Tuesday, October 27, 2009

32 weeks with ultrasound update

Where did the week go?  I feel like I just posted my 31 week update and here I am already at 32 weeks!!  Eight more weeks - give or take - until the big day!  I will take every bit of that time because I have plenty to do before I am ready to settle into a new mommy role!

Anyway, yesterday I was able to get the H1N1 shot thanks to my Step-MIL.  She was able to talk to her boss who gave her permission to have me come in.  They are only vaccinating pregnant women and really only their own patients.  But I was lucky enough to be able to go in for the shot.  And lucky enough to have Linda give it to me!  A BIG thank you to Linda, her boss and her entire staff!  It is such a load off of my mind.  I can't express enough how much I appreciate it.  The shot was painless and, other than a sore arm and a little fatigue (which actually could just be a pregnancy thing), I have no side effects from the shot.  And Cashew is still moving like crazy so it must not be an issue for them either.

Today we had a 32 week ultrasound.  A lot of women don't get ultrasounds past the 20 week mark but, maybe it is either my age or my doc, we were able to go sneak a peak at our little (not so little) Cashew today!  We were both pretty excited about the visit - which is at a different location than Hutch's office and is done by a specified ultrasound tech, not my doc.

This lady didn't have the best bedside manner, to say the least.  First of all, she barely spoke two words to us.  She started squirting the gel on my stomach when T finally started a conversation - "what are you looking for today?"  She responded that she was looking at the growth to see if everything was on target with my due date.  Sounds good to us.  We were just looking forward to seeing Cashew.

Well, nothing like really kicking everything off right than by saying "oh, the baby is in breech position."  I was like, WHAT?  I didn't know that this was a real issue at this point.  I am only at 32 weeks.  I said, "well, it has time to turn, right?"  And she said yes.  There is still time.  But all through our appointment, she kept mentioning C-Section.  I was taken aback.  Why are we talking about this right now?  And you aren't even my doctor!!  She kept minimizing it and saying how much prettier C-Section babies are and how much easier it is for the mom, etc.  I just kept laughing it off and reiterating the fact that I am only 32 weeks and that it can still turn!  UGH!  I was so bothered by this whole line of conversation.  It was hard to get past it to look at the awesome pics of our baby and have a nice, fun appointment.

But it was pretty cool.  At first, it is VERY hard to see what is what at this point.  The baby is approx 4 lbs at this point and it is too big to see a "baby" shape like it is at 20 weeks.  But she did give us a tour after she got the measurements she needed (which all show the growth as PERFECT at the 50 percentile mark (which means an average weight of 7 - 8 lbs).  We saw the kidneys, the heart, we could see the baby breathing!  That was very cool!  We saw legs, arms, head and, my favorite part, we saw the baby making sucking motions with its mouth!  It was awesome!  Just watching this baby that is inside of me moving its lips.  So cool! 

She showed us the umbilical cord cross section which was really cool to see and then she showed us a side view and you could see how the vessels twist around themselves.  It is so intriguing how all of that grows inside of you when you are pregnant.  It isn't there before but it is there now.  And it is moving around!  So cool!

All indicators say that we are right on schedule with the due date but baby could still come earlier...or later.  This doesn't determine anything other than the baby is growing perfectly and right on the timetable that it should.  This is such good news. 

When we got our pictures, T saw the face on shot and said he thought it kinda looked like a girl face.  I tend to agree to some degree but still holding out hope while wrapping my head around the thought of a girl (and, if it is a girl, please not a lot of pink...I can't take a baby all in pink clothes - YUCK!).  I still think it feels VERY boy to me but I could be totally wrong.  But I am still thrilled that we haven't found out!  What a great thing to work towards during labor (or surgery)!  And what a great moment for T to have with family and friends after Cashew is delivered.  I am so excited!  And I am VERY thrilled that Cashew is healthy and growing perfectly in there.

So, here are some pics.  Leave me a comment, email, or whatever and let me know what YOU think.  Does it look like a boy face, a girl face or just a Halloween mask? 

Me at 32 weeks (not much different than the maternity pic belly):

Cashew at 32 weeks:
Profile with mouth closed:

Profile with mouth open:

Face on shot.  Head is tilted to the right of the picture frame (the top of the head on the far right, move left to see eye sockets (dark spots), then nose, chubby cheeks and T's chin!)  I can't believe how kinked up its little neck is to get in a position like this.  Essentially, at the time of the ultrasound, Cashew's head was lying right under my left rib cage, back and butt on the right side of my belly and then feet down by my bladder.  That explains a lot. 

So, what does this face look like to you???

Next thing on our radar: Childbirth class #3 on Thursday

Dear Cashew,

Hello there baby!  I haven't written in a while since Daddy and I talk to you so often.  I feel like I will just be redundant by writing it all down in here. 

Today was a big day!  We were able to see you in there.  You are looking fantastic and I just can't get over those chubby cheeks!  I must warn you.  Those will be kissed a lot!  Be ready.  Enjoy the peace and quiet while you can.  It's all different out here!

We still don't know if you are a boy or a girl and I am still glad we are holding out.  But, as sure as we were that you were a boy, now we are having second thoughts.  Of course I just want you to be healthy but I am going to have to find a way to get used to the idea that you could be a girl.  I just can't promise you that I will drown you in pink garb.  I can't stand the color pink especially in that abundance!  You may be wearing more yellows, purples and even blues.  Blue is much more of a color that I can deal with for sure.  If you are a girl and I dress you in blue, I promise it will have some sort of girly look (maybe through accessories) so that no one confuses you for a boy.  If you are a boy, you will have it made with my preferred color choices.

Ok, here is where I need your help.  I know you probably enjoy the comfort of hearing my constant heartbeat which is why your head is lying below it.  Actually, that is just a cheesy Mommy thought.  But, in the next four weeks I really need you to start focusing on the task at hand.  Keep your eye on the prize...and that prize isn't up at my rib cage!  It is that small opening by your feet!  You looked like a proficient high diver at your 20 week ultrasound so just give some good flips to get yourself in diving stance!  I did some reading and investigating and know that, right now, you are fine rolling around in different positions.  Have fun!  But, in about four weeks or so, I need your head to be in the game (so to speak) and the game is not where you are right now.

In the meantime, just stay healthy and grow well.  Let's keep your birth weight in the 7 - 8 pounds which is where it looks like it will be and then let's strive to have a birth out the canal instead of under scary surgical lights!  Sound like a deal?  If you help me out, I will, in turn, look into getting you a nice (or at least a running) car when you turn 16 (pending Daddy's approval).  Let's make this easy for both of us!

Sure was great seeing you today.  You look adorable and we are very excited to meet you in a couple of months!

All our love,
Mommy & Daddy

Saturday, October 24, 2009

31 weeks, 4 days: Maternity Pictures

T, Tay and I met with a photographer I found on Craig's List from San Diego.  He was going to be in town visiting family and was looking to do a little work while he was here.  After many emails back and forth and examining his website, I decided to hire him to do our maternity photos.  It was a little nerve wracking for me, in a way, because I don't know this photographer and I wasn't sure of his capabilities.  On top of that, his pricing was VERY reasonable...almost to the point of scaring me.  What am I missing?  What will we actually get?  Are we only going to have a handful of photos to choose from?

Let me just say...we SCORED!  Bob was awesome and GREAT to work with.  We shot our pictures at Agua Caliente Park on the extreme EAST side of Tucson (completely opposite from home) this morning.  We were to meet him at 10 but, with T and Tay moving a tad slow in the mornings (and an hour drive to the park), we ended up being about 10 or so minutes late. 

On the drive, I was a little worried about how we were all going to mesh together.  To accentuate my anxiety, the three of us had not had breakfast (because we were running late) and Tay started feeling pretty sick in the car.  So much so that she was curled in a ball with her head on the arm rest.  I had bought her some cheese crackers and a water to hold her over because I thought it was from her not eating.  I certainly wasn't going to push her to take photos if she wasn't up for it but it did raise my anxiety level wondering how she was going to handle the entire photo shoot.

We finally arrived at the park and Bob and his brother Charlie were already there.  Of course, stereotypical of the pregnant woman, I had to pee right away.  But something I noticed as I was walking up to shake their hands, we were all going to get along very well!  Tay was a little shy at first and was still kind of dragging.  But, once Bob introduced himself and started talking to her, he (and his camera) became her best friend!!  Her energy went from 0 to 100 in a matter of five minutes!!  And, WOW did she have fun.  (Certainly helped that Bob has two daughters of his own and knows how they tick!)

We talked a bit about what we were looking for and T and I both told him he was in control!  We wanted him to do what he thought looked good.  We aren't the artsy fartsy kind with photos.  We like the straight up shots for the most part.  And we just wanted a couple of good family photos to document this awesome, possible 'once in a lifetime' experience.  I knew that his price of $149 included an hour session and a CD of all the originals but I wasn't sure how many photos that would get us.  Obviously an hour and a HALF of shooting and 113 photos (originals) that we can edit and play with on our Mac!!!

Quick funny story before showing some photos...

This old guy with a volunteer name badge came over to us while we were shooting by the little creek.  He informs us of the ranch house that we just had to see.  He thought we would like to do some photos in there.  Well, we eventually made our way to the ranch house that is laid out like a museum of sorts.  As we walked in to look for spots to shoot, Old Man Volunteer came over and started talking to us.  He wanted to take us on a tour.  We all just kind of looked at each other and we all tried to explain to him that we were just looking around, may take a couple of photos and that we were on a tight timeline.  I swear it was as if we were talking to a ghost - maybe it WAS!  Maybe it was a residual haunting.  A ghost that does the same thing over and over and one that you cannot communicate with...visually he looked kinda like someone out of a haunted movie so...hmmm...

He did look at me and then at my stomach and told me that I, for sure, would like to see the kitchen.  WHAT?  Why would I, specifically, like to see the KITCHEN?!?  We joked later as we were rushing away from the house that I should have knocked off my shoes and blacked out a couple of teeth before going in there.  Nothing says Kentucky girl better than barefoot, pregnant and missing some incisors!  Again...why is it that I would want to see the kitchen??  Well, we finally did get away.  We had to be a bit more abrupt than I typically like to be but, geez, what the hell ya gonna do in that situation??

We had such a fun morning - all of us - that I just have to give props where props are due:
**I highly recommend Craigs List for...well...just about anything.  We actually sold an item that has been in our garage for quite a while (still in its original packaging) for $125 and then hired an AWESOME photographer off of Craigs List for $149.  What a DEAL!
**If you are in the San Diego area EVER and need a photographer - Robert Buchanan (Bob) of Moonlight Portraits.  http://www.moonlightportraits.com/  He is VERY easy to get along with and is a lot of fun to hang out with!  And he will send you originals so that you can make any modifications you want (which we can do easily and quite well with iPhoto on our Mac).  He uploaded our photos TODAY after our shoot and we will be meeting him tomorrow to pick up the CD with all images.  Talk about AWESOME turn around time!  And T and I just prefer to have the originals so that we can manipulate what we want, if we want.

So here are some of the photos from our shoot today.  These are all originals that may (or may not) be modified somewhat by us when we decide which ones we are going to blow up and print.  What's awesome is that we can use a printer that will only charge us $.12 or less for an 8 x 12 photo!!  So we are planning on printing quite a few!!  Oh, and there is a link after the pics if you want to see ALL of the photos (some aren't really faves of mine because I look like I swallowed a freaking whale).  But there are a lot of photos of Tay that are AWESOME!  She really came alive (she always seems to) when the camera started snapping!  And Bob has made a friend for life!

Enjoy!  We sure did!


The link to see all photos (again, some not so good because of my lack of photogenic genes):

Next update: Tuesday, October 27 after our 32 week ultrasound!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Childbirth Class #2

We went to our second childbirth class last night (Thursday night) and it was pretty good.  I was so afraid that these classes were going to be cheesy or useless and they really aren't.  I know from some experience that everything can change when the time comes but it is really nice to know what to expect from the actual hospital you will be delivering at.  And it really helps to know some of the details to keep my fear in check.  I don't know what I will remember or if I will remember but the heads up is great!  And the comraderie even better! 

I think these classes are really interesting for T as well.  He has been through it all but admits he was pretty clueless on the processes.  I think he feels a lot better knowing how to time contractions, when to call the doctor, how to help me relax, etc.  We have a 45 minute to one hour drive to the hospital from our house so any help in those areas are very beneficial.  And it is nice to hear questions that other women have - so much better than reading a book (most of which are pretty biased) or watching a video. 

Although the childbirth classes have, so far, been somewhat rewarding, the classes I am REALLY looking forward to are the breastfeeding (I want to understand the method of pumping as well) class, the infant care class and - most importantly - the infant CPR class!!  I think even my Mom is going to look into infant CPR.  I think that this class is very important for us and I am really looking forward to it.

So, after not knowing if we wasted money on taking these classes, I can definitely say that we are NOT disappointed in the least.  T and I have both been through this before but knowing the procedure of this hospital and all the "what to expects" have been valuable.  It adds a bit of comfort to the waiting period leading up to "B" Day.  I am proud of us for taking the time and making the investment!

So I have been trying so hard to get the H1N1 shot.  It has to be the injectable vaccine since I am pregnant.  It has been quite a riddle with the health department and the clinic at the ballpark.  But, today my Step-MIL (who is an OB nurse) told me that I could get the shot at her work.  They are hosting a clinic for pregnant women only and her boss said that I could come in to get it.  So I will definitely be there with bells on Monday.  Hopefully she can give it to me personally.  That is so nice of her boss to allow me to do that since I am not one of their patients.  And, with Tay hacking up a nasty cough tonight, the sooner the better!!

Time to try and get some sleep.  We are having maternity pics done tomorrow and I am pretty excited!  We found a photographer out of San Diego who is here visiting family that will be doing the shoot, editing and giving us all our pics via download for only $149.  I hope they turn out but I am pretty confident.  His website is pretty impressive!  I will be sure to post favorites when they are available.

Goodnight all...goodnight Cashew!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

31 weeks: Single digit weeks left and counting...

It is almost impossible to believe that we are now counting down the weeks in single digits.  Although, when T and I look back at how long I have been pregnant, it still feels like it has been an entire lifetime!  We were talking about how I was battling with "all day hangover sickness" when we went to San Diego for our one year anniversary in May!  That seems like an eternity ago and I am STILL pregnant!  Cashew and I have been connected at the hip (or somewhere) for quite a while!

But here we are in October and time seems to be flying by!  It is probably due to the childbirth classes, the more frequent doctor appointments, the holiday planning, Halloween excitement, and Christmas shopping/crafting.  The days are flying by and the weeks are going even quicker.  Nine more weeks, give or take...

I had a doctor's appointment yesterday.  I am now on the every other week plan with them.  My appointment was at 1 PM and, since we were unusually early, we had to wait for them to unlock the doors from having lunch (it is a small office with no break room, I am assuming).  While we sat in the air conditioned car waiting for them to complete their PB&Js, I took a glance over to my doc's neighbor's door which is LabCorp...the vampires!!  I was instantly thrilled that I would NOT be walking in that door today.  And maybe not for many days (if ever).

We were the first ones called back once we were finally allowed in.  This is the advantage of an "after lunch appointment".  They aren't backed up and you get in quick!  Plus it helps us because we weren't rushed in the morning for our hour drive and we were able to stop for lunch on the way. 

So we went through the usual routine.  Blood pressure - 100 over 80 or something like that.  No signs of concern from the nurse.  Then the dreaded scale!  I have only gained one pound since my last appointment for a total of 20 lbs.  That made me feel a little better.  I couldn't believe it after remembering the brownies that T and I polished off within days.  But whatever!

Next was the pee stick.  I wore a skirt yesterday that was pretty "flowy" so I had a lot to wrangle in the potty.  And, as usual, the goal was to not pee on my hand.  At least not much.  I also had the challenge that I didn't feel like peeing (for once) since I had just peed at the restaurant after lunch.  But, my body and Cashew both helped me out to produce enough pee to fill the cup.  And I didn't get any on my hand!!  Well, until I used the other hand to move the cup to the back of the toilet.  There must have been a drop or two on the rim.  Oh well.  That's not too bad for someone who most certainly cannot see the cup, the toilet or my lap at this point!!  The verdict on the pee stick - all good and normal!

We headed to the last room on the left and waited for more direction.  The nurse came in and handed me a piece of paper.  All it had on it was "Swine Flu Vaccinations, TEP Ballpark, 10/20/09, 10 AM - 7 PM."  I was verbally informed of the vaccinations by the nurse, then asked if the baby was moving.  "A LOT" I told her.  She smiled and seemed happy with my answer.  I did tell her that I had been feeling dizzy and lightheaded a lot and was wondering if that was normal.  She said that it usually is and then asked me if I have been taking my vitamins.  Gulp.  Umm, no.  Not like I should be (I decided to NOT say 'not at all').  She said, TAKE YOUR VITAMINS!  I said ok. 

Hutch came in shortly after my visit with the nurse.  She is so sweet and gave us hugs like we were old friends visiting from out of town.  She talked to me a little about the dizziness and told me that this will happen as Cashew grows and puts more pressure on veins and internal organs.  Not to mention I am carrying more weight in a very specific area which will make me more fatigued as time goes on.  The experience of feeling winded so often is because my uterus (and Cashew) is pushing hard against my lungs and there isn't a lot of capacity for a good deep breath - of course this will get worse as I continue to grow.  She said to allow myself rest and be patient with myself.  If I need to sit down, sit.  There isn't anything wrong with that.  Of course, she hasn't seen how bad my chores have been slacking either!

I then asked her about timing things out for my parents' arrival.  My Mom had emailed me earlier in the day with a "feeling" that she has about when Cashew will be arriving.  She has been saying for about a month now that the 16th is etched in her mind for some reason.  She just has a feeling that this is THE day.  She doesn't know why and this isn't something that she does often (predicting things or having strange feelings, etc.).  When she first told me about this feeling, I told T that I bet she will change her flight to come in on the 16th!!  Sure enough, her email was tossing around the idea of coming out on the 16th instead of the 19th.  And, the other crazy part??  She has exactly 3 days left of vacation time (which would be the 16th through the 19th, if she decides to go that route). 

Anyway, although we ALL know that NO ONE can predict the timing of these things, I thought I would toss around the idea with Hutch.  Sure enough, she has NO WAY to predict when Cashew will make his/her grand entrance/exit.  She says that I should tell Mom to come on out anyway!!  I agreed and did pass that along.  But she did offer up the idea that she could always induce my labor for when my parents are in town.  Of course I would rather not go that route if possible so we just left it as "whatever happens, happens." 

She then told us about the Swine Flu.  She said that there is a young woman in the hospital where I will be delivering that just had had a C Section and is now in ICU because of contracting the H1N1 virus.  They don't know if she is going to make it or not.  She went on to highly recommend I get the H1N1 vaccination.  I was very apprehensive and asked a lot of questions about the safety of the vaccination, side effects and the statistics of adverse reactions.  She said that the statistic of 1 out of every 6 women who contract H1N1 dies from it was proof enough that prevention is important.  And that the injectable vaccine contains the dead virus and isn't any more dangerous than the normal influenza flu shot.  What I am not allowed to have while pregnant is the nasal mist.  It contains the live virus and is not suitable for pregnant women.

She instructed us to go to the clinic at the TEP Ballpark the next day (today) for the vaccination.  She warned us that the wait could be up to 3 hours so take some food, drinks and something to do.  But she also said that they would take pregnant women first over the others.

No, I don't like needles but shots don't bother me as bad as having my blood drawn.  Hard to explain, doesn't make sense, but that's the way it is.  And, with the statistics she gave along with her high recommendation, my plan was to head to TEP Park the next day (today) to get poked with the pig juice.

After that conversation, she laid me back and did a quick exam.  My uterus is RIGHT on growth target (she measures it from the outside) - 30 cm (which should correspond with the week of pregnancy, which it did).  Then the heartbeat.  High 130s.  Perfect (and, according to old wives tales, we are still hearing a boy heart rate!).  She finished up with bragging about how good I look and how I "make pregnancy look easy."  And then we were on our way.

T and I took a walk last night with Jackson.  The temp was great and the walk felt good.  We are planning on doing that every evening!  I am looking forward to it tonight!  We fell in love with our neighborhood once again as we were walking around.  Other couples and families with strollers, dogs, etc. walking around at dusk.  We love the family feel around here and all of the walking paths and parks.  It is very welcoming and makes us feel good about Cashew growing up here.

Last night was another tough night of sleeping.  I fell asleep quickly but woke up only a couple of hours later with my lower back aching and feeling that wide awake feeling that is always so frustrating.  So, after a lot of tossing and turning, I decided to head downstairs to a) allow T to sleep and b) watch TV so that maybe I could get back to sleep.  It took several hours before I was able to make it back to sleep.  But I woke up with a slight back ache and Cashew beating the crap out of me!  I am starting to feel it hitting bone and other internal pieces that I am pretty sure aren't made for kicking feet!  It was very uncomfortable so I decided to get up and just start my day.  Maybe if I am standing Cashew won't be near bones.  I told T I think Cashew is feeling like the space is getting a little tight.  Kinda like I am the Mitsubishi Eclipse and Cashew is T.  No leg room and tight on the head room!

So today was the day I was going to head down to TEP Park to get my H1N1 vaccine.  I decided to do a little bit more research on the vaccine, side effects, etc. as well as checking out any information about the specific clinic at TEP.  Glad I did.  I found an article about the vaccines at TEP.  It said that it was the nasal mist only and that no injectable vaccinations were available today or at this time.  I was confused and thought that maybe my doc knew something that this reporter didn't know.  Maybe TEP Park told OBs that they were going to have the injectable vaccine so that they could discreetly let their pregnant patients know about it.

Nope.  I called my OB office and talked with the front desk lady.  I said, "So, I read this article and it says that TEP park is only offering the nasal mist vaccination and that they do not have the injectable vaccination."  She said, "Oh really?  Well, we thought it was both.  (Then, to the lady who sits next to her) Wasn't TEP going to have the injectable vaccination?"  In the distance, the other lady said, "I thought so."  The main lady turned her attention back to me and said, "Call this number and ask them.  They will know.  It is the Pima County Health Department."  I said ok and called the number.  The lady I talked to at the Health Dpt confirmed that only the nasal mist is available and she was unsure as to when the injectable vaccination will be available in our area.  She advised me to watch the news because "they are all over this subject and you will be sure to hear about it through them."  Ummm...ok.

So I called my doc office back and informed them of what I found out by calling the number that THEY had to begin with!!  They were so appreciative that I called them back to let them know.  I told them that this information may be very helpful when they get a ton of calls today from other pregnant women that received their document about the vaccination!  Especially after they stood in line for 3 hours to find out! 

I must admit that I was highly frustrated!  Hutch is the best doc in town (according to her reputation and from what I can tell so far).  But her office staff...WOW!  Do your own research!  How do you distribute this information without confirming the details first??  You guys HAD the number to the Pima County Health Department and yet you didn't take that extra step to check the facts.  So now, thanks to the stories Hutch was telling me, I am scared of a virus that I wasn't scared of before and now I can't do anything about it!!  Other than what I have been doing up to this point...washing/sanitizing my hands and trying to stay away from sick people!

Enough about that.  On to the 31 week stats.  Here we go:
How your baby's growing:

This week, your baby measures over 16 inches long. He weighs about 3.3 pounds (try carrying four navel oranges) and is heading into a growth spurt. He can turn his head from side to side, and his arms, legs, and body are beginning to plump out as needed fat accumulates underneath his skin. He's probably moving a lot, too, so you may have trouble sleeping because your baby's kicks and somersaults keep you up. Take comfort: All this moving is a sign that your baby is active and healthy.


Here we are:

My stats:
Weight: No need to discuss the actual number but 20 lbs gained from pre-preg weight.
New developments:
**A LOT of movement, kicks in the ribs and hip bones, hiccups
**Cashew seems to be calmed by Daddy's hand on my belly - very sweet
**Cutting back on the sweets and trying for more fruits and veggies to quench my sweet tooth
**Walking every evening
**My belly button, previously an "innie" is now completely flat and the white ring is becoming even more evident (this white ring is from the part of my belly button that never saw the light of day!)
**Appetite is becoming suppressed.  Not as hungry at night for dinner.  Small snacks only.
**More round ligament pain, some dizziness (especially in the mornings)
**Took my vitamin last night and plan to do so from here on out.
**Oh and heartburn...becoming a very normal feeling everyday

Oct 22: Childbirth class #2
Oct 24: Maternity pics
Oct 27: Ultrasound
Oct 31: Halloween
Nov 2: Next OB appointment

If you haven't voted to the right, please do!  It is so much fun for us to see what you think!!

Friday, October 16, 2009

30 weeks: Slack attack!

I am usually so good at posting on THE day of my new week but I just didn't.  I don't have a real good excuse other than trying to catch up on chores through the murky waters of my brain.  I have been so run down lately.  I think it still stems from my trip home and then having something going on almost everyday since then.  I feel like the weeks are just flying by!  And I feel that I am not doing a very good job keeping up with the house even though T says that I am. I certainly could do better.  I really need to get the bathrooms done.

Anyway, as I post this, I am 30 weeks, 3 days.  If you do the math you will see...I am less than 10 weeks from my due date (give or take).  This is really starting to become real.  In a few days I will be counting down weeks with single digits.  YIKES!  That is enough to make anyone have a slight panic attack!  Not only are we counting down to baby poop hitting the fan, we are also counting down to Christmas and to my family being in town.  I am actually VERY glad that I have so many distractions towards the end so that I won't make myself crazy counting the minutes and seconds until my due date (or induction date if I am late).  I want my mind completely occupied so that I don't agonize over getting a large head out of a small hole or when and if my water will break today...or today....or today....

So back to symptoms and such.  I am still having some potty issues but not as bad as I was.  Not sure what changed it but I am not complaining.  I am still leaking a bit (MOOO) and have been experiencing more ligament pain than I have in previous trimesters.  This pain is due to my uterus getting larger and pulling the ligaments that hold it in place.  Women experience it at all different stages in pregnancy...I happen to be experiencing it more lately.  Especially if I get up too fast or twist as I get up.  BAD NEWS! 

Movement is still happening.  Mostly at night.  I can almost feel small little "waking up" movements around 6:30 with the disco party starting at around 7:30.  T can see my belly move and contort into fun shapes and he loves asking Cashew to kick his hand when he lays it on my stomach.  And it just so happens that he/she usually does and right in the spot where his hand is.  I love seeing T's eyes light up.  It really is priceless.

Ok, you can put the barf bags down now.  I will switch off the sappy and move forward.  Other symptoms include very nasty heartburn and indigestion.  The lovely stomach bile that finds its way up your throat so that you can have a slight taste of the inside world.  This usually happens the worse at night.  Tums nor the suggested plain ice cream helps this for me at all.  I just suck it up (literally at times) and deal with it.  Does this mean I limit my spicy intake?  Come on people.  Of course not!!!  But my heartburn isn't selective.  Spicy isn't the only culprit.  Hell, a bagel with cream cheese can do it.  It doesn't matter much.  So I eat whatever.

My chocolate/sweets intake has gone down a bit - thankfully.  I am trying to eat well but I find myself eating things that comforted me in first tri - cheese sandwiches, PB&J, soups, etc.  We have been eating pretty crappy this past week because of having so many things going on.  But today is grocery day and I am hoping to make some better (read: healthy) meals for us next week. 

I need to get back to taking my prenatal vitamins.  Go ahead and gasp now but I haven't taken them in a while.  They truly make me sick to my stomach (whether I eat beforehand or not) and, honestly, my pregnant brain doesn't remember to do it.  I have read that the vitamins are more for Mom than for baby at this point.  The baby is getting what it needs from being wired to my gut so I am the one that is getting deprived of the benefits of the vitamins.  I am going to try and take them to see if it improves my energy level.  It needs a REAL adjustment!

I have washed all of Cashew's clothes that we have at this point and put them away.  I have found a perfect place for the whale bathtub in the downstairs closet (knowing that we will probably use the kitchen sink for bath time at first).  The bottles have a home in one of the kitchen cabinets and the towels/washcloths are all washed and put away.  Everything is as organized as it can be at this point.  And, I still don't think I am "nesting."  I am just doing my usual obsessive organizing!

We had our first childbirth class last night.  As we walked through the hospital garage with our three huge pillows and blanket, I wondered if this was really going to be a waste of time or not.  As we entered the class, we noticed that there was actually no place to put our pillows...that's because we don't even need them until the last class!  Haha!  Well, no one knew - the whole class looked like we were going to a slumber party!

Our instructor, Lolita something, is really nice.  She has a thick accent from Peru (but she grew up in Argentina) and had T and I chuckling with the way some terminology was pronounced.  Especially "wagina".  But she is VERY funny and has no problem talking about anything.  We had fun listening to her and we actually did learn a lot (including the fact that some people like to look at the placenta and the aminotic sac after the birth...we were told that Hutch really likes showing off the sac that the baby was in...hmmm, I may need to talk to her about that..ICK)!  The other couples in class were pretty cool.  Our whole row had the same due date as ours.  Most everyone knew the sex of their babies (geez, doesn't anyone like a surprise anymore??) and the couple next to us has the same doc as us. 

One funny moment was after class...we were heading back to the car to go home in the mass of the others leaving as well.  I made a pit stop at the restroom close to the entrance for the "just in case" pee. Turns out other women had the same idea.  When I came out of the bathroom, there were three manly men (including mine) standing in the hallway with three big pillows and a blanket.  I'm not sure why...but it made me laugh out loud. 

I am truly thankful that we are taking these classes.  It is a fun night for us and it turns out to be quite educational as well.  I am not one to predict how my labor will go - I will NOT do a birth plan knowing that those who will be on my southern side will be doing their jobs and that's the only plan I need - but having some knowledge of how contractions work, how to time them, how to TRY and relax, could be helpful as we live about an hour away from the hospital.  Not to mention making friends in the meantime!  And, the added benefit of this class over reading a book or watching a video?  The questions of others!  Very beneficial.

They are not paying me to advertise the benefits of the classes but I do highly recommend them to my future pregnant friends!!  =]

Next steps:
Monday, October 19 - OB appointment
Thursday, October 22 - Childbirth class #2
Saturday, October 24 - Maternity pics
Tuesday, October 27 - 32 week ultrasound (YAY!)

How your baby's growing:

Your baby's about 15.7 inches long now, and she weighs almost 3 pounds (like a head of cabbage). A pint and a half of amniotic fluid surrounds her, but that volume will decrease as she gets bigger and takes up more room in your uterus. Her eyesight continues to develop, though it's not very keen; even after she's born, she'll keep her eyes closed for a good part of the day. When she does open them, she'll respond to changes in light but will have 20/400 vision — which means she can only make out objects a few inches from her face. (Normal adult vision is 20/20.)


And then, me, my bump and I:

Now on to filling out beginnings of the baby book...

Friday, October 9, 2009

Small edit

I mentioned in a previous post that my Grandma had my uncle when she was 42.  I was corrected that she was 38 when she had him (I was either thinking he was younger or she was younger) but the concept still applies.  She is vibrant and beautiful and enjoying her grandkids.  And, just to add, I have a good friend who lives in Atlanta who began her family at 40 and now has two sons.  It just makes you young!!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

29 weeks, 2 days: Doc appt update

19 lbs...19 lbs...19 lbs...19 lbs...over my pre-pregnancy weight!  Holy CRAP!  And EIGHT...count'em...EIGHT lbs since my last appointment.  Whew!  Makes my head spin!!  But, yet, I am told this is on the low end of average and that, as Hutch said as she walked in to see me, I am all baby.  "You are skinny everywhere else.  You are all baby.  All belly."  I tried to look relieved and like the weight gain the nurse just informed me of was no big deal but I had to say, "but 19 lbs!!!!!"  She reassured me that I am right in line with what I should be gaining and that all signs point to healthy!!  Ok...if you say so.  But I am making a mental (and I made a verbal) note to cut out chocolate and sugary sweets.  When my sweet tooth (or, should I say, CASHEW'S sweet tooth) comes knockin', I will be trying to satisfy it with sweet fruits and yogurts.  I say all this and Halloween is right around the corner.  Great timing to have Tay for trick or treating this year!!  Nothing like a bag of chocolate around a pregnant woman with a new sweet tooth to really cause a scare!  Nope!  FRUIT!  All together now...FRUIT!

I don't know if it is the awesome fall (well, at least a Tucson fall) weather, my refreshing trip home, and/or my new (or renewed) realization of how awesome of a life I have, but I was (and am) in a FABULOUS mood!  T and I joked around in the waiting room and in the exam room while we waited for Hutch to come in.  I would share some of our comedy but it wasn't completely clean and probably not suitable for such a large audience as this blog. 

Of course, after my weigh in (MOOO), I was given the pee strip and off to the potty I wandered.  I was unsure of my peeing ability when we first arrived at the doc's.  But, after a 30 minute wait and a few Cashew kicks to the bladder, I was ready when I got into the bathroom.  Sure enough, as I had mentioned many appointments ago, I am now at the point where I can no longer see "down there" in order to aim for the cup.  And, there is no moving the belly over to one side or the other in order to get a better view.  I am completely cut off from seeing my southern parts.  So, yes.  I peed on my hand.  Ahhh, the joys of pregnancy.  Forget embarrassment.  Forget humility.  It is what it is.  This is the way it will be from here on out.  But the strip turned out fine and into the exam room I went to meet up with T.

The nurse took my blood pressure - 108/72.  I am so unclear on what the normal blood pressure should be but the nurse seemed pleased and, when I asked her if that's good, she said yep.  Perfectly fine.  I then asked her how much weight I have gained.  Refer back to the first paragraph for that result (MOOO).  She asked if the baby was moving.  Yes.  All the time and sometimes very forceful.  Any other questions or concerns, she asked?  I thought briefly about my bathroom challenges but decided that was a conversation I would save for Hutch so I said nope.  She handed me some paperwork regarding getting the flu shot (which is my choice) and explained to me that the Swine Flu nasal inhalant cannot be given to pregnant women.  No problem.  I am not getting myself roped into that frenzy anyway.

T and I discussed the flu shot and I told him I would consider it.  However, already we both know people who have gotten the flu shot and have gotten sick in only a day or two after getting it.  No thanks, is my opinion.  I never have gotten the flu shot and have never had much of an issue.  Why would I voluntarily inject the flu into my body.  I am not much on the whole flu shot thing.  So I may skip it.  But I will think a bit more about it in the meantime.

After about 15 minutes, Hutch came in and gave me a big hug.  She is just the sweetest thing.  Of course, she mentioned how great I look and all the other things I mentioned earlier in the post.  She told me that my weight gain was right where it needed to be.  A "good" weight gain is 25 - 30 lbs.  She thinks that my body is finally catching up since I had lost weight in the first tri and didn't gain weight for several months.  Ok, moving on from the weight thing.

She asked me if I had any questions or concerns.  I told her about my digestive "clog" that I have going on right now.  She said it is VERY common because of the increase of progesterone in my system because of being pregnant.  She gave me her suggestions to help loosen things up a bit.

We listened to the heartbeat and it was in the 140's.  Sounds great and healthy.  She mentioned that she would like for us to have another ultrasound at 31 - 32 weeks.  This is an "over 35" thing - another great advantage of being a pregnant elder!  More pics!  It is to check and make sure the growth rate is still great.  We said no problem!  We would love to see more of Cashew.  I wonder what it will look like then!  How exciting!  Something more to look forward to!

We scheduled our next appointment with Hutch for 10-19 at 1:15 PM (the ultrasound will be a separate scheduling and will be done at the other building where we went for our 20 week).  I am now officially a "every two weeker".  Meaning, I am getting further in my pregnancy where I am now visiting the doc every two weeks.  I can't believe we are 11 weeks out (give or take). 

After our appointment we went to Oregano's for lunch!  YUM!  We had baked ravioli with marinara sauce as an appetizer and then I had the baked turkey sandwich with sweet potato fries.  YUM!  T had a pasta bowl.  Of course I had an iced tea...special occasion as it was!  Then we headed home.

Brief note to make you go HMMMM.  T has mentioned several times (in a kinda sad sort of way) that this may be the only time we go through this process (pregnancy, baby, etc.).  I asked him, were you thinking there would be more??  He said he didn't know but that he wouldn't be totally opposed to it.  Which got me thinking.  There is still time for us.  As long as I complete the entire cycle no later than 41, I might be open to it.  But that would be TWO young (very young) kids.  But I like that closeness in age for kids.  I told him, let's keep our minds open and just see how this ONE goes first.  We have a couple of years after yet to decide for sure.  Would you EVER imagine ME saying this??

Another note:  One of my cousin's daughters said to me at the shower that I was her inspiration or something like that because I waited until I was in my 30's to have kids.  She doesn't want to miss out on her 20's but does want to have kids someday.  Everyone, please know this.  The whole "advanced maternal age" after 35 is just a medical reference.  Your body doesn't know this reference nor does it care.  I HIGHLY recommend (and will try to encourage Tay) to LIVE your 20's.  Have fun!  Experience the single life.  Experience the night life.  Get your career together and tightened up.  Don't rush getting married or starting a family.  Find security and, more important, find YOURSELF!  This will make it all the sweeter when you get to the point in your life when you are ready to start a family.  My Grandma was 42 when she had my uncle and she is still around today to see her grandchildren that he provided.  When Cashew is 21, I will be knocking on the door of 59.  My Mom's age.  And she is still the coolest and would hit the town with me as I will them! 

Age is really just a number and, if you take good care of yourself, there is a long road ahead.  I do suggest (and I would suggest this to anyone...even younger people) to get your body weight to a healthy level and get your diet healthy before you get pregnant.  That will build your resting metabolism so that pregnancy weight doesn't doom you.  Other than that, GO OUT AND LOVE YOUR 20'S.  You will still have adult fun post baby but I can always look back at my 20's with great memories with my girlfriends, college, building my career and gaining connections.  Don't rush! 

With such a beautiful day, I am having a hard time concentrating on the chores that have caught up with me.  I really just want to get out with T and enjoy the fall air.  We are going to take a walk tonight and maybe do something before then.  We had the windows open last night in the bedroom and it felt amazing.  I love this time of year!  I can't imagine a better time of year to be adding the lb's to my body!  At least I am not melting!!  It feels wonderful and has made my mood skyrocket through the roof.

Until next time...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

29 weeks: Life is GOOD!

Cashew and I took another plane trip to my "hood" this past weekend.  Although I hated leaving T behind, I was definitely needing my Louisville/family fix!  I mentioned it before but, Louisville is like a huge hug just waiting for me.  And I graciously entered its open arms last Thursday.

The flight went really well but got me thinking.  Does the fetus feel the pressure in its ears during take off and landing?  My ears pop and my water bottles usually get so pressurized in the air that they are dented in after landing and sound like a carbonated drink when I open them.  It makes me wonder if 'Shew could feel it as well.  There was a lot of kicking and punching going on during those times. 

However, that may be a coincidence.  That and the fact that he/she was very active during the ENTIRE trip home.  All day and all night.  Constant movement.  T said it was because he missed his Daddy.  I was thinking that maybe he was loving the fresh, crisp air of Louisville in the fall!  Either way, I knew there was something brewing in there.  No question about it.

My belly book that my Mom gave me has an entry in it for the first nice/good deed that was done to me by a stranger who noticed I was pregnant.  Well, until I landed in Louisville, nothing particularly nice had been done by a stranger.  I live in Tucson where the entire city lives in paranoia and, if you dare even smile at a stranger, they will shank you because they will think you are up to something.

But leave it to the Southern charm that can always be found in the Derby City.  I can finally fill out the entry in my book.  When I was standing at baggage claim, a man standing next to me said for me to let him know when my bag came around so that he could help me with it.  Living in Tucson for three years has tainted my ability to see chivalry and instead see thief so I said, that's ok.  I can get it.  He said, no, please allow me to help you get your bag off of the carrousel.  So I relented.  And, sure enough.  Even after his bag had already made it into his hands, he waited for  mine to make its way around and took it off the belt for me.  It was really nice and helped me settle in to the southern ways I sometimes forget about being away for so long.  It kick started me back into smiling at people as I passed them and saying hello to strangers.  That's how we roll in the south.

My Mom picked me up from the airport and we headed to her house.  The rest of the night was all about getting settled and chilling out.  It was really nice.  The weather was amazing.  The windows were all open and the weather guy was calling for rain that night.  Life is good!

Sure enough, late into the night (or early in the darkness of the morning), a steady shower began.  The raindrops rummaging through the loose leaves of the fall trees intensified the smell of fall.  I could hear it hitting the ground and the window ever so gently.  I fell sound asleep once again.  Life is good!

The next morning I popped out of bed with a start.  I was to meet my Dad and SMom for breakfast.  I set my alarm for 7 AM in order to meet them by 9.  The only problem with that scenario was that I forgot to set the time to Eastern.  It was still on AZ time.  Oops.  I was running late.  But not too bad.  I jumped in the shower, got ready and headed out.  We were to meet at Wild Eggs but it turned out to be too crowded so we opted for Frisch's instead.  I was truly the youngest person in the entire restaurant and, other than the three of us, maybe the only one with real teeth!  But it didn't matter.  It was so great to see my folks!!  Life is good!

Mom and I were going to go to the St James Art Festival which has grown HUGE in the past years.  I haven't been in forever and, most locals tend to steer clear because of its massive size and massive crowds.  We thought we'd go by at some point after running our errands if we had time.  Our first stop was Bruce's house for a quick visit.  It was good to see him, Zoe and Chorney.  And of course Daisy.  We visited for a bit and then headed out.  We decided to skip St James since time was moving pretty fast and we still needed to make a couple more stops.

We stopped by Paul's Fruit Market to pick up stuff for the shower the next day.  I was rummaging through the free samples since I didn't have any lunch.  Apples dipped in that caramel dip!  Oh yummy!  We ended up buying some!  After that we headed to pick up the cake.  This cake was the LARGEST cake I have ever seen and, since it sat on my lap, I can say probably the heaviest as well! 

While we were out that way, we made an impromptu visit to my aunt and uncle's new house.  It is super cute with a ton of great bells and whistles.  My favorite parts?  The basement with my Grandpa's 1920 something pool table that my uncle had refelted and the built in bar (including a back bar).  What a great party room!!  A few steps from the bar takes you out to the patio and POOL area!  I told him, post-baby, I am going to be crashing a party (or two) at their place!!! 

We headed home after and had burritos for dinner.  YUM!!  Then Mom and I made a couple of things for the shower the next day and ended up just relaxing for the rest of the night.  Ahh, life is good.

The next day I did some running for Mom while she did last minute things to the house before the shower.  The next thing I knew, guests were arriving.  I was thrilled to see so many from my family and felt so honored that so many from out of town made the drive just for me.  I am so lucky to have the family that I do.  Thank you Brenda, Casey & Angie, Brian & Kelly, Tami & the kids for making the trip.  It was SO good to see all of you!  And, of course, it was good to see EVERYONE that made it.  You really make me feel so fortunate!  Life is good.

Me and my Mom

The 12" FAT heavy cake!

Cashew and I enjoying our Louisville time

The spread

My Aunt Linda and cousin Gina

My SISTA and her beau Dan

My AWESOME nieces

My sista from a different mutha (my SIL)

Brian, Kelly and one of their two ADORABLE sons, Aidan (hope I didn't butcher the spelling)

Aunt Linda and Uncle Jerry

Gina's daughter Ashley and my GIRL (and cousin) Kristin

Casey & Angie and, not shown here, their very adorable son Lance

My Grandma looking gorgeous as usual

My sweet Grandpa

A good friend of my Mom's who is like family to us, Laverne

Uncle Rick and Aunt Cathy (the proud, new owners of the awesome party house)

Kaye & Michael - great friends of the family who recently became Grandparents!

My SDad John in usual form!

My cousin Lisa with Uncle Rick

Cashew's loot

Me and my Grandparents

Me and Kristin

Me and Pris

The frames I made as THANK YOU gifts for my Mom and Dad

Everyone was so sweet in the gifts they gave.  A lot of folks opt'd for gift cards which is always a great thing!  Cashew received his first Dr Seuss book and a few clothing items.  Mom (Grandma) gave us a really cute girl outfit and a really cute boy outfit.  She's going to take back whichever it isn't.  There were many nice gifts and we sure appreciate them all!  But mostly I appreciated and loved seeing everyone.  It was a very fun day.  Life is good.

The next day was my shower at Dad's house.  Again, a great turn out!  My cousin from Northern KY drove in for the occasion which was so awesome!  I hadn't seen her in so long.  I couldn't believe she made the drive for my shower.  I really think it is because no one, and I mean no one (including myself) ever thought they would see me pregnant!!  Who knew??

My SMom made four different pots of soup that were very yummy and the party was more like an open house.  People flowed in and out throughout the day and I opened gifts as they arrived.  My SMom put together a survey for people to fill out.  They had to circle the boy's name and the girl's name from a huge selection (one of the names in each category is the correct one - but no one knows what it is).   Then they had to guess on the birthday, birth time and birth weight.  It was very interesting to see the guesses - the dates ranged from Dec 14 - Jan 3 and the weight went anywhere from 6 something pounds to 8 something.  I would be happy with something in the middle! 

She also had boy plates and girl plates.  People were to eat off the plate they thought the baby would be.  In the end, it was a tie.  So we are still in the dark as to what this baby will be.  More people said they thought I was carrying a boy than those thinking it was a girl.  Guess we will see in a few months!

The diaper cake my SMom made for me

Me and my SMom with diaper cake

The beautiful blanket my SMom stitched for me

My Dad and I comparing our pregnancies

My sweet Mama and Papa always dressed sharp!

Aunt Myra who made me a beautiful...


My cousins Terri, Amber and Mandy

My cousin Sabrina

My cousin Mark

Some of my loot

The girls!

Bob and Mary - friends of the family for MANY years!

My cousin Luke

At the end of the day we headed to DQ which is a usual routine for my Dad and SMom.  We headed back, threw on our jammies and watched Desperate Housewives, Brothers/Sisters intermixed with the Steelers game (which was really good and they won).  Life is good.

The next morning I woke up not believing that my time in Louisville was already over!  Where did the time go??  But I was excited to get home, see my sweetie and my babies.  But it is always hard to leave.  It breaks my heart being so far from home.  But I feel so lucky to have a great family to come home to - in both cities!  I am so very fortunate in so many ways!  Life is good!

T picked me up from the airport last night and we stopped to get a pizza for dinner.  When we got home, I showed off some of our gifts that I was able to pack in a duffel bag.  There will be more stuff coming in a box that my SMom will be shipping for me.  We put some stuff away in the Shew room and hung out on the couch for a while.  OH and he showed me a BIG surprise that he had been working on while I was away.  I will write about that in my Housewife blog when I can WITH PICS! 

Today marks week 29 of my pregnancy adventure.  T and I hung out today hand in hand lovin' life!  It was nice being home and being with T.  We actually did some Christmas shopping and got a couple of things done!  I am so impressed with us!  We might be able to get all of our stuff done before the end of November at this pace!!  I really need to get on the ball with the gifts that I am making so I am dedicating all next week to gift making!!

Thursday is my next doctor appointment.  The good news is that I PASSED my glucose test by a long shot!!  The range is from 63 - 183 and I came in at 81!!  YAY!!  And they also tested for anemia and I have no problems there either.  I think that will take care of the poking until the hospital visit.  Whew! 

The bad news is that I am now acquiring some of the unfortunate side effects of pregnancy that I won't go into detail about.  It has to do with private potty problems.  Let's just say I need to find some sort of remedy so that I won't grimace every time the urge presents itself.  I need to talk to Hutch about some remedies that I can take/do to rectify the situation (haha, rectify!!). 

Here is some more TMI.  I am starting to have a little leakage.  Let's just say that the utters are working.  MOOO!  I am not as concerned about this situation as I am the other but I figure I will let Hutch know anyway.

We start childbirth classes on Oct 15 for 5 weeks.  I am glad we signed up for them but I am a little apprehensive about panting in front of a bunch of strangers!  But I am hoping maybe I will make some fellow parent friends that may continue past our panting days.  Of course, this is Tucson.  I might get shanked if I try to start a conversation.  Bunch of paranoid panters!!

Other than that, life is good.  The Shew is in full effect - tumbling, kicking and punching like a true football athlete (or cheerleader).  It is almost non-stop so I don't feel I really need to focus on kick counts (which they recommend starting around this time).  I am positive it moves more than 10 times in an hour.  I can guarantee it!

The weather is great here - somewhere in the 80's - so I am totally comfortable and finally able to wear clothes that I feel are more flattering than the summer clothes.  Life is good.

Me at 29 weeks (with a head per Mom's request):

A little info about the 'Shew bug:
From babycenter.com
Your baby now weighs about 2 1/2 pounds (like a butternut squash) and is a tad over 15 inches long from head to heel. His muscles and lungs are continuing to mature, and his head is growing bigger to make room for his developing brain. To meet his increasing nutritional demands, you'll need plenty of protein, vitamins C, folic acid, and iron. And because his bones are soaking up lots of calcium, be sure to drink your milk (or find another good source of calcium, such as cheese, yogurt, or enriched orange juice). This trimester, about 250 milligrams of calcium are deposited in your baby's hardening skeleton each day.

What it might look like in there right now:

11 more weeks or more...or less...