Tuesday, November 27, 2012

32 weeks - it's getting real

Sunday marked 32 weeks of this pregnancy. Or as one of my apps helpfully reminds me, I have now been pregnant for 224 days. That's a lot of days.

And that's a lot of belly. Whoa. It looked smaller on my phone.

I'm still feeling generally ok. There's a bit more reflux happening (especially when I bend over, though that's becoming a rarer occurrence these days!). And the noises are getting louder when I put on my socks. And my hips are starting to hurt a bit when I spend too long in one position at night (which is generally not a problem as my bladder usually forces me up long before my hips start complaining). 

My newest issue is that it appears that my dog and my unborn child are now conspiring together to keep me from sleeping. Perhaps the dog is rebelling against the fact that we left him alone to go back to work yesterday after spending four full days with him over Thanksgiving? I have no idea, but whatever it is, the boy decided to insist at 2am, then 3am, and then 4am very loudly that he should be allowed on the bed. Since I found out that I was pregnant we've been teaching him that he's not allowed on the bed until 5 or 5:30 at the earliest for some cuddle time before we get up for the day because as I get bigger there's just not room for my belly and the dog. Plus I'm fairly confident that we aren't going to want the dog in the bed all night long once the baby is actually here. So. We're working on it. And it's been fairly successful. Until he got sick the other week (and I'm a total sucker when he's sick. I admit it). And then we were at my parents and he slept on the bed all night at their house. And now we're back to reminding him he doesn't have that privilege anymore. 

So I was doing my sleepy best to get him to go lie down on his dog bed and he was doing his best to be all sad and pathetic looking and have me let him up. At one point instead of going to his own bed he decided that lying down with his head under the bed, pouting and sighing heavily was going to get him his way. It did not. Until he came back at 4:30am (after I'd been awake since 4 at that point because my darling unborn child was tap dancing on my ribs) and I couldn't take it anymore. So I let him up on the bed and surfed twitter for awhile. Fun times I tell you. Except that now I feel like I'm going to fall asleep at my desk (curse of the open floor plan office - no door to shut for a quick catnap!). Perhaps I should thank Cody for helping me get ready to be a mom to a newborn, but instead I'm cursing him for making the last weeks of sleep less restful than they should be!

Also I keep saying in my head that it'll be at least 8 more weeks (or longer!) until baby comes, but after talking to a friend last night, I realized that there's only 5 more weeks until I'm at 37 weeks (full term!). Which seriously blows my mind. I could potentially have a child starting any time after Christmas. That's just crazy.

Monday, November 26, 2012

A Very Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. And I've been lucky in that most places I've worked I've had the Friday after Thanksgiving off as well as Thanksgiving Day (or I've just taken it off) which means that I'm very used to having a four day weekend. And I love that the actual holiday is at the beginning of the break so I spend the week leading up to Thursday all excited and then I still have three full days to enjoy doing whatever it is I want to enjoy (this year - a lot of napping and eating leftovers and watching football). Christmas is a close second, but there always seems to be other stress surrounding the holiday which isn't present at Thanksgiving.

Sunrise on Thanksgiving morning from my parents house.

Plus, I've decided that the absolute best part about now living closer to my parents is that we can go spend a couple of nights with them and still get two full days of vegging out time on my own couch. Yes, I am very thankful for my couch in case you couldn't tell!


My contribution to dinner this year was a caramel apple pie (recipe found here) and it was delicious! I was a bit worried about how it was going to turn out, but luckily everyone loved it! Mom says I might have to make one every year (oh darn...). Actually, I might make another one sooner rather than later as we ended up with an extra batch of caramel sauce (let's just say I tried to be ahead of the game by making the sauce at home before going to my parents, and then promptly forgot it in my fridge. Whoops).

Mom's the head Thanksgiving chef-in-charge-of-yummy-goodness for our family meal while I keep her company (and attempt to help wherever I can). The stuffing is my absolute favorite (Grandma's recipe!) and her turkey came out so delicious this year! Plus, since we ended up with only five of us for dinner that meant there were a lot of my other favorite part of Thanksgiving - leftovers!



And is it really Thanksgiving without a picture of the dog begging for turkey?

Though because of a recent bout of not-feeling-well-itis, no turkey scraps for Cody!


I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and were able to spend it however you wanted - whether with family or friends or at a movie or scoping out the best deals for Black Friday (better you than me - you couldn't pay me to deal with Black Friday crowds!). Now that we're heading into December, I'm trying to soak up this last holiday season as a family of two with B before our lives change so much when this little one decides to make his or her debut. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thanksgiving

I've been trying to remember and for the life of me I cannot remember a Thanksgiving that I didn't spend with my parents. I also can't remember a Christmas that I didn't spend with my family in my own home, but that's another story for another day.

Thanksgiving to me means spending time with my family. Specifically I mean with my parents and siblings, but there have been years when I was the only child who was able to make it home. More often however, there are lots of others celebrating with us (siblings, aunts and uncles, cousins, friends, students of my dad, etc) which just makes the day more festive. And really, with all of the delicious food and plenty of wine, how could the day be anything but fun? (I realize I'm fairly lucky that I'm 31 years old and can't remember a drama filled day.)

Part of the reason I've always had Thanksgiving with my family is because where I went to college we had the whole week of Thanksgiving off (which was awesome). They actually shut the dorms and made everyone leave ("you don't have to go home, but you can't stay here!"), and since I was only a 4 hour drive from home, why else wouldn't I go home? In law school I was about 5 hours away, and while I could have stayed and spent the day with friends, it had usually been awhile since I'd seen my parents and it was nice to go home for a break (even if I did spend the majority of the three days I was home during my 1L year writing outlines and cramming for finals in a coffee shop).

B hasn't quite had the family connection to Thanksgiving that I have, and in fact for many years this was very much a friend holiday for him. He and whichever of his friends were around would cook a big dinner and spend time relaxing with each other. Luckily he likes my family a lot and is more than happy to spend Turkey Day with them, though he does still find it strange not to be the one making the bulk of the meal (my mom does that - I help where I can and usually make a pie. Also I am Chief Taste Tester of all that comes out of the kitchen. Between that and watching football with my dad, it really is a most excellent day). 

I'm hopeful that perhaps next Thanksgiving we'll be in a position to host my family so that my mom doesn't have to do as much. I'm pretty sure she'd be plenty happy to spend the day playing with our kiddo while B and I make dinner (what, clearly I'm not going to do it myself!). But this year I'm going to enjoy all of her cooking (especially the stuffing - it's my grandmother's recipe and it's SO GOOD) and pretend not to notice all of the excellent wine that everyone else is drinking. Me and my sparkling cider totally aren't jealous (and yes, I phrased that exactly how I intended).

Hope you all have a wonderful day however you choose to spend it!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Getting through

It's been a long week and it's only Thursday. It doesn't really help that I've spent part of today listening to a CLE about immigration remedies for victims of domestic violence (why yes, my CLE reporting period does end at the end of this year!). Always uplifting stuff right there, let me tell you.

I just feel sort of down today, but I have no particular reason why. I mean, our hospital tour was great last night (the rooms are a lot bigger than either of us thought they'd be!), and the sun is shining which is always cause for celebration in Seattle in November. I think I'm just tired. That kind of tired when you've been working too long without a break and you just feel like you're in a rut. Luckily next week is a short week (thank goodness!), and I am very much looking forward to the downtime. I think I'm also just starting to get more tired during the day (apparently growing a baby will do that to you, who knew?), plus I haven't been sleeping all that well. And now Cody hasn't been feeling great which makes me all worried about him too (we're pretty sure he just pulled or strained a muscle in his back legs and he'll be ok with rest and recuperation. But he's still my baby and I worry!).

Anyway. All this to say I am very thankful that next week is Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Playing Around

I was playing around with one of the apps I have that makes collages for Instagram (oh yeah, I'm on that now if anyone cares to follow - alongfarview over there... not really sure what I'm doing yet, but I'm really enjoying all of the baby pictures - turns out I follow a lot of new parents!), and decided to do a belly shot comparison. I haven't really looked at the pictures side by side much to see just how big the belly had gotten, and well, wow. Hello there 30 weeks!

The lighting and cropping aren't great since I was just playing around, but thought I'd share it anyway.

30 weeks seems like a big milestone to me for some reason... 10 more weeks to go, solidly in the third trimester, belly definitely large and in charge but not hugely uncomfortable yet (though I'm getting there...). Some of the not so nice side effects that I've been hearing about are starting to happen - reflux being the main one. It usually happens in the evening, and I feel like I shouldn't even complain since it's not that bad, but it's still annoying. And I wouldn't be shocked if it gets worse. 

I'm also still waiting to figure out exactly what my leave plans are going to be (I've sent a proposal to my boss and he's still thinking about it...), and I'm pretty sure we're going to get some news this week at work that may shake things up a bit. I'm not entirely certain how it all will affect me, but I'm definitely working on reminding myself that "If I can't change it, I can't worry about it." We'll see if that's actually enough to keep myself from worrying.

In other happier baby news, our hospital tour is tomorrow night and I'm so excited! Really looking forward to seeing exactly where we'll be when this kiddo of ours comes into the world (and all of the random stuff, like where to park and check in when we first show up). And my baby shower is coming up in just a couple of weeks and people are actually coming! (Am I the only one with the irrational fear that no one will show to these types of things? Just me? All right then. But really I'm just SO excited to spend some time with people who I really don't get to see often enough!) 

And have the holidays gotten here super quick for anyone else? I mean, Thanksgiving is next week! I'm super excited for the short week, but wow, the days are definitely flying by over here. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

10(ish) weeks to go. Say what now?

Um, guys? Baby's due date is in roughly 10 1/2 weeks. I don't know if you're counting at all, but that's like 2 1/2 months away. And it could be less than that! That means that in just over 2 months time there's going to be a living, breathing, CRYING human being in my life! You know, separate from me! Uh, the hell? When did that happen??? Also, I'd like to point out that we're now just two weeks away from Thanksgiving, and then my baby shower, and then B's family is coming up to celebrate Christmas and then we're celebrating with my family, and then New Year's and then it's going to be January (aka baby eviction month) before I know it. Holy whoa.



So, here's my 29 week belly shot, only several days late because, well, no excuse. Just because. But it's not like I've actually been sticking to any sort of timetable for weekly updates. No, more it's fun to throw in shots of how the belly is taking over. Which it seriously feels like it's doing. Generally right now I feel pretty good up until about 2pm or so. Nothing really hurts, baby has its dance party moments and some sleepy time moments, I can get work done, all is well. And then, well, then 2pm hits and something shifts. Instead of fun dance parties I think baby gets pissed off at not having enough room and has to take it out on my uterus. I swear it's getting bruised in there. And then my back starts hurting and no matter how I adjust my chair and back pillow I can't find the position that was perfectly comfy just a couple of hours ago. 

And then I go home. Where after B and I walk the dog (who's had to get used to having us both out of the house all day long and therefore goes bat shit crazy excited when we get home), I try to relax on the couch, searching for the position where my back doesn't hurt, the belly doesn't feel weird and the reflux is most held at bay (spoiler alert: said position does not exist). God, this sounds delightful doesn't it? To all of my friends who haven't had kids, sorry 'bout that. Just think about all the alien belly strangeness you have to look forward to should you some day choose to have kids! (I am told it's all worth it though.)

Oh, also? Putting on my socks is starting to get hard, much to B's amusement. Luckily I wear Danskos every day to work so I haven't had to tie shoes in, oh, a couple months now? (also should tell you how long it's been since I wore a pair of sneakers... I have worked out since then but I do so barefoot in my living room. It works. Sort of.) I hear this only gets harder as the belly gets bigger. Awesome.

Back to the plus side though, so far things are trucking along pretty normally (I think). Even though I had some weird Braxton Hicks contractions last week and went home a bit early on Friday because they were hitting that 6 in an hour point that my midwives start paying more attention to, I appear to be back to normal now with the kid just shoving various body parts in my ribs. I'll take it. It is definitely odd trying to figure out what is "normal-weird" versus what is "bad-weird" and where precisely that line is when everything about this process is new and strange and constantly has me saying wtf is that?? 

Next week we have our hospital tour and I'm really looking forward to seeing exactly where this kiddo is going to be born. Also that marks the beginning of having our Centering Pregnancy class/appointments every 2 weeks rather than every 4! And other than the Centering classes that we're doing, we're only taking an Infant CPR class. I don't really feel the need to do any other classes given the research that we've both already done and the resources that we'll have available at the hospital (ie breastfeeding help). 

It's crazy both how fast and how slow time has seemed to have gone this pregnancy, and I know the last couple of months are going to fly by. So I'm trying to savor this time with B before we become a family of three as much as I can. I can't wait to see him as a dad, but right now he's being a pretty awesome husband and I'm so happy he's my partner in crime in all of this.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day

I voted in my first presidential election in 2000. I was a 19 year old freshman in college and I remember being at dinner at the old Student Union Building with a friend when we first heard that Florida was being called for Al Gore. We were so excited. Then in the time that it took to get back to the dorm, we heard that the networks were taking it back and maybe it was going to be called for George Bush. And then... well, then no one really knew what was happening. After that I stayed up until nearly 3am trying to get some sort of clarity and then I woke up the next morning to learn that it would be days or weeks before we knew who our next president was going to be.

Since then I've voted in every election (including off cycle elections, though I admit, I did forget to send in my ballot for this latest primary. Whoops). I am proud of my right to vote, and believe that it is my duty as a citizen to exercise it. I don't always agree with the candidates, but I am pragmatic enough to know that one of them will be in charge and I'd like a say in picking who that person will be. Plus so often when people decide not to vote for president they just decide not to vote at all, missing the opportunity to effect change on a local level. For example, my state has a hotly contested governor's race this year (without anyone named Gregoire or Rossi on the ballot! Hallelujah!), along with several important initiatives, including granting same-sex couples the right to marry. Even if people decide not to vote for president, I do hope that they vote for these local elections and issues. 

I'm also very happy to live in a state that conducts its elections through mail-in ballots (where you can even check online to make sure your ballot was received and your signature verified!). By allowing people the time to vote at home when it is convenient for them and then providing the opportunity for people to either mail ballots back (which yes, does require a stamp) or drop them off at a designated location (which does not require a stamp), Washington has done a great job with raising voter turnout. Oregon has had mail in only elections since 1998, and I believe that Oregon's turnout is over 70% now, well above the 58% turnout nationally (I'll try to find time today to located sources to back up those statistics). Sure it means that since I've only ever voted in Oregon and Washington that I don't ever get an "I voted" sticker, or have tales about standing in line for hours at a time, but I also know that there is no reason for me not to vote and I truly only have myself to blame for not getting my ballot in on time.

I already know that I'm going to spend today being fairly anxious about how the polls are going to turn out. I do my best not to talk too much politics on here because even though this is my space, I respect that others have different beliefs than I do. And I respect that thoughtful adults can come to different conclusions on various issues, as well as how they prioritize those issues when a candidate doesn't represent them perfectly. However, I also don't think it's hard to guess who I voted for. To that end, I very much hope that President Obama wins reelection tonight, and I will be spending my evening watching the election results much as I did back in 2000. However, this time instead of being a 19 year old college student trying to figure out what her life might look like and hoping for a bright future, I'm a 31 year old attorney, married with my first baby on the way, now hoping for a bright future for my child. Amazing how things change and yet have the capacity to come full circle.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

On being pregnant

I thought I was prepared for everything my body might throw at me while pregnant. For example:

I was prepared to be sick during the first trimester. Luckily, I really didn't get much morning sickness at all (and what I did get was afternoon nausea - gotta love the 4pm sicky feeling). But I didn't throw up and I never had to take a sick day from work because of feeling terrible. So, bonus on being prepared for something that didn't really happen. I'll take it.

I was prepared for the cravings and food aversions. Well, sort of. I anticipated that there would probably be some foods that I really wanted and some foods that I really didn't want. But it was weird to see how strongly those would hit sometimes. Like the day that B made a most excellent steak salad and I loaded that up with all kinds of wonderful, healthy, yummy veggies (and steak!) and my body took one look at it and I swear started laughing at me. Like, you've got to be kidding if you think you're going to eat this. Nope, go get a bowl of cereal and then possibly a bagel, thank you very much.

I was prepared for the weight gain. I don't have to like it, and I'm trying to manage it so that I don't gain more than is recommended by my midwives, but I was still prepared for it. (And no, I'm certainly not depriving myself or the growing alien of food. Trust me! Said as I shove Tootsie Rolls in my mouth...)

There were plenty of other things that I was prepared for while this alien makes itself comfy for 9 months before it graces us with its presence. But there were two very specific things that I was not prepared for.

1. The non-stop, all the time, I just freaking went 10 minutes ago! peeing. Seriously. I have never in my life felt so ridiculous in my need to always know where a bathroom is. I've always tried to drink a lot of water (I keep a Nalgene on my desk and make sure to fill it up a couple of times a day at work), and I've been more conscious about staying hydrated while pregnant, but I've never had to pee this often. And especially as the kid grows bigger and moves around in the belly (and yes, uses my bladder as a trampoline), the bathroom breaks come more and more often. It's now gotten to the point where I don't even ask myself if I have to go when I'm leaving the office or the house to run an errand. It's just an automatic stop now. And of course this doesn't let up during the night, either, which brings me to the second thing I was not fully prepared for.

2. No more sleeping through the night. Ever, apparently, as it appears that this does not get better when the baby actually arrives. Damn. In all seriousness though, EVERYONE tells me to "sleep now before the baby comes!" I would LOVE to! And in my first trimester, by golly, I definitely made it my mission to sleep 12+ hours a night (you think I'm kidding... Ask B how many times I fell asleep at 8pm on the couch). But the past couple of months due to the growing belly and the apparently magically shrinking bladder, I'm up at least 4 times a night (if not more). What sucks the most is when I go to bed at 10:30 and my first wake up isn't even after midnight. Nope, often I'll wake up around 11:30 or 11:45. That's a lot of fun, let me tell you. 

So far it hasn't been too bad trying to get back to sleep during all of these wake ups (for which I am currently very, very grateful), but I wouldn't be surprised if that changes shortly. I mean, I'm only 28 weeks. I've still got (probably) 12 more weeks of this! Where I'm only getting bigger! And more uncomfortable! With a stronger tap dancer in there! So yeah. Again, very grateful that I don't (yet?) have many other issues that are keeping me awake (like heartburn or reflux or various aches and pains), but really I'm just waiting for those to show up. So how, exactly, am I supposed to be getting all of this wonderful precious sleep before the baby comes? I have no idea. But if you figure it out, feel free to clue me in.

And because I forgot to post it earlier: 28 weeks! Third trimester! Holy crap, things are getting real!



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