Thursday, April 28, 2011

I Want a Change... I Think

I've been debating on whether to continue letting my hair grow out.  My initial plan to was to grow it out for the ease of being able to put it in a pony tail when the baby was little.  However, I seem to have forgotten than when it's long it takes hours to dry and looks like butt even if I whip it into a pony tail the second I get out of the shower.  Add to the fact that it takes a ridiculous amount of mouse for it to look decent curly, or a ridiculous amount of time to blow dry and straighten it, and I'm debating on whether to cut it to chin-length again. it seems to do best that length and I look usually less round in the face when it frames it better.  And since I've got an awesome pregnant lady pudge going on (in my opinion), it's looking like the "gel and go" short cut is sounding better and better.  Downside: impossible to put up.  Which would stink during delivery. 

So I need your opinions. What you think?
My Sister's Graduation last May
Soccer Banquet in early April
On a weird note: I'm pregnant in both these photos.  We had just found out and hadn't even told the family in the first one, then found out about the miscarriage 2 weeks later.  I'm 32 weeks in the second.  What a year, but look where we are: after all that waiting and pain the dream is so close to reality.  Anywho.... back to hair.

Cut it or grow it out?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Nursery Transformation

Well here we are, it's almost done. So in order to appreciate how far it's come, here is where we started to where we are today:
sheer chaos! yikes!!!
this photo makes me twitch!
and today, April 26--still have some work but pretty good!
the dogs don't know what to do with all the smells in here
The mobiles I made:
over the crib
over the changing pad
And someone is waiting patiently for his little brother to arrive:

Hard to believe it's almost done! We are going to put 3 staggered shelves up on the long wall opposite the changing table.  We'll put books and nick-knacks there.  I'll also put his military bear there too to keep it safe until he's older and ready to play with it.  It feels good to have it all in. The car seat base is installed. Coach thinks I'm crazy, but I don't want to be worrying about it.  It only took a second to install but gives me a ton of mental peace.  The seat itself is sitting by my labor bag, I moved it after taking the photos (other bag is still being packed), also so the dogs can smell it and get used to it and hopefully not notice the crying, pooping, fussing baby as much and get worried when we bring him home.  Although I think they'll be fine. They've gotten so protective of me, they know something is up.  Yay!!!! 5 more weeks!

Baby Diary: Week 33

4-26-2011
Holy crap.  I never realize how huge I look until someone takes a photo.  My co-worker took that one at work with my phone (hence the horrible quality) but it shocked even me.  Boy that shirt is working hard.  It'll feel good to be 34 weeks tomorrow.  Less than 6 weeks until my due date.  Although I swear this guy will be early.  Call it female intuition, call it insane pregnant lady, or false hopes, whatever--I just think he will be.

We had our 34 week appointment yesterday and I was full of questions and concerns.  From here on out we talk about labor and delivery concerns and plans.  Next time I have my group B Strep culture.  But we spent most of the time talking about my overwhelming fear he'll be here even before 36 weeks because of all the Braxton Hicks.  And Sunday night I had true contractions every 10 minutes for an hour and a half.  And let me tell you, they aren't anything to sneeze at. She said if it happens again and I have them for 2 hours to just go straight to Labor and Delivery because she wants me evaluated.  But she did follow that up with a "you are almost to the point Colleen where we just let you deliver, so do not worry."  Ha. She did check my cervix again and it's still way up there and totally sealed shut, which is great -- not only because if it hadn't been I would have been put on bedrest. 

I asked her if my thoughts on an earlier than 40 week delivery were rational with all this uterine activity and while she said there is no way to tell, it may be an indication that my labor may be faster than most first time moms.  She said she's seen that more than she could predict an early delivery with people with lots of BH and contractions, but that it's not an exact science until we're there and it's game-on.   She did reassure me in saying that I am identifying what are real contractions vs false labor vs BH, so if it happens again for the 2 hour deal just go to L&D.  Nice to know you're not crazy and know exactly what she wants me to do.  Not knowing what the procedure is, is quite possibly more nerve wracking than the actual labor pains. 

Back to the contractions, I knew something was up when I was in the shower and the bottom of my belly felt like it would fall out.  Then it took me about 30 minutes to brush my teeth and put lotion on because I kept having to bend over (standing up = screaming muscle pain).  I walked to the bed, still trying to convince myself they were just bad BH but I couldn't even roll into bed because the muscle pain started in my lower back and reached around straight to my belly and up under my ribs with a big tight muscle feeling.  when each contraction was releasing my stomach muscles felt like when your leg/arm falls asleep and it's tingling.  It was unreal.  Coach tried to ask me questions for how to help me but I couldn't even hear him I swear when I was having one, I was just totally paying attention to my body and each breath was like a relief.  That hour and a half went so fast.  Just like when I've thought I was having real contractions before, my biggest anxiety was whether or not to call or just go to L&D.  The pain was manageable.  I've learned that in between them to tell Coach to do whatever I need him to because I just close my eyes and focus on my body during them and I block everything out.  His hands on my back or belly felt wonderful.  Then they stopped as suddenly as they'd started.  It was bizarre.  But I was so exhausted I fell right asleep, I don't even remember being relieved--just passing out.

The target order from hell is still jacked up, they shipped the dumb items (baby jeans, body wash, etc) but all our big items (car seat, mattress, breast feeding pillow) have been delayed 3 times now.  I'm getting really PO'd about the whole ordeal.  His room is adorable though regardless, I need to post photos even though we haven't built the little book shelves yet.  It's so peaceful in there!  I go in there just to relax a lot.  Coach even took a hella-long nap on Saturday in the glider, I couldn't find him but opened the door and he was splayed out in there.  Made me laugh so hard I woke him up.  :)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Registry Rant

Just a little one. I promise.  So here's the deal, you sign up for a registry based on their items and their discount.  But mostly for the discount because as far as baby stuff goes, most baby stores all carry the same thing in different prices (Babies R Us is always more expensive, whatever).  Some will even price match, but you have to have the competitors ad.  Still, that's fine.  When you register it asks for your Due Date.  You enter that. oh yay! Registries!

Then you have your shower, knowing whatever you don't get you will purchase afterwords with your 10%, 15% or whatever "completion discount".  A certain store registry who will remain nameless (target, ahem ahem) sends your completion discount out 4 weeks before your "event date" (aka your due date).  4 weeks!  What?  That's putting a mother at 36 weeks. They SEND it at 36 weeks, then it takes 10-14 days to get to you. Then another 10-14 days to get any items (should you be like me and want the items that are online, because they don't carry the #1 ranked car seat or mattress or anything in the actual store).  What the HELL!  Also, you can't find ANY information about their completion discount on their help site, the registry site, or anywhere!  So I called and got 8 different answers from 4 different people on 4 different days to try and get my stinking 10% off!  I need my carseat, my mattress, my matress protector, my breast feeding pillow, etc etc etc here people!  Hormonal Pregnant Lady Alert!!

So pissed off!  4 weeks! 4 weeks before your baby is due is not enough time! Your carseat should be installed 5 weeks before!  You could go into labor at any time! Plus, what if you're a lucky person with a high risk pregnancy who is induced or c-sectioned at 36 weeks! what the eff.... 

So basically, fuck you target registry. I ended up winning anyway but had to talk to Chuck in Bombay to get a 10% discount on my order and had to do it all over the phone, repeating myself 800 times.  And not to be a crazy person, but don't lie to me and tell me you're in Des Moines or somewhere: american's do not read telephone numbers off as 1888-9-333.  That's europe you imbicile, I fucking lived there.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Baby Diary: 32 Weeks


Wow this week has been intense.  He's growing by leaps and bounds, putting on about half a pound a week and I'm feeling every bit of it.  Every body part is recognizable as he pushes around in my abdomen.  I got a good elbow to the side today that made me gasp.  Those bones are hardening.  The Braxton Hicks are happening more and more and more.  I'm doing relaxation techniques hoping they'll help. They don't.  But I do feel less stressed, although that could also be because we're ALMOST DONE!

Now the furniture is in, the glider is in, the clothes are washed, the blankets put away, the room clean, the diapers put together, the toys have their place, and the books are stacked.  We still have some things to do (shelves above the changing table for the books, get the mattress in, get the car seat in, finish hanging a few things we got at the shower) but if he came today, we'd be ready.  We have everything he needs.  Wow.  We're having a baby in less than 6 weeks probably!  WOWWWWW!!!

I feel like I need to devote a whole post to the shower once I get the photos from my mother-in-law.  It was so incredible.  This little guy is wanting for NOTHING.  Some absolutely adorable things (like this, this, this, this, this, definitely this, and oh yeah... this), and so many thoughtful and amazing gifts from so many people.  I opened gifts for ever and I was so overcome with the thoughtfulness of so many.  A homemade quilt, some items from moms who know what I need even though I didn't, some hilarious items that I cannot wait to use (like this), and then the practical items like our monitor and our changing pad.  It was overwhelming.  Amazing.  There are a few gifts that make me cry when I hold them even now, especially Janet's--so many good things about her gifts that make me want to hold my little boy close and smell his sweet smell already.  I'm so ready for him to be here to hold and sing to.  Sweet boy.

I have a feeling I'm carrying a May baby and he'll be here in less than 6 weeks.  I guess only time will tell, but we'll see.  Still, 6 weeks is not that long although it feels like it is crawling.  I must finish reading all my birthing books soon.  We had our breastfeeding class Sunday, enlightening although weird to watch a middle aged lady grab her boobs for 4 hours, and our last Lamaze class is tomorrow.  All ready!!  The hospital tour last week was amazing, the L&D rooms are huge and beautiful (the postpartum rooms are about half the size and still nice, but small for sure).  It feels nice to know where to go during what hours, what the procedure is, and what it'll be like at the hospital--I feel really reassured.  The last thing I want is to wander around the hospital trying to figure out which of the towers to go to while having contractions.  That would SUCK.  I'm feeling pretty at peace with everything.  Labor doesn't scare me.  I'm looking forward to it, the finality of it--he'll be here soon, the pain is temporary.  A means to an end. A beautiful baby.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Labor/Delivery Bag

So yes, it is that time! Hard to believe.  Our last Lamaze class is Thursday and it's our final homework: bring your packed labor bag (which is different than your postpartum suitcase).  I've been dropping things into my overnight bag for weeks now (toothbrushes, face wash, mouth wash samples, etc.) and it has been hanging right next to my vanity in the bathroom.  Last night we went to the grocery store and I had Coach pick out a bunch of snacks/food that he would like in the labor bag--boy did we end up with a lot of junk amid those power bars.  He and my sister Caitlin will be in the delivery room with me and they both get cranky when hungry, so whatever they want is getting packed for L&D.  Here's what we packed (don't laugh):
  1. Snickers x2 (Coach, when asked, this is the only thing he though of instantly. So we got them)
  2. Twizzlers (Caitlin)
  3. Dried Cranberries, Apricots, and Apples (both love these dried fruits, so we got a bag of each)
  4. Fruit Roll Ups (nostalgia, and funny purchase on my part for Caitiln)
  5. Gushers (you remember these? I had a coupon and couldn't help myself)
  6. Kashi bars (had these in the pantry)
  7. Propel individual water mixes 
I'm sure we'll add to the stockpile, but that was what he wanted.  The last thing I want is cranky coaches!  I thought about getting some poprocks or something that would make both Caitlin and Coach giggle, so maybe I will.  We're quirky people, why not bring quirky snacks?  I thought about bringing something random like Catchphrase to play because all 3 of us kill at that game and it'd definitely be diverting and funny. Plus it's small so it wouldn't take up that much space if we didn't use it.  Maybe I'm being too much of a spaz.

They gave us a list during Lamaze for what to pack but I feel like it didn't have everything and it's kind of lame, so I looked online and the choices for printable packing lists are practically non-existent which surprised me. 
So I kind of packed from all of them and used each list as a guideline. I've been collecting all our near empty bottles of toiletries and instead of using them until they're gone, I put them in the bag so we just dispose of them at the hospital when we leave (yes, I'm a genius). Also, ask your dentist for extra mouth wash and toothpaste samples, if you tell them why they'll gladly also fork over extra toothbrushes (mine did! and they gave me the moisturizing mouthwash for use during labor since your mouth can get dry--instead of just giving me regular mouthwash. smart people there!). In my labor bag I have:
  • iPod & headphones
  • Lotion
  • Mouthwash, both of our toothbrushes and mini toothbrush
  • Contact lense solution and case, and extra glasses
  • Fuzzy socks
  • Tennis balls (for massage)
  • Hair ties and hair bands
  • Camera battery charger
  • Pillow case (the pillows are in the truck of the car)
  • Face wash
  • Small thing of Vaseline (I use it for lip balm and makeup removal)
  • Old flip flops
  • Robe
  • Snacks
  • Change and $1 bills
  • Notes that I've made for myself and Coach (reminders for what to ask for)
Delivery bag is being packed, but here's what we have so far:
  • Shampoo/Conditioner (full size, I hate those mini ones)
  • Body Wash
  • Small Luffa (to toss when we leave, I have drawers of them from "bonus" pack body wash things)
  • Hair Gel
  • Makeup bag (just the basics)
  • Undies (one's I don't mind throwing away if necessary, if I use them at all)
  • Nursing Bras
  • Receiving Blanket
  • Boxer-Briefs, Gym Shorts, and extra T-shirts for Coach
  • Razor and Shaving cream
  • My old mouth guard (in case we forget to grab my current one)
Obviously the big things we are missing are:
  • Going home outfit for baby
  • Going home outfit for me
But I feel like we have a good start.  7 weeks! eek!!! And the baby shower Saturday was insane, oh my gosh.  I'll post about it when I get the photos from my mother in law.  I am in awe.  We are almost all set! wow!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Baby Diary: Week 31


Gosh this week has stunk a big one.  I started having Braxton Hicks (BH) Thursday and they got worse Friday.  I talked to the nurse for my Dr Friday and she told me that if they didn't calm down to go to L&D to be monitored.  I went home and slept for about 3 hours before Coach's soccer banquet, where the continued, but didn't feel like they were as frequent.  Had a few Saturday.  Sunday had them during lunch so bad I could barely eat so I spent most of the day laying on my left side drinking water.  They've been happening all week.  Luckily today is my Dr's appointment.  I have a huge list of concerns this time. 

On a good note, the furniture was delivered Saturday morning and looks great. Coach liked how simple it was and how it will transition easily from baby to kiddo furniture, that it's not as fu-fu as the stuff we looked at together and hated.  I washed all the hand-me-downs, sheets, blankets, burp cloths, and the quilt.  Everything is all put away and ready.  I unpacked some diapers and wipes, put them away for use in the dresser (we're also using it as our changing table).  I put our swing together.  It all looks so ready.  As far as furniture we're just waiting on the crib mattress, which I'll buy after my baby shower Saturday, and the glider.

We went to Ashley Furniture after church Sunday.  I tried the glider/rocker out and loved it.  It also happened to be on sale so we bought it.  It will arrive in 2 weeks at the store and Coach will go pick it up.  So that's it for his room!  Although I kind of wish I'd ordered the night stand with the furniture.... depending on finances I may order it in the end.  We'll see. 

It feels amazing to have everything almost done.  Especially with this feeling that he may come early I've been having since all these contractions started. So if he does, at least everything big is done.  The pack-n-play is even ready and in place in our bedroom.  Really the biggest thing we'd need to bring him home is the car seat, which we'll have to get if he does come early.  But we'd have a while as he'd most likely have a (hopefully short) stay in the NICU. And if he doesn't, we've got plenty of time for it to arrive here after I get around to ordering it. 

Home stretch either way.... calm, serene..... no stress... or at least I'm trying.  right?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Cord Blood Donation

So after Janet posted information some months ago about cord blood donation, I got looking into my options. There were two centers that I found that collect here in Texas, although there are unfortunately not any participating hospitals in Fort Worth (there’s only 1 in Dallas too).  Naturally, that didn't stop me from seeing if I could still donated.  As someone who doesn’t want to pay for cord blood storage for many reasons (cost only being one of them), and Be The Match member, I had already thought about how to donate our baby’s cord blood. It’s so valuable and this saves lives. That this new beautiful member of our family could already save someone else, or help produce research that could save many, is an amazing program and amazing opportunity. Then began my research (which I clued my doctor in on at about 18 weeks and she said she would be on board with the donation process, also a very important step).

  1. The first donation center is through the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center's, Texas Cord Blood Bank.   You can email them before your 34th week of pregnancy (although sooner is better) to receive a kit and instructions. 
  2. The second, is to donate to the MD Anderson Cord Blood Bank for use in cancer treatments and research.  After all the amazing things MD Anderson did for Preston's cancer care, I decided to really invest some time into researching their options.  I called them at 1-866-869-5111 when I was around 20 weeks. They were amazingly nice and easy to deal with.  Totally thrilled to be able to do this!
And straight from the Texas Blood website, listen to these benefits!
  1. There is no risk to the donor.
  2. There are fewer immune complications.
  3. This program is not controversial and has the support of the faith communities.
  4. Over 8,000 cord blood transplants have already been performed worldwide.
  5. Possible future uses include cardiac or neurological repair.
Why not! What a great program! I’m so excited to be able to do this for someone who deserves this live saving chance!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Glider

So it occured to me after talking with Bethany and discussing furniture that I totally keep forgetting about the whole "we still haven't found a glider" issue.  As in the comfy ones I love do not fit me.  As in the top of the back comes about to my shoulder blades and would not support my head (I am freakishly long waisted, short legs).  And I'm not a fan of the other kind because I know this furniture will eventually make it's way into our bedroom or livingroom and would look out of place. 

So I finally got on it and started searching for glider. And I kind of wanted a leather one (wipeable, durable, and would look nice in our livingroom evenutally).  But I hate the look of most recliners... they're too poofy for some reason.  however, this one popped up and I immediately fell in love.  It looks like a club chair!  And it's a glider and recliner, so Coach is immediately a fan.  Although it's not real leather, which gives me a little doubt.... but not enough to not check it out.
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Image from Ashley Furniture
Maybe not traditional looking for a glider for a baby's room, but I love it.  It doesn't have a matching ottoman, but that's really no big deal as I doubt we'll use it.  Ironically (or coincidentally) it's from Ashley Furniture so I'm going to go test drive it and (pray) it comes up high enough.  Because it is winning my heart. 

thoughts?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Baby Diary: Week 30

9 weeks left!  If he comes now he'll be fine, he'll spend a little while in the NICU but mostly to put weight on.  Just knowing that is a huge relief.  He would be fine.  Although the blood pressure issues are getting more frequent, so that's weird and I've got to talk to them very seriously about it during my appointment.  He's packing on the pounds, although so am I.  I'm getting way too close to my "scary/must not get there" maternity weight--despite all my healthy eating and best intentions.  We go to the doctor a week from today and then it's every 2 weeks until the last month.  Tomorrow we have our 3rd (of 5) Lamaze classes, we have our breastfeeding class on the 17th, and my shower on the 16th.  Furniture arrives Saturday.  Everything is falling into place in the next 2 weeks to have us ready for him to arrive. 

It is incredibly real that he's coming.  I'm having braxton hicks regularly, the false labor has disappeared (thank gosh, fingers crossed), I'm getting massive and filling out/stretching to the limit all my maternity clothes.  I can no longer get away with wearing non maternity workout pants with the exception of a pair of shorts that were huge before and low-rise.  I'm starting to throw things into my hospital bag in the bathroom as they come out of the wash.  I mean seriously,  not only am I pregnant (what? seriously?) but I'm having a child... in 2 months.

Scary thought: if they suddenly change their mind or something and something goes wrong and want him out at 36 weeks, he will be here in 1 month--as in 5 weeks, as in, like holy shizzle. 

We are going to be parents.  This baby is going to call us Mommy and Daddy.  When he falls and scrapes his knee's, he's going to come crying into my arms.  He's going to change our lives forever.  We're no longer just married people, we have a CHILD.  I'm ready but I think it's just knocking me back a bit that it's real.  I'm not scared, but I am kind of dazed the last few days.  Don't know why, but I am.  Seriously.  I'm someone's MOM.