and I can’t wait to finally slow down and focus on baby again.

Onward and upward.

*I’m only about 1/8 Mexican, but for the purposes of this post, I’m going with it.

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Good News/Bad News

Let’s play Good News/Bad News.

Good News: I don’t have gestational diabetes!

Bad News: I still have this crazy, itchy rash.

Good News: The hubs is feeling better after a rough weekend battling a cold.

Bad News: I think I caught his cold.

Good News: I was able to squeeze in a doc appointment before I head to SXSW this weekend.

Bad News: This is AFTER I tried scheduling an appointment with a dermatologist (for the rash, per my OB’s instruction) and was told that rash or not, I would have to wait a least 3 weeks to get in. Dermatologists have no concept of urgency, apparently. They’ve also never had a rash, it would seem.

Good News: I scheduled a 3D ultrasound appointment for the day before my first baby shower. Hopefully I’ll have some pics to show everyone at the shower.

Bad News: My mom didn’t realize the date of my shower fell on a Sunday and now tells me she may not be able to stay in town for it. Since she doesn’t work, I didn’t think it’d be a big deal, but she made plans for my step-dad to come to town with her that weekend and he has to be back before Monday morning for work. I’m a tad irritated.

Good News: Work is super busy, meaning the day just flies by.

Bad News: Work is super busy, meaning my sanity is flying with it.

Good News: Hubs is on dinner duty tonight.

Bad News: Because I’m sick and planning to go to bed as soon as I’m done eating.

Good News: Dinner is ready….

No more time for bad news. Goodnight!

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Third Trimester, Baby!

I’m officially 28 weeks pregnant today, which means I’ve just entered my third trimester. The. Third. Trimester.

I cannot tell you just how excited I am over this. It’s not that I’ve had a bad pregnancy, per se (although this stupid rash can go to hell), but it hit me today just how excited I am to meet our baby. We haven’t had any showers yet, the nursery is still bare, and I don’t have a single diaper except for the sample one that came in one of my magazines. Clearly, we are not ready. And yet? I can’t wait for May to get here.

I finally signed up for our newborn care class, but thanks to a jam-packed schedule (on my part) in March and part of April, we’re not taking it until April 21. That’s about 4 weeks from when baby boy is due. Hopefully he doesn’t come early!

Now for the obligatory status portion of the post (& photo!):

Total weight gain: About 24 lbs as of this morning.

How big is baby?: A little over 2lbs and about the size of a rutabaga, if any of you know what the heck that looks like (I don’t). At my last appointment about a week and a half ago, the nurse said he was measuring 2lbs and 3oz so I’m assuming he’s somewhere around 2.5lbs right now.

Maternity clothes:  Yes. I picked up a few new dresses from Target last week (one maternity, two not), a couple of shirts, and my first nursing/sleep bra. I still love my maternity jeans, but my work pants are already fading in color so I’m hoping for more good dress-wearing weather.

Stretch marks?: Still no, knock on wood. Thanks to this rash, I’ve had to stop my twice-daily belly-butter/oil application. I may give the oil another shot, but the Palmer’s lotion only made the itching worse, so that’s for sure out. Not that any of these things really make a difference as I’m told it all comes down to genetics. But dang it, I’m gonna try!

Sleep: Pretty good. Maybe even better than last month. My belly is big enough now where when I lay on my side, I stay firmly on my side, not half rolling over onto to my stomach, which throws my hips out of whack. I’m finally used to using a body pillow now and my hands don’t fall asleep as much as they did. The only downside is that I get up about 3 or 4 times a night to pee. I don’t pee that frequently during an 8-hour period during the day, so I’m assuming the fluid that builds up in my legs over the course of the day goes back up and out my bladder at night. Or maybe I’m way off, but at least that explanation makes sense to me.

Best moment this week: Hitting the third trimester! It feels so good to say it. It feels equally good to say “I’m 7 months pregnant.”

Movement: A few kicks throughout the day but the coolest thing has been watching my belly move when he moves. The hubs hasn’t witnessed this yet as it’s only happened a handful of times, but it’s just so neat to look down and see my belly move across the top as if it’s a waterbed. I also think I’ve started feeling hiccups the last week or so. They happen really low in my belly and feel like little, rhythmic thumps. Not strong like a kick, but more like a throbbing in the middle of my pelvis. At first, I knew it was the baby, but it was too rhythmic for it to be kicks or punches. Took awhile before I realized they were hiccups. So weird.

Food cravings: Sugar. But just a little because too much makes me feel sick. I had cake twice this week at work and both times I just felt so gross after eating it. It tasted wonderful going down, but afterward I just felt like I needed to brush my teeth and eat a piece of cheese or something to counter-balance it.

Of course, Easter candy is out in full force right now and right after my glucose test, I indulged in a couple of Cadbury Creme Eggs, a Reese’s PB egg, and some Cadbury mild chocolate eggs with the hard candy shell. Not all in one day mind you, but I wanted to make sure I sampled the Easter candy before a) the good stuff sells out and b) just incase they tell me I have GD and all sugar is out. Oh and I also purchased a bag of birthday cake Oreos. My goodness those things are like crack. So yeah, I’ve had a bit of a sweet tooth.

Speaking of glucose tests, I still haven’t found out my results from this week’s 3 hour test. I hope to know on Monday, although I’ll be pretty disappointed if they tell me I have GD, mostly because I just bought a box of Peanut Butter Captain Crunch cereal.

Food aversions: Still not feeling Asian cuisine, but I felt bad for depriving the hubs of Pei Wei for so long, so I agreed to try it last week. Fortunately, I didn’t get sick, but I still didn’t love it like I used to. Grilled meats are also a turnoff, which makes it hard for me to eat lean protein. And my tolerance for veggies changes by the day. I know I’m going to pay for all of these bad eating habits once the baby is here. The back and arm fat is out of control.

Labor signs: Nope and hopefully not for awhile. The nurse said I may start feeling light contractions soon, but so far I haven’t really paid much attention.

Belly button in or out: Still in, but man is it stretched.

What I miss: Exercising hard core. My two closest friends are both really into running right now and it makes me miss it so much. One of my friends is also doing Weight Watchers and she’s lost 20+ lbs already and looks amazing. Whereas I keep gaining and gaining, stuffing my face with bad foods.

What I’m looking forward to: Oh so many things! March will be a non-stop rodeo around here. Next weekend I’ll be in Austin for SXSW for work, then the following two weekends are my baby showers, followed by our babymoon to Florida, which is actually tied to another work trip for me.

We’ve also decided to do one of those 3D ultrasounds sometime around the 30 week mark (so in about 2 weeks). I’m so curious to see what baby S. is looking like but I want to give him a little more time to put on some fat so he doesn’t look too alien-like.

Milestone: Does making it to the third trimester count? I think it does.

Other random thoughts: So this has nothing to do with anything but I wanted to document it anyway. Last night I had two baby-related dreams. The first one was just me and my mom sitting around when all of a sudden I could see a foot visibly protruding through my stomach. The baby was kicking me – hard – and I could make out the outline of his foot and his toes. My mom missed it but she put her hand on my belly and was so excited when she got to feel him move.

The second dream was just me practicing using my new camera. I was still very much pregnant and taking pictures of anything and everything so I would know how to use it when the baby arrived. I tried to get one particular shot that required me to get down on the ground but obviously the bowling ball that is my belly right now was in the way, so I couldn’t get it. Then I saw a friend of mine who had recently had a baby and remember chatting with her about losing the baby weight. That’s all I really remember, and I know they’re not terribly exciting, but I haven’t had many baby-related dreams at all since I’ve been pregnant so I figured I’d jot them down so I could remember them.

Anyway, here I am in my 28 week glory, stretching out a non-maternity tank top:

Apologies for the smudges. It’s been so long since I’ve cleaned a mirror, I think I’ve forgotten how.

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TGIF (almost)

If I had to a pick a word to sum up this week, that word would be “intense.” Things were off to a rough start Monday morning when I had to spend three hours at the OB’s office getting my blood drawn four times. Add to the fact that I wasn’t allowed to eat since midnight the night before, the nasty fruit-punch-like stuff they made me drink, and my poor little deep veins and well…I was not a happy camper.

Tuesday was only slightly better, but that’s probably because I didn’t have anyone poking me in the arm with a needle. After a long and extremely busy day at work, we rushed down to my grandparents’ house to have a somber dinner with my mom, aunt, cousins and grandparents. My grandpa’s heart surgery was scheduled for 7am Wednesday morning and though we tried not to show it, everyone was a nervous wreck.

Wednesday morning was probably the longest morning of all. The weather was unseasonably warm and sunny, it was Leap Day, everyone at work seemed to be in a good mood, and yet I still spent most of the morning praying to God that it was going to be a good day – that my grandpa would pull through his surgery. Thankfully, all those prayers paid off. My mom called around 10:45 to tell me he was in a room, recovering, and that it went so well in fact, that he’d probably be released to go home that afternoon. I felt like I had just won the lottery! Or something even better. I talked to him for a moment as he ate his lunch, and he was already making jokes, despite how tired and weak he felt.

But then it was right back to work, business as usual. Work stresses paled in comparison, but they were still stresses, nonetheless.

Today was another busy day at work, and one of those days where the to-do list only gets longer. The rest of the night was spent helping the husband with a volunteer/freelance project that was on deadline. It felt good to get at least one thing accomplished, even if the credit was far from mine to claim, but I look around at my disaster of a house, the piles of dishes and laundry, my attention-deprived dog, my overflowing Google Reader, the empty  fridge and depleted cabinets, my stack of unread magazines, my books on the bedside table now with a layer of dust on them…and I wonder when life got so crazy and when will it slow down again?

I try to slow down. I go to bed at 10:30 one night instead of 11:30, which has somehow become the norm around here lately. I remind myself that the little frustrations are exactly that – little frustrations. That the things that truly matter in life are all absolutely wonderful right now. My grandpa is ailing, but he’s alive and in good spirits. I’m still battling this rash, and probably will until this baby is born, but my baby is healthy and growing like he should. My house is a mess, but we’re the only ones that have to see it right now. Things are never perfect, but they are okay. More than okay. And I remind myself to be thankful.

There is light ahead. The weekend is almost here. And when it is, I’ll finally breathe.



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