Sunday, February 28, 2010

29 Weeks

I am now 29 weeks pregnant! This will be a fairly short post, since this has been a very busy weekend! I had two birthday parties to attend yesterday, and several huge boxes of baby clothes to look through (thanks, Tessa!!!!). It was a fun day though. Today I am quilting my daughter's crib quilt, and it's just about time to head to childbirth class #3.
Baby girl is about the size of a squash now. She's probably more than 15 inches in length now, and weighs somewhere around 2 1/2 pounds. I feel her moving every day, and like I told Mike last night, it kind of feels like a fish swimming around in my belly. I try to picture her as a little tiny person though. It's hard to guess what she's actually doing in there! She's not kicking as hard as she was before as she grows and takes up more room. Her movements are more like ripples now. I felt some kicks in my ribs yesterday - that's going to take some getting used to!

Her brain and lungs are continuing to develop, and she is putting on more baby fat every day. She's in super growth mode again, so I have to be especially careful to get enough calcium, as well as folic acid, protein, vitamin C, and iron.
29 Weeks

I am still doing great - nothing to complain about! People are constantly telling me that I look great, that I don't look pregnant from behind, and that other than my belly, I look completely un-pregnant. I'm not sure if they are really telling the truth, or if those are just nice things that people tell a pregnant woman to make her feel good, but I'll take it. :) I hope it stays this way!

I do get back pain easily if I sit in an uncomfortable chair or the car for too long, but thankfully my desk chairs (which I have to sit in all day long) do not bother me. My good friend Dani let me borrow her Boppy Total Body Pillow. I used it for the first time last night, and so far I am loving it!

I'm starting to have dreams about labor now, and I'm feeling some of those old nervous feelings again. I'm going to mention it in my class today, and hopefully we can find ways to work through them!

Here are a few new pictures of the nursery. It's getting crowded in there! We won't be keeping everything in there, but for now it's the storage space for all things baby-related. I love the crib, and I can't wait until we get the rest of the crib bedding in it! Thanks to Tessa and Dani, the nursery is now full of boxes full of cloth diapers and baby clothes. I can't wait to get started organizing them all! I'll probably take a break for a bit once I finish the quilt, but the next nursery project will be to get pictures and shelves on the walls.
The new crib!


So much stuff - and now there's more! Baby shower #1 is next weekend. I can't wait!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Letter to Baby: February 25, 2010

Dear Little Bean,

I am so very excited to meet you. I think about you all the time, and I love to watch my belly wiggle and shake as you slide and thump around. I wonder what you are doing in there to make some of these crazy rumbles in my belly! I love to feel you moving every day, but sometimes I wish you would be a little more consistent. I especially wish that you wouldn't stop moving every time your daddy tries to feel your kicks!

I wonder what you look like. Will you look more like me, or more like your daddy? Do you have lots of hair yet? Is it blonde or brown? I wonder if you will be long or short or skinny or chubby. You are about 15" long now. That seems so long to me - you must really be getting cramped in my belly! You still seem to have plenty of room to move for now though. It's amazing to me that you will probably grow another 4"-7" before you are born. For now you only weigh about 2 1/2 pounds, but I know you are putting on weight every day. I just hope you don't put on TOO many more pounds before you are born - don't forget that I have to help you get out of here!

Your bedroom is almost ready for you. Your crib is being delivered today so it should be all set up for you very soon. We have lots of clothes from you from your Grammy Ellen, and even a few diapers and toys. Soon we'll be having a couple of baby showers, and all your new friends and family will be bringing you gifts. I can't wait until you arrive so you can use all your new things!

I have a feeling that you will be born late, since most first-born babies are. Maybe you will decide to be born on your Grandpa York's birthday, May 23rd. That would be very special! Whatever you decide is fine with me though - just as long as it is after April 24th, so you can be fully developed before you join this world. You and I are a team and whenever you are ready we will work together with Daddy's help to bring you into this world. We are so anxious to meet you!

Love,
Mommy

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

28 Week Doctor Appointment

Yesterday I had my 28 Week doctor appointment. The wait was forever long, but I finally got in and I saw Dr. Biter for the first time. Until now I've always ended up seeing Dr. Cap instead, who is great, but since Dr. Biter will be the one who is there for the actual delivery, I was really looking forward to meeting with him.

Everything went well! We started out by discussing natural birth, the new birthing center, and my birth plan. He answered all the questions I had about my birth plan, and told me that while I could list everything out, I didn't need to worry about it. All I need to do is let them know that I want to avoid all interventions if at all possible, and the staff will know that I want "The Biter Birth." That was reassuring, although I do still plan to have my birth plan written out for reference for Mike and I. I am going to write out all my reasons for not wanting an epidural so that if in the heat of the moment I am weak and question myself, I can look at that list and remember why I am doing this in the first place. I didn't find out much more about the birthing center and its opening date - it still may or may not be ready in time for me. He eased my mind a bit about delivering at the hospital though. The staff all knows him there, so as long as I am his patient, they will be willing to let me have things the way I would like. I did find out that my insurance will probably not cover delivery at the birthing center (if it is completed in time for me) so he advised me to get things set up with my VA health coverage. He introduced me to his office manager, so she is coordinating things with the VA for me now.

We also discussed pediatric care, and he recommended that Mike and I interview a pediatrician soon, before the baby comes, since they will be taking care of her right away. He recommended one in particular at El Camino Pediatrics, so I will probably give her a call in the next week or so.

We discussed the results from my glucose screening the other day, and he said that everything looked great, including my iron. So, that was good news! Before I went in to the office, I did the math to see what range my weight should be in so that I wouldn't freak out when I saw the scale. According to my weekly emails, I should have gained about 17-24 pounds this week. I was very thrilled to find that I have gained just 16 pounds - just enough to be healthy, but still at the low end of the weight spectrum. I gained 6 pounds total in this past month, so it's slowed down a bit from my 8-pound gain last month. I can live with that. My blood pressure was good, and baby's heartbeat was nice and strong. My belly is measuring right on track.

All in all it was a great visit. I go back in 3 more weeks for my next checkup. I guess since things are going so well, I don't need to go back every two weeks just yet. I like the 3 week interval better than a full month though - it doesn't seem so long that way!



Other news: I found a brand new crib mattress on Craigslist for only $40! That puts the total cost of our crib and mattress at $260. That is awesome, considering that we were expecting to have to put down somewhere between $350 and $400 for them. Now I just need to find a night stand and a shelf of some sort, and other than that, just wait for after the baby showers to get all the rest of our necessities off the registries!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

28 Weeks

I am now 28 weeks pregnant. It's hard to believe that in just two short weeks I'll be in the 30's already. These last several weeks have been flying by! Rumor has it that the last month slows WAY down, but for now, these next couple of months are so busy. By the time my calendar clears up, I'll be on maternity leave, so life will be good!
The little bean is not so little anymore - she is now about the size of a Chinese cabbage. She's about 15 inches long, and weighs somewhere around 2 1/4 pounds. It's pretty crazy to think that in just a few months she will probably triple her weight. I have a feeling that I will be feeling that weight increase quite a bit!

She's continuing to put on fat, and she's giving her eyelids a workout. She's becoming more and more sensitive to light and dark, so she is doing a lot of blinking. I tried putting a flashlight up to my belly, but I didn't get any reaction out of her. She now has eyelashes on those pretty little lids of hers.
28 Weeks
I'm still feeling pretty good these days. I'm just a little more tired than I have been so I've taken a couple of lunchtime naps, but I'm still not feeling anywhere near as tired as I was in the first trimester. I don't feel like there's been any major belly growth this week, but I'm sure it's happening little by little!

On the medical side of things, everything is going well. I got a phone call on Friday that my tests came back normal, and I passed my glucose test! I don't know why I was so worried about it, but I am glad to know I don't have to worry about it. I go for my 28 week checkup tomorrow, so I'll update more about things then.

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And now for some more picture fun!
My Valentine roses and cakes. :)

And some nursery progress:
Mike finishing up the painting of the stripes.

Blue paint done!

Dexter inspecting the chair rail installation.

The chair rail is up, and I look like Tweedledee (or Tweedledum...)

Dexter is convinced that this new room is for him - he's enjoying the Co-Sleeper.

And here's the nursery with most of the furniture in place. I'll post more once we get the crib put in and some things on the walls! So far I think it's looking great. :)



Thursday, February 18, 2010

Good news!

After all your thoughts and prayers, I wanted to update you with the good news - Mike got a job! He starts today. It's currently a 4-month contract, but that is a good thing for now. If he doesn't like the place, he has an easy way out, and if he does like it, they would love to have him stay on after his contract is up. They are going to pay him at the rate he was making at his previous job, so we are thrilled!

Things are going great this week. Now that we now we have a steady income again, we went ahead and purchased some of the big ticket baby items. Last night we went out to buy our travel system. We ended up changing our minds and buying a different one than we had registered for after trying them all out (for at least an hour!) I had no idea how complicated these infant seats and strollers could be. Some of them were just heavy and awkward, and others didn't have a good locking sytem for the infant seat. We ended up choosing the Chicco Cortina in the Synergy color. I love it! It's a little pricier than the Graco, but overall the features were so much better, we decided it was worth it. I'm so excited - it matches the Pack N Play and the highchair we registered for SO much better than the other stroller did. Now I'm REALLY hoping someone will buy us our Pack N Play before it goes out of stock since it's on clearance right now!While I was at work yesterday, Mike put all the baby's stuff in her bedroom. It's looking great so far! He's still completely bothered by the glider, so I told him that if, after the baby shower and buying all the necessary items, we still have money we can splurge on a nice glider. We tried out a few at Babies R Us last night and found a couple that we love. Sadly they are $360-$400, so we'll just have to see about that!

This morning I ordered our crib, and I was thrilled to find that it was on sale! I got it from Amazon.com for only $223, so we ended up saving about $35. Not too bad, considering there is no tax, and shipping is free!

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Aside from nursery stuff, things are going pretty well. I took my glucose tolerance test on Tuesday, and I'm still waiting to find out the results. It wasn't too bad. I chugged the drink, which was orange and very sweet - it tasted like crappy orange soda. The first half of the bottle (it had to have been close to 12 ounces!) went down okay, but by the second half I was pretty disgusted with it. I read my book for an hour, and then had my blood drawn. I felt a little queasy starting about 40 minutes after I drank the stuff, but it wasn't too bad. I did NOT want sugar all day though - the thought of candy or anything sweet was grossing me out. I was craving salt all day to balance it out! I felt normal again by the next day though. I'm not sure if the doctor will call me with the results or not, but I have an appointment on Monday anyway, so I'm sure I'll find out whether or not I passed then.

The other thing I'm realizing I'm going to have to make a point of is eating smaller meals. I still have a big appetite, but my stomach is getting so squished up under my chest now that I just can't eat the size meals I did before. Last night I got a bad stomach ache and it took me a while to figure out what it was, since I'm not used to my stomach being right up under my boobs! Starting today, I am going to split all my meals in half. I can always go back for more later, but I need to remember to pace myself. My tiny stomach can't handle a full meal all at once anymore! I suppose it could always be worse though - thankfully all this requires is a bit of self-control!

That's all for now - stay tuned for my 28 week update on Saturday, and an update from my doctor visit on Monday!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Childbirth Class #1

Yesterday, Mike and I went to our first childbirth class. Overall I enjoyed it, and I think it will be really helpful; it was pretty much what I expected. Mike, on the other hand, didn't really know what to expect so he felt like it was a little overwhelming. He was hoping for something somewhere in the middle of a typical classroom setting and a hippie-ish class, and this is a bit more on the hippie side. However, he said that I am the one that has to do this, so it's more important that I am comfortable, which I am! Some of the other couples in our class are a little weird, but we both really like the instructor. I agree that the class setting is a bit hippie-like, but I feel like I am going to need that. They say that in labor, your rational thinking kind of goes out the door, and you become very in tune with your right-brain creative side. It's been a while since I've taken any art or creative thinking classes, so I feel like I need to get more in touch with my creative side. I want to be very open-minded and willing to let my right brain take over so that I can completely go with the flow when I am in labor. I really appreciate that Mike understands that, and is willing to support me in whatever childbirth method I am most comfortable with.

This first class session was mainly all talk and information. Our instructor told us her birth story, as well as a couple stories of births she has attended. (She also works as a doula.) We learned all about the stages of labor, and details about birth. She gave the dads lots of information about how to help the moms once they are in labor. I know Mike and I both got a lot of useful information out of the class! Most of it was information that I have been reading over the last several months, but it was helpful to hear more personal details about things.

The class ended up running really late - at 5:30 when the class was supposed to end, we had just finished talking - and we still had more to go! We then did some birth art, which I had somewhat expected, since it's a bit part of Birthing From Within. I could tell it was a little awkward for Mike, but he did well. My drawing ended up being more of a feeling or an emotion, which was very different for me. Through all these birth preparations, I have found myself being a lot more focused on emotions and things internally.

The instructor said that we'll be moving around a lot in class, so I'm hoping that for the next 5 weeks the classes will be a bit more interactive. I didn't mind the long 3-hr sitting and talking session, but it did start to get uncomfortable after a while. (The class has big pillows and birth balls everywhere for us to get comfortable, which is nice!) In the weeks to come, we will be learning pain management techniques, relaxation, birth positions, etc. Next week we will be learning how to transform our birth environment into one that makes us relaxed and comfortable. I am really looking forward to it!

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This was a great weekend - I made some major progress on the crib bedding, and Mike and I got the nursery painted. Now we just have to paint and put up the chair rail, and it will be time to start moving things in! We also went to a garage sale down the street and met our neighbors. They have twin toddler girls - one is named Alana! She gave me a great deal on some cute pink baby stuff, and said that she will bring me her hand-me-down girl clothes. Awesome! After the birth class, Mike and I went to dinner at Famous Dave's for some BBQ. Not the most romantic, but it's exactly what we were in the mood for, and it was awesome. After dinner, my wonderful husband who knows me well gave me a Valentine's gift - roses (to plant in the yard) and some little cakes that said "Eat Me." It was the perfect Alice in Wonderland valentine! I'll post some pics when I get home tonight!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

27 Weeks: A Picture Post

The third trimester - we've officially made it!!! We are now at 27 weeks of pregnancy. Just 10 more weeks til this little girl is considered full term. Pretty crazy!

Things are still moving along quite well. Baby is very active. She has her more mellow days and her wiggle worm days. She usually seems to be awake in the early mornings, and then again after lunch, around 3-4 PM, and then from dinner time to bedtime. Some days though it feels like she just doesn't stop moving! It usually just feels like she's moving around, but other times she is definitely kicking or punching at my belly. Sometimes she kicks so hard it makes me jump! It always makes me laugh to see my belly pop on it's own. So far it seems that every time I lift my shirt to see my bare belly move, she stops moving. I can see her pretty well through my shirt though. So much fun! Mike's been able to feel her more often now as well.

The little bean is now about 2 pounds and 14.5" long. It's now time for her to slowly start rotating to the head down position. She still has plenty of time to get there, but eventually I will be feeling more pressure on my cervix once she settles in. Her lungs are well-developed now, and if she were to be born now, she would have an excellent chance at survival (with intensive care). I'd like to keep her an inside baby a bit longer though! Her brain tissue is continuing to to develop, and her brain is very active now.

27 Weeks

As for me, I'm feeling great! The third trimester is the time for fatigue and nausea to kick in again, but so far I'm not feeling any effects. One thing to look forward to may be leg cramping and increased back aches. I am starting to feel an increased need to pee, but so far it's nowhere near as frequent as I was afraid it would be. At most I'm running to the restroom every hour or so, which I can totally live with. If we get closer to 10 minute intervals though, I might start getting annoyed! Breast tenderness may return soon as the milk factory kicks into gear. For now though, I'm feeling great and very happy. And big! Several strangers have commented on my pregnancy now, so I know I'm definitely obviously pregnant. I feel like I grow every week - a shirt that fit last week is now too short!
My tattoo is about twice as long now as it used to be!

I'm still not seeing the linea negra, which is good. I thought maybe I saw a hint of it the other day, but I think it may have just been a vein. No stretch marks to speak of! My belly button is still in innie, but it is continuing to get wider and shallower.

And now for the nursery! I promised you progress pics, so here you go! :)
The base coat of pale yellow.


Taping off the walls to paint the darker yellow stripes.


A hint at the crib bedding I am sewing.

The crib we are planning to buy.


Our Craigslist bargain glider. MIL got the stains out, but Mike is very unhappy with the shape now - we think that the slipcovers shrunk in the laundry when they were washed. Hopefully it can be dressed up a bit with blankets and pillows.


The dresser we found for $20 at a garage sale, now repainted.


Drawer knobs and pulls I found on Etsy to complete the dresser.

I'm hoping that we'll be able to finish painting this weekend so we can start bringing furniture inside. I think it's going to look awesome, and I can hardly wait! :)

Friday, February 12, 2010

New design website is up!

If you've been reading my blog, you know that my husband is in need of some graphic design work. He just finished revamping his website, and it looks great! I just had to share it here and show him off. Take a look...and if you need any design work done, please, hit him up! :)

http://michaelpetersdesign.com/

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

26 Weeks

First of all, sorry for the late post - this weekend was so busy! We had family in town all week, so the weekend was the first chance Mike and I got to spend time together and get started on the nursery.

I am now 26 weeks pregnant! Depending on which site you look at, I either just started my third trimester, or I will be starting it this Saturday. Either way, I'm definitely at a new milestone! I can't believe that in just a few short months, I will be a mom. I can hardly wait!!!

Now, about baby. She is about 14 inches long, and weighs close to 2 pounds. Her eyes are now open, and she can probably recognize not only my voice, but her daddy's voice now! Yesterday we were all riding in the car, and Mike was singing along with the radio. Baby started kicking and getting excited - I think she liked hearing him sing! Baby's hair is starting to grow now, and she is continuing to put on baby fat.



My sweet tooth seems to have subsided this past week. If sweets are offered to me, I probably won't turn them down (although it depends on the time and day!) but I definitely am not craving them anymore. I also can't eat as much as I used to - I get full faster, and I don't end up getting hungry for snacks between meals. I haven't been feeling too much heartburn, but now and then it sneaks up.

I'm finally noticing changes in my hair and nails! My nails are definitely growing faster and longer and stronger, and my hair is looking thicker and fuller. I am actually enjoying my hair for a change!

My belly is continuing to grow. I just purchased some leggings and tunic-length tops, and I LOVE them. I think I could live in these stretchy pants - belly panel and all!

26 Weeks

I've been pretty down this past week. I've realized that I spend 11 hours a day either at work or on my way to/from work. By the time I get home, it's time to make dinner. After we eat, it's just about time to go to bed and get up and do it all over again. My whole life revolves around work. I have no "me time", no "us time", and no time to get things done around the house. I'm not a career-minded person - I don't LIKE devoting all my time to someone else's business! It doesn't do anything for me at all, other than allow me to pay my bills. It's pretty depressing. And now that I know that even with all this time spent away from my home and family, I still won't be making enough to pay my bills? It all just seems totally pointless.

I think part of the reason I was so bummed is because my mother in law took care of a lot of my nursery projects for me while I was at work. While I truly appreciate her effort, and it's nice that I don't have to find time for those projects now, it made me a little sad that I spend so much time at work, I couldn't even do things for my own child. I'm trying to look at the positive side though - it's still nice to be able to tell my daughter that her grandma painted her dresser for her. I never had time to hang out with my mother in law, but she still wanted to help me out, so that was her contribution. I'm hoping that now that my evenings are free for Mike and I again, I'll get out of my funk and will be able to spend time on baby and home stuff. So far this week, I seem to be feeling a bit better. I think pregnancy hormones have been getting the best of me!

Like I mentioned earlier, Mike and I got started on the nursery this weekend! We looked over all my inspiration photos and picked out paint colors. We liked pale blue and pale yellow, and decided on a plan to incorporate both. We are painting the top of the wall in pale yellow stripes. We will put up a white chair rail, and below the rail the wall will be pale blue. I'll just use pink for nursery accessories. I only want pink accents - I can't do too much pink! Mike's mom cleaned all the stains out of the glider we bought, so once we are done painting, we'll put the glider in the room, along with the freshly painted dresser. I just need to find some new knobs and drawer pulls for the dresser. Mike's mom also gave us money for the crib, so as soon as it's back in stock, we'll be ordering that. I plan to get back into my sewing this week, and hopefully will have the crib bedding finished soon. I'll be sure to post some pics of our progress!

Thoughts and prayers desperately needed.

I'm really starting to worry about our future financial situation. Maternity leave is only 2 1/2 months out now, and we still don't have any secure income after that time. Mike has an interview this morning, which we are very excited about. It would be the perfect job for him and a great opportunity. However, even at best, he would be making less than half of what his previous salary was.

It's looking like I'm going to have to work no matter what after Baby comes. I'd like to find something part time, preferably something I can do from home. I only need to make about $1000 (possibly $1500) a month, so it seems doable, but I know how impossible it is to find work from home. If I end up getting a part time job outside the home, that brings in the factor of daycare. Paying for daycare would basically negate any income that I brought in from a part time job. Which then leads to the idea that I'll have to work full time. But even if I were to stay at my current job, after paying for daycare, I would still only bring home $700 a month. That's just not enough for us to afford our bills, not to mention food and gas.

I am so scared right now. I want to trust that things are going to work out, but time is starting to get short, and there is still no hope on the horizon. The idea of getting a second vehicle is out the window, as well as the plan to replace our windows in our house. Right now I don't even know how we can afford to live and pay our mortgage.

Please pray for us, and let me know if you hear of any part time work opportunities.

I'm scared.