Saturday, October 31, 2009

Home Alone

No, it's not the movie from the nineties with that Culkin kid... way before he got busted for pot! But I did splash aftershave on my face this morning. Since Nat is in BR this weekend attending a baby shower for her cousin and her, I thought I'd better write so our followers don't start wondering what's goin' on.

Saturday morning, we're still in one piece here at the house... Lucy has been bathed (evidently she feels this to be a betrayal), I've made a grocery list, and I just have to be here this afternoon for the heating/air guy to perform our annual (or is it biannual?) maintenance. I'll probably try to run to Publix for some previsions before he gets here.

I wanted to give Lucy a walk this morning, but it looks like that storm that whacked Shreveport has finally arrived in the ATL. As long as the Direct-TV doesn't go out, Lucy and I will be just fine here at home... alone. Maybe I'll order pizza... Blue Moon Meateor, YUM!

I almost forgot... I should expect a few Trick or Treaters tonight... that'll be our little Sarah in a few years. I better pay it forward with some Twix, Woppers, and Kit Kat!

Well, better go... Lucy's barking... maybe the Wet Bandits are coming up the drive as I type... AHHH!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Road Trip!

Mom, Jeanne' and I are heading off on a road trip to Baton Rouge for the weekend.  Family there is hosting a baby shower for me and my cousin who is due right before me.  I can't wait to see everyone!  I haven't seen any of the extended family since I've been pregnant and I have quite a big belly to show off now! 
I am also looking forward to the yummy food!  I need to be able to stay longer than a weekend to hit all the places that I have been dreaming of, but we'll get to a few.  A Mary Lee doughnut has been top on my list for some time now.  You just don't find doughnuts like that in Atlanta!
I will have plenty of pictures to post next week after we come back!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

My Huge Baby

Yesterday, a co-worker felt compelled to share with me that she thinks my belly is absolutely HUGE and that she didn't know if I was aware, but I was going to have a huge baby.  She was wondering if my doctor had talked to me about this.  This would have to go toward the top of the "What Not to Say tol a Pregnant Lady" list.  First, no woman wants to be told that she is huge.  Second, no woman wants to hear how you were not that big the day you delivered and you can't believe she has 12 weeks left to go.  Then, there's the fact that no woman thinking about giving birth wants to believe that the baby that will be exiting her body is going to be a huge one, seriously.  Then, I stood in front of a room full of co-workers and delivered a presentation.  Wonder how many of them were listening to my description of an upcoming survey and how many of them could not stop staring in amazement at me and my HUGE belly :)
If it weren't for the fact that she has to come out of me, I really hope that Sarah Graves is a nice plump baby.  I think they're cuter. 

Tights

I have a couple of dresses that I really like, so I picked up some tights to wear with them this Fall.  I was thinking that tights just would not work while pregnant because they would be, well tight.  I have to say that maternity tights are surprisingly comfortable. You know how if you have a tummy, normally tights or pantyhose will roll at the waist when you sit down, then you have to find an opportunity to straighten them out so as to avoid looking like the top area of your abdomen is a big mushroom?  Well, maternity tights come up somewhere just below your bra, so you don't have that problem.  They stay nice and high all day long. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Happy Anniversary!


Three years ago today, I married my best friend.  I sometimes can't believe all that has happened in three short years!  Sweetie, I would do it all over again.  I love our life together. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Belly Shot!


Here's the update:
Are you dreaming about your baby? At 28 weeks pregnant, your baby may be dreaming about you, too. Brain wave activity measured in a developing fetus shows different sleep cycles, including the rapid eye movement phase, the stage when dreaming occurs.
By now, your baby, who weighs in at about two and a half pounds and stands — or rather lies — at almost 16 inches (measured head to toe) has added blinking to his or her growing bag of tricks. (Outside in the real world, blinking is necessary to help keep foreign objects out of the eyes.) Other impressive new talents being added to your baby's roster in the womb include coughing, more intense sucking, and, perhaps most important, better breathing.
The good news is that babies born this week, though premature, have an excellent prognosis because their lungs have reached the point (for the most part) of maturity — so you too can breathe a little easier now. Of course, it's still best if a baby doesn't check out of that uterine hotel just yet — there's still a lot of growing and maturing to do over the next 12 weeks.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Sarah Graves' Future Playmate

When we announced that we were expecting, I mentioned to some friends that maybe they could get on the bandwagon and provide a playmate for our baby.  We found out Saturday evening that our friends Nick and Katie did just that!  They are expecting in May, so our babies will be very close in age. 
I am excited for Sarah Graves to have a playmate, but also excited for Aaron and me that we will have friends who are making this transition with us.  Aaron and I already realize that our focus has shifted to her and are happy to make that transition, but also realize that our friends without kids may not be so eager to talk about babies all the time.  Now we will have some friends who are eagerly awaiting their own little darling and we can make that transition together! 
So happy for you Nick and Katie!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Office Baby Shower

My team at work was kind enough to give me a baby shower today. We had some yummy cupcakes and icecream and a chance to share my excitement with the people that I spend a lot of time with each day.  Some shared advice with me; most of it more humorous than practical. 
They were so generous with the gifts. I was so excited that we started putting things together as soon as I got home.  It was a little like Christmas for us!  I had to take some pictures to show what nice things they picked out for us.
The team went together to get us the high chair, pack'n play, diaper genie, jumper, and bouncy seat.  I can't believe that they gave us all of those things!  I was completely shocked. 








My co-worker David was so thoughtful and gave us the Baby Bjourn.  He and his wife enjoyed using it with their son and he thought it might be something that we would appreciate.  Yes, we do, very much!  Aaron was very excited as this was one baby item that he was interested in getting.  We borrowed the neighbor's baby for the photo. Just kidding!  It's actually one of my beloved dolls that
I have been holding onto for when I had kids. 

Another co-worker, Michael, and his daughter picked out this outfit for us.  I love how the little shirt has 3 doggies appliqued on it and it has the look of being layered like adult clothes!  I also can't get over how tiny these pants are!  She is going to be so little!
I never expected to have so many people come together to help us prepare for our baby.  I am truly grateful.

Hoover


Dinner at our house was a series of mishaps tonight.  The meat that we took out of the freezer was not pork chops like we thought, but a small pork roast.  We could have worked with that, but it was also still frozen.  So, we decided to go for soup and grilled cheese.  Well as the picture demonstrates, I accidently dropped my bowl of soup and it went everywhere.  We called for Hoover and she came over to help start the clean up process.  She is very polite and does not lick off the dishes, so don't worry that if you eat at our house you are going to eat off of a dish that the dog licked.  The positive in this whole thing is we learned that fiesta ware is quite sturdy and can withstand being dropped on the floor.  Lucy learned that chicken noodle soup is another food that she enjoys!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

New Book

I am really interested in natural childbirth and trying to learn as much as I can so that I am equipped to get through labor and delivery.  I started reading this book, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, and have really enjoyed it so far.  Ina May is a well known midwife who runs a birthing center in Tennessee and has been delivering babies for over 30 years.  The reason that I picked her book is that there is a section at the front that includes real women's birth stories that they wrote.  They are pretty short, just a page or two, but they are so inspirational. Most of these women used natural childbirth and it is really empowering to read how they managed labor and so sweet to read about their first moments with their baby.  Everything that I have read has said that a big part of natural childbirth is believing that you are capable of it, so I think these stories will really help me have that confidence.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Birthday to Celebrate

On Sunday we celebrated Mom's birthday by going to dinner at Season's 52.  If you haven't been there or heard of it, the concept of the restaurant is to prepare healthy meals using seasonal produce.  The menu is always changing with what's in season, but some things like their flatbreads seem to always be there.  Their meals are also portioned to be healthy.  You probably still get a fair amount of calories, but it isn't a portion where you will take home enough food to eat for the week.  They also do the desserts in the very small little glass so that you get a taste, but not a lot. 
Here's a photo that Aaron took of me, Mom, Dad, and Jeanne'. 

Belly Shot!


Most babies this age, yours included, still like to snuggle in a slightly curled position inside the uterus (thus the term "fetal position"). Even so, beginning at this stage, your baby's length will be measured from top of head to toe — which makes your baby nearly a full 15 inches now. And at just over two pounds, he or she has doubled in weight from four weeks ago.

Your baby's auditory development (hearing) is progressing as the network of nerves to the ears matures. And even though the sounds your baby hears are muffled (thanks to the creamy coating of vernix covering those ears), he or she may recognize both yours and your partner's voices. So this might be a good time to read and even sing to your baby (or rather, your belly) — and a good chance to start boning up on those nursery rhymes and lullabies you'll need to be repeating (and repeating) pretty soon. And while you're at it, here's another way to have some family fun at 27 weeks pregnant: If your partner presses his ear to your belly, he might be able to hear the baby's heartbeat.
Your baby's taste buds are very developed now too (with more taste buds than he or she will ever have outside the womb, actually). Need a taste test? If you eat some spicy food (you hot mama, you), your baby will be able to taste the difference in the amniotic fluid (but keep in mind that you'll have different mealtimes, with your baby's coming about two hours after yours). Some babies will even respond to that spicy kick by hiccupping. And although hiccups (which feel like belly spasms to you) may seem like they're disturbing to your baby, he or she isn't stressed at all. It's just one more sensation that babies need to get used to.
Sarah Graves definitely likes to be curled up in the fetal position.  Sometimes she is curled up all on one side, which pushes my belly out in that direction and creates an odd sense of pressure there for me.  She will move, if I push my hand on her. 

Monday, October 19, 2009

Cool Snap

Over the weekend Atlanta experienced the first cool snap of the Fall.  This led me to need a few new things to wear.  We headed over to our local Motherhood maternity store.  This is probably the most convenient maternity store and the store manager, Amy, is the nicest person.  She seems to be working evey time we go in there and always remembers us.  She is great about listening to what I need and helping to pick a few items that match the criteria.  I could probably go other places and find more variety or better sales, but she makes it so easy that we keep going back. 
This weekend the needed items were a shirt to wear under a jacket, a sweater to go with some leggings, and a pair of tights.  Have I mentioned how thrilled I am that leggings did not remain a fashion item of the late 80's?  They are so comfortable!  I wish I could wear them to work, but I save them for weekend casual. 

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Community

When we moved here, Aaron did research to find a church that would be a good fit.  We tried out many churches and found one that we liked, but it was a long drive from where we live.  The whole time Aaron kept mentioning this new church that would be starting up.  The first Sunday that the new church, St. Benedict's, had service, we were there.  The church was meeting in a gym at a middle school and we had both set our expectations low so that we wouldn't be disappointed.  We were not disappointed at all, and were quite surprised how friendly everyone was and how much it felt like a church, even though you were worshiping in a gym.  More than a year and a half has passed and we now feel very much like it is our church.  We have friends there, we teach Sunday school, and are looking forward to Sarah Graves growing up in that church. 
I was quite touched when I received an email asking about my due date because the church wants to provide some meals for us before the birth so that we won't have to stress about preparing food those first few days that we are home.  Our church has 8 pregnant women right now, so they are making plans in advance to keep up with the growing families!  It makes me feel good to know that we are part of a community of people who are happy to lend their support. 
I am also excited for Sarah Graves that she will have other kids her age at church.  Not all Episcopal churches are growing like ours, so it is something special to be a part of.  In 2 weeks we move into our new church and the school (yes, there is a preschool and elementary school up and running, too) will move into their new space.  We are all quite excited to have space that is ours and no longer borrowed from the public school where we have been worshiping. 

Update on Sleep

I am pleased to say that I have slept pretty well the last couple of nights.  Let's hope it continues that way!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Insomnia

Last night I woke up at about 1 AM needing to use the restroom, which has become a habit over the past 6 months.  Last night I could not go back to sleep once I was up.  It was the same insomnia that I had during the first trimester.  I wasn't anxious about any particular thing, I was just awake.  After being eluded by sleep for close to an hour and listening to my own very LOUD heartbeat, I decided to get up.  Sarah Graves was awake too and she was hungry.  I thought a snack might help us feel sleepy, but we were both still awake.  I got through my latest issue of Real Simple magazine and still wasn't feeling tired.  Finally, around 4:30 I was a little drowsy and managed to drift off.  It still wasn't good sleep.  I was awake every 20 minutes or so.  Partly because the little girl I am sharing my body with was awake and ready to rock and roll!
Surprisingly, I got up and got going this morning and haven't been too tired.  I am waiting for that afternoon crash that will probably come.  
Please don't let the rest of the pregnancy be without sleep!   

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Belly Shot!


Here's what's happening in there:

Look who's looking. Your baby's eyes — which have been closed for the past few months (so that the retina, the part of the eye that allows images to come into focus, could develop) — are beginning to open at 26 weeks pregnant. What this means is that your baby is able to see what's going on now (unfortunately the view in your uterus isn't all that exciting). But do try this at home for kicks (baby's that is): Shine a flashlight at your stomach. Your baby might kick in response (as in: "Get that light out of my eyes!").



The iris, the colored part of the eye, still doesn't have much pigmentation (that'll fill in over the next month or two), so it's too early to start guessing your baby's eye color. Even the color your baby will be born with might not be the permanent shade; so you may be kept guessing until your baby is close to six months old.


Look what else is going on this week: Your baby's brain-wave activity is kicking in at this stage in fetal development, which means your little one can not only hear noises but can now also respond to them. Not in so many words, of course, but with an increase in pulse rate or activity.

And talking about activity, at your baby's current height and weight (about nine inches tall and two pounds), and at the rate he or she is growing, your baby will soon be feeling a little cramped in your uterus. Not to worry, there's still plenty of room for your baby to grow. It just means your gymnast will have less room for those somersaults, cartwheels, and other Olympic feats.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Hospital Tour

We went for our tour of Northside's Women's Center yesterday.  This hospital delivers more babies (around 20,000 a year) than anywhere in the country and 40% of them are delivered by C-section (not a high point in my book).  I'm glad we did the tour just to find out where is the right spot to go in when you're in labor!  I was hoping that seeing the place where we would deliver would help with some of my growing anxiety around the birth.  It did and it didn't.  I'll try to explain. 
 
We heard and saw some good things that I was pleased about:
The labor and delivery rooms are very large with plenty of room to move about.
You don't have to wear their gown, if you don't want to.
The rooms have wi-fi, so we can update everyone the blog on our progress.
There are a lot of measures in place to prevent someone taking her out of the area where babies should be (i.e., stealing her).
There are controls on the bed to work the lights and the temperature (sounds convenient).
 
There were some other things that made me feel like maybe a home birth really is more of what I wanted: 
Moms in labor can only have ice chips and popsicles.
When you arrive, you need to get in the bed and start the monitoring.  I am going to inquire further about this rule because I was led to believe that I would not have to stay in bed.
When she is delivered, she will immediately go over to be checked out, measured etc.; meaning she won't be in my arms or breastfeeding in those first few minutes.
If there aren't any complications, 2 hours after delivery you have to move to another, smaller room.
There are lactation consultants, but if you have a normal delivery they probably won't get to you before you go home
 
I have been doing a lot of reading about natural childbirth and things like being able to eat and drink during labor will help you stay hydrated and give you energy and also help baby to endure the stress of labor better.  I have also read that birth is painful for babies and one of the most soothing things for them is to be able to nurse right after delivery.  This also helps to immediately establish breastfeeding and release hormones that help with Mom's recovery after delivery.  Knowing myself, I think that I will be able to cope with labor a lot better if I can move around and keep trying different things rather than be stuck in that bed.  I am also nervous about them wanting to turn over the labor and delivery room because that may mean that you get pushed into a C-section if they need the space and your labor is progressing slowly.  I know you think it wouldn't happen, but from the research I have been doing, it happens rather often. 
 
Hopefuly at my next appointment with the midwife I can bring up some of these concerns and we can identify a work around or something. 
 

Friday, October 9, 2009

Rocking and Rolling

So not a lot of new stuff happening at our house.  Sarah Graves seems to be moving a lot.  The last couple of evenings Aaron has been feeling our little acrobat as she tumbles around.  She must be developing some coordination or maybe she's just getting to the point where her size makes it possible to feel her punch or kick in two places at once!  Sometimes she moves with such force that it tickles and I can't help but giggle.  Maybe not the best decorum for a meeting, but she and I are being entertained.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

And the hits just keep coming...

I am enjoying being pregnant, truly, but some of the changes that take place just add insult to injury.  This would explain why there are days when I feel like my limited vision is even more limited than normal:
 
Your eyes are yet another seemingly random part of the body affected by those kooky hormones at 26 weeks pregnant. During this time, your vision might be less sharp (Is that you, Honey?) and your contact lenses might be less comfortable to wear. (A wild new pair of glasses may be just the look right now — literally.)  Another twist in the eye story:  Even though fluid retention may be partially to blame, ironically, your eyes may be drier than ever.  But don't worry — eye symptoms, like skin symptoms, will disappear after delivery.  Just be sure to let your practitioner know what's going on, so he or she can…well, keep an eye on things.

Thank goodness the drier eyes will clear up after delivery!


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Belly Shot!


At nine inches and more than a pound and a half in weight, your baby is taller than two juice boxes stacked one on top of the other, and almost as heavy as four of those little boxes (an analogy you'll find particularly apropos in a few years, when those juice boxes start taking over your refrigerator, your pantry, your car.…).

Don't look now (as if you could), but your baby's skin is turning pinker. No, not because he or she's getting overheated (in fact, the amniotic fluid is perfectly climate controlled, keeping your baby at an always comfortable temperature), but because small blood vessels, called capillaries, are forming under the skin and filling with blood. Later this week, blood vessels will also develop in your baby's lungs, bringing them one step closer to full maturity — and one step closer to taking that first breath of fresh air. But at 25 weeks pregnant, those lungs are still very much works in progress. Though they are already beginning to develop surfactant, a substance that will help the lungs expand after the baby is born, the lungs are still too undeveloped to sufficiently send oxygen to the bloodstream and release carbon dioxide when he or she exhales.
The lungs aren't the only system that's gearing up for air intake. Your baby's nostrils, which have been plugged up until now, are starting to open this week. This actually allows your little one to begin taking practice breaths. (Of course since there's no air in there, your baby is really only "breathing" amniotic fluid, but it's the practice that counts, right?)

Lusting Over a Newborn

Last night I had a Junior League meeting and the lady who sat next to me brought her 3 week old baby girl.  I became so enthralled with that baby!  I tried to pay attention to the meeting, but spent most of my time lost in some daydream watching that baby stretch and make faces.  She was so sweet and cuddly looking!  I know the mother didn't offer for me to hold her because she knew that I might become that crazy person who runs out with her baby!  I can't wait to have my own baby so that I can watch her every move!  Sarah Graves is going to be so spoiled to being held, but I don't think that I will be able to help myself.
 

Monday, October 5, 2009

Check-up

Today I had a check-up and all is well.  For me, my blood pressure and weight gain are great.  Sarah Graves has a good heartbeat in the 140s and based on the measurements of me is growing well.  I did a glucose test to check for gestational diabetes and an iron check, but won't receive any results on that unless there is a problem.  The sugary stuff that you drink for the glucose test had Sarah Graves moving all around when we listened for the heartbeat.  Mom came with me to the appointment today, so she got to hear Sarah Graves' heartbeat, too! 
Everything seems to be progressing well!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

St. Francis Day

Saturday was the annual St. Francis Day festival at our church.  The weather was beautiful and we took Lucy out for a great time!  Because it was also the LSU v. UGA game, we were all in our LSU gear.  Lucy was especially cute sporting her LSU bandana.  While at the festival Lucy had lots of attention, received a special blessing, Aaron and I ate lunch, and Lucy had lots of human food including Chick-Fil-A and an assortment of chips!  She was a happy doggie!



Lucy receiving her pet blessing. 


Lucy just looking cute!

Appetizer Dinner

On Friday night we had Sarah and Pradeep over for a dinner of nothing but appetizers!  It was absolutely yummy!  We made pigs in a blanket, mozarella sticks, buffalo chicken dip, and cupcakes.  Sarah and Pradeep brought the cutest mini caesar salads and a yummy dip with cheese, pecans and strawberry jam (sounds odd, but tastes wonderful!).  I wanted to take a photo of our fabulous spread, but I let the camera battery run down and everyone was ready to dig in.  It was such a fun meal and they are fun to hang out with.  Can't wait to do it again soon!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Fall and Winter Maternity Clothes

So, Atlanta is experiencing the first bit of cool weather this week and I am realizing that I am going to need more long sleeve shirts.  The idea that all pregnant women experience more warmth during their pregnancy seems to be false for me.  I do not feel any more warm now and I am still cold all the time at work.  That is ALL the time at work.  So, I need to find some long sleeve items. 
The weird thing is that most places I visit online do not have a lot of long sleeves.  They have mostly short and 3/4 sleeve tops with a few long sleeve T-shirts thrown in.  Most years when I am shopping anytime in August and September it is swealtering hot outside and the stores are all decked out in layered looks with corduroys and tweeds.  I will just have to continue with wearing a cardigan most days; a look that Aaron commented makes me look like a factory worker.  Why wearing a cardigan reminds him of factory workers I cannot say, but I am going to make the leap that looking like a factory worker is not something that one would aspire to.   
If you're out shopping in maternity stores (I know you all are secretly visiting Motherhood to check out the fashions) and see some attractive long sleeve tops, please post a comment to let me know.