Giving Thanks for Girlfriends (23w4d)

I have been terribly lucky to have a network of friends both IRL (in real life) and online to draw on for support and wisdom and reality checks during this crazy journey I’m on.

I’ve talked about my Fairytales girls before. They continue to be a source of immeasurable help and comfort to me – if for no other reason than I know there’s nothing I wouldn’t feel comfortable sharing with them after 11 years of friendship. I feel like I’ve got a gaggle of auntie-friends who have all been-there, done-that and have myriad points of view on any baby-related subject. They’ve done it all for baby-wearing, breast-feeding, pumping, co-sleeping, cloth-diapering, and every other non-crunchy-granola parenting task there is. Having a one-stop-shop for several opinions really is helpful as I try to figure out what I think and believe. I’m shocked to discover I have opinions on things I’ve never really thought about before. (Oh hey! I care about this!)

But then there’s Caroline and Kelly. Current and former co-workers, who also happen to be friends. They had their first babies (daughters) within two weeks of each other last October. Since that time, I have been blessed with their first-hand experiences of what works and what doesn’t – which differ from kid to kid, I’m seeing very clearly. They both have answered myriad emails about every subject you can think of since that little stick turned pink. I continue to pester them with “OMG, what about this?!?!?” stuff at all hours – although I hope I’ve been less bothersome as of late. And what’s great is that my middle-of-the-night emails aren’t middle of the night to Kelly who moved back to Philadelphia in January of 2008.

What I’ve really been blessed with recently though, is hand-me-downs. This month, Kelly sent two boxes (!) of clothes that her little one (K) has already outgrown. One box included a pair of overalls that still send me into paradoxical squeeing every time I see them. (Babies in overalls, does it get any cuter?)

In addition to baby clothes (which started shortly after I announced was pregnant) Caroline has been handing down gear (like a tub and a bumpo seat) in addition to diapers! Caroline’s little girl (H) is growing like a weed and has outgrown diaper sizes faster than her mom and dad can strap them onto her little bum. So I have multiple packages in multiple sizes of Pampers Swaddlers – which is apparently what EVERYBODY uses.

I am so lucky to have these ladies with such fresh experience (not only of babies, but of actually BEING pregnant!) available to me and so willing to share in their knowledge. Plus, it’s really, really great to be able to chat with them both about baby stuff and have an understanding ear. They know what it’s like to have this overwhelming amount of information and questions and AWE at what’s happening to you – and the NEED to talk about it to someone who won’t run screaming after 30 seconds.

That’s not to say that I’m not grateful for the advice and responses I get here on this blog, either! While Caroline and Kelly both post here, so do Kim, Kym, Kristy, April and so many other friends who have provided insight and support. I really do appreciate each and every one of you who come here and take the time to read my blatherings, let alone respond to them. I need to get better about responding directly to responses, but please know that the comments we get here do mean the world to Paul and I, to know that so many people are already involved in our son’s life.

Good appointment (20w6d)

Great appointment today. Confirmed something important about our baby: it’s a little punk. Misty (Dr. Schwartz’s nurse) spent a good 15 minutes trying to coerce the little critter to show us the goods. We were looking up at it’s bum, like we were under the invisible little chair it was sitting on. But the baby just wasn’t about to open it’s legs and confirm what we thought we saw. The baby was flip flopping and bouncing around (maybe because of the two sips of OJ I had right before the ultrasound) but not about to show us what we wanted to see. DANGIT. Next time… (Misty and I both thought we saw something, but she wasn’t confident enough to call it.) It continues to seem odd to me to see the baby doing crazy acrobatics and I still can’t feel ANYTHING. Hopefully soon.

Dr. Schwartz was great about answering questions today, having been prepped by my e-mail last week. We covered a lot of things today:

  • I only gained half a pound!! Holy cats! I was totally shocked. I was honestly expecting a gain of 4-6 pounds because my clothes are totally fitting different (way tighter) and well…. I’ve been eating more than I ever have cuz I’m starving all the time!! Dr. Schwartz was happy to see the small gain, but cautioned me that I need to make sure that I actually am eating enough since the baby does need a fair amount of nutrition for all the growth it’s doing these days. He totally gets that my brainmeats are making it hard for me to eat as much as I apparently need to. At my next appointment he’ll be checking to make sure that the baby is growing and gaining weight as expected. But he was supportive (as always) that I must be doing things pretty well as far as nutrition and calories because my blood sugars are consistently improving, and my a1c results (like a 3-month diabetes report card) were down to 6.0 (from 6.5 and 6.3 the last two times it was checked.)
  • Speaking of proper nutrition, my Muscle Milks are TOTALLY FINE. Contrary to what the morons at GNC and Vitamin World yelled at me last week, there’s NOTHING of concern whatsoever for pregnant women to have protein shakes. The L-Arginine in the shakes (as a form of protein) is also found in most nuts. L-Arginine has been found to help with placental growth retardation, as well as preeclampsia: both of which I’m at risk for! (The lady at GNC was yelling at me that I was going to have a GIGANTIC, over-grown baby because of drinking protein shakes, and that my doctor was stupid for allowing them. Dr. Schwartz asked which GNC it was cuz he wants to have a word with them.) So I can happily keep drinking my yummy High-protein, Low-carb, vitamin-rich shakes. Hooray!!
  • The swelling in my ankles/feet is nothing to worry about yet. Dr. Schwartz thinks I’m just prone to swelling. (I’m getting a fair amount of swelling in my wrists too.) He encouraged me to continue to keep my feet up as often as possible. He agreed that striving for good hydration is a good idea, but that it won’t help this kind of swelling as much as it does for regular hot-weather swelling. He cautioned that it’s not gonna be fun towards the end of my pregnancy when it’s hot, cuz then I’ll have both types of swelling working together. Oy. (Oh, and apparently a restless legs / ants under the skin feeling in the evenings is normal too. Wheeeee.)
  • He also commented that towards the end of my pregnancy, he expects to see me twice a week for nonstress tests and whatnot. So I’m gonna have to work something out with him for scheduling, and work something out at work so that I burn as little of my paid leave as possible. (Maybe I can just not take a lunch EVER AGAIN.) I’m really concerned about my maternity leave. I’m taking as little leave as possible for my appointments, but any leave I take comes directly out of what I’ll be able to take when the baby is born. I have to take 8 weeks off because the daycare won’t take infants under 8 weeks – but there’s no way I’ll have that much paid leave saved up – especially if my appointments move to once a week or more. Unfortunately, we need both our salaries – so I’m not sure what we’re gonna do for several weeks that I’m gonna have to take off unpaid. I guess that’s what credit cards are for, right?
  • So, because I’m doing so well (blood pressure was lowest it’s ever been, blood sugars are consistently lower, weight gain is very small) I’m cleared for another 3 week appointment. No changes to my insulin or blood pressure meds for the 2nd appointment in a row! So I’m set for Wednesday March 24th at 3:00pm. (Dr. Schwartz is taking me as his last appt from now on so I can burn as little paid leave as possible – he just has to leave by 4:00 to catch his flight home.) Edit: I changed my appointment to the first of the day at 8:00am, because I actually lose less work time by going in the morning. Those first-thing appointments go fast tho, so I can’t always get them. There will be a full ultrasound at the next appointment to check growth and (hopefully) confirm sex for us.

Materialism (19w5d)

Oh lord. I haven’t bought anything, but I’m enjoying the heck outta looking. (Paul made the horrible suggestion that I go look at Etsy… I had been specifically avoiding that site.)

Stuff I’m currently lusting after:

A HandsFree Mei Tai carrier in “Marie”:

Marie Marie

It comes highly recommended by my most babywearing friend. I’ve e-mailed with the owner of TogetherBe and found that the (padded) straps are long enough to fit me just fine. Most other places I’d looked at for Mei Tais charge extra for longer straps that wouldn’t end up being long enough anyway.

Tie-Dyed onesies from TwirlyToes on Etsy:

Orange Tie Dye Peace Sign Swirly Tie Dye

Fortunately, not much else on Etsy strikes my fancy… or at least not enough for what folks are charging. I’m enamored enough with the adorable Carter’s and Circo onesies on the registry that are 5 onesies for the price of one Etsy onesie.

Lastly, there’s just 10 days before Spring Training starts… and just less than two months before Opening Day. Need to make sure the wee one is properly outfitted to cheer for the Dodgers!

Home & Away Onesies

With this set of Home & Away onesies, the little one would be all set for the rest of the baseball season!

This is how I entertain myself when I’m on the couch with my feet propped up above my heart when I come home with swollen ankles. Fortunately, I’m still able to show some restraint and not buy anything. (yet. hehe)

Physicality (18w5d)

Random physical stuff:

  • I am rapidly approaching the end of useful life for my sole remaining pair of jeans. Getting them on right out of the dryer is becoming a challenge, and they’re not as comfortable when I’m sitting as they used to be. I will be completely in the realm of knit pants from here on out, methinks. (since maternity jeans in my size do.not.exist.)
  • Speaking of disappearing waistlines…. mine is slowly but surely disappearing. And the way I can really tell is that I can FEEL the honeydew melon of my uterus now, right at my waistline – in line with my bellybutton. I still haven’t felt anything (OK, maybe one or two flutters, but I’m not sure) so it’s reassuring to finally be able to feel *something* that confirms this isn’t all in my head. I showed Paul and had him poke my waist… just weirded him out.
  • Round ligament pain isn’t any fun. It’s terribly disconcerting. And, um… it hurts!
  • I’m finding that I do feel a difference now when I’m laying in bed and I end up on my back. The books say that laying on my back at this point will put pressure on a big vein and/or nerve. They’re right. I can feel it, and notice a difference when I roll to one side or the other. (It’s kinda cool when the stuff in the books turns out to be correct.)
  • I have ugly shoes. But I’m totally OK with this. Because for the first time in a long time, I have comfy shoes. AND they slip on, so no more bending over to tie my shoes. (I can tell that putting on socks is gonna get interesting in another month or so.) I got two pairs of these beauties, and they really are comfy!
  • Wilford Brimley is my hero. He (OK, the folks at Liberty Medical) finally sent me new insulin syringes. The ones I got at Walgreens sucked. At least once a week I would jab myself, only to have the dang needle not go in. Couple that with increasing dosages requiring me to jab myself multiple times, several times a day… I’m thrilled to have the largest insulin syringes available with the smallest, finest needles they got.
  • Lastly, while I’m all about winter all the time; I can’t wait for it to warm up enough to use the pool at my in-laws. I have every intention of heading over there after work each day and walking or swimming laps or something. The exercise will do me good, and the temporary relief of pressure off my back will be wonderful too. Our highs have been kissing 70 for a few days, so maybe it’s not so far away!

Random Weekendness (18w2d)

We are now the proud owners of two bumpers and a baby comforter. They’re sitting on the green couch in the front room, and they look SO WEIRD to be in the house.

I went to Target today looking to buy a set of the blankets or something from the nursery stuff we picked out so we could figure out paint colors this weekend. But what do I see on the shelf? Both the bumpers and the comforter. None of which was at the other Target we went to on Thursday – they just had pictures and empty shelves. So I jumped on it and bought all three. I was grinning like a loon the whole time I wandered the store to pick up toilet paper and other exciting items, while glancing at the treasures already in my cart.

I’ve also found a new favorite activity. Wandering baby clothes stores. I went to the outlet last night to look for some shirts for an upcoming family gathering. But there happens to be a Gymboree outlet and a Carters Store there too. I went into both to poke around and see what outlet prices work out to. (Gymboree had some good deals, but I’ve seen better prices on the Carter’s stuff at BRU and Kohl’s.) What I LOVE about this though, is that I can talk about baby stuff and being pregnant and 10 years of trying and whether it’s a boy or a girl, and THEY DON’T MIND. Not only do the shopgirls not mind, they seem to be interested in what I’m saying and will actually converse with me!! (Yeah, I know – they’re hoping I’ll buy something… but I really don’t think that ladies who are giving me their names and reaching out to hug me as I’m leaving are being completely insincere.) It is SO NICE to find someone – ANYONE who will let me talk about this stuff without making me feel like I’m boring/annoying them.

I guess being pregnant is a lot like planning a wedding. It’s the most exciting, all-consuming thing in your life. And no one cares even remotely as much as you do. You find yourself craving to talk about the minutia of the whole journey, and since you’re researching everything – your mind is bursting with new information and ideas. But within 30 seconds of bringing it up, everyone’s eyes glaze over and they start scanning the room for methods of escape. I think everyone forgets pretty quickly what it’s like to be pregnant for the first time.

So I’m taking full advantage of shopgirls at baby stores. I’m not buying anything yet (I bought one clearanced pack of adorable onsies at Target on Thursday, but that’s all the baby clothes I’ve bought.) But it’s just so great to walk into a store like that and not be choking back tears or feeling an icy stab in the heart. It’s like I’m finally a member of some secret club, and they’ve got really adorable swag. (OMG, little onsies with monkeys and dinosaurs on them!!)

But speaking of clothing, I’m continuing my quest to find maternity clothing for me. I’ve found three websites that seem to carry maternity bras in a size that will be appropriate for me at the end of all of this. Even better, they seem to have really reasonable prices too. Maternity clothes are another story. The “plus size” maternity fashions fit me now. I’ve got room to grow in them, but I doubt they’ll be cutting it in June. But before that, we have a Gorman family gathering for Paul’s grandmother’s memorial service in mid-April. It’s in Orange County, and there will be a lot of family there. I’ll be 27 weeks (6.5 months) by then and hopefully showing. I want to find outfits that will make me look more pregnant than fat. (I know, tall order.) I found a couple of pretty good tops last night, but I’m still looking. I want to make a nice impression on the family as Paul’s wife. Not that I haven’t met them all before… just wanna make carrying our baby look good. I don’t want to be sloppy. Ah well. If this is the worst thing I have to deal with, I’ve got it easy.