Tuesday, March 29, 2011

We're Making Progress!

In my last weekly update, I panicked a little bit about all the stuff we still have left to do to get ready for Sprout's arrival at the beginning of June. I think it was a good panic though, because it really got me in gear. I had quite the productive weekend! I got the quote transferred to the wall, and painted the first coat on it. David hung the curtains, too, so now it's really starting to look like a finished room. There are still a few things to do, but I'm feeling much better. This is a shot of me painting the quote on the wall. I considered buying it in vinyl and applying it to the wall, but I knew that it would be much cheaper to paint it. The vinyl transfer was about $40, but I think I've probably got about 50 cents in the painted version (about 25 cents for the transparency, and about 25 cents for the paint). I just printed the quote onto a transparency, then used an overhead projector to project it onto the wall. Then, I outlined the words with pencil, then painted it with the same paint as the trim color in the room. The paintin is a pretty tedious process, because the words are so small, and the print font has a serif. It took about 2 hours and 45 minutes to get the words painted in on Saturday afternoon.
And this is what it looks like right now. It looks pretty good in the picture, but in real life, it definitely needs another coat. You can still see the wall color through the paint, and the edges are a little fuzzy. Hopefully it'll look more crisp after a second coat.
And here's a shot of one side of the room so far! I wasn't very happy with the curtains at first, but they're growing on me. They look a little bit too yellow in real life, but here, they look really nice.
And there's the other side of the room with the changing table and glider. Please excuse the stuff stacked on the changing table, and the gift bags in the corner. We're still working on storage solutions. We still need to put the curtains on the french doors, hang some shelves on the wall, and put some shelves in the closet. I think it's a doable list for the next few weeks!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

30 Weeks

30 weeks! This is another one of those milestones that seems like a big deal. It means that if Sprout doesn't come early, he or she will be here in 10 weeks! That's 2 1/2 months! It's just still so hard to believe that we'll have a baby here before long!

And here's the weekly belly shot. This was taken on Wednesday, when I was 30 weeks and 3 days. I don't look great in it...mostly due to the fact that I'd taken a walk on my lunchbreak and was very windblown and hot! This is the shirt I wore in my 27 week update...I wanted to see how much difference there was in belly size. I don't think there's a lot of difference, though. I had to put the two pictures side-by-side to be able to tell the difference, and it's not all that noticeable. You can tell that the shirt is stretched a little tighter this week, though. :) I have felt a lot bigger this week, that's for sure. And on Sunday morning at church, Mom said she thought my belly had gotten a lot bigger from the previous week. I guess there's definitely been some growth, but I think it mostly has to do with what I'm wearing. I was told by a stranger on Wednesday (when this picture was taken) that I looked really small...so I don't know! I just know that it's getting harder and harder to get up off the floor, and I'm less comfortable sitting on the couch or laying in bed!

In other news, between last week's post and this post, I turned 30! Yikes! I am a planner by nature...I love to plan things out to the most minute detail. For the longest time, I've had my life planned out. I was going to get married at age 23, have a baby by 25 or 26, and probably be done with having kids by age 30. Of course, my plan didn't exactly work out. David and I got married when we were 25, so I revised my plan...I decided we'd have our first baby by the time I was 29. Well...that didn't work out either. (I seem to have a hard time forgetting that things have to happen in His time, not mine!) So here I am, at age 30, expecting our first baby. I'll be completely honest and say that I've had more than one meltdown about being an "old mom". I've never wanted to be an "old mom" and I'm trying to embrace the fact that when my baby is 10, I'll be 40; when he/she is 20, I'll be 50; when he/she is 30, I'll be 60, etc. I have decided, though, that I guess I am quite a bit wiser than I was at 25 or 26...and certainly not as naive, so that will surely work out to my benefit raising this little one!

We had our third Empowered Birth class this Monday night, and I'm really enjoying the classes. I think they've definitely been well worth the money spent. This week, we talked about the progression of labor, how to know what stage of labor you're in, how to cope with pain during each stage, positions for laboring, comfort measures during labor, and the procedures to expect in the hospital upon check-in. It was very informative! We really thought David was going to have his burning question answered this week ("When do I take you to the hospital?!"), but I don't think it was answered to his satisfaction. Angela's answer was this, in a nutshell: "Well, that's pretty much up to you all. My advice is to labor at home for as long as possible. If you get there too early, you're much more likely to end up with a c-section. But if you're still at home, and she's saying, 'I'm done with this...I can't do it anymore!' then you should probably have already gotten to the hospital." Nope...not the answer David was looking for! :)

We've got plans to have maternity pictures taken this weekend by Kristin Sexton. I'm looking forward to not only having the pictures done, but also the opportunity to spend some time with Kristin and her husband, Benson. They're wonderful people, and it's always a pleasure to see them!

Sprout's been pretty busy this week. Right now, he's rolling and tumbling in my belly. I think he enjoyed the Mexican food and DQ blizzard I had tonight! I can tell that he/she is getting bigger. There are times when I can feel little body parts through my belly. I can never tell if it's a head, elbow, knee, foot, hand, or rear end, but I love to feel it! It's incredible to know that there's really just a bit of skin, fat, and muscle separating us...and that in a few months, there'll be nothing to separate us! I wonder a lot about what he/she looks like. I've mentioned several times that I'm convinced Sprout's a boy. I love to picture him. I'm hoping he has a full head of dark hair, and his daddy's olive skin. But in the end, it doesn't matter. Sprout might be a bald, pale, little girl, and I'll love her just the same!

Tonight I had dinner with two good friends, and we had a great time! They've both got two kiddos each, so they've been giving me lots of good advice and encouragement about this whole motherhood thing. Except tonight when Leslie reminded me just how close we are to Sprout's due date...that thought honestly made me a little queasy! I can't wait for Sprout to be here, but at this moment, we're just not ready. At least we're not ready physically...we've got to get it in gear around here. There are curtains to hang, quotes to paint on the wall, shelves to build in the closet, and organizing to be done. Ack! But Leslie and Carrie reassured me that it'll get done, and if it's not, it's really no big deal.

We have our next doctor's appointment on Monday morning, and I hope Dr. Basham is ready for lots of questions. At almost 31 weeks, I've decided that this is really happening, so it's time to get some questions answered!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

29 Weeks

Thankfully, this week has been much less eventful than last week! I don't think I have enough stamina for another super-busy week. My semester at work is winding down (at least my responsibilities with teaching, anyway), so that helps a lot. It's also a relief to know that I won't really have that many responsibilities at the beginning of the summer semester, either...since I'll be on maternity leave for the majority of that one! I'm ready for some time to relax before Sprout gets here!
Here's the latest belly picture...this was taken at 29 weeks, 3 days. I don't really feel like my belly is getting that much bigger from week to week, but it must be, because my belly button is sticking out more and more!

We met again on Monday night for our Empowered Birth class. I'm really enjoying the class, and I think that it's definitely well worth the money spent. Angela does such a great job of presenting the material, and I know that I've learned a lot already, just in the last two weeks. I'm looking forward to future classes. This week, we talked about what happens (physically) during labor, and next week, I think we'll learn more about positions for labor. We didn't have another crunchy-granola relaxation session this week, and I know David was relieved about that!

On Monday and for most of Tuesday, I had tons of Braxton-Hicks contractions. It seemed like every single time I stood up/got up, I had one, and I had lots of random ones in between. On Tuesday morning, I pretty much felt like I was just having one looooooong contraction. They didn't hurt at all, but it there were a lot more than I'd ever experienced in that short of a time frame. I also hadn't been feeling Sprout move very much over those two days. And it didn't help that the previous week in our childbirth class we'd talked about signs of premature labor. So on Tuesday afternoon, I was "that crazy pregnant lady" and called the doctor's office. I spoke with a nurse who listened to me patiently and assured me that what I was telling her sounded very normal for a woman who is 29 weeks pregnant. She asked me to drink more water and to take it a little easy. She also told mIe that as long as I was feeling some kind of movement every hour, then things were probably okay, but that if I went an hour with no movement, to call them back. Luckily, after I had lunch, guzzled water, and stayed off my feet for awhile, things started to get back to normal. The rest of this week, Sprout has been his/her normal busy self, and I've had very few of those BH contractions. I guess it was just one of those things I'll have to get used to in these last months of pregnancy. But I don't feel badly for calling the doctor...I'd rather call and let them think I'm crazy, than not call and have something bad happen.

One of the best things about this week has been the fact that I'm sleeping so much better! I guess my body has finally adapted to side sleeping! It seems like now I'm only waking up once a night, if that. It's made such a difference in how I feel during the day!

The only other excitement we've had this week has been the addition of the glider to the nursery. It's really starting to come together now. I still need to get curtains, French door curtains, shelving, storage, and paint the quote over the crib, but it's feeling much more doable. I'll try to remember to take some pictures to post soon.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

28 Weeks

Whew! It's been an exciting week to be a pregnant lady! First off, I'm now 28 weeks pregnant...and that means I'm in my third trimester. What?! How has this happened? I am really struggling to realize that in less than three months, we'll have a baby here. In this house. Living here. Relying on us for everything. Wow. I vascillate between being incredibly excited and incredibly terrified. I have no experience with babies. Pretty much zero. I'm hoping that the "maternal instinct" that everyone talks about is something real, because I need it. I've been reading the books, but there's just so much to remember and think about. My goodness...
Anyway, here's the pregnant belly picture of the week. David took it tonight after I got home from work...I'm 28 weeks, 4 days pregnant. Isn't this a cute little dress? Thanks to my stepsister, Michelle, I have a ton of maternity shirts/dresses. Her baby, Lia, was born a few weeks ago, so she sent over a huge bag of maternity clothes. Unfortunately, I can't get my leg into any of the pants (Michelle is tiny!), but the shirts and dresses fit nicely. I'm not sure I'll have to wear a shirt more than one time over the next 13 weeks!

Monday night, David and I went to our first of seven
Empowered Birth classes. I've been looking forward to these classes since we signed up several months ago, but David hasn't been too excited about it. In the few days before the class met, he asked me no less than 12 times, "What do you think this is going to be like?" And each time, my reply was, "I have no idea. I've done this exactly as many times as you have." His main concern is finding out when we need to leave to go to the hospital! I think once Angela (our instructor) answers that question, he'll feel much better. Anyway, I really enjoyed the class. There were about 9 other couples there, and (most) everyone seems pretty nice and easy to get along with. I really like Angela, and I definitely think this will be money well spent. I would really like to experience natural childbirth, but I'm not sure I have it in me. I'm a real wuss. I've never had a broken bone, I've never had stitches...I don't know what real pain feels like. I'm interested in learning how to manage pain and how to be an advocate for myself while I'm at the hospital. As I've mentioned before, I'd like to avoid a c-section at all costs, so I feel like learning how to advocate for myself would be helpful to that end. David and I were both worried that the class would be a little too "crunchy granola" for our tastes, but it went really well...until the end. We had to do some relaxation exercises together, and it was just not our style. First of all, I was physically uncomfortable through the entire thing. My head hurt, my back hurt, my hips hurt like crazy...obviously I was doing something wrong. It wasn't relaxing at all. And David's massage? It felt more like he was petting our dog, Nestle, than massaging my legs. I couldn't help but crack up through the whole thing...we were probably a little disruptive to the other, more focused, students! I'm excited about our second class next Monday...and I have to remember that we've got homework to do!
Last week, I mentioned that I'd failed my 1-hour glucose challenge test. That meant that on Tuesday morning, I had to report to the hospital for the 3-hour glucose tolerance test. I got to the hospital at 7:25am for my 7:30 appointment. They finally checked me in at 8:21. At 9:00, they took me to the lab for the first blood draw for a baseline reading. Then, the phlebotomist gave me a huge glass of the orange syrup and told me I had 5 minutes to drink it all. I swear, there had to be 12 ounces of the stuff there. I briefly considered chugging it, like I did the 5 ounces for the 1-hour test, but decided I couldn't do it. I took regular sips, while chatting to the phlebotomist. I don't think she was interested in small talk, because she just kept saying, "You have 3 minutes," then, "You have 2 minutes, " then, "You have 25 seconds." At the 25 second mark, I bet I still had a good 4 ounces left, and I did chug it. Then I'm pretty sure I turned green, and I wanted to throw up. She looked at me and said, "If you throw that up, you'll have to redo the whole test again on another day." So I managed to keep it down and settled into the waiting room. I had blood drawn from the same arm 3 more times that day (at one hour intervals) before they finally let me go at a little after noon. I was starving and I was so thirsty (I hadn't been allowed to eat or drink since 10pm the night before)! I wasn't a great experience, but I refuse to complain. I'd do anything to make sure Sprout is healthy and strong, so if drinking orange sludge and getting blood drawn is the worst there is, then I'm happy to do it. Anyway, today I found out that I passed the test, so I don't have gestational diabetes! What a relief!
Yesterday, I took the day off work and went to Louisville with my mom and my friend, Leslie to do our registry. It was a lot of fun, and it was seriously overwhelming. Leslie has two kiddos...Hannah is 4 and Noah just turned 1. She's a veteran mom, so I knew we'd need her help. If it weren't for her, Mom and I would still be standing in the middle of Babies 'R Us, staring glassy-eyed at the wall o' bottles! Leslie was a lifesaver, for sure. She took strollers down from displays and showed us how they folded, gave me her insights on what it's really like to get up at 2 am to feed a baby who's howling in the pack 'n play, and was just generally a wealth of knowledge. Mom kept saying, "We just didn't have all this stuff when you all were little! There were two kinds of bottles. I just had a little umbrella stroller. My breast pump was really just a 'milking machine'." It was a great experience to spend the day with them!
Tonight, the Practicum I class I'm teaching met for our monthly group supervision. And my students were up to something...I could tell. It turns out that they had planned a surprise shower for me...after I asked them not to! They brought tons of food, a super-cute cake, and they gave us several gifts. They really went over the top, but I hope they know that we certainly appreciate their thoughtfulness. They gave us lots of cute things (bibs, burp cloths, hats), and I think we'll be set on baby wipes for quite some time! It's so nice to know that Sprout is already so loved by so many people!
I hope next week isn't as eventful as this one, as much as I've enjoyed this week. I don't think this ol' pregnant lady could handle too much more in one week!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

You Can't Make This Stuff Up...

Today, I learned that I failed my 1 hour glucose challenge test, which means that I have to do the 3 hour glucose tolerance test to determine whether or not I have gestational diabetes. I got this information just hours after I had entered a contest to win a case of Twinkies. With the way my luck goes, I'll have gestational diabetes and win the Twinkies. *sigh*

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

27 Weeks

It's been an eventful week, but a good week. Monday night, David, Mom, and I all went to an infant CPR class at the hospital where I'll be delivering. We sat with three other people (one couple and one mom-to-be), and we had 2 dummies for all 6 of us. The dummies had removable mouth/nose sections, so we just popped those into the dummy's face when it was our turn to practice. We went over the steps several times, so hopefully I'll remember what to do, in the event I ever need to administer CPR (but I'm praying that I never do!). We also learned how to rescue a baby who is choking, which I think will be most beneficial. The funniest part of the night came during the choking practice. When a baby is choking, you hold him or her face down on your forearm, while thumping them on the back (between the shoulder blades) with the heel of your hand five times. Then, you turn them over on their back on the other forearm and administer five chest thrusts. When David turned the baby over, he cracked the dummy's head on the table. He looked a little embarassed, and I said, "If you do this for real, try not to crack the kid's head!" Well, when it was my turn, I took the dummy from him, and because I wasn't paying attention, I slammed the head on the edge of the table myself. All three of us cracked up at that point, and the rest of the class probably wondered what kind of crazy people we were! It was awfully funny, though...but it was probably one of those things you had to see to appreciate. Overall, the class was very interesting, and our instructor was great. I think David was kind of skeptical about the class at first, but after it was finished, he was glad he went. When we got home, he said, "As scary as it would be to have to give our baby CPR, it would be so much more scary to need to, but not know how." Exactly!

This morning, I had a doctor's appointment. Instead of seeing Dr. Basham, we met Dr. Brown for the first time. I was hesitant about meeting him, but I liked him. He was very outgoing and energetic, but he was loud! He asked lots of questions and gave me a lot of good information, which I appreciated. He said that during this last trimester, it's very important to focus on nutrition, so he told me that he and Dr. Basham would like for me to eat mostly lean meats and green veggies. They want me to limit carbs (so long potatoes and bread!) and pretty much eliminate processed sweets, except on special occasions. Dr. Brown said that by doing this, we would "have a lean, mean, fighting machine for delivery, and you'll avoid an 8.5 pounder that buys you a c-section." I am going to have to find some significant willpower to follow his advice, but I'll do my best. I'll need some help from family and friends to keep me on track though. But really, I appreciate that he and Dr. Basham seem to try to avoid unnecessary c-sections...even if it means I can' t really have as many sweet treats as I like. He also told me that here in the next few weeks I'll start to notice swelling in my hands and feet, and to be sure to take off my wedding ring if I notice it getting tight. He also looked at my shoes (I almost always wear heels to work) and said, "You won't be able to get your feet into those much longer!" I guess I'll have to start looking at more sensible footwear!

Here's my weekly belly picture, for comparison to previous weeks:
That's 27 weeks and 2 days. All day long on Monday, Sprout was on the move. He/she was in constant motion, it seemed. Then yesterday, almost nothing all day long. I really, truly tried my best not to panic, but Sprout just wasn't his/her normal wiggly self. I know that they say that you're not supposed to do kick counts before 28 weeks, because until then the babies have enough room to hide. But I spent most of the day trying to discern any kind of movement. Two or three times, I almost called Dr. Basham's office, but I held off. This morning, I could definitely feel Sprout moving around a bit more, but I noticed that he/she seemed to be positioned differently. For the longest time, I've felt Sprout kind of diagonally in my body...from my left hip, across my belly button and up into my right ribs. This morning, he/she has seemed to be much more straight up and down. Dr. Brown let us listen to the heartbeat with the Doppler again today, and said, "It sounds like the kid is running a footrace!" I think that had more than a little to do with the glucose that I had to drink this morning, but it was certainly reassuring to hear that strong heartbeat. And today, my little Sprout is back in action kicking and punching. I think all the wiggling on Monday was him/her trying to reposition, then maybe Tuesday he/she was getting used to the new position. I really don't know, but at least I know Sprout's alright in there!

Next week, I'll be in the third trimester! Where in the world is time going?! Some days it seems like I've been pregnant forever, and other days it seems like it's gone by so quickly! I can't wait to meet Sprout (and find out if it's a boy or a girl!), but at the same time, I know I'm going to miss feeling that wiggly body inside my own!
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