Expecting our Little Brother in November!

pregnancy calendar

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Things I am too embarrassed to post on Facebook...

I just coughed and peed myself. ::Sigh::

3D Ultrasound!

We went yesterday to our 3D ultrasound where we got to check out our adorable little man and see what he looks like. From what I understand/have observed, he will probably look pretty much exactly the same at birth! Now I am super excited to meet him!!!

Anyway, here are some highlights:

Here's what I think of as his "normal womb look"--sleeping and resting peacefully against his Momma, hehe:

In this one he actually looks slightly like me, though generally he is an exact replica of James and his infant picture:

Last but not least, my favorite, his smiley picture . . . he looks like a little Buddha, I think, hehe!

We think he has James' nose, ears, and the set of his eyes. Possibly my chin . . . he has attached earlobes and HAIR! Hahah.

After this last exciting little adventure, I know the time is just going to DRAG until he actually comes . . . but no matter how chubby his cheeks are, I think he would benefit from a bit more womb time. ;-)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

My Transverse/Breech Son

As I just mentioned, James David is not head down, and to my knowledge, has never in his short pre-natal life tried out this position even once. From the earliest kicking around 17 weeks, he has been laying sideways with his head to my right and his legs and feet to my left. He stayed in this position quite comfortably until a few months ago, when he started to alternate between laying sideways and "sitting up", with his butt down, head up, and legs and arms to the left. Now, he is getting even more crowded so that his legs are often up in what my midwife referred to as the "froggy position", so that I might feel kicks all over but its because his legs are sticking straight up in the air past his ears, not because he has actually flipped.

My midwife gets slightly more concerned at each appointment, but I'm not worried, and there are several reasons why.

1. We have our 3D u/s appointment tomorrow, and I wanted him to stay head up until after the appointment, because I think it will be easier to see his face.
2. There are a million tricks to get babies to flip over. Here's a whole website devoted to this topic. One trick that I intend to try (this worked for my friend Clare's aunt), is to sit in a warm/hot bath with a bag of frozen veggies on the baby's head and the top of your stomach. Since the baby will instinctively protect its brain from getting too cold, he will eventually flip to get his head in the warm water (down).
3. If these tricks don't work, my friend Craig, who is an acupuncturist, has had great success in using acupuncture to flip the baby. He said we wouldn't do this until 37 weeks though, since:
4. 90% will flip on their own before birth.
5. My final reason for being unconcerned is a bit harder to describe. Basically, I think James will flip over because he is a good baby. He kicks me (or his Dad) when we worry about him . . . I just feel like he is generally responsive to our wishes. Maybe the only reason he HASN'T flipped yet is because I haven't wanted him to until after the ultrasound.

So, these are reasons why I am not worried about him being breech at 33 weeks. He still has plenty of time to flip over on his own before I start encouraging him with peas on his head and various other tricks.

But I will keep everyone posted on his position. ;-)

P.S. Is it funny that I am so in tune with his exact position? Maybe it is because I am thin, but from the time that the kicks would indicate clearly until a few months ago when I started getting head and butt bulges (and sliding around movements of limbs), I have been very very aware of exactly where he is. My midwife also feels and tells me at every appointment, but I am never surprised, it is always exactly what I think it is. Keep in mind, too, though, that he hasn't changed position much EVER, so it's not rocket science like a baby who is constantly flipping around. But I know not all doctors tell you where the baby is, and if you have a bit more padding around the middle it might be harder to tell, I would think. But yeah, I always know where he is. Which is very fun, because I used to always when he was smaller and I only had a general idea of where his feet were. Now I can picture him curled up in there, which is so fun. I just love him, I can't wait for him to be on the outside, LOL!

Braxton Hicks

So about a month ago I started noticing the occasional belly tightening, most often while walking or doing some other kind of exercise. Since then, the frequency of these fun little "toning contractions" as my midwife calls them, have been increasing steadily.

With still 7 weeks to go I can now count on . . . I don't even know . . . dozens, maybe, Braxton Hicks contractions every day. Sometimes in an hour I will notice 5 or 6, which if you do the math, is practically like early labor (30 second contractions 7-10 mins apart).

I have heard before of people starting to contract well before (1-2 months before) they actually went into labor but for some reason this wasn't something I pictured for myself. :-/

These contractions are not painful, not at all, but they are fairly uncomfortable. James is still transverse(sideways)/breech(head up), and depending on his position, these contractions push his hard little butt into one side of my belly and his hard little head into the other side, or even more delightfully, into my ribs. Depending on how I am sitting, this can be RATHER uncomfortable, or sometimes not too big of a deal.

Anyway, I'm going to try to drink lots of water to see if that helps slow them down a bit--the idea of contracting like this for the next 7 weeks is not sounding all that fun.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

32 Weeks Belly--8 Months!

So I am officially (well, I will be on Tuesday), 8 months pregnant!!

And after a long long hiatus I finally remembered to take belly pictures. Here I am!

I feel like I look really silly in this picture actually--I'd just woken up, but oh well!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Heartburn VS Laziness

I discovered a while back that the biggest contributor to my heartburn was drinking green tea throughout the day. I find that if I don't have any (and even while eating other, typically problematic foods), that I will have little to no heartburn. Which, delightfully, has most recently taken the form of acid/puke burps. Ewww.

However, now I'm also discovering that without my green tea (and as the baby gets bigger, heavier, and more and more greedy with our mutual oxygen supply), I am fighting the urge to do NOTHING ALL DAY. I am tired and feel like most activities are pointless. Siiiigh.

I DO have ADD and have always been quite successful with my low dose of adderall. However, I haven't been taking it since I got pregnant. Tea was a nice stand-in; a little caffeine to get me moving and focused. But without either of these things I find myself lazy and listless. Sigh.

The last few days, I've just been dealing with the heartburn. Our house can't go neglected for more than one day without serious consequences.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

James is Nesting

So my parents came to help us clean this weekend, which was so so awesome of them. My parents are REALLY REALLY hardworking. They can both do heavy physical labor for like 8 hours straight--my Dad without even a break. James and I on our own are more like: Work for an hour or two, take a break for a half hour or an hour. So having my parents here helping us do anything is super motivating.

On Friday we met them (and James' parents) at It's Only Natural for a nice vegan dinner. It's a really awesome restaurant, and I thought it was a good way to start off the weekend by treating them to a nice meal. Plus they hadn't seen James' parents in like over a year so it was nice to all get together.

Saturday we were up early and got to work immediately (like, working by 8 am). My Dad and James cleaned out the garage. This ended up being an entire day job for the two of them. We tend to accumulate lots of crap--our friends leave things at our house because we are the only ones WITH a house, and think they'll come back for it but they never do. Plus we are landlords, so our renters inevitably leave things in their house. James and my Dad put a lot of things out on the curb (for "Free") and it ALL got picked up. I think we lucked out because it was move-in weekend up at UConn last weekend so everyone is filling up their new apartments and stuff.

Meanwhile, my Mom and I cleaned off and out this sideboard in our kitchen (one of those places that tends to accumulate lots of junk), went through a bunch of old mail, cleaned the laundry room, kitchen, and upstairs bathroom.

Then we had tacos for dinner. Bean with fried tempeh mixed in. We tried to play canasta after that, but everyone was too tired and we just ended up going to bed early.

Sunday my parents had to leave at noon, but James and Dad got a full morning in cleaning up the basement, and my and Mom finished organizing and putting away all the books in the new library, and getting together everything we'll need when we are camping next week, so my parents could pack it with their stuff and I won't need to bring it on the ferry. Then I made them leftover mishmash for lunch, and we said our goodbyes.

The amazing thing is that I think this work weekend pushed James into nesting mode. He has been so funny since then.

Personally, as soon as my parents left, I retired to my bed with Harry Potter, and eventually fell asleep, exhausted after cleaning all weekend. James, on the other hand, continued to clean, finished repairing and setting up our new dining room table, and then did work he brought home from work.

On Monday night after work he did more cleaning and organizing. Last night I was really tired and convinced him to go to bed early with me to practice the relaxation exercises for the Bradley Class. So he dutifully massaged and relaxed me, guided me through abdominal breathing, and then, as I was about to fall asleep, he got out of bed saying he was going to get some more stuff done. Seriously?

So then I was just reading in bed and he was downstairs like vacuuming and cleaning and I don't even know what. When he eventually came to bed (like two hours later), I asked him what he was vacuuming, and he said he was vacuuming the UNDERNEATH of the stairs. WTH?

At this point I was forced to conclude that he was nesting. At least one of us is!

Third Bradley Class

So on Monday we went to our third Bradley Class. I was going to post about this yesterday but I couldn't for the life of me remember what the overall theme of this class was. That's because it was "Pregnancy". LOL!

We looked at some fetuses in different stages and learned about what was going on with them during that stage. I told James that I thought it was funny that James David was still considered a "fetus" because that implies (to me) something immature and unable to sustain its own life. When James David's head is poking out of one side of my belly and his butt is poking out on the other side and we play games of poking his feet so he kicks us, I'm not thinking "our fetus", I'm thinking there is a baby in there!

Anyway, we also talked about the different parts of the female and baby-related anatomy, labeled this diagram, etc.

As part of our progressive practice of relaxation, we wives got to give our husbands a neck/head/face massage. It's supposed to help them understand what we need from them during labor, how they are supposed to communicate with us, etc.

So that was that!

In related news, I've been feeling a bit down the last couple weeks because I miss teaching and/or taking classes (as a student). It's been hard seeing my old coworkers and friends go back to school (teaching) and seeing my sisters and cousins go back to school (learning).

But today I had a realization. I AM in a class--the Bradley Class. Every day I am supposed to record my diet and protein, I am supposed to practice relaxing, take walks, and do other kinds of exercise to prep for labor. I've been a real slacker with all this practicing and exercising, but why? What I most want is to be in a class--I AM in a class. I need to take it more seriously, because honestly there is nothing I need to learn more, right now, than how to successfully and easily birth a baby. So I decided today to take it more seriously and make more of an effort to think of all the exercises and things as assignments for a class--if I want to get a good grade, I have to spend time working on it every day.

So that's that.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Maternity Clothes Issues

So I've had two shopping sessions at Motherhood Maternity. The first was this time, and the second was this time.

In the first session, I bought two pairs of shorts--one size small and one size medium, a size small pair of jeans, and a variety of summery tops.

In the second session, I bought a pair of medium cords, a long-sleeved shirt, some soft stretchy white shorts and a few other cute tops.

Well, I'm realizing now what I suspected during our second trip--I'm just totally done with the small size pants. I wore the small jeans yesterday (and I had a relatively busy day--I volunteered at the coop, got my back adjusted, and went to our third Bradley class), and I was SO uncomfortable. I got home, whipped those pants off and immediately felt better.

There is definitely an additional shirt issue. I had been wearing a lot of my bigger and stretchier non-maternity T-shirts and tops, but now many of them are way too tight, or I am worried that I am stretching them out permanently, or they fit okay but are WAY too short to cover the stretchy maternity pants belly-panel, which means I need to wear a long tank top under them anyway.

So the final verdict here is that I think I might need to go shopping for maternity clothes yet again. I guess I want a medium pair of jeans, another pair of stretchy PJ pants, and a few more long-sleeved shirts . . . otherwise it will be a long two months here at the end trying to stuff myself into my current wardrobe.

At least the next time I am pregnant, I will have a nice stockpile in summer and winter styles. :-/

Friday, September 10, 2010

Brewer Diet Update

So I'm supposed to be tracking the food I eat this week, counting how many grams of protein I get, and trying to follow the Brewer diet as well as I can. I got an Email from our Bradley instructor today sending me this modified Brewer Diet for vegans. So I think I am okay, though we do not drink fortified soy milk since our efforts to reduce our soy consumption probably more than a year ago . . . but I'm not that worried.

Anyway, I'm actually really into keeping food logs and tracking my protein, something I wouldn't really have known before pregnancy. My midwife had me do a food log when I first started seeing her, so this is my second one.

The focus of this log is on counting the amount of protein you get. I have been really getting into it. When I made a pizza the other night, for instance, I added up all the protein in each ingredient of the pizza, like this:

1.5 cups gluten free pastry flour--9 grams
1.5 cups oat flour--18 grams
1 cup buckwheat flour--20 grams
2 tablespoons chia seed--5 grams

(This was all the dough)

Sauce--6 grams
Vegan cheese--10 grams
Carrot--.6 grams
1 cup kale--5 grams
1 cup broccoli--5 grams

So the entire pizza had 78 grams of protein (beat that, gluteny non-vegan pizza)! We cut it up into 8 pieces, so each piece of pizza had 9.75 grams of protein.

So, as an example, this is what I mean when I say I am getting really into tracking my protein. If I had a non-vegan, "normal" diet, I could probably just look up online somewhere how many grams of protein was in a piece of pizza, but clearly with this kind of homemade pizza, I need to figure it out myself. To my delight.

Anyway, the ideal amount of protein for the Brewer diet is 80-100 grams, and for three days now I have consistently gotten around 75 grams--(78.8, 75.7, 73). Honestly I think that's pretty darn good. Keep in mind that most diets do NOT ask for this much protein, and you would never need this much if you weren't pregnant. Honestly it is kind of hard for me to just plain eat this much food--I'm typically not that big of an eater, and while I have been PLENTY hungry and I think I've eaten PLENTY as a pregnant lady, I still don't quite have the capacity for food that other people seem to--though I did out-eat James, his Mom, and his Step-Dad by several helpings the other day. I'm not worried about myself--I'm gaining weight fine and the baby is growing right on target.

I DO appreciate the encouragement to fill my diet with lots of healthy foods right now since James will be doubling his weight in the next 7 weeks. So I'm sure he and I both need all this fat and protein and calcium, etc, and I'm just plain not worried that I have 75 grams on average instead of 80.

As I previously mentioned, Dr. Brewer looks like he could stand to eat a little less, to be honest--maybe I should make a diet for HIM.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Second Bradley Class

Yesterday was our second Bradley class! The topic this time was nutrition. James was nervous about letting it out of the bag that we are vegan, so we agreed not to say anything about it if we could avoid it.

However, when we played a version of the newlywed game where the husbands had to list their wives favorite foods in different categories--including dairy foods, egg foods, protein foods, etc, I decided there wasn't really much getting around it.

"Well, it might be hard for him to do my favorite egg foods," I explained. "We're actually vegan. So we don't eat dairy, or eggs, or meat."

Our Bradley instructor's eyes bulged at this news.

The approach to diet in Bradley classes is based on the Brewer diet. You'll notice that the Brewer Diet includes four dairy choices and two eggs every day, and liver once a week. Additionally, you should aim to get 80-100 grams of protein daily.

Our instructor was nice about it, said that she knew there were lots of substitutes for milk and lots of non-meat protein sources. "But eggs are SO important to your nutrition! I'll have to ask my fellow Bradley instructors what to eat instead . . . but wow, how will you get 80 grams of protein!"

James and I reassured her that we thought we probably got plenty of protein and were generally pretty nutritionally savvy. "We have lots of friends who are very knowledgeable about nutrition," I explained. "So we're pretty confident in our health."

And we are. Rather than feeling nervous or insecure about our diet choices, we more felt sorry for her that she was so concerned about us. On the ride home we reflected that it must be difficult for vegans that don't have the educational and family and friend support that we have. People are so misinformed about nutrition that unless you surround yourself with the right people and information, I think it would be quite easy, as a vegan, to constantly be questioned by others, and therefore, questioning yourself, about whether this is *really* a healthy diet.

"I was much less confident about it before we started dating," James said to me as we discussed.
I snorted. "Yeah, well, your vegan diet at that time consisted of potato chips, chocolate soymilk, and bread and hummus. You shouldn't have felt very confident!"
"Oh right."

I also couldn't help to notice, as we watched a video presentation by Dr. Brewer, that he was significantly overweight. Unfortunately, it makes it hard to take him very seriously.

But, it is hard to deny the research--0 cases of toxemia out of 7000 people who followed the Brewer diet. And they say that they don't know what causes it. Wow. More and more it is obvious to me that health comes down to diet. I can't help feeling sorry for the people I see in the store, overweight, diabetic, wheezing, suffering . . . I wish they could KNOW, deep inside, what I know now about the way to find health.

Anyway, the rest of the class was quite fun--we bonded more with our fellow classmates, talked about breastfeeding, one of my favorite subjects, practiced the pregnancy exercises we learned last time, and practiced relaxing. Hopefully by the time this baby decides to be born, James and I will feel quite ready to bring him into this world. :-)

30 Weeks

Today I'm 30 weeks, meaning the little one has just 10 weeks (or 8, or 12) left to grow inside me before he and my body decide it is time for eviction and moving on to the next stage of early life outside the womb. It is a little surreal to me that in just 2 months I will have a tiny squirming baby outside me instead of inside me.

According to the baby books, he is 3 pounds now, and in scanning ahead, he will continue to gain half a pound a week until 37 weeks, when his growth will slow a bit. In this time he will more than double his weight.

As of now, he appears to have plenty of room in there, and prefers to hang out on the left side of my uterus. Today I realized I can not only distinguish his bony little butt pressed up against my stomach, I can also feel at least one remarkably chunky little thigh.

He has also managed to penetrate my dreams with his antics. On at least two occasions I have dreamt of him kicking me wildly, and, in dream world, it seems as if he might have the power to bust right through my skin if I'm not careful. In my last dream, I pictured him arching his back in a prone position as the furious newborn is wont to do, as I held my belly with all my might to prevent him from escaping in his little fit of anger, as his feet pressed against one of my hands and his head pressed against the other.

Now he seems to be awake more times than not, and he more and more often responds to a poke with a kick right back at me and James. It is pretty cool. It is also quite obvious that he is training his muscles and his mind for life outside the womb. James and I are getting SO excited to meet him.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Midwife Appt

And, in other news, I had my 29 week appointment with my midwife (and her apprentice, who I was meeting for the first time) yesterday.

This was a big appointment for me because they did the glucose tolerance test with me. I had been worried about Gestational Diabetes because some days I have serious sugar cravings and it seems like all I eat is junk. :-/

So for the test I was instructed to eat a nice, well-rounded, sugary meal two hours before my appointment, and I had pancakes with lots of syrup, tofu scramble, and potato hash browns with two big glasses of juice. So then when they got here, they took blood by a finger prick and absorbed it into this little machine, and ten seconds later we had our results! (So cool!)

And . . . I passed with flying colors! My glucose was 99, which they said was perfect--it should have been between 80-120, so I was right smack in the middle.

The rest of the appointment was great too--everything is great with me--I haven't gained any weight in like three weeks, which is awesome because between weeks 15-25 I think I gained over 15 pounds and I was really worried if it was going to keep up that way.

So I'm up to 152, which is 21 pounds gained, which sounds just great to me. James was measuring 30 weeks (at 29.5 weeks), so he is also perfect. My midwife was able to find his head--he is still head up but he has plenty of time to turn still so we aren't worried. After she found his head, he immediately squirmed away and was kicking up a storm--it was funny to see him being so responsive to her manipulation.

And last but not least we got to hear his heartbeat pounding away--it was about 160 while he was moving and kicking and then it quickly slowed down to 140 once he settled back down.

And now we start meeting every two weeks! So crazy.

James has the hiccups!

I had heard so many people talk about their little in-utero babies having the hiccups but it has never happened to me . . . until today!!

I was just laying here reading Harry Potter for the zillionth time, and I feel what felt like a little kick, and then another, and then another, and then another . . . in this steady rhythm. And I realized, low and behold, my baby has the hiccups! I was so proud.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Alyssa is almost as pregnant as I am . . .

So my friend Alyssa wrote a great rant post that I just had to share. I am TOTALLY feeling her on all this stuff.

It is hard being pregnant. Though I feel very lucky that I didn't have very much morning sickness and seem to be able to handle the other discomforts fairly well still, I am QUITE excited to get my body back and have this baby.

Thanks, Alyssa, for expressing the frustrations of pregnancy so well. Not a cakewalk, people.

First Inappropriately Probing Question from a Stranger

So my parents had a graduation party for my sister, who finished college in the spring, and my Dad, as usual, had managed to invite one of his extremely awkward and socially inept friends. That's not to say that all his friends are awkward and socially inept, but the ones that end up coming along to our family parties on an offhand broadly inclusive invite generally are.

So he says: "You're pregnant!"
"Yep," I confirm.
"I wanted to wait until I was sure to say something."
"That is usually a good idea."
Then he says, "Are you having an episiotomy?"

I look at him in shock for a minute before recovering myself.

"Uh, no."
"How about an epidural?"
"No, no . . . "
"Are you going to do natural childbirth?"
"Well, that's the plan!"

Then I get to hear all about his ex-wife's birth and her epidural.

But seriously? Who asks someone if they are going to have an EPISIOTOMY? An epidural, okay, I get it. But an episiotomy?

As the party progresses, this guy goes on to prove that he probably has Aspergers Syndrome or something else that prevents him from functioning normally in a social environment.

For the record, no one does episiotomies anymore unless they are absolutely necessary. Like the baby's head is right there but won't come out. Spread the word so no one ever asks me that again.
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