2009 - Baby Steps in High Heels

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Goodbye and Good Riddance

4:40 PM 0
Goodbye and Good Riddance
On the last day of this year, I have to say without hesitation, goodbye and good riddance 2009! With the very significant exception of Baby’s arrival last month, this year has not been one of my favorites. So, I’ve made a couple of lists, because that’s what I do. I make lists. It makes me happy. Don’t ask me why.

List #1 – Goodbye and Good Riddance to …
1-Nausea and Hyperemesis. May we never meet again. Ever. And may you not plague others either. You’re truly miserable and will not be missed.
2-Hospitals, Home Health, Infusion labs and pumps, and IV bags/poles/etc. I’ll take my hydration the normal way from now on, thank you, by drinking lots and lots of champagne water.
3-Not having a social life. Dear friends, I miss you. A LOT. I look forward to the day when we can once again hang out. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll be covered in spit-up, sleep deprived and will likely annoy you because I won’t have anything to talk about besides Baby … but I will impose myself on you. A LOT. Must have social interaction.

List #2 – Lessons Learned in 2009 …
1-People can survive on water and saltines alone. For days. IF, IF there is a bag of IV fluids waiting on the other end. This is not a diet I recommend, unless you’re maybe trying to fit into your little black dress for NYE. Call me if you need an IV pole. I still have one.
2-People don’t need sleep to exist. I haven’t slept for longer than 2 ½ hours at a time in weeks. Sleep is not necessary. iPhones, however are essential. They allow you to blog, post pictures on Facebook, and play sudoku when you’re up at 3 a.m. And at 4:30 a.m. Or any other ungodly hour.
3-Baby bottles make good measuring cups for booze. Seriously, when you’re trying to drink only half a glass of wine, bust out that bottle and measure in ounces. Because, really, if you asked me to just pour a ‘half’ glass of wine, we all know how full that glass would be.

List # 3 – What I’m Looking Forward to in 2010 …
1-Enjoying time with Husband and Baby. And, family and friends. And, just plain enjoying life.
2-Eating, drinking, and generally being merry.
3- Watching Baby grow. It makes me a little sad to think about how much she’ll change in a year, but it’s also really exciting to think about how she’ll start to develop her own personality.
4-Traveling. Yes, we have a baby. We’re not scared. Not yet anyway! We’re going places, near and far. And, we’d love to have our wonderful babysitters friends join us!
5-Shopping. At non-maternity-clothes stores! And, wearing pants with actual buttons and zippers again. It’s sad, but true. This is something I’m really looking forward to.

These are my lists. They’re really much longer, but I won’t bore you with additional details. What’s on your list? Humor me … this is the extent of my social interaction right now.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Baby Update

10:04 AM 1
Baby Update
I’m blogging today for my own sanity – a slight connection to the outside world, not because I have anything interesting to say.

Sleep deprivation = nothing witty to write at this particular moment.

Baby is beautiful, amazing, and wonderful. She is gaining weight, though she still hadn’t regained her birth weight as of Christmas Eve. She’s eating, sleeping, and doing lots of things that involve bodily fluids all day long. She prefers to sleep during the day, not at night. She tends to need a diaper change right in the middle of the rare, but necessary naps I try (usually unsuccessfully) to take. She is a tiny, perfect, little handful!

Christmas was good. Baby partied all night and slept all day. She slept through the opening of her gifts … I suspect the coming years will be quite a different story. We tried to dress her in several of the cute Christmas dresses we bought before she was born. Christmas Dress = FAIL. She’s still too tiny for some ‘newborn’ sizes, so she definitely didn’t fit into the 0-3 month sized dresses. Since my one-month old didn’t exactly want to sport the ‘off-the shoulder’ look, she ended up in yet another snuggly, comfy set of pajamas.

Anyway, apologies for the really boring blog today. I have about an hour before I need to bottle prep, diaper change, feed, etc. the little angel …. That is, if she’ll actually sleep that long. She seems to have a sixth sense for crying any time I want to eat, sleep, or do anything besides sit on the couch and watch her sleep in her bouncer. Must (try to) nap now.

Friday, December 25, 2009

The Great Christmas Debacle

1:06 PM 2
The Great Christmas Debacle
We spent the afternoon of Christmas Eve with my parents and grandparents. They graciously traveled to our house so we wouldn’t have to go anywhere with our sweet new baby. Everything was really nice … too much food, of course, and lots of presents for Baby. Our little girl was on her best behavior during the family visit. She ate. She slept. She made sweet little baby eyes at all of her visitors. She was an angel. Until everyone left.

We’re not sure how a little girl who is exactly four weeks old can comprehend the notion of celebrating the holiday season, but she somehow decided that she wanted to party all night long. She indulged right along with the adults, eating considerably more than her normal day’s haul. And, she had no intention of sleeping. Not at 9:00 p.m., not at midnight, not until almost 4 a.m. And, the Great Christmas Debacle? The Rejection of the Pacifier. The horror! Her beloved pacifier no longer wanted, and our beloved sleep no longer an option.

Needless to say, Brian and I rang in Christmas morning with just a couple hours sleep and a bottle of champagne. This might be the first day I have been glad to have the option of supplementing Baby’s diet with formula! We love our little girl so much, especially as we celebrate Christmas today … we’re just hoping that she’ll allow us a couple of holiday naps.

Merry Christmas!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

She won't do it at 4:00 a.m. ...

10:16 AM 2
She won't do it at 4:00 a.m. ...
But, she happily sleeps during the day ... you know, when I’m too busy to join her!




Hope everyone can enjoy a restful holiday weekend! Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Growth Spurt!

7:56 PM 0
Growth Spurt!
Most adults define a ‘growth spurt’ as a time when somebody actually grows, you know, and gets bigger. Not in our house. Baby Avery has her very own definition of ‘growth spurt’, and it’s not quite the same as the traditional meaning.

Baby says growth spurt means ….
-Baby is hungry ALL the time.
-Baby in inconsolable. Fussy any time she’s awake without a bottle in her mouth.
-Baby wants what she wants when she wants it. And she wants it … NOW.
-Baby says screw your schedule.
-Baby says screw your beloved sleep.
-Baby wants what she wants when she wants it. And she wants it … NOW.

We love our sweet little angel, but the growth spurt has definitely thrown us for a loop! Just when we settled into a nice feeding/sleeping routine, we hit the 3-week growth spurt. Who cares if she just ate an hour ago? Who cares if she has eaten the amount she should have had in an entire 24 hour period by noon? She’s hungry, NOW. If she’s not sleeping, she wants to be eating. And, no, infant’s don’t seem to understand the concept of ‘just a minute’ or ‘it’s almost ready’ … did I mention that she wants what she wants when she wants it (NOW)???

As I understand it, we will go through this at 3 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months and 6 months. It’s good to know what to expect because it’s a little heart wrenching to be unable to comfort your child. Sure it’s mildly amusing for the first few seconds when her head turns bright red, resembling a cherry tomato, and she does the billy goat cry. As an adult and as a parent, you know her bottle will be ready in about 90 seconds, but try explaining that to a baby who is roughly 24-days-old.

Speaking of reasoning with an infant, I learned last night that this is not really possible. Not with any success anyway. As I mentioned yesterday, we’ve succumbed to using the pacifier. It works like a charm. Except, of course, when she spits it out. This is a problem considering she has no real control over her arms/hands just yet and can’t put it back in her mouth herself. I tried to explain this to her about 3:30 this morning, but she wasn’t having any of it. She spit out the pacifier, cried because she wanted it back, and I got out of bed and replaced it for her. We danced this little dance about 8 times before she finally fell asleep (or before I did!). Oh the joys of becoming a new parent. I love my little girl more than life itself, but I am definitely looking forward to the day when sleep and sanity are more commonplace in my life!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Introducing Avery Grace!

3:53 PM 4
Introducing Avery Grace!
Three weeks ago our sweet little girl – Avery Grace – made her debut by c-section. She was born on November 27 at 7:47 am. She weighed 6 lbs 15.4 ounces and was 19 ¾ inches long. After a very long pregnancy, we could hardly believe the moment had finally arrived! She is absolutely perfect! I don’t plan to post many pictures given that this blog is currently open to the public, but I just can’t resist including a few of our favorite first moments with her!


Although the surgery went very well for both me and for Avery, we’ve had a few set backs in the last few weeks. The primary concern is that my low milk production has caused her to lose weight instead of regain her birth weight by 2 weeks of age. Given this, we’ve been on a pretty strict feeding schedule, supplementing with formula. (Side note: Formula stinks! It’s gross! More on this later if we have to continue using it.) She's back up to 6 lbs 10 1/2 ounces, though, and we have another weight check on Christmas Eve ... stinkin' formula must be working.

We’ve managed to find a few extra minutes with every day that passes, and life is starting to resemble some type of normalcy as we approach the one-month mark. Brian still refuses to give up X-Box or his guitar for sleep. On the other hand, I pretty much sleep any time and any where the opportunity arises … and I long for the day that I can sleep for longer than an hour and a half at a time. Can I put that on my Christmas List? A 3-hour stretch of sleep? Anyone?

In any case, we’ve had many adventures over the last few weeks (several of which have to do with bodily functions, so stop reading now if you’re squeamish) …

-Getting a onsie over a newborn’s head … not as easy as you might think.
-Diaper blowouts
-Amazing projectile spit-up episodes
-Vivid conversations regarding diaper contents
-Multiple weight checks at the doctor (which includes stripping down the baby and putting her on a cold, hard scale … she’s not a fan!)
-The Great Pacifier Debate ... to give or deny. We caved 3 weeks in ... she loves the pacifier and we love our sleep.
-Putting a tutu on a pissed off infant
As more time passes and I begin to get my head above water, I’ll be sure to regale y’all with all the wonderful details of our escapades. Until then, please, sleep for me!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thankful ...

2:16 PM 3
Thankful ...
…for my wonderful husband who has kept me sane, alive, and loved through this pregnancy and for so many years.
…for the upcoming birth of our daughter, Avery Grace. She’ll be here Friday morning, and we cannot wait to meet her!
…for all of our wonderful friends and family who have showered us with love and gifts to help us prepare for Avery’s arrival.
…for the end of pregnancy and the beginning of motherhood.
…that Avery’s arrival will give us plenty of time to prepare for and enjoy the holidays, Brian’s favorite season.
…that the next time I post on this blog, I’ll be sharing pictures of our little girl!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

What I can't wait to live without

4:55 PM 0
What I can't wait to live without
We had our final doctor’s visit today, and basically nothing has changed. Avery is still breech, so the c-section is a go for Friday morning! She’ll be here before we know it!

In thinking about this being my final pre-natal appointment of this pregnancy, most likely my final OB appointment EVER, I started to realize how many items/experiences/etc. I’ll never (EVER) have to deal with again starting in about 3 days …

1-Zofran, the anti-nausea God-send of a medication that allowed me to survive my hyperemisis-pregnancy even though the doctors couldn’t guarantee it was totally safe.

2-Maternity clothes. Let’s face it. Most women buy clothes to make them look smaller, even when they’re in their Size-2-Non-Pregnant glory. There is not a single piece of maternity clothing that can make you look smaller. Okay, I know I’ll probably still live in these for a while, but at least I’ll start to have other options soon.

3-Toilet Paper. Yes, I know I’ll continue to use it on a daily basis, but I’m hoping to stop going through an entire roll each and every day. Insider trading tip: Sell your market shares of toilet paper now! Consumption at my house is going down ASAP!

4-Darker hair. Sure, I know lots of beautiful brunettes, but I’m a natural-born-dye-job-blonde. I miss my lighter shade, and once these lightening-fast-hair-growing hormones are under control I’ll be back to my ‘natural’ self.

5-IV Pole. Seriously, how many people do you know that have their very own IV pole just sitting around in their garage? We also had a fridge full of anti-nausea meds in syringes and a box of glucose/saline fluids until a few weeks ago. If any of my family members are reading this, you better send me your Christmas wish lists soon. Once I’m a sleep-deprived new parent, I cannot promise that this one won’t get wrapped up in your holiday gift bag.

6-Nausea.

7-The epically slow passage of time. You know how, when you hear that somebody else is pregnant, it seems like they have a toddler two days later? Yeah, not so much when you’re the one who is pregnant. I’m definitely ready to move into a new phase of this experience. I’m ready for sleep deprivation to be caused by the joy of nurturing my child, and not leg cramps, bathroom trips, etc. I’m ready for general physical discomfort to be caused by my body healing and eventually getting back into shape (a shape other than ‘round’). I’m ready to meet Avery Grace and start our life together as a family! We’re about 62 hours away from her arrival!

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Final Week

4:52 PM 1
The Final Week
Last week I thought that I had created a new stage of grief – Persuasion to Acceptance. However, I’m starting to realize that I don’t need to use my head to talk myself into accepting my c-section fate. My body is doing a great job persuading me all on its own. I think there is something to be said about the miserable state your body enters into at the end of pregnancy. By Friday morning, I’m pretty sure that I won’t care how Avery is delivered as long as pregnancy is over (and, of course, we have a happy, healthy baby girl in our arms)! Aside from feeling pretty miserable, I think it’s totally unfair to make it through almost an entire pregnancy without a single stretch mark only to get them in your final week.

Anyway, except for feeling pretty uncomfortable, I’m really excited to begin this week knowing that we’ll end it with our little girl! Friday morning can’t get here fast enough! That said, I’m taking bets and/or guesses as to what kind of curve ball will be thrown at us this week. We’ve managed to fall into the ‘that only happens to less than 2% of pregnant women’ category so many times over the last 38 ½ weeks, I can only imagine what will happen in the next 4 days!

Any thoughts? What kind of ‘excitement’ should we expect? Will it be related to pregnancy? Traffic? Weather? The holidays? I’m sure it will be something!

Friday, November 20, 2009

That would have been handy to know

8:58 AM 1
That would have been handy to know
So, yesterday I met with a car seat installation safety technician. Yes, she was actually a licensed professional. Who knew this even existed?! I found her to be very knowledgeable and helpful. Did you know that you should look at both the owner’s manual for your vehicle and the owner’s manual for the child safety seat when installing one? I didn’t. There are some tricks to the process that common sense can definitely cause you to overlook. Overall, we had done a fairly decent job of installing Avery’s car seat, and I’m pretty sure she would have been just fine without any of the tech’s changes. However, I must rant about one piece of information that came to light yesterday.

For those of you who know my sweet husband, you know he’s a bit of a perfectionist and a fairly intense neat freak. So, I was very excited when I found car seat protectors during the baby registry process. It’s a handy little piece of fabric that can be placed underneath a child car seat that is supposed to prevent the seat in your vehicle from being too damaged by the 20-30 pounds of baby and safety seat sitting on top. This great product even had a little flap that included a pocket for extra storage and looked very chic. At $15 a piece, I thought this was a great deal and registered (and received) two – one for my car and one for the husband’s car. I was very proud of this little find.

Fast forward to yesterday, and the technician tells me that we can’t use it. What? Huh? Isn’t it designed for this specific purpose? What else would you use it for? She tells me that, if I want to keep it in place, I’ll have to sign a disclaimer before she can officially approve the car seat installation. It will also void the manufacturer’s warranty and liability in the event of an impact (even if it’s obvious that the car seat itself was faulty and caused injury to my child). Well, that would have been handy to know about 3 months ago! There goes $30 worth of diapers.

I thought the wedding industry was a racket, but this whole baby product market really drives me insane. From products that claim to be safety tested and approved (by who? Your next door neighbor?!) to those that are constantly being recalled (seriously, if something is designed to be put in a baby’s mouth, maybe you shouldn’t use lead-based paint … just a thought), it all seems a little ridiculous to me. But that’s just my opinion.

Are there other products out there to avoid? Anything we should be weary about? And what do I do with the car seat protectors?!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Another doctor's appointment

4:44 PM 3
Another doctor's appointment
Yes, another one. They’re coming weekly at this point. Fortunately, next week is the final one! Avery is still stubborn, uh, I mean breech, so it looks the scheduled c-section next Friday is still the plan. I think I’ve created a new stage of grief – persuasion. I’ve done the anger, denial, etc., and now I’m attempting to persuade myself into acceptance. I’m just so over pregnancy and having been sick for so long that the idea of recovering from surgery is less than appealing. I know, I know. It doesn’t matter how she arrives as long as we’re both healthy … blah, blah, blah! I appreciate the encouragement, but I’m also over all the optimism. Plenty of people have healthy, happy hyperemesis-free pregnancies. Plenty of people deliver healthy, happy babies without c-sections. I just want to be one of those people who doesn’t fall into that 2-10% ‘what other crappy thing can happen to you in pregnancy’ statistic.

Okay, off the soap box. Can you tell I’m almost 38 weeks, almost at the end? I’m definitely feeling the end-of-the-third-trimester frustrations. Anyway, the doctor’s appointment went well. Actually, it was fairly uneventful. As I already noted, Avery is still breech. She still has her feet on her head and refuses to move. Her heartbeat is right around 140, which is normal. And, I actually lost a pound. Who knew the ice cream and cookies pregnancy diet could be so effective?!

As someone who has never had real surgery before, I also had several random, but important questions for the doctor.

Q – Can I wear nail polish to the c-section?
A – Yes.
My response – Better schedule a pedicure.

Q – Can I wear make-up during the surgery?
A – Yes.
My response – Good. I was going to anyway.

Q – Can I wear contacts or do I have to wear glasses?
A – Contacts are okay.
My response – Good, because my glasses prescription is about 4 years old, and I’d like to be able to see my daughter when she’s born.

Now that I have answers to all of the important questions, I feel like the persuasion-to-acceptance stage is going to be a little more productive.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Odds & Ends

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Odds & Ends
It’s been a busy few weeks! Our dresser/changing table finally arrived (about 6 weeks later than expected), so we were able to finish organizing and decorating Avery’s room. There are still some last minute things I’d like to do, but at least everything is in place now.

Here are a few pictures of the nursery. I'm a little disappointed, because the camera really doesn't do justice to all the cute butterflies and purple/green accents in the room.





We also installed the car seat and extra car seat base over the weekend and assembled the pack ‘n play where we plan to let Avery sleep when she comes home during those first few weeks. And, more importantly (just kidding, well, maybe), some very special accessories finally arrived in the mail!
Avery’s very chic hat and bows.
Avery’s first Christmas ornaments.
I’ve also had several requests for some pictures of my belly! I posted a few of the professional maternity photos a few weeks ago, but here is a nice comparison during the last trimester.

Me at 34 weeks and 37 weeks.
If our little girl maintains her stubborn streak (and since she’s my child, I know she will) and refuses to turn head down, we’ll be welcoming her next Friday morning! It’s almost hard to believe, but we’re so excited!!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A Newborn's Conversation with God

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A Newborn's Conversation with God
I got this email today, and it made me cry. I’m not typically this sappy … I blame the hormones! However, the sentiment is very sweet, so I thought I’d share.

A Newborn's Conversation with God

A baby asked God, "They tell me you are sending me to earth tomorrow, but how am I going to live there being so small and helpless?"

God said, "Your angel will be waiting for you and will take care of you."

The child further inquired, "But tell me, here in heaven I don't have to do anything but sing and smile to be happy."

God said, "Your angel will sing for you and will also smile for you. And you will feel your angel's love and be very happy."

Again the small child asked, "And how am I going to be able to understand when people talk to me if I don't know the language?"

God said, "Your angel will tell you the most beautiful and sweet words you will ever hear, and with much patience and care, your angel will teach you how to speak."

"And what am I going to do when I want to talk to you?"

God said, "Your angel will place your hands together and will teach you how to pray."

"Who will protect me?"

God said, "Your angel will defend you even if it means risking its life."

"But I will always be sad because I will not see you anymore."

God said, "Your angel will always talk to you about Me and will teach you the way to come back to Me, even though I will always be next to you."

At that moment there was much peace in Heaven, but voices from Earth could be heard and the child hurriedly asked, "God, if I am to leave now, please tell me my angel's name."

God said, You will simply call her, "Mom."

Friday, November 13, 2009

It's Official!

6:27 PM 2
It's Official!
We are officially scheduled for a c-section on November 27th at 7 am! Of course, now that we have a plan, I’m sure Avery will change her mind and throw us some kind of curve ball. I’m still hoping she turns, but I’m trying (and slowly beginning) to accept that a c-section won’t be that bad.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Ultrasound today

7:52 PM 0
Ultrasound today
We had our 4th ultrasound today, and Avery is …. still … breech. In fact, she’s still in the exact same position she was in 6 weeks ago, curled up in a ball with her feet on her head and her hands in front of her face. Dr. Darby informed us that we have about a 30-50% chance of successfully turning her by doing a version. We would have to schedule it for Monday or Tuesday and the likelihood of still needing a c-section is fairly high. That said, we’ve decided not to do the version technique to try and turn her head down. We’ll let her ‘incubate’ for another 2 weeks and schedule our c-section around 39 weeks. Depending on the holiday schedule at the hospital and, more importantly, the availability of the anesthesiologist, we’re hoping that she will be born the day after Thanksgiving on November 27th. If that date doesn’t work, we’ll have to schedule something for the following Monday or Tuesday. Hopefully we can get everything set by tomorrow or early next week.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Finally!

5:13 PM 0
Finally!
After calling the offices of both my OB and general practitioner (and the 211 flu hotline and many other sources) day in and day out for weeks, I’m finally going to get my H1N1 vaccine tomorrow morning! Finally! I know this is somewhat of a controversial issue, but I’m a modern-day-medicine-kind of girl. I got the seasonal flu shot back in September, and anything included in this year’s H1N1 vaccine will be in next year’s seasonal flu vaccine. So, if it’s going to be okay for pregnant women a year from now, I’m going to take my chances tomorrow.

Here are a few stats:
How far along: 36 ½ weeksNet weight gain: 21 lbs.
Sleep: Sleeping well … for about 45 minutes at a time. Between the awful pain in my hips that keeps me flipping/rolling around all night and the frequent trips to the bathroom, I’m relatively impressed at how much sleep I’m actually still getting.
Baby movement: She moves like crazy! Except when she goes an entire day without moving at all and completely freaks me out. She’s a night owl for sure, and is much more active late in the day. She also reacts well to peppermint ice cream and Brian’s voice.
Cravings: None really. Luckily, some of the healthier foods that once made me so nauseous are back on my stomach’s approved list … fruit and grilled chicken have been treating me quite well lately.
Food aversions: Okay, so the grilled chicken has to come with extra pickles on a bun from Chic-fil-a, but it’s better than a fried sandwich! Veggies are still hit or miss.
What I miss: Diet soda, cold turkey sandwiches, champagne.
Looking forward to: The ultrasound on Thursday. Hopefully it will give us a better idea of what the coming weeks will bring!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Stealing from Stephanie

5:16 PM 0
Stealing from Stephanie
Stephanie posted a recipe for Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Spice Muffins yesterday, and it was just too tasty and easy not to share!

Ingredients
1 – 15 oz can of 100% pure pumpkin
1 – box of spice cake mix
1 – cup of semi-sweet or white chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350-degrees. Mix the 3 ingredients together. Do NOT add the eggs and oil the cake mix tells you to add. Grease your muffin tins and bake for 18-22 minutes. It can’t get much easier than that!

I actually used the miniature chocolate chips and made mini-muffins, which yielded about 4 dozen (and didn't take quite as long to bake, about 16 minutes). Otherwise, Stephanie says that you get about 15 regular sized muffins.

For somebody who loves to cook but hasn’t really been able to for the last 9 months, this was great! I actually felt somewhat useful again, even though this was super quick and really simple. I’m all about the 3-ingredient recipes these days, especially ones that don’t keep me on my feet for more than 15-20 minutes! Thanks, Stephanie!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Still breech!

8:01 AM 1
Still breech!
Avery’s new nickname is Trouble! Based on what she could feel by pushing on my stomach, the doctor is about 80% sure Avery is still in the breech position. I’m even more certain because I can still feel her kicking low, and I’m pretty sure her head has taken up permanent residence between my ribs. So, we’re going to do another (our 4th!) ultrasound next Thursday to determine her exact position. If she is still not cooperating, the doctor will advise us as to whether doing an external version is a viable option.

External version is where the doctor uses a sonogram to guide him as he applies external pressure to the baby and tries to get her to flip. It’s a procedure that is supposed to be relatively uncomfortable, even painful. However, it is also brief – they should know if they can successfully turn her in less than 5 minutes. That said, if it is a viable option for us (i.e., she’s small enough and has enough room to turn, there is enough amniotic fluid, etc.), we are probably going to try it. As far as I’m concerned, 5 minutes of pain is worth a shot if it means I won’t have to have a c-section and recover from surgery for weeks on end. Unfortunately, the procedure is not a guarantee – even if it works, she could always flip back. And, knowing our little ball of Attitude & Trouble, she probably will!

So, if external version doesn’t work and/or if we decide it’s not a good option, we’re looking at welcoming our little Avery Grace the week of Thanksgiving. We would likely end up scheduling the c-section one of the days toward the end of that week (Wednesday-Saturday), depending on the hospital’s holiday schedule and when they would allow ‘elective’ c-sections. We will know much more after the ultrasound next week, but time is definitely running out! She could be here in just 3 weeks! Until then, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that she flips – with or without the EV – and stays that way until December 4th!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Packing a bag

1:01 PM 0
Packing a bag
I swore I’d have a hospital bag packed and ready to go by November 1st. Given that it’s November 2nd and my suitcase is still hidden in the closet somewhere, I have clearly procrastinated. I typically believe that there is some reasoning behind avoiding tasks like these (aside from laziness, of course), but I just can’t figure out what my problem is on this one. The only thing I can come up with is that sorting through laundry and packing a bag requires a lot of moving, bending, and general mobility, which I seem to be lacking lately. There are also some clothes that I want to pack for the hospital that I still enjoy wearing (i.e. big, stretchy, comfy pants!), which poses the question … when do I part ways with these and commit them to the suitcase?

Another general question I’ve been considering is exactly what I need to bring along to the hospital. Seriously, I have lists from websites, books, nurses, etc. and all of them are different. Lists seem to include anything from ‘pack everything you own’ to ‘just bring your belly and a car seat’ … none of which is helpful! For those of you who have done this recently, I’m taking any and all suggestions for what to pack and/or what not to pack. I mean, is there really time/energy to read books and magazines while you’re there? I can’t imagine so, but they’re on every list I’ve seen!

I’m also concerned over what type of outfit to bring for Avery’s homecoming. The problem is that she’s due in December. Technically, this is a winter month. But, let’s be honest, this is Texas! It could be 80 degrees. It could also be 40 degrees. She could fit perfectly in a newborn-sized outfit or need a size bigger. I think I have 3 different outfits and matching socks, mittens, hats, blankets, etc. piled up to go in the suitcase. With all of this concern and my luck, she’ll end up coming home in some hospital-issued onsie!

Overall, I have to say that packing a bag for a sunny, tropical island destination requires much less thought/planning than packing up to deliver a baby. And, I start making lists and packing weeks in advance of a vacation! For now, I should at least pull the suitcase out of the closet. Perhaps staring at its empty existence will inspire me.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Maternity Pictures

6:28 PM 3
Maternity Pictures
Well, I haven’t been great about documenting this pregnancy with pictures, but I did get a chance to take some maternity photos this week. Here are just a few of the ones that I like …



















Monday, October 26, 2009

Just the girls!

8:43 AM 3
Just the girls!
On Saturday, some of my best girlfriends threw a shower for me in Austin. It was great to get together with just the girls (even if they were drinking champagne without me!).

Kelli, Lisa, Me, and Callie

They were so thoughtful in putting everything together, and they made some very tasty treats – all with pasteurized cheeses, so I could eat everything!


Lisa has gotten quite crafty lately. She made the cutest cupcakes and a diaper cake using our receiving blankets!





















Although I was much better at taking pictures this time, I still only managed to get a few on my camera. Most of the pictures will be sent to me from others in the next few days, so I will post more when I receive them.

Thanks, girls, for a great day!

Friday, October 23, 2009

34 Weeks

9:07 AM 0
34 Weeks
It’s a little surreal to realize that we’re only 6 weeks away from my Dec. 4th due date! In some ways, I can’t believe I’ve survived the last 8 ½ months, and, in other ways, it feels like the time has flown. We had our 34-week doctor’s visit yesterday, and everything seems to be progressing nicely. Avery is still in the breech position (stubborn!), but there are a few things I can try over the next 2-3 weeks to get her to turn. There is also a chance that she’ll do it on her own. They said that babies usually turn any time between 31 and 36 weeks, so we still have a little time.

Following my 6-pound weight gain last month, I only gained 1 pound in the last 3 weeks. Of course, this made me freak out a little! Fortunately, the doctor doesn’t seem concerned at all about how this is affecting Avery. That puts my mind at ease (somewhat) regarding her health and development. But, let’s be honest, what we really need to worry about here are her clothes! We have about a thousand onsies and outfits that are sized 0-3 months, but I’m afraid they’ll swallow her up. So, of course, I needed to shop after the doctor’s visit! Brian sat patiently in a chair while I rounded up a few things that were sized for newborns. I really didn’t go overboard (yet) and I talked myself out of one really cute preemie outfit … you know, just in case. I know she’ll be gaining the majority of her weight over the next few weeks, but we have to be prepared, right?! Right?! And, anyway, she really needed that red velvet/santa-style dress and matching beret. Right?!

On another note, we got the ‘good news/bad news’ update on the H1N1 vaccine. The good news is that my getting the shot will pass immunity along to Avery. So, even though I’ll probably still be the hand-washing-anti-bacterial-soap nazi, I might actually let people see her once she arrives! The bad news is that my doctor’s office doesn’t yet have the shot-version of the vaccine. Nobody in Texas does. They thought they would have it by Oct. 15th, but that date has come and gone. They’re hoping to get it soon, and they’re hoping to have sufficient supply. However, they do suspect that there will be a shortage, so I have to continue to check on its availability on a regular basis.

Friday, October 16, 2009

No such luck

11:18 AM 1
No such luck
I’m 33 weeks pregnant today! There are many ways I might have celebrated this milestone (e.g., ice cream, a massage, etc.), but my body seems to have a mind of its own. Yes, as I was sound asleep in bed this morning, I got my very first infamous leg cramp. As the books all say, I went from peaceful slumber to screaming on the side of the bed in about half of a second! Poor Brian was so worried. All I could do for a minute or two was say ‘ouch’ over and over. However, I’m thinking that it wasn’t my yelling in pain that scared him so much as the fact that he hasn’t seen me move that fast in 8 months! I really thought that I might be spared some of these 3rd trimester ‘pregnancy discomforts’ given all of the issues I’ve had with hyperemisis. No such luck. I’m pretty sure I’m even getting a varicose vein. Gross.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

What is a Doula?

9:51 AM 1
What is a Doula?
This is a question I’ve been getting quite a bit lately. The official definition is somewhat lengthy, but it can be summed up into the following explanation …

“…A birth doula provides continuous physical, emotional, and informational support before, during, and just after birth…” – (for more info, go to www.dona.org)

Brian’s definition is … “somebody who makes sure I don’t yell at him too much and can also get him a cheeseburger if labor lasts too long …”

I was initially thrown by the concept of a doula. My reaction was probably fairly similar to many of yours. I was thinking that this would only be necessary for people who are really into the touchy-feely-emotional birth experiences, you know –home births, water births, etc. And, we all know that that is not part of my birth plan! I will be in a hospital, with fluorescent lights and loud, beeping monitors … and drugs. Lots of drugs.

So, where does a doula fit into my experience? The more I researched, the more I learned. The true purpose of a doula is to make the mother as comfortable and informed as possible. She is a neutral third-party, and her entire responsibility is me! Who wouldn’t love that, right?! This is appealing on many levels. Consider how many shift changes the OB nurses might make during a long delivery or how many other patients they will also be attending. My doula will be able to explain things to me in further detail when a nurse runs out the door to see another patient. My doula will also help me with different relaxation techniques (breathing, massage, etc.), which is important given my lack of patience and propensity to overreact. I also just learned that getting an epidural too early can actually slow labor, so the relaxation techniques will help me get through some of the early labor process until I threaten to kill somebody if they don’t stick that big needle in my spine and make the pain go away!

And—Yes, Brian, I have it on good authority that the doula can also make a food run if your tummy starts growling. She is apparently there to provide support to the father, too.

If you’re pregnant and interested in learning more about the doulas we interviewed and/or the one we selected, let me know!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Whine and Cheese

6:39 PM 1
Whine and Cheese
Over the weekend, some friends gave us a very fun baby shower in Austin. The theme was Whine & Cheese, which I thought was quite clever and really cute … until I realized that they used this idea for the cake decorations and then jumped right into a Wine and Cheese theme for everyone else.

My Whine & Cheese:

Wine & Cheese for everyone else:



When I was initially pregnant and really sick, I couldn’t even think about wine. However, the cold weather and good friends gathered together by the fireplace really made me crave a nice, big glass of red wine. They were nice enough to mix up a tasty wine-looking punch for me to enjoy, and yummy pasteurized cheeses were also in abundance. All kidding aside, it was great to get together with everyone especially considering that my social life has been severely lacking over the last few months. Once again, I forgot to take pictures with my own camera. Even the ones I’ve included above were emailed to me this morning. I did manage to come away with about 4 shots of the cake and one of me with Paige at the end of the night, after everyone had gone home.


I promise to try to do better in the coming weeks. Until then, I blame pregnancy brain! My memory and attention span have been drastically diminished lately.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Official Request

12:32 PM 0
Official Request
After much debate, feedback, and consideration, I’m making an official request about flu vaccinations. We are very excited for Avery’s arrival in just a couple of months. We want to show her off and share her with every one of our friends and family members. However, I have to ask that you please get both the regular seasonal flu and H1N1 vaccinations before coming to visit her either in the hospital or once we're home. I’ve been hearing about so many cases of these diseases that are just a little too close for comfort. I’ll only ask immediate family members to go as far as getting the whooping cough vaccine, but for those who are interested, you can get it combined with your tetanus shot if you’re due for that one any time soon. It is recommended that you have this vaccine if you plan to spend a lot of time around babies.

Thanks for understanding!

Monday, October 5, 2009

A fall, a kick, and a question

5:21 PM 4
A fall, a kick, and a question
A Fall: The weekend gave the term ‘rainfall’ a double meaning for me. Not only did we have torrential rain storms that poured several inches of much needed precipitation, I also took a little spill of my own. After Brian and I finished breakfast at one of our favorite restaurants, my sweet husband went to get the car so I wouldn’t have to walk far in the rain. I took about 3 steps toward the car, and my left foot started to slide. Now, I swear I could have regained my balance under normal circumstances. However, being as front heavy as I am these days, I had no hope. So, there I went … I fell forward onto my hands and knees. My right knee was bruised up and the whole left side of my body was pretty sore for the rest of the weekend. Fortunately, I did not fall on my stomach or any part of my body, so Avery is doing just fine. I’ve been reading about how pregnant women can lose their balance more easily because of a change in the center of gravity, and now I know what that means!

A Kick: As I mentioned last week, our sweet, little (stubborn) girl is currently in the breech position. Because I REALLY don’t want to end up having a c-section, I’ve been reading about different ways to get a baby to turn. The doula we interviewed on Friday suggested putting ice at the top of my stomach. It’s supposed to make the baby move her head away from the cold sensation. So, I thought … it’s worth a shot! I set my glass of ice water on the top of my stomach. And, this is where it became utterly apparent that this is my (stubborn) child. Instead of shying away from the cold sensation, Avery just started kicking at it. I could literally see the entire glass being moved up and down. I think we’re going to be in trouble with our independent, strong-minded child.

A Question: Okay, we all know I’m a little on the paranoid side when it comes to germs. I already got a flu shot and am just counting the days until the swine flu vaccine is available at my doctor’s office. I’m also making all the grandparents get their whooping cough shots, because this disease is apparently becoming a problem with babies again. So, here’s my question … is it rude/obnoxious/obsessive/unnecessary for me to ask/expect/require those visiting us at the hospital or at home after Avery is born to get their flu shots? Especially considering her due date is in December (not June), smack in the middle of flu season? Don’t get me wrong, I’ll already be vigilantly armed with anti-bacterial gels and soaps … baby mittens to keep people from touching her hands that will inevitably go straight into her mouth. But, considering that we all need oxygen, I can’t ask people not to breathe on her! What would you do?!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

31 Weeks!

5:32 PM 3
31 Weeks!
Everything went well at the doctor today. The ultrasound showed that Avery is measuring small -- she's 3 lbs 6 oz; 4 lbs is normal, but still within the normal range. She is small overall, not just 'skinny' ... I'm not exactly sure what that means, but I know that problems can arise if only the stomach measures smaller than normal. Fortunately, we don't have to worry about this.

We saw her kidneys, bladder, and all 4 chambers of her heart ... everything looks good. We caught a glimpse of her face and a little yawn right at the beginning of the ultrasound. However, she promptly curled up into a ball, covered her face with her arms and put her feet on her head. So, we didn't really get any good pictures this time. I’ve included a sonogram picture below, but you can really only see her forehead (on the left) and the blur of her arms/legs (in the middle).


She is currently breech, so we're hoping she flips in the next few weeks. But, that means there will probably be another ultrasound before the end of this pregnancy. Perhaps she will cooperate next time! Everything else was good. Her heart rate is 147, which is in the normal range.

Yesterday, I wrote about my itchy skin, and my doctor ordered a blood test today because this could be an indicator of liver function problems. However, I gained a whopping 6 lbs this month, which is about 40% of my total weight gain, so I'm guessing my skin is just stretching!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Streeeetch!

11:56 AM 0
Streeeetch!

To date, I have been lucky enough to avoid stretch marks. However, I’m afraid they’re coming. For the last few days, my stomach has been very itchy! I think my skin is stretching. Avery is finally growing! We have an ultrasound early tomorrow morning to track her growth progress since my weight gain has been minimal. Fortunately, I’ve been comforted by the fact that my stomach continues to grow. We’ll get more specific details about her development tomorrow. If all goes well, she should be measuring over 15 inches long, and she should weigh 3 ½ to 4 pounds!

Another comforting factor has been the change in Avery’s movements. Not only has she become more active in recent weeks, but the way she’s moving is changing too. Whereas before I was only able to enjoy her kicks, punches, and elbow jabs, she now seems to be ‘rolling’ around a lot more. As I understand it, this happens when babies start to gain more mass. It’s easier to feel their full body movements at this point. It feels a little like kneading dough. I’m also starting to see my entire stomach ‘jump’ more frequently. It’s a little spastic, but it makes me feel better every time she moves.

Please keep your fingers crossed, say prayers, think positive thoughts … whatever you do best … that everything goes well at our appointment tomorrow. It’s been a rough road, but hopefully tomorrow will bring reassuring news.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

An old, faithful friend

8:15 PM 0
An old, faithful friend
Dear Nausea,

Never have I known a more faithful companion. No matter how much I try to push you away, you refuse to leave my side. No matter how many times I try to kill you off with cocktails of prescription drugs, you remain a constant force in my life. No matter how many ugly words and hateful slurs I throw your way, you’re still there. On occasion, I have experienced victorious nausea-free moments, even a day or two here and there. But, alas, you never let me down. You continuously return time and time again. You have out-smarted and out-maneuvered my every attempt to dislodge you from my life. You are a true and constant presence.

Your unwavering existence requires my gratitude. Thank you for taking over my entire pregnancy and life in general. Thank you for taking the joy out of being pregnant for the first time. Thank you for taking away my desire to ever be pregnant again. Thank you for taking my social life and even my desire to have one. Thank you for driving my poor husband crazy, much as he tries to hide it. Thank you for taking my ability sit upright, accomplish trivial tasks, or be very productive after 10 a.m. on any given day. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

Sincerely,
Constantly Queasy

P.S. Just so we’re clear, your days are numbered …. 66 and counting!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

First Baby Shower

9:02 PM 2
First Baby Shower
We had a full weekend in Austin, and Brian’s family gave us our first baby shower. Because they know me well, there were NO games! We were given lots of great gifts, most of which I’ll have to figure out what to do with in the next few weeks. I know I registered for most of them, but that doesn’t mean I know how they work or what I’m supposed to do with them. Even for those things that are relatively self explanatory, like the baby bathtub, I’m still a little worried. The idea of bathing a slippery infant pretty much terrifies me. On the other hand, the idea of the mess that accompanies babies is what terrifies Brian. So, he was really happy to receive things like the car organizer and seat protector.

As we begin the 31st week, I’m starting to realize just how much we still have to accomplish in the last quarter of this pregnancy, and that’s assuming that she holds out until the end. (I’m convinced that she’ll be early.) Receiving shower gifts that I have no idea what to do with is just the tip of the iceberg! At least we have the basics -- a crib, clothes, one box of diapers, and some baby wipes, and lots of eager grandparents! That should get us through the first day or two. Somehow, some way, we’ll start figuring things out. It’s just a little stressful for the Type-A, control-freak, first-time-parent-to-be that I am!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Cravings

7:40 PM 1
Cravings
In reading some postings from other blogs, I was inspired to think about my own cravings during this pregnancy. It’s a topic I’m actually really excited about, considering that I survived on Gatorade, soup, and tater tots for the first 6+ months. I slowly began to actually desire food again some time in August, but it hasn’t been pretty. I feel more like I have a constant hangover, craving only unhealthy, greasy foods.

I really do try to incorporate some healthy foods, but the nausea is much worse on days when I eat oatmeal and yogurt than when I down a couple of breakfast tacos. I can’t explain it … it’s just the way my body seems to work right now. I do try to eat an apple or banana every day, but vegetables are definitely not on the menu (unless they’re fried, of course). I have also been known to eat 2-3 bowls of cereal in one day. However, my preferred foods lately include Mexican food (anything with beans, cheese, and a homemade tortilla), pizza, and fried anything. I made quite a sad, pregnant spectacle over the weekend when I was left counting out $4 in change for an order of fried gizzards (an old favorite comfort food) when I visited my dad … small town restaurants don’t always take credit cards, and they looked at me like I was crazy when I asked where I could find the closest ATM (18 miles down the road, by the way).

I actually wouldn’t really say I have a lot of cravings. The foods I mentioned simply seem to settle my stomach (if you can believe it) rather than trigger nausea. Let’s be clear, though, it is driving me a little crazy. I’ve always loved these foods, but I never would have eaten this poorly, this frequently pre-pregnancy. I am really looking forward to the days when I want to eat grilled fish and veggies again. Of course, I’ll also need a glass of crisp white wine to accompany that meal. All in good time, I suppose.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Baby Talk

9:46 AM 2
Baby Talk
Okay, I don’t speak ‘fetus’, so this might be a rough translation. However, I’m pretty sure my daughter woke up this morning with a very loud message. It goes something like this, “Mom, now that I’m getting bigger, I’m feeling stronger and much more confident. So, I spent last night practicing my gymnastics routine. I’m sorry if my somersaults and back flips continue to cause you debilitating nausea. But, hey, you seem to have mastered living on the bathroom floor, so just hang in there for a couple more months. In addition to my acrobatics, I’ll also be using your internal organs to practice my ultimate fighter moves … Dad should be proud. As you know, I’ve been using your bladder for a little kick-boxing, and that probably won’t change for a while. I also really enjoy putting a choke-hold on your kidneys and suffocating your various other organs … you didn’t really need them anyway, right? On the positive side, you only have to put up with this for another 11 weeks or so. Then I’ll be there in person, providing tons of new reasons for your sleep deprivation and physical discomfort.”

My ‘PC’ response, “Avery, considering that I’ve only gained 10 lbs in this pregnancy, I’m just happy that you’re growing and becoming more active. It is very reassuring and makes me feel like you’re healthy and developing on track, despite my horrible diet.”

The response in my head, “Eleven more weeks?!?! God help me.”

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A little hiccup?

5:00 PM 2
A little hiccup?
Babies are supposed to move all the time, especially from 27-32 weeks gestation. I’ve been feeling Avery move for quite a while, but the majority of her movements have felt much the same as those small ‘flutterings’ that most women feel early in the second trimester. We found out during the 20-week ultrasound that the placenta is located in the front of my stomach and that it acts as a buffer for a lot of baby movement. So, I probably won’t ever see the imprint of a little fist or foot in my stomach like some people see. Mostly I just feel her kick my bladder.

That said, Avery has been much more active lately … she actually kicked the little machine that the nurse used to listen to her heartbeat when we were at the doctor’s office last week. Attitude! She is definitely my child. And, today, I’m pretty sure I felt her hiccup for the first time. Granted, she might have been doing that for weeks, but it was the first time I felt a truly rhythmic and consistent movement. It was pretty cool! I’m just hoping that it doesn’t become a habit when she’s crammed up under my rib cage in the last few weeks of pregnancy.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Sweet Dreams

3:38 PM 1
Sweet Dreams
Almost 8 weeks after ordering our nursery furniture, Avery finally has a crib! Though the matching dresser won’t arrive until next month, I have gained some much-needed peace of mind over the course of the weekend knowing that my daughter will at least have a place to sleep! Our good friend Alan skillfully dodged the rain on Saturday and picked up the crib, mattress, and reclining/rocking chair from the USA Baby warehouse. After a full day’s work, he and Brian had installed two ceiling fans, assembled the crib and chair, and brought a little bit of sanity to my life!

Alan & Brian working hard …














The final product!


Though I was much less productive than the guys, I did manage to do 5 loads of baby laundry (bed linens and LOTS of clothes!). We were lucky enough to get some lovely gifts from our friends Mike & Kayla … Avery is officially set for cute winter clothes thanks to their kindness and really good taste! We also received a ton of clothes from Avery’s cousin, Ainsley, who turned 1 back in June. I’m going to have to have daily fashion shows in December and January to make sure all these stylish clothes are put to good use!

Thanks everyone for your generosity! We are so lucky to have such great friends and family!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

28 Weeks

4:34 PM 0
28 Weeks
I’ll be 28 weeks tomorrow, and I had my check-up with the doctor today. I *finally* gained the recommended 4 pounds between appointments! That brings the total weight gain to a whopping 10 pounds! It’s not much, but at least I’m finally moving in the right direction. Finally putting on a few pounds definitely puts my mind at ease a little. My doctor has decided to do an extra ultrasound at the next appointment (in three weeks) just to make sure Avery is growing at a healthy rate given my minimal weight gain. Another milestone – I also completed the first 4-week interval without having to go to the hospital or back to the doctor’s office between appointments! Very exciting.

I also had the ‘pleasure’ of doing my glucose test today to check for gestational diabetes. For those who have never had this lovely experience, it consists of drinking a super-sweet orange drink, kind of like an orange soda. However, it contains a highly concentrated amount of glucose, tastes nothing close to yummy, and has to be downed in less than 5 minutes. Gross. The drink is followed by a blood test exactly one hour after consumption (results in a few days). Let’s just say that the taste is the least disconcerting aspect of this test. I think the drink contains something like the equivalent of the amount of sugar in a 5-lb bag of candy. Of course, I’m exaggerating, but the point is that it does not leave you feeling very well at all. So, I spent my morning hopped up on sugar and light-headed from having my blood taken. This was a lovely combination for the hour-long drive back to New Braunfels in the pouring rain.

I’m not complaining, though! I received the news about my weight-gain and it rained all in the same day. Good news all around!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Appointments, Classes, Tours, and more!

4:18 PM 1
Appointments, Classes, Tours, and more!
Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! That’s how I feel when I try to wrap my head around all of the appointments, classes, tours, meetings, etc. that Brian and I have scheduled for the next couple of months. I don’t even have all of my final doctor’s appointments scheduled for November, and we are already set for a minimum of 9 trips to Austin. We’ve got the regular OB check-up appointments scheduled every 3 weeks for the next couple of months. We also have a 2-session childbirth class, infant CPR, baby care basics, and breastfeeding classes! Oh, I’m not through yet. We’re also in the process of setting up meetings to interview Doulas (more on that in the weeks to come). I’m exhausted just thinking about everything we have to do, and these things are only consuming our evenings during the week. We still have day jobs on Monday-Friday and weddings, showers, etc. on the weekends! We really are excited about all of these things, but it’s a little daunting when I look at the calendar and realize just how jam-packed it is. It’s no wonder pregnant women are so tired all the time. I better get my zofran prescription refilled … looks like I’ll be spending many more days off of my couch in the near future. It all begins this weekend with our tour of Labor & Delivery at the hospital. I know it’s early, but I really think it might be the only free Saturday we have before my due date!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

What I miss

4:11 PM 2
What I miss
Writing about being sick made me think about what I’ve missed most since becoming pregnant….
Unpasteurized cheeses! Brie, blue cheese, any really awesome, stinky cheese …
Wine. Oh, wine….red wine, white wine, champagne. I really miss champagne.
Ice. Cold. Beer. In a frosty, frosty mug. So unfair when it’s 100+ degrees outside.
Friends. My social life. Wine. Drinking wine with friends.
Leaving home for more than an hour or two. And without a puke-bag in my purse.
Energy. Enthusiasm. The desire do to anything that cannot be done from my couch.
Aspartame. That’s right. Drinks/foods that aren’t sugar-laden.
Working out. Really. I’d at least like the option … or the energy.
Clothes. That fit. And aren’t ugly.
Did I mention wine and cheese?

There are a few things that I’ve loved about pregnancy …
Eating ice cream every day. Yum!
Eating pizza and Mexican food for most of my meals. My doctor said it’s okay!
Nap time! Sometimes multiple nap times in a day!
Realizing all over again how wonderful (and patient and kind) my husband is.
Realizing (again) how awesome my friends and family are.
Knowing they’ll understand why pizza, ice cream, and naps are first on this list.
Having the most awesome white elephant gift for Christmas … an IV pole. Watch out!
Feeling my baby move when nobody else can. And loving that bond.
Shopping for cute little girl clothes! And furniture. And décor. And, well, just shopping.
And, of course, knowing that we will get to meet our sweet, baby girl very soon!

The N Word

3:22 PM 0
The N Word
My husband has officially banned the ‘N’ word from our house. He cannot stand to hear me say the word ‘nausea’ anymore! More specifically, he said that it actually grates on his nerves to hear me talk about being nauseous. Now, Brian is probably the most patient and understanding person I’ve ever met (he puts up with me, after all!), so it’s very telling when something actually bothers him. He’s asked me to substitute synonyms like queasy. It’s funny to me, though, because I’ve been living with it for so many months that I don’t even notice how often I’m talking about it. Now that it’s been brought to my attention I’m much more aware. And, I really do promise that I aspire to one day submit months worth of blog postings without once mentioning being sick during pregnancy! However, at this point in time, it really is what consumes my life. The hyperemesis controls everything that I do, that I try to do, and that I want to do. Quite honestly, it just sucks. To make matters worse, after having a relatively decent month of August, I feel like this week has been one big backtracking step. The ‘queasiness’ has most definitely reclaimed it’s authority on my life. Friends and family continue to warn us with the proverbial “just wait” advice about parenthood, but I have to say that I think Brian and I are actually looking forward to sleep deprivation and the other frenzied experiences that come home from the hospital with a newborn. I’ve even found myself longing for the pain of labor and delivery! It might be brutal, but it will also mark the end of being sick day in and day out for weeks and months at a time. We love our little Avery so much already, and we definitely don’t want her to make her arrival too early. But, I think we will all breathe a sigh of relief when the ‘N’ word is no longer part of our daily, casual conversation.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Who knew?!

5:36 PM 1
Who knew?!
Score one point for Brian and a few “I told you so” bragging rights. We’ve been discussing child care options for several months now, but I procrastinated actually making the phone calls to day care centers. He warned me that there would be wait lists and limited availability, but I really didn’t think it would be that much of a problem. If we still lived in Austin, I could understand the capacity issues. However, I just thought that our little town of New Braunfels would not pose the same problems as the ‘big city’ might have. Who knew?! I was definitely wrong on this one! To be fair to our new hometown, I have really only contacted day care centers with websites or decent online reviews. I guess it’s a sign of the times. Am I wrong to only consider facilities that seem to be organized enough to have a professional-looking website? It is 2009 after all! Part of me feels like I can’t trust a place if they don’t have a website. My parents’ generation would probably scoff at this attitude, but I just feel like any business in today’s society that wants to be taken seriously should have all of their information (e.g., services, credentials, etc.) easily accessible.

As an aside, I do have to comment about the online reviews. For some reason, when you google or yahoo-search for day care centers, you also get results for day spas and pet groomers/sitters. It struck me as very strange to realize that more people write online reviews for these kinds of places than for the child care providers! Perhaps that’s the result of being an exhausted parent … I’m sure I’ll realize that soon enough. However, I just thought it strange to see 5-6 reviews pop up for Noah’s Ark and Bark considering the fact that most of the places I wanted to learn about didn’t have a single review.

So, after a day of researching and making phone calls, we’re now on the waitlist for 4 day cares centers – 3 for February, one for next September, and we’re supposed to tour one other facility before they allow us to add our names to their list. I might have procrastinated somewhat, but this is 5+ months in advance! Who knew it could be so complicated?!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Paranoia … join the cause!

2:48 PM 0
Paranoia … join the cause!
Okay, so I’m relatively paranoid about germs anyway. However, this swine flu issue has started to push me over the edge. Let’s face it. People are dirty. They spread their germs everywhere. Some of the most disgusting places include grocery stores, schools, hotels, and air planes, all of which are places I have to be on a regular basis. I’m feeling a little fortunate that my doctor has advised me not to fly for the remainder of my pregnancy. That means I can legitimately avoid airports, planes, and rental cars. The other places, not so much! What’s really frustrating me, though, is all of the questionable information surrounding the swine flu. For example, my doctor’s office is recommending the vaccine so strongly that they’re almost requiring their pregnant patients to get it. On the other hand, another OB/GYN office is refusing to give the vaccine because it has apparently caused paralysis in pregnant women. I’ve also heard, but not confirmed, that the virus can live on paper money for up to two weeks. While I primarily live on credit/debit cards these days, it’s still a disconcerting thought. And, just think about how many people touch that little pen you use to electronically sign your name after swiping your credit card! Gross. I wash my hands and use anti-bacterial gels all the time … excessively, my husband would say. However, he also informs me that the anti-bacterial gels are not effective against the swine flu. It’s viral, not bacterial.

After considering all of these things and trying not to literally freak out about how I’m going to start visiting college campuses next week, I called my doctor’s office. I didn’t really care what they told me one way or the other. I was looking for either reassurance that this is just an overreaction, or I wanted them to officially advise me (and my employer) to avoid public places like schools. I just wanted a definitive answer. So what did they tell me? They told me that I should wash my hands frequently, avoid crowded places, and wear a mask if I can’t avoid places that are swarming with germy people. However, they’re not allowed to officially advise against these ‘activities’ because it could induce panic. Imagine if they started telling people not to go to school. In reality, I’m thinking … sure, wearing a surgical mask is going to go over great for a sales rep. Telling people I’d rather not shake their hand will win me tons of points. And, avoiding them all together will really boost sales.

I really have no revelation or inspired conclusion here. This is more of a rant than a thoughtful posting, but feel free to join my cause! It couldn’t hurt to increase paranoia, and hopefully boost awareness. WASH YOUR HANDS!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Now we're cookin'

4:23 PM 2
Now we're cookin'
After writing yesterday, I realized that I really have been passing many ‘milestones’ lately. In addition to my month-long hiatus from the bathroom floor, I also had two other pretty significant accomplishments … visiting the meat counter at the grocery store and cooking my first meal in months! I was pleasantly surprised during one of my first (and rare) solo trips to HEB this week when I courageously ventured down the raw meat aisle. Not only was I able to make several selections, I actually did it with my eyes open and without reaching for my ever-present sick bag. It’s true that all of this adventure wore me out and I felt pretty sick when I got home. I took a nap, however, and actually ended up feeling well enough to attempt cooking. Real cooking. Not microwaving. Not pouring a bowl of cereal. But, real cooking. I actually used multiple ingredients, seasonings, and meat! This may not sound like much to anyone else, but it’s a huge achievement for me. And, Brian was pretty happy about it too! He’s spent months surviving on fast food and peanut butter sandwiches. I can’t say this will be an every-day occurrence as I was definitely exhausted afterwards. However, we may have just turned a new page in this pregnancy.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A Major Milestone

4:39 PM 3
A Major Milestone
As the month of August comes to an end, it has occurred to me that I have almost completed my first month of pregnancy that has remotely resembled normal human life! Morning sickness hit around Week 6 of my pregnancy and lasted well into the second trimester when I was finally diagnosed with mild hyperemesis gravidarum (www.hyperemisis.org). The short definition is that this is a condition with morning sickness-like symptoms that can last anywhere from 20 to 40 weeks during pregnancy…and it feels more like never-ending morning sickness combined with the flu and the worst hangover of your life. Unfortunately, the solutions for morning sickness (e.g., eating bland foods, etc.) do little or nothing to relieve the misery. I tried several combinations of medications (oral and IV-pump) and even visited the chemo ward a few times to receive hydration fluids by IV. I finally found a medicine that ‘worked’ the best for my body, and I’ve been able to stave off being physically sick for about a month now. However, the nausea remains. Some days I still have a lot of anxiety, irrational though it may be, that the nausea will never go away even after I give birth. All that said, I only had a mild case of this condition! Some women lose extreme amounts of weight, take 2-3 times as many medications as I do, or even spend extended stays in the hospital to receive nutrition through feeding tubes. The extraordinary thing about this condition, though, is that it generally seems to affect only the mothers. We may be miserable, but our babies are fine. It’s been a surreal realization today for me to count back weeks, not hours or minutes, since I was praying for death on my bathroom floor.

I know for a fact that I would not have survived the last six months without my wonderful husband, who has been nothing short of a miracle. Aside from completely taking over the mundane day-to-day tasks, he also made midnight trips to the drug store for benadryl when I had a bad reaction to the IV medicine (it made my legs twitch!) and he even let me stick him with needles when I was too scared to do it to myself for the first time. One thing I’ve said from the very beginning is that the human race would cease to exist if we told other women what you actually endure in pregnancy. I am absolutely positive that I would do this all over again in a heartbeat for the baby I’m currently carrying. My confidence is much lower when I consider whether I will ever do it again. People smile and tell me to wait and see … perhaps they’re right, but I have a condition that less than 2% of pregnant women ever experience (and I’m almost guaranteed to get it again in any subsequent pregnancies). Ah, the miracle of life …

Monday, August 24, 2009

Baby Steps

3:05 PM 0
Baby Steps
In my 26th week of pregnancy, I’m learning that the term ‘baby steps’ has many different meanings in my life. In the very literal sense, all of the ‘stepping’ (and kicking!) my baby girl has been doing with her 1-inch feet inside my belly has been surprising, sometimes uncomfortable, and really amazing. On the other hand, I’ve had to learn to take more baby steps in my own life. Physically, battling constant nausea and decreasing mobility has caused me to slow down quite a bit. Mentally, I’ve had to adjust to being on somebody else’s time. Considering that patience is not one of my strengths, it’s been difficult to relinquish control over many different aspects of my life – everything from knowing what’s really going on with my body to the ridiculously long delivery time for baby furniture (12-16 weeks!). Until this point in time, each passing day has felt excruciatingly long, perhaps because I’ve been so sick until recently. However, realizing that this is the final week of my second trimester has come as a complete shock! Before I know it, Avery Grace will be here, my maternity leave will be over, and I’ll be back at work (in heels, of course). Just thinking about everything that must be accomplished before the baby arrives is a little intimidating … contemplating what it will mean to become a working mom is completely daunting! I guess we will see what the coming weeks and months will bring.