My adventures in pregnancy, motherhood and beyond

Please enjoy the musings and updates and leave me a comment if you'd like!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

32 Weeks

Tuesday was James' birthday! I always tease him about being an "old man," since he's older than me, but maybe I should stop now that he's approaching 30? Nah...I don't think so either ;) My Tuesday started with fasting for the gallstone ultrasound, and on the way home I decided that James could use some "birthday hashbrowns!" Ok, so maybe I wanted a hashbrown, but I got enough to share, and brought them to James at work. The day turned out a bit differently than I had planned. I had all these grand designs on getting things done and a special dinner planned, but my stomach pain returned during lunch and since sleeping seems to be the only relief, I napped for most of the afternoon. I think it knows it's Tuesday since this was the third Tuesday the pain has gotten bad like that. Plus, Wallaby has a habit of pushing up against it, which is incredibly uncomfortable. I did get James' present done: I made a certificate entitling the "bearer" to newborn photos by the same woman who's doing our maternity photos. I knew he really wanted them and managed to make it work out without tipping him off. I also finished carrot cake cupcakes for his birthday. They were frosted with cream cheese frosting, and half of them were also stuffed with frosting. I love to bake, but don't eat my baking much, so James' work was treated to cupcakes throughout the week. Since I didn't have time to make the chicken and dumplings he wanted for dinner, we went to Lazy Dog instead. I think sweet potato tater tots made up for the lack of dumplings, and we'll still make them, just on a day that we have more time. Plus, it didn't require cooking or clean up, and we managed to get to sleep earlier than usual. Overall, I think he had a good day and hope he enjoyed the low key birthday!

The rest of the week was pretty mundane: I picked up an extra day at work, which worked out well since James ended up having to go in on Friday too. The results from the ultrasound also came back relatively normal. It showed I have a slightly fatty liver, but since I still haven't heard from the doctor, I'm assuming there's nothing to worry about. Googling it says it can cause a light, dull pain in your right side, but I'm not convinced that's what my pain is: my pain is sharp and so severe I can't stand up straight or touch my stomach and I have a relatively high pain tolerance. I guess it's just another one of those mystery pains, which is so much fun. Hopefully it'll go away, like my hip pain mostly has. I'm still not up for exercising, but at least I can walk around without pain. However, my fatigue has returned with a vengeance. It's almost as bad as the first trimester, but I think I'll manage.

Our weekend was really relaxed, but still pretty productive. I didn't finish everything on my list, but I feel pretty good about what we did get done. We stayed in Orange since I was hoping to make it to my professor's memorial service, but my exhaustion struck again and I ended up sleeping through it. I spent pretty much all of Saturday working on the covers for the glider. Though I ended up having to sew the cushions at least twice (three times for the back), I'm really happy with how it turned out. The original tapestry-like fabric was gross and the homemade cover it came with was blue and flower-y...not our style. Mom found this gorgeous, ocean-inspired fabric with blue and green stripes and we used that. Mom's getting some more since we didn't have enough to cover the ottoman with horizontal stripes. I can't wait to have the whole thing done--it's so comfortable already, and I love sitting and rocking/gliding in it. The backs are just pinned together; one because there wasn't enough extra to even make a hem (though I did zig zag stitch to prevent fraying) and one because I'm too lazy to hand-sew on snaps. Despite the pinning, it still turned our wonderfully. It's my first "real" sewing project that wasn't a minor repair, so I'm thrilled with how well it turned out and I just adore it in the room.

I also had my first experience with elastic thread this weekend. The pants I found at a maternity consignment shop ended up coming unhemmed on the top of the full panel and were fraying badly. James brought them back from the laundromat (the dryers were broken here) with a giant knot on the top of the pants. After sewing the whole thing with regular thread, I stretched the panel and *SNAP*, the whole thing came undone. So I threaded the machine with elastic thread and nothing happened...I finally figured out that you put the elastic in the bobbin ONLY, and it ended up working fine. It doesn't look great, in fact it looks horrible, but it's the panel so no one is going to see it and it'll keep it from fraying further. Next up: ruching a shirt I bought a few months ago and fixing my capris, which will involve lifting the hem and lowering the panel since it lands smack in the middle of my belly. This was all happening while multiple repairs were going on in the apartment. That's a completely different rant, but suffice it to say that I am beyond frustrated with the so-called "repairs" to fix the maintenance issues we've had here. *deep breath*

After sleeping in again---this exhaustion is in itself exhausting---I worked on some of the smaller projects. The weekly board and pictures (and hence the blog) are up to date finally. The kitchen is cleaned, though the pantry didn't get organized yet. The breast pump is clean, though we're going to get a new one thanks to Obama and my insurance (this involved way more drama than necessary, and a test run involving a ziploc full of water...). The coffee table drawers are organized everything is cleaned up. The cocoon is coming along nicely, and the aquarium should go pretty quickly since it's just three or four small objects. I thought I was supposed to be the one nesting, but James went crazy cleaning. He cleaned everything but the nursery (which is still being organized), even the baseboards! I dusted and cleared off the tables with vinegar, but James won't allow me to do anything with heavy lifting (vacuuming, mopping) or anything involving harsh chemicals (toilets, etc). I felt a bit useless, but he did a great job, even though we didn't get to dinner until 10:30. Thank goodness tacos are pretty quick dinners.

I'm convinced Wallaby knows the days of the week: he spends every weekend chilling out, moving much less. When I start to worry about it, the week starts and he becomes more active again. He does seem to be getting more and more squashed inside, but he's still stretching out. He loves snacks, especially smoothies, which I have learned are very simple to make. When I got home from work on Wednesday, I saw my entire belly jump up and down and side to side. It was crazy! I'll miss him moving when he gets here, but to be honest, this week I have been more than ready for the little things: sushi, a margarita, normal jeans, my old favourite shirts and my red hair. But more than that, I'm ready to hold my little boy and see him! I want him to stay in there until at least the due date, but I am so ready for him to be here...I can't wait to meet him! Both James and I are getting so excited--it's becoming more and more real; only 49 days left!!!

Tl; dr:

How far along: 32 weeks
Total weight gain: somewhere in the realm of 25
Favourite clothes: Those new pants are so comfy and so lightweight
Sleeping: Much, much better with the tv and butterfly pillow (aka "the wall" according to James)
Best moment: Seeing the glider all finished. I'm so happy with it!
Worst moment: Just how tired I feel. And how cluttered I feel our bookshelves are. More projects!
Miss anything: Sushi and margaritas. And jumping on a trampoline, which I haven't done in years, but because I can't I want to
Cravings: Zucchini fries! Searched about 8 restaurants' menus before finding somewhere with them. SO GOOD!
New symptoms: The fatigue is back in full force; I'm so exhausted, almost like the first trimester again
Looking forward to:  Pleasanton next weekend! Meat pies, music, jam, dancing and KILTS! Yay!
Pregnancy brain moments: Quite a few at work lately, but luckily my boss is cool
Listening to: I *finally* found a digital copy of Schooner Fare's "Twa Recruiting Sergeants" and for some unknown reason, Christmas music
Crafting: Finished the glider cushions (the hard part), working on the cocoon, fixing up the capris
Baby projects: Still gotta finish the cocoon, jellyfish rattle (requires yarn), crocheted aquarium and that mobile (if I ever get around to it...I'm scared I'll screw it up)

32 Weeks: Wallaby is the size of a squash & getting pretty squashed in there!
Note the new pants!

32 Week profile. Look at that shirt!! Eeek!

Baby bump. Should've gotten a longer shirt...

Monday, August 27, 2012

31 Weeks

Wallaby is the size of a pineapple! A pineapple, people! That is amazing. I have recently discovered a new love of pineapple. If there's one thing pregnancy has made me realize, it's how much I love fruit and that I should really keep more of it around for snacks. Nectarines, granny smith apples (with gouda yum), pomegranates, avocados, pineapple; it's all so good!

This week started with the same pain as last week. It feels like a side stitch, except it's just to the right and slightly above my belly button. Just like last week, it was tender to the touch. I tried ice (suggested by the childbirth class instructor), but putting the ice pack on that tender spot hurt so badly, and even when I got it on, it only gave me slight relief. Lying on my right side seemed to help, and eating seemed to make it worse. By Wednesday it was better; it was a constant pain, but it wasn't as tender anymore. However, I gave in and called the OB. They wanted me to come in immediately. He didn't seem to worried, and didn't think it was anything that needed immediate or surgical help, but he ordered blood tests just to be safe. When I told him it seemed to get worse after eating, he ordered an ultrasound to rule out gallstones. If the ultrasound comes back negative (and I hope it does), he said it's most likely one of the fun mystery pregnancy pains and nothing to worry about. If it comes back positive, I'll be a "rock" star (get it? Cuz of the kidney stones!) Ok that was a bad pun, but James' was worse: he said I'd be a "stone"r. *Groan*. Either way, I hope it doesn't get quite so bad again since I couldn't even stand up straight from the pain. So until next week, I'm trying to avoid fatty foods (avocados!) and hoping the pain goes away like last week.

My sleep schedule had been totally whacked out; I spent about 80% of the night staring into space, 10% getting up to pee/getting comfortable and the other 10% lightly dozing. However, I managed to solve the problem! I noticed that I felt most rested waking up from my naps (usually unintentional naps) and the only common denominator seemed to be the background noise. It definitely wasn't the couch, which is comfortable, but gets really hot, especially with two puppies and a blanket. I decided to try sleeping with the tv on in the bedroom; something I haven't done in years. Despite my doctor having told me to keep the tv off in the bedroom, it really helped tremendously. I fell asleep faster, stayed asleep longer, woke up more rested and earlier than the past few weeks. While I still don't stay asleep through the night, I sleep so much better than before, and feel like I'm actually getting some rest. The volume is so low I can barely hear it, but it does seem to help. And as long as it helps, I will continue to take advantage of that, even if it's a placebo effect. (I'm still no closer to having actually seen the closing ceremony of the Olympics, despite the fact that I've played it through about 6 times.)

We had our last childbirth class on Thursday night, and it was as good as last week. Again, I felt like she was much more approving of pain medication, et al this time, and she told us she had actually had epidurals for all three of her children. Again, I knew a lot of what we learned from reading books and browsing around online, but it was still good to hear some of the stuff. We practiced breathing and different labour positions as well, but it was a pretty relaxed class and only 5 couples were there (including us). One of the dads showed off his full back tattoo after class, which was amazing. It featured landmarks from all over California and was beautifully done; the Golden Gate, Trans-America building, Hollywood sign, etc. He said it took over 100 hours to finish, which I can't even imagine. The artwork was wonderful though. I'd love to have the guts to do something like that. For some reason, I have no problem with tattoos or piercing needles, but I'm terrified of IVs or getting blood drawn or shots; I should not have watched that video that showed the epidural needle *shudder*.

Our weekend was the norm, so full of errands that we didn't really get the chance to rest. We stopped by a maternity consignment store on Friday and found some good stuff. I didn't find any comfortable jeans, but I did find a pair of linen pants that are super light and comfortable, and we also found a breast pump. It normally retails for $350, and we got it for a fraction of the cost. All it needs is to be cleaned, which is simple enough to do. Sunday was spent in horrible heels, which left me with horrible blisters and feet so sore I could barely walk the next day. We made a delicious corn chowder. Despite it being a chowder, it really is the perfect summer soup--light and refreshing while still being a hot meal. Like all nights this week, we spent some time just feeling Wallaby move. He's been so active lately! He doesn't kick so much as push and stretch and spin a bit. He likes to push his head into my lung and then just chill out there. Despite the discomfort he can cause, feeling him move is still my favourite part of pregnancy. And it's so much more fun now that James can regularly feel him as well. At night, in the morning before I wake up and especially after eating something like pineapple or a popsicle, he just seems to move non-stop. It's amazing. It seems crazy that I ever worried about him not moving enough!

Monday was spent procrastinating on James' present (whoops) and working on covering the glider. I got the pieces cut out, but ran out of fabric for the ottoman. Well, there's enough fabric, but only to cover it with vertical stripes, and the cushions will be horizontal, so I do need some more. Which means I had to send a plea to mom, since our Joann's doesn't have the pretty fabric she found. I sewed up one cushion, only to find that the cover wouldn't fit. That meant 20 minutes of ripping out my stitches to try, try again. Which is what I'll spent part of Tuesday doing, hopefully succeeding that time.

Tl; dr:

How far along: 31 weeks
Total weight gain: +25
Favourite clothes: Found some new linen pants at a consignment store and can't wait to wear them! (they need a wash)
Sleeping: So much better!
Best moment: Sleeping again!
Worst moment: Realizing that I get all the nasty side effects of the medicine and none of the benefits of pain relief
Miss anything: Same things as before, but it's a small sacrifice
Cravings: Nothing in particular this week, though I'm very suggestible right now
New symptoms: My legs still cramp up a bit, but I found the perfect way to get rid of them.
Looking forward to:  Going up north in two weeks! Yay! I can't wait for meat pies and kilts and the Browne sisters and kilts and Scottish dancing and kilts and kilts and did I mention the kilts?
Pregnancy brain moments: I'm sure there have been some, but I can't remember them...
Listening to: Willie Taylor by Deanta, and Willie Taylor by the Once. Very different versions of the same song...I'm partial to the tune/speed of the Deanta version, but love the extra verse by the Once.
Crafting: I finished the coasters finally! I keep bookmarking projects, but who knows when I'll get around to it
Baby projects: Still working on the cocoon (2 rows done), starting on recovering the glider and really working to start on the mobile soon. 1 project at a time seems best though

31 Weeks: Wallaby is the size of a pineapple
I felt artistic this week, so the 31 is chilling on an island

31 week profile.


Attack of the belly!!!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Smoky Corn Chowder

Smoky Chowder
Soup. Mmmm. I LOVE soup. Especially chowder. I've never actually had the guts to make a chowder before, but I found a recipe via Pinterest that was looked too good to pass up.

We used this recipe from Bev Cooks. It looked so good.

We did some things differently, and it probably made it taste a bit differently. Instead of using fresh shrimp, we used frozen shrimp from Fresh and Easy. It's not James' favourite thing, seafood snob that he is, but it's better than having to devein and deshell the supposedly "fresh" shrimp from the meat counter. And, no, if they're real shrimp (not prawns), they've been frozen in order to be transported. (See what you learn when you marry a seafood snob?) We also chopped up the shrimp to mix into the soup instead of searing them and putting them on top. And, what can I say, we're super lazy, so we used bacon bits isntead of cooking out own bacon. This one actually has a real reason--buying a pack of bacon and only using 2-3 strips means the rest generally goes to waste, so it's better for our purposes to use the bits.

We followed the other instructions pretty much word for word. I didn't notice the differences between her version and the Real Simple version, but I just skipped the steps cooking the bacon and shrimp. Instead, I just added some oil to the pot (and I could have used a much smaller pot.) I sauteed the minced up yellow onion for 5 minutes. Since the recipe only calls for half a yellow onion, I saved the other half and froze it to use later. This is going to become a habit, I think. When I need things I don't usually use and have to buy too much, I'll freeze the rest and save it to use later.

Onions and spices sautéing. Note the steam
After the onion was done sautéing (mind you, mincing the onion in the food processor is easy and makes the texture nicer, but does add a lot of liquid, which makes it harder to sauté the way I'd hope to), I added the paprika, the garlic, salt, pepper and crushed red pepper, sautéing it for another minute or so. The paprika seems to soak up the extra liquid. James cut off the corn kernels from the cob, and I added them to the mixture, sautéing for another minute or two. Instead of using chicken stock, I used the reduced sodium chicken broth, and we used half and half instead of cream to keep it a (little) healthier. After tasting it, I realized it did need some more salt and pepper.

Add the corn and mix well
It took forever to get it up to a simmer, but I did manage to get it there finally. Of course, I had to bring it to a boil first. Either way, it took a lot longer than the recommended 15 minutes, but I figured heating it up and cooking it could only add to the flavour in the long run. This is also were a smaller pot would have been handy, since our stove is horrible, and the larger pots only boil in the very center. I used the immersion blender to blend most of the chunks out (another small pot is better instance, since it was very shallow and splattered.) I'd say I blended a little more than half, but didn't pulse it completely smooth. I added some bacon bits and the half pound of cut up shrimp and allowed the soup to heat through for another minute or two.

Cream and broth added
James didn't want anything other than some parmesan on his soup. I added some extra bacon, extra crushed red pepper and parmesan on mine. It was creamy, but not really smooth--the blended chunky parts kinda stood out from liquid parts, but it was still absolutely delicious. I loved how despite it being hot and a bit spicy from the peppers, it was still light and refreshing. It was the perfect summer soup. The recipe made enough for 4 servings, and since I had seconds, we have one serving left over for lunch one day. I think it should reheat just fine, and I'd love to see what it tastes like with a bit of hot sauce added in. (Ok, yes I'm completely obsessed with that hot sauce, but it's just SO good! On everything!) This recipe would also be very easy to adapt to vegetarian; just leave out the bacon and shrimp and use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock. This is definitely going to become one of our staples. The more soup recipes in my cooking arsenal, the happier I'll be :) (I really do LOVE soup). So, go out and make yourself some corn chowder!! It's so good! You won't regret it.
And the finished product!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

30 Weeks

Only 10 weeks until the due date! Whoo hoo!

This week started with a mystery pain. Tuesday night I got a weird side stitch-like pain in my stomach. It was bizarre---there was pain in my stomach, but it was also tender to the touch; even the lightest touch to my stomach sent shooting pain into it. I couldn't stand up straight and could barely walk. James was about to take me to the ER, but with our track record at St. Joseph's I really wasn't looking forward to that. I protested that it was probably just a pulled muscle or something similar and if I laid down it would help quite a bit--and it did. As soon as I lay down on my side, the pain subsided. It lasted on and off the rest of the week, but never reached the fever pitch of that night. The tenderness to the touch didn't come back and it never got to the point where standing up straight was bad.

I'm not sleeping too well; tossing and turning from side to side and being un-sleepy. Tired and exhausted, yes; sleepy, no. It seems like my body wants to rest between 5 am and 11 am instead of between 11 pm and 6 or 7 am. James gets up at 5:45 now, which wakes me up, so I end up with about 45 minutes of actual, good rest. Sleeping in is fine on days I don't work, but when I'm working, I end up barely being able to keep my eyes open. And yes, I know what you're going to say--I should get the sleep I can before the baby arrives. Trust me, I'm trying to. I've given up avoiding naps in an attempt to readjust my sleep schedule and am not napping whenever I can. After all, going napless leaves me feeling grouchy. James let me sleep in on Friday and Saturday until almost 11 am and I felt so much better for it, even though I didn't feel particularly productive.

For the past few days, Wallaby has been extremely active. It's still a little creepy to see my belly twitch, move from side to side or undulate, but knowing it's my baby makes it really cool. The stronger kicks of the past few days assure me that he's healthy and James has been able to feel him more regularly too. James hasn't seen my belly move, but we were able to count about 15 somersaults in the 5 minutes before falling asleep Sunday night. (I assume they were somersaults, but I'm not great at identifying body parts jabbing me yet). Sunday afternoon, his little kicks were strong enough to wake me up from my nap for the first time. Even when they're a bit uncomfortable (is Wallaby pinching me?), it's still my favourite part of pregnancy. And more than makes up for the little aches, pains and discomforts.

The pumpkin hat crocheted up so fast: I finished it in two short days! Despite my lack of experience and despite the fact that I was using some new techniques, it still turned out pretty well. We tried it on a baby doll at the childbirth class and it didn't quite fit on the head, so I'm making another and adding some new rows to make it larger. This week's class was a lot more pleasant: it didn't feel as anti-pain-medication as last time. Maybe that's because it focused on Cesarean birth. I don't like any kind of agenda being pushed on me, even if I agree with it. I'm viewing medical intervention like a cavity; I don't want it, but I'm not afraid of it and will do what I need to make this experience successful and as pleasant as possible. Epidurals especially seem to be a point of contention, but if it prevents a C-section (as my doctor says it has for many of his patients), I'll have one. The same goes for if I can't handle the pain or if I end up needing a C-section. The plan right now is to go in without a firm plan, to be adaptable and flexible. After all, I've never been through labour and every woman's labour is different, so I'm not expecting to stick to a plan. I'm much more comfortable with the idea that he has to come out at some point, and I'm feeling much better about the classes. I also learned a few new things this time.

It was a full weekend. We went to a Kia dealership Friday afternoon and had a horrible experience. It culminated in the salesman accusing us of wasting his time because he didn't bother to get the facts from the 6 other people who had helped us before (yeah, SIX) and thought we were buying a car that day. They also wanted to give us only $5,000 for my car, which is worth at least double that. But the day ended well with my little's bridal shower. I felt a bit out of place since I didn't have a cocktail dress I still fit into, but I had a blast talking to people and I'm SO glad she liked my present! It was a great, but late, night. Saturday we headed to Coronado to take my grandmother out for her birthday, which was Friday. We ended up at Chili's after finding out there was an hour and half wait for a table at World Famous. We ended up staying and chatting with her until 10 pm, which was a lot later than I expected. We were having a good time, and it's so much easier to talk to her when she's wearing her hearing aids. It was nice to see her, but it was even better because she was so happy to see us, even calling the next day to thank us again. We spent Sunday doing laundry and finishing the registry. It took almost 3 hours on the tablet with the limited 4G signal in the house, but getting it done felt great! Even in Coronado, it was SO HOT. In Orange, it's been over 95 degrees every day for the past week, and way too humid. I thought it would be better in Coronado, but even there it was in the high 80's. We went to church on Sunday and I thought I was going to faint because the church was hot, had no air conditioning and smelled like people (it was packed, but still, yuck). I would love a break from this heat, especially since there's no A/C in the nursery and it's too hot to work in there right now.

Monday was pretty relaxed. I had errands to run, but for some reason an overwhelming nausea struck and I spent the afternoon attempting not to throw up. I tried to distract myself: frustrating medical paperwork and figuring out disability insurance while pregnant, but that gave me a bad headache in addition to the nausea. Add in the frustration from the fact that our printer won't print for me and I was at the end of my rope. Instead of throwing the printer out of the window, I took some time to crochet and focus on other things. James was sweet enough to grocery shop after work so we could have dinner that night. Hopefully the nausea will go away, but it was a relaxing, restful day, even if I didn't feel great.

Here's the tl; dr version:

How far along: 30 weeks
Total weight gain: +23 (probably more, but I'm working on not worrying about it, since the doctor isn't worried)
Favourite clothes: Seriously loving my scoopneck, ruched tops from Pea in the Pod...they're the most flattering shirts right now
Sleeping: Intermittent and interrupted, but I think I'm doing better than recently. Maybe?
Best moment: The bridal shower and dinner with my grandma were the best parts of the week
Worst moment: Our experience at the Kia dealership; I actually stormed out on the guy I was so angry
Miss anything: Margaritas. I really never drank that much before getting pregnant...
Cravings: sweet potato tater tots 
New symptoms: I have this recurring stitch in my stomach, right to the left of my belly button. It comes and goes, but it's kinda painful
Looking forward to:  I'm having dinner with my little this weekend. Then seeing my parents and my baby shower and maternity photos! So much is happening in the next month!
Pregnancy brain moments: I sent an update to my high school for their alumni magazine and they asked for a photo. I definitely did the '"here it is" and forget to add the attachment' thing
Listening to: The Olympic theme has been stuck in my head incessantly! I'm kinda glad it's over now
Crafting: Those coasters are the bane of my existence. I'm so close to done, I just need the motivation to finish! 
Baby projects: There's a whole list I've made, but I'm taking it piece by piece. The second pumpkin hat, which I'm making a bit larger, a matching cocoon, the mobile (agh felt) and some other little pieces

30 Weeks: Wallaby can open & close his eyes! Blue, green, brown?

30 Week profile shot

30 week belly (the shirt is now too short)

Saturday, August 11, 2012

29 Weeks

Haha! Caught up finally! Kinda...

What happens to people's filters when they see a pregnant woman? On Thursday I had a nice, grandmotherly woman come into the office to give John a check. John wasn't there, but she decided to talk to me for a while instead. Right before lunch. (Hungry pregnant woman=grumpy pregnant woman...don't worry, I behaved). First she tested my temper with the whole Chick-Fil-A thing, asking if I heard about it and saying how she had wanted to go down there, but there were just too many people. Having already had an exhausting "discussion" about gay marriage with my boss that morning, I managed to just nod and smile and didn't trust myself to open my mouth. (For more on my views and why this is NOT a first amendment issue, I recommend this article). Then she chatted a bit more and upon finding out I was pregnant (btw, first she thought I was my boss' wife, then she thought their 6 year old son was my son), she actually asked me if my pregnancy was planned. W. T. F?! Not only is this a woman I had met about 5 minutes earlier, but that's an incredibly private, invasive and inappropriate question, even for a friend. I like to think I opted for a non-snarky comeback because she was a client, but honestly, I was just too flabbergasted to respond with anything other than "Yes, it was planned." This is my first experience with a wildly inappropriate response to my pregnancy, though through various blogs and articles it seems to be rampant. And it's not just an American phenomenon; in the UK, a clerk at Tesco's tried to refuse to sell a pregnant woman unpasteurized cheddar cheese (perfectly safe). I've read other stories of comments of "You're so big, you'll never make it to your due date," "Are you sure you're not carrying twins?," "Are you sure you're pregnant? You're so tiny," and worst of all "How much weight have you gained?" Maybe I am just over-sensitive, but I feel like these comments defy every social rule out there. Every pregnancy is different and presents differently, no woman wants to hear that something might be wrong with her baby, and in what world is it appropriate to ask about weight gain?? And given the social conception that pregnancy causes 9 months of nausea and crazy, hormonal emotions, you would think most people would be even more sensitive to these kinds of comments. It was none of her business either way, but I had to wonder why she cared. And then I had to wonder why she asked. The only reason I could come up with is that I look young. But I don't look extremely young, and again, it's none of her business. She doesn't know me, had never met me before and is probably (hopefully) never going to see me again, so why does she care about whether my pregnancy was planned or not? This happened again with the receptionist at the veterinarian's office. How the hell is this considered appropriate?!

Alright, mini-rant over. We had our first childbirth class on Thursday night. It was an odd, entertaining experience. We are taking the 3 week "Childbirth 101" class through St Joseph's Hospital, which is where I'll be delivering. Our instructor is certified in Lamaze, so I'm sure some of those techniques will be incorporated. She's an older woman with 3 daughters and two grandsons. She made a lot of pop culture references, in what seemed to be an attempt to show that she was current and up to date. But some of them were hilarious. She made a comment about the men's synchronized diving events at the Olympics and their physiology. Followed by a comment regarding how small those speedos are and how nicely they show off their bodies. Now, I definitely don't disagree with those comments, but coming from this grandmotherly figure it was completely unexpected and awesome. She also made some comment about the book "Shades of Gray" and how she couldn't ready it on vacation because it was making her blush and she was too embarrassed (this followed by "And I've read some pretty raunchy stuff in my day"). Most of the information presented was pretty basic, and the video was horribly dated (with the same music as used in Safeguarding God's Children!) Though she said that there was no one right way to have a baby, it felt like she was really pushing natural, unmedicated birth, probably due to her Lamaze background. I'm fine with that; I'm aiming for a natural birth and figure my experience with kidney stones gives me an edge, lol. We had some activities where we worked with another couple: coming up with activities to distract ourselves during early labour (so we stay home b/c women who come to the hospital earlier are more likely to have a c-section) and a list of "clear liquids" for when you're supposed to stop eating solids. It was interesting, but putting people together to make one list doesn't always work. For example, going for a walk might work for the other couple, but I can barely walk now, so I don't think that's going to help. Crocheting or knitting for me would be great, but the other woman might not know how to do that. Reading is another one: I can lose myself in a book very easily, but being in pain and reading for James would be all put impossible. It was funny to pretend to breathe through contractions on a birthing ball, with one leg on a chair or doing pelvic tilts with your back against the wall. Especially since she would remind all the "coaches" to say something nice or encouraging..."Just a few hundred metres more" was the best Olympic-related suggestion. I did misunderstand at one point and thought I was supposed to say something nice to James, so I told him he smelled nice. He does, but he couldn't say anything nice to me for laughing. I'm not sure the class made me feel any better about my labour and delivery fears; that was done by James' co-worker's daughter, who had her baby at St. Joe's about a year ago. However, it was informative (did you know they used to knock women out with gas to deliver their babies?) and we'll see how it goes the next two weeks. I think it'll be a good class to have gone to, though I won't know how helpful it will be until baby day.

I had my monthly OB visit this week again, and it was a little stressful. It looks like Baby L is growing a lot since I gained another 10 pounds this month. I'm still within what I'm supposed to weight, since I only gained 4 pounds the first 20 weeks, but it's stressful either way. I need to just stop worrying. Like James said, I can't exactly start a diet right now, and I'm eating healthier than I ever have. My main concern was my hip. It has not been getting better; in fact, it's been getting progressively worse and nothing has helped. We returned the maternity belt because it hadn't helped at all and my next chiropractic visit is going to be my last until after the birth because it just isn't helping. I'm in a lot of pain regardless of whether I'm sitting, standing, walking or even lying down now. It's not a constant pain, just twinges when I move or am positioned a certain way and it's definitely not coming from my back. It's inside my hip joint and it hurts to badly. So much so that the doctor prescribed me tylenol with codeine to take for the pain. All I can do is take the pain medication when I'm going to do something like walk and hope it dulls the pain a bit. Unfortunately, based on the first day I took it, it doesn't do that much. Not enough for me to start exercising again at least. Added in to the pain of walking are my leg cramps. I hadn't had them for a while, but then Friday morning I had 5 within an hour and a half. Definitely not a fun way to wake up. The thing is, my calves were still sore on Sunday...sore enough that walking hurt. I've rubbed in the sore muscle rubs and tried massaging them and tried stretching them, but it doesn't seem to help. We bought some bananas (I'm finally giving in, though I am freezing them first) and we'll see if that helps. If not, I'll have to call in to the doctor's office to see what to do.

Friday was busy. We also test-drove a Ford Explorer and took the pups to the vet. Some quick thoughts on the Explorer: It wasn't as smooth as a drive, the turn signals were a pain and badly designed, the MPG wasn't great and the only good points were the colour (actual blue instead of of a blue-black) and the extra goodies (sync, two panel sunroof, etc). It was overpriced for what it was--the only good thing were the options, which made it too expensive. The vet visit was similar: I expected much better considering how much be paid. Both pups were overdue for their boosters and yearly exams, but Moose had also started licking his paws obsessively. His paws are red and raw, and I didn't know what to do since we can't watch him 24 hours a day; I wanted to take him in before his paws started bleeding.

They're both pretty healthy: Pippin ridiculously so and Moose, well as much as a purebred with weird legs (and neck) can be. Even the vet thought Moose's little lion's ruff was weird: it seems that's where he stores his excess fat instead of around his belly. He could do with more exercise, since he's lazy, but overall he's healthy. As for the paws, allergies were the most likely culprit, especially since he's had allergic reactions before. But we hadn't changed anything, at least not recently enough to coincide with the paw-licking. They wanted to do a scraping and test it for bacteria, fungus and mites, and regardless of the results give him an injection for the allergies and prescriptions for an antibiotic and anti-fungal medication. Looking at the prices (and the fact that they wouldn't wait for the results before administering medication) we decided to try the children's benadryl route for a few weeks and come back if necessary. So Moose gets a shot of bubble gum flavoured allergy medication when his paw-licking gets out of control. Considering how much he loves the stuff, if we dipped his paws in it, our problems would be over, but that would be messy :) Plus, when we got home, we realized we'd changed his treats, so it might be that. Or perhaps the bones we'd been giving as treats. So we'll take those away and see if it helps at all.

Both pups got their vaccines and their heartworm tests. They took them to the back to administer the vaccines which makes me really nervous, especially when we saw the state Pippin was in the next morning. She's had these boosters before, but this time, when she woke up on Saturday, she was shaking, limping, squealing when you touched her (or tried to put on her harness) and completely uninterested in food. All day long, she spent lethargically lying on the couch, barely moving and threatening to bite (she would never actually bite us) when you got near her right shoulder. Watching her walk was painful, and she was completely uninterested in her toys or regular food. Since she hadn't had anything to eat or drink all day, we cooked her some chicken and rice to get her to eat. Of course, she gulped that down in no time. She was pretty much back to herself by Sunday, though still a bit tender on her shoulder, but it was really upsetting to see her like that. Considering that we spent over $200 on this vet trip and would have spent over $300 if we'd gotten all the recommendations for Moose, I had expected much, much better from the experience. Their commitment to affordable spaying and neutering may still be there, but as far as veterinary care, this has set us back a bit.

James' computer has also been acting weird. I finally went into Apple's genius bar since they completely screwed up my computer when they wiped the hard drive and got the permissions fixed. Then one of mom's parishioners let us borrow his upgrade disc for Snow Leopard (anyone have Lion out there they'd like to share?). After doing the upgrade, my computer was fine, but James' stopped printing and then he discovered that he could no longer access Microsoft Word, since it thought he only had a trial. The genius bar was useless; the guy we saw was completely unhelpful and didn't actually listen to our questions. He wanted us to bring our printer, wireless router, back up drive and both our computers into the store. It was a total waste of time; he eventually just wiped the hard drive and reinstalled a full version of Snow Leopard. When James restored from our backup, Word started working, but the printer still doesn't work. He's un and re-installed the printer drives multiple times to no avail. It seems to send it, but it just sits there, not printing. It's bizarre. So hopefully we can figure that out soon (HP customer service is closed on Sundays).

We spent Sunday afternoon working a bit in the nursery. I got all my craft stuff into little boxes that are labelled and stacked in the closet now. It's still a bit messy since we stopped when I got hot and grouchy from hunger, but it looks so much better! It's really starting to get cleaned up. It felt good to finish so much. During our break, I started the last few coats of the painting I've been putting off finishing for a few weeks now. I finished it on Monday. Monday was also productive. Before storing our wedding box (full of all the cards, the bachelorette party stuff, invitations, etc) I pulled out an invitation, program, our namecards and some other stuff. I'd been meaning to make a collage to hang for a while, but I finally got around to it! It looks really nice, and I can't wait to hang it by our guestbook and pictures we put up. I also started the pumpkin hat on Monday. It should turn out pretty well, though I've already lost one stitch and had to unravel a few rows. Hopefully it'll look nice, but if it doesn't I'll have a bunch of yarn leftover to make another one...or three...until it looks nice. Monday night I started having sharp stabbing pains in my belly that shot down, hurt when I touched my stomach and got the point where I couldn't stand up straight. James wanted to take me to the hospital but after my last experience there, I didn't really feel like spending 8 hours at the ER just to be told nothing was wrong and doped up with more painkillers. [I'm getting really sick of "bandaid" solutions that don't actually solve the problem itself] They went away when I laid down and didn't come back Tuesday morning, so I guess it's just one of those weird pregnancy things; anyone else had this? (Everything I read online said contractions, but this didn't feel like contractions at all). All in all, it's been a busy week, but fun and pretty productive.


How far along: 29 weeks
Total weight gain: +23
Favourite clothes: The pair of James' boxers I snagged are still amazingly comfortable
Sleeping: The pillow my parents got me is really helpful, but I feel like I'm crushing my ribs, so I'm constantly turning from side to side, and therefore not sleeping
Best moment: Chili cheese tots from Sonic are like heaven! (no really, they are!)
Worst moment: My mini-meltdown at my OB appointment, Pippin's horrible vaccine reaction
Miss anything: We were at Trader Joe's and this guy opened his trunk and a bottle of tequila fell out and spilled. It smelled so good...
Cravings: Onion rings, pineapple (so good!), avocado
New symptoms: had a bit of heartburn and the leg cramps can stop any time now
Looking forward to:  The Scottish games and seeing my parents
Pregnancy brain moments: I forget what I was telling James, but for some unknown reason, I told him I couldn't do what I had planned because I cut myself while juicing a lemon on the apple corer. Whatever I had planned, it had nothing to do with lemons or apple corers, and I never cut myself...
Listening to: No particular songs this week, just my celtic rock in general
Crafting: Finished my second washcloth! Finished the four quadrant painting finally!
Baby projects: Still working on cleaning up the nursery and started the pumpkin hat!
29 Weeks: Wallaby is the size of a butternut squash

29 Week profile shot

29 week belly
I may need a new shirt soon...

Monday, August 6, 2012

28 Weeks

(Still catching up. 30 weeks starts 8/7)

Officially in the third trimester! Yay! I was talking to James about how quickly time seems to have gone, but James also pointed out that it feels like forever since our trip to Israel, which is true. Time is so completely, totally relative and bizarre.

This week was off to an interesting start. Tuesday was pretty rough. My back hurt so bad that even walking around the house was causing me a lot of pain, but I still had some errands to run. Hopefully it does get better and start feeling better. It's been hard enough to get any exercise, but with the back pain it's been impossible. When I went to Costco to get my glasses fixed, I ran to the bathroom, and when I exited, the guy who checks receipts said "I don't like you" to me. Or at least, that's what it sounded like. It was bizarre; he looked like such a sweet, old man, smiling and chatting with the person in front of me, and then says that to me. What the heck?! Also, Wallaby started kicking super hard after a mid-afternoon nap. In fact, so hard that I saw my belly move for the first time! It was SO weird and so cool at the same time!! I love when he kicks. I'm sure it'll get old eventually, but for now, it's so reassuring, I wish he would kick all the time. He doesn't kick very often or hard most of the time, which makes me worry a lot, but I've been told by my doctor's office not to worry, and am being told constantly by James not to worry, but that seems to be my fallback brain activity lately. Either way, it makes me appreciate all of his kicks.

It was a pretty chilled out week. We spent the weekend in Coronado with a friend and her beau, to celebrate her 25th birthday. It was a really relaxing weekend; we didn't push ourselves to do much, although James and I had stuff to do at the house. James fixed the upstairs toilet that wasn't working, but had to call a plumber to help replace the washer valve. He'd fixed one of them earlier, but they're so corroded that the threads weren't holding and to fix it properly you need a special tool that only plumbers have. We also finally replaced the pool cover, but they don't have the exact size, so we had to cut it down to fit. It covered more than the entire yard. We took the pups to the beach and let Pip run around before taking them to get their nails trimmed. They were in desperate need of this, but Pippin was not happy about it. She did remarkably well though, even though she was shaking so hard I thought she might break. James also cleaned the house, vacuuming and mopping the floors while I dusted everything. It was a lot of work, but it was still a nice weekend. We got to spend time with Vanessa and Mike and watch some Olympics and got cupcakes at the Coronado Cupcakery for her birthday. I swear, everytime we have a good idea for a business, it ends up happening: candy store in the circle in Orange, cupcake shop in Coronado, refurbishing the movie theatre in Coronado...maybe there's a gremlin in my brain outsourcing my good ideas lol. All in all, it was a good weekend with good friends and good food (we cooked all meals ourselves!)

Monday was a boring day; I spent the day putting off my errands and napping with Moose on the couch. He was just so darn cute; he curls up right under my chin or stretches out right alongside me. I love my puppies so much! I've also been reading more of my fluff stuff; this time I had cooking, fortune telling and knitting -based murder mysteries. They're so fun and such easy reads! I finish about one a day. I'll need to go to the library again soon though since I finished all the books. The crochet is also coming along nicely. I finished my first washcloth and now I'm making another one for practice before starting on the pumpkin hat. I did do a bit in the nursery, but not as much as I'd like to get done. I know it'll happen, and I feel much better with a plan.

How far along: 28 weeks! Second trimester! 
Total weight gain: I'm guessing somewhere in the neighborhood of 15-20 lbs
Favourite clothes: I snagged a pair of James' boxer shorts to use as pyjamas since it's so hot here
Sleeping: Horribly. Whenever I lie on my side (ie: whenever I lie down), I feel like my ribs are being crushed after an hour and have to switch sides
Best moment: When I picked Moose up for cuddles and he fell asleep in my arms
Worst moment: This weekend was a little rough since I was feeling a bit anti-social, but it was still relaxing and good to see friends
Miss anything: Being able to go to dance! I miss it so much...and watching the Olympics is NOT helping.
Cravings: Nothing I've absolutely had to have, but eggs sound really good
New symptoms: This rib-crushed feeling
Looking forward to:  Labour Day weekend, James having Fridays off!
Pregnancy brain moments: I can't speak correctly
Listening to: This Season by Seven Nations
Crafting: Coasters, crocheting, painting, etc
Baby projects: I'm still practicing for that hat and I need to get on the painting, mobile, organization of the nursery and now I want to crochet those cowboy boots too!

Whoo! Third Trimester!

28 Weeks: Third (and final!) Trimester! Yay!

28 week belly

And the bump keeps growing

27 Weeks

(Still catching up...week 30 starts 8/7)

Yay for starting my 7th month today! I still can't believe how quickly time has gone by. I feel like we just found out yesterday!

The nursery is coming together so nicely! We picked up a dresser/changing table combination that included a hutch from someone on Craigslist this week. The best part was that when we couldn't fit the pieces into James Prius (even separately), the man offered to drive it to our apartment in his Yukon and helped carry it up the stairs (there was no way I could have done that). It looks great in there, and the iPod speakers Lynn gave us has the perfect spot. It will continue to be useful as he gets older--the hutch has shelves for books, etc. So the crib is up (and full of stuff), we have the dresser/changing table and our glider is awaiting a new cover (mom found some gorgeous fabric, so that should happen soon). We got a smaller table to put my sewing machine on in the closet, and James installed two shelves above it. The shelves all have little boxes on them that are waiting to be filled with my craft supplies. It's going to look great when we're done and it feels good to be productive. We also found an adorable rug with the numbers 1-10, illustrated with sea creatures, so it fits perfectly. I really hope this kid likes the ocean for a long time :) I'll share pictures when it's done since it's still pretty messy right now.

This weekend was great: Saturday I went over and helped Laura with her invitations, which are absolutely gorgeous. Even though I won't be standing up with her, she still considers me a bridesmaid, which made me really happy. Here's crossing my fingers that we'll still be there, and Wallaby decides to be fashionably late instead of early. When we were almost done in the afternoon, I decided I should probably help James with the nursery. He'd cleaned it all up and made it possible for me to actually reach my yarn, but this is when the organization really started. We also went through two bags of clothes that had been offered to us, pulling out what would work, and storing the pieces we won't need immediately (anything below 6 months will go into the dresser, everything else is in a box right now).

Sunday was a good day, but exhausting. We went to church in the morning, and we both really enjoy St. Andrew's in Fullerton. We spent the rest of the afternoon test driving cars. We drove the Hyundai Veracruz, the GMC Acadia and the Kia Sorento. Here's my take:
1) Hyundai Veracruz. I really liked this car. It was very responsive, with a tight turning radius, good brakes and decent mileage. Because it's a 6 cylinder on a car chassis, it drove smoothly and was nice and quiet. The interior was set up in a way I really liked, and the third row had plenty of room. The only drawback: because it's considered a more "luxury" car than the Santa Fe, they don't offer any decent colours. The dark blue is so dark it's almost black, and the light blue is nice, but too pastel for me. Plus, the light colour only comes with the black interior--yuck. (And yes, this makes a big difference. If you're planning on keeping a car, you'd better like the way it looks)
2) The GMC Acadia was completely different. The third row is ridiculously spacious; even my father would be comfortable there. It didn't drive as nicely, either. I describe it as being loose, but I guess the proper term is responsive. It was especially noticeable in the brakes, which made me uncomfortable. Plus, it was just so big that it ended up being unwieldy. On top of that, the interior wasn't set up in a way that made sense to me. I don't think I could get used to that much car.
3) The Kia was an experience, and not a good one. The car itself wasn't that bad. It was a 4 cylinder, so it got better mileage, but it was a lot louder, especially when trying to get up to speed on the freeway. However, when driving on the clover leaf onramp, it felt like it was going to tip over. Not a great feeling. It just didn't feel as dependable and solid as the Hyundai. The dealership itself is what really made me cross it off though. After telling us how much they wanted my car (which we'd trade in), they offered me a full $2,000 less than the other dealerships. I know what my car is worth, and I've taken really good care of it--it's low mileage, never missed an oil change and been given a lot of tlc. It was insulting, especially after saying how easily they could sell it. They made up some bull about not having as much cash to move around as the other dealerships, which was also bull. Plus, they really tried to get us to walk out with it, even though we went into it saying we weren't looking to buy for at least a couple of months, at the earliest. It was incredibly uncomfortable. They stopped when I was firm that we weren't buying a car (eventually), but it was terrible, especially when they gave us a ridiculously high interest rate despite our excellent credit. Yeah, even if I wanted the Kia that much, I wouldn't go to that dealership. And again, the colours are so dark! Why get a red car when it's so dark it looks like a brown-black?
So that was kind of exhausting, and made me a bit grouchy too. But satisfying my craving of chili cheese fries from Wienerschnitzel made it better :) James and I had a good dinner, and I spent the rest of the day decompressing from that. At least now we have an idea of what cars we like and what to look at when we're seriously ready to buy. Luckily, there's no rush to get something bigger, though we'll need it eventually and for the future. Plus, Hyundai is pulling the Veracruz and replacing it with a 4 cylinder, 7 passenger Santa Fe that comes out in March. We'll probably wait and see what that one is like too before making a final decision.

Monday was nice too. I had an earlier than normal morning, with a chiropractor's appointment followed by lunch with a friend of mine from middle school. It was so nice to see her again and catch up. I'd seen her last about a week before the wedding, but she was in LA for school and said she would be around for another month. We met up in Torrance, and had a great lunch, but it was great to hear how she'd been doing and catch up on her life. In the evening, we cleaned up the house. It looks fantastic now. So much less cluttered. Hopefully it will stay like this for a while, but I doubt it. :) Then we got to have dinner with Laura and Chris, which was nice. Mashed potatoes and filets we picked up from Costco. It was a nice little treat, and I always enjoy chatting with them. It was a nice, relaxing, low-key evening, and nice to catch up with Chris, since we hadn't expected to see him until the wedding. It was a great way to end a really fun weekend and a good way to start the workweek. Plus, we ended up with extra steak to throw into a salad for tonight!

On the symptom front: I'm now terrified to stretch out my legs in the morning. Stretching my legs with pointed feet seems to be what triggers the leg cramps. It's like a giant knot right below the back of my knee. They're not as bad as the first few were, and as long as I remember not to stretch in that semi-lucid morning state, I'm ok.  My back is getting worse however. After going to the chiropractor on Friday and Monday, I've decided that it will behave for the first hour after the appointment, then degrade into pain after that. It's gotten to the point where I can't walk this morning without pain. I know this is all normal, but I really wish I was one of those women who could still be running marathons, etc. At this point I can't even walk and life doesn't stop for things like back pain. Sunday I finally realized that I can't pretend my rings still fit, so we brought them in to get them resized. Everyone told me to just wait, but there are a few reasons I didn't: 1) We bought a plan on the ring that allows for unlimited resizings, so it doesn't cost us anything; 2) I really want to wear my wedding ring; and 3) whenever I get my fingers sized, they try to give me a size that is smaller than I actually need. This time I went in with a ring that fits comfortably and told them to size it to that. My knuckles are thicker than the base of my finger, so the ring isn't going to fall off, and they base the sizing on the base, so I have trouble getting the ring onto and off of my fingers anyways. I'll probably keep the larger size, even after the pregnancy. It'll take a few weeks due to the engraving and the fact that they have to order metal to resize it. By August 1, I should have my pretty rings back (and they'll be clean and shiny!) And my belly button is officially an outie now...

And now for the weekly update!
How far along: 27 weeks
Total weight gain: +15 or so
Favourite clothes: I've switched from preferring full panel pants to preferring the ones that sit under the bump. I might need to go get a different pair of jeans since it's so hot.
Sleeping: Still interrupted by getting up, switching sides, etc. If I get a nap during the day, I tend to be ok though
Best moment: Getting the nursery ready and seeing friends this weekend
Worst moment: Neither James nor I have ever enjoyed going out and drinking or anything like that--and we don't really know many other young or expecting parents in the area, so I feel like we don't have much of a social life. Lack of social interaction has been a bit rough.
Miss anything: Exercising--I just want to go to dance and the gym again! Because of my back I can't walk and now I'm not allowed to even sit the way I like.
Cravings: Chili cheese fries, chocolate, deep-fried pb&J (why did you send me that article on fair food, mom?!)
New symptoms: The fingers are just swelling more and the heat doesn't help. 
Looking forward to:  Our first birth class is August 2! Yay!!
Pregnancy brain moments: I keep messing up words and forgetting things that I should really know.
Listening to: "Raven in the Storm" by John Gorka and "Bell Ringing in an Empty Sky" by Kieran Kane
Crafting: Teaching myself crochet so I can make a pumpkin hat!
Baby projects: I'm still working on finishing that painting, and the usual of course

27 Weeks: Mommy officially has an "outie" belly button
(The drawing is a torso with an outie belly button)

27 Week Belly