Friday, June 29, 2012

50 Shades of Grey

So I know I'm a little behind here, but I recently finished the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy, and um, I'm not sure how I feel about it.

I'd heard about the books, I knew they involved lots of sex and BDSM and I honestly wasn't all that interested, especially because the waiting list at the library was insane. But then everyone else read them, and I was in need of a new book...and I had a Barnes and Noble gift card...

Fast forward 48 hours, and I'd finished book one. With the cliffhanger they leave in book one, you have to get book two, and while I was buying book two, I picked up the third. That's how these things go.

One of the reviews I'd read prior to starting the series was Joelle's. She was the one who clued me in to the fact that Fifty Shades of Grey started out as Twilight fan fiction. Yes, you read that correctly. The Twilight series, G rated teen fiction novels full of virgins and vampires, inspired the "erotic" Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy.

Immediately, any Twilight fan (guilty) would pick up on all the parallels. Some parts were almost laughable in their similarity. The entire first book bothered me because I felt like I was reading a grown up, X rated version of Twilight, and because, as Joelle mentions, the author is profiting off of someone else's story line and characters. I thought the second and third book also mirrored the Twilight series.

I don't want to ruin the books for those who haven't read them, so I'll stop there. Just know - if you loved Twilight - you might be scratching your head wondering how exactly publishing "fan faction" like this was legal.

The other problem I had with the books was the timeline - the entire series occurs in a remarkably short period of time, and the characters under go rapid changes during that time. No one wants a novel that drags, but I thought the timeline was a little extreme.

As for the sex...some of it was shocking, some of it was borderline violent, some of it was romantic, and some of it could've been from a Harlequin novel. There was a little bit of everything in this trilogy and in no small quantity.  The issue I had is that you're already reading a series of novels with a familiar plot...and now you've got a plot interrupted by excessive amounts of sex. And I've just gotta say - no one has sex that much in real life. No one.

I am not big on writing book reviews, so again - I'm not going to go into more detail, but I will say that the books were interesting enough that I read them quickly, they definitely have some crazy sex scenes, and if you don't read them you'll be left out of lots of water cooler conversation and all of the inside jokes currently circulating on Pinterest. :)

Just my two cents.

So now I'm curious...

Did you read them? What did you think?

*update: comments have been disabled due to spam*

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

quarter of a century

Yesterday was my 25th birthday.

I left work at noon, and took it easy for the afternoon.

My husband gave me a card that made me cry.

And then he gave me a few very sweet gifts that show how well he knows me. Like this bag of laffy taffy's (my favorite candy) that he sorted by color (I hate the yellow ones, and I eat them in color order). I love him.

We got some excellent news at our midwife appointment.

Andrea wrote a sweet post about me that made me cry again.

My friends and family gave me a few more very thoughtful gifts. They are wonderful.

I ate my weight in carbs at the Olive Garden with hubs, and then we came home and snuggled.

This will be the last birthday we celebrate before we add a family member, and I think it was pretty much perfect.


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

36 Weeks(!)

36 weeks = 9 months pregnant. I probably still have another month, give or take, left to go. That whole "9 months of pregnancy" is a lie. This photo could also be titled "The only day this month cool enough to wear a scarf". Or it could be titled "The world's most stretched out Old Navy t-shirt".

It's been a challenging week. For a few days, I dealt with strong abdominal cramps and what I think were gas pains that were so sharp they left me unable to move and/or breathe. The first time it happened I honestly wondered if I was in labor! I'm not sure exactly what's happening, but clearly the baby is wreaking additional havoc on my poor digestive system. When people ask what I "miss" at this point during pregnancy, I think my first answer would be: my (normal, problem free) digestive system. Strange, but true. Luckily cramping like that hasn't reoccured since Friday or so.

Another challenge this week is that baby boy has been periodically stuffing his bony foot up into my ribs again. He's still head down, and his torso is pretty much centered in my abdomen, but he still loves to kick his feet around, and gosh is he strong...and gosh does it hurt. The only way to find relief is to lay down on my side...and that's tough to do when I'm at work or out to dinner.

I've definitely been taking it easy this week. Sadly, I missed prenatal yoga because I was dealing with the aforementioned abdominal cramps. I've been spending more time in bed, laying on my side, taking it easy. I am still trying to get out and go for a few short walks every day, and I am trying to do a few stretches my midwife recommended.

Cravings lately include Nutella and pancakes (not together). I have always liked both of those foods, but normally I could take 'em or leave 'em.

Sleeping is sometimes a challenge these days too. I get up to pee several times a night, and the physical act of getting up is quite difficult. I'm still waking up because I'm too hot, even though we have the air conditioning on, a fan going and I sleep with just a sheet. My poor husband is freezing. Other times I wake up because baby is moving around or has the hiccups - or because I'm having abdominal cramps/gas pains/Braxton Hicks. When I do manage to fall asleep, I swear that either our dog or one of the cats will wake me up. Lizzie, the old cat, likes to jump on my face. The fat cat, Mocha, likes to walk around upstairs screaming meowing at the top of her lungs, and Kona likes to randomly start woof-ing and/or howling at mystery sounds in the dead of night.

I recently threatened to have them all taxidermied if they don't let me get some sleep.

Because I'm not sleeping well, I recently made a decision to start prioritizing sleep over getting to work early. Normally I like to get to the office early so I can leave earlier in the afternoon, but since I could technically go into labor any day now I figure it's better to be as well rested as possible than to have afternoons off.

On the preparation front, we have all of our birth supplies assembled and should be good to go. I also ordered the baby monitor (this thing better burp, feed and change the baby for how much it cost), the rest of our cloth diaper stash and an Ergo. All of the little dude's clothes have been washed and folded, and we're pretty much just waiting for him to make his appearance!

This past weekend we attended our birth class, taught by one of my midwives. I thought it was highly informative and there were only 2 other couples there, so it was nice to have a small group. We had some group discussion about why we left the hospital system and/or chose out of hospital birth which was interesting to discuss with others. We watched videos, learned what exactly happens during labor, what signs indicate labor, what happens immediately after birth and postpartum, and also what to expect once baby is born. We also covered some breastfeeding education, common newborn procedures and had lots of time for questions. I felt like I already knew quite a bit of what we covered, and at times I was almost embarrassed by my over-preparation - one couple kept asking me questions. For example, our midwife would ask us what we were planning as far as circumcision, cosleeping, etc and this one dad kept saying "Well what are you guys going to do?". Seriously dude...ask the midwife, not me. But I did learn quite a bit, and I know Nate did too (he isn't in the habit of watching birth videos for fun, like I am ha) and I was glad we went.

Also at the class this past weekend, I asked about two of the common herbal supplements for promoting labor: evening primrose oil and red raspberry leaf tea. My midwife had no problem with me taking those, so I'm taking two capsules of EPO and choking down 3-4 cups of tea (I'm mixing this with this) per day. Neither of these will induce labor, but they are supposed to be good at moving things along once they do start. Like in the beginning of this pregnancy, I've again started to google things more - specifically things that are signs of labor. Again, how anyone survived without Google is beyond me...

Other random tidbits...

There is no denying the stretch marks at this point. I am pretty much covered in them - you can even see them in the photo above. My linea nigra finally showed up - it's really faint, but it's there. My belly button is still "in" but it's shallow, and sadly, I had to lose my belly button ring this week too. The skin was stretched so tightly it was beginning to tear a bit, and was really red and irritated. My belly button piercing looks terrible now, I'm hoping it heals and doesn't leave some wacky scar from tearing. I also have one spot on my belly that feels sort of numb, kind of like when your foot falls asleep. Anyone else ever experience this?? It's very odd. Oh, and I can tell that baby's torso is more centered now because when he gets the hiccups I feel them directly below my belly button - I used to feel them over to the left, so I know he's a little more centered up.

Have I mentioned that we are planning to follow baby-led weaning? I know that's not something I'll need to worry about for awhile, but I can't remember if I've mentioned it. Here are a couple sites with information: Wiki and the BLW website. The premise is simple - your baby feeds himself. No purees, baby food, mush...just real food with real textures. You wait a bit longer to introduce solids (6 months minimum) and always offer breast milk first. To me it makes a whole lot of sense, and a dietician friend of mine recommended it.

I'm also not sure if I've mentioned how we trained our two cats not sleep in/on the baby stuff. When we set up the crib, glider, changing pad, cosleepers, etc. the two cats almost immediately tried to take naps in them. No, no and no. So for the last couple months we've left everything set up, but we put strips of face-up duct tape in all of the potential napping spots. We also put sheets of tin foil in some of the larger areas. They hated this. About a month ago now, we took all the tape and tin foil out, and so far, so good! They seem to leave the baby gear alone since they fear getting more duct tape stuck to their little heinies. It sounds horrible, but it was kind of hilarious when they were still "learning". Plus, Lizzie likes to sleep right next to your face, so we wanted to break them of this habit before baby arrived. We'll still watch them closely, and they will likely be locked out of our bedroom when we cosleep anyways.

So I had this whole post written slightly in advance as things were the same most of the week. But then during the last 48 hours or so, I started having lots of Braxton Hicks. I mentioned it to my midwife and she said it's totally normal. I also started to have a little back pain and some new aches and pains, so I asked her to "check" me at our appointment today. We were both surprised to learn that I'm about 2 centimeters dilated and 30% effaced. The baby is also super low - she could feel his head! So apparently the baby has dropped - I just didn't notice!? And he must be quite long, because he still has his little foot in my ribs! She told me I have a very nice cervix and that it looks about how they'd expect a cervix to look as active labor picked up. So...I need to watch my Braxton Hicks a little closer. I could stay this way for weeks yet, or things could pick up any time now. I am SO excited to know that some progress is being made. It's also my birthday today (recap coming tomorrow, I hope) so it was an unexpected surprise. :)


Friday, June 22, 2012

7 Things I Loved During Pregnancy

Even though my pregnancy isn't over (yet! only a few more weeks!), I thought I'd share a few of the things that have helped get me through. :)

via Amazon

1. Lusa Belly Balm - As I've said before, I personally don't believe any cream or lotion can prevent or get rid of stretch marks, but this one certainly can soothe your poor (itchy, stretching) pregnant skin. It has all natural ingredients, and ranks well on EWG's Cosmetic Database which was important to me. I like to slather it on at night after a warm shower, steal one of the hubby's rattiest, softest t-shirts and climb under the covers.

2. Pillows (lots of them) - I was never a huge fan of having tons of pillows in bed, but that all changed when my belly got a bit bigger. Having a few extra pillows around to prop yourself up with can make a big difference! I currently sleep with one under my head, one under my belly and one between my knees. I've also been able to avoid buying one of those gigantic (and expensive) pregnancy pillows.

3. Smoothies - These helped me sneak in fruits (and veggies) on the days I really just wanted to eat Oreos. I've pretty much perfected my perfect smoothie: frozen fruit + fresh spinach + a few scoops of yogurt + vanilla soy milk. My favorite fruits are frozen strawberries, pineapple, peaches and mangos.
via Google Images

If you've never tried a green smoothie, you should! I use my Magic Bullet, and the trick is to put the spinach into the cup last, so the other ingredients weigh it down as it blends. Also - use frozen fruit! It makes a huge difference in consistency! Sometimes it can take awhile to blend everything smooth, but it's so worth it. Once in awhile I even make two smoothies a day. :)

4. Vitatops - Also on the nutrition end of things, these are available at Walmart, Target and most grocery stores, as well as online. They're kind of pricey, but they are delicious little chocolate cake type things that are full of vitamins, minerals and lots and lots of fiber. They nix my brownie cravings. Need I say more?

5. Basics by Bravado! bras - Since my boobs are pretty much unrecognizable these days, I had to invest in some new bras. For whatever reason these don't show up on Target's website but they're around $20 each at our local store. I have two of their sleep bras which are great in the beginning when you're achy and for when you need to go somewhere in public but don't want to wear a real bra. And I also have two of the "Stella" nursing bras which are super comfortable, wireless and stretchy.

6. Ina May's Guide to Childbirth - I am planning to do a whole post on baby books one of these days, but this one is easily my favorite. Initially I thought it would be way too "hippie" for me, but someone gifted it to me, and surprisingly, I loved it. The first third is all birth stories, and the rest is practical advice laid out in an empowering, reassuring way. I highly recommend it!

7. Pregnant (or recently pregnant) friends - Sometimes you just need to vent or ask "is this normal?!". Husbands aren't always the most sympathetic listeners (although they do try their best :), so chatting with someone who understands what your going through can be very comforting. "You were covered in stretch marks by 32 weeks too? Thank God I'm not the only one." isn't a conversation you can have with just anyone. Plus these friends typically don't squirm when you mention your uterus, placenta or leaky boobs. And if you can't find any preggo or new mom real life can just overshare on your blog, and I'll come over and listen. :)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

35 weeks

Today, I salute every woman who's ever given birth to a summer baby without air conditioning. 

It is HOT. And humid. And I pretty much sit around and sweat all day. You can even tell that I'm flushed and sweating in this photo...and that's with the air conditioning on.

This week I had a rude introduction to "round ligament pain". On Friday, I started to stumble out of bed for one of my 13 nightly bathroom breaks. The second that I sat up I felt a shooting pain down the right side of my pubic bone and I almost fell over. It was a million times worse than the pain I've been mentioning the last two weeks.

I didn't know what it was for sure, but I had my suspicions and my Twitter friends verified it - round ligament pain. A few friends had told me I probably wouldn't be affected because I'm tall, but my blog friend Veronica says that's a lie. Lies are no fun.

The pain stayed around all weekend - whenever I rolled over in bed, stood up from a seated position or tried to stand up after lying down - I winced. Sometimes I even had to limp for a few steps. It wasn't pretty, and I had no idea why it came about so suddenly...

...until yesterday when my midwives told me that baby boy has shifted his little torso from the left side of my body (where it's been for the majority of this pregnancy) over towards the right side. I think the sudden influx of weight on the right side stretched something too tightly, but it's somewhat better today... at least I can walk without limping.

I also had some sort of stomach flu to deal with this week. At first I thought it was just pregnancy related stomach issues, but I had terrible body aches and a headache too. It seemed to be a 24 hour bug, but I stayed home from work which bums me out because it's one less paid sick day that can be used while I'm on leave.

My midwives were here for our home visit yesterday - I still have some supplies to get, but all went well. The tub will go in our bedroom, and I'm starting to get pretty excited. We also installed our car seats this week, even though we likely won't need them. I taught Nate how to install them (I'm a car seat tech), and he put a base into his truck and the seat/base combo in my car. I think he's got it down pat, and it's nice not to be tripping over the seats in the house too.

Other random things:

-I've definitely felt a few more Braxton Hicks contractions this week...I still can't tell when one "starts" and "ends" so I think they're still minor at this point.

-I went to my first ever prenatal yoga class - in a "slightly" heated studio - with Hannah this week. I was about 100 times more pregnant than any of the other mamas attending, so I'm giving myself credit just for getting off the couch.  I sweated my rear end off, but I felt fantastic afterwards. It goes for two more weeks yet, and I'm hoping to keep attending. I can't wait to try actual hot yoga post-baby. 

-My wedding rings are gone again, but mostly because I gave up - some days they fit fine, other days they were I put them away for now.

-My boobs are still leaking..and even more than during the last few weeks. I googled to see if this is a sign of impending labor, but is not....I also salute women who had babies before Google existed. 

-I've had a weird penchant for I may have consumed a whole jar plus several of those little cups of it this week. Also Golden Oreos - I should not be left alone with a package of those.

-Baby has not "dropped" yet. Supposedly that will happen soon...he is still squirming around like crazy!

-At my last two midwife appointments, I've measured exactly on point (34 cm at 34 weeks, and 36 cm at 36 weeks) - my midwives say this is textbook normal, and that my baby isn't going to be a behemoth (even though everyone likes to say "gosh he's going to be a big boy!").

-I have managed to buy not one, but TWO counterfeit Ergo carriers. The first was from Ebay and I filed a dispute and got (most of) my money back. The second was from an acquaintance, and she had no idea that hers was fake, so she's refunding my money too. I give up trying to find a good deal on these things - there are SO many fakes out there and I find that terrifying. I think I'm just going to order a brand new one directly from Ergo. 

-I think I say this every week, but my husband is awesome. He does so much around the house lately, and I really can't thank him enough.

And I think that's all for now...only a few more weeks!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

update on home birth

See the original post on why we are planning a home birth here.

I thought I'd do a little update on our plans, and also talk about what a typical appointment with our midwives is like. Before we switched providers, I really had no idea how different it could be.

At a typical appointment, we drive to the birth center about 45 minutes away. There are two midwives in this practice, and we alternate who we see each week. The birth center is really just a renovated home, and as such it has a very homelike feeling. We sit on a couch in a little living area, and usually they offer us tea or water. They've painted the birth center in lots of bright colors, and the whole space is very relaxing. They also have a library of books and DVDs that we can borrow, which is great.

Typically for the first 30 minutes or so, we just sit and catch up. They'll ask about how I'm feeling, and will answer any questions I have. They also ask us about other things going on in our lives, and we subsequently have learned a bit about each of them.

At some point, I do a urine screen for glucose and protein. Basically I pee in a cup, and they have little dip sticks that change colors if anything is abnormal. I do this all myself, so it's very private. If I have any questions, or if the dip stick would change colors (it never has), I can always call the midwife over to take a look.

We usually go over any paperwork or forms that I need to sign, and discuss any time-relevant procedures. One of my favorite things is that we get to make the decision about each and every "standard" procedure that is done. For example, at hospitals, everyone is screened for Group B Strep. My midwives gave me information about what it is and how it's traditionally managed, then they encouraged me to do my own research. At the next appointment I can ask any questions I have and choose to be screened or not (I am choosing to be screened, in case you're curious). If my GBS result comes back positive, I'll also be presented with all of the available treatment options and I can choose which route I want to go. Note that there are certain things that could happen during the birth that would change my treatment (if I develop a fever, for example) but within reason, everything is our decision.

This decision making applies to "standard" newborn procedures too (Vitamin K shot, antibiotic goo on baby's eyes, etc). Some of the things that are standard in a hospital simply aren't done in a home birth setting (like a mandatory bath by the nurse immediately after birth), so we don't need to worry much about them, but other things are totally our choice. Our midwives can and will do many standard medical procedures, if we request them.

One of my fears when I was planning a hospital birth is that x, y and z would be done without my knowledge or explicit consent, so I love that we talk through all of these things ahead of time. Many "standard" procedures have a purpose, but they also have side effects and risks, and I strongly believe parents should be made aware of those risks rather than having those things automatically "happen" to their baby.

I debated typing out all the procedures, and explaining which we are doing, and which we aren't - but that would be a long post. Rather, if anyone has questions or wants to see a post with more specifics, just let me know! Also, I had a very detailed birth plan put together for when I was planning a hospital birth, if anyone would like to see it or wants more info, I'd be happy to share!

Anyways, after all this chatting, my midwives weigh me, measure my belly, check blood pressure and listen to baby's heartbeat. They usually feel my belly to check his position too - this always wakes him up and makes him extra squirmy. He is a wild one.

For awhile now, I've been seeing my midwives every other week, but starting this Tuesday (ah!) we'll have weekly visits until baby's here. This Tuesday's appointment is actually our home visit - meaning the midwives will come see me at our house. At this time they check to make sure we have all the stuff needed for the birth (they gave me a list), make sure they can find our house and go over details about what to do when I'm actually in labor. This visit also means that from here on out, we are cleared for home birth (if I went into labor prior to 36 weeks, I would have had to go to the hospital) so I am psyched.

Each appointment typically takes 45 minutes to an hour, and I always leave feeling reassured, relaxed and happy. That's a stark contrast to how I felt after my hospital visits - usually I felt rushed, disappointed and frantic, so I still feel like we've made the right decision. Please know that in no way do I judge anyone who chooses hospital birth! To each his own - many women have great experiences in hospital settings.

If anyone has any other questions about how home birth works, feel free to shoot them my way - I'm happy to divulge more details!

Friday, June 15, 2012

maternity photos :)

Pardon the photo dump - this is only about a third of them! And please note, these images belong to me (you know, in case you wanted to hang a photo of my bare belly in your kitchen or something).

The sad part is that my favorite shots aren't included here. They involved wooden blocks spelling out baby's first name, so I don't want to share them ... yet. :)

I was worried about the bare belly shots. I wasn't totally sure I wanted to do them, so I was unprepared and just wearing an old cami, but I actually really like them. Pregnancy is sometimes a bit of a self esteem booster - I can assure you that there is no way I would have ever shared photos of my naked stomach with the internet prior to pregnancy, but I kind of love these. 

I also forgot to bring baby booties (I may have been running extremely late...), so we had to borrow little monkey ones from our photographer. She was wonderful to work with, and I'm so excited to have her take our newborn photos. Now we just need that baby...

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

34 weeks

-My wedding rings are back! Hooray! Even though last week I told you my fingers were getting puffy, apparently they changed their mind and I've been able to wear my rings for the last few days. My ankles aren't swollen anymore either. I'm sure this is temporary, but I'll take it.

-The pain near my pubic bone I talked about last week is still here. It seems to be worst when I'm getting up from bed. Other than that I'm still relatively comfortable and can't really complain about much.

-Our 34 week ultrasound was pretty uneventful. My mom and mother in law came along, which they definitely enjoyed, but it was definitely harder to see the baby this time. He's pretty squished in there! I have one close up, 3D shot of his face that turned out, but that's about it. I will try to share it soon! The good news is that my "low lying" placenta is just fine.

-We got our pack and play in the mail this week! Nate assembled, Mocha supervised.

-I now have stretch marks on my belly. Several run through my tattoo. Boo hiss. There are also a few more on my hips, and I'm sure more are on their way. I'm trying to remind myself that my body is awesome, 90 some percent of Americans have them, and that I predicted this would happen months ago.

-We spent some time in the hospital this week. Read about that here. Also, as of this morning at my follow up visit, I've gained 35 pounds. My weight gain seems to be pretty steady, and baby has a couple pounds to pack on yet. Estimates put him between 5 and 6 pounds right about now, and his main job over the next few weeks is to get fatter. Crazy.

-One big announcement: I accidentally blabbed our baby's name to someone. It was totally Kona's fault. I was talking about the cute Boppy cover we had just bought (it's covered in little dogs) and I said, "Kona, why are there dogs on so much of Xxxx's stuff?". It just slipped out, and they totally heard me. Luckily this person (who will remain nameless to protect their identity) loved the name, and swore not to tell a soul. I can't wait to tell everyone!

-Not much else to report this week. I'm still feeling pretty thankful to have made it this far. :)

a night in Labor and Delivery

Soo... if you follow me on Twitter, you know that I spent part of last night in Labor and Delivery at our local stuff.

I had two very sudden, strong coughing fits yesterday, and during the second one I noticed that I was coughing up blood. Um...everyone who coughs up blood on TV is, like, dying, so I tried calling the nurse hotline offered by our hospital to see what I should do. There was a 40 minute wait just to talk to a nurse, so I called my midwife. She reassured me that in the past she'd had another woman who'd coughed up blood during late pregnancy, and that she ended up being totally fine. My midwife told me to go in and make sure, but that I was likely just coughing hard enough to break capillaries in my lungs which is easy to do in pregnancy.

Let me tell you, the 19 year old male receptionist couldn't kick me out of Urgent Care fast enough. Apparently after 20 weeks of pregnancy you can't go to the ER or Urgent Care because the baby might just pop out or something. He tried to get me a wheelchair (I refused) and told us to go straight to labor and delivery before the kid fell out. The only positive to this situation is that Urgent Care had a long line that I got to skip. Ha.

Once I got to L and D, they got me into a room and told me to strip and put on a gown. Whoa, what? Apparently the kid from Urgent Care called up and told them I was having trouble breathing and dizziness. He made that up. Once I explained that no, in fact, I was not going to pass out, they let me keep my clothes on. Then they hooked me to an electronic fetal monitor.

I know what EFMs do, but this was my first experience wearing one. Basically two velcro straps hold two plastic sensors on your belly. One monitors baby's heartbeat and one monitors contractions. It was terribly uncomfortable, and I had to sit in this weird, semi upright chair that was surely designed as a torture device for pregnant women. I had to wear it for about 25 minutes before the midwife on call came in to check me over. While we waited, Nate and I thoroughly enjoyed watching baby J try his darnedest to kick my belly sensors out of position.

The midwife on call came in and assured me that baby was fine, and I wasn't in labor (I already knew this). Then she poked at the baby for awhile, looked in my throat, listened to my lungs and told me she didn't know what to tell me. She went to consult with the doctor on call. When she got back she asked me a bunch of questions about my poop (seriously, how is that connected to coughing?) and then told me they were going to check my hemoglobin and platelet counts. Oookay.

Fast forward another 25 minutes (during which I still had to wear the stupid EFM while sitting in that godawful chair) and my hemoglobin and platelets are both normal. So they sent me home and told me to make a follow up appointment with my doctor in the morning.

The sad part is that I actually had to sign hospital admission and discharge papers for my 50 minute stay in L and D. I will probably be disputing that bill, because all I did was sit around in an uncomfortable chair and read a magazine from 2005 (seriously). That should not count as admission to the hospital.

I had a follow up with my doctor this morning. He told me that he thinks it was caused by a combination of breathing dry air from the air conditioner, the baby pushing up on my lungs and diaphragm, allergies, and coughing hard enough to break capillaries. So he sent me home too.

The moral of this story is that my midwife is awesome. I called her with an update and she recommended lots of water and slippery elm capsules (which I have yet to find since our co-op is sold out). This visit also further reinforced that the hospital is not the right place for us to have our baby - I'm glad it's there if we need it, but this was not a very enjoyable experience. I say no, thank you to wheelchairs, uncomfortable torture-chairs, EFMs, automatic blood pressure machines and waiting around for someone to help you.

Also, don't believe everything you see on tv!

Monday, June 11, 2012


Today I'm thankful...

...for my body and the all the incredible things it's done over the last several months, and will continue to do in the next few weeks. (It grew 2 tiny cells into a squirming, playful baby boy, and soon it will help bring our little dude into the world and then it single handedly will sustain him for several months. That's all pretty amazing when you stop to think about it.)

...that I have a little baby kicking away at my ribs. (We love him so much already.)

...for our home, because it's safe and stable and ours. (I love it even more now that it's full of baby things.)

...that we were able to conceive a baby. (I know many are still waiting and hoping and trying.)

...that baby J is healthy and only 2.5 weeks from being "full term". (I know three people who faced hardships this week, and it really drives home how incredibly fortunate we've been: preterm labor and now bed rest at 30 weeks, a baby born at 29 weeks, and a stillborn babe at 20 weeks.)

...for the supportive, amazing man I call my husband. (And especially for all the extra love and help he's given me the last few months.)

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

33 weeks

I suck and forgot a belly picture again this week

So if any of you have been secretly wanting to punch me every time I say "still no stretch marks" or "feeling pretty comfortable", you're going to like this post. Also, TMI ahead. You've been warned.

-I found my first stretch marks. Except they aren't on my belly where I was checking for them approximately thirty two times per day expected them to be. Nope. They decided to show up on my ass. And two teeny little ones have shown up in the love-handle region. I will admit that I was kind of disappointed to find them, but um, I already have stretch marks in both of those areas. And since I'm not in the habit of wearing a thong bikini I can assure you the ones on my butt will stay safely covered forever. The little ones on my hips aren't that noticeable and blend in nicely with their older classmates, so I'm not worried about them either. However, I feel like I am about one big meal away from getting stretch marks all over my belly. Sometimes my skin feels so tight, and it itches like crazy and I swear I'm going to have those tell tale purple track marks when I lift up my shirt. So far so good, but I think these days are numbered.

-I still don't believe that creams, lotions, etc will do anything to prevent or treat stretch marks - but I am using Lusa Belly Balm because it stops the itching. I put it on after I shower at night and it soaks in overnight.

-My feet are starting to swell. It seems to be very gradual, but it's there. That little bone on the inside of my ankle is slowly disappearing. And, sadly, I decided to stop wearing my wedding rings this week. They still fit but they were starting to get snug and I decided to err on the side of caution. I hate the feeling of a too-tight ring. Adios rings, hola cankles.

-I am hot. All the time. The temperature has only been in the 80s, but I pretty much sit around and sweat all day. My midwife told me that hot flashes during pregnancy are common, and I definitely can attest to that (sometimes I get hot and sweaty for no reason), but the temperature is also a contributing factor. It takes me about 45 minutes to cool down after a 5 minute walk outside. And even though we have the air conditioning on, I still wake up sometimes at night covered in sweat. Let's not talk about how much I hate getting into a hot vehicle. It's really fun, let me tell you.

-My skin has improved - still really dry, but not nearly as acne prone or red as it was during the 1st and 2nd trimester. Hooray for that, I suppose.

-Digestive issues have not improved - more heartburn, gas, feeling bloated - although I'm still safe from the common plagues involving the other end (unlike this blogger, who is hilarious and is quite open about her "butt nuts").

-I think am waddling. Nate says I am most definitely not, but I think he's just being nice. I swear that I feel pressure from baby's head on my bladder and I have to do this ridiculous waddle-run to the bathroom. Having said that, I don't think that I've "dropped". I still feel like I'm carrying him pretty high.

-Um, I'm due in a few weeks (these posts are a little behind, so I'm 34 weeks right now). I'm also due next month

-The downside of carrying baby J up high is that he is still trying to break the occasional rib. Sometimes he wedges his boney little heel right up on my sore rib, other times it's my lower ribs and it feels like he's trying to push them apart. Also, he is STRONG. Some of his little squirms, kicks and movements are starting to be somewhat uncomfortable. Don't get me wrong, it's still my favorite part of pregnancy, but holy cow little man.

-I've also been having a strange pain on the right side of my pubic bone. It's worse when I'm standing up from a sitting or laying down position. My midwife said it's probably a ligament that's getting stretched or pushed on.

-We had my baby shower this last weekend. That's where the picture above is from! My friends and family did a wonderful job.

-There are a few things we still need, but we have 95% of our baby gear ready to go. Better to be prepared, right? 

-As of 33 weeks I'm officially feeling little baby hiccups. It's like a little rhythmic muscle twitch. :)

-Our CSA share started today! We switched farms from last year, and I'm pretty psyched for weekly deliveries of fresh veggies. We save so much money during CSA season, and we eat so many veggies that I would never buy - tonight we had scrambled eggs with swiss chard. I do not buy swiss chard, but because it was here we threw it in (and it was delicious). If you've ever considered getting a CSA, I'd highly recommend it.

-I've started having some weird dreams again. Not as crazy as they were a few months ago, mostly just lots of tossing and turning coupled with odd dreams. I've also been really tired the last few days.

Well that's all for this week folks. I have my ultrasound tomorrow, and I'm hoping to do a little update about our plans for a home birth soon. :)

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Baby J's Nursery!

Now that most of our family and friends have seen things in person, I wanted to share our nursery. If anyone want more details on anything, just leave me a comment. I didn't want to bore you with types of paint, drying times, etc unless someone wanted to know specifically! :)

Glider - we purchased a used glider on Craigslist for $70. When I looked at this brand online they were $200+. I sewed slip covers for all the cushions, made the little pillow, and reupholstered the ottoman. I also added the storage pockets on the arm rests. All the slipcovers are removable; the fabric is by Dwell Studio and I got it on clearance at Hancock Fabric.

Bookshelf- I don't have a good before picture, but the bookshelf was a cheapo one from Ikea. It was originally tan, and Nate sanded, primed and painted it. He also cut it down by about a third as it was too wide for the space we had. I modge-podged a Jonathan Adler print wrapping paper to the back of it.

Dresser - This might be my favorite piece in the room. We had this ugly old oak dresser from part of a hand me down bedroom set. Nate sanded it, and we primed, painted and swapped out all the hardware. It turned out so, so well. Most people don't even recognize it.

Mobile - I made this out of felt, an old embroidery hoop and ribbon. It was my first project for the nursery, and I'm kind of in love with it.

Art -

Andrea made us this one, it's one of my favorite songs. It's hanging above the crib.

This one I purchased off of Etsy, it's probably our biggest splurge in the room. It's hanging near the door, and I love that I can see it from our bedroom.

This one was a free printable! I love the poem; it's hanging near the closet.

And this one was a gift that I reframed. It's on the bookshelf for now.

Our alphabet wall - We painted the walls a pale grey, so I wanted the alphabet letters to be bright and colorful. I got most of the letters from a local boutique, Hobby Lobby and an online vendor that makes custom (and cheap) wood letters. I modge podged and painted most of them, and we swapped the O for a clock. Some of the letters I repainted a few times - in the end, I found I liked the solid colors better than the patterned modge podged ones.

Closet Organizers - I've told you before that I'm really type-A...and here's proof. I made these closet dividers out of scrap cardboard, paint and modge podge. Honestly, they were a great decision, because we have a lot of clothes and they are in a variety of sizes. These keep me sane. :) I hung pretty much all of his clothes because we have a big closet in this room.

The finished room!!

The little dog butt hooks are from Ikea. Nate and I think they're hilarious.

Our diaper bag is Skip Hop.

The changing pad cover is from Etsy, I bought a handful of them in different primary colors. You can see our wet bag set up for cloth diapers on the side of the dresser, and the basket on top of the dresser holds our cloth wipes.

The map print and red end table are from Hobby Lobby. My mom found us the turtle lamp, and the car rug is Ikea.

The crib was free from a coworker, originally from Ikea. We bought a new mattress, and the bedding is from Ikea. Please note that I am well aware that you shouldn't have pillows, etc in the crib. In all honesty, baby won't sleep in the crib for a while as we are planning to cosleep.

The cube shelves are from Target. And see, I told you we had a lot of clothes! At this point I'd estimate that 99% of them are second hand - I'm actually pretty proud of that.

The curtains are also from Ikea, and they're one of my favorite things in the room.

We love how everything turned out, and can't wait to meet the future inhabitant.

And again, feel free to ask for more specifics - I'm happy to share! :)