Tuesday, October 30, 2012

surly sandy

well, hurricane/superstorm sandy/frankenstorm has come and gone.  matt and i and our house survived.  we lost power last night around 9:30pm, right when the storm was at its strongest, it seems.  the wind was unbelieveable.  i slept terribly, even though i put in earplugs to drown out the noise.  earplugs seem to have an opposite effect on me - i end up being in my own head, unable to turn my thoughts off, or listening to my heartbeat and my breathing.  i never sleep well with earplugs in.  eventually (probably around 11:30) i fell asleep, but i'm pretty sure i was up once an hour.  i finally got out of bed at 6 because i could no longer get comfortable.  i went downstairs a lit a fire in our woodburning stove and just snuggled with padfoot until matt woke up sometime around 7:30. 

i ended up coming in to work.  septa is still shut down, so i drove.  the roads were fine and traffic was very light.  work is super slow.  most of the insurance companies are closed so we can't arrange for any discharges.  and i think people are still too scared to go home, especially if they don't have power.  i'm hoping that we'll be able to go home early, because right now i have pretty much nothing to do.  it sort of seems a little silly to be here.  but at least i'm not burning a vacation day that i can use for paid maternity leave!

matt's office is still closed, so he's at home, holding down the fort.  i think he was going to try get our garage door open so we can get my car out of the garage. 

i called peco (our electric company) a little bit ago and their message says that their crews are out evaluating the situation and they won't have any updates or estimates until after 4pm.  so i guess we'll try to call back then.  i really hope we can get it turned back on soon.  we have a 40-gallon gas water heater, so as long as we keep our showers short, we should have enough hot water for the next couple of days.  worse comes to worse, we are going home this weekend for a wedding, and we weren't planning to go until saturday, but maybe we'll pack up padfoot and head home a night early. 

we have no damage to the house, thank goodness.  there are a few branches down in our front yard, but nothing significant. 

hopefully any of you in the path of the storm have come through relatively unscathed!

on another note, as i sat at home watching the wind and rain, i realized that exactly 2 years ago, hurricane tomas made landfall on st. lucia during our honeymoon.  so starting next year, matt and i will be going into hiding on october 29th, as it is clearly not our day for weather!  

Monday, October 29, 2012

29 weeks

we didn't actually take a picture this week.  too busy running around, getting ready for "frankenstorm."  to those of you in its path, i wish you the best of luck!  be safe!

baby is the size of: a butternut squash
how far along are you: 29 weeks, 2 days
what's happening with baby: muscles and lungs are continuing to mature, and his head is getting bigger to make room for his growing brain.  *i'm going to stop this question, because it's pretty much the same from here on out*
due date: jan 10
sleep: i'm finding that i'm really tired.  i either fall asleep on the train ride home or need a nap as soon as we get home.  i am often falling asleep on the couch before we go to bed.  i sleep for about 6 hours straight before i need to get up to pee, strip off my pants (because i'm sweating), and chug water.  i fall back asleep pretty easily.
best moment this week: my sister's great news is finally out of the bag - she's 12 weeks pregnant!!!  i am beyond excited that we are having babies 4 months apart!
what are you looking forward to: making some progress on the nursery - hanging the paper lanterns and some of the prints! 
what do you miss:  not being punched in the ribs.  sleeping through the night.  pain-free days.
symptoms: big belly.  pain - from under my right boob, around the side, and across my back.  and i'm definitely waddling every now and then.  my belly gets very heavy, especially towards the end of the day.  
movement:  he moves a lot!  i can now definitely feel him punching/standing on my bladder, which is weird.  the ob had me start kick counts this week.  i'm supposed to mark how long it takes me to get 10 movements.  i do if after dinner, and it usually takes less than a hour, and often less than 30 minutes.
gender: baby boy!! 
belly button: in, but not for long, i think.
rings: on, but i find myself removing them pretty frequently. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

pregnancy would be so much easier if....

- i could hire a masseuse to live with us full-time  OR

- my couch and bed were heated and equipped with nail salon-type massagers

- i could afford a weekly maid  AND

- hubs would let me hire a cleaning service for before and after our big family holiday party

- i could somehow block baby boy from entering my rib cage

- i could hook up iv fluids to myself...without actually needing an iv (cuz that bitch hurt)

- i had free reign to punch people who are stupid

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

2 years

2 years ago today, i was lucky enough to marry an amazing man.

in just over 2 months from today, i will have the privilege of watching him become an amazing father.

happy anniversary to my best friend, who makes me laugh a thousand times a day.  this year will be our most challenging, most exciting year yet, and i cannot wait to face it and live it with you.  i love you, monkey.  always and forever. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

my thoughts on pregnancy - part 2

i can't believe my first post on my thoughts on pregnancy was a mere 8 weeks ago.  it feels like so much longer!  and things have really changed.

i have finally grasped the concept that i am definitely pregnant now.  i have a squirmy little baby in there and he makes his presence pretty well-known.  either with his little kicks, punches, and somersaults, or with his desire to nestle up in my ribs, i am very well aware of his existence at all times.  i love knowing he's there, and even though it sometimes hurts (i seriously think i may have a fractured rib by the end of this thing), i think that i will never tire of feeling him wiggle around in there.

i like to imagine that he's a polite little kicker/puncher.  like, he's just trying to mind his own business and stretch out, and when he hits me, he quickly says, "oops, sorry, mama" or "oh, excuse me."  i told matt my theory this morning.  he laughed at me.  but i'm certain that we have a little boy who already knows his manners. 

while i know he's there, i don't talk to him as much as i thought i would.  and matt has yet to really talk to him.  the only time i really directly address him is to politely ask him to please remove himself from my ribcage.  otherwise, we talk about him, but not really to him.  at first this really bothered me - aren't i supposed to be talking to him?  is it saying something about the mother i'm going to be if i'm not talking to my unborn child in my belly?  but i finally realized that it's not.  i show him my love by making sure i take care of myself and, by extension, him. 

i really thought that having people touch my belly would bother me.  i simply could not imagine how i would be comfortable with people encroaching on my personal space.  but it doesn't bother me.  people touch the belly and i'm totally ok with it.  i couldn't really figure out why, but sweet, brilliant sara at then comes life nailed it - it's because it means that this baby boy is already so loved, even by people who barely know me.  that is amazing.

i always knew i was a hippie born in the wrong age.  i've never been super-crunchy, but i've always embraced the hippie mentality of taking life as it comes and playing with the hand you're dealt.  but as i prepare myself to become a mother, i'm finding that many of the choices we're making for our child are pretty crunchy.  we're planning to cloth diaper.  i hope to breastfeed exclusively until we start baby-led weaning.  i intend to baby-wear as much as i can.

and i hope to have an intervention-free labor and delivery.  at the wedding we went to last weekend, i told my old college roommate this (after she asked if i planned to have an epidural).  her immediate response was, "i knew you'd be one of those moms."  she didn't meant it in a bad way.  she never understood my hippie ways in college, and so it was no surprise to her that i would want to continue being a hippie as an adult and into motherhood.

i saw this quote the other day, and i really want to use it in baby boy's nursery.  "where there is great love, there are miracles" (willa cather).  his daddy and i have a great love, and he is our little miracle.  and there is no greater feeling than that. 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

28 weeks

baby is the size of: an eggplant
how far along are you: 28 weeks, 2 days
what's happening with baby: baby's eyelids are able to open and close, and he now may be able to sense light filtering in through the womb.
due date: jan 10
sleep: i usually wake up once between 3-4 to pee.  if i sleep too long, my hips really start to ache.  there have been times when i've tried to sleep in a bit but i can't because my hips hurt. 
best moment this week: the negative ffn test on wednesday night.  knowing that baby boy will keep cooking for at least another 2 weeks.
what are you looking forward to: nothing big this week, actually! 
what do you miss:  not being punched in the ribs.  sleeping through the night.  pain-free days.
symptoms: big belly.  pain - from under my right boob, around the side, and across my back.  and i'm definitely waddling every now and then.  my belly gets very heavy, especially towards the end of the day.   
movement:  he has been a very active little boy this week!  i feel like he moves more than he's still.
gender: baby boy!! 
belly button: in, but not for long, i think.
rings: on, but i think my time is limited on that.  

Friday, October 19, 2012

a scary day

we had a little adventure of sorts on wednesday.  i guess it started over the weekend, cuz i think that's when i first noticed i was having cramps.  they were usually only in the morning, right when i first woke up.  it felt like how it used to feel when i woke up the morning i got my period - they felt exactly like menstrual cramps.  i did a bit of consulting with dr. google and found that they are pretty common and nothing to be concerned about, so i let it go.  monday and tuesday, i was just not really feeling myself, but i chalked it up to the fact that this kid seems to think that my ribcage is the most comfortable spot, and it really hurts, so i thought i was just uncomfortable.  i did call my ob on tuesday and spoke to the nurse about the cramps, but she reassured me that unless they're accompanied by bleeding or they're not getting better with rest, they aren't anything to be concerned about.

wednesday, i really felt like i was having an off day.  i didn't feel like myself at all.  i was sluggish and uncomfortable, and the cramps just weren't going away.  after lunch, i felt really uncomfortable, but it mostly felt like i ate too much.  and i felt like i had really bad gas.  so around 3pm, i went for a walk around the block outside the hospital to try to get things moving and hopefully feel better.  as i was walking, though, i realized that something just wasn't right.  something just felt wrong.  i couldn't put my finger on it, but it just...it was just wrong.  i fought back tears the rest of the walk there, and then when i got back to my office i sat down at my desk and started to cry, then i asked my coworkers to get a nurse to come and take my blood pressure.  they grabbed a nurse from the floor and he came in and took my vitals.  everything was normal, but i still just didn't feel right.  i wanted to just go home and rest until my scheduled ob appointment that night, but my coworkers convinced me to go down to the petu (perinatal exam and treatment unit).  i let them escort me downstairs and they stayed with me until i got checked in.

i was taken back to my room and given a gown to change into.  the nurse hooked me up to 2 monitors - one to monitor the baby's heart rate, and the other to monitor movements/contractions in my uterus.  once she walked out of the room, i burst into tears (again).  i was just so scared.  i called matt and told him where i was.  he was in the middle of something at work, and since i hadn't even seen the doctor yet, i had no idea how long i'd be there, so i told him to finish up and then call me when he was done.  35 minutes later, i still hadn't seen the doctor, so when matt called back, i told him to come down.  in the meantime, the nurse came in to draw blood and hang some iv fluids.  she told me that since i was having some contractions, they were concerned that i was dehydrated.  i was surprised to hear that i was having contractions, since i wasn't really feeling anything, so i asked her how much.  she said i was having about one per minute!  wwhhhhaaaaaa?!   i couldn't believe it.  when she tried the vein on my left arm, it went in fine, but within 10 seconds a huge bubble formed behind it and she had to pull it.  she placed the iv on my right hand and that went fine.  while all of this was going on, the doctor and matt arrived, pretty much at the same time, around 5:15.  i went through a brief medical history and pregnancy history with the doctor, and then she did a speculum exam.  since they didn't think i'd need an internal exam, they'd put me in a room with a regular bed, which meant that for the speculum exam, i had to balance my butt on an overturned bedpan and lay with legs bent, feet touching.  that was, far and away, the most uncomfortable speculum exam i've ever had.  she took 3 swabs and then removed the speculum and helped me off the bedpan.  after that, she did a cervix check to make sure i wasn't dilated - i was still totally closed.  so they left us there, waiting for the blood work results.

the first bag of fluids finished in about 45 minutes, and then i had to pee.  so we had to unhook the monitors and i had to carry the plugs and the empty bag and all the lines with me into the bathroom.  that should be an olympic event - peeing while holding onto all that stuff and making sure the monitors/belts don't fall into the toilet.  matt and i got me back into bed and all hooked up again, and the nurse came in to hang another bag of fluids.  at this point, i was actually starting to feel some of the contractions.  but baby's heart rate was looking good and he was definitely moving around a lot, so they took his monitor off.  weirdly enough, even though i was now feeling the contractions, they were slowing down a bit.  the nurse came back in to say that all the blood work and urine screens were negative, and we were just waiting to see if the contractions slowed down a bit more and then the doctor would do another cervix check.

finally, around 8pm (about 4 hours after i got there), the doctor came in to confirm that the contractions had slowed and they were no longer concerned about preterm labor.  one of the swabs she did during the speculum exam was the fetal fibronectin test (ffn).  this test detects the presence of fetal fibronectin protein on the cervix.  a positive result is an indicator that preterm labor may be occuring, but it's not very accurate.  but a negative result will definitively rule out the likelihood that preterm labor will start within 2 weeks.  my result was negative, so i know that baby boy should stay cooking for another 2 weeks, at least.  hallelujah!  the doctor did another cervix check, and i was still closed, so they felt comfortable discharging me.  they did tell me to take thursday off from work to rest, and told me i really need to monitor my fluid intake. 

so i stayed home from work yesterday and rested.  i rescheduled my ob appointment and they were able to fit me in yesterday, so i spoke to my regular doctor and they confirmed that with the negative blood work they are not too concerned.  she just told me to take it easy and not push myself (which i definitely feel like i've been doing), and stay on top of  my fluids.  she said that the cramps i'm having are normal braxton hicks contractions, but if i start to feel like my uterus is "balling" up and my stomach is getting hard, that is a real contraction, and if i have more than 3-4 in an hour, i need to call them right away.

i downloaded an app on my phone that sends me reminders when i haven't logged a glass of water in a while.  i have it set for 12 8oz glasses per day.  i start my day off with a bottle of water, which i try to finish before i even get to work.  then while i'm at work, i have a 16oz tumbler on my desk.  my goal has always been to drink 3 per day, but i'm usually lucky if i get 2 down.  i am really going to work harder on getting all 3 down every day.  it's hard, though!  but if i can do that, that is already 8 8oz glasses!

i'm back at work today and i'm feeling a bit better.  still a little...wiped out, but i think that is to be expected.  i am still having that crampy feeling, and i did feel one real contraction this afternooon.  i am still very nervous, and trying to limit the walking i'm doing at work.  tonight i'm going to get a maternity support belt to help hold up my stomach, because it feels very low and heavy sometimes.  my mom was supposed to come down this weekend to help me with some stuff for the nursery, but an emergency came up and she probably won't be able to make it.  it's probably for the best - it'll force me to rest a bit more. 

Saturday, October 13, 2012


yeah...not even close to catching up on the october photo challenge.  being away and unplugged for a few days really made me fall behind.


27 week

man i look tired!

baby is the size of: a cauliflower
how far along are you: 27 weeks, 2 days
what's happening with baby: baby is sleeping and waking at regular intervals, opening and closing little eyes, and perhaps even sucking on his fingers.  with more brain tissue developing your baby's brain is very active now.  the lungs are still immature, but they would be capable of functioning - with a lot of medical help - if he were to be born now.  chalk up any tiny rhythmic movements you may be feeling to a case of baby hiccups, which may be common from now on.
due date: jan 10
sleep: have actually been getting up in the middle of the night this week - usually to pee, but then i also need to drink some water and take some tums. 
best moment this week: being at my college roommate's wedding on sunday.  i am so glad we took the trip down to obx for it!
what are you looking forward to: tuesday night is my first movies and martinis night with my girlfriends from work in months, and i cannot wait!  i'm making greek yogurt chocolate truffles.  yum! 
what do you miss:  a full night's sleep.  getting through a day without back pain.
symptoms: big belly.  had some swelling in my feet during our long drives to/from obx.  heartburn.  and back pain.  oh the back pain.  i think he must position himself on a nerve sometimes, because i'll get screaming pain in my right shoulder blade and my left shoulder blade will get numb and tingly. 
movement:  i think i'm starting to be able to distinguish between a foot/hand and his butt/head.  we can see my belly jump when he moves.  i'm waiting for the day we can actually see a foot/hand drag across my belly. 
gender: baby boy!! 
belly button: in. there are lips around the edge, though, so i am anticipating that it will pop pretty soon.
rings: on, though i had to take them off several times while we were down in the outer banks. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

26 weeks

whoa, way late!  we were out of town for a nice long weekend, hence, the hold up.  i'm also gonna change up the survey a little bit.  at this point, it's pretty obvious that i'm in maternity clothes, and since i haven't had any food/smell aversions the entire time, i'm just gonna drop that question. 

baby is the size of: a head of lettuce
how far along are you: 26
what's happening with baby: baby can now hear mine and matt's voices while we chat.  he's inhaling and exhaling small amounts of amniotic fluid, which is essential for the development of his lungs.  he's continuing to develop baby fat.  his testicles are beginning to descend.
due date: jan 10
sleep: going ok.  not great.
best moment this week: we had our last ultrasound on monday.  she didn't do a measurement, but said all of his organs are developing perfectly!
what are you looking forward to: trip to the outer banks. 
what do you miss:  sleep. 
symptoms: big belly.  back pain.  and definitely feeling him up in my ribs.
movement: lots of movement.  there's no set time, but i definitely feel him moving around multiple times a day.  matt has gotten to feel him move around more and more, too. 
gender: baby boy!! 
belly button: in. there are lips around the edge, though, so i am anticipating that it will pop pretty soon.
rings: on, and for most of this week it was ok.

Thursday, October 4, 2012


October Photo Challenge 

day 4 - love.  alright, sorry for the terrible quality of this picture, but these 2 are the loves of my life (for now - check back with me in january).  matt and padfoot, our little furbaby.  she's recently become much more of a daddy's girl because she doesn't fit quite so comfortably on mommy's lap.  but she's still the sweetest little thing, and i love when she snugs up to us in the morning. 

digital footprint

so i read this really interest blog post today from alphamom about the digital footprint you leave behind.  like, the long-term picture of yourself you are creating with your facebook status updates or your tweets.  i thought about that and decided to check out my facebook timeline to see if i could spot a trend.

here's what someone would learn about me from my facebook timline:

1. i support obama.  and women's rights.  and voter rights.  and it's pretty safe to say that i'm a liberal, especially when it comes to social issues.

2. i read a lot of news stories.

3. i like music. 

4. i am a proud pitt alumna.

5. i'm pregnant.

had i done this a year or so ago, when i was updating my status more frequently, the picture may be a little different.  but over the past several months, i have slowed down on the status updates.  i post a lot of news articles and stuff that i find interesting, but as of right now, i have not actually updated my status since monday.  so anyone forming an opinion of me based on my facebook timeline would pretty much be going off the articles i link to or recommend.  and i'm pretty much ok with that.  yes, i have some pretty strong political opinions.  but i have a right to those opinions, and - furthermore - i have a right to express them.  you have a right to disagree with them. 

over the years since i joined facebook (back in 2008) i have tried pretty hard to keep things fairly neutral.  i try to refrain from cursing (though one or two f-bombs have definitely been dropped).  i try to remain relatively upbeat, and if i am being negative i try to do it sarcastically or with a twist of humor.  yeah, there have been times when i ranted about my job, but usually in a general sense.  i have tried not to call out anyone in particular. 

looking at my digital footprint as it stands now, i am perfectly fine with the image it projects.  what about your digital footprint?  do you think it gives an accurate picture of who you are?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

fashion and home

ok, 3rd day of the challenge and i've already missed one day.  oopsie! 

so here's day 2 - fashion.  this is kind of the style i've adopted for maternity, especially for work.  pants, maternity tank tops, and a long open-front cardigan.  i am comfortable in it and i feel like it flatters the bump.  i try to accessorize with a cute necklace when i can.  and a tired face.  ha ha.

and day 3 - home.  this was taken this summer after we our front porch and front steps redone.  our steps were initially made of slate and the patio was a concrete slab.  we hired a crew to come and tear them out and build paver steps and and a paver porch to match the wall we had installed last summer.  i love our house.  it's not exactly huge (about 1900 sq ft) but it's perfect for the 2 - almost 3 - of us.  we have worked really hard to make it our home, and i'm so proud of everything we've done.

i promise to try to be better, but we're going away this weekend, so there may be a multiple-photo post again.

Monday, October 1, 2012

not a good day

this has not been a good day for me, you guys.  i am not in a good head space.  rationally, i know that it is 80% hormonal, but nonetheless, i just spent my entire train ride home fighting tears, only to completely unleash in a full sobbing jag in the car and for the past 15 minutes.

i am so tired of people telling me how big i am.  of people saying, "wait, you're not due till january?!  wow!"  of people exclaiming that i look like i'm ready to pop.  what is it about pregnancy that makes people completely forget their manners?  just because i'm pregnant and i have a legitimate reason for an expanding belly doesn't automatically mean that i'm totally comfortable with the idea of an expanding belly. 

i have gained 17 pounds since i got pregnant.  i have never weighed this much in my life, and while i know that i am gaining weight because i'm creating and nourishing and nurturing a human being, it is unnerving to realize that my little 5'3" body is carrying 17 extra pounds.  i know it's just a number on a scale, but it's a scary number, and one that i've never seen before. 

having people constantly remind me that i'm "so big" is not helping.  i am big for 25 weeks - i know i am.  but i am a little person.  i am short-waisted.  i have nowhere for this baby to go but out.  and i have 15 weeks to go, which means that i am only going to get bigger.  and more uncomfortable. 

i am also tired of people telling me that i'm going to have a big baby.  or that he's going to come early.  a big baby or an early baby are not things that make a mama-to-be happy to hear, despite what you may think.  a big baby terrifies me, for a number of reasons.  the first being that i want him to be healthy.  i am already feeling like i'm having trouble processing sugar, so the idea that my baby is big is extra scary, because all i can think about is gestational diabetes and macrosomia.  the second reason is because i want to have a natural delivery, and i know that if we have a big baby, the chances of that are slim.  the last reason is that i want to have a full-term delivery.  i know that babies are considered full term at 37 weeks, and that's great, but i'd like to keep him cooking for as close to 40 weeks as i can. yes, at this moment, baby is measuring a few days ahead of schedule, but our ultrasound tech assures me that he's still falling well within the normal range and i shouldn't worry. 

and today, i just feel huge.  i am uncomfortable.  my back aches.  my stomach feels so stretched it's like it's trying to detach itself from my body.  i am not a happy pregnant woman today.  and having 3 people tell me i'm ready to pop and that my big baby is coming early is not helping.  i feel overwhelmed and scared and sad.  right now, i just want to crawl into a hole and finish out this pregnancy with just me, matt, and my family.  i want to stop seeing people.  i want to stop having people on the street stare at me like i'm a freak of nature. 

but most of all, i just want people to stop commenting on my belly.  is that too much to ask?

october's 31-day photo challenge - self portrait

my sweet hellobee/bloggy friend mrs.jyw at convention bliss linked up with our wired lives' 2012 october photo challenge.  i'd always wanted to link up with one of these but never stumbled across one till, like, the 10th of the month and by that time it seemed stupid.  so here i am, on the first of october, linking up and starting fresh! 

October Photo Challenge 

today's theme is self-portrait.   i took this just now in my office.  i am tired.  i slept terribly on saturday, and then didn't go to bed when i should have last night to make up for it.  i accidentally turned off my alarm this morning instead of hitting snooze, so i woke up an hour late and had to take the later train in to work.  i am wearing my favorite necklace, which was a gift from my mom and step-dad from their trip to italy - it is  murano glass and it is so swirly and pretty.  i just noticed that i have my hand on my belly, which is kind of standard procedure for me these days.  i am so in love with feeling this little boy move around inside of me.  i place my hand on my belly subconsciously i think these days, just to feel him flutter around.

looking forward to seeing how creative i can get with this this month!