Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Drumroll, Please. . .

I know, I am such a tease! It's kind of been a slow week here in pregnancy land, pretty much the same old, same old. Swollen feet, achey back, interrupted sleep - all so worth it, but quite boring to blog about and I'm sure even more so to read about. So I am definitely stretching the events of this past weekend to their fullest.

Without further ado, here is the nursery tour video!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Weekend Catchup - Part II

After showing a few people the just-finished nursery, we headed over to C's house for the main event.

I have to tell you, C is the most amazing friend. Almost every day since she started planning the shower, I would get an e-mail, text, or voicemail with questions about my favorite this or that. As a result, the shower was very personalized around my preferences.

This first picture shows you the chocolate fountain where I wish that I could have spent far more time. There were bananas, marshmallows, strawberries, pretzels, and poundcake for dipping. Does this look like a happy pregnant woman or what?

You can see the food table in the background, which included more of my favorite culinary delights: shrimp cocktails, fruits, veggies, and little sandwiches. And, of course, the cake, which C custom decorated! The imprint matches the invitations which she made herself.

After the food, I had some time to catch up with my friends, family, and coworkers. I had a pretty impressive turnout, including my friend from San Francisco, another from Boise, Idaho, and a third friend due that day with her little girl. We took a "comparison" shot just to remind everyone how huge I am!

We played a few shower games and then it was time to open gifts. I was once again overwhelmed by everyone's generousity and love for us and Little Man.

At the end of the shower, C had one more suprise. She had gotten baby pictures from my mom and mother-in-law and created a slide show out of them put to some of my favorite songs. There were some pretty neat pictures and a lot of tears from the moms - I guess that group now includes me!

It is impossible from these pictures to really convey the amount of time, energy, and most importantly, pure love that went into this shower. I have heard from almost every single one of my guests that it was the best shower they have ever been to. I have to agree.

C is definitely a one of a kind friend! I am so glad that she lives just next door and that our sons will be able to be friends, too!

Nursery tour video tomorrow!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Weekend Catch Up - Part One

Sorry it's been a few days. The final preparations for the Big Weekend, plus some last minute work things took my concentration away from blogging for a bit.

Everything worked out for the shower, albeit with a few minor hiccups along the way that caused me some minor stress. Overall, however, it went well and it was a lovely party.

Friday night, we had Stacey, her husband, and their two boys for dinner. We were able to nail down the plans for the boys for the next day which included a trip to the zoo.

After they left at about 10:30, my husband and I got to tackling the one project that I really wanted to complete before my guests' arrival the next day: The nursery. We put up pictures, hung curtains, put the hamper and diaper genie in place, and hung some other things on the walls. One of the afforementioned hiccups is that the bedding did not arrive as promised. The rest of the order did arrive, but without the most crucial part - the six piece set. The only indication as to why it was not included was a little pen mark "B/O" on the invoice sheet that was tucked in the box. I could figure out that meant Back Order, but I could not discern why that was marked or when I would get it. After all, before I placed the order, I spoke to someone at the store who assured me all items were in stock and ready for delivery.

I called the store and was told that the person that I talked to was mistaken and the bedding is back ordered for ten weeks! I was not very pleased by this turn of events (this is actually a very mild version of the actual story, in which I alternated between tears and hormonal rage). After a bit of angt (which included calling both my husband and my best friend sobbing), I put my problem solving into full gear and was able to locate the bedding set in my hometown. With my sister and mom on their way north, I was hoping they would be willing to serve as my personal "UPS" service, which they were!

So that meant that their arrival on Saturday morning was when I could literally throw the bedding on the crib in time for my first guest to arrive for a peek at the nursery. My husband was still hanging the curtains as my first friend came in. We had to chat downstairs for a few minutes, but then all was ready.

I was able to show off the nursery to almost all of the guests to rave reviews. I have taken pictures, but my husband took the camera to work today, so I will have to download them tonight and share tomorrow. It does look pretty darn good, if I do say so myself. Of course, there are still things that I want to do, but we are now 100% ready for Little Man to make his arrival now, should he choose to come early. Of course, I would like him to wait until 37 weeks (just two weeks from yesterday), but anytime after that, we are all ready for him.

The shower itself was incredible - C completely outdid herself. More on that and pictures tomorrow!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Pre-Baby Blues

Thanks for the advice yesterday. I know it seems like a small detail - and it is - but I hate situations like this where I have to be the "bad guy." I love kids so much that I wouldn't have put the "no kids" label on the party, but C's house is at it's max, and she has a "vision" for the party that does not include children. Luckily, most of my guests either don't have children or live locally, so the only issue that I know of is Stacey.

Also, again, Stacey's kids are not really very well-behaved. I love them to death, but she is really bad about keeping after their behavior, especially when she feels that there are others around that can help out. For two years, she was on her own while her husband was in Iraq. I thinkthat a lot of people really felt sorry for her during that time and didn't mind taking the kids off of her hands so she could get some much needed rest - myself included. Now that her husband is back, however, I think people aren't so willing to jump in and help. For me, I don't mind helping at all, but as this pregnancy progresses, I am just not as physically able to do all that I once was.

Luckily, my husband is on board with trying to find a kid-friendly activity. C's son is only a year, while Stacey's kids are 4 and 6, but we'll think of something that they can all enjoy for the afternoon. So, that's hopefully that.

As for doing all that I once was able to do. . . I have hit some sort of wall this past week, emotionally and physically. I really don't know what happened. Not that I didn't have aches and pains and various complaints before, but I really felt that (for the most part) I was handling them with good humor. The last weekend, I don't know, something switched. I feel almost as if I am depressed or something, which is really weird. I have absolutely no energy. I mean none. Even with a full house of people for this weekend, I cannot motivate myself to get cleaning. I am not sad, per se, I almost feel as if I have no emotion.

I think that it's a product of doing way too much. After all, I have been working full time, keeping house, making meals, and then there have been the countless projects that have taken up my spare time. But then again, isn't this what every woman does? Most women I know are pretty darn active right up until their due dates. Right now, I can't even imagine working another week, let alone another five.

And then there is the shower. This is supposed to be a fun event, a time to relax and enjoy all of the important people in my life coming together to celebrate Little Man's impending arrival. Instead, I am stressed and irritated about all of the details and last minute "issues." This isn't me. This isn't my personality. I am not this much of a whiner or a complainer.

Anyway, this is more of a rant than anything else. I know that pregnancy is a roller coaster and I will likely be on the upswing again soon. I just have to hang on until then.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Advice, Please!

So, I have another dilemma relating to my baby shower this weekend. I say another dilemma because it seems that there have been quite a few surrounding what should be a fun event. First, there was the incident where my one friend was offended by the invite and called me a gift grubber - haven't heard from her since. Then, there was an entire issue over my mom and sister not wanting to come (three hours was too long of a drive for them), then shocking me by RSVPing yes. Then, more drama with my sister not wanting to drive my mom (and my mom doesn't drive). Most of it has been pretty silly, and this latest event is no exception, but I want your advice.

I have a friend I will call Stacey. She and her husband have been our good friends for over five years. They have two boys, S and D. Stacey's husband is in the military, so they move a lot. They currently live in San Franciso, about a 16-hour drive from our house. I never would have expected Stacey to make this trip simply for my baby shower, but she insisted on coming, and I was pleased to invite her.

Stacey had originally planned to fly up for the weekend, but then decided that she would rather drive up with her two sons and spend some time with other friends and family that live in the area. Her husband is flying up Thursday to hang out with my husband during the shower and then drive home with them on Sunday. Stacey and the boys are all staying at her cousin's house, as her cousin is currently out of town, and it leaves them a lot more room than trying to cram into our not-so-extra space.

I have to say that I was very relieved that they weren't staying here. I love Stacey, her husband, and sons. But Stacey is not shy about letting them run wild when they are here. She sleeps late in the mornings and the boys will come and knock on our door until I get up to make them breakfast. The boys have no eating schedule and "free feed" all day, so one of them is always hungry. I don't have any problem making them food, but it was almost comical last time. I would get one of them fed, clean up from that feeding, and then the other would be hungry. Lather, rinse, repeat all day. When I am not pregnant, this can be tiring, but I was exhausted after their last weekend stay, and that was back when I was only about five months pregnant. They also climb all over our furniture and pretty much act like kids. This also doesn't normally bother me, but with other guests in the house this weekend plus people coming by to look at the nursery, I would have probably have been a little stressed constantly picking up after them.

Still, that's not the point of this blog. The point is that I had told Stacey that children are not being invited to the shower. There are almost 30 people coming and C is having her own son leave with her husband. I had just assumed that the boys would stay with Stacey's husband during the shower. I apparently assumed incorrectly.

Stacey had asked another local family member to watch the boys on Saturday, but that person is now unavailable. So, last night, Stacey left a message that she will be bringing the boys to the shower. I know that C will not be pleased. She has put a lot of effort into making this a really nice party. Stacey doesn't do a great job of keeping the boys quiet and usually just leaves them to their own devices. I definitely don't want to have them there, irritating other guests, and especially irritating C.

However, I feel a certain obligation to Stacey, too. After all, she has come all of this way. I feel rude telling her that she has to leave the boys with her husband, since that is obviously not what they want to do. I have given some thought to hiring a babysitter and offering to pay for it, but having never used a babysitter, I don't even know where to begin to find one, especially on relatively short notice. If I did find one, they would be a stranger, and I am not sure that Stacey would feel comfortable leaving her children with someone she didn't know.

So, what would you do?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Busy Bee

I had my 34 (?!?!?) week OB appointment and all is well. I was back to my usual OB, who said that he doesn't even bother to figure out what position babies are in until the 36th week, as they can easily turn and flip before then. He did say that Little Man appears head down, although he didn't want to press too hard to figure it out, as I am still having some contractions. I guess we'll know the final verdict at our next appointment in two weeks.

My blood pressure is still looking great - lower than prepregnancy for me. I was up another 2 pounds, for a total of 27 pounds at 34 weeks, which the nurse assured me is just fine. With the exception of a couple of appointments, where my weight went up pretty dramatically, I have been putting on weight at a steady pace of around a pound a week.

As for the contractions, he doesn't think they are any big deal. They are still coming irregularly and since I am not having any other symptoms of labor, he really thinks that I just need to get off of my feet more. Easier said than done with my job, but I'll do what I can. Work is just getting so busy, for a lot of reasons, probably the biggest being that I am starting to wrap things up to hand them over to the girl covering for my maternity leave.

This week, I am definitely feeling a bit overwhelmed. My final baby shower is this week. We've been so blessed by all of our generous friends and family and this is our fourth event! There really isn't much more that this baby needs and yet 25 people have RSVPd for Saturday, including one of my really good friends who is coming all the way from San Francisco!

The problem is that with so many people coming and the shower being next door, everyone wants to see the nursery. Which means that the nursery needs to be finished and the rest of the house need to be cleaned. It's not as if the house is dirty, per se, just not visitor-ready. My mom is staying for the weekend, my sister and her fiance will be here for a night as well, and my girlfriend from out of town is staying nearby, so we will have visitors every night. I am planning on keeping meals low key, perhaps pizza on Friday night and an easy BBQ on Saturday.

I just am getting so tired. Even picking up the phone to order pizza sounds like a lot of work right now. I keep reminding myself that no one expects perfection. . . except for one teeny, tiny little detail - I do. I want my house to look nice, I want the meals to go well, I want everyone to have fun. And even though I am not hosting the actual shower, I still feel responsible for people having a good time.

These are good problems to have, I know. I really feel so blessed that so many people want to shower us with love and presents for Little Man. I just wish that I had a Fairy Godmother who could come and clean house and make dinner so that I could stay parked on the couch!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Progress of Belly and More

I feel as if I have been a bit quiet lately. I think the third trimester fatigue is finally catching up with me. Everything is good with Little Man. His movements are slowing down a bit but he still has no problem getting his kick count in and when he does choose to move, there is no mistaking it!

Here are some pictures of me at 33 weeks.
From the side. . .

Other side. . .
Full frontal . . .

Part of the reason for my radio silence is that we were out of town for my sister's bridal shower this weekend. Here is a picture of me and the Bride-to-Be.

Last, but certainly not least, a picture of our nursery right after it was painted and the crib was set up. The bedding and curtains come this week and then I will be sure to share. We've actually done a lot since this picture was taken, but this will give you an idea of wall color and the crib.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Public Service Announcements

Before I get on to the Baby Stuff, I do have an important factoid for you this morning. Yesterday, when I got home from work, our neighbor came running up to me to tell me what started the fire. Apparently, the barkdust in their front yard had spontaneously combusted. Once that happened, the pillar caught on fire, then it traveled up to the roof. My first thought was "yeah, right," but she then handed me a flier that the fire marshall had given her. Apparently, this is not some urban legend and can actually happen. The recommendation in extremely hot and dry weather is to hose your dust down weekly. Huh, who knew?

Second PSA:

If you have read my blog for any amount of time, you know that I love a great deal. I thrive on getting a discount. The bigger the percent off, the happier I am.

When I started looking for nurseryy bedding, I found a place that has pretty good prices on bedding and such. I had been there only about a dozen times in the past few months, looking at different bedding options and then "visiting" my choice until it was time to buy it. Every. single. time. they had the bedding there.

Until this last Sunday, when my husband and I finally went to actually purchase the 6-piece bedding set. It was out of stock. Much to my dismay, since this is a discount store, they have no ordering cycles. Things just come in as they have them, which means it can never come again, it could come on a truck this week, or anything in between. They can special order it for us, but it still takes 8 - 12 weeks and they tack a special order charge on.

I realized that I was going to have to buy it online, but I wasn't happy about paying at least $50 more for the set, plus shipping. Also, most on-line orders would take a month or more. Then I found this place. Cheapest prices that I have found on-line, plus free shipping on orders over $100, plus we'll have the bedding by Saturday. Sigh of relief.

So, if you are looking for bedding and nursery accessories, definitely check it out.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Roof. The Roof. The Roof Is On Fire.

Well, was on fire.

Luckily, it was not our roof.

I had just gotten home yesterday afternoon from work and was on the phone with my best friend and next door neighbor, C. Sitting in my car, sifting through the mail, I thought I smelled smoke.

I happened to look at our next-door neighbor's house and, sure enough, curls of smoke were wafting through the roof. I told C, "I think our neighbor's house is on fire."

I hung up and ran (waddled quickly) to their front yard. Honestly, I was thinking that I might be imagining things. It was enough smoke to be concerning, but there were no visible flames. All of the windows in the house were open, so I wondered if they were home and perhaps had burned something in the oven. I ran (waddled quickly) up their front stairs and pounded on the door. There was no answer and now that I was closer, I could see that the house was filled with smoke. I got the heck off of the porch and really ran (not even a waddle this time) to the safety of my own front yard. By this time, C had joined me, and we looked at each other in disbelief.

It was time to dial 9-1-1. They promised a "big response" would be there shortly.

Within minutes, the smoke had gotten much worse. A neighbor from across the street came running over and also pounded on the door. C had just seen the wife less than an hour before. With all of the windows open and her car in the driveway, we were sure she was home and visions of her passed out somewhere from smoke inhalation were troubling all of us. Another neighbor ran around back and their slider door was open, but the screen was locked. With all of the smoke, he didn't think it was safe to go in the house.
A couple of seconds later, flames started shooting out from the front of the house and a third neighbor grabbed a hose and started spraying. All of a sudden, I realized how dry their front lawn is, and how close our house is to theirs and I started thinking about our house, too.

Fortunately, the first of twelve fire vehicles was there and firemen pouring out of the it, in less than five minutes. The ladder was out, the hose going strong, and soon they were on the roof, chainsawing their way through to the fire.

Of course, a large crowd soon gathered to watch their efforts. It took awhile for them to clear the roof fire before one of the firefighters could get in to see if anyone was inside. With the exception of the very scared family cat, the house was empty. Thank God.

After the fire was extinguished and the safety of our neighbors established, everyone could breathe a sigh of relief. Soon, the firefighters were offering to let the little kids peek in the trucks and handing out free plastic hats. It almost started feeling like a block party.

Until our neighbors returned home and we all realized what they had lost. The structure itself is definitely salvageable - most of the damage was to the roof and the front pillar, but there is a lot of smoke and water damage. They are unable to stay in the house for now. C and I both offered our spare bedrooms, but they are going to stay with nearby family.

One of our neighbors took this picture after the excitement had died down. You can see the house is still in good shape. There is a tarp on th roof and you can see the bare spot on the left pillar where they stripped off the siding to get to the fire.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Who? Me?

Thirty-three weeks pregnant?

Nah, that's gotta me somebody else you are talking about. It can't be me!

Or perhaps it can. I certainly am feeling that pregnant lately. I have definitely adopted the pregnant waddle, I get up to use the restroom at least three times a night, and my preoccupation with everything B-A-B-Y is possibly dangerous to my health and others'. My husband laughed at me yesterday as I tried to calculate 4 x 25 and was questioning the (correct) answer that I came up with. It is terribly cliche, but I truly just want to putter in his nursery. I have folded and refolded freshly washed little onesies, socks, and footie pjs. I have ironed his crib and bassinet sheets (that will be the only time that they are ironed, I can assure you). I have rearranged (light) furniture, stuffed animals, books, etc. I guess you could say that I am nesting. Or at least obsessing.

The nursery is in no way, shape, or form done. We still need the rest of our bedding, wall decorations, and to organize his closet. But if he were to be born today, we would have what we need. It's a major feeling of relief.

I do have some pictures to share of our progress, but we are having some technical problems with our computer, so look for them later on this week, as well as some updated belly shots. I feel as if I am looking pretty huge, but (knock on wood) I still don't have any stretch marks and I do feel as if a lot of it is baby belly.

I also just wanted to say thank you to those of you that posted comments or e-mailed me regarding the not-so-nice e-mail. I haven't received any more communication from the author and I hope that it's the end of it. I will be keeping the name for the time being - if for no other reason than I can't think of anything more creative!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

What's In A Name

I received an e-mail a few days back.

Since I started blogging, I have had a lot of really supportive e-mails. Usually, not a week goes by that someone doesn't take time out of their day to write me with their own story and comments. For the most part, I love to get these e-mails, although I will confess to crying over so many tales of the broken-hearted. I have made quite a few internet "friends" this way and am glad that I have a way to be contacted through my profile.

Every once in awhile, however, an e-mail is of a different nature. It's not a nice e-mail, it's a mean one. I usually try not to take too much stock in the not-so-nice e-mails. I figure that a person has to be in a place of great pain to strike out at another infertile. I read them, try to concoct a decent response, and if I can't manage that, then I just delete it and move on.

This particular e-mail bothered me and I have tried to let it go, but it keeps haunting me.

An exerpt:

I recently came across your blog by reading another blog about a mom who had lost her baby at full term. I read your story and I feel sorry for what you have been through, I don't think that you are (or were) infertile. You were obviously able to get pregnant and now you have stayed pregnant. I don't think that you deserve to be in the same category of moms that lost full term babies. I also think that writing about due dates and your miscarried babies is an insult to moms that have given birth.

I also think that your blog title is insulting and you should change it. There are women out there experiencing real losses and who have really taken the so-called bullet. Once again, you seem to put your losses in the same category as them and it's just not fair.

I am not posting this to complain or argue any points in it. I obviously do value the lives of my lost little angels, although I don't think that it's the same as losing a full-term baby. My loss of Gummy Bear at 11 weeks was harder than my earlier losses and I think that I would go insane if something happened to Little Man now. I have nothing but the utmost respect for mothers who have lost babies, no matter the gestation, and I hope that I have never conveyed anything but that on this blog.

The author did have one good point, however. Despite my disbelief and constant terror, this pregnancy seems to be heading toward something that I at one point thought could never be mine: A Real Live Baby. Which does mean that I have come out on the other side of the statistics. Which means that perhaps it is time to pass the title onto someone else.

But then what would I name my blog?

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Nursery Progress

Last night, our lovely neighbor came over with paintbrush in hand and got started on the nursery. My husband got home from work and helped with the rolling.

It's about 90% finished right now. Did I mention that this neighbor has a three month old daughter? So, yeah, she had to go breastfeed her and put her to bed. She is coming back tonight to finish the trimwork.

At first, I was a bit nervous about the blue. It was a bit darker than I thought it would be. Now that the walls are mostly painted, however, I am really liking it. Also, with our painting phobia, all of the rooms in our house are white, so this color thing takes a bit of getting used to.

Of course, I'll be updating with progress pictures. There's really not much to see right now, but as soon as the paint dries, the crib is going up, the rest of the furniture will be put in place, and then I can start putting things away and doing the "fun" decorating, like hanging pictures, curtains, and putting the bedding in place. Our plan is to have the nursery pretty much "done" by the end of the weekend. I know I will still putter around and make changes, but we want it to be baby-ready soon so that I can stop obsessing about it.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Rocking Chair

If you saw my video from a couple of weeks ago, showing you around the nursery, then you might remember the rocking chair that is from Grandpa Dan.

Grandpa Dan is my husband's father. I never met him. He died when my husband was nine.

Three years ago, right after we lost our first pregnancy, my husband was watching a television show about unclaimed money. Intrigued, he looked up first his name, then mine, then his father's and bingo - found $900 that had been in a bank account that his father had when he passed away. He went through the process of getting the money and then gave split it with his sister and mother. This left $300 for him to spend.

He decided that he wanted to spend it on something tangible that we would always remember. After thinking it over, he decided that a rocking chair for our future nursery would be perfect. We searched for a few weeks and finally found the perfect chair in our price range.

Last night, we were clearing things out of the nursery and my husband moved the rocking chair to a corner of our bedroom. For the first time since he tried it in the store, he sat down in it and smiled.

Little moments like these make me realize. . . a baby is truly coming.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Two Months Left?

Yesterday, my husband and I attended our first "Birthing For Dummies" class. Okay, no, that's not what it's really called, but it kind of felt like that. M says it's because I am more educated about pregnancy and childbirth than most first-time-moms. Okay, that's probably true, but there is still a ton that I don't know. I was really hoping for some new information. Instead, I felt as if it was all stuff that I could have read about in any of my pregnancy books. I guess I am just going to have to wait and see for myself what it's all about. The best thing about the class was that we got to sign up for our hospital tour and will be doing that in a couple of weeks.

Today marks the beginning of my 32nd week of pregnancy. I simply cannot wrap my arms around the concept that we only have about two months to go before he is here. I feel as if I am glad for those two months, because we still have a lot of work to do. The nursery progress has kind of stalled because neither of us like to paint. In fact, in the five years we have lived in this house, we have painted one wall. Granted, it was a big wall, but it took us forever and scared us away from ever wanting to paint again.

We finally went and bought the paint today, choosing a pretty light blue color called "spa." I was torn between yellow and blue, but I figured, what the heck? Boys should have lots of blue. I also had purchased these really neat cloud decals a few weeks back and they would have looked rather odd on a yellow "sky."

I was going to work on taping off the nursery this week and then M was going to paint next weekend. I say "was" because our neighbor (who has painted every wall in her house. Twice.) came over as we were getting back from buying the paint and offered her services. She is going to come over on Tuesday night and paint the nursery for us. She said that she actually finds painting relaxing and wants to help. This is incredibly sweet and giving of her and we are offering babysitting services in exchange.

So, if all goes according to plan, the nursery should be painted Tuesday and then hopefully, M will be able to put the crib together this week as well. After that, it's mostly a matter of getting everything arranged as we want it, hanging curtains, and things for the walls. But it will feel so good to get things really started. Thank goodness for our kind neighbor!

Friday, July 4, 2008

All Choked Up

I had a bad night last night. About an hour after we had gone to bed, I was having this dream that I was underwater, couldn't breathe, was choking, and drowning.

Then it got worse. I realized that I wasn't dreaming, I was choking. I couldn't breathe and felt as if there was fluid in my throat, awful burning fluid.

This has happened three times in the past two weeks. The first time, I figured that I swallowed a bug or something. The second time, I wondered if perhaps I was just breathing differently as Little Man took over more lung space. Last night, I finally figured it out: I am choking on my own stomach acid. Sorry, it's a bit TMI, but there you have it.

It takes about fifteen minutes for me to clear the acid from my vocal chords and lungs and get to breathing normally, but it's a scary fifteen minutes. I have to remind myself that I can breathe and just try to relax.

I chugged some Maa.lox and managed to get back to sleep - only to have it happen again barely twenty minutes later. It's such a scary feeling to wake up choking and feeling as if I can't breathe. So, then I was kind of afraid to fall asleep again, because I wonder what happens if I don't wake up? Of coures, logically I know that won't happen, but I still was worried about it and then couldn't get back to sleep. I went downstairs and watched t.v. for awhile, had more Maa.lox, some milk, and a popsicle, because my throat was so irritated from the acid and the coughing.

I was awake for about three hours, then fell asleep on the couch, and it happened again. This time, I woke myself up before it got as bad, and then I went back upstairs and finally fell asleep with a mountain of pillows propping me up. I think it was about 4:30 AM. Then, my silly little dog woke us up at 6:15 AM. He never does that. Ever. He had to go to the bathroom, so I went back downstairs, fed, watered, and let the dogs out, then it was back upstairs to try and get more sleep.

I don't want to add up the sleep that I got last night, because it wouldn't be enough. I am glad that today is not a work day for me, but we have people coming over for a BBQ tonight and the house is not guest-ready. Nor have I done the grocery shopping. Luckily, I did not plan a complicated menu, but I still doubt that I will have time for a nap.

I know this is a whiny post, and for that I apologize. The true purpose of this post is to find out if anybody else out there has had this, and if so, what did you do about it? I am going to call the on-call doctor and find out if they have any other suggestions, but as I am already taking antacids and propping myself up, I doubt there is anything else that can be done, so I am all for your advice and home remedies.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

His Head Is Where?

Today was my (almost) 32 week check up. Once you switch to biweekly appointments at my clinic, you start seeing the nurse practitioner for every other one. I had heard from a few other friends that she was a bit of a meanie when it came to weight gain, so I was a bit nervous about that. For the most part, the appointment went really well. She was a lot nicer than I was expecting and didn't say anything about my weight gain.

The stats:

Blood pressure was good: 114/68. The bottom number up a bit from last time, but not enough to be concerned.

Weight gain: 2 lbs up from last time for a total of 25 pounds at 32 weeks. I am pleased with that.

Iron levels: Got my blood taken and expect to hear back on Monday with the results.

Swelling: Moderate in my lower legs and feet, but nothing alarming.

Bad news? Well, there is no bad news, but as she was measuring me and feeling around, she definitely felt his head and Little Man is breech. He still has a couple of weeks to "settle in" to position, but we'll probably get an ultrasound down at 35 weeks to see what's up, unless he has obviously moved head down. She mentioned that my OB is a fan of external cephalic versions, which I am not so excited about, so everybody keep fingers crossed that he turns on his own.

Second piece of interesting information is that she could feel my uterus contracting during the exam. I had been feeling these contractions but figured they were Braxton Hicks and didn't worry about them. Last night, I had a couple of sharper pains, but there weren't four an hour (my OB's threshold for calling in), so again, I wasn't concerned. Well, she said that I should be counting all of my contractions, even the not-so-painful ones and that I need to call in should they continue. She recommended trying to rest for two hours in the morning and two hours in the afternoon, and there is just no way that I can really do that during the work week.

So, hopefully, no more contractions and Baby Boy will move head down. All in all, a good appointment, and can you even believe? Almost 32 weeks!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Who You'd Be Today

In December of 2006, my husband and I were expecting our fifth baby. We were eleven weeks pregnant and after several early losses, this one was looking like "a keeper." Three ultrasounds had confirmed a great heartbeat and a wiggly little embryo that caused our RE is send us on our way with a request for baby pictures that summer.

We had nicknamed our sweet little one Gummy Bear and I had a feeling that it was a boy. It was right before Christmas and we'd had a heck of year, with four miscarriages in nine months. The sweet happiness of finally being really and truly pregnant had us walking inches off the ground. We were beyond giddy with our happiness. We had already told my family of our news and were planning to take our ultrasound picture framed in a Grandma ornament up to his family's house the very night of our OB appointment.

We never made it up to my in-laws that night. Instead, we watched our silent little baby float in a black space on a fuzzy screen and scheduled a D&C. Instead of handing my mother-in-law her first Grandma ornament, we returned the gift for a memorial angel to hang on our Christmas tree. And part of me died with my baby.

Little Gummy Bear's due date was July 2, 2007. Today, I remember my sweet Little One and think about what life would be like if he had lived. I'd no doubt be scurrying around organizing a party, baking a cake, taking him for his first haircut and placing the clipping in his baby book. I would be ready to watch him take his first steps (or running after him if he had already learned how to walk). I would be changing his diaper, reading his stories, worrying about what kind of mother I was being. These are all things that I so many times wondered if I would ever get the chance to do.

Yesterday, I heard a song on the radio that I had heard before: Who You'd Be Today by Ken.ny Ches.ney. It struck me with special meaning and I wanted to share it with you.

The video doesn't apply so much, but the words of the song certainly do. I am in a bit of my own hell today, thinking about the baby that could have been, what he would be like, who he would be. And yet, if Gummy Bear had lived, I wouldn't be feeling his little brother kick me right now. I am learning an important truth about motherhood: one child cannot replace another. My heart may be soothed today by the little one that I am nurturing inside of me, but it is still broken when I think about all that could have been and all that we have lost.

Tonight, we will add a stone angel to Gummy Bear's garden and light a candle to honor his memory. I will be glad for what we have been blessed with, our time with this special angel and all of the others, and I will vow never to forget them and what they mean to me.

Gummy Bear, I love you with all of my heart. Mommy misses you every single day. I hope you know how very much you mean to Daddy and me. We love you, precious Angel.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Crocs and Orange Popsicles

The Northwest "Heat Wave" continued yesterday, but luckily, the temperatures were about ten degrees cooler. It seemed to make a bit of a difference, not only in how much my feet were swelling, but also in how fast I could get the temperature down in the house when I got home from work.

Speaking of work, that is getting a bit more challening lately. My job is not physical in a lifting or straining sense, but it does require a lot of driving and plenty of walking around. I work in hospitals, so usually I have to park my car out in the boonies and then walk to all of the different departments that I call on. I switched to a rolling bag for my supplies at about six months, and that definitely has helped, but I still feel "The Waddle" coming on about half way through the day. I also haven't been able to find any decent work shoes and open toes are definitely not allowed in patient care areas like the ICU or ER. I also just wouldn't feel comfortable walking into a professional appointment with flip flops on.

I had purchased a pair of shoes that I thought would accomodate my swollen feet, but they stopped fitting by around noon yesterday. I went into a nearby shoe store and bought a pair of Cro.cs. I am still not sure how professional these are, but at least they are close-toed and all of the nurses wear them, so I fit in. They are also really comfortable and I went a size larger to accomodate future swelling, so hopefully, I have found a solution.

I also have to wear professional clothing. Yesterday, all I wanted to wear was a loose sundress or shorts and a tank top. Of course, this was not an option. I ended up settling on a pair of nice black cropped pants and a loose fitting dress shirt, but it was still a lot of clothes. This actually isn't my company dress code, either, which is for suit pants and jackets, but my maternity suits no longer fit. They are too spendy to buy any more for just a few more weeks, and my boss approved me to wear "work appropriate" non-suits. I am not sure cropped pants would fall under that category, but luckily, I wasn't working with her yesterday!

I don't know how pregnant women in truly warm parts of the country do it! The lucky thing for me is that this heat is a passing thing. I know most of you commented that you would have to have AC or die, but really, most of our summers here are quite mild. It's rare for temperatures to get about 80 degrees, and even then, most nights the heat dies down by the early evening. We can usually control the temperature in our house by opening windows and using fans.

When I got home from work yesterday, I put out the little kiddie pool that we have for our lab mix, Rocky. He loves to "paddle" in the pool, which is hardly big enough for him to actually get swimming in. But he will lay down in the six inches of water, lap at it, and then move himself in circles as if he is swimming. I put my own feet in the cold water and ate a popsicle and felt comfortable for the first time in a few days. My husband laughed at me when he came home to find me sharing the kiddie pool with a sixty-pound dog and my lips all orange from my popsicle.

I didn't mind the laughter - I felt great! If you need me, I'll be in the kiddle pool. With a popsicle.