Tuesday, May 31, 2011

29 weeks

Baby boy,

We're in the last week of the 20s. Wow, time sure does fly. You're the size of a butternut squash this week - close to three pounds and 15 inches long. You're going to double, almost triple, your weight in the next 11 weeks.  I don't understand where all that is going to go but I suppose those maternity clothes that seem baggy right now will be a distant memory.

We're both going to gain the most weight in the next few months. I'm not feeling any hungrier really, though. If anything, I have less of an appetite. Last week you sat on my sciatic nerve for a day. Ouch, little man. We can more or less figure out where your head and feet are now, and we poke and prod you every night getting you to respond to our touch. Daddy thinks we're annoying you. I think we're just playing. Either way, I figure you'll get me back over the next six months.

I've been feeling great. Heartburn has subsided as long as I eat small, protein-rich meals, and I'm much more energetic thanks to iron pills. When I first found out about you, everyone kept talking about how a third trimester in the heat of summer would be a challenge. I love the 100-degree Kansas heat so I didn't blink an eye at a large belly and the rising mercury. Let's just say after a weekend of 96-degrees, I now understand.

I can't believe in 11 weeks you'll be with us wherever we go!

Love you,

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

28 weeks

Baby boy,

You're the size of an eggplant this week or about 16 inches and over two pounds. You're brain is continuing to develop rapidly (that's my boy!), and you're putting on fat. So much that you've doubled in weight in the last month. Your head is down near the exit as you start to get ready for your birthday.

Mama is exhausted. Partially from normal pregnancy and partially from pregnancy-induced anemia. I need more iron to make the 50 percent more blood I've made. You need iron, too, and frankly I don't have enough to go around. Also new this week is consistent heartburn after eating - well, anything. This weekend I had a pudding cup and water which brought on surprising discomfort. Add watermelon, veggies, crackers, yogurt, noodles and apples to that list. This is by far my least favorite pregnancy symptom.

We've started to be able to discern the bulges in my stomach as distinct feet or knees.You respond to poking or even just a hand hiding the light. It makes us so anxious to meet you! You met your great grandma this week, too. She's very excited to meet you on the outside but that didn't stop her from showering you with kisses already. You're going to love her.

I can't believe how close we are to becoming a family of three. We can't wait.

Much love,

Monday, May 23, 2011

she's graduated!

Last year, I wrote this about my brother and sister who technically don't share my blood. Last year, it was Chris who graduated from college. Now he's off being smart at Johns Hopkins. Layne finished her time at KU today, and we are so proud of her especially the fact she survived a lot more physics and chemistry classes than the two of us combined.

We started as babysitter and kid. Grew to be friends and self-proclaimed sisters. I sat in the stands at her softball games, and she stood beside me at my wedding. Now, I can't wait for our little boy to meet his Aunt Layne and to see all the exciting things coming her way in the next couple of years.

 And my favorite picture of the day:

Congratulations on the beginning of what will no doubt be an exciting journey.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

almost famous

We made our gender reveal video only to show our parents and other family members since they are both far away. Plus making pink and blue cupcakes is a lot of work.

Guess some other people liked it too: Yahoo: 6 awesome baby gender reveals. Check out No. 5!

It also got picked up by a pro-life blogger.


Friday, May 20, 2011

panic onward

My nursery has a white dresser. And a mobile in a box. Paint cans. Towels soaked with dog pee. And a box of pill bottles. Some days I think this means I have failed as a mother already. Other days I think baby stuff pretty much stinks. I have zero desire to even buy a swing or bouncy seat. Because it's so big. And annoying. And a waste of money. All he needs is a crib. Diapers. And love. Except a $450 jogging stroller. That's definitely a need. Last night I was crying. Because I'm worried my marriage will suffer. And that I will actually care that I can't jump on a plane to Cabo tomorrow. As if I have ever done that.Then the baby boy jammed his head against my sciatic nerve. As if to remind me he does not want to go to Cabo. He's getting bigger and moving low. Which freaks me out. Because as I told my midwife, I'm most scared of tearing. Without drugs. Tearing and my body should not be in the same sentence. Tearing is for paper. Then I think about how when I am laboring at home I want peanut butter. On a spoon. And maybe some cheese cubes. I'm reverting back to the first trimester. I'm nauseated. My stomach has lost the fight for space. I am exhausted. Not just a little tired. Bone-crushing exhaustion. My back aches. And my nipples are sore. It's the truth, deal with it. And whatever little ligament connects my hips to my pelvis. That hurts. Despite this, I love pregnancy. I will miss the kicks. And the looks of endearment from strangers. And people not letting me lift anything because, you know, the baby. Who is coming in less than three months. But he still has like five pounds to gain. I don't think he will fit. Or my stomach might bust open. I'm not ready. I don't have a daycare. Or a pediatrician. Nor did I realize I needed one before there is a baby. I have window sills with dust and cobwebs. A basement with no washer or dryer. A broken bedroom window. A nursery with only a dresser. And pee-soaked towels.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

things i love this week

Baby Name Voyager
Very cool graph representation of the popularity of names which 1) confirmed the name we've chosen for baby boy and 2) visually represented why I hate many popular names today.

Google Internet in KC
Pretty cool. Hopefully it's cheap.

Burt's Bees Body Butter
The hubs rubs it on my lower back and belly every night. I don't even care that it's $13 for six ounces. It's worth it. Cheaper alternative: Vaseline Deep Conditioning Cocoa Butter.

Facebook in Real Life
Don't worry, we'll only share this info with 600 million people.

sara + abraham
Pretty much everything on this site, but more specifically this adorable plate.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

a pass and a fail

The most important news: I passed the glucose test, with flying colors I might add.

I drank the sugary drink, which much to my surprise was only a small five ounces. And it was not red and fruity, and I did not have a choice of flavors. Instead I got flat Sprite, which really was not THAT sweet. To my surprise, I didn't feel nauseated or dizzy until close to the time of the blood draw. Though I was glad I'd eaten eggs and a cheese stick for breakfast otherwise it might have been a different story.

I then had my normal appointment which we found out:
1. I've gained a total of 19 pounds, which the doctor likes. I think six pounds in four weeks is a bit intense but she insists it's healthy for me.
2. Baby is now head down. YAY! He could still move around but midwife says that in smaller women they usually stay head down until they arrive. He hasn't "engaged the pelvis" yet.
3. If we're doing Bradley Method, I can stay home until I feel the urge to push. Woah.

An hour later, the nurse came to give me the finger prick. As recommended, I asked if I could have a regular blood test, but was denied. However, the finger pricker was much different than the other ones I've seen and didn't hurt, even a little, despite my scrunched up face.

She came back with the good news I passed the glucose test. However, I failed the hemoglobin counts meaning I'm anemic. Midwife says this is why I've been feeling crummy. I'm happy for a reason and happy that fixing it only means iron pills and eating more hamburgers.

I celebrated this happiness and a healthy baby boy by eating an entire can of spaghetti o's and a pudding pack. Because I can.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

27 weeks

Dear baby boy,

We're now less than three months til we get to see your beautiful face! You're about 15 inches long and over two pounds. Your brain is in high gear, and you're opening and closing your eyes.You are very very active, now switching to rolling around more than sharp kicking. Sometimes we can feel your foot or hand and as we press down, you'll pull it away. Daddy tells people he holds your hand each night. I'm starting to realize how much I'm going to miss feeling you kick.

Mama is tired and requires more lower back rubs from daddy. The belly is getting huge and a little bit more difficult to manage. You must be sitting on your mama's stomach because bouts of nausea, dizziness and loss of appetite rule the day. I have gotten well acquainted once again with my coworker's floor. It's a little first trimester deja vu and frankly, I am not a fan.

We are working on our Bradley Method books and doing crazy things like pelvic rocking, squatting and butterfly exercises. We're doing everything we can to make sure we at least set ourselves up for what's best for you from day one.

We finished painting your dresser, and you've got a brand new white door (pictures soon). Tomorrow we get to hear your heartbeat again and find out what position you've landed in this time around. Here's hoping your head is finding its way toward the exit door. We'll also do our glucose test. Sorry in advance for the lightning shock of sugar you'll experience.

Love you, and welcome to the home stretch!

Monday, May 16, 2011

the one i've been dreading

Since I have gotten pregnant, I've been dreading this appointment. I've had it ominously marked on my calendar since January.

I was a little nervous about the multiple vials of blood I had to give initially. I am a pretty nervous about the whole pushing the baby out of my body in 13ish weeks (what?!). But I am downright terrified of my glucose test Wednesday.

First, I have to go in and chug gross, sugary juice at 11 a.m. Then I have my regular appointment to hear the heartbeat, talk about odd things like "do you allow squatting?" I have to do all this without passing out or throwing up from the intense sugar rush. Considering I had to lie on the floor of my coworker's office for an hour this morning after eating OATMEAL, I have lost all confidence in my ever-shrinking stomach. Luckily the hubs is accompanying me to hold the barf bag.

Then I have to go back to the lab at exactly one hour and get my finger pricked. This is the part that makes me want to pee my pants.

Last time I had to get my finger pricked for a cholesterol test, I almost fainted. At work. Give me a long needle in those visible arm veins any day over knowing that at any second I will get stabbed in my poor finger pads. 

Here I am facing the most pain I've ever faced in just a few months, and I am mostly worried about my fingers. Super lame, I know. And if I fail, which many people do, it's the three-hour test with blood drawn every half hour. Oh my soul.

Any tips from ladies that have taken this test? 

Thursday, May 12, 2011

sour milk

Shea always worries about sour milk. He sniffs it before he drinks a glass and under no circumstances will he drink milk past the date. When we visit either sets of parents, he goes straight to the fridge to check the time stamp on the gallon - for no reason because they are totally NOT notorious for having week-old milk.

This month we've switched to Shatto Milk because we like local food, it tastes like milk candy and those glass bottles are completely adorable. So after dinner, Shea takes a gulp of said milk and spits it all out.

Shea: I think the milk is bad.
Me: The milk is not bad. We just got it four days ago.
Shea: Try yours!
Me: Oh wow. That milk is baaad.

So instead we made root beer floats (an obvious alternative to skim milk). As Shea is scooping the ice cream, he comments on how drippy it is.

And then it hit us.

Frantically, I stuck my head in the fridge and exclaimed "the fridge isn't running! help!" We tried switching the plug to a power strip. We figured out it wasn't a breaker. I called my mom. And then called the landlord who said he'd be over tomorrow, which means we still have a fridge and freezer full of food dangerously close to rotting, which I am now adding up in my head how much money is melting away, literally.

Luckily I have a master key to my work and with summer break starting, there is an empty, full-size fridge just waiting to be filled. So we threw everything in Target bags and raced the 30 blocks to my work.

The only casualties were chopped peppers, milk and my beloved chocolate soy milk. I weep.

It's like the epically bad day wasn't done with us. The oven and dishwasher are still working. It's only a matter of time now.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

26 weeks

{24 weeks. moving week}

{26 weeks, painted nursery!}
Dear baby boy,

We're going to call this the last week of our second trimester. The books say anything from 26 weeks to 28, so we're splitting the difference and calling this one complete at 27 because we're ready to get this show on the road! In this second tri, you changed from a blob to a viable human being. This week you have more sensitive ears and can hear daddy and I talk. Just remember, mama is very hormonal and daddy is patient. Even when I get VERY upset that he's tapping his pen against his teeth AGAIN.

You're getting more baby fat and are now the length of a cucumber. You're approaching two pounds, and swallowing a lot of amniotic fluid to practice breathing - I think it's giving you the hiccups! Your mama LOVES feeling those little rhythmic bounces. If I could, I would give you a cup of water to drink backward from... they say it works.

Your mama is always out of breath. One trip to the ground floor of my work building and I am huffing and puffing. I've been getting Braxton Hicks contractions. Just a few a day but I am sure it's squeezing you tight. My stomach gets rock hard, and I feel pressure but no pain. A minute later, it goes away. That's just practice for when you decide to make your exit, which our due date is only 98 days away. Gulp!

We painted your nursery this weekend with the help of grandma and grandpa. We LOVE the color and know you'll be happy there. I promise we'll have a place for you to sleep by the time you get here.

Love you,

Monday, May 9, 2011

a first mother's day, runaway dog and paint

Because what's a crazy week without an equally crazy weekend to top it off?

After working til 7 p.m. Friday, I met the hubs downtown for First Friday. Except there was no parking. And my feet hurt. And I was wearing heels. And my stomach feels squished. So instead, we drove all the way home and I went to bed. Friday nights are SUPER fun with a pregnant wife.

Saturday I had to work again. Upon arriving home, my parents arrived for the weekend and Shea reported Mac the dog had been missing for 20 minutes because the the front door was left open. So as three cars went to comb the neighborhoods, my mom and I set off on foot. After another 20 minutes of looking, we heard a dog's shrill bark and eventually came upon Mac, locked up in a neighbor's pen. No one answered the door so we left a nice note and rescued him. They had agility training equipment in their backyard so we can only assume they were trying to kidnap Mac and train him for the circus. 

After an extensive outing at Home Depot, we were ready to begin the real task of the weekend - painting the nursery.

We soon discovered the previous owners had painted their nursery with enamel, which for you non-paintheads out here, enamel = frustration. So another run to the dreaded orange box store, and my dad and the hubs began priming. I have good men in my life.

My mom and I headed to the shoe store and Babies R Us. She ended up with two pairs of shoes and treated me to a few new maternity clothes to celebrate my first mother's day.  

And to make sure the hubs gets credit, he woke me up Sunday with a super cute kid's apron and little tiny feet and hands cookie cutters. I'm thinking little treats for the hospital.

We returned from shopping to a completed nursery exactly the color I imagined.

We need to refinish that white dresser and find a place for our overflow dresser. My mom will make yellow and white curtains and crib dust ruffle.

But hey, we've got a nursery. Or at least some pretty walls.

Friday, May 6, 2011

love before sight

This Mother's Day seems different. In three months, I'll be a mother. Or to this little boy, I already am. I am sure next year at this time I'll have a whole new appreciation for what my mom did for me 28 years ago.

But the last six months have shown me what she did before I breathed my first.

She worried about me constantly for nine months, especially in the beginning. She worried that I would be healthy and strong. That all my parts would be in the right places. That her body would sustain a life growing inside her.

She gave up caffeine. Wine and beer. She tried to eat as many fruits and veggies as she could. She says she felt the healthiest of her life when she was pregnant with me. Later when she was diagnosed with gestational diabetes, she gave up sugar. All sugar. She worried that if she didn't do everything right, it would somehow affect my health.

She read pregnancy books. She did special exercises. She sewed her own maternity clothes. She endured backaches, swollen ankles and heartburn like you wouldn't believe. She watched her body transform from something she used to know to something built to grow a life - still beautiful but very, very different. She looked at her closet every morning realizing she probably was wearing the same thing she wore two days ago because that's what fits. She worried her body would never look the same again.

She was scared. Excited. Anxious. Overjoyed. Nervous. All at once.

As the due date approached, she worried more. Worried that my lungs were developed enough to breathe on their own. That I would be alert, and she'd hear that cry immediately. That as the months went on that I would continue to develop as I should.

She took childbirth classes. She toured the maternity ward and listened to the women scream. She then promptly decided that she would NOT be a screamer. Thousands of women do this everyday, there is no reason for screaming. And she didn't.

She washed all my clothes and blankets with special soap. She saved pennies to be able to buy a rug for the nursery. She worked til the day she went in labor and then shopped for glasses with my dad on her way to the hospital. She did it all while helping to put my dad through the final year of his PhD program.

She wondered if she'd know what to do when she got home. If she could figure out breastfeeding. If she knew how to give me a bath. What she would do if I cried all night long. If she could do it all on two hours of sleep and not go crazy.

She did it all without ultrasounds. Without pregnancy websites that address every worry. Without knowing if I'd be a boy or girl or what my 4D profile looked like.

Now I get it. How much joy, how much work and how much worry went into my life before she even saw my face.

Thank you, Mom. For loving me so much before you even knew me.

Read more: 100 things my mom taught me.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

an epically bad day

3 a.m. Wake up to sound of dog peeing on floor. Realize dog also peed on the only three blankets clean in a cold house.

3:15 a.m. Finish cleaning up dog pee and stripping bed.

3:40 a.m. Finally go back to sleep, shivering, only to be awakened by dog peeing again. (note: dog is mad that he has moved to a new house and has been relegated to floor sleeping in anticipation baby's arrival.)

3:45 a.m. Finish cleaning up dog pee, number 2. Scream at dog until he runs into basement. Consider if the pound is open at 4 a.m.

4 a.m. Husband tries to cuddle because it's cold and there are no blankets. However husband cannot sleep because he's mad about dog and keeps moving around. Wife, 25 weeks pregnant, flies out of bed and sleeps on couch in absolute desperation for sleep.

8:15 a.m. Arrive at work 15 minutes late.

8:35 a.m. AT&T calls and will be at house in 10 minutes to turn on DSL internet which is needed to finish grad school paper. Husband already left for work so wife races home.

8:50 a.m. AT&T man finds that phone lines wrapped around tree limb and cut in half. New phone lines needed.

8:55 a.m. Toilet, which requires a jiggle to stop running, overflows. All over bathroom and hallway.

9 a.m. Dog, sensing owner on the brink of emotional breakdown, pees while running the entire length of house.

9:05 a.m. Wife calls husband, bawling, reporting events of last 10 minutes. Husband has meeting and cannot do anything about this.

9:15 a.m. Wife attempts to make the best of situation and unpack boxes in sunroom. Opens blinds for light and entire set of blinds crashes to floor. Dog now screaming in basement.

9:20 a.m. Wife calls husband, this time hysterical about how she's hungry, exhausted, pregnant, and CANNOT HANDLE THIS anymore.

9:45 a.m. Husband arrives home to save wife. Wife drives back to work and calls mom in tears. Mom promises to come this weekend and fix everything because that's what moms do.

10:30 a.m. Wife back at work. Receives email from previous landlord saying apartment is not clean enough even though three girls cleaned for three hours. It's a $135 fine or a return to apartment to clean more.

10:45 a.m. Wife cries again.

11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Wife has less dramatic work day while trying to study intermittently for final worth half her grade.

5:30 p.m. Wife realizes that final starts in 15 minutes, and she neglected to bring dinner. Chokes down almonds and raisins hoping that sustains her pregnant, emotional, tired, angry self. For a final. Worth half her grade. That she needs an A on.

25 weeks

Baby boy,

We've been together 25 weeks now. Your hair has a color this week if we could see you. I'm guessing dark brown, though. You're about a pound and a half and can now fully make a fist. Trust me, I didn't need a book to tell me that. Little by little you're getting ready for the outside world.

Your mama is a mess. I swear you're sucking away my brain cells because I have forgotten how to do the following: spell common words, remember where my keys are, speak using the correct words and bring a fork directly to my mouth without spilling all over my shirt. It's like my brain has a veil around it where thoughts take double the time to process. My nickname of "the brain" is proving to be ironic.

Your favorite time to kick right now is bedtime. And it's not gentle anymore. Sometimes you are punching and kicking at the same time which makes my stomach look like a roller coaster. I'm getting more exhausted and sitting down for awhile makes me realize there just isn't enough room between my ribs and waist for everything.

We moved to a new house this weekend. Daddy did SO much work since you and I were under strict orders to take it easy. We cleaned instead. And cleaned, and cleaned, and cleaned. And now we have two finals and unpacking to do.

I'm dizzy on random days now, and the tiredness is starting to creep back in though moving, finishing papers and finals and other things might be contributing to that. I can't eat as much anymore without feeling sick so it's back to itty bitty snacks frequently. And my body temperature has become a yo-yo and your always cold mama is frequently ON FIRE for no reason. I'm finally starting to look and feel pregnant. And crazy.

Love you, my little kicker.

Monday, May 2, 2011

on the news

I love big  news days because I love newspapers. It might be a dying medium but everybody wants a copy of the New York Times to put in their scrapbook when days like this happen. These are not front pages that you will end up using for packing material, bird cage liner or silly hats. You'll fold it nicely. Maybe frame it. And you'll be glad you had the real thing - not a printed web page.

So today I am celebrating newspapers. (You can see all those front pages from today here or here or here. And how journalists got the news, here.)

Because the flash mobs outside the White House and Times Square make me feel funny. It feels too much like the mobs we watch on TV in disgust at the celebration of death. Don't get me wrong. He's a bad man. A bad, bad man that represents evil in human form. But celebrating death, in any instance, makes me just feel funny.

In fairness, the "Rot in Hell" headline from the New York Daily News and the "We Got the Bastard" from the Philadelphia Daily News make me feel funny, too.

Instead, it kind of all just feels sad to me. Mostly for the victims that probably feel like they got closure but most likely, it won't be enough. That there is so much hate in such a broken world and that the death of one man will not end it. (Read more: USA! USA! is the wrong response)

So today I'm putting on my journalism hat. Reading about reporters. Reading the poignant editorials. And just loving the art of the newspaper.