Friday, March 28, 2008

Alert! Babies cost MONEY!

Why did no one tell me how much these tiny miracles cost? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Tim asked me today for a breakdown of the "big ticket" items that we need to have in place before the boy comes home in July. These items consist of the crib (he can't sleep in my dresser drawer, though I have though about it...I have a couple cashmere sweaters for coziness--NOTICE! Thanks be to my mother who ordered the crib for me over the weekend; we love her and think her a goddess), the changing table/dresser (costing more than my dresser, niiiccceee work kid), a stroller (we are not getting into this debate), car seat, clothing/layette, swing, bouncer, carrier, etc. The list goes on and on.

Now, I am fully aware that we may be gifted with many of the smaller items at my shower in May. But the changing table, stroller, and car seat are on our list of things to buy. Yes, I know I don't NEED to have these things in place by the time the baby gets here...except for the car seat. Word on the street is that the nurses at the hospital won't let you take the baby home without a properly installed car seat. Pfft. Nonsense, I tell you.

So we will be just fine without all the other "stuff". Its just a matter of the raging, crazy hormones that make me, nay FORCE me, to be ultra-prepared for the baby's arrival. Its a sickness and there is nothing I can do to stop it. So, Tim is just going to have to be patient and understanding and quick with the credit card. And you all have to keep me away from the baby clothes. This poor child will have the same outfit in 3 different sizes JUST IN CASE.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Because you so want an update about nothing

These past couple of days I have been feeling pretty low about the whole placenta thing (and NO that was not an intended pun...but it is kind of funny). I still don't know what I am going to do about work, but boy, do you people know how to convince me that laying on the couch all day, every day is the most stellar idea in the universe. So, it is still up for much consideration. I've been taking it easy and keeping my feet up even as I sit here in my cubicle at work typing this very missive. I'm hoping to discuss my work options next Tuesday with my boss since he so rudely left today before I could waddle myself into his office and announce my plans.

Also, I have been feeling my belly tighten up at times and this makes it oh so uncomfortable to sit still. Kind of like when you run a mile after not running a mile for years and your side stitches up? Yep, like that but in front and all across the belly. I had myself convinced that the boy was just pushing hard all over at one time, but then I had another one today and thought, hey! This could be what those crazy folks were talking about: Braxton-Hicks contractions! Holy mother of god. These B-H contractions are NOT from the imagination of the web masters. Every site I visit looking for information about the B-H contractions describes them differently, but the gist is that they're relatively painless (true) and your belly tightens all the way across, like your muscles are tensing (true), and that is essentially your uterus contracting. Supposedly this is practice for labor. Without the pain of labor. Thank god. Could you even imagine how awful that would be?

Oh and I need to stop reading blogs about pre-term babies who weigh two pounds at birth and are in the NICU for months and there is no guarantee that they will live, etc. Those stories, though sad and hopeful at the same time, do not stop a hormonal, crazy pregnant woman from thinking terrible thoughts. I dig my own hole, yes?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Menace to South Central

So you all thought I would come back here with some stunning pictures of my new-ish painted rooms and the nursery in all its hardwood floor glory (goodbye smelly carpet!). Alas, that is not the case, though that post is on my mind and will make an appearance shortly. Things must be tweaked a bit more before I can feel good about the photos.

Anyhow, the rest of this post is going to contain words like placenta, uterus, cervix, vaginal, etc. so if you are feeling a tad squeamish or uninterested in my inner workings, please take your leave. For those of you with your sea legs, here is the news. My doctor calls today and is all like "Hey! What's up?". Completely casual and flippant. Maybe that is her way of throwing me off the scent of Danger! and Unforeseen Complications Ahead! I know her game though and am on to her from the first breath. She brought up my Level 1 ultrasound results, the ultrasound where the tech took a looky-loo at my cervix and the location of my placenta and declared the placenta to be "a little low, though nothing to worry about". Ha. Famous last words.

So now, my doctor is "concerned" about the placenta. It has, in fact, implanted itself a mere 2 centimeters above my cervix. So what? you say. Let me explain for all you non-pregnancy obsessed folks. When the placenta implants over and touching the cervix, it is called placenta previa and almost always results in a c-section delivery. When the placenta covers the cervix, it means that the placenta would deliver before the baby in a vaginal delivery, which would be very BAD and could result in all manner of birth problems and even death for the mother and/or baby. Let me be clear that I DO NOT have placenta previa.

Instead, my placenta is what is called a low-lying placenta, which means its implanted 2-3 centimeters above the cervix. Most times, the placenta implants along the top or sides of the uterus, which is good and safe. When it is so near the cervix, as in my case, there is the possibility of delivering the placenta before the baby, with the same results as above. So, a c-section delivery would be necessary, if the placenta does not move upwards in the uterus. 70-80% of the time, when a placenta is diagnosed as low-lying at the Level 1 ultrasound (at 20-22 weeks), it moves up and far enough away from the cervix before delivery to have a safe vaginal delivery with few to no complications. This can happen as the uterus and baby grow northward into the mother's body. So, that is news of the positive variety. But, I won't know for 5-7 more weeks until we have the next ultrasound whether or not my placenta is behaving and has moved itself into a safe place.

In the meantime, my doctor has prescribed the following: no exercise, no "relations" with my husband (Gah! Mom and Jojo, don't read that! I feel so weird even saying that.), and feet up as often as possible. This is definitely not bed rest, which is excellent, because bed rest for 16 weeks might just push me over the edge. But it is a modified form of "don't do much else but hang out on the couch, possibly make a Target run every once in a while, and read gossip blogs all day". Or at least that is my interpretation. But what do I do about my two days a week at work? Not to be all dramatic (seriously), but I am concerned about it. I'm lucky to have the option to not work, and I don't plan to once the baby comes. But now that this diagnosis has been made, I feel weird about continuing to work even these two days, if there is any possibility of danger to the baby. Most likely, all will turn out fine, but if not, I will always wonder if I could have done better for my boy and stayed home.

I want a healthy pregnancy and a safe delivery that results in a happy baby. I don't even care about delivering vaginally vs. a c-section, because at the end of the day, it doesn't matter how he gets here, just as long as he gets here safely. But do I spend these next 5-7 weeks until the ultrasound just working and wondering or do I nip it all in the bud now and make myself a permanent indentation on the couch at home?

Friday, March 21, 2008

Why am I so awkward?

I'm about to make my first mommy friend, and I am just so petrified. Its like high school all over again and I'm the new girl on the block with the not as pretty hair. Let me explain. I have a few new-ish friends who are mothers, but I met them all prior to the births of their babies. And the majority of my other girlfriends are not on the baby train yet (though I encourage the ones who are close to just get the hell on already! Babies! Munchable thighs and monkey toes!) Now, my neighbor (we shall call her A) and I have plans to get together this afternoon and "chat". This is the same neighbor with the most adorable 7 week old little boy that I may have threatened to steal and devour because he is just so edible. But I don't know how to "chat"! I'm weird! And awkward! Most of you know that already!

A invited me to take a walk with her and the baby today, but a March snowstorm this morning meant no walk. Instead, she may come over here with the baby or I'll go over to her house. But! What if I am awkward and ask too many questions, or my allergies start to act up which make my eyes tear for no reason and look like I am about to cry when really all she said was how her baby loves to look at himself in the mirror? Or what if she comes over here and wants coffee? I don't have any coffee! And there is no time to go get some. I am never prepared for guests! You would think with the amount of time I spend puttering around my house that I could get it together and have guest-welcoming staples on hand. Oh no, that would make too much sense.

What I am really concerned about is whether or not she will like me. I feel that I am a generally likable person, but there is always that chance that we won't mesh. But I would really love to have a neighbor that I get along with and can hold my hand through newborn land. I know, I just need to be myself, and if she doesn't like me then oh well. But, do you think some brownies might swing her favor a bit? Or cookies? Too bad I'm not drinking right now, I am so much better at this when wine is involved.

Edited to add: So we're totally friends and had a great conversation. But I had to eat the baby because he was so cute. He tasted like chocolate.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Fatty, fatty two by four

I got a bonus ultrasound today since the last tech didn't get a good look at the boy's heart. I was informed that my precious, teeny baby is now a whopping 1 pound, 2 ounces (per the measurements). Gah! No wonder I've been feeling so...heavy, lately. Oh wait, that may be the SIX POUNDS I have gained in the last four weeks. Yes, that is correct. That's a whole full-grown baby's worth of weight in four weeks alone. Ridiculous. I knew I should have turned around on the scale. But the important point is not that I am a chub, but that the boy is growing right on schedule and looks perfectly healthy. Go me and my rockstar uterus!

Today also seemed like a turning point for me. Yesterday, if you had asked, I would have told you that this whole baby thing is causing major freakouts and worries of being a bad mother and not doing anything right. But today, I feel the opposite. I feel positive for the first time in months. I know I can do this. I know WE can do this. Maybe it was seeing the boy again and hearing that he's doing really well. And that he's been kicking up a storm and punching me in the bladder. I feel more bonded to him and extremely protective of him. Its a really good feeling.

ALSO!!! I will have before and after pics of the house and the finished rooms very soon. Maybe Friday! Please don't fall all over yourselves with excitement, ok?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Lily for president...a biscuit in every bowl.

You know you're bored at work when you make up an email account for your dog, and then use it to send emails to people. If you care to leave Lily a message, you can reach her at She checks her email a few times a week when she's out of her crate. Though she doesn't like to be bothered between noon and 3 pm.
(Send help. Please.)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Week 22/Belly Pic

Dear Baby Boy,

How active you have been these last couple of weeks! You have been movin' and groovin' and having yourself a good time in there. Though your 4 am acrobatics are not necessarily welcome...please try to keep the noise level to a dull roar until at least 7 am thankyouverymuch. Two weeks ago we found out you are a itty bitty BOY, and we couldn't be happier. You looked absolutely perfect on the ultrasound. We got to see your big genius brain, we counted your fingers and toes and each little vertabrae in your spine. Your organs look to be in the right places and doing the right things. Unfortunately, your back was to the ultrasound tech so we had to wait a week to see your heart, but once we did she assured us you still looked perfect and in good health. I am proud of myself for growing such a big, strong boy!

We're just starting to put together your nursery. The big dilemma is which room to put you in, the bigger front room or the smaller side room. The front room is painted a soft aqua which goes against the bedding I had chosen for you...but bedding is easily changed right? However, and as you'll learn, your mama does not like change. Or do we put you in the small side room and *hope* the furniture fits? And you know what? I bet you don't really care :) As long as you have a safe, cozy place to sleep and play.

And guess what? Yesterday, your mama became a detective and found out that our lovely neighbors have just brought home their baby boy. I visited them and oohed and ahhed over little Nicholas who is just entirely precious and edible. Of course, you will be cuter, but he's quite the doll. How fun it will be to have a little friend so close to home. His mommy and daddy are such nice people too...we're looking forward to getting to know them. When I was little, my mom and dad (your grandma and grandpa) had many friends in our neighborhood, and I remember them sitting on the decks at each others' houses in the summertime, sipping cold glasses of what I thought was juice but soon found out was boxed wine and beer (classy!), and simply enjoying their company while us kids played. It was borderline idyllic, and I truly hope to create memories like that for you...yes, including the wine and beer, for mom and dad, not you.

I do want you to know that you have a name now, but I haven't yet felt comfortable opening it up to the big world wide web. Most of your family and friends know your name, and it has met with almost unanimous approval. Your grandpa says "I don't know if I like it", but that's just because he likes to give me a hard time and act curmudgeonly every once in a while. Its a good name, a strong name, and we've continued to honor your dad's side with your middle name. I think you will be proud to have your name.

For now, my little man, I am enjoying every second we spend together. We are having so much fun, and I love our little "chats". You are a superb listener, and I truly appreciate your ability to not talk back. Yet. If all goes according to plan, we have 17 weeks left together, you and I, as one. I plan to treasure this time, as I know it will fly by and you will be in my arms before I can blink. At this very moment, I love you more than I did yesterday, and not nearly as much as I will tomorrow.


Monday, March 10, 2008

I'm busy...growing a human

My brain has been pretty mushy lately. I can't drive and hold a conversation with a passenger at the same time. I leave wet laundry in the washer for days. I think its a Thursday pretty much everyday of the week. If I didn't have my Blackberry, there is no way I could remember such things as a vet appointment for Lily. Seriously, my brain is all baby, all the time. Because I don't want to bore you with my thoughts on baby strollers and why there is no such thing as the perfect stroller, I will be writing only when the inspiration strikes. If you're lucky, that may be sooner than later.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Blah blah, nursery, blah blah

So, that last post was quite a change from my witty, sarcastic banter, eh? Today is a much better day, and thank you to everyone who emailed me with positive thoughts. I have taken the doctor's advice and begun thinking about decorating the nursery. My much-adled brain is enjoying this peaceful departure from the norm. Feel free to jump ship now if you don't want to talk nursery decor. Go on, I won't be sad. Really.

For a while now, I have been set on a simple color scheme of aqua and chocolate brown, in some fashion. Obviously, if the boy had been a girl, I would have changed that up, but I was going on the assumption that my instincts were correct and a boy was on his way. I did some shopping and came up with a few lovely options for bedding, both handmade via Etsy and mass-produced via Target. Then I thought, hey! I should ask Tim because even if he doesn't care one iota about the decor, at least I can say I asked and cared to listen. Tim was shockingly indifferent to the choices I put in front of him. I mean, he looked at the picture for a millisecond and shrugged. Fine, that means I get to decide and we all know that was the desired outcome.

Then, yesterday, I decided to hit up some brick and mortar stores so I could get a feel (literally) for the quality of crib bedding. I went to Land of Nod and was sort of "eh" about the baby boy bedding they carried. Most were primary colors which is clearly NOT aqua and chocolate. So, then I wandered over to Pottery Barn Baby. I had sworn to myself that I would not be suckered into PB again. But it wasn't going to hurt to look, right? So, I looked at my choices at PB and began to re-think the color scheme. Is it too trendy? Is it too girly? Will my son look back at pictures and think that I wished he was a girl because I wanted his room to be slightly feminine?

So this is what I came up with. Courtesy of PB Baby.

I showed this to Tim and his immediate reaction was "Thank god. I really hated the idea of aqua and chocolate. Way too girly. This is manly, for my little man." Well la-di-freaking-dah, the truth comes out! But he has a point, and I am more than happy to compromise. Overall, I like this color scheme, it's simple and not themed, which were two of my requirements for the nursery. I think we're going to do the walls a very pale yellow with white picture molding. Within the picture molding we'll paint a pale blue. Very east coast prep/traditional, don't you think? I think its going to be just lovely.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Courage wanted (warning: emotional content ahead)

I've felt overwhelmed before. Like when planning our wedding, the sheer number of choices of every imaginable aspect of a wedding drove me to the brink of insanity. Many a bride will tell you that there is nothing more important than the most perfectly perfect wedding in the history of the world. The perfect combination of beauty, imagination, color, size, and effect. All on a limited budget. It was a pressure unlike any I have ever felt before. Until now.

I am more overwhelmed today than I have ever been in the past. Forget the wedding, that was peanuts. It was a beautiful, romantic day and one I will never forget, mind you. But comparing the wedding planning to the baby prepping is like comparing apples to oranges, Minnesota to Florida, Design on a Dime to Divine Design (if you don't know which is better you are dead to me). (I kid). I have tried to make light of the having a baby thing and keep it airy and fun. We can talk nursery decor and the pros/cons of co-sleeping until our eyes bleed, but at the end of the day, the responsibility of being a parent to a defenseless newborn makes me want to run to Lake Michigan and jump in. It is so hard to put into words what this feels like.

The rational part of me knows that having a baby and raising a child is not rocket science. People have been doing it for centuries and kids are turning out ok and everyday 18,000 babies are born, blah blah blah. But, you know what? I am not those people, nor have I ever done this before. I can guarantee that by the time #2 rolls around, I'll be calm and smooth like butter, baby. But this first one is really throwing me here. I don't want you to think I'm not beyond thrilled with our little boy, and I wanted him before he even existed. But his imminent arrival throws a slight shadow of doubt about my abilities to handle it all. I know in my heart that it doesn't matter if he has the best 100% organic cotton onesies or the "right" stroller with one hand fold. I know that all he really needs is our undying love and human support. I know he is being welcomed into a family that wants him more than anything and a circle of friends who can't wait to meet him and show him the ropes. Knowing these things is what keeps me floating along.

He is so precious to me already, and it is so hard for me to tell him. I wonder if my feelings of premature failure and worry affect him? Of course I worry that they do. It's a cycle that I want broken. I don't want to feel overwhelmed by this huge and amazing lifetime project that is quickly approaching. I want to appreciate every moment of this pregnancy and treasure them, hold them close to my heart. Never again will he and I be this close. We have four more months, give or take, to go everywhere together and breathe the exact same air and have our hearts beat together. When he leaves my body, I am afraid I will feel like my heart is beating on the outside. And it will break into a million pieces.