Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Wonders of Technology


I finally did it.  I broke down and signed us up for a Skype account.  I ordered a web cam using My Coke Rewards points (free, thank you very much), set up our account Saturday night, and had our first family Skype date on Sunday.

We got to see and talk to Kimma, G'pa Sassy, and Auntie Sami.  It was awesome.  The "call" only lasted for maybe 10 minutes because she was a bit cranky, but that's 10 more than they had before.  With most of Charlotte's family being so far away, it's great to have this option.  She'll be able to see them and hear their voices and get to know them while they watch her grow up.  Of course, nothing beats the real face-to-face connection, but this is truly a fantastic 2nd choice.

I waited and pushed it off for so long, thinking that it was just another techno-fad.  And now that we've tried it, I don't know why it took me so long to give in.  I can't wait to schedule more visits with family and friends!  We may live far apart, but we won't be missing out on any family time!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

One Year Ago…

I’m about a week late on this post, but whatever, I’m a working mom.  Cut me some slack.  Warning - Not for the TMI opposed.

August 16, 2010 will forever be known to me as “The Day I Peed On A Stick And Almost Pooped My Pants.”

I was scheduled for an appointment with a new chiropractor, and according to Chad, may have an x-ray as part of the initial appointment.  At this point we had only been “trying” for a couple of weeks, but I thought, better take a test just to be safe.  So, that fateful morning, I got up and proceeded to get ready for work as I normally do, but added in that lovely little stick.  After reading the directions twice for good measure, I did exactly as it said.  Then, I sat there for what should have been 2 minutes of wait time, to see what I thought would be a single blue line.  It didn’t take two minutes.  Actually less than one.  “Ummm, wait.  That’s two lines.  I thought two lines was positive.”  I read the instructions and description again.  Yep, two lines meant positive.  I was in a bit of shock, to say the least.  It was like somebody had glued my rear to the seat.  I couldn’t move, and it was probably a good thing because my legs were shaking.  I wasn’t sure if I wanted to cry or laugh.  I did a little of both.  Then I took the stick into the spare bathroom and took a picture of it.  I know, that’s weird.  But I wanted to be able to show Chad that night (I wasn’t going to wake him up yet) and I wasn’t sure if it would change or discolor, I’d never taken a home pregnancy test before.  

I didn’t wake Chad up with the news because I had already planned out the creative way I wanted to tell him.  For those that don’t know, Chad has an extreme aversion to smells, mostly in the morning or after he’s finished eating.  Sometimes he gags just thinking of smells.  To me, it’s pretty funny most of the time, and annoying every once in a while.  It’s because of this aversion that I’ve always joked that we would need to get him a gas mask when we had a baby.  And that’s what I wanted to do.  I was going to go to Home Depot on my lunch break and buy a painter’s mask to give to him when I got home.

Unfortunately, we had stuff come up that day, so I was unable to tell him the way I wanted to as he had to go out of town.  I wasn’t sure how long he would be gone, and I wasn’t sure I could wait.  So I talked him into trading cars with me before he left and I just told him in the parking lot at work.  That’s not nearly as fun as what I had planned, but it is what it is.  If we decide to have a second, I may be able to use mask idea.

Then again, by that point, I may have come up with something even better.

Friday, August 12, 2011

How Blessed We Are

During my pregnancy, I joined an online group of other mothers with babies due in April.  We’ve since started keeping in touch on Face Book.

One mommy has a daughter, also named Charlotte, who has been in the hospital since May 28th.   She is suffering from congenital lymphangiomatosis and, as I type this post, is currently undergoing surgery.  So far it’s going well, but Cheryl was told the surgery will last anywhere from 6 - 10 hours!  And, as with all major surgeries, there’s a chance her Charlotte won’t make it.   I can’t begin to imagine how they must feel.

Some friends of ours recently had a little boy who was born with a heart defect.  The chambers of his heart hadn’t fully developed before he was born.  He spent his first few weeks in the NICU.  He is now home, but is still on a heart monitor and I think has some sort of oxygen system.  In the near future, he will have the first of many heart surgeries.

Sometimes I forget how truly blessed we are to have a healthy baby girl.  I usually forget around 2 AM when I’m getting up for the 3rd time to feed her, or when she is clearly tired but fighting her nap, or when she decides to bite down with her gums and pull while nursing.  It doesn’t really take long for me to get back to our happy place, but I feel bad that I still need to remind myself how much easier we have it than many others.

Our little girl will be 4 months old in 2 weeks.  We are truly blessed to have her and I hope, pray, implore the universe that I get to spend many more months to come with our fabulous little girl.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Back to the Grind

Well, we all lived through the first day of Mommy working full time.  Daddy still has hair and Mommy didn't cry or pout too much.  (I think it helped that I was slammed today.)  I didn't think it would bother me since I've been working half days for the past few weeks, but it hit a little harder than I thought.  I'm a little sad that I'll only get to spend a couple of hours with her when I get home from work and those hours are usually her crankiest because she's tired.  I'm disappointed that Daddy will get to see her learn new things everyday and I won't be there to see them with him.  I'm concerned about my production and supply of breast milk.  I'll be pumping at work during my 3 breaks (although today I didn't get to at lunch).  I'm worried my supply will diminish or lessen to the point where we'll have to supplement because I can't pump every 2 hours (which is close to her feeding schedule).  The only small hope I have is that the pediatrician tells us next month that she's ready to start getting a little bit of rice cereal.  That would allow me to pump for that feeding and put it in the freezer for a later date.  It would also be awesome if we there were an onsite daycare in my office building.  I would be able to visit/feed her on my breaks and Daddy could have a couple of days a week to do his favorite yard work and actual business work.  Plus, I would get an extra 90-ish minutes with her while we drive to and from work.  But, alas, there is no on-site daycare and I must continue to work full time until we can figure out how to stretch our dollars a bit more.  We'll just keep plugging away at it and enjoying the time we have together, even if it's during a 2 AM feeding. 

Friday, July 8, 2011

Letters to CJ

So, it's been a while, again, and I'm hopefully going to be better at posting blogs.  For this one, I wanted to share a very important email address with our friends and family... Charlotte's.

I've given Charlotte her very own email address so I can write to her and tell her about me, about my day, about the world, and the new and exciting things she's accomplishing every day.  I heard about this from another new mommy that wanted to share something special with her child.

Like her, I plan to give Charlotte the password when she's older so she can go back and read through the emails.  I'm not sure what age I plan on giving this to  her,  I guess I'll decide later on.  We still have time to figure it out.

Unlike the other mommy, I'd like our family and friends to have the chance to do the same.  I don't think it takes away anything from me, but just makes it that much better.  Please feel free to drop Charlotte a line, a paragraph, or a page.  I'm sure she'll appreciate it when she's older.

Charli932@gmail.com

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

It's Been A While

Ok, so that's an understatement.  It's been 2 months since I've posted.  But in all fairness, it's been a bit busy in this house.  So I'll do a few quick updates while the Nuggette is asleep on my lap and I'll start on the more detailed posts at a later date.

First thing is first - the house is pretty much finished.  Chad has done an absolutely fantastic job on getting everything ready for us to move in.  He had a bit of help the last few days, but he's done most of the work himself.  I can't tell you how blessed I am to have such a fantastic husband!  Thanks to all the parents for helping out!  We really appreciate the hard work you all did!

The next, and probably most important thing, is that our little Nuggette finally arrived - with a little motivation.  I was induced for labor and gave birth to our beautiful baby girl on Monday, April 25th at 4:26 PM.  She weighed in at 8 pounds and measured 20.5 inches long.  She had really dark blue eyes and a full head of light brown hair.  I may be biased, but she actually came out pretty (if you looked past the ick that surrounds newborns).  She didn't look like a little old man!  She was perfectly healthy and just plain perfect.  It took us a few minutes to decide between the names we had picked out and finally agreed on Charlotte Jean - aka CJ, aka Charli, aka Char, aka Miss C, aka Char-latte.  I'm sure there will be numerous other nicknames she'll receive, but these are the most popular at the moment.

So let's look back at the prediction...
Madame Zaritska, using her mystical powers, has the following prediction:
The day you deliver, outside will be cold. Your baby will arrive in the evening. After a labor lasting approximately 20 hours, your child, a girl, will be born. Your baby will weigh about 5 pounds, 6 ounces, and will be 17-1/2 inches long. This child will have dark green eyes and a little patch of blonde hair. 

It wasn't really cold outside and I'm not sure that 4:26 counts as evening.  If you start counting the labor time from when I was given the first part of the induction procedures, then yes, labor was 20 hours.  If you count only the amount of time I had serious contractions, then it was only 6-8 hours.  Actual pushing only lasted about 2 or 3 hours (and that's counting the time when they told me to stop because my doctor was still in the operating room with a c-section).  Madame Z was off on the rest of it as well.  Maybe Charlotte's hair and eye color will change to blonde and green before the permanent colors come in.  But as of her birth, Madame Z was pretty wrong.

The first day home was pretty easy, she slept pretty well.  The evening however was kinda crazy. We came home the day the tornadoes came through the SE.  The day the record number of tornadoes was broken!  Anybody that knows both me and Chad, knows that I'm the one that gets our "shelter" area stocked the moment a warning is issued by the weather service, and Chad waits until the very last minute.  This night, however, I went to bed early while my mom and Chad took care of Charlotte so I could get a head start on sleep.  Chad actually woke me up to go to the basement.  Not the first night home I was hoping for, but we were luckier than a lot of other people.  Nothing actually came too close to our area.  But still a bit too much excitement for me.

When we left the hospital, CJ's weight had dropped to 7 lbs, 6 oz.  At her first week check up she was up to 7 lbs, 12 oz and the doc wanted us to come back for a weight check the following week.  At that point, my milk had come in and she was eating extremely well.  She weighed in at 8 lbs, 5 oz!  Gained 9 oz in a week!  At her 1 month check up she weighed in at 10 lbs, 11 oz!  Definitely a good eater!

Charlotte's been getting better at sleeping during the night, but still not "long" stretches.  She started with waking every 2 hours.  Now (at 7 weeks old) she's up to a 4 hour, then 2-3 hour stretches after that.

We're both still learning, but getting better everyday, or night.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

An End In Sight!

Had a doc appointment today to see if I had "progressed" any.  Dilated to "not quite" a centimeter.  After a week since my last appointment, no progress.  So, we made an appointment for me to come back on Monday, 4/18 - I'll be 39w5d.  But then, we made a date.  If Nuggette doesn't decide to come on her own, I'll go to the hospital late Easter Sunday night for an induction to deliver Monday!  I will only be prego until 4/25 at the latest! 

I wasn't anxious or nervous this entire time.  I'm getting there now.  It's a bit more real to have a date that I will for sure have a child!  That's a lot to take in.  Yes, I've had 9 months to get used to the idea, it just wasn't real since nothing was really happening (other than my belly taking on the distinct shape of a basketball).  I figured it would hit me when we were on the way to the hospital (assuming I would go into labor on my own).  Now that there's a "plan" that's almost just as bad!  I can't reschedule, I'm still not in control, but somebody wants to make me think I am, even if just a smidge.  That's kind of mean.  Don't tease me with structure!  I want all or nothing.  Totally spontaneous or completely planned.

Well, maybe she'll surprise us all and come on her own still.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Couple of Quick Updates

As of last Friday, there were no indications of labor.  No dilation or effacement.  Doc told me to just plan on being at work all of this week.  I'm a little bummed, but Chad is happy.  He now has more time to work on the house, in theory.  We'll see what they say at my appointment tomorrow.  Of course, it's all up in the air anyway.  She'll come when she's ready.

Speaking of the house... It is coming together beautifully!  I love the colors we've chosen for paint, carpet, wood.  It's getting closer to looking and feeling like ours now.

And as for Chad... I am so proud of how much work he's put into it.  He's done a lot of it himself with some help from friends and family, and a couple of professionals.  There are only 4 things we've had done by professionals: 1) demo of a wall to make living and family rooms flow together; 2) carpet installation; 3) painting of the 2-story foyer; 4) installation of the hard woods (hopefully being scheduled for Monday).  He's worked until the wee hours of the morning a few nights over the past week trying to get things done before our Nuggette decides to make her grand entrance.  I really can't convey how very proud of him I am.  Our little girl is extremely lucky to have him as a daddy. 

Monday, April 4, 2011

Late Answer to an Earlier Question

I've always been one of those people that normally can't think of something to say until the moment has passed, whether a witty comeback or gracious comment.  I still haven't changed.

Yesterday, I was asked what I thought the worst part of pregnancy was.  I didn't really have an answer.  My pregnancy has been really easy compared to some of the horror stories I've heard other women go through.  I didn't have morning sickness, I get heart burn on the VERY rare occasion, my feet have only been swollen maybe a total of 5 times, and I've been told I don't waddle (however I limp every now and then from my hip catching).  The only other thing I could think of was waking up a lot in the night, and I've adjusted that.  I've found that if I keep myself up an extra hour or 2 past what my normal bed time is, I only wake up once in the night, if at all.  Over all, I still can't complain.  I know I've written that a few times in my previous posts, but it remains true.  I guess I didn't really answer the question at the time, but out of those listed above, I would say the sleep thing.  Until I thought about it more.

As most of you know, we closed on a new house last Wednesday.  It's a good bit larger than the town home we're living in now and has a great yard.  The only semi-negative to the house is it's age.  It needs a bit of TLC to become a comfortable living space for me.  These past couple of days, a lot has happened (and Chad did a lot of it himself).  On Thursday and Friday, he ripped out all the old carpet (and that was nasty) and padding in the whole house, then pulled out the tack strips on the main floor.  I sat around and watched as he did this by himself since he didn't want me in the ick that was nestled in the carpet.  On Saturday, we had the air ducts cleaned, a wall removed, and the house measured for flooring (wood on the main, and carpet upstairs).  Again, I sat and watched while a lot of the work was being done.  On Sunday, after they played and won their first baseball game of the season, Chad and 2 of the guys, as well as Kenny and Karen, did more work on the house.  The guys all pulled out the old and wood flooring in the entrance and powder room; Karen pulled the old carpet staples from the main level sub floor; and I took out the screws left in the walls that I could reach.  I had started to help with the staples, then got too tired and over heated.  (Plus I couldn't bend down and scootching along the floor was very uncomfortable.)

Thus, I have my answer to the earlier question... The hardest part about being pregnant is not being able to do the things I could before.  I get tired a LOT faster.  I get worn out walking up the hill to the house, or the going up and down the stairs a couple of times.  I can't bend down to tie my shoes!  And I'm sure I have streaks of hair on my legs that I can't reach or see to shave.  Not to mention all the activities I'm not allowed to do - biking and wakeboarding being the top 2 since the weather has changed for Spring.

I've been told to let others do things for me and enjoy it while it lasts, but I've never been that type of person.  I LIKE to do things for myself.  Yes, pampering is awesome every once in a while.  But there's a difference between being pampered and feeling incapable.  I don't like to sit around and watch family and friends work on my house doing things I should be helping with.  Yes, I know I'm performing a very important task, making sure Nuggette is healthy and "fully cooked."  And that is my number 1 priority.  But I still can't help but feel bad sitting and watching others work.

I guess in a couple of weeks (3 at the very most!) this will all change.  Not that I'll be able to do more of the physical labor that comes with making an older house sparkle again, but that I'll be busy with the beautiful little person I've already helped to make.  In a short time, my priorities and focus will move from the house to this wonderful little miracle.  Everything else will pale in comparison.

But until then, I'll just keep plugging away at what I can do, and "supervise" the rest.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Labor Prediction by JustMommies.com

We'll see how accurate this is...

Get your bags packed early just in case you need them. Make sure your partner has a phone available when he's away because this baby just might come early. We predict your baby will come 2-3 weeks early. Your baby will most likely be born in the morning. JustMommies predicts that your baby will weigh approximately 6.5 pounds and that your labor will be about 12 hours long.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Magic Number Day - 35 / 35!

So today marks 35 weeks down with 35 days to go!  35 DAYS!!!  Holy boogers, that went by really fast!  I can actually count the days now!

Let's take a quick measure... Still feeling pretty well.  Staying up an extra 2 hours helps me sleep better at night so I only wake up once.  My ankles are starting to swell a bit when my days are too long (and don't put them up much).  My restless legs kick in a bit earlier than they did before pregnancy.  My back only aches at random times, but the heating pad usually helps with that.  And my belly button is still off center - I hope it goes back to "normal" (whatever that is) after Nuggette gets here.  All in all, still can't complain.

The funny part is that I've started to bump into a few more things with the belly.  It's not like I forget that I'm pregnant.  I can feel the little movements from my little Nuggette most of the time.  I feel the aches from my hips when they start to catch, and my feet when they're a bit tired.  I can definitely feel the extra weight I'm carrying. 

I just forget how round I've gotten.  I'm starting to look like a basketball shoplifter.  I've run into a couple of door jams, Chad, our table a few times, Chad, the desk at work, Chad, and now I can no longer fit through our bathroom doorway with only one of the doors open.  Before you start calling me names that would surely get you hurt if we were face to face, the bathroom has a doorway slightly larger than a normal size standard door but has 2 small french doors instead of a single standard one.  For most of this pregnancy, I could turn sideways and fit though the door in the morning so the light wouldn't bother Chad while I'm getting ready for work.  Now I have to open both doors to make it through.  Fabulous.  Suddenly, I'm reminded of a horrid rhyme from when I was a kid... "Fatty, fatty, 2 x 4, can't fit through the bathroom door."

Well, I lost it once, I can do it again.  It just may take a little more time than the first time around.  Until then, I'm taking full advantage of my "condition" and enjoying my fresh baked chocolate chip cookies.  Mmmmmm, cookies.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

It's Getting a Bit More Real Now…

We had our Labor and Delivery Tour of Northside Hospital last night.  That was an adventure in itself, then add in the bad weather on the way there and I think it’s safe to say I was a bit frazzled when we arrived.  (Don’t ask Chad, though.  I’m sure he would use different words to describe my mood / attitude.)

The directions to where we were supposed to meet were somewhat incorrect so we ended up at St. Joseph’s Hospital first.  Luckily we were a bit early and still managed to find the correct hospital.  Unfortunately, we parked on the fully opposite side of where we were supposed to be and had to wind our way through the main portion to find the Women’s Center on the other side.  While on our trek through the hospital to find out starting point for the tour, we did manage to find the cafeteria and McDonald’s.  Good for Chad to know while we’re sitting around waiting for the Big Show.

Once the tour actually started, they showed us the Baby Boutique and A Woman’s Place Boutique.  The Baby Boutique is pretty self explanatory.  A Woman’s Place is a small store that sells anything and everything a mom-to-be could want at the hospital but forgot to pack.  Let’s hope I remember the few things I really want.  (That reminds me, I need to start my list.)  There are vending machines, phones, restrooms, a small cafĂ©, and a newspaper stand also in the same area.  The tour guide mentioned that some people like to buy a news paper on the day their child was born as a keepsake of the day.  That makes me wonder how much stuff will I start hoarding and how much I will actually look back on.

The second part of the tour directed us to the driveway that Chad will be speeding down to let me out at the doors as well as the entrance a little farther down for family and friends when they arrive.  I promise I’ll give better directions than the hospital’s website.  (When leaving after the tour, we drove around to the entrance to make sure we know how to get to both driveways.)

The “meat” of the tour came next.  We were shown the VERY large and comfy Labor and Delivery room.  All lights can be dimmed if Mom wants that during labor.  There is a glider to use during labor, very comfy.  The bed adjusts in 1800 ways, good to know.  There is a TV and DVD player in every room for distractions.  Some of the rooms have  There is a full shower in the attached bathroom, and includes a bathtub.  (I peeked into the bathroom to see what it looked like before we moved on.  Not sure who they expect to fit in the “full sized tub” to help relax during labor.  I would consider it more of a half sized tub.  Looks like I’ll only be showering if I want hydrotherapy to relax.)  There is no hospital limit to the number of people that can stop by and visit during my time in this room.  There will definitely be a Me limit on the number of people in the room, especially as labor progresses.  I prefer to not relive The Exorcist with a large crowd.

The Recovery room wasn’t quite as large, but it was private.  There was a bench for Dad, but I’m not sure it work for anything other than sitting on.  Hopefully, we’ll be allowed to bring one of our blue camping lounge chairs.  The recommend Baby rooming in with Mom while there.   They only take Baby to the nursery for the initial “tests” or if requested by the parents.  I’m told I should take advantage of this the first night as I won’t get anymore sleep.  But as a first time mommy, I’m not sure I want Nuggette to sleep anywhere but in my room.  I know I’ll be exhausted, but I also know I’ll have a lot of adrenaline for a while.  Just another aspect I’ll have to play by ear.

One good thing that we found on both the L&D floor and the Recovery floor were the “Pantries.”  Small kitchenettes where we can store snacks for Dad or popsicles for Mom.  Chad and I have an agreement that he’s not allowed to eat anything that I can smell when I’m not allowed to eat.  :o)  That just might make me cranky.

The last stop on the tour was the nursery.  There was one Itty Bitty being tested and measured.  That made it all sink in a bit more.  In about 7 weeks, our little Nuggette will be the little pink Itty Bitty on that scale.

A little scary and way exciting at the same time.  Always an adventure.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Thanks, Sam!

After I posted another belly pic in Nuggette's album on FB, my sister quickly made a comment on how my belly button is still an inny.  Umm, I don't think all prego belly buttons pop out, and if they do, they certainly don't all pop out on the same time frame.

This is now fresh in my mind after I take my evening shower.  As I'm rubbing my growing belly with cocoa butter, I realized that my belly button is no longer centered!  I have an off center belly button!  It's moved slightly to the right side of the belly!  "Chad!  Look at this!  Is my belly button off center?"  And he confirms it.  It looks like it's settling slightly to the side.  I'm hoping that it's just from the way Nuggette is sitting in the belly that's making it seem off center.  Only time will tell.  If it doesn't move back to normal, I guess I just have more character.

Thanks Sam, for making me more conscious of my belly button.  I don't think I would have noticed this otherwise.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Quick Post for Today...

Had our 30 week check up today and measured 31 cm.  I wouldn't normally know what means, so let me make a short explanation: a tape measure is used from the top of the pubic bone to the top of the uterus.  "Average" measurement puts you at 1 cm per week of pregnancy.  So after the doctor tells me that I'm measuring a little big, he says, "but he [points at Chad] has a big noggin, so you're probably still on target."

HA!!! Chad hears that a lot!  I'm going to stick with the ultrasound tech from the the 3D we had and say that it's not her head that measures ahead of schedule, but her legs.  Of course this could be for my own piece of mind.  :o)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Class - Part 1

After considering all the advise we got from numerous new parents who’ve delivered at our hospital, Chad and I decided to go ahead and take the class.  We figured if it really didn’t seem worth it to go back for the second day, we didn’t really have to.  My worry was playing the “what if” game at the hospital when I had no clue what to expect, at least this way I can say we tried.  No longer called Lamaze class, it’s still the same basic idea (I’m guessing).  A group of couples go to the class to get an idea of what to expect come D-Day, practice a few relaxation techniques, a few breathing techniques, etc.  The class is generally 8 hours and can be taken a number of ways – 1 full day of class, 2 four hour classes, 4 two hour classes, or 8 one hour classes.  We figured the 2 day class would be best for us since Chad’s work schedule is usually up in the air, and so as not to burn ourselves out with 8 straight hours.

Yesterday was Day 1.

Yes, we were both aware we were scheduling the class on Super Bowl Sunday, but I did check kick off time before I registered.  We didn’t have a team in the game and the class was scheduled to end at 5 PM, with kickoff at 6:30.  For some reason, I still found it interesting that the class was full (10 couples total).  I guess I figured we were the only ones that would schedule this for Super Bowl Sunday.

The class was better than we expected.  Yes, we went over a lot of stuff that Chad and I had already learned through books and websites, but we also picked up a few tidbits we didn’t have.  I was really happy that the instructor had been an Ob/Gyn nurse at the hospital where we’re delivering.  She had helpful information that I don’t think we would have gotten otherwise.  “When they offer you [x], whether you plan on using it or not, just take it.  You’ll get to take it home with you afterward.”  “Don’t bother bringing anything that plugs into the wall that will directly be used on Mom (like heating pads), the approval process is so long, it probably won’t get to you until after Baby is born.”  And yes, I’m sure some of this we’ll hear at the hospital when we take the tour, but I like that I have the chance to start making my list early.

At one point, we were all supposed to practice one of the relaxation techniques.  Mom lays on her left side and tenses certain parts of her body.  Then Dad is supposed to massage that part to help Mom relax that muscle.  Most of the Dads laughed and mocked this part of the class, Chad included.  In fact, his response was, “I’m all for doing this at the hospital, I just feel stupid doing it right now.”  My answer to that: “As long has you knows that’s your job when we get there, this is the main reason you’ll be in the delivery room: to help me relax and remain calm; to rub my shoulders, arms, legs, feet, whatever it takes; and to keep the medical staff alive and on our side, then I’m ok with not practicing here with all these strangers.”  How quickly the Dads’ attitudes changed when the instructor calls for us to switch positions – Dads on the mat while Moms massage them.  For some reason, it was ok for us to practice on them, it wasn’t stupid at all.

One important thing I learned is that Northside Hospital has a policy that prohibits you from getting out of bed after receiving an epidural.  This only reinforces my desire to not have one.  If I know I can’t move, my body automatically fells like it must.  I prefer the choice of using the glider and the birthing ball.  I’d like to walk the halls if I feel up to it.  This is more important to me because I don’t know what position I’ll feel the most comfortable in.  I won’t really know how I’ll feel until I get there, but I don’t like to limit my options.

I tell myself this is something mental that has to do with claustrophobia.  But then again, maybe it’s just an innate dislike of people telling me what I can and cannot do.  Either way, I’m still good with my decision to try without an epidural.  But, this could all change next Sunday with the second half of the class.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Time Sure Flies...

Already we've reached week 29 and have only 11 left in the countdown.  Where did it all go?

I guess it doesn't seem like that long of a time because I've had a generally easy preganancy.  During the first trimester I was a little tired and always hungry, but I'll take that over morning sickness any day.  And I still love tacos and salsa, even after constantly eating them for 3 months.

The second trimester was pretty much cake.  My energy came back and I've slept pretty well.  I didn't gain too much weight, and had very rare swelling in my fingers and feet (mostly from the heat).  I've only had a couple of hormonal outbursts, and even those weren't as bad as I've seen others have.  I guess the worst thing I can say about the 2nd trimester is the shortness of breath I got (and still get) every once in a while.  I think Nuggette just sits a bit funky or moves a bit to push on the lungs and makes it a bit hard to inhale.

So far in the third trimester, I'm still feeling pretty good.  I'm getting a little more tired from a little less sleeeping - there's this big bump in the way.  But other than that, nothing's changed from the last trimester.  I expect to start getting bigger as Nuggette starts to put on the pounds.  I expect my fingers and feet to swell a little more.  And I expect to become a bit anxious at some point.  Right now, it still hasn't sunk in.  I guess it'll hit me when we start putting a nursery together or when I'm on the way to the hospital.

For now, Chad's taking full advantage of the more relaxed me. We'll just have to see how long that lasts.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

What Some Strangers Should Hear

After being asked by a woman in my office (who I don't really know more than passing in the hall) if I would be taking an epidural, she proceeded to tell me what I "really want to do."   "As soon as you sit down, ask for the epidural, you don't want to wait at all.  You really just want the drugs to start right away.  Tell them to just get it started."

Fact 1.  I am not you.
Fact 2.  You are not me.
Fact 3.  This is my child, not yours.
 
Looking at the 3 facts listed above, please do not tell me how I should or should not plan on giving birth.  This is my body and my child.  What worked for you and yours doesn’t mean it will work for me and my family.  Please do not argue with me or try to change my mind based on your body and your birth experiences.

No, I do not plan on asking for an Epidural.  And no, I do not have delusions of being Super Woman.  I do however know my limits (mental and physical) better than anybody else.  My body starts to freak out when I can’t move my legs more than a couple of inches.  How do you think I’ll react when I can’t feel the entire lower half of my body?  Not to mention that I’m not too keen on the idea of a LONG needle entering my spine.  I’m not worried about the pain from the needle or the birth, it will all eventually go away.  If it didn’t, our species would have ceased to exist centuries ago. 

I currently have a birth plan that revolves around a calm environment, relaxation techniques, and deep breathing.  It is also part of my birth plan to know that I can’t really "plan" the birth of my child.  I know things happen and plans need adjusting.  If we (our doctor, Chad, and myself) feel that it is in the best interest of our little Nuggette to change the plan, we will indeed change the plan.  Until then, I'm sticking to my idea of how I want to bring my child into this world, and my husband fully supports my decisions.


In any case, we'll do what we can to make sure she arrives healthy and ready to take on the world.

Friday, January 7, 2011

The Name Game

We’ve been asked a few times if we have picked out the name for your little girl.  I can only share with you the middle name.  We’ve chosen to use my mother’s middle name, Jean.

For the first name, we do have our top 2 picked out.  We’re taking both names to the hospital and choosing once we see her.  We don’t want to get set on a name only to find that she doesn’t look like what we picked out.  I know a few people that went for a few days after their child was born because they just didn’t fit the name they had picked out.  That makes sense to us, it’s good to have a back up plan.

Right now, we plan on  keeping our top 2 first names secret until we pick one and introduce our little bundle to the world.  There is one main reason behind this.  We don’t want to be swayed either way by people’s reactions or stories.

We’ve both seen this with other couples.  A lot of people have ugly facial expressions, or have horrible stories about others they knew with the name chosen and are inclined to share those stories with the parents-to-be.  Especially if they think they can persuade the parents away from the chosen name.  That really adds a negative aspect to one of the most important decisions a couple makes for their child.  We don’t want that.  She’s our child, it shouldn’t matter that you knew somebody you didn’t like with that name.  We like what we've picked and we think one will fit her perfectly.

Besides, you can't look at a beautiful baby and make an ugly face.  You'll all just have to wait until she gets here.  She'll definitely be worth the wait.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Starting to “Blossom”

As some of you have seen in the FB album, the belly is starting to protrude a bit.  I actually look pregnant now instead of just bloated or chubby.  (Of course the maternity clothes help with that part.)  I’ve truly embraced the bump and am proud to display it.  However, I have conflicting reactions to people telling me I’m starting to “blossom.” 

The main comment that gets me a little hot is, “Your face is getting rounder,” usually followed up with “and you’re glowing.”  I’m probably glowing from the irritation radiating from my face.  No woman, pregnant or not, wants to hear that they’re getting rounder.  I expect the belly to get rounder, but I don’t want any other part of me to really expand.  Yes, I understand this is a natural aspect of being pregnant, but I keep thinking of all the hard work I put in before getting pregnant to not be round.  And it doesn’t help when I have friends that are pregnant or recently gave birth that didn’t change much other than the basketball they were smuggling under their shirts.  That really gets me.

I guess it’s just my own insecurities that I’m learning to deal with.  I need to remember that I can always work to get the little extra weight off if it doesn’t go away with birth (or the recovery time).  I need to remember that there is a very good reason to be expanding in all the places I am.  I am not any other woman or body.  I am special.  And I’m starting to blossom.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Full Force

Last night while trying to get my brain to shut off, I laid in bed finishing my book.  Chad was watching the last of the Saints v Falcons game on TV.  The little one in the belly decided that was a good time to start doing cart wheels and somersaults.  I wasn’t sure if Chad would be able to feel her moving yet, but thought I’d ask anyway.  He put his hand on my belly and in a matter of seconds his eyes went  really wide.  “What is she doing in there?”

“Not sure, but apparently it’s not bed time.”  I’m sure she was restless from the flight back to ATL and the car ride home, we didn’t get to move around as much as the flight to WA.  Or maybe it was the blackened chicken salad I had for dinner?

Then he pulls his hand away and starts flopping around on the bed like a fish, legs and arms going every which direction.  “Feels like she’s doing this,” he says with grunting breaths.

All I could do was laugh.  One thing is for sure, this little girl will have one heck of a silly side and a great sense of humor.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Skipping The Flutters

They say the first movements feel like little butterfly flutters or little gas bubbles in your tummy.  This could be true.  However, I have always been aware of my tummy’s activities and could not tell the difference between “flutters” and what is normal for me.  A couple of weekends ago, while trying to stay in bed as long as Tootsie would let me, I felt a few knocks.  We completely skipped the “flutter” stage and went directly to jabs and kicks.  Nugget was telling me it was time to get up and eat something.  Apparently, no matter what the air temperature is outside, she’s still toasty warm on the inside.  And as we all know, I don’t count anymore, it’s all about her.

I’ve been able to feel the same little pokes and prods while sitting at work, and when I get home and can relax.  I even learned a valuable lesson about my little Nugget and Wendy’s frosty – it makes her bounce off the walls – literally.  About 30 minutes after satisfying my craving, she just would not be still.  Have you seen the movie Alien?  I swear that’s what it felt like (without the painful and gory busting through).  TONS of movement and no control over it.

Last weekend, after wearing myself out running around town, I had planned on going to bed early.  As I was laying there letting my brain unwind, little Nugget decided it was time to do a little dancing.  I called to Chad, who thus far then had been unsuccessful at feeling anything but his own pulse in his fingers.  He came upstairs and put his hand on the belly bump.  After maybe 4 little pokes, she really let loose and must have kicked.  His eyes got pretty big, and he said he was pretty sure he felt that one, I had been trying to point them out to make it a little easier to distinguish.

So, after almost 5 months, we are finally getting distinguishable movements.  I was a little worried for a while, kept reading posts about all these other bumpies (mommies-to-be) already feeling the movement.  I know the doctor tells us she’s doing very well and growing on schedule, but we go for weeks without knowing anything.  Now I can at least have a little more piece of mind, knowing that she’s moving like she’s supposed to.

One more milestone accomplished.  Looking forward to the next…

Monday, November 29, 2010

Valerie - 0; Madame Zaritska -1

Wednesday, we went to the doctor for the anatomy scan - a sonogram that takes multiple measurements and checks the growth of all the organs.  We were told that everything is right on schedule, little Nugget is growing healthy and everything is is perfectly normal.  Nugget was asleep when we got there, so we had to poke around for a bit before we could get the measurements.  Then it came time to find out if we were having a mini-Chad or a mini-Val.

Nugget's legs were firmly closed.  "In my experience, it's usually the girls that are modest," said the doctor.

"But can you see anything?"  We both wanted to know for sure.

"See those little lines?"  To be honest, we couldn't.  It all just looked like a bunch of different, indistinguishable white and black.  "Well, that's what it looks like to me."  What does she mean that's what it looks like to her?  She's the expert.  Is it a boy or girl?  Is there outdoor plumbing or not? We asked her if she was sure.  "Yep.  That's it."  This whole time I've been thinking we were going to have a little boy.  Looks like my maternal instinct is not on track yet.

We were both in a little bit of shock.  In fact, Chad's response was, "Oh, crap.  Now I have to buy a shotgun."  I just couldn't speak.  They finished with the few print outs of the pictures and sent us into the waiting room again to wait for our regular check up.  We both just sat there with goofy grins.  I couldn't stop giggling.  "I thought for sure it was a boy!"

Looks like Madame Zaritska is one up on me.  We'll see about the other predictions she made.  We'll find out in 20 more weeks, give or take.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Hmmmm....

I still think it's a boy, but I'm not sure why, just because of the dream I had.  All I did was answer questions online about my favorite things, the weather today, the last animal I saw, and other random things.  Nothing that had to do with due date or birthdays or conception estimates.  Thought I would post this just as a fun thing to do to compare to what happens in the future. 

Madame Zaritska, using her mystical powers, has the following prediction:
The day you deliver, outside will be cold. Your baby will arrive in the evening. After a labor lasting approximately 20 hours, your child, a girl, will be born. Your baby will weigh about 5 pounds, 6 ounces, and will be 17-1/2 inches long. This child will have dark green eyes and a little patch of blonde hair.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Waiting Game

It seems as though the first few months, if not the first 2 full trimesters, are all about waiting.  Waiting to see the first sonogram, waiting to hear the heart beat, waiting to feel the first movement.  Always waiting for that next appointment to see that truly incredible miracle again. 

Chad and I are currently waiting for our next appointment, which will be the day before Thanksgiving, to see our little Nugget again.  This is the day we (hopefully) find out which half of the name book we should concentrate on.  Then we can start the real registering process that Sunday, if it’s not a complete zoo after Black Friday.  (I plan on going early and only staying out a couple of hours, if Chad’s lucky.)

The Holiday festivities will start to close out the slow “waiting period” of the pregnancy and usher in the “hectic, hurry and get it done before the baby gets here” time period: baby showers, birthing classes, “nesting,” etc.  It doesn’t sound like much of a list, but then throw in a diminishing energy level, increased number of appointments, working all week, Prenatal Yoga (and other random workouts), Tootsie Roll and her needs, as well as anything extra life wants to throw in.  We’ve got a LOT to do in 3 little months, if the baby gives us the full amount of time.

I’m both excited and apprehensive to hit that last trimester.  I’m enjoying the relaxing “wait” time I have from day to day as well as all the little changes and discoveries.  But at the same time, I want it to get here so I can start all the fun stuff and see my to-do list get smaller.

For now, we’re focusing on each next milestone and we look forward to sharing them with our family and friends as they occur.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Bothersome Stupidity

I guess part of the pregnancy/parenthood journey is self-discovery.  I learn more about myself and our little miracle each day.  As with all things studied, we find some aspects are good and some are not-so-good; some that are permanent and some temporary.  I can only hope that the not-so-good aspects of my pregnancy are the temporary kind.  Make no mistake, I have no illusions that once Nugget is born, everything will go back to normal.  I have seen too much to know that won’t be the way.

That being said, I’ve noticed one of my symptoms of pregnancy is a lower tolerance level for B.S. (Bothersome Stupidity).  Some might even venture to call me a little bitchy sometimes, but I think they’re just being irrational.  How could I be bitchy?

Before I give an example of my lower BS tolerance, let me first give a quick definition/explanation… Halloween Hoedown is one of two annual gatherings of family and friends in Royston, GA, generally consisting of camping, pumpkin carving, cake walks, costume contests, music and dancing, a lot of food, and a little drinking around a massive bonfire.  Halloween Hoedown is clearly meant to entertain families and children.  Whereas the “Adults Only” Hoedown in the Spring is just that – Adults Only, and geared more toward a laid back atmosphere.  That's it in a nutshell.

Back to my example and Halloween Hoedown this past weekend.  This year for Halloween the weather was beautiful!  Sunny, but not too hot during the day, and just cool enough at night to sit by the fire without freezing when you step away.  The family is always enjoyable as are most of the friends – there’s always “that one” in every crowd.  There should have been very little to complain about.  This year there seemed to be a few more vocal participants than in the past.  More complaints that the music was what the “kids” wanted to listen to and not enough music for “old people.”  I don’t really remember seeing old people, but I guess it’s all relative.  Overheard remarks as to “I’ll jam where I want to jam, I don’t care.  I’ll march right down there and start playing.”  Then after the band (invited as guests and not entertainment) started playing, we were told to applaud.  That by itself left a bad taste in my mouth – I just don’t like people telling me what to do (which I think is amplified during pregnancy).  The next morning, when a guitar came out to play while the radio was on some mellow music that everybody could enjoy (Eagles, Tom Petty, etc) I had to really fight the urge to stare directly at the guitar player while walking to the stereo and cranking up the volume.  That may have been borderline bitchy, but I could still hear the complaints and comments from the night before.  I’m proud to say that I kept my mouth (mostly) shut, at least to the people in question.   

So, I’m taking the good with the bad.  I’m taking the lower tolerance and trying to use it to become a bit more patient with stupid people.  Maybe my next lesson will be the use of subtlety and tact.  Although, I fear I may never actually master that one.  Wish me luck!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Love Him To Pieces!

First a little bragging…  I have always known I had a good guy, even before he knew I had him.  It was always funny to me when people told me “how lucky” I was to have found him and “what a great catch” he was.  Do people say this to women because we are the “better” sex and it’s easier to find a good woman than it is to find a good man?  Are they trying to “sell” the idea to me that I’ve got a good one?  Hello, people, I’m a very smart woman.  I knew almost from the beginning that I had found my match, my balance.  That being said, Chad does things now and then to reinforce that knowledge.  At the risk of giving him a big head, or at least larger than it is now, I feel the need to brag just a little.

At 13w5d (last Monday), we had our NT scan with the Perinatologist and got the incredible ultra sound pictures that were posted in the last entry.  That same week on Friday (14w2d), I was scheduled for a regular check up.  Nothing new, nothing exciting, just a check up with my regular doctor.  Chad had worked out of town (Alabama actually) on Thursday and got home around 2 AM Friday morning.  Earlier Thursday when we discussed it, he didn’t know if he was going to come with me for the check up because he was going to get in so late.  When I woke him up (as discussed) to give him the chance to go (after only 6 hours of sleep), he laid in bed for a few minutes then got up happily to go with me.  I had told him numerous times, that he didn’t have to go, there wouldn’t be anything new, he could stay in bed.  (And yes, I only say that when I mean it.)  He just wanted to go and see The Nugget.  I know it’s not a big thing, but it’s the little things that make me love him all the more.

Ok, now that I’ve given him an ego boost, here’s a little funny…  He came in one night this week from grilling burgers and was really excited and had a huge smile.  When I asked him what was up, he responded with, “Now I can get Father’s Day presents...like new grill plates!”  That’s one of the funniest things I’ve heard so far.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Reality Check

It's been weeks since my last doctor's appointment, and that long since I've seen the Nugget.  I'm sure it's a normal feeling to start doubting oneself or the miracle that is continuously growing inside.  I can't feel anything moving yet and I can't hear any heart beat.  I've been trying to keep myself from getting too excited for fear that something may happen and I would fall that much farther.


Today, my reality was again confirmed at the Perinatologist.  We went for the First Trimester Screening at 13 weeks and 5 days - fully elective at this point, but the only non-invasive test we could do to make sure everything was good.  This is what we saw...
The Nugget's length is now 7.56 cm (approx 2.9 inches) from crown to rump.  And yes, his crown is the size it should be, although it looks large (Chad's kid for sure).  The doc said we're right on target for the April 20 due date.  You can also make out a leg and arm.

Nugget's profile - nose and forehead look great (one of the indicator's of a higher chance for Down's Syndrome).  [Sorry about the funny angle.  The photo scanner flipped out after the first, so I resorted to taking pictures of the last 2 print outs.]

Nugget's profile - with little ear.  We also saw fingers, 2 hands, 2 legs, 2 feet.  Nugget's heartbeat is around 150 bpm, which is nice and healthy.

The little booger is deinitely my child.  Kept putting it's arms up in the way and wouldn't turn the correct direction to get the scan of the spcae at the back of the neck.  Stubborn little thing.  The tech did ask if we wanted her to make a guess at the gender.  "Only if you're 90% sure."  So, we still don't know if we're having a Nugget or a Nuggette.  The gender scan should be around Dec 1.  I'm hoping to talk them into letting me come in the day before Thanksgiving.

We should have the actual results of the measurements and finger prick test next week.  I just wanted to share the most recent pics of our little Nugget.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Nugget

Just a quick entry for today, lots to do and so little time.

I had my first dream of the baby last night - a little blond and blue boy (bigger than a newborn, but WAY too adorable).  People were coming by to see him and I intoduced him as "my little nugget."  I think that's going to stick for a while, with either a boy or a girl.

A quick funny part of the dream that may be TMI...
Stop reading now if you're easily grossed out...
He woke up crying, so I picked him up and started rocking him.  He pooted, smiled, then went back to sleep.  Just like his daddy - likes to poot on / around me and laugh.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Bump, Bloat, or Just Plain Belly?

I can’t say I’m surprised that I hadn’t really noticed it was coming.  During the first 6 months of this year, I embarked on a journey to lose 30 lbs and never saw the changes in the mirror, only in my clothing and the scale.  I’m not sure if that means I have a funky mirror that lies to me A LOT, or if I just don’t really pay attention to the way my body looks.

Recently, I’ve been trying to hide my tummy area because I couldn’t really tell if I was getting Baby Bump, or if it was pregnancy bloat, or just my belly expanding from the constant eating I’ve been doing.  This morning, however, I woke up with no feelings of bloat, checked the scale when I got out of the shower, and got dressed for work in a skirt and sweater.  ‘Holy Goodness, where did that come from?!?”  I know my pants have been fitting a bit tighter, in fact I had to unbutton them a couple of days this week at work (go ahead, you can laugh, it’s pretty funny).  But I really did not see this before, it just snuck up on me.  Now that it’s here, I think it’s time to embrace the bump.  I’d rather people know that I’m pregnant (even though I’m not a huge fan of the spotlight) than have people just think all that hard work I put in has gone to the dumps.  So, the next question is, where do I find inexpensive, cute maternity clothes that I’m only going to wear for a few months?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Holy Bottles, Batman!


I’ve never realized how many things are out there for babies.  Not only just types of things, but brands and styles as well.  How does one pick an appropriate stroller, car seat, high chair, or crib for the registry?  Chad and I are both too big to “test” each item to make sure they’re comfortable, so how do we know what Baby will like or be most comfy in?
Then there’s the question of, what do we really NEED as opposed to WANT?  There are MILLIONS of items that seem unnecessary, but may make life with an infant a little easier.  [Even though life with Baby will be a breeze.  We fully expect Baby to be the most quiet, well behaved, unfussy, immediate pleasure ever, who, of course, sleeps through the night.  Ok, who am I kidding, have you met us?  Chad may be somewhat quiet (until he has his adult beverage and the stereo automatically becomes too soft), but I’m not sure I can be fully recognized as a quiet person.  When I have something to say, I like to be heard.  And if Baby is anything like mommy, we may be in a bit of trouble.]
Back to the questions at hand, what do we register for?  And how do we know if we’re getting the best, safest, most comfy model for Baby?  With a little research by Daddy, and Mommy’s good sense of what’s cute, I’m sure we’ll be ok finding things.  Now to figure out what’s actually needed...