Tuesday, July 26, 2011

8:38 pm

I'm just saying, officially late

(at least, according to his excited-to-meet-him-mama's expectations)


Also, turns out that this

was a melon after all!

It looked and tasted suspiciously like a cantaloupe.....

Monday, July 25, 2011

Bumpdate: 39 weeks

39 weeks.....still pregnant.....despite the fact that my water broke on this day when I was pregnant with BB.....doesn't this little man know he is supposed to come sooner than his big brother did? (Isn't that one of the rules of the second pregnancy?)

I guess technically he has until tomorrow evening at 8:38 pm (39 weeks and 1 day) when his big brother was actually born - if he's not here by then, then I declare him officially late. And since J and I (and subsequently BB) are always running late, I guess that makes him officially part of our family.

Ooey, gooey birth stuff:
At my appointment on Thursday, I had to wait for over an hour wearing my wet bathing suit under a t-shirt and workout shorts after rushing to the doctor from BB's last ISR lesson. Thankfully, BB was amazingly well-behaved. Finally, I saw the doctor for about 5 minutes - she said I was measuring 35 1/2 cm, but I firmly reminded her that last week she measured me at 36 1/2 cm and the ultrasound said that he was measuring normally so I think it's just positional. She said that yes, it may just be positional. His heartbeat was normal. She then checked me, and said my cervix is soft and I was dilated 1-2 cm and was 50% effaced, and she told me that she stripped my membranes a little. I was really surprised that she didn't ask or at least tell me that she was going to strip my membranes! By the time I got in the car I was already having lower abdominal cramping - when I got home I googled it, and saw that cramping for a day or so after your membranes are stripped is totally normal, and I thought, "Hmmm, maybe I shouldn't have had to google that - maybe my doctor should have, I don't know, TOLD ME that!" Either way, I was super uncomfortable and emotional all day Thursday, but Friday I was feeling better again, and lo and behold, here I am, still with child.

I feel ready to do this thing! Not like I'm totally prepared or know what to expect or anything like that, but I'm ready to stop talking about it and do the work. It's just my personality, I'm a do-er. I guess that's how I got into this in the first place! (Insert drum and cymbals here to accent my cheesy joke) hahaha....K out. (Unlike my unborn child.)

Friday, July 22, 2011

Sprouts 2011

So we did do a garden again this year, despite the lack of blogging about it thus far. But posting it all now is more fun, because you can see the development over the months all at once, right? (Click here & here to see my gardening adventure last year.)

For me, gardening is an area of my life that is all freestyle - I am lucky to have my own personal gardening guru, my friend Jenny, who is in the midst of blogging her Bountiful and Bountifail gardening series right now, and who gives me detailed, well-researched responses and action plans to all my gardening questions, even though she knows I will only do about 1/4 of what she recommends. Emailing Jenny is generally the extent of my research. I bought my seeds from her seed lady at the Farmer's Market this year (Westwind Seeds - when you live in Southern Arizona, you have to make sure you have breeds that are designed for our climate) and then Jenny also gave me a bunch of seeds she had leftover from her garden. I tried to follow Jenny's instructions to sprout my seeds indoors in a warm, damp area, I really did - we had egg cartons on our master bathroom counter and a couple of pots in our stairwell for weeks (although later Jenny pointed out that I was supposed to do that for a couple months - I had totally missed that in the instructions, even though it was there in black and white when I went back and reread). Somehow I still found myself dumping the egg carton, sans any sprouts, into an empty area of the garden come late March and shrugging my shoulders. I'm still not sure exactly what's growing in that little plot (it's front and center) - I remember some eggplant, some sugar baby watermelons and maybe some squash in the mix I think. But I kind of like it this way. It's all a surprise!

Some things that I do know are growing are our mint and parsley plants that survived from last year. Other than those plants and one tomato plant, everything else in the main garden plot is grown from seed. We did a lot of tomato seeds, some persian melon seeds (recommended by the seed lady) and some basil seeds. We also got some parsley and cilantro transplants that we potted, but the cilantro didn't live very long, and when you see the latest parsley picture, well, it's not in the prime of life anymore either (although neither is the one from last year, so I'm hoping the parsley's sad appearance is weather/heat-related and not accidental plant-slaughter.) We did a bell pepper plant in a pot again this year, also from seeds (instead of a transplant like last year) and right now there are 9 or 10 bell peppers growing on it! Can't wait for them to get bigger so we can eat them.

BB loves to help us water in the mornings, and is getting better about not just pointing the spray at the empty soil but at the actual plants. He tells me "BB's turn, BB's turn." Yesterday he dropped the hose on the ground spraying straight up and I had set it to stay on so that he just has to point it, and we both got soaked by the spray. I was annoyed for a second and then I realized how perfect it was and I laughed (and peeled our soaked clothes off in the privacy of our kitchen). Usually BB just ends up a little damp because he loves to stick his hands in the spray when I'm watering. I tell him when we're eating tomatoes that we grew from seeds and watered in our own garden (we are finally starting to get a lot of tomatoes at once). I hope he keeps these memories.


This is after things had started sprouting a little bit - the front left is the parsley from last year, and the front right is the mint from last year. The back left big plant is our tomato transplant, and all the sprouts around it are tomato seed sprouts. I think the back right sprouts are what I thought were the persian melons...

The parsley and cilantro plants in their heyday


Tomatoes from our transplant, ready to go in our salad


Seeds sprouted, everything looking lush but not overgrown

The potted plant is the bell pepper plants that finally sprouted and grew (it took a while)

The flat-leaf parsley, still looking good

A basil plant I bought at Trader Joe's before my basil seeds sprouted, and then planted. It looked awesome for a while, but now it is getting really dried out. I think I wasn't supposed to let it flower like that.


Our garden, looking overgrown, but this is actually after we put up the trellis, weeded, and thinned out some mint

Our cherry tomato plants on the trellis

Our bell pepper plants, with tons of peppers - the red one was the first. Hoping a few other also turn red!

My sad parsley plant - I have vague memories of someone telling me not to let your herbs stalk, and I have to assume this is what they meant? Still hoping it's just too hot for parsley, not that I did something wrong.

What I thought was a persian melon until I saw this post - guess I will have to just cut it open and see!

Another squash I found growing the other day - the squash vine has spread out amongst the mint (which is almost weed-like!)

Cherry tomatoes ripening on the counter, yum.

Mint leaves drying in the oven - J requested some dried mint leaves to make tea, so today (spurred by a burst of manic energy - and yes, I am definitely wondering if this is an indication of impending labor?) I tried two different drying techniques, as well as read that we can just use the fresh mint directly for tea. I also started making some mint syrup that Jenny had mentioned, which I hope to put in lemonade, iced tea, or maybe even coffee. Jenny puts it in her water, which sounds so refreshing in this heat! I'm really hoping the syrup comes out because I've gotta find a use for all of this mint!

So that's the tour of this year's garden!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Bumpdate: 38 weeks

First things first, thank you to everyone who prayed for our ultrasound last Thursday. God answered our prayers in a direct and obvious manner when the ultrasound tech actually said after measuring him, "Not too big, not too small, just right!" Just like my Goldilocks prayer. I feel like God was showing off a little by answering my prayer so exactly, by giving the ultrasound tech those exact words to say - He makes me smile. And my amniotic fluid levels were also normal. His hand is on us, on this child.

The tech guessed that he weighs around 6 lbs 14 oz, but after my last couple of friends had ultrasound-based-weight-estimates that turned out to be completely wrong when the baby was born, I don't really put any stock in that. He had his hands over his forehead and eyes in a dramatic pose for most of the ultrasound, but we were able to see his nose and chin, which looks like it has a cleft or dimple. I think this was the most exciting ultrasound I've had - it was so fun to see him this late in pregnancy, because I feel like I already know him so well. Seeing glimpses of his very formed little nose and cheeks and chin was just so much fun. And he is definitely still male. Very, very male.

38 weeks
= Heartburn. Heartburn so bad that it wakes me up in the middle of the night, only curable by chewing some Tums and trying to fall back asleep propped upright with pillows. But that's not the only time I get heartburn, it's just the worst time. I have been having heartburn after every meal the last few days. I'm thankful that this severe heartburn has not afflicted me until now, when I know that I only have, max, a couple more weeks that I will have to endure it.

I'm having strong Braxton Hicks inconsistently and the last couple of days I've been feeling crampy in my lower abdomen again. It's hard to tell if it's impending-labor-cramping or just cramping from Baby Boy playing jump rope with my intestines in his limited-square-footage studio apartment.

The last few days I have also started to feel some minor swelling in my hands and feet, mostly just positional. I have been gaining a couple of pounds a week the last few weeks, making up for the weight I didn't gain and even lost a month before that I guess. I am nowhere near as big or swollen as I was at this point with BB though.

I still feel like he'll be coming early, but that's really my only experience since with BB my water broke at 39 weeks - really, you just never know until you know. I am still making plans like normal, although in the back of my mind I wonder if some of these plans will actually happen! J and I feel as ready as we're going to and peaceful about whenever he decides to come on out and join us (and we are definitely doing our part to help facilitate it :) ).

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

First Freckles

My mom has always been able to point out my first freckle. I remember feeling amazed the first time she told me she knew exactly which freckle was my very first, amazed that she could know such a small detail about someone else, be so aware of such a tiny change. When I expressed my surprise, she explained to me that you know everything about your baby and their body because you are with them all the time from the very beginning and you have an intimacy with your child.

The first time I spotted BB's first freckle I remembered that conversation, and took joy in the intimacy of the motherhood role.

I finally (many months later) snapped some photos of BB's first freckles.
Freckle #1:

The next freckles:
BB has a freckle on his left upper back that I didn't get a photo of, and another on his inner left foot.

Bumpdate: 37 1/2 weeks, Nursery is FINALLY done!

At 37 weeks I am not feeling tired of being pregnant, but I am feeling tired of going to the doctor every single week. Today at my appointment I measured normally, even though last week a different doctor said I measured small and because of that I have an ultrasound tomorrow morning to make sure my amniotic fluid is normal and check the baby's growth. The ultrasound is kind of fun when I think about getting a peek at the little man, but I am mostly nervous they are going to find some excuse to induce me at the ultrasound, which I really, really, really don't want. If he measures too small or too large, they are going to want to induce, because of the gestational diabetes - blah blah blah. So we are praying for a Goldilocks ultrasound - that the baby will measure just right.

Speaking of labor talk, that's all that's on my mind now that I am officially "term". I am having Braxton Hicks that are definitely stronger and longer, especially at night or when I am active, and are sometimes accompanied by that menstrual-crampy feeling (which is what my contractions felt like when I labored with BB). I have a friend from work who offered to be my doula, and we met this week and talked all about pain management techniques and my birth plan - I am very excited to have a doula this time around! I really want my labor to start naturally, when the baby's ready - I believe that my body knows what it is doing. And I am so tired of hearing "Even though you're diet-controlled and your blood sugars are well-controlled, blah blah blah gestational diabetes blah blah blah." The doctor I saw today was very supportive of that and recommended walking and some *cough* other activities to get things moving. That's right, it's that time already. I can't believe that we could potentially meet our baby boy any day now. Since this weekend, both J and I feel emotionally prepared, and we have the carseat the in car and my hospital bag packed, and as of this evening, I finally finished my final nursery project -recovering BB's old crib bumper. That project was a bit overly ambitious of me and I am "sew" glad to be done with it (especially since we won't even be using it in the beginning due to the increased risk of SIDS with crib bumper use - I just wanted it to look pretty and add some pizazz to the crib). I told J that if we have a daughter, she's not getting a crib bumper - they're too much work, and it probably would have been easier to make one from scratch rather than recover BB's old one. Of course, I made that declaration mid-project when my sewing machine kept malfunctioning on the last couple of steps and I may or may not have been mildly swearing at both the machine and the minky dot fabric (which was a nightmare to use - my machine and minky dot apparently hate each other). Anyway, now the nursery is DONE!

Which means (in my mind) that baby can come anytime he's ready. I won't mind a few more days of quality time with BB though, since I've mostly been focused on my to-do list since I've been off work. Other exciting things that have gotten "done" in the last couple of days are an unexpected replacement of our refrigerator (which is really a saga in and of itself), a new cell phone for J that actually transmits my phone calls to him which the old one wasn't doing and well, at 9 months pregnant that just won't do, and a new laptop battery because the laptop is just a very skinny desktop computer right now (we have bad luck with laptop batteries). Oh, and J cleaned up the tool-strewn obstacle course that was our garage today. And in the last few weeks I have compulsively washed every piece of fabric that isn't nailed down in our home, and got the carpet and couch cleaned.

BB just chats away about everything, including his baby brother, and pulls up my shirt and rubs my belly when we ask where his baby brother is. He loves to play in the baby's room. He has become very affectionate this past month, and runs up and hugs our legs all the time and is generous with hugs and kisses. He requests "Mama hold BB? Daddy hold BB?" He's also expressing his likes and dislikes - a few weeks ago I made omelets and he announced "BB likes these eggs." It was an impressive, complete sentence, and I was so happy that the first food he announced he liked was something I made for him, and since then he has continued to tell us more about what he's thinking and feeling. BB's in the third week of his ISR refresher course right now, so he's swimming every morning at 9 am. It's been good but it has put a cramp in our morning and I am definitely ready for it to be over and to enjoy a more leisurely morning - thankfully our last lesson is Friday.
Here's BB being a total ham (mid-meal) earlier this week:

If you're thinking his hair looks a little long, don't worry, I gave it a trim tonight.

Okay, time for the great nursery reveal!

(Yesterday I ordered photos to fill the empty frames)

J built the airplane shelf!

I made the "A" out of a cardboard box and a piece of scrapbook paper!

The crib with the crib skirt and bumper that I recovered

Trying to show a better shot of the crib bumper

Aaaand a shot of the closet with all of the little clothes, just for fun.

We already had all of the furniture we put in the nursery, so all we bought was paint, fabric, and a few accessories and new linens. J's mom and sisters bought our baby boy the wooden airplane suspended from the ceiling at an antique fair, and I got the map off of amazon for about $2 (I actually bought several because I used the maps as decoration for Han's world-traveler-themed baby shower, and that's what I used the map bunting for that I hung over the window). And we are so glad that we could keep the pull-out couch in the nursery so we still have guest quarters.

So this is going to be a bump-less bumpdate post, but I wanted to get up the nursery photos. Only a couple more Bumpdates to go!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th!

We celebrated our 4th of July with an early evening rainstorm instead of fireworks - to our thirsty desert, and our water-lovin' boy, it was just as spectacular of a show.

Bumpdate: 36 weeks

36 weeks. As in, almost term. As in, my friend due just two weeks before me had her baby very early this morning, at 12:01 am on the 4th of July (We can't wait to meet you, little firecracker!)

Which means that these will be our last belly photos together, taken at her world-traveler themed baby shower at the end of May:

There's Baby E's momma on the right - they welcomed Baby Boy Z days after this photo was taken. And next is Han, who's baby was born first thing today! See who's next in line?
Just to recap, the two on the right: babies born.
Next in line: Me.

I have to admit, I'm starting to freak out a little.

Which means I spend a lot of time trying to get J freaked out, so that I can feel like the calm, rational one.

My last day of work was this past Saturday - I am now off for "Summer Leave" until out little man makes his appearance, and then my maternity leave starts. No more 12-hour shifts while giant pregnant - I am so thankful. Pregnancy-wise, I am still having the same sleeping troubles, achey legs and tossing and turning. I can tell that the Little Mister's days and nights are going to be confused when he comes out - he is SO BUSY all night long. But I love feeling and watching him move in my belly - it's so fascinating having someone along for my ride all the time. And as challenging as anything physical is right now, I am reminding myself that it's so much easier to care for him now while he's inside my belly, so enjoy the (relative) freedom. At my last appointment the doctor remarked, Wow, his head is really low, isn't it? Which explains the periods of intense pressure I definitely feel at times, especially when he gets really active. And I am still having lots of Braxton Hicks, especially when I bend forward to do something. She actually checked me at my last appointment (since she was doing some other investigating) and she said that my cervix is still very far back (it will come forward with more contractions).

I am so curious about what he will look like, and in what ways he and BB will be similar and different. BB talks about him all the time - his room, my belly, his car seat, his bouncy seat. He seems happy to relinquish all of his equipment to his baby brother (especially when we point out that he's a big boy with a big boy carseat and a big boy bed, etc.). I have been taking fish oil for a while now, recommended by my doctor to ward off any post-partum depression, and I have been feeling very emotionally stable since I started taking it, praise God.

The Gestational Diabetes update is that my weight plateued for a couple of weeks, and then I actually lost weight, but I am still measuring normally so they weren't concerned (although one doc did start to give me the anorexic pregnant girl tone of voice telling me "Weeeellll, we do want you to gain about 30 pounds...." and I quickly told her "Look, I had no problem gaining weight with my first pregnancy. I'm pretty sure it's the 1800 calorie limited carbohydrate diet you put me on for the Gestational Diabetes." Maybe I said it a little nicer. But not too much. Come on.) The next week, after reviewing my blood sugars and discussing the weight issue (I had gained no weight again that week) the doc said that I can eat more calories, and I gained 2 pounds the past week. Because yes, since 30 weeks I have seen the doctor every single week. I am so tired of it! I am not sick, my blood sugars actually tend to run low, I am completely "diet-controlled" - I am a healthy pregnant person! The upside is that because I am diet-controlled and they have now agreed that I am borderline Gestational Diabetic, I have not had to do any additional monitoring, which would mean even more appointments every week.

In an effort to "exercise" J and I have started taking family walks after dinner a few nights a week, and BB loves it. As soon as you mention a walk, he races to the garage door and waits. We also let him play at the parks in our neighborhood sometimes, since it's too hot to go any other time of day. We have been working on the nursery, and, after just last night mounting a shelf that J built, I just have a few finishing touches to go, projects I plan to work on in these last few weeks. I absolutely love his nursery, we all do, and have been spending time in there quite a bit. It will be hard to decide how to combine their rooms when they are a little older and it's time to share a room.

And now for the bump - a friend from college is starting up a photography business, and asked if we would be willing to do a maternity photoshoot to help build her portfolio - oh, and she would do it for FREE! Of course we said yes, and I am so, so happy with how the photos turned out. I can't wait to print and frame these - in our entry, our nursery, and a gallery wall I am hoping to do in the stairwell (a project I have wanted to do for years). These were taken just last Wednesday, when I was 35 weeks and 2 days pregnant.

Aaaaand our favoritest photo of the entire shoot: