Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

I think I totally missed my shot this year at renting a Santa suit and really pulling off the look.  I definitely could have filled out the middle and had a belly that shook like a bowl full of jelly!  Ah well.  We have had a low key holiday here at home with my parents while we await the arrival of Baby Z.  It's been fun and relaxing, but I will admit to getting a bit impatient.  We check in to the hospital in just about 24 hours, and will hopefully have a new arrival sometime in the next 48! 

I hope that all of you have a wonderful holiday as you celebrate with your friends, family, and loved ones!

One last belly shot from my viewpoint...the red was the best I could do for holiday cheer when it came to clothes this year!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Snuggly Sunday

This was how Harley and I spent almost all of Sunday morning...all snuggled up in the chair with Baby Monkey.  It was a pretty darn good way to pass the first half of the day :)  I'm just hoping that Harley likes Baby Z just as well when he is outside as she does when he is inside!

We had a good weekend here, celebrating Christmas with Jay's family, which was a ton of fun with a 3 year old around who was SO EXCITED to open presents!  Today was the last of my scheduled doctor's appointments, which is so hard to believe!  All was good though with the nonstress testing, the nurse called it a textbook happy baby.  The rest of the appointment was good too, and we now have a date for the induction next week.  Unless Baby Z joins us on his own, I check into the hospital on the evening of the 26th and should (hopefully) have a baby by the 27th!  So we have a plan and a date and a time (assuming nothing changes between now and then).  In the meantime, I'm still hoping he'll come on his own, so yesterday we took a nice long walk and ate a bunch of the foods that folks recommended as having worked for them.  No dice yet, darn it!  Today was back to acupuncture from the chiropractor, and we may be back to my acupuncturist yet too.  Only two more days of work though, and then the University closes for the holidays...and then I get another 6-8 weeks after that to spend lots more mornings snuggling with Harley and Baby Z!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Is Today the Day?

Every day I wake up and I think, "is today the last day I'll be pregnant?"  Part of me gets really excited about that idea, the part that would really like to see Baby Monkey, the part thatwould really like to sleep on my stomach again, the part of me that has worn a path between my office and the library bathroom.  Then there's the other part of me though, who knows that I'll miss certain things like feeling him kick and move around in there (except maybe not the kicking and settling on the sciatic nerve, that I could do without), the part of me that is a bit terrified about the whole labor and delivery thing, and the part of me that knows he is a lot easier to take care of inside than out!

Either way though, we are getting closer and closer to D-Day (delivery day).  At my appointment this week, enough progress had been made that they are comfortable scheduling an induction for 39 weeks, which is tentatively looking like December 27 (I'll know for sure after my appointment on the 19th).  It could be any time before then, should he decide to come out on his own though, which is what I'm hoping for!  But considering today is the 16th, and if they induce on the 27th, well, we're just about into the single digits left of days before we are officially parents. 

So in the meantime, now that we are officially full term, I'm working those pressure points with chiropractic care, massage and accupuncture, eating lots of pineapple, trying to make myself do more walking, anything I can think of to keep things moving!  I feel like there are a number of other old wives' tales I need to try though too, maybe it's time to do some research!

33 weeks - can tell how far he's dropped by comparing to this week!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

To Waddle Or Not To Waddle

So far I think I've been able to avoid the pregnancy waddle.  There are days I sort of limp, thanks to Baby Z deciding to use a nerve as a chair, but I don't feel as though that counts as a true "waddle".  We are wrapping up week 36 here, tomorrow Baby Monkey will officially be considered full term and is welcome to come join us any time!

All was well apparently with the first of the weekly nonstress tests.  We didn't get much feedback, but since they sent us home and said we'll see you next week, I took that as a good sign.  In the mean time, we've gotten about as ready as we can here...bag is packed, Christmas presents are wrapped and the basics are ready.  Of course, that surely means that he's going to make us wait until the bitter end since we (and I suspect a number of the grandparents and other assorted family members) are impatiently tapping our toes and waiting.

This week's photos made me laugh...I took the one from the front, and though, oh, that's not TOO bad...and then I switched views and just laughed :)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like...

It's December!  That means that not only is it Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas around here...but it's also baby month!  That's right, the way it looks, Baby Z will be joining us one way or another before the end of the month.  We are officially at week 36 as of today, and I have a hard time believing we are 9 months along!

Some lovely (ha) 35 1/2 week shots.

We learned last week that Baby Z is head down and getting ready to go, so that was good news.  Ideally, he will stay that way!  Everything else was measuring good as well, including my blood pressure and all that fun stuff.  I now start weekly appointments, with the first of the nonstress tests tomorrow.  The off chance that might not go well has again spurred me into action today: wrapping Christmas presents, getting the car seat ready, writing thank you notes, packing the hospital bag, etc. etc.  We figured out yesterday that we were smarter than the pack-n-play, which was a relief.  It took a bit more work to get it back down and put away today, but again, we were the victors.

Now it's just a waiting game though!  Baby Z is living up to his name and is a little monkey in there, some days feeling like he's swinging from my rib cage, others like he's just bouncing from organ to organ.  I'm getting paranoid about Christmas, so I've been online shopping like crazy!  A few more good days at work and I think I'll feel like we're in pretty good shape should I have to take off a few weeks early.  The waiting, waiting, waiting is hard though...the time has flown by, yet it seems like forever at the same time.  Other than discomfort/pain while sleeping, I really can't complain about how I'm feeling though.  So far I've even managed to avoid the pregnancy waddle...we'll see if that remains true over the next few weeks!

I did manage to get one project done for Baby Z on the crafting side.  Months and months and months ago, like last winter, I took a baby blanket crochet class.  I started a blanket, and then set it aside about 80% of the way done in order to start on one for my youngest niece.  One project led to another, and I never got back to it, and I haven't exactly been full of energy and crafty these last few months (despite the best laid plans...someday I will get those valances made for the nursery!!).  Last week though, I FINALLY got the blanket done, and it felt good to cross a project off the list.   

By the way, my Rose Bowl prediction ALMOST came true, as my Spartans came thisclose to getting the Big Ten Rose Bowl bid.   I think it shows Baby Z is both a Spartan and Hawkeye fan though, as this way neither of his parents is going to have to regret not getting to go to Pasadena to see his/her team play :)

I better get back to work, so much to do when this "nesting" bug hits!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Blame the Pleats

Here is another of the famous self-portraits of me sitting at my desk, looking down at the beach ball, I mean belly.  For some reason today struck me as looking rather large, so I'm blaming the pleats on the dress.  I mean, I don't like to wear pleated pants due to the effect on my hips, so I figure it must be the pleats on the dress that make me look large :)

I did hear from a couple of students that I had a cute pregnant belly (keep those types of comments coming!) and since I'm not teaching this school year it couldn't have even been hopes of a good grade that made them say it!  Same with the girl today who said I didn't look that big for being just 6 or so weeks away from my due date (bless her, she even said it with a straight face!).

All was good at the 33 week checkup this week, just plugging along, growing, gaining weight, good heartbeat.  I keep hearing Dory from Finding Nemo in my head now "just keep swimming, just keep swimming" when I think about the next few weeks.

Baby Monkey got to go to his first college football game on Saturday, and it was a FABULOUS day to be a Spartan!  Jay and I, his parents and sister made the trek to Iowa City to watch my Michigan State Spartans play the Iowa Hawkeyes.  We tailgated (check out the awesome can of O'Douls I'm holding) before and after the game and had a great time (even if the hormone monster might have made a slight appearance when it came to picking the parking spot...luckily both it and the pouting was short lived).  Best of all, for the first time in ten years, I was present for a Spartan Victory!  A perfect first game for Baby Z...not that Jay agrees with that opinion!  Below is our crew...despite the scarves, it really was just perfect weather for football, especially for mid-November.

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Karate Kid

Halloween 2011 was probably one of my more tame holidays, particularly for a year in which we had a fabulous party to attend.  Jay and I were a team this year, reaching back to the good old days of the 1980s for inspiration, to the classic Karate Kid.  This was right before I stole his move and swept the legs ;)

Let me tell you, there's nothing like feeling you are wearing a robe or pajamas to have a comfortable Halloween costume!  I think the costume however, has given Baby Monkey some ideas, as it feels like he is practicing for his black belt in there some days.  No internal organ or nerve is safe from those feet, fists, knees or elbows!

Halloween Day was also my 31 week appointment, where again all was well.  We measured right on track, had a good heartbeat and were reassured that all those lovely weird things occurring to my body were "normal".  We also got to talk to the doctor a bit more about planning and timing and the concerns we're watching for related to the lupus.  At this point, other than the next regularly scheduled appointments at 33 and 35 weeks, we're going to do some testing at week 36 that will give an even better indication if all is going well there on the inside.  If it is, then they are tentatively planning to have me proceed along to week 39 and induce somewhere between the 27th and 31st of December.  there's a lot of factors that will play into that whole decision, but that's sort of the overall plan at this point.  Baby Z might have his own plan though, which could trump all of this :)

Hard to believe though there's less than 2 months before the due date, and with the holidays, this time is bound to fly by!

And one last picture for this post, tomorrow we are headed to Iowa City for the big Michigan State/Iowa football game!  Time to instruct Baby Monkey on the proper way to tailgate, and of course, to ensure he knows which of these two teams is the RIGHT team to cheer for!  Go Green!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Hungry Belly

It's official.  My belly has now swallowed my hand when I take the sitting down belly shot.  Not only have I lost my toes, but now my hand as well :)

Baby Z seems to be growing about on schedule. I had an appointment last week where we were back to measuring roughly right on track (30 cm at 29 weeks) and heartbeat was good as well, between 146-148.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that means no giant baby!  Other than the typical aches and pains and "fun" of pregnancy (swollen ankles, fatigue, etc.), things are going quite well and I really can't complain!

It's hard to believe that 30 weeks have passed already!  It's going to be time for his arrival before we know it.  I had my last real travel trip last week, when I attended a conference in Texas.  I'm glad I went, and it was a great few days, but wow do I tire quickly.  I have to say I'm glad that I'll be sticking closer to home these next few months and not dealing with airports and airplanes and all that fun for a while.

Friday, October 14, 2011

What's Missing In This Photo...

Here's a picture I took just now at work, me standing up and looking down.  Something seems missing though...oh what could it be?!  Oh, I know, MY FEET!  I have to admit, I gave up seeing those on a regular basis a while ago now. If I look down as I walk, I can sometimes catch a glimpse.  Now I just need to hope I can actually put on socks and shoes that match without being able to check!  If you see me and I don't match, you'll know why.

Last weekend I thought I'd be good and paint my toenails since it was sandal weather and I was trying to look good for my shower...that was just a comedy of errors.  I've never had so much nail polish all over my toes!  For the next few months, I do believe that a pedicure or two is going to need to happen.  In the meantime, I'll just be glad that it's starting to cool down a bit and the sandals can maybe be put away until next year... 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Sugar High

Happy Third Trimester!  No matter which book I read, 28 weeks is officially within that last third of the pregnancy range.  I posted a few pictures from last week in the album...if I can get decent pictures I may try to take one or two each week from here on out just to see how much things change so quickly.

Last week I had the last of my monthly appointments...for the next few weeks I go every two weeks, then weekly.  Baby Z's heartbeat was good at 140 and my vitals were good...and then it came time to measure. Using a good old tapemeasure, the doctor measures "the bump"  - actually the fundal height, which is the distance from your pubic bone to the top of your uterus.  On average, you measure about the same number of centimeters as the number of weeks you are.  I was first measured at 23 weeks and was at 24 pretty close.  This month, however, at 27 weeks I measured 31 cm!  There's a host of reasons for measuring could be a big baby, he could be in some weird position, there could be a lot of fluid, hard to say.  BabyCenter says one potential cause is "You have looser abdominal muscles than most women."  While depressing to think about, that has potential, as I wasn't exactly rocking the 6-pack-abs prior to April!  Odds are if I measure that much ahead at my appointment on the 17th they'll check things out with another ultrasound.

The "fun" part of the week was the glucose screening and testing.  Oh joy.  I had the screening on Monday, which was not a great day for me to have my blood sugar tested as we celebrated a birthday that morning at work with cupcakes :)  Needless to say, Jennie did NOT pass the screening (scored 150 and needed to be below 140).  That meant I got to spend 3 hours in the lab on Wednesday doing the full glucose test.  This involved 12 hours of fasting, with only sips of water, followed by arriving at the lab and getting a fasting blood test, drinking the fabulously horrible sugar solution and then having blood drawn once an hour for three hours.  By the time the whole thing was done I took down a bottle of water in about 2 minutes flat...16 hours of fasting is not my idea of a good time.  And I learned that you see quite the interesting assortment of people who come in and out of the lab over that long a period of time!  Other than some lovely bruises from the blood draws, the testing seems to have gone well and the nurse said Thursday that as far as she could tell, the numbers looked within the normal range.  That was excellent news, as I do love to at least have the option to eat whatever sounds good (including cake from the fabulous baby showers last week!).  To celebrate, I ate a Starburst :)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Week 26

We are in the last week of the second trimester, according to my handy week-by-week book, which means Baby Monkey is about 2/3 done being incubated!  Here's a "from my view" belly shot taken while sitting at my desk today.  The thing that struck me is that you can *barely* see my hand there under the bump.  Wowsa.

I was lucky that in talking to friends and family, there wasn't too much I wasn't at least aware of when it came to all the "fun" things that come along with pregnancy.  I have to say that two things were/are a bit more extreme than I expected.

1 - Sleep.  Oh sleep, how do I miss, thee, let me count the ways.  I haven't really slept well or much since about the time I found out I was expecting.  First trimester is was this sort of random insomnia (joy) and second trimester has been pain/discomfort making sleep elusive.  I work my way through the bed, the couch and the recliner at various points throughout the week (and sometimes all three in one night).  The whole "it's good practice for when the baby comes" thing might be true, but I sort of though that I'd at least be able to get a FEW good nights sleep before the Monkey arrives.  Silly me.

2 - Heat.  I joke about being an incubator for the baby, but little did I know that I'd heat up like an incubator too!  I'm always the cold one in our house.  Hate using the air, bundled under a blanket in the basement in the summer, multiple layers in the winter, that's me.  Lately though, it's a bit of a role reversal.  Even the dog is now curling up next to me at night because I'm throwing off the most heat.  It's a bit ridiculous how warm I am.  I'm breaking out in a sweat, Jay's under a blanket he's so cold.  The incubator joke is more reality than fiction.

Oh, and a third bonus one - the kid is already turning my hair gray!  I thought I had a few years before the stress would get to me, but apparently now.  Luckily, my hair is still light enough that the gray hairs still look blond, but with close inspection you can see the difference.  I'm already planning an excursion after the first of the year to cover those pesky hairs up, along with any others that might want to appear in the next few months!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Baby Z...the Prequel

Hello friends and family!  Welcome to Baby Z's blog...or at least the blog where we'll talk about Baby Z and all things related.  As I write this, we are officially 25 weeks and 6 days along in this 40 week pregnancy.  I find the whole process fascinating, but I have to say, 40 weeks is seeming like a long time!

Our current adventure started Easter Sunday, which was when we first found out we were expecting.  My first appointment with the doctor was at 6 weeks, where Baby Z was confirmed, we heard a bit of a heartbeat, and found out our due date was January 1, 2012.  No Rose Bowl for us this year!  Because I'm considered high risk due to the lupus, I went back at 8 and 11 weeks also.  Ultrasounds at both showed good heartbeats and growth and that all was looking as it should.  It's amazing to look at the photos from each of those and see how quickly things change in there!

Shortly after the 11 week appointment, Baby Z was nicknamed Baby Monkey by our 3-year-old niece.  It stuck, which was ok since it was pretty gender neutral.  Since all was going well, I got put on the typical 4-week appointment rotation and have been on that for the last few months.  Our next (and most recent) ultrasound was at 19 weeks, which was doubly fun since Mom and Dad were there to see their first grandchild as well.  At that appointment Baby Z was NOT shy about showing the "goods" and we learned that Baby Z will be a boy...or at least that's how it certainly appears!

Overall, the past 6 months or so have gone pretty well.  The first trimester was...the first trimester.  Pretty much 24/7 nausea and the all-encompassing fatigue, but nothing that wasn't at least manageable (or out of the ordinary).  Things got better with the second trimester, I started gaining weight (hello belly!) and moved out of the extreme fatigue into just easily worn out.  I'm moving now into the somewhat-uncomfortable phase when it comes to the back and hips.  Apparently, I was not designed to sleep on my side.  My hips kill me, even with the small fortress of pillows I've started to use.  Between my fortress and the dog, poor Jay is getting the squeeze!

That essentially gets us up to our current point!  I'll try to post some photos and updates as we go along, and then of course even more once we actually have a little one to show off.