Wednesday, September 30, 2009

There was no room for birthday treats

If you ever find yourself to be hugely pregnant and wonder "How can I make myself even more miserable?" then friend, I have the answer for you! Go out for a birthday dinner and then wrap up the evening up with rich chocolate desserts. I promise you, you will feel miserable afterward. Actually, never do this, it's not worth it!

We saw the nurse midwife today and everything is great with the baby. He's in the right position and he's doing well. Now we wait... and we nap... and we try not to eat too much because it hurts.

I'm still working, only part time, and basically all anyone cares about is that I don't give birth until the date they have chosen on the office pool of dates Erika gives birth. This is fine with me, I can handle this level of drama.

Tomorrow, we meet with the maternity care coordinator at the hospital who will help us with a birth plan and how we want things to go at the hospital. Here's how I want things to go: I have a healthy baby in the next 2-3 weeks. However that happens is something I will deal with as it comes. That's my plan! I don't need candles, chanting, or aromatherapy to feel good about my experience, not that they are offering.

Monday, we meet with a lactation consultant who will apparently examine my breastsess and advise us on breast feeding techniques. This should be interesting.

Then Wednesday it's back to see the midwife. I really don't have time to have a baby with all of these appointments I have scheduled.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Big plans

Cassie trying to sleep last night but the paparazzi was bothering her.

I had big plans for the end of pregnancy! I was going to walk everyday, up to an hour a day and continue to swim until the end. It turns out that I can barely walk 2 blocks without pain, a pain I can't really describe to you except to imagine that you are carrying a baby who is using your pelvis as a hammock and you are trying to move with 30 pounds of belly you aren't necessarily used to. There are no hour long walks until this baby is out for several weeks.

I bought a citrus juicer to help with my citrus cravings

I still swim though, and it's still the best part of my day, except the walk to get into the pool when everyone stares at me. People look at me like, "Shouldn't you be in bed?" but little do they know that bed is the most uncomfortable place for me to be. Post baby, I do plan to exercise regularly to help lose this weight and get back to triathlons but I'm not pressuring myself to do this quickly. I'm giving myself the rest of the year to get myself back to exericise.

I haven't had a bunch of contractions since last Wednesday, except on Sunday when I had another set while I was at the movies. I was sweating bullets trying to get through that movie. Tonight, my face turned beet red for no apparent reason and I was awake this morning at 4am, for no apparent reason. Well, Bill says the reason is because I'm going to give birth soon. Can you believe it's almost time for this baby?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Utter devastation

I wasn't feeling great yesterday so I left work early and spent the afternoon at home trying to rest and relax my contracting belly. I emailed a friend and asked her to take Marshall for a walk since Bill was still out of town and walking was painful for me due to the pressure in my pelvis from the baby. Marshall was so excited to see her, I think he is totally over this pregnancy thing.

An hour or so later she brought him back and started questioning me about how I was feeling. I admitted that I was having some contractions and feeling nauseated but nothing was painful. She advised that I pack my bags, just in case things developed faster than I thought. So I went upstairs and packed my hospital bag which alarmed the dog tremendously.

He was looking at me with utter devastation. First daddy left and now you are packing your bags?! Why do you smell funny? Lay down mommy! Stop packing!

Poor guy! He knows something is up and that it might not be good. I had a talk with him and assured him that he is my special guy and that we'll have to run off the baby weight so don't worry his precious athletic heart, he'll get his exercise.

Bill is back home again so it looks like he will get to witness the birth of his first child. We saw the midwife this morning and she said the baby's head was in the right place but he had not descended yet. My belly is measuring perfectly and my weight is perfect and the heart rate of the baby is perfect. 130. Can you believe how fast their little heart's have to beat? So we are all lined up for birth. I just have to get through this child birth thing which should be a total breeze! :)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

To Heidi with Love

Thank you, dear woman, for being due at the same time as I am and for going to the Emmy awards with your beautiful belly on display. Look at that gorgeous arm and your lovely skin. You are amazing! I have watched your show, "Project Runway" and always thought you were a bit obnoxious with your tag line "You're either in, or you're out!" but I have put this behind me now and declare my love for you and all things Heidi.

I hope the overweight check out clerk who asked me, "How are you still walking around like that?" sees this photo of you. Next time, I'll wear a black strapless dress and chandelier earrings to buy groceries and give the checker a withering look.

Thank you for not acting like it's the 1950s and that pregnant women should be bed ridden and hidden from public view. I love you Heidi! You gave me a much needed boost at the end of my pregnancy.

More pregnant stars but none as hot as Heidi...

Monday, September 21, 2009

Family first

We had a co-ed baby shower this weekend that was not your typical baby shower, it was potluck, there was beer on tap, and guys watching football in the other room. I had a lovely time which would have been made better had my husband been there as planned. He got called out of town for work last week at the last minute and had to miss the shower. I wanted him to email our friends to explain but he had a better idea, he wanted me to pretend like he was there the whole time.

So I spent the first hour of the party telling people, "He's running a little late..." and "I thought I just saw him..." or "maybe he's in the bathroom..." but eventually I was hearing people getting irritated. Apparently there was an effort underway to go get him or get him on the phone and cuss him out for being so late.

I had to get up in front of the crowd and tell everyone that Bill wasn't coming, that he had been called out of town on business, and that he wanted me to act like he was at the party the whole time. Everyone laughed but he was the villain of the party for a while there.

In the end, it worked out fine but I'm still slightly hung up on this whole thing about saying, "Family comes first but..." and then demanding a man's presence somewhere weeks before his wife is due to give birth. I'm just slightly hung up on it. I don't think you should follow up the statement "Family comes first" with a but. It either comes first or it doesn't come first.

Don't cross a pregnant woman, she will not forget. My hormones are so raging, there will be no forgiveness should someone cross me now. Actually, I'm pretty serious about this, I would not cross me right now.

There are no photos because I took my camera but left the battery at home in the charger. I did take some video, we'll see if I can get it together to post some of it. I remember someone asking me if I was going to film my own birth and then I did something obscene, that might be funny to post. Family first!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Gosh dang

I had quite an experience at the pool today. One of my swim mates said to me, "You are the biggest pregnant woman I have ever seen. I've seen a lot of pregnant women and you are BIG!" Well gosh dang. I feel like emailing him a link to one of those websites where women post photos of their pregnant bellies. Trust me, I am not the biggest pregnant woman you have ever seen.

Hey, remember when I used to get uptight about people touching my belly? Now, if I someone asks me about pregnancy and little dude is kicking, I grab their hand and put it on my belly. It's awesome! I actually did this to someone yesterday at the pool. I doubt he wanted to touch a soaking wet pregnant woman. Paybacks!

Bill shows up at the pool today (late and looking good... which! by the way! never let your husband sign up for an Ironman while you are pregnant because his body fat will plummet while yours goes the opposite direction). Anyway, I ask him if the jogging stroller arrived as it was due to be shipped today. He said yes so I suggested we assemble tonight and make sure the car seat fits in the adapter so we can return it if not ($$). Good times on a Friday night in the land of the pregnant! He says, "You can assemble the stroller, I'll clean the house."

Here's the thing, besides the crib, I think I have assembled all of the baby stuff. Meanwhile, he cleans the house. Is that weird? I mean, I had to ask him where the screw driver was yesterday since I was assembling a swing. I guess that makes sense because physically, I am disadvantaged when it comes to moving around to clean house and I have been avoiding chemical cleaning products.

We are both going to be thrilled when this phase is over and we are on to the next phase. Sleeplessness and a baby on the outside!

My mom and sister arrive tomorrow for our baby shower. My sister hasn't seen me since I got pregnant so it will be fun to see the look on her face when she sees the biggest pregnant woman on the face of the planet. :) Cheers!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Rodney Dangerfield of Pregnancy

I was walking down the hall next to the gym yesterday on my way to swimming when out of the blue a volleyball smacks me on my pregnant belly. OW! People, this is why I will never play sports that involve a ball. If I can get hurt, I will. Fortunately, I was not hurt at all, just stunned. I think the baby spiked the ball back at them.

Anyway, we had a very nice weekend. I picked up a video camera at Costco and quickly learned how to use it before we made a day trip to the Oregon coast. This is our first video, hopefully we'll find ourselves more entertaining than this!

Things are going well with the baby, he was head down at our last appointment on Monday, let's hope he stays there so we can hopefully avoid a c-section. Bill's work has been pressuring him to go out of town recently and I'm just slightly concerned that I'll end up delivering this baby with the help of the dog and cats. That would be so messed up. I can't imagine calling a friend in the middle of the night and asking for a ride to the hospital but that is a possibility apparently.

Can you imagine if no one took my calls and I had to take myself to the hospital? I swear I would put a tie on Marshall and say "He's my birth coach." The dog is pretty attentive. It could work.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Make lemonade

You know that old saying about life handing you lemons? Well that is not what this is about! I had a craving for lemonade recently so we bought a bag o lemons at Costco last weekend and I started squeezing. It's easier than I thought, here is the recipe I used. DELISH! I highly recommend you hook yourself up with some fresh squeezed lemonade while you can still get lemons for a reasonable price.

I think our plan for this weekend is to buy a digital video camera (I know! A minivan is next--NOT!) and possibly go to the coast for an over nighter. We'll have to see, I haven't slept well all week and I don't know how I would do in a tent and no direct access to a bathroom.

When I asked Bill about purchasing the video camera he said, "Sweet! We can take it to the soccer field and record me making goals." That's exactly what I was thinking Uncle Rico!

About lemonade and cravings, if you know any pregnant women, I highly recommend hanging out with them in the evenings. They will lead you toward awesome food and amazing treats. Just follow the waddling woman. Last Friday, I wanted to bake a cake and we came home with 4 different cake mixes and frosting. I tried this new whipped cream frosting and it doesn't have that chemical taste a lot of frostings have. Check it out.

The other excellent thing I've been eating lately are these toasted chips. They are basically crackers but a little less bad for you. YUM WITH CHEESE or dip them in Hidden Valley Ranch sour cream dip. Did you gain 5 pounds yet?

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

A trainwreck

I was awake at 3am this morning, just lying there, not able to sleep. Fun hormones, discomfort from being hugely pregnant, and the baby was doing the hokey pokey (he put his right foot in and his left arm out, he put his elbow on my bladder and he shook it all about). At one point, I got out of bed to eat cereal and walked into the stroller we had just placed in the hallway. My foot now sports a huge bruise from that adventure. I didn't get back to sleep again until sometime after 5am.

I had an appointment with the nurse midwife at 8am and it wasn't 10 minutes in before I'm sobbing because I tried to ask her about placental abruption. Sadly, I know someone who just lost their almost full term baby due to this condition and combine the lack of sleep with pregnancy hormones and I can't stop crying. Never met the poor midwife before, I'm sure I made an impression. I read in one of the maternity books that an abruption occurs occurs in 1 in 80 pregnancies but she indicated that they only see it about once a year.

Oh, and she asked if I had felt any contractions and I had to admit that I didn't know. She started feeling around on my belly to see where the baby was lying and she said, "Well you're having a contraction right now." I thought that sensation was the baby moving around. I'm so clueless.

Then I had to go to work. My office threw a baby shower for me yesterday and lavished gifts on us and I was feeling all warm and fuzzy toward everyone. I almost started crying when someone told me that Bill seemed like a good man and a sweet person.

I held it together until lunch when I could go swim. Our regular pool is closed so I went to the main university pool where all the co-eds are. I hope my belly is a lesson to those freshman! I haven't been in this pool for many months now and I must have forgotten who I was and the condition I'm in because I tried to just hop out of the pool. There is no hopping at 8 months pregnant. I ended up rolling myself out. Totally humiliating.

And I think I walked around all day with my fly unzipped but I don't anyone noticed. My belly is so big, there is really no other place to look.

It's time for bed now and the baby is doing the hokey pokey again. I wonder what tonight and tomorrow will bring.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Here come the cops

We attempted to wrap up the getting ready for baby activities this weekend since the forecast said rain. Bill did all of the hard labor and I did all the research. We needed a car seat and a stroller and MAN! If you want to waste a day on the computer, try to pick out a car seat and stroller. Target had a well timed sale on baby items so Bill and I spent our Sunday evening in Target looking at infant swings and around town strollers. Good times. I have a mild anxiety attack over every purchase.

On the way home, I said to Bill, "I bet we end up with 2 boys (I still lament not being able to buy pink)." He got excited and said, "Yeah! They will be brawling buddies! I can set up an octagon in the back yard and they can practice their MMA skills. I have to teach Little Dude to block the flying knee." That is so not what I was thinking about, I said "Why do I get the feeling that the cops will be at our house a lot?"

Seriously, Bill is so high energy, can you imagine a little version of him? I hope the little guy can at least sleep well. I'm going to need sleep to deal with this.

We have decided to buy the BOB Sport Utility stroller for off road running. This is our most expensive purchase, I think we will end up spending about $1,000 to get going with this baby and that is after receiving many hand me downs. We are now about 5-6 weeks out from our due date so I think we are doing pretty well in preparedness.

Non-baby news: Bill has been riding his bike pretty regularly and I'm starting to see a bit of his competitive edge coming back in swimming. Unfortunately, he has a calf issue that is preventing him from running. He's still on for Ironman... no pressure on him. Train for an Ironman and get ready for a baby!

As for my activity level, I still swim 3 times a week, aqua jog 1-2 times a week and walk the dog in the evenings some nights. My plans for walking 1 hour at a time are out the window, my bladder barks after 15 minutes of walking and the weight of the baby pushes down so hard I really can't go for more than 30 minutes. Plus my hands and feet start to swell. Long exercise will have to wait until post baby.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

The career vs. maternity leave

Long story short: I've been working on a project for close to a year, had some loose ends to wrap up but planned on having most of the specifications done before I left on maternity leave in 5 weeks. Friday morning the boss comes in and basically says... cancel all of the meetings you have scheduled for this project and give me everything you have to date. Not much you can say to that, apparently, my work here is done.

To his credit, he approached me later in the day to explain that there was panic about the project not getting done in a timely manner and that he was taking over.

I won't drag on with all the details but I think this is what can happen to women who get pregnant. People are suspicious that you won't come back after the baby and they panic about who will do the work in your absence. Honestly, it's enough to make a woman not want to come back to work.

No matter what I feel about this, I am going to do what's right for our child. I had this laid out so that I would have a very decent paying part time job after I give birth and I'm going ahead with that unless we can't find a quality child care situation. Every woman I know struggles with this, balancing career and family.

It would be nice if people would not jump to conclusions about whether a woman is returning to work after giving birth. It feels like the 1950s still sometimes.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

3 years of Bill and Erika

Today Bill and I are celebrating our 3 year anniversary with a trip to the spa. We're getting manicures/pedicures after work, you can guess who picked that activity. Actually, I'm doing it for Bill, his feet have been messed up from doing Ironman races for years and I don't know how to fix them. He would tell you my feet are equally messed up from running. Romantic, no?

Even though I blog pretty openly about my life with Bill, I don't think I could ever capture how close we are and how fortunate we are to have found each other. Most people never see our best moments or what it is that brings us together and keeps us happy.

I think the keys to our relationship are in humor and in a desire to want to do better. We push each other and we make each other laugh. I can't tell you the number of times we've been arguing and ended up laughing. It's a chemistry that we both cherish.

We aren't perfect, of course. We have bad moments, times when we don't do right by the other person and times when we are lazy or self centered. But those times are just a distraction from what is really a wonderful life together.

Last night, I was awake in the middle of the night, my mind racing like a secretary on Red Bull, composing email messages to friends and making lists of things to do. I couldn't sleep so finally I gave in and woke Bill up, it was probably 2:30 am. He didn't complain or grumble, but just rolled over and held me, quietly talking to me for a minute before I fell back to sleep with ease. That, in a nutshell, is how we get along. It's pretty wonderful.

Bill, I love you. I cherish every moment I have with you, even those times when you wear those blue socks out of the house. You are an amazing person, a great partner, and my best friend. I don't need anything more than I need you. Thank you, for choosing me, I am the luckiest girl in the world. Soon we will have another little person to share our lives with and I know we will find joy in the toughest and brightest moments, simply because we are together.

Above average

A line-up of women from our child birth class, in order of due date from left to right. Can you spot me in the line up? I am the tall, thin one. HA HA!

Check out how high I'm carrying compared to the other women. I look like I have a tent on. Poor me! BUT I'm ready to camp!

The hubbies line-up. Not quite as dramatic as the ladies, we get all the attention. I'm over it though. I'll take the baby and everyday anonymity. I can't go into the restroom without a long conversation about pregnancy and since I go to the bathroom several times a day...

If you were wondering what is covered in child birth class, let me sum it up for you:
  1. Give birth naturally
  2. It will be the most painful and exhausting experience of your life
  3. Breathing HE-HE-HE-WHO will get you through the experience
  4. A bunch of terrible stuff can happen (loss of control of your bowels not being the worst)
  5. After the baby is delivered you are in for more physical pain and suffering for weeks afterward
  6. Breast feed or you are a terrible person
Bill seems pretty sold on the non-intervention route and he's planning to support me through the experience. I don't think he quite knows what he's in for. It may be harder on him than it is on me. That could be my goal: how quickly can I get Bill to request an epidural? :) tee he!