Monday, November 24, 2008

38 weeks

That was a speedy visit. Nothing really to discuss. I am now 1 cm, 50% effaced, and the baby has dropped down another station. I am now where I was with Ava until the day I was enduced. I think I effaced more, but that was about it. She never dropped down to a farther station until I actually started pushing. For all those that will say the baby has dropped...I carry low. Very low. I think with Ava people would try to convince me that she had dropped, even though I knew otherwise. Once the head kind of settles in, I just look like this. I have a very long rib cage and don't care the baby up by my chin. I carry it in my lap. I gained back a pound that I had lost, but still not everything. I am sure that ice cream I bought yesterday and Thanksgiving will help me catch up.

Ava had her pre-op physical. She is now 26 pounds and 33.5 inches. I knew she had gotten taller. She is still tiny in the percentiles for her age. She is 12th for weight. 26th for height. No wonder her pants won't stay up. She told the doctor about when she made her big poopie in the potty. She told him it was like a Dori poop. Love him for giving her a high five for the big poopie.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

We went to the grocery store tonight to get a few necessities we needed for the week (milk, eggs, etc.) and stuff to make our contributions to Thanksgiving dinner. Justin was a little stunned at the total after checking out. He thought about what all we got and realized we left the store with over a gallon of ice cream. That is what happens when Eddy's is buy one get one free and you have a pregnant lady with you who only wants to eat what sounds good and if today it sounds like peppermint ice cream, that is what it is. He also got a gingerbread house kit to make with Ava after her eye appointment. We found one that has good candy to decorate it, so we will probably actually eat it.

I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow morning. Any bets on any activity down below? Any guesses on the ETA of this baby? This morning one of the custodians at church asked me if I was having triplets. I am not that big.

Monday, November 17, 2008

back up

We have internet again!!!!!! Yay!

My cougher is sore. I know there isn't such thing as a "cougher" but all the parts of my body that go into coughing are sore. I can survive without cold medication now, which does tell me that I have definitely turned the corner. Every day it is getting a little better, it is just taking forever, or so it seems.

My friend had her baby Friday. I can't wait to see her. There are things going on with the baby, so I am definitely trying to give her space. I am sure she knows I am there if she needs me, but I always think how I react to things. there is a fine line in being there and supportive and a hassle, an overwhelming presence to have to be dealt with. For all I know, nobody else thinks the way I do, so then I just end up being a turd, but there is thought behind my actions, or lack there of.

37 weeks

I had my 37 week appointment this morning. The doctor wasn't thrilled to hear about my pneumonia, but he said it did explain why I lost 3 pounds in a week. I am generally feeling much better. I just have a little head congestion, like a normal cold. I actually think I got a 2nd cold right after the first one that gave me the pneumonia. I didn't have any head congestion with the first cold and that is pretty much all I have this time. It is much better than it was 4 days ago, even yesterday, so hopefully in a day or two I will be cold free for the first time in almost a month. Blood pressure was still good. 104/68. No swelling. Baby's heart rate was 140. No dialation yet, but 50% effaced. He said the baby has come down a bit, but that is about it. I told Justin about the effacement and he was like oh crap. (he does NOT want this baby to come any time other than 2 days before the due date or beyond.) I was like it doesn't mean anything. I was like this for a month with Ava. To me it is just a confirmation for myself that I am right when I say I can feel a little something happening, but not much.

Our internet is still down, 3 days and counting now. There is something wrong with the wires in the ground (my guess is they dug through something important while putting up new utility poles) but they are going to try to fix it today.

Other blog will have to wait until my internet is up to get this post.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

36 weeks and sick

So I have had a cold for over two weeks now. It was an odd cold. Mostly just in the back of my throat and my chest. No real boogers or stuffy nose like with a normal cold. The cough has been driving me nuts and in the last couple days seemed to get worse and I got body aches and chills. I pretty much got fed up of not being able to sleep at all, and was just getting more and more tired, so I called and made an appointment with the doctor. I actually hadn't been to my primary care doctor in about 4 years. I have been that healthy. Weird. I used to get sick all the time, sinus infections and whatnot. (that really does prove something to me about my living environment and whatnot at the time, but whatever) I was thinking maybe i had an ear infection since I could feel pressure in my ears. Either way, I wanted to sleep and it had gone on long enough. The doctor came in and did the standard look in the ears, throat, etc. Listened to my chest and felt my throat. (I was super clammy and sweaty, so I am sure that was a pleasant experience for her.) Anyway, she was like yeah, you have a little pneumonia in your lung. Excellent. That explains the constant soreness in my back and side and why it is hard to sleep if I lay down, why I can't stop coughing, etc. Didn't even think of it as a possibility. So now I am on antibiotics. I am hoping it all clears up before I have to have the baby, because I think a whole delivery with pneumonia would be unpleasant. Plus I still have a lot of cleaning and stuff that I want to get done that I need to have the energy to do. Obviously that is not that big of a deal, but it is very annoying to have "nesting eyes" seeing things to be done everywhere you look, but no energy to get off the couch.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

36 weeks and tmi for those who are sensitive

Just some basic info. I had my 36 week visit this morning. Everything is looking good. The doctor says she thinks the baby is already six pounds and will put money on it being born weighing 7 lbs 4oz. We will see if she is right. She said definitely bigger than Ava if I go 4 more weeks.

blood pressure: 104/68
weight: minus one full pound
measuring 35 mc
heart rate: 132
cervix is closed and high. She said I am almost a finger tip. I told her I didn't feel anything happening at all, so it doesn't surprise me.

My job is to sleep. I took myself off the schedule for any future over nights at work. Right now I am going off of 2 and a half hours of sleep. I am hoping to get a couple more in when Ava takes a nap before I have to go to work for my regular shift.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

busy busy

We had a pretty busy weekend. Our weekends usually actually start on Friday, with Justin working from home. I worked Thursday night and the emergency brake light came on again in the van. We decided to take the van in to get fixed Friday morning. Turns out the cap on the master cylinder came off and we were leaking brake fluid. It was a good thing we took it in and turned out to be a very inexpensive repair, which was awesome. Major car repairs are never really in the budget, even though all the money management things say you should set money aside just in case, it doesn't happen. Money is set aside, just not for car repairs.

One of the perks of Justin's job is fun family stuff. He got us tickets to see Madagascar 2. It was Ava's second movie and she was pretty excited. She did better than when we went to see Wall-E, but I think it had to do with the fact that we went int he afternoon instead of at night. She was very excited about her popcorn and ate most of her bag, minus what she spilled on the ground. I think the sequel was funnier than the original. There are going to be some good kids movies out around Christmas so we are planning some good Daddy/Ava outings while he is home on vacation/paternity leave.

Justin fixed my laundry room shelves today. Sort of. Turns out that our studs are way too far apart for the shelves, so we actually need to get wood that is wider to put on the arms for the shelves. We are getting a lot of the things done off the to-do list. I have a lot of errand running to do this week, and that will get quite a few things crossed off.

That is about it for our exciting life right now. Tuesday I go to the doctor for my 36 week check. The doctor might give me a size guess for the baby, not that they were even close to right with Ava. It is the debate...I would love to not be pregnant much longer. On the other hand, we have doctor's appointments and other things planned until right up to the due date and Justin's vacation time planned around it, so it would be nice if the baby didn't come early. How weird that I am actually hoping to not have the baby until the 11th or later. It would be ok if it were the week of Thanksgiving, but earlier in the week, but Justin's vacation would then be weird. Who knows.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Picture in my mind

I have these moments, where I wish I could burn the image into my mind and never forget it. They are moments when I fall more in love or just in love all over again with Ava. They are moments that I hope I can remember forever and always be able to replay.

Today we were going out to the car so I could take her to daycare and I could go to work. It was beautiful out so she just had on jeans and a t-shirt. Her hair was crazy, as it is 95 percent of the time, and just blowing around in the breeze. I told her we had to hurry up so I am not late. Usually this makes her slow it down to a snail's pace, but today she felt the need for speed. She said, "Yes, we have to go fast, fast, for mommy's work." and was not really walking all that much faster, but putting her arms into it. She was focused, on a mission, head forward, arms swinging. She had the form of a speed walker, minus the speed. I just was thinking about how old she is getting and what a big girl she is, but as she was swinging her arms, all I could see was her little baby dimples she still has in her elbows. All I could do was give her kisses and hugs and say lots of I love you's. I took advantage of her cuddly mood and got quite a few back on our way into Wanda's.

She had a great day today. She will be happy to find out that her new friend, Barack Obama won, she will be able to see him on tv a lot more. Her obsession with him has continued. This morning she told me about how she and Daddy and Barack Obama had hotdogs and Daddy did a fire, and they had hotdogs...and on and on. I have no idea why she thinks Barack Obama loves hotdogs so much, but she does. She loves to see him on tv, hear him on the radio. I think she thinks he is her friend. I told her we were going to vote today. I told her that I was voting for Barack Obama, and that got her going all over again about her BFF. She kept asking when we were going to see him. Then she kept saying, "We went to vote. Vote for Barack Obama." I was seriously hoping she got shy when I was voting. Last thing I wanted was for my 2 year old to get busted for campaigning in a polling place. The election worker gave her a bag of candy corn, so that distracted her from making any political outbursts.


Ok, well typepad wasn't cooperating, so I will post on this site first. I am in a great hunt, well research hunt, for a sling for this baby. I have a sleepy wrap, which I think will be great for longer periods of time. I am wanting a sling for when I am out and about and want to just stick the baby in there, not have to go tie the whole thing up. I also think Justin will be more likely to use the sling, less hassle. I had a baby bjorn for Ava and didn't really like it. I felt like her head wobbled all over, her feet got cold/possibly numb from it cutting into her legs, and I couldn't really cuddle on her. Not to mention it was hard to get her in and out of especially when she was asleep. We have a double stroller and I think it is going to get a lot of use, but I remember with Ava I brought the stroller with me and ended up carrying her most of the time, especially for the first few months. I held her a lot and I think that has helped with attachment which rolls over into everything, including discipline. I am definitely ok with the concept of babywearing, and I agree with it. I am excited that I don't need to plan down time for this baby like I did with Ava. I didn't want Ava to suddenly be shocked when she went to daycare and wasn't held all the time. Turns out she was held MORE at daycare, especially at first, than when she was home with me. Wanda's mom was staying with her at the time, so she had a full time cuddle buddy. I don't see myself "wearing" my 2 year old, but I am fine with it when they are still babies.

Here is some info I have read on babywearing, from Dr. Sears.

1. Sling babies cry less. Parents in my practice commonly report, "As long as I wear her, she's content!" Parents of fussy babies who try babywearing relate that their babies seem to forget to fuss. This is more than just my own impression. In 1986, a team of pediatricians in Montreal reported on a study of ninety-nine mother-infant pairs. The first group of parents were provided with a baby carrier and assigned to carry their babies for at least three extra hours a day. They were encouraged to carry their infants throughout the day, regardless of the state of the infant, not just in response to crying or fussing. In the control, or noncarried group, parents were not given any specific instructions about carrying. After six weeks, the infants who received supplemental carrying cried and fussed 43 percent less than the noncarried group.

Anthropologists who travel throughout the world studying infant-care practices in other cultures agree that infants in babywearing cultures cry much less. In Western culture we measure a baby's crying in hours, but in other cultures, crying is measured in minutes. We have been led to believe that it is "normal" for babies to cry a lot, but in other cultures this is not accepted as the norm. In these cultures, babies are normally "up" in arms and are put down only to sleep – next to the mother. When the parent must attend to her own needs, the baby is in someone else's arms.

2. Sling babies learn more. If infants spend less time crying and fussing, what do they do with the free time? They learn! Sling babies spend more time in the state of quiet alertness . This is the behavioral state in which an infant is most content and best able to interact with his environment. It may be called the optimal state of learning for a baby. Researchers have also reported that carried babies show enhanced visual and auditory alertness.

The behavioral state of quiet alertness also gives parents a better opportunity to interact with their baby. Notice how mother and baby position their faces in order to achieve this optimal visually interactive plane. The human face, especially in this position, is a potent stimulator for interpersonal bonding. In the kangaroo carry, baby has a 180-degree view of her environment and is able to scan her world. She learns to choose, picking out what she wishes to look at and shutting out what she doesn't. This ability to make choices enhances learning. A sling baby learns a lot in the arms of a busy caregiver.

3. Sling babies are more organized. It's easier to understand babywearing when you think of a baby's gestation as lasting eighteen months – nine months inside the womb and at least nine more months outside. The womb environment automatically regulates baby's systems. Birth temporarily disrupts this organization. The more quickly, however, baby gets outside help with organizing these systems, the more easily he adapts to the puzzle of life outside the womb. By extending the womb experience, the babywearing mother (and father) provides an external regulating system that balances the irregular and disorganized tendencies of the baby. Picture how these regulating systems work. Mother's rhythmic walk, for example, (which baby has been feeling for nine months) reminds baby of the womb experience. This familiar rhythm, imprinted on baby's mind in the womb, now reappears in the "outside womb" and calms baby. As baby places her ear against her mother's chest, mother's heartbeat, beautifully regular and familiar, reminds baby of the sounds of the womb. As another biological regulator, baby senses mother's rhythmic breathing while worn tummy- to-tummy, chest-to-chest. Simply stated, regular parental rhythms have a balancing effect on the infant's irregular rhythms. Babywearing "reminds" the baby of and continues the motion and balance he enjoyed in the womb.

The womb lasts eighteen months: Nine months inside mother, and nine months outside.

What may happen if the baby spends most of his time lying horizontally in a crib, attended to only for feeding and comforting, and then again separated from mother? A newborn has an inherent urge to become organized, to fit into his or her new environment. If left to his own resources, without the regulating presence of the mother, the infant may develop disorganized patterns of behavior: colicky cries, jerky movements, disorganized self-rocking behaviors, anxious thumb sucking, irregular breathing, and disturbed sleep. The infant, who is forced to self-calm, wastes valuable energy he could have used to grow and develop.

While there is a variety of child-rearing theories, attachment researchers all agree on one thing: In order for a baby's emotional, intellectual, and physiological systems to function optimally, the continued presence of the mother, as during babywearing, is a necessary regulatory influence.

4. Sling babies get "humanized" earlier. Another reason that babywearing enhances learning is that baby is intimately involved in the caregiver's world. Baby sees what mother or father sees, hears what they hear, and in some ways feels what they feel. Carried babies become more aware of their parents' faces, walking rhythms, and scents. Baby becomes aware of, and learns from, all the subtle facial expressions, body language, voice inflections and tones, breathing patterns, and emotions of the caregiver. A parent will relate to the baby a lot more often, because baby is sitting right under her nose. Proximity increases interaction, and baby can constantly be learning how to be human. Carried babies are intimately involved in their parents' world because they participate in what mother and father are doing. A baby worn while a parent washes dishes, for example, hears, smells, sees, and experiences in depth the adult world. He is more exposed to and involved in what is going on around him. Baby learns much in the arms of a busy person.

5. Sling babies are smarter. Environmental experiences stimulate nerves to branch out and connect with other nerves, which helps the brain grow and develop. Babywearing helps the infant's developing brain make the right connections. Because baby is intimately involved in the mother and father's world, she is exposed to, and participates in, the environmental stimuli that mother selects and is protected from those stimuli that bombard or overload her developing nervous system. She so intimately participates in what mother is doing that her developing brain stores a myriad of experiences, called patterns of behavior. These experiences can be thought of as thousands of tiny short-run movies that are filed in the infant's neurological library to be rerun when baby is exposed to a similar situation that reminds her of the making of the original "movie." For example, mothers often tell me, "As soon as I pick up the sling and put it on, my baby lights up and raises his arms as if in anticipation that he will soon be in my arms and in my world."

I have noticed that sling babies seem more attentive, clicking into adult conversations as if they were part of it. Babywearing enhances speech development. Because baby is up at voice and eye level, he is more involved in conversations. He learns a valuable speech lesson – the ability to listen.

Normal ambient sounds, such as the noises of daily activities, may either have learning value for the infant or disturb him. If baby is alone, sounds may frighten him. If baby is worn, these sounds have learning value. The mother filters out what she perceives as unsuitable for the baby and gives the infant an "It's okay" feeling when he is exposed to unfamiliar sounds and experiences."

Any reviews on slings you would like to share? They are welcome.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Happy November

It is already November, as that is what happens immediately after Halloween. I can't even get into a real countdown about baby #2 until December. November is just a normal month. I do like that you still get to do fall stuff. Pumpkins, spices, smells, all of that good stuff carries over. We have also decided that Christmas stuff is going to have to go up immediately following Thanksgiving or it probably won't happen.

Did I discuss the hanging of shelves? I honestly can't remember. Sorry to repeat. Thursday I decided to hang shelves in our laundry room. I bought these shelves about three years ago and we have had many debates on where to hang them. Pipes in the wall and all that. The intended wall turned out to be a firewall that did not have any studs for me to put the shelves on. I went for the opposite wall. 2nd choice, but it would work. I could only do one set, instead of two but any type of shelving will be helpful for storing cleaning supplies. Our house has lots of walk in closets, but it does not have any storage for regular living stuff. I marked the studs, used the level, all that stuff. Double checked and triple checked before and after drilling the holes that I was in the stud (not that you couldn't tell while drilling) to make sure the shelves won't be falling down. In order to do this, I was climbing up on the washer. I do not have the upper body strength that I used to, not mention the added lower body weight. It was much harder than in my younger days to climb on the washer. Either way, got up and down did all that good stuff. Put on the brackets. Go to put the arms of the shelves on, the end was in sight. I put the brackets on backwards, so there was no room for the arm things to hook on. I didn't have that many more trips up onto the washer in me and at that point I was just pissed. Justin says he will fix the shelves now that I have screwed them up. I really want a place to put our cleaners that is up high. I also would like the shelves out of the hallway. We have a whole list of things to get done pre-baby. I think we are going to just take a weekend and get it all done.

We didn't get U-verse installed on Saturday. Not that we canceled or anything. The signal isn't ready at our house. They are coming to work on it tomorrow. They said the line needs grounded. After they get it all fixed, they are going to call and reschedule an installation time.

Ava had fun on Halloween. (picture will be posted on other blog) She dressed up as a pug. Her costume turned out to be way too small even though based on the label and what size she actually wears, it should have been a little big. She couldn't bend over in it or turn her head. Justin ended up carrying her around trick or treating to make the process go a little faster. She was acting very shy at her first house, but once she figured out that she got candy, she gained confidence and enthusiasm.

I went to a baby expo with some of my family this weekend. I got a bunch of good coupons, samples, and 6 free bottles! I am pretty excited about the bottles, since that is one thing I really wanted to get but just hadn't gotten around to because when you buy more than one bottle you realize how expensive they are. I came this close to getting a 4d ultrasound done. They had a booth where you could have a 15 minute ultrasound for a ridiculously low price (especially when I think of how much I am paying for my 5 minute 2d ultrasound I had done that the insurance isn't paying for.) I debated, since it wasn't really necessary. Justin had seen videos on youtube and thought they were cool. He said I should get one done. I go to sign up and there was a 3 hour wait. I didn't do it. We were pretty much expo'd out at that point, and couldn't see sticking around that long, plus people had to be back by then. They do have a place in Naperville where I could get it done for twice as much as at the expo, but I don't want it that much. (twice as much is still not even a 3rd of what we are already paying for....grrrrr)

I am heading into work in an hour. I am hoping it is a fairly quiet night and that I get a couple hours of sleep in on the "loveseat of death." I am getting off at 4 so I can come home and sleep for about 3 hours before Ava gets up. I don't have anything in the afternoon so hopefully I will get to nap then too. I have a cold that is mostly in my throat and chest which makes sleeping suck even more than it did before. In a way I am sad that I am not going to get a full nights sleep, but at the same time, I rarely sleep for 8 hours straight anyway, so I might as well break it up.