Sunday, January 31, 2010

25 Weeks

I am now 25 weeks pregnant!

Baby is now about the size of an eggplant. Her sense of equilibrium is developing, so she can sense upside-down from right-side-up. Most of her remaining development will largely be weight gain and lots and lots of nervous system development. She's also growing more hair — and if we could see it, we'd now be able to discern its color and texture.

I'm feeling pretty good these days. I think my belly went through another growth spurt! I'm filling out my shirts even more now. I still have no sign of the linea negra, which I'm happy about. I think that my hair is starting to be more noticeably thick (this is a good thing!), and I'm also noticing that my belly is kind of fuzzy. (Ew!) Over all I feel pretty good, although the back pain is becoming more frequent, and when I'm on my feet for a long time, I start feeling like my belly is too heavy to hold up. I'm going to try wearing a support band soon and see how that helps.

My MIL and BIL (and his girlfriend) are all staying with us right now, and they brought us a big box full of baby clothes. I was so excited to finally hang some things in Baby's closet! We got some REALLY cute outfits. So much fun! This weekend I am attending two separate baby showers. It's amazing how much more fun baby showers are when you are pregnant! I'm getting very excited for my own shower(s). :)

Just two more weeks til the 3rd trimester!!!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Random Friday Thoughts

Being pregnant is the most amazing thing that has ever happened to me. Even now, after almost 6 months, I am still completely blown away by the entire experience. Every day, multiple times a day, I have to stop what I'm doing because my thoughts are completely taken over by the fact that I am going to have a baby. It fully amazes me that this little life inside of me will become a full-time member of our family in just a few short months. She is actually going to be a little tiny person - so tiny and fragile and perfect. I can't wait to see what she looks like - will she look more like me, or more like her Daddy? Our lives are going to change so much. I am going to be a mom; I am going to have a daughter. I love feeling her move inside me. It still amazes me that this little thumping I feel is a complete little person stretching her limbs. I love her so much, and I am in so much awe of the way my body just knows what to do in order for her to grow and develop.

I have dreams quite regularly now that we already have our baby. In my dreams, I am always realizing that I forgot to feed her, forgot to change her diaper, forgot that she was even there. She just sleeps and sleeps and sleeps. Thankfully, I know that in real life, she will not allow me to forget about her! I'm sure she'll make her presence known quite well so there is NO way I'll forget to feed or change her!

I finally had my first stranger ask me if I was pregnant! Last night at the grocery store, the cashier looked at me and said "You're pregnant?!" I said yes, and she said "You are SO tiny, I was really debating on whether to ask you or not." So, I may still be tiny...but I definitely look pregnant now! That totally made my night. :)


Oh, and just a thought...I would love to do a giveaway on my blog. I enter SO many blog giveaways, I think it would be a lot of fun to give back on the other end! If you know of anyone who has a great baby-related product that would be interested, let me know!


Oh, and while I'm at it, please take a minute to vote for us on Top Baby Blogs. All you have to do is click the further action required. :)


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

My List: So Much Good Stuff

Lately I have been so ridiculously excited about things to come that I can hardly stand it. Aside from the fact that I am actually pregnant and have a little girl growing inside of me; and the fact that I am going to become a mother and have a beautiful little girl of my own, there are so many things going on in these next few months of my life.

And when I get excited and my mind gets overactive, I like to make lists. I am a huge fan of lists. (Whether or not I actually DO anything with my lists is a whole different story…) I constantly have multiple lists going on: "Things I'm Expecting in the Mail", "Hospital Packing List", "Hospital iPod Playlist", Things To Do Before May", and so on.

So with no further ado, here is my latest list of all the fun and exciting things I have on the agenda for the next few months:

* My mother-in-law, brother-in-law, and brother-in-law's girlfriend are coming to visit.
* Not one, but TWO baby showers this weekend!
* The final season of LOST begins! (Sad that it's the last season…but thrilled to see how it all turns out!)
* Fresh Homemade Baby Food cooking class
* The Superbowl
* Childbirth classes begin - February-March
* Babyproofing 101 class
* I have/get to take the glucose test
* Bunco
* 28 Week doctor appointment
* Two birthday parties: one for a friend, and one for the 1st birthday of another friend's son
* Doctor visits begin bi-weekly instead of monthly
* 3/5 Alice in Wonderland comes out in theaters! - This is the movie I MUST see in theaters before baby comes.
* Baby Shower #1
* Mike and I take our tour of the Scripps Encinitas birthing wing
* Housewarming for a friend
* Here Comes Baby - What About the Parents? class
* 3/26 Clash of the Titans comes out in theaters - This is the movie Mike MUST see in theaters before baby comes.
* Baby Shower #2
* Maternity leave begins!!!!!!

All that in less than 3 months - and that's just what I have on the calendar so far! These next few months are going to fly by and I can hardly wait! In the meantime, I'll be busy sewing and getting the nursery ready, as well as getting my bookbinding business started.

It's hard to be stressed about our financial/work situation when there is so much good going on in my life. :)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

My Birth Prediction

I found this site on my friend Dani's blog, and thought it would be funny to try. Here is the prediction for our birth experience:

The day you deliver, outside will be fair. Your baby will arrive in the late evening. After a labor lasting approximately 9 hours, your child, a girl, will be born. Your baby will weigh about 6 pounds, 14 ounces, and will be 19,19-1/2 inches long. This child will have medium green eyes and barely there black hair.

It's not too bad, actually, though I have a feeling she'll have more than "barely there" hair. We shall see!

Monday, January 25, 2010

24 Week Appointment

Today I finally had my 24-week appointment. It's funny how excited I was about it, and how uneventful the appointment actually ended up being! It's always good to get out of the office for a bit though, and of course I love to hear my little baby's heartbeat!

First things first - I had a bit of a shock when I got on the scale - 147 pounds!!! That means I'm up 8 pounds in the last month, for a gain of 10 pounds total. Yikes! I think I might need to lay off the cookies and ice cream for a while.

Little girl's heartbeat was right about 166 bpm - nice and strong!

I told the doctor that I didn't feel her moving so much during the week that I was sick, and asked if she could have been affected by my flu. He said that no, she wouldn't have been bothered by it, but he said it seems that babies usually follow the lead of the mother - when Mom's not feeling well and is just relaxing, Baby usually does the same. When Mom is active, so is Baby! I suppose that is true most of the time...although she does get active sometimes when I'm trying to sleep!

It's just about time for my glucose screening test. In a few weeks I'll go in and drink the sugar drink. Fun, fun!

I also found out about bi-weekly visits. They begin after 28 weeks, so one more monthly appointment, and I start going in every 2 weeks! That will really make it feel like time is moving quickly!

It's also time for me to call the hospital and schedule a time for Mike and I to take our tour. I guess they don't always do tours due to the H1N1, so hopefully they'll be doing them at a time when we can attend. I'm still really hoping that my doctor's new birthing center will be open in time for me to deliver there, but in the meantime I'm just going to prepare to deliver at the hospital. If I find out the birthing center will be open in time, then we'll adjust plans accordingly.

My next regular appointment is February 22nd - by then I'll be in the 3rd trimester!

I finally chose a bag!!!

After months and months of searching, I finally settled on a diaper bag! At first I was looking at the Petunia Pickle Bottom bags - adorable, but EXPENSIVE. The more I thought about it, I realized that they just aren't me. As pretty as they are, I can't imagine carrying around something so, well, pretty all the time. I looked at a couple of bags with Mike, and he commented that he wanted it to be something that he could carry as well. So, that ruled out a lot of the bags I had been looking at.

I also liked the StorkSak bags, but then I realized that they are still WAY too pricey for our one-income budget right now. So, back to the drawing board! Yesterday I checked out a bunch of bags at Babies R Us, and found that I didn't love any of the bags I had thought I would. I found some new contenders though, and ended up finding the bag I want. BRU only carries the black version, but I found all sorts of fun colors on Amazon!

The bag I want is the Skip Hop Dash Deluxe, in red. The red will make it just fancy enough that it won't look fuddy duddy and boring like the black ones, but it's not so fancy that it will be too girly for Mike. It will not only match our stroller, but it will also match the Pack N Play that we registered for. I am so excited! And check out these cool accessories for the bag! There's a matching pacifier holder, too.

(They are all on my registry, if anyone's interested. *wink wink!*)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

24 Weeks

Today I am 24 weeks pregnant. Today marks another milestone in Baby's development - she has now reached the point of Viability! If something were to happen, God forbid, and she were to be born now, there is a chance that she would be able to survive. She would need lots of medical care, and would probably have developmental issues so we want to keep her growing for a few more months. But it is very exciting to know that we have reached this level!

She is about as long as an ear of corn (about a foot long). She's put on somewhere close to 4 ounces, which puts her at over a pound now. She's still pretty skinny, but she is growing proportionately and will start putting on some chub soon.

Her brain is also growing quickly now, and her taste buds are continuing to develop. Her lungs are developing "branches" of the respiratory "tree" as well as cells that produce surfactant, a substance that will help her air sacs inflate once she hits the outside world. Her skin is still thin and translucent, but that will start to change soon.

As for me, the top of my uterus has risen to about 2 inches above my belly button and is now about the size of a soccer ball. I don't think I look quite as big as a soccer ball yet, but sometimes I sure feel like I do! It's funny how some people that I see frequently make comments about how much I've popped out, while other people look at my belly and comment on how I'm hardly showing. I guess it's all individual perspective! I feel like I'm big, but I know that I have SO much growing to do still. I feel like I'm big until I look at my pictures, and I realize that I'm really not. I'm still one of the smallest girls in my prenatal yoga class!
24 Weeks

I was supposed to have my 24 week doctor appointment yesterday, but it got postponed until Monday. I was SO disappointed - I've been looking forward to this for a month! I had just skipped my lunch break in preparation to go to the doctor when I got the call. Oh well, now I have something to look forward to on Monday! I have so many questions for him this month. I'm guessing that we'll be scheduling my glucose screening for this next month. I'm also wondering if I'll be starting bi-weekly appointments after this next visit as well. Time really is moving along!

I haven't made any more progress on the nursery yet, but I did get all of my Alice in Wonderland fabric in the mail. Mike's not a fan of it - he thinks it's too mature for a baby. I told him to just deal with it and trust me and let me do my thing, but the designer in him wants to take over. Too bad...he'll have to wait for the next baby! I already have my vision for this one. Hopefully I'll be able to buy all the little odds and ends soon and get started on my sewing projects. Money is so tight right now though, I don't think I'll be able to do as much as I had hoped. Hopefully we will be able to buy a glider rocker today for $50 (thank you, Craigslist!) and as soon as our crib is back in stock, we'll have to fork over a chunk of money for that. The crib itself is fairly inexpensive, but once you add in the mattress, it racks up quickly! I'm so anxious to start buying more big ticket items off our registry, but I'm trying to restrain myself until after my shower so I can see what I still need!

Other than that, I'm just doing more reading on childbirth preparation. Classes start in a few weeks, and I can hardly wait! I'll be back on Monday with an update from my doctor appointment!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

My Greatest Fear

I've been doing a lot of thinking and visualizing in preparation for childbirth, and it has been helping me to pin point areas in which I have concerns. I have found that my greatest fear right now is not of labor or of childbirth, or even of raising a child. My greatest fear is that I will be bored with my baby. I have been reading that it is good to spend an hour or more with your baby immediately after birth so that we can all bond as a family. This sounds wonderful, but my first thought is "what if I get bored with her and don't want to just cuddle together for hours?" She's not going to do much at that young age - will I enjoy just holding her and looking at her for hours on end? What if I get bored and I don't want to just hold her? And the fear extends beyond those first moments after birth - babies just don't really do a lot at a very young age. Am I going to stay entertained by spending time with her? I can't imagine what I would do for hours on end with a baby that doesn't really do much other than eat and sleep and poop.

I feel that this makes me a bad mother. What kind of mother would be worried about enjoying time with her own baby?

I'm sure it's different when it's your own child. A couple of weeks ago I was holding my friend's baby, Payton. I could have held her for hours, simply in awe of how amazingly tiny and perfect she is. I can only hope that once I meet my own baby, this feeling of awe will be amplified by 100 times or more, and I will be more than content to spend hours at a time with her without getting bored.

Is this a normal thing to be concerned about? Did anyone else have this fear? Once your baby was born, did you find that it was nothing to worry about? I hate feeling this way, but I think I will feel better once I express my concern, and hopefully get some responses from others!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

So excited...waiting for the mailman!

I love getting mail - like I said a few days's like Christmas whenever a package arrives!

Yesterday I made my first cloth diaper purchase. A week or so ago I heard that bumGenius DELUXE Bamboo FittedCloth Diapers were on sale at Cotton Babies. I had my eye on them, but I wasn't sure yet what I was going to do about diapering, and if I really needed to buy any for myself since I'd be borrowing some from friends. Yesterday I looked at the Cotton Babies site again, and the price had dropped from $7 something a dipe to only $6 something! I took this as a sign, and decided to use the Visa gift card my sister had given us for Christmas (for the baby!) I ended up getting 2 fitted diapers and a Thirsties Duo Cover along with a bath toy for under $25!!! I can't wait!

I've also ordered a few other things: for myself I ordered some black FLAT boots (no heels for this girl anymore!), and my Alice in Wonderland fabric is on it's way (I got some of it already...just waiting for the final piece!), and I just ordered some closet dividers, and a Moby Wrap from Baby Steals! I can hardly wait. :)

And I did convince Mike to start the baby registry with me the other night - WOW, is there a lot of stuff! I'm super excited about all the stuff we registered for. Now we just need to buy a crib!

Monday, January 18, 2010

23 Weeks and More on Cloth Diapers

We've made it to 23 weeks! Sorry for the late post - this week has been a really rough one. I came down with a miserable cold that has kept me practically bed-ridden for the past 4 days. I had to call in sick two days last week and thankfully I have a 3-day weekend for MLK day to continue to recover. Today I still have a sore throat, stuffy chapped nose, and a cough, but I'm feeling well enough to do a little grocery shopping, and I'm actually coherent enough to sit and read and type. I haven't been sick in so long - this has NOT been fun! Since I'm pregnant, there are very few medications I can take, and the ones that are allowed are not very effective. But, it has been nice to have some time to just relax at home even though I didn't accomplish much of anything!

*I did accomplish one thing - I purchased the Alice in Wonderland fabric to sew the nursery bedding! Once it comes in the mail, I'll head to the fabric store to buy the rest of the fabric and notions. I can hardly wait! I am hoping to start our Babies R Us registry this evening as well, but with this rain, I'm not sure if I'll be able to convince Mike to go out with me. We shall see!*

Baby still seems to be doing okay - I feel her move several times a day, but she is definitely not as active as she was before I got sick. I worry that since I am not feeling well, she isn't feeling so great either. I usually feel some movement from her every few hours. Still no big kicks yet - Mike is still waiting to really be able to interact with her.

Baby is now close to 12" long, and weighs just over a pound. Her sense of movement is developed now, so she can tell when I am moving. Blood vessels in her lungs are developing to prepare for breathing, and the sounds that her ears pick up are preparing her for entry into the outside world. Loud noises that become familiar now probably won't faze her when she hears them outside the womb. Her eyes can now open and close, and she has her very own tiny set of fingerprints!

According to my weekly emails, now is about the time when pregnant swelling begins (especially in the lower extremities). I haven't noticed any swelling yet, and since we are in the middle of winter, hopefully I won't get any additional swelling from the heat. Other than this miserable cold, I've been feeling pretty good pregnancy-wise. I am full-time in maternity pants now, although I do still need to wear my belly band over them to keep them from falling down. My belly isn't quite big enough yet to hold them up on their own yet! My maternity shirts are definitely filling out. All my baby doll tops hang over me like a bell - not cute! I've started wearing more regular (and maternity) t-shirts so that you can tell I just have a bump and not a giant bell-shaped torso. I refuse to wear heels anymore now since they hurt my feet, and I don't have that great of balance to begin with! I bought a couple pairs of flat boots, and I am loving them!

I have been continuing to have cramps, which is starting to concern me. They feel like menstrual cramps, and they last from 15 minutes to an hour. Sometimes they are bad enough that I need to use a heat pack, and I can't move. I haven't had any spotting, so I think everything is okay, but I am definitely going to bring this up to my doctor later this week.

23 Weeks

Cloth Diapers

One thing that I did manage to do this week is go to a Cloth Diapering 101 class at the local baby boutique. Mike came along with me so that we could both be on the same page about diapers. It was a very educational class. We were shown all the different types of cloth diapers, and the advantages/disadvantages of each. I'm much more comfortable now, and I'm no longer overwhelmed by all the different pieces! Mike is on board with the cloth diapering idea, and we came to the agreement that we are going to use disposables for the first week or so, just until we (mainly Mike!) are comfortable with changing diapers and settling into a routine (allowing us some time to start diaper laundry!).

We both really liked the pocket diapers and the fitted diapers. I wouldn't mind having some prefolds on hand, but I'll mostly use them for stuffing the pockets rather than using them as actual diapers. We aren't huge fans of the idea of all the folding and pinning (even with snappies) - the simpler, the better - which is why we like the fitted diapers. We were also shown these great wet bags. Not only do they come in a small size for your diaper bag, but they come in a large size big enough for hanging in the nursery! I want to use cloth wipes as well. I am really excited to get started!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Baby dreams!

Last night I had my first dream about MY baby! I've had some weird non-baby-related-dreams lately, and even dreams about other people's babies (always girls - even before I knew Bean was a girl!). But until now, I had never dreamed about my own baby. Well, finally last night, I did! I dreamed that baby was moving around in my belly and I was able to see the shape of her through my belly - I could tell where her back was, where her feet were, etc. As the dream progressed, it was like my belly disappeared, and baby was just curled up in my lap. I could see and feel every detail of her little body - she was very small, but perfect! She had a LOT of blondish hair. Interesting... :)

I think this dream came because I have finally been feeling lots of movement from her, and I've actually been able to see my own belly moving when she moves. I haven't actually been able to tell if it's her foot or her butt or what body part I'm feeling, but she's been so much fun lately. I feel her several times a day, and I can't help but smile and laugh to myself at the strange but exciting new sensations!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Cloth Diapering

First, before I get into all that, I have a quick newsflash:

Mike felt the Baby kick for the first time last night!!!!
She's been a lot more active in the past several days. I feel her moving several times a day now - sometimes just little flutters, and other times it's more noticeable thumps. When I feel the thumping, I can often see my belly move with the pressure. She was moving enough last night after I got in bed that I had Mike put his hand on my belly, and sure enough, she kept kicking! He was so excited to feel something, but all he said was "wow, that's weird!" LOL

Okay, back to topic:
From the start, I have intended to cloth diaper. Mainly in order to save money on diapers, but also for the environmental reasons. I want to make an effort to be as "green" as I can! I did a bit of research, and it looks like cloth diapering and doing all the diaper laundry at home is the cheapest route. Disposables would be second, and the most expensive route would be cloth diapering using a diaper service for the laundry. I intend to do the laundry at home. Since I'm planning to be home with Baby, I don't see why I wouldn't be able to do my own laundry. I know there will be a high volume, but I think it will be manageable.

In the last few weeks though, I've been a bit undecided.
1) For one, Mike mentioned the other day that he did not like the idea of having to change a cloth diaper. (He's pretty freaked at the idea of changing a diaper, period, so cloth really scares him!) I also wonder how practical they are to use when we are out in public, or when she has a baby sitter.
2) Also, cloth diapers are EXPENSIVE. There are SO many different options, I'm kind of overwhelmed. I understand prefolds and snapeez. They are pretty much the same thing that my mom used for my little brothers (but she used pins instead of snapeez.) I've also seen some other diapers that look more fitted with snaps on them instead of snapeez. And then there are the pocket diapers, and the covers. The covers look to me like they are just as thick as the diaper itself! Do I actually put a big fat fitted diaper with snaps on, and then a big fat cover on top of that? I'm confused. Then there are those who use liners, and those who use sprayers. My good friend Dani has a sprayer built in by her toilet for quick cleanup. I don't imagine we will do that though, so how would we spray out the diapers?

For those of you who cloth diaper, what type do you recommend? There are so many brands out there - which are best?
Are prefolds the best, or just the cheapest?
Does cleanup get messy? I assume we'd use liners rather than a sprayer.
I've seen little packaged diaper sprayers - how do they work?
What is the laundry like - how often do you have to do a load of diapers? Does it get to be overwhelming when you have to do adult laundry, baby laundry, AND diaper laundry?
Does the diaper pail get smelly? What kind of a pail do you use? I told hubby that a Diaper Genie would not work for cloth diapers, but he thought that it might?
What other benefits are there to cloth diapers besides saving money and not filling the landfill with diapers?

Any other tips or advice? If I do choose to go the cloth diaper route, I want to get started on building my stash soon, but I hate to buy any if I decide not to use them.

Advice, please!!! :)

I've been awarded!!!

Thanks to My Life in Black and White: Stoneyville for this award!!! She has given me the Beautiful Blogger Award. I feel so special! :)

Here are the rules for this award.

1. Thank the person who nominated me for this award
2. Copy the award & place it on my blog
3. Link to the person who nominated me for this award
4. Share 7 interesting things about myself
5. Nominate 7 bloggers

Okay, so here goes...7 interesting things about myself:
1. I talk with my hands WAY too much. For some reason I feel like people will 'get' what I'm trying to say better if I make hand gestures. Unfortunately I think it might distract them more than anything else!

2. I worry far too much about what people think of me in pretty much every aspect of my life.

3. I have absolutely no fashion sense. My husband, the designer, is better than I am at knowing what's hot or not.

4. Whenever I talk to myself, I always have to finish my sentences. If I change or add to my thought halfway through talking to myself, I have to start over and re-say the entire thought to myself.

5. I LOVE getting the mail. In a small way, it's kind of like Christmas every day! Sundays and holidays are always a little bit of a bummer when it comes to the mail. (This is also a reason why I am SO addicted to buying things online - I LOVE getting the packages!)

6. I really do not care for tea at all, unless it is a chai tea latte or a green tea smoothie thing. The only time you will catch me drinking regular tea is if I'm sick, and I'm usually complaining about the taste.

7. I was born with a full head of dark hair. The dark baby hair fell out later, and grew back blonde. I have a feeling my baby will be born with dark hair too - whether or not it will turn blonde, we'll just have to see!

Now to nominate 7 bloggers:
1. Kayce's Doula Journey
2. Amanda at Life is Sweet
3. Sarah at The Phillips Family
4. Natalie at The Bobby Pin
5. Baby Bumble B
6. Dou-la-la
7. CB at I Heart Food For Thought

Monday, January 11, 2010

Change comes like the wind.

It seems like change always comes when you aren't expecting it. I've been preparing myself for big changes - changes that I didn't think would come until spring. Turns out, things were meant to change for us sooner than we had expected! Starting this week, Mike is now 100% freelancing - he is no longer employed. This came as quite a shock to me - we just bought a house, and are expecting a baby soon! What kind of timing is this?!!? While I am still very nervous, there are definitely pros and cons to the situation.

1. If it had to happen at some point, now is probably the best possible time. We actually started saving money, and while we were intending to replace our windows with it, at least we do have that cushion and will be able to afford our mortgage for a couple of extra months should we fall short on income.
2. I got a bonus this year, which is enough for us to buy the necessary furniture items for the nursery (crib, glider, and dresser).
3. While I am still working full-time, we are able to cover all our expenses, even without Mike working.
4. We still have 3 full months for Mike to find stable income before I go on maternity leave.
5. Mike will be much happier doing work that he enjoys - Work has been a major downer for him, so he will finally be able to be himself again.

1. It is scary to be pregnant, knowing that in just a few months, we will not be able to afford our expenses if Mike hasn't found steady income yet. We are now on a SUPER tight budget.
2. We still need a second vehicle - if Mike needs to buy new business supplies, that will drastically cut into our car savings fund.
3. Things are now up in the air as to what I will do after the baby comes - I can't make any plans until we know what Mike's employment situation will be like.

So see, the pros do outweigh the cons. But please, keep us in your thoughts and prayers. This means that I need to get very serious about setting up my bookbinding business so that I will also have a supplemental income, but I have been SO exhausted lately, I haven't been able to manage it. And if any of you, or anyone you know needs any graphic design or web design work done, please send them our way! (He does AWESOME work, really!) We need all the work Mike can get right now.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

22 Weeks

Today we are 22 weeks! Baby is now almost a foot long, and weighs almost a pound. She is about the size of a papaya or a spaghetti squash. That seems so big to me!
She is probably sleeping 12-14 hours a day. I have been feeling her little flutters and thumps a bit more frequently in the past few days. I imagine I'll be feeling her more and more in the next couple of weeks! I actually saw my belly move from the outside a couple of times last night. What a crazy sensation!

She now looks like a miniature newborn. SO tiny, and so cute! She is very wrinkly like a raisin right now as her skin prepares to cover her baby fat when it starts growing. Her tastebuds are forming, and her tooth buds are developing below her gums. She is now producing hormones of her own. The irises of her eyes have formed, but they still lack pigment. I am guessing that they will be turning blue or green!

As for me, I'm feeling pretty good. I am getting bigger and bigger every day! (One of these days soon, I'll have Mike take a nicer picture of me for you guys.) The big thing in my pregnancy emails this week seems to be stretch marks. So far I have none, so I'm hoping that's a good sign that I might be one of the lucky ones. We'll see! In the meantime, I'm keeping my belly nice and moisturized.
22 Weeks

While I'm still feeling happy and healthy, things aren't quite as peachy wonderful as they have been lately. I'm thrilled that my girls are growing so much, but I am having a hard time adjusting to them! I love my new bras, but they just aren't comfortable by the end of the day - there's nothing I want more than to just let them loose. But then the girls touch my belly, and that feeling just completely weirds me out! They are somewhat tender now, and quite itchy. No leakage just yet. I know Mike can't wait for that one....yeah right. ;)

I'm also experiencing heartburn now. The nausea I had the other day seems to be in check as long as I eat healthy (and not too large of portions!), but the gas pains and nausea are pretty uncomfortable.

The other side effect that has been coming back now is fatigue. It's nothing like the first trimester, but gradually the exhaustion is creeping up on me again. I'm back to 9:30 or 10:00 PM crash mode. Plus I'm having a harder time sleeping now - I toss and turn all night. I just can't quite get comfortable, I guess. At least I don't fully wake in the night! I still have a few months to work up to that. ;)

I haven't noticed any skin changes at all (other than being really really really pale!). No discoloration or spots or anything. I don't have the linea negra (the dark like down my belly) yet, so hopefully my paleness will be good for something and prevent me from getting that. I feel like a zombie - my eyes get so dark against my pale face. I can't wait to be able to go tanning again!!! I haven't really noticed it yet, but Mike thinks that my hair is finally starting to look thicker. I'm not actually growing more hair, but I am losing it at a much slower pace now, which causes my hair to be fuller. I like that!!!

Just a few more weeks until the third trimester now - I can't believe I'm almost to the home stretch! I'm guessing that I'll be scheduling my glucose screening soon. My next appointment is January 22nd, so just a couple more weeks!

Time Management

I'm really struggling with time management right now. I have so many big things to prepare for in the coming months, and I am having a hard time knowing how to prioritize my time. For one thing, I get home from work so late every night that by the time I get home and make dinner, I am too exhausted to work on any projects. I end up reading or watching TV for 30 minutes or an hour, and then passing out in bed. The only time I have to work on my important personal projects is on the weekends - and that time flies!

Here are the major concerns I have right now:

1) Binding books and coming up with my personal style for my product. I need to have this product on hand so that Mike can more efficiently design a logo and website for me so that I can get my business up and running. I want to have this all in place BEFORE the baby arrives.

2) Researching baby items (safety, value, etc.) so that I know what items to register for. I need to do this before I go register, and I would like to register within the next month so that it is all taken care of before my baby shower. Registering will also give me a better idea of how to decorate the nursery.

3) Decorating the nursery - I want to register before I start buying a lot of baby items, but there are some furniture items (like a glider, dresser, etc.) that we will probably just buy on our own. Plus, we will need to paint, and I want to have that done before we start filling the room with furniture and supplies.

4) Researching child birth methods. I pretty much have this under control, since I've been doing a lot of reading, and I just signed up for childbirth classes (yay!). I do still have about 5 books on my to-be-read list that I'd like to finish before I go into labor. I am borrowing a couple of them, so I'd like to at least finish those so I can return them soon.

I have no idea where to begin. I feel like the bookbinding should be a priority so that I can have my business ready to go, which will relieve some of my stress about how we are going to survive once the baby comes. This is something I've been working towards for over a year now, and I just want to have it started already. At the same time, I feel like I really need to focus on my baby research. I am only about 1/8 of the way through the Baby Bargains book, and I've barely scratched the surface. I want to register soon (preferably in the next week or two - Mike wants us to do it with his mom when she's in town, but I do NOT like that idea! If I go with anyone other than Mike, it will be a brand new mom friend of mine!) and I need to have my research done first. I feel like I'm wasting valuable bookbinding time when I'm doing baby stuff though. I'm so conflicted about this. I think I can wait on the nursery until after I register. But as far as reading childbirth books and researching baby supplies, I don't know how to manage those with my bookbinding.

How would YOU schedule your time if this was your situation?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

More nausea. Blech.

I have been feeling nauseous for the past couple of days. For someone who hardly had morning sickness to begin with, I didn't expect it to come back again in the second trimester! I started feeling really hot and flushed, and then queasy. Yesterday I started getting a bad headache again. On top of all that, with my heartbeat and pulse just going nuts, I felt like I was going to die! I brought my Psi Bands to work today just in case the queasiness comes back. I suppose I could be coming down with something, but I'm pretty sure it's just pregnancy-related, since it comes and goes.

I read that nausea at this point in pregnancy isn't usually caused by hormones anymore, since my body has already grown accustomed to them. Nausea at this point is usually caused by the uterus pushing up on the stomach, causing digestion to slow down, and heartburn to kick in. I haven't really been feeling heartburn, but I definitely feel like I have indigestion. I'm afraid that it's time for me to call it quits on the pizza parlor downstairs from my office. It smells SO tempting, and I keep giving in, but every time I eat it I seem to feel yucky. Time to get back on the healthy food bandwagon!

What else is new? I'm feeling huge today. I felt a couple little kicks yesterday. I actually dreamed about my baby last night. She was just a little pink baby burrito in the hospital nursery. Mike and I have been talking a lot more about natural childbirth. He's starting to show more interest in helping out. I am still waiting to hear back from our childbirth instructor about officially signing up for our class. I am so excited to get started!

Monday, January 4, 2010

So much for the doula idea.

Last night I had a talk with the hubs, hoping that he would see eye-to-eye with me and agree to consult with a few doulas. Things didn't go quite as I had hoped. I was under the impression that he was coming around to the idea and would let me do whatever I felt was necessary, but apparently I was wrong!

I shared with him the many reasons that I felt a doula would be helpful to us:
(Many of these reasons were things I learned from Dou-la-la's blog in response to Baby Making Machine's post about her doula dilemma.)

1. Labor can be LONG, and Mike will want time to nap, shower, eat, etc. The doula would be with me during that time to give him a break.
2. I (and Mike) am very likely to forget some of the pain management techniques I have learned, and it would be very helpful to have a doula there to remind us.
3. I will probably get crazy towards the end and struggle with pain, etc. Mike will probably have a hard time watching me in pain, and will get worried. A doula can reassure us both that things are okay. She can help him know how to help me so that he won't feel helpless and/or concerned about my well-being.
4. The doula can help Mike stay focused and calm.
5. If the doctors or nurses say medications or interventions are necessary, the doula can help us decide for ourselves whether we actually need them or not.
6. The doula can be the liaison between the medical staff and us so that Mike is free to stay and support me and not get caught up in the technicalities.
7. Labor is usually shorter, and natural births are usually more successful with a doula.
8. A doula could help save money by helping prevent unnecessary interventions which may not be completely covered by insurance.
9. A doula can be more objective and can help in stressful or scary situations whereas a husband may himself be too scared or nervous to think clearly.
10. I often have a hard time taking orders from Mike. I am afraid that when I am in extreme pain, if he tells me what I *should* be doing, I will get irritated rather than receptive. In that case, I think I would have an easier time "taking orders" from a woman who knew physically what I was going through at that time.
11. I'm not so concerned about MY doctor - he is supportive of natural childbirth. However, during the long process of labor, I will have several different nurses and members of the hospital staff attending to me. I have no idea what their views on childbirth will be, or what their bedside manner will be. If I have a doula, we will have a consistent source of support and not have to worry about shift changes and possibly getting a nurse that we clash with.

Unfortunately, he doesn't see things this way. I tried to reassure him that my desire for a doula has NOTHING to do with my level of trust in him. I simply want a doula because all the research I have done shows that natural births are more successful with a doula. I want a doula for the additional benefits, not to replace my husband.

However, my husband does not see it this way. He sees my desire for a doula as a personal insult to him. He feels that all these things I have listed as the duties of a doula are things that should be HIS role in childbirth.

So for now, all thoughts of hiring a doula are OUT. I was very upset about this last night, but I guess we'll just have to work through it and hope things work out for the best. I asked Mike to please pay VERY close attention in our childbirth classes, as he is going to be responsible for reminding me of all pain management techniques, and treating me in a gentle, supportive, and understanding way. I am hoping that this childbirth class based on "Birthing From Within" will teach him what he needs to know. He does not like to read, so this class will really be the only way he becomes aware of the roles I need him to play.

Maybe through this class he will find that a doula would NOT be replacing him, but rather would be an added help for us both. By the time we are finished with the class I'll be towards the end of my pregnancy, but I suppose it's not too late. And who knows - maybe we will learn a lot and find that we don't need a doula.

I'm really nervous about childbirth again. I'm scared that with just the two of us, we won't have luck with an unmedicated birth - wish us luck! If anyone has any reassurance in successfully having an unmedicated birth with their husband as their only support, please share it - I need it right now!!!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

21 Weeks

I am now 21 weeks pregnant! This morning we had our BIG ultrasound, and guess what - Baby is still a girl!!! I know Mike was hoping for a miracle, but in reality, it's probably better that some little bits and pieces didn't suddenly grow in the last couple weeks. That would just be weird! I know you're all anxious to see, so here is our little girl!

I expressed to the tech my concerns about the lack of movement I've been (or NOT been!) feeling. She told me that was normal, and that usually it will begin around 21 weeks (which I am today, so hopefully SOON!) There's no reason to worry, as we were able to see that she definitely IS moving around a lot in there. I'm actually pretty surprised that I wasn't feeling any of her movement! When we first started, Baby was lying sideways, with her head on my right side. Shortly after, she shifted to a breech position. This is when the tech was able to get most of her measurements. After I took a quick pee break, Baby had shifted into the head down position. The tech told me not to worry about positioning at all yet, since I have until 35 weeks to start being concerned about a breech position.

The ultrasound was pretty cool. The tech measured everything, and it looks like we have nothing to worry about. Everything measured normal and there is nothing that raised any concerns. Baby's heartbeat was a strong 158. We were able to see my placenta, and it looks like I have an anterior placenta, which means it is at the front of my uterus. The tech said that this shouldn't affect anything, but from my research, this could be part of the reason why I'm not feeling much movement yet. The umbilical cord is connecting right at the center of the placenta, which is just as it should be.

Baby is now about the size of a banana. She's getting long! Her digestive system is busy creating meconium (a tarry black substance made of swallowed amniotic fluid, digestive secretion, and dead cells), which will fill the first diaper after birth. We were able to get a good look at her stomach, and we saw her swallowing. Those are good signs that her digestive system is working, and that she is already preparing to suck and swallow and latch on once she is born. Baby's womb is now stocked up with her lifetime supply of six million eggs (the number will drop to around one million by birth). So crazy!

As for me, I am doing pretty well. I feel great, and I've never been happier. I have been experiencing some weird cramps and aches and pains, which always concerns me. I think most of them are pretty normal though. I THINK that I may have been experiencing some Braxton Hicks contractions occasionally. They don't hurt, but there's just a weird tightening sensation in my lower abdomen. It's really weird! I try to just ignore it though, because I know that labor is going to be SOOO much more intense than these little sensations! This article about Pelvic Pressure describes exactly what I've been feeling.

I am seriously feeling huge now. When I look down, I see nothing but belly. I'm visibly pregnant from the side too, but I'm not as massive as I feel like I am. It's hard to believe that I'm still going to get WAY bigger than I already am! Sadly, my two favorite pairs of jeans happen to be the first pairs that I just can't wear anymore. I can't even zip them any more, and they just don't feel comfortable. I just bought a pair of maternity jeans today that are super comfortable, and fit UNDER the belly instead of having the ugly panel. I can't wait to wear them! Just since yesterday, I suddenly feel massive. I'm thinking that some of it is caused by eating to much though... :P On a bright note, I had to buy new bras again, and guess what - I'm a D!!! Mike and I both have never been so thrilled. I have a feeling that they will get bigger still - they are sore again, and my milk has yet to come in. This is one side effect of pregnancy that I am fully enjoying!
21 Weeks

My face really isn't any more pimply than it ever was, but my back and shoulders sure are. My shoulders are like a teenager's face. NOT cute. Thankfully it's cold outside, so my shirts all keep my shoulders nice and covered! Although I'm generally feeling pretty good, I do find that I am uncomfortable quite often. Between my little cramps and aches and just not being able to find a comfortable position, I probably complain a lot. I think Mike thinks it's worse than it really is, just because I comment on it now and then!

Now that I am in the second half of my pregnancy, here are my top "Things To Do":

1. Talk to Mike about and start interviewing doulas
2. Confirm my registration for our birthing class
3. Register for baby stuff!
4. Start buying things so I can start working on the nursery (I have my general ideas together for the nursery. The next step is to start drawing out the exact layout I want!)

That's all for now - I'll be back with more later. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and a great New Year's. Here's to a great 2010!!!