October 2009 - Baby Steps in High Heels

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!