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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The not-so weekly, I'm a slacker, poll

How far along? 37 weeks 3 days


Weight gain: Up 30 total, that's 6 pounds in 2 weeks.  Although I'm making myself feel better by saying that it's mostly water weight.  Each of my feet must have gained a pound, and my hands probably half a pound each in swelling alone.  I'm still in denial about the size of my butt, but we'll deal with that later.


Belly measurement: 


Stretch marks? Yup.  I found them.  Under my belly and breasts.  Sorry Playboy, I'm going to have to cancel that photo shoot...


Sleep? I'm peeing a lot still, but now I'm also suffering from allergies.  So I can't breathe through my nose or I have snot leaking out of it anytime I lay down.  I like naps.


Best moment this week? A surprise shower at school.  It was sooo nice.  I wasn't expecting anything and it was fun to get some more clothes and baby things!


Food cravings: Nothing out of the ordinary this week (except the left over ice cream cake that is calling my name from the freezer).  Orange juice is still my favorite in the morning.


Weirdest symptom: pelvic pain.  It feels like what I would imagine my pelvic bones separating would feel like.  I read somewhere that people feel like the baby is just going to fall out, and that is definitely what it feels like.  Although I know it won't be that easy.


Funny Pregnancy Moment: One day last week one of my students asked me if I'd had the baby yet... when I asked him if he thought it looked like I'd had the baby he said "well maybe that's a different baby in there"


Labor signs: 1 cm dilated.  Even the doctor was surprised.  Although this doesn't really mean anything by way of when the baby will get here, it's good to know that things are progressing in the right direction.  I'm also starting to get some period like cramps here and there.


Belly button in or out? still in, but I think it's going to stay in, now.  Although today the "hot poker in the belly button" pain from 2nd trimester has returned, so we shall see


Movement? He was all over the place in church on Sunday, so much so that my mom actually finally got to see him move.  He gets the hiccups all the time, too.


What I miss? I don't miss anything this week ;)


What I'm looking forward to:  Getting to meet the little guy.  I can't wait to see who he looks like ;)


Weekly wisdom: Let friends and family know what time nap time is daily, that way you won't have any surprise guests or phone calls during nap time. The last 2 days in a row, I laid down for an afternoon nap and someone showed up at the door.  With 2 dogs, it's impossible to come near my house and not be noticed.  Luckily, I got to take a nap a little later.


Milestones: My ticker says he's the size of a watermelon... I believe it.  I kind of want to strap a watermelon to Mike and make him walk around with it for a little while... but I think that might be cruel and unusual punishment.



I'm going to put a belly picture in later... I forgot to have Mike take one last night!!


P.S. - I'd love to hear from anyone who reads!  Leave me a comment below ;), let me know about your blog, too, so I can kill time at work ;)

Monday, September 27, 2010

"We should put the pillows in the Jeep right now..."

That's what Mike said when I told him I was 1 cm dilated after my appointment last week.  Then he proceeded to look for pillow cases.

Honey, no need to panic.  Yes this means I could go into labor at any time, but lets remember they still want me to labor at home for a while.  I'm sure we'll have plenty of time to get the pillows in the jeep, and if we don't have enough time, I have a feeling pillows will not be a priority.

Next came the worries about the hospital bag.  We have an empty bag in the corner of our bedroom that we're intending to put hospital bag things into, but neither of us have actually gotten around to thinking about it.

::insert panic attack about what the heck goes in a hospital bag::

Wow, I hadn't even begun to think about that yet.  Google isn't really being helpful, its just giving me everything under the sun that I could possible need if in fact there is a world disaster while I'm in the hospital.  That tends to increase my anxiety - and now I think we need a second bag...

One idea that I've come across that I like is a labor bag and a post-partum bag.  The PP bag stays in the car until we are in the post-partum room.  So here's my checklists for each bag (are you surprised that I'm making checklists?? you shouldn't be).  Please let me know what I'm forgetting and what I can forget...

Labor Bag
-cell phone chargers
-camera and charger
-2 pillows (I think I should move this to the top of the list for Mike)
-socks
-hair ties
-hard candy, snacks, drinks, water, and according to the nurse who taught the birthing class a major sandwich/lunch for Mike (she also said that the mother in labor could make this for her husband while trying to get through contractions at the counter... fat chance, methinks)
-massaging things (that darn tennis ball, lol)
-flip flops for the shower
-glasses/contacts/solution
-lip balm
-aspirin/TUMS for Mike

Post-Partum bag
-nursing bra, pads, cream, cover
-breast pump
-nightgown/bathrobe (I don't know if they'll let me wear my own stuff)
-more socks and underwear (although I'm looking forward to the disposable underwear they give you and the sexy no-slip grippy socks)
-receiving blanket, warm blanket
-hair brush
-toothbrush, toothpaste
-soap, shampoo, deodorant etc
-wash cloths (towels???)
-baby outfit, hat
-baby book (OMG! I need to buy a baby book, I'm such a bad mom already!!)
-going home clothes for me and Mike

That's all I have right now...  I'm trying very hard not to go over board.  Again, let me know what I'm missing or what I really don't need.

Next, more news from my shrinking wallet.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Warning - Religious post :)

I try to keep this a non-denominational place for baby related stuff, but I have to say that religion has been such a huge part of my life that it is impossible not to bring it up from time to time.  This weekend, the fabulous ladies at Woon. Assembly of God threw me the most thoughtful shower - and this is my gift to them, a small testimonial of how I became barefoot and pregnant. 

I can say that it was a long road and I can say that it was a difficult road at times.  I never expected to be someone who had trouble getting knocked up - I didn't know of anyone that I was related to that had trouble.  I also never expected to have such a difficult time emotionally with everything. 

When Mike and I decided to try to start a family, we both knew that we wanted a family and were excited to get started, I think we both expected to be pregnant right away.  In school you always learn that "if you have unprotected sex you might get pregnant."  I was completely unaware of how unaware I was.  Pregnancy is truly a miracle - whether it happens unexpectedly, after trying, or after treatments.  I did a lot of research when we started having trouble - I was checking cervical mucus, taking and charting my temperature, taking supplements, carefully timing everything - and it didn't work.

I can't pretend that I am the most pious, christian girl, but my beliefs have never really wavered.  I don't always make the right choices, I make mistakes, and sometimes I even skip church.  I might have a temper, and a sarcastic sense of humor.  I don't always do my devotional or say a prayer before bed - but during the time we were trying, it was even more difficult to stay on track.  I felt like a failure.  I couldn't even get pregnant. 
Maybe I didn't deserve it? 
Maybe I wouldn't be a good mom?
Maybe Mike and I weren't meant to be parents?

We both had a hard time dealing with the emotions and it became an argument for us.  At any point in time, we could point the finger at each other and say "you're not trying hard enough" but really it was just the fear that there was something wrong with one of us - but we didn't know what.

Around the 1 year mark, I made an appointment at a fertility clinic to start testing.  At that time, I found out that we have infertility coverage through Mike's insurance, but only a $5000 lifetime limit.  Yikes.  That would barely cover the testing we'd have to go through.

I can remember sitting on the floor of my living room, bawling my eyes out, with the novel of paperwork I was supposed to fill out about when my mother-in-laws paternal grandfather last sneezed.  It was awful to know that there might be something wrong with us and we wouldn't be able to pay for the treatments we needed in order to start a family.  Equally as terrifying was the thought that there was nothing wrong with us - we were just being punished.

At that time, Mike and I decided to take a trip to Disney for our anniversary.  I had found an awesome deal and we wanted to take one last fun trip before we started saving for fertility treatments.  It was the best trip ever.  We had so much fun - I even came home pregnant!

It was the most exciting feeling in the world to know that we had finally accomplished what we'd set out to accomplish, we were starting a family, and this little person was going to change our lives forever.  Mike could barely contain his excitement and immediately told everyone he saw.  We were expecting a little baby in May 2010 and I gladly canceled my appointment at the fertility clinic.

A few short weeks later, I started bleeding at work, and we lost our little miracle.  It was a both physically and emotionally painful moment of my life.  I felt like I had just been slammed back to earth.  Back to the doubt, pity, sadness, frustration... this was definitely a "Why God??" moment. 

Add an insensitive doctor's office and no one who I felt really understood what I was going through.  It was not fun.  I might've taken it out on a few loved ones along the way, and for that I apologize again.

I can honestly say I was broken.  There was little happiness in anything in life.  I blamed Mike, I blamed myself, I blamed God.  It wasn't fair.  Why does ::insert name of pregnant friend, family member, acquaintance:: deserve to be pregnant and I don't?

We were back to where we started.  I wasn't ready to go back to the clinic - and I had almost wanted to just forget about trying.  When I go back and read my posts, even the positive ones, I can tell that I was just trying to convince myself that I wasn't meant to be a mother, that "everything happens for a reason," but I wasn't really believing it.

I definitely started praying more during this time.  Praying for strength, clarity, and a baby.  Sometimes I found going to church difficult - so I wouldn't go.  Just because everyone was so happy and I wasn't. 

I can remember, maybe a month after the miscarriage, I was teaching Children's Church and the lesson plan that I opened that Sunday morning was about Sarah - praying for a baby even though she was thought to be too old.  The lesson focus was on waiting on prayer and having patience.  Seriously?  The entire time all I could hear was Alanis Morissette "Isn't it Ironic?" playing in my head.  I guess I wasn't ready to hear the message God was trying to send me.

Living through the holidays was difficult.  I had imagined a pregnant holiday for me and Mike, but that wasn't happening.  I threw a baby shower for my cousin, at my house.  I watched friends' bellies grow while mine was just squishy from eating too many sweets.  I contemplated going back to charting and all the other crazy stuff that I did, but I couldn't really bring myself to do it.  I knew all I needed to know about getting pregnant, it was either going to happen or it wasn't.

In January of 2010, we had a change of pastor in our church.  Our founding pastor - the man who ran the church as long as I've been alive, married Mike and I - got sick and was unable to continue to run the church so we obtained an interim pastor.  Pastor Ray.  I started going to church more - somewhat out of curiosity, because I'd pretty much come to terms with the fact that no matter how much I prayed, God might not give me a baby.

I don't remember the date, or the week, but It had to be somewhere in January or early February, that Pastor Ray gave a sermon about patience.  The same exact message that I had taught in Children's Church only a few months earlier.  He talked about praying and waiting - and that sometimes the answer from God isn't "no" it's just "not right now."

It wasn't anything I had never heard before, actually I had taught it before, but this new voice just seemed to speak right to my heart.  I sat in church and I prayed, but not for a baby, for patience and the ability to accept a baby when it was God's timing.  I prayed that I would be ok with not having a baby until I did.

And I prayed that same prayer every day after that.  No more than a month later, when I didn't even think I had ovulated yet, I found out I was pregnant.  And I knew that this time I'd get to meet him.

So 9 months later, I sit here and I can only thank God for this gift (while he kicks me in the ribs).  I can't give credit to anyone else.  And although I know Mike and I had a part in it ::wink, wink:: I really needed to have that change of heart.  After all I went through, I just had to trust that God would follow through when he was ready, not when I was ready.  I also had to trust the gut feeling (that I can imagine was there for a reason) that we weren't ready for testing and treatments. 

I also need to put in a disclaimer, because I know many women who are suffering from Infertility, which is different from my experience and that is a journey all its own.  There are many diagnosis - Poly-cystic Ovarian Syndrome, Endometriosis, Male Infertility issues, are just a few - that prevent many couples from getting pregnant without treatment.  I am in no way saying that prayer is always a cure for medical issues or should be used in replacement of treatment, but I am saying that no matter what you're going through, God is still there and can give you the patience, determination, strength, and guidance to get through your own personal journey.

Throughout this pregnancy I have been reminded of how lucky that Mike and I actually are.  We have so many people that care about us and Ezra it's amazing.  We really have everything we need, support included, and can only thank all of our friends and family for that.  God really does provide - I'm proof of that.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Holy Crap, I have to give birth to this baby...

Yes, this is how I'm feeling this morning.  Like someone just hit me over the head with a car seat and the reality of the situation knocked me on my butt.

In this situation, our all-day long birthing class is the hypothetical car-seat-over-the-head.

I think I've been somewhat in denial, or at least just avoiding the idea of actual birth - baby coming out of my body birth.  I think I've always known that one day I would have an inside baby and then something crazy would happen and the next day I would have an outside baby.  I most definitely was not thinking about the logistics of it all.

I have to say, I learned a ton of stuff that I didn't know - which is great.  The labor and delivery nurse that taught the class for our practice was WONDERFUL.  She was knowledgeable, experienced, confident, caring, and completely nuts - my kinda girl.  You could tell she's delivered thousands of babies in her tenure and loved each and every one of them.  She understood the neurosis of a pregnant woman and was able to answer questions without creating more neurosis.

She used a lot of visuals (I am a visual learner) and explained the process of labor in a very safe, non threatening way.  She was not at all in denial about the pain but she just made you feel like in this moment I'll be able to handle it when that day comes.  She talked about epidurals, ways to make yourself relax through contractions, and how not to strangle your husband (also, for husbands how not to get strangled).

Mike and I had difficulty with the breathing techniques - we laughed the entire time, screwed up the directions, and just couldn't take the he-he-he-he-hoo seriously.  I do feel like we have a small bag of tricks for that day - we'll just have to see if we remember them.

I also think it was hard for us not to laugh at the other couples who were in war mode with breathing.  Huddled in corners, serious faces, quiet discussions of the effectiveness of each technique - we're obviously still in denial about actual birth.   Either that or somewhere in my brain, I realize that a few he-he-he-hoo's WILL NOT eliminate the pain.  I'm sure we won't have the giggles in the Labor and Delivery room!

At one point we (the moms) were supposed to communicate to our "coaches" about where the pain is and where they should rub this tennis ball on our back while we're bent over a chair.  (I'm sure some of you just giggled with the visual).  I'm sure on D-Day, I will be VERY good at communicating where it hurts and what I would like my "coach" to do, but in a dark room with yoga music playing and 20 other people, it just makes me giggle.  Insert a few serious couples, and I couldn't hold it together.

She did have us do an interesting exercise with an ice cube.  We had to hold the ice cube in our hands, do the breathing, coaches rubbing our backs for 45 seconds.  The ice was cold, and it hurt, a little.  Then we put the cube in our other hand, not doing the rubbing or the breathing, and the ice cube melted super fast and physically hurt my hand within 15 seconds.  Interesting.

Hands down the best part of the day was a bacon burger, cheese fries, and a vanilla shake at Stanley Burger.  Yum Yum.

We also did a tour of the hospital - which everyone says makes you feel better.  Well I think this was where I had my car-seat-over-the-head moment.  Holy crap, we'll be in one of these rooms trying to squeeze out an 8 lb baby in a mere 5ish weeks.

Not to mention 20 people squished in a room definitely triggered my mild claustrophobia - which doesn't help.

We did learn where Mike should park the car on that fateful day, to ask for a "new" room so we can have a window, a bathroom, and a shower if one's available, and where my parents will be camping for a long stretch of time.  Useful information.  Also, the nurse was great at making sure we understood that this will still be our baby and we really can make a lot of decisions about how things will go after the baby is here.  Comforting.

I just keep trying to remind myself "I will not have control" and "go with the flow." I'm hoping to keep some of my sense of humor about the situation, too.

Weekly poll:

How far along? 35 weeks 1 day, 34 days until my due date

Weight gain: Up 24 total, that's 5 pounds in 2 weeks.  Yikes!

Belly measurement: 42 and 7/8"  up 5/8's of an inch in 2 weeks (so I guess that's why my butt doesn't fit in my maternity jeans anymore... it's not going to the belly)

Stretch marks? I'm not sure if I care anymore

Sleep? Up every hour or so to pee.  And in the mornings, I tend to lay awake and think for a few hours. 

Best moment this week? Nothing exciting happened this week...

Food cravings: Orange juice.  I could drink 5 glasses in the morning.  Not good for heart burn, but still delicious.

Weirdest symptom: Swollen feet/cankles.  Sometimes, they feel like bags of water.  See previous post for photo evidence.

Funny Pregnancy Moment: Me, bent over a chair, in a room full of people he-he-he-hoo'ing while Mike rolled a tennis ball on my back.  I think it'll make me laugh for months!

Labor signs: Nothing yet.  Just hip/pelvic pain, but not bad.

Belly button in or out? In, but definitely outward bound!

Movement? This morning, Mike put his arm around me and felt Ezra's night kicks and he was surprised at how strong they are.  He moves so much more when I'm laying down than during the day.

What I miss? I don't miss anything this week ;)

What I'm looking forward to: After labor and delivery, holding our little baby. 

Weekly wisdom: Take the birthing class, it's worth it - even if it's a little silly

Milestones: Yesterday was 35/35 - 35 weeks, 35 days until due date.

Here's a belly picture:

Cloth Diaper Lovers-free give away

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To celebrate our cloth diaper blog makeover, we're throwing an online party and giving away over $1000 in cloth diapers to four very lucky celebrants.

Grand prize - $500 gift certificate to Diaper Junction to buy whatever you want!
1st prize - 12 pack Fuzzi Bunz One size diapers in choice of colors
2nd prize - GroVia "Half Time" Package in choice of colors.
3rd prize - bumGenius! One size pocket diapers in choice of colors.

There are multiple ways to win and winners will be drawn on October 13th.
Enter to win at www.clothdiaperblog.com

Thursday, September 9, 2010

They call me... Bargain Shopper

I think knowing that I only have 5ish weeks left has sent me on a shopping spree, (getting paychecks again because I'm back to work might also be the culprit, but we can blame the baby can't we?).

Although, I have become quite the bargain shopper.  Watch out coupons, watch out craigslist, I'm looking for deals and taking names!  That might be a little dramatic, but it does feel good to get a deal.

This week at Target the Medela Pump In-Style was on sale for approximately 20% off.  Add a 10% completion coupon and another 10% coupon and I paid about $180 for a $279.99 breast pump.  Awesome!

I'm going to keep it sealed in the package until I'm home from the hospital and everything (with my boobs) is going well.  My cousin (Danielle, what would I do without you!) has also given me an older breast pump that I'll probably use first just to make sure all is well before I open this one.  But I couldn't pass up such a fabulous deal on a very highly recommended pump - considering we'll probably being having more babies in the future.

I also bought some cute baby clothes (size 6 months, for later in life) on sale/clearance, too.  I love baby clothes!



I've also found a new addiction thanks to another cousin of mine (thanks Heather!), DiaperSwappers.com.  Basically, it's a lot of cloth diapering mama's who are selling homemade wares, slightly to very used cloth diapers, and in some cases almost or completely brand new dipes for a discounted price.  I have been stalking the forums looking for deals, and decided to get some newborn size diapers for when the baby is first home from the hospital.  This means, we can skip disposables pretty much all together - hey, I'm going to save a buck wherever I can.

I got some gently used (read "used for about 2 months") highly recommended Kissaluv size 0's.  They retail for about 12 bucks a pop (more for the colored ones which I scored) and I paid a little under $7 a diaper including shipping for 12.  Here's a picture of them:


Basically, they are just the absorbent part of the diaper, secured with snaps and elastic.  Much easier than folding the old fashioned diapers and securing with a pin.  They are adjustable and fit a baby from 5 lbs to 15lbs - so about 3ish months depending on how big Ezra is.

I also got some homemade fitteds - basically the same as the kissaluvs, 12 for 20 bucks. (I'd post a picture but they haven't arrived yet)  So a total of $100 for a 2 day supply of diapers.  All I need is a few covers - because they'll leak through, it's only the absorbent part- and I have an entire newborn stash for about 100 bucks.  Not bad!!

Someone showed me a diaper study that said you'd use about 60 diapers a week for the first 8 weeks = 560 diapers total.  "They" say about $80 a month is needed for disposables (I don't know if that's a bargain or not), 80 x 3 months = $240.  So I've saved at least $100.  If I add in what I'll get for them when I resell them, or use them again for future babes, the savings only go up!

To a real bargain shopper this would mean money in savings, but if you know me, this just means I'll probably spend the money on something else.  Like this:
::drools::  I have tried to break my Vera habit, but it's not working...

I could list a few more things, but I'll refrain.  My impulse control is a little lower than usual with pregnancy, and this would not be an appropriate purchase for a Bargain Shopper.

P.S. Don't be shy to leave a comment (::points down::), if you select Name/URL from the menu, you can just type a name into it or leave it anonymous.  I'd love to hear from any of you!! ;)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

22 work days....

I was excited when I counted only 22 work days left!

But now I'm not sure if my feet will make it...



Yes, those are also cankles.  Cute, I know.

I've decided not to unload the dishwasher until later.  TV with my feet up for a little bit should do the trick!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Back to school - Bubbla Nazi

Apparently, that's what I've turned into at school.

I have the pleasure of having my classroom right outside of the student bathrooms and water fountain (or bubbla if you are from RI... how many of you had no clue what I was talking about??).  On hot days the kids line up all day long to fill their water bottles with the coldest water in the building.

Kids, in a line, with no teacher in the immediate vicinity = talking, fighting, squeaking their wet sneakers, etc, etc. 

This means I'm in and out of my room 86 times a day, reminding the students that they need to shut their traps, keep their feet still, and get the heck back to their classes.  I've turned into the Bubbler Nazi. 
 
Last week I was worried about how clean the pool was and if I had laid out enough that day, this week I'm worried about who's talking in the bubbler line. The things you forget about when you're on summer vacation. 

I guess my first week at school is going pretty good if my biggest stress is who's talking in the bubbler line.  It could always be worse...