Thursday, November 27, 2008

baby baby baby on the brain

It was funny for me to read the posts here and here, because we are (amazingly) approaching the time where we will finally know who this little person is. With all the placenta and breech nonsense, we ended up having tons of ultrasounds throughout this pregnancy, and although I'm dying to know just for the sake of knowing, we didn't find out because we just don't care. We really, honestly, truly, don't care. I'd love a girl, and I'd love a boy, and whatever we get is what I believe I'm meant to have.

Since the start of this pregnancy, though, people have been spontaneously announcing to me that they think I'm having a girl. At the resort in Aruba, at the doctor's office, my friends, my mom, people on the street, everyone seems to think this is a girl. I even find myself believing that this is a girl because of the increased nausea and exhaustion and terrible skin and dry frizzy hair. This has to be a girl, because this pregnancy has been so much more uncomfortable and anxiety-ridden than Gabe's was. Yesterday, I even realized that I'm becoming somewhat attached to the idea of this baby being a girl. It scares me a little, because I would never want to be disappointed at the birth of my child because I'm hoping for one or the other.

But then, this morning, I realized as I went into Gabe's bedroom and he exclaimed "bay-ball" and "diggah" and pointed to his toys, I could never be disappointed. No matter what. Feeling disappointed because this baby is a boy would be like saying that Gabe is less than perfect just because he is a boy. Gabe is perfect and beautiful and wonderful and I couldn't love him more. I could never wish for anything different because he is the child I am supposed to have. If I'm blessed to have another sweet boy just like him, I will count my lucky stars. If it is a girl, I'll count those same lucky stars.

I'll also get down on my knees and thank everything and everyone for two healthy children. That's all I could ever ask for. Plus, there's always baby number three! Or if I had my way, number 4! Josh says that babies 3 and 4 are going to have to be with my second husband, so I guess we'll have to see.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope your holiday is as blessed as ours!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

ick, ick, and more ick

This Monday marked the beginning of one of my least favorite medical aspects in pregnancy- the cervical checks.


I guess some people weather these checks easily without screaming and crawling backwards off the paper covered table, but I am not one of those folks. I find any checking in that vicinity to be excruciatingly painful, to the point that I have been dreading it for weeks and have considered taking pain medication in advance of a visit. Okay, just Tylenol, but still.

I hoped to myself on Monday morning that perhaps I'd exaggerated the whole event in my mind, but no such luck. It was very not fun, and to make matters worse, I didn't even get a teensy tiny bit of dilation to be happy about. I am 0% dilated. Nada. Nothing. I don't know why I'm surprised since it took me 40 weeks, 3 days, and 7 hours of pitocin to get me to one stinking centimeter. In a way, I'm relieved because my mom doesn't arrive until December 14th, and also I'm clearly not prepared to have this baby, but seriously, just a little progress would have been nice.

In preparation for the start of the cervical checks, Sunday night saw me contorting into strange positions in the bathroom, trying to deal with the bikini line situation. It wasn't pretty- neither the bikini area or the 36 weeks and 3 days preggo bending every which way trying to access that area. I used this to deal with the situation, and while I'm normally a HUGE fan and I've been using it for about a year now, it was shockingly more painful while pregnant. Maybe my pain tolerance just goes down in pregnancy? Or maybe I'm just a wimp? Who knows.

I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that I deliver the baby before I have to tackle the area again. 36 weeks is one thing. If this belly gets any bigger, I'm going to have to call in the husband reinforcements to assist me, and nobody wants that.

Monday, November 24, 2008


Gabe's new big boy room has a big boy bed in it that he seems to love. It is cute and low to the ground, with a beautiful rail all along one side, and adorable train bedding. Gabe loves to lay in the bed and read and drink some milk and brush his teeth. Gabe, however, has no interest in actually sleeping in the bed.

I was hoping to do the transitional thing and start the bedtime routine there and then move to naps and finally to actual night sleeping in there, but so far he is very much loving his crib. He's also stopped climbing out of his crib because he seems to like it so much.

So what do I do? I kind of need the crib for this new resident that is slated to arrive relatively soon, but I don't need the crib now. I need it maybe 4-5 months from now. But I wanted some period of transition before I remove him from the crib and plop in the newest owner. I was looking for a couple of months of an empty crib to get him to somewhat forget that he used to sleep in the crib and get used to the idea of the baby having the crib instead.

I tried to talk Josh into moving the crib into his new room for a little while, but that suggestion was met with stubborn refusal. Apparently it is "too much work" to do that, and we already bought the twin bed and I need to come up with an alternative solution. My alternative solution does not include making my son miserable or forcing him into a bed if he isn't ready or getting less sleep then I'm already slated to get over the next couple of months.

But what should I do? Should I ask around to borrow a crib? Dismantle the crib myself with my massive belly? Push ahead with plans to switch him to his bed even though I feel in my heart of hearts that he isn't ready? Help!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

me no likey the dirty

If it ever doesn't work out with Josh, and some totally hot Amish farmer guy (a la Harrison Ford in Witness) falls in love with me and wants to sweep me off my feet and take me to his farm, I'm going to have settle for a romp in the haystacks, but say no to moving.

It turns out, shockingly, that I'm not cut out for the hard life (Chatty Cricket, please stop laughing).

This summer, we signed up for a community supported agriculture share of a farm. This means that every Thursday, we pick up a box of vegetables from a local drop off spot. These vegetables have been lovingly picked and cut and delivered just for us. The vegetables weren't treated with pesticides, and they've come straight from the ground and into the share box. They are super healthy, totally organic, a diverse assortment, and I have determined that I hate them.

There are a lot of vegetables in every box. They are dirty. Very, very dirty. Covered in dirt and bugs and sludge kind of dirty. I consider us fairly well-rounded adventurous eaters, but we never eat the vegetables they send us. We don't get broccoli and cauliflower and brussel sprouts and spinach. We get parsnips and cabbage (oh geez, so much freaking cabbage) and bok choy and 79 varieties of squash. Oh, and did I mention turnips? Because we get lots of turnips. And lots of leeks and eggplants. How many leeks can one family eat? Turns out, for us it's just one leek and lots go to waste. It is shameful how many of the vegetables went into the trash, but the reality is that it has been too much work for me to pick up the box, wash the many vegetables that arrive, find space for them in our cramped fridge, and then come up with inventive recipes my family will eat from these many random vegetables. I wanted corn and tomatoes and salad greens and beans and cucumbers. That is not what we received.

Also, and this is going to sound ridiculous, I cannot remember to pick up my vegetables from 4-7pm on Thursdays. I just can't. The number of times I have emailed the poor drop-off woman to ask if I can come tomorrow, are too many to count. She must think I am the hugest idiot ever, but I think it is just pregnancy and a toddler and a tendency to stay home on Thursdays for Gabe to have downtime after his toddler program on Mondays and Wednesdays.

I signed up in March when I wasn't pregnant, and when I thought it was a fabulous idea for us to receive fresh vegetables and expand our horizons and I could make and freeze baby food. Turns out, not so much. So we will not be doing our share again next year, and I'll be buying my cauliflower and broccoli and spinach at our local farmer's market or grocery store, and I suspect I'll be much happier for it.

My dreams of being a sexy farmgirl will just have to fall by the wayside.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I know nobody wants to talk about poop, but...

Today marks the first day of the last month before my due date. You see, yesterday was November 19th, and that means that from here on out, when someone asks me when I'm due, I can simply say "the 19th" and there are no other 19ths between now and then. My countdown clock says 28 days to go, and I assume that is because it doesn't count today or the actual 19th. This is a little mind-blowing, to tell you the truth, and a tiny bit distressing because yesterday Josh turned to me on the couch and said, "Wow, we're getting close, aren't we? What- we have maybe 7 weeks to go or something?" Yes dear, or something. Talk about denial on his part!

I'm feeling good this week, and I attribute that to the head down position of the baby, which has caused fewer contractions than normal, and also to the fact that we made some serious headway on Gabe's 'big boy' room over the weekend. We still have a ways to go, though. Gabe's clothes and books and general stuff are still in the nursery, and none of the baby's clothing has been unpacked from the attic, but at least there is a painted bedroom with actual furniture and an actual bed and bedding in the new room for Gabe. He isn't even remotely close to sleeping in there, but I'm relieved that it is done. I'm hoping this weekend will bring more change and advancement on the decorating aspect of the room, and then I promise some cute pictures. Or at least, I think they're cute!

My major complaint these days, and if you could see me I'm grimacing over here to even bring this up, is majorly serious constipation. Like terrible, very bad, no good constipation. This has been a feature of this pregnancy since, oh, day 3. I'm trying everything these days. Loads of water, fruits and vegetables, coffee, straight fiber supplements, bran cereal, yogurt, and I still need major help. My OB is threatening medication, but I'd like to avoid it if I can. So here is where you come in- everyone has advice on this topic, right? Please please please share yours! I can definitely use all the help I can get! Put the shame aside! Share galore!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I think cookies will help

On Friday, I lay on the couch for 2 hours with 5 pillows under my pelvis and my head slanted downward. When I stood back up, I endured an hour of heartburn, acid reflux, and nausea. I told myself, though, that if the baby turned, it was worth it. On Saturday, I sat on the floor on all fours with my butt in the air and my head resting on a pillow, cursing my sore back, but I thought, if the baby turns, it'll be worth it. On Sunday, I woke up and thought, I think the baby might have turned. So I did nothing, except jump up and down and squat and try to get that head to jam itself into the appropriate places.

And yesterday, I went to the doctor, and VOILA, the baby is turned! Head down, and according to her, pretty engaged in the birth canal. We both agree, however, that the baby appears to have lots of space in my uterus right now and could easily turn back, so her medical advice was, "Don't do anything strange that might make the baby turn back." Uh-huh. I'll make sure to follow that advice. But what exactly qualifies as strange? Does poking the baby constantly to make sure it is still head down qualify as annoying to the baby?

Thanks for your well-wishes! Keep sending "stay head down" thoughts our way!

Friday, November 14, 2008

definitely bootylicious

Wait, wait, wait...

I cannot believe I forgot to mention this, but after all the drama with the placenta, this baby is breech. BREECH. As in, butt first in the birth canal, must turn before a vaginal birth can take place. I was calm about this initially, as was the OB, but as the appointments have continued and 002 continues to remain in the same position, all parties have become a bit more nervous.

At 30 weeks, the OB blew it off. At 32 weeks, she said she was sure the baby would turn. At 34 weeks, she started to seem a little more nervous, and now at my appointment on Monday, 35 and a half weeks, I have an ultrasound scheduled to confirm the breech position and discuss "options". Since last week, I've started doing yoga poses, on hands and knees with my head resting against the floor and my butt in the air while I sway it from side to side, hoping to dislodge the baby and encourage him or her to flip. I poke and prod and try to manually shove his or her head out of my ribs and toward the bottom of my stomach.

I'm pulling out all the stops. I'm getting the ironing board from the basement, and I plan to hang upside down on it while leaning it against the couch. I'm listening to my hypnobirthing cd and reciting to myself that my uterus is flexible enough and large enough to allow the baby to turn. If Monday's ultrasound shows the same position, I'm calling some acupuncture experts. I'll try moxibustion, I'll do cartwheels, I'll run laps, I'll even beg the baby to please cooperate. My OB thinks that trying to manually turn the baby is pretty ineffective, but we'll probably try that too.

I'm frustrated, I can't lie. I find myself feeling irrationally annoyed at this baby when I again yelp at the hard head pressing itself into my rib cage. It feels like you have a bruise and someone keeps poking your bruise in the same spot again and again and again. The baby kicks me hard in the organs and the cervix and in all kinds of tender places at the bottom of my belly. I keep having contractions and sharp pains that make me double over, and I suspect it is this wonky position.

The one thing I'm wondering, though, is that if I'm doing all of these things together to get the baby to turn, what happens if he or she turns and then I continue doing the exercises because I can't be 100% certain the baby has turned, and then he or she just keeps turning and turning and turning. Should I do the exercises until I suspect 002 has turned and then stop? But what if Monday's ultrasound shows I'm wrong?

Do you think Tom Cruise would lend me his ultrasound machine? Should I harass my OB daily and demand ultrasounds? Maybe I should freaking STOP OBSESSING over this and get to nesting?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

hormones anyone?

I may possibly, potentially, be the teensiest, tiniest bit hormonal.

I was driving home from my dentist appointment, where I had ANOTHER cavity, which frustrates me to no end because no one (seriously NO ONE) is more obsessive over their teeth. I brush and floss obsessively, I think that in all the years of my life, I cannot remember even once. Not even once! That I went to bed without brushing my teeth. My mom says even when I was a toddler, if I fell asleep in the car and they carried me to my bed, I'd pop my eyes open and insist that I needed to brush my teeth. I've complained repeatedly to the dentist about it, and I am so angry that despite what I do, I continue to get cavities. Grrrr.

Anyway, I'm digressing. Let's get back to my hormones.

I'm driving home from the dentist, where I was able to say to him, "I'm having this baby in about a month," because I am! Today is November 12th, and my due date is November 19th, so I have 5 weeks and I consider 5 weeks, or 36 days, to be about a month. So I'm driving, and reflecting on that craziness, and suddenly I think, "In a month, my baby won't be my baby anymore because I'll have a new baby."

And I dissolved into sobs that I could barely control for the rest of the drive home. I mean, I know, he'll always be my baby, blah blah blah, but still. I'm having a baby, and I'm terrified that this new baby will take the role of my current baby, who is still truly a baby! A crazy talking, laughing, running, jumping, playing baby, but still my baby. In another month and a half, he'll be two! No more referring to him in months! Now I'll have to say he's two and that sounds giant to me. Plus, I'll have this new demanding little person who will most definitely be an actual baby, and although I'm beyond excited to meet him or her, I'm also so sad and guilt-ridden that I'm displacing Gabe. Sigh.

My mom was assuring me while I was crying that he'll always be my baby, and even at 30, I'm still her baby, but I'm still sad and sniffly. There are so many changes these days, it's so much to take in and so much in the way of adjusting. We're painting Gabe's big boy room today, setting up his new bed this weekend, he's been peeing and pooping in the potty (of his own accord, a topic for another post), he chats up a storm and has even taken to bossing me around with his demands. Today I dropped him off at the toddler program and he wouldn't even say goodbye before running off to join the other children with the playdough. I know everyone says they grow up too fast, but damn it, it's true! Gabe is growing up too fast. I just gave birth to him, and all of a sudden he is this amazing kid that just keeps getting bigger. Any tips on how to make it stop?

Monday, November 10, 2008

samma has a lot to say

My Jewish son turned to me over the weekend and out of the blue said, "Mama! Samma say HO HO HO!"

His inflection was perfect, and he'd even accomplished a deeper than normal HO HO HO, but I still thought I must have heard wrong. So I asked what an owl says, "Whoo, whoo," he replied. "And what does Santa say?" "Ho ho ho!" Clear as a bell.

We have no idea where he got it from, since I haven't been talking about Santa, and the toddler program woman claims she hates Santa and wouldn't have talked about it, and plus, Halloween just happened! Who is talking about Santa already? He watches some television, but everything is pre-recorded, so no commercials.

Do kids just absorb Santa by osmosis? It's a mystery, but I told Josh that unless his Jewish kid comes home talking about Jesus or claiming the Jesus will save him, we probably don't need to worry.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

health insurance shmealth insurance

I don't know if this is typical and we've just been lucky thus far, but we're having serious issues with our health insurance. In the last 6 months, they've tried to deny claim after claim after claim. Sometimes the letters say that our policy ended (when it didn't), sometimes it says that services aren't covered (when they are), or today, they said they'd already paid the claim (definitely not).

It is becoming infuriating and frustrating, because I often have to sit on the phone for hours with them trying to argue my way through to payment. The other day they claimed that because my name was misspelled on my insurance card, they weren't going to pay for bloodwork ordered by my OB's office. Mind you, I've notified them 3 times about the fact that my name is misspelled on the card, and they never thought it was a crucial fact until now.

When we were in Florida visiting my inlaws, I had to rush Gabe to an emergency clinic because he had a massive ear infection and started throwing up and screaming while clutching his ear (turns out his ear drum ruptured). No one in Florida would take our particular insurance because they said they were never willing to pay the claims. I had to call the insurance company and spend hours on the phone getting an authorization for us to visit a clinic, and they gave me a claim number so I could submit the receipts and get paid for the two visits (one urgent, one follow-up). Today's letter informed me that they already paid me for these two visits, even though they most definitely, assuredly, have not. I think I would notice if I had those $300 I paid out of pocket.

I am so annoyed! Is this typical? Or is this because of the bad economy? Are the insurance companies trying to get away with not paying for standard claims to save money? I'm just so stinking tired of this, and if one member of our family wasn't staying home (i.e., me), I'm not sure who would have time to make these calls. By the way, this is a very common health insurance, not some podunk random one. It is probably one of the largest in the country. So why is this happening and what can I do to stop it? I'm already dreading the nonsense that is going to result after I have this baby. We're probably going to get billed for $500,000 or something similarly insane. Ugh.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

fyi, if you come over for dinner

Last night we had a hopeful celebratory dinner of pot roast in the slow cooker. I set Gabe up on the counter next to me and chopped up potatoes, carrots, and celery, handed them over to him in little piles and he would place them in the slow cooker. He was very good at his job, until we got to the carrots, at which point he licked each and every little carrot slice before placing it in the slow cooker.

Seasoning, I guess.