Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Date Night Outfit

Well, I didn't get a picture of my outfit on the night Jon took me to see MammaMia, but I wore it again at church yesterday, so I had Jon take a picture. It's funny to see Jon's perspective...I look so different from two feet up! :) The shirt is compliments of KarenD, and the skirt was $7 on sale at Motherhood Maternity!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Dr. Appointment

Today's dr. appointment required a lot of wait time. Evidently Dr. K was delivering a baby, so we had to wait awhile. When the time came, it was pretty routine. Here are my stats:

Weight: Gained 2lbs. Total of 16lbs.
Uterus: 31-32cms
Blood pressure: 118/79
Caleb's heart rate: 154bpm

We asked Dr. K about a "walking epidural," which is the pain relief of an epidural while maintaining the ability to walk. It seems like the best of both worlds, but it's still pretty rare, and it turns out it's not offered at my hospital. *sigh* We talked with Dr. K about the possibility of us delivering while she's on vacation (missions in Southwest Asia, as a matter of fact), and she said that the other doctors are a lot like her in the way they operate, so not to worry. She said that I'm likely to be late since it's my first baby, so she might even be back by the time Caleb comes. In which case, she's on call the whole week of Thanksgiving, so we'd have her without a doubt. Unlike what the scheduler said at the last appointment, she didn't mention induction at all, which is good. I'm sure as we get closer we'll know a little more.

We also asked if she could tell if Caleb was head up or down. She poked around a bit, decided that she couldn't really tell, and said, "Well, let's just start up the sonogram machine and find out!" So, once again, our patience (and picking the last appt. slot of the day) paid off, and we got a sonogram!
That's his face in the upper right half, facing the camera. Dr. K said it looked like he's already working on a full head of hair! She also said his bladder looked unusually large, which either meant he just needed to pee, or it could be an indicator of something wrong. She's not the one trained to notice things like that, so she scheduled for us to have a quick sono on our next appt, this time with the sonographer, to see if the trained eye noticed anything wrong. I don't think it's anything to worry about at all, and we get another sonogram!

All in all, it was worth the wait, and a very good appointment!

Belly Pics are up!

Norvell Newbie has heard the cries of its readers (especially Holly...), and the new pics are up! I've added four, weeks 29-32, and sped it up quite a bit. Now it's like a video! :) I'm much bigger than week 28, which you've been seeing for awhile. Still, people still guess I'm only six months along, and always tell me how small I am. Oh, well! I'm just naturally petite. Haha!

Thirty-Two Weeks

This will be short and sweet because I'm hoping to put up a few posts today.

Caleb is approximately 3.75 pounds and 16.7 inches. I should be gaining about a half a pound a week now, as he continues to grow in preparation of his Big Debut!

My blood volume has increased by 40-50%! That factors in to my weight gain, as a matter of fact. Sitting on hard chairs is extremely uncomfortable; I took a blanket to sit on during Sunday School, which worked for about an hour, and then I needed to constantly readjust.

I think I'm getting a few more stretch marks. I know they're inevitable, and I also know I'll be expanding quite a bit more before it's all said and done, so I guess I better get used to it! I've made it this far with no stretch marks on my belly, though the skin is all mottled-looking, like it could become one big stretch mark overnight. I'm still holding out hope, though!

I had a second baby shower, put on by friends at church. It was a great shower, and I got lots of practical things from the girls who are moms now. Many of the gifts were not on my registry, but things they themselves found very helpful/useful, so that was neat. When I got home, I put it all away, and resorted what I already had. I've got a box of things that can be returned, and a small list of items I need to buy before Caleb comes. The returned items plus gift cards I've received should cover that list, and then everything else we'll get for Christmas gifts or just figure out we don't need! I've gone back through my registry and taken off some items to simplify things a little more.

I heard yesterday that Caleb should be turned into "birthin' position" head down by now, and pretty settled. I can't really tell. I feel like his back is along the left hemisphere of the uterus, with his feet kicking my right side. But whether he's head up or down, I don't know. That's one of my questions for the doctor this afternoon.

I feel like things are going pretty well as far as preparations go. Still, I also think I could quit working now and spend the entire time doing baby-related stuff: blogging, laundry, pictures, shopping, finding coupons, researching products...oh, and looking for a job for Jon! With all that on my mind plus preparing for maternity leave at work, I'm pretty scatterbrained, but "this too shall pass!"

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A great shower!

I will be having three baby showers for Caleb: one from work, one from church, and one from family and friends. The family and friends shower was the first, hosted by KarenN last Saturday. It was such a great shower!

As I got ready on Saturday, I told Jon, "You know, I'm really looking forward to this shower, because everyone there loves us, and already loves Caleb!"

And it's true. Most showers, there are the random people there--maybe they don't know you that well, or had to ask "girl or boy?" before they ran out and got a gift. There are the friends you haven't seen in awhile, and so you haven't really gotten to catch up with them. But this shower, well I'm pretty sure everyone there is a faithful reader of this blog, and gosh, I think every one of them had already been showering Caleb with gifts throughout the whole pregnancy! So it was a special group.

One of the greatest joys of the day was having my mother-in-law, Mary, make the 7-hour drive for the sole purpose of the shower. She came in Friday night, left Sunday morning, and we kept her busy all day Saturday!

Because Mary was there, Jon and I got to the shower early, so we could visit with her. She brought out a bag full of Jon's things from when he was a baby--including his baby book and some beautiful clothes that were used as part of the shower decorations. Looking through all those things was neat, and I can't wait for Caleb to play with toys his daddy played with.

KarenN's house was beautiful--as always! The shower was a luncheon, and the tables were set with china and roses everywhere! The placemats and napkins were even made from baby-related fabric. The food was delicious: twice-baked potatoes, stuffed bell peppers, chicken lettuce wraps, fruit-kabobs, and yummy chips and salsa (Leanna's contribution, because she knows an event is not complete without chips and salsa!). The cake was a three-layer chocolate cake, baked and decorated by soon-to-be Uncle Dave.

After eating, we played games. The first was guessing the baby food in the jar, which I'm familiar with. The second was guessing the baby names of animals (kangaroo baby is a joey, for example). That was fun because I got to pick the animals from a list Dave and Karen put together, and call them out to everyone else. An owl baby is an owlet...how cute is that! And Margie knew that one from working with the owls at the zoo. (Below is a pic of me tasting the baby food. As a side note, I was incapable of closing any of the jars correctly. Let's hope I figure that one out eventually.)

After games we opened gifts, and I was overwhelmed with everyone's gift-giving. I love to give hand-made gifts, and I received many hand-made gifts as well! I also received gifts from people who weren't there: moms and aunts of those who attended. And thoughtful gifts from those who knew what I needed, either from their own experience or because they know my taste. And gifts that were obviously items gathered over time.

The final gift was coordinated by Leanna: a book of memories. Each shower guest (and some who couldn't attend) wrote a memory about me, the personality traits that were evident in that memory, and why those traits would make me a good mom. They all included photos, and Mary was passing out the Kleenexes about half-way through! That book will be something I will always cherish. It stung a little to realize that many of these character traits I had let go of during pregnancy; I'm become a mountains-out-of-molehills, my-way-or-the-highway, 7-months-of-PMS kind of girl. I'm thankful for the grace that my family and friends give me, and for KarenD's assurance that things will eventually be back to normal! I know there will be days when I will need that book as a reminder that I can do this, and that I have a family and friends who are there to back me up all the way.

We finished off the shower with cake and chit-chatting. Overall, it was the perfect shower, full of love and support. It couldn't have been better! Thanks, KarenN, for hosting such a beautiful shower, and to everyone who participated in some way.

I'm including two slideshows. One is of the shower in general, with all the decorations and pics of everyone who attended. The other is pics of most of the shower gifts as they're opened. I know some people could care less about seeing those, and some would love to see it all, so that's why there are two separate shows. If you click on the underlined name of the slideshow in the bottom left of each one, you'll be directed to the Picasa albums, where you can see the pics full-size. Enjoy!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Thoughts on Maternity Clothes

I thought I'd post a few thoughts about maternity clothes here, in case anyone was considering in investing in some. :)

When I first started gathering clothes, I abhorred the pants with the big panel across the belly. Oh my gosh. Who wears those? So, everything I bought for myself, I made sure they were the low-rise, below-belly type. However, I've found two problems with those. First, the 3-inch elastic band can twist and fold inside the fabric. This is really frustrating, though liveable. Second, as I've gotten bigger (just recently at 6-7 mos), the same band has a tendency to fold over and put pressure on my belly, which is not comfortable at all. So, I've pulled out a few of the big panel pants. And gagged every time I put them on. I mean, really, is there no other way to be comfortable? And even these aren't that comfortable. Yes, the elastic doesn't double over and hurt me, but now the elastic is at the top of my uterus (or directly across it), and that still isn't that comfortable. But I admit it is better.

The best pants I've found are the knit gauchos I wear for my belly pics. They're super-comfy, will stretch to whatever size I am, and put absolutely no pressure on my belly. As a matter of fact, Motherhood Maternity has a line of pants with the "secret fit belly" that I think are basically the same as my gauchos. I haven't bought any because I don't really need more maternity clothes, but they would be my top choice if I were to buy pants. And, for those of you like me who hate the idea of the full-belly coverage, you can fold the panel down.

Something else I've found invaluable are my workout shorts: one pair from Target and one pair from middle school gym class. They're stretchy and comfy, and will definitely make it through the entire pregnancy--at least through shorts season. Plus, they're shorts I already owned, and will continue to wear after the pregnancy.

I've outgrown about half my underwear--some pairs are just stretchier than others! I haven't found the need to buy maternity undies, but I do see how some seamless ones would be nice and comfy. And they wouldn't have to be maternity, either, just regular ones from Wal-Mart or wherever.

I've pretty much outgrown my bras. For whatever reason, one pre-pregnancy bra is still hanging on (with the help of the bra extender), but I think it's time to retire it and move to a larger size. The first time I moved up sizes, I added 2 inches and 1 cup size, and I think I'm going to have to go up again one more time (both inches and cup size) before I hit nursing bras. I've read that when I buy nursing bras (if I buy before baby), I should add a cup size to account for my milk coming in after baby's here, so I may be changing sizes one more time, at least! I've kept two "day" bras in constant rotation, and one comfy sleep bra.

I don't really have a lot to say about shirts. My favorites have been t-shirts that are snug enough to show off even the smallest baby belly. Otherwise, they feel like circus tents until about the 7th month. The crossover type shirts are very popular, and usually very low-cut, so black and white camisoles have been a good investment.

And dresses have been a godsend in hot weather. When you can't wear shorts (church or work), dresses are a way to keep cool, and there's no elastic around my waist! My favorite are the kind that stretch around the belly and then come back to normal shape around my legs--showing off the belly. Others just hang off straight off the belly, making it quite breezy below, and also making an already-self-conscious prego feel like a small whale. (I'm sure they look fine, and it's just me, but I'm just warning you.) If you're pregnant in the warmer months, I'd recommend getting some casual knit dresses, even if you won't need any for special occasions or things like that.

Overall, maternity-wear should be fun and comfortable, should reflect your style, and should make you feel pretty at a time when your hormones and emotions may tell you otherwise.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Thirty-One Weeks

This week hasn't brought a whole lot of change. My mental health has been a lot better recently, so thanks for those of you who have been praying for me in that area, and please continue!

I will admit I have gotten stressed lately about when people are doing what, and nothing like throwing in the two biggest holidays of the year (for me, anyway) to make things more confusing. A little easier, in a way, because people will be traveling or off work already, but I just start thinking about it, and I feel I have to orchestrate the whole family, so 1) Jon and I aren't completely overwhelmed and tired out with hosting/traveling (oh...and figuring out a baby...), and 2) everyone gets to see Caleb. I know it will all work out just fine, but that's not helping me worry less for some reason.

*Edit* I have the best husband in the world. He just called me and we talked out a really good plan, I think. Of course, it depends on everyone else's schedules as well, but we'll be calling around to make sure that will work for everyone (mostly parents). I know six weeks is going to fly by, but right now it sounds like a long and wonderful time. It will be great to have the luxury of spending good amounts of time with family, and still have weeks where it's just us--the three of us--to figure each other out. Did I mention I have a great husband?

Onward with the post: The other night I couldn't sleep. It was the night after my dr. appt. and our last Lamaze class, so I guess it was just my mind not letting me sleep. Anyway, I finally got up at 4:45 and started writing lists (this is what I do when I'm stressed). I listed out what to pack for the hospital and the exact steps I should take after contractions start (stuff like feeding the cats before going to the hospital, who to call when, etc.). Since then, I've also added lists of what I need to have accomplished in Sept, Oct, and Nov. I'm sure those lists will appear here soon.

So, that's where I am mentally. Physically, I feel fat and flabby. And you can't tell me I'm not, because my legs have certainly changed their constitution! I'm not saying my legs were ever bikini model shape, but biking and pilates did keep them in relative shape. Now, well, now it's not such a pretty picture. We went swimming on Tuesday, and I hope it's something we can keep up, because I really enjoyed it, and felt like I was doing something--anything--to be active, which is a good step! I've about outgrown my step-up bras, so I need to step up one more...this time I'm wondering if I should go ahead and get nursing bras, but for as cheaply as I got these, I may just wait a bit longer on that.

It's odd how our self-perception changes. I was looking at a picture the other day of me a few years back in a dress that I've always been a little self-conscious about. It wasn't the greatest at hiding my stomach pooch. But when I saw that picture today, I thought, "Man, I was skinny! Look at that flat stomach!" The same happens when I look at my beginning belly pics. When I posted those first photos, I thought, "Well, now the world knows about my flabby belly." And now I look back and I'm pretty impressed at myself! :) I know my world will be up-side-down after Caleb comes, but I'm really hoping I can get back to that kind of shape. I wasn't really happy with it at the time, but it's looking pretty good from this side!

And how is Mr. Caleb this week? He's 16 inches long, 3.3 pounds, and "heading into a growth spurt!" Woohoo! I haven't felt a lot of sharp kicks lately, but he's almost always moving. I even felt what I think was a heel under my hand...and way on my side. I thought those were love handles, but it turns out Caleb lives there, too! He's taking over my belly!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Dr. Appointment

Yesterday was our eighth doctor visit. It was fast as always!

I like to come up with random questions to prolong the visit and also because I think Dr. K must get bored with the normal questions about aches and pains or weight gain. I have those questions, too, but then yesterday's question was if Caleb had an equilibrium; did he get topsy-turvy when I rolled from my left to my right in bed? Well, she didn't know, so we didn't have a whole lot of discussion about it, but she did say that she thinks babies do have that "alarm response" in the womb. There's a name for it, but it's when you hold a baby and lift him up and let him down quickly. His eyes get big and his arms flail out--John did it with Ian when he was little, and Ian always performed. Well, Dr. K has had so many mothers say it felt like their baby was having seizures in the womb--and then the baby was born healthy and seizure-free--that she believes the baby is somehow startled and that alarm response is kicking in. So that was interesting! I can't say I've felt that, but interesting nonetheless.

Here are the stats from the appointment:
Weight: Gained 4lbs. Total of 14lbs.
Uterus: 30cms, right on target
Blood pressure: 117/73
Caleb's heart rate: 146bpm

So it's all about as average as they come! Other than that, we added all the rest of the appointments to the schedule. It really makes it real to see weekly appts. on into November. Then we found out that Dr. K will be out of town from Nov. 17-24, and I'm due smack dab in the middle of that. The scheduler lady said we might have the baby before that, because Dr. K doesn't like to leave town with moms so close to due date. That would mean induction (unless Caleb is an early bird and comes on his own), so we're going to opt out of that if we can. I'm kind of hoping Caleb comes a little late, anyway, so I won't have to take off much unpaid time. And if we happen to go into labor while Dr. K's out of town, well, I'm sure someone will be there to catch the baby! I've learned that the doctor isn't really there for much of the excitement, anyway!

So, for now, our appts extend to November 10th, and we'll just see what happens after that!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Thirty Weeks

Whoo, hitting 30 is pretty incredible! We've almost made it through our Lamaze classes (only one more Monday), then we have a break from "training" until we attend a Baby Care weekend class.

Preparations seem to have slowed a bit since we got the nursery together. Our first shower is coming up, which I'm super-excited about, and we're trying to start winding things down with church involvement and projects. I reminded a lady at work yesterday that I wouldn't be able to do the newsletter we usually put out at the beginning of January. She thought maybe we could bump it back a month, which I said was fine, but after I got off the phone, I wondered if I'd still be working there in February. Jon got his resume together last night, with one going in the mail today. So the job hunt has started! We'll see where God takes us!

And how is Caleb doing this week? Jill mentioned that she'd read that babies are most active in week 28, but I'd say it's been this past week for us. He moves all around, and when I lay on my said, he pushes against whatever I'm laying on. There have been a couple of times when I actually gasp because of the surprising bit of pain I feel, but it's so quick (and really more of a surprise than painful) that it still isn't bothering me or keeping me awake.

Speaking of being awake, I am still sleeping through the night! No midnight trips to the bathroom! I'm pretty proud of my bladder's capacity, actually. Though Jon and I were out on a date on Tuesday, and I had to go to the bathroom three times! Not sure what happened there....

Okay, back to Caleb. He's grown to almost 16 inches, and weighs three pounds! It won't be too long before he catches up with Bonnie and Clyde! I haven't felt any more hiccups, but I might just be missing them. Who knows. And that's about all I know about my little baby boy. I can't wait until he's made his debut so I can take pictures and give you videos. Right now these updates are mostly about me (and my bladder, apparently), which is only interesting to people who haven't been through it, yet.

Lamaze was interesting on Monday night. We took a tour of the hospital, which was very cool. My doctor's office is on the same floor, and just a short walk away, so I think I can figure it out, even in the throes of labor. :) If not, I'll make it to my dr's office, and someone can guide me from there! The labor/delivery room is very nice! It's big, with a couch, a couple chairs, and a rocking chair. The furniture looks like real furniture: cherry dresser and armoire, and a frou-frou lamp on the side table. I remember there being a spotlight in Karen's room, so the dr. could see better (yes, spotlight on the hooha...just what everyone needs), but was a little relieved to see that wasn't here in this hospital. Oh, until the instructor pushed the magic button, and these huge trap doors opened from the ceiling to reveal a ginormous spotlight. Great! Well, at least everyone will have a good view!

Throughout the tour, I was again reminded of the beauty of labor, and how God works out this crazy thing in us. The more I learn (and I realize I'm learning from a proponent of natural birth), the more I think that natural birth is the way to go. No, I haven't seen any evidence that it's that much better for the baby, but it does seem that it's better for the mama (barring the pain part, of course). Studies show that having a baby while in a sitting position can reduce labor time by 25%! That's quite a lot! The normal way we see birth is with mom laying back, or sometimes slightly inclined. There are positions that help the baby turn, that move him down more, and prevent tearing or the need for an epesiotomy. If my legs are like jello, I can't do those positions.

So, the debate in my head continues. My original thought had been to go natural as long as I can, but not be a martyr about it, and if I can't function, well the epidural is there. I still think I'm going with that, but my resolve to last as long as I can has gotten stronger. I kind of have a feeling there will be a point where I will get the epidural, and that's fine. But secretly I'm hoping that I'm a hoss and I make it all natural. I at least want to do as much as I can do get that baby where he needs to be, so if I do get an epidural, everything is set and it's just a matter of pushing. We'll see if I'm singing the same tune when that first real contraction hits!

Saturday, September 06, 2008


I officially felt hiccups this morning! I woke up early to help out with our church garage sale, but as I was trying to convince myself to get out of bed, I had my hand over my belly, and there they were! Very distinct, rythmic hiccups! I couldn't feel them from inside, just with my hand on the outside. So maybe he's had them before and just missed them. I woke Jon up so he could feel them, too. Our first hiccups!

Friday, September 05, 2008

Twenty-Nine Weeks

This week I've started to feel more pregnant. When my parents were here to help with the nursery, my getting up and down got a lot slower, and I did a lot of sitting and directing when I would have rathered help out. My lower back is starting to hurt, and bending down to put my shoes on has become a chore. I usually cheat and just wear flip-flops; then my belly growth becomes more obvious when it's been a few days since I've tried to reach my toes!

I'm also grumpier. There is just no way around it. I feel...different. Blah. Not depressed, but not happy. Just here. I don't know if that's hormones, lack of sleep, lack of vacation, or too much stress. Or all of the above! I don't have any motivation at work, or inspiration in creativity. I'm starting to dread the words, "Lydia's creative; let's ask her!" because I'm stuck stammering, trying to get my brain to jump into gear. It's a horrible feeling to be in a creative profession and not feel creative.

I've also had about the most scatterbrained week of my life. I've forgotten/overlooked things at work, lost things at home, misplaced Sunday School signups. I've always joked about how scatterbrained I am, but it's reached alarming proportions this week!

I fel like I'm walking around in a fog. No emotion, unless it's angry or snippy. No thoughts, unless they're jumbled and confused. No creativity. At all. And no happy, carefree-ness. Has someone swapped my brain for a bowl of angry mush?? Whatever has happened, I'm thankful it hasn't been all the way through the pregnancy, and I'm thankful for my very understanding friends and family. And I look forward to my maternity leave, when I can take a break from most things. I know...I'll have this little bundle of complication keeping me awake and taking away any sanity I might have hung on to, but at least I'll know his needs are pretty simple, and in most cases I can fill them.

And that's my confession for today! One could probably read this and send me straight to a counselor, but I'm pretty sure it's just pregnancy. September is looking much less busy, and my only busy Saturday in October is going to the State Fair (I don't care how pregnant I am!), so things are looking up! Plus, today is absolutely gorgeous, and who can be ALL gloom and doom when there's a hint of fall in the morning air?

So, way too much about me....how about Caleb?? The weeks are just ticking by.... He should be about 2.5 pounds and 15 inches long by now. His bones are starting to pack on the calcium, which means I get to eat more cheese to compensate! Hooray! And his rocking and rolling is still so fun. Sure, sometimes it's uncomfortable, but it's still not bad.

A few new people have asked lately if I'm expecting. Then they ask how far along I am, and I get confused. Do I tell them 7 months, since 29 weeks is a little over 7 months, when considering a month is 4 weeks? But then they think I'll have the baby in two more months, which I won't. I still have almost three months. But I'm certainly not just 6 months along, and dang-it, I've earned the right to count every day! So I try to tell them I'm due at the end of November, and hope that suffices. Lately, every response is, "but you're still so small!" I don't feel small, and I'm pretty sure my size is normal for 29 weeks. However, I do understand, because I myself was under the misconception that mama is full-blown belly throughout the last trimester. I'm happy that I'm not!

So there's week 29 for you, in all its glory! Things are getting exciting, I love that my house is in place and put together, and I can't wait for fall and the holidays! Because that means Caleb will be here!

Monday, September 01, 2008

Twenty-Eight Weeks

Sorry this post is a little late. My parents have been here for Labor Day weekend, and WE HAVE A NURSERY NOW! So, yes, a little occupied this weekend! My mom will have pictures up, soon, I'm sure, and I'll try to take some as well. You'll get a more detailed account then. For now, I'll say I love the nursery, and Jon and I already enjoy sitting in there.

So, on to the Little Man: Caleb is two and a quarter pounds and almost 15 inches long. If you compare that with last week's update, he's gained more girth than height, I think. He's almost to the point where he's just "bulking up" for the Big Push.

I feel like my belly has grown quite a bit. For a couple of weeks, it didn't really grow much, but last week I had that tight feeling, like if I breathed in too much it would pop. And, it turns out, my belly pics reflect that! (You can see my belly pics up to week 28 in the sidebar now.) It's also possible to not only feel Caleb from the outside, but see him! Sometimes I think he's doing a little jig in there, based on the way my belly bounces around. They're small movements, but so fun to watch!

Other than that, I've been a little slower-moving lately. It takes longer to stand up, or get off the floor, or bend down to pick something up. I have to sit up very straight to accommodate the baby poking my lungs--no more slouching for me! Hopefully I'll keep that habit after Caleb's born. My feet swell slightly from being on them all day, and I tire out more easily, but I don't think it's kept me from doing too much; my mom and I still managed to shop all afternoon yesterday!

And that's about it for the update! Nursery pics will be coming!