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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

33 Day Countdown!! (and meet my new bed buddy)

Today I had my third appointment with the OBGYN.  Since it was supposed to be fairly short and uneventful, Jeromy opted not to come with me this time (shocking, right?).  When we went in last month, the nurse couldn't find the baby's heartbeat using the doppler, but it wasn't a big deal, because we had just heard it on the ultrasound a few minutes earlier.  She said it would be "much easier" next time.  Great.  But today, she played the same fun "gee, I can't find the heartbeat" game with me again.  After mashing the doppler wand into every corner or my stomach (ouch) and spreading cold goop all over my abdomen and the top of my jeans, she finally gave up and said she'd let the doctor try.  She did say that she could hear the baby moving and kicking back at the doppler wand, which surprised me.  I was pretty calm, having had the same experience last time, but I definitely would have flipped out if the doctor hadn't been able to find it, either.  Luckily, when my doctor came in, she found the heartbeat in about two everything was good!

I also found out today that I have RH negative blood, which means that I'll have to get some injections later on to make sure that my blood doesn't attack the baby's blood.  Sounds like something from a freaky sci-fi movie to me, but ok, whatever you say, doctor.  

The most exciting moment today was getting to schedule our BIG ultrasound!  We'll go to a perinatalogist on January 3rd for the anatomy ultrasound.  Yay!!  Several people have asked us if we're planning to find out the baby's gender.  Ummm...YES.  While I totally admire people who can wait and be surprised...we're too impatient and excited!  And by "we," I mean mostly me, but Jeromy is definitely in favor of finding out sooner rather than later.  Hopefully it will work out; we talked to someone recently who couldn't find out because the umbilical cord was between the legs when they did the ultrasound!  NOT Ok!  So now you can watch the Ultrasound Countdown Clock on the right side of the blog page AND vote in the Smith Baby Gender Poll!  That's right, my blog is cool and interactive like that. 

I think my nausea has mostly gone away, which I'm really excited about!  Now my biggest challenge is trying to train myself to sleep on my side.  I'm pretty much to the point that I'm not supposed to lay on my back at all, because the weight of the baby could cut off a major blood vessel.  I've been trying to sleep on my side for a while, but I always end up on my back.  Jeromy even pulled the mattress off our bed in order to try to fix our squeaky bedframe; he's a little tired of my tossing and turning.  I went out and got a body pillow--hopefully it will help!

Me and my new favorite bedmate
On paying the bill at Maudie's, our favorite Mexican restaurant: "This is WAY cheaper than it used to be.  We're going to be able to pay for the baby bed just by saving on Mommy's drinking bill." (After he'd had a goldfish bowl sized Dos Equis and I had "gotten a little crazy" by ordering an iced tea instead of a water.  Nice.)

Monday, November 22, 2010

The dark side of shopping, becoming a good housewifey, and why I'm not excellent at yoga

Here are some less-than-earth-shattering happenings around Casa de Smith lately:
  • Last weekend we went car-shopping.  Right now Jeromy is driving the 1991 Lexus that we got as a hand-me-down from my grandparents, but its days seem to be numbered; some of the recent repair costs have been almost as much as the value of the car itself.  So we ventured into the world of slimy car salesman to start looking for a replacement.  We've decided that we want something pretty small with really good gas mileage, but that is "fun to drive" for Jeromy, who gave up his bachelor sports car baby right before we got married.  Right now Jeromy's top choice is this:  
Volkswagen Golf GTI
        It may look sort of petite and bashful, but Jeromy was having no problem driving it like he stole it. I mean, when we got on the highway, I was Soccer Mom Arm-ing myself.  But, apparently an even more exciting version of the car is available in Europe and is rumored to be coming to the U.S. this summer, so of course Jeromy wants to wait for that one.  I told him that if we bought an infant car seat before we buy a car, the car will have to accommodate the car seat, and not the other way around.  
  •  We have also been going mattress shopping.  After lots of complaining from me about our current mattress--which is about 10 years old--Jeromy agreed that it might be time for a new one.  He's pretty certain that 95% of my discomfort is pregnancy-related, and that I'm still going to get up at 4 a.m. to sleep on the chair in the family room, and he may be right.  But what I say is, when you roll from one side of our bed to the other, you have to get up enough momentum to make it over the hump in the middle, it's time to put that mattress out to pasture.  So far, all I can say is that mattress shopping, like car shopping, involves overly-talkative salespeople and fake prices that you have to harass them into lowering.  At this point, it's looking like the mattress decision will be more difficult that the car decision.  Boo.

  • Today I signed up for a 3-day, 10-hour Basic Sewing class.  After taking Home Ec. in 6th grade, I was actually pretty decent with a sewing machine, and had about 525 scrunchies and a nifty "locker caddy" and matching tote bag to prove it.  But 6th grade was a loooooong time ago, and I need a refresher.  I'm hoping to get to the point where I can make some curtains and simple baby stuff without destroying the fabric, machine, or myself.
This whole "cooking" thing is hard...maybe I'll try sewing instead.
  • I am trying to get into a routine of doing prenatal yoga regularly.  It's supposed to be really good for pregnancy discomfort, labor stamina, and, according to the lady on my video, "connecting with your baby on a deeper level" (imagine Jeromy snorting in the next room).  The first time I did the video, which was about 5 minutes after finding out I was pregnant, I thought it was ridiculously easy.  When I did it yesterday, I definitely felt the stretches a lot more and even got a little dizzy.  But, I really enjoyed the close-your-eyes-and-empty-your-mind part at the end....until it was interrupted by the sounds of machine gun fire from upstairs.  Which brings me to perhaps the most important piece of news from the Smith household:

  • Jeromy recently got the newest version of his favorite video game, and our house sounds like a war-zone.  Awesome.  I mean, if it wasn't for this:
Husband Mesmerizer
         I might have been able to get into the yoga zone enough to do this:

Yeah, right.
"This whole 9 month thing is no good for impatient people.  It's like ordering something and then having it walked across the country to you.  I want it delivered NOW."

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Getting a bit bumpy....

You had to know it was coming, and now it's here:  the post in which we look at pictures of me from the side and analyze my baby belly!   Aren't you excited??!!

I can actually still zip and button most of my pants, but a few weeks ago I noticed that my jeans were sort of falling down, which seemed really strange to me, because I knew I certainly wasn't losing weight (hello, mac and cheese)  Finally, I realized that my belly was pushing down the waist of my jeans and creating a really unfortunate bunching/sagging situation in the crotch area.  Which I'm pretty sure does NOT fall under the category of "Hot Fall Fashions"--pregnant or not.  So I stated wearing a Bella Band, which, for those of you who have not been pregnant recently, is a *magical* stretchy tube that holds up and smooths over your pants when they are unbuttoned:  
Dead sexy, right??
I've decided that the specialty maternity stores (Pea in the Pod, etc.), like wedding dress stores, are conspiring together to charge women outrageous sums of money for pieces of fabric, just because they can.  I have started stalking the cute maternity clothes at Target, but let's just pretend for Jeromy that there is absolutely no shopping going on, and that instead I am fashioning muumuus and giant pants out of trashbags and duct tape.  And, yes, that is how you spell "muumuu;" I looked it up. 

 So, back to the star of this post, my belly.  When people see me in regular clothes--jeans, sweaters, etc.--it's still not at all obvious that I'm carrying a little peach-sized Smith Fruit, especially with the Bella Band, which kind of sucks everything in.  If you saw me out and about, it would probably just look like I've been eating too much oh, I don't know....mac and cheese, perhaps.  In less restrictive pants, on the other hand, the bump is suddenly much more apparent:
Pregnant Lady Mugshot
So you could say that I enhanced things a bit, because in these pictures I'm wearing super loose pants and a really tight tank top.  But still....the belly is THERE, people!  We never took the pictures to prove it, but I did NOT look like this 3 months ago.  And I did NOT have to twist around in weird positions to buckle the ankle straps on my sandals.  

Oh, and in case you think I cheated by sticking my stomach out....oh, no no. HERE is what I look like when I REALLY pooch it out there:
So, now I'm beginning to wonder just how big I'm going to look and feel 6 months from now.  The words "aircraft carrier" come to mind.....

 On being asked by me, for about the 12th time, to feel my stomach and confirm that I do in fact have a baby belly going on:  "Ok, yes!!  It's out there.  You are no longer going to be running into things boobs-first."

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Pickle Tragedy!

So, I ate an entire jar of dill pickles in under 48 hours.  And then I didn't have anymore, which made me really sad:
 No, I didn't eat them with ice cream; I ate them all by themselves.  And they were fantaaaaaaastic.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Questionable Parenting Around the World: A film Review by Rebecca

Imagine my complete shock surprise when Jeromy informed me that the documentary Babies was available on Netflix Instant Queue (Greatest Invention of Our Time) AND that he was actually willing to sit through it with me.  As we settled in to watch it, I promised myself that I would keep my cooing to a minimum in deference to my Baby Daddy's extremely low tolerance for sentimental movies.

If you haven't seen the movie or its preview--it follows the lives of four babies from four different countries (Mongolia, Japan, Namibia, and the U.S.) from birth to their first steps.  There is no narrator with informative voice-overs, just footage of the babies and their families.  There's not even much talking--you only hear the family members murmuring or singing to their babies, 3/4 of which is in untranslated foreign languages.  While I get it that the filmmakers were trying to just be unobtrusive, non-judgmental observers of the different cultures, I did find myself wishing that there was some narration to give more information.  For example, why did the mother from Namibia rub red paste all over her belly right before giving birth--is this some kind of natural alternative to the epidural that I should be aware of??  And why did the Mongolians keep the baby's legs wrapped up into such a paralyzingly tight burrito?

Over the course of the movie, it's difficult not to get the impression that the filmmakers were trying to subtly imply that Americans tend to overly fussy and paranoid when it comes to babies and children.  Which is probably true.  For me, this was both alarming and comforting.  Alarming, because I'm pretty sure I will be a fairly fussy and paranoid parent despite my best efforts not to be.  I'm always smacking Jeromy's arm and saying things like, "Oh no!  That child dropped his cheerio on the ground and the picked it up and ate it and the mom didn't see!"  It was also comforting, though, because the movie makes it seem like kids are not as easily damaged as we think.  

Here are a few of the scenarios that you see in the movie that, as a parent, I would probably try to avoid at all costs:

  • A large rooster is strutting around on the bed next to the Mongolian baby, who seems to be left alone a lot.  Me: Ack!  That rooster is going poop on the baby and give him bird flu!
  • The Namibian baby frequently wallows in the dirt and puts unidentifiable objects in his mouth.  Me: Was that a bug or a piece of bone?  I think that baby just ate a bone chip!
  • The older brother of the Mongolian baby wheels his defenseless sibling in his stroller out into the middle of the family's grazing cows.  Me: Those cows are going to knock over the stroller and trample the baby!  That mean older brother needs a SERIOUS time out!
  • The Namibian baby NEVER wears any kind of diaper, and his mom uses her knee as a baby wipe.   Me: I'm really excited to be a parent and all, but I don't think I'll ever love another human being quite THAT much.
  • Once he seems to be weaned off of breast milk, the Namibian baby has to shove his way in to get food from a dish shared by several other children, all of whom are quite a bit larger and more aggressive than he is.  Me: What, you think they're all just going to share nicely, Namibian Mommy??  Did you not READ Lord of the Flies?? 

The scariest thing that the American baby does--which, in full disclosure, did also stress me out a bit--was try to play with the family cat.  Of course, all of the above scenarios turn out just fine--no harm ever comes to any of the babies.  In fact, the  Mongolian and Namibian babies come across as being much more mellow and independent than the Japanese and American babies.

So, I think it was definitely good for me, O.C.D.-Parent-in-Training, to watch.  Jeromy did pretty well with it; he thought it was a bit slow and repetitive, but at least he didn't grumble about wanting two hours of his life back, which is what happened after I got him to watch the Phantom of the Opera movie with me.  

Speaking of my beloved husband...
On possible baby names:  "We should totally just name the baby Doctor.  That way, everyone automatically has to call our child Doctor Smith!  That would be awesome."  (So now, of course, "Doctor" is our nickname for the about setting high parental expectations!)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

It might be a gymnast, but I will draw the line at a Mary Lou Retton haircut

Today I had my second doctor's appointment, and since it was supposed to be another "Don't Miss" for the father, Jeromy again bravely accompanied me to the OBGYN office, which he calls "the Alien Universe" because "it's like a time warp that you get sucked into and can't get out of."  It's true that we were there for a couple of hours again, and kept getting cycled back out into the waiting room between the ultrasound, the exam, the lab work, etc.  

The only really exciting part of the appointment was, of course, getting another ultrasound, which they only did because it's part of the Down syndrome/chromosomal abnormalities testing that Jeromy and I opted to do. We're not considered high risk, but the doctor recommended it.  The sonogram tech zoomed in on the baby, which definitely looked more like a human this time.  Jeromy commented that it looked like the baby was just laying there, "hanging out."  Right then, the baby did a big bouncing type move!  I'm not really sure how to describe it, other than that it looked like when a kid on a trampoline jumps and then sort of sits on the trampoline to bounce on his butt.  Jeromy and I both went, "whoa, what was that?!"  I thought maybe it was like a full-body hiccup, but the technician said babies sometimes just bounce off like that.  We saw it happen a few times, and we could definitely see some movement and twitching limbs...pretty amazing!  It's hard to believe that I can't tell that there is something the size of a lime doing gymnastics in my belly, but supposedly it will be at least another month before I can feel anything.

Unfortunately, they decided to be super-efficient by taking the blood sample for the test during the ultrasound.  I got pretty distracted, because the lab lady said she was "jsut going to do a little finger prick", which I hate; I tried to get her to take blood from my arm instead, but she didn't go for it.  So she popped the little needle into my finger, and I was brave and didn't make a peep, but then it wouldn't even bleed!   So she began squeezing the heck out of my finger, and Jeromy started massaging down my arm to try to help, and all I wanted to do was have a precious darn moment with the ultrasound of my wiggly baby! Finally, the lab tech called me a mean name ("non-bleeder") and switched to my other hand.  She still had to wring and squeeze my second finger to get out a few drops of blood, but she finally got what she needed.  No wonder my hands are always cold...I have no blood circulating through them!

When we went in to see the doctor, it was pretty are you feeling, blah blah blah, any questions, blah blah, blah.  She did ask me about my nutrition, and I had to confess that I had pretty much abandoned meat and vegetables in favor of all things starchy.  And SOMEONE whose name rhymes with "Deromy" told her about my little mac and cheese problem.  No more OBGYN appointments for him for a while!

Here's one of the latest ultrasound pictures...head on the left, foot sticking up on the right.

If it looks like the head is the same size as the whole rest of the body, it's because at this stage, it is. 

On being shown a photograph of what the average fetus looks like at 9 weeks: "It looks like a shrimp.  Kinda makes me hungry."  (He was a little bit in trouble for this one)