Thursday, March 31, 2005

Week 23

Well, thanks to thinga sending me links to awesome outfits, I now have a wish list set up at Hot Topic as well. I'm not really sure what the protocol for clothes is. Do you just pick the designs you like and not worry about specifying sizes? That's what I did. I guess if you get something that's too big you just wait until it fits!

Mr. b has finally started to feel Child Person moving around inside me. He says it feels really tiny, like a kitten paw-pawing through something like a blanket. Feels a whole lot more intense from the inside! I've happened to have my hands on my stomach and feel him a couple of times when they were really big kicks. I compared it to the Borg assimilation chairs in the Vegas ride. I imagine that'll only increase as he gets bigger and more active. And then it'll totally be like the second Picard fake out dream when he has the implant burst out of his cheek when we can actually *see* Child Person moving about in there.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Diablo Cody is the frickin' coolest "Porn Star" of all time. Seriously. There was a mysterious package at our house yesterday. What did it turn out to be? Teeny tiny checkered Vans for Child Person! Wicked awesome. That was so utterly sweet and unexpected of her. And now C.P. can match his daddy! (And Jeff Spicoli and Charlie from Lost.) They're so cute we had to put them on the shelf out in the living room instead of just stashing them with the rest of our collected baby loot in the nursery. Ladies at work are already clamoring for me to bring them in so they can see the cute in person. We are so going to be jamming them onto the poor little guy's feet long before he actually fits them.

I finally started an online registry. I'll do a better one at Target or someplace when it gets closer to Auntie G's big fancy baby shower. So many folks have asked if I have one that I figured I shouldn't wait any longer and just get *something* going.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Way back in January I was getting these cramps that turned out to be stomach acid. Before I had called Doc I went through the indexes of all the preggo-lit and read everything about all the different kinds of cramps possible during pregnancy. The one I found most odd was post-orgasm cramping. So what happened to me last week? That's right. The post-orgasm cramp. I sure hope it doesn't become a regular visitor. Since then I've also had an uncomfortable tightness in my muscles right at the leg/torso bend. Not the inner thigh so I don't think it's the groin muscle proper and not the outer thigh either. Right on top. Auntie G said she was plagued by that, too.

I've decided that I'm "carrying low". I have a very long waist so I suppose not everyone's uterus has geographical options. But whenever I feel Child Person moving about he's always way at the bottom, right above my pubic bone. I rarely feel any movement even as high as my belly button. Maybe that's why it hasn't popped out yet?

Thursday, March 24, 2005

I just had my first baby shower! I was totally surprised. I thought I was just meeting some of the choir ladies for lunch. After all, some of us sopranos promised each other we would stay in touch during the off season this time. But when I got there they had presents! And cupcakes! I now have a cute little teddy bear rattle, blue jammies, and blue blankie, plus a nice baby photo album with a quilted Bug on the cover (Otto Rodriguez, our Jetta, will be glad we're keepin' it in the VW family). Mr. b will be most excited about that one I think. Every time we're in Target these days he asks about getting a scrapbook. I guess we'll put the ultrasound photos and the test results in it for now.

I find that as I'm getting further and further along and closer to the reality of having a child, I'm having a more difficult time thinking of myself as a mom. I was looking in my closet last night, trying to make room for the maternity shirts that have made it into rotation. I was overcome by a strong urge to get rid of everything pre-pregnancy. It was like I was telling myself that moms aren't supposed to dress like that. Which of course is bullshit. Every time Mr. b worries that he doesn't look like a dad I remind him that "dads look like all kinds of things." Apparently I need to remind myself that moms do, too.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Week 22

The official ultrasound results arrived in the mail yesterday: "normal". That's it. One word. I chuckled and then called Mr. b with the good news. I need to call my brother with the other news that came with it. My due date has been bumped up 3 days to July 24. My brother's birthday is the 26th and he is just desperate that his nephew should share. Maybe he has grandiose Bilbo and Frodo joint party plans. No matter what, they'll be close together. Mr. b is convinced that Child Person will definitely arrive on his uncle's birthday. There is familial precedent already. My mom's oldest brother did not get a bike on his 8th birthday, he got a baby sister--my mom! (Then 27 years later Frank Zappa and Captain Beefheart recorded their excellent Bongo Fury live in Austin, TX. Exactly 10 days later I was born.)

I think I'm entering the farty phase of pregnancy. I just keep thinking of that scene where Miranda totally smoked Carrie out of the shoe store.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

I finally rode my exercise bike again last night. (While watching 24; is Dina really dead? NOOO!!!) I was particularly lazy last week and got out of the habit of riding while watching my TV addictions. (Gonna watch American Idol anyway, might as well do something productive during it.) I feel so much better when I'm active. I don't just mean when I'm preggasaurus either. In general. I need to obey Olivia Newton John and get physical.

I have kind of been viewing this whole pregnancy thing as marathon training. Last summer I sort of kind of did regular sit-ups to help prepare my abs for the since-I-was-planning-to-go-off-the-pill-soon inevitability. Getting my bike stolen last July did nothing to help me continue riding to work but I still went on regular walks. I figured that if I was going to take a stab at "getting in to shape", pre-knocking up was the time to do it. Physical fitness helps make your pregnancy easier, helps make the birth easier, helps make your post partum recovery easier. It seems that most women think that they have to make the big push to firm up and trim down before they get married. Why? He obviously already loves you. You're just being vain. And besides, those women are probably the same ones that apply massive import to still fitting into their wedding dress years later. Wouldn't you have worse odds of it fitting if you were abnormally thin at the time?

So even though I could have done better gym-related prep, now I need to keep up whatever activity I can while currently gravid. I find that I'm already incorporating the best (for me) prenatal yoga moves into my regular personal dance/karate/yoga discipline. Riding a stationary bike is something I can do no matter how big my stomach gets. I don't have to worry about balance but I still get some aerobic action. And thank god spring is finally starting to show itself so I can go for more walks.

Monday, March 21, 2005

We've got the Star Wars posters up. We also framed a nice schematic of the NCC-1701 (no bloody A, B...) and it looks awesome on the wall above the crib. Now we just need to spread the word to friends and family that we're going with a "celestial theme" for the nursery. Hopefully that way we'll end up with cartoon rockets and smiley faced comets. Instead of teddy bears playing sports.

While on our way to buy the frames on Saturday we ended up hitting the biggest pot hole in the Midwest. And Child Person jumped! I thought it was kind of funny and just harassed Mr. b for his poor driving and then forgot about it. But the next day I was informed that Mr. b did some preggo-lit research. It seems that this is about the time in fetal development when the baby gets the "startle reflex". Huh. I never would have guessed you get that while still in the womb. Now I'm waiting for the poor little guy to start freaking out the next time Mr. b shouts at him through my stomach, "Hey! Child Person! Wake up!" But I suppose it also explains why there has been regular movement the past week or so when I first get to work. That bus ride is pretty bumpy.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Well then. There's a crib in the blue room now. It's funny that we painted the guest room blue when we moved in. Just thought it was a nice color. Last weekend Mr. b drove out to SoDak to pick up a load of hand-me-down baby furniture--including the crib that his parents had set up in their spare room for when they were on babysitting-the-grandbabies duty. We still have to fully rearrange the room. I want to hang those Star Wars posters. Obviously the queen size bed will have to leave, but it's fine pushed up against the corner for now. The room had been the catch all place for the baby stuff already. But somehow piles of maternity clothes, preggo-lit, toys, and baby clothes didn't seem *that* real yet. But a crib. That's major. We put Squeakers Squirrel in it so she could get used to the smell of the new furniture and whatnot. Mr. b was getting all choked up when he put in the two little stuffed animals he personally picked out for his son. It was very sweet.

We've been occasionally freaking ourselves out about just how long it's been already. I mentioned something about December and Mr. b gasped. And yet, that's how long we've known. I peed on the stick on the 5th or 6th. Then I gasped when he pointed out that we've been living in our new house pregnant for longer than we lived in it not pregnant. At the doctor's office we were both amazed at how much less scary it is now than that first confirmation appointment. I pointed out that back then, I hadn't ever been pregnant before. It was a complete unknown. Now I've got several months of being pregnant practice behind me. Experience blah blah perspective-cakes.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Week 21

I've finally gained some weight! I knew I had to have since I'm physically bigger now and so is Child Person. I've gained 7 pounds since last month's appointment. Doc hadn't been concerned at all but she was also glad to see that I started gaining. She has magic ears when it comes to listening to the heartbeat. The ultrasound tech had measured it at 150 beats per minute and it turned out Doc wrote just that on her sheet--she didn't use a watch or anything. Doc also said, "Sounds like a boy." Sure we had told her the sex but according to Doc, boys just sound different. Their heartbeats are somehow more deliberate as well as slightly slower. I joked it was because Mr. b is a bass player.

Doc hadn't seen the ultrasound results yet. She figured they were sitting in her box. But in her normal casual fashion she waved it off and said that if anything was wrong they would have flagged her down. So I'm not concerned at all.

I had blood taken (finger prick) so they could check my hemoglobin levels. First time I've had non-pee related lab work since the initial visit. I was very interested to see the results. I'm totally in the normal range! I was concerned when I was told to quit my twice daily iron supplements and just take the prenatals. I mean, I've been severely anemic since puberty! But duh. I'm not menstruating while pregnant so right there I'm retaining much more blood than normal. I sure haven't felt that horrible weakness like my life force is being drained out of me that I always associated with low iron levels.

Monday, March 14, 2005

I met with a friend this weekend who is about 5 or so weeks behind me in her first pregnancy. We hadn't seen each other in a very long time so it was great to catch up. But it was also great to talk to someone that was actually, currently pregnant. As helpful as getting advice is, I have to wonder how much of it is retro-vision since now those women have the end product to deal with. (Excepting Auntie G, who knows me too well to ever give me the rose colored glasses version, and thinga, who's in the middle of Number 2 so she'd have to try to convince herself of any bullshit, too.) My friend thought it was great to be able to talk to someone who she knew wouldn't get sick of the topic. I know I'm always wondering just how much people actually care and how much they're just being polite. It's a tough line to straddle.

It was also nice to be with someone who just accepted the frequent pee breaks because she was taking them, too. And the tiny stomach thing. We both ate dinner at a ridiculously slow pace and both were full with half our plates left. No excuses needed.

And to answer Diablo's question, yes my hair is growing crazy fast. I didn't know it was because of the prenatal vitamins though. My stylist at my last haircut said it was just regular ol' hormones. And she also warned me about the chemo patient level of hair shedding after you give birth. Thankfully I had previously been enlightened. I haven't really noticed a severe drop-off in my regular shedding yet.

Friday, March 11, 2005

I had assumed that by this time I'd have chosen sides in the sweet vs. salty battle. It seems like everyone I've spoken to and all the Old Wives Tales I've heard mentioned falling in line behind one or the other. However, I seem to be strengthening in my normal position of keeping them in equal amounts. But like, it's getting really ridiculous. Last night I was sitting in bed with a box of Triscuits and a box of Girl Scout cookies, going back and forth between one and then the other. This morning for second breakfast I had a garlic bagel and then immediately had some chocolate. Should be interesting to see if I drive myself OCD.

I'm really frickin' sore today. My thighs are just killing me. I finally got a chance to do the yoga tape last night but apparently I was too enthusiastic. At least sore leg muscles is something I've experienced in my past. And my belly doesn't feel tight anymore so I guess it's a small price to pay!

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Week 20

Holy shit. Week 20? That's halfway. Scary. But then again, I didn't even know I was preggers for the first buncha weeks. So it won't feel like I've only got half left to go for several more weeks. Or am I rationalizing?

I'm feeling very tight in my belly again. Doing the prenatal yoga tape really helped with that last week so I guess I should do that again. The goofy guru lady said very soothing things about having enough room for you and your baby. Sometimes I need to hear the hippie side of it all. I guess that's the Gemini in me. Sure I'm very rational and logical and even keeled. But the other part of me is more concerned with keeping my chakras in balance and picturing my bad energy leaving out my third eye. And damn if it doesn't work. When I did the tape last time, and we got to the visualizing segment, as usual the image of Brahma meditating on the lotus came to me. But this time I got this incredible feeling of warmth and was shocked by the realization that I'm the lotus. That doesn't look right now that I'm trying to put it into words so maybe I should go back to my practice of not trying to explain my personal relationship with the universe. But it was a very powerful feeling of Life Creator. And I have to let my hidden other half out when dealing with those kinds of impressions. I have a feeling she'll be spending more time out of her room as this pregnancy goes on.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

It's a Boy

"Gender Appears Male" That's the caption on two of the five ultrasound pictures we got to take home with us. Close-ups of the baby's package, with a little arrow pointing at the weiner and balls. (Two others were fabulously clear profiles.) I asked the technician what the accuracy rate of these determinations usually was. "In this case? 90%." Both Mr. b and I had gut feelings for the past couple of months that it was a boy. But you can't voice them or people will think you don't want a girl. That wasn't it. We both just *sensed* it.

I had no idea how much stuff they check out during the ultrasound. Technician had a whole list of images she needed to capture. They all get provided to the radiologist who then reads the pictures and provides the exam results to Doc in time for our visit next week. I'm certainly no expert but I counted two hands, two arms, two feet, two legs. Internal organs were on the inside. Facial features in the correct locations. Four ventricles in the heart. A spine. You know, the big stuff. There was nothing so obviously wrong that my untrained eye spotted it.

It was still kind of surreal. Sure I felt Tech moving the scanner thingie over my belly and I saw the images on the monitor hanging above us. But it was hard to connect the two and realize that what we were viewing was inside me. Mr. b teared up a couple times.

Child Person was squirming all over the place and Tech had to constantly readjust her angle to get the shots she needed. I could barely feel it. Which, considering how fiercely I have felt movement previously, means that damn, C.P. is going to end up as much a fidgety spazz as his father. It took Tech multiple tries to get a solid reading on the heartbeat. 150 beats per minute. Apparently there's a broad range for 2nd trimester babies. Also, apparently when we hear the heartbeat at the regular visits, it's actually the umbilical cord. The blood courses through it at the rate of C.P.'s heart, not mine.

Of course we went out for dinner after the appointment. And of course Mr. b brought the pictures in with us so he could keep looking at his son. (I just love Mr. b so much.) And of course we had a semi-constant stream of servers and managers stopping by to coo over the pictures and congratulate us.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Ultrasound Day

Halfday for me today because then I have to drink 32 ounces of water, not pee, and go have an ultrasound. As thinga put it, I hope Child Person puts on a good peep show!

Mr. b and I spent craploads of money this weekend. We bought a digital camera finally. I am sick of analog pictures and want nothing to do with film, negatives, and prints of bad shots ever again. Not to mention doubles. Yes, we're going to take shitloads of pictures of C.P., but I want to be able to just burn them off onto a CD if they're not going to a) get added to the scrapbook, b) get sent off to friends and family, or c) get framed and hung on the wall. I wanted to have this new camera early enough that we can figure out all its tricks long before we're dealing with lack of sleep, poo and vom.

I also got some maternity clothes. Holy crap they are expensive! We ran into a lady Mr. b knows and she asked if we got "any good deals." "Not really." But I now have two new pairs of pants--jeans and pin-striped khakis--that are stylish, don't have that nasty elastic band, and will continue to fit me for the next few months. Mr. b also picked out two shirts for me. I honestly like hand-me-downs but he's right, having something new that's your own and is actually your correct size is a good thing for psychological well being. Plus, he's really good at picking out shirts for me. Thankfully I shouldn't have to spend much money on anything for in the heat of the summer. I can make dresses and just buy hippie dresses at Ragstock or something. What I really need is some kind of a Sugar Mama that wants to buy me maternity clothes and other presents. Or maybe I should try to work on Diablo's suggestion of posting a registry....

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Milestone: this morning a random lady that works on this floor passed by me and asked if I was "expecting". She said that I just "popped out". Of course that's not the same as a complete stranger but it's still someone that wouldn't already know I was preggers. I officially look pregnant.

For the last couple of months I've had bloody nostrils. I don't mean classic nose bleeds where it gushes out and you have to stop it up. My dad gets those. I just mean that when I blow my nose the snot is bloody or when I clean my nose ring there's some scabbiness attached. Gross, I know. But I figured it was just a particularly dry winter or something. Instead, it's apparently yet another pregnancy side effect. The nasal membranes are somehow affected like the cervix is. Only the cervix has to change because it's about to have a job to do. Bloody noses are just a fun party bonus.

And boy, Doc wasn't kidding when she warned about cervical soreness during sex. Mr. b and I eventually figured out how to not go too deep and hurt me. But now of course my belly is starting to totally get in the way.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Week 19

I'm back to being hungry all the time. I think it's because Child Person is doing less development and more actual growing. And wiggling! So I'm definitely going through calories. Since, as of the last doctor appointment, I still haven't gained any weight, I'm starting to be bad with the snacks. Sure I'm still very healthy with the yoghurt and fruit in the mornings but afternoon snacks are more and more likely to be potato chips or a candy bar. Which isn't bad per se, just not something I should do every single day. Although I clearly could use the grams of fat. I'm also developing quite the Dr. Pepper addiction. I wasn't that big on caffeine before but now I can't seem to get enough. Again, probably not *bad*, but also not something I should cultivate.

I guess my lack of weight gain made a male friend feel much better about any future pregnancies of his fiancée. We saw him on Saturday night for the first time in several months. He told Mr. b that he was shocked that I looked so good. He thought that all women just automatically ballooned up at least 80 pounds when they got pregnant. Mr. b's (very astute) theory is that so many women starve themselves naturally that they're totally underweight and when they do get knocked up, they overcompensate.

And now for something completely different. Womba thought I should play the blog game that's going around.
"Grab the nearest book, turn to page 123, find the fifth sentence, and post the text of the following three sentences on one's own blog. Anyone who hunts down an "intellectual" book from some box down in the basement is disqualified!"
So from All Things Wise and Wonderful by James Herriot:
'Aye, 'e lies a lot wi' his head at foot of t'door. It's draughty there.'
'No, Mr. Close!' I bawled.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

This morning I decided to try on an old bra that never fit me correctly. It was always a bit too big in the cups despite its puported size so it was definitely a laundry day bra. But now? I fill it out quite perfectly. Huh. I guess that means I should maybe go bra shopping. I hadn't noticed that my old ones were getting too small but if I continue to get bigger....

So far today Child Person is seriously gettin' down with the boogie get down. It's almost annoying there's so much flipping and swimming about going on in there. Apparently the correct term for feeling fetal movement is "quickening". That just makes me giggle and think of Duncan McLeod of the Clan McLeod. Nothing is big enough for Mr. b to feel yet though, despite his constant efforts.