Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween! Still No Gizmo

Happy Halloween everyone! And a big Happy Birthday to my brother, Daren, who is 27 today. Today is Gizmo's due date, but unfortunately, it looks like s/he does not want to be a goblin baby. It still seems content in my belly. I guess it has just under 10 hours to change its mind, but if so, it had better hurry up! Or else, Gizmo will be a November baby.

In anticipating that my baby could be born before or on Halloween, I did not know what to do about dressing it up if it did arrive by this date. So, I bought a Halloween sleeper at a rummage sale just in case figuring it was not a big waste if Gizmo could not wear it in time. So, we will all just have to use our imaginations instead, as Gizmo will not be sporting the cute sleeper. Instead, I guess we can imagine Gizmo as it was in the Gremlins movie, dressed up as Rambo. If nothing else, it makes me laugh. Please, Gizmo, come soon.

Gizmo as Rambo

Gizmo's unused Halloween sleeper

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Sunday, October 29, 2006

Still No Gizmo

Gizmo seems to be content hanging out in my belly. Not much new to report here. I have continued to have contractions, but they never last for more than an hour or so. Yesterday I woke from a nap with cramping and a back ache, but that, too, passed in a few hours. So I am waiting... We'll see if Gizmo comes by its due date (Tuesday) or is overdue like most first time babies.

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Thursday, October 26, 2006

The Washer is Fixed!!

Last night Scott took a look at the broken washer while I googled some info. on what might be wrong with it. If you read my previous post, you know that it suddenly would not drain or spin. There were a few options, none of which we were really qualified to diagnose or fix. So, this morning I called a repairman. I made a good choice and called a family-owned local business with a very nice repairman who was the grandson of the original founder. The washer had a broken lid switch. Since the washer won't drain or spin when it thinks the lid is open, it was stuck in the middle of the cycle. So $100 later, our washer works again! Yeh (the fixed part, not the money part)!!

Please learn from our situation - if your washer is on a very uneven surface and is highly out of balance, this could happen to you. The cement pad our washer sits on was torn up right before we moved into our house by workers who were installing some metal foundation braces on the walls of our basement. Instead of truly fixing the cement pad, they just threw a sheet of plywood over it - not really a stable nor level surface for a washer. This likely caused or at least contributed to our broken lid switch. So, there you have it. Thank goodness we will have a washer for when Gizmo arrives!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

39 Weeks and Still Pregnant

Yes, I am still pregnant. Please believe me, I will let you know if something happens. I am starting to get the "Are you still pregnant?" emails and phone calls. I hope people realize that if I am, in fact, otherwise indisposed by labor or early baby bonding, I won't be answering my emails or phone calls anyway! But, I can't blame people because I am just as anxious if not more than they are.

I am also grumpy today. First off, I'm still pregnant. Second, don't ever try to grocery shop at 11:30am on a weekday. No offense to people who are on in years, but everyone at the store was moving at the pace of molasses running uphill in January, as my dad would say. They were completely unaware that they were blocking the aisles and they were everywhere. I think I was the only person there under the age of 70. It was frustrating, and I was tired and hungry. I had just gotten done with my midwife appointment where I had found out that although I am more effaced (80%), I am still at 3cm and -1 station. This lack of progress and the fact that my midwife is taking the next few days off and may or may not be available if I do finally go into labor (she wants to be there but can't promise anything - she's going to a freakin' black tie Halloween party on Friday and her husband may be layed up) add up to my fourth point of annoyance. Well, I was hoping a little nap would take away my grumpies, but now I am pretty sure that our washing machine isn't working. Great!! So there you have it. I am now 5 days away from my due date and I have 5 things that have pissed me off today. Maybe a good meal (Scott & I are cooking Chicken Fettucini Alfredo together for supper) will make me feel better. Anyone know anything about washing machines that don't drain?

Monday, October 23, 2006

In My Defense...

For those of you who read Scott's blog, yes, I admit that I did clean my bathroom at 1am on Saturday night. However, it was not because I had an urge or an instinct or a burst of energy. I had had some contractions that night and I was worried that if Gizmo were to arrive that evening and I wanted to take a shower or bath before going to the hospital, I would feel guilty doing so in my dirty bathroom. Guilt was my motivator and still is. Right now I am doing laundry and trying to clean the kitchen. I do not want to do this. I am dawdling a lot. But, guilt that I will have to bring my child home to a dirty house finally has trumped my procrastination. Plus, all other baby arrangements are made so I have nothing else to do first as an excuse. At this point, its clean or bust.

A Note of Positivity

My friend Becca recently emailed me and told me that my previous post on the downfalls of pregnancy sleep may have just cured her baby fever for now. Becca is such a positive person (right, Fluff Cloud:) that I felt guilty leaving her with such an unbalanced view of pregnancy. I do feel that most people don't tell you all of what pregnancy really is like, but there is no point focusing on all of the negatives to the exclusion of the positives, either. I feel as though my pregnancy has gone quite well, and there is much about it that I have really enjoyed. So, in the interests of education, here are some of the many positives of pregnancy:

  • Food tastes amazing. I am talking just about every food-type item here. Even cafeteria canned veggies like peas taste fresh picked and yummy, especially when I'm super hungry. I will miss this greatly.
  • Nausea is not a given. I haven't had any nausea this whole pregnancy, and both I and the baby have been perfectly healthy, nonetheless.
  • Overall, my energy has been pretty good. Yes, I have had a few day spurts here and there of fatigue, and I enjoy a nap if the previous night's sleep was sub-par, but overall I have felt really good and pretty much normal energy-wise.
  • Mood swings are not an automatic, either. I think I have had less mood swings during this pregnancy than caused in my past by hormone-related changes in my body. Thanks, baby, for keeping Mommy's hormones nice and balanced and mellow. I really like myself and how I have handled all the changes that have come with pregnancy.
  • Although bizarre, all the changes to your body can actually be quite cool. Like I just said, I am proud of myself right now, and that includes pride that my body has been able to nurture and grow this child so nicely. I think my belly is kind of neat looking, especially when a little hand or foot presses out. And although the rest of my body has changed in lots of ways, it still is and feels like me.
  • Buying baby stuff is fun! I hate to sound like the stereotypical woman who is shopping obsessed, but baby stuff is so darn cute. I would much rather shop for a baby than for myself.
  • Most people, including strangers, are really nice to you. They smile at you, ask about the baby, offer to help you, and most don't touch your stomach without asking. People have been very polite yet quite enthusiastic.
  • It has brought Scott & me even closer. It is a great bonding time for us, and I just love having him to share it with. I love seeing his excitement, wonder, and awe, even his denial and anxiety over Gizmo. He has kept the humor present for the whole experience, which is helpful for keeping things normal around here. I can't wait to see him as a father! I know he will be great.
  • I have enjoyed being able to focus on and take care of myself a bit. I am cherishing this special time and am really trying to enjoy it. I have not read so much (outside of school) in years, and it is so nice. Granted, most of the these have been pregnancy and baby books, but I still consider it pleasure reading.
  • The bonding experience with my baby, this new and growing human being who I have not even been able to meet face to face yet, is life-changing. It is hard to imagine how you can love someone you can only partially feel but can not see, hear, or touch yet, but it happens. And now as Gizmo's birth draws near, I eagerly anticipate bonding with baby on every other level as well.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

When Will Gizmo Arrive?

Gizmo may come soon, or s/he may not. But, I did get an interesting update on my status from my midwife at my appointment yesterday. She checked me because I told her I was pretty sure I was dialating further and the baby was getting even lower. She confirmed this. Baby is at -1 station, and I am 3cm dialated and 75% effaced! I am excited because that is work that my body has completed with little discomfort, and I am that much closer to delivery. My body and the baby have slowly been making movements. I don't know if things will continue to progress slowly or if the regular strong contractions of Second Stage Labor will start soon. I have had many contractions already and they have gotten a bit stronger, but they are not regular nor close together yet. I still experience them as mainly pressure or tightness in my abdomen. I feel lucky that the process has been gentle so far. Some women experience a lot of pain just getting to 3cm. Also, because of my progress, if I had to have my labor induced for some reason at this point it would likely work, so my chances of needing a C-section due to failure to progress are highly diminished. So, please pray for me that the remainder of my labor and birth will be as comfortable, smooth, and complication-free as possible.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Completed Nursery!

Here is a link to my online photo album depicting the transformation of Scott's office into Gizmo's nursery (please note that viewing this album will give away the baby's gender):

Week 38 and I am Ready to Be Done!

Hi everyone. Yes, I am ready to be done with this pregnancy, but I am trying not to be impatient. Its not good for me, and it won't help Gizmo come any sooner. I keep saying the baby will come in a week (about a week sooner than the due date), but Scott says it will be 3 weeks (a week past the due date)! I sure hope not, but it is quite possible since normal pregnancy can be anywhere from 38-42 weeks, and most first time moms go over their due dates. I wish I was like my dear friend Trish who had her baby Olivia a month ago now on the first day of her 38th week. But I am already past that since today is the 2nd day of my 38th week. It is amazing to think Gizmo could come any time now but I won't know when until it happens. I have finished reading all my pregnancy books, and I have packed my hospital bags. However, I have not cleaned my house yet, nor do I have any impulses to do so, even though it really does need it! People tell me that when you get a rush of energy and can't stop cleaning your house, your baby is coming. Looks like Gizmo is content for now.

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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Later Pregnancy Sleep - Can it Even Be Called Rest?

I get about 5 different pregnancy-related update emails sent to me each week. They usually tell me stuff I already know, but that is actually reassuring. For example, below is an exert from the article I received today from the Huggies Baby Network. I have experienced all of this stuff from time to time, and most of it quite regularly. Although I've luckily forgone many of the "daytime" troublesome pregnancy symptoms like nausea, major fatigue, swelling, etc., my sleep has drastically changed during pregnancy. Its amazing I get any sleep.

Getting a Good Night's Sleep in Late Pregnancy

You may be surprised to learn that in the last weeks of pregnancy, a mother's sleep/wake patterns align themselves with those of their unborn babies. So, part of the problem of waking up a lot may be Mother Nature preparing you for the upcoming reality of getting up over and over in the night to feed and respond to your baby after birth (Yep, Gizmo is awake at 11pm, 1am, 4am, and 6:30am). In fact, studies show that newborns are far more likely to be awake at night than in the daytime (wonderful!).

You may also notice that your baby becomes more squirmy every time you lie down (check). Your baby's space inside your body is getting very cramped, and his or her backbone may be knocking against yours, which causes scrambling to find another position (at least Gizmo has an excuse for being a little wiggle worm).

Then, there are the physical realities of this stage of pregnancy, too. Your heart is having to work overtime to support your growing passenger, who impolitely is also starting to move into your ribcage territory (yep, see previous post about Gizmo finding my ribs - its only gotten worse), making you breathe more often and having to take deeper breaths. Your baby is pressing into your major organs, your arteries and your bladder, especially when you're reclined.

Hoisting yourself up out of bed in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom can be a major effort that wakes you up, for sure (I call it the Beached Whale Effect). It's getting harder and harder to change positions in the night (tell me about it). It may be tempting to stay in just one position when you finally do find a "comfort spot," but unfortunately, that may mean that you wake up later stiff to the point of being nearly frozen (again, check).

Sleeping face downward doesn't work anymore (did it ever during pregnancy?), while sleeping on your back may make you snore, waking yourself up and making your partner restless, too (Scott says check). This is caused by swollen nasal tissues and the relaxing of your jaws and throat from the hormones that are loosening your body up for birth.

Plus, you may be suffering from a case of "restless leg syndrome" -- RLS, for short. It's that mild aching in your legs and a twinge-y, jumpy feeling in your calves that keep you tossing and turning and unable to drift off into deep sleep (this sucks - I have it often). One cause may be a mild case of anemia, since iron deficiency has been linked to sleep problems (strange, my iron has read normal at all my doc visits). Too little calcium and magnesium have also been associated with RLS, as has taking antihistamines (maybe its the magnesium because I eat a ton of dairy to keep my calcium up and I religiously take my prenatal vitamins and calcium supplements).

Anyway, the article goes on to give suggestions on how to sleep better - all the same suggestions they give anyone who can't sleep: warm bath, no TV in bed, take a walk at night, etc. These are all fine, but my problem is not that I'm not tired, its that all the stuff above wakes me up or keeps me awake. When your leg wants to move every 2 seconds, you can't sleep !

Plus, they give some more pregnancy-specific ones like change beds, use pillows, adjust the temperature to your liking. These I use all the time. I have my nest of pillows (2 for my head, one between my legs, and 1 on either side of me) that travels with me from bed to bed. Since I often wake up Scott, I have taken to using the guest room's bed quite often. Sad, but gives both of us a better night's sleep.

Also, Scott is thoroughly unamused by how cold I would like to keep the house these days. I used to be one of those people who was always cold. Not during pregnancy. I am always hot now, rarely wear socks and just switched out of sandals finally, and find my pillow nest and just a sheet (no blankets) keep me sufficiently warm at night. Scott & I have seemed to switch roles because I used to call him Little Furnace since he put off so much body heat. Now he shivers at night and wears his flannel pjs to bed becuase I refuse to turn the heat up or previously, turn the air conditioning down.

Thank God I only have 2 more weeks of this left. Then we will only have a screaming human alarm clock to wake us every few hours!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Searching for Tunes

Today I spent quite a few hours putting together a Playlist of songs to listen to on our MP3 player during labor and the delivery of our child. Since it might take quite awhile, I have a pretty long list of songs going here. It is supposed to be for relaxation, but if I am like the majority of women who find labor quite painful, I figure I'll want to listen to music I like to distract me and to make the overall environment more enjoyable. I hope its not like food aversion where if you get sick eating a certain food, you don't want to eat it again for a long time. I doubt I will become negatively conditioned to these songs, however, because in the end of this long journey I will get the wonderful prize of my new baby. I am choosing mainly slower, mellow songs, but if its a more upbeat song that I like, I will add it, too. If you have any suggestions for songs to add, please comment on this post or email me! Thanks!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Gizmo Has the Hiccups - Quite Often

Poor Gizmo. Baby hadn't had hiccups, that I know of, until the last few weeks. Now Gizmo seems to have them every evening, sometimes multiple different times during the day and night. I can tell its hiccups because they feel like little punches, but they are very rhythmic and steady. They are pretty strong considering Gizmo is hiccupping liquid, not air, and how small s/he still is. Hope Gizmo doesn't have hiccups this often once s/he is born!

Are Pregnant Women Disabled?

Should pregnant women be given the same treatment as disabled people? That is a hard question to answer. Walmart (and some other stores/businesses) have said yes and have reserved parking spaces for "New and Expectant Mothers" right next to the handicapped parking spaces close to the store entrance. I hadn't used these spaces until a few evenings ago when Scott & I made a late night trip to Wallyworld. I had denied myself this convenience because, 1) I am perfectly capable of getting around and 2) exercise is good for me. In fact, I usually try to park as quickly as possible meaning I get spots pretty far from the door. I hate people who block traffic waiting for a "close" spot to open up. Lazy!! But on Tuesday night it was cold and raining, so I told Scott to go for it. He said he felt dirty for parking there. Honestly, I did, too. If it hadn't been raining, I wouldn't have done it. I don't know, I only have a few weeks left to go, so if ever I was going to use that privilege, now is the time. I mean, my feet do hurt fairly often, and I do walk more slowly than before. However, I can think of people who can use it more than me including moms with multiple kids, especially little ones. I might use the spot this winter when Gizmo is a small baby if the weather is frigid outside, but besides that, I think I will forgo it.

Monday, October 09, 2006

36 Weeks: Gizmo Has Found My Ribs!

I seem to have jinxed myself in a previous post by stating that the baby had not reached my ribs and likely wouldn't since it has now dropped. Well, Gizmo is growing lots and has, in fact, reached my lower rib cage. The baby tends to favor my right side, so it likes to poke my right ribs with its little feet. Let me tell you, its not fun! I am so lucky I am tall and only have to endure this for a few weeks! Gizmo just keeps putting on the ouces and lengthening, and it is definitly papable now from the outside of my belly. When it sleeps, it likes to curl up into a tight fetal position, so Scott & I have taken to calling it "Lump" at those times (shout out to The President of the United of America fans - they're a music band... nevermind). Gizmo, much like its father, sleeps hard and does not wake up easily. Let's hope this continues after the baby is born!

On my end, things are going pretty well. I can't believe I only have 3 weeks left til my due date as of tomorrow! My sleep in variable. Some nights are good, some aren't. There are always multiple trips to the bathroom. But my energy is decent, and I still feel good. I still can't believe that my stomach projects as much as it does when I look at my profile (see pic below), but as my lactation consultant commented, I am all uterus. Other mothers tell me I look great and can't believe I am in my 9th month. During our visit to the local barbershop for Scott's haircut on Saturday, his hairdresser couldn't believe I was even pregnant - so I stood up and showed that I was very noticably so! I guess its not so bad to be able to cover it up a bit when sitting and placing my purse in my lap to obscure the belly view:) Scott & I are both getting excited and anxious for Gizmo's arrival. It won't be long now!

36 weeks - Front View

36 weeks - Side View
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Friday, October 06, 2006

Thursday, October 05, 2006

I'm a Kid at Heart

I am so excited!!! I found out today that the Disney movie "The Fox and the Hound" is being rereleased on October 10th. This is my favorite kid movie, and one of my favorite movies of all time. Its such a sad, sentimental story; it warms my heart. If I watched it right now in my pregnant state, I'd likely cry. For those of you who don't know, its the story of a friendship between a coon dog puppy named Cooper and a wild fox pup named Todd. Despite the fact that Cooper should want to hunt Todd, they are best buds. However, their relationship becomes complicated as they get older. I'll leave it at that so I don't spoil it. I highly recommend it. And, I just found out on Internet Movie Database (IMDB) that the voice of little Cooper was done by Corey Feldman - yes, the same Corey Feldman of Gremlins, The Goonies, The Lost Boys, Stand By Me, and License to Drive (can you tell I'm a child of the 80's?). The Fox and the Hound came out in 1981 when I was only 4 and before Corey became a movie star.

Speaking of Gremlins, some of you who are reading Scott's blog might already know that my father-in-law has nicknamed Baby H. "Gizmo" from the Gremlins to keep the baby's gender secret. Anyway, Gizmo will not be viewing this movie or others, if we can help it, until she/he is a few years old. Don't get me started on the new TV channel that's being marketed toward infants or the movies and video games either. Toddlerhood is early enough for this stuff and the American Academy of Pediatrics agrees. Back in 1999 they issued a policy statement saying,

"Pediatricians should urge parents to avoid television viewing for children under the age of 2 years. Although certain television programs may be promoted to this age group, research on early brain development shows that babies and toddlers have a critical need for direct interactions with parents and other significant caregivers (eg, child care providers) for healthy brain growth and the development of appropriate social, emotional, and cognitive skills. Therefore, exposing such young children to television programs should be discouraged."

Click here for a link to their full statement. I know it will be quite difficult to keep Gizmo completely away from this stuff but we will make our best effort. After all, Gizmo will have the rest of its life to rot its brain by staring at the tele.

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