Saturday, December 30, 2006

I could not ask for more

And then there were three.

Gabriel Scott arrived on December 28th, 2006 at 1:15pm!

7 pounds, 3 ounces, 19.5 inches long and the sweetest boy I've ever met.

I'm so in love, I'm speechless.

Monday, December 25, 2006

merry christmas... no winners yet

I wish I could tell you that I'm holding out on you, but not quite yet! Baby is still contentedly hanging around inside, although the contractions pick up and fade away regularly. We were up all night last night with contractions that were just reaching the peak of real pain and came at 4-5 minutes for a few hours. This morning, though, I went for a 2 hour walk to see if the exercise would push them to get stronger, but when we stopped walking, they faded away.

The real problem, I suspect, is that I'm still feeling great and still happy to have baby stick around for a while longer. Josh, on the other hand, is going a little bit stir crazy. He is dying to meet his baby, and he walks around mumbling that I'm clearly keeping the baby inside just to spite him. Last night was the first night that my sleep was interrupted for the majority of the night, but I still got a few hours of sleep and then took a 2 hour nap this afternoon, so I'm not suffering.

Last night we went to a Christmas Eve party, and I think no one could quite believe that I was still walking around contentedly, enjoying the food and festivities. I'm definitely big, don't get me wrong. I regularly wonder how this child is going to actually EXIT my body, because my belly seems to be taking over my whole body. You're sure it fits, right?

Anyway, to appease Josh, we've taken some preliminary action to let baby know that this process needs to be speeded along. I'll let you know if it works.

In the meantime, I'll continue to enjoy the final perks of pregnancy. This, and the back rubs. Wish me luck! Oh, and a baby!

Monday, December 18, 2006

let the guessing games begin

One week down and only half a centimeter gained! The head has moved further into position, and is so far down that I'm starting to understand why women end up walking funny at the end of pregnancy. I'm adamantly opposed to waddling, so I do everything in my power to avoid it, but it is getting increasingly more difficult!

I also have high blood pressure again, even higher than last time, and this time it was positively attributed to work stress. The end result is that I'm out of work and onto maternity leave for good. That doesn't mean that I didn't still come home and work from here because there was too much to do, but it does mean that I'm going to have to cut off the work flow. I can't risk anything happening to this baby, and I certainly don't want to be forced into an induction just because of stress. Relaxing, relaxing, relaxing is in my future.

It looks like this baby might stay inside for my mom's arrival from California on Wednesday, something that makes us all very happy! This baby might also stay inside for the termination of our kitchen remodel. That seems unbelievable, but possible! The countertops were installed on Saturday, and the plumber is supposed to come tomorrow. Once the sink, dishwasher and refrigerator are connected, we have some final simple electrical work and we'll be ready to start moving our stuff back in!

But onto more important things- we need some guesses on when this baby might make his or her entrance into our lives! The person that comes the closest will receive some super secret fabulous prize from me, as yet to be determined, and date to be some time after I recuperate from having the baby and regain my sanity. Before the baby turns one, at least ; )

Soooooo.... in your guess, include the following:
Length (if you want)

Remember, the psychic says tomorrow and a boy. The doctor says 1 cm but in position, no idea on the sex. She thinks this is a "good sized baby." I say, THIS BABY IS HUGE! It has to come out soon! I have to admit that I still feel great, so I'm not sure this baby is coming in the next couple of days, but I could be subconsciously keeping this baby inside until my mom arrives (Wednesday morning).

Oh, and this is what 39 weeks pregnant looks like in these parts.

Quick! Quick! Avert your eyes!


Thursday, December 14, 2006

no baby yet!

I need more advice, if you have a minute.

First question:
I found these really spectacular baby announcements and combination holiday cards. I'm in love with them. I talked to the invite store and they said that once I have the relevant information about baby, and I can upload a picture, they can print the invitations in 2 days and send them to me in another 1-2 days. In the meantime, they can send me all of the envelopes to address. That way, once I receive the announcements all we have to do is stuff envelopes. And by "we", I mean someone else will be stuffing envelopes.

My concern, however, is that the baby could get here late enough to make holiday cards a mute point. If the baby arrives at the absolute latest time possible, namely January 8th, and it takes me another week to mail out the announcements, is that too late to send out cards that say "Happy Holidays"? What if I change it to "Happy Everything"?

Trust me, the announcements are cute enough to make me want to use them even if I'm a little late for a holiday card. Is it in bad taste to send them out so late, though? If the doctor is right at the baby is born right before or right around Christmas I'm not worried, but my concern is if the baby comes too late then I don't want us to look silly.

Second question:
Did anyone use lotion after their baby was born? Should I worry about using cocoa butter around the baby? I've been using it during pregnancy with no problem, but someone mentioned not to use any nut-type products around the baby in case of allergy. Isn't cocoa a nut? Am I pretty safe? I'm just thinking that if I'm breastfeeding the baby would be pressed against my abdomen, and I definitely use lotion on my stomach.

Third question:
Any tips for relaxing things Josh and I should do before baby arrives? What did all of you do to relax in this exciting time? Movies? Dinner? Visiting friends? Playing music and dancing? Non-PG activities? What?

Fourth question:
Isn't this baby supposed to be running out of room by now? I didn't think it would still be flinging his or her weight around inside my already stretched skin, but a few times a day I'm fairly uncomfortable as my organs get squashed and battered with the kickboxing routine. I literally cannot believe how big my belly is getting!

Advice please?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

better than nothing

I wish I could tell you that I had a baby to report, but no such luck!

Our appointment yesterday brought the announcement of a head totally engaged, cervix effaced, and half a centimeter of dilation. I'm ecstatic to have any progress at all, because my worst nightmare was that we'd walk in there and she would say that I'd made no progress whatsoever. Over the weekend I had several nights of contractions, some of them enough to wake me up and keep me up for an hour or so, and then slowly fade away. Friday night they came often and steady enough for us to time them (at 5-6 minutes apart), but by midnight they were gone again. I'm still feeling pretty good, and I'm definitely okay with the baby not coming yet, but I wasn't okay with all those painful contractions doing nothing at all. So any news is good news, I say!

The unfortunate news was that yesterday's appointment also brought with it news of highish blood pressure. Definitely high for me, who errs on the side of super low blood pressure. So starting today I'm supposed to work from home in the hopes that it is just the stress of being in the office and running around like crazy that is making my blood pressure high. Today I wrapped everything up at the office that cannot be brought to my house, and tomorrow I'll be working hard, I'm sure, but at least it'll be from my couch.

On the too much information front, last night and today I've had some bleeding, sort of like a light period, and I'm not sure what to make of it. Is this the bloody show that people talk about? The mucus plug? I called this morning and my doctor said that it is nothing to worry about, especially since the baby has been moving around. I'm also having consistent cramps, much like menstrual cramps, and these feel slightly different from what I've been feeling the last few days.
My mom doesn't arrive until next Wednesday, and my inlaws don't arrive until Monday, so everyone is telling this baby not to make his or her appearance until next week. I think that whenever this baby is fully cooked, he or she is welcome to come. Just make it short, sweet and painless. And healthy. Very very healthy. Those are my requests to my baby.

Last night I also stopped in for a "pregnancy tea" at our neighborhood maternity store. It was a room full of pregnant women, sitting around chatting and enjoying tea and some light yoga. The woman leading the tea had us create a small memento for the baby, a little nest that we built out of twigs and string to symbolize the nest we were building for our babies in our lives. I found some parts of it rather cheesy, but the sitting around listening to other women talk about how their lives are changing or how they feel was nice. The pregnancies ranged from 16 weeks to mine at 38 weeks, and I thought back to how I felt at the very start of this pregnancy and marveled that I am so close to the end of this journey.

I can't wait to meet this baby, but I can already tell that I will desperately miss this closeness. I love the kicks and rolls and punches. I love the surprising little twinges from inside. I know I'll love everything that is to come, but I can't help but cherish these last few days, even with the discomforts of late pregnancy.

I will definitely keep you updated if we go to the hospital or if anything changes. For now, Josh is done with finals and he is working his way through the "honey do" list that I put together for him. Maybe we'll be lucky enough to get a few days of relaxing together time before this babe makes his or her appearance!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

I'd better at least be dilated on monday

15 hours of steady contractions
upset stomach
pains that wrapped around my back

Not a baby, that's for damn sure.

At work yesterday, I had all of the above, and by the time I finally finished up at 10pm or so and headed home, I was actually starting to wonder whether this might be IT. I didn't want to think so, but the contractions were steady and coming every 5-10 minutes or so. I was rather confused by them, though, because they weren't what I'd imagined. On the one hand, some of them felt like menstrual cramps, but some of them felt like terrible indigestion. Kind of a full stomach cramping sensation that started in the back and then moved to the front. Some of them were enough to make me stop and clench the back of my chair while I waited for them to pass. At 8:30pm I even called Josh and told him to go out and purchase a birthing ball STAT, and frankly I didn't care that he was in the middle of finals.

The good news is that he finished last night, so my request for a birthing ball didn't interfere with the future livelihood of our family.

But after I arrived at home, took a long hot shower, drank some gatorade, used the heating pad and bounced on the birthing ball for a while, they spread out and I eventually fell asleep despite whatever I was feeling. I slept hard for 7+ hours and woke up feeling much better. Since I woke up I've had a few sporadic contractions, but nothing like yesterday. I told baby that our kitchen is scheduled to be completed around December 18th, so if he or she could hold out until then, that would be FANTASTIC.

I did realize something important last night, though. When the contractions started in the morning, if you'd asked me whether I wanted the baby to come, my response would have been that I am N.O.T. R.E.A.D.Y. Nope, nil, no way. As the day progressed, however, my feelings just changed. Nothing I could put my finger on, but I developed this sort of calmness and I realized that I was. I was okay. I will be okay. When this baby comes, I will be nothing but ecstatic at the opportunity to be his or her mother. I cannot wait to meet my baby.

Even if the kitchen is in shambles, even if I'm living out of my dining room, even if I don't have a sink. Even if the laundry isn't done, the car seats aren't installed and the house is filthy. We will all be okay. In fact, I'd venture to say that we'll be better than okay.

Is this what you meant in all your supportive comments? I guess I should have believed you then, huh?

Monday, December 04, 2006

humor me, please

It has been a poopy couple of days. Nothing big, and nothing even worth complaining about, but that hasn't stopped me before, right?

The traffic and crowds are getting to me a little bit this holiday season. It has never bothered me in the past, but I think that being big and hot and very pregnant is making me sensitive to the crowdedness of stores. I had to put books down and walk away from the line at the bookstore because after a few minutes of waiting, I simply couldn't take it anymore.

It didn't help, therefore, when Best Buy told me that they had a certain item in stock, in fact the salesperson said he had it IN HIS HANDS, that when I arrived at the store a couple of hours later they had no idea what I was talking about. The system showed my item as being in stock, but no one could find it, and no one seemed very invested in looking for it either.

Then the same thing happened to me at my local baby store. I called in advance to ask whether they had infant car seats in stock, they said yes, but when I showed up they were all sold or on hold (story to be continued below). And this was 15 minutes later!

Then, if you can believe it, the SAME THING happened to me at my local maternity store this morning. I asked for a birthing ball to be sent over to the store for me, they called to let me know that they had it in stock, but when I arrived there this morning they had no record of my order, or my hold, or the call they'd made. None of their stores or their warehouse had the birthing ball in stock, so they placed a purchase order. Clearly, that doesn't help me at the moment, though.

My patience these days is rather thin, and general incompetency at stores combined with the sheer quantity of people is making it worse.

This morning's appointment also brought with it disappointing news, which was that I tested positive for Group B Strep, an apparently common bacteria. My doctor assures me that it is not a big deal and nothing at all to worry about, but it means that I have to have an iv and antibiotics for labor, and that if my water breaks before I go into labor, I have to head straight to the hospital. She also said if my water breaks and I don't go into labor asap, they'll also have to induce me.

I thought that I'd prepared myself well for variations from my ideal birth, and I've been telling myself that you can't be married to any one plan, so I was surprised at how upset I was at her news. I hated the iv that I had in the hospital after my fall, and the thought of having to have an iv inserted right away upsets me far more than I'd like to admit. I'm worried that this is going to make it difficult for me to walk during labor, or to get in the birthing tub or shower at the hospital. Even though very few women have their water break before they are in active labor, it was also stressful to hear that if that happens to me and they don't consider me to be in active labor, the hospital would force me to start on pitocin. Sigh. As I said, it isn't anything major, but I have a feeling that hormones and general tiredness are adding up to make for a grumpy Halloweenlover. I think the doctor could see in my face that I was not happy with the news, and she assured me that the iv can be capped off and that I am free to do whatever I want once I am at the hospital. At least that is a relief.

In positive news, though, from last week to this week, the baby's head was a bit lower, and I seem to have "dropped" some. My cervix is also thinning and effacing, and the doc again gave her vote that she doesn't think I'll go later than my due date. Just before or right on time, but not late. I don't know if I believe her, since I'm convinced that we're looking at a New Year's baby, but we'll all have to see, I suppose.

In car seat news, we'd been given a couple of infant car seats from my sister-in-law and neighbor, so we never registered for one or purchased one. I assumed that car seats that were 3 or so years old and hadn't been in an accident were safe for this baby. Imagine my surprise when I spoke to the mandatory car seat inspector this morning and he told me that he wouldn't install a used car seat at all! And that he thinks 3 years is too old! So this morning saw me scrambling for over an hour, calling store after store after store to find a car seat in stock and available for Saturday, when our inspection is scheduled. Did you know that in Massachusetts you can't go home without an inspected and installed car seat? Craziness.

This is all a long-winded way of telling you that when I opened up this blog post, I burst into my tears at Bethiclaus' kindness and generosity. I mean, look at this blanket! Look at the detail! The edging! And the slit for the seatbelt! Did you see the matching hats? I can hardly stand the cuteness. It will even match the car seat that I had to drive all over town to purchase!

Sometimes I cannot believe how wonderful the blogging community is. I can't believe that we can be so invested in each other without ever having met in real life. I'm amazed that someone I've only emailed with, could take the time to knit me a beautiful blanket and hats. I'm stunned that someone could share their talent, just to give me a lovely gift for my baby. I'm grateful for this blog and everyone I've met in so many ways, this is one of the sweetest examples.

Thank you Bethiclaus for such a spectacular gift! I can't wait to wrap my baby in it!

Friday, December 01, 2006

december 1st

I think on some level I never believed December would arrive. Here we are, though, and although people in my neighborhood don't decorate much for Christmas, there are a few homes with lights ablaze and wreaths on doors. The Christmas season is finally here, and with it comes our baby. The carols have taken on a whole new meaning to me also. I think I'll never look at the holidays the same way again.

I even told Josh that I'm making a playlist of Christmas carols to play in the labor and delivery room because holiday songs always put me in a good mood. He thinks it a little odd that I'll be delivering his Jewish baby to Christmas carols, but I say, "hey, whatever works!"

Today, I pulled the milk out of the fridge for cereal and realized that the milk doesn't expire until January 5th. I will, most likely, have a CHILD, by the time the milk goes bad. The milk! I'm a little bit stunned.

I also received my "hooter hiders" in the mail. Josh and I think that the name is almost the best part. I can't wait to refer to it in public as a hooter hider, I'm hoping someone on the plane will ask me.

I also have to give a quick recommendation if any of you know someone that is having a baby and need an easy cute gift. I went to the Reagan Bridgeen website the other day to look at their baby books, and they are having a sale on baby organizers. At first I was skeptical, but I ordered the organizer the other day and received it last night. It is a very cute binder with separate tabs for keeping information about immunizations or passports or social security numbers or childcare providers or things like that. The tabs are really clear and each section has multiple pockets to store paper if you don't have time to hole punch it. The organizers are on sale for $12 off of the original $40-something! And they are quite large, the size of a regular binder and really really quite cute. After receiving mine last night, I ordered 4 more to give as gifts! They look like they cost far more than $12! I also found a code for 10% off (SAVE10), so that brought it down to $10. I'm always at a loss for baby gifts, so I figured I'd share. I should tell them that I'm advertising for them, I deserve free gifts!

Happy December everyone! I can't decide if I want the time to pass quickly or slowly, so I'll just hope that it is a wonderful holiday season for all!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

holiday observations

1. Right before Josh and I met, I got E. Coli from a turkey that had been left out all night by a hostess that then served it to her guests. Apparently, several people thought it tasted "funny" but didn't mention it out loud, so I ended up being the one that consumed the most at the party. I spent the next 5 days slumped on the bathroom floor begging my grandmother not to call an ambulance, slipping in and out of delirium due to the crazy high fever and vomiting. I lost 11 pounds in 4 days. So perhaps Josh should lend me some credence when I ask him to ask his mother not to leave the turkey out all night on the front porch instead of in the refrigerator? Perhaps his response shouldn't just be "well, it's colder outside than it is in the fridge."

2. I am apparently also overreacting about eating undercooked stuffing that was baked inside of the undercooked turkey that was left outside all night long.

3. Black Friday at the outlets is not bad at all, at least not at the outlets in the Berkshires. We were able to run in and out of stores with no problems at all, short lines, no waiting. The only exception was the Gap Outlet, but the line still moved expeditiously. And I was able to find a diaper bag on super duper 50% off clearance at Coach! I'm not 110% sure that this is the one for me, but I do think it is pretty cute.

4. Last night after work, Josh and I went out for roasted artichokes and dessert at the Cheesecake Factory. Sitting at our table, with not a care in the world, discussing everything from his final classes, to the stroller that we are coveting, felt like a delicious indulgence. Josh would reach over every so often to feel the baby's kicks and hiccups, as we munched away on carrot cake (my new craving) and cheesecake for him. This is what you meant by plan some dates together now while we still have time, huh?

5. I don't want to jinx myself, but I think that you aren't supposed to feel this good at 36 and a half weeks, are you? I sleep through the night like the dead, rarely getting up to pee. The acid reflux has dwindled to a bare minimum, and except for the dull ache in my pelvic bone and the occasional kicks to internal organs, I feel fantastic. Tons of energy, and no problems moving around. I spent an hour outside on Sunday afternoon planting tulips that we'd purchased in Amsterdam that I'd forgotten about until then. You're sure that I'll want this pregnancy to be over at some point, right? The only thing that keeps me from wanting to be pregnant forever, is that I'm tired of being weighed and tired of STILL GAINING WEIGHT. I thought it was supposed to stop in the last month, but maybe the carrot cake is doing me in.

6. I am, however, tired of the kitchen remodel. Everything needs to just be done ALREADY. The only benefit to my lack of patience has been the ease with which I make decisions these days. Normally, I'd spend an hour and 4 trips to the store pondering the different types of cabinet hardware there are, but these days I walk in and out. I picked a sink in 20 minutes, a faucet in 5. Lights? One look through a catalog and I was done. Cabinet hardware on sale? Perfect. Now, if only everything could be that easy. I'll fail to mention that picking a play pen/pack and play for this baby took me 3 hours.

7. Ninotchka asked in the last post whether I'm still working, and I am. The plan is to keep working until I give birth, unless something happens to change things. My doctor has threatened a couple of times that working until 9pm every night is allegedly "not ok", but we'll just have to see what happens.

8. I hope all of your Thanksgivings were great!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

you can do this, girl

I'm rather weepy these days over the impending birth of this child, and KLee's above comment to my last post was enough to send me into full-on tears and sniffles, as were so many of your comments. I always anticipated that after I got pregnant I'd have a moment of the "what have I done?" feeling, but I never did. Since I found out I was pregnant, I've only worried about something happening to the baby, but I haven't doubted how much I wanted this baby. Even now, I have moments of tremendous anxiety over what kind of mother I'll be, but I don't doubt for one second how very badly I want this baby and how incredibly grateful I am to have made it this far with a healthy pregnancy.

I worry mostly about how I will take care of this child, whether I'll do a good job, and when I'll feel ready, if ever. All of your comments and support have definitely made me feel better. I guess I have to let go of the wanting to feel ready part of myself. I'll do what I can, but as Josh keeps telling me, in the end it doesn't matter if the kitchen remodel is completed, or if the baskets in the living room are arranged perfectly. The baby won't know whether the closets have been organized and cleaned, and whether the bins in the attic are in their proper place. Maybe this is the nesting instinct everyone keeps talking about?

Yesterday I hit 36 weeks, and had another appointment with the doctor. I mentioned to her that over the Thanksgiving break I'd been having moments of increasing pelvic pressure. I kept waking up with the same side of my pelvic bone aching and feeling numb. She was surprised to find that the baby's head is low and engaged already, so that explains all the pressure I've been feeling! No dilation whatsoever, though. But the doctor projected that we were looking at a baby that might show up before my due date, although still far into December. Maybe the psychic will be right? We could end up with a December 19th baby, I suppose. Oh, and a projection of a little over 6 pounds as of yesterday.

In the meantime, Josh is finishing up his last week of finals and I'm using my free time to rest and clean, rest and clean. I take turns doing a little bit of each. Once Josh is done with finals, though, I am planning lots of dinner dates and movie nights and outings for the two of us. My mom arrives on December 20th, and hopefully the baby will arrive soon after, and I'm positive that for a long while after that we won't have much romantic or cuddly time together. I'm hopeful, but realistic.

I'm also getting our car seat installed this weekend, and packing my hospital bag. JUST IN CASE. I'm still in denial that this baby is coming anytime soon, but I might as well prepare while I can still move around comfortably. Josh keeps telling me that if the baby pushes my belly button out any more, we might be looking at a fully cooked turkey.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

35 weeks = I'm scared

I have a confession to make.

I'm scared.

Sunday night, Josh and I were lying in bed and chatting and I must have gotten a funny look on my face, because he leaned over and said in earnest, "What's wrong?" And I promptly burst into tears. I couldn't even put my finger on what I was crying about, but once I'd started, I couldn't stop. Josh immediately flung his arms around me and started offering up different reasons why I might be crying. Was I scared about having a baby? Was I worried about what kind of mom I'd be? Was I overwhelmed because the house is a disaster? Was I stressed because we are still in the midst of a kitchen remodel with no end in sight? (Yeah, did I forget to mention that? My next blogging topic will have to be the third trimester gutting and remodeling of the kitchen.) All I could do was nod to all of his questions, because the truth is that all of those things and more are making me feel overwhelmed.

I keep thinking that as the weeks pass I will feel more ready to have this baby. Maybe I'll feel more ready to be a mother. But I don't. I feel more excited to meet the baby, but I never feel ready. I never think of myself as a mother, even though I already adore this little wriggling thing in my belly. Last night I noticed that if I sing to my belly the baby will move all around, so I sat and sang holiday carols to it for half an hour until it was time for bed. The thought of anything harming this baby takes my breath away, and I picture meeting him or her for the first time and bringing him or her home and I want to cry.

At the same time, though, I try to picture the baby as my child, and the image seems just out of my grasp. Is this normal? Is there something wrong with me? Why can't I seem to fathom that this is my child, forever and ever, amen? I try to think about sleepless nights and long days, and breastfeeding and changing diapers and everything else, and it seems surreal that we'll do this. And do it soon. Very, very soon.

Now I have the outfits and the wipes and the diapers and the butt paste and the breast pads and the blankets, and now what? I have plenty of tasks to do, but what about when all of that is done? What then? When will I feel ready? When will I feel like a mom?

Monday, November 20, 2006

surprise on a sunday!

Yesterday Josh and I went over to one of his classmates' houses for brunch. As we climbed the stairs to their apartment, Josh and our friend hung back for a second and I pushed open the door to a chorus of very loud screams of "SURPRISE!!!"

I stood to the side for a moment in stunned disbelief before asking, "Surprise for what?" Apparently, for our baby! A surprise shower! That Josh knew about and kept a secret for over a month! With tons of people from his class, and food, and cake, and bloody marys and mimosas (not for me) and gifts! So many gifts! I was shocked, and flattered, and frankly, very overwhelmed by the whole thing. All these people gathered to celebrate this baby and this exciting time. It was almost too much!

We had a fantastic time, and since we had lots of guys along with the girls, there was no talk of labor or delivery or measuring of my belly or anything like that. There were a number of inappropriately sexual jokes, and much talk of movies and travel. It was great fun, and I felt very loved and spoiled.

This baby made out like a bandit again, with soft blankies, adorable outfits, toys, bath items, buntings, and onesies. You'll be happy to know that my "layette" is in much better shape than the last time we discussed. I now have more than 1 wash cloth, in fact, I have 13. I also have a few sleep 'n' plays, and several onesies, and not too many socks, and 3 blankets, and a few hats. Now I'm just trying to figure out whether to keep all of the newborn sized sleep 'n' plays that we got or exchange them for a size bigger. My gut feeling is that this baby is going to be a little bit bigger than average, but this feeling is based on nothing close to proof. Just the insane movements he or she undertakes at regular intervals throughout the day.

During the surprise shower, baby even put on a show for everyone. I mentioned to the friend next to me that he or she was moving, and she exclaimed rather loudly, "Oh my God, I see it!" and when everyone turned to look, baby proceeded to roll and kick so prominently that you could see the tumbling clearly through my sweater. Aren't babies not supposed to have any more room at 35 weeks? This one seems quite comfy.

Once again, my friends, I am so very lucky.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

love is smuggling cookies into the hospital

There were few lovely parts of being in the hospital, except for the overwhelming relief that I felt when this baby started moving again in the waiting room. The other lovely part was the way Josh acted over those 24+ hours that we were there. The tenderness with which he took care of me, his concern about my hunger and my tiredness and my comfort were incredibly endearing.

Of course I know that he loves me, but it was something else to see this man helping me out of bed, maneuvering my iv pole and monitor chords, adjusting my gown and assisting me in the bathroom. True love must be someone gently holding your iv tube out of the way so that you can wipe. And helping you up and down off of the toilet when it hurts to sit. Love is when you are lying in bed close to tears because you're so tired and hungry and frustrated, and he tells you that you are so beautiful he can hardly stand it. Or when he refuses to leave the hospital to get books and his computer, because he can't stand the thought of someone coming to do a procedure on you and that you would be alone. Love is being able to hand him my underwear 5 different times when people came to check my cervix, and he doesn't even bat an eyelash.

After all of this, and the bloating and the big belly, and the chubby thighs and butt, and the complaints and the grumpiness, he still tells me that I am the sexiest woman ever. He still showers me with compliments. He still wants to listen to me discuss all baby, all the time.

I am so very lucky. And so is this baby.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

houston, we have a problem

Baby-to-be and I are taking our first trip in the Spring to visit my parents in California. Since baby-to-be will be only 2 and a half to 3 months old around that time, we'll likely be breastfeeding on that fairly long flight.

Today on MC's blog, I read this story about a woman being kicked off of a flight for breastfeeding and not covering herself up with a blanket.

Guess which airline we are flying on for our first trip?

The story states that the woman was sitting in the next to last row of the airplane when she was asked to cover up her breastfeeding. Baby and I will be sitting in the second row of first class (thanks to Josh's miles saved up from consulting). We figured that first class would give me the extra room to feel more comfortable juggling a nursing infant and the two dogs that I'll be taking as my carry-on. Umm, but now I'm wondering if a seat that far up front is just going to cause more problems for us.

Needless to say, I'm concerned. How can an airline do this? What do they propose I do with my infant if I can't breastfeed? What if I haven't gotten the hang of breastfeeding under a blanket? What if baby just won't breastfeed under a blanket? What if I can't pump? Why should I even have to worry about pumping if I don't feel like it? I'm planning on buying one of these, but I'm still horrified by this whole scenario.

I can't switch airlines because the tickets are bought and paid for and the trip has been arranged and rearranged. I am panicked, however.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

no babies today, but soon!

When we were in triage this weekend, a couple was on the other side of the curtain getting checked out as well. At a certain point, the attending came by and told them that they were definitely in labor, at 3 cm dilated. The excitement was palpable. The husband was almost breathless as he asked again, "We're having our baby?" Josh and I kept smiling at each other as we listened to them exclaim to each other that they were really having their baby!

In the end, they decided to leave for dinner at the Cheesecake Factor before checking into the hospital since her contractions were still quite manageable. We were chuckling at the image of them standing in the lobby for the often interminable waits at the Cheesecake Factory. The doctor suggested to them that they should bring their monitor strip showing her contractions, so that the hostesses would understand that they were short on time.

After they left, Josh and I remained silent for a while thinking about them. I couldn't help but feel happy for them as they left to enjoy their last meal as a family of 2. Although I was hoping in that moment not to have my baby, I also realized how very much I am looking forward to the moment when I am in that same position. I never knew that you could love someone you've never met this much. I never knew that a 20 minute drive where you worry that he or she isn't okay could feel like your heart is tearing in half.

So I guess I really am having a baby. Someone is really going to live here. That is almost unbelievable.

Monday, November 13, 2006

no babies today

Things are better today, so perhaps your good thoughts and prayers are helping! I was released from the hospital late last night after a less-than-stellar stay at the hospital.

The fall was rather unremarkable- I literally tripped over my own feet in the parking lot falling on one knee and landing on my side, after trying to break my fall with my hand. It was hard enough that I knew I'd need to head into the hospital, but nothing close to my fall down the stairs so I didn't completely freak out. After a few minutes, though, I realized that the baby wasn't moving at all, and my hands were shaking as I dialed the emergency number for my ob/gyn. The baby refused to move for the whole drive to the hospital, and I was in tears by the time we pulled up in front of the hospital and checked in at the desk.

We were pulled straight into triage and set up on the monitor, and at that point our little troublemaker decided to give me some reassuring kicks. I started to relax, up until the contractions started. I've had braxton hicks contractions for the last month or two, but these were different. The contractions felt like mild menstrual cramps, with the monitor showing that the contractions were coming every 2-4 minutes apart, although I felt them less regularly than that.

We stayed in triage for a couple of hours, waiting to see if the contractions stopped or slowed down, but were transferred to our own room for the night to continue monitoring. Apparently, a fall followed by contractions is one of the warning signs for placental abruption, and continuing contractions moved us into a higher risk category. I had blood drawn, and an iv put in, just in case dehydration might be contributing to the "cranky uterus". To be honest, as far as discomfort goes, the iv was the worst part. It hurt going in, and it was bothersome and uncomfortable the whole time it was in, particularly when they turned the flow up. The attending did cervical checks and although the contractions were steady, they didn't seem to be doing much in the way of dilation.

The night was long and tiresome. If the baby strayed from the monitor at all, a nurse would rush in and readjust the monitor. I wasn't sleeping much anyway, I was so stressed and nervous about the baby. We felt fairly well-informed all night, however. It wasn't until the morning that we started to actually worry. At around 6am, the nurse woke me up to tell me that they were concerned because the contractions hadn't stopped yet and they expected them to be over by then.

Shortly thereafter, Josh went down to grab a coffee and a newspaper, and a medical student walked into my room and brightly informed me that she would be observing my c-section that morning. After I tersely informed her that I was NOT having a c-section, she ran out of the room and never came back. When Josh got back, I nervously told him what had happened and he insisted that I ring for the nurse to get more information. It seems that the medical student had gone into the wrong room, and was mortified that I'd gotten upset. But she never came back to tell us that she'd been mistaken!

This was only the beginning, though. At 9am, the attending came in and began really scaring us. She told us that the risks of placental abruption were higher now because it had been 15-16 hours since the fall and the contractions were continuing. Then she started talking about emergency c-sections, and then she started talking about how the baby was breach. But, umm, the baby is not breach. And hasn't been breach for 6 weeks! Which was not the most comforting thing she could have said. The ultrasound of the night before had shown that the baby was decidedly not breach, and it would have been nice if she had actually, ohhh, I don't know, read the chart? She ordered more labs and sternly told me not to eat or drink anything just in case my emergency c-section took place.

The rest of the day was downhill from there, because no one would let me eat (even though I'd eaten only an apple and a yogurt the day before), and no one would tell us what was going on. We asked to speak to a doctor a few times, yet no one had time to stop by. At 3pm the nurse walked in and told me that I could eat and could order whatever I wanted so I scarfed down a turkey sandwich. A few hours later, she unceremoniously walked in and told me that she was taking out my iv because I was being discharged. No explanation, no instructions, no assurances, no nothing! The nurse told us to call our doctor in the morning to get explanations about what type of rest I needed or whether I could go to work the next day. Needless to say, I cried on the drive home. Partly out of relief that the ordeal seemed to be over, and partly out of anger and fear that we didn't know what was happening now.

This morning, though, my doctor was very reassuring. I won't be on bed rest for now, and she isn't worried about my needing to have the baby any time in the near future. I'm resting today and tomorrow and staying off of my feet, but as long as the contractions continue to lessen in time and severity, everything should be fine. So we're all very relieved in the halloweenlover household, and we're thanking our lucky stars that baby decided to stay inside for a few more weeks. We're not quite ready to meet him or her yet, although we're looking forward to it.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

you can start calling me "grace"

This baby really is an attention hog, apparently. We've been in the hospital all weekend because of a minor fall in the parking lot of Home Depot on Saturday afternoon that turned into pre-term contractions for 24+ hours. The baby is fine, heartbeat great, ultrasound beautiful, but the contractions won't stop coming. Right after the fall, the contractions were coming 2-4 minutes apart for several hours, but they have been spacing out since then and hopefully they'll stop for good sometime tonight. The contractions aren't causing any dilation, so there's been no talk of medication or having the baby early.

I don't have much to share besides this for now, but when I hear more from the doctors I'll give another update. In the meantime, please send some positive thoughts and prayers our way for a few more weeks of "cooking" for this baby.

Friday, November 10, 2006


I broke 100,000 visitors at some point between yesterday and today, and I can't believe it! I've seen other bloggers mention stat numbers but never thought I'd make it this far.

I wanted to issue a short but sweet thank you to all of you who come by to offer advice and support and kindness. I wish I knew the words to tell you what it means to me. Without all of you, I suspect that I'd be a basket case throughout this pregnancy. Instead, when something comes up and I get frazzled, I just think, "oh, I'll ask the blog!"

All of your friendships are wonderful gifts. Thank you.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

thank goodness the paparazzi aren't around

I'm sitting in my office, working, with the door locked, and my pants around my knees because the waistband is constricting my belly too much. After a whole day of getting up and sitting down every few minutes and adjusting the elastic band every which way, I just can't take it anymore.

Ahh, the glamorous side of pregnancy.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

layette continued...

Here is a summary of your suggestions for a layette:

Diapers- Newborn and Size 1 (but how many of these do I need? One package of Newborn and 2 of Size 1? Are we talking Costco size packages? Or smaller?)

Onesies- short and long-sleeve (also, how many? A dozen total? More than a dozen?)

Baby Pants (Numbers, people! Numbers! 6? 10? In all different colors?)

Receiving Blankets (I'm assuming 5-6? We registered for a couple of swaddlers and I'm hoping to steal some from the hospital. And by steal, I mean, ask for nicely.)

Hooded Towels (I have 3, is this enough?)

Washcloths (I have 1, how many do I need?)

Sleep 'n Plays/Footie Pajamas (I have 3-4, how many newborn versus 0-3 month sizes should I get?)

"Sweetpea" pj sets- what is this? Where do I find them?

Baby Socks- although we have differing opinions on this. If I have enough footie pajamas maybe I don't need these?

Hats (how many and what size? Josh and I have big heads, should I assume that baby to be has a big head too?)

Wipes (any suggestions on brands?)

Baby Tylenol- dye free

Gripe Water (is this the same as Mylicon?)

Saline Drops

Burp Cloths (I have none, and have received none. Where do I find these?)

Alcohol wipes (shudder, I can't even discuss the umbilical cord. Ick.)

Pacifiers (brand suggestions?)

Mild Shampoo or Baby Wash (more brand suggestions?)

Butt Paste or Desitin or something


Car Seat and Car Seat Cover- CHECK! At least I can mark one thing off my list.

Dreft- CHECK! Two things off my list.

And what is this nonsense about having to change outfits one or two times a day? You're kidding right? My baby is never going to dirty their beautiful outfits. My baby also won't ever stink. I feel strongly about this.

Am I forgetting anything?

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

what is a layette anyway?*

In an effort to calm me down a bit, Josh suggested that we make a list of the items we need and take shopping trips over the next few weekends to get all those necessary items.

So I need help. What do I really, really, really, REALLY need. What makes up this "layette" that people keep talking about?

How many onesies? How many diapers? How many pairs of socks? How many pajamas? What else?

I'm only looking for enough to get me through the first couple of weeks, and then once the baby is here and we know the sex, we'll look for more clothing and blankets and all that for the coming months.

Help help help! Tell me what we can't live without!
*I'm thinking that a sled is not part of the layette.

Monday, November 06, 2006


You all are the sweetest ever, seriously. I am totally keeping you around, because you make a big swollen pregnant girl feel so much better. Next time I look in the mirror at my twice as large thighs and cellulite-covered booty, I am going to think of all your comments. On that note, did you see that I was wearing nylons? Since I'd taken the time and effort to shave my legs for the shower, I went ahead and wore a skirt and nylons today too, and I suspect that will be the last time. 7 and a half months pregnant and trying to wrestle on a pair of pantyhose was not a pretty thing. I don't think I'll attempt it any bigger than I already am.

You all know that I try to keep up the positive attitude, and to be perfectly honest, it hasn't been all that hard. I feel like I am having a fairly easy and peaceful pregnancy. I feel good, I sleep great (like a log) and I have very few aches and pains. Recently, the sciatica has started to flare up again at times and I do have acid reflux more often, but I feel fantastic the vast majority of the time. I could totally do this again with pleasure, if I am so lucky.

Today was a bad day, though. I suspect that the combination of the baby shower being behind me, and having to drive my mom to the airport and know that she won't be back until December 20th, was just too much. I felt so terribly sad and out of it all day at work. I finally shut my door at lunchtime and allowed myself to cry some pitiful (and totally unwarranted) tears for myself. There is still so much to do before this baby arrives, and I desperately wish that my mom lived close by. Even a few hours away would be enough. I want to be able to go buy the diapers and socks and onesies and blankets with her, not by myself.

Then I read this post, and this post, and I felt like a totally selfish and self-centered butthead, but I think you just have to succumb to the self-pity every so often. Embrace it and then let it go, no?

I'm also wondering if this is all another situation that we can blame on the hormones, only because normally, even if I'm grumpy or sad, I can shake myself from my mood for a while. Today I couldn't, though. I kept feeling sad and down in the dumps no matter what I did. I think I also hoped that after the shower was over and I'd received Boppies and Diaper Genies and sheets and all that, I'd feel more prepared for this baby. But I don't. I feel about the same, excited, ecstatic and ill-prepared.

Feel free to tell me that all I need is boobs and diapers and I'll be good to go.

Anyway, I thought it only fair to confess this to you, so you don't think I'm some kind of lunatic that walks around all sunshine and roses. Today was not my best day, as evidenced by the blubbering in my office. I miss my mom. I feel scared at moments of what is actually going to happen come December. And I guess that's okay.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

it's a joy, girl or boy

Today was my baby shower and it was wonderful, as I'd expected! I'm more than a little sad that it is over, to be honest. My mom heads out tomorrow and she won't be back until December 20th, hopefully early enough to be here for the baby's birth. While I had the baby shower to anticipate, there was something between today and the birth. Now that the shower has happened, and my living room is packed full of baby supplies, I'm almost prepared. Kind of. A little bit. As prepared as I guess I'll ever be.

Baby to be was showered with love and gifts, and my friends did an amazing job with food and games and decorations! One of my friends said that she couldn't believe I was having a baby next month, and I paused to correct her and then realized, oh my goodness, it IS next month! How did time fly like this? How can it already be November? How can a baby be coming in DECEMBER?

We're at week 33 now, and my belly is so big that this baby must be fully cooked. Maybe we all have the date wrong?

Saturday, November 04, 2006

cheating a little

I owe everyone a post for today under the rules of NaBloPoMo, but I'm way too stinking exhausted. My mom is in town for the weekend and the time has completely run away from me, and I didn't do any of the things I wanted to do. It has been a nutso day, and running around with this big belly and extra weight hasn't been easy. I'm grateful that although I work long hours, at least I get to sit down!

Someone needs to explain to me how I can possibly have 7 more weeks of growing for this belly! I feel huge and I'm not sure I can possibly get bigger! Maybe I'll just stay at this size. It's possible, right?

Friday, November 03, 2006

slingin' it

We tested out the sling this evening with some very willing participants. So willing, in fact, that they each fell asleep during their time in the sling, and when I'd removed them, they stood staring at me and begging to be picked up again!

Let's just hope that baby-to-be likes it just as much!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

monitors anyone?

There is an awful lot going on in the halloweenlover household these days, most of them relating to the bayyybeee that is possibly arriving in this household in the coming weeks. This Monday was our 32 week appointment, at which time the pumpkin showed off its wriggling skills and moved in and out of the reach of the doppler several times, making it difficult for the doctor to get an accurate read on the heartbeat. He or she probably weighs around 4 pounds, based on her manual estimates and measurements. All appears to be well, and we're very happy to be crossing the threshold into 32 weeks. For some reason, this whole baby thing feels very REAL these days.

Over the past couple of weeks, Josh and I have been fortunate enough to play around with a new product sent to us for our review. A very, very new BABY product, that has just hit the shelves at your neighborhood Huge Baby Store, the Philips DECT Baby Monitor.

Now, a baby monitor was something we'd thought long and hard about. Should we get a video monitor or an audio monitor? What were the relevant features? What about interference? Would it block the cordless phone and internet (we've experienced this problem before)? What about price? What about size and looks? There were a number of things to think about.

Once you've made the choice for an audio monitor rather than video, the Philips monitor definitely comes out as a front runner. After owning it and playing with it for a couple of week, albeit without a baby, here are my thoughts:

1. It is the cutest baby monitor I've seen out there.
These monitors, both the one that remains in the baby's room and the one that goes along with you, are pretty sleek and modern-looking. The monitors are white with yellowish/orange accents. The parental unit comes with an attachment to wear it on your belt or around your neck. It is small, about the size of a small cordless phone or largish cell phone.

2. The features and perks are very nice.
Both monitors have bright displays that are easy to read. Both show you the time, volume, and temperate in the nursery. The parental unit (handheld one) can activate a few lullabies and a nightlight from a remote location. We tested this one out and could scroll through and turn on lullabies from downstairs! The nightlight can also be turned on from downstairs, and it seems to be a good strength, nothing so crazy that it would wake up a baby, it just sort of casts a soft glow over the room and displays little stars on the light up portion. You can also use the parental monitor to talk to the baby from another room. I'm not sure how much we'll use this feature, but I didn't see it on other monitors. Of all of these, my favorite feature was seeing the temperature in the nursery since I'm a little paranoid about that room getting too hot, since it is very small.

3. Best of all, NO INTERFERENCE.
We used the monitors near the computers while surfing the internet, and tested them with each of our cordless phones and even while the microwave was running. This was a problem we'd had in the past with tons of electronics, so it was a relief to get away from it! Apparently, Philips uses "digital enhanced cordless telecommunication" to make sure you don't hear your neighbor's baby instead of your own by scrolling through up to 60 channels to find a clear connection. I don't know anything about the technology, but it definitely worked. Our neighborhood is full of kids and even when we left it on for hours, we never heard anything but our own house. Josh and I had a good time using the monitor as a walkie-talkie and running around the house chatting to each other. When we aren't making noise, I hear absolutely nothing from the monitor- no background noise or strange sounds or buzzing or anything. I think I'll appreciate that when I'm trying to sleep.

The monitor is really new, and I've only seen it on display in the glass display case at Huge Baby Store, looking all petite and cute next to the other models. I was nervous to have a review a product like this one, because I've been so picky about other baby items, I was convinced I'd be disatisfied. But truthfully, I'm very impressed with how easy to use and functional I think the Philips monitor is. I'd definitely recommend it to other new or expectant parents I know. Feel free to email me if you have any other questions! And I'll do another review once the littlest member of our family is here. I'm sure I'll have more opinions once there is a baby on the other end, instead of Josh making scary noises and trying to terrify me.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


Because I'm crazy, and because what else is there to do when you're 32 weeks pregnant and totally overwhelmed with life, other than to sign up to blog every day for the month of November? I sacrifice for all of you, though. I'm taking one for the team.

I'll find a way to do it, even if I have to scrape together totally boring stories, like how I went to my last doctor's appointment, took the cup to pee in from the front desk, went into the bathroom, peed and walked out without ever doing anything with the cup. And then they sent me back in because they actually NEED that, and I almost did it again! This is what my brain has been turned into, mush, complete and utter mush.

Today, however, I am able to report that I'm only the tiniest bit sad about Halloween being over. Usually Halloween is a major occurrence in my calendar of events, but this year, not so much. I suspect it is the rather HUGE event that is looming on the horizon that tends to turn all other events leading up to it into not so important events. Also, my mom is coming into town this weekend and a friend is throwing a smallish baby shower, and Thanksgiving seems so close, as do the holidays, and then, of course, the baby!

Not that I'm not continuing to be a Halloweenlover, because I am. I just didn't look toward it this year with the same enthusiasm and excitement. I was busy nesting and cleaning out linen closets and desk drawers and hanging curtains, I guess.

Josh still managed to surprise me yesterday, with a lovely Halloween treat at the office.

My favorite part is the card, that reads:
"Happy Halloween to you and our gremlin!

Isn't he the sweetest? I'm totally keeping him around! Plus, these flowers are gorgeous and exotic and I've never seen this type before! My office smells fragrant and lovely now, too.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006


If this doesn't scare you, then I don't know what will...

Let this be a lesson to you, stay AWAY from the candy bowl or you'll start to look like me!

Happy spooky creepy scary Halloween from the whole Halloweenlover household! Including the littlest pumpkin!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

guess who?

Guess who decided to surprise me by fixing the paint in the nursery and completing the painting of all the trim, built in bookcases and doors?!?

I'll give you a hint, he is related to the baby-to-be!

A couple of weeks ago, we were here- picking yellow after yellow after yellow. After some paint expert consultations at our neighborhood paint store, we finally settled on "Lightning Bolt", the perfect yellow for the bedding.

Then we were here: exactly what I wanted! Pale, creamy yellow, just barely into the yellow category, but matching the bedding and standing out against the white furniture.

All we have left to do is a very brief touch-up of those spots where the trim got onto the wall, and then we're done! I've been promised that rugs will be unrolled, and cribs will be built, and curtains will be hung this weekend!

Now we're here! Freshly painted ceiling, walls, trim, bookcases, doors and everything else! I can hardly believe it! Maybe this weekend I'll even have some actually-looking-like-a-nursery pictures!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

31 weeks and still no names

We're still trying to come up with names, and I seem to have a roadblock when it comes to a girl's name. We have a boy's name in mind, actually a couple of them, but even though I've always thought that girls' names are a bit easier, I can't seem to come up with even one that I love! Josh is no help either, he just gives non-committal answers, and his suggestions are atrocious. I would tell you what they are, but I don't want to offend anyone, just in case.

In the meantime, though, we love to make guesses as to what sex this baby is. My only indication is that I can't think of a girl's name- we take this as some sort of proof that perhaps this baby is a boy. Then again, my mom was convinced that I was a boy. In fact, her pregnancy journal is often dedicated to "Eric", and she mentions regularly how much she loves her son-to-be. They were so surprised at my birth, they thought about naming me Erica because they couldn't possibly think of any other names! So you never know, I guess.

How about some guesses from all of you? These are the hints we've received up until now.

1. Chinese Calendar says girl, based on my date of birth and baby's date of conception.

2. I'm carrying flat and wide and low (and apparently my butt and thighs are bigger, as told to me by an acquaintance- gee, thanks).

3. I crave:
spicy foods
peanut butter
I normally dislike sweets, but now I can't get enough. I also can't get enough spicy foods- especially buffalo sauce. I even ate it on a salad the other day!!! EW!

4. My skin is the clearest it has been in my entire life.

5. I've been told by a few people that I'm prettier pregnant than in real life (also another gee, thanks, moment).

6. I'm sleeping pretty well, and can still sleep on my back.

7. My boobs are bigger and higher than before, but still the same bra size.

8. The baby's heartbeat used to be high 150s, then high 140s, and this last appointment was high 130s.

9. I've only had one dream about this baby, the month before I got pregnant, and it was a boy.

10. Don't forget, the psychic said it was a boy!

So? Any predictions? Any old wives' tales that I'm missing? And if you'd like to throw some names into the mix, I'd appreciate it also!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

girls' weekend recap

My emotional batteries may be recharged, but I think I may have ended this last week more tired than I was before these ladies arrived! Phew! What a weekend! We did lots of running around, eating, laughing, being loud and obnoxious and loving our time together. It was a blast. The best thing about my friends is that they are so enthusiastic! So everything was a treat and an adventure.

Friday night, after dealing with traffic around Logan Airport, we met Josh out for dinner and at the last minute decided to scare ourselves silly by going to see the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. It is almost Halloween, you know! I have to admit, though, that I spent more time laughing at my friends cowering in their seats than I did screaming about the movie. As soon as one of the characters runs BACK into the house instead of running away, the movie is done for me. I also tend to get far more scared of ghosts or monsters than I do of real people with chainsaws (with the exception of Michael Myers, who scares the dickens out of me). That night, the girls all stayed up until 3am gabbing away, far after I'd collapsed on the couch and fallen asleep. They eventually woke me up and ushered me off to bed when they were finally ready to sleep.

Saturday, we enjoyed a delicious diner breakfast at one of our favorite authentic greasy spoons, and then headed out to Concord and Lexington to enjoy some leaf-peeping and shopping at the adorable little boutiques in the town centers. We stopped off at home to give me the opportunity for a quick nap, and then headed off to Salem to see some witches! And goblins! And ghosts!

Salem was fantastic. Not too crowded, but full of energy and good spirit. We walked around, visiting the stores and enjoying a street fair of spells and "witches brews" and random items, before stopping into a Psychic Fair so that two of my friends could get "readings". I declined, mainly because I'm not really interested in knowing the future, whether I believe it or not. I'd rather enjoy my life as it is happening, and frankly, I don't want them to tell me anything bad.

That didn't keep two of the psychics at the front desk from exclaiming as I walked in, "OH! You're having a boy!" I said that in fact, I didn't know what I was having, to which I received a chorus of yesses and nods and insistence that this little pumpkin is a boy. Apparently, a healthy, happy boy, who is going to make his appearance a bit early. AND, much to Josh's pleasure, one of the psychics told me that this little boy's feet would be very important to him, and would play a major role in his life. Of course, my aspiring soccer player husband, captain of his MBA team, is now convinced that he has a future super star on his hands.

Even more notably, specifically, this baby is going to arrive on December 19th, per one of the psychic's insistence. If this all comes true, I will indeed share the names of these psychics, so that we can go get readings because they are obviously talented and accurate. We'll have to see.

After the psychic fair, and some lovely readings where one of my friends is going to be a superstar at her new job, and the other is going to meet her tall, dark, handsome and wealthy husband-to-be shortly, we took a break for some dinner. The weather, surprisingly, was perfect. Crisp, but not too chilly, a cloudless night that begged for walking and enjoying the sites. Eventually, we drove back home and spent more time talking and laughing and going over the psychic readings.

Sunday, after a quick breakfast of bagels and coffee, and a visit to cheer Josh's soccer team on briefly, we headed out to Walden Pond for more leaf peeping and enjoying the perfect weather. We visited an apple and pumpkin farm, and tried to find a pumpkin to match the size of my belly. We visited the Old North Bridge and the Minuteman Statue, and even convinced our friend M to loudly proclaim her Longfellow speech while standing atop the Old North Bridge (she still has it memorized from the 3rd grade). Dinner at a delicious Chinese restaurant, and then a law school girlfriends' only baby shower, complete with Red Sox pacifiers and Red Sox sippy cups (much to Josh's satisfaction) and books and classical music cds for baby. It was truly wonderful, and I felt so loved and lucky and happy.

For the rest of Sunday night, we relaxed and enjoyed our time together before everyone's early morning flights. I was incredibly sad to see them go, even with the sleep deprivation! And it was terrifying to think that the next time I see them, I will (hopefully) have a baby! Crazy!

** Blogger is being stingy on letting me upload pictures to this post, so I'll have to post another update with photos, or you can mosey over to Flickr to see the weekend fun!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

pipe dreams

Josh proclaimed today that in no event will his children ever chew gum with sugar.

To which I replied, "what?! What about Bubblicious?"

And he said, "no, no, no, absolutely not. No gum with sugar in my house EVER."

Now my question is, should we laugh now or later?

Friday, October 13, 2006

recharging my batteries

This weekend is a very special one. My law school girlfriends, 4 of the most fabulous women I've ever had the pleasure of knowing, are coming to visit me. They are traveling from Atlanta, Los Angeles, Albuquerque and Washington D.C., just to celebrate the future arrival of this baby, just to laugh and point and marvel at how large this belly is becoming. When they first started discussing the visit, I was excited and incredibly pleased that we were even considering it. But as they are each boarding their planes in their prospective cities, I feel humbled that I am so very lucky to have such wonderful friends.

Not many people would do this much for you, I know.

So I'm off to enjoy that special recharging that only girlfriends can give you, the kind where you sit around and laugh and tell stories and wish that you did it more often. We'll be going out to dinner, and apple picking, and leaf peeping, and even visiting the witches in Salem, but I suspect that the moments I'll carry with me will be those that we spend in my living room in front of the fireplace.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, October 09, 2006

29 weeks down, 77 days to go...

This belly picture shocked me a little, because, um, I didn't realize that I looked that big! The belly is rather closely resembling a basketball these days, and I am definitely feeling more of the typical cravings that everyone talks about. Nothing too dramatic, but if you mention a food in front of me, I won't be able to stop thinking about it until I have it. I've also been craving peanut butter, which wouldn't be that odd except that I HATE peanut butter. When I worked at a coffee/yogurt shop in college, the owner would make peanut butter cookies before I came in and I'd have to wash the bowls. I would gag the whole time, because I can't even stand the SMELL of peanut butter! But now I want it, and nothing else will satisfy me. This baby is definitely Josh's, that's for sure.

In other news, I passed the glucose test with flying colors. I'm glad no one told me that you had to have 4 blood tests in 3 hours, because I would have freaked out and been anxious for the days before. Once I was already at the lab, I had a limited amount of time to freak out, and I kept reminding myself that it was all for a good cause. Unpleasant, but over fairly quickly in the grand scheme of things. The nausea and headache afterward weren't enjoyable either, but the main problem was the sugar crash I had at about noon, causing me to burst into tears for no real reason on the way to work.

We also had a minor catastrophe over the weekend, when after weeks and weeks and WEEKS of begging Josh to paint the baby's room, he locked himself in the future nursery to paint the built-in bookshelf, doors, windows and trim. For some reason, he lost his mind when he chose the paint, and rather than picking the clearly identified semi-gloss trim paint, he chose something called Calcimine Recoater, a specific product that we have to use on our old ceilings to prevent the paint from flaking off the Calcimine plaster. I walked in halfway through, and noted that it seemed rather gleaming white instead of the lovely creamy trim color I'd chosen, but didn't think much of the whole thing. It wasn't until he asked me to help him clean the paint brushes, and my hands were covered in oil paint with no hope of coming off, that I realized what he'd done. And then I cried. And cried. And cried.

I cried because now we have to hire someone to come and figure out how to fix this situation. And then I cried because he'd ruined the baby's room and the only thing I want is a place to arrange for this baby (I think the nesting is kicking in big time). And then I cried because I'd gotten the oil paint all over my hands and breathed it in, and I was convinced that now I'd probably hurt the baby. There was a lot of crying. Probably a lot of hormones too, but seriously, the crying was bad. I'm still upset because all the painters I contacted, that we can't really afford, can't start for several weeks, and that makes me a little crazy. But I'm trying to focus on something else, and on the realization that tons of people don't have a nursery ready when the baby comes. Most likely I will have plenty of time, but if I don't, I'll survive.

Besides all of this, we're just doing the same old thing. Still feeling great most of the time, still sleeping on my back, still loving all the kicking and rolling. I'm more shocked every day at HOW big this belly is getting. I'm not sure how there can be 77 days left until my due date. There is an awful lot of growing that can get done in 77 days, you know?

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

thanks from the 2 and 2/3 of us

Thank you so much for your well-wishes. It has been a long and exhausting couple of days, and today I am back at work, moving gingerly and sitting carefully. Everything hurts, and oddly, my hips feel loose and slightly out of whack. Baby doesn't seem to mind, though, and has been utilizing its breach position to its full advantage. The ribs on my right hand side are apparently highly entertaining, and feet or fingers are in there all the time.

Yesterday was spent on the couch, trying to rest and feeling antsy at the same time. I felt fine unless I actually moved any muscles, so I alternated between deciding to get up and do something and then changing my mind once I made any attempts to move. I reviewed our registry several times, and got a bit freaked when I discovered that people have bought some of the gifts! The gifts that I haven't finalized yet and weren't ready to be purchased! Now I know what I'll be doing this weekend, I suppose.

The other frustrating news, is that while I was at the hospital, the doctor suggested that I go ahead and do the glucose test since I was having rounds of bloodwork anyway. I would normally have been excited about this, except that right before my fall, we'd attended a "break fast" party for Yom Kippur, and my dinner consisted of soda, cake, decaf coffee with tons of sugar, cake, kugel (noodles, cream cheese, pineapple and raisins), and cake, so I suspected that my glucose levels were rather high to begin with. The cutoff is 140, and my result was 141. Sigh.

Now I have to fast from midnight tonight until 1pm tomorrow, murder for a pregnant woman, as you might expect, and do the 3 hour glucose test at the hospital. My doctor assures me that she wouldn't even do the repeat at all, except that if she doesn't, the number will stay in my record and eventually someone will raise a fuss that I never technically passed the test. Better safe than sorry, I guess, although I would rather have held off on the initial test until I had eaten a regular meal.

So to tell you the truth, besides feeling immensely grateful that baby seems fine, things are rather grumpy in the pregnancy world. Grumpy, punctuated with adoration for the rolls and kicks. I figure that I'll give myself a day or so to feel grumpy, and then kick myself out of it.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

just for kicks

It was getting a bit boring around here, what with all the love and mushiness and registry talk, so I fell down the basement stairs last night in spectacular fashion. Spectacular, I tell you. Feet flying out from under me, with hands full and unable to break my fall at all. I fell flat on my back and butt, stopped my head from slamming into the stairs by slamming my elbows into the stairs and then fell the rest of the way (about 6 steps). A glass pitcher flew across the basement, the steel pan that I was carrying in the other hand was flung against the wall, and then I collapsed at the base of the stairs in hysterics.

I couldn't catch my breath, and it hurt SO DARN MUCH that I thought for sure I'd broken my tail bone, and I kept thinking about the baby, oh my GOD, the baby. I was sobbing, eyes closed, shaking and trying to catch my breath while Josh ran down the stairs to my side and begged me to tell him what had happened. It felt like an eternity before I could breathe enough to tell him how hard I'd fallen and that he needed to call the doctor's emergency line.

So we spent last night being monitored for several hours in the labor and delivery ward, with ultrasounds and baby monitors and contraction monitors and blood work. Everyone is FINE, except for the massive bruises up and down my butt and back and elbows. Frankly, though, I'll take those 1,000,000 times over, just to hear that my baby is happy and safe.

We drank some orange juice right after the fall to encourage baby to move, because he or she was strangely quiet. During the race to the hospital, baby was moving fairly actively and once we got to the hospital and I was hooked up to the monitor, the kicking and twisting was nonstop. No contractions, no bleeding, the ultrasound looked fabulous, although the little bugger decided to turn fully breach, with its bottom near my cervix, head near my ribcage, and legs and arms stretched straight out into my right side and in front of baby's face. On the ultrasound we watched him playing with his toes and umbilical cord. Baby even regaled us with practice breaths and the hiccups while on screen.

We went home around 4am after they were satisfied that everything was fine, with strict orders to rest all day and come in immediately if anything seemed amiss. Everything has been fine all day, with only soreness and bruising to show for the experience. That, and new rules about walking around the house with rubber soled slippers instead of socks. I'm only a step above going down the stairs on my bottom, at this point.

I'm hoping this is the end of the excitement for this pregnancy, I think Josh and I have had enough.

Friday, September 29, 2006

nooooo, no hormones over here

My mom told me years ago that before you have a baby, love songs are about your significant other, whoever they happen to be. But once you have a child, every love song brings you back to this new love of your life. When people talk about unconditional love, you realize that your love for your baby takes it to a whole new level. These days, I am consumed with love for this being that spends every second with me. This belly that is fast approaching the size of a (rather large) pumpkin. I try to picture what this baby looks like, and I don't mean whether he has Josh's cleft chin, or she has my straight brown hair, but just a picture of an actual baby. With eyes and ears and hands that she keeps by her face, and feet that he kicks around and crosses and uncrosses. A real live baby, fully formed, gaining weight and practicing breathing.

We had our final hypnobirthing class on Tuesday, and at the end watched another video of a birth. It seems almost impossible to me that at the end of this wonderful journey, that tiny baby might be placed in my arms. Josh seems to believe it more, and his most common refrain when he chats with the belly is to remind him or her or how excited he is to meet his baby. He squeezes my hand when we see an infant, and his face lights up when someone asks him about the pregnancy. I am equally consumed with love for him these days, with watching how he is changing, how our relationship is changing, imagining what kind of father he'll be.

So I wasn't wholly surprised when I burst into tears the other day when a sappy love song came onto the radio. I was surprised when I couldn't stop crying for the rest of the ride to work, but I guess pregnancy will do that to you.

The other day, another associate came into my office to tell me that her doctor had decided to induce her that day, at 38 weeks, and that she was off to pack a bag and head to the hospital. She confessed that she was nervous to be induced and nervous about how painful labor would be. I could hardly contain my excitement, though, and I clapped my hands together and reminded her that she would be meeting her baby soon! If not tonight, then tomorrow! And then, I promptly burst into tears.

BURST INTO TEARS. And I don't really know this girl, she is just a friendly colleague. So she stood there looking awkward, while I tried to contain my tears, then hugged me quickly, wished me luck, and ran the hell out of my office. It took me 5 minutes just to get my tears under control, all the while feeling terribly embarassed. I guess the idea that someone, anyone, would get to meet their baby today, just pushed me over the edge. I felt like I was in a sitcom.

I pity Josh a bit, because I'm starting to think that despite my denials, I may be just a tad hormonal.

Monday, September 25, 2006

operation baby

Do you know what today is? Today is September 25th. The 25th. As in, 3 months from December 25th. Also known as 3 months from my due date, the date on which I have forbidden this baby from appearing any earlier. I hear most women hoping their baby appears a couple of weeks early, or at the very least right on their due date, and instead I find myself lecturing my uterus on the fine art of patience and remaining inside until I am ready for baby to emerge.

My mom bought us a tiny little countdown clock that we keep on the mantle, and I noticed a few days ago with no small measure of alarm that the clock has bypassed 100 and dropped into double digit numbers. Double digits! On the one hand, Christmas seems forever away, and I have more than enough time to finish the registry, and get Josh to paint the room, and purchase the crib, and order the dresser and the rocker, and get diapers, and do all of those things that everyone tells me don't actually need to be done before the baby is born but I feel a pressing need to complete. Yesterday, though, when I saw the Christmas display already set up and twinkling at Target, I felt a little sick to my stomach. Excited sick, but sick nonetheless.

Meanwhile, Josh skips around the house singing and alternately cupping my belly in his hands and telling baby to come "faster, faster!" because he can't wait for December to arrive. Every night he presses his hands against my abdomen as we wait for the nightly internal kickboxing show to begin, and every night he ends up sighing and telling me how jealous he is that I get to feel our baby every single day. I am so lucky, on so many levels, there is not doubt about that.

So that is what we're doing these days. I try to get my head around the idea that a baby might come home at the end of all this, and it seems impossible. Instead, I focus on cleaning out the closet, finding spaces for the junk accumulated in that room. I've discovered that the color yellow is an evil bastard, and I have 6 different 2*2 foot swatches painted on the wall to prove it, none of which match the yellow of the crib bumper exactly right. Did you know that yellow can be too green and too orange and too icy and too pale and too just plain wrong? Because I didn't. But when I asked at the paint store for a common yellow used in a nursery, the clerk just laughed and laughed. I should have known then.

Yesterday I attended a prenatal yoga class, and I'm in all kinds of pain right now. Pain in places where I didn't know I had muscles, like my ribs and my back and my shoulders. Ouch. I'll try to believe the teacher, though, when she tells me that I'm making space for my baby by stretching out my chest and doing squats. Seriously, though, OUCH.

Besides all of this, I herald the arrival of my favorite season, of course. My favorite holiday is coming up soon, and then I suspect that the days will fly by from there. I'm just trying to hold onto these last couple months before they slip through my fingers.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

my hips (and my heels!) don't lie

I have to go back in time for a second to comment on the advice! My goodness, people, the advice! I love it! I'm going to print it all out, 3 hole punch it, put it in a binder, and hand it to the salesperson at Oversized Baby Store and tell them to pick all my products for me. Or I might give it all to Josh who will then collate it into a spreadsheet laying out the median responses of all participants, and then maybe make a graph for each product that includes yesses and nos, because that is the type of thing these MBA students like to do. You think I'm joking, but I'm not.

Seriously, though, THANK YOU! I will be going into Oversized Baby Store to begin our registry there and I will most certainly NOT be adding a wipes warmer or a bottle sterilizer to our list. I will also be sitting down tonight and analyzing whether we even have the space for all this junk, because indeed, as a couple of you pointed out, perhaps our 1500 square foot house may be a bit small for the goods. The baby's room is a solid 9 foot by 9 foot, a fact that makes me want to weep a bit as I look through baby magazines and catalogs. Oh the things I could do with a normal sized room that doesn't have 2 windows, a door, a closet and a wall of built in bookshelves.

Since my post asking for all of your suggestions, I failed to mention one of the major milestones of my second trimester a couple of weeks ago- Josh and I met up for a Shakira concert at the Boston Garden! Shakira, I know, but I am not ashamed to admit that I love Shakira's music with a fiery passion. I have been listening to her for years and years and years, having picked up her music on one of my many visits to Buenos Aires in high school and college. I think her music is intertwined in my mind with wonderful outings with cousins and friends, and freedom to explore a city that is foreign but feels like home at the same time.

Attending her concert and hearing the songs I've been singing for years in person was a fabulous gift, and she played all of my favorite songs, even one of those random ones that I simply adore but was never a top hit. Josh and I danced so much standing in our seats and in the aisles that for days afterwards my heels were bruised a dark black and blue. I worried a bit about the baby's hearing since some of her songs are very loud, especially her newest hit with Wyclef Jean, but the baby seemed content to dance along with me via the womb. I've thrown her CD in a few times since then, and baby kicks along with my singing, so either he or she likes the music, or is adamantly asking me to STOP.

But again, thank you for all your tips! I am feeling much more relaxed about the whole registry thing, and I'm confident that I won't start crying when they hand me the clicker!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

holy reflux, batman

People kept warning me that along with closeness to your due date, the third trimester also delivers lovely gifts such as heartburn and acid reflux.

I didn't actually realize that by acid reflux you meant "clawing at your chest, having to get up at 4am because your esophagus is being burned from the inside, uncontrollable burping all day at work, can't drink decaf coffee anymore" type of acid reflux.

It's been lovely, really.

I'd had a few instances of heartburn before last night, but this was just ridiculous. I'm hoping that this will not be a regular occurrence, and I plan on using Dr. Google to let me know what types of foods I should avoid and whether I should try getting up or drinking milk, or what I can possible try the next time I am unable to lie down because of the burning.

Advice? It was just the one time, right? It isn't going to happen again? Because holy reflux, I am only 25 weeks! There are (hopefully) a lot of weeks to go!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

baby scares

I guess no pregnancy can be totally perfect, and maybe every baby has to give you a bit of a scare before he or she is born. This Sunday, as we were leaving to run errands like picking up paint samples and looking at cribs, I began having stabbing abdominal pains. At first, I wasn't concerned, but simply followed the advice of all my pregnancy books and drank a glass of water, put my feet up, tried lying on my left side, but nothing helped.

The pains got worse, until I couldn't stand up straight and Josh was begging me to call the emergency line at my Ob/Gyn. We finally got through to the doctor on call at the hospital, when she proceeded to further scare me to death by telling me that she was concerned that I was either in early labor or had appendicitis and wanted me to go straight to labor and delivery. The pains were radiating downward, starting at about an inch to the right of my belly button and a couple of inches down. Walking or touching the area made the pains worse.

I tried to keep my emotions under control, but the only thought running through my head was "25 weeks... 25 weeks... 25 weeks... it is just too early." I didn't know whether a baby could survive surgery, if it really was appendicitis, and even contemplating anything different made me want to vomit.

After 3 hours at the hospital, blood tests, urine analysis, exams and ultrasounds, we could come to no conclusions. The pains eventually faded after a couple of hours, and the on-call doctor's best guess was that my growing uterus had been compressing one of the organs in the area, causing the organ to be unable to function and therefore spasm and contract with accompanying pain. I was told to come straight in if the pain recurred, but in the meantime I could resume all normal activities and try not to worry.

All has been well since then, and I'm back to feeling great. Thankfully, the whole time I was experiencing the pains, the baby was kicking up a storm so I didn't worry about how the baby was at that instant. I just worried about the future.

I guess I'll just chalk this one up to phantom pregnancy pains, and put it in my pregnancy book as one of the many things I'll hold over this baby's head along with labor, hemorrhoids, and sleepless nights.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

all my lists won't really help, will they?

This morning I was thinking about Yankee, Transferred and Jo(e) who are each watching one of their children head off to college. Jo(e)'s eldest son and Yankee's older daughter are beginning their new adventures this year as freshman at their respective universities. I know that watching your child spread their wings and make the natural progression to leaving your home brings with it a whirlwind of emotions, but for me, this morning, it brought a crying jag lasting over an hour.

I have moments when the happiness of a solitary kick or roll can bring me to tears, but today I am terrified at the thought that someday this baby will leave me. Someday soon, I won't be able to simply cover my belly with my hands to shield it from the outside world. Much sooner than I can even fathom, I'll have to watch this baby walk away from me at a playground, or at the doors of preschool, or for a school dance, or for college. They are all things I want for my child, of course, but if I love this tiny thing so much already, when we haven't even met, how will I ever be able to let go?

It scares me to death.

It makes me wonder how I could allow myself to do this, make myself so vulnerable? And yesterday, when I read on Chris' blog that you wait 9 months for this baby to come out, to see for yourself that he or she is safe. When really, the only time your baby is really safe is when she is safely esconced in your uterus. That just makes me burst into tears all over again.

I'm not a person that opens herself up to hurt or pain, although I admit that I am rather sensitive. I tend to protect my emotions more often than not, but in this case, I've made this decision that will change my life forever. It will never be about just me or just me and Josh ever again.

And the day I finally give birth to this wee kicking monkey, I'll have to share him or her with everyone else. When I think about it that way, the first 6 months seem so easy, because at least this baby will rely on Josh and I for everything, and I can shelter him or her in my arms. But as soon as he crawls, or walks, or runs, I'll have to learn to start letting go.

But how do you do it? Also, how do you stop crying long enough to do it?

Thursday, August 31, 2006

registry hell

Since I don't like to upset the delicate balance we've crafted of "doing nothingness for the baby", and because I like to uphold my jet-setting image (yeah, right), I'm off to my home town of San Francisco for the weekend. My parents are meeting me at the airport, and I expect 4 days of pure pampering and holding court over the belly. Okay, maybe not that extreme, but I'd like to not clean my house, or take care of the dogs, or worry about baby lists and furniture hunting and scheduling. I'd also like to hit some cute baby stores while we're there ; )

My title might be a tad bit dramatic, but that is what it feels like these days. I've been holding off on registering or purchasing anything until we returned from vacation, and now, of course, we're back and I'm starting to panic at the lack of productivity. Last weekend was a whirlwind of activity, between visiting furniture stores, arguing over necessary baby items and starting registries online, and planning out the baby's closet at the Container Store. I'm not sure why I'm shocked when I find myself exhausted at the end of the day.

My blogging buddies, I need your help. I have read multiple guides to baby necessities, and I am overwhelmed. I've decided to compile a list, in the hopes that you will share your advice on what you couldn't live without, and what was a total waste of money. Some of the things on my list aren't really necessities, but things I'd just like to have so just ignore some of those. Help!

Baby-to-be List
Crib mattress (is foam fine?)
Dresser (I can't find a changing table that fits in the room!)
Rocker with ottoman
Crib bumper
Crib skirt
Fitted sheet (4-5?)
Waterproof mattress pad fitted (2?)
Waterproof mattress pad flat (2?)
Blankets (for stroller or chair or floor- how many? 2? Do I need to register or will people just get them?)
Car seat
2 Bases for car seat
Umbrella stroller
Bouncy seat
Curtain rods
Table lamp
Diaper bag
Towels (4?)
Changing pad (for floor or bed or chair, since I won't have a changing table)
Burp cloths (how many? 20?)
Bundle me car seat cover
Diaper caddy (2?)
Baskets (3?)
Sling and Baby Bjorn (sling purchased in Amsterdam- at least I can carry the baby around!)
Playpen/Pack and play
Playmat for floor
Baby monitor (does anyone have the video ones? Are they a waste?)
Safety gates
First aid kit
Diaper pail (which one?)
Snowsuit (for my December baby!)
Breast pump
Breast pads/shields (what else?)
Bottles (what brands? How many if I'm planning on breastfeeding?)
High chair
Bath tub (can I wash baby in the sink?)
Bath accessories (lotion, soap, etc.)

And??? I feel like this list is so long already, but something tells me that I don't have everything. What about things that I think are unnecessary, like wipe warmers and bottle sterilizers? Should I register for outfits? Or wait to receive them?

The only decision I have made is on the bedding, thank goodness, or you'd probably have a hysterical Halloweenlover on your hands. We decided to go with a unisex bedding, since I couldn't bring myself to pick both a boy and a girl bedding, so this is what we chose. I love it! I wish my room could be decorated in this pattern!

I welcome any and all advice, so please share! But be gentle! I am a hormonal pregnant woman! In the meantime, I wish you all happy Labor days! And I hope you labor very little during this time!