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Archive for May, 2012

Thirty

Yesterday was my thirtieth birthday.

And when you’re 40 weeks + 1 day pregnant, it isn’t smart to make a bunch of plans. Until the day finally came, I had no idea if I’d be at home recovering with a newborn, in the hospital, on my way to the hospital, or just sitting around waiting. Turns out, it was the latter. Despite my impatience, it definitely wasn’t a bad day.

We started the morning off with cinnamon rolls and coffee, followed by a sweet card from the husband and another little blue box from Tiffany’s. This time, the hubs surprised me with a gorgeous Tiffany Key necklace. It looks like this and I love it!:

Around that time, we got a text saying that the new outdoor furniture we ordered came in so we headed to Walmart to pick it up. Except, once we got there, we realized that we’d have to take the baby seat out in order to get it home. No bueno. Fortunately, my parents were on their way up to our house, so we asked them to meet us at Walmart first so we could haul it up in their van. We wanted a glider, or some sort of seat that we could sit outside and rock the baby in this summer and fall. I found this glider and matching ottoman online at Walmart.com and so far, I really like it.

The hubs also wanted some sort of canopy for shade, so we bought one of those too, which he’s still putting together. We have SO MUCH work to do in the back yard before I’ll post pics, but hopefully we’re able to get it spruced up and looking nice again over the next few weeks. I have a feeling we’ll be spending more time out there now that we’re essentially tethered to the house for the rest of the summer.

For dinner, my parents treated us to a nice Italian dinner at the newest Charlie Gitto’s restaurant. I love, love, love Italian food, and this was by far one of the best meals I’ve ever had. We started off with an appetizer of bread and garlic dip, followed by lobster bisque soup. I don’t know if other couples do this, but the hubs and I usually order things we can share. We have similar taste in food so a lot of the time, for example, I’ll say, “I’m debating between the seafood risotto or the filet with fontaine cheese and crab meat.” And typically, his reply will be, “That’s what I was debating between too.” So we’ll each order one of the items and share it  My main course was the seafood risotto and he ordered the filet. I’ve never had seafood risotto in which there were chunks of delicious, fresh seafood in every single bite. So good. And his filet was the most tender, buttery cut of melt-in-your-mouth-meat I’ve ever had. Top it with cheese and crab meat and I’m pretty sure I’m asking for that as my last meal. You know, should I ever find myself on Death Row and requesting a last meal.

To top it all off, our waitress brought out this:

 

Sadly, it looks so much better than it tasted. Italian-style cake is not my favorite. I’d much rather have some gelato. But I was so full from dinner that I wouldn’t have been able to eat it anyway. Instead, the hubs had picked up a DQ ice cream cake so we had that a few hours later, once our stomachs settled.

The rest of the night we just hung out on the couch watching Storage Wars and a few other mindless shows. I had hoped all that food and the spices would kick-start my labor but I’m pretty sure it just made us (and by us, I mean me and the baby) sleepy. I had several contractions, but nothing painful.

For a moment, I was disappointed that it was just another day. I mean, thirty is a big freakin’ deal. A new decade, a new layer of adulthood. Last year, I celebrated my birthday on the beach in Maui. Now that’s setting the bar pretty high. But I didn’t send my 20s out with a bang and I didn’t have a baby on my birthday (which I thought would’ve been kind of cool). Instead, it was just another day. But honestly, I’m glad I eased my way into 30. It makes the transition easier, because OMFG I’M THIRTY! That’s a hard pill to swallow. So when I really think about it, low-key was perfect. I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

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6 + 39

May 22 marked our 6 year wedding anniversary. It was also our 39 week appointment to check on Mr. Baby. I’ll start with the baby updates first:

I’m 2 cm dilated and about 50% effaced, which is good and means my cervix is doing its job right now, but the baby is still kind of floating because I have so much fluid. So until my water breaks or until my contractions get stronger, he’s not going anywhere. (Side note: previous exams to check dilation were uncomfortable but this one was downright painful – to the point where she had to remind me to breathe because I had stopped and was holding my breath through it. It took my body a few minutes to recover from it. Ouch!)

She also felt around on my belly and monitored his heartbeat for awhile. I guess she was just checking to see how responsive he was because she’d push on him a little and his heartbeat would go up and she’d smile, saying he was getting all excited by the movement. She also said she thinks he’s going to be about a 9lb baby (even though we were estimating 8lbs last week) but we didn’t talk c-section so I’m trying not to freak out about it.

So! With my due date a mere 4 days away, she scheduled me for an induction on May 31st. That way, she’s giving nature (and the baby) about 5 days of wiggle room from my due date to do this thing naturally. (Apparently most women have their babies within five days – before or after – their due date, so she wants to make sure I’m given that amount of time to go on my own.)

I mentioned losing my mucus plug on Saturday but her response – or lack of – indicated to me that it pretty much meant nothing. She was just like “Oh yeah, you’re going to lose a lot of mucus, and some falls out every time we check you.” And here I was all excited about it. Oh well.

I also asked about membrane stripping and if that would help. She said she tried to do that a bit while she was checking me, but there’s so much fluid that it was difficult to do all of it, or something like that.

Basically, when my water breaks, it’s going to be Niagara Falls.

After the appointment, hubs and I went to the Italian district of the city (aka The Hill) for a nice, celebratory dinner at Dominic’s. We were there so early that we joked about trying to get a senior special. For a place that normally requires reservations, we were the ONLY patrons. But it was kind of nice, having a fancy restaurant and multiple waiters dressed as butlers all to ourselves. We started with the calamari appetizer, and the hubs had a glass of chianti wine. I took a tiny sip – the first sip of wine I’ve had since finding out I was pregnant – and let me just say that it was one of the best things I’ve tasted in MONTHS! I’m craving a glass right now, just thinking about it.

They were featuring a veal and mushroom ravioli in a rich cream sauce so I ordered that (and it was amazing), while the hubs ordered lobster ravioli. Then they surprised us with a piece of Italian-style cake (chocolate with rum custard layers and something else, I don’t remember) with a candle and little “Happy Anniversary” card on the top. I only ate a few bites because I wanted to save room for the gelato place down the street. It’s hard to find good gelato in St. Louis but Gelato Di Riso on The Hill is fantastic. We were both too stuffed to eat anymore though, so we got a big container to go.

I know six years isn’t anything super fun or remarkable, and I was kind of sad we didn’t have a baby on our anniversary, but it was nice to spend some quiet time – just the two of us – before shit gets real around here. Sure, it wasn’t drinks on the beach in Maui at sunset like last year, but it was still a pretty good day and a reminder that I married the right man, and there’s no one else I’d rather be on this journey with.

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And Now, We Wait

Saturday marked my official 39 week mark. And let me tell you, we are about as ready as two people could ever be to welcome a new baby into our lives. The hospital bag is packed, the car seat is installed, the nursery is set, we’ve pre-registered at the hospital, and even the dirty dishes are in the dishwasher, just in case we need to leave the house in the middle of the night.

Warning: TMI ahead!

In other exciting/gross news: My mucus plug came out Saturday morning. I had read that this could happen, and the sound of it completely grossed me out, but it really wasn’t that gross. I got up, went to the bathroom, and hey wait a second…is that…hair gel? No mess, no blood, just a clear gel like substance. At first I was all excited thinking labor could start within a matter of hours, but then I went back to bed, flipped to the pages in my “What to Expect…” book and read that labor could still be two weeks away. Boo to that, I say.

So the last couple of days have basically consisted of me over-analyzing every abdominal feeling – Is it gas? Is it a Braxton Hicks contraction? Is it a real contraction? Is it just the baby moving? Wait, were all those movements contractions and has the baby stopped moving? Why isn’t the baby moving?!?!?! OMG PANIC! Eat something spicy! Drink some caffeine! Oh ok there he is. Phew. Man, those hiccups are so annoying. Why do you hiccup so much, baby?

Yeah, I’m definitely ready to have this baby.

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38 Weeks

Had my 38 week appointment today! Technically, I’m about 38 weeks and 3 days, but who’s counting? Oh right, I am. Every. Single. Day. And don’t you try to cheat me of a few days, miss nurse lady who had my due date as May 30. I will correct you.

So, the update: Due to baby’s suspected size, my OB had me do an u/s to check measurements. Head and legs are measuring right on target, but his belly is measuring big (a sign of my borderline gestational diabetes) so they’re thinking he’s about 8 lbs right now. I assumed as much. BP was normal (110/78 I think), I tested negative for Group B Strep (yay for no additional IVs during labor!), and my fluid levels were high (a little over 21 cm) but my doc didn’t seem worried. She thinks my fluid levels are also due to the gestational diabetes thing. I’m still a “solid 1cm dilated” but my cervix is still mostly closed and baby is still “floating” a bit up there. The hubs and I both think I’ve dropped some, but apparently not enough to indicate labor just yet. This uterus of mine still has some contracting to do before baby is firmly in place and ready to come out and meet the world.

So what does all this mean? Basically, nothing. Now, we just wait and hope my body and baby do their thing. My OB isn’t concerned that baby will gain much more weight – and I’ve been told that babies sort of taper off their weight gain after the 38 week mark anyway. Here’s hoping! My next appointment is next Tuesday (our 6 year wedding anniversary!) so I assume we’ll talk about scheduling an induction then. I know some docs let their patients go a full 2 weeks past their due date before induction, but she said she wouldn’t let me go that late. So either way, we’re looking at a May baby!

Total weight gain: About 38lbs. I even lost a pound at this week’s appointment. Woot!

How big is baby?: According to my u/s today, he’s about 8lbs.

Maternity clothes:  I have about 5 outfits I can wear – most of them dresses.

Stretch marks?: Sigh. Yes. Lower right side, I’m sporting some “tiger stripes”. Really hopeful that they’ll fade post-baby.

Sleep: Not great but not horrible. The hardest part is just rolling over from one side to the other. It’s much easier to just get up, go to the bathroom, and put myself back in bed on my other side. Rolling over is just way too painful.

Best moment this week: Well, it’s always fun to see the baby on the u/s machine and know he’s doing just fine. I think my favorite part was seeing him grab his little foot and hold onto it. He’s just chillin’ in there, practicing baby yoga.

Movement: Movement isn’t as forceful or obvious on the outside, but I still feel him doing SOMETHING in there, which puts my worrisome mind at ease, and most days he gets hiccups so I feel those too.

Food cravings: At the moment? Deviled eggs.

Food aversions: super hot or spicy foods because the heartburn later just isn’t worth it.

Labor signs: Lots of Braxton Hicks, particularly at night. Today I had a pretty intense contraction of some sort that stopped me mid-walk, but it was a one-time thing and probably a result of the doc checking my cervix a couple of hours before.

Belly button in or out: In, completely flat, and I check it a couple of times a day to see if it’s popped out. I don’t think it will, but it’s so close it’s scary.

What I miss: Too many things to list, but (and I can’t believe I’m saying this) I miss my squishy belly. A hard belly the size of a beach ball is even more uncomfortable than it sounds.

What I’m looking forward to: Having this baby!! I can’t wait to see him, hold him, snuggle him, spoil him, and show him off to all our friends and family. We’re just so excited to meet him! Now if only he would realize just how awesome life on the outside is, maybe he’d come on out of that comfy uterus and hang out with us.

Milestone: Knowing I could have this baby at anytime is pretty exciting. And the thought of having him here in less than 2 weeks is even more exciting. My OB says most women have their babies within 5 days of their due date (before or after), which puts my range at anywhere from about next Monday until May 31.

Other random thoughts: Remember when you were in grade school and how stir crazy everyone got in the last month before summer started? How you would just sort of check out mentally and spend your free moments daydreaming? Yep, that’s me. I’m ready. Physically, emotionally…ready. I used to be afraid of labor. I thought I would be a nervous wreck right about now, part excitement and part dread – of not just the labor, but of caring for a newborn baby when neither of us has any experience at all with babies. But I guess that’s what’s funny about pregnancy – as you near the end, you don’t fear much of anything. You just want your baby in your arms. It’s probably the only time in my life where I’m about to embark on something I know absolutely nothing about – it’s scary, it’s painful, and it’s completely foreign to me – yet I could not be more excited to jump (head first, of course) into this whole parenting thing and never look back.

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Even though the babers hasn’t made his appearance just yet, I was surprised by the number of cards, texts, gifts, and even random shout-outs from strangers I received in honor of this year’s Mother’s Day. I don’t know if every Mother’s Day is always this great, but I sure hope so!

First, there were the cards from my grandma and my own mom. Then came my early birthday present from my in-laws, but very appropriate for Mother’s Day.

Hard to see from the picture but it’s a heart-shaped necklace with sculpture of mom and baby/child on the inside. Super sweet and I’ve been wearing it since I got it three days ago.

The biggest surprise came this morning though, when I woke up to the sound of the baby’s music box playing in the nursery. I got up to see why on Earth my husband was playing in the nursery, and walked in to see a card and pretty blue Tiffany’s bag on the glider. I hadn’t even opened the gift yet before the waterworks started (damn hormones!).

He got me a Tiffany’s charm bracelet with the little blue box symbolizing our little blue gift that’s due very soon now. So sweet.

The rest of the day (and weekend) was just as enjoyable. We started off Saturday with a run to a local donut shop for coffee and donuts (and saved the leftovers for Sunday). After taking the dog to the groomer for a much needed bath and shave, we drove around scoping out outdoor patio furniture. For lunch, we popped into one of our favorite Chicago-style hot dog joints. We’re kind of obsessed.

Then it was home for a short nap, followed by dinner and a movie. (We saw The Avengers. Pretty entertaining. And like all the other Marvel movies, make sure you watch it until the VERY end, past ALL of the credits.)

My only complaint was my neighbor’s stupid dog that barked from about midnight until at least 3am. As much as I love animals, especially dogs, I spent the majority of that time contemplating how I could remove Fluffy’s voice box with minimal injury to myself and maximum injury to the dog. Not my finest hours, but considering I didn’t actually DO anything, I call that a win. I really don’t like that dog.

On Sunday/Mother’s Day, after the wonderful surprise from my sweet hubby, we had coffee and donuts for breakfast, lounged around the house and researched some patio furniture online, went to brunch at Pietro’s in south city, followed by shaved ice at the only decent shaved ice place we’ve found since visiting Hawaii, picked up some wings for my grandparents from Syberg’s, bought my grandma a floral hanging basket, and spent time with my grandparents while my husband mowed their massive lawn. For dinner, we had Penn Station sub sandwiches, and I played around on the internet while the hubs mowed our lawn too. So all in all, a pretty fabulous Mother’s Day for me.

Now if only Mr. Baby would go ahead and make his debut so I can feel like I’ve earned all these gifts, that would be awesome.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there! “Mom” can mean so many things – moms of furbabies, moms of angel babies, foster moms, adopted moms, step-moms, moms who are no longer with us, the “almost any day now moms” and the moms who are still waiting to become moms…they’re all special and they all deserve to be honored today. Happy Mother’s Day!

 

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After Tuesday’s appointment, and hearing that I may be induced as early as late next week, the hubs went into baby prep overdrive. That night, we finished packing our hospital bag, and the next night, he finished the nursery.

I’ll get to nursery pics eventually, but for now, let’s focus on the hospital bag.

It’s not easy to see, but inside that bag we’ve got the following:

  • Change of clothes for the hubs
  • Nursing tank, pj pants, robe, and slippers for me
  • Mini shampoo and conditioner
  • Mini deodorants – his and hers
  • Toothbrushes and toothpaste
  • Granola bars, crackers, and Jolly Ranchers
  • The baby book, for getting baby’s foot and handprints.
  • Hospital paperwork
  • Two going-home outfit choices for the babers

Not included in the bag but that will definitely be coming with us – nursing pillow (boppy pillow), camera, iPad & charger, my makeup, and a couple of DVDs.

What else do I need?

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37 Week OB Update

I’m well into my 37th week now, and today was my weekly OB appointment. Here’s the skinny:

Blood pressure was higher than last week but not terrible. 130 something over 80, I think.

Dilated 1 cm which basically means nothing. Baby hasn’t dropped. He’s still got his butt up in the air as far as he can.

Last week, my OB said she thought he seemed a little on the big side, estimating that he was getting close to 7lbs. This week, one of my OB’s partners in the practice examined me and she said – without even knowing my OB said last week – that she thought he was probably about 7 and a half pounds right now. Which means that if I go until my due date, he’ll be over 9lbs. And that is not good for me, folks. But, we all know those estimates are just shots in the dark so she scheduled an ultrasound for my appointment next week to see just how big baby S really is. Depending on those results, she said they may recommend inducing me before my due date.

So I’m hoping for one of three things:

1. That baby comes on his own within the next week and I don’t have to worry about any of this (least likely; he seems to like it up in here)

2. That baby isn’t really that big at all and I just have a lot of fluid or something and he comes right on time (also not likely considering the OB felt around for awhile before declaring her guess on his weight)

3. That baby is a little big but that I can get scheduled quickly for an induction by late next week and that all goes smoothly – meaning I get a healthy baby without a lot of pain or complications.

I guess I’ll know on Tuesday what the plan is, but until then, I’m taking any and all suggestions for how to get this baby to drop and come out on his own ASAP. So let’s hear ’em!

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