Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Dental Hygienist Overshares with Captive Patient

I just had a dental appointment where my pregnancy prompted WAY too much oversharing by the hygienist. As I was being held captive with my mouth agape & sharp tools scraping away, she proceeded to tell me about her 3 birth experiences (in WAY more detail than this):

#1- epidural never took and she had the most insane pain of her life, leading to an emergency c-section

#2-went into pre-term labor at 4.5 months & had to deliver a stillborn son

(story of a miscarriage she had at 8 weeks inserted here)...

#3-had a picture perfect VBAC labor- but as the baby descended both her uterus and bladder 
ruptured, and she had to have an emergency hysterectomy & bladder reconstruction.

REALLY LADY? You think I really want to hear all of that? I wanted to take one of those scrapers & poke her eyes out. My jaw ached after the appointment from all the tension clenching I was doing.

 At least my teeth are sparkly clean....

Saturday, August 25, 2012

27 Week Updates

I have officially entered the 3rd trimester of pregnancy! Crazy. It is still very hard for me to fathom there is a tiny human being inside me that will soon be my daughter.

How far along? 27 weeks today

How big is baby? The apps say she is the size of a rutabaga (??) - around 14-14.5 inches long & about 2 lbs.  Her hearing is fully developed, and she can respond to sounds with her movements. Her brain stem is becoming more refined, and now that her nostrils are no longer plugged she is practicing inhaling and exhaling amniotic fluid. Her eyelids also open this week, and eyebrows & eyelashes are forming.

Weight gain? I was down 2 lbs from last week when I weighed myself yesterday, but I think the 3 dinners I had last night helped add some back, as I am only down 1 pound as of this morning. So total weight gain is 12.5 lbs.

The 27 week belly

Sleep? Still good- I continue to alternate between my back (with a little blanket underneath one side to prop me so I am not totally flat) and my left side.

Cravings/Aversions? This week I have been craving much lighter meals. I've been wanting and eating a lot of fruit and fish. NOT craving cheese which is a new one for me- nor does anything heavy like red meat sound remotely good.

Symptoms? A couple new pregnancy related things have happened this week:

*Indigestion: earlier in the week meals were sitting really heavy in my stomach & resulting in the oh so fun burping up syndrome. This got better in the last half of the week, and yesterday into today I am feeling quite ravenous, likely meaning the little one is about to enter another growth spurt.

*Braxton Hicks contractions: looking back these started in New Mexico- but I just thought it was our baby moving to positions where I could feel her outline clearly on my stomach. Yesterday was a doozy with near constant tightening of my stomach, continuing into the night. Even though my nurse said they were normal, I still had crazy dreams where Dr. Vaughn from my fertility clinic was telling me I should definitely check into the hospital to get monitored. I have heard that increasing fluids & taking it easy helps a lot with BH, so today I am making it my personal mission to down a ton of water. It is working so far! I also plan to spend the day lounging & relaxing on the couch, catching up on the gazillion baby books I am currently reading (to include The Diaper Free Baby, Beyond the Sling, The Baby Sleep Book, and Ina May's Guide to Breastfeeding).

*The top of my belly button now officially sticks out! It is like a little hood overlooking the rest of my belly button. My linea nigra is also making itself known- still a very faint line, but definitely visible.

The current state of my belly. You can also see my laparoscopic surgery scar underneath my belly button more clearly now that everything is stretching out.

While we are on the topic of my belly, it is interesting how many people feel the need to comment on its size. I do love & appreciate acknowledgment of the pregnancy, but I have had SO many people in the last week, upon asking me how far along I am, say "you are so SMALL!" Including my cousin this morning- who I haven't seen in about a month... she said I look exactly the same size as the last time we were together. What am I supposed to say to that? I feel inclined to respond that the baby is growing right on schedule, as is my belly/weight... and thanks? Maybe people are just noticing I haven't entered the pregnant fat-face phase. Something I actually would be just fine with not happening.

Most looking forward to? The remodel of our studio apartment is about halfway done, and I am super excited to see the final results & have that space available to rent out. I am also looking forward to my visit to Nurture OBGYN next week for a check up- though this visit includes my glucose "challenge test," which I am not excited for. They have you drink a nasty sugar drink prior to the appointment, drawing blood to test your ability to metabolize the sugars (and see if you have gestational diabetes). I am super nervous for the test, and pray I do NOT fail & have to return for the 3 hour version.

Off to the couch with a full glass of water I go! Happy Saturday to you all. 

Friday, August 24, 2012

A Love Letter

Sorry BC- this one isn't for you. ; )

I'd just like to express how incredibly thankful I am for the team we are putting together toward the birth of our little girl. At my previous OB GYN office- when I had a question about something, I'd call into the main receptionist, then be transferred to the nurse's voicemail. I was lucky if I heard anything back within 3 hours, and I was pretty sure that nurse didn't really know who I was.

Fast forward to today. I had a couple occasions to call into my new OB GYN office- Nurture OBGYN- b/c I am a bona fide freak first time pregnant lady.

The first call was to inquire about the fact that my weight has gone down 2 pounds this week. It is true that I've been a bit more 'regular' since returning from our trip (I found prune juice at our local Central Market! The joy!) while also craving smaller, lighter meals- but I still thought it was a little strange to be losing weight. Immediately upon calling in, the receptionist who picked up put my mind at total ease, and said if I wanted more reassurance she'd transfer me to the nurse.

Yes, please.

And the nurse was right THERE on the line when the transfer happened! Amazing. And how sad is it that customer service and care like that feels so unusual, when really that should be the norm? The nurse was also extremely reassuring that these fluctuations were normal. If weight loss continued for weeks on end then we'd definitely want to check on the growth of the baby, but given the other circumstances this week it sounded like a normal fluctuation.

I've also noticed this past week that occasionally my stomach will get really really tight and hard to each side of my belly button, where I can literally feel rock hard outlines of the baby (or what I assume is the baby). I thought it was just our little one moving and adjusting, but today the repeated tightness was so constant I began thinking perhaps I've started to experience Braxton Hicks contractions. So again I called the doctor's office. This time I got the general voicemail and left a message. Within 15 minutes I had a call back from an amazing nurse reassuring me that these did indeed sound like Braxton Hicks, and were TOTALLY NORMAL. The cause for concern would be if they became very painful and hard to breathe or talk through. Neither is the case for me- these are just a full on tightening, a bit uncomfortable, with ever so slight period like cramps mingled in. These apparently are much more common in one's 3rd trimester- and lo and behold- I enter my 3rd trimester tomorrow (holy S***!).

On another note? We hired a doula!! We had our last 2 interviews this week. The first of the two was with a woman who came highly recommended (one of 4 finalists in Austin's Birth Awards)- and was known & loved by the ladies at Nurture OBGYN (who are also nominated in the Birth Awards!). She has 17 years of experience. She was extremely knowledgeable & funny. Very personable. AND she writes a personal birth story for each client of hers, detailing everything about the birth journey & experience. The icing on top? BC was not attracted to her.

Our next interview the following evening was with an equally recommended doula- but we definitely didn't feel the same connection, which I was somewhat grateful for.... making our final choice crystal clear.

I did learn something about BC through this interview process. When we were speaking with THE doula (our doula!) we were talking about the different classes that would be wise to take in preparation for birth. I mentioned I'd heard taking a breastfeeding class would be helpful, but that this was probably something BC wouldn't need to attend? As our doula quickly replied how important it was for BC to also be there to learn & help, BC turned to me in all earnestness and said "I WANT to be there and learn!" Cue me in total shock. I don't know why, but I had just assumed he wouldn't be interested in that kind of stuff, particularly breastfeeding tutorials. When I told him as much, his stone cold response was "I LIKE boobs!"

Nice BC. I think our doula appreciated this tidbit as well.

Overall I am just feeling so blessed to be assembling such an awesome group of providers to help BC and I on this journey. Just 3 months to go.... bring on the 3rd trimester!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

26 Week Updates

BC and I made it home safely from our Babymoon- albeit extremely late last night. We had another full day of travel including a 2.5 hour drive from Taos to the airport to board the 1st of our 2 flights (and you better bet I quadruple checked the take off times!). Our final flight from Houston to Austin was delayed about 2 hours, and when we finally boarded we sat on the plane another hour before taking off, then had to circle Austin for about 45 minutes due to storms. That flight is only supposed to be 25 minutes- it was the longest "short" flight I've ever been on!

We finally arrived home around 1:30am to our very happy fur baby Sam:

Here are my (sleepy) 26 week updates:

How far along? 26 weeks (as of yesterday). I've officially entered the single digit countdown to our due date! Just 97 days to go....

How big is baby? She is nearing the 2 pound mark, around 14 inches long. This week's food comparison says she is about the size of a head of lettuce. Her body is working hard to continue producing "surfactant" in her lungs- an important substance needed for the lungs to function. Her hearing is also getting better and better, and BC warmed my heart this trip by declaring that it was time to start her music education! He has started choosing songs he loves from his phone app and playing them to my belly. So sweet.

Weight gain? I was VERY curious to see where I'd be with this after a week of vacation. I was definitely eating a bit more than normal, but was also walking a lot more than normal, so it likely all balanced out. The tally this morning? Up another 2.2 pounds from last week! For a total of 13.4 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight. The prune juice I lifted from the VIP lounge has finally set in, so I can't blame constipation for the gain- I think this is all baby, and that is what we want. Grow baby girl, grow!

First 26 week belly shot in purple tank

This picture was literally taken immediately after the previous one. Doesn't it look like I instantaneously got bigger once I put on the gray tank top? Weird. I guess there is something to be said for the slimming effects of dark colors!

Sleep? We stayed in two awesome hotels in New Mexico, our favorite of which was hands down the El Monte Sagrado in Taos. That bed was A-MAZING and so, so comfortable! I slept super well the entire trip, including almost daily naps.

Food cravings/aversions? I have noticed I have a slight aversion to red meats in the form of brisket or BBQ. If we order something like that, my body gives me a definite NO after a few bites. I also haven't been craving steak or red meat nearly as much as in weeks prior. This trip I was really loving fish (trout is fresh & plentiful in New Mexico) and veggies, with the occasional chocolate ice cream cone thrown in (had my first ever cone from a Baskin Robbins on the Santa Fe Square and it is safe to say I am now a bit obsessed, and may have to seek them out here in Austin).

Symptoms? As mentioned in previous posts, some interesting physical changes have happened in the past week. Somewhere between Texas and New Mexico- weeks 25-26 - my belly button completely flattened out, and as of this morning now has a slight outie bulge at the very top. I also confirmed that my hips have widened, due to my difficulty pulling up old familiar pants.  I have some kind of bloody mucous almost every time I blow my nose, resulting in full on nose bleeds about every 3 days. And the constipation- oh the constipation! But you've already heard enough about that.

Most looking forward to? Right now a nap. I popped up at 7:45 with BC's alarm (he had a golf date with the boys this morning)- meaning I only had about 5-5.5 hours of sleep. I'm looking forward to a quiet day snuggling Sam at home before returning to 'real life' tomorrow.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

These Hips Don't Lie

Shakira, you were right: these hips definitely don't lie.

I've been noticing on this vacation that my oh-so-stretchy capri denim pants have been getting harder and harder to pull over my hips, causing me to have to shimmy them back and forth to ease them up to their final resting place.

Then the other night, while wearing my woobie pants (my term of endearment for the velour track pants I wear around the house) I caught a glimpse of myself in the hotel mirror. Things definitely looked, well.... wider.

Thinking/hoping that perhaps it was just the hotel mirror, I commented to BC that my hips seemed to look different- to which he replied WAY too quickly: "yeah, your shape has definitely changed." When he saw my jaw noticeably drop to the ground in response (isn't it the husband's duty to white lie about
these things?) he gleefully added "well, you're pregnant!" Thanks, BC, for that memo.

I then decided it was time to do my trusty Squeeze Test. This is something I started doing years ago to ascertain the level of tightness/fitness in my hind quarters. It goes like this:

*Stand in front of the mirror, preferably with just your skivvies on
*Squeeze your butt tightly
*Notice any differentials on the sides of your hips/thighs- if many inches disappear with the squeeze, it is time to tighten that shizzy up!

This Squeeze Test? Interestingly enough, there wasn't much of a differential. Good in one sense that the expansion doesn't seem to be due to butt flab, but wow- it definitely confirms that my hips have officially spread! It absolutely blows my mind how one's body shifts to accommodate pregnancy & the anticipation of giving birth.

So I guess in addition to losing my belly button in New Mexico, I've also gone through a hip expansion. That's it: if these are the sorts of things that happen when I travel, then no more vacations for me until after this pregnancy is over! 

Friday, August 17, 2012

In Which Rangers are Sent to Find Me on the Mountain

Babycakes has been taking on the official role of Trip Planner since we arrived in New Mexico (perhaps due to my major mess up at the onset as Transportation Planner). Included in his must do's was a trip to Bandelier National Monument, with him assuring me there were plenty of shorter 'pregnant lady approved' hikes.

Admittedly I was a bit nervous to be heading off on a mountainous hike. Just walking around downtown Santa Fe was proving difficult at times, due to super fun ligament pain & just overall feeling more and more slow (so much so that BC has nicknamed my new gait the "pregnant lady shuffle"). I also wondered how I would manage my frequent needs for the restroom along with the heat & the high altitudes.

After a 30 minute drive and 20 minute shuttle ride into the park, we were off. To our right a wall of mountainous rock soared above us- speckled with multiple cave openings that ancient tribes used to call home:

There was a fork in the path, and going to the right led to a long, steep stairway that took hikers up to explore these cave dwellings. BC was very intrigued, and I encouraged him to go ahead and scale the stairs to take a peek. We agreed I would continue on at my turtle pace while he took a quick detour to the caves before catching back up with me.

About 100 feet further from were we separated there was a another short offshoot to the right. This one had a very gentle, easy climb leading to this:

I very much wanted to peek inside one of the cave homes too- and this meandering path definitely looked manageable. I figured I would head up and take a quick look, all the while keeping watch over the path below for BC.

I climbed into the cave and relished the cooler temperatures. I took the opportunity to sit down inside and peer out the opening, hoping to see BC come around the bend below so I could summon him to this space.

A few groups of hikers came and went, with no sign of BC. I climbed back down & leaned against the rock below- assuming BC would be coming by any time. I did get a few odd glances from the groups passing by- likely wondering what this pregnant lady was doing just hanging out against the mountain.

After another 5 minutes with no sign of BC, I figured his hike detour was taking longer than anticipated and decided to just go ahead on my own, hoping he would still catch up to me. I had a brief moment of panic when I realized he had the backpack with my hat, food, phone, etc- but thankfully I did have a water bottle, and knew the hike was only about another 1.5 miles. Praying to my Ligament Gods to hang in there, I made the conscious decision to just enjoy the walk, the quiet, & the scenery.

As I made my way along the path several groups passed me by with no sign of BC. I knew we'd meet up no matter what back at the Visitor's Center, so wasn't really concerned, and hoped BC was also enjoying his hike.

When I finally emerged from the path I saw BC ahead of me, pacing back and forth. He ran up to me exclaiming "you're OK!" and hugged me close. Uh-oh.

It seems he had quickly finished his cave detour and hurried along the path, thinking he would intercept me. As he got further along with no signs of me anywhere, he had begun to panic, worrying that I was in pain somewhere, stranded, unable to move, with no one to help me. When he had arrived at the Visitor's Center he had frantically looked everywhere- bathrooms, snack bar, museum- and when it was clear I wasn't there, he'd alerted Park Rangers to head out searching for me. It didn't help that one Park Ranger said he remembered seeing me out on the path, leaning against the mountain, "looking a bit distressed." Thanks for freaking out my husband, Mr. Park Ranger. I was definitely not in distress as I leaned against that mountain- rather I was taking a break & stretching out my back while watching for BC.

I felt awful that BC had gone through that. Here I was, all blissed out from a nice hike in nature, while BC was panicked that something serious had happened to me. We tried to piece together how we possibly could have missed one another- and surmised the only possible way was that he had come up on the path at the precise moment I was taking MY detour (with my back to the main path)- or at the moment I was scaling the ladder up to the cave.

It took BC a little while to decompress, but in the end it is a pretty entertaining story. I am still glad I got to see one of the cave homes, and was proud of myself for making it through the hike. BC has been keeping me close in his sight ever since- and will likely think twice before taking me on any other nature adventures!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Pregnant Hilton Gold Member Lifts Prune Juice From VIP Lounge

It was bound to happen sooner or later- a blog entry devoted to talking about something most people prefer not to discuss, but seems to come up sooner or later on most pregnancy blogs (BC- turn away now!).


This is something that pre-pregnancy I already struggled with, always at its worst when traveling. So now add in 6+ months of pregnancy and a week long trip to a dry mountain climate, and Houston, we have a problem.

Have you ever heard of the expression 'ripping someone a new a**hole?' Yeah, I think that literally happened to me yesterday. In fact it now feels like I may have several a**holes down there, though sadly none of them are functioning properly.

I had gone to the restroom prepared to do my duties and immediately realized I was in a precarious predicament. Things moved *ahem* down, but then got lodged right by the exit, stubbornly holding on for dear life. I spent close to a full 15 minutes working the few abdominal muscles I have left... wiggling, breathing, standing then sitting again, humming, straining, trying every.single.thing I could think of to dislodge the troops. To no avail.

It felt like I had a bag of marbles stuffed inside me.

I finally realized I had to go in. Things were not going to come out as they should, so I literally had to take matters into my own hands. It was mortifying and disgusting and immensely painful.

Mind you, this was all happening in a fancy Hilton Hotel restroom, where we were staying for free due to my Hilton Honors points. I've been using a Hilton American Express card for years now, putting all major purchases on the card and paying it off in full every month for maximum award points.

This year I proudly achieved "Gold Status," complete with a shiny new gold card which gives members benefits like free WIFI & free breakfasts. And on this trip I discovered a new perk: Hilton Hotels have a top secret VIP lounge reserved only for Gold Members.

VIP Lounge + pregnant woman = DANGER.

This lounge was right next to our hotel room, accessible by our room key. Inside it was fully stocked 24 hours a day with cookies, muffins, cereal, bagels, juice, granola bars- the works. I may or may not have stopped in to grab something every time we passed by.

On the last visit before we checked out I noticed there was prune juice among the drink options. My acupuncturist had highly recommended this as something to help my constipation, but I have never been able to find any at our local grocery stores. And low and behold here it was, in the Hilton VIP lounge (is constipation a prerequisite for Gold Status?). Knowing we were checking out and heading to a Marriott hotel in Taos- where I had NO special status- I did what any self respecting girl would do: I stuffed a bag full of food & drinks, including clearing out the entire prune juice supply.

The last remnants of my Hilton VIP lounge stash. 
Hoping there weren't any secret surveillance cameras in the room....

So there you have it- the extreme measures one will go through to obtain regularity. I can't say the prune juice is working any magic just yet, but in 2 days we'll be back in Austin, and I'm hopeful my system will return to a more normal rhythm then. Marbles be GONE!

Monday, August 13, 2012

I Left My Belly Button in New Mexico

I am a very sleepy girl today. We had one of those travel days yesterday, where what should have been a smooth 4 hour journey ended up spanning 15 hours. You heard me right- 15 hours!

And what really stinks? It was pretty much my fault.

Giddy with vacation belly tickles, we got to the airport yesterday at a respectable 1.5 hours before our 12:30 flight was set to depart. When I entered our tracking number into the check-in kiosk a message popped up saying "you must check in within 30 minutes of your departure, and that time has passed."


Thinking there must be a mistake, we went up to the counter- only to learn that yes, the itinerary had changed, and our flight left almost a full hour early. How could I have missed that?

I had printed out our initial itinerary right when I booked the trip back in June, and yes- I had gotten a couple emails from the airline confirming the reservation, etc, but didn't ever have the thought that maybe the times had changed - I just thought these were typical confirmation emails. Wouldn't you think for a flight being changed to an hour EARLY departure they'd put in the email subject line in bold caps "YOUR ITINERARY HAS CHANGED!" You better bet from now on I will always, always double check our itinerary the day before we go anywhere.

The next flight we could get booked on left Austin at 7:30pm, connecting in Dallas and getting us into Albuquerque around 11:30pm. That's when the tears started. That was a LONG time to wait, and chopped off an entire day of our vacation. The option existed to try to fly stand-by prior to that (on completely oversold flights), and honestly I was in the mindset that going home and napping sounded best. However, since I had already messed up the travel arrangements, I deferred to what BC wanted to do- which was hang tight at the airport and try to make an earlier flight.

Side note: BC was SO amazing during all of this- it didn't even phase him. He wasn't upset with me or the situation and just took everything in stride. I am so lucky! Normally I am able to take airport delays in stride as well, but I think the pregnancy hormones coupled with my guilt at the mix-up created a perfect storm, and I was definitely tearful. So much so that BC gave me the temporary nickname "Ms. Mopey." Happily Ms. Mopey only stuck around for about an hour- it seemed feeding her worked well to diffuse the sullen mood.

And then miracle of miracles- we made the standby list on a 3pm flight to Dallas! I thanked my angels and we boarded the flight.

However, our next connection didn't leave Dallas until 8pm. And then at 7:30pm huge storms rolled into the Dallas area, temporarily closing the airport (isn't' this getting fun?). We had to switch gates & terminals a total of 3 times, and finally at 10pm we were able to board our final flight.

2 important things still needed to happen:

*We needed to get to the car rental company before they closed at 11:30 to have any hopes of getting to Santa Fe yet that night. Otherwise, we'd have to grab a hotel in Albuquerque and pick up our car in the morning.

*We also had no idea if our luggage was already at the airport or when it might arrive.....

We landed at 11pm and started to taxi to our gate. BC and I decided to divide and conquer- he'd grab a shuttle to the car rental office, I would look for luggage.

And folks, we DID IT. Our luggage was not on our flight, but was on the very next one that arrived at 11:15. BC just made it to the rental company before they closed, and picked me and the luggage up at 11:30. Our original vacation giddiness was a tad muted at this point as we set off on the one + hour drive to Santa Fe.

At about 1am we checked into our hotel (keep in mind this is 2am Austin time!). I had already passed my exhaustion phase (sadly I am unable to sleep on planes), which meant I had a 2nd wind, and hence had a lot of trouble falling asleep in the new-to-me bed and new-to-me pillow/sheets.

As I was washing up, I noticed for the first time that I no longer had a belly button. I've been watching its transformation for awhile now, from a deep innie to a more and more stretched out innie, and somewhere between Austin and Santa Fe it completely disappeared. Flat, pale, nothing. So weird.

So today begins our first official day of vacation! It will be a very sleepy one, but we have until Saturday to get in our groove, nap, have massages, & just kick back.

Bring it!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

25 Weeks, Boobs, & Baby Items

I went to get fitted again for a new bra today. Those 32D's I picked up a few months back have been leaving deep grooves in my sides, taunting me as the girls continue to grow. I picked up a 34D, which apparently is the equivalent of a DD cup! And I have to say, it fits like a glove. Can't wait to see what happens once the baby is here and my milk comes in.... oy!

Our first registry item also arrived today, compliments of my parents (thanks Mom & Dad!) An official Graco Pack N' Play. A must for weekend visits to see family in Houston, and also likely what we'll keep in our room for the baby to sleep in when she first joins us.

These things are serious business- there are soooo many on the market to choose from, and it took me a long time to finally settle on the model that seemed best for us. The first one I fell in love with was based purely on looks- an Eddie Bauer version:

However, the reviews were so-so, and when I went to see a similar one at the store I had to agree it seemed flimsy & the changing pad did tilt a bit to the side.

The next contender was a cute Graco version with a groovy print:

I really liked the pattern on this one. I then came to find out that one needs to cover the bottom mattress with a sheet (naive new mom alert!), so that the bulk of this pattern would be hidden. Between that and the fact that all of our other furniture is wood/brown, this model got vetoed.

Which brought me to THE ONE. It is gender neutral enough for a boy or girl (should our next child be a boy), and is also the only Pack N' Play with an MP3 holder/set up, where we can play our own music mixes for the baby! How cool is that?

And I am totally going to girl it up with these base sheets:

I also ordered the first of the baby's crib bedding. I had been planning to just put it all on our registry, but when I went to the Dwell Studio site that makes it, I saw that most of the set was being heavily discounted and many pieces were already out of stock! *Cue panic attack.* I thought for sure this meant the pattern was being discontinued. I ordered up what was still available (for great prices too!) and ran over to a local boutique here in Austin I knew carried the set. They were almost out as well, but were able to call the Dwell Studio company & confirm that no, the set had NOT been discontinued, they were just extremely low on inventory. Now everything on the site is out of stock! I am so glad I grabbed what I could and am on email alert lists for the remaining items we need.

This is the set I fell in love with- the "Vintage Blossom:"

Our nursery has neutral buttery yellow walls, and I envision the final decor having a few small accents of pale pink along with lots of white and maybe an occasional splash of orange. I've been keeping all my ideas on my Pinterest board, and hope with the arrival of our glider/rocker (due by September 20th!) and these sheets the final color scheme will start coming together.

On to my 25 week updates!

How far along? 25 weeks

How big is baby?  The baby websites say she is around 13.6 inches long and 1.5lbs- about the size of a cauliflower. This week her brainwave patterns are beginning to develop, meaning she will start being able to remember things!

Weight gain? Not much after last week's huge climb... about another .2 of a pound, for a total of 11.2 lbs up from my pre-pregnancy weight.

25 week belly shot taken from the Nordstrom lingerie dressing room

Sleep? Still doing well there. I did have some crazy round ligament pain a couple times this week while turning over in bed, but was able to fall back asleep pretty quickly.

Symptoms? I had 2 migraines this week- boo. I've also been really tired- notably so. Trying my best to take naps when able and otherwise power through my days.

When I first get up from sitting there is a really weird somewhat uncomfortable swooshing feeling as everything in my stomach shifts up and back again. If I am feeling that swoosh sensation this much already, I can't even imagine how it will feel 2-3 months from now!

Movement? I feel her moving on and off throughout the day pretty consistently, usually every 2-3 hours. She is usually active about 5 minutes after I lay down, and also wakes up with me at night when I get up to use the bathroom. I was feeling a lot of kicking way up by my ribs the other night- it is amazing that my uterus now stretches up that far!

Cravings/Aversions? I still have quite a sweet tooth for bakery items- cookies really hit the spot in the late afternoon. Trying to be good about that & sub the cravings with something like an apple or chocolate milk instead.

Most looking forward to? Leaving tomorrow morning for our Babymoon vacation to New Mexico! Perhaps our little girl will remember this as her first vacation, now that she has all that brainwave activity going on. 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

On Doulas....

I found a hilarious blog entry on doulas from the MODG blog that I wanted to share (link below). We have one doula interview down, several more to go.

BC and I ultimately decided last nights' meeting wasn't the right fit for what we *think* we are looking for- which we surmised is a take charge, authoritative, funny personality who can help us navigate the birth waters as total newbies. And on a side note? BC felt comfortable enough letting me know he thought last nights' candidate might be a bit too attractive for our doula... and yeah, I don't need to be worrying about BC and the doula disappearing together somewhere in the hospital while I labor alone in the bed.

So the search continues.... may the next candidates be awesome and homely!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

24 Weeks- Viability, Baby!

Today is a big milestone in our pregnancy journey. At 24 weeks, a fetus reaches what is called "viability," meaning that there is a good chance she could survive if for some reason she came early. We're fully planning on this little lady cooking until November, but it is still reassuring to get to this point! It is right up there - milestone wise - with hearing the heartbeat for the first time, the 12 week marker of the end of the first trimester, & the 20 week Anatomy Scan.

This week I was also hit with the very poignant realization that we are pretty much in the 3 month countdown to baby! Even though our little one is due toward the end of November, she really could come anytime that month, so I figure we have about 3 months to finish getting ready. Here are some of my check-list items to accomplish before November:

*Find a doctor/hospital 
-Check! LOVE our new Nurture OBGYN clinic, and am very happy with the choice to birth at St. Davids' North Hospital.

*Sign up for birth classes
-Check! We'll be in a 5 week Hypnobirthing class from September 30th-November 4th. I also may sign up for cloth diapering & breastfeeding classes.

*Interview doulas 
-We have our first interview tonight, and I hope to interview a total of 3-4 doulas.

*Finish the nursery
-BC and I had a funny discussion about this the other night. He told me a colleague of his had asked if our nursery was ready- and he'd replied "yes." He asked if I agreed- to which I quickly retorted- "um, we don't have a crib mattress, or bedding, or a changing pad, or diaper supplies, or a monitor, or our glider,....." etc. Yes, we have the crib & dresser in the room- but there is still a LONG way to go! My goal is to have everything set by mid-October- and we can obviously see who is going to be in charge of getting that done.

*Take a "Babymoon" vacation
-Check! We leave in one week for New Mexico- I can't wait.

*Secure our finances & budget
-I am working hard to fill up our "Baby Fund"- saving up about 3-4 months worth of my average income to help us transition toward my cutting back on work. We should have that checked off by mid-September. I really hope to be able to stay home full time with our little lady- at LEAST for the first 4-5 months. After that we'll see how I am feeling- and what our family needs are.

We have also started the construction of a studio apartment in the space above our garage, toward the hopes of that bringing in additional income. It will be a cute space with a small kitchen & full bathroom, one that we can rent out on weekends or during Austin festivals. It will also be a great spot for friends & family to stay.

*Take advantage of our couple time here in Austin
-BC and I have been enjoying a self declared "Austin Restaurant Week." It isn't officially restaurant week here in town, but BC and I have taken it upon ourselves to visit 'new to us' restaurants every night. We're having a blast, and discovering some great spots! So far we've visited:

El Naranjo
Salty Sow

Our favorite for overall food & experience was Salty Sow, and Bangers and El Naranjo were also excellent (and located in our fav Rainy Street District just a mile from our house). So far Zanduga is the only place we would not return to- so we are 3 for 4 with success! We realize that once baby comes we'll be cutting back on eating out, so now is definitely the time to indulge.

My first official pregnancy shot taken by someone other than myself! 
BC took this last night on day #4 of our Austin Restaurant Week.
I just noticed there is a #4 on the building in the upper right corner- ha!

Here are my 24 week updates:

How far along? 24 weeks today! Viability!

How big is baby? Apparently the size of a cantaloupe this week- give or take about 12 inches and about 1.5 lbs.

Weight gain? It's been another BIG week of growth (hello, restaurant week?)- so as of this morning I am up a total of 11 lbs, which is a 2.5 pound gain from last week!
This week's gain jumped me onto the "ideal weight gain" trajectory

Post yoga 24 week belly shot

Sleep? I am falling asleep really well/soundly, but have been restless and waking a lot in the early morning hours. I am still most comfortable on my back, which I feel increasingly guilty about- as one is not "supposed" to be back sleeping at this point. It's another challenge of trusting my intuition on that one- trusting that my body will tell me if/when that position is no longer a good idea. Our little lady is still kicking away every 2 hours or so, so I know she is healthy & growing!

Symptoms? I am starting to find it harder to bend forward, and to sit properly in a chair for long lengths of time (like at a restaurant, for instance). When I work from home, my legs are almost always propped up on the desk or tucked underneath me, which is much more comfortable.  I've been having to eat a cracker in the early morning hours before getting up due to mild nausea (which usually dissipates after that snack). My skin has also been super clear- an ongoing 'perk' for a few months now.

Most looking forward to? One week until VACATION!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Baby's First Mary Janes

I just got the most adorable package in the mail from my Aunt & Uncle in Minnesota- take a look at the outfit they sent for our little one:

I love love LOVE little Mary Jane shoes, and this will officially be her first pair. I used to keep all my dolls in Mary Janes, so it is super fun to now be planning to put them on a real live baby.

Thank you so much, Marilee & Terry! Baby Lambert is going to be quite the stylin' infant. : )