September 2009 - Baby Steps in High Heels

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 d├ęcor. 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?!