Archive for the ‘Pregnancy’ Category

The Car Seat

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

For the most part this entire pregnancy has been surreal. It was just two nights ago that Shelton and I were lying in bed and he said that he still couldn’t believe the IVF worked. I completely agree. To wait for and try for something for six years you just get used to things being a certain way. And then poof one day it works and nine months later (ten, they lie to us!) you get a baby. Seems too easy.

So we’ve been living in this cloud of surrealism for a few, or eight, months with a few moments that have kind of smacked us in the face and forced us to realize that all of this was actually happening.

The first was the crib. Bringing it home and setting it up and having it sit there staring at me from the opposite side of my office. That was a big gulp moment. Not like a run to 7-11 and fill up on a liter of soda, but a knot in my throat I’m dizzy big gulp.

Last night was another. Shelton and I went to the baby store after work and picked up our stroller/car seat set. Gulp. We walked over to the one we had picked out and he goes “$300?!”. To which I replied “Yes, it’s the safest.” He can’t really argue with that. I was sort of reading aloud saying this will get us to 22 pounds. And he looked at me as if he’d been blindsided and said, “Then what?!”. I let him know we’d have to buy a booster seat. So he wandered around to the neighboring aisle and yells back “What? These are $150!”. It was rather entertaining to watch Shelton come to the realization that children are expensive. Who knew?!

With a 20% off one item coupon, some gift cards and exchange credits, plus the purchase of the baby book, we only spent $65. I was pretty happy with that.

As soon as we got home Shelton wrestled the box, that barely fit in his Maxima, into the living room and wasted no time taking it out and starting his first daddy assembly project. A totally cheesed out moment that I reveled in, watching my husband put together the stroller for our baby. It took more than a few glances at the manual and a test run with the dog, but the thing is completely assembled and waiting for the baby to take a stroll around the block. The car seat base we plan to install tonight because things are getting just a little too close for comfort around here.

Which reminds me, I should probably start packing my hospital bag.

Pregnancy Week 33

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

For all the times in my life I’ve whined about being tired, I take it back. Because prior to now I had no idea what I was talking about. And I know (I know… I know…) that two months from now I’ll probably be able to echo that sentiment when Shelton and I are slogging through our days with one eye open running on two hours of sleep and desperately trying to remember what it feels like to actually enjoy a REM cycle.

I think that’s my biggest take away from week 33 – just exhaustion. It’s not from lack of trying. I’m averaging about 10 hours of sleep each night. It’s not enough. I have to beg myself to get out of bed in the morning, by noon I’m ready for a nap (and sometimes I take one) and by the time we’ve eaten dinner it’s all I can do to make it through the next couple of hours.

Last week was also another long episode of neurotic Brandi. I swear if I don’t cry at least once a day then I haven’t lived up to my potential. Sometimes it’s just a few tears; usually it’s an all-out hysterical break down with ugly-cry sobbing that results in swollen eyes and copious amounts of snot. I think I can use this to my advantage when the baby starts crying and won’t stop. I can say “You think you can cry? Oh, I’ll show you how to cry.” And then we’ll both sit in the closet alone together crying until Shelton comes home to save us from ourselves.

What is that you’re reading between the lines? Oh yeah, it’s anxiety. We’ve got a little bit of that up in here, too. You know, just for good measure. Sheesh! I’m ready, I am SO ready for this baby girl to get here. I want to see what she looks like and hold her and finally start this circus act we signed ourselves up for. At the same time, I think someone should step in. I feel in no way prepared to take this on. I mean, we don’t even own a car seat people, how am I supposed to be expected to teach her how to tie her shoes and do simple math. I can’t even do simple math!! (i.e. this is a blog with words, not numbers.) The anxiety comes in waves and it do-si-dos its way in and out with the excitement. It’s like an emotional tornado with the warm air from one mixing with the cool air of another and then it rips the roof right off of our sanity.

We attended the fourth of six birth classes. These are a trip. The lady teaching is a riot, and not because she tries to be. The birthing videos via VHS tape are rather entertaining, as are the scrapbooked posters illustrating the birth processes. This past week was the c-section video and I thought Shelton and I were both going to lose our dinner. We’re squeemish people. And while I can appreciate that sometimes a woman’s abdomen needs to be cut open and a baby removed from the inside, I don’t want to see it. I don’t want to watch my own (God willing we won’t have one) and I don’t want to watch someone else’s. I also find the relaxation exercises to be rather comical because they are broken variations of the yoga I’ve been doing since the start of my second trimester. All I can do is sit there and think “That’s not how you breathe.” “That’s not how you should do a pelvic tilt.” “That’s definitely not how you should meditate.” I’m no expert, but I just want to scream out and tell the other three women in our class not to do it and to meet me at yoga Monday instead.

We were able this past weekend to truly celebrate what’s about to happen as our house was infiltrated by most of my dearest friends and family for the last of our three baby showers. This house was positively buzzing all weekend with a lot of laughing, a lot of playing and a lot of just catching up. It was a gorgeous shower organized by my sister and co-hosted by several women who I count my lucky stars to know and love. We’re feeling a lot more prepared now as the nursery is starting to burst at the seams with diapers, clothes, boppies, bottles, bibs, and even a fish-net-turned-bathtub-floater-remover. We couldn’t be more grateful for all of the gifts and the help in turning our little home into a baby-friendly zone. This weekend Shelton and I plan to sit down and take inventory of what we’ve got, what we need and put those gift cards to good use and buy those final necessities. Like a car seat. And Cabernet.

Pregnancy Week 32

Monday, March 8th, 2010

Week 32 will be remembered fondly simply because there won’t be anything to remember. There was no medical intervention. (I did have a check-up but it was completely uneventful). There were no strange illnesses, aches, pains or other. It was just about as “normal” as we get around here.

The back aches? Yes, they continued. The heartburn, there was some, but I don’t think I’ve reached for one of the five bottles of Tums I keep stashed everywhere in a few days. The bleeding? Well, that’s a dumb question, of course there was. The insomnia, achy, sleepless nights? Heck yes!

But for some reason, all of it felt manageable last week. Probably because it wasn’t compounded with a host of other problems.

I’m feeling bigger, so much bigger! At my check-up I measured 32cm, which is spot-on where I should be. I can’t imagine seven more weeks of growth. God help me! I’ve nicknamed myself “the moose.” I know I’m small, I’ve barely gained 30 pounds; 35 pounds is the recommended pregnancy weight gain. So I’m doing well. From behind, you’d never know I’m pregnant. But that doesn’t keep me from constantly slamming doors into my stomach b/c I have no grasp of how far out I now extend. My breasts have reached an unfathomable size. Short of those crazies on Jerry Springer with the breasts that look like yoga balls, I didn’t know it was possible for anything like this to appear in nature. This, I could live without. I want my Ds back.

The baby started getting hiccups this past week. That or the very white rythemless genes her father and I gave her mutated and she’s jammin’ away in there. It’s kind of funny the first five or six times I feel it thump, and then I’m like, “hold your head upside down, take a deep breath and drink some water”. In other words “stop!”. I’ve tried scaring here but that doesn’t seem to work either.

I continue to be an emotional train wreck and neither Shelton nor myself wants to live with me anymore. Last night as we were falling asleep I tried to celebrate a small victory that I hadn’t shed a tear in 24 hours… and then Shelton reminded me that I cried that morning in the kitchen. Well, I guess a 12 hour victory is still a victory.

We took our third of six birth classes. These are mildly (OK, incredibly) entertaining. The videos are so old and all of the delivering patients seem like 17-year-olds they would have found at the free clinic. I liked this one most because we spent the second hour touring the birthing center. We got to see the delivery room and the postpartum room (which I’ve had to stop calling the after birth room, sounds terrible!). We held forceps and I was COMPLETELY freaked out by the idea of the internal monitor. They want to STICK this wire into my unborn baby’s head. Hell no. So I feel better knowing where we’re headed when this little darling decides to make her debut.

Pregnancy Week 31

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

I suppose I owe you nice folks a weekly update, don’t I? Sheesh! I am just swimming at work and can’t seem to find time to take a deep breath. So I’m going to squeeze this in. This is about all the “squeezing” I can afford because nothing on my body squeezes anymore. It stretches. How do I know? Oh – I found stretch marks this past week! UGH! Shoot me. Please spare me the cocoa butter propaganda. I’ve tried two different brands and it smells so horrible that I cannot put it on my body. It’s like walking around smelling like a Hershey bar or something. So, I guess this is my fate. Stretch mark mama. Maybe I’ll get some new tattoos to cover them up.

From what I can remember, and that’s very little these days, last week was more or less OK. I’m feeling very first-trimester again in that no amount of sleep is good enough. 10 hours? Not enough. 12 hours? Not enough. I just want to sleep and sleep and sleep.

One of the big changes I’ve noticed is the baby’s weight. I can actually feel how heavy she is in my abdomen, which is interesting. She’s heavy! And speaking of abdomen, it continues to grow outward instead of to the sides, so that’s a plus. She’s still just as active as ever, kicking and rolling all the time. She is very active when Shelton plays music for her with his earbuds, and I notice she moves around quite a bit when I’m hungry and when I get into the bathtub.

Our six-week birthing class continued last week. Not sure what to make of this yet. I really feel like it’s sixty bucks wasted; all the relaxation and breathing exercises I’ve been working on for four months in yoga and I find that experience far more valuable. I think if they had someone teaching it who had delivered a baby in, oh I don’t know, the past decade, that might make a difference; she might come across a little more relatable. But it’s some quality baby-focused time for Shelton and I each week… so that part is enjoyable.

The epic bleeding saga continued last week. [Deep sigh of annoyance.] I’m pretty much over that. I mean, I thought in lieu of carrying this baby around in your gut for nine to ten months, you got to give that womanly honor up. Not me! I’m going to DO IT ALL!

We also made a trip home to OKC for my first baby shower, hosted by Shelton’s mom. It was beautiful and so much fun. No detail was missed and we had so much fun celebrating and catching up with so many of our family and friends. The 2.5 hour drive turned in to a nearly four hour drive as we had to keep stopping to walk… and eat… and pee… and walk… and pee. My back was screaming once we got to his parents house on Friday night. And then I had the most uncomfortable, painful night of attempted sleep ever! By 5am I found myself propped up in the recliner in the den, and that helped for some intermittent napping.

I also feel like I’ve started losing my mind. And I’m not joking. Shelton commented that he would like the real me back, and a friend of mine commented that he couldn’t wait for me to return to normal. I’ve suddenly become this emotional basketcase. I’m a neurotic mess that could break down into hysterical sobbing at any moment. It could be because of what someone put on my hamburger (true story) or because I was asked to send an email (true story) or because I didn’t like the “tone” in an IM (true story). I mean, give me a break here! I am not this sap! Shelton said I’ve become needy (agreed), clingy (completely agreed) and indecisive (maybe… maybe not…). It’s all true, I can see it in myself.

So, the consensus… third trimester sucks!

That’s pretty much 31 in a nutshell. We’re honing in on the home stretch here, now in the middle of week 32. I am ready… ready to be done… ready for her to be here… ready to be me again.

Pregnancy Week 30

Sunday, February 21st, 2010

I’m happy to report it was a good week! No trips to the hospital. No emergency calls to the doctor. No meltdowns. Just a normal pregnant week (meaning I was tired, with heartburn and an achy back).

With week 34 creeping up on us, relief is setting in. (This is the week our doctor has said we can safely deliver and he will not stop labor if it starts.) Not that we’re hoping we go in to labor six weeks early, but if that’s just “one more event” to add to this ever-so eventful pregnancy, we’ll feel a little more at ease at that point than we would right now.

One of the things I noticed this week is that this baby has grown. She feels heavy, where I haven’t really had that feeling before. I also feel like she’s living in my pelvis, or right at the top of my uterus. I think she likes to travel between the two locations. Because of her increased size and weight, everyday activities like say, sitting, have become terribly uncomfortable. It’s like I have a wiggly boulder in my abdomen. With this new growth, my stomach has also jutted out. I don’t seem to be expanding width-wise, but I just keep extending forward.

Shelton has always teased that I don’t know where the sides of my body are. This is probably true, considering the number of times I run in to bed posts, walls, counters, chairs, etc. With my belly jutting further out in front of me, I can’t seem to remember the new buffer zone I need around myself and I keep slamming doors in to my belly. OK, slamming sounds harsh, but they open, hit my belly and it doesn’t feel great.

Yesterday morning I woke up expecting a pretty mild Saturday. I had a lot of things around the house to take care of and had no intentions of getting out of my pajamas (pretty much a normal intention every day of the week now). Suddenly I realize Shelton is on the phone with my mother telling her to drop any plans she had for the day and that she must get me out of the house for the entire day and not return home with me for the greater part of the day. I was like, huh?! I went downstairs to get something and I was then ambushed at the top of the stairs by Shelton. He stripped off my shirt, put my bra on me, slapped deodorant under each arm and told me to get dressed and get out of here. He wouldn’t tell me why I had to leave, just that I wasn’t welcome and not to come back. So I did as I was told, honestly thinking he was cooking up some grand surprise for me. I spent the day toodling around town with my mom then called at 2:00 to ask if I could return home and was told rather rudely not to come back until dinner. So, we came up with some more ways to waste time (and money and gas). At 5:00 I received a call that I was welcome back home. I anxiously drove across town expecting to find a nice dinner, maybe something done in the baby’s room. What I found was an immaculately clean house. That husband of mine had spent eight solid hours cleaning every nook, cranny, surface and floor. It was better than a nice dinner.

I just haven’t been able to take on household tasks like I used to, or want to. Our house is by no means dirty, but a lot of the maintenance stuff has been tossed by the wayside and it’s been making me crazy! Ceiling fans are dusted. Rugs are vacuumed. Furniture is dusted. Bathrooms are scrubbed. It’s so clean and it feels so good in here.

Finally, we took our first of six birth classes this past week. I feel like this is a big waste of my time and money. (This seems to be a theme.) The class genuinely has the potential to be fun and interesting; instead, the 901 year old version of Mrs. Doubtfire is being quite successful at turning this in to a bad reenactment of my high school science class. I honestly thought Shelton and I would be kicked out no less than three times last week for erupting in laughter. The “relaxation” exercise is completely bass-ackward of anything I’ve been doing in yoga. And the hot pink crocheted uterus (I’m not kidding) used to demonstration a birth with a plastic baby through a model pelvic bone was too much… especially when it came out with an umbilical cord and a jelly fish posing as a placenta. WOW!

Mrs. Doubtfire also mentioned that this hospital, where we’re delivering, is “a pro-breastfeeding hospital and you will not find any pacifiers upstairs.” Awesome, love that I’m delivering at a hospital with an agenda. Have I mentioned before that I’d rather have my baby at the Taco Bueno than at this hospital? We’ll be bringing our own pacies with us, thank you very much, and as for my boobs, hospital administration will be told where to go if they so much as whisper their agenda to me. I plan on giving it a fair shot. I know all the benefits. I’ve read all the literature. It still sounds completely unappealing to me. However, I’m going to give it a fair shot, and who knows, I might just like it. And just like the mashed potatoes my family tried for years to shove done my throat because there’s no way I really couldn’t like them (p.s. they are my absolute LEAST favorite food and will make me vomit), I will throw back up your breastfeeding propaganda if you try to force feed it to me.

The Unique Voice of Frank Sinatra

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

In the nearly 11 years I have known my husband, I can’t recall one utterance of the words “Frank Sinatra.” He doesn’t even own a single song or CD. Frank Sinatra, for the brilliant artist he was, has never had any role in our lives.

So last week when we were lying in bed and he mentioned wanting to play Frank Sinatra for the baby I was kind of tack back. In a cliche move often depicted in movies with pregnant characters, he wanted to play music directly into my belly. I didn’t object, although I did argue very, very hard for Dave Matthews Band. We own a dozen DMB albums, danced to them at our wedding, I’ve been to five concerts – you could say we’re fans. Frank Sinatra? Well, again, not one utterance. Shelton explained that the baby needed to listen to Frank because he “has a unique voice.” I argued that most singers at the level of Frank and Dave do in fact have unique voices, that’s why they’ve made it as far as they have. Shelton shook his head adamantly stating that basically, in what I’ll call his opinion, no one has a more unique voice than Frank.

I lost. Frank and Shelton won. That night Shelton got out his iPhone, flipped to Pandora and queued up some old fashioned Sinatra. Dean Martin scrolled by, he skipped it. Ella Fitzgerald scrolled by, he skipped it. It was Frank or Bust. I’ve never witnessed anything sweeter in my life than watching my husband sit over my belly with iPhone ear buds placed on either side of my belly, nervous that the music was too loud or not quite loud enough, intently waiting for a reaction from his daughter. And she did. I tell you she kicked and punched and bounced all over that night. Which tickled him to no end.

This has become a new ritual. We’ll climb in to bed at the ripe hour of oh, 9, because I’m positively exhausted. He’ll look at me and tenderly ask, like a child wanting a treat that’s just out of reach, “is it time for Frank?”. I just giggle and nod and I swear it’s as if Christmas morning were waiting for him in the living room – he bounds out of bed and returns with his iPhone and ear buds, tunes in to the Frank Sinatra Pandora station, and watches his daughter dance.

Last night proved to be the most entertaining yet. It was one of the moments where the eruption of laughter was so hard and lasted so long that we’d completely forgotten what had initiated it. All I know is every time I started laughing deep and hard my belly would take on a completely different shape and shake, which would force us to laugh even harder.

All of this while the unique voice of Frank Sinatra bellowed in to my belly.