Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my family and friends!  Let me just say, maternity pants/skirts ROCK when it comes to Thanksgiving meals!  I think I will keep some for post baby in case I have one too many helpings or one too many beers. 

As promised, a pic with a head (Cashew is poking out of my sweater jacket...haha!):

I made Londyn cry twice today.  Kids have never liked me and the feeling used to be mutual - boy, how I have changed!  But, I'm not too bothered by it.  I know that Cashew is stuck with me no matter what.  Cry away, my friend.  It is true!

No big news other than I am full (even though I couldn't eat as much as I used to...not enough room) and I am ready to be a lounge potato.  T and I are doing our traditional Black Friday madness dash tomorrow bright and early.  It is so much fun - more just hanging out together watching the madness than anything else.  Saturday we will be picking up Tay and decorating the house for Christmas.  I am pretty excited about that (so is T other than putting the lights up on the outside of the house, he isn't thrilled about that part).  Sunday we are meeting our friends and their kids at the park for a picnic.  Then relaxing before T heads out of town on Monday.  I am planning some major project accomplishments this next week while T is gone.  All after my doc appt on Dec 1 (Monday) when we will determine what position this baby is in.  Everybody keep your fingers crossed for head down please!!

To close, let me just say...I am so thankful for all of friends, my family, my wonderful husband, my sweet stepdaughter, the opportunity to carry, meet and enjoy Cashew, the opportunities and support that T has given me, and just the time life has given me.  I couldn't be happier, more in love or more full of life.  I am so very thankful...on this Thanksgiving Day and everyday!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

36 weeks - HOLY S&*^ where did the time go?

Somebody call the cops...immediately!!  I have been robbed!  Someone has robbed me of my time, of the hours in my day, my days of the week, the weeks in a month!  YIKES!  Who would do such a thing?  Especially to a pregnant woman around the holidays?!?  If you catch them, I need every bit of precious time they have stowed in their getaway bag!  I need it ALL back!  Or, at least another week or so...

FOUR MORE WEEKS (give or take)!!!  I honestly can't believe it and really can't seem to wrap my swollen head around it!  How did it go from creeping along to moving faster than a freight train?!?  Most days I am just oblivious to the obvious conclusion staring me in my face...I could pop out a baby at any time.  Although I am hoping for being late - or, let's put it this way, either well before Christmas so I am not in the hospital Christmas day or after Christmas - there is a chance I could go early...or late...or, since I filled you in on what I am truly hoping for...I am sure it will be Christmas Day that I have to make my way to the hospital.  If the baby is still breech (which we will find out on Monday), then, chances are, we will be able to schedule the C Section so that I won't be in the hospital on Christmas.  I really have no idea what I just typed in this paragraph.  Just a long, frantic ramble about what is about to come my way!

Nesting has kicked in pretty it nesting or just a strong urge to get the house in tip top shape before my family comes out for the holidays?  Probably a mixture of both.  I took a blow torch to Cashew's room and got all the shower gifts put away (well, mostly), built the storage shelf for the closet and got the crib ready to go.  The sheet is on and, yes, there are a few stuffed animals lingering around.  Don't worry, I know the drill.  No soft things in the crib because of SIDS and whatnot.  Other than hanging some stuff on the walls and getting the final things that we need, it is about ready for Cashew's arrival.  The door has to remain shut now so that I don't get cat hairs on the sheet!  Kizzy is quite upset that he no longer has his crib.  But he is making due on the other beds in the house!

Progress made on the room:
I built the mobile, it is soooo cute.  And Snoopy is peaking in.  I LOVE Snoopy.  This is Cashew's first Christmas present from Mommy and Daddy!  We will be taking it to the hospital with us.

I built the shelf in the closet.  I LOVE it!  Lots of storage and super cute!!

Everything is really coming together.  I need to finish sewing the curtains which I plan to do while T is on his last trip out of town next week.  I have some other sewing projects I want to work on for Christmas.  I know I am trying to do way too much for Christmas as far as homemade projects but it sure is keeping me busy (or at least keeping my mind busy thinking about it).  Whatever doesn't get done, doesn't get done.  I am trying to not let it stress me too much.  But I am running out of time...have I mentioned that I am running out of time??

Well, there is definitely a belly now and movement, which used to be a lot of acrobats, have settled down to more of rolls and shifts.  A few kicks here and there but there doesn't seem to be a lot of space for Cashew to stretch out.  I can vouch for that!  I have no more room to give.

Peeing has become one of my least favorite past times...and most frequent.  My skin is dry and, as I was told by a friend of mine at lunch the other day, I seem to be walking a tad differently...ok, yes...I guess I waddle from time to time.  But it's hard not to when you feel like a bowling ball is between your legs.  I have a bit of heartburn from time to time but nothing that Tums doesn't conquer.  My appetite is kinda so-so.  Not real hungry and nothing really sounds that good.  My biggest stress right now is the position of Cashew.  I poke and prod my stomach constantly but I can't distinguish parts.  I thought I felt a foot the other day close to my ribs and I am feeling hiccups low in my pelvis but I don't know if any of that makes a difference, really.  It will all depend on what we find out at the appt Monday.  T won't be able to make this appt since he has to go out of town.  I'm bummed that he won't be there but I am glad that this will be his last out of town trip before baby.  I'd rather him go, miss the appt and get it over with then to be gone when baby poop hits the fan!

Well, as I have mentioned during most of this post, I have ran out of time.  I need to get off of here, get downstairs, have a bowl of cereal for dinner and work on some Christmas projects.  I cleaned the entire house today and I am still working on laundry.  I am sore and tired so I must retire to the couch for a bit.  Here is a pic of my 36 week belly.  I did cut off my head since I was in cleaning mode and didn't apply makeup or worry about the style of my hair.  We will take another tomorrow for Cashew's first T Day (although in utero) and I will include my face...


Here is some information as to what is going on at this point:
How your baby's growing:

Your baby is still packing on the pounds — at the rate of about an ounce a day. She now weighs almost 6 pounds (like a crenshaw melon) and is more than 18 1/2 inches long. She's shedding most of the downy covering of hair that covered her body as well as the vernix caseosa, the waxy substance that covered and protected her skin during her nine-month amniotic bath. Your baby swallows both of these substances, along with other secretions, resulting in a blackish mixture, called meconium, will form the contents of her first bowel movement.

At the end of this week, your baby will be considered full-term. (Full-term is 37 to 42 weeks; babies born before 37 weeks are pre-term and those born after 42 are post-term.) Most likely she's in a head-down position. But if she isn't, your practitioner may suggest scheduling an "external cephalic version," which is a fancy way of saying she'll try to coax your baby into a head-down position by manipulating her from the outside of your belly.

I will post a new pic tomorrow.  But I am heading downstairs for now.  HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO EVERYONE!!!  I am so thankful for my awesome family and my friends!!  And for Todd...I can't imagine life without him.  And for a healthy pregnancy and for the chance to know what it is like to share nature's miracle with my soulmate.
Gobble, gobble!

Monday, November 16, 2009

35'ish week update...

I am cheating a little bit here.  I am technically not 35 weeks until tomorrow but, since my doc appointment was today (which gave me reason to put real people clothes on as well as makeup), I decided to go ahead and post an update today.  Which means there may not be an update tomorrow on the actual 35 week mark.  Let me rephrase...there won't be an update tomorrow.  As time rushes by and due date, Christmas, family in town draws nearer, my days are filling up more and more.  And I thought I was going to need projects to keep me busy and my mind off of things!  PSHT!!  Not so much!

Saturday I had my last and final baby shower.  It was very nice to see everyone and my sister-in-law and mother-in-law really did a nice job.  They made me a Steelers diaper cake that was amazing - I LOVE it!  I also loved the very tasty chicken salad sandwiches (I had left overs for dinner!) and the special cupcake with chocolate icing and reese cup bits sprinkled on top. 

Thanks to all of you who made it out to my shower.  It was so good to see friends - old and new!  I felt very lucky looking around the room.  As always at these type of gatherings, I don't feel like I was able to visit with everyone as much as I would have liked and I felt like the day went really fast.  But, just seeing my friends and family around me was so incredible!  I am a very lucky person!

Todd and I are very appreciative of the great gifts we received.  I am planning on taking some time this week to look through our registries as well as a checklist that was supplied in one of our child care books to see what we have left to buy.  Most of our larger items are covered so it should only be some smaller items to finish the initial supply.

Today was another doctor appointment with Hutch.  They are becoming more and more simple and routine as we go.  It starts with the pee in a cup routine which I did today as soon as I arrived.  All looks good there and I was so excited that I didn't get one ounce of pee on my hand!  However, and I am embarrassed to admit - I did drop the cup on the floor (it WAS empty but there were a few droplets in the bottom of the cup) instead of in the trash.  I am sure a drop made its way to the side of my shoe.  But it was closed toe!

Next comes the dreaded scale.  Much to my surprise, I have only gained .5 lbs over the last two weeks!  This is GREAT news and made me feel much better about the whole weight thing.  Especially since we had lunch on the way to the appointment (which included a burger, fries and a cookie!).  T had a good point.  The last weight gain may have been a growth spurt by baby.  Whatever the case, I am super excited that my weight is slowing down.  Much better scale experience this visit.

We usually wait for a good 30 minutes or so - which gives T time to make funny comments about the posters around the room - and then Hutch comes in.  Today she asked us how things are going, we made small talk and, other than some financial questions, we were good to go.  She asked me if I thought baby was head down and I told her I had no idea.  I feel movement EVERYWHERE so I can't tell what side is up or down.  She took a measurement of my uterus - right on target.  She listened to the heart beat - sounds great (actually higher this time at 147 after 130's last time...but this could have been due to the caffeine of the tea I had at lunch and the sugar cookie I had before the appointment!).  Then she felt around on top of my stomach to see if she could determine parts and pieces.  Up above my belly button she said it was either a butt or a head - she thinks it is a butt.  And then, down by my pelvis was either a butt or head - which she thinks is a head.  I am thinking that she might be right.  When baby gets hiccups, I feel them more towards my pelvis and not towards the top of my belly.  I would think that would be the case if the head was down.  But who knows.

Because it is hard to tell, our next appointment will include a sonogram to see where that head and butt is located.  That is two more weeks of wondering but I have decided not to stress about it.  It will be what it will be and it will all work out fine.  I am excited to get another sonogram!!  And this time it will take place with Hutch which is so nice.  I am so comfortable with her.  And it is good to know that she does C-Sections too, if it comes to that.  So that is comforting!  Anyway, our next appointment is Dec 1 at 2:45.  After that appointment, we go on the weekly plan.  An appointment every week.

How about some updates?


How your baby's growing:
Your baby doesn't have much room to maneuver now that he's over 18 inches long and tips the scales at 5 1/4 pounds (pick up a honeydew melon). Because it's so snug in your womb, he isn't likely to be doing somersaults anymore, but the number of times he kicks should remain about the same. His kidneys are fully developed now, and his liver can process some waste products. Most of his basic physical development is now complete — he'll spend the next few weeks putting on weight. (D's note: good times...more weight!)

How your life's changing:
Your uterus — which was entirely tucked away inside your pelvis when you conceived — now reaches up under your rib cage. If you could peek inside your womb, you'd see that there's more baby than amniotic fluid in there now. Your ballooning uterus is crowding your other internal organs, too, which is why you probably have to urinate more often (sure do) and may be dealing with heartburn (yep) and other gastrointestinal distress (sorta). If you're not grappling with these annoyances, you're one of the lucky few.

From here on out, you'll start seeing your practitioner every week (this will start for us after our next appointment). Sometime between now and 37 weeks, she'll do a vaginal and rectal culture (YIKES) to check for bacteria called Group B streptococci (GBS). (Don't worry — the swab is the size of a regular cotton swab, and it won't hurt at all.) GBS is usually harmless in adults, but if you have it and pass it on to your baby during birth, it can cause serious complications, such as pneumonia, meningitis, or a blood infection. Because 10 to 30 percent of pregnant women have the bacteria and don't know it, it's vital to be screened. (The bacteria come and go on their own — that's why you weren't screened earlier in pregnancy.) If you're a GBS carrier, you'll get IV antibiotics during labor, which will greatly reduce your baby's risk of infection.

This is also a good time to create a birth plan (we aren't doing a formal birth plan - just simple communication with Hutch). Using our form will help you focus on specifics — like who'll be present, what pain management techniques you want to try, and where you want your baby to stay after you deliver. It will give you a starting point to discuss your preferences with your medical team. Childbirth is unpredictable, and chances are you won't follow your plan to the letter, but thinking about your choices ahead of time — and sharing your preferences with your caregiver — should take some of the anxiety out of the process.

35 weeks (tomorrow) - oh my, more growth.  And still 5 more weeks (give or take) to go!!

Am I tired?  Yes I am.  And some days more than others.  My energy level is taking a beating but I try to keep on going.

Heartburn?  Sometimes...not always and not too bad anymore.

Sleeping?  Wait, what's that?  Actually, there are good nights and there are bad nights.  I am trying to work on projects and stay up late (without falling asleep on the couch) so that I am tired when I get to bed.  Other than the 3 pee breaks a night, I feel like I am sleeping a bit better.

Uncomfortable?  Sometimes but not always.  Depends on what I am wearing, how I am sitting and what all I did that day.  But, overall I feel good - a bit front heavy but good.

Exercise?  We try to walk every night.  It feels great, especially with the weather the way it has been.  But, if we walk too fast (which isn't fast at all for most people), I feel like the baby is going to fall right out of my nethers onto the ground.  And I get crampy a bit too.

Any new symptoms?  Nope, not really.  Cravings are the same, eating pattern the same, everything pretty much the same.  Lots of baby movement and hiccups almost daily.

Next items on the calendar:
Nov 18 - Breastfeeding class (I will be going to this one alone - T is conveniently out of town haha!)
Nov 21 - Infant CPR class (T will be joining me in this one)
Nov 23 - 27 - T on vacay...we plan to finish up baby shopping and baby room prepping!
Dec 1 - Doc appt with sonogram (more pics!)

Dear Cashew,
Is that your butt we are feeling??  Doc thinks you may be head down which would be fantastic!  We will see for sure first of December.  Please be looking at my feet!  That would be so reassuring!

You have been very active lately and I think you are finally getting a little tired of the close quarters in there.  It has to be pretty tight.  I know my skin stretching around my stomach sure is!  I can't imagine how cramped it must be for you. 

A lot of our friends and family sure have hooked you up with some nice things!  You are getting spoiled already and you haven't even hatched!  And, a small admission.  Daddy and I have been just as guilty of the spoiling.  We bought you your first Christmas gift the other day.  I won't tell you what it is but it will be in the hospital with us - whenever you decide to make your appearance!  And who knows what Santa will bring you in your stocking! 

Big sis Tay is really excited to meet you too!  She has already shown Daddy and I how to change diapers by demonstrating on her dolls.  She is so eager to help us take care of you.  You will not be neglected - this is for sure.  As a matter of fact, you may be trying to find that hole you came out of so that you can go back to some peace and quiet.

Oh, speaking of peace and quiet...I am sorry for being so loud during the Steelers' game Sunday.  It was a tough game to watch and Mommy gets a little excited/irritated during her football.  But, don't worry, I will teach you all about it when you get here.  And then we can both scream at the TV together!

That's all for now, Cashew.  Everyday brings us a little closer to meeting face to face.  You are certainly keeping your identity a secret - not following any old wives tales to the T.  But that makes it so fun for Daddy and me.  We love you no matter what you are - as long as you are healthy!  And I mean that!

Love you so much already!
Mommy and Daddy

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

34 week update

I really can't believe I am at 34 weeks.  I know I say this for each update but here I go seems like I have been pregnant forever but then it feels like time is just slipping away from me now!  I am going through the typical emotions of being anxious to meet Cashew, anxious to find out if Cashew has turned yet, anxious to get everything done for both Cashew's arrival AND Christmas, anxious to see my family and for them to see our house at Christmas, anxious to have my body back to normal, anxious not to pee all day and all night long (and occasionally during a big sneeze), anxious for a cold, frosty beer, anxious to get my Christmas gifts made, anxious to finish all shopping for Cashew and to get their room completely organized and ready for the new tenant, and anxious to get delivery and recovery over with.  Whew.  I didn't even say any of that out loud yet I am still out of breath and sweating as if I ran a marathon! 

As this BIG bundle of "joy" continues to grow in front of me, things about my body have certainly changed.  I haven't gotten a stretch mark...YET...but I am finding that, lugging around all of this extra weight, is really hard on my body.  Me, the one who could run 5 miles everyday at the gym at high speeds and on inclines now gets winded, and I mean completely out of breath, and dizzy every time I walk up the steps.  And that, my friends, is a lot!  Now add a heavy laundry basket to the equation and you can see what my latest work out routine is at this point! 

The dizziness is more frequent in the mornings after breakfast.  After my extensive google searching (and according to my doctor), I now know that this is due to sugar levels spiking as well as the circulatory system pumping overtime to accomodate for both Cashew and I.  So I really need to stay on top of my vitamins, move a lot slower (especially standing up after sitting for a while) and just sit down when I need to in order to stop the tilt-a-whirl in my brain.

I must admit that it is scary at times.  Sunday I felt so off kilter that I actually laid down on the bed and ended up taking a power nap while T and Tay read books.  Yesterday I got very light headed in the shower and tried to call out to T but he couldn't hear me all the way downstairs.  I really thought I might go down right there in the tub.  But I turned the water temperature down a bit and sat down on the edge of the tub to try and gain my senses.  It worked and I was able to get cleaned up and dried off but I still had to lay down on the bed to regain my strength.  Is age the culprit?  I seriously doubt it.  I think the biggest culprit is my forgetting to take my vitamins.  I took one last night after dinner and today has been much better.  So I am planning on keeping up the vitamins and then see if I have any other issues before my next doc appt.  If so, I will talk to Hutch about it more.  If not, then we know it was the lack of vitamins and nutrients.

Here's the deal - sidenote...I read in many places that prenatal vitamins are essential for a developing baby in the first trimester.  That's why "they" say to take them if you are trying to conceive and then, of course, while you are pregnant.  But, once you are out of first tri, the vitamins are more for the mom than the fetus.  The fetus WILL get what they need from anything and everything you eat and drink.  It will suck every bit of vitamins and nutrients from your body whether or not you may need them (they do say your life is no longer yours when you become a mom...this is where it starts).  So Cashew is probably taking every bit of iron and protein out of my system which isn't being replinished by vitamins (and I have found that I like eating meat even LESS than before I was pregnant so I am sure my iron levels are low).  So I will keep pumping my body full of vitamins and see if that helps keep my head straight.

I am also clumsy.  Running my stomach into doors, walls, counters, you name it.  It has gradually been growing there for quite some time but now, all of a sudden, it has become a magnet to everything around me.  And, as my luck would have it, everything that hits me hits me in the belly button.  Which is the one area that has always been strictly off limits from touching because it really sets a nerve loose inside of me.  I hate the feeling of being touched there.  But now my belly button is as flat as a pancake with no loose folds of skin to protect it.  And now it is being violated.  If not by the corner of the kitchen island, then by the ultrasound wand or fetal heart monitor wand.  It has a target around it and everything seems to be drawn to it! 

Heartburn has increased slightly and happens at the most random times.  Sometimes even when I haven't had a bite to eat!  Sometimes I won't have it all day and, when I decide I am going to lay down and try to sleep, it comes on like a volcano.  It hasn't been as bad as I have heard others talk about but it is very annoying when it is there.

Cashew is a constant mover.  There are times...and sometimes days...when the activity slows down or halts all together but most days it is pure disco fever in there.  Hiccups occur almost daily and sometimes more than once a day.  You can now see it on the outside of my stomach and you can tell it really irritates him/her.  They get pretty restless in there when they get the hiccups.

You can now feel "parts and pieces" bulging out here and there.  T makes me laugh so hard when he takes his hand and tries to determine what part he is feeling when, all of a sudden, Cashew will lash out at him or move that part all together.  T's face is priceless!  He says he really couldn't feel or experience these things with Tay because Tay's Mom was overweight while pregnant.  So he is really getting a kick (pun intended) out of this mystery part game.

I honestly don't think Cashew is head down yet.  I am trying not to worry since it may still take several weeks. I say this because I think I can feel where the head is and it is more on the side of my stomach than at the bottom.  But we will see what progress has been made at our next appt which will be Nov 16.

While the growing continues, T and I have been making some great progress on our Christmas shopping as well as getting the house (especially the bar and the refreshment fridge) stocked for my family!  I would guess that we have about half of our shopping done and, everything we have bought is wrapped!  I am a bit behind in making gifts but I still feel like I can accomplish my goal.  Or at least I am hoping to.  After my last shower this weekend, it will be nice to get all of the last minute items that we need for Cashew shopped for and done with...I am ready to just have everything done in that room so that it can be the last thing I need to stress about.

So, six more weeks (give or take) until B Day.  We bought Cashew their first Christmas present from Mommy and Daddy - a snoopy stuffed animal like the one I had when I was a baby.  The hormones flared during that purchase and I almost cried.  I was so touched for some reason.  I think we will be taking Snoopy to the hospital with us.

OH...and, just so you know, the boy's name has now become undecided again.  It is a toss up between two - both of which are included on the poll.  But T had a change of heart on the one we were set on so we will see what happens.  He said that Tay's Mom and him had the boy's name completely picked out when she was pregnant with Tay but that the girl's name was much harder to come he thinks it could be a sign we are having a boy.  Haha!  Hmmm, so who will be the winner of the name game?  Vote if you haven't already!

Now to the details:
34 weeks - I look pretty casual makeup, hair back, grubs on.  It was a house cleaning day and I just got out of the shower.  I only included my face because my Mom is not fond of the headless pod.  I look like I am being taken over or that I am trying to steal a beach ball from Walmart.

How your baby's growing:

Your baby now weighs about 4 3/4 pounds (like your average cantaloupe) and is almost 18 inches long. Her fat layers — which will help regulate her body temperature once she's born — are filling her out, making her rounder. Her skin is also smoother than ever. Her central nervous system is maturing and her lungs are continuing to mature as well. If you've been nervous about preterm labor, you'll be happy to know that babies born between 34 and 37 weeks who have no other health problems generally do fine. They may need a short stay in the neonatal nursery and may have a few short-term health issues, but in the long run, they usually do as well as full-term babies.

Next on the timeline of baby making:
Nov 12 - Final childbirth class
Nov 14 - Shower
Nov 16 - Appt with Hutch at 2:30
Dear Cashew,
I don't have a lot of time to write.  Daddy and I are about to take a walk and I have a project to work on before I start dinner tonight.  But we talk to you a lot so hopefully that helps.  We feel parts and pieces in there and hope we aren't bugging you when we feel around.  It is just really fascinating. 
You are growing so big already and so fast!  But, if you haven't already, I really need you to focus on getting that butt in the air!!  Get into dive position!  It is almost time.  Not much longer now.  We are all looking forward to meeting you and hope that we can make the process as easy as possible.  If there is such a thing.
Talk to you in a little bit while we push on your parts!  Remember this, Cashew, we will be pushing your buttons for many years to come!!!  And I am sure you will do the same to us!
We love you very much!
Mommy and Daddy

Friday, November 6, 2009

Is it a sign??

T and I went to our fourth childbirth class last night after "cutting" last week's.  I am sure glad that we did.  But I hope the subject of class isn't a sign of things to come.  The subject: C-Sections.

Class started with the on staff neonatalogist who talked a little about what he does, why we will see him and signs/symptoms of what to look for in baby post-delivery.  He also talked about circumcisions which, if our hopes are confirmed, we will need to know about as well.  It was pretty informative.

The rest of the class was about C-Sections.  Obviously I hope I don't have to have one but, after the wonderful ultrasound tech brought it up a couple of weeks ago and since there is NO WAY of knowing whether or not we would need one down the line, I was relieved that we were going to be talking about it. 

To be honest, it was pretty emotional listening to the details of the procedure, the fact that the baby is taken to the nursery during the first 30 - 45 minutes of your recovery and the amount of recovery time (and pain) it takes after the surgery.  But, even with small tears puddling in my eyes, I did realize that the surgery itself isn't THAT big of a deal.  It is a very small incision.  They move your stomach muscles instead of cutting through them (T was afraid that, if they cut through the muscle like we thought they did, I would have a harder time tightening up my abs at the gym - and he knew that would be upsetting for me).  And, as long as it isn't an emergency C-Section (which breech babies are not), you are awake the whole time and can see baby after it is born.  But you can't hold it.  That's kinda a bummer.  Daddy holds baby because your arms are strapped down...which kinda bothers my clausterphobic mind but I am sure we would make it through fine.

The only other thing that kinda sucks is that you have to stay at the hospital for 3 -4 days post surgery.  At least you can shower after about 8 - 10 hours post-surgery.  But I don't want to be stuck in the hospital that long when my family is in town.  Boo.  But, whatever must be done, must be done.  We shall see.

I walked out of class with a sense of calmness.  No book or Baby Story on TLC has made me feel this comfortable about a procedure.  Our instructor, Lolita, really knows how to reassure the women in class and make you feel that you can push through any of these procedures with flying colors.  It is good to have someone like that teaching unnerved pregnant women the ropes.

Anyway, I am so glad that we went and I am back to being so glad that we made the investment in these classes.  While some information is redundant, and some information I would learn upon arrival to the hospital, a lot of the information is very helpful!  I like knowing the details of the procedures so that I know what to expect.  I am a planner, don't you know?

I started thinking on the way home last night...maybe it would be better if I just stay pregnant.  Haha!  I thought about how safe and comfortable 'Shew is in there and being pregnant (at least the later part of 2nd and most of 3rd tri) hasn't been so bad, maybe they should just stay there!  But then there is the frosty cold beer that I miss and the fact that I can't work out like I used to...ok, birth it is.  But I am finding that being pregnant isn't so bad.  It sure takes forever and a day and you sure have to give up a lot but it is also a very interesting and exciting condition to be in.  I do hope that 'Shew decides to stay in for a while...even a little past my due date is ok...I have a lot to do before their arrival and before Christmas gets here!

Cashew has been pretty lazy since last night.  Not a whole lot of crazy movement.  I am not too worried (you are supposed to do "kick counts" if you don't feel them moving a lot but I think everything is fine).  I think Cashew is just tired like me.  Our clocks' have been off since we have had very little sleep so I think that's what is causing the quiet time.  Don't worry.  I still feel the occasional bump or roll.  As a matter of fact, I just did.  'Shew will probably be back in party mode tonight while we have movie night with Tay.  Whenever she lays close to me or puts her arm around my stomach, 'Shew goes pretty crazy.  He/she is either already jealous or they love their big sister already.  I like to think the latter.

I am trying hard to put on my StepMom hat today.  Tay has a half day of school today so we will be picking her up at 11 or so.  I am struggling to find the amount of energy I need to make it through an entire weekend of Tay.  Don't get me wrong.  She is a GREAT kid and I love seeing her.  It just takes a lot of energy and constant attention.  And I am running on fumes.  It is always fine once I am in the process but it is hard to look through right now.  And, yes my friends, I DO know that I will have to do this 24/7 in a few weeks.  I am fully aware.  Just having one of those days...

Guess that's the update for now.  Gonna go feed the 'Shew and I some Special K and a banana.  OH, by the way, I had NO chocolate or candies yesterday.  I am so proud of myself!  Willpower!!!!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

We're up...

It is 2 AM and we are up.  Cashew and I.  I fell asleep on the couch around 10:30 and then T and I headed to bed around 12:00.  But that was it.  From there I couldn't sleep and neither could Cashew.  So here I am sitting on the couch with a laptop and a kitty (Jazzy is sound asleep next to me).  I have on some weird Discovery Channel show that is filling up the quiet space and I am about to refill my water jug.  Although I feel a little heavy in the eye lids, sleep doesn't seem to be in my near future.  Not sure what is keeping me awake all these nights.  Anticipation?  Anxiety?  The lists of to-do's in my head?  Who knows.  But I have found that I do pretty well functioning on very little sleep - the more sleep I do get, the more tired I feel during the day.  So I guess it all works out in the end...if there is an end.

I was thinking, which is all I ever seem to do any more, about what my parents (and other parents) must feel as their children grow up.  It is such an intense feeling to have a real human in your stomach - moving, growing, etc.  I can only imagine that this feeling will be one that will never be forgotten.  When your child goes to kindergarten.  When they start high school.  When they drive a car at 16.  When they tell you they "hate you" and slam their bedroom door.  When they get married.  When they have their own children.  That memory of your baby being tucked safely away in your stomach with not a thought in their heads.  They are relying on you completely and have no idea the world they will be entering.  They have no idea the challenges that lie ahead in life and they have no idea how much their parents love them before they are even considered a true fetus.  It is amazing, isn't it?  When the bratty teenager screams at their parents because they feel their parents "don't understand," that parent's heart breaks.  That is the baby that they carried for nine months.  That is the baby that loved them unconditionally for a period of time.  The baby that relied on that parent for all the basic necessities of life. 

I guess that's why it is always hard for me to imagine these kids that end up hurting, or even killing, their parents.  I know they are very disturbed which was probably caused by the way they were parented (or not parented) throughout their life.  But some just do it because they get mixed in with the wrong crowd at school.  How do you destroy the one or ones that gave you life?  So sad.  But I think that's the negative of a baby not remembering those times that they were so dependent on their parents.  Do you realize that your memory really doesn't kick in until you are old enough to strive for your own independence?  Tatum doesn't really remember anything before four years old.  At that point, she was already seeking some independence and was developing her own self will.  Kids don't remember the dependency of being in the womb.  Of relying on their mother to feed them, to deliver them, to change them, to dress them.  These memories are non-existent.  They only remember from a certain time that is typically around the four to five year old.

I just find the whole thing fascinating.  All the work parents put into their babies at an early age definitely helps development but does it help with the end result?  The end personality?  Maybe.  Or is their personality and their self will based on their surroundings which, throughout life, is mostly school.  How do you remind your kids about the sacrifices you made and how dependent they were on you for most of their early years?  And do they even care? 

I guess all these deep thoughts lead to the fact that I appreciate my parents so much.  I feel like I have appreciated them for many years now but I will admit I wasn't a good teenager.  What teenager is good?  I regret the way I treated my parents for all those hormonal, zit-filled years.  I can't imagine the pain I put them through and the heartbreak they endured.  I have heard from many people that you appreciate your parents so much more when you have your own kids.  I haven't even had Cashew yet and I can tell you my appreciation for my parents has intensified greatly. And I am deeply sorry for any and all pain that I ever caused them in my life.

I know it won't be easy raising a child.  There will be times that I will have to endure the "I hate you"s and the "you just don't understand"s.  But I hope that I can remember the times that I went through those horrible hormonal, high school days and then look at the wonderful relationship I have with my parents now.  I can only hope that Cashew will eventually turn around when all of the hormones settle and be my friend and my "baby" again. 

I know I am thinking way ahead of things but a baby is only a baby for so long.  And time flies.  So I am just looking ahead to those harder years.  Plus, what else am I going to do at 2:30 AM?  Might as well do some forecasting.

All I can say is, at least when Cashew is hating life and hating me, I won't be pregnant so I will be able to have an adult beverage with my sweetie and chalk it up to karma! 

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

33 weeks - OH CRAP!! Where is the time going????

Seven more weeks (give or take) - REALLY??  What happened to the entirely slow time of the first trimester or the semi-slow days of the 2nd trimester?  I have heard quite frequently that 3rd tri is the slowest of all trimesters but I don't think that will be the case for me!!  It's the holidays!  Everything that needs to be done, decorated and planned is taking up every left over space in my already cramped "baby-occupied" mind!!  Seven more weeks?  OMG!  That's about how long they estimate shipping on those infomercials (I know this because I am awake a lot at night).

I had my doc appointment yesterday and everything went well.  Other than my weight.  Well, that wasn't a concern for my doc or the nurses...just to me.  I have gained 6 lbs over the last two weeks!!!!!  I would say it is all baby but I am starting to think I may have more junk in my trunk or something.  Hutch says I am right on target and not to worry.  Of course she went on to try and make me feel better "you are all baby, you look great, blah, blah, blah."  The whole time I just kept seeing the big, ugly number on the scale and, after asking the nurse how much total I have gained, hearing her response of 28 lbs.  OMG.  No more chocolate and no more (or very limited) carbs!!  Plus T and I are planning on continuing our evening walks and I might throw in some arm weights.  My clothes don't really feel tighter - other than my shirts, of course.  But I just want to be sure that I have my weight under control so that it will be easier to remove post-baby.

I talked to Hutch about the ultrasound tech and the whole breech/C-Section discussion we had with her.  As I was telling her about it, she was reading the display on her computer that had the notes from the earth-momma ultrasound tech.  The first sentence was about it being breech.  UGH!  I said.  Hutch said not to worry.  She said that I should be worrying more about getting the nursery prepared than rather or not Cashew is breech.  She said that she doesn't usually even start checking for position until 35 or 36 weeks and, even then, it can turn after that time.  She felt around on the mound of belly and said she thought it felt like it was in a transverse position, which is kinda sideways.  She said that this might be the beginnings of Cashew turning.  Turn, Cashew, turn!

We also talked to her about making a birth plan.  We really don't think it is necessary to make one - our plan is to make it to the hospital, get an epi and let the docs and nurses do their job.  At that point, we will just roll with the punches and take cues from the staff onsite.  Hutch agreed.  She said that, although first time parents can sometimes enjoy feeling in control of the situation by making a plan, the truth is, more times than not the plan falls through.  So that is one less thing I need to put on my to do list.  She said there is a running joke among hospital and OB staff - birth plans = C Sections.  Another reason I will just avoid that task.

After our questions, Hutch checked my measurements and all looked perfect.  Then we listened to Cashew's heartbeat.  Mid 130's.  Old wives tales (and Hutch herself) say that heartrates in this range tend to be boys.  One can only wonder (and kinda hope).  =P

After our appointment, we ran a few errands and ended up buying a shelf that has plastic bins for Cashew's closet.  My nesting (and/or usual organized self) will probably have that built in the next couple of days.  Things are coming together.  We will do final shopping for last minute needs after my shower in a couple of weeks.  That should get us completely done with all things Cashew until the TIME comes. 

Speaking of time...we are hoping for on time or even LATE delivery of Cashew.  We would love to make it through the holidays before Cashew's arrival.  But only TIME will tell.  =P  I can plan most things but Cashew's arrival I cannot.  At least I won't be watching the clock for D Day!!  I will be more than happy with a delay of arrival!!  Just a couple of days is fine.  Haha!

33 week pic - it is at this time that you can politely and sweetly tell me that I am all baby with not a lot of junk in my J-Lo.  Go on...tell me...haha!
How your baby's growing:

This week your baby weighs a little over 4 pounds (heft a pineapple) and has passed the 17-inch mark. He's rapidly losing that wrinkled, alien look and his skeleton is hardening. The bones in his skull aren't fused together, which allows them to move and slightly overlap, thus making it easier for him to fit through the birth canal. (The pressure on the head during birth is so intense that many babies are born with a conehead-like appearance.) These bones don't entirely fuse until early adulthood, so they can grow as his brain and other tissue expands during infancy and childhood.

What about me?
> My belly button is completely flat
> My belly is very itchy and very sensitive to the touch.  Almost like a sunburn.  Too much stretching!
> Bathroom time has been much more "productive" - YAY!
> Peeing ALL the time - 2 to 3 times a night is standard
> Although my energy level is way down and I am VERY tired by bed time, I can't stay asleep.  I am averaging about 3 to 4 hours.
> Lots of Cashew movement for most of the day.  He/she has hiccups a lot and now you can see my stomach move when it does.
> You can feel "bits and pieces" through my skin - legs, feet, whatever.  I don't analyze it much cuz it kinda grosses me out a little.
> Still get light headed from time to time and I am unbelievably hot when others aren't.  I need a breeze all the time.  Which was great when our weather was "fall like".  Now we are back in the 90's. 
> My appetite has increased slightly but I don't feel as though I eat more than I used to.  Need to watch my carbs and sugar intake.  Don't need to add to the J Lo.
> Winded walking up the steps, having a hard time getting up off of the couch when sitting in the "comfy" corner, hard time bending over to pick things up, etc.
> I think nesting and the stress of all that needs to be done before the holidays has compounded my already obsessive compulsive cleaning/organizing self and has me completely overwhelmed.  My face lately?  Think dear in headlights!

Up Next:
Nov 5 - CB Class (I think we are going)
Nov 12 - CB Class (last one)
Nov 14 - Shower
Nov 16 - Doc appt (35 weeks)

Dear Cashew,
So, you have a couple more weeks before I need you to really think about turning that cute butt of yours upside down.  I have a feeling that, with both your Mommy and Daddy being the stubborn, self willed people that they are, you will do what you want to do when you want to do it.  That's fine but I really would like to request you turn so that we don't have to go through a C-Section.  However, I have been researching C-Sections and I am much more comfortable with the procedure.  I still would rather things happen the normal vag way.  So see what you can do in there.

There are times that I actually think you are turned around upside down.  I can sometimes feel a heavy weighted feeling in my pelvic area and I sometimes feel feet and such around my ribs (watch where you could really hurt Mommy).  But I am not stressing about it and I am sure you are far from thinking about it - or anything at this point.

We are still working on small details in your room and, after our shower in a couple of weeks, Daddy and I will be shopping for the final needs.  We hope to have you completely covered and your room completely ready for your arrival before the first of December.  I feel confident we can accomplish this!  Especially with Daddy taking vacay time around Thanksgiviing.

Oh and I am sorry that your hiccups drive you crazy.  Every time you get them, I will feel the rythmic motion of the hiccups followed by large movements of frustration from you!  Hiccups are very annoying.  There are ways that you can get rid of them when you are out here.  One way is drinking water out of a glass with your head upside down over a sink.  Hey!  That's it!  If you just turn yourself upside down (like I need you to anyway) and drink some amniotic fluid real fast, maybe that will help!

Well, I am sure I will feel more of you tonight and I am sure Daddy and I will talk to you later.  I think you might be napping right now.  Sounds awesome.  I'm pretty tired too. 

Love you Cashew.
Mommy and Daddy