Monday, November 3, 2008

Bunny, Day 25

I can't believe that the little one is almost 4 weeks old!

I commented to her daddy last night that I can already tell the difference between the sturdy baby she's becoming and the frail little thing she was at birth!

Over the past week, we've learned a few important lessons.
  1. Side feeding works wonders! She latches on easier and mom is comfier.
  2. Mom has to STAY AWAKE during side feedings so she can transfer baby to her crib afterwards and baby doesn't end up spending all night in mommy and daddy's bed!
  3. A little baby can pee an awfully big puddle. Yipes.
  4. It really is possible to poop, pee, puke and sneeze all at the same time without exploding. I've seen her do it!
  5. Spit up that comes up curdled means that it's already hit her stomach and mixed with acid. This happens, it seems, when she isn't burped enough.
  6. Spit up that comes up as smooth milk means that she's eaten too much and it doesn't get a chance to hit her stomach because her stomach is full. She's a beast sometimes and just eats and eats and eats and eats.
  7. Swaddlers are the best inventions ever and thank you to Chris' coworker for passing a few along to us!
  8. Pacifiers are evil. I wasn't even going to try them (despite the fact that we were given like a dozen) but after a particularly hard crying spell, I decided to try. She hates 'em. No milk, no suck.
  9. Tummy time is hard to achieve. She doesn't like being on her tummy. Back, ok. Side, ok. Tummy = screaming.
  10. Reasoning with an infant is, um, silly. But I still try!
Entering week four of being off from work - I'm starting to become a bit stir crazy and have 10 weeks left to go. Still working on finding non-baby time and working on other objectives. Life is a process!

Hope everyone is well!

Love,

~FM~

Monday, October 27, 2008

Bunny, Day 18

I can't even believe that Bunny is 18 days old!

She is doing wonderfully and so are we. We had a checkup on Thursday, and Bunny was up to 7 pounds, 10.5 ounces...a gain of 10 ounces in 5 days!

She has evened out to eating about every three hours, although it can be a little longer sometimes. Since she has gained weight well and had surpassed her birth weight by the 2 week mark, we got the green light to start feeding by demand again instead of our previously insane forcefeeding schedule. Now, we only wake her up if she sleeps beyond 4 hours.

Bunny still had yellow around her eyes until about a day ago, but they are now back to white - yay! Next checkup isn't until November 17th.

I started using the Medela pump we were given about a week ago so FD could take on some feedings and other than a little pain when it first starts, it works like a charm. Pumping has gone well and we're already building up extra to be used once I go back to work after the holidays. I pump after a majority of feedings and get about 1.5 ounces to bank away. When I pump during feedings when Bunny gets a bottle from FD, I get anywhere from 3.5 to 5 ounces. And Bunny is switching back and forth between her BreastFlow bottles and nursing like a champ, despite the fact that experts advise not to begin switching off until at least one month to avoid nipple confusion. She usually takes about 3 ounces when she has a bottle.

We tried a pacifier for the first time today...no go. Not just spit out, but EMPHATICALLY! Tried a different kind (we didn't register for any but were given 4 different types) and she still hated it. Then again, she won't suck on our fingers either. If milk doesn't come out of it, she has no interest!

Speaking of trying new things, we switched to cloth diapers about 4 days ago when her really bad bili diapers tapered off. Mixed success. She thrashes during changes and so we sometimes have a hard time getting a snug fit around her legs. As a result, I've been peed on twice, both times when baby was on her side and nursing. Then again, this kid loves to pee on me...she starts peeing nearly every time I wipe her down during diaper changes!!! Some of the diaper covers fit well...others not as well. But we're adjusting. And we love the AIO diapers we're using overnight...lasts 6 hours with no change necessary!

That's all the updates from our end! I'll be back over the next few days to share Bunny's birth story, a tale on the wonders of stretch marks, and more late pregnancy/early motherhood tales. I'll also (finally!) be around to visit ya'll!!

Love,

~FM~

Saturday, October 18, 2008

One Week at Home

Today marks one week at home - and what a week it's been!

Since Tuesday, we've been going to the doctor every day for weight and color checks and bilirubin blood draws. Today's visit was an awful waste of time - check out my rant on that over at my 0 to Mom blog.

Here's a look at her progress:
Tuesday ~ Bilirubin - 19.2, Weight - 6 pounds, 8 ounces
Wednesday ~ Bilirubin - 17.6, Weight - 6 pounds, 13 ounces
Thursday ~ Bilirubin - 16.2, Weight - 6 pounds, 15 ounces
Friday ~ Bilirubin - 15.3, Weight - 6 pounds, 14 ounces (yes, a loss)
Saturday ~ Bilirubin - 12.9, Weight - 7 pounds, 1 ounce

Target ~ Bilirubin - 11, Weight - 7 pounds, 7 ounces
Since Tuesday, we've been spending 24/7 in our living room, since that's where we have her crib set up with the two phototherapy machines. Her daddy's been camped out on one of the recliners, and I've staked claim to one of the couches. With feedings every 2 hours (3 at the most, if she's difficult to wake up), it's not worth even trying to sleep in the bedroom.

Since Thursday, we've also been treating Bunny for thrush. Because, really, two medical issues weren't enough. Fortunately, she's been very good about getting her medicine - we have to swab 1 CC on the inside of her cheeks and squirt another 1 CC onto her tongue and down her throat.

Since Tuesday, we've had a complete lack of cuddle time with baby. Since she has to be under her lights anytime she's not feeding...her Daddy is totally missing out...I at least get to hold her for feedings. Daddy taking most of the diaper changes just isn't the same as him getting to actually bond with her.

Since Tuesday, I've realized how truly blessed I am to have a strong marriage and a strong husband...with so much going on beyond normal new baby stuff, I could never manage without him.

Since Tuesday, I've also realized how lucky I am that I've long since gotten used to sleeping in shorter spurts and for far less than 8 hours per day. If I was the type who needed 8 straight hours of sleep, I'd probably be ready to jump by now. But since I've had sleep issues for years, I think I'm coping better than I would have otherwise. What an odd thing to be thankful for!

We're very hopeful for this coming week. We're hoping that by Monday, we'll be down to our doctor's target bilirubin level and back up to baby's birth weight. Those accomplishments will get us released from the phototherapy, the strict feeding schedule, and the daily doctor visits. Maybe we can then start working our way to our own routines with baby!

I've been a terrible blog friend over the past week - I promise that I'll be around to visit everyone soon and see what ya'll are up to. Thanks for your understanding through this difficult week.

Love,

~FM~

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Our Little Glo Worm

It's hard to believe that we've been home from the hospital with Miss Catherine for 4.5 days already - and that she'll be a week old tomorrow! Whoa - time definitely flies!

Our little girl wasn't satisfied to merely become the love of our lives and the center of our universe - she wanted to become a cheesy 1980s toy as well!

When we had our first doctor's appointment yesterday, we found out that the little one had lost a total of 12% of her birth weight (versus 8-10% as the norm) and, more alarmingly, that her bilirubin numbers were very high based on her age measured in hours. On a scale of 1 to 20, she registered in at 19.2. The scale actually extends above 20, but anything above 20 is considered pretty dangerous...could lead to lots of nasty outcomes like brain damage and mental retardation and so on and so forth.

We were at home when the doctor called to let us know her bilirubin level, which the lab turned around just 3 hours. Needless to say, I was quite, ah, upset. The prescribed therapy included feeding the baby at exact two hour intervals and keeping the baby under lights at every time she wasn't feeding or being changed.

Before we were even called, the doctor's office had already called a home health provider and ordered two phototherapy units to be delivered to our house. These blue light units are designed to flush bilirubin from the system. In addition to the more frequent feeding times, which also acts as a flush, the problem could be corrected.

Once the units were finally delivered - 6 hours after they were ordered as "stat" - we got Miss Catherine trussed up in a baby bag with one unit under her back and one wrapped around her torso. In order to block the blue lights from hitting her eyes, we used clothes pins to keep her in! She totally looks like a Glo Worm!



We'd started the 2-hour feeding schedule earlier in the afternoon and so then combining with getting her into and out of her lights for each feeding, it's come down to spending 40-50 minutes per each 2 hour cycle taking care of the baby. Bring on the sleep deprivation!

We went back to the doctor today to get her weight and bilirubin rechecked and already have good results to report. In a 24-hour span of time, she gained 5 ounces! The nursed asked me what I was using to supplement for the baby and when I told her that we weren't using any supplement - whether formula or donated breast milk - she was shocked. Yay for me! In the same period of time, her bilirubin level went down from 19.2 to 17.6.

We still have a ways to go. Until her weight is back up to what her birth weight was (7 lbs 7 oz) and until her bilirubin is down to at least 11, we'll be going to the doctor once a day for checkups. So we have 10 more ounces to gain and 6.6 more measures of bilirubin to come down. Hopefully this will go quickly! The average amount of time for phototherapy is 3 days - I imagine we'll be zombies by the weekend, but we'll do anything to get her back into tip top shape!

I'll post more updates as they come!

Hugs,

~FM~

Friday, October 10, 2008

Introducing Baby Bunny!

Catherine Elizabeth Aller was born at 11 AM on 10/09/08. She is a very beautiful little girl who came in at 19.5 inches and 7 pounds, 7 ounces. She was born with a full head of hair and with her daddy wrapped tightly in her little fingers.

I'll post her "birth story" later on, but for now I'll just let ya'll know that she's doing extremely well and we'll be discharged from the hospital tomorrow after and get to take her home and start out our new lives as her Mommy and Daddy.

We've taken about a million pictures so far, but here are just a few.



Thursday, October 9, 2008

She's coming!

(Sorry for the lack of updates over the past week - fairly uneventful. Last appointment she wouldn't play nice with moving so we got another U/S out of the deal but it showed she was doing just fine.)

We're at the hospital! We've been here since 10 last evening. Before that, I'd had regular contractions for about 5 hours and just wanted to wait long enough to make sure it wasn't a false alarm.

Things are going well. Have had very nice nurses (first the triage nurse, Laura, then our overnight nurse, Christy, and now our morning nurse LaHunta) and a great experience so far. Came in still at a 3 and we were at a 7 by 6 AM. They had to break my water for me at around 4:30. From 10 to 4:30 we managed without any meds although it was getting dicey. Then after my water broke...ye Gods! Toughed it out until 6 AM and then it was just at the point where I was shaking uncontrollably and just wearing myself out, so we decided to go with an epidural even though I'd wanted to try to get by without. GREAT decision. I have a great dose going right now and still have control over my legs pretty well but can get through the contractions without wanting to die.

The on-call doc was my own doctor's partner but she went off duty at 8 and my own doctor is on duty now - yay for that! She just visited and we're now at a 9 and +2 and totally effaced. The nurse predicted we'll be able to start pushing in another 2 hours or so and have a baby by lunchtime. To say that I'm excited would be an understatement.

When my water broke, a bunch of meconium came out and so baby will have to be suctioned and such, but all else is well! I'll post an update once she's here and we're moved upstairs to our room!

Love,

~FM~

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Latest Appointment Update

Well...we had our latest appointment with the OB/GYN today to check on Bunny's progress.

Let me back up a bit. Last night, around 5 PM, I started having sporadic contractions. By midnight, they had solidified into a pattern of about 8 minutes apart. By the time we left for my doctor's appointment just after 8 AM this morning, they were 5 minutes apart, stronger than before, and lasting around a minute a piece.

Turns out that silly 5-1-1 rule is a myth.

I got to my appointment and after listening to the heartbeat for a few minutes (130 bpm), we got down to the physical exam.

Now remember...two weeks ago, I was almost 3cm and 75% effaced.

Today, I was "definitely" 3cm, 90% effaced, and the baby was at a -1. Despite contractions, the doctor didn't feel it was time. But because I had made some progress (+15% effacement), she also didn't feel it was necessary to set an extraction plan.

So in there Bunny will stay. For how long? Who knows! After like 8 hours of contractions spaced in 5 minute intervals, they are tapering off now. Not getting any lighter - I can definitely tell they're there, unlike the very early ones that I wasn't sure on. But tapering off in timing. I think I'm down to like 4 or 5 per hour.

ARGH! So we go back to the doctor on Monday. Unless Bunny comes first. Oh, please, God, let her come first! I'm walking like an old woman, back to putting on multiple pounds per week instead of just 1 or 2 and just very, very ready for her to be here.

How are all of you other ladies doing?

~FM~

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

37w3d...Paging Baby!

Well...we made it to 37 weeks! I find it hard to believe that almost two weeks ago, the doctor said that we were at any day now and that all we were missing was contractions. And yet...nada!

Here's an update on how we're doing!

Early last week, I began having weird little dizzy spells. Dots would start swimming in front of my eyes and I'd get dizzy and weak and nauseous. I visited my endocrinologist for a check up and she said that it was likely due to momentary drops in blood pressure. I actually laughed. Me? The one with the tendency to high blood pressure? I'm now having the opposite problem? Lord.

I had a handful of those spells, and each lasted between a half hour and an hour. They went away if I simply sat quietly and drank some water. Since FD was out of town with the state police contingent in Galveston, one of my friends spent the night to baby sit me, because we realized that if I ever passed out, no one would even know. I don't think my dogs and cats are up to dialing 911!

A little later last week, I lost my mucous plug in two large clumps. Icky, but yay! That means progress, right? Haha. Not. I think that was on Wednesday. FD got permission to come home Thursday evening because of my little spells so he could take care of me. And after that...haven't had a single one.

We think I might have had some very light but sporadic contractions both on Sunday and yesterday...but they never got stronger or closer together. The only reason I'd even suspect they were contractions were because they were twinges like none of the others I've felt all along. And now there are none at all. We went on a long and very brisk walk last night, and while that succeeded in relaxing baby (my belly is softer for the first time in weeks...she'd been spending ALL of her time tensed up) it did not succeed in getting any action.

Oh, and for added extra fun, I tweaked my neck Friday night, somehow sleeping funky. So now I have almost no range of motion and a constant bad headache. Argh. FD has been trying to rub it for me, but I end up howling in pain.

So here we are. I've outgrown my maternity clothes. You know...those clothes that cost a ton and are supposed to grow with you? Well, late last week, they stopped growing with me. My stomach is hanging so low that it is actually getting harder and harder to walk. If the doctor hadn't felt that we were "imminent" almost two weeks ago, we would have discussed an extraction plan by now since the plan was originally for 38 weeks to avoid any late pregnancy high blood pressure issues due to my thyroid.

We have another checkup tomorrow morning. We're planning a longer and more vigorous walk tonight. I'm continuing to go to work but have finished transitioning my projects and duties to coworkers, so I'm just doing ad hoc work now. I'm ready. FD is ready. The house is ready. My car has been packed with all of our hospital stuff for almost two weeks now. Bunny, won't you come out to play?

~FM~

Monday, September 22, 2008

I'm Worried...

...that when I actually go into labor, I won't know it unless my water breaks or until it's fairly advanced.

That sounds paranoid, doesn't it? I know that a lot of people would tell me that you can't not know that you're in labor...but I also know that there are some women who genuinely don't pick up on the symptoms of early labor. One of my friends went on about her business, working all day, life as normal, when BOOM, she was hit with a severe cramp, got to the hospital, and delivered within 30 minutes. First baby.

I have two reasons for thinking that I might have a hard time distinguishing labor from, well, life as usual.
  1. I have a high pain threshold and do not pick up on "twinges."
    After a decade's worth of back, neck and joint pain that has gone largely untreated and unmedicated, I simply have stopped noticing anything but total, full-on pain. My husband brags about my pain threshold to his friends. In fact, he's convince that I won't use any meds during birth. (My birth plan indicates that I will only accept pain meds if I request it.) In any case, if the early contractions are minor, I don't think I'll notice them! And that concerns me, since the doctor wants to know if I have any contractions before next Saturday. What if I can't tell?
  2. Baby stays contorted 90% of the time.
    I joke that Bunny hates me. Quite literally, my stomach is hard as a rock 90% of the time. At first, we thought that I was just having really long B-H contractions. Nope. The doctor tells me that the baby is simply positioning herself to cause that. To me, the fact that my stomach is so hard so much of the time feels like a really long (painless, yet uncomfortable) contraction. We think that I've had some B-H contractions on top of baby's contortions, but (see above), since they're pretty much only twinges that I can barely feel, we just can't tell for sure.
In terms of other labor symptoms like nausea and such...well...I feel nauseous at least part of every day. So that won't help.

So I guess I'm just going to be paranoid. I have full days scheduled tomorrow and Wednesday and then lighter days Thursday and Friday. FD gets to come home next Monday. Let's hope the baby plays nice and doesn't race her daddy to the hospital!

Hugs,

~FM~

Friday, September 19, 2008

36 Week Update

Well...here we are, with 36 weeks staring us in the face tomorrow. Or, as my doctor reminded me yesterday, 35 weeks using the original due date. Pray tell, why did we change the due date based on growth if we're even going to still consider the original one even at all? In any case...

It was an eventful 36 week checkup for Bunny and I, yesterday afternoon.

We started out with the U/S tech, as always. Her comment, during the once over she does before zoning in on particular parts and organs, was "My goodness. She's outgrown her condo." Sure has! Seems I'm not stretching very well and so baby is taking up every inch of space possible. Everything looked great on the ultrasound. Computer modeling adjusted baby's age to be 36w2d...versus an age of 35w5d. The scan showed that she was about 6 pounds, 1 ounce, and the computer model indicated that she's growing at a pace of over an ounce a day. She is head down and engaged, using my ribs to prop her little feet up.

The perinatologist then came in to go over the scan with me and talk for a bit. His greatest concern was her size versus my size depending on how long we let her go before executing the plan to get her out. Otherwise, he felt that both she and I were doing well, and so he'd wait to hear from my obstetrician on how her half of the exam would go since it was time for an internal. (The peri couldn't see much of what was going on with me...baby was blocking any possible views.)

So down a floor in the medical building to the OB. Boy, was she in for a surprise! She had me lay back after the third listening of baby's heart rate that day and prepared to go prospecting...and her first reaction was "Oh my God, she's right there."

Turns out that I'm at 3cm, 75% effaced, and the doc had no problem touching baby. Baby did not enjoy that and stiffened up and stayed stiff until this afternoon, when she finally relaxed. All that we're missing right now is contractions!

We went into the appointment intending to start a plan for the second week of October or so to get Bunny out...and came out, instead, with a target date to keep Bunny in until. What a change of events! So our target date is September 27th - 37 weeks by the new date, 36 by the old.

In the meantime, the OB has decreed me on restricted movements. No prolonged standing, walking, lifting, nothing to raise my heart rate, period. If I start contracting sporadically, I'll switch over to bed rest. If I start contracting regularly, which she defined as 4 or more times per hour, she'll stick me in the hospital and try to slow things down. Anytime after the 27th, we'll just let things take their own course. So Bunny is on her way! :-)

There is just one more complication, however. And it's this: Future Daddy was deployed as part of a state police contingent to provide enforcement support to the local police in Galveston, Texas. He left yesterday morning. It's a 10-day deployment, not counting travel days. That puts him back home the afternoon of the 29th. So...things could get interesting!

I'll be back with more updates soon...on Lamaze and such. Hugs to everyone!

~FM~

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Dropping?

Here's a question to BTDT mama's...

How do you know if you're dropping/have dropped?

Over the past three days, my belly seems to sit noticeably lower than before. I actually have more room now to bend over and my boobs aren't quite mashed into my stomach any longer.

I've Googled this, of course, but the info I've found is, as always, contradictory or confusing.

So what are your thoughts? Am I imagining things, or at pretty close to 35 weeks, is Bunny just wiggling her way into position?

Our next ultrasound as well as OB and Peri appointments are next Thursday, so finding out her position and size is still a week away. In between now and then, I have to get through two speech competitions, where I'll be on my feet, and two days of training, where I'm the one delivering training.

Bunny, stay put. PLEASE. I love you and very much want to meet you, but Mama still has a few things to accomplish before you get here!

Bloody...Mouth?

Ok, here's a weird one for you, dear readers.

I have a new and intriguing problem. Totally don't know if it could be related to pregnancy...but here goes.

The past few mornings, I've woken up with a bloody mouth.

My teeth and gums and lips are caked in gummy half-dried blood. Apparently, I've rolled over a few times and have now stained my pillowcases with the same.

There is no source that I can find for this blood. My lips aren't dried or cracked, I have no sores in my mouth, my gums have no cuts or contusions, my tongue doesn't feel like it's been bitten, I haven't had a bloody nose...you get the picture.

Oh, and the husband and the pets show no signs that I've become a vampire.

So where the heck is this blood coming from? It's not a huge amount, but it's enough to disturb me.

Any thoughts?

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Lamaze, Part 1

Hi, ya'll!

We started Lamaze today...the first of two six-hour sessions. It was, uh, well, interesting. Not bad, mind you, although I was in tears at one point. But not fabulous. Turns out that I don't like doing anything for six hours straight, so I got bored a bunch. And it also turns out that FD and I are more yuppie than hippie and so the touchie-feelie New Age aura that was going on was a bit...uh...out of our league.

The Good
  • The book that goes along with the class is super informative and answered a bunch of the questions we had. Great stuff - good resource.
  • The teacher as well as our classmates were exceedingly nice.
The Funny
  • In the elevator going down to class, another mama-to-be openly looked at my tummy and then commented to her husband "Oh, thank God. We're not the only ones who waited until the last minute to take Lamaze." When we got into class, one of the pieces of information we all shared about ourselves was due dates. The chick who commented on my size is due in two weeks...my "actual" due date is not for six! I take her comment to mean that I am now officially large enough to have attained my own gravitational pull.
  • We had a simulated contractions exercise where the teacher clipped a clothespin on a tender part of our ears and had us practice relaxation techniques. I chanted the Air Force song in my head instead of focusing on the music, which is an old technique from when I was in ROTC in college and had to take PFTs after blowing out one of my legs and so needed to redirect pain somehow. Apparently, I need to work harder at not moving my lips, though. Ha, ha!
The Bad
  • I went to class feeling pretty good about the birthing process. I came out of class a bit freaked out, mostly by thinking about the side affects to Bunny and I from all of the drugs that I was (previously?) interested in getting at the hospital, as well as a bit (!!) upset about the thought of not being able to eat a thing once we're checked in and until baby emerges. And with induction looking like the plan, that could be a very long time. Without food. I become hell on wheels if I'm deprived of food. Is it unethical to sneak snacks behind the nurse's back?
The Ugly
  • I don't cry easily. I just don't. I think my most masculine trait is that I hate for anyone else to ever see me "weak." But I was in tears during class at one point. Here's why:
  • The teacher had us practice hip lunges of differing varieties to show us how to open the birth canal in order to prepare to deliver. I can't do them. Period. I have an uncorrected curve in my spine and it has lead to well over a decade of hip issues, including near constant pain that I entirely manage through sucking it up instead of meds. Every other lady in class could do it. I was, arguably, one of the more fit ladies in terms of being toned, but I couldn't handle a simple exercise. I also couldn't handle sitting cross-legged on the floor, stretching forward...and every other lady could. My hip issues cause my knees to have issues because of stress, and so sitting like that was just hell. The teacher came to help us out and tried to manipulate my hips for me...and couldn't. She's a trained massage therapist (in addition to an L&D nurse and a bunch of other credentials) and so tried some sort of massage technique to loosen up my hips. It failed. Completely. And she commented on that. And it made me feel bad. And so I almost cried.
Please tell me that I'm not the only one out there with apparently really awful hips who wants to have a natural birth. I absolutely, positively do not want a C-section. I just don't. But if I can't even do simple hip manipulations, am I screwed? From the nurse's comment, I kind of feel like I am. I haven't discussed this with my doctors, yet. My hips never came up as a factor at appointments and the problems they cause me have existed for so long that I usually don't even give them thought so I never even would have brought it up before. I've heard of women having C-sections because their hips were too narrow...what about when they're a decent width but just have no elasticity and are cockeyed because of a spinal curve? Any encouragement you could offer would be appreciated...I am very upset over this.

So that was our first session in a nutshell. Next weekend, we'll do the LDR tour, write out a birth plan, and do some other stuff that I've already forgotten.

What was ya'lls experience with classes?

Hugs,

~FM~

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Accomplishments!

Well, after posting on Monday that I felt like we still had a million things to accomplish, now we're actually making progress.

First, thanks to Anon. for posting the link to the hospital bag web site. Very informative. I've printed out that one and a few others. My main "lacking" point right now is needing a new nursing bra. I bought one early on and don't have a chance or a prayer of it fitting now that I'm like two band sizes and a cup size larger. Besides, I hated it. I just can't do underwire. I do have two nursing nighties (one with a matching onesie) and a few nursing shirts. I'm seriously considering foregoing an actual nursing bra - any other mamas have thoughts on this? Are there varieties available without underwire? If so, why can't I find them? Can I just make do without? I think I can.

Next, I've found a pediatrician to interview. We have a fundamental problem, however, and it is one of distance. The hospital I am delivering at is 30 miles from my home. There are about a million hospitals between here and there, but that's where the OB/GYN is located that I've been going to for 5+ years and that's where I've had surgery in the past, and so I won't even consider going anywhere else to deliver. But...we don't want to pick a doctor all the way in Dallas for Bunny to go to. For FD and I, it's one thing that most of our doctors are located in Dallas...we don't either of us ever go to the doctor unless we're practically on our deathbeds. But for baby...I want someone closer. So the one I found is associated with the same hospital system (Texas Health Resources), but a different (and closer) hospital within the system. I have no problem with using this hospital for any problems that may arise in the future...I've had friends deliver there and I have visited the ER there when I was terribly ill. But...I'm going to guess this means that if we choose her, she won't come check out baby in the hospital since it's 30 miles away. I know there's staff peds at the hospital and I'm ok with them checking baby out, but do you think it'd be terribly imposing of me to ask this particular doc to come see us when the time comes? Also, are you supposed to pay for the interview visit with a pediatrician? I'm going to call to make an appointment on Monday.

We start Lamaze tomorrow morning, and I am more than ready. I love that Bunny is doing well and growing well and strong and all that...but I am ready to be done being pregnant. I think I've kept my whining to a minimum, but I'm pretty miserable right now. Between my short torso that is just compressed to hell and gone and just general feeling icky complaints, I'm ready for Bunny to be here. It hurts to breathe, I'm now back to feeling ill every single time I eat no matter what I eat, Bunny is kicking the crap out of me to the point that I double over in pain regularly, my legs get weak - not just tired - when I walk even the shortest distance, my back hurts if I sit, stand, or lay down so that doesn't leave any other options...etc. I can't believe some women go through this a half dozen or more times! I think I'm up for once more and then done. And while I've always wanted children who are extremely close together in age (I'm fascinated with the thought of Irish twins), I now realize that I'm going to need a good long time before I do this again. Ok, ending whining now. You can keep the cheese. (It'd make me sick anyways.)

Our Lamaze class is in two six-hour sessions...I scheduled this instead of the more drawn out but shorter sessions because of our work schedules but now am wondering if I'm actually going to want to be there for six hours straight. And I'm really hoping that this doesn't turn into a babies for dummies class. Or a crunchy touchie feelie class. Because I'm really up for neither. I want to learn about pain management, I want to learn more about the facilities, and I want to go home. :-)

I guess that's about it on the update end. We had another checkup this week but it was just a heartrate check for the most part. Still strong. My BP is holding it's own...I think it was 120/85 this time. I did get a bit of a lecture for not going to L&D the one night when I had a lot of trouble breathing, but my rationale is that it just blew over on its own. Doc is getting a bit more concerned about my numbness...hands and feet going numb consistently now, without any correlation to what I'm doing at the time. If it keeps up, I'll get a referral apparently. We'll see! Personally, from similar experiences in the past, I think it's more along the lines of a pinched nerve than anything pregnancy related. FD wants me to go to the chiropractor, but I'm so dang busy right now that I'd never fit in more appointments. I have three appointments between the 16th and 17th...the endo for a checkup and bloodwork, the OB for an exam, and the peri for what will likely be our last sono...and I have to reschedule all three. My pregnancy brain forgot to remind me that I have all day training which I am conducting those two days. Doh! Positive side of that is that I got a new Franklin Covey planner to help me stay on track...I can't keep anything straight these days!

So that's my world - how are you all doing? I owe a bunch of you visits/comments...I promise to come around soon!

Love,

~FM~

Enough Diapers To...

...er, cover a baby! :-)

I got the rest of my cloth diapers ordered! Yay! Theoretically, following the "advice" lists I've seen as well as chatting with BTDT mommies on a local mom's board, I have enough to last until Bunny hits 15 pounds...and then it'll be time to order the next size up in prefolds and covers.

Here's a look at what I either received as gifts from my registry or what I purchased for myself:
  • 36 DSQ Chinese Prefolds - Infant Size (3+ day supply)
  • 5 Bum Genius 3.0 One-Size Cloth Diaper (For nighttime...apparently these are the best and last the longest. We got a variety of colors.)
  • 2 Bummis Original Cloth Diaper Cover - Size Small (White)
  • 2 Bummis Super Whisper Snap Covers - Size Small (White)
  • 2 Wahmies Pail Liner Washable Bags (To go in the kick ass pail my coworkers gave at my last shower. I'm really excited about these bags...they go right in the laundry with your cloth diapers and cloth wipes.)
  • 24 Cotton Babies Flannel Wipes (We got a dozen each of blue and pink.)
  • 24 Kissaluvs Awesome Knit Terry Wipes (White)
  • 1 Happy Tushies Wet Bag (To go in the diaper bag to hold dirties while out and about...holds up to a half dozen diapers and wipes.)
  • 3 Thirsties Cloth Diapers Covers - Size X-Small (Assorted colors. Apparently, these covers kick major butt.)
  • 4 Snappi Fasteners (So kiddo only needs one at a time, and technically could get away without any since we're doing covers as well, but these things are nifty!)
  • 3 Rolls Bio Soft Liners (Biodegradable liners that go inside the diaper to catch "solids" to eliminate the need to prewash diapers. A 1-month supply is about $15. To me, $15 is worth the time I'd save in prewashing, especially since these are flushable.)
  • 1 Container Fluff Dust Pail Deoderizer (So, as FD pointed out, we could have use the same Arm & Hammer spray we use on our kitty litter boxes, but this was on sale and is lavendar scented so I couldn't not buy!)
  • 1 Bottle Kissaluvs Diaper Lotion Potion Concentrate (You mix a little of this stuff with distilled water to wet your cloth wipes before putting in the wipes warmer.)
For all of the above, we spent (as in me and the other person who bought from my registry) a total of $350, including tax. These supplies will last a minimum of 6 months, or until she's 15 pounds and needs the next size. The one-size diapers last until potty training or around 40 pounds! And the wipes, wet bag and pail liners will last forever. But for the sake of argument, let's take out all of the extras and just look at the diaper + cover cost: $228. Total for 4 dozen wipes: $48.

Disposables alone for a six month period would cost $325 plus tax. And that doesn't include anything but the diaper itself - no peripheral items. Enough disposable wipes for that time? Only about $1/day, using 1 to 2 wipes per change. Which adds up to $180 for six months. Egads!

We'll run 3 extra loads of laundry per week. My washer doesn't cost much to run - when my mother-in-law was here over the winter, we experienced a 30% increase in washer usages. My power bill didn't budge and my water bill went up like $5/month.

So for the first six months of cloth diapers, we'll save $200. YAHOO! Plus...the next six months will be a bit cheaper, without the need to buy more wipes or other peripherals. But the cost of disposables wouldn't change. Cha-ching!

And let's not even discuss how much we'll save in not using formula or "baby water" or pre-made baby food. Being cheap is fun!

I'm excited. Can ya tell?

Hugs,

~FM~

Friday, September 5, 2008

My (Food) Luck Ends

Nope, not a typo. I meant "food", not "good."

I've been really, really lucky so far with the food I've eaten. Other than a few aversions early on that I think were entirely mental, and then my little bout with morning sickness at the start of the 2T, I really haven't had any food problems.

In fact, I've bragged that heartburn has never been my issue.

And ya know what they say about braggers...

Ugh. For the past few days, I can't seem to pick the right foods to not upset Bunny. And I'm too stubborn to go to an all-bland diet because, really, I like sauce. On everything. And salsa.

I've also had a few coworkers advise me that while breastfeeding, I'll have to eat bland, too, so I don't upset Bunny's tummy. So calling all mama's out there - what's your take on this? How bland are we talking? Because the plan is to exclusively breastfeed until Bunny is well established on "solid" foods. (And the good news with that is that my thyroid is staying in line nicely for once so I shouldn't have to re-up my meds back to where I wouldn't be able to BF.)

What, exactly, does bland entail? And keep in mind...I'm probably the pickiest eater you'll ever encounter...and no, I'm not kidding.

Heap your advice on me...this is my latest concern!!!

Love to you all!

~FM~

Monday, September 1, 2008

33-ish Weeks Update!

Hey, everyone!

How are all of my new mamas and TTC sistahs and presently preggo pals doing this fine Labor Day morning?

Life's been crazy in Future Mommy's world...but I'm sure the same is true for all of you, as well!

It's really and truly hard to believe that we're in the homestretch now. Only one more month to get through until Future Baby gets here.

I had my girlfriends over for a girls night (pizza, movies) last night and when they were leaving, they rubbed the tummy good bye. I made the remark that the next time they see Bunny, she might not be in there anymore. WILD!!!

Still have a few things to tick off the baby preparedness checklist. They are:
  • Take prenatal classes - these start for us next weekend.
  • Find a pediatrician - yeah, haven't done yet. That's bad.
  • Finish curtains for Bunny's room. Haven't touched the sewing machine for WEEKS!
  • Finish crocheted blanket. It's not like she needs it. She has about 763 others. But I started it and by God, I'm gonna finish it. It's like 80% done.
  • Pack hospital bag! I keep saying I'm going to get this done early...and yet haven't yet.
  • Write baby shower Thank You notes. Between my work and friends/family showers, I have a bunch of Thank Yous to write...and just need to get it done, dang it!
  • Finish stash of cloth diapers. With one of the writing contracts I just wrapped up, I earned the rest of the amount needed to buy the rest of the supplies on my must have list. As soon as the PayPal hits my bank account - hopefully tomorrow - this will be ordered. Luckily, the online store I registered with ships quickly!
  • Go to Target and use several gift cards to finish buying breastfeeding supplies - the storage bags and trays and dethawing thingie and stuff. Believe it or not, the rest of my registry stuff is pretty much all fulfilled between my several showers and a whole bunch of stuff some very generous people have given us second hand. I keep wandering through Target and BRU and looking to make sure I haven't forgotten anything big or vital but it looks like we're actually well set up. Among the second hand stuff were things I hadn't even thought about...but now seem like essentials. Crazy!
How's everyone else doing?

Love,

~FM~

Monday, August 25, 2008

Why Only One?

Hi, ladies!

Welcome to the week 32 edition of "man, I'm getting uncomfortable", hosted by your favorite pregnant lady, Future Mommy! For updated belly pics, click here!

I seriously feel like I'm going to pop. I had no tummy prior to Bunny. None. No extra skin to spare. But somehow, I've managed to spare an extra SIXTEEN inches so far around my tummy. That's right - my tummy is up to 40 inches. YE GODS! One of my coworkers looked at me last Thursday and offered the opinion that she thought I only had 1 month to go instead of potentially 2. Yes, thank you. I'm big. Got it! :-)

Ok, ladies. How are your ankles doing? I know that it's a "common" pregnancy issue to have swelling in ankles. Back in June, while doing a lot of back to back travel and rushing to PA besides, my ankles were, well, scary. But since then, not really much of an issue.

Except now...but it's only one side! My right ankle is most definitely swollen; left ankle? Just fine. Interestingly enough, after several weeks of no leg cramps, they've come back, too. But only on one side. That's right - only my LEFT leg is cramping. I mean, seriously. Could we try to coordinate efforts here on sides??? :-) I still have a numbness problem going on (have I mentioned that before? Can't remember.) where my left arm will randomly start hurting above the elbow and go numb below. The OB/GYN was mildly concerned over that when I complained at my appointment...could have pinched something potentially. If it is still happening at next appointment, apparently I'll get a referral to have it checked out.

I'm just so amused that all of these random issues are on one side only. Not that I'm wishing for extra problems by going bilateral, mind you! But just seems funny!

Bunny's in a mood these days. She spends her time contorted more often than not. But more on that later! And HEY! Go visit my new parenting blog - 0 to Mom!!

Happy Monday, ya'll!

Hugs!

~FM~

Sunday, August 24, 2008

New Blog is UP!

Hey, ya'll!

Remember the hinting around I've done about starting (another) new blog?

Well...it's UP! With a few foundational posts (About, Disclosure Policy, Usage Policy) and the first "real" post posing a time management question, it's now open for business.

Called "0 to Mom" (playing, of course, on my love for NASCAR), its tagline is "Parenting at the speed of life."

Go check it out when you have a chance!

Friday, August 22, 2008

32 Week Update

Well, we're plugging right along. I had check-ups this week with both the perinatologist and the obstetrician, and Bunny is doing very, very well. The peri's U/S tech decided to give us a treat and switched over to 3D/4D during the scan and Bunny is just so very precious. And, of course, I'm thankful that we got for free what many others pay beaucoup bucks for!

Bunny had her legs bent at her waist, crossed over one another, and had one foot on either side of her face. What a little monkey! Her arms, in turn, were straight down at her sides. She actually used her foot to scratch her cheek at one point! She continues to grow a bit ahead (in the peri's words, "we're just going to go ahead and say you're at 32 weeks now...your next U/S will be your last most likely before we see you at the hospital") and is strong as can be. So if he wants to call Wednesday 32 weeks, that puts us now at 1.5 weeks ahead. For simplicity sake, I ain't changing my ticker. At Wednesday's appointment, she was just a tad under 4 pounds and if she were to go to full term, she'd be around 8 pounds. Yikes! Have we seen my skinny hips? Thank God we're not aiming for 40 weeks! But even at 38 weeks, she'd be around 7 pounds - that's a full half-pound more than I was, and I was born late!

A few of my coworkers threw a surprise shower for me at work this week, which was really nice and totally unexpected. My team is having a little party for both me and my boss next week - called Arrivals and Departures since I've got Bunny coming and he's departing to take a promotion - but this was primarily folks from other teams that I just work with quite often. In addition, FD's sergeant sent him home with another load of hand-me-downs from their triplets last night. There's not much else we yet need - it's amazing. With some of the newest things we've gotten, I can stop worrying about getting stuff off my registry and use that money to finish stocking up on cloth diapers - yahoo!

That's all for us...I'm growing more and more uncomfortable. Like always, Bunny is pointed head down...and sometimes the pressure of her head is just incredible. Not sleeping that great - can't really get comfy - but for Bunny, I'd gladly walk to the ends of the earth. And besides...we're in the homestretch now. Hard to believe that there's really only just a few weeks to go!!

Love to everyone,

~FM~

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Hic! Hic! Hic!

Sometimes, I'm clueless.

For about the last three weeks now, I've been feeling rhythmic little thumps from Bunny. Actually, I think the first time I felt it was when I was trying to use music to get her to unclench a bit so I could fall asleep. I thought she was kicking along.

Ever since, usually once or twice a day, the rhythmic thumping would begin. But then...she started actually kicking AND thumping at the same time.

So that's when silly Future Mommy finally realized that this is probably Bunny having the hiccups! Hahahaha! People have been asking me for weeks if she's had the hiccups yet, and I've always said "no!" Looks like I was wrong!

Love you, Bunny! Even your hiccups are precious!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

6 Un-Spectacular Things About Me

I was tagged by Nicole, Hannah's Mom, to participate in this MeMe.

The rules:
1. Link the person who tagged you.
2. Mention the rules on your blog.
3. Tell about 6 unspectacular quirks of yours.
4. Tag 6 following bloggers by linking them.
5. Leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger’s blogs letting them know they’ve been tagged.

I'll start off by telling you that I'm breaking rules #4 and #5...I'm still trying to catch back up with life at this point, so instead of tagging individual other bloggers, simply consider yourself tagged if you read this post and feel like participating!

Six Unspectacular Quirks of Future Mommy
1. I count everything I do. Compulsively.
2. I don't walk on cracks. Obsessively. Think "As Good As It Gets."
3. I talk to my cats. And dogs. Sometimes they answer.
4. I hate having people come into my house when it's less than spotless.
5. I compulsively pray the Rosary (sans beads) every time I'm on a plane that's getting ready to take off. Since I work for an airline, this happens often. Landing doesn't worry me nearly as much. I've never gotten over nightmares after TWA800 and I think that's the cause of my take-off paranoia.
6. I believe that everything should have a protocol...in other words, whenever something is part of a group, it should be arranged/named/ordered the same as every other member of that group. Another obsession. My child is doomed!

Now it's your turn - leave me a note if you participate, and I'll come visit.

Hugs,

~FM~

30w5d: Back to Life

Anyone remember that song from the 80s that had the line "back to life...back to reality..."?

That's what I'm trying to do right now...it's my second day back in Texas from PA and I'm trying desperately to get back to life...getting caught up with work at my full-time job, getting caught up with what's going on with my writing, catching up on blogging...and oh, yeah, about a zillion comments, emails and cards to respond to, offering condolences for Dad. I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed right now. But working through it!

On my end, my weight is holding fairly steady. We're at +37 pounds right now (I again suspect that I may have lost a pound or two while in PA) and my waist size is +14.5 inches over pre-baby measurements.

Baby did NOT have a good time in PA. I think she most likely channeled my stress, but she just stiffened herself up so many times and so painfully that her Mama did not feel well or sleep most of the time. I'm hesitant to call what she did Braxton Hicks contractions...because when she'd stiffen up and subsequently my whole belly would go hard and my own back/hips/anything near there would stiffen, it would last for literally hours on end. Not a little contraction then a release. We're talking 6 hours. Once or twice daily. I'm sorry, Bunny...I'm trying to stay as calm and low key as possible, but you've gotta work with me, little one!

Random cute note: our female cat has claimed the pack-n-play.


So bear with me over the next few days as I continue to catch up with life. I still owe you a wrap-up on the baby shower, plus I'll be writing about Dad over at Breakfast at Tiffany's - kind of a wrap up of how things went. I also still have my new blog to launch...I think you'll like it when it's ready but until it is, can't tell you much more! Oh, and I posted a new belly shot from Sunday...it actually makes me look smaller...different angle and backdrop than usual since we weren't at home.

So that's all from me...hope all is well with everyone!!!

Hugs,

~FM~

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Blog Hiatus

Hi, everyone.

How to Have a Baby will be on hiatus until next week; my father passed away this evening (8/5) and we'll be leaving tomorrow morning (8/6) to be with my family in Pennsylvania. Depending on when final arrangements are made, we'll be back in Texas any time between Sunday and Tuesday of next week.

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers.

Tiffany

Monday, August 4, 2008

29w2d: UPDATES!

Hi, everyone!

Just thought I'd post a little update on Bunny and I as we rapidly approach 30 weeks - or 75% of a "full" pregnancy!

First, from the insane baby to-do list. I never updated ya'll when our niece left after her four week visit early last week...but we made TREMENDOUS progress while she was here! Our list started with 108 items and swelled to 114...and honestly, it's probably nearer to 125 at this point, but I stopped adding items. In any case, of the 114, here's where we are:

Achieved: 81
In progress: 24
Remaining: 9

Of those in progress, most are of the organizing sort, and I simply haven't had time to return to them in the past week or so. Of those remaining, none are critical pre-baby. We'd still like them all done at the soonest possible date...but ALL critical items have been accomplished.

For our tile floors upstairs, we still have to put the sealant down, but that's a fast project...hopefully to be accomplished this week.

YAHOO for accomplishments!

Second, from my check-up this week. We did our gestational diabetes test today and boy was that liquid hard to drink! I have an awful gag reflex...taking pills kills me, which sucks since I have to take like 5 every night. And sicky sweet tastes...yeah, I was shoving a fist in my mouth to keep from throwing up, reminding myself that if I puked, I'd have to start all over again. For some reason, I thought I'd get results from this test right away, but the bloodwork won't be back for a day or two. Drinking the liquid made me instantly shaky. I'm not sure if that's good or bad, but I actually shook most of the time I was at the doctor today, as if I had the chills. Sitting here at work on my lunch break, I'm still a bit shaky.

We got an instantaneous and strong heartbeat today with the doppler...no hunting around for baby this time! She's been a violent bugger the past week...moving constantly and actually causing pain. Yeesh! I love feeling her move...but doubling over just isn't much fun.

Had my first internal exam in several visits and everything looks well on that front, although the expression on my husband's face was priceless. He'd never admit it, but he doesn't do so well with medical stuff. Had to get up and walk away when I had blood drawn...for me, that's old hat, since I have blood drawn at least once a month and have experienced needles at least that often for years. I can't wait to see him in the delivery room. Three years ago, when my ovarian cysts burst and I was in the ER, he paced frantically and routinely demanded that nurses and doctors get into my room now to check on me.

We also signed various consent forms today, as a precaution. They were for cord blood banking (we're not doing), delivery by natural birth and delivery by Ceasarian birth. The doctor likes to have these on file so that if we find ourselves at L&D far ahead of schedule, we won't have to worry about paperwork then. I've indicated natural birth as my preference (aided by pain meds, thank you very much) but consented to surgical intervention if the situation deems that the only logical and feasible option.

That's about all, house wise and baby wise, on our front! We took a new picture last night and I'll post it shortly. I still need to tell ya'll about my baby shower - I haven't forgotten; it's just been a busy few days.

For more updates outside of house and baby stuff, check out my MASSIVE UPDATE over at Breakfast at Tiffany's.

Have a great day!

Love,

~FM~

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Bunny's Growth

Ok, so I actually almost decided to spreadsheet this data so I could graph it, and then I decided that even I'm not that Type A! But, since this is the kind of analytics I love studying, here's a look at Bunny's growth, tracking the last three sonograms.

BPD = Biparietal Diameter (head, side-to-side)
HC = Head Circumference
AC = Abdominal Circumference
FL = Femur Length
EFW = Estimated Fetal Weight

Gestational Age: 26w6d
BPD: 28w5d (+13 days)
HC: 28w3d (+11 days)
AC: 27w1d (+2 days)
FL: 27w0d (+1 day)
EFW: 28w2d (+10 days)
Weight: 2 pounds 5 ounces
Average: +7.4 days
Computer EDC: 10/18/2008

Gestational Age: 23w2d
BPD: 24w0d (+5 days)
HC: 23w0d (-2 days)
AC: 23w6d (+4 days)
FL: 24w1d (+6 days)
EFW: 23w0d (-2 days)
Weight: 1 pound 7 ounces
Average: +2.2 days
Computer EDC: 10/22/2008

Gestational Age: 18w3d
BPD: 19w1d (+5 days)
HC: 19w0d (+4 days)
AC: 19w1d (+5 days)
FL: 19w0d (+4 days)
EWF: not calculated
Weight: 11 ounces
Average: +4.5 days
Computer EDC: 10/22/2008

Interestingly enough, the 1st and 3rd ultrasounds were the same technician...the results that are a bit different in the 2nd ultrasound was a different technician. I'm curious at what the progression would have been with the same tech all three times.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

27 - er - 28 Week Ultrasound

Well, the title of this post should give away the gist of this past Friday's appointment!

During our monthly ultrasound, we found that not only was baby continuing to be just a couple days ahead, but is now far enough ahead on all measurements that we are officially changing the due date.

Hope no one was too attached to October 25th! The computer model from the U/S now shows October 18th as the 40-week point. The only measurement in which Bunny was not significantly ahead is her leg length - her other measurements range from almost a week to almost two weeks ahead.

AND SHE HAS A FULL HEAD OF HAIR! Jeez! The tech looked at her head, and then looked again, and I was like "WHAT'S WRONG?!?!" But turns out that she was just making sure she'd actually seen hair - she said that to see a full head of hair at this point was pretty unusual.

When the doctor came in, he said "So, we're at 28 weeks now." I said, "Well, not really. Tomorrow marks 27 weeks." He paused, looked at me, and said "So, we're at 28 weeks now."

Ok, point taken! It's official - we're moving ahead a week. It's kinda like the TV show Quantum Leap - pick a date and we'll go forward to it!

So now we're not at all convinced that this baby won't beat me to my birthday, which is October 8th. If the plan, which we'll discuss at our next OB/GYN appointment, is still to plan for baby to come out around two weeks early, that now puts us around October 4th - and my birthday isn't until October 8th!

We discussed my endo results at the appointment and the peri was quite calm - his opinion was that as long as there are no weird symptoms and baby continues to look good, we're not going to worry about those odd results. He did make me promise, though, that the second that I feel anything like a thyroid flare, I'll call him and get my butt in to check on Bunny immediately.

So that's my update on Bunny! My baby shower was also this weekend - I'll post more on that soon!! :-) And I have a new toy - a new camera - so belly shots are about to get MUCH more clear! I'll post this weekend's belly shot tomorrow morning or afternoon.

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Hugs,

~FM~

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

We're MAKING PROGRESS!

Yes, I know from some comments and emails that most (all?) of you think I'm certifiably insane for what all my list covers. I get it. Thanks.

But seriously, it's me. Would you expect anything else?

But we're MAKING PROGRESS!

In updated my master excel file this morning (on my brand new copy of Excel 2007), the total stats told me the following:

Completed: 53
In Progress: 22
Remaining: 39

As of Monday, we were at:

Completed: 44
In Progress: 20
Remaining: 50

We're really getting there! Tons more planned for tonight. FD is taking our niece to the movies, so while they're gone, I'm going to get down and dirty with finishing off organizing closets I've already started attacking, plus I'm thinking that tonight's the night that I conquer the 35 (I'm not kidding...that's how many there are...and we're kitchen gadget freaks so they're all full) cabinets in my kitchen for the grand re-org. Wish me luck!

Deep Breath,

~FM~

Playing Footsie

Bunny has been doing the CUTEST thing for the past two days.

She's playing footsie with me!

She'll kick...but instead of withdrawing her foot right away, she'll leave it pressed against my tummy for a bit.

And apparently she's ticklish...

If I just rest my hand on top of her foot, she'll leave it there.

If I run my finger along the impression, she'll jerk it back.

TOO CUTE!

She held a full gymnastics tournament this morning. My ENTIRE STOMACH was going from side to side. Actually, I think she was using my tummy as a mosh pit instead of a gym. Crash - crash - crash. My male cat, who sometimes sleeps draped across my stomach, was alternating between fascinated and alarmed.

Have a great Wednesday, ya'll!

Smiles,

~FM~

Monday, July 21, 2008

I'm a Freak

I just got off the phone with my endocrinologist, Dr. P. She'd left me a voicemail on Friday afternoon, but her office was closed by the time I got it and called back.

Apparently, I’m a freak show.

There are three thyroid tests…and so no diagnosis or determinations can be made without all three being run.

According to my TSH, I’m hyperthyroid right now.

According to my T4, I’m in stasis – as in normal and well-regulated.

According to my T3, I’m hypothyroid right now – meaning that I’m on too much medication.

She says she’s never seen this kind of result before. She can’t understand and/or explain it. I asked if missing an occasional dose here or there would affect this, and she said no…missing a dosage should cause them all to have the same results, not all different results.

So for right now, she’s most concerned about the test that shows me as hypothyroid, because that can be bad for baby, and so she’s dropping my dosage by 1/3. That’s the result I wanted…but not for the reason I wanted it.

And instead of 8 weeks, she wants to see me in 4.

Yahoo for being a freak. Eyeore was definitely Eyeore today. I think what upsets her most is that she can simply not explain why these tests would be so funky. For me, I'm going to go with the law of averages and call myself healthy! :-)

26w2d - Time is Flying!

Dear Bunny,

How are you doing, little one? You sure are kicking me a lot these days! And...as we talked last night, Mommy would REALLY appreciate not getting kicked in certain areas...dang, you can sometimes really hurt me! Ouch!

We got a lot of work done around the house this weekend, Bunny, in my quest to have as much settled as possible before you arrive. Here's a tally:

Completed items, as of Friday: 36
Completed items, as of Monday: 44

In progress items, as of Friday: 15
In progress items, as of Monday: 20

Items remaining, as of Friday: 63
Items remaining, as of Monday: 50

YAHOO! We're really making progress! We're almost at the halfway point...and the better news is that everything remaining untouched is minor - everything major is already done or in progress. YAHOO!!!!!

You keep doing your thing, baby, and we'll keep trucking away on our end. We love you so much!!

Love,

~FM~

Friday, July 18, 2008

Belly Shots

At long last...here is a post with nothing but belly shots!


36w2d*

35w3d*

34w2d*

33w2d*

32w0d*

31w1d*

30w1d*

29w1d*

28w1d*
*Based on adjusted due date

26w1d

25w2d

23w0d

21w1d

20w1d

18w6d

13w6d

7w4d

The PA Shipment

Several weeks ago, we traveled to PA for five days, and shipped back 350 pounds worth of stuff to our home in Texas. Most of this was baby-related, although some of it was beyond random. Included in the shipment was our crib, changing table, antique rocking chair, and other essentials for the nursery - so you can see why it was so heavy!

In any case, this is just another Google Docs to go visit if you're curious on how to compose a 350-pound shipment! You'll be pleased to know that FedEx treated us well and nothing was significantly damaged en route! I have a picture to post later of most of this stuff piled in my dining room...but thankfully, most has now been put away.

Mind you, much of this stuff is as old as I am...but because my mom so carefully preserved, it looks as good as new - even the crib's mattress! And fortunately, the crib meets today's safety standards for width of bar placement...yahoo!

PA Shipment List

Baby Needs New Shoes

I've gotten several emails from friends in the blogosphere as well as in real life asking me where we've registered for baby supplies. It's a big secret!

No, not really! I just really didn't want to post my registries and look like I was begging for presents for baby. But since the only people who have been told about those registries are the ladies my friends have invited to my baby shower, I guess I can't depend on mental telepathy to work for everyone else!

So...presenting Bunny's Baby Registries:

Target

Babies R Us

Wildflower Diapers

Please don't think terribly of me for posting this...it is NOT a request for presents. We have so much for baby already that I feel terrible about having even registered for anything at all...have I mentioned the 350-pound shipment o'stuff from PA???

This is simply a way of putting info out there to family and friends who have asked for it...hope it helps! And Catherine Elizabeth would like to thank you in advance for thinking of her! She says "kick, kick, I'm a lucky baby!"

(And yes, I realize this puts my actual name and location out there...but heck, I'm a freelance writer...it's already out there, all over the place. So the least of my worries is someone "tracking me down.")

The Insane Pre-Baby To-Do List

I've alluded to it many times...my insane list o' things that I want to accomplish, specifically during July, prior to Bunny's arrival.

I developed this list by walking around my house, with husband and niece in tow, and taking a page of notes for each room or space on what I believed needed to be done to make the room or space perfect. Or, in other words, good enough to satisfy my bizarre craving for the picture-perfect household.

Well...here it is! I've tried valiantly to post it from Excel straight to Blogger, but it just isn't working out like that.

So, using the amazing technology of Google Docs, you can find it here: Baby To-Dos.



Isn't the screen shot pretty? C is FD, T is FM, and J is our niece.

Google Docs is pretty high tech, but can't handle some formulas/formatting, so I stripped it down to the basics to display. (I'm type A about my type A, and so the original document has a lot of formatting in it...but I'll spare you that, dear readers!)

I'll update this periodically as we make progress and stuck a tab for it at the top of the blog so you can check in on us. Right now (July 18th), we have 114 items, with 36 fully accomplished and 15 in progress. Many of the remaining are pretty simple...but that doesn't make them get done any faster! For the most part, we'd still like to accomplish a majority of all of these tasks prior to August 1st - CROSS YOUR FINGERS!!!

Eyeore Becomes Tigger

I had my endocrinologist check-up yesterday and it went exceedingly well!

Around my house, Dr. P, the endo, is often referred to as Eyeore. She's a terrific doctor - I wouldn't be still going to her after all these years and multiple times a year if she weren't. But she's kinda got an Eyeore vibe to her. Even after halfway good checkups, I sometimes come home upset because she makes sure to temper good news with cautions always, always, always and sometimes, Future Mommy would just like to hear the good news and screw the bad.

In any case, Eyeore was Tiggerific yesterday. My exam is only half of the story, of course - my blood work, not due back until Monday or Tuesday - will tell the real tale. But based on my exam, Future Mommy's Grave's Disease is actually easing up a bit due to this pregnancy. Apparently, my shifting hormones are shifting in my favor - yahoo!

The doctor recorded the lowest blood pressure that's she's ever seen from me in the years I've been her patient - 120/75. That's also lower than has been recorded by the OB and the specialists in the past few weeks, so that's good news. My heart rate is also holding it's own - it was 96 yesterday, which is much better than the 110 that was the norm just after I was taken off the beta blockers a few months ago.

The only scare of the appointment came when she delivered what should have been a good observation in such a grave voice that it freaked me out. "I can't feel your thyroid at all," she said. Well, that should be a good thing, because she usually can feel it, and that means that it's aggravated basically. The fact that she couldn't feel it means that it's well under control. But her tone of voice! I just stared at her. When she realized I was upset, she rushed to assure me that it was good and that she hadn't meant to scare me.

So now we wait for the blood work. This is very important stuff. Right now, my dosage of medication is one pill per day too high to safely breastfeed when Bunny gets here. And that's something I have my heart set on doing. But if my bloodwork shows that my numbers are all in good range - which they unfortunately weren't last time - then we can drop back down to two pills per day instead of three and have no concerns. Fingers crossed!!!!

One more visit with her before Bunny gets here and then she'll examine us both after the baby actually arrives. Boy, time is really flying now!

Hugs!

~FM~

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Smoky Klutz

What a title for a post, eh? But it fits how I feel. Here's my two stories for the day:

Story #1
I had a day trip from DFW to SJC on Tuesday. I go out there every month as a part of my job, sometimes for day trips and at other times overnight. This month, due to work scheduling, I just went for the day.

My day started out at the crack of dawn at the airport, watching some fool of a father not know how to fold his kid's stroller to put it through the x-ray machine. Are you kidding me? It was one of those full-size travel system strollers. Surely the dude has folded it before...if not, I'd love to know what kind of car he drives that doesn't require collapsing the dang thing before it's stowed. Mr. Genius finally figured it out and we all were thankful.

Flash forward a half hour, and I'm uncomfortable ensconced in my darn middle seat on the plane. The perils of working for the airline and not getting a seat assignment until the last minute. Plane door to gate area closed. F/As making opening announcements. Captain comes on the PA to make his own: seems we have a bit of a mechanical problem that needs checking out - our fuel gauge is busted. We'll be outta here in 20-30 minutes. Cool.

Twenty to thirty minutes later, Captain comes back on the PA. There aren't any spare fuel gauges to be found...so we'll either change equipment (aka new plane) or they'll take a gauge off a plane in the hangar and give it to us. We'll be outta here in 20-30 minutes. Cool.

Can someone turn on the damn air conditioning? Man, this plane is uncomfortable at 1750 degrees. And the unaccompanied minor sitting next to me, for whom I have somehow become somewhat responsible, is playing with his BlackBerry. He's like 11. And it's actually his own BlackBerry. I've investigated the situation. It's his, alright. Brat. I try to use my blanket as a pillow and lean over to catch a nap while waiting for the next update, but my compressed torso area screams at me that that's a bad idea. Dang it for having a very short torso that's being compressed by an increasingly larger belly.

Twenty to thirty lifetimes later, Captain comes back on the PA. No other planes available. Can't rob a gauge off a parked plane to get us going. But no worries! The safety folks and the mechanic and the Captain have all agreed that they don't really need a working fuel gauge for us to fly. Despite the fact that I have sat on grounded planes in the past waiting for lightbulbs to be replaced in lavatories or clean coffee pots to be delivered for the galley, a fuel gauge is apparently an optional item. We just need to fill out some paperwork to show what's going on and we'll be outta here in 20-30 minutes. Cool.

Finally taking off, we're off to CA. Cool. No, really. The A/C is finally on. Still can't sleep. My ribs hate me. The kid's sleeping. Brat.

So there's fires in northern California. Like an hour or so north of San Jose. And the pilot pops the equalization valve between 10k and 8k while descending. And that leaves smoke/ash available to come in the valve. And Future Mommy is instantly sick. Fun times! Apparently, this former smoker has zero tolerance now for any form of smoke or soot.

Finally arrive at SJC, 15 minutes late for my meeting. The GM has gotten started without me, which is good since we'll be able to stay on time targets. I get set up and launch into my part of facilitating the meeting. It's a great bunch of people in a great city and the meeting, as always, goes well. YAY for San Jose! Inside the airport, away from soot and ash and smoke, I start feeling better...nose stops running so much, at least.

But then...there's an employee barbecue after the meeting. Outside. Which I must attend, as the token Headquarters person there. Sick again. Lucky me.

Surviving lunch and a polish sausage (not my favorite thing in the world to get down), I am back on my plane headed back to DFW. Uneventful ride home marred only slightly by Mother Nature and a slight delay in landing due to rain.

Hop on the shuttle to get back to my car. Only one on the shuttle. Talkative driver. I'm on hour 14 of my travels...I haven't seen my car in a very, very long time and I just want to get back to it. He asks me when my baby is due, telling me his wife is expecting, too. Asks me when. Asks me her name.

And then spends the next 10 minutes of the ride to my car ACTIVELY trying to talk me out of the name we've chosen for Bunny. WTF!?! He told me that I was being very disrespectful of my husband by not incorporating his name into the baby's name. He also let me know that I shouldn't get too attached to the thought of having a girl because God sometimes changes His mind at the last minute and sends a boy. Again, WTF?! I was very disgruntled when we got to my car. No tip for driver. MY baby. Back the hell off, buddy.

So I took my grouchy self home where sweet Future Daddy had soup waiting for me along with a warm bath. Future Daddy rocks. A bowl of soup and my first bath in months (I've been kind of afraid of the bathtub...not sure why...so it's been only showers in my world) and I collapsed into bed. Stopped feeling super ill as soon as we cleared SJC airspace, thank God. Just a stuffy/runny nose left.

Story #2
So as you might have inferred from prior posts on the work going on in my house, nesting is going on in full force. Yeah, baby. So last night, it was organize the attic night. This involved dragging every single box OUT of the attic and into the back bedroom, investigating to see what was inside, and either taking out stuff we now deemed "necessary" or repackaging for storage. We even threw some stuff away! (We'd actually done this about six months ago, too, and threw a ton away then.) The big part of the evening was re-packing some of our holiday decoration stuff, since our shipment o'stuff from Mom's house included various holiday knickknacks. I'd really hate to tell you how many large plastic bins of Christmas stuff we have. Decorating takes a long time in my house. But we got it done.

We also accomplished getting randomly stored boxes out of the closets of the three upstairs bedrooms, consolidating and throwing away as necessary, and storing away in the attic. Yahoo for knocking several items off my to-do list at once.

But then...

I'm such a dang klutz. I was carrying a box of stuff into the attic. It's a walk-in attic, and a large one at that - covers half of the second floor of the house. In fact, the eventual plan is to finish it out (we have two other attics - one above the second floor and one above the garage) into a game room and office area. But for now, it's an attic. And like many attics, the floor is unfinished. Which means that boards can be, um, sporadically placed.

Well, my sporadically placed left foot missed a sporadically placed board. And I ended up getting my left foot and ankle wedged between two sporadically placed boards. Which caused me to fall. FD says I at least fell gracefully; I'm just thankful that I fell backwards onto my butt instead of forwards onto Bunny! But in the process of falling, I put a long scrape down the back of one knee, scraped a large portion of skin off the other knee, and got some other random scratches on the other leg. Can't really recreate how I feel, but I banged myself up pretty good. Ye-oww. FD had to shimmy a board around to get my foot unstuck. Ankle was already swollen from the prior day's travels...and now it's banged up besides.

Silly Future Mommy. I hate being a klutz. I don't know where it comes from...neither of my parents are klutzes. But me? Yeah, I'm awful.

So I'm mostly recovered from my smoky experience but now I have my banged up legs to deal with. Argh!!

So that's what's new with Future Mommy. I promise, pictures are coming. And a look at my insane to-do list. And various other stuff. All coming soon!!! Bear with me!!!

Hugs,

~FM~

Monday, July 14, 2008

A Diamond in the Rough

Many of the readers of my blog are already moms, moms-to-be, or women hoping and dreaming of becoming moms. I love you all dearly; I wouldn't be here if not for you coming by to visit me!! But this post is aimed at all of the dads and partners out there. Hey, Dads/Partners - LISTEN UP!

The special lady in your life who toils day after day to start or raise a family with you and maintain a good home - often while working either part- or full-time - needs to be reminded of how much you love her. And while dog may be a man's best friend, you know what they say is a woman's: diamonds!

Now I know...you're busy, you don't have a lot of money to spend, you don't have time to spend with annoying salespeople looking to trap you into a sale at the mall. That's why online jewelry stores are the perfect solution when you're looking for ways to pamper your special lady!

Does your wife or girlfriend or partner have a simple pair of diamond studs? These are a must in every jewelry box, if for no other reason than their everlasting style and ability to coordinate with any outfit and for any event. My Jewelry Box, a fabulous online store, has many earring options available, in various sizes and cuts, to suit any taste or budget.

Diamond rings are another great gift for Mother's Day, birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries - or just as a random way to say "I Love You." With options far beyond just engagement and promise rings, you're sure to find the perfect "fit" for the perfect lady! My favorites are eternity rings - there is just something so timeless about a band encrusted all the way around with perfect little diamonds!

It's hard to know who to trust when you shop online, so something that really impressed me about My Jewelry Box is their extensive list of customer comments - the feedback given was enough to convince me that this is a great stop for finding great jewelry.

Check it out! And when you surprise her with a fabulous gift, give her an extra hug from Future Mommy as well! :-)

Hugs,

~FM~

25 Week Update

Dear God, I can hardly believe that we're already at 25 weeks! Theoretically, if Bunny is still progressing ahead, we're really at 26 weeks. And according to my pregnancy book (also known in my current life as MY BIBLE!) your third trimester starts at 26 weeks.

This shocked me to read! I always thought it was at 27 weeks that the 3T started - for me, that's the day of my upcoming baby shower! But already now at 26 weeks? DANG!

Bunny is doing fabulously well. She kicks and kicks and kicks and kicks and kicks. I'm thinking that I have a future ballet dancer/karate star/kickboxer on my hands! And she's STRONG! Her little kicks wake me out of a sound sleep - in pain!

My belly is incredibly tight these days. That cracks me up. It's like I have my formerly-flat-and-toned belly back, but just with a basketball inserted inside. It was a bit flabby for awhile, but I think the little one has gained some weight and taken up some more room, while my own weight gain has finally stabilized. I'm having tons of those little contractions. Sometimes dozens each day!

I think I am still eating and gaining at a good rate (at least my doctor thinks so) but I am also doing more now to burn calories so maybe that's why the flab has gone fit. The down side of that is that the skin on my stomach feels like it's stretched to the breaking point. Seriously. I can't imagine it stretching much farther...but we still have quite a ways to go!

We got an incredible amount of work done on house projects over the weekend. I'll post more on that later. Including my insane 100+ item to-do list. My niece (age 15, staying with us for July - same one who visited last August) and my husband work well as a team and I help with whatever I can manage. Yesterday, that included spending 2.5 hours at the top of a taaaaaaaaaaalllll ladder, touching up paint near the ceiling line because I've decided that anything less than perfection makes my head hurt.

Here's this week's stats:

Weight: 133 pounds
Waist: 35"

Forgot to measure boobs and hips...sorry!

I promise that we've been taking belly shots...I just never seem to get them loaded. I'll make that a project for this week! Needless to say that I hate the ladies who say they've only gained 16 pounds or whose bellies at 30 weeks look the same as mine at 25/26. Argh! Doc, are you sure there's not twins in there?

Hugs,

~FM~

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Of Leg Cramps and Babies

I have been having a ridiculous amount of leg cramps over the past several months. I mean, I had leg cramps every so often before Bunny came into being, but now, they're both more often and far more severe.

I've noticed a definite correlation between when I stretch out in a horizontal position (aka in bed) and when they occur, so I've tried to stop myself from doing that. But sometimes, it's inevitable.

I thought this was just a "me" thing, but I finally got frustrated today and took to the internet to find out if other pregnant ladies have as many leg cramps as I do. I mean, not just an owie, but a MF'in OWIE.

Turns out, it's an actual pregnancy problem for many women. Who knew? Different theories are that they could be caused by carrying around extra weight or by the rerouting of your normal blood flow in order for baby to grow.

That's all good and well...but being impatient little Future Mommy me, I cared more about getting them to STOP than why they ever started.

Here's what I read about prevention:
  • No leg crossing
    Well, shoot. I do this unconsciously.
  • No prolonged standing
  • Stretch often and rotate your feet/ankles often
  • Exercise often
  • Walk, walk, walk
    Doesn't this violate the non-standing rule?
  • Try not to become overly tired while pregnant
    Was this advice written by a man?
  • Lots o'water
  • More water - warm baths
  • Get lots of potassium and calcium, but cut the phosphates
And here's what I read about relief:
  • My method of screaming, leaping from bed and hopping on one foot saying OW OW OW OW OW OW OW until it goes away is generally not recommended. Gee. Worked for me!
  • Stretch and flex
    Dude, have you ever TRIED stretching through a debilitating cramp?
Now here's the bad news. If the cramp doesn't go away or if pain stays behind after the cramp ends, it could mean a clot which means doctor time. For me, the cramp usually goes away after my hopping and screaming routine, as described above.

Here's where I got my advice:

BabyCenter
March of Dimes
eHow