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!