about
Alisa. 37. New Hampshire. Married for almost three years to this wonderful, funny, smart guy. Previously married. Went through in-vitro fertilization to have my five year old magical son Keegan. Stepmother to the charming Isabelle (6). Gushingly in love with our baby boy Harper(1). Policy Wonk and dreaded bureaucrat. Lover of fine cuisine, honeybees, truly romantic moments and the underdog.
cooking
Curried Beef Short Ribs

Note: I found this was more realistically four servings.

Finishing this dish with lime zest and juice brightens its rich flavors.

Yield 6 servings (serving size: about 3 ounces ribs, 2/3 cup rice, and about 2 1/2 tablespoons sauce)

2 teaspoons canola oil
2 pounds ...continue reading

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Mommy Meme #1

Cross posting from FB

It's all about your first born! Just copy and paste it in a new note for yourself!
Let's see how much you remember!

1. WAS YOUR FIRST PREGNANCY PLANNED? Totally orchestrated by a team of dedicated infertility specialists, a fantastic lab and sheer luck.

2. WERE YOU MARRIED AT THE TIME? Yes.

3. WHAT WERE YOUR REACTIONS? Thrilled and it felt surreal.

4. WAS ABORTION AN OPTION FOR YOU? That would have been silly considering.

5. HOW OLD WERE YOU? 33 (34 when he was born)

6. HOW DID YOU FIND OUT YOU WERE PREGNANT? After the embryo transfer I had to be on rest but when I could shower I remember crying because it was the closest I had ever been to being pregnant. Then we went away the next weekend I just felt so happy inside I knew I was pregnant. It was confirmed shortly after with an ultrasound showing a tiny yolk sac and a heartbeat.

7. WHO DID YOU TELL FIRST? Our parents.

8. DID YOU WANT TO FIND OUT THE SEX? Yes.

9. DUE DATE? February 5, 2004

10. DID YOU HAVE MORNING SICKNESS? No but I was more exhausted than I had ever been in my life.

11. WHAT DID YOU CRAVE? Piles of strawberries and lemonade.

12. WHO/WHAT IRRITATED YOU THE MOST? I hated being so emotionally unpredictable.

13. WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST CHILD'S SEX? Boy.

14. DID YOU WISH YOU HAD THE OPPOSITE SEX OF WHAT YOU WERE GETTING? No.

15. HOW MANY POUNDS DID YOU GAIN THROUGHOUT THE PREGNANCY? 3. Yup that is correct but bear in mind I was already 30 pounds overweight.

16. DID YOU HAVE A BABY SHOWER? It was hosted by both my local friends and my college friends.

17. WAS IT A SURPRISE OR DID YOU KNOW? I knew because they all came into town and we did our friend's bachelorette celebration that same weekend.

18. DID YOU HAVE ANY COMPLICATIONS DURING YOUR PREGNANCY? Yes. PUPPP the most evil rash in the world who's only cure is giving birth and low amniotic fluid which eventually made in necessary to deliver early.

19. WHERE DID YOU GIVE BIRTH? Catholic Medical Center in Manchester, NH.

20. HOW MANY HOURS WERE YOU IN LABOR? It was 3 days.

21. WHO DROVE YOU TO THE HOSPITAL? Tom.

22. WHO WATCHED YOU GIVE BIRTH? My mom caught the baby, Tom held my hand and Erika held my knee.

23. WAS IT NATURAL OR C-SECTION? Pitocin induced vaginal birth.

24. DID YOU TAKE MEDICINE TO EASE THE PAIN? I tried to be some kind of hero and went for seven loooong hours with nothing but aroma therapy and a whilrpool tub. That epidural was the best thing ever.

27. HOW MUCH DID YOUR CHILD WEIGH? 6 lbs 14 oz.

28. WHEN WAS YOUR CHILD ACTUALLY BORN ? January 25, 2004

30. WHAT DID YOU NAME HIM/HER? Keegan Harris

31. HOW OLD IS YOUR FIRST BORN TODAY? 5, amazing

PUPPP Be Gone

Some of you are no doubt wondering about the state of my devil rash. As promised it started to go away after delivering. The progress has been slow but the cream works now that it is receding. The last place it lingers is on my hands and arms. It is difficult to treat because I wash my hands over 30 times a day. Plus they continue to be puffy and hot, so I still use ice packs to sleep. The rest of my healing skin is scaly and very damaged. But I am so happy to hopefully be seeing the end of this thing.

Oops I think it is time for someone to eat.

38 Weeks

Hello kids. I have been too dopey & itchy to post in a few days.

Let me break it up a little.

PUPPP or the rash from hell: Turns out this condition is rare. Lucky me. I am convinced that I have done something terrible in order to have earned this torture. Why me? Where is the lesson in this? What part in the plan? Needless to say it continues to spread like crazy. It is now around my back, up my chest, down my arms and moving down my legs. The cream I fear is not helping. I was given a prescription for sleeping/antihistamine. It does make me sleepy but doesn't relieve the burning. So it's a weird surreal kind of unconscious. I wake every two hours but am too dopey to do anything about it.

Progress towards natural labor: At Tuesday's midwife appointment and today's check I hadn't budged at all. Been having very mild contractions and nothing regular. I am so hot at night I asked for a thyroid screen. The tests came back normal.

Today's news: Went in for a follow-up check of my amniotic fluid level. Bad news is that it is lower than last Wednesday when we were worried. I have been doing my bedrest and drinking like crazy. But I guess stress is keeping me from replenishing. So I was sent upstairs again and put on the monitor. The decision was made to get me ready for labor. They applied Misoprostol to help soften and ripen my cervix. I couldn't get up for two hours so that meant limited fluids. Thankfully Erika showed up after my two hours with a cherry slurpee! She also brought me a giant ice pack because I was burning up and my back was itching like crazy. I then had to lay down for another two hours. We ordered dinner and hung out together. She got to hear and feel Peanut with the hiccups. Through it all Peanut was doing great on the monitor. Right near the end of the four hours I had some real contractions. A lot of pressure with a little pain, just like a menstrual cramp. They weren't steady though and I haven't felt one in a while now.
So I am home for the night. I am repacking my suitcase in a more organized fashion, taking a shower and going to bed. We are due at the hospital in the morning. They will check me again, possibly give me more cervical ripening meds and start the pitocin to bring on labor. No matter what they will keep me all day. If I am not rolling along I get sent home again and the next day we do it all over again. Worst case scenario is that it takes three days.

So everyone do your "Dance Of the Ripening Cervix" accompanied on the pan flute by "Song Of the Progressive Labor." Together we can have this baby!!

Crawl Outta My Skin

No peanut yet. Been quiet and trying to keep on my bedrest. I had my dermatologist follow-up today and my fears have been confirmed. I have full blown PUPPP (Pruritic Uticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy). It sucks as much as the name implies. It only gets progressively worse and goes away only after the baby is born. All of the wonderful steroids that would normally be available are off limits to pregnant ladies. This woman has a great page which covers it all. We are not talking simply annoying here. I am covered in disgusting angry red lesions that burn and itch constantly. Nothing I have tried has worked so far. I got a prescription for a stronger cream today but am not holding out much hope. It is the worst thing I have ever dealt with. Last night I slept with ice packs all over. When I say slept I should really say, napped intermittently while waking to move ice packs and get fresh ones. The lack of sleep sends me into crying jags and moments when I question my sanity. You might be thinking what is the big deal with a rash? If you had this you would never ask and you would feel that waiting potentially another 3 weeks to deliver seems endless. My midwives will not induce until 39 weeks at the earliest. If Peanut comes on his own that means his lungs are ready. I am not willing to risk it for my convenience. But after having such a wonderful pregnancy I so disappointed to feel this desperate to deliver at the end.

Fill Her Up

We went back to the hospital for a check on my amniotic fluid this afternoon. It had doubled in quantity since Wed.! My midwives were very proud. I sat on the monitor for 40 minutes and Peanut looked good. The bedrest and all that water I have been consuming are doing the trick. I am on modified bedrest now which means I can do one activity a day as long as I rest the other times. Activities would include going out to dinner or a movie. The most adventurous I can be is going grocery shopping and only if I bring someone with me. I can live with that. They will check my amniotic fluid again next week.
Unfortunately more ultrasound gel today means my new stronger rash is really irritated. I don't think I am likely to get sleep tonight. I had an oatmeal bath earlier and took a 45 min nap. I have also been having contractions and more frequent pelvic pains. I usually get them standing up but these went on for 15 mins. while I was sitting. Just a preview of what is to come I'm sure. : )

PS I had my suitcase in the car when I went to my appointment. I think that helped bring us good luck.

37 Weeks (Again)

First of all thanks to everyone for your well wishes and support. I know some of you have been here since the beginning and can hardly believe we're almost there. Those of you who jumped in at the middle or more recently have continued to add to the tangible excitment that is buzzing in the air.

I am putting myself back at 37 weeks and going with the original due date of February 5. Peanut was growing ahead for so long I skipped a week. But now he is following his original due date and after yesterday I think it is better to stick closer to the safe side.

More details about yesterday:
When I had the first ultrasound I was on my back and felt tremendous pressure. We put a pillow under me but the pressure returned and just as the tech said," let me know if you get dizzy," I almost fainted. The weight of the uterus is just too much for the artery that runs behind it. This is why they tell you to stay off your back during the thrid trimester. After we finished and I got up my left leg was bothering me. It was so bad I couldn't sit down. That is when I figured it must be my sciatic nerve. It did work itself back out after I walked around for a while. I have renewed sympathy for anyone who deals with that on a daily basis!

More symptoms I forgot to mention:
My oily skin and hair came back from the first trimester. I guess there was another major hormone shift a couple of weeks ago. Unfortunately the rash lives on. I have been using the prescription corticosteroid cream from the dermatologist. At first it was working really well on my stomach and pretty well on my chest. Last week I picked up a totally different rash on my hands which the cream doesn't help. The worst part is at night when my hands swell and burn. I have taken to sleeping with a small ice pack on my hands. Since yesterday my stomach rash has changed from blotchy to spots and it burns again. I am guessing it is a reaction to either the ultrasound gel or the monitors because it in places where my original rash wasn't.
Showing once again how clueless I am, yesterday I did see on the monitor where I am having contractions and they are really mild. I have been having them all this time but didn't know. No pain just pressure which I thought was the baby.

Bedrest for today was tough. Only because I kept looking around the house at all the stuff I am dying to do. But I stuck to it as best I could and drank water constantly. Erika came by and brought me lunch and snacks. We took a million pictures of my belly. I am not photogenic, so bless her heart I'll be thrilled if I like any of them. Tom came home washed the dishes, cleaned the kitchen and made dinner. He also kept my water filter full. Later he served me cookies and two huge classes of milk.
Peanut was active today and pretty squirmy. I am curious for tomorrow's ultrasound to see if I have increased my amniotic fluid. But this time I will have my suitcase ready. My mama didn't raise no fool.

Hold The Phone

Hi everybody,

I know you were on "High Alert," but you may stand down for now. I will not be having a baby tonight.

Here's the scoop:
Went in for ultrasound and found out that Peanut is not breech. They did however find out that I was low on amniotic fluid. We were sent upstairs to my midwife and put on a fetal monitor. Then we were told to go to the hospital and then they would induce labor. Tom & I were like, "holy cow!" Of course we had nothing with us and I'll admit my suitcase isn't exactly packed.
Once we got to the hospital I was hooked up to the monitors and examined. I had been thinking that Peanut hadn't dropped at all. But he is 75% effaced, -1 station and my cervix was dialated 1 cm. Not exactly ready for labor but farther along than I was thinking. The decision was made to pump me full of IV fluids to see if my problem was dehydration. Meanwhile I was sent downstairs for a special sonogram. This one would be the best test for fetal health. Peanut passed with the highest score and I was sent back upstairs for another bottle of fluids. They were also able to see that my amniotic fluid had gone up.
Now mind you all of this took hours. Meanwhile I am calling back & forth to my mom and Erika to update them.

After gathering all the data and consulting with a doctor my midwife came in to talk options. Even though I have been counting myself as 38 weeks, technically Peanut has only been in my body for 37 weeks. This means there is a 25% chance his lungs aren't fully developed. Since he is happy as a clam inside me right now and the fluid went up we felt it best to not induce. I am on complete bedrest now and will go in Fri. to check the fluid levels again. So here's my chance to actually get ready for labor. My midwife doesn't think I will go to my due date, so it could happen on it's own too. The monitor showed me having mild contractions but I could hardly feel them. Definitely not something I would notice on my own.

So thanks for the well wishes!!! Let's keep our fingers crossed for Peanut to hang out for atleast a few more days. If there are any new developments and I can't get to a computer, I am sure we can count on Erika to keep you posted.

PS Measurements showed Peanut to be approx. 6lbs. 11oz.

Subconscious

I was just filling out the info spots to comment on another blog. For URL I put "www.halffullhalfempty.com/labor"
Hmmm...I wonder what is on my mind? I am guessing I can't go into labor by merely typing it huh?

Almost Famous

I just got this month's ePregnancy. There is a great article in there from everyone's favorite mother, writer and font of information. Of course I am talking about Dawn.
The article is about couples struggling with infertility issues. Now I might be biased because I've been there myself or maybe it's because we are actually in the article. Yup. Dawn interviewed us many long months ago, before IVF actually. We used alternate names because at the time we wanted to be private. If you read the article I'll give you a hint, my middle name is Gayle.

Butter Side Down

Friday night I experienced the weirdest sensations of my entire pregnancy. Freaky stuff people - like an alien was bursting out of my body. My whole abdomen was rolling and things were protruding every which way. I wished someone had been their to witness because it was so unbelievable. I decided that Peanut must be packing his bags or straightening up his uterus in preparation for departure.

What I really hoped was that he had flipped. This is the ideal postion to deliver, head down facing my spine. This idea was further supported by how tight my upper abdomen is. I have also felt pressure under my ribs on both sides, increased inability to breathe and even less sleep than before. Last night he got caught under my ribs and I had to get out of bed and walk around to try and catch a breath.

When I went to the midwife today I was planning on having her confirm my thoughts. After checking his heartbeat, which was low and on the left side for the first time ever, she felt around my tummy. Well, not the news I was expecting. She feels he might have flipped completely and is breech. I am getting an ultrasound right away to see. Then if he is we'll move on from there.

I am trying to take this one step at a time but can't help and be disappointed. The first option would be external cephalic version (ECV) - "doctor may attempt to shift its position by applying pressure to your abdominal wall and manipulating the fetus in an attempt to turn it." If that procedure doesn't work then I'm looking at a c-section. So I won't get ahead of myself and we'll wait until tomorrow to find out.

37 Weeks

"Your baby may weigh between 5 and 7 pounds at this point and is probably 19 to 20 inches long. Your baby's head is now cradled in your pelvic cavity — surrounded and protected by your pelvic bone. This position clears some much-needed space for his growing legs and buttocks.
Many babies now have a full head of hair, with locks from 1/2 to 1 1/2 inches long. But don't be surprised if his hair isn't the same color as yours. Dark-haired couples are sometimes thrown for a loop when their children are born with bright red or blond hair, and fair-haired couples have been rewarded with Elvis Presley look-alikes. And then, of course, some babies don't have any hair at all.
Speaking of hair, most of the downy coat of lanugo that covered your baby from 26 weeks has disappeared, and so has most of the vernix caseosa, the whitish substance that enshrouds the baby. Your baby will swallow his lanugo and exterior coating, along with other secretions, and store them in his bowels. These will become your infant's first bowel movement, a blackish waste called meconium."

We're full-term now and ready to roll. He has not moved down to my pelvis yet but I have been having pains from stretching down there. Nothing major just uncomfortable. My hands have been swelling up at night and the joints are painful to move in the morning. It goes away over the course of the day. I can only wear my wedding band, as my engagement ring is way to painful to remove.
I saw the dermatologist today. He thinks I am "allergic to something." Brilliant analysis right? He did give me a prescription cream so hopefully that will work. He also wanted me to change detergents again to A*ll Free. I am supposed to go back and see him in ten days. I am guessing that by the time we figure this out I will be holding Peanut in my arms anyway.
I also stopped taking my nightime antihistamine. It wasn't helping me sleep and contains the same ingredient as B*enadryl, which I am allergic too. Not worth putting more drugs in my body that aren't helping.
The stack of things to pack in my suitcase grows ever higher. I added breathmints and l*ifesavers for when my mouth gets dry during labor. I will post my whole list soon. Then after Peanut's birth I'll come back and tell you what I would add or subtract. I was joking with Erika today that she should bring her IRA rollover paperwork to the hospital and we can fill it out during contractions. That would certainly keep me distracted. ; )

Baby Can't Come Until I'm Done

I got a little more sleep last night, thanks in part to Tom rubbing my back to lull me under. Went to the midwife this morning and will be going every week from now on. She took pity on me and got me a referral to a dermatologist. I need to feel like I am at least making progress with this rash. Peanut is still growing on target and his heartbeat was pumping away at 146bpm. I picked up one pound and I am going to try for another one next week.
Afterwards I headed to T*arget to try and finish my list of "things before baby comes." It was a new store, so nice and clean and not crowded at all. The best part is they have an icee machine. I got the biggest size they have but really they should be available by the quart. Ummmm....crazy pregnant lady drinking frozen beverage while it's 28 degrees out.
My parents came over and we put the shelf up in the baby's room. Now I need to load it up with books and stuffed animals. I am completely procrastinating on cleaning out the closet. It became the place where we put stuff we didn't have another home for. Now I finally have to find a home for it. Ugh.
Tom took the tree out and every sign of Christmas is back up in the attic and I feel so much better knowing I don't have to face that anymore. Whenever I do check something off my list I find something to add. Both dogs need to be groomed so they are fresh and clean for when the baby comes home. Oh and the inside of my car should be cleaned too. And I should get a haircut in case I can't get out for a while.
See what I mean?

Where Are Those Counting Sheep?

Please send sleeping vibes to me. I know it's greedy, after all I'm having a baby soon. But just some sleep is that too much? The last two nights have been bad. I am posting this now waiting for my antihistamine to make me drowsy. I haven't been able to get up before 11am for a week now. So much to do but I drag around the house. Then some energy kicks in around dinner time and lasts a couple of hours. I feel like such a bum. It's enough work to do the daily chores let alone get ahead. My big excitement tomorrow will be grocery shopping. Maybe the last of the baby laundry too. Must get sleep.......

Tiny Hands & Feet

I spent Thurs. washing little tiny things. Those little socks get even smaller after you wash them. His 0-3 months wardrobe is folded and ready to go. Blankets, bunting, sheets and burp cloths are lined up. Today I stuffed miniature disposable diapers into the hanging diaper keeper. My dad has made me a shelf to put his books and animals on. They are coming over to install it tomorrow.
I was once again overwhelmed by the generosity of our family and friends. They gave us way too much. I hardly had to buy a thing except for the basics. I love knowing that Peanut already has these people who love him before he has even arrived. Speaking of arrival, it is on my mind all day long now. I flip through my mental and actual checklists to be prepared. I still have more to do but the energy comes in spurts. Tom is waiting for the "nesting" to kick in because he thinks I'll clean the rest of the house too. Ha!

PS Last week's fear: Peanut is not really a boy.
This week's fear: For some reason my breasts won't actual produce milk.
I LOVE pregnancy paranoia.

36 Weeks

"Your baby is still putting on the pounds — about an ounce a day. He weighs between 6 and 7 pounds and is at least 19 inches long.
You may begin to feel an increased pressure in your lower abdomen and notice that your baby is gradually dropping. This is called lightening or engagement and your lungs and stomach will finally get a chance to stretch out a little — breathing and eating should become easier. However, walking may become increasingly uncomfortable — some women say it feels as if the baby is going to fall out. Also, you may still feel as if you need to go to the bathroom all the time.
The good news is that by the end of this week, your pregnancy will be full-term and you could give birth any day now. (Babies between 37 and 42 weeks are considered full-term — a baby born before 37 weeks is preterm and after 42 is post-term.) At your weekly visit, your doctor or midwife may check to see if you've started dilating (when the cervix opens) and effacing (when the cervix thins), and what position the baby is in, which is a way of estimating how far the baby has dropped into the pelvis. Make note of it so that once you're in labor you can tell your nurse at the hospital."

"Could give birth any day now", wow that freaks me out! I am ready to meet Peanut but am fine with waiting until his due date. Mom and I went shopping yesterday to get the rest of the necessary items for when he comes. Changing pad, waterproof pads, crib sheets, hamper, organizing baskets and such. I also got a thermometer because I know I will be worried about him getting sick. It was good to have her there to talk me out of things I don't need now. She assured me she'll go back and get them if I find I can't live without them the first few weeks.
We also got packs of disposable diapers. Their price assuring me once again that I want to switch to cloth. I have enough to get by until our cloth order comes in. Like Tom says, "even if it wasn't an economical issue, it would still be an environmental one." Love that man.
My aromatherapy for childbirth came too. I need to mix some of the essential oils into the grapeseed oil so they aren't too strong. I am really interested to see what kind of effect they have on me during the "epic struggle."
Symptoms for me are still basically the same. Not alot of long periods of sleeep at night. I am still battling heartburn, small bladder and a stuffy nose. The rash is not gone but it hasn't gotten worse. The antihistamine at night helps me sleep and I am going through calamine lotion by the gallon. The key also is remaining cool. Not that difficult in my house but it leaves me wanting to avoid social situations where I'm not in charge of the heat.
Peanut's movements are much less rigorous as he outgrows my uterus. He still pokes around and has the hiccups almost everyday. I haven't felt him drop and he still seems curled up in the same spot on my right side.

Daily Affirmations

Hi there.
I've been quiet trying to take some space from the world. Unfortunately Christmas was not what I hoped or planned. But life is like that sometimes. I need to remember that how I feel is up to me not other people. It's easy to blame pregnancy hormones for my moods. But I forgot for a little while there who I am. I forgot to trust myself and my heart. I gave people the power to make me feel bad. There is a time I would never have done that. I'm taking it back. I know what is true and right for me. I know what I want for my delivery and for this baby. I cannot control how other people feel.
He is healthy, I'm healthy. I have a loving and supportive husband. I have a family of both origin and choice who love and support me. The rest is just details.

PS I feel like Stuart Smalley (SNL): Look in the mirror and say, "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough. And gosh darn it, people like me."

The Legacy Of N.

It was at this time several years ago that I was part of an event, that at the risk of being dramatic, changed my perspective on life. I was working for a human services company that both housed children in foster care and kept track of them in their homes. As a supervisor you were responsible for being the on-call for the entire program in an alternating schedule. The weekend responsibilities were from noon on Friday through noon the following Monday. It made you the top of the chain in decisions that protected over 100 children at a time. It was a system I was comfortable with having worked my way up from a residential caseworker to running an outreach program.
That year I wanted Christmas off so I volunteered to cover the weekend beforehand. Saturday I was visiting the residential homes and checking in on staff and clients. When I reached the co-ed shelter I checked on a resident who had been feeling sick. She was also pregnant. There was something about N. that I just couldn't shake the idea that she needed more than just chicken soup and rest.
N. had seen her OB/GYN the previous day and was told that the pregnancy was going fine. She was 7 months along but had only been living in the shelter for a few weeks. Before that she was basically taking care of herself and therefore had not received prenatal care.

Serenity Now

You know how when you get married it is supposed to be all about the happy couple? But for most people it becomes all about everyone else. Seems that each person has a strong need to insert their opinions and have things their way. Suddenly the wedding planning becomes very stressful and the day itself no longer resembles the couple's original dream.
Apparently having a baby can be that way too. Out of nowhere people outside the future parents have opinions and needs. Perspective is lost and these needs supercede those of the woman actually giving birth. A time that should be filled with joy and anticipation, is now overshadowed with stress and negative emotions.
Mark my words. After Christmas is over I am not taking one more minute of this crap.

Mercy?

Another night filled with waking every two hours and slathering on the calamine lotion. Eye yi yi.
Saw the midwife this afternoon. Lost two pounds which sucks but the baby is growing fine. Tom and his parents came along. I wanted them to be able to hear Peanut's heartbeat. He was loud and clear and she even sqeezed his bottom to make him squirm. Apparently it works on boys more than girls. His heart went crazy and he wriggled all over. Then they left while I chatted about all the other fine symptoms of pregnancy.
Perhaps a light at the end of the tunnel as she felt my rash may be an allergic reaction. That the hormones made me more sensitive to something but are not causing the rash itself. Which would make sense because I am also having a reaction to the Christmas tree when I water it. Little bumps on my hands.
So after leaving we went to the store. I filled my cart with: oatmeal bath, an anhistamine tablet that will also help me sleep, more calamine lotion, unscented soap, hypo-allergenic detergent, sudafed and new iron pills. I am chasing the idea that this is being caused by the red dye coating my iron supplement. The new iron I bought doesn't have any extra junk in it. It's an all out war my friends.

Burning For You

The past week I have been experiencing a body rash that has gotten progressively worse. No amount of analyzing has been able to determine it's source. First I thought it was a laundry detergent thing and then a deodorant thing. It kept spreading. So I looked at all the things I could be ingesting on a regular basis. But I am taking the same vitamins as always. It spread from my chest up my arms, down my stomach and eventually to my upper thighs. I am using powder like there is no tomorrow.
Last night I lay awake from 1:30 to 4:30am trying not to scratch. Did I mention it is burning and itching? It gets worse when I am hot. I was so exhausted I was crying. Poor sick Tom woke up and encouraged me to call my midwife when I woke up. Then he pet me on the knee (only non-itchy part) until I fell asleep.
I called the OB/GYN office and waited for a call back. They called and it's the worse news I could have gotten. That's right, it's pregnancy related. A change in hormones that resulted in this rash from hell. Which of course means it won't go away until the baby comes. I can only treat the symptoms for now. No scented soap, keep cool, take oatmeal baths and use calamine lotion. At this point I will do anything to get a moment's relief.

Unexpected

Last night we had our last childbirth preparation class. Figures that finally during the last class people actually started talking to eachother. I had predicted to Tom several weeks ago that someone would give birth before classes were over. This was an easy call since two of the women are due the 25th and 27th.
Sure enough we all got there and we were missing a couple. Except it was a woman who was a week behind me. Her water broke this weekend at 32 weeks and she ended up being sent to a hospital with a NICU. She had a vaginal birth and the baby is okay.
So with that news we watched our movies on postpartum recovery and newborn care. At the break, the couple who are due on the 25th left. We were all going up to the labor & delivery ward so I was guessing they were just going on ahead. Nope. She was having contractions. Had been having them all day and now they were 3 to 4 minutes apart.
When we got upstairs she let us all in the room while they hooked up the monitors. We watched the baby's heartrate and watched her go through three fairly long contractions. I couldn't believe they were nice enough to let us be there. The floor was hopping full of babies that were on their way or had just arrived. The lullaby played to let us know that another one had popped out. After a few minutes we left our classmates to their privacy and went into another room to play with more positions and equipment. Our instructor put the doppler on my belly and we all heard Peanut's heartbeat. She said that my belly was a great size. Before we went home I saw the couple walking the halls which is exactly where you will find me when I am in labor.
It was so amazing to see everything in action. I really feel even better about my upcoming delivery. I had been taking it for granted that I have 6 more weeks to get ready. Reality check. I could go into labor at any time. Eep! So I started typing up my hospital packing list and gathering together my music CDs. Wow I'm going to have a real baby, real soon.

PS Found out the hospital has state of the art security. Baby lojack, alarms, bands, the works. This will rid me of my "switched at birth" and "stolen baby" fears.

34 Weeks

"Your baby now weighs more than 5 1/2 pounds and is probably about 20 inches long. He's filling out and getting rounder — he'll need his fat layers later to regulate his body temperature. If you don't already talk to your baby, you should start — by next week, your baby's hearing will be fully developed. And don't feel ridiculous if you're already chatting in baby talk. Some evidence shows that newborns pay closer attention to high-pitched tones.
If you've been nervous about going into preterm labor, you'll be happy to know that 99 percent of babies born at 34 weeks can survive outside the womb — and most have no major problems. Though your baby's central nervous system is still maturing, your baby's lungs are nearly fully developed by now.
Many women start to notice a tingling sensation or numbness in the pelvic region from the baby's weight on the nerves in the legs and pelvis. Unfortunately, this feeling probably won't subside until the baby is born. If you're terribly uncomfortable, mention it to your healthcare provider."

Lungs fully developed? Fabulous! That and brain development being highest on my list of concerns. There is no reason for me to believe I would go into pre-term labor but it is always in the back of my mind. You know in case I fell or was in an accident. I need to know that Peanut would be okay if he was forced out.

I had a scare last Sun. In fact it was so disturbing that I couldn't write about it until now. Monitoring the baby's activity because really important right now. In fact I have become very sensitive to how much he moves and when. Last Sun. when I was out shopping with my mom, Peanut never moved. He didn't move while eating breakfast, sitting or when eating lunch. Nothing that usually gets him going. So in the back of my mind I was worried. I mentioned it to both Tom and my mom. I thought about calling my midwife. When my mom asked what they would do, I didn't know. And the horrible thought that he was dead inside me spread. I said to her I didn't know how I would survive losing him at 33 weeks. So I went around the rest of the day in fear.

But that night at bedtime, Peanut gave me several swift kicks as if to reassure me. Activity this week has continued to be normal. Except now I am grateful for his foot in my ribs instead of annoyed. Also I found out that I shouldn't worry until I haven't felt movement for 24 hours. We're so close to the finish line and I want to make it so bad.

Last childbirth class tonight! We get to play with all the equipment and then we're let loose. I think I am pretty much ready, but then again can you really ever be? I am okay with Peanut arriving on his due date or even his original one (Feb. 5). Whenever he picks is okay with me. Of course I might change my mind as the weeks wear on.

33 Weeks

"Your baby now weighs about 5 pounds and is approximately 19.5 inches long. Your baby should already be getting ready for delivery by turning upside-down — his head should be pointing down. Your doctor or midwife will be paying careful attention to your baby's position in the coming weeks — some babies do decide to turn back around.
Your baby's skull is still quite pliable and not completely joined, in part so he can ease out of the relatively narrow birth canal. But the bones in the rest of his body are hardening. Your baby's skin is also gradually becoming less red and wrinkled.
If you're a first-time mother, your child's head may move into the pelvis this week and press firmly against your cervix. (This happens for about half of all first-time mothers.) If you're a second-time mom, you can expect this to happen a week before labor — and for some this won't happen until the advanced stages of labor.
You may notice that your feet and ankles are quite swollen toward the end of the day. Water retention, also known as edema, is often worse in warm weather and late in the day. Surprisingly, keeping hydrated helps reduce water retention. Your body — particularly your kidneys — and your baby need plenty of fluids, so drink up. If you suddenly feel swollen or puffy in your hands or face, however, call your doctor — it may be a sign of preeclampsia."

Peanut has spent the last few days hanging upside down like a bat. I can feel his feet hooked under my ribs. The heartburn is a nightly battle, nothing seems to dictate how bad it will be. Last night I spent from 5 to 5:30 am propped up trying to lessen the pressure.
Cool stuff from childbirth class:
The strength of a contraction can be felt by pressing on the uterus from the outside. A mild contraction will feel like when you push your finger against your chin. A medium will feel like pushing against your nose. And a strong one will feel like pushing against your forehead. Gives you an idea of how hard you uterine muscles work.
I brought some info into the class on aromatherapy during childbirth. I just started doing research but found some cool stuff on essential oils and blends to help with different aspects. I have always been very susceptible to smells so I am hoping it will be effective for me. And because I am a freak I have started a spreadsheet to compare costs from various suppliers.
Can I tell you I love my belly? Every morning I look at it and know that Peanut is snuggled up inside. And I feel beautiful. All the corny, fertile, womanly, ripe with child stuff just gushing out. Totally beautiful.

Error - Data Not Found

Tom was out with friends from work last night so the dogs and I had movie night. I watched "Memento" which apparently had a lot of buzz when it came out in 2000. The basic premise is that it is about a man who's wife was killed during a robbery and he is seeking revenge on her killer. He sustained a head injury during the attack and now has no short term memory. In order to cope he leaves himself notes, takes polaroids and tattoos clues on his body. Sometimes if he focuses he can hold on long enough to write something down. Otherwise any distraction or period of sleep wipes the slate clean. It was a good movie and I couldn't help but feel a connection to the main character.

Except my condition is the result of "pregnancy stupids." I have now taken to scribbling notes and lists on pieces of paper all over the house. The good stuff is on my nightstand where I can hopefully wake up with reminders. Let's not forget my standing in the middle of store aisles mumbling to myself like an outpatient. And now I need some kind of voice activated system in the car. Like, "hey dummy, why did you drive home when you meant to go run errands", or "yoo whoo, you just drove past the post office despite the pile of mail in the seat next to you." Will I be reduced to polaroids of people to complete my holiday shopping? Will I be permanently scarred with tattoos of grocery lists up my forearms. Do I succumb to the little voices that tell me I'll never be normal again? Do I beg forgiveness from my mom for all the times I made fun of her absentmindedness? Clearly the result of bearing my two brothers & I. Could there be a worse time of the year to a have a mind like an Etch-A-Sketch?

Paleface

Another midwife appointment today. It felt good to atleast get out of the house. I am still collecting energy to go shopping later this week. When I was following the nurse to the room I saw two male county sheriffs sitting outside one of the rooms. The looked extremely uncomfortable being a ob/gyn office. I asked the nurse if they were escorting a prisoner and she said yes. She said, "Everyone deserves care." I agreed with her and had instant flashbacks of working in social services. How many young girl's hands did I hold during their first ob exams? I think it is a blur for a reason. Along with all the other countless hours I spent in hospital emergency rooms.
The good news is that I am still measuring on schedule and I gained another pound. I really need to focus on drinking even more fluids. My ultrasound apparently showed I am a little low in amniotic fluid. So even though it means having to pee more often (which is hard to imagine), I gotta do it for Peanut's sake. My glucose test came out great and my iron is on track. So I'll have to continue the supplements until delivery. And both my midwife and pharmacist commented that I look tired. Gee and this is a good day for me. Does this mean my glow is gone?

32 Weeks

"By now, your baby probably weighs between 4 & 5 pounds and is about 19 inches long — no wonder it feels so crowded in there! Though his lungs won't be fully developed until just before birth, your little one is inhaling amniotic fluid to exercise his lungs and practice breathing. Some babies have a head of hair already; others have only a few wisps. Thick hair at birth doesn't necessarily mean thick hair later on, but children with fine hair in childhood usually have thinner hair in adulthood.
Moms, you're gaining a pound a week now, and roughly half of that goes right to your baby. In fact, he gains a third to half of his birthweight during the next seven weeks, fattening up for survival outside the womb. Thanks to these fatty deposits, his skin is getting plumper and healthier looking."

Holy moly 8 months along! I am getting more excited but still glad to have atleast 6 weeks before he comes. I still need to learn more and get organized. I get up to pee in the middle of the night about every 3-4 hours. I also get really thirsty so I am putting it back in as it comes out. I have been waking up very stuffy and with headaches. Sudafed and a humidifier aren't working. I got permission today to use vapor rub on my chest and throat. I have also been very tired all week. I can't tell if I am still recovering from the weekend or if this is just something I'll have to live with until delivery.
We got to tour labor & delivery tonight during childbirth class. It is so nice, cozy and quiet up there. A lullaby played letting us know that a baby had been born while we were walking around. Our instructor had us try all the equipment and poke around the rooms. Tom was very impressed with the jacuzzi tub. He looked like he was comtemplating how to get in himself.
We also learned about the next stage of labor and the worst part called transition. Apparently it can last 30 mins to 2 hours. But once you are through you get to push. This will probably be the point where I decide on an epidural or not. I will be thrilled if I get to this point without any meds. I am completely open to trying all the other comfort measures beforehand. But if hit a wall then I will consider some kind of meds. I just want to be realistic about what I can and cannot handle.
My belly is getting really hard and definitely bigger up top. My belly button hasn't popped out yet but also doesn't look normal. The rest of my skin is itchy and the cold weather this week isn't helping. Thank goodness I have an ample supply of smelly lotions to choose from. Peanut is as active as ever. His favorite activity is to wait until my bladder is full and then poke at it until I go pee. He's funny that way. Also he seems to be a late night and morning person. That is when I feel the most continuous action. He is probably wondering why the walls seem to be closing in on him. I am sure he is growing like a weed.

Got Milk?

I saw this story on the local news tonight. It was about a woman who survived a breast cancer diagnosis and double masectomy at the age of 31. Now she is pregnant and actually her due date is tomorrow. She really feels strongly about breastfeeding and has figured out a way to still be able to do it. Through the use of a special bottle apparatus and banked frozen breastmilk. Apparently there are four milk banks in the country used primarily for feeding preemies or sick babies. The cost per ounce? $3.25! That's $104/day or approx. $17,000 for six months. She has a website with her survival story and ways to donate to offset costs. I am so terribly sad for her and wish I could give her some of mine. But I am due a lot after her and the specific nutrients in breastmilk are released according to the age of the baby. I am afraid I'd be way off. Her story has raised my awareness of milk banks and their possible solution for breast cancer survivors. Grateful again for my particular situation and the knowledge that I am able to choose whether or not I will attempt to breastfeed.

Yikes

I felt my first "practice contraction" this evening. It had to be because it was like nothing I've ever felt before. Like a pain twinge traveling down the center of uterus right to my pelvic bone. Then it was gone. Strange but I was carving the turkey at the exact moment it happened. Tom thinks I am crazy as usual. He said that I only experience all this after I read about in the books. I tried to explain that the reason it is in the book is BECAUSE it is supposed to happen around this time. Silly boy. Mother Nature knew what she was doing when she had women carry the babies.

31 Weeks

"Your baby's arms, legs, and body continue to fill out — and they are finally proportional in size to his head. He weighs about 3 1/4 pounds and looks more like a newborn. You can expect your baby to gain at least two more pounds before delivery.
Pay attention to your baby's kicks and rolls now. Your perception of your baby's movements is an important tool in assessing your baby's well-being. Ideally, you should feel at least ten movements in two hours. If you notice a significant decrease in the frequency of the movements you've come to expect from your baby, you should tell your midwife or doctor immediately.
Your baby's organs are continuing to mature, and he is passing water from his bladder, good practice for the urinating he'll do after he's born. Soon you can wonder what your baby is wishing for — brain scans have shown fetuses have periods of dream sleep around month eight.
You've probably gained three to four pounds this month. Gaining a pound a week is quite normal during the last trimester — your baby has a final growth spurt before birth."

I am telling you like clockwork all of the other symptoms hit me at the begining of my third trimester. We are talking heartburn, especially at night, no matter what I eat. T*ums have become one of my daily snacks. And the clumsiness is just great. Apparently due to ligaments relaxing for delivery but it effects every joint. So stuff doesn't stay in my hands well and I keep misjudging the distance for objects, hence many spills over the course of the day. My personal favorite is the absentmindedness, which my friends refer to as the "pregnancy stupids." It is the predecessor of the older person's "senior moment." I literally cannot remember basic things and float around in a fog all day. Yeah, it's way fun. A great excuse to others for why you haven't accomplished something, but not so fun when you really want to remember stuff.

For all of you wanting a belly shot here is the best I can do for now. Erika took this at my shower.

Chubby Cheeks

Went to the midwife today and had to take the glucose test again. They will also run my iron levels to make sure the supplements I am taking are working. Guess what? I finally gained weight. Four pounds which puts me at 3 lbs. for the total pregnancy so far. I ate lots of extra snacks these past two weeks and even splurged with an Al*mond Joy bar yesterday. I also got copies of my records to take to Chicago with me on Fri.
I met Tom downstairs for the ultrasound. They measured all of Peanut's parts and declared him right on track. He is 3lbs. 9 oz.! He looked so big on the screen. His head is down by my pelvis and he is laying on his right side. I bet it is comfortable curled against me. I might be biased but he has the cutest face. Chubby cheeks and a little button nose. I fell in love with him all over again.

Here see for yourself:

30 Weeks

"Your baby's lungs and digestive tract are almost fully developed. And while your baby may soon grow more slowly in length, he will continue to put on the pounds. This week your baby continues to open and shut his eyes. He can probably see what's going on in utero, distinguish light from dark, and even track a light source. If you shine a light on a your belly, your baby may move his head to follow the light or even reach out to touch the moving glow. Some researchers think baring your belly to light stimulates visual development. But don't expect 20/20 vision when your baby is born — newborns can see a distance of only about 8 to 12 inches. (Children with normal vision, don't reach 20/20 vision until about age seven to nine.) And to complete the picture, new eyebrows and eyelashes now frame your little one's peepers.
A pint and a half of amniotic fluid now surrounds your baby, but that volume decreases as he gets bigger and has less room in your uterus. As you and the baby continue to grow, don't be alarmed if you feel breathless, as if you can't get enough air; it's just your uterus pressing against your diaphragm. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, though. Usually about two to four weeks before labor (or during labor, if this is your second or third pregnancy), your baby's head will drop into your pelvis — to get ready for delivery — and that will make breathing and eating a lot easier."

I cannot believe I am in the ten week countdown. Remember when I was complaining about how slow it felt? I knew the last part would speed by, especially with the holidays coming. I can feel the weight of him now when I move. When I turn it's like my stomach moves a few seconds behind.
I am feeling total joy at this point. As much as I am dying to hold him I feel like I need these next weeks to fully prepare. We have our second childbirth class tonight. Tom & I really hope we get to take the tour soon. I want to feel comfortable and at ease when the big day comes. The classes have already helped me figure out what I want from my birthing team. By this I mean the non-medical personnel. Tom will be in charge of physical comfort, ie. massages, temperature control and positioning. Erika will focus on relaxation through breathing, visualization and guided imagery. Mom will be the relief person when either of them needs a break or if I need anything extra (like fetching medical personnel or other comfort items).
People may scoff at the idea that I can plan this experience. I don't know how it will go or what I will feel. However, I do know what I need to feel the most relaxed and comfortable. Labor and delivery is not something I want to survive. It is a journey I want to take and experience for what it is. The singlest most life altering event I will ever have. Apparently you do have periods of amnesia afterwards where you can't remember exactly what happened. I am okay with that too.

It's Good To Have A Plan

What does an anal retentive pregnant chick do all morning? Why build a spreadsheet to price shop cloth diapers of course! I am very happy because I think I have put together a system that will work for us. I am combining a few different kinds (prefolds, fitted and all-in-ones) to save on initial costs. Even Tom & I should be able to successfully diaper Peanut with this plan.
I am going to use S*eventh Generation disposables for the first few weeks and then switch to cloth. This way we won't be pressured to figure everything out at once. If we start cloth sooner than we'll just have extra disposables to use for trips or whatnot.
The key to embracing cloth diapers is realizing ALL diapers are expensive. Especially if you figure your child will be using them until 2-3 years of age. But if you're gonna shell out mucho $$$ I feel better spending it on reusuable ones. Nevermind all the other great reasons to not use disposables.

Baby Shower Update

This was one of the best weekends I have ever had. Of course I was so exhausted I ended up sleeping for 12 hours to recover.
It started with Andra & Angie arriving from DC on Fri. morning. We did lots of grocery shopping and then we got cooking. Actually they did all the work and I perched on a bar stool and tried to be helpful. They were a whirlwind of activity and used kitchen utensils I forgot I had. Am I the only one impressed when people use cake flour instead of cake mix? Angie made chicken salad by boiling two whole chickens! I'm spoiled for canned chicken forever.
The next morning I got them to my mom's early to finish food prep and decorate. I was sent on an errand and made to wait in the car in front of the party store. I didn't mind because I got to spend time with my brother Scott. Then I was allowed back at the official party site. Everything was beautiful and delicious and all kinds of people showed up. People came from Mass., Maine, Chicago and DC.
Present time came all too soon and I kept trying to get back to the cupcake platter. Each time I unwrapped a gift Angie read from an index card the giftgiver had written. They started out like, "Alisa & Tom will be great parents because.....", or "My advice for the first three months is..." Needless to say I was fighting back tears the whole time. All the gifts were thoughtful and precious and personal. Good thing Andra was keeping a list because I was so overwhelmed by it all.
I had an amazing time and definitely felt like I was glowing and beaming. I can not believe how many dear friends and family took time and energy to welcome our baby. It makes me cry to know how much love is already waiting for him when he arrives.
Thank you so much to my shower hostesses Angie, Andra, Erica, Holly and Erika. Having friends like you makes anything possible and every day one for which I am grateful.

Shower-gifts.jpg

Angie arranged all the gifts in the nursery so, "it would look like Santa had been there."

PS I will post about the rest of the weekend later. I need to get ready for "Newborn Homecoming" class tonight.

29 Weeks

"Your baby now weighs about 3 pounds and is about 15 inches long from head to toe. The baby's head is getting bigger, and brain growth is very rapid at this time. Nearly all babies react to sound by 30 weeks.
Your baby's nutritional needs reach their peak during the third trimester. You'll need plenty of protein, vitamin C, folic acid, iron, and calcium (about 200 milligrams is deposited in your baby's skeleton every day). The skeleton hardens even more, and the brain, muscles, and lungs continue to mature."

Tom and I put the crib together on Sunday. Then he laughed at me as I put an imaginary baby in and out of the crib. I made him practice dropping the side rail. The nursery now looks like one even if I still have a bunch of things to do. All the big items are taken care of and that makes me feel less stressed.
I had my midwife appointment yesterday. After 28 weeks you start going in every two weeks and then at some point every week. I am starting to be able to nonchalantly carry my urine sample around. I have to do the diabetes test again because she wants to check it during the third trimester. The orange glucose drink is syrupy sweet but not too bad to get down. I will also have another blood draw to check my iron. Hopefully my 325mg twice daily is doing the trick. I weighed in and was disappointed. Not only did I not gain weight but I lost 1 1/2 pounds. This puts me at below my pre-pregnancy rate. We talked about what I am eating and she said it sounded great. Peanut measures out on track from the outside. We did go ahead and schedule another ultrasound to make sure he is growing okay. I am not really worried but it will be nice to get another look at him. It's so strange to complain about not gaining weight but my number one priority is having a healthy baby. I am currently eating three meals a day plus two snacks. Maybe I'll try to fit more snacks in. It would help if Peanut wasn't sitting right on my stomach.

Cloth Is Cool Again

Okay. Apparently I am having a baby soon. I need to start making some decisions here. I really want to use cloth diapers. I know some of you are thinking, yeah right. You're already snickering to yourself about how I'll never make it. But I want to atleast try. I cannot with all good conscience contribute that much to my local landfill. Plus that weird gel stuff in disposables freaks me out. I had a friend with a PhD in Biology tell me that it is the same stuff they use to culture specimens in petri dishes and it is considered hazardous. I'm gonna have to pass on that. Peanut spent enough time in a petri dish and he doesn't need any reminders.
So this is where I need your help. Give me your recommendations on good diapers, covers and best cleaning tips. I can't find a diaper service up here so I will be doing it myself. Also, any lessons learned would be great too. I might bring Peanut home in disposals in case it is too overwhelming for us in the first weeks. If so I will be doing the transition soon after.
Why is it everyone from the previous generation who HAD to use cloth giving me the craziest looks?

One Dimensional

Maybe I am sensitive but I've noticed a lot of TV shows lately with pregnancy in the plot. Unfortunately they are mostly about murdered women with unborn babies or premature births. Only my worst nightmares. Every day Peanut thrives in my belly is one day closer to being safe. I am looking forward to childbirth classes and to talking with other pregnant women. Perhaps then I can assure myself that I am not the only who has these thoughts. The farther along I get and the more I show, the more my life seems to revolve around being pregnant. It is wonderful on one hand but also feels strange. My blog entries before I got pregnant seem like they are written by a different person.

Birthplans

Attention other pregnant ladies:
Here's a site on birthplans I got from BabyBaby. It goes over what a birthplan is as well as your options. I like the idea of a plan even though I understand things may happen differently. But there are certain procedures I have found out that I feel strongly about. I am going to wait to do mine until after getting a few childbirth preparation classes under our belts.

28 Weeks

"You're in the home stretch. The third trimester typically starts this week and lasts until 40 weeks and sometimes even beyond. (Don't worry — 42 weeks is the maximum! After that, a woman usually is induced to give birth.) Most women gain an average of 11 pounds during this trimester.
By this week, your baby weighs about 2 1/2 pounds and measures about 14 1/2 inches. At about this time, your baby can open his eyes and turn his head in utero if he notices a continuous, bright light shining from the outside. The fat layers are forming and the fingernails appear."

I can tell Peanut is higher up because I get heartburn almost every night when I go to sleep. Also when my bladder gets full he kicks to remind me to empty it. Fiesty little bugger. I think my facial skin has finally returned to normal. My belly and legs itch sometimes. And I have two news friends, Moe & Curly, my matching stretchmarks. There is no way to prevent them so I might as well accept them.
The pouring rain and chilly temps haven't slowed me down. I'm on mission to get the nursery together. We went to B*aby Depot (inside Bu*rlington Coat Factory) because they have great prices (even cheaper than Ta*rget). Mom bought my crib for my shower gift. It was not only on sale but also had a rebate. I bought the crib bedding set. How cute are those little animals?
Now we need to figure out the cradle bedding. Because it is an antique it is not a standard size. We'll be doing some custom work to make sure everything fits correctly and is safe.

The Good Kind Of Shower

There are only ten days until my baby shower! Now that's something to get excited about. My college friends are coming in from all over to host it. Even my brother Scott is flying up. I can't wait to just enjoy everyone's company.

All About The Benjamins

So Tom and I always had this plan about having a family. Get married spend some time together as a couple. Get established in our careers and for me to get my Master's. Get a house and be financially secure. Plan for the future with retirement plans and savings. Have kids and never be those people that had to worry about money. Sure the kids part didn't go exactly as we planned but that's okay. This is clearly the time and this is the baby I was meant to have. Except I never counted on being unemployed. The closer I get to giving birth the more I worry about when my unemployment checks stop in a few weeks. I worry about how much even just the basics for a baby cost. I worry about having to go back to work before I am ready because we'll need the money. I think about the time in my life before when I no longer worried about money. I can hardly remember how secure that felt. I feel guilty because it's my fault we are in this position. So we followed the plan and made all the smart choices. Here I am no better off then if I'd had a baby ten years ago. Now that's irony for you.
Sorry, I am not having a good night.

27 Weeks

"The baby now weighs about 2 pounds. His eyes open and close, and he sleeps and wakes at regular intervals and may suck a finger or thumb. Sweet dreams, little baby! Some experts believe that babies begin to dream by the 28th week. What do they dream about? No one knows for certain. But the brain is active this week as well. The characteristic grooves on the brain's surface start to appear, and more brain tissue develops.
Chalk up any rhythmic movement you may be feeling to a case of the hiccups, which are common this week and throughout the pregnancy. Your baby has them, but is breathing in amniotic fluid rather than air. A paper bag can't cure his hiccups, obviously, but an episode usually lasts only momentarily. Besides, it may feel like a belly tickle, so enjoy. Since your uterus is now up near your rib cage, you may now find yourself short of breath if you haven't already."

Mom came to my midwife appointment which was fun because she got to hear Peanut's heartbeat. I got my flu shot so I will be protected during this really crucial time in my pregnancy. I gained a half pound which concerns me because that is all I have gained. She measured my uterus and says the baby's size is right on track. I know this is crazy but I think I am too small. Boy, I'll live to regret those words!
I finally bought a body pillow as I am starting to need the support while sleeping. Tom is worried about too much crowding in the bed. I reminded him that we already have a third person sleeping with us. I don't think this is the menage a trois he had fantasized about. Also my Old N*avy maternity order came and I love the jeans! They are the best yet. So comfortable and cutely styled. They come in short lengths so I finally have something I didn't need to hem.

Mommy Mentor

Yesterday's entry over at This Woman's Work is one of my favorites. What a wonderful way to teach her son about self esteem. I want to be this kind of mom to my Peanut.

26 Weeks

"Your baby now weighs about 1 3/4 pounds and is about 13 inches long with its legs extended. Your baby's eyes begin to open around now. Response to sound grows more consistent toward the end of the seventh month, when the network of nerves to the ear is complete. He also continues to take small breaths, and although he's only breathing in water and not air, it's still good practice for when he's born."

Noticed in the shower this morning that I can only see my toes. I will have to become a contortionist to continue shaving my legs. There is also a definite waddle quality to my walk. Good thing I ordered more maternity clothes last night. Looks like I am going to need something to make it fun to get dressed in the morning. I also got the invitation to my baby shower next month. I am so looking forward to seeing all my friends. And I am sure they will enjoy seeing me in my condition. Would it be wrong to charge people money to touch my belly?

He Has To Come Out?

Holy crap I'm having a baby! No, not right now silly. But apparently in less than 100 days. I know, duh. But it honestly hadn't hit me. Not the ultrasound or the kicking or the ever growing belly. You know what hit home? I signed up for childbirth classes today. I figured I only have three months left I should atleast find out the schedule. We went went with the class that starts in November and ends before Christmas. My other choice would have put me past the due date. Which begs the question, "Can he come out if I haven't learned that part yet?" Don't worry I also signed up for Newborn Care. As I am sure you are wondering at this point how a nutjob like me will possibly care for a baby.

Belly Pants

Tom's parents head back home tomorrow. They finished all the projects around here so we decided to go shopping. Unfortunately shopping is no longer fun for me since I can't fit into anything. I did get a pair of flannel pyjama pants at LL B*ean that should take me through until the birth.
Then we moseyed on over to Old N*avy to stock up for Tom. There in the window was a tiny unassuming sign. "Old N*avy Maternity Now In The Store." Yay!!!! Can you believe the luck? Maternity clothes at Old N*avy cheapie prices!!

*Dance Of Joy* * Dance Of Joy* * Dance Of Joy* * Dance Of Joy*

Eustachian Frustration

Went back to the midwife to have my ears checked. I felt horrible this morning so I suspected they were worse. This was confirmed by her and she sent me to a regular internist. I will have to return for my flu shot because they won't get the vaccine in until the end of the month. My next appointment wasn't for two hours so I went home and then back again. The doctor was no-nonsense and said he didn't think it was bad. He wants me to take an antibiotic for ten days to see if it clears up. I was bummed and even though it is safe during pregnancy, I was hoping to remain as drug free as possible. Better to nip it in the bud now I guess in case it gets worse.
As a bonus at my midwife's we checked the baby's heartbeat again and she measured the height of my fundus. Hey I don't know what a fundus is either. But somehow it tells them the size and placement of my uterus. See we all learned a new word today kids. Now use it in a sentence.

Meriam-Webster:

Main Entry: fun·dus
Pronunciation: 'f&n-d&s
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural fun·di /-"dI, -"dE/
Etymology: New Latin, from Latin, bottom
Date: 1764
: the bottom of or part opposite the aperture of the internal surface of a hollow organ: as a : the greater curvature of the stomach b : the lower back part of the bladder c : the large upper end of the uterus d : the part of the eye opposite the pupil

25 Weeks

"The baby now weighs about 1 1/2 pounds and is approximately 12 1/2 inches long. He makes breathing movements, but has no air in his lungs yet. At this point, fetal brain scans show response to touch. If you shine a light on your abdomen, your baby will turn his head, which, according to researchers, means the optic nerve is working."

Every week now means a week closer to survival in the event of a pre-mature birth. I know not exactly a happy thought. I am positive and hopeful. I truly believe that everything will be fine. But that little voice deep down says, "You struggled to get here, you've been lucky, how do you know the struggle is over?" It still amazes me when I wake up and look in the mirror. I love him but in a sense it is all still unreal.
We put some furniture in the nursery last night. Just a dresser and the cradle. I draped the blanket Tom's mom made for the baby across the cradle. I couldn't believe I was finally getting to fill it up. Finally able to unpack the few things I allowed myself to buy while we were trying. I think that is why I was so slow to start a registry or purchase any big items. I spent years censoring myself. Protecting myself from the inevitable disappointment. I never looked beyond conceiving because it was overwhelming. One goal at a time. Now he is coming in approximately 13 weeks. Time to learn a little something about childbirth.

Anemic Anyone?

My midwife's office called today. My diabetes test turned out fine, but my iron level was not so good. I need to bump it up big time. 325mg twice a day is what they are suggesting. Looks like I'll be adding that in to my ever growing pile of pills. Maybe getting the proper amount of iron will help me not feel so wiped at the end of the day. It would be nice too if I could finally hear out of my left ear. It is not even cold/flu season yet. This is not a good sign.

24 Weeks

Six months down, four to go. See that's the little tidbit they leave out. You're really pregnant for ten months. This the lull in excitement time. No more milestones until he pops out. Well I am kind of looking forward to when you can see his kicking on the outside. Tom thinks I am imagining all the movement I am getting now. I had my gestational diabetes test today. Which consists of drinking a super sweet orange soda (50mg of glucose) and then having a blood draw an hour later. I am going back in a week. I want a flu vaccine and they want to check my ears again. They saw fluid behind them which explains why I've felt kind of stuffy. I was so hoping to get through the whole pregnancy without getting sick. But I am allowed to take S*dafed once or twice a day to clear this up. Peanut's heartrate is ticking along nicely at 150 bpm. And I have now officially gotten back to my pre-pregnancy weight. So every pound here on out counts in my total tally. I kept bumping into women who gained 40-50 lbs. during their pregnancies. Damn! My goal will be to not exceed 25 lbs. People are so lovely and keep telling me I don't look 6 months pregnant. Nicest thing you can say to me right now. My midwife also encouraged me to sign up for classes now. Tom has agreed to go to everything so we'll see how he does.

Baby's Wishlist

In honor of nesting I have put Peanut's registries online. They can be found under the "pregnancy" section in the sidebar. I'm flying kind of blind but I think we picked out some good stuff. I put all the books he wants under my own wishlist.

Early Peas Green

Today I got to trade in the paint chip I've had for over a year for an actual gallon of paint. It can only mean one thing. Yes kids, tomorrow we paint the nursery. Nevermind that I'm walking like Quasimodo from moving the junk out. I have my special fume reducing mask and I'm ready to roll. The nesting instinct is kicking in big time. I won't be happy until everything is hung up, placed and folded to my specifications. I have this whole organization scheme to separate his clothes by age grouping. What can I say I love structure. I get giddy just picturing the little stacks of diapers, onesies and snuggle sacks. Humor me, it's the only thing I'll have control of once Peanut arrives on the scene.
Apparently I look pregnant. At the mall today this young woman with a stroller smiled in my direction. I looked around and sure enough she was looking at me. She wasn't one of my former clients and I didn't recognize her from anywhere else. Then I got it. She's smiling because I am pregnant and soon to be pushing a stroller just like her. This was confirmed only minutes later when a shoe store clerk rushed over to help me retrieve a box from the bottom shelf. I did kind of look pathetic staring at the shoes and trying to figure out how to bend over. So it's public. Now everybody knows. Let the intrusive belly touching by strangers begin. I can't promise I won't bite.

23 Weeks

You know what is the worst thing about being pregnant?
Nothing.
It's not the pains, the weird gastro-intestinal disorders, the oily skin or even the maternity clothes. It's not even the idea of losing control of a body you finally came to an understanding with after 31 years. Mood swings? Nah.
Nothing.
Nothing can touch this. The perfect knowledge that he is in there. He's going to completely change my life. He's a miracle. A gift. Put there by the grace of I don't know what. He's everything I've dreamed he'll be and all the things I can't even imagine. For the rest of my life we'll be connected. I will always be his mother.

22 Weeks

"Your baby now weighs a pound, measures eight inches, and is proportioned like a newborn, albeit a thin one since it has yet to store body fat."

Definitely getting a belly and it has moved way up above my navel. It's weird because it feels hard now. No denying there's a baby growing in there. My mom came to my rescue and hemmed all my maternity pants for me so now I can wear them. It's getting too chilly to get away with the linen drawstring pants I have been wearing all summer.
Tom thinks I am crazy but I think I felt Peanut kick this morning. It was unlike anything I felt before ie., gas pains or uterine stretching. So I am going to believe it was him and wait for the next kick. The only milestones I am watching now are the weeks passing by. Each week getting us closer to when the baby is viable outside the womb.

Oh God. It's Her Again

Dear Mr. Inventory Manager @ the grocery store,

I am sorry for constantly bugging you these last few weeks about what you don't have. I know there are more important things than my pregnant cravings. If you could just get the caramel apple dip back in stock, I promise to stop bothering you about the other things.

Sincerely,
Me (I think we both know who I am. Particularly judging by the look of horror on your face as you see me approach.)

21 Weeks

How could I forget to update yesterday?
No new symptoms. Pretty much still the same that I have been having. Patiently waiting for that third trimester "burst of energy" everyone promised me. It has three weeks to show up. Apparently, according to friends, I now move like I'm pregnant. I can only assume that some how I am walking differently or maybe carrying myself in a burdened manner. My belly is definitely sporting a baby. It is hard underneath and starts above my belly button. No kicks yet from the little guy.
I don't know if it's being halfway there or seeing the ultrasound, but I'm finally believing that I'm pregnant. I have been devouring magazine articles and making practical decisions about preparing the nursery. The other day I got some "footie pjs" and t-shirts because they were on sale. Just stocking up. And who could resist the "Daddy's Little Boy" bib I bought for Tom?
We have discussed possible names and narrowed it down. However neither of us want to call him by his name until he is actually here. We prefer "Peanut" for the time being. I can tell you the name reflects Tom's Irish heritage as that seems incredibly important to him as he contemplates future generations. We're still in negotiations about the middle name.

Update

I changed my pregnancy script on the sidebar to reflect what the midwife thinks is the new due date. Which is weird since we all know the conception date. But this way the baby's growth is more accurate. If he is early, he certainly didn't get it from my side of the family!

19 Weeks Or ?

Big stuff going on today. We had our major ultrasound this morning. They check all the major organs and spinal cord to be sure they are normal. I was nervous to find out anything that might be serious or need surgery. They gave us the thumbs up! I was also worried because I still haven't gained weight. I wanted to hear that Peanut was the right size. Apparently the baby is big enough to be considered 20 weeks along. 11 ounces for our squirt!!! So they think our new expected due date is more like Jan. 28 instead of Feb. 5.
And finally we found out the gender:

Who's That Guy?

Yesterday was a momentous occasion. We were at the mall and I wanted to poke around the maternity store. This is when Tom usually finds something else to do. But he came in with me. Even though I warned him that I would be looking at bras. He stood right in the middle of the racks as I explained the various gadgets that make up a nursing bra. Then he encouraged me to try things on (not the bras you pervs). Tom stood faithfully outside the dressing room and asked to see how I looked. He even picked out pants for me to try on. Apparently he has a real soft spot for women in overalls. I didn't buy any because they made me look too pregnant at this point. So it seems that this pregnancy is really having an effect on my dear husband. I can't wait to see him in birthing class!

18 Weeks

According to my sources: "Things are really moving into place now. This week, your baby's eyes look forward instead of to the side, and his ears are in (or nearly in) their final spot on the sides of his head. Your little one's skeleton is still mostly rubbery cartilage, but it's about to start hardening into bone. As for size, your baby is about 5 1/2 inches long (crown to rump) — about the size of a pickle — and weighs nearly 7 ounces."
Picturing the baby as a pickle makes me giggle. But I am still calling it Peanut for now. I have really started to feel pregnant in the last week. What I mean is like my insides are bigger than my outsides. My clothes are definitely not my friend. I am still wearing regular pants but only if they have a drawstring. This means yoga pants at home and tie at the waist jeans when out. My tops still fit because I still don't have a big belly.
Other symptoms include:
1. No longer gagging when brushing my teeth.
2. Skin still like that of an adolescent. I have implemented a 12 step skin care regimen.
3. Fatigue is finally gone!!! I still need 10 hours of sleep at night.
4. Bizarre need to clean entire rooms from floor to ceiling.
5. Faster pulse rate and rapidly increased heart rate when going up stairs or moving too quickly.
6. Fingernails growing very quickly and very stiff.
7. Spectacularly vivid and weird dreams.

Bibliophile Baby

I just added a boatload of books to my wishlist. They are all children's books. I have been waiting for years to start a library. Thanks to Jenny for the tips on Boyton books. Also the Henry books about a bear's adventures. Only the bear is based on Henry David Thoreau! Those will be right up Tom's alley. I can't wait to buy some of those and get Peanut started on some. Last night I read the baby "Go, Dog, Go!" (PD Eastman) I had forgotten how it ends, delightful. Tonight I think we'll do "Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now!" (Dr. Seuss). There is still time if you want to tell me your favorites to put on Peanut's reading list!

16 Weeks

16 weeks, that's 4 months people! Woohoo! To celebrate I just went out and bought my first articles of maternity wear. Ah, the pants are so comfortable. It is still hot & humid here so I couldn't even try on the fall clothes. Baby steps, baby steps. I also got a pre-natal yoga video. I have basically given up on finding a class locally. I really miss it so I will just do my own stuff at home.
According to child development research the baby can now hear noise outside the womb. So that means no more swearing (kidding). What it really means is that I am going to start reading storybooks to Peanut. I figure we'll start with the Dr. Seuss collection and then go from there. Anyone have any recommendations of favorite childhood books? I am an avid reader and I want the baby to be one too.
Weird symptom that has appeared in the past week. No gag reflex. As in every offensive smell puts me over the top. I have no ability to control it at all. So now garbage kills me and so do last night's dinner dishes. See pregnant women don't really nest. They just are forced to clean all the time so they can keep food down!

15 Weeks

This is my update from last Thursday's midwife appt.
It is the only time I have ever any heard anyone describe my weight as "great." I have gained back 1/2 pound of the five pounds I lost since becoming pregnant. I attribute this to drinking copious amounts of water and the unbelieveable luck of being completely uninterested in sweets. I was never a major junkie but I did have kind of a candy habit going. I am really starting to love this eating extra food thing!
I heard Peanut's heartbeat again and it was loud and easy to find. In fact the baby actually kicked back at the doppler probe! I had a feeling that we had a feisty one in there.
They did tell me that they are changing where they are delivering babies as of next Jan. Which was kind of an adjustment because I researched the previous hospital six years ago when we moved. I can still choose that hospital but I am willing to be open to the other one as well. She described it as "like checking into a bed & breakfast." Sounds good to me. I think Tom & I will probably take a tour of the facility in another couple of months.
This is probably the week where I will break down and go maternity shopping. I am not really showing yet but the pants are starting to feel snug. It's okay to loosen the waist when I am home but a little weird when I am out in public. I looked at more maternity clothes online and feel better about the inevitability of dressing in them atleast through next Feb. My plan is to try and stick with my personal style as much as possible. This will not begin the era of jumpers, rompers or tops with ribbon & bows.

Brain Working

After much confusion and consultation with Erika I finally did something on this page. I added the cool pregnancy script to the sidebar. I got it here. So groovy and she gives it out for free! I love sharing.

13 Weeks 4 Days

Here are the latest symptoms:

1. Still tired.
2. Still burp all the time.
3. Pants getting tight.
4. Gums bleed when I brush.
5. Stuffy nose (yes, this apparently pregnancy related.)
6. Hair better.
7. Skin still crappy.
8. Finally able to have milk again.
9. Insatiable thirst continues.
10. The tiniest outward sign in my lower abdomen of a growing uterus.
11. Ridiculous oohing and aahing over all things baby.

Overflowing

Sometimes during every day life I will stop for a moment and look at Tom. There he is sprawled on the couch, playing with the dogs or laughing at someone's joke. I think to myself, "Right there is my whole life." I am overwhelmed with my love for him and the life we have together. Amazing to love someone that much that I chose as my partner. It makes me wonder about how I will love my child. As idealistic as it sounds I believe I am pregnant with this baby right now for a special reason. We were meant to belong to eachother. A love that makes my heart catch in my throat for a little someone who chose me to be their mom.

Road Trip Vignette

Last Sun.
Approximately 8pm
Somewhere right below the Connecticut border.

Tom and I are stuffing caramels into the air vents. Then we turn the air conditioning on high. All this so we can unwrap them with the least difficulty.

Me: This is weird.
Tom: It's working.
Me: Do you think we might be too silly to be parents?
Tom: We have our mature moments.
Me: Oh yeah, when?
Tom: (Pause) Yeah I'm gonna have to think about that one.


PS My brother thinks that this kind of ingenuity is exactly what we need to be good parents.

Farm Fun

I am feeling much better today! Still tired but happy. Thanks so much for the virtual lovin' and support. I think part of the problem is being lonely. I pretty much go back and forth to work and that is it. So today on my way home I stoppped by the place I used to work a few years ago. I still have friends there so I spent several hours catching up. And everyone was so happy for me because they knew how long I have been wanting to get pregnant.
Then I popped in to Babies *R' Us to look at cribs up close and personal. I found a crib and changing table I like for later when the nursery is painted. Of course I couldn't resist looking at all the other stuff. I'm turning into one of those people who gushes over anything baby related. There was no way I was walking out of there empty handed. Behold the latest purchase for Peanut. (Don't worry I'm not gonna post a pic of everything I buy. But it's all so cute.)

The whole ensemble. (That's fleece, perfect for winter babies.):

Outfit 1.JPG

The adorable hat:

Hat 1.JPG

Today

I do my best crying in the shower.
I remember a few days after the embryo transfer I stood in the shower and cried. That was out of happiness. I told myself that no matter what happened it was worth it. Worth it for the chance. Worth it because for atleast one moment I had an embryo growing inside me. I had potential.

I took a shower about a half hour ago. It is so humid and I have felt so crappy the past two days. I've never been weepy and hormonal before. But then I have never been pregnant before either. So I stood in the shower and cried. Cried because I am so tired. And I am so tired of being tired from the minute I wake up until I absolutely die into bed at night. And I feel guilty because there are thousands of women who would give anything to be in my place. Up until 12 weeks ago I was one of those women. But today right now I am sad. And I am crying while writing this. But this is how I feel and it is real. And tomorrow I hope to wake up and be back to me.

Fit For A King Or Queen

It's amazing that someone who knows basically nothing about pregnancy and babies can suddenly have very strong opinions. I am referring to myself here. I decided to browse online for baby furniture. I really only need a crib and changing table. I have the color scheme and decor all ready. Heck, I've had years to think about those things. I also have a mental image of what I want. White crib, sleigh bed style w/ beadboard on the ends. Of course I can't find it anywhere yet. But browsing I did learn that you can pay outrageous amounts for this stuff if you want to. Not me, I've always been a bargain hunter at heart. Don't get me wrong, I love expensive things. But only when someone else is paying (ie. parents).
Then I saw this one. Sheep and bees handpainted on each piece? Eeee...it's like a dream come true! Did you catch the price? Yeah, that was $1,099.99. Not gonna happen. Scroll down that page and you'll see they have round cribs. Who knew? I could get lost in all of this stuff.

11 Weeks And 1 Day

I went to Target (pronounced Tar-jay) to pick up some basic household items. Somehow I ended up in the baby section. Okay I went there on purpose. I gotta say that they had some really nice things there. I decided yesterday that I wanted to buy a present for Peanut. This is the first time since finding out I am pregnant that I felt safe to do so. I didn't realize how much I was holding my emotional breath until I got through my first trimester. Which is technically next week, but this week's heartbeat has me dancing on clouds.
So I browsed the baby aisle and didn't see anything that jumped out. And then there it was. Of course it is obvious why I choose it. My honeybee romance continues.

Baby Bib.JPG
For Peanut

I want to write you a poem.
I want to write you a book.
Fill the pages with words dripping with how I feel about you.
But how do you say everything?
How do I get you to believe I wanted you from before I knew you could exist?
Because when the others kept saying it couldn't be done.
I knew I could love you enough to make you real.

And now you are here.
I can carry you inside me.
Not only in my heart, but better yet, inside the deepest part of what makes me a woman.

The greatest gift I have ever been given.
Until the day we meet.
When eveything I was before will blend with everything you'll become.
Hurry and grow,
grow closer to that moment.

Dub-dub Dub-dub

Just got back from my first mid-wife appointment. It was great and I felt so comfortable. She gave me a full physical and everything checked out fine. I lost another 2 pounds but I am sure they, along with several of their friends will be back in the next few months. I asked for an ultrasound and she said no problem. I have one scheduled in two weeks. She also said I could come back as much as I want to hear the heartbeat or check in. She recognized that those of us pregnant after infertility need extra assurances. I don't think I will bug them that much but it's nice to know I can.
Then she showed me how to feel my uterus above my pelvic bone. That was the weirdest thing ever! Well, not ever but atleast so far. Then she pulled out her little heartbeat machine. I held my breath forever. Then there it was. Dub-dub, dub-dub. And I was in awe.
So here I am with a healthy pregnancy and a baby that is growing like it is supposed to. How did I ever get this lucky?

Super Dud

Dear Friends Who Call After 10pm,

I am no longer the vampire-like night owl who was in her prime at midnight. Although we don't have any babies sleeping, I am currently growing one. I love you and very much want to speak with you. However, I respectfully request that you adjust your free wheelin' lifestyle to take my sleepy person into account. Please feel free to call and chat at any other time during the day. (After 10am and before 8pm.)

Sincerely,
Me

10 Week Update

I am 10 weeks and 2 days along. I am still waiting to feel the baby. Yes, yes, I know it's too early. But I can wish right? My symptoms around this time are:

1. Fatigue
2. Bad skin
3. Burping
4. Aversions to milk, potatoes, bananas and sugary stuff. (That last one is the hardest.)

All you pregnant or previously pregnant women get ready to throw something at me.

I haven't had ANY morning sickness. None. I am even worried because I am afraid it is a bad thing. Of all the people in the world I felt sure I would have it. Trust me I am usually a big puker. Boats, foul smells, swallowing toothpaste. It all used to set me off. I've got nothing. My midwife appt. is this week and I'm going to ask for an ultrasound. I haven't seen Peanut in 4 weeks. I need the comfort of seeing the heartbeat right now. There is no way I can wait until 15 weeks.

Tall Order

I took a killer nap today. It was good at first but then I couldn't wake up and my subconscious kept holding me down. So I had that really creepy feeling like I couldn't move my arms and I was drowning. The worst. That is what I get for not taking any naps this week like I could just wish the pregnancy fatigue away.
Earlier I was on my way home from work and daydreaming through all the damn Masshole drivers. Why with all the changes to my body couldn't I get taller during pregnancy? I mean just for nine months. My seatbelt shoulder strap would finally fit without choking me. Capri pants would fall at mid calf instead of my ankles. Men wouldn't have to get stiff necks while talking to my breasts. See, everyone would benefit. I think I am actually shrinking!

Yellow River

Note to self: Giving blood and urine samples to the doctor just causes trouble.

I finally returned all the messages on the answering machine while we were gone. Apparently I have a urinary tract infection. Yippee! I have never had one in my life and am not having any symptoms. Both of these phenomena are common with pregnancy. So I'll be choking down antibiotics for the next seven days. The pharmacist said to take them on an empty stomach. I told him that pregnant women don't have empty stomachs. He laughed and said to try my best.

PS Bless my friend JC who keeps telling me I look thinner every week. This pregnant chick needs her special angels.

You Must Be Crazy?

Some of my friends and family have asked about me mentioning a midwife. I guess we had never discussed what I wanted my birthing experience to be like. Several years ago a co-worker described her midwife experience to me and it sounded really nice. This does not mean I want to have my baby at home, underwater or in a chair. Not that there is anything wrong with those options. But I am all about the hospital and emergency medical care should the need arise. I want a more personal experience than you get with most doctors. I want to hear all of my options and most importantly I want them to hear me. Even though I conceived with IVF that doesn't mean that I shouldn't have as normal as a pregnancy and birth as any other woman. They say a positive outlook is really important during pregnancy. I want a relationship with my caregiver that allows me to feel comfortable and an active part of the decisions made in my care. I don't know a lot about labor & delivery but I have some definite opinions either way about some procedures. I will be giving birth (hopefully) in a hospital, supported by the most important people in my life and seconds away from a doctor if anything happens. That and a healthy baby are my deepest wishes.

I copied the text below from Maternity Wise which describes the role of a midwife.

Eight Weeks

Had my first prenatal visit today. Ironically I got the same nurse who a year ago said I should wait nine months before worrying about infertility. Boy am I glad I didn't listen to her. She was fine and I only see her this once before seeing my midwife. I actually lost three pounds since becoming pregnant. So that's always nice. Otherwise she didn't tell me anything I haven't read or heard about all ready. The schedule of classes was kind of overwhelming. I'm just not ready to think about labor and breastfeeding yet. Can't I just be pregnant?
It is ridiculously hot today. So I planned my afternoon around being in air conditioning. First some leisure time while getting my brakes fixed and then some mall time. I need new bras because that part of my body is definitely getting bigger. Not something I am looking forward to. I also want a new outfit to wear on vacation next week. Can you say "drawstring waist?" They make me very happy.

Not Myself

Today a friend emailed to congratulate me on my pregnancy. She ended with "enjoy every minute of growing your baby." I am really.
But noone told me about the constant fatigue. And that my gastrointestinal system would betray me. Or that my skin would breakout and my hair would be greasy.
You can imagine how sexy I am right now huh? But I don't care. I have to stop and remind myself, "hey, you've gotta a baby in there." And it is so worth it.

PS Erika says our ultrasound looks like a peanut. So that it what we have started calling it. Peanut. It's gender neutral. It works.

Things I Learned

I learned a couple of things this week.

1. No matter how tired and crappy you feel. There is always someone having a worse time. Scrape off the self-pity to reach out and help them smile.

2. I should blog earlier in the day because no matter if I've had my nap. I still run out of steam around 8pm.

3. Apparently, even if you know the moment of conception you still add two weeks to your pregnancy. So magically today I am seven weeks instead of the five weeks I thought I was. I don't know exactly how it works but you'll get no argument from me.

Under The Sea

Yay! According to the FDA I am allowed to eat some seafood and fish during pregnancy. I was so worried on how I was going to survive nine months without some of my favorite foods.
To summarize, I may have weekly servings of:
Scallops, lobster, King crab, catfish, sole/flounder.
No mercury in:
Salmon, shrimp, tilapia, clams.
It was killing me to think that during our Maine vacation I was going to have to abstain from lobster. Last year I had it five times during our seven day stay. I love my lobster.
So I will take it easy this year but still get to have atleast one treat. And to think Tom thought he was getting off cheap this time.

Holy Heartbeat, Batman!

We got our second look at the baby today. Wow has he grown in a week! Sure he is approximately a half an inch but that seems huge to us. There he was big and beautful dancing on the screen. Okay maybe not dancing per se but I am biased here.
Best of all there was his heart going pitty pat. Clear as day. 130 beats per minute.
Could I get more sickening with the tiny baby love? I don't care. It makes up for the exhaustion and sick tummy.
So our clinic has bid us farewell and good luck. I am released to the care of a regular OB. My plan is to call this week to setup an appointment with a midwife. So in honor of this news I have added "pregnancy" as a category here and will be posting all future updates under that heading. I will leave the heading "infertility" symbolically behind. Although I still think of us that way. Tom, me and our "special" package.