A little attempt to catch up… [part one]

I’m going to focus this post on Impending Baby and then do a second post on H, which will be password protected because lots of pictures and stuff. If you don’t remember my password for H posts, shoot me a text message or leave a comment, and I’ll hook you up.

This has not been a good year for me in terms of blogging. I used to have some creative energy and time to think about my own writing and record-keeping, but for some reason this year at work has never slowed down, not for one minute, and that on top of the whole pregnancy thing has really shoved DYHJ to the extreeeeeeeme back burner. But now it is almost 2016, and I am almost a mother of two, and I’m the only human awake in the house right now, and it is really just inexcusable of me not to at least make some effort to catch up.

SO first and foremost… last time I posted was early SEPTEMBER, and in that post you learned that H is going to have a little brother! As of this past Friday I am 37 weeks along, so we are well within that “any time now” window (although my midwife strongly believes that we’ll go all the way to 40+, same as with H). There are a lot of differences between a first and second pregnancy, it turns out, and most of them make me feel guilty — I haven’t had the luxury to really “commune” with this kiddo in the same way that I did with H, or to really think about him with my full mind and attention. That’s a lot due to having a 2-year-old in the house, and a lot due to being unusually hectic and harried at work, and somewhat to do with not having a long solitary commute this time around.

Anyway, it all really makes me hope that there’s not really anything to theories about psychic mother-fetus connections, and that Baby doesn’t realize he’s being shortchanged in the whole “mama’s attention” thing! Ten years from now when he stumbles on this blog and reads this, I hope he knows how ENORMOUSLY I love him and how excited and anxious I am to see him and hold him, preferably somewhere where he can’t squish my bladder.

Baby is strong and active. He squirms and gets hiccups, although mercifully less often than H, who drove me insane with his near-constant bouts. While H spent a fair amount of time trying to see if he could kick his way out of me via my sides/ribs, Baby assumed the head-down position fairly early on and has been less of a terror on my ribcage. The flip side to that is that he’s taken up more than his fair share of real estate that by rights belongs to my lungs and bladder, so I’ve been like the extremely asthmatic incontinent person for some time.

All in all this pregnancy has been a lot more difficult than H’s, although that said, I know I’m still WAAAAAY down there on the “easy pregnancy” end of the spectrum. My problems with nausea (which were always more of a “hair trigger barf reflex” issue than an actual nausea) persisted well into my third trimester, and the heartburn/indigestion train is on track for a 40-week run. I’ve been a lot more uncomfortable, experienced elevated food/skin sensitivities, and had more trouble with walking and getting up/down than the first time around.  And all through my second trimester I was so tired and weak and sick and just not myself… no appetite… well, it turns out I was pretty badly anemic. So I’ve been on OTC liquid iron supplements and a more iron-rich diet ever since it was diagnosed, and it has helped tremendously. I didn’t fully realize how bad off I was until I addressed it! My appetite returned, as did my personality and my general ability to deal with life… Just in time, of course, to have missed that golden “second trimester window” and to slide straight into “can’t move and have to pee all the time” era, but oh well. 🙂

People have been asking and asking and asking about Baby’s actual name. Somehow they don’t believe us when we tell them that H’s little brother will be named Gotham, Xerxes, Ozymandias, or any of the other great options we propose. (What do y’all think of Archimedes?) It’s funny but R and I haven’t really talked a whole ton about the name. Early on there was a name that I mentioned as being one that I really loved and somewhat regretted not using the first time around, and it has sort of stuck there in our minds and blocked other names from entering the conversation. I’m not ready to say yes, this is the name, definitely for sure, but we have been playing with middle names that go with it, and haven’t come up with anything we like better. My only real hangup about said name at this point is that it is not at all an uncommon name (I greatly prefer traditional names for boys, it turns out) and combined with our common last name, I’m terrified to Google it and see how many other people (and what kinds of people) would share it with our little Batbaby.

This last month of pregnancy has — well, it hasn’t crept up on me, but I am not ready for it. I feel ready for the delivery and for having my Baby, but I don’t feel ready to have a fourth person living in the house yet. I have one week left of Christmas vacation and am going to spend a considerable portion of it trying to rectify this situation…

Can’t wait to find out what Baby looks like! For a long time there I had this tendency to imagine H Part Two, but then I looked at baby pictures of myself and my little sister, and R and his little sister, and reminded myself that siblings don’t necessarily look very much alike at all. I know that genetic probability doesn’t exactly favor my chances of getting a little redhead, but it is still marginally possible. We can bank on blue eyes (there’s a small statistical possibility of green, but not a good bet) but will he be a dimple-templed little Brokawling like his big brother? Will he have the longer, more angular facial structure his Aunt B was born with? Will he be basically bald like H, or will he have a full head of hair? Will that hair be dark like his daddy’s, blonde like my dad’s (and H’s), or… could it be red like mine, and his Aunt M, and my mom and grammy? Will he be a snuggler? Another independent little cuss? Will he love music and trains and letters and numbers and Muppets like his big brother? Will he be a good eater? A good sleeper? Will he take his sweet time talking, or will he go full speed ahead to try to catch up? What will he weigh? Will he get the Baker eyebrows? The Hoffman eyes? And what will H think of all this anyway?

With any luck, I’ve got 3-4 weeks to wait before I find out. 🙂 I’ll try to do better about posting here in the meantime, or at least, I’ll come back to introduce him. 🙂

Advertisements

39!!!

Yesterday, remarkably, marked the day when I was 39 weeks pregnant. (!!!) It was also my last day at work for the school year, which was very odd. It is hard to relinquish control, but I know that once [REDACTED] is here I should fully “find my zen” about letting go of work for a while. Or, y’know, just be too tired and overwhelmed to think about it. 🙂

Tuesday was my last day with students — Wednesday was set aside for SATs — and it was a tough one in some ways, because I just started feeling significantly less comfortable on that day. Nothing that says “you’re in labor” or anything, but everything was just so much more difficult — especially standing and walking. Many more Braxton-Hicks on Tuesday, and I found myself getting out of breath and needing to go to the restroom more frequently than before. I am glad that I made the decision to bug out a week before my due date; I think I am physically done, even if my mind is still plugged in (which, let’s face it, it isn’t really).

According to R, my belly has also changed shape and seems bigger. Probably [REDACTED] is getting all settled and everything. He’s definitely head-down and spends most of his time with his back to my left side and at least one leg stretched out as far to my right side as he can get it. I feel toes pretty regularly under my right breast, and sometimes all the way over to my side. Sometimes he flips around and I can feel what seems to be his bottom below my sternum.

Every day for the past few days, I am half-convinced that I’ll be having a baby within 24 hours. The other half-convincedment is that he’ll stick around in there until May, just to use up as much of my sick leave as possible. 😛 This afternoon I have another doctor’s appointment, so maybe the dilation/effacement news will shed some light on that — probably not, though. R keeps wishing there was a more concrete calendar for this sort of thing, but it just doesn’t work that way…

So, Sunday evening, I went out in our front yard with our dog, Paisley. Paisley has very good yard boundaries, is reasonably good about obeying even when she’s caught up in the moment, and knows/likes cats. But waaaaay down the block, some cat walks across someone’s yard and somehow ticked Paisley off, and off she went like a rocket. I obviously had no chance of catching her, and neither did the 10-year-old boy she shot past who took off after her. I’ve never seen her go after a cat like that. She vanished around the block, but I’m guessing she came to a street (she’s VERY well trained about not going into roads) because after a second, she came back with her tail between her legs.

Then Sunday night, our cat d’Artagnan suddenly discovered that his new favorite place to hide (i.e., under the crib) had a second story. Up until that point, he had shown no interest in the actual crib itself — just the dust-ruffled “cave” underneath it. d’Artagnan is a very timid “scaredy-cat” and doesn’t know that he’s physically capable of jumping very high (seriously) so he just stood there for a few minutes, captivated… he stood up on his hind legs so he could peer in (not propped against the crib, mind you, just meerkat-ing it) and then made a very half-hearted attempt to jump in that ended up with him running into the side of the crib about halfway up.

Thing is, he’s not only timid and sheltered — he’s also a strictly indoors cat without the foggiest idea how to take care of himself. But naturally, the Night of the Crazy Animals wasn’t over yet… so when I wake up the next morning and d’Artagnan doesn’t follow any of his unbreakable morning routines (following the dog downstairs for a morning treat, chasing me into the bathroom to put in my contacts) I knew something was wrong. Turns out he’d somehow slipped out the front door the night before. I won’t go into the details of the panicked bathrobe-clad 5 AM search of the neighborhood, except to say that we found him trapped in our neighbor’s side yard, yowling, and had to dig him out underneath the fence because it was locked up. It had been well below 30 degrees that night and rainy… and we live near bad roads, in coyote country… I am so glad he found someplace nearby and safe to be. R and I were just sick after that but both had to go to work anyway… d’Artagnan, meanwhile, spent the next couple of days strutting around the house looking smug…

Anyway, everyone told me that our animals were acting crazy because I was going to go into labor that day. But I didn’t. And then that evening, our district’s substitute coordinator made an error and called my long-term substitute to let him know that I had had the baby. Apparently she knew something I didn’t know…? Being slightly superstitious, I thought maybe I’d end up having the kiddo on Tuesday after all of that, but it didn’t happen.

[REDACTED] can definitely hear things (Paisley just started barking at some neighbor kids and the baby — well, let’s just say I can visualize him doing a miniature version of his father flinching and trying to get the dog to shut up) and reacts to food and drink pretty quickly, especially if the drink is very cold and/or sugary. Like, a Coke doesn’t do anything, but a fruit smoothie does. He’s surprisingly active given how little room he has in there. Lots of very visible rolling and shifting, although I have yet to experience the “discernable outline of body part” thing that some people see.

I guess that, for all that I feel quite pregnant, I don’t look quite as big as people expect me to — and frankly, I always thought I’d be the “big all over” type, so I’m smaller than I anticipated as well. When people ask me when I’m due, and I say the 25th, they keep thinking I mean the 25th of May! Then they’re shocked when I clarify that I’m due next week. Funny, because we’re pretty certain that [REDACTED] is going to be a pretty long baby. I guess he just tucks up well.

Okay, I have some things to do around the house, including finishing thank you notes, so I had best get off the computer and get to work… plus, it’s cold in here (programmable thermostat hasn’t yet been told that I’m not at work) so I need to get moving to get warm. 🙂 Will keep y’all posted… who knows, next post might have baby pictures…

38!

Today is 38 weeks — wow!

38 weeks pregnant

Tired after a long day’s work, and as usual my phone is taking crappy photos, but the tree is pretty and I like my dress.

You know, it’s true what they say about time being relative (and about relativity being confusing — talk about your cognitive dissonance!). It is a mystery how something can seem to go on forever, and simultaneously seem to fly by. In some ways, it is r-e-a-l-l-y hard to believe that I am within mere weeks, maybe days, of having a child. Of seeing [REDACTED]’s face. Of having an Entirely New Life. And in other ways, it seems as though I have always been pregnant….

The other day, I was telling Ryan that I would like to see some sort of graph that broke down hormone levels during pregnancy. I know that there has to be a lot of hormonal activity for labor to happen, but I wonder if some of the hormones (that is to say, the ones that turn you into a crazy person) dip a bit here at the end. It’s strange, but in this past week I’ve noticed that I suddenly feel a lot more like myself again. I’ve regained patience with my students (my coworkers will snort when they read that, but I can only imagine how bad this week would be if I was still as DONE with them as I was a couple of months ago!) and generally feel like my head is clearer and like I can deal with things. Maybe this is what that nesting stage looks like to me — not an insane enthusiasm for cleaning, but a renewed energy for doing the things I ordinarily do? Or maybe it’s just the change of seasons, and seeing the sun shining and the cherry trees blooming…

Regardless, it’s definitely become a case of the spirit being willing while the flesh is weak. My brain wants to do fun things, like shop or go on a road trip or play a game of fetch with the dog (with whom every game of fetch provides the humans with more exercise than the dog). And in the meantime, I weigh five thousand pounds, can’t bend, have no comfortable seated positions, have to pee constantly, sleep in one-hour bursts, and am exceptionally uncomfortable regardless of what I’m wearing. Walking is exhausting and becomes painful — not in my feet, which haven’t really embraced the whole swelling up thing as much as I’d anticipated, but in my pelvic area.

In other news: no real contractions, but what I now recognize as Braxton-Hicks every day. Doctor’s appointment tomorrow. Apparently they sent the Strep B test off to the lab, which ran the wrong test or something, so tomorrow I have to get swabbed a second time. Assuming they’ll check dilation/effacement again, FUN, so we’ll see if anything is going on in that department. [REDACTED] is a little more active these past few days and has been doing a fair amount of squirming around in his tight quarters.

I had a handful of blissful days without heartburn, and then it came back with a vengeance. The other day, I was about halfway through a grocery store trip when it hit me so hard that I was literally in tears in the soda aisle. For the past several days, I’ve gotten incredibly bad heartburn right around last period. I’m told the most likely cause at this point is that the hormones that soften things up downstairs also soften them upstairs, causing reflux and all that nonsense.

Pregnancy is a very imprecise thing. I think I now have equal numbers of people telling me that I am enormous and that I am really small for 38 weeks, as well as equal numbers of people declaring that [REDACTED] has definitely dropped and has definitely not dropped yet. Ryan attempted to clear up the mystery by telling me that it seems to change, that one minute the belly doesn’t seem so large, and the next minute I’m “as big as a boat.” I pretended to be offended but there were baked goods in the vicinity so that didn’t last.

I don’t feel like I’m all that big, though. I think, maybe, I’d taken the fact that I’ve been somewhat overweight these past few years, and decided that I was going to have the “pregnant all over” look as a result… and instead, I’ve gained relatively little weight, and my belly is all out front. I’m not complaining! I feel pretty in this body, prettier than I’d felt in some time.

What I do know is that in the past week, complete strangers (cashiers, etc.) have begun asking me when I’m due. Up until recently, I’d gotten a lot of those awkward looks where you can tell that someone wants to ask, but doesn’t want to say anything just in case you’re just fat. Month nine, however, appears to be open season on Pregnant Kate. The gas station cashier praised me for “getting it over with” before the hot months. The library sale volunteer demanded I name the baby Kara in exchange for an extra plastic bag.

Did I mention that I can’t fit in the student desks any more? So I guess I must not be all THAT small.

I know that there are things I need to do right away lest I regret procrastinating… I need to put the sheets on the bassinet and crib, change to a water-resistant mattress protector on our bed just in case, pack The Bag. I also need to clean my desk at work (top surface clear, and drawers made usable) and make sure that everything is as “in order” as it’s gonna get for my substitute. I am planning to continue to work through next Tuesday, possibly going in for part of Wednesday as well (it’s a teacher work day), and then calling it a year (which sounds WONDERFUL, doesn’t it?).

As for right this minute, however, [REDACTED] would like me to visit the toilet and then put on something more comfortable and go read a book before going to bed early. I think that seems like an excellent plan, so we’re going to go do that now.

The Countdown Begins

Although it isn’t really a countdown, I reckon, since I don’t know when it will end…

BTW: There’s really nothing interesting in this post, and it definitely falls into the TMI category if you’re disinterested in details of what goes on in an OB-GYN office in late pregnancy. That said, if you’re knowledgeable about this sort of thing, I do have a question toward the end and would welcome feedback.

Yesterday was my first weekly doctor’s appointment. They tested for Group B Strep, which was considerably less of a deal than I’d anticipated. (I mean, I knew it was just a swab, but I thought it would be uncomfortable, and I really didn’t feel anything.) Then, though, the doctor checked my cervix, and that? THAT was surprisingly painful! Ryan said I was making all kinds of great faces. I’ve had my fair share of uncomfortable examinations, but this one ranked waaay up there. Doc says I’m 1 cm dilated and 70% effaced, and “very soft.” I wish knowing that information meant that I could plug it into a chart and know exactly how long we have to wait, but unfortunately, that’s not the way it works. All it means is that, probably, the stork will show up on our front yard in the next month.

I did find an interesting website — When to Expect — that uses statistical data to predict the date of birth. Based on my age, ethnicity, etc., and the fact that this is my first baby, among a few other factors, the website says that (statistically speaking) I am likely to give birth to a 7lb 15oz child in my 39th week (sometime between the 18th and the 24th). I guess there is an 88% chance that the baby will arrive by 5/1. Somewhat dismaying is the fact that in 2% of pregnancies that are statistically like mine, the baby might not arrive until 5/16! (As he’s due the 25th, that’s a pretty scary concept.)

Graphs like this do relatively little for me, but Ryan assures me that that's because I'm a freak, so I'll go ahead and share this for you people who like such things. :) Generated by the When to Expect website.

Graphs like this do relatively little for me, but Ryan assures me that that’s because I’m a freak, so I’ll go ahead and share this for you people who like such things. 🙂 Generated by the When to Expect website.

Following the appointment, the doctor shared that he is leaving his practice at the end of the summer, to work with female patients at the veteran’s hospital/home.

Also following the appointment… I am s-o-r-e. In the, er, groinal regions. Like, it’s-unpleasant-to-walk sore. I don’t know if that’s because it was a painful examination, or because the examination encouraged the already “very soft” cervix to do more “stuff,” or because of a coincidence in timing and things in there are just naturally moving around. I spent some time sitting on my exercise ball, which feels much better than most of the other things I can choose to sit on, but the benefit stops when I get up and have to walk or sit on a normal piece of furniture. The soreness hasn’t let up yet and definitely has a “things stretched/stretching” quality to it, so maybe that’s just normal…?

The other thing that I’m wondering about is baby movement vs. possible early/B-H contractions. At each appointment, the doctor asks if I’m still getting “plenty of good movement.” I’ve been answering yes, but it occured to me yesterday that I don’t really understand how he’s defining “plenty of good movement.” The baby definitely moves around every day, in distinct time patterns and in reaction to things like food and ice water and reclined positions. But it’s not what I’d call constant movement, and there’s not really any kicking anymore — just stretching and rolling a little. (Granted, there’s not much room.)

That said, I’ve been blaming something on Kermie that may not even be him. Fairly often — several times a day — I get the sensation that he is being heavier and pulling out on my belly “muscles” (such as they are at this point). The sensation is accompanied by a sense that I really need to empty my bladder, and doing so often alleviates the pressure/heaviness to a certain degree. I’m beginning to wonder if those are actually something more associated with my body than with him — and if so, and that means that Kermie is moving less than I think he is, is there reason for concern? WHY IS EVERYTHING SO VAGUE?

(Kermie’s heartrate is a perfectly-normal 120bpm, and he’s still head-down. I know it’s fine. Also, his heel is in my right side and his butt is practically between my breasts. Not, like, literally, but as I’m sitting here typing he’s shoved up a little higher and is pushed up against my ribcage.)

37

Well, today I am 37 weeks pregnant. I have a baby-sized baby inside of me. He’s heavy. One of these dumb websites tells me he’s as long as a piece of Swiss chard. Why do all of the baby-size comparisons have to be to things we eat? I don’t want to have eaten my baby.

I can’t seem to get a good self-portrait of myself for these weekly posts, probably because I’m trying to take them using a timer app on my cell phone in a classroom with bad lighting. When we first got pregnant, Ryan wanted to take my picture every single day so that we could make an animated gif of my expansion. But then he started his new job and sorta forgot about taking pictures, so I’ve just been trying to take them myself, with pretty limited results. This one was so bad that I decided tohellwithit and gave it the Use Software to Turn a 21st Century Photograph Into a Terrible Photo from the Early 1980s treatment (aka Instagram, although in this case I used Pixlr). It actually improved the photo, which just goes to show you how bad it was.

37 weeks

I currently have rock-hard abs. Or rock-hard fetus. Something like that. Anyway, it’s the closest I’ve ever come to having a quarter bounce off my abdomen. I’m actually pretty sure you could do that now. Wait — is that a thing? Or am I thinking of making your bed to military standards? That’s probably what I’m thinking of. Oh well.

Tomorrow is my Strep B test, which sounds completely lovely, as does any procedure in which the words “swab,” “sample,” “vagina,” and “anus” appear in the same sentence. I imagine that they’ll take the opportunity to check my cervix while I have my knickers off — or at least, it seems like they’d want to be doing that, given that the kiddo is technically full-term and plenty of people give birth at 37 weeks. That said, I’d be shocked to learn that any progress has been made toward infant evacuation. If I’ve had any Braxton Hicks contractions, they’ve been mild enough to be mistaken for gas or minor twinges.

More uncomfortable by far are my son’s long legs. What’s up with pregnancy diagrams, anyway? They’re all from the side — I can’t find a single one that looks at the uterus (with a kid in it) from the front. This is what all these pregnancy websites want you to think of when they say someone is 37 weeks pregnant:

37 week diagram from side

But they’re missing out on the real story, which looks something a bit more like this:

37 weeks pregnant from the front

(If I had the time or skills, I’d animate that so that you could see those legs shoving as hard as they can against ribs and side, constantly…)

What I’m trying to say here is, Kermie isn’t a placid little curled up ball of baby in there — although he has gotten calmer as he’s run out of room. He has really one and only one hobby, and that’s attempting to stretch my right ribcage out as far as humanly possible before his birthday.

do have some very nice “look, I’m bulbous” photographs to share, but I need a little more time to curate them before sharing here. Like, real photographs, not iPhone crappery. I suppose I ought to take some time to figure out how so many people can take clear photos on their iPhones; mine are never as good as I want them to be. Anyway, here is one picture, taken on Easter, that doesn’t necessarily show off my bulbousness (that dress camouflaged rather than emphasized my shape) but which includes baby’s not-really-namesake, so that’s cute.

Kate, Ryan, Kermie - 36.5 weeks

Easter (March 31, 2013)

I like the word “bulbous.” I grow somewhat weary of being bulbous…

As I write, my friend B is — well, if things have gone according to schedule, she’s recovering from the delivery of their second baby… Very excited for her… Can’t wait to find out whether it’s a little brother or sister…

I think that’s enough for now. Not very inspired. Got to go to a staff meeting now and then grade a bunch of tests. See y’all later.

 

 

Nesting???

victorian bird nest

I have lost track of how many times I’ve been asked if I’ve “nested” yet. I am adding this to a list-in-progress:

Things Pregnant Women Are Supposed to Do That I Have Not Yet Done (I Think) And May Not Do At All Unless It Happens in the Next 20-40 days

  • cry for no apparent (or no rational) reason
  • have major mood swings
  • the belly button “turkey timer” pop
  • develop a linea negra
  • experience extremely strong cravings for strange foods/food combinations
  • “enjoy” massive increases in cup size
  • nest

According to Pregnancy Weekly, nesting is “an uncontrollable urge to clean one’s house brought on by a desire to prepare a nest for the new baby, to tie up loose ends of old projects and to organize your world.” Beyond simply wanting a clean house for the little one (which seems like basic common sense) nesting is usually described as a somewhat fanatical impulse. The same article goes on to say:

Nesting brings about some unique and seemingly irrational behaviors in pregnant women and all of them experience it differently. Women have reported throwing away perfectly good sheets and towels because they felt the strong need to have “brand new, clean” sheets and towels in their home. They have also reported doing things like taking apart the knobs on kitchen cupboards, just so they could disinfect the screws attached to the knobs. Women have discussed taking on cleaning their entire house, armed with a toothbrush. There seems to be no end to the lengths a nesting mother will go to prepare for her upcoming arrival.

This unusual burst of energy is responsible for women ironing anything in the house that couldn’t out run them. Being preoccupied with ant killing, squishing them one at a time for weeks on end. Packing and unpacking the labor bag 50 times. Cleaning the kitchen cupboards and organizing everything by size to the point that you make sure the silverware patterns match when it’s stacked in the cutlery drawer. Sorting the baby’s clothes over and over again is a favorite theme. Taking them out of the drawers and re-folding them, putting them away and doing it over and over again.

By these standards, the answer is no — I haven’t nested. Yes, I wanted to get the house clean over spring break, and there are still household cleaning and maintenance projects that I really hope get accomplished before the stork shows up. But I never felt compulsive about it, and never experienced that lovely burst of energy that makes “real” nesting possible. I certainly haven’t scrubbed anything with a toothbrush (outside of my mouth) or organized my Tupperware. Heck, half of my clothes aren’t even hung up right now.

Yesterday, though, I felt an overwhelming nesting urge of a different type…

(That’s not my dog, but s/he does the same thing my dog does — only with less enthusiasm and perfectionism. I should probably get Paisley’s nest-building on tape at some point; it’s pretty funny!)

I was really sleepy yesterday. It was the first day back to work after Spring Break, I’d slept very poorly, and my allergies were setting in (especially in my eyes, which were dry, which made me feel even sleepier). About halfway through my day, I found myself obsessing about afghans. afghansNo, not people from Afghanistan or long-haired hounds; crocheted or knit blankets, especially those made with soft cotton yarn (not that ucky wool stuff). Specifically, I was obsessing about the two Really Special Blankets that live on our bed and provide my favoritest pillowage and coverage and without which I feel uncomfortable sleeping. I am not going to take this moment to publicly admit that I have a security blanket(s). No, really, I’m not.

Man oh man, did I want my blankets yesterday. I thought about my blankets all through my last class of the day, thought about them as I sat bleary-eyed at my computer wrapping up the business of the day, thought about them as I drove home. I wanted to bury myself in them, wanted to build myself a nest of blankets, curl up, and sleep for hours.

I got home, let Paisley out… changed clothes… and grabbed my blankies. I took them down to the couch and spent the rest of the evening squished up in them as much as my does-not-bend-due-to-enormously-bulging-midsection body would permit. I never did actually fall asleep until bedtime (which paid off; I slept very well last night) but it felt good to indulge my desire to be a cuddled-up puppy or kitty for an evening.

The critters liked it, too.

So! My life goal at this point, I think, is to get some sort of egg-shaped thing — a bit like a papasan chair, only with higher edges — and fill it with afghans, and climb in, and never get out. I’ll need some good air conditioning, and someone to refill my water bottle and bring me the occasional eclair. And someone else can do the other kind of nesting for me! 🙂

36!

As of yesterday, I am 36 weeks pregnant and can, I believe, officially lay claim to the “nine months pregnant” label. Or thereabouts!

At this point, Kermie is hypothetically a six-pound bouncing baby boy. (Well, he probably doesn’t do a lot of bouncing, but he has been doing a lot of rolling and stretching, and the occasional kick or punch.) Depending on which website you ask, he’s between 18.5-20 inches long; I wouldn’t be surprised if he were on the longer end of the scale.

My doctor/hospital will no longer take extraordinary efforts to stop labor if it begins at this point. As uncomfortable as this last month is proving to be, I hope Kermie stays put for at least another couple of weeks. There is still some work to be done at home, and quite a bit of work to be done at work, before I’ll feel quite ready to install Parenthood 1.0 and reboot my world.

In the past several days, I’ve noticed that my walk has changed. If I consciously think about it, I can walk more or less normally, but I’m much more comfortable rocking slightly side-to-side as I walk, which I suppose is that “pregnant lady waddle” one hears so much about. I also don’t have a whole lot of walking in me, and find it much easier if I have a cart or husband to hang on to — just to take some of the weight off my back and pelvis. This, combined with the slightly increased frequency of bathroom trips and the slightly decreased severity of heartburn, makes me wonder if the baby has dropped… I was expecting something a little more noticeable, if so, but whatever!

My back is definitely finding this whole thing to be an ordeal, especially the fine art of finding a comfortable sleeping position. No combination of pillows and squashed-up blankets really seems to do the trick, although if I get the nest just right I can get about 2-3 hours of sleep in before my back starts to strain or my arm falls asleep.

boppy bolster pillowYesterday we took some coupons and a gift card to Babies R Us and filled out the important bits of our registry. I ended up adding a little treat for myself: a Boppy bolster. It’s a firm little sausage-shaped pillow with a removable ice/hot pack, and it turns my glider into a much more comfortable place to be. You can obviously use it any number of ways (neck roll, between the knees, etc.) but the small of the back is where I want it lately. So much better!

Well, I have a full day planned so I’d better stop blogging and start doing. Laters…

Say Cheese

Before I begin writing this, I need to say that I’m talking about my personal preferences here, and that I’m offering no judgment on what other people like — just the same as how some baby names don’t appeal to me for my kids, but if they work for you and yours, terrific! I’ve seen a lot of beautiful maternity photographs that are much-loved by the people in them, and I love them for those people. Just not for me.

Well… actually… I offer some judgment on what some other people like. But then again, there are entire websites devoted to people who are similarly judgmental…

The thing is, I’m not a big fan of formal maternity photography. It just doesn’t do anything for me. I have no interest in pictures of me with big blue bows tied around my belly, or with ABC blocks propped across the bump, or (heaven help me) with a baby photo double-exposed upside-down onto my torso. And while I appreciate the artistry of tasteful nude photography as much as the next person — and actually totally like and am intrigued by the way my body looks now — I really don’t want to strip down and bare all for the camera, even if artfully draped in chiffon.

Not to mention — have you seen some of these pictures? Not a single stretch mark in sight! Exactly how much Photoshop do we need?

The thing is… for me, a photo that exists for the sole purpose of capturing my abdomen on film doesn’t really seem like something that I want, and definitely doesn’t seem like something I’d want to hang on my wall. And it isn’t because I’m ashamed of or unhappy with the way I look; quite the opposite. I guess I just think I’d be embarrassed!

That said, I don’t want this journey to end and to look back and realize that it hadn’t been documented. I have loved being pregnant, have loved being a part of something so extraordinary and that I’ve wanted so badly. And while I don’t want any photos that look like R and I are already working on baby #2 up over the mantle, I wouldn’t mind a few pretty pictures of me (NOT just my stomach!) to have somewhere down the road. So tomorrow (at which point I’ll be 36 weeks and 1 day… hmm, maybe I ought to do a 36 week post?) I’m going to meet up with my mom, who takes beautiful photographs, and I’m going to put on a pretty outfit, and we’re going to go to the park and take some pictures. And none of them are going to look like this:

Fully clothed photos for me, please 🙂 Sorry, Ryan! You’re not going to get the chance to bail me out for indecent exposure in a public park this week.

Although I do have one slightly silly prop that is bound to make an appearance… 🙂

Anyway, I will probably share a few on here in a little while.

I guess I didn’t have much of a purpose behind this post, other than to unintentionally offend a bunch of people, so probably I should go on to bed.

That’s One Spoiled Baby

I am finally getting around to posting about baby showers… good grief, me! This is going to be a photo-heavy post, so I’m going to utilize the gallery feature in WordPress to cut down on space — but you should be able to click on the thumbnails to see larger images.

Ryan’s cousin Krista is due the same week as we are, so she, her sister Kara, and her mom Celia drove up from Salt Lake City in February for a lunch/double shower/get-together. It was a quick trip, but it was so nice to get to see everyone! We met in the back room at Bardenay along with many people from that side of Ryan’s family.

Then, on March 15, my friends from the English department threw me a fantastic Dr. Seuss-themed baby shower. Several of my friends from work were able to come out and eat green eggs and ham and Seussical cupcakes, see whose baby-ice cube water would break fastest, and play history/nursery rhyme trivia games.

I just love the awful facial expressions in that last picture, don’t you?

Presents from the second shower:

I had to take two pictures to show off all of the goodies, plus a separate one for the overflowing Rubbermaid bins of cute little boy clothes, plus another separate one for the “treasure chest” of pirate-themed baby things Mom collected and made! (I like pirate stuff a lot — long story, much history — and Mom knew that Kermie was going to need to get his sea legs early!)

(BTW — Paisley didn’t try to get into the glider all day when I was working in the nursery… until I put that pirate quilt in the seat. I guess she knows when something was made with love!)

Paisley Likes Pirates

My friends from my book club weren’t able to make it to that shower, but we were meeting the following night, so I had an encore shower before we started talking about books! I didn’t take any pictures that night, but I did want to memorialize those presents as well… goodness gracious but this kid is spoiled!

Shower 2 - Book Club Addendum

Finally, I had another chair full of cute things from Ryan’s folks:

Shower 1 - Bakers

That’s not even all of the things — I’m overwhelmed with all the generosity, not to mention with figuring out where to put everything! 🙂 Now that everything more or less has a place to be, I just need to write some thank you notes and do some preliminary baby laundry before the little one shows up and starts making use of all his wonderful presents. He is a very lucky little boy!