Thursday, October 30, 2008

Thirty-Seven Weeks: "Things are not the same"

KarenD's baby blog has been a source for all things pregnento these past nine months. I check up on my belly progress compared to hers, on my aches and pains, etc. I hadn't read it in a few weeks, but I remembered a post entitled, "Things are not the same," and I thought, "Boy, that sure would describe me lately." And sure enough, that was the title of her 36-week update!

And though everyone's pregnancy is different, mine does seem to be following a similar pattern as Karen's. I've already mentioned that this week my feet have gotten swollen...not bad, but it doesn't go down no matter how much I put my feet up, drink water, or even wait it out overnight. They seem to be happy in their swollen state, and I expect they'll stay that way until Caleb comes. Sunday evening I noticed that my ring wouldn't come off very easily, either. Today that's better, which is good.

On Saturday, I vowed to knock out as much Christmas shopping as I could. After a photo shoot at 9am, I headed home, gathered coupons, and hit the stores. I didn't come back home until 4pm! However, by the time I'd left the second store, I felt VERY tired...almost shaky! I called Jon to meet me for lunch. By the time we got together (one store and three gifts later!), I was walking pretty slowly and sat for as long as I could. I've never been a big shopper, but I couldn't believe how quickly I'd tired out! When I got home, I felt very accomplished and very pooped. I napped while dinner was cooking, and I took a nice long nap Sunday afternoon. I think it's something I'll be incorporating into my daily routine, if I can.

Speaking of napping, maybe the worst pregnancy ailment so far is that I've become a SNORER!! I have NEVER snored, except when sick or really really tired. Jon doesn't snore either, so we enjoy a nice quiet sleep time. Not any more, evidently! The first night Jon suffered through it, and went off to take a mid-term the next morning sleep-deprived. The next night he moved to the couch for a little bit, but the couch was not made for a 6'4" sleeper, so he eventually came back. Tuesday night I slept on the couch, and all was bliss. It may be a standing arrangement for awhile.

But really, how embarrassing. A friend of mine said it was inevitable since pregnant women gain weight so quickly, and we also deal with more sinus stuff. I tried those nose strips. They are pretty neat, and at first I thought it was great, but I woke up the next morning with the inside of my nose feeling chapped, I guess because I'd opened it all up to the cold air. And now I think I've got a cold, and I'm blaming it on the nose strip. I'm taking some cold medicine, so maybe that will help with the snoring, too. In the meantime, it's the couch for me!

Also on my shopping trip I picked out a couple of nursing bras. I hope they'll work okay and I get the hang of the little snaps pretty quickly. It's disappointing how little variety there is in nursing bras, but I was pleased that there was at least some variety. I came away with a beige bra with light pink accents, which was about as "designed" as they come. All the others were solid black, white, or beige.

On Tuesday I took the carseat to the hospital, where they installed it for me. The experience was a little bit of a letdown overall. First, the safest spot in the car for the carseat is the back middle seat. I quickly realized there was no way it would fit back there and still allow Jon to drive or even ride in the car. So, we had to move it to the passenger side back seat. Now Jon can drive, but the front passenger seat is scooted up so far that my knees almost touch the glove compartment. And babies have to be in carseats for how long??

Then the lady installing the seat for me highly recommended I not use the car protector pad I'd gotten, because it had not been safety tested and approved. Okay...that's fine.... She also said no to the head positioner I'd gotten and the baby bunting for cold days. We'll just have to see about those. I'm sure they're fine. But guess what IS safety approved?? Pool noodles! Yep, they used pool noodles stuffed between the carseat and the seat to get everything at the proper angle. Isn't that weird! She showed me how to put the baby in the carseat and that was pretty much that!

Tuesday night I decided to start packing my hospital bag. All I did was add a few toiletries to my toiletry bag. And I went through Caleb's clothes and picked out all the newborn sizes. There are about 8 outfits, so I'll pick a couple from those to take to the hospital with us, and leave the others in an easily-accessible spot for when we all come home.

I can't believe we're already at the point of doing this kind of stuff!

At 37 weeks, Caleb has officially made it to full-term. His lungs and everything else should be fully-functional if he were born today! Baby Center estimates his weight to be about 6 1/3 pounds, and length to be 19 inches.

And that, my friends, is the update!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Dr. Appointment

Yesterday was our 36-week appointment, which included a sonogram! The sono is to estimate how big Caleb is, if he's growing like he should, etc. Well, he's estimated to be 6 pounds and 3 ounces (right on target with Baby Center's estimates, which I give you every week in the weekly updates). That means, if he follows on track, he'll be about 7 and 3/4 pounds at birth, up to 8.5 pounds, which is apparently the average baby size these days. I'm going for the 7 3/4 pounder myself!

Caleb had the hiccups during the sonogram, and the sonographer said he's still moving a lot for being 36 weeks along. She again confirmed he was a boy, just in case we weren't sure. And everything checked out normal!

This appointment was also our first check for dilation and effacement, which are both indicators of how soon the baby will come. We've got no change on both accounts! This baby is here to stay for a bit longer! I told Dr. K that I'd be happy if he just got here by Thanksgiving (a week after my due date), and she said, "If he gets here by Thanksgiving, we'll all be saying Hallelujah!" So she thinks Caleb is content where he is, with no plans of a location change anytime soon.

I'm actually very okay with that. I realize my feelings could change on the matter, but if there had been any dilation, etc., that would have just added to the stress of my to-do list at work. So I'm glad that he's not coming early, and I might even have a little extra time. My family, on the other hand, might have other thoughts about the matter, since they get Thanksgiving off already, making it quite convenient to visit the new baby. They may just get to visit with a very pregnant, possibly grouchy, probably complainy daughter. What a holiday treat!

I asked about my lack of Braxton far as I can tell, I haven't had any, which the doctor said was just fine. She also noted my swelling ankles, but said they look really good; most people at 36 weeks have cankles, she said! I just think it's funny that she used the term "cankles."

Here are the stats:
Weight: Gained 4lbs. Total of 24lbs.
Uterus: 34-35cms
Blood pressure: 116/77
Caleb's heart rate: 132bpm and 145bpm (two different readings: one from sono and one from dopplar)

Dr. K left us with a quick note on things to look for that signify labor or complications, and when to come in. It was the first time she's initiated a conversation about labor/delivery, so that makes things a little more real! Also the fact that we start going in every week from here on out!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Maternity Photo Shoot!

Last Thursday, Jon and I had our maternity photo shoot! It was so much fun! First, Leslie and I tried some indoor photography. It was less than ideal: at 5pm, the lighting was getting low, and the only light source we had (the open front door) was on the other side of Leslie, so she kept having to move to allow more light, and try to get her shot at the same time. Neither one of us has much experience with backdrops and studio posing, so I think it was a learning experience for both of us. Despite all that, the photos turned out GREAT! Here is a link to some of the indoor studio shots.

After that, we all headed to the park. The shirt I'd picked out had shrunk in the wash (of course), so I had to make a quick wardrobe decision and went with a non-maternity top that KarenN and I found on sale one day. I've worn it a few times while pregnant. I hope that doesn't mar the way I look at it in the future, but for now, I felt pretty in it, which is what matters! :) We had a lot of fun at the park. Leslie and I are both much more familiar with outdoor shoots, and I, for one, was more familiar with couple shoots, so I could help out more with ideas. I know I like it when my clients give their ideas, and I hope Leslie didn't mind! :) Here are some of the park shots. I love them all, and I'm so grateful to Leslie for taking them. I can't wait to return the favor closer to the time her twins come!

What fun to have professional photography! Everyone should do it! *wink!*


I've had two bits of advice recently, both to pray for my nurses.

One bit was during a conversation about natural childbirth. I was expressing my concern over having to fight the system in order to have a natural delivery, and my friend suggested I start praying for a nurse who would be understanding, encouraging, and knowledgeable in the ways of natural labor and delivery.

The second bit was a conversation with a nurse, who stated how there are times when, inexplicably, she will go above and beyond for a particular patient, and she wondered if it was because of people praying for her care of that patient.

So I thought that was interesting and I would pass it on. The nurse, after all, spends more time with the mom-to-be than the doctor does, and that relationship can make or break the whole experience. So I will pray for my nurse, that she will be kind and gentle and understanding, that she will be having a good day and will be rested. I'm also praying that my actions and the actions of my family will reflect Christ to that nurse, and that we can bless her in some way.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

What to tell work Pt. 2

Well, I've changed my mind about my maternity leave. I was planning on offering to take 6 weeks off, but allow e-mails the last 2 weeks as an effort to be more of a team player, as suggested by my peer reviews. However, the more I've thought about it, I've realized that that's not really what I want. My family comes first, and this is the first six weeks of a brand new member to that family, and that's important. On top of that, in all likelihood, Jon and I could be packing and moving those weeks, in which case, that will not be the time to try to fit in a little work on the side. A friend of mine, whom I respect very much and who is a new mom in the marketing world, pointed out that my peer reviews and my maternity leave are two separate entities. I need to do my best while I'm at work to be that team player, but they cannot make judgments based on my request for 6 weeks leave. So, I've taken that to heart, and presented my request to my boss last week. He was fine with it!

You'd think the plan would consist of "I'll be out 6 weeks. See ya when I get back," but really, that would be too simple! Here is my plan:

  • I will work up until the day of delivery unless medically necessary to leave earlier.
  • My last day to come into the home office will be Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2008.
  • I will notify work upon checking into the hospital.
  • I will take a full 6 weeks off of work.
  • At the end of 6 weeks, I will do one of the following (in order of likelihood):
  1. I will start back to work on a full-time basis;
  2. If I deem it necessary, I will return to work 2-3 days a week, using the new year's PTO to make up the difference until I am able to resume a 5-day/week schedule.
  3. If medically necessary, I will take more time unpaid.
  • I will contact work every two weeks of my leave to keep them apprised of my current situation and future plans, per FMLA requirements.
  • I have approximately 20 days PTO, leaving the remainder of the 6 weeks unpaid
My due date is Nov. 21, 2008. If I deliver on that day, here is how my maternity leave would go:

Leave starting Friday, Nov. 21
Return January 5, 2009
Days paid: 20
Days unpaid: 6
Holidays: 5
Total business days: 31

If I do not deliver on Nov. 21, I will notify work with the specifics of my leave within the first week of delivery.

Signed and dated.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Thirty-Six Weeks

I'm officially 9 months pregnant! With only four weeks to go! Eek!

I'm so excited. I'm ready for Caleb to come in every way except for work. My boss and I agreed yesterday that I was now in "finish up" mode, with no more projects added to my plate. We'll see if he sticks to that. Right now, we're adding two new products--both of which require all new marketing pieces, a booklet with lots of little pieces, our quarterly newsletter is due, as well as two ads for magazines that I still have to present a budget to the president for. Yeah, it's going to be a great month. If I drop off the face of the planet for the next few weeks, I hope you understand.

So, how's our little boy doing this week? Caleb is probably about 6 pounds and over 18.5 inches long. He's gaining about an ounce a day. I can tell, because I've been hungry! He still moves a lot. Sometimes his little baby bum pokes up into my rib cage, causing me to jump and get as ramrod straight as I can. I rub on that spot until he settles into a more comfortable position. He occasionally gets his foot (or something...a knee? elbow?) all the way on my side, forming a little knob. If I poke on it, it tingles, like there's a nerve between him and me. So I usually leave that alone, and he moves pretty soon. The dr. said he would pretty much stay in head-down position now, which is how I know the bump poking into my rib cage is his bum. He still moves from side to side; sometimes the right side of my belly is hard, sometimes the left. It's all very fascinating to me, as you can probably tell from the amount of time I've spent describing it!

My ankles are swelling. Woe is me. I'm trying to drink lots of water to make it go down. No luck so far, so I'm just avoiding looking at my ankles. My hands might be starting to swell a little, too, since the larger ring I've been wearing on my left ring finger is starting to get a bit tighter. Not too tight, but it's really been too big, and it's fitting nicely now.

I've had a bit of pampering this week! Yesterday, Jon used some of his "mad money" to get me a massage! What a great husband!! I haven't had a massage in several years, and it was really nice and relaxing. I'd been told by a friend that prenatal massages are on a table with a hole cut out for my belly to fit into. I was kind of excited about that, because I've really missed laying on my stomach, and was looking forward to that. Well, no such luck. We started with me on my back (with pillows under my knees and my back), and I realized there was no hole. Then I thought, maybe a piece of the table comes out to make the hole. But no. It ended up that I turned on my side with a body pillow for support, and she rubbed my back that way--first one side, then I flipped and she did the other. So no stomach goodness, but all in all a very nice massage!

During pregnancy, you're not supposed to rub your ankles, because of pressure points there that could induce labor. I asked about that, and the lady said she'd actually had several women come in specifically for that purpose, and it had worked every time! Crazy, huh? So I guess if I'm way overdue, I could always try that.

And, as one more pampering treat, I'm getting maternity photos today!! As you know, I take maternity photos, so it was inevitable that I would want some of my own. However, I quickly found out that I cannot afford anyone else's rates. Many people charged $200 for the sitting fee alone! I had a few ideas of how to get photos, including offering myself as a model for aspiring photographers (Jon was very against that), and using a mirror and trying to do it myself. Enter Leslie! Leslie is a newbie to the area: just married, just moved, and just pregnant...with twins! She's also a photographer like me! So, we arranged a little switcharoo. She's doing my photos this month, and I'm doing hers next month (as long as Caleb cooperates!). We're going to swap files and call it even (though she's offered to edit my files, which would be awesome). Leslie is my first local photog friend, so I'm really excited to get to know her better, and I can't wait to return the favor of photos next month.

Jon, on the other hand, is not nearly as excited about photos as I am. He knows I can be more of the artsy type, so he fears we're going to be doing nude shots together or something. Well, no fears there. I have no expectations of pulling a Demi Moore pose. I do want to show my belly, so Leslie and I have arranged to do some photos of just me indoors, and then we'll go to the park with Jon. The park will give Jon confidence that we'll be fully clothed the whole time! It's going to be a great day!

Monday, October 20, 2008


Our hospital offers several classes in preparation of our new baby. These classes are not required, but I figured they were the best way to get us to learn. After all, I'd read the books, but I wouldn't have practiced the breathing. Jon...well, he's read one book, and excerpts I've marked for him out of others (which is more than most dads), but I still felt his education wasn't complete. Plus, I prefer asking questions and talking to a real person over reading.

Anyway, yesterday we went to our lactation class.

Yes, lactation. Hence the post title.

It had been awhile since I'd signed up for the class. I knew it started at 2pm, but didn't find out 'til we got there that it was FOUR HOURS long. Jon and I were both in need of naps, and learning about proper lactation for FOUR HOURS did not thrill either of us.

The class started with an introduction of the two instructors: Junior and Senior. Sr. is a "been there, done that, fed my kid for 21 months" kind of lady, while Jr. is a "going on my first year of breastfeeding, and I want to make it to 21 months like my mentor" person. This was Jr.'s first solo presentation, with Sr. resolving not to butt in too many times. Sooooo did not adhere to that resolution.

We filled the WHOLE FIRST HOUR by going around the table and mentioning advantages and disadvantages to breastfeeding. None of this was teaching time, just people who don't know much about it trying to come up with stuff. When we made it around the table, we started at the other end and went around again. All this is well and good, except for the extreme bias of Jr. and Sr. Both are strong breastfeeding advocates, which meant that any "supposed disadvantage" was in fact a myth, or null and void because "that woman did it wrong." Being the devil's advocate that I am, I tried my darnedest to come up with disadvantage Jr. and Sr. couldn't refute. Pain? That's a myth. Loss of privacy and potentially awkward public situations? That's the fault of the mother's personality, not of breastfeeding. Dad can't help with feedings? No self-respecting mom would want to give up any of that bonding time. They did finally admit that nursing bras were a necessary expense. By the end of the hour, we had one or two items under "disadvantage" and a column full of advantages.

I'm all for breastfeeding, and hope to do that with Caleb, but I'm very against a one-sided conversation that allows no room for the moms who tried and cried when they couldn't nurse their babies. I've watched several new moms. All of them struggled in the beginning, and some of them were never able to nurse, despite their efforts. So I wish Jr. had mentioned that, because now everyone in the class is going to get very frustrated when things don't go smoothly right off the bat.

Ranting aside, we did learn quite a bit from the class. I won't go into detail here (you can breathe a sigh of relief!), but it will be helpful. And I did get to ask lots of questions, which I like. (Jon, on the other hand, was giving me the evil eye for prolonging the class any longer than it had to go.)

The funniest part of the class was the demonstration part. Just like I had to laugh when Lamaze Lady shook her hips and mimicked pushing out a baby, it was pretty funny to watch Sr. grab her boob for emphasis. Jr. was more appropriate (relatively speaking) and used a fake boob...which was actually even funnier.

The fake boob was a skin-toned plush toy, basically. It looked like a big peach hershey kiss, about a D cup, I'd say. It had a pull-string through the back, so when Jr. pulled the string, we got to see an approximation of an inverted nipple. Just in case we wanted to know. The first time Jr. put the fake boob up to her own chest--and it didn't take much imagination at all to see this very naked boob as her own--Jon and I looked at each other and then I had to look down at my lap, because I was about to crack up. It was just way too funny.

The other demonstration aid was a life-sized baby doll. Each couple received one. There's something awkward about holding a doll in a baby class. It feels wrong to just leave the doll on the table, because after all, the point of the class is to learn how to be a good parent, and leaving babies on the table does not connote good parenting. Well, already in a somewhat non-compliant mood, I left the baby on the table, but I noticed that the grandmothers-to-be who attended never left their babies on the table. Maybe once I'm a mom with a baby of my own, I'll do the same.

We learned a few ways to hold the babies for nursing, and which ones would be most helpful right after birth, when the babies aren't strong enough to hold their heads up. We had to practice getting the baby's mouth in the right position...and then Sr. went around and checked. That was awkward, considering where the mouth has to go.... I was glad when I passed and didn't have to have Sr. reposition the baby or spend any more time on the issue with me than was necessary.

All in all, it was a worthy class. I would still recommend the class to others, because I think that person-to-person is better than any book or video. It would have been better if it had only taken two hours, and Jon has made me promise to never make him go to a class like that again. The only thing that made it worth the full four hours is that it made for a good blog post.

And really, isn't that what life is all about, anyway?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Thirty-Five Weeks and Dr. Appointment

We've made it to 35 weeks! There are many times in a day where I just stare at my calendar, as if looking at it will help me get things accomplished. Only 5 weeks to go! Though I'm keeping in mind that Caleb could in all likelihood come late, so I'm adding a week onto that, but I'm trying to have everything ready a couple weeks early, just in case. So three weeks to finish up!

The good news is that I'm ready for Caleb. He's got everything he needs and plenty of stuff that will be handy. The registry still has stuff on it, but I've got one more shower, and then I'm hoping my family will get some things on it for Caleb for Christmas. So, family, if you're wondering what I need/want, just check out my registries!

I haven't put my hospital bag together, yet. The last time I went somewhere I thought, "Wow, the next time I do this, I'll be heading to the hospital!" Maybe I'll put the bag together this weekend. It's really on my list of things to do before 2 weeks out, so it probably won't get done until then! If something happens before then, you may get a message on your phone like this, "Hey, we're at the hospital...could you bring me a toothbrush?" Nah...I figure in most cases I'll have time at home to gather stuff together if necessary. See? I've totally justified my procrastination, and now I'll never get that bag packed.

So how is Caleb doing this week? Well, he's grown to 5.25 pounds and over 18 inches long! From this point on, he's pretty much just working on gaining weight. And I've been hungry!! Everything everyone suggested yesterday sounded so yummy. I've got the munchies for sure.

My feet have officially swollen. Okay, just a little bit, but my ankles are hard to find. Yesterday, I attributed it to being in the office all day, but the swelling wasn't down by this morning. I know it's not a hydration issue, because this past weekend was officially Operation Hydration, and I've been doing pretty well since then. It could have something to do with all the junk I consumed at the State Fair on Tuesday.... maybe it will go down eventually.

So Operation Hydration brings me to my next topic: the dr. appointment! We had our appointment on Monday. Every time, I have to go pee in a cup right when I check in. I put the cup on a counter, then go back to the waiting room. Last time there were two other cups next to mine, and mine was...well, you could tell I was not properly hydrated. My pee lost the hydration contest. So, not to be outdone, I commenced Operation Hydration the weekend before this past appointment. (You're right, I should try to ALWAYS be properly hydrated, but I need short-term goals.) And while there were no other pee cups to compare to on the counter this week, I know I would have beaten out those other cups from last week. Totally.

Don't you just love the diversity of my blog? Or of my brain, that can make a contest out of pee in a cup?

On to the appointment. One exciting bit is that my mom got to come! She was in town for an Arbonne party the day before, so she stayed over until the 4:00 appointment. I was scheduled to have a sonogram (remember, the dr. thought Caleb's kidneys/bladder looked funny), so how cool would it be to have my mom there to see Caleb! Well, it didn't go exactly as we'd hoped, but it still makes for a good memory. The sonographer was not in a very accomodating mood. She didn't even understand why I was having a sonogram, since she'd looked at the printout the dr. had given her from two weeks before, and had already declared the kidneys to be fine. I said I supposed Dr. K just wanted to be sure, and by the way, my mom has never seen a sonogram....

The sonographer quickly said my mom had missed the 20-week sono, and that was the best time to see anything. By now, Caleb was too big, and she'd just see his kidneys. I told her about the awesome face shot we got two weeks earlier, but she wasn't convinced. She seemed to think that we were wanting a full-body shot, when really, anything related to seeing Caleb is pretty cool! Anyway, she got things ready to look at the kidneys, and found them right off the bat. I was hoping she would have to hunt for awhile, giving us a little more time. Jon pointed things out to my mom as he could, "There's his spine...and his you see that?"

The kidneys were declared healthy, and I asked if we could please see Caleb's heart. The sonographer (who was not ever rude, just busy and ready to be done for the day), accomodated, and we got to see a heart with a nice steady rhythm. She even turned on the dopplar and we got to hear the heartbeat! I was glad, because my mom had really wanted to hear it. We also got a printout of a little Caleb foot.

And that was that. We were done in about 7 minutes, and swept back out to the waiting room to wait for the dr. The sonographer checked and told us the dr. was running behind (WAY behind, it turns out), so my mom went ahead and headed home. I wish it could have been as laid-back as when Dr. K does the sono...she roams around on my belly, showing us all the little cool things, trying to get the best shot she can of his face, etc. But I do realize that this sonogram had a particular purpose, and so I understand why it was done so quickly and matter-of-factly.

Out to the waiting room for an hour...

And back in! The nurse laughed because we write everything down. She said we were the most detailed of all the patients. I think it's the science side of me. I've always liked taking measurements and tracking things. Here are the stats:

Weight: Gained 4lbs. Total of 20lbs.
Uterus: 33-34cms
Blood pressure: 116/74
Caleb's heart rate: 134bpm

Caleb's heart rate was a little slower than normal, but Dr. K said he was probably napping. I'd been napping, too, in the waiting room, so I couldn't blame him.

I didn't have any questions this time. Dr. K said everything is going about as normal as can be. She expects me to gain a total of 25-30 pounds overall. She also wondered if Caleb would be long or not, since Jon's so tall and I'm not. She joked a little about how different the two of us are, so it would be interesting to see what genes win out. Yeah, I'm kind of thinking the same thing!

I already think he's pretty darn cute, just from the sonos. Yep, he's a cutie! No doubt about it! And in 5 weeks the whole world will know it!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Why We Named You 'Caleb'...

Caleb, your Mom and I have always had big ideas about you - who you will be and what you will do. A lot of those ideas have come from our love of God and what a godly man should be like. That was a big reason why we chose your name to be 'Caleb.'

You see, a long time ago, God was leading a group of people into a new land. The people wanted to know if this new land was going to be a good one, since they had just left a very bad place. So, they sent twelve spies into the land to check it out. What they saw there was very good. There was a lot of good food and nice places to live. But, there were also giants living there who were scary and mean. Some of the spies looked at those giants and lost their confidence, not just in themselves but also in God. However, one of the spies, along with only one friend, still thought that God was bigger than any giant. His name was Caleb, too.

Many years later, that same people were finally allowed to go into that good land to take it over for themselves. Caleb, by that time a very old man, was still trusting in God and was a leader of his family. When the time came to see which family would get the different parts of the good land, Caleb asked that his family be given the part where the giants lived. He still wasn't scared, knowing that God was with him, and God helped him beat the giants.

So, we named you after that man so you might be like him. We want you to love and trust God even when everything is scary and no one else trusts Him. We want you to see that God is bigger than any problem or enemy. We want you to lead other people to follow God and beat giant problems.

Those are our hopes for you and the reasons we named you 'Caleb.'

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Thirty-Four Weeks

Okay, so I know this post is coming just three days after the last "weekly" update, but I'm supposed to be writing them on Thursdays, so I've got to have a short week at some point to catch up!

So, thirty-four weeks:

Caleb weighs 4.75 pounds and is almost 18 inches long! He's now past the "worry zone" and will most likely be born healthy, even if he's born today! He might have a little more lung development needed, but babies born this early generally have no trouble catching up. Jon's baby book says he was born 3-5 weeks premature, at 5 pounds, 11 ounces, and he turned out just fine! As a side note, if Jon were exactly 5 weeks early, his due date was the day before my birthday!

In other news, I busted out my Pilates video this morning. And yes, it's the first time I've done it since the last time I mentioned it on this blog. (I'd find that post and link to it for you, but then I'd know exactly how long it's been, and I don't want to know that.) Anyway, the bends and stretches are not so easy any more! There's something called a belly getting in my way! I'm really missing being able to bend over, or (sigh) roll onto my stomach at night.... Those were the days!

Caleb has gotten all kinds of hiccups over the last couple of days! Yesterday I was in a meeting at work, and he hiccuped for about 15 minutes of the meeting. I thought sure everyone must be noticing my twitching belly, but no one did. They're not as transfixed by my rotund self as I am, I suppose.

And that's about it for the three-day update! I've been out of town the whole time with work, so not much baby-related went on.

More next week!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Thirty-Three Weeks

Week 33 has come and gone! What's happened in this week? Well, it's been just about more of the same. Caleb is still active, and it's fun to try to figure out where he is in my belly. He weighs a little over 4 pounds and is 17 inches long!

As far as how I'm doing physically, things are again, pretty much the same. I think I might bust into a waddle pretty soon, which won't be pretty, but I guess it has to happen eventually! I haven't been sleeping well, which also affects Jon's sleep, and I have lots of weird dreams. I got my first yeast infection. Woohoo. On our first prenatal visit, our nurse had said to go ahead and get some Monistat, because I would be needing it. So it's quite common in pregnancy, but I hope I don't see much more of it. And why, you ask, would I even mention such a thing on a public blog? Well, I figure this is for "posterity"--to document for myself what happened, and to document for those who haven't experienced it, yet. To those women, aren't you excited about what's coming?? :)

Over the weekend, I took back duplicates, etc., that I'd received at showers. I made a list of everything we absolutely needed before Caleb's birth. Thanks to the blessings of family and friends, that list is pretty short! I gathered coupons and Jon and I made three separate purchases at Babies R Us (to maximize the coupons), and we used gift cards, with more to spare for next week's purchases! (BRU coupons are only valid one week, so I have another set of coupons to use next week!)

Before all this, I had been worrying about everything that we still needed, and that we wouldn't have enough money to get it all. But now it looks like we'll have everything we need, without spending much (if any) money out of our own pocket! We are so blessed!

Once the short list I made has been fulfilled, everything else on our registry is open game for Christmas! :)

This past weekend I also organized the nursery again; I found places for the things that hadn't gotten settled, yet. I took all the tags off of toys. I put away diapers and bath stuff. I put all the 0-3 month clothes in the dresser and 3-6 month (and beyond) in a Rubbermaid tub. Thanks, Karen, for all the cute Ian clothes! My dresser is now packed!

Today I'm going to a 3-day business meeting with work, and I realized that after this, my next bag to pack will be my hospital bag! How exciting is that! I have a few things on my mind that I'd like to get before that, as well, but they're all "wish list" stuff, not necessaries. So all in all, I feel prepared for where we are right now.

Some days (or moments in a day) I struggle with the fact that our life will never be the same, and there's nothing we can do about it. It's not like a move or a job that we can back out of. This is permanent. And while most of the time I'm excited about that, some of the time I dread it. Life's gonna change big time. It's kind of like how we all look back on our college days as some of the best times--we had the most freedoms with the least amount of responsibility. I think I'll look back at our "pre-kids" marriage that way as well. These have been good years. Sometimes hard, but very, very good. And then someday I'll look back at the toddler years, or the school-age years, and think the same thing. Hard, but very, very good.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Labor Story

It turns out that I'm a complete flake when it comes to people in labor. Realizing I might also flake out when my own labor comes, I thought I'd make a checklist...and sort of a story of how I'd like to see things go. A birth plan, if you will, but one that includes much more than just the actual birth.

Let's start when contractions start.....
  1. Contractions start.
  2. Drink 40 ounces of water, change activity, walk, etc. to see if the contractions stop. If they do, it's false labor, and that's the end of that. If they don't....
  3. Call Group 1 (Family, Friends)
  4. Get final things together. Make sandwiches for Jon to have once we get to the hospital.
  5. Shower
  6. Eat something! Substantial, but not overfilling.
  7. Walk, get on birthing ball, etc. to alleviate pain.
  8. Keep drinking water.
  9. Give extra food/water to the cats.
  10. Check into hospital when contractions are 4 minutes apart.
  11. Call Group 2 (Church, work....)
  12. Communicate basic birth plan to nurse.
  13. Have family in room if possible (if I'm feeling social): Games, TV, music...
  14. Wait til Labor Down before pushing.
  15. Everyone out of the room except Jon, my mom, and Karen
  16. Hopefully be epidural-free so I can use different birthing positions.
  17. Have the baby!
  18. Everyone out but Jon (and Caleb and I, of course)
  19. Feed the baby
  20. Everyone back in to look at/hold the baby!
  21. Call Group 3 (Church, work....)

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Pick a Day, Any Day

Okay, the fun has started! My in-laws have put up a post taking guesses for the date/time that Caleb is coming! Go check out their (new) blog, and submit your guess! The winner gets to hold the baby, and I'll even make sure he's not crying when you do! :) (Can I do that? Can I actually make sure he's not crying? Well I'll try, anyway.)

Good luck, and please, be nicer than the first few guesses, and let me have a good night's sleep!

(Although, as a side note, I always thought a vacation felt more "vacation-y" when it involved getting up before dawn to start driving. I kind of think a good labor story should include some late night/early morning excitement, as well.)

Where's Clyde?

When we first put the crib in the nursery, I expected the cats to find it immediately. Surprisingly, they didn't! However, curiosity gets a hold of every cat, and it wasn't too long before Clyde made his way into the crib. Boy, what fun he had! He ran around it, chased his tail, and was just generally a hyper kitty quite proud of what he'd discovered. It took Bonnie a bit longer to discover the crib. I worried a little that the cats would claim the crib as their own, and then they'd be put out when Caleb came, but they really didn't do much in the nursery unless we were in there as well.

Well, the other day, I walked in to discover this:
First of all, have you ever seen a funnier looking sleeping position?? Clyde sleeps like this all the time. One half facing one way, the other have facing the other way.

He was eyeing the mobile, but didn't make a move for it. I think he figured he'd found a comfy spot and had no intentions of leaving.

Well, that's the only time I've seen him sleeping in the crib. I've seen Bonnie laying in there once now, as well, though just while I was in there. They haven't made a habit of it, and I'm not going to worry about it unless it actually becomes a territory issue, which we won't find out until Caleb comes. I figure a little bundle who waves his arms erratically (probably knocking kitties in the process) will prove to be too much for them, and they'll find a less crowded place to sleep.

As an interesting side note, Bonnie is now 6.5 pounds, and Clyde is 7.5 pounds. So they just might be good examples of how big Caleb is when he's born!