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Archive for the ‘Stree’ Category

Had to happen sometime

This morning was the morning that I couldn’t get my rings on. I figured it would happen eventually and the moment seemed to be looming ever closer. I think that I made it pretty far before I hit that point, 35 weeks and 5 days. My fingers don’t even look that swollen, but I guess they are just puffy enough. The warmer, humid weather probably doesn’t help. Not being able to get my rings on was also the sign to take off my wedding ring (it had trouble coming off, but I got it) and put it on my necklace. So, for the first time since I was about 10 or so, I have no rings on my fingers. It’s weird. I even have ring tan lines.

In other news, I had a prenatal appointment at the Birthing Center yesterday. Blood pressure is good. Baby’s heart rate is good. Uterus was measuring at 32 weeks, which is strange since it was at 33 weeks when I was at 33 weeks. But the midwife felt for the baby and said that his head is down low, so that could account for it. She even said that if he’s really dropping, he could come a little early. I hope it’s not too early. Also, it seems like he’s turned around a bit as his butt and feet have switched places since the last appointment. Next week’s appointment (OMG, we’re at every week now!) will involve an ultrasound just to check on things. I’m really excited about it as it’ll be the first time that I’ve gotten to see him since 18.5 weeks. Darius wants to see if we can do one of those 3D ultrasounds, but truth be told they sort of freak me out.

The woods, the belly, and the moon

From Thursday night through this morning Darius and I were at a retreat at a local state park. As it has been every year we’ve gone, it was a mostly wonderful experience. I was smart this year and insisted that we sleep in the cabin close to the bathroom and also that we get a eggshell mattress topper for the bed that we were going to be constructing out of two mattresses on the floor. The latter helped me sleep and the former was great for when I had to get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom.

Most of the nights I actually slept through the night with almost no getting up. Last night was the exception. I went to bed “early” (around 11pm). Half woke up when Darius came into bed. Then around 1am I shot straight upright into a sitting position. I had a lot of gas in my chest and needed to burp like crazy. After getting a few burps out, I realized that of course I had to go to the bathroom. I pulled on my pj bottoms and my wrap sweater and went out into the night. After going to the bathroom I realized that I wasn’t ready to go back to bed yet. I still had the “I have to burp” feeling and so I hoped that walking around would help with that. Ambled a bit around the camp site and talked to a few people who were still up and about.

I ended up on the beginning of the ramp leading up to the cabin door, looking up at the one-night-away-from-full moon. I opened up my sweater at the bottoms so that the moonlight was hitting my belly (but it was hard to tell because of all the other light). Then I just started talking, first to the moon and then to my baby, all the while stroking or holding my belly. I asked him if he would wait until another cycle of the moon. I asked him if when the times comes for him to enter the world, if we could work together. I told him I loved him. I told him a great deal of other things, many of which I can’t remember now.

Before last night I was physically getting tired of being pregnant, as I am pretty sure I have Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction, however I was not mentally ready to have the baby. After last night, I know that I am ready (as ready as one can ever be) to have a child.

Unfortunately for the rest of the night I was somewhat restless and woke up in the morning in a great deal of pubic pain. :(

Before we left the state park, I got a friend of mine to take some pictures of me.
Belly at 35 weeks and 2 days Belly at 35 weeks and 2 days

The other thing I really valued this weekend was the sense of community, not just from my friends who were there but from other parents who were there with their children. The parents, even those I’d never met before, let me sit and talk with them and answered my questions and just generally made me feel welcome.

Decisions and reality

About a month ago, Darius and I met with R from Nurture My Child. She talked with us about different child care options and what we were looking for in terms of daycare. She then went out and did research, identified places that fit within our style and our budget and gave me a packet with information and pictures and things. I’m so fortunate that my work subsidizes this service because R has been great and it has been really been a load off of our mind to have someone look into things and ask questions that Darius and I would have no idea how to ask.

R identified 3 places for us to look at: an in-home, a Montessori, and a general play-based Day Care Center. Over the past week we looked at all of them.

We visited the in-home after all the children had left. It was nice and the director was nice and easy for us to get along with. I think both Darius and I wanted to like the place more than we did. It was also hard to really get a feel for it as there were no children there. I think I’d like to drop by unannounced sometime to see how the director and her assistant are with the children.

The Montessori school was amazing. It was clean and beautiful. The teachers were nice. We both really liked the lead teacher for the infants, whom we spent about 30 minutes talking to. It’s a 3-to-10 ratio teacher-to-student ratio for the infants.They split the infants into two different rooms by developmental age so the older more active ones aren’t in with the little ones. We were there early in the morning, so there was only one infant in the little baby room, but the slightly older baby room looked calm and everyone looked like they were having fun playing. Our only problems are that they don’t do sign language with the babies (but they’re thinking of implementing that based on parent request) and that all the children are in uniforms once they move into the two year old classroom or so. Neither one are total deal breakers and I think Darius and I like the place much more than we wanted to.

The generic Day Care Center was okay. It’s super close to our house, which is a plus. The ratio of teachers-to-students is higher than the Montessori (2-to-10). We visited in the afternoon and there were quite a few children crying…well, really there was one and that one was upsetting the others. The teachers already had their hands full with two other babies, so it was kind of stressful. The other infant classroom was quieter and we got a better vibe from it. Basically this place seems like a place we could leave our child, but it’s not our first choice. It seems like it’s a better place for older children.

All of that being said, we’ve decided to put in applications at all three places. That way if something happens and we can’t get into our top choice (the Montessori school), we still have two acceptable backups.

Yesterday we also interviewed two pediatricians that were recommended to us. The first one had a very neat waiting room with no visible toys for children to play with, which threw us as first, but we really really clicked with her. The second had a bright shiny office with tons of toys and exciting rooms, but we didn’t click with her at all. We have a few more recommendations, but we think that we’re just going to go with the doctor that we clicked so well with. If we end up not liking her, we can always switch to someone else later.

Yesterday evening we (finally) unpacked the travel system my father bought us a few months ago and the matching Pack and Play we got the other week. The Pack and Play took a little figuring out in terms of putting it all together, but we eventually got it. Then we took out the stroller & car seat. I was sitting on the floor fiddling with the car seat when I looked over at the stroller that Darius was setting up. The seat was up and ready for a child. All of a sudden I pictured a child sitting in the stroller and it hit me. We’re really having a baby. One day there’s going to be a child sitting in that seat and we’re going to be responsible for him. It was such an overwhelming moment, one that I really can’t describe. In just six weeks (give or take a few weeks on either side) we’re going to have a baby in our lives and he’s going to grow up to be a child. It’s insane and amazing and overwhelming and scary and so many other emotions I can’t put names to.

Lastly here are two pictures from the Renaissance Faire that Darius and I went to the other week:
Belly at 32 weeks 2 days Belly at 32 weeks 2 days

Centering Shower

Belly at 31 weeks 2 days This weekend was our now twice monthly Centering appointment at the Birthing Center. Other than the “You almost but don’t have gestational diabetes” talk, the private appointment part went well. My blood pressure is good and my uterus is measuring at 31 weeks, which is exactly on target. But the best news of all is that the midwife was pretty sure that Stree is currently head down. This would make a lot of sense as I’ve been feeling more kicking in my ribs and middle abdomen and more gurgling/hiccuping lower down just above my pelvis. It would also help to explain why I’m having some sciatic nerve pressure lately that I can feel on the sides of my hips.

The class part was good. We talked, were shown, and practiced some different positions for labor and talked about what makes good “support people.” We were going to get into pain management techniques, but as often happens with this group we ran out of time.

Teddy Bear CakeAfter class was over, it was time for our Centering Shower. We went over to one of the couple’s houses that was close by the Birthing Center and had food and chatted for a while. Then we had the cake that I had made the night before and decorated that morning. After that it was time for the White Elephant Baby Gift Exchange. Mostly everyone was very polite and there was almost no stealing that happened. We got an owl rattle and an orange pig that makes noise when you shake him. Thinking back on it, pretty much everyone got a gift that suited them well. Then we had a small clothing exchange, where I got a nice top and two cute skirts. Everything that didn’t get taken will be given to a local womens shelter. We left soon after that, came home, and I fell asleep while we were watching Arthur on Netflix.

Lopsided belly

Had my most recent Centering appointment over the weekend. During the appointment I did my 1-hour glucose test to screen for gestational diabetes. I didn’t have any of my normal ZOMG sugar issues problems when I did the test, so I was hopefully optimistic. I guess I shouldn’t have been because I got the call today that I failed it. So now I have to go and make an appointment to take the 3-hour glucose test. Ugh. If I fail that one too then I have to see a doctor about everything and go on a strict diet and all of that. At least I can still deliver at the Birthing Center, so I don’t have that worry.

Baby wise, everything looks to be progressing well. As I mentioned in my last post, Stree has started to become much more active; either that or he’s bigger and stronger so I feel him more. When we were at the Centering appointment, the midwife did some feeling around and told us that it’s pretty likely that Stree’s butt is (or was at the time) hanging out near my lower left side. If you look at my belly you can actually tell that it’s shifted a bit to my left, a little lopsided. Not sure if this is because he’s hanging out on my left side or because of the scoliosis.

Belly at 29 weeks 2 days Belly at 29 weeks 2 days Belly at 29 weeks 2 days

Talking about the scoliosis, the chiropractor has been an awesome idea. I have no idea why I didn’t go to one years and years ago. I just know that I’d be in such worse shape if it wasn’t for him.

In preparation news, we’ve really started working on some of the things that need to get done before Stree shows up. Darius and I have made some really good progress on the Random-Stuff-In-the-Study-Closetâ„¢ clean up and we’re almost ready to move the bookshelves into the study to make room in what will be the baby’s room for baby things.

We’ve also started buying some baby things. We got Stree his very own stuffed dragon that roars when you press his throat, a Halloween costume, the most adorable probably coming home outfit ever (in two sizes, just in case), a hat with ears, and a geeky onesie that we really wanted that keeps going out of stock. I’ll post pictures of some of this stuff soon in case the links ever stop working. I also noticed that now that that the invite to my baby shower has gone out, some of the items on our baby registries are being purchased. It’s kind of like Christmas with presents showing up all the time. I also got myself a maternity pillow because a regular pillow isn’t cutting it and the regular body pillow just isn’t comfortable; I woke up this morning with hip pain after using the body pillow all night.

Planning for the unknown

I’m afraid about planning for the future when I’m not sure if the people involved will still be around. You can ask Darius. I think it took me almost two years to stop qualifying all major plans that were more than a month or two away with “if we’re still together at that point.” I know it comes from having a number of relationships go awry before the time of the appointed plan.

It just hit me today that we’re making all these plans for a life that hasn’t even been born yet. So far everything seems to be fine. Stree was so active yesterday it was ridiculous. Darius even got a chance to really 100% no-question-about-it feel him move around last night when we were in bed (which, BTW, freaked him out a bit b/c OMG I have something alive and moving inside of me).

The other day I bought Stree his Halloween outfit on eBay. And we’re starting to get all of these baby clothing and paraphernalia that one needs when one has a baby. We got him a stuffed dragon. We found the cutest outfit at Target.com, which is most likely going to be his coming home outfit.

This morning it really hit me. We’re making all these plans and buying all these things, but what if he doesn’t make it. Or what if he does and then he dies soon after being born. Then, once again, I’m left with all of these plans and all of these things, reminders of what was supposed to be. And it scares me. Because I don’t want to qualify these plans with an “if he lives.” And while I know the probability of this happening is small, it’s still there.

This worry caused me to poke Darius on the shoulder this morning until he woke up and ask him what would happen if the baby died. Poor man, I don’t think that’s really the kind of question that is easily answered when half awake. He reminded me that it was very unlikely and not to worry about it, but if it does, we’ll wait until we’re recovered and then we’ll try again. Which made me feel both better and worse at the same time. I was thankful for the reassurance and glad that he is willing to go through all of this again with me, but on the other hand, it made me start fretting that if that was to be the case, would the new child just be a substitution for this one.

Welcome to parental worry?

Hello Third Trimester

Friday was the start of my third trimester. If Stree was born today (~knocks on wood that he’ll go to term~) there’s a really high percentage chance that he’d live. Wow.

I swear we’ve been having some growth spurts in the last week.

Belly at 27 weeks 2 days Belly at 27 weeks 2 days Belly at 27 weeks 2 days

Stree’s been more active lately, or at least I can feel his activity more. His kicks have gone from what feel like gas bubbles to more like little thunks. Darius still hasn’t felt him more than that one time. He gets shy whenever others try to feel. Already my shy little mama’s boy :).

There’s still a lot to get done and welcoming in the third trimester with a cold wasn’t exactly what I had in mind. It still doesn’t feel real in many ways. When I think about Stree, I mostly think of him as an abstract concept or I think of him as the kicks I’m feeling. I’ve yet to really think of him as a little person yet. But one day he will be. As River Tam said in Heart of Gold, “Who do you think is in there?” I have no idea right now, but I know I’ll meet him soon.

22 week update

In the past two weeks I’ve started feeling Stree kick. At first I wasn’t sure that that was what I was feeling. It felt like a little gas bubble popping, so I wasn’t sure if it was just gas, the ability to feel my pulse in stomach (which I can do sometimes), or kicks. But they have been happening more and more frequently, especially in the last week, so now I know they are kicks/punches/movement.

Sometimes he is really active and I feel a bunch all at once, or within a few minutes of each other. Sometimes I just feel an odd one or two. Sometimes I just feel heavy in my pelvis, as if he’s just settling down in there for a while. They still come to infrequently and are too light for me to determine any perceptible pattern. And nothing can be felt or seen on the outside yet, but I can’t wait for the day when Darius can feel his son move.

Belly at 22 weeks 2 days In belly news, none of my pre-pregnancy pants (other than yoga pants and leggings) fit anymore at all. I’ve been pretty much living in maternity pants/jeans, yoga pants, and Darius’s pajama bottoms. While I don’t look “to strangers” pregnant, I feel as though I’m finally moving out of the “ate too many cheeseburgers/pizzas” stage to the really looking pregnant stage (except for when wearing a large sweater…but it’s been so cold out lately).

In symptom news, still burping all the time but the hemorrhoids have seem to have cleared up mostly (for now). Also I’ve been getting tired a lot lately again and my back has started hurting on and off. Scoliosis + pregnancy = back pains earlier in pregnancy than for most people. Doing yoga can help somewhat. I have an appointment with a chiropractor on Monday! I am so looking forward to it.

My sister is in town this weekend, loving the pregnant me. We went out yesterday to look at baby things. She bought Stree a couple of cute onesies from Once Upon A Child, which is really really close by. Then we went to Babies R Us to pick up my Dad’s present to Stree. We have a Travel System (stroller/car seat/travel bassinet) now! This is really the only thing that we actually need need need when Stree is born, so yay! After that, my sister and I went a little crazy with the registry gun at Babies R Us, but it was kind of fun. There are a lot of cute things with monkeys on them out there if you want to go all ape over that kind of thing. We also checked out BabyEarth, since it just opened, but it was totally over my price range for just about everything.

Today we went out with my BF in Austin and hit up some thrift stores and Target to look for cute maternity clothing for me. Amongst some of the horrible and very questionable things, we actually found some stuff that was rather cute. It was really fun hanging out with the two of them in general.

I’ve been reading Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, which is even more hippy than Birthing from Within, but it is really nice to read positive stories about natural birth. She has some great points that I’ve been copying down since I’m just borrowing the book from the library, but that deserves its own post.

Stree’s a boy!

On Wednesday Darius and I went in for Stree’s anatomy ultrasound. We decided to find out the sex and Stree cooperated beautifully.

IT’S A BOY
It's a boy!

I knew it. I just had a feeling that this was a boy from very early on. From sometime close to when I found out I was pregnant. It was interesting, when the u/s tech confirmed it, I wasn’t even surprised because I just knew.

The rest of the anatomy scan went really well. Stree is developing well. He (ha! I can say he now) looks to be healthy, his face is well formed, his spine is spine like, his heart has four chambers, and all the measurements were good.

Profile

I think that Darius and I may have weirded out the u/s tech a bit. We said things like, “Is that the brain? Oh good, then it’s not a zombie.” and talked about how we were sad that he didn’t appear to be an alien or have horns or anything. Well, he did look a little like an alien (or part of a pirate flag) when we saw his face.

Stree's face

I was all excited during the ultrasound. OMG he has hands. OMG he has feet. OMG he has a spine. I was also starting to really absorb the fact that it was a boy. Started thinking about what that meant and stuff, for example when looking at the spine I realized that males are less prone to scoliosis than females (runs in the female side of my family). He was moving around and so active. We got to hear the heart beat again. Every time it’s so amazing. See the Pictures page for many more pictures from Stree’s ultrasounds.

Stree's back and ear

Darius was there next to the table the whole time and holding my hand for most of it. This was his first u/s; the first time he actually got to see Stree moving around (instead of just seeing pictures). He was pretty quiet at first (ok, he was also tired from a long day at work and the room was dark). Then when I started teasing with the u/s tech, he jumped in on that.

Still not sure what Darius thinks of all this. But he did say that it’s become more real for him now. While we were waiting at the airport to head to my father’s for the holidays, he went and bought a parenting magazine all on his own :).

As for me, I’m blown away by the fact that I’m going to have a son. At first on the u/s table I was a little worried because I have no idea what to do with a boy child. But now I’m really excited by it. A son. I’m going to have a son. Every time I think about it I just can’t stop smiling. I’m so excited about my son. It’s amazing. I know I’m repeating myself, but I’m just so overwhelmed with emotion and love for my son!!!

As for names, we have a few that we’ve thrown around and some that we really like. However, I’m sure more discussions will be happening in the next few months. We’ve decided that we’ll pick a top choice with a couple of runner ups just in case the name we pick doesn’t fit once we meet our child for the first time.

Random bits and pieces

Got my first belly band in the mail yesterday. Still figuring out exactly how to position it properly to keep my jeans up, but I am a total convert. I may even get a few more as they come in a variety of colors and if I take after my mother, it may be a another month or two before I really “pop.”

The other day I caught myself swaying back and forth in the shower under the hot water singing “Baby Mine” from Dumbo while holding my belly. Now I can’t get the song out of my head (and I kind of don’t want to).

When driving in the car and a song from a band I like comes on the radio, I announce who the band is so that Stree will have a good musical education.

In TMI news, I think my pregnancy related hemorrhoids are getting worse. Nothing really that I can do about that. ~sigh~ I guess it’s my trade-off for not having morning sickness.

Woke up this morning with my left shoulder aching and my arm asleep. Must have slept on it funny. Not much fun as it made morning cuddling with still-sleepy Darius not able to happen.

We have the anatomy ultrasound this afternoon, about which I am randomly freaking out in stupid and silly ways. Then home to clean house and pack to head out to San Diego to visit Dad and Stepmom for the holidays.

How old is Damien?
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