Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Thus after my first day back to teaching (no breaks with 125 15-17 year old sophomores) and getting checked today, I am spent. I'm giving up on housework for the day and even ordering a sandwich out instead of cooking.
Unfortunately, my doctor was booked all of next Thursday and Friday afternoons, which puts me back for a checkup on Wednesday, my birthday. Hopefully I'll be able to fit in something fun - J has law school Wednesdays so maybe my folks will come up for dinner! I will definitely keep you all updated, I am getting more excited by the day!
Sunday, August 28, 2011
Friday, August 26, 2011
We arrived last night thinking things would take about 5 minutes, especially since we had dinner plans with friends in the city a half an hour later. One hour later, we left. To make a long story short, there are many tricks to ensure your car seat is installed safely. We had done everything "right", but not well. He moved the seat from behind the passenger seat to the middle for two reasons, 1) Side air bags are dangerous to kids and 2) Any side impact from a crash could easily be lethal to a child. He also helped make sure that the seat moved no more than an inch in either direction.
Most importantly, and to my delight he went over the importance of having a "clean" car. In an accident, any junk in the car is an instant projectile. I experienced this first hand this past October. I was rear-ended and a bowl I had in the back seat was slammed all the way to the front and shattered into hundreds of pieces. I try to make sure my car is nearly always clean, but J is another story. He car is constantly a disaster of epic proportions. He's really going to have to learn to put his stuff away at the end of the night for the safety of our little one.
I definitely recommend making sure everyone goes through a car seat inspection, no matter how well you think you did. We'll definitely be making sure our parents do the same before we have them drive our little one anywhere!
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Everyone was full of love for our soon to arrive bundle of joy and really made the day enjoyable! We were blessed with even more gifts for baby Weeks, including his crib (thanks to my in-laws), swing and high chair (thanks mom and dad, you rock!), and his stroller system (big thanks to my brother and soon to be sister in law, speaking of whom were the best ever all day, I don't know what I'd do without them!). We were also lucky enough to receive a lot more baby clothes, diapers and accessories, making our shopping nearly complete. I have to do a small run to BRU tomorrow, but it should wrap it up!
Speaking of nearly wrapped up, with the crib in the room and most of our wall hangings up, the nursery is just about done! I'm waiting on one more decal to get here (http://worddecor-n-more.com/item_331/KING-OF-THE-JUNGLE-Kids-Wall-Art.htm) to complete the room, then there will be pictures galore!
We were able to build the swing, stroller, snap and go stroller - and put away our loot today as well. Most importantly, we installed baby's car seat! I'm getting it inspected by the State Police on Thursday to ensure we did a good job, but OMG I HAVE A CAR SEAT IN MY CAR. It's funny what little things can make everything seem so real. Just looking behind me and seeing the seat ready to go makes me nearly burst in anticipation! Soon enough I'll be holding my miracle in my arms. I just can not wait!
Monday, August 15, 2011
Personal Myth #1: Breastfeeding is quick and easy. I've seen babies drink out of bottles, it takes like 5 minutes, breastfeeding will be the same.
Busted: Breastfeeding takes between 10-20 min per breast, with a grand total of up to 40 minutes every time you do it. Babies eat at least every 3 hours, that means I could be at this almost 6 hours a day. HOW DO YOU DO ANYTHING ELSE? HOW DO PEOPLE WORK? On average, he'll need to eat twice during the night and I'll have to be up for 40 minutes doing it, when do you sleep??
I also have crazy obligations in the month of October - the first weekend I have my SIL's baby shower, then the next my soon to be SIL bridal shower, the next a wedding we wanted to go to, the one after my soon to be SIL's bachelorette, and finally my mom's bridal shower for my soon to be SIL. In my head I though I'd be cool going to all of these events, now I can't wrap my head around any of them. Am I going to have to trek my little guy around at 2, 3, 4 weeks old so I can feed him on the hour? And with it taking so long to do, how do you "excuse" yourself from a shower for 40 minutes? All of these things are so important to me and I already feel like I'm letting people down.
Personal Myth #2: I'll start pumping ASAP so Jesse can do night feedings and I can sleep.
Busted: First, you have to wait 3-4 weeks (at least) to introduce a bottle. Fine. But, the way the whole science of this works is that your breasts produce milk when baby takes milk. So if Jesse does the night feedings and I sleep, that means my production will slow way down because I'm going 8 hours between feedings. I'll have to either pump during the night when he bottle feeds or suck it up and keep it up all night.
Personal Myth #3: I'll feel attractive again once I lose the weight after baby arrives.
Busted: It's been hard being surrounded by my very pretty and very skinny friends all summer. I've gained over 30 pounds and feel like a huge blob every day. My maternity clothes are starting not to fit and I'm starting to worry what I'll do about work - I certainly don't want to spend money on something I'll wear for 3-5 weeks, but what else can I do? Thus, I've been looking forward to my post baby body with vigor. I've kept up my exercise routine (2 mile walk/runs 3-4 days a week and yoga weekly) and don't have any stretch marks to date so have been hopeful. However, after watching the videos at the breastfeeding class, my hope sank. How can anyone feel sexy leaking milk out of their boobs all the time? How can my husband and I reinvigorate a sexual relationship when if he touches my breasts they will most likely start spurting milk?
Personal Myth #4: Once baby comes, the responsibility will be more even for his care.
Busted: How could it be more even with the responsibility, time, and care it takes to breastfeed? Again, I feel like this entire process is on the mother's shoulders. I don't want to fail, I don't want to do bad job, I want to be a good mom. Despite all of this, I am still determined to make breastfeeding work. It's worked for thousands of years for women who's circumstances far exceeded my own, I can make it work for me. But like everything that comes with the joy of motherhood, it is that - work. At least I am better informed now so none of this will come as a shock once my little guy gets here. I've got 5 weeks left to let it all sink in, prepare, and think of all of the joy being so close with him will bring!
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Another milestone down with 5.5 weeks left until we meet our little angel!
Friday, August 5, 2011
Even though I knew it was coming, I had no idea it would be this epic. Laundry. 5 loads. How can anything so small fill up my machine so fast? What really added up weren't his actual outfits, (I washed all newborn, 0-3, and 3 month sizes, anything bigger will get dusty before he wears it) but all of the linens. Everything that touches baby has to be washed (in free and clear or baby detergent) before baby arrived - this means every blanket, sheet, waterproof pad, washcloth, towel, hat, moby wrap, everything. I'm also a stickler for hanging clothes outdoors (I literally save $15/month doing this) so this became an all day project. I'm done now and got to put his coming home outfit in my hospital bag, that alone made it all worthwhile!
Friday, July 29, 2011
As the days pass by, the arrival of baby Weeks becomes more and more imminent. The moment has been made all the more real with the arrival of a good friend's little one. I got to meet him this past week and he is simply precious - I am just over the moon that my little guy already has a good friend himself :) We also got to take a CPR/Infant Care class this week thanks to a generous gift from another good friend. Both J and I feel more confident in preventing SIDS and and ensuring we could help our little one if he ever did get into medical trouble. Additionally, we had a quick check up where we got to meet another doctor in the practice - we liked her as much we like our regular doctor, and she liked everything about baby Weeks, even declaring him head down!
Most exciting for me was finally getting J to Carter's to pick out a couple outfits for baby's homecoming. I've been taking care of their coupons (20% off your total order) for months now stocking up, but with law school insanity J hasn't had time. He has a great eye for baby clothes, and once he shook off his nerves really dug right in. We chose a newborn outfit and a 3 month outfit in case he's really big. And for your viewing pleasure:
Monday, July 25, 2011
Saturday, July 23, 2011
Friday, it was back in full force, even without the exercise, so Jesse and I decided to phone it in to the doctor. Since I'm so far along, they wanted me to go straight to L&D at St. V's, so that's what I did.
I wasn't really worried until I got there and somewhere between being admitted to the hospital, stripped to a johnny, and having fetal monitors attached to me, the worried picked up. Ironically, my room was the same on we saw on our tour last week and was ready and equipped for whatever happened. We waited patiently for the doctor who did a full cervical exam (no dilation or effacement), a urine test for a UTI (negative), and then a FFN (more info here: http://www.marchofdimes.com/pregnancy/pretermlabor_fetalfibronectin.html). I then had to wait an hour for the results to come back.
Thankfully, everything was ok and we were soon discharged, but needless to say I don't want to be back there until the big day. Baby Weeks's vitals were really strong (the nurse actually called them "beautiful") and my pain was simply diagnosed as aggravated muscles stretching to make more room for baby or simply my baby kicking my cervix.
I'm now pumped for a super fun weekend and relieved that with 8 weeks left, everything looks great!
Sunday, July 17, 2011
The cost of the course is $100, but our insurance reimburses us $40/each, making the total cost of the class a mere $20. We were both skeptical and a little cranky going in this morning, well maybe more than a little cranky, as we had no idea what to expect. I was dreading sitting in one room for 7 hours being lectured at, and frankly was frightened that I'd leave more scared than when I went in. That couldn't be further from the truth. We had an amazing instructor and the time literally flew by (I didn't check my watch once) and we both ended up leaving empowered and determined.
A few highlights:
- We spent the morning going over recognizing labor vs. false labor - I didn't learn much new, but was able to confirm all that I read.
- Once you confirm you're in "real labor", a lot of this first stage can be done at home. In fact, she encouraged us to stay at home as long as you can (until contractions are 5 minutes apart and last for a minute - she even had us download an ap to my iphone that calculates all that). During this early stage you can eat a little, thank God and want to keep super hydrated.
- Gravity is your friend during labor. Our hospital is equipped with birthing balls, and a gorgeous atrium. It is really the Cadillac of hospitals. She encouraged us to keep moving as much as we can and to make our birthing rooms our own (bring in pillows/blankets/games/laptops - there's free wifi).
- Then, we got information on where to go when we get to the hospital both during regular hours and after hours - all things I had no clue about.
- We spent a while going over pain medications, the pluses and minuses to using them, and options to control pain without meds. I went in thinking I'd try without meds, but probably end up getting an epidural, but afterwards I feel so empowered that I'm leaning more towards just using the Nubain (an IV med that takes the "edge" off, but allows you to have full movement, once you get an epidural, you are stuck in the bed) if need be. At the same time, our instructor remained very neutral, not advocating for a natural birth or using meds (about 57% of women who give birth at St. V's end up using some sort of med).
- Right before lunch, we got a full tour of the L&D department, including a birthing room (very private, full size TV's, plenty of space) and the postpartum room (even spacier, has a micro fridge, and is completely private). This was also a great experience. I thought I'd walk through the L&D dept. hearing women scream and wail, but it was peaceful and quiet. Oh, and for all of you who want to come and visit, you're more than welcome, after J, I and baby settle in. :)
- After lunch, we went over medical interventions from pitocin to induce labor, to c-sections, to the use of a vacuum or forceps to help the baby out. All of these are kind of scary, but in the end, whatever works to get the baby out safe and sound I am more than willing to do.
- We ended the class going over relaxation techniques and breathing and just chatting some more.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
- Toiletrees (shampoo/conditioner, body wash, mini loofah, toothbrush/paste, deodorant, chapstick, hair ties, brush, face wash, moisturizer) IMPORTANT NOTE: Put all items in plastic baggies, I already had an epic fail because my conditioner leaked all over the place even though it was brand new.
- Basic makeup
- Super Pads (the one the hospital provides apparently aren't great)
- 3-5 pairs of granny panties
- 2-3 pairs of PJ's - I went for 2 pairs of yoga pants and 2 built in bra nursing tanks that way I could go home in one of those outfits
- Nursing bra
- Lightweight robe
- Flip flops/slippers
- Coming home outfit for baby (bring newborn and 0-3 size)
- Installed Car Seat/blanket for ride home
These items will be last minute grabs - I put the list on the fridge so J will know what we're missing:
- Video Camera
- We're debating bringing my kindle/computer to watch movies
- Pillow (I'm a pillow freak and can't sleep without mine)
Monday, July 11, 2011
30 weeks down, 10 to go!
It's been an exciting time, even more exciting now that the end is near(er). We spent part of the weekend painting baby Weeks's room - it's a yellow called "Chilled Lemonade" that I think is absolutely perfect, I'll be doing a picture post when I get home from work this afternoon! I've also started feeling some of the aches and pains of pregnancy that I've thus far avoided. There's a spot in my mid-back that acts up almost daily and I can't get past the night-time hip pain, so you bet I'll be getting to a massage ASAP.
Although school's out, my part time job has been more hectic than I've imagined. I work 11-8 on Mondays not counting driving, then 8:45-3:30 on Fridays. It doesn't seem that bad, but the kids need full energy from me, something that is rare to have a lot of these days, especially in this heat. Jesse somehow got me a pool pass last week, so I'll be taking advantage of that on my days off, fuller belly and all which I think will really help!
I've also discovered my first stretch mark, it's tiny and on my right boob - not on the belly (yet), but makes me nervous that a whole lot more are to come. I've been doing my best to stay fit this pregnancy, I even signed up for 6 more weeks of yoga, but an extra 30 pounds is an extra 30 pounds no matter how you swing it.
As the weeks wind down, I simply get more and more excited, I'm sure that anxiety of giving birth and having a child will come with time, but for now, I'm just pumped. Baby Weeks has been giving me LOTS of movement in the last couple of days which is extra reassuring and always brings a smile to my face.
In sadder news, I found out last week that my grandmother has Stage 4 lung cancer. At 89.5 years old, there's not much they can do for her, so the waiting game begins all over again. After losing my grandfather a month ago, I am totally not prepare to go through all of the grief again, but for now, all I can do is love her.
Next weekend we're attending an 8-hour epic birthing class, so definitely expect a post then and I'll update with pictures of the baby's room and my ever expanding belly tonight!
Monday, June 27, 2011
Here's the short list:
- Sam Summer at sunset. Or at baseball games. Or anywhere, really.
- Margaritas with Mexican food.
- Tubing down Western Mass rivers.
- Amusement Parks.
- Flying. California.
- Shaving my lady parts in less than a blind, awkward 20 minutes.
- My thighs not sticking together when I run. Or walk.
- Looking hot in bathing suit. Looking hot in anything.
- Goat cheese in any form, especially on grilled pizza.
- Sangria. Sangria. And Pinot Grigrio.
- Competing in triathlons/half marathons.
- Getting sexy in a less than awkward manner.
- Hot vinyassa flow yoga.
- All of Kate's Powerhouse classes.
- Lifting heavy things.
- Never asking for help.
- Being completely spontaneous.
- Highlighting my hair.
- Going more than 30 minutes between bathroom breaks.
- Oysters. Preferably with pinot grigio.
- Tuna, swordfish, salmon.
I keep growing week by week, both physically and mentally. I've come to terms that baby Weeks is really going to make it and in the meantime is growing like a weed. Seeing my feet now only happens when I break out my yoga moves, twist at an odd angle, and crook my neck to look down; and don't even get me started on the last time I've seen my "lady parts" - that is a post for another day.
All the while I get more and more excited for his arrival. Over the weekend Jesse was away camping with his brothers, which left me to myself and my cleaning. I was a maniac. I swear you can now eat off of any surface in my home, and I mean any. The outside looks just as good - I trimmed all of the hedges, hoed the garden, cleaned the gutters, washed my car and hung the laundry outside. I also fit in time to put together baby Weeks's changing table. This project made his arrival so much more real. There were hundreds of pieces and directions that might as well have been written in Chinese, but I was determined and head-strong. Hours later, every piece was in place and the table was standing strong and ready for many a diaper.
The other big happening was a big doctor's appointment Friday - I had reached the all important 28 weeks - officially 3rd trimester! This means the beginning of the end of my pregnancy as well as a barrage of tests. The biggest is the GD (gestational diabetes - more info here http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001898/). I walk in and the nurse hands me a 10 oz bottle of orange colored liquid and tells me I have 5-minutes to finish the whole thing. I flashed back to my Keystone Light chugging days and told myself I could do it. Plugging my nose the entire time, I downed the most overly sweet, disgusting beverage of all time in under a minute on an empty stomach (you have to take the test after fasting for at least 4 hours, I had eaten since dinner the night before).
Unfortunately, this was only the beginning. I went in quickly for my regular exam, then was ushered upstairs to get my blood drawn. Starving and shaky, my blood was extracted and I was sent downstairs for one final torture. It was time for the update of my Rhogam shot, so I dropped my drawers and got a shot in the bum.
I received the best news today, however - no news. They said if I didn't hear from their office by 5pm today, my results were normal and I don't have GD! Woohoo! Now it's time to keep moving forward and looking forward to every milestone in the final 12 weeks!
Thursday, June 9, 2011
Last Friday, I lost my grandfather. Although he had been battling the affects of a life-altering stroke for over a decade, I was certain that he would live to see his first great-grandchild born. Over the last few months, his face lit up every time I walked into the room, beaming with pride as my stomach grew and grew. I knew in my heart that meeting my special little guy may just give him the will to keep pushing on.
God, however, had other plans. Jesse and I had a long, fantastic visit with him on Memorial Day, on that I hoped to replicate the day before he passed. Instead of his usual jovial self, he was shell of the man I grew up loving so dearly, and it was that night I knew the end was in sight.
The last few days has been an absolute blur of commuting back and forth to my parent's home, accepting well-wishers, and doing my best to help my mom through these troubled times.
I can't lie - there was a moment or two when I kicked myself thinking that if I hadn't lost my first pregnancy last summer he would have been able to be a great-grandfather, but those thoughts quickly passed. Sometimes it's hard to see the forest through the trees - or in this case, the joy through the loss, but I think this tragedy has somehow already pulled my family closer together, something I know baby Weeks will be more than grateful for. It's kinda like my grandfather's everlasting gift - that of love.
I was lucky enough to be able to give the eulogy at his funeral, I've included the text below as to never forget those moments I hold so dear:
Robert Fredenberg was larger than life. Despite all biases granddaughters must have of their grandfathers, I can firmly state that this is plainly true. My papa lived his eighty years with such fervor, grace and determination that nothing, not even death can hold him back.
My earliest memories of him take place in River Vale, New Jersey where my papa and grandmother made their home. The journey we took down there always seemed like a vacation to another world. Crossing the Tapan Zee Bridge and looking out in the distance to see the skyscrapers of NYC, my mind filled with wonder even before my mom and dad pulled into their driveway. Once there, we summered by swimming in their in-ground pool, seeing the sights of nearby New York and feeling the unconditional love only grandparents could give.
Once we were older, my papa made the decision to move north to CT so that he could be a fuller part of the lives of my brothers and I. We continued to relish visits to their house, visits that became more frequent as I adventured out after getting my driver’s license. One thing was for sure with every visit I made to my papa’s house – love was all around. My grandfather was a man who loved life and those in it with his whole heart. This all-encompassing love was an umbrella for all that he did. Whether it was his endless generosity, voracious appetite, or taste for fine wine – all that he did was out of love.
One would think this story would begin to change after my papa began his battle with stroke in early 2000, but rather, his battle made everything about him stronger. His shear will to continue living in love was evident to me from the earliest days of his recovery. Still mending in the hospital on the day of my junior prom, my grandmother delivered a note from him, that simply stated, “Megan – have fun – love papa”. In those early days, almost everything had been stripped away from him: his ability to walk, to talk, to write. Those five simple words represented his power to survive, to go on.
After my grandmother passed almost eight years ago, my papa’s spirit was tested even more strongly than with his stroke. He loved my grandmother so completely, so devotedly, that life without her seemed impossible. Yet, once again, he persevered. My mother became his beacon of light, spending day and night with him, surrounding him with love, and showing him how much he had to live for. In the last eight years, he’s been able to see so many things – the college graduations of me and my brothers, mine and my brother Gary’s weddings, the engagement of my brother Brian (who without my grandfather’s constant prodding may have never popped the question), countless holidays, birthdays, summers, springs, and falls. Just days before he passed, I spent the afternoon with my papa on his hospital bed. During our entire visit, his hand was firmly planted on my growing stomach, as if reassuring my unborn son that he loves him. I look forward to the day where I can look into my son’s eyes and tell him how special his great-grandfather was.
Throughout these past eight years he never lost his sense of humor or ability to be larger than life. Although Aphasia, the disorder that stole away he ability to easily communicate, slowed down his speech, it never slowed down his wit. My grandfather ceaselessly flirted with waitresses and every pretty woman whose path he crossed, knew when to tell my brothers and father to get a hair cut, made sure my mother and I were always looking our best and always was able to order another glass of red wine.
As I try to find the right words to say good bye to this incredible man – I look down at this note he wrote me so many years ago and want to say the same words to him “Papa – have fun up there, Love, Megan”.
I had another great doctor appointment today, good heartbeat and fundal height still on target (actually measuring a week ahead right now). I'm working hard to eat healthier and work out more to help curve weight gain, but it seems impossible right now. My only concern has been some pretty intense hip pain at night - the doctor assured me this is totally normal, and that it is due to hormonal changes so not much is going to help. I also booked my big 28 week appointment where I'll do the 1-hour gestational diabetes test, get another RHogam shot in my tush (for those who don't know I have a RH negative blood type, more info on being RH negative here http://www.americanpregnancy.org/pregnancycomplications/rhfactor.html), and get a bunch of blood drawn. Fun, right? For now - my gigantic belly!
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
This past weekend, J and I took a mini-vacation to Maine. In the interest of saving money, we used J's family's trailer instead of splurging on a 4-star hotel. The weather was simply wonderful and called out for a beach day like no other. The one thing I haven't yet replaced are my hoard of bathing suits as I've been hoping to squeeze into what I already have. No such luck. Even with my largest of suits, I was definitely a wardrobe malfunction ready to happen.
Somehow though, I rocked it. I strutted my stuff, 20+lbs heavier, all day long. Screw maternity bathing suits, this belly was made to be seen. I scored myself my first tan of the season and somehow managed not to give the beach-goers more of a show than anticipated.
Upon coming home, I caved and spent another $90 on bathing suits from Victoria's Secret in a size larger than I'm used to. I am now poised and ready to rock this belly all summer long!
Thursday, May 26, 2011
In 2000, I went to my own prom, and it was great. I was caught up in my then boyfriend's arms 90% of the night an spent the other 10% of the night posing for pictures with my friends. No where and during no moment do I recall a single interaction with a teacher or did I even want to. Flash forward 11 years to last night. I was like a superstar caught in the paparazzi action of my student's cameras.
Unlike the suburban utopia I grew up in, my students live in an entire different world. Most of them have never dressed up for a formal occasion, some haven't even been to the suburb where the prom was held, even though it is only one town over from the city. Many of them spent the entire year fundraising to pay for their $65 ticket because the price was so far out of reach. We spent the winter helping girls find dresses for free and donating our old gowns to them.
As I was monitoring the candy bar (great job for a pregnant lady ;)) I was surrounded by my students past and present. All wanted to pose for pictures with me, all wanted a hug, all wanted to congratulate me on Baby Weeks. Throughout the night, more of the same continued. The dance floor was not divided between cliques, but was a hot sweaty teenage mesh of kids just having fun. So much fun in fact that they encouraged us to do the "Dougie" with them and pulled us in the middle of their dancing circle. Yes, at an inner-city prom the teachers dance too, without a single eye roll or rude comment.
One of the more touching moments of the night came during dinner when a special needs student was awkwardly dancing alone. At my high school, this young novice would have been laughed at, snickered at, and scoffed at for being so different. Here, a group of boys got up from their meals and joined him, smiling and clapping along.
Working in the "ghetto" comes with many challenges, but it also has it rewards. And beyond the buffet of roast beef, chicken cordon bleu, creamy veggie lasagna and tiramisu I was rewarded with a warm heart, sore feet and a smile on my face.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
One of my best friends was in town from Chicago this past weekend and I took a personal day Monday to spend some QT with her. We had big plans on spending the day in Boston, walking around and seeing the Red Sox play, but with the 8 days of rain we're in the middle of right now, that was no longer an option. Instead we headed up to the outlets with little intention of spending any money. But spend (and save) we did.
My first big hit was at the Maidendform outlet where I stocked up on my ever expanding cups. Bras were $10 each and of a great quality. The cheap-o ones I scored at TJ Maxx were $12.99 and up so this was definitely a steal.
Next, we went to the Carter's outlet. I already had awesome deals with them online and that continued in store. I told Kim I was not allowed to spend more than $50 and for $46.98 I got baby Weeks his first zip up hoodie, 2 pairs of pants, a 5-pack of body suits, his first pair of khaki pants, and a couple more onesies I just couldn't pass up.
Finally, I tried my luck at the Motherhood Maternity outlet. The only thing outlet about this place was the shabby decor and worn carpet. The store was a disaster and sold the same things as the full price store at the same prices. Luckily, they had the pair of shorts in my size I was eyeing last week and a couple of 2/$15 tanks I can wear to my yoga class tonight!
Today, I'm proctoring the kids MCAS test - so you know what that means. Online shopping! :)
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Sunday, May 15, 2011
As I progress through this incredible process, I am constantly in awe of the power of the human body, yet at the same time terrified by it. Jesse and I have really embraced our little one, but worry every day that something is still destined to go wrong. We're almost completely in the safe zone now and will definitely start to breathe easy in the coming weeks - the record for a child surviving pre-term is 21w5d and most hospitals will do what it takes to save a baby born after 24 weeks. At 22w1d now, every day our baby stays with us increases the chances of him living a long and happy life.
His kicks and nudges offer consistent reassurance, but there are days that he is stronger and most consistent than others, so it is still hard to relax 100%. But we're getting there, and that means the world to us!
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
- We go back into the Dr. Thursday for a routine checkup. I'm nervous. Big surprise.
- Baby Weeks has been kicking me on a regular basis for the last couple of weeks, this makes me crazy happy.
- Sunday night, Jesse took a quick break from studying for finals to spend some QT with me. We decided to indulge in Magnum bars (thanks to rec's from my mom, my friend Amie, and a whole lot of advertising). I was initially annoyed at the $5/box of 3, but after seeing that one bar has 70% of your daily allotment of Saturated Fat, I was pumped there were only three. Anyway, I indulged, and then WHAM! Super baby kick of awesomeness. I called Jesse out of his office and he came running just in time to feel the baby for the first time. :)
- I had a great Mother's Day with my mom and became even more excited that next year, I'll be a mom, too!
- My boobs are officially out of control. I've been falling out of my new bras for a week so got re-measured and picked up some cheap-o ones at Marshalls. 36C. Holy crap.
- I've been on a maternity clothes shopping spree lately. I feel pretty good about everything I've bought to this point and I think after a couple tanks and shorts and one nice dress I'll be all set.
- Jesse and I have been good at saving money lately. We're determined to get as much time off as possible to be good parents once Baby Weeks is born. That means sacrifices. I'm totally fine with no vacations and cooking in more if that means another week or two with my little one :)
- I've survived year three of four of Jesse in law school. Next year will be even harder taking care of everything, and I mean everything and having a child. But I know I can do it ;)
Friday, May 6, 2011
Tonight, was as they said, gentle. The holds were long and slow. The class gradually moved from one pose to the next. And it was. Air-conditioned.
Most of the women in the class seemed at ease, at peace, breathing deeply. I was fidgeting, my mind racing. I kept telling myself that this was good, this is what I need, but my competitive spirit bubbled up with every calming mantra.
I suppose one of the hardest things about pregnancy is slowing down. I have one speed: go. Slow isn't even in my vocabulary. I'm the one cleaning the gutters, lugging 50 pound bags of wood pellets, lifting weights 5 times a week, all the while keeping up a spotless home, doing loads of laundry and cooking 3 nutritious meals a day. It is in doing those things that I feel the most me.
I know there is a lesson in all of this. That I'll be begging for time to slow down once baby Weeks gets here. That I'll relish practicing my deep breathing. That I'll be begging for someone to make my dinner. With all of that in mind, I'm going to sign up for the 6-week prenatal class that begins on the 18th. I'm hoping to improve myself, I'm hoping to slow down. And who knows - maybe I'll even like it.
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Although I've been having fun on my 2-mile course (I've now worked out 8 days in a row), running has been increasingly difficult lately. First, baby Weeks has been pushing against my bladder like crazy making each bit of the jog painful. Second, months without yoga has made the post-run even more painful. Thus, I've been searching for prenatal yoga classes. One offered in West Boylston at Central Mass Yoga is only on Monday nights and runs from 7-8:15 and when you calculate the 20 or so minute drive back home after class makes it a late night.
Then, a colleague recommended me to Mothers and Company (http://mothersandcompany.com/) also in West Boylston. They are a combination store/prenatal classes/child classes place that is made of win. Another colleague of mine who is due in December decided to sign up for tonight's Wednesday prenatal yoga class. The drop in rate was $15 which was less expensive than most around and if we liked it, they offer a 5-week rate for $67 which is totally doable.
Walking in, I was impressed right away. They carry a great selection of nursing, cloth diapering, organic, and maternity wear. Then, they have a long hallway of different classrooms and even a pool! Unfortunately, that's where my journey ended. Our instructor was a no-show! The woman at the front desk was completely apologetic and kind, she offered both of us a full refund, a free class Friday that would have ice cream to follow, and some sort of gift certificate.
Check back after Friday night for a full update (hopefully) on what the yoga experience is truly like!
Friday, April 29, 2011
Well, halfway tomorrow. But, I am bombarded with work and such so I took my half way picture this afternoon. I can NOT believe everything is flying by as fast as it is. I've continued feeling little thumps from baby Weeks, but nothing that's as consistent as my worrying brain would like. I'm also excited to be sharing in my cousin's joy this Sunday at her baby shower - she's also having a boy and it's so cool that our kids will only be a few months apart!
Sunday, April 24, 2011
I haven't had such an easy time getting too feel baby Weeks. My cousin didn't feel her baby move until 23 weeks and I've spoken to many women who have had similar experiences, but, as you know, I am a worrier, so I wanted movement weeks ago. I've tried the laying on your left side after eating trick and have gotten something a time or two, but nothing truly distinctive. I have a rather strong pulse myself so end up just hearing the beat of my own heart instead of hearing any magical butterfly-like movements.
While driving, I've gotten a pang or two in the right "spots" but have been told that baby kicks don't really hurt so have chalked all that up to growing pains. But, last night I'm sure (well, like 85% sure) I finally felt it. At exactly 19 weeks during an epic church service I felt what was like a little tap on the lower part of my abdomen. Then, I felt it again, and then one more time. My face lit up with indescribable joy at the simple wonder of that moment. As to add more credence to my discovery I felt the same feeling relaxing at Easter today. I'm hoping this keeps up and completely solidifies my certainty, but either way, it was a magical holiday.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Some of the items we're most excited about include our bedding set (Baby Lion King!), all of our big furniture item and all of the too cute for words accessories. I've already begun building baby boy Weeks a wardrobe (Babies-R-Us has had a BOGO free sale on their clearance clothes). Yesterday, I was able to get 6 items for $20! This is going to be one well dressed little boy!
Now, we're counting down to getting to the half-way mark, I'm 18w4d now, which means it's less than 2 weeks until the big 20-week marker! Excitement is definitely in the air!
Friday, April 15, 2011
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Today was the greatest of days, today we met our little baby boy for the first time. We were on pins and needles all morning getting ready for the big appointment. I followed the advice of all of the great ladies on the babycenter boards and started my morning with 2 chocolate frosted donuts, an orange juice, and had a bottle of ice cold water as a back up (thanks, Val :)). We were determined to make sure this baby was moving!
And boy was he. It took our awesome technician all of 30 seconds to determine that he was a he (no shy boy here). From then on, all I heard was the word perfect over and over again. Spine, perfect. Brain, perfect. Heart, perfect. Kidneys, 2, and perfect. Feet, perfect. Hands, perfect. We even got him to settle down long enough to get a few really cute pictures. Needless to say we're on cloud nine. In between my many meetings today, Jesse and I picked up the first outfits for baby Weeks as well as a few more items for the registry!
I have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from family, friends and even friends I've lost touch with over the years. It takes a village to raise a child, and we sure do have one!
It's not to say I'm not still nervous, heck, I'm still 2 weeks away from the half way marker, but this day has calmed so many of our worse fears. And yes, we have a name in mind, and no, we're still not sure if we're sharing. We've told a couple people so far and have already gotten mixed reaction which is just not what we're looking for. We have thought this name through over and over again and don't want to second guess it when we finally agree! :)
And for your viewing pleasure tonight, baby Weeks:
Monday, April 11, 2011
Most parents are excited to find out the "sex" - from the perspective of having a loss, this scan is MUCH more than that. People confuse this scan with a simple analysis of genitalia, but in reality, it is much, much more than that. During this appointment, the tech takes a careful look at every aspect of the unborn child. She looks at the brain, the spine, the bone structure, the chambers of the heart, the digestive system, then finally, the genitalia. Here, what is really important is that our baby is healthy and has no indicators of birth defects. For more info on the anatomy scan: http://www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/pregnancy-health/prenatal-testing/ultrasound-anatomy-two.aspx
We are of course looking forward to finding out the gender, that way we can hone in on our final name selection and register for gender-based items, but for now, we need your prayers. Pray that is baby is happy and healthy in there, waiting impatiently to meet us as we are waiting impatiently to meet him/her!
Monday, April 4, 2011
We had made it our mission to get all of the "big" stuff out of the way. Our parents have been not so subtly hinting that they wanted to get an idea of what we were looking at for weeks now, so it was definitely time. Luckily as soon as we dived in, Jesse and I agreed on almost every front. We both favored a light-wood colored crib, both wanted a separate changing table, and furniture that our child will be able to use beyond infant hood.
After picking out furniture, we wandered into the world of strollers, high chairs, bouncy seats and swings. Again, completely overwhelmed. After comparing features, reviews via our iphones, and overall cuteness factors we were able to decide on these fronts as well. Wisely we picked out gender-neutral items as we want our children to come to be able to use all of these items as well.
Dizzy with baby items dancing in our heads, we decided to head out, feeling more than accomplished. Little did we know how far from our goal we actually were. The very nice lady at the registry counter literally scoffed at our goods - in her words "We were one-tenth of one chapter done". Sigh.
I returned to a more local store on Sunday and continued registering for everything that didn't have to be pink or blue and now feel like I've made much more of a dent. Speaking of all of this insanity - many thanks in advance to everyone who bestows their generosity upon us during this time. I mean, baby stuff is SO expensive. I had and idea that some things like the stroller and crib would cost a fortune, but $300 for a breast pump?!
Good thing baby Weeks will be worth every darn penny! :) In the meantime, feel free to check out what we picked out - BabiesRUs.com search either mine or Jesse's name!
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
To get a visual of my progression! I said I'd do it once a month which would call for a picture at a full 16 weeks, but here I am at 15 weeks 4 days! I wore the same outfit as last time so I could really tell how big I'm getting!
Monday, March 28, 2011
Although I don't really believe in cravings, I do understand my pallet has changed over the last three months. I can not STAND chicken in any form. The smell, the texture, the taste literally makes me gag. This makes cooking dinner for me and Jesse all the more complicated since chicken was our staple not too long ago.
On the things I can't get enough of - Italian food, spicy food and sweets. Take tonight: I broiled some sweet Italian sausage, sauteed together a zucchini, portobella mushrooms, some onions and a LOT of red pepper flakes. I topped the veggie mix with the cooked sausage and some homemade tomato sauce. Yum!
Friday, March 25, 2011
I've been feeling great lately minus an insane bout with insomnia. For the past week I have been up, literally all night. Tossing, turning, getting up to use the bathroom, counting sheep, the works. I got permission from the doctor today to take a Benadryl once in a while and encouraged me to get back to working out. I intend to follow her advice and will be back at the gym April 1st!
Thursday, March 17, 2011
-Today is exactly 6 months until my due date! This also means the start of the 2nd trimester!
-Two days ago I finished my first 60-day bottle of prenatal vitamins. I was overwhelmed with emotion upon doing this. I clearly remember throwing away my bottle after the miscarriage, and now I'm on to bottle #2! Speaking of prenatal vitamins, I am a fan of the Trader Joe's version, at $12.99 a bottle, they are reasonable, contain all the nutrients you need and don't do a number on my stomach.
Monday, March 14, 2011
I have been completely putting off buying anything new simply because I am terrified I am going to jinx this pregnancy. The thought of throwing away boxes of maternity clothes mid-way through this journey literally makes me want to throw up. But, enough is enough.
My mom had picked up one outfit for me from Gap.com, but unfortunately both pieces were still too big, so off to the mall Jesse and I went. Our first stop was Destination Maternity which is a hybrid of the high end Pea in the Pod and the middle of the road Motherhood Maternity. I am definitely investing in a sexy pair of $150 Seven Maternity Jeans once we find out the sex of the baby mid-April and I feel 100% confident, but for now, I went cheap. I found a great pair of work pants for $20 and a pack of maternity panties that are oh so comfy. We also stopped by VS for a bra fitting and a bra that actually doesn't dig into my back. Finally, we stopped by the Gap and grabbed a middle of the road pair of jeans that at $70 really did the trick. Since I had ripped the band-aid off, I also grabbed another pair of work pants and cheap jeans from OldNavy.com once I got home.
Maternity shopping is harder than it seems. The two Destination Maternity stores are both an hour away: Natick and South Windsor. Few Gap stores carry their maternity line in store, and so far no Old Navy's do. Target is another option and I'll definitely be hitting them up when it comes to summer dresses but I've never been impressed with the quality of their work pants or jeans. Other than that, it's the internet, which will be more helpful once I know what sizes I am (for anyone that is wondering the Small work pants worked great and I'm a 6 in Gap Maternity ;)).
At work today, I made the big reveal to the kids. I rocked my new maternity pants and a tighter than usual top and the secret was not a secret any longer. I had really been trying to hold off telling them until after MCAS so their focus wouldn't wain (any more than usual), but mother nature had other ideas. Speaking of pants - OMG they are SO comfortable. I mean why don't we all wear these things? Screw buttons and zippers, give me 5 inches of lycra any day!
Sunday, March 6, 2011
Here's the "bump" week 12:
And here's my other new bumps - I am getting much amusement out of this "development" :)
Saturday, March 5, 2011
Now, my job is generally a good one - my principal and I have a good relationship and my department head and I have a very good relationship. Yet, despite all this, we knew it wasn't going to be an easy conversation. I had recently found out the other woman who teacher AP Lit was due 3 days before me and had already told the power that be. Now our school would be losing the two of us at once, and I know how they tend to freak out about those sort of things.
So, the day came and we took her aside, and thankfully she was both supportive and happy for us! It honestly was like ripping off a band-aid, because the news just rolled off my tongue for the remainder of the day. I spent today telling my bosses at my second job (who were equally excited) and even spread the news to cousins who wouldn't otherwise have known.
All that's left is the eventual facebook, "We're pregnant" post, and we've both decided that can wait a bit. We have another appointment to hear the heart rate again March 25 then should have an US 2-3 weeks after that to determine the sex. Most likely, at that point, I'll throw up the picture and either "It's a girl" or "It's a boy" and that will be that.
And if you wondered, yup, still anxious, every day. But, apparently, I am "showing" a bit, but that will be a post and picture for tomorrow!
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
With these results parents are able to get "more prepared" for a special needs baby or terminate the pregnancy in case they feel unprepared to raise a special needs baby.
We decided not to test. This was a personal decision that we may not have made if we didn't already have a loss on our hands. While the NT is harmless, there is no way we would have been comfortable moving on to more complex tests. We didn't want to worry for 6 months with a possible false positive over our heads and know for certain we wouldn't terminate this or any pregnancy.
Modern medicine has come so far, if only it would come a bit further!
The two months since that moment have been a whirlwind of worry. Like crazy, out of control anxiety. I check the TP EVERY time I go to the bathroom, fully convinced that something MUST be wrong. It's sad really losing that brilliant innocence of our 1st pregnancy. Despite weight gain (some in the right places :)) I've refused to buy anything and have been dealing with too tight pants and bras for a couple of weeks. Mentally, I just keep worrying that we'll lose this baby too.
After our 1st exam at weeks 6, I had some spotting the following weekend. We of course thought the worst and headed to the Dr. Contrary to what we thought, everything was PERFECT. Baby measured exactly at 7 weeks and had a strong hb of 132 (normal is 120-180)! Going in a week early meant waiting an extra week between appointments and me counting the days...
All the in between went swimmingly. I'm one of the (lucky) few who have no morning sickness. I know in the end that is good news, but after a M/C, I'd like to have more symptoms to keep me convinced everything is ok. My breasts have been tender on and off and growing like crazy and I've been tired, but all in all, 1st trimester has been a breeze. The only real setback is this killer cold I've been fighting for a week. Note to you all - DO NOT get sick while pregnant - you will NOT get better in a hurry!
Today was a real turning point for us...we went in for our 11 week appointment (well, 11w4d) to hear the baby's hb on the doppler. I was so full of anxiety the whole morning that I could barely eat anything at all. Doctor had some problem hearing the hb over my own rapidly beating heart...butttt, she finally got it, and found it again 5 or 6 times. While the doppler doesn't give an exact BPM, she said it was clearly at least twice mine! :)
On the way home I caved and bought a Bella Band from Target that will allow me to wear my regular pants for another month or so and took a breath of relief. At this point, our chance of miscarriage dips below 2%, so we can start looking to the future with love and hope.
What's next? The official end of the 1st trimester March 11, another HB check at 16 weeks March 25th, then going in for the big gender U/S 2 weeks after that! Oh, and the little thing of telling work tomorrow...*gulp*.
One last piece of advice - check out babycenter.com. They help track your pregnancy week by week and give you a visual of how big your baby is - we started at a poppy seed and will be a lime on Saturday. They also have a GREAT community of message boards with ladies that are in the same boat as you!
More updates to come!